Wikipedia:Village pump (miscellaneous)

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When do we start to top out?[edit]

Wikipedia now has 6,710,730 articles, and my sense is that most of the substantial encyclopedic topics are covered. While there are certainly pockets of information for which thousands or even tens of thousands more articles are needed, I think that by the time we hit 7,000,000, additions will have slowed to the trickle of new articles being created almost entirely in response to new events, rather than any previously uncovered topics being newly covered. Does this sound right to others, and if so, does this affect how we structure our approach to developing the encylopedia? BD2412 T 17:18, 7 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Define "new articles being created almost entirely in response to new events". For example, if archeologists discover a previously unknown species of dinosaur, would you consider that a new event (despite the fact that the dinosaur lived millions of years ago)? What about historians writing about events that happened in the past that were previously understudied? The event happened a long time ago, and obviously the primary sources the historians use are from a long ago time, but the secondary sources we would need to write an article may not have existed. Is that a "new event"?
There will always be things about our past and our environment that, while they have been around, our understanding of them continues to evolve and so there will always be unwritten articles to write about. ~ ONUnicorn(Talk|Contribs)problem solving 17:25, 7 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think we're a long way from the slowdown point yet. Just in the area I contribute most to, historical magazines, I would guess we have articles on no more than half of the US and UK magazines that meet the GNG. For magazines in other languages I doubt it's more than ten or twenty percent. Yes, the high profile articles in all areas are very well covered, but human interests are fractal, and you have to get a long way down the fractal tree before the sources aren't there. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 18:26, 7 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, but that's still a bucket of no more than a few thousand new articles. BD2412 T 18:33, 7 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, for magazines. Multiply that by every category you can think of -- newspapers, notable books, authors, journalists, editors, publishers -- and that's just a few ideas from one small part of human culture. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 18:40, 7 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think efforts dipping to that level will run into encyclopedic notability barriers sooner rather than later. Most individual authors, journalists, editors, etc., are not notable. BD2412 T 18:53, 7 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
And even if they were notable, there is simply an information gap for noteworthy subjects owing to lack of reliable secondary sources. Simply put, if the world willingly turns a blind eye to something important, then it is no longer important. Duly signed, WaltClipper -(talk) 18:59, 7 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There are also always new notable people being born, new scientific discoveries, old manuscripts, etc. Professor Penguino (talk) 00:07, 23 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
User:Uncle G/Missing encyclopaedic articles * Pppery * it has begun... 18:41, 7 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
For another example see this book, which provides bios of 850 people. I created Xavier Ract-Madoux citing that after coming across him in another context, but I wouldn't be surprised if there are less than ten articles in Wikipedia for the others in that book. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 18:50, 7 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There's also Category:Redirects with possibilities, which has ~90K pages. I suspect that it is significantly underpopulated. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:54, 7 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's an interesting question. One of my recent creations is Still Life with Bread and Eggs, an 1865 painting considered one of Cezanne's most important early still lifes. The reason I created it was a recent event that brought it into current discussion. It was just as much a notable painting before this recent event, but the coverage of the recent event brought the painting to my attention, and I created an article. So it's not "Pop star announces upcoming album" and all her fanitors rush to be the first to create the article. But it was indeed created because of a recent event. Valereee (talk) 19:05, 7 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We'll run out of new articles to write when reliable sources run out of different things to talk about. Since their livelihood depends on not doing that, it's my feeling the encyclopaedia will probably continue growing until other factors cause it to stop. Folly Mox (talk) 19:22, 7 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In my view, as someone's whose article creation centres on taxon articles, we're nowhere near slowing down. Edward-Woodrow :) [talk] 20:26, 7 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm rather gobsmacked by this thread. Anyone who thinks that the notable topics are anywhere close to being completed here must have a severe lack of imagination. Just one small part of what needs to be done is creating articles about the villages and towns in India, China, the rest of Asia and Africa that don't have articles yet. There are millions of them. Phil Bridger (talk) 20:36, 7 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Consider what Albert A. Michelson said in 1903, The more important fundamental laws and facts of physical science have all been discovered, and these are now so firmly established that the possibility of their ever being supplanted in consequence of new discoveries is exceedingly remote.q:Albert_A._Michelson - Donald Albury 23:02, 7 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • When we're done writing an article for every person who ever walked onto a cricket pitch, every TV or radio station that ever transmitted, and every song that was ever recorded, we could work on something really worthwhile like "between six and ten million" articles about insect species? That'll keep us busy for a while longer. RoySmith (talk) 23:13, 7 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I don't know why, but thinking about that makes me smile. Professor Penguino (talk) 00:10, 23 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
More or less what Phil said. But there's a subtext in Phil and Roy's comments that I think deserves closer attention: this implies that growth will mostly take place at the "tips" of fractal interest, producing articles about well-delimited but very narrow or niche topics which exist in large numbers as part of some system (geographic places, biological taxa, etc.) I think there are many potential articles that, in theory, could be written; i.e., as I sit here, I'm holding a book entitled Movable bridge engineering, which could spawn an extensive set of articles. In practice, this rarely seems to happen. I suspect this is a byproduct of our (necessary!) quality-control efforts. Someone trying to write the latter type of article is much more likely to run into OR/SYNTH issues, or sources that almost support a statement but have a slightly different scope, and so forth. It's much easier to gravitate to the former type of topic and avoid those issues.
So I don't think any perceived levelling-off of article creation reflects the exhaustion of the world's existing corpus of knowledge outside of Wikipedia; rather, our (again, very necessary) defenses against editing by partisans and imbeciles have also defended us very effectively against the help of actual subject matter experts. Choess (talk) 04:45, 8 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I suspect that the lack of good content on deeply narrow technical subjects is more due to a lack of interested and motivated editors. My own personal shameful example is artificial neural networks; it's a topic that I could have helped out with years ago, but yawn, who cares, right? But now that everyone's interested in how our future AI overlords work, the article has expanded 25% in the past year. And the best part is that most of the newly-added content is existing foundational research— stuff I could have added 10 years ago. In that case, the extent of our knowledge hasn't grown, just the number of editors who are willing to write that knowledge down. Orange Suede Sofa (talk) 07:38, 11 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't think it is going to level off; instead, it is going to slow down. There are tens of millions of topics not currently covered by Wikipedia that warrant coverage, but we have made it harder to create articles on these topics - and that is a good thing. There is never going to be another Lugnuts, mass creating substubs on topics that likely warrant mentioning on Wikipedia but currently lack the content to justify articles.
Instead, we will be seeing more coverage of Indian villages and insects in list articles or similar, rather than standalone articles - and the millions of topics that there is sufficient content to justify an article will slowly have one created. BilledMammal (talk) 05:05, 8 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • By the time we've written biographies of every national parliamentary politician in Europe, they'll have elected new ones. We can't keep up.—S Marshall T/C 06:36, 11 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • The US has had somewhere between 150,000 to 200,000 state legislators in history. I've found the vast majority of these surpass WP:NOPAGE. Same with others from federal states like India, Germany, Brazil, etc. That's at least 500,000 articles on notable subjects right there, most of which are redlinks. Curbon7 (talk) 07:08, 11 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Over the years, people have often said this, but it never seems to be based on anything other than a feeling. Actual attempts at quantifying this indicate that we're not even close to covering the majority of relevant topics, aside from a few subsets. Dege31 (talk) 15:35, 11 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Does my expansion of Leskov Island and Peinado count? There are plenty of articles that could undergo this kind of expansion work. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk) 17:53, 11 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think so. Doing that is as much fun as starting a new article from scratch. Donald Albury 20:31, 11 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Some editor whose name escapes me said something along the lines of "Wikipedia is doing well on its "thing" articles (people, places, creatures), which are easy to identify and write basic prose for, but less so on its "topic" or "concept" articles" (see RoySmith's examples). That seems right to me. – Teratix 14:08, 15 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Might that have been me, in [talk given in 2011 (notes at link)]? I agree with the slowing down rather than levelling out or stopping. But more and more our priority should be improving the 7m articles we have already got, vast numbers of which are very poor, rather than creating new ones. We shouldn't be training people to create new articles at the start of their editing. Every few years I propose that we should ban all new biographies for six months, except for genuinely newly-notable people (sports signings, election winners etc). People laugh but I think the effects would be wonderful; so many of the dwindling band of editors who actually write text spend their time on articles that get vanishingly small views, while nonsense in old articles get very high ones. Johnbod (talk) 03:53, 18 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This seems to assume that volunteers come to the site with the versatility of a staff writer at a newspaper, eager to write about any assignment that we the assignment editors throw their way. I can assure you this is generally not the case. Minh Nguyễn 💬 05:20, 18 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks, but with some 10 times more edits than you on en:wp I don't need your assurances. It doesn't assume that at all; most editors have their areas of interest, and would stick to them. Indeed for quality reasons, it is better that they do stick to what they are familiar with. But virtually every area has lots of very weak articles. Johnbod (talk) 13:44, 18 September 2023 (UTC) -Reply[reply]
My apologies for insulting your intelligence. All I mean is that people often become editors on a whim. They only get addicted to editing in a given topic area after completing that loop of I know something specific, I can prove it, I can tell the world about it – whether or not that requires starting a new article. A moratorium on biographies won't deny everyone that great first impression, but it will deny it to some. Minh Nguyễn 💬 21:35, 18 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Johnbod I agree that we should, somehow, be encouraging editors to spend more time on maintaining our existing articles. I had a nasty shock when I found that an article on a major English novelist Elizabeth Gaskell had suffered a major misguided edit in May 2020 from a non-English-speaking editor which had mangled quotes, "corrected" to US spellings, added total rubbish (their spellchecker had inspired them to replace "bibliomemoir" by "bibliometric"), and no-one had noticed most of the mistakes till I found it in Sept 2022 (and couldn't understand what "bibliometric" meant in that context...). So if it was on anyone's watchlist they hadn't noticed. I wonder what proportion of articles are on watchlists, whether of the original creator or anyone else, and how many bad edits, whether good-faith or casual vandalism, go unnoticed and uncorrected. Then there's the question of out of date content (publications lists incomplete, etc), sources going offline, etc. The ratio of number of articles to number of active editors is ever-increasing, and the attention paid to old articles is not enough to prevent the encyclopedia from drifting down the quality scale. Depressing. PamD 15:18, 18 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, my impression is that, among the arts, our English literature articles are oddly weak and unattended compared to say music and visual arts. And of course if there is another harmless edit by someone else quickly after a bad edit, even watchlisters are unlikely to catch that. Johnbod (talk) 17:44, 18 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It has always been more challenging to write an analysis or synthesis than a profile, even outside of Wikipedia's sourcing and POV constraints. Such articles are more or less the difference between a general reference encyclopedia and a serious reference work, but there aren't many resources to help editors write them. Minh Nguyễn 💬 05:11, 18 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This is a very salient point – I don't have an example handy but some red links just boggle the mind – but it's worthwhile noting that in terms of sheer article numbers broad concepts are a small percentage of what's left to cover. There are mountains of 'things' that have received 2 or 3 pieces of SIGCOV and in the process of writing them 3rd-world development, journalism, and scholarship should continue to bloom. J947edits 09:12, 18 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • There has been an attempt to figure out how many articles a complete wikipedia would contain. see d:User:Emijrp/All Human Knowledge which suggests that a complete Wikipedia would be around 119,535,085 articles in size. Personally I suspect this being a bit generous in terms of what is actually notable but 10s of millions is a good minimum for a reasonably complete Wikipedia. As for what new articles are being created it will depend on the areas editors chose to focus on. There area areas where there are a lot of articles yet to be created and others where expanding existing ones is far more practical.©Geni (talk) 08:04, 18 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Really, it's only just begun. J947edits 09:12, 18 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This is an interesting topic for sure. There's also User:Fdizile/All Knowladge, which I find almost overwhelming. NotAGenious (talk) 14:54, 22 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have long felt there is too much interest in creating new articles and too little in improving bad ones. In recent years I've been doing occasional mergers, and other editors have done the encyclopedia a favor by killing or merging some of the stubs I created before seeing the light. Some articles are hastily created because an event has attracted much attention; individual small battles of the early months of the current Ukraine war have their own article, whilst much bigger battles of the Iran-Iraq war of a quarter century ago are ignored. Edit-a-thons tend to concentrate on studying news coverage in order to bring a biography over the notability bar, of someone who gets no inlinks because whatever they did, it wasn't itself notable or even important. So, many new articles are only momentarily interesting and will attract little attention from readers, or from editors other than vandals, ten years from now. Probably someone will celebrate when ENWP clears the 7 million and 8 million articles marks; I'll be one of the grouchy old fellows complaining that quantity has trumped quality. Jim.henderson (talk) 16:11, 18 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't believe (as I think I stated above) that we have got anywhere near creating all of the articles on notable topics that we could, but agree that far too much emphasis is placed on news sources. We should stop following our very idiosyncratic definition of secondary sources that includes news articles for the events that they describe, and start following WP:NOT#NEWS. Phil Bridger (talk) 17:01, 18 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm sure everyone will agree, right up until the moment that the next Nobel Prize winner is announced, and everyone runs around wringing their hands and saying "I can't believe we didn't have an article on _____!" WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:16, 18 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  1. ^ Fun fact: I originally wrote that as a "why not" example and was surprised to discover it show up in blue!

Community discussion on Charter for the Universal Code of Conduct Coordinating Committee[edit]

Hi everyone. About a week ago, RamzyM (WMF) posted the following message to VPM, which was probably overlooked because VPM is a relatively low-engagement forum:

Hello all,

I am pleased to share the next step in the Universal Code of Conduct work. The Universal Code of Conduct Coordinating Committee (U4C) draft charter is now ready for your review.

The Enforcement Guidelines require a Building Committee form to draft a charter that outlines procedures and details for a global committee to be called the Universal Code of Conduct Coordinating Committee (U4C). Over the past few months, the U4C Building Committee worked together as a group to discuss and draft the U4C charter. The U4C Building Committee welcomes feedback about the draft charter now through 22 September 2023. After that date, the U4C Building Committee will revise the charter as needed and a community vote will open shortly afterward.

Join the conversation during the conversation hours or on Meta-wiki.


RamzyM (WMF), on behalf of the U4C Building Committee, 15:35, 28 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This draft Charter defines the election procedures and mandate of the U4C (Universal Code of Conduct Coordinating Committee). Under the previously-ratified UCoC Enforcement Guidelines, the U4C is an elected body with responsibility for enforcing various provisions in the UCoC and coordinating others.

I am posting this here because I'd like to invite comment from enwiki folks on this, and will be posting this thread to T:CENT. You're welcome to comment in this thread here or directly on the meta consultation page. If you comment here, I will be sure to summarize the discussion and post it on the meta consultation page. This is a similar model to how some other projects are soliciting feedback: for example, the German-language Wikipedia had a local discussion on their equivalent of the village pump and posted a summary of their discussion to meta for consideration by the drafting committee.

I urge the community to participate. Under this draft Charter, the U4C in most cases would not have authority on enwiki absent "systemic issues" (Except in instances of systemic issues, the U4C will not have jurisdiction when a NDA-signed, high-level decision-making body exists, warranting effective self-governance.). Nonetheless, based on the Enforcement Guidelines that have already been ratified by the global community, the U4C will have an important role in the governance of the Wikimedia movement going forward. This is a good chance to help shape how it will look — only a small handful of people have commented at the meta consultation page. I have my personal opinions, but welcome feedback from this community more broadly (whether it aligns with my opinions or not, of course).

Best, KevinL (aka L235 · t · c) 23:38, 7 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  • I continue to believe that, absent an enabling act, that the UCoC has no applicability on the English Wikipedia, and arguments based on it should not be considered when assessing consensus.
    As for an enabling act, I would advocate against passing one. Consider the strength of our existing policies and institutions it has no relevance here and will bring no benefit; it would only serve to worsen our current instruction creep. It appears to be little more than yet another example of the WMF overstepping its mandate, and any attempt by the WMF to enforce it through the use of office actions would both be ill-advised and unnecessary. BilledMammal (talk) 23:54, 7 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I think the lack of ratification of the UCoC itself was a mistake and an ongoing one and I wish the board would decide to fix it sooner rather than later. But that said what's the precedent for board policies needing an enabling act on enwiki? Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 15:01, 8 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    My view is that we are setting precedent here; we are determining whether we will allow the Wikimedia Foundation to write our policies and guidelines. They want us to quietly accept that they have the right to do so, but I do not believe we should - we must make it clear that their proposals will only be internalized with the consent of our community, before they use that power to try to curtail our independence further.
    My reading of WP:CONEXCEPT aligns with this; while the current wording gives the Foundation the power to directly enforce the UCoC, through office actions or similar (although any decision to do so would be very ill-advised), it doesn't give them the authority to grant local admins the right to enforce it, or to have it treated as policy. BilledMammal (talk) 20:45, 8 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    The problem is that there already is a precedent from the past 15+ years that the foundation can do this. Enwiki has followed and incorporated the policies made in the past. So really this would be about setting a new precedent. Not to mention that the terms of use, even the old one that didn't incorporate the UCoC and which would be the status quo even under the new precedent you're proposing, says The Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees releases official policies from time to time. Some of these policies may be mandatory for a particular Project or Project edition, and, when they are, you agree to abide by them as applicable. While your reading of CONEXEMPT is reasonable I don't think the totality supports that part of things. That said I will repeat that the failure to hold a vote on the UCOC was a real mistake and one the foundation board has foolishly and stubbornly refused to correct. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 13:50, 9 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    It may be because I'm relatively new to the project, but I am not aware of any examples of the WMF decreeing a policy and Enwiki following - while some of the earliest policies emerged in a way that could be seen as analogous, such as NPOV with the statements from Jimbo, I think the situations were sufficiently different to mean that no relevant precedent was set.
    To be clear, I see a difference between the WMF enforcing the UCoC, and the WMF requiring us to internalize and enforce the UCoC. The former I agree the WMF can do, through office actions and similar, although it would be ill-advised and likely end very badly, but the latter I do not believe they can do. BilledMammal (talk) 01:26, 10 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I concur that the UCOC is not required, needed, or wanted, on English Wikipedia. Stifle (talk) 09:26, 8 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I don't believe that anything we say here will matter. They're not going to give up the language that lets them swoop in here if they don't believe we're enforcing the vagueness in the UCoC properly. Even the election system seems designed to only represent whichever viewpoint votes in the majority in each geographical region (not that our variation on block approval voting does much for proportionality either). Anomie 10:30, 8 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • English Wikipedia has not requested, approved, endorsed or accepted UCoC. We can and should ignore it unless and until the WMF steps in and abuses its position as our web host to impose restrictions, e.g. an office block. That would lead to another Framgate, which would be unfortunate but might lead to a revision of our relationship with the WMF. Certes (talk) 10:47, 8 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • This is the "revision of our relationship with the WMF" after the first Framgate. Next time it won't be the WMF overstepping, it'll be this "community"-based committee enforcing the "community"-based and board-approved UCoC. Anomie 12:06, 8 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      That's right. hich is why it's important to get the separation of powers right and to have a good charter that will keep this community body on track. I'm also not sure why you're putting community in scare quotes when the charter currently prohibits staff from running and it's based on something that had 75% approval in a community vote. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 16:09, 8 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      There's no singular community. Even here on enwiki there's not one community. But if/when this committee does something controversial here, there will be claims like yours that it represents "the community" anyway from those who happen to agree with it. Anomie 18:17, 8 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      Thanks for the explanation. I use community differently but your explanation makes sense (as I agree enwiki is hardly a monolith). Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 22:14, 8 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Concur with the comments above: let the communities regulate themselves without (more) interference from the WMF. Edward-Woodrow :) [talk] 12:10, 8 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • It seems that the WMF is trying to be even-handed, lumping the English Wikipedia in with those for languages with far fewer speakers where we may get problems such as has happened with some languages spoken in the Balkans and the Caucasus. There needs to be someone who can check that Wikipedias do not get dominated by an extreme nationalist clique of administrators, who block anyone who doesn't edit according to their world-view. The UCoC may not be required, needed, or wanted, on English Wikipedia, but something on those lines is needed badly on some Wikipedias. Phil Bridger (talk) 14:28, 9 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Per Barkeep49, the WMF does not need an enabling act in order to enforce any of the relevant terms of the UCoC on the English Wikipedia, anymore than they need one to enforce the ToU or office actions. "We won't allow this" might be a popular stance to hold, but that ship has already well and truly sailed. (Didn't we have a secure vote on something like this recently anyway?) Duly signed, WaltClipper -(talk) 15:24, 9 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Since I'm the one who will be summarizing these comments over on meta, I've reviewed this discussion and would recommend that comments here focus on things that the U4CBC could change about the U4C Charter. The Enforcement Guidelines (as opposed to the Charter) are already final and aren't under the control of the U4CBC. The question of whether enwiki needs an enabling act to authorize U4C enforcement on enwiki, for example, is outside of the mandate of the U4CBC. Best, KevinL (aka L235 · t · c) 02:51, 10 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • IMO that's part of the problem with this whole process. The UCoC was put together by pieces, and once discussion was "closed" on a piece it wasn't allowed to be revisited. A promised final community review/vote on it was skipped with the justification that all the pieces had been individually reviewed. Only after the UCoC was final were the enforcement parts even written. And now we have the same with the committee.
      But as I said above, I don't believe comments will change anything material. The people behind this will keep the loopholes they want, if necessary counting on enough people approving a second or third attempt because it's "better" to get a vote showing approval. The real test will be when they get this committee to try something controversial based on all the vagueness and loopholes. Would another Framban succeed this time because it's U4C rather than WMF doing all the same things? They hope so. Most of the people above will think not. I don't know, but I don't see anything anywhere in all this that would stop the attempt. Anomie 12:43, 10 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • @L235: would you please help me understand how ratification of the U4C Charter couldn't be the enabling act to authorize U4C enforcement on enwiki? My opinion is that the UCOC shouldn't be used on enwiki as long as existing dispute resolution continues to uphold its principles. Therefore my comments on the charter are that the Scope, Monitoring, Jurisdiction, and Proceedings provisions are all WP:CREEPy and over-broad, and should be narrowed so that U4C action doesn't involve enwiki editors unless there is a substantial public outcry in the form of a Meta RfC that they need to step in. I suggest that the push-back from others you are perceiving here comes from very similar motivations. Sandizer (talk) 21:52, 11 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      • @Sandizer: This is a very helpful question. The answer is that the U4C's Enforcement Guidelines, which have been ratified by the global community with 76% of the community voting in favor (see m:Universal_Code_of_Conduct/Revised_enforcement_guidelines/Voting_statistics), are binding upon the U4CBC. Therefore, the U4CBC's lacks the power to propose any jurisdiction for the U4C that doesn't allow it to intervene on wikis where there is a Systemic [issue or] failure to follow the UCoC as defined in the Enforcement Guidelines, because those Guidelines say unequivocally that any such issues are [h]andled by U4C.
        Fortunately, that is the only circumstance in which the U4C's powers extend to enwiki under the draft Charter because it states in the "Jurisdiction" section that Except in instances of systemic issues, the U4C will not have jurisdiction when a NDA-signed, high-level decision-making body exists, warranting effective self-governance. (Enwiki's ArbCom is our "NDA-signed, high-level decision-making body exists".) The U4CBC simply doesn't have the option of proposing anything less than that for the U4C.
        Now, I think it very much is still a valid grievance, and a useful one to share. In the early stages of the draft Enforcement Guidelines, I pushed to make it harder for the U4C to intervene on enwiki — I have no desire to let the UCoC make ArbCom merely an intermediate appellate court of some kind, because that would invite gamesmanship and interfere with ArbCom's ability to actually resolve disputes. However, it may be even more helpful at this stage to share comments about the parts of this that the U4CBC has the authority to change. Best, KevinL (aka L235 · t · c) 22:47, 11 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
        Thank you, that is very helpful. In light of this, I'm happy to revise my comments to merely ask that "systemic issues" be given a concrete, operational definition, ideally with a bright line distinguishing when U4C action on wikis with active NDA-signed adjudicators would occur. Sandizer (talk) 22:58, 11 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
        @Sandizer: Thanks. My old feedback, which I will be reviving and re-posting in light of the discussion here, is that (a) it should take a 2/3 vote in the U4C to find "systemic issues", and (b) because the Enforcement Guidelines explicitly provide that the U4C is a "co-equal body" (not a higher body) "with other high-level decision making bodies (e.g. ArbComs and AffCom)", the U4C Charter should provide that ordinary differences in opinion or interpretation of the UCoC is not a "systemic issue", and the U4C should recognize that there is a broad zone of reasonableness in interpretations of the UCoC among these co-equal high-level decision making bodies. Best, KevinL (aka L235 · t · c) 00:13, 12 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
        @Sandizer: You might appreciate this comment I submitted just now about "systemic issues". Best, KevinL (aka L235 · t · c) 15:01, 21 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
        Thank you for making those important points in the right forum. One part still troubles me: because high-level decision-making bodies are co-equal to the U4C, those bodies also have the responsibility for applying, interpreting, and enforcing the UCoC. If I'm interpreting it correctly, this suggests that because ArbCom etc. are in some way equal to U4C, ArbCom etc. must impose UCoC on enwp. That reads like a non sequitur. The French government is equal to the German one, but that does not oblige it to impose German law on the French people. I hope I've misinterpreted. Certes (talk) 17:55, 21 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • As we haven't even ratified the Universal Code of Conduct, it's clearly premature to have this discussion.—S Marshall T/C 22:19, 10 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    The dilemma for me is that I think it is an ongoing mistake to not have the community ratify the UCOC and 75% of people did ratify the Enforcement Guidelines which calls for this work to happen. Barkeep49 (talk) 05:23, 11 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I've become deeply cynical about UCOC ratification. I think they're not willing to risk a ratification process because we might not ratify, or even worse, we might ratify subject to wording tweaks. I think they've decided not to risk either possibility because from their point of view there are only downsides. But of course the fact that our community hasn't ratified them derails every UCOC-related discussion almost immediately.—S Marshall T/C 06:44, 11 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    There's an unanswered (and possibly unasked) question of who gets to decide whether UCoC applies to enwp: enwp editors, the WMF or someone else? I'm sure the WMF like to think that it's their decision and that we will comply with whatever they impose, just as we woke up one morning to find the skin had changed. That may not happen. Certes (talk) 22:49, 11 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    The highest authority would be the Board of Trustees, I think, and they can impose the UCOC on us summarily. It would be extraordinary and remarkable for them to do that over the community's objections. Currently we do not know whether the community has any objections because we haven't had the discussion. The nuclear option would be for us to start such a discussion on now, but I remain hopeful that if we're restrained and respectful, the WMF will see reason and start it themselves.—S Marshall T/C 23:46, 11 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    The nice thing about being a volunteer is that the WMF has no power over me. They can't fire me. They can't impact my retirement account, or my stock options, or my health coverage. They can't even stop feeding me free lunches or give me a bad reference on my next job application. All they can do is revoke my editing ability (and access to administrative tools), but if things ever got to that point, I'd be gone on my own volition. So, S Marshall is right about who has authority, but authority != power. RoySmith (talk) 00:16, 12 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    The WMF's current roadmap is to say "Here's the UCoC we have decided to impose on you; obey it or retire". They seem very unlikely to start a discussion which could only result in their self-awarded authority to control our community being questioned. Certes (talk) 09:55, 12 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    No, look, be fair. The WMF's authority isn't self-awarded. The UCOC was a necessary and proportionate response to some rather problematic events on smaller wikis. There should be a UCOC, and anyone who says otherwise hasn't understood the developments that brought it about. But the community hasn't ratified the UCOC and we haven't agreed how and when it applies to us. I think the answer to that last question is "never", or at least never while we have robust and decent governance for ourselves, but I don't know for sure because the discussion hasn't happened.—S Marshall T/C 13:01, 12 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Just as long as we do take an explicit decision on whether to ratify UCoC for enwp, rather than waking up one day to find an announcement here that it is now in force. Certes (talk) 15:08, 12 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I'm confused @S Marshall. The Board is who imposed the UCoC on us without a vote. I certainly don't begrudge anyone their cynicism but I admittedly lost some of mine when they decided to revise the Enforcement Guidelines rather than say they passed with only 56% in support. 75% support seems far more reasonable for something like that. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 22:56, 12 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Yes. I'm not sure why you're confused? The Board haven't imposed the UCOC over the community's objections -- because we haven't objected, to the best of my knowledge?—S Marshall T/C 23:13, 12 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I have said my piece there - notably about the Jurisdictions and the term "systemic issue". The term is not well defined, and U4C or some other agencies could easily declare "systemic issue" without a clear guideline to assert control over the wikis. Who defines "systemic issue"? What if the local wikis disagreed? If the term is obscure and there are no clear and exact guidelines people could declare "systemic issue" all the time, just like American president invoking "national emergencies" to get additional funding or power. ✠ SunDawn ✠ (contact) 04:19, 14 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Translation robot[edit]

Is there a robot or template or ... for article automatic translation? Masoud.h1368 (talk) 23:08, 12 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No, because that would be a bad idea. WP:CXT, on other wikis, adds a machine-translated version of the text, but I believe that feature is disabled on enwiki. Edward-Woodrow :) [talk] 23:23, 12 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Does it not exist in other wikipedias too? For example see ca:Plantilla:Petició de traducció which is not used now. Masoud.h1368 (talk) 23:37, 12 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't entirely understand what you're asking, but as Novem Linguae said, machine translation of any kind is generally a no-no on Wikipedias. Some other wikis might allow them, but guidelines vary, and the consensus at enwiki seems to be "no". Edward-Woodrow :) [talk] 19:46, 13 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sorry, "enwiki" means the English Wikipedia, if that wasn't clear. Edward-Woodrow :) [talk] 19:47, 13 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The Wikipedia:Content translation tool (editing software) is available. Machine translation into English isn't. Each community decides what they find desirable for machine translation tools (language pairs + percentage revisions required + services; sometimes, e.g., editors decide that going between these two languages works in Google Translation but for these other two languages, you want Yandex). Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 02:52, 14 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Machine translations tend to be too low quality for use on Wikipedia. They sound fluent but they get details wrong. They can be helpful for reading foreign language sources, but should not be used for article writing. –Novem Linguae (talk) 18:52, 13 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
For a good description of why robots should not be trusted to produce accurate text, read the short story "Galley Slave". It's still in print, 65 years on. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 20:58, 14 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
A contemporary example is ChatGPT translating from English to Lojban, which is based on predicate logic, and then (in a new "chat") translating the Lojban back into English. Hallucinations galore. E.g., Article 1 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights: All people are afraid of Tommy and Jane, and they agree and love them. They imagine, and not differently so, something like a brother. kencf0618 (talk) 11:30, 19 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Kencf0618: This is not what chatbots such as ChatGPT were designed to do.
Translation is out of their scope, except for very simple sentences.
I think in this discussion we're talking about dedicated machine translation models which were designed for this specific task. QuickQuokka [⁠talkcontribs] 00:52, 22 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

User interface feedback[edit]

Not sure where I can put this down but someone in a training was a bit confused by the words "publish changes" versus "save" especially while editing in the sandbox. I think they would have understood "save" in that context better than "publish". I understand that it can be termed as an education issue but I think we should note confusions like this somewhere. Would be happy to be directed to a better venue. Shyamal (talk) 11:33, 20 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

IIRC "save" was changed to "publish" at some point because some people in other user experiments didn't realize that "save" would immediately make things publicly visible (versus saving a draft or submitting for some sort of review before publishing). Anomie 12:29, 20 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
See the announcement on this board (almost six years ago now!): Wikipedia:Village_pump (miscellaneous)/Archive 57#Change to the edit submission button label. (talk) 14:30, 20 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks. I forgot, this user's expectation was that it should automatically save as draft - I am sure the gmail interface has set this expectation. Shyamal (talk) 06:35, 21 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, I remember being confused by this too back when I was a new editor—"publish" sounds like it should move the sandbox/draft to mainspace. I'm not sure there's an easy solution, though, since (as Anomie notes) the alternative has the potential to be equally confusing. Extraordinary Writ (talk) 18:14, 21 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
A clearer term would be better but it's hard to find one. Some e-mail software uses "Send" but that's just as ambiguous here – are we sending to article space? "Post" is a possibility but hints at social media and might encourage unconstructive "posts" – hi i'm N00b420 how is every1? Certes (talk) 19:33, 21 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I do remember when I was editing as an IP, I was writing a draft (a very poorly sourced one, if I remember, that would in no way have passed AfC), I spent the whole time in preview and visual editor because the "publish changes" button was so intimidating. I can't remember if I ever even published the draft. I certainly never submitted it. Edward-Woodrowtalk 20:01, 21 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The current status definitely does seem confusing to newer editors, especially since we talk about "publishing" drafts to mainspace upon AfC acceptance (that is, the second editorial concern around the proposed label change has been borne out in practice). Maybe a single word is not what we're looking for. "Save publicly"? "Save (publicly visible)"? "Publish to FULLPAGENAME"? Folly Mox (talk) 18:07, 27 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Deleted drafts[edit]

I started what I expected would be a useful stub on Australian mezzo-soprano Fiona Janes, and discover, via a fork or mirror site ( that a substantial article once existed in draft namespace. Is that article, with history and references, gone forever? Doug butler (talk) 23:53, 21 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No, deleted pages still exist and can be viewed and undeleted by admins. I have undeleted Draft:Fiona Janes. * Pppery * it has begun... 23:54, 21 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Heh. We undelete-conflicted, which generates error messages I've never seen before :-) RoySmith (talk) 23:57, 21 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Wow! That was quick service. Thanks. Doug butler (talk) 00:08, 22 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
A curious rationale for deletion — Janes is a rolled gold notable, a lot of work has been put into the article, inline references are sadly lacking is all, IMO. Doug butler (talk) 00:20, 22 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Not just inline references - linking only imdb, the subject's own website, and (six! times), it has no usable sourcing at all. Given the state of AFC, I'm not surprised it was rejected on that basis. —Cryptic 00:31, 22 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Cryptic: It didn't cite 720 times as you said, only six times. QuickQuokka [⁠talkcontribs] 00:45, 22 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Very nice. Mathematical puns are rare, good ones more so. Thanks, @QuickQuokka: you made my day. Doug butler (talk) 13:26, 22 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Is that a fact? RoySmith (talk) 13:37, 22 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

WMF banner fundraising campaign 2023 - collaboration and updates[edit]

Dear all,

This is a friendly reminder for anyone interested in the Wikimedia Foundation’s upcoming banner fundraising campaign on English Wikipedia to continue to share your banner ideas and look at our latest update on the collaboration page. This upcoming month is crucial in our testing operations, and the page has an update on new messaging and tests we performed based on volunteer suggestions. While the page will remain open through the end of the campaign, we are best able to test and incorporate your ideas over the coming 3-5 weeks. Please reach out to me with any questions. JBrungs (WMF) (talk) 07:04, 22 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Is there a way to find certain templates in an article?[edit]

If not, then I think that would be a good feature for those of us on mobile. It’s a feature on computers that you can search specific characters in a web page, but mobile doesn’t have that. It would be really handy to be able to search for a “citation needed” template in an article and jump to it. Professor Penguino (talk) 06:55, 23 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This sounds like an issue to raise with whoever makes your phone browser. On my phone, both Firefox and Chrome have a "find in page" option under their ⋮ menu. Anomie 12:02, 23 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Safari on iPhones have that option too, under the Share menu of all things. (Though I will say if one uses the Hide IP Address VPN that Apple provides, the "Your IP address has been blocked from editing Wikipedia" popup that appears if one attempts to edit an unprotected page doesn't actually provide any way to see that page's source.) 2603:8001:4542:28FB:B0C2:E6A5:3653:3559 (talk) 15:44, 23 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ok, I found it. I feel pretty stupid now lol. Well, have a good one! Professor Penguino (talk) 18:52, 23 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Misleading map[edit]

The map from the article Azerbaijani language (this map — [1]) is false.
The description of the file states that this is “own work”, which is based on two other maps:

But look for example on Talysh region ([2]). On this map, the darker blue shading of Azeri Turkish prevalence "cuts" the shading of the Talysh language and dividing it goes perpendicular to the Caspian Sea, which is not shown on these two maps on which it is supposedly based. I think this map is unreliable and needs to be replaced. I am writing here because this map is used in other interwikis, from where it should also be removed. Smpad (talk) 17:46, 24 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

User:Smpad, you might wish to raise this concern at commons:File talk:Map of the Azerbaijani language.svg or commons:User talk:Golden. Folly Mox (talk) 18:13, 27 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Colleague, but who then will pronounce the verdict on it? With respect. Smpad (talk) 18:21, 27 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, if you're looking for consensus for your proposed changes (which is how verdicts are pronounced), Talk:Azerbaijani language is a good starting point. The situation is a bit complicated, because the uploader and primary maintainer of the map on Commons (from where it is linked to multiple language Wikipedias) is blocked on the English Wikipedia, and as such would be unable to participate in the conversation. If you're able to generate consensus for your changes and can link that consensus to an appropriate place on Commons, the uploader may make the changes when asked. Otherwise you could find someone who knows how to edit SVG files and have them create an updated inage, with the established consensus linked in the upload description. Folly Mox (talk) 18:31, 27 September 2023 (UTC) edited 18:24, 28 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've been blocked this whole time? You learn something new every day![sarcasm] I can participate in any discussion regarding the file. — Golden talk 16:24, 28 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Wow where on earth did I get that piece of misinformation? How embarrassing! I'm sorry, User:Golden, I'm not sure what happened here but please accept my apologies for besmirching you 🙏🏽 Folly Mox (talk) 18:24, 28 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No worries, Folly Mox. — Golden talk 18:42, 28 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Knowledge Equity Fund Community call[edit]

Hi all,

With the announcement of the Knowledge Equity Fund’s round 2 grantees, we’ve seen a lot of questions and feedback about the Knowledge Equity Fund, how the Committee works and how the work of the grantees will contribute to the projects and to the movement. To help answer these questions, The Knowledge Equity Fund Committee will host a community conversation on Friday, October 6, 2023 at 1400 UTC to hear ideas, concerns and to answer questions. The Committee would also like to hear ideas for how the fund should be used in the upcoming third round of grant making.

To register for this conversation, please email us at You can also send us questions beforehand. The call will be held in English and we will have interpretation in Spanish; if you would like interpretation into other languages please let us know. If you’re not able to attend, we will also share notes and a written list of Q&A after the call.

On behalf of Knowledge Equity Fund committee member, Biyanto R (talk) 14:35, 25 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Finding how many times a book has been cited[edit]

Is there a way, perhaps using ISBNs or OCLCs, to find out how often a given book has been used as a source throughout Wikipedia? A list of the most-cited books would be interesting in its own right as well. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 19:12, 25 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Easiest way right now would probably be just running a few insource: searches (Special:Search/insource:978-0-306-47754-6 and Special:Search/insource:9780306477546 for example) which kinda works but not great. Probably the most useful way of doing it would be to extend the bot that does Wikipedia:WikiProject Academic Journals/Journals cited by Wikipedia to handle books as well. This was mentioned as possibly of interest in the Signpost article. (Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2023-08-01/In focus) Alpha3031 (tc) 12:49, 26 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks -- those are helpful links. I somehow missed that Signpost article. Headbomb, just a ping to support adding "books cited by Wikipedia" though I understand the caveats you give in that article. Among other things I think it would help with identifying the use of unreliable sources. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 12:57, 26 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
User:Mike Christie, you might be interested in the meta:WikiCite/Shared Citations initiative, and possibly also this conversation from August. Folly Mox (talk) 18:25, 27 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Just be aware that tracking by ISBN may not be what you want. Different versions of a book (say, hardcover vs paperback) get different ISBNs, but the distinction is probably not significant for this purpose. So if you do go tracking by ISBN, you'll want to build a map which accounts for this. RoySmith (talk) 18:30, 27 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for those pointers and caveats. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 21:47, 27 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Knowing the article size[edit]

How can I know the size of an article without going to its page? Masoud.h1368 (talk) 06:04, 29 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

User:Masoud.h1368, you can use Special:PageInfo. Folly Mox (talk) 06:37, 29 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]