Talk:Main Page/Archive 21

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More intro rewording?

How about rewording the intro paragraph on the Main Page like this:

Welcome to Wikipedia! Since January 2001, we have been building an open-content encyclopedia in many languages, including 6,085,220 articles in English alone.

Then we need to add something to entice new visitors to contribute, and let them know they can immediately become/are by default part of our community. The current final sentence is disjointed; I know Eloquence is -set on having "Sandbox" and "How to edit" links in that last sentence, but they're somewhat redundant and can be confusing if new visitors follow those links first.

I would prefer a single link in the final sentence to a newcomer-oriented page that introduces the community-edited aspects of WP in one place -- to someone who doesn't know what it means to "contribute" to such a project, and wants the notion and community explained in a nutshell. Wikipedia:Welcome, newcomers takes a long time to explain a few concepts, and more than half of the page is full of links to ther info pages... not ideal for such an audience.

Throwing people into the CP might be the best single link for now; it gives a quick feel of what the community does, and has links to all these other things in the directory. Other thoughts?

Visit our community portal to find out how you can help edit Wikipedia.

What more would you add? +sj+ 00:03, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I like your proposal for the first two sentences. As for telling newcomers how they can contribute, I think the page that presents this information best is Wikipedia:Welcome, newcomers, actually. I have a feeling people miss that link, any thoughts? Fredrik (talk) 00:37, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)

We could take a lesson from the German Wikipedia here. They have a page called "First Steps" which is a very nicely formatted step by step instruction for starting to work on Wikipedia. In my opinion, this is different from the purpose of the Community Portal, which is more a central hub for users who already know the basics, and which allows them to navigate the system.

Given that the Community Portal is itself linked in the sidebar, I don't think it needs to be the emphasized link in the intro. If we had an equivalent to the German "First Steps" page, I could agree with removing the link to the sandbox (which would be the first "step" on that page) and replacing it with something like:

Simon Joseph, an Indo-Canadian
Wikipedia is an encyclopedia built by volunteers. Anyone can improve Wikipedia articles! Read Wikipedia:First steps to get started.
First steps has been translated. See bottom of this section. Grm wnr 17:12, 12 Jun 2004 (UTC)

However, as long as the CP itself doesn't fulfill this function and no such page exists, I must insist on prominently having the sandbox link as it's the best way for newbies to quickly experiment.--Eloquence* 03:12, Jun 2, 2004 (UTC)

I would also insist on leaving the sandbox link on the first paragraph. It's important enough to mention right off the bat that people can edit/create content here. Dori | Talk 03:14, Jun 2, 2004 (UTC)

I've done a little radical experiment by replacing the intro with the four most important links. Here are some other changes we could make:

  1. Now that we have the category system, we can move the whole "browse by topic" stuff to a single root category page, e.g. Category:Main page. This is all still very unfinished but linking it on the Main Page (with the appropriate notice) will only lead to more people working on it.
  2. The new skin puts language links in the sidebar. I don't know how many we can fit in there, but we might be able to move at least the largest languages there. That would be prominent enough to eliminate the need for an intro link, IMHO.


I don't like it. We need the intro IMO. Dori | Talk 03:43, Jun 2, 2004 (UTC)
I concur. People need to know *what* Wikipedia is when they come to the main page. Furthermore, the sandbox link is crucial to drive home exactly what a wiki is. - Seth Ilys 04:50, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Agreed. It doesn't take up too much room and really helps orient people. -- nknight 04:52, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Here's a link to my revision. I think the tutorial, or a similarly constructed page, is actually more useful than the sandbox, because it doesn't just throw people into hot water (especially as the sandbox header is often gone, and there is a certain risk of edit conflicts). Aside from that I do not see any argument above. Why do we need the prose? There's a clear "About Wikipedia" link for people who don't know us yet (and we should really reactivate the "the free encyclopedia" subtitle).--Eloquence*

We need the prose, IMO, because without it, it's not immediately obvious that the site is 1) an encyclopedia, and 2) a wiki -- the two defining characteristics of Wikipedia. The original paragraph made that quite clear; the links do not. The "about" page which was linked to is poorly written and much less consise.
BTW, I did take the liberty of putting the top Wikipedias (those with > 10k articles, as listed in the language section on the Main page) as interlanguage links which, in the new skin, appear on the sidebar. It raises their prominence substantially, and I feel like that's a good and useful thing. -- Seth Ilys 05:13, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)
My suggestion is something like:

Welcome to Wikipedia! This is a multi-language encyclopedia which you can contribute to. Learn how to edit pages, experiment in the sandbox, and visit our Community Portal to find out how to contribute to our 6,085,220 articles in the English version.

I dislike the current "we are building", it makes it sound like it doesn't exist yet. Tom- 12:33, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)
    • I dislike that it says to contribute to the current number of articles, rather than create new ones as well.
also I don't think WikiPedia is a multi-language encyclopedia as the articles in the different language versions are essentially independent not translations of each other. WikiPedia is a set of encyclopedias in many languages. --BozMo|talk 14:52, 22 Jun 2004 (UTC)

You guys are really spending too much time going back and forth for a paragraph of introductory prose. Especially, since it seems to be getting worse (for example ) I say we revert to an older one. Compare for yourself:

OLD ONE: "Welcome to Wikipedia! We are building an open-content encyclopedia in many languages. We started in January 2001 and are now working on 277632 articles in the English version. Learn how to edit pages, experiment in the sandbox, and visit our Community Portal to find out how you can contribute to Wikipedia."


NEW ONE: "Welcome to Wikipedia! We are building an open-content encyclopedia in many languages. In the English version, started in January 2001, we are now working on 277632 articles. Learn how to edit pages, experiment in the sandbox, and visit our Community Portal to find out how you can add to Wikipedia."

"In the English version, started in January 2001" Something tells me that this is very awckward.

Of all the things, I could have thought that the old introduction was already good and subsequent attempts were much worse. If it ain't broken, don't fix it. At least the introduction could be "finished" if no other pages are. I do not think many will mind if the old one is used and just protected.

Oh and here is how I would have done the spacing:

"Welcome to Wikipedia! We are building an open-content encyclopedia in many languages. We started in January 2001 and are now working on 277632 articles in the English version.
Learn how to edit pages, experiment in the sandbox, and visit our Community Portal to find out how you can contribute to Wikipedia."

I split the two sentences because the ideas seem to be different. One is introducing the new user and the other is explaining the ways to contribute and idea of a wiki. Logically these ideas require separation IMO. --Exigentsky 02:07, Jun 3, 2004 (UTC)

  • I agree with Exigentsky—the current revision ("In the English version, started in January 2001, ...") sounds very awkward. "Participate in the development of" is even uglier. We need brilliant prose, people, not this ugly junk tainting our front page!
While we're on the topic, I'd also suggest trimming the second paragraph down to just:
Visit our Community Portal to find out how you, too, can contribute to Wikipedia.
It doesn't seem necessary to have three different links introducing potential contributors to the concept of an editable encyclopedia. Keep it short and simple; it's better that way. Wikisux 18:35, 4 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Why was the introductory text removed?

Really, I find the new Wikipedia page which now only includes the links rather than a short intro is extremely dry, boring, and ugly. Of all the things to cut, it had to be the short introduction? How many people do you think will bother to click those links anyway? Not half as many as would have read the introduction which explained the main idea behind Wikipedia. In addition, it made the design more pleasing and the encyclopedia more welcoming. It was less in your face and provided the links neately organized to the side of the introduction.

I am totally agaisnt this change and if I had known I would have voiced my concerns earlier. Infact, I think that the MAIN PAGE should be made nicer, not uglier. For example, once the icons and bullet drawings mature, a TOC with bullets or icons should be added and I think that other Wikipedia sister projects should have icons above the plain links.

Who's ever idea this was, I am very dissapointed. I do not see what you meant to achieve with this and find it to be an irrational change not fueled by necessity. Please explain your reasons for ruining the front page. Thank you --Exigentsky 04:36, Jun 2, 2004 (UTC)

  • Thank you for reverting the changes whoever you are, I am once again very pleased. Please ignore the above comments. I am as content as could be. --Exigentsky 05:57, Jun 2, 2004 (UTC)
    • However, I do think part of the introduction could be improved a bit. "to find out how you can add to Wikipedia." seems better if "add" is replaced by a word such as improve or contribute. --Exigentsky 06:29, Jun 2, 2004 (UTC)
      • That me was who reverted. The phrase you suggest "to contribute" was discussed, but reject for its monitary implications. →Raul654 02:40, Jun 3, 2004 (UTC)

User contributions

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I can't find a link in this new skin to the user contributions of others. It was a handy tool in making sure spammers illegitate contributions were all reverted, but it's seemingly gone. Also, can we have "New Pages" back in the toolbox? -- user:zanimum

"User contributions" is in the toolbox on user pages. Tom- 12:26, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Okay, my mistake... still, why is the only place to find New Pages in the Special Pages section? Is there a preference to turn this on? -- user:zanimum
Why is new pages hidden? It was there in the Cologne Blue skin. -- user:Zanimum

Editable Main Page glitch

I just discovered that the text-only and table-free versions of the Main Page are editable. I don't think I can fix it because I'm not a sysop, but it should be fixed before someone vandalizes those pages. Mike Storm 02:05, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)

It's not a glitch. They don't get much traffic, so it's not a big deal if someone vandalizes them. They're more likely to go for the featured article. →Raul654 02:07, Jun 3, 2004 (UTC)

changes here and here

I love the new layout

Please do not revert to the old one, everyone I've shown the design to says it looks far more appealing, clean and professional.

  1. --Exigentsky 02:18, Jun 3, 2004 (UTC)

is nice an clean.

--Jew 09:56, 16 Jun 2004 (UTC)

lets take a poll on the new background. lets see which one is liked the most. Vital component

ITN Screwed Up [fixed]

Apparently somebody changed Template:In the news to redirect to Template:In the news which caused the ITN screw up. Can a sysop *please* fix this ASAP? Thanks. Johnleemk 15:00, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)

That was fast. Or maybe it was my browser. Anyway, fixed. Johnleemk 15:01, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)
No, I fixed it. :)
I encountered a similiar problem like this a couple days ago while I picked the new featured article for the day. It's a caching issue. Tim Starling fixed it by making a trivial update to the main page, so I just did it again. →Raul654 15:05, Jun 3, 2004 (UTC)

Welcome message

Instead of "....and visit our Community Portal to find out how you can add to Wikipedia." won't it be better if we have "....and visit our Community Portal to find out how you can participate in Wikipedia." Users don't just add to Wikipedia, meaning content contribution, they participate in a lot of activities. That's ofcourse why Wikipedia won the Webby Award too! KRS 15:08, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)

All links are underlined

When I login as exigentsky, all the links are underlined. Despite my efforts to return to the previous link style, they remain underlined. And yes, I did uncheck "underline links" in Misc. settings.

However, if I logout, the links are only underlined when hovered upon. This is far more stylish than the way I see the page when I login. I am not sure why this is happening and wish for it to stop.

I am using Opera 7.51. I do not need all the links underlined, they are a strong blue color and the underlines for all links make it look messy and ugly, please do not force me to stay as annonymous.

BTW: One way to improve usability would be to have each of the lgiht blue bullets change colors on mouse over. It's similar to the underline on hover concept. Besides that, it would look cool if the light blue bullets changed to black on hover. --Exigentsky 03:40, Jun 4, 2004 (UTC)

Serif vs SansSerif and Underlined/Non-underlined links

On the discussion of whether to use serif or non-serif fonts, it is recommended that for large bodies of text, serif fonts are good on paper and sans-serif fonts are good on screen. This is probably because of the anti-aliasing feature. Usually, serif fonts are more legible, while sans-serif fonts are more recognizable, hence, the trend (at least in printed documents) is to use sans-serif for headlines, and serif for the body of the article. However, as mentioned before, on-screen it is always advisable to make the font sans-serif as it is easier to read.

Some others seem to have problems with the links. I agree that the links should be a brighter color (traditional blue is the best). This makes it easy to find the links. However, from a web usability perspective, when you have a large body of text with numerous hyperlinks, as in newspaper articles on the web, it is best to not display the underline. This is easier for reading purposes. Displaying the underline for the on-hover event however, is essential for the cognitive affordance of a link. Similarly, in these cases, traditional blue is the best color to indicate links.


No word-wrap?

Is it only me or someone out there feel the same pain? I am using a highly secured Netscape 4.8 as my main browser (no Javascript, no page-assigned colors and fonts, no 3rd party cookies, and lots of privacy software). I find my editing text box ruined by the CSS codes. It used to be able to wrap the text. Now I can only see a very long no-wrap line.

Edting is now pretty difficult.

-- Toytoy

You could use links or lynx. They seem to work OK, you just need to page down a few times. Mr. Jones 16:12, 17 Jun 2004 (UTC)


When I try to click on the thing that says

Source code

The tables' text moves around.

--The Doctor Is In 11:26, 4 Jun 2004 (UTC) Hello!! And welcome to wikipedia!!! The day is Friday 4th June and the time is 14:01, approaching 14:02

Featured Article Pictures

Can I suggest that since a picture is always positioned at the head of a featured article on the main page this should be made to link to the article itself not to the Image page for that picture. Newcomers to Wikipedia would almost certainly click on the picture expecting to see more of the article and will be both puzzled and disappointed to see the image page and think less of Wikipedia as a result. Lumos3 14:04, 4 Jun 2004 (UTC)

  • I agree, that's what I expected when I came here too. However, I soon got used to the way Wikipedia worked and like it this way. --Exigentsky 16:39, Jun 4, 2004 (UTC)
Do the way the software works, that's not currently possible. Dori | Talk 19:00, Jun 10, 2004 (UTC)


I have an idea, but it would mean modifying Wikipedia's source code. If a user is reading an article, and comes across a link that they are curious about, instead of having to interrupt his/her reading to click the link and go to that article, they can simply hover their mouse over the link and the alt text will be the first sentence of that article. Example: the little yellow box that pops up when you hover your mouse over Copyleft would contain "Copyleft is the application of copyright law to force derivative works to also be released with a copyleft license.". supadawg 18:37, 5 Jun 2004 (UTC)

  • I like this idea, it is very useful. However, it may have the drawback that many people will not read the full article and contribute to those other articles. --Exigentsky
Yes, that would be neat, except that it would suck up resources like crazy and we'd probably need to tripple or quadrouple our hardware. Dori | Talk 18:59, Jun 10, 2004 (UTC)
Hmm, ok. Those are both good points. Oh well. supadawg 12:20, 11 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I have an idea too.(By the way, is this where we should be posting our suggestions?) I was thinking some of the more complex topics (like War or Politics or anything big) there needs to be special index/subject-heading pages that provide a macrosopic perpective of complex topics. They could contain mostly links and subcatergories but very little content. They could be designated as a special purpose pages and distinctly different from articles pages. This two-tier system with one tier to act as a guide to content and another to be the articles themselves might prove benefical. -- Digitalwarrior

See Category:War and Category:Politics →Raul654 04:16, Jun 20, 2004 (UTC)

Today's Main Page

The colored boxes are spreading out to cover up the right float section when using the Standard skin. This hasn't happened before. RickK 05:41, Jun 5, 2004 (UTC)

I was just coming here to say the same thing. It makes the whole thing ugly and non usable since we can't click on the links any more.

I went to older versions, and suddenly it worked, and now works all the time. I am confused here. I am in cologne blue for reference. SweetLittleFluffyThing 06:56, 5 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Aargh from me too. It's working in Cologne Blue and Monobook, but in Standard the coloured boxes are spreading out beyond the right hand side of the browser window (both IE5 and Netscape7 for Macintosh). And I hate sans-serif fonts for this kind of thing, so please can someone fix it? pretty please? Harry R 10:14, 6 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Best viewed in compliant browsers?

Really, Internet Explorer is a pain to support and constantly limiting Wikipedia. For example even today on the main page the sister project images look quite bad in it because the piece of shit browser cannot view transparent pngs correctly. Its CSS support is also crap and harmful to Wikipedia's design. In addition, right now, the boise picture is totally off in IE.

I suggest that Wikipedia have a "best viewed in Mozilla" sign somewhere next to the GFDL at the bottom of its page. I do not want IE users to get the wrong impression, to think that the website is bad, not their web browser. I know that Wikipedia is viewed just as well in Opera and Konqueror, but I am suggesting Mozilla because it is open source, most popular alternative, arguably the most compliant, totally platform independent and easily installable.

Especially with Mozilla 1.7/Firefox 0.9, there will be no excuse to use IE. Let's support open standards and make it clear that IE is not giving readers the full Wikipedia experience.


I second that. — Chameleon 19:00, 5 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Nonsense. You can't expect the vast majority of the Web to have to change to a different browser because Wikipedia can't make it work. And I'm not sure what you're talking about -- I use IE and most things seem to be working. RickK 22:37, Jun 5, 2004 (UTC)

  • It is not nonsense and you are not understanding this. I do not expect the vast majority of web users to change their web browser, I am only expecting that a few will. I also do not want Wikipedia to be less complete in IE than in other browsers, but unfortuantely IE is one of the worst browsers and an absolute pain for web browsers to support. It does not even support something as basic as transparent colors in PNGS. Wikipedia should do its best to deal with this utter piece of crap which hasn't seen a major update in years, but sometimes it is not totally possible or practical. For example the transparent PNGs for Wikipedia's sister sites, it would be a shame to remove them because they display poorly in IE and so we leave them, but they do not look the way they should.

Therefore all I want is for Wikipedia to make a small note or graphic that endorses a compliant browser. Something like "Best viewed in Mozilla". This does not mean that it won't work in other browsers, it just means it will probably work better in Mozilla.

P.S.: The reason you don't see anything wrong is because 90% of people use IE, many web designers want to expand their CSS use, use of transparent pngs, etc. but they cannot, because they are limited to the lowest common denominator. Unfortunately, they have to deal with it and support it because it's what people use. --Exigentsky 07:32, Jun 6, 2004 (UTC)

    • Yes, I agree. IE is actually holding the web back. While we should try to make Wikipedia look the best in all browsers, in cases where it's impossible in some, we should not hold back completely. However, in order to ensure that people do not think that Wikipedia is at fault, a "best viewed with Mozilla" image couldn't hurt. Johnleemk | Talk 07:38, 6 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Dear God, PLEASE NO. Look, as a web developer, I hate IE as much as the next guy, but those things—"Best viewed in [insert browser here]"—are so @^#% obnoxious I honestly think they raise my blood pressure. Even when they're unobtrusive and friendly. The ugly, unnecessary and stupid "GNU FDL" badge already gets on my nerves as it is--I feel like RMS and his smelly minions are proselytizing on every page like those obsequious Crusade for Christ folks who like to ensnare you when you're trying to catch the train. Sure, I'm probably overreacting--though I know I'm not alone--but let me just tell you that having a "Best viewed in a compliant browser" badge is not a sign of professionalism. Just the opposite. I can't even believe we're discussing this. As you say yourself, Exigentsky, web designers "have to deal with [IE] and support it because it's what people use." Putting a badge up on this mediocre encyclopedia-in-progress isn't going to induce anyone to switch browsers. Wikisux 07:44, 6 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Wrong. Wikipedia *articles* are supposed to be NPOV, but Wikipedia itself is not. Quite the opposite - it quite openly and strongly supports the POV that open and free (GNU FDL-licensed) content is a better thing than closed content like that of other encyclopedias, for example. For that reason, the GNU FDL icon isn't a bad thing, either; in fact, it mostly serves as a visual clue/reminder of the license of these articles, and as such is not only *not* unnecessary, but in fact useful and good. I do agree that it might not be the best idea to advocate browsers, though. -- Schnee 08:21, 6 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Actively endorsing or deprecating a browser is fundamentally POV and therefore not acceptable. -- Cyrius| 08:13, 6 Jun 2004 (UTC)

  • Wikipedia has to have a position on soem things. For example its license, you cannot make a decision and be NPOV, therefore Wikipedia itself is POV, only its articles are meant not to be. I agree with Schneelocke --Exigentsky
    • The NPOV doesnt extend to wikipedia itself, just it's articles. You dont see anyone NPOVing talk pages, do you? (that would be a waste of time) Plus, having a GFDL'd website is inherantly POV. I say we put a little Best Viewed In Mozilla/Mozilla Firefox button on the site.KirbyMeister 20:08, 10 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I use Mozilla, Firefox and Opera because of links I followed from sites like this.
How about this: ?
It's funny how the meaning of 'deprecated' has developed since the W3C started using it. Chameleon 08:17, 6 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I agree with the original poster -- we should not let non-standards-compliant web browsers hold us back.

However, I agree even more strongly that "Best viewed in [insert browser here]" ... is not a sign of professionalism. Jahn Rentmeister said it so much more eloquently than I have: "This page optimized for ... arguing with customers" by Jahn Rentmeister

Original poster, rather than stick a tag on every page that many people will find annoying, is there any other way of achieving your goal ?

If people find messed-up formatting, what is the appropriate place to complain ? Main Page/Screenshots ? Perhaps that would be the appropriate place to note that "Wikipedia is designed to be standards-compliant, and it refuses to allow non-standards-compliant web browsers hold it back."

-- DavidCary 00:34, 9 Jun 2004 (UTC)

  • I doubt that most Wikipedia users will bother to complain formally. I know I do not, if I find a website that does not render well and does not validate, than I do not complain, I simply do not visit the page again. Most people do not even bother to check if their browsers are at fault rather than the page, they just assume the page is designed poorly and leave. You are overthinking this.

Also, I do not think a tag or image at the bottom of the page where there is already the GFDL logo would be intrusive. It might actually help users get the most out of Wikipedia and raise awareness of alternate browsers (Wikipedia is among the top 500 websites in the world according to Also it is not mocking the readers becuase installing software such as Mozilla is a simple task and unlike IE it is available on every platform.

Until Internet Explorer 7.0 which is said to be able to render transparent PNGS correctly (Hooray!) and improve standards compliance but also make the web more proprietary thanks to technologies like XAML which will only run through IE I do not see any other way. As Wikipidia evolves, the problem will only grow more severe and Longhorn is still about two years away. This is a huge amount of time considering Wikipedia has only been around for about four years. --Exigentsky

Whether you or I prefer Mozilla or anything else is neither here nor there. The fact is that most users of the Internet use Internet Explorer, whether we like it or not - and hence most people whom we want to use Wikipedia also use it.

I personally prefer Safari or Firefox, and have on occasion used the Mac version of Mozilla but found it too slow - I am, however, in the minority and have to concede that much of the world (sadly) only knows IE....

Agendum 12:50, 11 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Since I don't use Windows on my workstation, I can only see what IE does on another computer. I was really supprised to see how bad the png's looked in it. I know I am usually quite swift to leave a site that looks awfull. If other people aren't really different, is seems unwise to use png's that look bad to most users. Also, I really hate sites that tell me to change my browser (usually they press for IE). Talking to windowsusers I often get the impression that they firmly believe IE must be the best (perhaps this is a remnant of the time that MS succesfully killed Netscape and temporarily reigned) and are unlike to believe statements to the contrary. Therefore the suggestion that IE might not be entirely the best could very well prove counterproductive. --Kornelis 07:06, 13 Jun 2004 (UTC)

How about just adding a link that says something like "Having problems viewing Wikipedia?" which links to an article explaining that some of the standards-compliant code in Wikipedia may not display properly in some browsers like Internet Explorer? This page could suggest the best browsers to use (my vote is for Firefox) but it wouldn't be quite as annoying as saying "USE MOZILLA" on the main page. -- Tjwood 11:58, 15 Jun 2004 (UTC)

TJWood, I agree. Johnleemk | Talk 13:44, 16 Jun 2004 (UTC)
That's an interesting idea, Twjood, but I wonder if we'd risk patronising people. If we ever start having to make really major compromises, though, it might be worth doing - just so we could state our position with respect to those compromises. - IMSoP 15:35, 16 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Sister project icons

The sister project icons should be links to their sites, not to the image page here on Wikipedia. --Yath 19:49, 5 Jun 2004 (UTC)

  • I would agree with you had this been the case for the featured article images and all throughout WIkipedia, but it is not. Therefore, to be consistant, I suggest that it remains the way it is. I too expected images to be links toa rticles, but after viewing one to two images in Wikipedia I understood how it worked and I am now comforatable with the way it handles it. --Exigentsky

But new users may not be as comforatable with it. --bbotbuilder 01:12, Jun 6, 2004 (UTC)

When I clicked a sister project icon, I expected to go to its site. I'm a fairly experienced Wikipedia contributor and the results still confused me momentarily. I think general web convention (where clicking such an image would lead to its associated site) is more important here than Wikipedia convention. An exception should be made, just to avoid confusion. --Dreamyshade 08:40, 10 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Yes, I agree that this is rather confusing. The only problem is that (AFAIK) it's not possible with the current software to turn an image into an arbitrary link. Someone's made some of these image description pages into redirects now, and while in general I'm not over-keen on interwiki redirects (they cause the redirect page to be completely inaccessible if you don't know how to handcraft an address) it's probably valid enough in instance - as long as we don't then want to use those same images somewhere else, of course... - IMSoP 15:17, 16 Jun 2004 (UTC) [PS:See also Template talk:Wikipediasister#Clickable images]

"Scapegoat" (fixed)

George Tenet, director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, and George Bushs scapegoat tenders his resignation, citing "personal reasons." He will remain at his post until mid-July.

Gee Scapegoat real NPOV word

You're right, thanks for bringing that vandalism to our attention. You'll notice it was fixed in less than 6 minutes. See Wikipedia:Replies to common objections for more. Yours, Meelar 23:11, 5 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Bilderberg News

This doesn't look like news so much as conspiracy theory. As an item of news it is not appropriate on the front page; it is not comparable to any of the other events that have been listed on the front page. The D-Day anniversary remembrances, the transit of Venus between the Earth and the Sun for the first time since 1882, or the abduction of U.N. workers in Sudan are all far more important and worthy of inclusion on the front page. - Centrx 02:46, 6 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Rubbish. The Bilderberg group does exist; it does have many important / influential people; and it did have its 50th anniversary. Why wouldn't that be news? The only thing fueling conspiracy theories is claiming that it isn't. -- Schnee 08:21, 6 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I do think that is less noteworthy than the D-Day anniversary>
SimonMayer 14:08, 6 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Stanley Cup??

Why is the Stanley Cup featured on the main page of Wikipedia news? Wikipedia should contain international news, not some news for a single country. What bearing does the Stanley Cup have on the rest of the world? Who is responsible for this harum-scarum? Please delete the link off the main page. Nichalp 19:03, Jun 8, 2004 (UTC)

Oh, bollocks. I'm so sick of people here treating sports like a second-class citizen. What bearing does anything ever listed have on the rest of the world? That's such a fallacious and self-defeating argument. What purpose does Venus passing in front of the Sun have to do with the rest of the world? If you aren't interested, ignore it. Just because something isn't important to you doesn't make it unimportant. RADICALBENDER 19:17, 8 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Who said anyone was treating sports like a second class citizen? I'm all for sports. There's no problem if it represented in the expanded news articles. The Stanley Cup cannot even command a viewership of a billion. Besides Ice Hockey isn't popular in Africa, Asia or South America, where more people reside. Your Venus comments are really out of hand. Ignoring is not the problem, global relevence is the keyword. Nichalp 20:54, Jun 8, 2004 (UTC)
How are the Venus comments out of hand? It doesn't affect me in the slightest. It's not important, doesn't affect me (especially since it rained today), has no bearing on my life or well being and I don't even find it all that interesting. By that definition, it's unimportant to me. That said, it's important to some and should probably be kept. Same here. If global relevance was the criteria (it's not), then almost nothing would ever make the list because there is almost nothing that affects everybody. RADICALBENDER 21:27, 8 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Venus may have no bearing to you. Fine. But almost any person in the world can associate that something is happening up in the skies. By logging on to wikipedia he can garner more information about transits, Venus etc. He may be an African, Chinese or Spanish citizen BUT any literate human can associate with it. This case does not apply with the Stanley Cup. If the Cup was a rotating tournament hosted in many countries, then yes it could warrant a top billing. Nichalp 19:30, Jun 9, 2004 (UTC)

It's relevant to most of Europe and most of North America. RickK 20:58, Jun 8, 2004 (UTC)
maybe in north America (Canada), but certainly not in Europe, ICE hockey is not a popular in europe, however hockey (not ICE hockey) is , but still the "king" sport of europe (and in the rest of the world) is soccer - --Cyprus2k1 14:28, 12 Jun 2004 (UTC)
So you mean American sports should hijack other sports? As far as Europe is concerned, would a Greek be watching the Stanley Cup? I don't think so. I don't think the majority of Germans would would be watching either.

Besides, it isn't just one country. Besides representing teams in both the US and Canada, there are several playes from Russia, Belarus, Sweden, Finland, Germany, and other countries. RickK 19:47, Jun 8, 2004 (UTC)

These are club sports, not international teams remember. Nichalp 20:54, Jun 8, 2004 (UTC)
So what? Are you saying that when Real Madrid wins the Europeans championships (for example), they don't rate a mention? RickK 20:58, Jun 8, 2004 (UTC)
Who said they don't deserve a mention? But certainally not on the main page. International events deserve a mention. Olympics, World cups, Euros etc. Anyways football has a lot more countries playing and a lot greater viewership. Nichalp 21:14, Jun 8, 2004 (UTC)
if Real Madrid or Porto wins the Champions league, its something that should be mentioned because its an international event , the stanley cup is however a national event not an internacional one. if the stanley cup is something worth mention then why isnt the "taça del rey" in spain, and "taça de portugal" in portugal, etc.. etc.. ? - -- 08:43, 16 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I'm not a big sports fan, but I must say that (I suspect) a good portion of our contributors are interested. →Raul654 20:02, Jun 8, 2004 (UTC)

Who's interested is not the subject here, but international relevance. The expanded news section should suffice. Nichalp 20:54, Jun 8, 2004 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not a news site. The primary purpose of the news section, as I interpret it, is to show off high quality articles that we've managed to keep up to date. The Stanley Cup article is quite good, so I don't see the problem here. That said, I do suspect this is a major event to lots and lots of people. Fredrik (talk) 20:18, 8 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Please see the above replies. Also why don't we see sports such as rugby & Cricket ever making it to the top page? Nichalp 20:54, Jun 8, 2004 (UTC)
Because nobody has done anything about it. RickK 20:58, Jun 8, 2004 (UTC)
If it was done, then even the most minor sports would clamour to get top berthing on the main page. Events should be relevant. Nichalp 21:14, Jun 8, 2004 (UTC)
Minor sports don't make it to the main page because people use common sense. If someone posted the results of the College World Series or the Grey Cup, they would be removed because they are of limited importance even in the sporting world. Ice hockey is not a minor sport. By your qualifications (billions watching) the only "worthy sport" is Football and maybe the Olympics, which is silly. Soccer, the Olympics, American football, baseball, basketball, ice hockey, tennis, sometimes golf, auto racing, cricket, rugby - the premier events of these sports are watched by millions worldwide in various areas.
Its not true that only football has a viewership of over a billion. Sports like Cricket_(sport) can also command a viewership of a billion, it is the second largest watched team sport. Similarly a lot more sports can command numbers really close to a billion such as Lawn Tennis. The Stanley Cup is the premier event for teams only of North America. You don't have lots of teams from the rest of the world which is the case of the UEFA cup. Look at the history of the cup winners. No non American team has ever won. If the cup had a fair representation of teams from around the world, then yes, it would be a major international event. Nichalp 20:13, Jun 9, 2004 (UTC)
Yeesh. I can't wait until the NBA Finals wrap up in a week or so when I'll have to go through this again (watched throughout the U.S., Canada, and the dozens of countries that have NBA players: China, Russia, Poland, Germany, Mexico, etc.). RADICALBENDER 21:37, 8 Jun 2004 (UTC)
By importing players from abroad, doesn't give it the fig leaf of international legitimacy. Nichalp 20:13, Jun 9, 2004 (UTC)

First, I support Stanley Cup being on our main page, since it is the main event of the season in ice hockey (and included players from 9 countries this year in the Finals alone). Second, the overall selection of articles seems to have some North American bias. Right now, we have 3 items predominantly about North America (Reagan, Tenet and Stanley Cup), 1 item of general interest (astronomy) and none about the world outside of North America. Can we resolve this constructively by asking our non-North American editors to contribute more to this section? I would prefer to discuss propositions about putting news there rather that removing news. Andris 22:50, Jun 8, 2004 (UTC)

The cup is played between teams of a single country (I'm pairing USA and Canada here), not between countries. Hence the internal sporting events of a country doesn't grant it international status. As far as editing is concerned, you need administrator membership to edit the front page. I don't have it else I would have done it my self. I don't think that the problem is with non NA editors, but who decides the global relevency of the acme articles which is currently heavily biased towards North America. Nichalp 20:13, Jun 9, 2004 (UTC)
As a Canadian, I am very insulted by this (regardless of the other potential merits of your argument). I wouldn't pair Pakistan and India, so don't pair USA and Canada. If you were in Canada, you would realize how important the Stanley Cup finals were to our country, and how much it is regarded as being a competition between two countries. Like many others have said, if you feel unrepresented in certain sections, then represent yourself; don't ask others to stop representing themselves. - RealGrouchy 13:24, 12 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Replied in your talk page. Nichalp 20:18, Jun 14, 2004 (UTC)
Even more constructive would be for our North American editors to put more effort into finding news stories from outside North America. For places in the world where English is less commonly spoken and/or internet access is more sporadic, we can hardly punt the responsibility for updating the English Wikipedia (oops, maybe I shouldn't be using a sports idiom). My contributions to the news section have been related to Japan, Uganda, and the Indian subcontinent, and I wish I had done even more in that regard. As for hockey, at least we're talking about a major event like the Stanley Cup, and not the Todd Bertuzzi incident that got featured a while ago. If you really want something to complain about, that was one. --Michael Snow 18:51, 9 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I wish I could complain about the Todd incident, but, I wasn't around when the article surfaced. Nichalp 20:13, Jun 9, 2004 (UTC)

Interlanguage Links Location

Interlanguage links should be on the left side below toolbox on the Main Page. This is consistent with the layout used on general articles. I would suggest all WP languages should be there unless the list is too long to fit. They can then be removed from where they are presently on the Main Page. I don't know why this was reverted. dml 02:52, 9 Jun 2004 (UTC)

The Foundation Series

Great to see Asimov's Foundation trilogy, er - double-trilogy - er, whatever - featured here, but wouldn't this be considered a spoiler?

It does give away a little of the plot of Foundation, etc and, in so doing, could spoil the enjoyment of some people. The same, incidentally, applies to the articles linked from it, eg, Terminus and Hari Seldon, etc.

What think thee?

Agendum 12:23, 10 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I don't know if I'm missing something here but the Foundation article is accompanied by a photo of George W Bush (captioned as Hari Seldon). Perhaps I need to read the novels to understand. --Roisterer 02:46, 11 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Dunno what Roisterer is talking about--it should be Hari Seldon. I'm so happy that my Favorite Book Series is the featured article, and it should say in the article that there are spoilers...the thing on the main page doesn't say much more than the back of the book. Ilyanep 02:48, 11 Jun 2004 (UTC)

  1. The picture of George Bush was vandalism. That user has been warned.
  2. Ilyanep, I agree with you that the series is great - I consider that article to be my baby because I wrote most of it :)
  3. Yes, the article has a spoiler warning. 2 hours before posting this on the main page, I asked in IRC about the details I have on the main page, and pretty much everyone thought it was OK, particularly for a 50 year old book. Plus, all of those "spoilers" are in chapter 1. It's pretty hard to write a valid summary without giving away *some* plot information. →Raul654 02:54, Jun 11, 2004 (UTC)

Point taken, Raul - I guess you can't avoid telling something about the story. Gosh, is it really fifty years old? - incredible! As you may have guessed, it's my favourite series of books too - well done on writing the article. Agendum 12:38, 11 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Double spacing.

Get rid of the double spacing! It sucks! Mr. Jones 14:04, 11 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I've tried going to User:<name>/monobook.css page and adding the following line. However, some elements are still double spaced. Hmmm. It shouldn't be this difficult. Is inline style being used? Perhaps I should use the CSS "important" directive.

I hope the line height will be reduced soon, if not to the density that I prefer.


Mr. Jones 16:58, 17 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Links to Chinese wiki

They are both wrong now. Please fix them up. Thx. ---koyn 14:17, 11 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Bullfighting article

The excerpt of the Bullfighting article on the main page reads:

Bullfighting is a sport where professional performers (matadores) taunt bulls at close range, and possibly kill them. It is a controversial but popular spectacle staged principally in Spain (where there are over 400 arenas) but also in Portugal, some countries in Latin America, California and in the south of France. Bullfighting goes back to Crete where youths jumped over bulls and ancient Rome, when many people-versus-animal events were held as a warm-up for gladiatorial sports. Many supporters of bullfighting regard it as a deeply ingrained integral part of their national cultures. Animal rights campaigners object strongly to bullfighting because they think that the bull suffers a slow, painful death. Bullfighting is banned in many countries.

Compare that to the actual, current Bullfighting article which reads:

Bullfighting or tauromachy (Spanish toreo or tauromaquia) involves professional performers (matadores) taunting bulls at close range and often slowly killing them.
It is sometimes described as a sport, although there is no scoring or competition between human participants. Although there is a significant degree of skill and danger involved, the bulls are often physically compromised before or during the match. In some countries people taking part in such activity would be liable for terms of imprisonment.
It is a controversial but popular spectacle...

The current version discusses the concerns about animal rights under a section entitled "Criticisms of bullfighting."

I think the current version is greatly superior to the version excerpted on the main page, and that it is a great example of the Wiki Way: someone posts something, someone else makes it better. But can't the current version be excerpted on the main page, instead of the older version? The version excerpted now reads very amateurish compared to the current one, almost to the point of embarrasment. Taco Deposit 15:18, Jun 11, 2004 (UTC)

If you want to, You can do it! ✏ Sverdrup 15:54, 11 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Okay, I did it! Wikipedia kicks ass. Thanks, Sverdrup. Taco Deposit 16:52, Jun 11, 2004 (UTC)

The headline for Tenet stepping down looks biased. Certainly "personal reasons" does not need to be in quotes.

Yes it does, it means that he directy said 'Personal reasons', if it was not in quotes that would mean that he could have said something like "I am stepping down because of (insert multiple personal reasons here)" and a journalist would then instead of printing that long list just say "George Tenet stepped down today as head of the CIA for personal reasons" but because it is a quote people know that Tenet directly worded it like that, so they know that is all he is saying about the issue.
I take it that you assumed the worst and thought someone was making a smug cheapshot directed at tenet, i cant speak for the person who initially wrote that but if i were to write the same news i would do it in the same way for the simple reason of directly quoteing him. --Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason 18:41, 2004 Jun 12 (UTC)

UEFA Euro2004

in about 2 hours from now, Euro2004 will start, will it be in "In the news" on wikipedia? - --Cyprus2k1 14:10, 12 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I'm a football fan and will be following this tournament closely, but do we really need daily updates on the main page? Marking the start of the tournament made sense, but I think it can now be relegated from the front page until the final. Unless, of course, something really extraordinary happens, like Zidane testing positive for steroids, or Latvia beating Germany, or France failing to qualify for the QFs.Harry R 11:02, 15 Jun 2004 (UTC)

As a US observer, I am forced to watch the games on tape daily. Wikipedia has actually now spoiled two games for me without warning, and, though I admit I am in a tiny minority, a lot of US soccer fans are in the same boat. Plus, I don't see how normal, group-stage matches warrent front page status, or why we can't just say, "Euro2004 coutinues with matches between x and y teams in group z." Finally, when World Cup 2006 comes, which is, I hesitantly say this, "inarguably" a more important event that lasts longer, will we have WC2006 scores on Wikipedia every day for a month plus? Think about this precedent.

Just like with art (movies, books, etc) sports are very easily spoiled and this is my primary ground for removing it from the front page. Flamingantichimp 03:56, 18 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Main Page with edit links

What do you think of a version of the Main Page with edit links to the included Templates? I've been wanting this more and more, but I don't know if it will be used. (I am not proposing to include the edit links on the main page itself, at least not primarily) ✏ Sverdrup 09:52, 13 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Very bad idea, IMO. Our security through obscurity set-up is working OK so far with only a few cases where it has broken down. Some people are even advocating the protection of the Main Page's templates. --mav 23:10, 13 Jun 2004 (UTC)
A very nice idea, currently people have to go hunt for what Template is in use, in fact this should be standard whenever a template is includeded. The only issue i have is the somewhat confusing placement of the edit links, like once besides an image. --Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason 13:20, 2004 Jun 15 (UTC)
No its not; why the heck do you think that the Main Page has been constantly protected for over two years? We simply got tired of reverting experiments, graffiti, page replacements with 'this is gay' and on at least one occasion the display of a page-filling image of a penis. All that was back when we had 20K articles and were the 11,000th most popular website on the Internet. Now we are the 600th or so most popular. No, sorry - won't happen. --mav 04:35, 16 Jun 2004 (UTC)
This is quite possibly the worst idea ever. Why don't we just unprotect the main page while we are at it? If anything, we've been pushing to *protect* those templates because of recent spates of vandalism. The obscurity in our security-through-obscurity scheme has faded considerably since the main page got its face lift. →Raul654 04:38, Jun 16, 2004 (UTC)
Neat to hear all those nice words -- you know, I said (I am not proposing to include the edit links on the main page itself), meaning that I am not proposing to put the edit links on the Main Page. I meant we could have a page somewhere with the neat edit links were togethere with the Main Page, or perhaps a switch somewhere so that sysops or something would have those. Anyway, I don't care if you are just screaming, I can go someotherplace. ✏ Sverdrup 15:38, 16 Jun 2004 (UTC)

So Zionism bites the dust

I think Zionism was a poor choice for a featured article, as it was bound to be a POV vandal magnet, even to the extent of placing blatant POV on the Main Page. So what was the eventual solution? Protect the Template:Feature? For a little while. Protect the article? For a littler while. Ah! Replace the article! When was the last time Wikipedia replaced a feature article early because of extreme POV?

I am not especially interested in Zionism, and wasn't an editor on the article, but I think it is interesting to show the world the bias that Wikipedia gives in to, and how seriously some take NPOV, which is supposed to be a non-negotiable principle. -- Cecropia | Talk 16:26, 13 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I de-listed it because it was protected. The version that was protected was fine as far as I'm concerned. But Wikipedia articles are editable and therefore our featured article should also be editable. I would have rather banned the person who was inserting the POV material, but alas our current polices do not allow for that. --mav 23:07, 13 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I see your point in terms of the article itself, but if the Main Page is protected as a matter of policy, I don't see why the templates for the main page can't be also, at least when there is an issue of vandalism. -- Cecropia | Talk 17:58, 14 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Have the templates of the Main Page ever been vandalised? If they have, how often? We shouldn't think about protecting a page before it gets at least a vandal attack per day. ✏ Sverdrup 21:05, 14 Jun 2004 (UTC)
The layout of the Main Page is protected, yes. But not the content. We have just made the ability to edit the content non-obvious. I would like to see us continue that for as long as possible. If and when vandalism becomes a problem we could limit edits to all template pages to logged-in users. If and when that becomes an issue, then and only then should we consider limiting edits to the Main Page templates to just admins. --mav 04:27, 16 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Two-column layout

Please change to a single-column layout. The current two-column layout is difficult to read.

Atleast provide an option in the Preferences for this. Rajasekaran Deepak 07:11, 2004 Jun 14 (UTC)

See Main Page (table free) -- mav 07:30, 14 Jun 2004 (UTC)
What's with the very small text closer to the end of the page? Brianjd 03:56, 2004 Jun 16 (UTC)

Newdow v. United States Congress

The Newdow v. United States Congress certainally does not deserve to be on the main page of wikipedia. Nichalp 20:15, Jun 14, 2004 (UTC)

Why not? It's certainly as significant as a football game (Euro 2004). [[User:Meelar|Meelar (talk)]] 20:22, 14 Jun 2004 (UTC)
First, the Euro is played among many nations and is watched all over the world. Just because the sport is not popular in one or two countries doesn't mean that it is not popular at all. Next: A US Supreme court ruling that has no bearing on the international community, shouldn't be put up on the front page. Nichalp 20:33, Jun 14, 2004 (UTC)
Nichalp - you're wrong. That case made a lot of headlines when the 9th circuit court made its decision, so it should be reported here. →Raul654 20:37, Jun 14, 2004 (UTC)
May I ask where did it make headlines, isn't the ruling an internal matter of a country? Nichalp 20:42, Jun 14, 2004 (UTC)
Well, it made headlines in the New York Times and Washington Post. And before you criticize those as Amerocentric, realize that the population of the EU (the target audience of Euro 2004) and the U.S. are roughly similar. Back off, please. [[User:Meelar|Meelar (talk)]] 20:44, 14 Jun 2004 (UTC)
And poor ole' me thought that NYT and WP were American newspapers! Now I know better. Thanks Meelar for that. Nichalp 19:40, Jun 15, 2004 (UTC)
Of course they're U.S. papers--so what? Does that make their headline choice not newsworthy? We often feature news that mainly applies to a country's internal politics (for example, the Indian national elections). Why not this? [[User:Meelar|Meelar (talk)]] 20:33, 15 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Of course the Indian elections would be featured on the front page of the NYT. India isn't a small country. Such an issue would interest US business establishments, the US government etc. Any major country's election would be featured in a top notch paper. Anyways, that's besides the point. See my edit at the bottom of this debate, where I have quoted from Wikipedia for a reply on this issue. Nichalp 20:37, Jun 16, 2004 (UTC)
I wish you wouldn't make hostile remarks, Meelar. The Euro is watched not only in Europe, but also South America, Africa, West Asia, S Asia, SE Asia and not to mention North America. There is no need to unnecessarily drag the Euro into this. The wikipedia wasn't created to be for a selected niche audience as in the Supreme Case ruling. Nichalp 20:56, Jun 14, 2004 (UTC)
I would hardly think of an issue concerning national law in regards to socio-cultural values as relevant to a "selected niche audience", as it has a profound affect on a gigantic population, not only nationally but internationally by effect of precedent. The Euro, as well, is important. If this is a competition between the two items, then it is a difficult question of which is more important, but the claims made against the Supreme court ruling are unfounded. I say remove the sports item and have both. The sports item doesn't belong, as it is, at most, of transitory significance. Kevin Baas 21:08, 2004 Jun 14 (UTC)
Replied in Kevin's talk page. Nichalp 20:29, Jun 15, 2004 (UTC)
I third the opinion. Topics of religion are of wordly interest. Topics of sports, well, not realy a current event: doesn't have a lot of ramifications. If anything, the sports topic should go, and be replaced by the religion topic. Kevin Baas 20:50, 2004 Jun 14 (UTC)
No, it wouldn't be called *news* if we excluded sports entirely. Nichalp 20:00, Jun 15, 2004 (UTC)
True, sports have a short shelf life, but the current tournament is more or less a global spectator event. However, if tomorrow if XYZ country's Supreme Court were to pass a ruling, I'm sure you would be wondering why should it be up on the top page. Nichalp 21:03, Jun 14, 2004 (UTC)
No, I would not wonder. I would be interested. It's beneficial to know what's going on in the world on a socio-cultural level. Kevin Baas 21:08, 2004 Jun 14 (UTC)
Kevin - For obvious reasons we can't have the news section reflecting what is essentially a country's internal news. If that case were true, all rulings of all countries might be put up. Something like US Supreme court ratifies "Kyoto Protocol" (hypothetical scenario) would have a ripe case to be up on top. I never mentioned 'delete' the article altogether from wikipedia, the article's relavent location would be under *more news* Nichalp 21:18, Jun 14, 2004 (UTC)
Granted, with the exception that it must be acknowledged that the "relevant location" is disputable as evidenced by the fact that it has, indeed, been disputed. I, as you, would be against putting any or every supreme court decision of any or every nation on the main page, but when a topic of universal interest and social impact such as religion and the secularity of a government is involved, I would consider such a topic worthy of serious consideration for placement on the main page, whether or not it had anything to do with a supreme court ruling of any given nation. Kevin Baas 21:29, 2004 Jun 14 (UTC)
Replied in Kevin's talk page. Nichalp 20:29, Jun 15, 2004 (UTC)
Nichalp - the standard is a very simple one - do a lot of people care about this? For all of the current news articles, the answer is yes. So, respectfully, quit your bitching. →Raul654 23:48, Jun 14, 2004 (UTC)
Replied in Raul654's talk page. Nichalp 19:55, Jun 15, 2004 (UTC)

I regularly read complaints that English Wikipedia is "Americentric." Well the U.S. happens to be a major part of the English-speaking world, and Supreme Court rulings have a broad impact on US society. Shouldn't "In the News" inform those who aren't cognizant of what is going on of importance in countries other than their own? As to the Football, it doesn't bother me that it's in Wikipdeia. but really, why do we have a piece every day, with daily scores? People in the US aren't much interested, and people in countries who are interested probably already have these scores from every medium there is.

Why is this even an issue? Is Wikipedia running out of bandwidth? Other recent Current Events items have included a Taiwanese pop singer, Ireland citizenship issues, who the Mayor of London is, Turkey releasing 4 Kurdish prisoners, and the Zimbabwe cricket team being suspended. Why are these less parochial than a US Supreme Court church-state decision? I don't see anyone (including me) complaining about these issues' world-shaking importance. Would I be wrong to think this is yet another Eurocentric attempt to pretend the US doesn't exist? -- Cecropia | Talk 21:09, 15 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Hmm. I don't know about the Taiwanese singer, but it's probably of interest to the Chinese diaspora; the Irish citizenship change is of wide interest worldwide precisely because it has happened because pregnant women were flying to Ireland from many parts of the world to acquire Irish and hence EU citizenship for their children and residency rights for themselves; the London Mayoralty has, if memory serves, the world's third largest electorate voting directly for a political position (the Russian presidency and some other post have more voters); anything concerning Kurdistan may have ramifications in several neighbouring countries; and the Zimbabwean cricket crisis affects a number of other countries which would otherwise have played them. Thus, apart arguably from the London mayoralty (and relatives of the huge number of foreigners living in London may well find this of interest too), all those stories have international interest. -- Arwel 21:26, 15 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Besides, the Zimbabwean Cricket team issue has international ramifications as far as sports and politics are concerned. Blair and Howard don't want any sporting events (viz. Cricket) against Zimbabwe headed by Mugabe. Many world sports organisations are also looking at the ICC judgement as a precedent, as clearly racial discrimination needs to be wiped out. Nichalp
My point is I don't mind if these items are included, and I don't see anyone else complaining about them either. But an item Americans consider important, that probably would be of interest to others, gets jumped on. For what purpose? Any item unflattering to the US is sure to make the cut. -- Cecropia | Talk 21:35, 15 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Cecropia - Your confusing the "Current Events" with the "In the News" section - which is on the main page. The Zimbabwe Cricket crisis, Kurdish prisoners, all feature in the Current Events. Nobody has a problem with any article being in there. Nichalp
Citizens of USA should be proud to note that their football (soccer) team ranks 9th in the FIFA rankings.

Anything which deals with the separation of church and state has the potential to be a big news item in the U.S. This is especially true for things like the Pledge of Allegiance since it is something most grade school kids recite each morning (thus adding another explosive element). This case was seen by conservatives as an assalt on patriotism and God and was seen by liberals as a way to finally get rid of some divisive language. So when an item like this makes the front page of nearly every major newspaper in a nation that has a plurality of the world's native English speakers, then yes it does qualify for a mention on our Main Page so long as it satisfies our requirements of listing. Leave your Anit-American knee jerk reactions at home. --mav 04:21, 16 Jun 2004 (UTC)

The Actual Judgement

No, the issue is not a pretence on the existance of the US. A lot of articles from eminating from the US are of international interest, and merit a top billing. The US Supreme Court ruling hasn't touched the issue of "secular vs God". It has side stepped the extremely thorny issue for the moment by decreeing, and I quote from Wikipedia: On June 14, 2004, without ruling on the constitutionality of the pledge, the Supreme Court overturned the Ninth Circuit in a unanimous ruling, asserting that Newdow, as a noncustodial parent, had no standing to act as his daughter's legal representative. Until the case on the Pledge of Allegiance is resolved, it would be wise that it shouldn't be on the front page "In the News". If the Supreme Court ruled on the Pledge of Allegiance, that would be the issue to be placed on top, not the June 14 ruling. Nichalp 19:59, Jun 16, 2004 (UTC)

I agree that that would be the issue to be placed on top. I think it is also interesting and important, if not as interesting and important as that hypothetical event, to know that for the time being, that possibility has been averted. I do not mean by this statement to judge whether it belonged here or not, merely that the above statement does not constitute grounds for dismissal of consideration. Kevin Baas 20:39, 2004 Jun 16 (UTC)
As I mentioned all along, the June 14 ruling is of no consequence to the international audience to merit a top page berth. It hasn't shaken any pillars of American secularism (the June 14 ruling). I don't know why people are crying foul as to Anti-Americanism. The issue here is not against one country, but the relevance of the news. Clearly, if all read the ruling in detail, it would be clear that it is not that relevent to be on top. Nichalp 20:57, Jun 17, 2004 (UTC)
You're missing the point - it does *not* have to be of international consequence to merit a spot on the main page. As was already said previously on this page by several people, it has to be of importance to a large part of the english speaking world. Like it or not, that means that something of great important to the US *does* deserve a top spot. →Raul654 21:50, Jun 17, 2004 (UTC)
Actually it is you who is missing the point. Any court would have ruled against a parent who doesn't have legal custody over their child regarding any case. The said judgement has token significance as I mentioned, not *great* importance as people are making it out to be. Also by referring to "English speaking people", hints, that you are referring to a specific country. I would like to point out that a lot of citizens of this planet do also speak English as their first language, if not their second -- fluently; and are also full fledged contributers to this encyclopedia. This encyclopedia was not setup to be of exclusive to a particular country, no matter how many users it has contributed or how big it is. Nichalp 19:44, Jun 18, 2004 (UTC)

Elk Grove USD: Plaintiff lacks standing, not the challenge.

In the description of the Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow decision, it is stated that the challenge "lacked legal standing". In fact, it is the plaintiff who lacked legal standing. The current wording is inaccurate and misleading. Bill 10:51, 15 Jun 2004 (UTC)


How on earth did we end up with a pastel pink and blue main page? Aren't there some official Wikipedia colours or something? Otherwise could we have something with slightly less resemblance to a creche? Exploding Boy 15:23, Jun 15, 2004 (UTC)

Exploding Boy, try changing your Cascading Style Sheet to have the page display in whatever colors you want. Your CSS can be found at User:Exploding Boy/monobook.css. If you need inspiration, several users already have personalized theirs, for example, mine is at User:Gentgeen/monobook.css. Gentgeen 21:30, 15 Jun 2004 (UTC)
You can't do that. Currently the background colours for the boxes on the main page are specified by inline style tags, these take precedence over any style defined in a external file. -- Popsracer 06:59, 20 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Toolbox mess

Unless you login, the toolbox's border is cutoff. Also links are all underlined instead of underlien on hover for visitors which have not logged in.

I hope this is fixed soon, this is on every page. --Exigentsky

Some errors on natonalities

I must inform you that you´ve made some errors in nationalities section. To be more specific, in Serb section. Famous Serbs.

Female Actor Milla Jovovich is Montenegrian not Serb Actor Karl Malden is Montenegrian Svetozar Marovic is Montenegrian, not Serb

Ivo Andric, John Malkovich, Pete Maravich, Rudjer Boskovic and Josif Runjanin are Croats, not Serbs.

1) This does not belong on the discussion page for the Main Page of Wikipedia.
2) If it's wrong, edit it.
- Centrx 04:56, 17 Jun 2004 (UTC)

The title of the web page - "Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia"

I do not like the capitalisation of the title of Wikipedia pages. It seems to me that it would make more sense for "the free encyclopedia" to be capitalised as "The Free Encyclopedia", much like a sub-title of a book would be.

-Ben Bildstein

1) Throughout the history of print, subtitles are often lowercase, given as descriptions, and not billed as high as the title.
2) If Wikipedia is the title, and the latter part is just an explanation or a minor subtitle in that vein, it's not inappropriate for it to be lowercase.
- Centrx 05:00, 17 Jun 2004 (UTC)
agree with you completely. There are two many capital letters in the world :0) --BozMo|talk 14:59, 22 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Far too many of Wikipedia's contributors use capitals in articles and article names where they shouldn't. Let's not encourage it. Fredrik | talk 15:48, 22 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Editing of main page by anons

from the pump

I fixed some things in an article from Template:Feature and noticed that is was edited by anon users. Since it shows on the main page, is it a good idea to allow anons to edit it? (BTW, bye to all unitil July 27)Mikkalai 23:21, 5 Jun 2004 (UTC)

(As the one who just reverted those changes) - I have argued consistently that the featured article should be protected, and I still think it should be. However, 'In the News' is kept very, very up to date because it is not - we had news of Reagan's death within moments of it being broadcast. However, ITN has been vandalized before. →Raul654 23:24, Jun 5, 2004 (UTC)
If I remember correctly with the introduction of MediaWiki 1.3 changes in templates (MediaWiki or template namespace) get into the articles directly, whereas before it took some time till the cache became emptied. While I doubt that the normal newby vandal would ever find the templates used on the main page, long-time vandals or trolls would have it easier to deface the main page now. Thus if I remember correctly :-) those template should be protected, with the same rationale as the mainpage itself. andy 23:31, 5 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Vandalism of the main page is very rare. Lots of pages are vandalised more regularly. I don't believe that the cost of protection can be justified in terms of preventing these rare and rapidly corrected events. -- Tim Starling 01:50, Jun 6, 2004 (UTC)
I strongly agree with Tim. Protected pages are considered harmful. We're a wiki - you need to expect a bit of vandalism. It's really not a big issue. Most other wikis don't even have a protected page option, or never make use of it if they do. There is no reason to start closing down pages just because they are prominent. Angela. 06:32, 8 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Indeed, people have a little bit too much paranoia at times, put some more faith in the wikisystem:) --Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason 22:05, 2004 Jun 8 (UTC)

In the News

Who is writing this section? There are three pieces of egregiously bad English in today's news:

  • "The 9-11 Commission rules out ties between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida in a new preliminary report." The Commission did not "rule out" ties - it said there weren't any ties. Only things in the future are ruled out.
  • "In China, Dr. Jiang Yanyong's wife is freed from detention incommunicado." What does incommunicado mean here? Secretly? Silently?
  • "Results of the European Parliament election show popular discomfort with national governments." What is popular discomfort? Surely discontent is meant.

How does one get to edit the In the News section? Adam 03:08, 17 Jun 2004 (UTC)

See Editing the main page or go to Template:In_the_news directly. ✏ Sverdrup 03:17, 17 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Thanks. Adam 03:44, 17 Jun 2004 (UTC)

"rule out": I'm not convinced that only things in the future are ruled out. In its less strict sense, uling something out means that it is has been eliminated as a possibility. In other words, any credible possibility of there being ties was ruled out. Nevertheless, it still fits according to your definition. The commission has ruled out future investigation of those ties, by themselves and by any future inquiries elsewhere, because they didn't find credible evidence. It may be murky, but saying that they "found no credible evidence" is also somewhat misleading. There was never any credible evidence to indicate it. It's more like they "confirmed" that there were no ties than "found".
"incommunicado": I didn't like "incommunicado" either but, as its word stem indicates and as an English dictionary will tell you, incommunicado means, roughly, isolated without a means of communication, or being allowed communication. It has been used in English since the 19th century, and was very common throughout the entire 20th century.
"discomfort": You are correct; that is more appropriate; excellent point.
- Centrx 05:11, 17 Jun 2004 (UTC)

This Jiang news is not important. His original abduction didn't seem that important, but the freeing of wife pales in comparison to the other things that could be put on there. Someone was complaining about the Pledge of Allegiance case, which was on the front page of renowned newspapers like the Times and the Post, as well as every other paper in the country, yet the freeing of a totally inconsequential person (the wife) is on there? How does this have worldly effect? And it links to a pretty small article that has had only a very small update for this event. - Centrx 05:26, 17 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Whoever wrote that the order to detain the Iraqi prisoner, as reported in the New York Times, was in violation of the Geneva Convention, apparently didn't read the article which quoted thus:

"... By that fall, however, a C.I.A. legal analysis determined that because the detainee was deemed to be an Iraqi unlawful combatant - outside the protections of the Geneva Conventions - he should be transferred back to Iraq."

Or they didn't believe it, in which case that should have been stated. wgoetsch 20:41, 17 Jun 2004 (UTC)

It links to religion twice

In the browse by topic section under "Culture, Religion, Philosophy, Entertainment " there are two links to religion.

Yep, thanks for pointing it out. I fixed it. (For future reference, You could fix it too) ✏ Sverdrup 11:26, 18 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Fairchild Semiconductor article

This article is seriously out of date. Fairchild Semiconductor has been alive and well since a management buyout from National Semiconductor in 1997. It is now the number one supplier of power semiconductors in a range of applications. See

I have no connection with Fairchild: I am a UK based freelance writer and photographer.

John Dwyer

"possible" violation of Geneva Conventions

As regards the "ghost prisoner" story - this was corrected earlier - it now reads "in possible violation" again. There's no "possible" about it - it's a clear violation of the Geneva conventions - hence the reason it's a news story.

Could this please be corrected once and for all? Who gets to make these edits?

Zoney 20:37, 18 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Ah. Found it. An ongoing edit war of course, where there shouldn't be one. Zoney 21:12, 18 Jun 2004 (UTC)

EU Constitution

Could someone add the info about the adoption of the EU Constitution by the European Council in the In the News section on the main page (it's already at Current events). It's a very important piece of news and I think many people might be looking here to find out whether it was finally adopted or not. --Kpalion 21:43, 18 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Voyeur Manuscript?!

The featured article is the Voynich Manuscript, but it's listed on the front page as the Voyeur Manuscript - subtle vandalism, or is this the proper name for the thing? I would change it back only I'm not a sysop... PMC 02:58, 21 Jun 2004 (UTC)

  • Scratch that, I just realized that non-sysops can edit the Featured template. Silly me. I'll go revert. PMC 03:00, 21 Jun 2004 (UTC)