Wikipedia:Village pump (miscellaneous)

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Choices for Main Page (in English)Edit

I love Wikipedia, depend on it, and support it, and the Main Page is my home page. I read it every day. I understand why you have, for example, sports information, even though I don't care about sports. But over time, the choice of articles seems to dwell too heavily on a few obscure topics. I think most of us have seen more than enough about the administrators of Georgetown University and about Indonesian cinema. Thanks! Curmudgeonly Pedant (talk) 20:19, 11 February 2021 (UTC)

Feel free to help us make new content to feature on the main page! That's the only way to ensure you get what you want. :^) --Izno (talk) 20:59, 11 February 2021 (UTC)

Besides adding that there's also been enough about the Australian military, I take issue with Izno's comment that implies the problem (or what I see as a problem) is my fault. I cannot be the case that the three topics I've mentioned are so heavily represented among new content that whoever chooses what to feature has no choice but to include them so often.Curmudgeonly Pedant (talk) 16:38, 14 February 2021 (UTC)

It is the case. Or more accurately its less new content and more new content submitted for Did you know. What you are seeing is that there are a few people who specialise in those areas and write new articles at a level that meets the Did you know standards. Everything submitted to Did you know that meets the requirements (mostly being new enough and big enough) will be featured on the main page.©Geni (talk) 16:42, 14 February 2021 (UTC)
@Curmudgeonly Pedant When readers/editors/users complain about something not being good enough, experienced editors often respond with comments like the one above. It may be seen as a little snarky, but it is absolutely true. The solution is for you - yes, you - to improve something else to that high standard and help drown out the others. Too much Australian military in the DYK? Go ahead and improve/create so many articles on barnacles, spy satellites, and extra-solar planets that nobody else has to be in that situation again. You'll see it on the help desk as well: why isn't there an article on X? Why is the article on Y so bad? The answer is the same. Everything here was created by people who 1) saw something that needed fixing and 2) went ahead and fixed it. You're at step one. Step two is easier than you think. You've already made a few edits; just keep going. Matt Deres (talk) 18:35, 14 February 2021 (UTC)

Curmudgeonly Pedant has pointed out a very valid problem that too much of the content on the Main Page is chosen to satisfy editors as opposed to readers. There's no reason that we have to restrict ourselves to drawing DYKs from new articles (which means that some topics will always make outsized appearances because specialist editors will nominate their own new work), or that we couldn't take a harder stance about TFAs with recent similar precedents or the flood of sports ITN items. Dismissing that concern with "well then go create some articles yourself" is not only patronizing (people should be allowed to point out problems without becoming obligated to solve them) but misses the point. Yes, we'd always like new contributors, but unless contributors become more evenly distributed across content areas (which won't happen anytime soon), the problem won't solve itself. We need to start putting readers first and designing the main page to interest them, rather than just using it to reward ourselves with prominent placement for our work. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 21:42, 14 February 2021 (UTC)

As a follow-up question to Curmudgeonly Pedant, I'd be curious which sections of the main page you're following and are noticing this in. They each operate very differently.
Also, courtesy pinging @Izno, Geni, and Matt Deres: in case you want to respond. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 21:45, 14 February 2021 (UTC)
chosen to satisfy editors as opposed to readers If in fact you mean "satisfy the general requirements that we have for all articles, desiring not to showcase articles that don't", sure. I am not dismissing the concern; I am indicating that there is a fix already available to the person in question--hence why I used the word ensure. He literally can be the person to change what is featured on the main page. Changing how our processes works in any significant fashion so as to highlight articles which don't meet some fairly low but arbitrary bars is about as likely as your tangent about content diversity. Anything else refuses to acknowledge the realities of how our main page works, which is also patronizing. --Izno (talk) 21:50, 14 February 2021 (UTC)
Izno, it seems I didn't articulate well above what kinds of changes I'd want to see made to the way the main page operates, as what you're responding to isn't what I'm suggesting. I agree that we need to maintain some basic quality standards before featuring content. But we have plenty of high quality content that we could be featuring but aren't because of all the other rules that shape what we choose for the main page, many of which we take for granted because they've become so ingrained. I don't see content diversity as a tangent here, as the issue that has been brought up is precisely that our main page content lacks diversity. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 22:20, 14 February 2021 (UTC)
Using bits of the main page as a motivator for editors is I'd argue a reasonable use of the page. ITN and OTD are reader facing. FA and FP are a mix (standards are too high to be relevant to most editors but that is fine). DYK motivates at least a subset of editors by providing something to aim for with standards most editors can reach.©Geni (talk) 15:57, 15 February 2021 (UTC)
This is a perennial issue, and this FAQ about it was begun in 2007. Art LaPella (talk) 03:04, 15 February 2021 (UTC)

Friends, I'm delighted that my comment didn't just fall into a hole. I'm also humbled to think more about how much work by dedicated people, at many levels, goes into the main page (and all of Wikipedia): I've been badly trained as an American consumer, and I'll just take this opportunity to thank everyone who contributes to this vitally important project. I poked around enough to find out that Wikipedia editors identify Featured Articles/Pictures (no further process information found) and then two individuals choose the Featured Article of the Day; once these two became real people in my mind, well, if one of them has a fondness for Georgetown University and the other for the Australian military, I'll accept that as the price of admission; similarly for the Featured Picture skewing towards Indonesian cinema. However, I would speculate, contrary to some of the comments above, that it is not the case that there are just so many outstanding articles/pictures on these three topics written/photographed that the (unexplained) process of nominations for Featured status and then the choice of main page placement give proportional representation to all topics. And finally, yes, I should ping everyone who has commented on this thread, and I looked up how to do so; the very complete article was not composed for someone who is new to editing Wikipedia, although I'm sure it's clear as day to all of you; this may be a good example of how difficult it is for us newbies to get involved.Curmudgeonly Pedant (talk) 14:27, 15 February 2021 (UTC)

When it comes to potential articles to run as Today's Featured Article, this is what we currently have to work with (excluding the rare occasions where we re-run something that's already appeared on the main page before, in which case this is what we have to work with); it has nothing to do with "whoever selects the articles having a particular fondness for [whatever topic you happen to feel is over-represented]". Short of abolishing the quality standards for what appears on the main page (which aren't—contrary to your claims—some secret process, but explained here), the advice you've already been given is correct; if you feel a topic is underrepresented, make sure the articles on that topic meet the quality standards and they'll duly appear on the main page. ‑ Iridescent 15:21, 15 February 2021 (UTC)

What exactly are we hoping to resolve with this discussion?--WaltCip-(talk) 21:00, 17 February 2021 (UTC)

WaltCip, I'd phrase it as trying to get the main page content more aligned with what readers will find interesting. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 21:22, 17 February 2021 (UTC)
WaltCip,what I think most of the comments here were intended to do is to educate me. For example, Iridescent pointed me to the process by which articles become featured articles, which I would never have found on my own. The point I take away from the discussion, which I think can now be closed and purged/archived/whatever, is that we who are primarily consumers of Wikipedia have no idea of the processes that have been developed to maintain the caliber of articles and that to maintain the standards requires a fair amount of procedures, a.k.a. bureaucracy, to the point where a significant amount of learning is required to understand what happens "under the hood". Let's all agree that the system is meritocratic rather than democratic, and that's okay.Curmudgeonly Pedant (talk) 22:07, 17 February 2021 (UTC)

Hi Curmudgeonly Pedant! I understand your main concern here. Unfortunately, this problem is a perpetual problem. If we were to focus on reader's interest, then we should consider that most readers are from Anglophone countries, causing us to only include materials that are well known to anglophone countries in the mainpage, thus completely going against one of our current goals in Wikipedia. But I'm thinking about something in the middle, probably non-specific country articles are proper enough to satisfy readers but still in line with countering bias. Do you consider biology topics interesting enough to appear in the mainpage? Regards, Jeromi Mikhael 16:57, 18 February 2021 (UTC)

It'd be interesting to have an "interesting page of the day" module, where editors could nominate any page, and it'd have to meet a minimum quality threshold but the primary criterion would be that it's interesting or unusual. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 18:23, 18 February 2021 (UTC)
Sdkb, that would be a job fit for DYK. If that's the case then we should either a) remove the time limits or b) emphasize more on its "interesting" part than its "content". As far as I could see, regulars in DYK exercise more scrutiny on the content instead of the interest. I think we could draw a conclusion or analyze what is interesting to readers by looking at WP:DYKSTATS. Regards, Jeromi Mikhael 00:50, 19 February 2021 (UTC)
You are, as the saying goes, always free to select articles that are interesting to you and get them up to FA status so they can enjoy the limelight. Or at least up to DYK-worth so they get a bit more notice. That's what other people did. Seeing your work on the main page is also a nice feeling; it gives editors a reward for their hard work and it promotes the idea of quality being important. Matt Deres (talk) 01:46, 19 February 2021 (UTC)
@Matt Deres: That perspective is exactly what I was responding to above, so I'll be more blunt this time. It is closed-minded to take as a given that the main page should continue to operate as it currently does, and it is not useful to suggest individual work will solve a systemic problem, as by definition it won't. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 04:01, 19 February 2021 (UTC)
@Sdkb: *rubs head* Ok, fine, if that's the case. How about if we set up a survey and put it as a banner to see what our readers want? Have we tried doing that before? Regards, Jeromi Mikhael 07:16, 19 February 2021 (UTC)
Another, more direct solution from me. You've linked unusual articles in your reply. How about if we set up a project dedicated to the improvement of articles in WP:UNUSUAL and awards users who do such things? Regards, Jeromi Mikhael 07:23, 19 February 2021 (UTC)

As an aside, can we please refrain from displaying articles with vulgar language on the front page? The DIY section that details the Reddit username "DeepFuckingValue" seems unnecessary. There are many children that use this sight, not to mention it looks unprofessional. TalkingOrder 12:27, 19 February 2021 (CST)

@TalkingOrder: That's something that's been proposed and fiercely debated in the past. The view of many editors is that WP:NOTCENSORED applies. I think you're right that it's an area where the preferences of editors and readers diverge, but beyond that it's a separate enough question that if you want to discuss it further, I'd suggest reading some of the history (lmk if you need help finding it) and then opening a separate thread. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 20:10, 19 February 2021 (UTC)
Wikipedia has a long history of vulgar content on the main page, for example Fuck (film) was TFA on March 1, 2014. I doubt this will change anytime soon, nor should it. Elliot321 (talk | contribs) 03:48, 22 February 2021 (UTC)
What are we protecting children from? That the word "Fuck" exists? We aren't nannies, and we don't legislate computer usage. Reality is frequently vulgar.--WaltCip-(talk) 18:46, 24 February 2021 (UTC)


It was jarring to look at the main page one day, see a picture of Porfirije in the news, and then the next day see him ten years younger and in a very bad mood. I'm just saying. --Guy Macon (talk) 14:42, 21 February 2021 (UTC)

You could have brought this up at WP:ERRORS.--WaltCip-(talk) 18:43, 24 February 2021 (UTC)

Call for Feedback: Community Board seats - Midpoint updateEdit

Hi all, I am writing here to let you know a few things:

  1. The third weekly report is now available for the Call for Feedback: Community Board seats.
  2. This is the middle of the Call for Feedback, which means we are halfway through! If you have not joined the conversation, please do so. The facilitation team does not want to miss hearing your feedback.
  3. For the second half of the Call for Feedback the plan is to promote further discussion around four topics that need disentanglement: regional quotas, candidates' skills, vetting of candidates, and the connection of Board elections with the Global Council and the Regional Hubs.

Do reach out if you have any questions or comments. Best, JKoerner (WMF) (talk) 13:55, 25 February 2021 (UTC)

Is there any way to execute javascript files in user pages?Edit

I wonder if its possible to execute javascript in Wikipedia user pages, so that I can stop my user page from being able to be vandalised with a solution like putting wgRestrictionEdit:["4D4850"]; or something else to cause protection. Please can someone tell me if executable javascript is usable in the user namespace? 4D4850 (talk) 23:04, 25 February 2021 (UTC)

No. If your user page is being vandalized, you can request an admin to protect it at WP:RFPP. --Izno (talk) 23:28, 25 February 2021 (UTC)
@4D4850: No, see Cross-site scripting. If you could do that, you'd have full control of the other user's account. For example, if an admin visited your page, you would be able to use the script to block people or vandalize the main page or maybe even trick them into giving you their password. What you put in in User:4D4850/common.js will work only for yourself, but for the same reason, you shouldn't put anything you don't trust on that page. Suffusion of Yellow (talk) 05:43, 26 February 2021 (UTC)
I think it's worth also mentioning that there is a filter in place which will prevent any non-autoconfirmed user from editing any user page which is not 'theirs'. This will cut out 99% of any attempted vandalism, which is likely to be minimal anyway if you're not regularly dealing with vandals. I put 'theirs' in scare quotes because these are just community pages which anyone might want to edit, for example to fix a category which is messing up something else, or perhaps make some other improvement. This is a wiki after all. -- zzuuzz (talk) 06:02, 26 February 2021 (UTC)
Thanks for pointing that out, @Suffusion of Yellow:. I just realized that if that was possible, it would allow someone to become a "Wikipedia Dictator" (put in quotes because that is just what I'm calling it), thus rendering Wikipedia failing horribly at it's goal of being an open to edit repository of human knowledge, although now I think about it, someone could reasonably use the if autoconfirmed templateThis is the problem to make Wikipedia unable to be read by IPs, which would also be bad. 4D4850 (talk) 15:10, 26 February 2021 (UTC)

Wikifunctions logo contestEdit

01:47, 2 March 2021 (UTC)

Password guessing against my accountEdit

There were several attempts in the last few hours to guess my password. This is usually directed against a large number of accounts. Just a heads up. ☆ Bri (talk) 19:41, 3 March 2021 (UTC)

Retrieving my old Wiki identityEdit

I have been working with Wiki for several years (see User:Beebuk). Lately, I have had to give up my old computer and begin on a new one, and, when I tried to log into Wikipedia, I was told that either my user name or my password was wrong (even though I had a written record of both). After much searching, I discovered that, according to my account information, my user name is listed, not as Beebuk, but as Rfstorey. When I tried to change it to Beebuk, I only ended up with a new account, as evidenced by my signature, in red, at the end of this query. How in the world can I retrieve my old identity? Beebuk (talk) 22:09, 4 March 2021 (UTC)

Yikes. Please ignore the above. My wife just solved my problem. Beebuk 01:21, 5 March 2021 (UTC)

Apparent solution: [1]

Important lessons:

  • Keep at least three copies of your password file in three different locations that won't be destroyed by the same fire, flood, computer failure etc. Combine things like a printout in a safety deposit box a thumb drive, and cloud storage.
  • Encrypt any copies of your password file that may not be secure (in the cloud, at your methhead cousin's house, etc. AES Crypt is a good choice for this. Also encrypt a test file with the same master password and practice remembering the master password by decrypting the test file once a week.

--Guy Macon (talk) 01:29, 5 March 2021 (UTC)

Dumb question: you had the Rfstorey username in 2009? [2] --Guy Macon (talk) 01:35, 5 March 2021 (UTC)