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f(x) = x2; <---this is breaking apart (line break) at function, right after the f. Pizza Puzzle

Maybe you should think about getting a web browser that does not do that. Looks fine in Mozilla 1.3.1 and Opera 7. Any hack included to prevent it from happening on your browser is likely to uglify the code. -- Wapcaplet 13:19 1 Jul 2003 (UTC)

As long as Im using Netscape or IE Im using what nearly every web user is using and the code should render properly for such browsers. Pizza Puzzle

Yes, but I don't think it should come at the cost of making the article harder to edit. No reasonable browser should be line-breaking on parentheses, and using workarounds to avoid it could have unforeseen effects in correct browsers; I think it would be bad to cater to users of broken browsers. By the way, which version(s) of Netscape and MSIE are you using? There are significant differences in behavior between various versions of MSIE; there are enormous differences between MSIE for Windows and MSIE for Mac. Netscape 4.x is almost a totally different browser than Netscape 6.x. According to some sources (http://www.upsdell.com/BrowserNews/stat.htm), MSIE 6 (presumably for Windows) has the largest market share at the moment, but that could change, and such statistics are notoriously unreliable. -- Wapcaplet 13:56 1 Jul 2003 (UTC)

You can find great browser statistics for the past year or month at the Google Zeitgeist (http://www.google.com/press/zeitgeist). Scroll down to browsers. Its pretty accurate, because it tracks the browsers that are used to access google. You can also find info on the OS's used. The only source of unreliability is that many mozilla and opera users have special plug-ins to tell web servers that they are using IE. This is because of the unfortunate tendency for many webpages to instantly reject any browser that isn't IE. I myself use mozilla, mostly for the pop-up and ad blocking. Other than the fact that some websites have a javascript control that doesn't let you in unless you're using IE, I have not noticed a problem accessing sites. -DropDeadGorgias 14:17 1 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Well, the google statistics give a pretty good idea of prevalent browsers and operating systems for people who use Google, but do we have statistics anywhere for people who use Wikipedia? Being an open-content project, it may have a tendency to draw a proportionally larger percentage of, say, Linux users. Slashdot, or Linux.com, probably get a lot more than 1% Linux users, and consequently, fewer MSIE users. And of course, as you note, Opera's default behavior is to identify itself as MSIE. There are all sorts of things that can throw these statistics off. -- Wapcaplet 14:44 1 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Wikipedia.org usage stats (/stats). Only the top 15 browsers are shown; MSIE 6.0 and 5.x dominate in the June statistics. -- Wapcaplet 15:00 1 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I don't what could be done about it. Putting a nonbreaking space between the f and the ( makes the function look wrong. Putting it between <math> tags means it no longer fits properly on the line. I reckon the best thing to do it put all functions on a line by themselves, but others might not like that. Other than that we could just live with breaks, it's not really the end of the world is it? Theresa knott 13:47 1 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Its a sign of the end. Soon Bush will blow the DOOMtrumpet. Pizza Puzzle

It looks fine in my regular Wikipedia browser. (Opera 6.05.)
It looks fine in my regular everything-else-except-Wikipedia (Mozilla 1.4b)
It looks fine in my 27-Opera-windows-open, 48-Mozilla-windows-open, better-use-another-browser-for-this-job browzer. (IE 6.0)
It looks ... well, "fine" is not the word for it, but perfectly readable and definately not broken in my test-this-page-for-ultimate-compatibility browser, Netscape 3.04.
So where is the issue? You've got a problem with your Internet Explorer installation, Pizza Puzzle. There are two ways you could fix that; (a) buggerise about with Windows fixes and patches and registry tweaks which almost never work and then wipe your drive and reinstall Windows, or (b) download Mozilla. Either method will work. (You can trust me on this: I do this stuff for a living.) Method (b) is one hell of a lot easier. Tannin 16:27 1 Jul 2003 (UTC)

But what exactly is looking fine? The specific problem I am referring to no longer exists at the page in question - its actually quite rare as certain spacing conditions have to exist in order for the incident to occur. In any case, Ill look at Mozilla. Pizza Puzzle

I just tried viewing Function in MSIE 4.0 and 5.0 (Windows). Re-sizing the window to just the right place does cause the line break to occur between "f" and "(x)". So Pizza Puzzle is not alone here (since it apparently also occurs in 6.0). Granted, the window has to be just the right size, but in a math article with lots of "f(x)"s occurring, it becomes pretty likely to happen regularly. MSIE 4/5/6 are pretty obviously botched in this respect (neither Opera nor Mozilla, nor, I presume, Netscape, suffer from the same problem), but it's definitely an issue to take under consideration. Unfortunately, I know of no way to prevent breaking from occurring, aside from placing chunks of text inside <span style="white-space: nowrap">, but it's unclear whether that would even matter, since it's not wrapping on whitespace. I think that users of MSIE 4/5/6 are just going to be SOL, if it happens. Sorry Pizza Puzzle, I've been doing web design for almost 10 years, and MSIE is a continual source of headaches; if anyone knows a good solution, I'd love to hear it, but this sounds like one of those that just can't be fixed. -- Wapcaplet 16:58 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Hi guys-

I've been trying to go through some of the articles here and correct grammar and facts. Generally, my experience has been pretty positive, but just recently, I've run into a particular user who seems very protective of his sentences. I feel bad accusing him of anti-wiki behaviour, and I don't want to post his user name, because he is generally very polite, and does not attack people, as some have historically done. Nevertheless, his entries are poorly worded, highly POV, and often with a disregard to facts. I have attempted to edit some of 'his' articles, and i have tried to post helpful comments on his user page, but he has so far been polite in Talk pages, but resistent in articles. He went through some of the articles and replaced some of the poorly worded, POV sentances that I had taken the trouble to remove/edit. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to deal with this guy? -DropDeadGorgias 14:17 1 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I'll look into it, but based on your spelling in your post, you may not be the best person for the job ;). MB 17:24 1 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Ouch... My wiki-ego is wounded. But thanks. ;)
While we're on the subject, has anyone requested a spellcheck feature? If you've ever submitted anything on the message boards of plastic.com, it highlights words that aren't in its dictionary. Something like that could be very useful here on wikipedia. -DropDeadGorgias 17:52 1 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Yeah, that would be great, and I am sure there is a GPL spell checker out there somewhere that could be adobted for our needs. MB 18:31 1 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Here's an amusing bug noticed by an anon. contributor to ASCII cows. <pre>\0</pre> becomes:


-- Tim Starling 14:27 1 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Yeah, I think it is a parsing error or something. I found a similar error related to images. See Wikipedia:Village pump/May 2003 archive 5 for more info. It really confused me. MB 18:38 1 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Our parser is a BigBallOfMud and contains many such errors due to bad interactions between different passes. The syntax needs to be more formally codified (http://www.piclab.com/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?Wikipedia_Text_Syntax) and the parser rewritten. In the meantime, these little bugs could probably be worked around, should anyone have the time and inclination to dig into them. --Brion 04:23 2 Jul 2003 (UTC)

If a committee is formed to re-design the parser. I would be more than happy to help. Just let me know. MB 04:40 2 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I've suggested several times on Wiki-tech-L that we use Wookee (http://wiki.beyondunreal.com/wiki/Wookee) as our parser, but nobody seems to pick up on it. :-( -- Tarquin 08:45 2 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Well, Wookee is in perl, meaning it would have to be adapted or otherwise shoved, bitten, and squished into the PHP code... That, and the code doesn't seem to be obviously online for perusal, so it's very mysterious. :) If someone familiar with it thinks this can be done and is willing to work on it... --Brion 08:54 2 Jul 2003 (UTC)

You could compile the Perl code to C and then link it to PHP at compile time. Well... I don't actually know if that's possible, it's just an idea. -- Tim Starling 09:06 2 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I thought Perl was interpreted? CGS 12:11 2 Jul 2003 (UTC).

Ah. A common misconception; PERL hasn't been interpretted for a while now (it's JIT compiled; this has been the case since, IIRC, version 5). -- James F. 12:58 2 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I thought Perl had a translator to C, but I can't find it now so maybe I was mistaken. This (http://www.perldoc.com/perl5.6/pod/perlembed) is the standard way to do it. -- Tim Starling 00:42 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I had figured that since Wookee just takes an input of wikitext and spits out the HTML at the other end, you could just call the perl script from PHP. However, I gather that it's not economical with memory because it's OO-based. At the very least, it might be a good model for a new PHP parser. I can email the script to anyone who wants, but its author (Mychaeel) prefers it not being publicly downloadable. -- Tarquin 09:15 2 Jul 2003 (UTC)

PHP doesn't appear to have a Perl module, judging by its function reference (http://www.php.net/manual/en/). Maybe there's a third-party extension. -- Tim Starling 00:42 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Same for
, it seems... Except, only the last one displays, all previous on the same page disappear... Didn't know bugs can get that strange... كسيپ Cyp 19:16 4 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Don't worry, I fixed it in CVS already. -- Tim Starling 14:06 6 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I've aked Mych to make the source for Wookee available: you can download it from http://wiki.beyondunreal.com/wiki/Wookee -- Tarquin 11:49 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I just noticed something about the wiki timeline. The events in the year pages are not always shown in the decade pages. Is this intentional (lower threshold of significance for year pages), or is this something that someone needs to write a bot to fix? -Smack 23:17 1 Jul 2003 (UTC)

If the decade pages included every event mentioned in the year pages, and the century pages included every event mentioned in the decade pages (every event mentioned in the year pages), I think you can see it would get a little unwieldy. :) They're meant to provide a general overview, with the more specific pages being, well, more specific. --Brion 04:23 2 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Colours on Wikipedia (the colors aren't great either)

I've been experimenting with overriding the default colour settings of my browser (IE6). Wikipedia appears to ignore my settings for background, but respect my setting for text, meaning that if I set my browser to white-on-black, it all goes bit Pete Tong[?]. Is this a browser bug with IE, a problem with Wikipedia, or just one of those things?

I can verify that this happens in Mozilla too, but only if the option to always override the webpage isn't set. Probably Wikipedia just needs to explicity state that body text is to be black. That way, the user can force override it if he wishes, but if he doesn't force the override, the colours will be as stated by the page... Evercat 19:06 2 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Using CSS to define your preferred colors might be a better solution (if MSIE supports it - I know Mozilla and Opera do). I am fairly certain that the colors that you can select in the preferences of Mozilla or MSIE only apply when no color is explicitly specified by the document itself. The background color is explicitly given in the body tag of Wikipedia articles (and talk pages), but the text color is not specified. At any rate, using CSS for your preferred look-and-feel is probably the way to go (that is part of the reason they were designed!) -- Wapcaplet 00:27 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)

How to save new articles as draft?

Hi I'm new to the wonderful world of Wiki - and it is really great!

For new articles that need to be written over several sessions (I read the FAQ that said Wiki prefers longer articles), is it possible to save them in draft form before they are finished? If not I'll do the primitive thing and do it all on my PC in notepad and cut and paste when I'm finished! David Thrale 11:45 2 Jul 2003 (UTC)

The FAQ probably goes a bit too far -- I think most editors these days consider a single paragraph to be a quite acceptable first article. However, it is generally easier to type a long article offline, especially if you have a decent text editor. Other than that, your options are:

  • Say in the edit summary that you're not finished
  • Add a note to the bottom of the article saying you're not finished
  • Create the article as a subpage of your user page, then move it to the correct location when it's finished.

-- Tim Starling 03:55 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I'd say don't worry about saving a work-in-progress. There's a dislike of people who make too many saves, but that normally means people who save an article every minute or two. Take a look at the edit history of English/British coin Penny for example, which shows me building up a huge article which eventually had to be broken up into 8 chapters! -- Arwel 17:45 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Welcome to the wiki, and don't worry about saving an article that only covers part of a topic. We have plenty of those as it is. What is this article you're writing? -Smack 01:31 4 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Search function weirdness

When I search for the word "welcome", I get the following message:

"Search results

For query "welcome"

For more information about searching Wikipedia, see Searching Wikipedia. Badly formed search query

We could not process your query. This is probably because you have attempted to search for a word fewer than three letters long, which is not yet supported. It could also be that you have mistyped the expression, for example "fish and and scales". Please try another query."

However, searching for "welcomes", "wlecome", or "welcmoe" seems to work fine. This looks rather weird. Could that be a database bug? Nafnaf[?] 10:13 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Common words, searching for which is not possible

OIC. Would it it desirable to make the error message a little more specific? (The page that the error message currently links to has the relevant information, though). Thanks. Nafnaf[?] 10:24 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Fellow Wikipedians, here is a question in need of a fast answer. As requested by Brion on wikitech-l, date formats in special pages, ~~~~ signatures, etc. will soon be changed to suit your preferences. You will have the choice of:

  • Don't care (which is 15 Jan, 2001 for this language)
  • Jan 15, 2001
  • 15 Jan, 2001
  • 2001 Jan 15

The question is, for each format, should the time come before or after the date? And should there be a comma between time and date, or just a space? I want to get this done quickly because there's a broken copy in CVS and I want to upload a working one before I go to bed in an hour or two. People tend to get irate when the CVS copy is broken, so I don't want to leave it any longer. -- Tim Starling 12:53 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Time before date. -- Wapcaplet 13:00 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Like 13:00, 3 Jul 2003 (comma after time, but not between month and year in this date format) - Patrick 13:14 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Thanks to both of you. Patrick, well spotted with that extra comma. The formats as I now understand them are:

  • 13:00, Jan 15, 2001
  • 13:00, 15 Jan 2001
  • 13:00, 2001 Jan 15

Correct? -- Tim Starling 13:36 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)

looks good to me, Fantasy 14:15 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)

So will this be a feature in the preferences? MB 16:03 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Yes. It will also convert dates typed in articles to the user's preference (or not change them, if the user has no stated preference). -- Tim Starling 00:17 4 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I would have thought 2001 Jan 15 13:00 would have been more appropriate, as that is sorted, from most significant time to least significant time, rather than all mixed up. (Or maybe ‮2001 Jan 15 13:00‬, but I don't think that's used anywhere.) كسيپ Cyp 17:30 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Well, Wapcaplet and Patrick seemed pretty sure of themselves. BTW, it's in CVS now, and hopefully will soon be up on test.wikipedia.org. -- Tim Starling 00:17 4 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Chinese Names in alphabetalized lists

There is a discussion over at Talk:Figure skating over the best way to list a chinese skater, that is probably relavent to more that just that page. Since the chinese call themselves by their family name then their given name do we list them under their first or last name or should we swap the names around to fit into our standard way of doing things. I don't want to clog up the pump so please add coments to figure skating. Theresa knott 14:42 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Sig. Bug

I found an interesting bug when I edited a page, and I was logged out before saving the page. The sig is half me half my ip. Kinda wierd. See here (/w/wiki.phtml?title=Talk:2003_occupation_of_Iraq&oldid=1107144) MB 16:52 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Could we turn back on the disabled special features like Special:Lonelypages, since we now have 2 servers? MB 17:21 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Is everyone else experiencing several minutes of lag to the Wikipedia server, rather often, at the moment? كسيپ Cyp 18:11 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Yes, I am experiencing a little bit of lag. MB 18:27 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Then what makes you think it's a great time to turn on special pages that can take several minutes of database grinding to generate every time they're viewed? --Brion 18:41 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Wow, if they access the database evrytime they are viewed, that really sucks! What a crappy design (no offense to whoever designed that)! I guess they need to be redesigned? BTW, how do we know it is a database problem that is causing the lag? It could be that turning on these options won't slow down the wikipedia at all. I propose we turn them on over the 4th of July weekend to test them out. MB 18:59 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)

It's a lot more complicated than you think. You should probably read wikitech-l for a while, and maybe read up about the architecture, before you declare it "crappy". Optimization has been discussed at great length on wikitech-l, and various kinds of caching have been implemented. For example, there's an HTML cache for anonymous users, who make up the bulk of page-view requests. -- Tim Starling 00:17 4 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Since I don't think there's a talk page for Recent Changes, I'll post this here. Could we please not have the blue text in pink table on yellow background at the top of Special:Recentchanges? It looks really wrong... it was fine the way it was. Evercat 20:16 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I agree, it looked much better plain -- sannse 20:25 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)

You obviously don't know about Wikipedia:Recentchanges and its associated talk page. -- Tim Starling 01:15 4 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Color Hooray. Color on the home page. The first time I landed here I thought I had gone back through a wormhole into gopherspace[?] Rich J 00:49 4 Jul 2003 (UTC)

*grumbles* Girly color that it is. They evidently didn't like my idea of making the colors grayer. -Smack 01:31 4 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Girly colors! OOKay. I've got my camera ready. Let me know when you're going to come swinging in on that vine. I guess any open venture (soc.history?) becomes captive to the unsmiling. Rich J 03:03 4 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I thought it was such a good idea that I even did it. But mav didn't like it. Note that the colour was entirely stripped off by Oliver P., a few minutes ago. -- Tim Starling 01:38 4 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Here we go with the edit wars... -Smack 01:44 4 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I reverted Oliver's stripping (Yikes! That sounds a lot different to what it was meant to mean. But it is 6.19am and I am tired!) and left a note on his page pointing out that over all the pages this change was discussed, the clear majority seems to favour the change. Oliver is a decent chap. I don't image him waging a colour war on the issue. Well I sure hope to hell not! FearÉIREANN 05:23 4 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Upload troubles I found that, after I uploaded an image, it was still locked for editing. (The Windows error dialog said "source or destination file may be currently in use.") I tried to duplicate this by uploading another file to Yahoo, but the bug did not repeat itself, so this seems to be a Wikipedia bug, rather than a Mozilla bug. (If you really want to check, I'm using Moz Firebird 0.6.) -Smack 01:44 4 Jul 2003 (UTC)

So first you uploaded to Wikipedia, then when you tried to edit the file immediately afterwards, it was locked. Correct? -- Tim Starling 01:54 4 Jul 2003 (UTC)

It's a browser bug (http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=183689). --Brion 03:59 4 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Yes, and thanks. -Smack 04:40 4 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Agent Smith (A. Smith) Question: why are people editing this?

...is the nice way that this user is respnding to edits. I hope he realizes this is a collaborative work! -- cimon avaro

I think Cimon refers to User talk:Agent Smith. -- Tim Starling 06:32 4 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Capitalization in titles

I haven't been able to find a page saying what kind of standard we follow in capitalizing movie titles, book titles and so on. Is there? I started seeing this as a problem when I've seen Once More, With Feeling changed, I'd created it with a lower "with", I always thought that "with" was to be used like "of" or "the", that are never capitalized in the middle of a title. But I guess that I was wrong. So, is there a standard? I've searched on the net, but I found nothing, just this page (http://www.mediantics.com/emediate/guides/style/un/titles.htm) stating several different ways, none of them "official". What's wikipedia's standard? Lazarus Long 11:31 4 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Use the capitalization used by the work itself. If there are conflicts, between editions then... panic! -- Tarquin 14:05 4 Jul 2003 (UTC)

But what if the title is ALL CAPS? It happens very often, especially with movies... I think a standard to follow would be better! Lazarus Long 20:16 4 Jul 2003 (UTC)

A Hydrogen Peroxide Question

Can people take a look at Hydrogen peroxide? There's currently all sorts of strange stuff about cures for AIDS in there: looks very dodgy to me. -- The Anome 11:58 4 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Wikipedia Emails from confused people

Come to think of it, do the wikipædia-people ever get e-mails, asking them to correct an error in a page, from people who haven't noticed the edit this page button? كسيپ Cyp 14:35 4 Jul 2003 (UTC)

E-mails? No. Bug reports? About once a month [1] (http://sourceforge.net/tracker/index.php?func=detail&aid=617362&group_id=34373&atid=411192) [2] (http://sourceforge.net/tracker/index.php?func=detail&aid=667323&group_id=34373&atid=411192) [3] (http://sourceforge.net/tracker/index.php?func=detail&aid=725446&group_id=34373&atid=411192) [4] (http://sourceforge.net/tracker/index.php?func=detail&aid=733573&group_id=34373&atid=411192) [5] (http://sourceforge.net/tracker/index.php?func=detail&aid=755757&group_id=34373&atid=411192) [6] (http://sourceforge.net/tracker/index.php?func=detail&aid=762930&group_id=34373&atid=411192). I've no idea what makes some people find it easier to file a bug report on SourceForge than to click "edit page" and fix it themselves... --Brion 18:20 4 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I'd theorize that it is due to the SEP field created by an "edit this page" link on a public encyclopædia... Being able to completely edit public internet sites is relatively unusual, being able to report a bug is relatively normal, and therefore not covered by the SEP field. Should be possible to test the theory, by adding an extra "Bug reports" link, and seeing if putting a lot of "edit this page" links around one of the "Bug reports" links affects the ratio of how many people follow each "Bug reports" link. كسيپ Cyp 15:29 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)

A Map for US cities and Counties

Discussion moved to Wikipedia talk:WikiProject U.S. Counties (all the way at the bottom). -- Wapcaplet 13:51 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Vote time (again) - this time about the garish ameteurishness of the new Main Page design. Given that the redesign wasn't announced (AFAIAA - certainly, I wasn't aware of it), I thought I should make sure everyone (who reads the VP) is at least aware of its existence. Get voting. (BTW, I take neither credit nor blame for starting this vote, merely being the first voter :-)) -- James F. 01:28 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)

In case the new design gets reverted again, the modified version may be seen at Main Page/Temp. -Smack 03:42 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I have a new flag which should be added to Recent Changes. T should be a third selectable option [] Text Removed - which should be used to indicate any edit which involves a substantial deletion of text - let the border grey area have reasonable sway - but any user who cuts and deletes several paragraphs, should select this option. Pizza Puzzle

Maybe D for deleted text, perhaps automatic, in case people "forget" to mark it... Perhaps people could select in preferences, how many bytes the page can be reduced by, without them seeing a D (or something similar)... كسيپ Cyp 19:16 4 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Good idea. I favor Cyps version. -Smack 03:42 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Move page bug I attempted to move Rulers of Kievan Rus to Rulers of Kievan Rus'. (The latter spelling is more correct; the apostrophe denotes a special character in the Cyrillic alphabet; if you're curious, look up soft sign in that article.)
Here's what seems to have happened. The editable source text was moved to the new page, while the displayable HTML code remained at the old page. The new page is still officially blank. When you try to view it, you are taken directly to the edit box, as though you were creating a page from scratch, but the edit box has an article in it.
I almost feel sorry for digging up such an out-of-the-way bug :p -Smack 06:19 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)

A caching bug, it seems. I'll look at it... --Brion 06:42 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Smack, take a look at it again if you're still around and tell me how Rulers of Kievan Rus' looks. It _should_ reload correctly now. (But I've still got to fix the underlying bug...) --Brion 06:46 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Works fine now, for me at any rate; thanks. -Smack 07:02 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Paragraph breaks in meta pages My question is, should long posts to meta pages be split up into several paragraphs with blank space in between (as Nafnaf's, above; there doesn't seem to be a better example on hand) or separated by line breaks (as this one)? I find that paragraph breaks within posts are rather annoying, but some people don't seem to think so.
In the same vein, what's with the apparent custom of placing a horizontal line before every new post in talk: pages? -Smack 07:35 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Yes, if you want people to be able to read what you post, paragraph breaks are a very wise thing. As is breaking up unrelated discussions with a horizontal rule or heading. --Brion 07:38 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)

A good example has presented itself: Antheres post below.
I was talking about breaking up related discussions with horizontal rules. -Smack 17:34 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Big white blob Something I caught moments of on the news last night but didn't see in full -- some sort of weird white blob thing on a beach in south america. what is it and do we need an article on it?

Google is your friend (http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&edition=usa&q=chile+blob&btnG=Search+News)...

Sounds fun. But is there enough info for an article? --Menchi 09:08 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Let's keep an eye on the story. When they announce which species it is, we can add (or create) to the article for that species and mention "in ... 2003, a ... was found washed up ... etc" -- Tarquin 16:16 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I tend to disagree with what user:Mydogategodshat is currently doing. He has set a 6 links design, and is currently adding them to many articles. First the design is quite different from what is current practice. But more importantly, for some of the articles, it introduces links to articles that have nothing to do with the current topic. If such a practice becomes common, we are gonna find hundreds of links at the bottom of articles. I don't think it is very wise.

For example, he put this new design on the [7] (/w/wiki.phtml?title=Donella_Meadows%27_twelve_leverage_points_to_intervene_in_a_system&oldid=1115303)

similarly, I could set a list of six links about ecology, and put them there...till the point where we would have dozen of packages of six links. Here for example, I don't think that List of Marketing Topics[?] is in any way relevant.

As I also told him, I also think it is not a good idea to introduce html code so liberally, as it makes the article edition more scary to non html-introduced people. I think that whenever possible, we should keep editing easy. The improvement does not appear to me so obvious that it absolutely require to introduce this.

I would be glad to have some feedback on this.


It's a table. It's grim. Change to a plain list if these lists are really necessary. -- Tarquin 16:16 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Agreed. These should be lists, if they should be there at all. See Wikipedia:How to use tables (most of which I wrote, I admit, but it's all true, I swear). They're sort of like see-alsos, but aren't really always related to the article... hmm. -- Wapcaplet 03:16 6 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Current Events doesn't render properly in Safari - the text goes over the sidebar. I don't know enough HTML to consider editing... Also, I found that typing Loma-Prieta in the search bar brings up the Mira Loma[?] entry, even though there is a Loma-Prieta page (it was empty, so I changed it to a redirect to Loma Prieta - oh, I just realized it should have been Loma Prieta Earthquake!). Anyway, the search behaved the same both before and after I added the redirect to the page. -Aion 18:58 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Safari renders all pages here at Wikipedia just fine. The only thing that does not work is when you make the page too small from left to right. Then the text in the upper right region overlap the left column. Drag the Safari window bigger (the horizontal size) and see if that fixes things. Also, are you using the latest Safari 1.0 (v85)? As I said, Safari works fine for me at Wikipedia. Good luck. --Mahongue 02:02 6 Jul 2003 (UTC)

There was an HTML error on the Current events page, which I've now fixed. Does it render properly now? --Zundark 19:23 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)

No, it's still the same. It looks like maybe the "Hong Kongese constitutional changes" item is setting the width of the sidebar to be too wide? It renders properly in IE, and Netscape, though. So it might be a Safari problem. -Aion 21:15 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Putting 'loma prieta' in the search box and hitting 'go' brings up Loma Prieta earthquake for me. Current events looks fine in Safari 1.0 for me, though if you shrink the window down real small of ourse you get problems. More detail please? --Brion 22:06 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Hm. I'd love to log in as KF but I can't. Looking at Recent Changes, no one else seems to have that problem. Could someone tell me what is wrong?

Hm, I'd love to help you, but you've given absolutely no information that could be used to do so. What, exactly, is the procedure you're following and what, exactly, is the wiki doing in response? Are there error messages? Are cookies enabled in your browser? Are you in fact KF? ;) --Brion 22:11 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)

If all else fails, try Mozilla temporarily. It does miracles. --Menchi 22:26 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Okay, sorry for the lack of information. I'm using Internet Explorer (and have been doing so all the time, and haven't changed any of the settings disabling cookies or whatever). When I click on Wikipedia (any page) I'm told that I'm not logged in. The spaces for my username and my password are empty. I type in both and get the message "Log in successful". Whatever page I choose next I'm again "not logged in". And there is no way I can prove who I am.

From that description, it's almost certainly a (no-)cookie problem. Sad to say, we don't actually do a double-check that the cookies were received and saved by your computer: so if the login goes okay, it says "success!" and tells your browser to save id cookies, but the next page you go to, there's no cookie returned to identify you, so you're not logged in. If all is well, you should have a PHPSESSID cookie, a wcUserID cookie, and a wcUserName cookie from www.wikipedia.org. If you don't have these, make sure you haven't accidentally set it to not accept cookies or something. (Check also if you're behind some kind of proxy that's meant to strip out advertisements; sometimes these may go for cookies too.) --Brion 22:52 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Thanks an awful lot. I'm impressed. Someone else seems to have changed my cookie settings. Something still seems to be wrong here, but at least I can log in again. Thanks again, and enjoy your Saturday night! KF 23:09 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)

wikipedia as dict-ionary

I wonder if someone thought about making dict files of the Wikipedia. It would be cool to have the Wikipedia wherever I am, independent of an internet connection. (Okay, I still need my laptop for this...) dict seems a good way to achieve this. I'm willing to spend some time hacking a Python script that can create the dict files from the SQL stuff. But I'd like to know if other people are interested in this as well, or maybe there's someone who already did this job... :) --Guaka 22:38 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Doesn't Tombraider achieve this? CGS 22:40 5 Jul 2003 (UTC).

You mean Tomeraider? No... First of all, tomeraider is shareware. And AFAICS it is totally not meant to convert the wikipedia into the dict format. Guaka 02:37 6 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Ha ha :) I know it's not meant to convert files to dict format, but it does what you want - view files on the go without a net connection. CGS 20:28 6 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I was able to edit a user's page. Is that right?

I'm really impressed with Wikipedia and am considering setting up a user page. As a simple experiment I tried editing an existing user's page (User:IZAK) and, to my surprise, it worked. Is that the way it's intended? I'm confused because I would think that a user's page would belong to them. For example, what keeps someone from adding fictitious bibliographic information to a user's page?

(Needless to say I un-did the edit I made to IZAK's page.)

Yes, it's possible to edit other users' pages. The idea is that no page, even user pages, belongs to any one person (and it's useful to be able to fix a broken link, for example, on somebody else's user page). There's nothing to stop people adding incorrect info to a user page (apart from a lack of desire to do it), but suspicious looking changes are usually undone pretty swiftly, just as bad edits to encyclopaedia articles are undone. Welcome to the 'pedia, by the way! --Camembert

It should be said that good-faith edits of other people's user pages are probably outnumbered by vandalism and misplaced discussion (which is meant to go on "User talk"), but that's wiki for you. -- Tim Starling 03:46 6 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Should an article in my User talk:Dieter Simon really appear in Yahoo Search under the heading User talk:Dieter Simon - Wikipedia in which an item is being discussed between two users in their what after all is a private talk page? Could this not become embarassing at times, especially if policy such as NPOV or copy right issues might be discussed? --Dieter Simon 00:41 6 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Don't write anything on a public web site that you don't want to read on the front page of the New York Times the next morning. There is no such thing as a "private talk page" here. If you want privacy, send e-mail. And hope they don't send all your correspondence to the Times later. ;) --Brion 00:51 6 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Yeah, Brion, point taken :-). Comes as a bit of a shock though. --Dieter[?]

At least the conversation will drop out of the search engines eventually if you remove it from the current revision. If you make a post to Usenet, it's archived forever. -- Tim Starling 03:46 6 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Is there any kind of rule about whether "Saint" is abbreviated in article titles? —Paul A 05:44 6 Jul 2003 (UTC)

"Saint" is not abbreviated is article titles about individual saints (Saint George, Saint Nicholas), however it may be abbreviated in names of building, etc. when this is common practice (St. David's Cathedral, but Cathedral of Saint Stephan). Furthermore, the title "Saint" is avoided in article titles when possible (John the Baptist, Martin of Tours) - Efghij

The Treaty of Waitangi article crashes my browser! (Mozilla 1.4, Linux). This must be a browser bug of course, but is there anything illegal in the article? Maybe it's the image?[?] 07:17 6 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Yes, it's the image: /w/wiki.phtml?title=image:treatyofwaitangi.jpg

In another tool I get a warning: Corrupt JPEG data: premature end of data segment[?] 07:35 6 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I fixed Mozilla by recompiling with different options. The precompiled versions should be OK[?] 18:29 6 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Factual error I was parlaying the timeline that is Jefferson Davis into something reasonably article-like when I came upon a statement that Davis was elected to the House of Representatives in 1845. From context, I inferred that this was the United States House of Representatives, not a similarly-named legislative body of the state of Mississippi. The problem is, in case you haven't figured it out yet, that 1845 is not an election year. I think I have three options at this point: keep the erroneous date, spend hours finding a free resource where I can find the correct date, or scrap the whole timeline as factually untrustworthy. -Smack 07:24 6 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Don't throw the baby out with the bath water for goodness sake! Just because there is one error do not delete the whole thing. I check each Events entry in the day articles I work on and sometimes delete several entries that I cannot confirm. And there is such a thing as a run-off elections and maybe a minor error where the author wrote "elected" when "took office" should have been inputted instead. --mav 07:31 6 Jul 2003 (UTC)

The Funk & Wagnall's encyclopedia that's collecting dust in the other room here says "...He was a planter in Mississippi from 1835 to 1845, when he was elected to the U.S. Congress. In 1846 he resigned his seat..." No details, but it could well be a mid-term election due to the previous guy resigning or dying, or some sort of run-off. Or, of course, it could also be badly worded. --Brion 08:16 6 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Village Pump is too long for me to edit without truncating, but 1845 seems correct for Jefferson Davis. See [Biographical Directory of the United States Congress (http://bioguide.congress.gov/biosearch/biosearch1.asp)]. -- Someone else 08:39 6 Jul 2003 (UTC)

That does confirm he started his term in 1845. The article claims he entered office in December 1845, which if true would be consistent with a late election (in 1845). --Brion 08:44 6 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Very well then. The timeline says that he took office on December 8, 1845. Unless someone here objects, I'll say explicitly that this was a special election. (Which is rather odd, since Article 1, Section 2 of the Constitution says that vacancies in the House shall be filled by "writ of election" of the governor of the state affected. I'll just say that he was elected to fill a vacancy.) -Smack 23:51 6 Jul 2003 (UTC)

On the other hand, his biography on the Congress website (http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=D000113) says he served in the House from March 4, 1845 -- right at the start of the 29th Congress -- until his June 1846 resignation. However, I see December or December 8th, 1845, sometimes with a November or November 4, 1845 election date, plastered all over mysterious amateur web sites. Anyone want to look up the Congressional Record and make sure? :P --Brion 00:19 7 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I notice that in some pages people are referred to, after the first stating of his or her name, by just his or her surname.

I know that this is widely done in newspapers and so on, yet I do feel that it seems incredibly rude.

As a hypothetical example, suppose that there is an article about Jane Smith.

It might start as follows.

Jane Smith was born in Anyville, USA in 1943 ...


Yet later it might say something such as the following.

Smith wrote a textbook on chemistry in the 1980s.

I feel that it should say either "Jane Smith wrote a ...." or "Ms Smith wrote a ....".

Is there a specific rule about this or is it just how some people write?

Songwriter[?] 10:58 6 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I don't think it's rude at all, and prefixing everyone with their titles (Ms, Mr) would sound very odd. Also, prefixes change over time, and how would we know if someone liked to be Miss or Ms? Obviously if someone has a more important title, (Dr, Sir), that should stay. I was taught to always use the full name first, "John Keats", and then to use the surname "Keats" from then on. This may just be the British style. CGS 11:23 6 Jul 2003 (UTC).

I think only the NYT[?] and WSJ[?](?) uniformly add the social title anymore, and it sometimes sounds really odd - "...when Mr. Culkin entered the third grade...". Look closely at the books in your library that are less than 20 years old, you'll see very few of them using Mr. etc anymore.

Of the UK broadsheet newspapers, The Guardian and The Times both have their style guides online, and have roughly the same rule: on news pages they generally use "Mr" (etc.) except for dead people, convicted criminals, sportspeople and artists. On sports and arts pages they generally use surname alone. See: Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/styleguide/page/0,5817,184829,00) (under "Mr, Mrs, Miss, Ms"); Times (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2941-560,00) (under "appellations"). I personally feel more comfortable using surname alone for encyclopedia articles, even when referring to (for example) living politicians. --rbrwr

The use of the last name without the social title (called an honorific, IIRC), seems to be rude in speech, but in writing it's quite acceptable. -Smack

since sub and sup change the spacing between lines, how about an option to give that spacing to all lines, regardless of whether they have exponents? Pizza Puzzle

Good idea - but it's an HTML issue (more precisely, it's an render issue), and nothing to do with the Wikipedia markup. You should suggest this to either W3 or the browser developers. CGS 23:44 6 Jul 2003 (UTC).

I think I already answered that question. Here:

blah blah blah blah blah blahsupscript blahsubscript blah blah blah blah blah blahsupscript blah blahsubscript blah blah blah blah blah blahsupscript blahsubscript blah blah blahsupscript blah blahsubscript

Accomplished easily using font-size and line-height style attributes. May require tweaking, if your fonts are (probably) different than mine.

-- Wapcaplet 01:07 7 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I would recommend highly against using absolute font sizes, as these won't scale in many browsers if the user tries to bump the page's font size up or down. Just use "line-height: 160%". --Brion 01:14 7 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Good point. I wouldn't personally do this at all, actually. Sub/superscripts don't bother me that much :) -- Wapcaplet 01:40 7 Jul 2003 (UTC)

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