Help desk/Archive 16

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This is an archive of the help desk. Please do not edit this page. To ask a new question, go to this page.

Copyrights between Wikimedia projects

I understand the gist of the GFDL, but how does it work when moving information between Wikimedia projects? For instance, I would like to use some material from the English Wikipedia and translate it to Spanish for the Spanish Wikipedia. Is there any restriction on doing this? — Knowledge Seeker 01:08, 14 Mar 2005 (UTC)

You need to provide authorship information in order to comply with the GFDL. I believe that within Wikimedia it is considered sufficient to point at the original. -- Cyrius| 08:17, 14 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I think that's basically correct; for bulkier (and more "destructive") transfers - so-called "Transwikiing", such as a whole article from Wikipedia to Wiktionary, or to Meta - the old page's history is usually copied and pasted into the Discussion page attached to the new one. - IMSoP 18:24, 14 Mar 2005 (UTC)


How would I document this site in MLA writing style?

What you're looking for is Wikipedia:Citing Wikipedia, specifically Citing Wikipedia - MLA Style. Shimgray 05:31, 14 Mar 2005 (UTC)


Since everyone seems to need to pass on this little shortcut, I made a template for it.

I also know the neato trick of using five tildes to insert the date stamp alone, but I don't think we should tell anybody.

What I want to know is: How many tildes to get a link to my Talk page? --Xiong 05:36, 2005 Mar 14 (UTC)

  • You can go to your preferences when you're logged in and, in Your nickname (for signatures) type in something like:

if raw signatures is not turned on. If it is, you can do:


Hope that helps! TIMBO (T A L K) 05:43, 14 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Thanks!Xiong (talk) 16:52, 2005 Mar 14 (UTC)

Search Effectively

Hello Everybody,

When I type a topic in the Find textbox and click Go, what I expect is that wikipedia should search for all the articles that may resemble the search string (as done by any other search engine..), but what really happens is it searches for the exact match of the word and is unable to find even if the string exists with some minor differences.

Please let me know what should be done if I want to use only a subpart of what I am searching for and want a list of articles to be displayed and I can choose which article to view.

e.g: I want to search all articles related to "sawarkar", it should give a list like Veer_sawarkar, Vinayak_Damodar_Sawarkar etc....


Tanul 06:26, Mar 14, 2005 (UTC)

  • The full search option is temporarily disabled because it strains the servers too much. You can use the link to Google or Yahoo that's provided. Also, don't forget to click Search instead of Go. Mgm|(talk) 09:07, Mar 14, 2005 (UTC)
    • Yes, use search instead of Go for your desired functionality. Other options: install a browser toolbar that allows a "search site" as well as "search web" functionality -- I use google toolbar. Or check out WikiWax, a new Wikipedia index tool: -- I've been finding it incredibly useful to keep this open in a separate tab. — Catherine\talk 00:24, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Voting policy

Some time ago I read somewhere that here on Wikipedia only users who registered before the poll was created can vote in it. Is this true? If it is, where is this written? Thanks. --Eleassar777 09:33, 14 Mar 2005 (UTC)

  • Not sure, but I do know that it doesn't matter in VFD as long as the user in question explains their reasoning. Mgm|(talk) 13:57, Mar 14, 2005 (UTC)

What about COTW? --Eleassar777 14:25, 14 Mar 2005 (UTC)

  • People voting on COTW are expected to help edit the article to if it wins the vote. You can't hold an anon editor responsible. So I'm not surprised if they require people to register first. Mgm|(talk) 18:17, Mar 14, 2005 (UTC)

That seems unnecessarily restrictive, since at least one subset of unregistered users is less anonymous than registered users. 18:38, 14 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I didn't see anywhere written that it is so. Maybe I just overlooked the information. --Eleassar777 21:29, 14 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Editing Page Preferences

My browser (Mozilla 1.2.1 for Mac OS 9) is only about four-fifths compliant; it doesn't play nice with all WP features. Pushing JS buttons does not insert code at the insertion point in the edit box, for example. Fine by me; I type in all markup by hand -- in fact, I do most editing in Word and paste in the whole dern thing at one go.

So, I've managed to turn off the neato editing toolbar in my preferences, but I still get a big template-ish mess between the edit box and the preview: Insert (special characters), "Your changes will be visible immediately.", "DO NOT SUBMIT COPYRIGHTED WORK WITHOUT PERMISSION!". This stuff has exceeded its usefulness, since I never look at it anymore; meanwhile, it contributes to slow page load and eats screen real estate. How can I omit it? Can we beg for a preferences checkbox to omit it? A checkbox only enabled after one has graduated from sockpuppethood?

Please let me make this stuff go away. — Xiong (talk) 17:04, 2005 Mar 14 (UTC)

You could make it invisible by putting #editpage-copywarn { display: none } in your monobook.css. Goplat 05:40, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Accented characters

A have some trouble with Željko Ivanek (written Željko Ivanek) or Željko Ivanek (written Željko Ivanek). Look at the pages name !!! Strange: in the page Homicide: Life on the Street, the apparently same orthograph points now to the right page. I tried a copy/paste to no avail... How should I type it to work ? Thanks Lvr 17:19, 14 Mar 2005 (UTC)

This is a UTF-8 conversion problem - your browser is turning the directly-written 'Ž' into the "escaped" form Ž (edit this section and you'll see what I mean), and MediaWiki is choking on this. This probably has something to do with the English Wikipedia using ISO Latin-1, rather than the far more expansive Unicode/UTF-8, to encode text - that escaped version refers to the Unicode representation, whereas Ž seems to work as Latin-1 (conversion, with the amount of data already stored, would be extremely time-consuming). The working example you found is stored as the correct Latin-1, but your best bet is to just standardise on the article being at Zeljko Ivanek (without the accent) and use Template:Wrongtitle if you think that's necessary. - IMSoP 18:18, 14 Mar 2005 (UTC)

See also meta:Help:Special characters. 18:22, 14 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Copyrighted images

Hi! May images with the following copyright be used on Wikipedia?

"Copyright © Nokia, 2005. These pictures are intended for media use only. The pictures must not be altered in any way." [1]

Teklund 18:55, 14 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Please don't use non-free material unless there's really no other choice. That said, press photos of the company's board are a good fair use case. -- Cyrius| 19:26, 14 Mar 2005 (UTC)
(edit conflict)
They are publicity shots right? If so then I believe they can be used as "fair use" Theresa Knott (ask the rotten) 19:29, 14 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Yes, they are publicity shots. The image that I would use from that page is already used in the Finnish Wikipedia, and as you said, I think use of these images count as "fair use". Thanks for the answers! Teklund 19:53, 14 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Use the tag {{Promophoto}} on any presumed-fair-use publicity shot. — Catherine\talk 22:46, 14 Mar 2005 (UTC)

The author of a specific article

Hi, I'm from the UK and I'm writing a dissertation for my degree. I'd like to reference the Wikipedia article on the 'Holocaust' - how do I find out the author for this particular page? Without this information I am unable to reference correctly. Thank you very much for your help. Kind Regards, Anna

Hi, Anna ( Articles may have hundreds of authors. See Wikipedia:Citing Wikipedia. Remember to verify the information, and if you have an specific questions about the material you can raise them on the talk page (for instance, Talk:Holocaust. 20:41, 14 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Correct Information.

How can I make sure if the information is correct if everyone can edit it?

  • A well written article has references that support the stated facts. Unfortunately, Wikipedia is still fairly young, so not every article has all the references it should. Keep in mind that Wikipedia is populated by thousands of people, most of which are dedicated trivia nuts that would rather eat glass than allow an error to go uncorrected. Yes, everybody can edit, but the vast majority of the edits are performed by our army of triviaphiles. – ClockworkSoul 01:39, 15 Mar 2005 (UTC)
It's really quite simple. Wikipedia is a biased implementation of the billion monkeys/billion typewriters paradox. Given enough time, we will write everything that can (or has) been written. The bias is that each monkey is given a cattle prod and encouraged to use it on their fellows. Over time, several behaviors are noticed:
  • Overly sensitive monkeys depart, although not always before a mild psychotic break.
  • Erratic monkeys swiftly wise up, often after a period of intense zapping.
  • Monkeys who remain and age here collect around a set of behaviors that include mutual grooming, (extremely careful) dominance/hierarchy posturing, mutual grooming, and mutual grooming.
  • Thus, only the most fastidious monkeys are found in quantity, obsessively checking, rechecking, fact checking, proofreading, and copyediting the work as a whole. Vandals and grasshoppers are repeatedly zapped until even the hardiest depart, and All Is Well.
That is why you can trust Wikipedia content. Absolutely. Most of the time. — Xiong (talk) 04:52, 2005 Mar 15 (UTC)
This deserves to be permanently enshrined on meta. -- Cyrius| 07:52, 15 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Nevertheless, the point is an important one, and sometimes passed over a little too quickly. At any time, any article in Wikipedia might be wrong. But that's true of anything else on the internet, or a newspaper, book, or anything else. Perhaps emphasising this point rather than playing it down would enourage people to take a more critical view of what they find on the web (and in other media), and encourage people to learn how to do independent checking of facts. Notinasnaid 10:04, 15 Mar 2005 (UTC)

My page was copyrighted...

I am a office worker for Paul Hinman. Since you did not have a biography on him I used the biography we wrote for the Legislative Assembly website as well as his constituency website. I would like to request that the copywright notice be removed as I think it was a misunderstanding.

Thank you (you can contact me further if needed, jonathan.williams AT

History Project Timeline 1985-Help


I'm in grade 10 and doing a history project where I have to make a world and Canadian timeline of the year 1985. I've found your web site very useful with this. I still need a bit of help though, I need specific dates. This web site for example gives the winners of Grammy Awards, sports like hockey but I need SPECIFIC Dates to when the event took place. So I need dates on things like when the Stanley Cup final in hockey happened and what date the Grammy's or Oscars were or the specific release date of albums by artists. For example, I need something that'll tell me:

- Not only who won the Stanley Cup in 1985, but also on what exact date.

Can't find my page anymore. Deleted?


i recently made a new page for this wikipedia: Gfk. It was just a link to a entry in the german wikipedia. Suddenly i can't access this page anymore. Has it been deleted? And if that is the case: why? Should i add this page again?

Your article has been deleted because it only contained an external link (yes, links to foreign-language Wikipedias are treated as external links; after all, we cannot assume that everyone reading the article will be able to understand German). It would seem advisable to do a quick translation of the German article -- Ferkelparade π 15:41, 15 Mar 2005 (UTC)
...which I just did, seeing that I'm having to spend the evening at the computer burning dozens of CDs *yawn* -- Ferkelparade π 19:47, 15 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Signatures and IPs

Why are my "posts" not undersigned (even if I've just created an account)? And why is my IP still visible over there (in a topic's name)? Can anyone tell me? I don't want it to be visible for not allowed users.

You'll have to sign your posts manually by adding four tilde sings like this: ~~~~. These signs will be changed to your username and the current time/date as soon as you save your changes. I'm not sure about your other you mean that your IP address appears on changes you did before you registered a username? If so, that's normal behavior... -- Ferkelparade π 15:30, 15 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Thanks a lot. About the second question I mean IP in a name of the (talk) topic (I've registered but there's still my IP there and I don't know who's able to see it). I would like someone to change "user talk:(my IP)" in "user talk:(my nickname)". Is this possible? Because I didn't know anything about alternatively publication of it, and it's against my right to privacy. Sieger 18:55, 15 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Ah, now I see where you're getting at. If your previous (anonymous) contributions are important to you, you could try Wikipedia:Changing attribution for an edit, but that has to be done by a developer, and these guys are constantly overworked so it might take some time before you get your anonymous edits attributed to your username. If you're just concerned about your privacy and are not too concerned about your previous edits, you'll be pleased to hear that there is no way for anyone to know which anonymous IP address you used before you registered your username. Unless you point out your old talk page to someone, nobody will be able to know which one it is, and nobody will be able to see your IP address (well, except for developers who could in theory do a database lookup, but they generally have better things to do than snooping around behind users :P ) -- Ferkelparade π 20:06, 15 Mar 2005 (UTC)
The four-tilde shortcut needs to be explained so frequently there is a template for it:
Please remember to sign your posts on talk pages. Typing four tildes after your comment ( ~~~~ ) will insert a signature showing your username and a date/time stamp, which makes it clear who said what, and when. Thank you.
Xiong (talk)
I see, thank both of you. What about IP, I'm personally able to see these IPs on the page you've posted. Sieger
Well, of course, if you decide to go the "change attribution" route, you'll have to tell people your IP address so that they know which edits you want to have attributed :P - if you want to make sure nobody knows your IP, you'll have to keep quiet about which anonymous IP you used -- Ferkelparade π 11:04, 16 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Lu Yu

Thank you for help with the change of the Poet Lu Yu to my God. But How to reach now information about the poet? Moreover, there is another one, third Lu Yu - a political figure in modern China. May be, it is possible to have not only one link from one page name, but in similar to this case to make link to the node which link one by one different persons or objects. Sorry if the remark looks unprofessional or it is difficult to do. If you already have such possibility, please, let me know.

Uploading a short movie

I've got a small (126K) AVI file of a Golden Apple Snail I'd like to put on the Golden Apple Snail page.

But I can't upload it. What is the policy of uploading movie files on Wikipedia?

--Quatermass 10:35, Mar 16, 2005 (UTC)

  • I don't think wikipedia supports uploading of movies. Not sure if the commons do either. Maybe you should check there. Mgm|(talk) 12:05, Mar 16, 2005 (UTC)

I checked Commons and whilst the front page says it takes video clips. It's upload page doesn't take .avi files. Oddly their video section seems to contain .ogg sound files! --Quatermass 12:17, Mar 22, 2005 (UTC)

Should an article be moved to Wiktionary?

Shouldn't the article "Glossary of Riemannian and metric geometry" be moved to Wiktionary? What's the criteria? --Eleassar777 11:59, 16 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Links to deleted articles turning brown not red

I have nominated a few articles for deletion, and some of them have been deleted. I have noticed that the wikilinks to these articles turn brown and not red upon deletion (my user page has some of these links).

  1. Is this the normal thing?
  2. Do other users see them turning brown and not red, or is it just I who see them turning brown?
  3. Is there something I can do differently so that these links turn red?

Sjakkalle 12:48, 16 Mar 2005 (UTC)

  • Perfectly normal, I get it too when I've visited the page in question. They'll only be red if you haven't visited the link. Mgm|(talk) 13:07, Mar 16, 2005 (UTC)

entry for Scotland

Someone has seriously vanalized the mai entry for Scotland, and I don't know how to fix it, but someone should!!

Hmm. There was vandalism at Scotland v. early this morning, but it was fixed by the time you posted this... I don't see any vandalism on the page as it stands. Regardless, it's gone now... Shimgray 13:39, 16 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Yes - fixed now, but one of the fixes was incomplete: I have re-added the lost text. The vandal's other edits had also been dealt with. Noisy | Talk 13:53, Mar 16, 2005 (UTC)

Trouble logging in

I am a registered user of Wikipedia. I have been trying to log in. However, Wikipedia refuses to let me in unless cookies are enabled. My Internet Explorer is set on "Accept All Cookies" and set to allow cookies from Wikipedia. My Mozilla Firefox is set to Allow the sites to set cookies, and to Always allow wikipedia cookies. It STILL will not let me in.

User: Orville Eastland

Possible causes: 1) you really are logged in, but a cached version of various pages makes it look like you aren't (solition: wikipedia:clear your cache). 2) Some firewall, corporate proxy, or privacy program is eating the cookie (solution: fix proxy). -- John Fader (talk | contribs) 03:54, 18 Mar 2005 (UTC)

number of page views per article

Is it possible to see the number of times a given article has been viewed? I'd be interested to know about how many people have looked at an article I'd worked on, or to see a list of the 100 most frequently viewed articles (or a list of the most viewed in the past 24 hours.)

Pageview statistics aren't collected any more, as this proved to be a burden too much for the servers. There is a list of top articles (that much is collected, if not updated very often). The top ones are mostly George Bush and sex positions. -- John Fader (talk | contribs) 01:15, 18 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Category problem

I've created a category to collect all of User:Patricknoddy's state insignia stubs, but while the category is showing on the articles, they're not added to the cat. Do I need to use subst: and have I been doing it wrong with bio-stubs all the time, or is there another thing I forgot? Mgm|(talk) 12:52, Mar 18, 2005 (UTC)

The articles (containing the stub templates containing the new category) do not show up in the category until they have been individually edited after the addition of the category. You can copyedit or expand (or save a null edit for) each one individually, or be patient and trust that they'll all be tetched over time and thus show up in the category. Your choice. — Catherine\talk 00:55, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Preferences Page problem

My preferences page seems to have problems. Theres a bunch of separate preference sub-pages, and if I modify any one, all the others get reset to default. In other words, I can set my email, or set my edit window size, but not both simultaneously, since they are on different sub-pages. I sucessfully changed my preferences about 3 weeks ago, so whatever is wrong, went wrong after that. Is it me or is it Wikipedia? - PAR

Well, it seems to have fixed itself. PAR 13:16, 18 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Moving my images from to

I cannot find any information about how to move my images from to I have tried copying the images to, put cannot now delete the old (unused) images at How can these images be deleted?

I have now moved most of the images I put onto to the wikipedia commons. The following pages should probably now be deleted, as they are no longer linked to by wiki pages, and are duplicates of wikipedia commons pages:

Image:Black_hmong_women_sapa_1999.jpg Image:Flower_hmong_women_bac_ha_1999.jpg Image:Florence_duomo.jpg Image:Ing_tels_sunset.jpg

The following images have the same names on as on, so they could be deleted from

Image:Not_telescope_sunset_2001.jpg Image:Subaru_keck_tels.jpg Image:Cam_colls_from_johns.jpg

PS is there a better way to move pages from to There is nothing in the Wiki help.

Rnt20 13:40, 18 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Only admins can delete pages. (You can become an admin too if you've been here a while and haven't been obnoxious.) To delete the en. images, you can do what you've just done, notifying admins via the Help Desk, or you can add the "Delete because" template: {{deletebecause|reason}}(or the shorthand {{db|reason}} -- for example, {{db|image is now uploaded with same name to Commons}}. This automatically adds the page to the category "Candidates for Speedy Deletion", which admins patrol regularly, and one of them should (after making sure the new image is indeed present at Commons) delete the en image shortly. — Catherine\talk 01:08, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I can help in three ways, but don't want to visit Wikipedia often.

Hello. Is there a way to make it so that if anyone needs help

1) translating French to English 2) TeXifying math 3) answering a math problem

I can just receive an e-mail? I'd like to help the Wikipedia with these things, but I don't want to have to keep visiting the specific places where these requests come up.

You could probably be of most use translating articles from the French wikipedia ( to the english one. There's always need for france-specific topics to be translated (towns & cities, political figures, geography, cultural figures like musicians or writers, sports teams, buildings, companies, ...). I'd suggest you browse the fr wikipedia for stuff that interests you, check that its english equivalent is non-existent or just a little stub, and then take that article offline to translate at your own pace. That way you're doing stuff that interests you (not dancing to someone else's tune) and working entirely at your own pace, as the mood takes you. -- John Fader (talk | contribs) 15:19, 18 Mar 2005 (UTC)
What John said. You can work at your own pace and help out whenever you want to. While a lot of us are complete wikipediholics, it doesn't mean you have to become one to help. Help out whenever you feel like it. Mgm|(talk) 18:07, Mar 18, 2005 (UTC)


How did the people or the countries that sufferd from the Tsunami got their aid.And which aid did they get and how did they get people to help the countries and people that suffered from the Tsunami.

  • The type of aid the Tsunami victims receive can vary from one aid agnecy (or country providing relief) to another, as well as what the victims need urgently the most. It can range from food, water, medical supplies to materials for recontruction. Logistics also come in to help transportation of aid to the affected areas. - Mailer Diablo 15:39, 19 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Navigation help

I would like for each page to show a simple navigator that says:

Home :: Engineering :: Release Notes :: Release 2.0

So you can more easily find your way around.

Is that possible? I have been looking through the doc and can't find it. Thanks.

Is this a question about viewing the Wikipedia web site? In Wikipedia there isn't really a heirarchy of pages in that way; just the current article name. Notinasnaid 16:27, 18 Mar 2005 (UTC)
The closest that we have to what you want is probably categories. - Mailer Diablo 15:41, 19 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Question on reversion tags

I often see people reverting vandalism with the comment "Revert edits by [Other editor's name] to last version by [name of person who did the last version]." Do they actually take the time to type all that out, or is there some standard automated way to get that text, like typing "~~~~" inserts one's username and the time? Mr. Billion 17:28, 18 Mar 2005 (UTC)

  • Most of the time you see this, it's probably a rollback by an admin to undo vandalism. When the click the rollback feature this is the standard message the edit summary gets. Mgm|(talk) 17:46, Mar 18, 2005 (UTC)
  • Yes, I do type it all because I'm not an Admin, it takes only a few seconds. I only have to do it a few times a week so no problem - Adrian Pingstone 19:28, 18 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Definitions of encyclopedic

I have added a supplement to the Special relativity article called Special relativity for beginners. Another user questioned whether the article was suitable for an encyclopedia. My reply was that it contained the minimum amount of information required to explain the theory. This is probably true but I am still uneasy, do you have any links to definitions of 'encyclopedic' for Wikipedia? Loxley 17:45, 18 Mar 2005 (UTC)

  • I haven't read the entire thing, but I think an article as complicated as Special relativity could benefit from some additional explaining. Remember, not to write down to your audience and you should be fine. You can always keep a copy on your user page should you need to. Mgm|(talk) 17:50, Mar 18, 2005 (UTC)
  • The text could certainly appear in Wikibooks but that doesn't necessarily mean it doesn't belong here. Recipes are sometimes encyclopedic, I hardly think all introductory explanations would not be. Here are some places various definnitions of "encyclopedic" can be found or inferred: WP:NOT, Wikipedia:Articles, Wikipedia:Votes for deletion/Precedents and WP:WIWO. Demi T/C 18:08, 2005 Mar 18 (UTC)
  • Considering that the purpose of an encyclopedia is to introduce a general audience to subjects in which they can't be expected to have any expertise, I think you could make an argument that Special relativity for beginners is actually more encyclopedic than Special relativity. —Triskaideka 18:31, 18 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I think Special relativity for beginners is a fine article, very appropriate for Wikipedia, even if I wonder if perhaps there might be a better way to title it. (Perhaps it would be appropriate to put yet another explaination on the Simple Wikipedia, next to ) --DavidCary 22:45, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Request for... "Computing and internet" section missing!

The request articles for internet section are missing. I actually want to request for information on DDR Dual Channel and pictures for the AMD64 (made in socket 754, 939, and 940). I found a pic:

But yah. The "computing and the internet" request section is missing. I used the find tool, and it could not find the string "internet" on that request page. It seems teh sections is removed.

Can someone tell me why this is? Perhaps help me request or put up a picture? How do I post a picture (with copyrights and all - I don't quite understand what the wp pages say about copyrighted pictures).

EDIT: They've been resorted into Wikipedia:Requested_articles/Applied_arts_and_sciences#Hardware it seems the main request page has not been updated for this change. It is now sorted much more nicely

Historical entry disambiguation


I'd like somebody involved in historical edits to comment on what can be done about the entry for Theophanu. The article talks about the Byzantine princess who married Otto II. The problem is that there is another historical Theophanu/Theophano (who could have been her mother), the wife of Byzantine emperors Romanus II and Nicephorus Phocas. The articles on these emperors point to the daughter Theophanu, which is wrong.

Also, as my knowledge of Byzantine history is very superficial, what's the best way to create a stub entry? I can find some content online, or copy a few lines from the books that I have, but how do I deal with the copyright issues? (Well, one of my books was written by Ouspensky in the 19th century, so it ought to be public domain now.)

--Simonf 19:09, 18 Mar 2005 (UTC)

There are links to the mother (a page called Theophano the Empress, but which has currently been taken off as a copyvio) in both Romanus II and Nicephorus Phocas; the former also links to Theophanu. I know, because I added the mother's links in two days back :-). It is a bit confusing, certainly... Shimgray

Well, I was the guy who created the page for Theophano the Empress. I suspected that copying the text from won't work, and looks like I was right. :( Should I edit that article and put in a text from a book? But would not it be a copyright violation too? (Unless short quotes can be considered fair use.)

--Simonf 20:59, 18 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I can't help but ask why you don't do a bit of research and write your own article. It shouldn't take long to come up with a paragraph or two of material. Copying from books or websites is a violation of copyright and can't legally be pasted into Wikipedia, but more than that, it's plagiarism, so saying the book is old enough to be public domain is not really satisfactory—Wikipedia is a new encyclopedia being written from scratch. The way we avoid your copyright dilemma is to write our own articles. Good luck doing this. — Trilobite (Talk) 22:45, 19 Mar 2005 (UTC)
The important thing to remember is that the facts are not copyrighted, only the presentation. You can take the information from an article that reads "she was short and her eyes were blue" and rewrite it in your own words: "the short, blue-eyed princess..." and you would not be violating copyright. You do have to put some effort into it and you can't just change a few words here and there: if someone looking at the original text and yours side by side could tell where you got the information, you're probably not being creative enough. Usually the best course of action is to get facts from two or more different sources and rewrite the information into a unique paragraph or article of your own writing. (And don't forget to Wikipedia:cite your sources, either...not mentioning where the info came from is as wrong [and creates as much work for later editors] as copyright violations.) Glad you're contributing, thanks for making the effort to learn the ropes! — Catherine\talk 01:18, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)

images from other -languages Wikipedia sites

How can I use an image that is used on another wikipedia site? Let's say, an image of ROME that is used in the Italian article and that I'd like to use for the German article about ROME??

Unfortunately you have to copy that image. But if instead of uploading it to your language version of Wikipedia (from where it would be again available only locally) you upload it to Wikimedia Commons at (see Commons:FAQ to know what you can upload) then everyone will be able to directly use it in every language version of Wikipedia or any other Wikimedia website, like Wikibooks or Wikinews. This is the best way to upload all of the free images, not only those that you copy from somewhere else, because it makes them instantly available for everyone without any copying. You have to log in to be able to upload files. (Wikipedia and Commons logins are separate.) Rafał Pocztarski 00:55, 19 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • How do you use those images you have uploaded on Wiki Commons?
    Just like any other image. If there is no local file under the same name, the one from the Commons will be used. For example, these great tits photos (at the bottom of the page) are on the Commons (click them to see the Commons message) but in the page source code they look exactly like any local images. Rafał Pocztarski 01:30, 19 Mar 2005 (UTC)
On the same note. Is there here a {{sharedupload}} type thing like what we use on fr so as to avoid the "This article does not exist" on images imported from wikicommons ? See fr:Image:NPS Wildlife. Trumpeter Swan on Nest.jpg for example. (and fr:Modèle:sharedupload). What the template does is only add a "commons" category and get rid of the this article does not exist at the bottom of the page, the "pink table" is added by default on shared upload, just as you have the little table on images here. notafish }<';> 10:45, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Ashton United

Help! I broke Wikipedia! Can someone fix Ashton United for me? 01:13, 19 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Fixed, there was a missing right bracket in the link [[Surrey Street]. Goplat 01:24, 19 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Article on "sexual dissatisfaction"

The article for "hysteria" contains a link to a would-be article on "sexual dissatisfaction", which currently does not actually exist.

I've tried writing an article on "sexual dissatisfaction" in every way I can think of, from the more explicit to the more direct, and all of them were deleted. Is there any possible article on "sexual dissatisfaction" that would actually be approved? If so, what information should it actually contain?

  • Repeating the words sexual and dissatisfaction in a different order really doesn't help in establishing the meaning of the term. You need a good definition to start with and add a few lines to prompt some editing. Mgm|(talk) 11:07, Mar 19, 2005 (UTC)
I looked at all the deleted revisions of that so-called article. They were all candidates for speedy deletion either as nonsense or under the "little or no context" rule. -- Cyrius| 22:35, 19 Mar 2005 (UTC)

What's considered an article?

The 500,000 article mark is impressive. But are little things like redirect pages and substubs considered "articles" too? If so, the 500,000 is considerably less impressive. Or is there some minimum length or file size that a page has to meet to be called an article? Mr. Billion 18:03, 19 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Redirects, stubs, disambiguation pages and the Main Page are not part of this number. You can find more at Wikipedia:What is an article. This is also evident from the special page Statistics. By your (and my) criteria, the mark is in fact impressive. --Eleassar777 18:23, 19 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Please read the page more carefully: "The automatic definition used by the software at Special:Statistics is: any page that is in the article namespace, is not a redirect page and contains at least one wiki link." -- Cyrius| 22:27, 19 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Ah, right. Thanks. Mr. Billion 03:35, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Image copyrights

I've become interested in taking photographs to illustrate articles. If I take a picture of, say, a Coca-Cola can, can I release that into the public domain or under the GFDL? Or since it is a photograph of a presumably trademarked design, can I not do that? — Knowledge Seeker 08:20, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Returning from External Links

What governs whether you can return from an external link and when not? Some links lock you out of Wikipedia when the "Back" button doesn't work, and I can't see the difference with these.

David Brinicombe

You'd have to give an example for me to be sure we are talking about the same thing here, but what you seem to be describing involves other people doing a bad job of running a website and redirecting you in such a way as to make it impossible to tell your browser to go back in the normal way. This is considered an egregious sin amongst web designer types because it confuses and annoys users ([2]), but it's unfortunately very common. Wikipedia is generally scrupulous in its adherence to web standards and does these things properly, so it's the sites that are being linked to that are to blame. There's not a great deal you can do about it except to use a tabbed browser like Firefox so that you can easily and neatly open a new page without leaving the one you're on. If you give an example of where you've come across one of these links in Wikipedia I could tell you if I've misunderstood the problem or not. — Trilobite (Talk) 19:28, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Problem with formatting

I have a problem trying to format a page correctly. I am trying to get a a table to be positioned inside a section of text, without running on into the next section (and past its header). Currently the only way I know to do this is to press "enter/return" lots of times and have blank lines under the end of the table or picture. Is there a neater way to do this? The blank lines look untidy and make it harder for others to edit the page.

Add <div style="clear: both" /> just after the table or picture and it should clear everything until the next section. I've heard reports of people using <br clear="all" /> or similar, but that's fairly obscure (and, according to [3], deprecated in favor of style sheets). JRM 18:28, 2005 Mar 20 (UTC)

access (export?) backlinks (aka "what links here") for a page??

I am interested in gaining access to the complete list of "backlinks" to an arbitrary article. For example, clicking "What links here" in the toolbox will give up to 500 references. How can we access the complete list?

As a caveat to this question, maybe what I am really looking for is a special export tool, such as the XML export for a page, which exports additional information about the article, not just the content as is currently supported. Is this already possible?

Thank you!

Hesse-Kassel Vital Records

I am researching my family history. I know that my Greatgrandfather was born in Hesse-Kassel. Is there a web page that I can go to, to find an address to write to try to obtain his birth record?

Dana Williams

I'm not so sure since I am not an Wikipedia expert, but I don't think you should be posting those on the help desk since this is a place to ask how-to infos about Wikipedia. You could try the Reference Desk, but that might even be unsuitable.
Your question has been transferred to Reference desk. --Eleassar777 08:11, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)

please check my editing

I edited the section on "Treatment of legionellosis"

I provided my name and references so you can validate the accuracy of my updating.

Please check my editing - if you agree it is fine, please delete my name and contact info.

I assume that you would not merely let anyone revise the content without some type of validation check.

Victor Yu MD, Professor of Medicine

Hello, and Welcome to Wikipedia. Yes, we do indeed let anyone edit articles - that's one of the basic principles of a Wiki, and while it takes some getting used to, it works surprisingly well in practice. Citing sources is generally a good idea (some people around here even feel that every sigle fact in our aticles should be attributed to a verifiable external source), but one should generally not write in the first person and add personal comments to articles - if necessary, such things should go an talk pages (the article has already been reformatted to reflect that policy).
Since you mentioned that the articles you cite as references were authored by you, I feel I should point out that we have a policy against original research which basically says that our articles should only discuss theories that are widely accepted or at least widely known and discussed in their respective fields - Wikipedia is not a primary source, and any new discoveries and theories should be evaluated by the scientific community before making an appearance here. Since I have no knowledge at all of the article's topic, I cannot judge the validity of your edits (they sure look okay to me), but I thought I should point that out. -- Ferkelparade π 19:36, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Surely a professor may cite their own research. Especially if it has been published somewhere. BrokenSegue 23:51, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Exporting pages

Is there any way to export every page from a wiki using the Special:Export page? Like a command that will download them all? As I would like to make regular backups of my wiki as it has been subjected to vandalism, possibly from members of the Porcellian Club --Hierarchypedia 00:08, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)

If you want a copy of wikipedia, see Wikipedia:Database download. If, however, you run mediawiki somewhere else, the best idea is to do an SQL dump of the relevant tables to an external file. Someone on the mediawiki-l mailing list will tell you the command to run. -- John Fader (talk | contribs) 00:13, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I think    mysqldump --all-databases > foo.dmp     should work. -- John Fader (talk | contribs) 00:20, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I've got to second John Fader's comments. If it's your wiki, the best thing to do is to have MySQL dump the database to a text file. This is good practice anyway, as it gives you a backup copy just in case your host burns down, falls over, and sinks into a swamp. -- Cyrius| 15:39, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)

How to edit the page and to give hyperlink

Try Wikipedia:Tutorial. -- Cyrius| 21:19, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)


Dear Sir/Madam,

Yes? -- Cyrius| 21:21, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Car article problem

Can anyone interested in the quality of the car articles please go to Talk:Automobiles of Italy and express an opinion. Thanks - Adrian Pingstone 19:39, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Reporting bad content...

Someone has added the paragraph:

The Green Lantern is without a doubt the gayest superhero in comic history. Even the ambiguously gay duo can't approach his absolute gayness.

I wish there was a little button I could click on the page to bring an entry to the attention of a moderator.

Hi, and thanks for bringing that to our attention. I've reverted the nonsensical content - to learn how to do that yourself when you spot some other vandalised article, see Wikipedia:How to revert a page to an earlier version -- Ferkelparade π 19:53, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I think that sometimes people don't realize that if vandals can edit the pages, so can people who would like the vandalism to go away. -- Cyrius| 21:21, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)
C'mon Cyrius, this was's first contribution and it happened on our Help page. How about some encouragement for the newbie. hydnjo talk 21:58, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Removing Copyright Problem Notation

Hi, I am wondering how long it takes to get a copyright problem notation reversed. I am new at this and was putting up a page for the company I work for and quoted a description of our company that we often put on our press releases. It was flagged as a copyright violation because other sites have this text as well (places that carry our press releases). I have made note of who I am and why there is the confusion, both on the company's talk page and on the copyright problems page, but this has stopped the progress I was making. I am wondering how long it will take to have the page put back up and the copyright problem notation taken down? And is there anyway I can avoid this in the future as I will probably be copying some descriptions of our products from our website and don't want to flagged again as a copyright issue? Thanks and please be gentle! -- Mindi Arnesen

It is probably best not to quote descriptions of companies that they themselves have made, particularly verbatim. In fact, if your company is notable, add it to Wikipedia:Requested articles, so that someone else can sort it for you, in an NPOV way. Smoddy (tgeck) 22:27, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Link articles to my namespace?

when I edit/make an article, should I put a link back to my User: page at the bottom of it?

There's no need to. Some people do it (I do), partially for bragging rights and partially so other people can see what we're working on. But there's certainly no need to do it, especially not for every page you edit. Best wishes, Meelar (talk) 04:26, Mar 23, 2005 (UTC)
  • No, never put a link to your user page on articles. Anyone who's interested can check the edit history or discussion pages of the article to find out who worked on them. Only sign talk page comments and votes using four tildes. :) 08:04, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Apparent chronic vandalism?

While reading Quantum electrochemistry this evening I noticed the signature at the bottom. I went to remove it and give the article a bit of a polish when I checked the history, and noticed that an apparent someone or group of someones from the same IP block in Georgia ( has, since creating the article, persistently re-added the signature. Simply treating it as a one-off case of vandalism wouldn't seem to be sufficient. What's the appropriate thing to do? IceKarma 05:16, 2005 Mar 23 (UTC)

You should report to Vandalism in progress. Note that 213.157.192.xx is from same place, therefore, this might mean that someone is in a school/work place. My suspicion is Tbilisi Ivane Javakhishvili State University.

Alfred C Herring VC

I cannot find my grandfather in your listing for WWI Victoria Cross Recipient, Susan Wakefield

Major Alfred Herring, VC, Royal Army Service Corps... yeah, that'll be the one. The list of WWI recipients is very large, and may easily have missed someone. But we do have a page for him - Alfred Cecil Herring... on examination, he is entered under the WWI list, as well, at List of First World War Victoria Cross recipients. (He got promoted fast - [4] mentions him as a Major in 1920, two and a half years later) Shimgray 15:29, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I created a few redirects to hopefully make him easier to find. -- Cyrius| 18:58, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I've emailed the original poster, as well; I think the problem may have been that he was in [[5]], but listed under A not H (fixed now). Shimgray 19:34, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)


Transferred to Reference desk. --Eleassar777 16:06, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)

how to use templates

Hi all!!

I'm relatively new to Wikipedia and am interested in using MediaWiki for my lab as a collaborative workspace. I'm researching Wikipedia to see if it would be a good fit but I'm having difficulty finding a good page that describes what templates are, how to make a template and how to use them. One specific question is: if I have a template, how do I import that template structure into a new page?

Thanks, Tharshini

Mediawiki templates in general are explained at m:Help:Template. -- John Fader (talk | contribs) 17:13, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)

page visibility/invisibility?

Hi again!!

I've figure out how to protect/unprotect pages but I need to know if it is possible to hide/show pages i.e the page exists but is invisible to all users except admins?

thanks, tharshini

It is not possible. The software does not support it, and the developers have stated that trying to write your own code to do it is unlikely to work properly. MediaWiki is simply built around the assumption that anyone who can read anything can read everything. -- Cyrius| 18:52, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I don't think there'd be any community support for having such a feature, either. Wikipedia is built around openness. Having private pages would just contribute to cliques and power gaps, or at least to people's perception of them. Isomorphic 19:43, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I'm all but certain he's asking for his own personal MediaWiki site...which this isn't the right forum for discussing. -- Cyrius| 01:55, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I Need Help Converting Money....

I received a german euro cent 2 at work today, and I was wondering how much it was in US currency. Thanks

"Very little" :-)
Two cents Euro is about two cents US; an online converter [6] (an excellent resource, BTW) gives the slightly more precise 2.6 cents.
(Also, note that the Euro currency is the same regardless what country issued it, but the individual countries mark their own coins - "a German two cent" is a bit like saying "a Maryland twenty-five cents" for one of the State quarters) Shimgray 22:20, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Edit section 0 link

Does anyone have a way to get an "Edit" link on the first section? Oh, and how do we create personal skins? Alphax τεχ 23:29, Mar 23, 2005 (UTC)

We've been annoying the developers trying to get the link back since it was removed. -- Cyrius| 01:50, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Is it possible through JavaScript in the (skin).js file? Alphax τεχ 04:19, Mar 24, 2005 (UTC)

Maybe. I don't understand javascript well enough to figure out how though. -- Cyrius| 07:37, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)
You could simply click the edit link of another section and change the section number in the address bar of your browser. 09:33, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)

OK, I've got a solution - Thanks to Ta bu shi da yu for this one. Check this out. Alphax τεχ 06:27, Mar 25, 2005 (UTC)

OK, let's get the attribution right (I somehow didn't think this hack would spread - I didn't exactly advertise it): [7]. (Tested only on Mozilla/Firefox.) Lupo 07:54, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Ok, thanks! That version looks like fun. Alphax τεχ 03:21, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Beer Stein

What happened to the Beer Steins in the CafePress store? Bring them back!

(above comment by Template:User-multi) Yeah, and the "edit this page" merchandise? Alphax τεχ 04:30, Mar 24, 2005 (UTC)

Search tracking

[by, moved from article - RedWordSmith 03:52, Mar 24, 2005 (UTC)]

Does Wikipedia track what is searched for on this site? I want to search but I'm hesitant.

Unlike Google, no. But if the search feature is disabled (which it probably is) then you will need to use Google or Yahoo to search for it. Oh, and you have already decreased your anonymity by not having a username. Alphax τεχ 04:21, Mar 24, 2005 (UTC)

Changing the title of an article

hey guys i was wondering if someone could help me figure out how to change the title of an article. I found one spelling on one sight and apparantely its not the correct one so i need to change the title to reflect this. Thanx the701man 16:06, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Move the article (button at top of the article) (defualt is move talk page too, you want this). This will leave a redirect at the old spelling pointing to the new. If the old spelling is a common misspelling then leave it, otherwise you can submit it to redirects for deletion.RJFJR 16:54, Mar 24, 2005 (UTC)

Moving a Page

I created an account so that I could move a template I created. When I logged in and clicked the "Move" link at the top of the page, I was told that I was not logged in.

New users are unable to move pages until they've been here a little while and made a few edits. This is unfortunate but necessary because vandals until recently caused havoc by creating accounts and then moving pages around. These kind of changes are much harder to sort out than normal article graffiti. (I'm certainly not accusing you of being a vandal of course!) I would do a copy and paste move if I were you (a heinous act in the article space, but fine for templates and such), and then make the old template a redirect. Alternatively you could tell me which template it is that needs moving and I'll do it for you. — Trilobite (Talk) 21:45, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Problem in citation of British patents

I'm a patent librarian who recently dealt with a user who had found a number of citations to British patents before 1915 on a Wikipedia page, specifically the one related to Tesla patents. Before 1915 British patent numbers returned to one at the start of each year, so the same number was used multiple times. Hence, a citation to a pre-1915 British patent is not useful unless both the number and the year are included. This affects all British patents with numbers lower than 100001. For example:

Not correct: "GB9134" Correct: "GB9134/1876" or "GB9134 of 1876"

I am willing to check records myself to correct such citations, if people can point me to other pages affected.


Philip Eagle

supercatgeory list

Is there a way to see all a page's (or all a catgeory's) supercategories, either hierarchically or, at least, as a plain list? For example (and I did this by using a random page), Time City is in Category:Computer and video game stubs and Category:First-person shooters. These are in, respectively, Category:Stub categories, Category:Computer and video games, Category:Software stubs, and Category:Game stubs; and Category:Shooter games and Category:First person games. These are in (in no particular order) Category:Computer and video game genres, Category:Games, Category:Wikipedia maintenance, Category:Application software, Category:Computer graphics , Category:Software, and Category:Computer stubs. These are in (in no particular order) Category:Wikipedia, Category:Technology stubs, Category:Culture, Category:Entertainment, and Category:Computing. These are in (i.n.p.o.) Category:Technology, Category:Industries, Category:Service industries, Category:Personal life, Category:Wikimedia projects, Category:Fundamental, Category:Anthropology, and Category:Human societies. These are in, etc. Is there a way to see a list of all these, preferably in hierarchy? (Obviously any repeated categories wouldn't be on the list more than once, as that'd lead to infinite loops; in fact, I've omitted repeats from my example.)msh210 18:58, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I can't say no for sure, but I suspect that there is no such function in Wikimedia. I say this because categories are a fairly recent (late spring or early summer of 2004, I think) addition to the software, so there aren't as many features supporting them. Isomorphic 21:56, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Category disambiguation?

I wanted to create a category for conventions, i.e. sets of rules agreed upon by a general populace, such as Five-second rule, Calling shotgun, etc. However, I found that there already was a Category:Conventions, but it refered to things like Star Trek Conventions, and the like. Is there any precedent for category disambiguation? What would people suggest I name my new category? If there is already a category for this type of subject, just let me know. --DropDeadGorgias (talk) 20:00, Mar 24, 2005 (UTC)

  • Ask for a renaming of the cat at WP:CFD so you can use "Conventions" once its current contents are moved. Be sure to explain in some detail why you're requesting it. Mgm|(talk) 21:43, Mar 24, 2005 (UTC)
    • Well, I'm not positive it should be renamed, I thought I'd bring it up here to see what other peoples opinions were on which category should be named what. Is there a precedent for ambiguous category names? -DropDeadGorgias (talk) 05:51, Mar 25, 2005 (UTC)
      • No, I meant the non-count noun convention, not the singular.—msh210 19:15, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Question about search

Wikipedia search is disabled for performance reasons. You can search via Google or Yahoo! in the meantime.

I don't understand "Disabled for performance reasons" means? What do you mean Performance reasons?

Spencer Karter

P.S., To me it should say Wikipedia search was disabled instead of is disabled.

  • searching Wikipedia takes too much processing power from the servers. I would recommend

It's especially tailer for Wikipedia articles. -- Mgm|(talk) 21:44, Mar 24, 2005 (UTC)

As you may have noticed Wikipedia has been running slowly lately. All the money needed to run one of the world's most popular websites comes from donations, and with traffic increasing all the time it's hard to keep up with demand. There is considerable strain on our servers at the moment, and the search facility makes things worse. Therefore it is currently disabled to avoid making the rest of the site run even more slowly. That's what is meant by "performance reasons". Like you I hope it will be back soon, but Google search does the job fairly well most of the time. You could also try WikiWax which is an impressive index of Wikipedia articles, or Clusty's Wikipedia search which is also good. — Trilobite (Talk) 21:50, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)

categorizing article under a different name

Is it possible to categorize an article under a different name? I recently created an article about former Michigan Supreme Court justice John D. Voelker who was also a well-known author under his pen name, Robert Traver. How do I add the article to category:writers (or some such) so that the link appears as "Robert Traver", while at the same time allowing the article to be listed in category:judges (or some such) as "John D. Voelker"?

  • Via a piped link, so, [[Category:writers|Traver, Robert]] ought to do the trick. If, that is, it is necessary. Smoddy (tgeck) 00:10, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • Actually, this will only affect the alphabetization, not the name listed in the category. One potential way to handle this is with two articles, with references to each other in the article text. -- Rick Block 00:18, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
    • I should read questions more closely. Smoddy (tgeck) 16:22, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

What was it called again?

Earlier in the week, I came across a page which aimed to get consensus about certain issues using quick discussion in a less formal manner than RfC. I'd like to check the page again, but I forgot the name. Can anyone help? -- Mgm|(talk) 10:23, Mar 25, 2005 (UTC)

Quickpolls? BrokenSegue 23:59, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)
If you edited it, try "my contributions: - usually at the top left of your page. DJ Clayworth 17:55, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Download only database, not software or code


I would like to download a part of the wikipedia database (specifically, artists) without all the software and code and everything. But the only way I can find to download it is by downloading all this software and everything and needing to have all this stuff running, like apache and stuff. Isn't there a way that I can just download a text-only version of it? Basically I would just like to have the information, the text, and that is it. Without needing any installation software or anything.

Thanks, Heather

Not really, I'm afraid. Some parts of the wikipedia have been rendered to free-standing text distributions using a variety of software - these are described at Wikipedia:WikiReader (heck, of the list there, only one has actually been released). There isn't an art and artists one. Someone dedicated (it's clearly work no-one likes much) could make an artists wikireader, but there isn't one now. -- John Fader (talk | contribs) 15:51, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Try Special:Export. Alphax τεχ 03:38, Mar 26, 2005 (UTC)

Amazon Links

User at IP (talk · contributions) has been adding a lot of links to various pages. Is that allowed? I was going to revert all of them because they seemed out of place and spam-like, but I wasn't sure if the user was actually violating any rule. Thanks, -Deadcorpse 18:21, Mar 25, 2005 (UTC)

There's certainly no need to add links to amazon for books, as the ISBN mechanism works much better, linking to Amazon and numerous other bookstores; so for books the amazon links should certainly be removed. It's a bit harder for computer games and music, as these don't have ISBN or an equivalent number. I don't know how to read amazon link, but we've had cases before where someone adds links in that feeds money into their personal amazon-affiliates program. Frankly I think links should be removed too - users are perfectly capable of finding music etc. themselves, without a link to a specific vendor. And as we don't take advertising or sponsorship, we shouldn't be doing so de facto by prefering a specific online vendor. Nuke em all. -- John Fader (talk | contribs) 18:34, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Hum. I think those links have a referrer ID in them - the "&tag=atreasustrove-20" part - but I'm not sure; even so, they're not much use, as they in many cases link to a search for the item rather than the item itself. I think "nuke 'em" seems sensible. Shimgray 19:17, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

As I looked through more of his posts I found that he is probably trying to make money through the referrals like you said. The referrer ID you mentioned has the word "treasustrove" in it, and this user posted a bio (w/ amazon links) of an author (most likely himself) who wrote a book with "treasure trove" in the title. On top of that, I found a user (talk · contributions), whose IP is one digit away and who also adds the same spam to articles. I'm no expert on IP addresses, but I bet it's coming from a related computer, like from the same household or business. There are too many contributions for me to go through now, and Wikipedia is running slow, so is there somewhere else I can post this to get people to help remove the extensive spam? -Deadcorpse 20:50, Mar 25, 2005 (UTC)

WP:VIP, and mention that you need help cleaning up his spamcrap. -- John Fader (talk | contribs) 21:04, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I've removed what spam I could find from those two IP addresses, but there may be more lurking. — Trilobite (Talk) 22:55, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • Yep, I totally agree. Links to a specific vendor of anything, be it Amazon or another company, should be removed. Wikipedia shouldn't be used for personal referal links. And we don't support any specific business so we shouldn't make it look like it by linking to them. Mgm|(talk) 00:55, Mar 26, 2005 (UTC)

Discussion continued at User:Mr. Treasure Trove.Trilobite (Talk) 03:27, 27 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Patrolled edits on Recentchanges

What happened to this feature? Alphax τεχ 04:59, Mar 26, 2005 (UTC)

It was turned off, presumably because it wasn't getting used. -- Cyrius| 07:03, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I think it was more complex than just "not being used", but I wasn't involved and don't remember anything much. RickK would probably know; I'm pretty sure he does a lot of RC patrol. Isomorphic 09:45, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Hrm... some other wikis using MediaWiki 1.4 (eg. MozillaWiki: are still using it. Alphax τεχ 14:59, Mar 26, 2005 (UTC)

Cannot see certain equations

Why can't I see the equations on the following page?

I am using Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.

Thanks, Nick Piazza

Equations are rendered by MediaWiki in a number of different ways. If you are having problems, it might be best to consider signing up for an account and changing your preferences in Special:Preferences. This isn't hard to do, and could well solve your problems. Cheers, Smoddy (tgeck) 16:35, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Didn't mean to!

I was using your site for research and a little box that said "You have new messages" showed up. I thought my sister might have created an account here or something so I clicked on it. The following message came up:

User talk: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Please stop. If you continue to vandalize pages, you will be blocked from editing Wikipedia. Pavel Vozenilek 19:45, 13 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I was not trying to vandalize anything and I hope I do not get blocked, I like this site a lot. Sorry for whatever happened! That's all!

Don't worry, these messages were (probably) not directed at you personally - it's a side effect of editing anonymously when using AOL to connect to the internet - because AOL constantly rotates proxies, AOL users who are not logged in appear with constantly changing IP addresses, so in this case it is very probable that some other AOL user vandalized and article, a message was left on his talk page, and AOL assigned the vandal's IP address to you a couple minutes later. Getting a username gets rid of that problem :P -- Ferkelparade π 19:42, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I agree. The the best way to avoid stuff like this being attributed to you is to log in with your own User:Name and password. That way only edits made by you will be attributed to you. Happy editing. hydnjo talk 19:52, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Blocking anon IPs

So how can you block someone who has dynamic IP address without blocking all the other users?? --Eleassar777 21:31, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I'm not an admin but from what I've seen here, you can't. But, they may have some techniques that regular users may not and should not be aware of. hydnjo talk 21:54, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)
You can't. That's why blocks on truly dynamic IPs (like AOL) are essentially pointless - the vandal gets a new IP almost with every edit. Range blocks are possible, but that's the nuclear option. -- John Fader (talk | contribs) 21:57, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Hydnjo, there isn't much in the way of "secret admin knowledge". In fact, none that I know of. And no, Eleassar, there isn't currently any way to do what you're saying. I remember some discussion of a feature that would allow blocks to affect only non-logged-in edits (so that logged-in editors from AOL wouldn't have problems) but for now it's only discussion. Isomorphic 04:58, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Actually you just missed the secret admin information meeting. It was quite informative :) BrokenSegue 00:03, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)

First person bios

Is there a policy regarding first person bios like this? hydnjo talk 22:02, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Autobiography. -- John Fader (talk | contribs) 22:04, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)
The most common cause for this, as I suspect is true in this case, is someone not understanding the difference between the article namespace and their user page (not overarching vanity). In such cases (or where, as may be here, where students of a professor make a page for him) it's best to drop the person a very gentle note, suggesting the should move the page to their user page. Frankly anyone is an idiot to want their name in the article space - NPOV applies there, and I for one don't want all my legion misdeeds cataloged factually there. -- John Fader (talk | contribs) 22:07, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Thanks John. I've given it a go here. Please add whatever you think may help with the understanding. hydnjo talk 00:23, 27 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Moving a {{PD}} image from Wikipedia to WikiCommons

Is it possible and if so, then how. I really would hate to start uploading the same file to different versions of Wikipedia, especially when that is not necessary. User:Beta m/sig

I'm afraid you'll have reupload it to the Commons under the exact same name and ask for it to be deleted here, so the image links are automatically redirected to the commons. One thing though, once it's on the commons it can be used in all Wikimedia projects. So you'll have reupload the same file only once. :) - Mgm|(talk) 11:34, Mar 27, 2005 (UTC)

Deletion question

I have written several album articles that I now realize are improperly disambiguated. They state the artist name when no other album by that title has an entry on Wikipedia. Transferring their content and links to a new article will be easy, but I would like to know how to present these articles when voting them for deletion. Justin Foote 20:50, 27 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Deletion is unnecessary, and indeed unadvisable. Just move "Foo (Wee Shuggie and the Neds album)" to "Foo (album)" or just "Foo". That'll leave a harmless redirect behind, which you should forget about. Moving (as opposed to cut'n'paste) preserves the edit history of the article. -- John Fader (talk | contribs) 22:16, 27 Mar 2005 (UTC)
In other words, use the "move this page" feature. Isomorphic 22:19, 27 Mar 2005 (UTC)
If he's a really new user, he might not be able to. -- Cyrius| 01:04, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)
True. Justin, if you want a page moved and can't do it yourself, you can request it here or at Wikipedia:Requested moves. Isomorphic 04:50, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Huh? I didn't know about that. So there are people who can't move articles? As far as i remember i could do so the first time i needed to... but then i didn't try to do this right after i joined. Is this a new policy or the one that was around for a while? User:Beta m/sig
  • Yes, it's a new feature in an attempt to counter page move vandalism. Mgm|(talk) 09:51, Mar 28, 2005 (UTC)

Feature Request in Wiki

I tried to use MediaZilla to request a new feature in Wikipedia (the ability to use SWF files) but I couldn't find a page to write the request in. The only links MediaZilla had were to report bugs. Thanks in advance --Fir0002 01:08, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)

The bug report page is the place to request features. Select Severity=Enhancement. -- Cyrius| 05:26, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Undoing a redirect

I would like to write an article on Friendship, but right now that title redirects to Interpersonal relationship, unlike other language versions. Can someone remove that redirect? Thanks. Haiduc 05:08, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)

You don't need someone to remove it for you. Just go to Friendship. You'll get redirected to Interpersonal relationship, and it'll say "redirected from Friendship". Clicking the friendship link will take you to the redirect page itself. Then you can edit as normal. -- Cyrius| 05:28, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)

External links

The page called Dijon contains several external links in the body of the text. They seem to be pertinent links, but most articles I've seen list their links under the "external links" section and not in the body. I briefly browsed the WP help to look for a policy on external linking that would help guide me, but I didn't find one. So is linking in this manner generally acceptable? A clarification or a link to the policy on the matter would be appreciated. --Deadcorpse 05:40, Mar 28, 2005 (UTC)

This page definitely does not follow accepted Wikipedia style. The link you're looking for is Wikipedia:External links, which describes how we link to other sites. I have seen a few cases where I thought an external link in the text was appropriate, but in general they are discouraged except in the case of a citation.
The reason is that we want to link to a Wikipedia article about something, not to an external site about it. Even if there is no Wikipedia article for a topic yet, there will be one, and making links to it helps encourage its creation. Isomorphic 06:04, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)
You're right. Any relevant external links should be in a seperate section. Mgm|(talk) 09:53, Mar 28, 2005 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Cite sources has this to say: "You can quickly insert inline references to web pages by inserting a URL surrounded by single square brackets; this doesn't provide as much information to readers, but it's much better than not citing your sources at all." However, the links in Dijon didn't appear to fall under this guideline. -- Cyrius| 13:11, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I would like to know what is Wikipedia's policy on submission of External Links that direct to a business although it may contain information that is relevant to the entry concerned. Specifically those that are selling goods or services online directly from the site that is linked. Does this violate the non-profit nature of Wikipedia? --Free Citizen 09:24, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I would say if it helps the reader by providing valuable information it's acceptable, but since people are constantly trying to spam Wikipedia with external links to their commercial sites these are likely to be viewed with more suspicion than most. See Wikipedia:External links for more. After a while you tend to get a feel for what's justified and what's advertising. For example, linking an article on a film to the amazon page for its DVD is generally not on, as readers can find these things for themselves if they are interested in buying them. If you link to a useful and interesting page on the website of a dolphin sanctuary in an article on dolphin rescue that would probably be fine even if they sell merchandise from their site. Did you have a particular example in mind? — Trilobite (Talk) 09:52, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Thank you Trilobite for clarifying. I will not refer to any specific entry but I found an article describing an item that has become a hobby through collecting. External Links was posted whereby the sites sells and service the items that is described. Although they contain useful information pertaining to the item concern, I personally feel it is wrong. First of all, it is taking advantage of the popularity of a non-profit enterprise (Wikipedia) to publicise their sites that is of a commercial nature. It is like getting free advertising space. In view of the large number of such sites and if this is allowed, then one page can not possibly accomodate every business aligned to this particular item. What is your view on this? --Free Citizen 09:07, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)
If there are many such websites, we shouldn't be linking to just one of them. Since we can't link them all, I would probably remove the link. Isomorphic 06:24, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Opinion pieces

am i allowed to write opinion pieces or does every articale have to be factual, what is generally found in regular encyclopedias?

Opinion pieces are not appropriate for Wikipedia (see Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not for a brief explanation.) There are other projects, like Everything2, that are more friendly to editorializing. Isomorphic 06:04, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)
If you are very knowledgable about the topic, and you think that your oppinion, is actually rational, you might try Wikibooks User:Beta m/sig

I suggest that you read Wikipedia:Neutral point of view. --Eleassar777 09:23, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Resolving a dispute/edit war


There's an ongoing dispute over at Iraqi insurgency. Perhaps an admin or other person in the know could have a look at recent history, the talk page, and help resolve the dispute. Let me know if you need any more information than is available through the page's history/discussion. Thanks in Advance. --Daniel11 07:23, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Nesting parameter templates

I am trying to nest templates, like this: {{foo|a=1|sub={{bar|spam=eggs}}|c=3}} But, as can be seen here, it fails to interpret the nested template. How can I achieve nesting parameter templates? Gerritholl 12:35, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)

linking to internal headings

Is it possible to link to headings using the [wikilink] format? Can I link to sub headings? --Subtlesnake 13:56, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Yup. Wikipedia:Help desk links to this page (or it would, if pages were allowed to link to themselves); Wikipedia:Help desk#Old Archives links down to a sub-section specifically. This can look a bit messy, though, so you might want to use pipes in the link. Shimgray 14:10, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)
But do remember this is discouraged for articles, as one change of header can render such a link useless. Mgm|(talk) 18:17, Mar 29, 2005 (UTC)
Such links within an article are less bad than section links pointing at other articles. -- Cyrius| 20:33, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)
True. 07:25, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)


I want to make a disambiguation page for AFIS, because another, possibly more common use of the term is Automated Fingerprint Identification System. Sadly, I have no clue how to go about doing this. Ductapedaredevil 04:51, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)

To make a new page out of a redirect, you follow the redirect to its destination. Then you'll see a message "redirected from" and a link back to the redirect title. Follow that link, and you'll see a page that just says "Redirect" followed by the name of the article it points to. You can edit that page to create a new disambiguation page. If you still have trouble, you can always ask someone else to do it. That's the joy of wiki. Isomorphic 07:22, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • grumble* Why did you have to beat me to answering this? ;) 07:24, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Thank you! Ductapedaredevil 17:10, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Ali Shariati

I've been copy-editing this page, and I've hit a problem in the summary:

Dr Ali Shariati (Persian: علیشریعتی) (1933–1977) was an Iranian sociologist, well known and respected for his works in the field of sociology of religion.”

How can I stop the dates and the Persian characters mixing? I assume that it's something to do with left-right vs right-left writing systems, and I know that there's some way of marking the beginning and end of such character strings (which would presumably solve my problem) — but I can't find the information. Could anyone help? Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 13:06, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)

One way is to move the "Persian" to after the Persian characters (change it to "in Persian"), see for example Ahmad Shamlou. -- Rick Block 13:48, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Thanks — I'll do that for the time being. Still, it would be nice to know if there were a neater, more direct way of solving the problem (I'm sure that it involves forward slashes around the coding...). Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 13:51, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)

According to, there are Unicode characters to control directionality. The HTML entity &lrm; is a "left to right" mark which can be added following the Persian characters (and this does seem to work, at least on an OS-10 Mac using Safari). It seems to me that &zwnj; should also work (but doesn't on an OS-10 Mac, using Safari). Your original with both of these follows. -- Rick Block 14:25, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)

(with &lrm;): “Dr Ali Shariati (Persian: علیشریعتی‎) (1933–1977) was an Iranian sociologist, well known and respected for his works in the field of sociology of religion.”

(with &zwnj;): “Dr Ali Shariati (Persian: علیشریعتی‌) (1933–1977) was an Iranian sociologist, well known and respected for his works in the field of sociology of religion.”

Many thanks; the first one looks the more browser-inclusive bet. I'll go and try it now. Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 20:53, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)


Branched surface has a link of the form [[...|<math>...</math>]] near its beginning. This shows as gibberish in the article. Is there a workaround?msh210 14:21, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Probably not, that gibberish is an indication that MediaWiki has gotten confused about nested items. Feel free to file a bug. -- Cyrius| 14:42, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Yes, there are at least two. You can use Unicode, as I have done in the last revision, but this only works for math that has no nested structure, and only for platforms that support mathematical Unicode. The second option is to simply not link math this way. In the example given, you were trying to make a link to Euclidean space appear as , which is rather silly—first, is just a twodimensional vector space without Euclidean structure, and second, see Wikipedia:Piped link for why you shouldn't use such "easter egg" links. This may be a feature, not a bug. JRM 17:54, 2005 Mar 30 (UTC)

Asian Earthquake Relief /PR Archive (POLLYFODDER)

Why is the link to always being deleted by someone in Wikipedia? I post it in the EXTERNAL LINKS and PHOTOS sections of the special coverage page of the Asian Tsunami..

These are bona fide links and NGOs use them. Please be considerate and think of your fellow man when doing this!

Peter Z Registered User Wikipedia

  • You're likelier to get an answer if you dive into the page's history and find out who deleted the link and ask them personally. If you put it here, they might not even see it. Mgm|(talk) 08:38, Mar 31, 2005 (UTC)

Edit counts

In order to satisfy my personal vanity (and sound like a complete n00b), how can i tell, short of going through contribs manually, which edit of mine was my 2500th? Slac speak up! 06:46, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Short answer: you can't.
Slightly longer answer: there is another way of doing it "manually". Go to here to find out the exact number of edits, subtract 2500, and enter this number in a link of the form<user>&limit=1&offset=<number>. So I'm afraid your 2500th edit was this one. (This method does not allow you to find out specific article edits, because the counter cannot be restricted to namespaces that way.)
Speaking of vanity, I'm slightly pleased my 2000th edit turns out to be this one. JRM 08:06, 2005 Mar 31 (UTC)
Don't do this. This is an expensive database query and causes undue load on the servers. -- 13:26, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)
You'll be glad to know this was the first and last time I did it, then. And to the rest of you: never check what your Xth edit was or you'll be slowing down the encyclopedia, is that clear?! :-) JRM 17:29, 2005 Mar 31 (UTC)

how do i tell how many times an article has been edited?


i just want to try to figure out and cpompare how many times articles on jesus and say- diamanada galas or labador retrievers or john kerry have been edited is there a way to do this?


Sadly, I don't think you can (at least, not easily); there was a couple of news stories just before the election which summarised the most edited articles at the time, but I'm not sure where these figures came from. (Probably someone doing specialised database queries, which is not really an option). On the plus side, it does give figures for Kerry and Jesus...
As of October 8, Wikipedia’s President Bush entry had been tweaked 3,953 times. Its entry for Senator Kerry had been modified 3,230 times. By contrast, Wikipedia’s article on Jesus has only been edited 1,855 times since the site’s inception in 2001. [8]
Sorry I can't be of more help... Shimgray 16:45, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)
It's not easy to just come up with a figure for how many edits an article has had (unless you count them yourself), but clicking on the history tab at the top of any article page will show you the list of revisions that an article has gone through along with the date and time. This gives a good idea as to how much activity surrounds an article and the work that's gone into it. — Trilobite (Talk) 20:28, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Good Software for Charts, Flowcharts, Etc

Can anyone recommend a good software program for creating outlines and charts e.g.


for a time, I've used Word to create things like this, but it's not particularly good at the task.

You can try xypic

I like dia; --Khendon 15:20, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I created this image in sodipodi (, i.e. in SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics), but I would probably use inkscape for the task no ( --Anaru 10:07, 25 Apr 2005 (GMT)

Criteria for editing pages

Can anyone edit a page? How do you know that their corrections or revisions are accurate? What type of screening do you use to monitor accuracy? I like to use your Encyclopedia with my high school classes and need to feel that the information is accurate and credible. Please let me know what your policy is, so I can continue to recommend your source with confidence. Thank you.

Melinda Taormina
Saratoga Springs High School Librarian

Anyone can edit essentially any page. Accuracy is maintained through the collective editing efforts of everyone viewing (who might also edit) any article. If you see any inaccuracies you can directly fix them. For more information please see Wikipedia:Schools' FAQ (which you can edit if you like). -- Rick Block 15:35, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I'd recommend that you have a look at our own article on Wikipedia, the various pages of Frequently Asked Questions, our replies to common objections, and all the rest of the vast amount that has been written on this topic and is available both on and off the site. Like any source, Wikipedia should not be taken as gospel truth, but as a teacher I'm sure you know to encourage your students to verify thier information by checking multiple sources. There is no formal process for screening contributors—anyone is welcome to edit any article (with very few exceptions, such as if an article has to be temporarily protected to deal with vandalism) provided they do so in good faith. Some people know more about a topic than others of course, and so if I was to foolishly go and edit the article on Japan to say that it was discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1492, the error would be corrected almost immediately. The community monitors the accuracy of the encyclopedia and all our editorial discussions are carried out in public. Furthermore all previous revisions of articles are available so you can see the changes people have made. You may have been following the recent debate in the media about all this, particularly as one of the people who sparked off a wave of argument about Wikipedia was a school librarian who claimed it was not to be trusted. There's plenty to read on the matter, and at the same time I'd recommend browsing through our articles to see it all for yourself. Hopefully you'll be pleasantly surprised, and if not, well we're getting better every day! Hope this helps. — Trilobite (Talk) 20:23, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I need technical assistance

When I open the en.wikipedia page, I am automatically logged in. However, for the past few days, whenever I hit "user contributions" something strange happens. I am taken to my user contribution page, BUT the most recent contribution listed is from 19:05, 27 Mar 2005 (I have made many edits since then). Also, it seems to have logged me out in the process, as "create an account/log in" appears in the upper right-hand corner of my screen (in place of the usual choices: Slrubenstein My talk Preferences My watchlist My contributions Log out). When I log back in, and try to go the "user contributions," the same thing happens.

As I said, the problem is not logging in -- I am logged in automatically, and when I use other links (e.g. to my watchlist or to an article) I have no problems. It is only when I try to access my "user contributions" that I am logged out, and the user contributions is missing all of my contributions starting 3/27. If I am at my "user contribution" page and re-log in, I get a message that the login was successful. When I try to return to "special:contributions," however, I get the message "No Target: You have not specified a target page or user to perform this function on."

The problem involves my user contribution page only, and it has been almost four days.

Today, I have one other problem. Someone left a message for me on my talk page. The golden "you have new messages" banner appeared at the top of my screen. I went to my talk page, the banner disappeared, and I read the message. Since that time, any page I go to has the golden "you have new messages" banner at the top. I go to my talk page(and the banner disappears) and see that there are not, in fact any new messages. But then, when I go to any other page (including this one), the golden banner reappears.

I am stumped. Slrubenstein | Talk 19:13, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I also have this "you have new messages" banner present even after the message has been read, if I am not logged (when I get a message being logged in, there is no such problem). --Eleassar777 19:29, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)