User talk:Caesar Schinas/Archive 2

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Caesar Schinas
Current Talk Page
Archives 1, 2, 3

Moved everything except conversations edited today to /Archive 1. 15:44, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

Bot support for approval process

Hi Caesar, please take a look at,2666.0.html and if you see ways to make the process technically simpler (e.g. by means of a bot or of supplementary name spaces), please let us know. Thanks! --Daniel Mietchen 16:55, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

  1. Well... It looks far more complicated than it needs to be, but I'm not entirely familiar with the system. I imagine the best solution would be a custom MW plugin which added approved article support.
  2. A non-technical comment - shouldn't typos, grammar, etc be allowed to be changed without re-approval (though obviously only by Constables or Editiors)?
  3. Another interesting topic... should images used in approved articles be protected? Personally I think not, but it's worth bearing in mind that at present images in approved articles can be changed/replaced quite easily.
Caesar Schinas 10:53, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for your comments. I numbered your points and entirely agree with the first two. As for the third, I see the point (and the same would apply to templates) but this hasn't been a problem so far. Once the first two are sorted out, we could include into the approval process a posting of approved versions to some internet archiving sites, e.g. --Daniel Mietchen 11:49, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
No, I agree that unless problems start to occur images (and, as you say, templates) shouldn't be protected. And if they were, there would have to be multiple copies of them - each approved article would need a copy which was as it was when the article was approved - a lot of trouble.
I must admit to never having heard of, but it looks like a good idea to automate posting of approved versions to sites like that, if possible.
But someone will have to create the plugins(s), and as I said on the forum, I just don't have the time at the moment. Caesar Schinas 12:47, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
I didn't mean to push you into doing this, and sorry if you understood it this way. I am fully aware of the limitations of volunteer projects like this one. --Daniel Mietchen 15:07, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
No no, not at all. I just meant that whilst I'm eager to see this sorted out, I can't see anyone getting round to it in the near future. I'm very happy to give my feedback on issues like this, and I realise you're not trying to push me into actually implementing it... I was just lamenting the fact that I can't! :-) Caesar Schinas 15:14, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

unlocked the Cascading protection

I went back to the Speedydelete template and unlocked (I think) the Cascading protection on the other pages. Hayford Peirce 22:53, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

Alright; thanks Hayford. As I said, I'm not really objecting to specific pages/templates - but I do think we must be careful not to protect too much when it's not entirely necessary or may not be clear why, which is one of WP's problems. In particular, I think that templates should be protected on a case by case basis rather than using the cascading option. But most of all, I think a policy for exactly what should and shouldn't be protected is probably needed. Caesar Schinas 10:57, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
You've gotta understand that I come very late to this discussion and that in any case templates are something that is far over my head. Tell me what should be protected and what shouldn't be. The one in particular that I protected (and then removed the cascading feature from) was something that Chris or someone else came up with at some point and made a particular point of wanting to keep where it is. That's all I know, or understand about it. I certainly trust *you* to play around with it, but I didn't want someone else to go in and mistakenly fool around with it. If Chris, or whoever the creator (and guru) is, says it should be unprotected, I'll be happy to do so.
In the meantime, I've deleted all of the new templates you put up for deletion *except* for the one you labeled as being an experiment by Chris that he *might* want to keep. Let's wait to hear from him on this.
When I'm deleting templates I *always* try to look to see if the Discussion tab on that page is live -- if it is, I first go there and delete the talk page, then go back and delete the main article. But *sometimes* I forget to look at the tab to see if it's red or blue. It's therefore conceivable that with the hundreds of deletions I've done in the last month or so I've overlooked a Discussion page deletion even though the main article itself has been deleted. Is there any way that this can be checked, to see if there are loose Discussion pages floating around? Hayford Peirce 17:58, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
Ah; so you do read the reason for deletion... :-p
Yes; we'd better wait for to hear from Chris about that one. I've left a message on his talk page.
I was wondering about finding orphaned talk pages myself. I haven't found a way, but there are quite a few of them... It doesn't help that in the default Pinkwich5 theme the link to the talk page is the same colour whether or not it exists.
The same applies to doc pages; there are quite a few orphaned doc pages for templates which have been deleted. Again, I'm not sure how to find them. But whenever you delete a template, could you also delete the /doc subpage if it exists? It should say that it does on the template page - "documentation transcluded from ...". I always try to mark the doc page separately. I've never done this for the talk page; should I?
Caesar Schinas 05:58, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I always read the reasons given for a speedy delete and, in some cases, try to verify them. A couple of times in the past I've decided that the reasons were invalid and the requests were withdrawn.
Hmm, I didn't realize that *other* linked pages could be left dangling if I deleted the main article. I knew that the Talk page could, and that's why I brought the subject up. I'll try to deal with any others that I encounter in the future.
If you ever come across any lists of orphaned pages in any form, please let me know where it is so that I can add it to the "look at" list for Constables. Thanks! Hayford Peirce 17:05, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
Well, there's Special:LonelyPages, but as with so many other parts of MediaWiki it's made practically useless by the subpages system. Apart from that, I've never found a list, I'm afraid. Caesar Schinas 17:08, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
The same applies to metadata pages for articles in the main namespace, of course; I don't know if you've thought of that? There's often a lot of them...
I don't seem to have been right about not deleting many more templates, do I... :-D Caesar Schinas 17:21, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
There's something wrong with the Lonely Pages list. I recognized one the names of it and clicked That's a definition that Howard created a few days ago and it links directly to a Main Article that Howard also wrote. So it looks to me as if that title is meaningless.
Well, you find 'em, I'll delete them.... Hayford Peirce 17:31, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
That's what I meant; almost all metadata subpages appear there. I think it's because the link isn't a straight link in the article, but rather is created by the subpages template dynamically. So MediaWiki doesn't recognise it. I think... Caesar Schinas 17:35, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
Hayford, if you use greasemonkey you can run a script which hides metadata links on the special pages. It's not ideal, but it's workable; I've been using this system today to try to create a list of previously unknown templates, which weren't listed at CZ:Templates... (It's frightening.)
Oh, and it might be as well to warn you in case you get a heart attack when you go to Category:Speedy_Deletion_Requests... there are 90 pages there! :-D
Caesar Schinas 16:32, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
Yikes, on both counts! Well, you find 'em, I'll fix 'em! Hayford Peirce 16:40, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

Possibly a template that we shouldn't have deleted?

You may be following some of the Forum discussions in which I've been bitching about the difficulties I had with my last article Approval. Would you take at look at this smaller discussion on Joe Quick's talk page and tell me what you think? Thanks! Hayford Peirce 02:18, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

According to a more recent comment from Joe, the preload template he mentioned never existed anyway. But thanks for alerting me...
I've actually been trying to basically keep away from the stuff behind the subpages system. I don't really understand it, as I wasn't involved in its development, and I haven't found sufficiently clear documentation to make me comfortable with it...
Caesar Schinas 06:07, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
I can understand this sentiment. i wrote most of it and have to relearn the logic now and then. Not to mention I am not a programmer and I know there is a lot of naive coding in there. It was a case of knowing how I wanted it to function and writing something (anything) that would get us there. It has undergone a few design iterations to try and slim it down but obviously a total rewrite is better. The best, and only documentation, is what you see at {{subpages}} (and I have tried to write hidden comments in the code). I have tried to be rigorous in keeping it up-to-date, but I'm sure I have missed things here and there. With regard to keep things slim, a lot of the code and templates were pre "new processor" days and I know a lot of them are unnecessary now with regard to keeping the size and loading time to a minimum. By the way, thanks for making such a big effort towards standardizing the templates here. This was long overdue. Chris Day 17:15, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
Ooops... a comment from Matt Innis, I mean. On Joe's userpage. :-/ Caesar Schinas 10:13, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

Re-locating TOCs

Caesar, two things. First, some of our authors very much prefer the TOC on the right ... for example, Howard Berkowitz. Second, in some articles TOC is placed on the left to avoid a conflict with an image on the right. I don't think that a bot for standardizing the TOC location is a wise idea. Milton Beychok 15:19, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

No, sorry, I didn't explain myself properly... I'm not altering the location, just consolidating two related templates into one for maintainability and to reduce template clutter.
So instead of two templates, {{TOC-left}} and {{TOC-right}}, we would have one template, {{TOC}}, which can be called with an optiona argument : left or right.
So {{TOC-left}} becomes {{TOC|left}} and {{TOC-right}} becomes {{TOC|right}}.
The appearance is identical (the TOC-left and TOC-right templates just transclude Template:TOC at present).
For more info see Template:TOC.
Caesar Schinas 15:25, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
As long as the location doesn't change, and can later be reset by any author with the usual sort of edit, then I don't see why it should be any problem at all. Unless there are technical elements involved that I don't know about. Hayford Peirce 16:04, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
Just an ordinary edit which could be reverted by anyone, should they so wish.
But what I was asking Matt was not really meant to be specific to this template - I wanted to know if it is acceptable for me to run a find and replace bot under my own username, as I have been doing today, or if it should have its own bot account (so that its edits don't show up in recent changes).
Caesar Schinas 16:10, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
I just don't know what to say, Caesar, speaking as a Constable. I would certainly trust *you* to run any bot you wanted to, but I would be leery of letting just *anyone* do it at any given moment until that person had clearly displayed his/her responsibility here for a while. Why don't you email Matt, Chris Day, and Larry about it? (At WP, one of the items that finally led me to leave forever, an administrator created a bot that started changing "science-fiction" to "science fiction" as in "he was a science-fiction writer who wrote science fiction", where the hyphen is called for in the first usage -- at least if you want to be absolutely grammatically correct, which I, as a former science-fiction writer myself, do. I started yelping about it as soon as I noticed, and a couple of other people did too, and she reluctantly shut down her bot. We argued about it for a couple of days, and she finally agreed that she wouldn't run it any more. BUT she refused to change back the couple of hundred changes she had already made. Grrrrrrrrrr!) Hayford Peirce 16:19, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
Yessss..... I can see your point - which is why I wanted to check.
I have left a comment on Matt's talk page. I'm reluctant to email, since it means that the discussion takes place without anyone else being able to take part....
Running the bot under my own username means, of course, that it's not possible for me to make any changes which I couldn't make anyway, but I can make a lot more of them. Of course, that applies to your science-fiction anecdote too.
I don't know what the restrictions or lack thereof on a bot account are, or whether they are set on a case-by-case basis.
When I say bot - what I'm basically doing is making very specific changes to a whole load of articles at once by running scripts from my computer. It's not an automated process which runs every certain period of time, like most bots, I just give it a command and it executes it on all articles which I specify once. I'm not sure if that even counts as being a bot, actually...
Caesar Schinas 16:28, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
I certainly see your argument that by using your "bot", or whatever you want to call it, you're merely automating a process that you are perfectly allowed to do individually on an item by item basis. But as Goldfinger says to James Bond at some point when they have come across each other for the third time, "I have a saying, Mr. Bond. Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action." So I'm *still* a little leery of it. Let's say, as a thought experiment,*you* did exactly the same "science-fiction" change I mentioned above, in perfectly good faith, honestly believing that you were correcting an error. You ran it overnight and by the time I got up in the morning all 10,000 usages of it here at CZ had been changed. (I exaggerate greatly, of course.) I expostulate, you reply, the anger mounts, and finally you stalk away from CZ, never to return. All 10,000 changes remain as they are. And no one here knows how to write a bot to restore them. Then what? Obviously I don't expect anything at all like this to happen, but I *do* think that other people with more knowledge of these matters ought to weigh in on it. Hayford Peirce 16:42, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
Yes I completely agree with that point of view. But we still await a reply from Matt on what I should do instead... (I haven't asked Chris, since he doesn't seem to be around at present.) Caesar Schinas 16:46, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
Oh and by the way, Hayford, it seems that you Constables can revert a whole bunch of edits by the same author at once if you so wish. See Caesar Schinas 13:49, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
This seems to be a lot of work concerning a very trivial non-problem. We have been slowing changing the Medline, DrugBank, etc templates to the encompassing one, CZMed, on a page by page basis as we come across them for other edits. Eventually all of the drug and medical pages will be updated without having to bother about bots, permissions and recent-changes trouble. Is this problem really a problem at all? David E. Volk 18:27, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
It's not a problem to me, certainly. I think that Caesar simply has a tidy soul. The same way that I am slowly, day by day, weeding out single-name members of the Forum who apparently joined in the non-registration days and then never made even one contribution to the Forums. There are probably about 300 of them out of 1100 Members. I've eliminated about 125 of them so far and will eventually get the rest. No real reason to do so except a sense of tidiness. And, Caesar, your link above is to the Wikipedia article about this. I suppose that it would work here, but maybe not. In any case, it looks far too dangerous for a neophyte like me to fiddle around with. Maybe Matt Innis would feel comfortable using it.... But thanks for pointing it out! Hayford Peirce 18:47, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
No, it's not exactly a problem, but the thing is - I'm trying to sort out the present clutter of templates, which is only going to get worse if nothing is done about it quickly. I want to get rid of all the unused templates. Instead of each template taking years to gradually be replaced, if it ever is, completely, in a few seconds I can start a script which will replace any number of old templates or whatever in the background over a period of a few minutes to a few hours, whilst I get on with something else. I can have these old templates deleted and so continue with my template decluttering process.
The thing is, it's very simple for me to do. The only question is whether I'm allowed to, which I know I wouldn't be on WP.
Hayford, yes, that's a WP article as you say, but I assume it's a core function of MediaWiki. If not it'll be a plugin which we can use too if neccesary.
Caesar Schinas 05:56, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
Okay, I'm gonna make an Official Constable's Ruling (something new, I think), mainly because none of the heavy hitters here, particularly Larry, and Chris, and Matt, have stepped up to the plate and said you can't. Go ahead. Be careful. But, as you say, we can always fix things if something goes wrong. Hayford Peirce 19:48, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
Alright, thanks Hayford. Don't worry; I'll be careful... :-) Caesar Schinas 05:49, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Template for the Talk Page Etiquette

Hi Caesar, that's fantastic all the work you've been doing to straighten out the Templates situation. While you're at it, could you pinpoint for me the template that creates the blue box at the top of this User Talk page on which I'm now writing, the one that tells us what the etiquette is for using a Talk page? Thanks! Hayford Peirce 16:08, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

Yes, it's at MediaWiki:Talkpagetext - one of those dratted pages which ordinary mortals such as myself aren't allowed to edit. Caesar Schinas 16:11, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
By the way, I know you want to change the bit about indentation - personally I disagree, since the tree system is standard. But never mind, it's not that big an issue... Caesar Schinas 16:13, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
Well, I *know* that there are people who disagree. But it *was* hashed out in the Forums and I *thought* that we had come to a clear consensus on it. You know, it's sort of like when I lived in Tahiti for 25 years, a French country with French rules. By the time I left, they had traffic lights and stop signs in *most* places, but they also had the venerable French rule for right of way on the roads of "priorite a droit". So you could be driving along on a main road and some @#$%^&* could come shooting out of a tiny side road right in front of you and scream "priorite a droit!" at you. *My* reading of the traffic laws was that this only worked if the roads were of equivalent size and importance, but most Frenchmen don't see it that way. If you've driven in France, I'm sure you've encountered this situation. And probably cursed. But it's their country and their rules. Which is what I think the situation is here at CZ -- it's our Wiki and our rules. If we want to have this discussion all over again in the Forums, and this time the Tree-people jump in with both feet and make a good enough of an argument that the Tree form should be used, then fine, what do I care? If I can figure out precisely how it's used, then, as a Kop, I'll try to enforce that also. In the meantime, I think everyone ought to do their best to follow the indentation rules -- personally I think it's easier to follow, but I'm just a dumb cop. Hayford Peirce 16:30, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
Fine by me - I'll try and remember to abide by whatever rules are agreed, though it won't come naturally...
My main objection to indenting all comments is that it defeats the object of indenting at all, really. But most discussions on CZ do en up being linear, like this one so far. Which means there's not much point in indenting at all, except to mark where one comment stops and the next starts, which could equally well be done by, say, placing a blank line between comments, or some such system.
But don't worry; if it's been agreed upon in the past, I won't argue any more. Caesar Schinas 16:41, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
As far as I can see, it's simply a mechanism to let the casual reader see that a new commentator has added a new comment. As you say, it could also be done simply by putting in a line break. BUT, in that case, there are many comments that are fairly lengthy and that ALSO have line breaks within them in order to create two or more paragraphs of text. So THAT could lead to confusion, particularly, as DOES happen, a contributor forgets to add his signature at the end. Then it looks as if the NEXT comment is the same as the paragraph just above it. Hayford Peirce 16:48, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
Yes, true. What it boils down to, really, is that MediaWiki is ... not a very good piece of software.
One day I'll get round to writing a WordPress-based wiki engine. Comments built in!
Caesar Schinas 16:51, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
Oh, by the way, is it still possible to customise one's signature, or was that disabled? Caesar Schinas 16:52, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

(unindent) I think I've seen that different numbers of tildes give somewhat different results. As for customizing sigs, I don't know. I have a *feeling* that this is either actively discouraged or absolutely forbidden. I'm *sure* we don't want WP-like sigs in four colors, with dancing stars, flashing lights, and whatever other weird stuff people can come up with. I say this merely because I have never once, in two years here, *seen* anything else than a standard sig. Once again, that's the sort of question that Chris Day, once he finishes up the term, will be able to answer in a flash. Hayford Peirce 17:22, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

Customized signatures were disabled just after the project was launched so that signatures would match real-names. --Joe Quick 18:31, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
Thanks Joe. Pity; I like having a talk link in my signature. Ah well; at least they'll all be standard this way, and no dancing stars and flashing lights... Caesar Schinas 13:36, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

find-and-replace script

I'm running a script to replace some templates.
If anyone wants me to stop just leave a note here or send me an email. Caesar Schinas 08:58, 27 May 2009 (UTC)


You can move an article onto an existing redirect, as if the redirect doesn't exist. Caesar Schinas 13:14, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

I tried this but it failed. I don't know why.

And when you use speedydelete, you should give the reason and signature as instructed on the speedydelete page. - {{speedydelete|REASON|~~~~}} Caesar Schinas 13:16, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

This was not explained where I found the template -- but I now have added a short remark there.

Peter Schmitt 00:10, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

Strange... Did you try blanking the redirect page and then moving the other article onto it?
I don't know where you found the instructions about speedydelete, but there are out of date instructions in a lot of places. Thanks for updating them.
Caesar Schinas 05:45, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
I found the template in CZ:Article Deletion Policy
This might be an explanation (from the "Move" page): "Note that the page will not be moved if there is already a page at the new title, unless it is empty or a redirect and has no past edit history." because a redirect may also have a history even if it always was a redirect.
Peter Schmitt 08:51, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
Ah yes, of course. I hadn't thought of the redirect having been edited. Were you able to sort it out in the end?
Caesar Schinas 08:55, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
Yes - the move was done by Milton Beychok (together with some cleanup), but the redirect was deleted before (by Hayford Peirce) Peter Schmitt 10:22, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

See the note Milton Beychok left on my talk page. I would bet the problem he found has something to do with the changes you've been making to templates, though I don't know where the problem may have cropped up. Do you remember changing something that might have been involved? --Joe Quick 15:22, 28 May 2009 (UTC)


Please include me in the approval process of the proposed infobox. Although I often like them, their overuse in WP is one of my main objections of that application. Tim Westbrook 19:24, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

Yes, in WP they have reached (had reached, before I left) grotesque proportions. As for the "approval process", just keep your eyes open on the Recent Changes page and the Unread threads in the Forum -- anything that comes up about it will be in one of those two spots for you to see and start to follow. Hayford Peirce 19:51, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
To be honest, I'm not sure what you mean about the approval process for the proposed infobox, but if you want to be notified of changes to a particular age or template you can click watch this page at the top right to add it to your watchlist. Caesar Schinas 05:50, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
And I do agree that WP uses too many infoboxes and with too much detail. I'd like to slim down some of our own, such as Infobox Country, with have too much detail.
Personally, I'd like to see one small infobox at the top right of every page, and no others on the page. Caesar Schinas 05:52, 29 May 2009 (UTC)


Thanks for the heads up Caesar! :)

P.S. This is my first edit on my new computer with Windows Vista and IE8. Meg Ireland 06:46, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Special characters

Hi, I am not sure that you are the right person to address, but since you are involved with templates ... The list of "Special characters" displayed when editing a page lacks the <math>+</math> markup. I added it on CZ:Symbol, assuming that this is used for that purpose. But it did not work.
Peter Schmitt 14:59, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

The template which needs changing is MediaWiki:Edittools, but unfortunately it is locked so that only sysadmins can edit it.
I suggest that you ask User:Hayford Peirce to change it. Caesar Schinas 15:15, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
It's not locked in the sense that I can *unlock* for anyone to edit. I can, however, apparently edit it myself. So tell me exactly what to copy and exactly where to place it in the Edittools page, and I'll do it. Hayford Peirce 16:06, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
No, I didn't mean he should ask you to unlock it, I meant he should ask you to edit it. Sorry if that wasn't clear.
I'm not sure myself exactly what wants changing at the moment; I'll let Peter tell you.
Caesar Schinas 16:11, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
In the list "Wiki markup" there is no <math></math> . It would be nice to have it available. In CZ:Symbols (sorry for the broken link) I have added it after <code></code> (but the position is not important, of course). Peter Schmitt 16:40, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
Alright - Hayford, you'll need to put <charinsert><math>+</math></charinsert> &nbsp; into MediaWiki:Edittools somewhere in the first section amongst the other tags. Caesar Schinas 16:44, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
Since CZ:Symbols is no longer used and is just a distraction, I've marked it for speedydeletion. Caesar Schinas 16:47, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
I just added it. Chris Day 17:30, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
Well, for pete's sake, you musta added it 10 seconds before I did! I'll let you choose which one to take out! Hayford Peirce 21:40, 29 May 2009 (UTC)


Nice to see the bot taking the leg work out of changing housekeeping chores. If we do set up metadata and draft namespace could a bot do the required move changes too? Chris Day 17:26, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Yes, it certainly could, though I'd have to write a custom script for that - so far I've just been using the standard ones which form pywikipediabot. It would be pretty easy, though.
Yes, it's nice finally being able to change so much so quickly...
Caesar Schinas 21:26, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
Not a big problem, but ... I have my watchlist set to not show bot edits, but it shows yours. Why? Sandy Harris 11:11, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
Because I am running my bot from my own account, which doesn't have a bot flag. Nobody seems to know whether to give me a Bot account or not, so I haven't got one. Sorry! Caesar Schinas 11:12, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
OK. "hide minor edits" does remove them. Sandy Harris 11:14, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
Yes, that's true, but it also hides quite a few other edits. I'm not sure what else to suggest... Caesar Schinas 11:16, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

Medical templates

Caesar, see my note here about the Medical templates. David E. Volk 18:46, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

Format Dates Extension

I am not at all sure that the Date Format Extension you are asking about needs to be an EC resolution. It would seem to be a simple tool that one of the technical folks could just add for use by those who want to use it. Have you sent an email to Larry or one of the technical folks about this? It would be a nice addition I imagine. However, forcing everyone to choose only 1 format, like 2009-03-04, might be an EC decision. David E. Volk 00:06, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

I did send an email to bugs, but got no reply (as usual).
But the thing is; there wouldn't be much point in it unless all dates on the wiki had date tags around them, so in that sense people wouldn't decide whether they wanted to use it when writing an article. They would, however, be able to decide whether they wanted to alter their own date settings, and if so what they wanted to set them to. Caesar Schinas 05:50, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

I can no longer update (each Thursday) the Article of the Week or New Draft of the Week

Caesar, please look at my comments here on the forums. Milton Beychok 04:47, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

Milton, I have responded on the forums. Caesar Schinas 05:51, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
Now that we cleared the air, I will update the AOTW and NDOTW unless you've already done it. Milton Beychok 06:16, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
OK, great. I am standing by to give assistance if needed. :-) Caesar Schinas 06:25, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

Minor problem with image/photo file content

Hi, Caesar. I note that you have been adding or revising templates involved in the uploading and licensing of images and photos. I ran into a minor problem you should be aware of. For example, the Summary on the file display page of Image:CatReformer.png has a pink colored row asking that the country of first publication be added. When I went to the edit page and added that info into the template, and then clicked on preview page, the info I added did not display. I tried 2-3 times. In other words, the template doesn't seem to "take" the adding of information. The country fo first publication for that arrticle is the United States ... try adding it in yourself to verify what I experienced.

In general, I very much like your improved display appearance of the Summary.

Joe Quick had also been working on the uploading and licensing of images/photos. I assume that you have liaised with him. Regards, Milton Beychok 23:51, 6 June 2009 (UTC)

Hi Milt. Thanks for letting me know about that.
The problem is probably caused by the fact that the original creator of the image notes template chose to name the country of first publication variable Country first published in rather than something simple like country. The result is that to add the country of first publication you have to add the following:
|Country first published in = ...
which isn't exactly intuitive. I've been wondering how to fix it without having to change every image on the whole of CZ...
I'm glad you like the new summary template.
I have discussed some things with Joe, but he doesn't seem to have been around much lately so I have also made changes without discussing them with him. I don't think anything I've done can have any ill effect on anything he's been doing, though.
Caesar Schinas 06:03, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
I added in exactly "|Country first published in = United States" and that worked. The problem was that your pink row said to add in the country of first publication which I did and it did not work.
Instead of trying to fix all images, why not simply revise the pink row to state very clearly that people should add exactly "|Country first published in = ". It may not be intuitive, but if clearly stated, people should be able to do it correctly, don't you think? Milton Beychok 07:08, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
That's a good idea, though at the moment it varies slightly from one type of image to another exactly what the thing is called. This is one reason why I'm trying to merge all these templates. I'll see what I can do... Caesar Schinas 07:11, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

Some credit lines missing

Caesar, your change to/replacement of the 'photo' template with the 'creditline' template seems to stop the credit/copyright notice appearing for copyrighted images? Anton Sweeney 08:28, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

To be more clear - the bot appears to be removing the creditline. See | this diff for an example. Anton Sweeney 08:31, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

I removed incorrect uses of the credit line templates, which are supposed to be used on the credit subpage of an image rather than on an article page. A lot of these were redundant anyway, as many either had no name specified or were being used in addition to the correct usage on the image credit page.
As you point out, however, in some cases the incorrect usage was the only one, and shouldn't really have been removed until the correct one was added.
I'm not actually sure what the best thing to do is - the correct thing to do is to create credit subpages for each image where credit lines are needed.
Perhaps I will create a category for images with no credit line, so that we can find them and add credit lines - what do you think?
Caesar Schinas 08:42, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
I have corrected, as an example, the images at Sea Stallion. Please see the changes here. Caesar Schinas 09:02, 7 June 2009 (UTC)


Why did you remove my references (1) & (2), which you called weird numbers? David E. Volk 13:11, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

They were just numbers in brackets, weren't they, rather than reference tags?
I hadn't realised they were meant to be there; I assumed they were left over from some previous change. If they were meant to be there, sorry. I'll have another look, and put them back.
Caesar Schinas 13:19, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
Ah; now I see. Sorry. I have replaced them with proper reference tags; I hope that's OK. Caesar Schinas 13:22, 7 June 2009 (UTC)


I have problems incorporating the signature in the default text. Can you please take a look? Thanks! --Daniel Mietchen 16:00, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

Example of expected outcome: Template:Ptcl. --Daniel Mietchen 16:02, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
Well, I've made it do what I think you wanted it to, but I'm not sure why...
Why would that text be wanted on every new documentation page?
And surely by the time you are creating a documentation page you know you will be keeping the template; or you wouldn't be creating the doc?
Remember that if you did create both and then decide to delte them, you mould have to add {{speedydelete}} to both. (The Kops often forget to check for doc pages...)
I'm confused....
Caesar Schinas 16:16, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
The idea is to have people commit to documentation from the start and to automatically impose a deadline for starting to work on it. --Daniel Mietchen 00:21, 8 June 2009 (UTC)


I used [[Image:...]] and not {{Image| ...}} because I didn't want to see my name under my drawings. For a while that seemed to be the difference between the templates. --Paul Wormer 14:06, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

But why create a credit line at all if you don't want it shown? If you want your images to be unattributed, you should still use {{Image|...}}, which is the standard system on CZ, but you should not create a credit subpage for the image.
You've been here longer than me, so correct me if I'm wrong... but that certainly seems to be the standard system.
Otherwise, if someone who doesn't realise that you don't want attribution uses the image on another article and does use the standard template, then your name will be shown on that article. Or if they come and change this one thinking you just forgot which template to use.... etc. Caesar Schinas 14:14, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
As far as I understood our (retired) copyright Guru, Stephen Ewen, it was obligatory to have a copyright notice with any image stored on a CZ disk. But this did not mean that I found it necessary that somebody reading an article with a drawing of mine saw my name all the time.--Paul Wormer 14:36, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
No, no - you have to put a copyright notice on the image page, like this for example, but you certainly do not have to create a credit page. A lot of images do not have credit pages. You are only supposed to create a credit page when attribution is required/requested. That's why the notice at the top telling you to create a credit page doesn't always appear - it depends which licence you chose in the upload wizard. Caesar Schinas 14:40, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
I don't know what I'm doing when I'm uploading. Apart from my inborn stupidity this is also caused by the fact that the procedure has changed a few times since I'm here (and also because I'm very bored by things like CC-SA, PD, and what have you).--Paul Wormer 14:49, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
Paul, I had the same problem recently and chose to use {{CC-generic}}, which works fine with {{Image}}. Example here, on display at Brain morphometry. --Daniel Mietchen 14:53, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, just saw that {{CC-generic}} has been deprecated and replaced by {{creditline}}. Seems to work with that image, however. --Daniel Mietchen 14:56, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
Yes, that's another thing you can do - just use a credit line with no name. Yes; the individual credit line templates are now all deprecated in favour of {{creditline}}, but the same result is acheiveable - use {{creditline|CC}}. Caesar Schinas 15:01, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
Ooops; edit conflict. Daniel; I'll reply in a moment... Paul:
I'm not sure that I understand - do you mean that the upload wizard isn't easy enough to use (which I agree with), or that you don't remember what options you chose when you uploaded certain images?
Either way, the thing is that you have to put a copyright notice on the page when you upload an image, or images will (theoretically) be deleted, and the upload wizard helps you to do this, in a manner of speaking.
You do not, however, have to create a credit page, and you shouldn't create one for images where attribution is unwanted/unwarranted.
Regardless of whether or not you create a credit page, you should use the {{Image|...}} image code to add the image to articles. If you didn't upload a credit line the result will be the same as with the other system, but it allows for far easier maintenance and for the future creation of a credit line very easily if you change your mind.
Does that make sense...? :-D
Caesar Schinas 14:59, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

[unindent] Next time I upload something I'll pay attention. I always choose "anybody may use your work" and then I simply click a few links and change John Doe into Paul Wormer. At a certain point the script tells me "you are almost done, click here to make a credit line" (or is it credit page?), which I do. Further there is a <select> menu with different kinds of copyright that I always ignore (hoping there is sensible default) because I'm not a lawyer.

PS. Now that I'm editing this I see below this screen some statements that I don't understand. All original articles and contributions to such articles are available under the Creative Commons CC-by-sa 3.0 license. Available to whom? To anybody who wants to copy it? And am I supposed to know the pros and cons of CC-by-sa 3.0 license versus GNU Free Documentation License 1.2?--Paul Wormer 15:58, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Ah. You're supposed to select a licence from that select menu. It should have sensible choices based on what you chose in the previous step. But anyway... I suppose if the notice telling you to create a credit line appears, you must be choosing a licence which requires or requests attribution. Anyhow, as Daniel said, you can always use a credit line with no name.
Regarding text on CZ - yes, every time you submit text you agree to license it under the CC-by-sa 3.0 License, a simple explanation of which is available at
Caesar Schinas 16:04, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for delinking dates in one of the references in Conventional coal-fired power plant

Thanks, Caesar. I don't know how that got past me and all of the people who reviewed the article for me. Milton Beychok 16:44, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

I was amazed how many linked dates there were across CZ, actually. Caesar Schinas 06:12, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

Transcluded Three Week Hero for the NDOTW but....

Hi, Caesar, congratulations on getting sysops status.

Thanks Milt!

I just did the partial transclusiion of Three Week Hero. The transcluded portion includes a {{cquote}} which works fine in the article itself. But when transcluded into the Featured Article Candidate for NDOTW, the center quote has a grey box around it ... I don't know how to handle that and actually it doesn't look too strange with that grey box. Can you do anything about that? Milton Beychok 22:16, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

I'll have a look and report back. Caesar Schinas 22:17, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
How's that?
The problem was that the cquote actually embeds a table, and it was inheriting styles from its parent table on that page. By explicitly declaring that each cell should have no border, I was able to override this.
Caesar Schinas 22:23, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
You're a genius! Just where did you "explicitly declare that each cell should have no border" or am I better off not knowing? Milton Beychok 22:37, 8 June 2009 (UTC) Schinas 05:57, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

No rest for the weary. Another job for you.

Caesar, when User:John Anyone goes to CZ:New Draft of the Week to propose a new nominee, and then clicks on the edit link "Current Nominees", he first sees the Featured Article Candidate templates. If he scrolls down far enough, he eventually finds the single blank entry form for entering a nomination.

Somewhere we need some instructions telling John Anyone to scroll down to that point. The instructions should also make clear that after making a nomination, he should be sure to created a blank nomination entry form below his nomination for the next Bill Anyone who comes along.

In other words, CZ:New Draft of the Week need two instruction sections: one telling John Anyone how to simply enter a nomination and leave a blank entry form behind, and the other telling any possible volunteers (other than me) where to find the instructions for doing the transclusions (which I assume is Template:Feature Article Candidate).

The same is probably true of CZ:Article of the Week. Milton Beychok 22:55, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Yes, I know that the "Nomination" section tells people to go to the Template:Feature Article Candidata and do the transclusion before they nominate. I don't think many people will be willing to do that. We need a way for them to easily make a nomination just as they did before the transclusion step was concieved. Milton Beychok 03:00, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
Hmm... well, they could just add suggested articles to the list using ordinary table code, I suppose. I'm not sure what to suggest, but I'll think about it. Caesar Schinas 06:11, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

Just curious: deleting templates?

Hi, you do much work on templates and adapting pages with search-and-replace. But how does deleting a (now) unused template effect the possibility to view older versions from the revision history? Peter Schmitt 08:51, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

If you mean viewing older versions of the deleted template - you can't view any version of it unless you are a sysop.
If you mean viewing older versions of other pages which used to use the old template - they will just show a red link to the old template page, instead. But this doesn't matter, since the older versions still serve their purpose of showing a record of what has been changed on the page. I don't think there is any need for every template to work on old versions of pages, so long as it works on the current version. Do you agree?
Caesar Schinas 09:02, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

Bruch move

That's right - thanks! Ro Thorpe 15:06, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

copyright notice

On the left of West Virginia you see how I don't like it and on the right as I like it. That's why I prefer [[ ... ]] over {{...}}.--Paul Wormer 15:36, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

If you are saying you don't want the attribution, you should either delete the credit page or remove the name from it. I can do this, to show you, if you don't know what I mean.
If you are saying you don't like the box around the image - well, almost every image has it and it looks a little strange when some don't.
Caesar Schinas 15:40, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
No it is the credit line. But I believe that I have close to a 100 drawings (I didn't count and I didn't keep track of them), must I find them all and edit them? You can understand that I lack the motivation for this, because for me the square bracket form works/worked just fine (and I missed your reason for wanting to get rid of it; you probably wrote it up somewhere, but as I didn't think it would concern me, I skipped it).--Paul Wormer 16:01, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
Hmm... I can understand that! But the problem is that the credit line should never have been created in the first place... I'm not really sure what to suggest.
The reasons for using the other system are :
  • Most images already do use it.
  • It will show the credit line on all instances of an image when the image has one and on none when it doesn't, so that this can be decided in one place on a pre-image basis.
  • By using the template for all images we are able to make changes to the image system sitewide if we need to, whilst otherwise we would have to change each image individually.
  • And there is only one system for newcomers to learn.
Caesar Schinas 16:13, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
If you are certain that you don't want any of your images to have credit lines, I can just make my bot delete/edit all credit lines with your name in them, if you like. Caesar Schinas 16:14, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
Yes, thank you, go ahead do that. I noticed that your bot did not yet change all square brackets in my articles. Is it possible that it does just one change per article?--Paul Wormer 16:28, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
OK, I will do so in a minute.
No, it doesn't only make one change per article, but I was having trouble with the way the old image tags varied somewhat in their format. I will run the bot with different settings another time.
Caesar Schinas 16:30, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
Do you want me to delete the credit lines altogether, or just remove your name from them as suggested by Daniel above? The latter is much easier... :-D Caesar Schinas 16:36, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
Do what is easiest.--Paul Wormer 16:55, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
Right; It's doing it now. See West Virginia for an example of one it's done. Caesar Schinas 17:03, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

Bot guidance

Hi Caesar,

I like [(Robot: Automated text replacement (-{{[Cc]reditline\|([^|]*)\|([^|]*)\| ?Paul Wormer ?}} +{{creditline|\1|\2}})) this sort of edit summary] and wish to encourage you to make this a habit. I am interested in learning to run bot scripts too (mainly for maintaining reference formatting) and would appreciate your guidance. Could you post one of your recent scripts somewhere, so that I can ask questions and comment? Thanks!


The scripts I use are all (so far) from the pywikipediabot library, normally either or
The command I used with the regex above was simply
python -pt:2 -start:Template:! -regex "{{[Cc]reditline\|([^|]*)\|([^|]*)\| ?Paul Wormer ?}}" "{{creditline|\1|\2}}" -summary:"Remove Paul's name as requested"
I too like the sort of edit summary you mention, which is the default edit summary for - but I usually change it to something like - in that example - "removing name from credit per author request" or some such, because I think most Citizens will understand that better. Perhaps I should still include the regex at the end somewhere. Or perhaps I'll create a page in my userspace which lists all the command I use; what do you think of that idea?
Caesar Schinas 06:38, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
Daniel, see User:Caesar_Schinas/bot-recent. Caesar Schinas 07:58, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

Upload menu

I looked at your upload menu. I don't want to pretend to know about GUI's, yet I like to remark that—just like the old menu—the menu deviates much from what one is used to elsewhere on the internet. More familiar would be four tabs (copyright owner, not copyright owner, advanced, help) with drop-down menus that give the choices. Do the colors of the big squares in the menu, as it is now, have any meaning, or is it just a matter of aesthetics? --Paul Wormer 08:52, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

It's very difficult (or even impossible) to create any form of interactive interface like that on MediaWiki.
The only way I can see to further simplify this would be to have the first page ask just one simple question - "Do you own the copyright? (y/n)", and then have further questions after clicking yes or no. And so on. But this level of "simplification" would introduce a lot of extra steps, which I think would make the wizard less usable.
The colours do have a meaning; they refer loosely to the amount of freedom - green = high free, yellow = low free, red = not free. This colour scheme is already used at later stages in the process; I just brought it forward because I think that it is clearer if the buttons aren't all the same colour.
But it may be that this use of these colours will only serve to complicate matters... what do you think?
Caesar Schinas 08:59, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
what one is used to elsewhere on the internet — can you give me an example (other than Wikimedia)? I would be interested to see an existing upload wizard. Caesar Schinas 09:00, 10 June 2009 (UTC)