Wikipedia:Village pump (idea lab)

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The idea lab section of the village pump is a place where new ideas or suggestions on general Wikipedia issues can be incubated, for later submission for consensus discussion at Village pump (proposals). Try to be creative and positive when commenting on ideas.
Before creating a new section, please note:

Before commenting, note:

  • This page is not for consensus polling. Stalwart "Oppose" and "Support" comments generally have no place here. Instead, discuss ideas and suggest variations on them.
  • Wondering whether someone already had this idea? Search the archives below, and look through Wikipedia:Perennial proposals.
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For a listing of ongoing discussions, see the dashboard.

Add language links for user pages/main talk pages

Given the Unified log in, it would seem to be easy to have links under languages for the main user page and main user talk page for a user to any page which exists. So for example, since es:Usuario discusión:Naraht exists, it should have a link on the left to en:User talk:Naraht and vice versa. However since nn:Brukardiskusjon:Naraht does not exist, there would be no link to there from either page. Not sure it makes sense to do this all the time (gadget preference or tool would be fine, I guess)Naraht (talk) 16:46, 6 July 2017 (UTC)

Given welcome bots on some wikis, though, you can't really assume that an existing user talk page is particularly relevant. Anomie 17:43, 6 July 2017 (UTC)
Granted. But even so, it does mean that the user has edited that wiki. I'm not sure under what circumstances bots would create a user talk page with no edits on that wiki. And yes, I'm very likely to hit that, since I have edited many language wikis changing "John Hopkins University Press" to Johns Hopkins University Press". Naraht (talk) 20:57, 6 July 2017 (UTC)
On some wikis they do indeed create the user talk page as soon as a local account is created, which happens the first time you visit the link while logged in with SUL. Anomie 11:41, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
@Anomie: even just the same functionality as articles could eliminated lists of interwikis on each wiki - by moving a 'wmfuser' object in to wikidata - or possibly in where ever the wishlist "global preferences" could be stored? — xaosflux Talk 22:53, 6 July 2017 (UTC)
Wikidata rejects items dedicated to Users (see d:WD:N). However, see below. --Izno (talk) 02:41, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
I don't know it's done that way, but some wikis create a welcome message when you visit it and are logged in. For example, I had a welcome message on my talk page on Meta Wikipedia for years before I ever made an edit to it. isaacl (talk) 02:52, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
I like this idea. Jason Quinn (talk) 20:13, 6 July 2017 (UTC)
I was fairly sure there was a general request for this functionality on Phabricator, but all I can find is the recently-filed phab:T168792. --Izno (talk) 02:41, 7 July 2017 (UTC)

I like the idea, in these days i was even thinking in make this proposal in the lusophone Wikipedia. Jasão (msg) 08:59, 7 July 2017 (UTC)

Create the eliminators user group

Hello community, i like to receive opinions from this proposal: create the eliminators user group. This user group exists in the lusophone Wikipedia and in some other wikis, and i think bringing it for here will be a good thing. Yes, i am perfectly aware that the reality from this Wikipedia to the lusophone is pretty diferent, and because of this, te reasons i made this proposal is diferent. Think in this situation: a user isn't good enough to be a administrator to be capable to eliminate a page, but know the deletion policy, and would know when to eliminate a page, when not to eliminate a page, etc. The user isn't ready to be administrator, but know the deletion policy, therefore the community will lose a good user to eliminate pages because this user can't be admin. Also exist the case of a user that is ready and confiable enough to eliminate pages and be a admin, but don´t want be a admin but want the ability to delete pages. I know this Wikipedia has 1,256 administrator and i note that this wiki don't suffer problems related to deletion, but i think it´s constructive that users prepared to delete pages but don´t ready to be or do not want be admin can delete pages by an other user group. Jasão (msg) 09:38, 7 July 2017 (UTC)

In the past when this sort of proposal has come up here, it has usually been rejected on the grounds that someone who can't be trusted with the other admin tools isn't trusted with the ability to delete. See also Wikipedia:Perennial proposals#Hierarchical structures. Anomie 11:45, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
When things are deleted on Wikipedia, they can be easily restored so it would be no big deal to create a deleting only group (The Elimination Group sounds awesome). However, as Anomie said, it's been discussed so many times, and it always boils down to something along the lines of "trust to delete == trust to be an admin". We should be focusing efforts on making RfA more open and less toxic -- There'sNoTime (to explain) 11:57, 7 July 2017 (UTC)

@Anomie and There'sNoTime: Thanks for the opinions, i see that the proposal would not have support to move forward. Jasão (msg) 13:25, 7 July 2017 (UTC)

@Jasão: Not a problem :) it's a shame, because fundamentally it's a great idea -- There'sNoTime (to explain) 13:27, 7 July 2017 (UTC)

Change the autopatrol user right

Hello community, i have the proposal to change the autopatrol right. The workload for a recent changes patroller is pretty big, don´t exist a system to show the edit was verified as a good edit, what complicates the RC patrol. My proposal is to adopt this system: when a user whithout the autopatrol right makes an edit, the edit will get a red exclamation indicating that the edit was not patrolled. Any user can patrol a edit, and i propose create the Special:Log/patrol to register who patrol a edit. So, if the proposal be approved, as well as creating pages that comply with the rules an user who wants the autopatrol right must make good edits, what will probably ocurr, a user who make good pages make good edits. Jasão (msg) 10:41, 12 July 2017 (UTC)

@Jasão: we used to allow everyone to patrol, it wasn't working out too well and the community decided to qualify patrollers, see this RfC from October last year: Wikipedia:New pages patrol/RfC for patroller right. — xaosflux Talk 11:32, 12 July 2017 (UTC)
And also Wikipedia:New pages patrol/RfC for patroller qualifications. — xaosflux Talk 11:35, 12 July 2017 (UTC)

@Xaosflux: Thank you for the information. I see that allow everyone to patrol pages doesn't work in this community. So check this proposal: administrators, bureaucrats, rollbackers, new page reviewers, autopatrolled editors and pending changes reviewers have the permission to patrol editions, in order to ensure that the edits will be patrolled correctly. What do you think? Jasão (msg) 12:03, 12 July 2017 (UTC)

@Jasão: administrators and bureaucrats (by nature of also being administrators) can already patrol; rollbackers and new page reviewers are primarily invovled with antivandalism and don't normally also patrol - but they are welcome to also become patrollers (apply at WP:PERM). I'd support autopatrollers getting patrol access - but there was community resistance last time it was discussed. Pretty much anyone that has a bit of experience that wants to patrol can - read much more at WP:NPP. — xaosflux Talk 00:36, 13 July 2017 (UTC)
@Xaosflux: Ok. I think the proposal is ready to be made in the village pump. You have some idea to improve the proposal? Thank you very much for the help you gave. Jasão (msg) 04:50, 13 July 2017 (UTC)
@Jasão: You certainly can, but if you haven't read through the prior RFC's yet, read them first. You may also want to drop a note at Wikipedia talk:New pages patrol/Reviewers for feedback from the people that do this the most. — xaosflux Talk 12:22, 13 July 2017 (UTC)
@Xaosflux: Thank you very much for the feedback! Jasão (msg) 17:57, 13 July 2017 (UTC)

Encouragement to proofread

As someone who has spent years correcting typos on Wikipedia, I have found many errors that could have been avoided by the original author proofreading his creation. Can we not do something more to encourage contributors to proofread? Or even automatically suggest corrections as WP:AWB or Grammarly do? Even a pop-up window upon submission of a new article or a notice to a talk page would likely be helpful. --LilHelpa (talk) 11:32, 12 July 2017 (UTC)

Hi LilHelpa I might be one of the people you are talking about and I agree somewhat. However for folks like me who are translating a page across wikis and sometimes simultaneously improving that article, the folks like you who do those little cleanups are an amazing help!. The cognitive load for some tasks like these requires frequent breaks. When I do return afresh to do some proofreading, some saint has already helped out. So that makes my job more efficient. As long as some kind of prompt to proofread didn't compete for my attention while I was doing step-wise translations (i.e. one sentence/one paragraph per edit at a time) then this would be great. Dr.khatmando (talk) 04:45, 13 July 2017 (UTC)
Thanks, Dr.khatmando as you make some valid points. I don't see much value to nagging every edit step. I do understand the difficult task of translating which you describe... and thank you for accomplishing that. Copy editing is also a task that needs to be efficient. To that end, many do not seek to cooperate in the slightest. --LilHelpa (talk) 12:12, 13 July 2017 (UTC)
LilHelpa Indeed. I know we value the same things have the same goals in mind. Dr.khatmando (talk) 12:32, 13 July 2017 (UTC)
Not everyone can proof read well, most of us have problems spotting our own mistakes, and I suspect many of our contributors are doing so in a second language and part of their motivation is getting people like LilHelpa and myself to fix their mistakes. The point about crowdsourcing is that people contribute content and others improve that, I don't see any benefit in making it harder for the content contributors, or rather if there was one change I'd make to contributors it would be to prompt for a sources where they appear to be adding unsourced content. ϢereSpielChequers 11:10, 13 July 2017 (UTC)
While sourcing is certainly more important (and more difficult) than proofreading, it is because of the ease of proofreading that encouraging proofreading may have a better return. Even conscientious article authors often do not carefully review their work. Nobody knows better than I that people make mistakes... and I agree that even a careful proofreading may miss some. However, it is those "contributions" that ignore capitalization and spacing (and IMHO could be considered vandalism) that are most trying. Somewhere in between are lazy editors who need a small push and encouraged to take more pride in their work. It doesn't have to be harder for the contributors (as with a pop-up), it just needs to be more portrayed as valuable. Cleanup needs to be efficient, too.--LilHelpa (talk) 12:12, 13 July 2017 (UTC)
It would be good to get a study done on this, but my experience is that many individuals do pay attention to what happens to their contributions and learn from the correction of their mistakes. Typos that I patrol will usually shift genres as people editing in one subject area take note of the corrections I have made and new people start. We could of course make preview a mandatory phase before saving, but I suspect the WMF would very sensibly veto that as an extreme measure that would undermine open editing and make people's first edit a bit more difficult and complex. ϢereSpielChequers 06:19, 14 July 2017 (UTC)

Make wikipedia readable again

Hello folks

I've been unsatisfied with Wikipedia user interface for years. When modern websites showing texts such as Medium, the main newspapers websites, Gitbook, etc display text on a narrow column with a high font size and space between lines, Wikipedia has still a very old fashioned way of displaying full width text with a very small font-size. This makes it very hard to read since your eye have to follow very long lines.

I'm not a web developper but I had just the idea to write a few lines of CSS to make wikipedia readable again. My idea was just to get inspired by Firefox reader's mode. So with a few lines of CSS, I was able to really improve my user interface.

I've edited my vector.css file.

  • The first point is to reduce the width of the main text :
    max-width: 800px;
  • The second point is to add right padding. I've chosen right padding as 40% :
           padding-right: 40%;
  • Then I've used the Helvetica font
    font: Helvetica;
  • Font size is 1em
    font-size: 1.0em;
    and line-height 1.6
    line-height: 1.6em;
  • Text color is grey
           color: #333;

Therefore adding this text to vector.css make Wikipedia really really nice :

#firstHeading {
       width: 100%;
       margin-left: auto;
       margin-right: auto;
       padding-right: 40%;
       max-width: 800px;

#bodyContent { 
       width: 100%;
       margin-left: auto;
       margin-right: auto;
       padding-right: 40%;
       background-color: #FFFFFF;
       color: #333;
       max-width: 800px;
       font: Helvetica;
       font-size: 1.0em;
       line-height: 1.6em;

I think that this can be useful for many people.

Any CSS specialist wanting to help me improve this CSS is welcome.

--PAC2 (talk) 19:26, 13 July 2017 (UTC)

"Modern" websites don't imprison their content in the center fifth of the window because that makes it more readable. They do it either so they can cram more ads into the sides, or because it's easier and cheaper than doing things right. —Cryptic 06:58, 14 July 2017 (UTC)
This is untrue. I just pulled off the top of Google this article. Some of them are in-fact designed this way for something more than advertisements or navigation or whatever else one might find in a another column on your screen. The Minerva skin (not yet a true skin, but soon-to-be separated from MobileFrontend) takes these factors into account in its design. --Izno (talk) 12:34, 14 July 2017 (UTC)
@Izno thanks for the tip. — Preceding unsigned comment added by PAC2 (talkcontribs) 13:00, 14 July 2017 (UTC)
Wikipedia has a lot of skins, see your Preferences for different looks. Also, you might be very interested in Help:Mobile access and/or Wikiwand, both of which are Wikipedia in a different and arguably more appealing interface. As for myself, I simply zoom in the font size (with my mouse wheel) and manually narrow my viewing window if I find the lines are too long to read comfortably. The problem comes when an article has many images, which crowd out text if the window is too small. Softlavender (talk) 09:50, 14 July 2017 (UTC)
Hello, I use a 750px width since 2013 (although I had it as fixed, not as max). With about 100 characters per line, text is much easier to read. I would also support such a (configurable) limit, although with a better layout (I get a huge blank area between the page text and the left column). --NaBUru38 (talk) 14:53, 14 July 2017 (UTC)
@TheDJ: I feel like I've seen you talk or work on stuff like this before, or at least know who has poked at it in WMF land. --Izno (talk) 15:45, 14 July 2017 (UTC)
Yes, PAC2 might be interested in my User:TheDJ/responsiveContent and responsive Vector experiments. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 18:27, 14 July 2017 (UTC)
Strongly oppose any "max width" pixel value for content - Wikipedia is used many ways, including on projectors, huge screens, etc. — xaosflux Talk 16:13, 14 July 2017 (UTC)
You probably don't own a 27" retina screen.. Wikipedia's vector looks ridiculous in fullscreen mode on that :) I have it limited to 1200px content + 700px of sidebars and that makes it 'doable'. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 18:27, 14 July 2017 (UTC)
A max pixel size would still be bad design, it should use ems or other responsive units so it doesn't break if people change their base font size. Personally, I just don't full-screen my browser to get a narrower line length for most browsing. Anomie 12:52, 15 July 2017 (UTC)

Citation count by source

Hi. This will not really useful to everybody. But IMO, it'll be handy to have an option (gadget) to display a citation count next to each source in the sources section of an article. For example,

  • Sarkar, Jadunath (1960). Military History of India. Orient Longmans. pp. 75–81. [cited 11 times]
  • Chandra, Satish (2005). Medieval India (Part Two): From Sultanat to the Mughals. Har-Anand Publications. ISBN 9788124110669. [cited 5 times]
  • de la Garza, Andrew (2016). The Mughal Empire at War: Babur, Akbar and the Indian Military Revolution, 1500-1605. Routledge. [cited 1 time]

This would count,

  • ^ abc Sarkar 1960, p. 77.

not as 1 citation of Sarkar but 3.

Such a feature would allow editors/readers to evaluate (across reflists, notelists, etc.) which sources the article largely relies on. It might also be useful to sort the sources list by citation count.--Cpt.a.haddock (talk) (please ping when replying) 09:25, 15 July 2017 (UTC)

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