On 5/18/06, Anthony DiPierro <wikilegal(a)inbox.org> wrote:
Now what if the software didn't let you create a stub right off the
bat? What if you had to list your sources first, then take info from
those sources, *then* you could start a stub? I don't think writing
an article would be incredibly harder, it'd just be radically
different. Getting away with plagiarism would be a lot harder too,
probably harder than just writing a decent article yourself.
That's a pretty good description of [[WP:AFC]] - and you're not the first to
consider using that as a model for *all* editors.
This isn't to say that I think *Wikipedia* should work that way.
After all, Wikipedia has a long history of running
different from that, and a relatively successful history too
(certainly volume-wise, and the average quality isn't too bad). What
I'm saying is that providing enough sources to write a decent
encyclopedia article isn't very hard for any but the most obscure
subjects, whether you've been to university or not. Providing sources
for an encyclopedia article that's already written, on the other hand
- that can be hard or nearly impossible (or even impossible if the
article is unverifiable).
If you can't find sources for a written article, it's not a very good
article is it!
Anyway, to bring this out of theory and back to reality, is there
anything I can do with those two references I found on
them in the ==References== section, even though no one actually used
the source? Put them on the talk page? Maybe we need a "notes" page
which can be organized a little bit better than the talk page.
==Further reading== is my preference. I've occasionally seen
==Bibliography==. I would suggest putting them in the main article rather
than the talk page unless you have strong doubts about their relevance.
Remember, we're trying to be helpful to the reader - giving pointers to
further information fulfils that goal.
Incidentally, I feel a bit dumb not having used the Lonely Planet - I have a
copy, which I use frequently, but have never yet used for Wikipedia, though
it's such an incredibly obvious source of good concise information on all
aspects of France.
I don't interpret WP:V that way. The way I interpret WP:V (as of a
few months ago), it means that a citation should be
easily added to
any information upon request, which in turn means that anything not
I object to any proposals that rely on challenges, requests, original
authors etc. The wiki model explicitly rejects the idea that the original
author is going to hang around or is contactable or responsible for his
contributions. Once the article is written, all future contributors should
be equally responsible for its content, no?
cited, at least in hidden comments, is subject to potential removal.
What I'd like to see Wikipedia move toward is a
situation where all
the information is sourced somewhere, though for practicality purposes
the details would probably not be in the article itself (just a list
of sources in ==References== is acceptable for unextraordinary
You don't like footnotes?
But let me be clear that I don't think this can be achieved simply by
a change of policy. I'm not even sure there is a
critical mass of
Wikipedians that want this in order for it to happen.
There are certainly large parts of Wikipedia where sources and WP:V are seen
as an inconvenience, and a necessary step to avoid WP:AFD, but nothing more.
Then there are lots of parts where people genuinely make an effort to
include sources to make WP more useful. I wouldn't want to guess at the
don't want unsourced material, why have we tolerated it so long?
I never said "we" don't want unsourced material. Jimbo said *he*
didn't want it. And I said I agreed: I don't think there should be
unsourced material *in Wikipedia articles*. If you want to create a
stub from your memory, I think it should go on the talk page (yeah,
even if there isn't anything on the article page).
But I'm not claiming to speak for all Wikipedians, just giving my opinion.
Why have Wikipedians tolerated unsourced material so long? Because
not tolerating unsourced material is *exceedingly* anti-wiki, and
Wikipedia evolved from a wiki.
When do we flick the switch and say "We're not a wiki anymore, our standards
have been raised"? My proposal for designating classes of articles based on
their gradings is effectively a way of progressively flicking that switch.
Articles start as stubs where almost anything goes. As they improve, the
classes act as a ratchet mechanism preventing the inclusion of material
which degrades the quality of the article. Once it reaches "A" level (the
one below FA) you could consider that article to have fully "evolved from a
wiki", and that WP:V is now strictly enforced.
Put differently, Jimbo wants (IIUC) a hard-line WP:V policy, but doesn't say
how he would roll it out. I'm suggesting a way.