On Fri, 2003-12-12 at 01:59, Erik Moeller wrote:
I believe the name "Brilliant prose" is problematic for several reasons:
- It emphasizes writing, while a good article needs to be written well,
factually accurate, neutral, reasonably complete, nicely illustrated and
well organized. It has to cite its sources, link to related pages and
present all data in a meaningful and comprehensible fashion. I believe
these criteria are not properly encompassed by the word "prose".
The only things I disagree with in the above are the requirements
to "cite its sources, link to related pages", as the first one
only comes into play, if the content is contested. I can think of
several areas of knowledge, where citing sources, while nice, is
largely unnecessary. (Physics articles about very easily confirmable
phenomena for example.)
Linking to related pages? Well there are really some subjects which
truly are self contained, and then the links will tend to be to
subjects not related. I see nothing wrong with this. We should not
go around removing valid links, because they are not relevant to the
article. I know there are views which diverge from this, but to
this as a requirement for "brilliant prosehood" (for lack of a
term); well I don't agree with it (at least not yet).
- The word "brilliant" is very vague and difficult to define. Accordingly,
many Wikipedians have different ideas as to what is "brilliant prose".
Some interpret the term pragmatically, feeling that every article that
satisfies certain criteria should end up on BP eventually, even if it's
short and to the point. Others understand BP to be always just a
selection, that is, if the average Wikipedia article was on par with most
traditional encyclopedias, BP should only list the very best.
How about if we define it communally? As the result of what all
wikipedians as an editorship point to when the term is uttered?
- Last but not least, it conveys a sense of arrogance, and makes us look
foolish if we list an article that is only slightly "non-brilliant". The
likelihood that this happens seems very high. That also makes the title
sound slightly unprofessional (reminiscent of the fun and games days of
the early Wikipedia)
Well, a case in point was the article on Rhazes. (First article I
remember reading on wikipedia BTW) It was simultaneously listed on
Brilliant prose and Pages needing attention. Thus the likelihood of
what you claim is one. One for some values of "non-brilliant", that
I would therefore like to ask you to brainstorm for a better title. My own
understanding of BP is the pragmatic one, that is, I see BP as our
certification mechanism, and every article should eventually pass through
it. As a matter of fact, I would like to see discussions on every talk
page at a certain point to the effect of "When can we get this listed on
BP, what needs to be done, let's do it".
As with all brainstorming, we should begin by just collecting possible
titles without criticizing them. If one of them clearly stands out, we'll
pick it. Otherwise we can vote on it.
A counter proposal, if you please; expanding on your comments above.
Why not have several different ways to characterize the articles we
think are our best, maybe even having different grades, like say
0.5 Wikipedia, 0.8 Wikipedia, 0.9 Wikipedia and 1.0 Wikipedia?
Here are my ideas:
My favorite so far is "Trusted pages".
Sorry, no offence, but don't like any of those, and haven't got a
better designation on the lines you are thinking.
Jussi-Ville Heiskanen (aka Cimon Avaro)