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Interwiki links - unnecessary?

Interwiki links were originally created to link between two articles on two wikis with different titles. For an encyclopedia:

  • English article on bedrooms on en: links to
  • French article on chambre on fr:

However, with a dictionary there are complications:

  • English word defined in English on en:bedroom
  • French word defined in English on en:chambre
  • French word defined in French on fr:chambre
  • English word defined in French on fr:bedroom

Key thing: en:chambre and fr:chambre are talking about the same thing (the French word) and they are guaranteed to have the same title. Why, then, do we need interwiki links? The MediaWiki software could simply check if the articles exist in other languages. If they do, show an entry on the side column; if they don't, show a redlink on the side column. R3m0t 23:39, 17 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Um, in your example, en:bedroom has a link to en:chambre as well as an interwiki link to fr:chambre, right? And the fr:chambre has a link to fr:bedroom as well as an interwiki link to en:bedroom. Right?
I always wondered why all translations don't trigger an interwiki link. It is often interesting to see how other wikis do it. But the performance penalty on these servers would probably be horrible, if the server checked for interwiki links (on every Wiktionary) after every article update. --Connel MacKenzie 02:25, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)
This is not how interwikilinks are created in wiktionary. Here there is a link between en:bedroom and fr:bedroom or hi:bedroom. The purpose of it all is to check out any content in that other language and see if there is other information in this other language. Typically on the nl:wikipedia bedroom would refer to slaapkamer where you find more information.
In the "ultimate wiktionary" the link to the language versions for a word will be always one click away. This would not cost any gigantic performance penalty as it would be just one extra database read . GerardM 05:33, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Isn't each separate language Wiktionary on a separate MySQL database? Often on separate boxes? I'm not sure which link you're saying should be skipped. Your automated interwiki linking can only match by exact name. (I don't think that process can be directly improved.) But isn't en:bedroom supposed to have an interwiki link to fr:chambre? (Obviously, that interwiki link would have to be put there by a human, not a bot. Right?) Isn't that how interwiki is supposed to work? --Connel MacKenzie 07:38, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Chambre and bedroom should not be linked. They are not the same word, they are the same concept. It is correct that the automated linking does it like it does; by exact name only. The fact that each wiktionary is a seperate database, is the problem because information on Dutch words are not automatically available on the en:wiktionary so you do not know about the +1400 pronunciations that are available. GerardM 12:09, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)
To be more precise, en:bedroom links to en:chambre and links interwiki to fr:bedroom, fr:bedroom links to fr:chambre and links interwiki to en:bedroom, etc. Because all interwiki links have the same name, couldn't these be automated? Maybe we can have a template that automatically adds all interwiki links. R3m0t 13:41, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)
So, for encyclopedias, interwiki = translation, but for dictionaries, initerwiki = exact name match? Something is wrong conceptually there. --Connel MacKenzie 14:12, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I disagree. Looking at all of Wiktionary, all the material in English is at the en: wiki, all the material about English is at articles with English titles. Looking at all of Wikipedia, all the material in English is at the en: wiki, all the material about English is at articles called "English language", "Culture of United Kingdom" etc (with translated titles). R3m0t 16:55, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)
No. For both encyclopedias and dictionaries, interwiki = same topic described in another language. However the encyclopedia discusses _things_, which are translated when spoken about but the dictionary discusses _words_ themselves, which aren't. For example think of night having an extended title "English word 'night'". The French translation would be "mot anglais 'night'", not "mot anglais 'nuit'". —Muke Tever 20:29, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Because the wiktionaries overall use so few resources (traffic and database size), they may well be all on the same server. In fact, the current versions for all articles on all articles is just a 44MB dump - the same size as the nl: (Duth) wikipedia current versions. R3m0t 18:07, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)
There isn't going to be an "ultimate wiktionary" in the forseeable future. R3m0t 16:55, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Internet months are seen as years.. I would not be suprised if we have our "ultimate wiktionary" in a calendar year. GerardM 06:41, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Titles aren't always going to be *identical*.
  1. Take an older language, where spelling wasn't uniform — one wiktionary might settle on a different form for the headword than another (e.g. the English Wiktionary might spell a Middle English headword according to the form that was most like the modern English spelling—common in etymologies seen in ModE print dictionaries—while another might spell it acording to the most common Middle English spelling, or as given in MidE dictionaries).
  2. Some wiktionaries might use different conventions for spelling words in titles (e.g., Old English: one might use ƿ in words, and another might use w; one might use accents for its long vowels, one might use macrons, and another mightn't use any accents in the page title).
  3. Some wiktionaries will differ on citation forms for certain languages, such as the Latin dare (infinitive) which corresponds to la:do (first-person singular).
  4. Some wiktionaries capitalize page titles and some don't (but this is really the smallest problem, and the current bots doing interwikis automatically already account for it).
It is true that it'd be nice to have automatic interwiki links. But manual ones are necessary too. —Muke Tever 20:29, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Your note #1: Things should always be the most modern spelling with the MidE as a redirect. #2: This should be standardised. If a word has different accents in different languages, these merit seperate articles. #3: Surely the infinitive should have articles in any language, with very irregular stuff as redirects. #4: I expect this will be the same on all wikis. Any problems with this? R3m0t 20:58, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Minor points but I'd like to clarify them while they're under discussion.
  1. Not all languages which use accents make them compulsory. For those languages it might not make much sense to put an article only under the accented title. Turkish, in particular, is very rarely seen using its circumflex accents.
  2. Not all languages have an infinitive form for verbs, some languages have two or several different infinitives. However, all but the least studied of languages will have a standard citation form. Many languages which lack an infinitive use the 3rd person singular present indicative as the citation form. — Hippietrail 22:18, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)

point #1 - That only works if you don't care to count Middle English as a language separate from Modern English. But that's not current Wiktionary practice.
point #2 - No, I don't mean they have different accents in *different* languages. I mean that the practice in some places is to use macrons for Old English long vowels (e.g., the American Heritage Dictionary, and the small print glossary of Old English words I have); the practice in other places is to use acute accents for Old English long vowels (e.g., the Old English w:ang:Wicipǽdia, many websites); and others will leave the marking of long vowels in Old English--however they do it--for the boldface headword, and leave them out of the page title.
point #3 - Infinitive is common in European languages, but it's not a magic standard universal citation form -- Semitic languages (and Cherokee) use the third person singular, and classical languages often use the first person singular. —Muke Tever 07:09, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Wiktionary:Project - Cleanup of Basic English Words

I'm checking the odd word now and then in the Basic English Word List, and every time I find the entry is less than complete. Sometimes the entry is only missing an etymology, or a pronunciation, but sometimes it is missing more. Can people please do an odd word occasionally in this project, and mark the results in the Project Table. Otherwise we still have a Dictionary with some basic words having a really inadequate entry.--Richardb 11:31, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Lines between languages in an article

I've noticed that the lines made with "----" between languages look like kind of cluttery in the MonoBook skin, which is the default. An example is bon. The lines above "French" and "Swedish" look awkward to me; when I test the article without them it looks better and more readable, I think.

Do we still need those lines there? Sorry if this has been discussed to death before. Cam 21:26, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Do we still need them? Maybe and maybe not. Do they look good with every skin? Maybe and maybe not? Should we edit a large portion of 50,000 aritcles for a minor formatting issue? Definitely not. This is just another example of why, for a dictionary, separation of content and formatting would be the best idea. Otherwise every time somebody has a good formatting idea, 50,000 articles may have to be edited, leaving quite a mix of old versus new style - multiplied combinatorially for each good formatting idea. I think we should hold off until such time as something with the power of XML (or at least styles) comes to Wiktionary. Then the user will be able to choose her formatting independent of the content. — Hippietrail 21:55, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I can see the problem. Monobook puts a full-width line after a level two heading. I still use the Classic skin which does not. There the line before the language makes more sense. Eclecticology 07:06, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Questions Questions Questions : P

The enormity of this task just hit me when i looked through the uncategorized words. It's a good cause for sure, but still X_X

I have a question. The "English Language" category has nouns, verbs, and adjectives in it. But they're are subcategories on that page titled "English Nouns...English Verbs...Etc..." Do we put the broadly categorized words in the more narrowly categorized section, and then remove them from the broadly categorized section?

Also, there are 184 words alone on the "English Language" page and many need to be more narrowly categorized. Is there a way to...I don't know, some kind of message board or message command you can send a red flag to ask for assitance in certain projects like that. Thx.

  • Have a look at Wiktionary:Categorization. Uncle G 02:06, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)
    • "English language" is completely useless as a category, and "English nouns" is nearly as useless. In my view the "English language" category should be restricted to terms about the English language. "English place names" should refer to places in England, and "English insects" should refer to insects found more typically in England than anywhere else. The fact that an article is not placed in a category is of no great consequence. There is no obligation to put articles in any category. Eclecticology 10:40, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • Most categories are a complete waste of time in Wiktionary. They are always going to be incomplete because most people don't bother adding one to new articles. Lists are a bit better because, at least, you can see nice red links and know what words need adding. SemperBlotto 11:08, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)
    • Lists are good as "to-do" sheets for ticking off words as they are added, but categories are better once the work has been done, because they involve less maintenance (one edit to recategorize something instead of two). The fact that they are always going to be incomplete is neither here nor there. Wiktionary as a whole is never going to be complete. (It's aiming for a moving target, after all.) As to people not bothering, that's down to two things: There's been little advertisement of the auto-categorizing templates such as {{acronym}}. (I only found out about that one by accident.) And the help didn't mention categorization at all until I sat down and wrote about it. (And before you ask: I tried to write down mainly what I found already in place in the categorization system, that people who went to Wiktionary:Entry layout explained would have been simply unaware of. I found a detailed organizational chart at Category:English nouns, for example, that had nary a mention in the guide on writing article etymologies.) Uncle G 15:29, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • Yes, well, assuming that we DID agree with categorization, do we put words in only their narrowest categories, or all categories that apply to them, even if the categories listed are all subcategories of each other?

For example, the english word "monkey," would I put that in Categories:English language AND in Categories:English nouns, or just in the narrower category?--HelloMrMe 16:20, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I would put "monkey" in Category:Mammals, at least for now until that category becomes too big, at which time I would seek ways to sub-divide it. If it already has Category:English language I would simply remove that category.
Categories that are either too broad or too fine are both useless because they don't help anybody to find anything. What makes Category:English language so useless is its size. The word "English" itself in a category is not helpful because this IS the English Wiktionary. It is only useful when its meaning or use is restricted. This is not the case for other languages, but even there we need to make our choices less ambiguous. Thus I would prefer that Category:it:Mammals be used for the Italian language names of mammals, while Category:Italian mammals be used for mammals primarily found in Italy.
For parts of speech nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs are so large that they cannot be applied usefully. How is looking at the category list going to help anybody to find anything? On the other hand I am willing to accept that the categories for pronouns, conjunctions and prepositions may be small enough to be useful.
Romanica is not a generally recognized language. It is at best a "dialect" of Interlingua. Most of that material comes from one person (whom we haven't seen since June) who has been wanting to promote Romanica as a language. We should be working toward getting rid of that stuff instead of collaborating with his efforts to give it legitimacy. Eclecticology 22:59, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Hmmm. I see your point. I'll stop wasteing time with categories too broad or too small to be useful, and focus on improving indiviual articles. --HelloMrMe 00:36, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Translations in different tables vs. numbering them

I don't like the way there are several tables for translations of a word with different meanings on some pages. It makes adapting translations to changes of the English definitions tedious. Numbering also facilitates identifying the pertaining translation for a specific meaning by reducing scrolling. Ncik 06 Mar 05

Numbering, unfortunately, leads to an even bigger problem since the definitions are soft-numbered. If you add a further definition to the English list it will invalidate the numbering used for the translations. The tedious scrolling then is the lesser of two evils. Eclecticology 20:57, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Numbering isn't a problem when deleting or adding definitions (just change the numbers accordingly). It is a problem when changing definitions. But this isn't too worrying, I think, because on the long term the definitions will become so precise that any changes will be very subtle ones and hence wont affect the translations, which aren't (can never be) much more than rough guidelines, anyway. I also recommend nestled definitions (see two discussion threads below) as a means to reduce this problem. Ncik 09 Mar 05
Nested translations are one solution; however, these are messy to enter, with long strings of asterisks and colons before each entry. Numbering translations to match them to definitions has long been found not to work - invariably, definitions are reordered or new ones are inserted between earlier ones, and the translations quickly become out of synch and useless. "Just change the numbers accordingly" is the ideal solution, but, alas, nobody bothers to do it.
Tabulated translations were my idea and have been found to work very well. New definitions may be added anywhere without breaking the links to the translations. Granted, users rarely add a new translation table when they add a new entry, but this is simple to do when someone picks up on it. — Paul G 18:39, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I've got an idea: Why don't we arrange the different meanings and their translations in just one table? The first column would contain the languages, and the first row the shortened meanings. Having a look at the current width of the wiktionary webpages I estimate that one can fit between 3 and 5 meanings into a table (allowing rows to have 3, 4 or more lines when required). This should work fine for most words and even if another table is required, it would still be a big improvement of the current situation. One could also facilitate entering translations by generating the rows of the table from an array of words in the source code. So someone who wants to translate some meanings of a word into another language wont have to look for the right place or scroll to enter the translations. Ncik 10 Mar 2005

Recent String of Vandalism

I my be relatively new, in terms of experience, and with contact with the community here. But the recent string of vandalism, is grating my nerves.

  1. Is there no way to reach administrative personel faster? If so, who? And how?
  2. Is this matter even up to discussion? Or is there a set policy on vandalism.
  3. Should vandalism be reverted on sight? What can you tell me about edit wars in this regard?

Just so ya'll know where I'm comming from, it's just that I feel protective of this craft, and it's users. Even more so, because I recommended this site to others, including family. Just so you know, as I write this, I'm not exactly calm. So I appologize in advance for anything I may have done.

I have taken on Wiktionary as a new hobby, and as such, this disrespect of this project is maddening.

Thank you, Mark4011 21:55, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)

The fastest way to find an admin (when noone is around here) is to look at IRC ( irc:// ) or, if necessary, at #mediawiki. There one might find a developer (or steward?) who, in urgent cases, can work as a "temporary sysop" and at least block the worst vandals. \Mike 09:02, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Automatic numbering

Is there a way to create subnumberings automatically (numberings within numberings)? See the current, unelegant version of joint. Ncik 06 Mar 05

  • What User:Uncle G does to articles is not necessarily correct, even if it is done with good intent. Wiktionary articles definitions should not be nested hierarchally...Those separate meanings in joint are just that - separate meanings. Having them nested means that automated uses of Wiktionary will likely omit those meanings. And one of the primary purposes of Wiktionary is to let people use information. In short, each of those meanings of the word joint are just that - individual meanings of the word joint. Assigning those meanings to a hierarchy is inappropriate. --Connel MacKenzie 01:41, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)
    • I just put the nested lists in as a response to this question. There is a way to create subnumberings automatically, and I demonstrated what that way is. I didn't create the original layout, contrary to what you imply. Check the editing history of the article. Uncle G 10:00, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • Sorry about that implication; that is what it looked like. I still maintain that nesting definitions is wrong. Arranging them hierarchally is wrong. Both approaches make the data in the entry monstrously less useful. --Connel MacKenzie 18:56, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)
    • That's all right. I actually didn't pay much attention to the text of the article when I was wikifying the nested lists. Going back and reading it, I have to say that I wouldn't have done it that way, given (for starters) that sense 1.2.1 is strongly related to sense 2. I think that Paul G's earlier version was better. However, looking at the translations section I see the problem that Ncik is trying to solve by forming this hierarchy in the first place. It occurs to me that this might be overengineering the solution to the problem, though. Have a look and consider how you would solve it. Uncle G 19:20, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)
      • Whatever the word "individual" in "individual meaning" is supposed to mean, a joint of a skeleton is, after all, just a special case of a joint whose constituting parts are free to move relative to each other, which, in turn, is a special case of a joint in one of its general meanings. In addition, Uncle G noticed it, the translations section becomes more useful since one wont have to check all other definions to find a rough translation for a not yet translated submeaning (given there is a translation for one of its supermeanings). It will also make people who add stuff think about the necessity of their new definitions. I wonder for example if the carpentry definition of joint is necessary. What's the point in giving it? Ncik 09 Mar 05
        • I agree that the fixed vs. flexible definitions do not merit separate line entries. I maintain that adding a nested arrangement will obscure (or ignore) the lower meanings, particularly for future automation. --Connel MacKenzie 06:55, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
          • I would like to know what all the data/automation stuff the Connel is referring to is all about. What exactly is the problem with that in connection with nested definitions? Ncik 9 Mar 2005
            • I do not know what the future will bring. But Wiktionary is licensed specifically to allow external uses. Anyone that downloads the latest copy of Wiktionary is going to expect that the convention of definitions following headings will for the most part be consistent. Right now, that is not nearly the case, but some are making termendous effort to standarize the look of a Wiktionary article.
            • The problem I immediately see with a handful of articles having nested definitions, is that anyone not privy to the information that some articles have nested definitions, will make a reasonable assumption that (just like 99.999% of the other articles) all definitions are preceded by a single "#", while quotations are preceded by "#:". Therefore, your nested definitions will likely be ignored. At least, when 'I parsed Wiktionary, that was one assumption I made.
            • I suppose if I were not lazy, I'd find you some books to read on database theory, that shows why views of data are flattened whenever and wherever possible. --Connel MacKenzie 19:22, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
              • How about introducing a new symbol which has to be preceded by a # and adds a letter (or a dot and a number) to the number which is being displayed by that preceding #. Assuming this new symbol is §, the source code

# first definition
§ first subdefinition of the first definition
would be displayed as

  1. first definition
1a. first subdefinition of the first definition

with the two 1's aligned properly of course. More such symbols could be introduced to allow nested defintions up to any finite depth (eg 4 or 5). This would lead to a simpler structured appearance and shouldn't be a problem for programs using the data, given they "know" about the different symbols (but I think the way nested definitions are currently generated shouldn't be a problem either. They can be interpreted as not being nested by identifying sequences of #s with a single # (Or doesn't this change anything? I haven't got a clue about databases)) Ncik 9 Mar 2005

On la: automatic subsenses simply with #, ##, ### etc. are already implemented; see, e.g., la:Oculus. (See the end of la:Mediawiki:Monobook.css to see how it's done.) On pl: all senses are numbered by hand, and subsenses are no problem; see, e.g., pl:Tantal. (Yes, anybody who downloads all of wiktionary will be aware of the big differences in standard format between different language versions.) Also, en: may be too big to change to accomodate subsenses now. As some have said though, on a lexicographical level they're not strictly necessary; what they are useful for is as an organizational principle, especially for bilingual entries: the supersenses indicate the word that translates the foreign word, while the subsenses indicate what senses of the native word it can be used in: e.g. blastwegian word "foo" 1: rod; 1a: fishing rod; 1b scepter; 2 perch (unit of measure) 2a the blastwegian perch, 99 mm; 2b the english perch, 5 m; etc. Of course, being basically organizational, what organization is considered best will differ from editor to editor... —Muke Tever 02:27, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • WT:ELE actually suggests a way to solve the problem with translations that you were trying to tackle. I've rewritten the article in the way that WT:ELE recommends. See what you think. Uncle G 01:39, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • I just noticed that the article lead uses nested definitions and is listed as a formatting example somewhere in the help pages. Ncik

Newcomer questions

I have a few questions:

  1. Is creating definitions for terms like "connective tissue", "red blood cell" acceptable? (Right now, I can't think of multi-word terms to look for)
  2. Words like osteocyte, osteoblast, chondrocyte are formed from osteo-, chondro- (referring to bone, cartilage) and -cyte, -blast (mature cell, immature cell). I don't know what this is called, but where can I put / what do I call this information in the definition?

Thanks for your help. --Jag123 02:49, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)

  1. Creating separate is perfectly acceptable. The key question to ask yourself when considering such is, "Is there more to the expression than what might be gleaned from using the words in their normal individual meanings?". There is more to red blood cells than the simple fact that they are coloured red.
  2. In this context "osteo-" and "chondro-" are clearly prefixes since they give specificity to the primary noun. For the second part you can use the term "Combining form". It is the key element in the name, so it is not really a suffix. Then too "blast" can function as a stand-alone word in biology (as well as in explosions and wild parties). This is not the case with "cyte". There has not been any discussion of the detail, so you are in a position to help determine how it will develop. The topic is in a blastocytic stage.:-) Eclecticology 04:56, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)
In the case of the two-word terms, what header do I use? It's not a noun, so what can I call it? Noun phrase? Regarding (2), can I put this information under the Etymology header? Is there a specific format I should use? I've also seen some words with categories and some without. Is adding a category encouraged or not? Thanks. --Jag123 23:12, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I've used ===Noun phrase=== a lot. Recently, I've seen ===Idiom=== start creeping in. Using either one (As apropro) seems reasonable. Regarding (2), yes, I'd drop that in the Etymology header. Regarding categories on Wiktionary, there are brief (HA!) discussions elsewhere on this page; they are a relatively new addition to the Wiktionary version of the wiki* software. They did not exist at the start of Wiktionary, and are experiencing growing pains at this point. --Connel MacKenzie 19:05, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Categories for EVERY part of speech in EVERY language

Is this one of our aims? I can't wait for Inuktitut reflexive pronouns! In the meantime, I shall continue to provide actual content. SemperBlotto 11:18, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Under "Browse Wiktionary" on the Main Page, we have "By part of speech". And on the page that that links to (written in 2003, before the advent of categories, and unfortunately not really revised much when they actually arrived) it says that eventually browsing words by part of speech will be done via automatically indexed categories, but here's a stopgap measure until categories become available. So the answer to your question is "Yes. That's been one of our aims pretty much from the start.". Uncle G 15:19, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Wow! Have you read the entire Wiktionary between 2/25/2004 and now? Tell us how you do it: when I queue up ten separate tabs and press Submit on all of them at the same time, they don't all get saved withing the same minute - your rate of creating entries is about 15-20 times faster than my cable-modem network connection permits me to do. Aparently, this feature allows you to access all the articles to be read at an equally rapid rate? How do you do it? Do you have an army of connections spread around the globe that all try the same connection for you? --Connel MacKenzie 19:05, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)
SemperBlotto, I agree that we should not be advertising that categories exist for words that are {{notenglish}}. Foriegn language categories should only exist on the language Wiktionary about that particular language - categories on the English Wiktionary should be about the English language. Just to clarify though, you are talking about cleaning up Category:Fundamental and more specifically Category:Parts of speech, right? --Connel MacKenzie 19:05, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Implementing capitalization policy

After a full month of voting we can interpret the 13-2 vote as support in principle to proceed with the initiative to have first letter capitalization made optional. To discuss how this may be most conveniently implemented please see Wiktionary:Capitalization transition. Eclecticology 02:24, 11 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Implementing this feature

Implementing this feature is as easy as asking the developpers to change a setting. It takes a minute to implement. I urge you to decide to use a bot to do a lot of the converstions as I specify before having this turned off. Thanks, GerardM 06:24, 11 Mar 2005 (UTC)

April 1 2005 is when all the talking and preparing should stop

Hoi, the decision has been made, we can plan what to do. By selecting April 1 we have enough time to discuss and prepare. Letting the discussion go on after that makes a mockery of our ability to implement change. GerardM 06:35, 12 Mar 2005 (UTC)

It took eight months to reach a point where a strong mandate in favour of this change could be agreed upon. Let's net spoil it by trying to rush the implementation. Eclecticology 18:29, 12 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Taking a month to go forward is not "rushing". The aim is to ensure that we WILL go forward and, to prevent the pain of all these new articles to grow worse.

Bot import of words from Wikipedia

Hello, I'm from Wikipedia and over there we have over 1000 words that are flagged as dictionary definitions to be transwikied here to the wiktionary. (w:Category:Move to Wiktionary)

I also happen to have a custom written bot that could do this fairly easily.

What I am proposing is this:

  1. I'll gather up all the entries on the wikipedia.
  2. If the word doesn't have an entry here on the wiktionary I'll add it verbatim (less any Wikipedia specific stuff like categories or templates) from the Wikipedia.
  3. I'll create a category (maybe something like Category:Words Transwikied from Wikipedia) where you guys can go through and clean them up.
  4. If the word does exist on the wikitionary already, I'd do nothing.

Let me know what you think of the idea. Also let me know if you think it should do anything else like strip out any wiki tags.

Kevin Rector 23:29, 11 Mar 2005 (UTC)

These should go in the "Transwiki:" pseudo-namespace. In that case checking whether we have it may not be as important. Going that way means that we can merge them at our leisure, and will take into account the efforts that we are beginning to eliminate obligatory first letter capitalization. If it turns out that we have no use at all for a particular entry, it will be easy to delete it without a fuss. Eclecticology 02:02, 12 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Yes, they should definitely go to Transwiki:article name. Some of them have probably already gone through the process, but not been cleaned-up in Wikipedia. You can tell by looking at the transwiki log. SemperBlotto 12:39, 12 Mar 2005 (UTC)


During the creation of intention, I was reminded of the proverbial idiom "The road to hell is paved with good intentions". Should we have entries for things like this? Wikiquote has it in a list of English Proverbs but doesn't explain its meaning ( that well-intended acts can have disastrous results ). SemperBlotto 12:35, 12 Mar 2005 (UTC)

There is general intention that we should include proverbs. Raising this one made me wonder about its origins. A quick Google led me to which in term made me wonder about the proper form. Perhaps it might even belong at paved with good intentions. Saying something about the origin of these proverbs is what will make them exciting. Eclecticology 18:48, 12 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Perhaps someone might like to generate something like Wiktionary:List of proverbs (and come up with a best practice for naming them. Then we can add them as we think of them. SemperBlotto 12:59, 13 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Typing IPA letters

How do I type IPA letters? They are not included in the list of characters at the bottom of the editing pages and copying them from other entries (provided I manage to find one where the pronunciation is already given) is extremely tedious. Ncik 12 Mar 2005

Copy and paste them from this Wiktionary page giving the Unicode characters for IPA.
Incidentally, you can find the SAMPA characters here and the so-called "AHD" characters here, although they are images rather than characters and so not copiable from that page. You can look for them and copy them from this table of Unicode characters instead.
The only symbol I have had trouble tracking down is the stress mark used by AHD. It looks like an acute accent, but the character I copied from the Unicode table mentioned above was just that, and ended up being superposed on the preceding letter. Does anyone know where I can find the correct symbol? — Paul G 09:56, 16 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I've thought of including the IPA letters at the bottom of the edit page. Maybe it's time for me to do that. — Paul G 09:59, 16 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Gerunds, Participles, etc.

I would like to start a discussion about the advantages and disadvantages of giving gerunds, participles, adverbs regurlarly formed on adjectives, etc. their own entries in Wiktionary. My point of view is that such forms should only be included if they have a meaning which the words they are derived from cannnot have (an example of this is blooming when euphemistically substituted for bloody). Otherwise one would waste resources by letting people work around several definitions instead of focussing their efforts on only one article. Ncik 14 Mar 2005

I agreed with Ncik on his original discussion, but clearly gerunds have their place in the language. More importantly, there can never be a concern that we are using up a little extra space by listing a gerund such as husking seperate from the thing being removed, the husk.
The sense of the words are very different. However, fisting remains an ugly word with an ugly concept attached to it. But it is a word. And a gerund.
I am never ashamed to change my mind. I hope everyone can see the value of using a 'part of speech' or a category template, or both, for gerunds. So in the final analysis, I am with Connel on this and think we should keep. --HiFlyer 00:40, 15 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Using up space has never been my concern. I still think you should have included a Verb section to husk rather than creating a separate entry for husking. I don't see the point in having lots of entries for things that are basically the same and hence should have matching definitions (I'm using "should" rather than "will" here because I doubt that they would have matching definitions). Please explain what you mean by "The senses of the words are very different", since currently I don't agree with this. Ncik 15 Mar 2005
I'm never one to shy away from contentious debate, it's true, Ncik. Thanks for the special invitation to rejoin this debate. I like to think that I am capable of keeping an open mind with this topic. Do you have a better work-around for listing other forms of words? If Wiktionary had an auto-redirect feature, I would strongly support deleting most of the manual redirects I've entered recently. But that is a pretty big if. Even if it had such a feature, and there was consensus to use something like ===Forms===, there still would be cases where be in a gray area.
Wiktionary (today) seems to have leaned towards a more granular (and more flexible) approach. When word form entries don't exist, I enter #REDIRECT [[main word]] and enhance that target main word to list the other forms (in the somewhat akward manner that everyone seems to have agreed to.) That is: adjectives can have superlatives and comparatives; nouns can have plurals; verbs can have present, past(s), and present participle forms; while adverbs can be listed under derived terms or see also.
I also think the notion that any English verb has a "regular" form is a bit of an overstatement. The variety of rules of what is an allowable other form, is probably what makes English such a difficult language for foriegn language speakers to learn (well, that plus all the idioms.)
I would like to point out a similar conversation above where this concept has (perhaps unsatisfactorily) been addressed before.
Lastly, as user HiFlyer reminded us, w:Wikipedia is not paper (ahem, wiki*s are not paper.) --Connel MacKenzie 05:08, 15 Mar 2005 (UTC)

i am new to this , please tell me how to edit gerunds in a technical document without changing the meaning of the sentence? User: AKA User:Learner

Yes, gerunds etc should normally be just a redirect unless there is some special reason for a separate entry. However, if in any doubt, create a separate entry and someone else can always come along and quietly change it. Where it is a redirect, then that redirected word should really be listed in the main entry somewhere - so as not to confuse the users. SemperBlotto 09:57, 15 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Allowing entries for all sorts of derived forms (including plurals — as DavidL proposed in the previous discussion — , genitives, gerunds, participles and even verb inflexions) is probably a good solution (consider, for example, "sees" which can be a plural of the noun "see" or an inflexion of the verb "to see"); and using redirects a practicable way to handle them (well, except in cases like "sees" where some sort of disambiguation page should created). Have in mind though that there is a vast number of possible forms in other languages (eg Latin). I also wonder if composite forms such as "have eaten" should be allowed to have their own pages. If we can agree on this (ie redirecting or linking to the "basic form" (the infinitve of the verb for verbs, participles and gerunds, the nominative singular of the noun for nouns, the pertaining adjective (in the masculine form, for languages with more than one grammatical gender) for adverbs formed on them, etc. (I apologise for tailing off and beginning a new sentence) Admittedly this might be not applicable to a lot of languages. So maybe redirecting isn't the best solution (although better than having no entry at all), and we should always give the form the word is in and provide a link to the some other, "basic" form where all the defining, explaining, discussing and translating should take place. This wouldn't require (at least in some cases) any grammatical knowledge of the language the word belongs to. I would also like to mention that Paul G's claim the OED would generally treat gerunds, participles, etc. separtely isn't true (see the OED's introduction), it only does so if necessary (example: painting is not only a gerund but also a "normal" noun) — Ncik 15 Mar 2005
I've seen OED articles for gerunds with "extra" senses; they're given the part of speech verbal noun. Incidentally, the la: wiktionary handles inflected forms (and transliterations, and other similar "see insteads") with one-line mini-entries, e.g. at the bottom of manatus is a line that says:
  • Latin: mānātus — participle of mano
But this only really necessary on pages that already have content; on blank pages the user is suggested to check "whatlinkshere". —Muke Tever 17:22, 15 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I've been asked to comment on this. I tend to agree with what has been said. For myself, a redirect page is the appropriate approach for words whose only meaning is that which can be deduced from a base word (such as verb forms or plurals of nouns), while "verbal nouns" (gerunds, present participles, call them what you will) with additional meanings deserve their own pages. Thanks, Ncik, for clarifying my point about the OED's content - I was aware that it does not routinely give all -ing forms separate entries but did not make this clear when making my point.
In this way, a user unfamiliar with English will be able to enter any inflexion or form of a word and find, either directly or via an automatic redirect, the meaning of the word. — Paul G 18:07, 15 Mar 2005 (UTC)
PS: A couple of comments on Ncik's suggestions: I don't think we should have composite verb forms (such as "have eaten") - "eaten" is a morpheme (is that the right word?) in its own right and does not need "have" to make it meaningful; we don't use disambiguation pages on Wiktionary (for example, for "sees" as a verb form or a plural noun) because homographs are defined (or translated, if not English) on a single page. — Paul G 18:07, 15 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Words in the News

I have created Wiktionary:Words in the News

It is meant to feature words, that have appeared in Wikinews items, that may be unfamiliar or interesting. The ones chosen at first are just random ones as a proof of concept. If you think it a good idea, I could link to it from the Main Page, along with New and Old Entries etc. What do you think? SemperBlotto 18:07, 19 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Oh Yea Babe! This is a great idea, S/B--and my first nomination is abstinence. Two studies have shown that it may cause more problems than it solves. I have placed the appropriate Ext Links on the page and the Wikipedia page as well.
Of course you know that this new category may generate some nutcase vandals? But that is no reason not to jump right in there. Only one suggestion, and that is to create some kind of calendar for entries.
I'll be glad to help you on this project, S/B, as time permits, if you like. --HiFlyer 23:47, 19 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I wish you the best of luck in keeping this up to date. This does seem like it could become a very Good Thing. Perhaps it will be good to have a vandalism-magnet like this, sortof like a honey-pot? --Connel MacKenzie 00:01, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Yes, that is my biggest worry. I'm not really convinced that it is a good idea, but I thought that I would hoist it up the flagpole and see who saluted! SemperBlotto 09:00, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Language names bold and non-wikified

I've noticed that one contributor has been dewikifying (and bolding) all language names in the translation section whether or not they are well-known to the average user. Is this a new policy? Has it been discussed and agreed on? What are we gaining other than lots of extra inconsequential changes in the history?

My view is that uncommon words should be wikified for easy lookup, no matter where they occur in an article. I consider words such as Breton, Interlingua, and Catalan are not very widely known by casual dictionary users and thus deserve the promotion brought by wikifying them.

As for bolding, I consider this too minor to be worth the clutter in history pages and would be better dealt with in the future when we have something like styles so we wouldn't have to edit 50,000-odd articles every time we come up with some nice stylistic change.

Should we decide a policy now or just have each contributor choose their own personal style for each article they may be passing? — Hippietrail 06:19, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Yes we do. And that policy is editable by anybody who feels like changing the policy as was done at 07:05, 9 Jan 2005 by Eclecticology diff
As for discussing the policy before changing it, the entire discussion seems to have been on Wiktionary talk:Entry_layout_explained by Eclecticology on 02:42, 23 Jan 2004 (UTC):
"I pretty well agree with this, but I have been cautious about de-linking to avoid a storm of protest. I have, however, been delinking those section headings which recur regularly. Although I agree with delinking the languages in the translation lists, I would still be inclined to make them bold."
I guess my next questions should be "Is this how we set policy?", "Has it been discussed and agreed on?"
Hippietrail 11:13, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • Three things:
    1. You've been around long enough to know that we decide by consensus but we also be bold.
    2. The discussion about de-linking the language names is the Allwiki discussion in a new guise. That discussion has been had before, long since, several times over, and for both the reasons that WT:ELE#Translations gives and others most people agree that too much hyperlinking is to be avoided.
    3. I agree with what Paul G wrote in WT:ELE#Translations. If you compare it with what you wrote above you'll find that you agree with Paul G's addition to WT:ELE#Translations too. There hasn't been much discussion of Eclecticology's augmentation of that in respect of emboldening the names, but that may well be simply because no-one takes serious issue with it. As to de-linking all of the names, you, I, and Paul G apparently agree that it's fairly reasonable for uncommon cases to be hyperlinked, although it must be taken into account how "uncommon" a term really is — If it turns out, say, that there are Breton translations for a large number of entries, then "Breton" is not uncommon in terms of its occurrence in Wiktionary, irrespective of how well-known the language actually is. The "one contributor" probably is operating from an idea of what is "uncommon" different to yours. Have you tried being less oblique?
  • Uncle G 15:24, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for pointing to the previous discussions; I knew that it had come up quite some time ago. Perhaps I've been a tad agressive in my recent approach to the subject. The "bolding" aspect of the discussion does not appear to be a big problem. I see it as a means of maintaing consistent appearance to the presentation to the translation sections. Even Hippietrail's initial objection was based on the concern that we might need to do it all over again if we later choose some other kind of presentation.
The de-wikifying is probably the more important issue. Here again I've been favouring aesthetic consistency. I can understand the need to link to some language names for the more obscure ones, but there is still the question of deciding which languages need to be linked. Breton may be sparsely represented now, but we hope that it will eventually develop to fuller representation. The same can be said of Maricopa or Yoruba. Copying the name into the search box and clicking on "Go" is not a difficult task. Eclecticology 01:28, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Blocked IP address

In the Special:Ipblocklist there is an entry at 6:37 this morning about someone being blocked because they share the same IP address as one of the "goatse" manifestations. Is there any way that we can find that IP address and block it? - so that we don't have this running battle every day. SemperBlotto 08:48, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Ever since that time I blocked myself experimentally, I've been much less hesitant to block vandals. Blocking only blocks contributions. Anyone that wants to look up a word still can (even if it was a subverted address at a college campus.) It also would be helpful to see the IP addresses, to see the pattern that is forming. Is it a particular college that has an open relay or something?
It would be nice to be able to adjust the autoblock duration (say, 240 hours instead of 24.)
It would be nicer to see new accounts (less than 48 hours) and anonymous IPs denied UPLOAD permission. Even better would be a patrol option for any image uploaded would have to be OK'd by a sysop/admin before it displays anywhere other than for the submitter.
I wonder if Eclecticology is willing to turn on the patrol stuff again? Perhaps there are settings specific to uploads or images? --Connel MacKenzie 11:12, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Language(s) to use for foreign words/phrases used in English

Felis domesticus appeared yesterday, and I formatted it. Since then, User:SemperBlotto has added a few binomial names, and I for one welcome these.

I am wondering what the appropriate language should be for these. I used "Latin", but am coming to think that this is inappropriate, mainly because I don't believe that any ancient Roman would ever have used the terms "Felis domesticus", "Felis silvestris", etc. Another reason is that binomial names are usually written italicised to acknowledge that they are from a foreign language and are not naturalised English. This suggests something like "taxonomical Latin" might be appropriate. Does this or any similar term exist?

These terms are used in taxonomical classification of species, but are more or less universal (perhaps with transliterations into other alphabets in languages that don't use the Roman alphabet, I don't know). So perhaps "Translingual" would be more appropriate, but then what happens in, say, Russian?

This leads to a wider issue. When foreign-language words and phrases are commonly used in English (but maybe not other languages) but have not been naturalised, what language should we put at the top of the page? For example, I recently edited ceteris paribus. This clearly Latin and it is used in English, but it has not been naturalised. Is it a set phrase in Latin, or only when used in English and other languages? Note that such Latin terms are not used universally, as, for example, "e.g." is not used in French or Italian (which use abbreviations or the full forms of "par exemple" and "per/ad esempio" respectively). Is "e.g." an English term, a Latin one, or both?

So the issue is: what language do we use for non-naturalised foreign terms that are used in English?

Paul G 09:54, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)

For Taxonomical Latin I think after reading a few comments in a few places that our best option is to regard it as a minor variety of Latin. Just as British, American, and Australian English do not get their own language labels, neither should this. It should however be marked as "taxonomical" just as we mark "British", "American", etc. Note that these entries are the perfect place for translations into natural languages as they are unambiguous, quite unlike the common names of animals and plants which range from fuzzy to tangled.
As far non-naturalised foreign terms generally, it's a tougher call. I think the collection of citations and also discussion on talk pages will help. Terms which are used in English but not French shouldn't be "Translingual" or it lessens what that term means regarding chemical symbols etc. I think we should probably just list them under each language we find them used in with the full explanation going under English, the original language, or both. — Hippietrail 10:41, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)
These binomial words are definitely not Latin. w:Binomial nomenclature points out that, in Binomial nomenclature, the species name is sometimes derived from Greek and sometimes from some local language. It uses the term scientific name. Perhaps we could post a question on Wikisource's equivalent to the Beer parlour and see what they have to say. By the way - I have created a Category called "Binomial names", and placed it under "Latin language" for the time being - it will need to be moved when we reach a decision. SemperBlotto 10:48, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Being Latin and being derived from Greek are not mutually exclusive anyway, if that's what you are trying to suggest. Many Latin words were borrowed from Greek just as many English words are borrowed from Latin or Greek.
In fact a species name can come from almost language. The words are "latinized" however, whatever their source. Is this really a case of borrowing however? Since Latin is otherwise a dead language and Latinized species names are unlikely to be used in other contexts in Latin, it's really quite a specialized case. — 16:47, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Using "Scientific name" as the language-level heading could be another answer. "Binomial name" is too specific and rules out pretty common terms such as "Homo sapiens sapiens" which I think are not binomal (maybe trinomial?). Anyway we would want to include all useful taxonomic terms. — Hippietrail 10:53, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • It's largely the same situation as with proper nouns that occur in more than one language, such as Marcus. "Translingual" seems like a reasonable solution. I find "Scientific name" troubling because it isn't a language, per se. I'll hunt around a bit to see how Russian, Greek, and other languages handle these names. I suspect that they either use the Roman spelling as-is (in which case "Translingual" is not problematic) or simply transliterate. (ru:w:Кошка supports the former hypothesis.) Uncle G 13:44, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)
    • I certainly agree that "scientific name" is not a language. But neither is "translingual". I've also used "CJK character" in quite a few articles. There are probably other terms which occur at the "language level" which are not languages. As for transliterations, they are only rarely simple but my hunch is that at least the European-script languages all use the roman alphabet and I'd be surprised if even Japanese or Chinese didn't also.
    • As for "translingual", it may be misleading. Even if all languages use the same alphabet, apparently some languages are not content to use the same terms as everybody else according to this surprising article: 16:47, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Take a look at Armadillo. I put the scientific name on a separate line. I would have done it any way agreed on, but that is one suggestion. Also, I think italicizing the name would be useful as a highlight, while using normal font for the English name, i.e., Texas Armadillo, scientific name Dasypus novemcinctus. I like to keep it simple ;-) --HiFlyer 15:40, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I also have been using "Scientific name" for some time on many articles for plants and animals which had these under the Latin heading in the translation heading. Quite misleading for words which actually do have one or more normal Latin translations. Reasons I chose "Scientific" specifically were that some common names equate to whole groupings of creatures above the species level and others to the subspecies or even variety level.
Keeping scientific names italicized wherever they appear is a pretty good idea if everybody becomes aware of it and doesn't assume it's just more odd formatting here and there. — 16:47, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • It's disingenuous to say that something "isn't Latin" because the Romans wouldn't have said it. Latin was in ordinary literary use until at least the 18th century, long after the Romans had ceased to exist—Linnaeus himself, who invented the modern taxonomic system, wrote in Latin. —Muke Tever 16:57, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)
    • It's disingenuous to say that something "isn't Latin" because the Romans wouldn't have said it. — Then it's a good thing that that wasn't what either SemperBlotto said above or what w:Binomial nomenclature says. Uncle G 19:21, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)
      • I wasn't responding to either SB nor w:Binomial nomenclature, but Paul G's comment on the appropriateness of marking it as Latin, because he didn't believe "any ancient Roman would ever have used the terms", as if all Latin after the sixth century AD were somehow invalid. —06:30, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)
    • I would not say that being disingenuous is applicable in this discussion. I think that all parties have been honest in their comments. Perhaps that word was being misused. Eclecticology 04:01, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)
      • Ah, I don't generally follow prescriptivism. AHD, using more modern definitions than the Wiktionary entry out of Webster 1913, gives the definition I meant, though it doesn't bless it either. Perhaps the later definition should be added to disingenuous with a usage note in good NPOV style. —Muke Tever 06:30, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)
      • I looked at your AHD, and it seems that their support is at best lukewarm. The important thing about words is that they communicate what you want them to communicate to the person that reads them. This prevents the Alice in Wonderland scenario where words that you use mean exactly what you intend them to mean, and words that I read mean exactly what I understand them to mean with no requirement for co-ordination. I understood "disingenuous" in its traditional sense, with its somewhat pejorative overtones. Like most people, when confronted with a word that I already know, I'm not going to run to a dictionary to see if it has acquired any new meanings since I last heard it. I find it best to avoid words with significant ambiguities attached, especially when one of the commonly understood meanings (as in "disingenuous" or "prescriptivism") can carry pejorative overtones. Eclecticology 17:12, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I introduced the term "translingual" as a convenient term for Wiktionary's own purposes, with only limited concern about how the term might be applied elsewhere. The binomial names of biology could be included within the term but with 1,000,000 living species it would quickly overwhelm the concept. ... and so will the "Binomial names" category. The 1913 Webster uses "new Latin" in its etymological sections to refer to these terms. That could conceivably be adopted. Since these names, at least the modern ones, are adopted as official by international scientific organization they will be the same in all language environments even when the host language uses another script. In context the binomials are always italicized by international convention rather than because they are foreign words. The first element is a noun and is always capitalized; it is uniquely determined within each science. The second element is a genitive noun or an adjective which is in the correct gender for the noun. It is never capitalized, even when derived from a personal name. It is only unique within a genus. Subspecific elements that form a trinomial follow the same rule. There is no consistent rule for infrasubspecific names. Supra generic names are not italicized, but are all capitalized.
All that being said, I have concerns about the wisdom of having an entry for each species binomial. Including the names of genera makes sense, as does including the separate species descriptors to show their meanings. To have more than that may be more suited to Wikipedia or Wikispecies. Eclecticology 04:01, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)
The second element might also be a nominative noun in apposition, the easy examples coming to mind being Panthera leo and Canis lupus. —Muke Tever 06:30, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Agreed. Eclecticology 17:12, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Muke Tever said "I wasn't responding to either SB nor w:Binomial nomenclature, but Paul G's comment on the appropriateness of marking it as Latin, because he didn't believe "any ancient Roman would ever have used the terms", as if all Latin after the sixth century AD were somehow invalid." I think I was oversimplifying rather than being disingenuous. My point was that these terms are recent coinages and it seems unlikely that ancient Romans would have used them when a simple "felis" sufficed.
Latin has of course been developed further since that time – there was even a Latin dictionary published recently (by the Vatican, I think) that gave Latin translations of comparative neologisms such as "football" and "Internet". It's interesting to note that the language being used at the head of the pages for scientific names is "New Latin". This looks sensible to me. What do others think? — Paul G 15:17, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Some of you may have noticed that I have generated a template for use on Taxonomy pages. I have used "New Latin" as the language but, if we decide to change, there is just one edit to make. See Felis and derived terms. SemperBlotto 15:45, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Thesaurus - Category implementation

I added an idea for a category implementation of the thesaurus idea to Wiktionary:Thesaurus considerations last week, but no-one has responded. I thought I'd also make a quick announcement here in case no-one is watching that page. --HappyDog 12:48, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Forgive me if I don't have the same enthusiasm for this. Even though I have more than 50 dictionaries and other books about language on the shelf I do not own a copy of Roget. My firat impression of the proposal is that it's quite complicated, and as such is likely to chase potential contributors to it away. I don't oppose it, and am more likely to treat it as an experimental undertaking whose success depends on following sufficient contributors to work on it. Eclecticology 00:51, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)
No worries Ec, I wasn't expecting a massive leaping in the air and clapping of hands. It just occurred to me that very few people are probably watching that page, so I thought I'd let anyone interested in the thesaurus idea (as it appears a few people are) that I'd added a suggestion. --HappyDog 03:22, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)


Anyone looking for something to do might like to mine Wikipedia's list of retronyms for lots of interesting terms with ready-made definitions. — Paul G 18:05, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)

To quote Data: "Fascinating!" You might also put this on the "Things to do" page that links from the Main Page. Regretably, I don't need any more things to do, but if it can inspire a newbie ... Eclecticology 18:48, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)
The same thought occurred to me. I'll add it. — Paul G 09:18, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Template:Wikipedia oddity

I just added the {{wikipedia}} template to SETI to link to its Wikipedia article, but for some strange reason, it links to Wiktionary's "Wikipedia" article. And I'm not talking about the link whose text reads "Wikipedia"; I'm talking about the one that clearly reads "SETI". Hovering over what should be a Wikipedia:SETI link, I see that it's definitely showing "Wikipedia", as if its construction was:


I checked another template I recently added to Connotation and found that it was still linking correctly to Wikipedia:Connotation. Can someone explain this? There are no parameters to Template:Wikipedia that I can screw up. The PAGENAME parameter is fetched from the article title and is identically specified in both the link and the text. Am I losing my mind? — Jeff Q (talk) 19:59, 27 Mar 2005 (UTC)

  • For me, the hyperlink in SETI points to w:SETI and works just fine. Clear your cache and try again. Uncle G 22:00, 27 Mar 2005 (UTC)


User:Dubaduba posted this on my talk page the other day:

Hello! I think that <input type="hidden" name="num" value="50"> should be inserted to MediaWiki:Googlesearch so that 50 search matches could be displayed at one time. Greetings --Dubaduba 20:26, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)

If this is a good thing to do, and isn't already done, could someone with the know-how implement it? — Paul G 09:20, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Looks like Polyglot beat you to it: 15:09, 27 Mar 2005 Polyglot (added this as suggested by Dubaduba on my talk page). Seems to work fine. --Connel MacKenzie 10:54, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)


Bloody hell, someone's been busy (User:Fuzzbuster by the look of it). Vandalism all over the shop, including this very page replaced by our old friend "ass pus". I've banned him/her for 28 days. There's some cleaning up to do.

  • It's like that every time, and this is a regular, pretty much daily, occurrence. You've probably not seen it because SemperBlotto, Eclecticology, Mark4011, Wonderfool, I, or others usually revert it quite quickly. (See the edit history of this very page.) But we each have to sleep some time. ☺ Uncle G 13:32, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Anyhow, I think maybe it's time the templates used on the main page were protected for editing by sysops only (the vandalism on the front page was of Template:appendices). The main page is Wiktionary's advertisement to the world, after all, and we don't need it saying "Ass Pus" in big red letters (as it did when I got here this morning), nor do we need the possibility that anyone could easily do this again. What do others think? — Paul G 08:42, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)

  • It's the same solution as adopted by other WikiMedia projects. However, protected pages are bad and should be used as sparingly as possible. Uncle G 13:32, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • Follow-up query: User:SemperBlotto says that this is the same user who regularly pops up under various guises, and asks if there is any way we can get his (because I'm pretty sure it must be a infantile little boy rather than a woman) IP address and block that instead. I think that one of the purposes of usernames is that they protect users' privacy by concealing their IP addresses (there is a Wikipedia page about this somewhere) but might there be a way for sysops to obtain this information? — Paul G 09:11, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)
    • Administrators have no access to IP addresses. Developers have, but they have a policy of not handing out such information. All that a Developer will do is either confirm or deny whether a user shares an IP address with another user. The issue of our recurrent vandal is something that has to be taken up with a developer, because only they can solve it. All that administrators such as you can do is protect, block, and delete. And all that ordinary editors such as the rest us of can do is revert whenever and wherever, as we have been doing. Uncle G 13:32, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Template for translations ?

Hi, Why not use template for translations, like Template:Fr for each French translation? I saw that Dutch Wiktionary use them, and it save quite a lot of work. cf. nl:Hindi. Yann 21:27, 20 Sep 2004 (UTC)

There was some discussion of this, but unfortunately I can't remember exactly where. These make editing incredibly more difficult. If someone wants to add a new language to a list of translations he needs to know the codes, and how to put them in the proper alphabetical order. A normal alphabetical list is far more welcoming to newbies. These codes are also not very searchable. The article is stored to include the ISO codes rather than the language names. If I want to use search to find all the articles with a Latvian translation they wont show up when I type "Latvian" in the search box. Eclecticology 01:41, 21 Sep 2004 (UTC)
That's what the templates are made for. Got to the template page are click on What links here. IMO, it's much easier to remember codes than spelling of all language names. Yann 08:33, 21 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Actually "what links here" only lists up to 500 pages. Anything more than that you can't get to. —Muke Tever 15:54, 21 Sep 2004 (UTC)
The idea that editing is incredibly more difficult assumes a few things. A major assumption is that you only work for one wiktionary and not for all wiktionaries. With the use of templates, you can transfer translations to another wiktionary like English, Italian, Japanese, to some extend Vietnamese and they will work.
Most contributors will work on only one wiktionary. They should be able to work in the way that works best for them, with a minimum amount of special markup. Eclecticology 08:53, 23 Sep 2004 (UTC)
The use of the ISO-639 codes are a standard and they are also used to interlink between wikipedia, you do not hear people complain that this is too difficult. Someone who is really new, does only need to know 4/5 codes for the languages that he knows. Not too difficult. The benefit of using these codes is that you CAN find all words that are translated into a language or all the links to a word.
Things are standard only when they have been adopted as standard. We have adopted them as standard for creating interwiki links, but not for language name references in the translation lists. Even a person who is only interested in 4 or 5 languages needs to find the correct place to put them on the list. Your idea that that a series of translations cna be transferred as a block where the templates serve to adjust the language names assumes that every item on the list has the same bilateral relationship with every other item on that list. You are taking an idea that works with many simple cases, and trying to generalize it to apply everywhere. The English "to be hot" can translate into the French "avoir chaud", "être chaud" and "faire chaud" which have very different meanings. How do you fit in the choice between "ser" and "estar" when translating "to be" into Spanish? ... the different kinds of love in Greek, snow in Inuktitut, or desert in Arabic. Your scheme will fail miserably with these. Eclecticology 08:53, 23 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Using ISO-639 codes is a kludge helping the current wikitonary format to cope, the wiki-format is not well suited for dictionary content. There is a discussion on META about this. The current format is also ill equiped to adequatly achieve one of the goals of Wikimedia which is open content. Because of the lack of structure, it is next to impossible to share the wiktionary information in a meaningfull way. Using the templates is a step in the right direction. There is a discussion on META about this.
So far, I see the wiki format adapting well in most respects to the wiktionary. What is not "open" about the content? Anybody can edit any article. I find the content much more important that the structure. Eclecticology 08:53, 23 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I was new to dictionaries, now the nl:wiktionary has 4500+ words. A lot of the data can relatively easy be converted to other wiktionaries but hey, it is too difficult to newbies. GerardM 20:49, 21 Sep 2004 (UTC)
No, you can't. You can find 500 words that are translated into a language or link to a word, but no more. For an example, look at the en.wikipedia Stub template's whatlinkshere; there are more than 500 Wikipedia stubs, but it stops listing them after 500. —Muke Tever 17:51, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Muke may be right, but on the nl:wiktionary he is wrong. Here it is not yet a problem as we do not have that many Dutch words yet. His suggestion to use categories is a usefull solution however, The question is if this allows for more than 500 words. GerardM 10:22, 3 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Obsolete discussion

At the moment we use categories in the nl:wiktionaries with over 1000 articles and they are properly sorted however the capitalised words and the uncapitalised words are seperate. It does only show 200 articles at a time, but we have the option to start at a given character. So it works really well.

This is a function of the template that is used to indicate that there is a word in a given language. We have also added a line in the template that will prevent the "edit" to show at each header. It is a small price to pay for having well behaved articles.

So in conclusion, having templates to indicate that a word is in a language is a big boon. GerardM 11:08, 1 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I'd have to agree with Gerard. On the Italian Wiki we use templates and aside from ease of use, the categories automatically catalog alphabetically all words in a given language that are added- which is great. The problem of having to reorganize lists of translations that have been moved over en bloc to alphabetically jibe in the host language is a minor annoyance.E. abu Filumena 08:34, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Associative Wiktionary

  • The goal of the Associative Wiktionary proposal is to convert Wictionary to associative one.
  • It means that we shall add multilingual associations to every word entry of Wiktionary.
  • Multilingual association - beautiful sensible sparkling phrase or sentence which combines words of several languages.

Examples of multilingual associations:

  • listen (English) леса сон /lesa son/ (dream of forest, Russian)
  • dog polite (English) не лает /ne laet/ (does not bark, Russian)
  • fair фея /feya/ (fay, Russian), фея yafeyfiya (beautiful, Hebrew)
  • know how say (English) ni2 hao3 (hello, Chinese)
  • zusammen (together, German) на экзамен (to exam, Russian)
  • xue2 sheng (student, Chinese) - sure handshake (English)
  • Ohayoo Gozaimasu (good morning, Japanese), go (English) йогой (yoga) заниматься (to make, Russian)
  • каждому (to everybody) скажите (say, Russian) - Hajimemashite (nice to meet you, Japanese)
  • malheureuse (unhappy, French) - мало роз (has not enough roses, Russian)
  • было мало (was not enough, Russian), но (but) molto bello (very good, Italian)
  • tout a coup (suddenly, French) cop (English) тут как тут /tut kak tut/ (here, Russian)
  • zloi(unkind, Russian) lawyer, ready for (English) redifa (chase, Hebrew)

Reasons to do the Wictionary an associative

  • At present the languages coexist almost independently. Amount of links between words of different languages is much less than amount of connections inside a language. Each language as though exists in its own plane presenting its own reflection of the world.

Creation of numerous links between languages will convert the structure of many parallel language planes to 3-dimensional structure which will be much richer than any individual language.

  • Associative dictionary helps to learn languages fast.
  • Common language helps different people to understand each other.
  • Gives new opportunities for creative work. This is like poetry using not one but many languages. It also can be considered as a multilingual game.
  • Will help to save weak languages connecting them to stronger ones.


Moved from w:Wikipedia:Village pump. Poccil 16:44, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Association in the way that you describe varies with the individual. It's an added dimension to the pun in a single language. To work, puns depend on their user having a good grasp of the language. He must be fully aware of the correct meaning as well as the correct wrong meaning and the image that will be projected by that wrong meaning. He must also be able to judge his audience. A pun is wasted if nobody can understand it. Doing this across languages is so much more difficult because it presumes some understanding of those languages. I acknowledge that the kind of association that is envisioned goes well beyond puns.
Perhaps he choice of the word "convert" in your first sentence is an unfortunate one that might be made by a person whose first language is not English. It implies a complete changeover of the Wiktionary. I seriously doubt that there would be much support for that when there are some members who would like to see definitions and translations that are far more clear and unambiguous. A balance somewhere between their more technical and your more poetic approach seems to be the way to go.
That being said, I do not support the "conversion" of Wiktionary to an associative project. That would likely be the foundation of a whole new project. On the other hand, I would not object to having a "===Multilingual associations===" section in the latter part of some articles. It could perhaps deal with the hesitancy that some English speakers encounter when they must talk in French about "seals in the harbour". Eclecticology 17:39, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)

That's right, word "convert" is too strong, it's enough to have association session at the end of articles.

From one side translingual associations are just puns. From another side they can be seen as a skeleton for future multilinguizm, as a try to use several languages simultaneously. Probably, in several years (or tens of years) multilingual translators will become cheap and be built in regular cell-phones. So people will be able to play with words relatively easy, it will not be so hard as today.

Like elementary particle a word gets its meaning due to interaction with other words. We distinguish between so called "bare word" - just a symbol - and "dressed word" - word with all its connections and associations. So the establishing of new links between words of different languages creates a new environment and new aspects of word sense.

wikigs 11 Oct 2004

some similar ideas are being put together in meta:Wiki Language School, focusing only on the learning aspect of it. The end thing, however, might still look like an associative dictionary.

At least I know have some idea where the mlinks thing keeps coming from. Perhaps what you are attempting would be better addressed in the phrasebook entries? For now, I'll stop reverting anything that I see that says "mlinks" so you have a chance to convert them over to category:Phrasebook entries. --Connel MacKenzie 05:49, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)


Does Wiktionary have any policy on bots or should stewards accept any requests to mark users as bots that are made at meta:Requests for permissions? Angela 08:59, 8 Oct 2004 (UTC)

There has never been any serious discussion of bots in Wiktionary. I don't think any should be allowed without first having been discussed and broadly accepted by the Wiktionary community. Eclecticology 10:55, 8 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I am using bots on the nl:wiktionary. The purposes so far are to make interwikilinks to other wiktionaries. Many of the interwiki links on en: to fr: and nl: are broken because they have lowercase articles nowadays. Another purpose is to touch all articles so that the categories will be filled (this will NOT result in new changes but it will update the categories). I expect that I will find more usage on nl:wiktionary for bots.
I will not run bots without prior notice on en:wiktionary and I will give at least a weeks notice before I run a bot with new functionality for the first time on en:wiktionary. At this time the code for the bots that I use is by Andre Engels.
NB I do want to run the interwiki bot on the en:wiktionary. The links to another wiktionary should only be for words that are spelled exactly the same. For wiktionaries that have no capitalisation there may be a need for two links to a non-capitalised wiktionary. GerardM
I'm disappointed that no-one else has enterred the discussion. The last thing that I would want is for this to become solely a me vs. Gerard situation. There are some aspects of what is asked with which I agree. If nobody else joins in, perhaps we can at least isolate those items so that we can go ahead. Eclecticology 04:54, 12 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I would be disappointed if it became a you vs me situation. There is no reason for a conflict. We may sometimes disagree but I hope it is not personal and will not become personal. GerardM 12:29, 12 Oct 2004 (UTC)

It often happen on some topics that few are interested into discussing. Or silence means they have no time, or they agree. If only you two are interested and no one else move, then decide between the two of you. See where you agree at least, and move on on these. User:anthere

You're right, of course. The problem has not been that there is necessarioy a conflict, but that there is the appearance of one.
I will agree that a bot which creates an interwiki link to an identically named article in the project of another language is a good thing. This, as you say, may require adjustment because of the different capitalization policies, but until the capitalization problem is fixed on en: we will have to live with that. I don't know if the time has come to revisit the capitalization issue now that it is clear that each language Wiktionary may adopt its own policy.
I am not keen on the idea of mechanically adding categories. I consider the matter of how we use categories to still be an open question. There is no harm done in leaving an article without a category.
IIRC there were other points in your original request. They seemed more contentious or vague. For now I suggest that we limit our attention to the two points above, and that we review any other points after that has happened. Eclecticology 03:44, 19 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I have already been using a bot-like script to enter some word lists. It's a great way of getting some work done. I am also planning to create a bot that harvests entries from the various Wiktionaries, combines them and then presents a series of updated pages to a contributor. I think it's very important that a human can review the result before submitting it. It's also very important that a bot doesn't process more than say 10 pages per day. So that other people get a chance to look at what it does as well. I'm very much in favour of bots, but they have to be set up with a lot of caution and discussion. What they (are allowed to) do also has to be very well defined and possible restricted. Polyglot 18:16, 30 Oct 2004 (UTC)
The biggest risk with bots is that someone would start to use one to push a POV, whether about content or about the structure that we want in Wiktionary. I too believe that clear definition and restriction is important. Hiding the results from Recent Changes should be a personal preference rather than automatic. Eclecticology 18:59, 31 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Well that's a risk which will exist either way. It is always possible to use a bot, whether sanctioned or not. What I'm interested in talking about is getting together some more or less official guidelines on their registration and use.
Hiding edits by bots is not possible. Bot entries are marked in a very similar way to minor entries. By default, Recent changes shows minor and hides bot entries, but you will see switched to turn each on and off.
Furthermore, marking an edit as a bot edit is much more difficult than marking one as minor. The editor cannot do it. To create bot-marked entries the account doing the editing must be marked as a bot. To mark an account as a bot is only possible by a [Wiki Steward]. I don't think any of us here at Wiktionary are stewards so I guess that means asking over on Wikipedia or maybe on MediaWiki or maybe there's somebody on IRC to ask.
In fact it's because I don't know who or how to ask that I don't already have a bot. And that is why I'm bringing up the issue here. So that anybody wanting to set up a bot in the future knows what to do. Also you can now see that innapropriate bot edits are prevented by not giving bot rights to innapropriate editors. Which is why setting up a system would be a good idea. — Hippietrail 03:24, 3 Nov 2004 (UTC)
OK! My knowledge of the operation of bots remains negligible. Perhaps you could take on the role of "Bot Master" for this Wiktionary. :-) (I hesitate to use "Master Bot", since that could be read the wrong way.) Bots would continue to need community debate and approval, but we really need to have someone who understands bots to accept the responsibility for starting to draft the policy and keeping it organized. Eclecticology 22:03, 3 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Progressreport of running the bot on en:wiktionary

I have been running this bot for a few days now. There have been two processes running simultaneously; starting at the ! character we are now at Fredericton. The words starting at ZZZZZZZZZ have finished (Arab, Chinese, Korean etc characters). I have started a process that start with Ozzzzzzzz to start with the P.

These are long running processes and, they only do a job untill the current moment. When people add content, they are not automagically processed by the bot. So it is good when this process is run often. I have it run in an autonomous way. All problems producing interwiki links I do not solve and I am not interested in them. (this is true for wherever I run this bot). 11:16, 1 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Putting categories into templates...

Since we request that people make articles according to Help:Template, why don't we request templetes in the templete, for example: Template:en , and put the appropriate catagory 'within the template! Then any articles that are created properly will automagically be in some of their proper catagories. Sounds good? If I don't hear any problems in a few days, I'll just do it... JesseW 05:53, 24 Oct 2004 (UTC)

What you would accomplish with this is unclear. Template:en only returns the result "English", and Category:English is a major redundancy for the English Wiktionary, even if we accept that language names are proper categories for foreign words. Eclecticology 00:11, 25 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I didn't modify Template:en because it is used in a lot of places, and I didn't want to modify it without some support. Regarding redundancy, as I understood(which is probably wrong), Category:English language should list only English words defined in the English Wiktionary, while Category:Spanish language should list Spanish words defined (in English) in the English Wiktionary. It doesn't seem redundant. And we could also use the Templete idea for putting parts of speech in their proper category; i.e. a Template:enAdj (or Template:enAdjective for searching reasons) could contain:"Adjective [[Category:English adjectives]]" thereby automatically putting all the English Adjectives into that catagory. Category:English adjectives currently contains 29 entries, while there are hundreds of english adjectives in the wiktionary. If the catagories are worth using at all, this seems like a good way to populate them... JesseW 08:54, 25 Oct 2004 (UTC)
The practice of adding categories to templates has been practised for some time now on the nl:wiktionary and others that use the same structures.
It works great for new articles; the category is filled and it gives an always complete list of all words in that language. For older articles they need to be saved without changes to get the content of the categories show the existing words that use a template.
As the en:wiktionary does not make a difference between templates to indicate a translation and templates to indicate that a word exists in a language. All the non-lexicological information that you want to put into it, is hard to put in the "right" place. On nl: we use xx and -xx-, compare and. GerardM 09:01, 25 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I've been trying this approach out here (though maybe not the exact same approach as on nl: &mdash I didn't check), and I'm finding it works great. Right now we have any number of words with hand-inscribed tags like (slang) or (unicycling) or whatever. We have no idea how many of these may exist, because we're not using Wikimedia's existing facilities to track them. Similarly, we don't have a list of "all potentially uncountable nouns" unless someone sees fit to maintain a list by hand — a losing game.
Replacing these with something like {{slang}} for common designations or (perhaps) {{cattag|unicycling}} is easy and lets the engine do the clerical work for us. Going forward, it's no more trouble to type (and learn to type) {{unicycling}} than it is to type (and learn to type) (''unicycling''), and both are easier than (''unicycling'')[[Category:unicycling]]. The repetition alone is a big red flag that the computer ought to be doing some of the work.
What happens if you try to add a template that doesn't exist yet? Not much. You just see a red link for "Template:Foo", which you or some later editor can then chase and fill in. There might even already be a facility for finding all uses of undefined templates, and if not, it wouldn't be hard to add.
The same thing would work just fine for headings like ==English== or Transitive verb with similarly positive effects (including standardizing on sentence or title case), but I believe this has met resistance in the past.
In any case, I would highly recommend using templates at least for tags. I've set up a few utilities already (it's dead easy). These are:
  • Some pre-built templates for common categories like colloquial and uncountable. The ones not yet created can easily be filled in as we go, and there aren't that many of them.
  • The more generic tag, cattag and cattag2 for handing tags and categories ad hoc. I'll add cattag3. There shouldn't be much need for more, but if someone uses cattag4 we can always fill it in at that point.
Please consider using these for new entries. In particular, please consider them for terms on the topical lists. The rule there is to tag with the most specific designation and rely on the category system to file basketball under sports etc. -dmh 19:19, 14 Jan 2005 (UTC)

New Project on the semantic derivation of words

Is it possible to put an entry in each article that is non-circular? i.e. have a set of definitions for each word which does not use words which rely on the word already existing. This should be relatively simple for words like "Chess" but much harder for words like "in".

What I am asking is for an entry that reflects the way language is learnt by children when they first learn their native language. The entry for some words will come first, then other words, but these next generation words can only be defined by the words in the first generation, etc.

Though this initially appears to be a rather silly thing to do, its purpose is twofold.

(a) to display what words really mean at the lowest semantic level.

(b) to produce a much better form of language aquisition than the usual method of learning common vocabularies (such as "going to the shops", "at a restaurant", "the weather") together with complex grammer rules. Instead, people only need learn a few first generation words, and then use these to learn the rest, without further recourse to their own original language.

I suppose for many modern and compound words, the entries I am asking for will bear a strong similarity to the etymologies.

I do not think anyone has ever attempted this sort of thing before.

I think it best to try to keep as many words as possible at the lowest generation as possible (i.e. not simply defining a few words from "a", "at", "in", etc. then defining "antidisestablishmentarianism" and "floccinaucinihilipilification" and deriving simpler words from them , such as "nothing", for the sake of lazyness)

I think it might be interesting to try.-- 23:22, 25 Oct 2004 (UTC)

  • I think this is a fantastic idea that will be nearly impossible to implement. perhaps more feasible would be a circularity checker that checks primary definitions for circularity of referenced words -- it should explicitly not check See also's & such. If a circle is defined, it point sit out (perhaps at the time a word is edited?) and lets a human disambiguate it if possible. It would be a nice category of "things that need human help" along with stubs & such. Vynce 05:52, 13 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Romanica and Ekspreso

  • I would like to remove all translations of words purporting to be into these languages. Both of these constructed languages based on Interlingua were created by Wiktionarians who have used this medium to promote their language. Eclecticology 06:13, 14 Nov 2004 (UTC)
    • w:Romanica language has just come up for deletion at Wikipedia. I'm going to categorize all of the Romanica definitions (by following Special:Contributions/Josu Lavin) into Category:Romanica language. This will serve the dual purposes of (a) giving the Wikipedians more information to look at, and (b) giving you a quick way to find all of the Romanica definitions. ☺ At the moment, I'm undecided on the subject of deletion. Uncle G 14:58, 4 Mar 2005 (UTC)
    • I've now categorized all of the entries added in Special:Contributions/Josu Lavin. I may have missed a few words, because I skipped over edits to articles that were English words and that were out of order. (Xe added the Romanica words in alphabetical order, stopping at "Al".) Uncle G 10:58, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Problems with Musty quotations

Quotations from Shakespeare and the Bible are fine - as examples of the earliest known referenceable usage. Though they should have dates on to be more useful in that context.

However, these quotations often do not serve well as an example of modern usage of the word. In fact they are often either incomprehensible to a modern English reader, or downright misleading as usage has changed so much.

In such cases I would like to see a modern usage example. Does this have to be a referenceable quotation, or can it just be a simple contextual example ? Or is a usage example something altogether a different part of the defintion to a quotation ?--Richardb 13:39, 23 Dec 2004 (UTC)

What you want are called editorial examples, and are a different kind of thing entirely than quotations, which have the dual function of being illustrative attestations. If it's too long to go inline with the definition (e.g. "one who studies the bowels of the earth: He wants to become a geoproctologist") I would put it under a heading "Usage", and not just stop with simple examples but go on with detailed explanations if necessary. —Muke Tever 14:44, 23 Dec 2004 (UTC)
It would be neat if we could put quotes inside a collapsable box (much as the table of contents can be) so folks wouldn't be shy about entering many attestation quotes. Like the OED. --Eean 18:13, 23 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I certainly don't object to having dates to go with quotations, but that all requires people to track down that information. To the extent that the 1913 Webster uses quotes from Shakespeare, just tracking down the specific play can be a lot of work. Having more modern quotes is commendable; making them referenceable is solid evidence that they were indeed used that way. It just takes for somebody (or rather many contributors) to do the work of adding them. In the development of the OED the slips of paper with quotes came before they were turned into definitions. Eclecticology 23:37, 27 Dec 2004 (UTC)
well, since then we've gained Google, Lexis Nexis and Amazon's search inside a book. Apparently Google is going to be digitizing some libraries over the course of the decade, so things are only going to get easier. I'm sure all of Shakespeare is online, just google any string from it and it'll turn up. --Eean 06:16, 5 Jan 2005 (UTC)


On the edit pages, you know how there are those "foreign charcters" underneath the edit box? Wel, im al for that, apart from the fact that they all come out as, for my example here: áÉéÍíÓīŌūâÊÄÖÑāĒ and not the proper charcters like é. admin guys-sort this out--Wonderfool 03:51, 2 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Looks like your browser isn't respecting the site's encoding. The servers send these pages as UTF-8, and you'll get mojibake exactly like that if your browser is trying to read it as Latin-1. See if there's a setting to get your browser to automatically choose the encoding — it's possible it has been set to Latin-1 or similar only — or force it to read as UTF-8 explicitly. —Muke Tever 05:43, 2 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Of course if your able to make characters like é anyways, you probably don't need them. Though getting your browser to use UTF is a good idea for other reasons. --Eean 09:07, 2 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Muke & Eean, are you guys sure? Because it doesn't work for me either. The funny thing is that I also have my own version of this code that I add in my monobook.js page - and it works fine! I think the guys who added this too all the wikipedias have made an encoding mistake themselves. Could you guys actually test it here on the en wiktionary and tell us how it works for you. Does anybody know if we can edit it? I'm running the latest Internet Explorer on Win2K. — Hippietrail 12:03, 3 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Well, it works fine for me. And I opened up IE in emulation and it worked mostly. Maybe the Javascript gods don't like you. --Eean 19:19, 3 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Technically, it doesn't work for me at all, because the character insert doesn't work in Opera. Though if I switch to Firefox, it works perfectly. (I should mention that in Firefox, even upon forcing Latin-1 so the characters display in the "characters" box the way Wonderfool mentions, clicking on them still causes them to be inserted in the text box correctly, so perhaps that's not exactly the problem.)
Oh, and as for editing it, it's in MediaWiki:Copyrightwarning. —Muke Tever 06:24, 4 Jan 2005 (UTC)
while your at it, you might think about making the copyright warning more like w:MediaWiki:Copyrightwarning :) --07:21, 4 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Actually it seems the developers have gone to a bit more effort than I expected. They have crafted a wiki extension which uses the extended html tag <charinsert>, whereas the code in my monobook.js is just plain old javascript derived from the old copyright warning pages of various non-English wikis. It seems that this extension does something a little more fancy which works on some configurations but not all. — Hippietrail 11:30, 4 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Title Case vs. Sentence case

Is there a clear consensus one way or the other to use "Title Case" (all words capitalized) or "Sentence case" (first word only capitalized) for sections like Related {T,t}erms or Proper {N,n}oun? I personally prefer Title Case, but I'll be glad to switch if there is a consensus that Sentence case is to be preferred. Certainly a standard would be good.

One option would be to mass-edit the database to use templates for these sections. {{properNoun}} or whatever would allow for a standardized spelling and also allow for categories to be attached easily. -dmh 16:09, 4 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I seem to remember a vague consensus for sentence case on this sort of thing. It was one of those quiet agreements that did not generate much controversy. Title case is a more English language practice while sentence case is more international. If I'm editing an article already I tend to make the conversion to sentence case, but I don't go there just to make that change.
Templates of the type that you suggest tend to be user unfriendly for newcomers. Such templates were already created by GerardM when he was trying to generate a uniform approach, notably for translations, that could be used in all the wiktionaries. Not many people used it; what people actually use is often a good measure of something's usefulness. Eclecticology 17:58, 4 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Hmm . . . betamax . . . NTSC . . . MS Windows . . . UNIX . . .
Be that as it may, I don't think there's necessarily a newbie issue. First, there's nothing requiring that a new entry use templates or conform to any standard at all (as I can well attest, having spent quite a bit of time over the months cleaning up entries). Second, our current conventions, while useful, are also fairly arbitrary. If I'm coming to Wiktionary cold, I have to learn the conventions in either case, and it seems like less typing for me to say {{related}} than ==Related Terms== or ==Related terms==, and then have to worry about which capitalization to use.
Newbies will often get it wrong, but they do anyway. What's the harm? If anything, the inconvenience would be to us oldtimers, who would have to retrain our fingers.
If we really want to be friendly to newbies, we should consider a form for contributing new entries, with a drop down list of parts of speech, etc. Our format is standardized enough that this should now be possible, particlarly with java around. I would make this the default for missing items in the main namespace, but keep the present facility for other pages and as an option for new items in the main namespace. -dmh 20:09, 4 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Yes, as someone who often combs through the New Entries, 9 times out of 10 newbies don't format their entries correctly anyways. I don't believe the templates are hard to understand if a newbie is editing an existing page. The problem with templates like {{-es-}} is that it (at least used to) break the section-specific editing, which I suppose is a bug.
I'm sure you mean javascript not java. Having dynamic forms with javascript and the like should be the ultimate goal. --Eean 20:28, 4 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Yes, I was using Java a bit loosely. Another item for the "betamax ..." list above? -dmh
well, they're two totally different things, as different as a tidal wave and a tsunami. ;) --Eean 06:10, 5 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Sure, but not as different as either is from perl and other weapons-o-choice. Thus the conflation. -dmh 19:27, 5 Jan 2005 (UTC)
<Jun-Dai 20:24, 5 Jan 2005 (UTC)>Just for the sake of being pedantic: While JavaScript shares some syntactical similarity with Java/C/C++ (it's really no closer to Java than it is to most other C-based languages), it is closer to perl in many ways. Both are scripting languages, and they operate in a similar fashion both behind the scenes and in the way you write your code. Java and JavaScript much farther removed from each other than say C++ or C is from Java.</Jun-Dai>
This type of discussion always seems to devolve into "Is it farther to Chicago or by boat?" Personally, I'm skeptical of the whole concept of scripting language. The distinction doesn't seem any more valid than "compiled language" vs. "interpreted language". In both cases, I think the root problem is conflating "language" with the more relevant concept of "programming environment". -dmh 05:44, 6 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Um, scripting languages are interpreted (sometimes they use an inbetween state like Java, but anyways, scripting languages all used to be interpreted and still can be), its what makes them a scripting language. I would consider them synonyms. There is certainly a large difference between compiled and interpreted. Programming environment is often irrevelant when talking about languages, a programming language can have multiple environments (by which I mean the software a programmer uses) and implementations.--Eean 06:12, 6 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Waiting for

Why is wiktionary so slow? The database is tiny, updates are infrequent, and I doubt that viewing traffic is out of the ordinary. Yet when I try to do anything at all with it, even just chase a link, I often have to stop and retry several times before I finally get a quick response (just sitting and waiting is generally slower than retrying, and may even result in a timeout).

The problem seems worst during the day in the Eastern US. I'm guessing that Wiktionary is sharing server resources with Wikipedia, which must be at least an order of magnitude larger in all dimensions. I realize that Wikimedia is non-profit, but might it be possible to relocate Wiktionary and the other smaller siblings to a separate block of servers? I'm thinking an average laptop should be able to handle Wiktionary traffic just fine. If not, there is ample room performance tuning. -dmh 19:25, 5 Jan 2005 (UTC)

<Jun-Dai 20:19, 5 Jan 2005 (UTC)>This is definitely a problem for me, but I suspect that more hardware will be thrown at the issue someday. I think that performance is probably limiting the growth of this site, however</Jun-Dai>
Related to stopping and retrying links (very helpful, by the way!) I have noticed some improvement by disabling http keep-alives from my browser. --Connel MacKenzie 22:03, 20 Jan 2005 (UTC)
To expound a little on my previous post, I found this discussion on /.:
  • To control the timeout problem for slow connections/clients, Apache can be tuned to use very short keepalive times. HTTP/1.1's keepalive header can be useful for clustering a burst of multiple requests (such as an HTML file plus a collection of images for it) but the dormant processes it can generate can be more costly than the TCP connection overhead time you were trying to avoid by enabling HTTP/1.1. Oops. Set the timeout low enough to hit the sweet spot between "too many new TCP connections" and "too many idle Apache children".
and aparently tweaking my client side settings affect what happens at the squid level (and perhaps also behind it, at the MySQL layer,) as I have noticed varying degrees of improvement since making this client-side change. --Connel MacKenzie 18:26, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)


It's nice to see categories getting used a bit more, though there is vast room for further use. Before we do that, though, it might be a good time to look at our list of categories and see if we can impose a bit more order.

Right now there are 200+ categories. Some of them have general titles (like Idioms and Greetings), some are prefixed by language codes like fr:, some start with the name of a language (English Nouns), some start with English:, some names are terse and some verbose, and let's not even mention capitalization.

Some categories include others as subcategories, and some articles include links for both a category and one or more of its subcategories. Further, it doesn't seem possible to rename a category, or at least it didn't work when I tried it. If this is really the case, it becomes particularly important to name categories with care.

I'd like to propose a naming convention like the following:

  • All categories start with a language name (or code), or "translingual" as would appear in a level-2 section, except any that truly span all languages. Thus "idioms" should be "English:Idioms" or "en:Idioms".
  • Separate parts of a category name with colon, slash or some other delimiter. This both highlights structure and makes categories easier for programs to manipulate.
  • Tag each article with the most specific category appropriate and depend on the category structure to do the rest. E.g., tag go with English:Irregular Verbs and don't bother with English:Verbs or English
  • Ideally, the system could automatically ensure that:
    • Foo:Bar includes Foo:Bar:Spam and Foo:Bar:Bletch as subcategories
    • An entry containing, say ==English== and ===Verb=== is automatically included in English and English:Verbs. This suggests an obvious rule . . .

I'm not claiming that this is the best possible solution, but it seems like a good time to raise the issue. -dmh 19:45, 5 Jan 2005 (UTC)

There was a page set up shortly after categories were introduced to deal with this, but that conversation does not seem to have gotten anywhere.
There should be no need to put "English" for every english word. Since this is the English Wiktionary, that should be implicit. English birds in my mind represents birds which are found in England rather than the English names of birds. The term "English" at the beginning of a category should be limited to words about English rather than in English. For other languages the language name such as "French" could be a master category in which all categories beginning with "Fr:" are subcategories. Like English it could then be developed topically. The "Fr:" designation would indicate that there is a French word defined on that page, not merely a translation. All category names should be in English.
My current complaint with the category page is that it's not self-cleaning. Once a category is on there it remains forever, even if it was created by a vandal. All that should be there are blue ones which have an existing page of their own, and red ones which include items but have not been otherwise developed. Eclecticology 09:45, 6 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I guess I don't care really, it just wouldn't be very consistent if English wasn't also included in category titles, so confusing to folks making new category names based on existing ones. --Eean 10:02, 6 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Word of the Day

I'm sure this has been brought up before elsewhere (I haven't seen it), but isn't it about time for an English word of the day on the front page? It might also be nice to have words of the day for other languages, but that seems like it would be secondary, and would be a little more complicated to implement (we could do it on a per language basis, on demand). This would allow people to become more informed about certain words while also allowing us to continue to improve the already good entries. It might also make the home page a little more appealing.

Sounds like a good idea. If it ends up being the "Word of the Every Few Days" that would be fine as well. No reason to limit it to English words, if there's a good definition of a word another language, they could be a Word of the Day. --Eean 05:28, 6 Jan 2005 (UTC)
<Jun-Dai 07:40, 6 Jan 2005 (UTC)> I think it would be worth breaking out into categories. Many people wish to expand their English vocabulary, or their vocabulary in some other language that they are studying or already know, but I think a (more or less) random word from a (more or less) random language will not be very useful to many people, and it would probably turn people off of the feature more than anything else. Also, there's no reason for it not to be a new English word every day, though initially it might not work every day due to a lack of resources and a lack of quality definitions (hopefully both of these problems will go away over time). </Jun-Dai>
That feature existed before. I killed it because nobody was maintaining it. Although I don't have any interest in it myself, I have no objection to someone else doing it. The only condition that we should impose is that one person make a commitment to look after it. Eclecticology 09:13, 6 Jan 2005 (UTC)
<Jun-Dai 10:44, 9 Jan 2005 (UTC)> Maybe in time. I think the wiktionary needs to grow its user base a little for it to be truly worthwhile (it's a feature for a more mature wiktionary). Once we have more than a few to several edits an hour, it shouldn't be difficult to ensure that at least the English word of the day would get updated. If we did it now, it would still be a little bit risky (though I suspect nearly every day would see at least one of the major editors willing to update the word), which we don't want if having it fail now means waiting forever before we dare try again. Perhaps in a year or so? </Jun-Dai>
I see that an anonymous user has generated a Word of the week. This seems to be a reasonable idea, but needs to be moved to the Wiktionary name space and linked to from the Main Page (and formatted properly of course). SemperBlotto 14:48, 29 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Edit page vs. undefined article - Wikipedia link

When I edit a new page, I most often wish to also open a wikipedia search of {{PAGENAME}}. To do that, I first have to open a new tab from the "Article" tab-link above. On that page, there is a link to exactly that. I think it would be useful to have that same link appear without opening the "Article" tab first. Particularly because of the poor performance of the server, I think could speed things up.

wha? There's a link to wikipedia from the Article tab? --Eean 21:52, 8 Jan 2005 (UTC)
For undefined articles, yes. Something like [[w:{{PAGENAME}}|{{PAGENAME}}]]. --Connel MacKenzie 23:12, 8 Jan 2005 (UTC)
To be a little more explicit, follow this example... Step 1: Type "mullet" in the seach box and hit return. Step 2: Click on "create an article with this title". Step 3: Click on "Article" tab at top. Step 4: Click on "Mullet". Be careful not to click the page referring to haircuts from the 'pedia disambiguation page...the horrors. --Connel MacKenzie 04:27, 9 Jan 2005 (UTC)
There's really a variety of resources folks might find useful while editing a given page. I'm not sure if we want to open that can of worms.
I understand your concern, but Wikipedia is *the* sister project. [[w:...]] is just about everywhere. It seems like it is already the preferred resource for this arena. --Connel MacKenzie 08:27, 9 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I've created {{artfl}} to experiment with this concept. As long as I remember to remove it after the preview, it seems to be a work-around that with a couple extra steps, does what I want. --Connel MacKenzie 22:39, 15 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Running the pywikipediabot

GerardM brought to attention a bot that will go through Wiktionary, find articles in different Wiktionaries that have exactly the same name (accounting for uppercase/lowercase) and automatically create the inter-Wiki links at 1 per minute. Could I run the bot for en.Wiktionary? My computer runs Linux and is on all the time so it wouldn't be a bother. How does one get a 'bot' account? --Eean 07:47, 9 Jan 2005 (UTC)

RTFM, looking at meta:Interwiki_bot/Getting_started, looks like I just need consenus before running a bot, though I'm not sure about whether getting flagged as a bot is a sysop function or just part of the script itself. --Eean 07:55, 9 Jan 2005 (UTC)
You have to ask over on Meta. The people there then have a look here to see if it's been ok'd by us. Did you get an account for the bot?
I'm all for it, if possible, do a test run first of a dozen or two. Give everybody a day or so to check the results, then if it looks good, go wholesale! — Hippietrail 11:24, 9 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I hadn't seen the [#bot|discussion] earlier. I made a user user:EeanInterwiktbot for use as a bot. I think I'll go ahead and try it on a few entries so myself and others can see how it works, so we can reach consensus and get it officially marked as a bot so it can be done to all the pages. --EeanInterwiktbot 02:00, 10 Jan 2005 (UTC)
The bot has been used on 5 wiktionaries so far; fr: nl: it: hi: and gu:. En: would be the first one that has only capitalised content :( . GerardM 16:26, 13 Jan 2005 (UTC)
It is now running on a fa: and ja: I would like to run it on en: too. I have started documenting functions of the pywikipedia bot that I use on Meta. GerardM 22:41, 15 Jan 2005 (UTC) If no objections are raised, I will ask for bot status in a week. GerardM 22:41, 15 Jan 2005 (UTC)

How do I report copy vios?

The article Cat in the rain is little more than a badly-formatted copy of Ernest Hemingway's short story of the same name. This is as gross of a copyright violation as any on a GFDL project, & needs to be speedily deleted; however, after chasing a half-dozen links, I was unable to find either a place to report this, or a way to flag this copyvio.

Once this copyvio is removed, can one of the admins provide a mechanism to report copyright violations?
Thanks, 03:52, 12 Jan 2005 (UTC) (known on EN, meta, & Commons as llywrch).

Deleted. To report a copyvio just use the general {{Rfd}} template. This will create a link the the Wiktionary:Requests for deletion page where you can explain why the article needs to be deleted. There is no dedicated page for reporting copyvios; the problem simply does not occur as frequently here as on projects which use larger chunks of text. The "Cat in the rain" article would have soon been deleted anyway on the grounds that it was not a dictionary article. Eclecticology 09:10, 12 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for the quick action, Ray. -- 22:56, 12 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Disambiguation in Wiktionary

Disambiguation is heavily used in Wikipedia where a word has multiple meaning, but I would have thought it had no place here - we just put multiple meanings under one another.

But I have just stumbled on gray. Shouldn't they all be lumped together? I would have put them all under either gray or grey and put a REDIRECT on the other one.

Or is this a grey area? - that is what I was about to add, before I checked on the spelling to use. SemperBlotto 15:56, 14 Jan 2005 (UTC)

"Gray" is the spelling used in all varieties of English for a particular unit in physics. It is named after someone called Gray, hence the spelling. This is part of the reason for the separate pages. See the thread about the proposed method of treating UK/US variations (such as "aeroplane"/"airplane"), which is called something like "color colour". — Paul G 17:16, 14 Jan 2005 (UTC)

WikiSaurus category

I've added a few new articles to WikiSaurus but, as they are all in the "WikiSaurus" namespace, the WikiSaurus category lists them all under W. Is there any way, short of removing the namespace, which would be undesirable, to make the category list an entry called "WikiSaurus:xyz" under x rather than W? — Paul G 17:07, 14 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Hi there, the problem is that the Category: stratement is hard coded within the WikiSaurus template. If it wasn't, you could code Category:Wikisaurus|big. One way to fix it would be to change the WikiSaurus template to allow an added parameter (big) that would be "piped" on to the Category statement. See, for example, the db (delete because) template in Wikipedia (it doesn't seem to exist here). Cheers. SemperBlotto 17:33, 14 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I have added a separate Category statement to big - it is now shown under 'b'. SemperBlotto 19:42, 14 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Shouldn't that be an upper case "B", as it's now the start of the "sentence?" What then is the point of including the template, if the category now needs to be manually input? --Connel MacKenzie 22:20, 15 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Could someone please explain to me (I can't find it in the discussion) why Wikisaurus entries are being created, instead of just entering synonyms? It seems to be losing utility by having a word's relation stored in to very different places. Eg. drunk vs. WikiSaurus:drunk. Why not just have them all as synonyms in drunk? And then drunk (itself) could be in category WikiSaurus. Or am I missing something? --Connel MacKenzie 21:06, 14 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Wow. We'd have millions of categories, pretty much making usage of categories for other purposes unworkable.--Richardb 13:07, 24 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Note: I've put a reference to Wiktionary:Thesaurus considerations in the list of summarised discussions at the top of Beer PArlour, so anyone looking for Thesaurus here should find it.--Richardb 13:07, 24 Jan 2005 (UTC)
One reason is to cut down redundancy and ensure consistency, by listing all synonyms for a word in one place rather than replicating the list for every synonym of a word. The WikiSaurus is User:Richardb's idea, so he could tell you more about why it is being done. Note that it is still an experiment at setting up a thesaurus within Wiktionary, and there are not very many pages yet, so it is still undoable if it becomes seen as not the right way to do things. I think there has been some discussion of WikiSaurus or a thesaurus before in the beer parlour, so see that discussion too. — Paul G 19:50, 15 Jan 2005 (UTC)
That conversation seems familiar, but I can't find it (this *is* the Beer Parlor here.) Perhaps it was archived? I don't see why it's can't just be a category that a bot adds to pages with synonyms or antonyms. Entering them manually seems an excruciating way to go about it, and the insult is that the relevant syn/ant data no longer resides in the word's article. I wonder if I'm getting it backwards, and the plan is to later bot the wikisaurus entries into the words? --Connel MacKenzie 22:20, 15 Jan 2005 (UTC)
the relevant syn/ant data no longer resides in the word's article - But it can if you want to keep it there. Just that listing the maybe 50 WikiSaurus entries for Sexual Intercourse as synonyms against each of the words - some of which don't even have definition entries - would be a huge waste of time, lose the value of the WikiSaurus. Does any other dictionary list all the synonyms against each definition ?? By all means, put a few synonyms in the article with each definition / sense, and then also link to the appropriate WikiSaurus entry for a fuller, more comprehensive list of synonyms, related terms, similes etc;--Richardb 13:07, 24 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Argh. I still can't find the conversation. Anyone remember what article it was attached to? --Connel MacKenzie 22:55, 16 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I found it hidden over in Wiktionary:Thesaurus considerations and registered my "No" vote. --Connel MacKenzie 06:14, 18 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I have now gotten around to improving the WikiSaurus template so that you don't need to add a second Category statement. I have also edited all articles to use the new version and they are all nicely listed now. SemperBlotto 17:41, 16 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Thanks - but they're still all lower case? --Connel MacKenzie 22:55, 16 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Characters box in edit mode

The Characters box that appears in edit mode is a great idea, but it is far from complete as far as accented characters go. Two characters that I've needed recently are i-trema and u-grave, but neither of these is there.

I don't see how to edit this box, so could someone update it and complete the list of accented characters, please?

Thanks. — Paul G 20:35, 15 Jan 2005 (UTC)

An admin or Sysop has to edit MediaWiki:copyrightwarning. --Connel MacKenzie 23:53, 15 Jan 2005 (UTC)
As everyone will now be able to see, I've added many more accented characters, along with the Greek and Cyrillic alphabets. — Paul G 10:28, 19 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Use of html big tags

Discussion moved from Talk:Tsunami#Use_of_html_big_tags

I've moved this topic here where it can be read and commented on by more people:

I just wanted to note that I reverted Stephen G. Brown's addittion of <big> tags because second guessing the user's font & browser settings, etc is a bad idea generally, as much as we might be tempted. Users particularly interested in such scripts will be used to reading them at standard sizes or will know how and when to increase the font size for the page. Stylesheets will also be able to help with this when they work fully. Generally, aiming to separate content and formatting as a sound ideal, given that it's not totally possible on Wiktionary. — Hippietrail 23:39, 14 Jan 2005 (UTC)

The problem, Hippietrail, is the phrase "at standard sizes." In languages that stack glyphs vertically, people enter and read at larger pointsizes than we use for Roman, Cyrillic or Greek text. It depends to some extent on the font, of course, but as a general rule, anyone who uses pointsize 12 for English will need at least 14 or 16 for Hebrew. Arabic (and Persian, Urdu, etc.) is a bigger problem, and people use at least pointsize 18 (i.e., 50% greater than the Roman size). Thai is even worse than Arabic, and people work at least 50% larger in it (18 points or more). Khmer is worse yet, and the pointsize from English to Khmer must be doubled.
Everyone can read all of the Roman, Cyrillic, Greek, Japanese, Chinese and Korean text on these Wiki pages just fine as they are presented. But I can just barely make out the Arabic and Thai, because the pointsize used here is much smaller than the standard for those languages. And even though I may know a given Arabic or Thai word, and can just manage to recognize it at such a small size, I nevertheless cannot see it well enough to see every single character/diacritic. The only way I can proofread Arabic or Thai entries, and the only way I can make out an unfamiliar word, is by copying and pasting it into a word processor, selecting a suitable font, and increasing the point size by at least 50%.
I must admit that I have no idea what effect different browser settings might have on this. In my case, using IE 6 with the default settings, I cannot read the current "standard-sized" Arabic or Thai, but I can read the "big-sized" Arabic and Thai. Khmer is still too small.
I did not know about the stylesheets, however, and I'm glad to hear that they're working on this. When they finally implement the stylesheets, hopefully it will fix this problem once and for all.
By the way, I have an unrelated question about fonts that I've been meaning to ask for some time, but never got around to it. At the moment, I think my browser (IE 6) is using Times New Roman and Courier New for text in Roman, Greek or Cyrillic scripts, but these fonts are missing some important characters. I was just wondering if there is a good font available somewhere that contains all these Unicode characters (and if it isn't too difficult to program IE to use that font).
Stephen 12:02, 15 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Can't this just be handled by someone's own browser-settings? These can be set to see things bigger or smaller, or to override the website's selection of fonts. We can support a specific coding, but the choice of fonts is at a personal level. A person working in a multilingual environment may be stuck with the fact that very few fonts are capable of handling the wide range of languages that we see here in Wiktionary. Eclecticology 20:44, 19 Jan 2005 (UTC)

SQL request for translations to be checked

Could someone run an SQL search for the string "Translations to be checked", please? These pages need to be categorised by "Category:Check translations" (I don't know the template for this). I just need the list - the work of adding the category to these pages can be done by me or others in due course. Thanks.— Paul G 10:41, 17 Jan 2005 (UTC)

There is no template - it's just [[Category:Check_translations]]. — Paul G 10:46, 19 Jan 2005 (UTC)
The template is {{checktrans}}. As with all templates, you can also write the category link out by hand as above, but this seems easier and will still work if the category gets renamed -dmh 16:01, 19 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Usage notes versus differentiation/disambiguation

<Jun-Dai 18:40, 19 Jan 2005 (UTC)> I've stated somewhere before that I think that most entries in the Wiktionary should have usage notes to help clear up any confusion about how and when a word can be used appropriately that might still be left over after reading the definition, example sentences, and quotations. One of the most important features of this (speaking from frustrations in other dictionaries I've used--I'm sure others feel similarly) is to establish the difference in meaning or connotation between a word and its synonyms. How, for example, is walk different from stride, constitutional, gait, and stroll? The differences here will at worst be completely unclear from the defs and examples, and at best will be vaguely understood. Given that every entry that contains synonyms should have something like this at some point, I don't think we need to bog down the usage note with these distinctions (it has plenty to do already), rather I think we could have a subheader under synonyms explaining the differences between the words and the main entry. Consider:


=== Synonyms ===

==== Differentiation (this wants a better title) ====

  • Tune is different from song in that it can refer to a melody that isn't sung (to some extent song can as well, but this is not the general use of the term. See usage note, above) and it is generally not used in formal writing.
  • Hymn is a more restrictive term than song in that it refers to pieces of music that are generally sung in religious settings in praise of a diety or object of worship. When it is clear that the work in question is a hymn, the term song would generally be considered inappropriate.
  • Aria refers to a song in classical music sung by a solo voice, often in the context of an aria. It can also refer to melodic classical pieces without any vocal parts.

I'll be the first to admit that I didn't do the best job above, but I think the idea I'm getting at is clear. What I want from the community is comments, approval (or alternate suggestions), and a better term for the header. If the idea can be cemented, then we can add it to Wiktionary:Entry layout explained. </Jun-Dai>

I first began using the term "usage note" in the course of importing material from the 1913 Webster. It is certainly one of the most useful features of that book. It was a part of what they put under "synonyms", but something more than just bare synonyms. It's not very different from the current proposal. I don't feel strongly about the term "usage notes"; it was a convenient one that could as easily have been several others. Eclecticology 20:59, 19 Jan 2005 (UTC)

In your example, I would chop 90% of the verbiage, and come up with something like this:


  • tune (just a melodic/rhythmic portion, with/without lyrics)
  • hymn (melodic religious music - see also psalms, carols)
  • aria (Operatic solo)
  • . . .

all in the name of the K.I.S.S. principle. Granted, yours does provide more depth, but I doubt it truly is needed or wanted by most readers. --Connel MacKenzie 03:44, 20 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Ha! IF that was the criteria for what should be included in Wiktionary, then about 80% of it would be ditched !!

Instead, see my note below (Jan 28) about the idea of having extension pages within Wiktionary for adding more in the way of usage notes, quotations, etymology etc.--Richardb 15:15, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)

<Jun-Dai 04:41, 20 Jan 2005 (UTC)> I'm in favor of simplicity, to be sure, but not at the expense of information or comprehensiveness. We shouldn't sacrifice content because most people don't need or want it, though we can use that criterion to make it less accessible (my explanation for putting quotations on a separate page--I feel similarly about the translations). </Jun-Dai>

Jun-dai, are you saying it was a bad example you gave? There is no need for an extended discussion on these subtleties - that drives readers away. Too much (as you had in your example above) is simply too much. --Connel MacKenzie 05:22, 20 Jan 2005 (UTC)
<Jun-Dai 09:54, 20 Jan 2005 (UTC)> No, I don't. Or rather, I'm saying that I think the information that I'm talking about is important, though the location I suggested for it is not (it could really go anywhere, it's just that the location I chose seemed logical to me). I think that the alternate copy that you've given is a bit incomprehensible, or at least, it's harder to understand. I don't think we are in danger of providing too much information (IMO, it can only be "too much" if it is decidedly superfluous), provided that we restrict ourselves to pertinent lexical information (i.e., not expanding too much on topics outside of the scope of defining a word and explaining its usage). That said, I think the distinction between synonyms is extremely pertinent, and rarely included in dictionaries for reasons purely to do with space (that is to say, dictionaries that choose to increase their volume tend to focus on increasing the number of definitions, rather than increasing the space allotted to each definition--there is no need for us to be limited in either regard). If anything, I think that I was a little overbrief on my explanations of these distinctions.
In a way, this is related to the basic idea of the Wiktionary itself. Are we simply trying to provide a free dictionary, or are we trying to take advantage of the fact that we are not subject to the limitations that printed dictionaries have? We have the opportunity to provide an invaluable resource that no other reference does: to give people a comprehensive understanding of the words, terms, and phrases of all languages. Understanding the subtle distinctions between similar meaning words (many of these distinctions are extremely subtle, and will depend on context) is integral to making this understanding as complete as we can. The shorter alternatives that you've provided don't really accomplish this (I, for one, am confounded by the distinction you've described between song and tune. Also, it doesn't cover the fact that you would, in many cases, come off a little oddly using tune in more formal written circumstances, or in many circumstances it would be inappropriate for you to say song to mean hymn, even though all hymns are really a type of song (this has something to do with song lacking the proper dignity or gravitas). Last, but not least, I think it would be prudent for the Wiktionary to use complete sentences for describing something as complicated as these distinctions.
You have given me an idea, however. These notes might work better cut directly into the synonyms list. Without improving the copy any, I'll illustrate:
  • tune
    Tune is different from song in that it can refer to a melody that isn't sung (to some extent song can as well, but this is not the general use of the term. See usage note, above) and it is generally not used in formal writing.
  • hymn
    Hymn is a more restrictive term than song in that it refers to pieces of music that are generally sung in religious settings in praise of a diety or object of worship. When it is clear that the work in question is a hymn, the term song would generally be considered inappropriate.
  • aria
    Aria refers to a song in classical music sung by a solo voice, often in the context of an aria. It can also refer to melodic classical pieces without any vocal parts.
  • paean
  • . . .

Perhaps we can someday have some feature that will hide these explanations, only to show them to the user when they mouse over the terms. Though in truth, I'm not in favor of such complicated UIs--I simply see it as a means of appeasing those who prefer less verbosity versus my preference for comprehensiveness at the expense of brevity.</Jun-Dai>

A much simpler approach might simply be to remind the reader that synonyms are rarely exact, and to advise them to follow the links to find out how the terms differ. It seems to me that the expansions of each of the synonyms reproduce the definitions to a large extent, although I also see that they are useful in making distinctions rather than merely giving definitions of terms in isolation from other similar terms.
The problem with what is being proposed, is that these differentiations would be repeated in every list of synonyms that include the same terms (so, for example, "air", "tune", "song", "hymn", etc would all have discussion of how they differ from an "aria"). This would be very inefficient and extremely difficult to maintain. A better solution would be to include the distinctions on the page for the word itself; for example, the page for aria would explain, maybe in the "Usage notes" section, how an aria differs from a song or hymn, while "tune" would explain how it differs from "song" and "melody" (for example). This is would be much better in terms of the amount of work required and the usability of the result.
Paul G 12:51, 20 Jan 2005 (UTC)
<Jun-Dai 18:31, 20 Jan 2005 (UTC)> You bring up a good point, Paul. Certainly there is an amount of overlap/redundancy that this will bring about, though perhaps not as much as you suggest. After all, the distinction between "air" and "aria" is going to differ from the distinction between "aria" and "song". The former distinction will have to relate the associations of "aria" to opera and "air" to more baroque music, as well as to music in general outside of classical music, while also mentioning the certain amount of common ground (could the "aria" in the Goldberg variations have been called an "air"?). The latter, however, should include mention of the fact that in situations where "aria" is distinctly appropriate (as in an aria within an opera), "song", while fitting its definition, would seem inappropriate and disrespectful (similar to hymn). The greatest redundancy comes from the fact that the text on the "aria" entry at the synonym of "song" will be essentially the same as the text on the "song" entry at the synonym of "aria." This could be solved with a comment like "see synonym note at 'song'". If there is significant overlap between the difference between "hymn" vs. "aria" and "song" vs. "aria" (I can't imagine much, but other people may see it, and certainly other examples will contain more overlap), then we could include as much copy as is necessary to explain the distinction that is specific to "hymn" vs. "aria", and point to the synonym note at "song" vs. "aria" for more information (or better yet, the usage note at "aria").
That said, I realize that I could have replicated the definition less in my example. Let me try again with one of them:
  • tune
    While both tune and song can refer to any piece of music, tune is most frequently used to refer to the melody of a piece of music, and song is most frequently used to refer to a piece of music with lyrics. They can, however, be used interchangeably in a small number of instances ("Can you sing a Gershwin tune," for example, could as easily be "Can you sing a Gershwin song"). Also, tune is generally not used in formal writing, whereas song is.
  • hymn

And in the tune entry:

This greatly reduces any redundancy, and focuses on the task I'm trying to accomplish: to make it clear to the reader when to use one, when to use the other, when either is appropriate but the connotation or tone differs, and when they can be used more or less interchangeably.
Again, part of my interest here is in providing a resource that you simply cannot find elsewhere. With this in place, a user could come to the Wiktionary with the goal of trying to determine the difference between song and tune and come away with significantly less confusion than they would if they had only the definitions and usage notes to work with. Many are the times I've used a dictionary for this purpose, and it is rare that I have been satisfied with the result (I usually get better results from simply asking people and googling the terms to see what contexts they are used in). </Jun-Dai>
Jun-Dai, I think we are talking about slightly more than a style difference. I do like the content of your re-worked text (above), but I don't think that I would even bother copying and pasting that text around. I also wouldn't lift a finger to remove it. Yours is a noble goal; I think as the majority of words become defined, Wiktionary will see a tendency more toward what you are suggesting. My comment about readers/readability/boredom is irrelevant; Wiktionary articles are becoming long. Not only is that fine, there is nothing realistically that can be done about it. --Connel MacKenzie 17:15, 20 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Category:Requests for deletion vs. Wiktionary:Requests for deletion

The description at the top of Wiktionary:Requests for deletion gives me the impression that an article may be requested for whacking either manually, or automatically by adding the {{rfd}} template. The Category description at category:Requests for deletion contraverts that. Which is correct? Is there no use in using {{rfd}}, or do the people that monitor the one also monitor the other? --Connel MacKenzie 08:40, 20 Jan 2005 (UTC)

The process is a two part process. The lazy people just put the {{rfd}} code into the entry. The entry then shows up on the category:Requests for deletion list.

But, this then brings up the 'banner' with a link to the Page Wiktionary:Requests for deletion, where hopefully people will also go and create an entry and put their reasons. But, if they don't do that at least we got the entry identified in the category list. If the article get's deleted, it automatically gets removed from the category list. If it is cleaned up instead, the {{rfd}} code will be removed, so it will come off the category list. The category list is simple and automatic, the page Requests for Deletion is there for reasons to be presented etc, if people can be bothered ! Two bob each way--Richardb 14:39, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I guess I was more concerned about vandalism deletion requests. When it comes to that, I'm quite lazy about only dropping an rfd. --Connel MacKenzie 14:56, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)

P.S. Template:Rfd, Template:RfdProto and Wiktionary:Protologisms all include the category (the last, for exemplification of rfdproto.) Shouldn't there be a wrapper template that has the category and pulls the text from a secondary template, so that Wiktionary:Protologisms doesn't have to be on the list - it could just pull the text from the secondary template?

Make it too complicated and sophisticated, and you have to be a programming nut to follo wit. Just keep things simple, at just one level.

Plus, the whole debate about deleting protologisms is not conculded, as far as I know. The template RfdProto is really a rogue template that should not be there at all.--Richardb 14:39, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)

100 Random pages

Over the past few days, I have spent idle moments hitting the “Random page” button 100 times. These were the results - make of them what you will.

English language - well formatted - 32 English language - no proper formatting - 8 English language - stub, no definition - 2 English language - total garbage - 3 English language - transwiki page space - 1 Chinese characters (etc) - with a translation - 26 Chinese characters (etc) - no translation - 13 Foreign language - formatted & translated - 15

I wikified those that I could, and requested deletion of the garbage. It is difficult to say how representative that exercise was; two of the pages were ones that I had added myself and I’m sure that I haven’t contributed 2% of Wiktionary yet. SemperBlotto 10:32, 24 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Hi SemperBlotto,
I think it's a good exercise to do this every once in a while. It allows to find where the problems are. The pages describing Chinese characters constitute a good 30%, just click them away (close them). There was a time were they made up for more than 50% of what we had. So it's getting better.
If you use Firefox or Mozilla to surf, you will find that it is very convenient to be able to open pages in tabs. Simply clicking the middle mouse button twenty times, opens pages in the background very quickly and conveniently.
200 random pages between you and me resulted in 2 pages that could be deleted on sight and some that I also nominated for cleanup. My findings in the distribution of the categories you made were roughly similar to yours. Keep up the good work! Polyglot 11:21, 24 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Extension pages for an article

The other day I did a bit of work on bouncebackability, and noted that there is quite a Wikipedia article on it w:bouncebackability; it's origins etc.

Yet really this article is only the discussion of the origins of the word.

But here in Wiktionary we seem to limit ourselves to the definitions, and some limited etymology, usage notes and quotations.

Seems odd to me that the Encylopedia should have all the information about what is just a word, not the actual topic, but we don't have it.

Then I came across the entry for a punk, and did a bit on that. And added in the Dirty Harry quote of "Do you feel lucky, punk". But I also needed to explain that this was really a misquote, as that isn't the line in the movie (but it sure gets a lot of hits on Google). So I decided to create what I consider we need - an extension page - Punk/More:Usage, and added some of the detail there. Kept the main entry short, and just added a link to this sub-page.

Seems the same treatment could/should be used for bouncebackability, and probably a lot of other words where a more encyclopaedic entry would be justified. we could then take those pure "Lexicology" entries out of Wikipedia.

What do folks think ?--Richardb 14:29, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)

  • An alternative would be to write a longer article in Wikipedia (or extend an existing one) and link to it in Wiktionary - just by adding a {{wikipedia}} template. That's what I have been doing recently in articles like backgammon. SemperBlotto 15:17, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I have been doing just this (making subpages) on the Latin wiktionary, when the etymology of a complicated irregular verb requires a lot of tables and things. For example la:sum (notatio) (“sum (etymology)”) is associated with the main article la:sum. I fully intend to extend this for other surpluses of information as well, such as if a list of translations gets very large, or if a page has too many entries on it. —Muke Tever 00:41, 29 Jan 2005 (UTC)
The use of the "/" for extension pages is a specific feature of the software, rather than using brackets. If you called your extension page la:sum/notatio, you (should) find that on that page it automatically has a link back to the la:sum page. In fact, I have found that the sub page la:sum/notatio already exists. You should merge the two pages under the "/" form.--Richardb 00:27, 2 Feb 2005 (UTC)
It doesn't appear as though either of these two words has enough there yet to merit beginning a sub-page. "Bouncebackability" is a neologism that may or may not survive the test of time. What Wikipedia does to fill out its stup should not affect what we do with the word here. We would do well to have a proper attributed quote for the word, but I doubt that it will engender a lot of debate about its meaning.
For "punk" our article is not yet developed enough to require initiating sub-pages. The stories about the mis-quotes probably belong on Wikipedia or Wikiquote. Eclecticology 07:01, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)
What about the principle of keeping "guff" in sub-pages, while leeping the primary page fairly clean, clear, uncluttered. --Richardb 00:27, 2 Feb 2005 (UTC)
There is already a category on Wikipedia listing pages that are little more than dictionary entries and are to be moved to Wiktionary (follow the link to see these words).
It is always a good idea to link to Wikipedia, when a page exists there, to provide extra info on a word. The {{wikipedia}} tag is useful, but if pages other than those having the same name as the Wiktionary article need to be referenced, it is better to put the links in the "See also" or "External links" section. — Paul G 12:33, 1 Feb 2005 (UTC)
The point here is we are talking about the origins and usage of a word - punk or bouncebackability, not some encylopedia entry which adds information about the substance behind the words. This origins and usage information rightly belongs in a lexicography document / dictionary, not in an encyclopedia.

I've just seen that there are two pages of entries to be moved to Wiktionary in Wikipedia: as well as the category I have already mentioned, there is a requests page. — Paul G 12:41, 1 Feb 2005 (UTC)
The "Punk/More:Usage" page is unnecessary, as far as I can see. I have moved it into punk. — Paul G 12:59, 1 Feb 2005 (UTC)
But that move lost a lot of valuable information. Because the misquote "Do you feel lucky, punk", is more famous than the real quotation. (9,900 hits in exactly that punctuation, boosted to 13,300 for "Do you feel lucky", +punk, even 3,300 for "Do ya feel lucky", +punk .--Richardb 00:27, 2 Feb 2005 (UTC)

European multilingual thesaurus on health promotion

We have permission to use the European multilingual thesaurus on health promotion in wikipedia. It is a translation thesaurus with relation between many concepts. Every concept has 12 translations; there are 1216 "words". So all in all they are 14.592 discrete terms. More info on Meta ..

Having this resource is relevant in several ways, uploading it to en:wiktionary seems a good idea. I would like some feedback. GerardM 23:54, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)

What's the problem? Eclecticology 06:38, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I would love to see your bot (one edit per minute!) copy all of that here. --Connel MacKenzie 07:28, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)
meta:European multilingual thesaurus on health promotion. GerardM 08:44, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)
So the idea is that they are willing to donate all that data so that it can inter-relate better? Cool, that means we'd get a slew of physicians using Wiktionary in one fell swoop? That seems like a pretty darn good thing to me. Can the individual entries be tagged with [[category:Health Promotion]] automatically? --Connel MacKenzie 08:58, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Adding a category to it, is the easy bit. Getting the relations in is a bit more involved. GerardM 10:56, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)
There appears to be no problem with accepting this material as relevant to what this project does. The problem seems to revolve around how it will be integrated with the rest of Wiktionary. If the particular term does not yet have an entry it can probably be simply created. If that means that languages need to be identified there by templates that can be edited away into real words at a later time. Where we already have an article for a term the work may be a little more difficult since we would also want to preserve the work that has already been done. Perhaps a couple of examples would make this proposal less obscure - say one for a term which we do not yet have, and one which would conflict with an existing term. Eclecticology 19:30, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Sidebar donation link

Could a Wiktionary admin add the word Donations to MediaWiki:Sitesupport and add Wikimedia:Fundraising to MediaWiki:Sitesupport-url? --mav 04:23, 29 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Done. Please check to make sure it has the desired effect. "Donations" now appears at two places in the side bar. Eclecticology 01:09, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)
"Donations" links to "". I am using the Monobook "skin" and I see only one "Donations" link, in the "navigation" box. --Connel MacKenzie 07:32, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I use the classic skin. The "Donations" in the top section of the side bar (between "Help" and "My watchlist") indeed behaves as you mention. The second appearance is at the very bottom of the side bar and links to the Foundation "Fundraising" page. Eclecticology 19:37, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Is this a {{sofixit}}? --Connel MacKenzie 04:06, 1 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I seem to have cleaned this up, so that the various links function correctly now. I'm just starting to test with the various other skins; if anyone sees weird stuff, please speak up. --Connel MacKenzie 07:13, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)
In the "Monobook.css" and "MySkin" skins, one "Donations" link appears.
In the "Classic" and "Cologne Blue" skins, two "Donations" links appear.
In the "Nostalgia" skin, no "Donations" link appears at all.
At least all the links that do appear, appear to work. --Connel MacKenzie 07:26, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)

How to get rid of Empty Categories ?

I notice in the list of categories (Special Pages / Categories), there are a number of entries (such as Australian English) which have no actual page. How is this possible ? (There are no words showing up on the category page, so there can be no words with that category, and the default category page has not been added to). How do we get rid of these false entries in the list of categories.--Richardb 00:57, 2 Feb 2005 (UTC)

There are entries in these categories; you normally do not see them until you break free of the edit page and go to the "Categories" top left tab, at which point you can see the names of the entries in that category... --Connel MacKenzie 06:59, 2 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Articles in category "Australian English"
There are 2 articles in this category.
  • Shop steal
  • Shop stealer
I agree it is bad wikti-ediquitte to leave the categories themselves undefined. Even a single space character saved in the category would be more polite. --Connel MacKenzie 06:59, 2 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Thanks Connel--Richardb 09:58, 2 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I've seen the problem, and it has nothing to do with controversial categories, or editors forgetting to delete things. It seems that these things just stay on the category list even when nobody want6s them. This is more a bug in the software. I'll mention it on the Wikitech mailing list. Eclecticology 07:26, 2 Feb 2005 (UTC)
The only "problem" I see is that category:Australian English does not link to as it should. But the categories themselves seem to be working quite correctly. --Connel MacKenzie 07:57, 2 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Deeleted Template:Wanted Articles, merged into Requested articles:English

In trying to list the templates in use, what they are used for (see Wiktionary:Index to templates, I came across Template:Wanted Articles. This surely was a misuse of the Template namespace. I moved all the discussion and the article contents into the already existing Wiktionary:Requested articles:English, and deleted the [Template:Wanted Articles]--Richardb 01:25, 2 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Language Codes / Templates /Categories

I propose to do some tidying up, adding structure, to the language templates, categories etc. But first, we need to agree on which language codes we are going to use. I propose we use ISO 639-2. see w:ISO 639, which is a 3 character code, catering for more languages than the more common 2 letter code. (We could probably accommodate the common 2 character codes also, where there is no clash)

Any objections to adopting that as the standard? Does anyone know if there is a standard code used in any other Wiktionaries, Wikipdeia etc ? I don't think the Webster's list Wiktionary:Abbreviations in Webster is adequate.

I am thinking there could be a several template types involved. eg:

  • {{Enm}} simply expands to "Middle English", but allows "automatic translation" to "Ancien Anglais" etc
  • {{Enm-C}} expands to [[category:Middle English Words]] - C for category!
  • {{Fre-O}} expands to [[category:Words with French origins]] etc.

Any comments, ideas, objections ?--Richardb 05:24, 2 Feb 2005 (UTC)

The objection I have is one of motivation. What is the purpose of "cleaning up" stuff that someone else finds useful? I have not gotten very far with my Webster 1913 abbreviations experiment, and if someone has a better solution I'm all ears. The Webster abbreviations are quite counter-intuitive, and having a "pretty" link plus a category as a result of an abbreviation is starting to prove itself useful.
I don't understand what harm could be caused by even as much as a hundred or two templates. Even if it were a thousand, I still don't understand what the problem is. There are no issues of naming conflicts, that I'm aware of. Are there any? I strongly agree that they should be spelled out somewhere (as is just starting to pick up at Wiktionary:Index to templates.)
The only problems with hundreds of willy nilly created templates and categories are
  • Confusion for newbies
  • A long time to learn how the system works
  • No intuitive leap from one template or category to another
  • Loss of potential collaborative effort
If you go to the supermarket, do you find it useful to have some organisation to the way things are put onto shelves, into certain aisles. You know if you want Cornflakes it will probably be in the section labelled Cereals. Well, having some similar level of helpful organisation is what I'm trying to achieve. I've no intention of being a censor or anything like that. Just having a consitent way of classifying, organising etc.--Richardb 09:49, 2 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I'm glad I stopped at only about a dozen entries - I had planned to ask for general comments here, but I guess you beat me to it. --Connel MacKenzie 07:18, 2 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Continuing the supermarket analogy, it always slows down the shopping when the management decides that the stock should be organized differently. The introduction of new templates recently borders on madness. You don't need a template for information that is one word long. Those who edit here a mere two years from now will find it difficult to know what we meant. Nesting categories inside of templates only makes matters worse. The best cleaning up we can do is replace many of these templates with what thay really mean. Eclecticology 10:31, 2 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I am amused to hear you imply that I am insane. I agree that my experiment with the abbreviation of words in Webster 1913 was a little much. I do plan on undoing those changes. But I hesitate on removing the language abbreviations from etymologies; the automatic category addition is quite valuable.
As for those who edit here two years from now, I have to wonder what you mean. The fledgling explanation page will go a long way to address your concern, I think.
I agree that nesting templates within other templates should be avoided. But you object to nesting categories? Some of your complaints have directly caused the need of category names to be maleable. And category names tend to be LONG. I don't mind the typing, but I DO mind the typos.
Language links are generally in two flavors: w:lang name or w:lang name language. How many guesses does it take to find the right one? Sometimes the link 'should' be to Wiktionary, sometimes the link 'should' be to Wikipedia. Why try to memorize the myriad variations, when you can just embed the correct template from the get-go? --Connel MacKenzie 08:18, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)
One fact about people is that they seldom read instructions. People tend to look at solutions to a problem when they encounter the problem, and no earlier. Faced with an edit page containing a mass of templates they will want to know what those templates mean there without needing to search throughout the site for answers. You may very well have explanations planned, but I would not count on it until I see it.
Using the templates for every language name in the Etymology section has caused category links for all of them. In reality many of the listed words in the Webster etymologies are there to show parallel developments. Not all are direct ancestors of the modern English word being studied.
Very few category names need to be long. Most can probably be accomodated with no more than three words. I perhaps worry less about the typos. If you type in a category that you know to exist, and it comes up red you catch the typo right away.
I don't follow your last point about memorizing so much. Plain language avoids this. Eclecticology 09:15, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Thank you for reinforcing my point; category names themselves often become a point of debate. Category:Words with Anglo Saxon etymological roots perhaps would be a more accurate category name. Having the category defined in the template means I can correct the few entries I've made so far with only one edit, and we can discuss the results and perhaps change it again. If you asked me to edit each of those words, I would balk.
I think your assertion that most categories can probably be one or two words is intentionally false, and absurd.
Yes, so I've corrected it to what I intended. Now it would be wilfully foolish to call that absurd. Eclecticology 10:26, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Changing "fewer than three words" to "three words or less" (above) is less absurd, but still absurd. And still smacks of falsehood. Mangling the example above, Category:Anglo Saxon words is not only four words, but becomes so general, it would be a meaningless category. Using such a category would include too many other items, and would be overwhelmed to the point of being useless. --Connel MacKenzie 15:48, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)
My earlier point pertains to linking to Wikipedia for language references. Here on Wiktionary, we define things, and differentiate them from similar terms. We try not to go into depth describing every minute detail about something. For less common languages, a link to an encyclopedic reference is more appropriate and linking to a one-line dictionary definition. But Wikipedia is not consistent about language names within Wikipedia. Some articles are the language name, others are the language name + " language". Whether I link it correctly or not, it will still appear light blue. In translation tables, often either just the name of a language, or a Wiktionary link is more appropriate than an encyclopedic link. Having that particular nuance handled at the template level, I think is useful. Furthermore, I have found it to be helpful. The desired link appears during preview, and I usually learn something in the process of defining a word. --Connel MacKenzie 09:50, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)
ISO 639-2 sucks for language coverage. It's designed for cataloguing things by language, so minor languages aren't as well covered. The other wiktionaries, the ones that me or GerardM have any hand in, use ISO 639-3 [draft], which is designed for comprehensive coverage of languages, to supplement the other ISO 639 two– and three-letter codes. —Muke Tever 19:09, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Can you point us to a copy of the ISO639-3, please --Richardb 11:41, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Linked from the bottom of [1] (or google for "ISO 639 3" — they're up to draft 5 now, whatever that may mean. —Muke Tever 01:51, 5 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Maybe you were being just a little over the top to say ISO 639-2 sucks, when you use ISO 639-3 - since it seems ISO 639-2 is just a subset of ISO 639-3 ! To quote the ISO-639-3.5 draft :-
  • The three-letter codes in ISO 639-2 and ISO 639-3 are complementary and compatible. The two codes have been devised for different purposes. The set of individual languages listed in ISO 639-2 is a subset of those listed in ISO 639-3. The codes differ in that ISO 639-2 includes code elements representing some individual languages and also collections of languages, while ISO 639-3 includes code elements for all known individual languages but not for collections of languages. Overall, the set of individual languages listed in ISO 639-3 is much larger than the set of individual languages listed in ISO 639-2.
  • The languages represented in ISO 639-1 are a subset of those represented in ISO 639-2; every language code element in the two-letter code has a corresponding language code element in ISO 639-2, but not necessarily vice versa.
So it seems OK to start using ISO 639-2 to begin with, and expand to use the full ISO 639-3 list when/if we need to, when/if it is finalised and agreed. N'est pas ?--Richardb 12:26, 5 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I stumbled across three separate Wiktionary list of languages pages last night, and one or two wikipedia lists as well. I had too many windows open at the time, to find this conversation and post the links. I'll go through my watchlist tonight, if someone doesn't find some of them first. Of major interest, there was a very basic list, and loooong list, and an even longer list on 'pedia... --Connel MacKenzie 16:29, 5 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Could someone either elaborate on the problems with nesting categories in language templates or point me to where I might find more info? On the Italian Wiki we use them and, as far as I have been able to tell, there have only been minor confusions (people using sic rather than scn for Sicilian for example (we use ISO 639-3 as well)). The benefit is that all the entries for a given language are automatically categorized together- which is really splendid.E. abu Filumena 07:41, 17 Feb 2005 (UTC)

As I think Richardb was getting at (back at the start of this) was that categories from templates are not applied with consistency. In the Italian Wiktionary, they use template'd categories for level 2 headings (only?). Here, languages are identified (or template tagged) at heading level 2, in etymologies, and translations. Those three uses are not compatible with each other. And actually, I don't think we do much Heading level 2 category tagging, if any, here. --Connel MacKenzie 08:17, 17 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Proposal for Wiktionary Policies and Guidelines

I've taken the plunge and started a structured Policies and Guidelines like the one in WikiPedia. A very rough start so far. See Wiktionary:Proposal for Policies and Guidelines

Category:Policies - Wiktionary Top Level

I've decided to be a bit less presumptive, and rename the entries for various Policies from Policy - Xxxx, to Policy Propsosal - Xxxx etc, to make it clearer to people which are accepted policies, and which are just proposals, think tanks etc. Not relying just on having the relevant category tag.--Richardb 02:21, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Biographical entries

I am concerned that a few biographical entries for writers are creeping into Wiktionary. If you look at what links to these, it is invariably pages from Webster, where the authors of quotations have been wikified. So we have mini-biogs of Shakespeare, Chaucer, John Dryden, Pope, et al.

As far as I can see, these do not belong in Wiktionary, and the links should be (for example) [[w:Shakespeare|Shakespeare]] rather than [[Shakespeare]].

Unfortunately there are rather a lot of pages containing these links, so it will take some work to sort this out.

Paul G 10:55, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I'm support you on that one--Richardb 11:26, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Yes and no. The intent was never to have biographical pages on Wiktionary, but rather to be able to link to Wikipedia and/or Wikisource when the quotations are properly identified. Shakespeare is easy. His complete works are already on both Wikisource and Wikibooks, although each is still only one big file. I find that I can track down the source of most Shakespeare quotes fairly easily. We could probably do the same with many of the impoortant authors like those you mention. All of the Webster quoted material is in the public domain since it was necessarily published before 1913, so in the long run it could all be included in Wikisource. This would give us the opportunity to view these quotes in a larger context. Doing that would provide the value-added that would make this dictionary superior to the others which have often been content with rote copying of the 1913 Webster.
Unfortunately, many of Webster's author credits are obscure. I suspect that when the 1913 Webster was originally published it would have included bibliographical pages that identified all these names, but to my knowledge no online version includes that material. If anyone has access to it I'm sure we would all appreciate having it available.
At the very earliest these author links would have redirected to Wikipedia. (Wikisource was not established until nearly a year after Wiktionary.) This was not satisfactory, because there was no apparent connection between the quote and the biography of the author. My first approach was to simply wikify the author's name. Since then my practice has been to expand the author's name when I can easily do so, or, if I can't, to include a question mark as part of the wikified name. For the forseeable future the links should continue to appear in red. A Pope entry should be changed to Alexander Pope; this will allow a person who wants to work on identifying all of the Pope quotes to go there and find them all by using the "What links here function". A simple link to Wikipedia won't lead us to the information we may be seeking, and may even give the false impression that there is nothing left to be done. A red link will let us know what work still needs doing. Eclecticology 18:23, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia most frequent words

I typo'ed this page earlier, and found Wiktionary talk:Beer parlour and Jamesday's comment there. I threw his list of most frequent words against my 7-Jan-2005 copy of Wiktionary, and output wiki'd undefined words. I posted the results (in order) at User talk:Connel MacKenzie/wikipedia words as I don't know quite where it belongs. For that matter, posting this list is kindof like throwing a molotov cocktail at Wiktionary - should I perhaps just remove it?

Can someone recommend the proper place for it? The Main Page of Wiktionary has a link to Wiktionary:Frequency lists, but that looks wrong to my eye.

Also, general comments are welcome. Should I include the link count (e.g. (293723) redirect, (109766) states, ... (2023) varieties) or is that a waste?

--Connel MacKenzie 04:11, 5 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I'd like to split this up a little bit. Does every 100 words sound about right? Or do other people like it mushed all together? --Connel MacKenzie 22:35, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)
User talk:Connel MacKenzie/wikipedia words with counts shows the number of occurrances for each word. This excercise is odd for me. Most of the words themselves become simple redirects, but the words redirected to generally all need significant cleanup. If anyone would like to jump right in, please do. Comments on this approach are also appreciated. --Connel MacKenzie 06:59, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Where's the technical help?

There is no easy access (or none at all) to technical help like there is in Wikipedia.

I noticed a teeny problem: the "add a new nomination" link on Wiktionary:Requests_for_deletion generates headings at the wrong level. Is there a place to bring this sort of stuff up? *cough*


Why would you think that two equal signs indicate the incorrect level? New requests are easily identified that way... --Connel MacKenzie 02:27, 6 Feb 2005 (UTC)
My answer is: if there are no existing new entries and all visible entries appear with three equal signs under a Month heading, then why would I not think that two equal signs are the wrong level?
This is soon explained by documenting how and why this is done. It is then a documentation problem. I shall be bold and address it.
Will somebody please answer my headline question: where's the technical help? Dizzley 06:47, 6 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Peter, this is a very much smaller community than Wikipedia and I suspect that nobody has written any yet. You just have to ask specific questions and see if anyone knows the answer. Good luck. SemperBlotto 13:11, 6 Feb 2005 (UTC)

In the intro of page Wiktionary:Requests for deletion there are a couple links of interest, worth pursuing before you "Be bold" too quickly. See Wiktionary:Cleanup and deletion process, Help:Nominating_an_article_for_cleanup_or_deletion --Richardb 14:21, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I read the links. I approve - they are very informative and I'm happy to fit in. However,

The automated process, by clicking on the "Make a new nomination" link, will consistently create the same level heading. However, some people go directly to the end and create their own headings, maybe suing too many / too few equals signs. Odds are there is nothing wrong with the Automated process, just mistakes in making the manual entries. Remember the wise old motto "If it ain't broke, don't fix it".--Richardb 14:21, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)

With respect, it's the manual process which broke. There was no explanation for why an entry posted in Feb. should not appear under the Feb. heading. If you don't explain what happend to entries (new ones go to the end, old ones get archived) then the process will break. I fixed it just by adding a short explanation to the page, now I'm happy. BTW - Be bold works: even if one person does not see what is wrong with something it does not mean that the second cannot take a judicious risk and make something that would have helped in the first place. This is a community not a personal fiefdom. Remember the newer wise motto: "If you always did it that way it is probably wrong." ;-)
Let's not argue: I won't dive in and warp things that seem to work and you can give new opinion the benefit of the doubt. Dizzley 23:07, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)
If you fix the perceived problem, and the resulting system works at least as well as the present one, without too much re-learning, then good on ya! Personally, since I automated the adding a new section at the end, I can't see why we need the Monthly dividers. --Richardb 02:12, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I agree. I think "----" separators for months might be just as nice, but Eclecticology (the person who puts the most effort into keeping that page up to date, therefore, the person it matters to) aparently disagrees. Perhaps if (starting in say, March?) the monthly headings were 1st level headings, this might be a bit less cumbersome for all involved? [As a side note: Dizzley's initial assessment aparently was more astute than my dismissal of it. My apologies, Peter.] --Connel MacKenzie 07:22, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)


The category technology had a text section which looked like a subcategory "Man-made Objects". I have deleted it. I did not enough time to fill it! <g> --Dizzley 14:27, 6 Feb 2005 (UTC)

How old should quotations be?

Hello, wiktionarians. I read Wiktionary:Quotations just now, and have a question for you about it. It implies that one of Wiktionary's goals is to document the span of time over which words have been used. Is there a cut-off date for this? Should quotations from Old and Middle English be included? (This question might have wider implications. Which language does this dictionary describe? English in its full history, or only Modern English? Or Middle and Modern English, since Old English has its own Wiktionary?) --znusgy 11:53, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)

This is the English Wiktionary. It is intended to be readable for current English users. You can put Middle or Old English words in here, just as you can put French, Khmer or Chinese words, under the correct language heading. But, the definitions, quotations etc must be readable by current English readers. If you want to write defintions, explanations, names of parts of speech, quotations in another language (including Old or Middle English), then go to the Wiktionary of that language, if it exists. So, please translate the quotations into English that is readily intelligible to current readers, as much as is necessary, but preserving the purpose of the quotation to illustrate the usage of the word. ((Just my view))--Richardb 14:37, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)

See Wiktionary talk:Policy - Transliteration--Richardb 14:53, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Wiktionary:Project - Improving WikiSaurus

I've created a public project page Wiktionary:Project - Improving WikiSaurus, with an associated discussion page Wiktionary talk:Project - Improving WikiSaurus. I invite all who are interested to take a moment to step out of the rowdy Beer parlour and poke your head into this quieter, slightly more "serious" back room snug. Be warned, I'm looking for willing volunteers for a team :-)

I've created a couple of more worked examples to show how WikiSaurus could develop, more academcially in tune with the rest of Wiktionary, with links to Wiktionary:Roget Thesaurus Classification. Have a look at WikiSaurus:mad person andWikiSaurus:insane. And Help:Creating a WikiSaurus entry.--Richardb 14:03, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Wiktionary talk:Policy - Transliteration

I've started a policy Think Tank page (pretty blank), and associated discussion page, for discussion of Transliteration. Please add any bits of discussion you know about to this talk page, as well as your own opinions.--Richardb 15:09, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I've been really rash and put together a very rough draft policy - see Wiktionary:Policy - Transliteration --Richardb 13:16, 8 Feb 2005 (UTC)

My view - we should not have place names in Wiktionary

see Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwantysiliogogogoch

This name has as much right to be in Wiktionary as any other place name - London, Paris, Birmingham, Nottingham, Snotingahám.

But it's a very small place (even if it has got a railway station with one very long name board !). If every small place in the world wants to have their name in Wiktionary, this will have more place name entries than WORDS.

My view is that Wikipedia is the place for PLACE NAMEs, not Wiktionary. So that this place names, and all other place names, should be removed from Wiktionary.--Richardb 02:08, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)

  • My vote is that we keep place names. The purpose of Wiktionary is not to have extensive articles about these places (or people), but that anyone encountering it in text can come here to determine what it is--i.e., to act as a dictinoary. After all, a name _is_ a word, and therefore we should have it. If the wiktionary ends up having more proper nouns than other types of words (which I don't think is going to happen), why is that a problem?
    Ultimately, I am not really in favor of adding obscure place names, and I won't do it; but I am not at all in favor of deleting them either. Any town or river that finds its name in the Wiktionary should be allowed to stay here, or at least you haven't given any reasons why they shouldn't. Space is avowedly not an issue, and certainly we can try to establish some standards for obscurity (though I'd rather we do this in a couple of years than now, when we're still growing). Why, then, should we be deleting these? We should be focusing on expanding the wiktionary, not chopping off its arms and legs. Jun-Dai 03:15, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
In a monolingual dictionary, entries on proper names are actually called "encyclopedic entries", and are often included to pad the article count. Since we have an associated encyclopedia, theoretically we wouldn't need them — if we were a monolingual dictionary. But we're a multilingual dictionary. Throw out Japan and where will you find its name in Korean, or what gender it is in Spanish? Also proper names tend to have the drawback of counterintuitive pronunciations, and as a dictionary we can help that too. —Muke Tever 07:00, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I think that there are some good reasons for having SOME placenames here:-
  • When the name itself has some interest - Llanfair PG
  • When it is used as part of some other noun - Chelsea bun
  • When it is used in a phrase or saying - send to Coventry
  • When its local and English spellings are different - Venezia and Venice
  • When its local and English pronunciations are different - Paris
  • I would also include all major geopolitical features such as countries, capital cities, US states, English counties, Italian regions etc.

And as long as they are short and link to Wikipedia, others are not too much of a problem. I certainly wouldn't waste time on a search and destroy mission. SemperBlotto 08:12, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Who cleans up the clean-up page?

Is it my responsibility as a user to delete my request after somebody has done the cleanup? Or should I delete the request some time after I clean something up? Or am I supposed to let an admin. do it? I'll do it if I'm supposed to or if its helpful, but I don't want to overstep my bounds.--Alia H 23:21, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I think the rule of thumb is,

  • Remove the {{rfc}} tag from the article
  • make a note on the RFC page that you have cleaned-up the article
  • Go back to the RFC page say a week later and delete the entry completely. That intervening week lets other people see what has been cleaned up, and they may just take a quick look to check on your version of "cleaned up".
  • But, if you don't get back, someone will note that it is more than a aweek, old, and delete the entry anyway, if they agree it is cleaned up.

--Richardb 15:20, 12 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I've added a few shortcuts, as per Wikipedia

That is, you can enter something short like WS:BP in the search box, and press Enter (or click Go). This will take you straight to the Wiktionary:Beer parlour page. Makes for easier, quicker navigation direct to the most commonly used Wiktionary reference pages.

WS: stands for Wiktionary Shortcut

BP stands for Beer Parlour

Others I've put in are

See also Wiktionary:Shortcut, and Wiktionary:WS for a list of the shortcuts.

You will/may also see a "link box" on the target pages for the shortcuts. This is put there using the Template {{Shortcut|WS:xx}}. This is there merely to advertise the shortcut availability.--Richardb 14:59, 12 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Putting the Project - Cleanup of Basic English Words out into the public domain

I'm looking for people with a like mind to try to make a team effort to at least get all the basic English words properly defined etc. - seeWiktionary:Project - Cleanup of Basic English Words.

--Richardb 11:59, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)

As I know that name is a lot to type correctly, I've created a short cut of WT:PCBEW

Wiktionary:About International Phonetic Alphabet

This page is incomplete and out of date. Can't we just link to the excellent Wikipedia page on the same subject? — Paul G 18:13, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)

That should be okay. This is perhaps one of those rare cases where copying the Wikipedia article to our files in the Wiktionary namespace might be a good idea. No big deal either way. Eclecticology 19:54, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)


I have been asked to advertise Wikimania here. So I will. Apparently a huge gathering of worldwide Wikimen and Wikiwomen will descend upon Frnakfurt in the summer. There is a remote possibility that I will find myself there, cos I know ppl around Frankfurt. It depends if Wiki starts oozing into my life more. this link is the one u wanna be clicking on

Duplicate articles

When the system is busy, you often get a message saying that the article you have created does not exist. There is always the temptation to save it again. This, of course, leads to duplicate entries with the same Title. I realise that it needs a redesign of the database to stop this happening, but is there any way to delete the duplicate entries?

And, what happens if the article is subsequently modified? Which version does the system choose? SemperBlotto 16:17, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Once I saw a duplicate post, three times I've seen it ignore the second identical post. In the several instances where there was an intervening edit, I saw the standard "Edit Conflict..." error message.
I've gotten into the havit of CTRL-R whenever I see the bogus "this article does not exist" message. It *is* always bogus. --Connel MacKenzie 16:56, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)
When I get the doesn't exist message, I click "edit" to see whether it saved or not--hitting "reload" never reloads the saved article for me, not even with a hard reload.--and if the edit page loads properly I save it again. (Thus it is registered as an empty edit which doesn't show twice, unlike hitting "back" and saving again, which will display twice.) AFAIK, the entries aren't *actually* duplicated; I think the second save just keeps the flag that says a new page was created. —Muke Tever 21:53, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Orphaned Articles?

What exactly are orphaned articles, and how do users get them off that page, or "adopt" them. What makes a page "orphaned" and how do we un-orphan. Or is it even a bad thing that they're orphaned?

An orphaned page/article is one that no other page links to. In Wikipedia this normally means that it is unimportant and a candidate for removal. Or maybe the title of the article is incorrectly spelled. However, in Wiktionary there is less linking between articles (not nearly enough in my view) so it is not really an isue. You can remove them from this state by finding another article that mentions it and Wikifying its occurence. For instance, accessed is an orphan, but a quick search shows it mentioned in database - go to database and wikify accessed - job done. SemperBlotto 17:44, 4 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Why the question Semper ? Is there some confusing reference to "orphaned" ? If so, where? Or rather, if so, why not "BE BOLD" and clean it up, since the whole idesa of orphaned is not relevenant in Wiktionary.--Richardb 06:37, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)
It wasn't my question (unsigned), it was my answer. SemperBlotto 07:38, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Characters box in edit mode 2

I've just added the characters used in IPA and AHD to the characters box that appears when you edit a page. — Paul G 15:49, 17 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for adding them. Nevertheless, I think you forgot some of the diacritics: 716, 725, and 726 are part of the IPA, and so are probably a couple more of the symbols in that area. Ncik 17 Mar 2005
Asthetically, I think it looks quite horrible. Have you tried to condense this any? Or rather, could you please? --Connel MacKenzie 00:08, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I've gone for functionality over aesthetics. I recently removed the HTML <small> tag at another user's request as the symbols were hard to see and distinguish. I will see what I can do to clean it up.
The IPA symbols I have copied are all those listed on the Wikipedia page on IPA in Unicode in the pulmonic consonants and vowel tables, along with /w/, /ʍ/ and four of the suprasegmentals. I have not included the rarer symbols (clicks, tones, diacritics, etc). — Paul G 15:45, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Actually, not all the IPA diacritics are rare. Notably the tilde is needed for French and Portuguese - both very common. — Hippietrail 03:46, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)

April 1 2005 d day - Capitalization

This discussion has moved beyond the scope of Beer Parlour. It is now a serious discussion of Policy development. The discussion is therefore moved to Wiktionary talk:Policy Think Tank - Capitalization for development of a policy.--Richardb 04:23, 22 May 2005 (UTC)