Open main menu

Wiktionary:Beer parlour/2005/July-September

This is an archive page that has been kept for historical purposes. The conversations on this page are no longer live.
Beer parlour archives edit


*Information about AP vandal

moved to: WT:VIP/archive --Stranger 19:28, 5 September 2005 (UTC)

*Download of entire contents?


Is it possible to download the entire contents of wiktionary?

How large is it currently?

I would like to have a go at converting it into an xml format described here... (I think it is free of licensing issues)

This is the format used by the dictionary provided with OS X 10.4. It would be very good if wiktionary could be used natively.

I've added the download link to WT:FAQ. --Connel MacKenzie 17:38, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

*Designation of nouns as "countable" and "uncountable"

moved to: Wiktionary_talk:Entry_layout_explained/archive_2005BP --Stranger 02:12, 6 September 2005 (UTC)

*Uniform headings

moved to: Wiktionary_talk:Entry_layout_explained/archive_2005BP --Stranger 02:13, 6 September 2005 (UTC)

*Latin words in all UPPERCASE

moved to: Wiktionary_talk:Latin_index --Stranger 19:36, 5 September 2005 (UTC)

*Rohingya language

moved to: Wiktionary_talk:Rohingya_index --Stranger 19:41, 5 September 2005 (UTC)

*Links from Wikipedia


moved to: Wiktionary_talk:Swazi_index --Stranger 19:44, 5 September 2005 (UTC)

*Categories don't work properly?

moved to: Wiktionary:Categorization/archive --Stranger 01:39, 6 September 2005 (UTC)

*Bilingual Dictionaries, esp. Japanese-English

I want to raise the question of bilingual dictionaries within the Wikidictionary environment. I have read all the relevant pages I can find, but cannot find any specific mention of it. (I note that Wiktionary describes itself as a "multilingual dictionary", but what I see is a set of monolingual dictionaries.)

I have a motive for raising this. For the past 14 years I have been running the largeish EDICT Japanese-English dictionary project (see: The component files of that project are used in a lot of products and servers, and there is a WWW system for putting in corrections. Until now I have been the sole editor/compiler, but I am seriously considering opening it up to a more public access/contribute/edit arrangement, and hence the Wiki community may well be a good environment.

While my interests are primarily Japanese-English, the XML version of my main file has Japanese-German, Japanese-French, etc. as well. These parts are folded in (see

On the matter of size, I look after the following:

  • EDICT/JMdict- general (103,000 entries)
  • COMPDIC - computing & telecomms (15,000 entries)
  • ENAMDICT/JMnedict - Japanese proper names (511,000 entries)
  • KANJIDIC - kanji database (14,000 entries)

So, is there scope to fold one of more of those files into the Wiktionary environment? Is there interest in doing it? How does one go about it?

Looking forward to seeing what people think about it. JimBreen 03:24, 14 July 2005 (UTC)

Hey, I've found your dictionaries to be most useful (heck, with them I havnt had to worry about buying dead-tree resources for Japanese yet).
Anyway, what wiktionary is trying to be is both a monolingual dictionary and a bilingual dictionary at once: the English wiktionary is both an English dictionary and an English-everything everything-English dictionary; the German wiktionary is a German dictionary and a German-X, X-German dictionary, etc.
The addition of your information would be most valuable... what you would basically do is set up or find someone to set up a bot to add the material, formatted according to our standard article format. (For the Japanese-German, Japanese-French, etc. you will want to ask on the relevant other language wiktionaries—general consensus is that kind of information doesn't belong on the English wiktionary. Certainly the Japanese wiktionary would benefit from all this information as well.) —Muke Tever 06:30, 14 July 2005 (UTC)
Thanks, Muke, but if the only way to go involves going over to the ja.wiktionary community, knocking on the door, and saying "can I roll this heap of Japanese-English entries into your pitch", well I'd probably just back off and go and do my own thing.
I don't want to be snobbish, but (a) the ja.wiktionary people have spent several years going nowhere (only 2,000 entries, and just look at the deep and meaningful one for 花), but FAR more importantly (b) bilingual lexicography is a very different animal to monolingual, and cannot ever be seen as the sole province of the native speakers of either language. Moreover the principles of compilation, layout, etc. are rather different.
What I am really trying to sound out is a bilingual structure within wiktionary as a whole; not the addition of multilingual material to the English dictionary, or the Japanese one. I'm raising it here because clearly most of the drive within Wiki is coming from English speakers. The standard article format, for example, is not really suitable for bilingual material, and particularly for Japanese where there are often multiple valid variants of a word. JimBreen 07:17, 14 July 2005 (UTC)
Well, I can't say much for ja.wiktionary, not being part of its community, but it (like all of the non-en wiktionaries) was only started a year ago and actually had its database frozen for most of its existence due to internal disputes, so it can't be faulted for not having too much progress yet.
True, but that dispute is a concern in itself. JimBreen 01:08, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
At any rate, the bilingual structure is not, as far as I'm aware, intended to be any different from the monolingual structure; Wiki is not paper, and the aim is to have our article on , for example, to be as or more comprehensive than an article on 花 in any massive monolingual Japanese dictionary. (However a big obstacle is that most individual Han characters were inserted (as characters, not words) in a weird format by a bot years ago and most havnt really been working on trying to convert them into ordinary article format, AFAIK. This is something I was working on when I was still a regular contributor here.)
Also that entry is a case of an entry relevant to a "character" dictionary; not a "word" dictionary. To illustrate what I mean, compare the 花 entry in KANJIDIC and [�� EDICT]. In a language like Japanese you need both forms, and they should be interlinked, but for a number of reasons the format and treatment are different. JimBreen 01:08, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
As for the multiple valid variants... that's something the English wiktionary has not really worked out yet. Current practice, as far as I know is either "every variant gets an article" or "every variant gets a #redirect to an article," depending on the editor and whether a #redirect is feasible, neither of which I like. —Muke Tever 16:23, 14 July 2005 (UTC)
Hi Jim,
What we try here is to describe all words of all languages in English. If you want help in creating a bot that can interpret your xml files and add the information contained within them, I can add functionality to the pywikipediabot framework to accomplish that. It won't be a bilingual dictionary though. It will simply be a collection of entries with links to their English counterparts. Don't ask us to change the way we work. It has been multilingual from the start. I'm sure the content you propose is very worthwhile and we would love to incorporate it into Wiktionary. The form would change in the process though, adapted to the standards we developed. In a way it would be bilingual after all. All entries describing Japanese only have links to translations in English. From there a link will go back to the same and other Japanese words, but also to many other languages.
How do you propose to take care of mentioning the data comes from you? Would you like it to be added in the summary field (that's easy)? Is that enough? It's also possible to add it to the talk pages, but I don't think that is realistic or practical for the amount of pages. The last option is to add it as content on the pages themselves. But I think that should be avoided. The entries should remain clean and tidy describing the words.
Do you feel like running the bot? That is entirely possible. It also makes it easier to find all the entries that were added by the bot. It will take some time though. Since the bot changes actual content, I prefer it to be interactive. The bot does all the hard and boring work. The operator checks it and corrects were necessary. Especially difficult are the entries that already exist, and there will be quite a few. At first the merging will need to be performed manually.
Let me know on my talk page, if you want me to have a look at it. The bot framework is written in Python. This language is relatively easy to learn and work with. Polyglot 17:33, 14 July 2005 (UTC)
Jim, your suggestions have exciting possibilities. Using a bot to massively apply material is certainly a possibility, but there are a few steps that need to be gone through before we get to that. We need to know just what task that bot will be asked to perform. My suggestion would be to put together a handful of representative articles in a way that at least attempts to conform to our usual page layouts, but reflects what you consider to be important material on these pages. Once these pages are there we will have a basis for determining whether an accomodation can be worked out. Don't be too worried by what's on Wiktionary:Entry layout explained; there is still room for flexibility.
I agree with Muke that our handling of multiple variants has been less than stellar, but even without that I feel that this project has gone a long way in a short time since its inception on Dec. 12, 2002. I can't speak for the ja:wiktionary, but it is a younger project, and each project is free to set most of its own policies. Until now the emphasis has been on building a basic volume of material, but I would hope that as time goes on we will be able to layer in new levels of sophistication. I look forward to results that will be to our mutual satisfaction. Eclecticology 21:17, July 14, 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for the responses so far. For me this is still very exploratory. While there are advantages im migrating to an established environment such as Wiktionary, there are also downsides which would certainly involve compromises. In some areas I can change; in others I will not, as there are some major points of principle involved (e.g. having spent years tracking down orthographical variants and bringing them into unified entries, I won't see them blown apart. Automatically-generated non-editable sideways-references would be OK, multiple entries would not.)

Anyway, where is the best place to progress discussion on this? Here? The mailing list? Should I be proposing a new project on bilingual dictionaries? JimBreen 01:08, 15 July 2005 (UTC)

Asking where the discussion might be continued is at least a sign that the idea is worth further exploration. I think that a new page like Wiktionary:About Japanese bilingual and its associated talk page might be a good place to carry forward. ("Bilingual" in that link was just a quick suggestion; feel free to change it to something more appropriate if you want.) This page is great for early reactions about an idea, but becomes unworkable when we need to go into more details. The participants in the mailing list tend to be a much smaller subset of what you find here, so that there is a lower likelihood of reaching those who could be seriously interested. The page Wiktionary:About Japanese is one active person's attempt to adapt standard formats to Japanese; I'm sure that he will be prepared to listen to your needs.
I agree in principle with maintaining unified pages of variants. Non-editable references could be more of a problem since one of the Key concepts underlying wikis is the open editability. This may not be as big a problem as it at first seems. The problem people that we encounter mostly avoid these more esoteric topics. Records of changes are maintained so that the unacceptable ones can be reversed. I look forward to example pages in our project so that we can begin looking for common ground. Hopefully there will be enough to begin generating interest at Wikimania. Eclecticology 06:43, July 15, 2005 (UTC)

OK. As suggested I have started a new page: Wiktionary:About_Japanese-English_bilingual (I added the "English" to make it a bit more comprehensible.) I also copied all of the above discussion to that page. Should this section now be replaced with a link to that page? I'll respond on that page now; not here. --JimBreen 05:20, 16 July 2005 (UTC)

*Help with categories

<<<Moved here from User talk:Connel MacKenzie#Help with categories.>>>

Hi, I'm kind of new to Wiktionary and I would like to ask for some help. I've been working mostly on Bosnian and Serbian entries for the past month or so. Anyway, the problem that I would like you to try to help me with is that in the following categories (I've seen this happen in categories of other languages as well) the words that start with letters not found in the English language (no matter if they're Roman or Cyrillic) do not appear in the categories. The categories that I work on and am referring to are Category:Serbian common nouns and Category:Bosnian common nouns. However, this is happening in all categories. The words starting with those letters do appear, but the little bold header does not. All the words starting with those letters will be located at the end of the list in the category. Can you please tell me how or can you please try to fix this? Thanks in advance... --Dijan 04:23, July 14, 2005 (UTC)

Welcome! The way to correct an article's placement in a category is to use the pipe syntax. For example, to correct čimbala, at the end of that article I would add this category link instead:
[[Category:Serbian common nouns|cimbala]]
unless I've completely misunderstood your question. --Connel MacKenzie 04:31, 14 July 2005 (UTC)
Hi again. I just tried that and it didn't work. I don't know what you think that I meant, but I'm going to try to explain again. When you go into the category, you will see that under the bold little a (a) all of the words that start with a are located there. But, there is no little bold č under which all the words that start with that letter are located under. And the same goes for Cyrillic letters. --Dijan 04:38, July 14, 2005 (UTC)
Oh, I did misunderstand your questions. You want non-roman-alphabet headings? I do not think that that is possible at this time, on the English Wiktionary. Let's ask this again over on the WT:BP. --Connel MacKenzie 04:54, 14 July 2005 (UTC)
Well, I don't know. It was working all this time up until couple of hours ago. I don't know if there's a template for this and if someone has messed with it. I'm really not familiar with templates nor anything past traslations and just simply adding words. I know that people have been moving and editing categories and templates for the past few days, but I don't know if this was caused by them on accident or even on purpose maybe. --Dijan 05:01, July 14, 2005 (UTC)
OK, here is an example of a working category of what I was talking about. If you lookin the Hindi_nouns category, you will see that all the words are located under appropriate letter that starts the word. But, if you look in category:Arabic nouns, there's the problem again that is occuring in Serbian_common_nouns and in Bosnian_common_nouns categories. So, we have ruled out the idea of it not being possible. :) Right? --Dijan
This is a bug I noticed yesterday, see bugzilla:2835 — we asked brion in #wiktionary about it, he's looking at it right now. —Muke Tever 05:42, 14 July 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for the info. I hope this thing gets fixed soon...I'm really annoyed by it. It doesn't seem like a big issue, but still I'm annoyed...hehe! --Dijan 05:47, July 14, 2005 (UTC)
Hehe. Bug is fixed. You can thank Brion for the rapid response. --Connel MacKenzie 05:51, 14 July 2005 (UTC)
Hmmm...I don't see any changes. It still appears the same to me, without the heading or sort key (whatever it's called). However, when I looked on the history page of the category, the sort key seemed fine, nothing looked wrong. But, when I come back into the category itself, there have been no changes. I'm really annoyed now... --Dijan 05:57, July 14, 2005 (UTC)
Scratch's working now. THANKS EVERYONE! --Dijan 06:02, July 14, 2005 (UTC)

*"jumping" user toolbar?

moved to: Wiktionary_talk:Bug_reports --Stranger 19:56, 5 September 2005 (UTC)


moved to: Wiktionary_talk:Afrikaans_index --Stranger 19:51, 5 September 2005 (UTC)

*Links to other Wikimedia projects

*Part of speech


moved to: Talk:georeactor

*What do I do?

moved to: Wiktionary_talk:Entry_layout_explained/archive_2005BP --Stranger 02:21, 6 September 2005 (UTC)

*Inflection line

moved to: Wiktionary_talk:Entry_layout_explained/archive_2005BP --Stranger 02:16, 6 September 2005 (UTC)

*Capitalization - double redirects

*Misspelled words.

moved to: Wiktionary_talk:Criteria_for_inclusion --Stranger 20:22, 5 September 2005 (UTC)

*NOAD's McKean discussing dictionary making.

moved to: Wiktionary_talk:Copyrights --Stranger 02:30, 6 September 2005 (UTC)

*the Move page

Someone recently added a "redirect=no" link to this page. Could they please fix it so that it works for pages having a space or ampersand in the title. At present it links to the first part of the word only - making it easy to delete the wrong page if you are in automaton mode. SemperBlotto 15:47, 17 July 2005 (UTC)

Hello. I added the extra link below, knowing that it was a poor attempt, not wishing to break the existing link. (I think the first time edited MediaWiki:pagemovedtext I did break it.) I do know know of a way to url-encode a PAGENAME. Much of the time, it is a useful link. If someone more knowledgable can fix it; great. If not, please move it down or to the side or make it smaller or whatever, as you wish. --Connel MacKenzie 07:49, 18 July 2005 (UTC)

*Link to Wikipedia

moved to: Wiktionary_talk:Entry_layout_explained/archive_2005BP --Stranger 02:24, 6 September 2005 (UTC)

*"Translations to be checked" - a proposal

*Capitalization progress.

I am pretty sure that the great majority of English language words, phrases and abbreviations etc (in the main namespace) now have their correct capitalization - though I must have missed many in my trawl.

It would help to tie up loose ends in Special:BrokenRedirects and Special:Double Redirects could be refreshed (if anyone knows how to get that done).

Now I'm going back to something more productive. SemperBlotto 15:54, 18 July 2005 (UTC)

Excellent work. I've seen that you've been ploughing through a lot of these, which must have been arduous and boring. Well done and thank you for taking it on. — Paul G 16:46, 18 July 2005 (UTC)

*Replacement of apostrophes

User:Hippietrail's latest escapade is to replace apostrophes with right quotation marks in possessives. See, as an example, the move of devil's advocate to devil’s advocate. Does everyone agree with this? SemperBlotto 14:13, 19 July 2005 (UTC)

No. 24 14:15, 19 July 2005 (UTC)
Absolutely not. The symbol for showing omission of a letter or letters or for showing possession is the apostrophe, not the right quotation mark. — Paul G 14:19, 19 July 2005 (UTC)
This is either ignorance or a lie. The character ' is a very ambiguous remnant of the ASCII days which can stand for an apostrophe, a single opening quote, a single closing quote, and several more exotic characters. is designed to be used as both an apostrophe and a single closing quote (actually a single "9" quote since several languages use another character for the same purpose). This is has it has been since the days of metal type and print dictionaries - probably since before then. Unicode clearly states that is intended for use as both apostrophe and "9" single quote:
* this is the preferred character to use for apostrophe
Hippietrail 14:24, 19 July 2005 (UTC)
Last time I checked, Wiktionary was not a printing shop. Since there is no casual visual difference and the intent here is to facilitate lookups (particularly ASCII lookups) I can't begin to think why one would think this is a reasonable change. If it ever becomes an issue of whether Wiktionary should focus more on printing or lookup, I think the decision is easily (always has been and always will be) for lookups; a print variations could be instead a derivative project, perhaps. --Connel MacKenzie 17:35, 19 July 2005 (UTC)
While I agree that fuck and its various derivatives can be very handy when using emotional language, sometimes an effective method of argument is to not talk bollocks but instead show how the redirects de-facilitate lookups because they are certainly working for me. — Hippietrail 18:13, 19 July 2005 (UTC)
I apologize for offending you. Where I grew up, the term "fuckin'" is often used jocularly, almost with a cutsey kindof connotation (which is what I had intenteded in my edit summary.)
When terms are wikified with the alternate character, unsuspecting individuals such as myself will enter that term. No correct redirect is left behind in that case. Furthermore, two separate articles are likely to be entered. --Connel MacKenzie 18:21, 19 July 2005 (UTC)
No casual visual difference is no argument. On 'real' typewriters the same merge was formerly done with 1 (one) and l (el), and with 0 (zero) and O (oh), but that is no argument for merging them here; we don't write mi11ion. Incidentally, la: has been using the ’ as well (possibly irregularly—I doubt I always remember); cf. la:Rome wasn’t built in a day, and la:wasn’t itself. —Muke Tever 18:44, 19 July 2005 (UTC)
Muke those are misleading comparisons. As previously pointed out, keyboards don't have the proposed alternate character. The other substitutes are readily available. Furthermore, they are visually different in some modes here. Lastly and most important is that the convention has existed at least for 30 years to use "'". Without a software enhancement to substitute either "'" or "’" on lookup, the existing, expected convention should be followed. --Connel MacKenzie 19:07, 19 July 2005 (UTC)

back to margin Well, I don't see any great need for the ' forms to be the main articles, redirects work fine. Similarly, I don't see any great need for the forms to be the main articles either. Either way, it's certainly not a bother to have both, and is probably entirely a positive thing. --Wytukaze 17:54, 19 July 2005 (UTC)

I'm in full support of Hippietrail, i.e. in full support of spelling things correctly. The editing box contains the apostrophe. Ncik 21:04, 19 Jul 2005
How is the current way spelling it incorrectly? What's more correct about using fancy Unicode? 24 21:15, 19 July 2005 (UTC)
Ultimately it's about making the site informative and user friendly for the person who comes here to look up a word. Sure, there's the special apostrophe in the character box of the edit page, but the non-editor won't see that, and he's not equipped for being blindsided by an unfamiliar character. Whatever historical justification there may be for a special apostrophe, it would be pedantic and unproductive for us to make such a distinction. Eclecticology 05:57, July 20, 2005 (UTC)
Please indicate what is special about the apostrophes which appear in every book on your bookshelf as compared to the "normal" ones which appear only on your computer.
Please demonstrate this "blindsiding" you speculate about from the non-editors whom you credit with little facility.
Please show me a person who is familiar only with the ASCII apostrophe character and not the "unfamilar" one that is in every newspaper they have ever read.
Please detail what is pedantic or unproductive about distinguishing from ' yet non-pedantic and productive when distinguishing buddha from Buddha, earth from Earth, or pinyin from Pinyin.
Hippietrail 07:56, 20 July 2005 (UTC)
Perhaps you could begin by showing where a person who has just come to look up a word is instructed that he must type something other than the apostrophe on his keyboard into the search box. Eclecticology 17:40, July 20, 2005 (UTC)
I shall instead begin by recommending testing before making false statements. You will find that for two reasons it doesn't at all matter whether a person types (or cuts and pastes from a website) a word using a real apostrophe or an ASCII apostrophe. The first reason is that moving the pages intentionally leaves behind redirects. These should not be deleted. The second reason is because the search feature will treat titles differing only by type of apostrophe as a 100% match. In fact I wish looking up words which have the same spelling but different case worked this well! — Hippietrail 15:46, 21 July 2005 (UTC)
Ncik, Mediawiki:Copyrightwarning only contains those as a result of this conversation. We did fine without them for 2.5 one even noticed prior to this. --Connel MacKenzie 17:49, 20 July 2005 (UTC)
I actually added the shapely versions of ' and " myself when my changes were first attacked. Before that I was using copy and paste and lots of the kind of elbow grease that editors shouldn't be afraid of (-: — Hippietrail 15:46, 21 July 2005 (UTC)
My opinion, for whatever little it is worth, is that the 'examples' under the POS header should have the proper and correct UNICODE character. Of course, if that is the case, it makes most sense to also have the url in accordance with that. For lookups, I guess, we'll have to go over redirects. Now I only hope I'll still be allowed to use the "'" in the comments or else I'll have to somehow reprogram the keyboards on all the computers I use. And that might be a tough call on the Windows machines among them. Polyglot 18:48, 20 July 2005 (UTC)
I agree that how we display an apostrophe could perhaps be the print-wise correct way. But the start of this conversation thread, was raising the issue of moving articles. The Wiki* syntax allows for masking of titles in wikilinks. Articles themselves have for a very long time here used the line immediately after the POS header to display the correct rendering of a term. I can see why some would want redirects from the unicode to the ASCII. Entering the unicode apostrophe on the line after the POS header seems non-controvercial...perhaps someone will raise a stink that they don't match the article title. But this seems a reasonable exception to that recommendation.
I can understand linking a word with the pipe syntax as [[aren't|aren’t]]. This is similar to the way we link words with capitalization issues now.
But to move perfectly good articles from the correct article title to the nearly-impossible to find title is just wrong. As Ncik pointed out, within edit boxes, one can now enter the unicode apostrophe. But not within the search box! Unless of course, one knows the unicode numeric code and has enough experience with the particular computer they are using to implicitly know that they have to press five or six keys instead of the one key that looks exactly like the character they want on the keyboard in front of them.
Perhaps that is why such "unprofessional" looking sites such as, and not only allow "aren't" as a valid lookup term, but they both even display the ASCII apostrophe in their definitions. Very unprofessional! I'll now check some others to see if there are any professional lexographers out there publishing on-line dictionaries on the web. --Connel MacKenzie 03:03, 21 July 2005 (UTC)
Connel, as with Ec, I suggest you try looking for the articles. The search function works better for apostrophe variation that for capitalisation variation. Also to repeat myself, moving leaves behind redirects and those redirects are a good thing no matter how well the search function works. This makes all the rubbish about "numeric codes", "5 or six keys" etc pure fud.
As for the other sites, you'll notice that none of them even use IPA or any other characters outside the basic Latin 1 range. Microsoft's Encarta dictionary does accept both and oddly it has two places to display the word with one using the nice apostrophe and the other using the ASCII apostrophe. Anyway, there's nothing wrong with us being ahead of them in some respects just as they are ahead of us in some respects. — Hippietrail 15:46, 21 July 2005 (UTC)
Using pejorative terms like "fud" really doesn't advance your case either. What I had said earlier was that wiki-linking terms would lead to entries being created without the redirect from the ASCII version, and/or duplicate entries. Finding those entries then requires the memorization of the five or six keystrokes. On the other hand, I agree the magnitude of that problem seems low.
My reasoning in pointing out other on-line references was not to show that we are "ahead" of them in some respects, but rather that other "professionals" have chosen not to follow the presumably incorrect Microsoft Encarta method of replacing the valid ASCII apostrophe in the English language on English web pages. --Connel MacKenzie 18:49, 21 July 2005 (UTC)
While I don't feel that fud is pejorative as I've used it, I would consider words like "escapade", "fuck", and "pedantic" that others have used here toward me are pejorative.
  • One moment there...I did not use the pejorative term fuck, I used the jocular term fuckin'. I even clarified my usage of it. Now I'm upset that you continue to twist words. --Connel MacKenzie 15:04, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
In the heat in which this debate sprang up I certainly took it as a genuine "cuss word" and didn't see it as jocular and I'm not squeamish at all so considering that many others will read this I do feel that it still comes across as pejorative evan after accepting your explanation. — Hippietrail 16:28, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
Fud does seem like the accurate term to describe what various people have written. It means the suggestion of fear, uncertainty, and doubt to sway people's judgements rather than talking about facts. Examples: it's a right quotation mark, not an apostrophe; we're not a printing shop; lookups being broken; need of software enhancement; "fancy" Unicode; non-ASCII apostrophe being "special"; blindsiding; historical justification; needing to type something other than the apostrophe on the keyboard; having to use a non-ASCII apostrophe even in comments; non-ASCII being "presumably incorrect.
  • So, you seem to be saying that because you are using the term fud to dismiss my statements unreasonably, that is not pejorative? What? How is not a fact that your unicode character is used more often as a right-quotation mark? How is it not a fact that we are not a printing shop? How is it not a fact that your method breaks lookups? How is it not a fact that to have your method work would require a software enhancement? How is it not a fact that Unicode is "fancy" in comparison to ASCII? How is it not a fact that non-ASCII characters are "special"? How is it not a fact that initiating this action without prior discussion is blindsiding? How is history not factual? How is it not a fact that my keyboard has a "'" character? How is it not a fact that you were being hypocritical by not then using your special character? How is it not a fact that non-ASCII input on an ASCII keyboard in an ASCII environment is presumably incorrect? How is it not a fact that other "professional" dictionary writers choose the correct character instead of your incorrect one? --Connel MacKenzie 15:04, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
FUD is about fear, uncertainty, and doubt. Not about facts. Most of these "facts" are irrelevant and some of them are not facts. You are using these irrelevant points to try to make people doubt that curved apostrophes are good so they will stick with the safe current way rather than the way you make sound scary with things not working. Curved apostrophes have been used for hundreds of years, ASCII is recent. Searching does not break. Redirects will be in place. Everything will work. Anyone can try it. Blindsiding means an attack, which this wasn't; or to cause unexpected harm, which this doesn't.
Allow me to debunk the myths:
  • The curved characters are not Unicode and are not special. They have been in common use for centuries and on computers since 1984 on the Mac and around 1986 on Windows. That's 20 of the stated 30-convention. On Macs they are even accessible from the keyboard.
  • Your statements do not address the stated concern that the character is essentially inacessible for the vast majority of users. In other words, you are changing the subject in hopes of redirecting what is now an argument, into a different one that has a better chance of being in your favor. --Connel MacKenzie 15:04, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
    Do you want to make Wiktionary ASCII-only? You don't need to type the character to search for it and nobody will get in trouble for making an article which doesn't use it. I got in trouble for using it even though it caused no trouble even though people started running and shouting without trying it out.
  • You do not need to type anything different to find pages no matter what apostrophe is used in an article.
  • If the redirect page is missing, (because an article was created from a wikilink without the ASCII apostrophe first and then moved) then this statement is a lie. --Connel MacKenzie 15:04, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
    a) I'd already found titles with the curved apostrophe created by others in the past, therefore this will happen anyway. b) capitalization also causes this. c) i was proceeding in an orderly manner so as not to create such links. d) the search feature finds these pages with a 100% match rating even when the redirect doesn't exist. This is true. — Hippietrail 16:28, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
  • Searching actually works better for apostrophe variants than for capitalisation variants. Spelling variants are not supported at all by search.
  • Again, only in the case where the redirect exists. --Connel MacKenzie 15:04, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
    In all cases. If foo and Foo both exist but you want to check if FOO exists, you will be taken diretly to only one of the first two without being informed it was not the only match. If you type foo's when only foo’s exists you will be told that foo’s is a 100% match. — Hippietrail 16:28, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
The only valid criticism put forward is clicking on links for one variation leading to a new article when an old article already exists under the other variation. This is a problem that we have already had on multiple fronts which will continue to far outnumber any created by apostrophe variation and will be an ongoing job for editors in any case. UK/US spelling, compound hyphenation and separation, and changing orthographies have and will continue to lead to more cases. The capitalisation change alone will lead to way more cases than apostrophes ever will. In any case, I was being very careful not to create redlinks while I was redirecting the articles. — Hippietrail 01:36, 22 July 2005 (UTC)
  • Again, the assertion that that is the only valid criticism, is a pejorative lie. Compounding the explanation to associate it with the decapitalization issue is interesting, but not relevant. --Connel MacKenzie 15:04, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
    For issues of relvancy see above. — Hippietrail 16:28, 25 July 2005 (UTC)

If you're so adamant about this, couldn't we just write some javascript for MediaWiki:Monobook.js to replace the ASCII apostrophes onload? 24 01:52, 22 July 2005 (UTC)

Actually I'm not even that adamant. I was just very shocked that it's all so controversial and that so many people imagine all these problems that just don't exist. If people want to decide against having nice apostrophes I'd at least prefer they understand everything so they can make that decision. — Hippietrail 05:41, 22 July 2005 (UTC)
I forgot to reply to the Javascript suggestion. This is very difficult actually since ASCII ' represents several other symbols. Disambiguation is quite easy for humans but more difficult for a computer. When I was working on w:AbiWord a couple of years ago we had so much trouble with "smart quotes" that we disabled the feature. Changing the various other symbols into ASCII ' is trivial but I doubt anybody wants that. — Hippietrail 00:42, 23 July 2005 (UTC)
Maybe people's notions of what is a "nice" apostrophe are changing. Norwegians and Germans used to think fraktur script was "nice" too; I cringe whenever I have to try to read it.
Apostrophes don't have a direction. Unlike the case of opening quotes and closing quotes, no additional information is provided by curving the apostrophe one way or the other.
Now if English would adopt «guillemets» for quotation marks, we can get rid of some of the other problems as well and the direction would be even more obvious at a casual glance. Gene Nygaard 13:32, 23 July 2005 (UTC)
Don't forget that guillemets also have several varying ways they're used due to language and computer capability. Many language use «this», many use »this«, and Swedish and Finnish sometimes even uses »this». Some languages also require a half space between guillemet and contents or when a half space is not available then a nonbreaking space and when that is not available a normal space. — Hippietrail 08:31, 25 July 2005 (UTC)

Now since the main objections were to which apostrophe is in the title and not which is in the headword, I'm going to go ahead now and fix the headwords. I won't fix the titles until people are convinced there is no danger. — Hippietrail 00:42, 23 July 2005 (UTC)

Don't change links. 24 17:52, 23 July 2005 (UTC)
That sounds like an excellent idea. People have put up a big fuss, but in the end it doesn't make such a big difference where the word is listed so long as the other redirects. Just make sure you use an apostrophe and not a single right quotation mark.
I wonder if having so many individual redirects is necessary though, since conflation of all three characters should occur in every case. Copy-and-paste from a website is a legitimate concern. It appears that Wikipedia doesn't handle this either. Davilla 08:35, 24 July 2005 (UTC)
I agree it would be better if MediWiki had specific support for certain ASCII characters and the various more specific characters those can represent. There are other things that would be better done at the search level too. But none of us here are also MediaWiki developers so we generally choose solutions which can be reached without developer support.
Also, despite what one or two people here have stated, U 2019 is the correct character for both apostrophe and right single quote mark - as stated in the Wikipedia links you cite. — Hippietrail 08:31, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
I do think User:24's suggestion is best. As long as wikilinks contain only the ASCII apostrophe, all technical concerns seem to be addressed. Concerns about decorum or politeness have meanwhile suffered extraordinarily. --Connel MacKenzie 15:04, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
  • Retraction! After all that effort rebutting, I've now found that searching for "y’all" doesn't bring up "y'all". I thought I had tested this exhaustively before and during the debate. I can't be sure whether something has changed but it's certainly not working now. This certainly invalidates some of my main argumets. Of course it also means that words cut and paste from the web wherein curved apostrophes are very common also won't work - but they never did. — Hippietrail 16:39, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
  • This recognition of fact is good enough for me. BTW, "blindsiding", since I introduced the term into the conversation, does not imply malice. It is basically a matter of catching people unaware. Some of the most harmful blinsiding can come from one's best friends. :-) Eclecticology 19:39:05, 2005-07-25 (UTC)

*How do I add to wikidictionary?

OK I am a newbie so I have no idea what is called what, but I'll give it a go. Assuming that a 'name space' is a word and it's various meanings etc. then is it best to add to that space or does this cause upset with the author of that page. Alternatively, should I create a new space and link it? And if I plan to add more later, on a similar theme but not of that exact name sake, should I add a link? Further more could somebody please sugest the best way to do either of these?

(apologies if I have used the wrong discussion board)

Hello User: and welcome. We try to enter each word as a separate entry here. If you start from the "Search" box on the left, type in a word and click "Go" you will see if we already have the word or not. If not, then please create the entry. We are supposed to be nice to newbies, but sometimes are not - so expect to see your new entries modified mercilessly within a day or two. I've added the "Welcome" boilerplate to your talk page - many people find that helpful when they are new. As for inflected forms of words, we prefer to have separate entries for each form. So form, forms, formed and forming should each get separate entries. --Connel MacKenzie 18:09, 19 July 2005 (UTC)
Sorry about the initially bad examples: the above entries have been updated to reflect current practices. --Connel MacKenzie 17:25, 20 July 2005 (UTC)

*Weird disconnect

I recently corrected and added to the entry for yalàaha, but it didn't update- the script is correct but the entry doesn't reflect it accurately. Anyone know what's going on here? Thanks.E. abu Filumena 01:25, 21 July 2005 (UTC)

The history shows two changes by you at 22:59 on 20 July; were there others? There have been several recent instances where a changed page has not reloded properly even thoughn the change was in fact recorded. Eclecticology 05:58, July 21, 2005 (UTC)
That's it. The second one is there solely because I didn't think the first one went through, so I clicked it again. Any idea why this has happened?E. abu Filumena 06:01, 21 July 2005 (UTC)
I'm only guessing. I'm comfortable dealing with editorial issues, but a confessed zero about the software. If I'm wrong I'm sure someone else will comment. Much of it has to do with the huge databases that are needed for all the Wikimedia projects. Additions and changes to the database can be made right away, but with Wikimedia receiving 1300 hits per second they are necessarily provided to readers through different servers. Updating the servers often a time delay depending on the volume of traffic at the moment. For a read only user the problem will never be noticed, but it is disconcerting when you are an editor. Being in the world's top 100 websites can have its drawbacks. :-) Eclecticology 18:00, July 21, 2005 (UTC)

*Category titles

moved to: Wiktionary:Categorization/archive --Stranger 01:35, 6 September 2005 (UTC)

*Category map

moved to: Wiktionary:Categorization/archive --Stranger 01:36, 6 September 2005 (UTC)

*New special character insertion feature

Subsets of special characters are now selectable via a dropdown menu when in edit mode. Please see MediaWiki talk:Monobook.js and MediaWiki talk:Copyrightwarning. Leave a message right here or on my talk page if you think this is a bad idea and should be removed immediately - or if you'd like it changed in any way. Please test it and provide feedback. I hope people find it a helpful improvement. — Hippietrail 08:14, 22 July 2005 (UTC)

I think it's useful if it bothers people to have such a long list of special characters. It works and it is neat, although at first I couldn't see the difference since I wasn't using the standard skin. In that case only the first section is visible and there is no selector for the other special characters. As far as I'm concerned my opinion is neutral. It didn't bother me that there was such a long epilogue. (Although it did make the copyright notice a lot less visible, of course). It also doesn't really bother me that two clicks are needed to get to some of the more exotic special characters). It only becomes cumbersome when one needs characters from different categories in the same edit box, but that is rare. Polyglot 09:58, 22 July 2005 (UTC)
I actually developed a working model of this a few months ago when we were talking about it, but there were a few problems which I couldn't fix, so I left it. Thanks for making this! Incidentally, I do think it works well just by language, as you'd only need one language at a time. --Wytukaze 23:08, 22 July 2005 (UTC)

*Long phrases

moved to: don't teach your grandmother to suck eggs --Stranger 00:18, 6 September 2005 (UTC)


Over on Wikipedia, I have created an article called WikiNames about a proposed new Wiki. It would hold information on Surnames, Given names and Placenames, allowing us to hold only minimal information on such things. Please feel free to change it, or add to it as you think fit. SemperBlotto 16:42, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

Is that another branch (sorry, couldn't resist the pun) of ? --Connel MacKenzie 02:26, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
Interesting, but we should probably move to because Wikipedia is not about the Wikimedia Foundation. Stevey7788 21:54, 28 July 2005 (UTC)


Hi Everybody,

I added a new word "mortiversary" I thought of to Wiktionary, but apparently it needs to be reclassified/moved as it is a protologism. If it becomes commonly used, as I hope it will be, then it can be moved back into the main section. I have read the protologism section, but I am confused as to how to accomplish this. Can someone help me out here?


Mike Finney


I DO hope you will consider the following; this request is MONUMENTAL!

My complaint about online dictionaries is they do not include good examples of how to use the word. This is critical for true comprehension and one's ability to adopt the word correctly for future use.

My complaint of ANY thesaurus is the obvious need to point out the differences between any word and its synonyms. There is a book, "Choose The Right Word" by Hayakawa which does an excellent job of this, but it is not comprehensive.

If you can offer a single, combined service so that upon researching any word, one could read how the word is used, synonyms and in what instances the word is more appropriate than another, I will take this website to the two school superintendants with whom I work and ask them to incorporate it's use in every classroom!

And while I would be able to die happy with just the former request being fulfilled, I will add this additional suggestion for fun :) Being able to select the sentence with the word used in context and viewing that same sentence in another language would have unmeasurable merit and benefits! The most obvious is that the correct translation of any word is often dependent on its use at the time.

p.s. I absolutely LOVE Wikipedia and now use it almost everyday! I recommend it to family and friends almost as often. So much so, I would be willing to help raise funds for future sustainability when I finish my current post. Thank you!

Tracy Cummings

While there is much truth in what you say, it is important to remember that this is an all volunteer project. The value of the material depends on what you and others contribute. Fund raising is not the primary issue for Wiktionary. The Wikimedia Foundation, as the legally constituted organization to oversee this family of projects which receive more than 1300 inquiries per second certainly cannot function without money to maintain its hardware, but that does not mean that each project such as Wiktionary needs its own targetted funds. Nor do we need to become "monumental". To whom would such a monument be built? ;-)
I very much agree with the concept of examples, but I would go one step further. Those examples should be actual quotations from identifiable sources. I find that made up quotes, and original definitions often do not do justice to the word.
I agree too about explaining the distinction between synonyms. The 1913 Webster did this very well, and I'm sure that it's users found this informative.
The suggestion about translations too is a good one. I would especially like to see foreign words illustrated with examples from their own literature accompanied by English translations, but I also realise that there is a limit to what can be done with available human resources, and I would prefer giving priority to your first suggestion.
Again I must emphasize that this is a volunteer project. I look forward to to your future contributions, which will help bring about entries that will reflect those issues which you feel are important in lexicography.
NOTE: A copy of this is also being sent to this person's indicated e-mail address. Eclecticology 06:46:38, 2005-08-01 (UTC)

*Capitalization is here!

moved to: Wiktionary_talk:Policy_Think_Tank_-_Capitalization --Stranger 00:58, 6 September 2005 (UTC)

*Splitting discussion pages

Those of you who are splitting upper and lower case entries might try to split the discussion pages at the same time. Easier said than done. SemperBlotto 3 July 2005 17:08 (UTC)

*Capitalization of the letters of the alphabet

moved to: Wiktionary_talk:Policy_Think_Tank_-_Capitalization --Stranger 00:58, 6 September 2005 (UTC)

*New namespaces

*Order of languages

moved to: Wiktionary_talk:Entry_layout_explained/archive_2005BP --Stranger 02:15, 6 September 2005 (UTC)


Templates within templates

Should we use templates within templates? For example, see a template such as {{chemistry}}. This actually uses a template in it, and that template in turn uses another template. As Jamesday, a developer, has stated, this puts more load on the Wikimedia servers. In my opinion, it also unnecessarily complicates editing of templates. Is there any advantage to using these? 24 23:42, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I am not familiar with the way Wiktionary is woring internally but in generic terms there might be an advantage using Templates inside Templates. If the parent template is changed then all articles using the child templates would use the new format. --Zinon
Considering the significant resistance to the use of templates (at all) I'd say it is unwise to use categories within categories for anything other than a temporary experiment. (Erm, I'm probably guilty of that myself, however.) I've witnessed objections (to all templates) increase tremendously whenever templates are nested within other templates. --Connel MacKenzie 22:19, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
As a software geek, I find this all a bit mistifying (except perhaps for the server load part — it's non-trivial, though certainly feasible, to cache expanded versions of nested templates). Nesting of things like templates is not just perfectly ordinary, but in many environments necessary just to get through the day. In this particular case, you share template code to ensure consistency and make changes easy. For example, the cattag family of templates assigns tags and a categories to a sense. If I want to note a term used in physics that's also an uncountable noun, I can put in {{cattag2|physics|uncountable}}. If it's just a physics term, I can say {{cattag|physics}}, but these single tags are common enough it's nice to have an abbreviation, {{physics}}.
If I define {{physics}} that way, I know that if we change the definition of cattag (e.g., to format the tags somewhat differently, or to handle categories differently), the change will be carried through consistently, whether the template used is physics, cattag or cattag2. There happens to be a particular issue with this right now, in that some of the convenience templates like {{physics}} expand to use a capitalized category name, while an entry with {{cattag2|...|...}} will go into the uncapitalized category. If the convenience had used cattag in nested fashion, this would not have happened.
For what it's worth, I'm not crazy about uncapitalized category names, and some people don't like singular category names but that's a separate issue. It occurs to me that we could get around both of these by redefining {{cat}} so that, e.g. {{cat|physics}} expands to [[Category:Terms associated with physics]]. As long as everything's properly nested, this change can be made once and for all (except that the changes wouldn't take effect immediately, due to a bug in the template processing code ...). It would fail for categories like "uncountable" and "English idioms" or whatever, though. -dmh 04:52, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
dmh, you seem to be missing the KISS principle. When an article is rendered it should look nice. When an article is being edited, people like to see everything that is affecting it. Having all aspects of an article right in front of you, (not nested) makes it easier for newcomers to see what is going on and how they can join in helping. The more software abstraction we add, the less transparent the operation is to the new user. Having less transparency is generally bad.
Now, I don't like to type so much either. I am notorious for my typos, spelling and gramatical errors. Templates (and categories within templates) greatly reduce the number of errors I make; particularly since a missing/misspelt template jumps out so readily. But I try not to rely on them too much. The amount of grief I still get for being too clever with abbreviations, acronyms and initialisms is astounding. (Although I still maintain it is the best method we have available today.)
Lastly, the Wiki foundation has invented a wiki* markup programming language. Having that language change frequently (in appearance and use) is not particularly helpful. --Connel MacKenzie 05:54, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
What we have here is a difference in opinion as to what is simple.
First, I think we can agree that it's simpler to say {{physics}} than to say (''physics'')[[Category:Physics]] (assuming we're to capitalize the category. More on that elsewhere). That alone is a big win. But the problem is that {{...}} doesn't mean "tag and add to the category", it means "invoke a template". So if I want to tag some sense of the term as "fribble" and there isn't already a "fribble" category, I'll get an ugly red link when I save the edit.
So I would like to make adding this new category as simple as possible, since someone tagging a term shouldn't have to delve into templates.
Now, it appears to be a matter of opinion whether it's simpler to add that new template by typing in {{cattag|fribble}} or (''fribble'')[[Category:Fribble]] (remembering to capitalize the category name, but more on that elsewhere). For my money, the first one is easier for the article editor, and that's the party whose convenience concerns me most here.
As it happens, the cattag template originally called out to two other templates. Now it's been inlined and doesn't even do that. I doubt anyone noticed the change — I certainly didn't. That's how it's supposed to work. Someone editing wiktionary learns two things:
  • If you want to tag a sense, you just put the tag in double curly braces.
  • (optionally) If that causes a red link, just fill in the missing template with {{cattag|...}}
Everything else is magic. The run-of-the-mill editor doesn't need to know that there are templates going on at all.
I'm a little confused by the idea that any of this is changing the Wiki* markup language. As far as I can tell, it's using two facilities of that language, namely templates and categories, to make some of our paperwork — dare I say it? — simpler.
For my money, the main flaw in the whole scheme is cattag2, cattag3 and however much higher we might end up counting appearing directly in articles at all. But more on that elsewhere. -dmh 16:40, 20 July 2005 (UTC)
Admitting that I will need to be less minimalist than I would like about the use of templates, there is still one difficulty that is not addressed by either the {{cattag|Topic}} or the {{Topic}} approach. How do these allow for something to be alphebatized in the category list in a place other than what is dictated by Unicode. Thus the following solution mentioned above would not be available:
  • The way to correct an article's placement in a category is to use the pipe syntax. For example, to correct čimbala, at the end of that article I would add this category link instead: [[Category:Serbian common nouns|cimbala]]
It seems as though I would need to revert to the full form for the category.Eclecticology 22:07, July 20, 2005 (UTC)
Another problem. Templates for categories should be identical, except perhaps for the initial capitalization, to the category name. Thus "Template:softeng" is not obvious as a link to "Category:Software engineering". Eclecticology 23:23, July 20, 2005 (UTC)
The nice thing about templatees is you can define aliases easily. For example, I originally had "hoops" as an alias for "basketball" and "math" as an alias for "mathematics". This is just a convenience when editing. There should never be any confusion as to what the actual expansion is: just look at the article (and you generally don't get to the edit page without looking at the article). Leaving aliases aside, the tag, category and template name should normally all match, perhaps modulo captialization, but there will be cases where this won't work.
Stepping back a bit, what do we need here?
  1. We need a way of tagging entries without ever needing to write out categories by hand if we don't want to.
  2. We need to be able to tag a sense with more than one category at once.
  3. We will sometimes need the template name to differ from the tag and category name in ways that can't be handled automatically (unfortunately, this now seems to include capitalization)
The existing template system covers (1) and (3) very easily. The problem comes with (2), but if we agree that the format I described (e.g. "(uncountable)(physics)" instead of "(uncountable, physics)") is OK, then that's not a problem either.
In that case, we just define each template to expand appropriately and to apply more than one tag, just use more than one template. At this point, this seems like the best way forward.
Back at the original topic, "templates within templates", defining a utility template like "cattag" to do the grunt work of formatting the tag and the category link and making sure the tag matches the category seems like a no-brainer to me, but if the consensus is that this obscures the meaning or whatever, I guess I'm not going to fight it too hard. I'm more concerned that tags and categories are used consistently and widely, preferably through templates. In other words, as long as I see things like {{physics}}{{uncountable}} in entries, I don't so much care whether Template:physics is written as {{cattag|Physics}} or (''Physics'')[[Category:Physics]], grating though I find the latter. -dmh 14:46, 21 July 2005 (UTC)
Looking at Wiktionary:Index to templates there are still a number of things there which are not obvious, such as template:comptheory linking to Category:Theory of computing. An average editor may not be aware of this mismatch when he wants to categorize his article. In other cases like template:hamradio it may not be intuitive to omit the space in the name.
As to your three numbered ponts I would say.
  1. Yes, with backward compatibility. A person who does not want to use templates should not be hindered. Perhaps we need to clarify the range of acceptable options that will accomplish the same things.
  2. Yes, but this too should be subject to backward compatibility.
  3. Not exactly. Perhaps this is where your idea of aliases comes in. In my example a "template:theory of computing" would still be needed a usable template. We can still establish an all lower case rule for the template names. The alias would still be an informality for the benefit of what could be only one editor, and may often not be obvious to others at all.
It looks as though we could have the basis of an understanding, at least with regard to tag and category templates. Could you please also comment on the sorting issue that I mentioned before. Eclecticology 19:06, July 21, 2005 (UTC)
I agree we appear to be converging, and I'm happy about that. As to aliases like comptheory and hamradio, I agree that the spelled-out version should always exist. That is, {{comptheory}} should be defined as {{theory of computing}}. When I first started this, I wasn't sure if spaces were OK in template names and I never bothered to find out. Some aliases might just be idiosyncratic conveniences, but some, like "math" (and probably "maths") will almost certainly occur to people naturally. This is a textbook case for nested templates. The aliases all point to the official version, and anything that happens to the official version happens to the aliases.
Now suppose we decide that computing theory terms should go under Category:Computing theory and not Category:Theory of computing — a reasonable decision. Then
As to the sorting issue, I'm not completely sure I understand it. Isn't it enough to have Template:cimbala expand to <nowiki>(''čimbala'')[[Category:Serbian common nouns|cimbala]]? Unless I'm missing something, the only flaw is in cattag, and you don't have to use that.
My overall take on the whole matter is
  • Any time a tag appears in a definition, there should also be a category link. I don't think this will lead to overly big categories, since we tend to tag only the unusual features of words. Aside from very large categories like "Verb" and "English", I'm not too concerned about big categories anyway.
  • By far the most convenient way to assure this is to use templates.
  • I'm much less concerned with what the actual templates look like, though I think utilities like cattag can be useful in many cases.
  • However, aliases are useful, and they should follow a very regular pattern: aliases should point directly to the template that matches the underlying category. E.g., "comptheory" should (presently) point directly to "theory of computing"
  • I'm fine with uncapitalized template names and tags and capitalized template names, e.g. (physics) and Category:Physics. I would be very happy if there were a standard "capitalize" template to automate this, but if we have to write things out by hand, fine.
  • I would prefer to see a couple of things regularized. Particularly, could Template:idiom expand to tag and category "idiom" instead of tag "idiomatic" and category "Idioms"?
  • I notice that Ec has proposed a convention for non-English categories. It seems workable, but I'd want to ponder it a bit more before signing on.
  • I'm not sure I understand the čimbala issue. -dmh 13:31, 22 July 2005 (UTC)
The word "čimbala" is not a template or category, but a single item in cimbala. Without the piping, when we look at what's in the category it would be alphabetized separately under the letter č. The piping forces it to be alphabetized under the letter c. The templates do not appear to provide for doing this.
As for the rest of the points, I'm willing to take a wait and see approach while the matter is being developed. Eclecticology 20:08, July 22, 2005 (UTC)


moved to: Wiktionary_talk:Project_-_Ultimate_Wiktionary --Stranger 20:02, 10 September 2005 (UTC)


I've just edited centre, and then went to look at center. It had been edited independently, including several meanings not at "centre" (and that seem to be used only in US English, and so would only be spelled "center").

At one point I proposed having synchronisation requests at the top of pages with different spellings depending which variety of English was used. This didn't work very well, and someone more recently proposed, I think, that new words with more than one spelling should be created in one spelling and then redirected to from the other spelling(s).

What should we do with centre/center? I suggest we merge the two two and pick (perhaps randomly) one of the spellings as the page title, with the other spelling containing something like "X spelling of centxx" where X and xx would be "US" and "re" or "Commonwealth English" and "er", depending which way the redirect went.

Note that we would need to note any usages that are particular to one flavo(u)r of English (and so have only one spelling) and be careful with the conjugations (where Commonwealth English has "centring" and "centred", US English has "centering" and "centered").

This problem seems perennial. Can we resolve it once and for all? — Paul G 16:06, 3 August 2005 (UTC)

I agree. I think we've put up with the silly UKisms for long enough. They should all just redirect to the de-facto international business language American English spellings. --Connel MacKenzie 03:00, 4 August 2005 (UTC)   Do not taunt the newly promoted Bureaucrat. :-) <-- edit summary of post. --Connel MacKenzie 15:28, 5 August 2005 (UTC)
I thought the way we did this was to keep the one that was entered first and make the other one a redirect. Of course this may get a bit silly when we have centre, centering and centred as full entries and center, centring and centered as redirects, but I don't think there will be an ideal situation. Except if we start working with templates so both entries will look the same to the casual user. The disadvantage of that is that it becomes harder to edit them. Besides that, not everything can go in the template; the links from one to the other should only be in one of them. Maybe pronunciations differ as well. Polyglot 07:38, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
Hmmmm. I'm not from the UK, but I find references to the way I spell as "silly UKisms" bordering on the offensive. I have never heard US-style spellings being described as "de-facto international business language" before. In fact I regard the notion that they are as somewhat preposterous. English, like many other languages, has multiple valid spellings of many words. It's a fact of life and I'm quite comfortable with it. What Wiktionary needs to do is come to grips with this in a systematic fashion. To me the best solution is a structure that caters for alternative forms within the one entry, and doesn't rely on kludges like redirects, which can result in the sort of problems that has happened with centre/center. I had hopes that the Ultimate Wiktionary might address this properly, but sadly it seems to be heading in a "single-valid-spelling" direction, which in real lexicography is nonsense. --JimBreen 01:11, 5 August 2005 (UTC)
Hi Jim, don't worry, I'm sure Connel was only jokingly trying to illustrate there is no really easy solution to this problem, by proposing an extreme solution. His comment should have been seasoned with some smileys though, since it's easy to misinterpret.
Either we have to separate entries, but then they each start to have a life of their own, or we redirect from one to the other and keep everything in one place. It's the way I would prefer. I don't like to have the same information twice, it's almost impossible to keep synchronized. (and it wastes space, but that's not really an issue on this project)
A consensus was reached at some point. The person's spelling variation which is the first to be entered wins. The advantage is that we can arbitrarily judge who was first, since we have all the timestamps. If we stick to that, there shouldn't be any problem. As long as nobody is motivated to enter all the problem words in their way of spelling all at once just to make sure they are first and nobody did that we should get a reasonably even distribution. There are not really that many words that do have this problem (compared to the entire body of existing words)
It's odd that Gerard apparently doesn't seem to comprehend the gravity of this problem for UW and I also don't understand why he adamantly refuses to incorporate spelling variations. Especially since English is not the only language which has this problem. I had understood he was catering for it. Anyway, once dictionary goes into a database, it should be feasible to work out some kind of solution. Each piece of information is present only once anyway. So to treat centre and center on an equal level should be possible. Every entry has to be pieced together from bits and pieces of information that is present in different tables. This has to happen each and every time an entry is shown. Ik kind of defeats the purpose of the caching servers, but an ideal solution doesn't exist. Polyglot 05:50, 5 August 2005 (UTC)
  • Thank you for pointing out that I was being humorous. That is true. I forgot that BP edit summaries are difficult to keep track of.
  • Polyglot, that is not my understanding of the consensus that was reached at all. Because of the variations in etymology, pronunciation and occasionally meaning, they two separate entries were to exist side by side. In true wiki style, whoever feels motivated to bring their version up-to-date is welcome to do so. Does that allow for some redundancy? Yes. Does that however address all the other concerns? Yes. The who-came-first notion was and is unrealistic. The American English page needs to list the Commonwealth spelling as an "Alternative spelling" tagged with (UK). The CW spelled page should list the AmE spelling as an "Alternative spelling" tagged with (US).
  • As a lexicographer coming fairly late to sniffing around the wiki environment, I think the approach of having separate entries for alternative spellings is a mess. The printed dictionaries which cover multiple spellings, such as the OED or the Webster Universal, have a master entry and where necessary cross-references. This may not be "true wiki style", but it common sense. --JimBreen 23:50, 8 August 2005 (UTC)
Hi Jim, it's great to see your input. As for being fairly late, I don't quite agree. Wiktionary is still a very young project and it's far from mature. There is still a lot that can be improved. My opinion is that duplication of content is to be avoided at all cost. It seems like we agree on that. Anything else is a waste of resources and we have to be careful about our resources. It's the only factor that limits us. I see linking and cross referencing as true wiki style. It's not a big deal somebody has to click to get to the content they want to see. It is problematic when somebody goes to centre and thinks that's all there is if there is more or different content at center. Polyglot 08:22, 11 August 2005 (UTC)
  • So, my humorous entry was indeed mostly humorous - but not entirely. As much as Mr. Breen took offense at my humor, I took offense at Paul's initial eastpondian wording. The notion that something is "broken" is simply wrong. The notion that mass deletion of entries is somehow desireable is simply wrong.
  • Lastly, in the case of something like theatre/theater, the definitions themselves are different. --Connel MacKenzie 07:00, 5 August 2005 (UTC)
  • They look the same to me, as do the centre/center entries. The one for center is more fully populated, but there is no sense which in not relevant to English here in Australia. And it wouldn't matter if there actually was a sense unique to AmE - polysemy is no reason for replicating entries. --JimBreen 23:50, 8 August 2005 (UTC)
  • One other thing that struck me as curious, originally: if the words are recognized as being different from the outset, why is the concept of eliminating one being proposed at all? --Connel MacKenzie 15:28, 5 August 2005 (UTC)
Nothing is eliminated by putting everything that's common between them together under either center or centre, arbitrarily. Of course where one spelling also has a meaning the other doesn't it only has to go there. And, of course, a redirect from one to the other won't do anymore then. Polyglot 08:22, 11 August 2005 (UTC)
It's probably very controversial, but I did what I think needed to be done to the center/centre combination. Feel free to revert if you have to. Then I'll never ever touch it or any other controversial issue again. I kind of feel impartial as far as spellings of English are concerned. I live nearer to Britain, but I tend to get more influence from the US and then we are not talking about Canada or Australia yet. Usually there are two possible spellings and grossly four big regions where one or the other is used. What is used where is interesting information to add to Wiktionary. Creating double work for all contributors isn't. The Finnish translations were sorted out and {{top}}, {{mid}} labels where added in one version and not in the other. The differences weren't that big yet, but it shows that a request to keep two entries synchronized simply isn't heeded. The person who changes one part of the pair doesn't do it and I'm pretty sure we don't want to assign this task as a household chore to a regular contributor. Let's not burn out our contributors with tedious labour just because (large groups of) people cannot agree on what spelling to use. Polyglot 08:58, 11 August 2005 (UTC)

Translation of idioms

moved to: Wiktionary_talk:Idiom_dictionary_considerations --Stranger 19:59, 10 September 2005 (UTC)

Sound pronunciation

moved to: Template_talk:Audio --Stranger 19:57, 10 September 2005 (UTC)

Koryese and Wunese Soochownese

IP has added translations into Koryese. There are no Google hits for Koryese. Has anyone heard of this language? Otherwise we should get rid of those translations as quickly as possible. Ncik 14:37, 9 August 2005 (UTC)

The only Google hits (14) for Wunese Soochownese are translations in the en and ku Wiktionary. I will delete them as well. Ncik 13:09, 10 August 2005 (UTC)

Um, baby != bathwater. "Wunese Soochownese" is the Suzhou dialect of Wu. (I'm sure this was discussed before but I forget where—ah no, I've just fixed it before]). You can see by comparing translations: yellow is ruáng in W.S., and huáng in Mandarin; red is rón(g) in W.S., hóng in Mandarin... Foreign contributors shouldn't be discouraged because they don't know the English name of their language. Put the translations back. (I suspected similar might be the case for Koryese but I saw no such correlation with a cursory check... it might need further research.) —Muke Tever 22:01, 10 August 2005 (UTC)

Links to a given page

  1. How do I get a list of pages that link to a given page?
  2. How do I get a list of pages that use a certain template?

Ncik 13:55, 11 August 2005 (UTC)

Use "What links here" in the side bar. For templates go to the template and do the same thing. Eclecticology 14:08:28, 2005-08-11 (UTC)
Thanks. Ncik 17:46, 11 August 2005 (UTC)

BP cleanup

Progress Notes:

Pre-August material is just being moved to July-September archive for now - divide and conquer --Stranger 20:25, 31 August 2005 (UTC)

"The key to survival is being able to put your hands on something when you need it." In the process of creating a good index under which discussions can be filed. --Stranger 16:04, 1 September 2005 (UTC)

???? Ultimate Wiktionary ????

I've just subscribed to the mailing list, and was alarmed to find all this discussion of migrating Wiktionary to the Ultimate Wiktionary. Here are my responses to the mailing list:---Richardb 12:38, 30 May 2005 (UTC)

I’ve been an active administrator on Wiktionary for some months now. But only recently subscribed to the mailing list – only just noticing that such a thing exists.
So this discussion of the Ultimate Wiktionary comes as a complete surprise to me.
Which is even more alarming as somewhere in land there is clearly a policy that all changes etc must be notified and approved through the web site. The mailing list is only an ancillary means of communication.
So I would suggest whoever is managing the idea of change needs to lift their game in keeping the active Wiktionary community informed.
I too am alarmed at the proposal, as much as I have seen it. I am technical(well, used to be) 28 years in the computer industry, starting at the most technical levels of system programming, but over the years migrating to the role of helping general business users get the best out of systems, as business analyst, system designer, project manager.More recently dabbled in setting up dynamic websites - forums, noticeboards etc.
One thing I learned was – never let a technician design a system. It will be great for the technician’s personal uses, but a huge chance it will be useless to the general users.
Like Ec I find even the present level of codification annoyingly complicated. Requiring any significant level of codification from general users would just knock out 99%of the population from being contributors, a situation we cannot go towards.
From what little I have learned so far of this idea, including the complete lack of communication with the user community, the idea of introducing a new more technical Ultimate Wiktionary sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.

I've also searched , and found no mention of Ultimate, on the Main Page, Community Portal or Beer Parlour. The only fleeting mentions I can find so far in Wiktionary or MediaWiki namespacesare Wiktionary:Beer parlour/First letter capitalization, Wiktionary talk:Policy Think Tank - English Wiktionary, Foreign Words & Translations, Wiktionary:Beer parlour archive/January-March 05

But one mention does even more to alarm me. "More info on Ultimate Wiktionary can be found on meta (" So apparently a proposal to replace Wiktionary is not even to be discussed or publicised on Wiktionary.

If you have any contact with the people who might be behind this self proclaimed Ultimate Wiktionary, then please get them to publicise their ideas and plans on Wiktionary. That way we might be able to help contribute to an improved Wiktionary, whilst keeping it realistic.--Richardb 12:38, 30 May 2005 (UTC)

Opps! Sorry for being so abrasive. I was forgetting that this, of course, is only one of many Wiktionaries, in different languages. I've already apologised to GerardM for being so abrasive. And offered to try to keep this en:Wiktionary community more informed on what is happening with the Ultimate Wiktionary project.--Richardb 14:39, 30 May 2005 (UTC)
Funny, I have been discussing the Ultimate Wiktionary for quite some time on the Mailing list on Meta on IRC. I have a blog where I regularly post about what I am doing and what contacts I have. I have formulated a plan, I have asked for a proposal I found funding for the programming and I did all this in the full knowledge of the WMF board.
Above I am discribed as an ICT person. That is true but I also have many contributions to my name in wiktionary. I have for instance pronounced over 6.000 Dutch words. Calling me someone who has not dirtied his hands on adding content to Wiktionary is not something I can be accused of.
I do not contribute much to the English Wiktionary but most of the interwiki links are done by RobotGMwikt which is me as well. I am still apalled by the fact that the English Wiktionary does not execute the vote to stop capitalising the names of articles. I have proposed some schemes to alleviate the pain but this was not good enough. There is no golden bullet, work has to be done to improve the quality of the en.wiktionary.
The idea of the Ultimate Wiktionary, its concepts and what it can be used for is not only but also my work. It would be wrong not to mention Sabine Cretella, she is an admin on the Italian Wiktionary and a professional translator. It would be wrong not to mention Erik Moeller, who did come up with WikiData the technical basis for the Ultimate Wiktionary and who accepted a contract that will get us a tool that will be a big improvement to the unstructured content of the English Wiktionary and the "difficult" content of the Dutch and Italian Wiktionaries.
If thing work out as I expect, than it will be because of the talents of Polyglot and Hippietrail that we will use content of the English Wiktionary. My expectation that a huge percentage will not be usable because it will be impossible to get correct information out of it. When the UW works does the things that I hope it will, it will be apparent that contributions to UW carry more weight than to any of the other Wiktionaries. This will be the proof of the pudding, if it tastes well people will contribute to UW because it will make sense. If it means that the Dutch Wiktionary is abandoned, I am all for it. If people start to move from any and all wiktionaries to the UW, I am all for it. If it means that abondoned projects are discontinued, it will be joyous occasion because we learned a lot and we moved on.
This happens if the UW is a success. The fun is that it is you people who are able to make it a success. All along everyone was invited to contribute to the concepts of what UW is about. I have not published the database I work on at home because I do not want to impose what I do. So I am really pleased by the Entity Relations Diagram that Polyglot published. I am ever so happy to get the Maltese schemes as well. There are some more schemes in the pipeline. I am thrilled that we will use the GEMET database as a prototype.. Really the UW is there for you to contribute to. It is however not an English Wiktionary Project. It is not a project that will be voted on. It is an experiment we will try our best to have it succeed. GerardM 21:11, 30 May 2005 (UTC)
So you're saying that all definitions besides the work of Polyglot and Hippietrail will be discarded? This is a wiki, if you don't like the way things are set up, fix them. The entire idea of wikis is that things can be improved by others, everything doesn't have to be perfect. 24 21:57, 30 May 2005 (UTC)
Sorry for the confusion, both Polyglot and Hippietrail have been busy to create logic that parses the en.wikipedia. This effort would make content available in a structured manner. This could in turn be used for the UW. So when we convert content we do not look for who did what. That is technically almost impossible and, you would not find people interested in doing that. GerardM 04:40, 31 May 2005 (UTC)
Hmm. Well, I don't think much of Polyglot's To be as cool as a cucumber - no formatting, no definition, just a translation - will all the Ultimate Wiktionary be like that? SemperBlotto 22:27, 30 May 2005 (UTC)
We would have this entry as well. You have to realise however, that the useage of the UW is quite different from Wiktionary, the minimmal amount of data required for a word will be the language and the word itself. This would have a use for spell checking. From this point of view, your example is not a stub at all. All information that can be parsed into the UW we will parse into the UW. Stuff that has no structure can not be indentified as to what it is about. For instance all words that do not indicate what language it is in... GerardM 04:40, 31 May 2005 (UTC)
From a conversation on IRC, I beat some random thoughts out on the keyboard.
I think the UW has several major hurdles still to overcome:
  1. Proof of concept prototype
  2. Some communal understanding at each of the wikt's
  3. proof of reusability/not immediate destruction of other wikts.
  4. Months/year running concurrently WITH wikts.
  5. Lastly, concensus that this is a good way to go
But now I'd like to add:
  1. Project plan roadmap...timelines (optimistic/pessimistic) of major milestones: A) when programming is expected to start, B) when prototype is available, C) when license issues must be decided, D) when criteria for inclusion must be decided (before starting!) E) when each language is expected to be mass-imported.
  2. Monthly progress updates.
The advantages of having all language Wiktionaries integrated will not be evident UNTIL they are integrated.
--Connel MacKenzie 05:59, 31 May 2005 (UTC)
UW is at this moment in time an experiment. It is discussed primaraly on META. There is a project plan a road map, milestones have been defined, programming has started, license issues must be decided before we start importing data into UW. It is not that languages are imported it is a wiktionary that is imported. The Dutch wiktionary contains several thousands English words, they will exist after the first import. This will not mean that they are fully developped entries but they will exist.
I make a big effort to communicate about UW. However I cannot do this to every Wiktionary with the intensity that many would like. For your information I even blog about the UW: wordsandmore.
The conclusion that the advantages of integration will only be after all wiktionaries are integrated is wrong. The benefit is already there when two wiktionaries have been integrated. The benefit will already be there when only the Dutch wiktionary has been imported as it opens up content that is not available on the Internet in another resource. GerardM 05:36, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)

In all fairness Gerard's proposal for his Ultimate Wiktionary has been around for some time. According to the timetable Prototype III is now available, but I have been unable to find a link to it. A version that is fully integrated with Mediawiki 1.6 is due by the middle of June. There is all manner of talk about how all the Wiktionaries can be integrated into one big Ultimate Wiktionary but there is precious little practical progress.

At some point Gerard expressed that when the Ultimate Wiktionary was operational we would not be forced to migrate, but predicted that we would all see this new project as the best thing in on-line dictionaries ever created. He further predicted that we would all find it so marvellous that we would be inspired to move everything there without any difficulty whatsoever. I accepted that at face value, and was prepared to wait until there was something in place before wasting any more time debating it. That explains my opinionated silence on the matter. A recent comment by Jimbo on the mailing list suggested to me that he has been led to believe that there is more to this project than can be supported by facts. That made it necessary to comment.

It's wonderful that Gerard has been able to talk €5,000 from a Dutch company to fund his proposal, but let's get real. Gerard's Ultimate Wiktionary is currently at the level of a techies pipedream, and we can only wonder what's in the pipe. Adapting to software that does not exist showes that UW really stands for "Ultimate Wheelspinning". We don't know how Mediawiki 1.6 will handle this by mid-June; Mediawiki 1.5 is only now in development and has not yet been released. Let's not become dependent on software that has yet to be written.

While I'm at it I should remark how effective these proposals have been at propelling the Ido Wiktionary to become the 7th largest Wiktionary with some 9,000 entries. Ido is a minor dialect of Esperanto. Of course most of the entries don't have a definition, and only show a translation of the word into one other language. I sometimes wonder if some of these people understand what a dictionary is all about. I hope nobody is reading this on the Klingon homeworld. Eclecticology 11:59, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Customisable navigation bar

Wiktionary is now running MediaWiki 1.5beta1. This new version has a few new features. Once I've noticed is a customisable navigation bar.

I hereby propose some changes to our standard navigation bar:

  1. Replace "Community portal" with "Beer parlour"
  2. Replace "Current events" with "Requested articles"
  3. Possible addition of RFD

Or any variations on this theme. Community portal has always been a very muddy concept here whereas the Beer parlour can be hard to find by clicking alone. Current events has also suffered from a lack of ideas of what to use it for. The real current events here besides the Beer parlour could be seen as what's controversial enough to be up for deletion, and what words have been suggested for new articles.

Opinions appreciated. For info on how this would be done, please ask here if that is important to you. — Hippietrail 28 June 2005 06:43 (UTC)

Instead of Requested articles, how about Wiktionary:Things to do the recent regrouping of the various projects underway?
I like having Community portal; could it be demoted (instead of replaced) to be below Beer Parlor? And can Beer Parlor get the hot-key Alt-B?
Ever since rewording the upload page to remind people to upload on commons, the only person uploading here is the daily vandal. (Makes 'm very easy to spot.) Perhaps a link for Special:Newimages?
--Connel MacKenzie 28 June 2005 07:16(UTC)
Why "Beer Parlour"? I know that is a title that's okay for the vast majority of us but some some may find the alcohol connotations objectionable. Why not "Opium Den"? Only joking with that one, but it demonstarates the point? "Coffee Lounge" perhaps? Kimdino 18:30, 15 August 2005 (UTC)
Considering the confrontational tone that often appears here, I think a name that connotates a bar-room brawl fits just about perfectly. Opium Den connotes illegal activity, which is quite wrong for this. Coffee lounge? Uhhh, no. --Connel MacKenzie 07:14, 19 August 2005 (UTC)

the whole capitalisation thing is happening now then!!!

Rightyho, it'll be a long time at work then, redirecting everything from upper- to lower-case. A perfect time for me to take a wikivacation then. I never wanted capitalisation, its stoopid. See you in a month or so --Expurgator t(c) 29 June 2005 19:47 (UTC)

Yep, must doing it a bit at a time, because I noticed it in candela first; whoops, maybe that has to be Candela now, see Talk:Candela. Aren't all those redlinks on this talk page pretty? At some stage, will somebody have enough sense to make every existing one lowercase instead of uppercase, then tackle the smaller task of uppercasing those that need to be uppercased, and the links which are entered in uppercase?
Or is it just a dumb, poorly thought out implementation from the word go? I second the notion of a vacation—even though I just got my username and started on Wiktionary a couple of days ago, no more than a couple of IP address edits before. Haven't seen anybody involved in doing it saying that it is being done, nor giving any instructions to editors on things to watch out for. Looks like more bad planning to me. Gene Nygaard 29 June 2005 20:51 (UTC)
Well, last time I tried to wikivacate, I failed miserably. This is perhaps the impetus I need. (Was my very kind employer in on this, I wonder?) When the wiki software is capable of taking "catholic" as input to the go button, and displaying an auto-disambiguation page for "Catholic" and its antonym (almost) "catholic", then this switch can safely be turned on. Did anyone discuss this recently? Did anyone keep a reference copy of the SQLdump from last night? Did anyone discuss the mechanics of how this will proceed in the last two months? --Connel MacKenzie 30 June 2005 00:24 (UTC)
Well, I'm again failing at wikivacation. Last night was a blur of IRC on #Wiktionary (our normal channel, currently with a lot of developer visitors.) One statement of important note to all sysops/admins/Ec:
<brion_> redirects should pretty much never, ever be deleted unless they're replaced with different content *at that url*
I would like to see no more redirects ever deleted on Wiktionary. Replace with real content *only*, while perhaps marking the page as not-deleteable.
I do hope this accidentaly causes a flurry of new Sysops to get approved - we will need a lot of help with protected pages for the next month or two, as a result of this.
--Connel MacKenzie 30 June 2005 11:39 (UTC)
On the contrary, every one of the idiotic redirects which will remain as artifacts from moving articles to the proper capitalized name, after the script has been run which reduced the initial letter of all of them to lowercase, should be automatically deleted. There is no good reason for having the redirects we will likely eventually have from john Bull and from united States of America and the like. The specific ones we get may depend on who does the moving and how it is done, but that is what will happen when any body uses the "Move" function on what we have now. Gene Nygaard 30 June 2005 13:09 (UTC)
Actually, you are flat out wrong. Back on June 30th, the lookup from the [Go] button would not find an entry if the redirect was not there. Regardless of the [Go] button, the internal wikified links, external wikified links (from Wikipedia) and countless external, non-Wiki external links all do not find the article without the redirects. They are much more important now, than before. The only thing removing the redirects can accomplish is breaking continuity. Links that worked in the past should continue to work now; removing the redirects pointlessly breaks that continuity. That's why we keep them all. --Connel MacKenzie 19:38, 23 August 2005 (UTC)

meta:Wikimania writing contest nominations#8. Quote and Dictionary collections

A little birdie on IRC told me about something in the works:

meta:Wikimania writing contest nominations#8. Quote and Dictionary collections

--Connel MacKenzie 9 July 2005 08:35 (UTC)

  • And, of course, I don't look enough. Ignore/delete this post. Dang newbies. User:Zachol 16:12, 9 July 2005
  • Dear user Zachol, perhaps a more meaningful contribution would help next time. Do you have a specific question about the Meta annual awards? --Connel MacKenzie 07:36, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
  • I wonder what Wiktionary considers "a collection?" Should Appendix:Colours be nominated? --Connel MacKenzie 14:34, 17 July 2005 (UTC)
    That would have been cool. The winning 'collection' (from a small field) was a category. There will be another contest next year; with certainly some better prize-icons for the winners' or winning projects' pages. So, you have many months to decide what Wiktionary considers a collection (I should think that a single term / meaning's translationset would also qualify). +sj + 19:58, 23 August 2005 (UTC)

Pronunciation samples

Available at User:Davilla/samples. Your feedback would be appreciated. Davilla 18:27, 1 August 2005 (UTC)

Pronunciations tend to be somewhat fickle, and recordings vary according to the local dialect of the speaker. At the same time a considerable amount of variation is allowed before comprehension is lost. Ideally we should have several people with different accents pronouncing some words to give an impression of variations in different parts of the world.
On a personal level, I don't find pronunciation issues to be particularly interesting, but I know that others do. Maybe we should have a pronunciation committee to deal with such issues, and perhaps to formulate guidelines.
I looked at a few things on your list. My suggestion for abandonate is abandon it since it's not English. Abat is an Albanian word; if we have problems with Albanian vocabulary I'll know whom to ask for advice. ;-) Eclecticology 23:17:40, 2005-08-01 (UTC)
You mean mighty Casey was never abat? Luckily I pronounced abandonate as an adj., but in English rather than Interlingua. I have the feeling I'm going to learn a lot from this project. I'll change my approach. Doing all the abs together made me very confused whether the pronunciation was a long or short a, schwa, or several possibilities. Davilla 11:11, 15 August 2005 (UTC)
For UK pronunciations, it's (fairly) easy, because this was long been standardised as Received Pronunciation (RP). American English has already shown itself to be a bit of a bugbear, and I don't know whether there are standards for other Englishes. (I say fairly because IPA has evolved: the latest OED renders "I" (the pronoun) as /ʌɪ/, which is more Estuary English than RP, whereas the standard used here and still in many other dictionaries that use IPA is /aɪ/.) — Paul G 15:10, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
I'm still open to feedback. Davilla 11:11, 15 August 2005 (UTC)

Capitalization of newly added words.

When adding a new word, say hrunk, should we also add a capitalized redirect Hrunk ? SemperBlotto 14:46, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

I think this is a good idea, so that wikification of words at the beginning of sentences is seamless and does not require [[hrunk|Hrunk]], which it is easy to forget to do. That said, it's going to be a bit of a pain having to add a capitalised form of every new entry. — Paul G 15:06, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
I was wondering if someone could write a bot to look for Capitalised red-links and, if the uncapitalized article exists, create a Capitalized redirect. It could be run regularly and probably wouldn't cause much bother. SemperBlotto 16:46, 3 August 2005 (UTC)
As long as they remember to make an exception for the page itself (e.g. if foo links to a Foo which doesn't exist, there's probably a reason) . . . —Muke Tever 17:54, 5 August 2005 (UTC)
It's not a good idea to create entries for words that don't exist — even if it's only redirects. Ncik 15:54, 14 August 2005 (UTC)
I'm not sure I agree with the premise...that going forward we should artificially construct redirects that would have been created by the conversion, if the article had existed back then? The redirects are there to help Wikipedia, (and anything else external to Wiktionary) that presumably don't (or can't) know that the page has been moved.
On the other hand, I see no harm in creating such redirects. I suppose they will prevent duplicate articles from being created accidentally. --Connel MacKenzie 16:04, 14 August 2005 (UTC)

Article titles for formulaic phrases

In the process of cataloging quite a few idioms, I have noticed a number of phrases that act formulaically, where any word can be placed in the phrase. Examples of such phrases include X one's Y off (work one's tail off, talk one's ear off, laugh one's head off, etc.); could not X one's way out of a paper bag, where X is any verb; enough X to choke a horse; and X circles around somebody.

Since these phrases are idiomatic and set, I think they are well worth cataloging. The question is where to file them. I have created could not X one's way out of a paper bag as as an example of one possible approach, to which we might add a sub-category in Category:Idioms to help people find and understand how these phrases work. Any thoughts? --Dvortygirl 15:42, 3 August 2005 (UTC)

We already have idioms with "one's" standing for the subject and "someone" or "somebody" standing for the object. This is what print dictionaries do. As for place-holders for more general words, I think what Dvortygirl is proposing is a sound method, using X as the place-holder, except that it does not make terms easy to search for. I think the best method would be to list all the forms separately ("...punch one's way...", "...fight one's way...", etc), perhaps making each of these a redirect or cross-reference to the generic form.
By the way, "could not..." is not the infinitive: it should be "not able to" or "unable to" (if the idiom is an adjective) or, better, "be unable to" (if the idiom is a verb). — Paul G 16:14, 3 August 2005 (UTC)
When possible, why not strip out the unnecessary words in these listings? I think enough to choke a horse would suffice as an entry, wherein the usage enough of something to choke a horse would be exemplified. I had elsewhere suggested to teach grandma to suck eggs as a shortened formed. Similary circles around someone and one's way out of a paper bag are minimal, though questionably sufficient. On your broader point, I'm not sure there's a universal solution. Some idioms like work one's tail off should be listed individually, unless it were possible to work one's head or ear off, and neither are there too many body parts to laugh off, nor does laughing someone else's ear off mean the same as laughing one's own head off. 07:52, 14 August 2005 (UTC)

Error message in Internet Explorer on ""

I've just noticed that on every page, no matter what page it is on English Wiktionary (, my Internet Explorer shows the "Done, but with errors on page" message in the status bar. It says that the error is on line 23, character 15, and the error is Expected '('. What do you think that could be? It wasn't there yesterday and it does not display on Wiktionaries in other languages (such as,, etc.). I always use my IE for editing pages and translations of, but until today that wasn't there. (By the way, I use IE version 6.0.2900.2180.) Neither Firefox nor Netscape show that error message. --Dijan 03:01, August 8, 2005 (UTC)

This seems to be a javascript error. Oddly, I get a different error than you do. I also do not get it when logged out (in anonyous IP mode) but rather only when logged in. And yes, only when I fire up IE. Dijan, you may be the only regular contributor here using IE. :-) I'll look a little farther to see if I can find anything else... --Connel MacKenzie 15:18, 8 August 2005 (UTC)
I use IE (version 6.0.2800.1106) under Win98 - and everything works fine, with no error message. SemperBlotto 15:23, 8 August 2005 (UTC)
I use IE (version 6.0.2900.2180) and do not recieve the mentioned JavaScript error. JavaScript is very picky about browsers and browser versions. When you get the error select View -> Page Source. You can then look at the code snippet causing the problem. That might help the developers diagnose the problem.
It's working fine now. No more errors. I don't know what happened, but it's fixed now. --Dijan 08:47, August 10, 2005 (UTC)
I started IE today (yuck!), and managed to get the error. The bottom left corner of my IE window had a yellow triangle with an exclamation point. Clicking that triangle brings up the IE Javascript debug window to display the error: Line: 14, Char: 34, Error: Expected '/', Code: 0. I hope that helps. --Connel MacKenzie 15:53, 23 August 2005 (UTC)


Does wiktionary allow phrases like missile silo, I'm too lazy to check any info that may exist. --Commander Keane 16:30, 9 August 2005 (UTC)

If you can be bothered, you could see if ballistic missile exists. SemperBlotto

Yes Wiktionary allows transparent phrases such as Egyptian pyramid. Missile silo does not exist on the big 4 online dictionaries: AHD, Collins, Encarta, or M-W. Ballistic missile exists on all 4. — Hippietrail 05:44, 11 August 2005 (UTC)
IMO dictionaries do not do such a good job with multiple-word entries such as this compound noun which should clearly (again, in my opinion) have an entry. 08:14, 14 August 2005 (UTC)
And don't forget that these entries are actually missile silo and ballistic missile in this wiki. SemperBlotto 16:00, 14 August 2005 (UTC)

External Dictionary Search

I have an idea that we can add an external dictionary searching in every page. So, we can check the exactitude in wiktionary. Then I made a template. (Plz click here.) And I have added in some page already.(Plz click here.) Does anyone here has any opinion? Besides, I want to use Bots to do this work. But I don't know how to carry out it. -- 08:52, 12 August 2005 (UTC)

Merriam-Webster is not a free service, so unless we're advertising for them it should get the axe. I think you would first have to agree on a plan like this before carrying it out. I'm not keen on it because there are simply too many dictionaries out there. Davilla 07:07, 14 August 2005 (UTC)

mediawiki thing

Hello there. You know some time ago when we were editting, you could just click on lots of symbols in one window. And then now there's the pull-down menus so u can select what sort of symbols you want. Thats all good, but anyway, my question was "what is the mediawiki-namespace page where u can change whats in the edit window". I'd just wanna put the "|" sign where i can easily get it. God, that question was poorly worded --Expurgator t(c) 23:11, 18 August 2005 (UTC)

MediaWiki:Copyrightwarning but be careful to make corresponding changes to MediaWiki:Monobook.js as needed, as well. --Connel MacKenzie 05:37, 19 August 2005 (UTC)

Preferred Format

I'm relatively new here. Can someone advise me on the preferred format for a word with several definitions. Under plant each noun has its own section. Under leaf the various definitions of the word as a noun are given and other forms of speech have a separate section. I prefer the leaf format as relevant definitions are pretty much up front. Has this formatting been worked out here? - Marshman 18:54, 19 August 2005 (UTC)

Hi Marshman,

The difference between plant and leaf comes from the fact that plant has two etymologies, where leaf only has one. Most words will be set up like leaf, so you can safely use that as a template. Polyglot 20:42, 19 August 2005 (UTC)

That makes sense. Thanks - Marshman 20:45, 19 August 2005 (UTC)


I just visited and saw that apparently the French translation for megaflop is fiasco monumental. Somehow I don't think it's correct but it did make me laugh. -- Nick1nildram 12:57, 23 August 2005 (UTC)

Ascii Art?

I noticed this entry ( ( ) and wondered if there was a policy for/against/neutral on allowing ascii art. It seems to me better to include example within the ASCII art page. What do other people think (and is this the right place to ask?) -- Nick1nildram 09:22, 23 August 2005 (UTC)

Yes, good idea. Feel free to transfer the contents then {{rfd}} it. SemperBlotto 13:44, 23 August 2005 (UTC)

The clue is in the question. This is art, in other words, pictures. Wiktionary defines words; ASCII art therefore has no place in Wiktionary, as far as I can see. By all means move it to the entry for ASCII art, but let's not have any actual ASCII art entries. — Paul G 10:20, 24 August 2005 (UTC)

Unifying wiktionary languages?

There have been a few ideas about unifying the data from different-lang wikipedias into one database, so there is just one set of translations for a given term and a given definition, automatic interwiki links b/t different-language views of a particular word (or meaning, depending on the implementation).

I don't see a draft policy page about this on wiktionary, but clearly this would have major impacts on the interface and user experience. If things were implemented seamlessly, perhaps this wouldn't be the case; but I expect some very active user feedback would be needed to allow for that kind of seamless change.

Would it make sense to set up a draft policy page about language unification? +sj + 21:15, 23 August 2005 (UTC)

(Much discussion has taken place on meta around Gerard's model for 'Ultimate Wiktionary'; but there is also some discussion on nl:wikt and here on en:wikt, and discussion on various mailing lists, to inform what that policy page might look like.)

Rollback of WikiSaurus:penis

As a prelude to Wikisaurus' 99th entry (even though there are quite a few duplicates, even in the first hundred - oh the irony) a very well intentioned person added foriegn languages to the WikiSaurus:penis entry.

It has been a couple years, and there is not even 100 entries. How can anyone reasonably assert that we have enough volunteers to take on any more than English, in our thesaurus section? Why would anyone want to have other language thesaurus entries? You've got the dictionary with the foriegn language links one wikified click away!

I have rolled those changes back (which somehow also removed nearly all the American slang terms) to try to force the discussion here, rather than allowing a ill-conceived experiment to go off headed towards certain decay.

--Connel MacKenzie 04:55, 9 August 2005 (UTC)

P.S. I thought all of you British thought that American English is a foriegn language - why'd the American terms get removed? --Connel MacKenzie 05:37, 9 August 2005 (UTC)

  • Only a few of the ones that you mentioned actually were. (They weren't supposed to have been.) The remainder were simply sorted into alphabetical order, and so were simply in different places in the list. Uncle G 16:53:33, 2005-08-22 (UTC)
Looking at I do not see how you can say that. That is to say, you still haven't finished correcting it. The word dick is probably the most common American term for penis. Why'd you remove it? AGAIN? --Connel MacKenzie 00:16, 23 August 2005 (UTC)
  • You should get volunteers for that article. All of the editors who were editing Wikipedia's list of words for the human penis were pointed there (w:Wikipedia:Votes for deletion/List of names for the human penis (2nd nomination)), and there is a prominent link from Wikipedia's w:penis directly to WikiSaurus, to encourage editors to come to the dictionary to do lexicographic work. There shouldn't be decay, moreover. Words like penis/fuck/shit are always the ones at the cutting edge. Let them blaze the trail for other Wikisaurus entries. Uncle G 16:53:33, 2005-08-22 (UTC)
That is specious at best. We are not the garbage dump for stuff that Wikipedia does not like. --Connel MacKenzie 00:16, 23 August 2005 (UTC)
  • As for "the dictionary with the foreign language links", I think that we should be encouraging more such use of WikiSaurus, as a way of centralizing synonym lists. I'm thinking in particular of chav, townie, pikey, and their ilk. The Wikipedia article w:chav suffers from the same problems that w:cannabis and w:penis suffered from. We can fulfil our "lexical companion to Wikipedia" mandate well with a WikiSaurus entry; and again the popularity will encourage editors to come to WikiSaurus. The only problem is the question of what the headword should be. (Be aware that bogan/w:bogan and westie/w:westie are heading down this same path, so we should try to take account of the fact that our thesaurus needs to address this in a way that isn't chauvanistic.) Uncle G 16:53:33, 2005-08-22 (UTC)
I've stated my opposition to this concept clearly; the foreign language entries should be in the foreign language Wiktionaries (most of which need more assistance than en.wikt:.) --Connel MacKenzie 00:16, 23 August 2005 (UTC)

Double Redirects

There seems to be a little bug in Special:DoubleRedirects. First it is supposed to show you the first 50, but shows #1 to 41. Selecting "500" gives #1 to 339. Next "500" gives 501 to 997, and it won't show any more (though I believe there are more).

By the way, if anyone would like to help sort this lot out - please feel free (especially the ones caused by changing apostrophes to quotes) (being careful not to delete the wrong ones, of course). SemperBlotto 19:14, 14 August 2005 (UTC)

I highly recommend reporting bugs of this severity on and if possible, trying to discuss them beforehand with the devs on mediawiki IRC to see if they are aware of it. — Hippietrail 20:04, 14 August 2005 (UTC)
I've been sorting out loads of Double Redirects but I think I've come to the end of what I can achieve. The entries I cannot fix are:
  • Those where the (Edit) link takes me to View Source. I assume that these are protected pages?
  • Those that apparently need a "Move over Redirect" to change the article back to upper case, for example arnhem Land and true North.
  • Articles with names that my setup cannot display, for example the article linked via rhymes:English:-eə(r)
Plus a very small remainder which I haven't touched because I don't understand why the redirect exists in the first place. -- Nick1nildram 17:26, 25 August 2005 (UTC)
Right, I'll sort out the first set that you've left, and yes, you're quite right, they're protected pages. Are these only Mediawiki: pages, or are there others?
I'll also do the second set, where I come across them.
And I can probably do most of the ones your set up can't see, rhymes: in particular.
As for the last set, I'll probably leave these as well, at least for now. --Wytukaze 18:03, 25 August 2005 (UTC)
Thanks. I haven't checked every entry individually but as far as I can tell all the MediaWiki: pages in the list are protected. There's about 180 of them so good luck! -- Nick1nildram 19:13, 25 August 2005 (UTC)
Yeah, all MediaWiki: namespace messages are protected by default, as they're important to the workings of the software or the wiki, in general, so vandalism of these would be.. very bad. --Wytukaze 19:16, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

Shades of meaning in other languages

Copied here from Talk:man (section "More meanings")

I have added a new meaning entry for man (#4). This should not be necessary in a purely English - English dictionary, as there is basically no difference in usage for both (1)and (4). Creating a multilingual dictionary, however, one should think about meaning and usage distinctions in other languages, in order to find a correct corresponding word in another language. The flaw of most multilingual dictionaries is that the translation is correct only one way, for example the German word Tasche can mean a travel bag and a pocket, so Tasche = bag, pocket, but you can not use the word pocket when you mean a bag.-- 13:31, 16 August 2005 (UTC)
You do not say why the new meaning is necessary, although it is presumably for the Polish translation.
This is commendable, but is the wrong approach, in my opinion. We risk stuffing the dictionary with fine shades of meaning that are not distinct senses in English just for the sake of accommodating another language that makes that distiction. The appropriate approach is not to add another sense but rather to clarify the shades of meaning in the translations. I have deleted the extra meaning ("adult male person") and moved the Polish translation into the translations for "adult male human". Any details of which translation to use should be added there. — Paul G 16:07, 16 August 2005 (UTC)

My understanding is that User: is suggesting that we should include gradations of meaning that exist in foreign languages as English senses in order that the translations can be provided. I think this is inappropriate, firstly as these senses don't really exist in English, and secondly for the reason I give in my reply.

We cover the case of Tasche meaning both pocket and bag by giving both translations under Tasche (or we will, if we don't already). There is no suggestion that the two words are interchangeable just because they are the same word in German. It would not be appropriate, however, to give senses of the word German "Tasche" as English senses just so that they can be translated to the correct word in German, or any other language for that matter.

Have I understood correctly, or is the user getting at something else? — Paul G 16:07, 16 August 2005 (UTC)

This is a very interesting question and of much broader scope than would be implied by policy one way or the other. I would guess that these shades of meaning are actually quite common. The Spanish word reloj is another transparent example; or the meanings of short as the opposite of long or tall, notably distinguished in Spanish. The latter case is more than a dual meaning since the adjectives can be applied to time, etc. It's probable that any language distinguishing these meanings would use each pair of opposites consistently, but even if so, the division of which meanings are applied to which pairs is not uniform across languages.
The answer to the policy question, as described by Paul G, is that this is an English dictionary. The ultimate wiktionary, on the other hand, will have to delve into the finer details. That could be problematic because the nature of language, as a product of human minds, is to generalize and instantiate. For instance, I just wrote a (ironically) concise definition for condense that I feel captures the meaning of the word in my mind. Other dictionaries make distinctions between the abridgement of texts, the reduction of liquids, etc. Although such additions (and revisions, of course) are welcome, I doubt any substituted enumeration could completely capture the concept. The problem with translation (or a summary/anecdote thereof) is that in some language there may not be a word corresponding fully to "condense", though there may be related concepts such as "abridge", "reduce", and whatnot.
The main tension in creating a dictionary is that the mapping of words onto meanings is not an exact one-to-one match. In the space of meanings, words form something of a Venn diagram. That's not an unscalable obstacle. What's worse is that the meanings themselves are a Venn diagram. Being precise, even the most common meanings for "big" and "large" do not line up since the word "large" is a more common descriptor for the exact sizes of shirts, softdrinks, etc. Solutions are straightforward when one concept is a subset of another, but that would be a serendipitous situation. On top of all this, the tension in a multi-language dictionary, moreso than the fact that dictionaries are written in their respective language, is that languages do not have the same Venn diagrams. Perhaps looking at the problem in this way will realize it more clearly.
Computer translations are lousy because machines are pretty bad at reading, never mind writing. The ultimate wiktionary is a translation tool for humans, at least, who can understand both languages. But if words are mapped from one language onto another in broad senses, then translations will never be more than a fuzzy approximation that breaks down given the right context, even knowing what is meant by the source text. The fundamental issue behind this question is the granularity and atomic nature of meaning. How fine does one have to slice the meaning of the word such that it can be correctly conveyed in any other existing language? And is it possible to slice words so finely, or define them well enough, that they could be correctly conveyed in any other natural language, past, present, or future? In other words, is there a defining language for meaning? Davilla 16:14, 31 August 2005 (UTC)
These are interesting and thoughtful comments. They reflect my concerns about the Ultimate Wiktionary that Gerard and others have been working hard to create. It will likely have a place in the general panoply of Wiktionaries, but I seriously doubt that it can be a replacement for any of them. You do well to call it a tool. Your reference to granularity raises some fascinating philosophical questions about whether meaning is analog or digital, but I don't think that we are at the point where that distinction will be much help in dictionary building. We may very well live in a relativistic universe, but most of us can be fully satisfied with Newton's rules. Eclecticology 19:12:54, 2005-08-31 (UTC)

About German

Hi. I joined a few days ago and immediately started working on articles German verbs, and became considerably confused shortly after I began working. The articles lacked uniformity in the way the information was displayed, making me uncertain about how I should write them. I therefore took the time to write Wiktionary:About German. I haven't gotten to the sections aside from headers and verbs because I haven't written for nouns and adjectives yet.

By the way, this place smells like ass. 380KB. It took ten seconds for each individual character to appear. Please clean it up. There's vomit all over the floor of this beer parlour.

Links to authors

If someone is looking for a job to to (as if :) ), then they could spend some time linking the red-linked authors in Webster entries to the corresponding Wikipedia entries. Alternatively, they could be unlinked.

The alternative (which would be much quicker) would be to create redirects page for them that link to the corresponding Wikipedia articles. Quick and dirty, but maybe not the right way of going abuot it.

Another alternative would be to take the links out (making them plain text rather than hyperlinks). The text might of course disappear altogether when the entries are brought up to date.

What do others think? — Paul G 08:48, 26 August 2005 (UTC)

I confess that I am not looking for more things to do. :-)
I think that direct links are the best. In the very early days there were some attempts to use redirects to Wikipedia, but the redirect pages were not easily edited. Delinking strikes me as a step backwards.
I tend to view the links and the corresponding quotations in the long term, and looking even further ahead I would like to see not only the authors but the specific works identified. Attention to this kind of detail is the sort of thing that would eventually make Wiktionary better than Webster. This is comparable to Wikipedia's efforts to cover off every subject in Britannica with a superior article.
Webster does not make our task easy. The authors of most of their quotations are identified by a surname only. This is not so much a problem when the "great" authors are at issue, but there is a great deal of uncertainty when it comes to identifying 19th century authors who were contemporaries of the various Webster editions. My habit has been to show the surname with a question mark as part of the link. It is likely that a hard copy of the Webster would have an appendix or other supplementary material to identify these people; the online versions appear consistant in omitting this. Perhaps someone with access to a hard copy could check this out, and make this stuff available.
In any event I think we can only look at this issue in longer range terms. Eclecticology 23:16:23, 2005-08-26 (UTC)
Does anyone have a hard copy of the 1913 edition? --Stranger 02:35, 27 August 2005 (UTC)

current events link

What's the deal with that current events link on the main page, shouldn't it do more than just define the term "current events"? like inform about new developments in wictionary or something

  • Yes, you are correct. But none of us can think what to put there. SemperBlotto 16:03, 1 September 2005 (UTC)
    • Why not just get rid of it? --Stranger 01:48, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

HTML within WT:SB

I notice that HTML is no longer parsed when practicing in the sandbox. Is it me? Is this deliberate? A glitch? Is it going to stay this way? -- Nick1nildram 13:50, 3 September 2005 (UTC)

Ignore that. It seems that certain tags are not allowed -- Nick1nildram 13:55, 3 September 2005 (UTC)


I happened to look at Special:Wantedpages and noticed that the first 500+ were short strings of hiragana text. Some of these are actual Japanese words, but many are not. They are high on the Wanted ranking because they have all got multiple links. On inspection it seems that they are there because at some stage a dictionary of hanzi/kanji (Chinese characters) has been loaded in, and the Japanese readings of those characters have been created as internal links. I guess this was done by some bot at load time.

I think having all those Japanese readings as links, implying that they are free-standing words (most are not) is a bad thing. In particular, it is clogging up the Special:Wantedpages with extraneous words and preventing the genuinely needed words from being listed at the top.

Can I suggest that some house-keeping person remove the link tags from the Japanese readings in the Chinese characters entries. If at some later time actual examples of the usage of those hanzi/kanji are added, links can be created to actual words, e.g. in a Japanese-English or Chinese-English dictionary. --JimBreen 00:17, 11 August 2005 (UTC)

That special page is not udated regularly; it is only updated when the #mediawiki-tech technicians run the linkUpdates.php script. I've asked a couple times for an update, but that have not done one in a while. They also respond with silence to my requests for a new (or even better: scheduled weekly!) xml dump. :-(
I shall ask them again. If anyone knows of more expedient ways to reach the Wiki*-boxen-admins, please forward the request on. --Connel MacKenzie 01:37, 11 August 2005 (UTC)
I've also asked several times on several IRC channels. I've also asked the people there what the proper way to ask is. Usually I am thoroughly ignored. If I keep at it I get fobbed off, told I'm on the wrong channel, etc. If I still persist, I'm told it can't be done now because it has to be done when the wiki is pretty quiet. If I ask to have it done in the near future when things are pretty quiet, things go silent again and when I check weeks later nothing has been done. I think we should make a push to be heard by the people who can do this. We need a channel for requesting updates and we need to know what that channel is. Then we need to have our wishes respected by those who are capable of putting them into action. — Hippietrail 05:49, 11 August 2005 (UTC)
Perhaps we should be making the requests on mediawiki or foundationwiki or some other non-irc channel place? --Connel MacKenzie 05:36, 12 August 2005 (UTC)

UPDATE: Silently, inexplicably, after almost two and a half months, the special pages were updated between last night and this morning. (Muke noticed first, I think.) I hope this is on a weekly or biweekly update schedule now, since we still have no official statement about who it is that is supposed to be keeping these up to date. --Connel MacKenzie 15:46, 13 August 2005 (UTC)

AND the special pages that show Broken and Double Redirects have been refreshed - there are LOTS! SemperBlotto 16:10, 13 August 2005 (UTC)

UPDATE: As per the mailing list message (anyone here on the mailing list?) Brion refreshed the xml database dumps last night. So I shall now refresh my todo list, my Project Gutenberg list, protected pages lists, etc... --Connel MacKenzie 13:07, 14 August 2005 (UTC)

Can I put in another plug for stripping out the Japanese fragments from Special:Wantedpages? There are over 500 of them and I don't think they are wanted. --JimBreen 07:14, 21 August 2005 (UTC)

It's a wiki. You can enter 500 stubs? Or even better, find the "bad" template that references them, and de-wikify them. --Connel MacKenzie 07:22, 21 August 2005 (UTC)
If I knew how to do the latter I would. They appear in the hanzi/kanji pages as "すい (sui)", etc. i.e. with double square brackets around the すい. It's odd because neither the Chinese (Pinyin) reading nor the Korean reading (in Hangul) is linked. --JimBreen 02:37, 22 August 2005 (UTC)
I certainly am misunderstanding the question. The term すい seems to have a definition, so it shouldn't be on Special:Wantedpages (and does not seem to be.) For each and every term on that list, you can open that term in a new tab, then click on "What links here" from the toolbox on the left side of the screen.
Perhaps it would help if I firmly understood what a "reading" is. Are you saying the information in the linking articles is correct, but that they should not be wikilinked? --Connel MacKenzie 01:26, 29 August 2005 (UTC)
Answering your question first, yes that is exactly what I mean - they should not be wikilinked. For what I mean by a "reading", look at []. You'll see three Japanese readings for 光: an "On" (Chinese derived) pronunciation of こう (kō), and two Kun (native Japanese) readings of ひかる (hikaru) and ひかり (hikari), all of which are wikilinked. The problems I have are:
  • the こう (kō), relates only to parts of words, e.g. 光学 (kōgaku: optics). The こう wikilink actually goes to a totally different word (Japanese is rich with homophones, and has a squillion words pronounced こう.)
  • the ひかる and ひかり are in this case actual (single) Japanese words, but for many kanji they are not. For example there are over 30 kanji with the Kun reading of ひく (hiku). Just wikilinking to ひく has a 97% chance of pointing at the wrong one. (Also in the case of ひかる, only the ひか portion is the reading of the kanji. The る (ru) is an inflectional verb ending and only written in kana - a practice called "okurigana".)
All these links should be blown away, and where appropriate rebuilt pointing at the right things when and if the kanji entries are rebuilt with real information. --JimBreen 04:36, 5 September 2005 (UTC)
I'm sorry that this has been ignored so far. Much effort is currently being diverted to rather pointless bickering at the moment. On each of these entries, clicking the "What links here" link of the left column's toolbox will display the pages that link incorrectly. Perhaps everyone could help out de-linking them. (Also, I think on Special:Wantedpages each term also has a (links) link that will also display them. Using tabbed browsing helps imensely with this type of task.) --Connel MacKenzie 12:23, 12 September 2005 (UTC)