HRWiki:Da Basement/Archive 6

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Archive 9 (83-102)


Contents

[edit] You have fake messages!

Look, before I go there's an issue I have to address. These fake "you have new messages" things on people's userpages that lead people to other stuff? I can't deal with them, they gotz to go. Much like guestbooks, they started out a funny trick. Now it's become a fad. It's seriously annoying for me to see this every time I go on Tampo's userpage—wait, scratch that. It's seriously annoying for me to see this every time I go on pretty much everyone's userpage, especially because I have always enjoyed getting messages. They've gotten pretty bad, too. Like one that logs out the user who gos to it. Now that's just mean. Can we please get rid of these? — Seriously (Talk) 00:10, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

Although I thought you had left a while ago, I concur. Qermaq - (T/C) Image:Qermaqsigpic.png 00:12, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I did leave a while ago. It's just that I was reminded of this, and I realized I had one last mssion. If you want to call it a mission. — Seriously (Talk) 00:14, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
Have you asked anyone to remove them? What was the reply? — It's dot com 00:28, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
I have asked no one. I thought it would be better to address this matter here. — Seriously (Talk) 00:31, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
Hello? Does anybody even emotely care about this issue? Kinda getting annoying...— Seriously (Talk) 00:48, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
I think I inadvertently started this talk; I mentioned in passing on Main Page talk that's annoying to have to update my message prank on Wikipedia every time they change the real one (it used to be like here, then "diff", then "changes", then "last changes"). Then another user commented that the message pranks themselves are annoying, then Seriously agreed and started a topic about that. I have one here too (it goes to Special:Mytalk), but I couldn't be less attached to it. (If they're banned, Yeltensic the Guestbook Vandal won't become Granola the You Have New Messages Prank Box Vandal.) With crap, Yeltensic (T C) 00:53, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
Personally, I don't really mind. I don't see the harm in having one on your userpage. What's the big deal? Why don't you just ignore them and wait until you're out of the User: namespace? If you can't deal with them and they annoy you this much, then you can always just stop looking at userpages. If you don't like them, don't click them. (And, if you don't mind me asking, Seriously, why does it bother you this much if you're not even going to be here to see them?)—FireBird|Talk 01:11, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
This issue is not even close to a problem. Of the approximately 45 user pages/user talk pages/user subpages that use the "usermessage" class, only 4 people are using them in a way that directly imitates the new messages message (Granola, Not a Robot!, Tampo (6 times), and Whatever your user name is there). If it really bugs you, why don't you ask them directly. — It's dot com 01:17, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
Fine. Whatever. {leaves in a huff}

Nah, I'm just kidding. I thought they were annoying, and I could safely say that many other users thought so too. I guess not. I also saw several similarities to the guestbook decision. Most of the arguments there were that people just never really liked them. I thought maybe, that could happen here too. Once again, I guess not. Whatever, see yous guys later. Way later. I'm happy I got one more debate to happen before I leave. — Seriously (Talk) 01:36, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

The biggest problem with the Guestbooks was that it was clogging up Recent Changes. The new messages links don't really do that. I personally think they're unoriginal and somewhat stupid, especially since for a while nearly everybody had them, but gradually that fad's been passing, and as Dot com mentioned, most of them now use the span, but don't directly copy the wording to fool you. It's more of a personal userpage choice then a problem that adversely affects the wiki as a whole. Thunderbird 03:14, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, Dot com, for calling that to my attention...little did I know that, all along, my prank was incorrect. I wonder if I did the same thing on Wikipedia...? With crap, Yeltensic (T C) 03:56, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
To back you up, Seriously... I hate 'em too. --אוקאלייליי (Ookelaylay)
I should clarify. They annoy me. But I do have that choice of not visiting those user pages. Fool me once and all. I suppose it's an avoidable nuisance and therefore not really any sort of crisis. Qermaq - (T/C) Image:Qermaqsigpic.png 04:08, 18 March 2006 (UTC)
You guys are way behind the times. It was massively bad back then, but it cooled down. Like all fads, it'll go away by itself. Just let the person who has it on their userpage have some fun. - Super Sam 09:23, 18 March 2006 (UTC)
Mine is actually independent of the craze; I just have one here because I already had one on Wikipedia (where it isn't a big fad). With crap, Yeltensic (T C) 17:13, 18 March 2006 (UTC)
I care. I used to use dial-up, and it took SO much time. And this is fast dial up we're takin' about. Bluebry 01:38, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
Actually, you know what? If we're shortening sigs for our dial-up users, why not get rid of something making them take up more time? Bluebry 23:47, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
I don't see how this fake message will really make dial-up-ers pages load drastically slower... - KookykmanImage:kookysig.gif(t)(c)(r)
Then use dial-up. Bluebry 23:35, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
What? The time it would take a page to load with or without a "new message" indicator it virtually identical. It's just text, and not even much of that. Also, we didn't shorten sigs for dial-up users; we shortened them because they were getting out of hand. — It's dot com 23:48, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
But, if you're new to a wiki, and fall for that, that's a VERY long time. I had it happen all the time when I was new, and am now lucky to have a fast connection. But, trust me, I spent too much time on that. That time could have been converted to productive editing. Bluebry 23:53, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
Well, like I mentioned above, there's only a handful of people doing it, and only one who does it on pretty much every page in his user space. If you want, you could speak to them directly. — It's dot com 23:56, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

[edit] Suggestions for sysops

We're going to try out a new courtesy policy among sysops. You've probably noticed that double blocking is common now in part due to the recent promotions. (The reason we want to avoid these is because they look a bit unprofessional when different admins block for different durations for the same user, and it can cause degree of unintentional usurping of other sysops' decisions.) While it sometimes cannot be avoided, double blocking can be lessened if we follow this new "policy": The sysop who gets the first revert on a vandal becomes the commanding officer or case worker, and gets rights to the block at his or her discretion. This will prevent multiple blocks of varying durations on the same user, and will give the case worker the freedom to use diplomacy (that is, talk pages) to get the offender to stand down. Use your best judgment if it appears that the commanding sysop is no longer online — either Missing In Action or if the vandalism is separated by more than fifteen minutes' time. If a non-sysop gets the reverts and you don't know if other sysops are keeping an eye on the vandalism, keep aware of your surroundings, slow down a bit, and be sure you search the block log immediately before blocking (using the auto-link on the block page) to be sure someone already hasn't done the deed. Though usually, the vandal need not be blocked at all unless it is especially bad (spamming or otherwise) or ongoing/persistant. It won't do any lasting harm if we slow down a little bit and keep our heads cool... the worst that could happen is a few more bad edits slipping in before the block.

Also, when reverting good-faith edits, please try to avoid using the rollback button. Give your best effort to provide a reason for the revert (all users should do this as much as possible). In the best-case scenario, the rollback button should be used for vandalism only.

BazookaJoe 03:47, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

I'm highly in favor of both points. Thunderbird 03:51, 18 March 2006 (UTC)
If I can remember to actually do them. ;) I've kinda fallen into the habit of the rollback button, so I might have a harder time with that one. --It's Jay Times! (tines) 04:25, 18 March 2006 (UTC)
Not a sysop, but when looking at Recent Changes it's HUGE help to me to know why an edit was reverted. I welcome this. Qermaq - (T/C) Image:Qermaqsigpic.png 04:27, 18 March 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, that is a good idea. Wikipedia should have a blocking policy like that. With crap, Yeltensic (T C) 04:30, 18 March 2006 (UTC)
I'm all for it. Especially the rollback one. I used it only once, and I hope it will stay that way. Elcool (talk)(contribs) 09:00, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

I made a change to the software that drastically affects the first paragraph (thus I have grayed it for now). It is now impossible to double-block. Several of you already encountered this earlier when we had a WoW-style attack. The software seems to be functioning as I intended. It seems to me, therefore, that we shouldn't hesitate to block during a big attack, as only the first sysop will be successful. In less severe cases (where the threat is not immediate), seeing whether another sysop has been dealing with the vandal (perhaps trying a diplomacic approach) is a good idea. In short: Feel free to block as quickly as the immediate situation warrants, but if the vandalism is not in progress, take the time to investigate the relevant links, just as if the vandal had been listed on the old WikiTroll. — It's dot com 19:54, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

I have another suggestion: I think we should not use "unwelcome" as the reason for deleting talk pages. I understand that these vandals are in fact not welcome (and that what we're deleting is probably just a welcome message), but I think it looks bad to see in the recent changes. I suggest: "vandal talk page" or something similar. — It's dot com 19:54, 18 March 2006 (UTC)
OK. No more "unwelcome". Sounds wise to me. And thanks for fixing the software to prevent double blocks; that should be very helpful. Heimstern Läufer 19:58, 18 March 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, it was a pretty nice thing to avoid during the quick attack. We had enough problems with double page-moving. Elcool (talk)(contribs) 20:01, 18 March 2006 (UTC)
Double page moving? I don't remember any of that! I mean, I never deleted Has Matt?'s page! Umm, uhh, {beats a hasty exit}. NOT Heimi 20:04, 18 March 2006 (UTC)
Heh, yeah that was me that came up with "Unwelcome". I thought it was a good play on words, they are unwelcome, thus they are un-welcome'd. But I see the logic. "Vandal talk page" is better, thanks. Thunderbird 23:25, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

Just bumping this item into more recent history. I for one really appreciate knowing why my edit needed reversion, and I know the newest users do as well. If sysops rollback edits made in good faith, the new user won't know why the reversion was done, and might very well find it an offensive response. I'm trying to always provide a summary explaining the revert, so maybe next time I (or you) won't have to revert him again for the same thing. Also, I'd propose that if anyone sees a new user making the same editing mistake often, someone should politely and gently "school" them on their Talk page. Qermaq - (T/C) Image:Qermaqsigpic.png 00:59, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Although the rollback button is always readily available and easy to use, I for some reason still prever the good ol' go-to-last-good-version-edit-write-rv-and-reason-in-the-summary-and-save type of reverting. I think I used it here only three or four times (for trolls and one accidentally). Elcool (talk)(contribs) 04:35, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

I was just coming here to bring up the exact thing as your second point, BZJ, but I guess you already have that taken care of. I with it agree totally. Ed lim smildE / talk

[edit] Automatically block ON WHEELS!!

I am attempting to create a template that will automatically block any user with the phrase "on wheels" (not case sensitive) in the username. This could potentially save us tons of time on blocking. I need a little help, considering I have never created a template or a bot before. · · T2|Things 21:48, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

I appreciate your enthusiasm and willingness to help, but that wouldn't really solve the problem. If we did that, the vandals would just use "on wheelz" or "()|\| \/\/|-|33|_5" or something. Oh well. Keep on tranglin'! — It's dot com 21:52, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
Another issue would be that there might be a legitimate user who would choose to be Pancakes On Wheels or something, and they'd be blocked. They might find that unwelcoming, which runs counter to our goal here. Qermaq - (T/C) Image:Qermaqsigpic.png 21:57, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
Actually looking at the code, it doesn't look like it'll autonmatically block anyone at all. Bluebry 21:59, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

I know that; but for now I have a template, a category, and a note on the Help:Vandalism page, so that new users will know what to look for in terms of vandalism. · · T2|Things 22:01, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

We have the delete template for troll pages. Example: {{delete|Troll user page}}. Bluebry 22:03, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
This is just my opinion, but I don't think new users should be too worried about helping to revert vandalism and report people for blocking. I'd personally prefer the new users to use their initial involvement to get to know the wiki, the sysops, how we do things, what's appropriate and not, etc., and in the process they'll figure all that out along the way. Qermaq - (T/C) Image:Qermaqsigpic.png 22:06, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
Not necessarily NEW users, just users who aren't as familiar with WoW style vandalism. I joined the RC patrol just after I signed up, and I recently began reverting, just a few weeks after sign up. I wasn't familiar with WoW style until last night. · · T2|Things 22:10, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
Yes, but, no one needs to know vandalizers styles, just that it's vandalism. Bluebry 22:12, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

We don't need a bot to add a template to tell us that a user needs to be blocked. We've had a discussion beforehand about if we even need a bot to block possible sockpuppets directly, but we came up with a resounding "no" for many of the same reasons: It's easy to avoid being autoblocked; our recent changes do not pass by so quickly that we miss new registered accounts, we have enough admins watching for WoWs nearly round-the-clock, and we hardly spend any time reverting or blocking so it wouldn't save us much time at all. —BazookaJoe 22:21, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

Why not make it use "NSMC" insted of "ON WEELS!"? --Dacheatbot · Communicate 23:22, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

Okay, what we need actually is the Usernameblacklist extention avalible here 144.139.85.30 01:37, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

[edit] Visit hrwiki.org

Uh... what happened to our logo? Instead of the usual Homestar logo, all I see is a white box that reads "Visit hrwiki.org"... but... I already am... --It's Jay Times! (tines)

And, might I add, it's extremely unsettling. It just, y'know, feels wrong to have that big mostly-blank space up there. --It's Jay Times! (tines) 04:09, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
Should be fixed now with a hard refresh. Thanks. -- Tom 04:16, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
And, wouldja look at that, it is. Cool. --It's Jay Times! (tines) 04:16, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

[edit] Mister Pellican ****

FYI: Wikipedia:WP:MPS. Another infamous Wikipedia vandal has found his way here. — User:ACupOfCoffee@ 17:03, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

It's probably just a copycat; this guy has been operating here as WoW for a long time now. — It's dot com 17:45, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
I wasn't doubting that they were the same guy, I just wanted to make sure we all knew what we may be in for. — User:ACupOfCoffee@ 18:27, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

[edit] Welcome Messages

Seeing how welcoming new users is carried out these days, I would like to propose hardcoding an automatic welcome message for when users first create accounts. Some might argue that an automatic welcome would be a tiny bit impersonal, but most of these welcomes nowadays are. No matter which way you look at it, we are as close to an automatic welcome now as you can get without it being hard-coded into the system. Unless you're personally helping a new member with a problem or something, It's just as impersonal as an automated message. Automating the messages would barely change anything, and eliminate any bizzare or unorthodox welcomes. We could still welcome new users with help if they need anything, but an automated message would convey the basic links found within most user welcomes. If this is decided to be changed, we would do so after the upgrade to MediaWiki version 1.6. Any opinions, for or against? Thunderbird 19:58, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

Your statement implies a problem with "how welcoming new users is carried out these days" - and I don't think I understand where that problem lies. Qermaq - (T/C) Image:Qermaqsigpic.png 21:19, 2 May 2006 (UTC)
I didn't mean to imply there was much of a problem. What I meant was "seeing how welcoming new users is as good as automated these days" why not make it official? Thunderbird 21:23, 2 May 2006 (UTC)
Well, as you stated, the personal touch would be lost. There's something to be said about a user taking the time to visit your page and personally welcome you. It implies a community which nurtures, and the new user now knows at least one other user on the wiki. I'd be reluctant to support automating that unless there remains a role for individual users to fill in spreading the wiki love. Qermaq - (T/C) Image:Qermaqsigpic.png 21:32, 2 May 2006 (UTC)
Where's the personal touch in going to someone's page, who you have no idea who they are, and typing {{subst:welcome}}? The welcome committee has become a well-oiled machine anyway, staring at the newusers log and welcoming new users as soon as they're created... an automatic system would be no different. All we'd lose is the varied and occasionally confusing individual welcome templates, which in my mind wouldn't be a bad thing. My thought is either go back to only welcoming after the newbie has made their first edit (so you have some basis for making the welcome more personal... commenting on anything the newbie seems to be having problems with) or just go automated 'cause it basically is anyways. phlip TC 21:41, 2 May 2006 (UTC)
There also seems to be some sort of "contest" to see who can welcome the largest number of new users, which makes it even less personal. And causes most in the committee to make extra edits to their user pages/subpages in order to keep track. --It's Jay Times! (tines) 21:44, 2 May 2006 (UTC)
I don't think automating is a good idea. It is true that the welcoming method used now has, unfortunately, become somewhat impersonal. Still, I think it's much better than the completely impersonal way of automation. To me, this seems like the wrong way to go about fixing a problem. What really needs to happen, IMO, is that people need to agree to stop having races to get the most welcomes. I frankly would like to see all the counting how many you've welcomed stop and for people to welcome in order to help people, rather than to boost their welcome count. Heimstern Läufer 21:50, 2 May 2006 (UTC)
While I see your point, Thunderbird, I agree with Qermaq's "if it ain't broke don't fix it" logic. (Now if we were having a problem with zany or unwelcoming welcomes it would be another matter.) Personally, if there's a problem with it, it's that I suspect the near-instantaneous time leads many users to believe it is automated. I know that was my first thought when I saw my message from Rogue Leader—"Oh, how nice; some guy named Rogue Leader wrote up this form letter and it appears automatically when I create an account." But once I realized a real person had left it, it was more meaningful. And personally, I find the nonstandardization charming. It's dot com's got his well-organized one; I've got my wordy one; Leporello's got his funny one; Dacheatbot's got his artsy one. The less it looks like a template and the more it shows a user's individual creative touch, the clearer it is to the recipient that there's a real person behind it. (But function should come before fancy!) —AbdiViklas 21:54, 2 May 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Heimi - what needs to be squelched is the "three-edit welcome" - the welcome post, the addition of the name to a list, and the upping of a number of people welcomed. It's as if there's some glory in having welcomed so many people. There could be an argument for restricting such "welcomed" lists on the basis of eliminating unnecessary items in Recent Changes.... Qermaq - (T/C) Image:Qermaqsigpic.png 21:57, 2 May 2006 (UTC)
Responding to edits that were made after I started the above: Yes, the "welcome count" race does bug me. It makes it seem like the newbie is there to serve their welcome rather than the other way 'round. Before making some kind of official rule about it, though, I'd be in favor of trying to talk one-on-one with the people who do it. Also, in reply to phlip: "the varied"—IMO, good—"and often confusing"—I(Iwouldhopeeverybody's)O bad. Like I just said, the primary goals should be that it includes the most helpful links, and displays them in a way that's easily and intuitively assimilated. It's dot com's is an excellent example of how it can be personalized and super-pragmatic. Again, I'd be in favor of individual interventions with users whose templates are lacking or confusing. —AbdiViklas 22:04, 2 May 2006 (UTC)
The welcoming contest is getting out of hand. We even have had one user create dozens of accounts and welcome them himself—and then carry on a conversation thanking himself for the welcome. What I propose is that when you join, at the top of your talk page you see an automated hey, how are ya, here's some important links. After you've made a few edits, then someone from the committee should leave a personal message. I also think we should completely overhaul the committee. It should be restricted to people who have actually been here a while and know their way around, maybe like a minimum number of weeks and mainspace edits. And then when you welcome somebody, you put them on your watchlist and keep track of them for a while, like a mentor. I don't mean to expand the scope of this discussion, so let me just reiterate that the way we're doing it now is for all intents and purposes automated, so why not make it for real automated and elimintate some abuse in the process. — It's dot com 22:06, 2 May 2006 (UTC)
Well If had we done that when I came on I kind of would of felt like, "I've been on here for kind of a while, so It's a little late to welcome me" --Dacheatbot · Communicate 22:30, 2 May 2006 (UTC)
I think this pertains to me too, as I've been extremely competitive with users in the past with welcoming. I think that Dot com's idea is a prooty good one, as I myself would love to watch a user grow and learn more and more. (Unless it's a vandal, in which case they won't learn anything and I'll totally regret welcoming them. :P) I think there could also be a sorta "rating system"—I know this sounds extremely strange, but bear with me. Sysops (FireBird comes to mind, as he did create the welcoming committee) could permit or not permit users tro create a custom welcome, based on their interacting with other users, their attitude, and their overall knowledge of how to edit things on the wiki. Igf you passed, then you would be able to follow therough with the mentor idea, and you would check up on the user every once and a while to see how things are going. Such a warm welcome for a new user would not only help with users editing, but it would help build up one of the most important part of our wiki, friendships and interaction with other users (Abdi knows about that, he wrote an entire essay on it :P). — Seriously (Talk) 22:42, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

(Gah, too much indenting, starting over...) I dislike the idea of "rating" other users... it's basically just codifying favoritism, nothing more. Besides, it'll just create new avenues for competition... from "hah, I've welcomed more users than you" to "hah, the sysops like me more than you"... Trust and respect can't be quantified, and trying to do so usually just creates cliques and leaves new users in the dark... phlip TC 22:51, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

I suppose it does do that, but it would still help. If we've left users in the dark before (SYSOP NOMINATIONS), then I think users can be mature about it. Actually, I think that nearly everybody has a certain amount of maturity, just as they are expected to (quote from It's dot com on his talk page: "Even though actual age doesn't matter, I don't see anything wrong with expecting a certain level of maturity from our users, once they've had a chance to get the hang of things"). — Seriously (Talk) 22:59, 2 May 2006 (UTC)
(responding to two posts back) LOL; thanks for the shout-out. And thanks to both you and Dacheatbot for responding so quickly to suggestions! I'm hearing a lot of ideas above that sound cool, like the mentor thing. I still want to voice an objection to having "first contact" be automated, though. The question of whether or not to automate can develop separately from some of the other ideas proposed. Personally, I still see it as important that a user's first impression come from a real person, rather than waiting until they take the next step of involvement. What if that human welcome decides whether or not they take the next step? So from my perspective, with automation being undesirable, the logic "it's already like an undesirable thing so let's go ahead and make it an undesirable thing" seems weird.
(after one edit conflict) I agree, phlip; the idea of a ratings system made me think, "But that would be subjective, so we'd want to base it on something; maybe after a given number of appropriate welcomes—wait, then we'd have people counting their welcomes!" But nonetheless, the idea of the mentors, as a status conferred after probationary experience, isn't that different from the concept of sysop. On the other hand, it sounds like a significant duty. Maybe if it was made voluntary it would be self-moderating; if the requirements of wiki-experience and significant commitment to a given newbie were made clear, there wouldn't be as much of a rush to join! (And if ill-equipped users tried to, they could be firmly discouraged.) But seriously, if this conversation goes much farther we should maybe split it into one discussion of stopping current practices and another of starting new ones. —AbdiViklas 23:09, 2 May 2006 (UTC)
Well, I think you partially misunderstood what I meant (or maybe I'm just misunderstanding what you're saying). Someone would not be allowed to welcome another user unless they met certain requirements. Thus, the sysops would not rate you with your number of welcomes as a factor. But I definitely agree with you on the idea of waiting until a user makes an edit to welcome them. That shows a bit more acknowldegment of the user. Example of a good welcome"

"Hey, So-and-so! I've seen you making a lot of great edits lately".

This was it seems a lot less automated, and shows that the welcomer is thinking about the new user as more than just a new user, but an individual user with their own personality". — Seriously (Talk) 23:17, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, forget the whole mentor and user-rating thing for now. That's not what this thread is about, and I'm sorry for veering us off course. Here's the thing: the only way to avoid the appearance of an automated welcome is not to welcome people right away. But if we do that, they miss out on some very important links. It is for this reason alone that I do not object to the instantaneous welcomes that we currently practice. I think an automated list of links, not an actual welcome per se, and then later a personal welcome down the line (after some actual editing has taken place) is the way to go. — It's dot com 23:14, 2 May 2006 (UTC)
While I see what you're saying, how might we exactly go along with the linking? Would we just put a notice at the beginning of the user's talk page, saying "Links:" and then a list of links? I think that wouldn't work so well. — Seriously (Talk) 23:19, 2 May 2006 (UTC)
Actually, that's pretty close to what's going on now, save for a signature at the end. And I reiterate my agreement with Dot com, per the comments made by myself at the outset of this verbal journey. Thunderbird 23:22, 2 May 2006 (UTC)
Heh, verbal journey. Sounds like gerbil journey. Heh. (I don't know why I'm acting so stupid). Well, there is often more than a collection of links. There's also a formal welcome to the wiki, a little info about the wiki itself, and some other stuff. — Seriously (Talk) 23:25, 2 May 2006 (UTC)
I'm not suggesting we do away with formal welcomes. I'm saying that we should separate the list of impersonal but necessary links from the rest of the welcome, which can be handled by an actual user at a later time. — It's dot com 23:28, 2 May 2006 (UTC)
(inserted in chronology after Seriously's reply) Actually, I'd kind of prefer the opposite if anything! (For reasons below.) —AbdiViklas 23:46, 2 May 2006 (UTC)
So you're saying that the links would come by another user that's not the welcomer whn the user appears to be having trouble through edits? If so, that would go hand in hand with the mentor idea (which, as you said, is completely off-topic). — Seriously (Talk) 23:31, 2 May 2006 (UTC)
No, that's not what I said at all. — It's dot com 23:34, 2 May 2006 (UTC)
And I guess I can just reiterate my exception (though I promise this'll be the last time!). See, I think the value of the "welcome" as such—as a welcome—is possibly greater than the value of the links. Don't get me wrong, the links are a treasure trove, but the users who need them most tend to be the most likely to delete them without following them. I mean, I remember what I thought: "Bla bla, link to the help section; sure. I don't have time for that right now, and everybody knows you only go to "help" when you have a problem." But like I said earlier, there's something important about the welcome aspect of the welcome. And something important about it being the first thing a newcomer encounters. Let's face it; most of us either sought this place out, wound up hooked, or continue to stick around out of social reasons. Perhaps a few sit down and say, "I think I'll find a knowledge base where I can contribute to factual information!", but I'd venture a guess they tend to be computer programmers. For me, the thing that really drew me in was the fact that I was flattered by the affirmation people left on my talk page at first, and on some unpleasant level of the Id I continue to be involved because it allows me to grab at least some of the spotlight some of the time. I'd say for many users the strongest lure of the wiki is the knowledge that when they talk here, real people will hear them. And a surprising number will often care!
Bottom line: sure, leave more personal messages as users contribute more, and let's deal with three-edit welcomes and templates that need work. But I feel strongly that as long as initial contact can be human, and can be perceptibly human, that's preferable. —AbdiViklas 23:46, 2 May 2006 (UTC)
There is but one problem I have with Dot Com's idea: There will be mass confusion of when to or to not welcome someone--Dacheatbot · Communicate 01:06, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Mass confusion? No. Slight confusion that accompanies any new thing? Perhaps. But also like any new thing, it would just take some getting used to. — It's dot com 01:16, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
IMO The Mentoring Idea sound good on paper (digital paper in this case) but with more and more users popping up it would be a lot to keep track of.--Dacheatbot · Communicate 22:49, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

Now that we're in 1.6, we may as well start this conversation up again and make a decision. I am still highly in favor of automating a basic welcome message if feasable. Thunderbird 20:22, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

After reading this entire thread again, I'm not sure what to do. At first, I was all for automated welcomes, due to the questionable taste of a few of the personalized templates and aforementioned three-edit-welcomes. The idea of a standardized message that gets out just as quickly with less hassle was appealing, and the idea of rehashing the welcoming committee into a mentor committee sounded promising as well. But Abdi's arguments are compelling. A personalized instant welcome does give a slightly warmer feel than a programmed one, but then it leads to problems with nobody following up on all of the new users. I think even with no change we should consider the mentoring program, but that leads to more problems with making sure the welcomers follow through and know enough about the way things work around here. In the end, I'm still undecided on what do do here, but I am interested to hear some fresh input along with Thunderbird. small_logo.pngUsername-talk 01:47, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
If we are to make the Welcoming Committee into a mentoring program, which I am all for, I believe we should start a basic screening process and make sure joining users know and fully intend to carry out the responsibilities associated with being such a mentor. And by "screening process" I mean almost anything... only regular users, only users with x edits, only users who can demonstrate themselves, etc. In any case, we need more opinions to come to a consensus. — Lapper (talk) 03:11, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
This discussion is continued here.

[edit] Scholars

I am a professor and I am looking for anyone interested in writing an essay on homestarrunner, topic of your chosing to be compilied later.

Why would a professor be looking for someone to write them an essay? -- Tom 20:41, 18 May 2006 (UTC)
I might be interested in writing an essay at some point for a professor, provided 1) you explain how a professor interested in the topic neglects to capitalize a proper noun, 2) you explain how a professor requesting scholarly works allows "chosing" and "compilied" to be present in the request, and 3) you indicate (via private mail, via my Talk page, if desired) your name, position and school, and ideally a link to your biography, with emphasis on your relevant expertise and how it relates to this internet entertainment site. Qermaq - (T/C) Image:Qermaqsigpic.png 23:55, 18 May 2006 (UTC)
In other words, we're skeptical. why don't you go boast your "expertise" somewhere else? — Seriously (Talk) 02:47, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
Timestamps. Read 'em. Seriously. — It's dot com 02:55, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
In other words: Duh!! Qermaq - (T/C) Image:Qermaqsigpic.png 03:09, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
Dot com: Seriously, man. I mean Seriously. What's up with Seriously not leaving timestamps? I mean Seriously! ;) — Seriously (Talk) 13:26, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

[edit] Protecting Main Page Images

This question has been discussed before, with the general feeling being that it really doesn't serve much of a purpose as long as the main page template is unprotected. Therefore I move that we do away with protecting main page images, since not only is it a hassle to keep up, but it really is quite redundant, as any vandal could just replace the image with anything else on the unprotected template anyways, which has rarely (if ever) happened. Thunderbird 23:14, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

The learning curve for editing (and even finding) Template:whatsnew is much steeper than the ease of clicking on the image, which brings one to the image description page where the "Upload a new version of this file" link is present. -- Tom 02:07, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

[edit] A note of thanks

See For you and all the others...

[edit] 1.6

What's the word on the upgrade? — User:ACupOfCoffee@ 05:19, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

Not long, looks like less than a week. All key systems installed (including captcha, which we installed this afternoon). We just have a couple of bugs to work out before we go live. — It's dot com 05:32, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
This is gonna be awesome. I'll be here for an upgrade! I'll watch a probably-not-that-improtant-piece of history! So what exactly will be different, and why is it important for us to upgrade? — Seriously (Talk) 02:45, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
I'll reply to the part of your query "...what exactly will be different...". — Lapper (talk) 21:35, 11 June 2006 (UTC)
As to the importance, it really boils down to the fact that once a new version is released, it usually isn't long before security fixes stop coming for the old one. So the only way to get them is to upgrade. — User:ACupOfCoffee@ 16:12, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
MediaWiki still releases security updates for the legacy versions 1.4 and 1.5. -- Tom 22:25, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
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