User talk:Uncle G

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Hi, thanks! And I expect you enjoy browsing Wikiquote too ... --Aphaia 01:29, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)


Hello, Uncle G, and welcome to English Wikiquote.

Enjoy! ~ MosheZadka (Talk) 12:54, 18 August 2005 (UTC)

Transwiki bots[edit]

I noticed your restructuring of Wikiquote:Transwiki log. What bots are in use, and what standards are they using for their automation? Is any of this documented anywhere? Thank you for any info you can provide. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 16:08, 18 August 2005 (UTC)

  • w:User:KevinBot and w:User:McBot are currently ill, having been broken by the MediaWiki upgrade, but prior to that they had been performing transwikifications for many months. User:Uncle G's 'bot is alive and well, and the various tools that run under its aegis are documented on its user page. I've just started to use TRANSWIKI, running under the aegis of that account, to pare down the enormous backlog that has accrued whilst the other 'bots have been ill. (There wasn't much for Wikiquote. There is only 1 article in the queue right now, Wikipedia:Opium of the people, which I haven't transwikied because am unsure of whether it is appropriate. In comparison, there are over 300 articles in the Wiktionary queue.)

    By the way: If the use of "semi-automatic" isn't outright obvious, TRANSWIKI does no automatic scanning of categories, unlike KevinBot and McBot. It relies on my reading the queues every so often and firing off the tool for each article. So if you were having Grand Ideas of having transwiki queues for stuff to be sent from here to (say) Wikisource, you'll have to let me know about them, so that I can look at them from time to time, otherwise nothing will happen. ☺ Uncle G 19:52, 18 August 2005 (UTC)

    • Thank you for the information. Is there any documentation for the use of transwiki that moved you to create the subsections? Or is this just your own bot's convention? I don't recall seeing any such standardization in the transwiki logs that I've looked at, and I am very interested in any cross-project efforts to create such standardization (even if they're promulgated only by a single active bot!). ~ Jeff Q (talk) 20:13, 18 August 2005 (UTC)
      • Subsections or sub-pages?
        • Subsections: The "moved to {{lang}}.{{project}}" subsections I took from the layout of the Wikipedia transwiki log, which we broke up that way some while back. The idea actually originated on the Maori Wikipedia. See Wikipedia:Wikipedia talk:Transwiki log.
        • Sub-pages: The sub-pages are for several reasons.
          1. They are caution on my part. They isolate the 'bot from the rest of the transwiki log. If the 'bot were to ever mess up an edit to the log (I've coded it so that the expected failure modes will cause edits to fail rather than to mess up the log page, but even so.), all that it could mess up would be one section of the log, not the entire log. (I run the 'bot that creates each day's sub-page in Wikipedia's Votes for Deletion area. I've used a sub-page to isolate the area that the 'bot edits from everything else there, also.)
          2. They reduce the probability of edit conflicts.
          3. They allow the design of the 'bot to be simple and general-purpose. All that the 'bot needs to do is to append an unordered list item to the end of a page. It doesn't need to do anything clever, such as adding things into the middle of a page; and it doesn't have to know anything that is WikiMedia-specific about transwikification. (In theory, the 'bot could be used for transwikification between any two GFDL wikis.)
      • The transwiki logs at Wikipedia, Wiktionary, and Wikiquote (and to a lesser extent Wikibooks and Wikisource) are all now broken up into sub-pages in roughly this way. (Wikinews is not part of the transwiki system, and I haven't dealt with the transwikification of images to Commons thus far.) Uncle G 00:09, 19 August 2005 (UTC)

SMTP VfD[edit]

I see that you registered some thoughts about this, but could you tell us specifically whether you think this should be kept, deleted, or otherwise dealt with? I usually recommend making this the first word in a vote entry, since it's easy to forget that small but important detail when discussing the merits of an article. Otherwise, one's leaves one's vote up to the interpretation of the closing sysop, which is usually not a problem but has the potential to be so. Thanks. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 02:10, 29 September 2005 (UTC)

  • I put those words at the end, because it is important that closing administrators read rationales, and not just tally votes. Moreover, these are discussions, after all. We can do more than just pull the "keep" or "delete" levers on the voting machine each time. Not everything need be a vote. If a closing administrator is determined to look for a vote in this particular case, xe will read what I wrote and will find the words "It's an encyclopaedia article". ☺ Uncle G 04:38, 29 September 2005 (UTC)
    • Actually, Votes for deletion must be votes, by definition, for the community if not necessarily for each individual. Sysops are required to use their best judgment to determine the consensus of the community on each vote, and then act in accordance with that consensus. Many of these votes include comments (both explicitly declared as such and implicit by their content) without signalling a clear, single vote. There is nothing wrong with that, of course. I can assure you that I (and, I firmly believe, every other current sysop closing votes) read every word of these VfD entries, even though some of them evolve into tangential discussions, heated arguments, and even personal attacks. Bolding an explicit vote simply makes it easier to sum up a consensus. Of course, there are situations where someone can't express a single, simple action. That's where judgment can be critical, but it also means that it can be harder for the sysop to make clear to the community why they tallied up the votes to a particular result. I'm not suggesting that such situations be glossed over with inaccurate simplification. But clear, bolded statements make it easier for the community (which is under no obligation to read every word) to confirm for itself that the sysops aren't imposing their own opinions on vote closure. (That's why I started adding the summary lines with explicit counts of each type of vote and even adding concise summaries of ambiguous positions. Feel free to review WQ:VFDA to see how challenging some of these votes can be to close.) In the case of your current entry, I would count it as an "implicit Delete" (based on the fact that Wikiquote is not an encyclopedia), so it's clear that I consider it a Delete but am not willing to put the word of an explicit vote into your mouth. I'm very picky about such things. Other sysops may not be so analytical and just accept the apparent opinion. If you don't mean it to support a Delete position, you'll probably have to clarify your statement, as long-standing WQ practice is to delete or WP-transwiki encyclopedia articles without any real prospect of acquiring quotes. Please also bear in mind that any tallied vote not to delete or transwiki, as well as any failure to achieve consensus, results in an effective keep action. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 06:31, 29 September 2005 (UTC)
      • It's precisely this perennial and fallacious "It's called votes for deletion so it must be about votes." line of reasoning that is why you'll find that Wikipedia has dropped that name, and now has Articles for deletion (in parallel with its Images and media for deletion, Categories for deletion, Templates for deletion, and Redirects for deletion). To repeat an oft-used motto: It's not about the votes. There has been plenty written, on Wikipedia, Meta, and elsewhere, on the subject of deletion discussions, and how they aren't, and shouldn't be, votes. I recommend reading it. Start with m:Don't vote on everything, Wikipedia is not a democracy, and the Wikipedia Guide to deletion. (You might care to look up who the initial author of the Wikipedia Guide to deletion was, along the way, too. ☺) Uncle G 17:46, 30 September 2005 (UTC)
        • Ouch! I stand advised of my ignorance. I will spend some time reading this material, as you suggest. But I will be doing so with the current state of Wikiquote, not Wikipedia, in mind; i.e., a much smaller audience with an incredibly tiny group of people involved in deletion decisions. As I've observed elsewhere, with exceedingly rare exceptions, the only people who participate in VfDs here are 4 or 5 sysops, 1-3 relatively active editors, and on rare occasions, the article creators and their friends and sockpuppets. It can require a different perspective at times. We even advertise some VfDs on the Village pump just to drum up some additional participation, but this seems to have little effect. The majority of our contributors are anonymous users. There's just not a lot of community involvement here yet. This puts a lot of pressure on the sysops to extract a clear opinion from each and every comment in a VfD entry, because we rarely get more than 3 opinions per nomination (and often not even that). But as I said, I'll look the links over and see what we might get from them. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 22:31, 30 September 2005 (UTC)
          • Wiktionary has a relatively less contentious deletion discussion area, too. That reflects the nature of the project, of course. Wiktionary has no concept of "notability" to deal with. Wiktionary's criteria for inclusion are based upon attestation. Uncle G 23:38, 17 October 2005 (UTC)

Help:Starting a new page[edit]

Please do not make your bot copy H:SANP from meta. We wrote our own SANP, because we didn't like meta's. There was a long discussion and hard work by four users. I note that there has been little discussion regarding your bot's activities, which troubles me. I also note that the edit above is not mentioned as one of the tools, so there was no way to anticipate it and to stop it. I suggest you ask for a bot flag, as per Wikiquote:Bots, so that the community can review the bot's intended actions and comment on them. Thanks ~ MosheZadka (Talk) 05:44, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

  • You clearly don't understand what the 'bot flag is for. It has nothing to do with reviewing actions, which can be done with or without a the flag being set. Uncle G 13:39, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Uncle G, since Moshe beat me to blocking your bot, I'll do him the favor of posting the notice. Your bot seems to be mass-transferring pages from Meta. While this has some logic, and may even correspond to the recommendations of Meta, it breaks a good bit of work Wikiquotians have been doing to make the generic WikiMedia policies and information apply to Wikiquote-specific issues and audiences. Please deactivate this particular bot task immediately. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 06:35, 28 November 2005 (UTC)
    • You only have yourselves to blame. You should have done your work in the correct place. You knew that this was on the cards. Patrick has been telling people about this since 2004. Xe has also been explicitly and clearly telling everyone how projects can fit their own project-specific help into the system for almost as long. I suggest that you stop mucking around blaming the messenger, and set your project-specific help up properly. The instructions are quite clear. Uncle G 13:39, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
      • We do not want our project to work "properly". We are our own community, and we wrote our own help pages. Meta has no authority to dictate to wq the format of the help pages. Please do not modify pages which have consensus. Thanks ~ MosheZadka (Talk) 13:45, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
        • Furthermore, it seems the only "allowable" ways to edit the page still do not give communities the ability to really write their own page, but just to append stuff to the bottom, making their users slog through a lot of crap before getting there. Please note we looked at the meta page when writing our own and shuddered in horror. It has lots of irrelevancies, and not enough useful content. We tried to trim it down to a bare essentials manual which users can actually slog through. Meta's pages sucking is not reason enough for wq to follow form. ~ MosheZadka (Talk) 13:55, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
      • As far as doing the work ourselves, there are only a handful of people actively working on policies here, and we've got our hands full just doing run-of-the-mill maintenance, like RC patrol, vandalism reversion, VfD reviewing and archiving, categorizing, answering novice editors' questions, cleaning up articles, and, every once in a great while, actually adding articles and quotes. When en:Wikiquote has a staff of 20 or more editors who regularly work on policy (besides all the other things they do here), I'm sure we'll be able to flesh out most of our pages. But until that time, we must plod ahead at whatever pace we can manage. I appreciate the work that bots can accomplish to reduce some of this effort, but when they do something that doesn't make sense for the project, we will ask them to be suspended unless and until they are adjusted to fit the project's needs. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 11:37, 9 January 2006 (UTC)


On a lighter note than my posting above, I was wondering if your use of the word "xyrself" at WQ:VFD#Walter Muncaster was a typo or a deliberate and rather clever alternative to a gender-based reflexive pronoun. I can see that it could be using "xy" to represent the X and Y chromosomes that determine sex (although, unfortunately like "man" and its derivative terms like "woman", the use of "xy" together could be interpreted as a male bias). If this is indeed your usage, can you say where it originated? And how would you pronounce it — "zur-self", perhaps? ~ Jeff Q (talk) 11:44, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

Wallace Floyd Nelson[edit]

I have added a "{{prod}}" template to the article Wallace Floyd Nelson, suggesting that it be deleted according to the proposed deletion process. All contributions are appreciated, but it may not satisfy Wikiquote's criteria for inclusion, for the reasons given in the deletion notice (see also "What Wikiquote is not" and Wikiquote's deletion policy). You may contest the proposed deletion by removing the {{dated prod}} notice, but please explain why you disagree with the proposed deletion in your edit summary or on its talk page. Also, please consider improving the article to address the issues raised. Even though removing the deletion notice will prevent deletion through the proposed deletion process, the article may still be deleted if it matches any of the speedy deletion criteria or it can be sent to Votes for deletion, where it may be deleted if consensus to delete is reached. Ole.Holm 11:39, 17 January 2010 (UTC)