UDWiki talk:Featured Articles

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For pre-2011 discussion, please see the talk archive.

Manually changing these...

is dumb when we can rotate the text and images automatically using switches. How often are they being rotated now? -MHSstaff 18:40, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

Looks like it is two weeks, which means it takes about 3/4 a year to cycle through all 17/18. We should make it more frequent. Like every day. -MHSstaff 18:43, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
A day version is ready. To make it more fair, we would probably want to rotate it through the 12 months. It would be similar to the weather templates that change the temperature and weather type based on month and day. -MHSstaff 19:31, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
I like the idea of an atomically updating UDWiki:Featured Articles. My only qualms about it are 1) What happens when we reach more than 31 FAs? 2) Is it easy enough for your typical wiki user to update with new FAs as they are voted in? ~Vsig.png 20:37, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
There are a couple of ways you could do it. You pregenerate the templates so that you have a different template for the number of articles, and a master switch template so that the wiki user just puts in the number of articles as a variable, and it takes care of the rest. Like {{FADaySwitch|18}} would use the 18 article version, and <nowiki>{{FADaySwitch|19}} would use the 19 day one. The 31-day bridge you cross when you get to it. It's not like FAs are being added willy-nilly now. They would have to make a new FA blurb though. -MHSstaff 21:14, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
Right, but what i meant is that when it is time to place a new Featured Article in the queue to be cycled in, where would they place it? It isn't really clear where it goes right now. I think I could figure it out, but without instructions, your average user will not know where to go with it. ~Vsig.png 21:27, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
You could make a queue page with links to the unedited versions of UDWiki:Featured Articles/FA##, and instruct them to make a new blurb in the next one. You then instruct them to update the template from {{FADaySwitch|XX}} to {{FADaySwitch|YY}} in the FA page. The people who are likely to do this could probably figure it out if we gave them a basic how to instruction page. I doubt like a new user will be like "Dude...I am going to edit me some FA pages today. Dude." -MHSstaff 21:38, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
Keep in mind that right now, someone has to make a blurb. Currently, it is placed in the FA page in the no include section. The major difference would be it would be placed instead in its own page and they would have to update a template to call the right number of articles. -MHSstaff 21:45, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
You'd probably also want to make a master list one that uses the same master switch idea, and display all the blurbs on the FA page in a noinclude section. That way, you make three changes when you add a new one: 1) Make a new FA## page, 2) Change FADaySwitchXX to match the right number of articles on the FA page 3) Change FAAllSwitchXX to match the number of articles on the FA page. Not too bad. -MHSstaff 21:48, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
Hmmm...welll maybe you could write up some instructions on how to add new entires to the list and post it here. I'm having a hard time following right now but that's likely because work is kicking my ass right now and I want to go home. If I see a visual I'd probably have a better time understanding. ~Vsig.png 22:36, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

Talking with Aichon, there a couple of problems ranging from 1) what to do after a cycle ends, where you repeat some of the articles until the next year, but not all of them and 2) this actually being more trouble than its worth. Moving this to the backburner for now. -MHSstaff 20:07, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

New Stuff

We've had some new GA's since last time around, including weather and blackmore 4(04). --RosslessnessWant a Location Image? 17:17, 22 February 2011 (UTC)


someone please finish this or remind me to do it later... i'll be unable to keep working on this for the next four or five hours :\ --hagnat 15:35, 22 July 2011 (BST)

Has it occurred to you that making this template does not make it easier in ANY way? We were just copying and pasting sections of text into specific parts anyway. -- ϑanceϑanceevolution 02:53, 23 July 2011 (BST)

Reviving FAs/GAs

Hey y'all! So I've decided to take on the task of trying to get the Featured Articles/Good Articles process moving, especially since the Featured Articles voting process hasn't been used since 2009 and the Good Articles process seems to have died as well. To this end, I have a few things I'd like people to comment on.

The first is to ask why the process is two-tiered? Most of the discussion above concerns ways of moving articles to "Good" status and then "Featured" status. However, only one article (Weather) is currently a Good Article without also being Featured; this is because the Featured Article voting process has simply been abandoned with Good Articles being automatically promoted. To me it seems the process would be easier if there were just one layer, Featured Articles, and this would make sense as the wiki is rather small (19,160 articles) and the majority of those are rather short.

The next is, would people be up for a major addition of voting candidates (many of them listed above) and a marathon voting process? To me it seems having a whole bunch added at once would make voting easier.

Lastly, I might be doing a reorganization of the scheduling/arrangement of the Featured Articles page, so we can keep things rotating even without more voted articles and to put the Featured Articles into relevant categories ("classes", "guides", "events" etc.) Any thoughts on that?

Thanks so much everyone, and please comment! Bob Moncrief EBDW! 16:27, 15 July 2012 (BST)

I think the intention of FAs vs. GAs was that FAs went on the main page or community portal and GAs didn't. GAs are basically FAs or "Featured Good Articles." The distinction isn't important nor does it add any function. There's no real new layer of quality that separates FA from GA. Keeping to just FA seems a good option.
Voting all at once would be the thing to do. People would lose interest after a week of voting.
We should rotate the FAs from time to time. Maybe it's "unprofessional" if it's the same article on the main page the whole time. I don't know if we could manage this automatically. --  AHLGTG 16:55, 15 July 2012 (BST)
MHSStaff amd I tried our hand at automatic updating a while back using switch templates (see two headers up). It ended up complicating the project too much (adding new FAs into the mix was a pain) and so it was abandoned. I'm sure we were just overthinking it at the time and there is probably a simpler way. A semi-automatic system might be a solution. Each FA would be assigned a number and we'd use a switch template to cycle through the numbers. A user would still need to make an update, but instead of a big copy/paste ordeal, it would just require changing one numner to the next.
I'm totally for new FA votes and forgoing GA voting altogether. ~Vsig.png 18:02, 15 July 2012 (UTC)
I'd be willing to keep track of rotating the FAs manually once we've got some new ones voted in. I'll wait for a few more comments of endorsement before making the changes needed to bypass Good Article voting. Bob Moncrief EBDW! 18:11, 15 July 2012 (BST)
Regarding automating the process, it really doesn't work well unless the number of FAs lines up against a magic word that we can use in the switch, and we also need to guarantee that the number of FAs doesn't change too often. If we could set it up so that there were exactly 53 FAs (one for each potential week in the year), it'd make things significantly easier to code (we could base the switch on the {{CURRENTWEEK}} magic word), and it would also mean no repeats or some getting shown more often than others (except for the 53rd, which would only be shown on some years). I'd also suggest that each FA page have its mini-blurb embedded in the page itself with an <includeonly> as part of its fulfillment for being an FA, that way the page itself can simply be included without having to paste mini-blurbs into templates or managing them in any way (and then this page, rather than housing all of the mini-blurbs, would instead just contain links to all of the FAs). All told, the template itself would only take about 55 lines of extremely simple code. Again though, this is all dependent on having a number of FAs that matches up with a magic word for an aspect of the calendar. If you want to do 31 FAs, one for each day of the month, that works too, for example. Aichon 20:02, 15 July 2012 (BST)
Yep, those are all the issues we ran into last time. Any Magic Word we use puts a limit on the number of articles we can use or creates an uneven distribution. It also makes it difficult to add new FAs to the mix. I do like the idea of creating FA blurbs on each article. I really think a semi-automatic process that simplifies the updating processwill be the way to go. ~Vsig.png 20:34, 15 July 2012 (UTC)
Most of the blurbs are already setup for automation here. Aichon's idea to have the blurb in an include section in the actual article is a better idea though. -MHSstaff 04:25, 16 July 2012 (BST)
Let's see what number we end up with and go from there. If it works out nicely, might as well Switch template it. There probably won't be many or any new FA additions if we go through an FA voting marathon. Maybe. --  AHLGTG 04:41, 16 July 2012 (BST)

Rotating is done on a whim at the minute really. I'd love to see some new articles nominated. Plus its been updated since 2009. 2010 for blackmore 404 being an example. --RossWHO????ness 17:16, 15 July 2012 (BST)

Right, there have been GA votes since then, but the only FA promotions were done without actual voting (unless it occurred somewhere on the Wiki I can't locate?) Bob Moncrief EBDW! 18:11, 15 July 2012 (BST)
Would this work with the software version we're using? No need to maintain unless the article pool grows, gives a random article at each pageview (purges may be needed but so it goes). For hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee 12:50, 16 July 2012 (BST)
Looks like it uses Template:Random number, which itself uses math expressions (which we don't have here) to generate random articles. It would be pretty awesome if we had a RNG, but we don't. Grr! Argh! *shaking fist* ~Vsig.png 14:59, 16 July 2012 (UTC)
Lifting that restriction on articles under group pages would open up some more interesting candidates for GA/FA inclusion. -MHSstaff 02:51, 17 July 2012 (BST)

I say pick 26 of them, double up the cases and use the currentweek for the switch, crack open a beer and call it a day. -MHSstaff 02:34, 17 July 2012 (BST)

Bob, I overlooked something before about categorizing things. Are you planning on running multiple featured articles at once, i.e Featured Guide, Featured Event, etc? If so, I think the idea is interesting but I'd like to know more about how it would appear on the main page. ~Vsig.png 01:27, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

No, I didn't mean the categorizing to have any effect on the Main Page or the way FAs would be dealt with. I meant something like how the FAs on Wikipedia here are categorized into broad topics, like "Biology", "History", "Music" etc. So it would just be putting headers into the UDWiki:Featured Articles page to group the articles by "Guides", "Locations", "Events", "Gameplay", "Classes" etc. Bob Moncrief EBDW! 17:02, 30 July 2012 (BST)

Putting in 2 quick cents. I've done a fair deal to maintain this system from time to time, however broken it was from the start, but I wouldn't mind seeing it go. It's just apparent that the standard of the UDWiki community is too high to allow certain categories (groups, etc.) to become good articles, as well as the fact that we all are expecting a very high standard of quality for the good articles to pass. I'm not saying this is a bad thing. I personally like it very well the way it is, and I myself governed it for a while to maintain almost flawless level of quality to be allowed into GA. But the sad reality is that if there are not enough articles to cycle FAs for even a couple of years (even when cycling articles every quarter) then it's not worth it. I'd remove them from the main page altogether. If you asked me of my personal opinion, I'd prefer to keep them and lower the standard an inch to allow a few more articles but that won't solve the problem, and I know that without some sort of FA-writing drive (like the location one ross had a year ago, which I would definitely participate in) we should remove them altogether. Not delete obviously, but remove them from the main page, especially whilst space is apparently precious at the moment between it, community content and "this month in UD" section. I'm drunk. DANCEDANCEREVOLUTION (TALK | CONTRIBS) 14:15, 30 July 2012 (BST)

That's what I am talking about. Let's go rogue, dump that hippy, tree-hugging no group pages rule crap, and take this to the next level. Wiki is about to get real. MHSstaff 01:49, 31 July 2012 (BST)
Not to derail the current direction of this discussion, but we're actually quite set to have a few different categories of featured content. Featured Guides are voted on as are historical events and groups. Problem with groups of course is whether we include them based on content alone or something else, like (gasp) historical status. I'd even be for opening up voting on featured images. ~Vsig.png 02:44, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
Not to re-rail the tangential discussion, but I'm totally up for allowing Userspace pages. There are quite a few good ones out there. Aichon 03:12, 31 July 2012 (BST)
What do you have in mind? The only Userspace page I have heard mentioned is Gnome's game. I think this is a good place for other suggestions too. Bob Moncrief EBDW! 06:20, 31 July 2012 (BST)
How about Zombo Tracker? Where else can you get your daily zombie weather, see a sortable list of targets the RRF has hit (current to 2011), and track the horde's migratory pattern (sortable by year)? -MHSstaff 17:08, 31 July 2012 (BST)
Or a companion piece to the Blackmore:404 event, one that provides a broadened perspective and fills in missing details, allowing the reader to decide for themselves what really happened that pivotal month. -MHSstaff 17:30, 31 July 2012 (BST)
It should be by content; the page/article needs to stand on its own from a quality perspective, IMO. -MHSstaff 16:55, 31 July 2012 (BST)


OK, so I've closed down Good Articles. I'm still proofreading some articles in preparation for submission to FA voting (if anyone would like to help, articles to be proofed are here), but I expect to submit them sometime in the next few days. Thanks! Bob Moncrief EBDW! 17:57, 28 July 2012 (BST)

Waving around my Crat status like it's some kind of badge of authority

Hi. Unlike DDR I'm not drunk, but I'm a bit concerned about some of this. Both MHS and Bob have listed in their own ways articles I feel should never be used as featured articles, because, in all honesty they, like my spelling, are terrible. The first thing we need to do, if we are reviving this is to set up some kind of criteria. We may be merging the categories, but featured articles, should still be good articles. The original vote meant checking spelling, styling pages up, cross referencing and rewriting them to be clear and informative. We need to make sure we don't lose that. --RossWHO????ness 18:22, 31 July 2012 (BST)

Looks like Gnome already transferred the existing GA voting criteria to the FA voting page. He mentioned he wasn't done, though. Guess maybe he put on the brakes when "more consensus" was requested. So...is there more criteria (or less restrictive criteria as suggested above) than we originally used to determine Good Articles that we need for Featured? ~Vsig.png 19:10, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
What criteria do you suggest then? -MHSstaff 19:15, 31 July 2012 (BST)
I've been trying to check spelling, styling & clarity on the articles I'm planning to submit for voting. I haven't really touched content very much because most of them are on subjects I know little about (like events that happened before I joined last year, or zombie tactics when I've only really played as a survivor). My hope was that in the process of voting we'd hammer out which articles the community feels qualify. I was also hoping that the voting would spur those who like an article to help clean it up to standard. I'm definitely not expecting all, or even most, of the articles I'm submitting to pass, but I think looking at which ones do and don't will help clarify what we want our standards to be. Does that make any sense? Bob Moncrief EBDW! 20:01, 31 July 2012 (BST)
I think you have done a great job proofing and prepping a large pool of possible candidates; problems with content (should) come out when we decide the next crop (and reevaluate the current ones) of FAs. Ross just likes derailing the fun train every now and then before it rolls into party station. -MHSstaff 20:12, 31 July 2012 (BST)
The original criteria for GA was for the article to be neutral, complete, well-written, and awesome. The first criteria was not just thrown out with the bath water, but was launched into low-level, Earth orbit to burn up on reentry when the Battle of Blackmore was voted in. The other three criteria are so arbitrary that anything can (and has) become a GA/FA. Ross can nail me on NPOV if he wants, but then BoB (and arguably BoB:404) needs to go if we want to even pretend approaching this with some sort of consistency with regard to the metrics. -MHSstaff 20:30, 31 July 2012 (BST)
Has there ever been a vote for an article's featured status to be removed? A cursory check on my part came up with nothing. Bob Moncrief EBDW! 20:34, 31 July 2012 (BST)
I don't believe so. -MHSstaff 20:48, 31 July 2012 (BST)
I do enjoy me evil side. I want to have the ability to "shop" the articles as a consensus, as part of the process. When it comes to blackmore, I have no legs to stand on, but its a damn sexy article. I can't say that about Groove Theory or the Fort pages, as they're pure gash. I'd argue Blackmore 404 is a lot more balanced than some other claptrap out there, but if you want changes to it, I'm more than willing to have it retooled.--RossWHO????ness 20:53, 31 July 2012 (BST)
Truth be told, I think it'd be more interesting with a mixed POV approach. Have the basic facts in NPOV at the top, but after that go back and forth over the chronology, offering the zombie and survivor perspectives at each step. It'd keep it fun, would maintain overall neutrality for the article by offering all sides, and would give it its own unique voice.
That said, I wouldn't change it at this point. Instead, I'd just do that for anything that comes up later. I'd also open up FA to allow for POV stuff, so long as it's done extremely well. I think that the neutrality requirement is a silly one, since it strips the wiki of much of the tone of the game. Aichon 21:01, 31 July 2012 (BST)
The way I always wanted to see events done is you essentially have three versions. The first is a mostly dry, NPOV main article, the second is the zombie version, and the third is the survivor version. There would be tabs along the top to let you select the one you want to read (similar to Roosters home page and the Zombie Weather page). -MHSstaff 21:07, 31 July 2012 (BST)

We can customize the criteria for Featured Article categories, if we're going for categories (I think we should). The general guideline for all FAs is that the FAs are something we want on the main page (and Community Portal). It must have some notion of quality above the rest of the wiki. The thing I neglected to add when I moved over and changed some of the GA content to the FA page was how we go about saying a page is FA or not. Is it straight vote, like how we do with suggestions? Or something looser? The way we had it for determining GAs was that if no major concern(s) was raised after 7 days (with the criteria as a guideline) the page would become a GA. I think we should follow the same idea here. We need to work on the criteria though. --  AHLGTG 23:15, 31 July 2012 (BST)

I like the idea of different criteria for different categories if we're going that route. Obviosly a featured location article candidate would have different set of checks than a featured event article candidate or a featured group candidate. I'm just worried how muddied the water would become, not only in getting this project off the ground but also when it comes time to open up voting. ~Vsig.png 17:14, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
The criteria should be similar between categories. The only real difference would be NPOV demand. It doesn't make sense, for instance, to talk about neutrality when it comes to user pages, and for group pages, only a part needs to be NPOV, and for events the same. I'll offer up a suggested criteria soon. --  AHLGTG 01:20, 2 August 2012 (BST)

Werds of Judge Karke

 The concept of NPOV being an article criteria is misguided if the issue is lack of articles. There's some damn good PoV articles out there. You don't need to provide context to balance the PoV, the article should itself already do that by making it clear it is PoV and being appropriately linked/sourced(a basic FA/GA criteria) makes it easy enough to find appropriately sourced counter-PoV if that's your thing.

 As for Technical issues, those are technical, also easy enough to overcome since you can stack these in a manner that you sub in a known set for undefined WEEK/DAY numbers and then just put the 'blurbs' on UDWiki:Featured_Articles subpages by /Week/Day. So long as those are consistent it's massively expandable from 7 minimum with no awkward limiting issues. Just apply Switch/If templates as appropriate. Don't even need to get into random generated numbers but if that's your shitck you can always try it if you can figure out User:Karek/ProjDev/Concat1440 as that's the closest thing to a number randomizing function you can find on this wiki software last I checked.

 For article quality, make a committee or a panoply, or even just a consensus discussion page where you need a clear majority of approving voices, like 3/4ths or some such intentionally absurd number that way these articles can be nominated, reviewed, and can't get through until they are clearly very high quality. It's not like we need to have articles accepted to run the wiki so we can be super stringent with qualitative acceptance limits in this manner to exceptional-ize these articles.

-- Judge Karke, weekie cyning hath thus spaek'd 09:04, 1 August 2012 (BST) --

I think the system we had before for determining GAs works fine. A strong concern with the article was enough to decline it. If you look through the archives, it worked well, even though the structure wasn't properly understood nor clear enough. --  AHLGTG 01:20, 2 August 2012 (BST)
That holds up until you start including bias driven PoV articles like group pages, historically that's been an issue around these parts. We don't need more nonsense like Historical Groups or ALiM submissions, particularly with the new proposed article sets. --Karekmaps 2.0?! 20:52, 3 August 2012 (BST)
It works fine if you read the archive, for example or example. The number of participants doesn't matter (as long as there are some). The determining part of pass or fail is based on the strength of the criticism. This also makes the system more flexible, since criticisms can be addressed until the problem is fixed. (It doesn't need to be put up for a vote again for 2 weeks.) --  AHLGTG 22:49, 3 August 2012 (BST)
Meh, added stricture for the voting process is just an additional suggestion for preventing almost accidental submissions. It's just an example of a possible tool in the chest in these cases. --Karekmaps 2.0?! 10:02, 4 August 2012 (BST)


Here's a try. Suggestions? The criteria needs re-wording, but let's get the basic idea down first. I've left Well Written unchanged for each FA type. The point of any writing is to communicate something, and something poorly written does not facilitate communicating something. --  AHLGTG 01:22, 12 August 2012 (BST)

Base criteria currently on FA/V

  • NPOV - The article must be from a neutral point of view and not show significant bias. Possible exceptions may be made, depending on the article and community opinion.
  • Complete - No major facts or details are neglected; it is finished as can be.
  • Well Written - The article uses proper English, such as correct grammar and spelling, and it is written in a clear and readable style.
  • Generally Awesome - This is a joke criteria, hence it is very serious.

Article Criteria

(Glossary pages, event pages, historical events?)

  • NPOV - The article must be from a neutral point of view; articles should avoid taking sides (such as emphasizing zombies over humans, or a particular group or opinion). Exceptions may be made, depending on the article and community decision.
  • Complete - No major facts or details are neglected; it is finished as can be.
  • Well Written - The writing is grammatically correct and clear; it communicates what it's trying to say.
  • Generally Awesome - This is a joke criteria, hence it is very serious.

Group Page Criteria

I trimmed down the NPOV criteria. I added Presentation, since the purpose of going to a group page can be broader than going to a glossary page (it's not just for the information, it could also be for some sort of interest).

  • NPOV - There should be an NPOV lead or introduction, which explains who the group is (e.g. group type, structure, size, creation). Since it's expected that the article is created from the group's perspective, the rest of the page need not be neutral.
  • Presentation - The group page should have an interesting and original page design brought about by the code and any images. Writing style and content can also satisfy the criteria.
    (If we do keep with this criteria, we might want to add an explanation on what qualifies and what all this really means, or what we're looking for.)
  • Well Written - The writing is grammatically correct and clear; it communicates what it's trying to say.
  • Generally Awesome - This is a joke criteria, hence it is very serious.

User Page Criteria

This is really sparse. I completely removed the NPOV criteria here because it makes no sense: there aren't any sides to take, nor even necessarily any facts, arguments, nor information to balance. I also removed Complete. What's a complete userpage, and why would it need to be completed? I'm not sure what we're looking for here.

  • Presentation - The user page should have an interesting and original page design brought about by the code and any images. Writing style and content can also satisfy the criteria. Userpages that have content consistent with guides or wiki rantings still need to be accurate and complete, similar to the Article Criteria.
    (If we do keep with this criteria, we might want to add an explanation on what qualifies and what all this really means, or what we're looking for.)
  • Well Written - The writing is grammatically correct and clear; it communicates what it's trying to say.
  • Generally Awesome - This is a joke criteria, hence it is very serious.

What do you plural think? --  AHLGTG 01:22, 12 August 2012 (BST)

I think this is a great start. I think "Presentation" makes the most sense as being related to page design - for example, are there relevant images present (if applicable)? Is the text in giant unreadable blocks, or is it well-organized? Just some ideas. Regarding interest, I feel like that is kind of what "Generally Awesome" is going for, and is kind of the point of featured articles - would they be of interest & informative to those visiting the front page? I definitely want to hear more opinions. Bob Moncrief EBDW! 02:49, 12 August 2012 (BST)
Why not use the 5 criteria for all submissions with a caveat that NPOV may not always be possible? --RossWHO????ness 11:20, 12 August 2012 (BST)
I thought of that, but then it seemed that between the FA categories more needed to be different than just the NPOV (such as "Presentation" and removing "Complete" from group and user pages). --  AHLGTG 00:35, 13 August 2012 (BST)

Updated. --  AHLGTG 00:35, 13 August 2012 (BST)

Bump. Did we get bored of this already? --  AHLGTG 15:55, 16 August 2012 (BST)
I like to imagine it means we've reached the pinnacle of perfection. Bob Moncrief EBDW! 18:28, 16 August 2012 (BST)
Okay. That's good. Was there a low-point of perfection? Tongue :P --  AHLGTG 20:09, 16 August 2012 (BST)
Are you suggesting userpages or userspace subpages? I don't think we should feature userpages. Otherwise, I think you should just go forward with it, with or without added category criteria. Added criteria slightly complicates things but its not really a big deal. We need to finish prepping new submissions for voting and figure out a new method of rotating them to keep this from stalling further. ~Vsig.png 20:33, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
Either the main userpage or any of its subpages. It's just a matter of the content. (And what makes the content qualify for being featured is the difficult thing to determine. I'm not thinking about featuring merely a pretty userpage—I'm not sure what other people are thinking qualifies featured userpages.) I thought that if we're really going to go with featured non-articles, the criteria for articles doesn't make sense for the non-articles. So despite complicating things a little, the criteria would need to be altered so as to make sense. --  AHLGTG 20:54, 16 August 2012 (BST)
Personally, I'd prefer that any userspace pages that are linked from here be at a page with a dedicated name. So, for instance, if someone had something really awesome at User:ExampleUser/Sandbox/Demo7, that wouldn't qualify, simply because we have reasonable expectation to believe that it could change in the future. In contrast, if it were at User:ExampleUser/Analyzing_Urban_Dead's_History, we could expect it to stay in place and largely stay as it is. For that reason, I don't think that userpages should be linked, since there's plenty of reason to believe that they will change in the future. In the case of AHLG's userpage, which is the sort of thing that I think should be included, I'd probably suggest that he make a clone version of it in his userspace that can be linked from here (maybe transfer all of the userpage's content to the clone page, then include the clone page on his userpage?), that way he's free to alter his userpage later if he wants to, without us having to worry about it. Aichon 21:44, 16 August 2012 (BST)
I agree. I don't think I'd be comfortable with featuring a user's main page directly, only subpages. I might be cool with an exception for your game, Gnome, since I think it's been demonstrated that that's not likely to go anywhere soon. And if you did decide to move it to a different location after it was voted as FA, it wouldn't be trouble to have the FA follow the content to the new destination, right? Bob Moncrief EBDW! 01:55, 17 August 2012 (BST)
Okay, we can go with a dedicated page (or, just offering as an alternative, a history revision... though that would be awkward). We could always add a clause that states that a userpage can become unfeatured if it's changed substantially in the sense that we wouldn't qualify it to be a featured userpage; if the userpage would go through the process again, whatever is the current version still needs to "make it". In the case of my game, there's 1800+ unique pages, so I neither want to transfer any of them anywhere, nor are they going to be used for any other purpose than the one they have now. I can add a page that would be linked acting as an intro and start page, say, with the name: User:A Helpful Little Gnome/Startpage. --  AHLGTG 02:53, 17 August 2012 (BST)
A start page is exactly the sort of thing I meant, not that you should up and move everything, since that would be ludicrous. Sorry if I was unclear. Aichon 03:10, 17 August 2012 (BST)
Oh, ok. Good. Happy I'll get to that soon. --  AHLGTG 03:16, 17 August 2012 (BST)

Added a part to Presentation on the userpage criteria about article-like content. If we're going to include things like this, then accuracy should be a concern in the same way that it's a concern for Article Criteria. --  AHLGTG 02:53, 17 August 2012 (BST)

Question: So like for subpages under group space, would those also have to have a NPOV section (seems redundant)? For example, I will probably submit the MHS under a group page category, which does have a an about page, but not a strictly NPOV page. Adding a strictly NPOV page would be soul crushing. Soul crushing.-MHSstaff 03:30, 17 August 2012 (BST)
Just the main group page needs it. The point of the NPOV lead is just to give some basic information about who the group is. --  AHLGTG 05:21, 17 August 2012 (BST)

I'm going to put the changes up (with the additions discussed here and in my head) but we need a better name than UDWiki:Featured Articles/Voting, since it's not a vote. Suggestions? How about UDWiki:Featured Articles/Candidates? --  AHLGTG 15:52, 20 August 2012 (BST)

Works for me. Over the next day or so I'll finish proofing the last couple of articles I'm submitting and then mass-submit them sometime tomorrow. Bob Moncrief EBDW! 18:20, 20 August 2012 (BST)

Looks good. Have a link to an example submission and I think you are golden.-MHSstaff 20:05, 21 August 2012 (BST)

Should there be an example for each of the 3 FA criteria categories, or one general one? --  AHLGTG 20:21, 21 August 2012 (BST)
It's tough, as we are expanding and we don't have that many examples. I could write a short page explaining why some pages have succeeded or failed in the past, to give a background if you wish? --RossWHO????ness 20:25, 21 August 2012 (BST)
I would just give an example that basically gets across the following: 1) What the formatting should look like for a candidate submission and 2) what the formatting should look like for the discussion/evaluation.-MHSstaff 20:31, 21 August 2012 (BST)
Okay, I'll stick up a formatting example. Content examples could be on another page, maybe one or more for each FA category. --  AHLGTG 20:38, 21 August 2012 (BST)
Should there be a link/notification from the main page when a new candidate is submitted?-MHSstaff 21:35, 21 August 2012 (BST)
Possibly. There should be at least for the big batch of candidates we have waiting to submit. Depends on what others think. --  AHLGTG 21:40, 21 August 2012 (BST)
I think new submissions should definitely be part of the Wiki News template, at least for the seven days allotted. For the big batch, though, we only need one message there, not two dozen. Bob Moncrief EBDW! 21:44, 21 August 2012 (BST)
agreed. --RossWHO????ness 21:49, 21 August 2012 (BST)
^^^^^ This.-MHSstaff 21:50, 21 August 2012 (BST)

"Major Issue"

Question: What exactly is a "major issue?" Who decides that? -MHSstaff 00:22, 23 August 2012 (BST)

Me, I have a ruler. --Karekmaps 2.0?! 04:52, 23 August 2012 (BST)
Very interesting question! I was hoping someone was going to ask. I don't think anyone really brought it up last time, surprisingly.
  • Here's the quick, pragmatic answer, which doesn't directly answer your question: We had the same system used for determining Good Articles, and although people didn't quite understand what system was in place (it apparently wasn't clear), decisions were still straightforward and there was no great fuss. Basically, whatever the answer to "What is a major concern?", we already know it works in the sense there wasn't a great cafuffle or disagreement (and instinctively, looking through the articles submitted, the ones that were unsuccessful should really be unsuccessful, the ones successful being successful).
  • For the longer version, I can't give a general rule or definition that isn't either too narrow or too broad, or which must rely already on some preconceived notion of what a "major concern" is. I can't apply a meaning to the concept that would precisely encompass any particular of "major concern" without simultaneously admitting something that doesn't seem to follow "major concern."
  • Basically we're going to rely on a vague impression of what "major concern" is. There could also be a formal definition along with the impression. In the case of the content present on FA/C, there isn't actually a definition because no one has requested one (leaving only the impression: major + concern + context = meaning).
  • I think it's unnecessary and pointless to try to define what is meant by "major concern", since I assume people will quibble over it more (they have more to quibble over) and if that doesn't happen, they're comfortable with the term. But if someone wants a definition, here it is: A major concern is a problem raised that significantly interferes with the purpose of an article. For example, an article relying heavily on statistics to prove its conclusion uses incorrect data or numbers.
  • People already have an impression of what a major issue is given what the words mean and the context (the UDWiki, FA evaluations). I mean that people will intuitively point out what a major concern is, one indicating that the submission is not good enough to be featured.
  • Proof: Try to point out what a major issue is in article that appears to have one. Isn't it greater than a minor one, like a single spelling error? Wasn't it terribly concerning? You called something a major concern. But what was its definition?
  • Why's an impression valid at all (or a vague definition)? I can't give a really satisfying reason here except to use a bunch of analogies, or prove inductively that we don't need to precisely know what we're talking about (what terms mean) in order to appropriately use what we're talking about.
  • Analogy 1: What's a drug? In pharmacology, which places a great emphasis on drugs, you'd imagine they've defined what a drug is precisely. It's not precise. Here's one definition of a drug, from Wikipedia: A drug, broadly speaking, is any substance that, when absorbed into the body of a living organism, alters normal bodily function. That's really vague. A banana could fall under that definition; it alters normal bodily function, greatly if you eat dozens in a day. Is a banana a drug? It doesn't sound like one. We have an impression of what a banana is and what a drug is. Despite a banana seemingly fitting the definition of drugs, we won't call it a drug.
  • Yet apparently we go around and call things drug, despite what seems to be a terrible definition. Apparently we satisfied by what's called a drug and what isn't. It seems to be that precision isn't necessary. (From what I've been taught, there's a pragmatic definition: A drug is a drug if it's useful to call it a drug. Isn't that a clear definition.)
  • Analogy 2: What's culture? In anthropology, which talks about culture a lot, you'd imagine that knowing what culture is would be a vital thing. Yet from Wikipedia, we have this silly definition: Culture is that which distinguishes life in one group from life in another group, including language, beliefs, morality, norms, customs, institutions, and physical objects, among other qualities. So a lot of things can be fit in here, as long as it's about groups. A larger proportion of people in Sweden have blonde hair compared to in China. Hair is a quality of the group Sweden. Therefore it's part of being Swedish to have blonde hair. That doesn't seem right. That's terrible. Anthropology is impossible.
  • Analogy 3: What's empathy? In psychology, or any colloquial usage, it's obviously important to know what empathy is in order to apply empathy to someone; "He's empathetic" or "She's unempathetic." If we don't know what empathy means, then applying the term "empathy" to someone is meaningless. Looking at Wikipedia, there's a list of definitions (not even just one to poke fun at). I'll take a look at this one, from Carl Rogers: To perceive the internal frame of reference of another with accuracy and with the emotional components and meanings which pertain thereto as if one were the person, but without ever losing the "as if" condition. Thus, it means to sense the hurt or the pleasure of another as he senses it and to perceive the causes thereof as he perceives them, but without ever losing the recognition that it is as if I were hurt or pleased and so forth.
  • I think this is one of the better definitions. Here's my quibble: For a person to be empathetic, do they need to be accurate in their perception of their "internal frame of reference" and their emotions and the meaning of their emotions? Or do they only need to try? How do I know that my approximation in my mind of what is going in your mind emotionally is accurate? Certainly I can't get in your head and experience you as you to confirm the approximation. I don't know if I've picked up your emotional communication and interpreted it as if they were your feelings. Anyways.
  • Extra Analogy for homework: Define chair.
  • We don't in fact actually need the term at all in some cases. For example, most english-speaking people don't know what a verb is (probably). If it's true that we need to precisely know the terms we're using in order to use them, or whatever relies on them, then whomever doesn't know what a verb is can't speak english in complete sentences (you need verbs to form a complete sentence). This clearly isn't true; you don't need to know the meaning and names for the grammatical structure of english so as to use english.
  • Of course for our uses here, it's sensible to point out that a major concern needs to be raised, rather than saying "If the submission doesn't appear to be going well, that means it's rejected." Vague on top of vague.
  • Concluding this, precision in definitions is neither necessary nor possible (at least in these examples, and probably impossible—it's typically hard to prove a negation). We can rely on our impression of a term following the words in the term and how the term is defined, if it is defined. I think for the very small and simple purposes, for Featured Articles in the Urban Dead wiki, we don't need to go nuts with explaining the meaning of "major concern."
Your next question.
  • Who decides what's a major issue? Anyone. Whoever closes a submission can understand the conclusion of a discussion: whether any major concerns were raised and how they were addressed—the concern was refuted, or the article was corrected, or the concern couldn't be addressed. Then the closer passes or fails it. We very rarely will disagree on what a major concern is; people will generally agree on what a major concern is. Proof: UDWiki:Featured Articles/Good Articles/Archive. Because a large emphasis is placed on the opposing group (only an unaddressed major concern is needed to fail a submission; a major praise won't cause the article to pass without the absence of an unaddressed major concern), candidates can't be shunted through with poor for arguments... if someone took the time to give a good against. (So I'm assuming it's to pass a candidate that should be failed than to fail a candidate that should pass.)
  • So we're good on this point. If you were wondering who can close a submission—anyone. Who can judge the conclusion of the submission—it's easy enough to understand.
Signed, the Gnome. --  AHLGTG 06:12, 23 August 2012 (BST)
Whew! Ok, I have a few responses.
  • As with many things that are wiki-related, deciding what is a “major issue” is something that shouldn’t work in theory, but does in practice, as evidenced by the Good Articles archive.
  • I’m joining Bananaholics Anonymous.
  • That definition of culture on Wikipedia is actually based in a late-19th century anthropological view of what culture is. A more modern definition is “the system of beliefs and activities which is passed from generation to generation among a social group, yet is not genetic and is not universal among all humans.” So hair, as genetic, is not part of culture, but the meanings and practices attributed to hair (anything from the use of braiding to the idea of blondes as being ditzy) is part of culture.
    • Also, the fact that we’re all operating in English is kind of a fluke of history, and isn’t useful (as the wiki isn’t useful) to most of the people on the planet. So all of these “definitions” are already heavily contingent on our linguistic context, which means any definition we come up with will automatically be non-universal. But we operate ignoring that for convenience.
      • If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m getting a degree in linguistic anthropology at the moment.
  • All that said, I do think it’s possible to roughly define the line between “major” and “minor” issue. In my view, a “minor issue” is one (like spelling errors, etc.) which can (and should) be corrected during the course of discussion. A “major issue” would require more extensive work beyond the time frame (a week or two) of candidacy, at which point it could probably be re-submitted.
Also, this made my day. Bob Moncrief EBDW! 17:53, 23 August 2012 (BST)
Neat! That sounds like a better definition. I haven't gone too deep into Anthropology in university, so all I really know about culture is that it's a difficult definition. For issues or concerns being major or minor, the assumption is that minor ones would be something fixed easily and quickly, the major ones taking more effort. Major or minor, the problem(s) raised needs to be addressed for the page or whatever to become featured; that's the requirement (or I suppose you could also turn that into a definition). --  AHLGTG 19:33, 23 August 2012 (BST)

I am not reading any of that in detail. I skimmed though, and what I got out of it is that AHLG is apparently putting on an ARG in support of his main game...I think. If so, I think I need to say "I love bees" or something. Aichon 18:03, 23 August 2012 (BST)

(Is it) Alternate reality game? How could you know? --  AHLGTG 19:33, 23 August 2012 (BST)
Yep, that's what it stands for. As for your second question, because "the bonnet floats gently on the cerulean blue sea". Or if that's the wrong one...umm...try lat 30.622814, long -96.308785 between 6-10pm local time. Aichon 20:27, 23 August 2012 (BST)

Major Candidates Submission Comments

Ok, so I just wanted to say a few things about the (I believe about fifty) articles I just nominated. First of all, I definitely do not expect all of these to be accepted by the community, but my intent is partially to have us figure out what does and does not qualify as Featured Article-worthy. I understand that it's a lot, but most of them are articles that are pretty familiar to us all and so should be easy to figure out.

Also, there are a few categories of articles I didn't nominate. Foremost among these is articles for the various suburbs. This is because most of them are kind of poorly formatted, and I'm not sure if any would qualify for Featuring. If there are any, please submit them! The other category is groups, since I'm not sure we've worked out 100% how much NPOV there needs to be on a group page for it to be featured.

Finally, a note on the order of the items I've submitted: At the top are the articles that were Good Articles before that status was nixed; next are articles others have suggested on the FA talk page (either this page or the archive); and finally, in alphabetical order, other articles I've been working on proofreading over the past couple of months.

Thanks so much, and happy commenting! Bob Moncrief EBDW! 21:03, 23 August 2012 (BST)

Also, a question: is there an FA equivalent to Template:GoodArticleNom that can be put on the nominees' pages, or should I make one? Bob Moncrief EBDW! 21:10, 23 August 2012 (BST)

I don't think we have one. I think we should, and add it to the top of articles being submitted, maybe groups, and probably not user pages (instead use a talk page message like you did). --  AHLGTG 21:31, 23 August 2012 (BST)
I've created one and placed it on the appropriate pages (and requested an edit to add it to the one protected nominee.) Bob Moncrief EBDW! 22:03, 23 August 2012 (BST)

End condition

So, since this isn't a vote any more, we need to talk about how this all ends. I'm thinking that someone should go through and simply identify the ones that clearly have support as FAs and do not have recommended changes, then should go ahead and bump them up to FA status already, that way we can start clearing the page. Similarly, the ones that clearly have reasons why they will never be in should also be cleared out. For the rest, if the suggestions are minimal, a quick summary of what needs to be changed or addressed should be made. If they're more substantial, remove them for now until those changes are made. What do you guys think? Aichon 03:29, 27 August 2012 (BST)

Yup. Clear out the obvious Yes or No submissions. Leave the rest sitting for the moment. So many headers. --  AHLGTG 03:31, 27 August 2012 (BST)
According to the info at the top of the page, the items need to be up for at minimum seven days. Since I submitted all my articles on the 23rd, that means we should wait until the 30th to move any along. But other than that, 100% agreement. Bob Moncrief EBDW! 04:48, 27 August 2012 (BST)

Ok, Ross & I've moved most of the candidates into the appropriate portions of the archive. I've "officially extended" most of the remaining ones, in the hopes more discussion or a clearer consensus will emerge. I'm planning on writing up the Featured Article mini-paragraphs sometime tonight. Bob Moncrief EBDW! 22:54, 2 September 2012 (BST)

Things so far

How are we feeling with the commenting and decision making? There's a redlink leading to examples (under the example header). Ross mentioned he wanted to make examples, to show why things succeeded or didn't. Do we want to bother with examples? --  AHLGTG 23:47, 6 September 2012 (BST)

Okay! Happy --  AHLGTG 04:38, 12 September 2012 (BST)
Lol sorry for not replying to this. I've been crazy busy with school the past couple weeks so I've kinda fallen down on the job. I don't really think we need examples, except for formatting (which we already have). If people want examples of why things succeeded or didn't, they can look in the archive. Bob Moncrief EBDW! 04:44, 12 September 2012 (BST)
I'm posting here to draw more attention. Also, I liked how things were going and agree with Bob, especially so since the examples would be living articles that could change later and meet the qualifications. Aichon 04:45, 12 September 2012 (BST)
Cycle some candidates already. Grr! Argh! *shaking fist* For hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee 04:46, 12 September 2012 (BST)
A few have. They should be added to FA soon. I don't know if we want to care about ordering, and I'm not sure how we're deciding to cycle them. --  AHLGTG 22:33, 13 September 2012 (BST)
I'm going to take this opportunity to bring back up the fact that I'm planning on reorganizing the FA page so articles are grouped into groupings like "Events", "Classes" etc. I would encourage rotation to be based on not having two things in the same group be sequential. Bob Moncrief EBDW! 22:58, 13 September 2012 (BST)
Sure. Categorizing seems to make sense. --  AHLGTG 23:29, 13 September 2012 (BST)
Semi automatic cycling seems like the best option to me. See above discussion. ~Vsig.png 18:37, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
Right. Not that I really matter here, since I'm too lazy cycle anything ever again. --  AHLGTG 18:57, 15 September 2012 (BST)

Featured Images

Should we work them in somehow? The big wiki does it. I have a few in mind. ~Vsig.png 18:41, 15 September 2012 (UTC)

Sure. We'll need to figure out how to work the FA section on the main page to incorporate that (and in my opinion expand the one on the needs-to-be-updated Community Portal). There'd probably be too much space taken up with an FA article and FA image at once on the main page. --  AHLGTG 18:57, 15 September 2012 (BST)
It could just be its own entity, without them being cycled into FAs. Create Category:Featured Images, instate polling on the talk page. Worthy images get the category. Maybe put a "see also" on the included part of UDWiki:Featured Articles and something on Community Portal. Perhaps figure out a cycling method if we want to cycle them somewhere other than the main page. ~Vsig.png 19:04, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
Okay. Sorta like Featured Guides. --  AHLGTG 19:08, 15 September 2012 (BST)s
Yeah, except without all that improvement suggestions stuff. Because, how can you improve on an image. It either passes or it doesn't. Say 2/3 majority. ~Vsig.png 19:20, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
I'd be in favor of adding a Featured Images category. Would voting occur at UDWiki:Featured Articles/Candidates or on a different page? Bob Moncrief EBDW! 23:23, 15 September 2012 (BST)
Given that all of the featured images on the big wiki have to be free as a matter of qualification, we can crib any of theirs at will. For hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee 00:22, 16 September 2012 (BST)
Voting would probably just take place on Category talk:Featured Images. The criteria would be vastly different than articles so it makes sense to keep it seperate. Mis, can you clarify "free"? ~Vsig.png 01:35, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
You know how we pretend that all the copyrighted images we use are used under some stretched definition of fair use? Wikipedia's Featured Pictures must either be public domain or released under a creative commons license so they're entirely copyleft. For hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee 01:42, 16 September 2012 (BST)
That's kind of what I thought you meant. It isn't a bad idea to disallow copyright images from being featured here I think. I know that excludes a boatload, but a lot of the unique imagery that we'd like featured is user created. Obviously the Umbrella Corps and Ron Burgandys and Sears Autos and Pacmans won't be public domain,.though. ~Vsig.png 03:07, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
You'd be surprised. Pacman probably fails the threshold of originality (though not the painted version I like so much. It's definitely not free) while I'd be surprised if Flickr didn't contain any free photos of Will Ferrel on set for the new Anchorman film. Shit's out there. Definitely don't feature any non-free material though. For hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee 03:32, 16 September 2012 (BST)

The Archive is getting long...

Should I split the candidates archive into separate articles? (It's 50k long right now.) And if so, should they be split by date (month?) or by successful/unsuccessful? Bob Moncrief EBDW! 00:28, 16 September 2012 (BST)

Obviously successful/unsuccessful would be the best start as it's standard here (A/RE, A/PM, Historical); if it's still an issue beyond that then whatever seems manageable. For hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee 00:30, 16 September 2012 (BST)
I've split off successful and unsuccessful. Once the current big batch is (finally) through eval, I may split up the unsuccessful archive further, probably by date of initial submission. Bob Moncrief EBDW! 15:25, 18 September 2012 (BST)
Hmm. The big wiki tends to archive by the date things are cycled, might be worth considering here. For hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee 15:27, 18 September 2012 (BST)
I've added archiving tags (to indicate the time, date & archiver whenever a verdict is reached). Based on those, I'll split up the unsuccessful archive (which is already at 60k) in a little bit. (Right now I'm being kicked out of the library where I'm working because it closes at 1 am.) Bob Moncrief EBDW! 05:51, 26 September 2012 (BST)

More Things Happening

So I've taken the liberty of reorganizing the Featured Articles listing and doing some proofreading & formatting unification. A couple comments:

  • Do we like the organizational paradigm I've come up with, or are there suggestions for other labels/patterns?
  • Is there a better image out there for Spawning? The one in use right now is just a bunch of quotes and looks kind of ridiculous as an FA-accompanying image. There's nothing better on the page itself at the moment.
  • I've put up three of the old FAs for review, the ones I felt were most egregious and probably wouldn't pass if they were nominees now. Please comment on them and nominate others if there are ones that you feel no longer meet our standards.
  • I'm going to add all of the things which have passed nomination since September either later tonight or tomorrow.

Thanks so much everyone! Bob Moncrief EBDW! 03:03, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

Okay! If I can't think of an image other than the Gnome one I stole from Wikipedia, or a slight alteration of the little blurb, then that's good. --  AHLGTG 01:38, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
Just finished adding the blurbs & images for the ones which have passed muster. Feel free to comment/edit/etc. anything I've done. Bob Moncrief EBDW! 01:42, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
The Play Style image looks kinda weird, I think. Maybe it would look better with small versions of all three side-by-side. I'll 'Shop something tomorrow and put it up. ~Vsig.png 01:53, 31 October 2012 (UTC)

Cycling System

So right now there are 36 featured articles (37 if you count TRP, which is likely to pass), which doesn't match up with any of our magic numbers: if I'm not mistaken, those are 7, 12, 24, 31 and 53. In that case, what do we want to do about cycling the articles? (See also part of the big discussion above.) Bob Moncrief EBDW! 01:49, 31 October 2012 (UTC)

I've got a couple of ideas. I'll throw something together tonight after I finish pumpkin decorating with the kids. ~Vsig.png 02:04, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
Here is what I would do:
  1. Manually update them.
  2. Or Generate a custom template for X number of articles (i.e. FASwitch40 is designed for 40 articles, FASwitch37 for 37). Use currentday and currentmonth as inputs to a switch with 365 cases. You then repeat 1:X until you have 365 entries. You then have a master switch where you enter the number of articles you have, and that switch chooses the right custom template with the correct pseudo RNG sequence. A computer program could probably generate the wiki code for the FASwitchXX templates pretty easily.
  3. Or Force the number of articles to match a magic word. So you always have 31 or 53 or whatever.
  4. Or Have a dummy article or something for the cases in which you are missing. -MHSstaff 02:06, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
Here is what I did. User:Vapor/sandbox/Featured Articles. The includeonly part of that page has a switch template embedded in a switch template. The first one uses the CURRENTWEEK magic word (that gives us 53 variables) and each article is numbered 1 through 36 (currently. more on that in a bit). After the last article, it goes to the default, which in this case is another switch template. That one also uses CURRENTWEEK, but it picks up where the last article number leaves off. I picked every third article for the second embedded switch, and then every 7th. So currently, 1-36, then 3,6,9,15,18,21,24,27,30,33,36 and then 7,14,20(instead of 21 again),28, and 35.
So we've got a page that updates every week and which is expandable to up to 53 articles and which has a [retty good distribution of repeats. Hopefully that all makes sense. ~Vsig.png 03:08, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
Oh, I forgot, here is what it looks like when included: User:Vapor/sandbox/Featured Articles/Test. ~Vsig.png 03:10, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
Someone make this man a sysop. -MHSstaff 03:15, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
Sweet! And seconded MHS. I think you both deserve it. Bob Moncrief EBDW! 04:08, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
This is the version I wrote. It updates daily. To add a new article, you just make a new case in the FAMasterList (shamelessly stolen from Vapor's page) with your blurb text and image, and then update the template call (in our example, change 37 to 38). The template than calls the right pseudoRNG list. We would have to pregenerate the lists though. Which is easy with a computer. -MHSstaff 03:49, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
I think I understand what that means, but what do you mean by "pregenerate the lists" - are they lists of 365 numbers for each case, between (say) 35 and 50? Or do I have no clue what I'm doing? (Probably the latter.) Bob Moncrief EBDW! 04:08, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
We would have to make templates like this and like this for the number of articles we think potentially we could use. I pregenerated the wiki code text files from like 30 something to like totally 60 I think. It's just a matter of cutting and pasting.-MHSstaff 04:16, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
I do like myself RNGs (praise Randdo). How random is it? If it selects a random FA each day that would probably be preferable. The system I whipped up last night goes chronologicaly. I didn't attempt to reorder the FAs but we'll probably want to do that if we pick that system, unless we want weeks of FAs in same category back-to-back. ~Vsig.png 14:07, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
It is random in the sense that the order was randomly generated; it is not really random since you could just look at the code to see what number comes next. Also, right now only the first X numbers are randomly generated (X=number of articles) and then the sequence repeats itself up to 365 days. But it would be pretty simple to make an entire year's worth of random numbers with a balanced distribution. You could also pregenerate it for years in the future but the template would be longer. -MHSstaff 17:08, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
The bottom two use an out-to-2020 version. For years past that, it defaults to the 2012 list, at which point, the three people actually still playing UD can do whatever they want. This is what the switch code looks like.-MHSstaff 19:21, 31 October 2012 (UTC)

So both these proposals seem equally functional (although MHS's may be slightly more balanced), so the main difference to me seems to be whether the FA rotates daily or weekly. I've seen both on various wikis (and either is far better than the "rotates whenever-someone-feels-like-it" we have here) so I think this is a good place for people to voice their preferences. Bob Moncrief EBDW! 04:10, 31 October 2012 (UTC)

Both have their pros and cons. The really nice thing about the weekly one is that an article is featured for an entire week so it gets a lot of exposure. The bad thing is that we have around 30-40 articles so only some can be featured again. The nice thing about a daily one is that you see articles more frequently and it is not that a big deal if an article is repeated 8 times instead of let's say 9 times. The bad thing is that a given article is only featured for that day. -MHSstaff 17:39, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
A question: In either system, would it be possible to retain and automatize the "Current Featured Article"/"Previous Featured Article" system on the FAs page? Bob Moncrief EBDW! 20:03, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
Yes. You could use a similar system as the weather templates where those know the weather data for days in advance of the current date. You would just go in the opposite direction for this.-MHSstaff 20:21, 31 October 2012 (UTC)

I'm trying to think of if there's a better system that might be better able to handle the addition and removal of FAs with minimal or no edits necessary. In the meantime though, I thought I'd point out that I just discovered an unlisted magic word. If you type in {{PAGESINCATEGORY:Featured Articles}} you'll get 39. That may prove useful for automating some things. Or not. Remains to be seen. Aichon 20:29, 31 October 2012 (UTC)

That would work if we moved Category:Featured Article Nominees out of the category, since it seems to be being counted as a page. Bob Moncrief EBDW! 20:49, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
That could be used to automate which switchtemplate is called. You would still have to manually add the blurb/image case to the master list though. -MHSstaff 20:56, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, I was contemplating the possibility of doing something like {{MasterFASwitch{{PAGESINCATEGORY:Featured Articles}}}} to get it to use a different template depending on the count, and you could populate the variables for those templates from a master list of all the articles. As for the blurbs, what about using my earlier idea of simply putting them in an includeonly on the actual pages? Not only would they be in the most sane place for them to be, but it would also cut down on the amount of code you'd need in the switch statement, making it MUCH easier to maintain. At that point, the only thing you'd need to do is add the page names to the master list, and then you'd be done. Of course, there's still the open question of what is the best way to cycle through the articles, and I'm still working on ideas for that. I have nothing great at the moment. Aichon 21:15, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
So basically you have one switch which is the master list of the article names as cases, some RNG method that gives a number to the master list to pull the right article name, and then the actual FA template pulls the blurb information and image name from the include-only section of a given article, using the article name given by the master list switch? -MHSstaff 21:23, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
Pretty much. The number of the pages in the category would either need to be passed into the RNG as a variable that would set a max value, or else would need to be hard-coded into the RNG, in which case we'd have to make dozens of RNGs, one for each number in a reasonable range. I'm guessing the second approach might be better, but I still want to figure out a better way of timing when articles appear before I try to think about the RNG too much. Aichon 21:49, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
Nice find, Aichon! I wonder when that was added. We shoul updat Help:Magic Words. ~Vsig.png 17:16, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
Ok, here is a daily sorta RNG-like for the current article (Type=1) and the previous article (Type=2). I don't think it is worth randomizing every year. We just want a semi-balanced distribution through a given year. -MHSstaff 19:13, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
While that works (Feb 29th excluded), I'm hoping there's a more elegant solution that might only take a few dozen lines, though it may need to make use of some intermediate templates. Aichon 19:52, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
Same here. In an ideal world. you would have something that randomly selects an article name from a given category. Not sure what that is though. On leap days, this one will default to the first article. -MHSstaff 19:56, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
Ah, right, I forgot to check the default. If we did go with that, we'd need to make versions of that for a decently wide range of numbers, that way we could accommodate future additions/removals from the FA pool. Anyway, I'll give the RNG ideas some more thought over the coming days. I'm starting to think that something resembling a recursive algorithm might be a good idea (it wouldn't actually be recursive, since recursion isn't possible with templates (which is a VERY good thing)). Aichon 20:14, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
I'm going to hold off mass-generating (or copy/pasting them since they are already made) to see if a better RNG system can be made. I have no idea what you just said, but it sounds pretty hot. -MHSstaff 18:13, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
And this is what the master list would look like? I am not sure what the includeonly part in the FAs themselves would look like so I'll let someone else take a stab at that. -MHSstaff 19:45, 1 November 2012 (UTC)

Bump. Do we go with one of the above methods? I tried to figure out a pRNG we could use but didn't get far. Then I got distracted. Let's get this over with since its been a topic of discussion for so long (long before the FA overhaul). ~Vsig.png 16:45, 11 November 2012 (UTC)

So after some more thought about this over coffee, I think I've come of a pRNG system we could use. It will take a bit of work, but will give us a random FA each day of the year and which will handle additions to and subtractions from the numner of FAs. It can also be used for other projects eventually. I'll work on it tonight. ~Vsig.png 18:13, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
Ok so what I came up with is {{DailyRNG}}. It outputs a different number from 1-1000 each day of the year. But it also has a variable called "count", which can be used to cap the higher number. So if you set the count to 35, then it will output a different number from 1-35 each day of the year. The numbers were generated win Excel using the RAND function.
This template can be used with the PAGESINCATEGORY magic word to effectively give us a unique number each day of the year based on the number of Featured Articles in the Featured Articles category. Here is a demonstration:
  • {{DailyRNG}} = 529
  • {{DailyRNG|count=33}} = 18
  • {{DailyRNG|count={{PAGESINCATEGORY:Featured Articles|pages}}}} = 8
  • [[UDWiki:Featured Articles/FA{{DailyRNG|count={{PAGESINCATEGORY:Featured Articles|pages}}}}]] = UDWikiFeatured Articles/FA8
If each FA had it's own page, we could let the DailyRNG template decide which FA to transclude each day. The only limitation so far is that the count variable is limited to a number between 33 and 43, but that's only because the variable relies on a series of other templates (i.e. {{DailyRNG/33}} to {{DailyRNG/43}}. These can be created fairly simply with a little help from Excel. I'll probably end up doing several more of these (probably 2-150 or so) as I get time. How is that for a solution? ~Vsig.png 23:11, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
So, it's basically the system that we proposed above, but fleshed out a bit further? Looks good, except that I don't quite see the need to use the day of the week in DailyRNG, since that just makes it 7 times larger (166Kb instead of about 24Kb) and doesn't seem to add anything, other than allowing it to be randomized for seven years at a time. For the individual ones (e.g. DailyRNG/33), I can see the use for it, but I'd suggest breaking those out into 7 separate templates instead of keeping them in one, then set up the DailyRNG/33 as a simple switch that calls those templates based on the day of the week. Doing so should significantly lighten the amount of data that needs to be loaded, especially when you're dealing with larger numbers. Aichon 04:00, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, I see that it was proposed in a different format above. We could eliminate day of week but doing so would limit the number of possible random numbers from 1000 to 366 and it would repeat every year instead of every 7 (not that I think that either of those things is a huge deal, at least not for this project). Data load isn't that big of a problem. When a switch template is used, only the matching case is loaded in the browser and it's the same with If templates. So, if we need something that's intended only for this project, a 7 times shorter version should do. I don't mind continuing doing the longer ones, but I'll wait on doing more of them until we get some consensus on it. ~Vsig.png 04:26, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
Regarding a switch only loading the relevant templates, that's exactly what I was getting at with my suggestion to break it up. ;) Sorry, I could've been clearer. Also, I kinda realized that halfway through my comment and didn't go back to reconsider what I said at the start about the DailyRNG template. I suppose we could easily just break it up into 7 and then do the same there, that way we get all the benefits of 1000 numbers without the load that would currently be incurred with using it as it is now. Aichon 05:13, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

I went ahead and implemented a simple solution for now. Got tired of seeing the same FA up there for over a month. I used {{SimpleFACycle}} for the switch. It cycles every week and should do for now until something more random and elegant can be hammered out. I tried to do something about the Previous Featured Articles by creating {{PREVIOUSWEEK}} and using a variable as the switch criteria but there seems to be some issue with that. Will look closer later but can't seem to figure out why it isn't working as it seems to be coded fine. ~Vsig.png 21:35, 23 November 2012 (UTC)

That looks great! I don't actually know why we need "previous featured article": it's not listed on the front page and all the FAs are listed right below anyway. Also, quick question: if one or both of the current candidates gets a yes, how does a lay-wikier update the switch template to include that? Bob Moncrief EBDW! 00:11, 24 November 2012 (UTC)
We can probably just go ahead and remove previously featured. I think it was there so that people didn't make mistakes when manually cycling them. Adding new articles to the mix should be pretty simple. Just edit Template:SimpleFACycle and type |case: nn=FA Code in the appropriate place just above the "default" (I'll make this more clear with a comment section in the template). Again, this doesn't have to be permanent but it's better than being in limbo where it has currently been for several months. ~Vsig.png 01:08, 24 November 2012 (UTC)
Added some instructions via comments to the template and I've also removed the Recent Featured Articles section. I'll likely add some more instructions to the template to make it clearer how to add new ones. ~Vsig.png 17:29, 24 November 2012 (UTC)
Just added DangerCenter. Can someone check that I did it right? Doesn't seem broken but just want a double-check. Bob Moncrief EBDW! 18:40, 4 December 2012 (UTC)
Yep, looks correct. ~Vsig.png 03:05, 5 December 2012 (UTC)
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