Wikinews:Water cooler/policy

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Policies and guidelines and the Style guide contain or link to most of the current en.Wikinews policies and guidelines, however policy is based on the accepted practices of the day on Wikinews, often these might not be written down. This section of the Water cooler focuses on discussions regarding policy issues.

You may wish to check the archives to see if a subject has been raised previously.

Versions of Creative Commons[edit]

Curiously, our current version of CC BY is 2.5. Considering how different the versions are, especially in regards to moral rights, I've been wondering how ready the project is to change to or add the 4.0 version of CC BY. Do we still maintain moral rights for the articles? --George Ho (talk) 18:53, 11 June 2018 (UTC)

We use a different license because we need news to more reusable than Wikipedia would be. --Pi zero (talk) 19:59, 11 June 2018 (UTC)
@Pi zero: I think you misread George's comment: This is a good reason why we have CC BY rather than CC BY SA (like all other WMF projects) but does not explain why we have CC BY 2.5 rather than CC BY 4.0. Should we update our CC BY license? —Justin (koavf)TCM 22:03, 11 June 2018 (UTC)
Ah. Hm. --Pi zero (talk) 22:12, 11 June 2018 (UTC)

ArbCom elections[edit]

{{flag}} I propose the same dates, rules, procedures as in 2017. (See WN:Water cooler/policy/archives/2017/July#ArbCom elections, Wikinews:Arbitration Committee/2017 election.)

The community must agree on all election procedures by July 1, and election committee members by July 10.
The deadline for nominations is 2000 UTC July 17.
Voting will take place from 2000 UTC July 18 to 2000 UTC July 30. Questions and comments may be made during that time period.
Since the incumbent members' seats expire on August 3, the election committee will declare the winners on about July 31, and the new term begins after declaration. Should any case be before the ArbCom at election time, the current committee continues to sit after turnover on cases that started under the current committee. Any new case after turnover is for the new committee.

As worked well for the past several years, I strongly recommend the committee not create a page for "questions for all candidates"; questions for each candidate should be located under that candidate. This is the way things have been done in all but two previous elections; once there was no place for questions at all (the undesirability of this is obvious, I hope), and once (six years ago?), we had a page for questions for all candidates, and it turned into a political circus and an ordeal for the nominees (en.wn ArbCom is a judicial body, so should be scrupulously apolitical). I'm not the only one who experienced the circus years ago and came away from it with a powerful conviction it should not be allowed to happen again.

We need at least two people for the election committee. Volunteers? --Pi zero (talk) 20:39, 18 June 2018 (UTC)

These rules look OK.
Have not seen the above-described circus, but I am hopeful that your judgment is correct, and I am confident that separation of pages would not prevent necessary questions from being raised and would not limit relevant discussions.
I also volunteer for the election committee: now that I started taking notes on paper and on computer more properly I'll try better to not miss the deadlines this time. Previously it was only thanks to the enthusiastic and greatly appreciated reminders and actions from the second member of election committee that things were moving. Hopefully I would be able to follow the election more closely and in a more timely fashion this year. :)
--Gryllida (talk) 01:29, 21 June 2018 (UTC)
I'm not that of an active community member of enwikinews, but I'm fine with spending some time as election committee, if you are willing to have me there. — revi 07:17, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
@-revi: I for one have no objection. Election committee is usually a light duty; there hasn't been much in the way of controversy, that I recall, since 2010, when first we had someone ask the committee for permission to pre-record their votes since they wouldn't be around while voting was open (the committee decided not, iirc), and then there was a tie vote and the committee started to arrange a run-off election between two(?) nominees (but then, in an unprecedented move afaik, one of the newly elected Arbs quit the project before there was even time for the run-off, and the election committee ruled there was no need for a run-off, and just made all the tying nominees arbs). Thankfully it's almost never exciting like that; usually the election happens, the committee signs off on the result, and it's done for a year.

Assuming there are no objections (I suppose we could wait another half-day or day, to be very safe), you can sign up for the committee here. --Pi zero (talk) 16:25, 3 July 2018 (UTC)

Hello revi. Thank you for volunteering. I, too, understand that you would be available on time and be a fair election committee member. Look forward to your help. :-) Have a wonderful day, --Gryllida (talk) 23:46, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
I've gone bit bold and added myself. — revi 03:52, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
I also volunteer for the election committee. Should I sign up here? "At least two people" implies that more would be acceptable, as well, I think. Hopefully, there will be more than three voters in this election ;-) Wikiwide (talk) 23:51, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
Hello Wikiwide. Thank you, too, for volunteering. It is a great thing.
About voters - I've just made a sorted users list via api, this may help to see who is eligible to vote. However not all of them are active currently and in the previous elections there has not been a banner, perhaps as this election may perhaps be considered not attention critical. Gryllida (talk) 00:46, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
@Wikiwide: Yes, that is the place to sign up. :-)  --Pi zero (talk) 11:31, 4 July 2018 (UTC)

Voting is closed now, but I think this can be a good future reference: [1]revi 06:45, 31 July 2018 (UTC)

Wikipedia initiative[edit]

Alas, I rather lost patience when I discovered this had been going on. Fwiw: w:Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)#Restrict Wikinews links in articles. --Pi zero (talk) 01:08, 25 July 2018 (UTC)

That's a lack of initiative. Gryllida (talk) 00:04, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
I'm not fond of the phrasing of closure, as it makes it sound as if the feuding were a two-way thing, rather than Wikipedia whaling on its little sister. (It would be less of a big deal that the phrasing of the closure hides my general critique of the factual basis of criticisms, if it weren't part of a dismissive tone to the entire closure comment.) --Pi zero (talk) 23:11, 9 August 2018 (UTC)

Grounds for failing a review[edit]

Surely missing categories is not a reason for removing an article from the review queue since this is something the reviewer can do? Such removal easily may result in the article becoming stale? Reminding of categories need post-review -- on author talk page -- would sound more reasonable? Gryllida (talk) 20:22, 9 August 2018 (UTC)

Although it's certainly desirable for the reporter to provide categories, I'm in full agreement with you that categories alone are not fair grounds for removal from the queue; categories aren't even subject to the archive policy. It seems fair game to mention them in various situations (though probably best not to do so if it would tend to eclipse more profound issues); but if that were the only thing one could criticize about an article then frankly it ought to be reviewed and published, and if it's not the only thing one could criticize, removing the article from the queue for that alone would tend to postpone detection of other things that might need attention.

Truthfully, I was aware of the plight of the article, and under the circumstances I could have restored it to the queue and undertaken review, if I'd been up to a review at the time. --Pi zero (talk) 22:53, 9 August 2018 (UTC)

Thank you. I am glad to see that categories alone are not fair grounds for removal from the queue. I'd perhaps clarify another point here: if there are other problems with the article (not categories alone), these problems need to be immediately included into a comment at the time of removal from the queue. Would you agree? Gryllida (talk) 00:12, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
Well, reviewers need to have flexibility to exercise "common sense"; but over-eager removal from the queue carries a serious danger. Removing an article from the queue effectively prevents reviewers from finding another problem with the article until after it has been revised and resubmitted from the first problem. It is direly important to speak up when one sees a problem with an article, because if one fails to speak up, another reviewer could review the article and somehow miss what you saw —no matter how bad the thing you saw, even the best reviewers can slip up— but if you don't have time to look for other problems, even a highly not-ready-worthy problem should probably be dealt with by leaving a comment on the talk page rather than removal from the queue. Our review gadget requires a reviewer to read the talk page before publishing. --Pi zero (talk) 00:39, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
Okay, I guess this means "speak up of issues, or else another reviewer may miss them and publish an article in which these issues are still present". That I agree with. (Please correct me if this is wrong or is worded wrong.)
And we already know that, according to our discussion above, a reviewer should not remove from the review queue, because of issue with categories alone. That I also agree with. (Please correct me if this is wrong or is worded wrong.)
The next question is: if a reviewer sees two problems, and one of them is lack of categories, then is this reviewer obligated to write about the other issue(s) somewhere (at the talk page or in the review comment) at the time of removing the article from the queue? Gryllida (talk) 01:12, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
"cats" is a formal stand-alone parameter for {{tasks}}, and in that case, it is there for a reason. Unlike you both, I think it is necessary to flag articles for issues including missing categories. If categories were not important, they should not exist in the first place. Categorisation is not something to be taken lightly. It is annoying to see articles in the archives not being categorised in the appropriate categories even when it existed. Approval of articles even if they had categories missing, or an independent reviewer adding it while reviewing it gives the impression that "it is okay if you did not bother to add categories. Somebody, hopefully, in theory, would make an editprotected request for their addition." We end up spending significant time behind the process of categorisation and you want to spread the message that such carelessness is acceptable? Unlike most of the rhetorical questions you asked above, Gryllida, this is not. I remember both of you telling newbies on their talk page to "add relevant categories" for the articles. Stop saying that, otherwise. A reviewer adding categories to a newbie's article is acceptable. But doing that for a "more experienced" editor, a reviewer or accredited reporter is not. If someone forgot to add categories once in a while, I can understand that. I remember forgetting to add categories once, in the 100 articles I got published in the last four months. But this is probably the third time I have noticed, Gryllida, that you did not add categories. If you really forgot about adding categories, why don't you make a gadget for that? It would be really helpful, more than the other gadgets, because spending time on categorisation on a later stage is pain in the ass. Categories can be added after archiving, yes: but it takes more effort: wastage of time to find, one editor requesting ep, and an admin dealing with it. Surely not the best way to handle it. Those things can work only in theory: they are not good habits. Just because archival policy does not stop the admins from making changes to category list, it does not imply that it is not a serious issue. And not caring enough about such time-consuming things, one is not learning things which they should be, or they are not practicing those things. As reviewers we want editors to submit high quality articles which is good in every aspect. Not that we discourage the learners, but if they repeatedly show no signs of improvement, it gives a negative meaning. Such acts are nothing but the indications on partial commitment for the article and encouraging reviewers to fix that issue is lowering our standards and jeopardising with the possibility of others learning from the edit history. There are editors who prefer to have the edit history on-wiki, because it helps documenting and serves as the learning material for others. If a reviewer is doing those things, they are providing learners with bad quality learning material. It is surprising that even after flagging that article, and you starting this thread, Gryllida, you decided to not add relevant categories to that article(as of now). So I genuinely ask you, are you not aware of the current practices of categorisation on enwn? Now that could be a possibility which I was overlooking. There has been discussion about how to deal with geo-categories time and time again. But in any case, degrading the standards is not acceptable. On a side note, if I am unable to add categories or wikilink on-time (rare these days; happens only when I am at home home), I either confirm with the reviewer or delay the submission or find excuses in real life to spend a few minutes behind those tasks which is author's duty. We want authors who are dedicated to delivering their best and learning the things. If anyone can't do that; well since this is project works because of volunteers, someone might appreciate even the less-than-100%-efforts behind the article and fix it or review it. I don't mind doing things for noobs as they display dedication and will to improve. But someone who has leaped the barrier and is not a noob anymore: if they show such patters, overly relying on reviewers to clean their mess or fix the issues which could have been fixed without the need of extra set of eye-balls, then I am going to flag the article without hesitation. (But if you could not have added categories or links to the article, and did not leave a note on talk/cabal…then let the concept of "it would work in-theory" play its part, even if it wastes time of reviewers)
•–• 02:09, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
Contributors with repeated cats issues (which, I am not completely - these all have some categories) need to be queried at their personal talk pages. This has not been done, yet this has, without any message on my talk page. In contrast, see this from Pi zero, which has been fixed because of adequate communication. Gryllida (talk) 02:18, 10 August 2018 (UTC)

I am not sure why my edit from changing "10" to ten" (which is in accordance with the SG) is linked here, but again, article talk exists for such explanation. And if you think you are one of the "Contributors with repeated cats issues", I would suggest you to go through the edit histories and talk pages of your articles. Don't expect a personalised message on your talk about the things that you need to work on. You know how a wiki works, and some reviewers in fact suggest others to go through the edit history so that you can learn what to do and what not to.
•–• 02:41, 10 August 2018 (UTC)

This is a wiki. Everyone here is a volunteer, they're here because they enjoy contributing here, and in the current discussion everyone understands the basic principles of the project and is authentically trying to implement them. We do need to avoid making contribution unpleasant by crippling articles for small flaws. Also note that we also owe something to the articles themselves; this wasn't fair to the article. --Pi zero (talk) 03:05, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
Don't say it was not "fair" when there is a specific example of it in tasks. And authors do need to avoid making review unpleasant by submitting articles for small flaws which has been pointed out time and time again. We owe the article, yes. We are supposed to review an article, that is what a reviewer is supposed to do. But we do not need to encourage practices which indicate that we (anyone who submits or allows articles without categories or any other flaws which do not require the second set of eyeballs) do not care enough of the project.
•–• 03:27, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
It's linked because of the phrase written in the edit summary.
Edit histories and talk pages of articles are poorly suited for raising problems with a particular contributor, they are not always read in full and are more difficult to navigate or return to (and in some cases may get deleted). This may make your valuable remark more difficult to put into the contributor's working memory the next time they write. Hence the recommendation to use a personal talk page of the contributor instead. Gryllida (talk) 03:17, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
Interesting. Weren't you told on your talk to go through the edit histories? (If not, I don't mind doing it now). But do not speak for everyone. I have learned from the edit histories and they are not poorly suited. If you have a problem remembering things you saw in edit histories, make a note (a real-life hand-written note) -- that will make it harder to forget. Else, save a file on your device and refer to it from time to time just like how one reads Bible again and again. Or just read the essays, policies and guidelines. And stick to the topic. subsection 11 of the first section of Template:tasks explicitly mentions the "cats" parameter and that makes it clear that what I did was how it is documented. I have still not received a formal answer whether you know how current categorisation process works, as Category:Australia is missing.
•–• 03:27, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
So, well, what do you have to say about forgetting to add categories (sometimes there are none, sometimes, a lot of important categories missing)? And if you are using a dialog tools to submit articles, then you should create a tool which reminds you to add categories before you hit "submit". Might be useful than most of the tools as categorisation after archive is not so easy and not everyone, who is an admin is helping non-admins to process editprotected requests.
•–• 03:32, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
In case this was not too clear: using an edit summary to raise a concern once, the first time it occurs, is perfectly fine in my opinion. However in my opinion from that point there needs to be a very gradual move to 'reject the article because of this small issue', which would ideally be avoided and considered a last resort after each other method has been exhausted; starting from hardest to notice:
  • Edit summary,
  • article talk page,
  • article talk page with a ping,
  • a message at a contributor's talk page, and then
  • a discussion at the talk page querying relevant points such as
  • what makes the contributor forget doing the little task each time,
  • what tool(s) the contributor is using for this small task and
  • why they find them uncomfortable.
This is in my opinion a standard process which needs to be followed by reviewers, and skipping any of these steps may hinder the learning process as well as news publication for the individual story which it may have affected.
I do not terribly mind being treated the way you did myself -- I can cope with it as I return to the story within a few hours and watch RC after submission. But this time it was over 8 hours because it was my sleep time. And the story was a day old at the time of submission. This was not really very good delay to add to this article. And to add to it, it's terribly long and broad topic, so other issues may arise during a full review. Identifying these issues and either fixing them or leaving notes about them would truly be a more meaningful step to take than to kill around 8 hours of the article life.
And if the process I outlined above is not followed I believe other contributors who are not as keen to monitor changes would be put at disadvantage.
And either way, I do (although not terribly) mind coping with this situation, it is taking away my time from what could be spent improving the article quality or identifying data that could be added to it.
Perhaps this helps to see why I am making this point in the first place. I'd be glad to make such a tool, but I'd rather discuss implementation details elsewhere.
--Gryllida (talk) 03:38, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
The 'cats' exists in 'Tasks' as this is a common task. Writing it by hand each time is painful, hence the template.
It does not pose it as a valid rejection item, alone; only as a valid item to list.
The tasks template may even appear before the article is submitted for review: I may mark it with {{develop}} and then you mark it with {{Tasks|cats}} to ensure that whoever approaches the article has a chance to fix this task. They may do this before submitting the article for review. This way hours of article life time are not killed; only the couple seconds that it takes you to add the template (plus the couple minutes for me to add cats, but that doesn't count, as someone would have to do it at some point anyway). Gryllida (talk) 03:43, 10 August 2018 (UTC)

Before flagging it, I looked for you in various cabal channels, and later sent you a PM. Skipping your sleep patterns and personal opinions -- there is the template parameter which I followed, and I remember that you lost one of the articles because of the same reason that you did not fix the article, adding categories on time. Did you not take notes from that?
•–• 03:48, 10 August 2018 (UTC)

The list that you have compiled might be how you see the article, and how you learn from it. But the list it exactly the opposite when someone other than the author(s) or reviewer(s) is looking at it. They see the edit summaries, edit histories, article talks and not the user talks. Hindering the learning process? I don't think so; it actually takes care of it, because we encourage people to read the darned edit summaries and history. And actually, I would prefer to listen to a discussion between reviewers and authors who write more frequently, and face these type of issues more frequently. Not that your opinions are not considered, Gryllida, but (on a sidenote, categories are something noobs learn in the beginning, so why do you not add them?) we want to see how to deal with these things in a better way with their everyday on-wiki experience and learning -- before everything started, and I flagged the article, I had notified pizero about Tasks#1.11.
—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Acagastya (talkcontribs)
There's no reason to assume that IRC messages are read quickly. They do not minimize delays. They do not attract a person's attention to their computer. (My computer does not beep on private messages; if it did, that'd make being at home a disaster distracted by a regular supply of beeps.)
I encourage people to read edit summaries and history too, but if that doesn't work out, I propose a process above, without killing 9 hours and 1 minute of the article life immediately.
The burden of taking the notes is on both the reviewer and the author, with the reviewer benefiting from leaving the author personalized remarks which the author learns from, and the author benefiting from leaving themselves a few notes about how their writing may be improved. These measures are complementary, not mutually exclusive. --Gryllida (talk) 04:20, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
I did not "assume" you will see my message (after all, you often set up server-side ignore, or don't read my messages -- and did you just point out the problems of IRC which I have been telling you, like what, three years?) You may follow your above-proposed process when you review. But if you want to continue discussing the peripheral issues and not acknowledge that you have been submitting less than complete articles to the best of your knowledge, I really don't know why anyone should entertain such discussions. And it would be better if reviewers would make sure that their articles do not eat up other reviewer's time -- else what will the newbies learn?
•–• 04:28, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
I have been submitting complete articles to the best of my knowledge. Missing cats in the last one is a human error. For issues with chronic undercategorization, overcategorization or mis-categorization of my submissions I welcome to use my personal talk page.
Instead, this section is dedicated to a discussion of the grounds for failing a review. I am making a point that small issues can not be such a ground until they have been raised in edit summary, article talk, author talk page once, and author talk page once again to let them know that the cats were missing more than once and they may wish to modify their work flow.
This is the subject of this section. I am aiming to reach agreement or clarification on this as a matter of policy and as a matter of article life time.
If you find it a "peripheral issue" than you may wish to undertake a conversation elsewhere and allow others to reach this agreement without your participation. Gryllida (talk) 04:36, 10 August 2018 (UTC)

problems related to categorisation should not to be taken to personal talks as article talks are in author's watchlist by default and it serves as better for documentation. Categorisation is good enough to flag the article for pending tasks, as it was not formally "not-ready'd" if you notice carefully. I am shocked to hear that you think your articles were complete to the best of your knowledge because few of your recent articles suggest that you miss a lot of categories and do not devote time behind checking if the categories actually exist or not.
•–• 04:45, 10 August 2018 (UTC)

But for long term mis-categorization and under-categorization issues, surely it's best to raise a query at the article talk page where the article categories are discussed for a particular story, and a query at the contributor's personal user talk page where these long-term issues are discussed without relating them to the particular article? Gryllida (talk) 05:36, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
The point I am raising is that it could be beneficial for both you and me as well as the whole project if you could raise these issues at my talk page before starting to reject articles for it and before inflicting shock on yourself. The latter two points may be quite disruptive for the output as well as for the persons involved. Gryllida (talk) 05:38, 10 August 2018 (UTC)