Wikinews:Water cooler/proposals/Archive/11

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Proposals[edit]

See also the archives.

Get rid of Wikinews:Country of the Week[edit]

I am not suggesting we get rid of the concept, however, we should get rid of the page. The whole voting section is completely inactive, and what would be kept can easily be merged into Wikinews:Article distribution. Who agrees to getting rid of the voting nonsense, keeping the information, merging the information into the Article Distribution page, and then linking to that page under the "Featured Country" section on the front page? —MESSEDROCKER (talk) 20:59, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

I've noticed the country of the week page numerous times, but its always been someone else's problem. Perhaps change from voting to nominating and looking for objections and alternative proposals might be better. I'm thinking on the grounds that there may be upcoming events that involve the proposed country. I don't see there being any problem with a country being listed every three months or so to build up the article count, and if we build up the number of contributors I don't see why a first world country couldn't be listed. Brian McNeil / talk 22:05, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
A long time ago it was very active. Maybe it just needs more advertising. but then again its got a front page spot, so I'm not sre what else we can do. I like the nominating idea. Bawolff ☺☻Smile.png 23:10, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
Yeah, how about we let people nominate featured countries on the talk page of Wikinews:Article distribution, and then randomly feature them unless there's outstanding opposition to having them as featured? Once a country is the featured country, it will be mentioned as so like how it is now on the Country of the Week page. I think featuring a country is a great idea, but the Country of the Week page is just excessive. —MESSEDROCKER (talk) 04:20, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

NGO Briefs[edit]

We should have "NGO Briefs" too, although maybe only monthly. It would give a good way to post information about all the various thinktanks & such which publish reports, but which are hard to make NPOV in individual stories. If its done monthly, it gives us more time to make it NPOV too, as it'll sit around as evergreen for a while. Nyarlathotep 23:23, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

What's NGO? —MESSEDROCKER (talk) 04:21, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
Non-governmental organization. In the USA primarily known as "non-profits". NGOs are the primary source of health care and more in many countries. - Amgine | talk 04:40, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
A brief on non-profit organizations? Isn't that a bit specific? —MESSEDROCKER (talk) 04:48, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
<grin> Well, think about it another way... we have a brief on nothing but for-profit organizations? I think it would be a great idea Nyarlathotep, but only if someone is willing to focus on that kind of news. Wikinews content is here because someone feels like writing it; nobody assigns stories. - Amgine | talk 04:58, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
I think it would be better to create a calendar. Many NGO's and GO's do not output monthly reports or output them on an unusual timeframe. What if we had a calendar where, at minimal, a contributor could look and see if any NGO or GO had a relevant report released recently. --Sfullenwider 09:02, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
How would that work? You mean like a template for articles?
Basically just a page for each month listing the expected release dates of reports. This brings the NGO's into a monthly context instead of a "healthcare related NGO" or "Government Watchdog NGO" context. This is to organize the creation of the monthly NGO catchall. --Sfullenwider 03:19, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Include category and description in RSS feeds[edit]

It's nice having the RSS feeds, but unfortunately the descriptions are just copies of the title... It would greatly improve the RSS feed usability if it included the first 2-3 sentences from the article, or a short summary like the ones that appear on the lead stories.

Also, for articles are tagged with categories, it would probably be very useful to have this info available within the RSS items as well. Then aggregators would be able to sort out the news they want to carry, and/or put them into the appropriate categories on their sites. --BryceHarrington 11, December 2005

Wikinews will have a disaster on its hands unless it comes up with a new method of archiving[edit]

Imagine you go to write an article called "British Labour Party sweeps elections" but you can't, it's already been taken. No problem, you say, you can just reword it to "British Labour Party wins elections in a sweep." You see the point. In news articles, unlike encyclopedia entries, overlap is INEVITABLE. See the big picture. It's not going to be a problem now. but what if Wikinews is around 5 years, 10 years, or longer? It's going to happen. We'll get to the point where we constantly have to rename articles. It will become a hassle. Fixing it is as simple as having articles go to /wiki/December2005/ and etc. If you don't fix the problem now, think about all the trouble that will be caused when you fix it down the line. Everyone who has linked to articles will have them lost (i use wikinews links in wikipedia articles often as possible). Don't put this off. --MateoP 22:19, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

Over the year of Wikinews, we haven't had that many name collisions — even though at first people were saying that they'd be happening quickly. If you come up with a good title, it's likely to not be a duplicate; if it is, chances are it's not really news. Some things are cyclical, like elections or deaths of US troops in Iraq — those maybe would then need dates in the title. -- IlyaHaykinson 06:39, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
Quoting from above "we haven't had that many name collisions". So we've had some? In just a year of operation. So what happens if Wikinews is around for another 20 years, don't you think this probably might exponentially grow? --MateoP 15:32, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
Your example would be corrected to "British Labour Party sweeps 20xx elections" before it was even published. People are mindful of what you see as a potential problem, and I don't believe we need to make things ugly and complicated to avoid title duplication. Brian McNeil / talk 08:52, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
I'm not following how it would be ugly and/or complicated to put dates in the address. It would probably take 5 minutes to code out having the date appear in the actual title that's shown. It's just for archiving purposes. This isn't like wikipedia were the "The Holocaust" article will always refer to the same thing. Titles get duplicated in news. I've had to avoid duplicating my own articles and I've only been here for 1 day. --MateoP 15:32, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
That would make article titles look ugly. Unforgettableid 08:35, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Can you point out where you had duplicate article title issues? As to "5 minutes to code out", I know nothing of PHP, so I can't help you with that. Brian McNeil / talk 17:46, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
I think you underestimate the amount of work required to code what you're suggesting, in the MediaWiki platform. However, the platform is open source and you're welcome to try: I am definitely not against it at all, and I doubt anyone else would be! That said, a headline that isn't unique is problematic anyways. I imagine once we start running into conflicts on a regular basis, we'll have to address the problem. -- IlyaHaykinson 17:14, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
I have submitted a MediaWiki patch in the past. MediaWiki is a large, complicated piece of software and it would not take "5 minutes" to code. Not to mention that new features sometimes introduce new bugs. Unforgettableid 08:35, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Duplicates are likely if your title is not informative. Something like "Earthquake in Pakistan" may duplicate an existing article, but then, changing the title is the right thing to do anyway. I don't see where you get the idea that links will break at any point. We will never break links to published stories.--Eloquence 06:05, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Duplicates are inevitable in the long term as the english language is limited. There are not an infinite number of synonyms for any word. People here are looking in the very short term. If wikinews is around for 20 years then this will be a major problem at some point. --MateoP 21:40, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

Briefs - if we write them, they will come[edit]

I like the Business Briefs... I have but one question... why put them all in one article? We aren't limited in the number of articles we can create, and I reckon that the more headlines we have, the better. I'd like to see us start writing articles of one paragraph in length, and two sources, and tag them with a message that says "This is a news brief. You are welcome to expand it". If they don't get expanded, then they are just archived as part of the normal process, rather than being declared abandoned and deleted. One of the strengths of Wikipedia are stubs. They get people to the site, and suck them in to contributing. In my opinion, we should be doing the same. If we write many briefs/stubs, they will come. - Borofkin 23:32, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

That actually sounds like a good idea. Bawolff ☺☻Smile.png 23:34, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

Take a look at Wikinews:Article_stage_tags. I suppose what I am proposing is to create a new Article stage called "brief" (or something else - any suggestions?). This is not a stage where an article is considered incomplete, the way that a "stub" is currently. Actually, does anyone use the "stub" tag? We chould change it so it says "This Wikinews article is a stub. You are welcome to edit and expand it". - Borofkin 23:41, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

There is absolutely nothing wrong with a short article -- briefs are handy, though, for grouping really small articles... If a brief is longer than 3 or 4 sentences, it should become an article, I think. --Chiacomo (talk) 23:41, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
How do you think an article that is only going to be 3 or 4 setences should be tagged? At the moment they are tagged as incomplete/abandoned and deleted. I need a tag which says "the article is supposed to be this short, so please don't delete. However, you are welcome to expand it." - Borofkin 23:52, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

For short business related articles, at least, I think briefs are a good idea. The {{expand}} tag could be used, as could {{stub}}. Please feel free to edit either template to suit your proposed purpose. I rather like the expand option. How about something like: This article is currently a brief! Feel free to expand this article! with "Expand" opening the page for editing? --Chiacomo (talk) 23:56, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

I like. I like. - Borofkin 00:00, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

I have edited Template:Expand -- see what you think. This will add the message and include the article in the Stub category. --Chiacomo (talk) 00:04, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

I like it. I might set myself to writing a couple. - Borofkin 00:09, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
I think this might intergrate well into User:Zocky/News_digest Bawolff ☺☻Smile.png 04:53, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

"Local only" on main page - briefs, briefs, everywhere[edit]

It appears that there is currently no method of excluding a published article from the main page. Is this right? The reason I ask is that I'm about to start encouraging Aussie contributors to write large numbers of very short articles, using Template:expand, and thought that many would not be suitable for the main page. I also want to avoid international contributors renaming the articles to include the word "Australia", or changing "NSW" to "New South Wales". Any suggestions? - Borofkin 00:13, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

At this point in our development, I think all published articles should show up on the main page. Local or not. As article submission increases, it will be appropriate to segregate "local only" news, but I don't think we're there yet. --Chiacomo (talk) 00:15, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
See template:specialPublish and template:SpecialDevelop and Category:Local only. Not sure on what policy is to use these. I don't see a problem with them(the article) appearing on the main page. Bawolff ☺☻Smile.png 00:19, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
Yeah, I know about those. SpecialPublish is used by the Quakers... if I was going to go in that direction I would create something like "australia-publish". As for "Local only", it's only useful if articles in that category are excluded from the main page, which they currently aren't. Anyway, Chiacomo is right, if it becomes a problem then we'll deal with it then. - Borofkin 00:30, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

Category Sorting[edit]

it would be mighty nice to have a way of sorting pages with in a category by date, instead of by name. does mediawiki allow this at all? is there any reason to sort pages withing a category by their name? --Naught101 04:26, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

Sort-of, but its really hard. theres two ways to do it:
  1. when adding to cat use this format [[Category:blah|2005-11-12]] However this isn't feisible because we'd have to change every article written. (Even if we got a bot to do it, it'd be hard to keep up). An example of this would be Category:Business Briefs
  2. Use DPLs. Limited due to scalibility issues. (will work for small categories) see Category:Google to see how this could be done. (read the topic header carefully)
  3. bug the mediawiki developers to implement some sort of button on categories, to sort by date added. (However they have more pressing issues to deal with probaly, so they probally wouldn't have time to do it. maybe someone could write an extention to implement this. (note:I'm not a programmer I don't know how fesible that would be, or even if they would be busy or not.))

Bawolff ☺☻Smile.png 04:28, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

Oh look, someone has bugged the developers about it: http://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1289 . Bawolff ☺☻Smile.png 04:32, 7 January 2006 (UTC)
yeah, I can see it's harder than it might seem. also, sort by date added probably isn't appropriate, as some news gets added retrospectively.--Naught101 04:03, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
Yes thats true. However they shouldn't be. I remember this coming up previously as well. Bawolff ☺☻Smile.png 04:52, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

Not Wikipedia[edit]

I've seen a couple of recent edits that have made me think we need a Wikinews:We are not Wikipedia page. There seem to be a number of adjustments in the way you'd think about a wiki when it is for news, particularly to do with the time-pressure of getting things set to {{publish}}. Something to link to from the {{hello}} template, and to reference when people who appear to have wiki experience aren't fitting in. --Brian McNeil / talk 00:34, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

It's already similarly defined in WN:NOT (I think it says encyclopedia), and saying that we are not Wikipedia, albeit correct, might give some an impression of tension between our projects. I don't think creating a brand new one would help solve the conflict at all; we just need some way of getting people to read what we are and what we aren't before they post an article. --MrMiscellanious (talk) – 04:17, 11 January 2006 (UTC)