Talk:Welcome to Wikipedia (Bookshelf)/Development

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Comments, ideas, suggestions


Please use this space to suggest ideas of improvement. Thank you!

Help needed

  • ...



Sara's user page


I suggest that we create a user page for Sara. This user page could contain the following:

  • image of Sara
  • information about the bookshelf project
  • links to the various brochures that Sara feature in
  • useful links (cheat sheet, help pages, The Missing Manual, How Wikipedia works, instructional videos, Adopt-a-user page, explanations of Wikipedia terms like NPOV and wikify, FAQ)
  • "Ask a question" link

The page should be translated along with the material. We should encourage as many users in respective Wikipedia as possible to add the user page to their watchlists - and answer any questions that come on Sara's talk page.

/Hannibal/Lennart ( 21:33, 21 June 2010 (UTC))Reply

As we have discussed, we should have some sort of website for the Bookshelf project where all material that we produce is collected.

  • Another idea I (Lennart) have had, is that we could create a "fake" account for Sara and make her a user page that we can point to as an example. That way we can make sure it contains stuff we want.
On its way./Hannibal 23:38, 29 June 2010 (UTC)Reply

Help needed

  • Does anyone have access to some quotable quotes about Wikipedia? Nice things said by common people and distinguished folks?

Some ideas:

  • Serageldin at Wikimania
  • Wikiquote in general about WP
  • Rosenzweig Can History Be Open Source Search for phrases such as "If Wikipedia is becoming the family encyclopedia for the twenty-first century, historians probably have a professional obligation to make it as good as possible."
  • German magazine STERN 2007 SF author en:Frank Schätzing: "The Tsunami article is well researched and extensive, only at two places a little inaccurate. The scientific Wikipedia articles are, according to my judgement, almost always good." / Lutheran bishop (now former) en:Margot Käßmann about Martin Luther article: "The article is ample and solidly written. Someone was really occupied with Luther and read some church histories. I give extra points for quoting from sources and the pictures."
  • the same: de:Sarah Wiener, TV cook, about "Marinade": "There is nothing to add to that entry. In my view it contains all important information. I use Wikipedia often for food chemistry. Sometime you find something you didn't even think about."
  • Ordinary folks: A heating installer came to my house to inspect my boiler. He said: "While doing that, I should wear a mask. Here silver iones come free, and they are toxic. At least, I read that in Wikipedia." I said: "In Wikip... But don't you have manuals at your work?" - "Yeah, but they contain nothing, and are totally out of date."

I remember that two years ago or so we discussed a collection of quotes at a mailing list, but as so often, nothing happens if there is no one who is in the lead. --Ziko 21:54, 20 July 2010 (UTC)Reply

Thanks so very much! Wikipedia community rocks - I was still scratching my head on where I can get atleast some quotes and then I find help here...again. Thank you! Aradhanar 00:51, 21 July 2010 (UTC)Reply

  • Roles seem to need some work. For example, spellchecker also write comments. Does Reader need to be there at all? Are there any overlapping roles or roles we can let go for this target audience (edits 0-100)? Is there a better list you can recommend? Aradhanar 01:30, 1 July 2010 (UTC)Reply
As for the subject matter expert: We might want to add that subject matter experts also play an important role in reviewing articles. "Reader" doesn't need to be mentioned as we're talking about contributors. --Frank Schulenburg 16:05, 1 July 2010 (UTC)Reply
Roles still need clean up. We are working on it but if you have ideas, please let us know. Aradhanar 18:23, 6 July 2010 (UTC)Reply
  • Each day, Wikipedia (including all languages) grows with around [X] new articles. Number of articles edited/modified per day (in all of Wikipedia, incl. all languages) is [X]. Does anyone have the relevant data? Aradhanar 17:28, 2 July 2010 (UTC)Reply
Do you mean English language Wikipedia? The average of past 12 months is 1309 articles a day. About the images - hard to say. That would be those uploaded to Commons? (Not really comparable.) Since September 2004, 6,85 million files (!) have been uploaded, makes ca. 3260 a day. But I am not such a big fan of those numbers, what do they really tell...--Ziko 23:43, 2 July 2010 (UTC)Reply
I was thinking if we could get global data for all of Wikipedia (all language editions). That way, we could avoid putting unnecessary spotlight on English Wikipedia. Also we circumvent the need for certain chapters (that are more focused on a particular language) to hunt for data specific to their targeted audiences. Additionally, combining all Wikipedia data can assure that the number of articles is always an impressive number (since some languages are not as active as others, some others are new). I think, if we get data on one of these: number of articles edited/modified per day (in all of Wikipedia, incl. all languages) or data on new articles created each day (across all languages), we will meet the needs of the deliverable. Images are part of Creative Commons as well, so we would probably make it easier for the learner if we let go of that data. Sounds OK? Aradhanar 18:17, 6 July 2010 (UTC)Reply
I see. In general, but also in this context, I do recommend using the numbers for single language versions. Impressive huge numbers don't count. You actually don't "edit Wikipedia", but your language version. And when people translate the introduction to their languages, "Wikipedia" will mean "Wikipedia in our language". It is a different thing talking about a big Wikipedia or a small Wikipedia. You can't sell Corsican Wikipedia (which is an encyclopedia to become) the same way as Wikipedia in French (an existing encyclopedia). :-) The numbers are to find at Wikimedia statistics.--Ziko 16:05, 7 July 2010 (UTC)Reply
Oh Ok. That makes sense too. I will revert back to you if we need to make a decision one way or the other regarding stats for a particular language or whole of wikipedia. Thanks for sending the stats link. That helps!Aradhanar 18:39, 7 July 2010 (UTC)Reply
Hi Zico, I just added data on the articles added per day on Wikipedia as a placeholder for now. I will contact other key stakeholders and find out which way they want us to go. Thanks again for the help! We very much appreciate it.
  • What is a structure of an article? Is there something like header, description, summary, resources? Could you please lead us to where we can get this information?Aradhanar 23:19, 6 July 2010 (UTC)Reply
What do you mean? --Ziko 16:05, 7 July 2010 (UTC)Reply
Well, I was wondering if a well written Wikipedia article has a definite structure - like, maybe an introduction/headers, subheaders/description, conclusion, and finally resources. If so, is there a url that has this information.Aradhanar 18:39, 7 July 2010 (UTC)Reply
Hmmm - thou shallt ask someone who is more proficient in English-Wikipedianic. :-) Maybe this is useful? An article has an introduction, where in the first sentence (or two, three) it is explained what is the article about. A short definition. The rest of the introduction is like a short lexicographic article by itself, in a way a summary of the whole article. Then comes the main body, with a sound structure. Often the structure is similar according to the subject; most articles about cities have a similar structure (such as Kolkata). Then, you have the sections "See also", "Literatur" and "Footnotes" (in de.WP, it may differ in en.WP). Actually, this suits excellent for a visualisation. --Ziko 20:49, 9 July 2010 (UTC)Reply
That was exactly what I was looking for!! Thanks so much for providing the links. I have edited the article with these resources. Thanks again!! thou shalt know thyself to be more proficient in English-Wikipedianic than some others thine knows. :) Aradhanar 20:22, 12 July 2010 (UTC)Reply

Review comments


Design revisions

Front page: I find that (relatively long) quote not so inviting. Not catchy. Later you even repeat that quote.

A friendly face would be nicer, and a very short slogan. E.g.: „I can Wikipedia!“ „Me, a Wikipedia author?“ „Becoming a Wikipedian“. „Writing WIKIPEDIA is FUN and useful“.

I don't know, some pics of Sara look unnatural. Something strange with the glasses when looking aside, maybe? Mouth larger than on other pics?

General problem with „Try it“: Sometimes it's a quiz, sometimes a list of what to do Sometimes a list of what to do is presented without „try it“. That still lacks some consistency. Same problem with the thick arrow.

Idea: Highlight some important words with bold. On page „Create a Wikipedia User Account“ for example: profile, registered user

On the page „Finding your way on Wikipedia“: The item „Main page – The main page is divided...“ is covering a photo, even the face of a person. Put the item simply more to the right.

Item „Wikipedia languages“ (I'd call it „Languages“) is also covering something important, name the title „In other languages“.

By the way, on the left side of this double page the items are placed mostly on the Wikipedia page, but on the right side it seems as if the designer tried to avoid that and put the items outside.

There is a pic where Sara sits in front of a very dated computer monitor. :-)

About the design revisions: The third version (green background) seems to be the most suitable. In the other revisions, there isn't much functionality in the use of the colours. Revision2: When Sara presents herself and learns the basic facts, it's orange (why? colour of expectations?). When creating an account, it's red (danger?). Finding you way – green (everything O.K.?).

Revision1 is not so bad, alternating the colours gives the thing more structure (there a new page begins). But drop the red. And in general, there should be a more strict pattern for using the colours. Such as: use always a specific colour for the „Try it“ items.

Kind regards --Ziko 17:59, 16 July 2010 (UTC)Reply

  • It is not necessary to present very precise numbers. They will get dated soon. A number such as "we have 15 million articles" keeps longer fresh than "we have 16 million articles".--Ziko 11:30, 20 July 2010 (UTC)Reply
I agree! Which is why I try to contain the volatility of the numbers by writing stuff like over 260 languages. From your comment it seems like some other sentences need to be worked will be done. Thanks! Aradhanar 00:50, 21 July 2010 (UTC)Reply
  • „Explaining an edit is a good practice!“ This sentences could be deleted.
Why? Aradhanar 19:31, 13 July 2010 (UTC)Reply
I think the sentence is fine and should be included. --Bodnotbod 12:47, 20 July 2010 (UTC)Reply

„Nadia just started editing and find that she needs some help with formatting. Where can she find assistance? Select the correct answer:“ Actually, I do not know the answer. Discussion and Search won't help much, but help desk? Is there such a thing in en.WP? Do you mean „Help:Contents“?

Yes, we cover that while familiarizing the learner to the UI. Are you saying this is a good question or that it is not applicable for other language and therefore should go? Aradhanar 19:31, 13 July 2010 (UTC)Reply
Sorry, I was confused. When looking at the left side there is not "WP:Help desk" but "WP:Help content". Now I discovered that "WP:Help desk" actually exists. Will the reader find the right page easily?--Ziko 22:56, 15 July 2010 (UTC)Reply
  • „There are so many roles you can play on Wikipedia!“ I am not sure. Is „role“ the proper word? You simple do what you like to do, not apply for a „role“. The emphasis should be on what you do and not on your „role“. More like: this nice chores is what you can do on WP.
Well roles are more easily understood and a generic term. Aradhanar 19:31, 13 July 2010 (UTC)Reply
Did you consider "chore" or "task" or "occupation"?--Ziko 22:56, 15 July 2010 (UTC)Reply
  • „Since I have traveled a lot, I can contribute as a subject matter expert for the places I visit.“ Maybe it is only the wording that makes me stumble. Does visiting a city already make you an expert? - „I think that I know a lot about India and Pakistan, I have even traveled to these countries. Here, for instance,...“
Yeah, I was struggling with this too. Thanks. It will be rewritten Aradhanar 19:31, 13 July 2010 (UTC)Reply
  • „Some edits are not encyclopedic, others might be made in bad faith or to test Wikipedia ways of working.“ Yes, and those „tests“ is something we don't want either. :-)
  • „Wikipedians therefore monitor...“ - - > „Some Wikipedians therefore monitor...“
Sounds good. Will be rewritten. Aradhanar 19:31, 13 July 2010 (UTC)Reply
  • „This is also a place where you can mention if you have a conflict of interest in editing for Wikipedia.“ Hm, a complicated subject. I am not so sure whether we should people advice to mention all the organizations, movements, ways of life etc. he or she is linked to.
  • „Note: Discussion and My talk are also called talk pages.“ This part is not totally clear, also due to the strange terminology of en.WP where „talk“ and „discussion“ is still not unified. Also it must become clear that we are talking about different things (name spaces), „Talk:“ and „User talk:“.
  • „Find a good article on a subject that you are interested in and click the View history button. How many edits have the article gone through? How many different editors have been involved in the process of making the article better?“ The intention is good, but it would take Sara quite a time to count the hundreds or thousands of edits.
  • „Join in by looking up a fact in a book or on a reliable website and telling the others about that fact.“ Is this really realistic, and what would Sara learn from this action?
Really good points, you will see updated to the above points shortly. Thanks, Ziko! Aradhanar 19:31, 13 July 2010 (UTC)Reply

--Ziko 22:14, 9 July 2010 (UTC)Reply

  • "Add valuable material to Wikipedia": I am not sure whether "suitable" fits better than "valuable".
Agreed. Valuable has to go. :) Aradhanar 19:31, 13 July 2010 (UTC)Reply
  • How will you have the back inside of the cover? It could be mainly a text that resumes the core ideas of the quizzes. Such as: "Wikipedia is an encyclopedia that can be edited by ANYONE WHO HAS ACCESS TO THE INTERNET. ... Writing articles is not everything. There are MAINTAINERS who protect content."
WIP Aradhanar 19:31, 13 July 2010 (UTC)Reply
Reconsidering: might be not such a good idea. Too limiting.--Ziko 22:56, 15 July 2010 (UTC)Reply
  • "Mike visits Recent changes many times in a day to monitor and protect articles against vandalism". I wouldn't make that a quiz question, it is not important for the reader to learn (by heart, expressively) those expressions who have only an analytical value for us. Those terms do not play a role in WP itself.
Point noted. It will be highlighted for the key stakeholder review. Aradhanar 19:31, 13 July 2010 (UTC)Reply
  • I find it good that you encourage creating a user account; I would welcome an even stronger emphasis. "but it is recommended that you at least write something": maybe "nice" instead of "recommended".
  • "[Wikipedia languages] Wikipedia allows you to write articles in over 250 languages." Could you make it with the same amount of words clearer that there is not one Wikipedia, but over 250?
Hmmm. My understanding is that there is one Wikipedia (identity, brand). But sounds like you are more accurate. WIP.Aradhanar 19:31, 13 July 2010 (UTC)Reply
That may be the perspective from an outsider. :-) When I talk to Dutch school kids I talk about Dutch Wikipedia. And they can write there only in Dutch, not in any other language. If they 'd like to write in French, they will have to go to another Wikipedia. --Ziko 22:56, 15 July 2010 (UTC)Reply
  • "User page and talk page": Write less about creating an account and the user page in the previous parts, and concentrate that in this part.
Rewritten Aradhanar 19:31, 13 July 2010 (UTC)Reply
  • "Every registered user has their own talk page" Is this a try to avoid the he/she-issue by using the plural? It sounds strange to me.
  • "The full text of the article "Anton Djipstra" reads" This task may be too complicated; and Sara would have to find the version in question, first.
WIP Aradhanar 19:31, 13 July 2010 (UTC)Reply
  • "Conclusion": Are you actually repeating the words of the beginning, or will you rephrase the list?
The plan is to repeat the list, by going through the list, learners know what they have learned. This format is a standard instructional design practice. Aradhanar 19:31, 13 July 2010 (UTC)Reply
  • If I am not mistaken, you hardly refer to pages such as Manual of style?
WIP Aradhanar 19:31, 13 July 2010 (UTC)Reply

I know how difficult it is to give shape to a text, pouring thoughts in it and still have it in balance. See what you can do with this. :-) Kind regards --Ziko 15:55, 30 June 2010 (UTC)Reply

Very good ideas, Ziko. I will try to incorporate most of your comments, but we are operating on a tight deadline (for the first version anyway).
  • As a non-native speaker, there are bound to be some flaws, but we have a copyeditor that will go over the text with a fine-tooth comb. I will therefore let her do her job and concentrate on the content questions. (Just making sure that you didn't think I wasn't listening to you.)
  • Sara is the name we are going with, as per a decision from the staff. We had lots of other names proposed. As you can see here, we have started making user pages for her using that name.
  • The inside covers will probably have flaps, like the figure 2 on this image.
  • combining "Create a user page" and "User page and talk page", we considered before, but the text in this module needed to explain so many things that we felt it better to have two different parts. Maybe the next version will do it differently.
  • I have added a comment that the Anton Djipstra thing is only an example. No need to find a specific version. I hope it's clearer now.
  • Last time I checked on Swedish Wikipedia (which only has like a tenth of the meta-pages that English Wikipedia has), there was hundreds of pages on how to write and behave on Wikipedia. We cannot possibly mention them all. We mention the help page which leads to all the others. But perhaps the Manual of Style is one page we should add. Let me see if I can add it without it becoming a big list of links in the end.
Indeed, this is a problem. But the brochure will go quite into detail, and it is okay to mention two, three of the common pages practically every language version has. It won't be too much work for the translators.
  • I think there ia s point to having the same list in the beginning and in the end - as a reminder of what you've just read.
Thanks, again, 18:22, 30 June 2010 (UTC)Reply
  • „As your Wikipedia reputation builds, you could earn administrator privileges which are not available for an anonymous contributor.“ Becoming an administrator is something very far away for a newbie (you should have several 1000 edits). By the way, always say „unregistered user“, not „anonymous“. You can register/login and still be perfectly anonymous, even more anonymous because your IP address does not show.
Good points! Anonymous point is handled. Administrator privileges will be done soon. Aradhanar 19:31, 13 July 2010 (UTC)Reply
  • „Create your Watchlist with your favorite Wikipedia articles. Study how they grow.“ I believe that this is hardly something people do. They put an article on the watchlist they have just edited, not in advance just for curiosity.
Well, since the learners have not started editing at this time, they will be able to practice the Watchlist feature and spend some time studying article maturation. We hope that that would prep them when they actually begin editing. Aradhanar 19:31, 13 July 2010 (UTC)Reply
  • „[Wikipedia languages] Wikipedia allows you to write articles in over 250 languages.“ Other wording: „Wikipedia exits in more than 250 different language versions.“
Thanks, that is helpful! Aradhanar 19:31, 13 July 2010 (UTC)Reply
  • [Search] Search takes you to the article that matches your query. If the article does not exist, it displays the search results.“ „... it displays in which articles the word appears you have been looking for.“
Will be rewritten Aradhanar 19:31, 13 July 2010 (UTC)Reply
  • „Who wrote this article? It is so impressive! I wonder if I am smart enough to write an article like that.“ Well, we already know that Sara has a different attitude than the usual Wikipedian. :-) This still sounds a little bit too self-diminishing to me.
You might be right but Sara is an average person who can get nervous. btw, would you have a better suggestion? Aradhanar 19:31, 13 July 2010 (UTC)Reply
Something that goes into the direction where we want Sara to go to, like: "What would I have to learn to write such impressive articles?" --Ziko 22:56, 15 July 2010 (UTC)Reply

Hello Hannibal, thank you for your response. The "teaser" looks good to me. Some points again:

  • About the name "Sara": It is a name that exceeds limits of geography and generations, good. But there are different possible spellings of the name, in Germany most often "Sarah". I could imagine a benefit from a name that has only one possible spelling. Or do you think that the "localisators" will adapt the name to their linguistic communities?
Sara is a global name common across geographies and religions which is why we chose the name. Luckily we got her user name as well. If Sara was unavailable for a username, we could have moved to Sarah but now we do not need to. So we are good. Aradhanar 19:31, 13 July 2010 (UTC)Reply
  • "After reading this brochure, you will be able to: / Describe how Wikipedia works": I think that that is too general and can be dropped. Anyway, is it a desire of the reader that he can "describe" (to others?) WP?
I agree, we should make the learning objective more specific. These will be adapted now that the content is more or less frozen Aradhanar 19:31, 13 July 2010 (UTC)Reply
  • "Understand how an article evolves on Wikipedia": The word "understand" reappears. Isn't it more about "following" the evolution of an article, what also is explained later?
Same as above Aradhanar 19:31, 13 July 2010 (UTC)Reply

Sorry for late response, I am occupied with other projects now and don't regularly check this wiki. Please allow me to post some notes on the "Welcome packet":

  • I find it good that Sara does not create a new article as her first step; in general, I find the will to create an article of one's own an obsession. :-) There are enough articles to improve.
  • The examples seem to be very well chosen and contribute to the characterization of Sara.
  • The affectiveness of Sara might be annoying to many current Wikipedians. This means, you are on the right track! :-)
  • I wonder how useful is Jimmy Wales' famous quote about the "sum of all knowledge". At least Wikipedia does not provide that, but only encoclopedic knowledge in an encyclopedic way.
We use this reference just once and only at the beginning to set the mood. It is a beautiful vision that has a potential to motivate many contributorsAradhanar 19:31, 13 July 2010 (UTC)Reply
  • Sara's question "where can I begin" seems to be doubled in "where can I start" later. I would change the first one to: "That sounds awesome! But how does it work?", because that is what she gets explained the next lines.
DoneAradhanar 19:31, 13 July 2010 (UTC)Reply
  • About creating an account: Maybe it is possible to put in the information that creating an account does not require giving essential information about yourself.
Done Aradhanar 19:31, 13 July 2010 (UTC)Reply
  • Sara says: "... how the collaboration with the other users is evolving". This sentence sounds unnatural to me. Suggestion: something like "Now it's easier to work together with the other users and get help from them."
Done Aradhanar 19:31, 13 July 2010 (UTC)Reply
  • "Try it ... Create a Wikipedia profile". What does that mean? Create an account, or an user page?
Done Aradhanar 19:31, 13 July 2010 (UTC)Reply
  • "Study it from content perspective": sounds like unnatural language to me. :-)
Done Aradhanar 19:31, 13 July 2010 (UTC)Reply
  • "Wikipedia is available in hundreds of languages": People misunderstand that there is one Wikipedia translated into other languages. Try to rephrase the sentence to avoid that misunderstanding.
Done Aradhanar 19:31, 13 July 2010 (UTC)Reply
  • By the way, very useful that list "Finding your way on Wikipedia", showing the reader some paths into the labyrinth.
  • "Click Recent changes..." Is the reader told where to find that?
Yes. Check out the initial sections Aradhanar 19:48, 13 July 2010 (UTC)Reply
  • "Alternatively, consider scrubbing culturally agnostic featured article on the main page." Do what?
That was message for the designer with a suggestion to use FA that is more generic and easily understandable across cultures. Aradhanar 19:31, 13 July 2010 (UTC)Reply
  • "Reader: Makes minor edits..." A reader, I believe, is someone who does not edtit at all. Is there a different word?
  • I would try to shorten that list of roles.
Roles are WIP Aradhanar 19:31, 13 July 2010 (UTC)Reply
  • A "good article" is a kind of featured article. That does not become clear.
  • "With only 14 million articles in all the languages of Wikipedia..." I don't like the irony of this sentence. And it does not make much sence to relate to the number of articles in all Wikipedias, as Sara is writing only in one Wikipedia language version.
Rewritten Aradhanar 19:31, 13 July 2010 (UTC)Reply
  • Instead of calling it a sandbox, I recommend creating user sub pages with the name of the later article.
I would want to revert it to Sanbox since that is a common term used across the community. Also for the deliverable, using Wikipedia as a teaching tool, we use the same terminology. I will have to get a sense from other stakeholders as well on this. For now, let us have sandbox but I will bring it up for discussion so we know we are taking a good decision for new learners. Aradhanar 19:31, 13 July 2010 (UTC)Reply
  • "Explain why you should contribute to Wikipedia". I would drop that. There is no obligation.
Already addressed. Aradhanar 19:31, 13 July 2010 (UTC)Reply

Kind regards --Ziko 13:36, 23 June 2010 (UTC)Reply

Hi, Thanks for taking the time to review the Welcome to Wikipedia brochure. Keep checking this space, you will find many of your comments implemented soon. Thanks for helping us improve. We really appreciate your time and inputs. Aradhanar 22:16, 24 June 2010 (UTC)Reply
Let me shortly comment on your comments :-)
  • we have tried to think the order of things through, so we are glad that you have come to the same conclusion as we have about creating a new article
  • thank you for liking Sara - we hope that she can continue to be part of the rest of the Bookshelf project
  • of course, Wikipedia is not the only project and it has limits on what should be there, but we can only cover so much in this brochure. I have tried to bring your comment about encyclopedic content into the text, but it's difficult. We have the part about it being an encyclopedia in the info box on the first page, so maybe that covers that subject. For many people, we believe that the format is not the biggest problem, but getting them to starting to contribute is.
  • now her comment is changed to "That sounds awesome. I am ready, let's start." It's more vague than your suggestion, but I think we may even cut it out alltogether, since it doesn't really push things forward.
  • I added your comment about not having to give out any personal information, which brought up a good point.
I will continue commenting as I move through further down the text./Hannibal 21:42, 29 June 2010 (UTC)Reply
Now, most of your comments have been weaved into the text. Thanks again,//Hannibal 23:49, 29 June 2010 (UTC)Reply
  • Praise and concern

Firstly, I think the document looks very good. I like the interjections from Sara which are encouraging and makes the publication appear friendly and inviting. Well done to everyone involved.

However, I do have a concern. I have just proof-read the article and have made quite a number of copy edits. It seems to me that there is at least one editor involved whose first language is not English. Now, Bookshelf is going to be a multilingual project with materials produced in many languages. To that extent it is good to have input from people around the world. But I hope I hardly need warn that this means that it is absolutely vital that the English language products are carefully reviewed prior to any printing. I would hate for any of the English publications to be distributed with garbled sentences or even more than the very occasional misuse of "an" where it should be "a".

It is vital that the English publications are carefully looked over by people who have extremely solid English language skills. I would place myself in that bracket; however, I may not always remember to come here when necessary (though I shall certainly try to make that part of my routine from now). --Bodnotbod 13:03, 20 July 2010 (UTC)Reply

Thank you for that praise. That is most welcome.
About your concern: you are correct that we need to proof read everything several times, and that it needs to be done by people whose mother tongue is English. Mine isn't and some of the corrections you and others have made have undoubtedly been of my writing. But let's not forget that one reason for the sometimes sorry state of the language is that the text is in flux still. Some wordings have been changed so many times that it's inevitable that undetermined articles (a/an) are forgotten sometimes. This is also true for Wikipedia, where many editors speak English as their first language. Anyway, not to explain away the concern: we have a paid copy editor who will work with the text continually but more and more as the texts come closer to being finished.
And also, thank you for your work! It is much appreciated.//Hannibal 13:10, 20 July 2010 (UTC)Reply
Create a Wikipedia account: CAPTCHA (and optional an e-mail). Przykuta 07:14, 30 July 2010 (UTC)Reply

suggestion from a newcomer


A newcomer landed on this page, and pointed out that it would be helpful if it made clear that "talk page" and "discussion page" are synonyms. That's a common point of confusion.-- 19:38, 3 September 2010 (UTC)Reply

corrections and suggestions

  • In the early pages, there is some slippage between referring to Wikipedia in many languages and referring specifically to English Wikipedia without making that clear to readers. From page 2, "Wikipedia grows by nearly 1200 articles per day" is definitely data for English Wikipedia, not all Wikipedias together.
  • From page 3, I'm uncomfortable with this bit: "While the social aspect of working toward a goal is fun, most active users are driven by their passion to distribute free knowledge to the world." This implies that passion to distribute free knowledge, rather than fun, is the main or most common motivation for active users. Can we back that up? Because I'm in the camp that sees fun as key motivation (including the fact they users find Wikipedia, among all the possible means of distributing free knowledge, to be fun enough to be worth their efforts).
  • From page 8, "Because some Wikipedians monitor huge numbers of edits they may sometimes delete an edit that is accurate but not well-written. To prevent that from happening to you, it is important that you write factual information and reference reliable sources." The second sentence is almost a non sequitur. "Not well-written" is very different from "not factual" or "not referencing reliable sources". The second sentence also makes an edit into an editor: "you" is not the same as "your edit". Referring to reversion as "deleting" an edit may also cause some confusion down the line, since reverting an edit is something quite different from deleting it in Wikipedia jargon.
  • On page 10, there is some repetition between the first paragraph and the second: "Articles typically start small and then mature through extensive collaboration, often following a pattern like this:

> Most successful articles start small..."

  • On page 13, The definition of NPOV, "Articles must be written fairly, without bias, and present previously published notable views", is both confusing and a slight distortion of the actual policy. It should be "significant" rather than "notable" views, lest readers conflate NPOV with Notability. And more fundamentally, the policy demands that views be represented fairly and without bias, not that articles must be written fairly and without bias. It's almost the same thing, but not quite; the difference is the idea of "verifiability, not truth". Requiring fair and unbiased articles is philosophically impossible, because one's own point of view determines what is "fair". The lesser requirement of fairly and proportionally representing significant viewpoints takes Wikipedia a step back from the philosophical brink.
  • On page 13, "All contributions can and will be heavily edited by many different users." It's not true that all contributions will be heavility edited by many different users.
  • On page 14, "If the topic is not mentioned in Wikipedia, maybe it is too obscure to write about, such as a garage band or an unknown person with a blog." That's rather negative, saying flat out that these topics are "too obscure to write about". Obscurity is not what we care about; it's verifiability. Even then, lots of topics that aren't suitable for Wikipedia are still worth writing about, Wikipedia just isn't the place for it.
  • On page 15, most of the instructions are confusing. "When you are ready" is repeated twice, but "ready for what?" is the question. When you are ready (for what?) after making a sandbox article, contact another editor by browsing the history of related articles and ask them to review your article. Then when are ready (for what?), copy and paste your article into main space. There's no indication of whether to wait until the person reviews your article, or whether to seek out another if they ignore you, etc. Copy and paste is not a standard way to move articles out of a sandbox; moving the articles and retaining the history is preferred. Neither method will work, however, if a user isn't autoconfirmed, which means the account is at least 4 days old with 10 edits. The bit about finding a reviewer seems pretty random; if that's a standard piece of advice, I'm not aware of where it's documented. Wikipedia:Articles for creation is the standard way to get a review on a prospective article in a sandbox.
  • I don't understand page 16. The header doesn't seem connected to the content. It seems like a Wikipedian is being defined as someone who creates PDFs from articles?

--Sage Ross 01:56, 9 September 2010 (UTC)Reply

Some comments


Rough and ready comments, I hope that is OK; if it needs clarifying, give me a shout.

  • It's not quite clear what it is; er, what I mean is; It could be a) a stand-alone guide to getting started, or b) an exercise-book for use during classroom teaching - and it's neither, it is sort-of in-between
in a class, you're either listening to a teacher, OR reading stuff
if you give that out in-class, do they sit quietly reading it? (and ignore teach) or, listen to teach and ignore the booklet? that's the trouble
  • I don't like "How can I contribute" - it makes it sound like there are defined specific roles
I really dislike the role segregation, which is emphasized w/ a question - sarah is )illustrator )author )mediator )formatter - none of the above; she's a Wikipedian, and she can do anything she wants
  • don't like red background
  • Referring to a "My talk" page is just...wrong; "My talk" is the link sure, but it is not a "My talk" page. It is a user talk page. The link is entitled "my talk", but referring to a "my talk" page is confusing. The user page is called the user page; we don't call it the "my page".
because of that 'my talk' trouble, it gets itself into a mess, with "Note: Discussion and My talk are also called talk pages by the community.
...sod that; just call it a 'user talk' and be consistent throughout, e.g. "To get to your user talk page, click on my talk at the top, near the right, next to your user name" - easy
  • it needs much more about refs and V
  • "Finally, an article reaches a level where it is so well-written, sourced, and comprehensive, that only experts can add much value to it." - this is absolutely wrong. Anyone can help improve a GA - absolutely not just 'experts' - this gives totally the wrong impression.
  • "Featured articles are displayed on the Wikipedia main page. It takes time and effort to write articles at this level." - this is also very misleading; it sounds like you need to be some kind of advanced-level wiki wizard to get on main. Not true at all. What about DYK? OK, so it does take effort to write an FA, but the way this is phrased could discourage people from having a try.
  • Where is the CC licence? Some material (screenshots) comes from Wikipedia articles. Where is the credit? Surely, this leaflet should set a great example regarding licencing. It quotes Wikipedia articles, without giving due credit.Chzz 18:37, 15 September 2010 (UTC)Reply
Agree with these points, especially about licence, roles and "only experts". MartinPoulter 15:44, 10 December 2010 (UTC)Reply

Confused as to the relation of two talk pages


Could someone explain the difference in purpose between this page and Talk:Welcome_to_Wikipedia_(Bookshelf) ? Thanks. Also, it's disappointing that there aren't links to the relevant pages from the table in Bookshelf: creates extra work for users and discourages input. Happy to help out with improvement if it's made clear what the direction of improvement is. MartinPoulter 15:41, 10 December 2010 (UTC)Reply