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Do you have some personal, idiosyncratic questions or comments about Wikipedia? Use this page! If you have a general question, the answer to which might be of interest to many other people, ask it on Wikipedia FAQ. You could also ask your question on Wikipedia-L, Wikipedia's mailing list. Plus, there's a real-time IRC channel #wikipedia on (started December 8, 2001).

Some articles are really dull without images, and they are a whole lot less intuitive without those life-bringing and explaining images. Too bad there isnt yet a upload-facility, and too bad that images take more time to make than plain text. :)

If Wikipedia is to become multimedia, it would probably be best to standardize on bitmap (including animated ones), audio, and video formats, or at least to have preferred types. Perhaps even Flash or Shockwave could be part of said standard. I'm not sure if there's even a decent vector-drawing format for web pages out there, but I'd be interested to hear of one if there is. --Belltower
Check out which is an overview of a proposed standard at the W3C. I agree that there ought to be preferred standards, I think it is also important to have size limitations. Those of us w/ slow connections will be much happier w/ a few small images. I disagree about Flash and Shockwave. There should only be open standard formats used.
I do not know if Flash mets the definition of "open standards", but there is enough information out there for folks to write their own Flash authoring software and plugins. However, there is not yet any free way of editing Flash that I've heard about which gets in the way of the whole collaborative effort-thing. In general, that is the problem with images is that they create larger hurtles for editing. Shockwave is certainly a bad idea. - Eean
I don't think flash is a good idea for wikipedia. One of the great things about wiki is that it is so fast and uncomplicated to load each page. I think that if there was some kind of vector format (ie. the instructions stored on and rendered by the server) this would be really useful.


Would it be possible to put the parent category on the top of a topic page? For example, what topic would Hanlon's law be under? What about Murphy's law? Occam's Razor?


Chuck: our convention has been to put cross-references at the bottom of pages. See the Wikipedia FAQ and explore the links...

Just a thought, but why is Wikipedia called that? More of the world uses English than American, so surely the name should be Wikipaedia? Or is the U.S.-centrism unintentional? -- James

It was started by Bomis, and Bomis is an American company. Besides, I once researched this question, and in terms of sheer numbers, more people speak American English than British English. This question should have been asked on Wikipedia FAQ. --LMS

Perhaps we should have a parent category for Wikipedians, such as I've just done for me? -- Wikipedians/Belltower

a separate namespace for users is a good idea. we all know how tight nickspace is, and when competing with all the human knowledge, its gonna be tight ;) --sandos Wikipedians/sandos

Right now UseModWiki expects the registered user ids to be in the root of the namespace (for example, the Recent Changes display), so I'd be reluctant recommend the practice unless UMW was modified to support it; otherwise we're likely to just wind up with a lot of redirects between the two. --loh (2001-07-27)

Larry, I didn't know that. The idea is great, though. --LMS
Actually, most of us have taken Wikipedia nicks that don't conflict with real encyclopedic terms, so I don't think the namespace per se is generally a problem. --Belltower

Is there some kind of style guide for Wikipedia? I have two specific questions: How to write B.C., as I am sure you are aware some (see political correctness have suggested bce (before common era) etc., and there is the problem of multiple spellings of names in languages other than English. For example on the astrometry page I changed the spelling of Hipparcos to Hipparchus because that is how it usually appears in print.

There is no style guide, but do see Wikipedia policy. We don't care if you write B.C. or B.C.E. Proper punctuation does use the periods (full stops to you Brits), according to Chicago Manual of Style. Even Nupedia leaves this up to the discretion of the writer. The multiple spelling problem will be solved by "REDIRECT" pages.
I would recommend the use of BCE and CE instead of BC/AD. BC/AD are specifically Christian terms, especially AD (Anno Domini -- Latin for "year of Lord"). BCE and CE are better -- they can mean either "Christian era" or "Common era" and are thus more acceptable to non-Christians. -- Simon J Kissane
Well, but.... As someone who teaches in a thoroughly politically correct environment, I can attest to the 'feeling' that B.C.E. and C.E. are more 'sensitive', but just wait until the anti-colonialists get around to feeling hurt about the 'C' part. I'm working on a page for Chronology or 'Era'. --MichaelTinkler
I just found "BCE" used in the Moses article, and rather than go ballistic (I loathe political correctness) I decided to put on my unbiased Wikipedian hat and lay the controversy out in the open. See B.C.E. <>< tbc
tbc, I am (a) a practicing Christian and (b) a practicing historian. I don't feel very strongly about it. One of these days I'll finish my entry on "Chronology" and you'll see why. Until the 8th century NO ONE much used A.D. or B.C. It just wasn't an issue.

Clocks or dependancy on machines was not an issue. Time was not an issue. Religion is only an issue for those who seek to invent themselves around it. Like we invented time, not so long ago. __dgd

I happen to personally in the back of my mind chuckle every time I see someone who thinks that they're solving soemthing by using Common Era - after all, the only thing it has in common _is_ the slightly incorrect year of the birth of Jesus. We're right that B.C. and B.C.E. are both dating from Jesus (I tend to say in class "The Christian Era" and "Before the Christian Era" and no one has ever corrected me - they know it's true). We can bend the knee to weaker brethren, though, in the words of St. Paul, and mean different things by our abbreviations. --MichaelTinkler

At the moment, I would guess random people off the street are more likely to know B.C. and A.D. than they are to know B.C.E. and C.E. That may change some day, but in the mean time, isn't it self-defeating to try and make our articles more accessible by making them less accessible?

Let us suppose I create three pages, A, B, and C. I make A redirect to B, B redirect to C, and you know what I do with C. Will this crash Wikipedia?

The answer is no, as a redirect cannot cascade. When A redirects to B, all you will get is the "Edit Text" window for B, with the next redirect code (to C) visible, but inoperative. Nothing more will happen. - MMGB