User talk:Hephaestos/Archive20030407

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Hello there, welcome to the 'pedia! I hope you like the place and decide to stay. If you need any questions answered about the project then check out Wikipedia:Help or add a question to the Village pump. Cheers! --maveric149

Hi, thanks for the help on Johnson County War Fred Bauder

Good to see you here Hephaestos. Wanna help with the LiveJournal article? -- Sam Francis

Thanks for your improvements to the Hippie article. David 16:49 Sep 27, 2002 (UTC)

Nice to see that someone other than me is finally doing more than a tiny bit of editing on Senser ;) I notice that you change a lot of British English style quotes to US English style (compare '"Hello", he said, "and welcome to WIkipedia".' with '"Hello," he said, "and welcome to Wikipedia."). Is this strictly necessary? Does WIkipedia have an 'official' version of English one way or the other? Just wondering, mainly because I think US style quotes are horrible and I'd really like to change it back to how it was ;) Have Fun --Lezek

Hope you don't mind me butting in here, but I saw this question, and knew the answer, and that doesn't often happen, so I can't help myself: The Wikipedia:Manual of Style says to split the difference between US and UK punctuation in quotes (see under the section headed "Punctuation Style"). Of course, you don't have to follow our Manual of Style, and it's not really a big deal one way or the other, but eventually some pedant (like me) will probably come along and make it comply with the style guide :) --Camembert
I was wondering why Hephaestos left the quoting inconsistent. Looks absolutely awful like it was written by someone who doesn't know how to quote properly, as opposed to an American who thinks he/she knows how to quote properly but doesn't, which isn't as bad ;). Oh well... --Lezek
Having just consulted a couple of books published in the UK (just to make sure I wasn't crazy), it would seem to me that we use the same quotation convention on both sides (unless it's changed over the past few years).—Hephaestos
I could be wrong, but I think it's changed over the last few years over here (UK). I've always done things the way the style guide says, however - seems most sensible to me. --Camembert
Aha. I see what Lezek is saying now, and it's not only correct, but also in keeping with the Wikipedia style guide. Thanks for letting me know; from now on, I'll try to "split the difference" by using the British convention in articles or paragraphs where British spelling and style is already being used.
Although, I have to admit I've found it a bit disconcerting to find both styles mixed into the same paragraph, so as an American I'll probably revert to American style in a case like that, as I'd expect a British editor to probably revert to the British style. It should all work itself out in the end.
(Also thanks for the input, Camembert, I don't consider it "butting in" at all; it was getting kind of lonely here on the old user talk page. *grin*) Hephaestos

I notice that you have taken an effort to merge sentences in the wiki source text into paragraphs. Copyedit and spelling correction are good services, but merging sentences is a disservice. Please understand that the web browsers merge all sentences into paragraphs automatically, so your effort makes no contribution to the appearance of the output. Simply compare this paragraph with the source text in the edit window and you would understand what I mean. On the contrary, when you merge individual sentences into a large blob of text, the revision history become less readable because the software may have a hard time to sync the identical portion to highlight the differences. The "diff"ing software may encounter performance problem when it fails to sync up the larger blobs of text.

For example, when I wrote the vacuum flask cooking article initially, I purposely typed one sentence per line to enable better diff'ing in the revision history. When you merge all the lines into paragraphs, you ruin the intent of the original authors with no added benefit. Check the revision history of the vacuum flask cooking article to compare the changes among the revisions before your change to those after your change, you would notice the software fails to highlight the changes as precisely as before.

What is done is done. It is pointless to revert the change because the revision history is already damaged. However, I urge you not to continue such practice.

Thank you for your cooperation.

--- Anon

I hate to cut in again, but I have to: I'd ignore this if I were you, Hephaestos. If the the anonymous user who wrote this is listening - the "diff" function shows up exactly what has changed in red, so it doesn't take much searching through a paragraph to see what has changed. On the other hand, I and others find it rather difficult and off-putting to try and read text in an edit box which has line breaks half way through paragraphs. I tend to take them out when I come across them. I find things a lot easier to read if they're not in. Once again, this isn't a big deal, but there it is. --Camembert
When I was newer to the 'pedia than I am now (and obviously, I'm still learning) I had concerns along the same lines as the anon poster; consolidating paragraphs does tend to skew the differentiation function almost to the point of unusability. I found a way around this problem, which is, as I did with Henri Bergson, to do the consolidation on its own first, and make any other changes in a subsequent edit; they're a lot easier to read this way.
Please seriously inspect the diff report page of your edit in the Henri Bergson article on Nov 21. The first few paragraphs were just fine. Carefully compare the paragraph starting with "The year after his arrival at Clermont-Ferrand" and all the paragraphs starting from that point on. Obviously the diff software lost control after that point. Camembert was correct that the software reports the differences in red. The only trouble is that starting from that paragraph onward, everything is red including all the false alarm. You cannot really tell where the real differences are because the software failed. That is exactly why I said the diff is rendered useless when you consolidate the lines. When each text block is as small as one sentence, the software is less likely to lose track of the matching portions and only report the true differences in red. The power of Wikipedia is that you are given the freedom to ignore other authors' concerns and make a mess as you please. Some newbies cut and paste text into their editors and unintentionally altered the line breaks of the source. They were probably honest mistakes. These people probably would stop doing it once they learn the differences. The real problem is with those self-righteous people who truely believe they are doing the right thing when they ignore other people's opinions. There are people in the world who truely believe all Americans are evil and their opinion was so strong that they would drive airplanes into buildings to kill some. One's strong belief is not necessarily valid in other's opinion. I agree with you that consolidated paragraphs are easier to read, that is what the web browsers do for you. But sacraficing the diff report to duplicate the browser function is not worthwhile in my opinion. Obviously you and I have opposite opinions. I did my part to point out the pros and cons of what you did. I won't have a problem if you choose not to listen. This type of "religeous" belief may never come to agreement anyway. My suggestion is that if the sentences were written in separate lines, leave them alone for better diff report. Meanwhile I promise I won't waste my time to break consolidated paragraphs into lines because I respect your choice to write them that way. --- Anon
Apparently I'm not making my point very well. What I mean to say is that, for example in the edit you cite, there are no "real differences" in the text; all that was done in that edit is rearrangement of paragraph structure. This is exactly the reason I did it that way, so that the substantive changes to the text I made in the next edit that same day would not be lost (as they would have been had I jumbled all the changes into one edit).—Hephaestos
I think, overall, that it's helpful to subsequent editors to consolidate paragraphs. While this isn't characteristic of anon's work, often I run into articles where lines are split not just between sentences, but between sentence fragments (I assume this is a result of copying and pasting from a text editor). Subsequent changes will then highlight only the affected fragments, which are difficult to find, especially in a large article.
(I might also mention that in the specific case of vacuum flask cooking the most significant changes to the paragraph structure were done not by me but rather by the automated conversion script on February 25, 2002. I think the result makes reading a lot smoother when compared with the original.) Hephaestos

Hey, thanks for helping us out on the LiveJournal article, and for the sound copy-edit at the Skid Row article. Just thought I'd stop by and say "hi." --asilvahalo

Thanks for the intervention on Oxford University. I get quite uptight about wikipedia sometimes, and it was good that the voice of sanity made itself heard before I had time to produce another sarcastic response. Feel free to come between me and "Isis" anytime. Deb --- Hi. Take a look at [1] Mintguy

The "Mad Anthony Wayne" was the name of a burger-joint I frequented in my younger days, so perhaps I'll have a go at its namesake's Rambot-forsaken towns<G>: I can't imagine how it missed Stony Point, NY, even >I< know where that is! -- Someone else 02:29 Dec 23, 2002 (UTC)

Why have you removed the bulk of the text at Baby-farming, and replaced it with a stub? An explanation on the Talk:Baby-farming page (rather than here) would be appreciated. -- Bignose 2002-01-04

good catch on Cultural behavior but please check Culture theory which I think may be the same? Slrubenstein

Excellent choice of scarlet over in maroon. Where would I find the palette of colours ? User:Two16

Hi, I made some changes to the Henry Ford page, including reorganization and headings, and I'd like to know what you think, Slrubenstein


To begin with, so you won't have to read the whole spiel, I think your edits to Henry Ford are quite good, especially in re-incorporating material which was there before and which should be there, but which I left out in a somewhat selfish attempt to end the edit war.

This all started quite innocently, I swear.  :) However, for good or ill you've given me an opening to go on at length about it, which I've been itching to do for some time.

January 11, I was doing a spate of copyediting, which is mainly how I pass my Wikipedia time (although I've written a few articles, mostly of the non-controversial sort). Came across Ford Motor Company, as I recall upon a search for the misspelling "independant." Fixed some copy and noticed as I was going along that a lot of the article had to do with Ford the man and not Ford the company. Went and looked at Henry Ford and noticed, likewise, a substantial amount having to do with Ford the company as opposed to Ford the man. Resolved to fix the mess; did so on January 12. Thought that would be the end of it.

Not so! My first real "edit war" (hopefully my last for a long while, as I mentioned I'm not overly fond of controversy—generally I have been coming to Wikipedia as an escape from controversy). At first I was at a bit of a loss as to where Clutch's motivation for the whitewashing of this article came from (I initially pictured him as a strong U.S. patriot with an affinity for the history of the automobile). And I think it's true that, on a byte-for-byte basis, the article on Henry Ford as originally I left it overemphasized his antisemitism at the expense of glossing over his contributions to the automotive field (although I had envisioned the future of the article as being one of people fleshing out the positive, not censoring the negative).

As the discussion in Talk:Henry_Ford wore on, and as Clutch came up with such gems as "Ford did not repudiate his statements" and (my personal favorite, which gave me a belly-laugh) "none of Ford's descendants worthy of their own encyclopedia articles at this point in time," it dawned on me that this person has not even the most rudimentary grasp of the subject matter. It puzzled me; why, then, was he editing the article at all?

So I had a look at his user contributions, and all became clear.

It's interesting to me that in a search for the word "antisemite," it would appear from the current version of Wikipedia that there were only two in history: Henry Ford and Hermann Goedsche (and frankly I'm surprised "Sir John" is still there, as Clutch has no few edits on the Protocols article as well). Clearly this is not accurate. That Henry Ford and others were and are antisemites is fact, not a matter of point-of-view. Unfortunately, as borne out in Talk:Henry_Ford, Clutch and probably some substantial few others have a fixed and skewed view of the term which is not current or even borne out by a dictionary.

In my view, Ford's well-nigh-rabid antisemitism (I'm guessing springing in no small part from his perception that the "Jews controlled the labor unions," which he loathed from a business perspective) is part of what makes the life of Henry Ford interesting. His zeal in evangelizing these beliefs, while flying in the face of Ford as an "American icon," is also a telling example of the sheer energy the man had. This dichotomy is part of what makes him a fascinating biographical subject.

(As I've been writing this, though, I've seen some "Ford Motor Company" material start to creep back in, so I may be back to that article later. *grin*)—Hephaestos 01:42 Feb 12, 2003 (UTC)

thank you, and I am delighted to have read the whole speil. For what it is worth I think Clutch is gone -- and yes, he (or she) is a real racist and like most racists today (at least in the US) denies it and really may not be aware of how racist they are. I think the idea behind this whole thing is that if enough people participate in Wiki, whatever damage one or a few people can do will eventually be washed away. I hope it is true -- I have seem some serious edit wars that eventually end with something good, although when it comes to anything really politically charged you can count on many articles that manage to be at best overwrought and poorly written lasting for a long time. What amazes me is how many people are so quick to make substantive claims in an article when they really have done no more research than reading Time magazine and checking out some websites. I am not knocking Time or the web, but we wouldn't want someone to write an article on molecular chemistry or civil engineering that way! Graft directed me to the HF page and I saw what had happened. There really is no point in trying to engage someone like Clutch (I have had my own kind of tarbaby experiences -- look at the talk page for Revolution and Talk:Early_infanticidal_childrearing/Archive if you really (I mean it) have time to waste, and enough curiosity (few things are so boring as someone else's argument, I grant). Anyway, I made the changes to HF in part because I really thought they'd make it a better article, and in part to show you and others that Clutch is not running things. Whenever someone starts to wear you down, you really will find others to help, Slrubenstein

If you are bored, check out Richard Wagner and the talk page... Slrubenstein

Sheesh. Guess I can't say I'm surprised though. Hephaestos

Hi Hep, I don't think changing the word 'with' to 'on' on the [UN . . . Iraq] page solves the problem. on and with are both used, the former by anti-war people, the latter by pro-war people. So we have just moved one POV and replaced it for another. I've another suggestion: instead call it ' The UN Security Council and the proposed Iraq war'. That way you avoid any hint of bias, by all words that could be seen as in any way expressing a POV and instead calling it a term that all sides would be able to use: the Proposed Iraq War. What do you think? JTD 00:35 Feb 22, 2003 (UTC)

Well, "proposed Iraq war" works for me too; I was just suggesting something off-the-cuff that I thought would be acceptable to both the pro- and anti- factions. The main thing is to keep the wording as unbiased as possible. (At the risk of labeling myself, btw, I consider myself "anti-", and didn't see "war with" as being all that "pro-". In retrospect, I can see it being problematic as suggesting it's a "done deal.") But whatever works. If both sides agree, there's a good chance it's NPOV. - Hephaestos 00:51 Feb 22, 2003 (UTC)

Erm, just wondering... Is there any special reason for removing the full stops from names with "St." in them? They seem to be a useful way of indicating abbreviations, to me. And in any case, at least some of the Oxford colleges that you've removed them from have their names given with full stops on their official webpages, so doesn't that make the full stops official, too...? -- Oliver P. 19:58 Feb 24, 2003 (UTC)

Just trying to get it consistent (as I thought they all were, so I didn't look at all the websites, but now that you point it out probably St. Catherine's and St. Peter's should be changed back) - Hephaestos
Now that I look more closely, St. Peter's isn't even consistent on its main page, and St. Catherine's uses the name without the full stop in some places on its site. And the University of Oxford's list of colleges gives them all without full stops, so... I don't know. You may be right that it's better to make them consistent within the Wikipedia. (I prefer the versions with full stops, but it looks as if the websites have outvoted me...) -- Oliver P. 20:24 Feb 24, 2003 (UTC)
US usually puts the period after St Mr Mrs etc, British seems not too. Odd note, I just discovered we have separate articles on separate subjects titled Saint Louis Blues and St. Louis blues. I suppose, logically, there could be another one called St Louis blues and so forth. Ortolan88

Hi, Hephaestos - thanks for the welcome. I'm already addicted, and typing/recollecting so fast that I'm giving myself an ice-cream headache :)

I'm baffled by my display problem too. The tan talk pages show up fine on my $135 ViewSonic, but no amount of twiddling can get my $500 Radius flatscreen to behave. It isn't just OmniWeb, but all the OS X browsers I have. Of course, I get sick of OS X monitor calibration (tediousness exemplified), but my brother the photographer says no matter how easy on the eyes the flat screen is, the CRT monitor is inherently better at displaying colors. Ortolan88 18:56 Mar 5, 2003 (UTC)

Hi Hephaestos, you just added a "width=400" clause to the image on Brisbane, Queensland. I have had admins come along after me and take these out. Can you point me to any prior discussions on this subject? - Gaz 04:49 Mar 7, 2003 (UTC)

I'm not aware of any prior discussions on the subject; there probably should be, but I'm not really sure where they should occur. At any rate, I do owe an explanation of what I've been doing.
First, I assure you I'm not going around to pages and puttting "width:400", specifically, everywhere; it depends on the actual width of the image in question. If the image were 80 pixels wide, I'd put "width:80".
It has to do with a bug in some browsers (specifically, and not surpisingly, one of which happens to be one I use *grin*) that defaults an image to the entire screen width if these tags aren't included. I'll post screenshots in a bit to make it more clear. Hephaestos
Here are the screenshots with the tag [2] and without [3] - Hephaestos

OK, I understand your problem. The downside of making the width explicit is that if a new version of the image is uploaded, and the size changes, then it will also render poorly. I suppose the onus should be on the uploader to check all links to any image he/she uploads and adjust the page if necessary.

I was originally including the "width=nnn" tag when I did my uploads, then Admin mav came along, shrunk the image and removed the tag. I will be using the tags in future. I know the Dominoes image is a little large. I will be uploading a slightly smaller one soon (320x240). Do you like my pics? - Gaz 05:36 Mar 7, 2003 (UTC)

I like them quite a bit, especially the Brisbane one, looks like it's just at dusk.
I agree it's probably up to the person editing the page to include the tag, but it's not strictly necessary; as I said earlier, it's more a browser bug problem than anything else, I mostly just fix the ones I look at so I can see those pages better, myself. Doubtless there are hundreds of pages without the tag floating around the Wikipedia "unfixed," and not bothering anybody.  :)
One thing to consider might be to upload a smaller version linked to a larger version; there's an example at Paul von Hindenburg. I originally hit that article with the full image imbedded, and it just about scared the hell out of me.  :)

I'm starting to do this now, usually where the image has some artistic worth (my image, my opinion) or the reader would need the larger image to see finer detail. Look at Story Bridge, Brisbane - Gaz 03:34 Mar 19, 2003 (UTC)

Thanks for tag teaming me on the reverts. Salsa Shark 06:01 Mar 19, 2003 (UTC)

Thanks for wikifying my stub article, Slogan:Power_to_the_people. I take it you like the convention of sticking the word Slogan at the beginning of the title. (BTW, nice LiveJournal -- I copied the bouncing kittycat image). --Uncle Ed 19:19 Mar 19, 2003 (UTC)

I like the concept; I'm curious as to whether the format Word:Article will throw it into a different namespace, though; I'd prefer it if they were all searchable (which is somewhat of a problem presently) but I guess it'll all work itself out, as usual.  :)
(I'm wondering whether you grabbed a happy kitty or an angry kitty. *grin*) - Hephaestos

The only namespaces I know of are "Wikipedia:" and "User:" -- everything else goes in the plain old article namespace. (Technically, the talk articles occupy their own namespace as well, but let's not get too technical...)

I took the happy kitty, of course. ^_^ --Uncle Ed

Thanks for the picture of the 5p. Have you got any pictures of other current UK coins? With a bit of luck I'll do the articles for all the current ones this weekend. -- Arwel 23:51 Mar 22, 2003 (UTC)

Why did you move Patrice MacMahon, duc de Magenta?

  1. Your move runs contrary to naming conventions.
  2. There is an ungoing discussion about whether to use the french or english version of his title.
  3. No decision has been made, and others not currently involved in the discussion have been asked for their opinion.
  4. No-one agreed with your suggestion, not least because it runs contrary to the naming conventions that we all follow in a case like this.

I have reverted the page for the present. If and when some agreement is reached on how to deal with the issue, the page can be moved if necessary. But wait until people have reached a decision, especially when all sides were opposed to what you suggested. STÓD/ÉÍRE 02:30 Mar 24, 2003 (UTC)

Hi Hephaestos. Are there browsers that have problems with <div> tags that contain images without widths? I'm asking because I see you keep adding widths to the divs. That makes it more difficult for a user (like me) who wants to update an image, because now I've got to go check every page that links to it and make sure that there isn't a width, or change the width if there is one. Anyhow, I'm curious as to why you think this change makes things better. -º¡º

Yep, there are some browsers that don't do widths correctly without the info in the tag (see the above conversation I had with Gaz for an example with screenshots). - Hephaestos
Ah yes, if I had read your entire page I would have seen that. Since I'm not using the browser in question, I can't test things on my own. By any chance, does setting width to "auto" instead of a number help? -º¡º
Quite all right, it would be a bit much to expect anybody to read the whole talk page here.  :)
I gave "width:auto" a try but it didn't help, which is a shame because that would have been an ideal solution. Possibly what would be most workable at the moment would be if someone were uploading a new image, and for some reason doesn't know how wide it is, to get rid of the width altogether, because a wrong one can throw things off. But if the width is known I think it's nice to have it in there. - Hephaestos

The trouble with leaving out width is that the picture then moves to different locations on the page, depending on which browser is used. (I had a sharp row with someone re the way they were laying out images, only to find that what their browser told them they were doing, and what my browser told me they were doing, were completely different. It became like a perverse game of table tennis, as we each corrected each other's mistake, only to find that what was right on mine was hideous on his, and what was right on his was god-damned awful on mine. It was only when the width command was restored that we actually were able to place the picture in the same spot and both see it there.

I've begun doing is downloading images onto iPhoto (which i have on my eMac). It tells me exactly what the borders are so I then quote the numbers directly into the box and everything fits to a T. But not everyone has iPhoto. BTW, a lot of people are putting images on without specifying a space around the text. The result is that the writing does right up to the image and looks . . . euch! I've spent tonight changing that. Brion came up with a varied list of commands to be used when putting in pictures. It is on the Robert Mugabe page and seems to work perfectly. The only issue is the test and see (or use iPhoto) in guessing the image width. STÓD/ÉÍRE 22:02 Apr 3, 2003 (UTC)

Seems the best way to handle it is if everybody says, "if it looks like hell in my browser, I'll fix it." Much like the content of text.  :) It may involve some back-and-forth as you mentioned, but it should come out right in the long run. A healthy dose of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" is probably good also; some stuff looks fine to me which I know for a fact is horrible in Mozilla, but I'll let someone with Mozilla fix those. - Hephaestos 03:26 Apr 4, 2003 (UTC)

Hi! I think it's polite to explain why I changed your picture of the Thunderbirds (squadron). I obviously had no need to change the pic you used (it was an excellent view) but when I went to the USAF site and collected the pic afresh, the bigger version was clearly blurred so I had no choice but to change it completely.

I think the reader likes an enlarged pic available so that's why I always do a 750 pixel wide bigger version and a 250 pixel wide thumbnail. I hope my changes can stay but if you are unhappy I will immediately revert for you.

As an aside, I have no way of checking how my pics work in different browsers (I have IE5) so any comment on that would be welcome. -- Adrian Pingstone 13:14 Apr 4, 2003 (UTC)

I've only just scrolled to the bottom of the article and seen your second pic. So now I have messed you up by having two pic styles in the same article! Sorry!
I have read in the UserTalk areas about picture framing causing problems between browsers so I wonder if you would let me repeat my style on your second pic? -- Adrian Pingstone 13:24 Apr 4, 2003 (UTC)

Thank you very much for the input. That was very polite, although not strictly necessary; in the tradition of Wikipedia I'm reminded it's really not up to any one person what happens to a page once it's up, it's free for anyone to change as they see fit.

That said, I really do like the picture you chose better than the earlier one, because yours shows the Thunderbird logo on the bottom of the planes, which is something that was originally missing. I also like the idea of linking to a larger version, and wish I'd thought of it myself.  :)

One thing I have read here, though (and I forget where, unfortunately) is that css-style div tags seem to be preferred by most Wikipedians over table tags (which threw me a bit when I first started, as I was more used to tables). If you remember where the discussions were about picture framing problems I'd like to go take a look at them and try to get a better feel for it.

I did make a couple of minor tweaks, hopefully it won't screw up others' browsers, but if it does hopefully they'll step in and fix it. As I mention to STÓD/ÉÍRE above, this kind of back-and-forth usually has an end result of something that's acceptable to everybody.

Hephaestos 18:47 Apr 4, 2003 (UTC)

Hi! from Adrian. Thank you for your thoughtful reply.
  • Nearly all my pics have 750 pixel versions available. In fact, I won't normally use a pic if I can't get hold of a high res version.
  • I hadn't spotted that lovely Thunderbird logo until you told me!
  • I entirely accept that div tags are very common on Wikipedia but Table HTML seems to be OK as well. I understand my code, it works fine and I've had no complaints (yet!). I know you have a right to change my code to div tags but I'd sooner you didn't do it for any more of my pics (they are easily identifiable by the Click Here for Larger Version message). I don't want to learn picture coding all over again when I already have a system that works fine (and I'd sooner concentrate on the pictures themselves!). All your comments are appreciated, I learn a little more each day! -- Adrian Pingstone 21:39 Apr 4, 2003 (UTC)