Wikispecies:Village Pump/Archive 18

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Vernacular Linking[edit]

I am in love with the idea of a Wikispecies. As I was navigating through, however, I noticed that just one change could make the experience more pleasing. My thought was to have the vernacular words linked to their respective language pages in Wikipedia. Since it is easy to undo, I went ahead and tried it out for the Mammalia page here. Anyone like or dislike this possible venture? nicklink483 16:15, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

No... it looks awkward with all the extra link. Plus not all names in VN have its corresponding language's Wikipedia page. OhanaUnitedTalk page 19:25, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
Links are there, just few centimeters left, and creating additional links sounds like useless job to me. --Lasta 13:43, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
Also a lot of the wikipedia pages use scientific names for their page titles (e.g. almost all plants on Spanish and Italian wikipedias, and many on English wikipedia), so vernacular names wouldn't link directly to the relevant wikipedia article (though redirects should cover most of these) - MPF 15:25, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
Why don't we just add links to the vernacular names to Wiktionary in Template:VN? 22:45, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

Encyclopedia of Life coordination[edit]

What sorts of coordination are being done with the Enc. of Life? Sj 02:03, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

None, I'd assume! Stho002 02:06, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
But we welcome any coordination efforts or partnerships. OhanaUnitedTalk page 05:30, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

I have been accepted to be a curator of pages on EOL, but as yet I do not have sufficient information from them to start work. It was suggested to me (by Cyndy Parr of EOL) that I would be best for now continuing to create WikiSp pages with a view to linking them somehow to EOL in due course. It remains to be seen how easy this will be. The other 'problem' is that EOL encourages uploading if images to Flickr while WikiSp images go to the Commons. I am hoping that it will be easy to link EOL pages to Commons images, as I would not want to be faced with loading them all up again to Flickr. Accassidy 11:38, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

I've reported some errors (on plant pages) on EOL on several occasions, but they still remain uncorrected. At least some of these errors are the result of errors on ITIS, which is often badly out of date or inaccurate compared to e.g. USDA GRIN. I'd say we should be very cautious about accepting anything from EOL, or ITIS, at least concerning plants. - MPF 12:02, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
Most of their data about fish species is accurate, but there are some big mistakes as well. This note is just for information. --Lasta 13:38, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
(first time encountering edit conflict on Wikispecies) I have received comments that ITIS is badly outdated from both Wikispecies and Wikipedia community. They are missing a lot of subgenera and species. They also used synonyms that have been disregarded by the scientific community. I don't mind if we have an external link that goes out to EOL, but on the condition that Wikispecies should be mentioned either on main page in general, or in each species page at which there is a corresponding page in Wikispecies. Of course, we have to consult with Wikimedia Foundation with regards to partnership and advertising. Accassidy, could you ask Cyndy Parr of EOL to come over to this page for discussion? OhanaUnitedTalk page 13:42, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
OhanaUnited and MPF are right that ITIS can be out of step with the latest views in the scientific community. I'm not sure about USDA GRIN but I have heard via personal communication (but will double check) that USDA PLANTS is shifting its backbone classification and that it will subsequently (slowly) make its way to Catalog of Life, which is what EOL is using. So maybe plants will improve.
We are in discussion with Wikimedia about partnership; it would be great to have some mutual promotion but one issue is mechanism. EOL can and should make links to every appropriate Wikispecies page automatically. My current understanding is that you currently couldn't make return links to EOL automatically, which is fine -- I personally don't expect links unless our information is actually used in a Wikispecies article (I hope you find something worth using!). Another issue is exactly how to cite EOL info. I'm hoping to get something up about that soon. Finally, the most important issue (to me) is whether we can help each other even more. As we ramp up our activity, our contributors should be able to use Wikispecies/Wikipedia and vice versa, and attribute it appropriately. Our curators can put a stamp of a approval on things. Until we figure out the best large scale solution, I'd be in favor of individuals continuing to chip away by using and/or linking to EOL. I'll pursue the external links from the EOL side. Csparr 22:33, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
Just a comment, but perhaps Wikispecies is strong enough now to stand alone, without the need for "partnerships"? The other initiatives will do things their way, and in the end the public can decide who to look to for good information...
Stho002 20:59, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
Out there, scientists only know EOL, not Wikispecies. They have the upper-hand in terms of "brand recognition" and also the ideology of how science doesn't mix well with wiki-format. I have seen many media mentioning EOL when talking about identifying unknown species or doing census, but not Wikispecies. OhanaUnitedTalk page 02:31, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
Yes, but we ought to be working to change that by making Wikispecies stronger. I have had a little bit of feedback from scientists I know who are beginning to notice Wikispecies now. The fact that Wikispecies pages come up near the top of a Google search for a taxon is a big plus. Stho002 20:15, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
That is true. I hardly see any EOL results on Google. Perhaps the best way to promote Wikispecies is to spread it with words. Talk with your fellow scientists and encourage them to join and contribute. OhanaUnitedTalk page 20:30, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
I agree with both OhanaUnited and Stho002. EOL may have brand recognition among scientists but we certainly don't have any Google prestige yet. I'd prefer that we try to leverage the work that each other is doing. Because our data can be used on each other's pages, I think we can both be strong and people can choose whichever platform they find most appealing for contribution or for consumption. I'm not totally naive, and recognize there's an element of Darwinian competition. But I hope that we can keep it friendly and mutually constructive. Csparr 22:43, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

I have emailed my EOL contact Cyndy, as suggested above, and invited her to look at this page. Accassidy 16:48, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

Sorry it has taken me a while to respond here. My comments will be interspresed where appropriate. Csparr 22:33, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

Number Of New Recorded Species[edit]

I am looking for the number of New Recorded Species during time. I.e. how many new species had been found in the 60's 70's 80's etc'. I have found this information for birds only. Does anyone know where (if exist) I can found this data? Thanks

About 2,000 new plant species described annually Kew Scientist April 2008 p.2 (pdf file) - MPF 17:40, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

"Model" taxonomy[edit]

I think it may be a good idea to create a Wikispecies: space page intended to exemplify a "model" content page on Wikisource: how the taxonomy should look, the naming, proper formatting of references etc.. It'd help amateurs make their pages better (ie. me :P) and would give us all something to aim for in our collaborative documentation. I therefore make a call to the professional taxonomists on the site to help make it. How about Wikispecies:How a taxonomy should look? —Anonymous DissidentTalk 12:36, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

I don't actually think this is necessary, and the time would be better spent creating more articles. There isn't a single "correct" way of doing things, and people should just look around the site a bit to get a feel for what is "good".

A more serious issue which I would like some feedback on is this:
We need a way of marking pages as being complete and correct, to distinguish them from currently less reliable pages. A great many existing pages need a lot of work to bring them up to this level. So, my suggestion is this:
if I, for example, consider a page to be complete and correct to my knowledge, I simply write at the bottom of the page

  • this page is complete and correct Stho002 20:32, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

For me this page is complete and correct when I have add all the data from the authors pages. Now I'm doing Buchreihe zur Entomologie Band 14 2008. I add all the data after Holotype (== Type locality and Holotype). I see others who add only by Holotype: Museum and male or female, but in the original paper is more (date of collection, leg., gen. slide no.). So what is complete.PeterR 19:48, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

The most important things are (1) if it is a genus page then ALL species should be listed, and (2) whatever details are given under the Name section ought to be correct. Stho002 20:40, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

Means this that you have add all the details under the Name section? Such I do?

There is no need for more than one person to sign a page off in this way, unless it needs updating/correcting, in which case the new editor can replace the previous signature with a new one


Stho002 20:32, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

We could just make a template of some kind that could be applied to pages that are known to be correct. I just thought that my idea was a good one because its completeness and fullness of detail would give us something to aim for in our documentation. Oh well. —Anonymous DissidentTalk 21:04, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
Your idea is basically good, but just not really necessary in my opinion. But, my "complete and correct" idea would signify that a page is a "model" page, so finding any such pages 'would give us something to aim for in our documentation' - I just don't like the idea of singling out any one particular page as a "model" page, as the exact issues involved can vary a lot between pages. A template like you suggest would be OK, except that there are only 6 short words involved anyway (this page is complete and correct), and it still needs to be signed and dated (if, for example, I say a N.Z. beetle genus page is complete and correct, then that carries more weight than you saying that a N.Z. beetle page is complete and correct, but you might be the higher authority on something else). Stho002 21:32, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

I think a good example for a species is Coluber constrictor, and for a genus - Coluber.
The references section makes a weak spot in Wikispecies: There are two reference classes -- a reference to a publication - this is the 'classic' taxonomic ref like:

  • Stanley, Arthur 1917: Two new species of Chinese snakes. Jour. North-China Branch Royal Asiatic Soc., Shanghai, 47: 83–84.

Another class of references is:

This type refers to a web site where the species is 'displayed'.
Scientifically speaking, only the first class is relevant (the publications). Referring to a web site is perhaps informative, but in terms of taxonomic science and authority it is meaningless.
To make Wikispecies more scientifically robust, I suggest to divide the 'references section' in two separate parts as in the following example:


  • Linnaeus, C. 1758. Systema naturæ per regna tria naturæ, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I. Editio decima, reformata. Laurentii Salvii, Holmiæ. 10th Edition: 824 pp.
  • Stuart, L. C. 1935. A contribution to a knowledge of the herpetology of a portion of the savanna region of Central Peten, Guatemala University of Michigan Museum of Zoology Miscellaneous Publications 29: 1-56.
  • Liner, Ernest A. 1949. Notes on the young of the blue racer, Coluber constrictor flaviventris. Copeia 1949 (3): 230.

External Links

Mariusm 09:07, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

It is always clear enough if a reference is a "proper one" or an external link, so I don't hink it is necessary to split them into distinct sections. Besides, with electronic publication of new taxa just around the corner (e.g. [2]), the distinction may become less clear in the near future

Stho002 22:49, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

After I created my first couple of pages, another contributor working on Lepidoptera pointed me to an example of a "good" page in an area close to mine and I found this helpful. Equally, I would have found a similar "sample" page useful, but if an example can be made using a real page rather than one where the species is "Duckus donaldus" or some such made up instance then I think the real page would be better. It may also be that an "ideal" plant page has some slight differences from an "ideal" arthropod page, so this may also cause problems with artificial exemplars.

Furthermore, in response to Stho002, I would not feel very happy about claiming my work was 'complete and correct'. In some instances, where there have been good quality recent monographs, I can be fairly sure I am on strong ground. In others, especially with races or subspecies where I do not have access to all the original papers, but only to summaries, I create pages thinking I have found the best consensus viewpoint, but I would not want to inhibit others from making alternative interpretations.

I probably sound indecisive here, but I think Wiki pages should be open to revision and discussion and labelling something "complete" seems to mitigate against this. Accassidy 22:17, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

In response to Accassidy, I think he slightly misunderstands the situation. Perhaps the wording "complete and correct" may need tweaking slightly, but there are two very different classes of taxon pages which need to be distinguished, and this was the point of the "complete and correct" idea. The first class of pages, eg. Pheidole is extremely incomplete, and therefore potentially misleading. There are perhaps 1000+ valid species of Pheidole, but only a random few have been included so far on the page. Hence, this is an INCOMPLETE page, which is likely to remain so for some time, as it will take a great deal of work/time to make it complete. However, there is a second class of pages. Take for example, Jamides. Now, if Accassidy signs it off as complete and correct, then I am happy with that. It doesn't mean that it is necessarily absolutely beyond all doubt 100% complete and correct, but it is still very important to know that someone who knows the group is willing to say that it is complete and correct as far as they know at this time. Complete in the sense of all species are listed, and correct in Name details. The fact that the classification may be disputed is another issue entirely, to be handled with the Disputed template. These are important issues of data quality control, which is the weak point of Wikispecies so far, but I think we need to change that...

Stho002 22:43, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

I didn't mean "complete" in the sense that the documentation is done, but in the sense that the page contains all of the elements and components a well-presented taxonomy should. —Anonymous DissidentTalk 14:37, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
I understand what Stho002 and AD are implying and I agree it would be a useful adjunct to the page. Its just a case of finding the wording. As of now, too, there would be an awful lot of "completed" pages that we had to go back to and edit again. It would be easier, therefore to add an "incomplete" statement to all new pages, and to any other pages one came across that were lacking in some way, and then to remove this statement when one thought it was pretty complete and up to date. Thus we could show doubt, without the conceit of showing certainty.
So when I do a page, if there is something about it that is incomplete, e.g. I am missing the location of the Type Species (which is often the case with older taxa where the original description lacks this info), I could add a note saying: [This page is not yet complete to my satisfaction because....] then I could delete this when I have rectified it. Is this an idea worth pursuing? Accassidy 17:36, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
Unfortunately, the idea of Accassidy to only mark "incomplete" pages just doesn't work. Think of it this way: a user wants information they can rely on. On Accassidy's idea, there are two cases - either the page is marked as incomplete, or it isn't marked at all. If the former, then they know they can't rely on it, but if the latter then they don't know if they can rely on it or not (since either it is complete OR we haven't got around to considering that page yet). Hence, in no case have we given them any information that they can rely on!!! If we mark pages as "complete", then there is at least something on offer that is reliable! Stho002 20:29, 8 March 2009 (UTC) Also, a missing type locality or something like that isn't serious "incompleteness" - there are really just two important areas: (1) for a genus, the list of species should be complete (Pheidole is a bad example where this is incomplete), and (2) whatever details are given in the Name section ought to be correct. Stho002 20:33, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
This is what I have in mind, e.g., Meonochilus
Stho002 02:07, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

AP vandal is back![edit]

Emo Plucker is AP vandal! Stho002 22:55, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

Dealt with. —Anonymous DissidentTalk 14:15, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

Extinct species and nonbreaking spaces[edit]

I hit the Homo page today for a paper, and noticed that the list of species wrapped between a species and the preceeding "dagger" indicating its extinction. I went ahead and replaced that and similarly situated spaces with   (non-breaking space characters). For taxonomy levels with substantial numbers of extinct subordinate levels, that would appear to be an improvement. Since it's my first contribution to this wiki, though, I thought I'd note it here for feedback. Jclemens 04:08, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

There isn't supposed to have any spaces between the daggers and the genus/species names anyway. OhanaUnitedTalk page 05:06, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
Ah, well, then that settles that. Jclemens 05:17, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
While scientists are usually being "anal" on formatting, in here we don't have MoS so as long as you follow the general formatting, you're good. We are not so picky on enforcing the use of & nbsp; over a space. OhanaUnitedTalk page 16:59, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, I've been through an FAR or two on :-) Jclemens 16:30, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

Synonims redirects[edit]

Hi. What is the wikispecies policy on redirects? I was searching for Lacerta lepida and found that the redirect to Timon lepidus was deleted. As it is a valid synonym, and still referenced in many publications [3], I found it strange that it wouldn't redirect to Timon lepidus. GoEThe 12:14, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

I have recreated the redirect. Sometimes that admin gone "rouge" and do stuff that I don't understand. OhanaUnitedTalk page 12:24, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
OK. Thanks. I didn't want to recreate something that wasn't according to policy. GoEThe 13:22, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

Need help to repair[edit]

If anyone got some time, we need to repair some "damage" left unintentionally by User:Scuila. This editor tried to add in the various subfamily and subtribus groups, but the templates used completely left out the genus. So would someone go through the contributions and fix the pages that are "broken"? OhanaUnitedTalk page 04:28, 14 March 2009 (UTC)

Haven't looked into this formatting problem in great detail, but the classification offered is very top-heavy; Emberizidae and Parulidae are now almost universally treated as families separate from Fringillidae (e.g. IOC, BOU, Lynx HBW, etc.), not subfamilies or lower. - MPF 09:51, 14 March 2009 (UTC)
Uggh! I fear there's an awful lot of extreme lumping been pushed in, which all needs to be undone. I've made a small start, but there's a lot more still to do - MPF 10:03, 14 March 2009 (UTC)
Sigh! MPF - you have not helped matters at all! I was arranging the taxa according to cited references, and you have just gone and undone most of it! Clearly, the classification here is disputed and you have your own ideas about what is correct, but we need to discuss it first! Stho002 23:22, 14 March 2009 (UTC)
It seems to be a rearrangement of taxa done to a highly lumping agenda, reducing most of the passerine familes to subfamilies of one or two gigantic composite families. Whatever the merits of their research, it is definitely not helpful to have such enormous familes - monophyly can equally well be adhered to with several smaller monophyletic families. I'd suggest we conform to well-known, widely used authoritative classifications such as that used by IOC or Avibase. They will be well aware of this new research, and have not taken it up, presumably for good reasons. - MPF 17:47, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure what I think about this yet. If some committee rejects a published paper, it is still "disputed", and the disputed template ought to be used. At any rate, please DO NOT remove any relevant references that I have cited on the pages. Thanks. Stho002 22:16, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
I'll leave the refs in, but I'd strongly say that we must retain the widely accepted nomenclature until there is a broad consensus for any changes across the various international and national/regional ornithological authorities - MPF 23:32, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
For starters, can we get all of the Emberizidae genera and species to link back to accepted Emberizidae, not to Fringillidae, please. - MPF 23:39, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
Well, yes, you can do whatever you like without my permission (subject to policy) - this is a Wiki after all! But pls bear in mind that so can User:Scuila, and s/he seems to want to do the opposite to you! Also, birds seem to be a rare case where there is an attempt at "consensus" and "agreed names", but there is nothing like that for most organisms...

Stho002 23:59, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
Also, you may run into some consistency problems with the suprageneric classification. You will have to think carefully about how to solve these ... Stho002 00:02, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

Block request[edit]

Hope this is the appropriate page! Per an SPI case at enwiki a CheckUser was requested, CU evidence (here) and editing habits confirm that User:33ohmygad and User:Rubohcity are a couple of abusive sockpuppets at enwiki. After checking with the SUL utility I figured I would alert you guys that a couple of the 20+ accounts have registered here and am requesting an indefinite block on the accounts. Thanks, Stepshep 01:11, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Blocked. Thank you for alerting us before any real damage is done. OhanaUnitedTalk page 02:15, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

Wikimania 2009 calling for Participation[edit]

Hello dear Wikispecies,

as you know Wikimania 2009 is calling for participation now. As I have mentioned earlier it would be really great if someone of you can make a presentation on the conference to introduce your poject to the general public. Wikispecies is one of the smaller projects, but it is nevertheless a very interesting and important project. So I would like to encourage you to go there and make your project more visible.--Wing 10:12, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

I'm not sure if our membership base is large enough to cover the whole globe yet. Right now, the only admin that lives in South America that I can think of is User:Mário e Dário, but they live in Brazil and not Argentina. Had Toronto won its bid then that's a totally different story... OhanaUnitedTalk page 19:06, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

Deletion Request - Chrysozephirus[edit]

Chrysozephirus, Lepidoptera, Theclini, was created in error for Chrysozephyrus. I have now re-created all the subordinate pages under Chrysozephyrus with the correct spelling of the Genus. I have also created a redirect from Chrysozephirus to Chrysozephyrus. Could someone please delete all the subordinate pages of species and subspecies that contain the incorrect spelling Chrysozephirus? Thanks. Accassidy 21:26, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

Someone put a deletion notice on Chrysozephirus. I'd prefer to keep this with the redirect and delete the subordinate pages. I've now put all (I think all) these subordinate pages in the candidates for speedy deletion. Accassidy 09:28, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

Sockpuppet found[edit]

While I was searching for external sites that mention our project, I stumble upon 2 forum posts that disclosed sockpuppetry. According to [4] and [5], User:Arise Sir Loin of Beef is a sockpuppet of User:Thekohser (account yet to be created). While Thekohser legitimately has only 1 account, he could activate his main account at any time and edit without scrutiny. I feel given the fact that Arise Sir Loin of Beef has vandalized [6], in addition to Thekohser being blocked indefinitely at English Wikipedia, it is necessary for me to block the sockpuppet account as a preventive measure.

To all those people out there that tries to disrupt this project and happens to read this: I do go on forums, blogs, and facebooks to check whether people are planning or carrying out vandalisms/disruptive actions. OhanaUnitedTalk page 17:24, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

User:Brion VIBBER[edit]

Mike.lifeguard desysoped brion following a discussion at meta-wiki (to which we weren't alerted to). I strongly oppose any desysoping for inactivity, especially in this case--the account is not insecure, and desysoping is hardly away to pay back important contributors in the past. Based on that, I have re-instated his rights, although I am bring it here to discuss as to what should be done next. Brion did some anti-vandal work in 2005, but I really don't see a problem with him continuing to have these rights. Maxim(talk) 21:20, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

Well, there seems to me little point in having long inactive admins. It should just be made clear that if you have been inactive for more than 6 months, say, then you need to request renewal of status, which should be granted easily enough. Seems fair enough to me ...
Stho002 21:34, 19 March 2009 (UTC)
Brion still has access to everything with the developer rights, regardless of local rights. Comparing between developer and bureaucrat rights alone, developer trumps bureaucrat. That's because developer can give any user any rights (including bot, admin, bureaucrat, steward, checkuser, oversight) while bureaucrats can only give some rights (bot, admin, bureaucrat). I am in support of such tidy-ups because now it actually reflects the correct amount of admins/crats. Besides, Brion can always give himself rights when he sees his needs. OhanaUnitedTalk page 02:35, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
I'm in the same mind as Stho and OU. Vibber is inactive on many, many projects he has rights on and his retention of the tools is pointless. —Anonymous DissidentTalk 14:19, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
Just a groundless theory(!), but one thing that could be happening is that people are putting on their CVs that they are Wiki admins, etc., which is fine, and does show some willingness to accept new ideas, but if they are not actually going to be ACTIVE and CONTRIBUTE to the wiki, then THAT is wrong! Stho002 22:43, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
I am late to join into this (as usual), but I have to say it. I proposed something simmilar here some time ago, but my proposal was mainly ignored. I agree that it is pointless to have inactive sysop(s), but first of all, I am for creating policy for desysoping, to prevent situations like this. If we are going to create this policy, we just have to copy rules from some wikies, lots of wikies have it. --Lasta 12:08, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
According to our admin and crat list, half of the admins and nearly one-third of crats are inactive. I suggest we should remove their rights. If they later on decided to come back, their rights can be fully restored without going through RfA or RfB again. I want propose an exemption to User:Benedikt. He's the founder of this project and I believe his admin & crat rights should be retained. OhanaUnitedTalk page 16:31, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

Vandalism: stewards, global sysops, and policy[edit]


If you're curious why I've made him a sysop, he's actually a steward but seems a bit hesitant to act against vandals, so I bring half-April Fools stuff (a bit early, but this looked like a good opportunity) and half-serious, since I think it's best if stewards act against vandals when no local sysop is around. Maxim(talk) 19:24, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

On the subject of stewards/vandalism, Mike suggested at Meta that some admins should be in the freenode channel (IRC) #wikimedia-admin so they could ping local admins. Maxim(talk) 20:00, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
Well, I am afraid I have to oppose it. While he does have the powers as a steward, he should abide it just like what other stewards did in our wiki (which is using steward power, not by handing out the sysop flag). Second, you should inform us before doing such an action, as you did not obtain community consensus. OhanaUnitedTalk page 02:28, 28 March 2009 (UTC)
There's no real difference here, as he already has sysop powers because he's in the 'steward' global group, and it's more of a friendly gesture that I, and I'm pretty sure more or less every other "regular" sysop, is fine with stewards helping out with vandalism. Mike can remove this redundant right whenever he wants to... Maxim(talk) 17:39, 28 March 2009 (UTC)
This is along the same line as removing admin and crat flags off developers. And why should Mike be different from other stewards? OhanaUnitedTalk page 02:59, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

I'll be removing the sysop bit from myself shortly, since I don't need it. However, clarification of when stewards are allows to block vandals, or delete their pages here would be nice. As a group, stewards have had a less than stellar experience when trying to help. The discussion below will probably be of interest to those considering such questions. — Mike.lifeguard | @meta 03:14, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

We always let stewards to their job, but their job doesn't require us to grant them local tools. OhanaUnitedTalk page 06:17, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

Global Sysops Policy[edit]

The m:Global Sysops policy has recently been updated. Could several regulars at Wikispecies please confirm here that your global rights policy is up-to-date? Thanks, NuclearWarfare 00:46, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

Maxim asked me to elaborate a bit more, so here goes. The 'Global Sysop' usergroup is a usergroup that will allow those in it to have sysop access any Wikipedia on the opt-in list. Wikispecies had previously agreed to a similar policy that was ultimately scrapped. I wanted to check if Wikispecies still agreed to the idea of global sysops who could operate with some restrictions on this wiki. Right now, those restrictions would be "Global sysops are only allowed to use their rollback tool unless there are no active Wikispecies administrators." Does the Wikispecies community still agree to it (as you had laid out here)? NuclearWarfare 01:11, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
With the exception of Mike.lifeguard (whom I made a sysop yesterday for reasons explained in the above thread), stewards have been helping with reverting vandalism. I see no harm in having trusted users helping us out--the goal here is to revert vandalism quickly, and not wait for some hours before a local sysop shows up. I've been tweaking our policy to reflect what's done, but more opinions would be nice here (Ohana above seems to not fully agree with my line of thinking... or is more about me actually setting a sysop flag on a user unilaterally?) Maxim(talk) 01:15, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
We had this proposal but the discussion ends up with no clear direction or consensus to declare whether the policy came into effect or got rejected. OhanaUnitedTalk page 06:13, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
So, is the policy that you guys have here applicable then? If it isn't, it probably needs to be removed. NuclearWarfare 15:49, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
I would say it's no consensus. OhanaUnitedTalk page 18:46, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

Wikimania 2009: Scholarships[edit]

English: Wikimania 2009, this year's global event devoted to Wikimedia projects around the globe, is now accepting applications for scholarships to the conference. This year's conference will be handled from August 26-28 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The scholarship can be used to help offset the costs of travel and registration. For more information, check the official information page. Please remember that the Call for Participation is still open, please submit your papers! Without submissions, Wikimania would not be nearly as fun! --Az1568 02:08, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Page format change[edit]

(Moved from Kevmin talk page) I noticed Stho002 in this edit separated out the extinct taxa from the extant taxa. I reverted the edit with the edit summary of "This is something that definitely should be discussed before implementing!". I have never understood the need to separate extinct life forms from extant life forms. I think the addition of †'s to the taxa listings should be fine to inform viewers that a taxon is extinct. The extinct forms are the history and prologues of the modern taxa which exist today. Separation to me implies they are less important then the modern taxa and thus don't deserve the attention of the modern taxa. --Kevmin 07:59, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

So let's discuss it then. Fact 1: fewer people are interested in fossil taxa than Recent ones. Fact 2: It is easy for Recent taxa to get lost in a big list of otherwise fossil ones (the lack of dagger hardly jumps out at one). So, what you want to discuss is whether one list should be split into two or not. I have given you two good reasons for, and nobody has yet suggested any reason against. There is already quite a bit of variation in page formats (with nothing to do with me), particularly involving species groups and the like, so it does seem a trifle pedantic to agonize over this one! There is no good reason why all pages need to follow exactly the same format - the main questions ought to be (1) does it make sense; (2) is it correct; and (3) is it clear? Stho002 06:58, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
If these are facts please supply references, preferably from per reviewed sources, that support these assertions. The reason no one has suggested against is that you made the unilateral decision to change the page format from that listed in the help section guidelines pages. If you have not noticed most of the contributors will try to stick to the standard format and correct odd formats when they are found. Short term/new users are the primary source for inconsistencies, helped by the taxonavigation conversion which happened several years ago. The formatting of subfamily to species level taxons, like all taxa are subject to interpretation and this the style will vary among users as to how they input info here on WS. HOWEVER this is a different issue from the change you implemented and so if you wish to discuss it further it should be in a separate topic here on the pump. As for the final three point I have always considered the standard formatting up until now to fit these points as well as can be expected when dealing with shuch complex matters as the relationships of organisms.--Kevmin 07:59, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
We really must try to evolve past the stage of having heated debates over minor formatting issues! Please don't forget that the information content is unchanged by my proposed format "tweak". I still maintain that there is no good reason to react so heatedly against a small format change, and there are two good reasons which make it preferable (or I wouldn't be wanting to change it): (1) take for example the Hominidae and genus Homo - only one extant species, but a plethora of complex fossil taxonomy into which our close friend Homo sapiens disappears without highlighting him/her in some way; (2) fossil taxonomy is not the same as Recent taxonomy - it is less certain and more complex. Putting fossil taxa in a special section doesn't at all imply that they are less important. If anything, it implies that they are important enough to warrant a section of their own. I seem to recall that Kevmin is a collections manager of a fossil collection. This gives him certain minority interests/focus, but the wiki ought to cater to all...

Stho002 08:16, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

Modern taxonomy is just as complex, Just look at all of the shifts and changes which are occurring with mDNA research. I don't think.--Kevmin 09:43, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
Question-Why is one taxa more important then another such that it need highlighting?--Kevmin 09:52, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
I think in some cases it would aid clarity to have separate alphabetic lists for extant and extinct taxa. However, if this is done the two categories of names should appear with the same style of heading, not with the fossil or current taxa having their own new title bar. For example:

Extant Species: H. sapiens
Fossil Species: †H. antecessor – †H. cepranensis – †H. erectus – †H. ergaster – †H. floresiensis – †H. georgicus – †H. habilis – †H. heidelbergensis – †H. microcranous – †H. neanderthalensis – †H. orientalis – †H. platyops – †H. rhodesiensis – †H. rudolfensis
Accassidy 09:00, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

When looking at the homo page now, at first I could not even find H. sapiens. I saw a list for Fossil taxa but nothing else I finally found us at the end of the Taxonavigation list. The first thing that draws the eye is the headline 'Fossil Species still in effect hiding the singe extant species, the smae hapens on Priacma.--Kevmin 09:51, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
As a side note I really cringe when I see extinct taxa consistantly refered to as Fossil taxa. Under the proposed change Incilius periglenes, Raphus cucullatus, Hydrodamalis gigas all get labeled as fossils. Fossil and extinct are not interchangeable, there is a very distinct and important difference. Fossils are "preserved remains or traces of animals, plants, and other organisms from the past" and include things like Ginkgo biloba, Metasequoia glyptostroboides, etc... which are not extinct, and there are ever more and more extinct taxa which are not fossils at all.--Kevmin 09:43, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Kevmin. Fossil =/= extinct. Let's keep it the old way. OhanaUnitedTalk page 14:11, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
Me too (if I count :) And why is "Recent" capitalized and "fossil" not? Rocket000 21:21, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
Recent is the name of a geological period, like Pleistocene, but fossil isn't Stho002 22:15, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
Oh, ok. Did not know that. Thanks. Rocket000 22:52, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
NO recent is not an official age designation in any geologic period. You are referring to the Holocene, which began ~10,000 years ago. --Kevmin 23:08, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

Some comments:

  • I think Accassidy's idea is acceptable, so, at present we have an even split 2:2, Accassidy and me against Kevmin and OhanaUnited
  • There are two dichotomies, viz. fossil/Recent and extinct/extant. A species can be extinct but Recent. To answer Kevmin's question above, of course extant species are more important than the others (unless, perhaps, you are collections manager for a paleontological collection!) - this hardly needs explanation, surely! There is a tendency 'round here to think that every species (and every language) is equally important, but this simply isn't the reality!
  • A major benefit of keeping the lists separate is that information on fossil taxa is often much harder to find and less complete than Recent taxa, and it would be nice to be able to say that the list of Recent taxa was complete, while not worrying too much about the fossil taxa.
  • Look at Priacma now - I find this to be perfectly acceptable...
  • So Accassidy's example would now look like this:

Genus: Homo
Species (Recent): H. sapiens
Species (fossil): †H. antecessor – †H. cepranensis – †H. erectus – †H. ergaster – †H. floresiensis – †H. georgicus – †H. habilis – †H. heidelbergensis – †H. microcranous – †H. neanderthalensis – †H. orientalis – †H. platyops – †H. rhodesiensis – †H. rudolfensis

and if, for sake of argument there was a species of Homo, call it Homo cassidyi, which became extinct last year, then the example would look like this:

Genus: Homo
Species (Recent): †H. cassidyi – H. sapiens
Species (fossil): †H. antecessor – †H. cepranensis – †H. erectus – †H. ergaster – †H. floresiensis – †H. georgicus – †H. habilis – †H. heidelbergensis – †H. microcranous – †H. neanderthalensis – †H. orientalis – †H. platyops – †H. rhodesiensis – †H. rudolfensis

SO where is the cut off? 50 years ago? 100 years? 500? 10,000? Would "Fossil" include subfossil cave remains? tarpits? bogs? (none of which are actually fossils.--Kevmin 22:01, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
This is a common objection which really doesn't hold water. There isn't a precise cut off - it is fuzzy. Just like there isn't a precise cut off to how different two individuals or populations have to be to be different species (or different genera, etc.) We live in a fuzzy world! All that matters is that the clear cases are made clear, and if there are some borderline cases it just doesn't matter into which category they are put. Personally, I would put subfossil species into the Recent but extinct category.

Stho002 22:12, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

SO not we have THREE??? categories? "Fossil" "Recent" and "recent but extinct"? I still maintain that there were no issues with the older style, and have not heard any compelling resin to change. If someone is not going to take the time to find the taxon they are looking for in a list why should we change for them. It is easy to find H. sapiens you look in the s section of the alphabetized list.--Kevmin 23:08, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
Relax Kevmin! You seem very highly strung! We have had the 3 categories all along, but no way to distinguish between fossil and recently extinct. The made up example above of Homo cassidyi shows how we can now make that distinction using only the TWO headings of Species (Recent) and Species (fossil), plus the use of daggers. The change is a small advance, if not a "compelling resin [reason]" (was this a paleontological Freudian slip???:)

Stho002 23:18, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

Actually I can say in my time here, I joined around June 2006, that until your implementation of the "fossil"/recent split, I never once saw any categories designating extant or extinct. I'm not high strung, I just get slightly annoyed when changes are implemented without any discussion with the community as a whole and when questioned the response is that it isn't important and so shouldn't need a consensus. If you want to make a change please get a consensus first. Also please stop making this particular change until the has been more then 12 hours of discussion, I have reverted your change to Ephemeroptera until this has run its course.--Kevmin 00:24, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

'...I never once saw any categories designating extant or extinct'
There has always (as far as I know) been the daggers to do this (did the dagger mean fossil or extinct? I doubt anybody is sure! Strictly, I think it means extinct, being an "RIP cross", so the Dodo should have one, for example). Anyway, I fail to see the relevance of you not having seen something before. Do we therefore dismiss all new ideas just because they are new? So, please don't wave around spurious "reasons" - your real objection would appear to be the "consensus" issue. Well, from what I have seen, we are not actually very good around here at making consensus decisions. The time would be better spent adding articles, but apart from myself and just a few others, not much of that has been happening lately either! Also, the Ephemeroptera page is not really a particularly good example of the need to separate Recent from fossil, Priacma is better. You said somewhere above that people can still find the taxon they are looking for just using the daggers, but it isn't always about finding taxa you are looking for (that is best done using the search box). It is more about browsing and being able to clearly see the information in a way that makes most sense, and having a single "daggerless" species in a sea of fossil species is easily missed, as in the case of Priacma Stho002 00:43, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

Actually, the best page for illustrating the need to treat Recent and fossil taxa separately is Coleoptera. I am still not 100% happy with it. The problem is that although the classification is straightforward for Recent taxa, there is a plethora of fossil forms which are controversially and unclearly placed within the classification, so the whole thing becomes a huge mess without some sort of separation. Stho002 00:52, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

I think it would be a little better if you prefixed each group with "Subordines:", not just the first one. Rocket000 01:04, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
But they aren't subordines, only the first group. The whole problem is that the subordinal classification is in disarray for "stem group" Coleoptera - some even recognise another ordo Protocoleoptera for some of them. But the main thing is that the important 4 extant subordines are highlighted first. They are most important. Stho002 05:03, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
Is there anyway to make it clear what those are? I agree that the extant ones are the important part, but it's unclear what the others are (case in point, I mistakenly thought they were subordines). Would putting "Familiae:" and "Genera:" in front of them be ok? Or do you think it's already obvious because of the headings "stem group" and "incertae sedis"? Usually I see people make a separate page for the unassigned genera and treat incertae sedis as a family name. Rocket000 17:53, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
I have modified it slightly according to your comments, see Coleoptera. It was obvious anyway because of the family suffix -idae, and the genus in italics. Although in this particular case it would be possible to lump everything problematic into incertae sedis as a subordinal name, this would hide some of the structure and be potentially misleading. Some of the taxa, like †Labradorocoleidae, described from isolated "elytra" could in fact not be a beetle at all, but a cockroach tegmina! Stho002 21:11, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
Thank you! That's much better. (Yes, you can figure out what the are by looking at the names, but I meant clear as in immediately when you first look at the page and see how it's structured.) Rocket000 21:57, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

As it stands the opinions are 3 for keeping the normal formatting and 2 for the proposed formatting. I'm going to ask for more input. I will AGAIN ask that no more changes to the proposed format are made until there is consensus for the change.--Kevmin

>3 for keeping the normal formatting and 2 for the proposed formatting
3??? Who is the 3rd??? It is only you with a STRONG opinion against. The issue has been open for comments for long enough now. If Kevmin continues to revert my edits, I will have to invoke my sysop powers. Stho002 00:10, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

The three are me (Kevmin), Rocket000, and OhanaUnitedTalk page--Kevmin 00:27, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
Rocket000 started off with a no vote, but his subsequent comments above suggest to me that his opposition has weakened/reversed. Stho002 00:37, 23 April 2009 (UTC) Also, he has only been with us since 8 March 2009, so his opinion doesn't carry as much weight as editors who have been around longer and had more experience of the wiki. Stho002 00:39, 23 April 2009 (UTC) Ohana is the most senior editor, but his comment (I agree with Kevmin. Fossil =/= extinct. Let's keep it the old way) is hardly a compelling argument! I have subsequently explained the fossil/extinct distinction, which just leaves an unwillingness to accept change as the only reason against!
Time spent with WS is not a valid argument for discounting his opinion and until he posts saying he ha changed we have no way of knowing if he has.Re OU. Note the last sentence in the post "Lets Keep it the old way." This seems clearly a vote for keeping the old format.--Kevmin 00:49, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
Again, I must point out flaws in your reasoning: (1) I'm not discounting Rocket's opinion completely, I'm just saying that it doesn't carry as much weight as some others. It is perfectly reasonable (in fact, society is founded on this principle) to think that the value of opinions depends on experience - if an experienced medical doctor and a newbie disagreed on their diagnosis of you, who would you trust? (2) Yes, "Lets Keep it the old way" is clearly a vote for keeping the old format, but not one based on stated reasons, and we surely want to make a RATIONAL decision here??? Stho002 00:55, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

It seems to me that Kevmin has strong opinions about the importance of fossil taxa (which I agree on), but is confusing the issue with the importance of the distinction between fossil and Recent taxa, and the importance of having information in articles presented in a way that makes it easy to grasp what is going on. Stho002 00:24, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

I would ask that both sides don't change (or create) pages using the formatting of their preferences. My view is "status quo". Current system uses "†" on any species that are believed to be extinct. This avoids the whole topic of whether the fossil is an extinct or extant species. And keep in mind when someone challenges the status, you need scientific evidences or media reports to back up your claims (whether it's extinct or extant) unless the info is common-knowledge (i.e. all dodo bird, passenger pigeon, and dinosaurs are extinct). And final request, please refrain from starting Wikispecies' first edit war. Thanks. OhanaUnitedTalk page 01:02, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
Side comment. I think the first edit war was over the New Zealand Page actually. ;~) --Kevmin 01:07, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
Na, that's only 1 page, hardly any effective, plus it's that admin gone rogue and nitpicking on tiny little details that would otherwise have no overall effect. OhanaUnitedTalk page 01:20, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
To Kevmin: re: side comment. A friend of Lycaon's, are you? Beginning to sound that way...
Meaning??--Kevmin 03:03, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
Meaning that your "side comment" was an uncalled for "snide comment"! Keep on topic, pls! Stho002 03:20, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
Per Wikipedia: "An edit war occurs when contributors, or groups of contributors, repeatedly revert each other's contributions." I had nothing to do with the NZ incident and was only noting to OU that that incident falls in this definition. I will assume good faith regarding your meaning on your comment but it could easily be taken wrong.--Kevmin 03:31, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
To Ohana: Your "no" vote is clear, but your reasoning doesn't make sense: what does all this mean?:

Arbitrary break: Page format change[edit]

This avoids the whole topic of whether the fossil is an extinct or extant species. And keep in mind when someone challenges the status, you need scientific evidences or media reports to back up your claims (whether it's extinct or extant) unless the info is common-knowledge
It still seems to come down to an unwillingness to accept change with you, but you are entitled to your, currently:

For the change (2): Stho002 (admin) and Acassidy
Against (2): Kevmin and Ohana (admin)
Unclear (1): Rocket000

  • I'm hardly happy with the proccess by which decisions are made here at Wikispecies. They are based on a couple or so of hapazard posts, or pushy individuals. I would like to see here some kind of "commette" which will decide on these issues. Unfortunately, most users here are too "lazy" to express their opinions, so the ground is abandoned to the few vocal members.
  • Stho002 is mixing here two different issues: 1) The case of Coleoptera is in fact the question of how to handle the Incertae Sedis not resident inside the established ordines. 2) How to treat mixed extict-extant taxa. Lets consider here only the 2nd question.
No, the two cases are intimately linked. All the problematic taxa in the case of Coleoptera are fossils, and so we need to keep the Recent taxa as clear as possible of the fossil problematica. In either case, it is simply about highlighting what is most important. Stem groups (fossils) are always going to be a problem, and separating fossil from Recent taxa is one way of helping to solve that problem and make things clearer.Stho002 07:45, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
  • My view is that splitting will only clutter the page, and not lead to more clarity. The dagger sign is obvious enough to make the fossils stand out against the "normal" taxa. When grouped together and alphabetically ordered, a wanted name is found more easily, not requiring a look at two different lists.
Mariusm 07:24, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
Before counting Mariusm as a definite "no" vote, I urge him to look more carefully at more cases, like Tetraphalerus for example. Species with dagger signs would "drown out" the two extant species if you mix the list. Don't think of it in terms of someone trying to find a species in the list, but rather think of it as someone browsing the page. The key point to get across about the genus is that there are only two extant species but lots of fossil ones. If you have a mixed list, then this fact just doesn't jump out at you as it does on the page as I have formatted it. So, I would ask Mariusm to please reconfirm that he thinks only clutter and no more clarity results from my suggestion.

Stho002 07:39, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

Another option I just thought of: something of a compromise would be to put the fossil species at the end of one list, after the Recent ones. It could still be thought of as alphabetical order if you think the symbol † comes after z in the alphabet. So the three options are (to give an imaginary example):

  • current format?

Genus: Homo
Species: †H. cassidyi – H. sapiens

  • compromise

Genus: Homo
Species: H. sapiens – †H. cassidyi

  • my preference

Genus: Homo
Species (Recent): H. sapiens
Species (fossil): †H. cassidyi

First of all, I agree with Kevmin, that Stho002 should not independently change the format without discussion. Because why then, do we have a guidelines section. Second of all I think we should keep the current format. If we change it, there's gonna be a lot of extra work on many pages, and a long transition period where the old and the new format exist side by side. People have already put a lot of work in former format changes and I think we should focus our energy on adding still more species and expand and improve information on existing pages. By the way, well done to all of you hard working volunteers out there.

If the change do end up with a majority, I strongly urge that it is the extinct/extant format that is put into place. First, I don't like the look of the capital letter in Recent and no capital letter in fossil. Second, unfortunately some genera e.g. Philautus have had a lot recent extinctions and this will probably only be worse in the future. So if you have to out recent extinctions in the recent line, you could still end up with a messy picture.

So I say keep the current format, it's easier and simpler. Isfisk 11:44, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

An additional point that hasn't been mentioned: recently extinct vs. extant can easily be defined using IUCN categorisations. Put a separate paragraph and a dagger next to taxa that have been declared extinct by IUCN, that way one doesn't need to make any difficult decisions about recent, fossil/non-fossil, etc.; so my preference:
Genus: Homo
Species (extant): H. sapiens
Species (extinct): †H. declaredextinctbyiucn
MPF 14:37, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

To answer Stho002: I'm still not convinced, so my vote stands as NO. Mariusm 16:03, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

I have no opinion in this case. If Kevmin is the fossil expert his opinion is wright to me. PeterR 17:03, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

I don't see any convincing reasons on offer here, and the vote has now changed from a vote between 2 options to a vote between 3 options (i.e., the compromise solution, where extinct taxa are at end of one list), a point which Mariusm at least appears to have missed, so the vote needs to be taken again from the beginning. Actually, I think that the compromise solution is ALREADY technically allowed by current guidelines (the dagger as leading symbol means that extinct taxa come alphabetically after z), so I shall go ahead with this unless there is a consensus vote against it from now.
  • I partly agree and partly disgree with Isfisk when he says:

'If we change it, there's gonna be a lot of extra work on many pages, and a long transition period where the old and the new format exist side by side. People have already put a lot of work in former format changes and I think we should focus our energy on adding still more species and expand and improve information on existing pages'
I agree that we should focus on adding more articles (and I would point out that there are still thousands of possible articles to be added from even just Zootaxa back issues, so why aren't many people doing much?), but I disagree that all articles need to be in exactly the same format. There ought to be some latitude here, particularly since not being able to add articles in one's preferred format may detract from one's motivation to add the articles at all. The main criteria for the acceptability of articles ought to be (1) is the information correct; and (2) is it formatted in a way that makes it easy to understand?

  • Don't forget to vote for one of the three (3) options above! Voting closes 27 April 2009 23:59

So far:

  • Option1:
  • Option2: Stho002
  • Option3: Stho002

Stho002 21:00, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

No. The current vote between the original format and the first format change should be completed. It is very bad form to change that which is being voted on in the middle things and then request everyone re-vote. If this vote goes for the original format feel free to propose the compromise format for approval.--Kevmin 22:58, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
Well, I think we need to vote on whether I can change the vote in the middle of things, because YOU don't unilaterally dictate what I can or cannot do! Anyway, I reiterate that unless told otherwise (by consensus view), I consider that the "compromise solution" is in fact consistent with current agreed guidelines and so I will edit accordingly. Kevmin, please find something better to do with your time (like contributing articles), rather than continuing this pointless debate... Stho002 23:07, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
Yes, Kevmin, please don't boss people around. This is not a "yes/no" voting and people can choose the option that they like the best. Keep in mind that this should be a discussion. This is not a court either, so there's not a rush on time limit for us to present our views. Stho002 did his best, compromised, and presented an alternative solution that may get both sides to agree on. So let's move on, and see how this turns out, alright? OhanaUnitedTalk page 04:07, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

Personally, I don't see much wrong with how we do things currently. I think shifting it so that all extant species are listed first and then the extinct species would be a bit confusing and muddled. Having a specific section for the extant and extinct species, however, seems like a reasonable compromise; it draws a clear distinction between the two (and "extant/extinct" is much better than "Recent/fossil"), and still allows the user (whose needs are more important than our personal preferences) to quickly and easily find the information they need (or, even better, to randomly browse). EVula // talk // // 17:34, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

Thanks EVula, but please indicate a little bit more clearly which option you are in fact voting for! Stho002 00:20, 25 April 2009 (UTC)
I'm not voting, as this isn't an election or even a vote. I'm sharing my opinion, which is how decisions are usually made on wikis; the choice that has consensus is the one that we go with. EVula // talk // // 06:29, 25 April 2009 (UTC)
Since one of the 3 options has to be adopted, I don't see how you can "share and opinion" without effectively making a vote, and at present it is not entirely clear what your "opinion"/vote amounts to exactly??? Specifically, I'm not sure if 'Having a specific section for the extant and extinct species, however, seems like a reasonable compromise' indicates a vote/preference for option 2 or option 3? Stho002 07:02, 25 April 2009 (UTC)
My preference (which would be a more accurate term to use than "vote") is to leave things the way they are, as I don't see anything wrong with it ("if it ain't broke, don't fix it"). The "reasonable compromise" bit expresses which of the presented alternatives I think are the "next best thing" to leaving it all alone. EVula // talk // // 14:16, 26 April 2009 (UTC)

For what it's worth, I agree with Mariusm and EVula. I think things are fine as they are. —Anonymous DissidentTalk 14:04, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

My view remains that it is a clearer presentation to list extant taxa sperately from extinct taxa. The words Recent and Fossil are not sufficiently precise. However, applying such a minor formatting change retrospectively would cause a lot of nugatory work. It is clear from all this correspondence that there is no right or wrong solution, and it is also my view that formatting guidelines should guide rather than constrain individual editors. If we have issues to discuss, these should be on the veracity of the content rather than its detailed formatting. If a genus has both types of species (extant/extinct) let the author of the page decide the clearest grouping of species names. Then please, other people, don't spend time reformatting things that do not fall in a right or wrong categoy. Create new pages... Accassidy 20:22, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

Well, it seems that Accassidy and myself are in full agreement that the main issues ought to be correctness of information and clarity, rather than endless nitpicking over details of "agreed" format! I have a minor problem with Accassidy's understanding of Recent/fossil vs. extant/extinct, but, to quote him 'let the author of the page decide the clearest grouping of species names'. I second that! Stho002 02:09, 26 April 2009 (UTC)
I don't like the idea of "let everyone do as he pleases". We have here a highly structured format, and the "facade" must be kept consistent across the species range, so the users familiar with it, won't have to readjust themselves for every page opened. We are not dealing here with art or philosophy, but with strict scientific format, so please - let's agree on this issue once and for all, and act accordingly. Mariusm 06:29, 26 April 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I do think that having a variety of formats would be an incredibly bad thing. If nothing else, "let the author of the page decide" is very un-wiki-like, as the author of the page holds no more authority over the page than anyone else. It's a wiki, for crying out loud... EVula // talk // // 14:12, 26 April 2009 (UTC)
Marius you misquote me. I do not suggest that everyone do as he pleases, but that authors are guided by guidelines, not inevitably constrained by them. Too much rigidity assumes that all possible future ideas have been already thought of or pre-judged. Of course, we should all abide by scientific conventions that are universally accepted, and strive to have agreed formats for references, type names and so on. But within the constraints of academic rigour, there is still some allowance for formatting of textual information and lists that aids clarity of thought and exposition. We should not deny flexibility in these areas in a desire for complete, unwavering uniformity. Accassidy 16:46, 26 April 2009 (UTC)

To EVula:

  1. strict scientific format? You seem to be confusing two very different things! There is strict scientific format for the typography of scientific names and their authorities and that sort of thing, but there is no such thing as strict scientific format for presentation of information about species (i.e., in terms of lists of taxa or how you group them)!
  2. 'and the "facade" must be kept consistent across the species range, so the users familiar with it, won't have to readjust themselves for every page opened' No, this would only be true if taxa were equally "revised" across the "species range". The reality is that there are special problems associated with particular taxa, and the page format ought to be taylored to specific cases in order to achieve maximum clarity.
  3. "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" - I agree! So, if someone formats a page according to their preference, and all the information is correct and clear (i.e. "it ain't broke"), then don't fix it!!!
  4. I can't actually find anything to say that taxon lists have to be in alphabetical order, or that daggers must be ignored when determining alphabetical order, so, by my reckoning the "compromise" option (option2) is already allowed by the guidelines - it is just that nobody seems to have thought about it before!

Stho002 21:04, 26 April 2009 (UTC)

Stho002 and Cassidy: Let me ask you a question: Suppose you had a dictionary which is perfectly accurate and informative, but with one little flow: each page is displayed a little differently, with different fonts and with modified arrangements. Would you be happy with this sort of dictionary? I dare say no. Likewise, the Wiki users are preferring a rigid consistency of format. I have no doubt that your data is accurate, but there's another factor no less important - which is format-consistency - I think it is cardinally important! If we allow the editors the freedom of choice which format to use, chaos will result, and no matter how accurate and complete the actual data is - this project will not take wing, and remain just a pile of disconnected pages.
I understand that each one of us has his individualistic preferences and notions as to the best way to display the data, and how to improve things, but we must compromise for the sake of the greater benefit of this project. No one here can be 100% satisfied. Moreover, the risks of allowing editing-flexibility far outweigh the supposed benefits gained. So I say let's be square-headed and nitpicky but not leave the decision flexibility to the authors. Mariusm 05:36, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
Mariusm: I disagree! The dictionary example isn't a good analogy, and I (and others) might well be happy with a dictionary of the kind that you describe (at least it would make it less boring to read!) Anyway, it isn't a good analogy because word definitions are "equal", but as I said already, different taxa have their own specific problems which requires tayloring the page to make things clear on a case by case basis. I just don't see format consistency as a big deal, sorry! Stho002 05:45, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
But, Stho002, you're looking at things from your own narrow perspective - of a person very fluent in taxonomy, who have handled and seen lots of scientific papers, who can distinguish and sort out in a single glance what is going about. Think for a moment of the average person using this site. He wants the information presented to him as clearly and as consistently as possible. He doesn't want to be amused by a variety of styles. In the contrary: it will seem to him amateurish and not serious. It will bother and annoy him. You must look at things from a much broader perspective - than you'll see that consistency is a very important factor in Wikispecies. Mariusm 06:28, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
I get no pleasure from always disgreeing, but I disgree! Quite the reverse of what you say, I AM thinking of it from the perspective of the "average person" (well, the average reasonably educated/intelligent person, anyway). I'm not wanting to format the pages so that I can understand them, I'm trying to format the pages so that they can understand them better. A long list mixed with fossils just doesn't tell you anything - it is far better to group them. I know there are "consistency junkies" out there, but consistency = treating relevantly equivalent things identically. My point is that different taxa are not always relevantly equivalent...

Stho002 07:23, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

Continued format changes[edit]

Stho002, I don't know why we are discussing this, since at the same time you just keep editing pages the way you think they should be formatted. I may accept this when you are creating new pages, but you are changing the format in perfectly good exiting pages e.g. Arthropoda. And your basic argument - the lack of clarity when there are many extinct taxa - does not apply to the case of Arthropoda. It has seven phyla three of which is extinct. It's pretty easy to see, no mess here.

So my question is this: why did you change that page since you a) have advocated for the use of different formats b) you have advocated for "if it ain't broke, don't fix it"? Why? Isfisk 12:50, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

My answer: because I happened to visit that page, and the minor "tweak" I made to it is consistent with current page format guidelines, which do not specify the exact order in which taxa are to be listed. Remember, this is a wiki after all! So anybody can edit any page provided only that they stay within current guidelines - this applies equally to content and format.

Stho002 21:09, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

I'm not quite sure how you can say that. Yes it is true the guidelines don't say "all taxa are to be alphabetized by first letter" But until you started to change page formatting every page was alphabetized by taxon name regardless of extant/extinct/dagger status and the rare occasions where this wasn't true would be changed to this when found. Thus general practice since day one of W.S. proves your claim to be false. If someone was to later change the format to alphabetical by first letter of the scientific name I have a feeling you would not be so quick to dismiss the edit as a minor format change.--Kevmin 09:06, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
Can you support this claim with hard facts, rather than vague opinions. I have encountered many pages with non-alphabetical listings, not just "rare occasions". I am editing within the guidelines (as you admit), so where is the problem? If you want simple alphabetical listing of taxa to become policy, then I suggest you call for a vote, but I for one will be voting against it. You say 'Thus general practice since day one of W.S. proves your claim to be false'. No, I made no claim whatsoever regarding "general practice", so it can't be false - I only claimed that there were no strict guidelines on this matter (which you have just admitted to be the case!) Please move on from this now Kevmin, I do not dispute that WS can benefit greatly from your palaeontological expertise, but you just need to be a bit more flexible...

Stho002 21:28, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

Bos needs a bit of sorting[edit]

When looking for an example or two while thinking about the above section, I tried Bos, and found that Bos primigenius is tagged as extinct and B. taurus given as a separate species. Given the ICZN declaration on names of domesticated animals, shouldn't it be that Bos primigenius is not extinct, with the subspecies Bos primigenius taurus surviving? - MPF 14:48, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

Thanks MPF. Lots of articles need attention. We'll get there eventually, unless we end up having endless debates over minor formatting details! Feel free to edit the article as you see fit. Stho002 23:18, 23 April 2009 (UTC)


I am copying here a conversation regarding the spelling of this genus name (plant family Theaceae) from the page of an editor named Stho002. A well-done and very comprehensive list of Stewartia species produced by an editor named "Epibase" has had every name changed to "Stuartia", a name not used in any of the modern botanical literature, by an editor named "MPF" who insists that "Stuartia" is the correct spelling.

Hi, it looks like we are editing the same articles. You seem to know what you're doing and this is a lot more complicated than I expected so I'll leave it to you. Stewartia is the right spelling, check Wikipedia and ALL the botanical literature. Check Wikimedia Commons too, I was working there and clicked on a link and didn't know it took me to another Wiki-something-or-other.

Hi Stho - the above comment (and a fair bit of modern literature) is wrong here; the original spelling "Stewartia" is correctable under ICBN Art. 60, as the genus is named after John Stuart, Earl of Bute (1713-1792), not a "John Stewart", and 'stewart' is not an intentional Latinisation of 'stuart' (so 60.7 does not apply). Linnaeus was misled over the spelling of his name due to an earlier error in the caption to an illustration of S. malacodendron by Ehret. If one does check ALL botanical literature (as commented above!), you will find extensive support for the correction to Stuartia. See discussion in e.g. Bean, Trees & Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles vol. 4. - MPF 08:02, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

Surely you're joking. An obscure regional horticulture reference from the early 20th century (I had to look this one up) trumps all the current botanical literature? And I do mean ALL. I cannot find a single modern botanical reference--and I have checked several--that accepts the spelling as "Stuartia". I would very much like to see where this "extensive support" is coming from.

You call Brummitt's Vascular Plant Families and Genera "An obscure regional horticulture reference from the early 20th century", not to be counted in "ALL botanical literature"? Most would say Brummitt is a highly respected standard authority on plant name orthography.
The issue is of course something of a political hot Solanum tuberosum; as well as being a competent botanist, Stuart was also Prime Minister of Britain in the period running up towards the American Revolution, and therefore not liked in the USA where the pro-Stewartia lobby originates. It seems that anything which helps dissociate the name of the plant from the man is welcomed in some quarters. Worth pointing out too that the current Earl of Bute uses Stuartia [7], and he certainly has a legitimate interest in the spelling of the plant named after a member of his family. MPF 10:14, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

This is quite incredible. If this is really what passes for scholarship at Wikipedia, it's no wonder so few scientists take it seriously.

1. I was referring to Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles, the same book YOU were referring to. I looked it up and discovered that this book has been udpated several times, but it is still a regional horticultural reference. (It's even unfair to Bean to cite him for "Stuartia" as in the first edition he used "Stewartia". When it was changed, or by what subsequent editor, I do not know.) Incidentally, the tale about the portrait and name spelling in the most recent edition is told without any citation or source information whatsoever, so I'm inclined to disregard it as unreliable and quite possibly apocryphal.

2. Brummit's book is a list. A very large, and impressive, and useful list, but still just a list. It has its errors and 1992 is already quite out-of-date. A better reference would be IPNI, a far more comprehensive and up-to-date nomenclatural database produced by Kew (among others) which does indeed recognize the spelling as "Stewartia".

3. Linnaean names are not lightly "correctable". If you're going to cite Art. 60 from the ICBN then you would do well to read the rest of, not just the single line that you think supports your position because there are several counter examples that go directly against it:

Art. 60.1: "The original spelling of a name or epithet is to be retained, except for the correction of typographical or orthographical errors...."

Example 1: "Retention of original spelling: The generic names Mesembryanthemum L. (1753) and Amaranthus L. (1753) were deliberately so spelled by Linnaeus and the spelling is not to be altered to "Mesembrianthemum" and "Amarantus", respectively, although these latter forms are philologically preferable....

Art. 60.3: "The liberty of correcting a name is to be used with reserve, especially if the change affects the first syllable and, above all, the first letter of the name."

Example 7: "The spelling of the generic name Lespedeza Michx. (1803) is not to be altered, although it commemorates Vicente Manuel de Céspedes"....

4. Is "Stewartia" an orthographical "error"? Most certainly not. Linnaeus consistently used the spelling "Stewartia" over several years, in several publications, so there is no question that he did so deliberately. Why he did so is unknown as he provided no etymology for the name. He may have had a reason to prefer "Stewart" over "Stuart" and it's quite possible that he fully intended to insult or snub the Earl of Bute--it would not be the first time he did such a thing. In fact if the Earl of Bute was as prominent as you say, it's even more clear that Linnaeus used his spelling deliberately. Yet even if it were an orthographical error, Art. 60.2, Ex. 1, and Ex. 7 show that the original spelling is STILL to be retained. Any later spelling is an orthographical variant that can only be validated by formal conservation.

5. A "pro-Stewartia lobby"? Because of some kind of American revolutionary anti-U.K. sentiments? Give me a moment while I pick myself up off the floor. There are numerous Chinese and British references using "Stewartia"--in fact pretty much all of them (have you checked Mabberley's Plant Book, at least as good a list as Brummit's and far more up-to-date?)--that can hardly be accused of such prejudice. If there is any "lobby" it is a pro-Linnaean lobby, as "Stewartia" is the original spelling deliberately given to the genus by him.

6. The bottom line is that this was settled decades ago. Brummit notwithstanding, modern botanists have not adopted the "Stuartia" spelling and I'm still waiting for some examples of the "extensive support".

Please note that I am not really involved in this debate! I have no opinion on which spelling is correct. I simply encountered an editor trying to change the names, and saw that he wasn't doing it right, so I helped. I also drew peoples attention to the following discussion (by the scientific community) which indicated to me that the issue was still controversial:
This was my only involvement. The above discussion is ambiguously directed at me, but this is inappropriate!

Stho002 00:29, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

My apologies for involving Stho002 in this matter--as they say, no good deed goes unpunished!

In addition to the Taxacom discussion he links I would also call attention to two follow-ups:

1. The consensus there was that Stewartia, as the original spelling, is to be used unless the later spelling "Stuartia" is conserved. 2. It isn't even correct to claim Kew supports "Stuartia" as IPNI (Kew's continuously updated nomenclatural database) uses "Stewartia" exclusively. Doesn't it seem odd to anybody that the Wikispecies list differs so radically from the article about the same genus already written on Wikipedia:

Is there any attempt to coordinate the two different sections?

To answer your question above, time is short and WS editors are few, so it is no surprise that the Wikispecies list differs so radically from the article about the same genus already written on Wikipedia. Personally, I am more concerned about making the information I know most about as reliable as possible (e.g., see Homepuraea). So, no offence, but rather than complaining about it, the ball is in your court to do something about it by becoming an editor... Stho002 01:54, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

Thank you, but I have already discovered what will happen if I try to put in the correct information. Why bother? BTW see also the edit history of Wollemia nobilis, where factual and verifiable vernacular names for this species in various languages were stripped out by the same editor--I put them back, directly from the respective language Wikipedias--but we'll see how long they last.

To deal with's numbered points above:

1. Bean 8th ed. merely elaborates on the reasons for the correction to Linnaeus' error. It is useful literature on the correction, which was originally made by L'Héritier in 1784, and followed by many others, e.g. Siebold & Zuccarini, Maximowicz, Sprague, etc. The notes were made by Desmond Clarke, a noted expert in nomenclature, who had access to Linnaeus' herbarium; to dismiss his work as "unreliable and quite possibly apocryphal" is an unreasonable slur.

2. Yes, Brummit's book is a list, but it is a widely accepted authoritative list. If it has errors in, so equally may the texts which deny the correction of Linnaeus's name.

3. "Linnaean names are not lightly correctable" - this statement is (far more than Clarke's work) an unsubstantiated and probably apocryphal claim. They are treated no differently to the names published by any other botanist. The case of Bejaria L. ("Befaria", orth. err.) shows a clear precedent for correction of a name published by Linnaeus, in a case that is strikingly similar to the Stuartia case (likewise a correction of a spelling error of the name of the person honoured, and the correction made a similar time after Linnaeus's original).

4. Yes, "Stewartia" is an orthographical error. The man was named Stuart, and was at least the third generation in his family to use this spelling. The claim on Linnaeus deliberately wanting to snub him is further unsubstantiated nonsense.

6. Decisions on orthography do not solely follow 'modern' fads; historical, and horticultural, usage is also very important. Note that e.g. the protologues for S. monadelpha, S. pseudocamellia, and S. serrata use Stuartia in accord with most 19th century texts.

Since (per the taxacom link posted) the matter depends on conservation of one name or the other under the ICBN, it is outside of our hands here; I'd suggest as a compromise that both sets of pages be allowed to coexist until the orthography is ruled on by a botanical congress. - MPF 16:48, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

That Taxacom discussion is quite wrong in assuming that an older, original name must needs be preserved by conservation over a later spelling of the same name--it is the other way around. Befaria vs. Bejaria (published by Linnaeus but named by Mutis in honour of a person named "Bejar") is actually a very different case in its details but are you aware that the corrected later spelling "Bejaria" has been CONSERVED over Linnaeus' original spelling "Befaria"? I'll allow that the cases are quite similar in one respect: it shows that the original Linnaean spelling is to be accepted unless a later spelling is conserved. Meanwhile I'm afraid I still don't understand why you are dismissing IPNI, a modern and continuously updated database produced by Kew, in favor of a 1992 reference. It shows as clearly as anything possibly can that Kew have accepted "Stewartia" as the correct spelling of the genus name. 00:34, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

Edit war between and MPF over plant names[edit]

There appears to be an edit war going on. What should we do about it? Stho002 00:53, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

Well, look at the section above this one and you can get some ideas. OhanaUnitedTalk page 01:12, 29 April 2009 (UTC)
That wasn't overly helpful Ohana! If you look at recent edits, you will find that they keep going around in circles with Stuartia/Stewartia. I don't know which of them is correct, and I haven't time to look into it in sufficient detail, so I am just flagging this as a potential problem. Stho002 01:26, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

Yes, there most certainly is a problem when one editor attempts to suppress the well-documented and nearly universal vernacular name of a species, Wollemi pine--and its variants in every language, no less--and tries to enforce a spelling of a generic name ("Stuartia") that has been rejected by all modern botanists. These edits by MPF are little short of bizarre. If this behavior represents even a small fraction of the enormous number of articles edited by this editor, then Wikispecies has a serious credibility problem. 00:14, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

No, I don't think that Wikispecies has a serious credibility problem, it is just a conflict of opinion between two editors. The thing to do is to figure out a way of expressing on the relevant pages that there is a dispute, and somehow give both options (with reasons), so it doesn't matter which option is actually adopted. Perhaps the "disputed template" may be appropriate? Stho002 00:38, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Stho002, the disputed template should be placed on the pages and the relevent arguments from both sides shold be placed on the talk pages. In the interm the VN sections should be edited to include both varients of the names ntil resolution is found.--Kevmin 01:11, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
Concur with Stho002 too. The dispute here concerns a vernacular name that is widely used, but is inaccurate and inappropriate (stating that the species is something which it is not, in contravention of normal naming policies). seems to think that it is right to promote such errors and exclude another more accurate name (the scientific genus name used as a vernacular name, which is already widely so used); I consider that it is better to take an educational stance to encourage use of a name that is accurate over one which is misleading and inaccurate, however widely used it might be. I have tried to accomodate's view by including both with a comment to note the inaccuracy, but keeps on blindly reverting. - MPF 16:48, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

It is only MPF's opinion that the name is "inaccurate" or "inappropriate". "Wollemi pine" as a vernacular name is quite accurate and appropriate, even more so than many vernacular names, in that it refers to Wollemia nobilis and nothing else. 00:05, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

It is accurate and appropriate?? If so, why has no-one made the correction transferring the species to Pinus? I presume you are planning to do so, and have a paper on the topic in press? Out of curiosity, what epithet do you plan to use, given that Pinus nobilis Douglas ex D.Don (1832) already exists? - MPF 14:10, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
Oh please. Nobody is trying to call it the "Wollemi Pinus" any more than anybody using the word "butterfly" is claiming that the creature is a true fly of the order Diptera. Do I really need to point out that "pine" as a vernacular name is frequently used for plants that do not belong to the genus Pinus? Do I really need to lecture you that vernacular names and botanical names do not always line up perfectly? Do you understand that this is one of the reasons why botanists use botanical names, rather than vernacular names? Do you even understand what a vernacular name is, in the first place? 16:51, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
And causes no end of confusion as a result. It is natural human instinct to assume that if something is called a pine, it is a pine. What you're saying is like condoning crime just because it happens a lot. We can do better than mislead people by promoting confusion and errors. - MPF 17:40, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
Here's an absolutely typical example of the sort of confusion that results from promoting confusing vernacular names: [8]. I'm finding and having to correct errors like this all the time, and not just on wiki commons but in serious refereed scientific journals too (where unfortunately I can't correct them!) - MPF 18:11, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

"Wollemi pine" is the universal alternative to the botanical name in the horticultural and botanical literature. What MPF is attempting to do, by his/her own admission, is substitute the botanical name for a universal and well-established vernacular name. This rather misses the entire point of vernacular names, doesn't it? Can anybody point me to guidelines regarding the referencing or inclusion of vernacular names in Wikispecies? 00:05, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

There aren't any. I'd suggest that we follow the usual standards (e.g. Kelsey & Dayton 1942), that vernacular names properly belonging to one group should not be used for a species of another group. - MPF 14:10, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

Stho002’s conduct.[edit]

I feel compelled to condemn here the conduct of Stho002. I don’t deny his being a prolific, knowledgeable and diligent editor, and I praise him for his efforts. On the other hand he fails to respect the other editors and refuses to take into account opinions which are different from his. Several days ago he started a “vote” on his desire to change the page format. Realizing it is balancing against him, he changed the vote structure, ultimately abandoning it altogether, proclaiming to proceed anyhow with his proposed new format. He also twists our established guidelines against all common sense, and contrary to the ‘de facto’ situation, to suit his own way. Although 99.9% of the pages attest to the contrary, he claims his way is perfectly legal and allowed. His being an admin makes this rough conduct the more unacceptable and renders WS inconsistent in it’s page formatting. Consequently I wish to sound a protest call, and ask him with all due respect to be more tolerant and to conform to the Wiki manner of conduct. Mariusm 15:01, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

>ask him with all due respect to be more tolerant and to conform to the Wiki manner of conduct
Ok, will do.
>On the other hand he fails to respect the other editors and refuses to take into account opinions which are different from his
Actually, some other admins have (privately) said exactly that about my recent "opponents" Lycaon and Kevmin!
>Although 99.9% of the pages attest to the contrary, he claims his way is perfectly legal and allowed
There is actually no inconsistency here on my part: I claimed that there was no policy or explicit guideline preventing me from listing extinct taxa at the end of a taxon list, and so this is legal and allowed. Even if 99.9% (though this sounds like an exaggeration to me - a figure pulled off the top of your head to fit your argument) of the pages don't do this, that has no relevance. Stho002 21:02, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

"Actually, some other admins have (privately) said exactly that about my recent "opponents" Lycaon and Kevmin!" This is the second time you have compared me to Lycaon. The first time with a veiled threat about banning me. What exactly are you implying with this statement.--Kevmin 21:59, 29 April 2009 (UTC)
I was implying that Mariusm's criticism of me in this regard was a little unfair, as the same thing could (and has) been said about others who he was not criticising. Also, and as I have aleady stated on Ohana's talk page, I made no threat (veiled or otherwise) about banning you or anybody else! I merely implied that if we got into an edit war, I might have to invoke my sysop powers and protect the disputed pages until such time as I could seek a consensus view on the matter. Please don't be so defensive! Stho002 23:34, 29 April 2009 (UTC)
Can we just stop all the finger-pointing? We're just 15,000 short of reaching 200,000 articles. OhanaUnitedTalk page 02:56, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
But, Ohana, it's not just mere finger-pointing for the sake of argument. It is an essential component to the integrity of WS. What's the use of having 200,000 articles, or 1,000,000 for that matter, if they are all messed up and are incongruously formatted? I would expect an admin to put more emphasis on this point instead of adopting a 'lasseiz faire' attitude. Mariusm 05:14, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

Mariusm, please be careful of what you are saying, as it is VERY misleading!
>if they are all messed up and are incongruously formatted?
either "messed up" means incongruously formatted, in which case you have just made 1 reason sound like 2, or "messed up" implies incorrect content, in which case you are completely wrong! The latter interpretation is the most often understood by "messed up", so what you are saying is VERY misleading! Having 200,000 articles with correct content is indeed worthwhile, despite any minor diversity in formatting. Stho002 05:22, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

I wasn't referring to content, but to its presentation, which in my view is no less important. No one will care about a sloppy site even if its contents were immaculately accurate. Mariusm 05:44, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
Well, you think that lack of consistency (really, lack of uniformity) means a "sloppy site". I think that forcing information into a uniform presentation regardless of the specific issues it might involve makes it less easy for people to understand. I can agree with you that presentation is very important (equally important??? Maybe...), which is why I want to taylor the presentation on a case by case basis. So we disagree, but this is a wiki, so we either argue forever about it, or we just get on with it... Stho002 05:54, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

I must agree with Mariusm criticism. I think it is interesting that Stho002 did not respond to Mariusms point about the process that changed from being a vote, to not being one when it was clear that a majority would not approve of the proposed changes in the formatting rules. To me it is pretty clear that the process was only planned to reach ONE conclusion, and when it didn't the rules were changed. Not pretty to watch. Isfisk 08:26, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

I didn't repond to that point because it was pointless to do so. However, since you want me to, I will: I didn't "change it from a vote to not being one" - I changed it from a vote between 2 options to a vote between 3 options, where the 3rd option was intended to be a compromise. Also since the "compromise" seems to technically be allowable already by the "agreed" rules, I stated that I would take it as the default option, from which I would cease only if required to do so by the outcome of the vote. Please, Isfisk, refrain from putting a negative spin on things, for that is even less pretty to watch! Stho002 04:48, 2 May 2009 (UTC)

You say the system is allowed any yet have provided no e3vidence showing anything other then organization by taxon name was used prior to your changes. As the "†" is NOT part of the name of any recognized taxon it should not used to organized taxa in WS.--Kevmin 21:31, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

Strange page...[edit]

Wandering through WikiSpecies, I found a page looking quite strange: Isoetes ulei. Guess, it's a candidate for being deleted. Can anyone of the admins do this, please? Thanks!

Besides that, is there a standardised approach for such a case, e.g. a sort of "deletion request" mailbox (sorry for asking this, but I'm a bloody novice in WikiSpecies, and I found nothing like this on the main page)?

Cheers, Eulenjäger 22:27, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

Edit conflicts: the reality[edit]

It seems to me that edit conflicts are an inescapable consequence of the wiki system, and they may not in fact be overly serious, providing they don't become too frequent. A certain small amount of time will be wasted by individual editors changing things to suit their own preferences. However, if they were completely constrained to follow the preferences of someone else, then I think they might lose interest and give up. Hence, we could lose good editors that way, so small amounts of edit conflicts may just be the price we have to pay to get the job done. I don't think that "consensus" really works around here, so let's please try to minimise arguments over edit conflicts (particularly formatting ones), and spend our time more constructively! Conflicts over content MUST give both alternatives, but if there are minor wheel wars over which option is adopted on the taxon page, then just let it happen (provided it doesn't reach ridiculous proportions). Realistically, there is nothing inherently wrong with a "dynamic" wiki, in which equally good alternatives change back and forth continually. Stho002 08:30, 30 April 2009 (UTC) Stho002 08:30, 30 April 2009 (UTC)


I have looked into this situation more closely and it's even worse than I thought. If anybody still thinks this is just a "conflict of opinion between two editors", I suggest they try Googling some of the names MPF has tried to impose: "Stuartia acutisepala", "Stuartia brevicalyx", "Stuartia calcicola", "Stuartia cordifolia", "Stuartia crassifolia", etc. Go on, I dare you. Then report back here (1) how many hits you got on Google for any of these names and (2) where those hits came from. 00:14, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

This is WS not 20 questions, if you have a point state it plainly. (Apologies if rather tart, getting over flu)--Kevmin 03:21, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
Apologies for my own rather snarky posting but I'm a bit frustrated that this has been characterized as a "conflict of opinion between two editors" and yet no third party has apparently bothered to examine either MPF's claims or mine to see if that is indeed true. If they did, they would find that it is not a matter of MPF's opinion vs. mine, it's a matter of MPF's opinion vs. that of every other modern botanist. The "dispute" is quite lopsided--despite claims of "extensive support" MPF has managed to cite only a regional horticultural reference from 1980, and a list of generic names from 1992. All other modern references from the peer-reviewed botanical literature adhere to the original spelling, "Stewartia." Getting back to the point of this particular comment, I got exactly 1 Google hit for "Stuartia acutisepala", and that hit was MPF's article here at Wikispecies. In other words, this name, with this spelling, has never been used by ANY botanist--it is an invention out of thin air. Likewise most of the other "Stuartia" names and it's a shame that the hard work of editor "Epibase", who produced a fine and very comprehensive reference on the genus Stewartia here at Wikispecies, was systematically altered in this way. 00:22, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
This seems to be a "conflict of opinion between User Talk: and the Botanists at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew". In the List of genera in the family THEACEAE [9], they clearly list Stuartia as the correct spelling, not Stewartia.   Ed Uebel 03:02, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
That is the same as the reference MPF was using, Brummit 1992, a massive list of names that has never been udpated and is now woefully out of date. (And BTW, where does it say anywhere on their website that these are the names or spellings that they are currently "officially" recognizing? According to their text at, "The recognised genera are those accepted in the Kew Herbarium in 1992.") If you don't care to check out any of the other botanical literature then at the very least look at IPNI,, a collaborative effort by Kew and other institutions that is regularly updated, where you will find that "Stewartia" is the only spelling given. If Kew are to be given such great weight, then what more is needed? 15:34, 2 May 2009 (UTC)

Come on guys! This is silly! Just make all relevant names searchable under both spellings. End of story! Stho002 04:41, 2 May 2009 (UTC)

The names are still searchable but are now redirected to the correctly spelled names under Stewartia. I certainly hope this is "end of story" as I have neither the time nor, ultimately, the patience to continue editing articles here. 17:01, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
User Talk:, may I make two suggestions? (1) You are quite unhappy that Google is picking up all of those Stuartia species! Why not remove all of those redirects from Stuartia species to Stewartia species and then give those pages of Stuartia species a Speedy Deletion? (2) For each of the Stewartia species add their respective Stuartia synonyms as below.
  • Stuartia acutisepala - (named to honor John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute - 1713-1792)
  • Stuartia brevicalyx - (named to honor John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute - 1713-1792)
  • Stuartia calcicola - (named to honor John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute - 1713-1792)
Hope you find my suggestions helpful.   Ed Uebel 20:35, 2 May 2009 (UTC)

Plant classification proposal[edit]

As it stands now, the plant classification on WS is a rather large mess. There is not indication of what classification is used for any of the taxa. I would like to propose that, now that APG II has become stable we start to implement this as the base system for angiosperms, and to verify the conifers are following Cronquist (unless there is a generally accepted system which has superseded it). Also we should get recommendation for a stable filicale system for the ferns, ditto for mosses, etc... Once we have come to a consensus on systems to use we should create and add templates which indicate what system is being used on a taxon page. --Kevmin 21:28, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

I'd be willing to help out, but doubt I'll be able to do anything useful as any edit I do, will just revert it on principle - MPF 08:31, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
I have started to work on some of the smaller groups, not touching the upper levels until conversion has progressed some. I think there should be a notation in the taxonavigation section, preferably above the actual taxonomy, noting which system is in use. This is what I was thinking:

Classification system: APG II
{{Core eudicots}}
Familia: [[Aextoxicaceae]]

Thoughts? --Kevmin 09:17, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Check out some of the work being done on Commons. Multiple classifications (APG II Classification, APWebsite, Cronquist System, Strasburger) are all being used. Take a look at some of the categories in commons:Category:Plantae by family. Rocket000 04:50, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
I have worked extensively with taxonavigation on commons, mainly with extinct organisms they are avery similare to those used here. I think that at this time the reality of botanical systematics really doesn't warrant the use of multiple systems. Strasburger has never been used very much outside of Germany and now almost entirely follows APG II. The APG website is very fluid with changes being made frequently as research comes in, however it doesn't actually count as entirely peer reviews for the purpose of WS. Cronquist is still the system to use for conifers but has been supplanted by APG II for the majority of taxonomists. Thus it would seem that the top used system should be what is reflected in the taxonomy here.--Kevmin 03:33, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
True, and I agree with that. If we had more help, maybe having all of them might work, but it's better to be consistent when using only one. I suggest making a general template, something like {{classification|...}} (or nice and short like {{c}}) which gives "Classification system: ..." <br /> and links to a page about the classification kinda like commons:APG II. Rocket000 22:01, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
The problem is that classifications are composite and always changing, so you can't just say you are going to use a particular classification and then stick to it despite new research being published to modify it. Stho002 01:21, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
It's just to let others know what you using and you would simply update it when you update the rest of the page(s). You wouldn't have to put on all the pages, just the one or two at the top of whatever defines the area you are working in. I see this done to some extant already on talk pages. Rocket000 06:28, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

Reliable sources[edit]

There seems to be a problem encountered when we consider reliable sources. What do we consider reliable, and is there a hierarchy of reliable sources, particularly on the web? For instance, I was instructed by Mariusm that is not reliable. Now, that may very well be true; but the site looks fine, and looks perfectly reliable. How can I (or anyone) know which sites are reliable, which are not, and which sites are more reliable than others? I'm very much interested in contributing taxonomies to this site, but feel hampered and uneasy about contributing such taxonomies when it's so difficult to tell which sources can be trusted. Perhaps a "Wikisource" namespace page cataloguing a list of well-known and well-trusted reference sites and books would be useful. Thanks for any guidance. —Anonymous DissidentTalk 11:38, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

I think there is no clear-cut definition on whether the site is reliable or not. EOL is certainly reliable, but there's not a lot of websites that fall into this category. ITIS has been considered as frequently outdated by our project, yet still recognized as reliable resource. But eventually, will its outdated-ness cause us to regard it as no longer reliable? How about those sources that we regard them as unreliable now, but they're catching up and soon we recognize it as updated and reliable? Things change over time, so I say use your own personal discretion. But I should remind everyone of assuming good faith on these sources, since we're not battling with 10 year olds over whether a source citing a MySpace rock band is reliable or not. OhanaUnitedTalk page 15:31, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
Concur with ITIS being very unreliable (and not just for being out of date); ditto EOL which is largely cribbed from ITIS. - MPF 20:30, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
There is often dispute about which peer-reviewed papers are 'reliable' as well, so web sites will always be controversial. There is no point to WikiSpecies if all editors do is copy information from other websites, like EOL, as we might as well just use EOL. Editors should work in subject areas in whcih they have some research experience and they should draw from as many printed and web sources as they can find, to get some sort of consensus view of opinions in the field. Without this synthesis, we become just a "parrot" of other sites which does not really seem worthwhile. Accassidy 16:03, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
A word of caution!   User Talk:, has found that the Plant Lists [10] on the web site of the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew (one of the world's most prestigious botanical institutions) are not reliable. You may want to avoid these.  Ed Uebel 17:28, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
If you believe him/her, of course. And if so, then absolutely nothing is reliable. - MPF 20:30, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
The RBG Kew website linked to above states that the families and genera are based on their thinking in 1992. There has obviously been considerably thought since by the plant taxonomic world. I recommend (and am using) Mabberley's Plant Book, the third edition of which was published late last year. Beeswaxcandle 09:36, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Hello Beeswaxcandle, I am curious to know if Mabberley's Plant Book uses Stuartia or Stewartia? Thanks, Ed Uebel 20:49, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
The Mabberley reference uses "Stewartia". Incidentally, Brummitt 1992 (the Kew database) is quite reliable for what it sets out to be: a list of the families and genera recognised in the Kew herbarium in 1992. As such it is a snapshot of a particular institution, at a particular time, reflecting a particular set of taxonomic opinions and assumptions. As such its use for any other purpose must be supplemented with other, preferably more recent, literature. Plant classification is a contentious and fast-moving field and 1992 is already considerably out-of-date (particularly with respect to family classification, but there has been a multitude of changes at the generic level as well). In addition to the Mabberley book (which I concur is an excellent although rather superficial reference), I would highly recommend the series edited by Klaus Kubitzki, "The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants" (although I believe the series is still incomplete): 21:57, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Mabberley does list "Stuartia" as well but he equates it to "Stewartia" indicating that the latter is the correct genus. In the third edition Mabberley has moved away from Cronquist and "follows, in general, Kubitzki ... modified to take account of recent findings from molecular systematics and other subsequent work, using APG ... as a base-line" Appendix, p927. Yes, the Kubitzki series is incomplete as of yet with some revisions needed of earlier volumes. Unfortunately, the invididual volumes are very expensive. Beeswaxcandle 08:25, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
There is only one completely reliable way of contributing to Wikispecies - work from the primary literature and have enough of a grasp of taxonomy and nomenclature to be able to make good calls in unclear cases. Remember that there may not be a single correct answer - just some answers better than others. Secondary sources like EOL, etc., are never fully reliable, and rarely kept fully updated. We are working in a "fuzzy" area, where very little is clear cut, but judgement calls need to be made all the time. A good example of a "reliable looking site" which isn't as up-to-date as you would hope is AFD: compare my page Apteropanorpa with [11] Stho002 21:29, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
Absolutely correct, but unfortunately much of the primary literature are not available to the general public on the web, leading people to rely on completely unreliable sources like Zipcode Zoo. I can't comment on zoological nomenclature or taxonomy but as far as plant names are concerned, two of the better online resources are Tropicos ( and IPNI ( Both have their strengths and weaknesses and with IPNI, in particular, the older citations can be quite messy. One additional problem--and potentially a big one, if more editors with professional backgrounds in taxonomy and nomenclature join this project--is that there is no one "correct" classification for any given group. ALL classifications are subjective, ALL represent opinions, and one classification is not necessarily better (or worse) than another for the same group. This will come as no surprise to the systematists working here, but can be quite disconcerting to anybody not familiar with the subject, particularly those who come with their own preconceived notions. 23:41, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
"completely unreliable" is a bit exaggerated! Anyway, the approach I recommend is just to clearly state your sources for all information. Stho002 23:47, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
.Some additors are member of a Society. These Societies have mostly a library. You can borrow from them the books etc. or ask for copies. This cost money. Only on this way you can add reliable species. Maybe (if you want add species) you can ask a professional for information. I don't know if professionals like Stephen have to pay for their information. If people add species from an other side for the specialists its a lot of extra work to make the sides correct. is a reliable side, but with one great mistake namely the authors. They have typed Hbner (Hübner); Guene (Guenée) etc. If you add species from this side you have to know this. A great projekt like Fauna Europaea is not reliable. Most sides are set up with great ambition but they forget that the sides need updated with new information. PeterR 08:50, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
Exactly. There is no "magical bullet" to the solution. Any reliable websites could fall into the unreliable category just by a few months of neglect. On the other hand, any unreliable websites may suddenly go through a vigorous process of updating and turning itself into reliable source. OhanaUnitedTalk page 15:37, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

I just stumbled upon this and thought it kinda funny. According to ZipcodeZoo, the infraorder of butterflies, Heteroneura, is "a genus of longhorned beetles".[12] Navigating that page is pretty fun too... Rocket000 22:49, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

Oh yeah, and they scrape Wikipedia content without mentioning the source or the GFDL. Rocket000 22:52, 13 June 2009 (UTC)


I can't understand what's wrong with this page Sarcocapnos that I have just created. --Nanosanchez 18:51, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

Fixed. The template you wanted {{Sarcocapnos}} didn't actually exist yet. What you would do at that point would be to click the redliked "template:Sarcocapnos" and create the template by adding:
Genus: {{glast|Sarcocapnos}}</br>
No worries it took me quite a while to figure out that step of the process.--Kevmin 19:23, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

Many thanks!!

Block request[edit]

(I couldn't find a separate admin noticeboard page on this project, so I decided to ask here. If this is not the right place, please move my comment to the appropriate forum.) There is currently a bot that is creating masses of accounts on many WMF projects. There's a pattern to what usernames are chosen - each name has ten characters, and the first and sixth characters are always capitalised. (They have all been created from open proxies, as confirmed by checkuser at en.wn.) I've noticed a few such usernames being created over at this project. This is far too much of a pattern to possibly be a coincidence, so I'm requesting a block on those accounts, specifically C4tgeTleto (talkcontribsblockall projects) , CnacoRsitc (talkcontribsblockall projects) , and TrnooRoloa (talkcontribsblockall projects) (although according to the user creation log there are many others). I believe the stewards at meta have already been alerted to this, but thought I'd just give the folks here a heads-up about it. Further information can be found at wikinews:Wikinews:Admin action alerts#Mass creation of accounts. Thank you, Tempodivalse @en.wikinews 23:16, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

How to handle conflicting classifications?[edit]

For example: Eurema. I added both classifications since we are following both... or trying to. It doesn't work because pages can only have one name. This is the problem with using a composition of different classifications. What to do in this situation? Choose one and stick with that or try to make both work? Rocket000 05:52, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

  • Choose one (either arbitrarily, or based on knowledge of the group), and use the disputed template to mention the alternative. Try to choose the one that is consistent with most of the most recent literature. Stho002 06:27, 23 May 2009 (UTC)


Since I started working here one fact appeared as problem which needs fixing. With time, that become obvious, clear. As you know, I am working in the fish area, same area I am working on in my home wiki. When I write article about fish, I allways create page with latin name and redirect to local name. Also, I always link article to species and commons (if there are any materials), but also pages on species and commons to my article. This should be normal practice, but, it is not. On all wikis we have loads of articles waiting to be linked to species and commons. Even commons have pages to be linked to species. What am I proposing. I am proposing to arrange use of a bot to link pages on species to all wiki pages with same name (and opposite). Thanks. --Lasta 10:05, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

Wikispecies download[edit]

How do I download Wikispecies? Many thanks.

Try data dumps OhanaUnitedTalk page 19:12, 6 June 2009 (UTC)

Unfortunately I have never seen Wikispecies in the data dump list. I checked the Request For Dumps list and found that someone else has made the same request without getting a reply. Why is Wikispecies any different to the other wikis, all of which I can download?

You can try ask at its talk page where someone who is more knowledgeable than me on this matter will be very happy to answer your questions. OhanaUnitedTalk page 15:51, 8 June 2009 (UTC)


Wikispecies has become a single-minded one-road project to which I will not longer contribute under the current dictatorial circumstances. I started my collaboration under the impression that as a scientist I could contribute something. Now that this place is run by an amateur, that illusion has gone. Good luck to the ones that have the courage to keep on fighting the tide. disillusioned scientist 16:46, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

  • Well, Lycaon, perhaps you preferred it back in the days of the old dictatorial circumstances, when you were the dictator! By all means, come back and resume your good work as an editor here, but don't just drop in to complain, when the wiki has actually never been more productive than it is at present. Your constant complaining just reflects badly on you. Stho002 22:44, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
    • Did I mention your name anywhere? Q.E.D., wie 't schoentje past, die trekke het aan. disillusioned scientist 08:30, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
It's inappropriate to call any volunteer working on a wikimedia project names. As administrator especially one should realise that building bridges between users with several backgrounds, motives and ideas is very important. Attempts to put users or groups against each other are highly counter productive. It's bad for me, it's bad for whoever reads this, it's bad for the wikimedia foundation. --Kempm 23:24, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
Look, the situation is this: if Lycaon comes back and contributes sensible edits, then fine, everybody wins. If however, he comes back only to complain (either overtly or covertly) about me, then he has absolutely no grounds for doing so, and ought to be banned. He has been around long enough to have some friends here, who seem to be taking his side against me, but if they really care about what is best for the wiki, as they claim to, then they will encourage Lycaon to get a grip of himself, and either start contributing something positive again, or go away. Let me dissect Lycaon's own words:
  • Wikispecies has become a single-minded one-road project

What the heck does that mean? Total rubbish!

  • under the current dictatorial circumstances

What dictatorial circumstances? Who is he referring to?

  • under the impression that as a scientist I could contribute something

He CAN contribute as much as he likes - nobody is stopping him. He does however only seem interested in contributing one tiny and insignificant bit of information which is both meaningless and pointless, i.e. adding Linnaeus, 1758 to Animalia.

  • Now that this place is run by an amateur

Who? I wasn't aware that this place was run by anybody in particular!

  • Good luck to the ones that have the courage to keep on fighting the tide

What tide? Wikispecies is growing stronger every day. Why would anyone want to fight it?

Clearly, Lycaon is calling ME names (dictator, amateur). He may not have mentioned me by name, but his meaning is clear. Who else is he talking about! Grow up! Stho002 00:05, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

Author names[edit]

When i look to the template of authornames i see only Defaultsort and Catogory. Now i see that some people add to the publications of the author. Have we an agreement for add publications of the author? If we have why don't everybody do the same.

PeterR 09:07, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

Well, having a page that simply lists the authors name and categorizes it is kinda useless. Personally, I think we should start linking the author(s) name and date (together). This can then redirect to a specific section on the author's page which will give information about the publication. Another thing I don't get is why people add the publication as a reference when it's obvious they didn't really use it as a primary source. This is very bad practice, IMO, and further confuses people over what the References section is for. Rocket000 11:24, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
I also don't want to see snippets of what each author published. Those references should be genus/species-specific. Image of the person, birth year (or even more precise, the date), death date (if deceased), which country's citizen and a general description on what they worked on (say spiders, or algae) should be enough. OhanaUnitedTalk page 20:00, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

Admin rights user:stho002[edit]

Considering the edit history of page Animalia [13], my talk page User_talk:Kempm#your_inappropriate_conduct, several discussions between User:stho002 and administrators, I can only conclude that Stho is following his own preferences and not necessarily the preferences of the wikispecies-project. This is ofcourse not possible. The project is not run by an individual, but by a group, and edits have to be made in line with consensus.

Since user:stho002 has made it clear that he will not abide by the consensus of this project, I think there is no other choice than for this project to demote user:stho002 and deprive him from his administration rights. It's a shame I need to ask for that, but I personally see no other choice. --Kempm 01:15, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

This behavior is not limited to just admins. Note also the comments on my, Ucuchas and Rocket000s talk pages. Here is the link to Stho002's post on authorities above families. Stho002 also unilaterally implement style and format changes to pages without any attempt at community discussion. See the disscuaions regarding dagger usage and segregation of extinct taxa in WS.--Kevmin 01:39, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
ps note this section in which Stho002 makes an end run around the community consensus to change the format by arguing that the guidelines do not prohibit alphabetization of extint taxa to the end of taxa lists by including the dagger as part of the name.--Kevmin 06:15, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

>Since user:stho002 has made it clear that he will not abide by the consensus of this project

I am perfectly willing to abide by consensus, if one could ever be reached without people asking for and then ignoring my arguments, and letting their own egos stand in the way of progress on the Wiki. It would be entirely inappropriate to desysop me for having strong opinions on how best to improve the Wiki, and arguing rationally for those opinions, in the face of certain people who either just don't listen, or have their own agenda. Stho002 01:47, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
Kevmin (who has been obstructive to me all along) says: 'without any attempt at community discussion'. Actually, I have made several attempts at community discussion, but people either don't bother to comment, or else stick rigidly to their own opinions despite strong counterarguments. Stho002 01:50, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
First off, I have not purposely at any point tried to hamper your edits. And as is show in the edit histories of out accounts we have in fact had very little interaction until the first instance of you making a unilateral change to the formatting. In regards to community consensus Since you started editing on WS you have asked for opinions (of your own free will) on a proposal once. All other changes have been unilateral.--Kevmin 06:15, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
Does anyone have anything to add in favor of Stho002? --Kempm 22:19, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
Well, I think he wants a discussion before allowing the author's name to be added to certain ranks, however it's clear (at least to me) what the community wants and no discussion is needed (what's to be said other than "yes, this is what we want"). In fact, it's everyone except Stho002. I hope he can see the strong consensus here. Stho002 has stated "Lycaon is just using this to annoy me", so maybe he's simply misinterpreting our intentions. He has continuously said that edit-warring over this is a waste of time, yet he has spent the most time and effort on it (which is not a criticism; he's the most active user here), but obviously it's something people care about and I hope it can be resolved soon. Rocket000 23:13, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
Actually, I suspect all sides are misinterpreting each other. Here are some verifiable facts: (1) Lycaon recently returned from self-imposed exile, and his only "contribution" to the project was to add Linnaeus, 1758 to the name Animalia. The rest of his time here has been spent trying to get support to have me desysoped. If it is a genuine consensus to include authorship/date to class-series taxa, despite the lack of point or much meaning, then I will abide by that. It would, however, be nice to hear some rational reasons offered in support of the consensus. I don't think that the difference between democracy and dictatorship lies in how many people make the decision, even in the old U.S.S.R. it was a committee who made all the decisions. Stho002 00:09, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
Sadly, I'm being canvassed by User:Kempm to voice my opinion here,[14] which on the grounds that has nothing related to this subject.[15][16] I see that there is a big misunderstanding on both sides. Is there any discussion on Talk:Animalia? Nope, NOTHING. So right on the spot, both sides can toss the "failed to communicate with other parties" argument into the trash can. Instead of both sides trying to proof each other to be the "wrong" side, or assigning each other to be either on the "Lycaon side" or "Stho002 side", why don't you guys live and let live? I don't want to see lameness spreading from en.wp to here over trivial disputes. OhanaUnitedTalk page 15:03, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

non-breaking space[edit]

Does anyone know why the non-breaking space has disappeared from the Wiki markup today? Or is it just me? Stho002 01:07, 16 June 2009 (UTC) Also a problem with the redirect template on Wiki markup - no longer includes [[ ]] Stho002 01:35, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Nope, but I noticed that as well. Rocket000 20:36, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

When to use {{aut}}[edit]

I know using this template for authors' names in the references section is standard practice but should it be used in the name section as well? Also do things like "et al." and "(ed.)", which aren't names, go inside it as well? Rocket000 20:35, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

It should, but we're lazy. OhanaUnitedTalk page 15:16, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
I made {{a}}, which functions as {{aut}} + [[ ]]. achtSegel 12:02, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
Ok, good to know. I'll start using {{a}} for the name section. Wrapping things like this in templates/span tags is never a bad practice to get into. It opens the door for future possibilities (making the data more machine-readable, etc.). Rocket000 22:36, 22 June 2009 (UTC)


I've just seen the uh.. disaster there. This is a friendly reminder to a. discuss at the talkpage b. not edit war c. and not block your opponents and people who you are in conflict, or have been in serious conflict previously. Thanks. :-) Maxim(talk) 23:40, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

And d. not come back from self-imposed exile only to "contribute" a pointless author/date, just to stir up trouble... Stho002 23:42, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
Stho002, it's obviously not pointless to you. We should be an inclusive community, not threatening each other. I wish Lycaon was still around, he was a very active contributer & Wikispecies is missing him. Maxim(talk) 23:44, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
Yes, it would be great if Lycaon returned and contributed something positive to the project - I'm not stopping him ... Stho002 23:47, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
He's still at Commons, doing quality and valued images. OhanaUnitedTalk page 15:13, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

Needs info about multi linguaglism policy[edit]

Undersigned is a Wikipedian from Language Marathi.Few of fellow Marathi Language Wikipedians want to work/contribute on species in language Marathi.
  1. My impression is Only main page is to be translated here at wikispecies and rest of pages we need to have in Particular Language in this case on Marathi Wikipedia, is my impression correct ?
  2. Or we are free to create pages in Language Marathi in Wikispecies itself?
  3. What is multilingual policy here?
Thanks and Regards
Mahitgar 07:30, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
For taxon pages, there really shouldn't be much of any language (Latin/scientific names being the obvious exception). As for the headings like "Taxonavigation" and "Name", well I'm planning to implement some auto-translation for those via the MediaWiki namespace (using {{int:}}). We use this on Commons a lot. However this would be done by bot and wouldn't affect how you edit 'species too much (you'll still use English, but instead of ==Taxonavigation== it would be =={{int:Taxonavigation}}== and the readers will see it in whatever language their interface is in). Any help pages or policy pages of course can be translated. Rocket000 22:47, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Licensing update[edit]

In accordance with the Licensing update and associated WMF Board Resolution, Wikimedia (including Wikispecies) will be exercising its rights under GFDL 1.3 to dual license existing GFDL content — text and images — under CC-BY-SA 3.0 (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0) starting June 15th, 2009.

For all of us here, this changeover should not affect anyone because we have disabled local media file (image/sound/animation) uploads. The only difference is a slight change to the bottom of the page. On any mainspace page, currently it says "Content is available under GNU Free Documentation License". This phrase will be modified to "Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License; additional terms may apply." There will be no changes made to editing interface or any normal activities, except if you plan on reusing the materials from Wikispecies to somewhere else. The old system (GFDL 1.3) causes reusing text and media files to be difficult. Under the new system, dual-licensing with CC-BY-SA allows reusers to work with a less rigorous terms & conditions while we still retain some control over the copyright.

I will be performing the switchover next week, possibly on Friday.

P.S. If you have uploaded media files with GFDL 1.2-only permission yourself, please consider to switch to newer version of GFDL or dual-license it along with CC-BY-SA 3.0. You can find more information on how to do this at Commons:License Migration Task Force/Licensing change by uploader

OhanaUnitedTalk page 01:02, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

Licensing update has been successfully completed in Wikispecies. The bottom of pages and the editing screen have included CC-BY-SA 3.0. Modifications towards Wikispecies:Copyrights are underway. OhanaUnitedTalk page 01:26, 30 June 2009 (UTC)