User talk:John Stephenson/Archive 8

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John, I've proposed a referendum I'd like you to look over. Thanks. Russell D. Jones (talk) 19:00, 1 June 2015 (UTC)


I've looked and looked, and I'm probably being silly, but I can't find the list of Articles Wanted you produced. --Martin Wyatt (talk) 11:42, 14 August 2015 (UTC)

Strange notification

Dear John Stephenson:

I just got the strange notification, that may refer to events of past years. It mentions you; so, I think, you should be informed.

[delete email - formatting messing up]

Did you sent that message to me?

I cannot find the activity specified as "2 February 2016 by John Stephenson" in the message I got. Perhaps, some software error took place.

My point of view did not changed. I still qualify as error the removal of the material mentioned at my talk page. My argumentation is simple and I see no need to repeat it.

Sincerely, Dmitrii Kouznetsov (talk) 11:15, 3 February 2016 (UTC)

I think the message must refer to [1]. Peter Jackson (talk) 09:36, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
The software is set to automatically send a message to an account-holder each time one of their user pages is changed, unless you specify otherwise. So, it's not an error. I was just changing a template which should have been updated to reflect the decision to move the page to your user space. Otherwise, the page would still appear as an active case in the 'Removal Calls' list. John Stephenson (talk) 21:58, 4 February 2016 (UTC)


Not this time, thanks. Last time I was on Council I found it frustrating. The Managing Editor asked us to do things; I did them, spending quite a lot of time on it; no-one else did; nothing happened. Thanks for all you do. Best wishes, --Martin Wyatt (talk) 19:14, 20 May 2016 (UTC)

Thanks. I can see how that would have been frustrating. By the way, it was Anthony who nominated you. John Stephenson (talk) 19:20, 20 May 2016 (UTC)


I can't find your private email address either on the email you sent me or on your user page. It would be on the forum, but that's still off line. For the record, I have, or used to have, two other email accounts, with and gmx. I haven't used either for a long time, but I could try to reactivate one if that would help. Peter Jackson (talk) 09:22, 4 June 2016 (UTC)

Thank you

Thanks for help with my new account. All the best! --Jeff Mcneill (talk) 05:31, 15 March 2017 (UTC)


You resolved my dilemma there, thanks! Could you link to the policies, please? I couldn't find them. Ro Thorpe (talk) 14:02, 13 May 2017 (UTC)

My interpretation is that self-promotion violates 5 and 6 of the CZ Policies document (advertising and non-neutrality). It's also a breach of the existing policy on self-promotion, which remains as non-binding guidance. Hope this helps. John Stephenson (talk) 14:14, 13 May 2017 (UTC)
Indeed, yes. Many thanks. Ro Thorpe (talk) 14:41, 13 May 2017 (UTC)


What are you up to nowadays, John? Was thinking about you and thought I'd look in. Stephen Ewen (talk)

Shutting down CZ? Please look at the following discussion and give us your input thanks! Hayford, Treasurer Hayford Peirce (talk) 16:10, 21 June 2020 (UTC)

Hi John, RE: tech work and the above issue, could I get an email to go offline and discuss a couple tech issues with you? I am at pgpalmer (AT) gmail.Pat Palmer (talk) 00:52, 23 June 2020 (UTC)


...for tidying up the page move for history of England. Richard Nevell (talk) 17:58, 28 June 2020 (UTC)

request to delete Christian Science article

Hi John, I don't know if "speedydelete" requests still get locked at, but I think we ought to delete Christian Science and its subpages and metadata. What do you think?Pat Palmer (talk) 16:50, 9 August 2020 (UTC)

Agreed - it can always be restarted. John Stephenson (talk) 17:32, 9 August 2020 (UTC).
Thanks much.Pat Palmer (talk) 18:05, 9 August 2020 (UTC)

an issue with Pope searches

John, I've come across an issue that I think might need some tinkering, but I don't know enough. When I search on "Pope", I get sent to Papacy. And thus, I cannot find any of the popes who have articles in here (there are several) by searching on the word "Pope". It might be as simple as renaming Papacy to Pope, which I recommend. I did managed to find some popes by searching on "Pope redirect", but who would do that? I think there is a need, also, for a list of popes (Catalog?), although most would not yet have articles. Possibly some redirected pope names are also contributing to the failed search issue. Would you be up for looking into this, in your 'spare time', he he? If not, let me know and I'll eventually brave it, but it's been a while since I tinkered with redirects and renamings and such.Pat Palmer (talk) 21:40, 12 August 2020 (UTC)

I think Papacy ought to redirect, i.e. rename it. There are other popes in other churches, so I wonder if it should be Pope (Rome) or Pope (Roman Catholicism). We can create a Catalog fairly easily. John Stephenson (talk) 14:52, 13 August 2020 (UTC)
Redirects are easy. For instance, Create a new page called Big Bill Tilden. Then when you go to that blank page, just type in #redirect Bill Tilden and save it. So that if someone later Searches for Big Bill Tilden, she'll go to Bill Tilden. Moves/Renames are trickier and, as I recall, I always asked someone else to do them for me. In the case of Papacy/Pope/etc, I think there should be new Names and lots of Redirects. Hayford Peirce (talk) 15:23, 13: August 2020 (UTC)
Yes, because moving a page doesn't move the Metadata, which also needs to be rewritten to reflect the new title. It would be easier to just have categories at the bottom of each article à la WP but unfortunately someone would have to write and deploy a bot to read, transfer and delete categories from about 16,000 Metadata pages... John Stephenson (talk) 15:42, 13 August 2020 (UTC)
John, would you consider ditching the metadata in the next generation of the wiki? I'm not sure what all the effects would be, but maybe we could get Joshua's help in making some bots for the transition.Pat Palmer (talk) 22:21, 13 August 2020 (UTC)
Here because I was mentioned. It would be a lot of work to remove metadata, but I support it. I think we should wait until after everything else, though. If I have time, you absolutely could get my help. Joshua Sadule (talk) 23:22, 13 August 2020 (UTC)
Yes, but as Joshua says, it will involve significant work. If you just get rid of the Metadata extension, about 16,000 articles will lose their categories. John Stephenson (talk) 12:58, 14 August 2020 (UTC)

There is a list of Popes somewhere. Peter Jackson (talk) 10:04, 14 August 2020 (UTC) Is it a timeline? Peter Jackson (talk) 10:04, 14 August 2020 (UTC)

Found it. Thanks, Peter. Papacy/Timelines Pat Palmer (talk) 12:26, 14 August 2020 (UTC)

Language (naming and search issue)

Hi John! I found that the redirect of Language to Language (general) was making it impossible to search on the word language in a useful manner. Hence, I removed the redirect temporarily. And I can see in the ensuing search results that people have not been consistent in naming articles about specific human languages. I assume, when possible, we want an article to be named, for example, Gaelic, and if there is ambiguity (as there might be with, say, Scots (is it the People, or is it the language of the people?), then it would need to be Scots (language). Correct me if this isn't right. You will likely see, from me, a lot of renaming activity as I try to create more consistency among the MANY articles whose title contains the word language right now. I will also have to remove some redirects, and possibly create some disambiguation pages.

This all came up because I have started a new article What is Language? and I intended it to run sort of in parallel with the article Language (general) which you have worked on most in recent times. I wanted to explore the more esoteric definitions of language, as well as perhaps be more whimsical than the hard-working Language (general) is right now. I may work on both, back and forth, unless you'd like to be lead on Language (general).

For now, I'm holding back from redirecting Language to anything so that I can work on the above naming inconsistencies--unless you object. Eventually, we'll want to redirect Language, I think, to Language (disambiguation), which I am holding back from starting until the names are sorted out a bit more.

It's all a great snarl! This should keep me off the streets all winter. Lemme know if any of this disturbs your sleep.Pat Palmer (talk) 23:13, 29 August 2020 (UTC)

The original decision was to use e.g. English language, not English (language), since we do use phrases like 'the English language'. So, the brackets are usually unnecessary. Likewise, we can use 'English people' as a form of disambiguation within the title itself. Adding brackets would be an enormous task...
There are inconsistencies in redirects. For example, Spanish goes straight to Spanish language and if necessary we can add a disambiguation link at the top to Spanish (disambiguation). This is what was informally decided and reflects the view that someone searching for Spanish is most probably wanting information on the language and not, for instance, Spanish, Ontario (pop. approx. 700). In contrast, German goes to a disambiguation page that links to Germany but not things with the word 'German' in them. (WP sends searchers to the disambiguation page.)
The idea on CZ was to prefer common names and meanings: go straight to the most likely one, and link back to a disambiguation page (plus have links under Related Articles). Sometimes people didn't do that, e.g. Email ought to have a link to Email system at the top. Also, disambiguate within the title itself if possible.
Your language examples are interesting. Gaelic doesn't distinguish Irish 'Gaelic' from (Scots) Gaelic (the name is pronounced differently). Generally in the UK and Ireland we say just say 'Irish' and 'Gaelic' to mean those languages of Ireland and Scotland respectively, so the links would be to Irish language and Scottish Gaelic. Gaelic language would be confusing in this case (unfortunately, you still get people thinking that Gaelic and Irish are the same language), and 'language' is unnecessary disambiguation. 'Gaelic' would redirect to Gaelic (disambiguation) as it's not clear what the searcher would most likely be looking for. John Stephenson (talk) 11:16, 30 August 2020 (UTC)
Okay, this presents (in my view) a substantial problem, because Linguistics workgroup seems in my view to have hared off on its own with one naming convention, while in other workgroups, I have fairly consistently seen Pi (Greek letter) and Pi (mathematical constant). I believe, in the long run, we'd do better with consistency in this kind of thing that reaches across workgroups. What do you think? If somehow these ARE going to be different, we're going to need guidance on the landing page about article naming conventions, else how can we teach anyone?Pat Palmer (talk) 13:58, 30 August 2020 (UTC)
The brackets generally are what we use even with linguistics articles, e.g. Creole (language) (which means what a creole is, not one of several languages that get called 'Creole'). It's not really been a problem before. John Stephenson (talk) 15:00, 30 August 2020 (UTC)
Well, it's not what *I* would do. But will try to roll with it for now. I hope to get some time to check for naming consistency among the many language articles before putting the Language disambig page back.Pat Palmer (talk) 15:19, 30 August 2020 (UTC)
John, when you say "the name is pronounced differently", it depends where you are. The Scots pronounce their ancestral language Gallic, but in England we pronounce it Gaelic, the same as Irish Gaelic (which is also sometimes called Erse). I'm not sure how different the two Gaelic languages are. Peter Jackson (talk) 09:16, 24 October 2020 (UTC)
Probably about as different as Spanish and Portuguese: limited mutual comprehensibility especially in speech, but more so in writing. But typically they're regarded as separate languages. I think 'Gallic' and 'Gaylic' both occur in England, especially up north, and their speakers reject both: the two languages are 'Irish' and 'Gaelic' (pronounced 'Gallic'). John Stephenson (talk) 11:48, 24 October 2020 (UTC)

need help on setting up What is Language? with a lead author

I'd like to use one of the templates (Authors or Contribs) on the What_is_Language? article for now, since it's currently in such a strange state (not recommended for anyone to read yet). Can you go there and show me how to set that up? Sorry to be in learning mode and leaning on you so much :-( . It's not in my Sandbox because I do want collaboration on it by those interested in it as an experiment. The whole thing may end up getting deleted, but I thought to use it (just for now) as a testbed for the new multiple article approach, sitting there along with Language (general).Pat Palmer (talk) 14:14, 30 August 2020 (UTC)

OK, will look. John Stephenson (talk) 15:01, 30 August 2020 (UTC)
Oh glorious pile of choices! Thanks a million. I'll copy these to my sandbox and pick one, and hopefully won't need to ask about this again.Pat Palmer (talk) 15:45, 30 August 2020 (UTC)

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex would benefit from a brief update

John, If you have time, could you briefly update Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex would benefit from a brief update, to include his abdication from royal duties and move with Meghan to (currently) the U.S. or maybe Canada, I can't keep track. Probably better if someone from Britain does the update, as I can barely understand what any of it means. A great soap opera!Pat Palmer (talk) 21:21, 16 October 2020 (UTC)

Will have a go when I can. John Stephenson (talk) 14:03, 19 October 2020 (UTC)

Returning (re: Soft Launch)

I'm happy to return and get to work. Just got my login straightened out and am ready to start. ...said Wendy Galgan (talk)

Great! John Stephenson (talk) 19:11, 23 October 2020 (UTC)


John, User:Mark Widmer is willing to serve as interim Treasurer. Would you please reflect that on the Personnel page? Thanks.Pat Palmer (talk) 01:21, 4 December 2020 (UTC)