Talk:Main Page/Archive 4

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New Template

Like probably many of you are, I am tired of typing [[w:Something|Something]] whenever I want to link to Wikipedia.

So I set up a simple template to do this. Here's you you use it:


And this is what you get:


Enjoy! 22:31, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)

As a practical concern, simply using the template appears to involve typing a minimum of eleven characters. It would be faster to simply type the word twice for words smaller than 11 characters, wouldn't it?
Given the large number of times one might use this template, how about a shorter name, such as "W" for Wikipedia? Also, how about using a param name of "w", which is the same as the interwiki prefix, so it would be easy to remember? Then the template would be all of two extra letters beyond what it would take to manually copy and paste and type the interwiki prefix.
This is definitely an interesting idea.
However, a potential problem with this template is that many stories are rich with links to Wikipedia, and so there would be a large number of template instantiations on a page which uses this template for all of the Wikipedia links.
In the past, the MediaWiki software has had problems when there are more than five instantiations of the same template on a single page. I'm not sure if that bug is fixed or not, but I would be wary of whether or not long-term use of such a low-level template would over time place an undue burden on the servers.
Hopefully one of the MediaWiki developers can weigh in and let us know if replacing all of our interwiki links to Wikipedia with a template is kosher or not. — DV 22:50, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)
i'll try it on the sandbox or something. and i also set up a new template: so {{w|w=Something}} has the same effect. 02:55, 27 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I just tested it, and the 5-templates-only bug is fixed. 02:55, 27 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Uh -- you are typing too much: [[w:Wikinews|]] looks like this: Wikinews -- Davodd | Talk 03:03, 27 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Excellent tip. Thanks Davodd. I'll avoid redundant link names in the future. (Probably not worth manually stripping them out from existing articles.) — DV 13:52, 27 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Actually, when you type [[w:Something|]] it gets expanded at save time to [[w:Something|Something]] — which is why there's no need to go back and replace things in old articles. -- IlyaHaykinson 18:43, 27 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Well thanks for telling us :) Also, about templates, I think the system automatically saves templates, so calling a template once would really only execute one query for that template. 22:42, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Cultural and Language issues

I am not a native English speaker. I try to do the best, however it is possible that I indeliberately may write something that seems pov or offensive by some wikinews users. Some of these issues sometimes are related to cultural differences and difference in the languages, besides the fact that every wikinews user has its own personal opinion about every subject which also may influence the writing . So you must check my articles and report me any doubt, please. Thank you.--Carlosar 03:40, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)


Is it just me, or were there a lot of explosions today?

I can't recall the last news cycle during which there were so many explosions.

If it weren't for the earthquake in Japan, today's Latest news would have consisted entirely of explosions.

I hope this isn't the start of a trend. — DV 06:37, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)

It's the second anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq.. I was expecting worse. -- Davodd | Talk 07:11, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Weather Map

Don't you think there should be a temperature reading for London? Currently there are no daily readings for the UK (<-- unsigned comment by

London and Berlin overlap on the world map, so it can only display one or the other.
London, Aberdeen, and Dublin are on the map for Europe which is linked from the front page both under "Browse latest news by:", in the upper right, and at the bottom of the page, in the "Weather" box. In both locations, the weather map for Europe is accessible via the "C" and "F" links next to the word "Europe". — DV 22:54, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • Also, does anyone think Africa, Asia and South America should have a localised weather map? 11:00, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Yes, as soon as possible. I've updated the checklist on my user page to emphasize the importance of support for those specific regions. — DV 11:31, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Latest News link

What is the use of the Latest News link on the main page when it points back to the main page? Could we have that removed and add something more usefull? -- Redge (Talk) 16:38, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)

The link is supposed to bring the browser to the #Latest_News anchor, but that anchor has inexplicably disappeared. The purpose is to allow a user to avoid scrolling down to the top of the latest news (and also to allow them to bookmark the top of the latest news). Since it is currently broken, it could either be removed or changed to link to [[Template:Latest news|Latest news]]. - Amgine 16:41, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)

New layout

I've instituted a new layout to:

  1. Get more news "above the fold" - to avoid having to scroll to see more recent story headlines.
  2. Remove some of the dead space that was in the right-hand column.

If people don't like It, I'll change it back. -- Davodd | Talk 00:54, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Is there a way to remove the "Main Page" title from the page? That would clear up even more room, and I feel it isn't exactly necessary. The new header takes some getting used to. Also, could we change the "latest news" link, as discussed above? -- Redge (Talk) 10:01, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)
That can't be done at the time due to software. -- Davodd | Talk 16:53, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Not quite. I added this feature to my skin, it works along the lines of, If the page title is "Main Page," don't display it. --Noclip 02:15, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I like it! Good work! - FrankH 18
41, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)
This design change is a valuable improvement.
I'm still perplexed about how to get rid of some of the remaining vertical white space above and below the Welcome, the date banner, and inside of the the Browse box.
Even though the tables follow one after another with no breaking lines, there are still sizable gaps, and it would be nice to reclaim that space.
Part of the problem is the mixing and matching of Wiki table syntax with HTML. It's simply not precisely documented how the MediaWiki software implements tables, despite the numerous examples about tables on the help pages.
Hopefully a table guru will stop by and show us how it is done.
DV 05:31, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • Sorry, but to me the layout is a total flop from an attract new readers and/or contributors standpoint. I majored in advertising and worked for Thompson for I know this stuff.
  • The acronym for a good ad is AIDA and a news paper's main page is,in effect,an ad for the paper... Most newspapers follow AIDA religiously; maybe we don't want to.I don't know. This is just for discussion/thought. Anyway, A= attention..first get the reader's attention; thus BIG Hook headline..I = interest..Lead story should have general interest value..

D=decision..decsion to keep reading or come back..A = action, get involved/contribute/sign up. So, the idea is to lead the reader from A>I>D>A..

  • I think the prominent global weather presentation was good as it emphasized our global nature and provided daily useful info for most people. I would also bring in a little tasteful sex. Have a good looking small virtual weather woman(no more than an inch in height) in a bikini as a pointer for weather locations..maybe a buff guy option as well. remember; attention=sex; one of the most popular shows on czech tv is a naked weather show.
  • Also right now the main page is much too long.

anyway; just some thoughts. Paulrevere2005 14:19, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Terra Agency: Wikipedia - an encyclopedia done by users

Terra Agency: "Wikipedia - an encyclopedia done by users"

Soon the Wikipedia won't need presentation: the online free content encyclopedia , in which any one can participate, grows in incessant rhythm and each time has more colaborators around the world.

Wikipedia, uma enciclopédia feita pelos usuários--Carlosar 02:14, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)

we need somethng to take up all that pink space.

We really need something to take up all that pink space in the right collumn under the developing and disputed articles. any ideas? The bellman 12:39, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)

In reply to myself, here's a thought i just had: Hows about we move the "browse latest news by" section, and the stuff below it, down some and put in one or two more lead articles (or sub-lead articles, since they would be smaller and less promenent than the main lead article). Basicly just the headline a small pic and one paragraph of story. Thoughts? The bellman 13:04, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)
How about a writing tip of the day? We could select one or two random items from the Newsroom style and content guides, and present them in a box under the Developing stories box. If the box wasn't full because there were so many stories under Latest news reports, we could have three items. On a slow news day, maybe just one item.
I also like the idea of just putting two or three stories that have small pics in the space to the right of the Lead article, and pushing down the Browse latest box, but I think that idea was shot down before because certain contributors don't want to push the Developing stories any further down on the page. — DV 13:11, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Whoops, missed that. When was it last proposed and who objected? The bellman 13:31, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Speaking of empty space

I also noticed that the Wikinews banner is mysteriously getting pushed down as more stories are added to the Latest news report. (This isn't really mysterious - it's because of the way the table rendering code in MediaWiki balances the height of the two spans.)

After thinking about it, I like The Bellman's idea of using the space to the right of the Lead article for two or three stories with a pic, which should make it easier to balance the left and right column heights of the Main Page. — DV 13:15, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Okay, well i whipped up a mock up over at User:The bellman/Sandbox. Everyone please feel free to edit the page and then we can try it out on the main page. The bellman 01:48, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Ooh, very cool looking. I played with it a bit, but I think it looks great! -- IlyaHaykinson 01:55, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)
And what would people think about taking developing and in dispute articles right off the front page and replacing them with a link to article workspace or where ever else. Also maybe moving wikinews entertainment to just below the browse by cat/region. One prob of my proposed layout is that when the latest news grows some more (or even shrinks) it will open up white(or pink or blue)space again. oh well, while we are growing so quickly there is no real harm in changing the front page every couple of months. The bellman 10:00, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I think it looks great too, and that's also a good idea. It would remove needless clutter from the main page. VF 10:05, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)

<User:The bellman puts on his asbestos underwear> Okay ppls here it goes... The bellman 03:51, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Okay, done. DV asked if i could put the second and third lead articles in a seperate box (ie. different from the weather), which i tried, but couldnt get to work with mediawiki tables. So could other ppl have a go (If youre not an admin, just give me (or any other admin for that matter) a yell and i'll put it in.) The bellman 04:00, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Market Data added

I added market data to the homepage. You can edit the list of indices that appear there at Market Data/Homepage. The full list is at Market Data. The pages like Market Data/^DJI are maintained manually. The related pages in the Template namespace are maintained by the bot. -- IlyaHaykinson 01:33, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)

looks good, it would be nice if we had more data so we could stretch it right the way across. Actually... maybe i can squish that into the righthand collumn in my sandpit... hmmmm. Oh well, ill try it out later. The bellman 11:10, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Good,but you are not paying attention to any markets - only All Ordinaries, FTSE 100, Dow Jones Industrials, NYSE composite, and Nasdaq Composite are shown, to be precise. Who knows when Nikkei 225 will change markets around the world? Therefore I am planning to inderdouce great changes Here is my proposal

DJI Dow Jones Industrials

GSPTSE S&P TSX Composite

BSVB Bovespa




AORD All Ordinaries

N225 Nikkei 225

HSI Hang Seng

Feel free to comment on this proposal( I choose to remain anonymous.)

Developing stories

I am of the opinion that developing stories should not be on the main page (though a small link to them should be). I took them right out in my redesign but, eloquence put them back in. What's the general consensus? I think they just take up room, that could be used in having actual news. The bellman 04:30, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I agree that they shouldn't be on the main page, if we're working towards a news site that gets readership among people who don't want to work on the site it'd be helpful to have a main page that is tailored to them, all the 'behind the scenes' stuff can just be a link away. - VF 04:36, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
The process of separating content and community is a gradual one. This current Main Page, even with the developing stories, puts a higher emphasis on the content than the previous one, taking into account the fact that our policies have stabilized somewhat, and that we have a reasonably regular output of stories. Still, I strongly believe that we should aim for a much larger number of active editors, so large in fact that the current model of putting everything on the Main Page will stop scaling, and we are forced to begin separating matter by subject, importance and geography more systematically.
Having community aspects like the developing stories section on the Main Page, for now, seems important to me both to highlight the beta-nature of the site, and to get more people to join in. Hopefully in a year from now or so, we'll be able to make the separation even more rigid.--Eloquence 04:41, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Ok, but i really dont think that having a big ugly box on the mainpage for developing stories (and articles in dispute) is going to help to get more readers to become editors. How about as a compromise we get rid of the disputed articles from the mainpage and put back one of the stories? in future i should look beofre i open my (metaphorical) mouth... The bellman 05:32, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Okay maybe a very prominent link to "request an article"? perhaps as part of the text above the latest news? perhaps as a link in the top wikinews template thingo? instead of having the "request an article" box on the mainpage? The bellman 05:39, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I think one thing that could work is basically a "Become an editor" box which consists mostly of explanatory text, a nice image, and maybe a handful of links to some articles currently being worked on.--Eloquence 06:03, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
That sounds even better for getting new people involved than the developing and requested articles boxes to me. - VF 06:33, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Cool, Ill have a go at whipping one up. The bellman 06:37, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
A "Become an editor" box is a great idea!
The "Developing stories" box does not clearly imply that one can jump in and help.
By the way, isn't the Disputed stories box rather off-putting to new editors? Is it really necessary to have that on the Main Page? The Disputed stories section probably repels potential new editors who simply want to contribute a story without getting into political arguments. Featuring Disputed stories on the Main Page makes Wikinews appear more contentious than it really is. — DV 06:51, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Okay, how's that? Please edit the text at Template:Get involved to make it more eloquent than my bablings. The bellman 07:46, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Looks good. I made some small edits for formatting and wording. If there is a consensus to move the Developing stories section off the main page, this would also be the place for a link to that page.
What do you think about moving Disputed stories off the main page? Featuring an argument really doesn't help to attract new editors. — DV 07:56, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Looks good to me, and I agree that the disputed stories shouldn't be on the main page because they aren't particularly welcoming. - VF 07:59, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Great work DV. Just to clarify, the disputed articles section wasnt actually part of eloquence's version, i just got things muddled up in my head (hence why it is now crossed out in my higher post). What was in eloquence's version was developing articles and requested articles. The bellman 08:25, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • I just asked my girlfriend about moving "developing stories" off the main page. She said that was the most interesting/valuable part of the wikinews format. If you folks are going to do this, at least have a link on the main page that says "developing stories"... not everybody who is interested in developing stories wants to "get involved" fact, that's usually a way to scare people off. "Hey buddy, wanna' join up?" Paulrevere2005 18:03, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

RSS Feed

Wikinews needs a real RSS Feed.

Or at least something that works.

Entertainment section

While we're at it, what's the purpose of the entertainment section? It seems to me that the one link for the crossword at the top is sufficient and that wackynews can go under the subjects section. Unless I'm missing something about the crosswords, that is. - VF 08:43, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)


Ok, since we are doing a bit of spring cleaning (well, actually if youre on the correct side of the equator it's autumn... ) what do ppl think about wikinews entertainment? We already have a link to the crossword in Template:FrontPageMenu, and we could put wakynews into the search wikinews by subject bit. So do we need wikinews entertainment as it's own subheading? By the way, can we rename wakynews, offbeat or something less... i dunno something. Wakynews just seems a little unprofessional perhpas. The bellman 08:48, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Wow, great minds think alike. - VF 08:53, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Also, I support a change to offbeat for that reason. - VF 08:55, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
How about "Different drummer"? Just a bit more original than "offbeat". I was thinking of adding the "RFID-Man" story under Wackynews, which would fit the "Different drummer" theme quite nicely. — DV 08:57, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
In hindsight, I agree that Wackynews is a poor name, because it dilutes the Wikinews brand name. Using a modified version of the brand name could also have the un-intended effect of creating an undesirable nickname for Wikinews. There are parallels to how Apple Computer played out the iFoo theme, making the "i" theme less special by overusing it. I got rid of the "WikiWeather" name for this reason as well, using the simpler Weather head instead. — DV 09:03, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Ok, well i got rid of entertainment. Now to try and reach consensus over here at the watercooler as to a name change. The bellman 09:14, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

One last issue

Just one last thing is the white(blue)space too big between the browse by: template and the mini-weather map? if we joined the two into one template we would reduce the amount of bluespace, but maybe other people dont think there is too much bluespace. The bellman 09:31, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Good point, I think the room could better be used elsewhere, to improve layout. Besides, the right hand column is still larger than the left. Perhaps this would solve it. -- Redge (Talk) 09:33, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Agreed, no need to have so much space between the two. - VF 09:37, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Too many leads

There seems to be an extra 'mini-lead' below the small weather bit on the right hand side - huh?

Also, can we please get rid of the large weather bit now? Why does the Weather need two sections on the main page? Dan100 (Talk) 09:40, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I believe that´s the Yesterday´s news lead. I agree it´s a bit superfluous. Besides, the relationship between that box and the others is unclear. I say we remove it. -- Redge (Talk) 09:53, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Agreed, it's a little confusing. If a story from the other day is important enough to stick around as a lead, it could always be made one of the leads on the right. If not, what's the point? - VF 10:03, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Perhaps "second" and "third" leads could be the last couple of lead stories when the main lead is updated, although doing that would make updating the lead a total PITA. Eitherway, the 'old news' lead (and the big weather section) needs to go. Dan100 (Talk) 10:06, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I'm also not sure what the point of a second weather section is. It'd be nice to have the market information on the right too, though I believe that's being worked on. - VF 10:15, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

ok, the "yesterday's lead" thing was my idea, i dont mind if people get rid of it but ill just explain it first. If we have yesterday's and the day before's news under the heading "latest news", it seemed like we should have a "lead" story at the same height as yesterday's and the day before's news. Oh and i support the getting rid of the big weather map The bellman 10:44, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I support asking one of the admins to go ahead and nuke the big weather map - I added a link to the main weather page above the mini-world map, anticipating that change.
I am also wondering if it might be better to have the small thumbnails for each region, instead of the large World thumbnail with the text-only links below it? This change would entail stacking the thumbnails you see underneath the big map vertically in one column up where the World thumbnail is right now, (or possibly two columns to avoid taking up too much height). I'm still planning to add the Asian regions later on, so perhaps two columns would be better.
Two of the small thumbnails should fit side-by-side in the existing column width, so it wouldn't get any wider. I'll make a sandbox to show what that would look like. — DV 11:32, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Page looks cluttered, jumbled and lacks focus

Beside looking too much like Wikipedia ... On a general design note. The page in its curent form seems very cluttered, its jumbled layout lacks coherence and I fear it will be very hard to update and very easy to mess up by inexperienced, but well-meaning editors. -- Davodd | Talk 11:33, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

What do you mean? It's almost as scattershot as CNN! Isn't that a good thing? :)
At least has an ordered structure and a dominant graphic element to focus the reader's eye. :) -- Davodd | Talk 11:53, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Seriously, I think if the two stories in the upper right-hand corner were in their own box with a different background color, the layout would become more apparent. — DV 11:40, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
By the way, looking a bit like Wikipedia is unavoidable as long as we're stuck using the MediaWiki software. I invite interested contributors to submit feature requests for a "NewsWiki" software platform that could better serve our needs, should the developers continue to be resistant to modifying MediaWiki for Wikinews.
Someday WeatherChecker and MarketBot will be done, and I will be looking for something else to do. Why not implement our own software for Wikinews?
I've listed a few ideas for custom Wikinews software in the Goals section of my user page. — DV 11:46, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
DV, you work out someway to get the extra leads in thier own box, and ill edit the mainpage for you. all my fiddlings, didnt manage to do it with out breaking things. To davodd: unless the inexperienced but well-meaning editors are admins, i cant see how they are going to screw things up. also i think the new get involved bit, backs it much easier for new inexperienced editors not to screw things up. The bellman 11:51, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
The templates are not protected. -- Davodd | Talk 11:52, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Indeed, but the only obvious way that i know of that a newbie would come in contact with the templates is through the article workspace, where it clearly says update lead article (or second or third lead article), if you think this is at all unclear, please clarify the instructions at article workspace The bellman 12:05, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Let's try out Main Page/Sandboxes first before playing with multiple edits the public site

In an effort not to confuse the readers, maybe we should make changes to the front page in a more gradual fashion. Like Main Page/Sandbox? -- Davodd | Talk 11:47, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I appreciate your sentiment, Davodd. On large sites changes are always tried out in a sandbox before going live on the production server. But this is a wiki. And the WIKINEWS text banner is now H-U-G-E!
Perhaps we should restart the sandbox idea to try more radical ideas out, but I think we were tantalizingly close to a workable layout before your revertion. Putting the second and third leads in a differently colored box would have done wonders, and nuking the odd-man-out story under the weather and above the "Get involved" section would have brought us even closer to layout nirvanna.
Let's not confuse the reader, but at the same time, Wikinews needs to improve its layout a bit more. Sometimes you need to break a few eggs to make an omelette.
If no more progress is made on the layout before the weekend, I'll help out with some sandbox ideas. However, a couple of other contributors appear to be motivated to keep working on the layout themselves, so perhaps a better layout will be presented before I even have a chance to try out these ideas. Cheers, — DV 12:03, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Ack. I'm going to bed and hoping when I wake up - this thing won't be as hideous as it is now. (fingers crossed) -- Davodd | Talk 12:07, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

By the way, just visiting from my job place, I realise that the wikimedia logo within the pink box... has a white backgroud; From a purely esthaetic perspective, this is not very pretty. I think otherwise the main page looks quite good. Do you intend to remove the logo from the pink box ? If not, I should have somewhere a very big version with transparent background. user:Anthere

Changes to the main page were much too extreme,rapid and done with too much of an administrative presence/influence(mostly administrators involved in the changes)

  • Eloquence moved my original comments to my user page. I think you should have a look to see if that transfer was appropriate. Here is a toned down version;
  • The developing stories and disputed stories right on the main page shows the first time viewer that wikinews is a collaberative,transparent and open process...not like the "behind closed doors" editorial boards of typical,boring newspapers. It is absolutely crucial to let first time viewers know that this site is different; or else; they won't come back..except because there's tons of other online newspapers.
Are administrators(and a few longtimers) supposed to play such a dominant role in making changes to the main page???

  • 1. For average computer users like me, we just can't do the technical stuff to where we can put the page back the way it was, even if most of us averages wanted to. These things should definitely be done off main page and open to a lot of discussion beforehand. and speaking for us averages, I can't even find a LINK to developing or disputed stories on the main page now.
  • 2. Now it looks just like a regular newspaper; Info from a black hole..

the developing stories and disputed stories right on the main page really gives wikinews a visual uniqueness

the developing stories and disputed stories right on the main page immediately shows that its dynamic and collaborative

REPEAT;Most importantly,the developing stories and disputed stories right on the main page shows that wikinews is a collaberative,transparent and open process. Paulrevere2005 13:46, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I personaly think that the "Get involved box" is far better at conveying how we are a COLLABORATIVE,TRANSPARANT AND OPEN process, than having some meaningless (for the average reader) and ugly lists of disputed and developing articles. Also there is a link in the "Get involved" box to the developing articles The bellman 15:11, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I do not think the Get Involved information belongs on the front page. A link to it, maybe - but that belongs on the NEWSROOM page. -- Davodd | Talk 19:32, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I disagree. We need more contributors. There aren't enough people getting involved. So we need to ask. Featuring disputed articles only shows that we are good at arguing with each other. It's simply not a constructive way of getting people involved. — DV 00:28, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Where is "Developing Stories"???

I was shocked when I turned on the computer and saw that developing stories was gone from the main page..did anyone else feel the same way?

Are administrators(and a few longtimers) supposed to play such a dominant role in making dramatic and rapid changes to the main page???

Isn't that what the sandbox is for??? Paulrevere2005 14:07, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

The sandbox WAS used, with hindsight it probably should have been used for longer, but i recieved so many positive comments, and i had a free day, so i rushed in too quickly. Anyway, youre kind of missing the point that this is a wiki. Things change, and they will often change quickly. This layout wont last, just as the last didnt, as wikinews cahnges so must the layout. In the meantime, if you want to have a go at design whip something up in a sandbox and ask for comment (just as i did before i made any of these changes) and if they are good ideas they will be implemented. The bellman 14:22, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • I like change; but not when it's mostly coming from the administrative level here. This is NOT a corporation. Paulrevere2005 14:26, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
    I'm not an administrator, and I was able to fully participate. You seem to have a distorted idea of what powers are held by the administrators. — DV 00:25, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)

The newest section that replaced the area linking a contributor 'developing stories' changed twice recently. It's current rendering is ugly and big business-like, with talk of "missions" and all that; my eye bounced right off it. I liked it when the Eloquence suggestion of - Get Involved - was used. It was simple to understand, had simple links, and reinforced how fluid and accessible this news source is. -edw 18:41, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

  • The developing stories should be replaced. -- Davodd | Talk 23:00, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Top story is wrong

Kyrgyzstan is not part of Russia. Calling Bishkek the "Russian Kyrgyz" capital is ridiculous. Also, please fix the link to the Wikipedia article on Kyrgyzstan.

Okay, found the right template to fix it.

My mistake. I will try to be more careful. Very glad you changed it. -edw 01:01, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)


Some people may not like the method in which the changes have been implemented - but the the changes themselves are absolutely superb! I'm delighted with the two new leads and the move of the market data section. Keep it up! �' CGorman (Talk) 22:20, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I agree, it's much better than the layout we had before, though the 'About Wikinews' section could probably use some work. - VF 22:42, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
One thing i'd like would be to change Welcome to Wikinews, a free-content news source that you can edit! to Welcome to Wikinews, the free-content news source that you can edit! - we must aim high! �' CGorman (Talk) 22:49, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I agree, wikipedia calls itself the free encyclopedia, after all. - VF 22:55, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Done ~The bellman | Smile 02:22, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I'm afraid I do not agree that the changes are "superb", though they are not bad either. There are now three lead stories to maintain instead of one, and I'm not sure how to do that either - the entire main page is less ergonomic imo. It is much more difficult for the casual reader to become involved in creating stories, and impossible for them to see what is in process on the main page. And, in my opinion, the layout is less attractive.
However, I don't have the time available at the moment to suggest alternatives. So, whatever those who have time to put in on it is fine by me, just make sure you're ready to help people I send your way for explanations. - Amgine 22:52, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Eternal pessimist! Always seeing the problems and not the benifits! We may be an open, colabrative news source - but we still must try and look professional and legimiate. The new main page does this. Plastering Edit me's would look tacky, just as posting a long mressage about our system at the top of the page would. I firmly think this is a step in the right direction.
There are now three lead stories to maintain instead of one - yes but we now provide a much enhanced service to the audience and this attracts more contributors who will in the future provide more stories to use as leads. Look on the bright side Amgine! �' CGorman (Talk) 23:03, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
We are not a professional news organization, and we are trying to not be a professional news organization by letting everyone edit our articles. I firmly think removing the under-development and "edit-me" links is going to separate our readers from our editors which is something I am strongly opposed to.
We do not provide a single thing more; we just provide fewer links on the main page. That's fine if it is what most people want, but it shuts out contributors. Oh, and it adds tasks for people to do instead of writing new articles. - Amgine 23:10, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Very well said. Our job should be to blur the lines between reader and writer as much as possible. -- Davodd | Talk 23:51, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I don't know about that. "Maintaining" a second and third lead really isn't that much effort. Designing the site so we don't have to worry about keeping it updated is a poor goal and sets the bar pretty low. We've had an excellent selection of articles to choose from this past week, and all of the regular contributors seemed to have no problem getting their work published on the main page.
I've also noticed new contributors getting involved and learning the ropes pretty quickly.
Let's not be patronizing and assume that everyone is an idiot. There should be a balance of form and function on the main page. It's not all that hard to discover how to publish your story if you so desire. — DV 00:40, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I think that, just like Wikipedia, we are trying to become a professional news organization via the distributed efforts of many people. We also have to be reader-oriented as our primary goal: otherwise we're building a clique. I personally see our priorities as:

  1. be a good news source for our readers, and
  2. make it easy for readers to become contributors, and
  3. nurture contributors to become active editor

My recommendation would be to bring back Developing and Requested Stories (but not disputes). To have edit links for the Developing stories, and for latest news, but that's it. This should satisfy our reader-to-contributor transition. And if we're good at #3, our contributors will learn how to use the Newsroom or whatever other place we want to use for disputes or whatnot. -- IlyaHaykinson 00:54, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)

  • I support IlyaHaykinson's compromise. Paulrevere2005 01:15, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Are you trying to steal defeat from the jaws of victory?

  • I think DV gets to the point; "We had an excellent selection of articles to choose from this past contributors getting involved and learning the ropes pretty quickly.", which is really the bottom line here, I hope/think. Sooooooo,

"if it ain't broke, don't fix it; cause ya' just might break it where ya' can't fix it." obviously everything can be improved, but some of you seem to really have a bumble bee up your butt and I say; what's the panic ? Are you trying to steal defeat from the jaws of victory? Paulrevere2005 01:12, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I'm not sure if this was directed at me or not... but while there are some new users contributing in the past days... the number of anonymous contributors has dropped precipitously. To me this is a sure sign we are preventing, if only through self-selecting out, participation. And that is broken. - Amgine 02:32, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I dont see where you got that from. I made the first change on the 25th at 03.53 UTC, after that we had about as many annon edits as we had on the 24th, and 23rd and 22nd, and a lot more than from 21st. ~The bellman | Smile 03:04, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)
What percentage of the total number of edits? The number of edits has climbed, along with our traffic (we're about 10,000 on Alexa last I checked) - Amgine 03:08, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)
oh, i was only looking at absolute number of edits. Well total number of edits has probably climbed at least in part due to the activity in changing the front page (or at least discussion of those changes here and elsewhere). What if you take out all edits to talk pages, then have the number of edits still climbed from before and after the change. Anyway, a raise in rankings, and an increased number of edits sounds like the change was for the best. ~The bellman | Smile 03:14, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Did you consider the fact there's a writing contest going on, and the traffic spike predates the changes to the main page. (It also happens to coincide with end of term in many places, spring break, etc. etc.) The fact it is not rising commensurate with the traffic is quite troubling, even if that rise were due to the main page. - Amgine 03:18, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Well if the spike in traffic was from before the change, and the absolute number of annon edits has been more or less static since the 22nd, then you cant blame the change on the main page for the percentage of annon edits. Anyway, i think this is all a bit over the top, since we are dealing with such a small sample size. ~The bellman | Smile 03:26, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Never mind, obviously I'm not communicating my point well. - Amgine 03:34, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • Amgine,most of us wiki newsers understand your point; I'm sure;..its just that some (with a differnt POV)want to deflect it...because its hard to argue numbers. Paulrevere2005 20:06, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Davodd's edit

Ok, are ppl happy with davodd's compromise? developing articles is back, we still have three leads, and the get involved box. Is there anything that ppl are still unhappy about? ~The bellman | Smile 02:27, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Define "happy"? - Amgine 02:32, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Happy (wiktionary) ~The bellman | Smile 02:58, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Alas, then, I am not happy. - Amgine 03:01, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)
So what can be changed to make you happy and not make others unhappy? ~The bellman | Smile 03:07, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I must be persistent in this to assure my point is not lost in the history of this debate. There were two changes made to the Main Page that occured the vicinity of the "Developing stories" box. Before the now restored 'developing stories' box, was the "About Wikinews" box, which I objected to somewhere above.

But on the same evening of the Main Page changes and ocuring before the 'about wikinews' box, was a "Get Involved" box which listed 3 links to:
1)update lead story
2)add a story
3)see and help other editors on developing stories.

(something like that is the gist of it)

The box shielded casual readers from the messy process of writing by hiding undeveloped stories, and yet engages those interested to make a contribution. I was so elated I wrote this at that moment:

The New main page is so good it Broke My Computer
I never had a doubt that something so nice would be forthcoming from the Wikinews people seen on the Main Page now being rendered. Truely outstanding!! Loads fast, pleases the eye, ... well... my computer is now broken :-} -edw 10:49, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Retrieved from ""

My computer is now fine. But I miss that box. -edw 05:15, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)

What is ppl

may be showing my ignorance here. Paulrevere2005 20:09, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)

ppl is a shortening of people. Sorry, i shouldnt use abreviations ~The bellman | Smile 22:54, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)
It is a common abbreviation for the word "people" - basically the word without vowels. -- Davodd | Talk 01:52, 27 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Vowels are so over rated. ~The bellman | Smile 06:18, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Apology; I changed my mind about the process

I wish to apologize for my criticism of the process by which the main page was changed.(I am still happier with the inclusion of "developing stories" on the page).

I remembered that this wiki process is simply more eclectic and dynamic and fast than I am used to. I also remembered the documented increase in eeg creative activity during a "brainstorming" session which is exactly what was going on when you folks tore into the main page format.

In addition, it is only natural and healthy for the more experienced people to lead the way.. so I apologize for my characterization of the process and the people involved. Paulrevere2005 13:59, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Aw, shucks. I was really looking forward to bragging to all of my friends that I'm now a "foot soldier" in the notorious Wikinews family. (Notice how Jimbo never directly gives an order to anyone?) I guess I'll have to put away my copy of The Godfather and go rent Soylent Green instead. — DV 21:26, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)

i messed up..period.not the 1st,hopefully not the last Paulrevere2005 01:17, 27 Mar 2005 (UTC)

"Wikinews" template for See also sections

A few articles are now using a "Wikinews" source template in the "See also" section. Here it is:

{{Wikinews|title=Massive star cluster found in Milky Way|date=March 26, 2005}}

And here it is in use:

This template is designed to make the site more sticky by sending users to the Main Page instead of to Wikipedia wherever Wikinews is referenced as a source for an article in a "See also" section.

This template also solves a small efficiency problem when citing Wikinews using the Sources template, by avoiding the use of an external http link to the Wikinews article on Wikipedia.

Finally, this template has the nice side effect of promoting the Wikinews Main Page on Google, by creating more links which point at the Wikinews Main Page. — DV 23:19, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Good job. I think that is wonderful for a Related stories section. -- Davodd | Talk 01:50, 27 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I like the wording "Related stories" better than "See also". It also gets rid of the mistake of reversing the order of the words.
Do you think it's worth changing all of the "See also" sections to "Related stories"? — DV 13:47, 27 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Sounds better to me. - VF 05:25, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)


I know the aim was to get the news nearer the top page - thats been very successful, but unfortunately the Index has been demoted right to the bottom of the page. This means many readers who come hear never see the index, never get to see the Politics and Conflicts, Europe, Economy and Business etc., pages. Any suggestions on how to improve the situation without demoting the vital lead story content? �' CGorman (Talk) 15:42, 27 Mar 2005 (UTC)

new layout

I like the new layout, but there's a big blank space in the middle of it that makes it look really ugly. maybe the index, or about wikinews could go in there, but having a big wide white space in it doesn't look very good.(In my opinion) 21:07, 27 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I'd just like to say - phew. The Main page was looking a bit, erm, not great there for a while but the current iteration is all lovely. BTW, while there currently is a gap as 22.111 mentions, it will fill in as the day goes on and more articles are written. Dan100 (Talk) 09:10, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)

What happened to the pretty colors?

Does anybody else notice the current form of the Main Pae seems a bit, well... grey? Perhaps we can restore the pale green, blue and red divider background colors? It would certainly make the page look a little more iteresting IMHO. -- Redge (Talk) 11:49, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I seem to recall Davodd thinks the colors make us look too much like Wikipedia. Perhaps you should ask him. I'm on the fence about that issue.
By the way, I've been running a custom "Wikinews" skin (Datrio's contest entry) with a bright white background with some sharp blue accents, so I'd almost forgotten the depressing gray cloud the rest of you are probably living in.
Feel free to copy Datrio's skin out of my "monobook.css" file if you want to brighten your day!
DV 16:06, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)
To clarify, I thought enclosing everything in boxes was too much like Wikipedia. I don't mind colors, as you can tell from my user page, I actually prefer BOLD colors.. If people want color - by all means we can have color. -- Davodd | Talk 16:39, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)
::I am really looking forward to a new Wikinews-specific skin. -- Davodd | Talk  17:00, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)

An Idea

Perhaps we should have redirect pages that automatically link to the most recent relevant article. For example, you might want to type "Terri Schiavo" and get to the most recent article about her case. How does this sound? Veritos 00:22, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Hmm.. It may be better to have it point to Category:Terri Schiavo instead - to list all of the stories. It could be similar to what we do with Category:Wackynews with the newest stories on top -- but with ALL of the stories on the bottom of the page. -- Davodd | Talk 00:56, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Actually now that I've heard that idea, it sounds a little better. But it would still provide a concise source for people focused on a certain subject. Veritos 02:13, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Two Main Headlines

What should we do regarding the lead article on days like today, where Terri Schiavo's death and the Pope's condition would have interest to people (enough interest to merit making it a lead article)?Veritos 22:43, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)

We already have space for two additional headlines on the side, one could go there. (I don't think either is important enough news to be up there, but that's another issue.) - VF 22:55, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Well nobody outside the US really gives a rats arse about Terri Schiavo, (except in that it reinforces various steriotypes about Americans), so i think that the pope's sickness is a far more international (and thus appropriate) news story. ~The bellman | Smile 16:49, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Good point--and I'm american! (note the (lack of) capitalization :) ) Veritos 02:06, 2 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Main page vandalism

Clicking on the link about the Pope being taken off the feeding tube takes you to an article on him being readmitted to hospital. I found it a bit confusing as I was expecting to find the main article. I think the the heading should go to the same article as the 'Read more' at the bottom of the article. --Randolph 00:22, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)

It's a well-intended editor, but we need an article before changing to a new lead. The current link is very old. - Amgine 00:28, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)

April Fool's!

Please syndicate our collaborative april fool's joke from the english wikipedia. Funny stuff.-- Che y Marijuana 06:02, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)


Can you add the .it interwiki? It is [[it:Pagina principale]]

Done and done ~The bellman | Smile 16:45, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Names of Australians killed in helicopter crash released

The 'Full Story' link in this article is going to the wrong place. It links to this story instead 'Iraqi insurgents attack Abu Ghraib', which has absolutely zilch to do with Australians dying in helicopter crash. --Randolph 15:23, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Thanks, its fixed now. → CGorman (Talk) 16:06, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Changed headlines

I changed the headlines for a few stories, but I don't see how to change the heads on the main page. They are:

  • US has been financing Kyrgyz pro-democracy programs
  • Time for North Americans to spring ahead one hour!
  • Armed militia gathers on Arizona's Mexico border zone
  • Mobile phone firm 3 losses almost double
  • Two Newcastle players fight each other, both sent off

(responding to unsigned comment left by Maurreen):

I'm going out for breakfast right now, but if you want to update these links right away, click "What links here" in the toolbox menu on the left to see whether the story is under Latest news, Lead article, Second lead, or Third lead. From there you can click on the page which is hosting the stories on the main page and update the link title. — DV 17:02, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Thanks! Sorry I forgot to sign. Maurreen 17:15, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Padding missing

Can someone add some padding/space to ===Developing Stories=== on the mainpage please? I think it's too much on the left.

Done ... in a way that now non-admins can tweak it. -- Davodd | Talk 17:39, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Thanks, Davodd. That was bugging me so much I forgot to post a note about it. :) — DV 07:10, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Chinese spam on front page

I've gone through every single front page template and can't seem to find the source of the Chinese spam I'm seeing. Anyone else? BjarteSorensen 00:34, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Thank you for looking. User:DoubleBlue reverted the spam; it was on the developing stories template. - Amgine 00:35, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Duplicate: 51 suspects named by UN for war crimes in Darfur

This story, 51 suspects named by UN for war crimes in Darfur, is listed twice on Apr 6.


What is and isn't news?

There is a bit of a storm at Talk:Time for North Americans to spring ahead one hour as to what does and does not qualify as news. Does daylight savings qualify. My view is it does not, as it is barely relevant to the majority of people here. And if that does qualify, then what about my cat catching a bird? It is practically a miracle, so is it news? All in all, a line needs to be drawn somewhere, but where? --GregStephens 02:29, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Well, for starters, I take issue with "barely relevant to the majority of people". The article (have you read the most recent revision?) directly relates to 435 million people (List_of_countries_by_population). I think that is certainly more newsworthy than your cat. To how many people is New Zealand elects first female Speaker directly relevant? NZ pop.: 4 million and yet it definitely is newsworthy. DoubleBlue (Talk) 03:27, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)
That story was more of a photo essay than a hard news story. It is similar to what you'd find in the garden section of a local weekly neighborhood newspaper. It may not have been the best piece of work created by mankind, but it also was not without value. It documents a specific event at a given location that affects a general populace. Therefore, it qualifies as news. -- Davodd | Talk 07:11, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Wikinews is a wiki. We are not subject to mainstream "standards", nor are we obligated to generate a product (i.e. traffic) that will attract advertisers. Unless someone enjoys fighting over what is newsworthy, let's not marginalize contributors simply because their news interests are not aligned with our own. — DV 07:47, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)
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