User talk:Welcome to Citizendium/Archive1

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This is an archive made on 5-30-2009 by Caesar Schinas from Talk:Welcome_to_Citizendium .

Page needs redesign and simplification

See Main Page/Main Page Idea

All, if you are interested in the Main Page, will you please work together (or just submit a design of your own) on a brand new and highly simplified design? We will move many of the links that are now on the front page, and in the sidebar, to other (still easily accessible) pages.

I did like a design by Ori Redler from some months ago, but we never followed up on it. --Larry Sanger 22:55, 11 July 2007 (CDT)

Would it be this one? [1]. It still needs work, but is this what you had in mind? --Matt Innis (Talk) 23:13, 11 July 2007 (CDT)
Yes, that's the one. --Larry Sanger 08:25, 12 July 2007 (CDT)
I like that idea. Very simple, and a few more entries, but looks good. Jochen Wendebaum 01:19, 12 July 2007 (CDT)

I got an idea! Reading about where and how to put the Beta tag, without losing sense of a "key" why not a "keychain"? Thomas Mandel 23:38, 11 July 2007 (CDT)

Nice basic layout idea, cool idea for the keychain. :-)  —Stephen Ewen (Talk) 01:23, 12 July 2007 (CDT)
Along the "key" theme, what about keyholes or locks, as in clicking one "unlocks" the information users seek. Too hokey? Aric S. Campling 07:56, 12 July 2007 (CDT)
This is something like what I was thinking (I have larger versions if wanted):Cz keyhole sm.png Aric S. Campling 16:00, 19 July 2007 (CDT)
Hokey, yes, but I like it! Anybody know how to do this stuff? --Matt Innis (Talk) 16:09, 12 July 2007 (CDT)
I just noticed this too. It's a great logo. Why don't we make it into the top-left icon? --Larry Sanger 08:18, 20 July 2007 (CDT)
I must admit to not knowing how to actually change that... happy to provide a nicer/bigger logo to fit in the same dimensions as the existing one if someone else knows how to actually get the logo into that space. Aric S. Campling 20:52, 20 July 2007 (CDT)
No problem getting it into the space! Try one version with "Credibility and Collegiality" or "Credible -- Collegial" (some variation). And "Citizendium" of course. --Larry Sanger 08:38, 21 July 2007 (CDT)
Also, how about trying simply "CZ" in the black part? Simple, might work. --Larry Sanger 03:19, 24 July 2007 (CDT)
Hi, not sure if my email got thru so figured I would drop the concepts here as well. --Aric S. Campling 07:11, 5 November 2007 (CST)
concept 1
concept 2
I know it is doable. I also know I am the sort who just really likes very artistic web design, so long as the functions do not become non-obvious and/or complicated. I just don't think simplicity and plainess necessarily have to be one and the same. :-)  —Stephen Ewen (Talk) 18:48, 12 July 2007 (CDT)
Are we still in beta given the planned 2.0 initiatives? Can't we be in like, 0.2?--Robert W King 23:17, 12 July 2007 (CDT)
We officially Do Not Care that beta = pre-1.0. --Larry Sanger 23:20, 12 July 2007 (CDT)

Oh, I think the keyring is nice!  —Stephen Ewen (Talk) 00:47, 13 July 2007 (CDT)

Pat, thanks--looks better, but still not the radical simplification I was hoping for. But then, we can't really have such a simplification until we have at least partly redesigned the entry pages of, for example, the project (CZ:Project Home). --Larry Sanger 06:37, 18 July 2007 (CDT)

I just saw the redesign, and while I think it's an improvement, I have at least one suggestion for improvement: "Approved Articles" should be up very close to the top. These are our showpieces - the thing which sets us apart (in theory) from Wikipedia. Anthony Argyriou 12:11, 18 July 2007 (CDT)

Feel free to tinker with it. I was a little nervous messing with the front page. Anyone should feel free to radically modify as far as I'm concerned. I placed the information sort of in the order I personally wanted--I imagine if you poll 10 people, you'd get ten different sets of priorities there. Anyway, why don't some of yall try your hand? I feel I've already stirred this pot enough :-)

I've just spotted the fresh design and couldn't resist experimenting :-) But my question is: does the Notice Board is a "project entree"? For regular editors the page is either in the watchlist or two-clicks-away via CZ:Project Home on the left margin. For newcomers, the Notice Board is virtually of no meaning. Do you see any other group potentially interested in having the link on the main page? --Aleksander Stos 08:06, 20 July 2007 (CDT)

Meh, get rid of it. Really, you can edit it, please do. --Larry Sanger 08:19, 20 July 2007 (CDT)

somehow it's reversed.
I can't help but point out various bugs and display issues, so here's yet another one: (screenshot pending)--Robert W King 14:18, 20 July 2007 (CDT)
Robert, do you have problems with other sites too? It seems like you have many more layout problems than others, even those using PC's. It makes me wonder whether you're missing some software. Chris Day (talk) 14:21, 20 July 2007 (CDT)
Just seen your screenshot. That png is transparent (at least it is mean't to be. For some reason your system is substituting transparent with black? Chris Day (talk) 14:23, 20 July 2007 (CDT)
When I click on the fullsize logo, there's a gray background.--Robert W King 14:24, 20 July 2007 (CDT)
Nope. CZ is the only one, and I am sure I'll get the same results when I get home, but I will keep you updated just in case..--Robert W King 14:22, 20 July 2007 (CDT)
Nope, it's ok! Looks OK in the picture above too
Strange, especially since the "approved"green tick is semi transparent. I'd expect the same with that too. Chris Day (talk) 14:31, 20 July 2007 (CDT)
Chris- I'm at home now, and it shows up the same way. The subpages template also appears to be a 50% grey/green, and the normal logo has the same background. I still see the front-page logo with the black background; it might be the way IE renders odd transparencies.--Robert W King 17:37, 20 July 2007 (CDT)
Does no one else use IE? Chris Day (talk) 18:03, 20 July 2007 (CDT)

I use IE, and my monitor displays the logo as a black rectangle with blue "zendium" and "beta," the latter on a white odd-shaped background. -- k kay 00:55, 23 July 2007 (CDT)

Just noticed this discussion. So it still looks black to some people? It doesn't to me on IE. It must have something to do with the background of that table cell. I just removed the background color. Does that fix the problem? --Larry Sanger 02:12, 23 July 2007 (CDT)

Nope, still black even after I 'hard refresh' and/or clear my cache. I might should mention, however, that I'm using an antique computer running Win95 and IE5.5, but it was working okay before. -- k kay 01:40, 24 July 2007 (CDT)

Now? --Larry Sanger 01:47, 24 July 2007 (CDT)

I can see again! If the background is supposed to be a sort of tan, I've got it perfect, if not, at least I can see all the elements now (on the 'main page' -- the ones on this 'talk' page are still black, of course). Thanks. -- k kay 01:51, 24 July 2007 (CDT)

This is only a IE 6 and below issue with transparent PNGs. Appears fine on IE 7, Mozilla Firefox and SeaMonkey, Opera, and Safari for Windows, which is what I've tested it with.  —Stephen Ewen (Talk) 02:33, 24 July 2007 (CDT)

Also displays fine in Konqeurer on Kubuntu Linux.  —Stephen Ewen (Talk) 02:37, 24 July 2007 (CDT)

Grand, but there are probably more people using IE 6 than all the other browsers you listed combined, except maybe Firefox. --Larry Sanger 03:17, 24 July 2007 (CDT)

Forums link

Would someone please restore the Forums link at the left bar? It's very helpful and convenient (I use it several times daily, and suspect others may as well), and it's an important part of the project. Russell Potter

This was my first reaction too. There is the "Communicate" link, however, and the target contains all useful pages. So now I appreciate lighter toolbox. Notabene, by the same logic, we could suppress the "Notice Board" link from the toolbox. It is, anyway, linked by "Communicate" and its proper place is in the watchlist. --Aleksander Stos 15:27, 20 July 2007 (CDT)
I use the Forums link a great deal as well, and would like to see it back. Aleta Curry 18:17, 20 July 2007 (CDT)
I too would like to see it back. Hayford Peirce 14:02, 21 July 2007 (CDT)
The "Communicate" option is much too ambiguous. Communicate with whom? About what? Through what means? I greatly prefer the original set of options. Russell Potter 17:28, 21 July 2007 (CDT)

Missing links - food, cuisine

This page is sure a lot cleaner looking than when I first joined a couple of months ago -- a great improvement! I don't see any openings, however, that would lead the casual browsing newcomer to Food Sciences or Culinary Arts (a proposed workgroup) or Catalog of French cuisine or Catalog of cocktails or any of the food articles I've worked on. Surely food, as a vital part of our existence, ought to be referenced here in some easy-to-find way. Under Sports, for instance, there's a list of difference sports, some with existing links and even sub-links.... Hayford Peirce 16:26, 20 July 2007 (CDT)

Just an oversight? Aleta Curry 18:24, 20 July 2007 (CDT)
We three ought to work together to get a food article up to approval status. French fries seems a good candidate. I'll try to recruit an editor, if need be. And after thinking a while, I do think a Cuisine Workgroup or some such is needed; just does not fit tightly enough with Food Science--one produces (a science), the other prepares (an art), with little crossover.  —Stephen Ewen (Talk) 02:26, 24 July 2007 (CDT)
Okay, I'll have a look. (Although the idea that the first approved article in Food Science will be something so completely bad for one--sheesh!) Re: Cuisine Workgroup--I'm not fundamentally opposed, but I need to point out that as far as I know, cooking is one of the food sciences, so it's not so much an issue of crossover as subset. Don't care enough to argue, though. Aleta Curry 17:08, 24 July 2007 (CDT)


I like it better with borders, although it's a close call. Hayford Peirce 18:42, 20 July 2007 (CDT)


Guys! Did you delete the checklist? Aleta Curry 18:50, 20 July 2007 (CDT)

It's still there, just buried now. Bookmark it. It could also be added usefully to CZ:Project Home if it isn't there already. Template:Checklist --Larry Sanger 08:52, 21 July 2007 (CDT)

"just buried now." ??? Why not just make things easier? Aleta Curry 17:05, 24 July 2007 (CDT)

Because sometimes easier ain't actually easier. Simplify the entry pages and more people have warmer fuzzies about us. What we really need is a personally configurable sidebar...but for that, we need more active (or paid) coders. --Larry Sanger 04:01, 25 July 2007 (CDT)

An idea for "Recreation"

I don't know what we're calling the organizational sections that the workgroups fall into, but I'd like to address the one now called "Recreation".

Let's change this to "Avocations, Recreation and Related Professions". It will help us deal with hobbies that are paraprofessional and avocations that can be amateur or professional (gardening, sports, cooking are crossover occupations that spring to mind.)

Now we can keep the present workgroups and also add one for 'Service Organisations' (The Red Cross, The United Way, Rotary International and the like.) This will also solve the many issues that have been raised with regard to "hobbies" in the forums, and also, as someone pointed out elsewhere, that Service Orgs and charities aren't included anywhere at the moment. Aleta Curry 17:15, 24 July 2007 (CDT)

Hi Aleta, please move this to CZ:New Workgroup Requests where we're keeping track of this sort of thing. I'm afraid your insights will fall through the cracks otherwise. --Larry Sanger 23:52, 24 July 2007 (CDT)

Okay, thanks, I posted it over there. Aleta Curry 00:10, 25 July 2007 (CDT)

Article of the Week

I've just reworked slightly the page to make a place for the Article of the Week, I think it's a must ( see also this forum thread). Naturally, the featured article is to be changed on a weekly basis. Since the wikiprocedure proposed by Larry didn't generate many reactions so far, let's simply adopt the rule of time order of approvals (any other suggestions?). To make it easy to see, I'll insert here an ordered list of articles to be put on the front page. To make it easy, here is the list (on a second thought, we might still change the order, just by manual editing below) --Aleksander Stos 12:13, 25 July 2007 (CDT) Update: List no more needed, see here. --Aleksander Stos 08:10, 30 July 2007 (CDT)

  1. Biology
  2. Barbara McClintock
  3. Chiropractic
  4. Metabolism
  5. ...

This isn't a bad idea at all, Aleks, it's just that I think that if we were to vote, it could generate more community excitement. Let's see how my "would you vote" vote goes... --Larry Sanger 12:22, 25 July 2007 (CDT)

Maybe a better home for such a list is on a subpage? Main_Page/Article_of_the_week The front page looks good to me. Chris Day (talk) 12:25, 25 July 2007 (CDT)

Maybe you're right. --Larry Sanger 12:39, 25 July 2007 (CDT)

I just noticed the vote discussion. Move that subpage to a better name or place as needed. i created it before noticing the other discussions. Chris Day (talk) 12:38, 25 July 2007 (CDT)

Last changes

I particularly do not like "We're aiming to be better and more reliable than Wikipedia". R. Versuri (Talk) 08:34, 7 August 2007 (CDT)

It is not the main goal of CZ. If we aim at credibility and quality, of course we're aiming to be much better and much more reliable than Wikipedia! R. Versuri (Talk) 09:02, 7 August 2007 (CDT)
I agree. In fact I just removed it. Chris Day (talk) 09:36, 7 August 2007 (CDT)

New Article of the Week

Check out Main_Page/Test to see a mock-up that includes a CZ:New Article of the Day. Unless there are objections here or on CZ Talk:New Article of the Day I will update the main page at 1900 UTC tomorrow to include this change. --Carl Jantzen 23:28, 8 August 2007 (CDT)

Questionable sentence on the Main Page

At the moment, one sentence reads:

Regular smart folks and experts—welcome!

Doesn't this imply that only experts or knowledgable people should edit Citizendium? Personally, I think this sentence should be removed - I think it would make less intelligent people feel unwelcome. Any thoughts? Oliver Smith 18:22, 16 August 2007 (CDT)

I'd reword it to "Experts and regular smart folks welcome!" I'm not too worried about less-intelligent people feeling unwelcome, as probably 80% of all people consider themselves smarter than average. Anthony Argyriou 18:40, 17 August 2007 (CDT)
There's no need to be in your face elitist to be honest. At least remove stuff like that from the front page otherwise this place will get a reputation of taking itself too seriously. My brother who has a maths degree dismissed this place almost instantly by saying that 'they take themselves too seriously', which to be honest is kinda true when we have that kinda stuff on the front page. Denis Cavanagh 09:29, 21 August 2007 (CDT)
Please comment on this edit. Note the edit summary. Chris Day (talk) 09:51, 21 August 2007 (CDT)
I think that is much better. It removes the perception of elitism, plus, you have to consider that most people who find editing an encyclopedia a fun hobby are probably pretty bright. :) --Todd Coles 10:14, 21 August 2007 (CDT)
That's much better. Thanks, Oliver Smith 10:57, 21 August 2007 (CDT)

No, it's not better. I've changed it back. Saying "Everyone is welcome" is false: it is not the case that everyone is welcome. In particular, people who cannot agree to our Statement of Fundamental Policies, and people who are incapable of making a positive contribution to the project, are out.

I don't mean to be mean, but look--just because someone raises an objection, that does not mean it is necessarily a legitimate objection and that something should be done about it. I think the original complaint, that we specifically invite "ordinary smart people" is somehow elitist, is an obvious non-starter. No, it's not elitist. If you think so, you don't know what "elitist" means. Moreover, I strongly reject this premise that it is in any way offensive to encourage smart people to apply. In fact, I find it silly and offensive to suggest otherwise. --Larry Sanger 22:17, 21 August 2007 (CDT)

Surely we welcome everyone to apply? Are we rejecting people at the front door, other than for their unwillingness to agree to a satement of policies? I'm not sure this has much to do with elitism and more to do with our own credability, at least the way it is currently worded. As it stands, it reads like a Bushism i.e. trying to connect to regular folk but failing abysmally. It does not sound genuine or particularly welcoming to anyone. Chris Day (talk) 23:46, 21 August 2007 (CDT)
Hmm, the problem is that you are both right, in a strange way. Certainly, people who cannot endorse CZ fundamental policies are not accepted, but on the other hand we have to consider the question: "In principle, is everyone welcome?" If the answer is Yes, subject to their accepting the CZ policy, then I think a qualified "Everyone is welcome" is fine. The problem is a different one, if you want to discourage people other than those who will not endorse CZ policy. This, Larry, is the core of the complaints made: that the wording implies that only clever people are welcome. To some extent it is a matter of PR, something on which I am not so knowledgeable. But I think you should reconsider the phrasing, Larry: perceptions DO count, in this world...--Martin Baldwin-Edwards 00:03, 22 August 2007 (CDT)
"Surely we welcome everyone to apply?" Chris asks. Of course, but that's a straw man. The issue is whether it's all right if we specifically encourage smart folks to apply. Of course it is! Moreover, Martin, I agree, perceptions do count, when it comes to recruitment. But I completely disagree that there is a potential perception problem in this case. Who, among the people who might consider joining us, does not consider themselves "regular smart folks"? Really, how concerned should we be that someone who isn't the brightest bulb feels put off by our encouraging smart folks? --Larry Sanger 12:00, 22 August 2007 (CDT)
I agree Larry's version could be perceptually problematic, and also agree that Chris's is, well, just not really true. How about we just avoid all this hullabaloo by rewording it, New authors and editors welcome! Besides it doing the job very well and removing any possible cause for PR offense, it actually provides people with useful and neutral information via the links.  —Stephen Ewen (Talk) 00:24, 22 August 2007 (CDT)
I might add I made the change more to generate discussion rather than as the perfect solution. I'm fine with Stephens suggestion here. Chris Day (talk) 00:42, 22 August 2007 (CDT)
If I may throw my two cents in, I much prefer Stephen's version. --Stefano Bartoletti 00:50, 22 August 2007 (CDT)
Your solution is pragmatic and elegant, Stephen:-)--Martin Baldwin-Edwards 01:54, 22 August 2007 (CDT)
Agreed. Aleksander Stos 02:47, 22 August 2007 (CDT)
I'm sorry, but I can't agree. There's very little chance for PR offense: the concern about that here is just a reflection of the echo chamber effect. Now, if you want to, you should go ahead and make the change anyway, over my protest, since no one appears to agree with me here. But the reason I can't agree is that this is yet another example of the sort of de-natured, de-personalized, committee result that you get when you try to please the sort of people who don't want to offend anyone. Well, as you all well know by now, while I try to be as kind as I can, I also am not so diplomatic that avoiding giving any offense is A1 top priority. It's a priority, but explaining what we're about, clearly and engagingly, is a higher priority. If people are offended by what we're about, let them be. I maintain that it is actually considerably more important that specifically encourage people with lots of knowledge, intelligence, and writing ability than that we not "offend" people who believe they might lack these qualities. Call me old-fashioned, benighted, politically incorrect, whatever--but this is just completely obvious to me. --Larry Sanger 12:00, 22 August 2007 (CDT)

BTW, what do you think about new frame around the CZ logo on the top of the page? I'd prefer the "plain" setting without too many boxes -- a question of taste. Aleksander Stos 02:47, 22 August 2007 (CDT)

Happily, the boxes are not so visible [at least on my screen] :-))--Martin Baldwin-Edwards 03:01, 22 August 2007 (CDT)
I completely and utterly disagree with Larry, but Stephen's idea is a nice midway point. Can we all agree on that as a compromise? The old 'experts and regular smart folks welcome' just made us look like the college astronomy society. This is something bigger, I think. Denis Cavanagh 03:17, 22 August 2007 (CDT)
Anyway, what defines smart? There are several indicators to measure intelligence. I doubt Einstein could have written Les Miserables and I doubt Victor Hugo could have developed the Atomic Bomb. I doubt whether Johhny Cash could formulate an acceptable theory based on black holes and I doubt if Dr. Hawkings could sing 'Folsom Prison Blues'. Its all subjective after all. Most importantly we need not to scare otherwise good people away simply because of something that can easily be changed. Denis Cavanagh 03:21, 22 August 2007 (CDT)
I disagree with but bow to the majority opinion in this case. Denis, are you implying, perhaps, when we say "regular smart people wanted," we mean that there are not different kinds of smarts? Or that intelligence is not relative in various ways? Why take us to be implying that? Do you really think that intelligence is now officially an offensive concept? I don't. If you do, I'm curious why you don't also think that expertise is an offensive concept--and even more offensive.
Look, folks (and, by the way, has Bush now tainted the word "folks"? God, I hope not). It is not prejudiced, politically incorrect, or anything of the sort to say that we encourage the smartest people possible to contribute. What are we, Wikipedia? There are some people who are smarter than other people. Has this perfectly obvious truth become politically incorrect to state? If so, I am politically incorrect, and proudly so. There are many people who are smarter than I am. They should join us, because, I think, they'll help us to make the project better. And people who do not think that they are "smart folks" would be completely wrong to suggest--bizarrely--that in an encyclopedia project, the project should not specifically encourage smart folks. I utterly and completely reject that sort of laughable egalitarianism. Don't expect me to change in this regard. I have a great deal of respect for intelligence, and it is precisely by respecting it that we'll get the sort of resource CZ can become. Don't worry about putting off a very few people by encouraging smart folks; worry about not encouraging the smart folks enough.
None of this is to say that we should, say, give an intelligence test for entry. This is all, quite simply, just a matter of common sense, not something about which to get worked up about. --Larry Sanger 12:00, 22 August 2007 (CDT)
With regard to folks, it grates on me now, most likely due to its overuse the last seven years.
With regard to attracting smart authors. I can't remember the study but those who are smarter than average often underestimate their intelligence. All i'm saying is I can see how it might put some people off. Chris Day (talk) 12:07, 22 August 2007 (CDT)
I have to agree with Chris on the word "folks"--an interesting quick-word on words to describe people from a business perspective --Robert W King 12:10, 22 August 2007 (CDT)
You mean you're going to let Republicans co-opt a perfectly good word? --Larry Sanger 15:18, 22 August 2007 (CDT)
I don't attach any political stigma to the word; I guess it's just my view that "folks" is associated with people from the midwest and south, typically ruralites--I'm not sure if this is also what Chris is alluding to. --Robert W King 15:34, 22 August 2007 (CDT)

So, are you going to accept Stephen's revised wording, Larry? I should point out that I rarely follow the crowd, so the echo effect does not apply in at least my own case--Martin Baldwin-Edwards 14:39, 22 August 2007 (CDT)

I said so twice, Martin. I am not going to make the change myself, but I won't change it back if someone else does make it. --Larry Sanger 15:15, 22 August 2007 (CDT)
Larry, with all due and authentic respect, flaunting political incorrectness is bizarrely unintelligent, as it can give needless offense to the regular smart folks and experts we are seeking to attract. Its just a reality of the world as it is rather how we might wish it were.  —Stephen Ewen (Talk) 15:08, 22 August 2007 (CDT)
You're assuming something that I specifically rejected above, namely, that the concept of smarts or intelligence really is politically incorrect. I doubt it is, with a few small exceptions. No one has said anything the least bit persuasive that "smart folks" is the slightest bit offensive. It just isn't. --Larry Sanger 15:15, 22 August 2007 (CDT)

To say it is not perceptually problematic, Larry, is to say that the social sensibilities of everyone who has posted here are removed from reality and are not worth listening to. That just is not so. Mind you, I fully agree on point of truth that some people are smarter than others, that women tend to be less aggressive because of their biological makeup, and a whole slew of such things. But a public project's PR just ain't the place for it. Just think about it. I am sure you have heard this sort of thing from people before.  —Stephen Ewen (Talk) 15:27, 22 August 2007 (CDT)

Larry, I am all for meritocracy, and will be the first to agree that an encyclopedia needs a certain minimum standard of skills from its authors. I am also personally inclined towards political incorrectness. But this is not about my personal opinions: it is about how a front page looks to most people. Image may not be everything, but it is intelligent to start off looking reasonably good...--Martin Baldwin-Edwards 15:37, 22 August 2007 (CDT)
Steve, as I think you already know, I usually do "think about" what I write very carefully. I'd appreciate it if you kindly bore that in mind. I think that all of us, including myself, are subject from time to time to echo chamber effects. Anyone who says he is entirely immune to such effects is, I think, the same sort who says he or she is immune to the effects of advertising: such claims belie a full understanding of the effect in question. I think this is one of those times. However, I also bear in mind that I could be mistaken; I am not as certain of my views on such matters as some of you seem to be. Therefore, I defer to the popular view, whether an echo chamber effect or not. --Larry Sanger 15:47, 22 August 2007 (CDT)
"Just think about it" - I meant think about what I was just saying. I realize you usually seek to be very careful in what you write.  —Stephen Ewen (Talk) 16:08, 22 August 2007 (CDT)
Well, what you were saying was, essentially, the contradictory of what I was saying. I can't think carefully about the merits of latter without thinking about the merits of the former, can I? --Larry Sanger 16:30, 22 August 2007 (CDT)
Sorry that I came late to this discussion. For what it's worth, I agree with Larry's position 100% -- maybe the exact wording can be judiciously tweaked, but I think the kind of people who WILL be writing for CZ are not going to be offended by this so-called "elitist" wording. And the kinds of people who WON'T be writing for CZ are welcome to peruse it as an encyclopedia without contributing to it; I doubt if they'll be offended by this. And even if they are, if they want to learn about Navy grog, for example they're gonna have to do it here, at least until WP ports it over.... Hayford Peirce 18:06, 22 August 2007 (CDT)

Look, I'm not sure if I made myself clear at all so far; My opposition to the mainpage headlines is two fold - Like Chris already mentioned, it is a little cringeworthy and two, It looks like we take ourselves too seriously. For the overwhelming majority of the people who contribute here it is just a hobby. Saying we only want smart people to apply is just well, stupid. Not everyone who is clever considers themselves to be and vice versa... Its all about perceptions. Denis Cavanagh 03:30, 23 August 2007 (CDT)

I'm not cringing, and I doubt many others are. Inviting "ordinary smart folks" makes us look like we take ourselves too seriously? I disagree. And inviting ordinary smart people and experts does not mean that we only want these to apply, obviously. To the extent to which it's about perceptions, the original was just fine. --Larry Sanger 08:11, 23 August 2007 (CDT)
The wisest among us will know the true extent of his own ignorance. 'Intelligent' people rarely like to flaunt it and quite frankly it just looked silly. I mean comeon! Who actually goes around labelling themselves clever? Its just cringeworthy seeing something that looks like an attempted status symbol sitting on the front page. Denis Cavanagh 08:53, 23 August 2007 (CDT)
I don't know why we differ in this, but I don't see any of that at all. "Ordinary smart folks" is hardly a status symbol (do you know what this means?); and who is labelling whom clever? We aren't so labelling ourselves, I think. We're saying we welcome such people to apply. Anyway, Denis, you may have the last word, as this is now academic. --Larry Sanger 08:57, 23 August 2007 (CDT)

Larger Picture for Article of the Week

I think it would be a good idea to make the picture on the front page somewhat bigger. I think pictures have the potential to grab attention, and it is more likely to draw someone in than the short blurb. --Carl Jantzen 09:06, 22 August 2007 (CDT)

I tend to agree. We may try to get rid of the description of the picture/thumb (as a principle), this will make some room. After all, intrigued reader may click to visit article and see it in full details. Aleksander Stos 04:08, 24 August 2007 (CDT)


How come there's no link about the Write-a-thon? I thought we all thought that publicizing it early would be a good idea? I mean, that major big block notice can go up a day or two before, but there should be a little link to the write-a-thon page squeezed in somewhere so that people who don't know what/when it is can learn about the party and mark their calendars. Aleta Curry 17:53, 28 August 2007 (CDT)

Probably a good idea. We had a lot of participation with only a day notice last month, if we give it a week or so we might be able to attract some of our more casual authors. --Todd Coles 09:12, 29 August 2007 (CDT)

Please do feel free to add a link advertising the upcoming Write-a-Thon! --Larry Sanger 09:26, 29 August 2007 (CDT)

Gray boxes on tops of main articles

I hadn't been here in a few days, and now a lot of the articles have gray boxes at their tops with blue and red words in them and buttons (?) down the left side. Some of them have tabs across saying: Main Article / Talk / Related Articles # / Bibliography # / External Links #, and then they all say "This is a draft article, under development. These unapproved articles are subject to a disclaimer." but in some of them the "Talk" tab isn't lined up with the others but, instead, is a little gray rectangle on top of the text in the first paragraph. I assume this is another effect of my WIN95 and IE5.5, so it's probably my own fault, but it's annoying. -- k. kay 01:24, 6 October 2007 (CDT)

Go to a more developed article to see how the subpages format is working. As far as what you are seeing we have been having problem with IE6 and IE7 although I had thought that for these two we had solved most of the issues. We had not had a IE5 user until now, so I suppose this is a whole new set of incompatabilites with microsoft. Can you use firefox? Chris Day (talk) 02:44, 6 October 2007 (CDT)

Kay, are you subscribed to Citizendium-L? What you're describing is our subpage template, which was introduced to the community at large via Citizendium-L. For an introduction to the concept, see CZ:Subpages. For an example of use that might make more sense, see Biology. Actually click on those words in the boxes in that example, and you'll get it. --Larry Sanger 07:50, 6 October 2007 (CDT)

Although she is describing a corrupt version of it. Chris Day (talk) 09:03, 6 October 2007 (CDT)

I'm not sure about some of what y'all are saying to me, but I think it doesn't matter. I recognized what the gray boxes were doing, and the "Talk" links work for me, it's just that while the page is loading, that one tab jumps from the row of the rest of them to be (floating ?) in front of the first paragraph, whether it's text or pix, working draft or finalized version. As to the whole sub-page concept, that's simply a matter of display format, and I don't see, for example, why there should be an 'edit' link in front of paragraphs of old communications (and stuff on my user page), which no one has any business changing (as opposed to deleting or moving the former or except me for the latter), but whatever y'all do about formats is fine with me, and I just thought you would want to know what effect what you were doing had. I want to spend what time I can devote to CZ on the content of articles, and if telling you when CZ's software changes make that more difficult for my antiquated hardware and software isn't helpful to you, then I just won't do it anymore. Someday I'm going to have modern hardware and software, and I can cope okay until then, but I do appreciate the way CZers have responded to the concerns I've raised. -- k. kay 00:04, 7 October 2007 (CDT)

Suffice it to say that the poor display of the subpages template had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with your equipment. --Larry Sanger 07:58, 7 October 2007 (CDT)

The main page needs more links on it

Although it is nice and elegant that the Main page is uncluttered, it does need more on it. In particular, I suggest we link prominently to the Core Articles initiative. --Martin Baldwin-Edwards 12:26, 9 October 2007 (CDT)

Notice I did add a link in there... --Larry Sanger 19:02, 29 October 2007 (CDT)

Latest Edit

I pulled out what I think was an extra </font> that was killing the bot I'm working on. I'll find out in a second. There was one extra and one missing. --Robert W King 12:21, 24 October 2007 (CDT)

Condensed disciplinary entry points and New Picture of the Week

Please see how I saved real estate on the page by placing the disciplinary entry points three-per-row. Also, scroll down to the see an idea for New Picture of the Week. See draft here. Stephen Ewen 00:27, 29 October 2007 (CDT)

I like the "New Picture of the Week" section, and not just because I uploaded the image there ;-) --Eddie Ortiz Nieves 16:37, 29 October 2007 (CDT)

Fix up formatting of press release link box?

If anybody can figure out how to fix up the formatting of the press release link box, I'd sure appreciate it... --Larry Sanger 12:25, 30 October 2007 (CDT)

New Draft of the Week

It has been there more than a week, time to change? Yi Zhe Wu 10:57, 23 November 2007 (CST)

JavaScript errors in IE

Before I log in, I get a JS error "on line 2" (the is as much information as the error popup provides) when accessing any screen in Citizendium. After logging in, the error remains, but shifts to "on line 1". I see in the view source that several JS files are loaded, and I don't have time to check which one might be causing trouble. Any experts in the infrastructure out there who can look into this? Steve Mount 15:56, 29 November 2007 (CST)

I should note that this is still happening, and makes using the site difficult. It happens with all of the skins, so it must be in a support file that is independent of the skins. Steve Mount 15:11, 21 March 2008 (CDT)


Can I write an article about how I'm bored out of my freaking mind here? I go to the subjects I'm interested and it appears they've been abandoned for ages. Maybe I just don't get it, and should just stay in Wikipedia.--Bryan Pilati 20:56, 13 December 2007 (CST)

I don't get it, either, Bryan. If there are subjects you are interested in, just write. Aleta Curry 01:20, 15 December 2007 (CST)
Bryan, You have to remember that this place is like one huge construction yard. You can either help it get finished or moan and whinge. Its your choice, of course. Denis Cavanagh 07:51, 17 December 2007 (CST)

Denis, did I ask for that? No, I asked for unconditional understanding and sympathy.  ;)--Bryan Pilati 21:44, 18 December 2007 (CST)

A comment here was deleted by The Constabulary on grounds of making complaints about fellow Citizens. If you have a complaint about the behavior of another Citizen, e-mail It is contrary to Citizendium policy to air your complaints on the wiki. See also CZ:Professionalism.

Yea, it can feel that way sometime, Bryan. What I've found is that the more one writes the more eyes see what it is they are writing., meaning more potential collaborators. Stephen Ewen 16:15, 19 December 2007 (CST)

License of Citizendium ?

CZ_Talk:License_Essays - the page say that a decision will be made by November 15th, 2007. We are in December 15th, and I see nothing. I personnally will not share my work with a website saying to me "Thanks for you share, we will chose later under which license we will share your article".

So, If the decision had be made, please update the site, and show clearly the choisen license. Hugo Lopez 22:38, 14 December 2007 (CST)

Believe it or not, but we're still discussing and I'm still writing. I've got an essay about the license that is over 30 pages long, and it's still not quite done. But it probably will top out at around 35 pages, so I'm close. --Larry Sanger 07:13, 15 December 2007 (CST)

Merry Christmas!

Its 11:13 PM here right now on Christmas and I decided to check in on my emails and such.

I've had too many Irish Coffees and sweets, but hope you all have a good one! (We tend to be generous with the Whiskey) Denis Cavanagh 17:16, 25 December 2007 (CST)


The Approval process has stagnated over the two months, should me pay more attention in getting editors to approve more articles? Yi Zhe Wu 16:02, 28 December 2007 (CST)

Yes, Yi, but this isn't the place to point it out & propose solutions. Please go here. --Larry Sanger 16:32, 28 December 2007 (CST)

Help Archive, please

Y'know how every month some really bright, on-the-ball person archives the write-a-thon page and gives a fresh page for the new write-a-thon? Well, could one of you CZ legends please do that right now for January? Please? Thanks! Your faithful Mistress of Ceremonies, Aleta Curry 16:26, 8 January 2008 (CST)

Thanks, Chris! Aleta Curry 16:45, 8 January 2008 (CST)

Thanks Russ

for linking those first words in the "of the week" articles. We should always do that. --Larry Sanger 08:35, 21 January 2008 (CST)

move upload file to upload image

Can we change the handle on "upload file" to "upload image" and place it directly under "start an article"? Also, why don't we have "start an article with subpages" under start an article also?

Maybe we have it backward. Maybe we should be encouraging people to start a metadata page first? --Robert W King 14:04, 23 January 2008 (CST)

Random page button is missing

What happened to the "Random Page" button? Was it removed intentionally or by accident? David E. Volk 11:25, 21 February 2008 (CST)

Intentional--consider it a trial balloon. Too many people have complained that pressing it generates empty subpages, stubs, etc. Just not making it available solves that problem! --Larry Sanger 11:26, 21 February 2008 (CST)

Shirley Chisholm

You know, it doesn't look very good that the only red link on the front page is "African-American," in the article about the first African-American woman elected to Congress! Anyone care to start that article?? --Larry Sanger 07:36, 26 February 2008 (CST)

Suggest quote for Main Page

Could we have a quote on the Main Page to inspire contributions? Position above the Categories? Rotate quotes monthly? --Anthony.Sebastian 12:03, 3 March 2008 (CST)

"Share your knowledge. It's a way to achieve immortality." —Anonymous, often attributed to the Dalai Lama

Logo400grbeta small.png

Natural Sciences       Social Sciences       Humanities
Arts       Applied Arts and

Reminder! The Write-a-Thon approaches!

On Wednesday, March 5th we're inviting all Citizens to come to the wiki, start a new article, and edit somebody else's new article. It's a Write-a-Thon! It's a wiki-whoopie, a cyber-social, a collaborative kegger!

I'd be tempted to put it next to the write-a-thon box since it only takes up half the width of the page. --Robert W King 12:19, 3 March 2008 (CST)
The suggestion for the quote was mine, Robert. I forgot to signature it initially. Like your idea putting quote to the right of write-a-thon box, but is that box always showing? Would that matter? Will you try it out here on Talk page, and any other variations in location that come to mind? Share your knowledge! [wink emoticon here] Just thought "share your knowledge" apposite, for CZ. --Anthony.Sebastian 12:48, 3 March 2008 (CST)
Even if the write-a-thon box isn't always showing, something can always take its place. If you notice, the whole page content is shifted down to accomodate the write-a-thon notice. If it were up to me, I'd probably re-organize the workgroup navigation, or do away with it entirely on the main page. I'm sure the quote and the workgroup navigation could probably fit in the same space, just enlarged to nudge the content down. In any case, it's not my decision, although I appreciate it greatly that you value my input! --Robert W King 13:10, 3 March 2008 (CST)

Design ideas

Re adding a quotation--that sounds good in principle. The problem is that we are approaching a similar level of complexity and "business" that so many complained so much about one year ago (or so)--when we greatly stripped down the main page. That simplification was regarded as a significant step forward at the time.

Generally, the front page needs to be well-designed, but simply adding more and more stuff to a page results in poor design. When it comes to design, too many cooks spoil the broth. Or, anyway, the cooks have to be all on the same page and all committed to the same "design vision." What I would like to see is a complete redesign of the main page, just to go along with our new skin, and for a little variety.

I would also like to see the "beta" button in our upper-left logo made into a dogtag/keychain, like the bigger logo on the main page. Can anyone do that? I'm also inclined to change the word "beta" to "developing" and possibly removing the words "The Citizens' Compendium." These are things we should discuss first, though. Maybe I'm off base.

If anyone (with good design sense--probably not me!) would like to design a new main page, one that goes very well with our new skin, that would be great! --Larry Sanger 13:19, 3 March 2008 (CST)

Sharp knife

I took a pretty sharp knife to this tonight and believe the result is far superior to the former verson =- commemnts welcome. Stephen Ewen 03:19, 19 March 2008 (CDT)

Not just comments, but further revisions are welcome. I'll be reworking this a bit further. As I know Steve will agree, not just Steve (and a very few others) should feel free and emboldened to make changes like this. This sort of initiative-taking is exactly what we need to radically improve the usability of the website.

This is precisely the sort of thing that needs to be added to CZ:Bold Moves--although in the present case, it's obvious! --Larry Sanger 13:57, 19 March 2008 (CDT)

To fill up the white space under "Support us," it would look slick to have a small attractive graphic of some sort--a small crop from one of our many fine images... --Larry Sanger 14:19, 19 March 2008 (CDT)

I made the image (crop) myself, but I'm sure someone could find something better quickly enough. Feel free to replace it!!! --Larry Sanger 14:55, 19 March 2008 (CDT)

I think part of the reason the main page looks drab right now is neither of our articles of the week have any images associated with them. --Todd Coles 15:01, 19 March 2008 (CDT)
You're right... --Larry Sanger 15:03, 19 March 2008 (CDT)

Article of the Week

Perhaps we should change it to Article of the Week and New article of the week. What do you think? Denis Cavanagh 08:26, 7 April 2008 (CDT)

Indeed. I hate Draft of the Week especially, because sometimes it is an approved article, not a draft. David E. Volk 09:36, 7 April 2008 (CDT)

I think when this was originally set up the stipulation was that if it was approved, we call it article of the week, and if it is developed status we call it draft. I like Denis' suggestion, perhaps labeling it Approved Article of the Week if we choose an approved article. --Todd Coles 10:21, 7 April 2008 (CDT)

Todd is right about the dependency of the label on the "status" of the article. I prefer "draft" because it is modest and does no damage. By lowering expectations with this word choice, we can "pleasantly surprise" readers. (We want them to think: "If this is what they call a 'draft', they must have high standards!") It also keeps us modest. We can create much good will by doing evident good work but not congratulating ourselves too much about it. But if others do not feel the same way, I wouldn't insist on this position... --Larry Sanger 10:25, 7 April 2008 (CDT)

Early selection of articles

Why have we chosen the articles a day early? David E. Volk 09:38, 7 April 2008 (CDT)

New Recent Changes links

The links at the top of Recent Changes are marginally helpful, but could be more focused and interesting. Can someone collect a set of new links? Two new links I'd like to see there are "new articles" and "new members."

Once you've compiled the list, let me or any constable know and we'll edit the relevant page. --Larry Sanger 10:15, 1 May 2008 (CDT)

Maybe we don't need the "About us" in there, or "Other" link, as the "About us" section is on the left navigator too. --Robert W King 10:38, 1 May 2008 (CDT)

Why are we still in Beta?

CZ beta logo.gif

Given the fact that we've decided on a license, and have approved articles, and are gaining momentum.... Why exactly are we still in "Beta"? -Eric M Gearhart

Excuse my ignorance, but what exactly is Beta? Denis Cavanagh 12:53, 25 May 2008 (CDT)
One step up from Alpha. Alpha releases are very non-public, are extremely rough, and meant to be proof-as-concept. Beta releases are a little more polished, where the product is beginning to take shape. Could or could not be a public release. Participation is encouraged and feedback is expected. --Robert W King 13:39, 25 May 2008 (CDT)
I think Beta is accurate. Many areas of policy are either not set, or still changing. So even from the point of view of contributors, we're still in beta. Not that it's really a big deal if we've got it wrong - it's a semi-meaningless label! J. Noel Chiappa 19:32, 25 May 2008 (CDT)
I'm not so sure beta is the correct word choice in that case. --Robert W King 19:50, 25 May 2008 CDT)
Now, If we were Microsoft we'd definitely be thinking of this as the release version.-Derek Hodges 20:28, 25 May 2008 (CDT)

What is a word that means ever-changing, improving, yet released upon the public for consumption? This is the word that we should use. Is there even a word in english that means this? --Robert W King 20:31, 25 May 2008 (CDT)

I would be very unhappy if we designated ourselves as gamma (sounds too much like dangerous radiation). Martin Baldwin-Edwards 20:42, 25 May 2008 (CDT)
My only point in bringing this up is that people considering joining the project might see "Beta" and think to themselves "Wow they're not even done nailing things down yet... I don't want to move into a house that's not done yet so I'll wait."
I think the "word that means ever-changing, improving, yet released upon the public for consumption" you're looking for is Wiki :-) -Eric M Gearhart 22:22, 25 May 2008 (CDT)
Anyone think I should carry this into a new thread into the forums, which are much more conducive to a running conversation? -Eric M Gearhart 22:24, 25 May 2008 (CDT)
Leave beta? Without multiple active editors in most fields? Stephen Ewen 01:33, 26 May 2008 (CDT)
Aha! So that's a main reason we're still in Beta? That's basically what I was asking -Eric M Gearhart 10:00, 26 May 2008 (CDT)

Proposal - a link on the homepage explaining the concept of CZ:Group_Editing / Lack of Ownership/control of articles

Some new users are frustrated by the concept of group editing. They arrive, develop an article in their sand box that think is equivalent to a rough draft of a paper. They then move the draft from the userspace to the main article location and suddenly, people from all over start changing it left and right, often "without even consulting the primary author!" "They didn't even consult me on the talk page before making changes!"

If this is your reaction, prepare to have your world rocked. Wiki editing is completely different than the Rough Draft - Final Copy format that most of us have grown used to starting in Elementary School and continuing through Post-Graduate programs and beyond. Many of us have grown used to people submitting their ideas to the author, letting the author brew the ideas for a while, then the author decides what edits s/he likes or dislikes and makes the appropriate changes.

In wiki editing, once your article has been entered in the main article area, users from around the world are going to not only read it and make comments on the article, but also add to, change, or modify the article as well. While it is nice to summarize your changes in the talk page or for drastic changes to developed articles it may be appropriate to discuss it on the talk page before making changes. However, it ENCOURAGED that users "be bold" and make changes directly on articles! See ____ for more information on being bold.

This adjustment may be incredibly frustrating and we hope to alleviate some of the frustration by helping you know what to expect before beginning your journey in to the wiki world.

Please see CZ:Home for more information on various introductory or help topics to help you along the way.

will finish later and try to move to CZ space ---- Feel free to make edits. Tom Kelly 14:49, 4 June 2008 (CDT)

I know that many CZ help pages must already contain information like this in it. Let's plan to link to these pages. However, I think a short page could be made that addresses this one concept directly. Many people don't read beyond the first couple paragraphs, and long help pages are lucky to even be glanced over. Tailoring help pages directed at specific problems and then linking to more verbose help pages might be beneficial. Looking for feedback. Tom Kelly 14:55, 4 June 2008 (CDT)
I did not see this issue directly addressed on CZ:Home so I created an article: CZ:Group_Editing

This looks good to me, Tom, and you are absolutely right that this needs to be emphasized. Can you please link to it copiously in various appropriate places, including CZ:Home (perhaps) but CZ:Getting Started definitely. We can also link to it, at least for a while from the front page (or permanently if we're creative about using minimal space--we're trying to keep the front page simple). --Larry Sanger 14:50, 12 June 2008 (CDT)

Request re Special:Recentchanges

Hi all, can some MediaWiki jock determine whether it's possible to have a drop-down menu--I'm pretty sure it is--so that we can in a small amount of space link to all the various workgroup recent changes pages? I.e., I'd like to link, with a single drop-down menu, to all the recent changes logs like this and this. I'm sure many people would find that handy. --Larry Sanger 14:53, 12 June 2008 (CDT)

Make sure it's set for the last 30 days, by the way. --Larry Sanger 14:53, 12 June 2008 (CDT)

I think the workgroup recent changes is the MOST VALUABLE thing about workgroups. However, I think there is room for improvement. For example, I don't think Approved article changes are monitored well, I don't think subpages are monitored well, and some others that I currently can't think of. we Need some technical savy "out-of-the-box"-type thinkers to give their imput. I definitely don't qualify as "technically savy" Tom Kelly 15:06, 12 June 2008 (CDT)
Especially for subpages I strongly agree that it would be very useful to be able to monitor them for the workgroups. Alexander Wiebel 06:10, 13 June 2008 (CDT)
It's not too hard for User:Chris Day to add, e.g., Category:Sociology Workgroup to Anonymity/Bibliography. Just ask him. --Larry Sanger 08:55, 13 June 2008 (CDT)
I have experimented with this before. Previously I added workgroup specific category tags to all subpages, draft pages, articles and talk pages. The advantage is that all thoses different page types could be monitored with recent changes to that one category. There are a couple of problems that stopped me going ahead with this though. First, it adds alot of categories to the bootom of each page that get in the way. Second those categories will be massive. I will set up a test run now and see how you like it. It can easily be undone. I wouldn't add the subpages to the workgroup categories though since have one list of all the clusters in a particular workgroup is useful. You don't want that to get contaminated with all the subpages. I'll make the categories more cryptic so they take up less space at the bottom. Something like Category:Bwt for "biology workgroup tag". Chris Day 10:02, 13 June 2008 (CDT)
Actually that might be too cryptic. How about Category:Biology tag for "biology workgroup tag"? Chris Day 10:04, 13 June 2008 (CDT)
What about workgroup-specific icons instead, perhaps with some hovering function and a link to the Workgroup's homepage? -- Daniel Mietchen 10:24, 13 June 2008 (CDT)
We have to have a category. The way recent changes is used in this scenario (i.e. we want a workgroup specific watchlist-like option) is that the category list (such as Biology tag, History tag etc.) is used with the "related changes" function. Currently the links that give this "watchlist-like" list of recent changes is in the workgroup headers and in the tables on the master workgroup page. Obviously those links could be added to other locations as well as being seen as icons too. Chris Day 10:37, 13 June 2008 (CDT)
What about giving the categories a "[hide]/[show]" button (like for the TOC) and hide them as default? Is this hard to implement? -- Alexander Wiebel 10:33, 13 June 2008 (CDT)
I have no idea, I'm not sure if they can be hidden. Noel might know. Chris Day 10:37, 13 June 2008 (CDT)
Byt the way, the changes I just made will not kick in for a while as the most recent changes will not be seen since the category is not populated and that will take time. Every recent change from now on will be seen though if you click the recent changes link in a workgroup page header. Chris Day 10:40, 13 June 2008 (CDT)
Nice! I tested it for computers and mathematics: It works :-). Thanks! Alexander Wiebel 10:58, 13 June 2008 (CDT)
I don't think it's viable to hide the category links. They are produced by MediaWiki, and while I haven't read the source to see how it all happens, I would be dubious that it can be modified. Looking at the HTML output, I see it is inside a span, so perhaps the CSS could be modified to add a hide button?
One place you can hide stuff is on the category page itself. CZ has Extension:CategoryTree installed, so you could make the category page more organized / smaller if you wanted. J. Noel Chiappa 18:54, 13 June 2008 (CDT)
Lost due to an earlier edit conflict
Larry, although both Special:Version and CZ:Extensions/Treeview extension claim we have Extension:TreeAndMenu installed, it must be an old version, because only the #tree functionality works, not the #menu stuff:
**Another sub-item
Was it the #Tree stuff you were thinking of, or did you really see a drop-down (well, sideways actually - see this demo) menu somewhere? J. Noel Chiappa 18:41, 13 June 2008 (CDT)

It might be an extension we haven't uploaded, but I thought it was a drop-down menu, not the treview extension thingie. --Larry Sanger 19:39, 13 June 2008 (CDT)

Aha, so that's where the Category:Biology tag etc. are coming from. If the MediaWiki software is updated, the category links can easily be hidden with the magic word; see Help:Category on Wikimedia's meta site. -- Jitse Niesen 11:57, 14 June 2008 (CDT)

"Welcome to Citizendium"?

Do you like that better than Main Page? Have any other suggestions? It's easy to fix. --Larry Sanger 21:32, 22 June 2008 (CDT)

Yes, I like that better. Aleta Curry 00:40, 23 June 2008 (CDT)
Yes; much better to have the citizendium brand well positioned. Aladin 06:32, 23 June 2008 (CDT)
It now looks as one should expect when navigating around - well done on the swift changes Aladin 07:46, 23 June 2008 (CDT)

What about a section "Eduzendium draft of the week"?

With EZ contributions becoming an integral part of the Citizendium concept, they might well deserve some prominent featuring on the CZ welcome page, similar to the articles and drafts of the week, but with eligibility limited to articles by EZ authors. With time, this may become a honour students might wish to put into their CVs. Comments? -- Daniel Mietchen 20:50, 7 August 2008 (CDT)

Good idea. Suggest caution in choosing articles, as some need work. Suggest waiting until EZ banner removed (student no long working on the article, no new student assigned), and waiting until Editors have edited and or approved. Perhaps biweekly of monthly to start. Then move to weekly. Anthony.Sebastian 16:54, 8 August 2008 (CDT)
Could do msame for signed articles. Anthony.Sebastian 16:54, 8 August 2008 (CDT)
I agree on this idea. Neanderthal gets my vote. --Charles Sandberg 16:58, 8 August 2008 (CDT)
Re the images in Neanderthal: does CZ have permission to reproduce them? Not clear to that proper permission obtained. Anthony.Sebastian 19:45, 8 August 2008 (CDT)
I'm concerned that Eduzendium doesn't produce enough drafts on a regular basis for there to be one to be featured every week. We already have trouble getting people to vote for and change CZ:Article of the Week. How about an irregular "Featured Eduzendium Draft"? --Larry Sanger 22:15, 8 August 2008 (CDT)
Larry - the Eduzendium process should be given every opportunity to generate content in 'pipeline' fashion. What can be done to spur/stimulate our existing/prospective partners to be productive on a sustained basis? Do we need to find more academic departments or undertake closer liaison with these? Aladin 17:54, 17 August 2008 (CDT)

New search tool (gamma)

Just came across the Yahoo Pipes service and adapted the one for search on en.wikipedia to a version that can be used to search Citizendium. Please feel free to comment and improve on it. Daniel Mietchen 05:33, 5 September 2008 (CDT)

What about tailoring similar such pipe chains for the External links subpage in a systematic way? Daniel Mietchen 08:18, 29 September 2008 (CDT)

New draft of the week

The current New Draft of the Week quotes an opening paragraph of Crash of 2008 that has since been replaced. Nick Gardner 14:44, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

Either Brown or Spock, not both, please

Please let's just use one pithy top-of-the-page quote...they are using up important screen real estate there. --Larry Sanger 19:53, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

quote removal

I was just trying to remove the *center* quote, by the Browns. As per Larry's request, with which I agreed. As far as I know, I *did* remove it successfully, leaving the top quote (with no citation) and the bottom quote by Spock. As least that's what it looked like on my screen. (Did I forget to Save?) Hayford Peirce 23:01, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

Aha, I think I see the source of the confusion. There never was a "center" quote. There were only two quotes. "Life's Little Instruction Manual" is not a quote; it is the title of the book from which the first (of *two*) quotes was quoted. I agree that if "Life's Little Instruction Manual" had been a quote (say, an attempted description of CZ by the Browns), it would have been pretty inane. But it wasn't. But now Chris (I think) has removed the first quote as well as its citation, so all is as Larry wished now. Bruce M.Tindall 23:34, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
Great. I was really beginning to scratch my head over this. I'm dumb, but not *that* dumb, hehe. Since the "Dahli Lama" quote is apparently spurious anyway, then Dr. Spock's is probably the one we want to keep. But it's *very* hard, sometimes, figuring out what the editing mode stuff will look like on the Big Screen.... Hayford Peirce 02:01, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
"Spurious" in what way? CZ used to cite this quote to the Dalai Lama, but for some months now, CZ has credited the Browns. So it seems that we know who said it and where and when, so how is it "spurious"? Or is it perhaps "spurious" because the Browns themselves claimed that the Dalai Lama said it? I hadn't heard that anywhere, but is that the case? Bruce M.Tindall 03:26, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
I know that CZ used to "attribute" it to the Lama (without saying he *really* said it) but I hadn't paid any attention to the page recently until today, when I attempted my edit (I see now that I didn't SAVE my second edit, which is why things were messed up), when I saw the following:
by Jackson Brown and
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
<-- The above quote appears to often (falsely) be attributed to Dalai Lama. See -->
That's all I know about it. (The "ancient Chinese curse, 'May you live in interesting times'," apparently had its real origin in a 1950 science-fiction story by my colleague the great Eric Frank Russell, so I'm prepared to believe any debunking story....) Hayford Peirce 03:35, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
Interesting coincidence! Just last night I was reading Terry Pratchett's novel "Interesting Times." I wonder whether there's a hidden allusion to Russell's story in it somewhere. Bruce M.Tindall 17:04, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
There may be. Look for a Duncan Munro, maybe. Here's the WP squib about it. A Washington Post columnist also mentioned it in his lede about 2 weeks ago: "It has not been proven, but Russell may be the originator of the phrase "May you live in interesting times," which is frequently attributed as an ancient Chinese curse. The phrase is quoted with this attribution in Russell's short story "U-Turn", published in the April 1950 issue of Astounding Science Fiction under the pseudonym of Duncan H. Munro. It is unclear whether Russell invented the phrase for the story, or whether it existed prior to that." Hayford Peirce 17:41, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
Or possibly one "Eustace Snarge"? Richard Pinch 18:35, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
That's a pretty recondite recommendation. Google returns 1 hit on it. The massive S.F. database at [2] has no mention of it as either an author or as a title to a story. Hayford Peirce 18:51, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
In Next of Kin, Eric Frank Russell uses the notion that every human being has an invisible companion called "Eustace". He propagates this idea to the copyright page of the book where it is claimed that the publisher is actually Eustace Snarge. Richard Pinch 19:09, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
Ah, I vaguely recall. Was the "Eustace" used to befuddle typical dumb aliens, as he used a similar name in some other story, equally improbable? Hard to believe that his aliens could be so dumb, but that may well have been Campbell telling him to do it like that. Hayford Peirce 19:14, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
Yes, that's the one. Richard Pinch 19:43, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
It just came to me: "I've got the heebie-jeebies" Or some such. Hard to believe that even a 7-year-old would swallow that one. Or JWC either. Hayford Peirce 19:55, 6 December 2008 (UTC)


The culprit for sticking up the "Share your knowledge. It's a way to achieve immortality." quote: Anthony.Sebastian. I thought it spoke directly to potential authors/editors seeing the Welcome Page. I qualified the attribution best I could. Don't know who substituted the Brown's for my qualified attribution.

Anyway, I still like the quote, and still think it has an encouraging effect on those considering joining CZ. How about if we put it back, attributing "—Anon."? I'll do it; anybody objects, remove it. --Anthony.Sebastian 02:16, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

I like it too, but it's not by Anon. It's by Jackson Brown and H. Jackson Brown, Jr., from their book Life's Little Instruction Manual. What evidence is there that they are NOT the authors? I'll re-insert the attribution. Bruce M.Tindall 04:09, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

A little learning is a dangerous thing

Don't forget that one! As evidenced by the fact that there are more Google hits for the erroneous "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing" than for the correct one, hehe.... Hayford Peirce 21:12, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

Aiming for 10,000 by 2 year anniversary

I think we should aim to break the 10K article barrier before our 2 year public launch anniversary, which was sometime late March 2007. We wouldn't quite make it if we kept up the pace of the last two months...but almost. Let's do it! --Larry Sanger 02:39, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

A nice goal, but let's not forget our Primary Directive, as Hari Seldon might say, "Quality, not quantity."Hayford Peirce 03:49, 31 January 2009 (UTC)
Larry, do you live in Trantor?
Seriously, what is the basis of that count? For example, not too long ago, I discovered that articles simply did not show up, in various lists, if they did not have metadata. If that also prevents article from showing up in the count, we might have more than we think. :-)Howard C. Berkowitz 05:41, 31 January 2009 (UTC)
I like to say "Quality but also quantity." Quantity is good. Low quantity = bad quality qua encyclopedia.
Trantor--don't get the joke, I never read the books. (Would I get it if I had read the books?)
Basis of the count = the status field on article metadata templates being 3 or lower. Yes, since there are many Unchecklisted Articles...we've got to get Alek to run his script, I see!! In fact, it's been so long since it's been run, we might have many hundreds of unchecklisted articles by now. So, good point, nameless one. (Please sign your comments, Howard.) --Larry Sanger 05:33, 31 January 2009 (UTC)
Main location of the Galactic Encyclopedia in Asimov's foundation series. I've been going through "uncategorized pages"; is "unchecklisted articles" more appropriate? There are a great many uncategorized pages that are subpages of chemical element definitions; is that an artifact of the element article creation process, perhaps not setting them up as subpages? Clearly, they are Chemistry Workgroup. Howard C. Berkowitz 05:41, 31 January 2009 (UTC)
We could add the subpages template to them all but they would have to have the same format as the definition page since they are all transcluded on to other pages. I'm not sure if all those data subpages are the best way to go, I have not had a chance to sit down and think through the problem. There are ways to store such data on one subpage, I think I mentioned it to David when he set them up but I do not recall his rationale for not using such a strategy. What ever the solution, they should have categories that draw on the metadata of their parent element/compound.
I do agree there are a lot of unchecklisted articles out there that do not appear in the CZ live category. There are also a fair number of external clusters that we do not count as there has not a significant change from the original wp article (currently >700, see Category:External_Articles). Chris Day 07:09, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

Mobile phone version

wikipedia now has a mobile phone version for reading on Iphone, Android, and Palm-Pre size devices. I think it would be a good idea to also get that here. or Tom Kelly 05:25, 4 April 2009 (UTC)

request more links to subgroups and more how-tos on making them

I have started tagging articles with subgroups and then listing them on the workgroup affiliated location, but I don't know to really make them. check out the ones I started on health sciences, and the 1 I proposed on biology if you get a chance. Tom Kelly 05:31, 4 April 2009 (UTC)

I added a link to the cz:subgroups at the bottom of the workgroup list page. Tom Kelly 05:32, 4 April 2009 (UTC)

Why I revised the front page intro a few days ago

I revised the front page intro substantially a few days so thought I should explain my rationale. The former verbiage was seeming sort of like a business that had been around a while yet still rather oddly had its "Grand Opening!" sign up front. That sort of sign works to draw in new customers for a while, but there is another group who will still only drive by and not come in. They want to know "we're still here and we're a growing business who is here to stay, so it's a really good to come in now." It's flowing with a seemingly natural cycle, I suppose. At any rate, that was what I tried to do. Stephen Ewen 06:30, 29 May 2009 (UTC)