User talk:Ori Redler

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Welcome, Ori! --Larry Sanger 02:19, 31 October 2006 (CST)

Thanks! Ori Redler 08:18, 31 October 2006 (CST)

Hi Ori, I am curious how you are making your decisions about what articles to delete. Can you articulate/propose a policy that clearly encompasses the articles that you have tagged for deletion? You might link to such a policy here.

--Larry Sanger 15:32, 12 November 2006 (CST)

Hi Larry,

I'm marking for deletion articles that are, as the Policy Outline states "of poor quality and not worth fixing."

Specifically, I mark for deletion articles that following the Article Quality guidelines are: A. Inaccurate to such a degree that it would be easier to delete and write them from scratch than edit them. B. Non Encyclopaedic: mainly lists, articles copied verbatim from a data source (with or without copyright violation), and dictionary definitions under the guise of articles. I do not mark for deletion articles that contains tables as an aid or reference, but I do mark for deletion articles where this is the entire content. C. Poor Writing: Articles where the writing is very poor. I emphasise a writing effort being made. If the author tried, however clumsily, to actually write an article, then it should be kept. If it's just a plain hopeless case of copy and paste from some source, then it should be deleted so at the very least someone else will be able to tell that something needs to be done. D. Vanity Articles: Articles with very little information, that seem to be serving some "vanity purpose" (e.g., to eliminate "red" links from a template, to fill in the "complete" list of people who did this and that, etc.

I try not to mark someone for deletion just because s/he's a nobody. It should be done, though.

I think there shouldn't be any strict rules for deletion, but with each article, before marking it for deletion, it should be asked:

  1. Is the article copied verbatim or almost so? If so, it should be deleted if the source is unreliable, kept if it is reliable.
  2. Does the article give a sensible answer to basic questions? For a person, for example, those should be who that person is/was, when and where that person lived, what did that person do, and why this should interest us. For an item (movie, song, album, etc.) we should have a proper description of the item that will serve the unacquainted in such a manner that similar questions will be answerable. If the editor/author/reviewer can answer the question based on the content of the article and/or by bringing in his/her knowledge of the subject matter, than it should be kept. Otherwise, deleted.
  3. Does the article contain data or information? That is, does it contain raw data, or data organised by the author so it became information. Encyclopaedia is data organised so it becomes information and allow the reader to gain knowledge. Articles that contains information, at least to some extent, should be kept. Articles that only contain data, and the editor/author/reviewer cannot create useful information from that data should be deleted.

Ori Redler 16:04, 12 November 2006 (CST)

Hi, Ori! You're in the Religion workgroup, among others. What do you think we should make our priorities there? --Peter Kirby 23:05, 8 December 2006 (CST)

Hi Peter! The obvious is to go from top to bottom: attend to the critical article of the main religions (by head-count, which is the least controvertial: Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam. The rest are not as pressing. With each, we should attend to the central themes and figures first. With Christianity, for example, we should target Jesus, Paul, Augustinus, Luther and the key concepts of Trinity, transubstantiation, grace, etc. The main emphasis should be on balancing stuff. With the current set of articles there's too much focus on Protestant church and a weak set of articles about the basic tenents, the development of the church pre-Luther, etc.

With all, I think we should have 5 basic articles in each of the main sections:

  1. Main figures
  2. Main tenants and concepts
  3. Main Historical developments

The hope is that there will be more of a historical approach to this than a religious one, as the historical background is very much lacking and sometimes completely absent in many articles (e.g. Mary (mother of Jesus)). Ori Redler 07:37, 9 December 2006 (CST)

I know that Jesus is quite active. It needs more eyes. Stephen Ewen 04:25, 26 January 2007 (CST)
Thanks. I've commented on this... Ori Redler 07:14, 26 January 2007 (CST)

Deletion Policy

I'd be glad to be of any assistance in framing the Deletion Policy for CZ. Presently I'm trying to link some of the Lonely Pages, and in the process have come across some "junk" materials. Supten 20:57, 26 January 2007 (CST)

I'm not sure if there is any concrete deletion policy or if there is an intention to form one. Essentially, this should go the other way around: we should have a style guide to writing article, which will tell us what type of article does not get to a certain inclusion bar we've formed. For the time being, until we have more concrete policy, perhaps the policy should be: if it looks like a bad article, walks like a bad article and sounds like a bad article, then, if you're an editor and the one who wrote it isn't, it is an article for deletion. I think what you're doing is fine, by the way, but since it is a process where we do not have the mechanisms to discuss a delete, if something should be deleted in your opinion, you should go ahead and delete it. Ori Redler 02:29, 27 January 2007 (CST)

Ori, I notice you're tagging articles I've created for deletion: I would like an explanation. I don't see how you can tag an article for deletion when it was created a couple of hours ago. I'm trying to create a set of articles that will give a complete overview of a series of books, this will take time, and it's not constructive to start knocking that down at this stage in the game. —Joseph Rushton Wakeling 15:23, 15 February 2007 (CST)

Hi, I did not mean to sound destructive or "knock down" your efforts or the content, but there is a problem with such articles. From my point of view:

  1. A template is not content (even if very smartly crafted). Master of Chaos, for example, does not contain any content.
  2. An article that contains a list of things is not content. List of Fighting Fantasy publications is a list.
  3. Any article that does not contain, explicitly or implicitly, an explanation why it is of interest or importance is problematic.

To take one of the articles, Island of the Lizard King:

The template runs thus: "Island of the Lizard King (ISBN 0-14-031743-0) is a single player roleplaying gamebook written by Ian Livingstone, illustrated by Alan Langford and first published in 1984. It forms part of the long-running Fighting Fantasy series, numbered 7 in the original Puffin edition and 17 in the Wizard reissuing." Nothing here answers questions that any reader may ask: why is it important? Why should this be interesting? Why should this be a part of a compendium? Why shouldn't all those templates be part of a more extensive article? Also, the content, from the point of view of the uninitiated, is cryptic. I feel that you might need to come up with a more convincing raison d'être first. E.g., roleplaying and gamebook, see if the content can fit within this framework and only then proceed to adding content that goes beyond a mere template. Ori Redler 15:52, 15 February 2007 (CST)

Thanks for taking the time to explain. I would agree with you if the articles as they stand were as they were meant to finish, but that's not the case. The templates are just meant for the intro: each article will contain a summary of the book in question, its key points and how it fits into the Fighting Fantasy series. See e.g. Moonrunner, Midnight Rogue or Legend of the Shadow Warriors for how such articles are meant to be. I guess these articles might still fall to the question of importance, though personally the strongest objection I can see is that the content might simply be functioning as a book catalogue or advert rather than an even quasi-scholarly article.
I could see that those articles too might well remain cryptic to the uninitiated, but that's at least partly a result of the surrounding material being incomplete — and where I can I will work extensively on this. Perhaps I'm working in slapdash order but I do have long-term and larger-scale aims. In general all my contributions to Citizendium are following the formula, "Here's what I have the reference material to hand for." This sometimes means working on minor or incomplete aspects of a bigger picture but in the long run I think that leads to better material.
The List article I will agree to delete for now but might be reinstated in a more interesting form later. Again, it was not meant to stay in the state that it was when you filed your deletion request.
Ultimately I don't really care if the Citizendium community decides these articles are trivial and should be removed — it's a fun aside to my main line of writing, which is scientific. I just don't want them to be deleted gratuitously out of objections to a preliminary state that will be built upon.
As a general comment — you can disagree as regards this particular case! — I think that at this point in the development of Citizendium, it's probably best to let people follow their desires ("be bold") and write what they want, and be reluctant to recommend deletions. After all, the benefit of CZ is that bad articles do not have to be allowed to go live or achieve approved status.
Thanks, —Joseph Rushton Wakeling 18:49, 16 February 2007 (CST)

Joseph, I think I disagree with you here. There's no room for "place holder" or "to be constructed" articles in CZ for a very simple reason: they might stay that way. For example, you might decide tomorrow (or next month) that you need to take a break from writing or that it is not as much fun as you thought it would be, and so the work will be left half-done and half-baked. Currently, at least as I understand the rules of CZ, articles should merit the status of "live" (meaning: we cannot recommend this article, but it does stand to some basic standards), or be deleted. Allowing for articles that might be good enough in the future is equal to accepting that such articles be kept in CZ indefinitely, or that we will conduct periodical and endless rounds of discussions about every single articles.

I find myself in your shoes quite often, and my solution is to build it up outside (e.g., in a word processor) and move it into CZ when it's done or at least when it's good enough to be kept live. Ori Redler 12:44, 17 February 2007 (CST)

I think that is an extreme interpretation of CZ policy and may be a confusion between the issue of copied work from Wikipedia (which will not be lost if it is deleted) compared to original contributions. In our present nice situation where articles don't have to be live, it's crazy to delete potentially useful material just because the writer is no longer active. If there is even the slightest bit of information there it should be preserved unless someone has a deliberate plan to rewrite it.
I appreciate your point about working outside to get a finished article and then adding it. I don't want to work like that because part of the benefit of this whole wiki thing is that other people can see that something is being worked on and make their own contributions. Fellow contributors should be able to observe work-in-progress, not have it hidden from them. —Joseph Rushton Wakeling 19:57, 17 February 2007 (CST)


Hi Ori- Thanks for the heads-up. The term "SEO" does stand for Search Engine Optimization. Check that reliable source, Wikipedia: --Ruth Ifcher 21:39, 30 January 2007 (CST)


Thanks for your message re Industrial Revolution. Do you know anything about User:David Shapinsky who has his initials by the subject on the workgroup page, but doesn't seem to have edited since November? Neville English | Talk 14:33, 8 February 2007 (CST)

Not sure who he is either. I've approached him with regards to this article, but did not get any response. Ori Redler 14:47, 8 February 2007 (CST)

Greetings #2

Ori! Just wanted to say Hi and tell you that I'm an avid fan of "Mellel". :-) Nice to see you're involved in CZ. —Arne Eickenberg 22:40, 13 April 2007 (CDT)

Hi Arne -- Greetings to you too. Glad to see there's someone who's interested in Roman history stuff too (and most probably knows more about this than me... :-)). Ori Redler 02:50, 14 April 2007 (CDT)

Abbotsford House

Ori, I notice you uploaded this but it seems you got it from EB via WP. Is that right? If so, even if it originated with EB, that does not mean that the WP version is not licensed only under the GFDL, which means we must check the "Content is from Wikipedia?" box. Right? --Larry Sanger 20:25, 8 February 2007 (CST)

Hi Larry, You can check this box, but you don't have to. The part from "Abbotsford is a historic house..." to "... Its publications extended from 1835 to 1864." is more-or-less copied verbatim from EB. The last paragraph is my own edit in WP from August 2006, so we can say that it's more CZ/EB than WP. Do what yo think is right. We should kick-out the silly categories, though. 18:12, 9 February 2007 (CST)

Hi Ori, no that answers it--leave it unchecked but do credit EB. --Larry Sanger 15:55, 15 February 2007 (CST)

Inactive articles sourced from elsewhere

Hi Ori, I am slowly (and not irretrievably) coming to the view that articles that are freely available already online, from another source, should not be copied or continued to be hosted here if we do not make significant changes to them. If many of our articles are copied from elsewhere, and are not changed much here, what makes CZ distinctive?

If you agree with that, then shouldn't we delete those Britannica and other articles I have found in the A section?

--Larry Sanger 21:44, 17 February 2007 (CST)

I agree with you: It's not good for us to carry copied material on any subject.

Still, when I research a subject for an article, I first search for references online and off-line (i.e., in books). If there are many references, and if the subject of the article is actively researched, I always work with more modern or extensive references.

However, there are some cases where the subject of an article is not researched and the main references are only those from 19th and early 20th sources (e.g., Smith's books about Roman and Greek Antiquities, several early Christian church materials, Catholic Encyclopaedia, and EB-1911) then I use them and I think CZ should be relying on them too.

With those articles I try to always follow the same work process:

  1. Find a corroborating source or, better, sources (WP is not a source).
  2. Check every external reference (e.g., for ancient authors). Most older sources have errors in their references (either in the original or the transcription).
  3. Reword the text.

If you take Abraham Emanuel Fröhlich as an example. I started with the EB article, but changed it completely based on another source, The Kirchenlexikon. At the end, the article is very different from the one in EB, and more correct factually. I still left the reference to EB as a source, because there should be such a reference to sources. I hate the way WP does this, by saying about articles that are copied verbatim that they "incorporate" EB.

Another example can be Abas (Sophist), which is based on Smith (and there is no other more modern source), but I also researched the Suidas and Honoratus to find out. Thus, the original looks like that:

ABAS (Ἄβας). 1. A Greek sophist and rhetorician about whose life nothing is known. Suidas (s. v. "Agas: compare Eudocia, p. 51) ascribes to him Ἱστορικὰ ὑπομνήματα and a work on rhetoric (Τέχνην ῥητορικὴν}. What Photius (Cod. 190. p. 150, b. ed. Bekker) quotes from him, belongs probably to the former work. (Compare Walz, Rhetor. Grace, vii. 1. p. 203.)

In WP this appears like this (copied by copy and paste):

Abas (in Greek Aβας) was an ancient Greek sophist and a rhetorician about whose life nothing is known. The Suda ascribes to him historical commentaries (in Greek ιστoρικα απoμνηατα) and a work on rhetoric (in Greek τεχνη ρητoριχη}. What Photius in his Myrobiblion quotes from him, belongs probably to the former work.

And in CZ, like this:

Abas (Greek: Ἄβας) was a Greek sophist and rhetorician about whose life we know nothing. The Suda (see: Ἄβας) ascribes him the writing of Ἱστορικὰ ὑπομνήματα (historical commentaries) and Τέχνην ῥητορικὴν (art on rethoric). Photius (Myrobiblion, code 190) mentions an Abas that claims that the name of the wife of Candaulus in Greek mythology was not Nysai but Abro, but this quote probably belong to another Abas from an earlier work.
Another Abas is quoted by Servius as "quidam ab Abante, qui Troica scripsit" (a certain Abas, who wrote Troica) (9.262) and quotes a passage from this work.

There are numerous such articles, which I specifically chose because there are no other references we can rely on and the hope to gain an expert who would write based on original research about, say, Accubita, Acetabulum (cup), Acinaces, Abraham John Valpy, Accessio, Acerra, and so on, is close to zero. To me, the act of taking a dated source, using it for an article on something that is not well researched, correcting the source and checking it is still worthy of inclusion.

Ori Redler 07:54, 18 February 2007 (CST)


Ori, please what about Black Death? Thanks. -Versuri 12:32, 20 February 2007 (CST)

All I could manage right now is shorten it. Ori Redler 13:26, 20 February 2007 (CST)
Well, we are all learning. Are you thinking that in the future and to avoid any issues with anything like a BSD, we need to simply tag articles for, say, 7 days before deleting them? That that is a lesson? Stephen Ewen 15:21, 21 February 2007 (CST)

That's probably the easiest and quickest solution, yes. Ori Redler 15:27, 21 February 2007 (CST)

That sounds fair. Should something like this come along again, we can add our voices together in the matter. Stephen Ewen 16:03, 21 February 2007 (CST)

Perhaps. Right now I am too miffed by this. Ori Redler 06:26, 22 February 2007 (CST)

Ori, I saw Larry restoring several pages, they all turned towards you. Some of these restored pages contained of just 1 line of text. I wonder why that seemed so precious to restore as basically the time to write that one line is shorter than a restore and a removal of the delete tag. Most seemed to be imported from external sources, and not edited for quite some time. (Yes I understand, 1 line of text is difficult to edit but that made that ""article"" very liable for deletion. Robert Tito | Talk 19:31, 22 February 2007 (CST)

I would differntiate between such articles that indeed merit deletion (Sextarius may be one (it may fit within a more extended article about Roman measurement units)); and articles which I think were hastily deleted. I would go over them one-by-one and add/keep or delete the BSD tag where appropriate. Is that acceptable with you? 09:39, 23 February 2007 (CST)

Thanks, great by my standards, Robert Tito | Talk 09:54, 23 February 2007 (CST)

what prevents you from adding the german text as a second half of the page? Robert Tito | Talk 12:34, 24 February 2007 (CST)

Where, exactly? Not sure I follow you here. Ori Redler 10:36, 4 March 2007 (CST)