User talk:Daniel Mietchen/Archive 1

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Welcome to the Citizendium! We hope you will contribute boldly and well. You'll probably want to know how to get started as an author. Just look at CZ:Getting Started for other helpful "startup" links, and CZ:Home for the top menu of community pages. Be sure to stay abreast of events via the Citizendium-L (broadcast) mailing list (do join!) and the blog. Please also join the workgroup mailing list(s) that concern your particular interests. You can test out editing in the sandbox if you'd like. If you need help to get going, the forums is one option. That's also where we discuss policy and proposals. You can ask any constable for help, too. Me, for instance! Just put a note on their "talk" page. Again, welcome and have fun! David E. Volk 11:49, 17 January 2008 (CST)

Name on Editor list

Daniel, I see that your name placement has been fixed on the List of Editors. Try to sign up again for the editors list. David E. Volk 14:12, 22 February 2008 (CST)

Biology Editorship

Daniel, I have added the category Biology Editor to your page. David E. Volk 09:38, 13 March 2008 (CDT)

A better place to start

Hi Daniel, I noticed you adding content to the List_of_biology_topics. I just want to warn you that we have not really being using that list. It is a hold-over from wikipdia. A better place would be to add articles of interest to the biology workgroup page. In addition you can see a list of core articles (articles we don't have but would like) for biology here and health sciences here. Or of course you can develop your own list, and or use the List_of_biology_topics as your own too. Chris Day 08:41, 1 April 2008 (CDT)


You should use {{EZarticle-closed-auto}} if you want the category added. {{EZarticle-closed}} is for use in places where we don't want the page it's on to be added to the cat. J. Noel Chiappa 18:21, 2 April 2008 (CDT)

Sure. BTW, I noticed you created {{EZarticle-open}}; you might want to use the same system there, so that they operate in a similar fashion. Oops, I see you've already done so!
I'm looking forward to seeing some of those articles on your User: page - it looks like you can cover a lot of interesting ground! J. Noel Chiappa 10:49, 3 April 2008 (CDT)

Green light

There's a green light! Should I use that? --Robert W King 18:50, 3 April 2008 (CDT)

Yes, please. Thanks! -- Daniel Mietchen 18:59, 3 April 2008 (CDT)


Chest x-ray -> X-ray diffraction? Huh? The latter article has nothing about medical X-rays in it. J. Noel Chiappa 01:20, 29 April 2008 (CDT)

Your attention needed.. --Thanks, D. Matt Innis 12:00, 29 April 2008 (CDT)

rpl template

Is there still a problem? They all look fine at the moment. The size of the page does seem to be above the limit so the templates should still work OK currently the natural sciences page has a Pre-expand include size: 1,565,676 bytes and a Post-expand include size: 499,066 bytes. The Maximum is 4,194,304 bytes. Chris Day 09:16, 6 May 2008 (CDT)

I just got rid of the def part of the {{rpl}} template and also removed a line break so it can be more compact on the List of biology topics page. See what you think. It's still up there at over 2Mbytes but at least it can load now. For the core article page (natural sciences) the Pre-expand include size: 1460210 bytes and Post-expand include size: 334177 bytes have not been reduced that much. It's possible the def part was incompatible with that page for some reason. Chris Day 10:22, 6 May 2008 (CDT)
I had to add a break otherwise the core articles got badly mixed up. I'll think a bit more how we can do this with the minimum amount of size for the template. Note that blue links represent redirects or articles that have no metadata. Chris Day 10:30, 6 May 2008 (CDT)
I just changed the {{rpl}} template to get the List of biology working. I don't think the def will allow that one to open but it might well be fine with the core articles. Another possible solution is to have each workgroups core articles on a different page, that will reduce the size significantly. There is no reason why we cannot do that, i just set it up as natural sciences and humantities etc, as it was convenient at the time (less work). Chris Day 11:18, 6 May 2008 (CDT)

My most recent streamlining of {{rpl}} has brought the natural sciences core article page down to Pre-expand include size: 924,996 bytes and Post-expand include size: 248,044 bytes. That's getting to be a little better. Chris Day 16:26, 6 May 2008 (CDT)

I don't remember which version i was referring to above but i just did a quick check to see how we're doing with this larger version. The Pre-expand include size: 2,524,521 bytes and the Post-expand include size: 300,543 bytes. While it works OK for now, I agree with you, clearly the split is required. Chris Day 08:52, 15 May 2008 (CDT)

Daniel, the category problem is that sometimes the article needs a minor edit to appear in the category. I'm not sure why that is the case. As for the problems above did you see how the {{r}} template functions? See below:

{{r|Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging}} gives:

{{r|biology}} gives:

{{r|Functional magnetic resonance imaging}} gives:

{{r|Biology}} gives:

Is this what you wanted? I can modify the {{rpl}} template to do the same thing. The {{Ra}} one is already obsolete, I'll delete that one. Chris Day 12:01, 8 May 2008 (CDT)

Yes, thanks. -- Daniel Mietchen 12:20, 8 May 2008 (CDT)

Check updated version. I have tried to code it so only the used stuff gets counted. Before we had gifs and code being called but not used. This was adding to the size. We still need to split the page but at least now the ones we have can still function. Chris Day 02:48, 15 May 2008 (CDT)

Cell biology is a strange one. That occurred due to the existence of a double redirect from Template:Def Cell Biology to Template:Def Cell biology which itself was a redirect to Cell biology/Definition. Have you seen many of those? Chris Day 08:24, 15 May 2008 (CDT)
I only saw this one, and it may well have been the only one, given that Special:DoubleRedirects is almost empty. -- Daniel Mietchen 08:32, 15 May 2008 (CDT)
By the way, thanks for all your help, it's really appreciated. If you have some design already in mind for the split off core topics just go a head and implement them. The design thing i mentioned before was more to do with how to organise the navigation through the different pages. And if you have some ideas on that input would be welcome too. Chris Day 08:33, 15 May 2008 (CDT)

I updated the rpl template to include the third variable that allows indenting and numbering. By the way, did you ever see this page that Joe Quick designed using the original {{pl}} template? Chris Day 22:54, 20 May 2008 (CDT)

Definitions of ambiguous (and so disambiguated) terms

Hi Daniel, I noticed that you are adding notices to definitions saying "Can have several meanings, summarized at..."

The problem is clearly that we could want to make definitions for a term for which there is not a single article. But since there is not a single article, there is no single topic and hence no single concept to define. That's definitely a problem, but your approach is probably not how we should be handling it, I think.

I imagine someone writing {{r|speech}} on a Related Articles page. This produces "Can have several meanings, summarized at Speech (disambiguation)." But that does not help the user, who presumably wants some definition of "speech" and does not want to have to click through to it. (Besides, disambiguation pages are used to point at similarly-named articles, not for listing all main meanings.) It also does not optimally help our contributors, who should be told: "Please do not use this term in your topic list, because we do not have a single article for it. Please substitute a more precise term. See speech (disambiguation) for a list of available, more precise, topics." In fact, we could turn that into a template.

Also, I think we should make the following rule: no definition should be listed for term unless we plan to have an article that is titled using that precise term. --Larry Sanger 10:17, 21 May 2008 (CDT)

Concur with all of the above. What do you want to call the template, {{dabdef}}, or something? It can do a BASENAME and create the link to the dab page automagically, so the /Def pages for these terms would only need to contain the text "{{dabdef}}". J. Noel Chiappa 10:26, 21 May 2008 (CDT)
Hi Larry and Noel, I completely agree with your comments - I also thought of a template and was fiddling around with possible circumstances and exceptions before starting to implement one. In any case, this was meant as a practical contribution to the discussion about the disambiguation proposal. -- Daniel Mietchen 10:29, 21 May 2008 (CDT)
Yes, {{dabdef}} would be fine. Can you make a proposal on how that could look like, Noel? I am relatively new to templating, though right now sitting on another one. -- Daniel Mietchen 10:31, 21 May 2008 (CDT)
Templates are pretty easy; see Help:Templates for a good intro. What did you want your new one to do? J. Noel Chiappa 10:39, 21 May 2008 (CDT)
Ah, you already started {{Dabdef}}. Will try it out immediately and feedback. -- Daniel Mietchen 11:19, 21 May 2008 (CDT)
OK, let me know. I tried it on one, seems to work OK. J. Noel Chiappa 11:48, 21 May 2008 (CDT)
Well, simple templates are easy: I didn't realize that was what you had in mind! Doing a fairly complicated one as one's first is akin to deciding to write a piece for chamber orchestra as one's first attempt at music composition! But editing a copy of an existing one might not be too painful... {{R}} might be a better one to look at, since it includes links to start new pages (the "&action=edit" stuff). You will also need to look at some of the pages linked to here. Anyway, let Chris or I know if you have questions. J. Noel Chiappa 11:48, 21 May 2008 (CDT)

There is no doubt that a template could be left on these definition pages but just so you know the {{R}} template already ignores such definitions when there is a disambiguation page. For the initial discussion see Noel's talk page.

In short, consider any article name that has a disambiguation page, such as reel. When using the R template you get the following:

{{r|Reel}} will look format as:

  • Reel [r]: Please do not use this term in your topic list, because there is no single article for it. Please substitute a more precise term. See Reel (disambiguation) for a list of available, more precise, topics. Please add a new usage if needed.
Note that the link to Reel is purple indicating that in this case it is a redirect.

Depending on the context an author should notice this ambiguity and choose a more appropriate link either {{r|Reel (dance)}}, {{r|Reel (music)}} or {{r|Reel (textiles)}}. If the link is on the related articles subpage for sewing the author might prefer to use the following format, {{r|Reel (textiles)|Reel}} to give:

  • Reel [r]: A device for collecting newly-spun thread or silk. [e]

as an alternative to {{r|Reel (textiles)}} that would give:

The example above is for a redirect but what if we are dealing with an article like Tux that has its own definiton (Tux/Definition) and a disambiguation page too (Tux (disambiguation)). If I am understanding this correctly then it is definitions like this that Daniel is tagging. It would be easy to have the subpages template add a template to such definitons. FYI, the R template already ignores them: {{r|Tux}} will look as follows:

  • Tux [r]: The name of the penguin, official logo and cartoon mascot for the Linux computer operating system. [e]

Under Noels proposal I thought the whole idea here would to move articles like Tux to a new home, in this case something like Tux (Linux)? Until we know if that is the case or not the nature of the template needed is not clear. Sorry if I sound a bit confused since I am not sure which scenario we are looking at here, much depends on what becomes of Noels disambiguation proposal. Chris Day 11:45, 21 May 2008 (CDT)

I just noticed example on {{Dabdef}} is Cell/Definition. That is similar to the reel example above in that cell is a redirect and it is ignored by the {{R}} template. So {{r|Cell}} gives:

  • Cell [r]: Please do not use this term in your topic list, because there is no single article for it. Please substitute a more precise term. See Cell (disambiguation) for a list of available, more precise, topics. Please add a new usage if needed.

But how will {{Dabdef}} be used in the context of an article like Tux? Chris Day 11:58, 21 May 2008 (CDT)

Interesting, I see there is no disambiguation page for Cell, so the R template does pick up the dabdef message, but I assume there will be one in the long term? Chris Day 12:00, 21 May 2008 (CDT)

My head hurts. --Larry Sanger 12:08, 21 May 2008 (CDT)
That's a bad sign since you actually understand this stuff compared to most people. The only question that matters is what are we trying to accomplish? Currently any definition page that has an associated disambiguation page is ignored by the templates that use the definitons and the user is pointed to the disambiguation page. So even if these ambiguous definitons exist it might not be a real problem since they cannot be used. Chris Day 12:15, 21 May 2008 (CDT)
No, I think what we are trying to accomplish, in policy terms, is clear: attempts to pick up a definition for an ambiguous term should not provide a definition text which points to the dab page for the ambiguous term; rather, it should say {Larry's text above}, i.e. 'don't do this - fix your link'.
The pain is all associated with the templatology (I think). J. Noel Chiappa 12:27, 21 May 2008 (CDT)
Just so you know, if that is what you want i am sure I can automate that into the subpages template. What you did with R works, what we need to do now is to alert those that create the definition directly by typing in /Definition at the top of their browser to get to the edit screen. Although, even that might not be neccessary since they will know soon enough that it cannot used with the {{R}} series of templates. Chris Day 12:35, 21 May 2008 (CDT)
I wouldn't bother with making {{subpages}} any larger/more-complex than it already is, just to do that. They will find out soon enough that it won't work with {{R}}, etc.
Ah, I forgot about that feature of {{R}}! Maybe you should update your text to match what Larry suggested?
So maybe that {{dabdef}} template won't be much use (except on pages where there is no "{Foo} (dismabiguation)" page yet. (Although given the bug I just found in it, maybe that's a feauture [that it won't be used], not a bug!)
Yes, the plan is that eventually, for any term which is disambiguated, there will not be an article at the base name, just a redirect. (Most will go to "{Foo} (disambiguation)", but some will go to "{Foo} {disambiguator}".)
It sound like my dab mechanics proposal will likely be OK'd - the only person who was really unhappy was Aleta, and by allowing more base redirs to point at the common meaning, I think she's now OK with it. J. Noel Chiappa 12:12, 21 May 2008 (CDT)
I have to leave now, folks. Will get back tomorrow and comment. -- Daniel Mietchen 12:32, 21 May 2008 (CDT)
Feedback: {{R}} seems to work well for those disambigs now, yet the same code cannot be used for {{Rpl}}, as this is commonly used on pages whose name is not related to the entry: the speech entry at CZ:Core_Articles/Biology should refer to "Speech (disambiguation)" but currently refers, via BASEPAGENAME, to "Core Articles (disambiguation)". BASEPAGENAME has thus to be replaced by something else, yet I could not figure out how to make use of the argument "Speech" passed on to the template. -- Daniel Mietchen 03:41, 22 May 2008 (CDT)
Rpl can work but you need a disambiguation page to exist. I just made the change to rpl and created a disambiguation page for speech. See my recent edits. It works now, at least, it should. Chris Day 07:19, 22 May 2008 (CDT)
I modified {{dabdef}} for you to take an option argument. J. Noel Chiappa 09:25, 22 May 2008 (CDT)
It sometimes creates a new line (cf. my user page). Have to quit now. -- Daniel Mietchen 07:26, 22 May 2008 (CDT)
But not with speech. The r template does not use {{dabdef}} (nor rpl) and i expect the line break is from that. The examples showing the line break all have the {{dabdef}} in common and no disambiguation page. If a disambiguation page exists then you'll see there is no problem. Chris Day 08:45, 22 May 2008 (CDT)


Why did you say in Energy/definition that there are more articles on energy? --Paul Wormer 05:21, 22 May 2008 (CDT)

It is OK that you're testing stuff, but why on an existing article? It looks very blöd on my userpage.--Paul Wormer 06:47, 22 May 2008 (CDT)

Definitions with dab pages

Umm, don't put the {subpages} stuff on definitions of anything that is a disambiguated term (e.g. Energy/Definition, because there is no cluster (i.e. metadata) for that pagename. J. Noel Chiappa 09:47, 22 May 2008 (CDT)

Disambig formatting

I don't have time to refine the R template right now. A definition can exist on the Definition subpage for a disambiguated word but it will not show up using R or Rpl, they are designed to ignore any definition that has a disambiguation page (Subpages tempalte is OK on that page but the tabs will not show up, just a category). I'll finish this off later and then we can decide where we want to take it. I'm not exactly sure what you goal is and I think a dedicated template would be better rather than using the r or rpl. If I am understanding you correctly you want a list of terms that might need disambiguation and want a visual indication to determine if a definition or disambiguation page already exists for the term. Thus, we can more easily manage the moves to disambiguated pages as well as the creation of the disambiuation pages themselves. Is that about right? Chris Day 09:14, 26 May 2008 (CDT)

Yes, that's what I want on the technical side, though I am uncertain whether it's better to use r or a dedicated template for that purpose. I also wanted to use this page for the October write-a-thon. Besides, I am currently playing around with some more ideas on how to structure core articles: on a disambiguation list, I'd like to see the icons for "Natural science" and "Social science" being displayed along with "Energy" if the two sub-meanings detailed there fall into these categories, as is currently the case. This could be integrated with r but maybe it shouldn't. I'll comment on core article structure later. -- Daniel Mietchen 09:28, 26 May 2008 (CDT)

The colour difference is because for some meanings, "{Foo} (disambiguation)" exists, and for others it doesn't. Is that the colour difference you meant? The reason the "Please do not use this term in your topic list" text shows up in both italics and normal is because in some cases it's being generated by {{R}}, and in some cases from "{Foo}/Definition" (via {{dabdef}}). (Chris, we should probably call {{dabdef}} from {{R}}, {{Def}}, etc so we have a consistent message from all of them. If we need to change {{dabdef}} for that, let me know.)

As to the use of {{R}} on dab pages - Chris and I had discussed that possibility, but that's a community/Editor-in-Chief decision. Going over the policy and appearance of disambiguation is next on my list in this area, once the "Mechanics" stuff gets passed. (I think it has a few more days in "Discuss" before it gets submitted, I guess to the EC, probably.) J. Noel Chiappa 10:17, 27 May 2008 (CDT)

Feel free to suggest the use of {{R}} to Larry. I'll get to your proposal on JD's page in a bit.
I agree that it's best not to make the dab mechanics proposal any longer/more-complicated than what it is already, by folding policy issues (e.g. what dab pages should look like, when we should have them, etc) into the mechanics proposal (which tries hard to be just about the under-the-sheets stuff of how we do dab, when we do it). J. Noel Chiappa 11:16, 27 May 2008 (CDT)

Just made some changes to {{R}} template. Now, if you use the format {{R|Article name|D}} for a baseword you think needs a disambiguation page it will give one of four read outs to let you know if 1) Both a Disambig page and a /Definition page exist, 2) Neither exist, 3) Only a /Defintion subpage exists or 4) Only a Disabiguation page exists. If a definition page does exist it will transclude the content. Hope this helps. Let me know what tweaks you need to make this more appropriate for you usage. Chris Day 11:31, 27 May 2008 (CDT)

Getting close... Still, there seem to be some pipeline problems (e.g. with the 'Band' entry on CZ:List of words with multiple uses). -- Daniel Mietchen 11:41, 27 May 2008 (CDT)

The "band problem" represents the definitons that only have {{Dabdef}} instead of {{Dabdef|Article name}}. I think that ultimately such definitions should just be deleted as there is no mechanism that will allow them to be viewed. For example:

{{R|Band}} gives:

  • Band [r]: Please do not use this term in your topic list, because there is no single article for it. Please substitute a more precise term. See Band (disambiguation) for a list of available, more precise, topics. Please add a new usage if needed.

{{rpl|Band}} gives:

  • Band: Please do not use this term in your topic list, because there is no single article for it. Please substitute a more precise term. See Band (disambiguation) for a list of available, more precise, topics. Please add a new usage if needed.

Chris Day 12:02, 27 May 2008 (CDT)

Both the comments above are generated from the {{R}} template directly (See Template:R#Rpl_def4) not from the Band/Definition page. Chris Day 12:08, 27 May 2008 (CDT)

OK, thanks - there should not be too many such dabdef-only pages. As for R, it works fine now on that list but I am wondering whether it can be tweaked such that it can harvest all existing definitions on a disambig page and display them in the style of pl. This could be useful when larger numbers of contributors come in, e.g. via workgroup weeks. It also creates some, hopefully healthy, competitive element (e.g. which of the several "Product" articles is more advanced?). -- Daniel Mietchen 12:16, 27 May 2008 (CDT)
Special:Whatlinkshere/Template:Dabdef can chase down all the things that use it.
As to the {{R}} suggestion, it's too complicated to be worth it. (We'd also have to modify {{dabhdr}} and {{disambig}} to take "suppress=y" arguments, to suppress their normal text output.) In any case, that display would only be temporary, as any such pages should be fixed right away anyway. J. Noel Chiappa 12:38, 27 May 2008 (CDT)
Perhaps I didn't make myself clear - the "band problem" was certainly temporary (I just checked the whole list, and there should be none left) but harvesting the entries of disambiguation pages by a template and displaying the progress of those individual articles might well be something of permanent interest (not just for the October Write-a-Thon) and thus worth a template. -- Daniel Mietchen 04:37, 28 May 2008 (CDT)

Energy (science)

Somehow the definition of Energy (science) is screwed up. Could you fix it? Thank you --Paul Wormer 04:59, 28 May 2008 (CDT)

Moving a cluster

Hi, if you move a cluster (e.g. Language, can you please move the metadata too, not just create a new one? The history in it might be of some value at some point. Also, don't forget to move subpages, too. (Alas, has to be manual at the moment.) J. Noel Chiappa 13:58, 29 May 2008 (CDT)

On tan 4

""Basename (disambiguation)" is correctly set up. Please check whether "Basename" redirects to it." - I don't think there is any way to distinguish this from the other tan options. If you can think of one that would be great. Chris Day 07:58, 30 May 2008 (CDT)

I'll take a look. -- Daniel Mietchen 08:03, 30 May 2008 (CDT)


Thanks for your correction. In Leipzig wohnend passiert mir das immer wieder, dass ich behaupte Leipzig wäre die Hauptstadt :-) Alexander Wiebel 08:45, 1 June 2008 (CDT)

Entrainment and music psychology

Hi Daniel, thanks for getting us started here. I'm looking forward to biting in to the entrainment-page when I get a bit more time in my hands in the summer. The list of music psychology topics and using that as a basis of student projects is a great one. I'll contribute some topics and that also sounds something our students might be interested in. Let's get rolling... --Tommi Himberg 03:34, 4 June 2008 (CDT)

Applying templates on special pages

No, and no. 'Special:' pages do not have any actual contents; rather, they are generated 'on the fly' by the MediaWiki software, by trawling around in the database. If we had the capability to modify the MediaWiki software, we could change the code that generates particular pages to use a template, but the only way to do that is to modify the MediaWiki code. J. Noel Chiappa 05:12, 6 June 2008 (CDT)

I see, thanks. -- Daniel Mietchen 05:24, 6 June 2008 (CDT)

Annotating references when using ref template

Daniel: You started wikifying the references in Biology's next microscope: Mathematics using the template for citations. I have never used the template, just [1]. Questions:

Using the template, how do you add annotation? Can one mix and match the two formats?

For example, I wanted to annotate Hastings (ref #7 in Intro).

BTW: Appreciated your comments on the article's Talk page. I responded.

Looking forward to collaborating with you to the extent I can.

  1. Jones S. (2007) [url title] source vol:pp PMID 123456
    • annotation (optional)
 --Anthony.Sebastian 11:47, 6 June 2008 (CDT)

Draft article for PLoS Biology

Will the draft article be posted at CZ_Talk:Biology_Week/PLoS? Supten Sarbadhikari 23:52, 24 June 2008 (CDT)


For chemical images, you have lots to choose from in the antibiotic and antiviral pages, the protein structure page has simply protein structure images. The Dengue-2 virus envelope protein dimer is kind of nice. I don't think I will have time to do any scouting for you in the next day, but you might like some of those images. David E. Volk 13:35, 2 July 2008 (CDT)

thanks for Eduzendium help!

Daniel, thanks much for the cross-linking and tuneup for Eduzendium articles!Pat Palmer 04:29, 8 August 2008 (CDT)

you're welcome. Daniel Mietchen 06:59, 9 August 2008 (CDT)

Disease Definition

Daniel, thanks for curing my diseased definition of disease. --Anthony.Sebastian 23:34, 29 August 2008 (CDT)

Brian P. Long wants to help with Biology Week

Daniel, I could not answer Brian's questions. See Could you help him. I also asked Supten. --Anthony.Sebastian 19:09, 12 September 2008 (CDT)