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User talk:John Leach

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Welcome to the Citizendium! We hope you will contribute boldly and well. Here are pointers for a quick start. You'll probably want to know how to get started as an author. Just look at Getting Started for other helpful "startup" links, our help system and CZ:Home for the top menu of community pages. Be sure to stay abreast of events via Twitter. You can test out editing in the sandbox if you'd like. If you need help to get going, the forum is one option. That's also where we discuss policy and proposals. You can ask any administrator for help, too. Just put a note on their "talk" page. Again, welcome and have fun! John Stephenson 05:16, 17 September 2007 (CDT)

A few words about workgroups

We are indeed happy to have you in the community. We would also like to introduce you to Citizendium's Workgroups and encourage you to--

  1. Join a workgroup if you haven't already
  2. Help us add workgroup category tags to articles, especially any articles you create
  3. Help us spread the word about workgroups within the CZ community

What are workgroups? To answer that question, I'd like to give you a quick tour.

  • Start by checking the various workgroups we have at CZ: List of Workgroups. This link can also be found in the left navigation-bar in the 2nd box (Project Pages), 3rd link in that box (Workgroups). The Workgroup Home(s) can be found in the 2nd column in the List of Workgroups.
  • For the purposes of this tour, please take a look at the Biology Workgroup Home: CZ:Biology_Workgroup.
  • Now let's take a look at the first table on the Biology Workgroup Home (below).
Biology banner.png
Biology article All articles (1,594) To Approve (0) Editors: active (7) / inactive (42)
Authors (445)
(Userinfo System)
Biology Workgroup Discussion
Recent changes Citable Articles (25) Mailing list (defunct):
Checklist-generated categories: Underlinked (791) | Cat Check (525) | Cleanup (0)
Subpage categories: Definitions (1,555) | Related Articles (1,445; to check 739) | Bibliography (380) | External Links (418) | Gallery (29) | Video (27) 
Missing subpage categories: Definitions (23) | Related Articles (8) | Bibliography (22) | External Links (23) 
105 Developed [1] | 592 Developing [2] | 659 Stub [3] | 195 External [4] | 130 Advanced [0-1] | 722 Nonstub [0-2] | 1,381 Internal [0-3]
  • In the 2nd column, find the link that says, "all articles," which lists all articles that users have placed [[Category:Biology Workgroup]] at the bottom of their articles.
  • Now click on the "recent changes" link underneath the "all articles" in the 2nd column in the top table. This lists all recent changes in articles that have been tagged [[Category:Biology Workgroup]]. In one glance, you can view all the changes that happened while you were away! Feel free to click on all the links to get an idea how the information for your workgroup is organized. All these lists are populated by articles that have the categories properly placed at the bottom of their pages.

This completes your virtual-tour of CZ workgroups. I hope you can see the usefulness of having all articles in Citizendium tagged properly with your Workgroup categories. Make sure to add the Workgroup category labels to your new articles. This is an important part of the Approval process.

Be sure to join a workgroup and take part in this opportunity to collaborate with others who have similar interests as you. You can see what others are working on in the Workgroup recent changes and join in! Remember, we want you to be bold in your contributions at Citizendium.

To add yourself to a workgroup, use the form [[Category:Education Authors|Smith, Bob]], etc., and add it to your user page. Substitute the proper work group for "Education" in the example, and your name-Last, First for the names in the example.

Do not add yourself to the Editors list, only CZ staff add "Editors" to user pages after proper review of applications is completed. To apply to become an editor, please see Editor Application Review Procedure.

To add a workgroup category tag to an article, use the form [[Category:Education Workgroup]] at the bottom of the article. Substitute in the proper workgroup for "Education" in the example.

If you are from Wikipedia originally, you may want to check out this article:

John Stephenson 05:16, 17 September 2007 (CDT)

Welcome, John, and thanks for Cricket. But you know it's an insect too, right?  :-) --Larry Sanger 15:31, 17 September 2007 (CDT)

It's just not cricket!

Good call on the cricket naming, I think. I did the same with these few articles for exactly the same reasons :-) Anton Sweeney 05:02, 18 September 2007 (CDT)

I found this page pretty useful for naming articles like that CZ:Naming Conventions. Regards --Russ McGinn 11:19, 18 September 2007 (CDT)

You got the idea... you didn't need me at all. I'll let you do the next one! ;-) --Matt Innis (Talk) 08:33, 22 September 2007 (CDT)

Fight the good fight!

I'm fully behind you in calling it Association Football. Its the broader, international term for the game. Denis Cavanagh 18:11, 26 January 2008 (CST)


John, good to see you back making some edits here. Chris Day 17:45, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

Hello, Chris, and thanks for the welcome. I'm enjoying it. All the best. --John Leach 18:44, 8 February 2010 (UTC)


Hi, I wonder if you really intended to create subgroups of workgroups. Categories are not used for detailed classification. --Peter Schmitt 17:36, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

Hi Peter. I see your point about categories but I think we need subgroups for individual sports on the rationale quoted in CZ:Subgroups itself where it says: "The breadth of some workgroups is huge, so it makes sense to break them down into more natural subgroups". There are currently over 200 articles in the sports workgroup from perhaps 30 to 40 different sports. The number will grow enormously and I certainly think we need to relate each article to a particular sport. --John Leach 19:01, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
I think it makes sense as anyone who is really into documenting a sport at citizendium will prefer to do that in the framework of a group of like minded people. As/if other writers arrive such subgroups can act as a base for collecting and sharing ideas within in a more defined boundary. Chris Day 19:07, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
I certainly intend to expand the cricket coverage so I can fully justify that subgroup. I think football could be in danger of becoming messy if we don't split the various codes. --John Leach 19:09, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
The whole issue of workgroups, subgroups, and categorizing will have to be reviewed after there will finally be a Charter.
But for the current idea of subgroups of workgroups (meaning cooperation of more than one Citizen) having a subgroup for
  • Football, and in addition also subgroups for
  • American football
  • Australian rules football
  • Canadian football
  • Gaelic football Subgroup
seems to be an overkill. (It is, of course, a reasonable structure for football related topics. By the way, why not also European football, or British football?)
I do not mind much. But as I see it, it is against current practice. (Equivalent subgroups in mathematics would be, say: groups, finite groups, finite simple groups, free groups, etc.; and, of course, many more, for topology, probability, analysis, number theory, etc.)
--Peter Schmitt 20:12, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
I think your reference to European football and British football indicates that you believe I have introduced subgroups based on regional variations of the same sport. Football exists in at least seven distinct codes, each one a sport in its own right. If you speak of British football and European football, they are the same sport (i.e., association football) but American football, for example, is a completely different sport. --John Leach 20:21, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
Well, I know that American football is different from "European" football (=soccer). I did not know that "Canadian" is another one ... But this is not really important for the point I try to make. --Peter Schmitt 20:31, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
This does raise interesting questions. Canadian football is not soccer, but is close enough to the American rules that professional players easily move from the Canadian to the U.S. league. I don't know enough soccer to know variations, but perhaps, in some ideal world, the subgroup level might be at some level of aggregation (e.g., not-soccer-not-rugby variants, soccer variants, rugby variants). Howard C. Berkowitz 21:02, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
One thing to consider is which authors are the subgroups going to attract? In general, with the possible exception of the canadian and american football, i think there will be limited overlap between the interest groups. Even rubgy league and rugby union have quite different core groups of followers. Certainly aussie rules, soccer, american football and rugby would have practically no overlap. Chris Day 21:32, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
This is a key point. The essential reason for introducing the sporting subgroups is to make things easier for those who favour a particular sport. I admit I know little about Canadian football so there may be a case for including it with American football in a gridiron subgroup but the others are quite distinctive sports although they all have the immemorial folk football as their origin. You could not have a rugby football group if you want to attract followers of both league and union: the first thing they would do is create a schism! --John Leach 07:05, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

Tennis subgroups

Impressive work, John! I don't have a clue as to how you're doing it, but it seems to be a *very* useful addition. What about Tennis/Catalogs/Famous players and Tennis/Catalogs/World No. 1 male players though? Shouldn't they be listed also?

In the {x{Tennis Subgroup}x} where you write "It is often necessary to "jog" articles to make them display in workgroups and subgroups. "Jogging" is done by editing an article's main page and adding a blank space at the end of any paragraph" how about adding a few words and putting in bold and doing nothing more than adding a single blank space at the end of any paragraph. and then adding "and then Saving the new Edit" to the text? This jogging with a null has hung up lots of smart people over the years.... Hayford Peirce 16:28, 6 March 2010 (UTC)

Hello, Hayford. I'm afraid you've got me there because (a) I really don't know how to include catalog items in the subgroup; (b) I didn't write the piece about jogging which must be in a template somewhere and I don't know how to amend it. I can only assume the need for the extra null as a kind of control character is a bug in the operating code and I wouldn't have any access to that.
You've done some excellent work on the tennis articles and I look forward to reading more in due course. --John Leach 16:52, 6 March 2010 (UTC)
Ah, well! I will try looking for the template somewhere and seeing if I can rewrite it a little. So you can't just stick the two Catalogs into the Subgroups by adding a template or something? This whole Wikimedia structure is sure *weird* to me! Glad you like the tennis articles! Wish I had the work ethic of Howard, but I don't -- I only write when the mood strikes me. If we had more WP-like collaboration (of the *good* kind!), I'd be inspired to do a lot more. But after a while I get tired of working alone.... Hayford Peirce 22:41, 6 March 2010 (UTC)
Hmmm, I'm trying to understand this but failing. Did you create the Tennis Subgroup by simply creating a new article called {x{Tennis Subgroup}x}, (with the squiggly brackets around it) and once that was saved, if it is put on a page all the other text appears there? If not, I can't find where you did whatever you did and where the text is.... Hayford Peirce 23:00, 6 March 2010 (UTC)
Category:Tennis Subgroup lists all pages that have sub1=Tennis in the Metadata, the /Catalogs are subpages of Tennis and (therefore) not listed separately. Workgroups and subgroups are not meant to classify pages. Thus (as I already said in the previous section) I think that this use of subgroups does not conform to the current rules of CZ (which, of course, could be revised). You could insert manually [[Category:Tennis Subgroup]] to add a subpage to the list. But it is the purpose of the /Catalogs subpages to avoid this type of categorizing pages ... --Peter Schmitt 23:14, 6 March 2010 (UTC)
Well, I just this moment found the How to Create Subgroups page and looked through it and it's *far* beyond me. I will now go and delete all of the futile articles I created in order to test my theories. As far as "Should this use of Subgroups" be permitted, I don't have a clue. Doesn't the "HOW TO" page say that Editors have to approve the creation of new Subgroups?
To answer your question about how I did it, Hayford, you're right. I followed the method used by Chris Day and created Template:x Subgroup with the appropriate subgroup tag in it. Then I set up Category:x Subgroup and CZ:x Subgroup which both have just the x Subgroup tag in to xref them to the template. And I also followed Chris by setting up a talk page for the CZ page in the same way. Apart from the use of sub1 in the individual articles, I'm afraid that's the limit of my knowledge. I think Chris is probably the best person to ask for more detail.
I really don't see a problem with splitting sports into subgroups because it seems to me to be an ideal vehicle for the concept, especially when you read the purpose and usage of subgroups. Put simply, we currently have 200 sports articles from about 30 different sports. If we increase our sports membership somewhat, that 200 figure would very quickly become 2000 and we need a way to help authors and editors focus on the content that is relevant to their sport. Tennis currently is our biggest sport but you have written about 10 or so players of whom I previously knew little if anything. But by placing these people in a tennis subgroup, I can instantly recognise them as tennis players and not just as sportspeople. Regards. --John Leach 06:21, 7 March 2010 (UTC)
John, everything you've done regarding the Subgroups, especially the tennis one, is fine by me. Until now I had never bothered to even look at the article about Subgroups and their creation. As I said, I glanced at it yesterday and it *seemed* to me to be calling for an Editor's intervention. I *personally* couldn't care less. As a *Constable* I suppose that I ought to, but even here I don't care. *IF* there were a Sports Editor who *objected* to this creation, and made a formal complaint about it to the Constabulary, I would ask the *other* Constables to take a look at the situation since, as you note, I myself have written most of the tennis articles. In other words, right now we're gonna leave things as they stand. Maybe the Charter-writing people will redefine the concept of Subgroups within the next couple of weeks. Best, Hayford Peirce 16:52, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

another sport

How about outrigger canoe racing or whatever they call it? I know that Tahitian teams go up to Hawaii every year (or at least they used to) to participate in *long* canoe races with Hawaiian teams, many, many miles, I think. *That's* gotta be an exhausting sport! Hayford Peirce 18:11, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

Certainly must be exhausting! But you're right so I've added canoeing to the list as it would include kayak racing and a few other variants: there are differences between canoeing and rowing. I've put powerlifting in as well because it's not really the same as plain old weightlifting. Thanks again. --John Leach 19:43, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

Moving on (and back again)

Awww John, saw on Hayford's Talk page that you are giving up on this site. There are some of us still lurking. I hope to resume my efforts in here soon. Very sorry to see you move on. User:Pat Palmer 25 Nov 2018

Template:Re. Thanks for your good wishes, Pat. Curiosity has brought me back here again and I think I may carry on where I left off. I hate to start something and leave it unfinished. I'll have a look around and then decide. All the best. John Leach (talk)
Welcome back! Pat Palmer (talk) 13:28, 26 August 2019 (UTC)
Thank you, Pat. All the best. John (talk) 15:37, 26 August 2019 (UTC)


You may know this, which I can't find on a quick Google search. I know the oldest test player was Wilf Rhodes at 52. But who was the oldest 1st-class player? Peter Jackson (talk) 10:30, 27 August 2019 (UTC)

Hello, Peter. I used to know this but couldn't remember the man's name. I managed to find it in ESPN and he was called Raja Maharaj Singh. He was the Governor of Bombay in the years after Partition and it was a one-off appearance when, although he was 72, he decided to captain his own select XI against a touring team and he was bowled out by Jim Laker. He was both the oldest player and the oldest debutant but it's a bit of a cheat for him to claim those records. The oldest genuine first-class player was C. K. Nayudu, one of the first great Indian players, who was still active in the Ranji Trophy into his sixties. Next is WG who was just short of his sixtieth birthday when he played his last first-class match in 1908. There is this piece in ESPN but some of the details are incorrect (e.g., Singh was 72, not 75, and WG wasn't quite 60). All the best. John (talk) 14:20, 27 August 2019 (UTC)

Thanks. That was what I was looking for. I don't worry about technicalities, so 72 it is as far as I'm concerned. Peter Jackson (talk) 16:50, 29 August 2019 (UTC)


Far be it from me to interfere, but do you really think it's a constructive use of your time to create loads of subgroups when the number of active contributors is already far less than the number of main workgroups? Peter Jackson (talk) 08:55, 24 September 2019 (UTC)

Probably not, Peter, but in the perhaps vain hope that activity will increase sometime, I'd like to establish a solid foundation for development of sporting coverage. Actually, I'm just about through with that side of it now and will then be concentrating on articles. Thanks. John (talk) 13:39, 24 September 2019 (UTC)

The Lord of the Rings

Are you unilaterally applying a policy of removing WP mirror pages where only small changes have been made? Peter Jackson (talk) 09:27, 8 October 2019 (UTC)

I'm dealing with articles on an individual basis. This one was a blatant copy of the one on the other site and I think it should be rewritten from scratch. Articles on here must be original or they have no credibility. It's fine if a former WP author has copied their own work from that site, as long as they make it clear on the talk page, or if a WP article has been used as a starter for ten and then been substantially redeveloped here. No one had touched LOR for several years and it is still effectively a mirror of the original so I think the best approach is to start again. If you don't agree and you think you will soon develop it, then please restore it for now with my intro worked into it. John (talk) 09:53, 8 October 2019 (UTC)

My comment was about process, not substance. Originally, CZ was a WP fork, but Larry encouraged divergence. In 2010 the Editorial Council banned all imports except of material written originally by the Citizen. In 2012 a referendum reversed this, allowing free importation again. Under the current governance "system", all previous policy except that in the governance statement is reduced to guidance. Decisions are supposed to be taken by the "community". Maybe you think you're the community as you do the great majority of the editing at present, but I'd encourage you to go through the motions of raising the issue on the forum. Peter Jackson (talk) 17:39, 10 October 2019 (UTC)

No, there isn't a forum, there isn't even an issue and I am not a community, only an editor. As I said above, please restore the WP mirror if you prefer it. I won't object. I will, however, continue to treat individual articles as I see fit but will have no worries if someone else comes in and changes them as they see fit. With hardly anyone using the site, it's a case of those who are involved doing what they think best in the vain hope of somehow reviving it. I believe the site died because it lacked navigation, so I've been seeking to introduce a model that rectifies that and might regenerate a bit of interest. I think metadata has a limited usefulness only and that the policy of applying subpages universally simply pissed people off, so they voted with their feet. I'm really not interested in what some long dead council decided or what some obsolete governance stated. John (talk) 22:05, 10 October 2019 (UTC)

There is a forum: Forum:Home. Avoid using the word editor, as Editor here means something different. There are few Editors still active, and none on any great scale.
I'm not going to push the issue I raised, any more than I did when the Approvals Committee appointed themselves. I just like to suggest people keep up appearances.
Navigation is certainly something to think about. On WP I've long used portals as my starting point, but they've been closing down a lot lately. Peter Jackson (talk) 09:39, 11 October 2019 (UTC)


on your user page is still in copyright. Peter Jackson (talk) 10:22, 12 October 2019 (UTC)

For another seven years, it seems. I'll remove it. Thanks. John (talk) 11:34, 12 October 2019 (UTC)

Planning/advisory panel

Hi there, We're putting together a non-public Google group where some of us can brainstorm about how this wiki might develop in the future. I was hoping you'd be willing to join the group and advise. If you are, please email me at pgpalmer A T gmail so that I can add or invite you to the group (CZ-Advisory Panel).Pat Palmer (talk) 01:13, 3 July 2020 (UTC)