User talk:John Dvorak

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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! Kjetil Ree 17:19, 12 December 2007 (CST)

Double Redirects

Yes, I went on a double redirect fixing spree. I made sure to stay away from those still in discussion on the title, or recent changes. There are still some left, which I'll probably do tomorrow. If you have a problem with any of my changes, please mention it here. As I am learning, I do appreciate constructive criticism. John Dvorak 21:50, 13 February 2008 (CST)

Hi, is there a reason (hidden to me) behind the following edit: [1]? -- Alexander Wiebel 11:25, 18 February 2008 (CST)
Why, yes. At the time, I thought I was doing good. If I recall correctly, the page's actual name was Computers. I assume since then the page's name was changed. Though I guess it's possible that I was mistaken. But thank you for being a Concerned Citizen :) John Dvorak 11:58, 18 February 2008 (CST)
Indeed, there was a move. But it seems the page has already been moved in spring 2007 ([2]). :-) Thanks for your immediate answer. -- Alexander Wiebel 12:05, 18 February 2008 (CST)
No problem. John Dvorak 12:08, 18 February 2008 (CST)

Creating subpages

Hi, I see from the above that you're probably already worked this out, but there are some pages where I'm waiting on a potential rename before creating the /Approval, etc subpages (so we won't have to move them too). This note is more just a suggestion that when you go to create subpages, first ask yourself 'is this the name we really want for this page'; if not, drop a note on the talk: page, and forego (for now) creating the subpages. (I suppose if we want to get fancy, we could create a Category:Name questioned or somesuch category, and drop that tag on all such talk: pages...) I assume you're finding pages with missing subpages by simply process of going through the entire namespace? (Some, like missing approval pages, there's a cat for, but I don't think there are cats for missing /Biblio etc pages.) J. Noel Chiappa 15:47, 25 March 2008 (CDT)

Yes, I just happen to stumble upon some pages that don't have any subpages atop the page. If I have any doubts about how constant the article title will be, I'll be sure to hold back. Thanks for the note. Also, I think you may have some knowledge in this category, it is right for me to be splitting up the bibliography, related articles, and such on large pages, correct? I've taken it upon myself as a little mini-project, but want to verify that it's the current standard. I don't mind breaking up the walls of text into clusters, personally :) John Dvorak 15:52, 25 March 2008 (CDT)
I think you're generally OK, and yes, those long lists do need to get moved out to subpages. I wouldn't bother with 'External Links'/'Related Articles' and things like that where there's only an entry or two (not worth an extra subpage just to hide two lines), but yeah, the long lists can definitely migrate. I'll post a note on the Forum about the Category:Rename suggested (probably a better name, now that I think about it) idea. J. Noel Chiappa 16:06, 25 March 2008 (CDT)

good work

you're doing very useful work for CZ-- every page you touch is improved. keep it up!Richard Jensen 18:19, 25 March 2008 (CDT)

Well, thank you very much! I know I'm not very helpful content-wise, but I do hope to keep up with the more repetitive technical side of CZ :) John Dvorak 18:49, 25 March 2008 (CDT)

Forums thread on further reading, etc...

Did you see the thread on the forums recently were people were saying they wanted a few of the best books (and maybe some links) on the main article page? J. Noel Chiappa 21:10, 19 April 2008 (CDT)

No, I don't browse the forum all that much, but I'm not that knowledgeable on Lebanon. I'm not quite sure what you mean (maybe because it's late and I need to sleep), but you may want to ask some other Editors (or Authors) to get more accurate results. John Dvorak 22:10, 19 April 2008 (CDT)
Ah, sorry, I was referring to this edit; my point was that it may have been deliberate that there were links there too.
I didn't get the reference to Lebanon? By "main article page" I just meant 'the basic page of each article', i.e. as opposed to the various subpages. (I.e. I didn't mean Main Page.
It's not urgent; go for the sleep! J. Noel Chiappa 22:32, 19 April 2008 (CDT)
Ah, I see. It's all so clear now :). No, I hadn't heard of that, and will keep that in mind in the future. Thanks for the comment. It interrupts the monotony of editing all these awesome articles. Disclaimer: I don't evern know what I meant by that. Do not take too much meaning out of it. John Dvorak 10:21, 20 April 2008 (CDT)

PS: This is the thread I was referring to. It's probably a good idea to at least read the Forums; there's a Recent Posts link you can use to see what's been discussed recently. J. Noel Chiappa 15:45, 20 April 2008 (CDT)

Redirects. Lots of redirects.

Yes! J. Noel Chiappa 15:41, 20 April 2008 (CDT)

I hoped somebody would approve :) I'm just wondering where you get all the articles to start redirecting to. I guess it's just seeing a random one, but I can do that. John Dvorak 16:44, 20 April 2008 (CDT)
I keep an eye on Special:Recentchanges. J. Noel Chiappa 19:36, 20 April 2008 (CDT)


You have no idea how big that anthill was! The double redir on Talk:Scientology (theory)‎ was just scratching the surface. It took me quite a while to clean up... J. Noel Chiappa 21:34, 20 April 2008 (CDT)

Yeah, I was wondering about that. Also, I don't know why that didn't show up on the Special:DoubleRedirects page. Could it be broken? I don't know much about wiki technicalities, but I'd like to learn. John Dvorak 16:49, 21 April 2008 (CDT)

English spellings

Thanks for your offer of help with the formatting. I've left some notes on the talk page & in the history. Have fun (!?!) Ro Thorpe 12:18, 24 April 2008 (CDT)

Thanks: that's great. I left a note in the hsitory, but in case you didn't see it: you don't need to put three apostrophes if you are paragraphing. Look: just



OK? Ro Thorpe 17:49, 26 April 2008 (CDT)

OK. I assume I need to put the ending ones on when there is an explanation? John Dvorak 17:54, 26 April 2008 (CDT)

Exactly. Plus, please don't put in unnecessary dashes: in most cases, the 'explanation word' follows immediately: word association word, OK? Ro Thorpe 18:18, 26 April 2008 (CDT)

Also, an asterisk always means that what follows is *rong, so you'll never have to put apostrophes after one - you just did, it may have been an oversight... Ro Thorpe 18:23, 26 April 2008 (CDT)

Oh, I guess I missed that. Duly noted. This isn't so bad, A is already done. I hope to have it finished by the end of the week. (not the end of this week, as in 6 hours from now, but the end of the next week :) )John Dvorak 18:27, 26 April 2008 (CDT)
Thanks a lot, yes I saw you'd finished A. Another thing I must explain is that bolding is always and only used for correct spelling, so when it comes to bits of words... There are a couple of examples at the end of A. Ro Thorpe 18:33, 26 April 2008 (CDT)

i've left a note there - thanxx - Ro Thorpe 11:41, 1 May 2008 (CDT)


Someone else working in the 'Computers Workgroup'! Thanks for the help, it's much appreciated Eric M Gearhart 22:17, 26 April 2008 (CDT)

Yeah, no problem. I'm not officially in the Computers workgroup, but I am interested in computers, and like to help with the technical aspect of CZ. To all the work of yours I've seen, I say good job and hope that you keep it up! John Dvorak 23:14, 26 April 2008 (CDT)

yikes on redirects

John, Yikes! I thought "move" did it all. I have moved the following basic topics (today) to the disambig pages: Apple to Apple (disambiguation), Ruby to Ruby (disambiguation), and finally, Python to Python (disambiguation)j. If that has left some mess behind somewhere, can you help to bail me out? I'm apparently a total boob when it comes to understanding the templates, page clusters, metadata, approval pages and all that. I apologize extremely. Can you bail me out this time? If so, I will obtain your help next time I see a need for a disambig. Thanks for the heads up on this, plus any help you can give.Pat Palmer 17:35, 3 May 2008 (CDT)

PS - What I'm trying to accomplish is documented at User:Pat_Palmer/redirects.Pat Palmer 17:37, 3 May 2008 (CDT)

Oh, no problem. It's really not that big of a deal. Everybody has to start somewhere :). Luckily, I was on in time to see the Apple one, and cleaned that up, no problem. The Python and Ruby ones were fine because you created the page yourself. There is really nothing to it, but would be perfectly happy to help.
I saw your redirect page. I assume you got the main idea from [3] here. I personally do agree with it, and am glad that someone is taking the initiative. Good Luck! John Dvorak 17:43, 3 May 2008 (CDT)
Hey, check out CZ:Proposals/Disambiguation mechanics‎; I need to review it one more time, and then it's off to CZ:Proposals/New with it. J. Noel Chiappa 11:51, 14 May 2008 (CDT)

More housecleaning

Hey, great job with those defs - and doubly so for tagging the redirs for speedy! I am so tempted to import barnstars for all that work! :-)

Anyway, one more thing you could lend a hand with, if you have time/interest - redirects. I create lots of them (see this thread on the forums), and another hand would be good. I generally do alternative capitalizations, spellings and hyphenation, and also alternative terms (e.g. Petrol -> Gasoline). The more the merrier, is my motto - the more we can do to prevent duplicate articles, the better. J. Noel Chiappa 11:51, 14 May 2008 (CDT)

I'll be sure to do any that catch my eye. One of my personal hardships with this is finding articles to redirect to. I guess the best I can do is check out the Special:Newpages or Special:Recentchanges for inspiration. John Dvorak 15:49, 14 May 2008 (CDT)
I tend to patrol Recent Changes, for a variety of reasons, but Newpages is a good idea too. J. Noel Chiappa 19:51, 14 May 2008 (CDT)

Another project?

Hey, got another project for you to help with, if you're interested. See Talk:Constellation. Let me know if you are interested in helping, I can then list what needs to be done. J. Noel Chiappa 12:34, 19 May 2008 (CDT)

Sure. To make sure I understand this clearly, what we need is to move all of the constellation articles to {foo} (constellation)? And, I assume, fix the links in the constellation template. Is that it, or am I missing something? John Dvorak 15:25, 19 May 2008 (CDT)
At the moment, I'm fixing Constellation. Then I will do the two templates (cause I know what needs to be changed in them, it's the same as in Constellation). What I need a hand with, cause it's a ton of work, is:
  • Move the articles/metadata/etc (I can whip up a list, once I've done the templates)
  • Tag the leftover redirs from the above for deletion
  • Update the metadata (and while someone's in there, they should add the new sub/tab fields, i.e. like this
  • Create a dismabiguation page, like this one, and link (i.e. edit the redirect) the basename to that, and the basename's talk page to the dab page's talk page
  • Finally, and most painfully, they are all linked to each other in the text, with stuff like "the constellation X is surrounded by the constellations [[A]], [[B]], [[C]] and [[D]]", where A-D are things like 'Cancer', 'Crater', 'Indus', etc.
I think that's the lot - let me do one, and see if I've missed anything. Anyway, thanks for being so willing to help; I'll drop in with a list when it's ready for you to take over. (If this were Wikipedia, it would send your edit count through the roof... :-) J. Noel Chiappa 15:42, 19 May 2008 (CDT)
Yes, well, I can still be proud of my huge edit count, can't I? :-) But sure, just land me a list and I will be sure to go through and fix the issues. I assume it doesn't matter where in the metadata the template is placed. John Dvorak 15:49, 19 May 2008 (CDT)
Nothing wrong with that, as long as you take it only for what it means! Anyhoo..
Technically, it will work anywhere, but our less technology-savvy uses will probably find it least confusing if you stick them in the same place they are in new metadata pages, right after the cat1/cat2/cat3 fields. (Oh, anytime you happen to edit a metadata and it doesn't have these, you can/should add them.) Oh, and it's not a 'template' (which is a precise term on MediaWiki sites), it's just a chunk of MediaWiki markup you need to copy-and-paste in. Thanks again for being willing to help! J. Noel Chiappa 15:55, 19 May 2008 (CDT)
Oh, yeah, I meant where in the metadata template it goes. Oh well. At your service sir! *salutes* John Dvorak 16:10, 19 May 2008 (CDT)
John you're a sucker for punishment! But thanks a million for all the leg work. Chris Day 16:25, 19 May 2008 (CDT)
I've just realized (light dawns over famous Massachussetts fishing village) that we can pull the same kind of hack for the constellations that Chris did for Def pages. That'll make a lot less work for you - clickety-click. I'm just about ready to turn them over to you - I'm going down the list and getting a rough idea which ones should have {basename} point to the dab page, which ones should point to the contellation, and which ones should point to another meaning. Got distracted with this whole {{r}}, Def, etc thing... J. Noel Chiappa 16:40, 22 May 2008 (CDT)
Eh, no problem. I'm ready whenever. But that hack really is something special. I'm sure it will save TONS of time. Yay Chris! John Dvorak 16:43, 22 May 2008 (CDT)
Don't forget you have to edit those def pages once they are moved to add {subpages} to them... J. Noel Chiappa 16:57, 22 May 2008 (CDT)
So far, I've just been going through and getting the ones without any articles attached to them. I assumed that meant that the subpages wouldn't have a use, but do you think they should have the template just in case? John Dvorak 16:58, 22 May 2008 (CDT)
Ah, I had missed that! Hmm... Well (thinking through fingers), I guess it depends on whether you think there's likely to be an article. If not, then there's definitely no need. If so... well, I guess it's not a big deal - whoever does the article can add the {subpages} to the /Def page. J. Noel Chiappa 17:01, 22 May 2008 (CDT)
My thoughts exactly. But thanks for the heads-up, I'll be sure to add the header to the remaining ones. John Dvorak 17:04, 22 May 2008 (CDT)

Just a reminder, remember to add the subpages template to the def pages in the noinclude tags. It is not critical but that is the way it is being done for navigation purposes. If there is no article the subpages template will not be seen but once the article is created it will be activated. Chris Day 00:43, 23 May 2008 (CDT)

Linking to redirects

Umm, sometimes I link to things like CZ:Metadata quite deliberately, so that if it ever becomes a separate page, we won't have that many things to fix. CZ:Cluster is probably always going to be a synonym for CZ:Article structure, but who knows for sure? Someone down the road may decide to change it to the more technically accurate term, or the page may get split up, or, or, or... No biggie, just wanted to clue you that it's not just cluelessness! :-) J. Noel Chiappa 18:41, 24 May 2008 (CDT)

I should have been symmetrical

Rats. "Firect dire" would have been better.

Thanks! Howard C. Berkowitz 20:11, 26 May 2008 (CDT)

Yeah, I thought it was funny, but decided to change it anyways.
No problem! John Dvorak 20:18, 26 May 2008 (CDT)


Hi John, I saw on Noel's talk page that you offered help on other TODO lists, and so I would suggest you take a look at CZ:List of words with multiple uses. It contains a list of words commonly used in different contexts, and to have a coherent structure, they should all get a disambiguation page from where the individual entries (with disambiguated names) should be linked, plus some more formatting at associated pages. For an example on how this should be organized, see

Such a coherent structure is especially important for organizing our CZ:Core Articles, and thus I would be glad if you could help out here. If you have questions, ask me, Noel or Chris, perhaps best at CZ Talk:List of words with multiple uses. Thanks! -- Daniel Mietchen 03:35, 27 May 2008 (CDT)

Update: Noel just told me that the use of the r template on the disambiguation pages is not currently an official policy, so please ignore that part for the time being. Thanks! -- Daniel Mietchen 10:42, 27 May 2008 (CDT)

def moves

By the way, thanks for helping with those moves. It was good to get rid of the template def's so quickly. It would not have happened without your energy. Chris Day 17:08, 27 May 2008 (CDT)

Oh, no problem. We did a bang-up job going thought that list, didn't we? I'm just here to do what I can... John Dvorak 17:11, 27 May 2008 (CDT)

Spelling and alphabet

See Talk:English spellings#Well, that was fun; I'd say it's time to go for it, but check with Ro et al first to make sure everyone likes whatever scheme you go with. Also, you might gently broach with Ro the concept of moving A to A (letter), etc, and setting up dab pages. I just did G, so I could have a dab page to link to the article on G (gravitational constant), but I suspect most of them will eventually want that - I can think of many letters which are standard terms in physics, math, etc. But see what he thinks of the idea. (And I still haven't forgotten the constellations!) Thanks again for the help! J. Noel Chiappa 12:19, 1 June 2008 (CDT)

What's the biggest? J. Noel Chiappa 12:38, 1 June 2008 (CDT)

I think all that Nepal stuff, that guy imported it all, it wasn't written from scratch. I think at least one was speedied as a copyvio. J. Noel Chiappa 12:46, 1 June 2008 (CDT)

thanks. having read the discussion on the talk page, i'm quite happy with whatever you + noel decide - Ro Thorpe 13:02, 1 June 2008 (CDT)

it's fine by me, if noel + others agree - Ro Thorpe 16:25, 1 June 2008 (CDT)

Hey, if Ro's happy with it, I'd say that's about all you need. Looking at the history of a few (D, P, T) he seems to have done most of the work on them, so if he's cool with renaming them, I reckon you're Good to Go. The only question is whether [[{letter}]] should point at [[{letter} (letter)]] or [[{letter} (disambiguation)]]. (Definitely, none should be set to point to the disambiguation page until the Whatlinkshere for them basic page is checked, and all references updated, though.) I don't particularly care which one they get directed to, though. So why don't you go ahead and move them all, and set up the disambiguation pages, and leave the redirects pointing at the (letter) pages until we can decide what to do (perhaps on a case-by-case basis). J. Noel Chiappa 17:15, 1 June 2008 (CDT)
Alright, sounds like a plan. And, when your disambiguation proposal goes through (I believe in you :) ), we can set it up like that. Also, I left you a note at Talk:G_(letter). John Dvorak 17:19, 1 June 2008 (CDT)
Oh, man, that QuickPhrase is the cat's meow. (Now why didn't I ever think to look for something like that - I'd heard about macros, so I should have worked it out.) Anyway, it will save me many keystrokes. Thanks ever so much for pointing that out.
As to the metadata, yeah, I generally try and clean them up. They are useless, so I think it's best to get rid of them. The move command gives you a page with links to the old and new; I generally right-click-new-window on one, and click directly on the other, and modify them suitably; it's pretty quick.
I hear you about the cluster move stuff. The thing is that it should really be done in MediaWiki, which means either i) finding a MediaWiki hacker, or ii) someone (e.g. me) becoming a MediaWiki hacker (which is plausible, but there's a lot to learn, and I don't have a lot of spare time). I have speculated about writing it as a JavaScript function that could be put in the skin, and run on the user's PC - there are plenty of hooks available through URL's to update pages (which is how MediaWiki bots do their thing). We'll get there... J. Noel Chiappa 21:40, 1 June 2008 (CDT)


Hey, thanks for doing a bunch there (although I see you missed a chance to do a bunch more, like Florida Treaty :-). You can't have too many! If it turns out something should be an article, or something else, it's easy to fix. The more you do, the more time I will have to do other things (like writing that 'how to move a cluster' page)! Speaking of which, now that I finally have a tiny bit of time, let me finish off looking at the constellations, and turn that over to you. J. Noel Chiappa 08:02, 12 June 2008 (CDT)

Sure, no problem. The ones that I did last night (well, I guess this morning) were just the double redirects. But yeah, bring it on. I love me a challenge! John Dvorak 10:29, 12 June 2008 (CDT)
I noticed you redirected "unconventional warfare" to "unconventional warfare (United States doctrine)".Let me say that I haven't found a good way to deal with the issue of global usage, which is more commonly "guerilla warfare", versus national doctrines. The U.S. is more fine-grained than other nations, as, for example, the British "low-intensity conflict". Might an annotated disambiguation page be more the thing? It's just not clear to me how a user would find the doctrine that isn't unique to the U.S. -- although "insurgency" is the most general article, it covers more than guerilla warfare. Howard C. Berkowitz 22:49, 13 June 2008 (CDT)
Yeah, I just start redirecting to any article I happen upon. It's easy enough to change once someone wants to write an article on the subject. As it was, someone might search for unconventional warfare and not get an article. That could discourage some people, those that wouldn't actually pay attention to the search info. John Dvorak 22:58, 13 June 2008 (CDT)

Asterisks away

hi, John, fancy removing the asterisks i needlessly put in French words in English/Catalogs? - Ro Thorpe 13:34, 9 July 2008 (CDT)

just the asterisks, please - they mean that the spelling is wrong, but the fact that they're in the pronunciation column makes that clear. appreciate your prompt response - Ro Thorpe 18:34, 9 July 2008 (CDT)

john, please see my note on the talk page - Ro Thorpe 18:53, 9 July 2008 (CDT)

excellent, many thanks - Ro Thorpe 10:33, 10 July 2008 (CDT)