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By Resident Mario, Tilman Bayer and Tony1

French-language Wikipedia reaches a million articles

The 1,000,000th logo for the French Wikipedia.
The growth in the number of articles on the French Wikipedia

The French-language Wikipedia celebrated its millionth article with the creation of the article Louis Babel on September 21. The French-language Wikipedia is the third to cross this threshold, after the German (with 1.1 million) and English Wikipedias (with 3.4), having grown at a steady rate since its formation in 2001. It has more than 60 million individual edits and 300,000 active contributors; article creation at spiked in 2005–06, driven by the addition of some 36,000 geographical stubs, then stabilized to a present rate of 300–400 new articles a day, as well as 800 active contributor registrations per month.

The milestone was also announced on Wikimedia France's Twitter feed. Because of lag on the Wikipedia page lists, the milestone was expected to be hit two days later, on September 23; following a flurry of page creations, the developers revealed that the milestone had been hit with the creation of Louis Babel, two days prior to the expected date.

The next Wikipedias likely to break the threshold are the Polish (now at 729,000 articles) and the Italian (728,000).

Draft of controversial content recommendations published

Part Two of three installments of the 2010 Wikimedia Study of Controversial Content has been released (see earlier Signpost coverage: "Board resolution on offensive content", "Study on controversial content"). Authored by consultants Robert Harris and Dory Carr-Harris, it sets out 11 recommendations for discussion, to be presented to the Board in October, among them that:

Part Three will contain a "rough catalogue" of existing sexual images on Commons.

Citizendium adopts charter, Larry Sanger's leading role ends

Larry Sanger

After a deliberation process lasting more than a year, the free wiki-based online encyclopedia Citizendium has adopted a charter (consisting of 55 articles laying a constitution-like foundation for the project's governance). This was announced last week by its founder Larry Sanger, whose role as editor-in-chief ended with the charter's ratification.

Plans for a charter had already been mentioned in Citizendium's initial press release in October 2006, but the drafting process did not start until a July 2009 statement by Sanger, in which he announced his intention to step down as editor-in-chief, partly to fulfill his pledge to do so two or three years after Citizendium's inception, and partly due to his inactivity on the project.

The charter's 55 articles are in seven sections ("Citizenship and editorship", "Content and style", "Organization and offices", "Community policy", "Behavior and dispute resolution", "Administrative matters", and "Transitional measures"). A nomination process has now begun to fill governance roles set out in the charter: A five-member Management Council, a seven-member Editorial Council, a Managing Editor, and an Ombudsman. The preamble to the charter describes Citizendium as "a collaborative effort to collect, structure, and cultivate knowledge and to render it conveniently accessible to the public for free", without mentioning the word "encyclopedia". There were concerns about ambiguous statements and a lack of copy-editing in the final version (there are typos such as "Managament Council"). Sanger himself, who was not directly involved in the drafting process, had objected to the wording of several articles, including those mentioning original research and advertising, and to the absence from the charter of "anything like a bill of rights enumerating the rights of Citizens against unfair procedures and punishments". In last week's announcement, Sanger also criticized the charter's "lack of any requirement that articles be family-friendly" (as in Citizendium's current family-friendly policy), and added that "there is some seriously twisted stuff on Wikipedia that has no business in a resource calling itself an 'encyclopedia'" (cf. Signpost coverage of his earlier allegations against Wikimedia Commons). On the other hand, he expressed hope that the charter would make it easier to exclude problematic contributors from Citizendium, which he said suffered from the presence of "ideologues" and "cranks" (the project has been criticized for being over-lenient towards advocates of topics such as homeopathy or chiropractic).

Despite the criticism of the final version, it was overwhelmingly approved, by 65 of 72 participating members. (In each of the past two months, there were around 100 active Citizendium users, i.e. accounts that had made at least one edit, according to Citizendium's statistics.) Half of the eight-member Charter Drafting Committee had "dropped out" before the vote, and one of the remaining committee members (also the Secretary of Citizendium's Editorial Council) justified the decision not to delay the process further: "Citizendium is on intensive care life support. I think it has a chance to recover with an imperfect charter".

In his announcement, Sanger dismissed "hopeful, mean-spirited reports of our impending demise", observing that "our traffic has been steadily growing, and I've observed new people continuing to get involved". However, he warned that "the funds available to pay for the Citizendium servers are running low" and advised the community to think about funding options and cheaper hosting (see also July 26 Signpost coverage).

Interim poll on pending changes ends

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The interim poll on the use of Pending changes on Wikipedia has closed. After the two-month Pending changes trial, an earlier straw poll had produced 407 in favor, 217 opposed, plus 44 other responses. Jimbo Wales then asked the Wikimedia Foundation to keep the tool running until there had been further discourse (see Signpost story).

The interim poll, from September 20–27, was run to decide whether the system should be kept in place until the release of a new version, projected for November 9, that is expected to address some concerns. It closed with 289 votes for temporary continuation and 199 for temporary removal.

A trial that would apply Pending changes to WP:MEDS articles has been proposed, to gather additional data. Testing has been centralized, and the poll has received a large amount of debate on its talk page.


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These comments are automatically transcluded from this article's talk page. To follow comments, add the page to your watchlist. If your comment has not appeared here, you can try purging the cache. milestone==

(Pinged by ResidentMario on my talk page)

Nice news on the 10⁶-th article on fr.wp! Some funny story: fr:Louis Babel is the Chosen One according to the devs, who have access to the real numbers. Because the special pages and the counters are always a bit lagging, the milestone was expected to be hit on September 23rd. During the evening, hundreds of articles were created in a few hours :D. The event was livetweeted by WM-Fr. It is only after that editors learnt that the milestone was hit two days before :D.

Not sure this is worth a mention in the Signpost, but just in case ;-) Jean-Fred (talk) 15:24, 25 September 2010 (UTC)[reply]

According to this discussion, it wasn't due to a lag, but to a difference in what constitutes an article. The "NUMBEROFARTICLES" magic word uses the definition here, which requires a page to contain at least one internal link (and not being a redirect) to count as an article. The developers apparently counted all non-redirect pages, even those without internal links. There must have been similar discussions when the English and German WP reached their million.
Some other candidates for the millionth article are named here. Regards, HaeB (talk) 17:43, 26 September 2010 (UTC)[reply]
Well, I would not trust Bistro talks that much ;-). From what I heard on IRC, special pages and numbers lag because of cache. Jean-Fred (talk) 21:05, 26 September 2010 (UTC)[reply]
Sorry for posting here, I thought I saw the talk page used for pre-publishing comments. Will use the newsroom next time.
Right, but IRC isn't always gospel either ;)
In any case, the above counting issue (all non-redirect pages vs. only those containing a wikilink) was also mentioned in Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2006-03-06/Millionth article and Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2005-03-21/Half-million articles, so this sort of milestone confusion appears to be kind of traditional.
Regards, HaeB (talk) 22:09, 26 September 2010 (UTC)[reply]
Came out longer then I thought it would. Lot of bolstering by other editors. Maybe we should post a template for the controversial study story...? ResMar 20:26, 27 September 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Congrats to French Wikipedia! Good for them! It's so encouraging and inspiring to see the other Wikimedia projects prosper. May the Polish and Italian Wikipedias reach their milestones in record time! -- œ 00:46, 28 September 2010 (UTC)[reply]

It would be so cool to have one of those "millionth-customer" type awards - can we not have a special tag for "millionth article", "100 millionth comment", "1 billionth silly witticism" and so on? Plus of course an appropriate paypal cash award. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 16:07, 4 October 2010 (UTC)[reply]
Hehe.. Not sure how well that paypal idea would go over with the foundation.. We do have the Template:Main Page banner though where we usually advertise such milestones, such as the 2 million and 3 million article mark ;) -- œ 17:28, 5 October 2010 (UTC)[reply]

content recommendations

I wonder how much they paid consultants to tell them "you need more black penises"? Gigs (talk) 21:10, 27 September 2010 (UTC)[reply]

We're writing an encyclopedia, not a porn site. Please use more sophisticated language. ResMar 00:01, 28 September 2010 (UTC)[reply]
Well, I'm more curious about how they could be certain that all of those penises belonged to Caucasians. Stare at enough examples of any one thing in a short period of time, & they all start to look alike. -- llywrch (talk) 05:17, 28 September 2010 (UTC)[reply]
The may have missed The Black Cock.jpg. Rich Farmbrough, 18:25, 28 September 2010 (UTC).[reply]
I love you. --King Öomie 14:35, 30 September 2010 (UTC)[reply]

article feedback

Is the article feedback cumulative or rolling. I think rolling would be better. Not sure if it should be based on time (feedback in the last 6 months), edits (feedback in the time of the last 500 edits), size (feedback in the time period that the article has been within 25% of its current size).--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 14:15, 28 September 2010 (UTC)[reply]


Part Three will contain a "rough catalogue" of existing sexual images on Commons.

Awesome! How do I go about ordering this catalogue? Is there a print version, or is it online-only? Gurch (talk) 16:07, 29 September 2010 (UTC)[reply]

...ResMar 20:48, 29 September 2010 (UTC)[reply]
I've heard there were actually more than 1200 penises counted. I guess they come in a range of sizes and shapes (but apparently not colours, as pointed out). Tony (talk) 06:04, 30 September 2010 (UTC)[reply]
I can't imagine how many people they went through before they found a team willing to count the penises. Must have found them in the depths of Chat Roulette. --King Öomie 14:37, 30 September 2010 (UTC)[reply]
...Wikipedia is racist against blacks, apparently. No surprising at all; nowadays, even the slightest difference is racism. Sometimes the world is so nonsensical... ResMar 20:43, 30 September 2010 (UTC)[reply]
Only with respect to penises. More research is needed to determine whether, for example, this imbalance is equally applicable to breasts. ... I am willing to take on this important research task if necessary. Gurch (talk) 21:49, 30 September 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Introductory video clips

The videos are a great idea. They're well-made and the Wikipedians involved did great. What I really don't like is that they look very similar to the promos of Apple Inc. products. I would've hoped for a rather unique style. Excellent job otherwise. -- Orionisttalk 20:47, 2 October 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Agreed =) ResMar 15:06, 3 October 2010 (UTC)[reply]
And women should be a high priority, IMO. Tony (talk) 15:37, 3 October 2010 (UTC)[reply]


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