User talk:Bryan Derksen/Archive 1

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Just added a new graphic to the Clan McDuck. Also, I have the following tree for the Duck clan:

duck family tree

Looks like user:Trelvis answered your half-life question that you posted on talk:Beryllium. --maveric149

I noticed. I think I'm going to take his advice of not adding those highly unstable elements to the main element table; that equation looks scary and I'm out of my depth in that field. :) Bryan Derksen

I also agree; the properties table in the main elements articles needs to only have the most stable and useful isotopes (as Trelvis said). Of course, the Isotopes articles will have more complete info on those plus info on the the real unstable ones (at least in table form). But making 109+ "Isotopes of [insert element name here]" will take some time. One step at a time though.... --maveric149

Thanks for working on flagellum. I started it by coping an flagellum feature list from an Intelligent Design website [1] -- Ed Poor

No problem. I'm going from memory on stuff I took in a course several years back, though, so I'm going to need to doublecheck some of it later. If nobody beats me to it I'll probably eventually "finish" the article myself. Bryan Derksen

Thanks muchly for having decoupled the transvestite article - do you think you could get your friends to cover transsexual and similar topics as well? I put a few words under transgender but I really don't feel qualified to comment beyond basic definitions. -- April

No problem. I passed along a whole bundle of links to transgender-related articles to them (it's a transgender fiction writers' mailing list - yes, I have some odd literary interests :), so hopefully there will be a bunch of new stuff showing up shortly. I know for a fact that some of the list's subscribers are highly qualified. :) Bryan Derksen

The weirdness on the Mars probe program was already there--I did all the changes by hand. I don't know what caused it, but thamks for fixing it. --LDC

Ah, I see. It was probably my fault, then, since I'm the one who created that article. Sorry, I just assumed I was perfect and therefore it must have happened when you edited it. :) Bryan Derksen

Way to go Bryan! Thanks for fixing the table -- I already know it looks fine in Konqueror, I will test several other browsers to make sure. maveric149

Cool, I've got a User talk: subspace now! :)

On Mozilla with an 800X600 resolution monitor, the table got slightly wider due to the inflexibility introduced by those extra columns. Ideally, the wiki software people will be able to fix the nested table bug; that way the two-column section and the six-column sections could resize their columns independantly and make things a little more efficient.

I would ordinarily consider this to be "good enough," but considering that this table design will be laboriously replicated over 106 or so articles I want to make absolutely sure I haven't done anything that will be hard to fix later on. Bryan Derksen

Alas, I will hold off on making the template until the wiki software stabilizes. -- I agree that it would be a terrible waste of time to populate 109 tables with info, just to find out that the new software renders the tables incorectly. BTW, what do you think of my deletion of the non-SI units? Was this a wise thing to do in order to save space and de-clutter the table? Could we just as easily add another column for the cgs units now? (dare I say) maveric149
The removal of the non-SI units works very well, I think the table is physically thinner now than it was before I pulled that 6-column trick. I could add another column for other units easily enough, but then the table starts getting fat again and I'm not sure if that's a good idea. It already occupies about half the width of my browser already, and with conversion formulas easily available there doesn't seem to be a pressing need.
The 6-column table will, I suspect, render much the same way as it does now under different software; it doesn't use any fancy HTML features that aren't already used by dozens of other tables on Wikipedia. I guess my opinion depends on the response to the nested-table bug report; if nobody seems to be put out by it, it might not get fixed any time soon and it might be simplest just to go ahead with what works now.
Maybe I should finally bite the bullet and join the wikipedia mailing list. :) Bryan Derksen
I wish you would. I don't have time to fix the "user interface capital letters added everywhere" bug, or the option to colorize different users and their contributions in the diff, both of which I think would help very much. - 24

Your contributions are radically appreciated - this thankless cleanup work is not too popular. Give yourself a break at some point and add in your two cents in the new files linked from meta that ask for your visions, threats, best cases, worst cases, and whatever else you are concerned about. Regards, 24

Hello, I just filed your bug report about the ampersand at wikipedia:Bug Reports. (Unfortunately I followed your footsteps in resolving the problem first).  :-) Koyaanis Qatsi, Sunday, April 7, 2002

Thanks. Mozilla hates editing large pages, so it's a lot of work for me to add stuff to that page these days. :) Bryan Derksen

Hi Bryan. I see you're on a mission to remove the primary sources. In that case, you have my permission to remove Macbeth, which I entered quite a while ago. I'd do it myself, but it took me a couple weeks to format the whole thing, so I can't bring myself to do it. :) --Stephen Gilbert

Heh! I've actually been avoiding doing that one, since it's formatted so nicely! I can't bring myself to do it either. :) I've been saving it for last and kind of hoping that someone would stop my mad rampage before it got that far, or at least find a new home for Macbeth somewhere other than Wikipedia. Hm... Perhaps I should move it over to meta? Bryan Derksen

Hey Bryan -- I left a note for you on Talk:WikiBiblion. Laterz --maveric149, Sunday, April 14, 2002

Bryan--I understand the temptation to fill the most-wanted with out-of-copyright 1911 articles, but please be careful about the scans: at least in Netscape 6, the etymological bits are coming up with unrendered characters, or things that seem unlikely to be correct (strings of consonants in non-English combinations). This is specifically a note on goose and garlic. Vicki Rosenzweig

Yeah, I usually try to clean out all the corrupted stuff from those articles, but I tend to do it over the course of a couple of edit-save cycles. This time I got called away by RL before I went through those particular articles often enough. Bryan Derksen

RE: Your comment on my talk page about worthless stub deletion.
Just try to be careful not to remove content from stub definitions that could become articles. Thinking of Hegemony here. Oftentimes the most difficult thing in creating an article is thinking of a definition that states what the topic is "in a nutshell". After that is done, then any passer-by that knows a random fact about the subject can just input that thought into the stub definiton and slowly, but surely the definition could become an article. Just my 2 cents, take it or leave it. Adios! It will soon be time to do battle with insomnia. -maveric149

Alright, I'll try to be a bit more forgiving of the dictionary entries in the future. I'll still be on the lookout for ones which I don't think will ever become an encyclopedia entry. I'm just about done for the night, however, so it's somewhat moot; I just hit stub article number 500, and it's time to quit :) Bryan Derksen
Also found Injunction -- Two booboos out of 500 ain't bad at all. --maveric149

Bryan, I don't understand why you are removing existing article titles from Complete list of encyclopedia topics. The description of those pages by Magnus Manske, who collected the titles, does not mention anywhere that only non-existant articles should be listed (he explicitly used Wikipedia to construct the list). The title "complete list" also suggests that everything should be included. I always saw these pages as a convenient alphabetical way to browse Wikipedia. At the very least, your changes should be discussed somewhere, preferably on the mailing list. This is a pretty important set of pages. AxelBoldt, Saturday, June 1, 2002

The matter was discussed a while back in Talk:Complete list of encyclopedia topics and also on the mailing list at about the same time. The basic summary is that the purpose of the "complete list" is to provide ideas for new articles, and that links to existing articles are hiding a lot of orphans in them that are linked there but nowhere else (when I started working on this yesterday, there were about 450 orphans. Now there are just over 700). Since the new wiki software has a "list all articles" feature, I don't see any use for keeping links to existing articles in the "complete list" (which was very far from "complete" anyway, since it doesn't get automatically updated as new articles are added). The reason I'm doing all this cleaning now, some time after all the discussion, is that I just came up with a way to easily automate the process so I don't have to spend hours and hours doing it by hand; the first three pages I did a while back were rather labor-intensive. Bryan Derksen, Saturday, June 1, 2002
Ok, I must have missed the discussion, sorry. It seems it would be good to rename the pages then, though. Also, the main page lists the "Complete list" as one way to access Wikipedia, which it is no longer. AxelBoldt
Heh, I never noticed that link; I don't visit the main page very often any more. Fortunately, I note that there's a link to special:AllPages from the main page that should fill the role of "browseable index." I guess the remaining issue is, what should the "Complete listing" be renamed to? I'll pose the question over in its talk: page. Bryan Derksen, Sunday, June 2, 2002

Hey Brian, instead of administratively deleting the Oregon constitution / pages it might be better to just redirect them to Constitution of Oregon (or whatever it is best known as), have a stub about the constitution there and a good, official external link to the whole text. Some idiot over time may have bookmarked one or another / page in the past. --maveric149


Sorry about the BDE vs EBD issue. I hadn't realized that a standard had been established so I just went ahead with what seemed sensible to me. I can live with either convention. In a related matter, when a page also includes other headings, I've been putting those headings in alpha order. Eclecticology, Saturday, June 15, 2002

Important note for all sysops: There is a bug in the administrative move feature that truncates the moved history and changes the edit times. Please do not use this feature until this bug is fixed. More information can be found in the talk of Brion VIBBER and maveric149. Thank you. --maveric149

Yay! You remembered me! Thanks. :) Bryan Derksen
And how could I forget you -- You trouble maker! :) --maveric149

Hey Bryan, could you take a look at Calcium/Temp for me? I think I somehow messed up the nested table because it isn't displaying as nicely as it does in Magnesium. Thanx for any help you can render. --maveric149

Taking a look... Bryan Derksen

Oops! Looks like this is an idiosyncrasy of Konqueror and not a true HTML bug... --~~
There was at least one bug, though; there wasn an extra "tr" tag down a the bottom of the isotope table. I'll poke around a bit more and see if there's anything else lurking. Bryan Derksen :)
Thanks! I will apply any changes you make to the template. --maveric149
There's still something different between this Calcium table and th Beryllium one; the isotope subtable has a thin blank space along the left hand side that shouldn't be there (in Mozilla 1.1). I'm going to keep hunting for whatever's causing that. Bryan Derksen
Got it! There was an extra "td" tag at the end of 42Ca's row, causing an extra blank cell to appear and force the table to have an extra column it shouldn't have had. Fixed now. No need to change the template, I think that was probably due to a typo of some kind. Bryan Derksen
Cool! Thanks for going on the Easter egg hunt. :) --maveric149
No problem. I like tables. :) Bryan Derksen

Hey Bryan, could you take a look at the Strontium article for me? I just changed it over to the new format by adding the table and some adds/edits to the text. However, there are still two paragraphs that are almost exactly the same as the LANL text you copied over way back. Could you fiddle with the text so that it would pass the Goggle test? The two paragraphs are: Uses and second paragraph of Isotopes section. Thanks! --maveric149

I'll take a crack at it. Were the copyright status of the LANL pages ever followed up on? I thought they were public domain, works-for-hire for the US government. Bryan Derksen
I never got a response from my two emails asking for permission. However, the last time those pages were updated was in 1997 -- seems like whoever was responsible for those pages isn't there anymore and everyone still there doesn't seem to care. But all that is just assumptions on my part -- and we shouldn't subject Jimbo to copyright limbo (the UC system has a gang of lawyers that focus on protecting the "intellectual property" the university system -- which pisses me off because much of that IP was paid for by tax dollars!). There still is that copyright notice I showed you a while back -- although it isn't linked directly from any of the elements articles it is linked in one of the "about" pages linked from the main periodic table page).
So what I have been doing is just rearranging phrases and rewording the LANL text so that it at least passes the Google test for each entire sentence. The copyright notice combined with the fact that US federal tax dollars paid for it makes the material quasi-public domain in my mind so I plan on quasi-using it that way by doing slight rewrites of it. Besides, much of the text was written rather poorly and needs some copyeditting anyway. We should also strive to make something unique to wikipedia -- so a little rewriting of some text with uncertain public domain status is way to ensure that. --maveric149

Hey Bryan, there is a newbie alert on right now with user:1 Lucky Texan who hasn't seemed to have found recent changes yet. Could you help me with the clean up? This person is making question-type stubs faster than I can wikify them and add some useful content. Thanks! --maveric149

I'll see what I can do. I'm headed off to bed within an hour, though, so hopefully he'll discover recent changes soon... :) Bryan Derksen
He seems to have slowed down enough for KQ, Danny and I to turn his comment pages into stubs. So if you could just keep your eyes peeled, that would be great. Thanx! --maveric149
Heh. Didn't get to do much to help, I'm afraid. Got any more tables for me to work on instead? :) Bryan Derksen
As a matter of fact... The main perio table and its brothers have looked kinda ugly since a long ago software upgrade changed the rendering. Could you make it so that those tables have a size=1 white border, instead of the current black (like the Series key)? --maveric149
Just gave it a shot. The series key doesn't actually have a white border; rather, it has no border, with a 1-pixel gap between cells. I seem to recall that there's a way to color the border of an HTML table, but it's simpler just to go without one in this case. Bryan Derksen
It looks great! Thanks. --maveric149

Hey Bryan -- could take a look at a table I created over at Hominid? Specifically, I wondering about the possibility of having a nested table with no border in the classification section so that blasted verticle line would disappear. My goal with that table is to have it as simple as possible given the numbers of articles similar tables will be in -- so if you can see anything that could be further simplified so that it is easy to make lists within the table, then I would be most grateful (I'm concerned about the complexity of the genera list in particular). Cheers! --maveric149

I think we have the table under control now - but please do take a look anyway. Thanx! --maveric149, Sunday, July 14, 2002
Whups! Sorry about not getting to this right away, I've been off of my main computer for a week now due to some hardware problems (which should be fixed by the end of this week :) and so haven't been wikipediaing much. I'll take a look now. Bryan Derksen, Tuesday, July 16, 2002

I seem to have uncovered a bug. :) I've uploaded a new version of the image without the black line around three sides, taken from image:cysteine.png (it's the 900 byte version). However, whenever I try to link the image or view the 900-byte versions from this page, I get the original 1.5 kb version instead. Since I haven't had much time for wikipedia in the past little while, I don't know if this bug has been spotted yet. Bryan Derksen 22:28 Jul 22, 2002 (PDT)

Unlike articles, images are served with the default expiry settings of the server, which I believe is three hours. So if you upload a new version of an image and then follow a link to it, you'll probably get the old one for a while; refreshing your browser may clear it. Maybe a note to that effect might be a good idea. LDC

Ah, excellent. thanks. :)

Ah, I see you couldn't stay away from the taxonomy tables. However, several of us decided to keep the scientific classification section as simple as possible by only noting non-super/sub taxons and only using those taxons to organize children lists (see: Dicotyledon for an example). No biggie either way. --mav

Heh. Alrighty, I'll search out the taxonomy table discussion and read it before I do any more of those. Besides, there are plenty of other tables in need of my tender ministrations throughout the pedia. :)
I'm still not entirely back in operation here on Wikipedia, but my computer troubles are just about finished clearing up now so I'm getting back in gear. Glad to be back! Bryan Derksen 20:38 Aug 3, 2002 (PDT)

Bryan, see Talk:Main Page -- Zoe

Yup, read about it on the mailing list a little while ago. It still puzzled me, though, because I'd already re-logged-in with the new .org address when that happened. It doesn't seem to be repeating so I guess it was just some little bit of cookie magic, after all. Oh well. :) Bryan Derksen