User talk:Sminthopsis84

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Welcome to Wikimedia Commons, Sminthopsis84!
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-- Wikimedia Commons Welcome (talk) 20:31, 20 May 2012 (UTC)

File:Doi thong 2 mo.jpg[edit]

Hi Sminthopsis - guesswork that unfortunately hasn't paid off; they aren't Pinus dalatensis (which occurs in dense high altitude mountain forests well away from Dalat city itself). The most likely pines there are P. kesiya and P. latteri (fairly frequent at lower altitudes in Vietnam), but the pic isn't good enough quality to verify this. Could you take the pic off the en:Pinus dalatensis page, please! - MPF (talk) 15:17, 6 September 2013 (UTC)

Wonderful, I was hoping that someone with more knowledge of the local area would step in. The guesswork seemed too good to be true, but I couldn't resist. Thanks very much for setting me straight. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 17:34, 6 September 2013 (UTC)

File:Hylotelephium erythrostictum.JPG[edit]

Hello Sminthopsis84,
I just saw that you changed the category of this file (and the two others in that gallery - 2 & 3), but you didn't ask for renaming and left them in the gallery, thus creating a confusing situation (should I leave them in the gallery or remove them?). In my opinion, it would be best if you could do all three - request to rename the file (with {{rename|newname.jpg|3|reason (optional)}}), change wrong categories and galleries - if you are sure about your identification. In case you are unsure, I would suggest a comment in the file description (e.g. erythrostictum wrong identification, probably ...).
Best wishes, Anna reg (talk) 11:56, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

Hi Anna, yes, I really have little idea what to do about misidentified plant photos, and I'm sorry that I haven't been considering galleries very much because that is more work than I can spare the time for. Sometimes when I've changed a category on a misidentified plant the creator has come back to make what further alterations are inspired by having it identified. In this case, I fear that it could be disappointing to the creator that the plant they have photographed appears to have escaped from a garden rather then being the rather rare species native to that area. I've removed the photos from the gallery. Does it really matter what the name of the photo is? It is incredibly common for plant photos (and herbarium specimens) to be initially identified as one thing, but on further study to turn out to be something else. I suspect that the overwhelming nature of the task is why few botanists make a start on identifying photos here. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 13:58, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
You are right that many plant pictures are uploaded without identification or with a wrong one - I'm no botanist and can therefore only identify really easy plants, do some general clean-up (remove the genus category or the category 'flowers' of plants with a species category), and of course maintain galleries. But if file name, description, category name, and the use in galleries and on wikipedia differ, I will be unsure which one to believe (and I think the same will be the case for other non-botanist users).
I can of course check by looking at the file history (how did the difference come about) and comparing the picture to both possibilities, but that takes time and doesn't always clear it up. As users can't change file names by themselves, and most people don't maintain galleries, a change in category and file description should be enough to 'prove' that the category change wasn't a mistake (which happens often enough - especially with tools like cat-a-lot - useful, but prone to mistakes). The gallery maintenance can be left to people like me who can't correct the identifications... ;->
But if you are changing the file description, using the {{rename}} template shouldn't take much more time... well - you'll see if you find the time, and you are correct that identifying plants is something you can do that many others can't...
Best wishes, --Anna reg (talk) 15:00, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. Looking at this again, I see why I've hesitated to rename files, it would require choosing the option "3. Correct misleading names into accurate ones" which, frankly, with the bold-face word, seems like rather an affront to someone who has tried to identify a plant and for whatever reason has settled on the wrong name. I've instead chosen to give the uploader time to think about it some more and revert me if they choose to, revert a single change rather than a set of related ones. Quite often in real life outside wikipedia, someone will have been told a name for a plant, and they will be sure that I'm wrong, so I'd expect reversions if I did a lot of this. If I had made multiple changes that they wanted to revert, they could feel that their mistake is being ridiculed. Sorry, after consideration I think that making multiple fixes as soon as I notice a misidentification is likely to hurt people too much. Instead, I've made a link from my user page to my main user page in Wikipedia, so that people (English-readers at least) can more easily see that I am a botanist. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 15:25, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

The link does help and I see your problem... as I'm not happy with the choices for misidentified pictures myself (point 3, 4 and 5 can be used but don't really fit), I posted a question there...
I still think that a comment in the file description is a good idea, as it makes your correction clearer and there are many users who don't look after their files on commons - even if it is of course not necessary as you do comment on your category changes, making it possible to see that your recategorisation isn't a cat-a-lot move... Anna reg (talk) 17:08, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

Okay, I could do that. The reason I haven't done very much of that is that commons is multi-lingual, so again, it seemed a bit insulting to the uploader. Perhaps people are working on getting automatic translation to help with that, I don't know. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 18:53, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
I agree renaming in the first phase is a bit bold and chances that others disagree with our findings and revert it. So better correct the category and description first and wait for a few days. Then come again and rename it. While renaming (as a file mover), I only use "correct ID" in the "reason for renaming" field. Jee 03:39, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, I'm glad that you see the rationale. Some cases are much easier than others, and these were particularly difficult. I haven't requested many renamings but will consider doing more of them. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 15:14, 28 March 2014 (UTC)

Cascabela thevetia / Thevetia peruviana[edit]

Hi Sminthopsis - I saw you reverted my edit with the summary "synonymy goes the other way": not according to USDA GRIN (Thevetia peruviana accepted, Cascabela thevetia a synonym), who are generally reliable. What's your reasoning / reference for going the other way? - MPF (talk) 17:29, 17 May 2014 (UTC)

Hi, the reference I was using is World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, which I've concluded is generally more up to date that USDA GRIN, being an ongoing effort to compile all available data. What do you think? Sminthopsis84 (talk) 20:23, 17 May 2014 (UTC)
Thanks! Checked up the relevant research (main paper Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 94 (2): 298-323, 2007); it turns out that Thevetia senso lato is monophyletic, but can be divided into two groups that are also both monophyletic. These two can be treated either as separate genera Thevetia and Cascabela (as done by WCSPF), or just as separate subgenera within Thevetia (as done by GRIN). Both are valid treatments, it is a matter of opinion which one follows, not of 'one right, the other wrong'. My weak preference would be to use the broad treatment favoured by GRIN (as that is the more familiar generally), but I don't have a strong view on it. What do you think? MPF (talk) 14:34, 18 May 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I agree. I was putting in quite a lot of effort on EN wikipedia to list synonyms of genera, including in Apocynaceae, and thought that this update was as well supported as the other work I was doing. That means that I'm a bit attached to the Cascabela choice, because I'm unwilling to undo all the work that I put in yesterday. Ugh. In what I saw, there are some other issues such as Thevetia neriifolia being a synonym, although it is quite commonly used, and it would be good to get those matters cleaned up. Generally, I've been thinking that the most recent aggregations, such as The Plant List and World Checklist are what we should follow, since the wiki projects shouldn't make their own decisions, but I completely agree that this case is one for a coin-toss. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 15:27, 18 May 2014 (UTC)
OK thanks! Cascabela it is, then ;-) MPF (talk) 16:16, 18 May 2014 (UTC)
Hey, you're obliging! I thought I should wait a couple of days, and see if yesterday's effort seems less overwhelming after a little more time has elapsed. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 16:21, 18 May 2014 (UTC)