Category talk:Computer wallpaper

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The introduction as it stands needs rewriting:

Pleasing large images with an aspect ratio of 4/3. They should have a resolution of 1024x768 or more. To check the aspect ratio, go to the properties of the image, and then divide its height by its width. If the resulting number is 0.75 or 0.8, then it's the correct ratio for a computer wallpaper. Anything between 0.73 and 0.77 is tolerable.

For a start, 4/3 is a division, not a ratio; 4:3 is a ratio (and 4::3 is a proportion). Also, the last two sentences contradict each other; if "anything between 0.73 and 0.77 is tolerable" (implying that these are the boundaries) then by the implication 0.8 is not in fact "correct". -- Korax1214 (talk) 05:59, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

I've now discovered another mistake: 5% of 0.75 (0.75×0.05) is not 0.02 but 0.0375 -- Korax1214 (talk) 12:04, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

What is computer wallpaper?[edit]

It seems to me that either computer wallpaper has the trivial definition of "any image used as a desktop background" (probably including single coloured, dithered shading and tiling), in which case we might want to decide whether to either put every*1 image that we have into this category (as they are potentially usable as "wallpaper", or more strictly only include images that have actually ever been used as desktop wallpaper (which would be an interesting insight into peoples tastes :-)*2.
Currently categorisation as "Wallpaper" appears to be done without any assessment as to whether images really are likely to be used as a computer desktop background. The stated criteria for this category is that the images are of a particular aspect ratio*3. If that is the criteria, then just get a bot to maintain the category. In fact aspect ratio is fairly irrelevant as most computers have a variety of crop/stretch/tile options that can make use of most any image. Most people will use whatever image they happen to like at the time as their desktop, whatever the aspect ratio. In short, the tag as presently applied is worthless.
I have endevoured to find a discussion about desktop wallpaper that suggests criteria, I have as yet found nothing useful. I think it boils down to something that is not too distracting when trying to spot icons that you have stored on the desktop. In my experience the images that I use for the longest periods are ones that either:
  • are predominantly one colour (or shades there of), and not too bright (pale colours) and low contrast
  • or have large horizontal bands of a couple of colours
Images that don't work at all are (mainly because they camouflage icons)
  • images with lots of detail and sharp edges or high contrast
  • images with lots of text or numbers
  • images with lots of fine detail ("busy" images)
  • overall bright images
  • images with a bright spot like the moon/sun etc (distracting and what about monitor burn?)
I have looked at sites which offer "computer wallpaper" and they do appear to have selection criteria, although what that is, is never stated. I realise this is very subjective, and depends on things like whether you have few or many icons on your desktop, and your preference setting for things like text colour.
  • So is it possible to agree on criteria, or does the term have so little meaning that we should either put all or no images in here? --Tony Wills (talk) 06:11, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
1 Including animations and movies - VLC and probably other programs can play material as a desktop background image (uses DirectX on Windows platforms, may not be available for other platforms)
2 Might want to specify that they have to have actually lived with it for more than a day, before it is acceped as "used" ;-) --Tony Wills (talk) 02:22, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
3 I haven't mentioned resolution as that really depends upon your computer, maybe 800x600 is good enough. I haven't mentioned "pleasing" as a criteria as that just means an image that pleases someone, I expect almost every image pleases someone. --Tony Wills (talk) 06:23, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
Wallpaper assessments lacks any kind of accepted criteria currently aside from that it needs to be a FP. I wonder if such a criteria is really necessary?
Automated means can be used to assess the height and width of the file as well as the files size and type. These can be used to eliminate some files that are too small (such as animated gifs and the earliest FPs) or incompatible (svg, ogg files) to be wallpapers. Multiple categories based on resolution can also be populated automatically. Such technical means are unavailable currently as this discussion was rushed. I was hoping to start a discussion such as this one once the technical means were available.
-- とある白い猫 ちぃ? 10:12, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
Are you still confused by the categories and templates? This computer wallpaper category doesn't require anything to be featured. Have you read the above material - ogg files can be used as wallpaper too. The whole question is not a technical one, it is a question of definition. --Tony Wills (talk) 12:02, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
Featured or not assessment can be made automatically. It would be similar code to make automatic assessment. -- とある白い猫 ちぃ? 16:47, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
That is not an "assessment" that is a computation. Just as it has little value to select FP, QI or VI with a computation, an assessment of usefulness as "wallpaper" by computation is of marginal value. If you want to automate categorization of images by aspect ratio into aspect ratio categories, then that's fine, do it with a bot or add-on to the wikimedia software. But don't put that computation in the same class as other Commons assessment processes. --Tony Wills (talk) 20:48, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
The process does not have to be entirely human oriented. Assessments can be based on computation. The user should merely worry about "this image is good enough to be a wallpaper" and software (template code) should determine how to categorize it. A user shouldn't be expected to worry about technical issues like aspect ratios, file sizes and etc.
I would think it would be a better place to start with FA, QI and VIs as wallpapers than files that have no such prior assessment. Promotion to "wallpaper" status does not have a vote associated with it so using FA/QI/VI would be a QC mean readily available.
-- とある白い猫 ちぃ? 22:20, 14 May 2012 (UTC)


Thank you for bringing the subject to discussion. Although it is a relatively minor issue it has already caused serious lateral disputes and needs to be solved in a consensual way. I fully agree with Tony's initial assessment and also find very difficult to establish clear criteria on what a computer wallpaper is or should be. In my opinion the questions that need to be answered are: i) Is it really necessary to define the concept and classify the pictures accordingly?; ii) If the answer is 'yes', how should the tagging be done: with a template, by categorization or both? iii) Should the tagging be applied to all pictures or only to FP? Personally, I very much doubt that identifying the potential wallpaper images is really useful for someone looking for a suitable background. Anyway, categorization is the correct way to do it and the process should be extended to all pictures, not just to FP. -- Alvesgaspar (talk) 09:50, 14 May 2012 (UTC)

I do not agree. FPs supposed to be the best we are to offer with the "wow" factor. Our FP wallpapers should be hence a separate entity though not every FP should be a wallpaper due to technical restrictions.
Constructing a wallpaper category is more useful for people who'd like to have their desktop background integrated through something like an RSS feed similar to the dynamic RSS-fed bing wallpapers. Aspect ratio is the prime issue that matters when it comes to wallpapers since for instance in my case I would want the wallpapers RSS feed grabs to be wide-screen only since I only use widescreen hardware. Users can still choose to use the non-widescreen RSS feed if they desire.
The RSS feed can also be pointed at any category so it could be pointed at "Valued images" or even topic specific categories.
-- とある白い猫 ちぃ? 09:55, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
This is not about FP, this is about computer wallpaper. You appear to assert that "wallpaper" is two criteria, a minimum size and a specific aspect ratio, and nothing more? --Tony Wills (talk) 12:18, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
File type, maximum size (height/width), maximum file size, aspect ratio, all are important factors independent of the actual content of the file. -- とある白い猫 ちぃ? 16:49, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
They are all technical factors not normally significant in a human selection of a desktop wallpaper. When people find an image that they would like to use as a desktop background, they can easily download lower resolution (and smaller file size) versions, and then crop, stretch or tile to fit their desktop. Eg if they happen to use Internet Explorer, right click on image, choose "set as desktop background", and choose stretch etc options - IE will convert any image, displayable by the browser, to what it needs for a desktop background.
Categorization by resolution or aspect ratio may be useful when selecting which wallpaper image to use, but it doesn't really go anywhere to deciding whether an image is useful as "wallpaper". I can't see that it would be useful to define all images fitting particular technical criteria, regardless of the actual image content, as "desktop wallpaper". It is really the other way around: images whose contents are suitable for "desktop backgrounds" can then be filtered by technical criteria for different uses (widescreen 16:9, portrait 9:16, cga 320x200, qsxga 2560x2048, animated etc etc) --Tony Wills (talk) 00:17, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
If the file is 16000x16000 in resolution and over 200MB in size, I think it would be very difficult for the user to download and use as wallpaper. We do have top-notch NASA images that can be very bad as wallpapers for being too large. There can indeed be a temporary machine-assessed category which would be reviewed by humans to eliminate the files outside of the technical ranges (which can be put in a separate category for additional assessment if needed).
You bring up an interesting point on phones. Phones lack any kind of standard resolution ratio (as each brand or phone model can have unrelated display sizes) and they need very specific resolution ratios to use the images. I think complicated nature makes this to be assessed at a later phase.
-- とある白い猫 ちぃ? 14:23, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
A 16000x16000 example highlights the exact difference in how we see the assessment of "desktop wallpaper". To me the size is a minor technical detail and has nothing to do with whether it is a good image for "desktop wallpaper" - the wikimedia software offers smaller, prescaled versions for download (eg 320×240, 640×480, 800×600, 1,024×768, 1,280×960 for larger 4:3 aspect ratio pictures). If the file is too big for the thumbnailer to do this then the file will have no thumbnail visible, but of course the user can download and install it anyway - depending on their internet connection and computer system this may be difficult. But all this is about the capabilities at their end which only they know. If the lack of prescaled thumbnails isn't a sufficient hint to users, a "large file" warning would be good to alert them to potential problems and perhaps ease the job of an automated RSS feed that might want to be conservation and assume some moderate capabilities of the recieving system.
Do you not conceive that good images for "desktop wallpaper" need to meet any of the sort of content criteria described in my first post above (these are not "featured" or "quality" or "technical" criteria, but "useful for purpose" criteria) ? --Tony Wills (talk) 21:38, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
As I stated elsewhere (this is why I hate parallel discussions) it could very well be a two step process. A human can mark the file as wall-paper worthy based on criteria (such as the ones you have mentioned). It could even be a vote. But to me this is a later issue to tackle.
Currently there is no such process and the first step in my view is sorting out the technical issues such as standardizing the template (for featured wallpaper assessments), auto-categorization and other such features. This is because it is difficult to convince people to change their technical environment once they get used to it.
To me aspect ratio and size are a VITAL part of a wallpaper assessment as I would want the wallpapers I get to match my hardware setup. I for instance would only want to receive wide-screen wallpapers above a certain resolution threshold regardless how "awesome" they may be.
-- とある白い猫 ちぃ? 00:54, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
"aspect ratio and size are a VITAL part of a wallpaper assessment", I think we need to use two seperate terms for two seperate operations. "Wallpaper" usefulness can be assessed and tagged, then the user can select which ones they like, possibly from an automated feed, or various categories. So a vital part of your selection for use on your device might be the size and aspect ratio etc but the assessment as to whether it is a useful candidate is the part of the process that is missing. --Tony Wills (talk) 01:19, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
Adding it to multiple categories is a trivial task for a template. Like how all featured pictures appear on Category:Featured pictures but also on category specific sub-categories such as Category:Featured pictures of aircraft. Likewise we can have something like Category:Assessed desktop wallpapers and Category:Assessed desktop wallpapers (4:3 ratio). One of the operation (assessing resolution and etc) can be conducted automatically as it is a mindless task. The code would be activated after human assessment. In such a transition all existing wallpapers can be converted to "candidates".
People can even assess topic specific wallpapers such as for "Aircraft". In fact the topic categories could be merged to the {{Assessments}} so that if a file is put under Category:Featured pictures of aircraft it would also appear on something like Category:Assessed desktop wallpaper pictures of aircraft if assessed as "wallpaper-worthy". This would eliminate duplication when such information is available.
-- とある白い猫 ちぃ? 11:07, 16 May 2012 (UTC)