Wikipedia:Village pump (idea lab)

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The idea lab section of the village pump is a place where new ideas or suggestions on general Wikipedia issues can be incubated, for later submission for consensus discussion at Village pump (proposals). Try to be creative and positive when commenting on ideas.
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WP:Vital Direct[edit]

I've written down sorta a plan to boost the production of WP:Vital Articles, which in the last 15 years have made zero progress. What do you think about the plan and how could it be improved? CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 02:29, 15 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Anyone? CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 10:28, 27 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am not sure where the plan is on the page? Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 05:10, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The Vital Direct plan is as follows: Make two Vital GAs, one broad, one controversial. Doing so would give us a lot of experience at tackling other Vital articles, as well as giving cred to the project (similar to how the WP:MILHIST and WP:AVIATION have done in the past). Making 2 GAs would also prove that the first success is not just a fluke or hype. Improve the lead/image/layout first, then add citations to uncited statements. Only afterwards does experts' knowledge is required, which the experts would probably be noticed by a flurry of activities in the article. Lure them in and collaborate with them. Do not improve the prose – just make them readable first. These processes would probably take about 2-6 months if done efficiently.
Then, once the group is satisfied, a simple copyedit and final check take place, then the article gets nominated for GA. If the nomination failed, improve till the last reviewer is satisfied. If the nomination is successful, well done, go out have a drink or something, and get back to work with the other GA. The articles can be pushed all the way to FA if we want to, but it is not mandatory nor necessary. Hopefully by then these efforts would inspire other editors to take initiative and do the same. I originally tried to tackle Science and United States, but the former is immensely difficult, and the latter is currently being haunted by LTAs. So, I organize a trial drive of expanding short Vital articles to garner experience instead. CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 06:06, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
CactiStaccingCrane, you've done right in posting on other project talk pages as well: the idea lab, though obviously an appropriate place for such a proposal, doesn't always attract a lot of editors.
This proposal is very far from my normal wiki activities, so just sharing a few minor observations. First, it'll be easier for the essay to engage people if you add some sort of executive summary at the top, just like the lede of an article. Second, I think improvement drives like the one in the proposal (which I've only skimmmed) could work for the low-hanging fruit: articles of already solid quality that need just a light touch of copyediting and some formatting in order to meet the GA criteria. Most of the vital articles, though, will probably need a lot more substantial work. Given the importance of the topic, there's going to be vast quantities of literature to consult in each case, and the editor doing that work will need to already know their way around it: subject matter expertise will be necessary. That probably wouldn't work as a hobby project for an enthusiastic amateur. Unless we manage to recruit experts from outside Wikipedia, the work will need to be completed by those subject experts who are already on the project. Chances are, they are already aware of the important topics that need work and if they haven't done that work so far there isn't much that we can do to entice them to do it now. Also, they will obviously already have ideas about which topics are important in their field and where work would be needed, and in all likelihood, their views won't match the views of the compilers of the vital article lists. Uanfala (talk) 22:46, 4 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Uanfala I think you are correct that the views could be different, but I wonder if there might not be a large overlap, and they could choose to work on those articles.
"Unless we manage to recruit experts from outside Wikipedia," As I was wondering if you could expand on this? Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk)
I don't have any additional ideas here. Wikipedia could certainly do with more subject expert editors, but I don't know of any way to entice more of them to join. Uanfala (talk) 21:54, 5 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It might help to have a more expansive idea of what "joining" means. Editors have occasionally found subject-matter experts and asked them to review Wikipedia articles. The result is usually an e-mail message or document full of suggestions for you to implement, rather than someone creating an account, learning how to edit, and joining the community. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:38, 11 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Uanfala "though obviously an appropriate place for such a proposal, doesn't always attract a lot of editors." Is using Wikipedia:Community portal/Open tasks effective, or which projects are you suggesting
@WhatamIdoing I am hoping the 'joining' gets easier after Vector2 (cross fingers). A" more expansive idea of what "joining" means" is an interesting idea. I like the idea of asking outside experts for comments, but out policy is to ignore them (both because of identity issues, and we don't see them as neutral). It would also be annoying for an Expert to be asked directly (by someone who can't easily ng they are an editor) to review an article, and then have their comments ignore)
In theory, there are a lot of task that anyone could help with - references/quoting from a book that is not available on line/grammar ... but WP has a steep learning curve, and a sub-culture that thinks merciless (rather then dispassionate) is a good thing. I like it, but I would always warn gentle friends people about editing's dangers. So, I am quite tired tonight, so forgive me if i have already asked this, (and I may be getting my open source projects confused), but I seem to remember that someone did a parallel test of some feature of WP (??NPP) externally where non-editors could make a choice???. Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 12:27, 11 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Why wouldn't you see a real-world expert as "neutral"? I'd expect your average professor of _____ to be a perfectly fine source of information about _____. Except for the occasional turf war, which is generally pretty easy to spot, there are really few people on earth that are better suited to give you a general overview of _____ than the people who teach the "Introduction to _____" classes at the university level.
I've e-mailed a couple of professors over the years to ask a question. About half reply. ("I just cited your paper on Wikipedia. Please tell me if I got the facts wrong, so I can fix it right away" seems to be a winning request.) I'm choosing the people I'm reaching out to, which means I'm more likely to pick a typical prof than an iconoclastic prof.
There are parallel tests of different features going on all the time. I suspect, however, that you are thinking about the Wikipedia:Growth Team features. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:21, 11 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In my experience experts prefer to print out a copy of the article, which they then mark up or write comments on. I've been able to meet in person to go through these, but no doubt that could be done fairly effectively via zoom etc. But the article has to be pretty good before they get it, if you want them to engage. When I was asked by a senior curator to write an article, I didn't show it to her until after it passed FA. If it needs any serious amount of work, you're more likely to get a postgrad to engage. Just sometimes, serious experts can be enticed to actually edit WP themselves, but they will almost always do so on the articles they want to work on, rather than what you want them to. Johnbod (talk) 17:29, 11 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Don't we all? --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 19:48, 12 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I disagree with a lot of the rant. One of the central tenets seems to be that if it ain't a GA, it's garbage. There's a lot of room in between. A B-class article, which many VAs are, is pretty acceptable. See also what I said below about GA becoming a "do tricks for fastidious reviewers show". pbp 01:45, 16 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Conversely, there are plenty of degraded GAs out there: not sure if the bar for entry was lower in, say, 2008, or if its just decay. Iskandar323 (talk) 05:43, 16 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I did not say that it ain't a GA, it's garbage in the essay. Improving articles to B-Class do have its merit, and GA is also without its flaws. However, for the drive purposes, it is better than B-Class as it is more formulated and satisfying to achieve. We will have measures to prevent gaming the system like this. CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 09:05, 16 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Your words were "horrible" and "crappy" to describe non-GAs. So synonymous with garbage. pbp 12:22, 16 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    You are right. Guess I should cut the rambling and get straight to the proposal. CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 12:24, 16 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Incentivise article improvement[edit]

Background: The ArbCom are some weeks into taking evidence about Conduct in deletion-related editing. I've been watching, thinking, and trying to imagine a solution to what I perceive as the underlying problem. On the face of it, the problem is behaviour at WP:AFD. This idea, attempts to deal with the issues that motivate editor behaviour.

I raised this issue here, and @Tryptofish suggest I post here.

The Problem (my amateur psychology musings): The problem is human tendencies. Consider the politician who makes the front page of the local newspaper for opening a school. Consider how no politician ever gets on the front page for quietly, smoothly running a school. It's human nature, we value starting things more than maintaining things. And it's the same here. Editors like to say how many articles we created, tools allow us to see that and compare ourselves. It plays to our nature: enjoyment of competition, gamification. Tools, as far as I know, don't make it easy to see how many articles we improved. Less editors, I think, boast on their user page how many gnomish improvements they made. I am sure I am not alone in getting a little dopamine hit every time I create a new article. Likewise I have seen people boast on user pages how many bad pages they got deleted, I am sure people get a little satisfaction knowing they improved the encyclopaedia, removed the junk, maintained the standards. Which leaves us with behaviours, supported by tools and culture that gives little rewards for creating and little rewards for deleting. Less clear rewards and less strong incentives exist and to measure or undertake article improvement. Humans respond to incentives. We are emotional animals that like to feel good about ourselves. We tend to do what we can measure.

Suggested strategic solution: We need to incentivise article improvement. Mass stub creation is only a problem when there is not an equal or larger effort to improve them, I say that with the assumption that all these articles about Olympians, sports people, islands, or TV shows are notable. I assume good faith by those who create them. Wikipedia would be better if there were better ways to measure article improvement. We need to add gamification: rank editors by their efforts to improve articles. Maybe the Article Rescue Squadron should have been called the Article Improvement Team. Maybe the tendency to frame this as tension between deflationists and inclusionists is wrong and it's more of problem about lack of article improvement efforts and incentives. CT55555 (talk) 21:12, 15 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Rank editors how? We've already got various things like Wikipedia:List of Wikipedians by article count, Wikipedia:List of Wikipedians by number of edits, Wikipedia:List of Wikipedians by featured list nominations, Wikipedia:List of Wikipedians by featured article nominations, and similar, plus people already collect barn stars and other forms of WikiLove and thanks, icons for WP:GOOD articles they've worked on, etc. There are various gamified drives to improve backlogs in some areas (e.g. I'm taking part in Wikipedia:New pages patrol/Backlog drives/July 2022), and thinking of NPP in particular there's lists like Wikipedia:Database reports/Top new article reviewers, etc. I am however also conscious of WP:EDITCOUNT. I personally don't create many articles and am definitely more of a WP:GNOME/WP:ELF. -Kj cheetham (talk) 13:56, 16 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I hope others might chime in with ideas about how. But I still think we need to incentivise to me more like you. At risk of relying on anecdote, I think you have edited more articles I created more than anyone, and I see your role-model behaviour as a statistical outlier. I don't mean to diminish anyone else's work, but what I see from reading the ArbCom case is a consequence of too much focus on creation and deletion at the expense of article improvement. Maybe I should ask, what motivates you so we can try and bottle and replicate that?
    Also the "number of edits" I think encourages small bot like edits over article improvement. I note we're not comparing Wikipedians by volume (kb) of kept content added, Wikipedians by number of articles improved out of stub. CT55555 (talk) 14:09, 16 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Highly likely I think I'm not a "typical" editor. :) Stats based on articles moved from stubs would be very hard to track technically I think, if relying on people from projects to manually classify articles. Something by volume of content could be interesting though... Things like can tell you average edit size, and the ratio of small/big at least for a single editor, and things like tell you what fraction editors contributed to a single article. I suspect I find looking at stats more interesting than most people. (I do have a highly scientific background.) Barnstars and Wikipedia:Service awards are slightly motivational to me, as well as watching numbers increase, but generally I just like to try and make things better by doing some of the "boring" things other people don't tend to like to do, though I primarily focus on biographies most of the time. I try to stick to uncontraversial things most of the time (hence I work on things like WP:RMTR rather than closing discussions) and mostly staying off the "drama boards", and I like to do little edits than require minimal thinking by me a lot of the time. -Kj cheetham (talk) 14:24, 16 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    There are some ways in which we encourage article improvement, for example 5x expansion DYKs are an excellent way to earn WikiCup points. There are also improvement projects like Women in Green or the Core Contest. But perhaps we should have more ways to celebrate content creation and improvement outside DYK and GA/FA. —Kusma (talk) 14:36, 16 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • One of my fellow editors expressed the sentiment that Wikipedia is not a video game, and I agree wholeheartedly. Humans are good enough at creating hierarchies without making it this formal – we already have lists of our works on our userpages, and barnstars... I would oppose any sort of further social-status-based incentive to write articles. Another editor pointed out DYK – main page exposure is definitely a neat reward for a new or expanded article, as is the very formal DYK credit you receive for it. theleekycauldron (talkcontribs) (she/they) 03:50, 17 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @TheleekycauldronI think we have to careful that we don't start to think that there is only one way to Wiki. I am sure there is shortcut for that, but I can't remember it. I understand people who don't want social status incentives, but there are 30 or 40 K regular editors, we are largely anonymous so the status isn't really that hig. Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 12:56, 17 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@CT55555 "Maybe the tendency to frame this as tension between deflationists and inclusionists is wrong and it's more of problem about lack of article improvement efforts and incentives." I agree. My personal bugbear is drive-by taggers, and the various "this article needs improvement" tags. Yes, you have found a problem, well done - now fix it. I think that is in part because of mismatched incentives, and of power imbalances. The NPP tools allow and editor to rack up edits faster than if they were playing Galaga with tags. but does that improve WP? Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 12:58, 17 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thing is… tagging is a step towards fixing. I can identify a problem with an article just from reading it… but not know the topic well enough to know how to fix that problem. For example, I can say “hmmm… this statement needs a source” but not know what the best sources are… so I tag it with a “citation needed” tag so that other editors (who DO know what the best sources for the topic are) can follow up and add the needed citation. Blueboar (talk) 13:27, 17 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Blueboar I am 50/50 on the citation tags, because although they are a great collaboration tool, however
  • Tagging stubs is redundant, on the benefit of tagging mid-class articles I am uncertain, but i agree for others for the reasons you mention. Wikipedia:Template index/Cleanup has similar advice.
  • Tagging is shaping the way WP works in negative ways. When an editor tags it satisfies the itch, by moving the resposibility to subsequent editors. If enough editors existed, then it would be great process, but they don't {based on the age of unaddressed tag edits and the huge backlogs). Instead, mass tagging could be seen a way we reduce the impetuous to change, so that new editors stay, Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 03:36, 18 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I do think that certain kinds of tags are pointless. Do we need a (visible) {{more footnotes}} banner on a one-sentence substub? I don't think so. I don't think it provides value to us, and I don't think our readers are so stupid that they can't count the number of little blue clicky numbers all by themselves in extremely short articles. Most readers can count up to at least three pretty reliably.
I'm also doubtful that these tags produce improvements merely by lingering at the top of the page. Maybe if someone's actively improving the article, they'd respond, but when nobody has made a substantive edit in the article for a long time, then it's probably pointless.
Also, in terms of edits, the way to make lots of edits is generally to do nothing important. Fix a tiny formatting error. Remove your pet WP:CLICHE. If you want to a contest to really improve articles, then Wikipedia:Citation Hunt has a leaderboard. This month's leader has posted only 51 citations. I bet you could beat that. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:17, 18 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The justification for tags is that they urge users to become editors. The justification for this is personal experience But there is no quanitiative proof that that first edits are tag corrections or ...., but I am not certain whather quantitative data would be compelling in our process.
I must disagree that "Most readers can count up to at least three pretty reliably.", as I think we are underestimatimg as I remember in Watership Downs rabbits can count up to four. :-)
And I shall try to avoid talking in cliches, but only "At the appropriate juncture.In the fullness of time. When the moment is ripe. When the necessary procedures have been completed. Nothing precipitate, of course." Yes, Minister Season 1 episode 5 Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 06:14, 19 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Then if we assume readers have the intelligence of rabbits, we can quit putting {{more footnotes}} on any stub with 4 or fewer ref tags. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:36, 26 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Also, much more in the range of pet peeves, we have no evidence that these tags actually have the desired effect of converting readers into editors. It's plausible but untested. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:44, 26 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't think tagging is a problem. I do both, as in, I both tag, and I remove tags. I both improve articles (from creating new ones to rescuing bad ones) and get others deleted. IMHO, tags "look bad", making our articles more obvious work in-progress, ugly to the readers, but are important both as indicators of what needs to be fixed, and yes, reminder for the readers that many articles are not finished and that they can help. While I do agree tag bombed articles are not aesthetically pleasing, I think it's ok. Bad, untagged articles which "look" good are not a service to the readers. It's better for everyone to see there's a problem then to mask it with swathes of problematic content that looks good for uninformed readers. Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 11:28, 18 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In the past, I've tried to use notability tags to give editors time to address the notability issues prior to taking the article to AfD. I no longer do that, due to a very negative reaction from an editor, but I believe it is generally a good practice, and a step towards improving the encyclopedia, either by improving the article or deleting it. BilledMammal (talk) 13:23, 18 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@CT55555 Had you any thoughts of where the aricle imprevement metric would appear? Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 14:00, 5 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for bringing me back into this, I felt the conversation above went so many ways that I'm not sure there is consensus...
I hope for people gamification expertise might chime in, but as a starting suggestion, I suppose it needs two elements. The first is measurement, ways to score/rank/measure improvement actions. And then it needs tools to let people boast about their work. That sounds a bit unlikeable as I write it, but maybe if we think of all the badges that people (myself included) put on our user pages boasting about how many articles we created or deleted, if there was boxes that people could display "I improved 1,000 articles" or "I added upgraded 100 articles" that was the sort of outcome I thought might work. CT55555 (talk) 14:11, 5 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@CT55555 :-) Boasting could be seen as annoying sense of achievement at the expense of others. :-)
Ethical Gamification aims to create an explained cycle of visible stimuli/incentives/scores, that generates a positive response, that satisfies an individual's emotional needs, by using a good processes, to meet beneficial achievable goals (both organisational and individually chosen). Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk)
Some emotional needs are : group identity, visible status (self achievement/recognition, self pride[[flow state] and progress towards goal], and eustress. Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 04:41, 7 August 2022 (UTC)vReply[reply]
A process is composed of people, systems, and procedures, A good one should,
  • Be frictionless (easy to use, low conflict, productive, constant, and encourages a flow state),
  • Be individually controlled (the individual has the information to decides this response),
  • Be Peer monitored and supported in terms of overall goals,
  • Encourage steady quality effort, rather than short term goals and inspection,
  • Have scores that are hard to game, where 75 % can get satisfaction in some way,
  • Be part of clear responsibility and authority mandate,
  • have the quality baked in (difficult to make mistakes, tool to check for them), not inspected in
  • Be constantly improving and regularly reviewed, and
  • See failure to meet goals as a process issue, rather than just team or individual. Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk)
For stubs, and in particular user boxes
  • Goal : Reduce # of stubs by adding three reputable references,
  • Sub goals to achieve goal  : Increase number of active people involved, productivity,
  • Benefits : Reader satisfaction, individual editor (especially Wiki-Gnomes :-)) happiness, and identification of bad faith that has passed the NPP filter in the distance past. Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 04:41, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Proposed Stimulus : User box
  • Visibility : Very low, User and peers have have to make effort to look at e
  • Meets Emotional needs (strength) from proposed stimulus only : group identity (low), visible status (low), self pride (low), eustress (low) Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 04:41, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Major Stubs improvement Risks
  • Approval
  • Citation process has problems that effect quality and productivity (high),
  • Editor burn out (low)
  • WMF willingness - insufficient WMF resources in foreseeable future. No cost-benefits. But if WMF do development then community outrage (and possibly Editors going to the Press) partly due to no clear community and agreed signoff process,
  • Critics hold Stubs to unrealistic standard, Adding references triggers drive-by tagging/conflict/reversals
  • Editors
  1. Editors (Experienced) - becoming increasingly hard to find
  2. Editors (Mid) - Not allowed to contact in large numbers,
  3. Editors (New) - Not allowed to contact in large numbers, Edit process can be tricky (but vector 2 is coming)
  4. Non Editors - No precedence for creating a gamified focused website on asking for reference, or for people to check books, or to confirm that no references can be found Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 04:41, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

One sidebar note. For encyclopedia that a zillion people have been working on for over 20 years, we don't have areas left where mass or high quantity stub creation is beneficial. North8000 (talk) 13:13, 20 July 2022 (UTC):Reply[reply]

@talk I don't think there is suggestion that we create more stubs, just increase the quality of existing stubs. Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 09:42, 26 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Kj cheetham I think this is a great idea But I think even with incentives, having enough people is going to be the major, but solvable, issue; at an hour each, there are Wikipedia:Content_assessment 4 million hours work on stubs. So,where do we get people...

  • New editors won't solve it; editor retention is decreasing, it takes years to understand WP, and you are competing against other projects.
  • Diverting editors from non productive (category assignment, tags, adding templates..) might help a bit.
  • Having lomg term editors stay by reducing conflict would help, but they don't tend to work on stubs
  • Process changes and tools could reduce the amount of work per hour, but I think the best option is
  • Crowd sourcing. The first Oxford English Dictionary crowd sourced references, but had experienced editors check. We could crowd source the selection of relevant references from an automated curated list, with the option to flag the stub as not notable. The stubs would be randomly selected within a reviewer's area of interest. Multiple users could check the same article before the article was updated; there would be no incentive for vandalsSo, instead of WP, the users would use a more open source social website that wouldn't be wikified and more like [this] Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 09:42, 26 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Wikipedia is already the epitome of crowdsourcing. It's one of the few websites where a random passer-by can improve content without even registering. We have a few initiatives where editors can request suggestions for articles they may wish to improve; perhaps they could be made better (how?) and more prominent. Certes (talk) 12:49, 26 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree WP is very good at crowd sourcing,but we have problems on keeping editors,and diversity.

But with the calls to improve, there are no statistics on whether the current calls to improve work. They may actually harm, as there are a lot of real world User Experience work that shows that people are annoyed by long messages, and I suspect that the age when the templates are added undermines the perceived quality of WP Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 23:02, 26 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The articles and issues are so diverse that any effort is going to overgeneralize. I wouldn't focus too much on expanding stubs. We probably have a million geographic & species stubs that are OK but which will be slow and hard to expand. We probably have a 1/2 millions stubs which shouldn't be articles. Much of our flow of new articles are promotional (aspiring musicians, aspiring Bollywood actors, business people who pay to get an article made on them, sports players, future albums, future movies, future tournaments) and people mass producing articles as a part of their wikipedia hobby which shouldn't be a articles To avoid pointing real world fingers, I'll just say like "I think that my Wikipedia hobby will be to make an article on each house in my town". IMO the substantive areas that Wikipedia could most benefit from more work are:

  • Where subject matter experts are needed. But between needing to learn the Wikipedia alternate universe and Wikipedia being such a vicious place, they are hard to get and hard to keep.
  • Articles imported from other language wikis. Many substantive topics from other countries are not yet covered in English Wikipedia. But when imported, they have many problems.
  • Articles related to real-world tussles (with American Politics at the top of that list) are all in bad shape but anybody who tries to fix them will get butchered by clever warriors. Fixing that will require policy changes.

Finally, Wikipedia keeps getting harder and harder to learn. Efforts to make it easier have been misdirected. For example, on dumbing down what is already easy (basic text editing) while expecting them to figure out how to use complicated undocumented templates and complex multi-leveled reference architectures to add a reference. North8000 (talk) 21:19, 26 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 21:19, 26 July 2022 (UTC) @(talkReply[reply]

Great taxonomy. Accurate evaluation of proposals to do with big problems always need statistics We need to know progress measures (new/downgrades/upgrades), users (# editors, readers, and activewatchers ), and age (improve tag, last edit, creation, date of talk topic). How would we find out these details? 23:02, 26 July 2022 (UTC)

I have a proposal here that gets largely abandoned in the Village pump called WP:Vital Direct. With some modifications, I think this plan would effectively resolve a lot of bitter conflicts between deletionists and inclusionists, by redirecting focus from stubs to Vital articles. Inclusionists would add content to the article, while deletionists cull out cruft and spams from it. And believe me, there's a lot of very short yet Vital articles that needs improvement. This is done by setting a very ambitious goal (all Vital Articles GA/FA within a decade) that is attainable via careful planning and execution. We don't need to have a big panel of experts made for improving these vital topics, we don't need to radically reform TFA/FAC/GAN, we don't need to get a thousand more new editors to do the job, nor we need to make a bazillions of RfCs on contagious topics. We already have the tools to make all Vital Articles GAs within a decade, as detailed in the plan. Furthermore, the Vital Direct plan is not exactly just Powerpoint slides stuff (like User:TCO/Improving Wikipedia's important articles), as the Vital Direct's philosophy is currently being implemented right now at the Wikiproject Vital Articles. Yes, I might sound like a shill, but I truly think that a lot of Wikipedia's inefficiencies and conflicts can be solved if we set a big overarching and meaningful goal and actually achieve it, just like what the Apollo program in real life and on Wikipedia did. CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 11:08, 27 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I like idea of the Apollo mission on Vital,but I doubt we have enough people unless we change policies WP is not going to die, but maintenance and lack of people will mean it declines. My personal version of Hell is WP is replaced by this project where FB/Meta is creating an AI version of WP (using current WP to train it) Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 12:45, 27 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I will do it. Let's see how it goes. CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 13:43, 27 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Trial a different Idea Labs process[edit]

Ideas seem to have a low chance of becoming successful proposals, even though experienced editors are proposing them. Maybe the reason is due to our process, especially that we jump to a solution before understanding the problem totally, I suggest we trial a few small to medium size problems using a problem solving process with the following steps:

  • Define the problem,
  • Generate Alternative Solutions ,
  • Evaluate and select an Alternative
  • Implement and follow up Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 07:17, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Wakelamp, super strong agree. See also: Iterative and incremental development. We need this. We have stagnated for so long because we are being too bureaucratic, too un-WP:IARy, and love stuff to not change. CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 13:19, 30 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't think our editors are accustomed to separating these steps. We jump to proposed solutions rapidly, and we tend to insist upon our proposed solutions even if we're told that it won't work. Consider, e.g., the decision to spam {{unref}} into articles in 2009. That was supposed to result in editors adding sources to the articles. Nobody ever checked to see whether that worked, though. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:45, 1 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, I agree that using this Wikipedia for testing is a bad idea and that's why we have Test Wikipedia for such purposes. As for ideas that does not involve the main namespace or require A/B testing, it may be done here in a temporary Wikipedia namespace page. CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 10:02, 2 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@CactiStaccingCrane With Editor behaviour you need live. An A/B on would have been easy, although you would have had to wait 12 months or in our case 13 years :-)
@WhatamIdoing Maybe finding whether our whether the 2009 change worked could be the first we run through a problem solving process? Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 23:29, 4 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm not sure how you would find out if it worked. There'd be no way to know whether the tag produced efforts vs citations would have been added anyway.
I suspect that these tags are useful in the first days/weeks, when someone is actively working on an article. If there were some sort of magic way to hide half the banners, we could see if the banner has an effect. I don't know of a way to truly randomize it, but we could probably do something like flip a coin 12 times (one per month) and then tell the banner to appear if the article is in a "heads" month and disappear if it's in a "tails" month. If we did this for, e.g., all articles in 2010, 2015, and 2020, and waited a year to see how many are still unsourced, we'd probably learn something. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:15, 6 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
" tag produced efforts vs citations would have been added anyway." I think we can if 2009 was theonly mass unref
  • We can compare 2009 unrefs, 2010 unrefs, 2010 should be unrefs but werent,
Questions that might be of interest
Does the unref tag encurage first time editors?_
What % of unref tags ares still in place, even though it has 3 cites..
I will ask on technical, about whather "If there were some sort of magic way to hide half the banners, we could see if the banner has an effect. " Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 15:01, 6 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There is a way to do so, using #switch and {{Random number}}, or just {{Random item}}. It can be done – what worries me is the storm of editors that will reject this radical proposal. We have to nail the proposal right the first time. CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 15:04, 6 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@CactiStaccingCrane I agree with you that 'a storm of Editors' may reject this as they perceive it as radical. I now think unref has three issues
  • Some editors have a strongly held belief that unref attracts new editors, that might not be challengeable based on day
  • The concept of testing a hypothesis is new to many WP editors.
  • That it's not worth doing anything unless we fix everything (See reply on my question tech ( which has been archived )
So, as I don't think we will "nail the proposal right the first time" though, but maybe we should concentrate on something not as controversial ( such as making the citation process from google books easier), or just create a list of problems tied to Village pump, or we wait for a more auspicious time in 5 to 10 years Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 11:43, 13 August 2022 (UTC) .Reply[reply]
Agreed. Wikipedia community sucks in this regard. CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 11:46, 13 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Top 10 Village pump (technical) threads of the month[edit]

Everytime I visit Wikipedia:Village pump (technical) I find some useful thread. And that leads me to wonder what have I missed in the time that I did not see. I propose to create a newsletter of some sorts, where the curators add link to the "Top 10 Village pump (technical) threads of the month" (can be 5,10, 15 etc). And the newsletter be open to subscription.

Only the regulars of Wikipedia:Village pump (technical) would be able to build such a list as they know what is more useful and what is novice. This would only involve copying links to the threads, so the overhead is not as high as writing a Signpost. So I think it is doable. Please think about it. Overtime, this newsletter would lead to the creation of FAQ section of WP:TEAHOUSE, Such a FAQ would save time. cc @PrimeHunter Venkat TL (talk) 15:29, 3 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A good idea in principle. I often learn something useful here and occasionally help out. A column in the Signpost might attract a wider audience, if it's not too specialised. Although it's a good headline, think twice about a fixed limit such as ten: some months may have five or fifteen ideas which pass some arbitrary threshold of "topness". Another useful but time-consuming and thankless task would be to compile an index by subject or, better still, add the tips to appropriate sections of Wikipedia's existing help and project pages. Certes (talk) 16:04, 3 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Certes indeed, I envision a variable thread count, I used "Top 10" as an easily understandable "cliche" term. I agree attaching this to signpost will indeed be useful. Venkat TL (talk) 16:13, 3 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Why not? Cheers, · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 17:04, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I suspect someone willing to do the work would be readily accepted by the Signpost. Are you willing? :) IznoPublic (talk) 16:36, 8 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree that there are many interesting ideas here - And as mentioned previously - a page per problem would be great
And i also agree that getting someone to do the work would be tricky So, what about if we use a combined bot-human approach which would allow viewing of archives by topic and summary
At the top of each topic,
- A new 2 line short summary which any editor can change
- # tags for problem area (similar to Wikidata:Property proposal - Wikidata)
- Editors can add a new template TOP ( Wikipedia:List_of_discussion_templates)
Modify User:HBC Archive Indexerbot - Wikipedia to create an indexed list of topics, with columns for all the data from the templates. It can also pick up - Any status templates closed erc
This idea is based on
User:JPxG/Oracle - Wikipedia statistics on AfD, is really impressive ( except it doesn't show speedy, and percentage of total new articles)., Automated lists Wikipedia:Requests for adminship - Wikipedia , Wiktionary:Votes - Wiktionary Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 08:19, 13 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

SVG film posters[edit]

I've started a discussion at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Film#SVG_film_posters regarding the potential for using SVG for film/movie posters. I'm soliciting feedback on an image I've already uploaded with an eye towards doing more if the example proves to be acceptable/popular. Please reply at the discussion there. Thank you! —Locke Coletc 04:14, 4 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Core Content Wikipedia[edit]

Why don't we create a new Wikimedia project, perhaps called 'Core Content Wikipedia' or 'Corewiki' or 'Wiki Essentials', that forks en-wiki entirely as is, with only one initial difference: WP:GNG reads A topic is presumed to be suitable for a stand-alone article when it has received significant and enduring coverage in high-quality academic sources? All good things about en-wiki (CC license; pseudonymity; everyone can edit; consensus-based decision making; strongly elaborated system of PAG; i.e., all Wikipedia principles and practices as they currently exist) would be retained, but it would be a project dedicated solely to 'traditional' encyclopedic subjects, those which have received enduring attention from academia.

An example notability requirement could be, 'there need to be at least three monographs or entries in scholarly encyclopedias dedicated to the subject'. In other words, really strict: it wouldn't just be no popular culture or no sports articles, but also no articles on recent events (or any other than truly pivotal historical events actually), no articles on politicians or journalists or academics or other potentially controversial figures (in fact, no articles on any other than the most prominent historical figures), no articles on counties, cities or schools, no articles on government agencies or minor/local political parties, no list articles, no name articles, no articles on every last obscure plant or animal (sub)species, no articles on every type of incomprehensible mathematical permutation, no articles on each cast member of Plato's dialogues, no articles on every supposed concept in Paracelsian alchemy –no articles, essentially, on most or all of the things of which it would not so long ago have been unthinkable that a serious encyclopedia would devote an entry to them.

This is not because it's not great to have articles on all of these things. That is great, it truly is. But it would be even greater to also have articles on core content that are of an altogether different level of quality.

The idea is that, because the sheer amount of articles would be reduced by such a huge factor (anyone hazard a guess as to the percentage?), the articles that would make the cut would benefit from an enormous increase in editorial and administrative attention. From recent changes to SPI, from AIV to ANI, the resources available would multiply. Imagine a project practically without BLPs, a seriously reduced rate of drama related to AP2 and other DS areas, and perhaps most enticingly to some, neither any form of cruft nor the endless disputes about it.

And if we're really lucky, maybe that's only where it starts. The quality of the core encyclopedic content will improve, attracting more readers. Google will prefer to display cc-wiki content where possible. The toxicity among editors will decrease (if only ever so slightly), leading more readers to start editing the thing and actually stay. Surely there will also be among those readers a lot of academics who got attracted to a new (but still pseudonymous, freewheeling, etc.) Wikipedia solely focusing on prominent academic topics. Maybe, just maybe, experts will finally come to regard the Wikipedia articles on 'their' subject as one of the things most worthy of their time and attention (in fact they already are, but for some reason academics just don't realize this yet). The general quality of cc-wiki might skyrocket to such an extent as to be incomparable to today's Wikipedia.

This is all of course assuming that a significant percentage of current en-wiki editors will make the move to cc-wiki. They will by no means all have to jump ship to make the editor/content ratio increase by a large factor, but a critical mass will still be needed. Once cc-wiki starts rolling, however, a lot of new editors will come in whom en-wiki would never have retained. I also think that a lot of us are already here for something like cc-wiki, but just have to deal with the reality that there's only en-wiki. Many will take the opportunity in a heartbeat.

A potential downside of the whole plan could be that en-wiki would initially be left with a smaller editor/content ratio, and perhaps an even smaller yet skilled editor/content ratio. But I think that this would only be very temporary, given the fact that interest in non-academic subjects will always remain high. It's in fact what made Wikipedia big in the first place, so I don't think it can really go wrong there. Initially there will be a lot of duplicate effort (perhaps the biggest drawback), but if all goes well we might gradually start redirecting en-wiki articles to their cc-wiki forks. It would eventually change the nature of en-wiki itself, which to an extent would also be relieved from some of the problems that come with core encyclopedic content (e.g., many content disputes could be resolved much quicker or even be avoided entirely if more experts were editing and patrolling the articles, and in any case en-wiki would be rid of these disputes together with the articles).

Sure, the whole point of forking core content articles to another project is to direct more attention and resources on them, which will always come at a cost for other types of articles. But I think there is good reason to believe that in the long term it could increase the general reputation of Wikimedia projects to such an extent that all projects would benefit: a rising tide lifts all boats. Having an online user-generated encyclopedia that is of truly high quality and a standard reference works for academics could be a real game changer, also for the WMF as a whole. ☿ Apaugasma (talk ) 16:17, 6 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

We already do that within this project, at least in principle, via Wikipedia:Vital articles which lists the most important topics. And at a global level on meta:List of articles every Wikipedia should have. Created largely to incentivise article improvement for these core topics, but it doesn't attract too many editors. I would expect the new project to suffer from lack of dedicated editors. Any point in working for a stagnant project, with no growth? Further, academicians are always welcome to contribute here, and of course they work not only on very popular subjects but also on not-popular subjects. So, anyone wanting to improve articles on what they know would have to come to this project anyway. CX Zoom[he/him] (let's talk • {CX}) 17:45, 6 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No. WP:VA is simply a selection of important topics. It's not a separate wiki that only contains articles on academic subjects and that actively excludes everything else. It's completely different both from a technical and from a community standpoint. Also note that even WP:VA5 with its 50,000 entries is a much more narrow list than the list of subjects for which three monographs or entries in scholarly encyclopedias can be found; rather expect something like the 228,274 topics covered by Britannica. Inclusion would be based on notability rather than on a curated list like VA. But the essential problem with VA is that people look at WP:VA1 or WP:VA2 and get utterly discouraged by the sheer difficulty of improving even just one of these 100 articles. The proposal above has nothing to do with that at all: there is no intent whatsoever to 'rank' topics, and it's in fact primarily about the 228,174 non-VA2 articles. The goal here is to create a project where a broad range of encyclopedically minded editors would for the most part be editing the exact same articles as they are editing now, but without the gigantic overload created by the (6,561,351 - 228,274 =) 6,333,077 articles of little or no academic interest. It's all about eliminating that overload. Think just about what patrolling recent changes would look like. I believe it would enormously stimulate growth. Of course, you may personally not be interested to participate (many here won't), and that's totally fine. But perhaps others would. ☿ Apaugasma (talk ) 19:39, 6 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Apaugasma tends to have very thoughtful ideas so I'll read the proposal above once I'm home, but just to comment on the VA thing: It's an absolute mess in dire need of reform but without much interest from the community in maintaining it and thus without much drive to reform it.— Ixtal ( T / C ) Join WP:FINANCE! 19:50, 6 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ixtal is absolutely correct about VA. Doug Weller talk 10:42, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Couldn't agree more. Improving Vital article isn't hard because the broad topic are inherently 1000x harder than other topics, it's because there's a lack of will to do so in the first place. CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 17:13, 8 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have not read this proposal, but Vital Articles needs to die the death it should have died many years ago; it's hopeless. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:46, 16 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I disagree. Just because User:TCO made a stupid "debate" in 2011 (Wikipedia talk:Wikipedia Signpost/Newsroom/Opinion desk/Vital articles debate/Archive) or that people spending hours and hours debating choices does not mean that the underlying concept of it is useless. I agree though that the Vital Article project as it is 2 month ago is borderingly close to inactivity and in the last 15 years nothing is really done about the Vital Articles other than just assessment level changes and such. CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 23:35, 16 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
How would this work? Where would the Admins etc come from? Doug Weller talk 10:43, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
From en-wiki. Face-smile.svg It would copy everything, including a large set of the editor base. Initially en-wiki admins would get sysop on simple request. Obviously it would need very broad enthusiasm, especially from users with much more experience and know-how than me, to even just get to a test phase. I'm just airing an idea. At this point I guess I'm mainly interested to know, why would this not be a good idea? ☿ Apaugasma (talk ) 12:33, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Because it wouldn't work at all. Your arguments all seem to be from the point of view of editors, rather than readers. In fact such a project would fail to attract either, and would be very low on search engine results. Who would even know about it? Insofar as some articles are improved on the new version, the existing WP article would not (if I've got the idea right) benefit from this. Both editors and readers look at the parts of WP that interest them, and never see the ones that don't (ok, if people choose to review "recent changes", that's their look-out). I suspect most readers look at both articles that would qualify for this scheme, and those that don't. I entirely agree that we are failing to improve our "core" content enough, but really there's no great difficulty for editors in finding the weak spots and working on them an article at a time (which is essentially what I do much of the time). As well as the "Vital articles", which I must say I never look at, there are also the wikiproject ratings, where a combination of high importance and low quality is a useful quide to weak spots. Really, even editors who exclusively edit "core" encyclopaedic stuff should be grateful for all the sports & popular culture, which vastly boosts WP's hits, & keeps us at the top of search engine results, ensuring our work is read. Johnbod (talk) 13:59, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Let me clarify. En-wiki articles would (gradually) be blanked-and-redirected to their cc-wiki forks. Readers would constantly be sent back and forth between the two. There would be a high level of integration, both from a technical and a community point of view. The interface would be almost identical, just enough to mark out you're looking at a cc-wiki article. Reader's familiarity with the site would be instant from the moment we want it to be (by redirecting a large number of articles).
The purpose of having a separate wiki is to enable editors and admins who would like this to only spend time (patrolling, dealing with vandals and disruptive editors, community discussions, SPI, etc. etc.) on core content articles. This is not about incentivizing content editors to work more on (the weak spots in) core content, it's about allowing an entire project's resources (including editors who, say, spend all of their time doing anti-vandalism) to be solely focused on it. Yes, en-wiki will always attract more traffic and will continue to form the backbone of the WMF, but cc-wiki will also profit from that traffic by design. In the long term, en-wiki would in turn benefit from the enhanced reputation for reliability and quality brought on by cc-wiki. ☿ Apaugasma (talk ) 15:19, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Anyone who wants to work this way is already doing it. Cheers, · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 16:47, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have a number of questions.
  1. Who would decide which are to be the "core content" (CC) articles?
  2. If an article is selected as a CC article, and copied over, it would contain a cumber of links to articles not yet (or which will never be) selected for CC, which would then become redlinks. Would the persin copying the article to CC then be responsible for making redirects back to main Wikipedia?
  3. Would there be a period where the same article existed in two places (normal Wikipedia and CC Wikipedia)?
    1. How would updates to one be mirrored back to the other?
    2. Who would decide that it was time for one copy to be redirected to the other, wnd which of the two would be retained?
  4. Would counter-vandalism volunteers (all the way from casuals spotting random additions of "poop" right up to admins able to block and/or protect) be willing to patrol in two places at once?
  5. If a user is blocked on one, would they also need to be separately blocked on the other?
  6. If the CC regulars resolve some policy change, would that need to be separately proposed on normal Wikipedia?
I really do not think that this suggestion has any chance of being accepted, even if put to a full WP:RFC at WP:VPR. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 18:26, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hi Redrose64, here are some answers to your questions:
1. Notability guidelines (significant and enduring coverage in high-quality academic sources, see above) and editorial consensus. For edge cases we might create processes like Afi ('Articles for inclusion') and Afe ('Articles for exclusion'), somewhat analogous to AfC and AfD.
2. Yes, editors would have to redirect links back to en-wiki. Probably a bot could help us with that.
3. Yes. All of these things would be decided by local consensus. As long as there are two articles, anyone could copy between them provided there's consensus for the edits and attribution is given. However, I imagine that editors who would fork an article would also put some work in it, so redirecting the en-wiki page to the cc-wiki fork should in most cases be a fairly straightforward decision. We would probably have to create a guideline which would outline legitimate reasons not to redirect (e.g., redirecting to POV forks should be avoided; in general the CC article would have to be actually better as measured by compliance with core content policy).
4. I hope so. Some might find it refreshing to be able to shift from one project to the other every now and then.
5. That's a tough call. It depends on the general level of integration between the two projects. I would favor that accounts are blocked in both, but there's room for disagreement there.
6. Likewise a question of how far we take the integration between the two projects. I would favor that at least initially, cc-wiki would not have its own policies but follow those of en-wiki (except for the modified WP:GNG obviously, as well as some other necessarily differing guidelines). In time it would perhaps be natural for the two projects to develop their own policies, though it would probably be wise to keep core content policy as well as basic conduct policy the same.
Before even proposing there would need to be a lot more enthusiasm for it than currently seen in this thread. On the other hand, at this time I'm not only polling whether such enthusiasm exists, but also looking to actively disprove the idea as not workable. The above has mainly been clarification. Once it's clear what's meant (BD2412 nicely summarizes it below), it will perhaps be easier to tell precisely why it won't work. From your questions I gather that your main concern is duplicate effort, is that right? ☿ Apaugasma (talk ) 22:14, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Not just duplication of effort, but there would apparently be a requirement for extra effort. As things stand, once I have finished with watchlist checking and general housekeeping, I don't have enough time to add all the fresh content that I would like. I've already had to largely give up on Commons. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 23:22, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm slightly confused as to what the point of this is. If we're envisaging having some subset of the most core articles hived off into a new, but have this wiki written by the same people and virtually seamlessly integrated with, how is that not just with extra steps? If there are different policies and guidelines, why would accept some other wiki's ideas of what our most core articles should look like? And why would I as an editor want to check two separate watchlists, and learn two different sets of policies? Caeciliusinhorto-public (talk) 11:39, 8 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hi Caeciliusinhorto, I seem to have some trouble communicating both precisely what it is supposed to be and what it would be good for. See my answer to GhostInTheMachine below. For those wishing to focus solely on supporting the maintenance of core content, it wouldn't be extra steps, but a lot less steps. If 1/10th of current editors and admins would work (patrol, help resolve conflicts, etc.) a wiki with 1/25th the amount of articles, the resources per article would more than double. With 1/5th of editors, the amount of available resources would be up to five times higher. Yes, for those wishing to work the two wikis equally there would be no immediate advantage, and some possible annoyances like having two separate watchlists –though more work on m:Special:GlobalWatchlist might well eliminate this particular nuisance; some might also like having separate watchlists for different kinds of content. Some more wp:rules to get familiar with too, though as I indicated above policy would be largely the same and therefore only cause minimal extra trouble.
But it's a big thing, really, to split out core academic content from other content into two different wikis. would become a different animal entirely. It wouldn't need to accept another wiki's ideas of how core articles should look like, because it wouldn't have core articles. Each project would have its own editors, with their own preferred focus. The beautiful thing is that even with a lot less editors on, core articles would still hugely benefit from this split. Unsourced or poorly sourced additions, POV-pushing, all these things which are not clear-cut vandalism and that tend to slip through the nets of RC-patrol, would actually be caught and reverted. Content disputes around core content would actually get mediated. Those working on core content would less easily be distracted by non-core content, the different wiki forming a psychological barrier. It's a technical and psychological way to direct resources to the most important articles. ☿ Apaugasma (talk ) 15:46, 8 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I see exactly what this editor is aiming for, and I think it is actually a brilliant idea. Have a separate wiki for the topics that are actually the most important topics, but integrated into the existing English Wikipedia so that the transition from one to the other is barely distinguishable. The criteria for inclusion for the new wiki would be "serious academic coverage", which would include a few hundred-thousand current Wikipedia topics, and excludes millions, along a defensible line of division. BD2412 T 19:42, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
An interesting thought, but we already have Vital articles, Featured articles, Good articles, A-Class articles, B-Class articles and C-Class articles. I suspect that these different classifications already confuse many of the readers. I am not sure that it would help to also have Core articles as a further type of classification, even if the articles were to stay within the same wiki — GhostInTheMachine talk to me 07:27, 8 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, if they would not be on a separate wiki they would just be another confusing class. But the proposal is for a separate wiki, not a classification as such. The goal is not at all to make some kind of selection of articles like VA, FA, GA etc. The goal is to split out core content articles to a different wiki with its own recent changes feed, administrative noticeboards, technical resources, and –to certain extent– community. The goal is to allow editors and admins who wish this to exclusively support (not only work on!) core content. This is not possible at this time: anyone who would like to support this online encyclopedia has no choice but to also deal with the 6 million+ articles of little or no academic interest. ☿ Apaugasma (talk ) 15:46, 8 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Projects like the OP's suggestion already exist. Wikipedia's immediate predecessor was Nupedia which had lots of cautious and careful curation but failed to produce much. And there's Scholarpedia which is so exclusive that I suppose most of us would not be allowed to touch it. I just checked and they have created one new article this year. Last year, they created nothing. Andrew🐉(talk) 08:13, 8 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    None of the projects you name even remotely resemble the proposed project. Inclusion would be based on modified notability guidelines, and everything else would be exactly the same as No cautious and careful curation, no exclusivity as to who can edit or not. Just classic wp:bold and wp:consensus based editing. ☿ Apaugasma (talk ) 15:46, 8 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I think one problem is that although articles like 5α-Androst-2-ene-17-one would clearly not be core content, it is usually rather hard to decide which articles are core and which aren't; and one virtue of wikipedia is that we have articles on, for example, every King of England, not just the important ones, as most conventional encylopedias usually do. Sm8900 (talk) 14:45, 8 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    There is no universal definition of what makes something a core article. For all I know, an endocrinologist might consider 5α-Androst-2-ene-17-one to be a core article. In theory, it would make sense to curate which articles are the most important for a particular subject. But that quickly leads one to reinventing the portal system; I don't know if I would call portals a failure, but they're certainly less popular than they used to be, and many (most?) have not been maintained. -- RoySmith (talk) 15:10, 8 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @RoySmith: you seem to misunderstand the nature of the proposal. There also is no universal definition of what makes something a Wikipedia article. It's based on notability requirements which are discussed by editors on a case-to-case basis. would work in the exact same way, simply having different notability requirements (significant and enduring coverage in high-quality academic sources, perhaps translating to the existence of three monographs or entries in scholarly encyclopedias). Articles that meet them would not form some kind of curated list, but be split to an entirely separate wiki, with its own technical resources, noticeboards, and community.
    @Sm8900: yes, precisely what does and what does not meet notability requirements would undoubtedly be contentious, just like it is for the current would still exist though. All kings of England, and so many other things which it is great to have coverage on, would still find their natural place on ☿ Apaugasma (talk ) 15:46, 8 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    To add, there's also Simple English Wikipedia, for which being essentially a separate WP focused on core articles may be part of its founding principles. Instead of jumping right to a separate WM branch as the solution, maybe the VA reform thread below is the place to incubate some of these ideas. SamuelRiv (talk) 15:18, 8 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Editors choose the topics they want to spend their time on, even when doing technical or administrative work, and for many of us that choice is governed by our views of what constitutes the core of the encyclopedia. So, I think in a way the two projects (core content, and regular) already exist, virtually and in parallel. Also, I think the strength of Wikipedia isn't in this "core content" (after all, these are topics on which good-quality, accessible overviews already exist), but in the "inner periphery": topics with a dozen papers published, where Wikipedia is the first reference work that provides a summary. Uanfala (talk) 15:27, 8 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Good points. In so far as core content is worth improving though, it would be greatly facilitated by also having a real rather than only a virtual split. Both technically and psychologically, there are many advantages. What are the disadvantages? ☿ Apaugasma (talk ) 15:46, 8 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @Apaugasma: To clarify, for an obvious example of an article that would meet the "core content" criteria, in your proposal would articles like Oxygen and History of Spain and Appendicitis have both a cc-pedia and a wikipedia article, developing in parallel and possibly copying improvements from each other? Or would all core content articles ultimately be removed from Wikipedia to the new site? Would the new site have an AfD-like process where articles on notable topics failing the required level of academic coverage would be sent back to Wikipedia? I assume it would have disambiguation pages and indices and those sorts of structural tools? BD2412 T 18:27, 8 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    There would be two articles as long as and from the moment that there would be no consensus to redirect the page to the fork. Such redirects could be boldly done, reverted, and discussed. Generally I would expect redirects to go through, in most cases probably without there ever being two articles. Not redirecting or undoing a redirect would be appropriate only when there's no consensus that the fork is an improvement. Yes, in the long term the goal would be that all core content articles would be forked and redirected, in effect removing them from Yes, the new site would have an AfD-like process exactly as you describe (perhaps it's important to note though that the amount of articles needing discussion would be much lower, and negative outcomes much less embittering since it 'only' involves going back to, not the cancellation of any work done). Yes, it would have its own dab pages and categories, probably often linking to and containing pages on Since it is essentially a content fork of, it would be highly integrated with it at all levels. ☿ Apaugasma (talk ) 21:14, 8 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have questions regarding notability. What do you mean by recent and what would meet the chopping block? Chronologically speaking, 9/11 is recent, as are the resulting wars. I think virtually all of us, regardless of political leanings, can regard these - along with the likes of the 2008 stock crash and COVID - as monumental. Furthermore, I am curious about the proportion of scholarship and its importance. Regarding biographies, Kierkegaard has had a good deal of scholarship written - probably upwards of 100 monographs - and yet in the grand notice of human history - or even his century - he is less than a footnote. I wouldn't even consider him "core" to philosophy. What, then, is his place - and others of similar status? DMT Biscuit (talk) 00:32, 9 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
With 'recent events' above I was thinking more about the Killing of Ayman al-Zawahiri or the July 2022 United States floods than about your examples, which probably are of historical import. But just ask the question, can you find three monographs or entries in scholarly encyclopedias? 9/11 or the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, probably. COVID-19, if not now then likely in a very short time? Kierkegaard, without a single doubt. But think of the difference between Plato and Simmias of Thebes. I very much doubt you would find three monographs or entries in scholarly encyclopedias about the latter, although you would find such on the Phaedo, in which he appears as a character. So we would drop a lot of historical figures (also, e.g., Lubaba bint Ubayd Allah, and probably her husband Abbas ibn Ali too, though obviously not her father-in-law Ali ibn Abi Talib), just not someone like Kierkegaard, who despite being a minor figure still is part of the Western canon (question: would the latter article make the cut?). Surely there will be a lot of edge cases, but it probably is a bit broader than you first assumed. Above all, it is possible to draw a practical line on what constitutes WP:SIGCOV in academic sources. The objective existence of such coverage is what makes discussions around inclusion on Wikipedia reasonable. It would be no different for CC wiki. ☿ Apaugasma (talk ) 01:19, 9 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"can you find three monographs or entries in scholarly encyclopedias" But that's not what Wikipedia is.. if anything were are exactly the opposite. We are an editable encyclopedia by amateurs (or rather "open to anyone" amateur or not) and a work in progress. It is exactly what makes us distinct and thus successful. If we adhered to a standard of "scholarly encyclopedias" (whatever that might be), we would not be needed at all. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 12:17, 9 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Citizendium is what you are looking for. CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 12:19, 9 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Wikipedia:We aren't Citizendium. would not be Citizendium. There would be no use of real names, no (authorized) expert editors, no division of power, no citable articles, no advisory group, no policy decisions by representatives, no abandoning the requirement of citing sources, no article inclusion based on maintainability rather than notability, no "family friendly" policy, no zero tolerance for problem users, no avoiding acronyms. would differ from Citizendium in all relevant ways in which differs from it. would be editable by amateurs, and would in fact be highly welcoming of amateurs: there are many things to do apart from writing specialized content, and all help is appreciated. Obviously, would be just as much a work in progress. It wouldn't adhere to the standards of scholarly encyclopedias, it would take the existence of entries in them as a sign of academic notability. This is no different from taking the existence of RS as a sign of general notability: it doesn't mean that adheres to the same standards as these RS, or indeed itself is a RS. would not be a scholarly encyclopedia. may be a bad name. It may remind of all kinds of failed projects, even though it doesn't resemble them in the slightest. But please try to look past that, and evaluate the proposal for what it is. At its core (pun intended), it would be a part of, and would share all the same values. The separate wiki is not to try and build an encyclopedia with completely different values (like Nupedia, Citizendium, Scholarpedia and what not), it is simply to enable a technical and psychological means to direct more resources to those articles which meet a certain level of academic notability. ☿ Apaugasma (talk ) 13:29, 9 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Apaugasma, I think here's an alternative: improving Wikipedia's core articles on Wikipedia :) Anyways, I do agree that the Core wiki would be and will be different from Citizendium in many ways, but I think that both of them are similar in that they are forking Wikipedia. This is a very, very bad idea, due to the CC BY-SA license and that all the contributions to the Core wiki can be simply copied or paraphrased back to Wikipedia, effectively rendering the Core wiki useless. The Core wiki would also be a poor wiki to work as a staging ground as well, as we already have the Draft: namespace for that. A lot of what you are proposing is quite the same as what I'm doing at WikiProject Vital Articles, and I think it would be far more interesting and effective if you apply this proposal to our WikiProject instead. CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 13:39, 9 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In fact, I think the Vital articles WikiProject is the place for your proposal to flourish. I couldn't think of a better place to test your philosophy out. The general quality of cc-wiki might skyrocket to such an extent as to be incomparable to today's Wikipedia, yes, that's what we are aiming for with the 1000 Vital GA goal! CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 13:41, 9 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@DMT Biscuit, ouch dude! And I thought I was catty about philosophy! As a non-Dane, non-Christian Existentialist, that non-hurts me somewhere deep! SamuelRiv (talk) 02:28, 9 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Apaugasma's idea is interesting and on the right track. I agree with those who are saying it's better to do this within this existing wiki rather than on a separate wiki. "Core Content" could be like a stamp or status that is given to an article, just like FA or VA. Whatever the different/better rules/practices that would be on a hypothetical ccwiki, we could apply those rules/practices to CC articles on enwiki. For example -- just thinking out loud here -- the community could choose to create a "Core Content" General Sanctions area, with a process for selecting CC articles, and then apply "special rules" to those articles, like 1RR or Consensus Required or Enforced BRD or -- my favorite -- sourcing expectations (like we do now for certain articles with WP:MEDRS or WP:APLRS). One way to do this might be to reform VA into this: maybe get rid of the levels, and create a "VA" GS. Or, a new WikiProject could be created alongside VA/FA -- I see the appeal in CC being a combination of VA and FA, where articles become CC both based on an evaluation of the importance of the topic, and the quality of the article. Current VA/FAs could be the initial CC articles. And then let our readers know with some prominent marker when they're reading a "CC" article. It would be no issue to create a special recent changes feed just for CC articles (I had one for VA articles because I only wanted to patrol "important" articles), the WikiProject talk page (or subpage) can be the noticeboard for such articles and can be monitored by interested admins/editors, people can make bots that only work on those articles, we can have AFD/RM/etc. feeds just for those articles... basically everything a fork can do can be done inside the existing wiki, and then we don't have to worry about splitting readership, page views, branding, search ranking, and the other disadvantages of a separate wiki. I think it's very much worth doing: particularly so that editors who only want to focus on "important" articles can have the tools to do so. Levivich 19:33, 13 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I came upon this idea while patrolling recent changes (RC), being struck by how little of what appears on this feed is core encyclopedic content. The sheer amount of changes there renders it impossible to review them all, so if there were some way to only monitor changes made to core content, that would already be a significant improvement. I was thinking of something more radical, where other community efforts geared towards maintaining articles (AIV, RPP, ANEW, ANI, SPI, etc.) would also be split out, but you're probably right that some of this can also be realized without the many disadvantages of creating a separate wiki, and RC is likely the most important anyway.
    I very much like your idea of simply creating a separate status for Core Content (CC), which may then be used on this wiki to create a different technical and –to a certain extent– community approach. I would still base CC status on an academic notability guideline though (with AfD-like discussions over inclusion/exclusion), and not link it up either with FA or VA (CC status should be much broader than both). Special GS-like restrictions also sound like a bad idea: the goal is not to create special expectations for CC articles, but to be able to focus patrollers' and admins' attention on them so they better adhere to existing expectations (yes, RS! we should revert on sight what doesn't adhere to it, being very nice & friendly and avoiding biting of course; but both determining whether a source is RS and educating new editors about RS takes much time, and will be significantly easier with a reduced RC feed). ☿ Apaugasma (talk ) 20:48, 13 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    If WP:WikiProject Core Content were blue, it'd be a good place to discuss the criteria for {{hidden category}} Category:Core Content, which could be used to make an RC feed (for starters). Levivich 05:05, 14 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Seems like a good idea to me. CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 05:20, 14 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    As OP, I think Apaugasma should have the honor of page creation if they want it. Please ping me if you create it Apa, I'd be happy to help get it set up. Levivich 19:16, 15 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Hi Levivich, thanks for the offer, but I'm not planning to spend much time on this. If you really think it's a good idea and/or find some other editors who would like to work on it, please do go ahead and create the page (I've put it on my watchlist). I've read somewhere that it's okay to only propose a solution to a problem without actually solving it, and since most ideas are bad, if it truly turns out to be a good one maybe I've already done my part. ☿ Apaugasma (talk ) 19:30, 15 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I would suggest otherwise. Do follow with the proposal from the beginning for a while. Most people except you won't be interested at making your vision a reality, and that's why most proposals are dead from the start. It isn't because the proposals are genuinely bad, it is more that the ideas don't have anyone to be nurtured. CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 00:19, 16 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I disagree that this is a good idea. Creating a separate encyclopedia that lacks articles about Jerusalem, Paris and Rome (just cities after all), and no articles about Abraham Lincoln and Adolph Hitler (just politicians after all, and one is highly controversial) and no articles about the Beatles or Elvis Presley or Charlie Chaplin or Merlyl Streep (just pop culture figures after all) and no articles about the KGB or the CIA (just government agencies after all), is actually a very bad idea. This project could be called BoringPedia or UnpopularPedia or Snob-o-Pedia, and I would never edit it. Cullen328 (talk) 05:45, 14 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @Cullen328: most or all of the subjects that you name would be included. Why do you think that there would be no three monographs or entries in scholarly encyclopedias, not to mention tons of papers in academic journals, on Jerusalem, Paris, Rome, Abraham Lincoln, Charlie Chaplin, or Hitler? I'm sure there are more than three –probably more than ten– monographs on the KGB and the CIA. Nor is it a coincidence that all the subjects you name would actually be included in 'BoringPedia': what catches the interest of academics often is quite interesting in and of itself, if only because of its long-term significance. To be honest, I had never expected so much anti-intellectualism on Wikipedia as I've encountered in this thread. Anyway, the proposal has since shifted to the idea of creating a 'Core Content' status rather than a separate encyclopedia (see Levivich's post just above). ☿ Apaugasma (talk ) 06:51, 14 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    The problem isn't about a perceived "intellectualism" of the Core Content suggestion, but that it comes across as an attempt to duplicate or split what we presently have. Over the thirteen years that I've been around, I recall that there have been a number of suggestions to create parallel Wikipedias for different audiences. One of them - from less than a year ago - was to create pages in multiple languages but still be within English Wikipedia, which totally ignored the existence of Wikipedia in other languages. Most recently was a suggestion that there should be different Wikipedias for American English and British English (as if they were the only two forms of the language). The only proposal that seriously made it was before my time, Simple English Wikipedia, way back in 2003. Basically: we see the proposal outlined in this thread as an unnecessary waste of effort when the encyclopedia as it stands has so much more work yet to do on it. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 08:37, 14 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Yes, negative experience with past ideas that were superficially similar is another major reason for some of the knee jerk reactions here. Nothing is going to happen if editors can't look beyond that. You're right about the duplication of effort, but I think Levivich's suggestion to create a 'Core Content' status rather than a separate encyclopedia might address that. Because the AfD-like discussions over inclusion would still produce considerable extra effort I remain hesitant. But I also still think that editors, provided they have the time and energy and provided they understand the idea for what it is, should ponder it a bit. ☿ Apaugasma (talk ) 13:17, 14 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Apaugasma, I think it would help if you spent more time articulating the problem. I think I understand your proposed solution pretty well, but I don't understand what the real problem is. For example, is it:
  • When I go to pages like Special:RecentChanges, it's full of so much stuff I don't care about that I can't even find the few edits that I would care about.
  • Everybody's distracted by subjects about things I don't care about, and the articles I care about being neglected.
or something else? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 18:11, 15 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The problem is simply that there's no way for editors who would like this to focus maintenance efforts like patrolling RC on core encyclopedic content (note that this is not 'what I personally care about': there are objective criteria for determining what belongs to it, and these same criteria guarantee that is corresponds to what is traditionally considered 'encyclopedic'). Anyone who's ever patrolled RC knows that there are way too many changes flagged as potentially problematic to spend much time at thoroughly checking each one of them. Most of the time only obvious vandalism gets reverted, and even that sometimes slips through the net. This lack of time also regularly causes patrollers to unintentionally wp:bite new editors. Nor is RC the only place where editors have no choice but to also deal with the maintenance load of 6,000,000+ articles of little or no academic interest.
Listen, if I'm the only one to see this as a problem, that's fine. I just wished to air an idea, but I'm not the type of editor to implement this kind of thing anyway. I'll continue contributing in the ways that I can. Watch al-Mufaddal ibn Umar al-Ju'fi, I'm writing something up to blue-link that. ☿ Apaugasma (talk ) 19:09, 15 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There is Special:Watchlist and Special:Recentchangeslinked, and I use both to patrol the articles I personally consider important. I have not done RC patrol for more than a decade, and usually just ignore most of the other six million articles. Anyone is free to watch only core articles. A category would make it easier to do, but there is no need for your proposed fork. —Kusma (talk) 19:43, 15 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I of course use Special:Watchlist too, but that's unrelated. It's about RC patrol and other general maintenance areas. You don't do RC patrol anymore, but surely you regularly see RC patrollers coming by at the articles you watch? Imagine that they would revert all bad edits rather than only obvious vandalism, with accurate, helpful and polite edsums, and patient explanations at the reverted editor's talk. Sure, that's utopian, but there are ways to get closer to that ideal. ☿ Apaugasma (talk ) 20:04, 15 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
WikiProject Medicine has used Special:Recentchangeslinked for years. Make yourself page that links to all the articles you think would be interesting to yourself (or another group), and then use RCLinked on the page. Volunteer-me looks at this focused version most days. It's usually just a quick glance to make sure that nothing unusual is happening, but it's easy to do, and it's a way of focusing maintenance efforts on the encyclopedic content that I am most interested in. (Also, since my preferred version shows only editors with a bit of experience, then I wouldn't see much highlighted. Being logged out is the biggest factor in in the "potentially problematic" calculation.) Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 19:37, 16 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Again, it's not about what you or I are personally interested in, it's about objectively encyclopedic content. It's not about the 5,000 articles that relate to my topic of interest, but about c. 500,000 articles which need continuous monitoring from all patrollers. It's about allowing these patrollers to be more efficient by giving them the choice to cut out 6,000,000 articles. If only a third of them choose to do this, the patrolling of core content will still be four times as efficient. It's about the numbers. ☿ Apaugasma (talk ) 20:05, 16 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I have a couple of questions. First, based on the criteria "there need to be at least three monographs or entries in scholarly encyclopedias dedicated to the subject" wouldn't the core content be biased towards Western culture, white people and males? I'm sure that there are plenty of works allowing for the inclusion of Bob Dylan (pop culture) and W. G. Grace (sports) but rejecting Rachel Hamilton and Eva Aariak. One of Wikipedia's strengths is that by not being traditional, it allows for subjects that are less well covered. Second question, what is your intended audience for the core content? Here's the top 100 viewed articles for July and Wikipedia:Popular pages. Both show a lot of articles that would not be in the core content. CambridgeBayWeather, Uqaqtuq (talk), Huliva 07:24, 18 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

1. Yes, it would inherit that bias. Academia is slowly catching up too though. Also remember that as an encyclopedia we aren't supposed to be trailblazers.
2. None in particular. Literature on important subjects always gets small readerships. Generally speaking, the more important (measured by long-term significance) a subject is, the less readers it gets. That's simply because most of the time, people like to read light. Nothing wrong with that, but it does not make the subjects of light reading more important than the subjects of academic literature. I find it remarkable, by the way, that our second most viewed article is Cleopatra, which obviously is core content. ☿ Apaugasma (talk ) 13:36, 18 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wikipedia:WikiProject Core Content created[edit]

The idea has now evolved to creating a 'Core Content' status on the English Wikipedia, which would be tracked with a hidden category Category:Core content, and may be used in various yet to be determined ways (starting with an adapted RC feed). Those interested in developing the idea can do so at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Core Content. ☿ Apaugasma (talk ) 23:05, 15 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]


This may be a far fetched idea but hear me out.

Vandalism on WP articles is not new, but dealing with it can be time consuming and is a waste of time that could be used on improving WP. I propose that a “dummy” article is created for the purpose of vandalism. I know it’s a crazy idea but there are other places that have Graffiti rocks such as Universities and Parks for the sole purpose to dissuade people from vandalizing over things like buildings and walkways. Wikipedia is not meant to be a place for arts and crafts, but then why do universities have them? Vandalism cannot be stopped on WP, even if this was made, but I think it's worth a shot and maybe it might help. I know it's very far fetched but what is the opinion on this? DiscoA340 (talk) 22:39, 6 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

We have a sandbox. But no, we shouldn't encourage vandalism anywhere. Not to mention there are dozens of different types of vandalism which this would not begin to satisfy. PRAXIDICAE🌈 22:48, 6 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There are several message boards that use "containment threads" to, well, contain problematic topics and behaviors. For this to be effective the thread has to be somewhat moderated (there's no such thing as a successful large unmoderated forum) and remain relevant for users, so I suppose it has to give some social feedback for vandals in the case of WP. Of course notable containment threads have generally awful behavior and the scattered analyses I've seen suggest they're self-sustaining (recent studies: [1] [2]). On a forum it's somewhat different as well because you can simply take a problematic post or thread and move it to the containment area, and the user who wants to monitor activity on their post is incentivized to stay there. Are we on WP supposed to take vandal's edits to a page, isolate the edited text, then post that fragment on a containment page, and that would somehow incentivize a vandal to watch that page? Or would a repeat vandal be locked into only being able to edit the contianment page? If so, why not just lock them from editing altogether, apart from say a sandbox?
One interesting public art concept this idea raises is a communal wiki page, in which any edit is possible except perhaps multiple reverts and auto-filtered spam. If properly tuned for edit size and frequency, it could look something like a communal canvas (e.g. r/place). That's of course outside the scope of WP, but perhaps doable on a fandom or wikia. SamuelRiv (talk) 23:11, 6 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@SamuelRiv, i want to give you credit for the "communal canvas" idea. I have developed this somewhat, below. Sm8900 (talk) 14:40, 8 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Why would a person wanting to vandalise Wikipedia bother to write on the graffiti rock? · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 17:01, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
what if we created a new kind of page, called the "Community Canvas"? and then promote it as such? One thing I have noted is that many vandals often indulge in obvious vandalism, which is therefore reverted immediately. perhaps we could satisfy whatever urge arises in some individuals to fling some fingerpaint, onto the virtual pristine artwork that is the average Wikipedia entry?
perhaps this might possibly have some vast benefits? maybe it could draw in some members of the general public, especially those of younger age groups, who seek some outlet, but have not yet taken on the full effort to be an editor here? what do others here think of that idea?--Sm8900 (talk) 14:33, 8 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Here is a little draft that I came up with, this is nothing major, but this is sort of one possible form of what I was thinking of for this idea.
@Sm8900 Sounds a bit like a mix between the sandbox and Wikipedia Art?
I think a lot of these proposals miss that a significant chunk of vandalism isn't just people turning up to vandalise a random article: a lot of vandalism is deliberately targeted at specific things. Bored schoolchildren vandalise the article on their school or their town. Upset sports fans vandalise articles on sportspeople. People vandalise articles on politicians in response to them saying or doing stuff that they don't like. Video game articles get vandalised depending upon what the latest social media "controversy" is. Someone turning up to deface a specific article probably isn't going to use the "vandalise this instead" page.
I also am concerned that any such page would rapidly fill up with content that we shouldn't host anywhere - BLP vios, libel, defamation, copyvios ... (talk) 02:10, 11 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This sort of thing might be more welcome on a rock, but better still somewhere else such as Uncyclopedia. Certes (talk) 15:45, 11 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I like the idea of treating vandals as type of editor, and trying to work out their [[desire path]] . I am not in favour of storing an article, but if we gave them an option of creating a local link.
"Hi, you changes appear to be vandalism and will not be made visible until they have been reviewed (We just hide it from their IP address), would you like to save a copy to your local PC? ( the saved copy has the Wikipedia rname eplaced by WikiJoke Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 13:02, 13 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This proposal is based on a misundertanding of the motivations of the people who vandalize Wikipedia. Short term vandals are goofing off and trying to impress their buddies/mates/homeboys by doing things like editing their high school article to say that the principal got arrested for child pornography, and passing the vandalized article around. This type will not get their laughs by working on Wikipedia's official graffiti rock. Then there are the nihilists who will not be able to ease their gloom in any way, especially by working on Wikipedia's official graffiti rock. The other type of vandal holds a deep and enduring grudge against Wikipedia and spends their free time actively and obsessively trying to damage the encyclopedia by eroding its credibility. This type will not get their sick gratification by working on Wikipedia's official graffiti rock. This idea will appeal, instead, to people who have guestbooks and fifty userboxes and highly elaborate signatures and relatively few substantive contributions to articles. And soon they will be trying to monetize the idea with NFTs or some other scam. Cullen328 (talk) 06:43, 14 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
WP:Sandbox already fulfill the role of making test edits and even some vandalism. I don't see why we should make another page for Wikirock. CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 15:07, 14 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What this basically proposes is to reconceptualize wiki vandalism in the model of, say, urban graffiti, and you then make a proposal and a variant inspired by that model. Wiki vandalism is obviously not the same as graffiti, but it's not the same as any other online vandalism either, so graffiti is a worthwhile model to consider for ideas. In spite of being adopted by hundreds (thousands? tens of thousands?) of municipalities since Vienna in the 1980s, the "legal wall" graffiti management concept has few quantitative reviews of its effect on vandalism, general youth crime, etc. (Huntington's overview in SAUC has some citations that are just news reports of cities and cops doing internal reviews, with nothing published -- the only substantive work apparently is in Ferrell 1996 (who does no and cites no quantitative surveys) and Thompson et al 2012. It should be noted that if urban graffiti were a viable model of wiki vandalism then it's reasonable to look for measurable analogous patterns in similar degree, such as the time-effectiveness of graffiti/vandalism/broken-windows removal (I just saw one anecdotal quote from a Canada cop about a 24-hour deadline after which any removal is replaced within 10 days, but there's tons of studies on Broken Windows in general), or that vandalism is attracted to more visible areas of the community until strict enforcement pushes it into the corners, or how it moves from one corner to another as enforcement follows (Dickenson 2008 covers NYC graffiti's push from the subway to the streets in this manner). Thompson etal 2012 discusses only the (in)effectiveness of legal murals (citing primarily Craw etal 2006), which generally involved painters invited from the community to paint on a specific theme over a fixed period of time, after which they are permanent -- these are very different from the general "legal walls" concept of Vienna (and the model concept for a "WikiRock") and may be more analogous to a Wikipedia-article-in-progress or perhaps one that is largely complete but without much new activity/updates. Our regular most popular article is apparently Cleopatra, which should rarely substantially update, and so how much vandalism does that get in comparison to a popular modern politics article? Halsey and Young note (again, non-quantitatively) the failure of murals as a general solution if they are not subject to periodic refreshment. I did find Chang 2018 reporting on Singapore cover legal walls worldwide in more substantial depth than any other source, but again no quantitative review. The Asian walls are an interesting case of how even some official censorship of a graffiti wall does not deter its effectiveness (that is assuming it was ever effective -- compared to the null -- in the first place). Also a self-case-study by Young 2010 does raise some interesting points about what a bungling of the implementation of poorly defined "legal walls" can do to both the quality and quantity of graffiti in operative areas.
But despite all the studies on graffiti I still can't find any that systematically look at whether the addition or removal of a legal, open graffiti space leads to more or less vandalism, in that area, in that region, on that day, 10 years later, etc., or whether it produces more graffiti artists/vandals or fewer, or gives them better mainstream career prospects or worse -- not one of these questions is being addressed in the literature by anything except a series of anecdotes, in a potential survey population of thousands! (Shobe and Banis 2014 apparently argue that the anecdotal evidence sucks even by anecdotal evidence standards.) So the only thing I learned from this literature review is nobody has any idea whether a legal wall increases or decreases vandalism or helps or hurts artists or criminals or crime, long term or short, local or regional (and it could be none of the above, could be all of the above).
Wikipedia is of course fortunate compared to cities and infrastructure in that cleaning most vandalism has basically zero marginal cost, graffiti here almost never takes the form of some legal threat (nobody's vandalizing a WP page with a threat to kill someone in their neighborhood with the very reasonable risk of that being carried out, or any number of other crimes besides copyvio -- though believe it or not, a hypothetical WikiRock would likely have to consider vandals' copyrights as well), and the genesis and propagation of wiki vandalism is not (as far as is obviously visible) deeply rooted in our greater intransigent social ills.
I think DiscoA340 and Sm8900 should no longer consider WikiRock an anti-vandalism proposal of any kind, but strictly an art and/or research proposal, and go from there. Because such a page would require active management from a bot/script that disallows page blanking, reversions, and other changes to be determined with experimentation (and the general parameters of such moderation should be made open to the community using the page), and because it is by nature not within the scope of Wikipedia's mission per se, the proposing parties should consider going through a WMF research grant of some sort, since research is certainly within their scope and there's no reason an open art installation could in theory not also be within their scope if it serves the dual purpose (or triple purpose if the research shows that such a rock indeed does deter vandalism or turns vandals into productive editors or something like that). SamuelRiv (talk) 22:05, 14 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I can't believe no one's yet mentioned - the only variant of this idea endorsed by Fictional Jimbo Wales. the wub "?!" 23:25, 15 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
LOL! CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 00:17, 16 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

VA 2022 Reform[edit]

It is most absolutely clear VA is in dire need of reform but exists without any drive from the community to improve it. However, as a ""core"" part of wiki (or at least our aims), I think it would benefit from a more structured concerns->solutions->voting system of reform similar to RFA2021. How could/should we go about doing so? I'm just tired of a tool with so much potential being ignored so deliberately by active/prolific editors due to its flaws. Surely something can be done about it? — Ixtal ( T / C ) Join WP:FINANCE! 21:20, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

OK, I'll be the first to look silly: what's VA? My first thought was Vital Articles, but that's not really a tool. Certes (talk) 21:53, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That is what I meant, yes, Certes. — Ixtal ( T / C ) Join WP:FINANCE! 21:58, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think you should discuss your ideas with the vital articles WikiProject, since those will be the editors directly affected. isaacl (talk) 00:14, 8 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't actually see that there is a big problem with it other than an apparent lack of editors interested in using the lists to improve content. A lot of time is (imo) wasted arguing about what goes on the lower level lists, but these will never be "right". But actually we don't know how many editors use them, so what the results are. Johnbod (talk) 01:20, 8 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
At a guess I would say that hardly anyone considers vital article lists when deciding on what to work on. This does not invalidate them as indicators of some degree of relative importance, but as far as I know they are mainly the opinion of the people working on them, the rest of us work on what we want to work on, provided we have not been topic banned. When I run out of things that interest me and that I have a reasonable understanding and knowledge about, I might consider looking at them for inspiration, but I do not expect to live that long, and many of the things I would choose to work on are probably on those lists anyway. Cheers, · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 12:37, 8 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I don't really see what kind of reform would be needed. As indicated by editors above, people edit what interests them, not what is objectively important. Looking at VA as 'what we actually should be working on' is only scary and discouraging. Most of these articles, especially WP:VA1 and WP:VA2, are extremely difficult. Instead, VA's purpose is 'here is a list of objectively important articles, so we can evaluate whether Wikipedia is making much progress on these'. Like Johnbod, I sometimes have the impression that editors are spending too much time on discussing what exactly to include or exclude. But on the other hand, there are a lot of things WP editors seemingly spend a lot more time on than necessary, and just maybe all that time really is necessary to make things work. If you're looking for ways to improve VA articles though, that will have to be done by changing things outside of VA itself. My proposal above to split out core content article to a separate wiki is one such possible change. ☿ Apaugasma (talk ) 15:55, 8 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    The focus on discussion is inherent in the format: the interesting thing about "Top X of Y" articles is not so much the end product, but the discussion about why A but not B was included. In this case since the selection is made by whoever shows up at the time to weigh in, there's no cohesive set of principles underlying the choices, which diffuses interest in the final outcome further. Plus in an online world, there's no compelling reason to have hard numerical limits. If those were dropped, and classification was just a rough indication, then I think focus might shift towards improving articles rather than placing them into tiers. isaacl (talk) 21:06, 8 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Isaacl is getting at what my issue is: the lists are not cohesive at all and in the lower levels (4 and 5) are a genuine ad-hoc mess. I don't think VAs are or should be an indicator of what experienced editors work on; what I meant is that it is a meta part of the wiki that we pay little to no attention. A better approach seems needed and achievable.— Ixtal ( T / C ) Join WP:FINANCE! 11:35, 10 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    See Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Military_history/Archive_166#Military-related_vital_articles for a relatively recent discussion on this within a WikiProject.— Ixtal ( T / C ) Join WP:FINANCE! 11:38, 10 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I agree. Vital level 4 and 5 should be ignored for now. CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 11:40, 10 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    That is not what I am saying. They should be fixed, not ignored. — Ixtal ( T / C ) Join WP:FINANCE! 12:16, 10 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    If anyone wants to start a new initiative with different objectives that don't affect the community, the interest is great, and I hope their plans go well! isaacl (talk) 15:19, 10 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Ixtal, I'm trying to do it right now with the revived WikiProject Vital Articles and the new WP:30 kB drive. If you're talking about the voting system, I've opened a thread about this at Wikipedia talk:Vital articles#Abolish voting for consensus a few hours before you wrote this thread. CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 17:04, 8 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Also, see my essay on the topic at WP:Vital Direct, which I think some of you guys here will find it interesting. CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 17:04, 8 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yeah, I disagree with 90% of that essay. As an essay, it's too rambly and doesn't get to the point. As a call to action, it's too alarmist. It asserts too many things as facts and problems and we're expected to take those claims at face values. Too many 'this is what must be done', and too many failure to consider alternatives.
Vital articles are article deemed to be the 'core' of "encyclopedicness". More or less meaning, if we had to condense the sum of human knowledge to 10, 100, 1000, 10000, 50000 articles, these would be the selection, with Levels 4 and 5 being a bit more nebulous / fluid / arbitrary than Levels 1/2/3.
Would it be nice to have more VA that are GAs and FAs? Absolutely. Can we encourage people to contribute to VAs? Sure. But we are a volunteer project, and the core vital articles are topics often so vast and so wide that it's virtually impossible to summarize effectively and get something to the standard of GA or FA. What is Art? What is Science? What is Life? You could ask a committee of experts and it would take them well over a year to craft a comprehensive summary of the subject, and you'd get a completely different article if you asked another committee made of different but equally qualified experts.
When I contribute to Wikipedia, I contribute what I know. I'm a professional physicist. I can write GAs like bouncing ball. This is a common problem in physics, encountered from high school all the way to advanced sports engineering. But don't ask me to write a GA or FA on what physics is. It's simply too vast a subject that I wouldn't even know where to begin.
So no, there is nothing to say that we 'must' do anything with regards to VAs. Anyone that can make any sort of improvement to any of them is welcomed to do so. But as volunteers, everyone is also free to spend their time however they want. There is no mandate to do anything, no deadline by which anything needs to be complete, and we shouldn't stress over any sort of metric suggesting the project is falling apart because certain articles haven't received enough love to raise to certain standards.
Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 03:40, 14 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I largely agree with Headbomb here. Now there are people whose specialty it is to define and explain what 'science' or 'physics' is (don't ask scientists or physicists for that, but look within fields like philosophy of science, philosophy of physics, science education), but I imagine we don't have many editors with that particular interest. In any case these remain very difficult topics, and in a sense maybe not even the most important: I'd rather have high-quality information about particular subjects (as included in VA3 and upwards) that people actually want to learn about than about the abstract topics of VA1–2 which everyone already knows about but which no one can really nail down. As for VA3–5 and beyond (there's much more core encyclopedic content than that included in VA5), yes we should find ways to prioritize their improvement, but I'm not sure whether a 'drive'-like initiative is the best way to do it. If it is, you should take onboard that its project page needs to be much more focused and tight than the WP:Vital Direct essay. ☿ Apaugasma (talk ) 04:28, 14 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Apaugasma: And one of the very funny things about "people whose specialty it is to define and explain what 'science' or 'physics' is" is that they're often quite wrong about it. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 05:17, 14 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Apaugasma and Headbomb, hopefully my essay doesn't sound like mandating or forcing anyone to improve Vital articles against their will. It is more of like "you should improve Vital articles, here's the reasons why and here's how to do it". I'm sorry if the essay sounds like that instead. Yes, Wikipedia is a volunteer project, but it doesn't mean that there should be no initiative or organization to deal with difficult and boring tasks, such as dealing with backlogs and drama. If we don't deal with them soon enough, eventually the problem would hit the community at its face. It's not that of an alarmist idea to think of an unicorn startup hiring experts to write about these core topics in secrecy and then suddenly publish them and paywall them with a small subscription fee. For the readers, our core topics sucks, so there is a very compelling reason to pay up for the unicorn company's encyclopedia instead. Good luck trying to port these articles to Wikipedia. Likewise, if we deal with the Vital articles soon enough, then like Apaugasma's has said in the Core Wiki proposal, our reputation would skyrocket, more experts would come and edit our articles, less drama, etc.
You are right that Vital 1 and 2 articles are not that useful as it is about abstract topics, but learning to deal with them would go a long way towards improving other Level 3 articles. There's also no inherent reason why improving these abstract articles to GA is impossible either (look at Human, Earth). Subsequent versions of the article need not be perfect, it just needs to be better than the last version. Improvements pile up, and after thousands of iterations, you have a solid GA. Even if we failed at this endeavor, we would still end up with a much better version than before that would benefit millions of readers to come. This is how Wikipedia works. Yes, the facts in the article may not be the best they can be, but the article would still be much better than before the improvements were made. The point of the essay is to do something about Vital articles, instead of being scared to improving them for whatever the reason and make powerpoint slides and research papers instead. Get your hands dirty. You would make much more progress that way. CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 05:19, 14 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"It's not that of an alarmist idea to think of an unicorn startup hiring experts to write about these core topics in secrecy and then suddenly publish them and paywall them with a small subscription fee."
It's also not very relevant to us. So what if someone else writes pays for others to write some entry in another encyclopedia? All that means is that there's now a quality source out there than we can now use to help us write our own topics. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 05:24, 14 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The problem isn't that it is not possible to port/source these article but more so that Wikipedia and the free culture would lose a ton of reputation. Imagine the storm of articles saying "XYZ encyclopedia is the new Wikipedia", "Wikipedia seems to lose its edge", etc. People would question our openness and our method of doing things, saying that it is too bureaucratic and such. If the XYZ encyclopedia has its ways, knowledge won't be free anymore. And that's bad. CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 05:31, 14 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There is exactly -242% chance of that ever happening. We've crushed all other competitors.
If someone wants to pay people to write something comparable to Wikipedia, they're welcome to try and fail their way into bankruptcy. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 05:34, 14 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Wikipedia is big not because it contains good articles, but because it contains articles on just about everything. As Headbomb suggests, it's impossible for any company to replicate that without crowd sourcing. And what crowd will write FA-level articles on VA1 topics if we don't? There really is no cause for alarm. Of course that doesn't mean that trying to improve our articles is not a good idea. It's more a responsibility thing than a competition thing in my mind. If we create this mass of information, it should also be minimally reliable. ☿ Apaugasma (talk ) 06:54, 14 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
On second thought, I agree. It's not a good opening paragraph anyways. CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 08:55, 14 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As all the wiki clones do, they can simply clone all the articles on WP that currently exist and continue to do so to replicate our breadth of coverage. Algorithmic data mining or some automated English-to-English rephrasing parser can be used to make it look slightly more unique. As said before the money gets spent on good UI (no concern about low-percentile web compatibility) and paid editors on key articles. The real kicker would be if Google or Bing saw some reason to not favor WP results over a clone that did large investment in SEO, say. A number of lucky things have to fall into place for a clone of Wikipedia to overtake it, but there's no reason to suspect a viable or even existential competitor would be resemble Wikipedia so closely. Did Wikipedia resemble in any way the media models it displaced? And of those Wikipedia took significant value from, who survived the onslaught and regrew? I can't find a systematic review of encyclopedia market shares to compare, and while everyone cites Messner & DiStaso 2013 which is so old now, they do at least give some history (with just newspaper article citations) of the Encarta/Britannica/WP displacement. SamuelRiv (talk) 02:00, 15 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Headbbomb: I've noticed that the people who are most often wrong about a subject is are those who know a little (or a lot) about some closely related subjects but absolutely nothing about the actual subject in question. If you're (2nd person impersonal) a professional scientist and the extent of your exposure to the philosophy of science is "the scientific method", then you don't necessarily know "what science is" any more than a gymnast knows what angular momentum is. And just as a gymnast doesn't need to know the Euler Equations to advance their sport, a scientist doesn't need to know the philosophy of science to advance science. I'm not saying stay in your lane, but to keep these sports metaphors going, if you want to go from doing laps on a Grand Prix track to a swimming pool, at a bare minimum get out of the car first. SamuelRiv (talk) 01:33, 15 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Most philosophers debating what science is don't have the faintest clue what science actually is because they've never actually done it. The situation is like a linguist from the Académie Française thinking "This is how French is spoken, look at all these wonderful grammar rules we have!" And then landing in the real world, and hearing things like "Quisse qui own la car darrière chez Rita?" Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 03:33, 15 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ok, I guess that's how every intro linguistics class portrays prescriptivism. It's like how I once took an economics class, so now I viciously mock anyone who says a price floor is ever a good idea in any circumstance ever. Absent a really robust comparative study of European language evolution post-Renaissance, all I've seen are region-specific discussions, but you can sort of a general idea of the complexity of the situation by comparing how language uniformity spread in England and France by the turn of the 20th century to where it was in say the German states (and still is by comparison). Or just look at language revival projects or how best clinical language pathology outcomes are achieved in practice. I mean, maybe consider that people who spend years studying something you didn't might know more about it than you do. SamuelRiv (talk) 02:25, 18 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Concerns about the VA lists and projects have been greatly exaggerated. Equally, if not more, concerning, is how pedantic and bureaucratic the GA and FA process has become. For ywars it's devolved into doing silly little tricks for fastidious reviewers. pbp 22:19, 14 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

How to categorize redirects due to garbage in database entries[edit]

Back in June 2019, and April 2022 certain redirects came up for discussion.

Both were kept as likely search terms, but both originate from entries of databases with low levels of curation, which result in all sorts of unwanted "disambiguators" and extra appendages. Other database are more curated, but also often add extra information that is not really how any human person would refer to entries. Examples include

Currently, the first two of these are tagged as {{R from misspellings}}, but it's a bit more specific than just a misspelling. One could argue for {{R from incorrect name}}, but it's also not quite reflective of the underlying issue. These are a redirect created from an unusual version of a name that comes from a database. I'm looking to create a redirect category for those entries, but I'm drawing a blank on the name. {{R from database name}} could be a thing, but many databases normal names that don't have extra crap in them. It's very likely that some registry somewhere has an entry labelled "Feynman, Richard Phillips" for Richard Feynman.

So basically I'm looking for an {{R from...}} template name that's something like {{R from database name with useless extra fluff}} or {{R from database crap names}}. Just you know. Worded better.

Ideas? Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 03:11, 14 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

{{R from never-never land}}? -- RoySmith (talk) 23:10, 14 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
{{R from database with unnecessary content}}? BD2412 T 23:35, 14 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That makes it sound like a database has entries that aren't needed, like a Pokemon encyclopedia with articles about things that really aren't about Pokémon. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 01:09, 15 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
{{R from unreliable database entry}}? —Kusma (talk) 16:12, 15 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Doesn't fit since the both the database and entry are reliable. "Cerebral Cortex (New York, N.Y.: 1991)" reliably refers to Cerebral Cortex (journal). Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 23:27, 15 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"redundant database entry"? —Kusma (talk) 07:37, 16 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There's usually not multiple entries in the database, so redundant is not it either. Maybe '{{R from database name with unnecessary add-ons}}'? Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 08:23, 16 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Headbomb {{R from database error}}? (talk) 22:04, 16 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Usually those aren't errors, but rather an internal scheme used at that database. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 23:59, 16 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Some of them are {{R from unnecessary disambiguation}}. I'm not sure whether that includes cases where some qualification is necessary but not that much, such as the Cerebral Cortex example above. We may still want a more specific subcat where the excess baggage is copied faithfully from an external database. Trove (an excellent resource in other ways) provides more examples, such as The Globe (Sydney, N.S.W.: 1911-1914). Certes (talk) 11:36, 16 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This sounds like the exact niche {{R from file metadata link}} fills but for databases. If you were to make a new one, I guess it would be called {{R from database metadata link}}, {{R from database entry link}}, or (most descriptively) {{R from uneven database entry name}}. –MJLTalk 20:51, 16 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
{{Redirect from source-specific term}}, perhaps? Andrew Gray (talk) 22:29, 16 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That sounds like the most accurate, specific and diplomatic classification so far. It could take an optional parameter to indicate what source it's specific to, and perhaps populate subcats for the most prolific. Certes (talk) 22:57, 16 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
{{R from database entry link}} (and to some extend {{Redirect from source-specific term}}) has potential, if we can make it exclusive to garbage type entries (e.g. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology : JASN), which would exclude Wikipedia-legitimate disambiguators like The Times (Pawtucket) or The Times (Little Falls) which may also be found in databases.
But because of this subtlety in the scope, I think it would be better that this is reflect in the category name, to distinguish things like Spine (Phila Pa 1976) (the legitimate {{R from NLM abbreviation}}) from Cerebral Cortex (New York, N.Y.: 1991) (the PubMed database name for Spine (journal) and which shouldn't be used anywhere on Wikipedia). {{R from database name with unnecessary add-ons}} still seems the best, but I'll let this simmer for a bit longer. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 00:15, 17 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Sources" namespace[edit]

Not sure how in-demand something like this would be, hence the discussion here before potentially making it an actual proposal: the general idea is a tertiary namespace to article-space (with Talk: being the secondary namespace) that would basically just be a page for collecting sources relevant to the article-space page the Sources: page is connected to. Ideally a sortable table, potentially broken into categories (for topics that need it), but additions would use the standard citation templates ({{cite_web}}, et al.) Obviously the quote field for the cite template would provide some context for each individual source listed, but there would also be a comment column for giving any additional notes/ideas for using the source in the article.

The sources listed could be duplicative of sources already used in the article (it would not be an error to have a article-space source listed on the Sources: page; it would also not be an error to have a source that says fundamentally the same thing, say CNN vs. The New York Times). The sources could also be ones that support statements not already made in the article (i.e. someone knows a source would be useful in article X, but doesn't have the time to write prose to use it, but wants to leave it for any editor who might happen upon the article and be looking for ways to improve it). Currently sources can be discussed on the talk page, but they are often spread out, and can get lost to the archives for truly busy topics. As this namespace would be just data basically (and sortable by source date/addition date/source/etc) it should be useful.

The fully realized implementation of this idea would add another tab next to Article and Talk in the desktop UI: Sources. This page would not have its own talk page, presumably discussion of the sources would still continue on the normal Talk page. Thoughts/ideas? (Apologies if this has been discussed before, I checked the perennial proposals and did a search). —Locke Coletc 04:04, 15 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This is needlessly complicated and would cause a huge amount of issues for no real benefits. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 08:00, 15 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Agreed. Doug Weller talk 08:35, 15 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Can you elaborate on the "huge amount of issues"? The benefits were explained above, I can try to give a better explanation if you didn't understand that one. —Locke Coletc 16:30, 15 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sources could (already) be included in Wikidata. If you want to add a dump of sources as an external links section in an article, or just add to talk page. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 10:30, 15 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As I indicated [c]urrently sources can be discussed on the talk page, but they are often spread out, and can get lost to the archives for truly busy topics. Wikidata might be an option, but the idea is to put something front and center that is easily accessible as a repository for sources for each article. —Locke Coletc 16:30, 15 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If we move sources out of the article, it should not be to a page serving only that article, but to a BibTeX-style database for all articles. Keeping the sources in the article wikitext is probably superior in practice, though, so this isn't worth the massive effort. —Kusma (talk) 10:49, 15 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Locke Cole Can you explain more what you would do with a list of sources? To give you some ideas 10 research tools every PhD student needs (
@Kusma I like the idea of a BibTex database, but I agree the article is where refs should be. Is there any way of finding out where a reference is used in Wikipedia? I have posted on Wikidata help about "Sources could (already) be included in Wikidata." as I couldn't find the sources there.Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 16:06, 15 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Can you explain more what you would do with a list of sources? Use it as a starting point for looking for things not currently covered by an article, since another editor would have to have been aware of the source and either read it or skimmed it enough to summarize it. When I was working on an article recently, I came across dozens of sources that would be relevant to the article, but for the writing I was doing, I didn't need them. If I could have a place to save those sources for future editors so they're easily accessible (from the article' Sources: page this idea suggests) then future editors may quickly find what they're looking for when they want to expand the article in the future. —Locke Coletc 16:30, 15 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Locke Cole: That sounds like the problem {{Refideas}} is meant to solve? –MJLTalk 20:41, 16 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
My idea was just for an area for collecting sources in general, not necessarily just the ones in the article (though I like the idea you're talking about as a bonus). The idea is to make article research simpler by allowing editors to note unused sources (with citation templates/quotes/notes) for future editors to have available. —Locke Coletc 16:30, 15 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What I do often is just to add relevant but unused sources to the article itself, in the 'Further reading'/'Sources'/'Bibliography' section (depending on what's the most relevant designator; if there is no such section I create one). One of the major uses that I myself made of Wikipedia long before I started editing it is as the go-to place for finding reliable sources on a subject. Very often this is far more useful than the article itself. Readers should readily find such unused sources on the page itself, so it sounds like a bad idea to relegate them to a separate namespace. ☿ Apaugasma (talk ) 17:06, 15 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
See WP:OVERCITE (which I have seen used to "declutter" articles of sources) and {{Excessive citations}}. I agree that ideally we should be able to have as many sources as possible in the article proper, but clearly there is some resistance to that, hence this idea. And yes, I agree that having sources available is not just good for editors, but also readers. —Locke Coletc 17:16, 15 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Locke Cole Your comment "good for readers" made me wonder how a reader uses WIkipedia, What is rather than a Tab, we put a link at top of the page Student. The Student page would need a logon and would take them to a user page. We would need a copy reference tool which would add references the way you wanted to a table
Trying to address problems "How do we get more editors?". "How do get them to do more Edits?" "How do we divert Vandals" "How we make it easier to share references?" Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 01:24, 16 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I believe this is done at the English Wiktionary. See, e.g., the three tabs at the top of wikt:en:random. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 18:37, 15 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ahhh, that's likely where I got the idea from. =) I knew I'd seen something like it somewhere, thanks for the pointer! —Locke Coletc 21:38, 15 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
wikt do it not by means of a tertiary namespace to article-space, but an additional primary namespace - Citations:, no. 114. There is probably some software configutation that links e.g wikt:Citations:random to wikt:random. The namespace isn't just used for what we understand by citations (i.e. references), but for a phrase or sentence giving context to the word concerned, just as at a spelling bee the contender is asked not just to spell the word but give a valid example of its usage, and it is that phrase or sentence that is referenced.
As is normal, the namespace has its associated Citations talk: namespace, no. 115, which seems to be used solely for the placement of archived deletion discussions which closed as "keep". --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 08:46, 16 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You might be interested in the proposal at meta:WikiCite/Shared Citations. the wub "?!" 22:17, 15 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you for that, it would definitely fit the bill, especially if it supported adding unused/proposed sources. =) —Locke Coletc 05:54, 17 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Does {{refideas}} do what you want? It goes at the top of talk pages along with wikiproject banners and {{article history}} so it shouldn't get archived, but it's a simpler solution than creating a whole new namespace. It's only used on about 14,000 pages, which suggests to me that there isn't enough demand to justify a whole new namespace Caeciliusinhorto-public (talk) 09:24, 16 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@MJL and Caeciliusinhorto-public: {{refideas}} is definitely in the spirit of what I had in mind, though it does seem limited at apparently just 21 references, and it doesn't appear to support fully formed {{cite web}}/etc., just bare links/text. I'll definitely use it now that I'm aware of it. =) It's only used on about 14,000 pages, which suggests to me that there isn't enough demand to justify a whole new namespace Or, alternatively, people aren't aware it exists (like myself) and a "Sources" tab front and center with the "Talk" and "Article" would make it much harder to miss. It also stands to reason we should be encouraging people to come forward with sources, which this would do. —Locke Coletc 05:46, 17 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If you need more than 21, use it twice; see its talk page. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 05:52, 17 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Locke Cole: You can use {{cite}} templates with {{refideas}}; see Talk:CIL 4.5296 for an example where I have done exactly that. The trick is to explicitly name the unnamed parameters: {{refideas | 1={{cite book|title=Example|author=John Doe}} | 2={{cite journal|title=Another Example|journal=Journal of Examples|author=Jane Smith}} }}. Caeciliusinhorto-public (talk) 09:23, 17 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I tend to agree with earlier commenters that this proposal would be structurally difficult to create (and more difficult to get consistent community adoption for it) but also I would add that, precisely because it is tied to a single article by being a 'third tab', it would have under-powered utility. If you weren't aware, the French wikipedia already has a "references" namespace of its own: See the documentation at Fr:Aide:Espace référence, the purpose of which is to be able to easily reference works across the whole language edition of the Encyclopedia. This is not dissimilar to the "Specific-source templates" here on En.wp but more consistent and powerful. However, as far as I am aware it is not widely used these days. You can see an example for how a reference to an edition of Ovid's Metamorphosis is structured in that namespace here: w:fr:Référence:Métamorphoses (Ovide). On a wider note, I thank the wub for linking to the Shared Citations proposal which I wrote a couple of years ago in my staff-time (as user:LWyatt (WMF)), which proposes a central repository of structure data of sources used on/by any Wikimedia project (including Wikidata). This would not deprecate or override any local editorial policies of any Wiki (including but not limited to preferred display format (CITEVAR), policies on reliable/deprecated sources). But it would allow for the consolidation of much of the duplicated work (and code) that is currently maintained over and over and over again for references across all our wikis. Sincerely, Wittylama 20:38, 16 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As with my post of 08:46, 16 August 2022 (UTC) this is an additional namespace pair, in this case Référence:, no. 104. These pages give bibliographic info for one or more editions of a work, structured using the Édition template - this gives a choice of five formats, but none of them are a copyable cite template. Unlike Wiktionary, these don't appear as an extra tab on articles - for example, the article fr:Bicycle has no link to fr:Référence:Bicycle that I can find; and whilst fr:Référence:Basic Ship Theory exists, fr:Basic Ship Theory doesn't.
Again, there is Discussion Référence, no. 105 and there are somewhat more pages here than Citations talk pages at wikt, but many of those that do exist are completely blank. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 23:09, 16 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I see that {{Refideas}} has been proposed here as an alternative and simpler solution, but in fact it has the great disadvantage of being nearly invisible for your average reader or editor. People don't tend to look at things like talk page headers anyway (see banner blindness), but in this case most applications of {{Refideas}} will be in a collapsed state, more often than not as one of many collapsed parts of the talk header, and thus become utterly undiscoverable. The fact that so few editors use it or even know about it also seems to be prima facie evidence of that. For academic subjects I would generally encourage creating large bibliographies in the article itself, where they will doubtlessly be most visible to readers (examples here or here; I see that Wikipedia:Citation overkill doesn't even contain the word 'bibliography', so something about that may be added there). However, in cases where this would be inappropriate (e.g., popular subjects with large amounts of relatively low-quality journalistic sources), having a separate 'Sources' tab next to 'Article' and 'Talk' would seem to be a great idea to me. ☿ Apaugasma (talk ) 15:24, 17 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hermetica is an absolutely terrible example, & non-compliant with various policies I'd imagine. From the vast lists of sources, mostly not used for references, it took me far too long to locate two that are frequently cited (Bull and Copenhaven). Generally WP should not attempt comprehensive bibliographies of works not actually used - we don't do it well, & won't keep them up to date. They are a bad habit of German WP which we should not (and usually do not) copy. If someone really feels the need, they should be carefully distinguished from works used in the article. Johnbod (talk) 15:42, 17 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Why would you have to look for a source that is frequently cited, if you can just click on it to lead you right to it? Even just hovering over it will show the full bibliographic reference in desktop mode (I believe there's an equivalent on mobile, but I'm not familiar with that). I'm also very much keeping that bibliography up to date (e.g., [3] [4] [5]). I agree that sources cited in the article but not strictly belonging in a bibliography on the subject should ideally be in a separate section. It would also be ideal to have an entirely separate 'Further reading' section only listing sources that truly constitute good introductory reading.
But that's all helpful to the reader. If it's non-compliant with various policies, I will most certainly IAR. Seriously John, I can't emphasize enough how incredibly useful that is to anyone looking to do research on the subject. Wikipedia very often is the best place to start for that, not rarely even better than places like Oxford Bibliographies Online. It's very discouraging to receive this kind of feedback. ☿ Apaugasma (talk ) 16:28, 17 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sorry you feel that way, but try running it at FAC like that. Johnbod (talk) 23:21, 17 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Exactly what I was thinking. Probably will never run for FAC then. But that is a depressing thought. I'd wish there were some more room for diversity in that process. Too much focus on style over substance. ☿ Apaugasma (talk ) 23:55, 17 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Redesigning the contents page[edit]

I have been making some changes to the WP:CONTENTS page and I would like to implement this change in my sandbox. Because this is a major change, I would like to get some feedback regarding whether this would be a good change and what improvements I could make before I implement it on the contents page. Interstellarity (talk) 18:33, 17 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I don't like that it has yet another layer of forced-narrowness. Look at that page on a standard width monitor in in Vector 2022 or Minerva for example to see how that problem compounds when a skin is also adding lots of gutter. — xaosflux Talk 19:04, 17 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Xaosflux: I looked the links you provided me and yes, I get what you are saying. I would like to know what could be done to improve the user interface of the page. To me, the page looks a little dated and I am hoping to modernize it to meet modern web standards. Thanks, Interstellarity (talk) 19:29, 17 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Interstellarity the template you are wrapping everything in (Template:Intro to single) has a max-width: 1100px; hard-coded in it. Perhaps allow that to accept a variable and use a %, or otherwise override that on this specific page? The overall layout seems fine enough to boldly try if that squeeze can be remedied. (Perhaps it shouldn't be enforce there at all, and let the "modern" standards in vector-2022 alone deal with that sort of layout?) — xaosflux Talk 19:38, 17 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I used the find tool to find the line of code, but I was unable to find it. I was wondering if you could and my sandbox so that it works properly. Interstellarity (talk) 20:54, 17 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't think the issue is with the max-width (since that is set wider than Vector 2022 and Minerva have by default), but with the shortcut box being outside the wrapper template and causing a gutter on the right. Moving it inside the lead makes it look better. the wub "?!" 21:50, 17 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Interstellarity: The max-width is in the .css subfile of the template. I have no idea how to make that variable, but I agree with xaosflux; the contents page shouldn't take up only half of my screen — PerfectSoundWhatever (t; c) 23:22, 18 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@PerfectSoundWhatever: If you look at the WP:Contents page, I have made a lot of changes so that it meets more intuitive. As always, if you see anything that could be improved on the web page, please feel free to do so. Interstellarity (talk) 23:31, 18 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm happy to try to improve the page, but I'm talking specifically about the page width, not about the intuitiveness of the page etc. — PerfectSoundWhatever (t; c) 03:47, 19 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I see left-justified bullets with centre-justified text, which looks bad. I suggest not having any bullet graphic if the text is centre-justified, and relying on judiciously-used vertical whitespace to delineate the individual items. isaacl (talk) 20:58, 17 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I added the align left parameter to the template and hopefully, it looks better now. Interstellarity (talk) 19:02, 18 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have implemented the new changes to the contents page. If you see a way the page can be improved, please feel free to edit the page to improve it. Interstellarity (talk) 21:06, 18 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

NPP discussion (Split from "Incentivise_article_improvement")[edit]

Split Part 1

  • I seem to detect (but I apologise already if I'm wrong) that there's an underlying suggestion that NPPers are at fault for either over-tagging, or not immediately addressing the issues. I would just like to point out however, that fixing articles is absolutely not within the NPP remit. If it were, the huge backlog would be even bigger. Let's also not forget that anyone, however inexperienced, can tag articles; the only thing they can't do is pass them as reviewed for indexing. There are millions of perma-tagged articles and most of them will never be improved; Wikipedia needs to find a way to ensure that at least the creators of new articles are made aware of the minimum required standards before they click 'publish', Currently they are not informed. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 00:57, 19 July 2022 (UTC)[reply]Reply[reply]
    Nothing about my suggestion has anything to do with NPP, which is something I am completely under informed to have an opinion about. I have only good things to say about the editors who do the effort to review the huge number of new pages. I did not intend to suggest otherwise. CT55555 (talk) 01:47, 19 July 2022 (UTC)[reply]Reply[reply]
CT55555 ,It was a general observation and there was nothing to suggest that you in particular were responsible for any trend I felt I detected in the thread. That said, you may wish to get up to speed with what WP:NPP is all about and apply for the user right and help out. It looks to me as if you already have more than sufficient experience and it would be much appreciated. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 02:16, 19 July 2022 (UTC)[reply]Reply[reply]
Thanks. I did consider it before. I looked at the process and felt a bit intimidated by the user interface and rules and decided to keep my focus on article creation instead, but I'll reconsider. I fear it is a role that attracts confrontation and I'm already borderline stepping back from Wikipedia due to the nature of some debates, but I'll not use this space as any more of an outlet on that now. All the best. CT55555 (talk) 02:20, 19 July 2022 (UTC)[reply]Reply[reply]
@CT55555 I beleive that was addressed at me. Choosing incentives can be tricky, as there are often unintended consequences, especially if they are blanket or are not in line with a desire path. There is an adage (apoligies I can't remember the ref) that any part of an organisation/person will optimise itself at the expense of the others, and the origanisational goals.
Rejection of new incentives that you may not perform well against, or reduce your existing status, is very human. Even if we are not a video game, people deserve recognition and satisfaction for their ggo faith work.
@Kudpung I think the NPP do a great job, but there is a possibility of tool misuse that I think an article on the NPP page acknowledges.
So, are there any stats on what % of how many tags are added by NPP/automated tool users? About ten years ago there was a WMF foundation paper by the NPP tool creator, where he expressed his disquiet at how it had changed WP, particularly to do with new editors. NPP automatically judge new articles, by tools that we oo not provide new article creators (10 hours work versus 10 seconds to review). The justification why we don't is that vandals might use these tools in the same way google does not reveal pagerank for fear of SEOs.
Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 07:36, 19 July 2022 (UTC)[reply]Reply[reply]
Wakelamp, New Page Reviewers do not use any automated tools for their work and they do not judge or criticize the articles' creators. Apart from being able to pass articles as reviewed there are no tools that are not available to anyone else in Twinkle and the NewPagesFeed. Everything is based on having enough knowledge and experience to correctly asses the quality and notability of a new article, and more often than not it means checking out the sources. I would be extremely concerned if any NPPers think 10 seconds is enough to thoroughly review a new page.
I don't know anything about a ten-year-old paper by the NPP tool creator. but I would be very interested to read it. I knew the the team of tool creators personally - I collaborated with them in 2012 on the development of the new NPP system. Any negative effect of the tools or even ACTRIAL has been thoroughly disproved and acknowledged by the WMF in an in-depth scientific study. All Wikipedia wants now is more New Page Reviewers of the right calibre, some bugs and a couple of new features in the software being addressed, and better incentive for new users who create articles to create them properly.
Probably the best solution would be to end the constant experiments with the design and function of the Article Wizard, rebuild it to the professional principles of UX and communication studies, give it a sleek modern look, and insist that new editors use it. The mantra 'The encyclopedia anyone can edit' does not mean 'Come to Wikipedia and dump your spam, junk, CV, and garage band here'. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 10:48, 19 July 2022 (UTC)[reply]Reply[reply]
Do you think that new article creators should have access to any of the page curator tools? Specifically the reliable source check? Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 11:57, 20 July 2022 (UTC)[reply]Reply[reply]
First, "New Page Reviewers do not use any automated tools" @Epochfail refers to them as semi-automated tools, so both of us are correct.Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 23:11, 20 July 2022 (UTC)[reply]Reply[reply]
Second, "and they do not judge or criticize the articles' creators" Indirectly The Rise of Warnings to New Editors on English Wikipedia"..we discovered a distinct trend: a marked decrease in praise for contributions (anything from a simple “great job on that article!” to a barnstar), and a simultaneous increase in warnings and criticism delivered via templates" and page curator has "Over 70 different tags are provided, ... You can ...add them to the page all at once."Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 23:11, 20 July 2022 (UTC)[reply]Reply[reply]
Third, 'if any NPPers think 10 seconds is enough to thoroughly review a new page." I agree. That was hyperbole on my part, but it seems PDQ. How much time would a NPP spend on reviewing a page?Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 23:11, 20 July 2022 (UTC)[reply]Reply[reply]
Fourth, "Paper by NPP tool creator. but I would be very interested to read it." @Epochfail metawiki:Research:Newcomer_quality 2012 "Semi-automated revert tools were brought in to deal with exponentially-increasing numbers of undesirable newcomers; the results suggest that using these tools to reject undesirable newcomers may have little effect on the desirable ones, but that using them to reject the undesirable edits of good-faith newcomers may decrease retention.", 2013 "Specifically, the restrictiveness of the encyclopedia’s primary quality control mechanism and the algorithmic tools used to reject contributions are implicated as key causes of decreased newcomer retention. Furthermore, the community’s formal mechanisms for norm articulation are shown to have calcified against changes—especially changes proposed by newer editor", and 2011 "Don't bite the newbies: How reverts affect the quantity and quality of Wikipedia work".
Fifth, "wants now is more New Page Reviewers of the right calibre" W. Edwards Deming addressed this same issue. Deming invented Total Quality Management which while initially of little impact in America. transformed a “Made in Japan” from being seen as poor to [Deming_Prize highest quality]. At the time, American manufacturing had hordes of quality inspectors, but did not allow the the worker/"New Editor" to have pride/control over their work.
Sixth, “rebuild it to the professional principles of UX and communication studies, give it a sleek modern look, and insist that new editors use it.” This won't work. Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 15:11, 20 July 2022 (UTC)Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 23:11, 20 July 2022 (UTC)[reply]Reply[reply]
@Wakelamp, your comment above is quite difficult to make sense of, not least because of the large amount of seemingly arbitrary nowiki tags. Dr. Duh 🩺 (talk) 15:24, 20 July 2022 (UTC)[reply]Reply[reply]
@Dr. Duh Thank-you. Apologies for the nowiki tags; the editor is crashing so I copied it from elsewhere. Is this better? Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 23:11, 20 July 2022 (UTC)[reply]Reply[reply]
I took the liberty of fixing a few more malformed links with this edit, but yes, thank you. Dr. Duh 🩺 (talk) 06:52, 21 July 2022 (UTC)[reply]Reply[reply]
@Kudpung So what do you think? Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 09:36, 2 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Split Part 2

There is no doubt that the deletionists have won, but I don't think we have ever worked out the cost of the policy for good faith (and possibly misguided) articles. We could cost using say WP edit hours (WPED ?) with experienced editor time worth a lot more to WP, as they are less than 1 in a hundred editors, and take years to understand WP. The cost would be
  • Article creator's time ( both the article edit + expected loss of future edits)
  • NPP, AfD
  • A share of guideline discussions
  • Experienced editor burnout (expected loss of future edits)
  • Expected reputational risk from article being deleted (The US senate candidate)
  • Reputational risk from disgruntled article creator


  • Maintenance saved over next 10 years
  • Expected reading of the article over next 10 years
  • Reputational benefit from article not existing Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk)
Talking about Wikipedia's reputation feels like voters talking about whether a candidate is "electable". We'd be better off talking about what we personally/individually want, instead of pretending that we know what other people want/value. If someone were to say "I personally think deleting Bollywood stubs makes Wikipedia less useful, especially to millions of people who read English in India" and another were to say "I personally am disappointed whenever Google offers me a link to a Wikipedia article containing two sentences and two sources, because I never search for simple facts like 'Which film was that actor in?'", then we could have a functional conversation about what our editors want from an article. As it is, I suspect that we are presenting our personal preferences and pretending that they are The True™ Facts About the Whole World.
CactiStaccingCrane, have you checked the list of potential GA articles against featured content in other languages? If we've got a stub and another wiki has a FA or GA, then it might be faster to use the Wikipedia:Content translation tool to bring in a solid base, and update it from there. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:12, 1 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I think that's a great idea! It's gonna be tricky to figure out how to make a query to do so though... CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 09:51, 2 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]
@CactiStaccingCrane, someone's apparently got a query for part of it, because there are lists like Wikipedia:Featured articles in other languages/French updated by User:Cewbot every week. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:55, 7 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I am not pretending to "know what other people want/value" and included reputation only or the sake of completeness, Reputation is probably only a second or third order effect for any one article, but over the whole of WP it would add up. The decision-making methodology of using creating a model using a cost-like metric, (WP edit hours for tasks) is quite standard in business, government, and academia. (As an attempt at levity, I suspect that when building a pyramid they put the "rubbish" side facing inwards as there was no "benefit", but higher cost.)

With editors, what I suggest is

  • We need more of them, so we can incentivise them.
  • Prioritisation of WP editor work using Statistics of the trend and amount of work that is outstanding by class/importance of articles.
  • A test of whether tags encourage new editors. This could be done as a randomised trial where we remove the templates from 10K random stubs and compare the amount of new editors on those pages 10K other random stubs after 12 months.
  • Statistics of editor productivity after deletion of their new articles, including an email survey if they become inactive,*
  • We need to seamlessly divert new editors of vanity articles elsewhere (Nonnotable-pedia :-)) , and to create quality at source through moving NPP checks (such as reputation) to be part of the New Article process. 02:15, 2 August 2022 (UTC) Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 02:15, 2 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I do think that the third idea is the most likely to take off. The second idea can be done the crude way by editing Top/High importance and Stub/Start-Class articles, while the fourth idea can be kinda intrusive in my opinion. CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 09:57, 2 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]
You might not claim to know what other people want, but some editors do. To protect the guilty (and to avoid singling out individuals unfairly when they are not the only ones saying it), I won't provide any links, but I imagine that a search on Wikipedia's reputation NPP in the Wikipedia: namespace would provide many examples of editors asserting that NPP must work this way, or the Draft: space must be handled thusly, or else Wikipedia's reputation will be destroyed. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:26, 2 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]
The only people who will be guilty of the ultimate demise of Wikipedia's reputation WhatamIdoing, will be the WMF's own employees for not coming to the aid of the very process they developed for the volunteers that keeps the corpus clean. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 14:16, 7 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I'm not sure that it's possible for Wikipedia's reputation to be destroyed. * I can easily believe that it could change, (e.g., from "the place with long articles about professional athletes and short, remarkably similar articles about every geographical location, but that keeps removing articles about the kind of people I want to read about" to "the place with brief snippets about people who were mentioned in the news one day"),* but for the reputation to be meet its demise, I think it would have had to have one single reputation in the first place (IMO doubtful), and for that reputation to have been valued by everyone (IMO untrue).
  • Of course, there are certain views of the English Wikipedia that could be proven wrong. For example, if we pretend that the corpus was ever "clean" back in the good old days, then then influx of unpolished articles written by newbies about some subjects (e.g., articles about people who are celebrities in the second-largest English-speaking country in the world, but who are unknown to the average white American) would challenge our view of it being "clean" now. Some goals might need to be abandoned, but I don't think I'll mourn that one myself, as I don't think it was ever true in the first place, and I don't think that the costs are worth the benefits. * I'd rather stubbify than draftify such articles. After all, that's what we did with overly promotional articles back in the good old days (only back then, we didn't require any sources in articles, either in practice or in theory). WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:52, 7 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]

@Wakelamp: What do I think? Well, in 2011, Aaron Halfaker, (user:EpochFail), former Principal Research Scientist of the WMF, initiated a research program, which confirmed the importance of the NPP process:

“New Page Patrol is a vital function of many Wikipedias as the front line of interaction between new authors and community members devoted to policing the quality of the project. It has variety of detailed, quite complex possible actions for patrolling pages in all namespaces.”

I was involved in the development of PageTriage (the software name for the system we use since 2012) from the patrollers’ perspective and I can categorically state that reviewing new pages is a job that requires a lot of skill, thick skin, and a lot of putting up with aggressive reactions from creators of truly worthless 'articles' that have been confined to the trash can. The only automations are a couple of scrips that save one or two mouse clicks when reviewers have made up their minds what to do with a new article. Despite Halfaker’s revelation however, most of the WMF regard NPPers as a bunch of deletionists, while the community perceives the Foundation Growth Department’s policy as ‘the quantity of articles is more important than the quality’. For more background on new page reviewing, please take just five minutes to read NPP: This could be heaven or this could be hell for new users – and for the reviewers. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 16:10, 2 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Good article. I hope you found my links interesting as well,
Just read some NPP newsletters and the problem,
  • There has been an increase in the backlog, and editor burn out. So well done for sticking at it
  • Why are you against New Article Wizard changes?
  • And after 10 years of development of PageTriage is there that much work low hanging fruit? Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 16:13, 4 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Glad you found the Signpost article interesting. I'm not quite sure I follow what you are suggesting here Wakelamp - quite to the contrary of being against New Article Wizard changes, I'm all for it. I said above, in fact, that it should be designed once and for all by experts in UX, and what Wikipedia would like to do, and how it can retain new registrants - and I've been saying this for probably 10 years already. OTOH, I haven't been sticking at NPP since I retired from shepherding it about 3 years or more ago. In 2012 it only took about 10 months to develop the new PageTriage software. The problem today, 10 years later, is in getting the WMF to address some bugs that have crept into it, and to add some much needed small but important features in order to meet new challenges that weren't evident in 2012. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 14:34, 7 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]
@Kudpung We have hijacked this thread about stub incentives. I suggest we create a new topic on "New Article and NPP" and copy across the relevant posts Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 02:46, 8 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]
@Kudpung You haven't yet mentioned what you thought of the articles I posted. I read your prior comments as anti - Article Wizard improvement and more about putting lipstick on a pig because of this "probably the best solution would be to end the constant experiments with the design and function of the Article Wizard, rebuild it to the professional principles of UX and communication studies, give it a sleek modern look, and insist that new editors use it." . Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 02:46, 8 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]
@Kudpung So to your post,

You wrote "getting the WMF to address some bugs that have crept into it, and to add some much needed small but important features in order to meet new challenges that weren't evident in 2012" If I was WMF, I too would carefully evaluate the need for NPP changes as well because of the

  • Lack of NPP ongoing Community consultation - Small changes are being actioned as bug fixes,, and add up to a large change, These are not going/ through the proposal process
  • WMF - WP Editor partnership issues. Editors see issues as WMF "address some bugs that have crept into it,"- Bugs don't creep in - things change. The sign off process is problematic
  • Conflict with other WMF policies (New Editor Retention, Editor Retention, Inclusion).
  • Tactical rather than Strategic approach; Quality inspection approach rather than quality at source. Has a problem solving approach been done? And Is the NPP having to make up for the community not solving Root Cause issues .
  • Whether it is the Best User of Development Time - Other changes might give more benefit. For instance New Article Wizard, citation tool improvements. The community is not stating their preference.
  • Unclear Cost/benefit - Good ideas, rather than based on statistics pre and post change Diminishing returns after 10 years.
  • Target creep - Vandalism and bad faith were the main concerns, but much of the focus is on misguided (Vanity), and complex guideline edge cases.
  • Whether the proposed changes may be EN Specific
  • The Unknown rate of False negatives - WP editors for hire are still being paid. For instance, there is no check with external sources on whether companies exist, # (big finish) Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 02:46, 8 August 2022 (UTC)  :[reply]
Wakelamp, I'm sorry if I have hijacked your thread, but I tend to deal with current, real issues rather than hypotheses, and what is possible in the short to medium term. Your ideas are not without merit and you will certainly already have noticed that NPP at the moment is most certainly en.Wiki specific - we are not really interested in the other WMF encyclopedias here although some editors share their efforts with other WMF projects. However, in order to incentivise article improvement, I would like to invite you to apply to join the NPP team and do a couple of thousand reviews to obtain a perspective from the inside as an experienced editor and new page reviewer. You'll find the regular NPP crowd a very supportive and highly motivated bunch of people. Some of them have been around since the beginning and generally concur on fairly firm ideas on the best way to go forward for user retention an and page quality. OTOH, you might wish to start with WP:AfC which is less stressful and has a shallower learning curve. Many users progress to NPP from AfC. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 03:14, 8 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]
@Kudpung It wasn't my thread, it was @CT55555 's. I agree that your ideas are also good, Thank-you for the suggestion that I apply to NPP patrolling @Kudpung. and the warning about stress. The AfC people are very patient, but they are often dealing with some difficult people, and when I asked their success rate was poor.
  • @CT55555 - I suggest that I to split off the NPP stuff into a different topic (unless anyone objects_ , so that your idea gets more attention
  • @Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 09:46, 13 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • Feel free to split CT55555 (talk) 12:26, 13 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • Just to confirm, by Split I mean cut the NPP stuff and paste it into an NPP topic Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 12:37, 13 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • Agreed, it's getting harder and harder to fetch out what's going on. CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 12:49, 13 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Files, Templates, and Categories[edit]

Hi, I was wondering about the number of edits being an incentive. We seem to have many pages in various namespaces that serve little purpose.

1. Templates - 740317 Templates of which 593177 have no redirects - 475061 Templates of which 366069 have no redirects

2. Files If they are a copy of Wikimedia commons, why do we have 705271 talk pages??

3. User Talk has 6 time as many pages User User 3,852,785 and User talk 17,976,469

4. Categories In 2010 we had 638,834 Categories In 2022 we have 2,188,563 Categories Category talk is 1865015 pages

I have raised a Quarry request for the breakdown by month. I would also like to find out how many times that readers actually click on a category

5 New Stubs A lot of stubs would seem better suited to Wiki species or wikidata, and may be being created semi-automatically Many have 1 ref to amateur web sites.

6. Why Recent Changes are so big? Apart from the above, we also have some editors constantly doing multiple edits on the same page within seconds

7. Weird Stuff I think it might have to do with Bots, but I found weird pages that just update the time Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 11:51, 19 August 2022 (UTC) Ok - Namespace 0 (articles0 looks weird Wikipedia:Statistics Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 12:38, 19 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Taking a stab at this
  1. The standard has always been that if you see a need for a template, make a template. As a result there is some amount of duplication and redundancy. Over time templates can also be superseded or lose their original purpose. Superfluous templates are mostly harmless, there are editors who work on merging, redirecting, or deleting templates where beneficial.
  2. Categorization, most of these have one or more templates that add them to tracking categories. This may not be all that helpful, but it's not harmful either so is mostly ignored.
  3. Not surprising at all. I don't have a link to the research handy but the vast majority of accounts never make a single edit on any wiki; the second most common number of edits per account is one, after that two, etc. If an account reaches autoconfirmed it's already part of a tiny elite. While it doesn't make sense to track IPs with zero edits a similar pattern emerges; IPs with one edit are most common followed by two etc. This was true even before the introduction of IPv6. Hence most of those user talk pages are just template messages, often added by semi-automated tools, welcomes, warnings, deletion notices etc. For accounts or IPs that will never edit again. At one time it was common to delete temporary user and user talk pages for accounts after a set period, but this has long-since fallen by the wayside. Deletion of old IP user talk pages was also carried out under an alleged CSD that never actually had consensus, but that too was halted. Since there's no value to deletion this really isn't surprising, though a bot is now tasked with blanking old IP talk messages.
  4. As with templates the idea is that if you see a need for a category you should go ahead and make it. Many categories are just for tracking or maintenance. The number of articles has more than doubled since then so the increase in categories isn't really that surprising. Category talk pages mostly function as file talk pages do (i.e. see above).
  5. There's a lot of history and controversy here. Suffice it to say that the communities views on notability have shifted over time, and many current articles exist as a legacy of earlier times. Semi and even fully automated article creation was tolerated in the past, Rambot created a large number of American county and municipality articles. Wikispecies has a different purpose than Wikipedia, and some of the information here would not be suitable there. Wikidata didn't even exist until 2012 long post-dating many of the mass database style stub creations.
  6. I seem to remember a proposal in the past to combine multiple edits made by the same user to an article over a short period of time which was shot down for both technical and practical reasons. Anyway unfiltered recentchanges has moved too fast to be a useful tool since at least when Rambot got up and running; filtered versions are still quite useful.
  7. There's a lot of weird stuff in userspace, for the most part it's best ignored.
  8. Zero-indexing is the norm in the world of computation. (talk) 14:52, 19 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]