Wikiquote talk:Votes for deletion archive

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Restructuring[edit]

There is a proposal for restructuring this archive to group into kept, deleted, and to-be-deleted sections, with articles being listed in each in alphabetical order. As it already has the support so far of three of the four sysops who can be expected to maintain it (with no current dissents), I plan to implement this new structure, unless there are objections, sometime after 0:00 17 April 2005 (UTC). — Jeff Q (talk) 20:07, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)


I've completed the restructuring, but two other issues have come up as a result. I'll bring them up in subsections for easier commentary. — Jeff Q (talk) 07:45, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Transwikied articles[edit]

I put the articles that have been moved using the Transwiki process into the Kept articles section, even though the material itself is no longer on Wikiquote. This seemed to me to be in keeping with the idea that an article with this title is still here, even though it only directs the reader to another location (e.g., Wikisource). It might be desirable to put these under a separate section or a subsection of Kept (e.g., Transwikied articles). This will also be affected by the outcome of the Tryst With Destiny VfD, which asks whether we should keep such links. I recommend holding off on a change here until that VfD is settled. — Jeff Q (talk) 07:45, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)


Pending deletion[edit]

The Pending deletion section was envisioned to collect all the VfD articles whose deletion was prevented by a block-compression error (BCE), a known bug in the current software which is expected to be fixed down the road. Such articles will be deleted at that time, and are meanwhile protected from edits.

However, there are other circumstances in which articles may literally be "pending deletion" but are not expected to have that deletion completed for a while. Favorites is an excellent example. There was a consensus to move material out of this article before deleting it, and this process was expected to take a while to do. It has been voted for deletion, but is not technically a Deleted article, so putting it in that section would be confusing. I have therefore placed it in Pending deletion.

This may be confusing to the sysops, as we had expected this to be a list of BCE articles. I would suggest, though, that there is no real confusion. The definitive list of BCE articles (both VfD'd and speedy-deleted) is now in Category:Pending deletions, so sysops should use that when it comes time to delete these problem articles. I suggest that, for now, we consider the Pending deletion section here to be nothing more than a list of articles that we haven't gotten around to deleting yet, for whatever reason.

We might later adopt a deletion process, similiar to Wikipedia's but much less complicated, that would regularly move completed VfD entries into such a waiting-for-deletion section, then allow other sysops (or the same one, later) to execute the deletion. I'm not ready to propose this because (A) we're just about to make the immediate-archive-and-delete change, and I don't want to get caught up in too many process changes at once; and (B) if we add another section, we'll have to argue about how to differentiate between normal articles "pending deletion" and BCE'd articles that are using the {{pending deletion}} tag that explicitly says there is a software problem preventing deletion. Others may feel differently. — Jeff Q (talk) 07:45, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)

As I moved the "pending deletion" list from the main VfD page to this archive, I belatedly realized that it would be easy to leave the list as a subsection of "Pending deletions" here. Since that was not part of our earlier discussions about the restructuring, my action may have been a bit too bold. I ask everyone to examine this new change and discuss whether we should keep it, mix the BCE problems in with the non-BCE problems (as I proposed only minutes ago above!), or keep this "pending deletion" section purely for the BCE problems and come up with a different place for Favorites and other not-yet-deleted articles like it. Sorry about the confusion. — Jeff Q (talk) 08:26, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Archiving revotes[edit]

With the recent completion of a vote on Adam Margolin, the new system had a bit of a snag. It was voted to keep in 2004, then voted to delete in 2005. When I archived the latter, I moved the 2004 vote into a subsection under the new vote's archive entry so that both votes were preserved, but the ultimate fate was clear. If the new vote had been to keep again, I could have done the same thing in the Kept section, moving the former vote under the new one to emphasize the latest vote while preserving the old one. (If there were several old votes, I'd have put them in reverse-chronological order, since the older the VfD nominations are, the less relevant they should be. This shouldn't get confused with the standard chronological order of the actual discussions, because each vote has its own section, and I've included the closure date in the subsection header.)

Since we have no policy on this, I ask everyone to consider what I've done, how it might be done differently, and discuss it here so we can add some notes to the eventual Wikiquote:Deletion process. Thank you. — Jeff Q (talk) 05:09, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)

A minor oddity[edit]

Why the link to article in section heading has been removed for deleted articles when the vote gets moved to archive? Now it is tedious, especially for non-admins, to figure out for example when they navigate to Oliver Putzier (which may or may not have been re-created) that where the VfD discussion, if any, is stored. Normally one uses Special:Whatlinkshere to check the existence of old VfD discussion, but without the link one has to navigate to this page and do an eye-ball search instead. jni 07:34, 27 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Unlike Wikipedia, we don't have individual pages for each VfD. The VfD discussions, in their entirety, are listed in the archive under each article's heading. Furthermore, I don't know that we've ever had a case yet of an article being recreated after it was VfD'd. (I'm sure that won't last.) Because of this, we don't seem to expect there to be a page to have a link to the VfD discussion. (I just last week ran through the exercise of adding two years of VfD archive links to VfD'd articles that were kept. Perhaps that gives you an idea of how informal we've been. ☺) Also, on Wikiquote, you can't type a non-existent article title in Search and bring up an edit window in order to get the Whatlinkshere link. Therefore, AFAIK, the easiest way to find out if an article has ever been VfD'd on Wikiquote is to go to WQ:VFDA and look at the table of contents. That may not be the best way, and it probably will have to be changed down the road, but that appears to be where we're at for now. — Jeff Q (talk) 08:11, 27 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Well, we use subpages now at least on the archiving side, so it is possible to navigate from Grant Dowell to Wikiquote:Votes for deletion archive/Grant Dowell by writing the prefix "Wikiquote:Vote for deletion archive/" at the browser location bar. That is clearly an improvement, but still it would be easier just to click "What links here" and follow the link from there to archive page. When you don't know whether we have a page or not, the first obvious thing you do is to type in the title to your browser, no? At least I don't use search for that purpose unless I can't remember the exact title. Furthermore, VFDA could have been vandalized so if you are scanning from the TOC, you first need to check that the page itself is in consistent state. jni 07:02, 27 May 2005 (UTC)

Order of images and other namespaces[edit]

This archive is in alphabetical order, but we hadn't really specified what form of alpha order we're using. I was going strictly by article name, without considering surnames in people article titles, because it's easier to sort something in a list that's strictly alphabetical by title text, and it's not usually harder to find articles that way. But we've been sorting images based on their subject name, which breaks the ease of sorting.

I suggest we follow strict alpha ordering, which would put any articles with namespace-like prefixes (i.e., Image:, Transwiki:, etc.) in the same general area. In addition to making sorting easier, it might actually be better for searching than the current mixed-in practice, as someone looking for an image would know to look in only a small section of the longer list, and all the soon-to-be-added transwiki articles would also be in a logical group. (I'm not suggesting that we create separate heading for these, but just place them in the normal order they would be in in the current Kept, Deleted, or Pending deletion sections.)

If no one objects in the next week, I plan to implement this strict alpha order. — Jeff Q (talk) 06:05, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Since Aphaia went ahead and added Deleted pages (for non-article pages) and Deleted images sections to the archive, I took her cue and resorted the list to follow this new system. I'm not sure this is the best way (I can see both good and bad coming from it), but it solves the problem I raised above. — Jeff Q (talk) 12:00, 3 May 2005 (UTC)

Using subpages for archive[edit]

Whoa, folks! In starting the use of subpages as VfD archives, a major policy change has been enacted after only two people exchanged three messages over a four-day period of time on the Village Pump! (jni commented positively only after the fact.) This is extremely bad form. If you can't even get most of the sysops to respond to a proposal, you should not assume agreement. I, for one, had cut back my activity for a couple of weeks, and had not expected that people would assume my silence to be consent. In my mind, lack of participation in a discussion (other than the clearly defined conditions of VfD votes) is an implicit statement that consensus has not been achieved. That's why, when I hear nothing from other affected people on a matter of concern to me, I either post notices to their User pages or announce that I will take unilateral action unless someone responds. That's a much clearer and more reasonable way to encourage participation in a forum where only a tiny fraction of the community is active.

Not only was this change done abruptly, but it's being done ad-hoc, without any changes to Wikiquote:Deletion policy. We now have the following confusing state of deletions:

  • Most archived VfDs still exist solely as entries on WQ:VFDA.
  • Some are both VFDA entries and have subpages (e.g., Gary Wilmott), but no links between the VFDA entry and the subpage.
  • There is no indication of which deleted articles are in what state.

I am also concerned that there may be (or may soon be) subpaged VFDAs, but no way to find them other than through careful examination of the VFD and VFDA page histories and/or guessing the correct article title and prefixing it with "Votes for deletion archives/". Since there is no policy, there is nothing but our own vigilance and caution to prevent mistakes from happening. Our vigilance is reflected (poorly) in how timely we are in closing votes and moving them to VFD (which has been often left to me — the inexperienced guy — even when the system was easier), and our (lack of) caution is demonstrated in how swiftly we moved to complicate the process without a true consensus and without documenting it.

Aphaia, MosheZadka, and jni consider this to be an improvement, but I disagree in the strongest terms. I do think we're heading toward subpages, but it's insane to start this practice so irregularly and without documentation for either the people who have to execute it or the community which must be able to understand it. The latter cannot be assumed to be as technically savvy as the Wikipedia audience, as jni seems to be assuming. (Heck, half his discussion of the technical aspects of the WP system are currently over my head, and I'm a sysop.)

We must accept the fact that Wikiquote is not Wikipedia — not by a long shot. Administrative changes must come slowly, must be geared toward the low maintenance participation of the WQ community, and must be doable by a tiny staff of sysops.

I'm willing to take up this issue immediately, but to do it, I'll have to further put off fixing the many broken links in our basic policy, an issue to which virtually no one has risen. We have yet to here from Kalki or Rmhermen, let alone a single non-sysop in the community besides MosheZadka. Unless Aphaia and jni plan to take over all VfD maintenance, I strongly suggest we spend more time considering the impact of this major change. — Jeff Q (talk) 15:35, 27 May 2005 (UTC)

I didn't think we even had a proposal yet, much less a decision. {{}} is not a good way to do it because of server load problems. If it is necessary and I am not sure that it is yet, why don't we do it with just normal brackets? Rmhermen 16:58, 27 May 2005 (UTC)
I'm personally not opposed to any of the suggestions, either one can be fine, i.e. I don't consider it a big deal either way. It seems to me that using subpages is somewhat cumbersome, and I don't see a reason to add this complexity (neither now nor in the future), but if that's what the rest of you prefer, then fine, no big deal. If I had to choose the best solution, I'd have probably opted for the simple method in which when the VFDA page gets to 100KB or x-KB for some x, then we just archive it as VFD_old_archive1, and the next time it does, to VFD_old_archive2, or something like that, so that we would have 100KB archive subpages, instead of a single subpage for each deletion, but again, if you prefer something else, then it's cool. Also, as I mentioned in VP, imho we should use speedy deletions more often, some of the VFD votes right now could have been speedy deleted. But I did notice in RC that admins deleted some new pages that contained obscenity, so that's cool. Sams 09:35, 29 May 2005 (UTC)
Thank you for all your comments, but it was more preferable if you could have given comment much earlier. I don't object to discuss more closely, because it is a major change and better to be more considered.
After some experimental creations of subpages, I found using subpages are very helpful to create an archive and reduce burdens of editors in procedures of archive creation. It is very annoying both to edit a huge volumned section of VfD and VFDA (you can easily lose yourself on source) and to edit VfD and VFDA by section (when a page have more revisions, its display becomes more stressed). For me the current archive is cumbersome and annoying to maintain.
But there is still some points we need to argue, for example like Rmhermen said, if we prefer a [[normal link]] to {{funny one}}. Or which page is the best parent - VfD or VfDA. If it is inevitable for us to shift to VfD with subpages in the future, we are better to create subpages under VfD, not VfDA. Or not. Any comments will be appreciated. --Aphaia 07:04, 30 May 2005 (UTC)


Two proposal on WQ:VFDA[edit]

from WQ:VP

Hi, I found our VFD archive has grown up too large. "Deleted articles" section is almost 60KB. And too big page is annoying.

I propose an improvement for the archive. I have two ideas and an not sure which you prefer.

  1. Division of pages by result a/o alphabetical order
    "Deleted articles" section should be divided into smaller parts. Other results are not need to divide now.
  2. "Introduction of subpages": When we archive already processed vote, we make a subpage and copy the discussion into it. And the archive becomes like a Wikipedia VfD, that is, there we will write factly
    {{:Wikiquote:Votes for deletion/so-and-so}}

To make clear, I don't want to introduce subpages into VfD directly. Currently VfD isn't so huge and feasiable. subpage needs a technique and make difficult to list a new candidate. That is not what I want. I think our VfD itself doesn't need subpages currently. And hope such a day will come as late as possible. Less deletions, much happier. --Aphaia 18:45, 23 May 2005 (UTC)

Yes, subpages in WQ:VFDA sounds like a good idea. I agree with your reasoning re: not wanting subpages for WQ:VFD. However, to make this work we should probably be more diligent about moving stuff to archival. I think a week after a vote closes, it can be safely moved. MosheZadka 12:50, 24 May 2005 (UTC)
Since no one dissent and MosheZadka clearly supports this idea, I put a newly deleted entries into the archive as into subpages. Also I turned other two entries on WQ:VFDA into subpages. I think we can change the current archive style gradually. --Aphaia 06:30, 27 May 2005 (UTC)
I also support the subpages, and woudn't mind using subpages in VfD also. We might need to go to that direction in future as Wikiquote grows. But, why do you propose to use the instantiation syntax {{ }} instead of having a plain list of links in the archive page? This does not decrease loading time of the archive page, on the contrary might delay it since servers now has to fetch few hundred subpages from its cache per each page load. I urge us to switch to use just normal [[ ]] links. jni 06:48, 27 May 2005 (UTC)

Whoa, folks! You've started a major change in the deletion process after only 3 messages between 2 people in 4 days! The subpage goal may ultimately be desirable, but the new practice is adding more of a burden, is not documented, and has no consensus even among the sysops, let alone the community. I discuss my objections to this rush to change at WQ:Votes for deletion archive. I ask that we continue this matter over there, and that anyone in the community interested in this topic join us there. — Jeff Q (talk) 15:41, 27 May 2005 (UTC)

Sorry for my hasteness, but after some experiments I found subpages were helpful to maintain archives. We need to think what way is the best (which page's subpage, if they are archived, is there any necessary and additional information when we archive it, etc.) but I support strongly we turn our archive into the way using subpage. Copying & pasting the whole VfD entries is a bit annoying task and sometimes confusable. With help of subpages it becomes much easier. I promise I won't make further supage archive as is without concensus, but I think it is the best way at this time except some details need to improve. --Aphaia 06:50, 30 May 2005 (UTC) )

Need to restructure VFDA again[edit]

moved here from Wikiquote:Village pump#VFDA

Now WQ:VFDA is close to 400 KB and it is hard to display it instantly. It takes me a half minute to get the page. I suppose we come to the time to restructure it again.

Here are my random thoughts:

  • Separate kept pages and other deleted materials.
  • Divide deleted articles into some pages (perhaps 26 or more or less).
  • Separate delete articles and other namespace pages.
  • Pending deletions would have their own pages.

--Aphaia 20:58, 19 September 2005 (UTC)

I agree something should be done. Worse than loading it, editing it is painfully slow, and is one of the more unpleasant things about the current VfD closure procedure. I am unsure what is the best way, though, and would like to contemplate it more. Thanks ~ MosheZadka (Talk) 18:06, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
I'd like to consider a practice that Aphaia and MosheZadka wanted to implement a few months ago: subpages for each VFD archive entry. At the time, I vehemently objected because it was implemented with very little discussion in a very short time and no real consensus. Even though I agreed that we probably had to use subpages at some point, my greatest concern was the complexity of creating them for use in VFD during the votes, like Wikipedia does. (Their process is so complicated that they are currently discussing simplification alternatives.) HOWEVER, I hadn't thought through the fact that Aphaia & MZ were only proposing to use subpages for archiving, not for voting itself, which moves the burden completely to sysops, who can be expected to be more wiki-savvy and would probably prefer this system. Since we seem to be handling WQ:VFD fairly well now, keeping its size reasonable, we can consider reorganizing the archive without forcing WP's complex VFD-subpage system on VFD nominators and voters.
I suggest we move the archived entries to subpages, as Aphaia had been doing, and provide some kind of link to them on the main VFDA page. Even if we agree on this, there remain at least two issues:
  • Whether we should use templates or simple links on the main page.
  • How the links/templates should be organized.
If the community has no objections, I suggest we move this discussion to Wikiquote talk:Votes for deletion archive and discuss it for at least two weeks. Meanwhile, I offer apologies to my two conscientious colleagues for biting their heads off earlier about this clever idea. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 22:17, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
Seconded ~ MosheZadka (Talk) 18:15, 22 September 2005 (UTC)
Thirded. And thank you for your offer to substantial transition plan, Jeff. --Aphaia 12:29, 25 September 2005 (UTC)

Based on the general agreement from the Village pump dialog transferred above, I've started an experimental page at User:Jeffq/Experiments/VfD archive list that includes links for all the current VFDA entries (as of around 23:45, 25 September 2005 (UTC)). (I was going to put it in a more official namespace, but I wanted to see if I could quickly build a complete and useful page and entries. However, the WQ server is so slow at the moment, I figured I'd better not delay and give everyone a chance to look it over before I commit too much work to it.) Several of the VFDA entries already have pages (4 from Aphaia's early work, and a few new ones I've just done). All of the existing subpages now have {{vfd-archive}} tags which also include them in Category:VfD archive entries. It's a bit ragged right now, but take a look and see some of the ideas, implications, and problems we'll run into using this system. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 01:02, 26 September 2005 (UTC)

Nice archive! I love it. Easy to browse and well prepared to future expansion. On the other side, I prefer one of our current archive system, sorting by results (kept or deleted). How about using another template {{vfd-archive-kept}} for kept articles/pages - I fear we have no means to sort distinguish kept articles from deleted ones. On other points, I am fully satisfied with Jeff's proposed new archive. --Aphaia 23:47, 3 October 2005 (UTC)
I had created the following TOC for the current VFDA, but didn't implement it because it would have introduced some complications into the archive process:
Kept:  0-9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Non-Latin
Deleted:  0-9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Non-Latin
Deleted pages Deleted images Pending
Perhaps this might provide a better organization for a link-only VFDA as well, splitting the list into kept and deleted articles. I like Aphaia's vfd-archive-kept template to provide an indication for the vote entry pages themselves. (I'd want to change the vfd-archive template to vfd-archive-deleted, so we have both statuses clearly stated.) There are some other practical issues remaining, like how to handle revotes. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 18:57, 4 October 2005 (UTC)

Imminent move of VFDA entries to subpages[edit]

I am proposing an imminent, significant change in the deletion close process — changing all the entries in the current Votes for deletion archive into transclusion links — so please review the discussion here and comment as soon as possible.

As soon as I finish copying all of the existing VFD archive entries into subpages (hopefully within the week), I would like to change the process so that, instead of moving the closed entry into VFDA, we transfer that entry into a VFDA subpage with the name:

Wikiquote:Votes for deletion archive/ENTRYNAME

and add a transclusion link:

{{Wikiquote:Votes for deletion archive/ENTRYNAME}}

where we would normally place the entry itself. This has already been done for a handful of entries, so we know it works. The following things will happen:

  • Archiving an entry will be a 3-step process instead of a 2-step process:
    1. Create the subpage.
    2. Edit VFDA and add the transclusion link.
    3. Remove the entry from VFD.
  • The VFDA will look exactly the same to readers.
  • Editing a single VFDA entry (which is extremely rare once archived) will correctly take you to an edit window for the subpage.
  • Editing the whole page or a section of the page (for archiving a new entry, sorting, or restructuring) will be faster and easier, especially once the remaining existing entries are converted to transclusion links.

There are many questions yet unanswered about this approach (e.g., will it speed up or slow down non-edit access to the VFDA page?), but I think we're in an emergency state with the current 1/4-MB page, so we need to try some fixes quickly. (Plan B is to convert the transclusions to ordinary links to the subpages, turning VFDA into an index like my experimental VFDA index, but we need not worry about that unless the transclusion scheme doesn't solve the display-speed problem.) I will commit to updating Wikiquote:Deletion policy simultaneously with this change, and for any subsequent quick changes that we need to do to get display and editing performance significantly improved. I invite comments and questions. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 08:55, 14 November 2005 (UTC)

I support this move. When we do it, someone should (me, if nobody else wants to) add the clear instructions above (including the Inputbox stuff) to the VfD page, so closing admins will be able to know what to do (in general, historically WQ has had waaaay too much oral traditions, and we should avoid adding more). Thanks for all your work ~ MosheZadka (Talk) 09:48, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
Yes, we definitely need to include accurate instructions. Right now, we have them in "WQ:Deletion policy", but Wikipedia has a separate "Deletion process" page for such stuff. I'm not inclined to create another page, but will support splitting it this way if others want it. Otherwise, we can just update WQ:DP and maybe tweak WQ:VFD. I don't want to put too much into WQ:VFD, because its intro is not meant to be a manual for sysops, but rather a quick reference for regular editors. However, it's a logical place for the "Create a VFD archive entry" inputbox. (Now that I think about it, technically anyone can archive a VFD entry; only vote closure is restricted to sysops.) By the way, I finished the VFDA subpage creation ahead of schedule. We can implement the switchover at any time now. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 04:38, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

Interesting statistics[edit]

For the statistic-obsessed, I though I'd mention that, after re-synchronizing my reformatted index against all the VFDA entries as of 0:00, 14 November 2005 (UTC), I found that we've had exactly 323 deletion votes since we started tracking them via WQ:VFD. 320 of these were unique votes, with 3 articles voted on twice over time. I can't say how many pages we voted on, because we often include multiple pages in an single VFD entry. Just FYI. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 10:24, 14 November 2005 (UTC)

Subpage tranclusion BAD; links good[edit]

I just created an experimental version of the current WQ:VFDA at User:Jeffq/Experiments/VfD archive list (transclusions), using transclusions (e.g., {{/Favorites}}) for every single archived entry (340 at present). Click on the link, and you'll see how INCREDIBLY SLOW it is! There are other problems with transclusions, but this one problem pretty much kills the whole idea. If we move to subpages, we're going to need to use regular links (e.g., [[/Favorites]]). I have 3 different experimental versions of the current VFDA using links at archive list, archive list (kept/deleted), and archive list (kept/deleted) 2. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 09:31, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

Ummm....I'm sorry....I did not feel it was "incredibly slow". Might it be the case that it is "incredibly slow" the first time after it is updated, and afterwards it's cached? If that is the case, I feel we should not count out transclusion just yet: there are advantages to transclusions, and if it comes to waiting for a bit when it is first rendered, it's worth thinking about it. Thanks ~ MosheZadka (Talk) 11:07, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
I opened the transclusion version several times while working on it and related pages, and each time it took 15-20 seconds. If that's cached, I'd hate to see it uncached! Just now, using a 750MHz Win2k machine, Firefox 1.0.7, and a 500KB+ broadband connection, I got the following response times:
I've seen no response using all transclusions that is significantly better than the current VFDA. I thought this was the one of the two main reasons we had to fix the system. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 22:00, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
Yeah it seems worse now. *shrug* Well, then link system it is. :) ~ MosheZadka (Talk) 22:31, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
I didn't feel either "incredibly slow" but admit the transclusion version is much slower than the link version. But I find two preferable points on the transclusion version.
  1. If we remember the discussion itself but forget its proper name, the transclusion version is more helpful to find the discussion in question due to its content-oriented feature.
  2. It is dated - and we can easily find it. On the other hand, the link version lacks such details.
The first point seems to be hardly compensated. On the other hand, the second one could be with a date addition, for example, vote closing date. Wikinewsies use a template for external link, which has two paramaters: article name and its date. We can borrow it to our deletion archive and in my opinion it would help us to track our past discussions. --Aphaia 05:47, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
I'd like to make a few more comments on transclusions vs. links, based on my recent archiving of a mass of old entries:
  • Editing a WQ:VFDA filled with transclusions generates a list of templates after the Preview/Save buttons that is as long as the number of transclusions. This means that if we convert to all-transclusion, the buttons won't be at the bottom, but in the middle of the page, which is extremely unintuitive and annoying. Result: Links better than transclusions.
  • Aphaia has a point about remembering discussion vs. titles, but I would point out that if we're looking for a discussion and can't recall the title, we either have to read several hundred screens of text or do a browser Find for what we remember. If the latter, we can almost as easily do a wiki Search for the text in the Wikiquote: namespace. Result: Transclusions somewhat better than links.
  • Using links would require modifying the {{vfd-kept}} template to point to the subpage instead of the section of the VFDA page (trivial), and would also require a one-time chamge of any manual or subst-created kept messages that currently point to VFDA. Result: Transclusions better than links, but only before a transition to links; the ongoing state confers no advantage to either.
Despite the disadvantages of links, the major transclusion-induced delays during each VFDA edit, preview, and save (which will only get much worse once we convert all entries to transclusions) still make me lean toward links. In any case, I'd like to reinvigorate this debate because this last round of archiving, plus the massive backlog no doubt created by our dread of using the new (and as yet undocumented) process, convinces me that things are growing worse while we delay. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 11:19, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

Converting VFDA to some kind of list[edit]

Given that VFDA has reached nearly 500KB, I have started the process of converting the page into a list of entry links. Even though performance concerns favor using straight links (e.g., [[/Amber]]) over transclusions (e.g., {{/Amber}}), there remain unresolved complications in using ordinary links. Therefore, I have started the process of replacing each VFDA entry to a transclusion of its subpage. Although I expect this not to help performance-wise (it is likely to make it worse in the short term), it will significantly reduce the problem of adding an entry to this page by converting a huge mass of semi-structured text into a simple list of identically formatted single lines. All we need concern ourselves with will be ensuring proper alphanumeric order within the proper headings. I fully expect to have to convert the transclusions to ordinary links in the foreseeable future, but that will be a simple 60-second global text replace (followed by half an hour of link verification!). ~ Jeff Q (talk) 15:07, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for your enourmous work, Jeffq. As for me, I concur with link-orienged archive much than before. But I'm not displeased with transclusion version, of course. --Aphaia 11:12, 15 March 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the feedback. Oddly enough, I've noticed the page speeding up even with the transclusion links. It's possible that the reduction of page length is improving retrieval faster than the transclusion is hurting it. I should be done transcluding shortly, so I can do a more formal test then. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 14:42, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

I have just completed the conversion of VFDA into a list of transclusions (templated links to subpages). There are at least four issues left to resolve:

  1. Due to the occasional combination of articles in a nomination, we have some ugly internal-page links that detract from the source text appearance, making it a little confusing to edit, and that prevent automatic sorting of the entries. I don't have a good solution for this at the moment. One might be to copy the VFD entry text across multiple subpages, giving each article its own VFDA subpage. (One example is shown in the entries for "Jacinto Javier Bowks de la Rosa" and "James Norman Bowks Sr.", which were a single vote that I broke up into 2 entries when archiving, long before we adopted the subpage system.) However, there are some problems with this strategy as well.
  2. At least two entries include re-votes. If we want to migrate toward Wikipedia's subpage system, we should have separate subpages for each, the later one(s) having a number suffix to indicate a revote. This shouldn't be hard to fix.
  3. At least one entry ("Template:Wikimedia, Portal:portal") has one kept, one deleted page, which makes it impossible to place in one position in the list. (That's another good reason to split combined entries into individual ones.) It's currently located in the "Deleted pages" section. This particular entry's problem, however, make go away, as the kept article is likely to be deleted in the near future after a re-vote.
  4. Performance issues seem to be back. I still haven't done any formal testing, but VFDA seems to be taking at least as long as before to load. It may be worth the structural improvements, however, even without switching to ordinary links.

I'm not going to work on any of these issues just now; I need a break from VFDA structural repair. ☺ ~ Jeff Q (talk) 08:36, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

VFDA transclusions broken[edit]

The transclusion system for WQ:VFDA is now broken. I just attempted to save two more VfD entries, and neither the preview nor the saved page shows any transclusions beyond "Mike Gannon". (There are some entries beyond this one, but they're all ordinary links to transcluded entries.) Starting with "Mike mccaughan", all the entries are rendered as text, like so:

{{Wikiquote:Votes for deletion archive/Mike mccaughan}}

This occurs in Firefox 1.5.0.4, Opera 8.51, and MSIE 6.01, so it's not a browser issue. In fact, I looked at the HTML source, and found the following HTML comments next to each un-transcluded entry:

<!-- WARNING: template omitted, post-expand include size too large -->

It looks like we've finally reached the limit of the current system. I'd like folks to read over the above discussions and think (quickly!) about what we can do to solve this problem. I'm going to be spending my time in the next few days trying to resolve some of the issues with the alternatives for this process. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 04:49, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

I would suggest moving to multiple index (sub-)pages, either alphabetical by article title or by date. 121a0012 01:41, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
If we did this, we'd probably need to make at least, say, 10 pages. When we originally implemented full tranclusions, we had nearly 500 entries, which ran very sluggishly. Cutting our current 700 down to 70 each on average would give some room to expand (as well as accomodating a logical, rather than mathematical, split). But it will also be a stop-gap, as we will eventually grow these too big as well. We could expand this to per-letter or even per-category-per-letter groupings.
The next issue is to understand what we need the archive for so that we ensure those purposes are served by its structure. For instance, if we use it to scan for recreated articles, too many subdivisions make it time-consuming to check all the pages for improperly-blue links. If we use it to examine an area in time with a set of VfDs, chronological would be important, whereas if we're looking for specific articles, alpha may make more sense (although this is reduced in importance, perhaps, by the ability to go right to the VfD entry itself because of the subpage system). If we'd like to scan for specific text in a VfD entry, any multiple-page system (and one link-page as well, which has no details) would make this impractical. (One can use the MediaWiki search engine, but I'm not particularly confident it works very well. I can often find even text through a site-specific Google search more frequently than through it.) ~ Jeff Q (talk) 04:52, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

After a quick review of Wikipedia's current practices, I suspect that it would be best to adapt their system of date-based logging. They have a directory of monthly logs that include links for each day's deletions. Each day page consists of transclusions of the AfDs nominated that day. Each AfD includes a header and footer that serve to advise readers not to edit the page, and to bracket a style that neatly encloses each AfD in a grey box, making the daily log more presentable (and less ambiguous) than our current system. Very importantly, adapting this system would help Wikiquote move toward the most thoroughly developed and tested system within Wikimediadom, which will help reduce confusion between these two projects.

I say "adapt", not "adopt", because we don't need quite as much structure. It would suffice, for the foreseeable future, to have a single directory page for links to each month, and each month would be an all-transclusion page like our current VFDA, only in chronological, not category/alpha, order. (This would also avoid the problem of expanding sizes of alpha-based subdivided VFDAs, as each month has a fixed, very limited size when completed. As Wikiquote grows, this could change to a daily log if needed, but that seems quite far away.)

As our problem is urgent, I am going to be extremely bold and create a new page, Wikiquote:Votes for deletion/Log, that will contain the month links, as well as the individual month pages. This may take a little time, as I'll need to re-sort the legacy entries, but one advantage will be that I can start with July and August, so we can resume archiving almost immediately.

I invite interested Wikiquotians to monitor this process, and to consider and discuss it while I'm working on it. If there are no serious problems or reasonable alternatives proposed before it's completed, I will attempt to switch over to this new structure, then update Wikiquote:Deletion policy (which includes our process) and Wikiquote:Votes for deletion to reflect the new system. Better get those questions and comments in fast! ☺ ~ Jeff Q (talk) 00:21, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

Moving toward Wikipedia's methodology[edit]

Given that it's likely we'll have to update 700 pages of closed deletion discussions, this would be a very good time to consider changing some names and practices to move closer to Wikipedia's methods for processing and archiving deletions. I'm thinking of three issues:

  1. If we change the parent page of our archived discussions from Wikiquote:Votes for deletion archive to Wikiquote:Votes for deletion, we'll shorten this cumbersome prefix and be one step closer to the likely eventual change to creating discussions in their own pages when they're nominated, rather than when they're closed.
  2. It might be time to consider changing "Votes" to something else, to de-emphasize the inaccurate implication of purely vote tallying for decisions (as Wikipedia long ago made clear). I can think of two ways to go:
    1. Change "votes" to "pages" or something similar, which keeps everything listed on one XfD page, as we've always had.
    2. Split our current VfD into AfD, CfD, TfD, etc., as Wikipedia has done. It would be good to match WP, but it would also require substantial rewriting of policies and instructions. (I don't recommend that at this time.)
  3. It might also be a good time to consider that nomination-on-a-subpage system, using WP's 3-step nomination process. PROS: Much better tracking of changes to individual discussions; simpler closure process; less confusion for cross-project users. CONS: Harder to submit a new nomination; must rewrite policy and instruction pages. (Since nearly all nominations are done by sysops anyway, submission may not be a significant hurdle. We would still need to commit to changing the policy pages.)

I implore everyone to consider these issues. I'm willing to make mass changes to pages to accomodate whatever we come up with, but it'll certainly be easier to do so if we figure out our direction sooner than later. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 11:57, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

I'll comment on each point individually.
  1. I'd support this move. It seems neater to have all the deletion disussions nested under one page, VFD, rather than having two large parent pages, one for current candidates and one for archived debates.
  2. Changing "votes" to something else is a good idea, but I'd prefer to see it changed to something like "pages" rather than having AfD, TfD, CfD, etc. An overwhelming majority of deletion candidates are articles, and in my opinion having seperate pages for templates and categories seems a bit excessive. While they may be needed eventually as WQ grows, I doubt that'll be anywhere in the near future.
  3. Obviously, this wouldn't be possible without adopting the first point. Nevertheless, I think this is also a good idea, as it makes archiving much easier. Revising policy pages doesn't seem to be a big problem here because this wouldn't really require an actual rewrite of deletion criteria but rather just the instructions on how to list and archive a discussion.
On a side note, it appears that WQ:VFDA is operational again (at least for me; I'm using FireFox 1.5.0.6 and the templates are now transcluding), but nevertheless this move to dated archives really needs to be made. If I've learned one thing from this whole dilemma, it's that we need to get to work on incorporating the speedy deletions draft into the current policy page. -- Robert 13:09, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

I've paused in my conversion of old archive pages because I think I can do a mass-conversion with AutoWikiBrowser, pending some simple tweaks from the developer. For now, it looks like LrdChaos and I are managing to move forward with the new (undocumented) system, and I hope to resume the conversion and then update the documentation in the next two weeks. Thanks for your patience. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 07:29, 29 August 2006 (UTC)