Wikiquote talk:What Wikiquote is not/Draft

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Wikiquote-logo.svg This page is a revision draft of an existing Wikiquote policy.
This policy has been identified by WikiProject Policy Revision as a policy requiring revision.
While this policy may be in force at the present time as written, it is currently
undergoing a community effort to bring it more fully into line with the needs of Wikiquote.

Do not quote any text on this page as policy! It is only a draft!
Please see Wikiquote:WikiProject Policy Revision for further information on the ongoing effort to revise Wikiquote policy.

Suggestions for addition[edit]

I'm not sure what the best way to phrase them would be, but I think it would be worthwhile to add something like "Wikiquote is not a dumping ground from Wikipedia" and "Wikiquote is not a complete record of everything someone says."

For the first case, it seems that a lot of people from WP just take quotes from pages there, where the consensus was to get rid of or trim down the amount of quotes, and so they just stick them here, without regard for the system (e.g., character quotes usually go with the film/show/game, the proper format, etc.).

For the second, some pages seem like they're cataloging damn near everything that someone says. For example, take a look at some of the versions of Jack Thompson (attorney) before I took out a considerable number of full letters. I've also noticed this behavior with certain video game articles, like the ten million individual character pages for the "King of Fighters" series and the Command and Conquer page. Nothing in the current WQ:NOT or this draft really addresses that, or the more general issue that Wikiquote is generally only for notable quotes. —LrdChaos 14:58, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

On the first point, I'm afraid Wikiquote is a dumping ground for quotes from Wikipedia, just as Wikipedia is a dumping ground for encyc articles from Wikiquote. A more charitable way to put it might be that, through the transwiki process, one project's editors correctly decide that the material more suited for another project should be put there so people familiar with that project can decide whether it's worth keeping or should just be deleted. Many times such material never makes the transition because originating-project editors recognize it'll just get deleted here (as often happens with encyc material in WQ articles), but we should be open to receive incoming material, just as we are for anything else someone might create.
The mass-cataloging problem shows a current weakness in WQ:NOT, whose purpose is to describe what should go to other projects and what doesn't belong in any Wikimedia project. That's looking at the situation from the end point-of-view, not the starting POV, which is where the editors are. I'm not sure what to do about this. We typically use a two-pronged attack on inane mass-copying: if it's copyrighted, it's a likely violation (easy to justify for video games, as they don't have nearly as much material as a book or film); if not copyrighted, transcriptions belong in Wikisource (WMF's "dumping ground" for transcriptions). A sly aspect of this process is that by putting the onus on the editor to explain which it is, which they almost never do, we can justify deleting it as something of so little interest to the community that even the creator can't be bothered with putting it in the correct place. (It's true, too. If someone really cares, they can always transwiki the material. No one ever does.) Some other specific approaches: For reasonable articles with too much material (e.g., Jack Handey), any editor can cut them down to modest levels at any time; slap a warning on the talk page if you anticipate problems, as Jimbo did there. For VG characters, I would suggest either slapping merge tags on them or VFD-nominating them if they're simply excerpting the video-game articles. Just my 2¢. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 16:20, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
I think that part of the problem (other than my general annoyance that people feel they don't have to bother understanding anything about this place before they start adding stuff) is that often, articles are created here from WP material without going through the formal transwiki process; an editor just dumps the WP content into a new page here in the main namespace, without bothering to format it, cull it, or source any of it. That's why I used the term "dumping ground;" while it's certainly part of the point of WQ to absborb non-encyclopedic quote material from WP, it often feels as though many of those editors moving stuff to here are just dumping it on us, without any understanding that there are suggested guidelines, formats, and styles here, too. I could go off on a whole rant about it, but one of the biggest strengths of the Wiki* projects (that anyone can edit them) is also one of its biggest weaknesses, because there's absolutely no quality control for pages until (and if) someone experienced and knowledgable looks at them, and even then, the typical response is just to slap the {{cleanup}} template on, and the page waits for a cleanup that will likely never come (though this is a problem at WP too). Strictly unscientifically, it seems to me that there are proportionally more anon users making low-quality contributions that there are at WP. But now I'm starting to rant, so I'll step off the soapbox. —LrdChaos 17:21, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
I have the same concerns about "midnight" transwikis (completely ignoring the process and just transferring material) and poorly composed articles. As you say, these problems also occur on Wikipedia, but I can think of two reasons offhand that make the problem worse for us. First, the percentage of active-to-total editors here (the active ones being the ones who not only are most familiar with policies and practices, but are most likely to care enough to fix problems) is incredibly small compared to WP. Second, the MediaWiki software was designed for use with encyclopedic content, with few nods toward quotes. (The current policy at WP is to use HTML blockquote tags, for heaven's sake!) This has forced wikians to develop some complex innovative use of wiki markup to accomodate the range of quote styles exhibited at Wikiquote, which puts a much greater burden on editors, one which, like any other complexity, can be expected to be ignored by infrequent editors. I'm afraid I have no answer to these problems, either. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 19:35, 30 May 2006 (UTC)