User talk:LrdChaos/Nominating a page for deletion

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Initial look[edit]

Thanks, LrdChaos, for assembling this process! I see that it is largely modelled on w:Template:AfD in 3 steps, so Wikipedian deletion nominators should pick it up with relative ease. It'll take me a little while to re-cast my mindset to someone who fears the 3-step process to give it a more thorough review. But for the moment, it seems workable to me. (Most nominations here, of course are from sysops, many (most?) of whom are active Wikipedians as well, so this may not be a significant issue.) ~ Jeff Q (talk) 18:32, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Edit summaries[edit]

Can we lose the complex edit summaries? Even though these are the same recommendations as Wikipedia "requires", virtually no Wikipedians follow them correctly, without any obvious detriment to the process. Also, they seem largely redundant to me:

  • Step I: The {{vfd-new}} tag provides the requested link to the discussion.
  • Step II: The nomination "REASON" in the discussion provides the justification, and we almost always know the nominated article from the name of the discussion. (Anything more complicated is likely not to fit in a summmary, anyway.)
  • Step III: The discussions are already transcluded in the log.

Wikipedia's failures

To see how well Wikipedians use summaries, I checked the first 10 entries in w:Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Log/2007 February 2. (Skip to the next section if you don't want to be bored with details.) I found the following:

  • Step I
    • Of the 7 left undeleted, 4 used "afd" or "nominated for deletion" for the summary.
    • The others used varying forms of the requested statement, only one of which followed it exactly.
  • Step II
    • Only one followed the Step II recommendations exactly.
    • Another one tried, but left "PageName" for the article name.
    • One used "nominated for deletion", another used "afd", and a third inexplicably used "fdr".
    • Fully half of the nominators used a pointless recursive link to the discussion page itself.
  • Step III
    • Three included a link to the discussion, again only one of which followed the exact instructions.
    • One gave the discussion page name, but left the link out.
    • One used "+1".
    • Five gave no edit summary at all, and one of those even marked it "minor".

In summary, even the vastly more experienced Wikipedia deletion nominators can't follow these edit-summary instructions.

Let's simplify

I'd rather we make the summary part extremely simple yet informative, like:

  • Step I: +vfd
  • Step II: extremely brief reason (e.g., "unnotable", "1-quote subject", "bad theme", etc.; I'd avoid a specific list)

I say "DISCUSSION NAME" for Step III instead of "PAGENAME" because, although these will almost always be the same, in some cases we have things like "Hercules 64 and Pro Wrestling" or "Interwiki templates", and the summary should probably be something we can use to identify the discussion, not the individual pages.

Anything that might confuse nominators, causing them to mess up the use of the templates or other essential parts, should be made as simple and unobtrusive as possible. After all, edit summaries only exist to help understand one of two things:

  • When looking at the edited page, summaries suggest what was done by whom.
    • Step I: "+vfd" tells us all we need to know here.
    • Step II: We already know what was done for this page's 1st edit (nominated article). If nominating multiple articles, a formal linking scheme is likely to be too long for the summary anyway.
    • Step III: The discussion name is all we're looking for here in the log history.
  • When looking at a user's contributions, summaries show when and where they did something.
    • Step I: "+vfd" for the cited article is obvious.
    • Step II: Anything that suggests "I nominated this article" (i.e., "I created this discussion") should suffice.
    • Step III: "+DISCUSSION NAME" for the cited discussion again tells us what we need to know.

We could even simply this further by sticking with PAGENAME and adding a note at the bottom of this policy page and/or in Wikiquote:Deletion policy on how to handle a nomination with multiple articles, which is pretty much always done by experienced Wikiquotian VfDers.

Opinions? ~ Jeff Q (talk) 18:54, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

I just changed the bits about edit summaries to eliminate most of the WP cruft. I decided not to try adding cases for later nominations or multiple pages, because I wanted to keep this simple for now and, in general, it's not something we often need to deal with (and a few people have their own style for dealing with multiple pages nominated together, and will probably adapt this as needed). We shouldn't forget about doing it, but I think we ought to take it one step at a time.
I stuck with PAGENAME (actually, it's mixed with WP-style PageName, but I'll correct that later) because it's clearer to a newbie that PAGENAME is the name of the page; to use DISCUSSION NAME, you'd need to define what the discussion name is, even if it's just saying "often the same as PAGENAME" (but then why have something different?). Again, it's something we ought to do, especially if we adopt this as the new method, but for the quick trial (which is what this really is) I don't see the need to unnecessarily complicate things. —LrdChaos (talk) 19:15, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
That all sounds fine to me. As for the casing of "PAGENAME", I don't know that it matters much, as long as it gets the point across. I was just thinking, when we're finished tweaking this, we might suggest our simpler version to Wikipedia. ☺ ~ Jeff Q (talk) 14:42, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

Robust Step II template[edit]

LrdChaos, I see that you went beyond Wikipedia's Template:afd2 for our {{vfd-new2}} by adding a conditional for numbered parameters, in case folks forgot to use the names. I corrected the syntax a bit, but the idea is excellent. Again, Wikipedia might benefit from your efforts here. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 15:24, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

Problems mixing old and new discussions[edit]

I've run into two problems while we're experimenting with this new nomination process. They're both caused by the fact that editing a section of a page that isn't a transcluded subpage will "scoop" up any transclusions that follow that section. To make this clear, I'll describe what happened.

Creating old-style discussion archives
When archiving the "Juke Box Blues" discussion, which was the last nomination before we starting adding the transcluded nominations (Step III), I did so by editing the "Juke Box Blues" section of WQ:VFD and copy-and-pasting it into Wikiquote:Votes for deletion archive/Juke Box Blues. I failed to notice at first that all the more recent, transcluded nominations were included in the "section" edit. The result was that the archived discussion included transclusions of 11 more VfD discussions. (I later removed them, of course.) I initially thought this would be a one-time problem, but it will actually occur anytime we get new old-style nominations mixed in with the newer style (which brings me to the next problem).
Posting to active old-style discussions
When I attempted to do a section edit to Aphaia's discussion for "Image:Hawking.jpg", I added my vote to the bottom, but realized just before saving it that, because she used the old-style of adding text to WQ:VFD instead of a subpage transclusion, the subsequent new-style nomination for "History is a lie agreed upon" was actually the bottom line of this "section", like so:
== [[History is a lie agreed upon]] ==
Page for a single quote - This quote is already on the [[Napoleon]] and [[Voltaire]] pages and I don't see the need for a separate page just for this single quote. Note: This also includes the [["History is a lie agreed upon"]] page, which was created as a redirect. ~ [[User:UDScott|UDScott]] 13:29, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
* '''Vote closes''': 16 February 2007, 14:00 (UTC)
* '''Delete'''. ~ [[User:UDScott|UDScott]] 13:29, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
{{Wikiquote:Votes for deletion/History is a lie agreed upon}}
Had I done the usual thing and added my vote to the bottom, it would actually have shown up as a lone text line underneath the "History is a lie agreed upon", looking like (but not part of) that discussion. (In other words, it would either have been incorrectly counted as a vote for the latter discussion. Worse, if someone noticed that the comment didn't make sense for the "History" discussion, and tried to edit that discussion to "remove" it, they would be confused to see that it wasn't in there to be removed. It would actually be sandwiched between the "History" transclusion and the next VfD discussion [text section or tranclusion] on WQ:VFD, floating there with no TOC link to find it. It could take a while for someone to puzzle out what happened.) For that reason, I converted the discussion into a subpage.

It seems like we'd better insist on using the new method until we decide if we want to keep it or not. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 15:16, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

To avoid this for the time being, I've hidden the old "requesting deletions" instructions in an HTML comment (same for the "new request link"). In its place, I've transcluded the documentation for the new, trial style. I don't know if there are any other pages that give documentation about listing a page for deletion, so this was the only one I changed. It should be a fairly simple matter to replace it with the original instructions, if that's what we decide to do.
One thing I don't think has been given much thought: how long do you we want the trial period to continue before looking to make a decision either way? I know that it's been less than a week so far, but do we want to try 2 weeks, a month, etc.? (I think that 2 or 3 weeks should be enough for everyone to get accustomed to it, enough to make an informed decision, anyway.) —LrdChaos (talk) 15:51, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
I like the emphasis through color that the transcluded instructions add. The only other important place for this info is Wikiquote:Deletion policy. To my horror, I discovered it didn't actually say how to nominate an article anyway. It worked out better this way, I think, because I just directed readers to WQ:VFD for details.
As for how long to run, as I write this, we've heard from 5 regular VfD participants at WQ:VP#New VfD nomination method, trial: you, me, Cbrown1023, 121a0012, and UDScott. We have yet to hear from Aphaia (who I just asked to try this out), InvisibleSun, Fys, or any of our occasional regulars. At some point, if it looks like we're leaning toward permanent implementation, I believe we should announce on WQ:VP and WQt:VFD that we'll do it in, say, 2 weeks after the post, so everyone get their comments, suggestions, and/or objections in before that. So far, 121a0012 has only one (quite reasonable) objection. (We should probably see if s/he feels that this is a show-stopper or if the advantages still outweigh the disadvantages. S/he makes quite a few nominations, so his/her persepective as a non-sysop nominator is quite valuable.) ~ Jeff Q (talk) 17:31, 9 February 2007 (UTC)


I added a suggestion to notify principal contributors using {{VFDNote}} in step 3. ~ Ningauble 20:26, 9 November 2008 (UTC)