Wikipedia:Two-tier system

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Proposed method for reconciliation of Deletionist and Inclusionist Attitudes[edit]

Inclusionists and Deletionists share what often seems like very little common ground (at least when discussing what to do with unsatisfactory articles), but both hope to make Wikipedia as good as it can be. I have a suggestion that I think would render most inclusionist/deletionist disputes moot; and be a positive wikipedia change as far as both camps are concerned. In the policy proposal I may speak extensively of school articles, though articles on schools are certainly not the only thing that would be impacted by this proposal.

Sometimes (at least when tempers are a bit hot due to a vehement dispute), there is the suggestion from one camp that proponents of the opposition view ought to start their own wiki. Suggestions of this sort are problematic not only in so far as they produce factionalism, but also because, if we were to take them up on that, we would essentially be forking wikipedia. And splitting the editor base into two different projects with large degrees of overlapping intent/content seems to be a bad plan.

So, is there a way to 1) allow people of these diametrically opposed opinions to coexist and 2) not require anyone to give up the fundamentals of their views on what wikipedia is/should be?

I think the answer is yes to both, and the way I would implement it is to have a deletionist wikipedia and an inclusionist wikipedia coexist.

To spell this out: Though there are varying views within either camp with respect to the scope of what wikipedia ought to cover, let us call the inclusionist position the following: All informative factual, verifiable NPOV information belongs in the wikipedia. Let us call the deletionist position the following: Only a certain subclass of informative, factual, verifiable NPOV information belongs in the wikipedia, and that subclass is determined by some factor like Notability or "encyclopedic" subject matter. I put encyclopedic in quotes because it seems as though something very particular is meant by that, and so it is being used in a particularized way.

The solution: Wikipedia ought to have two tiers of articles. Call the broader tier the wide tier, and call the narrower tier the slim tier. All articles start in the wide tier. People can nominate articles to be elevated from the wide tier to the slim tier. Then, there is a votes for promotion process (for those of you concerned that we need fewer voting processes rather than more voting processes, I think that a consequence of adopting this policy would be a drastic, drastic decrease in the number of candidates on VfD). If, by rough consensus, an article is deemed promotion worthy, then the article becomes part of the slim tier. The slim tier would reflect the deletionist ideal of wikipedia, not just the cream of the crop articles (like the one's featured on the front page), but basically all and only those articles that we, by consensus, think are on a suitable topic and well written. The union of the wide tier and the narrow tier would be the inclusionist ideal. Now, when a reader comes to wikipedia, they are presented with (by default) the narrow tier, but also with a clear announcement of the existence of the wider tier (and a notice reflecting the nature of the difference). People can set, via a cookie, whether they would like to use wikipedia slim/professional or the more robust (but also less refined) wikipedia. The result would be that 1) there is still only one wikipedia, and all wikipedians are working on the same articles (in the sense that no article has been forked to a different project, and thus, there is only one instance of each article for people to work on) and the wider tier would contain school articles, articles on hospitals, fire departments, obscure actors, so-called "fan-cruft." etc. Rather than fighting to remove information from the database, people would be proponents of the promotion of certain articles (and I'm sure we could include a process by which articles could be demoted, if that was favored).

In short, we would eliminate all of the notability arguments that occur on VfD, and VfD would basically be used to deal with issues like substubs with no potential for expansion, dictionary definitions, original research, etc. The school issue would be dealt with through 1) policy and 2) debates on votes for promotion. But, the inclusionists would be able to relax because failure to get an article promoted wouldn't mean the information is lost (in the same way an article's deletion results in a loss of information) and deletionists would be happy because there is a professional/"encyclopedic" face to wikipedia.

This compromise seems to be the best solution to accommodate everyone's preferences, alleviate the sheer number of articles on VfD, and allow us to focus on improving the articles themselves.

So, what does anyone think of this suggestion? posiduck 17:20, 1 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I think this is a good idea that seems to arise naturally when you think about the problem. However, what you are effectively suggesting is a peer review process. If the narrow tier were the default, most readers would not be able to see articles in the wide tier, and so these articles would, for all practical purposes, not be "accepted" until they are promoted. Those who argue against peer review say that the proportion of articles that are created that are not encyclopedic is relatively small, and wasting time and effort reviewing these is detrimental, and was partially responsible for the destruction of Nupedia.
On the other hand, a process which demoted articles from the narrow tier to the wide tier may be more helpful. In this way, articles could continue to be edited by people who care about them, even after effectively being erased from the public view, and perhaps one day promoted again. As for what the deletionists gain, the person whose content is currently deleted is bound to be more agreeable to a demotion (effectively meaning, go fix it, but take as long as you want) than a deletion. Derrick Coetzee 18:16, 1 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I know that I would be a lot less concerned with demotion than deletion. I would be happy with either system. My questions are, 1) are there problems with this proposal and 2) is this a technical feasibility? However, if there aren't major problems, and we could manage it from a software standpoint, I think this solution is as near to ideal as we are going to get. Posiduck 22:56, 1 Nov 2004 (UTC)
This is already technically feasible. All we'd need is to do is orphan the "demoted" articles and then move them to a namespace reserved for them. Put a suitable tag at the top indicating its status. We could call it the Graveyard. Articles in the Graveyard are considered as good as dead, and are not reachable through normal links or default search, but can be revived by a dedicated editor. Deco 00:56, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Perhaps a more accurate description of the inclusionist ideal is that "All, verifiable, presumed-to-be-factual, NPOV information, at the exception only of the lowest trivia, should be included, at the expense of quality." A more accurate description of the deletionist credo might be "Useful, verifiable, presumed-to-be-factual, NPOV information should be included, at the exception of information which is outside the remit of an encyclopaedia, thus at the expense of quantity and breadth." (and it has two As, not one) The hardcore inclusionist understandably wants quantity, regardless of quality, whereas the hardcore deletionist wants quality, regardless of quantity. The key here is to have guidelines which strike a balance between the two, and clearly define boundaries. Perhaps the solution is to table articles at a panel of admins. If it fails the "clear delete" benchmark, then it is deleted (though more slowly than a speedy). If it passes the "clear keep" benchmark, then it is kept. Then, anything which falls in-between goes up for discussion on VfD-under-a-more-suitable-name. Examples of "clear keep" boundaries might be:
  1. For a book, Amazon sales rank above 1,000
  2. For a website, Alexa traffic rank above 100
  3. For a band, a listing on AMG
  4. For a society, clear evidence that being a member makes one notable
  5. For a school, several noteworthy achievements which set it apart from others
  6. For any article, that the article is younger than a certain age (one week? one month? one day?)
"Clear delete" boundaries might be:
  1. For a book, Amazon sales rank below 200,000
  2. For a website, no Alexa rank, or a rank below 1,000,000
  3. For a band, no commercial releases
  4. For a society, no evidence that anyone famous has passed through their doors
  5. For a school, no evidence that it is any different from your average school
  6. For any article, no expansion beyond stub in a certain period (six months? one year? if it's not improved in this time, it likely never will)
These are just examples. We would also need clear, unambiguous definitions of "encyclopaedic" and yardsticks of notability. Then it is only the middle ground over which people will argue, rather than putting all of WP policy at stake. Leaving sensible argument is good, since it concentrates the efforts somewhere. Chris 00:51, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC)
But these things aren't clear, by definition - what is clear evidence that being a member makes one notable? What if the article is utter garbage, in such a way that it would be unanimously deleted on VFD now, even under a week after being created? On the opposite side, I think there's a strong case that a society can be notable, without anyone famous having passed through its doors. These things need to be judged on their merits. Furthermore, this policy is doomed to failure, as there is no way the inclusionists will agree to the school delete criteria. As to the broader idea - I vote no. Let's not create a whopping technical mess in order to give the inclusionists a Wikimedia-funded playpen. Ambi 01:14, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC)
A playpen as well as a critical source of GFDLed material to be used in future articles. I think such a resource would be well worth the minimal hardware resources it consumes. Deco 01:43, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Actually, it depends. I wouldn't necessarily oppose such an inclusionist paradise version, IF it were not the default. If you could join and then select the preference, that would be fine, but I won't stand for new contributors being turned away by finding crap article after crap article. Ambi 05:22, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I agree with this. Such articles would not be linked or come up in searches by default. They would also be marked with a tag at the top indicating their status for unwary Googlers. Deco 23:17, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Coming to this fresh, so these comments are a response to the initial offering, and not to the comments that have followed -- forgive my going a bit long, please.
What Posiduck has proposed is a form of the "version system" that some people have advocated. I have no general problem with the version system. The idea that I heard from Angela was that all articles carry with them a rating. Any user might enter a rating value. Only articles that achieve a high average rating would pass over to the "Version 1.0" Wikipedia that would then be eligible for the print versions of the encyclopedia. Users of the Wikipedia could use the "peer reviewed" wikipedia (when researching and wanting more reliable information or not wanting to take a chance on the information) or the unrated Wikipedia.
In general, I think it's an ok way of establishing quality control. However, there are no teeth to the proposal (nor, really, to Posiduck's). What separates us from a playpen or from Everything2 or from Slashdot? We may not be paper, but we are not infinite. Without some disciplinary functions as well as some pruning facilities, we become the latest way-kewel board for people to play, albeit a very expensive one with an extremely high Alexa rank. Our Alexa rank makes us highly coveted for page rank boosting. Our Alexa rank makes us a fun target for vandals.
Therefore, I could abide a version system with the following changes: All new pages must win at least, let's say, 50 ratings before moving on. Let's assume a score of 1-10. Anything with an average of 8-10 goes to FAC. Anything with an average of 3-6 goes to Clean Up. Anything with an average of 2 or lower goes to VfD, simply for evaluation of whether it's worth keeping or not. Anything with an average of 1 or less goes to CSD. If something like that happened, then I could see it.
I look at Wikipedia as being an organism. It must get new food, and it must excrete waste. Growth for its own sake is the ideology of the cancer cell, Edward Abbey said. Geogre 01:44, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC)
That is a proposal I could agree with - and that quote is particularly of note. Ambi 05:22, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I like this proposal in principle, but see two problems with it. First, wikipedia's penchant for attracting vandals, which has already been pointed out above, could conceivably mess up this system entirely if the process is open to all users. It may be wise to restrict voting in some way, whether by experience or number of edits or whatever. My second problem with the system is that it encourages including what is popular as opposed to what is relevant. This is probably inevitable no matter what system of quality control is used since this is first and foremost a communal project, but implementing a system such as this gets us no closer to resolving the conflict between deletionism and inclusionism. I would say that some basic standards that are more strict than wikipedia's current standards would still need to be established apart from popular vote (though these standards should be sensitive to both sides of the debate and not reflect one side or the other's beliefs too strongly)and that popular vote would be used to decide where articles that conform to these basic standards would go according to the version scheme proposed above. Indrian 20:47, Nov 4, 2004 (UTC)
What's interesting to me, Indrian, is that your objections are exactly the ones I made when I first heard the "Version" system proposed. I can see a dedicated POV warrior going through every article on HatedEnemy and giving it a 0 rating and every article on EsteemedHero a 10. I can also see the people who vote "keep" on every article on VfD giving every article a 10 score. Since demotion and deletion would depend upon average, it only takes a few curve-killing voters to keep a score out of the average that would lead to deletion or FAC. Further, highly academic topics, or highly esoteric ones, would not get many ratings. Currently, the very good John Dee article is on FAC. Hands up, all those who know who he was. If I tell you he was a 17th century mathematician, would you want to read it? I'm sure you see the dilemma. In fact, even though he was a mathematician, my literature background is better for reading the article than someone else's mathematics background. The biggest problem with all Version systems, though, is that they require what amounts to a major redesign. They take some software work, but they take a complete reorganization of how Wikipedians approach the site. We would all have to go to the Unrated Page every day, read and rate -- possibly having a queue of articles so that we could keep up with the ones we'd done -- and then go to whatever tasks we usually do. Still, as ideas go, it's one of the ones that is closest to something we can all agree upon, I guess. Geogre 04:32, 5 Nov 2004 (UTC)
  • It's certainly a bold proposal, and on the face of it looks like it would solve a lot of problems. One thing I wonder, however, is if it really would. Specifically, not all Deletionists are the same, and not all Inclusionists are the same, and it is therefore unclear exactly which positions would be represented by each wiki 'slice'. We could, perhaps, do various classifications for articles and allow cookie-based filtering of those (and then Rambot's work might be gone for those who decide not to use it, for example, while others might like Rambot's stuff but dislike pre-university schools). Another difficulty is the technical issues involved in this -- a lot of design work would go into implementing your proposal (and my improvement ideas make it even worse). Despite these two problems, it certainly is an interesting idea, and is not too much unlike other calls I've seen here that simply want reviewed, polished articles for professional purposes (e.g. printed form). Maybe that's in the future of the codebase if enough people decide it's important. --Improv 06:20, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I would be satisfied with just about any compromise that allows people who want to continue to work on the articles that would otherwise be deleted, without splitting ourselves into two different projects. That's my primary concern. Posiduck 16:21, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC)

It seems to me that your proposal itself involves splitting Wikipedia into two projects, Wikipedia-narrow and Wikipedia-Wide. I don't think such a split is possible to avoid. And I judge from the fact that a significant number of people oppose merely allowing people to view deleted articles that there is no hope of reaching a consensus on this, which goes one step further and allows people to both view and edit deleted articles. anthony 警告 20:19, 10 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I doubt that there is anyway to render this dispute moot as Posiduck claims at the beginning of his proposal. However, the proposal moves in the right direction towards compromise. The two tier system has promise, but I think if we are going to have two tiers of articles, then some guidelines need to be established other than popular vote for the top tier. These guidelines need not be overly stringent and should reflect the sensibilities of both sides of the argument, but I think they are necessary. Establishing these guidelines would probably be a protracted and frustrating process, but the end result would probably make wikipedia all the better for it. Indrian 20:47, Nov 4, 2004 (UTC)

I completely agree. We have far too much voting already. It's already quite possible to spend your entire time at Wikipedia just voting. As such, one problem which arises is that most issues do not receive a significant number of votes, so a small group of individuals (or a single individual with a few accounts) can easily manipulate things. Fortunately, Wikipedia has already solved this problem. In fact, it is the entire basis of having a wiki. If this proposal were to work, I would suggest that anyone be given the power to move a page to/from the main space. Then guidelines can be established for broad, general cases, and voting can be used for the really disputed cases. Fortunately we already have the general guidelines (What Wikipedia is not), and the forum for voting (VFD). It sounds like we don't have to make any changes, but the key difference is that people can view VFDed articles. I think this alone will take a lot of the heated arguments out of VFD. The threshold for VFD and VFU could be lowered to 50%, and I think a number of people including myself would stop caring so much. I'd stop voting on VFD and VFU completely. anthony 警告 20:30, 10 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Revisited[edit]

Here is my proposal, in rough brief form, based on Posiduck's ideas:

There will be a new namespace called the Graveyard. Whenever a page Blah which does not meet the criteria for speedy deletion is voted to be deleted, it is not immediately deleted but is instead moved to Graveyard: Blah, and the redirect at Blah removed (effectively orphaning it). The default Wikipedia search does not search this namespace. A template, {{graveyard}}, is added to the top of the article, explaining to anyone who stumbles across it its status and asking for help in "reviving" it. All articles which are not significantly edited within a specific amount of time, say 6 months, are permanently deleted.

There will be a symmetric process, similar to Votes for undeletion, which can vote to "revive" a significantly improved article from the Graveyard.

What are the advantages of this approach?

  1. Inclusionists win, because content which was formerly deleted is now kept and may be improved for a considerably longer period of time.
  2. Deletionists win, because there will be considerably less opposition to demotion of articles than deletion, without sacrificing quality.
  3. Graveyarding can be achieved by ordinary users using Move (followed by blanking the redirect); administrators can delete Graveyard articles at their leisure, or this could even be made automatic.
  4. Articles which must be removed immediately, due to copyright violation, offensive content, or any speedy delete condition, can still be deleted instantly.

What are your thoughts? Deco 23:30, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Except for the part where you needlessly delete graveyard articles, I think this plan would work just fine. Posiduck 00:31, 3 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I consider this a concession to deletionists who worry about resource usage. Graveyard articles which are continually edited would not become candidates for deletion. Deco 02:17, 3 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Deleted articles are already kept in the database, and so they already use just as many resources as they would in this scenario. Furthermore, I'm sure you could get together enough inclusionists to donate a computer and hard drive to store everything. I myself pledge $100 to Wikimedia if this gets implemented. anthony 警告 20:33, 10 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I have a serious problem with it. First, it essentially allows Wikipedia to be a web host for whatever junk anyone wants to put up. Let's say that the article blah is not "I am the kewelest!!!!! I rule!" but "Bush stole the election. We will have a revolution on January 21st?" What then? Conspirators edit it like mad. It stays edited and edited and edited. Or let's say it says "Bush deserted the military. He was supposed to report but didn't." Then let's say that someone at one of the bad lefty sites puts up a link saying, "Learn the truth about Bush. See Wikipedia's revealing article at" and gives the link. Edits? You bet! Tons of them. It's still trash, and we're now hosting. In the one case, Wikipedia is someone's Angelfire. In the other case, we're having our good name used for politics.
It's only a matter of degree between those and "My new way kewel game is at the following server" or "Chad is so gay" and "Lord Somersault is the cooooooolest character in console game Foobar" that we usually get. Add to that the vanity page where the person edits it a lot. Add to that the kind of junk that happens when illegal things like pedophilia find ways of passing information to one another, and you've got the real world.
We must delete things. There are damned good reasons for killing the junk, and they're not hatred of humanity. They're not attempts at spoiling fun. They're not academic elitism. There is crap out there that puts us all at risk. Geogre 04:22, 4 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I agree completely with Geogre on this. This site advertises itself as an encyclopaedia and people really need to consider what that word means. The acceptance of crap is the greatest current danger to the future of this project. Filiocht 08:34, Nov 4, 2004 (UTC)
I mostly agree with Filiocht -- I don't think it's the greatest danger (the greatest being some successful lawsuit imposing dangerous process on submission, or shutting us down), but feel that it is an important danger to pay attention to. The ability to delete is an important one, but, perhaps unlike a number of other deletionists, I usually vote to delete based on encyclopedicness of topic, not of article. Articles that I argue to delete, therefore, are articles that I think never, regardless of how good the article, will be appropriate for Wikipedia. Generally, if I think a topic is encyclopedic, and the article contents are even roughly aiming in the right direction, I will vote to keep the article, and sometimes work on improving it or rewrite (I've done it a few times -- if you're really interested, dig through my contribution history, noting that I was User:Pgunn before I renamed myself to follow my sig). This proposal seems aimed more at reconciling with a different type of deletionist -- someone who votes to delete articles that are poor but on encyclopedic topics. It may be interesting to attempt to determine how many of both types of deletionist there are. I should also note that, again, I wish people were more civil in these discussions on both sides. --Improv 15:26, 4 Nov 2004 (UTC)
When I say current danger, I mean one that is actually happening, not some (I agree much more serious) potential but not actual lawsuit. I agree with your approach to deletion, by the way. Unfortunately, it would appear that some contributors do not take the time to consider what an encyclopaedia is before creating an article while others, as you point out, want to delete articles because they are badly written or contain crap. If these articles went to cleanup and 50% of the effort that now goes into VfD went there instead, the problem might well reduce. That said, I do feel that the current voting setup on VfD is counterproductive and in need of reform. Filiocht 15:58, Nov 4, 2004 (UTC)
What's being missed here is that Graveyard articles are effectively dead. The notice at the top would specifically indicate that we do not claim such articles have any credibility or significance. As for free hosting, well, yes, but they're also releasing all their content under the GFDL, and so it's available for morphing into actual article content. For example, an editor on the page about the console game Foobar might read your hypothetical Graveyard page on "Lord Somersault" and incorporate some of it after some fact-checking and copyediting. Also, just as real Angelfire pages are terribly unpopular and cost Angelfire little in bandwidth or space, so would these pages.
As for political speech, just because an article is in the Graveyard doesn't mean it's not subject to the same policies as the rest of the encyclopedia, such as NPOV. If the title itself is POV, it can be moved. The point of it being there is for it to be either eventually improved, or eventually deleted. If you could propose an amendment which better ensures this, I'd like to hear it. Deco 16:32, 4 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Geogre, I'm not suggesting we eliminate deletion altogether. I think for copyvio, for random strings of characters, etc., it makes sense to delete those, and we'd still have a VfD for that. But, I am suggesting that for things like schools, hospitals, b-movie actors, as well as stubs on topics that people think should be included, it would be nice if instead of being deleted the articles could be preserved. If we delete a bunch of short but still informative schools now, and then later, policy changes, and the school articles are considered something we should include, it would be nice to just modify and promote the already existing articles rather than have to recreate all of them. It would cut down a ton on the debates of VfD, because most of the hotly debated VfD articles would be candidates for demotion rather than deletion. At the very least it would give inclusionists a chance to put our money where our mouths are, and take the time we aren't wasting on VfD anymore and put it to use improving stubs and whatnot. Posiduck 01:44, 5 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I was under the impression that Graveyard articles would still be editable. Vandalism can still be removed, and vandals can still be blocked. We should still require that anything in the graveyard be verifiable and NPOV. Just not "famous" or "notable". As for the accusation of giving people free hosting, we could run it on a separate computer. In addition to marking the site as not representative of the views of Wikipedia (just as we do with the history pages which suffer from the same problem only worse), we could even put these pages on a separate domain name. Of course, now this is starting to sound more and more like McFly, which is already up and running. Just with better database connectivity (which I'd be willing to lease from Wikipedia at cost). anthony 警告 20:43, 10 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I have two answers to make, I guess. Ok, first, unlike Improv, I do vote on the article, not the topic. This is because there are shades of quality in articles. I'll vote to keep even a poor article on a good subject and vote to delete even a good article on a topic that doesn't belong. I think we've got to know, though, that we're being used by more than authors. We're a reference, and there are many, many people using us as such. There are times, as I've argued on my user page, when nothing is better than an insulting something. If the article is "Ironweed is a book by Kennedy. It won the Pulitzer prize," then I'm going to vote to delete it. Why? Well, it's a great book, and it's being used in college classrooms. A new user comes to Wikipedia, searches for information on the book the class is doing, reads that misspelled and useless bit of junk, and never uses us again. It's not that it has to be a beautiful article, but it has to be an article. The authors of substubs are killing us to get their names in lights.
One of the things neither Deco nor Posiduck answered, though, is the very, very real worry that we will become a subcultural board. The worst case has already happened at our sister projects. The German Wikipedia almost got shut down because the pedophiles began writing coded articles that had external links that allowed them to keep in touch with each other. We've had the same things happen here, but nasty deletionists have stomped on them, sometimes with extreme passion. Trust me: that community knows about the possibilities of keeping in touch and posting information on free wiki's. Aside from the legal jeopardy of unwittingly allowing any of these people to propser on a graveyard or demoted space (and yes, ISP's and server corporations have been taken to court and suffered seizures in the US, where Wikipedia lives, for having this junk and not knowing it), think of the moral side of it.
Let's back up, though, from that edge, which is a real one. Let's look at what did, in fact, happen with the John Kerry article during the campaign. Someone went in and just said that Kerry's wounds were "minor." Well, that was POV. Bushcountry.com put up a page telling its readers to "learn the truth" about Kerry's fraudulent Purple Heart medal and gave a link to...guess what?... the edit warred John Kerry article on Wikipedia. Like I said: people do this because we are regarded as a reference.
Let's back up another step, though, from that also real edge, and let's just stick to the game of blah. What is the benefit of it? Cui bono? The primary benefit seems to be that people like it. Ok. They like it. Is that enough? People like pornography, too. We don't exist simply to be fun, or entertainment, or a communications medium, or the service of interests. What is the harm of losing it? People like it. Ok. What is the harm? You see what I mean? The fact that people do like the game means that they're eager to talk about it. It means that we get disproporationate activity on something about which we cannot be encyclopedic and need not cover. We become, in other words, a step closer to GameFAQs. These matters are already covered very well, and the primary benefit is that they entertain contributors, rather than inform the user.
Finally, schools. My objection, and I note that it's the objection mounted by most of the other "school deletionists," is not that the schools have information on them, but rather that they are treated as subjects. It is a question of granularity and taxonomy and of information retrieval and use. When the information on a given school is location, mascot, and principal, a table does the trick. By breaking out the information on every single school, and all of it trivial and out of date immediately, we lose that information. It can only be kept together if there are multiple pointer pages. My other problem with individual schools is that we're begging for edit wars and taunts when we have them. That's not a reason to delete, and I don't offer it as such, but "Mr. Smith's class really sux0r" is going to show up more and more, and school rivals will taunt and repaint each other, once every school is known to exist here. It doesn't happen now because the kids don't find the schools here. If it ever gets to be the case that every HS and MS has an individual article, we're going to be awash in disputes and ugliness. We already get kids calling each other "fag" in articles that get deleted. Imagine when the schools are present.
At any rate, I don't have a problem with a Version system, if it has a digestive system attached to it, but "all things that are not completely false are kept" is not something I support. As for better ideas, Deco, I've offered them before, both above and elsewhere. I'm not one of the people you can accuse of cursing the darkness. Geogre 04:20, 5 Nov 2004 (UTC)
The German Wikipedia almost got shut down because the pedophiles began writing coded articles that had external links that allowed them to keep in touch with each other. We've had the same things happen here, but nasty deletionists have stomped on them, sometimes with extreme passion. Trust me: that community knows about the possibilities of keeping in touch and posting information on free wiki's. Aside from the legal jeopardy of unwittingly allowing any of these people to propser on a graveyard or demoted space (and yes, ISP's and server corporations have been taken to court and suffered seizures in the US, where Wikipedia lives, for having this junk and not knowing it), think of the moral side of it. This could be done just as easily on Wikipedia already, by just putting the information in non-deleted articles, which would then be preserved in the history. Yes, the history can be purged by any developer, but a Graveyard article can be purged by any admin! anthony 警告 20:48, 10 Nov 2004 (UTC)
And that's why we need to delete articles, rather than having them get continually preserved by redirects. It's why the proposal made by Netoholic and you has met with such resistance from me. We don't need to preserve the histories of junk articles, or inappropriate articles. This is also why admins need to spend their time on RC Patrol with knives out and why people doing New Pages patrol are better off being overly eager to tag speedies than too lax. The danger of illegal junk is very real. Look at the history, some time, of one of the pedophilia-related pages. It's nothing but scar tissue. Geogre 01:59, 11 Nov 2004 (UTC)
It means that we get disproporationate activity on something about which we cannot be encyclopedic and need not cover. But that's just your opinion. The point is not just that people like "blah", it's that people consider it encyclopedic. When the information on a given school is location, mascot, and principal, a table does the trick. By breaking out the information on every single school, and all of it trivial and out of date immediately, we lose that information. This is true, and it's why I think the best solution for schools would be to start a schoolopedia. But it's also true for cities, and numbers, and years, and species, and many of the other things in Wikipedia (I just wrote a sc

ript to extract the information from the year pages 1-1999 and put it in a database, 99.7% of it fit into the category "events", "births", "deaths", "links to specific year in pages", "nobel prizes", and "leaders", that's a real number, 99.7%, 34319/34425 lines, not an estimate). And this is even more true with year pages than it is with schools, because there is a whole lot that can be said about any school which doesn't easily fit into a table. One advantage of this system is it gives all the information a home in the mean time, and allows us to easily judge whether or not there is enough interest to start a subproject. In the case of schools, I think there would quickly be enough schools in the "graveyard" to justify a full project. Once this project was created, the information would be easily accessible, and there would be no need to start doing mass undeletions. Besides, people could work on the school articles before the new project gets created, without fear of being blocked for recreating deleted articles. anthony 警告 20:58, 10 Nov 2004 (UTC)

"My opinion?" Well, yes, Anthony. I would express my opinion. Whether my opinion is informed or not is up to community consensus. The problem is, indeed, that people consider the game encyclopedic, but the reason for the problem is the demographic of an online encyclopedia: Wikipedians are overwhelmingly young. The same folks, when they hit 30, will think Pokemon blather silly. So, what do we do? Do we say, "Hey, the Wikimedia Foundation and Jimbo Wales put up money so that everyone can have fun?" Do we say, "This was an effort to create a useful encyclopedia to be used as a reference?" If the latter, then we cut out things that only serve to stroke the happy button of the author in favor of things that satisfy the research needs of the reader. The reader will not seek and will not care about whether GameBlah has rad new supertwisterphasecannon fire pistols. Geogre 01:59, 11 Nov 2004 (UTC)
If this proposal were limited to Pokemon cards, I might agree. But it isn't. Did any of the people who like Pokemon donate money? Probably. Will some of them one day hit 30 and still be contributors? I bet so. I am quite confident that putting this proposal into place will generate more in contributions than it costs. And I've even pledged $100 to the Foundation if this proposal gets implemented to put my own money where my mouth is. Putting this proposal into place will help create a useful encyclopedia, not hinder it. And by the way, the Wikimedia Foundation wasn't created merely for the purpose of making an encyclopedia, it was created for the purpose of developing and maintaining online, free, open content encyclopedias, collections of quotations, textbooks, and other collections of documents, information, and other informational databases. That certainly includes information on schools, and I'd say it even includes information on Pokemon. Maybe this proposal would be better suited for meta. anthony 警告 15:13, 11 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I have to say, while I like the ideas that have been put forth to attempt to find ways to reconcile the different opinions, as well as the fact that people care about negotiating here, I find the idea of including articles to get money to be one which we should avoid at all costs. We are not advertising, nor should we make decisions on article content, for any reason, to seek funds. Our goal should, pretty firmly, be just to make the best encyclopedia we can. The other projects should do the same for their proper scopes. As a side note, as you know, we (along with plenty of others on both sides) disagree on (pre-university) schools, and also on Pokemon. --Improv 15:20, 11 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I certainly like this idea. In fact, it's part of the intention of my Wikipedia fork, McFly. Call Wikipedia the narrow version, and call McFly the wide version, and we've already got this essentially in place. I'd much rather have Wikimedia adopt this solution [[itself, but until then there's always McFly (I've just added the ability to edit, and am working on parsing Wikipedia:Deletion log regularly, only allowing users to edit deleted articles, and sending the edit button to Wikipedia for everything else). anthony 警告 19:58, 10 Nov 2004 (UTC)


All of above copied from Village Pump. Maurreen 18:31, 13 Nov 2004 (UTC) ---