User:Mikaey/Request for Input/ListasBot 3

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Ladies and gentlemen, I thank everyone for their input on the matter. It has become apparent to me throughout the course of this discussion that yes, talk pages of redirected articles are important. There are instances where articles have been redirected, and the talk page should have been redirected along with it (but wasn't), but a bot isn't qualified to make that distinction. With that, I have decided to discontinue ListasBot 3.

Again, I thank everyone who participated in this discussion for their input.

Regards, Matt (talk) 08:29, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.


ListasBot 3 is an approved bot, whose function is to identify talk pages that were orphaned when their corresponding articles were turned into redirects, and to replace those talk pages with a redirect to the new article's talk page. In other words, if article A was redirected to article B, but Talk:A was left alone, the bot would replace Talk:A with a redirect to Talk:B. Or, if Talk:B does not exist, the bot moves Talk:A to Talk:B. Since the bot usually works with biography-related talk pages (e.g., Category:Biography articles without listas parameter is where it spends most of its time), those are the ones that will usually be most affected.

The bot also looks at the contents of the talk page, before replacing it with a redirect. If there is anything more than templates (including WikiProject banners) on the page, the contents of the page are logged to User:ListasBot/old talk pages, so that a human can review them, and decide whether the content is truly significant. In the past, I have done the following:

  • Merged comments into the new talk pages (when the two talk pages do not have a lot of content and/or activity, but they are about the same subject, and the content is significant enough that it should be saved)
  • Requested history merges between the two pages (when it is apparent that a cut-and-paste move was performed)
  • Requested the new talk page be speedily deleted, and the old talk page moved into its place (when the new talk page has had no significant activity, and the old talk page has had significant activity)
  • Moved the old talk page to an archive subpage of the new talk page, and added an {{archives}} box to the new talk page, making the activity of the old talk page more accessible (when both talk pages have had significant activity, and/or when the two pages are about different subjects)
  • Disposed of the content (when the content of the old talk page is not significant)

There were a couple of reasons for writing this bot:

  1. These pages tend to be counted on backlogged maintenance lists when they could be easily remedied by replacing their content with redirects.
  2. At the time, one of ListasBot's functions relied on screen scraping (although that has since been remedied), and the bot was automatically and unknowingly redirected to another article to do some of its processing.

However, another editor has brought up that this behavior may not be desirable, and indicated that there are WikiProjects that keep track of their redirects, and that my bot is destroying the mechanisms that those WikiProjects are using to keep track of their redirects. I have tried to request input from other editors on the matter, but so far I have failed to get any significant input on the matter. So, with that, I am requesting input from everyone that feels they may be affected by this decision.

Questions that need to be answered in this discussion are:

  • Are the contents of orphaned talk pages always important?
  • Is the bot's behavior appropriate as-is?
  • Could the bot's behavior be modified so as to make it match consensus?

This discussion will run until 11:59PM GMT 11 June 2009.


Copies of discussions held at other places[edit]

Copied from User talk:ListasBot[edit]

Hello. I have just noticed your bot's function 3 (Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/ListasBot 3) and I have a few concerns about it. Firstly, a fair number of WikiProjects actively keep track of redirects within their scope by marking them as Redirect-Class. By redirecting the talk page, you are destroying this information which may be useful to the project. Secondly I just wonder at the usefulness of this function - is anyone likely to type the name of the talk page into the search bar? Personally I have never done this and I would always want "Talk" to take me to the talk page of the page I am looking at. Have you had any other comments about this? I don't know if your bot is still doing this operation, but if so, perhaps you would consider stopping and discussing this a bit more? Best wishes, — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 14:38, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

Copied from User talk:MSGJ[edit]

Hi Martin,

The reason for this particular bot function in the first place was that one of my bot's other functions was looking at the article page and trying to find a sort tag on there, but was instead being redirected somewhere else and grabbing a sort tag off of another article. This isn't quite such a good idea when, for instance, you have Funky Green Dogs redirecting to Murk (band). I've also seen other bots tagging redirect talk pages with new banners, effectively destroying the redirect in the process. I personally don't see much point in keeping these pages, as they don't seem to be looked at other than by bots. However, it was brought up at the BRfA that there could be some useful content on the talk page, so the bot is designed such that if it detects anything other than templates and whitespace on the page, it will post the talk page's former contents to User:ListasBot/old talk pages, so that someone can review them. I've gone through there regularly and done merges, page moves (where either 1. I ask for the new talk page to be deleted and the old one moved into its place, or 2. I move the old talk page to an archive subpage of the new talk page, where it's a little more visible), and even found instances where history merges needed to be done on the articles.

I hope this eases your mind a little bit, but if not, you're in luck, because ListasBot 3 has been suspended for the simple fact that I can't have it running while ListasBot 5 is doing trial runs. Lemme know. :-) Matt (talk) 17:33, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the reply. For WikiProjects which have decided to keep track of redirects, their banners are useful content, so I cannot see how this practice would be supported. I think the best solution is not to do anything with these talk pages with the bot. I cannot help you with what to do with the sort tag in these cases, but redirecting them does not seem to be right method. Is there an official place (like the BRFA page) where I should submit these concerns? — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 17:44, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
Hmmm...well, there's the bot operator's noticeboard, but I don't know how much help we're going to get there, since this isn't specifically a bot-related problem. Perhaps the village pump and/or requests for comment? Matt (talk) 17:51, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
As there were only two of you involved in the initial approval discussion (I know you tried to get more people involved) you can't say that this practice is supported by consensus. I think I have given a very valid reason of why it is not a good idea. So please can you not run that function again unless you obtain consensus? Thanks, — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 17:55, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
FYI, I posted a notice up at the village pump. Someone brought to light WP:WikiProject Redirect, which seems to have gone inactive, but also shed light on this discussion, where some editors felt that there shouldn't be any banners on talk pages of redirected articles. Matt (talk) 19:15, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
Well, once again, the topic has gone stale and nobody is commenting on it. Would you be OK with the bot skipping over articles that are tagged as redirect-class? Matt (talk) 19:58, 10 May 2009 (UTC)
Hi, yes I noticed. Maybe no one else cares or maybe you didn't ask in the right place! Personally I would be unhappy about the bot removing any WikiProject banners from a talk page at all, unless that project has specifically decided that they don't want redirects tagged. Removing a banner takes a page out of that WikiProject's assessment and that action is irreversible, because of course there is no way of finding out what pages used to be in a category. So no, I don't think a bot can make that call. As Listas Bot is concerned with the WikiProject Biography banner, it would be a good idea to check with them that they are happy for banners on redirects to be removed, and if so then fine. But I don't see any advantage in touching other projects' banners. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 15:39, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

Copied from WP:VPM[edit]

Folks, I know I've brought this up before, but I didn't get any response last time. ANY. So, I'm going to post this question again:

Are there any WikiProjects that care about talk pages of redirects? Or where there's no significant history to the talk page?

For purposes of this discussion, "significant" excludes vandalism/non-constructive edits, pages with nothing more than templates and whitespace, and edits of the theme "this is the same as X, it should be merged/redirected to there".— Preceding unsigned comment added by Mikaey (talkcontribs)

How about WP:WikiProject Redirect? – ukexpat (talk) 18:58, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
Well apparently something along these lines was discussed, and someone noted there that the project seems to be inactive. Matt (talk) 19:09, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
If the project banner is on the talk page, and if the project is signed up for ArticleAlertBot, then the project would be auto-notified if there was a prod or AfD on the redirect. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 19:22, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

(e/c) There are several WikiProjects which, for various reasons, actively tag redirects within their scope. I cannot speak for other projects, but at WikiProject Articles for creation we like to keep track of the redirects that we create on behalf of unregistered users. According to Category:Redirect-Class articles there are likely to be 124 projects which use Redirect-Class (although some of these may have followed other projects rather than actively choosing to ...). Therefore I don't think it is helpful to exclude templates in your definition of "significant", because these banners may be considered important by the projects. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 19:28, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

All right, let's rephrase the question a bit -- do WikiProjects care about talk pages of redirects where a) there are no WikiProject banners on the talk page, or b) none of the WikiProjects on the talk page have rated the page redirect-class? Matt (talk) 21:17, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

Copied from WT:WikiProject Biography[edit]

Hi folks,

Because my bot has been stirring up a little bit of controversy over the subject, I'm going to pose this question to you:

How much does a WikiProject, such as this one, care about talk pages of redirects?

Thanks, Matt (talk) 16:59, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

I think that everything on the old tak page should be moved to the new talk page and a note put on the old one explaining the move. When I run across such a page because it lacks a listas parameter after the minutes of confusion caused by the redirect, I generally blank the old page except for a note. I think I am doing the right thing.
JimCubb (talk) 17:08, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
I, for one, agree with you...however, there are people that feel that some WikiProjects keep track of their redirects by tagging them as redirect-class in their WikiProject banner. I'd like to see a consensus on whether or not these talk pages are that important. Matt (talk) 17:34, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
Only if there is discussion on talk pages. I believe our convention (someone correct me if wrong) over at WikiProject Video games, since we don't use Redirect-Class, is to simply remove the WikiProject templates from the page and leave everything else in place. Link provide a direct link at the destination's talk page if necessary. MuZemike 16:08, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

Copied from WT:Bots/Requests for approval[edit]

Could someone please tell me what the process is (if indeed there is a process) for getting the approval of a bot task overturned? ListasBot's third task was approved after a discussion involving only two editors (the bot owner and one BAG member), and I feel the the decision may have to be reassessed. Thanks, — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 15:05, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

Block it, and then create discussion somewhere - an RFC, talk page, or VPM would be fine. - Jarry1250 (t, c) 16:08, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
Actually, the official "process" at this time is to begin a discussion on this talk page. Immediate blocking would IMO not be appropriate in many cases; that should only be done when the bot is actively causing harm or acting against consensus and not just because any random admin wants to start a discussion. Anomie 21:18, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, I was assuming harm was being done. No, you're quite right, better to discuss first. - Jarry1250 (t, c) 21:27, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

New discussions[edit]

  • All of the Food and Drink related projects, listed below, track their redirects. We create a soft redirect and label the talk page as a redirect. Your bot should not be tampering with these. --Jeremy (blah blah) 02:03, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
    • In theory, I like the thought of moving "the old talk page to an archive subpage of the new talk page, and added an {{archives}} box to the new talk page" for actual conversation; however, that's not always a good choice. For example, in WP:MIX, a lot of stubs that are essentially just drink recipes are merged into the List of cocktails (or one of the related lists). I don't think the List's talk page needs a bunch of redirected conversations merged into it. I suppose that if the archived content were saved with the name of the original article, that might be an improvement over just a number (Archive 8 doesn't tell you anything about what is inside). But if each article's talk page was setup as an archive under the main list talk page, that could get very unwieldy after just a few months. No matter what is done with the discussions, the WP talk page header templates should not be disturbed since we do make use of them within WP:FOOD and the child projects. —Willscrlt “Talk” ) 05:07, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
Parent project: WikiProject Food and Drink
Related projects:
Child projects: Task forces:
What are WikiProjects?
  • The physics project and its taskforces also keep track of redirects. IMO we should only be keeping track of the non-trivial redirects (aka not redirect because of typos, caps, dashed variants, etc...), whether that's the case or not I don't know. This helps for the Article alerts, and for keeping tabs on what goes on on articles which could be turned into non-redirects. If the point is to redirect the talk page to the new one, a "soft redirect" when banners are present would certainly be appropriate, but the bot shouldn't remove them. IMO at least. Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 02:21, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
So you're keeping the redirects for: article alerts notify if a page comes at WP:RFD and; if a page gets changed from a redirect to a full blown article it is tagged by the project already project? I'm just looking at the pros and cons of this. Do you recall about how much either of these instances has come up? -Optigan13 (talk) 09:01, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
  • WikiProject IRC attempts to keep track of redirects. As of right now sorting out all the existing redirects in a work in progress. Tables of some of the redirects in use can be found here. Note that redirects and {{WPBannerMeta}} based WikiProject templates will function together just fine [1] so it should be possible for ListasBot 3 to redirect talk pages that contain the WikiProject banner templates that make use of the redirect class and tracking categories. Perhaps this should be an opt-in/out feature/parameter for WikiProject templates? Tothwolf (talk) 02:52, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
  • WikiProject Oregon keeps track of those redirects with project tags as they are identified as articles that will eventually be standalone articles. So, if there is a WikiProject Oregon template on a redirect, please do not remove it. Thanks. Aboutmovies (talk) 05:31, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
    • Aboutmovies, take another look -- if I understand correctly, this bot is specifically targeting redirects that were once articles, but have been turned into redirects. That's a pretty small subset of articles, and one that I would imagine mostly consists of pages that will not eventually become articles in their own right (they already were articles, and were presumably turned into redirects for a reason). So, there's a legitimate concern, I think, about people who might be returning to those talk pages in order to continue a discussion they were involved in. It's a rare case, but when that case comes up, I think it's important that the reader/editor be easily directed to where the discussion is taking place. If I'm understanding the scenario right, I think we at WikiProject Oregon would not really be adversely affected by a tiny number of our redirects being overwritten for this purpose.
    • However, maybe there's a "best of both worlds" option: could the bot be programmed to do a soft redirect, leaving the WikiProject template intact?? -Pete (talk) 08:17, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
      • Pete, in general I think that is how it is supposed to work, and in most instances there is no problem. But I think we have a few redirects that were regular talk pages that were then redirected (see Talk:Amanda Reed for instance), but at some point these redirects should become articles again on their own. I do see some value in this (keeping these as redirect class), as it is a good list of articles needing to be written. If the bot only is removing the WP:ORE template from redirected articles that do not have the redirect class on them, then I have no problem with that, but it wasn't quite clear on that point in the intro. Aboutmovies (talk) 09:01, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
      • Soft redirect, eh? Well, I suppose we can throw that in as an option. Matt (talk) 09:27, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Comment, This might or might not be relevant to this discussion.. but I just experienced an example of where a redirect's talk page redirecting to another talkpage wasn't very helpful: I wanted to place a redirect template ( {{R to scientific name}} ) on "Dandelion" (which redirects to the more scientific name "Taraxacum") but it was a fullyprotected page.. so normally I'd go to the redirect's talkpage to post the {{editprotected}} request but I just got redirected again to the new talk page (Talk:Taraxacum). So I had to go back to Talk:Dandelion and OVERWRITE or MOVE the redirect code in order to place the {{editprotected}} request. Kinda rare situation but annoying. -- OlEnglish (Talk) 09:06, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
  • With the advent of Article Alerts I think even more projects will want to keep track of their redirects. The projects I am involved in tend to use it in a hit a miss manner, but that is because it is not fully advertised. I also find the comments by OlEnglish a very important point. Also the talkpage could well be needed to show consensus for a particular redirect. Agathoclea (talk) 09:34, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
  • WP The Clash attempts to keep track of redirects by using {{WPClash}} in conjunction with {{WPBannerMeta}}, and we are signed up for ArticleAlertsBot and CleanupListingsBot. A list of the redirects in use can be found here. The Category:Redirect-Class articles has 125 subcategories, which means 125 WPs. The following are some suggestions for trying to resolve the problem:
    • Make the redirects, merge the TPs (possibly in chronological order), but DO NOT remove the WPBanners that are using the Redirect-Class (I think it will work fine. The TP will be both redirected and categorized.);
    • use soft redirects instead of strong redirects and move the topics;
    • place a banner indicating the address of the TP and move the topics;
    • if there are no WPBanners on the talk page, then speedy merge.
    • do nothing at all.
    Note that some articles have many redirect pages, and tons of articles have NOT their own TP. Thanks! –pjoef (talkcontribs) 10:04, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
I'm not entirely sure how this bot works, but I saw a notice, and thought I'd give my views. If a page was created at one name, then moved to another for some reason (eg to disambiguate it from a similar titled article) then the talk page should be moved with the article - leaving the talk page as a redirect to the new talk page. If an article is created purely as a redirect to another article (eg Dr Who to Doctor Who), then any discussion on the redirect page should be left alone. (talk) 11:53, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
  • (Hoping this is the right spot for general comments.) - In the comics project (among others - including most fiction-related projects) due to a near constant state of merging/demerging (and redirecting/re-redirecting/re-re-redirecting/etc.) of articles, retaining the talk pages of pages which have been turned into redirects is rather important. Not to mention that keeping the project template in place, for various reasons. So I rather strongly oppose blanking (and for that matter, strongly opposing deletion). - jc37 18:56, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
  • I second DeFaultRyan's comment above. There should be no problem redirecting talk pages of so-called trivial redirects, but in my experience, when Redirect-class is used, it's because the article was merged and/or is a candidate to be split off again. If someone's gone through the "trouble" of tagging something, there's probably a reason for that, and it would be a shame to have a bot come and arbitrarily untag it. -- Kacie Jane (talk) 01:02, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
  • What Jc37 says is very relevant There are quite a number of places where merges are done, and then reverted. You cannot reasonably expect everyone in the project who may work with these to know or remember to mark to exclude the bot. If there is contents on a talk page the default should be to keep it. DGG (talk) 05:40, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

Maybe there's a solution I missed[edit]

I wonder if there's a solution that I've overlooked. Folks, hear me out for a minute.

  1. The bot mainly goes through pages that have {{WPBiography}} templates on them (since that's what the bot's other functions deal with). Having the WPBiography template on the page causes the page to (potentially) show up in categories such as Category:Biography articles without listas parameter, Category:Biography articles with listas parameter, and Category:Biography articles without living parameter.
  2. There's a bug and/or oversight in the MediaWiki code that causes the contents of redirect pages not to be shown (see the discussion about it here).
  3. So, with that in mind, here's the proposed solution:
    • Ask someone in WikiProject Biography to recode the template so that it doesn't cause the maintenance categories to be included when the page is a redirect-class page.
    • Ask for the aforementioned bug/oversight in the MediaWiki software to be fixed.
    • Finally, when the bot finds an "orphaned" talk page (as I described in the Background section above), it could simply change the class rating in all the WikiProject banners to "redirect", then put the redirect tag at the top of the page.

This would cause the page to be removed from the maintenance categories that the bot is normally dealing with, would put the redirect in place, and would leave the contents of the old talk page intact.

Drawback: Other bots would still have a tendency to prepend other WikiProject banners to the beginning of the page, thereby destroying the redirect.

Thoughts? Matt (talk) 04:21, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

At first I thought great idea, but then I realized that in the case of person->event redirects even using redirect class it should still use the list-as parameter so the maintenance categories work just fine. Fix the page rather than shift the problem. Agathoclea (talk) 13:42, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

Wikiproject Biography doesn't support Redirect class and why should? They are tenths of thousands redirects of individuals for hundreds of reasons. Redirects should not be tagged with Wikiproject Biography. -- Magioladitis (talk) 17:14, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

Some discussions of the past: Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Empty talk pages of redirects, Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Archive151 (under the section Empty talk pages and speedy deletion), Wikipedia_talk:Criteria_for_speedy_deletion/Archive_30#Empty_talk_pages_and_speedy_deletion. All these discussions are dealing in fact with the same subject: Should redirects have banners and what happens then? -- Magioladitis (talk) 17:22, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

Note template[edit]

Sorry if it's been mentioned, and I haven't read the discussion, but I created the template {{talkpage of redirect}} recently which may have relevance here.  Skomorokh  09:22, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

Talk pages are important[edit]

Ok, I'm getting the gist from everyone here, talk pages are important. I'm going to try to take this discussion in a new direction here.

When article A gets redirected to article B, but Talk:A is left alone, it may be for a variety of reasons. It could be that the talk page had details of a discussion to redirect the article somewhere else. It may be that there was a significant amount of discussion on the talk page that should not have been destroyed when the article was redirected. It could be simple laziness or inexperience on the part of the person that performed the redirect.

However, the fact remains that most users will go to Talk:B to discuss an article, and will never see any of the comments on Talk:A. There could be multiple different pages that all redirect to Talk:B that have comments and discussions that are pertinent to article B. How do we make users aware of those old talk pages?

Users do not need to be aware of old talk pages unless they are searching for an old merge discussion or something. --Apoc2400 (talk) 17:24, 19 May 2009 (UTC)
Yes, just as with a disambiguation page, the redirect itself may be a subject of legitimate discussion and debate. (Although it's a little tricky finding the talk page of a hard redirect, it can be done by clicking the "Redirected from" hatnote on the new target.) I changed Greater New York (and Greater New York City) from redirects to disambiguation pages because I really think that the two choices are almost equally valid. But someone in the future may change the disambiguation back to a redirect to one of the choices, which is also a justifiable procedure. If that happens, I want to be able to discuss the pro's and con's at the redirect talk page (with perhaps a notice to the target's talk page), rather than at the two talk pages for City of Greater New York and New York metropolitan area. —— Shakescene (talk) 04:42, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

Proposed solutions[edit]

Allow ListasBot to continue operating as is[edit]


  • One thought would be to add an HTML comment that directs ListasBot to ignore the page. (e.g. <!-- (ListasBot3:No) Please do not modify this tag without talking about it on the corresponding WikiProject talk page first. Thanks. -->) Even better (for the WP template makers at least) would be an attribute like "|ListasBot3=n" inside the template. It generally wouldn't do or display anything (though it could if the template designer wanted to), but your bot could check the templates for that, and if any have it, ignore the page. Otherwise, treat as normal. Another option would be to add opting out templates to a list (i.e., if a listed template is found on a talk page, skip the page). I think any of those options would work, so it's probably whatever would have the lowest impact on the most people while balancing the ease for you to make the changes and maintain them in the future. If any of these options were possible, then I'd support leaving the bot running as-is on all other pages. —Willscrlt “Talk” ) 05:19, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
    • Well, if we're talking doing this on a per-talk page basis, then this already exists -- the bot already honors (or should honor, I never actually tested it) {{bots|deny=ListasBot}}. On the other hand, if we're going to do it on a per-project basis, it could get a little more complicated. I suppose I could start an "opt-out" list that would list the WikiProject banner templates of the projects that have chosen to opt out of having their redirects replaced. Matt (talk) 06:06, 12 May 2009 (UTC)


  1. Support, WP:MCB has about 19,000 articles to look after, we couldn't track all the redirects even if we wanted to. Tim Vickers (talk) 02:48, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
  2. Support - "redirect class" should die a painful death. Mr.Z-man 06:12, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
  3. Support, per Mr.Z-man. I already clean out banners from WP:VG's redirects on a monthly basis using AWB. Nifboy (talk) 22:48, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
  4. Support as always. Never understood what is a "redirect class". Redirects cannot be improved. Redirects are well categorised. I never saw a discussion in Wikiprojects of how to improve a redirect. -- Magioladitis (talk) 17:24, 16 May 2009 (UTC)


  1. Oppose – use the class=Redirect insted. –pjoef (talkcontribs) 10:12, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
  2. Oppose - this action likely results in violations of GFDL, as redirects are deleted when the target article is deleted, even if the contents of the redirected page were merged elsewhere, and indications of such which might be contained as a template notice on the talkpage were deleted because of bot action. (talk) 11:12, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
    Redirects should not be deleted if they contain useful history; this is an explicit requirement of the R-series CSDs. This is particularly inapplicable to talk pages, which do not in general contain encyclopedic material (although it still needs to be licensed when it is used, it is not usually mirrored), and the contents of which are rarely merged elsewhere. Happymelon 12:57, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
    Check some feedback above of what we mean by useful or non-trivial history. Redirects from merges should not be deleted. I still believe that redirects that the only edit history consists of adding tags (99% by bots) can be deleted. -- Magioladitis (talk) 17:26, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
  3. Oppose per Pjoef and anon above. Hiding T 12:29, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
  4. Oppose per Pjoef above. DeFaultRyan 14:50, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
  5. Oppose - per above. - jc37 19:03, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
  6. Oppose. For projects that use it, Redirect-class is an important tool for tracking articles that have been merged and/or can be split. – Kacie Jane (talk) 01:05, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
  7. Oppose Redirects should not be redirected if they contain useful discussion of useful history. Rather than do it blindly and review each, it would be better to find the limited conditions under which they could be deleted and delete those. DGG (talk) 05:21, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
  8. Oppose These are how WP:AFC/R keeps track of the pages we created. Losing the redirect page is kind of significant. I'm wondering how many we lost track of already. -- kenb215 talk 23:54, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
  9. Oppose Per reasons given above. -- OlEnglish (Talk) 11:03, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
  10. Oppose - redirect talk pages should remain for discussion of the redirect and information about its history in the form of templates such as {{oldrfd}} and {{merged-to}}. The latter one is particularly important: when the content of an article is merged somewhere and it is redirected, {{merged-to}} should be added to the talk page of the merged article. It should NOT simply be retargeted to the talk page of the other article. –Black Falcon (Talk) 21:08, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
  11. Symbol oppose vote.png Oppose - The worst option of all. This would be granting permission to one WikiProject-oriented bot to go around messing up pages used by and considered valuable by other WikiProjects. The soft redirect option below is the best choice (or disabling the bot's actions entirely if soft redirecting can't be done). —Willscrlt “Talk” ) 22:06, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
  12. John Vandenberg (chat) 08:11, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

Move WikiProject banners below the redirect[edit]


  • This would leave all transcluded categories intact, while turning the page into a redirect. However, this doesn't address the problem of the redirect pages still showing up in maintenance categories.
  • Could you give some examples? I'm having difficulties visualizing how this option and the next option would differ, especially in regard to the maintenance categories. Thanks! —Willscrlt “Talk” ) 05:09, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
    • See something like Action Film. Basically, what happens is the content of the page, including all the banners, are all made invisible, but any categories that the banner would have transcluded are still included in the page.
      • FYI, apparently the fact that all the contents of the page are hidden in a redirect is a bug/oversight in the MediaWiki code. There's a discussion going on about it here.


  1. Support – I think it will work. –pjoef (talkcontribs) 10:15, 12 May 2009 (UTC)


  1. Oppose you shouldn't discuss the redirect on the target page's talk page, you should only leave a notice there. It should take place on the redirect's talk page itself. Especially since the discussion might be notified on several talk pages, and disparate topics, where only the redirect itself is a common denominator. Redirecting talk pages just ensures that inappropriate discussions take place on talk pages. Such discussions won't even show up in the history of the talk page, if the topic were ever to come up again, and the redirect retargetted in the meantime. (talk) 11:07, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
  2. Adding content other than categories below redirects is a fundamentally Bad Idea. If you put a WikiProject banner {{WikiProject Tulips}} on Talk:Foo, that normally displays as "this project is within the scope of Wikipedia:WikiProject Tulips, then Special:WhatLinksHere/Wikipedia:WikiProject Tulips then lists Talk:Foo as a redirect; as does Special:WhatLinksHere/Template:WikiProject Tulips, as does any other page normally linked on the banner. Templates to place on redirects need to be carefully written to avoid this issue; mainly by only including links to categories. Random content and normal templates are not appropriate. Happymelon 12:52, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
  3. Oppose per User:Happy-melon. - jc37 19:03, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
  4. Oppose per Talk pages of merged/redirected articles should not themselves be converted into redirects. –Black Falcon (Talk) 21:14, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
  5. Symbol oppose vote.png Oppose - A hard redirect requires guesswork on the part of the editor to be able to tell if a particular talk page has discussion or not. While I agree that the bug should be fixed so that content below a redirect should appear if you follow the backlink, I don't see it as any type of solution here. The soft redirect solution below is a much better choice. —Willscrlt “Talk” ) 22:02, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
  6. If there is content to be seen, a redirect is conceptually the wrong tool for the job. John Vandenberg (chat) 08:13, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

Skip over talk pages labeled as redirect-class[edit]

This option added as a proposed solution on 12 May 2009 03:50 UTC.


  • Again, it wouldn't get some pages out of the maintenance categories, but it would get a fair number of them out.


# Agathoclea (talk) 09:00, 12 May 2009 (UTC) actually redirect class still might need list-as parameter. Agathoclea (talk) 13:50, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

  1. If possible, that would be the easiest. We'd better have a tricky bot than tricky talk pages. I mean: don't introduce new rules or mandatory comments for talk pages, when we can just spend some time programming a bot that finds out whether a talk page is tracked or not. Cheers Nicolas1981 (talk) 09:28, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
  2. Weak Support – I prefer to move WPBanners below the redirect, but this is my second choice. –pjoef (talkcontribs) 10:22, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
  3. Support I really don't understand why they should ever be redirected, since you can't discuss the redirect itself at someother talk page. Perhaps the bot should only add a hatnote link at the top of the talk page directing people to the location of discussion of the target. Especially since some articles are merged to one place and redirected to another place, so redirecting the talk page to the target would not give a hint to whatever things you might think you were discussing since it's located at a third location. (talk) 10:58, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
  4. Support, and agree with the anon user above, that you can't discuss the redirect itself at someother talk page. Hiding T 12:28, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
  5. Support If it's not tagged, redirect it. Otherwise, leave it alone. :) DeFaultRyan 14:50, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
  6. Support - talk pages are a history of discussion. We shouldn't condemn ourselves to reliving history because we've removed past discussions. - jc37 19:03, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
  7. Support as second choice over continuing as-is. I've seen thousands of articles that have been redirected yet stay assessed as something else; cleaning those out keeps our 1.0 counts accurate. Nifboy (talk) 22:51, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
  8. Support. Sounds perfect to me. Allows the bot to do its intended task, but allows the WikiProjects to keep their precious redirects. – Kacie Jane (talk) 01:07, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
  9. Support as second option, seems a bit complicated, but if people actually watch a particular redirect, this lets them continue to do so. Tim Vickers (talk) 02:14, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
  10. Nothing actually wrong with this but the best thing is to turn off the bot altogether, until there is real consensus when it's appropriate. DGG (talk) 05:34, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
  11. Not only Redirect-Class, but if there are any WikiProject banners on the talk page, the bot shouldn't touch them. This is a bot for WPBIO, and the wishes of other projects should not be presumed. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 19:32, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
    Only projects that use redirect-class, IMO. I've been manually yanking out assessment banners from WP:VG redirects for the past year or so. Nifboy (talk) 03:32, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
  12. Yes, but... as part of a more general approach of not redirecting the talk pages of redirected articles. –Black Falcon (Talk) 21:16, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
  13. John Vandenberg (chat) 08:14, 20 May 2009 (UTC)


Multi-pronged approach[edit]

This option added as a proposed solution on 13 May 2009 04:25 UTC.



  1. Happy with 1 and 3. Can you explain 2 a bit more? — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 19:33, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
    There's a discussion over at WP:AN about the fact that the MediaWiki code is programmed such that, if you have a redirect at the very top of the page, nothing else gets rendered on the page -- essentially, all you see if the redirect, even if there's other stuff on the page below the redirect. There's been a bug report filed to have this fixed, as it's pertinent to the discussion about whether or not {{R from capitalisation}} should be deleted. If this were to be fixed, then we could turn talk pages into redirects, but simply leave everything else on the page alone. That way, when someone clicked the backlink for the redirect, they would see everything that was originally on the page. Matt (talk) 22:45, 14 May 2009 (UTC)


  1. Oppose see above (talk) 05:49, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
  2. See my comment above. Overlaying redirects on top of other content is A Fundamentally Bad Idea. Happymelon 09:55, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
  3. Symbol oppose vote.png Oppose - A hard redirect requires guesswork on the part of the editor to be able to tell if a particular talk page has discussion or not. I doubt the average editor is going to have a flash of insight that tells him or her to follow the redirect and dive into a conversation on a redirected talk page. The soft redirect is a better solution. As to the category work for WP:BIO, I'd say that is an internal WikiProject matter, and not something that I have an opinion on. —Willscrlt “Talk” ) 22:00, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
  4. per Happy-melon. John Vandenberg (chat) 08:16, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

Stop performing this task altogether[edit]

This option added as a proposed solution on 13 May 2009 06:20 UTC.


  • Of course, I don't like this course of action, but I'll present it as an option, for the sake of fairness. "Support" means that you think that messing with orphaned talk pages at all is unnecessary.


  1. Sorry, but I don't get what you mean by orphaned talk pages. Orphaned talk pages get deleted, because orphaned talk pages are talk pages of deleted articles. Talk pages of redirected articles are not orphans in any sense of the word. I really don't see the problem you think you are trying to fix. Hiding T 10:28, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
    "Orphaned" in this context means the talk page of an article, where the article was turned into a redirect and the talk page was left alone. Deleted articles aren't in the picture here. Sorry, but I couldn't really think of a better way to describe them in three words or less. Matt (talk) 18:35, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
    Talk pages of redirected articles is probably the best description. They shouldn't be redirected just because, since there are reasons not to, from tracking through GFDL concerns. Hiding T 12:00, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
  2. Support I fail to see why a WikiProject Biography bot is messing around with other WikiProjects. Why WPBIO rules supercede and take priority over the usage of other WikiProjects, why Wikipedia is the slave of WPBIO (in cases where the articles/redirects don't even fall under WPBIO at all) (talk) 04:12, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
  3. Support I agree with 76.66. Further, I personally find it annoying when a talk page is redirected, especially when you want to talk about the redirect! — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 19:27, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
  4. Support Just leave them alone. Even if they may be orphaned now that doesn't mean they're always going to be that way. -- OlEnglish (Talk) 11:07, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
  5. Support. I came here because of the note posted at WikiProject Star Trek. Lots of pages about individual characters (and other minor topics) have been merged and redirected to lists. In many cases there was significant discussion before doing so. This discussion should remain visible. I don't see anything to be gained from redirecting the character talk page to a list talk page. - Fayenatic (talk) 21:46, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
  6. Support. Agree with Martin. I really don't see how this is necessary; it just seems to cause problems. — Jake Wartenberg 02:31, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
  7. Support per my comments above: the talk pages of redirected articles should remain as venues for discussion of the redirects—its history and future—regardless of whether this entails WikiProject tags with the "Redirect-Class" feature. This effort to redirect talk pages is well-intentioned but, ultimately, ill-considered. –Black Falcon (Talk) 21:19, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
  8. Symbol support vote.png Support as second choice - I wouldn't mind if WP:BIO wants to continue doing this on WP:BIO-only pages (i.e., pages no other WikiProject has tagged), but this seems to be a solution looking for a problem, or even a problem posing as a solution for a non-existent problem—at least for the WikiProjects where redirects are tracked and where significant discussion (which is not necessarily the same as lengthy discussion) has occurred. —Willscrlt “Talk” ) 21:54, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
  9. Support Old merge discussions and such can be interesting, even if the result was merge and redirect. Also, I see no reason to redirect talk pages just because the article is redirected. --Apoc2400 (talk) 17:25, 19 May 2009 (UTC)


  1. This task is certainly valuable. – Quadell (talk) 17:34, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
  2. I definitely support the task in principle. Happymelon 09:56, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
  3. As part of my monthly routine I go through WP:VG's articles and remove assessment banners from redirected or deleted articles, after noticing we had well over a thousand such articles mistagged as anything from stub-class to B-class. The majority of these talk pages are left either blank or only with some variant of {{talkheader}} on them. Discussion in the talk page of a redirect is practically invisible anyway. Nifboy (talk) 01:40, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
  4. John Vandenberg (chat) 08:20, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

Put "soft redirect" at top of page[edit]

This option added as a proposed solution on 16 May 2009 09:27 UTC.


  • This solution would leave everything intact on the original talk page, and simply put a {{soft redirect}} at the top of the page to alert users of the location of the new talk page.
  • Just my $0.02 here, but once bug 14323 is resolved, it won't matter if the redirect is a hard or soft redirect because all the existing text on a redirected page would then be visible when following the (Redirected from ...) link anyway. Tothwolf (talk) 10:48, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
    • True, but having a soft redirect would put the person on the old talk page first, whereas having a hard redirect would put the person on the new talk page first, and then require the person to click on the backlink to get to the old talk page. Matt (talk) 18:46, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
      • I agree with Matt, even after the bug is fixed, it's still not a viable solution to the problem indicated here. (talk) 08:08, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
        • And how is that exactly? If you wanted to get really creative you could create a template for the talk page that the redirected page(s) redirect to with link(s) back to the redirected page(s) that include ?redirect=no (and this might not be a bad idea anyway, no matter how ListasBot ends up functioning). The larger issue seems to be that there is currently no one size fits all approach to redirecting talk pages of merged articles (moved articles usually have their talk pages redirected anyway when the talk pages are moved as well), so it is going to be split across the board with different editors and projects wanting to handle things differently. Tothwolf (talk) 10:52, 22 May 2009 (UTC)


  1. Possibly the best solution all round. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 10:49, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
  2. I support this option. That way, it will keep a record of the WikiProject, but it will also redirect to where the talk page is "supposed" to be. It will make it easy to go to the new talk page, but at the same time will make sure that people understand that there is useful content on the old page. The Earwig (Talk | Contributions) 22:28, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
  3. Support per Earwig. Definitely works for me. – Kacie Jane (talk) 02:59, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
  4. Symbol support vote.png Support - Finally a logical solution that I can wholeheartedly support. —Willscrlt “Talk” ) 21:45, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
  5. Sure, that's fine. --Apoc2400 (talk) 17:26, 19 May 2009 (UTC)
  6. A dedicated template, like Hiding suggests below, would do the trick, and doesnt add more complexity to the WPBio template. John Vandenberg (chat) 08:18, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
  7. Support indicates current talk page for the content of the redirect, while keeping around the talk page of the redirect. This should be done even after the bug is fixed, since the talk page contents should be accessible, and not redirected away. There should be some indication made so that editors do not turn the soft into a hard redirect. (talk) 08:10, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
  8. I agree with Martin's wording that this is the best option all-around. hmwithτ 10:31, 24 May 2009 (UTC)


  1. In the sense that I'd rather a new template were created that better explains teh situation. Hiding T 10:22, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.