Simple tracking exercise to see what happens to Featured Articles over time
Samples are taken from Oct 2003 on. For the most part, the more recognizable topics were selected, as they're likely the ones to see the most change.
The "original" date is of the version immediately preceding the date of the nomination closure, or, in the absence of that info, immediately preceding the date the article was added to the WP:FA page. There may be some instances where dramatic change was made between voting and listing, but that hasn't seemed to be the case.
Evaluation for the "comment" is based on a quick examination of the diff. Method is to first determine whether the original paragraphs are still generally in place, by skimming the first sentences, looking at para length, and looking at the section headings. If there is substantial change from the original, i.e. most paragraphs from the promoted version are unrecognizable in the current version, the article gets a quick read to evaluate the change. From that, one of four comments is assigned:
- steady improvement indicates the original article is still clearly visible in the current version, with numerous edits and additions. Also, this is usually incremental improvement over time (typically, dozens to hundreds of edits between FA promotion and the present). This status is "good".
- static indicates the article hasn't changed much. This is also "good" or at least "OK".
- major additions means the current article is much longer, and that I skimmed it and felt confident that it was a retooling, and not likely a change in original content or POV. This is "good" (although editing/tightening might be in order).
- possibly degraded means something has changed significantly, and it didn't look good to me. Either lots of information was deleted and/or skimming the rewrite turns up odd statements and the like. This is probably "bad".
Additional comments are included in order not to waste effort (for improvement or FARC), mainly, notes referring to references. The observations are not necessarily consistent over all articles surveyed, they're only markers indicating where I did notice obvious things.
NOTES: I AM making a (quite cursory) editorial evaluation of each listed article, as a comparison between promoted version and current version. I am NOT evaluating against current FA standards, simply looking at the changes. I am also NOT re-reviewing each article in depth; e.g. a more subtle POV reworking would not likely be noticed by me in an article that appeared to be simply expanded from the promoted version.
Complementary thing to do:
- Check WP:FARC to see how many demotions are due to articles going downhill, as opposed to not meeting current higher FA standards.
|current||original FA||diff as of... (K)||comment|
|Irish poetry||27-Nov-2003||22-Jan-2006||steady improvement|
|Mark Antony||23-Nov-2003||22-Jan-2006||steady improvement|
|Alliterative verse||09-Oct-2003||22-Jan-2006||steady improvement|
|Trigonometric function||19-Dec-2003||22-Jan-2006||steady improvement|
|Medieval literature||30-Dec-2003]||22-Jan-2006||steady improvement - no references, but Ext. links may cover the topic|
|The Foundation Series||13-Jan-2004||22-Jan-2006||steady improvement|
|C programming language||13-Feb-2004||23-Jan-2005||major additions - within original outline, many new sections|
|Frankfurt School||24-Feb-2004||23-Jan-2006||steady improvement|
|Mahatma Gandhi||22-Jan-2005||23-Jan-2006||major additions - within original outline, many new sections|
|Baseball||29-Oct-2004||22-Feb-2006 32/61||possibly degraded - expands on original outline; more info but likely worse in writing quality, partly due to due bloat|