Wikipedia:Deletion reform/Proposals/Butt simple

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The butt-simple option[edit]

A variation -- the butt-simple option. I think the right use of substitution and categories could make DPLs unnecessary, and cut the instruction creep at the same time. --FOo 16:23, 3 August 2005 (UTC) I'd like to propose the following as the butt-simple option. The goals are fourfold:

  1. Involve contributors in voting directly, by placing it on the talk page.
  2. Hold the instruction creep to a bare minimum. Users who want to nominate an article for deletion should not have to do any more than add one template with a reason for deletion.
  3. Keep the voting system simple: set out an initial state (from the template) which encourages voters to vote properly, and permit anyone to clean up invalid votes.
  4. Deter suspicions (unfounded or not) of administrator abuse by allowing only uninvolved administrators to close a vote for deletion.

The proposal is as follows:

  1. Article needs to be deleted? Put {{subst:d|reason}} on its talk page. This substitutes in a template which includes:
    • Your stated reason (required),
    • The current date,
    • The date 7 days from now (the target delete date),
    • A category tag based on the target delete date,
    • Three empty subsections: Keep, Delete, and Comments.
  2. Stated reasons must allege that the article fits some deletion criterion. Anyone may remove a deletion nomination which fails to allege this. (E.g. if the stated reason is "the article is ugly" and that's not a deletion criterion, the template and all responses to it may be removed.)
  3. People place votes in the subsections created by the template substitution. Ideally, they use numbered lists in a way that the numbering always reflects the vote count. If anyone makes a non-vote (e.g. a Transwiki or Cleanup "vote", or a sock-puppet "vote") in a vote section, anyone may move that non-vote to the Comments section.
  4. On the target delete date, an uninvolved administrator may close the deletion and, if there is a sufficient majority to do so, delete the article. An uninvolved administrator means one who has not:
    • Proposed the deletion;
    • Voted on the deletion or attempted to influence others' vote; or
    • Edited the article in the past month.


Thoughts? --FOo 07:15, 3 August 2005 (UTC)

Rename it, and it will kick butt! Uncle Ed 16:58, August 3, 2005 (UTC)
Hell no! No centralized location for viewing the deletion debates--it's a deal-killer. To find out what articles are up for deletion, I would have to go through and click every single article in a category (approx. 100 per day or more). Debates would be far less transparent and attract even less participation than before. Meelar (talk) 17:10, August 3, 2005 (UTC)
Placing all the deletion discussions on one page is what makes VfD unworkably huge and unwieldy. I take "the problem with VfD" to be threefold: it's huge and unwieldy; it's developed instruction creep; and it's become too hostile and difficult for many people to participate in. I can't promise a solution to the third problem, but the other two are fixable. I think that moving deletion to the talk pages will do a great deal more to bring in people who watch the articles but can't follow one big VfD, which should do something for the hostility and difficulty of participation. --FOo 17:37, 3 August 2005 (UTC)
And it will systematically exclude all those who aren't watching those articles. This will make it impossible for users to monitor what's getting deleted and what isn't unless they have those pages on their watchlist before they get nominated. That, to me, is unaccpetable. Meelar (talk) 17:55, August 3, 2005 (UTC)
Of course it won't do that. That's what the categories are for -- you can go to Category:Deletion nominations and from there browse the daily categories, just as you can now browse VfD. The difference is that the discussions take place on the article talk page where they belong, rather than on a page divorced from discussion of the article itself. --FOo 20:25, 3 August 2005 (UTC)
As I said in another discussion somewhere, I think changing from a central VfD page to a category system will make voting more difficult:
  1. Entries in a category cannot be annotated, so you'll have to click on each link to see if it's about something you're interested in, if you don't recognize the title
  2. You cannot see which votes need more attention, and which ones are already decided
  3. You'll end up at a general talk page, and you'll have to search the page (which can be long) to find the discussion.
If you don't believe me, you can go to Category:Pages on votes for deletion, to see the articles that are on VfD at this very moment. Do you think that is a reasonable format for a central VfD page?
(Of course, currently the articles are not yet split out by date, so the number of articles in your deletion categories are less than this. Can you imagine working through one page (say 200 entries) each day? If those 200 votes are on a single page, you'll be able to skip 75% of them in no time. Not so in a category, with no accompanying text.) Eugene van der Pijll 21:54, 3 August 2005 (UTC)
Eugene's right. We just expanded WP:CSD partly because there were too many VFD nominations for a person spending a reasonable time on the page to check them all for problem deletions. This suggests that there are at least some people who want to browse VFD for interesting nominations. Any system that doesn't have the debates in a centralized location would enormously increase the time required to do this. Perhaps, if the debates were carried out at a subpage of the article's talk space, all current debates could be transcluded onto a single page to resolve this. Christopher Parham (talk) 03:32, 2005 August 4 (UTC)
I'm afraid I don't honestly see what this changes, apart from reducing the VfD-nomination process to 1 step from 3. That might itself be a good idea, but this is not the reason (I presume) that User:Ed Poor decided VfD "doesn't work". I see no difference between having the debate on a talk page and getting there from a category, and having it on a subpage of VfD and getting there from the article. It's just cosmetics. Categories have no time structure, and I'd have to remember which ones were yesterday's/today's so I knew which section of the cat was sensible to look under. Along the way, this proposal extends the bloodshed to 7 days, when nothing much ever happens after the first 3. Having a specific recommendation that an "uninvolved" admin/editor close the debate is sensible, however, and would occasionally avoid problems. We'd have to work on the criteria for non-involved, but something could be agreed, I'm sure. -Splash
Whoa, slow down a little! :) "Categories have no time structure", but we can easily make a separate category for each day's worth of deletion nominations, just as we now have a separate subpage. So the ones nominated today are in Category:Deletion nominations closing 2005-08-10 or whatever. (The date is the target deletion date, the date the article will get deleted if the vote is in favor of that action.) The deletion template gets changed every day to point to the new category, and the category tag gets stripped from the article when the deletion vote is closed.
The number of days for which a deletion vote takes place is of course arbitrarily adjustable. Three seems too short to me, since it means someone could come back from a three-day weekend to find stuff unexpectedly deleted. Seven may be too long -- five?
The "uninvolved administrator" bit is really intended to close off complaints about administrator bias. I don't believe that administrators abuse their powers to further their biases except very rarely, but I recognize that some other community members do believe so. I'd rather encourage trust. It looks bad for the same person to nominate for deletion, vote, advocate deletion, and then close the vote and delete the article. In order to avoid credible accusations of bias, administrative actions such as deleting an article need to be clearly and visibly above such accusations. --FOo 17:37, 3 August 2005 (UTC)
Time structure. Yes, we could do that, but then we really are reinventing the wheel we already have. The differences would just be cosmetic. A category-per-day, rather than a subpage-per-day, and a talk page-per-debate rather than a subpage-per-debate. I am not too clear on what part of the problem the category suggestion seeks to solve.
Five days is the current length of the VfD process (formally, anyway). I think that 3 days is too short, as you say, and was using it to illustrate why I think an extension beyond 5 days is probably not necessary.
I think the RfC that spawned this discussion rests on the question of 'deliberate interpretation' by an involved admin in several of the specific cases under question. This idea would ensure that 'justice is done and seen to be done', because there is a clear way of knowing whether or not it has, in fact, been done. -Splash 18:00, 3 August 2005 (UTC)

I like this idea because there aren't three steps for proposing deletion and discussion occurs on the article's talk page. Ways to enhance it could be

  • Create VfD sub-categories, they could even be exactly the same as the stub subcategories.That way, if you're not interested in debating "schools aren't notable/schools are notable" just don't look in the "schools" category. You could still have a page with all VfDs from that day on it.
  • In the regular category listings and the stub category listings, list pages in that category that are up for VfD at the bottom of the page. For example, if someone goes to the "schools" category page, all of the articles in that category or its subcategories that are up for VfD would show up at the bottom. Makes it easier for people to follow what's happening in the types of articles they know/care about. VfD proposers would be encouraged, but not required, to add any relevant categories.

Don't know how hard any of that would be to implement, but I think it would work better than the current system. Chuck 19:25, 3 August 2005 (UTC)

I like this, but it would require a MediaWiki change: the ability to calculate intersections between catgeories. I rather like the idea of that change, but it's beyond the scope of the proposal since I was trying to keep it to things that can be done with the current technology. --FOo 20:30, 3 August 2005 (UTC)

I am employed at another wiki. (Yes, someone actually pays me to be their Technical Consultant on how to set up and use a wiki for collaborative development of important documents!)

While there, I figured out a way to use templates to handle lists. If anyone is interested, I'll document this at Help:templates and lists. Uncle Ed 17:50, August 3, 2005 (UTC)

See also[edit]