Wikipedia:Experimental Deletion/XD4

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Experimental Deletion.jpg


eXperimental Deletion method XD4 is only a corollary to the existing method XD2.

Technical background[edit]

In the user preferences under "Misc", a threshold for "stub display" can be set, which will give links to articles with a size in bytes that is under that threshold a different CSS class ("stub"). That CSS class is normally set to a dark red, but can be changed in the user CSS of course, so you can set it to redlink red (#CC2200) if you want.

Applying that to deletion[edit]

A problem with all the previous techniques is that they leave bluelinks for deleted articles. If we use a template with a really short name (e.g. <10 bytes, which is possible) to mark deletions, we can set our stub thresholds to 11 bytes and enjoy seeing our deletions create redlinks, at least for us.

Using it[edit]

Set your stub threshold as described above to 12 bytes. Replace articles that you wish to faux-delete with {{XD4}} (and nothing else!) and state your reasons in the edit summary. Then proceed as described in XD2, but enjoy the redlinks you are creating. The category in which you can find pseudo-deleted articles is Category:XD4.

An example can be seen at Epica Magna. (This one has a {{copyvio}} on it, but the same principle applies).


To get true redlink-looking links from this trick, add the following to your monobook.css:

/* set stubs to normal redlink color */
a.stub {

You can, of course, use any color you like, or leave the default dark red.

In addition to the pros&cons of XD2, the following applies:


  • Gives XD the ability to create redlinks
  • Works without software change
  • Could be easily set as default


  • Is a server strain (probably, need to check with devs)
    • I asked on #wikimedia-tech if the proposed use of stub thresholds would interfere with caching. Jamesday said that stub threshold could even be disabled because of load problems with it, but Midom said that page length is now in row aggregated, though this is untested. However, Tim Starling says that stub thresholds disable the parser cache, which Jamesday said wouldn't be good for logged in users. As an alternative, Tim said he would be happy to implement this feature properly and efficiently if there is consensus for it. Angela. 10:15, August 24, 2005 (UTC)
  • Presently only works if set it manually, and not at all for non-logged in users (but that could be changed pretty easily)
  • Deletion resons probably have to go into the edit summary, because they would be too long (short stubs are sometimes no longer than 30 bytes)
  • Some users use the stub threshold as it was originally intended - if they set their stub threshold higher, they can no longer see the difference between a stub and a deleted page.
  • Does not seem to work outside of the normal article namespace (more testing needed)
  • That includes all Special: pages.
  • There is no guarantee that a redlink page will contain the XD4 template - it might simply have been blanked or replaced with short nonsense, like a word with four letters :)