Wikipedia:Solutions looking for a problem

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This "self-operating napkin" is definitely a solution. The problem isn't so clear.

A solution looking for a problem is a Wikipedia proposal which does not address any issue in particular. Such proposals are usually made by inexperienced editors in good faith. These proposals are proposed just for the sake of change and do not offer any practical advantages. As such, these are highly unlikely to obtain community consensus, as their implementation may require developmental costs without any tangible benefit.

Remember that the Wikimedia Foundation is not a corporate body that can afford to test changes. So, if you just chalked out your revolutionary scheme to revamp Wikipedia, do not be disappointed. You may take solace from the fact that a great many proposals made at Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals) and Wikipedia:Village pump (technical) fail to obtain consensus because they simply do not seek to address any issue.

Generally, all proposals made at the village pump should prominently address the question of why the proposal is necessary and what issues it aims to resolve. RfCs should specify the incumbent problems in the Rationale section.

Be careful before you accuse others' proposal to be solutions looking for a problem. This should not be used as an oppose rationale if the proposal appears to specify an issue that it aims to fix, even if you think that the described problem is too uncommon or does not exist. This should also not be used as an oppose rationale when a proposal really does seek to improve Wikipedia, even if it does not directly address any 'problem'.

In some cases, a proposed change may be of interest to only a small section of users, resulting in conflicting views on whether the proposal is a solution-looking-for-a-problem or not. Such cases typically involve the addition of new functionality at the cost of interface clutter. As such, it would be worthwhile to look at opt-in alternatives such as user scripts and gadgets rather than forcing the change on everyone.

See also[edit]