Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/RfC: Ending the system of portals

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Moved from Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)#RfC: Ending the system of portals: Hi everybody. Because this discussion has become so lengthy (400,000+ bytes), I have moved it to a subpage of the village pump so that the village pump is more accessible. I apologize if any confusion has been caused by this. Mz7 (talk) 01:54, 18 April 2018 (UTC)
(The RFC originally started with :this entry on WP:PROPS --Tom (talk) 16:03, 20 April 2018 (UTC) )

Contents

RfC: Ending the system of portals[edit]

The following discussion is an archived record of a request for comment. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
There exists a strong consensus against deleting or even deprecating portals at this time.—CYBERPOWER (Chat) 23:43, 12 May 2018 (UTC)


Should the system of portals be ended? This would include the deletion of all portal pages and the removal of the portal namespace. 14:23, 8 April 2018 (UTC)

Survey: Ending the system of portals[edit]

Notice to editors:

  1. This survey is now closed. Do not add any more Support/Oppose comments.
  2. General discussion about the proposal or the RfC itself can be found in the next section, called "Discussion: Ending the system of portals".

8 April 2018[edit]

  • Support Taking at look at one example of Portal:Cricket: it contains a summary of the lead of Cricket, which is out of date (there are now twelve full members); obscure random articles that is just something someone took the effort of making them good - like Yorkshire captaincy affair of 1927; out of date news, random anniversaries and other random stuff like that. Readers aren't looking for random cricket-related stuff - it is clear, from the extremely low page-views, that readers don't care about portals. The most-viewed portals are purely from being featured on the main page; but for example Portal:Science gets only 8 out of 100000 of the views of the main page, a few hundred people a day, and they are likely from random clicks - not from people interested; which would likely account for most views of other portals too. There have been suggestions of automated systems for helping to develop portals, which even if developed wouldn't help, because portals aren't useful in any way. Personally, I've never felt the desire to read, say, a random science article, which is what portals consist of (most portals indeed have literally randomly selected content from a list)
In essence, portals try to straddle reader-facing and editor-facing stuff, but are terrible at both. They aren't really part of the encyclopedia; nor do they help in the backend - they don't benefit the encyclopaedia in anyway (the main page, which could be called a portal of everything, in contrast, encourages people to improve articles). Any navigational purpose, which I don't think portals help with at all, is better served through outlines. Featured articles and other stuff in a topic are cared more by wikiprojects, which generally link them already. Implementation could be reasonably easily done, as nearly all, I reckon, portal links in mainspace and in all pages indeed are through templates like {{portal}} (in all pages I estimate 99% of links are from being linked in wikiproject banners), which can be blanked to remove links; once the links are gone from mainspace, the portal pages can be deleted. Galobtter (pingó mió) 14:29, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
@Galobtter: You take one example for deleting a whole namespace, some portals are working and there is no need for deleting the work of hundreds of people!--Sinuhe20 (talk) 07:55, 15 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support: It is time to abandon this useless relic simply because its function is duplicated (and done better) elsewhere. The portal system are also incomplete and what gets a portal is rather strange and random: take a look at Portal:Contents/Portals#Technology and applied sciences, Why is Portal:Amiga included but not Apple II? Why are Portal:Python programming and Portal:Java included but not C (programming language) or BASIC? Why Portal:Maryland Roads and Portal:Michigan Highways but nothing for Arizona Highways? -- or any roads in the UK? (We do have Portal:UK Trams -- last substantive edit in 2007 -- so there is that.) --Guy Macon (talk) 15:59, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support, in the good old days, misguided by the hype, I even created Portal:Lithuania. Agree that portals are not maintained and should be deactivated. There might be one or two portals out there that have some useful stuff worth salvaging, but 99% of the 1500 portals should be deleted. At the very minimum, the {{Portal}} from articles should be removed. Renata (talk) 16:01, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support, I've never understood what portals were supposed to be good for to begin with. They've always seemed like a thoroughly obsolete idea to me, and the ones I've seen were almost invariably ill-maintained, magnets for POV editing, or downright useless. Fut.Perf. 16:05, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support speaking for myself I’ve only made one portal edit (a reversion) and since that time 9 years ago have not found the desire to edit one since. They don’t seem to have any net benefit to the encyclopaedia side of things and hardly anyone seems to maintain or look at them, so it’s fine by me if they were removed. Aiken D 16:11, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support for the reasons explained above and those listed at User:DexDor/Portals. DexDor (talk) 16:25, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support, per various comments above but FPaS's in particular. - Sitush (talk) 16:27, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support There has never been sufficient either reader or editor interest to maintain portals. I would be open to someday presenting next-generation portals which without any human involvement present Wikimedia content in a category in a human-readable way, perhaps ranked by article importance and quality. I would not want new editors looking at the portal system and using their labor to develop this content when it is a failed project. Portals are a burden for remaining out of date and abandoned. I would not want any reader to find the low quality content here. If portals get shut down then I think it should happen on a schedule of about 1 year to give anyone time to collect the information in them for re-integration, if there is anything to salvage. I think that usually there will be nothing to save, but at the same time, the portal project did recruit 1000s of editor hours and I would not want that deprecated lightly and without time for people to respond. The wind-down plan could be 3-months of comments, then 3 months of removing links pointing to portals, 3 months to move portals out of the portal: space with "deprecated" tags, then at 12 months actually delete or mark them so that they would not appear in search engines. Blue Rasberry (talk) 16:45, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strongly Oppose: Many people, including myself have invested many hours to improve and maintain portals. They are usefull to navigate. I propose that all portals which were created should be kept.--Broter (talk) 17:15, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
This is an example of the Sunk cost fallacy. I get that many people have given an admirable effort to keep the portal system going, but this doesn't invalidate the well thought out reasoning for them being made obsolete. Many other elements of Wikipedia have been depreciated in spite of the hard work that users put into them. User:Axisixa [t] [c] 23:23, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
I see this comment by a concerned editor, supporting his edits.. It is demeaning by reduction to say "this is an example of a fallacy" .. when it is his legitimate point of view, and volunteer labor ! A logical fallacy is not adequate to respond here, IMO. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2600:1702:2770:9D0:C4A:68DE:2888:598F (talk) 18:20, 22 April 2018 (UTC)
Yeah, kind of a-holish to coldly label someone's legitimate, not malicious concern as a fallacy... 71.15.110.98 (talk) 01:10, 27 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support The first item on the top right of the main page, is occupied by Portal:Arts, which hasn't been serious updated in years. This is supposed to be a featured portal. It's "supported" by a project whose page hasn't seen any activity since 2016. It's embarrassing. Vexations (talk) 17:24, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
No, what's actually embarrassing is that some editors voting for deletion don't appreciate that Portal content is often made via other templates, which are themselves updated in varying amounts. The portal that forms Wikipedia's Main Page hasn't been edited at all this year yet. Nick Moyes (talk) 13:33, 12 April 2018 (UTC)  
Actually, Portal:Arts, which I hadn't looked at for years, still seems to function fine. The sections have automated rotation of decent lists of articles, the anniversaries are for April. It's like one of those spaceships in Alien and other movies keeping going while the crew are in suspended animation.... It's not a very time-sensitive area, and the reader is still well-served imo, for several visits. Johnbod (talk) 16:16, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support despite adding these things for years and creating many see here ... it's clear that these have failed and do not serve their function as intended.--Moxy (talk) 17:36, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support They're outdated and the updating of them takes away from precious time that could be spent making 'Outline' articles. These are much better and avoid duplicate and outdated content on portals. I find that most people don't use portals either, rather using the search function or the main articles themselves which can act as portals. For example if wanting to know about economics I would go to the Economics article rather than the outdated Portal:Economics – Craig Davison (talk) 17:40, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Largely unused an unmaintained. An outdated idea that the community clearly does not care to continue supporting. Beeblebrox (talk) 18:04, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Minimally delete the internal spam from every article directing the reader to the related portals. --RAN (talk) 18:11, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Conditional Support - Support end of portals system as we currently understand it; Oppose deletion of the portals by default - I recently had a conversation about portals with a group of people learning to contribute. A couple of them stumbled upon portals and loved the idea. Sure enough, when I looked at the particular portals they mentioned, they hadn't been updated in years. (Portal:Speculative fiction was one of them that I remember off-hand). Talking a bit more about what they liked about portals, three things stood out: (1) it has a lot of related content gathered together for a particular subject, (2) it was useful to find articles to work on and to get a better feel for the state of Wikipedia's coverage of that topic, and (3) it was much more visually appealing/inviting/useful than a WikiProject page. In other words, portals served them primarily as editors, not as readers, and that's not the way we current understand/use portals. For that reason, I'm supporting. However, it's a partial support because I oppose deletion of the portals by default -- they should be moved to relevant WikiProject subpages by default, and MfDed selectively where the WikiProject does not wish to retain them. I would love to see the portals system reconceived as a way to make WikiProjects more engaging to new editors (or any editors), maybe even thinking about using the main WikiProject page as a sort of portal to a subject. Of course, none of this is to say the outcome of this RfC should in any way mandate that any WikiProject do anything differently. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 18:10, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
    • If the portals are all deleted, it would be a Good Thing if the Wikiprojects were notified with "heads up; the following portals are about to go away. Feel free to move them to subpages of your Wikiproject before that happens." --Guy Macon (talk) 18:21, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
      • @Guy Macon: I'm sorry, but that's not very logical. The portals should instead be tagged with {{historical}} in order to preserve their page histories. ToThAc (talk) 18:08, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
        • What part of "If the portals are all deleted" are you having trouble understanding? --Guy Macon (talk) 21:45, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support obsolete with respect to top articles in their subject. Don't delete, but mark as historic, lock them down (full protection), and force de-linking from content namespaces. --Dirk Beetstra T C 18:15, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support - efforts should be directed elsewhere, where they are more useful. Tazerdadog (talk) 18:16, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support – but move portal pages into Wikipedia/user space automatically or on request. Best, Kevin (aka L235 · t · c) 18:22, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong Support - I find that portals are almost entirely useless. Delete as such. Beyond My Ken (talk) 18:24, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Since there are people here apparently without a lick of commonsense, I guess I should be explicit that I would exempt the Current Events portal, and -- as much as I love to disdain the Main Page --I would also exempt the Main Page. Sheesh, people can be so damned literal sometimes. Beyond My Ken (talk) 02:47, 18 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose - I have never edited the Portal namespace, and I find many of the linked examples to be profoundly useless. However, I don't feel that cutting non-harmful features benefits the project. With a clear proposal to migrate some of these to be part of WikiProject pages, I would be neutral on this proposal. Without such a proposal, I must oppose. power~enwiki (π, ν) 18:30, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
    • [EC] I do feel that cutting non-harmful but useless features benefits the project. While looking over the technology portals I ran into a sneaky POV criticism of Al Gore that was put there when he was running for president. Because editors almost never read them but some users do, Portals are a great place to hide spam, BLP violations, etc. --Guy Macon (talk) 18:36, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
what if Portal A was redirect to Outline of A. This was the name function still directs readers to an overview/index of a topic.--Moxy (talk) 18:33, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
No problem with that if [1] Outline of A exists and isn't abandoned and [2] Portal A is seeing more traffic than we would expect from bots and mis-clicks. --Guy Macon (talk) 22:40, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Reform may be due (which I would be happy to discuss later if this discussion shifts and does not pass), but I do not think abolition is the way to go. — Godsy (TALKCONT) 18:43, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
I’d be interested to know how we would reform an area that is more or less abandonded. The community and the readers seem to have made it clear they don’t find these particularly useful, we can’t force anyone to look at them or maintain them. Beeblebrox (talk) 23:59, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
Guns. We need squads of heavily-armed thugs who will kick down the doors of Wikipedia editors who aren't working on what we want them to work on and hold a gun to their head until they comply. Not a practical solution, you say? How do you explain the immense popularity worldwide of similar systems? :( --Guy Macon (talk) 22:46, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support — For contentious issues with a strong political POVs it a can be a real problem to maintain a political balance. Take for example Portal:Genocide a far better portal name is Portal:Human rights, but POV warriors prefer labelling "crimes against humanity" genocide for various reasons which include style (shorter more punchy name), blame game, and legalistic (genocide so defined by treaty, crimes against humanity are in part defined by custom). Given the problems of eyes and maintenance, it is too easy for contentious issues in portals to avoid the sort of scrutiny that the major articles on an issue receive see for example Portal:Terrorism which suffers from the aliments to which Galobtter referrers. -- PBS (talk) 19:38, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Conditional support Deleting them outright is not OK. In general I'm in agreeance that Portals are ill-maintained and not used often. However some are well-maintained, useful for some, and the editors worked very hard on them. They should be userfied, or moved as a subpage of a WikiProject. At the very least, every WikiProject needs to be notified that their related portal is doomed, and let them decide what to do with it. Please don't blindly delete all of them. MusikAnimal talk 19:39, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support: I have always thought of portals as redundant and even confusing sometime. They more or less usually look like historical archives due to outdated information with some having information dated over a decade ago. Also they generally duplicate WikiProjects pages which are more lively and better maintained. I am neutral on deleting/merging/moving or whatever, but I believe it is time for "Portals" to go. –Ammarpad (talk) 19:51, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Portals are rarely used or maintained, and they don't jell with the interface or how most readers/editors navigate. Readers want to 'click-through' straight to content. Outline articles and interlinking within standard articles offers this and makes portals obsolete. Cesdeva (talk) 20:06, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support. These are largely useless and not well maintained. Natureium (talk) 20:14, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support: they are redundant to other means of navigation, mostly poorly maintained, and in some areas provide a view of the structure of the underlying topic that is not neutral and by the nature of portals not sourced. Peter coxhead (talk) 20:27, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support because they are usually poorly watched they are a magnet for POV pushing and craziness. I had a heck of a time with a Portal on ISIL as there was no good way to keep it from turning into almost terrorist advertising. I finally got it redirected. The only reason selected Portals get significant traffic is because they are prominately linked. I've NEVER been directed by Google to a Wikipedia portal and you have to click a search box to find portals in internal search. Portals are so 15 years ago, the internet moved on a long time ago. Legacypac (talk) 20:40, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support: Poorly maintained, rarely useful, few views except the eight portals on Main Page, not worth editor resources. "Page information" under "Tools" shows page views in the past 30 days. I compared some random portals to their main article, e.g. Portal:The Simpsons 527 views versus The Simpsons 235,536 views. The main portal page gets 0.2% of the views of a single covered article. My other examples: Portal:Cricket 1,527/185,133 = 0.8%, Portal:Tennis = 943/64,213 = 1.5%, Portal:Cars 2,213/91,460 = 2.4%, Portal:Greece 963/223,193 = 0.4%, Portal:Dance, 1,421/60,807 = 2.3%, Portal:King Arthur 373/166,466 = 0.2%, Portal:Microsoft 2,646/230,201 = 1.1%. PrimeHunter (talk) 21:18, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support deprecating them. They are utterly useless, and like many dead-end ideas from the early days, become more and more of a maintenance burden as time goes on. Next let's axe the sidebars, outlines, and bibliographies.
However, I don't think mass-deletion is going to work (it rarely does). Instead I'd suggest updating any relevant guidelines to say they are obsolete, then introducing a speedy deletion criteria along the lines of "pages in the portal namespace that are no longer actively maintained". – Joe (talk) 21:37, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
Very hard to get a new CSD approved but with a clear RFC result that would be a good mechanism to remove them systematically. Perhaps X3? We should statt by removing them from the top of the mainpage - the most important real estate for the least important namespace on the project. That will drop traffic on the portals a lot. Legacypac (talk) 21:44, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support - As sad as it is, no one seems to care about portals anymore. I hepled get P:MDRD to Featured Portal status (a process which has been shut down due to inactivity) and also maintain P:USRD every month for the past several years. While I value putting in time to keep the portals updated every month, unfortunately not many other editors care enough to contribute to the portals. Several years ago, many editors would contribute to P:USRD and offer suggestions for selected articles, pictures, and Did you know? hooks, which would make the portal easy to update every month. In recent years, there are very few suggestions for content which usually leads me to have to dig for stuff every month. Perhaps we could reduce the maintenance of portals and have them just randomly generate content and change every time they are refreshed, P:MDRD does this for selected pictures and Did you know? hooks. If no one cares enough to keep portals updated, then maybe it is time to get rid of them. However, I would not want to delete the entire portal namespace but would rather mark all pages in portal namespace as historical and remove links to them from article space. By doing this, we could still keep the attribution of the history of the portal namespace rather than delete a large portion of Wikipedia history. Dough4872 21:41, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support - as it appears they are largely pointless in the current environment. Only in death does duty end (talk) 21:43, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support per above. Largely useless, with dubious value to readers. -FASTILY 21:45, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Conditional support I feel that portals result in additional maintenance time that could probably be better invested elsewhere on the project. However, interested editors should be given an opportunity to migrate the content elsewhere, and the portals should not be outright deleted right away. --Rschen7754 22:39, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose no strong reason to do so and it'd be more of a pain to implement than it is worth. The portal namespace isn't that useful, but I see this proposal as being about equal in usefulness to the namespace as a whole (namely, not very...) When the two options are both washes, there is no reason to change. Change for the sake of change is pointless. TonyBallioni (talk) 22:42, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Alternative – Why don't we just encourage editors to de-link portals that are unmaintained when they encounter them? Then if someone cares that will prompt them to do some maintenance. Dicklyon (talk) 22:57, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
Because well meaning but not clued in editors will revert them, and keep add portal links without realizing what a disservice they are doing. Legacypac (talk) 00:07, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support There's no reason to let this largely useless part of the encyclopaedia continue to exist and just create problems for readers as well as editors. That said, I'd be open to migrating some content to wikiproject pages (on a case by case basis) if editors find a need . —SpacemanSpiff 23:34, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Portals are obsolete, even the one I helped create and tried to maintain for quite some time has become an irrelevant mouldy pile of arbitrary stuff. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 23:52, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strongly Oppose: Portal are useful way for people to find information quickly and should be left alone. IQ125 (talk) 12:30, 8 May 2018 (UTC)

9 April 2018[edit]

  • Support, unfortunately. They aren't a well-maintained part of the encyclopedia, and updates to most portals come very infrequently. The vast majority of page views are to the main articles themselves, as described above, and the portals are an afterthought. The featured portals process was abolished recently for a similar reason. However, I do think these portals should be archived, whether as Wikipedia project pages or in some other format. epicgenius (talk) 01:58, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose While they are most definitely obsolete, I don't like having to get rid of a piece of our history. The namespace is generally unseen and unused by the public, anyway. I suggest we use Template:Historical instead. Create a bot job to put it on all "Portal:" pages, and, if so desired, all "Portal talk:" pages, too. Gestrid (talk) 02:01, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support - Wikipedia is losing editors, and it therefore does not make sense to expend effort on a portion of the encyclopedia that is barely used and whose function is already accomplished better by other pages. User:Axisixa [t] [c] 02:15, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support but do not delete any relevant pages (just mark them as historical instead) - Portals have outlived their usefulness. They were a great idea in the past, but as both Wikipedia and the internet have evolved, they have become moribund. It's true that many had been the result of hard work, but perhaps such energy could better be devoted into our own articles. There have been suggestions that Portals could be more active if they were instead operated by bots, but that wouldn't solve the other main problem (in that no one uses them). With that said, I'm against mass deletion of portals since they did serve some historical value: they could instead simply be marked as historical. As for the Main Page portals, they could simply be moved into the Wikipedia namespace. Narutolovehinata5 tccsdnew 03:18, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support deletion per the above. I would not mind archiving them in the Wikipedia namespace and marking them as historical, but I don't feel very strongly about it, so don't mind if they're deleted outright either. Double sharp (talk) 04:00, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support - these have long outlived any value they might once have had. Neutralitytalk 04:27, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support - Most are no longer maintained, and we should concentrate our work where it matters, on the article pages. Kaldari (talk) 04:29, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support, these were never really popular, and it is high time that they be formally deprecated. Trimming useless or unused features is essential to manage bloat and keep the 'cost' of maintenance down. Lankiveil (speak to me) 04:31, 9 April 2018 (UTC).
  • Support. Portals should be redirected to the index or outline of their parent topic, if possible, rather than deletion, but they should definitely be deprecated. ♠PMC(talk) 06:08, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose I just sampled a few portals and they all seemed reasonably well-constructed and helpful for navigation. Deleting such hard work would not encourage activity elsewhere. Per WP:BITE, such hostile action would tend to discourage voluntary effort by showing that such hard work can be casually deleted by a flash mob on a whim. I'm not seeing any benefit or necessity for this. Andrew D. (talk) 06:22, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
    I understand this argument, but the problem is that portals are usually constructed by one or two enthusiastic editors who then move on to other activities or leave Wikipedia. Once they aren't maintained, their usefulness tends to diminish rapidly. We should not be encouraging editors to build stuff that in the long run is not useful to readers. Peter coxhead (talk) 06:48, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Consider the articles created by Coxhead such as James Eustace Bagnall. These get little maintenance now and, in any case, get few readers -- maybe one or two a day. When their enthusiastic creator moves on, shall we delete those too on similar grounds? Is Wikipedia only for high traffic, high maintenance pages like Kim Kardashian? All that other obscure stuff just gets in the way, right? Why not just delete everything that isn't vital and focus on getting that right before allowing anyone to start anything else? Andrew D. (talk) 13:17, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
A low-traffic target page hardly has the same maintenance reliance as a portal (which we intentionally try and funnel readers through en-masse). Cesdeva (talk) 15:05, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
@Andrew Davidson: you didn't pick a good example in James Eustace Bagnall – he's long dead, and the information in the article isn't going to change. I can give you better examples for your argument, e.g. Ponerorchis cucullata, where there's active research going on and the generic placement has changed recently and might change again, requiring the article to be moved and updated. But portals are different, as Cesdeva says. Since they deliberately cross-connect multiple articles they necessarily need regular maintenance, as relevant articles appear, get moved, get promoted or demoted, etc. Peter coxhead (talk) 16:00, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
Portals for well-established topics like Mathematics don't need to change much. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia not a newspaper and frenetic activity is not required for such pages. The point is that once you start to claim that we can discard pages because they seem to be a backwater then you put most of our content at risk. And Wikipedia is nowhere near finished yet. People are still developing and arguing about structural aspects like infoboxes and Wikidata. It's far too soon to say that everything's settled and we can discard pages which are currently not mainstream. Andrew D. (talk) 16:12, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
Well, we'll have to agree to differ, but the argument is not that portals are a backwater, but that, unlike articles, the nature of most portals means that they don't work well if they are backwaters. Peter coxhead (talk) 16:26, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
No, the argument seems to be that because some portals don't work well, we should destroy them all to make sure that none of them work at all. The main benefit seems to be that we will then have some white space where the portals used to be. Presumably the people who didn't use portals will carry on as before while the people who did like and use them will be infuriated and leave Wikipedia. Me, I'm thinking that the next step should then be to tear down the Village Pump too before we get any more bright ideas like this. Andrew D. (talk) 20:17, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
It's not "some" it is ALL. The topic traffic portals are dismal failures according to our readers considering the have the highest visability links on the project. The readers rejected this failed idea a long time ago. We just need to turn off the lights. Legacypac (talk) 02:01, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
No, that's a fake fact – facile and false. Some actual stats are listed below to refute it. Andrew D. (talk) 23:25, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
You have a funny definition of "false" and "refute". Something linked to on the main page and on thousands of pages and talk pages gets fewer clicks than the word "free" in "Welcome to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit" and your conclusion is that this shows that readers are interested in it? Can you think of anything -- anything at all -- that might serve as an alternate explanation? I'm just saying. --Guy Macon (talk) 23:09, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
The list of main page stats below shows that the link free got over 100K views and that most of the portals got even more traffic. This is good evidence of significant usage. Q.E.D.. Andrew D. (talk) 07:22, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
No it isn't. It is evidence that it has a link from one of the most heavily visited pages on the internet. Put a link to https://zapatopi.net/blackhelicopters/ or http://www.patience-is-a-virtue.org/ in the same place and those pages will get over 100K views. --Guy Macon (talk) 20:50, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Pretty much useless now, per all the above comments. Lugnuts Fire Walk with Me 07:08, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Selective support: The prominent Main Page link to a set of fragmented and often outdated resources is inappropriate and should be removed. I would support marking each Portal pages itself with Template:Historical but with any Wikiproject which links to that Portal notified so that they can remove the template if their consensus is that the Portal is active. Any Portal which Projects instead consider so poor as to merit removal can be so requested, presumably via WP:MFD. In 12-18 months time, any "orphaned" historical portals can be checked for usage volumes and considered for MFD. AllyD (talk) 07:44, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Keep some portals including but not limited to the eight linked from the main page, continue maintaining them, and delete the rest. I think there is still some merit to maintaining a few portals about more basic topics, and a number of featured portals still receive a healthy amount of page views, so people are still using them. Portals are prettier than outlines and still serve a limited purpose, IMO. Decreasing the number of portals maintained may be a way forward for them. feminist (talk) 08:15, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support. I've done in a distant past a lot of work on two portals (Portal:Belgium, 29 views a day, and Portal:Comics, 47 views a day), and in retrospect it was way too much effort for very little effect compared to article building / maintenance. I no longer see any benefit in having portals on enwiki. Fram (talk) 08:26, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
But that's still 10,585 and 17,155 people a year respectively who have an opportunity to discover, if they so wish, new topics and sample selected encyclopaedic information in a different way to normal, without having to wade through a lengthy and maybe dull-looking article. Yes, numbers are low on the scheme of things, but there are innumerable Featured Articles like this and this that get less traffic. Shall we delete all low-traffic pages next because they don't attract enough people? The logic makes no sense. Delete a rubbish page because it's flawed and can't be fixed, for sure. But all 1500 Portals (assuming just 50 visitors a day each) still amounts to 27.6 million people a year not having an opportunity to see or discover a broad sample of articles relevant to a topic, usually in a bright, uncomplicated manner, and possibly being enthused enough to learn and study that topic in a way that might even change their direction in life. Why take that away? Nick Moyes (talk) 03:02, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose I watch and edit two portals, Portal:Germany and Portal:Opera, both featured portals, and up-to-date, - why change? --Gerda Arendt (talk) 09:46, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
    While you maintain the portals, there may be some point. But the problem is that portals don't continue to be maintained, as noted repeatedly above. Note also that the Germany portal gets less than 1% of the number of views that Germany does. So the value to readers in relation to the work required by editors is grossly disproportionate. Peter coxhead (talk) 10:20, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
I am not alone, maintaining takes me 3 minutes on days that have DYK related to Germany. It takes someone else 3 minutes to update the news. Why not? To compare portal and country is like apples and pears, - where on the country article would a reader get news and DYK? Some hundred look per day, enough for me to invest 3 minutes now and then. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 12:30, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support They are dead (as a whole). Let's do the honours. Although I would not cry my eyes out at the sight of their deletion, I would find it disrespectful for them to be deleted -- mark as {{historical}}. talk to !dave 10:45, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support not updated, old, hardly viewed, and not a central part of our mission.--Tom (LT) (talk) 11:00, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose as written, but would Support a purge of some poor portals. -- Iazyges Consermonor Opus meum 13:15, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose to Strong Oppose - although many support arguments appear to have quite rational argumentation - It is bit like some who cannot cope with having projects on talk pages - project tags help the process of evaluation - the linked nature of things seems to be lost on most above. Portals can have moribund content and appearance but they are excellent links to a more complex process - where latin names of phenomenon have category pages with no attempt at explaining as to whether they are rock, plant or animal - portal links are useful to clarify the context of many pages in complex category trees that are otherwise too labyrinthian for the average user. Portals are useful, but for whatever reason, those who visit seem to think otherwise, a small problem with dismantling parts of a structure, what is suggested next? Take care with such a suggestion, I would suggest threshold of this argument needs to be considered very carefully. JarrahTree 13:38, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
Can you give an example of such a latin name category page and how a reader might arrive there without knowing whether it's about rocks/plants/animals? As an editor (when fixing categorization problems) I wouldn't rely on the portal link being correct. DexDor (talk) 21:03, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
reply to DexDor - having been through birds, and other category page main spacetagging - I believe that some indication on a category page reduces potential confusion as there some binomial latin phrases could be a plant or a bird. I have not found deliberate or accidental project mis-tagging. JarrahTree 09:11, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
I still don't understand how you think people would end up on a category page without knowing whether it's about a plant or a bird. "project mis-tagging" presumably refers to tagging by wikiprojects on talk pages which is a different thing to putting portal links on article/category pages. DexDor (talk) 20:43, 22 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support I think the efforts expended in maintaining them can be better used elesewhere. S a g a C i t y (talk) 16:25, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose If the proposal here is broad deletion of all, that can and will only end in a mess (see this, followed by this, followed by this this) - extensive one fell swoop, hacking away of multiple pages just is bad for the project, and we do it badly. Some pedians have expressed interest in some of these even in this discussion (over many years) - so, I support those pedians -- I also might support things like removal of links from the Main Page, etc. but I cannot support this. Alanscottwalker (talk) 18:26, 14 April 2018 (UTC) Adding, I agree with User:Kmhkmh, below, we don't delete pages that don't get many views, we don't delete pages that don't get many edits (besides, here once the page is set-up, there are many that don't need a bunch of edits -- once a page is complete, it's complete) and we especially don't delete pages, because 'someone else works on them but not me'. Alanscottwalker (talk) 13:52, 11 April 2018 (UTC) See, WP:NEGLECT, WP:NOBODYREADSIT and WP:IDONTLIKEIT, showing the invalidity of the delete arguments -- adding, that never in Wikipedia history has there been mass deletion like this because it runs afoul Wikipedia:Editing policy. -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 10:41, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Outline articles are more efficient. Would not oppose some method of archival for portals that have been maintained up until at least the past month and archival with deactivation for those maintained up until a year ago, but definitely deletion for those that haven't been maintained in over a year. Ian.thomson (talk) 17:26, 9 April 2018 (UTC) Edit: Broter has (perhaps inadvertantly) provided good evidence that selective action (deleting some but not others) would result in increased bias in the portal area. Whatever action is taken (be it deletion or archival) should be unilateral and affect all portals in an identical manner. Ian.thomson (talk) 20:14, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support, they are obsolete, and most are not maintained. Side bars and end bars provide a similar service and do a better job at it. Kierzek (talk) 17:58, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support. Portals are largely unviewed and unmaintained. I do think they should be marked as historical rather than deleted outright (though deletion should be an option in some cases). Plantdrew (talk) 19:08, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support per Axisixa. Portals (operating like topical main pages) make sense when you have a group of editors (like a WikiProject) actively curating them. The portals (like the Main Page) aren't configured to be static. Because of that, their utility degrades over time and deletion makes sense when they aren't being updated. Maybe if the WMF had done more to retain our "wild west" editors from 2005-2008, we wouldn't be short-staffed and deprecating stuff now. Chris Troutman (talk) 20:24, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose We shouldn't be deleting pages because (i) they don't receive many page views, or (ii) they haven't been well maintained. How do readers benefit from this proposal? Some readers must find portals useful, and this proposal seems like the wrong solution to specified issues. PaleCloudedWhite (talk) 20:51, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
    • PaleCloudedWhite, what's your basis for believing that they are useful to some readers? (The mere fact that people sometimes click on them isn't enough, since you click before you know whether the page will be useful to you.) Is there a particular type of reader that you think they'll be more useful to? WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:05, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
      • And what is the basis for people's assertions that they are not of any use to readers? Do the same editors make such assertions about particular articles, and that therefore they also should be deleted? PaleCloudedWhite (talk) 06:41, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
        The incredibly low readership of portals - even the 8 linked off the top of the mainpage - proves they are not useful to readers who vote with their clicks. Also every person voting here is a reader too and I've yet to see anyone really say they use portals. The objections are around preserving history or some useful bits or not offending the creators. Legacypac (talk) 06:51, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
        Portal:Christianity has received an average of 139 pageviews per day over the last 90 days - is that an incredibly low figure? Of all the articles that I've created, the most read is Dark Hedges, which over the same period has received an average of 119 pageviews per day.[1] Obviously Dark Hedges is useless to readers too and should be deleted, along with all the other articles that I have created, as they have even less readership. I am reminded of David Attenborough's comment on public service broadcasting, which he said should "cater for the broadest possible range of interests, popular as well as less popular, a network that measures its success not only by its audience size but by the range of its schedule". PaleCloudedWhite (talk) 07:05, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
        Thank-you for that comparison as it should help you understand my point and might make you change your vote. 119 pages a day for page with 16 inbound wikilinks about a row of trees is impressive (and an impressive article). We don't need to delete Dark Hedges because it is meeting a need. 139 views a day on Portal:Christianity is indeed incredibly low given it is an an extremely important topic of global interest where the portal is wikilinked from a HUGE number of pages (I gave up counting at around 30,000 page). There are so many ways to get to Portal:Christianity that 139 views a day could be mostly bots and accidental clicks. Legacypac (talk) 07:43, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
        And my point is that we should not be deleting pages based on pageviews, nor using pageviews as a basis for how useful a page is (unless, perhaps, it always receives zero). PaleCloudedWhite (talk) 07:58, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
      • PaleCloudedWhite, you said that "some readers must find portals useful". I am therefore asking: Do you use portals? Do you know anyone who does? Can you think of a hypothetical scenario in which a portal would be particularly useful for some reader? Perhaps a situation in which you personally would bypass other alternatives (search, navboxes, see also, links, etc.) and head straight to the portal? I know why the critics think that portals are not useful (critics look at the low page views, and conclude that if portals with tens of thousands of links on hundreds of articles are attracting such low interest, then realistically, some people are looking at them but nobody's finding them useful enough to seek them out.) The critics may not be correct, but it is a reasonable belief. I want to know why you believe that "some readers must find portals useful". Let's say, arguendo, you're absolutely correct. Let's say that there really are some readers who use them, and let's say that portals really are useful to those readers. Now, which readers are using them, and how are portals useful to them? If we can identify a plausible scenario, some sort of user story, then that might change people's minds about deleting them. Otherwise, I think this type of claim is going to be rejected as motivated thinking (e.g., "I spent a hundred hours on portals, so it can't just be wasted effort. It just can't!"). WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:26, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
        Your last point does not apply to me because I haven't invested time in editing portals. I made the statement about some readers finding portals useful in response to statements higher up the page stating that they are useless. People cannot make such statements; there is no factual foundation. The WMF, as far as I'm aware, has not conducted in-depth market research on how portals may or may not be used by readers, but we do have pageviews showing that some are read at least as much as many articles. That does not quantify to what extent they are useful, nor in what way, but it does establish that they are used. It's really a rather narrow way of looking at something to say, as some have here, 'I haven't read them or edited them much, therefore get rid of them'. I do not look at portals as navigation aids, rather I see them more like the random article feature - showing readers something that they weren't necessarily looking for - but in a more topic-orientated way. If they aren't performing as well as they might, perhaps some thought should be given as to how to improve them and/or give them better functionality. Leaping straight to deletion seems wholly the wrong way to go about this. PaleCloudedWhite (talk) 19:49, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
        Okay, so I'm understanding that you personally don't use them or know anyone who uses them, I don't use them or know anyone who uses them, and nobody in this discussion seems to use them or know anyone who uses them. We also know that portals get remarkably few page views per link. Portal:Food, for example, is linked on more than 8,000 articles, and it gets a mere 400 page views per day. The article on Food, by contrast, is linked on only a third as many articles, but it gets about seven times as many page views. On a view-per-link basis, the encyclopedia article is 20 times more desired by readers than the portal. That limited popularity suggests that portals are not actually "useful to readers". Maybe they could be – I'd personally be happy to find something that worked for readers, and mw:Extension:RelatedArticles might be one option to consider – but the long-term lack of use, in the face of such heavy "advertising" in articles, suggests that portals (as they currently exist) do not seem to be useful to readers (including for entertainment utility). WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:14, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
        We have pageviews that show that people visit portals - that is the only concrete information we have. Everything else is unproveable assumptions, which are not adequate basis for deleting a section of the encyclopedia. So what if Portal:Food gets less visits than Food? It doesn't get zero views. Editors could reasonably have a discussion about why a page might receive less pageviews than another, but it is reckless to use such comparisons as a basis for deletion. PaleCloudedWhite (talk) 08:02, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
        I frequently use and love the Portal:Current_events. I find it well maintain and a very useful source of news that links me to the relevant articles about news items. Sisksyr (talk) 15:21, 6 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose Most of the Wikipedia hasn't been well maintained. I don't see how mass deletion of content benefits the project. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 21:00, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
    It seems that any collection of pages will now be subject to deletion. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 07:35, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
    @Hawkeye7: Are there any reasons other than mass deletion for which you're opposing? Much of the other editors here (including myself) support only the deprecation of portals, not outright deletion, so I politely ask you to either change or justify your vote. ToThAc (talk) 18:15, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
    That is not the consensus. And it's the people who haven't been here for over ten years and haven't done any work on portals but still post cursory support votes who need to justify why their comments should not be stricken. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 23:51, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
    1. There is a mechanism for the deletion of portals, and that is WP:MfD. This is a deliberate attempt to do an end run around our processes, and for a reason: none of the arguments advanced here would be acceptable at MfD. ie WP:NEGLECT, WP:NOBODYREADSIT and WP:IDONTLIKEIT. Could the portals benefit from more automation? Certainly. Is that a reason to delete anything at all? No.
    2. The proposal violates our first pillar, that Wikipedia is an encyclopaedia. It is not enough that information be listed. It has to be organised as well. That is why we have portals and, less usefully, categories.
    3. When writing articles, content creators often focus on a whole series of articles on a particular subject area. Portals and topics are often the locus or goal of such efforts. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 05:35, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
    Can you clarify what you mean by "mass deletion of content"? Portals mostly consist of just a copy (possibly out of date and copied without attribution) of the lede of an article surrounded by some pretty formatting and links. Hence, deleting a portal doesn't delete encyclopedia content (facts that are of use/interest to readers). DexDor (talk) 20:02, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
    That's not true. The attribution to the original article is clear, just as it is in TFA. Attribution is required when you're copying a block of text from one article to another. The portals are encyclopaedic content, there's a lot more involved than you think, and the reasons given, ie low traffic and lack of maintenance apply to most of the encyclopaedia and are not valid grounds for mass deletion of content. What value is there in contributing articles under such a regime? Hawkeye7 (discuss) 23:51, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support. It seems that better systems of directing users around has become the norm and in falling out of use they have become stagnant. Even looking at Portal:Arts the most highly trafficked portal (due to a link on the main page), it appears to have almost no editor activity (edited twice in 5 months). I'd support removing all mainspace links and adding a historical template to all of the portal pages as a good compromise (preferred choice). — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 21:33, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support - I checked my edit pie chart & in my 12 yrs on the 'pedia, I've made only 5 edits (2 on main, 3 on talk) to portals. They're basically obsolete & need to be made historical. GoodDay (talk) 21:49, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose - the portal system would greatly benefit from some sort if integration with the main article space to draw more attention to it from readers and editors. Perhaps, every article linked from a Portal page should have a link back to the Portal displayed automatically. We should also move Main_Page to the Portal: namespace. Its hard to convince people to use Portals when such a visible portal page still hasn't moved there yet. -- Netoholic @ 22:58, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support a transition to deprecation. Do not delete anything, they are project history, there may be value in the history. Instead, for each moribund Wikiproject, redirect to the parent article. Exactly as I argue at Wikipedia_talk:Portal#Portals_are_moribund. In short, they are near useless, they are out of date and misleading for people who find them, and they are near worthless time sinks for an editor who feels the desire to update them. Do no merge with WikiProject, most WikiProjects are barely active themselves. User:Abyssal and User:The Transhumanist would like to create an automatically generated indexing/outline and summary system - that would be great, but is not a reason to not deprecate the current form of portals. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 22:59, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
Deprecating and marking historical would allow anything of value to be harvested by active Wikiprojects, or by others outside Wikipedia who may be inspired to create something better, etc. Also, there are design element in these that may be useful to know about. And the wikimarkup and formatting may be useful for some. I cut my page formatting teeth on portals.     — The Transhumanist    12:43, 11 April 2018 (UTC)

10 April 2018[edit]

  • Merge to WikiProjects instead of deleting. Why: There's helpful content in Portals for content organizers, and for readers, and the contents in Portals can often bridge the two groups. E.g. Portal:Mathematics contains some content/structure that is not reflected in either Wikipedia:WikiProject Mathematics nor in Mathematics nor in Template:Areas of mathematics. How: Perhaps we could have a deadline for portal-deprecation, with prominent notices given that all content should be merged before date. After that date, portal namespace could be redirected and frozen, or marked {{historical}} in a unique way. I oppose deletion of the portals and their talkpages. I support removing the 8 big ones from the Main Page, and support redirecting editor energy towards revitalizing WikiProject pages instead of building/maintaining Portals. Quiddity (talk) 00:13, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
    • Quiddity, may I assume that this would happen only after asking the Wikiprojects and getting a positive response? Some Wikiprojects get a bit annoyed when someone messes with their space, an many other Wikiprojects are completely abandon and have nobody to either give permission or raise an objection. --Guy Macon (talk) 21:54, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support. I like the idea of portals, but their execution leaves something to be desired. My main project has a portal that went through the FPo process a few years ago (P:USRD) and now there's really only one editor maintaining it on a regular basis. I agree with some of the others that the content should be merged into the WikiProjects and not deleted outright. –Fredddie 00:20, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong support – I am glad someone did this RFC. I had been thinking for a while and mentioning to editors offsite my opinion about how outdated the concept of Portals were. I used to upkeep two myself, I even have a featured portal. However, in this day and age, I am more the person who wants them to stay but marked historic. They were a nice idea 10 years ago, but really, people can find articles one way or another without a portal. Mitch32(My ambition is to hit .400 and talk 1.000.) 00:59, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support As someone who dabbled a few times in creating portals that didn't seem to stick, I think it would be best to merge useful content into project pages and not leave it to rot away in a forgotten namespace. SounderBruce 01:03, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose in favor of technical overhaul. Specifically, I would like to see a portal system with:
  1. The automatic production of article synopses of the appropriate length when articles relevant to the portal topic are accepted and the ability to edit these synopses if they need improvement.
  2. The automatic addition of these synopses to the pool from which the portal draws its content selections.
  3. The ability to sort or filter the article synopses on the "more articles" page (or "more pictures", "more DYKs").
  4. The criteria portals use to select content should default to chronological rather than random (ie it shows the last article to be featured in that subject).
  5. The automatic addition of DYK hooks after they've been displayed on the Main Page to the pool from which the portal draws its DYK selections.
  6. The automatic addition to the portal's content pool of featured and quality images when they get promoted at Wikimedia Commons.
  7. The automatic generation of an image summary for the featured pictures based on their synopsis at the Commons, but with the ability to edit and improve it if needed.
  8. The ability to automatically pull pictures from DYK articles to be associated with their hooks on the portal.
  9. The ability to randomize all of the individual DYK hooks instead of manually devising "blocks" of hooks.
  10. An automatically generated list of new and recently expanded articles relevant to the subject.
  11. Foundation sanction for direct outreach by Wikiprojects to portal-goers like offering topical reference desks, advertising within-project contests, user adoption drives, etc.
Sorry for the textwall, I just thought it was worth noting that the pro-portal camp has put forth a concrete plan for reform and I think implementing these changes would address most of the ccomplaints people have about our currently busted system. Abyssal (talk) 01:35, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose. (edit conflict) There are portals that are still well-maintained. I like the idea of tagging unmaintained, out-of-date portals with a one-week deletion notice that flags the creator and the associated WikiProject(s) to either save it or let it be deleted. Project members should be allowed to extend the one-week period if editors are in an ongoing discussion about it. Maybe have a WP:Pfd page where portals can be proposed for discussion/deletion? Frankly, I'm surprised at all the support this RfC gets. What's next? Will someone come up with a case to delete little-viewed categories? or low-pageview articles? How about unused helpspace redirects to projectspace? Where does all of this end, and how much of it is due to an objectionable level of deletionism?  Paine Ellsworth  put'r there  01:46, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support. Move all portals into Wikipedia namespace and mark them as historical. Lojbanist remove cattle from stage 03:17, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Weak Oppose per Paine Ellsworth. I've not edited any portals except for italic runs, so they're not an area I work in. But it's odd that this discussion is taking place without alerting every portal's talk page (my apologies if they have been alerted) as well as giving a good notice on Wales' talk page (and again, apologies if it has, I'm not a constant lurker there). This is a major move, to wipe out an entire sub-culture of Wikipedia. Paine comes up with some good "way to go forward"ness. As for his concerns, I have seen, with my own eyes, editors actually contemplating if navboxes (I call them templates) should be removed from the project. They already are banned from the mobile edition of Wikipedia. Lots of us love navboxes, they are the maps of Wikipedia. To create or add to a well-designed topic map feels like artwork. But since navboxes are already banned for 50% or our reader-views, maybe it won't take much to push them over the side. Is that what comes next? As I said, portals are not my thing here, so I don't know the level of work and care that has been put into them. Probably a lot, I'd guess. So this move is pretty major, either way it goes down, which is why every portal talk page should be alerted, so active editors know about it (I mentioned it in a move review and I think, judging from the recent comments to this discussion, that that mention at that move review alerted quite a few active editors that this discussion was going on, let alone that they'd have a chance to read six "that's" in one sentence). This major discussion is likely not very well known in the community. Randy Kryn (talk) 04:10, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support removing the portal links from the Main Page as soon as reasonably possible. I generally support deprecating the portal system, but I think this needs to be a slow, structured process that is developed outside this one-time discussion. There are multiple things that need to be done (e.g., stop making new ones; remove bad ones; re-work supported ones in the mainspace; consider alternatives; stop advertising/linking to them; possibly someday deleting them), and I think that process and an approximate timeline needs to be worked out by a small group of people willing to do the work, rather than being set in stone a single large discussion such as this one. Our goal right now should be setting the direction and some basic parameters. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:19, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support and replace the Main Page links with the corresponding outlines (or how about something completely new and refreshing in the top-right?). Portal space is dusty and fairly dead. The few people who continue to maintain portals could refocus their efforts on other navigational systems, such as navboxes, sidebars, outline pages, and categories. — This, that and the other (talk) 06:18, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I agree with some of the descriptive claims of the supporters. It's true, for example, that I hardly ever edit or use the portals, and I often forget they're even there. But glancing around at a few of them, I don't agree that they're useless — they're a nice way of gathering together related material in a way that catches the eye and sparks interest. It's not a good argument that there are POV problems; there can be POV problems anywhere. --Trovatore (talk) 07:04, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Like many above, I have very rarely edited in the portal space. They have not served their intended purpose many are completely out of the date. It is time to close the book on this chapter of Wikipedia. Prefer the history is maintained and mark as historical rather than delete though. Cheers – Ianblair23 (talk) 08:16, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support. The entire idea appears to have been abandoned. Without editor engagement, the portals serve little useful purpose. Sandstein 10:28, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Not useful and distract from work that is useful. I think the portal-linking templates that litter the bottoms of articles should be deleted, as well as the links from the main page. Wholesale deletion of the portal pages themselves might be too demoralizing for the editors who created them. Calliopejen1 (talk) 12:18, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support: Redundant with both regular articles and categories which can provide better content and navigation. However, I also support the condition that, should this proposal pass, all portal pages be tagged with {{historical}} instead of being deleted. ToThAc (talk) 18:08, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support: I made a proposal to redesign portals, but that's up for a potential eventual return to the concept, if it is accepted. I agree that the portal system, as it is nowadays, does not work and needs to go. However, as requested by others, you should either make portals historical, or give a deadline before deletion. Cambalachero (talk) 19:18, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
  • deprecate and mark as historical. I have been worked on them in small ways, but they do seem moribund now. I would guess the deep linking of search engines is to blame, taking people directly to articles. Also WP is no longer new, and both editors and readers know their way around much better. So I support removing links to them, but they should be kept, as a record of the work on them, and in case anyone one day thinks of a use for them. Maybe one day when WP is lauched on a new medium it needs a totally new front end, and they may come in useful for such.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 20:25, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose. In case of discontinue, existing portals should be preserved.  samee  converse  21:17, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose – There are definitely useful portals on Wikipedia (even if the daily pageviews are only in the hundreds), and even if they are preserved outside a reader-viewable space, they will be made useless even if previously useful and often-updated. Yes, there are many, many useless and deletion-worthy portals of Wikipedia, but there should have been a much larger pre-RfC discussion to consider various approaches to reform (and I do not think this discussion is large or public enough to fit that bill) prior to this proposal of outright abolition given above. Master of Time (talk) 21:28, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support, never really took off, and in recent years they've faded almost totally into obscurity. Many of the opposing comments cite the large amount of time people have spent working on portals, which to me is if anything more reason to scrap them... imagine how much better the encyclopedia would be if all that time was spent actually improving articles! Andrew Lenahan - Starblind 21:59, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose outright deletion. Support marking most of them as historical, similar to inactive projects and other previous good-faith contributions that just no longer work in practise. And as Andrew D.'s numbers below seem to indicate, there is still substantial viewer interest in some of these portals. GermanJoe (talk) 23:45, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
    • We may be confusing cause and effect here. Is the substantial viewer interest because they are useful, or because they are linked from the main page? Would a link with the same link text to an "overview of" page get any less viewer interest? --Guy Macon (talk) 23:57, 10 April 2018 (UTC)

11 April 2018[edit]

  • Support - Most portals are not much of use, as many take too many clicks to access, or so inaccessible that most readers would've found what they have been looking for before seeking the portal. Outside the ten portals linked on the main page, the namespace rarely gets views. I would support marking them as historical, or automate them so it would be low-maintenance. Merging them into WikiProjects is also a good idea.Nova Crystallis (Talk) 00:18, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose This proposal takes deletionism to new levels. It's equivalent to a mass AFC without any communication to the Portals themselves. This wouldn't even happen to an individual article at AFD. There is already a Guideline and a mechanism for the removal of any Portal that's deemed poor or irrelevant. It's at WP:MFD, and that is the route we should follow, not out and out extermination because editors don't like or don't use Portals, or feel nobody else does either. Admittedly, traffic is not high to many, but using page visitor figures as a guide in deciding whether an entire namespace should be deleted seems to go against our principles of access to information. It's as senseless as proposing that all articles with less than a certain visitor count should also be deleted en masse. Many Portals are linked directly from WikiProjects,some of whcih also have low visitor figures. Shall we delete these all, too, whilst we're about it? Just as there are many ways for newcomers to a library to access its content, so Portals offer one alternative route, and often quite a visual selection of introductory topics, giving a look into a broad subject in a way that a dull template at the foot of a page simply doesn't. To be brutally frank, until this RfC I'd never even noticed there were links to Portals from the top of our Main Page. (My eye never wanders up to these banners.) But if content deletion is based on disinterest and low visitor counts from the Main Page, then we should delete Wikipedia:Local Embassy - linked to from the centre of our Main Page, but with visitor counts far lower than each of the linked Portals. If individual Portals are seen as worthless, they should either be flagged as {{historic}}, or put up for a deletion discussion. At the time the 'Featured Portal' scheme was ended in 2017 there were 176 such Featured pages. They can't all suddenly be worthy of mass deletion! Nick Moyes (talk) 00:49, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support. The lack of active maintenance and editor involvement is problematic in some ways beyond merely keeping things up-to-date. There's a small enough community, making few enough edits, that it becomes possible for one editor to create and maintain a topic portal without any meaningful oversight—which leads to potentially serious NPOV issues. Creating a portal allows someone who is careless or unscrupulous to create a content fork, subtly (or not-so-subtly) shifting the tone and emphasis – or even substance – of Wikipedia's presentation of a topic. (And arguing that that's not really a serious problem because so few readers see the Portal pages doesn't really help matters.) TenOfAllTrades(talk) 00:57, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support, for many of the same reasons as the above. My opinion of what should happen: These pages are moved to WP space (WP:Portal/Science) and tagged historical. The portal namespace is summarily removed from the database. --Izno (talk) 02:52, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support – but what will happen to actually useful portals, such as Portal: Current events?  Nixinova  T  C  04:33, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • @Nixinova: It would be deleted per the argument below that this proposal does not go into detail. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 13:29, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
No, any competent closer will see the lack of support for their deletion or marking historical - rfc outcomes don't have to match the original wording and can exclude those specific portals. Galobtter (pingó mió) 13:32, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
I'm sure you have realized by now that you dove headfirst into a huge issue here. It concerns me a bit that you didn't offer up a proposal on what to do if the portals are deleted, there are also other things that editors have pointed out. Are you going to leave this up to the closer on what should or shouldn't be marked as historical? - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 13:51, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong support. While it was created with good intentions (i.e. to be a "Main page" of each subject), it is no longer practical to maintain the same due to lack of interest altogether. Rehman 07:20, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Weak Support Major ones should be kept. Bobherry Talk Edits 04:18, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Detailed proposals needed - it is clear that there is support to make drastic and sweeping changes to the portals system and namespace. What is not clear is the way to do this. This is a massive undertaking that risks causing a lot of disruption to existing infrastructure if not done carefully. I would favour marking such pages as historical, rather than outright deletion (moving pages to WikiProject namespaces is another option, but what if more than one WikiProject have a claim on a portal?). Marking historical retains a record of the contributions made (would removing the portal namespace entirely remove all record of an editor's contributions to that namespace?) and maintains a historical record of the pages. It would also retain the featured portals, which would be a great pity to lose. The point that there should be a deletion notice on each page is also a good one, and that any hard deletion should be done through Miscellany for deletion. It also feels like such a drastic proposal as doing away with an entire namespace needs a series of proposals and RfCs, running for some time and with much publicity to ensure everyone who should get a chance to speak up is afforded that opportunity, and that the whole editing community is notified about the proposed change. Carcharoth (talk) 10:54, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
    • Oppose the proposal as currently stated, mainly because of the number of opposes that have been made since the tagging of the portals for deletion was carried out (as should have been done in the first place) which appears to have drawn a number of people to this discussion to oppose the proposal. It is clear that there are a group of editors who work on some portals and maintain them; deleting the whole namespace rides roughshod over the work that has been done and is still being done in this namespace. Propose reforms, and selectively nominate some portals for deletion at MfD using certain criteria, and mark some historical (maybe even be WP:BOLD and mark inactive portals as historical without any discussion) but at present this proposal is an end-run around the deletion process. Carcharoth (talk) 09:53, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose: Portals are what we Indian cinema editors have been using to categorise the various GAs, FAs and FLs on the basis of language and industry. This because WP:ICTF is one convoluted task force and no-one supports the creation of multiple taskforces for each Indian film industry. --Kailash29792 (talk) 11:35, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment. I have not voted in this RfC because I have no firm opinion either way. All I can say is that the portals don't take up any space on the server. That said, the proof of concept as demonstrated in this RfC seems to reflect a consensus that the community want portals deprecated. The actual process would be complex as illustrated by Carcharoth. Is it worth the effort?Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 11:39, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
    • As far as I can tell, the placing of a notification tag on all existing portals seems to have only just been done today by The Transhumanist (maybe they could confirm?). Any timings for how long this RfC should run for should take that into account. My gut feeling is that moving the pages to WikiProject space is a waste of effort. Better to mark historical and let individual editors and Wikiprojects move what they want to keep. It is trivial (using the same templates and transclusions) to replicate portals in the Wikipedia namespace for those who want to keep something going at a WikiProject or User namespace level. All that is really needed is to remove links from the article namespace to the deprecated portals. Those who keep working on updated navigational content (where ever it is hosted) will add back in links as needed, and the normal editing process takes over from that point (is it useful to readers of the articles, etc.). I shouldn't really start threaded discussion here, feel free to move if needed. Carcharoth (talk) 11:56, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
    • Reply: I placed a notice to this effect at the top of this proposal.     — The Transhumanist    12:05, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support. Content should, were applicable, be moved to WikiProjects, templates, article content, etc. Chicbyaccident (talk) 11:46, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose A Portal is no project, projects should support Portals in creating new content. You always find new articles in the portals. Portals provide overview.--NezLe (talk) 11:50, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
I don't agree that you always find new content in some Portals, but that's not even relevant. But you are right to say they provide an overview - a different way in to a topic if you like. Having provided a taster of articles across a broad sectrum, like many articles here they do not need much modification. If we were to take the approach being proposed here, we would soon be mass deleting every article that hasn't been edited for a year or so and which receives under some unspecified number of visitors per day. How demoralising to all users. I also agree with you that WikiProjects could/should be supporting Portals more - and many are very closely linked - but they are entirely different beasts, and both have their very distinct value in my view. Nick Moyes (talk) 16:48, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose - I find portals useful and a net positive to Wikipedia. No doubt they can be improved, but this proposal is throwing out the baby with the bath water. I also agree with those pointing out the flaws in notifications regarding this proposal. Jusdafax (talk) 11:57, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose as they are the best grouping of related articles that exist, far better for readers than books, categories, WikiProjects, or any other groupings. ɱ (talk) · vbm · coi) 12:08, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Nasty little RFC, this. Oppose wholesale removal or deprecating of entire portal system and favor case-by-case review, per Nick Moyes. Full disclosure: I have worked on Portal:Mathematics content quite a bit in the past. As noted by Andrew D., that portal is not per se out of date, as Portal:Cricket is claimed to be. If a particular portal sucks, improve it or get rid of it, using existing procedures (including proper notice to the portal's talk page). If a portal is well constructed, leave it alone (well… or improve it further, like anything else). If this results in some sort of imbalance, as mentioned above (can't find the exact comment at the moment), then fine, remove the Main Page links (although, of course, that should be discussed on Talk:Main Page and not be decided here). Automation ideas of Abyssal are interesting and should be considered by interested parties. Finally, I think this RFC has been mishandled from the beginning, as apparently none of the portals themselves were notified (on their talk pages) about this until 2 or 3 days into the discussion (and Portal:Society, linked to from the Main Page, still hasn't been notified [edit: was done shortly before I posted my comment]). The propsal as stated seems to me to be (frankly) outrageously overbroad and should not be taken seriously (much less agreed to) until other avenues for improvement (as just mentioned) have been pursued. - dcljr (talk) 12:10, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support with caution. The vast majority are stale, and any that are being kept up to date should be migrated to e.g. a relevant WikiProject. Stifle (talk) 12:17, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose I'm shocked this is even being considered! I'm even more shocked that there seems to be a number of editors that support it. My first caution: don't let a large number of people automatically be considered the consensus. I check Wikipedia multiple times a day and just heard of this proposal this morning. Notification to such a wide base of editors will take some time. In any event, portals are useful and helpful for navigation, provide an outlet for enthusiastic editors to promote their favorite subjects, encourage collaboration between editors, expand Wikipedia with distinct layout and design, and are an excellent source. The argument that many portals are out of date is a sign that we need to have a campaign to update the portals, not delete them--which is my second caution: don't confuse an editing issue with a deletion issue. The solution here lies in editing, not deletion.--Paul McDonald (talk) 12:25, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Article pages function as the default "portal" for article topics on Wikipedia. Existing content on portals should, where applicable, be moved to WikiProjects, templates, article content, etc. Mitchumch (talk) 12:31, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
This suggestion is to completely misunderstand the potential of Portals in providing an alternative and often very visual route into a broad topic, without having to wade through a hugely long, and often tedious article, or visit a complicated WikiProject. Portals are (or should be) a bright window into a broad subject area, allowing the user to 'dip a toe' into topics that might interest or enthuse them. As the main explanation of Portals states: The idea of a portal is to help readers and/or editors navigate their way through Wikipedia topic areas through pages similar to the Main Page. In essence, portals are useful entry-points to Wikipedia content. Compare Mountain or WP:WikiProject Mountains to Portal:Mountain; Biology or WP:WikiProject Biology to Portal:Biology, and Arts or WP:WikiProject Arts to Portal:Arts. I do believe Portals are best off being closely associated with a relevant WikiProject in most cases, even though the latter deliver an utterly different function of focussing editor collaboration. Deleting 1,500 Portals in one go and moving content into a WikiProject would create vast work for absolutely no benefit and similarly misunderstands the purpose of WikiProjects and the role of Portals. Nick Moyes (talk) 14:12, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Dead end, almost entirely unmaintained and out of date, yet included in almost every article. There's several IPs in my watchlist areas that constantly tweak and re-tweak portal bar templates to portals that haven't been updated in 11-12 years. -- ferret (talk) 12:48, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment – some of the portals are actually key projects, such as Portal:Featured content, Portal:Current events (it's Wikipedia's news department), and Wikipedia:Community portal; while Portal:Contents forms the core of Wikipedia's navigation system. Portal:Contents isn't a portal at all, as it is comprised entirely of navigation lists. It was placed in portal space because at the time (over ten years ago), we didn't know where else to put it.     — The Transhumanist    12:56, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support - most are not maintained and thus are misleading to the few readers who seem to actually click on them, support deleting all. - Ahunt (talk) 12:58, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose deletion of all this content. I completely agree that most portals currently do not work, but that is no reason to nuke them all and pretend they never existed. Many collaborations used to be organised through portals, for examples see Portal:Germany/New article announcements or the archives of Portal talk:Poland/Poland-related Wikipedia notice board. Ten years ago, some people tried to use portals as something addressing both readers and editors, trying to showcase the best content in a topic area while attempting to attract further help. The same concept works reasonably well on the German Wikipedia. On the English Wikipedia, portals slowly became sidelined. I assume, however, that some are still alive serving some subcommunities (and for example Portal:Germany/Did you know is very much alive). The suggestion to just delete them all is outrageous and frankly insulting. —Kusma (t·c) 13:14, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support and remove namespace. This has been a long time coming, as the system has very limited usefulness coupled with high maintenance overhead. The category system and See Also links effectively do the same job. Huntster (t @ c) 13:23, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • strong oppose. I find none of the reasons I've seen really convincing to justify a wholesale removal. I don't necessarily have objections in removing (or archiving/moving) most unsupported/unmaintained and outdated portals, but that can (and should) be done on an individual basis. In general portals are helpful for navigation and allow for material and discussion that have no place in the article name space and hence cannot simply be replaced by article on the field in article name space (contrary to claims above). Also on occasion they may provide a function similar to projects. So as long as a portal is supported and the maintainers are happy to do so, I see no reason to shut it down. "Many people don't use it (anymore)" is imho no proper argument and no justification to aggravate the (smaller number of) readers and editors who do.--Kmhkmh (talk) 13:40, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Deleting all of these portals just because some are not up to standards is a terrible proposal per WP:BABY. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 13:41, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose - This proposal is apparently originated from a personal issue with portals. That the portals are not getting updates is not a problem to be resolved via deleting them, the correct way is to devise schemes encouraging the editors to edit the portals.--Mhhossein talk 13:52, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose A properly created portal, properly supported with inbound links, can be much more effective than a google search, or the WP category system, in helping (non-editor) readers find information related to a particular topic. I don't agree that portals should be deleted on the basis that they are (a) often not properly manually maintained and updated; and/or (b) often not much visited. Assuming that the former is the case (and I'm not sure that it is), then automation is the solution. Google has already automated the incorporation of extracts of WP articles into the results of google searches (eg if you google the name of my home suburb, you get a page including an auto-generated infobox with an auto-incorporated up-to-date extract from the Wikipedia article about the suburb). So it's clearly possible for portals to have auto-incorporated up-to-date content. Assuming that portals are not often visited (and, again, I question the assumption), then it seems to me that a large part of the problem is a lack of links from articles to relevant portals. (When I create a new article, I usually include at least one portal link. However, I just randomly visited more than half a dozen substantial articles linked from the main page, and not one of those articles had a portal link.) I agree with the comment above that the solution lies in editing (and, I would add, in automation), not deletion. Bahnfrend (talk) 14:03, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Mixed feelings though I agree that we need to find an incremental way to either depreciate portals (especially those that haven't had significant maintenance or public visibility in the last few years), this should be incremental: first with removing portals from the front page/other main subpages of Wikipedia, and then a gradual process of deletions (could probably be done with PROD on portals with less than 20 pageviews a day). The other option, is to overhaul the infrastructure used for portals, to be driven more by Lua Scripts and Wikidata Queries -- we have much better technology than we did when we first developed them 5-10 years ago: there is benefit in helping folks navigate Wikimedia projects. That being said, the portals have a very low level of demand right now. Sadads (talk) 14:08, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose What the what? I didn't realize this was going on until I saw a portal I have watchlisted tagged by Transhuminist just now. Nobody told me these were outdated when I got Portal:New York City to featured status. All I see here in the supports is that some of them are out of date. Since when do we delete articles that have {{update}} tags on them? I'm not seeing any better reason here. – Muboshgu (talk) 14:13, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
The fact that the Featured portal process itself was marked as historical last year could mean that, while Portals aren't necessarily outdated, there could be a fundamental flaw in the system that might not be easily solved. As I've mentioned elsewhere, portal automation has been proposed, which would probably solve the editing activity problem but might not be enough to solve the readership problem. Narutolovehinata5 tccsdnew 14:18, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
The point is more than that they are outdated, it is that they don't add to the encyclopedia the way an article fills gaps in coverage; are more effort than they are worth; and readers are not particularly interesting in them despite how often we link them. Galobtter (pingó mió) 15:50, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
Of course they don't fill in the encyclopaedia in the same way that an article does - they're not intended to. They're collections of articles which should provide a visual taster and a route in to a wide selection of subjects falling under that Portal's umbrella. More effort than they're worth? Explain please. Interest and deletion arguments are being based purely on numbers again. Like a child at school - if you can open one child's eyes to the wonder of a subject like science, geography, the moon, or whatever, that's a real success. So supporters neeed to demonstrate that all Portals turn users away, or fail to let them access articles, or that the server drain is just too high - then they might have a valid argument for mass deletion. But no-one has. It's all WP:JUSTDONTLIKEIT as far as I can see. Regarding 'outdated' - I do think there could be an argument to deprecate the use of 'News' sections within portals, or at least to have a guideline to remove these templates if not regularly updated. Nick Moyes (talk) 17:10, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose Per TonyB. They aren't in the way, and deal with POV nonsense on a case by case basis. L3X1 ◊distænt write◊ 14:31, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Portals are not redundant, they are complimentary and should they be depreciated, deletion is the wrong approach.--John Cline (talk) 14:54, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strongest Oppose. Stating low readership or out of date is a reason for mass deletion is a very very slippery slope. Stats provided by Andrew D. showed that there is plenty of readers and interest in this namespace. Stats and numbers don't lie, and far better than anecdotal comments. It's also hard to imagine that only new readers would stumble upon portal pages (a classic strawman argument), as Wikipedia has been around for 17 years and portal has been around for 13 years. What's needed is to make it more useful and attract more attention, not deletion. I'm also very displeased with this sneaky RfC which didn't consult with portal individuals before proceeding with RfC. OhanaUnitedTalk page 14:59, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
    • It was posted at Wikipedia talk:Portal#Ending the system of portals, which is probably the single best place to reach people who care about the portal system (rather than just the portal for one subject). It appeared there one minute after the RFC began. It was also posted at WP:CENT within minutes, and of course at three different RFC lists. It sounds like you didn't happen to see it during the first 72 hours, but this was properly advertised. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:05, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
      • That was posted only after RfC began, and doesn't demonstrate any willingness to discuss with portals to address the issue. Rather, the intention was to delete them all from the get go. OhanaUnitedTalk page 13:15, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Neither low readership nor low updating rates are any reason to delete portals. Wikipedia is never complete, it is always being updated. There are many, many articles with low readership and low revisions, - that does not mean they should be deleted either. If Portals serve just a small section of the general readership, that is a good enough reason to keep them. In fact, a portal in need of updating may just prod some reader into editing. Simon Burchell (talk) 15:12, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support. I was editing Wikipedia for quite a while before I was even aware of portals. I came across Portal: Science by following the edit history of a vandal and discovered that many of the "Selected Articles" had been vandalised, some going back many years, and no one was monitoring this. I took it upon myself to watchlist all of the selected articles pages and for many years appeared to be the only one doing so (thankfully, there are a couple of others now). Since then, nearly all the edits I've seen on selected articles has been vandalism, mostly from schools. It would seem that pupils in some schools are being pointed towards our portal pages for research. It is not such a problem if navigation page vandalism goes unfixed for a while, but it is a big problem if article information is corrupted and lies unfixed. That directly harms our reputation. The problem with selected articles is that they contain encyclopaedic information, but are not in mainspace. They are summaries of mainspace articles. I might be tempted to support keeping the portal namespace if these selected article summaries were directly transcluded from the mainspace lead, but the current system just encourages vandalism and errors to remain unfixed for years. Also, as many others have commented, I oppose deletion of Portal:Contents. Many users, especially, lets say, of a certain age, will expect a contents page to help them navigate and it is the second from top selection in the navigation menu. SpinningSpark 15:50, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose deletion of existing portals. While I am not exactly opposed to the prevention of new portals being created, deleting the hard work of many editors, past or present, is going way overboard. "I put lots of hard work into this" is not an acceptable 'keep' argument at AfD, but I think it is when it comes to coverage of notable topics, in a non-article mainspace, from a project which is about collecting and giving access to the sum of all human knowledge. There are lots of portals which are brilliant and fascinating; they have a lot of potential for "random fact of the day"-type learning. And many need no further maintenance.
    However, it may be worth deprecating the project in some way which indicates to new editors, or those just stumbling across portals one day, "if you've got time to invest in Wikipedia, we'd prefer you invest it elsewhere". Even this is quite an extreme measure—we are all volunteers and can choose any (productive) way to contribute that we like.
    As for what should or shouldn't be featured on the main page or the sidebar, that's a discussion for elsewhere. The main page is in dire need of serious overhaul, but for what it's worth I think randomly linking to (former?) featured portals would be a fun thing to do, since this fits in with the TFA, DYK etc. theme of promoting obscure information and springboards to learning something completely new. Bilorv(c)(talk) 16:00, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose There is value in a portal system, especially for topics that don't change much, because it can give a reader a broad sense of the topic without wading through an article. I look at Portal:Mountains as a great example of what an overview of a topic could be, as well as a place to recognize featured and quality content. I do think that Portals probably work best when connected to a WikiProject, but I don't like the idea of a mass deletion. --Enos733 (talk) 16:14, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose. While we don't gain much from portals existing, we gain nothing from getting rid of them. Their continued existence has more merit than deleting them, and given the volunteer nature of wikipedia, it's not like effort that goes or went into them would automatically be routed elsewhere. GRAPPLE X 16:25, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support. I've always found portals to be a bad idea, often pushing POV or ideology, and generally misleading. I think we'd be better off without them. :bloodofox: (talk) 16:46, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • I respect your opinion but want to remind you that there are sometimes many editors on any given project and not all of the portals are alike. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 16:52, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • If that's true (and I'm not saying that it isn't), that is an indication of an editing issue and not a deletion issue.--Paul McDonald (talk) 18:12, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose – the very fact that this RfC has generated a massive response shows that portals are being watched, used, and read. Those who do not watch portals are free to ignore them. – S. Rich (talk) 17:40, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support - specifically, deprecate, have bots mark them all as historical, and in time convert them to Outlines or Indexes to serve as centralized "See also" listings per topic.
They don't further our goal of being an encyclopaedia. For me, this isn't about whether they are well-maintained, and applies equally to Portal:Arts. Portals are intended to help users stumble upon quality material on random subtopics within a field. That's not a goal I care about or think Wikipedia should pursue. I like Finnusertop's proposal of topic-specific reference desks managed by WikiProjects, but that seems like a whole new idea, not an adjustment of portals. Daask (talk) 18:38, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose while some portals have been left behind (happens with WikiProjects also), some portals are still maintained regurarly and I wouldn't support just deleting them. I find some of them useful, but if the majority is supporting - I would hope the content of the portals will be moved to another nameroom. --Pelmeen10 (talk) 19:11, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support. They are not helpful to our readers and divert the attention and efforts of editors that would be better spent in article improvement. -- 19:16, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
    — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ssilvers (talkcontribs) 19:16, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strongly Oppose: I am using portals.--Maxim Pouska (talk) 19:21, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support - by the way, there is presumably some canvassing going on - someone left a message on my talk page asking me to !vote to keep portals. But I really don't think that's the best use of resources. There was a heyday ten years ago when most of them were being well-maintained. Now, they are either poorly maintained or have been long-since automated and are never touched or updated. With fewer people trying to maintain more content, portals are just an opportunity for POV forks of controversial issues. --B (talk) 19:40, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strongly Oppose: portals are a great way for understanding a topic or for finding your way around a topic quickly and I use them a lot. They are also a valuable tool that helps WikiProject teams to coordinate the creation, expansion and improvement of topic-related articles. Many portals are excellent. To delete all portals because some are of poor quality or not well-maintained is an WP:ALLORNOTHING approach that throws out the baby with the bathwater. The focus should be improvement, not deletion. That's no different from Wikipedia in general. We wouldn't delete all articles just because many need further work! --Bermicourt (talk) 19:44, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support – The only reason I click on portal links is to get to the pages for their related WikiProjects. There are definitely significant issues related to how often they're updated. Take this subpage on the Florida portal: Portal:Florida/Exemplary content. A few days ago I decided to add some recently promoted Florida-related featured article links to it, but I stopped when I realized that my edits were the first ones made to it in 8.5 years. When pages like this get severely out-of-date, it can cause problems. These problems can be avoided if we get rid of portals and put more focus on maintaining and updating WikiProject pages. Jackdude101 talk cont 19:44, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Portals have many functions, as I point out below. Even many of the people who want to delete portals see some valuable content in them that needs to be preserved. Here's an idea: why not leave the content where it is? Contrary to the opinions of many here, portals don't really need a lot of maintenance after they are set up. And they take up very little space. Compare them with navboxes: they often add a lot of clutter to a page and contribute to overlinking, making the page load more slowly – yet you can only delete one if there are no articles transcluding it. Portals add just one link to each page, yet the supporters of this proposal are holding them to a higher standard of usage. RockMagnetist(talk) 21:34, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Opposed While it is necessary to eliminate obsolete software. it is more important not to eliminate the articles associated there on. And though I am in agreement with the elimination of portals that have ceased to function for the purpose that it was originally designed for, however, the elimination of the articles in association with those links should be made with extreme caution.
    Having edited and submitted edits on more than one of these articles; I know that the amount of time place in the study, research, writing and submission process is quite lengthy, due care needs to be taken when entertaining to proposal of elimination of any article. Consequently, I suggest that the 'portals' be reviewed individually, on an article to article basis, rather than the absolute deletion of everything.
    Birdymckee (talk) 21:34, 11 April 2018 (UTC) BirdyMcKee 11 April, 2018 14:34 hrs [Pacific Time] This comment by Birdymckee was moved to here from a section lower on this page by User:Dcljr in order to keep the discussion from becoming fragmented. Some minor reformatting was necessary to harmonize the comment with the surrounding discussion.
  • Oppose. Portal Poland, just an example, is the best place to go to when in need of having some foreign placename or a piece of difficult text confirmed as properly translated. BTW, is the Foundation running out of space or something? Poeticbent talk 21:40, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
    Server space is definitely not an issue for the WMF, and deleting things does not free up space, but actually adds to it, as everything is kept on Wikipedia (e.g. deleted pages are viewable by admins) and this would just add data to deletion logs etc. But I don't think anyone has argued that we are running out of space. Bilorv(c)(talk) 13:38, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Broadly Support ending portals overall, but they should be marked as historical rather than deleted, removed from external search engine results, and links to them removed. The exception is if they are still actively maintained and well-used, although I'm not sure there are many of those. Or if we really want to keep them, then we should fully automate them to automatically stay up-to-date (maybe using Wikidata for things like 'on this day'). Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 21:42, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Obiously a lot of people are squeezing their brains trying to come up with original new solutions for the biggest problem of the Wikipedia comunity in these days: How can we drive off still more contributing editors? We've been quite successful in that, but this proposal is liable to do much more. Sorry, but most people who like to join these discussions apparently do not have the slightest respect for other people's work. But they seem to know exactly how other people use Wikipedia. Or at least how they should use Wikipedia according to their limited horizon! Sorry again, most supporters here do so because they were never able to use a portal. That's prove enough that they are useless, so let's do away with them! I've seen quite a number of promising projects die thanks to this sort of distructive frenzy. Obviously those stupid young enthusiasts were never seen again. My opinion: as long as there is only one user making good use of a portal, that's enough to keep it. But that's just my opinion, and I'm sure you all know better. So should I *OPPOSE this fantastic idea or should I simply congratulate everybody for bringing Wikipedia one step closer to suicide? MySpace took a similar highway to oblivion, and several others too. Most astounding: We don't even need Facebook to manipulate ourselves into that direction! Wow!--Lamassus (talk) 22:09, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
    • WP:AGF, Please. --Guy Macon (talk) 23:01, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
      • Guy, editors should be allowed to show their frustration to an extent, because it could be a sign of a potential editor exodus. Having too many editors leave would be bad for a project. being upset at your own content being deleted is not necessarily inappropriate ownership; it is a natural human condition. Deletion needs to be under scrutiny, because people generally won't contribute if their stuff gets deleted. WhisperToMe (talk) 22:52, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
      • @Guy Macon: I understand the anger here, some editors here are saying in a nutshell that your project's portal is trash that needs to be disposed of. It gets me a bit irked to see these WP:IDLI comments, just because you may not like or use them doesn't mean you get to have your way over dozens of other editors that do. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 02:09, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
        • I really don't care if people get angry because they think that they have WP:OWNERSHIP over a page. Accusing other editors of "purposely driving off contributing editors" and "not having the slightest respect for other people's work" is not allowed here. And as for your claim that "just because you may not like or use them doesn't mean you get to have your way over dozens of other editors that do", yes we do get to do exactly that -- if tyhat's what the community decides. This is called WP:CONSENSUS and it is how we make decisions here. Both Lamassus and you should post calm, reasoned arguments supporting your position instead of making this into a toxic conversation by refusing to assume good faith. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Guy Macon (talkcontribs) 03:57, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
          • This isn't about ownership though, portals are a collaborative effort within the Wiki-projects. If a single editor is taking ownership over a portal then it should be reported like any other ownership issue on Wikipedia. Consensus is also determined by weight of arguments, saying you don't like something because you don't use it isn't going to make your argument go far. In the end... I agree with you, I am saying that in the end I am not surprised with some of the anger comments. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 12:04, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
        • (abstainer comment) - Agree with Guy Macon. Lamassus needs to review WP:BATTLEGROUND, WP:AGF, and WP:FOC, and refrain from turning discussions into battles between good guys and bad guys. Knowledgekid87 knows better than to defend or excuse that, let alone participate in it. We have these policies and guidelines for a reason. ―Mandruss  04:18, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
          • I agree that discussions should not be turned into "good guy v. bad guy". At the same time we need to know how strongly people feel over certain proposals, and I personally like to give people a pass if their stuff is being deleted (copyvio doesn't counmt, of course); it's a natural human condition to not want your stuff destroyed and sensitivity to that is important. WhisperToMe (talk) 23:17, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose Portals are an integral and useful part of Wikipedia, and if there are some portals with specific problems they should be fixed. Don't destroy everything because of laziness.--יניב הורון (talk) 22:32, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose Initially when I first read this proposal I was going to snow !vote support but re-reading this discussion a few days on it's clear that some editors have done a significant amount of work on various portals. I think Wikipedia is now too big for large changes to be made almost overnight- which the deletion of all portals would entail- without affecting a portion of editors with any change above a certain size. Sure- some unmaintained portals which attract as much as vandalism as views should be deleted, but there's some great examples which editors have dedicated a significant amount of time to, and their contributions, time and effort that they've expended for the encyclopedia shouldn't just be deleted overnight. There's a great action plan above with the idea of automating portals which sounds feasible and should reduce the maintenance overhead. jcc (tea and biscuits) 23:22, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support - I've never seen the point in portals and still don't ..... I'm all for keeping historical things (even useless things!) but for these I support deleting ...... These aren't going to missed, Severely outdated, Severely underused, Better off deleted. –Davey2010Talk 23:25, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • They wont be missed by you, but yeah all of the other editors who use them... what about them? - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 02:05, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Supports are at 130 and Opposes are at 62 as of this reply .... that would indicate I'm not the only person who wont miss them, Well I'm sure those that do want them will live (if they get deleted that is). –Davey2010Talk 02:52, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Davey2010, where do you get the 130 support figure from? Are you counting 'mark historical' as supporting deletion? As of the time of writing (this version) I make it 92 people explicitly supporting the proposal and 64 explicitly opposing (give or take a few sitting on the fence or with lots of caveats in their position). Carcharoth (talk) 10:04, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
My bad all's I've done is counted the use "Support" and "Oppose" - Probably should've search for "'''Support'''" but oh well, Consider that point struck. –Davey2010Talk 15:24, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose The whole reason I became a wikipedia editor was to help with a portal. It's useful for me to find all of the information I want easily. However, I think there should maybe be some updates to the portal system? A way to make the news on the topic update without having to manually update it each time would be nice. What I mean about that is that you could put news in it that times out when it is no longer relevant and new things will update into their spots, and the input is just to put in the news, which can be done in advance (for a sports portal, games to be played, stuff like that). Maybe the original purpose of portals isn't what they're used for anymore, but things should adapt and change to fit the new needs of portals. They should not be deleted, but the system should be updated to make them easier to maintain and use. Too many people have spent too much time on portals to just have them be removed, or archived, because many of them will be unhelpful when they aren't up to date. Aabernat (talk) 23:57, 11 April 2018 (UTC)

12 April 2018[edit]

  • Oppose straight deletion, support reform - The portals used to be highly valuable in aggregating users around a particular subject, agreeing common formatting and quality standards and organising maintenance of articles to keep them up to date and free of vandalism without duplication of effort. They died out not I would argue because they stopped being useful but because they became a lot less prominently featured and there was more centralisation of disputes and article standards in to a smaller elite of editors. The vast majority of more recent editors who have only ever known the centralised approach have never even seen or used them. WatcherZero (talk) 00:01, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Slightly Oppose - For me, I understand where both sides are coming from as their are comments for both for and against this argument. In my thoughts, I do think that we need to somehow improve the portal function of Wikipedia, even if its means putting work into stuff that not many would be seeing. But I do think that there is some portals that doesn't get viewed will need to be deleted but its a case by case basis. Animation is developing 00:03, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Some things catch on and others don't. I believe that we have given portals an opportunity, but their disadvantages outweigh their advantages. I'll take Portal:Microsoft as an example. The portal has received less than 100K page views (not bad), but comparing it to Microsoft, which has over 7.6M page views, you start to get the idea of why time spent maintaining them could be better spent elsewhere. Taking it section by section, everything seems to have a place elsewhere.
    • Intro --> Intro paragraph of Microsoft
    • Selected article --> Article of the day or random article
    • Selected picture --> Picture of the day or main article
    • Did you know --> Did you know on the main page
    • In the news --> Timeline of Microsoft
    • Categories/Topics --> Microsoft navbox
    • Featured content --> Wikipedia:WikiProject Microsoft
    • Associated Wikimedia --> Microsoft external links section
    Daylen (talk) 00:13, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose but remove article links and mark as historical the most unused / unmaintained ones, and also ideally ask for some developer resources for easy creation of "automatically" maintained Portals. Portals are obsolete, readers don't use Portals, but they're also basically harmless. If somebody wants to spend a bunch of time making one, go nuts, as long as said editor recognizes nobody is going to read it. As for automatic rotation, it shouldn't be THAT hard for the devs to give us some code that, given a WikiProject or a Category, will automatically rotate between GAs / FAs selected at random and the like, and just dump the lede paragraphs into the Portal. Might vaguely help with freshness issues. SnowFire (talk) 00:36, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support I appreciate both the work that editors have put into some portals and the suggestions for reforms, but the ones I checked in the China field have not been edited in years.ch (talk) 02:45, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose While I never really contributed to portals myself, I don't see any issue with having them there. They are technically not in the way of any article or list, so since people are happy to have them, I oppose deleting them.--NadirAli نادر علی (talk) 04:24, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose – This would delete the entire portal namespace, and some portals are viewed fairly often. This would also remove a navigational feature that many readers utilize. Perhaps tag outdated ones as historical instead. Deletion of all portals per some of them being outdated, and subjective reasons such as some users not liking or using them, some thinking they are useless, pointless, etc. equates to throwing out the baby with the bathwater, and in the process would throw out thousands of hours of work performed by hundreds of editors in one fell, overarching swoop. It would be quite overly drastic and hasty to mass-delete all of the work that has been performed on portals in such manner. North America1000 04:32, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose While I agree that most are in need of updates, I don't think that's valid rationale for deletion. The few portals in my watchlist that are continuously updated have helped me out a great deal. Perhaps some other reform would be a better alternative to outright deletion.LM2000 (talk) 04:34, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Conditionally oppose I personally find some of the portals very useful but if they could be integrated into something else then obviously I would care less; however the historical nature of them should be valued and like many before have stated, just because they are not as popular as they once were should not force deletion. All of the contents and Indices I see being useful. Indices are what I love as I read through articles in order when I am bored. - speednat (talk)
  • Oppose per MuzikAnimal. Let the WikiProjects who scope the portal falls under decide what to do with each portal. That way, the useful ones can be kept and if needed, moved, while other ones in need of improvement can either be worked on by members of that project or deleted. Seems like a common sense solution to me. - theWOLFchild 05:05, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose: From the very beginning of Wikipedia days I found Portals to be useful for exploring a broad topic and considered them one of the more exciting part of Wikipedia. Here are the reasons why I feel portals should be kept:
    • They facilitate a reader who wants to explore a topic of interest.
    Example: Say I want to explore the topic of Mathematics. As a curious reader I go to mathematics portal. From the selected article section I learn that there is a good article on quadratic equation. I feel interested and I check out the article. If I only visited the Article on Mathematics. I would not have learnt about existence of an article on this topic so easily. Then I look at the DYK section. I see a DYK entry like: “...... that there are 115,200 solutions to the ménage problem of permuting six female-male couples at a twelve-person table so that men and women alternate and are seated away from their partners?” As a person interested in mathematics I immediately become curious. Without encountering this DYK I may not have even known about the existence of ménage problem. Then from Portal:Mathematics I jump into other related portals like Portal:Algebra and so on.
    • They give an opportunity to Wiki projects to showcase the output of their work.
    Example: I started my Wikipedia journey with Portal:Bangladesh and then wanted to improve the portal. To find more materials to showcase on the portal I ended up exploring numerous Bangladesh related topics and often ended up contributing in many articles.
    The below are a couple of reasons why the portals should not be deleted:
    • They should not be deleted because they are under-maintained. By this logic all under maintained contents should be deleted.
    • They should not be deleted because they have lower number of views. By this logic all contents with low view count should be deleted.
    However, we can consider the below:
    • We can introduce “notability” criteria for Portal. For example, we can say, to have a Portal on a topic, the main article on the topic needs to be at least a Level:4 Vital Article.
    • Portals which fail to maintain their “News” section for full 1 Year may be instructed to remove the news section and replace with a section on “Articles on Recent Developments”. Arman (Talk) 05:55, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support The portal system proved to be a dead end. Few, if any, are still being maintained, and they're unlikely to be being used by readers. Nick-D (talk) 06:59, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Hi Nick-D: Out of curiosity, have you checked out any of the page views for portals? Your assessment stating "...they're unlikely to be being used by readers" is countered by page statistics for several portals. For example, Portal:Biography has received 62,874 page views in the last thirty days as of this post. North America1000 07:48, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • @Northamerica1000: Few things. If you'll note my !vote below, I think that they should be marked historical. Whoever made this RfC and said the word "delete" made a really poor decision there. 12k views over 30 days is not "well-used," it's a rounding error. Portal:Contents is linked from the sidebar on every Wikipedia page. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 16:30, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose deletion, there are hundreds of excellent pages here. Support change, including marking many as out of date or historical, and possibly removing from the Main Page. – SJ + 07:27, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support. Overall their utility is not proportional to the maintainance effort as separate pages. Some elements (e.g. lists of DYKs) make sense as part of WikiProjects, but the remainder could be archived for posterity. T.Shafee(Evo&Evo)talk 07:52, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support: Many are confuse masses of content, difficult to update, and in most cases unsourced (since in most cases they do not use a system of sources).--Eckhardt Etheling (talk) 07:57, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support But: Wouldn't a technical solution like "no activity for 1 year => auto-delete" be sufficient? Also, portals with >= X hits/d (to be defiend) should probably stay as a public interest is proven. Kind regards, Grueslayer 08:41, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose deletion; the Science portal had 122,000 hits. --Ancheta Wis   (talk | contribs) 08:53, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strongly Oppose Having created a couple of portals in recent years, I have a dog in this fight. Portals provide a way of linking articles, images, quotes, DYK’s in a different manner to single articles. Yes they may be out of date, etc. etc. but so are many articles. As per Paul McDonald, this is an editing issue and not a reason for mass deletion...Jokulhlaup (talk) 09:03, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support. Appear to be generally unused and unmaintained. Wouldn't necessary mass-delete them, but perhaps they could be integrated into Wikiprojects where people are keen to do so Ivar the Boneful (talk) 09:23, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose Portals are for readers (this is why enclosing them within WikiProjects is beside the point), and we need the "market research" as suggested by PaleCloudedWhite before we can be sure what forms of navigational aid are most useful to readers. Among portals, indexes, outlines, navboxes, sidebars, TopicTOCs and the rest there is no consistency in which ones exist for a given topic and to what extent they are linked from articles. A save-the-portals plan: (1) take up the ideas for maximum automation of their construction and maintenance; (2) also automate the provision of links from articles, thusly: for each Category assigned to an article, a process follows up the category tree until hitting one that has been marked as corresponding to a portal, then adds a link at the article; (3) keep portals for major topic areas, trimming out those for minor subtopics; (4) be aware that not all readers will have heard of web portals, and the word "portal" otherwise suggests high-flown phrases such as "entering the portals of glory" – so just putting a link saying "All portals" on the main page won't attract many clicks, you need to say "Pick a topic that specially interests you, and here's an overview of how Wikipedia covers that topic": Noyster (talk), 10:03, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose - For full disclosure, I have a strong personal connection to this issue; I created and have been maintaining Portal:Trains and making daily edits to it since its inception in May 2005, but I have not been the only person viewing it. The pageview count for the last year is almost 30,000. If we assume that my edits amount to five pageviews per day, that reduces the overall views for last year by only 250. When I make edits to the portal, I almost always find other pages within the scope of WikiProject Trains that I can make improvements to, and I will make those improvements when I can. My work editing the portal has led on a daily basis directly to additional work building up the content outside the portal. It has helped to keep me involved as a Wikipedia editor and administrator since my first edit to it 13 years ago. Slambo (Speak) 11:01, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
    • Spot on Slambo. Another way of looking at portals is that they are an 'intelligent contents page' for a topic. And certainly much easier to use for tracking relevant articles that poring over the often lengthy main article for a topic which is just not structured for the easy location of articles. Many portals are also a valuable project asset, indicating what's been done, what needs improving, what needs adding and so on. Improvement of portals is a worthwhile goal; mass deletion leaves Wikipedia very much poorer. --Bermicourt (talk) 12:29, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
    • Further, Portal:Trains has translations on 18 other language versions of Wikipedia. Portal:Transport has 24 other language variants, and Portal:Technology has 62 other language variants. I understand that changes on en.Wikipedia don't necessarily mean that changes will also happen on other language Wikis, but having so many different language versions of all the portals shows strong interest worldwide in maintaining them. Slambo (Speak) 12:06, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose I do not see what harm portals cause to the project. If anything, they are useful for combining several related articles on a topic in one place. There are several well-constructed and featured portals. Mar4d (talk) 12:39, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support - My thanks to those who have contributed to them, but I think dropping portals will help concentrate our efforts in more impactful areas. -McGhiever (talk) 12:47, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose removal of portal space and portal "system/facility". But do support deletion of out of date (and hence by definition) unmaintained portals. These are contrary to the stated purpose of a portal and take away from the reader's experience. I suggest any portal that has not been updated (and should have been) for 12 months more can be nominated for deletion via a process the same as AfD. Aoziwe (talk) 13:18, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose I think they could serve a very useful purpose, being written in a less formal manner than most articles, and providing a more accessible roadmap to related articles for visitors who are no so familiar with wikipedia categories and other means of navigation. I think the real problem is that they have not been properly promoted. Most links to them are tucked away at the bottom of a page. I think that if they could be linked to at the top of the page, perhaps alongside or under the space where coordinates appear, then they could get more visits and perhaps become better maintained. I must admit that I had pretty much forgotten about them. Derek Andrews (talk) 14:03, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose No, and especially oppose deleting all portals. How many articles do we have on Wikipedia that no one or few read? How many articles do we have on Wikipedia that are not well maintained. These are not the criteria we use for creating articles and by extension should not be for creating portals to those articles. As well, we do have portals that are well maintained. I just saw RfC today; this has to be more public than it is now.(Littleolive oil (talk) 14:21, 12 April 2018 (UTC))
  • Oppose To me, Portals act like subsections of a newspaper, if we take our Main Page as the equivalent of the front page of a newspaper. When they are updated, they provide a good current snapshot of a topic area within WP. I do think this RFC leads to the idea that we should reassess what makes a good portal, how to encourage portals to stay updated, and possible investment of time into new tools/processes to automate updates, but the simple lack of updates should not be taken that portals are not needed and should be deleted. --Masem (t) 14:24, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support deprecating and archiving but not deletion. Portals were an interesting experiment that doesn't seem to have worked out. That said, I agree with those who say that all this effort should not be now just dumped in the trash bin. Someone may still find them useful and possibly reuse elements of existing portals for other purposes. — Kpalion(talk) 16:01, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support the general idea of depreciating the portal namespace (generally speaking—things like the featured content portal should not be included and perhaps moved to the Wikipedia: namespace), but who designed this RfC? Why would you propose to delete them all and guarantee opposition on that front, as opposed to marking historical? Just doesn't make any sense. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 14:44, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
    Keep in mind that portal pages are edited through templates. In the end, you should measure the template activity and not the portal page which just presents all the info. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 14:50, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Far too sweeping a proposition. The issues identified do need addressing, but this is not the way to do so. Andrewa (talk) 14:57, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Portals made sense back in the days before robust search engines, when Yahoo Directory] and Open Directory Project/DMOZ ruled the web and most people's browser home pages were set to iGoogle or My Yahoo!. Portals are best deleted or absorbed into WikiProjects. Give the Wikiprojects a few months to refactor any desired content into their front pages and then delete them. The one exeption to this would have to be Portal:Current events, whose WikiProject is inactive (here, the easy answer is to simply move Portal:Current eventsWikipedia:WikiProject Current events). --Ahecht (TALK
    PAGE
    ) 15:25, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose This is one of the stupidest proposals I've ever seen in Wikipedia. As it is described in the description "The idea of a portal is to help readers and/or editors navigate their way through Wikipedia topic areas through pages similar to the Main Page." If people do not find portals helpful and useful who on the earth created all those portals? Deleting all the portals just because portals receive a low number of views is a bad decision to make and a bad exemplary for the future editors. They will propose to delete Wikipedia articles also just because they receive a low number of views. If you really want to stop portal function on Wikipedia, then do it. But please don't delete all the portals which were made by so many editors who found portals interesting and useful. ---Randeer (talk) 15:36, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose "the deletion of all portal pages and the removal of the portal namespace", which is what the RFC proposes. It makes no sense to delete all pages on the basis that some (or even many) are unsatisfactory. Thincat (talk) 16:17, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose for several reasons.
    1. It looks like this would be a seriously divisive move. It may deeply antagonise a significant number of passionate editors for very little, if any, real advantage. This alone is sufficient for abandoning this proposal.
    2. We are not short of space, and portals take up very little space anyway.
    3. There is insufficient evidence for most of the claims of both sides for them to be taken seriously. This would be a big change, and the possible consequences should be evaluated by experts before making the proposal. The arguments here are mostly emotional or based on opinions and guesswork.
    4. Many of the supports are clearly from people who do not have any personal involvement in portals, so can be reasonably expected to be rather ignorant about their usefulness to those who do use them, work with them and maintain them. Are these really the people who should be forcibly removing something from the people who want to keep them? Portals have been on Wikipedia a long time, there is no question that they are acceptable in terms of tradition and existing policy.
    5. Deletion means that the content is lost. Much of that content may be valuable. Who has checked and can say with evidence that it is not?
    6. Alternative solutions have been suggested, but the practicability of these have not been established. There should be no deletion until after these have been considered and discussed. The proposal is premature. There is no rush.
    7. We do not delete things because they are not perfect, we fix them. This would be a dangerous precedent. We could no longer trust Wikipedia to respect our work and the effort that went into it. It is bad enough that we can't trust the WMF much of the time, we do not need to start mistrusting our own community as well. There are probably fewer support !votes here than the number of portals they want to eliminate. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 16:41, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
    • Comment Every editor should pay attention to Peter's final point. Wikipedia first and foremost exists as a repository of knowledge, and being too happy to delete means you will kill the momentum and enthusiasm of the userbase. This doesn't mean deletion shouldn't happen at all, but that deletion needs to be carefully considered and reconsidered. WhisperToMe (talk) 22:52, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose deletion, support reform. Many portals are outdated and long-unmaintained - and those should be moved out of namespace and marked as historical. Hooever, numerous examples have been given above of portals on major subjects which are still being maintained, and I feel like the nuclear option is a massive case of overkill. (The lack of even a plan for things like Portal:Current events particularly illustrates to me that not enough thought has gone into the nuclear option.) The Drover's Wife (talk) 16:45, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose—deal with outdated portal content the same way as we deal with outdated article content: editing. The various arguments advanced in support of this proposal call for the mass deletion of things that just need fixing or selective deletion. At the most extreme, this proposal calls for the deletion of otherwise perfectly good content. This situation is too nuanced to use mass deletion as a solution. Additionally, if you remove portals, there is no guarantee that their editors will redirect their attention to other tasks. Volunteers will work on projects that attract their own interests and attention, so we can't assume those energies will be channeled to other endeavors. Imzadi 1979  16:55, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • My last intervention here has been harshly criticized, most of all when I wrote that this idea is liable to "drive off contributing editors" and that "most people who like to join these discussions apparently do not have the slightest respect for other people's work". In twelve years I have encountered quite a number of people who gave that impression and as a consequence I've remained attached to Wikipedia just at the very edge. But that's a personal question which doesn't really belong here. Actually I hoped that my hard words would cause some reflection, so I thank everybody for their replies. First of all I want to say that this is not about dividing the citizens in good and bad guys. I could say that my words were ironical, but that would be only half the truth without changing much. Here is what I really think: There are many ways to destroy a democratic community and this one is quite illuminating. What's the trick? You ask a simple question: Do you think Hillary is corrupt? Everybody has seen her in television a number of times, so I guess they are able to answer. Everybody has come across a forum on Wikipedia, so he must have gained some impression whether that was useful. Come on, don't be shy, say your opinion! People have the right to say what they think, that's democracy! If there is a vote or an election it is the only way. But as soon as you answer that question, positive or negative, to decide on the sweeping purpose, you appear as if you don't have the "slightest respect for other people's work". It is inevitable, because you may have lately looked at three or four portals, the most diligent of you even more, but you sentence hundreds of them, judging the intelligence of thousands of people who have tried their best on a million edits which have all been verified by another 10.000 or 100.000 users. Nobody is able to answer this for each and every single portal in question. It's generalization. That's why I think this proposal should be ruled INADMISSIBLE. But now the question is on the table, everybody has understood, it needs an answer and everything else will pass in second place. Like the Athenians who were asked if they would like to rule Sicily. Of course they would. Or more recently the US voters, who were urged to decide whether they were more comfortable with Crooked Hill or Grabbing Don. I wish you a nice discussion then, but don't forget that the purpose of democracy is to include, not to destruct. If only a few of us understand this, there may still be some hope at the bottom of the box.--Lamassus (talk) 18:00, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support - When I need information about something, I use the search function or external internet search engines. When I am interested in learning more about the subject, I Ctrl+Click all links that seem interesting to me. I end up with 100 open tabs, hours of delightful reading and no need for any "portal" created by someone else to inform me about the "most interesting" articles on one big topic. I have never even considered opening a portal page. ~ ToBeFree (talk) 18:13, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose. I've read this entire discussion as well as the discussion that preceded this RfC, and I've seen and considered all of the reasons that have been given in support. And I'm not persuaded. It's not like deleting them will make Wikipedia better. In fact, even if I posit for the sake of discussion that the supporters are right that readers almost never make use of portals, then it follows that readers will almost never even notice if they go away. Although I get it that portals need a significant modernization, the proposal here is a solution in search of a problem. But I would happily support a major effort to improve the portal system. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:09, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
    • This is the best oppose to a proposal I've seen in a long while. Agreed 100% with everything you've said. If anything, this proposal will be a negative because it will be a massive waste of admin time deleting these things. TonyBallioni (talk) 19:21, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support. Monthly upkeep is minimal but so is readership. Less than 100 views per month day. Despite invitation to be bold, only one other editor tried to add to ours in 10 years. -SusanLesch (talk) 19:22, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
@SusanLesch:
Library front desk display - come in and read more books like these
If whichever portal you refer to is flawed, you have a route to have it removed. It's at WP:MFD. That's not a rationale for mass-deleting the other 1,500 portals. Nor is a lack of recent editing, or having only 36,500 visits a year. Think of Portals like a window or table display in a library. They simply present a minute selection of their holdings to encourage broader use of any of the library's holdings. They're just another route in to content; pick one up and maybe you'll get inspired. Why deny readers that opportunity? Nick Moyes (talk) 00:10, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose in favor of technical overhaul: Like many others, I agree that keeping portals maintained and updated is a problem, so to is creeping POV. Both are solvable. My suggestion is that portals be highly standardized in some way, possibly by allowing a series of automated templates for featured content, etc. -- though most watched is probably not useful (for WPEQ, I think the article on Princess Anne gets the most pageviews, whereas Horse should be what pops up immediately) Montanabw(talk) 19:47, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose: A lot of portals are indeed in need of work and in some individual cases may have outlived their usefulness. However I do not think that is an argument for getting rid of all portals. Some however have the potential to be very useful and if a better way to maintain them, as others have suggested, could be found then I feel that that is a better option. Dunarc (talk) 20:12, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose: Yes, there are some portals that have fallen into neglect and disrepair, but portals are not unique in this respect. There are others that provide a useful summary of a topic. Such a wholesale culling of content on such flimsy grounds would be entirely inappropriate. — Preceding unsigned comment added by DavidCane (talkcontribs) 21:34, April 12, 2018 (UTC)
  • Support. Even at their height, I doubt portals were very useful. I created and maintained a portal, then forgot about it until this deletion notice. No one else stepped up to keep it current. →Wordbuilder (talk) 22:10, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
errm, but these were Portal:Texas Tech University and Portal:University of Houston - neither being desperately broad topics to start with. You can still WP:MFD either if you wanted to. Nick Moyes (talk) 00:25, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
Did I edit Portal:University of Houston? I don't remember that at all. Universities that have been around for very long are fairly broad in their topics. I'll hold off on WP:MFD as the problem may simply resolve itself. →Wordbuilder (talk) 17:24, 23 April 2018 (UTC)

13 April 2018[edit]

  • Strong Oppose the wholesale deletion of portals; Support for some sort of reform. (The broad wording of this proposal, "the deletion of all portal pages and the removal of the portal namespace", worries me, as it would clearly affect portals many use, including Portal:Current Events, etc.) It's clear, though, that this is a contentious topic and yet a somewhat obscure one, at the same time: all portals are created equal, yes, but not all portals turn out equal. While I'm naturally reticent to remove portals as a whole, some reform is needed: many portals (like the one that led me to this discussion, the Gilbert and Sullivan one) fall into disuse, and, thus, disrepair (the G&S one hasn't been updated in three years), but the deletion of portals simply won't marginally improve Wikipedia somehow or another. After all, it's not like we have limited space and need to conserve it (WP:NOTPAPER), and so keeping portals won't waste space or anything of that sort. But reform is needed: less than 100 page views per month means something's wrong. I'm honestly not sure what would work best: I dislike automated upkeep of portals (I guess I like human interaction), and streamlining portals through standardization, let's be honest, is a crapshoot; but I have no better ideas to contribute to the discussion. — Javert2113 (talk) 00:37, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Deprecate, but don't Delete I don't think portals should be linked from the article namespace. It's just clutter. Simply deleting Portal: tomorrow would have zero downside for 99.99% of readers and 99% of editors, but the other 1% would be reeeally annoyed. OTOH it seems a lot of unnecessary work to have some through review of each portal to assess whether some or all content is moved to another namespace before some deletion deadline date. jnestorius(talk) 00:59, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support: A minority of portals are maintained and are never read by the general populace. I support deletion of all portals. –Vami_IV✠ 01:10, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
  • No strong opinion: I've never really paid attention to the portals (with the notable exception of initially creating the page for Portal:Software) so I can't really say one way or another whether they should be removed. But I do want to say that if they are removed, please make sure they're archived in a manner that preserves all their history, just because the information shouldn't be made inaccessible. flarn2006 [u t c] time: 04:26, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Where to start, I haven't been editing as much as I used to due to issues IRL but I can say that when I edited more profusely that I took it upon myself to improve the portal experience, including creating multiple templates, tweaks and other such tools to improve the portal experience. I even began the maintenance of Portal:Food, Portal:Beer and creating Portal:Drink to compliment P:Food and WP:Food and Drink. Portals can be a great way to present new readers to wealth of subjects in specific areas. So I wholeheartedly disagree with the discontinuation of the Portal namespace and the deletion of the content. What I do support is a system of promoting the Portals that would increase their usage and importance on Wikipedia. I would also support the merging of similar, narrowly-focused portals into more generally-focused ones that cover a broader, similarly grouped areas of ideas. How would we do this, IDK but a discussion on how to start would probably be a good place to begin. Jeremy (blah blahI did it!) 05:01, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
Perhaps the best way to promote them, as well as to increase their usage and importance, would be to improve their quality, in terms of interactivity and self-updating dynamic content, to keep them interesting and relevant. Inspire repeat visits. Currently, the vast majority of portals are static, and therefore they go stale over time.    — The Transhumanist   13:05, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support they serve no discernible function. We don't need them for organization.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 08:57, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support - as stated on WP:Spaceflight's talk page a couple of days ago, too much work for not enough benefit. The time could be better spent working on other things. Support full deletion, with no historical pages kept. Kees08 (Talk) 09:51, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
    @Kees08: You now that Portal:Current events is part of this system right? - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 13:12, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
    @Knowledgekid87: I was aware, but did not know what it was. I found the link on the main page (even though named different), and I do not think removing it would be a great loss. Even though I am involved in the spaceflight WikiProject, there is spaceflight information on that portal that I was not aware of. There are links to three pages nominated for deletion, several DAB links. Seems like a duplicate of Wikinews and could be replaced with that, since the page does not fit well with the encyclopedia theme. Kees08 (Talk) 05:35, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose deletion of portals, no opinion on other proposed changes (make them historical, remove links from the main space). Only portal I ever used is Portal:Amiga, which is no longer updated work of one (retired) editor. Sure, content can be moved under WikiProject Amiga (defunct/undead). Pavlor (talk) 10:21, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose Useful for placing notices on talk pages of portals of related discussion on subject during deletion requests. Semper Fi! FieldMarine (talk) 11:34, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Never understood the point of portals in the 13 years I've been editing. Editors' time would be better spent maintaining the mainspace articles. Number 57 11:36, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose — keep but reform. What are Portals for? Editors want a forum but Wikiprojects do that better, so move editor-facing Portal content (such as lists of articles to improve) to WP: namespace. Readers want something useful when they click Contents in the left navbar, so keep Portal:Contents or build a replacement. Many subpages such as Portal:Contents/Mathematics and logic just duplicate the better Portal:Mathematics etc. so let's link the latter directly into the contents tree. The more enthusiastic wikiprojects can then reformat their portals with an emphasis on listing contents; the rest can remain in the current state which is better than nothing. Certes (talk) 11:43, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose deletion en mass of all portals, Support analysis and deletion of inactive ones. There are probably hundreds that haven't been updated in years, some even nearing a decade, and these should be deleted. But others are still viewed semi-frequently and are updated daily and shouldn't be deleted. I don't think this issue can be so black and white.. there is a middle ground. SEMMENDINGER (talk) 13:30, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support I've been editing 14 years and I have never used any portal regularly. Also apparently readers don't care about portals. With all the respect to portals editors, time spent to maintain them could be more efficient to improve the articles itself.--Jklamo (talk) 14:05, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
  • This is not a good link to make and have seen it talked about someplace on Wikipedia I think through an essay. The notion that "editors would be better off doing x" is a slippery slope, should we then go on and say something like: "Editors should focus their time away from plant related articles due to the complexity of the field"? Each portal attracts editors interested in that particular area, just because you may not edit portals nor care about them is a good reason for wholesale deletion. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 14:14, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Sorry Jklamo, arguing to delete all portals and respecting portal editors are mutually incompatible. Instead of arguing for deletion of portals, why not spend your time more efficiently improving articles? Sarcasm aside, redirecting volunteer effort away from what they want to do towards what you think they should do is quite a lot of work, and deleting the work of volunteers is not usually a good way to make them volunteer for more. —Kusma (t·c) 14:16, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose deleting all portals but support deleting particularly bad ones. Portals can be useful from time to time, and even if use rarely, that does not mean they should al be deleted. If someone searches a portal, he will always be happy to find whatever he finds even if is not well-maintained. However, some portals have not been edited in years and should be deleted. The "Many people don't use portals, so let's delete them all" is ridiculous. Mass deleting portals won't make Wikipedia better. L293D ( • ) 14:55, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose blanket deletion of all portals regardless of current maintenance status. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 15:08, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose but de-emphasize. These are not really designed for people like us, but for readers new to WP or a subject area. Some links to them should probably be removed, and the actually bad ones deleted. But many seem to function ok, more or less on autopilot, and they do get views. Johnbod (talk) 16:20, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support – I setup the Military History portals for Portal:Napoleonic Wars and Portal:American Civil War many years ago, but the Pageviews for portals are generally so poor, they're just not worth the effort maintaining (ACW and NW). If the trends are similar for other portals, the whole system seems a waste of effort and should be scrapped in favour of focusing on actual article content. Portals seem a bit 1990s phpBB anyway, IMO. — Marcus(talk) 16:31, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
78,500 views since May 15 (Portal:American Civil War) doesn't seem too bad at all. Do they actually need any more maintaining than any other page? Johnbod (talk) 16:40, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
When you compare 78,500 views to the 15 million hits on the American Civil War article itself in the same period then yes, it's only 0.5% in fact. Not worth it. — Marcus(talk) 19:23, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support reform of the portals system as we know it, but oppose deletion of all portals en masse. Perhaps, rather than resorting to a blanket deletion of all portals, it might be better to review them. After review, each portal could either be:
  1. categorised as an active portal, with the general criteria for this status being that they have to be regularly monitored and kept up to date;
  2. marked as inactive through the use of the Historical template; or
  3. deleted outright (for example, if they are particularly poorly and/or rarely maintained).
Portals can come in useful for editors from time to time, but admittedly it is quite easy to gather that they are not quite fit for purpose any longer. I don't think it'd be unreasonable to suggest that many portals, if not most, are very infrequently viewed by most editors and (non-editor) readers alike. I don't think that there needs to be as many portals as there currently are.
Would this proposal to eliminate the portals system provoke such interesting discussion between editors had the system not been in such a sorry state? I can't tell you the answer to that, but what I can say is that the system is in dire need of improvement. A portal should be a useful navigational tool for readers and editors, but the way they are today, most are not. All too often, editing activity fizzles out, leaving a near-abandoned portal that is a sitting duck for POV issues and unsourced material.
Forgive me if this idea is too simple, but it may be wise to try and devise a system that unobtrusively increases the awareness of the portal system to readers so that people are encouraged to visit portals. This would be expected to generate some interest in using portals, so that people are more inclined to contribute to Wikipedia by editing portals. In turn, this would help to improve the encyclopedia by helping people navigate through it.
I don't tend to voice my opinion in community discussions like this, because it can seem quite intimidating to editors like me, who don't consider themselves to as well versed with Wikipedia as many of you, and haven't been contributing for as long as many of you have. So, once again, let me apologise if I am reminding you of something that is bread and butter to you. There are several templates that can be used to include links to a portal or multiple portals. Take the Portal, Portal bar, Portal-inline, Subject bar and Sister project links templates as examples.
Best wishes, Ntmamgtw (talk) 16:49, 13 April 2018 (UTC) (updated 09:24, 17 April 2018 (UTC))
  • Oppose - they're neat. I don't have much to say about portals, I don't interact with them frequently, but they seem a useful way to present a useful overview of broad topics. If some of them are in poor shape, fix them, or delete individually if they're individually not useful. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 18:01, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Very Strongly Oppose – Each of the portals I have been to are very useful for navigation and introducing readers to new/interesting topics. The reason why many of the portals have "low traffic" is because they are stashed under the title of "portal", and not many people would naturally search out such page titles (unless they were already familiar with them). (Also see some of the other arguments for keeping the portals above, and some other arguments in the sections below - they are quite reasonable.) Nonetheless, the portals are linked to most of the related/relevant articles via the Portals Templates in the articles' "See also" sections, so I actually believe that a reasonable number of people read through and check out the portals regularly, and thus, page traffic should not be an issue. Low maintenance is a very poor excuse for eliminating the portals; this problem is present on many of the WikiProjects that I have worked at, because some of the most senior/active contributors are no longer as active there - Should we eliminate all of the WikiProjects because some/many of them are no longer regularly maintained? This is just ridiculous. I regularly use some of the portals for navigation and improving articles - and I am well aware that many of our readers regularly do so as well. Let's say we kill off all of the portals - how are we going to replace them then? Are we going to create a "new" navigational set of pages, or are we going to let this entire, useful means of navigation just rot and fade into oblivion? Without the portals, how are readers and active editors going to be able to access many of the articles in a specific WikiProject via one page? Regardless of level of page viewership and maintenance, portals are already too useful to simply be deleted. Portals on Wikipedia are extremely useful for all sorts of navigation within a WikiProject and introducing readers to new topics - I don't see why any of that would be grounds for deleting the portals. LightandDark2000 (talk) 17:54, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
I have no problems with reforming the portal system or even setting something up to increase reader/user awareness of the various portals (which will help mitigate any maintenance issues), but deleting or redirecting all of the portals outright is simply not a viable option? Are you even aware of how much infrastructural damage or reader shock you will cause if you were to delete all of the portals? LightandDark2000 (talk) 18:02, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
By the way, a large number of portals, such as Portal:Current events, Portal:Science, Portal:History, and Portal:Tropical cyclones are regularly maintained and have high viewership (to my knowledge). These are only some good examples. Are we going to mass delete all of the portals just because some of them aren't up to ideal standards? This proposal falls under the same fallacy that is often invoked for speedily deleting new/start or stub class articles that have plenty of potential, or eventually became great articles on this site. (There's a reason why you are not supposed to arbitrarily tag new or problematic articles for deletion because they don't look ideal.) I seriously doubt that all of the portals each have enough issues to warrant an actual deletion of all the portals. LightandDark2000 (talk) 18:19, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
  • General Support, prefer marking portals as historical I've worked on portals, and I stopped because I realized they aren't particularly useful and are more work than they're worth. I don't think deleting them is the best solution. MY prefered solution would be marking the whole system as historical, advising against (prohibiting?) the creation of new ones, and advising against the expansion of all but the most used (or even moving them to Projectspace). Wugapodes [thɔk] [ˈkan.ˌʧɻɪbz] 18:18, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
I would not support marking all portals as "historical" (or taking them all out of the portal system). Some portals, such as the current events and tropical cyclones portals are still actively maintained and highly essential to accessing the latest articles (in a chronological sense) in relation to their specific WikiProjects. I could support marking the archaic / extremely old portals as historic, but the active/relevant portals are still very much in use and should not be taken out of Wikipedia mainspace in any way. LightandDark2000 (talk) 18:24, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
Alternatives exist that are perhaps even better than the portal system such as lists, navigation boxes, outlines, and categories. Lists and outlines especially are far easier to maintain as they require less esoteric knowledge of parser functions, transclusion, and subpages (seriously, look at Wikipedia:Portal/Instructions it's a nightmare). Even portals linked at the top of the mainpage barely make it above 2000 views per day, meanwhile DYK articles often get at least that many views, with many getting over 5000 views. Portal:Tropical cyclones during the Atlantic hurricane season averages 190 views per day; The Signpost front page has better pageview stats and they just published an article asking if it's on its last legs. A few outliers like Portal:Current events shouldn't be used as a bludgeon to keep what is essentially a dead feature with superior alternatives, that's why we have WP:IAR. Keep the few useful ones, move the rest to project space, and mark WP:Portal and WP:POG as historical. Wugapodes [thɔk] [ˈkan.ˌʧɻɪbz] 07:16, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Keep, but mark inactive/archaic portals as "Historic" – This is my compromise proposal, assuming that something actually comes out of this RfD. However, my original vote (above) still stands. LightandDark2000 (talk) 18:35, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
You don't get 2 !votes. --Ahecht (TALK
PAGE
) 21:18, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
I'm not voting twice. I'm specifying my opinion on this a little more. I oppose deleting all of the portals outright, but I'm open to the option I just mentioned above (and other similar proposals by some other users in some of the votes earlier above). LightandDark2000 (talk) 04:38, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
  • hold - there is little data on the readers. They get quite a few page hits and if automated I'd see them as a good way to display featured content. Need data from readers before we delete wholeslae. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 19:55, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Question: What are the currently best-maintained portals? So we can compare with non-maintained ones, for an idea of cost-benefit for a project-wide overhaul.    — The Transhumanist   21:15, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Portals are a great way to explore the millions of Wikipedia articles. They allow to find interesting, unexpected facts. There are issues with portals than can be solved by the community of editors, with tools such as random article selections. --NaBUru38 (talk) 21:54, 13 April 2018 (UTC)

14 April 2018[edit]

  • Support - Redundant, useless, and not maintained very well are the words I would use to describe portals. If I am a visitor, I'd just use the search and not go through portals. I do think that the compromise provided by LightandDark2000 is also a good idea, keeping major and active portals. ITSQUIETUPTOWN talkcontribs 03:35, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose as a mass deletion - The argument that there are some bad or out-of-date portals does not seem to me to justify removing all portals, any more than some bad or out-of-date articles justify removing all articles. Also, I think there will be considerable loss of goodwill from those individuals who do actively maintain portals, possibly to the extent of losing them as contributors entirely. I think a better outcome from this discussion would be a slowly rolled-out campaign to propose deletion of *specific* poor/out-of-date portals. This may either spur individuals to update those portals (and save them) or result in the deletion of those portals. I say slowly-rolled-out because if a person is involved with multiple portals and decides to update them, we should give them time to do so and not put all of them up for deletion simultaneously which would make it impossible for them to update them all. Kerry (talk) 04:51, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose There is a certain question about whether or not this entire RfC was poisoned based on the inadequate wording of the question. Obviously, all portals should not be deleted. There are portals that Wikipedia themselves maintain and rely on, and which are rather popular. We don't need to blow it all up just because some of the more obscure portals don't get much attention. Nonetheless, there is a question to be made about what could be done about portals that barely crack even 100 views a month (a very generous deadline imho). Portals seem to be a more niche thing that a normal viewer may not want to view but an experienced Wikipedian may visit frequently especially as a topic they're interested in. Though it seems that the very way that they're advertised is the issue. I went through some of the portals via "what links here" feature and find that they're most relegated to the last section of the page, after see also, where barely few readers make it through and it seems that by only luck you would find the link to X portal. This is unacceptable, and probably the main reason that portals are not utilized. They are but a scarce link near the last of a page, barely even a footnote, led alone enticing a reader to click them. I don't think all portals should be removed, but they should be in a more accessible, more GUI-friendly (click me to learn more about X topic) sort of thing. Tutelary (talk) 06:46, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Delete all portals except Portal:Current events, Portal:Science, Portal:History, and Portal:Tropical cyclones, all relatively active. Buckshot06 (talk) 09:27, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose, portals usually provide one-stop overview of each topic and related articles. Skimming through the main article of the topic is not an easy way to reach those related articles; and browsing through categories/indices is a really horrible way to find things, especially when you don't know what you are finding by its name.

    One might not use portal when they know enough about the topic, but that doesn't negate their usefulness for beginners; it also provide pointers to good/featured articles (and some cases, recent-event articles) on topic of interest. Like Tutelary said above, their presence in relevant articles should be more prominent to encourage more uses. If specific portals are inaccurate or outdated, deal with them case-by-case; turning those into automated ones is nice too. But proposing mass-delete? That is careless.

    Nvtj (talk) 09:36, 14 April 2018 (UTC)

  • Oppose They are not doing any harm, and can be useful to some users for finding information easier. -Quickfingers (talk) 13:39, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support I have been editing here for over five years and almost never pay any attention to any portals (other than, as noted above, Portal:Current events), much less edit them. I have almost always ignored them as they seem to perform basically the same function as sidebars and footer navboxes, but in an unnecessary separate namespace that keeps them pointlessly isolated from the articles they try to link together. Thus the portal namespace/system seems not to serve a purpose as it is now, and will only become more out of date and ignored if it is not eliminated. Every morning (there's a halo...) 13:45, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Many of the portals are not being actively cared for, and as such, are not very useful. I would argue that many casual users of Wikipedia would not ever use a portal to find any information on Wikipedia. Jpmanalo (talk) 13:47, 14
  • Oppose. While some portals might be poorly maintained, the same might be said of many articles. Mass portal deletion seems a very severe way of solving what might not be much of a problem anyway. I've used Portal: Astronomy recently to get opinions (and traction) on an article I started. It gets about ~150 views a day and is maintained. Trashing editors' valuable work would be a negative, not positive, action. Richard Nowell (talk) 13:58, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support, I'm afraid they're basically edit-only pages, readers aren't interested in them, and this reader has never used one to find anything. We have plenty of simple and direct ways to get to pages, without even mentioning Dr. Google. Chiswick Chap (talk) 14:09, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support - What others have said above in support of this. --Malerooster (talk) 15:46, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose This is a bad solution to a "problem" that is hardly a problem at all, and the quality of the discussion does not inspire confidence in the process. XOR'easter (talk) 15:50, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Kind of Oppose I am new to Wikipedia, and I do not use portals a lot. However, one portal that is viewed a lot (by me, and many others) is Portal:Current events. This is viewed several thousand times daily (45,180 times today as I type this). What would happen to it if the Portal namespace was removed? SemiHypercube (talk) 17:23, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support the cessation of portal work. There is no consensus for outright deletion so I'd recommend instead a grace period of several months to merge relevant content (for those portals actively maintained) to projectspace. It might be useful, for instance, to import some portal content for WikiProject pages (which, in my opinion, should all be repurposed as subject area noticeboards anyway). If the content is imported, the pages must be preserved for attribution history and thus redirected. Tag the remaining portals and those that aren't merged/redirected within several months should be deleted, though it'd be reasonable (as always) to temporarily restore that content if someone wants to merge after the deadline. There are many case-by-case discussions to be had, but only once we have general agreement on the fate of portals.
The core question that isn't being asked enough here is what portals contribute to our purpose of building an encyclopedia. There is no shortage of lost causes to which we apply ourselves, from the marginally notable to the reams of talk page debate over single sentences, so there is no guarantee that portal maintainers will suddenly decide to steward a high-level topic overview article: The point of editor time spent is neither here nor there. The point of readership is more salient, but gets into a debate over what readership counts as significant, which is the wrong debate. Better to ask what portals contribute in service of a better encyclopedia. Are they actively funneling users from general interest into more specific articles? Are they surfacing content to draw readers further into their own general interests? How are readers even finding portals aside from the main page welcome bar and the bars that sometimes grace the underside of navboxes? I haven't seen any assuaging answers to these questions. Our existing systems of high-level topic overview articles (for readers) and WikiProject/noticeboards (for editors) appear to fulfill all of the objectives of portals, with the added benefit that they already exist and have a dedicated user base. I hope that the work of portal maintainers can be welcomed into these other areas of the encyclopedia. czar 17:27, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose mass deletion. As some users have discussed above, use WP:Miscellany for deletion for individual portals, with marking as {{historical}} as an option. Polyamorph (talk) 18:38, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support. There are so few useful portals that a dedicated namespace is not only unnecessary but invites the kind of useless cruft that does indeed infest it. The Main page is a portal but is not in Portal namespace, others don't need to be either. Any genuinely useful "Portal" information can be integrated into the main article space easily enough, typically in an "Introduction to...", "List of articles about ...", "...overview" or even "...portal" article. Obviously, a transition period would be needed while active portal editors redesigned their information. For example Portal:Current events could be moved to Current events portal (although I don't believe it has any place in a serious encyclopedia, see preceding comment re Wikipedia's purpose, it should be merged over to Wikinews, but that is a different issue). — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk)
  • Oppose there is obviously no consensus to delete the portals and editors should not be continually bullied to achieve big projects within a couple of months. Suggest only updated portals be linked from mainspace with the out of date ones being delinked except to Wiki Project pages until they are brought up to speed. Also, support the use of automation to update portals as used on the Spanish Wikipedia which is detailed in one of the following subsections, thanks Atlantic306 (talk) 18:51, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose I have to agree, this is an end-run around WP:MFD. This issue need to be concretely dealt with at MFD before the presumption of a mass deletion. --Mark viking (talk) 20:34, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose – As a reader who rarely edit the English Wikipedia, I find the portals very very useful. Guycn2 · 20:42, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose I watch a few of them, i.e Portal:Jane Austen (much of the content written by a specialist) and Portal:Children's Literature. Each gets page views and I think each of these is an asset to the project. It's a type of shop window, a place to stop, look, browse, and maybe decide to enter. They serve the readers; the editors who had the energy to set them up (many of whom are now gone) are to be commended, as are current editors who continue to build and tend portals. Victoriaearle (tk) 21:08, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I find some of them to be useful in regular use. Why not delete on a case by case basis? Xxanthippe (talk) 22:32, 14 April 2018 (UTC).
  • Weak oppose, while it is true that due to the fluctuations of editor ship, usually trending downward, it is difficult to maintain content, the first thing that came to mind is WP:NOTPAPER, then WP:NOTFINISHED. Until there is time for improvement I like the idea proposed by ToThAc (talk · contribs) in marking the portals as Template:Historical, until something can be done that is constructive with the content.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 22:51, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Conditional Support I only Oppose this if they are deleted. They should be marked as historical instead. MoonyTheDwarf (talk) 23:38, 14 April 2018 (UTC)

15 April 2018[edit]

  • Support especially to re-iterate and highlight the points brought forth by Czar (talk · contribs) above. GenQuest "Talk to Me" 04:03, 15 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support The portal space is full of abandoned, outdated and often inaccurate content. This is true even portals about major topics. Case in point, Portal:Philosophy has a talk page that hasn’t been used since 2014, and an In the News section which lists events from 2010 to 2011. Additionally, I am concerned that portals can be used to push ideologies and agendas; just a few years ago myself and a few other editors tried to delete a pro-ISIS portal. While many editors have suggested improving the portal systems, this is going to take an utterly massive amount of effort for something that few readers use or even know exists. Quite frankly, I have never understood what our 1,500+ portals are supposed to be accomplishing. Going forward, I would suggest archiving (not deleting) most portals. I would be fine grandfathering in the current events portal as well as a few well-maintained and actively used portals. Spirit of Eagle (talk) 05:40, 15 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose A number of editors are currently working to revise and automate the portal system, and a lot more people use the portal system than I initially thought. While I still have many grievances with the portal system, I am happy to give them a chance to fix things and see what they come up with. The portal system does need to be reformed to address the problems I mentioned, but I've been convinced that there may be some value to keeping the portal namespace active. Spirit of Eagle (talk) 05:13, 2 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Strongly Oppose Are you serious? A lot hours of work was used to build these portals, a simple deletion would annoy a lot of volunteers, so please stop these proposal!!!--Sinuhe20 (talk) 07:22, 15 April 2018 (UTC)
That the "deletion would annoy a lot of volunteers" is not a reasoned motivation for keeping the portals. What is put into question here is their usefulness and content accuracy. The goodness of the encyclopedia should come before any personal whim of the users.--2.37.216.231 (talk) 13:37, 15 April 2018 (UTC)
Comment The term "usefulness" is really arbitrary because it's up to one person or another to determine what that is, and that becomes personal preference. That starts to delve into the range of WP:IDONTLIKEIT which is never a reason to delete anything in Wikipedia. As to "content accuracy" -- this is a valid issue, and if the content is not accurate then the obvious conclusion is to edit the content. Once in a while we find content that is so poorly assembled that deletion is the best step, but that's not the case here... certainly not a blanket deletion for every portal.--Paul McDonald (talk) 14:30, 15 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose You can just delete the "obsolete" portal(s) instead of removing all of them. Lots of people spending their time building a beautiful and informative portal. Portal also acts as a place to find people that has same interest as you and/or searching a certain article rerlated to a certain theme. Because Wikipedia is not only about making article together, it's also a place to connect people around the world. flixwito ^(•‿•)^ (talk) 10:40, 15 April 2018 (UTC)
This is really the worst of the motivations that have been put forward to save the portals! Wikipedia is not a social network! The aim of this project is to build an encyclopedia of good-quality (academically supported) content, not to make friends sharing the same interests!--2.37.216.231 (talk) 13:37, 15 April 2018 (UTC)
While it's true that Wikipedia is not a social network, I disagree with the logic to the step that because it's not a social network there is no value in collaboration with other editors who are enthusiastic on the same general topic or topics. Collaboration is a good thing and if portals help promote collaboration, then that's another reason to keep them around.--Paul McDonald (talk) 14:33, 15 April 2018 (UTC)
Wikiprojects already serve the purpose of gathering together editors to collaborate on a topic. Portals aren't needed for this reason Cesdeva (talk) 15:11, 15 April 2018 (UTC)
First of all Wikipedia is a social network as well (but one with a specific purpose). Secondly it is true that much or all functions of portals could be taken over by Wikiprojects (or vice versa actually), but the conclusion from that is (at best) a merging or migration (with a potential phasing out of one) and not a wholesale deletion as suggested above.--Kmhkmh (talk) 15:36, 15 April 2018 (UTC)
Vice versa? Portals don't even function well for their primary purpose, nevermind incorporating the workings of a wikiproject. Many portals already come under the 'jurisdiction' of wikiprojects, yet they still have major issues. Shifting namespace won't solve anything. Cesdeva (talk) 16:03, 15 April 2018 (UTC)
Additional comment I further disagree with the premise that collaboration should only come from one source (a "project" or a "portal") -- collaboration can and should come from multiple sources if possible. Further, I do not believe that "need" is the proper measure... do we "need" portals? We don't "need" Wikipedia (see WP:NEED).--Paul McDonald (talk) 22:28, 15 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The proposal is far too extremist for the "problem" that it is designed to solve. If there are portals that are deleterious to the encyclopedia (as posited by the supporters), then those particular items can be considered for deletion or other remedial action such as improvement. No need to deploy thermonuclear weaponry for a problem that can be dealt with by more focused and conventional means. Frankly, I'm surprised that almost half of those voting would support such an extreme measure ... worrisome. Cbl62 (talk) 16:12, 15 April 2018 (UTC)
  • I can't support the blanket deletion of all portals as some of them are clearly useful. Portal:Current events, for instance, is well maintained, provides a useful resource which isn't duplicated by anything else, and gets 30-50,000 hits a day. Having said that the OP does have a point that most portals aren't maintained and aren't terribly useful, and I think it's fair to say that the general idea hasn't caught on. As a result I would support the general deprecation of the concept. If we want to retain a portal then it should be possible to show that the portal adds significant value to the encyclopedia which isn't duplicated by something else. If a portal doesn't meet this standard (and IMO most of them don't) then it should be archived or deleted. Hut 8.5 17:52, 15 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support. I think portals were an interesting concept at the time, but they haven't turned out to actually serve the purpose or function that they were originally intended to — a lot of them have simply been abandoned and/or are badly outdated, and there's very little editor commitment to actually staying on top of making them what they were meant to be in theory. Bearcat (talk) 19:23, 15 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Portals were a fad in web design whose time has come and gone. Shock Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 23:41, 15 April 2018 (UTC)

16 April 2018[edit]

  • Oppose On the one hand I can see the merit in arguments like the one above, that they are a relic of early 2000s thinking about web design and how users would approach Wikipedia, thinking that has not proven correct in the long term. But by that same token we ought not to delete them for that reason. I don't think we can say that just because they don't attract a lot of views now they never will again. Future web usage trends could change, and it would be easier to have the portals around should they become valuable in some way rather than have to rebuild them or some equivalent from scratch. Daniel Case (talk) 02:09, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
Keeping portals on the off-chance that they become popular again is CRYSTAL, so you've actually invoked policy which is the antithesis of your argument. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 18:55, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
WP:CRYSTAL is a policy that only applies in full to article content, not a namespace. In this instance I think it's perfectly fine to argue it both ways. Daniel Case (talk) 18:27, 19 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support but don't delete them. Mark portals as historic and remove links from mainspace. I agree that outlines and indexes work much better than portals. Rreagan007 (talk) 05:13, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose. If you have problems with specific portals, feel free to nominated them for deletion. However, there are many portals (especially those that are featured) that are excellent. Interestingly, featured portals are the ONLY featured content to never be featured on the Main Page. This has been proposed several times (having a rotating once-a-day link to a portal, or one that loads randomly each page load based on a list of featured portals), but people seem to think it would be a lot of work (it wouldn't be...a feature used in many portals could be used to create it). It takes a lot of work to get an entire portal up to featured status (I've helped with two of them), and if they are built effectively, they don't require much maintenance. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe · Join WP Japan! 07:00, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose I agree that many of the portals are out of date and useless, but there are a few portals that are well maintained and a good source of information. I don't think that they should all be deleted. Rather, each portal should be evaluated and determined to see if it is inactive or not. Those that are can be deleted but others should be kept if they have active support. Draconicfire (talk) 14:05, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose deletion but support marking portals historical and/or moving to different namespace. I do not see any reason to remove people's ability to read historical portal content, such access would not waste editors' time, and old data on portals will certainly be of interest to some. Also, it's important that certain portals such as Portal:Contents and Portal:Current events are exempted or kept active in a different namespace, as has been discussed multiple times in this proposal -Cake~talk 14:53, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support, for reasoning stated previously. Isseubnida (talk) 14:57, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Conditional Support I would be more in support of pruning and/or freezing portal creation. Some (one?) of the portals are still quite useful, such as Current Events. As long as we don't lose pages that matter, I don't care if portals are overhauled or phased out. But I would hate if my favorite news source disappeared over night. Also, Current Events is a nice time capsule, so it would be a shame for all the years of curated news articles to just disappear.Spoonlesscorey (talk) 15:06, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Highly oppose Deleting such a good fixture to Wikipedia would disappoint those who used to frequent the portals. In fact, this year alone, I've had more portal edits than anything else. Call me when you get the chance 15:17, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strongly Oppose I find it to be a very useful feature that gives a handy and concise summary about a topic. A relative lack of views should never impact an encyclopedia's content, otherwise you could delete 90% of it. --Therexbanner (talk) 16:00, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
  • oppose.The portals have been very useful. I use the news one dailyArglebargle79 (talk) 15:20, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose for Contents, Featured Content, and Current Events; Neutral for everything else — the Portal concept is good when done well. A portal serves as a useful topic-based contents page for readers when people actually use it and edit it. However, portals which don't get viewed or edited much should be marked as historical so people don't expect them to be up-to-date. — pythoncoder  (talk | contribs) 16:20, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose I am far more of a reader “outsider” than editor “insider”. I am not informed about many of the issues involved creating/supporting portals, and have no opinion there. As a content consumer, i read Portal: Current Events every day. Other portals i stumble across as i use Wikipedia, and generally seem useful (from memory). Now, it may be improper for me to use Portal: Current Events as my daily newspaper, but when i go to Wikinews and the headlines don’t change for days and those of Portal: Current Events do, the *de facto active* news source is Portal: Current Events on Wikipedia. I would hate for that to go away with no replacement. It appears that some portals are useful and maintained and some are not, so hopefully there is a less binary approach to resolving portal issues. Sonic Purity (talk) 16:28, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
Portal Current Events would continue in Wikipedia space. No one wants to close it down. Legacypac (talk) 16:31, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strongly oppose The current events portal is perhaps one of the greatest things about Wiki and the reason I became an active editor in the first place. Would be a complete disaster to undo all the hard work me and many others have, and continue to put into it. I can understand inactive portals being deleted but the current events portal needs to remain. GWA88 (talk) 17:12, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose - largely as pythoncoder's !vote above I am primarily motivated to keep for the portals that promote content and help explain and present newsworthy materials. Also per Andrew D.'s !vote I do not think deleting portals will be beneficial to the project as a whole, just because something might be outdated does not mean it has to be deleted, incompleteness is a call for the content to be improved, not for it to be tossed out (see WP:DINC). Inter&anthro (talk) 17:18, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Conditional Support I personally only use the Current Events portal, however I think the other portals are outdated.
  • Oppose - Why not nominate them on their individual merit rather deleting them in bulk? There are over 1 million WP articles which are in poor state that doesn't mean delete them in bulk. They will improve if we decrease their quantity. Störm (talk) 18:02, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose While a large portion of portals are not very popular, you're throwing the baby out with the bathwater in generalizing it to ALL portals. For instance, during the last month, Portal:Current events has had 1.4 million pageviews (43,500 per day), Portal:Featured content has had 200,000 pageviews (6,400 per day) and Portal:science has had 39,400 pageviews (1,200 per day) These compose a mere 0.2% of total Main Page views, but keep in mind that the Main Page is the number one visited place on the 5th most popular website on the entire internet, it's bound to get thousands of times more views than even a prominent article (Stephen Hawking only got a third as many views as the main page on the day of his death!) exoplanetaryscience (talk) 17:19, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose I volunteer to help find/make a content visualizing tool which organizes related pages into an easy to understand/navigate structure...and since I don't know any other content organizing tools besides portals, that bit of volunteering coincides with a sense of opposition. I'm coming from the direction of the highly viewed, necessary to most educational institution portals, like Chemistry, Mathematics, Linguistics, etc. Having the pages for these portals all collected in one place isn't perfect, but at the moment it creates a far more accessible method to view many of the co-related pages for an intimidating branch of knowledge. I salute whoever thought to put a blanket delete for the namespace type of data though, invigorating debate has ensued from what I read. Was such a radical proposal that it made me join the conversation, and this is the first time I've done more than solitary edits, which should give everyone some idea of how important portals are to me, and again, only the ones that represent the material used to teach the "necessary subjects." I think there's a lot of promise, and perhaps a solution is better automated portal maintenance. --Silex.logike (talk) 18:49, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose I do not think all portals should be deleted. I would support marking each Portal with Template:Historical but allow any portal editor to remove the template if they think the Portal is active. Any Portal which does not remove the template after 12 months can be deleted by WP:MFD. --Frmorrison (talk) 19:05, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Weak support Weak because I'm not very expert about portals. In fact, I've been actively looking up things on Wikipedia for 12 years and editing almost that long and have never used a portal. I assume that I could find out with a few minutes of work, but I don't even know how to find or use portals, and have never had a need for them. Which I think states the situation for most Wikipedia users. Plus, this kind of a method for finding information somewhat outdated because it is less effective/ more difficult to use. For example, compared to a search bar. It requires the user to learn the (portal) categorization method in order to use it to find something.North8000 (talk) 19:19, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose Portals being deleted in one sweep, is not something I could possibly endorse. As noted earlier Some portals are highly trafficked while other have very low usage, similar to Featured vice Stub articles. Vwanweb (talk) 21:18, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Keep portals, and upgrade them – The initial design concept for portals was that they would each be a main page for a subject. The reality has been that most of them have become a snap shot (one day's version) of a main page for their respective subjects. Imagine if Wikipedia's main page never changed its content. That portals never became what they were envisioned to be is the crux of the matter here.
Looking over the problems of portals reported in the discussion, they boil down to 1) out of date / lack of maintenance (lack of volunteer labor) 2) useless (static / unchanging) and 3) low traffic (few repeat visits). These are problems we can solve. The support to do so is obvious from the above discussion.
The 3rd problem (relatively low traffic) is misleading, for two reasons. First, portals as a whole get more traffic now than ever before, with well over 20 million views per year. Second, portals get their traffic internally, rather than from external search engine results.
Please keep in mind that portals are an internal feature intended to enhance the user experience once the user is already here. Traffic is higher for those portals that provide ongoing services that users return to them for.
But, most portals do not have that level of volunteer labor available to them. Therefore, automatically-generated dynamic content, for example, in the form of randomly generated on-topic selections, automated news feeds, and so on, would be a valuable service, turning the portals into a form of periodical or newsletter.
Also, with such pages in place, who knows what enhancements could be made to them in the future. Technology is accelerating as we speak.
I believe the solution is automation, with configurability (to provide flexibility to portal designers). Refreshing the intro entry, using selective transclusion, so it doesn't go stale is one form of automation that can help.
Obviously, there is no consensus to delete. But, the message is loud and clear that the status quo is unacceptable. The portals need a lot of work. They need an upgrade, to turn them into what they were originally intended to be: main pages for their respective subjects. It's time to roll up our shirt sleeves, and get to it. I foresee a major and fun collaboration coming on. You can expect to see me there. Sincerely,    — The Transhumanist   22:17, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose I come to Wikipedia every day and read the Current Events Portal. Should there come a day when there is no Current Events Portal, I will discontinue my use of and support of Wikipedia as a whole.23.251.93.185 (talk) 23:04, 16 April 2018 (UTC)Dan
Threats to leave, stop using the site, or even stop donating are generally responded to with an eyeroll or a laugh. Try using other Modes of persuasion such as logic-based ethics or practicality. Ian.thomson (talk) 23:22, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
They are? I don't see this as a threat but an actual statement that the editor gets value from the portals and will likely not return if they are gone. But I didn't know that I was supposed to roll my eyes at this...--Paul McDonald (talk) 01:00, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
Readers are the most important part of the community; more important even than editors since an encyclopaedia without readership is nothing. This reader is stating that without portals, they will cease to be a reader. Readers rarely comment for the fact they are here to consume content not contribute it and the fact a reader has weighed in should be seen as a particularly valuable insight. -- BobTheIP editing as 2.28.13.227 (talk) 16:37, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose Portals are useful for navigation. I always use them, especially current events. Persistent Corvid (talk) 23:33, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strongly oppose I find the current event portal extremely useful. I read it daily to keep up with significant world events.2600:1700:FCA0:2580:7C47:345E:D33:F139 (talk) 23:58, 16 April 2018 (UTC)

17 April 2018[edit]

  • Somewhat Oppose The portals are a very nifty tool which of course is why they exist. I understand the reasons for deleting them. Personally, I would think an appropriate action would be to leave them as they are.The popular portals, like the ones with multiple millions of visitors, should probably be maintained and updated. The more obscure ones can be saved and left in the order they are. If a change is necessary: Keep the current events.--66.76.14.92 (talk) 00:33, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strongly Oppose The current events portal provides a very unique concatenation of articles from various topics. Without a portal like this, Wikipedia would lose a critical access point to recently updated articles, articles relating to current events, and pertinent related articles which tie in to topics in the news. If there is not another medium to provide this type of dynamic insight into Wikipedia's content without something like a portal, I think preserving this space which attempts to provide unbiased current events is more important now more than ever. Esa895 (talk) 00:16, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support and first save necessary content in another namespace if needed; and move portals such as Current events to Wikipedia-namespace. Where for example Wikipedia:Your first article, that is also one of the most visited pages, currently is situated. --Treetear (talk) 00:35, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support in general. Portal:Current Events, in particular, probably has more WP:BLP violations than mainspace. Cavaet: Most of my activity in Portal:Current Events was reverting "the Michigan Kid", and some reversion of people adding their own information to current year articles as well as Portal:Current Events, but the entries are a good place to hide WP:BLP violations. Needs a more nuanced responce, but the first step is to unlink them from mainspace and Wikipedia space. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 00:51, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This would remove the Current Events portal, which I for one find incredibly useful and better for use than most official news sites. Anon e Mouse Jr. (talk) 01:01, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strongly Oppose
I'm posting this again after the Section break because I didn't see this within the first 15 minutes of reading through this discussion.
I love Wikipedia and reference it as my first source when learning about a new topic, but I visit the 'Current Events' portal at least once a day because to me this is the equivalent of reading the morning newspaper that was the standard about 50 years ago. The diversity of events which individuals take the time to report there is unrivaled. Often I learn of events that only much later become TV-news worthy or never make the circuit. In a sentence, 'The 'Current Events' portal enriches my life and to lose that would be a shame.' Please do not remove this section just because you find it unnecessary, please rather consider the many people who don't contribute but appreciate the thing for what it is. This comment is only my second time ever editing a Wikipedia page. The other time was in the 'Current Events' portal. So there again is another benefit to it, it draws in visitors and entices them to become contributors. Please, PLEASE, let it be.
Something that I've done in the past, please forgive my ignorance here, in relation to clearing disk space on my computer, has been to search for empty folders in my directory and delete them using a third party utility. As this applies to what seems to be the appeal to many here of deleting the portals, mainly clearing up unused namespace, could something similar not be done? If a portal hasn't been edited in a certain amount of time, could there not automatically be a message posted at the top of it, like the one that led me to this discussion, notifying users that unless the portal logs some activity within the next short time frame, it will automatically be deleted? Seems like a good compromise without killing the whole program.
Thank you to who ever just moved this to the bottom of this section. Duh, I didn't see that either. Thanks again.--66.76.14.92 (talk) 01:03, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
Notwithstanding that Portal:Current events was tagged, no one has proposed deleting it. It will likely be moved to Wikipedia:Current events Legacypac (talk) 03:43, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strongly Oppose I love Wikipedia and reference it as my first source when learning about a new topic, but I visit the 'Current Events' portal at least once a day because to me this is the equivalent of reading the morning newspaper that was the standard about 50 years ago. The diversity of events which individuals take the time to report there is unrivaled. Often I learn of events that only much later become TV-news worthy or never make the circuit. In a sentence, 'The 'Current Events' portal enriches my life and to lose that would be a shame.' Please do not remove this section just because you find it unnecessary, please rather consider the many people who don't contribute but appreciate the thing for what it is. This comment is only my second time ever editing a Wikipedia page. The other time was in the 'Current Events' portal. So there again is another benefit to it, it draws in visitors and entices them to become contributors. Please, PLEASE, let it be.
Something that I've done in the past, please forgive my ignorance here, in relation to clearing disk space on my computer, has been to search for empty folders in my directory and delete them using a third party utility. As this applies to what seems to be the appeal to many here of deleting the portals, mainly clearing up unused namespace, could something similar not be done? If a portal hasn't been edited in a certain amount of time, could there not automatically be a message posted at the top of it, like the one that led me to this discussion, notifying users that unless the portal logs some activity within the next short time frame, it will automatically be deleted? Seems like a good compromise without killing the whole program.
By word count, there are currently 150 'Oppose' and 206 'Support' including multiple usages by single users.
  • Support - I don't think portals accomplish anything for anybody, frankly. Carrite (talk) 02:04, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
    Frankly, that rational is about as insightful as an oppose rational citing that they believe everyone finds Portals quite useful.--John Cline (talk) 16:15, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strongly Oppose Wikipedia's Current events page is far more up to date than Wikinews. Until Wikinews catches up, it'd be awful to remove the current events portal. 2601:580:C000:604F:A0A4:9E2B:1137:927 (talk) 02:23, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support WP:TLDR, but I don't really think there is any purpose for portals above projects, cats, lists and templates.-TonyTheTiger (T / C / WP:FOUR / WP:CHICAGO / WP:WAWARD) 02:43, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment: Concerning the issue of low reader traffic for a number of portals, perhaps it would be better to move the "portal" portion to the very end of each portal title, such as Tropical cyclones portal, Current events portal, etc. A renaming campaign to this new format would probably attract a lot more readers to the various portals, especially for the newer ones. At least it's better than just simply deleting all of them. LightandDark2000 (talk) 02:25, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strongly Oppose Portal Removal I really enjoy reading Wikipedia Portal:Current_events. I visit the 'Current Events' portal at least once a day and most of the times few times a day. I like reading the daily items. The calendar display on the right-hand bar is very useful as sometimes articles are written without specifying a weekday but not the MM-DD-YYYY. The On Going events side-bar is very interesting and I learned a lot reading the On Going topics. I don't care to read about the Sports section in the On Going events. The Elections and Referendum section is helpful and nice to know about politics around the world. The Trials section on the right-side bar is also informative. The Sports side-bar does not cover some of the international sports and it should be removed.
    If this and other portals are removed, Wikipedia groups who volunteered on portal topics will be impacted. Wikipedia portals are like a community at Wikipedia and its existence must exist. SWP13 (talk) 03:22, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
I can't see how rearranging the names will improve the usefulness Legacypac (talk) 03:43, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support deprecating/ending the creation of new portals, oppose deletion en masse. The good ones can be kept, the bad ones can be {{historical}}'d or deleted on a case-by-case basis. FACE WITH TEARS OF JOY [u+1F602] 04:03, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support - I've worked in a couple of Portals in the past, but I really never visis them. They're quite useless, containing incorrect and outdated info. Standard links, navigation templates, and categories offer plenty of possibilities all the info one wants to find. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 04:23, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strongly Oppose - Wikipedia is a necessary reference and is often the best source of information. I visit the 'Current Events' portal every day because it provides the most neutral roundup of daily events with all sources cited. The diversity of events reported are fantastic and overall the portal is very well done and extremely useful. Please do not remove this section!!! — Preceding unsigned comment added by Nbenmargi (talkcontribs) 17 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strognly oppose deletion Keep all portals!Anjuna (talk) 05:10, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose Portals are a great mechanism we should cherish Jurryaany (talk) 06:44, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support - Portals have become obsolete. Also I feel that sometimes portals are biased. RRD (talk) 07:07, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strongly oppose I found this survey through a notification on Portal:Current events. I personally, like many others I am sure, use that portal extensively to garner information on current events around the world. The current events portal does a remarkable job at keeping users informed and presenting news with minimal bias all while providing links to relevant articles. I would be extremely disappointed to see that portal go, especially in an era where "fake news" is a serious concern for everyone. I hope that even if this measure passes, there will be a replacement for Portal:Current events. Thank you. Bowwow828 (talk) 07:21, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose. They are an incredibly useful and varied tool; I agree with the comments above. —Nightstallion 07:23, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose. -- Udimu (talk) 07:26, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strongly oppose mass deletion of all portals. Some portals (such as Portal: Current Events) are highly useful to Wikipedia. That being said, I would probably support some type of reform for the portals that have gone inactive over the past few years. Canuck89 (have words with me) 08:02, April 17, 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose First of all, as a matter of principle against blanket deletions; the argument that *many* portals are not well maintained and therefore *all* should be deleted is something to avoid in any discussion. Second, even if one person a year visits a portal and is assisted in learning something, that is sufficient reason for its retention; as others have pointed out above, server space is not a concern. Third, I would support exploring ideas how portal management can be automated (linking a portal with WikiProjects and automatically retrievig DYKs or quality articles etc), but that is a call for improvement, not abolition. Fourth, portals provide a context and content that is not done by the other main namespaces of Wikipedia: articles are strictly about a specific topic, while a WikiProject is about editor collaboration and will rarely be visited by the average user (i.e., reader). When well done, a portal can be exactly that, a gateway to a more comprehensive treatment of a topic and content that does not, by its nature, fit anywhere else (e.g., from my own work, Portal:Byzantine Empire/Weblinks). I find no compelling argument to rid Wikipedia of this. Constantine 08:27, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strongly oppose, I like portals. Fish+Karate 09:31, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose The fact that some are not well-maintained is not a sufficient argument for all of them to be deleted. Additionally, unless some specific harm can be identified and well-justified associated with the continued existence of portals, there does not seem to be any advantage to the project in deleting them. These kinds of proposals are at risk of adding to a kind of atmosphere in which content writers are being assailed by those who always seem to wish to delete content. If this atmosphere became more prevalent, it would not be supportive, which I thought would go against what we are all trying to be for one another. Some portals may be poorly-maintained, others may not be. Those who take particular exception to poorly-maintained portals should direct their attention to them, not try to delete all of them, no matter how well or poorly maintained they are.  DDStretch  (talk) 09:51, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I see no reason why a well-maintained portal should be deleted. This should be handled individually, not by mass-deleting. ПАНСЛАВ 10:00, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong, conditional, oppose. Portals themselves are an exceedingly valuable tool on Wikipedia. Their greatest weakness, from my perspective, appears to be that they are relatively hidden from the majority of Wikipedia users. Portals are not clearly located, and often do not contain the types of content people may be interested in, meaning that the current system of portals is one that is in need of reform. Portals themselves, if much more clearly marked, would most likely be used by a far larger number of users. I understand that it may seem a bit odd, but I recently had an opportunity to conduct a survey at the school I attend using Google Forms, and 93% of the school population was completely unaware of the existence of portals. Portals themselves need to be clearly marked, so that people can be informed of their existence, and therefore use them. Removing Portals would cause Wikipedia to lose a potentially important system that may help users find more content, if reformed. SuperChris (talk) 12:02, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support. This has long been one of my criticisms of Wikipedia. To repeat from my user page: Portals Are Pointless, Barely Maintained Hulks. The true portals of this site are what search engines and wiki searches lead people to, and that is the main subject articles themselves, not what we call portals. Most portals were developed in a frenzy sometime in the 2000s (some would argue as vehicles for some Wikipedians seeking adminship), and they have been languishing ever since. I think it's high time they, along with their namespace, be decommissioned. However, I wouldn't mind somehow retaining some of their elements, and placing them in main subject articles or in WikiProjects. Stevie is the man! TalkWork 12:29, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I think that we just need some work to be done on them. I am not in support of deleting all portals because of low readership, how do we know that those readers don't find them useful? Ultimograph5 (talk) 12:48, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support. Per many, many other support votes above - they seem neglected and have considerably lower activity and readership than articles themselves. This has made them defeat their own purpose of being "useful entry-points", as they don't usually stay up to date and their quality cannot be guaranteed as well as it can be with articles. It seems the stagnation of portals in general has been going on for a longer time, such as with the discontinuation of featuring portals. The existing high-activity portals should be renamed to Overview articles while portals of lower activity should be looked through for any content worth salvaging and then be removed. SURJECTION ·talk·contr·log· 13:34, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Please do not destroy Portal:Current_events, which I read almost every day and then read in from to learn things related to what is currnetly going on in the world. 14:46, 17 April 2018 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by 63.78.52.211 (talk) 17 April 2018
  • Strong Oppose this is a solution in search of a problem, but in reality this so-called solution would do more harm than good. Are there some portals that should be marked as historical? Yes, but deleting all of them is not the proper way of handling that issue. Also, there's no good reason to delete any of them instead of marking them as historical. I also reject the argument that portals should be deleted so that editors can focus on more important matters. As long as our editors aren't being disruptive, it is none of our business how they choose to use their time here. Thankfully, there is clearly no consensus here and the portals will likely not be mass deleted. Lepricavark (talk) 14:47, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strongly oppose. Keep portals, and upgrade them. Portals represent a place of generalization of information on the topic, information is extremely useful to both the Wikipedians and ordinary readers, unfortunately the latter do not know much about many useful options and functions of Wikipedia. Therefore, I think it is necessary to inform the public at social networks, the media about them and others, including about portals. Also I advocate the increase in the number of links to portals in articles and for the automation of subsections of portals with the availability of the interchangeability of several dozen fragments of articles in each of them and changing them like a kaleidoscope. For those people who point out the weak attendance of portals, I advise you to make an effort to construct and increase attendance at the expense of these mechanisms, and not to use radical methods, ignoring the presence of people who are interested in or important portals. And those people who created them. Because I see the obvious benefit of them and see no harm from their existence. Who does not want to - let him not read them, who sees a shortage of attendance - let him put his hand on their improvement, rather than deleting.--Yasnodark (talk) 15:04, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose I use the Current Events portal nearly every day, and it has hit 40k average daily views over the last few days. If we were talking about only rarely viewed or edited portals exclusively, I might be willing to support, but this blanket hits too many that get hundreds to thousands of uses a day.Bahb the Illuminated (talk) 15:05, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strongly Oppose I do not have TV or any form of print news at this point in time, and Wikipedia is one of the sites I can use to get unbiased and quick information about recent news stories. Portal:Current_Events, as the previous point has stated, is highly used and visited. Deleting all portals would remove one of the ways that many people like me stay informed about the world around them. If this was about deleting unnecessary portals and cleaning up the amount of clutter here on Wikipedia, I would support it, but a huge deletion of everything in the Portal namespace is ridiculous. —StarkinMN 15:29, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose Current Events, for one, is highly used with excellent content — Preceding unsigned comment added by 37.228.247.83 (talk) 17 April 2018
  • (edit conflict) Support. Delete all portals about topics as we have good ways of navigating Wikipedia now, which is the only use for portals according to WP:PORTAL. Keep the Contents but move them out of the Portal namespace. I don't know where exactly, but something like a "(Contents)" or "(Meta)" namespace. I would delete the Current events portal depending on the outcome of my proposal here. (I am not watching this page, so please ping me if you want my attention.) wumbolo ^^^ 16:37, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strongly Oppose I love searching for interesting facts and portals have helped me find those facts.User:SimonLagann (User talk:SimonLagann) 18:32, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support marking all portals historical and removing any link to them from the main namespace. Or at least removing the links. Pageviews largely demonstrate how pointless the whole exercise is (as seen in comments by Pharos and PrimeHunter). I'd also welcome statistics on how diverse the editorship of the portals is on average, but I doubt anyone would challenge the view that nearly all portals are maintained by a single or very few committed users and therefore have a very hard time representing Wikipedia's content on the subject in a neutral and well-sourced fashion. Discontinuing this practice would allow us to focus our resources (including links) on more productive efforts, including categories (as difficult as they are). I oppose deleting any of those pages, per m:Keep history. --Nemo 17:45, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose Truly awful proposal, deletionism to new heights, etc. Other users have voiced these very pertinent positions. If there are merge-able or junk portal pages, deal with them individually. Don't destroy thousands of pages of work and information. KingAntenor (talk) 18:15, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose - better to work at improving them then just deleting them. Let each wiki-project that the portal(s) fall under take responsibility for them, or at the very least, archive them as "inactive". - theWOLFchild 18:21, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose - I use several portals almost daily (including Current Events), and edit a few as well, and know quite a few people that do. We can all think of ways to improve them, but I am strongly against deleting or shutting them down. Skycycle (talk) 18:30, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strongly Oppose till I die This would be disastrous. If all portals are deleted, so are sources for hundreds — If not thousands — of topics. I swear to every single god in every single reglion Wikipedia will come crashing down if this happens. I agree with KingAntenor and Thewolfchild, either mark them inactive, deal with them indivually, or leave them be. Just don't fliping destroy them! I may only be 12, but I know a thing or two about functionality, and choosing to delete portals is the exact opposite of it. 65.175.240.110 (talk) 18:57, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support at least the general marking with {{historical}} for the vast majority of portals. Some have claimed that Current Events is useful; i don't find it so, but don't deny that they may. It seems undeniable, however, that in general the system of portals is not terribly useful and is an unused and unnecessary portion of the Project. (Noting, in passing, that the previous comment, which i edit-conflicted with, is silly and a bit pointless; a good argument would be more convincing.) Happy days, LindsayHello 19:02, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose I personally use the Current Events portal as a lovely overview of events that is well curated and cared for. Ancient Studies major (talk) 19:10, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose The Current Events portal is in a convenient location, and is where I find most of my news for the day. User:Cyberpunk 93 13:20, 17 April, 2018 (MST)
  • Strong oppose Without portals there would be no further need of any WikiProject and therefore no forther need for any coordinated collabroation in Wikipedia. Or, in other words, most WikiProjects would die. Else I don't see the point: even if a portal is not well maintained does that not mean that the linked articles are not maintained. People are coming to WP to read articles; the do not come because of portals but portals are one mean to get an entrance to a specific content. --Matthiasb (talk) 19:26, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose There is little harm in keeping the portals, and several, including the Current Events Portal, are useful, well-maintained, and informative. Icarosaurvus (talk) 19:51, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose. While there may be room for a discussion as to the way forward for Portals, a deletion survey is perhaps too soon, and is not helpful at this stage as it seems to be mainly encouraging Like/Don't like opinions (which is tempting to join in with!) rather than evaluation of the flaws and merits of the system. Some evaluation of the purpose of Portals, and how effective they are in achieving that, would be useful, and would provide material for considering what needs doing. I have no interest in Portals, but I don't feel them to be burden on me or on the project as a whole, because they are in a namespace of their own, and they are either left alone (as are millions of our articles, which is genuinely more concerning) or are maintained by those interested in maintaining them. I'm not seeing any significant problems with Portal:New York City which is a well presented page that contains introductions to articles (the articles selected appear randomly so next time you visit you get presented with different articles selected from those in this cat: Category:New York City portal), this is followed by links to various articles in the topic, and the best articles on the topic. I'm not seeing why that has to be deleted. I looked randomly at seven other Portals and could see no reasons for deleting those either. The Portals seem to follow the same format. If the concern is that the introductory text for the selected articles is not up to date, then by that rationale we would be deleting at least 75% of the project. And, anyway, that concern could be addressed by looking at making templates that transcluded the live lead sections of articles rather than a handful of dated leads. I'm all for discussing the issues and looking for solutions to problems rather than deleting because I Don't Like It or fully understand it. I don't see Portals interfering with my editing of the project, nor getting in the way of the general reader accessing or enjoying the encyclopedia. I don't see Portals creating dissent or causing issues. Should they be linked from the Main Page? I don't know. Would links to the main categories be better? Is it better to send readers here: Category:Arts or here: Portal:Arts? Or do we need something in between those two? I'm not sure, but I do feel evaluation and discussion is the way forward rather than a deletion vote. SilkTork (talk) 20:25, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support the LightandDark2000 proposal. Similar to the "Messendrocker solution" with Esperanza, these were highly visible pages that are no longer viable. I think that portals that no one looks at anymore (like Portal:The Sims) and mark as historical or deprecated the major portals. The only ones that I could think would be worth keeping active are the major subject area ones ("History", "Science", etc.). Nomader (talk) 22:54, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
How did you come to the conclusion that their traffic has gone down? It is exactly the opposite: their traffic keeps going up. They are more visible now than ever.    — The Transhumanist   23:20, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
I think that the main ones, maybe, but fringe ones about topics that no one is updating definitely shouldn't exist. We should at most keep it to a few core portals and then delete or archive the rest. Nomader (talk) 14:52, 18 April 2018 (UTC)
The other problem is a lack of maintenance. Portal:College basketball's "featured biography" was last updated by me..... 12 years ago (history is here: [2]). That's insane, and shows that for many of these portals, they've gone too far in the weeds. It should really only be core subjects at the end of this. Nomader (talk) 15:26, 18 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose You are essentially wanting to remove other's hard work simply because you found a few that are bad. Yes there are the bad ones, but deleting all of them is a pathetic waste of time and energy. Why we can't just remove the ones that are terrible instead of deleting all of them is beyond me. Namcokid47 (talk) 23:11, 17 April 2018 (UTC)

18 April 2018[edit]

  • Oppose mass deletion. Instead, extend PROD to portals. Many or event most portals may be abandoned, but the ones that are actively maintained should be retained. When a portal is outdated to the extent that it's a negative for the project, it should be eligible for proposed deletion. WP:PROD currently applies only to articles and files, but there's no reason it couldn't be extended to portals as well with a minimum of effort. Antony–22 (talkcontribs) 01:08, 18 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Weak oppose, but a serious reform is "seriously" needed to improve the portals. I propose a "portal mode" for power editors approved by specific moderators. This means that moderators with a certain kind of knowledge (to edit certain kind of articles efficiently) should be using portals with ease. I think my proposition of portals should be only for particular moderators and editors that could view edit histories of articles pertaining to a specific portal. For example, Portal:Arts having Related changes for art-specific articles along with the Featured article text box and the Featured biography text box. Overall, what I'm trying to say is: why not improve the functions of portals just for approved moderators and editors with specific knowledge? --Komitsuki (talk) 01:28, 18 April 2018 (UTC)
In addition, this also means that a couple of very popular portals like Portal:Current_events should be open to everyone. We need to distinguish portals for ease to access with the average viewers and portals for editing purposes. --Komitsuki (talk) 01:51, 18 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose You are killing all of the bad ones. It's like finding few rotten eggs, and throwing the whole box out, even though 4 of the eggs are bad in 12. Yes, there are the bad ones, but killing all of the portals will ruin people's hard work. Delete the one's that are useless and keep the major ones like Portal:Current Events. Alot of people like me like the news, and I don't want it do be deleted, as it's a great information source. I support the deletion of small and useless portals like things about King Arthur, but keep the main ones.AbhiramKapaganty (AbhiramKapaganty) 1:31, 18 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strongly in favor of technical overhaul per Abyssal. Acebulf (talk) 01:51, 18 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose That would be really harmful for readers. Portals are an important tool to explore articles and join them in the same subject. For example, what would happen to Portal:Current events. For many people, this portal is an important source of news, as much as Google News. This mass deletion is insane. If some portals need updates, just let's do it. There are hundreds of thousands of active users in English Wikipedia, so I think that's not an excuse for removing such important tool. You know what? This Wikipedia, the English edition, is almost perfect. We don't need to do that. --Humberto del Torrejón (talk) 01:54, 18 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose For one, getting rid of the portal system does not guarantee that those who spend most of their energy working on them inevitably will move their focus somewhere else. It's very possible that it causes some sort of push-back, for lack of a better term, amongst the very active editors of those portals, which I personally think isn't worth the hassle. Secondly, I do think they could use some sort of overhaul, but what that would be, I can't say. Other posters have already covered most of the reasons I'm opposed to this move, so you can look to those to understand my thoughts more completely. In the case where this discussion does lead to the ending of the portal system, I think two things need to happen.
  1. Certain portals, such as the current events portal, should stick around. In fact, it probably should be on a case-by-case basis anyway, where the more active portals stay around while the inactive or rarely active ones can be closed.
  2. The various portals shouldn't be removed from existence, but instead left in a non-editable manner for historical purposes. Gamermadness (talk) 02:13, 18 April 2018 (UTC)
Note: The Current events portal and Tropical cyclones portal need to be actively maintained, since they both place a heavy emphasis on "active" or "current" events related to their topics (and both portals are actively maintained). LightandDark2000 (talk) 02:59, 18 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strongly oppose, with suggestion - want to know why? See Portal:Explanation. Tisquesusa (talk) 08:22, 18 April 2018 (UTC)
    1. Wikipedia is not a popularity contest. If it were, there are thousands of Iranian villages with 32 inhabitants and 50 goats that 'nobody' looks at. Same for moths with only one specimen found or islands of Antarctica and so hundreds of examples more.
    2. The whole argument is bogus; a link to a portal may be only clicked once and from there, other pages can be visited (generating multiple clicks and views on the pages linked in the portals), so the view count per day is not a good measure anyway.
    3. Also there is no way to measure how much time or actual reading a reader spends when clicking a portal page.
    4. I never ever click on the Main Page, but browse, read and check my watchlist (hence I found out about this, I never visit the Village pump either) everyday and have written in the past over 200 articles and worked on thousands.
    5. The writers do not decide what readers may find interesting. It is up to the readers, the vast majority of which is not here, to decide that.
    6. Comments above that portals are not linked, I did my share in linking to all relevant portals for the South American paleontological articles (example. It may have led to traffic to those portals, or not, that doesn't make my work redundant.
    7. Many users have spent many hours in creating portals, maintaining portals, improving portals and linking portals. That work done "is not an argument" is not true for a community project, with different writers and personalities.
    8. I have seen portals that are better maintained than many mainspace pages, with outdated information, tags without discussion or proper motivation, bad spelling, grammar, insufficient categorization, etc. And those pages were created years ago and not or hardly maintained afterwards.
    9. It is illogical, and even dominating, that someone who doesn't like portals decides that the people who do like portals should be negated their liking. If you don't like portals, simply don't click on them or do not work on them. If you do like them, please let this discussion be a motivation to improve the portals. An automation for weekly/monthly updates is not hard to implement, after all there are "just" 1500 portals, almost less than comments on this very page (in just a couple of days).
    10. That might be a requirement following from this discussion; all portals that by date X do not have this automated system implemented will be put in historical (not: deleted), after several attempts to contact the content creators of course. All the other portals that have that automated implementation done (plus other maintenance needed) will be maintained as they are. Cheers, Tisquesusa (talk) 08:20, 18 April 2018 (UTC)
Request: Someone please speedy delete Portal:Yerevan (It's an empty husk. P1 (as article), A3 (no content)). Thank you.    — The Transhumanist   10:40, 18 April 2018 (UTC)
Done (I think it is the first time I used CSD P1 in more than 10000 speedy deletions). —Kusma (t·c) 11:30, 18 April 2018 (UTC)
I'm glad to have made your day. :)    — The Transhumanist   12:54, 18 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Slightly Support I've never seen the point of portals. They seem like they can be merged with wiki projects. One thing of consideration is that Portals are most likely being made/maintained by the most enthusiastic editors? Lollipoplollipoplollipop (talk) 13:54, 18 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose Portals need fixing, not deleting. They are (or should be) a crucial navigation tool for the encyclopaedia. That's not to say they're not without problems - maintaining them can be time consuming and, as has been pointed out, is often not done. I think the reason for that is the work is actually quite monotonous and repetitive - the kind of stuff that could and should be automated. I've made some inroads in that direction - for example, Portal:South East England is fully automated, pulling articles from its subportals. So, what are these maintenance tasks and how could they be automated?
    • Updating selected content - the bot proposal in the next section should be able to fix that
    • Selecting content - can be automated by "selecting" FAs/GAs in the relevant categories
    • Pulling "current events" from Wikinews (relies on Wikinews categorisation and content creation, which doesn't work too well) using things like Template:Wikinews table
  • If there's a decent proposal to replace portals with something more automated - a view of categories that automatically shows excerpts from featured/good articles within them and related to them, with "on this day", "current events" and other common portal features supported (again, see P:SEE) - then I'd consider supporting it. But I oppose wholesale deletion without a decent alternative in place. WaggersTALK 14:30, 18 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Keep portals, and upgrade them – I regularly use Portal:Current Events and think this evidence of its relevance. I think ending the system of portals at large because their function appears redundant would deprive Wikipedia of an essential function, namely impartial aggregated global news that anyone can see the edit history for and anyone can contribute to. — Preceding unsigned comment added by AlphaEnochOmega (talkcontribs) 15:01, 18 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Seems like maybe the notability guidelines need to be better implemented or something, but I came here from portal:current events which I read every day. If there's a replacement for it that has the same functionality, cool. 74.93.182.21 (talk) 15:02, 18 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose Portal are really helpful when people is trying to look and learn from some topic, rather than searching for a specific article — Preceding unsigned comment added by 167.1.186.4 (talk) 15:40, 18 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment: I understand the argument that some portals were abandoned and are pointless considering there are WikiProjects, outlines, etc., but I must say Portal:Current events is actively read and edited (including by myself every once in a while), so I'm not sure outright deleting or deprecating them is the right solution. NoMoreHeroes (talk) 16:11, 18 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose The portal for News is one of the most useful pages in Wikipedia. It's not the same as the portal for Cricket. Portals that are very useful and serve as reference should not go the same way as useless portals. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 190.218.162.191 (talk) 16:16, 18 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Very strong oppose There are several reasons why this absurd request should not be continued in favour of portal destruction
    1. Portals are no inconvenient, they contribute to the encyclopedia

      if it ain't broke don't fix it

    2. Portals are well visited and useful for navigation
    3. The majority is well maintained and updated (comment) but all portals need to be constantly updated and cared of by Wikipedians, not only of the project. The portals need to be in perpetual improvement to avoid stagnation
    So why delete portals? --Railfan01 (talk) 17:07, 18 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose No value in removing. Lots of value in the current portals. I like the question, but think the answer is to improve portals not delete. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mmackenz (talkcontribs) f 19:37, 18 April 2018 (UTC)
  • International very strong oppose because it also concerns other wikipedia-projects.
    I do not understand why you have to delete something that:
    • Thousands of hours of free time spent on volunteer helpers
    • does not bother anyone, does not cost anyone anything
    • rarely until barely outdated and needs updating
    • Helping readers by giving them an overview of a topic
    • Help readers to ask questions when they have a problem
    • Authors of a subject area help to discuss problems together
    • leaving behind a lot of frustration after deleting and certainly chasing away old veteran writers
    A Statistic shows that only 6 Portals had 451.481 Pageviews in the last 3 Month. Best --Tom (talk) 20:37, 18 April 2018 (UTC)

19 April 2018[edit]

  • Support getting rid of them. There's reason for keeping a few of them, e.g. Current Events, but anything good can be moved to projectspace. Portals were a great idea, but they've just not worked out. "if it ain't broke don't fix it" True, but as the nominator noted, our portals are typically grossly out of date and fail to provide consistent good information. How useful is something featuring a random collection of articles? And they've been around for years: why should we expect portals magically to start improving if nobody's done any significant work for a long time? Yes, they're broken, and they're not likely to be improved. From glancing through some of the upper parts of this page, it seems that most of the opposition is specifically because people don't want to get rid of Portal:Current events. The closing admin (or admin team, given the size of this thing) should note this; unless I've been glancing at a misrepresentative sample, there's consensus for retaining that page at whatever title, but if there's consensus for keeping the system as a whole, it needs to be because of votes that explicitly address the whole system, e.g. Tom's comment immediately above mine. Nyttend (talk) 00:22, 19 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Conditional Support: Many portals are merely reiterations of the articles that they are based on. However, some portals are quite useful (like Current Events). The best way to approach it is on a case by case basis.Randomness74 (talk) 00:49, 19 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose Ridiculous suggestion. Just because there's a few out of date portals, no need to punish the well maintainted. TheLostBoy (talk) 02:44, 19 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support. Whatever the theoretical benefits of portals, the reality is that most of them are woefully under-maintained, and v little used. This been the case for years, so all the talk of "keep and improve them" is dreaming: there simply are not enough editors with a sustained interest in doing so, Worse, given the viewing figures, anyone advocating widespread improvement is unintentionally encouraging editors to waste their time. That would actively damage Wikipedia by diverting effort away from actually improving en.wp
    I say this with some sadness because I recently spent a day or two making Template talk:YearInCountryPortalBox to automatically add portal links to thousands of country-by-year cats; but as I built it and viewed more portals, I became more and more convinced that my concerns were well-founded.
    My ideal solution would be too keep about 20 major portals(art/science/etc plus continents), and delete the rest. But given the unhelpful binary nature of this proposal, I'd prefer outright deletion to either keeping them all or to having 1500 MfD debates. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 04:38, 19 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support and Oppose I am a frequent reader of the Current Events portal. I find it useful and a good source of news. I suggest all portals that have a number of views higher than a certain amount to be transformed into something different, but not abandoned. Portals that are old in their updates but visited anyways may become static pages (e.g. "tonight's soccer games" becomes "soccer games till 2017"), updated ones may be continued in other forms. amdp 09:02, 19 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose Personally, I find well maintained portals like that for Mathematics very entertaining and useful. Wikipedia search can only deal with known unknowns but portals excel at unknown unknowns and let you expand your bubble and find interesting subjects that you didn't even know existed beforehand. DecBrennan (talk) 09:42, 19 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose. I am a frequent user. It is very useful when one is interested in particular topics. --Julien1978 (d.) 12:21, 19 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment I'd like to point out that there is a common thread among those who support removing portals, and that is that since a group of portals (A, B, and C) are "poorly written/out of date/not maintained" then we must therefore remove all portals (A, B, C, D, ... Z). This argument is essentially WP:ALLORNOTHING, an argument to avoid in deletion discussions. This is especially critical in that it is known that at least some portals are indeed well written, current, and regularly maintained. Not only is the argument one that should not be used in general, it is also proven to be incorrect in this specific case.--Paul McDonald (talk) 13:47, 19 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Weak conditional support. Some portals may have content that can be salvaged and moved to the pages of their respective WikiProjects. For example, Portal:Eurovision, which is part of the WikiProject in all but name, has some very handy links in there, besides useless stuff like DYK, article summaries and annual news of who won the main contest. —  Andreyyshore  T  C  14:23, 19 Apr 2018 (UTC) 
  • Oppose It's a nice way to explore a topic. It's still useful even it is unmaintained. --Lerdsuwa (talk) 15:14, 19 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Portals also have a following from interested readers of those topics. The surprise the main page articles give to followers is pleasant. Yes, the update frequency of portals can be increased or a section of main page can display a random/automated article to keep the enthusiasm of the readers up. But portals need not be closed as it will be disappointing for the following community. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 106.211.26.88 (talk) 16:18, 19 April 2018
  • STRONGLY OPPOSE The portal system is EXTREMLY HELPFUL for my book writing, especially the Portal:Tank, due to the fact that there are so many tanks out there. plz keep the portal system. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.221.154.43 (talk) 16:52, 19 April 2018‎ (UTC)
  • Oppose While they may be mostly unmaintaned, how does removing them benefit Wikipedia? Per many people above, it seems to be a helpful resource. And while I don't oppose the idea of merging them with Wikiprojects, doing that basically forces people to do tons of tedious work, and again, for no real benefit. ~ Dissident93 (talk) 17:01, 19 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose I believe a portal should provide a contemporary overview of what's topical or changing in a subject area. A bit like Britannica's year Books they give the reader an overview of where change is occuring in the understanding of a subject , what novel ideas have emerged and what are the current debates and controversies. If a portal has not been edited for some time ( say 2 years) then a box should be added stating it is silent and asking people who are interested in the subject to adopt it. Lumos3 (talk) 21:09, 19 April 2018 (UTC)
    • Comment: I actually really like this; were this to be a proposal after this whole mess is finished, I'd certainly support it. Icarosaurvus (talk) 23:37, 19 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support: Reading Franz Kafka I came upon the Book Portal, hoping to find something about Kafka. Instead of which I was treated to a smorgasbord of stuff, some of it interesting, but none of it relating to Kafka and apparently no sensible way of navigating. A complete waste of my time to have been directed there. Three random articles for breakfast did not please me. I say portals should go if this one is in anyway representative of the lot. Cheers, MargaretRDonald (talk) 21:51, 19 April 2018 (UTC)
    Why would you think the "Book" portal would necessarily have something to say about a particular author? Sounds like a better solution to this problem is removing the link to the Book portal from the Kafka article (if it is there) rather than deleting the entire portal namespace. - dcljr (talk) 22:46, 19 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose Breaks the first pillar of Wikipedia, also it is unnecessary. Felicia (talk) 21:57, 19 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose. If what is proposed would remove and not replace the functionality of non-commentary news sources as is demonstrated in the Current Events Portal, then I oppose. I donate yearly due in part to this simplified and "reduced bias" approach to world events. It is my first source for daily news and I refer many people to it. I sincerely hope the concept of Current Events is not lost, regardless of technology change. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Poweredbywill (talkcontribs) 23:01, 19 April 2018 (UTC)

20 April 2018[edit]

  • Strong oppose deletion (they are in no-way harmful to have available in the history); neutral on deprecating (and redirecting) them in favor of something else. If this discussion had taken deletion off the table initially, it would have avoided at least one source of derailment. Please consider that in the future. JesseW, the juggling janitor 02:38, 20 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Minor deletion Ok. The portals are nice. Very nice. i think that not ALL the portals should be deleted, but rather let us keep the major portals and get rid of portals like Portal:Cricket that seem to belong more as a category instead. I like the portals. So let's keep the major portals. The garmine (talk) 05:21, 20 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support - Portals are detrimental to Wikipedia. They give the impression of being dynamic, constantly updating sources of information, but in practise are out of date and redundant to article space. If someone wants to know about cricket, they'll go to Cricket and follow links from there, not to Portal:Cricket. Portals are a waste of editor time. --LukeSurl t c 10:42, 20 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose I don't think there is a lot that can be achieved by deleting the portals. I find portals to be exciting and helpful. Portals are a part of Wikipedia where I believe there is more artistic freedom compared to articles. Pratyush (talk) 11:26, 20 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support per MargaretRDonald. JackHoang (talk) 13:44, 20 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose I do not favor complete removal of portals. It is true that some portals are unmaintained or poorly constructed, but not all portals fall into this group. I think the main problem with portals is a lack of visibility. While the main page has links to several top-level portals, they do not always appear in search results (in particular, when there is a page and a portal by the same name) and, if they are referenced at all in related or relevant pages, the reference is somewhere at the bottom of the page and is not always prominent and are not provided in a consistent and recognizable manner, unlike some other links. Putting the portal link at or near the top of the page would make portals much more visible and much more likely to be visited. I suspect that many Wikipedia readers do not even realize that the portals exist - I know I didn't for a few years (yes, years), and I read pages on Wikipedia regularly. I would support a "weeding out" of unmaintained and poorly constructed portals, or merging the functionality into another area of Wikipedia (if a relevant area exists), and, if portals are retained, I would strongly suggest making them more visible. 67.233.25.174 (talk) 16:02, 20 April 2018 (UTC)DrROM
  • Strong Oppose because I value Portal: Current events very highly as a world news resource. Evan R. Murphy (talk) 18:27, 20 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose Per all the oppose rationales above. This is a terrible idea on many levels. Dr. K. 22:27, 20 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong support: In 12 years of active Wikipedia editing, and several prior years as a reader, I cannot recall visiting any portal twice. I can think of only one real engagement with a Portal as an editor, and it was negative. I admit that case is an outlier and should not be used to judge the whole Portal namespace; it is not the reason I support this proposal. The main reason I support it is that portals drain the energy and attention of editors and give very little to readers in exchange. They distract editors who might otherwise make valuable contributions to one or more related Projects. The decay of a Portal is a discouraging experience for contributors, and the ones who left Wikipedia are not represented in this discussion. Finally, deletion on Wikipedia is not annihilation, and time should be allowed for valuable content to be collected and maintained by Projects. It may give moribund projects something to do, and could give them new energy. Portal-like pages in Projects might be the next step toward what the Portal namespace aimed at but failed to achieve. -- ob C. alias ALAROB 23:14, 20 April 2018 (UTC)
P.S. The remark "I cannot recall visiting any portal twice" is meant to indicate that I have visited many portals, but have not found them useful; therefore I have not returned to them. They are not the resource I believe they were intended to be. I mention this because the opposing comment immediately below seems to make a straw man of my remark, viz.: "many of the "Support" votes have the following character: 'I've never visited a portal, and therefore they are useless and should be deleted.'"

21 April 2018[edit]

  • Oppose. It seems to me that the outcome of this RfC, should it be successful, would be no different than if thousands of MfDs were to close as delete, and all portal pages deleted individually. Accordingly, it should require very strong consensus to proceed. I do not see this outcome. Indeed, on the one hand many of the "Support" votes have the following character: "I've never visited a portal, and therefore they are useless and should be deleted." An argument like this would never pass muster at MfD. And, on the other hand, there does seem to be a consensus that some portals are important and useful, while perhaps the majority of portals should be deleted. As User:BrownHairedGirl points out, the RfC's binary nature is problematic. Yet I reach the opposite conclusion as she: if we were to run 1500 MfD's and the outcome of some of those would turn out as keep, then this RfC should do the same. So far it has been demonstrated the the Portal namespace has a solid core, despite having much cruft in need of culling. The solution, as I see it, is to start a systematic cleanup operation: tag portals as dead, unmaintained, or otherwise needing cleanup. Once tagged for a reasonable period, those that remain so can be en masse discussed at MfD. Sławomir Biały (talk) 12:28, 21 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The current events portal is my main source for news and if it goes away I'll be stuck reading biased, for-profit news. 12:40, 21 April 2018 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by 101.178.43.148 (talk)
  • Oppose. Portal is a great way to discover concepts in a topic when we are free to learn new knowledge. However, a great portal should only contains "links" to articles, hierarchy of the topic (a better looking of categories summary) and templates to topic (or info boxes), instead of polluting the portal system with advertisements and articles content. BAlbert 16:43, 21 April 2018 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Balbert (talkcontribs)
  • Strong Oppose The merit of all portals should not be decided by the POV pushing on a few. Portals are, in my opinion, very useful to readers and editors. They do need a lot of work; but I definitely do not support mass-deleting them. Vermont | reply here 17:26, 21 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose Portals provide information on a subject in a very "tasty" way, as for it usually promotes to read more. -> Good Introduction. They are a good start into a subject. Community should take better care to update, OR: provide as much timeless information in the start page as possible. But we shouldn't delete them! --Soha~dewiki (talk) 18:02, 21 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose. i have put in huge amounts of editing in a number of portals, and find the idea of them appealing. there are lots of flawed, incomplete, abandoned portals that dont help. that can be fixed. making them more visible (or making good ones more visible) would help the negative feedback loop of no one seeing them/no one working on them. fix the creation and maintenance process (i removed some 'in the news' sections from moribund portals with no regular editors).Mercurywoodrose (talk) 19:55, 21 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose (but support reform): In my experience, Portals are the optimal way to explore a topic on Wikipedia.  My most active period of WikiEditing occurred in the months following when I set Portal:Trains as my homepage.  This conjunction was not a coincidence: the Portal was introducing to articles on that topic in a way I can not imagine achieving using the search function, and then I would WP:BEBOLD.  The editing did not drop off even as the Portal visibly stagnated for a few months.  Many arguments here in favor of support seem to argue that Portals are rarely used by editors and ill-maintained.  To the former claim: this is by design!  Portals are for readers seeking introduction to a topic, not for editors seeking to coordinate; the latter should use WikiProjects instead.  Note, too that this also makes RfC's a poor way to judge the feature's utility.  To the latter: as many people have remarked, Portals are relatively easy to automate to randomly select their content, and there seems no opposition to such a change. That suggests that any maintenance issues are technical and easily fixed—hardly a reason to delete. 128.135.98.72 (talk) 20:43, 21 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support. Move all portals into Wikipedia namespace and mark them as historical. They are useless.--Lirim.Z (talk) 22:54, 21 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong support. 99% of a productive WP editor should be spend writing new articles and editing/improving existing ones. The whole portals system is a huge waste of time and has no purpose whatsoever - the system of "Projects" is already doing what "Portals" are trying to (and people can coordinate within "Projects" if need be).--Piznajko (talk) 23:20, 21 April 2018 (UTC)
    Productive Wikipedia editors come in all stripes. Trying to tie productiveness to one type of editing pattern is misguided. (And trying to improve editing of one type by suppressing editing of another type is, I think, similarly misguided.) - dcljr (talk) 00:17, 22 April 2018 (UTC)
Seems wrong to attempt to herd portal editors into more main namespace editing by eliminating any option of portal editing. To eliminate portals for this reason comes across as unnecessarily patronizing, manipulative, and even draconian. Let editors decide for themselves what they want to do. North America1000 00:58, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
Agree with Dcljr and Northamerica1000. You can't force volunteers to do work that they don't like. If somebody only edited portals while they were here, if the portals disappear they will most likely not move to editing articles. It won't necessarily raise productivity across other areas of Wikipedia. Gizza (t)(c) 02:17, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
By deleting the portals you have just as likely of a chance of losing editors which is a net loss. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 03:07, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
DcljrPiznajko, you clearly haven't spotted that many WikiProjects use portals as a tool to help them improve their topic area. Do your homework before making sweeping statements. Bermicourt (talk) 18:23, 27 April 2018 (UTC)
Um, @Bermicourt: you wanna try that again? Because your comment doesn't seem to make any sense as a reply to anything I've said. Were you trying to reply to someone else? - dcljr (talk) 21:03, 27 April 2018 (UTC)
Ooops, I'm sorry, I was replying to Piznajko. I'll change that. Bermicourt (talk) 06:35, 28 April 2018 (UTC)

22 April 2018[edit]

  • Support (conditional) - Don't delete, mark historical. Not comfortable with such a large chunk of live edits being wiped out, let them exist as a testament to the past. Also, certain portals should be migrated to Project namespace, such as Portal:Current Events, Portal:Contents, and Portal:Featured content. -- œ 01:21, 22 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strongly Oppose As someone who sometimes read Wikipedia for leisure, portals are a great way for me to expand knowledge and explore in a new area. By deleting portals, users lose a way in which they can explore topics. AI coolTIM (talk) 05:21, 22 April 2018 (UTC)
  • [Note: A comment left here by User:Wpgbrown was removed by that user and replaced with a different comment in the "27 April 2018" section below. - dcljr (talk) 21:13, 27 April 2018 (UTC)]
  • Oppose: I hardly contribute but frequent wikipedia often. 1) If it isn't broken don't fix it 2) If you decide to remove ALL portals, what will that then cause? 3) Instead of removing all portals, perhaps a system to flag a portal as help needed, etc — Preceding unsigned comment added by 97.97.168.32 (talk) 18:06, 22 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose: the very fact that so many editors are interested in keeping portals alive (considering them useful) refutes the main thesis of the discussion - that portals should be dismantled because they are useless. Another consideration: click counts are not a good indicator of usefulness anyway, otherwise most articles should have been deleted. --Deinocheirus (talk) 18:58, 22 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose: they are still very useful and many people seem to use them to get more info or news about some subjects. PMLF (talk) 19:27, 22 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose: I use the Current Events and Recent Deaths portals to keep up on those things. Please keep those two, at least. Thanks. 2601:645:4301:5360:C466:4921:16A6:C3F7 (talk) 20:06, 22 April 2018 (UTC)
What's the Recent Deaths portal? If you mean Deaths in 2018 then that's not a portal. DexDor (talk) 20:31, 22 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The way I see it, portals are one of several ways of navigating through Wikipedia space. Other methods are categories, lists and navigation templates. Each of these methods has its own value and its own audience. Granted, it's a small audience, but the visitor numbers for categories are even a lot smaller, and yet, I haven't heard anybody proposing the deletion of all categories. Besides, it is not true that all portals are ill-maintained, neglected and/or outdated. For example, Portal:Constructed languages (until last year one of the featured portals) has always been kept up-to-date, and besides, it is not the kind of portal that would require regular maintenance anyway. On the other hand, I can also see that a portal with a news section where the last news message is from 2013 looks bad. That's why I would suggest to get rid of portals that are abandoned, incomplete and outdated, or reform them in another way, but leave the rest be. —IJzeren Jan Uszkiełtu? 22:58, 22 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I find the Current Event portal to be kinda helpful in digging through these modern day news headlines. Mrrusty (talk) 23:29, 22 April 2018 (UTC)

23 April 2018[edit]

  • Oppose. Portals are helpful tools when one is not certain about what to look for, but know it's in a particular "area" on Wikipedia. Plus with all of the crazy amount of events going on in the world, the Current Event Portal is still helpful. JaxisMaximus (talk) 00:33, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Weak oppose I do support deletion of portals that are neither used nor well maintained but don't think all of them should be deleted. There should be a higher burden of making sure portals are active than mainspace articles since portals are a secondary way of providing encyclopedic information to the reader whereas articles are primary. Portals are also a time sink if not viewed by many people. Categories have a similar navigational purpose but don't require as much work as portals. It would be interesting to compare the page views between the categories of a particular topic and the portal. We could also gauge the perspectives of non-editors by asking a few questions on social media. Perhaps readers are interested in portals but just aren't aware of them (the links on the main page are not very eye-catching - other sections have colourful headings and pictures). Gizza (t)(c) 01:11, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support - With the exception of the main page and related content (e.g. current events), I have never found much use for portals. Keep in mind, I've been using this site for over ten years. Even when I started, portals didn't really do much. Kurtis (talk) 02:01, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strongly Oppose:
  1. The portal is useful, but hard to browse around. It has great topical information. Just needs a face lift.
  2. Is there a topical index that would replace the portals?
  3. Part of the problem is that many do not know that the portals exist. Maybe a marketing campaign would be worthwhile before the portal is deleted. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 173.172.160.70 (talkcontribs) 05:43, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose: I use the Current Events portal nearly daily—it is one of my primary news sources. It would be a significant loss to me and others if it were deleted. If that page were excluded from the proposal, I would be a weak oppose; I generally feel that portals are mildly useful, but I do not think that it would be helpful at all to delete them en mass. I do believe that deleting the portals is likely to drive contributing users away. The Jade Knight (talk) 06:27, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I see no problem with portals. But I agree it needed to reform.--John123521 (Talk-Contib.) 08:42, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I have always considered the portals an interesting side entrance to Wikipedia, a possibility to give and get an overview of the specific field. - Mdd (talk) 10:52, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose: All good works of reference need some form of indexing, which a portal is. However most portals are difficult to edit - which is why people do not do it. I have edited the Trains portal and the process was torture. Make it simple. There is a segment of Wikipedia editors who use complexity as a method of exclusion. (Maps and route diagrams for railroads comes to mind) Not all portals need a daily or even monthly update. Wickifrank (talk) 13:51, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support. I haven't edited any portals because they didn't interest me from the very start. Though it may be useful for people working on them, but I don't think they are any significant value to this encyclopedia. It is a failed project. Maintaining articles in itself is an exhaustive task so why increase the burden? Harsh Rathod Poke me! 15:34, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
And you being disinterested makes them without value? It's not a failed project; evident from the dozens of portals that link people from one article to a "topic page" of sorts about them. Vermont (talk) 23:55, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
@Vermont: Please don't be wary. What can I do if they are of no use to me? But in fact, I'm happy with the "Category" namespace. Portals are oudated and useless but Category provides specific and updated info. Harsh Rathod Poke me! 05:22, 24 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose outright deletion, support reform. The portal is long overdue for an overhaul for the problems that has been discussed at length, but an outright deletion of all portals is not the answer. I do think this discussion of reforming the portal system should continue after this first discussion has concluded. - Mailer Diablo 17:13, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose Portals are extremely useful. They are an excellent and efficient way of collating articles. They do no harm and nothing is achieved by deleting them. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jason.reed620 (talkcontribs) 17:16, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strongly oppose - such a fundamental shift could completely change how we organize the Wiki, if not bring it down entirely. At best, there will be chaos. At worse, Wikipedia will collapse due to lack of organization. I may be exagerrating a bit, but that's to show how drastic deleting all portals is. The portal system needs tweaking and cleanup, sure - but deletion is not cleanup. Kirbanzo (talk) 18:28, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose Wikipedia:WikiProject Portals is willing to deal with any concerns. No valid reason has been given other than people not liking it or it not working out as they expected, there is WP:NORUSH. --Emir of Wikipedia (talk) 19:55, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose in general, Strong Oppose for Recent Events, which I use regularly to see what's happening in the world. Portals in general are good collections for their relevant articles. TimothyPilgrim (talk) 20:25, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose I've been making regular use of Portal:Current events for nearing a decade and it is an invaluable resource to me. Juiposa (talk) 23:31, 23 April 2018 (UTC)

24 April 2018[edit]

  • Strong Oppose I have made frequent use of Portal:Current events over the past year. Septrillion (talk) 00:34, 24 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong, Zealous Oppose Portals are a cornerstone of the Wiki experience, and the arguments stated so far have little merit, whether pragmatic or idealist. Portal:Current events is incredibly useful, for instance, to a large number of people who want an idea of world events without political slant or plunging into the madness of the 24-hour news cycle. The Internet lately has had a concerning fever with deconstructing what is reliable in favor of what is (eye-jarringly) sleek and "modern" or even post-modern. This entire debacle is a case of WP:AINT and WP:NOPROBLEM. Wikipedia shouldn't be swept with the wave of the current times and forget its ultimate vision. An overhaul would do far more harm than good. We should not be seeking to reinvent the wheel here, and if inactivity in Portals is our concern (which is foolish logic in my view, it's like worrying about a tire that *doesn't* squeak), maybe we can be proactive and set up projects to tidy up Portals of interest that haven't been maintained. To purge it all, or even to overhaul or streamline it would kill the spirit of this site and make it yet another ugly Web 2.0 experience without any soul. Edit: To emphasize what I said, remember the First Pillar of Wikipedia: Wikipedia is an encylopedia. Encyclopedias are complicated per essentia and sometimes seemingly-vacuous. Complication and inactivity is not an inherently bad thing. Streamlining would be the acid that corrodes the limestone pillar.--Sıgehelmus (Talk) ω 02:39, 24 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose outright deletion. Support case-by-case historical marking. There are many well-maintained portals out there and they shouldn't be deleted simply because others aren't. Rather, we should look at each portal individually and mark some as historical and keep others alive. The ones listed on the main page are fine. Portal:History and Portal:Geography, for instance. Pages like Portal:Java and Portal:Blu-ray are so poorly maintained that they should just be marked as historical and left alone. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Anarchyte (work | talk) 05:12, 24 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose for now - The functioning of the portal system is tied up with the functioning of wikiprojects, and bad portals are associated with inactive wikiprojects. We need to figure out what to do about wikiprojects before we decide what to do about portals. — Charles Stewart (talk) 07:07, 24 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose Deletion, Pro Limited Reform - That there are many portals which get little usage/maintenance or can be dealt with in other fashions does not warrant such an all out deletion. It doesn't even warrant a "all but the big 3/big 8" deletion. Having some historical marking of very inactive portals would be good, but this RFC wants radical change when you can get similar benefits with reduced negatives by a more limited reform. Nosebagbear (talk) 10:17, 24 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose. Portals are supposed to sum up the main knowledge about specific topics, and some portals do it good. Unmaintained portals are due to inactive WikiProjects. Deleting portals will not improve the quality of Wikipedia. — Mathieudu68 talk 11:00, 24 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose. This portal is crucial to Wikipedia and deleting this portal will most likely do more harm than good. TriNitrobrick (talk) 11:11, 24 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Weak Support In 10 years I have never found anything of value in any portal. deisenbe (talk) 11:15, 24 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose - This RfC offers only draconian delete/keep options. In this context I prefer to keep them. Unmaintained portals can be redirected to the article to which they are most closely associated. ~Kvng (talk) 13:27, 24 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Many portals are still actively used and updated, and they are useful to many of us, such as Portal:Current events. Cipika (talk) 13:49, 24 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support - I wouldn't be opposed to keeping the Current Events portal in a similar form, but otherwise they are an outdated system that only function as a drain on resources, with editors concentrating on portals rather than broadconcept articles. It smacks of "surfing the information superhighway!" In this day and age, there is no real need for them.ZXCVBNM (TALK) 13:56, 24 April 2018 (UTC)
I don't see how an old design is a bad thing by nature. Sometimes traditional is best.-Sıgehelmus (Tωlk) 15:20, 24 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Generally supportive. Portal:Current events is a good portal because it is heavily policed and all the content is cited. Virtually all other portals are very poor: full of uncited material and fanboy cruft. For some reason the portals are treated as though they are exempt from core policies like Wikipedia:Verifiability. If they were not, a lot of material on those pages could be deleted as uncited trivia. Deleting most of these pages will improve the quality of wikipedia. Celia Homeford (talk) 14:24, 24 April 2018 (UTC)
    • Comment. It's just inaccurate to say that "virtually all other portals are quite poor, etc." First, there are many good portals out there. Second, portal material doesn't need to be cited; it consists of links and highlights from the topic articles; its the latter that need citations not the portal! Third, I manage around 30 portals and there is not a shred of "fanboy cruft" on any of them. If you have particularly poor portals in mind, you should focus your criticism on them and not tar all portals with the same brush. Bermicourt (talk) 18:20, 27 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose The elimination of portals flies in the face of the purpose of Wikipedia as it causes the contraction of knowledge, rather than the expansion of it. And, from a personal standpoint, I love the current events portal. 67.253.234.167 (talk) 14:32, 24 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose — I've little interest in editing them, but they can be useful navigation as a reader. If they get outdated, the structure of them could probably be revised to make them update without human intervention, such as by using templates to display a random selection of articles from a predefined set to feature. —{{u|Goldenshimmer}}|✝️|they/their|😹|T/C|☮️|John 15:12|🍂 15:23, 24 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose I'll concede that this is not without merit, but their here and they are to some extent useful. Keep'em and reform them if need be. TomStar81 (Talk) 21:57, 24 April 2018 (UTC)

25 April 2018[edit]

  • Oppose. I object to the deletion request, in the opinion that it is very useful in addition to it facilitates the person easy access to the rest of the information about what they readEgy writer (talk) 00:22, 25 April 2018 (UTC) [Note: The word "Oppose" was added by User:Dcljr for consistency with the other comments.]
  • Oppose and close discussion as WP:NOCONSENSUS. Nominations for individual portal deletions should continue. Brian Everlasting (talk) 00:37, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
    • Comment – so many opposes are coming in that the consensus may become very clear to keep portals. RfC should run its course for the sake of determining what the community consensus is.    — The Transhumanist   00:46, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose. The Main Page is one of the best pages on the internet. --Tewy 02:09, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Streamline/rethink portal content (Rename "Portal:" to "Index:" to start, and support new thinking about discoverability on Wikipedia). When I first visited this RFC, I was OK with deletion. Then I wavered. Wikipedia needs UI elements for exploring topics that inexperienced readers can a) locate easily, and b) find useful. [It would not surprise me if categories turn out to do a very poor job of this (and they don't even show in mobile).] I support a system that allows Wikipedia readers to find related content, and I believe we need new thinking about what UI elements would accomplish this. I do not support the essentially arbitrary content that many portals use (as a matter of fact) to represent a topic. They are uninspired re-hashes of the main page, portal by portal, when the main page itself has always been largely arbitrary in content (the right half isn't!). Some of the portals amount to original research, really, by the selective highlighting of random topics that ostensibly pertain to the topic of the portal. I just looked at Portal:2010s, which I think is a good (bad) example of that--the only thing useful about it is the category tree display. The rest is entirely arbitrary content. We need concise UI elements that let readers find categories, lists or overview pages, and so on. Portals are not concise and have too much arbitary content. (A well-defined portal topic, though, like Portal:Jane Austen, is tight enough to not have much arbitrary content.) It is only for this particular aspect of them that I am ok with deletion. I would prefer that portals be turned into "indexes", construed as you wish; then I would like to keep them, and link to them more. I am proposing to rename the portal namespace "Index" and proceed from there. :) Outriggr (talk) 02:38, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
It's not an either/or situation. We already have indexes and tree structures in place and being developed further, with software being developed to enhance them further. They serve different purposes than portals. The Portals WikiProject is currently working on ways for the next generation of portals to transcend the capabilities of our current portals. This is happening fast. See #Portals WikiProject Update: Portals – The Next Generation is almost here, below.    — The Transhumanist   04:25, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose. It makes it easier to navigate the encyclopedia, and there is a link to Portal:Current events on the sidebar. removing the portal would make a need for an update for the software just to remove the link. Moreover, portals act as main pages for WikiProjects. Removing portals would require a software change to remove the portal space, and it would be inconvenient to everyone. Even if "Portal:" was eliminated, portals as a whole would have to be deleted manually to avoid clogging up the main space. @Outriggr: it looks a bit strange if you have something like "Index:ABC" as it does not list the articles in its WikiProject. There are already set indexes in the main space, like what The Transhumanist said. Categories can also act as indexes. Nigos (t@lk Contribs) 08:16, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose but support reform. Portals are the underseen goldmine of wikipedia. If they're unused (both in poorly maintained, and rarely seen), I'd suggest that's due to the internal search not including them by default. Should they be included in default searches? Perhaps not, but I think their visibility needs to be exposed more somehow. If the POrtals WikiProject develops to adequately replace current portals, then I would easily support that. --.../NemoThorx (talkContributions) 11:50, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose – just don't see the point of a massive deletion. If some people find portals useful, there is no harm in keeping them. If some portals mislead due to lack of maintenance, there is no problem deleting them individually. Personally I remember that portal-like entities were very popular in early digital encyclopedias, and maybe that's how Wikipedia started using them. They can still be useful, as Wikipedia doesn't have any other "introduction" system to major topics. —Ynhockey (Talk) 12:00, 25 April 2018 (UTC).
  • Oppose. I think this portal is of great help. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 137.222.54.29 (talk) 12:19, 25 April 2018
  • Strong oppose Baby - bathwater. Agathoclea (talk) 14:35, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose Just thinking of that same sentiment myself Agathoclea. I understand how frustrating it is to get help from others (who lets be honest are not really that interested unless its related to politics or economics) in maintaining the portals but we can't be blinkered and remove knowledge just because it seems difficult or irrelevant. These portals are useful for people who are new to a subject. As Seneca said "It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult" — Preceding unsigned comment added by 88.1.203.128 (talk) 19:16, 25 April 2018
  • Strongly oppose The current system makes it infinitely easier to find exactly what I´m looking for. If the portal system was to be deleted it would make research much more difficult especially for those researching broad topics that have many sub-categories. Many of the support comments are for the end of portals as they are deemed "out of date" or "inaccurate" information, and instead of updating it and contributing they expect others to constantly do the work and update it. If you´re so aware and informed that what´s here isn´t at a good enough standard for you, do your bit! But don´t take it out on the many others that feel strongly that this has been helpfull to them. 20:08, 25/4/18 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Avacisme (talkcontribs)
  • Oppose Please keep the Portal:Current Events: this is how I get my news! — Preceding unsigned comment added by 50.249.255.65 (talk) 21:47, 25 April 2018
  • Vehemently opposed Both as a reader and as an editor, portals have played a helpful role in finding articles. You could legitimately argue that a vast majority of Wikipedia content is left completely unmaintained, including most articles (quite a lot of untouched decade-old stubs), but that's not an argument to delete anything, much less delete literally every one of them rather than deleting on a case-by-case instance. But again, poor maintenance is not a reason to delete anything; if I were to humor your proposal by acting as if it was, then we'd delete tens of millions of articles, not the article feature itself. If it's not broken, don't fix it. If it is broken, fix it. Throwing it away without fixing or replacing it is not a solution to anything. This wouldn't be a net positive for anyone in any way. WikiProjects are helpful for writers that want to develop articles in a subject, but portals are helpful for casual readers. I fail to see how portals are a vestigial structure of Wikipedia, but I also fail to see how being a vestige is a valid reason to delete a portal, and I absolutely fail to see how it's a valid reason to delete all portals. I take no issue with sweeping change to the institution if the problem has been correctly identified and the solution is demonstrably better for everyone; this proposal doesn't meet any of those criteria. Brendon the Wizard ✉️ 22:32, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support reform and/or possibly delisting portals, strongly oppose deletion under any timeframe - I have found portals difficult to edit (which probably contributes to their moribund state), and I understand why various editors find them obsolete/out of date. I am okay with either reforming them or removing them from articles and search engine results. I strongly oppose deleting them in any time frame; a few months is not enough as many of the people who built them may be now busy with real life/work and will be unaware of what's going on. Perhaps even a year or so is not enough because the Wikipedia userbase just isn't robust at the moment to perfectly respond to such a request. It's better to mark them as historical because there's no time limit to editing. WhisperToMe (talk) 22:56, 25 April 2018 (UTC)

26 April 2018[edit]

  • Oppose Please keep the Portal:Current Events: this is my browsers startpage! — Preceding unsigned comment added by Hundfred23 (talkcontribs) 00:53, 26 April 2018 (UTC)
    • @Hundfred23: Although I object to deleting all portals, a portal being your browser start page could not be a reason. This discussion is about deleting all portals and not just Portal:Current events. Nigos (t@lk Contribs) 06:21, 26 April 2018 (UTC)
      • Why not? There are lots of comments above saying we should delete all portals because no one uses them and they are outdated. Here's an example of someone who uses them (or at least one).--Paul McDonald (talk) 11:47, 26 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose per reasons already stated above, including the importance the Current Events portal has attained over the years. Kiteinthewind Leave a message! 07:32, 26 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment: The WikiProject is fixing them – A good reason to keep the portals is that there is now a strong and growing WikiProject dedicated to updating them, upgrading them, and maintaining them. Since the Portals WikiProject rebooted 9 days ago, 51 users have joined (with more joining daily). To gear up for the main work ahead of us, we are developing automated components for portals, to make portals easier and more fun to build and maintain.
So far, we've completed a template, and supporting Lua module, that together can selectively transclude desired paragraphs from an article's lead section to use as an excerpt in a portal section. Previously, excerpts in portals were static, and would drift from the original content from which they were copied. Transcluded content from articles never goes stale or forks, as the current version is always displayed.
To give you a sense of the reaction this template is generating, here is an excerpt of a discussion thread from the WikiProject's talk page:
  • This new template is fantastic. I've added it to the intro sections of the portals on Australian cities (eg P:PER) and it works brilliantly. My compliments to its creators. It can probably also be used in other sections of many portals (eg "Selected article" and "Selected biography"), and, for that reason, will probably make the task of maintaining portals a great deal easier. Bahnfrend (talk) 09:02, 24 April 2018 (UTC)
Kudos on a wonderful template.    — The Transhumanist   03:27, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
This is amazing stuff. I'm going to get to work on using it on the selected content at most of these portals very soon. WaggersTALK 13:40, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
We are currently putting our heads together to develop better ways to handle news sections, "Selected" sections, anniversary sections, and "Did you know" sections. As we do so, maintenance drives will be coordinated to clean these up across the entire portal system, to remove or archive outdated information, and automate those for which it is feasible to do so and that do not have active maintainers. The first maintenance drive is expected to start within a few days.
Concerning "Selected" sections, most portals provide a selected article and picture, and sometimes a biography, item (dog, plant, volcano, spaceship, etc.), and so on. Many portals have only provided one of each, which have never changed. However, some of the best portals provide (either manually or automatically) a different selection each week, or each day, or even each time a person visits the page, keeping its content vibrant. We are looking for ways to improve these types of components so that editors can easily implement them on the portals they work on (if they want to).
Our overall goal is to revitalize the entire portal system, and make it even better, providing support to portals editors, so they can provide readers with new and interesting ways to explore knowledge. Toward this end, we are also conducting discussions on potential future features and components. You are welcome to come join in on all the discussions.
So, please, before you cast your !vote, come visit the Portals WikiProject, especially the talk page, and take a look at what we're doing, and see what is in store for the future of portals. You are also invited to join the team and contribute to their development. Thank you. Sincerely,    — The Transhumanist   10:48, 26 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose Mostly for the Current events portal, as stated by many others above. Not only is it the best news summary I know of on the Internet, its contents and headlines are also a unique way of seeing that slice of human history since its creation. If that specific portal were to be preserved, I would then have a neutral opinion regarding the deletion of others. --Pyrhan (talk) 12:33, 26 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose As a Wikipedian who has about one fifth of their edits in the portal namespace (here's proof), I believe that getting rid of the portal system will negatively impact Wikipedia in multiple ways. First and most obvious of all is that many edits and hours dedicated to improving portals will all be gone instantly. To put in a more specific context, if Wikipedia decides to delete the portal system, then they are essentially punishing those who spent much of their time improving them. Remember what happened to Vine? It ended up announcing its discontinuation, and many users of the site had all of those hours put in for nothing. Secondly, some of Wikipedia's most viewed pages are portals. Those advocating to shut down the portal system are arguing that portals should be shut down because nobody uses them. However, pages such as the history portal, the science portal, the "table of contents" of Wikipedia, the portal for all portals, and the current events portal are some of the most viewed pages on the entire website. Even some portals who get substandard views (around 50-100 per day on average) still get more views than a bunch of Wikipedia's own articles. For instance, the 2010s portal, while has less than 150 views on average per day, still experiences a lot more page views than a good amount of articles on this site. This link to a page view analysis proves this, as I got 5 random articles from this site using the Random Article feature and compared it to the 2010s portal (REMINDER: this portal still gets substandard to standard views on the average day), and the portal still gets more views than all 5 of those randomly selected articles. Finally, another reason why portals shouldn't be deleted on this site is because portals are a great way to linking multiple related topics to one another. Sure, the category does this job just fine, but let's be real here: there almost no average Joe who actively uses the category system. I'm not saying that the category system isn't used, I'm just saying that the average person browsing this site does not use the category system, and is much more likely to use the portal system.
    If this site is trying to solve the problem of the portals, then I suggest that the site should delete the portals that are in need of heavy maintenance. My proposal is to improve already existing portals, and delete those which are mostly uncompleted. Portals such as the Amsterdam portal, 1940s portal, Coke Studio portal, and other portals which are mostly incomplete should either be completed by a certain deadline, or be deleted from the site, since portals like those hardly get any views and are mostly unfinished.
    tl;dr - Portals should be kept because it would be wasted time/edits for nothing, many still get sufficient or a lot of views, and they're a good way to link multiple articles from a certain topic together. Instead of deleting the portals, people should improve already existing portals and delete those which provide inadequate information or content.
    I hope these thoughts get taken into consideration, and have a nice day. Redolta📱 Contribs 13:27, 26 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support. I've been a Wikipedian since 2004, and in all that time I never used a portal as any kind of serious starting point (even as I have always been aware of their existence). On a few rare occasions I somehow found myself on a portal page, I found them confusing, poorly organized, and ill-maintained. If there are any portals out there which are in fact well-designed and maintained properly, I have nothing against keeping those (or reworking them into some kind of alternative) on a case-by-case basis, but the majority of them seem to be fairly useless to the bulk of the audience. Time to let them go.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); April 26, 2018; 14:35 (UTC)
  • 2 VOTES for STRONGLY OPPOSE STRAIGHT DELETION even with a few exceptions, SUPPORT REFORM, USE OF SOFTWARE AND TECHNOLOGY already available, IDEAS TO REDUCE HIGH MAINTENANCE POSTED IN A SPACE, TRAINING OR INTERNSHIP OR SPACE FOR INSTRUCTION FOR READERS INTERESTED IN CONVERTING TO EDITORS, PROPERLY DEFINING "USE" OF PORTALS, ALLOWING EDITORS TO CONTACT WIKIPEDIA IF NO LONGER AVAILABLE TO MAINTAIN PORTAL AND CANVASING FOR OTHERS WILLING TO ASSUME EDITING, INCREASING ACCESS TO PORTALS BY TAKING INTO ACCOUNT HOW READERS ACTUALLY USE WIKIPEDIA, such as over the phone, through search engines, through wikipedia search, through fan pages, ARCHIVING OR HISTORICAL AND ENCOURAGING EDITORS TO ENGAGE THEIR EFFORTS IN OTHER TOPICS OR AREAS SUCH AS PROJECTS especially in the same topic as previous portal, ALLOWING NEW FUTURE EDITORS TO REVIVE A PORTAL IF IT REMAINS DEFINED AS USED IN ARCHIVE OR HISTORY (much easier to do if content is archived rather than deleted), GRADUAL WEEDING OF PORTALS NEVER USED AFTER ARCHIVING OR HISTORICAL, ANNUAL EVALUATION OF USAGE AND DELETION OF OUTDATED INFORMATION AND OBSOLETE LINKS FOR ARCHIVED/HISTORICAL previous portals. POSSIBLE INTEGRATION WITH WIKIPEDIA PROJECTS. These and other alternatives are better solutions to the problems identified with portals such as poor maintenance and/or poor usage, than short sited nearly wholesale deletion, and even importing content to areas other than archive/historical would in the long run import the problems. Even archiving/historical will experience these same problems if used alone without implementation of other reforms. There clearly needs to be a system to evaluate usage and maintenance and not keep proliferating ad infinitum. Additionally, deletion only SEEMS to be a simple solution, but technologically definitionally and motivationally (for editors) is much more complex in execution than noted at first glance. Finally, Wikipedia Internationally has dealt with the same problems using solutions other than deletion. MAJOR REFORM OF CATEGORIES ALSO PROPOSED, please ASAP. excuse me (zion) I am primarily a reader and I did not know how to bullet and bold to follow the format, so I used capitalization. (I zion wrote all comments and votes as of april 26 2018 but consulted my brother mullosk via phone, probably after this date he may more sophisticatedly and knowledgeably add his own input.) zionpegasus/eagle in the city; and mullosk43 — Preceding comment added (in two edits) by 67.140.143.169 (talk) 05:49, 8 May 2018 (UTC)zion67.140.143.169 (talk) 05:49, 8 May 2018 (UTC)zionpegasus67.140.143.169 (talk) 05:49, 8 May 2018 (UTC)eagleincity67.140.143.169 (talk) 05:49, 8 May 2018 (UTC)my brother: mollusk4367.140.143.169 (talk) 05:49, 8 May 2018 (UTC)i am not sure i have a current account, but i did once have one.

67.140.143.169 (talk) 18:53, 26 April 2018

  • It would be great if you could log in and sign this comment properly, if you have an account (i.e., a username). - dcljr (talk) 00:42, 27 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose My single most used section of Wikipedia is the sidebar of Portal:Current events. (I just found out that the sidebar has its own subpage here.) I constantly use it to keep up on recent election results and on ongoing armed conflicts. This seems to be in keeping with the intended use of Portals: grouping articles to allow readers and editors the convenience of finding multiple articles of a similar theme together. That so many of the most important Portals are so easily accesible form the Main Page is an added bonus. What other alternatives are there? Ugly and disorganized Category pages? Not quite as ugly WikiProject pages that serve a distinct community purpose? --J. E. C. E. (talk) 20:33, 26 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Why should portals be deleted? These portals make it easier for Wikipedians to travel around instead of typing it in search. It is fine the way it is.―YoloMaxi  (contribs) 21:59, 26 April 2018 (UTC) [This comment left by YoloMaxi GT at the bottom of the page was moved to here by The Transhumanist; the word Oppose was added by Dcljr for consistency with other comments. - dcljr (talk) 00:12, 29 April 2018 (UTC)]
  • Oppose Likewise, one of my more frequent sites I go to on Wikipedia is Portal:Current events. It helps me know what elections and current events are going on that I might otherwise miss. Portal:Current events covers news and elections that mainstream media sources might not necessarily cover outside of the Western world. I have minimal knowledge on other portals, but the Current Events portal is very strong in its current form. Thanks, TenorTwelve (talk) 23:04, 26 April 2018 (UTC)

27 April 2018[edit]

  • Oppose Portal:Current events is an excellent source for a global perspective on news. I think it also generates some historical value through its archives. Jicksw (talk) 02:15, 27 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose I only found out about Portals today. Why? Because they aren't well advertised; I hadn't conciousely noticed such a link previously. Having found out about them, they strike me as being extremely useful! Rather than following a string of links interspersed within the text through various related pages, a properly constructed Portal allows me to hierarchically access related articles within a tree structure from one page, which is a vast improvement in regard to my standard method of trying to find/organize information. I must say, the arguments relating to number of edits per page over a specified time period don't appear to be including any information regarding the volatility of the subject matter contained, other than that for specific pages looked at; if the information the page contains is up-to-date, there is no need for an edit; that some of the responders state that while they had not edited the main Portal page for a topic, but had edited pages the Portal linked to does seem to support the argument that for some topics the Portal would be static over long periods of time, without being out-of-date. The question should not be "How many edits have been made in x-time-period?", but rather "Has there been any need for edits, and if so, have they taken place?", which would seem to me be the criteria to apply to all pages, regardless of namespace. Some pages are static by nature, in that there is no change in the matter being covered, while others are in need of constant updating, due to high currency of the matter being covered. Umm, this is slightly OT, but is there a way to identify a page as being a stable/static topic, and that an alert be automatically created if it is edited; that would seem to be of assistance in being alerted to possible POV vandalism of topics where the probability of legit edits is low. JohnBobMead (talk) 04:00, 27 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Weak support. Portals are essentially useless, our regular readers don't visit them and don't know they exist. They could be seen as essentially harmless, except they do make some Wikipedians waste time maintaining them, time those individuals could better spend doing something actually useful. Of course, it's a free project, and in the end if someone wants to work on a page that is seen by pretty much no-one, it's fine, but we should try to discourage some of the more wasteful activities, and portals seem to fit in this category. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 04:26, 27 April 2018 (UTC)
@Piotrus: Concerning the waste of time thing, there is now an automation lab over at the Portals WikiProject, where we are designing tools to take the work out of building and maintaining portals. The previous method for building portals was to manually copy and paste article excerpts onto a multitude of subpages that fed into a base page. That is a very tedious and time-consuming activity. Now, we are in the process replacing the need to copy and paste, in the form of automated templates supported by Lua modules, that fetch and display excerpts automagically via transclusion. This design feature is completed, and is undergoing beta testing now. When we are done automating the portals' other functions (like topic selection) we'll have fully automated dynamic portals that will need very little maintenance, with subpages made virtually obsolete or greatly reduced for many portals. By dynamic, I mean fed new material without human intervention once the configuration settings have been made. It's looking like we'll have working prototypes very soon. The big question after that, will be "What features can we add to make Portals really cool (and useful)"?. For example... The portals of the German-language Wikipedia are so heavily automated, that their portal operators can focus on more community-oriented activities. Their creatures portal, for example, has a sub-department where you can post a picture of an animal, and they will identify the species for you. We are limited only by our imagination and our creativity.    — The Transhumanist   14:55, 27 April 2018 (UTC)
      • @The Transhumanist: I appreciate your detailed answer. Automatization is certainly a good step, and I like the 'ID feature'. Still, we have to consider the big problem of portals being hidden deep inside Wikipedia. As long as 99,99% of our users don't even realize they exist, they may be a cute, cool - and useless due to effective invisibility - feature. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 03:44, 1 May 2018 (UTC)
        • @Piotrus: The traffic to Wikipedia's specialty pages seems like so little, until you consider the navigation function. For the vast majority of navigation attempts, (google) search works fine, and leads you right to the article you were looking for. But sometimes, search can't help. Like when you don't know what you are looking for is called. Or your needs are more general, like learning what exists. For those situations, other types of aids are needed. So, Wikipedia's contents systems don't generally compete with search, they are there mostly to assist when search doesn't produce the needed results. They complement search. Search is our navigation work horse, and does the bulk of the work, but it can't reach everything. The content systems extend the users' reach beyond the search system. That's one of the reasons they don't get as much traffic as articles - they are in essence navigation tools, like search is, but for special cases. So comparing them to articles is like comparing apples to oranges. So, having search plus alternative navigation tools is superior to having just search, because you have something else to try when you get stuck.
Concerning tools or service, the closer to 100% effectiveness you try to reach, the more it costs. Search is cheap, and covers 80% to 90% of users' navigation needs. That last 10% to 20% requires custom tools, which takes editing to build, but it is well worth it to readers to have them when they need them. The more effective Wikipedia is in fulfilling users' knowledge needs, the more they will choose Wikipedia as their first stop for knowledge.
With the new improvements (and quality) coming to portals, they may inspire return visits, which would increase traffic to them. And don't forget improvements over the long term. Who knows what they will become in the future? Personally, I like the interactive interface (the holotable) used by Tony Stark and S.H.I.E.D. in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Imagine if portals adapted that to the 2D screen. (There's already a related prototype invented by Elon Musk).[3] But, portals won't be able to evolve into something like that, or something else cool, if we kill them off now.    — The Transhumanist   06:34, 1 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose Portals are useful, valid sources of current data/information and, if they are maintained by people who find them interesting enough to exist, there is no point in terminating them. IMHO, Portal:Current events, for example, is an excellent and unbiased news center resource. Hugo Salvado (talk) 08:28, 27 April 2018 (GMT)
  • Oppose All time, when I am joining the Internet, I am going to read a Portal's news. At least, it is edited by peoples, who donate their time for Wikipedia and I was all time content with this, that I read. Only surprised, that somebody want to delete the Portal or portals generally--Noel baran (talk) 08:17, 27 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose I will just answer with my gut. For some odd reason the Portal for New YORK CITY where I live, is my WP homepage before I login. It is my bookmarked page above all the other links, wiki or potential references, I hold under a bookmark tab called Wiki. I do not want to see this starting point for my entry into the WP world to change based on a cricket match. If you want a debate, find me another Fan Dancer or Flagger who has taken to the stage of Heritage of Pride's Dance on the Pier for a span of years equal to my own. 1991-2017. Do you see my name on a flagger or fan dancee WP page, no. It's just something I do for my community in the town where I live. The art was near extinct, until Randy of LA taught Jeffrey Reichlin in the Fall of 1987 how to build his fluid fans and work them properly. February 1988 at Pier 17 in the Seaport, fans where spun in NY for the first time in many years, as AIDS took far too many and these interpretive dancers who trace their history back to the Trocadero in SF (early 1970's) either put them away for good or they were put away for them after they found a box in their size... and a place to burn it, because that wasn't easy at first. Between 1988 and 1997 there were eventually a total of 16 fan dancers who took to that one stage. How do I know. I hold the fax which I sent to the NFP ensuring they all had access. But I digress. Leave the Portals.Mrphilip (talk) 10:10, 27 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Partial oppose. The portal system has been broken a long time, but deletion isn't really the answer, because that implies mindlessly putting information in view of admins only for no special reason. This is user content and should preserved -- it just shouldn't be promoted with a special Main Page index or given a special namespace. The Portal: space should be reserved for redirects only and everything presently there should be redirected, and after about 5 years the redirects can be shut down if there's a reason to, not sooner. But the content presently there should be moved somewhere - whether WikiProject or user page or some other discussion namespace - and an index to all the portals, at new locations, should continue to exist. Then people interested in the content can keep working on it, and if you have a favorite Portal link, you can bookmark wherever it gets redirected to. Wikipedia has a tremendous internal division between being "not social" and having "portals and wikiprojects and wikiconferences and wiki chapters and so on" and so long as it pursues these divergent goals with excessive fervor in both directions it will continue to have strange flotsam prominently displayed. Wnt (talk) 11:53, 27 April 2018 (UTC)
@Wnt: The new and improved rebooted Portals WikiProject is fixing the entire portals system with a redesign/upgrade. So, it won't remain broken for long: the new team is designing fixes as fast as we can. It's been just 10 days since the reboot, and we've designed some cool new components already, and you can expect more at a fairly rapid pace. We have some of Wikipedia's best and brightest on the team.    — The Transhumanist   13:56, 27 April 2018 (UTC)
At first glance that project seems like a bull session, stuff like people asking whether you can automate DYKs. That's not to say it's a bad thing, but I don't see why having a "Portal:" namespace or the set of Main Page links is necessary for it. To the contrary, I think it's great that people want to branch out and reconsider what portals would be -- the format seems a bit stilted, a lot of work, and maybe people making pages like "My Study List for A&P 1" would be a lot more useful. I think you should be allowed to keep the portal pages (somewhere else, a common WP: space) but with lots of room to play around with them, the no-social-media enforcers should be batted off with a stick, but we should also keep an open mind to whether maybe it is possible to amicably transfer some of the content to Wikiversity and breathe some life into *that* project by relieving some of the restrictions of their rather unimaginative course format. But other stuff is also useful that doesn't fall into their purview, like if you make a "Hot Topics in Physics" portal/news forum where you list a bunch of physics articles and why they're hot now. (That would be a Wikinews prospect but AFAIK Wikinews is hopeless where anything creative is involved; we should keep such things in Wikipedia and practice batting) Wnt (talk) 22:01, 27 April 2018 (UTC)
@Wnt: Encouraging "pages like 'My Study List for A&P 1'" would seem to run counter to WP:WEBHOST. Portals are not (usually) simple summaries of subject areas (and those that are should be expanded and/or refactored). - dcljr (talk) 18:19, 30 April 2018 (UTC)
I think a page meant to demonstrate a course curriculum is a little more educational than, say, a page about last night's party, so it may be time for batting practice. Wnt (talk) 03:16, 1 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose I like the portals, I find them useful, and there's no reason to throw them out just because some of them aren't up to scratch yet. The vast majority of articles aren't "finished" either. Ganesha811 (talk) 12:03, 27 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose I visit the current events portal frequently. I find it to be a broad, neutral, and unsensationalist news source, which is a rare thing to find in 2018. If you want to clean up specific unmaintained portals, that's fine, but to destroy all of them because you can find a few examples of page rot makes no sense at all. I suspect some portals don't get much maintenance because they cover relatively static subjects and don't need frequent updates. dreish~talk 12:33, 27 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose - I revise my statement, as after looking further at the portal system, with the necessary improvements I think portals would become easier to maintain, thus allowing them to be up to date and so useful to readers who may want to become avid editors. Wpgbrown (talk) 13:43, 27 April 2018 (UTC)
    [Note to readers: Wpgbrown is referring to this. - dcljr (talk) 21:18, 27 April 2018 (UTC)]
  • Solid Oppose I find the portals useful but without them I would likely be running around Wikipedia like a chicken with its head cut off. I would have no idea whatsoever what to do and where to go when I forget which page to search for for a specific topic and I think that others would likely have the same problem, too. Not only is the system useful and more convenient than other methods of finding what you're looking for, it doesn't require you to know what the thing you're looking for is so that you can ask for it directly (which wouldn't be possible if your mind went blank, which constantly happens to me). Additionally, newer users will be at a significant loss for the change if the system is removed. --OdysseusTroy (talk) 14:48, 27 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose While the system of portals is often convoluted and needs to be cleaned up at best, the ability to find ALL information on a certain topic is invaluable when researching things, especially when you cannot remember exactly what you're looking for. As stated by others above, most portals are left stagnant due to the lack of events pertaining to their topics. SirGents(talk) 16:49, 27 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose I rely on the current events portal as my most trusted source of international news. Ryan Singer (talk) 19:16, 27 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose, no action should be taken before Portals are (re)added to the default search result and we let a few months pass to collect page view data. Brightgalrs (/braɪtˈɡæl.ərˌɛs/)[ᴛ] 21:06, 27 April 2018 (UTC)

28 April 2018[edit]

  • Support, as long as the pages are archived and not deleted entirely, though links to them should be removed. Portals became obsolete a while ago. mountainhead / ? 12:47, 28 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Neutral. Other than the Community portal (if it is truly a portal), I don't use portals. When I do stumble across one, it's generally in a sad state of disrepair. However, I don't think the "Delete portals: Y/N?" phrasing of the question is very useful. There are things that are of value in the portal system, so I would support a more careful review of portals that thinks about what services they do provide and how those could be preserved, whether in the portal namespace or by consolidating with other Wiki components (Overviews, Projects, etc.). Overall, though, I don't think portals are functioning as their vision of a grand organizational structure for Wikipedia, so I would oppose maintaining the status quo. Tdslk (talk) 14:23, 28 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose, I don't see any reason to remove the portal system. Some need to be cleaned up, but that's no reason to remove them completely. It's the easiest way by far to find multiple articles on a specific topic. Unless a new, better system is put in place using the framework from portals, I don't see any reason to end the system entirely. Pugchump (talk) 14:08, 28 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support general deprecation of the portal system / process. Outright deletion (if needed) can come later. Portals have become obsolete a while ago; much of the information on the portals that I did come across was out-of-date. I'm not aware of them being actively worked on (in general). They do not appear to be useful. K.e.coffman (talk) 21:36, 28 April 2018 (UTC)
@K.e.coffman: A WikiProject has been created at WP:WikiProject Portal. This project aims to not only get them worked on in general but use transclusion to avoid being out of date. If this changes your mind feel free to comment, if not then have a good day. --Emir of Wikipedia (talk) 22:36, 28 April 2018 (UTC)

29 April 2018[edit]

  • Strong Oppose, especially for the current events portal. I'm not sure about my feelings on the other portals, but the current events portal contains historical information that dates back for some time. If you remove the current events portal, than I think those pages should be transferred and/or archived in some way. --Skeeball93 (talk) 04:22, 29 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose, these are communities. while some may be inactive, some are not, and deleting all of them seems rash. Maybe Wikiproject Portals should focus on consolidation. Jason Quinn (talk) 07:25, 29 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment Just a quick scroll through this page shows an overwhelming WP:SNOW oppose. There's not a snowball's chance in hell that this discussion will result in support to delete it and I don't even see an ambiguous no-consensus keep-by default-scenario. With a discussion as massive as this showing this many Oppose !votes, I'd recommend closing it soon. Brendon the Wizard ✉️ 09:15, 29 April 2018 (UTC)
This RfC isn't as simple as a quick-scroll, and it should run its full course. Many of the opposes (and some supports too) involve narrowly focused and repeated points, some of which have been posted by very new users or editors who've swung by from other-language wikipedias. No consensus became apparent fairly soon on, after that its a weightless pile-on; but perhaps an editor will still appear with a useful reasoned point. Cesdeva (talk) 12:36, 29 April 2018 (UTC)
I don't understand what points can be made that already haven't been made. Scrapping Portals is a reckless restructuring that is antithetical to especially the First and perhaps even the Third Pillar of Wikipedia. It's ridiculous modernization for the sake of modernization and argumentum ad populum fallacies. Given the arguments posted by those in Support as to what should happen after this proposed purge, it's like burning a traditional cuckoo clock and replacing it with a cheap digital clock because the latter is seemingly easier to use and more popular. It's one of the most ridiculous ideas I've seen on this site. Edit: Also I'm beginning to see this RfC as a case of WP:SNOW too.--Sıgehelmus (Tωlk) 16:26, 29 April 2018 (UTC)
Well sometimes you have to aim high. There is now an effort to overhaul the neglected portal system, so I'd say the proposal was a success. Kind regards, Cesdeva (talk) 18:04, 29 April 2018 (UTC)
It's simultaneously more of a success and more of a failure as a result of this proposal; the growth of Wikipedia:WikiProject Portals was in part a backlash against this proposal as a result of joining it I was motivated to establish my own portal and project. It's in some way a win to make a high-profile deletion nomination based on how portals are neglected if it results in a renewed desire to work on them, which it has. I understand the idea of making a fringe proposal if it's the mentality of "to get to the moon you have to reach for the stars." However, it's also unsuccessful if the nominator genuinely wanted to delete all portals, as the consensus is unambiguously in favor of keeping them. Brendon the Wizard ✉️ 19:07, 29 April 2018 (UTC)
The problem with @Cesdeva:'s thought is the base insinuation that there is a problem with Portals themselves besides many being unmaintained. Many here have stated the point that Portals are reliable and incredibly helpful for many people; not just in Current Events but subjects they are interested breaking into.--Sıgehelmus (Tωlk) 20:16, 29 April 2018 (UTC)
I strongly agree with your point. There's nothing wrong with portals themselves. As was stated in another sub-discussion here, the main page itself is a portal; portals allow us to create an entire main page dedicated to providing relevant information on a subject that interests the reader. The only thing needed to ensure that portals continue to be useful is that portals continue to be edited by readers. What's necessary is for various WikiProjects to work on their related portals, not to delete or overhaul the system of portals itself. It's not just the current events portal that helps readers. Brendon the Wizard ✉️ 21:29, 29 April 2018 (UTC)
Now I understand why this portal (Portal:Limited recognition) was suddenly created. I was confused as to why the article List of states with limited recognition suddenly required a portal encompassing it, as I didn't see the point of one. Matters that affect this list have always been handled historically on that article's talk page with little issue. I hope you are prepared for the work required to maintain such a portal, as I do not expect much contribution to this portal by others. It is a fringe subject as it is anyway. - Wiz9999 (talk) 15:40, 9 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose as per WP:FRINGE. We need the categories and the navigation templates for vocabulary-level (word) semantics and the portals for sentence-level (story) semantics. Both are needed. Let's not erode Wikipedia before it's mature! We need 25 years before all our brain neurons are "fully connected", and we're not 18 yet :-) Wakari07 (talk) 14:20, 29 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose I use the current events portal on a daily basis, and find that it is extremely useful in providing easy-to-access news stories, and makes it so that I don't need to to multiple different sites to find out about current events. I like the setup of the portals in general because they provide clear and concise facts that are easy to understand. --Undescribed (talk) 18:17, 29 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose portals should be updated, not just deleted because some are out of date. Megalibrarygirl (talk) 22:48, 29 April 2018 (UTC)
Megalibrarygirl, The Portals WikiProject is working on it. We have now developed 2 new templates for creating and maintaining semi-dynamic portals. Template:Transclude lead excerpt is designed to keep excerpts fresh, always showing the current text from the source article (no more static copied/pasted excerpts that can go stale or fork). The second one is Template:Transclude random excerpt, which is like the first template, but allows multiple article names to be included, from which it displays one at random each time the page is visited. Both templates make the use of subpages obsolete for the sections they are implemented on, reducing the maintenance burden. Portal space currently has about 150,000 subpages. Conversion to the semi-dynamic model takes a matter of minutes for a portal with moderate subpage support.    — The Transhumanist   00:24, 30 April 2018 (UTC)
Semi-dynamic? This cycles-through a pre-defined list, providing a modest selection. Fully dynamic would take as its source a list that is maintained and updated regularly, such as a category. We are currently looking for fully dynamic solutions, which would result in portals that continually update themselves with new content. For progress on all of the portal development initiatives, see Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Portals. Excitement is high, and the WikiProject's membership is growing daily.    — The Transhumanist   00:13, 30 April 2018 (UTC)

30 April 2018[edit]

  • Strong Oppose This is because portals are the lifeblood of the system. To ensure that more people use portals, put in better defined links.2001:48F8:402E:1869:146E:ADFD:6FC0:B25E (talk) 00:40, 30 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose: nothing good comes from deleting portals. Portals can be extremely useful and helpful in navigating in certain topics.--◂ ‎épine 03:25, 30 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strongly Oppose. They are valuable and still work toward their original purpose. In addition, they encourage creation and expansion of content. — ERcheck (talk) 04:29, 30 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Portals serves as a useful guide when reading about a topic. Shellwood (talk) 13:25, 30 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose I'm really sick of discussing this kind of proposals. Delete them all because some of them are not well-maintained looks like killing the patient just because they feel ill. No, no, and no.--Jetstreamer Talk 14:50, 30 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support : Portal system often oppose wikipedians, ending this system is a good idea I think. --Niridya (talk) 16:39, 30 April 2018 (UTC)
    @Niridya: What do you mean by "oppose wikipedians"? Do you mean the portal system is often opposed by Wikipedians? - 72.182.55.186 (talk) 18:03, 30 April 2018 (UTC)
    I mean that some Wikipedians "support" Portals and some others "are against" the system of Portals. It is a topic of debate. --Niridya (talk) 20:52, 30 April 2018 (UTC)
    Right. But wouldn't that be more of an argument against the proposal to delete all portals? - 72.182.55.186 (talk) 23:01, 30 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strongly oppose Honestly, portals have been a part of Wikipedia and are very useful to me. They provide links to parts of categories and it makes no sense to see them go. newrunner769 (talk) 16:43, 30 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strongly oppose Portals are an integral part of this website and extremely helpful to navigation. A Wikipedia without portals is a Wikipedia that has made its interface more impenetrable and alienated many of its users, both editors like you and I and all others who use this wonderful resource. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Delfadoriscool (talkcontribs) 21:39, 30 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I’ve never had much use for portals myself, but it’s clear that other editors and readers have, and throwing them all out because some are poorly maintained is not the right course of action. Vorziblix (talk) 21:48, 30 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Major oppose – when you see a struggling Portal, fix it. No biggie. Just do it. Be bold. Having fun! Cheers! {{u|Checkingfax}} {Talk} 21:53, 30 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose - My reasoning for this has been previously stated by many other voters, but I really think it would be a disservice to Wikipedians to delete ALL portals just because some of them are in a state of disrepair. Nanophosis (talk) 23:12, 30 April 2018 (UTC)
And the Portals Project has been restarted and is going strong. To make portals more dynamic, it has designed upgrades for two portal section types so far, and is working on upgrading the rest. Plus the new team is working hard on the portals themselves. See its watchlist for the activity on portals.    — The Transhumanist   19:16, 1 May 2018 (UTC)

1 May 2018[edit]

  • Oppose, the portals organize the articles in Wikipedia. They help me find things. Comfr (talk) 02:26, 1 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose ending all of them (maybe some can go?) - I am concerned that to get rid of all portals will throw the baby out with the bathwater. I cannot vouch for the usefulness of 100% of them, but I became aware of this proposal a couple of weeks ago when I was looking at Portal:Current events, which I have found to be a very handy portal. (And how else would that information be organized on Wikipedia?) KConWiki (talk) 02:56, 1 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose: Portals are not a huge maintenance burden so let them be. Esquivalience (talk) 03:02, 1 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose Just today I landed on a portal for the first time in what seems like years, it feels like a better system for a broad overview on a topic than the related page blurb at the bottom can afford. It surprises me I don't come across more, saw the deletion proposal notice and finally made an account to comment. Shlemme (talk) 03:57, 1 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Support with caution. Each existing portal should be examined to ensure properly relocating the content.--Jusjih (talk) 04:17, 1 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Strongly Oppose Portal has important role in Wikipedia and it make it easier for readers to surf the articles related to certain topic in a much easier way than categories do especially for newcommers because categories are down in the pages and don't have icons to attract readers to them like portals so that the attention and flow to portals is much higher than that for categories and so i think its more beneficial to the readers than other surfing related articles methods and if we think in the same reasoning manner here then we must delet small categories with low views! . Regards--مصعب (talk) 10:53, 1 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose the main question. However, as with any subject, moderation or some form of guideline might be required. Support the relevance guideline proposed in section 3.37 by User:Bermicourt. 198.84.253.202 (talk) 15:15, 1 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose I read the Portal: Current Events every day for news and now above it they are saying they are going to delete it, they are obviously not useless as over 4 million people have read it in 2018 so far (talk) 06:30, 1 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose This is indeed a case of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Some articles are terrible, some portals are terrible. Should we end wikipedia because of a few bad articles? Is that not what we're being asked of here? Boundarylayer (talk) 19:00, 1 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose I visit the Portal:Aviation page every day to check out the "On this day in history" portion. I consider portals a vital portion of this wonderful online community, and they facilitate the easy sharing of knowledge among Wikipedians. —Editor 357 (TalkContributions) 22:06, 1 May 2018 (UTC)

2 May 2018[edit]

  • Slight Opposition If we were to delete them all then there wouldn't be any easy way for, say some new, to find out how to get to a certain article, an article that is hidden under about two-hundred other articles. I think that [some] should be kept to allow an easier experience for newer people. who don't know about the articles. -Clujikostu (TalkContributions) —Preceding undated comment added 00:58, 2 May 2018 (UTC)
  • OpposeWhy Delete a Portal To the Community forums on Wikipedia? I'm no expert, but If People still use Portals, Why delete them?--Tails Era --Voltaire — Preceding comment added by The sonic channel 1 (talkcontribs) 01:36, 2 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose Serious WP:USE issues will arise for common readers if portals are to be deleted. 203.139.28.241 (talk) 05:45, 2 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose No reason to be deleted, in my opinion. OggyOlivia (talk) 12:31, 2 May 2018 (UTC)
  • OPPOSE! It is actually quite pragmatic keep portals as they are a leeway to access relevant info, and the main page is also styled like a portal. ---DÆMÖN MUNDANE++ — Preceding unsigned comment added by DÆmÖN MUNDANE++ (talkcontribs) 14:15, 2 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Only few people knew how to navigate inside portals and most of them are outdated. PH 0447 (talk) 15:28, 2 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Editors' time could be spent more effectively on increasing the quality of articles and maintaining the articles themselves rather than maintaining portals. There's no need to reinvent the wheel- Google and similar structures already exist and are effective in aiding navigation and finding of articles. Lookunder (talk) 15:35, 2 May 2018 (UTC)
    • The people are outdated or the portals are outdated? --Paul McDonald (talk) 15:36, 2 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Common sense. The most visited portals should be kept, but the majority of them are out of date, not visited by readers, and useless. ThePlatypusofDoom (talk) 16:12, 2 May 2018 (UTC)
    • This is now no argument anymore because all Portals are going to be kept up-to-date with the {{Transclude lead excerpt}} - template.--Broter (talk) 16:37, 2 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose I fail to see how anything is gained by removing the portals. Are they taking up too much space on the internet? Is Wikipedia's service provider asking us to delete files? Folks who don't want to use them can ignore them; those of us who like them can continue tinkering with them. Simple win/win. —Dilidor (talk) 16:22, 2 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Support The selected quotes, pictures, articles, etc placed on these sometimes focus on the obscure, and would violate WP:UNDUE or WP:NPOV were it placed in the overarching article. Some treat these as a POV fork. These are also redundant. With the "see also" sections, infoboxes, categories, navboxes, and wiki-links (which now have mouse over previews), I feel the portals add no value to Wikipedia. As to the how, I would start by preventing any new portals, then gradually remove the portals on the basis of editing inactivity. Dig deeper talk 17:13, 2 May 2018 (UTC)
    • This is not true. WP:NPOV is also a guidline for Portals.--Broter (talk) 17:37, 2 May 2018 (UTC)
    • and if it were, then it would be an editing issue instead of a deletion issue.--Paul McDonald (talk) 17:45, 2 May 2018 (UTC)
      • @Paulmcdonald and Broter:. Thanks for your thoughts. A genuine question: Is it appropriate to add comments after editors rationale in this section? I'm not certain I've seen this before. I wouldn't mind adding some feedback above to some of postings myself, however I'm concerned that the section will become bloated or that this may violate Wikipedia ettiqutte. Thoughts?Dig deeper talk 18:21, 2 May 2018 (UTC)
        • Scroll up and you you'll see it's fairly common. "RFC" means "Request for Comments" which to me implies a discussion... and that's about the only way I know to do it in a text forum such as this. As to is it "appropriate" ??? Never really thought about that!--Paul McDonald (talk) 18:44, 2 May 2018 (UTC)
          • Fair enough.Dig deeper talk 19:28, 2 May 2018 (UTC)
          • Portals are going to be forever up-to-date with the {{Transclude lead excerpt}} - template.--Broter (talk) 18:54, 2 May 2018 (UTC)
            • This will mirror the current lead, it doesn't change the content. How is having stale portals any better than "see also" sections, infoboxes, categories, navboxes, and wiki-links? Dig deeper talk 19:28, 2 May 2018 (UTC)
              • Portals provide a better interactive experience than "see also" sections, infoboxes, categories, navboxes, and wiki-links. "see also" sections are only some articles, infoboxes give only information about one subject, categories are not used by the average reader and navboxes use Portals and are in a relationship with Portals.--Broter (talk) 19:51, 2 May 2018 (UTC)
                • Many Portals are dynamic and show changing content.--Broter (talk) 19:53, 2 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose I read the Portal: Current Events every day for years. If made obsolete, a new option would be preferred. 47.203.211.199 (talk) 19:11, 2 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose I personally like portals, as I consider them like "You may also like" pages. They may also make the reader able to reach more articles of the same subject. And maybe even editing them in order to improve the said articles. In addition to be visually appealing. --Espilio (talk) 22:23, 2 May 2018 (UTC)

3 May 2018[edit]

  • Oppose ending the system entirely. I fear that would be throwing the baby and the bathwater out the metaphorical window. However, the namespace does need pruning - perhaps some stricter criteria for what merits a portal need to be hashed out? Richard0612 09:36, 3 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Support in general. It's clear that most readers aren't using portals, they take a lot to maintain, and so many are out of date that it's hard to think of good reasons for keeping them. The editor energy currently going into portals would be better spent otherwise. No objection to creating something new to replace them, but in their current form, they're dead weight.--Cúchullain t/c 13:10, 3 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Strongly Oppose There is no value in deleting content. I would support limited deletion of portals that are not being actively maintained and have not aged well, and I would also support a moratorium on creating new portals. But outright wholesale deletion is not a good idea. I have did significant work on portals in the past. —Charles Edward (Talk | Contribs) 14:19, 3 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose deleting the portals, this is the place you can navigate through various pages, and helps users to update and write content. - ˜˜˜˜ — Preceding unsigned comment added by Varmapak (talkcontribs) 17:11, 3 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose: Portals have long been a well-respectable source for exploring other relatable topics via single articles. Qwertyxp2000 (talk | contribs) 22:32, 3 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose No suitable alternative exists for portals that presents the information in a concise and easy to navigate format. Any attempt to produce such an alternative would just wind up creating portals again. I would accept some reform in how portals are used, but they are too valuable to do away with in their entirety. AlexEng(TALK) 22:45, 3 May 2018 (UTC)

4 May 2018[edit]

  • Oppose I pretty much agree that this should be decided on a case-by-case basis, as someone who has occasionally worked with portals, I understand the problems that they are facing, but deleting all of them is not the solution, I am free to consider deletion of some problematic portals, though. - CHAMPION (talk) (contributions) (logs) 00:21, 4 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose No reason to delete. If you don't like them, then don't read them. Some are being used and that's enough to not throw out all. Royalbroil 00:22, 4 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose Hi, im a reader, not an editor. Somehow i stumbled upon this discussion and after reading, thought i would offer some feedback from a reader. I mostly use an ipad to read wikipedia and switch it to "desktop" because i like it better. Maybe im not a typical user. I tend to look something up like "porcupine", read that article, get intrigued by something else, click on a link and then other. I wound up on a page about Madagscar. I love delving deeper into topics and can spend hours reading articles on wikipedia. That said, i love portals because it makes it easier to find indepth info on whatever im interested in that day. I didnt even know about portals until one day i discovered a portal link in the box at the bottom of an article. I now look and i dont see many links to portals. I think if the links were there, easier for users to find, they would get more traffic. Im not a fan of outlines although i do use them. I think portals are more user friendly and comprehensive. Maybe some portals need to be deleted but i dont think you should throw the baby out with the bathwater. Reading this discussion did give me a better understanding and appreciation of the work involved in maintaining wikipedia. Maybe im not a typical user. I do have an insatiable curiosity about the world and everything in it. I love wikipedia. Thank you all for all your hard work and your efforts to make this the great resource it is, whether you oppose or support this RFC. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:49:0:88C1:9943:A3D8:AE55:6997 (talk) 03:55, 4 May 2018 (UTC) [The word "Oppose" was added at the beginning by User:Dcljr (me) for consistency with other comments. - dcljr (talk) 04:22, 4 May 2018 (UTC)]
  • Oppose Portals can be improved.They are a great Feature. They need improvement in a more structured way. Stalin Sunny Talk2Me 04:34, 4 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose mass deletion of portals. I think it could make sense to implement something like Wikipedia:Proposed deletion for portals. Orser67 (talk) 05:45, 4 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose - This is a terrible idea that will cripple the explorability of Wikipedia. 24.20.122.141 (talk) 05:50, 4 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Very strong oppose, portals are important infrastructural part of Wikipedia which also has historical and social value. They also can be seen as parts of WikiProjects system which is also important. Proposals to delete something historical and important, with many people's contributions, occur regularly and seem to be generally unrelated to improvement of Wikipedia, but just related to desire to "delete something I didn't like". There were such proposals as to "close all Wikinews", "close Sebuan Wikipedia", they all failed and just wasted community's time. Because the correct approach, if someone see an important wiki-thing they dislike, is how we improve projects/portals, not remove them. --ssr (talk) 09:19, 4 May 2018 (UTC)
    • I think it is reasonable to ban further attempts of any mass-deletions at the scale of "all portals", "all wikinews", "a whole active wikipedia". People begin to produce giant conflicts instead of writing articles. --ssr (talk) 06:43, 5 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose There is no value in deleting content.--Semenov.m7 (talk) 11:08, 4 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose Yea some portals are dilapidated and can be removed but some like Portal:Current_Events are very useful.--JustAnotherWikiUser0816 (talk) 5:26, 4 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose It has interesting news and keeps us informed. There is no point in deleting this. If people don't like this, don't read or ignore this section. That simple--Hovhannesk (talk) 3:25, 4 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I think they're a useful way of organising information on a particular topic and act as a handy in-subject directory. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 77.102.134.13 (talk) 20:25, 4 May 2018
  • Oppose As a reader, I want to throw in a word of support for Portal:Current_Events, which I have referenced almost daily for years. It provides a global and unbiased perspective as well effective temporal and thematic organization -- a vanishingly rare gift on the clickbait-happy internet. I believe the world will be worse off if it is deleted unless a comparable replacement is added.ChFrBa (talk) 20:45, 4 May 2018 (UTC)

5 May 2018[edit]

  • Oppose Portals are convenient and easy to use. As you can see I am an end user. I have no idea on how to comment here so this is where I placed it. Thanks. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 108.51.157.5 (talk) 01:07, 5 May 2018 (UTC) [Note: This comment was left on the talk page by 108.51.157.5 and then moved to here by User:Dcljr (me). I added the word "Opposed" for consistency with the rest of the comments. - dcljr (talk) 02:19, 6 May 2018 (UTC)]
  • Very Strong Oppose A. No reason to delete content that can be improved. This is akin to AfD'ing an article that just needs some CE. B. Many portals are extremely useful. C. Some portals definitely may need work, but they at least provide some deal of navigation for topics that may otherwise be difficult to access. --9563rj (talk) 02:27, 5 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Remark: Neutral I personally think Portals are a good idea, but their implementation is all wrong. I see Portals as a way of linking similar subject matter. For instance, if I clicked on Portal:James Bond, I would expect to find anything relevantly related to the subject matter listed in a clear and easy to navigate manner. Portal:James Bond is a good example of what I expect a Portal might look like because it is well laid out with relevant matter. But, the few times I have ever clicked on a Portal link, I usually just see a great big mess of virtually unrelated matter, barely navigable.

If it is decided that Portals should be kept, then I suggest they are in need of a serious overhaul. It is for this reason that I'm 99% more likely to click on a ==See also== than a Portal. However, I do like seeing that Portal icon identifying articles as belonging to a particular subject, thus suggesting there are other topics of interest I might wish to read.
Christopher, Sheridan, OR (talk) 07:53, 5 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Support - They serve very little purpose and are difficult to maintain with many out of date, I don't think they are necessary. SSSB (talk) 10:49, 5 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Support - I have never found a portal to be useful in over 12 years of being a Wikipedian. Flibirigit (talk) 12:15, 5 May 2018 (UTC)
    • @Flibirigit:. You do not like Portals, therefore you want all Portals deleted and the work of thousands of editors in vain?--Broter (talk) 12:57, 5 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose - Portals help organize lots of information and events for ease of people who want to use them. It is a useful feature that provides navigation in an extremely large web of articles. TheSubmarine (talk) 13:14, 5 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Very Strong Oppose 1. No reason to delete content that can be improved. I have added WikiProject information to many thousands of article talk pages, improving the ability of editors to find information on project information. Recently added pages to the Jersey project, taking total from 800+ articles tio 1180+ articles, and letting me create and imporove articles on Jersey and the Channel Islands 2. Some portals definitely need work, but they at least provide connections to topics that may otherwise be difficult to access. I have done a lot of work on several projects, including Insect, Madagascar, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere. 3. Projects allow me to work with other editors with the same interests. Four and five years ago, I worked on Guyana articles with another editor. We find each other on a Talk page. 4. We talk with each other, ask and answer questions, and improve Wikipedia on Project pages. Please let us continue.--Dthomsen8 (talk) 16:28, 5 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Partially - It´s ok to end them, but I think that their contents should immediatly be converted into a corresponding "Outline" article, with topics, lists, everything in plain text to help people who want to dig into the subject. Ogat (talk) 17:29, 5 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Support with some regret. Almost every one I have come across are so out of date that they are misleading to readers. The very few that still function as intended could be brought into article space somehow. Regretfully as a lot of work has been put into them and there was potential. We just lack the manpower to keep these functioning and too often they rely on one dedicated individual, who may retire or move on. Marking as historic is fine if editors don't want to delete them outright. There is a certain historical charm in keeping these trapped in time for future generation to find. AIRcorn (talk) 21:25, 5 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Partially As a random reader watching this, low-level portals could happily go away: eg the Australian Cars portal. But the Cars portal, and the Transport portal, which are much broader, could remain. 222.154.227.183 (talk) 23:20, 5 May 2018 (UTC)

6 May 2018[edit]

  • Oppose - I can see both sides of the argument. But in my opinion the portal in this case is useful at the main page for finding specific articles about current topics etc. Thats my take on this.BabbaQ (talk) 00:32, 6 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Very Strong Oppose I created an account just to voice my opinion. As someone who reads the Current Events Portal everyday, I was horrified to find out it is in jeopardy. Please consider the thousands of people like me who would never of created an account to voice their opinions on this matter. cshy (talk) Sun May 06 00:43:46 2018 UTC
  • Partial support - Keep well-maintained and useful ones (such as the perennial example Portal:Current events). Mark infrequently updated ones (another perennial example: Portal:Prehistory of Antarctica) as historic so any content can be salvaged by WikiProjects, interested editors, etc. As a general rule, I think portals should be few, but broad in scope. Looking through the mishmash of arguments, it seems most Opposes are either 1) many editors' work will be lost (this is a textbook example of begging for mercy), or 2) they are useful to readers (a legitimate argument to keep some portals, but most don't get viewed a lot). There may be no deadline, but it's not realistic to expect the system can be substantially improved. Teratix (talk) 01:50, 6 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Very Strong Oppose Why are you trying to destroy a piece of art that has been made and not damaged? Even if you want to be deleted, the history of these pages will never be erased in the direction of Wikipedia politics. I find this request totally irrational. --İncelemeelemani (talk) 10:38, 6 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Very Strong Oppose The portal system is an integral part of the Wikipedia experience. Removing it because you don't want to work on it is counter to everything Wikipedia stands for. --Auric talk 11:44, 6 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Very strong oppose I believe that Portals are an integeral part of Wikipedia, because they've always been here, and removing portals would take a big chunk of the original Wikipedia away. A second reason is the fact that Portals help make things organized. IiTomsx (talk) 12:46, 6 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose I've probably got nothing new to add, but it seems like portals are in the process of revitalization, and, while not integral to the success of Wikipedia, are in no way contributing to a coming failure. There are editors who are now willing to maintain, so it makes sense to keep. Eddie891 Talk Work 13:35, 6 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong support. I 've never found portals useful. Other tools of the wiki, such as categories and the "See also" section are way more easy to browse and offer much more information. In the times of mobile browsing portals don't serve a purpose. Let the users that have spend their time in these pages, be more valuable categorizing articles and providing in in wikidata. ~~ uℂρЭ 0υĜe 14:48, 6 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Strongly Oppose Portals have been useful tools for many users, and they have been part of Wikipedia for years. Just because some editors do not use them does not mean that we should delete them. If we listened to each and every individual editor and only kept the parts of wikipedia that they found useful, there would collectively be nothing left of the site! David Straub (talk) 14:59, 6 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Strongly Oppose* The Current Events Portal is one of the most useful sources of current events in our world. I use it every day to see a non-biased plate of information. Closing all portals is not necessary. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 50.246.218.27 (talk) 21:14, 6 May 2018 (UTC)
Note: 50.246.218.27 (talk) has made few or no other edits outside this topic. 198.84.253.202 (talk) 23:11, 6 May 2018 (UTC)
There is no WP:SENIORITY: the "newest editor, with the least edits, may have the best idea or the most relevant point of view."--Paul McDonald (talk) 13:54, 7 May 2018 (UTC)
'May' and 'editor' being the operative words. This is a niche and 13 year old issue, comments from newly registered users are unlikely to have significant reasoning, despite the broad assertions they make. These ephemeral 'editors' (readers in editor's clothing) won't have to deal with the portal system once they inevitably bugger off after this RfC. Cesdeva (talk) 11:51, 8 May 2018 (UTC)

7 May 2018[edit]

  • Weak Oppose I think the creation of portals was a good idea, and I think that they can definitely be helpful. However, I do agree with many of the concerns with keeping portals that have been mentioned in the original post as well as many of the "support" comments, such as no longer being maintained, being a spam target, etc.--SkyGazer 512 What will you say? / What did I do? 00:03, 7 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong support Portals are fundamentally just stand-alone nav boxes in an encyclopedia that has way too many nav boxes already. The community spends much too much energy on chrome, relative to the energy it spends on bona fide encyclopedic body text in some areas. Portals are part of the problem, not the solution. In active, well-covered subject areas they're never up to date. In inactive, poorly covered areas they only suck the oxygen out of the place. Damvile (talk) 08:39, 7 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose per reasons listed by other users above. The Portal namespace should not be deprecated as described in the nom. While the system of Portals might possibly need to be revamped a bit, deleting the namespace itself wouldn't be the right course of action. Paintspot Infez (talk) 12:40, 7 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose, although I should clarify. I oppose deleting the portal system altogether because culling the portal namespace would be a better solution. Older outdated and unmaintained portals should indeed be removed if they are no longer useful, or at least archived as historical/deprecated. There are plenty of active and useful ones that we should keep, and many more that could be brought up to date and made useful again. The Wikipedia:WikiProject Portals is a great start on this effort. I also think this needs more than 30 days for people to come up with a complete solution that everyone can get behind. — AfroThundr (talk) 14:54, 7 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Neutral to weak support - I don't really use portals at all, so I don't really care if they go away. And as many people stated, most of them are in disrepair and aren't doing their job. But I'm indifferent. Either way works. DatGuyonYouTube (talk) 15:04, 7 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Weak Oppose I think that the system of portals assists with wiki navigation, and allows users to quickly look through certain topics. While it may be a bit old or outdated, users can help and expand the portals. — Preceding unsigned comment added by SuperTurboChampionshipEdition (talkcontribs) 16:00, 7 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I support reform, but I believe Portals can be important introductions of a certain field of knowledge and, therefore, they should stay. Besides, merging them with Wikiprojects makes no sense to me, since the latter is not supposed to be for the reader, but for the editor. Wikiprojects shouldn't display valuable content that can't be found elsewhere. I thereby oppose the deletion of it, but I commend the initiative for the renewed maintenance efforts it inspired. - Sarilho1 (talk) 18:06, 7 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Obsolete, poorly maintained, unnecessary and makes us look unprofessional. Served a purpose once but times have changbed and we should change with them. Amisom (talk) 19:25, 7 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Support. I can probably include everything a portal can add in templates. A reader will probably not be searching for portals. We should focus more on turning key articles into "portals" of a sort. WikiProjects, on the other hand, are still necessary, albeit neglected. However, there needs to be some sort of gradual transition from having portals to not having them, as they still contain very valuable content. Inatan (talk) 19:44, 7 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Extreme Support I myself am confused to the purpose of portals Tayear (talk) 20:30, 7 May 2018 (UTC)
    How does your confusion translate into mass deletion? -- Mentifisto 21:40, 7 May 2018 (UTC)
    Let me rephrase. I think that the purpouse has became unclearTay's ear (talk) 19:12, 9 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose While I can see that out-of-date and poorly maintained portals are an issue, many cannot suffer from that problem (e.g., math and science are slow-changing fields at the encyclopedic level). Many more could be kept up-to-date with some basic implementation of bots. I used to have the Earth Science portal as my homepage (now I don't really use a homepage for reasons irrelevant here). I occasionally use the Geology portal to find the active wikiprojects because I can never remember which ones exist. I also used portals when I was a student to find random articles when I needed current events or random topics within a certain scope for class projects. Part of the lack of user-ship for portals is probably that the people who could most use them, such as students and teachers of particular subjects, often do not know they exist. Also, the argument that the views are low for the number of links is problematic to me. I see portals more often than I see the Main page. I have never clicked on the portals from the main page because I go to the main page to go to the main page, not to go to portals. I do occasionally click on a portal from a topic page, particularly topics that correspond directly to portals (e.g., Geology and Earth Science). But I often don't even realize there is a portal link on pages because of where it is placed.Elriana (talk) 21:11, 7 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose - so first it was RD and now this, what's next, main page? Is it forgotten that this is all digital and so doesn't take much space? That people can contribute however they wish and it's not mutually exclusive and these can be ignored and mainspace focused on? Destruction is so much simpler than creation. -- Mentifisto 21:40, 7 May 2018 (UTC)

8 May 2018[edit]

  • Comment – it has been 30 days. It is time to close it. At this point, it is clear that the proposal has a snowball's chance in hell of acceptance (WP:SNOW).    — The Transhumanist   00:13, 8 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Conditional support I think that so long as there's a good plan in place for moving most portals to other places, this is a good idea. I liked the proposal in the discussion section to move all Portal:XXXX pages to Template:PortalXXXX as a way of deprecating. I also think that there are certain portals that should be kept around? Maybe a better solution would be to delete only poorly maintained portals and establish a process for creating portals that requires community support (something like the process to create WikiProjects). - - mathmitch7 (talk/contribs) 01:12, 8 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment: Haven't been at the portals, but shame they're leaving. Xyaena 01:44, 8 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose - The portals are very useful for the respective subjects. I often use them to browse topics. Polarmaps (talk) 06:00, 8 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose - The portals are useful for both readers and WikiProjects, especially those with Featured Portal status. There are definitely ones which need either drastic improvement of transfer to the pages of the WikiProject involved. However, there is no rationale for wholesale deletion of all portals. Voceditenore (talk) 08:32, 8 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Strongly Oppose: Portals are useful ways for people to seamlessly find related information. IQ125 (talk) 12:32, 8 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Strongly Oppose: There is a lot of info I never would have known existed without portals and the mini portal boxes at the upper right of many pages.--174.130.35.148 (talk) 15:10, 8 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This has been a useful exercise, in that it has (a) brought people together to discuss what they think portals are for, and (b) has breathed new life into several portals through editors giving them attention. There may be some useful points in the reams of text above to be incorporated as guidelines into WP:PORTAL. But at the end of it all, should we delete all portals? Absolutely not. And it's time to put this RFC out of its misery too.  — Amakuru (talk) 16:15, 8 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment: I have updated the Wikipedia:Portal/Instructions#Creating_without_subpages to include the approach without subpages. To try this approach Portals need to stay on wikipedia.--Broter (talk) 16:26, 8 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Strongly Oppose: While some portals maybe outdated, we should clean them up rather than just deleting them, since they contain a wealth of invaluable information and are easily navigable. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kendall1287 (talkcontribs) 19:30, 8 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I don't do a lot of additive editing on Wikipedia, so I'm not sure how difficult it is to upkeep the portals, but I thoroughly enjoy and use the portals when browsing through Wikipedia. They are helpful in gaining a grasp of certain topics that might branch into many things. Edward Versaii (talk) 19:50, 8 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose This would be a very stupid decision to put a end of the system of portals. Wikipedia should continue with the portal system in order to avoid confusing topics and it's enjoyable to use a portal. Odnailro (talk) 19:59, 8 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose Portals are very useful for me. Davey2116 (talk) 20:59, 8 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose Like many others in this discussion, I use the Current Events portal almost every day, and I also visit the Featured Content portal sometimes. I have never been hindered by portals, so I do not see a need to remove them just for being poorly maintained. Yeticarlken (talk) 21:09, 8 May 2018 (UTC)

9 May 2018[edit]

  • Oppose I like portals as they help me find interesting articles about a given subject. Poor maintenance isn't a reason to delete, it's a reason to improve. -BRAINULATOR9 (TALK) 01:52, 9 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Support I never found portals to be particularly useful, and I have pretty much ignored their use and function as a whole over the last 10 years here on Wikipedia. Yes, I would say that portals can sometimes contain valuable information for Wikipedia editors and users, but I see no reason why this information could not be migrated into a relevant article/talk page/category/template, or a new article/talk page/category/template generated from existing portal content. For very active, heavily utilized, and functional portals such as Portal:Current events I see no reason why this functionality cannot be absorbed by a similarly named Wikipedia:Current events, especially since a portal such as this is so heavily integrated into the main page of Wikipedia itself. I have never found a function of a portal to be so useful that it cannot be replaced by another aspect available on Wikipedia. The overwhelming majority of them are stagnant lists of stuff that are not maintained or looked after. (e.g. Something I just picked at random: Portal:Laser.) - Wiz9999 (talk) 15:28, 9 May 2018 (UTC)

10 May 2018[edit]

  • Conditional Support But only if there is an alternative to things like Portal:Current events which seems like a very effective use of the Portal construct. I use Portal:Current events daily as a way to be inspired by current events to determine which Wikipedia pages to visit, and by definition it is evolving content so I don't see how it could become a conventional topic page instead. But if a viable alternative to Portal:Current events is made possible, I do understand why most of the time portals are not needed or effective. - Yuzisee (talk) 04:44, 10 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Extreme Oppose I strongly agree with everything that has been written before by editors supporting "Oppose"; I can add that I save on my computers most of portals' main pages, and all the main pages of the other wikimedia projects for at least 15-20 days every month, if not more.Brain (talk) 00:21, 10 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose Broadly, I am in favour of keeping the portals. The rational behind Wikipaedia is that it provides not only information but access to information. Portals are excellent starting points for many people who use them to start reading, then, by by following the different links, end up where they need to be. However, the point about portals is that may not know where they need to start, as their enquiry maybe too vague, but the portals are excellent starting points for vague enquiries. --77.58.164.140 (talk) 09:29, 10 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Support - Most portals is outdated and not many users access it. Search and category list is replacing Wikipedia portals. Wikipedia portals have to go. 2A02:C7F:963F:BA00:1928:2C1C:C9F1:9870 (talk) 15:50, 10 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Most users don't use them but some clearly do, and even if they are kept those who don't want to use them don't have to. So I don't see a valid rationale for mass deletion. Rlendog (talk) 16:20, 10 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Portals are a great way to interlink articles for readers, browsers and editors! --Marshallsumter (talk) 17:38, 10 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Support closure of portals and not-wasting resources anymore. Russian translator (talk) 17:42, 10 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose - The current events portal is an excellent synopsis of daily news, I read it almost every day. Donald Rennie 2:04 pm PST — Preceding unsigned comment added by 172.103.165.48 (talk) 21:04, 10 May 2018 (UTC)

11 May 2018[edit]

  • Strong Oppose The portal system has ALWAYS served a purpose (For me both editing & reading). Not much else to be said. AryaTargaryen (talk) 02:01, 11 May 2018 (UTC)AryaTargaryen
  • Oppose per Gerda Arendt - people do genuinely work on them so why delete them? I rarely use them, granted, but they are useful to some editors here. Patient Zerotalk 08:23, 11 May 2018 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Discussion: Ending the system of portals[edit]

Notice to editors:

  1. Please do not add any new Support/Oppose comments here. The "Survey", where new Support/Oppose comments would go, has now been closed.
  2. General discussion of the proposal or the RfC itself can continue here, if necessary.
  3. Many users will find it difficult to edit this section, as it is very large and contains multiple subsections. Please look for a smaller subsection below that is relevant to the comments you want to add.
  4. Please try to avoid creating new subsections at the bottom of the page, as this further fragments an already fragmented discussion. If you must create a new section, you will probably find it easier to edit the last existing subsection below instead of this large "parent" section.
Some exception would need to be made for the Community portal. This has been getting over 10,000 views daily since it was linked as one of the three exits ("Start helping") from the New user landing page, introduced in conjunction with ACTRIAL. The Help Out section is essential and should be kept as visible as possible. Parts of the Community bulletin board are dusty, but just need more regular maintenance: Noyster (talk), 15:16, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
Seeing as this Community Portal isn't even in the "Portal" namespace, I don't believe it would be affected either way. Good page too keep in mind, though. ~Mable (chat) 15:22, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
Indeed, I did think of that, but I also saw that they're not in portal space, and wouldn't be affected. Galobtter (pingó mió) 15:41, 8 April 2018 (UTC) Also, it is entirely different from general portals, being editor facing only (which is presumably why it is in WP space not portal space) and does an okay job of helping editors Galobtter (pingó mió) 15:46, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
...And of course even if there is the occasional useful portal, we can easily make an exception -- possibly with a move to a better namespace. What are the top ten most-visited pages in the portal namespace? --Guy Macon (talk) 16:03, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
I'd say 90% likely the top 8 are the ones on the main page, at the top right. But like I said above, I don't think people actually find the ones on the main page useful either, they just click it randomly Galobtter (pingó mió) 16:12, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
Here's a pageview graph of those main page portals, anyhow - extremely interestingly, they group into 3 clear bunches Galobtter (pingó mió) 16:24, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
I think the top-visited portals are those linked from the left sidebar, Portal:Contents and Portal:Current events and, to a lesser degree, Portal:Featured content (pageview graph). The arguments for deleting the other 1500 portals may not apply to these. -- John of Reading (talk) 16:49, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
Ahh, I forgot about them. These seem like they'd be fine in wikipedia namespace, honestly, and would be exempted; they aren't really like the other portals at all, and just seem sort of dumped there because they vaguely explore something Galobtter (pingó mió) 16:58, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
Agree Current events is a very active portal and should be moved into a different namespace if all Portals are deleted.  Nixinova  T  C  04:39, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
@Galobtter: To set everyone's mind at ease, please add an amendment to your proposal (at the very top) exempting Portal:Contents, Portal:Current events, and Wikipedia:Community portal. Also consider exempting Portal:Featured content as it is the front page for the various "Featured" content production departments, and has a link on the sidebar menu that appears on every page of Wikipedia. Thank you.     — The Transhumanist    13:26, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
@Galobtter: @The Transhumanist: In addition, since there seems to be at present significant opposition to outright deleting the namespace and all related pages, maybe there could be some clarification that deprecation/marking as historical (as opposed to outright deletion) is an option too. Some of the oppose votes seem to be more due to the outright deletion proposal rather than or not just because of a support of the portal system. Narutolovehinata5 tccsdnew 13:31, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
I'm uncertain whether how exactly one should amend a proposal while it has received significant comment - Narutolovehinata5 feel free to add a note like "Note: Certain portals: ...have been suggested for exclusion; other options instead of deletion has also been suggested" or something along the lines of that, keeping neutrality of course Galobtter (pingó mió) 14:56, 11 April 2018 (UTC) and @Transhumanist: too Galobtter (pingó mió) 15:38, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
I think it would seem rather inappropriate were the nominator to suggest altering or adding to the wording of the RfC in this way now that it is running, and numerous people have expressed their views. Would that be with the hope of better securing the desired outcome? Was not the removal and relocation by the nominator of previous comments also intended to keep the proposal clear and concise? Nick Moyes (talk) 03:27, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
Namespace ID Namespace Total pages Pages with redirects Pages without redirects
100 Portal 148868 13188 135680
101 Portal talk 36710 2701 34009
  • Question - If the current portal system ends, and the portal namespace disappears, presumably this would not prohibit certain active WikiProjects from creating a portal-like page within the WikiProject space, correct? — Rhododendrites talk \\ 17:16, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
Yes, but the main thing is that they wouldn't be linked from articles - wouldn't be reader facing - and thus wouldn't be at all like the system currently here. Thus ending Galobtter (pingó mió) 17:19, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Broter I do understand that people have spent a lot of time on these, and that is is frustrating to see one's work deleted. However I don't see that portals help much with navigation - since they produce random articles, that isn't really navigation; outlines like Outline_of_science do a far better job. Galobtter (pingó mió) 17:23, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Please keep the existing portals.--Broter (talk) 17:26, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
I invested so many hours into portals. Please keep the existing portals.--Broter (talk) 17:31, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
List of Portals which were created by myself or very much improved by myself:
--Broter (talk) 17:47, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Compromise? Perhaps we should "mothball" or eliminate portals which haven't been edited or maintained for a certain length of time. Pegship (talk) 18:03, 8 April 2018 (UTC)

We should only delete the portals which are not maintained.--Broter (talk) 18:06, 8 April 2018 (UTC)

  • Hmmm, I wouldn't oppose keeping them in wikipedia space - there's no particular reason to prevent people from harvesting the portals if they feel it is useful; and some could be useful to move into the main pages of wikiprojects as a "face". Beetstra I think it'd be better to store them in wikipedia space, free for people to use if there's anything valuable (or not). Easier than force delinking and full protection IMO Galobtter (pingó mió) 18:19, 8 April 2018 (UTC)

Broter, you can move any portals you have created to subpages of your user page. Some subpages get a lot of traffic, such as my WP:1AM page. --Guy Macon (talk) 18:30, 8 April 2018 (UTC)

  • We could phase them out by a) prohibiting creation of new portals b) PRODing each portal giving anyone who cares a week (or more) to salvage anything useful. c) shutting down any remaining portals in 3 months. Legacypac (talk) 20:35, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Brainstorming: This is a good opportunity to radically re-think the Portal system, which isn't working well under its current inception. Feel free to pitch in with some alternatives for a simple mass-deletion. Here are some ideas:
  1. Convert them to links to WikiProjects. This would help readers become editors without the need to route them through the Talk page and a collapsible banner first.
  2. Turn them into Reference Desks for specific topics. While article Talk pages are strictly WP:NOTFORUM, I believe that "off topic" discussions between readers and editors could benefit both groups. We'd get an idea of what readers really want to know outside of our sometimes rigid system of articles, and readers would become contributors before they even know it.
  3. Turn them into links to Outlines or Indexes to serve as centralized "See also" listings per topic.
  4. Automatic listings of Featured content grouped by topics. See Bluerasberry's comment above (cf. Galobtter's for an opposing view).
  5. Limiting the number of portals should help concentrate our efforts. Suitable sets could be those featured on the Main Page, some of the top categories at Portal:Contents/Portals, those corresponding with Featured articles categories, or Core topics.
Some more wild ideas? – Finnusertop (talkcontribs) 21:28, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
  • If portal pages are moved/created in wikiproject namespace (e.g. Wikipedia:WikiProject Foobar/Portal) then this should (1) only be by or with the agreement of the wikiproject and (2) only be a single page (e.g. not the 45 pages currently in Category:Book of Mormon portal). DexDor (talk) 20:46, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Would something else replace the links on the main page? It seems like a waste of space to leave almost all of the top banner empty. KSFT (t|c) 21:05, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
The mainpage is full of information. A little whitespace would be good, or make the rest of the box Wikipedia ... wider and thinner. Legacypac (talk) 21:23, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
Hey yes, this could be a great opportunity to update the 12-year old main page (only half-kidding!) Aiken D 21:40, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
  1. Portal:Arts 3,872 / day
  2. Portal:History 2,235 / day
  3. Portal:Biography 2,178 / day
  4. Portal:Science 1,413 / day
  5. Portal:Mathematics 1,404 / day
  6. Portal:Technology 1,398 / day
  7. Portal:Geography 1,063 / day

--Pharos (talk) 22:51, 8 April 2018 (UTC)

Those are 7 of the 8 portals on Main Page. The 8th there is Portal:Society which is number 8 in page views with 665 / day. Portal:Food with 429 / day is the most for portals not on the main page. linksto:Portal:Food currently says it has 8,045 links from mainspace. PrimeHunter (talk) 23:07, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
Major takeaway - put a link to something in the best position possible on one of the world's top visited pages and it only gets 665 to 3000 odd hits a day => total rejection by the public of this useless content. There is NOTHING wikipedia can do to drive more traffic than those 8 links. Legacypac (talk) 00:21, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
Is there any way to find out how many real links go to a particular page as opposed to links because it was added to a template? For example, 1-bit architecture has a huge number of links to it,[4] but if you look at the pages that contain the links they are almost all because it is included in Template:CPU technologies and don't give an accurate picture of how many people are interested enough in 1-bit architectures to link to it. --Guy Macon (talk) 23:25, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
I don't think that is possible, but It's somehing I've wanted to know for many years too (unrelated to the portals).--Pharos (talk) 23:36, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
User:PrimeHunter/Source links.js produces Source links on 1-bit architecture. It currently says 26 results in all namespaces (10 in mainspace). I also made {{source links}}. {{source links|1-bit architecture}} produces Source links. PrimeHunter (talk) 00:57, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
I've done a more comprehensive query, and besides the higher-placed pages that are not conventional portals, the stand-out of those not linked from the Main Page appears to be Portal:Dance, which had 2,227 / day pageviews in 2017.--Pharos (talk) 23:36, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
Portal:Dance was one of my random examples earlier with only 1,421 views in the past 30 days, meaning 47 per day. The page views graph since the first data in July 2015 [5] shows a jump from around 50 views per day to around 2300 from October 2016 to January 2018, and then back to 50. I don't know the reason but I suspect it's automated views and not humans. PrimeHunter (talk) 23:54, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
  • I don’t think the idea of turning them over t relevant projects is workable at a time when so many projects are inactive, just as the portals are. The fact that a small number are still being maintained is a credit to those doing so, but it doesn’t change the fact that the system as a whole has been largely abandonded. Beeblebrox (talk) 00:05, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
Projects can remain inactive and dont directly impact readers. portals can have an effect on readers. portals need to be either complete, as in not needing maintenance, or maintenance, or active work to improve. projects are forever. different animals. i advocate simply having Featured portals be linked to more visibly, and other portals linked at end of article. since portals are highly edited, they should be reviewed periodically by a dedicated editor to make sure they are up to snuff. if not, we should be able to mothball them easily.Mercurywoodrose (talk) 20:14, 21 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Regarding it being more effort than it is worth - at minimum this would be blanking templates that link to portals/removing templates like {{portal}} from mainspace; then marking portals as historical; this wouldn't be much effort that I can see. Then we can save fiddling about it, and prevent other people from wasting their time for the next 10 years on portals Galobtter (pingó mió) 03:53, 9 April 2018 (UTC)

Step 1 - take the portal links of the mainpage and Delete all the portal templates. Readers will not find the portals after that and we can roll up the actual portals whenever we get to them. Dead wikiprojects are another topic for another discussion. Legacypac (talk) 04:00, 9 April 2018 (UTC)

From use PrimeHunter's script, I see there seems basically 0-1 links per portal in mainspace that are not from templates. So it should be simple to use bot machinery to remove all portal links from mainspace, and then marking 1500 pages historical shouldn't be hard either. Most visible non-mainspace links are from linking portals in wikiproject banners which can be removed by removing the |PORTAL= parameter. Galobtter (pingó mió) 05:11, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Has anyone thought of keeping a decreased number of portals, which are highly used and of higher quality? They still serve a purpose and are better than an outline. feminist (talk) 08:19, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
  • We shouldn't be in haste to ditch the portals. Those who say "let them eat outlines, or indexes" should be aware that there over 1,500 portals to 755 outlines and 660 indexes. Many such popular topics as Football, Cricket and Dogs have a portal but no outline or index. Moreover, in all the topics I have looked at where all three types of navigation page are offered – a portal, an outline, and an index – the Portal receives the most page views of the three. I won't bore you with a table but this holds for such a range of topics as Philosophy, Engineering, Film, Forestry and United States. If we don't have the resources to maintain everything, what needs to go may be the outlines and indexes, which between them reproduce the work of the category structure: Noyster (talk), 13:49, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
    • There are two kinds of pages on Wikipedia: pages people look for and pages people stumble upon. Portals, Outlines and Indexes are almost exclusively in the latter category.
For such pages, page views are determined by visibility: how many incoming links are there and from where. With Portals, we have capitalized screen real estate that will be simply wasted if this proposal results in a mass deletion and unlinking operation. The Main Page, See also sections of countless articles, navigational templates, and WikiProject banners all give visibility to Portal links and that's where all the views come from. Even if we do away with Portals, we could use this visibility for something else. In my comment above, I suggested placing Outline and Index links where Portal links are now. We should definitely think about how to make the best out of these links. – Finnusertop (talkcontribs) 16:23, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
WP:BLUDGEON. --Guy Macon (talk) 22:04, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Keep the Portals that exist and are in good shape and delete only the poor portals.--Broter (talk) 15:50, 9 April 2018 (UTC)

Do not delete all Portals. Then you will loose editors. Do only delete the poor portals.--Broter (talk) 15:53, 9 April 2018 (UTC)

You don't need to keep repeating the same thing. One of the questions asked is about the future of the Portal: namespace. Are you suggesting we keep the 'good' portals in this namespace, but not allow any new creations? In my opinion, it would make more sense to use the Wikipedia: space and move the updated and maintained portals to there, perhaps in the form of Wikiprojects. But, I can't see how allowing some portals and not others would work. Aiken D 15:56, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
This is technically no problem and we should talk about the criterias which portals need to stay.--Broter (talk) 16:22, 9 April 2018 (UTC)

It is disrespectfull to delete all portals!--Broter (talk) 15:55, 9 April 2018 (UTC)

  • If anything can be deleted by a mob, why should someone create something on wikipedia?--Broter (talk) 16:43, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
    "Mob" is emotive and disrespectful language – WP:AGF applies. It always has been the case that anything can be deleted by consensus. Peter coxhead (talk) 16:49, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
    Broter, please stop WP:BLUDGEONING. --Guy Macon (talk) 16:54, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
@Guy Macon: Portals were created to stay on wikipedia! Wikipedians were encouraged to create Portals and improve existing Portals! Now some people want it all to be deleted. Please understand me.--Broter (talk) 17:26, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
If almost no one uses portals because more efficient means of linking and organizing exist, why should we waste bandwidth and editor time and effort with keeping portals maintained? Please understand what others are getting at. Ian.thomson (talk) 20:25, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
  • I may never edit wikipedia again if the deletionist extremists win this proposal.--Broter (talk) 19:05, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
Oh, no... What ever will we do without you... Ian.thomson (talk) 20:10, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
I agree the left-wing one is definitely not maintained, but yeah, if anything, the bias that would result from one portal being deleted but not the other is an argument against selective deletion/archival and for unilateral action on all portals. Ian.thomson (talk) 20:10, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
WP:BLUDGEON. --Guy Macon (talk) 22:04, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
Everybody can improve the Portal:Left-wing populism. There needs to be only an interested editor.--Broter (talk) 15:16, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
There exist the politically left wing portals Portal:Communism and Portal:Socialism. The Portal:Left-wing populism is really not needed.--Broter (talk) 15:41, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
See, though, that's effort that's not being put forth for something that readers aren't using because we have more efficient methods of linking to content. The only way to fix those issues would be automating portal generation, which would pretty much take editors out of the question at any rate. Ian.thomson (talk) 21:57, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
  • As a first step, I would suggest removing all links to the portal namespace from the mainspace. This would essentially remove portals from the encyclopedia proper and out of the sight of readers, relegating them to the status of "projectspace" pages. The portals themselves would then be allowed to remain for at least 6 months to 1 year so editors and respective wikiprojects have time to preserve any unique content not present elsewhere etc. Particularly useful portals could be preserved as wikiproject subpages. — Godsy (TALKCONT) 19:55, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
    • My first preference however, would be removing all links to the portal namespace from the mainspace, then marking all portals {{historical}} as has been suggested above.— Godsy (TALKCONT) 20:03, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
      • The points I made above are no longer applicable because they were made when it appeared this proposal would pass; it now appears it will not. — Godsy (TALKCONT) 08:51, 27 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Question - if portals are to be discontinued, will there be anything that takes over from their job? Namely (from WP:PORTAL) to help readers and/or editors navigate their way through Wikipedia topic areas. I guess Outline of X and templates at the side of the main article do something like this job, and possibly much better than a portal. Is that the idea?  — Amakuru (talk) 21:03, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
That's the impression I've had. I've used a portal maybe two or three times the entire time I've been here, but I use those templates pretty regularly and "Outline of..." articles whenever I want to access a lot of articles on a topic really quickly. Ian.thomson (talk) 21:43, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
Love the "outline of" pages, hate the templates. Look at 1-bit architecture. Instead of that huge wall of links at the bottom, Wouldn't it be nicer to have a simple link to Outline of CPU technologies, and have that page contain the wall of links? What percentage of readers who are interested in 1-bit architectures are looking for a see also link to SUPS? I would say that the answer is "zero". --Guy Macon (talk) 01:06, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
I'm not opposed to having both. Whichever format I find easier to read depends on the subject and how much caffeine I've had. Sometimes I have an easier time with tables, sometimes with lists.
Since the idea of automation has come up elsewhere in this discussion, I imagine it wouldn't impossible to write a template that'd turn an "Outline of" article into one of those templates. Like, some sort of mark-up that doesn't show up in the article, that you wrap around entries that are supposed to show up in the template, that's look something like {{Subst:OutlineEntry | (line number) | [[Article Title]] }}. Then the template would just be {{ (template name) | 1=[[Article|(name of first row)]] | 2=[[Article2|(name of second row)]] }}. That should be far less work to set up than automating portals. Hell, I could probably work out how to how to do templates for an Outline-to-Table dealy, and the coding nightmare that is WP:BINGO is an anomalous highpoint for me. Ian.thomson (talk) 22:07, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
Hello, outlines are very different from portals.
Outlines are basically a structured list of links. If you don't click, you don't understand anything. Also they are completely static.
Meanwhile, portals show snippets of articles, interesting facts, images, etc. Also, they are dynamic, as each section rotates automatically. They offer a completely different way to explore the millions of articles. --NaBUru38 (talk) 13:27, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
  • I am concerned that editors currently maintaining portals may not be aware of this discussion. Can someone create a neutrally-worded edit notice for the portal namespace? And if we want to hear from readers, maybe even a namespace-specific site notice. -- John of Reading (talk) 06:24, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
Seems a reasonable idea - what do people think of adding to Template:Editnotices/Namespace/Portal? I also wonder if the editnotice should exclude Portal:Current_events and its subpages (which are probably the most active portal pages..but wouldn't be affected by this proposal), Portal:Contents, and Portal:Featured_content from the editnotice Galobtter (pingó mió) 12:59, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
Seems like a good idea. While relatively few people remain active in portal contribution, nevertheless there should still be the courtesy of informing them or at least letting them be aware of this discussion. We need more input from regular portal contributors so that their voice can be heard, and at the same time their feedback can be used in implementing whatever consensus this discussion results in. Narutolovehinata5 tccsdnew 15:08, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
WP:BLUDGEON. --Guy Macon (talk) 22:04, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

I apologice for my previous behavour and cite now a reason why Portals should stay on wikipedia. Portals get more views than Outlines. For example the Portal:LDS Church gets 71 views a day while the Outline of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gets 30 views a day.--Broter (talk) 15:31, 10 April 2018 (UTC) Once Portals are completed, they are not difficult to maintain. The example for this case is the Portal:Freedom of Speech.--Broter (talk) 16:50, 10 April 2018 (UTC) Put well developed Portals on the Mainpage. This is what we should be doing.--Broter (talk) 18:36, 10 April 2018 (UTC)

  • Deleting portals is beyond pointless, we could end the use of them without deleting anything, the effort this deletion is taking is way more than what it would take to ever maintain the ones we already have.★Trekker (talk) 11:30, 11 April 2018 (UTC)


  • Question In the first place, how technically feasible is it to delete portals? It seems like a lot of work and honestly sounds like a waste of resources, when archiving and moving to the Wikipedia space (both for active and non-active portals) sounds like a more practical option. Narutolovehinata5 tccsdnew 12:22, 11 April 2018 (UTC)

I propose we find a new home for some portals that are well maintained. The obvious one is Portal:Current events would could end up as Wikipedia:In the news/Current events. The current events portal is widely viewed, receives lots of edits by many editors, and complements mainspace by effectively serving as a giant list of events. It is used to identify possible entries for WP:ITN/C and editors often also use it to identify information that can/should be added to mainspace articles. As such, it actively improves mainspace. I don't know much about other portals but I imagine similar cases could also find homes. -- BobTheIP editing as 2.28.13.227 (talk) 17:41, 10 April 2018 (UTC)

One problem is - there are eight linked words and 'All portals' in a corner on the top of the MP - so how many people notice them?
Perhaps the subsidiary question - given that 'a proportion' of Wikipedians (regular or occasional) are involved with starting, developing or improving particular categories of articles, for whom the various portals are, or are potentially, relevant means of navigating Wikipedia, how should the portals' presence be highlighted and/or made user friendly? Can they be variously developed so that the imbalances/absence of coverage on the MP regularly commented on can be addressed to some extent? To what extent should under-achieving portals be highlighted, so that contributors come to their rescue? Jackiespeel (talk) 16:51, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
I share that concern. Open France and try to find the link to Portal:France. Tip: it's at the bottom of the page inserted in a navbox, with a minuscule font size. Hardly visible at all. I think that links to portals have hardly "capitalized screen real estate". --NaBUru38 (talk) 13:27, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
  • I would like to address the purpose of portals and the maintenance effort involved. They typically look like topical mini main pages. Some are well integrated with an editing community or a WikiProject, some others are fairly static. From a maintenance point of view, in my personal experience, only the portal pages about editing / collaboration / drawing people into editing are a lot of work, for example Portal:Germany/Things you can do, a page that used to belong both to the wikiproject and the portal, or Portal:Germany/Did you know showing Germany-related DYKs for longer than they appear on the Main Page. Everything else took quite some time to set up but is fairly trivial to maintain, for example the 380 pages that male up Portal:Germany/Anniversaries/All. The main problem with Portals is exactly the same as with Wikiprojects: we do not have enough active editors in many smaller topic areas to create a feeling of an active editing community. Work on supporting and expanding editor subcommunities is often unrewarding, but sorely needed all over Wikipedia, to turn it into a friendlier place. Some Portals used to be part of that community work. I would like to see some positive suggestions how to improve Wikipedia instead of a discussion about destroying a huge amount of work, which is more likely to cause editors to quit than to focus their effort elsewhere. —Kusma (t·c) 13:12, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Steve Krug identified, years ago, in his excellent book on making useful websites, the principle of giving different kinds of people different ways to get in to what THEY are wanting on the site: deleting all portals because some are derelict is abuse of the people who need a portal-type-central-hub from which to explore ( because we can't visualize star-topology into knowledge the way some other people can ).
obliterating everyone's resource just because some find some examples of a kind of resource to be unacceptable to them, is called bullying: when men "protect" women by blocking women from having equal-validity, instead of honestly-protecting women's validity by fighting off glass-ceilings, that is an example of people obliterating someone else's resource ( men obliterating women's resource ). Just because you/someone doesn't want some portals doesn't justify obliterating ALL OUR resource. Some are derelict for a time, if they drift too far from currency, then there should be a system that 1. flags this, so any/all concerned parties can see/know this & understand that if it gets too out-of-date it will be a portal labelled derelict, 2. there should be auto-updating scripts ( oh, this link is to a page that got renamed? autofix the link, OR auto-flag it for some human to correct ), etc... The /actual/ problems include intermittent-interest, complexity in site causing drift between pages to become costly, etc, but the resource that the portal pages can provide ISN'T provided through search, because search _doesn't give you overview and context and interrelatedness_ ( this is the same problem as local businesses being wiped off the map because there is no Browse My Town site by one's village/town/city/county, whereas anyone wanting to find something CAN find it at the biggest online joints: browsing one's town used to be done physically, but the local representative/governments didn't bother making an internet equivalent, and now complain about the economic loss that is a consequence of their inaction! Another side of the same problem is that human memory works through prompting context, so if someone tells me to just remember everything I need to remember & search for them, but human memory works through context-prompting, and I am NOT ALLOWED context to browse in, then my learning is crippled! No, search isn't a complete replacement for context-rich browsing! ) Namaste. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 142.217.75.207 (talk) 13:44, 16 April 2018

Automated portals[edit]

The most common complaint about portals is that they have an insane ammount of maintenance required, and very few users willing to engage in it. And the problem is that we have hundreds of portals, each one with its own set of subpages, and each one is a domain in itself. So, a possible solution: why not automate and centralize the work? Take for example the featured article J. R. R. Tolkien. He may be a suitable featured article for the portals on middle-earth, biography, literature, speculative fiction, etc. Under the current system, each portal has to make their own "Portal:(name)/J. R. R. Tolkien" to place the blurb that will use. And also watch if the article loses the featured article to remove it, or add it when it gets featured. But we may have a single "Portal/J. R. R. Tolkien" general subpage, with a general blurb, and add tags to it to instruct the bots about the portals that should include it. Same for the page for image blurbs, quote blurbs, etc. That would greatly reduce the number of pages, keep them organized at a single place, and most of the work would be done by bots.

A second idea would be to restrict the topics that may get a portal to those truly diverse. A portal for music, or a music genre, is justified, but a portal for a certain band can hardly be. Add a requirement of "At least X articles in scope" and "at least Y good or features articles wihin the scope". Less portals, less pages to mantain, and easier to deal with. The fandom of Z wants a portal, but there are not featured articles enough? Then make those featured articles, and then the portal. Cambalachero (talk) 19:14, 10 April 2018 (UTC)

This has been proposed above, and while it might solve the editing inactivity problem, it wouldn't solve the Portal system's other major flaw: outside of just a few portals (mentioned by Andrew D. below), the vast majority barely get any views. Even the ones with a high number of views might be better off in the Wikipedia namespace anyway. Narutolovehinata5 tccsdnew 00:07, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Like: Some portals (such as Portal:Horses) were well set up at the time (ours was named a featured portal in its day) but there does need to be some automation via templates, such as to automatically update DYK, FA, TFA, or even GA-class articles that are tagged for the project or portal into appropriate rotating queues, adding a category tree based on a core parent cat, and so on. Montanabw(talk) 19:44, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
I like the idea of automated portals to reduce maintenance. If you look at P:MDRD, the Selected picture and Did you know? hooks are set up to rotate randomly every time the portal is refreshed. I think spreading this idea to all portals is a good idea to keep the portals with minimal maintenance. Dough4872 20:33, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
This does reduce maintenance work and slow the degradation of less-maintained portals, but there are tradeoffs. In one of the sections below there are editors complaining that portals are hard to edit for users who aren't familiar with templates. --RL0919 (talk) 20:50, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
I set up Portal:London Transport so that the lists of featured articles, good articles, etc. are automatically updated weekly. A series of sub-pages are updated by User:JL-Bot and the bot's outputs for each of the lists are collated together using a set of string trimming and cropping templates to format them in an attractive manner - see Wikipedia:WikiProject London Transport/Recognised content/bot list and its sub-pages. It's not pretty, but it could be standardised for use on other portals and it means that the lists are never more than a few days old. The random selected articles, biographies, pictures and DYKs are relatively straight forward as there are templates specifically designed for this purpose. --DavidCane (talk) 21:01, 12 April 2018 (UTC)

While I would support some kind of automation of portals should the status quo remain, I'm concerned that it might not be enough to solve the problem that the vast majority of portals aren't getting a meaningful amount of views. It would help solve the editing problem (in that the currently inactive portals would get some love from editors), but that would affect the editing end and not the viewer end. What would be a suitable proposal in order to help promote portals and increase their readership? I know many articles have links to portals but in most cases it doesn't seem to be enough, so perhaps additional steps could be made here. Narutolovehinata5 tccsdnew 12:12, 13 April 2018 (UTC)

Narutolovehinata5 I know this thread is very long but please see my "oppose" comment above. I'm suggesting automating not only the portals themselves but the linking to them from all relevant articles, and also de-emphasising the term "portal" which may not mean much to a lot of the lay readership: Noyster (talk), 12:47, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
Honestly I'm skeptical that will be enough. Take the case for example Portal:Anime and manga, which is linked to in several anime-related articles. In the past 30 days, it's gotten a mere 6,871 views (or an average of about 222 views per day). It may seem like a lot at first, but that's far less than what either anime or manga (thousands of edits per day). It also gets far less pageviews that most airing series and even series that have finished airing. Even if Portal:Anime and manga was linked from every single article, it might not make a difference considering it's already linked to from most of the popular articles of the project. I know there are counterexamples to this from other projects, but my point is simply that links to Portals don't seem to be enough to promote them well; there probably has to be another way. Narutolovehinata5 tccsdnew 12:55, 13 April 2018 (UTC)

Hello, the proposal to increase automation is meant to improve portal quality, which is a major concern. Of course it won't increase page views overnight, since that's another major concern. Each issue requires separate solutions. --NaBUru38 (talk) 13:30, 14 April 2018 (UTC)

Speaking of automated portals, I have a lot of experience with them on the Spanish-language Wikipedia. I have helped a lot to develop sports portals, anchored in Portal:Deporte, Portal:Fútbol and Portal:Automovilismo. They all share the same templates and article snippets, as do their subportals by region and discipline.
Each portal has a competition calendar of the week / month. Sportspeople appear on their birthdays. Several editors have copied and pasted them to create new portals with minimal effort. --NaBUru38 (talk) 13:34, 14 April 2018 (UTC)

If portals are to survive, then they indeed must be automated. There's no question about that. "Automated" means that it will have to dump all the manually written wiki syntax and HTML and transition to being true software, most likely a MediaWiki extension. This will have to happen sooner or later. Maybe in a year, maybe in ten years.

The question of whether they should survive. And the answer to this question must be answered by defining the portals' purpose. What are they for? To make information easier to find? To showcase nice images or featured articles? To acquire new readers? To acquire new editors? To coordinate the work among the current editors? How will their impact and fitness to this purpose will be measured? (And yes, similar questions can and should be asked about WikiProjects.)

I don't have answers to these questions. I hardly ever use portals (and WikiProjects) myself, but I can imagine that they will be very useful if these questions are answered well. If nobody can answer these questions in a convincing way, then portals (and WikiProjects) should be phased out and eventually deleted. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 11:44, 2 May 2018 (UTC)

Main page link traffic in 2018[edit]

This proposal to destroy all portals seems to be based on the misconception that they are not used. Here's some actual stats which refute this nonsense. It's a list of the pages currently linked on the main page, ranked by their views in 2018. I've only listed the top 100 as they seem adequate to make the point. One can see from this that the portal pages get plenty of traffic and that this is comparable with other pages. If numbers are what matters then there's a better case for deleting other WP pages such as Wikipedia:Village pump. Andrew D. (talk) 23:22, 10 April 2018 (UTC)

Long list
Rank Page Readers in 2018
1 Deaths in 2018 10,440,731
2 Portal:Current events 4,387,154
3 Avengers: Infinity War 4,244,723
4 Wikipedia:Featured articles 2,677,238
5 Wikipedia 1,795,210
6 Patrick Reed 1,552,039
7 The Holocaust 1,129,274
8 Wikipedia:Community portal 1,089,287 (not a Portal)
9 English language 1,022,730
10 Benito Mussolini 821,011
11 Scotland 756,252
12 Association football 633,844
13 Wales 582,933
14 Auschwitz concentration camp 574,151
15 FC Bayern Munich 562,962
16 George Weah 541,623
17 Liberia 526,109
18 Boston 482,016
19 Augusta National Golf Club 471,459
20 Apollo 11 467,370
21 2018 Masters Tournament 463,447
22 Volcano 405,686
23 Big Ben 352,576
24 Portal:Contents/Portals 343,999
25 Portal:Arts 251,984
26 Saskatchewan 251,005
27 United States men's national soccer team 239,197
28 Lega Nord 231,813
29 Wikipedia:In the news/Candidates 225,142
30 Wikipedia:Your first article 224,475
31 2017–18 Bundesliga 223,623
32 Palace of Westminster 220,180
33 Portal:History 210,188
34 The Infinity Gauntlet 208,888
35 Encyclopedia 207,631
36 Portal:Biography 196,294
37 Portal:Geography 193,451
38 Portal:Technology 191,849
39 Hungarian parliamentary election, 2018 185,973
40 Golf 180,084
41 Humboldt Broncos 169,318
42 Isao Takahata 167,146
43 Æthelstan A 149,079
44 Portal:Mathematics 129,103
45 Viktor Orbán 126,546
46 Giuseppe Verdi 123,292
47 Portal:Science 122,774
48 Humboldt Broncos bus crash 120,134
49 Wikipedia:Help desk 119,773
50 Year Without a Summer 115,715
51 Free content 104,088
52 List of historical anniversaries 100,432
53 Wikimedia Foundation 93,859
54 Timothy Weah 91,143
55 Governance 88,460
56 Casting 84,104
57 Viola 79,785
58 Wikipedia:Recent additions 78,397
59 Cecil Taylor 76,464
60 Nagorno-Karabakh War 71,591
61 Mount Tambora 71,576
62 Wikipedia:Featured pictures 70,178
63 Wikipedia:Introduction 67,917
64 April 9 67,820
65 Portal:Society 63,415
66 Wikipedia:Reference desk 55,095
67 Template talk:Did you know 52,856
68 Withypool Stone Circle 50,064
69 Michael Goolaerts 45,856
70 1992 44,359
71 2009 41,091
72 Rif Dimashq offensive (February–April 2018) 40,581
73 Wikipedia:Village pump 38,022
74 Lesser Antillean macaw 37,282
75 Frederick D. Reese 37,031
76 Gustav III of Sweden 36,959
77 Drama dari Krakatau 32,315
78 Samuel Hahnemann 32,202
79 Charter 31,555
80 April 10 30,899
81 Host (biology) 30,205
82 Scribe 29,234
83 Wikipedia:News 25,514
84 Senate of the Republic (Italy) 25,324
85 National Assembly (Hungary) 24,719
86 Kingdom of Strathclyde 24,114
87 Wikipedia:Local Embassy 22,625
88 West Nile virus 21,866
89 1944 21,796
90 April 11 21,714
91 Frank Bainimarama 20,804
92 Un ballo in maschera 16,999
93 2018 Gaza border protests 15,062
94 Rudolf Vrba 14,921
95 Wikipedia:Today's featured article/April 2018 11,380
96 1815 7,559
97 Norman Bel Geddes 7,387
98 Toni Iwobi 7,293
99 President of Fiji 6,376
100 Prime Minister of Fiji 6,210
To give a fair overview, could we please see the above table containing only links that have been on the main page for six month or more? Comparing current movies and events with permanent mainpage links is comparing apples and oranges. --Guy Macon (talk) 23:47, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
Indeed, every single one of the portals listed in that table is either on the main page or the permanent sidebar. Of course they are going to have massive pageviews. --Izno (talk) 02:49, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
The top item bolded as a "portal" is Wikipedia:Community portal which is not a portal and not included on this proposal. Legacypac (talk) 04:22, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Here's the list, edited to show only those pages which have a regular link on the main page. It seems clear that the portal traffic is comparable with other standard features such as the Help desk or Introduction to Wikipedia. These links have all had thousands of readers since the start of the year and so the claim that they are not used is false. Of course, the main users of such links will be new or occasional readers rather than we veterans. But those users are not represented here in this discussion, are they? Andrew D. (talk) 07:56, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
Rank Page Readers in 2018
1 Deaths in 2018 10,440,731
2 Portal:Current events 4,387,154
4 Wikipedia:Featured articles 2,677,238
5 Wikipedia 1,795,210
8 Wikipedia:Community portal 1,089,287
9 English language 1,022,730
24 Portal:Contents/Portals 343,999
25 Portal:Arts 251,984
29 Wikipedia:In the news/Candidates 225,142
30 Wikipedia:Your first article 224,475
33 Portal:History 210,188
35 Encyclopedia 207,631
36 Portal:Biography 196,294
37 Portal:Geography 193,451
38 Portal:Technology 191,849
44 Portal:Mathematics 129,103
47 Portal:Science 122,774
49 Wikipedia:Help desk 119,773
51 Free content 104,088
52 List of historical anniversaries 100,432
53 Wikimedia Foundation 93,859
58 Wikipedia:Recent additions 78,397
62 Wikipedia:Featured pictures 70,178
63 Wikipedia:Introduction 67,917
65 Portal:Society 63,415
66 Wikipedia:Reference desk 55,095
67 Template talk:Did you know 52,856
73 Wikipedia:Village pump 38,022
83 Wikipedia:News 25,514
87 Wikipedia:Local Embassy 22,625


  • So the word "free" on the main page gets roughly 100,000 hits and an uninteresting link like "Local Embassy" gets roughly 20,000. And how many hits does the main page get? I want to calculate what percentage of visitors click on those two links. --Guy Macon (talk) 12:31, 11 April 2018 (UTC)

Just because a link gets traffic does not mean it is getting “used”. Viewing a page does not equate to using it. Page views is not the only argument in favour of making portals obsolete. Aiken D 15:17, 11 April 2018 (UTC)

Yes I was going to say the same. I'm not choosing sides, but the tables above say "readers in YYYY". I assume you mean pageviews, which is not the same thing. One reader could reload the page 100 times, and that's 100 pageviews, yet still the same person. Fly-by edits (that aren't through the API) also get counted as pageviews, even the editor may have read nothing more than a diff. Pinging Guy Macon in case you want to revise the wording MusikAnimal talk 20:50, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
If you want to delete inactive portals then fine, but don't try and blanket them all as unused and obsolete as this isn't true based on editor comments here. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 15:20, 11 April 2018 (UTC) In my opinion even the inactive ones should be marked as historical rather than deleted. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 15:26, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • I reckon anything linked up there, be in a blank page or a portal would get about the same views (and especially if they were also linked in a few hundred/thousand pages, and a few hundred thousand talk pages) - views from being on the main page I don't think signify too much other than random clicks as I said in my support Galobtter (pingó mió) 15:52, 11 April 2018 (UTC)

Are there statistics that compare "logged in" with "logged out" users? I suspect that a huge portion of the visitors to portals are Wikipedia editors going there to maintain them as opposed to readers randomly looking at them. --B (talk) 19:35, 11 April 2018 (UTC)

I feel like we've never really explored the reason for the huge popularity of Deaths in 2018 (beyond plain morbidity). We have similar articles that I'm sure just as many people would be interested in, but which do not receive prominent links like the recent deaths one does. We can intuit these topics via Wikipedia:In the news/Recurring items and the current events portal. We should provide main page links like:

I think this is relevant in questioning the purpose of subject-specific portals, as they often stray into a focus on recent events rather than serving as a contents page. If we properly link in our existing mainspace pages that cover recent events at a high level then this allows us to redefine portals as areas of long-term curation and contents provision only, rather than time-consuming elements like recent events. We should be leveraging the latent interest in current events to push editors to our content on that. SFB 13:10, 19 April 2018 (UTC)

What about Portals that are exempt from this discussion or otherwise kept?[edit]

It seems that there's consensus or at least significant support to keep at least some portals: notably Portal:Current events and the like. Assuming the proposal to deprecate the Portal namespace passes, what will happen to these pages? Will the Portal namespace be kept for them alone, or will they be moved to another namespace like the Wikipedia namespace? Narutolovehinata5 tccsdnew 13:39, 11 April 2018 (UTC)

This is the issue... nobody is thinking these things out. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 13:43, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
Hmm? Like I suggested above, the wikipedia namespace seems fine for these, seeing as they are barely like other portals, and the moves shouldn't be too onerous to do Galobtter (pingó mió) 14:58, 11 April 2018 (UTC)

These are part of Wikipedia's core navigation system:

  1. Portal:Contents

(see this page for the list)

Such as retain the Portal namespace just for these: Portal:Contents, Portal:Featured content, and Portal:Current events.

Thank you.     — The Transhumanist    10:36, 11 April 2018 (UTC)

I've replaced the list to a more convenient link to prefixindex, that also doesn't burden the page more. Galobtter (pingó mió) 15:58, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
Move the useful pages to Wikipedia namespace. Remove the Portal namespace completely. Everytime someone brings a Portal to MfD the discussion runs along the lines of "we dislike portals but we wamt to deal with them all, not piecemeal. As long as Portals are allowed to exist we should keep this one." So here we are - discussing them all. Legacypac (talk) 17:22, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
I don't understand this. Wikipedia namespace is targeted at editors and is mostly used for maintenance and discussion, so it wouldn't make sense for pages that readers use to be located there. The portal namespace, however, is more reader-targeted, similar to article namespace. Master of Time (talk) 06:31, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
I second this. I do not see the basic validity of moving what is clearly reader-oriented content to the administrative space. It goes against the very purpose of namespacing. SFB 14:33, 19 April 2018 (UTC)
WP:Contents and WP:Featured content currently redirect to Portal:Contents and Portal:Featured content, so just move them to the Wikipedia namespace over the redirects. For Portal:Current events, I would move it to Wikipedia:WikiProject Current events (the WikiProject is currently inactive). --Ahecht (TALK
PAGE
) 16:00, 12 April 2018 (UTC)

There is one special portal that I watch and maintain: Portal:Example (I also keep an eye on Template:Example, Help:Example, Book:Example, Module:Example, etc. -- mostly reverting vandalism and dealing with misplaced talk page messages). If all other portals are deleted or moved into a different namespace, Portal:Example should be deleted. If a single portal is left in the portal namespace, Portal:Example should be left as well. --Guy Macon (talk) 06:22, 12 April 2018 (UTC)

If portals are deleted, please move all the topics pages from subject portals to the outline WikiProject, for harvesting[edit]

Long list
  1. Portal:1980s/Topics
  2. Portal:A Nightmare on Elm Street/Topics
  3. Portal:AC/DC/Topics
  4. Portal:Abkhazia/Topics
  5. Portal:Abu Dhabi/Topics
  6. Portal:Academy Award/Academy Award topics
  7. Portal:Acadia/Topics
  8. Portal:Adele/Topics
  9. Portal:Aerosmith/Aerosmith topics
  10. Portal:Aesthetics/Topics
  11. Portal:Africa/Topics
  12. Portal:African American/African American topics
  13. Portal:African American/Topics/Tabs
  14. Portal:African American/Topics
  15. Portal:Agriculture and agronomy/Basic Topics
  16. Portal:Agriculture and agronomy/Topic journals
  17. Portal:Agriculture and agronomy/Topic news/Wikinews
  18. Portal:Agriculture and agronomy/Topic news
  19. Portal:Agriculture and agronomy/Topics
  20. Portal:Ajman/Topics
  21. Portal:Alabama/Topics
  22. Portal:Alberta/Topics
  23. Portal:Algebra/Topics
  24. Portal:Algeria/Topics
  25. Portal:Alien/Topics
  26. Portal:Alphabet/Topics
  27. Portal:Alternative rock/Alternative rock topics
  28. Portal:American Civil War/American Civil War topics
  29. Portal:American Old West/American Old West topics
  30. Portal:American Revolutionary War/Topics
  31. Portal:American football/American football topics
  32. Portal:Amiga/Topics
  33. Portal:Amphibians and reptiles/Amphibians and Reptiles topics
  34. Portal:Amusement parks/Topics
  35. Portal:Anabaptism/Anabaptist topics
  36. Portal:Analysis/Topics
  37. Portal:Analytical chemistry/Analytical chemistry Topics
  38. Portal:Anarchism/Anarchism topics
  39. Portal:Anatomy/Topics
  40. Portal:Ancient Egypt/Categories and Main topics/Header
  41. Portal:Ancient Egypt/Categories and Main topics
  42. Portal:Ancient Egypt/Main topics
  43. Portal:Ancient Greece/Ancient Greece topics
  44. Portal:Ancient Greece/Topics
  45. Portal:Ancient Japan/Topics
  46. Portal:Ancient Near East/Key topic/10
  47. Portal:Ancient Near East/Key topic/11
  48. Portal:Ancient Near East/Key topic/12
  49. Portal:Ancient Near East/Key topic/13
  50. Portal:Ancient Near East/Key topic/14
  51. Portal:Ancient Near East/Key topic/15
  52. Portal:Ancient Near East/Key topic/16
  53. Portal:Ancient Near East/Key topic/17
  54. Portal:Ancient Near East/Key topic/18
  55. Portal:Ancient Near East/Key topic/19
  56. Portal:Ancient Near East/Key topic/1
  57. Portal:Ancient Near East/Key topic/20
  58. Portal:Ancient Near East/Key topic/21
  59. Portal:Ancient Near East/Key topic/2
  60. Portal:Ancient Near East/Key topic/3
  61. Portal:Ancient Near East/Key topic/4
  62. Portal:Ancient Near East/Key topic/5
  63. Portal:Ancient Near East/Key topic/6
  64. Portal:Ancient Near East/Key topic/7
  65. Portal:Ancient Near East/Key topic/8
  66. Portal:Ancient Near East/Key topic/9
  67. Portal:Ancient Near East/Key topic/Layout
  68. Portal:Ancient Near East/Key topic
  69. Portal:Ancient Near East/Topics/Tabs
  70. Portal:Ancient Near East/Topics/Topic chart
  71. Portal:Ancient Near East/Topics
  72. Portal:Ancient Rome/Ancient Rome topics
  73. Portal:Ancient Rome/Topics
  74. Portal:Ancient warfare/Topics
  75. Portal:Andorra/Topics
  76. Portal:Anglicanism/Topics
  77. Portal:Angola/Topics
  78. Portal:Animal rights/Topics
  79. Portal:Animals/Animals topics
  80. Portal:Animation/Categories and topics
  81. Portal:Animation/Topics
  82. Portal:Anime and manga/Topics
  83. Portal:Ankara/Topics
  84. Portal:Antarctica/Topics
  85. Portal:Anthropology/Topics
  86. Portal:Apple Inc./Topics
  87. Portal:Architecture/Topics
  88. Portal:Arctic/Topics
  89. Portal:Ariana Grande/Topics
  90. Portal:Arijit Singh/Topics
  91. Portal:Arizona/Topics
  92. Portal:Arkansas/Arkansas topics
  93. Portal:Armenia/Armenia topics
  94. Portal:Arminianism/Arminianism topics/Background
  95. Portal:Arthropods/Related topics
  96. Portal:Arthropods/Topics
  97. Portal:Artsakh/Topics
  98. Portal:Asia/Topics
  99. Portal:Asian Americans/Topics
  100. Portal:Asian Games/Topics
  101. Portal:Assam/Topics
  102. Portal:Association football/Categories and Main topics/Tabs
  103. Portal:Association football/Categories and Main topics
  104. Portal:Association football/Selected topic/1
  105. Portal:Association football/Selected topic/2
  106. Portal:Association football/Selected topic/3
  107. Portal:Association football/Selected topic/4
  108. Portal:Association football/Selected topic/5
  109. Portal:Association football/Selected topic/6
  110. Portal:Association football/Selected topic/Layout
  111. Portal:Association football/Selected topic
  112. Portal:Association football/Topics
  113. Portal:Assyrians/Topics
  114. Portal:Astrobiology/Topics
  115. Portal:Astrology/Related topics
  116. Portal:Atheism/Atheism topics
  117. Portal:Athletics/Topics
  118. Portal:Atlanta/Topics
  119. Portal:Atlas/Topics
  120. Portal:Austin/Austin topics
  121. Portal:Australia/Topics
  122. Portal:Australian Capital Territory/Topics
  123. Portal:Australian roads/Topics
  124. Portal:Australian rules football/Topics
  125. Portal:Austria-Hungary/Topics
  126. Portal:Austria/Austria topics
  127. Portal:Aviation/Aviation Topics
  128. Portal:Aviation/Categories and Main topics/Header
  129. Portal:Aviation/Categories and Main topics
  130. Portal:Avril Lavigne/Topics
  131. Portal:Azad Kashmir/Azad Kashmir Topics
  132. Portal:Azerbaijan/Azerbaijan-related topics
  133. Portal:BBC/BBC topics
  134. Portal:Backstreet Boys/Topics
  135. Portal:Bacon/Topics
  136. Portal:Baden-Württemberg/Topics
  137. Portal:Bahrain/Topics
  138. Portal:Ballet/Topics
  139. Portal:Balochistan, Pakistan/Topics
  140. Portal:Bandai Namco/Topics
  141. Portal:Bangalore/Topics
  142. Portal:Bangladesh Liberation War/Topics
  143. Portal:Baptist/Topics
  144. Portal:Barack Obama/Topics/Books
  145. Portal:Barack Obama/Topics/Campaign
  146. Portal:Barack Obama/Topics/Career
  147. Portal:Barack Obama/Topics/Complete list
  148. Portal:Barack Obama/Topics/Family
  149. Portal:Barack Obama/Topics/Miscellany
  150. Portal:Barack Obama/Topics/Named after
  151. Portal:Barack Obama/Topics/Presidency
  152. Portal:Barack Obama/Topics
  153. Portal:Baseball in Japan/Topics
  154. Portal:Baseball/Baseball topics
  155. Portal:Baseball/Categories and Main topics/Tabs
  156. Portal:Baseball/Categories and Main topics
  157. Portal:Basque/Basque topics
  158. Portal:Bavaria/Topics
  159. Portal:Beer/Beer topics
  160. Portal:Beijing/Topics
  161. Portal:Belgium/Topics
  162. Portal:Bengali cinema/Topics
  163. Portal:Bengali literature/Bengali literature topics
  164. Portal:Bengali/Bengali topics
  165. Portal:Benin/Topics
  166. Portal:Berkshire/Topics
  167. Portal:Berlin/Topics
  168. Portal:Bermuda/Topics
  169. Portal:Beyoncé/Topics
  170. Portal:Bhutan/Topics
  171. Portal:Bible/Bible topics
  172. Portal:Bihar/Major topics
  173. Portal:Biological warfare/Topics
  174. Portal:Biology/Major topics
  175. Portal:Birds/Topics
  176. Portal:Björk/Topics
  177. Portal:Blues/Topics
  178. Portal:Bob Dylan/Topics
  179. Portal:Body modification/Topics
  180. Portal:Bohol/Bohol topics
  181. Portal:Bollywood/Topics
  182. Portal:Book of Mormon/Book of Mormon topics
  183. Portal:Books/Books topics
  184. Portal:Boston/Topics
  185. Portal:Botswana/Topics
  186. Portal:Brandy Norwood/Topics
  187. Portal:Brazil/Topics
  188. Portal:Bridges/Topics
  189. Portal:Brighton/Brighton topics
  190. Portal:British Columbia/British Columbia topics
  191. Portal:British Empire/Topics
  192. Portal:British politics/Topics
  193. Portal:Britney Spears/Britney Spears topics
  194. Portal:Buckinghamshire/Topics
  195. Portal:Buddhism/Topics
  196. Portal:Buenos Aires/Topics
  197. Portal:Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Featured topic
  198. Portal:Bulgaria/Topics
  199. Portal:Bulgarian Empire/Topics
  200. Portal:Burkina Faso/Topics
  201. Portal:Burundi/Topics
  202. Portal:Buses/Topics
  203. Portal:Business and economics/Topics
  204. Portal:Byzantine Empire/Topics
  205. Portal:Calgary/Topics
  206. Portal:California/Topics
  207. Portal:Calvinism/Calvinism topics/Background
  208. Portal:Calvinism/Calvinism topics/Churches
  209. Portal:Calvinism/Calvinism topics/Distinctives
  210. Portal:Calvinism/Calvinism topics/Influences
  211. Portal:Calvinism/Calvinism topics/Peoples
  212. Portal:Calvinism/Calvinism topics
  213. Portal:Cambodia/Topics
  214. Portal:Cambrian/Topics
  215. Portal:Cameroon/Topics
  216. Portal:Canada Roads/Topics
  217. Portal:Canada/Provincial topics/Table
  218. Portal:Canada/Provincial topics
  219. Portal:Canadian Armed Forces/Topics
  220. Portal:Canadian football/Topics
  221. Portal:Canadian politics/Topics
  222. Portal:Cannabis/Cannabis topics
  223. Portal:Cannabis/Major topics
  224. Portal:Cape Cod and the Islands/Topics
  225. Portal:Cape Verde/Topics
  226. Portal:Capitalism/Capitalism topics
  227. Portal:Carboniferous/Topics
  228. Portal:Caribbean Community/Topics/associate members
  229. Portal:Caribbean Community/Topics/core institutions
  230. Portal:Caribbean Community/Topics/full members
  231. Portal:Caribbean Community/Topics/observers
  232. Portal:Caribbean Community/Topics/projects
  233. Portal:Caribbean Community/Topics/related institutions
  234. Portal:Caribbean Community/Topics/secretariat
  235. Portal:Caribbean Community/Topics
  236. Portal:Carpathian Ruthenia/Carpathian Ruthenia topics
  237. Portal:Cartoon Network/Topics
  238. Portal:Cartoon/Topics
  239. Portal:Catalan-speaking countries/Catalan-speaking countries topics
  240. Portal:Category theory/Topics
  241. Portal:Catholicism/Catholicism topics
  242. Portal:Cats/Cats topics
  243. Portal:Celine Dion/Celine Dion topics
  244. Portal:Cenozoic/Topics
  245. Portal:Central African Republic/Topics
  246. Portal:Central Asia/Topics
  247. Portal:Chad/Topics
  248. Portal:Chandigarh/Topics
  249. Portal:Channel Islands/Topics
  250. Portal:Chemistry/Major topics
  251. Portal:Chennai/Topics
  252. Portal:Cher/Topics
  253. Portal:Cheshire/Cheshire topics
  254. Portal:Chicago/Chicago topics
  255. Portal:Chicago/Topics
  256. Portal:Children's literature/Children's literature topics
  257. Portal:Chile/Topics
  258. Portal:China/Topics
  259. Portal:Chitral, Pakistan/Topics
  260. Portal:Chittagong/Topics
  261. Portal:Christadelphian/Topics
  262. Portal:Christian democracy/Topics
  263. Portal:Christian music/Topics
  264. Portal:Christianity in India/Indian Christianity/Topics
  265. Portal:Christianity in India/Topics
  266. Portal:Christina Aguilera/Topics
  267. Portal:Christmas/Topics
  268. Portal:Chronology/Chronology topics
  269. Portal:City of Bankstown/Extra Topics
  270. Portal:City of Bankstown/Topics
  271. Portal:City of Port of Spain/Port of Spain topics
  272. Portal:City of San Fernando/San Fernando topics
  273. Portal:Classical Civilisation/Topic news
  274. Portal:Classical Civilisation/Topics
  275. Portal:Classical guitar/Topics in Classical guitar
  276. Portal:Classical music/Topics
  277. Portal:Cleveland/Topics
  278. Portal:Coatbridge/Topics
  279. Portal:Coke Studio (Pakistan)/Topics
  280. Portal:Cold War/Cold War topics
  281. Portal:College basketball/College basketball topics
  282. Portal:College football/College football topics
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  767. Portal:Monty Python/topics
  768. Portal:Montérégie/Topics
  769. Portal:Moon/Topics
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  875. Portal:Physics/Topics
  876. Portal:Piano/Topics
  877. Portal:Pichilemu/Topics
  878. Portal:Pink Floyd/Topics
  879. Portal:Pipe organ/Pipe organ topics
  880. Portal:Piracy/Piracy topics
  881. Portal:Plants/Related topics
  882. Portal:Poetry/Poetry topics
  883. Portal:Pokémon/Categories and Main topics/Header
  884. Portal:Pokémon/Categories and Main topics
  885. Portal:Pokémon/Topics
  886. Portal:Poland/Topics
  887. Portal:Political science/topic/1
  888. Portal:Politics/Categories and topics
  889. Portal:Politics/Topics
  890. Portal:Pondicherry/Topics
  891. Portal:Pop music/Pop music topics
  892. Portal:Pop music/Topics
  893. Portal:Pope/Pope topics
  894. Portal:Pornography/Topics
  895. Portal:Port Harcourt/Topics
  896. Portal:Portugal/Portugal topics
  897. Portal:Powderfinger/Topics
  898. Portal:Precambrian/Topics
  899. Portal:Presidency of the Philippines/Presidency of the Philippines topics
  900. Portal:Primates/Topics
  901. Portal:Prince Edward Island/Topics
  902. Portal:Private revelation/Topics
  903. Portal:Professional wrestling/Topics/10
  904. Portal:Professional wrestling/Topics/11
  905. Portal:Professional wrestling/Topics/12
  906. Portal:Professional wrestling/Topics/13
  907. Portal:Professional wrestling/Topics/1
  908. Portal:Professional wrestling/Topics/2
  909. Portal:Professional wrestling/Topics/3
  910. Portal:Professional wrestling/Topics/4
  911. Portal:Professional wrestling/Topics/5
  912. Portal:Professional wrestling/Topics/6
  913. Portal:Professional wrestling/Topics/7
  914. Portal:Professional wrestling/Topics/8
  915. Portal:Professional wrestling/Topics/9
  916. Portal:Professional wrestling/Topics
  917. Portal:Progressive rock/Progressive rock topics
  918. Portal:Psychiatry/Topics
  919. Portal:Psychology/Psychology topics
  920. Portal:Puerto Rico/topics
  921. Portal:Punjab (Pakistan)/Punjab (Pakistan) topics
  922. Portal:Punjab/Punjab topics
  923. Portal:Pyrotechnics/Pyrotechnics topics
  924. Portal:Python programming/Python programming topics
  925. Portal:Quaternary prehistory/Topics
  926. Portal:Quebec City/Topics
  927. Portal:Quebec/Quebec Topics
  928. Portal:Queen (band)/Topics
  929. Portal:Queens of the Stone Age/Topics
  930. Portal:Queensland/Topics
  931. Portal:Quran/Topics
  932. Portal:R&B and Soul Music/Topics
  933. Portal:Rabbits and hares/Topics
  934. Portal:Rabindranath Tagore/Rabindranath Tagore topics
  935. Portal:Radio/Radio topics
  936. Portal:Ravidassia/Topics
  937. Portal:Regina/Topics
  938. Portal:Religion/Categories and Main topics/Header
  939. Portal:Religion/Categories and Main topics
  940. Portal:Religion/Topics
  941. Portal:Republic of the Congo/Topics
  942. Portal:Republican Party/Topics
  943. Portal:Rhetoric/Rhetoric topics
  944. Portal:Rhode Island/Topics
  945. Portal:Right-wing populism/Topics
  946. Portal:Rihanna/Topics
  947. Portal:Rivers State/Topics
  948. Portal:Rivers/Topics
  949. Portal:Roads/Topics
  950. Portal:Robert E. Howard/Topics
  951. Portal:Robotics/Topics
  952. Portal:Rock climbing/Topics
  953. Portal:Rock music/Topics
  954. Portal:Roman Catholic Church/Portal:Topic/box-header
  955. Portal:Romani people/Romani people topics
  956. Portal:Romanian football/Topics
  957. Portal:Royal Australian Navy/Topics
  958. Portal:Royal Navy/Topics
  959. Portal:Rufus Wainwright/Topics
  960. Portal:Rugby Union/Rugby Union topics
  961. Portal:Rugby league/Categories and main topics/Tabs
  962. Portal:Rugby league/Categories and main topics
  963. Portal:Rugby league/Rugby league topics
  964. Portal:Rugby union/Rugby union topics
  965. Portal:Rugby/Rugby topics
  966. Portal:Rush/Topics
  967. Portal:Russia/Russia topics
  968. Portal:Russian Empire/Topics
  969. Portal:Rwanda/Topics
  970. Portal:Ryukyu/Topics
  971. Portal:SNK/SNK topics
  972. Portal:Sabah/Topics
  973. Portal:Sacred Christian music/Topics
  974. Portal:Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean/Topics
  975. Portal:Sailing/Topics
  976. Portal:Saints/Saints topics
  977. Portal:Sakis Rouvas/Topics
  978. Portal:Salamanders/Topics
  979. Portal:San Diego County/Topics
  980. Portal:San Diego–Tijuana/Topics/Header
  981. Portal:San Diego–Tijuana/Topics/Section 1
  982. Portal:San Diego–Tijuana/Topics/Section 2
  983. Portal:San Diego–Tijuana/Topics/Sections
  984. Portal:San Diego–Tijuana/Topics
  985. Portal:San Francisco Bay Area/San Francisco Bay Area topics
  986. Portal:San Francisco Bay Area/Topics/Header
  987. Portal:San Francisco Bay Area/Topics/Section 1
  988. Portal:San Francisco Bay Area/Topics/Section 2/Archive
  989. Portal:San Francisco Bay Area/Topics/Section 2
  990. Portal:San Francisco Bay Area/Topics/Sections
  991. Portal:San Francisco Bay Area/Topics
  992. Portal:Santana/Topics
  993. Portal:Sarawak/Topics
  994. Portal:Sasanian Empire/Topics
  995. Portal:Saskatchewan/Topics
  996. Portal:Saudi Arabia/Saudi Arabia topics
  997. Portal:Schools/Topics
  998. Portal:Science/Categories and Main topics/Header
  999. Portal:Science/Categories and Main topics
  1000. Portal:Scientology/Topics
  1001. Portal:Scotland/Major topics
  1002. Portal:Seattle Sounders FC/Topics
  1003. Portal:Seattle/Topics
  1004. Portal:Sega/Sega topics
  1005. Portal:Selena/Topics
  1006. Portal:Senegal/Topics
  1007. Portal:September 11 attacks/Topics
  1008. Portal:Serbia/Topics
  1009. Portal:Serer people/Topics
  1010. Portal:Serer religion/Topics
  1011. Portal:Serials/Topics
  1012. Portal:Set theory/Topics
  1013. Portal:Seventh-day Adventist Church/Topics
  1014. Portal:Sexuality/Topics
  1015. Portal:Shakespeare/Topics list
  1016. Portal:Shakespeare/Topics
  1017. Portal:Shakira/Topics
  1018. Portal:Shanghai/Topics
  1019. Portal:Shania Twain/Shania Twain topics
  1020. Portal:Sharjah/Topics
  1021. Portal:Shenzhen/Topics
  1022. Portal:Sherlock Holmes/Topics
  1023. Portal:Sierra Leone/Topics
  1024. Portal:Sikhism/Topics
  1025. Portal:Sikkim/Major topics
  1026. Portal:Silent film/Topics
  1027. Portal:Silesia/Silesia topics
  1028. Portal:Silurian/Topics
  1029. Portal:Sindh/Topics
  1030. Portal:Singapore/Singapore topics
  1031. Portal:Slipknot/Topics
  1032. Portal:Smooth jazz/Topics
  1033. Portal:Snakes/Topics
  1034. Portal:Snooker/Snooker topics
  1035. Portal:Soap operas and telenovelas/Topics
  1036. Portal:Soccer in the United States/Topics
  1037. Portal:Social movements/Topics
  1038. Portal:Socialism/Topics
  1039. Portal:Sociology/Sociology topics
  1040. Portal:Soft Rock/Topics
  1041. Portal:Software testing/Software testing topics
  1042. Portal:Software/Software topics
  1043. Portal:Solar System/Solar System topics/imagebox
  1044. Portal:Solar System/Solar System topics
  1045. Portal:Somalia/topics
  1046. Portal:Somaliland/topics
  1047. Portal:Somerset/Topics
  1048. Portal:Sonic the Hedgehog/Sonic topics
  1049. Portal:Sony PlayStation/Sony PlayStation topics
  1050. Portal:Sony Playstation/Sony Playstation topics
  1051. Portal:Sony/Sony topics
  1052. Portal:South Australia/Topics
  1053. Portal:South Korea/South Korea topics
  1054. Portal:South Park/Topics
  1055. Portal:South Sudan/Topics
  1056. Portal:Soviet Union/Soviet topics
  1057. Portal:Space exploration/Topics
  1058. Portal:Space tourism/Topics
  1059. Portal:Space/Topics/Categories
  1060. Portal:Space/Topics/Lists
  1061. Portal:Space/Topics
  1062. Portal:Spaceflight/Key topics
  1063. Portal:Spaceflight/Topics/Categories
  1064. Portal:Spaceflight/Topics
  1065. Portal:Spain/Topics
  1066. Portal:Speculative fiction/Fantasy/Topics
  1067. Portal:Speculative fiction/Horror/Topics
  1068. Portal:Speculative fiction/Science fiction/Topics
  1069. Portal:Speculative fiction/Topics
  1070. Portal:Spirituality/Spirituality-related topics
  1071. Portal:SpongeBob SquarePants/Topics
  1072. Portal:Sports and games/Categories and Main topics
  1073. Portal:Sports in Canada/Topics
  1074. Portal:Sports/Categories and main topics/Tabs
  1075. Portal:Sri Lanka Railways/Topics
  1076. Portal:Sri Lanka/Topics
  1077. Portal:St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador/Topics
  1078. Portal:Staffordshire/Topics
  1079. Portal:Stamford/Topics
  1080. Portal:Star Trek/Topic news
  1081. Portal:Star Trek/Topics
  1082. Portal:Star Wars/Topics
  1083. Portal:Star/Topics/Tabs2
  1084. Portal:Star/Topics/TabsTop
  1085. Portal:Star/Topics
  1086. Portal:Statistics/Topics
  1087. Portal:Strategy games/Strategy games topics
  1088. Portal:Strictly Come Dancing/Topics
  1089. Portal:Studio Ghibli/Topics
  1090. Portal:Submarine/Topics
  1091. Portal:Sudan/Topics
  1092. Portal:Sufism/Sufism topics
  1093. Portal:Superhero fiction/Topics
  1094. Portal:Supreme Court of the United States/Topics
  1095. Portal:Suriname/Topics
  1096. Portal:Surrey/Surrey topics
  1097. Portal:Sussex/Topics
  1098. Portal:Sustainable development/Topics/Sustainability and energy development
  1099. Portal:Sustainable development/Topics
  1100. Portal:Sweden/Main topics
  1101. Portal:Swimming/Topics
  1102. Portal:Syracuse, New York/Topics
  1103. Portal:Syria/Topics
  1104. Portal:Syriac Christianity/Topics
  1105. Portal:Systems science/Topics
  1106. Portal:São Tomé and Príncipe/Topics
  1107. Portal:Taito/Topics
  1108. Portal:Taiwan/Taiwan topics
  1109. Portal:Taiwan/Topics
  1110. Portal:Tajikistan/Tajikistan topics
  1111. Portal:Tamil Eelam/Topics
  1112. Portal:Tamil People/Topics
  1113. Portal:Tamil civilization/Topics
  1114. Portal:Tank/Topics
  1115. Portal:Tanzania/Topics
  1116. Portal:Tasmania/Topics
  1117. Portal:Taylor Swift/Topics
  1118. Portal:Technology/Topics
  1119. Portal:Television in Australia/Topics
  1120. Portal:Television in Canada/Topics
  1121. Portal:Television in the United Kingdom/Topics
  1122. Portal:Television in the United States/Topics
  1123. Portal:Television/Topics
  1124. Portal:Tennessee/Topics
  1125. Portal:Tennis/Topics
  1126. Portal:Terrorism/Topics
  1127. Portal:Texas/Texas topics
  1128. Portal:Textile arts/Textile arts topics
  1129. Portal:Thailand/topics
  1130. Portal:The Beach Boys/Topics
  1131. Portal:The Clash/Topics
  1132. Portal:The Gambia/Topics
  1133. Portal:The Jackson Family/Topics
  1134. Portal:The Kinks/Topics
  1135. Portal:The Legend of Zelda/Zelda topics
  1136. Portal:The Rolling Stones/Topics
  1137. Portal:The Simpsons/Topics
  1138. Portal:The Sims/Topics
  1139. Portal:The Supremes/Topics
  1140. Portal:The X-Files/Topics
  1141. Portal:Theatre/Theatre topics
  1142. Portal:Theosophy/Topics
  1143. Portal:Thinking/Topics
  1144. Portal:Tibet/Topics
  1145. Portal:Tibetan Buddhism/Topics
  1146. Portal:Time/Time topics
  1147. Portal:Tirana/Tirana topics
  1148. Portal:Tiruchirappalli/Topics
  1149. Portal:Tobago/Tobago topics
  1150. Portal:Togo/Topics
  1151. Portal:Topology/Topics
  1152. Portal:Toys/Topics
  1153. Portal:Traditional African religion/Topics
  1154. Portal:Transgender/Topics
  1155. Portal:Transhumanism/MajorTopics
  1156. Portal:Transhumanism/TopicsTechs
  1157. Portal:Transnational child protection/Topics
  1158. Portal:Transport/Topics
  1159. Portal:Transport/Transport topics
  1160. Portal:Transylvania/Topics
  1161. Portal:Triassic/Topics
  1162. Portal:Trinidad and Tobago/Topics
  1163. Portal:Trucks/Topics
  1164. Portal:Tunisia/Topics
  1165. Portal:Turkey/Topics
  1166. Portal:Turkish Armed Forces/Topics
  1167. Portal:Turkmenistan/Topics
  1168. Portal:Turtles/Topics
  1169. Portal:Tuvalu/Topics
  1170. Portal:Twilight/Topics
  1171. Portal:Typography/Topics
  1172. Portal:U2/U2 topics
  1173. Portal:UK Waterways/Topics
  1174. Portal:Udaipur/Topics
  1175. Portal:Ukraine/Ukrainian topics
  1176. Portal:Ulaanbaatar/Topics
  1177. Portal:Ulcinj/Topics
  1178. Portal:Underwater diving/Topics
  1179. Portal:United Arab Emirates/United Arab Emirates topics
  1180. Portal:United Nations/Topics
  1181. Portal:United States Air Force/Topics
  1182. Portal:United States/Topics
  1183. Portal:Universities in Azerbaijan/Related topics
  1184. Portal:Universities in Azerbaijan/Topics
  1185. Portal:University of Cambridge/Topics
  1186. Portal:University of Chicago/Topics
  1187. Portal:University of Oxford/Topics
  1188. Portal:University/Topics
  1189. Portal:Unix/Topics
  1190. Portal:Uranus/Topics
  1191. Portal:Uruguay/Topics
  1192. Portal:Usher/Topics
  1193. Portal:Utah/topics
  1194. Portal:Uzbekistan/Topics
  1195. Portal:Vajrayana Buddhism/Topics
  1196. Portal:Venezuela/Venezuela topics
  1197. Portal:Venomous snakes/Topics
  1198. Portal:Victoria/Topics
  1199. Portal:Victorian era/Topics
  1200. Portal:Video games/Featured topic/10
  1201. Portal:Video games/Featured topic/11
  1202. Portal:Video games/Featured topic/12
  1203. Portal:Video games/Featured topic/13
  1204. Portal:Video games/Featured topic/14
  1205. Portal:Video games/Featured topic/15
  1206. Portal:Video games/Featured topic/16
  1207. Portal:Video games/Featured topic/17
  1208. Portal:Video games/Featured topic/18
  1209. Portal:Video games/Featured topic/1
  1210. Portal:Video games/Featured topic/2
  1211. Portal:Video games/Featured topic/3
  1212. Portal:Video games/Featured topic/4
  1213. Portal:Video games/Featured topic/5
  1214. Portal:Video games/Featured topic/6
  1215. Portal:Video games/Featured topic/7
  1216. Portal:Video games/Featured topic/8
  1217. Portal:Video games/Featured topic/9
  1218. Portal:Video games/Featured topic
  1219. Portal:Video games/Topics
  1220. Portal:Vienna/Topics
  1221. Portal:Vietnam/Topics
  1222. Portal:Virginia/Virginia topics
  1223. Portal:Viruses/Topics
  1224. Portal:Visual arts/Topics
  1225. Portal:Volcanism of Canada/Volcanism of Canada topics
  1226. Portal:Volcanoes/Volcanoes topics
  1227. Portal:Wales/Topics
  1228. Portal:War of 1812/Topics
  1229. Portal:War/Topics
  1230. Portal:Warhammer/Warhammer topics
  1231. Portal:Washington & Jefferson College/Topics
  1232. Portal:Washington, D.C./Topics
  1233. Portal:Washington/Topics
  1234. Portal:Water sports/Topics
  1235. Portal:Weapons of mass destruction/Weapons of mass destruction topics
  1236. Portal:Weather/Featured content/Topics
  1237. Portal:Weimar Republic/Topics
  1238. Portal:West Bengal/Major topics
  1239. Portal:West Virginia/West Virginia topics
  1240. Portal:Western Australia/Western Australia topics
  1241. Portal:Western Sahara/Western Sahara topics
  1242. Portal:Wetlands/Topics
  1243. Portal:Whitney Houston/Topics
  1244. Portal:Wicca/Wicca topics
  1245. Portal:Wiltshire/Topics
  1246. Portal:Wine/Wine topics
  1247. Portal:Wisconsin/topics
  1248. Portal:Women's association football/Topics
  1249. Portal:World War I/Topics
  1250. Portal:World War II/Topics
  1251. Portal:World War II/World War II topics
  1252. Portal:Writing/Topics
  1253. Portal:Wyoming/topics
  1254. Portal:X-ray astronomy/Topics
  1255. Portal:Xbox 360/Main Topics
  1256. Portal:Xbox 360/Xbox 360 topics
  1257. Portal:Years/Topics
  1258. Portal:Yoga/Topics
  1259. Portal:Yorkshire/Yorkshire topics
  1260. Portal:Yoruba/Topics
  1261. Portal:Yukon/Topics
  1262. Portal:Zambia/Topics
  1263. Portal:Zimbabwe/Topics
  1264. Portal:Zoos and aquariums/Topics
  1265. Portal:Zoroastrianism/Topics

Thank you.     — The Transhumanist    10:27, 11 April 2018 (UTC)

Notices on every portal[edit]

Notices have been placed on every portal (including current events), there is a consensus that this did not amount to canvassing. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 15:15, 24 April 2018 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.


Important: A notice of this deletion discussion should have been placed at the top of every page being proposed for deletion three days ago, when this discussion was started. Such notices are now in place. Enough time should be provided for the users and maintainers of the various portals to weigh in.     — The Transhumanist    12:00, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
But The Transhumanist, you've put your notice at the top of Community portal as well, which although it has "portal" in the title is not in Portal: space and has been repeatedly stated not to fall within the scope of the proposal: Noyster (talk), 12:55, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
Thank you for the clarification. It should be exempted in the proposal itself, for clarity, and not just be buried in the huge discussion below. The notice has been removed from the top of the page there, and a more general notice has been included in the Community Bulletin Board further down the page.     — The Transhumanist    13:52, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
In any case Transhumanist is completely right in pointing out that such a survey should not be performed without informing those primarily affected (many editors and potentially portal users/maintainers do not follow village pump discussions regularly or at all).--Kmhkmh (talk) 13:48, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • I've moved this down; the top of the RfC isn't the place for this discussion and should remain neutral and short. RfC's usually are held open for 30 days, and thus three days is immaterial overall Galobtter (pingó mió) 15:41, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • The Transhumanist next time it'd have been better to use a template and transclude the message, since it is same for all 1500 articles - thus it can be changed as necessary (if the discussion moves, if the wording needs to be changed etc) Galobtter (pingó mió) 16:05, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
I chose to post a static notice because it is preserved in the historical versions of the pages it is posted on. Templates morph, so what you see in a historical version is not necessarily what actually appeared there when that version was created. Context may be important here. Thank you for your comment.     — The Transhumanist    00:19, 12 April 2018 (UTC)

The opening text should be "Should the system of portals be ended? This would include the deletion of all portal pages and the removal of the portal namespace" and then add "with the following exceptions:" (and list the exceptions) Cambalachero (talk) 15:58, 11 April 2018 (UTC)

Tagging this discussion to all portals is close to inappropriate canvassing→ to draw in the handful of users who work on this failed part of Wikipedia. This discussion needs to the input of all users which is why VP is an appropriate venue. Where else can we advertise this RFC to attract in a proper cross section of all users? Legacypac (talk) 17:16, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
So "all users" doesn't include users watching/editing/reading the portal pages themselves? Your point of view on this strikes me as completely illogical. - dcljr (talk) 23:23, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
If you are part of a project then there is a good chance it's connected to a portal. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 17:20, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
@Legacypac: By the same logic, it is inappropriate canvassing to tag a page when it is nominated for WP:MFD. RockMagnetist(talk) 18:10, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
Which is why I did not call it out as canvassing. This whole area is so disliked we need to be careful not to influence the results to heavily by advertising. On the plus side, by placing a notification no one can whine when we remove any given portal. Legacypac (talk) 18:25, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
Considering there appears to still be some support for the use of Portals, at least based on the discussion above, I think calling the Portal system "widely disliked" might be either a stretch or inaccurate to say the least. Also, regardless of our opinions of the system, as these editors are the primary editors for the namespace, they should have been informed sooner, and it's right to have left them messages about this discussion. Narutolovehinata5 tccsdnew 00:26, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • I am concerned that a failure to communicate this RfC to the Portals from the outset (as we would for an AfD/MFD) has built up a 'head of steam' wherein many are already assuming Portals serve no purpose whatsoever, and are wielding their pitchforks and making plans for their imminent global demise. For Legacypac to suggest communicating this RfC at the Portals themselves is ...close to inappropriate canvassing is ridiculous, and seems close to the Vogon Planning Process. Many thanks to The Transhumanist for notifying some of the Portals three days after the RfC began. A quick check reveals many smaller Portal pages have still not been informed (e.g.1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10). Is this an oversight, or the misfortune of poor original categorisation? Nick Moyes (talk) 01:56, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
I posted the notice to the 1143 portals listed at Portal:Contents/Portals, for expediency. I'm in the process of tracking down the portals not listed there.  Done I've posted to all other portals (without slashes in the titles).     — The Transhumanist    06:35, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
I've just added the notice to WP:AALERTS subscriptions. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 23:49, 12 April 2018 (UTC)

"Close to inappropriate canvassing"?[edit]

I agree with Legacypac that tagging this discussion to 1143 portals (and rising!) portals is close to inappropriate canvassing, but does not actually cross the line. Others, of course will disagree with my personal opinion on this, which is fine.

Instead of focusing on whether it was canvassing ("is close to" does not equal "is"), I would like to instead focus on whether adding the following notice

to over a thousand pages caused (I would assume inadvertently) a biased sample of responses to this proposal. This is not a forgone conclusion. As someone pointed out above, we don't have a problem when we tag a page that is nominated for WP:MFD. The obvious counterargument would be that tagging 1 page and tagging 1143 pages just might have different effects on a discussion.

I don't think that anyone will be willing to argue that this has had no effect on the discussion, but I can see an argument that the effect is not harmful. I could go either way on that question. --Guy Macon (talk) 19:08, 13 April 2018 (UTC)

  • Comment it has been argued above many times that portals are seldom visited and not used. If that's the case, then the potential "canvassing" has very little impact. Further, whenever a page is proposed for deletion a notice is put on that page so that those who follow that page can comment. I don't see it as "canvassing" at all.--Paul McDonald (talk) 20:44, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment This is the second time the same editor has brought up canvassing. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 22:00, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
    • Give it a rest. Your posting comment after comment criticizing me is becoming disruptive. Everyone is aware of your low opinion of me. You don't have to keep pounding on it. If you think you have a legitimate complaint, take it to WP:ANI.. --Guy Macon (talk) 04:22, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
  • I do not see any problems with these notifications. They are worded accurately, and it is entirely appropriate to notify all editors who see portals on their watchlists. I would, instead, see a concern about a biased sample if such notice had not been made. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:58, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
  • I see no problem putting notices on pages that would be deleted/redirected/archived as if it were an XfD. Killiondude (talk) 22:01, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
  • It is very much the business of portal watchers and editors to know that there is a discussion going on about whether to delete the entire portal namespace. There's nothing inappropriate about it. Master of Time (talk) 22:12, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
  • For the record I fully disagree with calling this "inappropriate canvassing". The idea here is to inform the community that would be impacted from this change which was done through a neutral message. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 22:17, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
  • When a page is being considered for deletion, it is tagged as such. If you are suggesting 1,143+ pages are to be deleted, then each and every one of those 1,143+ pages must be tagged. Suggesting that doing so is "canvassing" is ludicrous. Fish+Karate 09:37, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
  • I agree completely. Kirbanzo (talk) 18:55, 23 April 2018 (UTC)

An admin is needed to put a notice on Portal:Current events[edit]

I couldn't put one there because the page is protected.     — The Transhumanist    07:41, 12 April 2018 (UTC)

  • don't think a notice is necessary there, I don't see anyone really arguing for its deletion. Wasn't my intention at-least to really include it, if the portal namespace is deleted it'd be moved to wikipedia space. Galobtter (pingó mió) 07:44, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
    • The problem is that there is a difference between what you intended and what you proposed. Your proposal states: "This would include the deletion of all portal pages and the removal of the portal namespace." All portals. And that is what is being surveyed with "Support" and "Oppose". And Legacypac has been quite explicit. So, until the proposal states otherwise, or until you add an amendment up there, that proposal is what I'm notifying others about. As far as I'm concerned your proposal includes Portal:Contents and Portal:Current events because they are portals and your proposal says "all portals". So, please do not remove the notices until the proposal is amended. Thank you.     — The Transhumanist    09:12, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
 Done. As The Transhumanist correctly points out, the proposal is to delete all pages that begin with Portal:, so all should be tagged. Regards SoWhy 13:59, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
Uh, hey guys, nice discussion you're having here, but how about putting these templates on talk pages? They'd still look awfully pointy, but at least they wouldn't be in the way. Isa (talk) 17:08, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
@Isa Few people use portals so it doesn't make much difference Cesdeva (talk) 17:17, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
@Cesdeva: Yeah, sorry, I'm really not in the market for baits right now. I don't care about this RFC, but may I suggest the templates be either removed or moved to talk pages until it runs its course? Isa (talk) 17:21, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
I object to including a deletion template on a page thst is not proposed for deletion. That is being very POINTY SoWhy. Legacypac (talk) 17:31, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
Where do you see in "Should the system of portals be ended? This would include the deletion of all portal pages and the removal of the portal namespace" that it isn't proposed for deletion? - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 17:46, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
All through the discussion and ^^^ right here. Legacypac (talk) 17:48, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
This is only chat, the outcome would go by the central survey question. Portal:Current events is still a portal and would be included in the discussion unless otherwise noted by the closing admin. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 17:51, 16 April 2018 (UTC)

───────────────────────── Right, let's start again. I don't care about what's a portal and what's not. I see little to no discussion on whether these notices should have been posted in the first place, and I'm also seeing some concern on the copy/pasting on thousands of pages. I would propose that these notices are either 1) completely removed, or 2) moved to the talk pages. Isa (talk) 17:59, 16 April 2018 (UTC)

(UTC)

@Isanae: Sorry! I wasnt aiming it at you, despite the ping. As for the suggestion I think there is confusion over whether to treat this as a normal RfC where talk pages would get notified or treat it like a deletion discussion where the page would get tagged. It really is a pseudo-MfD, don't you think? Either way i'm not the editor to be speaking to. Kind regards, Cesdeva (talk) 18:00, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
I disagree with your proposal because this is a deletion discussion. When this is RfC closed, we are going to open another to talk about deletion as it has already been done above. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 19:47, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
  • All pages threatened with deletion should get a warning tag so that their users and maintainers are properly warned. That includes Portal:Current events which is clearly in scope for this proposal. There's a better case for deleting Portal:Current events than most of the others because it's trying to be a news ticker, contrary to WP:NOTNEWSPAPER, and so is all about fresh, immature topics rather than the well-considered, encyclopedic material that the other portals are able to feature. Andrew D. (talk) 07:47, 17 April 2018 (UTC)

The Main Page is a portal[edit]

Remarkably little has been said about what portals do or should do. At present, they largely duplicate the functions of the Main Page, but for a subdomain of Wikipedia. These include boxes for a featured article; a featured picture; Did You Know; related portals; On this day/In this month; In the News; and related content in other Wikimedia projects. They also can have links to related WikiProjects and a list of suggestions for how editors can contribute. Not all portals have all of this content, of course; it depends on the energy of the editors.

So, in essence, the Main Page is a portal. Should we keep it? If so, why should we delete other portals, which serve a very similar function? If there is a benefit, say, to displaying a Featured Article on the Main Page for a few hours, then isn't there an added benefit to displaying it periodically on another portal? RockMagnetist(talk) 17:26, 11 April 2018 (UTC)

WP:DDMP - Enough said. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 17:34, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
Radical idea, but (like YouTube for example) the main page could be a personalised portal, where you’d have links related to your own interests. Of course if you aren’t logged in, something would need to go there instead... Aiken D 19:09, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
@Aiken D: I like your idea, although I don't know how it would be implemented. RockMagnetist(talk) 00:04, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
Keep the Main Page, but replace the portal links with links to the nearest equivalent categories. Lojbanist remove cattle from stage 22:17, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
Main page encourages content - featuring on it is a something that people make articles for. Not the same for other portals. Galobtter (pingó mió) 02:49, 12 April 2018 (UTC)

Move the Main_Page to the Portal: namespace (maybe Portal:Home) as default for logged out and new users, and then add an ability that allows users to set any other Portal: as their personal "Main_Page". This would certainly up the quality within the Portal namespace. Editors or groups of editors would work together to build the best alternative home pages. Imagine a portal for administrators, linking to various maintenance areas and alerting them to backlogs. Or just being able to set a home page devoted to a topic area you find interesting to edit in. This may not be 100% personalized, but it could build communities around the portals as the interested users keep them updated. That seems to me what they were for, we just have not been doing enough to bring people to the portals in a natural way. -- Netoholic @ 10:51, 12 April 2018 (UTC)

It seems like deleting the main page is perpetually a forbidden fruit that people raise as a necessary consequence of every proposal in any way that anyone can imagine is necessary. Why does this crazy idea get proposed so much? I wonder if at Google or Amazon or whatever their developers always talk about deleting the main page. Deleting the main page is starting to seem like a sport or perennial proposal. Blue Rasberry (talk) 20:37, 13 April 2018 (UTC)

Unfortunately my attempt to promote the Main Page to Featured Portal status didn't work out so well. FallingGravity 08:53, 17 April 2018 (UTC)

Portals are essentially a main page tailored to a specific subject, making them very beneficial. I see no good reason to delete them. Brendon the Wizard ✉️ 09:10, 29 April 2018 (UTC)

If someone wants to delete, or at least demote, our prize spot for video game advertisements, by this point I'm for it -- but you may find opposition from entrenched commercial interests. Wnt (talk) 13:32, 29 April 2018 (UTC)

Research that hasn't been done yet[edit]

There have been a few hundred deletion debates for portals. What were the decisions and what were the reasons for them? My impression based on a short survey was that portals are generally kept if they have been constructed properly and don't largely duplicate other portals. RockMagnetist(talk) 17:36, 11 April 2018 (UTC)

What exactly is the activity on a portal? Someone commented that Portal:Arts has only been edited twice in 5 months; well, the Main Page has only been edited 13 times! The content of portals is actually in their subpages; the Arts portal has 341 subpages. It would take a lot of effort to determine how much all those pages had been edited, but perhaps someone should do that before they argue that portals are not maintained. I can offer one anecdote: Over the years, I have edited Portal:Earth sciences 13 times, but its subpages 111 times. RockMagnetist(talk) 17:36, 11 April 2018 (UTC)

What I'd really like to know when making decisions like this is what the readers think. The readers are a silent majority whose desires we are left guessing with very limited data. We know how many page views portals get, but we don't how much time readers spend there and what links they click. This is undoubtedly data that the WMF has serverside. More sophisticated qualitative questions like what do the readers actually think about portals, what do they want, also go unanswered.
In the event that portals will be discontinued, I'd love to see some actual research into what kind of features readers are missing. It would be crucial for the project to find that interface where readers become interested in editing. Portals were supposed to be that, among other things, but I doubt they ever met that goal. – Finnusertop (talkcontribs) 18:21, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
The fact editors need to edit subpages and templates to work on a portal is structural reason they will always be a problem. I'm over 100,000 edits and only last year I started to figure out how to change a portal. It's not intuitive like regular wikipages. They are also a weird mix of public facing content, and backend to do lists. The overviews provide limited value, often skimming the surface of a topic using only commonly known info most readers would know already. Legacypac (talk) 18:34, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
This is more an indictment of the software than of the portal concept. Yes, they are tricky to edit, and require a fair amount of work to learn how, so discouraging maintenance by people who were not involved in creating them, This is not so much a reason to abolish them, as to consider simplifying the system. But is it worth the effort for the advantage gained? I really don't know, and doubt if anyone else does. everyone is guessing. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 18:59, 12 April 2018 (UTC)

What will replace portals?[edit]

When we want to find something on/in Wikipedia we need a guide, an index, someplace to start. That guide has to be logically organized. Language, Literature, Mathematics, Science, Social Science, History, Geography, Computer Science, etc.

AgentCachet (talk) 02:50, 12 April 2018 (UTC)

Those few portals that are useful and maintained can be turned into "overview of" or "outline of" pages. --Guy Macon (talk) 06:31, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
@Guy Macon: Doesn't that simply move the problem to "overview of" or "outline of" pages? If that can be controlled by XfD, why not portals? ―Mandruss  07:16, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
I am not sure what you mean by "the problem". The discussion above has established a strong consensus for the following:
[1] The vast majority of portals are abandoned, poorly maintained, seldom used, and better served by other kinds of pages.
[2] A very few portals (and things called portals that are not in portal space) are worth keeping.
Individual XfDs don't properly address #1. Nuking every single portal with no exceptions doesn't properly address #2. Leaving a few portals in portalspace will encourage the creation of new portals, bringing back the issues we are seeing now. Thus the final solution will almost certainly involve mass-deleting (or possibly fully protecting and marking as historical) the vast majority of portals and moving and/or renaming the few we decide to keep. --Guy Macon (talk) 13:57, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
Where are you seeing this "strong consensus"? This discussion is ongoing and has yet to be closed. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 14:00, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
I do not see anything that looks like a strong consensus, and if one considers the objections to the proposal and the middle of the road positions, it looks more like there is a lot more to the subject than simple summaries - there are a range of issues not even considered in the attempt at summarising.JarrahTree 14:03, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
By my count, there are currently 94 Support !votes and 61 Oppose !votes. --Guy Macon (talk) 14:13, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
WP:NOTAVOTE. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 14:14, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
...said everyone who was in the process of not getting their way in an RfC ever... --Guy Macon (talk) 20:39, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
As you have repeatedly admonished other users, Guy, please WP:AGF. - dcljr (talk) 22:20, 12 April 2018 (UTC) — Oh, and WP:CIVIL, while we're at it. - dcljr (talk) 23:48, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
You appear to lack a clear understanding of what "good faith" means. WP:AGF does not mean "never disagree" or "never criticize". It is entirely possible -- I would even say common -- for someone to be acting in good faith and yet be wrong, as I believe that you were above. I am sure that you -- in good faith -- believe that !votes (please note the "!", which is shorthand for "not votes") do not count, but the actual policy says "While not forbidden, polls should be used with care. When polls are used, they should ordinarily be considered a means to help in determining consensus, but do not let them become your only determining factor." Now had I claimed that you are deliberately misstating our policy on !votes, I would have been assuming bad faith on your part. Recent examples of assuming bad faith in this discussion (not by you) include accusing other editors of "purposely driving off contributing editors" and claiming "this is a deliberate attempt to do an end run around our processes". So what I am saying is that I think that you are wrong, but I am not claiming that you knew that you were wrong and deliberately wrote something that you know to be untrue. In fact, I am not even claiming that you being wrong is an established fact, just that in my opinion the way you characterized NOTAVOTE is not supported by the actual text of that policy. So please stop accusing others of violating AGF when there is no evidence of any actual assumption of bad faith. --Guy Macon (talk) 17:26, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
I think the right wording here is Passive-aggressive behavior. You are telling editors to assume good faith (which is good) but at the same time accused me of adding toxic material to the above conversation along with a side remark about WP:NOTAVOTE which is how a lot of discussions end up resolved. I wont go further into this as we are going off topic here and recommend this discussion be hatted as unproductive. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 17:42, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
I repeat, you should post calm, reasoned arguments supporting your position instead of accusing others of violating AGF when there is no evidence of any actual assumption of bad faith. Again I suggest that you study what the phrase "bad faith" means, with an emphasis on how it is entirely possible to add toxic comments and exhibit other undesirable behavior in good faith. By "toxic comment" I include glomming on to a legitimate comment posted to a user who unambiguously failed to assume good faith, engaging in a classic Tu quoque fallacy (again, no assumption of bad faith; I am assuming that you legitimately believe that your use of the tu quoque fallacy is something other than the use of invalid or otherwise faulty reasoning), and accusing others of violating AGF when there is no evidence of any actual assumption of bad faith. Again, not every bad action is done in bad faith and not every criticism is an assumption of bad faith. I would also note that I am not the one who keeps bringing this up, and that if you stop making false accusations about me I will have no reason to respond. So just stop. Don't respond. Drop the stick. --Guy Macon (talk) 18:41, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
Guy, please review all of your suggestions to other users regarding their behaviors in this discussion and then consider how you could apply them more consistently to yourself. - dcljr (talk) 23:01, 15 April 2018 (UTC)
I must be incredibly dense, since it seems to me that "overview of" or "outline of" pages can just as easily be "abandoned, poorly maintained, [and] seldom used". Editors who have poured their time and energy into portals will simply pour their time and energy into "overview of" or "outline of" pages instead. The only differences are namespace and format. ―Mandruss  14:04, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
So you don't see any difference between a very small number of "overview of" or "outline of" pages and a huge number of Portal pages? No difference at all other than namespace and format? Try again. Can you think of anything --- anything at all -- that is different between "a dozen or so" and "many thousands"? --Guy Macon (talk) 14:13, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
Of course I see that difference. How do you propose to maintain that difference for the long term? Are you proposing that editors should be prohibited from creating more "overview of" or "outline of" pages? Let's assume not, so we will have accomplished nothing in the long term. As I said, editors who have created, developed, and abandoned portals will simply create, develop, and abandon "overview of" or "outline of" pages.
If most portals are in fact "abandoned, poorly maintained, [and] seldom used", then take most portals to MfD or propose some one-off process to fast-path that one-time effort. After that, anybody can take an individual "abandoned, poorly maintained, [and] seldom used" portal to MfD. But I don't see the point in eliminating portals. ―Mandruss  14:44, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
...or your predictions regarding the future behavior of editors could turn out to be wrong. --Guy Macon (talk) 20:42, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
Outline pages actually provide utility by linking relevant pages in a topic area. Portals don't really do that, and are not comparable Galobtter (pingó mió) 16:05, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
@Guy Macon: Are you really saying there are "a dozen or so" outlines and "many thousands" of portals? Someone in this discussion arrived at the figure of 1500 for the number of portals, while I get about 800 outlines using CatScan on Category:Wikipedia outlines. Of course, if some portals were converted to new outlines, the latter number would increase. RockMagnetist(talk) 21:48, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
OK, 1500, not many thousands. I misremembered. The number of existing outlines is irrelevant. Looking at the discussion above, it looks like we have a dozen or so (maybe even two dozen) portals that pretty much everyone thinks should be retained in some form -- possibly converted to outlines. --Guy Macon (talk) 01:52, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Why not redirect the portals to the eponymous category pages? Marcocapelle (talk) 18:27, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
Because portals serve a different purpose than categories and the other navigation pages. Each portal is intended to be a "Main page" for its respective subject, with "topic tasters" (term coined by Nick Moyes) to sample the local intellectual fair. Portals are a place to sample the content of a subject the scope of which goes beyond a single article. For example, the subjects Mathematics and Geography have thousands of articles covering them. Portals dip into that coverage, like a magazine or themed website would. Bessy the Cow would not have a portal, because there'd be only one article about her. But, on many subjects, Wikipedia's coverage is immense. The best portals are dynamic and serve up a new dish every time you visit. Like the Main page.    — The Transhumanist   01:12, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
This is an important discussion, because much of the aggravation of portals is that it is trying to be many things to many people - a showcase for DYKs and specific articles rather than being an index of the topic per se.
Related question: is Portal: Science a better index to science than Science? If so, why, and which page's structure is to blame for that? Wnt (talk) 13:35, 29 April 2018 (UTC)

Orderly decommissioning[edit]

I agree with the idea of decommissioning portals, but not mass-deleting them. And I think enthusiastic editors should be given alternative venues. Probably most portals can be decommissioned in short order, which would solve most the bad/obsolete content problem. The way I would handle this:

  • Tag all existing portals with a "portal decommissioning" template

that tells editors they can keep the portal open if they remove the template, but that any portals with the tag remaining after say, 7 days, will be merged into other pages and turned into a redirect.

  • Editors who want to keep a local portal open could continue to do so, but any portal that falls into disrepair can get re-tagged for decommissioning.
  • Main content articles like Science, History, etc. would replace the portal links on the main page. These are already high-traffic gateways into these topics, and editor efforts should be concentrated on improving those.

I think decommissioning of individual dead portals can be handled by groups of interested editors as a normal part of editing, and doesn't really need the blessing of an RfC.

As for where all the stuff currently on portals should go, I'm happy to leave that up to the associated WikiProject or the editor doing the decommissioning, but in general, I would suggest:

  • Content aimed at editors (e.g. "Things you can do") should be merged into WikiProjects.
  • Article snippets found on portals should just be deleted. Duplicate text is problematic because updates cause copies to go out of sync, and interested readers can get the most up-to-date content on the article page.
  • Featured pictures should be merged into main articles, outlines, or sub-articles as appropriate.
  • Anniversaries should be merged into timelines, or presented in main topic articles (anniversary infoboxes?) if an automated solution can be used to keep them rotating.
  • "Featured content" lists should be deferred to WikiProjects, where it is probably already tracked by the assessment system. It does seem like this categorization is more useful to editors looking for content to improve, than it is for readers to find content they want to read. I expect people generally just dive deeper into whatever subtopics they find interesting, and whether that's Featured or Class B doesn't really matter. If we want to promote high-quality content to readers, I'm open to that but it should be super low-maintenance. I think we should use the existing tracking system, for example Category:Science articles by quality. Note there's a directive on those categories not to link them from articles, so this would require a general policy change which we don't need to tackle before decommissioning lists of featured content that are no longer updated.
  • "Did you know" content can be deleted or merged into a new special section on main topic articles. Or maybe something like navboxes at the bottom, which can by default be displayed closed? This is mostly a way to publicize new articles; we could also just defer that to the assessment system and automate creation of lists of new articles.
  • Wikipedia isn't a newspaper, so news content isn't a requirement. Maybe it gets users into reading content they otherwise wouldn't, but I'm sure more people just Google something after hearing about it on the news and find the Wikipedia article about that topic. Per-topic news that's actually kept up to date is a good reason to keep a portal alive, or it could be moved to the WikiProject to alert editors where to focus attention. If no one puts in the effort to post frequent news updates on a topic that's a good reason a portal should be decommissioned.
  • Main topic articles are already a good gateway into major subtopics, the category system, and should link directly to any outlines or indexes.

In general, any page (like an outline or index) that only links to articles (as opposed to copying the intro), and doesn't have cntent that needs to be rotated to avoid looking stale (like "Did You Know" or news or "featured" content) is going to have a much harder time getting out of date. In general, I would only expect outlines to become out of date if Wikipedia articles on the subject are created or merged or deleted. I agree there's an argument to be made that outlines, like portals, are duplicative and not worth maintaining, and I think the answer there is to redirect them into the category system, which is much more automated. Personally, I work hard to keep the category system well-organized, because we need to have at least one topical organization scheme, and this seems like the most universally accepted and useful one at the moment. But that is a topic for another day. -- Beland (talk) 20:51, 16 April 2018 (UTC)

  • Contents of depricated portals could before deletion and redirect be moved to 1) article content (see also sections), 2) indexes, 3) outlines , 4) templates, 5) WikiProjects. On a final note, there really is no good reason to keep both the portals and WikiProjects. Some of the two systems better go, merging with the other. Chicbyaccident (talk) 23:53, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
  • I'll note that such an orderly decommissioning (especially marking historical and delinking) can happen out of individual initiative, since it's easily reversed where it happened to be inappropriate. Of course it's better to start from the abandoned portals. --Nemo 16:20, 22 April 2018 (UTC)

What will replace portals are better portals. The new and improved Portals WikiProject is currently designing dynamic features that can be used to improve portals and the portal browsing experience. We've also been contacted by the German Wikipedia, which has pioneered some dynamic features in their portals. Things are looking very interesting at the skunk works that the Portals WikiProject has become. Check out its talk page and join in on the fun. Testers are needed!    — The Transhumanist   01:12, 25 April 2018 (UTC)

Look at Nihonjoe (talk · contribs)'s Portal:Speculative fiction - He stated he designed that portal to be highly auotmated and needing very little work to maintain. WhisperToMe (talk) 23:19, 25 April 2018 (UTC)

This proposal seems like the best solution to me. It allows for an orderly discussion but also a merit-based look at each individual portal. If a portal is not worth keeping, delete it. But if it clearly has value, such as a main topic portal (e.g. Portal:History), we should keep it. - Presidentman talk · contribs (Talkback) 23:35, 7 May 2018 (UTC)

OK, who has been canvassing?[edit]

This section led to a "reasonable explanation" on the issue. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 13:09, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.


When I see an RfC that starts out with overwhelming support and then suddenly gets hit with a bunch of oppose comments from editors who don't normally hang out at the village pumps, I begin to suspect that someone has been WP:CANVASSing. I could be wrong, of course. --Guy Macon (talk) 20:39, 12 April 2018 (UTC)

(yes, this is the same editor who has been posting "WP:AGF, Please" in response to other editors above). jcc (tea and biscuits) 21:05, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
Not unreasonably, a notice has been placed on the talk pages of users who edit/maintain portals and on the portals themselves. That people who edit portals are now turning-up to have their say suggests that there may be some who feel portals might be worth keeping.--DavidCane (talk) 21:08, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
And it was properly advertised yesterday at Wikipedia:Portal. --NeilN talk to me 21:11, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
I just found out about this today, because it showed up on a portal that is on my watchlist: [6]. I think portals are being properly tagged, and editors who watch those portals are just finding out now. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:36, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
Me too. Predictably, the oppose votes started when the authors of the content being discussed found out about the proposal. Certes (talk) 11:50, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
I have to agree with Jcc, Guy you throw up WP:AGF tags above then you post something like this here? Canvassing is something you either have evidence for or you don't... - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 23:40, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
You can make all the snarky comments regarding a legitimate question about possible canvassing you want, but accusing other editors of "purposely driving off contributing editors" is not allowed here and I will not stop asking anyone who does such a thing to please stop. I suggest that you drop the stick now, because nothing you say will ever stop me from asking editors to AGF when they clearly fail to do so. --Guy Macon (talk) 01:58, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
Well other editors have done the same to you so I guess both sides are at fault. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 02:20, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
@Guy Macon: the "overwhelming support" that this started out with was apparently due to many users commenting early on who had already extensively discussed this issue in the past (and who all agreed that portals were a bad idea). As pointed out by others, it was only as knowledge about this RFC spread (especially as the portals themselves got notified, which I see as entirely appropriate) that significant opposition started to be expressed. This is why in my !vote above I mentioned (echoing several other users) that this RFC had been poorly handled from the beginning. Remember that only a small proportion of WP users regularly check the Village Pump(s) or any other particular centralized discussion space, so (for this and other reasons) it was appropriate to post notices on the very pages whose existence was being discussed. (As for posting to individual users' pages, that seems to be in line with notifying the authors of pages nominated for deletion, so as long as the wording was neutral, I don't see a problem with that.) - dcljr (talk) 22:46, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
BTW, that being said, I am not claiming that no canvassing has occurred, as it clearly has (I will not link to any particular examples so as not to further stigmatize the offending users, who have already been admonished). I'm just not sure it has made any noticeable difference in the overall direction this discussion has taken. - dcljr (talk) 23:05, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
That sounds like a reasonable explanation. Thanks! --Guy Macon (talk) 00:26, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
  • I'm glad there's recognition that communicating with all the 1500+ Portals potentially to be affected is reasonable and appropriate. It clearly meets the first bullet point in WP:APPNOTE. But so would communicating to all the WikiProject Talk pages as they, too, "...have interest in the topic under discussion" as they are already being lined up by supporters here to take over content responsibility if this RfC goes through. Who will ensure this will happen? Nick Moyes (talk) 00:53, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
It might be better to think about how to do it with the least amount of effort. Let's see... 1) You could make a list of all portals, and then regex convert the names to WikiProject names. 2) Then you make a list of all WikiProjects. 3) Then you use the list compare feature on AWB to produce all the names that are on list 2 that are also on list 1. That won't give you all the WikiProjects corresponding to portals, but it should give you most of them. 4) Then you feed the resultant list into AWB and prepend a notice to each. 5 You may need to do a second pass, to regex a name marker for the portal to the portal name in the notice.     — The Transhumanist    06:26, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
Alternative why not merge Portals with their respective Wikiproject? It seems sort of the same thing... --Railfan01 (talk) 20:06, 14 April 2018 (UTC)

No there’s no need to advertise this more than it has been already. There is no way anyone closing would consider deletion and in fact there’s likely at this stage to be no consensus because of the polarised views. Aiken D 10:41, 13 April 2018 (UTC)

Summary: Basically, nobody. Please Assume good faith.    — The Transhumanist   21:59, 13 April 2018 (UTC)

Notification of WikiProjects[edit]

Before we proceed any further, we should ensure that all the relevant WikiProjects are informed as they are usually responsible for maintaining the portals and many use the portals inter alia to helps identify, improve and create new articles. --Bermicourt (talk) 18:03, 12 April 2018 (UTC)

There's no practical way to halt the proceedings. People will post their opinions as they show up. Notifying the corresponding WikiProjects is time consuming, as you'll have to identify each one individually. I know of no automatic way to do this.     — The Transhumanist    05:25, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
User:Bermicourt do you have any evidence that Wikiprojects really use Portals to "identify, improve and create new articles?" I've never seen any Wikiproject do any such thing, but I'm not looking at every wikiproject. Legacypac (talk) 05:44, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
I have, but how would anyone know who else does? I don't think it could be recorded anywhere. I do agree that WikiProjects are interested and affected parties and therefore must be notified. Is there not a WikiProjects page that lists all the projects or a category that a bot could work through? · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 08:05, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
@Transhumanist. I'm saying let's notify the WikiProjects - who are key players in this - as soon as possible on their talk pages. Not to do so would be irresponsible. Interestingly I've just seen notices under 'Article alerts' on some project pages, but they've been added in such a way that watching editors aren't notified. Is that a way of saying we've notified people, but in a clandestine way that they mostly wouldn't notice, I wonder? Clever.
@Legacypac. I'm not listing all the projects here, you can check them out yourself. But as a member of several projects, I can tell you that's how they're used. But just to offer two random examples, WP:WikiProject Geography, part of their aim is the "development the navigation aids dedicated to geography" and then lists "Geography-related portals" as one of their navigational aids. Later on participants are referred to Portal:Geography to improve the scope of geography articles. WP:WikiProject United States declares as its aim that "this project was formed to coordinate the development of United States related articles and help maintain the United States Portal."!!! Bermicourt (talk) 08:41, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
No see my comment above. Not only is there no consensus for change, WikiProjects are very similar to portals in terms of activity and ability anyway, and unless you go around Wikipedia with your eyes closed there’s no way you’ll miss this RfC with the amount of places it’s been advertised. Aiken D 10:45, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
Au contraire. Portals and WikiProjects are complementary; they support one another. Of course, both projects and portals need to be maintained, but no-ones suggesting we delete all projects just because some have become inactive or ineffective for a season. --Bermicourt (talk) 16:05, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
I believe that the argument (and it is a good one) is that some wikiprojects are abandoned and/or useless but that most portals are abandoned and/or useless. Thus any solution to the useless wikiproject problem will have to be more nuanced than thye "nuke them all, move the dozen or so that are useful" solution to the useless portal problem being proposed here. --Guy Macon (talk) 19:15, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment: Also see my arguments (and that of others) in the "Survey" section above. Deleting all of the portals would simply be too disruptive to the entire Wikipedia Project itself, in plenty of ways. LightandDark2000 (talk) 18:09, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
While you are entitled to your opinion User:LightandDark2000 you are not entitled to your own facts. Removing portals is hardly a new idea - it's been discussed for years in varioius places including a page started by User:SmokeyJoe and every time a portal is brought to MfD. There is nothing DISRUPTIVE about a well attended RFC that when closed, I hope will end a 13ish year old experiment that many believe has failed. Comparing deletion of new pages under development to old low traffic portals is not a very valid comparison. Legacypac (talk) 19:24, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
These are not "my facts." The facts I presented are quite objective, only the analysis I used to back up my arguments are "my own." By the way, all of our various arguments are largely our own opinions, including what you just said. Declaring that the portals are a "failed" project is subjective in itself - it's quite debatable. The portals probably need to be overhauled, but that's definitely not reason enough to just delete them outright. We can't go around using WP:IDONTLIKEIT, WP:THEYDONTLIKEIT, WP:NOBODYREADSIT, WP:NEGLECT, or any such rationale as grounds for deletion. I believe that marking up old/archaic portals as "historic" and/or a major overhaul of the portal system would be much more appropriate as opposed to simply deleting them all. By the way, the portals are still very much a work in progress, especially those that are frequently being used or maintained. Another thing to note, we still need to assume good faith in this discussion, instead of attacking other editors or their opinions. LightandDark2000 (talk) 19:33, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
Note I was responding to your various recent comments all at once. Legacypac (talk) 19:52, 13 April 2018 (UTC)

Regarding this survey[edit]

The discussion in this section was mooted when the RfC was moved to this subpage to stand alone.--John Cline (talk) 13:09, 19 April 2018 (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.

It seems that this RfC will become "one for the ages", and that it would serve much better, in such a role, if it were published as a stand alone project page and transcluded here. It's not too late, or too hard to accomplish, and it needn't be rushed. If no one objects, I am inclined to see it through. If others agree, please suggest a few page names for consideration. Thank you.--John Cline (talk) 07:56, 13 April 2018 (UTC)

Concerning gathering the names of relevant WikiProjects, and posting to them, using AWB and an editor... 1) You could make a list of all portals, and then regex convert the names to WikiProject names. 2) Then you make a list of all WikiProjects. 3) Then you use the list compare feature on AWB to produce all the names that are on list 2 that are also on list 1. That won't give you all the WikiProjects corresponding to portals, but it should give you most of them. 4) Then you feed the resultant list into AWB and prepend a notice to each. 5) You may need to do a second pass, to regex a name marker for the portal to the portal name in the notice.    — The Transhumanist   13:12, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
"[This RfC] would serve much better, in such a role, if it were published as a stand alone project page and transcluded here"
Actually, I think that all Village pump discussions should be published with that format. --NaBUru38 (talk) 14:11, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
@John Cline: – excellent idea, please do. I would suggest something like Wikipedia:Consultation on the future of portals.--Newbiepedian (talk · contribs · X! · logs) 22:54, 14 April 2018 (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.

Mobile view and portals[edit]

The portal links are not visible in mobile mode. Instead of portals and other hand-curated navigational tools, the mobile versions have a fully automated "related articles" section (usually showing pages you are not interested in). If that valuable space could be given to portal links (or other human-curated navigation aids) instead of this gimmick, we would probably see a lot more portal views. In any case, if portals are kept, we should make them more visible in mobile mode, and encourage improving their layout to look better in mobile. BTW the Android app is an especially horrible way to view portals, as it seems to have its own ideas how to use image resizing to make everything look bad. —Kusma (t·c) 14:00, 14 April 2018 (UTC)

Hello, at the Spanish-language Wikipedia I have converted several portals to make them screen size responsive. For example in Portal:Fútbol, if the desktop browser window is narrow, the two columns merge into one. The mobile version of the page appears as one column. --NaBUru38 (talk) 14:17, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
That works here too, at least for Portal:Germany. What I am missing is links TO the portals in mobile mode. —Kusma (t·c) 16:28, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
More links is not the answer. Take Portal:Bacon which has just 1300 views in the last 30 days. [7] even though it's got nearly 1000 inbound links [8] Bacon alone has over 49,000 views [9] in the last 30 days. Editor interest is damning too. Portal:Bacon has less than 30 watchers (ie so low the system will not tell us) while Bacon has 389 watchers 29 of which have checked recent edits. Legacypac (talk) 07:39, 15 April 2018 (UTC)
I don't think the number of links is a problem as much as their lack of visibility. Portal links are very unobtrusive, and have to compete with the millions of reference links a typical article has these days. —Kusma (t·c) 14:35, 16 April 2018 (UTC)

Afterwards[edit]

Assuming this proposal passes, I would think the Portal:Contents, Portal:Current events and two portals not in Portal namespace, Main Page and WP: Community portal would remain. If all other portals are deprecated pending later deletion; I should think that the Main Page should be moved into the cleared out PORTALspace, and the Community Portal as well. Also, all OUTLINEs should be moved into PORTALspace to replace all the portals, since they are if anything the same thing in a different format. And all INDEX pages should also be moved to the empty PORTALspace. "PORTAL" would then be our navigational pages namespace. -- 70.51.203.56 (talk) 06:57, 15 April 2018 (UTC)

Alternative solution[edit]

As aforementioned several times in this discussion, portals could be merged into their respective Wikiprojects in order to simplify maintenance of pages and address both editors, members of the project and readers. Useless information shall be removed in both, but the Wikiprojects' main pages should be adapted for navigation. This shall gather members of a project, editors and readers (potential editors) in a common aim: to improve articles of a project and a theme and contribute with sources, their knowledge and more. At this stage, I am just proposing this action --Railfan01 (talk) 08:46, 15 April 2018 (UTC)

I see that as a solution in name only... I'm not involved in "every" project nor "every" portal... but the projects I am involved in that have portals are maintained by enthusiastic editors on those projects already. This seems to be nothing more than a page move from PORTAL: to WIKIPROJECT:... am I correct?--Paul McDonald (talk) 01:01, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
@Paulmcdonald: I perfectly understand that portals aren't abandoned by editors everywhere — and this is good news as it benefits to the encyclopedia − but it seems reasonable to me to reduce maintenance and, supposing that readers are potential editors, to make the Wikiprojects' main page as a navigation tool for readers and an opportunity for the readers to contribute in their domain if interested, and improve articles if willing. The Wikiprojects' main page could be a place for navigation and and editing in a same subject. Concerning the nature of this proposition, I think it should be made by merging Portals into Wikiprojects. --Railfan01 (talk) 18:41, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
I think you'll find that's already done. There's a WikiProject page for those interested in editing and contributing, and a WikiPortal page for those interested in research and reading. It would not make sense to have the same page serve the purpose to reach both. For example, Wikipedia:WikiProject College football is a place for editors and Portal:College football is a place for readers. While I grant there is at least in this project and likely many others a significant amount of cross-over (both readers and editors) I don't see how it could help the encyclopedia to have the same place for both. If a project wants to make a portal, then let the project make the portal. If they don't maintain the portal then someone can propose it be deleted and then we can discuss it like we do everything else.--Paul McDonald (talk) 21:17, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
@Paulmcdonald: In some cases, the Portals are well maintained by editors. This means that, instead of deleting ALL portals, which I think is not beneficial to the encyclopedia, moving the least maintained Portals and creating a redirect may be beneficial to navigation, to bring the portals closer to their Wikiproject. Thus, I understand that the solution I proposed is not to be used in every situation. --Railfan01 (talk) 06:35, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
It may be possible to consolidate some portals where there is overlap or the topic range of one is a subset of the other. Fewer portals would reduce the workload of updating, and more obscure portals might become more useful and get used more often. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 07:03, 17 April 2018 (UTC)

I disagree. Portals are content pages, not back office pages. --NaBUru38 (talk) 16:09, 17 April 2018 (UTC)

I don' t understand. If all portals a very well cared of, why is this discussion even here? I proposed this to avoid deletion --Railfan01 (talk) 21:13, 17 April 2018 (UTC)

First portal bot request submitted[edit]

See Wikipedia:Bot requests#Bot needed for updating introduction section of portals.    — The Transhumanist   04:11, 15 April 2018 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not a social network![edit]

I just noted two comments among those who are against the deletion of portals. One complains that the deletion would "annoy a lot of volunteers"; the other one says that a portal "also acts as a place to find people that has same interest as you". It seems that many put users' personal whims before the project of Wikipedia, which is to build a good-written and sourced encyclopedia, and they interpret Wikipedia as a sort of social network. This is very discouraging. Portals may have contributed to this, and this is another reason for their total elimination.--2.37.216.231 (talk) 13:47, 15 April 2018 (UTC)

It is more likely that WikiProjects contribute to and reinforce social network aspects of Wikipedia. I suspect people are confusing WikiProjects and Portals in some of the above !votes. The best portals are those that have a large listing of featured (and good articles) to showcase to readers. Plus editors willing to do a little bit of maintenance now and again. One thing that might rejuvenate portals is to have them featured on the main page. Much like featured lists are. Though that would require resurrecting the featured portals process.
I do also get a sense in this discussion that some people who prefer outlines and indexes would like to see these replace portals. But they are different things. It all reminds me a bit of the sometimes uneasy relationship between lists, categories and navboxes, as described at Wikipedia:Categories, lists, and navigation templates. Portals are essentially a form of navbox, with images and more of a structured layout.
Regarding the history, it is worth reading the views expressed 12 years ago in 2005 at Wikipedia talk:Portal/Archive 1. The first section there is particularly ironic in light of this discussion:

Anybody willing to make a Computer Science wikiportal? :) [...] I could make it but someone would have to maintain it... [...] As with anything else here, if you build it, they will come. (February 2005)

Carcharoth (talk) 14:43, 15 April 2018 (UTC)
I find it rather discouraging that some people seem believe you can build a good written and sourced encyclopedia without happy authors and social interaction (and providing space for that). Similarly odd seems the notion that portals would be an obstacle to well written and sourced encyclopedia. There is nothing wrong with allowing voluntary authors some whim if that serves to retain them and foster (needed) social interaction as long as it doesn't impair the project goals.
To put it this way the notion that Wikipedia is not a social network as well and the encyclopedia can be build without without providing a social network on the side seems rather outlandish to me and completely ignores human nature. Wikipedia doesn't differ from facebook & co by not being a social network but by being a very particular social network with a rather specific goal (creating an encyclopedia).--Kmhkmh (talk) 15:27, 15 April 2018 (UTC)
I strongly second what Kmhkmh said; people are not robots! WhisperToMe (talk) 23:02, 25 April 2018 (UTC)

Indeed it is a distinct question. Our great mish-mosh of talk pages of editors and articles, village pumps, wikiprojects and other fora indeed work as a social network with a narrow focus on helping the encyclopedia. The network operates badly due to trying to apply encyclopedia software for the purpose. That's why we have all this silliness about four tildes and outdent and ping templates and do we alternate between your talk page and mine or do it all on mine. And yes, portals are a small part of the social network. I'm on the side that says they do so little, that our needlessly complex social network ought to be slightly simplified by transferring their good work, such as it is, to Wikiprojects. Jim.henderson (talk) 15:19, 15 April 2018 (UTC)

Wikipedia can never be a complete non-social network as it is also a collaborative encyclopedia. Editors communicate and work together to get articles improved, and discuss ways to make this place better. This is still social communication... - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 17:42, 15 April 2018 (UTC)

The comments by IP:2.37.216.231 are clueless (which is rather obvious by the WP:SHOUTING). The portals are for readers, and they are read (although some think they should be read more), not to mention, editors are readers, too. Alanscottwalker (talk) 17:45, 15 April 2018 (UTC)

Portals do not include links or profiles of users (not the ones I'm aware of, anyway), so they are not meant to help finding users about some topic. That doesn't mean that a resourceful user can't use them for that purpose (the editors of "Portal:Foo" are likely interested in Foo), but that also applies for article history, wikiprojects, certain templates, good and featured article discussions, etc. Cambalachero (talk) 02:34, 16 April 2018 (UTC)

Just a note to point out that Wikiprojects "also act as a place to find people that has same interest as you". There is nothing wrong with that and "no" they are not a social network either. MarnetteD|Talk 02:52, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Wikipedia isn't nearly enough of a social network these days, and I think it would be helpful to focus on improving the social aspects of Wikipedia in order to improve editor retention and recruitment. Back to the topic: in my view, an ideal portal should (like an ideal main page or an ideal article) help to turn readers into editors, but that reflects my upbringing as a 2000s era Wikipedian... —Kusma (t·c) 14:38, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
  • WP:Facebookization This argument is sooo misguided. If you think you are not part of a social network, you should go home and sit alone in your basement. If someone comes to look for you at some point, you are part of a social network. If no one comes to look for you, you are not and you should seek help. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 09:24, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
    "Oh! What's occurrin'??" Please DO NOT COME LOOKING for me in my cellar. I'm too busy adding links and "cn" tags to thousands of obscure Wiki articles!! Martinevans123 (talk) 09:33, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
"The best portals are those that have a large listing of featured (and good articles) to showcase to readers"
Portals are not lists. They are multimedia pages, with article snippets, interesting facts, images, calendars, etc. --NaBUru38 (talk) 16:11, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
The IP's comments are very discouraging. Users are supposed to interact with one another positively, not ensure that there is no interaction between anyone. Nigos (t@lk Contribs) 08:21, 25 April 2018 (UTC)

This discussion at a glance[edit]

I attempted to move this RfC in order to allow for a more structured discussion of the various points and counter-proposals raised. This was reverted and, on reflection, I understand that it wasn't my brightest ever idea, in light of certain implications I hadn't really considered. Anyway, I've revamped the page as a kind of assortment of snippets from the conversation that appear most salient to bring to the attention of anyone joining the discussion at this stage. This can be found at WP:FPORTALS (no pun intended).--Newbiepedian (talk · C · X! · L) 05:32, 16 April 2018 (UTC)

Right now this discussion is all over the place, I see no practical replacement proposals here nor do I see a centralized discussion on what the aftermath would be. I hope this is closed sooner rather than later as too broad so that we can dissect the responses here to come up with solutions. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 14:15, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
At this point, I'm concerned how it can be properly closed when the time comes. I shudder to think that one person will be tasked with determining consensus on this. Could it be closed by committee?--Paul McDonald (talk) 21:18, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
Seems a good way to go about this would be to announce the discussion will be closed at a certain time and the responses reviewed afterward and another discussion will then take place at a set time about only the content of the responses that proposed changes to the current system along with maybe an overview or summary of the support and opposition. This will permit the list to shrink because a lot of people will have proposed the same thing in slightly different wording. At the next discussion, boil down the proposed changes until something workable emerges. Repeat as necessary. 66.76.14.92 (talk) 01:21, 17 April 2018 (UTC) @Newbiepedian:@Knowledgekid87:@Paulmcdonald:
Agree with "locking" "delisting" [edit: see my next comment below] the discussion at some point (perhaps May 8th, one month after it was opened?) and then multiple admins taking a significant amount of time to digest the various arguments put forth. I don't know if this has been done before ("closure by committee"), but given the sprawling nature of the discussion up to this point, surely a simple "this is the consensus" or "no consensus reached" kind of closure is not going to be sufficient. Whatever the outcome, I can't see how followup RFCs could not be required to clarify the path forward, so the emphasis in closing should be to create precise statements that could be discussed in one or more future RFCs. (Groan.) I support the idea of multiple admins being involved because (1) I'm not sure it's even possible at this point to get a single "disinterested" and "uninvolved" admin to even want to work on closing this, and (2) passions seem to be running high on "both sides", so having at least two admins involved who have already expressed opposite views on the proposal itself might help to alleviate fears that "one side" was being unfairly ignored or "misunderstood" in the closure process. In particular, then, I suggest that an admin who leans toward "support" should summarize the "support" arguments and one leaning toward "oppose" should summarize the "oppose" arguments, and then patterns of consensus in the larger discussion could be considered based on this shorter, more focused list of arguments, possibly with the help of one or more puportedly "neutral" admins. Of course, this process runs the risk of devolving into a long "admin-only" RFC, so everyone involved would have to be careful to limit themselves to summarizing and weighing the relevant arguments and not relitigating them. I do not envy whomever takes on this task. - dcljr (talk) 19:44, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
This is only a difficult task with passions running high because the proposal forces editors into an unhelpful, polarising "on/off", "yes/no" debate, whereas there are intermediate options that should have been offered. I don't think any editor who's looked at a selection of portals thinks the status quo is the right answer. While there are many portals out there which are high quality, frequently visited and useful to readers and WikiProject teams alike, there are also portals which are incomplete, out-of-date, poorly designed and not maintained. Intermediate options might include some or all of the following: completion, improvement, redesign, better processes, quality control, inviting 'overseers' to maintain portals and, yes, deletion of some portals. Neither "on" nor "off" is the right answer here and the vote stalemate backs that up; so the administrator(s) need to work out how best to take this forward in a way that seeks to address the issues raised by the deletionists whilst giving the inclusionists reasonable certainty that the effort they have and will put in won't all go up in smoke. Bermicourt (talk) 19:01, 30 April 2018 (UTC)
Sure. BTW, this RFC doesn't need to be "locked", as I said above, just "delisted" (by removing the {{rfc}} tag). Apparently this will be done automatically by a bot at the 30-day mark (which is fast approaching), unless someone "extends" the RFC as described at WP:RFC#Ending RfCs (see the stuff about "Legobot"). - dcljr (talk) 09:49, 5 May 2018 (UTC)
On the talk page, Mdann52 said: "I will review this once the 30 day period is over". Not sure if this is going to be before or after the automatic bot-closure happens… (?) - dcljr (talk) 11:27, 5 May 2018 (UTC)

We're not getting rid of portals, are we?[edit]

Please share your opinion above under "6.1.2", "Section break - --> CONTINUE SURVEY HERE <--". - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 13:39, 17 April 2018 (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.

Portals are a big part of Wikipedia. They always have been. Or at least for me. The site has remained visually the same since the first time I used it in 2010, and from my knowledge it was like that even before. Don't get rid of the portals.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Tin_Can (talkcontribs)


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.

Test and transition[edit]

Portals provide a service, with over 16 million page view last 12 months for current events alone.

If the objective is to eliminate the name space a solution needs to be offered and a keep or discard seems an obsolete discussion.

Transitioning all "Portal" to name space "Template:PortalXXXX" could be one? Thought, comments queries.The Original Filfi (talk) 10:29, 17 April 2018 (UTC)

On a separate note, which may make the above harder, can the news pages port to wikinews? removes duplication of service, such that it is.The Original Filfi (talk) 10:41, 17 April 2018 (UTC)

  • I mean current events portal is an exception, that can be moved to Wikipedia space - it is very different from other portals Galobtter (pingó mió) 10:44, 17 April 2018 (UTC)

!vote !tally[edit]

  • TOTAL !VOTES !COUNTED AS OF 2018/04/18 08:23 UTC:
  • Strong support: 3
  • Support: 126 (132 inc. strong & weak support)
  • Weak/Somewhat support: 3
  • Conditional support: 7
  • Neutral/mixed: 3
  • Weak/Somewhat Oppose: 6
  • Conditional oppose: 5
  • Oppose: 115 (177 inc. strong & weak oppose)
  • Strong oppose: 56
  • Other (alternative proposal, mostly deprecating/making portals historical): 20


Really, in this discussion it is hardly worthwhile counting !votes headed "Support" or "Oppose", when there is such a wide variety of opinions in !votes of both types. You'd have to count all the permutations of Keep/delete/mark historic/move to another namespace vs. All/most/depending on page views/depending on frequency of editing/a few/none: Noyster (talk), 11:14, 19 April 2018 (UTC)


Votes found, using CTRL+F, as of 05:32, 24 April 2018 (UTC): 265 "Support", 259 "Oppose". Seems to be quite divided.  Nixinova  T  C  05:32, 24 April 2018 (UTC)

Yeah but that doesn't factor in those who voted to support things like archiving rather than outright deletion. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 15:12, 24 April 2018 (UTC)
Yes, there is a large number who have something like Oppose delete, support reform etc. The base motion looks to be losing significantly - we might get actual consensus on no delete, the issues (and probably NC) come when the poor assessors consider whether we should take up archiving/historical etc.
Personally I think judging things like this can be so hard (particularly in terms on non-specific yes/no rulings) that it should be an aspect of the 'Crat tasks - have 2 of the 23 do the considering. Nosebagbear (talk) 09:55, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
This hasn't been updated in 7 days. Is anyone going to count them? If not, I can later. Vermont (talk) 10:05, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
As of the end of April 24, it's approximately 156 supports vs 234 opposes (all variations included).    — The Transhumanist   13:01, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
My own count is within a few of The Transhumanist; as I did it manually, it is possible I missed one or two. I suspect that Nixinova's caught the words 'Support' and 'Oppose' from within the statements themselves, as well. Icarosaurvus (talk) 13:26, 25 April 2018 (UTC)

As of May 6: 454 Support, 374 Oppose. So slightly more supports, but overall pretty equal (1:1.21 ratio).  Nixinova  T  C  06:41, 6 May 2018 (UTC)

Please don't mislead people. When using CTRL+F function: 422 Oppose, and 358 Support. It's not even close. Polarmaps (talk) 06:06, 8 May 2018 (UTC)
Ctrl+F isn't a reliable indicator - it counts all uses, for example, in "Support this, oppose that" or "Oppose this, but support that"...198.84.253.202 (talk) 11:38, 8 May 2018 (UTC)
I just did a manual eyeball count of Support and came up with 169. I didn't count "oppose" -- I could have mis-counted, but I think we need to do more than "CNTL+F" -- IF we are interested in counts of !votes. However, consensus does not mean the same as majority.--Paul McDonald (talk) 12:43, 8 May 2018 (UTC)
CTRL+F definitely isn't a reliable factor - vast hoards of us would cancel ourselves out, let alone multiple mentions etc etc. However it is beyond me how Nixinova managed to get those numbers (as of the 6th). In any case our thoughts of NC may actually be wrong, I think this might go Oppose. That however is based purely off !vote numbers, I pity the poor admins (I really hope there are several who do it, or 'crats) who have to do a proper analysis of justified arguments. The really interesting bit will be the consensus points aside from the result. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Nosebagbear (talkcontribs) 14:01, 8 May 2018 (UTC)
Quite so. I did a CTRL+F as well, but in the source text, with searches for "Support", "Strong support", "Weak support" and "Conditional support", always preceded by '''. Same thing with "Oppose". I didn't count a few "Keep". The result is quite different: 192 support, 291 oppose. —IJzeren Jan Uszkiełtu? 15:07, 8 May 2018 (UTC)
Whoever closes this will have to do a manual count. IJzeren Jan, I got quite different results today. I also used CTRL+F in the source text for the entire section Survey: Ending the system of portals. I used only oppose''' and support''' as search terms and a search that was not case sensitive. I got 315 Oppose, and 172 Support. Note that several of the "Supports" were only partial and opposed complete removal of portals. The same with some of the "Opposes" who supported deletion of some portals. Voceditenore (talk) 17:01, 8 May 2018 (UTC)
You are quite right! I have to apologize: the results I got where the opposite from what I wrote first (fixed that now). But indeed, the counting has to be done manually, and to be honest, I feel for the poor slob whose task that will be. On the other hand, perhaps counting won't be necessary, since a child can see that the oppose !votes outnumber the supporters. —IJzeren Jan Uszkiełtu? 17:09, 8 May 2018 (UTC)
Firstly everyone will want to know the figures, given how "blurry" all the answers are. A good read through to work out what else has been determined is necessary (albeit horrific - enough to drive an admin off users), actually counting the "votes" isn't too massive a part of that. Nosebagbear (talk) 13:07, 9 May 2018 (UTC)
Woah, I have no idea where Nixinova is getting those numbers, but they're way off. Support doesn't have a lead at all, much less a lead that substantial. Master of Time (talk) 04:29, 11 May 2018 (UTC)

Something needs to be done here[edit]

From the looks of things, it seems that there isn't consensus to outright delete the Portal namespace entirely. It does seem clear though that, regardless of the outcome of the discussion, it seems that things will have to change for Portals and some kind of reform needs to be done.

The question here is: what can be done to improve the Portal system? As has been mentioned several times above, automation may help on the activity end. However, while that would help the activity end, it won't necessarily solve the viewership issue. So my question is: what suggestions could be implemented to encourage Portal viewership? Narutolovehinata5 tccsdnew 04:14, 18 April 2018 (UTC)

True. In the French, Wikipedia, where Portals are quite used for navigation, more links direct to the portal. Indeed, Portal bar templates are more used and are often present at the bottom of pages, whereas in this wiki, Portal bars do rarely appear on pages. Other measures promoting portals and giving portal links may be used in order to repopularise Portals, including updating them regularly. --Railfan01 (talk) 07:03, 18 April 2018 (UTC)
Responding to Railfan01's point, the usual guidance for placing portal links in articles on enwiki is to put them in the "See also" section of the article. But where there is no "See also" section - the case for the vast majority of articles - there's no agreed location for where to put {{portalpar}}, so it's usually left off. WaggersTALK 14:38, 18 April 2018 (UTC)
@Narutolovehinata5 and Railfan01: There is no viewership issue. Portals are an internal feature of Wikipedia and they get their traffic from within Wikipedia, rather than from external search engines. Traffic has grown since the beginning of portals, and have remained fairly steady for the past few years, varying on a portal-by-portal basis. If and when portals get an upgrade to become more dynamic, that will likely inspire repeat visits, which will increase their traffic even more. To explore the traffic of the portals, try the Pageviews Analysis tool.
So, the solution is to revitalize the portals, and then we will likely have the Field of Dreams phenomenon: "If you build it, they will come."    — The Transhumanist   09:53, 18 April 2018 (UTC)
We should look at other language Wikipedias and figure out where portals work (and why) and where they don't. Then we'd have a hint of what we need to do. Whatever we do should include thinking about what things look like on mobile. —Kusma (t·c) 11:24, 18 April 2018 (UTC)
Maybe the Portal bars should be used differently, as an other bar over categories. Also, the possible viewership issue could be resolved by actualising and improving the portals constantly, not allowing stagnation.--Railfan01 (talk) 16:54, 18 April 2018 (UTC)
Yes, and regarding stagnation, I think automation is key. Automatically refreshing content and automatically selecting good/featured articles from related categories are both things that could be automated, and it seems the crux of the problem is with those two tasks. WaggersTALK 08:33, 19 April 2018 (UTC)
I agree, automatically refreshing content would help enormously. Phlar (talk) 22:14, 19 April 2018 (UTC)
@Phlar: Though some things can be automated on a portal, some others can't. for examples a 'recent events' section in a portal cannot be automated, because some stylistic manipulations need to be done on the events' formulation (synthetisation)--Railfan01 (talk) 07:24, 21 April 2018 (UTC)
But a News section can be automated through wikinews categories, for example Portal:Religion includes a News section that pulls content from Wikinews:Category:Religion. Of course, if the wikinews category content is stale, then the News section in the portal will also be stale, as is the case with Portal:Taiwan. Phlar (talk) 12:14, 21 April 2018 (UTC)

I understand that French Wikipedia uses only portalbars, not the small links we more commonly use. Portalbars are more visible than our portal links. In both French and English, the standard place for portalbars is the foot of the article. Perhaps we should change our practice so that it's the same as French Wikipedia. Bahnfrend (talk) 16:02, 19 April 2018 (UTC)

@Bahnfrend: Good morning, It seems to me that the actual {{Portal bar}} template may have a few problems. Instead of enlarging as more portals are added as in French, the template squeezes everything in a line. This should also be fixed before using the template. --Railfan01 (talk) 07:34, 21 April 2018 (UTC)

I think this is asking the wrong question. "Portals not being viewed enough" is not a problem that inherently needs solving. What is the problem we are trying to solve? My guesses:

  • It seems like they were trying to encourage editors to work on articles on topics of interest, but that's what WikiProjects are for.
  • Help readers browse articles on a topic? The category system does that more comprehensively; what would be the ideal UI for that?
  • Get familiar with a topic? Are high-level topic articles better for that? Would bringing in Wikinews feeds on a particular topic enrich articles?

-- Beland (talk) 03:32, 20 April 2018 (UTC)

@Beland: I perfectly understand your point of view, but the original discussion said:

Portals are moribund. The lost their relevance about ten years ago, at least. For every portal, there is a parent article that does the job better. Rotating grabby stories and pictures are nice, but they are not in line with the purpose of Wikipedia. Instead, they are barely viewed content forking or WP:OR

, mentioning viewership as one of the issues with portals (see original text here --Railfan01 (talk) 07:28, 21 April 2018 (UTC)

To resolve possible viewership issues, I propose some portal of the day section on the main page--Railfan01 (talk) 20:41, 21 April 2018 (UTC)

Deletion of the Portal namespace entirely / International affairs[edit]

Wikipedia is an international projekt. IMHO it is impossible to decide about the deletion of the Portal namespace entirely here, because this would have effects on all international wiki-projects. Greet from Germany --Tom (talk) 09:37, 19 April 2018 (UTC)

Each language wikipedia controls what namespaces it has as far as I know - that deletion would be just for the English Wikipedia. (e.g, some Wikipedias have a WikiProject namespace etc) Galobtter (pingó mió) 09:40, 19 April 2018 (UTC)
Sorry after having diskussed with you that There is no expiration date for consensus. at User_talk:Galobtter#Your_"nomination_for_deletion"_of_portals I get very careful reading your words accompanied with "as far as I know" or (did you check) "Not really." Portal:Contents and the history of consensuses might have been overseen. Regarding this this RFC could have matters of Wikipedia:Do not disrupt Wikipedia to illustrate a point. Sorry this is my own private feeling about it. I left a request to clarify history at talk:Tim Starling. Best --Tom (talk) 10:02, 21 April 2018 (UTC)
The portal namespace exists on some wikis and not others, that won't change. --Nemo 16:15, 22 April 2018 (UTC)

tl;dr[edit]

This page is, at the time or writing, 480,473 bytes long. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 21:17, 19 April 2018 (UTC)

Yeah, I'm afraid I think this discussion has gotten too protracted to have any kind of coherent outcome besides "no consensus". Whoever closes this could probably try to skim through the discussion and identify some paradigms: what were the most common arguments, and what might be a better question for a more focused future discussion? But I don't see any consensus for a coherent action arising out of this mess. Mz7 (talk) 04:51, 20 April 2018 (UTC)
How about "Do not ever start deletion type discussions on the Village Pump"? —Kusma (t·c) 08:55, 20 April 2018 (UTC)
Yeah haha Galobtter (pingó mió) 10:05, 20 April 2018 (UTC)
Agreed, if you want to start long deletion type discussions take it to User talk:Jimbo Wales per WP:WWJD. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 13:15, 20 April 2018 (UTC)

From my attempt to read the discussion, it seems that the main complaint is that portals are often not complete or properly up-to-date. But - in general - neither goal is attainable. [No citation - but think of the difficulty of getting a full and accurate history of almost any interesting topic.] So if we back off from that, the question is "do the portals serve a purpose?". If they do, I suggest they should be kept. There can then be questions about how to improve them - and - possibly - what warnings/disclaimers to put on them to remind the users that they aren't complete or fully-up-to-date. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.112.153.203 (talk) 19:11, 22 April 2018 (UTC)

This is a draft at summarizing this discussion. (I'm agnostic on the issue of Portals: while I've rarely used them, that is because I simply don't think about them.) I've read much of the discussion, & have found some good points & insights worth sifting out of this mass.

  • First, what this discussion should address is that the overwhelming majority of pages in the "Portal:" namespace aren't being used (based on number of views, as compared to the relevant main article); the overwhelming majority are no longer maintained & either are outdated or serve as magnets for vandalism. (This assertion is based on numerous anecdotes; while the assertion may be true, I need to repeat here the old saying "The plural of anecdotes is not data.")
  • Some have addressed the issue that many are not maintained, which implies that keeping them up to date may attract more readers. (Or it may be that because these web pages are not viewed, there is little interest in maintaining them. A "chicken or the egg" problem.)
  • One point brought up is that we have little hard information about how our users go about finding the information in Wikipedia. (There are enough professionals in library sciences/information systems out there that I would expect some studies exist. However, despite trying to identify at least one off & on over the least 10 years, I haven't been able to identify any.)
  • Several commenters have raised the issue that Portals have been superseded by other Wikipedia features. (Identifying these features would strengthen this argument.)
  • Even amongst those who would remove them, there is significant disagreement over how to do it. The original proposal implies that all of these portals would be deleted fairly promptly. Some have argued that they should be marked with Template: historical, in part because they are evidence of Wikipedia's own history. (This overlooks a notice on that template, clearly stating that it should not be added to Portal web pages.) Others, who concur with marking those pages as historical, add that some Portals still ought to be deleted.
  • One issue those against removing Portals seem to overlook is that Portal webpages do not contain unique content. Portal:Cricket is not Cricket, & contains no current information that cannot be found in another Wikipedia article.
  • One issue those for removing Portals seem to overlook is that there are some pages that can be considered a Portal that should not be deleted, such as Main Page. (Transhumanist listed many of them.)
  • If Portals are kept -- some, most or all -- how do we ensure they are maintained? This is an important issue, & Tom has pointed out how on de.wikipedia they use automated sub-pages to show new pages. Portal:Philosophy has a list of 52 "Selected philosophers" it cycles through.
  • Lastly, if Portals are kept -- some, most or all -- how do we make them more visible to users?

I'm certain I overlooked many equally valid or thoughtful points in this lengthy discussion. But I hope this will either assist another Admin in closing this discussion, or help to direct discussion towards a consensus. (Even if this proposal is rejected, or the discussion closed as "No consensus", more research needs to be done on this. Making our audience's work to find information easier is part of the job of writing an encyclopedia.) -- llywrch (talk) 18:00, 23 April 2018 (UTC)

I appreciate the attempt to start to summarize the discussion,