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On Saturday, David Spectorsuggested a new feature be made available as an option for all users: in addition to the orange banner telling a user that another Wikipedian had edited their talk page, the user would be sent an e-mail informing them of this.
It soon emerged that such a feature was available on MediaWiki, but it had been disabled on the English Wikipedia because of performance issues. Dougweller said, "I'd hate it. I don't want that much email. Vandals might love it."
TreasuryTag was the first to object. "I simply do not see the point. If anybody is interested in the collaborative side of Wikipedia, then they will most likely use the site. Even if they do not keep an eye on their watchlist, the orange 'new messages' banner will always alert them if anybody wishes to get in touch, no matter what page is being viewed at the time." He said it would be "irritating" for active editors to receive an e-mail every time a message was left on their talk page. He concluded that "any needless drain on the Wikimedia Foundation's (charitable) resources should not be contemplated" if developer time were needed to fix the performance issues.
However, Sadads thought it was a good idea: "if I didn't spend every waking moment plugged into Wikipedia I would want to get e-mails when I [had] something on my talk. It would be like what I do with Facebook."
Following TreasuryTag's comments on potential performance issues, David Spector, "a semi-retired software engineer with about 40 years' experience working with computers", said he did not think such a system would have any impact on performance. "I can't see how sending an email to those who want one whenever their Talk page changes would create a performance problem ... this is a Proposals page", he said. "I assume that means that every proposal will be considered for implementation on its merits, not on some memory of 'they already rejected that' ... of course, if there really would be a performance problem, or this proposal turned out to help vandals significantly, then this proposal should not be implemented."
TreasuryTag countered this, saying that the feature had been disabled by "a team of dedicated experts to make such judgements." David Spector responded that "I've designed and implemented improvements on a time-series, multidimensional OLAP business database system for Dun and Bradstreet. I improved the runtime performance of the Multics linker by 27%. I currently do database development for another startup of mine. I understand performance issues well. What I don't understand is the unnecessary but pervading atmosphere of viciousness here at WP." TreasuryTag told Spector that "We have developers to make decisions about performance. If you consider this apportionment of functions according to expertise to be 'vicious' then perhaps Wikipedia is not the right environment for you."
Colonel Warden disagreed, pointing to a book chapter on the cultural impact of the disaster. Themfromspace supported the nomination: "an article on this topic may be acceptable if written in prose and compiled through material found in reliable sources which discuss the cultural impact of the Chernobyl disaster."
SummerWithMorons thought the article should be kept and that the AfD was invalid. "Arguments for deletion must be based on the notability of the subject itself. The supposed inadequacy of the content of current version of the article may be an argument for other changes, not for deletion."
Mandsford replied: "honestly, does anyone see anything here that describes the 'cultural impact' of the Chernobyl disaster? This one really was called 'Chernobyl in popular culture' until last year, and it's possible that someone hit the panic button when i.p.c. articles were being nominated, but this article is definitely not about the cultural impact of the Chernobyl disaster. We have lots of good articles that use the conventional 'in popular culture' name, and perhaps it's time for this one to go back to calling itself what it is, rather than to be pretending to be something that it isn't."
Courcelles closed the AfD more than a week after the nomination was posted. The result was no consensus.