Wikipedia talk:Article size

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100 kB too much? An ideal? Or for old/slow computers/networks? Out-of-date?[edit]

Hi, "> 100 kB Almost certainly should be divided". See Special:LongPages. Over 6000 pages this size (probably a lot more, just didn't want to scroll down too much), 6000th is 1999–2000 UEFA Cup ‎[107,611 bytes]. Thereof the biggest 1000 are 174,380 bytes or over. Among bigger than 100 kB, Barack Obama (and lots with his name - lists related to his administration), [5828th] Internet Explorer and my favorite The Big Bang Theory. Do we really want all of these split up? Many are lists, more frequent the bigger they get, probably some even harder to split up logically? I'm not saying we shouldn't have any limits (as a guideline), maybe just higher? comp.arch (talk) 10:55, 25 October 2013 (UTC)

Many of those can be split apart without much difficulty; the fifth highest, List of people of the Three Kingdoms, is just 26 tables (one for each alphabet character) so that could be split in 4 to bring each below 100k, for example. Articles like Golden Eagle can be split to move finer details to subpages per WP:SS. Interesting, Barack Obama is only 53k of readable prose - the bulk of the wikitext is in references (and that's something to remember with Special:LongPages is that is considers the entire page, not readable prose). The 100k limit is still good both technically and keeping in mind the reader's attention and time. --MASEM (t) 13:50, 25 October 2013 (UTC)

We'll never get numbers that are right; that's why it's all vague. However, the importance of size is not declining. All over the world, market share is shifting to smaller screens, often using slower connections. Usage in some countries of "real" computers with big screen and fast connection has even stopped rising and begun declining, in favor of mobile devices connected by 4G or more often slower. Last weekend I was out of town with only those two items, and some articles were just too big to study easily, either by mobile version with sections too numerous or more often too large, or by "desktop" version too big to understand on the little screen. And editing anything big with that slow connection was out of the question. So yes, large articles still ought to be trimmed, split, adjusted. At least, important ones. For trivial articles like a cute current TV sitcom especially appreciated by us geeks, there's little need for rigor in this or other quality criteria. And yes, today I'm back to a luxuriously big screen, real keyboard and moderately fast connection, but an increasing fraction of the WP:AUDIENCE doesn't work that way. Jim.henderson (talk) 15:05, 25 October 2013 (UTC)

Even trivial ones can be improved. Take The Big Bang Theory. For one, there's a large amount of trainspotting plot details that could be taken out (given this is a sit com and not a serial drama), but easily the list of awards can be split to a separate article, a common practice for highly successful shows and actors. WP:SS is always a good place to start for these. --MASEM (t) 15:22, 25 October 2013 (UTC)

I've put this question to the larger VPP at [1]. --MASEM (t) 00:05, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

Archive link: Wikipedia:Village_pump (policy)/Archive 110#Our current WP:SIZE metrics and modern technology.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkdgaf)  19:36, 2 May 2016 (UTC)

This discussion is getting confused among three different metrics: readable prose size that the user sees, wiki markup size that the editor sees, and fully expanded HTML etc size that the browser sees. The 100 kB figure applies only to the first. Wasted Time R (talk) 13:36, 27 October 2013 (UTC)

I wasn't even sure of the reason, I thought it was the users network bandwidth. That has been improving. As for the reader comprehension many will just read the lead anyway or skip sections? On small screens/my tablet I have to click on each section to see it anyway. I wander if sections are downloaded lazily or could be. comp.arch (talk) 09:35, 29 October 2013 (UTC)

People missed my point kind of and take individual examples of how pages are too big and can be split up. "Almost certainly should be divided" means all 6000+ top articles should be split up? I'm not going to do it! Or even put a banner on top of each of these articles! There must be (many) exceptions to this rule. People use this an excuse to not improve (add to) Internet Explorer (see: Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Internet_Explorer_11). comp.arch (talk) 09:56, 29 October 2013 (UTC)

It's a bit cliche, but wikipedia article is a work in progress. The vast majority of our articles won't follow all our guidelines (which aren't hard and fast rules), but they're always open to editing. Improving is not just adding to articles, refining articles also improves them. CMD (talk) 21:32, 4 November 2013 (UTC)

It's interesting that some of us think one of the ways of measuring size, or one of the reasons, is important and the others not. I don't see why this is so. And no, an article being too big should not be taken as an excuse to avoid improving it. Just the opposite. Big articles should be improved, made more pleasant to the screen and to the mind that isn't familiar with the topic. They should be made easier to download, and easier to edit with slow connections and slow methods such as the new, and as yet poor, WP:VisualEditor. The main way to improve such articles is by trimming, especially by a more rigorous application of WP:SUMMARY. 14:12, 7 November 2013 (UTC)

For long lists, especially glossaries, which are mostly consulted for a single entry (each of which has its own anchor), not read top-to-bottom, even 400 KB is reasonable, and we used to have text in the guideline saying so; while it takes a while to render in editing mode, this is still smaller than many single image files. I'll have to dig in the page and talk history to see why this was moved and on what basis (I'd be almost willing to bet it was removed without consensus).  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  21:35, 23 August 2015 (UTC)

List articles[edit]

It is claimed, at Talk:List of compositions by Johann Sebastian Bach#Page length, that this guideline does not apply to list articles. List of compositions by Johann Sebastian Bach is 702,038 bytes long, and is the third-longest entry at Special:LongPages. Additional input at that talk page would be appreciated. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 11:53, 1 May 2016 (UTC)

Like wise, at Talk:List of law clerks of the Supreme Court of the United States#Re-split. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 16:21, 2 May 2016 (UTC)
This comment is a mischaracterization of the discussion at Talk:List of compositions by Johann Sebastian Bach#Page length. You prefer to apply the more-strict, less-relevant, non-list-article portions of WP:SIZE, and selectively ignore the less-strict, more-relevant, list-article portion of WP:SIZE: particularly They [(these rules of thumb)] also apply less strongly to list articles, especially if splitting them would require breaking up a sortable table..   ~ Tom.Reding (talkdgaf)  17:00, 2 May 2016 (UTC)
No, it does not, comments made there include: "Note also WP:SPLITLIST – which means that other general considerations regarding article size don't always apply to lists. Did I miss anything regarding 'a list or table should be kept as short as is feasible for its purpose and scope'?" and "Nah, 'Regardless, a list or table should be kept as short as is feasible for its purpose and scope' is about all that applies here from the page size guideline. Specifically, WP:TOOBIG is about prose (literally: "These rules of thumb apply only to readable prose"), not sortable tables. So, please indicate where the list falls short of 'a list or table should be kept as short as is feasible for its purpose and scope' if you think it does.". Nothing in this guideline supports having pages of over 700K; indeed, it advises that "Long stand-alone list articles are split into subsequent pages alphabetically, numerically, or subtopically.". Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 19:19, 12 May 2016 (UTC)
Yes, you appropriately applied the guideline to Talk:List of comets by type#Page length, since it was easily split by subtopic. Doing so for the Bach & law clerks lists is much less straight-forward, so you need to consider the rest of the guideline. Saying It is claimed [...] that this guideline doesn't apply to list articles. is more inciteful than it is accurate, even after the quotes you mention—WP:SPLITLIST & WP:TOOBIG both point to this very guideline—hence your mischaracterization.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkdgaf)  13:31, 23 May 2016 (UTC)

Inconsistency with Wikipedia:Summary style[edit]

This guideline states that for articles under 40 kB readable prose size "[l]ength alone does not justify division". But Wikipedia:Summary style#Rationale states: "What constitutes 'too long' is largely based on the topic, but generally 30 kilobytes of readable prose is the starting point at which articles may be considered too long. Articles that go above this have a burden of proof that extra text is needed to efficiently cover their topics and that the extra reading time is justified." I started a discussion at Wikipedia talk:Summary style#Inconsistency with WP:Article Size to address this issue and also made the suggestion that this guideline be merged with the WP:Summary style guideline. AHeneen (talk) 09:23, 23 May 2016 (UTC)