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Let's start using draft talk pages[edit]

Per this discussion and that discussion, we could start leaving review comments on draft talk pages? I filed issue report,

And to make it easier for newcomers to find the talk page I could propose to alter the edit notice (it has the " Find sources: "Bharti AXA Life Insurance" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · HighBeam · JSTOR · free images · free news sources · The Wikipedia Library · NYT · WP reference " set of URLs right now above the edit box in draft namespace — I forget which file the edit notice is stored in, sorry) to have an extra line at the top about the talk tab, maybe with a picture. --Gryllida (talk) 09:14, 14 November 2016 (UTC)

For that to happen the AFCH script would need to be radically changed, many templates would have to be edited too. AFC Review comments are of no lasting significance once a draft has been accepted, adding them to the "permanent record" of the article talk page serves no useful purpose. However there is a current project to radically reform AFC and NPP, to basically combine them into a new workflow that will apply to all new pages, so making complex changes now to how AFC works is rather pointless when the entire system is to be replaced soon. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 16:36, 14 November 2016 (UTC)
added. Gryllida (talk) 20:34, 14 November 2016 (UTC)
Roger (Dodger67)I was told page curation doesn't do AfC. It makes the process frustrating. What is the "a current project to radically reform AFC and NPP" exactly? What is the new tool we are supposed to file bug reports and wishlist items to, and where do we do that? I had spent about five minutes reading the page, and this silly simple stupid question is not answered there in a form which is easy to consume. --Gryllida (talk) 00:28, 16 November 2016 (UTC)

Here are two pictures to illustrate what I am proposing:

Draft namespace Editnotice001 english wikipedia.png Draft namespace Editnotice002 english wikipedia.png

--Gryllida (talk) 22:50, 14 November 2016 (UTC)

I disagree. First, the two discussions mention scant reviewer usage of draft talk. There's no consensus for what you propose. Second, using draft talk isn't the norm and I don't know why it's happening. I get the impression many of the submitters are illiterate so moving your comments into a separate page doesn't seem helpful. I doubt even 1% of non-editing readers even know what a talk page is. What should happen in my opinion is using the AFCH tool like everyone else so comments go on the draft with a notification on the submitter's talk page. If this system isn't working now, making it more complicated won't help. Chris Troutman (talk) 01:31, 15 November 2016 (UTC)
It is my opinion that
  1. Draft authors have a need to talk with the reviewer(s) to better understand the review comments.
  2. Draft authors' talk pages is a bad place for such discussion to happen. (to make reviewing and collaboration easier)
  3. Draft itself is a bad place, reviewers add comments but draft authors have difficulties responding and often don't respond.
I would like us to test on a small subset, while carefully monitoring it, how the authors react to the talk page facility (which is normally better equipped for communication). This requires reviewer script to be updated, as requested. Additionally, the newcomers need to be made aware of the fact that the talk page exists. Initially this can be done by leaving them a talk page message for the small subset whom we are testing on; when moving to a large scale, the edit notice can be altered for the banner to be visible for all draft authors.
--Gryllida (talk) 01:43, 15 November 2016 (UTC)
  • (ec) Strongly agree. AfC is broken (never worked). Something different has to be tried. A car moving forward in jumps on ignition, but without the engine starting and delivering power, does not count as "working". I think the big problem is that AfC users don't converse, not with reviewers, not with anyone. I have noted that "tendentiously resubmited" drafts look like crude attempts at communication. Reviewers says "there are these problems...". The author does stuff and resubmits, as if they are saying, "OK, here is my response to that, that better?" Reviewer comments belong on the talk page, because they are "talk" not content, and because they should be able to flow into conversation. On the top of the draft article in heavy formatting that is confronting in the edit window, they present an undesirable barrier to the newcomer. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 01:47, 15 November 2016 (UTC)
I regularly attend edit-a-thons. I have seen cases where new editors are editing, I deliberately leave a message on their talk page, and then get up an walk over to them, and I see from over their shoulder the red Echo notification is on and the link for their talk page is highlighted and they totally ignore it. This doesn't happen every time but it happens too often. We need to bring the Orange Bar of Doom back if we're serious about getting editors' attention. Most editors don't know they have a talk page or a watchlist so expecting them to read a talk page other than their own seems unrealistic. I cannot emphasize enough what a fool's errand it is to attempt to work with these editors. (I also support blocking all IPs from editing, entirely.) Chris Troutman (talk) 02:00, 15 November 2016 (UTC)
Yes, bring the Orange Bar of Doom, by default, allowing users to opt out after they understand things. A little red mark is extremely subtle for a newcomer, considering that most internet interfaces are overloaded with bight flashing clickbait.
I support only allowing new article writing for autoconfirmed editors. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 02:12, 15 November 2016 (UTC)
For me personally banners flowing in my face are annoying. To make the talk page easier to notice, we could also place a banner at the article top once, like the merge banner. This would make the review comments easier for people to locate any time they open the draft again. Like this:
--Gryllida (talk) 02:15, 15 November 2016 (UTC)
  • My experience has been a bit different than what is being reported here. In cases where discussion/collaboration with the article creator seems appropriate, I simply open up a section on the draft's Talk page (which usually means creating the Talk page), and then pinging the article creator. I also leave a note on the draft (via the script) reporting that comments have been left on the Talk page. Perhaps I've been blessed with a particularly intelligent bunch of new editors, but I've yet to see a case where the article creator didn't find their way to my comments on the draft's Talk page. NewYorkActuary (talk) 04:27, 15 November 2016 (UTC)
  • I think it is less likely that you have been lucky, more likely that the initiation of a conversation on the talk page, with ping and draftpage note, is critically important. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 04:56, 15 November 2016 (UTC)

So we have options

  1. reviewer leaves comments on draft talk, and
    a) each time the reviewer puts "please read my comments on talk page" banner at article top (illustrated above, pretty easy to see the clickable link)
    b) once we put a talk page tab picture in the edit notice (illustrated above)
    c) each time the reviewer pings the draft author at the draft talk (they often ignore the notifications)
    d) each time the reviewer messages the draft author on user talk, linking them to the draft talk and explaining how to reach it (by URL, by explaining where to find banner, by picture of talk page tab, by ping, or combination of all of the above) (they often ignore the notifications)
    d.1) bring back orange bar of doom
    d.2) or ignore it, if the draft author is interested he will visit the draft again in a few days
    Some of us said that there's no need to immortalize the draft talk when publishing the draft - just blank the talk page if this discussion is not interesting (for me personally it is as interesting as an early draft discussion were the draft created in main namespace and I do not want to blank draft talk pages when publishing them).
  2. reviewer leaves review comments on draft
    Draft authors reply on reviewers' talk pages. This is hard to find for a next reviewer, and n my personal view it is hard for newcomer to keep track of these discussions too! (I appreciate that the talking happens, just scattered and not easy to follow up by reviewers or draft author — I am not saying the collaboration doesn't happen at all.)

I apologize for not attempting to produce a list like this at the beginning. If we find which way is better or if we wish to try them all, the next step is writing software and doing a small carefully monitored transition by a limited number of volunteer reviewers to see how the newcomers would react, while carefully taking notes. I am grateful to the discussion and opinions and suggestions shared thus far and would like to see if we can get a consensus and move forward. --Gryllida (talk) 00:47, 16 November 2016 (UTC)

By the time these proposed changes get done the entire AFC system will probably be replaced anyway. There is no point in making complex changes to the current AFC system as it's going to be entirely replaced anyway. Instead of wasting time and energy here, rather get involved in the process of designing the new system at Wikipedia:The future of NPP and AfC. Kudpung, please help explain what's really going on. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 10:53, 16 November 2016 (UTC)
I'm fully in favour of merging AfC and NPP but I think it's rather presumptuous to talk about it like it's a foregone conclusion when, as far as I know, there aren't even any solid plans at WP:NPPAFC, never mind any sort of consensus to proceed with them. We have no idea when this merge will happen, or if it will materialise at all. In the meantime, we have to keep AfC ticking along, so maybe hold off on shutting down discussion of possible improvements? Joe Roe (talk) 18:34, 16 November 2016 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────(edit conflict) I was pinged so I'l reply. I hope you'll all read it and not complain about TL;DR, and if I may, l I'l also invite Jbhunley, The Blade of the Northern Lights, MER-C, Esquivalience, and Jcc to the discussion.

I can't comment without embarrassing some users with little experience who attempt to redesign the Wiki while others with the best understanding realise that change is necessary. Progress comes slowly on Wikipedia due to its own imperfect system of convincing less knowledgeable users how important and necessary such organic changes actually are. Coupled with that is the Foundation's proven inability to respond properly to key issues while spending thousands of dollars developing gadgets that we don't need and on the notifications system which is now reduced to a confusing mess of multiple microscopic icons and lists that are slow to load ,- the old orange bar of doom worked perfectly for me.

In the meantime, the encyclopedia is getting full of hundreds of thousands of rubbish articles, COPYVIO, hoaxes, and paid spam, let through by poorly performing systems of control, and hundreds of potential good faith editors scared away for good by not having been properly informed in the first place of what they can and cannot write here.

Without wanting to belittle the work of the serious, competent AfC operatives, the needs for software, the physical work, and the levels of competency for both AfC and NPP are near identical. Where they differ fundamentally however, is that AfC, although a bonus for those who can't publish directly in mainspace, is is a small local project, while NPP is a vital and essential core process and as such is one which was desiged by and has the support of the WMF and MediaWiki. In contrast to AfC, NPP however, despite its crucial necessity as the only firewall against unwanted conten has allowed all and sundry to review , pass or mark articles for deletion without needing to demonstrate the slightest modicum of knowledge or competency.

The high frequency of necessary reverts on this AfC page in spite of the qualifications I suggested and got consensus for, demonstrate once again that maintenance work is a magnet to younger and/or inexperienced users, while manyothers appear to be concerned more about how changes affect them personally rather than for the good of Wikipedia as a whole.

For several years now, many established editors have been suggesting that AfC be scrapped. Radical change, yes, but its total abolishment may however not be entirely the solution that one team is working towards. Anyone who is seriously concerned and who can be genuinely actively engaged, and who like Roger and Chris can contribute with solid experience should consider joining the project at WP:NPPAFC where the first steps towards some objective reforms and improvements are being discussed - collaboratively - and in a dedicated venue. They will then be left in little doubt as to what is going on, and can be part of an active team that is going to formulate and make the right things happen. Such work groups are the traditional Wikipedia venues for progress and where thinking outside the box is welcome, but where dissent should be kept for the more public RfCs when the team finally presents its proposals for debate.

There have been changes now, the Foundation is also working on many necessary updates to the Page Curation software, more have been requested in several sections of the current WMF survey, and more policy changes are probably in the making. One of two things is inevitable though: either NPP and AfC will be brought under one roof combining the best of both systems and their volunteers, or WP:ACTRIAL with its massive consensus (one of the largest ever in the history of Wikipedia) will simply be enacted locally without the interference of the Foundation, and then most of the work of AfC and NPP will become redundant anyway.

I would politely and in the friedlest manner possible, suggest to Gryllida, that users worried about changes are going to need to invest far more than a five minute glance through WP:NPPAFC and all its linked pages and essential reading list before they can grasp what is going on, and when they do, they'll find that all their 'silly simple stupid' questions have been answered. They may also find that a little more work on Wikipedia will also help to fill more gaps in what they might still possibly be finding a bit confusing. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 19:36, 16 November 2016 (UTC)

Sorry; alas, I have a poor reaction to being proven wrong on two counts, and then given new information without being pointed to its role in the discussion — this happened when Roger (Dodger67) pointed me at wrongness of the idea and wrongness of the place to file the bug report to and also introduced the AFCNPP entity into the game, and it was a challenging moment. Roger having mentioned that 'work team can read and process this idea for their plans moving forward' would have helped. I of course can't expect people always be so verbose and it is probably not even the best thing for them to do; I need to work on my reactions and on my interest in grasping the whole picture. Thanks for bringing some of the context here and for inviting more people to the discussion. --Gryllida (talk) 21:49, 16 November 2016 (UTC)
It has come to my head that talk pages have the advantage of WikiProject tags, {{WikiProject Games}} for example (others here), being placeable there; I don't think they can be placed on the Draft page itself without making the header look enormous. --Gryllida (talk) 02:29, 18 November 2016 (UTC)
@Gryllida: There's been some discussion of tagging draft talk pages with WikiProject banners; see Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Articles for creation/Reviewer help/2016 1#Provide categories for drafts for example. I've seen it done and have tagged a few myself. /wiae /tlk 02:48, 18 November 2016 (UTC)
Thank you, Wiae; I agree that's already doable, and I am in the process of scripting a convenient tool to also do that. Something like User:Kephir/gadgets/rater, but with several extra buttons to make the process more straightforward. --Gryllida (talk) 03:41, 7 December 2016 (UTC)
The rest of the idea still stands: my opinion is that we need to move collaboration to talk pages, there are barriers to newcomers starting to use these talk pages, and there are ways to overcome these barriers, at least partly. These ideas perhaps might need more discussion. --Gryllida (talk) 03:41, 7 December 2016 (UTC)

Draft Namespace Redirects[edit]

I believe this RfC might be relevant for users at AfC. FoCuS contribs; talk to me! 12:57, 23 November 2016 (UTC)

I have come to disagree[edit]

…near to entirely, with the list of stated errors, here under Section "General standards and invalid reasons for declining a submission". The trajectory and momentum of a submitted article is important. If an article begins by violating WP:VERIFY, then odds are it will continue to do so, because inexperienced incoming editors continue to follow the patterns that they see. Holding submitted articles to WP:VERIFY, WP:OR, and other standards is NOT an error on our parts. Argue with me here, please, so all can benefit. Le Prof Leprof 7272 (talk) 02:11, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

What "list of stated errors" are you referring to? NewYorkActuary (talk) 02:33, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done Answered, moving link into original text to save further reviewers time. Le Prof (talk) 19:24, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
I...what? We already decline articles for failing WP:V, WP:OR, etc. If articles are getting accepted despite being unverifiable, that's a problem with the reviewer, not the rules. The section you point to asks reviewers not to reject an article simply for using weird or wrong citation styles. Someguy1221 (talk) 03:03, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
almost all articles at AfC need major improvement. Some are capable of improvement, but the majority are not. We do have a tendency to avoid making a definitive rejection of the ones that are incapable of becoming a valid article, preferring to see what the contributor can make of it. This can be viewed either as a good friendly approach, of as one which leads to excess work and unnecessary disappointment. Personally, I think we should more often say to the submitter: Unless you can add clearly substantial sources, do not submit the article again -- or some variation. I say this, though usually not at the first submission, but very few other reviewers do. I recommend that others try it. It is kinder to the contributor not to let them continue when it is clearthey are going to be wasting their effort. DGG ( talk ) 09:06, 4 December 2016 (UTC)
I agree entirely with DGG we even have an idiom for it which comes from Shakespeare: Be cruel to be kind. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 15:35, 4 December 2016 (UTC)
DGG, Kudpung: I agree that holding submitting editors to clear standards is important, and how it is done in practice is another important matter (where I bow to the greater experience od DGG and Kudpung). To hold them to standards, the editors donating valuable time must be agreed as to instructions. I am arguing for greater accuracy and clarity of instructions here, so they are more consistent with both the WP:VERIFY source document, and our goal of giving new articles the proper trajectory. See diff in my long reply below, and thanks for engaging. Le Prof (talk) 19:24, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
I'm a little puzzled as to what is being suggested. I really don't understand what User:Leprof 7272 is saying. I do understand what DGG and Kudpung, who have been here for a long time, are saying. However, I don't think that I agree about telling contributors not to resubmit, and that is only because telling contributors not to resubmit is too often hopeless. Some would-be contributors, either clueless or COI, will resubmit over and over again, each time perhaps adding a few more low-quality sources. I am not sure that there is any answer about them short of the drastic step of MFD, and that is unnecessarily cruel in most cases. Maybe there is something that I don't understand. I know that I don't understand Leprof7272's criticisms. Robert McClenon (talk) 19:29, 5 December 2016 (UTC)
Robert McClenon, Kudpung, DGG, Someguy1221, NewYorkActuary: The following diff, I hope, clarifies the matter, as it encapsulates changes that I proposed, which I now understand must be discussed prior (rather than the bold edit approach being applied). In particular, I think we are not served by allowing articles to begin with poor trajectories (because they continue in those trajectories). A number of stub articles that I have found to be plagiarised, by the encyclopedia's standards (as well as by the more widely applied standards of academia), had their starts in submissions where presumptions were made regarding the adequacy of citations. I propose that we make more explicit, at least, what the policies truly are. For instance, the summary appearing says that WP:VERIFY requires inline citations in four situations, but then only summarises two. I think this leads to editor confusion, and acceptance when guidance and improvement should instead be required. Note, from reviewing various editor's approvals and rejections of articles, the standards in WP:VERIFY are being applied, but not uniformly. This lack of uniformity is another reason that the instructions should be more accurate. Again, the goal is uniform, high quality initial stubs, with the proper pattern for editor expansion along the same lines. Bad inital work invites bad follow-on editing, in my long experience. Here is the diff: [1]. Le prof (talk) 19:05, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
User:Robert McClenon, I never just say "do not resubmit" I say "do not resubmit until you have much more substantial references:, or "do not resubmit unchanged" or whatever applies. The purpose of AfC is to prevent (or at least try to discourage) article submissions to main space that are likely to be rejected. The person submitting something not likely to be passed at AfD deserves some clear advice about why. The current templates do not help them distinguish between a need for improvements which are likely to yield an acceptable article, and therefore justifies further work, and those that do not. When there are specific things to be corrected, they should be pointed out, but there contributor isn ot helped by our pointing out details when the entire article is almost certain to be rejected.
Leprof_7272 The problem here is not with AfC, but with the inconsistent and contradictory guidelines in WP, and even more, the erratic way in which the are applied. There is no exact way of stating what the necessary degree of verification is. It varies with the exact circumstances of the article, and is in many cases debatable--for examples of the debates,see the immense archives of WP:RSN, the Reliable Sources noticeboards. DGG ( talk ) 19:50, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
DGG: Thanks for the reply. Can you review the diff, and see what you think of the edits? I think they go in the right direction vis-a-vis addressing problems you raise, without entering into the quagmire of which you warn. Cheers. Le Prof (talk) 20:23, 6 December 2016 (UTC)

Robert McClenon, Kudpung, DGG, Someguy1221, NewYorkActuary: Is this matter dying, or everyone just busy? I offer the diff, [2], as a motion-on-the-table that will allow the earlier matter of the edit to th instructions to move forward. Or, shall I paste the proposed edit in here, to save going to the link? Can we argue the substance of the matter, original vs. edit? Cheers. Le Prof Leprof 7272 (talk) 14:37, 8 December 2016 (UTC)

User:Leprof 7272 - I don't think that you have formatted your proposal in a way that allows easy discussion. You provided a complex diff, which is exactly what you are supposed to do in a Wikipedia quasi-judicial procedure such as WP:ANI. This isn't quasi-judicial. You proposed a three-part change, but you didn't really explain what the reason was for the three changes and what the rationale was. Please explain each of the changes to us so that we can discuss it. Robert McClenon (talk) 15:15, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
  • oppose Leprof 7272's proposed changes to the reviewing instructions. They are not an improvement, they add blather. The changes to the bare URL paragraph are especially poor.
He argues that for the reviewer to fix the bare URL problem themselves takes too long (false, in my experience), thereby increasing review backlogs, and instead recommends initiating a dialog with the submitter to get the submitter to fix the bare URLs. Starting a conversation with the submitter would mean not completing the review, and would require far more time (thus increasing review backlogs) than the alternatives.
Tagging the article with {{cleanup-link rot}} is not a last resort, and does not set a bad precedent. It's a sound course of action that can save the reviewer time, lets the submitter know there's a problem, lets general readers know there's a problem (and one they can help fix), and engages the broader community of editors outside of AfC to fix the bare URLs. --Worldbruce (talk) 16:06, 8 December 2016 (UTC)

Should drafts normally be in draft space?[edit]

I have just been advised (Link/permanent link) by User:RexxS that I should not move drafts from user space into draft space without checking with the author. This seems contrary to the existing practice that draft space is the preferred location for AFC submissions. This issue arises in particular from User:TSKang96/Evolutionary psychological and biological explanations for prostitution. It seems that there is an issue that the print/export function does not work in draft space. So my real question is: Is the rule that draft space is the usual place for AFC submissions (and that reviewers are assisted in facilitating this by a move template) incorrect, and should user space be the usual place for AFC submissions? Robert McClenon (talk) 19:19, 5 December 2016 (UTC)

I think in this particular instance RexxS is correct, that the user probably shouldn't have put the AFC tags on the page and kept it in their sandbox until they could print a PDF. That being said, I agree that in 99.9% of situations sandbox drafts should be moved to the Draft space. Wikipedia may not be a bureaucracy, but when the AFC tag specifically says "this page should be in the Draft space" it means that consensus has agreed on what to do. Keep on keepin' on, Robert McClenon. Primefac (talk) 19:37, 5 December 2016 (UTC)
Editorial note: I added links to the discussion up in the original post. Primefac (talk) 19:40, 5 December 2016 (UTC)
To give a little background, I've been attempting to help 44 university students with Wikipedia editing that they've been required to do as part of their course. Such students represent a small, but increasing, number of new editors and I'm particularly keen to see them get a good experience, as they are the seed corn of future editors. They are all required to submit a pdf of the article they worked on, but working in draft: space does not make that easy for them, as there are no print/export tools available there. They wanted to move the draft into article space to create the pdf. I suggested they could create a pdf from a draft in user space. Anyway to cut a long story short, involving unpleasant arguments at AfD, their draft was deleted, and I had to ask an understanding admin to restore it to user: space. Then Robert moves it once more to draft: space and we're back where we started. That was not so difficult to fix though.
So my questions are: (1) should draft: space be the only place for AfC submissions? (2) Given that draft: space and user: space are not equivalent for an unknown, albeit probably small, number of new editors, do you consider the practice of moving a new editor's draft from user: space to draft: space, without any warning to the new user, "best practice", or is there room for improvement? --RexxS (talk) 19:50, 5 December 2016 (UTC)
RexxS, I have raised issues such as this with the education project several times over the years I've been a regular AFC reviewer. Students need to be informed that submitting their drafts to AFC should only be done after all the requirements of their college class project, such as grading etc., have been completed. In this case it means they have to finish creating the PDF before submitting the draft to AFC. Another reason why AFC submission must happen after all other requirements have been completed is that AFC cannot work to any externally imposed schedule - the semester could very well be over before a student's draft gets reviewed for the first time. If it has to go through multiple review cycles it could be in the AFC system for months before it reaches mainspace, if it ever does. The draft could also be edited quite drastically by reviewers and other editors after submission, thus it will no longer be the work of the student alone.
TL:DR - Students and course leaders must complete all course-related processes and requirements (such as grading, printing, etc) before submitting a draft to AFC. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 21:13, 5 December 2016 (UTC)
I agree completely with your expectations, Roger, and I know how frustrating the AfC backlog can be for everyone. As I see it, in these cases the AfC review is the bridge to bring something that students have contributed as a draft (initially for their own benefit) into mainspace wherever possible, thus bringing potential benefit to the encyclopedia. The problem of course is that we have no control over how an instructor presents a course. In an ideal world, the course designer would be an experienced Wikimedian, or be working with one from the start. In real life, there can be no guarantee that any particular cohort of students will have grasped what needs to be done prior to AfC review, and that may well not be their fault. We should be designing fault-tolerant systems that minimise the steepness of the learning curve for new editors, and do our best to make their first experiences of editing Wikipedia as pleasant as we can. I'd urge anybody dealing regularly with new editors to consider the problems of editor recruitment and retention, and search for ways to improve how we interact with them. Cheers --RexxS (talk) 21:37, 5 December 2016 (UTC)
It should be part of the standard initial information given to instructors. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 21:55, 5 December 2016 (UTC)
  • Perhaps I'm missing something basic, but I truly do not see why this is a serious issue. I recognize that many users (even experienced ones) might not realize that PDF printing is unavailable in Draft space. But RexxS, can't the student address this problem simply by doing a copy/paste back into their user space and printing from there? NewYorkActuary (talk) 21:43, 5 December 2016 (UTC)
I never knew that PDF download doesn't work in Draftspace, how hard is it to enable the function? AFAIK this is the first time ever that anyone has raised the issue, and I've been around since before Draftspace existed! Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 21:55, 5 December 2016 (UTC)
  • That draft is a tangled mess of wasted volunteer time. It was originally submitted to AfC, declined, then created in mainspace, history merged, then nominated for deletion, then moved to draftspace by RexxS before the AfD was closed (at which time he, not the authors, added the AfC template), then deleted, then undeleted and userfied so the authors could print it. It's a great example of how poorly planned educational assignments can end up as a net loss to both the project and students (now presumably entirely fed up of Wikipedia), but the upshot the draft was not intended by the authors to be submitted to AfC in its current form. The only reason it was moved to draft space was because RexxS added the AfC template to it and then asked for it to be moved to user space, so it seems rather perverse of him to complain about Robert then following our long established procedure. It's hardly something that comes up in normal circumstances, and like he said, it's a easily rectified, so I don't see any reason to start changing the way we deal with submissions in userspace. Joe Roe (talk) 22:40, 5 December 2016 (UTC)
Well Joe, I hear your criticism of me for putting the AfC template on the draft, but the point is that it serves the purpose of discouraging the new editor from moving the draft into mainspace without an independent review (as they had done once already). If you can think of a better way, I'd encourage you to try it and let me know how you get on. The only reason it was moved once more into draft: space is that somebody else chose to do that - the template didn't do the move, and neither did I. --RexxS (talk) 22:55, 5 December 2016 (UTC)
It still isn't clear to me whether the author intended the draft to be in user space or in article space, or why the draft was tagged for AFC review. I really still don't understand what User:RexxS is admonishing me for or is saying I should have done differently. (That is, I am just as puzzled as User:Joe Roe. I have the feeling that User:RexxS is rebuking me for not realizing that things were already totally confused.) I completely agree with Joe Roe that this illustrates how poorly planned educational assignments are a problem for everyone. I agree with RexxS that there are editor retention issues, but I think that the issues result from the poorly planned educational assignment in the first place, and the fact that the reviewer didn't know that this was a poorly planned educational assignment, and that the issues were not the fault of the reviewer. (If dealing with poorly planned educational assignments will become a part of the reviewer's job, maybe there should be a tag that says This Draft Is Part of a Poorly Planned Educational Assignment. Please Handle It with Latex Gloves.) Robert McClenon (talk) 16:18, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
Let me clarify it for you then. The author barely knows the difference between user space, draft space, article space or any other space, and why should we insist that new users should know those sort of distinctions from the start? His intentions are unknown and irrelevant, but you know where his talk page is, so you could ask him if you were really interested. Let me ask why the draft should not be tagged in such a way as to make it easy for a new editor to request review? Are you saying that an experienced editor must not add the {{AfC submission}} tag to a draft that is in user space? Is there a policy that reviews are not to be conducted on user space drafts? If you can find a way of getting the tag "This Draft Is Part of a Poorly Planned Educational Assignment. Please Handle It with Latex Gloves." on each poorly planned educational assignment, let me know and I'll make a start on doing it. The course page is at and I'm sure the editors associated with the course would be fascinated to hear your feedback on it.
Now, what's your response to my first two questions above? --RexxS (talk) 16:40, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
Civility please, gentlepersons. (talk) 20:09, 6 December 2016 (UTC)

Attempt to Understand[edit]

I don’t think that I understand what User:RexxS is saying. I still don’t know whether he is saying that I should be doing something different, or that I should have done something different, or that AFC reviewers in general should do something different. I agree that “the author”, that is, the average AFC submitter, does not know the differences between different spaces. However, it appears that I am being told that I have a duty to educate “the author” on what the various spaces are, and to coordinate before doing anything. The majority of AFC submissions are crud, either clueless crud or promotional crud. They should simply be declined, and it doesn’t matter what space they are declined in. A very few AFC submissions are reasonable article submissions, and they should be accepted. A somewhat larger minority of AFC submissions are potential articles, but need work, typically better sources. They should be declined with comments, and they can reasonably be moved into draft space if they were in user space, and I don’t know of a reason why it is necessary to educate the author on the difference between user space and draft space. Maybe RexxS sees some special obligation for reviewers to educate the submitters of crud, or the submitters of decent submissions. I don’t; please explain. Robert McClenon (talk) 18:59, 6 December 2016 (UTC)

RexxS wrote:

Let me ask why the draft should not be tagged in such a way as to make it easy for a new editor to request review? Are you saying that an experienced editor must not add the AfC submission tag to a draft that is in user space? Is there a policy that reviews are not to be conducted on user space drafts?  … Now, what's your response to my first two questions above?

I see three questions. First, why should the draft not be tagged in such a way that makes it easy for a new editor to request review? The AFC tag requests review. Is there a further question? Second, am I saying that an experienced editor should not add the AFC submission tag to a draft in user space? No, I didn’t say that, but in the review process, the draft may be moved to draft space. Third, is there a policy that reviews are not to be conducted on user space drafts? No, they are conducted on drafts that are tagged with the AFC tag, but they may be moved to draft space. Now, by ‘review’, I am assuming that RexxS means review as to whether to accept the submission into article space. In the case in point, it isn’t clear to me that the draft was ready to be reviewed for acceptance into article space, but that is another point.

It still appears that RexxS is saying that the AFC review process should specially accommodate poorly planned educational assignments, and that reviewers need to be ready for them. If so, I disagree, in that I think that the burden should be on the instructor, but maybe I have missed something. Robert McClenon (talk) 18:59, 6 December 2016 (UTC)

RexxS: As a former academician, and a wikipedian, but nevertheless reticent about getting into the middle of this, I would just ask if the following mechanism/solution might be applicable. (1) Make a formal course announcement to all student participants in the project, that when an article is deemed reasonably worthy of eventual acceptance as an article, that it is most often moved by AfC participants into what is called "Draft space." (2) Create and have disseminated (by the faculty member associated with the academic program) a simple "work instruction", explaining how they temporarily move their Draft back into the sandbox (or other area where the required PDF can be generated), and back again. Others should chime in, if there is a best way to do this move. If too technically difficult, the course TA or Prof could instead do the move and PDF.) We did such things all the time, with projects with late-braking technical addenda (e.g., to earlier assigned labs, etc.), and such a process works well. (Students in such online programs usually have a Class Noticeboard for which they are responsible, vis-a-vis its content.)
This stop-gap would allow the immediate availability of the PDFs, without having to change general AfC practice (as well as relieve all parties from having to understand one another at spousal levels). Alongside this immediate solution, one should identify the proper place to make the request, that the PDF function be added to Draft space. If you post a new Section here, calling people to join you at another venue, to support that request, I would come and voice my support, for the help it would provide your and other academic programs. Cheers, both. Le Prof (talk) 20:39, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
User:Leprof_7272 - What you are proposing, beginning in point (1), is that the instructor take reasonable preparations at the beginning of the class exercise, and should continue to exercise reasonable oversight. That is exactly what would have avoided all of this. To the best of my knowledge, this discussion is about how much of a burden the reviewers should have if the instructor doesn't take reasonable preparations. At least, it appears to me that I, as a reviewer, am being scolded for what I did and didn't do in response to a poorly planned class exercise. Robert McClenon (talk) 21:13, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
User:Le Prof7272 - Please log in before editing. Robert McClenon (talk) 21:13, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
Robert McClenon First, my first two questions that you missed were posted in my first post here at 19:50, 5 December 2016 :
(1) should draft: space be the only place for AfC submissions? (2) Given that draft: space and user: space are not equivalent for an unknown, albeit probably small, number of new editors, do you consider the practice of moving a new editor's draft from user: space to draft: space, without any warning to the new user, "best practice", or is there room for improvement?
What are your answers?
Second, The AfC tag does not request review - at least when first used. Just follow the link to the place where I added the tag. Here it is again, in case you have a problem finding it: Do you see the same that I do? "Draft article not currently submitted for review. This is a draft Articles for creation submission. It is not currently pending review. There are no deadlines as long as you are actively improving the submission. Drafts not being improved may be deleted after six months." If you do, then perhaps you can understand my frustration at your seeming inability to understand that adding the TAG does not automatically request the REVIEW. So what's the answer to the questions "why the draft should not be tagged in such a way as to make it easy for a new editor to request review? Are you saying that an experienced editor must not add the AfC submission tag to a draft that is in user space? Is there a policy that reviews are not to be conducted on user space drafts?" If there's no reason, then why am I being criticised for placing the tag?
Third, I don't see any special obligation for reviewers to educate the submitters - i.e. new editors. Given my previous interactions with other AfC reviewers, I can't say I'd trust some of them to be able to do that. However, I do see an obligation on experienced editors to make life easier for new editors rather than harder. If you think that moving a new editor's user space draft into draft: space without even notifying them is a good idea, then kindly explain how that makes the encyclopedia better. Justify your action, rather than continually saying "We do it that way because it's the way we do it."
@Leprof 7272: Oddly enough, the draft in question was created in draft space (complete with afc tag at the top), and having been asked about creating a pdf, I made a copy of the draft in TSKang96's user space for him to make a pdf from. Sadly that produces its own problems. For what it's worth, I'm not associated with this course, and had no influence of how it was set up; my connection is that I agreed to help the new editors when they ran into problems. If you and the other commentators here would like to change how courses are set up and conducted, then you can raise your issues with m:Wiki Education Foundation, who write the guidance. I don't write the guidance and I don't set up courses, so there's little point in lobbying me about it. More pertinently, I came here to discuss the practices of AfC reviewers, but I suppose I might have guessed that you'd prefer to put the blame on university lecturers for causing you problems than examining the issues that you actually have some control over. --RexxS (talk) 23:06, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
User:RexxS: As one who is in contact with this particular educational effort—as you say, you have agreed to help the new editors when they ran into problems, and so are in contact with them (and, one can assume that the course instructor or TAs are available to you through User Talk as well)—the choice remains open to you to try to solve this amiably, and quickly, for this one particular "localised" kerfuffle. In re: discussing the practices of AfC reviewers: Sometimes trying to fix the whole system is, as you said earlier, tilting after windmills. (I myself have an appeal for consensus for simple, clarifying change to reviewer instructions that is spilling into a second week now.) Otherwise, note, I responded in good faith, as one who knows both sides. Your I suppose I might have guessed that you'd prefer to put the blame is unnecessarily argumentative and demeaning, and so will not help you achieve what you say is your end.
Nowhere have you said that you enjoy arguing for pages on end, so I am assuming you still want a solution for this particular "local" case, mostly, so students can get their PDFs, and then, if possible, discussion and a decision leading to a longer term change in AfC process. Well, as a famous mental health professional once said, never take responsibility for things you cannot control. The solution to this one course's "local" problem is almost fully in your control (posting with the student participants a workaround to the WP problem that exists, and can only be slowly changed). As I said before, solving the local matter (communicating with students/TA/Prof, so they immediately get what they need, and are relieved of the stress) leads thereafter to a next achievable aim, the ability to PDF from draft space (a seemingly simple technical change). Only after these two successes should an attempt at the hardest/slowest, the change to process that involves consensus of tens of participants, not present day to day, be pushed forward. That will likely take weeks. Changing the course of this ship of state (AfC, or en.wikipedia) is beyond the three of us, in the short term. In any case, persuading just the two of us is not an effective path to achieve any of the three of these aims, and this Talk thread does not seem to be an effective way to achieve any of them. (Too much repetition and argumentativeness/animus has crept in.) One opinion, to ignore or heed, as you see fit. Cheers. Leprof 7272 (talk) 15:16, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
@RexxS and Robert McClenon: After reading RexxS's post, I thought "why do we move userspace drafts to draftspace?" I have a theory, although it is nothing more than a theory and I can think of a few ways to poke holes in it. Before November 2015, the userspace was indexed by search engines by default, but the draft space was automatically noindexed. Perhaps the practice of moving userspace drafts to draftspace arose to ensure that spammers couldn't get promotional pages to appear in Google searches by drafting them in userspace? Of course, the userspace is now noindexed (since November 2015) so if the theory is correct, it's no longer a real reason to move userspace drafts to draftspace. Am I out to lunch? /wiae /tlk 23:26, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
User:Wiae - I think that the primary reason to move userspace drafts to draft space is to make them available for editing by other editors. Although it is technically possible for anyone to edit pages in user space, pages in user space are generally considered to belong to the user whose space they are in. This is something of an exception to the rule against ownership. An additional reason is simply that names in draft space are shorter than in user space because they do not include the name of the user. I think that moving them into what is generally acknowledged to be a public space is one of the reasons why they are moved into draft space. Robert McClenon (talk) 04:54, 7 December 2016 (UTC)
Draftspace allows the inclusion of various features that don't work or are not allowed in Userspace: WikiProject banners; categories (have been proposed and discussed but have not - yet - been developed); a draft-sorting system could be implemented (based on the stub-sorting system, proposed and discussed but also not - yet - implemented). A draft in draftspace has a talk page that stays with it when it moves to mainspace, education project participants tend to use them more than other draft creators. A major consideration for the creation of draftspace was the "kludginess" of the previous system of using project talk-space. If you were here before draft-space existed you'd remember how "messy" it used to be. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 07:39, 7 December 2016 (UTC)

One More Time, maybe[edit]

User:RexxS says that I (or maybe he means LeProf) would prefer to blame university instructors rather than focus on things that we at AFC can do something about. That isn’t accurate. I am simply asking for evidence that something should be changed before telling AFC to change things. I simply don’t see that the case has been made that AFC reviewers need to do things differently. It is true that I am to a considerable extent trying to defend both myself and AFC reviewers in general against what I think are unfocused criticisms from RexxS. This started because RexxS told me not to move submissions from user space into draft space without coordinating with their authors. On further discussion, it appears at least to me that there was a poorly prepared academic exercise, and that I was being criticized for how I dealt with it and that reviewers needed to rescue poorly planned academic exercises. I still don’t see a case that either AFC reviewers in general or I in particular should change what is the common practice of moving drafts from user space into draft space. I am still ready to see that case made. Robert McClenon (talk) 02:07, 8 December 2016 (UTC)

To answer the original questions, I will first note that there are three possible status values for a draft, whether in user space or draft space, that has the AFC tag. It may be not submitted, submitted, or declined (and not resubmitted). A draft is only reviewed if it has been tagged as submitted. To answer the first question, draft space is not the only place for review. Drafts can be and are reviewed in user space. In particular, many drafts in user sandboxes are simply declined in place, especially if they are clueless or if the reviewer cannot determine what title to give the draft. Drafts can be and are reviewed either in draft space or in user space. However, draft space is the preferred location. I am willing to consider that perhaps AFC practice should be changed so that draft space is no longer the usual preferred location. I simply haven’t seen that case made. To try to answer the second question:

Given that draft: space and user: space are not equivalent for an unknown, albeit probably small, number of new editors, do you consider the practice of moving a new editor's draft from user: space to draft: space, without any warning to the new user, "best practice", or is there room for improvement?

I will not give a quick answer, and am willing to consider the comments of other reviewers. I will say that I have moved thousands of drafts from user space (sandboxes or elsewhere in user space) to draft space, have sometimes received “Thanks”, and have never until now had an objection. I am willing to consider that moving drafts to draft space is not the “best practice”, but I haven’t seen that case made yet. The situation looks to me like an “off-by-one”, an exception. I am ready to hear the opinions of other editors. Robert McClenon (talk) 02:07, 8 December 2016 (UTC)

See above comments, under this signature, on a three-step staging to address the original aims expressed by RexxS, that might actually help the students before their term ends, and that—given the latest posts, regarding added features in draft space—might even put a PDF button there, in a day, rather than the weeks a consensus on process change might take to achieve. Cheers, and Robert, I hope you have some time to attend to my participation issue. Would rather be doing backlog that this! Le Prof Leprof 7272 (talk) 15:21, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
I agree with Robert that there is simply no problem to solve here, with perhaps the exception of the issue of PDF printing not being available in the draft namespace, but that's barely within the scope of the AfC project and really ought to be raised at WP:VP/T. I appreciate that in this case our practice of moving userspace drafts that are submitted to AfC to draftspace caused a (very) minor inconvenience, but that seems to have been the result of a very particular set of circumstances.
On a side note, it would not be fair to, and I'm not sure anyone is, blame the university lecturer overseeing this course for it being poorly planned. As far as I can tell they very prudently got in touch with Wikimedia UK and/or the Wiki Education Foundation about this course, but for whatever reason the WMUK/WEF neglected to tell any of the volunteers who might actually be dealing with the articles in question about it. Joe Roe (talk) 22:14, 8 December 2016 (UTC)

Another AFC Question[edit]

An editor has created multiple draft templates in their user space with names beginning Template:. I think that this is a good-faith error on the part of the template creator. Should we review templates via AFC, or should the editor simply move them into template space? Robert McClenon (talk) 02:01, 6 December 2016 (UTC)

I would prefer taking a look at them before they go live. I've had too much experience lately with editors feeling they can/should just create whatever template they feel like with no thought or rationale. Granted, I've accepted almost all of the template I've seen come through the AFC process, but I've also TFD'd more than my share of straight-into-template-space templates. Primefac (talk) 02:03, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
They should be reviewed because draft templates are definitely within the AFC mandate. However, I see they are not showing up in the correct category - Category:Pending template and disambiguation AfC submissions - there is probably an error in the submit templates on those pages. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 09:20, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
Okay. Since there is a category for the purpose, in the future, I will try to remember to move the templates into the appropriate category. Robert McClenon (talk) 16:19, 6 December 2016 (UTC)

BBC News and #100WomenWiki[edit]

Tomorrow (December 8, 0800-2000 GMT), BBC and Broadcasting House will be hosting an editathon. Please remember not to WP:BITE the newcomers. All editathon participants are supposed to leave the hashtag "#100WomenWiki" in their edit summaries, and that can be tracked here. Just letting you guys know so you don't end up unprepared. WP:NPR and WP:WikiProject Women have also been notified. Gestrid (talk) 22:33, 7 December 2016 (UTC)

  • I reviewed 10 articles because I got the notice about this. Thanks. Blue Rasberry (talk) 15:17, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
Which genius decided to refer to articles as "profiles" in all the BBC's coverage of this event? We already have enough problems with people thinking they're working on Facebook-style self-promotion pages and not encyclopaedia articles :/ Joe Roe (talk) 15:46, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
Also note that the BBC's instruction page tells people to create new articles directly, so we're likely to see more traffic from this at WP:NPP than here. Joe Roe (talk) 15:47, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
Yeah I noticed that too; I even saw people on social platforms complaining certain women didn't have "their profiles on Wikipedia"... FoCuS contribs; talk to me! 17:17, 8 December 2016 (UTC)


The reason I removed the category is because I was brought here by clicking random draft, as if this was a submitted draft. TimothyJosephWood 11:03, 8 December 2016 (UTC)

Reping @Dodger67:. TimothyJosephWood 11:03, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
The category has been in use for years without any issues, without it navigating the submissions by age is practically impossible. This is the first time I've ever heard of that error. Repeating it would probably be highly unlikely, the fault in any case is most likely to have been with the random page selection mechanism, not the existence of the category. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 11:11, 8 December 2016 (UTC)