Wikipedia talk:Build the web

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Please discuss any further issues relating to the content of this page at WT:Linking, to where the substantial content has been merged.--Kotniski (talk) 07:48, 30 April 2009 (UTC)


This page should not be merged into WP:MOSLINK. This page doesn't deal with the style issue of linking, but rather with the consensus view of how Wikipedia should operate in more general terms. —Locke Coletc 08:07, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

Well, at the time I suggested renaming WP:MOSLINK to WP:Linking so it wouldn't be merely a style guideline. I may be wrong, but I seem to remember you commented negatively. Anyway, would it settle this new dispute if we did such a rename?--Kotniski (talk) 08:23, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
(ec)I have mentioned this issue (without any names) at WP:AN/I. I was hoping it would prove to have been unnecessary, as we could continue the discussion amicably, but we must stop making uni/bilateral changes to the long-agreed stauts quo - and certainly avoid things like "vandalism" in edit summaries.--Kotniski (talk) 08:38, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
No, as Kendrick7 notes above this guideline has existed for five years. I have no problem merging WP:CONTEXT and WP:MOSLINK as they are heavily related, but this guideline is a fundamental part of Wikipedia (not a mere style issue) and part of the reason most of us are here. —Locke Coletc 08:34, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
If it were fundamental, there would have been objections as soon as it was merged. It was just one more of the vast number of unneeded page in guideline space which make finding proper useful guidance more difficult to find. The fact that it existed it this form for many years doesn't change the fact that there was consensus to merge it. Now if you want to bring it back, please do as other civilized editors do and respect BRD, make a proposal, make your case, discuss and help reach a conclusion.--Kotniski (talk) 08:42, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
(ec)You've got the steps in BRD messed up: your merge was Bold, the Revert occurred today, the next step was Discussion. Not a revert war. —Locke Coletc 08:48, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
Nonsense, the merge was not B because it was preceded by (and supported by) D.--Kotniski (talk) 08:54, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
No, Cole: did exist. You were in on the merger, and compromises were made at MOSLINK to secure your support. Some people were most unhappy at those compromises, but endured them for the sake of peace. Your tense is full of spin at the top, too. You meant: "... should not have been merged", did you? Your spin will convince no one. You're free to start your own BTW page as an essay. Nothing stopping you. Tony (talk) 08:45, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
My concerns were with the language of chronological item links. I was unaware of your longstanding attempts to water this guideline down because of your objections to it or I would have opposed the merger of this guideline into a style guideline. —Locke Coletc 08:48, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
Oh no, you're not still on about date linking are you? This page had nothing of substance on that or any other issue, so there was nothing to water down. And the fact that the target is a "style guideline" is irrelevant - it could just as easily be rechristened as I've already suggested.--Kotniski (talk) 08:54, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
There was a proposal at one time to bring back BTW as a "historical page" (but not as the target of any shortcuts) - maybe that solution would help satisfy those with a sentiment for this piece of prose?--Kotniski (talk) 08:51, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
  • Um ... you stood by at the time, and now suddenly claim that you weren't aware of the merged contents? Why do you raise issues within an hour of Kendrick's atttempts to re-fragment this style guide? Could it be ... somehow related? The reasons for merging are for the sake of our editors—those who rely on the style guides. They do not want guidance on linking in three separate locations. To return to that would be utter madness. Tony (talk) 08:58, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
  • I bring it up because of WP:BRD. The merge of WP:BTW was reverted, and the time was for discussion. Instead you (and Kotniski) chose to engage in edit warring. Stop it. You won't "win this game" by trying to force your view over everyone else. —Locke Coletc 10:31, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
Did you not read my response above? It's utterly absurd to suggest that the merge was the "bold" step in the BRD cycle. The merge was done after discussion. It's your/Kendrick's sudden undiscussed restoration that's bold and should not be repeated until consensus is reached.--Kotniski (talk) 10:40, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

I for one was unaware of the merger until today and am disappointed to have discovered that Wikipedia:Build the web has simply disappeared. Yes, some of the ideas from that guideline have been transferred to this one, but as a page outlining the philosophy of interconnectedness, BTW did a far better job of it than the merged page now does. Among other things, the very phrase "build the web" was evocative and compelling; what we have now is dry and lost in a mound of rules, rules, rules about how to use links.

I appreciate the desire to streamline and consolidate our guidance (and I support the merger of WP:CONTEXT and WP:LINKS), but in folding a guideline about principles into a guideline about formatting, you've dessicated the principles.

Bring back BTW. It's not a style guideline, it never was, and the merger, while well-meant, was erroneous.--Father Goose (talk) 09:23, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

So what purpose does a separate page serve? What principles are not reflected clearly in the merged page? We aren't here to espouse philosophies with emotional language, but to give editors (whether in disagreement with other editors or simply unsure for themselves) solid guidance to solve real problems. If the guidance on a subject is all on one page, that not only makes it easier to find, but also prevents people from "guideline shopping" when looking for arguments to back up their position. Clearly we want to have lots of links - this page says that in various places, in language not dissimilar to that of BTW - but that's balanced by a desire not to have too many links, and putting all the guidance on one page makes it easier for people to find the right balance.
Maybe you would be happier if we renamed this page WP:Linking like I always assumed we would - then we would be clearer that it's not just part of the style manual?--Kotniski (talk) 10:15, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
I agree with FG completely. I also note Tony1 is again being disruptive by splitting off conversations from their original talk page. Tony, do not do this again. —Locke Coletc 10:31, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
It was one of you two who resurrected this talk page without discussion, knowing that many interested people wouldn't be watching it since it was merged. Let's have the conversation here now if you must, but less of the accusations of others being disruptive - this is another in a series of quite unnecessary incidents caused by failure on the part of you and a few others to discuss before making changes against consensus.--Kotniski (talk) 10:40, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
I disagree that "many people wouldn't be watching it". I think more people concerned with this page will be watching it, and so any discussion of merging it elsewhere should occur here. —Locke Coletc 15:28, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

Since the merger into MOSLINK, few users will have this page watchlisted. I am moving the discussion, thus far, to the MOSLINK talk page. Do not remove it from that page, Cole. Tony (talk) 11:02, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

That's faulty logic Tony. In actuality, more people concerned with this page will have this page watchlisted than will have MOSLINK watchlisted. This page has also existed far longer than the other page. Stop moving talk page discussions it's disruptive and inappropriate for you to decide this unilaterally. —Locke Coletc 15:28, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
Locke, while this is still being worked out, I moved the section below to the other page, so at least it'll be near where Tony moved the other section to. I agree that there are probably two different groups of people watchlisting the two pages; it's a dilemma. — Hex (❝?!❞) 15:34, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

Resurrect this guideline?[edit]

Entire section moved here so more people will see it. — Hex (❝?!❞) 12:45, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

{{editprotected}} Bit out of order of Hex to support restoring it so strongly and then to restore it himself - but please put it right by removing or {{tl}}ing the "guideline" notice from the top.--Kotniski (talk) 13:12, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

I am also unhappy with the conflict of interest here—we should have asked an uninvolved admin to do it. Dabomb87 (talk) 13:24, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

YesY Done I've also added a link to where this page is being discussed. — Hex (❝?!❞) 13:38, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

Why is this page being discussed on another page? If there's actually strong support to downgrade this to an essay, I'll file an RfC, but let's please discuss this in the correct forum per WP:TALK. -- Kendrick7talk 17:07, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

Tony claims that "more people will see it there". I personally think that this is a more appropriate place, but I'm holding off from moving discussion back here without more support for the idea, lest we get another Tony-tantrum. — Hex (❝?!❞) 17:11, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
Any discussion on the wrong page is moot, in my opinion. -- Kendrick7talk 17:14, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
Be bold, says I! The WT:MOSLINK crowd can make do with a hyperlink. — Hex (❝?!❞) 17:15, 17 February 2009 (UTC)


Kendrick7 reverted Kotniski's restorations of the BTW redirects with an "rvv" (= revert of vandalism) edit summary. I have undone both of Kendrick7's reverts as being highly improper, (1) due to the false allegation in the edit summary, (2) because it is uncollegial to Tony, who is currently unable to spend more than a tiny amount of time on Wikipedia, (3) because there has been nowhere near enough preparatory discussion beforehand, (4) the arguments are weak, (5) there is no consensus for what Kendrick7 wants, and (6) there is no hurry.--Goodmorningworld (talk) 18:19, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

I will revert vandalism as I see fit, thankyou. Clearly, the target of those shortcuts is this page. -- Kendrick7talk 18:55, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
Vandalism is defined at Wikipedia:Vandalism. You are wrong.--Goodmorningworld (talk) 19:01, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
Well, you seem to be acting deliberately and repeatedly to direct those redirects to the wrong page. I suggest you stop. -- Kendrick7talk 19:17, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
They go to the current guideline - the right page. Please stop trying to imply that you have the right to undo anything that was agreed without your personal participation.--Kotniski (talk) 19:22, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
If the merged page really contains all the details the original page did, why are you revert warring to have it link to that (allegedly same) content here? It just seems odd to me. —Locke Coletc 19:41, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
It's not the same, over there there is much more detail, obviously, and it is the currently maintained guideline on the subject, which is what people expect to link to when they use these shortcuts.--Kotniski (talk) 19:46, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
This page is hardly out of date, it's barely a month old. Again, why are you revert warring over those shortcuts? Those shortcuts originally pointed to this page, not that page, so 99.95% of all incoming links should be to this page. And why is it every time there's some disagreement with MOS I feel like we're trying for newer levels of WP:LAME? Edit warring over a shortcut: has it really come to that, that you must gang up on another editor to force him to nearly violate 3RR? —Locke Coletc 19:49, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
As the children say: he started it. But "this page" is now AT that page - or it would be, if you and your oppressed other editor hadn't quite bizarrely begun undoing without discussion what you KNOW was agreed before. This page only has any current content in order to display it for discussion purposes.--Kotniski (talk) 19:57, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
Again, a situation we wouldn't be in if you and Tony hadn't engaged in revert warring to keep it a redirect. Mergers (and unmerging) should generally be uncontroversial unless something was lost or changed during the merge that people are trying to protect. And I don't see that here. So I again: why are you revert warring over a merge? Seriously, why? Wouldn't it be simpler to just let this be than to think you'll "win" by revert warring? And ditto for the shortcuts. —Locke Coletc 20:13, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
Don't see that I've been revert warring any more than you have. I've just been trying to protect the work that I did and that everyone supported and praised as a great improvement. Anyway, discussion's on the other page, so no point continuing this here.--Kotniski (talk) 20:23, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
Discussion on another page doesn't apply here, per WP:TALK. -- Kendrick7talk 03:53, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
No, discussions concerning several pages should take place in one place and be advertised on all of them. Per common sense. And that was done here. Don't wikilawyer.--Kotniski (talk) 08:20, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

Kendrick7 you have broken 3RR on both redirects. Please self revert immediately or I will report you to WP:AN3.--Goodmorningworld (talk) 19:28, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

Maybe you should stop disrupting wikipedia to make a WP:POINT. You don't like my edit summaries, OK, I get it. -- Kendrick7talk 03:52, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
You still seem to be using "rvv" in edit summaries, which apparently stands for "revert vandalism". Please don't do this unless you really are reverting vandalism, or you'll upset people.--Kotniski (talk) 17:06, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

Link to discussion to remove this guideline[edit]

Can someone please provide a link to where removing this guideline last month was "extensively" discussed? It certainly wasn't on this page or a subpage that I can see. -- Kendrick7talk 18:55, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

It was linked to from here - the link is still there above (#Specific merge proposal) (though it's probably all been archived now). To repeat - the guideline wasn't removed, it was merged. Everything of substance (not very much in fact, as you will see if you analyse the text of this page objectively) was included in the merged guideline. If you think anything's been omitted (apart from nonsense), then please say so, but be specific.--Kotniski (talk) 19:04, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
Uh huh. It was removed under the guise of being "merged" as decided by editors working somewhere else (although, again, I still don't know where, as I still can't find this "extensive" discussion). Building the web isn't even a style issue to begin with -- this looks like simply empire building. -- Kendrick7talk 19:13, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
You can look in the archives of WT:MOSLINK - it was a couple of months ago, and not just one discussion. I don't have a clue what you mean by empire building. I keep suggesting that MOSLINK should be renamed WP:Linking to make clear that it's not just (or even principally) a style guidline. Would that satisfy your concerns?--Kotniski (talk) 19:20, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

(edit conflict) See here], here and here; there may be others (Kotniski may know). The first of these three links points to the closed RfC on the merge proposal: this issue is settled already. Kendrick7, you realize, don't you, that you are doing things bass-ackwards? Before making bold reverts, you should have come here first to ask.--Goodmorningworld (talk) 19:24, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

None of which was on the talk page here. This clearly enjoys has enough support as an essay, which does not require consensus. Once the lock expires I will tag it as such. -- Kendrick7talk 03:50, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
I have no problem with that, as long as it is not connected with MOS or editing guidelines in any way. Dabomb87 (talk) 05:13, 19 February 2009 (UTC)


Would someone comment out the {{Wikipedia policies and guidelines}} while this page's status is in limbo? Dabomb87 (talk) 05:17, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

YesY Done Seems fair. Hope this helps show that my restoration of the text was made in good faith. — Hex (❝?!❞) 05:44, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
Thank you. Dabomb87 (talk) 13:08, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

Proposed action[edit]

Please see my suggestions for action at WT:MOSLINK#Proposed actions, and comment either there or here as appropriate.--Kotniski (talk) 08:53, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

Well, no substantial comment over there, so let's bring the discussion back here. Rather than use {{historical}} or {{essay}}, let's use a new template I've just created, {{former guideline}}. With appropriate parameters, it would look like this:

Sums the situation up nicely? --Kotniski (talk) 13:24, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

  • I think I'd prefer to use {{Guideline}}. From memory we've deleted templates like {{former guideline}} in the past, preferring {{historical}}, but that's certainly open to change. Hiding T 14:07, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
Well, we obviously can't use {{guideline}} at present, since consensus has determined (for the second time) that this page should not be marked as such. I'd be perfectly happy to use {{historical}}, but I thought this graphic and more informative description might be more appropriate than the red cross for a page that has been merged rather than rejected or overturned. --Kotniski (talk) 14:41, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
I'm not prepared at the present time to state that such a consensus emerged, if it is all the same to you. I'd rather allow this discussion be allowed to remain open a bit longer than you've allowed so far, and see where it takes us. I'd also like to avoid declaring things like consensus was determined "for the second time". We're not in a pissing contest, we're having a collegiate debate which can run its course as and when. Looking over this page and the page this discussion was previously on, I'm not finding myself as moved as you are to declare any strong consensus, to be honest. I'd rather just let people comment and see what develops. If no-one else has commented after a couple of weeks or more, I'd imagine the issue will have resolved itself, but I don't find the need to make any declarations at present. Hope you can accommodate some tortoise paced thinking for me. Hiding T 22:02, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
The main discussion was at WT:MOSLINK. Both the numbers and - more importantly - the strength of argument clearly showed that this page should not be marked as a guideline. If that changes in the future, then it's easy enough to change the label on this page accordingly. But in the meantime people arriving at this page have a right to know what its status is.--Kotniski (talk) 08:38, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
My only comment on this before going back to my self-enforced break from this: Kotniski unilaterally decided discussion has ended, so I wouldn't count on getting any more input. Further, Kotniski misrepresents the state of things: note he says this is the "second time" consensus has been reached to demote this guideline; this is factually incorrect of course. This is (if anything!) the first time. The other time he refers to wasn't a discussion on demoting this page from guideline but merging it with MOSLINK. —Locke Coletc 09:09, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
It comes down to the same thing. One of the consequences (and major benefits) of merging two guidelines is that you end up with only one page marked as a guideline.--Kotniski (talk) 09:22, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
  • "But in the meantime people arriving at this page have a right to know what its status is." They know what the status is. It's a page in the Wikipedia namespace. It doesn't need a template at the top of it, there isn't a law which says it does, and until there is a general consensus on what tag should go on it, we might as well leave it bare as anything else, to save edit wars and arguments over side issues. I appreciate the time everyone will allow to let the matter settle itself out. Personally, I don't think you are the best person to determine where the strength of argument lies, given that it was mostly your argument that you have decided was strongest. That's not intended as a slight, just my personal feeling on the separation of the roles of judge, jury and executioner. Kotniski, I think you've made your views known and understood, and I think maybe you just need to leave the issue time to settle itself down. You don't need to have the last word here, agreed? Hiding T 11:41, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
All right, let's wait another week. Though I find this all very disruptive - once we've had a discussion with as clear a result as this, I would have thought those who originally took the viewpoint that ended up being rejected could have the decency to accept it and move on to other things. That's what I do on the (frequent) occasions it happens to me. (And this is the same reason the date linking debate is still going on and on.)--Kotniski (talk) 11:54, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
You're misunderstanding me. I'm not asking for another week. I'm not acting with a lack of decency. I'm just trying to move this on, and I think your efforts are starting to become counter-productive. People are arguing with you because you keep responding. Like I said above, you don't need to have the last word here, agreed? Trust other people. Have good faith. Hiding T 14:22, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
Pardon me, Hiding: good faith is a two-way thing, too. As far as I can see, Kotniski has been a model for us all in his forging of consensus and his skilful incorporation of the two guidelines into MOSLINK. Please calm down and be reasonable. Tony (talk) 14:45, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
Tony, if you'll forgive me, I happen to disagree ever so slightly. First off, I don't think I am being unreasonable, or in any sense anything other than calm. I'm simply asking for people to take the time to allow the dust to settle, and trying to amicably point out to Kotniski that the person who initiates something and carries most of the argument forwards, isn't the best person to decide the outcome. Now if you think that's unreasonable behaviour, I'm at a loss. If you can show me where I've tag warred or edit warred or done anything other than say that I would prefer this to be a guideline, then maybe you've got a leg to stand on. But I'm quite happy to stand on my editing record. I haven't engaged in edit warring, I don't wish to, and I'm not going to. Now, if you think I'm the person you really need to be calling into question throughout this discussion, I suggest you review the whole debate again and have another look at which editor's behaviour got this page protected. You won't see my name in there. I just want to make sure the right decision is reached in the right way. And I'm sure you'd agree that I'm the sort of person that knows that the right decision is not always the decision I would prefer. Yes I would prefer this page to be a guideline. But if in a week or a month or a year's time I'm the only one here and there's tumbleweed blowing, you can rest assured I'll add the essay tag myself with the edit summary per talk. There's no deadline, is there? Let's try and take the heat out of all of this, yes? Or do I need my big brother, too? ;) Hiding T 15:03, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
We seem to be straying... Let's get back on topic with a new thread, which we can link to from the hatnote on the page.

How to label this page[edit]

As far as I can see (and I don't think anyone can seriously suggest that the outcome of the recent discussion at WT:MOSLINK#Resurrect this guideline? is compatible with this page's being marked a current guideline, though if someone wants to make that argument then go ahead), there are three possibilities:



3.{{former guideline|Wikipedia:Manual of Style (links)}}


5. No template.


For me the fourth option is the more preferable, but I would not be opposed if a consensus formed behind the first option or the fifth. I reject the third option, since in the past we have deleted such templates, and I feel it just adds another unnecessary template to the many we have. I'd also prefer it if we avoid any attempt to place a time limit on this discussion, and simply let it run its course. Hiding T 15:56, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

But please, give arguments if you're supporting the fourth version, since we had a detailed discussion which rejected that option. It's no help to just say "I like this" - you must address the arguments which appeared to show that it was wrong.--Kotniski (talk) 16:01, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
Sorry. I'm arguing for guideline status since this page is a concise, actionable expression of what we are in part attempting to achieve, and it is extremely useful to new editors to have things in a short form to avoid confusion. I still recall my first time here as a Wikipedia editor, when I found the overly long pages with their very confusing tags incredibly daunting. This was back when things weren't even policy pages but rules to consider and the like. The shorter pages were much more helpful, and there are a number of editors who still find shorter guidance incredibly helpful. I'm also concerned that the drive towards longer, more complicated guidance is occurring at the same time as the trend for fewer contributions and fewer contributors, and the anecdotal evidence that the two are linked. I'd like Wikipedia to remain as accessible and open to as many people as possible, and to allow us to remain as adaptive to and considerate of as many people's needs as possible. Hiding T 16:16, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
So how is a new editor supposed to chance on this page among the hundreds or possibly thousands of pages we have hanging around project space? And surely you're not suggesting that this page in its present form is useful for that purpose - it would need to be rewritten, firstly to make sense to ordinary human beings, and secondly to present both sides of the issue. I certainly agree about making the documentation on Wikipedia accessible, and how to do that is a much larger issue than just this page. (Too long pages is one problem; too many pages is another; lack of overall logical structure is another.)--Kotniski (talk) 16:32, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
well, see back when I came here, there was an introduction to Wikipedia that took you through all these pages. Lately we seem to have templatised all that, so we have a template that lists policies, and another that lists guidelines, so I assume they would find it like that. I mean, forgive me if I am being silly, but wouldn't that particular problem be faced by any guideline, no matter what it was? Hiding T 16:35, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
Ohm and I agree with regards the fact that too many pages is another problem and a lack of overall logical structure is another. I'd certainly like to see the last one addressed; it would probably take care of the first one. My only fear is that it would lead to too long pages as a result. I think there has become a tendency on Wikipedia to attempt to bolt every single possible door a horse might escape from, inclusive of cat flaps. Hiding T 16:38, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
So if we were to introduce "baby" guidelines aimed specifically at new editors, then there ought to be a special template directing them to those. But then "Build the web" is a rather opaque title to put on such a template. Are there any other cases like this? I'm thinking maybe about WP:Categorization, which is another long guideline, but works in conjunction with other pages: Help:Category (which, like most Help: pages, is not particularly helpful) and WP:FAQ/Categorization (which is more of an entry point perhaps). Perhaps a rewritten, neutrally worded BTW could stand in the same relation to WP:Linking as the FAQ does to Categorization. But the whole system needs to be reorganized so that both new and old editors can find the information they need. At the moment it's a total mess, as I think we all know from practical experience.--Kotniski (talk) 16:54, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
We seem to have gone off topic. I'm finding I'm not understanding the main arguments against this page at the minute. Either it has been merged into another page, which means it can't conflict with that page, or it hasn't been merged, which means it shouldn't have been deprecated? Hiding T 09:45, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
Hiding, you're missing the point that this page disagrees with the new linking standard at WP:MOSLINKS, which is that articles can "be linked to other Wikipedia articles which are likely to add significantly to readers' understanding of the topic." The new standard would preclude most of our traditional links. For example, in the article on Ben Franklin, we would no longer link to Philadelphia, or electricity, or kite, or United States one hundred-dollar bill because none of those links are likely to "deepen" a reader's understanding of the topic of Ben Franklin. This page suggests, even encourages, those links. -- Kendrick7talk 01:39, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
A reason to make MOSLINKS, and the rest of the MOScruft, not guidelines; they do not represent consensus, but the latest round of editwarring; they do not represent what Wikipedia does, but what one or another gang demands Wikipedia do. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 01:49, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
  • Anderson has been conducting a one-person crusade against the status of the style guides for some time; few people listen. It has not changed in substance. Kendrick, MOSLINK hasn't suddenly, or even recently, advised against such trivial links (although the dollar-bill one might be appropriate in some articles, and Philadelphia perhaps in a few). The recommendation against trivial blue has been well-established for a long time. Tony (talk) 07:50, 26 February 2009 (UTC) PS, under no circumstances is BTW framed as a guide line, either in scope or language. It seems to be pushing a marginalised one-horse cause. It is best framed as an essay, or a historical page. Tony (talk) 07:52, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
    • Tony, however, has been nice enough to respond to all of my posts on the subject; some might think he had something to defend, besides the specious "authority" of MOS and its innumerable subpages.Septentrionalis PMAnderson 01:07, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
  • BTW was a guideline since 2002 up until a month ago. I would think that kite should be linked from the most famous person to ever fly a kite, myself. We can quibble over examples, and maybe Old Ben isn't the best, but we're still talking about a fundamental change over what is or is not linked. -- Kendrick7talk 09:14, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
I don't think so - BTW was too vaguely written to be considered to give any guidance about any specific situations. MOSLINK is now more detailed but still leaves a lot to the editor's judgement. I don't think anything has changed, certainly not fundamentally - or if it has, then it's changed in people's behaviour already, and the current MOSLINK reflects that. If you think that MOSLINK is wrong about something, then the best thing to do is to formulate and propose a change to that page. --Kotniski (talk) 10:42, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
On the contrary, it was advice. Nothing we can say on this subject, here or elsewhere, can be more, and this was at least coherent. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 01:07, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
You obviously have a different definition of "coherent" than I do. It certainly didn't address the topic fully, and we now have a page that does, so we don't need to distract and mislead people with this one any more.--Kotniski (talk) 09:37, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
Um, I'm getting a little confused. In what way does this page mislead people? Hiding T 09:45, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
Firstly that the meaning of most of its sentences is unclear (read it, imagining you're a new editor, and you'll see); secondly that it seems to say "all links are good" (at least, it mentions nothing about the links which should not be made).--Kotniski (talk) 10:11, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
For a long period of its existence, the page did contain pointers regarding links which should not be made. And I don't have to imagine being a new editor, I was one once, and I read it back then, and it didn't seem very confusing at all. It still doesn't. Where does the confusion lie? What do you think is the central message of this page? Hiding T 10:37, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
Precisely, I don't know. "Make lots of links" seems to be the only message, though the reasons given are weird (it talks of abstract things like webs and nodes, when the real reason we create links is to help real readers). The "make links" message is certainly something that needs to be conveyed to very new editors somehow, but preferably with the accompanying message that we don't link everything just because we can. Then once people get used to the basics of editing and want more detail, they can come to MOSLINK and get the full lowdown on the topic. We should certainly have a summary page or section on linking for new editors, but (1) it has to be placed within the context of the pages that new editors read, to make sure that they see it; (2) it has to be written in clear explicit language; (3) it ought to mention that it's not always right to link; (4) it probably shouldn't be called "Build the web"; (5) it wouldn't be classed as a guideline in the WP sense. --Kotniski (talk) 11:26, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
You seem to have made a lot of assumptions there, based on a statement in which you indicate that you don't know what is wrong with this page. Let's track it back a little. How do the reasons given on this page conflict with the idea that we create links to help readers? Hiding T 11:50, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
I know what's wrong with the page; I meant that I don't know what the message is. And there's no conflict between those things, but if you want to say something, say it clearly without introducing needless abstractions that many people will not understand.--Kotniski (talk) 11:55, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

(unindent)I've just tried editing a page as a logged-out user and following some of the links. Obviously there are a lot of paths - perhaps they need to be cut down so that a new editor is taken to the information that we know is most likely to be helpful (such people themselves are in little position to know what links to click). One page I found myself on where the linking message seemed to be absent was Wikipedia:Your first article. Perhaps we should be thinking about adding to that page and others like it.--Kotniski (talk) 11:40, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

Have we moved to the point where maybe that should be Wikipedia:Your first edit? regarding this page, though, and getting back to your point that you don't know what the message of this page is, I'd like to probe at that a little further. I don;t quite believe a person of your capabilities has no grasp of what the message of this page is. You seem to have danced around it a little, but I think you know what it is saying. So if all we are arguing about with regards this page is that it is badly written, that's a solvable problem, isn't it? Unless you're indicating that you don't want people to build the web, which would sort of defeat us being a hypertextual encyclopedia, wouldn't it? Hiding T 12:10, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
Yes, it is a solvable problem, and it has been solved, by merging it into a well-written (he said immodestly) page that conveys the same message with much more detail available for those who want it. The only remaining problem seems to be making sure that new editors get the basic message(s) about linking without having to explore our appallingly ill-structured jungle of WP:/Help: pages. Do you see any other problem?--Kotniski (talk) 12:34, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
Now I'm at a loss. If you don't understand what the message is, how do can you state you've merged it? Hiding T 12:38, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
Well, I've merged what appeared to be the message. I kept asking people during the recent discussion to tell me what I'd left out, and no-one had anything to say (except Hex's complaint that I'd changed "the" to "a", which seems to be at about the same level of pedantry as "w" vs. "W"). Do you think I've missed something out?--Kotniski (talk) 12:43, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
  • At this point I think the page needs to be tagged as an essay or redirected to MOSLINK. Hiding T 21:54, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
  • I personally like number 3. This page, I believe was part of policy and it should be kept because if its large historical reference, but it appears to have been superseded. Foxy Loxy Pounce! 11:44, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
  • I think BTW is still a very good guideline and one of the main things we should be doing here at wikip. Tom B (talk) 15:05, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
  • I'll go with door number three, thanks.--Goodmorningworld (talk) 15:25, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
  • If I didn't say so above, yes, door no. 3. There's the procedural issue (already had consensus), the inappropriate angle and tone for a guideline, the almost total lack of distinctive content (it's said at WP:LINKING, and the fact that it's poorly written. Tony (talk) 16:01, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
  • I'd go with former guideline, with essay as a second choice. Stifle (talk) 09:47, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
  • I'm not going to stand in the way of number three if that's the prevailing opinion. Hiding T 14:47, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
  • I support option 3, (but wouldn't be heartbroken to see option 5). I've already given some reasons on this page as to why the ramblings on the BTW page are best laid to rest.  HWV258  03:17, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
  • I am in support of option 4. This guideline seems one that is built upon common sense, and this I believe should be followed (even though most do follow it). —Preceding unsigned comment added by Axmann8 (talkcontribs) 04:18, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

"the web"[edit]

Did I miss the definition of "the web" in the draft guideline? --Dweller (talk) 09:33, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

Which draft guideline? I don't think "the web" was ever defined, as is evidenced by the confusion as to whether it means "the Web" (i.e. the WWW) or the Wikipedia internal "web" (which is the meaning implied by the text. Just one of the reasons why this page was incoherent, and was probably largely ignored for that reason.--Kotniski (talk) 09:37, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
Unless I'm missing a trick, how is the Wikipedia internal web ringfenced from the WWW? Hiding T 09:48, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
It's not. But the text of BTW mentioned only internal links, and the title spelt "web" with a small "W", giving the impression that it was about some internal web. --Kotniski (talk) 10:08, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
I still don't follow. In what sense is the internal web we are speaking of not part of the WWW? In what sense, when we build the web on Wikipedia, is that not building the web on the WWW? Hiding T 10:32, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
Yes, but BTW doesn't go into this. Our practice with regard to internal links is quite different to that with regard to external links. Yet BTW (despite referring to "the Web" as if it meant the WWW) fails to address external links at all. All these ideas are now addressed at MOSLINK, hopefully more clearly (though improvements are obviously still possible).--Kotniski (talk) 11:03, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
I'm not following you at all. In what sense is the internal web we are speaking of not part of the WWW? Hiding T 11:45, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
I'm not saying it isn't. I'm saying that BTW (among its many other faults) fails to make clear what web it is talking about or how the internal web relates to the wider Web.--Kotniski (talk) 11:48, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
Um,, I can't relate your statements. Given you indicate you agree the internal web is a part of the WWW, how do the following two statements you make apply? Or are you saying this page is wrong in assuming everyone will be aware that Wikipedia is a part of the WWW? Hiding T 12:14, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
I think it's wrong in assuming that people will correctly read the minds of the people who wrote it. Indeed I think the different people who wrote it (and titled it) probably didn't read each other's minds correctly. If it talks about a "Web" without once mentioning the World Wide Web or any way of creating links to/from it, then people will be forgiven for assuming that the Web in question is not the WWW. Particularly since there is no capital W in the page title.--Kotniski (talk) 12:27, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
This page was created back when you couldn't have a capital w in the page title. And it sprang from a time and a place where its meaning was more readily understood, and was contextualised by being within stuff that talked about the WWW. Sadly, a lot of the history has been lost when the databases went down way back when, though. Hiding T 12:34, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

Whatever you mean, it's ironic that it's not wikilinked. --Dweller (talk) 11:02, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

I know I said I was going to stay out of this discussion, but I have to say that this is pedantry taken to the extreme. There's only one [Ww]eb, and you're using it right now. Some people don't bother to capitalize the W. It's not an issue. Anyway, I severely doubt that anyone who read BTW took away the impression that it was referring to some kind of "internal web". The word you're looking for there is site, and this guideline wasn't called Build the site. — Hex (❝?!❞) 12:17, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

That's exactly the impression that I took away from it. Because that's what it talks about. If it meant something else, it should have said something else. Or as Dweller points out, at least linked to the World Wide Web. --Kotniski (talk) 12:27, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
It doesn't talk about an internal web. The word internal is not found once in the page. But this is a side issue which can be fixed with rewriting the page to better indicate what it means. Hiding T 12:34, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
As I've pointed out above, this has already been done (the result is MOSLINK).--Kotniski (talk) 12:44, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
You haven't linked web there, either. I made two changes, see where we go from there I guess. Hiding T 12:58, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

I find this reversion unacceptable; if it continues, I will make Kotniski a party to the current arbitration. The way to clean up MOS is to throw pointless rules out of it, not to roll this in.

There is plainly no consensus to merge this page; it should therefore retain its status until there is consensus to change it. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 17:53, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

  • I'm sorry, but I've reverted the guideline tag because quite clearly there is discussion here and elsewhere that demonstrates the community is unsure of how to move forwards. I think it is best if the page remains untagged for the time being and we allow time for all interested parties to express an opinion. I've also edited your comments because I've found some of your comments unhelpful to moving the debate forwards, which in my opinion is the only thing that matters. Wikipedia policy is to comment on content, not on the contributor. As we say round my way, play the ball, not the man. Hiding T 19:59, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
  • That's not the way consensus works. If there's no consensus to change the status, the status does not return to "undecided", it returns to the prior status. {{Disputedtag}} has been added, which notes that there is an active dispute over this, but the guideline tag should not be removed until a consensus to do so has emerged. —Locke Coletc 20:38, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
  • Consensus works any way we want it to. But I'm not interested in partisan combat. Wikipedia is not a battleground. I'm bowing out, because this sort of tag warring is precisely what I wanted to avoid. I was far more interested in discussing the underlying issues to an amicable solution. I've taken my concerns to MOSLINK. Hiding T 21:50, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
  • Traditionally this is how Wikipedia works: until consensus to change something emerges, it remains as it was (this is how disputes in articles and deletion are handled, for example). I'm sorry you view this as a "battleground", but I've tried to stay away from this for the past week (with pretty good success). I'm also sorry that expressing an opinion appears to result in this now being a "battleground". I have no idea how to voice an opinion then without things falling apart. —Locke Coletc 22:17, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
  • I apologise if I have offended you. I'm fairly well versed in how Wikipedia works, I've been an admin here for over three years now. I have no objection to people voicing their opinion, but I don't tend to engage in edit warring. I am a firm believer in trying to find a compromise, and it had seemed to be a perfectly acceptable compromise to just leave the page without a tag on it, if only to save tag warring. This page doesn't need a special tag to say what it says, when all is said and done. It wasn't the voicing of an opinion that caused me to declare the page a battleground, it's more my general feeling that there isn't going to be a middle ground found in this debate, and I don't want to get sucked into that. I hadn't meant to put it all on your shoulders; from reading and engaging with the debate it appears as if no-one is prepared to shift ground on what to do with this page. I'm practising good old fashioned dispute resolution and taking the long view. Regards, Hiding T 22:42, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

Overruling consensus[edit]

We were having a civil and productive discussion here, and yet it has been derailed by the usual clique coming along and awarding itself the right to overrule established consensus. The merge of this page had consensus, when it was proposed that it be restored as a guideline there was consensus not to (or certainly there was no consensus to do so). I find it totally unacceptable and disruptive for certain individuals to take it upon themselves to throw out what people have agreed in detailed and thoughtful discussion, awarding themselves the right to declare an absence of consensus and to decree unilaterally how things are to be in the absence of consensus. There is clearly no point arguing with you lot, since your well-established tactic is simply to deny any assertion of consensus regardless of the objective evidence, citing the noise you yourselves are curretly making as evidence that consensus doesn't exist or never existed, and to further edit war as a means of creating more of that noise and disrupting reasoned discussion. I've had to report this again at WP:AN/I - I hope that we'll get the attention of an admin perceptive enough to see through what's been happening here. If not, then OK, you win; WP will no longer be ruled by the good sense to come out of community discussion, but by those most willing to waste their and others' time fighting. --Kotniski (talk) 10:11, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

I've been over this with you further above, at MOSLINK and on your own talk page. I'm sorry you'd rather treat Wikipedia like a battleground than understand the reasons I've given you. —Locke Coletc 17:29, 28 February 2009 (UTC)
That is to say, a number of editors have objected to the "consensus" consisting of Kotniski and Tony1. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 18:12, 28 February 2009 (UTC)
You know, because you were part of the discussion (at least the more recent one) at WP:MOSLINK, that the consensus consisted of far more people than that. Locke knows (because he was part of the original discussion about the merger) that there was wide ranging support then (including him), and no opposition (apart from a brief outbreak of handbags that was quickly settled). You usually seem such a reasonable and sensible editor; I don't know why you are inventing your own version of reality over this issue (and then accusing me of lying).--Kotniski (talk) 10:45, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
Particularly as Cole seems to have "changed his mind" over the consensus he was part of, just at the same time Kendrick decided to make a fuss here. It's not reasonable, and not the way things are done on WP. I agree entirely with Kotniski's complaint above.
What information, exactly, does this page contain that is somehow lacking in the merged MOSLINK? What is the actual substance of this page? It looks like an essay stub. It is not of the style or substance of a guideline, and there was consensus to merge it, after the merge sign had been there for months, to remove an historical absurdity. MOS needs to be rationalised, not fragmented. Tony (talk) 14:14, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
And see what two editors show up to complain. I acknowledge that the two of them are in consensus on this; but is anybody else?
Tony asks, as usual, the wrong question: what is MOSLINK that it should justify swallowing up this page, which has never been part of MOS? since it really deals with a content, not a style, question.
Rationalizing MOS should begin with abolishing the large portion of it which has neither justification nor source, not making it longer. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 22:12, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
I strongly support MOS containing only questions about style, not about content in general. That's the first step in rationalizing it. DGG (talk) 00:06, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
But links are neither a matter of style, i.e. spelling and punctuation, nor content, i.e. whether content is or is not linked doesn't inherently change the actual content. So it's its own matter entirely, more a matter of "accessibility" than anything else. -- Kendrick7talk 04:44, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
So we have a guideline page about linking. It's now at WP:Linking - anyone can decide for themselves whether the issues addressed are about style, content or whatever: it doesn't matter. What matters is that it's a page that treats the issue in full and has come about through reasoned, long-term, constructive, good-faithed discussion, so as to be useful both for guiding new editors and for resolving (some) disagreements. There is no longer any need for this separate page (at least, not for it to be marked as a guideline), and since it is so manifestly incomplete it is most definitely not desirable. Anyway, we've been through that discussion, consensus has been reached as you all know by now, so please, people, accept that consensus like good Wikipedians, quit the against-consensus reverts (especially those based on untrue claims), and let's move on. --Kotniski (talk) 07:16, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
If consensus had been reached, we would not be having this discussion. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 16:11, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
How does that follow? Consensus doesn't mean unaninimity.--Kotniski (talk) 16:21, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
I wandered over here from AN/I....I'd never heard of this page before now. But looking this page over and a few of the links above (including a poll that hardly ran past a day and didn't draw much input) I don't see any of the consensus you're talking about. I think you should start over, in a single place and try again. But I think that just claiming consensus where none exists is counter productive. If I'm wrong, please provide a link to a page that more clearly show consensus on this issue. RxS (talk) 17:09, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
I've just added the relevant links to the AN/I thread. WT:Only make links that are relevant to the context/Archive 7 seems to be the major one. There was certainly much, much more than just a one-day poll. And we did recently start again, and got the same result. Clear consensus must be respected - if someone wants to change it, it's up to them to start a new discussion and achieve change. We can't have a situation where whenever a vociferous group decides it doesn't like something, they can go back to whatever version they feel like and insist on their opponents once again demonstrating consensus. That goes on forever and is what happened (and is still happening) over date linking. --Kotniski (talk) 08:33, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
Clear consensus doesn't need to be "respected"; it can enforce itself (although it rarely needs to, because almost everybody agrees with it). Kotniski's claim of consensus is: Tony and I agreed once upon a time, so the discussion is over. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 15:43, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
Your edit summary states "reply to liar". I assume that means me. What "lie" am I alleged to have told? Indeed, what is your claim about only Tony and me supporting this position if not a demonstrable and deliberate lie? --Kotniski (talk) 15:50, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
That you have "clear consensus". It's clear to you, and to nobody else; it isn't even clear to the unfortunate RxS, who wandered in here as a neutral. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 15:58, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
I presume it is now, if (s)he's looked at the links to the relevant discussions. You obviously have your own definition of consensus, which means something approaching unanimity, without requiring that the filibusterers engage in good-faithed discussion. Talking of which, can we get back to that? Is there any remaining reasoned opposition to removing the "guideline" tag from this page?--Kotniski (talk) 16:06, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
Is your presumption supported by any evidence, or is more I'm Kotniski, and therefore everybody agrees with me? Of course this should stay a guideline; the only objections to the substance are by those who claim, by the same post, not to understand it. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 16:22, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
Er, if we don't understand it, that isn't a great advertisement for a guideline, is it? If you understand it, can you explain in more dumbed-down language what it's supposed to mean, and explain how it is not redundant to WP:Linking?--Kotniski (talk) 16:33, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
  • Since it seems to me, as to most people, clear, concise, and substantive, it is difficult to paraphrase without cutting and pasting. I'll see what I can do; to cut down several sentences to a phrase or two would be unfair to the original.
  • But the version in MOSLINK differs in both tone and emphasis, as may be expected after butchery by editors who do not understand it. I would not include this there, even if it were identical; this is not a mere "style guideline", those crutches put forward by the half-educated for the illiterate, it is the second grade of WP principle, and repeating it elsewhere is no reason to get rid of it, any more than repeating one of the Five Pillars elsewhere would justify a merge. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 16:48, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
Style guidelines are no more "mere" than other guidelines. This never had any higher status than the MoS pages, and can never have had anything comparable to the status of the 5 pillars, otherwise at least someone would have tried to edit it up to normal standards of clarity and cohesion over all these years. Indeed it (or at least its title) seems at odds with one of the pillars - namely WP:NOT, which tells us that WP is not a collection of links, particularly external ones. We specifically refrain from too much "building of the Web".--Kotniski (talk) 08:56, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
  • My definition of consensus is WP:Consensus (as a whole, but these sentences seem particularly apt: Consensus develops from agreement of the parties involved. This can happen through discussion, editing, or more often, a combination of the two.) What definition can possibly justify Kotniski's claims of "clear consensus"? Septentrionalis PMAnderson 16:22, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
Whatever. I still can't see what on earth this guideline has that WP:LINK doesn't. This makes me suspect that it's being treated as a private castle. I'd like to hear substantive arguments. Another matter I'd like explained is why the tone and poor prose qualifies as a guideline. I mean, the opening sentence is a hoot. The logic of the causality, resting on "since" escapes me. Comma would be nice, too. It's full of that kind of idle musing. What are you defending, Anderson? I thought you were on the side of high standards? Tony (talk) 16:41, 3 March 2009 (UTC)


Setting aside the question of whether it should have been merged, does anyone actually disagree with what this page says? And if so, could they be specific about what is wrong? Septentrionalis PMAnderson 01:36, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

Go back to the original discussion (the recent one at WT:MOSLINK) and read through the "arguments against resurrection", which no one has disputed. --Kotniski (talk) 07:06, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
That would be here.
  • I see lots of arguments that this page can be merged, as redundant; that's the position that this page is right, but doesn't need to be repeated.
  • GregL said it was incomplete, in that it omits his own motion in an RFC; but even that's not disagreeing with it; all our guidelines are incomplete.
  • LaserBrain said, in full I've been monitoring this process and it's been going in the right direction; reinstating BTW is a step entirely in the wrong direction. That is a claim that this page is wrong, but lacks all specifics; indeed, it's another WP:IDONTLIKEIT. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 16:02, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
Oh come on, omit all the pertinent arguments and attack the straw men. It's redundant (because anything it says is said elsewhere) and misleading (because it omits important relevant information). Why anyone's arguing for this except out of pique or sentiment is beyond me - I've certainly seen no explanation.--Kotniski (talk) 16:26, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
I omit all the procedural arguments on whether this page should be merged, because they have their own section. To me, that's not the most interesting question (and enough people are pained by it above that it's unlikely to be a peaceful consensus). Before we discuss where to put this, does anybody disagree with what it says, which is rather more important? Septentrionalis PMAnderson 21:10, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
It really doesn't say anything concrete, so it's hard to say. I certainly disagree with its being stated without qualification and then marked as a guideline (which would imply only "occasional exceptions"). --Kotniski (talk) 08:37, 3 March 2009 (UTC)


Unfortunately the rollback feature doesn't let you add an edit summary, which is a bit daft. What I would have said just now was that so far I count at least five separate editors challenging the "consensus" to demote this guideline. So I've returned it to disputed guideline status. — Hex (❝?!❞) 09:03, 2 March 2009 (UTC) (giving up all attempts to not participate in this)

But you and I know that they are unware of the facts or being simply disnhonest. You know that consensus has been properly established - why are you, an admin, playing along with their cynical game?--Kotniski (talk) 09:07, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
I know no such thing. — Hex (❝?!❞) 09:10, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
Right, deny the consensus. That's the game plan. Whether it's date linking, this, whatever else. No-one can enforce consensus, so if you don't like it, just ignore it. You know we had a discussion, you know all the arguments came down on one side, you know a clear majority supported that viewpoint, but of course, no-one can prove that you know it, so just claim it's not so. I expect this sort of behaviour from mad POV-pushers, but as an admin, you should be very ashamed. (By the way, rollback is for edits that don't require a summary; to add a summary you should use undo instead.)--Kotniski (talk) 10:50, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
Yes, rollback should only be used for vandalism; this was a misuse of rollback by Hex. For future reference, there are scripts that allow users to use their own edit summaries. Dabomb87 (talk) 13:30, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

How soon we forget[edit]

Hex, remember writing this? Or was that your good twin?

WT:Linking#Resurrect this guideline?

Namely WP:Build the web. Note: for the time being, I have restored the text of the guideline, as it is unfair to expect that people can argue for the life of someone when then have already been executed. This is for discussion purposes, not edit warring, and I will adhere to the eventual result of the discussion.Hex (❝?!❞) 12:48, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

Emphasis added by me.--Goodmorningworld (talk) 12:12, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

Yes, and the discussion's not over. Do you have a point to make? — Hex (❝?!❞) 20:23, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
You know, there must be some uncounted ballots still floating around from the November 2008 presidential elections. In your mind, is Dubya still the prez?--Goodmorningworld (talk) 20:37, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
What a silly comment. — Hex (❝?!❞) 20:46, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
The discussion does seem to be long over (back at WT:MOSLINK#Resurrect this guideline, which was the discussion in question). Please abide by the result and remove the guideline tag. If some new discussion here leads to the conclusion that the tag should be restored, then it can be done.--Kotniski (talk) 08:50, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
The discussion is clearly not over. Unless you're contending that all the talk right here on this page is a mirage, which would undoubtedly come as a great surprise to everyone participating in it. — Hex (❝?!❞) 04:01, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
Most of it is off-topic. The only person who seems to be making any attempt to justify the guideline tag is Sept, and he seems to have gone strangely silent when asked for specifics. Can anyone else help him? We'd like to know what this page is actually trying to say, why it needs to be said on a page separate from WP:Linking, and why that separate page should be marked as a guideline. --Kotniski (talk) 08:46, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
  • "What a silly comment. -- Hex"—Hex, could I remind you of your obligation as an admin to uphold NPA and standards of civility by example? Have you read WP:ADMIN? Tony (talk) 14:35, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
    • I thought of half a dozen different ways to reply to you here, and will go with the most efficient and succinct of all of them, which is simply LOL. — Hex (❝?!❞) 14:56, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
  • How soon you forget: remember this one, Hex?

Oppose. As said above, candidate is condescending and contemptuous,

rude and snippy and plainly in that class of admin who would immediately set out causing grief and bloodshed. Such things are a big deal.

Would recommend not returning to RfA in future.

Tony (talk) 15:57, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

  • Unfortunately, the public seemed to have forgotten that, and he got through on the third pass. However, I seem to recollect Hex standing on the 'common sense' ticket. Ohconfucius (talk) 01:55, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
  • I have my own opinions on Hex's RfA and administrative capabilities. However, they are not relevant to this discussion; can we all try to stay focused on content and not individual contributors? Dabomb87 (talk) 02:38, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
That'll be the day. — Hex (❝?!❞) 03:09, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

"Silly comment"? Not at all. You see Hex, last I checked, the discussion had ground to a halt more than two weeks ago. At that point, six editors had spoken in favor of umerging "Build the Web" into a separate page and twelve editors were against. Not only were the opponents of an unmerge in a 2-to-1 majority, their arguments were more detailed as well. To any rational observer, the discussion is over. Apparently, when you gave the undertaking that I quoted above, what you really meant was, "The discussion will be over when I, Hex, am good and ready to declare it so, be that next week, next year, or never."--Goodmorningworld (talk) 15:22, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

I've been watching this over the last couple days and have a couple comments. First of all, the debate here has gotten a little heated and it might be a good thing to step back for a bit. Secondly, to the point I've not seen compelling evidence that a consensus exists here. The strongest case seems to be here [1], and for something like this I think it's borderline. At this point I myself would say the the discussion still needs to continue and that no consensus has been achived. I think you'd be doing yourself a favor by making sure many more editors are involved...RxS (talk) 15:39, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
RxS, I've explained why I think the effort to change the status quo failed with a 1-to-2 losing margin. Perhaps you could explain why exactly you think the discussion is not over yet?--Goodmorningworld (talk) 15:53, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
Well, the short answer is that no consensus appears to have been achieved and people are still interested in talking about it. Cliche or not, consensus isn't defined by numbers, and even if it was 2 - 1 normally is pretty borderline. One thing I the absence of agreement, the status quo stays in effect, but I suspect that your idea of what status quo means regarding this page may be disputed. RxS (talk) 02:25, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
If consensus isn't defined by numbers, then by what? Strength of argument? Can you point to any cogent argument anyone has made in favour of keeping this page as a separate guideline that hasn't been answered? Can you point to any meaningful attempt to challenge the very concrete arguments we have made for keeping it merged? And as for the status quo - that's surely defined by the last time consensus was clearly reached, isn't it? Which - if you sincerely dispute that the most recent discussion clearly reached consensus, which I find hard to believe if you've read it - was in the discussion leading to the merge (perhaps 100-0 is a large enough numerical majority to convince even you?) Can you offer any justification at all for the actions of those who have forced their wishes on the community which clearly wished for something different?--Kotniski (talk) 15:10, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
One big mistake you're making is claiming that you speak for the community. There's been nowhere near enough participants in any of this for that claim to be valid. Another mistake you're making is thinking I care about this. I don't, in fact it's an idiotic thing to be generating so much heat. Having said that, as someone who walked into this from a section at AN/I, and who has read most of the material linked, I can't see a strong enough consensus for this to be forced. And since that's the case, the status quo would be to leave the page in the basic state it's been for years. Status quo is not the disputed claim of a consensus I see here.
But perhaps the biggest mistake you're making is to be so argumentative with someone (me) who couldn't be more neutral. It appears to me that instead of asking for a uninvolved opinion, you are really asking for an uninvolved opinion that agrees with you. These are the argumentative styles and your attitude is the kind of attitude that has made me less and less interested in being involved here. You're doing more damage to Wikipedia by your ideological insistence that you must be right than whatever becomes of this page.
It's too bad because, though unconvinced, I'm sympathatic to the arguments you and others are making (and yes, I've read them). I don't see a lot of value in having multiple pages (as guidelines) talk about the same concepts. One danger is that they can start drifting apart and you end up with guidelines that differ or even contradict each other.
But I first participated here because of a request for uninvolved input and now you have it. For better or worse this debate needs more involvement. The people here at present are way to polarized to make any headway. Reboot this, use the RFC process, open a fresh start at the whatever it takes. But for now, I agree with the page protection and consider there's no consensus for anything at this, Status quo stands. RxS (talk) 18:41, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
There has been plenty of publicity already. In addition to two threads at AN/I and references at the Village Pump, notices have been up for weeks at WP:CENT and at the Wikipedia Signpost. If no additional editors are commenting, chances are that they are not interested, don't want to throw in their lot with a losing cause, or don't want to pile onto what is already a clear majority.--Goodmorningworld (talk) 18:57, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I really don't know how anyone can claim that this issue (merging a few fairly obscure guidelines) deserves even the amount of attention it has got, let alone more. You seem to have been misled by the noise certain people are suddenly making, creating the impression that this is a major controversy. There is no doubt at all that there was consensus to make the merge; there is no doubt at all that there is no consensus to reverse it. If consensus counts for anything at Wikipedia, then that should be enough. (I'm not being argumentative, I'm just arguing; I don't doubt your good faith or neutrality, but I hope that I can persuade you to think again.)--Kotniski (talk) 07:19, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

a comment about the merge/revert war/thing[edit]

Im sure I read somewhere that if a guideline is in dispute a very senior member of the community has to get involved.  rdunnPLIB  10:25, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

You probably also read somewhere that decisions on WP are taken by consensus, and that when consensus has been reached editors accept that decision. We're all learning fast here.--Kotniski (talk) 10:52, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
to Kotniski=(yes i do know look at when i created my account please dont write at me as though im only new)
as far as I can see there was no proper concensus on the matter even some time ago (the summeries say it was just done) and as its a guideline set out by the head, surely mere editors cant just be the ones to diside what happens with something fundamentle (yes I know its a "guideline" but we must do things properly).  rdunnPLIB  11:09, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, I didn't mean that to be in any way patronizing. But I agree this sort of thing should be decided by an admin; unfortunately admins are loathe to intervene in anything that is in any way complicated, they prefer to just block and go. So we have to operate on the basis of consensus, which we did undoubtedly have in this case (as I keep saying, the discussion was not on this page, but it was well advertised here, in case anyone was watching). However as you see, a certain clique has discovered that consensus needn't be a barrier to anything - it's how determinedly you can edit-war and stir up trouble that actually decides things. I've started a thread about this, now at WP:VPP#Is edit-warring the way we establish consensus?.--Kotniski (talk) 11:19, 2 March 2009 (UTC)


Please avoid insults and comments on personal traits of wikipedians. Statements like this: admins are loathe to intervene in anything that is in any way complicated do not contribute to cooperation, not to say it is false and misleading. Please discuss the subject, not the editors. Calling names is not only uncivil, it is merely waste of people's time and delay of the solution. - 7-bubёn >t 18:57, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

Sorry, just where are Kotniski's "insults", and why is the comment about admins (technical, as far as I can see) a problem? Tony (talk) 02:47, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
This statement, technical or not, falsely portrays "admins" en masse as lazy or reckless ones, willing to deal with simple cases only. It is a problem because it may be perceived as an insult, even it was not intended as such. - 7-bubёn >t 04:54, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
Now that you asked and I am here, I'd like to mention that I have an impression that this phrase expresses a misconception that admins possess some kind of supersmartness to sole any problems quickly. They are not. They have certain tools, only because they have a degree of credibility they will not abuse these tools, since they are powerful. In all other respects they are not supposed to be better or smarter or faster than you. Quite a few very experienced editors do not want to have admin privileges. And opposite way, quite a few admins were desysopped despite all their smartness: they are human and may err, sometimes badly. - 7-bubёn >t 04:54, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
Further, I picked the phrase in question at random. This talk page is abound of other examples of treading on personalities. It does not matter whether the person is good or bad. If he is good, then accusations are bad. If he is bad, he will just laugh. In both cases you gain nothing, only waste the bandwidth. The basic behavior policy, WP:NPA states is simply and plainly: Comment on content, not on the contributor. I understand that sometimes a person for some reason appears to defy any logic. There are venues of community dispute resolution barring personal confrontation. - 7-bubёn >t 04:54, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
I am not sure to what level of detail I have to explain you wikipedia policies. If you still feel unconvinced, please answer my question first: what exactly is unclear in the rule "Comment on content, not on the contributor"? - 7-bubёn >t 04:54, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
I never mentioned or even implied any specific individuals, so I don't think I was being in any way uncivil. It was meant as a criticism of the system and the behaviours that the system encourages, not of admins as people. --Kotniski (talk) 08:45, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
Your statment unfortunatly does not read like that. rdunnPLIB  12:37, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
  • Now that I have time to read K's statement at normal speed, yes, he might have avoided the criticism of admins. However, I believe there is over-reaction here. Admins' time would be better spent convincing a few of their colleagues not to block as a first rather than a last resort, and to communicate properly before and after the blocking. These are both policy requirements, and an incident only last week exposed wanton disregard of these rules. Kotniski's statement may have been slightly out of place here, but needs to be made in quite a few places on WP. Tony (talk) 14:11, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
    "Slightly out of place" is a slightly correct statement. Any postfactum out-of-context whining will not change the system. If you think that the actions of certain admins are improper, you must discuss them in appropriate venues. This particular page is about improvement of a particular article. Once again, my remark is not limited to the comment about the admin. I stumbled upon this talk page by a sheer acccident, and I was quite surprized that such an abstract topic generated so much heat. It is not, like, Palestinian-Israel conflict here. I suggest to forget all "yes, but", apologize to each other (even if you feel you should not), and keep on. Please notice I am not threatening nobody with blocks, so I don't accept the accusation in "over-reaction". Don't you know that mutual incivility has an ugly tendency to escalate? I understand that sometimes a person just has to vent their frustration. But is this topic really worth anger? - 7-bubёn >t 16:53, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

I would merely add the observation, as a fact and not intended as a criticism of anyone, that my report at AN/I was archived before any admin responded (either positively or negatively) to the substantial evidence I provided. This does indeed indicate to me that "difficult" matters are less likely to attract admin attention. Only natural I suppose - if I were an admin, I'd prefer the quick and easy jobs as well - but I think part of the problem is that admins are expected just to act on the basis of what they see without talking to the parties first, which (if it were me) would discourage me from acting in those cases where I'd feel a need to discuss the parties' positions with them before judging.--Kotniski (talk) 11:29, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

Admins are not expected to act without talking. It all depends on circumstances. The complaints are often closed when (1) coming from only one person, when no furter escalation occurs after the initial complaint or (2) there is no evidence that milder forms of wikipedia dispute resolution were attempted. - There are serious resons to do so, I will not go into detail here. In other words, quite on the contrary of your perception, the admins are supposed to undertake "long and difficult jobs", leaving "quick and easy" ones to be dissolved by themselves or by the community efforts, without resorting to ten-pound hammer. - 7-bubёn >t 16:28, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
That will be why an admin came in and protected this page in a particular form without explaining or talking to anyone? That must have been really long and difficult. --Kotniski (talk) 15:32, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
And I see that no one who is hankering after retaining this page has bothered to address my sentence-by-sentence list below. The silence suggests that no one does believe it's useful. Tony (talk) 15:38, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
Warnock's DilemmaHex (❝?!❞) 15:44, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
Almost every single one of your comments is of the "[is in / should be in] LINKING", without much explanation as to why. LINKING is a style guideline, BTW is a content guideline. MOS is no place for content decisions to be made. —Locke Coletc 21:53, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
Please justify your assertions. Why is LINKING a style guideline and BTW a content guideline? To me they seem to be talking about the same thing, except that LINKING does it far more clearly and comprehensively. I don't know if links count as style or content or neither or both, but it doesn't matter - whichever it is, both guidelines are of the same type. --Kotniski (talk) 07:11, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
PS I've changed the label on WP:Linking (from style to editing guideline), if that makes you any happier.--Kotniski (talk) 09:51, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
  • No, it's your dilemma if there is utterly no case that this little page has anything to contribute—that is, if you still hanker to retain it in any form other than an historical relic. Tony (talk) 15:57, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
Nice dodge. — Hex (❝?!❞) 17:25, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

OK, sentence by sentence: why is MOS fragmentation required?[edit]

Further to Kotniski's point above, I've listed all of the text on the page here, with comments below.

BTW sentences

  1. Build the Web is the idea of connecting relevant topics throughout an article since all articles in the encyclopedia are nodes in a hypertext system. Do not just write the article, but also consider its place in the web.
  2. Make upward links to categories and contexts (Charles Darwin was a biologist; Sahara is a desert in Africa; the Enlightenment happened in the 18th century). Make sideways links to neighboring articles (for proton see also electron, Oregon borders on California). Introduce links from related articles to avoid orphaning the article.
  3. Do not build category trees too deep and narrow, or too flat. Writing category directories first (top-down) will help ensure that subcategory articles get useful names.
  4. Think carefully before you remove a link altogether (apart from the case of a duplicate link). Remember that what may seem like an irrelevant link to you may actually be useful to other readers.
  5. Don't be afraid to create links to articles which don't exist yet. If you think there should be an article with that title, then be bold and make the link. Of course, the best way to build the web is to then go ahead and write that article.
  6. Remember that a link can also be useful when applying the "What links here" feature from the target page.
  7. If you feel that a certain link does not belong in the body of the text, consider moving it to a "See also" section at the bottom of the article. This keeps the web intact while removing overlinking.

Comments by Tony1

  1. This appears to be so close in meaning to the opening of WP:LINKING as to be redundant.
  2. The "upward", "downward" and "sideways" concepts are probably worth a mention at LINKING. The examples, aside from "desert" in most contexts, are covered at LINKING, I'd have thought. In any case, it would be more useful to show editors examples of where, say, "desert" might be an appropriate link (perhaps a pipe to the flora and fauna section of "Desert" from an article on the kangaroo rat or the prickly pear), rather than implying that "desert" should normally be linked.
  3. Can someone explain what a "category tree" is (for less experienced editors), and what it is to build them "too deep and narrow, or too flat"? An example is needed for "top–down"—I'm ignorant of what it could mean. This could easily be included somewhere in LINKING, if it's useful (convince us).
  4. Perhaps this could be noted at LINKING explicitly; however, I think it's already implied, isn't it?
  5. Is there disagreement between this and "Red links" at LINKING, or the article on Red links? If so, could we resolve it?
  6. This feature is discussed at Link maintenance in LINKING. Is it in conflict? If so, it must be very subtle.
  7. This should definitely be included in LINKING.

So what is the problem? Can we agree which little bits might be added to LINKING, please, and then all get back to improving WP? Tony (talk) 11:18, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

Agree with your points, and with the proposal to move relevant aspects of this page to WP:LINKING.
The "quality" of the current four paragraphs (a result of 219 edits over a period of seven years) suggest a general disinterest in the improvement of the page. "Think carefully.." and "Don't be afraid..."? Seriously? In general, the page is weak on practical advice for WP's editors ("do not build category trees too deep and narrow, or too flat."—what is the practical point of that "advice"?). Although I am in favour of the bit about considering the movement of certain links into the See Also section of an article. On the other hand, WP:LINKING takes some time and effort to offer practical advice and useful guidelines. The simple fact that WP:LINKING has attracted almost twice the edits in just over half the lifespan of this page indicates a clear preference as to which page is worthy of being developed.
The few practical aspects of the whimsical jottings on this page should be subsumed into WP:LINKING. If I were a BOLDer editor, I'd do that and consider suggesting this page for deletion. However, truth be told the page may be worth keeping for amusement-sake alone (I certainly derive some amusement from noticing that the final word in an "essay" promoting the use of links, is "overlinking").
 HWV258  00:49, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

Comments by ...

  • This existed before MOS:Linking, and independently of it. The best response to duplication is to remove the recent redundancy in the MOS:Linking page.
    Why? What has the history to do with it? Why cover the same topic on two different pages? How does that help readers? (Your other two points read like bitter invective and don't contribute to the discussion.)--Kotniski (talk) 11:59, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
    There are two paths to reduce redundancy, if it's a problem: one in each article. Our normal approach is to explain in full in a separate article, and summarize on other pages; this would imply reducing the inclusion in LINKING, if anything. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 15:51, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
But BTW as it stands doesn't explain anything in full; anything it says, WP:LINKING (or some other guideline, like WP:CAT) explains much better. Unless you can point to an exception. But BTW is so short anyway that almost certainly anything it says can be included in LINKING without making the latter page too long. Anyway, down to specifics please. --Kotniski (talk) 16:08, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
  • "Fragmenting" an annexation of last month is the cry of poor beleaguered imperialists everywhere; as always, Tony fails to ask the question: why should any of this be in a style guideline at all?
  • He should learn to confine his itch for "authority" to more hierarchical societies than WP. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 21:25, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
Anderson, you should know by now that I spurn hierarchy. The only authority we need here is that of style guides, not people. This guideline needs to be returned to bed and one or two morsels, if people insist, included in LINKING. What exactly did you say was unique info here? Tony (talk) 01:37, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
Misquotation again, I see. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 15:51, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

If no one can argue for the usefulness of the statements on the page, it should be put to bed[edit]

Again, I point out that not one person has argued above why any one of the statements on the page should be retained as a separate guideline. I've numbered them for easy reference. The silence makes me suspect that this page is being touted as a guideline for political purposes alone—as a symbol. This is not a good reason to fragment the Manual of Style. Our editors deserve clear advice on linking, on a single page. Fragmentation would be a disservice to them. Tony (talk) 08:19, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

Yes, I agree, and so does the community as we've seen. We've heard only rhetoric from the supporters of this guideline; every attempt to engage them in discussion over specifics has met with silence or worse. This merger has been decided twice by consensus; it should be (again) implemented. If there are no counter-arguments of substance then we should make an editprotected request, asking for the guideline tag to be removed. If it was just about this page I wouldn't mind so much, but the unresolved status here is causing edit warring elsewhere (e.g. at WP:Linking over how to link or refer to BTW; at Template:Wikipedia policies and guidelines and Template:Guideline list over whether this and/or WP:Linking should be selected for listing). --Kotniski (talk) 08:56, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
Tony, not everyone need respond to you for them to still disagree with what you and Kotniski want to do. Perhaps you and Kotniski should "put to bed" any dreams you two may have of demoting this and expanding your MOS power grab beyond MOS pages... —Locke Coletc 10:14, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
What are you talking about? Again, no response of substance; you seem to be sharing Sept's delusions that this is about some kind of power struggle. No-one has any power over any pages beyond their ability to convince others of their point of view. If you think that we have some power over MOS pages (which is nonsense anyway), then why are you fighting to keep the main Linking page marked as MOS? Please answer also as to why it helps readers to keep this page separate. Just saying "I disagree" and refusing to discuss further is, to my mind, no disagreement at all.--Kotniski (talk) 10:24, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
Yes, Cole, substantive engagement on the parts of BTW you believe are unique and useful is required, not personalised attacks. Accusing people of power grabs? Hello? Tony (talk) 10:42, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
I'm done with you Tony. I'm not responding to any more of your attempts to skew and steer discussion away from the real subject here: your attempt to kill any guideline you disagree with, repeatedly, until you get your way. —Locke Coletc 10:46, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
That's a laugh. Tony has done more than anyone to steer discussion towards the real issues. No guideline has been killed - everything of relevance anyone's pointed to (and they've been consistently asked to do so) that was in BTW has been incorporated into Linking. If you can't discuss the questions of substance, then stop edit warring and leave others to discuss in peace.--Kotniski (talk) 10:55, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
I'll be absolutely clear here. The merge of BTW with MOSLINK was a complete mistake, based on misstated and nonexistent "consensus" (28 hours of discussion to merge a seven year guideline is wrong, especially when Tony had been trying (and failing) to otherwise demote this page). Further, that merge placed a content guideline (when to link) with a style guideline (how links should appear), and that's a power grab by MOS-types to legitimize their other pages which cover "when to link". Stop trying to suck more and more into MOS via these backdoor and shady shenanigans. —Locke Coletc 10:46, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
Your logic is still faulty - sure, if MOSLINK was about how links should appear, then it would be a style guideline, but it is about when to link, and should therefore not be a style guideline according to your own logic. But you oppose me when I try to mark it as any other guideline, on the entirely unsupported premise that style guidelines are of lower status thatn editing guidelines, and with deluded and ridiculous claims about power grabbing.--Kotniski (talk) 10:55, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
Oh, and it's highly dishonest to keep repeating this "28 hours of discussion" claim when links have already been provided to show that discussion took place over months - especially since you were there yourself and supported the merge. --Kotniski (talk) 11:13, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
Nothing dishonest about it: there was a 28 hour discussion which was closed and marked off with the uninviting "this discussion is concluded"-type template. No discussion occurred after that (at least nothing significant) until January, when you had the merged page completed. Claiming existing longstanding consensus, you, Tony and others moved forward with the merge. I agreed because, like a complete moron, I actually believed you and the MOS regulars when you claimed discussion had already occurred. This left discussion at parsing out the final wording of the (supposedly supported) merge. —Locke Coletc 11:43, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
  • I would appreciate it if you stopped personalising the issue: I seem to be crop up in most of your statements, as though you have an obsession with/against me; I would be more comfortable talking with you on technical matters without this personalising. Where is your engagement with each statement, as laid out above, to determine just why the clock should be turned back? Tony (talk) 11:52, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
  • We're here because of more of your poor behavior. The root cause of this latest dispute is simply this: Tony doesn't like it, Tony has tried repeatedly to downgrade/delete/otherwise kill this guideline, and he finally got one of his attempts through after asking and re-asking (and having discussion cut short in the process, with Tony not objecting in the interests of fairness). Things regarding MOS would go more smoothly if you simply weren't involved, IMHO. —Locke Coletc 12:09, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
Yes, stop the personal attacks; you have yet to answer the questions of why you say this guideline has been "killed", i.e. what of substance it said that is not in WP:Linking now, and what use it serves as a separate page. I hope that people observing these discussions can see who's trying to be constructive and who's continually derailing any attempts at rational discussion. If you don't want to take part in the constructive debate, then please be silent and let others do so.--Kotniski (talk) 13:25, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
Absolutely NOT. I refuse to remain silent while Tony and you steamroll another discussion. YOU'VE BEEN TOLD, REPEATEDLY, that you have no consensus for this. You were even told this by an uninvolved admin after you WENT FISHING for support at AN/I. Now you're fishing at the village pump, seemingly desperate to find anyone who might be fooled by these antics. —Locke Coletc 13:40, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
I raised a separate issue at the pump. Because you edit war in so many places, and never make any attempt to start reasoned discussion yourself, I have to take on the job of initiating discussion about all our disputed issues, and the appropriate forum may be different in each case. If you believe that there is no consensus, then prove it by making a coherent case of some sort about the issues. Or sit back and let someone else do it. While all the arguments are on one side, consensus must lie on that side.--Kotniski (talk) 13:46, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
As you have repeatedly shown an inability to accept what others have told you, I am making proposals regarding your conduct here at the RFAR. Please look at Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Date delinking/Workshop in my section. I note you've entirely ignored my comment regarding the uninvolved admin trying to explain the lack of consensus to you. —Locke Coletc 13:51, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
  • Oh puhleasse. Take a deep breath, calm down, and tell us, sentence-by-sentence, why this page was brought out of the closet. Still no substantive discussion, just personal attacks and political moves. Tony (talk) 14:07, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

Could we, for the sake of the argument, please simply assume that Kotniski and Tony1 want BTW merged into MOSLINK because they want to increase their own power over Wikipedia and in order to drive Locke Cole into insanity so that they can get rid of the only remaining obstacle to complete wiki domination. And that they went about it using the most unethical methods possible. I suggest taking these editors' crimes to a forum where they can actually be dealt with. What we need to discuss here is whether, just by accident, the side-effect of these crimes – the merging of two guideline/whatever documents that discuss(ed) the same issue incompletely (at least one of them) and in such a way that they seem(ed) to contradict each other – happened to be also constructive and beneficial to the project or not.

In other words: We have institutions like WP:ANI for discussing editor behaviour, so that talk pages like the present one can be kept almost completely free of the discussion of perceived personal issues, process violations or similar issues that have no relevance whatsoever for improving the pages in question. This page currently consists almost exclusively of such irrelevant arguments and that must change. --Hans Adler (talk) 13:51, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

Indeed. And given the number of times and places that Kotniski has forum shopped the issue (including AN/I) without receiving so much as a whisker of support from the administrative community, that speaks volumes about the validity of his and Tony1's actions. — Hex (❝?!❞) 14:34, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
Oh dear: I think you completely missed his irony. Tony (talk) 16:06, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
Are you feeling alright? Seeing irony where it doesn't exist is often a sign of dizziness. — Hex (❝?!❞) 16:15, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
See what Adler said above about personalising? Your edit summary is sarcastic. Remember that you are expected to set an example of civility and NPA and AGF as an admin, rather than indulging your whim. I think you need to read WP:ADMIN closely. You were not a good choice as an admin, it seems, although although I do not doubt that you are capable of taking your responsibilities and policy obligations more seriously; I'm sure many people would encourage you to do so. Note also that you are expected not to bring your personal views on users to other forums. Tony (talk) 16:26, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
"Oh dear yourself" is sarcasm? I think a little dictionary browsing would be time well spent on your part. — Hex (❝?!❞) 16:37, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

Coming at this from a different approach[edit]

Looking at this entire thing from a completely different angle (and in relation to MOSNUM issues) I would like to suggest the following:

There needs to be a separation of how we display information to the reader (a Manual of Style issue) and why we display information in that fashion to the reader (a content issue).

If I think to the physical MOS (UofChicago, S&W, etc.) these are all highly objective determinations that are simply identified without any consideration of what the author was thinking at the time. The same is true for some of what we have MOS here for - references after punctuation, non breaking spaces between units, etc. These are generally similar enough that bots can be used to identify when they are correct or not without much more programming than simple regex solutions. Then we have the content aspects of these, which is where there is human consideration and variability, and while a few aspects may have black and white answers, most are going to be up to the editors themselves to determine if things are met appropriately.

What this relates to the present discussion is that when I read WP:MOSLINK, it is a mix of hows and whys of linking. (It even states this in the lede). There's really only a few sections in this document that say the whys. Now, I'm not saying to lose that information, but instead for purposes of separately out absolutes (the "how"s) from the subjectives (the "why"s), this page (WP:BTW) should probably be considered the summary of all the "why" advice, which includes the BTW statements and the section in MOSLINK that explains when and when not to link. That make no longer make this page "Build the Web" (though that would remain a logical subsection of it) but still would explain how to subjectively evaluate each link. Basically, this would make the page work like what the MOSLINK "External Links" section starts like - a brief acknowledgment to the guideline on when ELs are made (the "Why") and then the uncontentious "how"s.

In this way, the MOS aspects of linking can be strongly enforced, and leaves the decision on when to link up to the editors and discussion when articles are reviews, allowing common sense to be applied naturally. When they are combined as they are not in MOSLINK, it is hard to separate what is a hard fast rule from a rule with leeway (and thus why I believe those seeking to retain BTW are insisting, because the advice is better than what currently given on MOSLINK). This advice would probably work for most of the other MOS pages as well. (certainly at MOSNUM over the recent issue of date linking). --MASEM (t) 14:20, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

Thank you for saying this, but it's not entirely clear to me per se, and does not address the issue from the point of view of editors who are looking for recommendations. There is no reason for this to be sequestered out. Have you read MOSLINK? It says all of the same things as are here. Dividing style guidelines on an arbitrary how vs why would not do anyone a service. It is hard enough to manage/coordinate the pages as it is now. Cole, over to you for another opportunity to slam me, please ... Tony (talk) 14:31, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
What I'm saying is "when" or "why" to link is not a style guideline (when considering what traditional style guidelines are, recognizing that one for hyperlink documents will be rather different) and rather a content decision. Style guidelines can be easily enforced; content guidelines much less so. That's fundamentally what happened at MOSNUM, and what's happening here.
Also, while I that the advise on MOSLINK and what's on BTW are fundamentally the same, they are very different in their approaches, one is top-down, the other bottom-up, both working to the same goal. Since linking in a hypertext encyclopedia is important, I see no reason why both pieces of advise cannot both exist at the same time, and ideally on the same page so a newer editor can compare and contrast to understand how to create links. But this aspect is all content driven, and not a style issue, which is why they should be segregated out. --MASEM (t) 14:47, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure I understand exactly what separation you're proposing, or how it would be helpful either for those using the guidelines or those maintaining them. Do you think WP:Linking is excessively long? If not, isn't it easier for editors looking for advice on that subject to go to just the one place? If there is no very clear conceptual division between the content of the two pages, then they will tend over time to come to duplicate and even contradict each other, as we have seen in other situations. I think this distinction between "style" and "content" is not only unnecessary, but is understood differently by different people, this and would lead to confusion over what should be on one page and what on the other. I also think we should avoid separating statements on the basis of how hard and fast they are as rules - all rules are subject to exceptions on WP, and there is a continuum of absoluteness, not a clear division into a couple of discrete categories (and it doesn't depend much on whether they're style or content issues). We already have a false dichotomy between policies and guidelines - let's not start another one.--Kotniski (talk) 15:39, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
From seeing what happened at MOSNUM and seeing what's happening here, it is clear that there are people (like Tony) that want to have heavily-enforced MOS, using bots if so necessary, at least as articles move away from stubs and the like, but clearly an article can't be FA without adhering to the MOS. That approach is fine, if not a bit heavy-handed, but is necessary for quality assurance when an article gets that bronze star. But because of this, the MOS should be issues that are strictly objective, the "how" things are done, with just a necessary amount of common sense where appropriate but little room for subjective determination. Things such as when dates are linked, or why any word or phrase should linked, are very subjective, and those we can provide guideline advice on them but outside of style concerns.
I know the aspect of MOS's being treated as policy vs guideline is an issue at the date linking ArbCom, but for all practical purposes, if we removed all subjective aspects of the MOSs and put them in content guidelines, the MOSs should be able to become policy, the content guidelines remaining as guidelines. That achieves the same dichotomy as, say, WP:V and WP:RS (policy with a guideline to clarify specifics). Since there is a strong urge to get the MOSs to the level of policy, we should make sure that they are as objective as possible to avoid a repeat of MOSNUM. --MASEM (t) 16:11, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
If there's really a dispute about whether MOS should be policy or guideline, that just further proves my theory that the p/g distinction is a pointless distraction. All these pages should be there to provide guidance to editors and a means of settling certain disputes. Some guidance can be formulated as specific rules (which may have more or less frequent exceptions), some is more vague and subjective - but this applies to all types of guidance, style-related or content-related or behaviour-related or whatever. We should be designing these pages with readers (i.e. WP editors) in mind, making it easy and intuitive to find the information they're looking for - and also bearing in mind the difficulties with maintaining the pages which are always subject to attempts to skew them by those involved in arguments elsewhere. For both of these reasons, I strongly favour organizing pages by subject, not by abstract type of statement, and keeping the number of pages on any given subject as small as is practical (though without any page becoming so long as to be unwieldy - this can sometimes be achieved by compacting the advice rather than splitting it). --Kotniski (talk) 16:37, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
It might be a helpful discussion to figure out exactly what the MOSs are supposed to do: are they "must follow"s with limited exemptions (like policy) or are they guidance? The current use of them are arbitrary so we need to figure that out to really figure out the right direction. --MASEM (t) 18:25, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
Again, this is a false dichotomy. Some style statements are pretty absolute, some a bit less so, some a lot less so. And the same with statements about content, behaviour, deletion and so on. There are many things written on policy pages that are not or could not be enforced except as vague guidance, while there are things on some guideline pages that are and should be respected in almost all cases. It would be impractical to attempt to divide pages up in such a way that the statements on any given page represent the same degree of exceptibility. People can see by the form of the statement how absolute it is meant to be (whether it is objective or subjective, whether it contains words like "must", "should", "usually", "often" "never" etc.); the pages should be divided thematically so that people know where to come for full guidance on a particular subject.--Kotniski (talk) 08:08, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

In fact, if I understand correctly, your idea is more about splitting up WP:Linking than utilizing WP:BTW, so would it be more appropriate to move this discussion to the Linking talk page?--Kotniski (talk) 17:12, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

I'm not sure if that's necessarily a better venue; as I'm reading this, this entire issue started as an attempt to merge/redirect BTW to LINKING due to duplicity of content, and that's still in dispute. --MASEM (t) 18:25, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
Not so much duplicity as duplication (I wouldn't accuse outright). No, the policy/guideline issue is irrelevant to whether this page should be re-elevated to guideline status. What counts is the clarity and good organisation of our guidelines for editors, and this split makes utterly no sense. Most guidelines contain both "how" and "why" elements, with good justificaiton. Tony (talk) 07:02, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
Yes, you say that the duplication is "in dispute", but if you look, you'll see no-one is actually disputing it (we keep inviting people to, but meet only silence or personal attacks in response). If you want to dispute it, then it looks like you'll need to spell out the arguments yourself.--Kotniski (talk) 08:08, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
What's in dispute is whether we need to do anything about the duplication (which is not exact, and getting less so as Tony pushes his POV at LINKING), and, if we do need to do something, what. I don't think we need do anything at all, and reducing the references at Linking down to summary style should solve any remaining content problem. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 18:39, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
I don't outright call it duplication, and I don't argue the advice is similar - however, the approach in how they are written is very different. The LINKING advice is more geared towards avoiding overlinking and practical linking approaches, while BTW is gears towards a more holistic approach to linking. Neither is bad advise, nor contradictory with each other, but BTW's philosophical nature is a good guideline for newer editors to consider instead of the sanitary nature of the LINKING ones. It does not hurt to have both. --MASEM (t) 15:13, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
What in Build the web do you consider to be of any philosophical value (I mean, greater philosophical value than the lede of Linking)? I keep asking people this, and never seem to get an answer - maybe you all consider it too obvious to need spelling out, but I genuinely can't see it. I don't doubt that it's possible to write a good philosophical essay about hyperlinking in Wikipedia, but this doesn't seem to be it.--Kotniski (talk) 15:44, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
Even if the words were exactly the same, here they have a different presentation - the title of the page better expresses the message and it is not weighed down with other technical matters that are not relevant to the message. Christopher Parham (talk) 17:29, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
But the title doesn't express the message - that's one of the most obvious faults. The title seems to say "make lots of links to the World Wide Web", and yet the essay doesn't mention external links at all, it's all about making links within Wikipedia. (Building the Web is actually something we specifically do NOT go out of our way to do, as I've said before.) And this essay uses hierarchical language - upwards, downwards, sideways - which apart from not being explained, is incompatible with the idea of a web (which as far as I know doesn't have a top and a bottom). The wording might seem superficially attractive if you know already what it's trying to say; but obviously it should be written for those who don't yet know.--Kotniski (talk) 07:01, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
  • Manderson, just as well we all realise your mono-agenda: to reduce the authority and utility of the styleguides. It's been going on for a few years now; I'm surprised you haven't given up—it's a very transparent one-person mantra. Now you've found a great way to stick your fingers into this particular issue, as you did at the Workshop page, to push your little peeves. Equally useless. Tony (talk) 03:31, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
    • Masem, I disagree strongly that "it doesn't hurt"; the MoS is weakened by such fragmentation, which is why Manderson is doing his utmost to opportunistically put his hammer in the works here. It comprises more than 50 pages, I believe, and it is not fair to the project to fight against clear-headed rationalisation. Where, exactly, is this "philosophy" expressed that is not expressed at the start of and during MOSLINK? We need solid, specific answers to the separate sentences I've set out above. Tony (talk) 16:00, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
      • Tony's use of fragmentation implies some novel or Pickwickian sense of the word. This page was merged into MOS in January after a short discussion among a small number of editors; it was demerged in February; MoS remains as it used to be. I do not believe that the conquests of MOS are irreversible. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 22:20, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
      • Again, what this comes around to is exactly what strength we are expecting the MOS to hold. When I think "manual of style" I think of what I've had to use in the past in printed forms: hard, fast rules on writing layout, capitalization, punctuation, etc. that give little wiggle room for the writer as they are meant to be objectively determined if met. Given what I've seen at FAC and the date formatting ArbCom issue, that seems to be the approach that people want here; the MOSs are nearly equivalent to policy. That's fine, but that means we run into trouble of non-objective advice placed among objective rules. Advice can never be considered policy.
      • If you're happy with MOS as guidelines and should only be treated as such, then sure, I can see merging BTW into the MOS and thus reduce duplicity (but again, I think both written link advice sections are useful even together). But if you want the MOS to be policy, anything that's not objective needs to be stripped from it, and thus I'd take out the linking advice from MOSLINK and move it to here. You can't have it both ways. --MASEM (t) 14:08, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
        • I don't know if "you" means me, but (1) I don't have any ambition for MOS to be marked as policy; (2) I don't think WP:Linking should be marked as part of the MOS (and it wouldn't be if it wasn't for one editor's misguided reverts); (3) there's lots of non-objective advice in policy pages already (just read some of them and you'll see). So as far as I'm concerned (I don't speak for anyone else), the issues you raise don't arise.--Kotniski (talk) 14:38, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
          • "You" in general, but again, I'm not against merging as long as in the future the advice that Linking/BTW gives is not used to strongarm MOS compliance - the timing of this with the recent kerfluffle on date linking is somewhat disconcerting, though I recognize that what's being asked to be done here really shouldn't affect that. --MASEM (t) 14:11, 11 March 2009 (UTC)


  • Support merge I didn't participate in the original discussions, but I think that merging these pages was appropriate and should be (re)done. LINKING needs a strong explanation of why we link, and BTW needs the practical information. It's one-stop shopping for the editors. There's no advantage to keeping these pages split up, and the arguments appear to have a lot more to do with WP:OWNership by the BTW supporters than anything else. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:49, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose merge On face it seems like a reasonable idea but from what has occurred on the WP:LINKING page it appears to me that a number of people involved in this are acting in bad faith: it appears that this isn't an effort to merge but to demote to an essay or otherwise minimize the BTW guideline. The mergers and other editors remove any indication on that page that BTW is a guideline while avoiding talk page justification or explanation, or with shifting reasoning; Tony1, if you note in the archives of this talk page, had previously made repeated efforts to get this page demoted from guideline status; and Kotniski now claims that he doesn't understand the meaning of BTW's title although he appears to have had a big hand in the merge. --❨Ṩtruthious andersnatch❩ 04:27, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
    • What??????? Avoiding talk page justification or explanation???????? We have constantly explained, argued, engaged, asked for reasons why this needs to be a separate guideline, and got pretty much no response from the "other side" (with a couple of exceptions perhaps, although there still doesn't seem to be an answer to the question). Please stop personalizing and address the substantial issues about this page.--Kotniski (talk) 09:26, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
There's basically no interest in explaining or justifying why BTW as expressed in the WP:LINKING page cannot be identified as a Wikipedia guideline - exactly as I said above. Nothing personal at all, simply a fact - one that even fifteen question marks in the space of two sentences will not do away with.
Your claims that you do not understand what BTW means (via asking everyone whether it means anything at all) are entirely relevant to this discussion - it's not as though I made that up, I provided a direct diff to your statement and I assume that you don't dispute the fact you said it. If you actually do think you understand what BTW means (as you certainly should have before merging the guideline), simply state it, and don't pretend not to as a rhetorical tactic attempting to force other people to offer a definition first. Otherwise it's entirely relevant to point out that one of the chief architects of the merge is stating that you don't understand what "build the web" means.
And of course pointing out that Tony1 has repeatedly been involved in efforts to demote this guideline in the past is in no way a personal attack and is entirely and completely apropos - your claim that alerting others to these points is some sort of inappropriate "personalizing" is simply more evidence of bad faith.
If you are insisting that as a precondition to discussing what the meaning of BTW is, its project page must be taken down and any identification of it as a guideline must be removed from Wikipedia first, you just aren't going to get very far. Not with me, anyways. --❨Ṩtruthious andersnatch❩ 21:32, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
I'm not making any preconditions. Let's hear it then: the meaning of BTW. --Kotniski (talk) 12:30, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
This is only my understanding of it; the web is the way in which articles link together to give readers the ability to navigate as if crossing a spider's web, taking any from a huge number of twists and turns to get from one side to the other. And much like a spider's web, the links (strands) need to be made to best suit the purpose of people getting caught in it. So the idea of building the web is to insert wiki-links and external links into an article that will further a reader's path through the information web, but which will not hinder them. And I think that's where the divisiveness starts. I mean, from a strict BTW perspective, date auto-formatting is bad, even more so when you look at the semantic web, because auto-formatting usurps the wiki-hypertext mark-up and utilises it for a different purpose. The other issue with regards divisiveness is linked to the density of links; I suppose, after all, we must consider how dense a spider's web is? I think Kotniski's rewrite, had it evolved over time and had people given this page full attention and thought about what it meant, it would have been uncontroversial, because I think it captures exactly what BTW means. BTW was never a license to wikify every word, because such a license has never been granted by the Wikipedia community. If people could put their partisan approaches behind them, and work out what the principle is, (build the web), and then suggest what makes a good link and what makes a bad link, we would, as a community, come out close to what Kotniski has drafted. I don't expect everyone would agree with every word, but that's not the point of consensus. The point of consensus is what we'll live with, not what we agree on in unanimity. The only thing we can all agree on in unanimity is that Wikipedia should exist. Everything else is what we'll live with rather than our personal view of that shared Wikipedia. It's a Wikipedia flawed by compromises rather than ideals, but it is a Wikipedia that exists. Bleh.... I'll stop there... I feel like I'm lecturing. Hiding T 13:47, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
  • Support merge. Linking is a matter of balance. The following are two unquestionably bad examples:
    • Orchidaceae is the largest family of Angiospermae. Its name is derived from the genus Orchis.The Royal Botanical Gardens of Kew list 880 genera and nearly 22,000 accepted species.
    • Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the Unitead States. He is the first African American to hold the office.
BTW adresses only one of the problems. Some editors lean naturally towards one of the two extremes. Naturally they will look for guidelines that support their inclinations. An unbalanced guideline like BTW has the potential to cause disruption when editors feel that it justifies their incorrect edits. The guideline cannot be fixed so long as its very title is unbalanced.
Everything about the behaviour of the disputants here is a red herring. There is consistently bad behaviour from both sides. --Hans Adler (talk) 14:05, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
  • Support the previous merge. This page adds nothing new. It seems to be a private castle for a few people who want to maximise linking at whatever cost, although even that is unclear from the BTW page. It's fuzziness and fragmentation that WP's editors who seek guidance can do without. Tony (talk) 10:40, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
    • The end result of the advice isn't different from the section in LINKING, but it is more holistic than practical, and to that end, the text of the page should be kept in conjunction to contrast with LINKING. Whether here on BTW or on LINKING, it doesn't matter (as long as it's understood that if on the MOS page, MOS is only a guideline and thus not to be strongly enforced) but both pieces need to be given. --MASEM (t) 13:54, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
  • Strong merge. What on earth is the point of this being a separate guideline? I realise it's probably been through a zillion iterations, but in its current form it's barely an essay. Stick it in WP:LINKING (or even MoS) as a section and be done with it. Rationalise! Simplify! I don't care about the content either way, but the needless duplication almost offends me. Isn't WP complicated enough? Rd232 talk 00:24, 30 March 2009 (UTC)

an idea for a solution[edit]

Iv'e just thought that we could keep BTW but create a tag to go on the top that says "contravertial guideline" or sommat like that and put in the tag words along the lines of "this page is kept as a historical reference but can be still implemented if you wish" or "this is a guideline guideline" (ie you dont have to do it if you dont want to)  rdunnPLIB  10:50, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

Well yes, that's what most people want to do (mark it as an essay, historical page, former guideline or whatever), and is no doubt what would have happened in a saner world. However a tenacious minority object, and for some reason this means we have to have it their way. (I must work out how Wikipedia really works one day...) --Kotniski (talk) 14:31, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
If its what most people want to do, how is it in a minority?  rdunnPLIB  10:14, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
I think Kotniski's saying that most people want it marked as a former guideline. That is my understanding, at least until these proponents provide, sentence-by-sentence, a good reason this should exist aside from MOSLINK; the latter seems to embody everything here. See my setting out of the text in little chunks for such justification. No one seems willing to engage with the facts. Tony (talk) 10:38, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
so why dont we do that is thats what the majority want then? i would call that a concensus. rdunnPLIB  10:44, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
  • Well, we did that back a few months ago; the current situation is connected with the rather nasty goings-on about date-autoformatting and the linking of chronological items, including an ArbCom hearing. That Kotniski's good work in just one rationalisation of the MoS has been temporarily unravelled to make a point is highly regrettable. There is no substantive reason to fragment; just a political one. Tony (talk) 12:51, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
ah i see everything as it should be now. thankyou and apologisees for any inconveniance.  rdunnPLIB  15:04, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

View from the sidelines[edit]

I have always found BTW useful to quote for the following argument: hyperlinks are useful and easy to do on wikis, hence our articles should have plenty of internal links. I don't think we have a better known policy stating this, and while there might have been too much instruction creep on this page in the past, I support the idea of having a policy which encourages having internal links in articles. PS. Of course, due attention should be paid to avoid interlinking, but that's not difficult. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 02:13, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

Which part of the Linking guideline would you like to select for your future quotes? "Linking is one of the most important features of Wikipedia", or "It is an important Wikipedia guideline that editors should build the Web by creating articles and adding appropriate links between them", or "However, overlinking is also something to be avoided. A high density of irrelevant links makes it harder for the reader to identify and follow those links which are likely to be of value" are all good. There's plenty more there as well—enjoy.  HWV258  03:41, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
Hmm, that's useful, I didn't know of that one. In that case, what's the difference between BTW and LINKING? I have to admit I am failing to see one, which leads me to tentatively support arguments for a merger. PS. I forgot to mention the importance of Wikipedia:Red link. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 17:06, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
Well, you can read the comments above on this page for more opinions on the issue of difference. In my humble, the Linking guideline is BTW "done right" (but like all articles on WP, they are both works in progress).  HWV258  21:32, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

Intent behind the merge[edit]

It must be noted here in the BTW talk page that after weeks of dissembling, we did get a confirmation that the reason why Kotniski "merged" BTW with the other pages and then interfered with any identification of BTW as a Wikipedia guideline in the Wikipedia:Linking page (Tony1 and others participated in this also) is that he does not think it should be a guideline at all.

This just isn't the Wikipedian way of going about things and it's a subversion of process. If the BTW page needs to be clarified or improved (which I definitely think it does, comparing the current version to the earlier ones which I'd read) let that be done. And if anyone thinks that BTW shouldn't be a guideline, let its deletion or demotion be proposed here (again.)

But besides that - the reason why the guideline "Wikipedians should build the web" ought not be tucked away as some minor detail of an enormous policy page primarily dealing with styling issues and other technicalities of handling links (which, coincidentally, would make it much easier to delete) is that it is genuinely an important WP principle in it's own right. It's the same reason why WP:AGF isn't just a side note on the etiquette or civility pages, for example.

BTW is one of the Wikipedia rules that is referred to by Wikipedia:Ignore all rules. No question that there are exceptions to it but that simply means that exceptions should be described here or linked to from here.--❨Ṩtruthious andersnatch❩ 16:53, 4 April 2009 (UTC)

If you want to pursue that line, justify each statement in the short BTW essay, as I invited people to do above. That is the only way in which guideline status could possibly be supported, and we're waiting to see you do it. Tony (talk) 18:01, 4 April 2009 (UTC)
Tony1, it does not matter what it says in this page. I was not bringing any of the language in the content of this page over to Wikipedia:Linking; all I was doing was insisting that there was a sentence containing the phrase "an important Wikipedia guideline is that editors should build the web". And it's the opposition to and interference with that which has given you away.
You do not particularly care what it says in this page: what you want is to make certain that "build the web" is not identified as a Wikipedia behavioral guideline even in a merged page where I'm not disputing the definition of what that is.
It's you who needs to justify yourself and your actions. There is no question that BTW is an established Wikipedia behavioral guideline and no one needs to prove it, no matter how much chaff you throw around about that or even if you double dog dare me to. --❨Ṩtruthious andersnatch❩ 21:50, 4 April 2009 (UTC)
(ec) Yours is an exceptionally malicious interpretation of the diff you are pointing to. I think it's also factually incorrect. ("Kotniski [...] interfered with any identification of BTW as a Wikipedia guideline in the Wikipedia:Linking page" – are you referring to this???) If you continue to feel the need to discuss editors in this way, I suggest that you take it to an appropriate venue, rather than poison the atmosphere here even more. --Hans Adler (talk) 18:15, 4 April 2009 (UTC)
Strikeout because this doesn't seem to be what you mean. But I have gone back to mid-January in the edit history of WP:LINKING without finding anything appropriate. --Hans Adler (talk) 18:30, 4 April 2009 (UTC)
Somehow I think that everyone following that diff link I put up above will have no trouble figuring out what Kotniski asserting "BTW as a guideline is both redundant and misleading, and should thus not be marked as such" has to with him making a long series of efforts that coincidentally culminated in it not being marked as a Wikipedia guideline anywhere.
You weren't by any chance looking for an excuse to announce that I was being malicious and factually incorrect, were you? I'm sorry, did you just say something about how it's bad to "poison the atmosphere here"?--❨Ṩtruthious andersnatch❩ 13:17, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

I gave a bunch of feedback about this page/merge/status at Template talk:Guideline list#Village pump. Rather than repeating or copying all of that here, I'd appreciate it if the content were read and taken as my contribution to this discussion. Much thanks. -- Quiddity (talk) 18:28, 4 April 2009 (UTC)

Rather than personalizing this with total irrelevancies, please give real reasons why it serves WP editors to have BTW as a separate page with guideline status. I can't see any yet. Clearly even when it was so marked, it wasn't interpreted as a "rule" that has only occasional exceptions (otherwise people would link almost every word in articles, and include goodness knows how many external links, which is simply not what we do or ever have done). Meanwhile the principle that we "build the web" (i.e. make hyperlinks) is stated very clearly, both in those words and in even clearer and stronger words, in the lede of WP:Linking. It isn't in any sense "tucked away". I just don't see what you're getting at with these arguments.--Kotniski (talk) 19:19, 4 April 2009 (UTC)

It doesn't matter whether or not it "serves WP editors" for BTW to be a guideline. You still don't get to personally do a demotion of it in the course of a "tidying up and organizing" merge, period. If you want to demote it then you should have honestly, openly, and straightforwardly brought a proposal for that up. --❨Ṩtruthious andersnatch❩ 21:50, 4 April 2009 (UTC)
As I explained at Template talk:Guideline list#Village pump, the only "advantage" of keeping the guidelines separate that I am aware of is that it makes it possible to "run to the other parent": Say there is a dispute whether the link in "the Glorious Revolution happened in 1689" is relevant [2]. A single guideline will eventually be clear that it is relevant, but only because the article 1689 talks about European history in this year (per consensus for option 1 in WP:Date formatting and linking poll#Year linking).
The year of birth of Tokugawa Yoshimichi also happens to be 1689. The article 1689 is completely irrelevant for this person. (The information about the relations between Russia and China is hardly relevant, and that's the closest I could find.) But in the current situation an editor who believes that all birth and death links should be linked can appeal to WP:BTW which, when read in isolation, does in fact suggest that we can never have enough links. When you reply with WP:OVERLINK, this editor will respond by saying that the two guidelines contradict each other and in this case WP:BTW is right.
Even for an editor who wants to (correctly) link 1689 in the Glorious Revolution context, arguing with someone who believes year links should never be made becomes easier by using the same strategy. --Hans Adler (talk) 20:54, 4 April 2009 (UTC)
I don't think you understand what we're discussing here Hans. At the moment I don't care about and I am not attempting to determine what it says in the BTW policy page or even what it says about the "build the web" guideline over in the Wikipedia:Linking policy page except that BTW is properly identified as a guideline. And I definitely am not saying anything about date linking; I haven't even read up on that.
The point is that a guideline can't be demoted by someone pretending to just be doing a merge to tidy the Wikipedia namespace up. We know that these guys were trying to do that because it wasn't enough for them that the pages be merged - they also insist that BTW not be identified as a Wikipedia guideline in the resulting merged page.
If ArbCom renders a verdict that no date anywhere must be linked (or whatever they're adjudicating, even once I tracked down what was apparently the relevant page I couldn't figure it out) then I have no problem with it being smack in the middle of the BTW page or smack in the middle of the "build the web" behavioral guideline paragraph of a merged page. But it still wouldn't mean that these guys get to demote BTW from guideline status on their own cognizance. --❨Ṩtruthious andersnatch❩ 21:50, 4 April 2009 (UTC)
It's getting more and more clear to me that you are discussing something completely different than everybody else. I, like everybody else, I believe, have been talking about "guidelines" as the written representations of community consensus. Guidelines in this sense can obviously be merged for presentational reasons, so long as the sense is preserved. And if you want to oppose such a merger you need to explain how and why the merger affects the way the consensus is codified, or why the presentation has not been improved. I am still not sure what exactly you are talking about, but it is beginning to look like a "guideline" as an entity whose content may be transferred elsewhere, but which may not be killed even when it's empty. Or perhaps the words "build the web" as a sacrosanct creed which, once you feel it is under attack, needs something like constitutional protection. You may not recognise your position in this description, but this is honestly the best I can come up with. --Hans Adler (talk) 11:50, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
In summarizing my opinion on the merge, you came up with something completely incoherent. I am totally surprised. Really.
"Opposition to mergers must explain how and why the merger affects the way the consensus is codified." Way to make up rules out of thin air. I don't need to summarize that one for it to be incoherent. --❨Ṩtruthious andersnatch❩ 13:17, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
Why of course, if people want to merge and give convincing reasons why it should be done, then just saying no without giving any reason is not acceptable. And if my attempt at mind-reading failed, then how about making it unnecessary by summarising your opinion yourself? --Hans Adler (talk) 14:38, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
Give us a quote of where I've said "no without giving any reason" and I'll hold your hand while you read it to ensure that your attempt to mind-read doesn't fail. Somehow I think your "mind-reading" powers are calibrated to help you say things that further your objectives, like misreading obvious diffs so as to claim I'm malicious and factually incorrect, rather than designed to achieve any understanding of other people. That's probably why your "mind-reading" attempts fail.
And it's also why they're prefaced with categorical assertions about what are valid objections to the way a merge is carried out and what are not. That's a required technique there, I suppose? You have to hypnotize yourself by reciting a series of fake legalisms that would mean you're not going to encounter any opinions that don't fit with your own agenda, before you can enter the mind-reading trance. Such a sincere attempt to understand your interlocutor, to go to the effort of invoking psychic powers.
You should adopt Kotniski's technique there of changing the meaning of words as you're carrying on a discussion with someone. I bet it would do wonders for "mind reading" of the sort you're trying to perform. --❨Ṩtruthious andersnatch❩ 11:03, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
I am giving up. Seeing what happened with your user page and how you reacted has inspired me to consider the possibility that you believe that minute details of process are infinitely more important than minor matters such as writing an encyclopedia or making our policy pages reflect consensus in the most efficient way. After rereading some of your comments I have now come to the conclusion that that's exactly your position. No wonder you are simply dismissing all relevant rational arguments as detractions while blowing irrelevancies out of all proportion. --Hans Adler (talk) 12:26, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
You heard it here first, folks. Eliminating all mention of a guideline from current Wikipedia policy pages without discussing whether or not the elimination should occur is a "minute details of process" according to Hans.
Explain to everyone, Hans: why isn't simply merging the pages enough? I have again agreed with that down below when rd232 proposed it. Why does any mention of BTW as a Wikipedia guideline have to be eradicated? Or is the answer to this question just an "irrelevancy" that never, ever has to be addressed by any of you? (Until it's good and long since done, am I right?) --❨Ṩtruthious andersnatch❩ 02:38, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
Nothing was demoted as far as I know. Anyway, whatever it was that was done had consensus, and that consensus was later confirmed in discussion. If you think it should be partially undone, then you're entitled to argue for that, but please do so rationally, based on what arrangement of pages and information offers the best/clearest guidance for WP editors, not on some personal or political accusations. --Kotniski (talk) 09:39, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
Ah! Nothing was demoted in your opinion! Which, unless there is some unusual semantic subtext to that statement, would appear to mean that you are conceding that "Build the Web" is an established Wikipedia guideline in the same fashion that "Assume Good Faith" is as I mentioned directly above in this thread. (Not to draw any similarity between them other than the fact that they are both established Wikipedia guidelines.)
Funny how you failed to mention this during the great many occasions you raised objections to the inclusion of a statement affirming it into Wikipedia:Linking previous to now. An oversight, I would imagine. But if this is some measure of assurance that your future action on material you designate as a pollution of the Wikipedia namespace will not involve excisions of language identifying BTW as a guideline from other policy pages, I find it agreeable.
And thank you for the advice on how to argue rationally. --❨Ṩtruthious andersnatch❩ 10:31, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
No problem. The page you mention, WP:AGF, is another one you might like to take a read of. As regards that sentence, I've explained at WT:Linking#Another plea for a practical upshot why I don't think it should be there (more to do with the semantics than any deep agenda). --Kotniski (talk) 10:40, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
And there it is in your response under what you linked to: a statement that the word "guideline" ought not to be linked to Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines when it is used to refer to "build the web".
So the thing that in this page was labeled as a guideline with a link to Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines did change in such a way that it ought no longer be referred to as such during the course of your merge, but that isn't being "demoted" in the way you used the word on that occasion in that sentence. This would be the unusual semantic subtext I had anticipated above: you just coincidentally chose to use the word "demoted" in a completely different way than it was used in the rest of this thread, when you were responding to my statement about this guideline being demoted out of guideline status.
Where would I ever get the idea that you intentionally try to deceive people? --❨Ṩtruthious andersnatch❩ 13:17, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
SB has done that already. And like many of our bad faith specialists he wasn't content with just reading. [3] [4] (I agree with the first edit, although that, too, seems typical.) See also WT:AGF#Diplomacy (especially Admins). --Hans Adler (talk) 19:10, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Just a small, teensy-weensy point: when is someone—you or another supporter of this page—going to respond to my invitation to justify any one of the sentences of which it comprises. In the total absence of any such justification, this page remains on the prime list not just for being solely an essay, but for deletion (unless someone wants to take it into their userspace). Tony (talk) 10:37, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
    • This would be appropriate when a significant number of editors manage to actually disagree with one of these sentences. If some editors find this useful guidance, and nobody disagrees with it, it should stay; those who find it anodyne need not mention it at all. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 17:22, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
On the prime list for deletion, eh? Gosh, it sounds like someone ought to make a proposal for its deletion! But oddly enough I keep suggesting that and no one seems interested. --❨Ṩtruthious andersnatch❩ 13:17, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Having watched the whole debate since well before the merge, I can say that Kotniski did the merge in good faith. I feel bad that some assumed the contrary. We all have different opinions about linking (I personally don't believe WP has an overlinking problem), so we have to work together towards reaching a consensus. Having 2 or 3 separate pages about links will not lead to any consensus. Nicolas1981 (talk) 06:36, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
I at first also assumed that Kotniski was operating in good faith and I went along with his merge and worked on the merged page. But if you're going to assert Kotniski's good faith here you must account for why he followed up the "merge" with eliminating any mention that "there is a Wikipedia behavioral guideline that editors should build the web" from WP:Linking and you must also account for why, when repeatedly and directly asked if he thought that BTW shouldn't be a guideline and if this was what he was trying to achieve, he simply replied that he was "tidying up". (He has since stated that he does not think it should be a guideline and that this is connected to why he pursued eradication of anything mentioning that.)
Also, this is not some simple misunderstanding of the difference between a guideline and a project namespace page: I repeatedly invited him to discuss that but he avoided discussion of it and he and others continued pursuing the deletion of phrases like the one above. This is not behavior that is consistent with good faith.
I personally do think that WP probably has an overlinking problem with dates now that I've looked at it a little bit. But I am not involved in that issue and trying to eliminate guidelines like BTW - much less doing so with no transparent discussion - definitely would not be the solution. --❨Ṩtruthious andersnatch❩ 02:30, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Sod the intent and the edit history, can we get to the point?[edit]

My impression is that people lean towards merging - at least enough that the onus is on those who want to keep it as a separate guideline to explain why the status quo is better than the whole shebang being made a section of something else. Complete with shortcut, if required. Rd232 talk 12:27, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

If the intent is to eliminate there being a Wikipedia behavioral guideline that says that editors should "build the web" (and that, by the way, is exactly what happened in this recent "merge" - scare quotes intentional) that policy change is what should be proposed. Trying to accomplish the same thing through something advertised as a merge is a subversion of process. That's the only kind of merge I am opposed to.
(And I'm perfectly fine with it if eliminating this behavioral guideline is what everyone wants to do, I just think it needs to be above-board rather than on the sly as handled by the individuals conducting the merge.)--❨Ṩtruthious andersnatch❩ 13:17, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
Oh, and also rd232 - what you're talking about there "Complete with shortcut, if required" sounds a whole lot more like an actual merge than what occurred under the auspices of Kotniski, Tony1, and company. (Assuming of course that I properly understand what you mean.) --❨Ṩtruthious andersnatch❩ 13:26, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
It's coming, but I want to give supporters a fair chance to justify the statements in this quasi-essay. And we need a final check to ensure that nothing in it—no smidgeon of a point or idea—has not been transferred to WP:LINKING. Tony (talk) 15:00, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
I do not believe that. If you guys are out in Wikipedia:Linking actively hunting down and deleting any mention that BTW is a wikipedia behavioral guideline with vague reasons like "it's inappropriate" in response to direct questions on why a Wikipedia guideline can't be labeled as such, I simply do not believe that everyone just needs to wait because what you're really doing is working on a clear, unambigious new version of the merge "Complete with shortcut, if required". What rd232 proposes there you are actively working to prevent and I believe your intent from the beginning was to eliminate anything like that.
This "final check" you speak of is nothing of the sort: it's an attempt to trick people into saying they're supporting a "merge" in such a way that you can claim you have support for elimination of BTW as a behavioral guideline from Wikipedia project pages everywhere. If the situation "Complete with shortcut" rd232 describes does not fit into your plans - which I believe it does not at all - cut the deceptive dissembling and say so. There's no reason your "final check" would have to be conducted as a pre-condition to creating content like that in Wikipedia:Linking. --❨Ṩtruthious andersnatch❩ 10:43, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
If I'm understanding your concerns right, I think a little assumption of good faith and clear thinking might resolve them. This is what happens when you merge a number of (say 3) guidelines: you start with page A, page B and page C, all tagged as guidelines. You end up with a page D, now tagged as a guideline in place of A, B and C. The guidance given by D is substantially the same as that which was previously given by A, B and C (of course, not necessarily expressed in the same words). There is no reason at all why page D needs to contain three statements of the form "[title of former page A/B/C] is an (important/...) WP guideline". The absence of such statements is not a sign that those working on the merge have attempted to or succeeded in changing the substance of the guidance in any way. If page C had some valuable pithy message (as some people apparently consider "build the web" to be), then it is enough that that message be part of the text of page D - there is no point in saying "[message] is a (...) guideline", since everything on page D is a guideline anyway, by virtue of that page's being so marked. So when people started talking about how they liked the "build the web" wording, we listened to them and included it (or gave it more prominence - I think it was originally there anyway) in the merged page. But that doesn't mean we have to say "build the web is an important guideline/rule/etc." - even the original Build the Web page didn't say anything like that. If you keep in mind the logical distinction between the words "build the web" and the page titled Build the web, you'll see I hope that no-one has any dark intentions in objecting to the inclusion of your sentence in WP:Linking - I just don't think it contributes to the clarity of the guidance. Anyway, this is my last attempt to convince you of my good faithedness - if it hasn't worked, then too bad.--Kotniski (talk) 14:21, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
I am glad to see this is Kotniski's last effort to justify his disruptive meddling. By this argument, we need not have any separate guidelines at all, but can have one massive unreadable WP:Guideline containing all our guidance. It will be unreadable, unreferrable, and useless, but apparently that doesn't matter. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 17:16, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
Why do you do this, PA - have I offended you in some way? Why do you feel the need to insult people when they do something you don't agree with? What do you want to achieve by making such obviously absurd arguments like that one? Do you even know what we were discussing? --Kotniski (talk) 17:54, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
(ec) That's just rude. Take a step back, and a deep breath, before hitting save. Please! I am a supporter of closer scrutiny of this merge, and you are not helping any of us see your points by stooping to personal attacks and mischaracterizations of intent, and using ludicrous slippery-slope arguments. Let's just drop that now, please. If you cannot say something constructive, say nothing. -- Quiddity (talk) 17:56, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
I'm fairly satisfied with the bold and emphatic description of build the web as currently incorporated into WP:LINKING. I do however think more of the wording from this guideline should be copied exactly to the Linking guideline. For example the section on redlinks as Piotr points out above at #View from the sidelines - "Don't be afraid ..." is an important reminder of WP:BOLDness.
These wordings were discussed and honed and argued over for years, which is why some of us oldtimers are protective of the page (and implicitly its choices of phrasing). I don't have time to read more of the threads, or suggest more exact changes, but hopefully you get my meaning, and can extrapolate the changes that will make us all happy. Thanks. -- Quiddity (talk) 17:56, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
Wow, thanks! I guess there has been constructive criticism of the merger or the way it has been attempted somewhere here or on WT:LINKING, but I don't remember any that I could understand. Finally something to act upon and even an explanation why this conflict happened. I hope that in a few hours' time I will get some time to work on a proposal at WT:LINKING. (WP:LINKING is currently protected.) --Hans Adler (talk) 18:59, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
Actually, Piotr is referring to Wikipedia:Red link, a separate guideline which in my opinion should also be merged into WP:LINKING. The "Don't be afraid" sentence needs balancing like the rest of BTW. I think I am going to think about this a bit more. Perhaps BTW can be expanded to discuss all the motivational and less technical aspects in depth (and in a balanced way), and then serve as a subarticle of WP:LINKING? --Hans Adler (talk) 22:48, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
Well, a prime example of the advantages of explaining even what seems to be obvious. Everything Quiddity says has been implicit in the counterarguments since before I got here; but it has not been seen. I would add that WP:BTW and WP:Build the web should link to any merged section, like the links to the clauses of MOS. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 02:31, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
As a detail, this should not be a subpage of WP:Linking; this and WP:OVERLINK are the principles which WP:Linking attempts to implement. It would be a useful exercise to expand WP:OVERLINK and make it a separate page which would answer this one point by point. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 02:31, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
That's not at all what I meant. Do you see the parenthetical "and in a balanced way"? I don't believe in having two guidelines that contradict each other, enabling extremists who don't agree with the consensus (which of course lies somewhere in the middle) to cherry-pick. If I get support from everybody but you I will be happy, but I simply don't expect you to agree with any solution that makes sense. --Hans Adler (talk) 08:15, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
These "contradict each other" exactly as much as WP:UE and WP:UCN. Both BTW and don't overlink are true, which is why we have two pages; if the merger had been kept, and they were two sections, they would still be quoted tendentiously. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 19:35, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
Kotniski, your "it's redundant" explanation is a completely new one, different from all of the other explanations you've given for eliminating mention that there's a BTW guideline from the WP:Linking page. (And as I've pointed out folks, previous explanations included things like defining it as pollution.)
Your willingness to discuss the distinction between a guideline and a Wikipedia namespace page is completely new in the last few days - well after the point where the page was locked and the statement in question can't simply be deleted or altered - despite the fact that for weeks and weeks I was asking questions and making points about this and linking to the page where Wikipedia guidelines are defined to make it clear what I was talking about.
This behavior, and things like concealing your desire to remove BTW as a guideline when directly, repeatedly asked as the author of the merge whether you had such intentions, is not remotely consistent with good faith; in fact it's plainly disingenuous and deceptive. WP:AGF is not some sort of mental hygiene requirement that compels Wikipedians to not think about bad faith or prevent them from recognizing and talking about bad faith behavior. I granted you the benefit of the doubt, the assumption of good faith, and over the course of weeks you completely and totally forfeited it. You can't consistently, repeatedly, and openly act like this and expect to get away with it in a place like Wikipedia where diffs showing exactly what you've said and done and the history of every page can be presented and examined by anyone. So I am very well justified to not simply trust you on this and to insist that very explicit and above-board mention that BTW is a guideline be included in any merged page; my concerns and the things I'm insisting on are not nonsensical or inappropriate at all as has been repeatedly asserted.
And one other point: the original BTW page most certainly did say "this is a Wikipedia behavioral guideline" right before the "merge" - that's something which only appears to have been changed recently. --❨Ṩtruthious andersnatch❩ 03:16, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
For the last, last time: BTW was a page which was marked as a guideline page. "Build the web" is a phrase. If you merge BTW with something else, it isn't a page any more, so it doesn't make sense to say "Build the web" is a "guideline", meaning the page BTW is a guideline page. It might make sense to say "build the web" (phrase) is a guideline (useful maxim to be followed) - you can argue for that, but that exact phrasing (particularly since it never appeared on the BTW page before the merge) isn't essential to making the merge an unbiased merge. Just because we disagree about whether that particular sentence makes the Linking page clearer guidance or not is no reason for these heaps of abuse that have been poured in my direction - it's hardly a matter of any consequence (and you seem to have got your way about it anyway). No further replies from me here; with the possible exception of the Brandt debacle, this is the most ridiculous thing I've encountered in my time at Wikipedia so far.--Kotniski (talk) 07:13, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Merge proposal[edit]

Proposal: merge WP:BTW into WP:linking by adding the following paragraph at the top of WP:linking#General principles:


Wikipedia is based on hypertext, and aims to "build the web" to enable readers to find relevant information on other pages with just a click of the mouse. Therefore in adding or removing links, consider an article's place in the webin the knowledge tree. Make upward links to categories and relevant contexts (Charles Darwin was a biologist; Sahara is a desert in Africa, etc. Make sideways links to neighboring articles (for proton see also electron, Oregon borders on California). Introduce links from related articles to avoid orphaning the article; and don't be afraid to create links to articles which don't exist yet.

That's shorter than I expected; I'd written another para based on BTW but I've found all the parts of it are already in that target section (apart from the bit about category trees which I couldn't make sense of and doesn't seem to belong here). Comments? Can we do this merge now? Rd232 talk 03:56, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

Revised to replace "web" with knowledge tree. Rd232 talk 12:36, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
Revised to strike ref to categories implying linking to categories, which is deprecated. Rd232 talk 15:23, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Support revised version per Tony below Ohconfucius (talk) 04:57, 27 April 2009 (UTC) Ohconfucius (talk) 03:30, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
  • I support the idea of remerging (i.e. making this page a redirect to Linking, as it was always agreed it would be), but what's the point of including this text? We already say all of this at WP:Linking. The stuff about upward, sideways etc. isn't helpful - you'd have to define a hierarchy for this to make sense (a web is specifically not a hierarchy).--Kotniski (talk) 06:25, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
  • I support in principle just to end this dispute, not because I find anything useful in the paragraph. However, the merge would require a few things to be changed in the para.
    • First, is there a source for the concept of "upward" and "sideways"? It's not intuitive to me that "desert" be upward of "Sahara".
    • "Desert" is just the kind of trivial link that is now discouraged as a dictionary-type word. At the very least, you'd want to link to the appropriate section of the desert article, but that brings in another point about focusing links as much as possible (covered elsewhere in MOSLINK, I think), and we don't want to confuse issues in the one example. The same goes for "Africa", which is starting to be trivial, like linking "United States" or "the UK" or "Europe". These conflict with the well-established practice to use links selectively so that the higher-value ones, whether vertical or under the seat or left or right, are more likely to be clicked on.
    • Rather than the imperative "Make upward links to ..", it would be more appropriate to simply explain the concept of upwards, etc. Tony (talk) 07:12, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
      • These comments piqued my curiousity about the way we currently use categories. What's a better link: Charles Darwin is a biologist or Charles Darwin is a biologist? I appreciate that's an easter egg link we like to avoid, but when you think about it, currently, we have categories stuck all the way down the bottom of the page. Is that making the best use of categories? If the purpose of some of these links is to "build a web", well, isn't the category structure that web? After all, the "Build The Web" guidance predates category implentation by a long chalk, doesn't it? I doubt we've ever reviewed the implications categories had for this page, given the text currently used. Hiding T 09:37, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
        • Interesting, so here is my guess: Imagine X is a foreign speaker not knowing exactly what a biologist actually does. In case X wants to know more, X clicks on the wikilink. I guess X would rather read an explanation about the different kinds of biologists and what biologists spend their days doing, than a list of articles that are similar to the one he was reading. Nicolas1981 (talk) 10:03, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
          • Doesn;t really address the wiser points, does it. We could all have anecdotal evidence of what a particular user or group of users is expecting. But what do you think about the broader points, that this guidance hasn't been updated to reflect the introduction of categories. That probably speaks to its current utility. Hiding T 13:45, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Support The Sahara example makes much sense to me, it seems obvious to me that the Sahara article should begin like this: Sahara is a desert. If only one wikilink should be to remain in the article, that would be this one. Nicolas1981 (talk) 09:40, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
    • I think we can agree about that - but can we not phrase it in a way that makes sense to everyone? (At the very least we must make it clear that it's the Sahara article we're talking about; at the moment it looks like we're talking about some other article in which this sentence appears, because it says Sahara instead of Sahara. But we must also explain more explicitly what we mean by "upward" links to "categories" and "contexts".)--Kotniski (talk) 11:04, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Support. "Desert" might be a dictionary word, but the article "Desert" contain more info than just a dicdef, some of which might be interesting to someone reading an article about the Sahara. Maybe it's slight too generic and one could link hot desert instead (but so far it happens to be a redirect). Likewise, the Darwin article now links to naturalist which is more specific than biologist. As for North Africa, yes, everyone know where it is, but someone reading an article about the Sahara might want to read more about it, so the link from "Sahara" to "North Africa" is not pointless. So I'd change the examples to "Sahara is a hot desert in North Africa; Charles Darwin was a naturalist". --A. di M. (formerly Army1987) — Deeds, not words. 11:19, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
Yes, this is far more the direction to go in. I don't think this text has much to add in terms of general principles - largely because BTW already has been merged into WP:Linking, so anything that means anything here is already there. What might be worth adding (though it would need to be written out properly, with legible examples) is the idea that we are more inclined to link to things which directly contain the thing we are writing about, or are classes containing that thing, or are similar to that thing, or are examples or components of that thing. (I guess that's what the upward/sideways/etc. language is supposed to mean.) But this wouldn't go at the top of general principles - it would get quite detailed and technical, and would probably go somewhere in the list of principles, or maybe better in a separate subsection.--Kotniski (talk) 11:44, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
The North Africa link is justified in my opinion. Today I was pointing Africa on a map and asked a group of 5 koreans what this continent was and they had no idea. So we shouldn't take it for granted that everybody knows what we learnt in primary school. And these koreans can speak English. Nicolas1981 (talk) 15:25, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Comment. I've just taken the existing language from BTW and some of the criticisms made of the result are clearly valid. I agree that "upwards" and "sideways" are not necessarily clear, but if you visualise a web of knowledge with the more general topics at the top and the more specific at the bottom, that seems to be what the terms relate to. I'm not sure if we can find clearer terms, or if we should just put in a sentence to explain that; or else drop the concepts entirely, but that would mean deletion rather than merger, because just putting the shortcuts in the target section without explanation would be confusing. Rd232 talk 12:02, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
    • By shortcuts, do you mean WP:BTW, WP:BUILD, etc.? These can simply go to WP:Linking, not to any section of it (since the web-building principle is already mentioned prominently there); but just point there, not be advertised there. And we must avoid mixing metaphors - the World Wide Web (or any web I can imagine) is not hierarchical. The metaphor I'm used to for the sort of structure you're describing is "tree". So yes, we can try to develop this concept, AND we can retain the references to WP's place in the Web, BUT these should be treated as two quite separate issues (and the second one is already addressed, I think satisfactorily, at WP:Linking).--Kotniski (talk) 12:21, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
      • You're right, it's a "knowledge tree" thing; linking these points to "building the web" is confusing because of that. I've revised the proposal accordingly. I hope this is clearer. Rd232 talk 12:35, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
        • OK, I would still make some improvements to the wording and positioning, but I guess those will be discussed further once we see this paragraph in place on the target page. Support this merge.--Kotniski (talk) 12:53, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Support. The exact formulation of the paragraph is somewhat problematic, but I don't really mind that too much. I don't agree with Tony that linking from Sahara to desert or Africa is wrong; I agree with A. di M. that linking from Darwin to naturalist would be better than to biologist. The most important thing is that all the basic instructions about what to link and what not to link are in a single place, rather than spread over several guideline POV forks. --Hans Adler (talk) 12:29, 27 April 2009 (UTC) [Edited 14:45, 27 April 2009 (UTC) after Tony's protest.]

I didn't say that linking Darwin to "biologist" was wrong: please read again. But does the "biologist" article really explain how Darwin was the father of modern biology? I don't think so; the field has changed so much, and the link is a potential distortion rather than an aid to readers' understanding. This example is also precariously close to an encouragement to link "actor", "novelist", and just about any occupation or artistic field, in the opening sentence of biographical articles.

What I did say was that "desert" is a dictionary term; however, after Nicholas's comment, I re-consulted the "desert" article and found it to be better than I'd recollected. Unfortunately, the subsection "Types of desert" doesn't clarify which type of desert the Sahara is: this is the type of value-added I'm always looking for in linking, and I'm concerned that the example will give a green light to the linking of every second word in, for example, the Geography and Climate sections of country articles. While the Sahara example might just be doable, it's an unfortunate example. "Africa" can't possibly go into MOSLINK as a link: this is sending the wrong signal after the project has moved away from the automatic linking of every geographical or political entity that ever occurs in any article.

Inserting some of these examples into MOSLINK is the wrong way to go; if better examples can be found that do not risk a return to thoughtless linking by analogy, the paragraph would be less unsuitable. Tony (talk) 13:32, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

Sorry for misrepresenting your words. I hope I have fixed this to your satisfaction. – Perhaps we have just found a genuine point of BTW: I do happen to think that while links to articles such as desert and Africa should be used very sparingly, Sahara is an excellent example of an article where they are appropriate because superficial readers of the article are likely to find them of interest. The article actually links to North Africa instead, which is even better. --Hans Adler (talk) 14:45, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

"Don't be afraid to create links to articles that don't exist yet" ... red link spattering? Some are OK, but we don't want to encourage newbies to go about creating links that remain red for some time. I tell people who create red links to go there and at least write a stub; then it's not red and shows at least the beginnings of what will become an article. I'm also unsure that linking items just in the fear that their destinations might become "orphaned" is a good reason (alone) to link, yet it could be construed this way. Tony (talk) 13:39, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

This is already in the target section. I'd rather we didn't get into a big discussion, as we seem to be, about the precise wording and policy implications. The only thing that really matters, as far as I can see, is the first two sentences, plus the shortcuts. The rest is naturally subject to future post-merger revision and clarification (which I think the target page could do with); these two sentences are the core idea which is worth merging, I think, the rest is detail, and is precisely why the merger should be done. Rd232 talk 15:18, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
  • I guess I stand against the proposed text, because it is quite clear Wikipedia practise has changed. With the implenetation of category space, we stopped making inline upwards links to categories. That was one reason why category space was implented, and realistically, when you think about it, category space is the web. Just deprecate this page. Quietly. Next year. Hiding T 13:45, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Have you been misled by the discussion? The proposal says nothing about linking to categories. Rd232 talk 14:10, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Have you read the text you appear to have proposed? "Make upward links to categories and contexts". My emphasis. Hiding T 15:13, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
 :) clearly I haven't!! Removed the ref to categories. Rd232 talk 15:20, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
  • I agree with Rd232 that the first two sentences are what matter at the moment. Tony (talk) 15:27, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Here is a revised example. The sentence about red links has gone, since they are treated in more detail already and many editors would query that their creation should be so strongly encouraged (while not objecting to the occasional red link). The sentence about orphans has gone, since linking articles for the sake of linking articles is not now encouraged. Links to so-called orphan articles are best made because they are useful to the readers; the knowledge tree is not strengthened by low-value links. Given that the examples of "upward" and "sideways" links are almost entirely devoid of a larger context with which to judge the relevance of links, they have been replaced by items about which there can be less doubt as to the usefulness of their linking to most English-speakers. (Isn't "lateral" a better word than "sideways"? But if not, someone reinstate "sideways", please.) Tell me your thoughts:
In adding or removing links, consider an article's place in the knowledge tree. This tree comprises "upward" links to relevant contexts ("Charles Babbage was one of the great cryptographers"; "Antarctica is the largest polar desert"), and "lateral" links to neighboring articles ("Protons, along with electrons, are the basis of electrical charge within atoms"; "Mauritania shares a long border with Mali").

Tony (talk) 16:44, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

Yes, that's certainly an improvement (much more pertinent examples; and red links and orphaning are perfectly well covered by what already exists at WP:Linking anyway). I would still remove "Therefore", since the second sentence (about the tree) isn't a logical consequence of the first (about the web). (The first sentence could go, actually, since it is already stated at least once on the WP:Linking page as it is now.) And if the examples are supposed to be from the articles indicated by the first links, then we should show that, at the very least by replacing the links by bold type as they would be in those articles (Charles Babbage was one of the great cryptographers etc.).--Kotniski (talk) 16:56, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
Actually maybe the Antarctica example doesn't quite work (is there such a thing as "the Antarctica"?) And the proton example never worked. But it's going in the right direction.--Kotniski (talk) 17:07, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
Oops, yes, some silly mistakes. How is that? Tony (talk) 18:06, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
(edit conflict) "The" Antarctica? Except for this, your example sounds OK to me. (But I disagree that linking "novelist" in the first sentence of an article about a novelist is overlinking.) As for "categories" in the original wording, I don't think it referred to categories in the MediaWiki sense of the word: it would make little sense to write "Charles Darwin is a [[:Category:Biologists|biologist]]". As for red links, the criterion should be whether the linked title could host an article complying with WP:N and WP:NC and relevant to the topic of the article containing the red link. So I'd write something like:

and don't be afraid to create relevant links to articles which don't exist yet, provided that the topic is notable enough to merit its own article and the linked title complies with the Wikipedia naming conventions.

--A. di M. (formerly Army1987) — Deeds, not words. 18:11, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
"Sigh". I'm not getting my point across very well here. As for "categories" in the original wording, I don't think it referred to categories in the MediaWiki sense of the word. That's my point, it does and doesn't refer to categories in the MediWiki sense of the word because the MediaWiki sense of the word didn't exist when the text was written. This guidance predates category space. That's why the guidance refers to category linking, it was the only way to implement a category, by linking to "biologist" and then extracting a "category" if you will, byt using "what links here" on bilogist. That's what a vast number of people seem to be missing, that "Build The Web" hasn't been updated in seven years to reflect the way the software has changed. The way we implemented categories means the guidance as stands is written to indicate that we write "Charles Darwin is a [[:Category:Biologists|biologist]]". This is probably germane and not germane, but there was once a reason for BTW and articles being a sea of blue. It was all there was. Way back when, even "policy" was written in the main space, because it was all there was. Support the merge, but make sure it is updated to take account of the fact that this is so old it doesn't grapple with advancements. Don't get blind-sided into accepting or re-using material that has absolutely no relevance to today's Wikipedia. Hiding T 12:02, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

What if we just merge the first two sentences and the shortcuts, and then continue this discussion at WP:linking post-merger, where it will be more productive, in the larger context of that page? Rd232 talk 18:51, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

  • Support merge There is far too much overlap of content. The subject is linking, so put it all there. As it is, this article is an essay. It needs to be merged into “WP:”-space so it is truly a guideline. As an aside, I can’t see the value in creating broken links. If someone thinks a subject is noteworthy enough to have its own article, they ought to at least have the gumption to be willing to create the stub. Just putting square brackets around some text to make it red in hopes someone else will come in later is, IMO, just being too lazy. Besides, in some cases, the actual article title may be slightly different from the pointer links and the text still won’t turn from broken-link red to link-blue even after someone makes the article. Greg L (talk) 23:28, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
    Personally, I prefer a red link to a blue link to a very short stub: that way, it can't happen that a reader follows a link and is disappointed because the stub it takes to doesn't explain the subject any better than he was able to figure out himself from the context. But maybe that's just me... And sometimes it's not laziness, but rather lack of knowledge to create the stub: for example, I once read the sentence

    In addition to this, sea quarks can hadronize via a certain fragmentation function; for instance, a sea quark hadronizing into a pion (π) does so through the fragmentation function xD(s \to \pi) = F(x).

    Without knowing what the hell a fragmentation function is, I could only make wild guesses about the intended meaning of that sentence. So I added a red link to fragmentation function. I then googled for that phrase in order to find out its meaning (and possibly write an article about it), but I found lots of very technical pages which assumed the reader already knew that phrase, and no page which actually explained what a fragmentation function is. So I left the link red. (And I would have been far more disappointed if the link were blue, but it took to a one-sentence article such as "In particle physics, a fragmentation function is a function describing how sea quarks can hadronize.") As for the possibility of the link staying red if the article isn't created with the exact same meaning, it is minimized if the editor who adds the red link conforms to the naming conventions, and the author of the article creates redirects from any other title also allowed by the conventions for the same title. --A. di M. (formerly Army1987) — Deeds, not words. 11:07, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

Support This is a good compromise between those who are strongly attracted to the principle of BTW and those who want to consolidate the MOS. Dabomb87 (talk) 01:03, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

Support the last version by Tony1 as well. It is no perfect (for instance I don't think "great" is appropriate in Wikipedia) but let's merge first and polish things afterwards. By the way, I am quite happy to have this healthy discussion where we are trying to reach a consensus despite our very different views. Nicolas1981 (talk) 06:07, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

    • Army, your suggestion "and don't be afraid to create relevant links to articles which don't exist yet, provided that the topic is notable enough to merit its own article and the linked title complies with the Wikipedia naming conventions—can we avoid contractions in formal text (as required by MoS)? And the opening is an odd angle to take (being afraid or not ... just a little too rhetorical. Why not "and consider creating links to articles that do not yet exist, provided the topic is sufficiently relevant and notable and the title complies with the Wikipedia naming conventions."? But just how different is this from the advice already in MOSLINK? And why not put the statement in the red link section if it has to go in?
    • Hiding, sorry, I can't get my brain around your point about categories. Perhaps I'm just too tired. Tony (talk) 17:06, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
      Er, yes. I had overlooked the fact that the proposal is to put the text on top of WP:LINK#General principles, which already mentions red links. For some reason I was thinking that the proposal was to put it into its lead. (Also, I don't think that it must necessarily be "formal text": we're essentially talking to fellow editors; BTW, the contraction and the rhetorical opening (is it? I assumed "Don't be afraid" to be an idiom) were already present in the existing wording which I only adapted (as opposed to rewriting from scratch); I don't care about what specific wording is used.) --A. di M. (formerly Army1987) — Deeds, not words. 17:54, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

Merge proposal (minimal)[edit]

This discussion is still dancing around a lot. It's not that it's unproductive, just that it would be much better to do this post-merger. So can we just merge the minimum we agree on (to the top of the General Principles para), then continue the discussion about the other points at Wikipedia talk:linking? Rd232 talk 17:30, 28 April 2009 (UTC)


Wikipedia is based on hypertext, and aims to "build the web" to enable readers to find relevant information on other pages with just a click of the mouse. Therefore in adding or removing links, consider an article's place in the knowledge tree.

Just to make it clear - what do you envisage will be at WP:Build the web when this merger is done? A redirect? A historical page or essay?--Kotniski (talk) 21:01, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
I actually hadn't thought about it. And now that you ask, I'm not sure I mind either way. Rd232 talk 00:51, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

Support I think in this case the simpler the better.. let's just get this done, complicating things is counter-productive. Have WP:BTW redirect directly to the merged section. It can be a shortcut. -- OlEnglish (Talk) 01:37, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

Support I agree with OlEnglish Nicolas1981 (talk) 03:06, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

{{editprotected}} Please restore this text to the point before merger. All trace of the merged text (except the name) has been removed from [[WP:LINK}}; the above discussion approves of the merger only because the text was preserved. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 20:45, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

Not done: please establish a consensus for this alteration before using the {{edit protected}} template.. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 21:04, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

Request for edit[edit]

Since there now seems to be universal support for doing this (and consensus in the earlier discussions was in favour anyway, it was just prevented from being implemented), I think it's time to go ahead. Therefore:

{{editprotected}} Please replace the content of this page with a redirect to Wikipedia:Linking#General principles, at the same time as making the edit requested at WT:Linking#Requested addition, which implements the merge as agreed in the above discussions (#Merge proposal onward).--Kotniski (talk) 06:09, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

All Yes check.svg Done as requested. Congratulations on sorting this out. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 07:04, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. I suggest further discussion about improvements to the text continue at WT:Linking.--Kotniski (talk) 07:44, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

{{editprotected}} Please add this redirect template: {{R from merge}} on the same line as the redirect. Thanks. -- OlEnglish (Talk) 21:50, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

Done - Rjd0060 (talk) 23:08, 30 April 2009 (UTC)