Wikipedia talk:Cross-namespace redirects

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Older discussion[edit]

Comments and/or proposed amendments are appreciated. --Zoz (t) 15:05, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

Have you added this to Centralized discussion? It's supposed to be a clearinghouse for changes to deletion standards, above all else, from what I understand. -- nae'blis (talk) 18:31, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
I've just left a notice at Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals). --Zoz (t) 18:55, 24 July 2006 (UTC) and added this to {{cent}}. --Zoz (t) 12:04, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

Feedback is welcome. If you don't like this proposal, please leave a comment and explain why, or alternatively, fix it right away. --Zoz (t) 16:19, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

Searching vs linking[edit]

This proposal seems to consider CNRs only from the aspect of the search bar. However, wikilinks behave differently and show up red no matter whether a similar term exists in a different namespace. Some CNRs are type-in (like cat:csd and the other uncontroversial shortcut redirects), but Articles for deletion has often been used as a direct link on talk or project space, not as a type-in shortcut. How should links to shortcuts work, especially if a term exists both in article and in shortcut space? Kusma (討論) 15:36, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

People use Articles for deletion and AFD for shortcuts because they are there - it saves typing a few characters. If they noticed they were red links then they would fix them... There's no excuse really not to use the WP: shortcuts for this. /wangi 15:43, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
AFD is not a shortcut. I agree that if CNRs should go, they need to be redlinks instead of {{deletedpage}} (because that creates situations like Userbox, which is a blue link: a self-referential page talking about Wikipedia in article space without the benefits of a cross-space redirect). Kusma (討論) 15:57, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
I just want to add: I absolutely hate {{deletedpage}}. Deleted CNRs would stay as redlinks of course. --Zoz (t) 16:00, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
I think the main usability problem here is when newbies can't find Wikipedia:Articles for deletion simply because they forget/don't know they should type Wikipedia:. As for linking, I do remember a discussion at WP:RfD about redirects from months like March 1426. There were consensus to delete them because when the editor notices they're redlinks, they would correct it to the proper target. I think making linking easier is not as important as making navigation easier (searching). Besides, links to Articles for deletion could be corrected by an automated bot even if Articles for deletion doesn't exist as a redirect. --Zoz (t) 15:53, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
All of the links to Articles for deletion have already pretty much been corrected; there used to be a lot more links than there are now. Someone ran a bot on it (I don't remember who, could've been me). --Cyde↔Weys 16:02, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
Rory096, IIRC. Kusma (討論) 16:08, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
And what newbie is going to type in "Articles for deletion" - to know it's called that assumes prior knowledge. Someone new to WP is going to be searching for delete article, article deletion, delete a page and the like - not our esoteric term! /wangi 16:04, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
There could be redirects from Wikipedia:Delete_article and Wikipedia:Article_deletion and Wikipedia:Delete a page. They would be able to find it. --Zoz (t) 16:14, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
And every other possibility? There are hunners of them! /wangi 16:18, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
Just like with other redirects, if it's implausible that anyone would type it, then we won't create them, but from a couple of plausible titles (like the ones you mentioned) we could create redirects. It would be much better for newbies compared to the current situation - when typing delete article doesn't take you anywhere. --Zoz (t) 16:47, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
Agreed, once someone already knows it's called "Articles for deletion" I think they will be able to find it. I just searched for "Articles for deletion" and the second search result was Wikipedia talk:Articles for Deletion, which immediately leads you there. The cross-namespace redirect is unnecessary. I really don't understand why people insist on putting non-encyclopedic content in the encyclopedic namespace. --Cyde↔Weys 16:06, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
I suppose you found Wikipedia talk:Articles for Deletion because you have "search in Wikipedia_talk:" on. Newbies with default settings don't have that on. --Zoz (t) 16:14, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
I don't know if proposing to change the defaults is a good idea; Wikipedia is first and foremost an encyclopedia, and the search should only return encyclopedic results by default. Maybe we can discuss modifying the default search options for logged-in users (pure readers probably aren't looking for Articles for deletion anyway). But I find it inexcusable that, when someone has setup their search options to specifically search just the encyclopedic content and none of the Wikipedia stuff, they will get hits on Wikipedia: stuff anyway because someone has made an XNR that effectively makes the search filter useless. --Cyde↔Weys 16:23, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
I completely agree. Read the proposal: "Modify the default search filter for logged-in users [...] These settings could be changed anytime at Special:Preferences."; "The default search filter for users searching Wikipedia anonymously would stay as article namespace-only". If someone sets up their search options to search just the encyclopedia, it won't return WP stuff at all. That's what this proposal attempts achieve, anyway. --Zoz (t) 16:31, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
This is putting the cart way ahead of the horse, but I can see two situations: either you reset everyone's Search Preferences to follow the new behavior, thus "breaking" years of habit, or you only implement the new Search Preferences for new users, in which case the impact of the helpful software change is reduced proportional to how many people will actually see it. I've got no strong opinion on this as such yet, but I figured it was worth mentioning... -- nae'blis (talk) 02:33, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
My original idea was to implement this change only for new users. But yes, it might be better to change the search filters for all users who have the default settings at the time of its implementation and notify them once at the "login successful" page (at their first login after the change) with something like "Please review your search preferences at Special:Preferences/Search". Editors don't have the default (main namespace only) settings would not be affected by this change. (I think it wouldn't be a good idea to change the settings for those who have already altered them to according to their preferences.) --Zoz (t) 12:04, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

Software changes, but... in the short term?[edit]

This essay seems to focus on software/config changes which could be made to help resolve this problem. While this is good in the longer term it would be nice in the short-to-medium term to address the current issue.

Is there consensus to avoid cross-namespace redirs 99% of the time? Can we put together a guideline to that effect...

I'll get me coat! /wangi 15:48, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

I don't think there's consensus to avoid CNRs. The 'keep' arguments are actually quite strong, and I don't think deleting all CNRs without these software changes would solve anything. Obviously I'm not a WP developer, but from my experience in programming in C++, I suppose that that these source code changes could be done relatively quickly. As for the related changes in the database - I don't know. But given a debate of this scale, I think there is no short-term solution. --Zoz (t) 16:09, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
Where have you been looking? There is a consensus to avoid XNRs; most of the ones brought up on RFD end up being deleted. Also, there's WP:ASR, and despite people making the outrageous claim that "it's not policy, it's just a guideline, therefore I am free to totally ignore it", it makes a compelling case for why the separation of encyclopedic content and unencyclopedic content is important. I have a simple question that no one has been able to answer yet, and I'd be glad if you could. The namespaces were originally created because Wikipedia-specific stuff was being created and it was getting confused with the encyclopedic content. Once the namespaces were created, the non-encyclopedic content, you know, the stuff that doesn't belong in an encyclopedia, was moved to Wikipedia:. Why oh why should we violate that separation of namespaces by having a redirect to every Wikipedia:XX page from XX? It makes no sense and I've seen at least half a dozen examples now of XNRs camping on names that were later turned into valid articles once I went through and deleted the XNR. --Cyde↔Weys 16:14, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
We should not ignore guidelines, but weigh their importance and their applicability to a specific topic. Per WP:ASR and the "purity" of encyclopedia space, we should (for example) delete all instances of {{deletedpage}} right now. We don't do that because {{deletedpage}} has some uses, and we have some blatantly nonencyclopedic pages like Brian Peppers in the encyclopedia namespace. Would you want to delete Brian Peppers? Kusma (討論) 16:25, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
Look, Cyde, I think your arguments for deleting the CNRs are really compelling, but the fact is there are lots of editors who don't want them simply deleted (in short-term, without software changes), and there are a couple of valid and strong arguments (usability, WP:BITE) for keeping them. I think there is no consensus to delete all of them right now, but I hope with the help of this proposal they can be dealt with accordingly. --Zoz (t) 16:27, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
I do believe I've already explained why WP:BITE isn't relevant here. --Cyde↔Weys 17:13, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
Actually I agree with you there, but I think this proposal is still preferable over the "delete all CNRs right now" solution, because it's more friendly to newbies (Okay, let's call it "newbie-friendliness" or "usability" instead of WP:BITE.) and at the same time it keeps the namespaces separated, and thus solves the "mirror issue", etc; and pretty much everything from here. --Zoz (t) 17:34, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

Aid in accidental linking?[edit]

I've seen people bring this up occasionally but nobody's ever explained what it means or why it's a good thing. Care to explain? --Cyde↔Weys 17:33, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

I think what Kusma means is when someone wants to link Wikipedia:Articles for deletion and they accidentally link it as Articles for deletion, they would still be able to arrive at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion without changing the link. That's simply an (admittedly not too strong) argument to keep CNRs. However, as I explained here, this proposal would not keep CNRs, and accidental linking would be corrected by an automated bot and/or users correcting themselves after they realized it's a redlink. --Zoz (t) 17:42, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
Related to the above, there is an RFD underway right now for Wikibreak. Someone might well type the term into the search engine (as indeed I did) and hope to find a page explaining what the term means. In fact, there is no such page ... instead, the redirect goes to Wikipedia:Wikiholiday which is a term I rarely hear used. The apparent assumption is users will magically know to type in "Wikipedia:Wikiholiday". I actually saw someone post a comment (in another cross namespace debate) that Wikipedia shouldn't make things easy for its editors. I think that's utter bollocks, personally. We should make things as convenient as possible, and I've yet to read any argument that persuades me that having a redirect that, say, allows someone to type "3RR" into the search engine and be sent to the page on the Three Revert Rule, thereby saving time and keystrokes, in anyway harms Wikipedia. 23skidoo 18:21, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
However, there is a redirect from Wikipedia:Wikibreak to Wikipedia:Wikiholiday, so a user searching the project space shouldn't have any problems. I don't think the accidental linking is a reason to support CNR's; the onsite search being broken so often is certainly more persuasive for me. -- nae'blis (talk) 22:26, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

Reason removal[edit]

While it's nice to be quoted, and I think the majority of CNR's are harmful (for many of the reasons listed), I've removed one of the reasons referened to me as it has been subsequently shown (by Splash) that I mis interpreted the page in question. On further reading, the legally questionable bit of verbatiam copying is more aimed at cases where a mirror changes an article from "blah blah blah This nonexistent article blah blah blah" to "blah blah blah This nonexistent article blah blah blah". Regards, MartinRe 23:13, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

That's ok, but do you think this proposal could work? Any suggestions on how to improve it? Since you were quite active in the discussions about CNRs, I'd like to hear your opinion on this. --Zoz (t) 16:19, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
I think creating a namespace for short cuts is a good idea, as often when searching for something, many of the first results are all pointers to the same article, it would be nice to have a google ways of "ignore duplicate pages" (or filtering on the target of the redirect). However, I think the default search for logged in users should remain just the encyclopedia, as just creating an account shouldn't modify a user's search functionality. (To me, having a different default for anon and logged in users is not the least surprising option - log in, and your search function changes?). I think many of my reasonings against CNR's are in the proposal, except for maybe the comment that "when searching encyclopedia Bitianica, you would not expect to find minutes of a Bitianica board meeting, so why should it be that way for wikipedia?". Also, to reply to the WP:BITE suggestion above, I think the opposite is the case. Deletion of CNR's isn't biting newcomers, the fact that the encyclopedia and wikipedia are not interchangable is an important concept, but blurring the line with CNR's is giving newcomers the wrong impression from the start, and that is doing them a dis-service by creating confusion in the long run. Also, I believe that if someone has not selected "wikipedia" in their search, we should not return wikipedia results. Yes, they may have not selected it as a newbie, or it may be an experienced user who has forgotten to tick the box, but both have the option of ticking the box and searching. However, for the reader who has deliberately unselected the box because they don't want wikipedia results, it is unfair to return them anyway. With CNR's, a reader can choose to search wikpedia by ticking the box, but they have no option not to do so. Without CNR's, readers wishing to search wikipedia can do so, and those who do not want to can also do so. Thus, the existance of CNR's removes choice, for the minor convience of a subset of editors, which is not a valid trade off in my view. It is important to remember that we are creating an enclyopedia that is freely available, so entwining it with one particular host (wikipedia) goes against that principle in my opinion. I want the enclyopedia I contribute to to work just as well, no matter who it's hosted by, now, or in the future. Personally I think any non-WP: style enclyopedia redirects should either be re-targeted to remain in the enclyopedia, or, if no valid target exists, deleted. (retargeting any incoming links, as appropiate). I'd also support it becoming a speedy criteria, for the simple reason that currently if an editor, well meaning or otherwise, creates dozens of redirects out of enclyopedia space, they each have to spend the week on rfd, which seems a little overkill. As an alternative, something that might be considered is whether CSD G4 can apply to redirects. Surely if say, speedy delete is deleted by rfd, speedy deletion which contains the identical content/target is a valid G4, but the impression I've received is that this might be contravertisal to some, and each redirect needs to be rfd'd. Anyway, hope that expands somewhat, unfortunately I'm busier than normal so my contribution time has been limited recently. Regards, MartinRe 19:08, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
Yes, we have a problem with the principle of least astonishment here: what's better, to have a clueless newbie enter "Articles for deletion" in the search bar and get no results whatsoever (even though they entered the correct phrase!), or to have different default search filters for logged-in and anon users? (Obviously changing the default search filter for both anons and logged-ins would be overkill.) Neither option is without disadvantages, however I'd favour having a different default for anon and logged-in users because I think the vast majority of newly registered users registered to edit the Wikipedia (and therefore interested in the encyclopedia-making process, so showing them the Wikipedia:Articles for deletion as default would be justified), and the vast majority of anon users very rarely (just typo fixes, etc) or don't edit Wikipedia at all (so showing them unencyclopedic content as default would not be justified). Of course, we're talking about the default values here, so if anybody wanted to modify their search filter, they'd be able to do that. --Zoz (t) 19:33, 31 July 2006 (UTC)


I fully support this proposal. It will allow people to find the pages they are looking for outside the article space easily without redirecting to non-encyclopedic content from the main namespace. Polonium 15:18, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

Major issue with removal[edit]

Some of these redirects are very old and were in many cases created before the namespaces existed. Extreme caution must be taken so as to not delete any of those (unfortunately, many of them have probably already been lost...recovering them might make an interesting WikiProject). For an example, see Requested articles. If the redirects were moved to the correct namespace and then deleted (e.g. Wikipedia:Requested articles/archive or something like that), that would be fine (right?). Ardric47 04:29, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

Or better yet (if someone has the time), the edit histories could be merged. Ardric47 04:30, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
I've made a change in the proposal to reflect this. --Zoz (t) 19:15, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
A proposed clarification: I would suggest erring on the side of merging rather than deleting (regarding "useful" edit history). Keeping histories is important for GFDL/copyright purposes. Ardric47 06:16, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Another reason to consider[edit]

Another argument against allowing redirects out of the main namespace is that they encourage original research. Editors think that because they hit an internal concept, peculiar to Wikipedia and not documented elsewhere, via a name in the main namespace, it is all right to add other such original research concepts to Wikipedia. For example: The existence of the redirect from Wikiholic to Wikipedia:Wikipediholic encouraged someone to write Wikibyss (AfD discussion). (From Talk:Wikibyss: "The process of being 'caught in a Wikibyss' as it is termed here is an actual phenomena, I believe fairly common to regular Wikipedia users. I just happened to coin the term for it. Because of the nature of Wikipedia, I thought this was the best way of popularising it, and encouraging people to use it.") Uncle G 09:46, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

I don't really like this idea that much ...[edit]

If someone is searching in the "search" box for "Pokemon", they should NEVER get WP:POKE or WP:PTEST among the results unless they specifically select the Wikipedia namespace. The default search really shouldn't include anything other than article space.

The WP: and CAT: links definitely need to be a shortcut or alias namespace for Wikipedia: and Category: ... just like Image is an alias for Bild on German Wikipedia. That doesn't really need a policy, I wouldn't think. It obviously needs to be done - a glut of them sometimes show up in searches.

Personally, I think the most FUNDAMENTAL Wikipedia pages need either dab links or cross-namespace redirects. That doesn't mean we need redirects for everyone's pet wikiproject ... but the most essential processes and policies would definitely be helpful. BigDT 01:51, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

The big problem here is that the new users will edit with default settings. And they will search for "articles for deletion" and similar WP-specific phrases and they won't get results unless they go to the preferences and change the search filter settings. And you can't expect that from a newbie, just as you can't expect them to prefix "Wikipedia:" to their searches. On the other hand, readers who don't want to edit WP at all (and therefore didn't bother to create an account and log in) would have article namespace-only default search settings according to this proposal. --Zoz (t) 16:37, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

Status quo is fine[edit]

In the long term I'd like to see cross-namespace redirects removed, but the effort required to update links and keep new links updated may be substantial. On the other hand, some redirects clearly might refer to legitimate subjects and need to go. I think RfD does a good job of distinguishing these currently and there's no need for a change. In particular, I would strongly oppose a speedy deletion criterion in light of the dissent surrounding this issue - we don't need another T1. Deco 02:01, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

So far RfD deleted each and every cross-namespace redirect and there is some controversy because of that. You see, RfD deletes CNRs - users create CNRs (see a recent example). Actually, the idea behind this proposal is to abolish the need for cross-namespace redirects: if newbies get to their targets directly without even touching a cross-namespace redirect (read the proposal, that's what it aims to accomplish), there would be no need to create them. In fact, since noone would ever use them anymore there would be 0 controversy about deleting all of them - so comparing this to T1 is unjustified. And status quo is not fine: currently some users complain that deleting useful CNRs is against newbies and usability, others say that polluting the encyclopedic article namespace with non-encyclopedic cross-namespace redirects is against the very goal of wikipedia. In my opinion status quo is really far from being "fine". --Zoz (t) 16:57, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

Establishing a speedy criterion on the basis of a technical wishlist is just ... weird. -Splash - tk 22:13, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

Once noone uses CNRs, deleting them would be nothing more than housekeeping. The proposed addition to the speedy criterion is just to ensure that CNRs wouldn't have to go through RfD if this proposal is accepted. --Zoz (t) 14:58, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
No, these will not qualify under speedy-deletion case G6 as "housekeeping". Please go re-read the speedy-deletion case and, in particular, read all the discussion and precedent that's in the archives about how that specific case is to be used. Even if you orphan every one of them, these will not qualify for speedy-deletion under any existing criterion. Rossami (talk) 04:32, 14 August 2006 (UTC)
I know, and that's why I proposed a change in R2. What I meant above, is that these deletions would be "non-controversial maintenance tasks". --Zoz (t) 12:34, 14 August 2006 (UTC)
Maybe we don't need a new CSD, just an application of the existing ones. Right now, if an article "rubbish article" get's deleted, then if the same content is at "rubbish article II" then it get's G4'd. However, if the content is a redirect, somehow a new discussion seems to be needed (c/f rfd of wikipedia is not and rfd of what wikipedia is not (point at the same place, with the same content) Right now, anyone could create a dozen redirects to WP:NOT, "what wikipeida isn't", "wikpieida isn't this", etc, and each and every one of them would be required to go though a week long discussion on rfd. That to me, makes no sense. Even if existing CNR's have to be rfd'd (despite idential ones being previously rfd'd) surely new CNR's should class as a speedy for that reason alone? Regards, MartinRe 00:24, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
The point is that if this proposal is accepted and there is no need for CNRs anymore, they should be deleted. The deletion of these redirects would be non-controversial so I think it would be reasonable to delete them without listing them at RfD (there are lots of CNRs, imagine all of them listed at RfD at the same time). On the other hand, as Rossami pointed out, currently there is no CSD criterion under which they could be deleted. So I think it's sensible to expand one of the criteria to include explicitly this kind of situation. By the way, there is a discussion about applying G4 to redirects here, but I think that's not relevant here, because there are lots of CNRs which haven't been deleted before (so G4 wouldn't apply), but would have to be deleted anyway. --Zoz (t) 12:39, 21 August 2006 (UTC)
Actually there is more to do than just accept the proposal - as it would require changes to the setup of wikipedia - you would need not only community support but also support from amongst those tasked with maintaining the system (of course they generally are helpful to the community and only object when there are technical reasons not to). This argument for speedy should wait until the proposal has approved - and implementation has been done - now it is moot - and deletion of CNR's now is just annoying those that use them --Trödel 15:30, 21 August 2006 (UTC)
You're right of course. I listed the deletion of the CNRs as the last step because I think that it should be done only after all previous steps are completed. I clarified this on the project page. --Zoz (t) 16:51, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

Alternate solution: Stop deleting cross-namespace redirects[edit]

I think this page is a start at fairly laying out the advantages and disadvantages of cross-namespace redirects. I think, however, that the proposed solution is overly complex, error-prone and expensive. This is a solution in search of a problem. I remain unconvinced by the blanket arguments against cross-namespace redirects. Many such redirects are not only harmless but actively meet some of the specific reasons at WP:R for not deleting redirects. RfD has recently been deleting these redirects but I believe that they are doing so only by being very selective in their reading of Wikipedia policy and tradition. I'm trying very hard not to be inflammatory in my language but I honestly believe that damage has been done to the project through this misguided crusade. Rossami (talk) 04:10, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

Although I support this proposal, I agree that some damage has been done—specifically, with respect to redirects with histories. For example, Be bold in updating pages was recently deleted. I have suspicions (but obviously can't check!) that it contained history, especially since Wikipedia:Be bold in updating pages has no history before 25 February 2002. Or did we not have "be bold" yet then? Ardric47 04:36, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
History is a potential issue with any deletion. There are means of dealing with it and if it wasn't done in this case, then that's more an issue of improperly following the procedures for capturing history before deletion than about the deletion itself. -- JLaTondre 14:59, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

Recent additions to "Arguments for keeping CNRs"[edit]

It seems to me that this argument is mistaken in its basic premise. I know some mirrors contain Talk & Project pages. I thought some mirrors also contain User pages (why else the {{Userpage}} template?). I don't think a claim that mirror readers will never see them is correct. However, I don't think it's any worse for a mirror reader to see them than a direct Wikipedia reader. I recommend that this argument be re-written along the lines of "Redirects which are used exclusively on non-article pages are irrelevant as readers of the article-space only will never fall into this "pipework" because these "cracks" (or more accurately, "access ports") are only being left in the maintenance corridors." We can debate how strong that argument is, but it wouldn't be factually wrong. -- JLaTondre 14:59, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

My addition was intended as a rebuttal to the last bullet in the prior section which says that these redirects are bad because they are "broken" when copied to a mirror. My point is that if the mirror is not bringing over the User, Talk or Wikipedia-spaces, that argument is largely moot. No reader will see them. If the mirror is bringing over all the project-spaces, then the redirect won't be broken - again, making that argument largely moot. If a mirror is, for some inexplicable reason, bringing over Talk pages but not Wikipedia-space pages, the reader of the mirror will be faced with many thousands of broken links regardless of whether these redirects exist or not.
If there's a better way to word the thought, please do so. Rossami (talk) 16:47, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
How about "Redirects which are used exclusively on User, Talk and other project pages are irrelevant as readers of the article-space only will never see them. This is especially true for mirrors which only duplicate the main article namespace ." Also, I think the last point under "Arguments for deleting CNRs" should be changed to "Some mirrors...". -- JLaTondre 18:05, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
Grammatically, that sentence parses to "Redirects ... are irrelevant" which was not quite the intent. I think we are trying to say that "The arguments against redirects are irrelevant" in that specific case. How about "For redirects which are used exclusively on User, Talk and other project pages, the first and fourth arguments against CNRs are irrelevant as readers of the article-space only will never see them. This is especially true for mirrors which only duplicate the main article namespace."
That wording seems overly specific and could be disrupted if the bullets in the section above are reorganized. A cleaner solution might be to reword the bullets in the top section to include the necessary qualifiers. Rossami (talk) 19:00, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
Instead of "Redirects ... are irrelevant", how about ""Redirects ... do not cause confusion"? I also do not like using the bullet numbers. Depending upon the qualification, it may be problematic to add as not everyone may agree with it. -- JLaTondre 00:10, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
How's this strike you? Rossami (talk) 04:31, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
Looks very good. I made my suggested change to the con section as well. -- JLaTondre 13:12, 12 August 2006 (UTC)


The idea that cross-namespace redirects are so harmful that they should be banned is absurd. The entire Wikipedia project is based on the collective contributions of thousands of editors. Making it harder for new editors to find the resources they need to contribute productively is simply an asinine thing to do. Cross-namespace redirects exist because they are useful. Something useful should not be removed from the project without a good reason. No reason has thus far been offered. Not only that, but some folks apparently think this proposal is policy, or at least feel the urge to implement it immediately. This is a bad thing, because it short-circuits the process for determining whether these redirects should exist or not. IMHO, cross-namespace redirects are, at best, extremely helpful and useful, and at worst, merely annoying to a few easily-annoyed editors. There is no harm to the project caused by these redirects. It is absurd to pretend that they cause any significant damage. -- 17:43, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

Cracks in the Floor[edit]

The arguments for CNRs talks about people accidentally falling into cracks in the floor of a building. It says the cracks are there on purpose so it's easier for the engineers to get around. Thing is, no one really accidentally falls through those cracks - only the engineers know where they're located. -Zapptastic (talk) 21:02, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

Not quite, the floor plan (search engine) also knows where they are, so a guest can ask for directions to the resturauant and end up in the kitchens. And they can't even say "I'm a guest, only tell me about guest things" (i.e. set the search filter up) because it's included in guest handbook, even though it's only applicable to the employee handbook. Regards, MartinRe 14:17, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

Current status of this discussion?[edit]

What is the current status of the discussion regarding cross-namespace redirects? I don't necessarily mean this proposal in particular, but the general discussion regarding this issue. Has it been discussed somewhere else recently?

Note: I'm not necessarily trying to revive the discussion here (which according to Template:Historical should be done by seeking "broader input via a forum such as the Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)" ). I'm just asking if there currently is more to say about this issue than "no consensus"? -- 10:28, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

Ultimately, all or almost all cross-namespace redirects have been deleted (except the WP: pseudo-namespace), and there were several discussions about them on RfD and administrative noticeboards for doing so. —Centrxtalk • 15:02, 16 May 2007 (UTC)
You can look at this list or this to have an overview of what's been deleted in the last 3 months. I wouldn't say that all xnr's have been deleted, but many have. Things that seem to be mistakes or are unnecessarily long or silly (eg. KhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaanImage:Kirk scream.jpg) seem to get deleted more quickly. --Interiot 22:23, 16 May 2007 (UTC)
Is there any list before December, preferably from early 2006? Most of them were deleted before December. While I would not think that every single one was deleted, a huge number have been deleted. There were 56 deleted in May 2006 RfDs alone, and if you look at [1] from June 2006 there are a lot more redlinks (though this does not discriminate between user, category, wikipedia, etc. spaces). Most have been deleted, and the only ones not deleted are probably because no one cares enough to go through them all. —Centrxtalk • 00:32, 17 May 2007 (UTC)
Also, some have merely been redirected elsewhere. —Centrxtalk • 00:36, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

WP: pseudo-namespace creation[edit]

See current discussion at Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)#WP: pseudo-namespace, concerning the creation of a new namespace for shortcuts. Thanks. --Quiddity (talk) 20:33, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Redirects from Wikipedia namespace to User namespace[edit]

Why do we remove the redirects when moving essays from Wikipedia namespace to User namespaces? Zxczxczxc (talk) 22:27, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

Normally, we don't unless it's an obvious user test or at the request of the sole author of the page. Rossami (talk) 01:23, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
Or if the essay is deleted. - Mtmelendez (Talk) 15:25, 14 February 2008 (UTC)


I support cross-namespaces; what the Hell can they hurt? Nothing. They can help, though. For example, unless you alter your search preferences, which you have to be a member to do; the msajority of users aren't; many non-cross-namespaced things such as userbox will not even show up in the bloody search results. Daniel Christensen (talk) 23:05, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

User boxes do not belong as results of searches for encyclopedia articles. You have answered your own question: one way cross-namespace redirects hurt is by mixing pages irrelevant to the encyclopedia, with the articles for which the vast majority of users are searching. —Centrxtalk • 04:51, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

Are ALL redirects in the main articlespace no matter what prefix they use?[edit]

For example: Wikipedia:Categorizing redirects to Wikipedia:Categorization but so does WP:Categorizing, and it is currently tagged with {{R to project namespace}}, as well as many others in Category:Cross namespace redirects tagged with {{R to other namespace}} that don't seem like they belong there or are candidates for deletion according to WP:REDIRECT#DELETE. Does that mean that just because it's a redirect it's not in the already in the project namespace despite the "Wikipedia:" prefix? Or is the template misplaced or redundant? -- OlEnglish (Talk) 19:41, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

These template usages seem to be simply erroneous. —Centrxtalk • 04:49, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
Sigh, that's what I thought. -- OlEnglish (Talk) 06:44, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
Before "WP" was an alias for the Wikipedia namespace, they were cross-namespace redirects (See Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive 4#WP: pseudo-namespace and bug 6313 for details on that change). Perhaps someone was unaware that that has been fixed when they tagged WP:Categorizing? Anomie 23:33, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Search engine subversion argument no longer valid?[edit]

It seems that the argument against CNRs due to search engine subversion is no longer valid. When searching for terms that are currently the targets of CNRs, I'm not seeing any results outside of the articles namespace. For example, a search for "speedy deletion" does not give any results in the WP namespace, despite the Speedy Delete CNR. Same for "wikipedia editors" and "administrators" despite the Wikipedia administrator CNR. Also for "page update", the example used in the Arguments for deleting CNRs section.

Unless someone can point out something I'm missing, it seems there is no longer justification for including the third bullet of the Arguments for deleting CNRs section, assumedly due to a (recent?) software change. I move that we remove this bullet from the section. --Zach425 talk/contribs 23:39, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

"Pseudo-namespace redirects may be used freely"?[edit]

I very much dispute that "| redirects may be used freely", as the page currently says. I don't see this reflected in recent RfDs, to the contrary. If there are no objections, I will remove that sentence, and add a link to the pseudo namespace page in the "see also" section instead. Amalthea 16:52, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

I will contest this absent presentation of the RfDs alluded to and revert for now to previous language. In my view such RfDs should show clear consensus among a wide number of participants. The reasoning should not be circular either. If a weak precedent from earlier for example is the deciding factor in an RfD participated by a couple of people who are also participants in the previous discussion that is not convincing. Lambanog (talk) 03:18, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

Just allow CNRs[edit]

Shouldn't we just allow CNRs becasue they are sometimes userful? I think that a good useful CNR is for Vandalism Warnings to be redirected to Wikipedia:Vandalism#Warnings, especially for people who don't know about namespaces. (talk) 04:30, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

Arguments for?[edit]

"CNRs are bad because they result in a person (reader) walking around a building (encyclopedia) and falling into the pipework (project space) because the builders (editors) thought cracks in the walls and floors would be useful for them to get around."

What the hell does that mean? As far as I'm aware, cross-name redirects do not cause readers any physical pain so how is that analogy relevant at all? If a word does not exist outside of Wikipedia, what's the harm of redirecting it to its relevant Wikipedia namespace page? McLerristarr | Mclay1 03:50, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

Also, it's hard to get out of the pipework. It's easy to get out of the project namespace (Just click the back button). --UserJDalek 03:00, 12 August 2014 (UTC)

Redirecting user pages to articles[edit]

User:Intoronto1125 recently redirected his user page to the article Toronto. Is this allowed? HeyMid (contribs) 10:53, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

It isn't?? I will remove it asap. Sorry! Intoronto1125 (talk) 16:42, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

I never said it isn't; I was just uncertain. Redirecting your user page to an article seems inappropriate for readers. HeyMid (contribs) 16:55, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
Searching the WT:UP archives I see that this question has come up before, but never definitively answered. The WP:User pages guideline does state "User talk pages should not redirect to anything other than the talk page of an account controlled by the same user" but there's nothing explicitly forbidding redirecting the main user page to an article. It can be seen as a form of promotion but since it's promoting an existing Wikipedia article I don't see the harm. :) -- œ 18:43, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
Anyways I removed it. Intoronto1125 (talk) 00:11, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

Competing analogies presented at RfD[edit]

The following two comments were presented in a recent RfD discussion. Copying them here because they represent competing analogies for cross-namespace redirects and may be helpful in illustrating the differing opinions about the utility of such redirects. (Minor paraphrasing for clarity.) Rossami (talk) 00:51, 26 March 2011 (UTC)

Re: Namespaces were created for a reason, so that the encyclopedic content would be separate. CNRs work against this.

  • In my opinion creating cross-namespace redirects from the main namespace to save a few editors a little bit of work is about as morally justifiable as throwing your banana peels on the sidewalk, while there's a trashcan a few feet away, "because it save a bit of effort".
  • Redirects to WP pages are more like the deliberate creation of a red-bordered access panel which allows direct access to the valves and wiring when you need to make repairs. Yes, we could force our maintenance techs to go the long way around the building and crawl through the ventilation shafts but why should we? This is "the encyclopedia that anyone can edit" - we need a constant influx of new editors who will volunteer to help with the maintenance. We need to make those access ports visible and easy to find. We can't afford to paint them in camouflage colors and hide them behind the bookshelves.

import ends

Talk to Mainspace[edit]

Is there anyway to locate just Talk to Mainspace redirects? (I'd guess these are almost always wrong.) Mark Hurd (talk) 02:18, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

The lead[edit]

Is it right or wrong to change the wording of the lead of this essay, which has come about via the consensus of the community? I understand that consensus may change over time; however, even the present policy discussion is not even close to the consensus that would be needed to overpower the present longstanding community consensus about how pseudo-namespaces may be "used freely". (Also, it is important to note that, while discussions about the content of this page should take place here, there is an ongoing discussion as noted by the above link where discussion about this has already begun. Rather than discuss it in two different places, it would probably be better to keep the discussion in one place to avoid any confusion.) – Paine Ellsworth CLIMAX! 13:46, 8 January 2014 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Village_pump_(policy)#RFC:_On_the_controversy_of_the_pseudo-namespace_shortcuts.

CNR to content categories[edit]

As I have noted at Wikipedia:Redirects for discussion/Log/2014 January 15#Requests for unblock, this essay should mention that CNR from mainspace to content categories are perfectly acceptable according to practise, where AFDs regularly have 'redirect to category' as the decision. There are hundreds of them at Wikipedia:Database reports/Cross-namespace redirects. The redirect name may be bad for other reasons, but the target being a category shouldnt be used as an argument to delete. John Vandenberg (chat) 06:59, 15 January 2014 (UTC)


John Vandenberg just pointed out to me that this essay has a very awkward format, making it difficult to update its content - which is fine - in line with the evolution of the MediaWiki software and any changes to consensus within the project. I agree; so I'm going to start working on overhauling it for clarity and maintainability. Rather than hack about the live text, I've started work at Wikipedia:Cross-namespace redirects/sandbox. Additions welcomed. — Scott talk 19:02, 15 January 2014 (UTC)

Evidently AFD is not suitable for CNR...[edit]

(Let me see how many TLAs I can use!) Articles for deletion has been created and deleted many times. I haven't looked for deletion discussions that ended in its being kept, but given that it's been deleted so many times, I'd suggest removing it as an example of an appropriate CNR. Judging by the comments on Current Events, the tide seems to have turned against CNRs from the main space at least. -- ke4roh (talk) 00:44, 6 September 2014 (UTC)

Posted at User talk:Kephir[edit]

Hello, you have been writing extra bits into WP:CNR since about two weeks ago. But I think for any significant changes you should have a significant discussion. Also, I have found some inaccuracy and overstatement, and I'd like to ask you to let me revert and ask you not to work alone on the guidelines, not by adding many paragraphs of text. One reason for this is that guidelines are approved, and if you double the text without consulting the community, then it is only half approved.. ~ R.T.G 07:04, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

RTG: WP:Cross-namespace redirects is just an essay, not a guideline. If you have ever bothered to read the banner at the top, it says "Essays are not Wikipedia policies or guidelines. Some essays represent widespread norms; others only represent minority viewpoints.". I believe editing an essay does not require conducting an RFC beforehand. Keφr 16:20, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
The point of the essay is to be the basis for a guideline, not for jotting down random thoughts about the subject. Do that on the talk page instead please, thanks. ~ R.T.G 16:27, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
One of the points argued in the essay is that no guideline is needed here at all, so I would not be so sure about that. I believe the purpose of the essay is to record the current state of affairs with regard to acceptability of cross-namespace redirects. My additions are not "random thoughts" any more than the list of arguments they respond to. And I believe one of the points of essays in general is to be able to express opinions about Wikipedia without having to worry too much about how widely accepted they are; for example, to collect some of the more subjective "stock arguments" used in debates, as in this case. Keφr 16:48, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Look, let's consider the edits you are making. One of the edits was to the bulleted list of counter arguments. In your own words you say that CNR will never be accepted because some people agree with the other points above with some extended rant about syndromes you have identified. You say, "Accidental linking aided by cross-namespace redirects may actually be undesirable," followed by a paragraph about it, but we got that at the accidental part, but you go on with a paragraph referring the reader to some other points you were making, further up the list of course. You say that new editors have a duty to understand CNR as a major point of contention in the argument. The point of that page is for referencing past debate on the argument, not WP:SCHOOLONEDAY. The point of that essay is not for you to express your opinions. I told you. That is what the talk page is for, and also the village pump. If you wish to write your own version of the essay, then write your own version. ~ R.T.G 19:14, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
This is your version, to edit and play games and stuff. This is our version, i.e. everyone elses who you should ask when your version is ready for community review, cheers. ~ R.T.G 19:19, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Look, I shouldn't be posting here in an unapologetic tone. When I reviewed your edits I believed you were in good faith all the way. But when they kept going, and growing, and it was becoming more than a simple discussion, and you weren't even looking for a discussion... So I want to ask you to treat that page as though it belongs to others who may disagree with you in ways that you haven't yet figured out yet. And there is no need for you to edit it directly into the page when you are just at the stage of dreaming it up. So I hope you don't feel like you have been angered upon, but I will insist that you try not to radically alter the essays and guidelines of others without making sure that you are supported in the suitable manner, not simply on your own instigation. However, I would encourage you to use the page I have put in your userspace and rewrite the essay as you believe it requires. Then, when you feel you have enough for a discussion, have the discussion. Any better? Thanks. ~ R.T.G 19:43, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
I believe I have a reasonably good grasp of English, but I have trouble understanding some of what you have written above. However, I will try my best at responding to it:
  • I fail to understand how WP:SCHOOLONEDAY is relevant. That guideline applies to contents of articles, and is a reiteration of WP:V. WP:V does not apply to Wikipedia essays.
  • There is no Essay Approval Committee, for better or for worse. Defenders of cross-namespace redirects have the same right to edit the essay as I have. If they decline to do so, this is not my problem.
  • I actually used some of the counterarguments I added there. I would really like people defending these redirects to consider them, and I hate repeating myself, so I believe this essay is a good place for them.
  • I believe that the proliferation of mutually contradictory essays (e.g. WP:SPADE vs WP:NOTSPADE, WP:BLUE vs WP:NOTBLUE) is a bad thing, and contributes to the perception of Wikipedia as a battleground and I prefer to avoid adding to it.
Keφr 20:30, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
LOL. Look Pally, you haven't even asked me to discuss the things you want to add and you are lawyering up the battleground. Please, you added 2,600 bytes to the essay. It hasn't been that size for seven years. You claim to be seeking neutrality by having a fight with me, while your other claim was that you can use this essay to support your one sided arguments... (to create peace no doubt) Don't be afraid to use your own userspace or Wikipedia:Write your own essay. This is a community page. You can't throw it around on the basis of simply being demanding. Now, I've told you several times what to do. If you continue to abide the feeling of insult I will take offense. ~ R.T.G 01:17, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
User:RTG/Dream of Mirror Online. Click it and see where you end up. It's a cross namespace redirect. It sat in my userspace for years being read and edited by others, and it was a subject I knew nothing about (I just wanted to save it from deletion because it was obviously just an article lacking TLC and English language input, rather than totally non-notable, so it was put there). So how long, in your opinion, after it was moved back into main space, do you delete the remaining CNR? But this CNR is not going to WP space... ZOMG... it's going to... Oh wait, it doesn't apply to that one the same then? This page is sort of named slightly wrong? And something else? Something more? The way forward isn't polarisation? Because then you can't hear each other? It's collaboration? Wow RTG, you really do my thingy in? Well I should bleedin cocoa? It needs another full discussion for a guideline, but it's not really that important, and this page is sort of historical now instead? Okay, maybe you do have an answer for everything, but I really want this page, to fill my need for a page, of the essay I... want..? I am going to get to the baser elements here and say, I don't like it. ~ R.T.G 10:12, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

User: to article redirects[edit]

Based on recent discussions, it seems there is consensus that user pages (note not user subpages) should not hard redirect to the article namespace. There is a lesser consensus that converting these to soft redirects is acceptable and better than outright deletion. Should this be mentioned in this essay? Thryduulf (talk) 12:26, 28 November 2014 (UTC)