Wikipedia talk:How to read an article history

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Waning importance of history pages[edit]

It seems like as Wikipedia gets bigger, users become more numerous, and the average number of edits per page goes up, the history page becomes less usable in the ways described in this article except for in the newest/least-edited entries. What can I tell about the content of the Islam article from this?

In talking with people about Wikipedia, I'm finding that people who have concerns about its accuracy are frequently told something like "all you have to do is look at the history--it's all there!" While this is, of course, oversimplified and the history is only one tool to use when vetting information here, there seems to be a common belief that history pages are how you can tell if a Wikipedia page is trustworthy. But how can anyone make worthwhile sense of hundreds of edits from dozens of users (and bots), not being able to tell where the big edits are, only some with meaningful summaries, etc?

This difficulty doesn't seem to be addressed anywhere here. Am I way off in thinking there's too much importance placed on histories? Not that they're not important--they're crucial--but importance from the point of view of a casual reader/user?

Rhododendrites (talk) 17:32, 1 April 2008 (UTC)