Wikipedia talk:Pending changes/Request for Comment 2014/Closure

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!vote counts as of RfC close[edit]

Moved from Wikipedia talk:Pending changes/Request for Comment 2014#!vote counts as of RfC close: Moving closing-related discussion to talk page of closing subpage. APerson (talk!) 22:59, 25 March 2014 (UTC)

Quick summaries of what each proposal would have done are available at the Proposals Index.

!vote counting as of the end of the RfC
Proposal Support Oppose Implicit Oppose Total Oppose Neutral Result (50%?) Result (50%? + implicit)
Proposal 1 65 34 14 48 0 Passing Passing
Proposal 2 62 23 14 37 0 Passing Passing
Proposal 4 36 31 63 94 0 Passing Failing
Proposal 5 11 15 24 39 2 Failing Failing
Proposal 7 26 6 0 6 0 Passing Passing
Proposal 8 4 15 0 15 0 Failing Failing
Proposal 9 6 5 0 5 0 Passing Passing
Proposal 12 7 8 28 36 0 Failing Failing
Proposal 13 8 4 0 4 0 Passing Passing
Proposal 14 12 9 28 37 0 Passing Failing
Proposal 15 9 4 0 4 0 Passing Passing

Hope this satisfies the first requirement mentioned on the closing subpage (i.e. that !votes be counted). APerson (talk!) 14:18, 21 March 2014 (UTC)

I see two problems: I count 28 implicit opposes for proposals 12 and 14, rather than the 24 listed here. Also, a minor nitpick: entries labeled "Not Counted" should be 0. There's no entries for those ones because there's no proposals that conflict with them, so implicitly opposing them is impossible. Jackmcbarn (talk) 19:17, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
Also, I see 2 neutrals for proposal 5 that you don't have listed. Jackmcbarn (talk) 19:20, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
The table has been updated with the 28 implicit opposes. APerson (talk!) 20:25, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
Can we, for the love of DIETY, stop doing personal analysis (evaluations) of the counts of votes and let the Admins (EatsShootsAndLeavesJc37Kevin GormanPakaranDangerousPanda) work in peace? If the Admins can't evaluate the consensus then declare a mistrial on behalf of the RFC and put asking the question off for a few months. Hasteur (talk) 19:54, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
The plan proposed and endorsed at the closing subpage did include "totaling all !votes" and determining which of the non-controversial proposals would be passing based on that. APerson (talk!) 20:30, 21 March 2014 (UTC)

The statistics for "implicit opposes" are problematic and IMHO should not be relied on. If User:Foo opposes proposal on the basis that "I don't think PC should ever be used because it might be used in situations A, B, and C," and then I post a new proposal that says "PC can be used in rare instances but not in situations A, B, and C," I don't think User:Foo can fairly be listed as "implicitly opposed" to my new proposal. Newyorkbrad (talk) 20:16, 21 March 2014 (UTC)

@Newyorkbrad: See the thread above discussing the inclusion of implicit opposes. APerson (talk!) 20:25, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
Whatever the numbers, it would really be nice if the three closers would reach a decision and post it. Obviously, it's been an awfully long time. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:41, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
The above table shows the complexity of this. Also, tally is only part of the evaluation DP 00:17, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
Good; I, for one, would be extremely uncomfortable with any closure that simply tallies votes. Wikipedia is supposed to operate by consensus, not by majority rule, but the discussion on the closure page so far does not make me hopeful. Ozob (talk) 02:59, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
Likewise. The "close" is turning into another fucking vote-tally. We've had enough of those standing in for consensus during this whole sordid affair that WP:CONSENSUS has become a mockery, a shell of its former self. —Jeremy v^_^v Bori! 18:35, 22 March 2014 (UTC)

I'd certainly hope that anything below 70% not be considered "passing" for something like this. Hobit (talk) 15:16, 22 March 2014 (UTC)

Exactly. The only difficulty with this close would be attempting to find consensus where there is none. It's apparent that the use of implicit oppose votes is being bandied about as a way to ignore the uncomfortable fact that proposal 4 received a numeric majority.—Kww(talk) 15:44, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
Proposal 4 would have been declared no-consensus in any case. You neglect the power the pro-PC camp holds. —Jeremy v^_^v Bori! 18:31, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
My take is that WP is a continuum, from the voluntary, lightweight activities (like GAN and quiet wiki-projects) to epic struggles over the truth. I know more about the lightweight activities, and I hope I'm sufficiently neutral to help close a couple of future RfCs on PC2 relevant to those activities. It's possible that voters can find agreement on more narrowly focused questions and tasks. There are parts of WP that don't work well, but there are big stretches of WP where we've handled tougher problems than this before, and my guess is that article reviewers and writers, wikiproject members, and RfC voters will find a way to deal with whatever happens. - Dank (push to talk) 16:10, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
The closers, at the moment, seem to be deciding between 50% and 2/3 (sometimes 60%). To me, this seems a little low. APerson (talk!) 20:46, 23 March 2014 (UTC)
It may also be worth noting—and not for the first time—that concurrent passage of certain mutually exclusive proposals would make no sense. Specifically, Proposal 4 is fundamentally incompatible with various other proposals. Passing it along with, say, Proposal 1 would appear to present a paradox, which is why it should have been the first proposal, with the others depending on its passage or failure. Even with it buried in the middle of the RfC, that logically should still be the case. Rivertorch (talk) 04:18, 24 March 2014 (UTC)

Maybe it's just because the posted discussion, as of this time, is still in the early stages of discussion, but I also am concerned about what I am reading there. It looks an awful lot like simple vote-counting, and with rather low thresholds for determining what passes. Having slightly more supports than opposes is not automatically the same thing as consensus. I strongly urge the three closers to spend some time reading and weighing all of the comments. Although I understand and somewhat agree with the disinclination to count "implicit" opinions, I think it's very necessary to evaluate explicit statements of partial or incomplete support or opposition, as opposed to counting every !vote the same. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:30, 22 March 2014 (UTC)

Not speaking for anyone else, but as far as I am concerned (and I think you know me by now Tryptofish : ) - I don't count "votes" to determine consensus. And I suppose I can link to some closures to support that assertion should that be needed. But honestly, one merely look at my initial "notes" to see that I clearly didn't count "votes".
(Incidentally, those notes are from my notes from reading through the RfC several times and were written long before DP posted the counts table on the closure page.)
I shouldn't need to say this at this stage, but I'm a strong proponent of WP:CON, and not to put too fine a point on it, I think that an editor would have difficulty proving otherwise. - jc37 23:58, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
Indeed, I do know and trust you, and I trust the other two closers too. And I apologize if what I said sounded too critical. After all, we are all volunteers, and I know that. But I'll repeat what I said: "Maybe it's just because the posted discussion, as of this time, is still in the early stages of discussion...". Please consider my advice, going forward. Especially: "I think it's very necessary to evaluate explicit statements of partial or incomplete support or opposition". --Tryptofish (talk) 00:20, 23 March 2014 (UTC)
And whatever I'm saying now, the three of you are better off hearing it now, than after the decision is final. Another thing: I see some mention of "previous consensus", and I'm not exactly sure what that means, but it would be a good idea to re-read the discussion carefully as to what was or was not previous consensus. --Tryptofish (talk) 00:40, 23 March 2014 (UTC)
I agree entirely. I am sure, jc37, that you believe in consensus, and I look to you and the other closers to sort out this RfC and interpret the wishes of the community as best as can be done. My concern is that this RfC appears to have provoked an unusually large number of complicated responses, so I think untangling consensus will be especially difficult. Ozob (talk) 00:45, 23 March 2014 (UTC)
True, but it's hard to untangle something that may not even exist. I wasn't going to say a word to the closers, but in the spirit of Tryptofish's "better off hearing it now", I'll say that I hope they'll take into account the structure and wording of the RfC. If the structure and wording were badly flawed to begin with—e.g., proposal 4 (which asks the most basic question) not being asked up front, plus a highly questionable statement about a previous RfC in the introductory wording—then !vote totals may be especially unhelpful in determining consensus and a sweeping "no consensus" finding might make more sense. Rivertorch (talk) 06:52, 23 March 2014 (UTC)

Implicit opposes[edit]

Moved from Wikipedia talk:Pending changes/Request for Comment 2014#Implicit opposes: Moving closing-related discussion to talk page of closing subpage. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:22, 25 March 2014 (UTC)

OK, I give up. How the heck is "I'm opposed to all PC" not clearly stating opposition to all PC? It seems at least one closer thinks that !voting for 4 isn't the same as opposing all the others. And I've no clue how the heck they can believe that. Help?

Also, can we please move the closer's discussion to a project page so the talk can be used to talk about it (as is standard on ArbCom discussions, RfA, etc.?Hobit (talk) 23:23, 24 March 2014 (UTC)

I agree with both points. --Tryptofish (talk) 01:06, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
I support both points – will BOLDly move to project space. APerson (talk!) 22:54, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
Someone needs to fix it so that the project page has a functional talk page, since that was the point of wanting the move. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:00, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
By that, do you mean a talk page for the closing subpage or a talk page for the main RfC? APerson (talk!) 23:01, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
Sorry, never mind, you already fixed what I was concerned about. It's fine now. Thanks! --Tryptofish (talk) 23:04, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
Actually, looking back, I agree it's not clear how the supports for #4 interact with a few of the later proposals. As such, perhaps we should survey all those who are marked as implicitly opposing anything and see what they meant/think? Hobit (talk) 13:09, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
On the one hand, the reason I moved this thread here was your point about #4. On the other hand, I'd argue against any new surveys before this one is closed – but I sure hope the three closers are carefully reading what the #4 supporters actually said, and indeed what all respondents actually said. --Tryptofish (talk) 17:12, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
I'm puzzled about the counting !votes thing; is it common for closers to emphasize count and mention strength of argument as an afterthought? - Neonorange (talk) 17:59, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
Hopefully not, per WP:CONSENSUS and WP:VOTE. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:47, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
As someone who has has real life intervene, I will not complain when another closer may have that issue. I've checked this at least once a day just in case the discussion has started, but am happy to wait patiently.
On another topic, just thought I should note for possible clarity that unlike most of the proposals, #4 does not appear to be a proposal to implement something, but rather, to not implement something. It's an easy thing to miss, but the question at hand does make a difference in how it may be closed.
And (in my estimation at least) Tryptofish is absolutely correct in the 19:47 post. To give the benefit of the doubt, I think that DP was just copying the totals over from the talk page merely as an aid to the (hopefully forthcoming) discussion. That was my purpose in posting my short form notes anyway, in the hopes of a discussion starter. I guess we'll see how things go : ) - jc37 05:04, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

Enough with counting !votes[edit]

How about you read the damn arguments for once instead of handing us another fucking straight-up vote tally?! Straight-up numbers cannot and should not be used for something this far-reaching. —Jeremy v^_^v Bori! 20:45, 30 March 2014 (UTC)

I hope we can rely on the closers to go through this with a fine-toothed comb, but I don't see the harm in non-closers doing a "rough analysis" that is just the raw numbers. I also don't see the harm in closers publishing the same rough analysis as long as they admit to themselves and to everyone else that what they are publishing doesn't even have the standing of anything close to "preliminary" result but is "merely" a birds-eye-view of the situation.
The potential for harm comes when and if the closers pay more attention to the "birds eye view" than the "on the ground" information which consists of all comments by all editors. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 21:08, 30 March 2014 (UTC)
From all appearances, that's all they're (or at least jc37 is) doing is the bird's-eye view. See the Notes section on the closure page. —Jeremy v^_^v Bori! 21:23, 30 March 2014 (UTC)
This is merely a thought, but if you're going to complain that someone is not reading for content, it might not hurt to do so yourself. Based upon what I posted, and your comments, I feel fairly secure in my belief that you merely looked at some particular proposal that you were most interested in, and ignored the rest, and then made a logical leap without actually assessing all the evidence available.
I really don't care much, and wasn't going to comment, but based on the post I'm about to make, I thought I'd at least set that straight.
Anyway, merely just a thought, when you're hoping to get people to volunteer to close a discussion you're interested in.
Happy editing. - jc37 05:50, 8 April 2014 (UTC)

About Withdrawing[edit]


I'm more than happy to help close. And as I mentioned previously, I've had real life intervene myself, so no complaints whatsoever here.

But at this point, I'm starting to get uncomfortable closing this discussion with so much time since it was closed to discussion. Yes, I'm fairly sure I've closed even older discussions, but still.

So at this point, I think I should probably withdraw as closer.

I have faith that the other two closers will do a great job with the close.

And I'll still be around if anyone wants to drop me a note. (I welcome friendly notices : )

I wish you all well : ) - jc37 05:57, 8 April 2014 (UTC)

I understand why you made that decision, and thank you for your assumption of good faith. This is, for me personally, the most challenging discussion I've ever been involved in the closure of, so it's a bit intimidating (and the delay is very regrettable, but abandoning the discussion now is not fair to the community). Pakaran 16:31, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
Ouch : )
I think you were referring to yourself when you said "abandoning", but to comment anyway - I'm not abandoning the community. Indeed, if you two would like me to stay on and help out, I'm happy to.
And there have been multi-closer discussions in the past where I was the one with RL intervening, so I meant what I said about no complaints whatsoever.
My concern is that we tend to have rough deadlines on these things for a reason. For one thing, as you note, the community worked hard on the discussion, if we're going to volunteer to close it we should be diligent, yes, but st least somewhat timely. And besides that, there is the real concern that if we allow "too much" time to go by (however that may be defined) that we're no longer determining current consensus. WP:CCC after all.
And since someone closed the rfc to further discussion, we're getting further and further away from it, timewise.
And that's started to make me less-than-comfortable.
That said, if you two would like my continued assistance, I'm happy to help close, if not, I'm fine with that too. I'm merely here at the service of the community : ) - jc37 22:34, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
I know I still want ya on board. Your withdrawal kinda knocked the wind out of my sails. One of the benefits of a "delay" in an emotional discussion that was this RFC is that we're now well-detached from that emotion, flurry of activity, etc DP 22:51, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
Per DangerousPanda, I'd love to have you back. I was OF COURSE referring to myself, and can see how that fell flat (I've been the cause of the greater share of the delay, and if I had anticipated that, may not have joined on). We're now in the position we're in, and need to move forward from there. If you prefer not to continue, I understand your rationale. If you do, then, again, welcome back. Pakaran 15:16, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
Thank you both.
And as I said, no worries : )
And sure, as per usual, I'm happy to help : ) - jc37 17:58, 11 April 2014 (UTC)


I feel like a hypocrite after having said the above, but my understanding is dated enough that, while I am willing to proceed slowly and am getting up to speed, I feel that I should seriously consider withdrawing. I am not going to do so immediately in case I am overreacting (and I would prefer, as I stated above, not to leave the remaining closers in a worse than prior position), but I would welcome comments and promise will not take offense. I also very, very much appreciate the assumptions of good faith from all concerned. If Wikipedia functioned that way more often, we would be in a much better position. Pakaran 14:16, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

FWIW, this has been one of the most contentious issues on WP, which is generally a sea of contentious issues, so I don't see any reason that you should feel your performance has been sub-par ... just being here is over par :) Why would you rather pull out? - Dank (push to talk) 17:49, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
I appreciate the vote of confidence, and I do plan to stick around. I was concerned to find myself at odds with what appeared to be the mainstream interpretation, and this didn't seem like a great place to learn by doing, so I felt honor bound to make the offer. As it stands, it's a learning experience, and I'll finish the job with that in mind. Pakaran 00:51, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Great, glad to hear it. - Dank (push to talk) 01:19, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
I just now saw this, so I'll merely add a "me too"  : ) - jc37 18:34, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
If you're not totally on board, this may (or may not) be reassuring: I'm going to offer to help close another RfC after this one is done to address two things that were missing in this RfC ... and no one is to blame that they were missing, almost all of us live in modern democracies, and have styles and expectations appropriate to the world we live in. First, if the tool is going to be used, we'll need to talk about effective enforcement mechanisms for the proper use of the tool, and second, this RfC, like all contentious RfCs, didn't IMO respect our WP:CONSENSUS policy ... that is, most of the participants treated this more as a vote than as an attempt to understand the various problems and solutions and then negotiate something everyone could live with. On WP, the voting approach to problem-solving is doomed to failure in the long run: roughly speaking, since there's no system of governance on WP, votes can't be "won", and people can't be forced to do anything; the only way to get a long-lasting effect is to convince people of something, and not many people were convinced one way or the other in this RfC. Bottom line, Pakaran: if you're uncomfortable because the results were unclear, well, they're unclear to me too, and we'll do something about that at some point. - Dank (push to talk) 14:35, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
This is an aside (and not intended to be reflective on anything concerning this rfc or its closure), but just my general opinion of late - In my observation there has been a move towards vote counting in closures. This in my estimation is a really bad thing.
Now, I do think I understand why it's been happening. To just pick out a couple: First, as you mention, people in a democratic society just automatically can fall into it not realising they are doing so. Second, it's easy. count votes and you're done, no need to actually know anything about Wikipedia policy, or long standing common practice or even broader previous consensus, or even the nuances of how the various policies and guidelines interact and inter-react with each other both independently and interdependently. (I've heard this called the "look at me I've closed a discussion, yay me" family of closer types.) And third, counting votes, in general, tends to produce less "blowback" or let's be honest vitriol from those who commented. In any discussion that's not unanimous in comment, you will get some who will obviously not be happy with a closure. It's easy enough for them to suddenly show up on a closer's talk page and attack them. Who would want to deal with that? While any closer should be happy to explain a close, no editor, closer or otherwise should even need to have to deal with that nonsense. So votecounting has been said to be "safer". And with that in mind, I've seen more than a few non-admin closers vote counting. After all, if you're hoping to run for adminship, what better way is there to show you're helping out, yet not making waves? (Rfa being what it is...) Pick some easy, obvious discussions to close, and so forth.
So I'm not surprised it's happening (that there are closers who close "by the numbers" alone). But I wish and hope the community stays vigilant about it. Unfortunately it continues on. What's interesting is that these days it's usually those in the numeric minority who usually speak the loudest about WP:CON. But the idea isn't so much to protect the will of the minority. It is (in my estimation at least) to protect the development of Wikipedia itself, both as a community and as a community project - a reference work - an encyclopedia. To me these are important things to protect. And I sincerely wish that everyone else felt that way too. But instead so often people are fighting for control over what they want, rather than what's best for Wikipedia. We have discussion because not everyone has the same view of what is best for Wikipedia. And that's a good thing, I think. Diversity in opinion makes for a strong foundation and core.
Anyway, so much for my "quick" comments : )
But since you brought it up, I thought I would opine too : ) - jc37 18:34, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

#4 as clear opposition to any of the proposals[edit]

I know when I supported proposal #4 I was treating it as a clear statement opposed to all the proposals. I went out of my way to clearly vote against #1 at the last minute out of what I thought was the irrational fear that people might not treat my vote for #4 as an opposition to all the other plans. Looking at the votes supporting #4 it seems really obvious that others were doing the same thing. But the closers seem to think otherwise (or at least aren't counting those supporting votes for #4 as being opposed to #1 and #2. I've asked above, but I'll try again:

  1. Could the closers say why they think they shouldn't treat supports for #4 as an oppose (especially for #1 and #2).
  2. Would the closers find it helpful to survey those who supported #4 so we can find what their intent was? It seems odd to have to guess when we can ask.

Hobit (talk) 00:07, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

This has to go both ways, then. Supporting any proposal that would allow PC2 must count as opposing #4. Jackmcbarn (talk) 01:25, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
Sure, of course. But the question at hand is if we can find something that has consensus. If not, we stick with the status quo. That was the nature of the last close on this topic and our standard in any case. And if you count the opposes from #4, nothing has anything resembling consensus. When changing policy, the bar for consensus is pretty high. Numerically we aren't there (not even if you ignore #4 actually--66% is on the far low end for policy changes) and no one has really identified a significant number of cases (I'd argue _any_) where there is consensus PC2 would be the right thing to use. That's a pretty low bar to have to get over. Hobit (talk) 04:06, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
I've said this before: I supported #4 (oppose all PC2) but also supported some proposals which added conditions to the use of PC2, because I thought they were good ideas to limit the use of PC2 in the event that prop4 failed. My support for those other proposals should in no way be interpreted as implied support for the use of PC2; I am strongly against it. I tried to clarify my positions by expanding my !vote comments, but here I am again answering questions nobody seems interested in asking. Once again, I respectfully request that the closers disregard the "implied votes" that some users have manufactured, and instead please read the comments that several dozen participants have put their time and energy into to record their positions. I don't envy the task, but that's where your consensus is. If the closers need further explanation, I'm happy to answer questions about my !votes and comments here or on my talk page if they are interested in asking, and I'm sure others would be too. Ivanvector (talk) 15:47, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
I've read this comment, and appreciate your taking the time to check in. I didn't mean to single you out in my rough notes, and I've already acknowledged (on the closure page) that I was proceeding from poor assumptions. Thank you for explaining your views. Pakaran 03:47, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Just a note as #17 here and one of the few that supported both 4 and "conflicting" proposals; jc37's take is pretty dead on to how I !voted. My votes on the other proposals are in consideration in the case that pc2 is implemented and nothing to do with whether or not I thought that PC2 should be enabled. I think the implicit opposes / supports are somewhat a bit of a red herring, and my real concern is if PC2 is considered to have criteria, that the consensus on PC2 proposals might be unbalanced just from opposes that straight out oppose PC2 without consideration of how the relative PC2 proposals stand against each other. For example consider if active opponents of PC2 explicitly vote against all PC2 proposals, where some of the later ones don't get as much eyes. This would cause those proposals to have a lower percentage vote count compared to what the actual opinion of them would be had everyone seen and voted on every issue. I know the closers have a difficult job and very glad to see serious thought about the issues. PaleAqua (talk) 04:20, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

Can we stop with the vote-counting?[edit]

I was under the impression WP:Consensus meant you took strength of arguments into consideration when closing something, not number of arguments. At this point I don't fucking care (as once again it looks like the voices for pro-PC are drowning out anti-PC, and strength of arguments are being ignored once more) but this is an utter mockery of what is one of the core policies of this site. —Jeremy v^_^v Bori! 19:45, 26 April 2014 (UTC)

Proposal 7 and being a criteria[edit]

I have to admit to be a little trouble at 7 being considered a canary on criteria for use. Seems like 7, 8, 9, 13 and 15 are more conditional on PC2 being implemented and are limitations or restrictions on the use of PC2 should it be enabled. Whereas 1, 2, 5 and 12, and 14 are more about criteria for using PC2. PaleAqua (talk) 02:13, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

A couple things. First, #7 is like the others in that the proposition is:" PC2 is not to be used unless X is true". So in 7's case, (very loosely paraphrasing/summarising) not unless there is a yearly review.
That aside, the point is to get discussion started. We can start with any of the others if the other closers prefer (which I stated : ) - This was more about following up on their concern about getting discussion started : ) - jc37 18:02, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
True enough. And as you said 7 should be an easy one to figure out to get the ball rolling. PaleAqua (talk) 21:12, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

No consensus[edit]

I'll reiterate what should be obvious: this is one of the clearest cases of "no consensus" I've ever seen. That the closers can't come to a consensus on what the consensus is reinforces that.—Kww(talk) 04:51, 29 April 2014 (UTC)

I've seen much clearer cases of "no consensus" in other (non-RFC) discussions. I assume by "clearly no consensus" you mean the midpoint of the spectrum of
"clearly failed - maybe failed/maybe no consensus (closer's discretion) - clearly no consensus - maybe passes/maybe no consensus (closer's discretion) - clearly passes."
I my mind there is at least 1 and probably more than 1 bullet-point that is "to the right of" the "clearly no consensus" zone. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 18:13, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
As a whole, there was no consensus for a best path forward. Individual bullet points taken out of context may appear to have weak consensus, but taken as a whole, there was no proposal or coordinated set of proposals that gained consensus.—Kww(talk) 14:56, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
Is it within the scope of the closers' responsibility to offer a synthesis of the proposals for a further RfC? I though I saw a glimmer of a desire for that in one of the closers' comments here. "the 83rd day of captivity..." - Neonorange (talk) 21:25, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
Anyone can start a new RFC. I'd rather they waited a while, but a statement of "no consensus, but a new RFC should be started with something about like ... as the proposal" wouldn't be unreasonable. There is the issue that PC supporters have been accused of trying to succeed by attrition: simply holding RFC after RFC until no one opposing PC shows up for one.—Kww(talk) 00:16, 2 May 2014 (UTC)
"Accused of"? The evidence is quite clear that they have been. —Jeremy v^_^v Bori! 08:26, 3 May 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for the history. Is it a class thing, or the old engineering vs. social approach conflict? "the 84th day of captivity..." - Neonorange (talk) 23:23, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

As far as the closers go, the issue would seem more to be merely getting all three of us together to discuss. This is a volunteer project, and as I've said before, I've had RL intervene in the past in such things, so I won't complain. But I do understand that it's May now, and you all would like to see this resolved. (And noting that none of the three of us have been inactive.) I think we're nearing the home stretch. AFAICT what's left is to discuss the remaining proposals, and to put together a group closing statement (And/or 3 separate ones, if that is preferred.) So at this point I merely ask you to wait patiently for us to finish this. - jc37 00:12, 7 May 2014 (UTC)

Who should write: "Result is no consensus, especially due to disorganized and multiple proposals." Or, obviously, write "No consensus; pending rationale." --George Ho (talk) 07:58, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
User:George Ho, it would be appreciated if you refrained from telling the closers of this discussion how to do their job. That said, my personal opinion (since you clearly posted yours, and I do not feel that it is appropriate to have only one side of the argument posted here) is that, given the numerical strength of support for the second proposal (and, by extension, the first one due to their similarities) in particular, a "no consensus" close would not be appropriate as it amounts to an implicit "oppose"; and, furthermore, that the previous discussion already decided that level 2 should be enabled in any case at such time as there is consensus for usage criteria for that level (that is to say, that all opinions expressed in this discussion to the effect of level 2 not being enabled at all should be discounted entirely). Dogmaticeclectic (talk) 13:12, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
We've had enough of the fucking numerical strength. Give us the argument strength.Jeremy v^_^v Bori! 06:13, 14 May 2014 (UTC)
Let's wait for one more week... or less. If impatient, let's take this matter to WP:AN then. --George Ho (talk) 07:07, 14 May 2014 (UTC)

No closers?[edit]

No longer a question of consensus or no consensus; now it's an implicit no closers. "the 101st day of captivity..." - Neonorange (talk) 05:12, 19 May 2014 (UTC)

... if all the other closers have seriously dropped out due to needed reasons, I'm back in a place where I have the time to act as a closer, and although I'm sure not everyone would accept a closing statement written in part or whole by me, this really does need to wind down, and I'm confident I can assess consensus here. Probably better to find three other admins who have no feelings about PC than for me to step back in, but when it comes down to it, I am an admin, can assess consensus, and have no strong feelings about PC. Kevin Gorman (talk) 13:44, 19 May 2014 (UTC)
I wouldn't want to act on this without hearing back from the three extant closers, but maybe the most neutral thing to do would be to post a new request at WP:AN for one or more new closers. --Tryptofish (talk) 17:45, 19 May 2014 (UTC)
Would a piecemeal approach really be best? Or, if evaluation by the original three hasn't progressed more than seems apparent, then piecemeal might be ok. Either way, the three closers owe an explanation for their failure to execute. More than 100 editors spent time to consider and comment on this RfC; some at great length. Some, even 101 days after the comments and !voting were ended, still follow developments. - Neonorange (talk) 18:51, 19 May 2014 (UTC)
I'm here, and have checked this page and the /closure page nearly daily.
I'm more than happy to contribute to the closure whenever it is that the other volunteers have time to discuss and to help develop the final close (as noted on the /closure page.) - jc37 05:20, 20 May 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for the response. I've seen your attempts to move things along, including your last encouraging words at the project page on April 25th. I have no doubts of the good faith of you closers. Could an Allen charge be helpful at this point? - Neonorange (talk) 07:26, 20 May 2014 (UTC)
Interesting read. Never heard of that before - while I'd like to think I'm fairly well-read, IANAL, which probably is part of why I haven't : )
As far as I can tell, this isn't so much a case of a "hung jury" (which seems to be what that page concerns) as it seems to just be a case of just making the time to finish this.
Wikipedia is a big place, and it is easy to get distracted, not to mention that real life out there sometimes calls at the most inopportune times.
If the (understandable) concern is that you (plural) would like to see the closure get more of the closers' attention, or if merely you are concerned whether we each are willing to continue, please feel free to drop a polite, neutral note on each of our talk pages querying this (including mine of course).
We're all Wikipedians here, and I would hope communication is the way forward, both for non-closers and for the closers.
I hope this helps - jc37 09:14, 20 May 2014 (UTC)
Yes, your reply does help; thanks. The Allen (or dynamite) charge cuts both ways - it can be considered a restriction on the function of a jury. There're already pressures on closers here because of the contentious nature of the multiple (and unclear) proposals and discussions. The overlong delay adds to those pressures... and, I think, to the nature of the reception given the close when it comes.
I don't want to drop multiple notes; rather I'd like to see communication among the closers in a common forum.
And after more than 100 days, 'real life' is just a meaningless excuse; 'distraction', well that's a truism. That part of what you say is not communication, but merely placeholders. - Neonorange (talk) 01:49, 21 May 2014 (UTC)
Actually, as we're apparently finding out on the other closers talk pages, now that Dank has contacted them, this apparently fell off watchlists. So contacting them sooner than later might have been a good idea. (I wouldn't trust the "ping" feature - if it doesn't seem to be communicating in a way we want, it's probably time to try other methods of communication : )
All that said, I think I'm feeling like I'm seeing a light at the end of the tunnel here, so hopefullly things will start moving forward again : ) - jc37 01:57, 26 May 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, jc37. Please let me make a suggestion. Maybe if any one of the three closers would just post a brief statement, indicating what overall conclusion that individual closer draws at this point, that would prompt the other two closers to respond, and that, in turn, might get things un-stuck. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:03, 21 May 2014 (UTC)
Good suggestion, Tryptofish; much more useful than my carping. Thank you. - Neonorange (talk) 04:39, 22 May 2014 (UTC)
I pinged DangerousPanda; other two seem semi-inactive at this time. George Ho (talk) 04:44, 22 May 2014 (UTC)
Normally that would be a nice suggestion, but based on what we have here, I think we need to simultaneously look at the RfC(s) from a broad and a narrow perspective and several other perspectives all at once, and with that in mind, I have a feeling the close may need to grow somewhat organically (which was why, I think, we were looking at some of the parts and the sum of the parts and the whole, etc.)
That said, I am optimistic that it shouldn't take a whole lot more to get to where we're discussing phrasing of the closure. - jc37 01:57, 26 May 2014 (UTC)

Pakaran has one edit since April, and he's talked about some problems he's having, so I've offered to step in (if I can be helpful) over on his talk page. DP and JC ... any thoughts, any objections? - Dank (push to talk) 11:21, 23 May 2014 (UTC)

DP replied on his talk page. "(Dank, the only "criteria" I was "tested" on was: "have you commented at the RFC? do you have strong feelings about PC?")." My answer: no (but I asked for a clarification in Prop 14), and no. Like everyone else, I have thoughts about how a theoretical PC might work on a theoretical WP, but I'm not interested in pursuing those ideas, I'm interested in helping get the process unstuck, listening to what DP and JC have so far, and figuring out what the voters are saying, as an imperfect guide to what might or might not actually work. - Dank (push to talk) 12:38, 23 May 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, Dank. (Rhyme unintended.) Please, let's get this unstuck, the sooner the better. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:04, 23 May 2014 (UTC)
Seeing this unstuck would be nice, thanks. PaleAqua (talk) 20:24, 23 May 2014 (UTC)


I have a suggestion, and I welcome comment on it by the other closers (and the community, of course)

If the community is fine with Dank being a closer, then let's just add him to the team, regardless of whether any other closer wants to continue to assist or would rather step down, or even if one or more would like to continue as closer but take a less active role.

And we'll just start moving forward on resolving this.

As I said I welcome everyone's thoughts on this. - jc37 01:43, 26 May 2014 (UTC)

  • That won't matter. We've enough of delays already. --George Ho (talk) 07:46, 26 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Support – as someone who's been following this for a while, anything that could bring the RfC closer to some sort of conclusion would be helpful. APerson (talk!) 15:06, 26 May 2014 (UTC)
  • The solution is simple: mark it "no consensus" and move on. If there had actually been a consensus, you would have closed this thing long ago.—Kww(talk) 16:03, 26 May 2014 (UTC)
  • I'm inclined to oppose this suggestion, not because I think ill of Dank but because we decided at some point that three was the proper number of closers. I have no reason to think Dank wouldn't be a fine closer, except that he did already recuse himself. Still, I'd like to see this get un-stuck and I think that the progress so far has been promising though the last edit was a month ago. I forget now, since jc37 was the first closer to drop out but is apparently still participating, how many closers do we currently have? Ivanvector (talk) 18:23, 26 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Although I see Ivanvector's point, I feel like we are at the point where I am entirely comfortable with Dank as a fourth closer, especially since we may not get all three of the other three. Then again, we are reaching the point where I wouldn't object to throwing a dart at a dartboard to come up with an answer. It's taking too long. And my personal opinion is the same as Kww's. I think it's pretty obvious. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:24, 26 May 2014 (UTC)
  • The process has been broken by a delay that is constructive no consensus. I assume good faith, but fallen off watch lists indicates a lack of seriousness. And "light at the end of the tunnel" is an unfortunate metaphor, most famously used at a press conference six years before final US withdrawal from the Vietnam war. I agree with Kww and Tryptofish. - Neonorange (talk) 02:45, 27 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Dank and I have, at least in the past, had some disagreement with respect to PC, but I have unconditional confidence in Dank's ability to be a fair closer here. (As to the result, however, I have some sympathy to the views expressed by Kww et al.) Add Dank and close it, in days if not hours. Let's put this to bed, one way, another, another, or another. --j⚛e deckertalk 03:12, 27 May 2014 (UTC)
  • As implied in the prior section I see no problem with Dank joining the ranks, even given with Ivanvector's point. While I imagine PC2 might be useful in some circumstances ( even if I disagree on much of the suggested criteria ), my current feelings are pretty much inline with Kww &c. PaleAqua (talk) 03:53, 27 May 2014 (UTC)
  • So what I'm seeing here is if we add Dank then we have four closers, but two might not be active or might not participate at all after this point. I guess I'm alright with that, given the alternative of having one (or zero) closers. As for Kww et. al., it was sort of evident once proposal 4 appeared that this was not going to end in any kind of broad consensus. What we should have done, and might have to do still, is have an open discussion on what appropriate criteria for use of PC2 is, then develop one proposal through a collaborative process, then hold an RfC to determine if those criteria meet consensus for adoption. I think that would satisfy the close of the previous RfC, and I think I could live with it even if I ended up disagreeing with the result. Although this really was doomed to failure from the outset, I would nonetheless like to hear what the closers (whoever they end up being) have to say. Ivanvector (talk) 14:18, 27 May 2014 (UTC)
    Okay guys, thanks kindly for the support. I felt a little dirty even asking, knowing that would shift the focus to me for a bit, but I didn't see a way around it. So, unless anyone has objections, back to the matter at hand. Closers: I can't say that I know your thoughts yet, but you've done a lot of thinking about this, and I don't want to undermine whatever you've got going so far, so I'll wait a few days to let you guys say whatever you want to say before I jump in. - Dank (push to talk) 14:50, 27 May 2014 (UTC)
    You already left notices on the other closers' talkpages. So please don't wait. I think we've done enough waiting : )
    I can't have a conversation with myself (well, I could, but...)
    So anyway, there are several threads with questions posed (even a few of just "what do you think"). If you're willing, please comment in each as you deem appropriate, and maybe we can start moving this forward. Pakaran and DP can jump in the discussion at their leisure. - jc37 16:09, 27 May 2014 (UTC)
    @Dank - notwithstanding my previous comments, kudos to you for stepping up. Looking forward to seeing a result. Ivanvector (talk) 16:24, 27 May 2014 (UTC)
    @jc37, thanks for stepping up your efforts;@Dank, thanks for stepping in. On to the 'proof of life' stage! - Neonorange (talk) 17:08, 27 May 2014 (UTC)
    Thanks guys. Okay, 2 days then, jc. - Dank (push to talk) 17:14, 27 May 2014 (UTC)
    From me too, thanks jc37 and Dank. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:02, 27 May 2014 (UTC)

Responding to Dank[edit]

I'm responding here to what Dank posted on the closure page, about asking for additional information out of fear of doing harm by making an erroneous decision. I agree with what jc37 said there about that amounting to asking for a second RfC about how to close this RfC, and that doing that would be impractical. I think that you have to assume that some unknown number of editors who participated in the RfC(s) are no longer watching here. You cannot expect a usable response to your questions unless everyone who participated responds, and that is not going to happen – and some kind of new call for editors to come back and answer additional questions or analyze the previous comments is going to be flooded with controversy.

Please just take what you described, as being an absence of a clear consensus. You can, and perhaps should, write the closure as not precluding future RfCs. I don't think that you can really do harm to the project by preserving the status quo and, at the same time, keeping open the possibility of enacting improvements in the future. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:10, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

That's the more conventional way to do it. My concern is that it would take longer (and therefore be more annoying, and lose some people), and land us in the same place as my method, but otherwise, I have no objection to doing it the way you're saying ... as long as the new RfC comes pretty quickly, and I'm a closer, and people see it as a logical continuation in some ways, rather than perceiving this RfC as a failure that we're walking away from. I still think there's hope to turn this one around, in the sense of getting more voters on both sides on board with the process and the results. - Dank (push to talk) 21:11, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
I'm uncomfortable with where you seem to be implying that you would want the close of this RfC to specify that you would be a closer of a future RfC. I hope that I just misunderstood you. More importantly, I don't think that an RfC has to result in a particular outcome in order to be considered "a success". It is neither "a failure" nor "walking away" if the closers say that the state of community opinion was whatever it was. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:12, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
You presented me with a second option that was much like the option I asked for, except that the information-gathering would happen in a second RfC. If that RfC is seen as a continuation of this one ... and as such, it would come quickly and have the same closers (if the others want to stay) ... and if billing it as a second RfC would make it easier for us to get the information I'm asking for, I'm saying that's fine with me, I'm easy. You asked for that, not me. - Dank (push to talk) 00:23, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
I must not have made myself clear enough, sorry. What I meant was that the close here should explicitly leave open the possibility of further, future RfCs. I wasn't supposing that they would happen in a given time frame; that would be up to whoever proposes such an RfC. There's nothing wrong with the close here suggesting how a future RfC should be constructed, but I don't think mandating the structure or time frame would be advisable. --Tryptofish (talk) 00:38, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
I'm also extremely uncomfortable that you would perceive a no-consensus RFC to be a "failure" of some kind, and think that we need to have another RFC "pretty quickly". There are lots of issues for which we have no consensus, and the use of PC2 is one of them. That's just a fact, not a failing of any kind, Dank.—Kww(talk) 23:48, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
I said, and meant, "getting more voters on both sides on board with the process and the results". You're obviously disappointed ... why? Were you thinking that "no consensus" is a neutral outcome and the only fair outcome? In practical terms, "no consensus" is "no" (for now). I'm not willing to hand one side the win yet because, the best I can tell (and this is a guess, of course) I'm not getting the whole story from the rationales. I know that a lot of the voters here have rich and deep experience with Wikipedia, and it seems like a reasonable assumption that you guys are voting for or against PC2 because you expect that you'll get more of the same of what you've seen before ... but I have no idea, generally, what experiences you're basing this on. If you talked about that a little bit, not only would I get some insight, but you'd make it easier for the other side to understand what you're talking about. I talked about avoiding harm, and I get that the opposers think that the only real harm could come from a "yes", but over 70% of the voters (in Prop 2) disagreed with you on that, they saw the greater harm coming from "no". I'm not going to dismiss their concerns out of hand the moment I walk in the door. I know you've been waiting a very long time and this is very frustrating ... I've devoted considerable time (including most of the Washington Wikimania) to this issue, and I'm not any less frustrated with the years-long pace of this than you are ... but I'm not going to rush this. I'm required as a closer to ... and even if I weren't required, I would really want to ... figure out where you guys are coming from, and reflect your thoughts exactly in the closing statement, so that whatever happens, it's a result that you guys own, that you can take responsibility for and pride in. Give me the feedback I'm asking for, and I'll do that. - Dank (push to talk) 00:50, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
You're not about to get it, just like you're not getting what Kww is saying. The issue here is we've had, over the past six years (2009-2014) fourteen different community discussions about this, almost all of which have had demonstrable issues with how they were written. The vast majority of them were written by pro-PC editors, and as a result the entire debate has been hijacked by the pro-PC camp. Even the RfC that shut the long overextended PC trial down was written by Beeblebrox (talk · contribs), who is pro-PC (though I do have to give him credit for actually meeting the anti-PC camp halfway at the least). Most of the anti-PC users have given up on the entire fucking debate because they feel they're being ignored, especially after the controversial close of the 2012 RfC (which, if you recall, was partially because the developers told the closers that they would not work on PC unless it was put in use).
Hell, if you look at it, the only reason this RfC is being called a no-consensus is because the discussion has turned stale, rendering any answer meaningless. Had we different closers, I have no illusions that this would have turned into "PC2 is approved per the stipulations of Position 2" given that none of these fucking closers know how to do anything but votecount. But now you have a situation where to enter any verdict pro-PC will only make further PC RfCs formalities, whereas to enter one anti-PC or no consensus will result in a counter-RfC written with a pro-PC bias, community apathy be damned. I think it is time to admit it: Using RfCs for this has been an unmitigated joke.Jeremy v^_^v Bori! 01:37, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
The point is, Dank, that no consensus isn't any kind of failure that needs to be remedied, and there's certainly no rush to get it remedied quickly. A desire to find a consensus where there is none is a problem. This RFC wound up with numeric majorities for multiple mutually contradictory outcomes. It's hard to envision something that looks less like a consensus.—Kww(talk) 02:55, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
That's a fair point in favor of "no consensus", I think ... that is, the supporters of any proposed change probably bear the greater burden to work towards consensus. Different people will come to different conclusions on whether that happened here. I'm saying that I don't know how to close this RfC, I feel like what I'm reading on the RfC page doesn't tell the whole story, and it's really important to get it right, but you and Tryptofish make very valid points that what I'm asking for may not work within the context of any RfC, and particularly this RfC. But I'm not willing to give up yet; I want to give it a few days and see what people say. Tryptofish's point that I can't weigh votes and rationales more just because they're speaking up now is completely valid; anything I hear now doesn't mean that voice counts more, but it might mean that I understand that vote and rationale better than I did before. - Dank (push to talk) 03:28, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Well, I'm extremely uncomfortable with me or anyone else offering what I perceive as a super-vote, but since you asked, Dank, I'll try to reply about what you seem to be looking for. My username appears a lot in the section at the bottom of the RfC page, amongst editors who supported Proposal 4, and yet also supported other proposals. I'll explain my individual thinking this way. I supported #4; you can read what I said there, and I wouldn't feel right about adding to it now. When I supported other proposals, my thinking was basically "I'd rather not see it implemented now, for the reasons I gave in #4, but if the decision were to be to implement it, I think that there are better and worse ways to go about it, so the other proposals I supported represent relatively better ways to do it, in my opinion, but that would only be if we implement it, which I would prefer not to do." That said, I feel rather dirty for having said it, because I envision it followed by other similar responses from other editors, and we will not be a representative sample of the community. But you asked, so I hope it helps you. --Tryptofish (talk) 01:07, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
  • While I agree with the caveats and concerns about getting more information, here are my thoughts on Dank's questions as someone that is sort of borderline between support ( #4 and #14 ) and oppose ( #1, #2 ). My background of is of a software developer, that is very comfortable with configuration management systems such as clearcase, and git. I used to do a bit of vandal fighting, but newer tools are more effective than the deep history search methods I use so I don't do / catch much fast enough anymore, even though I still dig through history of articles I watch for longer term issues. Overview of my thoughts: My biggest concern of PC2 is not what it is... but the scale and impact of it vs. the scale of the problem it is supposed to deal with. The other concern that I have is will PC2 be used as a partial bandage to problems while allowing the root causes of the issues to fester for longer. I don't agree with either the answering every question about PC2 before trying it out ( if it is decided to be useful ) or going ahead full steam because answering the questions would take to long. I think if it's determined to be worth it a gradual messaged middle ground approach is best. Here are my point of view on the questions asked.
    1. What is PC2? To me PC1 and PC2 are a primitive branching versioning system, which allows for an article development branch and a live release branch to be separated.
    2. What do we do if PC2 is misused? Don't see how this is any different than full protection being abused. If used too heavily it has similar risks of turning away or discouraging new editors. I imagine similar processes for other protection abuse would be used.
    3. What's the actual wiki-wide consensus on scope now, and what might it become? That's really a question for you to determine the consensus based on what we said.
    4. Who are the PC2 reviewers, and how do we vet, train and dismiss them? Based on comments on RfC sounds like they will be a different group than PC1 reviewers. Vetting etc. should be slightly higher level than PC1 reviewers.
    5. I'm asking a different question, namely: do I need to ask more questions, or can I just go ahead and make a call? Is there even a small chance that I'll damage WP by acting rashly? I sort of think this question is a bit backward. While the scale of harm risk multiplied by the chance of harm needs to be considered against how reversible the harm is if it happens and courses are altered and the value of the benefits against the harm. It's really hard to be certain of what harm will or will not be vs a reality where a different choice is made. As a closers hopefully you can tease out what risks and concerns should have weight from the consensus of opinions. Though if there is risk of harm either way, is it better to do nothing?
    6. WP that leads you to support or oppose? As this is being considered to reduce the number of pages under full protection. The fact that davidwr pointed out that at the time of the RfC only 40 pages ( after filtering out very short articles likely redirects etc. ) were under full protection is what switched my opinions on this. Originally I was more inclined to support. While the specifics of #14 reassured me that it could be made into a safe option if the need for it arose without as much risk of growing the number of articles under protection.
While the above is my POV, hopefully it will given some of the insight you are looking for into the reasonings behind some of the opinions. PaleAqua (talk) 01:39, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
    • Those do help, Tryptofish and PaleAqua, thanks kindly. - Dank (push to talk) 03:36, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
  • I realize I'm a bit late to this, but Tryptofish's comments closely reflect my view as well. I do not support the use of PC/2 as it has been described; I stated my reasons in my comment on prop4 and won't repeat now. However, recognizing that I am one editor amongst millions, and that we previously established a consensus that we would enable it subject only to the condition that we agree on usage criteria, I made comments on other proposals and made a few proposals of my own so as to drive the discussion toward a consensus on usage criteria that we could all (for the most part) live with. That's what this RfC was supposed to be (in my view) and I don't think that this was done effectively by having discussions about multiple, sometimes conflicting proposals all done at once. What happens if conflicting proposals achieve consensus? On the other hand, prop4 exists as a test of the consensus established in the previous RfC - if that consensus has changed it would be evident in support for prop4, and it was an entirely reasonable question to ask. I'm also uncomfortable with the idea that a "no consensus" result is a failure, and the notion that another RfC is required as a result of this one (other than what was explicitly stated). The RfC asked if there is consensus for usage criteria; if the result is "no consensus" then the question is successfully answered. Ivanvector (talk) 18:57, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Dank (and by extension jc37), thank you for saying that my comments were helpful to you. Let me just make a sort of parting comment, reacting to what Dank has said. I appreciate that you don't want to do harm by depriving the community of something the community wants, but I suggest also trying not to do harm by locking the community into anything for which the community has indicated that it is not ready. Good luck! --Tryptofish (talk) 19:17, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Glad you found my point of view useful. ( Slightly off-topic) It's sort of interesting that all 3 of the in depth responders ( self included ) are amongst the 5 !voters that expressed "contradictory" views. So in a way we actually represent the majority ( though only 60% ) of the tiny sliver of moderates between the much larger PC2 proponents and opponents camps. I wonder if being labeled as such increased our attentiveness to the process. I know after those tables started getting generated I went back to make sure everything reflected my actual views and not just assumptions of my views. PaleAqua (talk) 19:22, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
  • My views on the matter have not changed. My main concern is that we're being asked to approve a tool that's more inefficient than anything we've already got on the basis that it stops "serial sockpuppets". As I have stated several times - and I know what the fuck I'm talking about - everything PC2 does can be done more efficiently by existing community processes, and doesn't provide enough benefit to justify the inefficiency. Drive-by auto-confirmed vandals? Dodging semi-protection is a pretty blatant sign someone needs blocked as a sockpuppet, since there's absolutely no reason for a drive-by vandal to waste time and edits just to vandalise a semi-protected article. Replacement for full protection? Only 7 fully-protected pages that aren't redirects exist. Use for disputes? PC2 can't force discussion because it doesn't stop the revert war; at best it drags more people into it than there should be. The fact that there was such a controversy over Kww wheel-warring Phillipe on Conventional PCI over concerns as to how it should be handled should be enough evidence that PC2 has a lot of issues and not enough redeeming qualities to justify its use. —Jeremy v^_^v Bori! 20:10, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
  • I agree with Tryptofish in his response to Dank at the top of this section. As to harm to Wikipedia during the 'status quo'; in the nearly three four months since comments were closed, what evidence exists of harm that could have been prevented with PC2 available? Consider this an ad hoc test period. Is it enough to have changed any positions? Why no comments here from supporters of some type of PC2? - Neonorange (talk) 21:50, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
Is this the place to reopen the RfC discussion? I think closing is probably complicated enough without us making new arguments or revising our old ones here. Since you asked, none of this has changed my opinion of PC2, but I have found use to request PC1 on exactly one page in the meantime, in response to IP vandalism. Did it help? No, it didn't. Semiprotection would have prevented the edits in the first place, without needing to revert/review, and no IP editors have made accepted revisions since PC1 was turned on. Ivanvector (talk) 22:20, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
Watchers here might want to have a look at WP:BLPN#Yank Barry - a BLP with long-term problems with SPAs and possible externally coordinated advocacy. In theory, ignoring our lack of criteria for use, do you think PC2 would help this article? Ivanvector (talk) 22:26, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
I took you up on that. I reviewed (quickly, not in detail) the edits to the page, going back from the present to the beginning of April. As far as I could tell, all of the problematic edits could have been prevented by semi-protection. I don't see a lot of evidence that good-faith IP edits would have been discouraged by semi (and I find it difficult to evaluate the relative bite-iness of preventing edits, as in semi, versus telling the editor to wait for review, as in PC), but I would regard that as being the factor on which editors might disagree. One fish's opinion: requesting semi at RFPP would have been fine. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:39, 30 May 2014 (UTC)

I'm reading everything here, and I'm working as fast as I can. I'm also reading everything I can to identify everything that's been considered a possibly harmful effect or side-effect of PC2, so that we can at least keep it from going off the rails while we develop a track record with it. If anyone wants to point me to something in any RfC that seems subtle that I might miss about how PC2 might be bitey or confusing to editors, please do. I'm not so worried at the moment about it being inefficient or unnecessary ... for a little while, it will be the next new shiny thing, and we'll probably have a lot of people volunteering to be PC2 reviewers (and of course, we won't even know what that means until the next RfC is done). - Dank (push to talk) 22:59, 30 May 2014 (UTC)

Progress report. I've just re-read all the previous RfCs that touched on PC2, plus all the discussions (most of which I still remember). I can see the arguments of the other three closers in favor of consensus for PC2, in some sense, but for me, it was a tie. There are many Wikipedians with deep skepticism about PC2, and they come by their skepticism honestly ... past trials failed in important respects, and the pro and con arguments have been very frustrating and largely unproductive over the years (I have no idea why that is). PC2 continues to be used in situations where there's no clear justification for it. I can support a "yes" vote here for a six-month trial ... nothing on WP that carries as much pushback as PC2 could ever be considered to be past its trial stage, I think, and regardless of whether jc and I say "PC2 forever" or "PC2 for six months", it would amount to the same thing ... I'm sure there will be another RfC in something like that time frame, so there's no point in fooling ourselves: there's no way to know at this moment whether PC2 will last more than six months.
Without going into BEANSy detail, I completely understand the solidity of the opposition, and why this has been so frustrating. As a closer on a short leash, I can't do a lot to reassure people right now, so I'd like to ask for your support and patience. Of all the anti-PC2 arguments that have ever made a reasonable claim of possible harm of some kind, 90% of them have involved how the PC2 reviewers might behave or how other editors will react to the reviewers. That means it's not necessary for me to cover every base in my closing statement (and I'm open to having a separate closing statement, or doing a joint one with jc). I'm only going to set out what I see as the consensus points on both sides, paying special attention to any credible claims of harming Wikipedia that aren't relevant in some way to the role the reviewers will play; it would be better to look at those things in depth in the next RfC. I hope you guys will go back and mine all the previous RfCs and discussions, there are lots of great pro and con arguments in them. - Dank (push to talk) 03:10, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
I hope you aren't seriously proposing a PC2 trial, Dank. The last PC trial was a travesty, with the PC supporters trying to claim that a two month trial could only be stopped with supermajority vote to stop the trial, and that the two-month time frame didn't mean that trial would only last two months, it meant that the trial had to run for at least two months before anyone could even think about stopping it. It was the most blatant piece of dishonest scamming I have ever seen in the history of this site. Please don't even think about proposing a trial. Not only do trials not work, it's something that you would have manufactured out of whole cloth: there's nothing in this RFC that could be viewed as a consensus for a trial.—Kww(talk) 03:50, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
No trials. The fact that page even exists should tell you why - the pro-PC camp has repeatedly shown bad faith with respect to adhering to trial time limits, so why would you give them another time-limited trial? —Jeremy v^_^v Bori! 04:18, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
Three responses: 1. I'm never going to criticize a PC2-opponent for skepticism, I think the skepticism is well-earned, and you (Kww) just brought up one of many examples that earned it. 2. I don't think you followed what I said: I'm saying that I have no ability to declare that it's a trial or not-a-trial; if it goes live at all, the pushback will come quickly, there will be another RfC soonish, and whatever is decided in that RfC goes. So, any implementation is temporary, until the next RfC. Call it a trial or not, it makes no difference. We might as well admit it. 3. Although I've argued both sides of PC2 over the years, I'm known more as a skeptic, so I'm sure people are skeptical of my support ... am I going senile? (not answering that one!) Is this some kind of ruse to pretend to be supportive so I can tie up the implementation in red tape and undermine the supporters? Am I blind to the many great points being made by you and the other opposers? To the best of my knowledge, none of those are true. In a nutshell, what's going on is this: There have been many really bad arguments put forward by PC2 supporters over the years. In this RfC, finally, there's a real effort by the supporters not to overreach, to propose something that's limited to a very small number of articles, and to keep their expectations appropriately low. Of course, if PC2 is doing so little, the question arises whether we should do it at all, but what the supporters are talking about here does ... finally ... reduce the chances that any actual harm will be done ... particularly if you guys really hold their feet to the fire in the next RfC, which will hopefully cover every concern that's ever been raised about who the reviewers are, how they'll be perceived, and what they should and shouldn't do. So it seems to me we're at a time ... and maybe it's a brief window ... where the supporters seem to have taken many of the past opposition arguments on board, and will be content with a program that's small enough that we can monitor it in real time and fix problems in real time. There's nothing you or I can do that will stop a future RfC on PC2, whether it goes live or not. The results of that future PC2 will be so much better if it's grounded in reality, and if we do a very careful and small implementation, the chances of productive discussion are so much better. Someone may jump in here and say I'm straying from my role as closer, but I disagree ... complete transparency is essential. My closing statement is of no use if people either don't know what I'm saying or don't believe me, so you need to know where I'm coming from. - Dank (push to talk) 04:21, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
The problem with that is that their arguments have some pretty glaring logical holes. None of the arguments they make hold much water (and if anything only undermines their point, as they all seem to assume community tools already available are inefficient, when they've been working very well these past several years), they talk about "drive-by autoconfirmed vandals" which is a pretty stunning oxymoron, and when pressed for an example can't give a concrete one (User:WhatamIdoing is especially guilty of a doozy here by suggesting the Main Page be put on PC2). There's no "there" there whatsoever. —Jeremy v^_^v Bori! 04:31, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
I said no such thing; you should strike that. I have already told you explicitly that I did not make any statement at all about whether the Main Page should be under PC2 protection. You asked What precisely is a legitimate use case for full-protection that (in practice) goes longer than 30 days?, and I replied that the Main Page has been under FULL protection for more than 30 days. I assume from your other comments that you know the difference between FULL and PC2, but you have twice now falsely claimed that I supported putting the Main Page under PC2. I do not support using PC2 for the Main Page. I support using indefinite WP:FULL protection on the Main Page. You should strike your errors and stop repeating them. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:32, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
I see a lot of familiar "faces" among the opposers, and that's encouraging: a lot of you have stuck with this issue and know the arguments and counterarguments. The supporters are all over the place ... some new and some not, with many different reasons for supporting. But the flip side to that is: if the opposers are largely old hands at this, it means that the supporting percentage in for instance Proposal #2 among people whose minds weren't already made up before they got here first-time PC2 voters is actually much higher than the reported figure of 73%. So that raises a perplexing question: if the opposition rationales are great, where does the large percentage of new folks come from in PC2 RfCs who don't seem to respond to them? One simple reason may be: arguments just don't do it for most people, they have to get their hands dirty with the process to understand what does and doesn't work. We've never had a PC2 RfC before where the supporters had this large a majority, and we've never had one where they were asking for so little ... and it may never happen again. This may be the only time we can let them get some dirt under their fingernails and get a real feel for the process, without risking harm of some kind (provided everyone follows the rules, and I think we can make that happen).
A clarification: for me, "six-month trial" means no more and no less than "we recommend no RfCs on PC2 for six months", which is a very standard kind of thing to say in these RfCs. I can't promise an RfC in exactly 6 months; it will only happen if someone files one. If you guys think "six-month trial" is confusing, I'll stop saying it. - Dank (push to talk) 05:51, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
Dank, with all due respect (and I do respect you for doing this, just to emphasize) you seem to be introducing an entirely new proposal with this 6-month trial idea. None of the 15 proposals suggested a 6-month trial, or any kind of trial for that matter, nor did any proposal suggest a moratorium on RfCs for some time period. There was some talk of a 6-month evaluation period, during which usage statistics would be collected, but this was dependent on some other usage criteria gaining consensus and PC2 being enabled permanently, and was not a trial. This trial idea is entirely new and seems to have come entirely from you, as we did not discuss it in the RfC. So yes, I'm saying you're straying from your role as closer. It's not your job to suggest that we should throw the PC2 supporters a bone because they've been oh so reasonable in this RfC. This RfC asks a simple question: is there broad consensus for some usage criteria for PC2? If so, then PC2 is enabled; otherwise, not. I realize and respect that evaluating the discussion is not so simple, but it's complicated enough without suggesting that the prospect of future discussion needs to be considered in evaluating the discussion that's already occurred. We can't predict or control what happens next, and users are entitled to ask questions through the RfC process if they so desire. Consider that asking the same question again in a very short time frame is likely to be viewed as disruptive regardless of what happens here, and if there are problems that become evident when PC2 is enabled then it is appropriate to discuss solutions regardless of how little time has passed. Ivanvector (talk) 06:54, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
I honestly don't get the distinction, but I've noticed that people have felt strongly about this before, too. Thanks much for letting me know. I just struck all references to "six months" and "trial". - Dank (push to talk) 12:42, 31 May 2014 (UTC)

Now for some good news for the opposers, for a change. I've gone through everything in this and previous RfCs thinking in terms of "harm of any kind", and I can group all those issues into three piles: problems with software, problems with defining the problem that PC2 is intended to solve on a particular page, and problems involving the role of the reviewers. (The software problems are not the main problems, so I'll set those aside for the moment.) That has made me rethink my conclusions, and I can't say any more "I find consensus for proposals #1 and #2". I'm finding that the supporting percentage of proposal #1 and proposal #2 voters who are voting for the first time on a PC2 question is very high, much higher even than the raw percentage of 73% for proposal #2. This forces me to conclude that the opposition arguments, though apparently strong to me, are having very little impact, and our RfC traditions force me to make a call in favor of consensus. But there's a problem, and it's a stopper: there are procedural questions (involving defining the problems that PC2 is intended to solve on individual pages), and on these questions, not only have the supporters not rebutted the arguments (in this RfC and elsewhere), they're generally on board with those concerns (here and elsewhere). Everyone wants to see a fairly quick close, so there's no time or mechanism to solve these problems now. So the problem is: some of our RfC traditions require me (in my view) to find in favor of consensus (since, for whatever reason, the opposition arguments seem to have little impact on most voters), and other RfC traditions require me not to find consensus (supporters and opposers are largely agreed that there are problems that need to be fixed). The only option I'm comfortable with is to do the equivalent of finding a hung jury and sending the jury back to deliberate with jury instructions to resolve these inconsistencies. This is not the same thing as finding "no consensus"; that means something different, in our RfC traditions. Thoughts? I'll email jc (I still haven't heard from the other two closers) for his thoughts, too ... I'm not being entirely fair to him switching up like this, but that's how these things go, I'm still getting up to speed. - Dank (push to talk) 15:31, 31 May 2014 (UTC)

Dank, let's move this discussion to the closer's page.
As for me, I'm currently working on proposed closure text off-site. I'll post a draft later tonight hopefully, and I look forward to yours as well. and between them, hopefully we can come to produce a unified close. - jc37 16:27, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
Sure thing. - Dank (push to talk) 16:33, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
I think jc37 makes a good point, and I apologize that my continuing the discussion here undermines that, but given the extent that Dank is choosing to "think out loud", I want to react nonetheless. I'm not sure that I really comprehend the difference between a hung jury and no consensus, but if the closers see it as a hung jury, that works for me. Given how much Dank devotes attention to Proposals 1 and 2, it occurs to me to point something out about how the RfC was conducted, chronologically, in real time. Obviously, the first two proposals were posted first. I would suggest looking at the signature timestamps for comments on those two proposals, and comparing them with the first timestamps for Proposal 4. Those comments that were made in the earlier proposals, before editors saw and considered Proposal 4, were largely made under the initial terms of the RfC, where PC2 may have been perceived as a fait accompli. As Proposal 4 came under consideration, and in parallel, editors began to discuss critically the original wording of the introductory language of the RfC, there may have been some movement of the consensus, but only reflected in those comments subsequent to that time. --Tryptofish (talk) 17:22, 31 May 2014 (UTC)

I don't draw the same conclusion as Dank regarding the percentage first-time responders to the RfC. There's no evidence that these first-time responders saw the previous discussions on pending changes, level 2, so I don't think a conclusion can be drawn regarding their influence. It's also possible (though again hard to say definitively) that there are fewer repeat responders in favour of pending changes, level 2, because they were dissuaded by the arguments against it. So I do not believe that the percentage of first-time responders should be interpreted in favour of a consensus of support. The consequences are complex enough that reasoned argument should weigh more heavily over "I think this will help" opinions without further analysis. isaacl (talk) 18:03, 31 May 2014 (UTC)

My question with regards to the first time responders: How many of them !voted before Proposal 4/0 was added to the RfC? —Jeremy v^_^v Bori! 03:54, 1 June 2014 (UTC)


Just as a note: dank and I are in discussion in email now concerning the close. I didn't want you all to see no on-wiki activity and wonder what's going on. If the other two closers would like to join in, they merely have but to let one or both of us know. - jc37 23:21, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

Enough's enough[edit]


So we have two mia or semi-mia or whatever.

Dank is a wonderful editor, who I'd love involved in an RfC or for that matter as a mediator, but he doesn't seem to understand what our responsibility as a closer is.

And he wants to wait for further community input in order to midiate or facilitate a result. I understand the misunderstanding, and I sincerely think his heart is in the right place, indeed, anyone looking to start one of these RfCs would do well to have him in the discussion.

But what is needed here is a closer: someone to report on what happened, not someone to facilitate more discussion.

You've all made it rather clear that we need to stop waiting and actually finish this. And I for one don't think it's fair to all of you who worked so hard on this to wait another month on this.

The community has waited and waited, in my opinion, very patiently all things considering. And, as I mentioned, I've checked these pages almost daily for months. And I would guess more than a few of you have too.

so at this point, if we don't see any actual "This is how I'd close these RfCs" (or similar) on-wiki from one of the other three closers by midnight May 31 (wiki time), I'm going to close it solo on June 1st (If it takes me to June 2nd to formulate the words, forgive me, though I'm starting to work on it now.)

I of course welcome comment on this.

And of course if you can find one or more additional closers in the meantime, I'd welcome that as well. - jc37 05:41, 30 May 2014 (UTC)

Heh, I knew I was in trouble when I saw "Dank is a wonderful editor". Jc is right that tradition is against me here, and I think everyone can tell from, for instance, WP:Pending changes/Request for Comment 2014/Closure#Does proposal 7 have consensus? what happens next ... this will be closed in favor of PC2. Thanks for your participation, everyone, I know this has been frustrating, and I probably approached this the wrong way. I agree now with jc that's it's best to wrap this up quickly. - Dank (push to talk) 12:40, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
You stepped up to help. And believe me, that was appreciated.
And I also appreciated our email discussion. It's what I tried to convey above: The next time I'm trying one of my community-wide RfCs, don't be surprised if you're one of the first I talk with about it.
In the past and present you've shown that you work well with others and are open to discussion. Those are not bad skill sets to have. More Wikipedians should emulate you : )
As for the close, don't necessarily presume based upon anything I've written so far. For one thing, I intend to take into consideration what you and the other two closers have said. So while it may be a solo close, I don't intend it to be on my perspective alone.
That, and to be very honest, I'm re-reading everything today, including both talk pages, and the previous RfC, among other things. - jc37 14:36, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
Fantastic, and while you were moving in my direction here, I was moving in your direction on the project page. I'm sure we'll be able to work together on this. Proposal #15 mandates a much narrower RfC, just on the reviewers, but that may be the opportunity I'm looking for to get more detailed and wider input from the voters. (Of course, whether people will allow me to be a closer on that one after seeing the closing statement on this one remains to be seen!) - Dank (push to talk) 15:53, 30 May 2014 (UTC)

One last question for anyone watching[edit]

I need feedback on one last question, from anyone, just speaking for myself here. I'm inferring from what I read in this RfC and the previous one that there are essential questions ... possibly stoppers ... where both the supporters and the opposers share the same concerns ... but this is too important for inferences, I need to know for sure that I'm on the right track before I write a closing statement.

So, consider the following completely theoretical question about creating a new job called "reversion clerk" (I'm not proposing that this position should exist, I'm asking if you have any problem with this proposal. Assume for the sake of argument that we have lots of people willing to do the work, competently, and they're being asked to look for just one thing .... copyright infringement from site X, for instance.) These clerks would have one special privilege: when they've been given specific instructions to revert something on a particular page, they can and should revert that kind of edit every time, immediately if possible ... 3RR rules don't apply to these reversions. They should leave an edit summary saying "Reverting this edit per instructions at (wherever the instructions are). Please join the discussion there." They have no other role, other than reporting bad behavior to the proper places when they see it. The reason I'm asking is: I need to know a starting point that people are comfortable with, so that, at some point in the future, we can contrast and compare this position with PC2 reviewership. - Dank (push to talk) 17:40, 31 May 2014 (UTC)

Wow, I don't think I've ever seen anyone close a discussion this way, and I'm far from sure that this is a good thing. But, you asked. If I understand you correctly, you are asking about potential problems with such a scenario. I'm taking it as "given" that there is a genuine consensus in favor of the tasks that "reversion clerks" are given. For me, then, the issue is what happens when a "reversion clerk" makes an erroneous reversion, or fails to make a required reversion. (We have an existing tool, in which administrators can block other editors, and we all know what a blow-up can occur in the event of a "bad block".) So I would worry a lot about whether or not the community can properly vet candidates for "reversion clerk". (Underlying that is my deep conviction that PC1 reviewer rights were given out carelessly, to users who do not use PC1 correctly.) --Tryptofish (talk) 17:59, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
This type of back-and-forth dialog, building towards agreement, is what Wikipedia needs more of—but not at this phase of this particular discussion, when everyone has weighed in already and stopped paying attention. A new, more guided discussion thread that would build up the cases for and against each aspect of pending changes, level 2, would be beneficial, once this RfC is closed, so editors can look at the pros and cons as a whole and evaluate them, rather than having to read through hundreds of individual comments. isaacl (talk) 18:12, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
Okay, I hear you, I'll withdraw the question. The end result will be the same, though; I'm going to put this analogy in a closing statement, and then people can agree or disagree as they like, and then the text could change as a result of negotiations with jc and any feedback I hear. - Dank (push to talk) 18:32, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for withdrawing it, because Isaacl is right. But also, thanks for your work in thinking about the close. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:36, 31 May 2014 (UTC)

Comments on Dank's rough draft[edit]

Your reasoning is ludicrous: proposal 1 and 2 set contradictory standards. You can't find consensus for both simultaneously.—Kww(talk) 23:59, 31 May 2014 (UTC)

I said that already: I already said that "I'm not entirely sure what it is you guys got consensus for". I'm working on it. Btw, I'm open to using some different standard to measure how effective the opposition arguments were at getting people to change their minds; we could tweak it to looking at people who have never expressed an opinion on PC2 before this RfC, if you like ... I'm not sure how to measure that, and didn't have time to. - Dank (push to talk) 02:58, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
The point of closing an RFC isn't to synthesize something that you believe will satisfy a lot of people, it's to analyze whether the people commenting at the RFC came to any form of consensus. There's certainly weighting to be performed, but your level of analysis seems to be going well beyond that.—Kww(talk) 03:09, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
Kww is correct. Proposals 1 (PC2 usable same as PC1) and 2 (PC2 as a full-prot alternative only) are mutually exclusive, so you cannot find consensus for both at once. If both of them have a consensus, the end result should be a no-consensus call. —Jeremy v^_^v Bori! 03:52, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
I'm not seeing any conflict between proposals 1 and 2. Assuming this closes with both proposals approved, then PC2 may be used on pages where autoconfirmed editors are vandalizing pages under Proposal 1 criteria and on pages where good faith editors have started edit warring under Proposal 2 criteria. This was my thought process when I supported both proposals proposal 2 and gave my comment on proposal 1. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 04:50, 1 June 2014 (UTC) Updated davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 04:57, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
While I oppose #1 and #2, I don't see how the two proposals exclude each other. The both give situations where PC2 may be used, without any mention of restrictions against other criteria. PaleAqua (talk) 04:53, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
As an opposer, I agree that #1 and #2 are not mutually exclusive. They are simply different criteria. What of the sentiment that PC2 should not be used in the case of edit warring? This was explicitly proposed (prop13) but the argument appears in the debate on many of the proposals. If davidwr's interpretation of prop2 is correct (as above; I'm not 100% sure his interpretation is correct) then the general arguments against this use need to be considered in determining consensus. Ivanvector (talk) 15:09, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
  • To me the approach I expect in closes is to look at the arguments and the strength behind them. Something like
    For proposal #17:
    Support argument foobar: 32 votes ( #1,#3,#5,....) ( countered by bas )
    Counter argument bas: 3 votes ( #....)
    Support argument qaz ...
    For proposal #18: Note that #18 appears to be a stricter version of #17
    Support argument...
    And results such as: As proposal #ABC has several strong arguments for it that are not countered by strong arguments against, and no other conflicting proposal has stronger support it has consensus.... as proposal #DEF has equally strong arguments for and against is fails as no-consensus etc.... PaleAqua (talk) 03:14, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
    • When the vote is somewhere in the range of a close call, and when the two sides are actually looking for my help in understanding the result ... sure, that can be helpful. When the relevant vote is 40 to 7 (again, I'd appreciate it if someone would check that "40", I just went with the number from #1) 38 to 7 ... that's 8584% ... for me to tell the opposition voters that the 16% "wins" because their rationales are so much smarter than those of the 84% ... well, it's not the way things are done on WP, and it wouldn't actually convince anyone, so there's no point. I'm open to better metrics, if anyone has one and wants to do the counting ... but any way to measure the votes of people who were actually influenced by the arguments here is going to be well above 73% for the supporters, and at that level, exact numbers don't matter. - Dank (push to talk) 04:19, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
      • That isn't the point of an RFC close, Dank. Not at all. Not by any stretch of the imagination. This whole RFC is a textbook non-consensus, with multiple contradictory proposals gaining majorities, and no reasonable way to sort out one view as prevailing: not by strength of argument, not by policy foundation, nothing. The only way to find a consensus in this thing is to make one up, and that isn't your role. And no, there's no 40:7 ratio anywhere to be found.—Kww(talk) 04:50, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
      • But it's not what comments are influenced, it is the strength of the arguments. Given more weight to newer commenters seems backwards from standard practice, and also discounts the effect of commenter fatigue. While I have quibbles with criteria and overall value of PC2 and worry about some easy ways we will end up shoving beans up our noses, I do see the possibility of consensus for using PC2 based on the comments. I just find using new commenters to be a dangerous precedent to set. PaleAqua (talk) 04:53, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
      • I do not understand how you can make any assumption as to "who were actually influenced by the arguments here" unless in cases where votes were changed! I am a first time responder to this saga; I !voted on #1, #2, #3, and #4 on the same day. I read none of the discussion first; the proposals alone were all the evidence I needed. Only then did I read the arguments and discussion; and, and read, and read. The positions staked out were pretty clear. There is a principle involved. You make a faulty assumption that arguments and discussions changed !votes, unless you have evidence, and what can that evidence be other than changed !votes? And it then applies to the few changed !votes. It is faulty logic to judge the strength of an argument by the number of converts it garners. It is your responsibility, as a closer, to evaluate strength of argument, applied policies, and pillars of Wikipedia; and base closes on real evidence of the acceptable; or real evidence that the contradictions inherent to this set of proposals can produce no consensus. Neonorange (talk) 05:38, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
      • I agree with the others here that your rationale for measuring "persuasiveness" is out of whack, and I'm also a first-timer to these RfCs. There's no reason to believe that the makeup of the population of commenters here (whether they are new or experienced to this discussion, or to Wikipedia) means anything, other than that this issue continues to be important to a diverse set of Wikipedians. You might give more weight to arguments grounded in policy and guidelines, since they reflect a long tradition of community consensus, but every person's comment deserves consideration here. I don't think that your draft acknowledges this. However, based on my gut feeling towards the end of the RfC period, I think that your conclusion is likely correct, and maybe correcting the logic by which you arrived at it is a matter of wording, or maybe you'll work it out with jc37. Ivanvector (talk) 16:03, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
  • I'm conflicted about this, and very tempted to point to the cliché about making sausage. As much as I'm a fan of transparency, I feel like Dank's process of thinking out loud has ended up being "too much information". On the one hand, I, too, find rather strange the method of focusing on editors who did not participate in the past. (Why not, instead, focus on editors who gave detailed rationales instead of "me too", or any number of other things?) On the other hand, I try to judge controversial closes (and lots of other on-Wiki controversies) in part by whether someone I disagree with has made me change my mind. And, method aside, I find Dank's end result (the fully-made "sausage") at this stage surprisingly persuasive. Looking back at Props 1 and 2, I do see a case that they have support. I have to give Dank a lot of credit for thoughtfulness, and someone needs to say that. I'm waiting to see how the final product comes out in terms of a second RfC about granting reviewer rights, because that has the potential to require that a lot of issues be resolved before anything about PC2 actually goes live. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:18, 1 June 2014 (UTC)

As I mentioned above, I disagree with the inferences being made based on the participation level of first-time responders. isaacl (talk) 02:50, 2 June 2014 (UTC)

I agree with Isaacl. Again I ask, how many of those first-time responders commented before the addition of Proposal 4/0? This is important because Proposal 4/0 was not initially part of the RfC. I also disagree with the view that this is the best time for opposers to "lose", on the basis that the pro-PC camp has essentially won solely by attrition in this whole debate. There is no "best time" to lose when the winning side is grinding everything down. —Jeremy v^_^v Bori! 04:03, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
  • The still-rough draft, at the time of my timestamp here, has been revised to where I don't see it drawing any conclusions about what the consensus was. Just a thoughtful essay about the state of the arguments, but not really a close at all. I suppose it is still being revised. --Tryptofish (talk) 17:49, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
    • See the following comment: Above on this page, there's a table listing a 66% support percentage for proposal #1, and 73% for #2, but what's more interesting is the supporting percentages among people who didn't comment in last year's RfC on PC2. Votes from people who weren't involved then may be a better indication of which way PC2 support is trending, and those support percentages are a staggering 77% for #1 and 84% for #2. The opposition didn't have much impact on new PC2 voters in this RfC.

      It is inferring from the percentage of first-time responders that the arguments put forth in previous RfC discussions have not had a strong effect on the supporters of pending changes, level 2. (I've expressed my concerns with this inference in a previous comment.) isaacl (talk) 18:06, 2 June 2014 (UTC)

      • Assuming that you were replying to me, I know that, and I agree with your critique of the reasoning there. I was saying that I no longer see anything that says "Proposals X, Y, or Z have consensus." Describing "which way PC2 support is trending" is not the same thing. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:24, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
        • My apologies; since you had indented your reply in response to my comment, I assumed you were responding to me. As I recall, Dank's comments used to have a sentence saying he was aware he hadn't yet drawn any conclusions regarding any consensus reached on any specific proposal, and that this would come later. I think his edits to date have been just to refine his initial draft, without adding any conclusions. isaacl (talk) 19:47, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
          • No problem, I had actually bulleted it. I'm glad we understand each other now. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:19, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
    • A thoughtful essay, yes. I've just done a quick reread of proposals #1 and #2 from nearly five months ago. What struck me was the large number (almost half) of supporting statements that contained only support and perhaps as per. I think this is a more concrete analysis than speculation about the effect of arguments on first time voters. The heart of finding consensus is aggregate strength of argument, isn't it? How best to approach that task has yet to be resolved. - Neonorange (talk) 19:06, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
      • I'm still reading everything here, and thanks for the "thoughtful" bit. I'll reply to all your comments later, probably after the close. Jc and I are in contact and making great progress. - Dank (push to talk) 20:12, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
        • Yeah, about "thoughtful", I figured you are in for a lot of flak, so some balance is called for. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:19, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
          • I got my fireman's jacket from Walmart today, I'm ready. - Dank (push to talk) 20:34, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
            • You'll want an auto racing uniform instead. Those're naturally flame-retardant. —Jeremy v^_^v Bori! 20:37, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
              • Better yet, Dank, since you know that the close you are proposing is completely invalid and runs counter to every principle of closing an RFC, why don't you just refrain from doing it, mark the RFC as "no consensus", and move on?—Kww(talk) 00:56, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

The comment below was moved from the closure page PaleAqua (talk) 04:10, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

  • I want to speak for some of the opposers when I say that the whole "supporting #3 4 isn't enough to indicate you opposed #1 and #2" is utterly beyond bogus. People were (are) fed up with the supporters coming back time after time with this same basic proposal. So they (including me until the last minute) just supported #3 4 as a way of making it clear they were blanket opposed to it all. There is no 66% support for anything if you account for that. And _not_ accounting for that is pretty rotten. There are a number of other problems with this RfC, but I'll just leave it at that. Hobit (talk) 11:57 pm, Yesterday (UTC−4)
    • Sorry for the confusion. All I meant what was I said, literally ... "Above on this page, there's a table listing a 66% support percentage for proposal #1" ... I said that so I could move on to the point about the percentages for new voters. I don't think that means that 66% of the people who commented anywhere want #1; you're completely right that many simply ignored #1 and went right to #4 (sometimes called #0), and I'll make sure we are clear about that. But also, we have to take support for PC2 elsewhere on the page as opposition to #4, and when you do that, the opposition to #4 is so overwhelming that the message comes through loudly (but not clearly): a large majority of voters in this RfC "don't not want PC2", in some sense. Doesn't make our job easy, does it? My plan here was to first get down some of my assumptions ... the things that I thought people might have a hard time with, so I could get some useful feedback ... but I wanted to stop before saying anything definitive, because that might make things hard for jc, if he wants to go in a different direction. (I'm still not sure of his direction, btw.) Again, sorry for the confusion. I'll fix it now. - Dank (push to talk) 11:54, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
    • No. Your assumption about implied opposition to proposal 4 is wrong, Dank. Read the comments. I and at least a few other editors have said over and over again that our support for certain conditions of implementation is supplemental to preferred opposition to PC2 altogether. I said it in the RfC, I said it when I argued against Jackmcbarn's implied votes script on the talk page, I've said it in this discussion and I'm now saying it again. I oppose pending changes, period. I have commented in support of some of the usage criteria proposals because it seems to me that PC2 is going to be implemented either by supporters asking over and over or by developer fiat, and I think that they are good ideas given that eventual outcome. That's how consensus-building works, but that does not mean I support it.
    What about user Cirt? The user supported proposals 1 and 2, and made no other comments. Could you say the user supports PC2 based on that?
    How about user Jane? This user gave "weak support" to proposal 1, with the comment "I am starting to see where this may be necessary, but I feel in general that PC is a bad thing." Would this user have opposed proposal 4 if they were aware of it when they read the RfC notice?
    My point here is that if you're just counting !votes, you're not getting the whole story of this RfC. By trying to generalize what a certain combination (or lack of) implies about the intention of the !voter, you are synthesizing commentary where none exists, and at the same time you are ignoring discussion which did occur. By saying that my support for certain usage criteria must imply that I support PC2, you effectively strike all of the other comments that I made, and I find that quite offensive. Please take another look. Ivanvector (talk) 13:35, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
    You opposed proposal #1 and #2; I count those as opposes. Cirt supported #1 and #2; I count those as supports. You've got the wrong Jane; Jane023 offered weak support for #1; I count that as weak support. I count everyone who expressed in a rationale that they opposed PC2 as opposing PC2. - Dank (push to talk) 14:55, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
    My apologies to the Janes for confusing them. Do you count everyone who expressed in a rationale that they opposed PC2 as opposed to all proposals for using PC2? Ivanvector (talk) 15:43, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
    • (Reply to Dank) I view the various proposals discussing the criteria for using pending changes, level 2, to be exactly that: if it were to be deployed, how should be used? But this does not mean everyone commenting on these proposals was in favour of deploying it. To count all commentary on other proposals as favouring pending changes, level 2, in essence tells those opposed to using pending changes, level 2, that they should not be sharing their experiences and analysis in the discussion threads for other proposals. This works against the best interests of Wikipedia, by not allowing for a broad-based consensus to be built, and will not help make any potential deployment as successful as possible. isaacl (talk) 13:57, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
    • This also points out a structural problem with the RfC: it tried to combine working out the best possible set of conditions for using pending changes, level 2, with approving this set of conditions for deployment. By conflating the two, doubt is introduced in how to interpret the comments. It would be more effective to first determine what is the best case for using pending changes, level 2, through a guided discussion, and then have a Request for Comments discussion on one proposal, where support/dissent can be expressed clearly on the one matter. isaacl (talk) 14:31, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
        • Not to mention that there was no "do not use" position in the first place; it had to be added in later. As I said in the RfC proper, the RfC was set up as a loaded question and should be called into doubt solely on that basis alone. —Jeremy v^_^v Bori! 18:09, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
      • I take your point, but it wouldn't be fair to jc to reply until he and I have come to agreement on some things. - Dank (push to talk) 14:55, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
      • We're going to be pointing back to this RfC as an example of how not to do things for a long, long time. Ivanvector (talk) 15:43, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
        • Yeah. Among them: misreading of !votes, having a closer challenged due to bias and still stay a closer, and the months its taken to get a close written. This entire thing is entirely unacceptable. Hobit (talk) 17:54, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
          • Okay, I don't like the direction this is going ... it's not that I mind what you're saying about me, it's that you might be satisfied with the close ... there's a surprise coming ... and I don't want you to be undercutting something now and then arguing in favor of it after you see what it is. If I don't hear from jc by noon (Eastern US time) tomorrow, I'll go ahead and publish the whole thing. Put away the knives till then, please. - Dank (push to talk) 18:18, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
            • Yeah, we need to wait for this to close before we can start an RfC to comment on it, right? :/ Ivanvector (talk) 18:48, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
            • @Dank: Well, it was inevitable that this discussion would take a direction you don't like. But you had the courage to lay out your thinking on the way to a close. It has been very valuable to all of us, I think, who have been following these pages. Thank you. I've raised some hard questions; I hope I haven't been too hard in the process. I've read jc37's draft; I was struck by his comments on the 'premature' end of discussion. Here we are, nearly four months later. Just think what might have been if part of the lost time had allowed discussion that did reach an acceptable and visible consensus. Looking back, the immediate appearance of so many competing proposals should have been a signal, a signal I read as 'the original proposal was, for lack of a better word, sectarian (just in case anyone wonders, and I hope they don't, I used the word 'sectarian' in the dictionary and technical sense; to mean splitting and rather than uniting, nothing even approaching the redirect article (Sectarianism) in Wikipedia). If there are further RfCs, the 'first' task is to reach a consensus on 'how to ask: what is to be done?' Or at least try. That clearly did not happen for this RfC. And you, Dank, are not to blame for that, or the months long delay with no visible progress. - Neonorange (talk) 19:57, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
              • Though I know some were critical of the series of pending changes RfCs in 2012 that were guided by Dank, I personally believe his involvement did the best job possible in trying to get everyone with similar opinions to move in the same direction, with each stage narrowing down the scope to what had been agreed upon, so a conclusion could be fairly drawn by the end. The process involved a lot of dialog, though unfortunately the amount of participants tapered off. I don't see any way around it, though; complex issues need time for thinking and discussing. Advice such as User:Beeblebrox/The perfect policy proposal is important for obtaining traction in these types of proposals, and anyone wanting to shepherd a proposal through should learn from other successful proposals. isaacl (talk) 20:21, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
            • Dank, I've no personal problem with you--quite the opposite. I don't agree with your reading of the RfC of course, but that's life. The problem is that this whole RfC has been a huge mess and the close (duration taken, radio silence for weeks at a time etc.) has been worse. Somehow the closers are not treating the supports of #4 as a clear oppose to PC2, and I've no idea why. I'm also greatly annoyed that Panda, who has used PC2 twice and didn't remove it when asked (until a few people asked at least), is involved in closing this and refused to recuse when the issue was raised. Plus it's taken months to close. At the very least I'd like to see one set of guidelines for PC2 proposed and have an up/down RfC on them. I'm certain (per this RfC) that you couldn't get 60% support for any such guideline, and I'd bet even money it wouldn't pass 50%. But we are going to do it anyways. If you think it would get better support, close this with such an RfC--the extra month needed is nothing compared to what this close has taken. And if it passes, all the problems with this RfC become moot. And if you think it wouldn't--it shouldn't be done by fiat. Hobit (talk) 23:56, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
              • Hobit, about "But we are going to do it anyways", maybe I misunderstand what you meant, but if you meant "enact PC2" by "do it", I don't think that's what's happening at this time. --Tryptofish (talk) 14:33, 4 June 2014 (UTC)

Comments and draft by jc37[edit]

Wow, I read this page when I posted my note, and wrote an addendum under my draft (off wiki) then. I now read this page (after posting my draft), and, well I suppose I shouldn't be surprised to see the pitchforks and torches I predicted. But still wow.

All that aside, I was (and am) unaware of Dank being "involved". I would have hoped that that would have been something brought up and discussed before him joining in as a closer. That said, if there is evidence of involvement, please post it in a new thread here, for the community to review and discuss.

Anyway,I've posted my draft. If, after reading all of it, you wish to request clarification, I welcome such in positive collegiality. - jc37 18:50, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

The only involvement I am aware of for Dank is that he's closed a previous Pending Changes RfC. —Jeremy v^_^v Bori! 18:52, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
The only involvement I was aware of (other than that just above) was what Dank posted himself. I have no impression that this will lead to a biased close. On the contrary, Dank has laid out his very thorough reasoning here and acknowledged difficulties with applying any kind of logic to this. There happened to be one point on which I disagreed with him (see reams of bold text beside my signature above) but this might come down to me misreading his thoughts and not letting him finish. I'm looking forward to reading what you both end up putting down; I respect you both for doing it but I reserve my right to criticize it. Ivanvector (talk) 19:11, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
Alas the pitchforks aren't that surprising considering as Dank rightly pointed out how polarized opinion is on some sides on this issue. Want to reiterate here that I am very appreciative of the effort put in by all the closers. Dank was quite clear earlier on their pass connections to the topic, and I still don't see any problems with them. ( all be it as someone that is not really a staunch opposer or supporter. ) Speaking of your ( Jc37's ) draft, it seems very reasonable and mostly matched my own thoughts of the discussion. ( granted I'm biased because it leans strongly in the direction I commented in the RfC. ) PaleAqua (talk) 20:39, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
I'm on board with jc's close too, and I haven't heard from the other two closers so we're close to being done here. I was a little surprised to read all the supportive comments here, and I appreciate it more than you know ... especially since I did say some harsh things in my draft statement. I'll add a bit to my statement now, agreeing with jc and offering a couple of predictions, FWIW. - Dank (push to talk) 20:52, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
Well, it could have been wurst. Enjoy, everyone! --Tryptofish (talk) 22:38, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
I've been on airplanes most of the day today, so I'm just looking back here now, and I want to say right off the bat that I think jc37's analysis on the closure page is spot-on (defined subjectively and egotistically as being the same conclusion that I would have drawn), and I'm delighted (and a little relieved) to see just above that Dank is "on board" with it too. Earlier in this talk, I predicted that Dank would get some flak, in part because no one likes seeing sausage being made. So I also strongly agree with what jc37 said about not having a barbecue, as much as sausage put on a barbecue using pitchforks might perhaps taste rather good. Dank and jc37 deserve deep and heartfelt thanks for their work here. Thanks! --Tryptofish (talk) 22:32, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Though noted above, I thought I'd spell out that my consern about closer COI isn't with Dank (I was unaware of any issue there actually), but with Panda. Hobit (talk) 23:58, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
    • I didn't mean you specifically, but thanks for the clarification :) - Dank (push to talk) 00:18, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
  • I see Dank's comment to jc37 on the close page, about Prop. 15 and reviewers, and I think it's a good point. I think it would be a good idea for the closing statement to include something about the need for community discussion about reviewers. --Tryptofish (talk) 14:37, 4 June 2014 (UTC)

Request for clarity regarding previous RFC[edit]

jc37's close of Wikipedia:Pending changes/Request for Comment 2013 says

There is only a consensus for implementation if and only if an rfc concerning criteria for its use gains community-wide consensus first.

In a draft of this close, jc37 says

Overall, there is no consensus as yet to implement PC2.


there is consensus for proposals 1 and 2 and 7 to be used as criteria, but only if PC2 is implemented in the future.

These statements seem to be in conflict. The closing statement most clearly address this conflict or be reworded so that the apparent conflict goes away.

I may be mis-reading jc37's draft, but I'm getting the hint that jc37's read of the discussion is that neither proposal 1, 2, or 7 actually had consensus to implement, but there were enough people who said, in effect, "I'm against PC2 therefore I am against these proposals, but if PC2 ever happens, then it is better to have these proposals as part of PC2 than to not have them, therefore I'm going to support these proposals" to warrant mentioning them in the closing statement. If this is the case, then please clearly say so in the closing statement, and clearly indicate that the consensus to use PC2 at all shifted from "yes, as soon as we can figure out how" to "no consensus to implement, but if PC2 were implemented soon, here are some ways that would likely have consensus."

Again, the closing statement must not make it seem like "oh, we had consensus in 2013, but we don't any more" without clearly saying that consensus changed or explaining why the closing sentence is worded that way if consensus did not change. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 22:27, 4 June 2014 (UTC)

I added a little detail in the paragraph where I talk about numbers, if that helps. - Dank (push to talk) 11:57, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
Davidwr, my reading of it makes note of the fact that the second and third passages that you quoted here come directly one-after-the-other. Thus, the bold-font section of what jc37 wrote states that there was not a consensus for implementation now, and then goes on to say that, should there be consensus for implementation in the future, we have consensus now that those criteria should be the use criteria for such an implementation. It's not about consensus coming and going over time. It's about consensus for whether implementation should be conducted, versus consensus over some details of how implementation would be conducted, if it ever is. --Tryptofish (talk) 14:30, 5 June 2014 (UTC)

Is this discussion cost-effective? Maybe not.[edit]

While I still support PC2, I've come to accept that one major benefit of it (fewer fully-protected pages) is not likely to be as great as I once though, and I'm becoming resigned to the idea that cost of achieving consensus in man-hours lost to these discussions may not be "paid off" by the be benefits to the project (e.g. fewer fully-protected pages). In short - not every idea is worth fighting for, and the idea of PC2 may not be worth fighting for. Not "carrying on the fight" will be a small loss for Wikipedia editors and administrators who edit fully-protected pages, but a possibly-big win for editors who would otherwise be spending a significant portion of their time on discussions related to "should we do PC2 or not?" 22:27, 4 June 2014 (UTC)

I wish I could remember a link to the study, but a study was done a few years back on people right after their school team had lost or won a big game. Serotonin-availability went up, and testosterone levels went up in males, for the ones whose team won, and both levels dropped for the ones whose team lost. It's a shame that this PC2 stuff has been perceived to some extent as a contest for 10 years, but for many, that's the way it's felt ... and that's okay, it happens to all serious Wikipedians at one time or another. Once the result in this RfC is final, I think the very next thing to focus on is keeping a positive tone with the supporters ... and there are many things for you guys to be positive about, both in the closing statements and in the chances that some kind of solution will eventually be negotiated that everyone can live with. This is not a loss. - Dank (push to talk) 23:10, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
It was less a contest and more a con job. Pro-PC has always been in the driver's seat, and you only have to look at the overall history of this debate on Wikipedia to see that. Requiring an RfC to shut down a time-limited trial, horribly biased RfCs, putting out RfCs at an obscenely rapid (by Wikipedia standards) pace, RfCs being decided by vote tally... —Jeremy v^_^v Bori! 04:25, 5 June 2014 (UTC)

Recommended pause[edit]

I recommend at least a 7-day pause between the close of this RFC and any non-binding RFCs related to these issues.

Assuming no non-binding RFCs appear, I recommend letting them run their course and waiting an additional short period of time before launching a binding RFC. If none appear, I recommend waiting at least a month before opening a binding RFC.

I know I need some time away from this. Anyone contemplating opening an RFC soon should carefully consider that discussions aren't "free" they take up time that editors would otherwise devote to other areas of Wikipedia or non-wiki activities (hint: don't ignore your family in favor of Wiki-discussions). davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 22:31, 4 June 2014 (UTC)

Jc and I were just discussing this today on the closure page. He likes the wording that we're not preventing an immediate RfC; I would prefer that we just not say anything about timing, but I agree with him that it's not a big deal; if someone starts an RfC tomorrow, someone else will probably close it. - Dank (push to talk) 22:45, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
I also would expect, and pretty much insist, that all future RfCs should be carefully written so as to take on board the closing statement that emerges here. And I would think that it would take some time for anyone to properly ponder the take-home messages, so I would be skeptical of any new RfC that pops up too quickly. If any new RfC were to be written in a way that ignores what emerged here, I think a lot of editors would insist that it be rapidly closed. --Tryptofish (talk) 14:37, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
I would agree with you for any RFCs that are in the near future or which claim to be follow-ons to past RFCs. However, if, hypothetically, there are no further RFCs for several years and someone wants to start the PC2 discussion over from scratch through WP:PUMP (or whatever equivalent we have several years from now) they should not be bound by this RFC unless the editors participating in the "PUMP" discussion say so. On the flip side, anyone trying to start this discussion "from scratch" any time soon will quickly be shut down by editors pointing to the relatively-recent chain of RFCs on the topic, and if they aren't, they will be shut down as soon as the RFC starts. If anyone tries to start an RFC "from scratch" in the medium term - say, 1-2 years from now give or take - they should expect some push-back but not as much as if they tried 1-2 months from now. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 23:03, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
I agree. --Tryptofish (talk) 13:44, 6 June 2014 (UTC)

Suggestions for future work[edit]

I promised I'd post here in my closing statement ... but I need a few more days to study up. In the meantime ... does anyone have suggestions on what kind of process might possibly produce an (eventual) strong consensus, one way or the other? - Dank (push to talk) 17:52, 7 June 2014 (UTC)

After the griddle cools, when the barbeque season ends? Just that there be a cooling off period, and that a non-binding RfC with a neutral, short exposition of the question of implementation comes as the iron cools into the infra red. I'd guess (because I don't have enough experience here) that moving the line on who gets to edit involves a technical wiki task. There have been several expressions of concern on the current 'reviewer' pool. Is 'super-autoconfirmed' possible? Can the line be adjusted based on experience? Forty days and forty nights edits? My position is still that PC2 is 'slippery slope' that will undercut "anyone can edit". I'm willing to explore 'how slick and how steep', but only in a context of developing a "unity" proposal for a binding RfC that a large number of editors on both sides of this RfC could see at the start as worthy of the past five months in the wilderness. I'd be very unhappy with any RfC that ignored the discussion and the close on this one.- Neonorange (talk) 19:04, 7 June 2014 (UTC)
Slightly off-topic. But I still think a step back might be needed. PC-2 seems to be a solution that is seen by some as connected to a set of perceived problems. It might be worth looking at other options, as well as characterizing the problems vs. the current solutions. I still think a proper version tree / branch implementation might be a much better solution then the flag versions of pending changes. Sort of similar to how git works. Example A: someone vandalizes article instead of reverting the change, just reset the head back to the last good version, and the vandalism is off on a branch by itself that might eventually be pruned. Something further back ( for example a version that needs to be oversghted ), do a cherry pick operation to just get the good edits. Two sided difference of opinions, open up two branches and let them work towards a common ground, merging the common changes into the main branch. Page protection => lock main branch, allow edits done on draft branches and edit protected becomes a merge request, etc. Template sandboxes could be sandbox branches, etc. Policy changes could be laid out on a branch during RfCs, and then simply merged to the main branch if approved. PaleAqua (talk) 19:19, 7 June 2014 (UTC)
Your comment is part of discussion I'd like to see. While I think (in the context of all your comments in this RfC), that you and I have a lot of common ground, we don't communicate in the same way. I think communication across the fault line in this RfC was a big problem, beginning with first proposal. I understand that expressing a problem a precise, unambiguous way can leave concision at the side of the road. I've done it myself (see above). I am left behind by your explanation. Keep in mind that I programmed at an expert level on the Univac 1050 in the misty past, and used Jump rather Branch. Could you pitch your explanation to editors who don't have even that creaky background? - Neonorange (talk) 19:43, 7 June 2014 (UTC)
Revision controlled project visualization-2010-24-02.svg
I find myself agree a lot with everyone on this issue, just from different points of view, part of the reason I think a step back is needed. I do think that a cool off period is a good idea, so not sure how in depth I want to go. I mostly brought up branching as an example of stepping back and looking at it another way. Let me see if I can explain without skipping too many steps. Wikipedia articles are versioned, which means that they have a history of changes that can be followed back to see what changes happened over time. This is very similar to how a lot of software configuration management keep track of changes to source code over time. Most modern systems have some sort of version tree similar to the one shown to the right, where they have branches off the main stream of development as well as tags and merging. Changes along different branches might not be the same, and can be latter merged together. In the picture green is the main line ( also known as the master branch or trunk depending of the version system being used ), with the orange boxes being other branches. In some versioning systems it's possible to redefine what the branches are. This could be a good way of dealing with vandalism, by removing it from the main line and turning it into a branch, continuing future changes starting from the version before the vandalism. Cherry picking is a slightly more advance technique which allows range of versions to be split off into a different branch, and then merging just the changes desired back. For example consider versions ..., G, H, I, J, K, L, M, where G was the last good version, H added someones phone number outing them, L removed the number and M was another good change before the oversight got to work. A cherry pick operation would create changes I', J', M' which would be identical to the changes made originally without the oversighted version leaving the branch history as ..., G, I', J', M' and original versions in an oversighted branch. A lot of modern versioning tools can do cherry picking mostly automatically. Doing such would require wikimedia changes, though there are several versions systems out there that could be used as starting points. I could go further into depth, but again would just like to let the idea sit back for a bit as another way that could be looked at after things have cooled down. PaleAqua (talk) 21:25, 7 June 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. The graph helps. And Wikipedia structure presents as more linear than it may be. As Tryptofish mentions below, 'who picks the cherries' should be on the table. Ok, I do both statements an injustice; but I think many editors may view branching, collating, and merge with unease. I think what may be a smaller group are comfortable with your method of reducing ambiguity. Let's work to make discussions here widely accessible.- Neonorange (talk) 02:20, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
  • I want the community to be asked whether the reviewer right should be removed from everyone who has it now, and then have people who really want it re-apply. There should be questions about what the qualifications for PC2 reviewer should be, and about the process for applying and being considered to be a reviewer. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:53, 7 June 2014 (UTC)

There are some commonly-followed steps by organizations making decisions which I think this discussion (and many others) could benefit from:

  • Define the problem being addressed: What is happening, and why is it a problem?
  • Establish criteria that delineate the scope of the problem. Set up a regular reporting system to monitor the problem and its trends.
  • Brain storm potential solutions to the problem. There should be no filtering of ideas during this phase.
  • Determine pros and cons to the potential solutions. This may require additional research or experiments to better understand the consequences of a given approach.
  • Identify one or more solutions to investigate further. Perform additional research or experiments as required. Repeat this step until one or more solutions have been identified as ready for implementation.
  • Identify target to be reached, based on the previously established criteria.
  • Implement solution(s).
  • Continue to monitor the problem and analyze the results. Has the target been met? Have any other conditions changed so that the target is no longer suitable and ought to be revisited? (Perhaps the target has been met due to other factors, or maybe it is now unrealistic.)
  • If the problem still exists, repeat the process.

Regarding the specific discussion process, as I mentioned above, I think more effort should be expended in building up summary statements describing the problem, the criteria to measure it, the potential solutions, their pros and cons, and so forth. The typical "support/oppose" structure of many Wikipedia discussions leads to this information being scattered across tens of comments, which makes it difficult to follow the discussion's progress. In addition to this type of free-ranging discussion, I would add summary sections that are edited to concisely recap the key points of the discussion. This would also help avoid redundant comments, which can drag out conversation unnecessarily.

Regarding pending changes, level 2, again as I mentioned above, I think the best case for deploying it should be developed (including an understanding of the shortcomings of the proposed implementation), and then this proposal presented for approval by a consensus of editors. isaacl (talk) 14:04, 8 June 2014 (UTC)

By the time an RfC has been filed, it's too late for most of this, so how do we get good organizational practices going before an RfC? - Dank (push to talk) 16:23, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
I think I'd suggest point-by-point comments/criticisms similar to the VisualEditor RfC, where each particular usage case/technical issue/community issue be given its own bullet and then discussed. As an example:
  1. Pending Changes 2 is useful for articles which would otherwise be indefinitely full-protected.
  2. Pending Changes 2 is useful to stop edit warring.
  3. Pending Changes 2, as proposed, has too many flaws to implement.
  4. (et cetera, et cetera, et cetera)
That's my thoughts on it. —Jeremy v^_^v Bori! 19:36, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
I agree with that. I'd also say that it's probably a mistake for just one or two editors to try to pull together a new RfC. Although I'm obviously not saying there should be an RfC about having an RfC, it would be prudent for anyone seeking to start the next one to advertize widely a page for drafting it before "going live", and to reach out to lots of editors who were active in the present RfC, to see if any of them/us would like to contribute to the drafting process. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:29, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
At the same time, RfC by committee is also quite problematic unless you have a balance of pro- and anti-PC with a neutral observer to round it out. As I've stated before, pretty much every PC RfC has been by the pro-PC camp. —Jeremy v^_^v Bori! 18:42, 11 June 2014 (UTC)
Yes, you point out explicitly something that I was doing implicitly. I would certainly hope that sufficient publicity would attract a cross-section of opinions, and that all opinions would be treated respectfully. If not, I would predict that an RfC that skews pro- or anti- would be objected to by the community. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:22, 11 June 2014 (UTC)
Too bad this thread isn't attracting the cross-section you mention; a missed opportunity. - Neonorange (talk) 03:21, 12 June 2014 (UTC)
That's largely because there's really only four major anti-PC guys that still argue against it to any major degree. Everyone else discussing it is to some degree pro-PC, thus there is no "cross-section" to take away. —Jeremy v^_^v Bori! 18:56, 14 June 2014 (UTC)
Well, this talk page isn't the right place to start a new proposal; I assume discussions on semi-protection and full protection should be held on the protection policy talk page, and this might be a good place to have further discussions on examining the problems that some believe can be addressed with pending changes, level 2. isaacl (talk) 19:22, 14 June 2014 (UTC)
This still looks backwards to me as it presupposes that PC-2 is the solution to problem. I'd say start with the issues, problems, how the current structures meet or fail to meet the issue. Then get into how PC-2 might be a solution as well as other brain-storming. Starting at the PC-2 level seems like it risks getting into the same camp divisions that we currently have. PaleAqua (talk) 22:14, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
The example I give above is just that - an example - and should not be taken as indicative of how such a RfC should be written. —Jeremy v^_^v Bori! 22:17, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
I agree the stuff should be broken down, but was worried with the implications of that particular example. But that is the problem of using examples, my own above included as Neonorange correctly pointed out above. PaleAqua (talk) 22:30, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
I think a timetable for progress should be put in place, similar to how you put a timetable in place in 2012 for pending changes. The point would not be to fix deadlines—as we know, with a volunteer group, those nearly always make a pretty whooshing noise as they go by—but to funnel people's contributions into a co-ordinated effort. So if a framework is put in place now, for example, then it is straightforward to close any premature RfCs with a reference to the planned timeline. isaacl (talk) 21:46, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
Some of the comments in the RfC suggested to me that we could be doing a better job with full and semi-protection ... and that hadn't occurred to me before this RfC, so if that turns out to be true, then both the supporters and opposers could be congratulated for identifying fixable problems. Anyone agree? Would it work better to look at that before looking at PC2 again? - Dank (push to talk) 22:06, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
That exactly the type of stuff that would be very useful to look at. The whole process needs to be driven not by is PC-2 good or not, but what are the issues and how do we solve them and then "is PC-2 a solution?" instead of just starting with it. PaleAqua (talk) 22:17, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
A time table sounds like a good idea, and agree about beingbe careful how far ahead ( in terms of steps ) the time goes ( especially with deadlines ) as it might feel like it is pushing forward. Suggestions are to allow stages of discussions to close when no new points have been brought forward to avoid stuff like the hard cut 30 day close that happened with this RfC. PaleAqua (talk) 22:14, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
Strongly agree with the break down given by isaacl above. It is what I was alluding to with the step back, without the side tracking of a specific example. PaleAqua (talk) 22:14, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
  • @Dank (the Dank of 8JUN14): Thank you. Finally! From my admittedly short experience here, these years-long discussions look like a log flume without exit ramps. Never mind changing consensus, how about changing conditions? (Are metaphors better than examples?) @PaleAqua: Thank you for thinking outside the box. At this point, tracing back along this thread is beyond me, much less unraveling, what, a decade of RfCs? I am for ideas that will ensure room for thinking, then expressing these issues in a way accessible to the broad range of Wikipedia editors (and, can I even say it, Wikipedia users)? - Neonorange (talk) 23:36, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Actually closer to 6 years (2009-present). Granted, the average amount of RfCs for that time period is about two-and-a-third RfCs/year. —Jeremy v^_^v Bori! 01:42, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
  • So when is PC2, the Movie coming out? I'd riff on that metaphor, but I might take too dark (that's dark, not Dank), a turn B^) - Neonorange (talk) 02:55, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
  • I'm also in agreement with Isaacl's suggested framework above. I was working on a way to articulate it myself, but my company also uses a framework like this for problem-solving. I also like Dank's insight that we should be looking at problems with the current protection system before we add more complexity to it. We have been putting the cart before the horse - we've been given a solution and asked to identify the problem it solves. Since (from my limited reading) none of the RfCs have come close to broad consensus and after 6 years both sides have become entrenched, there's good reason to start from scratch (or we could hold an RfC on starting from scratch). If we're going to do this with RfCs (and I don't know that we should) we need to start by identifying the problem(s) to be solved, and come to a consensus on that first before we start talking about solutions. If we can't agree on what the problem is, we have no hope of solving it. Ivanvector (talk) 06:03, 12 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Okay, per Isaac's suggestion above (today), I made a post over at WT:PP. Hope that helps. - Dank (push to talk) 21:44, 14 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Just want to add ... I'm leaving a neutrally worded "Thanks for all the productive discussion on PC2, and best of luck for the next round" on the talk pages of all the recent participants here ... enough so people who see your talk page will know your work was appreciated, but not so much that I get accused of the dreaded non-neutrality. Here, I can say a little more ... it really was a huge help to get a lot of feedback here, and it means a lot to me that you guys care as much about policy as I do. There aren't a lot of us, and I'm not really sure what would happen to Wikipedia without folks like us. So ... many thanks.