Wikipedia talk:Pending changes/Straw poll

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Roll Call: If you opposed PC *and* are willing to compromise in any significant way[edit]

Please sign here. Before something potentially ugly happens like this thing defaulting to recognizing the significant majority vote as sufficient, I think it'd be awesome to at least knock around the idea of possible compromises. A discussion about compromise is obviously not going to get far with anyone is opposes the entire concept of PC, no matter what. But, please sign up if you think there are areas where you'd be willing to "meet in the middle" (or .. at least closer to the middle). Thanks! 04:07, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

People willing to consider compromises now[edit]

  1. I find it difficult to go against what is clearly a majority, I'm finding the arguments used by the oppose camp getting weaker, looking like ways to wriggle out of the situation, rather than any solid flaws in the system. Yes the software does need improving but I don't see that as a reason to turn the feature off now. --Salix (talk): 06:43, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
  2. I am willing to compromise now (i.e. soft-shutdown rather than hard). However, I would prefer that this discussion be carried out elsewhere. Doing this on the discussion page of a closed poll seems less than ideal. Revcasy (talk) 14:27, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
    I'd suggest Wikipedia talk:Pending changes/Closure - with the caveat that can we please leave a clear pointer from here to there (and that we don't create more pages - there are, I think at least three PC pages + their talkpages...) TFOWR 14:31, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
  3. Yes, don't put off what you can do today until tomorrow. (Or something like that:/).--intelati(Call) 19:19, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

People willing to compromise later, if conditions are met[edit]

  1. I'll discuss compromises once the current trial is stopped.—Kww(talk) 04:22, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
  2. I have always said that there's a case to be made for using this on unwatched BLPs, even though I would still personally oppose that. I agree entirely with Kww that there is not even any point in discussing such things until we are complying with the originally announced trial conditions - that means ceasing the use of Pending Changes now. Gavia immer (talk) 04:49, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
  3. I'm willing to support some type of change to the original non-PC system if the current trial is stopped, the user interface is improved, and there is discussion of alternatives that may be more effective. We haven't had much of a real discussion on what we need; it's all been how do we force what the developers have given us to solve a very complex problem. I proposed two alternatives myself above and I'm sure there are many other ideas. If the discussion leads to a consensus to use PC in much the same style as the trial to minimize complexity, I can live with that. —UncleDouggie (talk) 05:54, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
  4. My personal preference has always been for a continued small trial, on the lines of Option 2. I want this trial killed, because the formulation of the poll, and the resistance to a shut-down are evidence of bad faith. We can discuss a further trial or alternative ideas when this is done. I will not be steam-rollered to adopt a non-functional non-solution. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 19:51, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

About "this thing defaulting to recognizing the significant majority vote as sufficient"[edit]

Are there any ideas about improving any possible continued use of Pending Changes from those who have been initially opposed to the system? BigK HeX (talk) 20:20, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

Closure - Compromise language[edit]

Based on the section above, I think this is roughly where we are at (indented to offset the proposed language)

As the current pending changes protection trial has officially ended, and the community has not reached consensus regarding the future of pending changes on Wikipedia, the community directs that the use of the pending changes feature be ended by removing pending changes protection from all pages subject to it as quickly as possible, and by refraining from applying pending changes protection to pages as the use of this feature before there is a clear, broad consensus to continue would be against the wishes of the community. We also resolve that no further trials of pending changes should begin until it can be verified that the current trial has been fully closed. Furthermore, based on the information that removing the extension and later re-enabling it is not practical, we ask that the developers allow additional time as may be necessary and reasonable for discussions to reach a conclusion before removing the feature entirely.

The intent of the above is to end the current pending changes trial quickly in a manner that allows us to step back, and work with each other to understand what went right, what went wrong, and establish a consensus as to where we go from here. I realize that we have a strongly divisive issue. I supported a continued trial, and still do, but there are significant concerns raised even by supporters of the trial, that do need further discussion before we can go forward, and it's not even clear at this stage with all the bickering if those concerns can be met in the current form. Ending the trial now, as per the original intent is the right thing to do. I'm asking that both sides of this debate agree to this as an interim compromise - as neither an acceptance or rejection of the feature, merely a statement that we need to back up and figure things out, and that administrators continue to work quickly in removing pending changes protection from all pages while we decide what to do. Triona (talk) 09:57, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

  • Support. Not sure sure how this is different from your previous suggestion, but they are both reasonable and if people prefer this form of words then lets go for it. Yaris678 (talk) 11:32, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Weak Oppose. I'm not really seeing how the desires of a significant majority of (represented) editors are respected in this limited closing statement. I still hold that acquiescence to remove PC from articles will be tantamount to a rejection of PC (regardless of the closing language). Even so, I'm perfectly fine with the shutdown of this trial, but only if coupled with concrete ideas to accommodate the large support shown for PC. Even something simple such as a definite plan to offer a new poll regarding a possible future trial to be held in 45 days would be enough to persuade me. BigK HeX (talk) 13:41, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Support, although I don't see why we need a consensus to do that which we already agreed to three months ago.—Kww(talk) 13:52, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
Because, in theory, we could instead be talking about the expansion of PC and making it permanent...? BigK HeX (talk) 14:40, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
Not before this trial is stopped. Such discussion would be premature.—Kww(talk) 14:55, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Support Close the trial, and let's move on. Revcasy (talk) 15:03, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Support. The desires of a majority are respected; they have the opportunity to persuade enough of the rest of us to form consensus. Wikipedia is not governed by majority vote. Improvements in the operation of PC, and the presentation of the case for it, may do so in the future; but Wikipedia is not a crystal ball, either. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 15:44, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Weak Support. I would rather the extension be removed as well, but that ain't on the table. —Jeremy (v^_^v PC/SP is a show-trial!) 18:26, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Support for the reasons I've already given above. – Smyth\talk 19:02, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Each page can have flag protection removed from it and the extension can be disabled. Re-enabling it wouldn't cause any problems. The current version is auto-flagged when you flag-protect, so it's not like an three month old version would be the default. I don't see why people think it is impractical to disable and re-enable later. Aaron Schulz 21:13, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Sort of support. I just think it needs to more clearly indicate that further improvement of the feature is going to be worked on. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:31, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Support closing as promised.--M4gnum0n (talk) 00:20, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

Alternative phrasing[edit]


  • The pending changes (PC) trial was scheduled to run for two months with a default to turn off
  • Developers preferred to allow PC to continue for one additional month during discussions
  • Discussion has taken place for over a month, both in the straw poll and in the closure discussion
  • PC is still enabled on several hundred articles
  • The straw poll was started in a controversial fashion which resulted in some confusion, disagreement, and distrust
  • A large portion of both support and opposition recognized flaws/room for improvement in the interface and implementation
  • Respondents expressed a high level of support (~65%) for keeping PC in some fashion
  • Not all supporters agreed to the same vision, reasons, or conditions for continuing
  • Some supporters agreed to only one version, exclusively
  • Some supporters wanted to dramatically expand the feature
  • Opposition was significant (~35%) and expressed serious doubts
  • Some opposition indicated a refusal to support the feature under any conditions regardless of improvements
  • Some opposition cited technical issues alone, implying they might support the feature if those were fixed
  • There was no listed option to disable but continue with improvements or future trials
  • PC represents a major technological change which warrants thorough, careful evaluation
  • Vandalism and encyclopedic reliability are major issues which urgently call for continued development of effective solutions

It is agreed, until further consensus, to:

  • Remove PC from any article (except for articles specific to the purpose of testing and demonstration outside the mainspace)
  • Not add PC to any article (same exception as above)
  • Keep the mediawiki extension enabled but dormant
  • Organize discussions about key issues and future development
  • Let developers keep refining the feature
  • Plan a new poll within 6 months about a further trial including:
  • A definitive procedure for ending the trial
  • Language for any polls approved by the community in advance
  • Organized statistics with summaries
  • Better communication with developers about technical limitations and possibilities.

Ocaasi (talk) 19:44, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

  • Support; I have a weakness for bullet points. The antepenultimate one should be "Phrasing of any polls to be approved by the community in advance," But that's syntax not substance. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 20:14, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
  • A resounding YES if thats all we can get:(--intelati(Call) 20:16, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Support Covers all of my concerns. (Still have far more support for a continuing trial, as I've already proposed.)Superceded. [Comments from the significant majority support viewed as sufficient evidence to extend.] BigK HeX (talk) 20:17, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Support Wholeheartedly. Wish it was legally binding. Revcasy (talk) 20:18, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Support Excellent statement, though i prefer replacing "6 months" with "When its done". I prefer having a good and stable version for a final trial over one that still has some major issues in it. Perhaps we should create a list of changes and list a few of those as "blockers" (No release unless these are fixed), while giving a certain priority to other changes?
  • Support as the best possible outcome from this straw-poll mess. —Jeremy (v^_^v PC/SP is a show-trial!) 20:27, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Support as the best way to go forward from here, PC can wait until we figure out the details of what went wrong, what went right, and can establish consensus as to what needs to be done with it in the future. Triona (talk) 20:59, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Mostly support:
    • I assume "any article" allows PC to remain in use outside the mainspace for testing purposes. Otherwise how would we evaluate improvements in UI or speed without kicking off another full trial?
    • What is "advanced language"? Do you mean language determined in advance?
    • No need for an arbitrary 6 month time limit. Who can predict how long the developers will take to fix the issues?
    • Smyth\talk 21:20, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
I would agree that PC should be allowed in some fashion outside of the mainspace ... perhaps on user sandbox pages.
The 6 month thing is for a poll. If the community doesn't feel the devs are at a good point, then there won't need to be a trial. BigK HeX (talk) 21:29, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
PC is currently enabled in project space for testing (see WP:Pending changes/Testing), yes we should keep it there (but no need to enable it in other ns). So suggest to replace with however it can still be used in project space for the purpose of testing or demonstration. Cenarium (talk) 00:27, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Sort of support. But no signature at the bottom, per what Protonk says below. And I'm not wild about the whereas-es. Just say what will be done. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:31, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Update
  • Removed the 'we' / 'community'/signature per comments
  • Removed legalese
  • Added non-mainspace testing exception
  • Clarified language on polling
  • I'm not sure about changing the 6 month timeline. Thoughts? Ocaasi (talk) 21:44, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
I say remove it. Being under the gun of a deadline is how this straw poll started in the first place. —Jeremy (v^_^v PC/SP is a show-trial!) 22:00, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
After thinking about it I am not thrilled about the deadline either. This poll was a disaster. However, it is not a decisive issue for me, while I understand that it may be for some supporters. Revcasy (talk) 22:28, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
I can't support a closure that has no definite plans to accommodate the significant support shown for PC. BigK HeX (talk) 22:35, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
Comment Add a part about some opposition being commenting on the technical issues alone, implying they may support if they were fixed. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 22:04, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
Update. I added it, as well as a point in the support section about the wishes of the strongest supporters. Ocaasi (talk) 22:36, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
Clarified the project-space testing exception as being only for articles specific to that purpose, as the prior language could be open to gaming, which is the last thing we need right now. Triona (talk) 22:56, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
Can we split this proposal off into it's own page and get a notice out there? I think this needs to reach something resembling the same exposure as the straw poll for it to have the same measure of validity. Triona (talk) 23:08, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Support gives many sides of this discussion what has been requested. Sumsum2010 · Talk · Contributions 23:26, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
Support the proposal, and (ec--this is to Triona's comment above) I do not think we need to "get a notice out there." The straw poll ran for weeks. The goal of this is to write up whatever consensus can be pulled from that poll. It's not time to go through another few weeks of discussion (that won't really be any less divisive). That would almost certainly exacerbate the problem, because it will further anger those people who are adamant that this should have ended a few weeks ago, and make it even harder to stay with a compromise position. Qwyrxian (talk) 23:30, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
Umm ... keeping this closure proposal a "secret" isn't exactly most inspiring approach. BigK HeX (talk) 23:46, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
We should get this proposal somewhere besides the talk page. At least move it to the mainpage, with a link for comment here and a heading that this has been painstakingly arrived at through days of compromise. I think a listing at Central Discussion wouldn't hurt, even if we try to curtail any further handwringing. Ocaasi (talk) 00:12, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
I'm not saying "keep it a secret." I'm saying this isn't a proposal--it's actually an analysis of what the consensus of this page and the poll itself point to. When closing an AfD, for example, the closing admin doesn't look at all of the arguments, write up a summary statement, then post that summary statement itself somewhere else. As long as the participants here agree that this seems to be somewhat close to consensus, the process has been run. Otherwise, we'll post this "proposal" somewhere else, then get feedback on that, then reach another impasse, search for another compromise, then have to post that...while there is no deadline to the encyclopedia itself, there was an explicit deadline to this trial. That it took a bit longer to come to a consensus is not unreasonable, given how complex the issue is, but isn't it time to move on? All that being said, moving it to the Project Page itself seems reasonable, so long as we don't wait to long to implement the closure and move on the next step. Qwyrxian (talk) 04:27, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
  • This is a good closing statement, it reflects consensus accurately and clarifies the next steps. This shows that we are a mature community and do not take important decisions lightly or hastily. Cenarium (talk) 00:43, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Support; thanks all, especially Ocaasi Alvar 00:56, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Week support. It would be full support if we could deal with a couple of issues. I think the wording "Plan for a new poll for a trial within 6 months including..." is ambiguous. Is the trial within 6 months or just the poll? I am in favour of it being just the poll (it may be both, but let's not rush things). Perhaps the text should read
Also, I think the first two lines of the "it is agreed" part should read as below. Yaris678 (talk) 12:07, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Suggestion: how about the following language for the "6 months":
    Plan for a poll on a new trial in about 6 months, provided the interface has been altered by then.
  • This may alleviate some of the worries of the anti-PC people, while still giving us a date to shoot for. The "provided" keeps us from holding a new poll on exactly the same software, which is likely to fail consensus as this one has; on the other hand, if the developers are interested in this, the interface will be altered by then, so it's not actually much of an impediment. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 15:19, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Support: I think this quite obviously meets a number of group's concerns. ialsoagree (talk) 17:09, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Opposed in its current form - When the current trial was started, there was nothing about us having to plan more trials after it. There will be another trial, when the community decides - I don't approve of the idea of the fixed time limit. Sorry, but this gets a no from me unless you drop the 6 month thing - everything else, I'm ok with. BarkingFish 19:27, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
I believe it's been since clarified that the 6 months applies to when a new poll would be put up to determine whether another trial would be held, and that it's not even a requirement, just the desired time table. But maybe you appose a suggested time for discussing the possibility of another trial as well? ialsoagree (talk) 20:54, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
Not that it seems to matter now, but the agreement is to a poll for a new trial, not a new trial. The poll would take place within 6 months. That part was not negotiable. However, only a poll which found consensus for a new trial would result in one. Ocaasi (talk) 03:08, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Support closing as promised.--M4gnum0n (talk) 00:18, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Strong SupportUncleDouggie (talk) 08:01, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Strong support. (Not particularly relevant, but this just occurred to me: The English Wikipedia will never again be able to have trials of proposals, regardless of the outcome of this issue. The proposals process has been permanently damaged, and the "theory of change" will not be usable on en.wp.) --Yair rand (talk) 03:30, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
Is there a particular article where you believe PC is causing a problem worth hassling over? BigK HeX (talk) 05:45, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
What? Sorry, I'm not sure I understand your question. I think PC on any article causes a huge problem. The motivation behind PC seems to the protection of WP's reputation, rather than easing the load on patrollers in order to be able to effectively manage articles, and it is focused as such. Semi-protection locks an area of concentrated vandalism, making it possible to freeze a small area in exchange for making a great deal more patrolling doable (much like blocking), while PC does the same damage while having no virtually no benefits (and actually creates more work for patrollers, since edits now have to be "marked as reviewed"). Also, it very much looks like PC-protection is intended to be largely on articles that are currently completely unprotected (though this hasn't stopped supporters from saying it's simply an alternative to SP). And of course it increases elitism by a ridiculous amount, causes technical problems (I think), ruins "the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit", eliminates instant satisfaction and thus discourages new users and basically annihilates minor edits by readers (Can anyone here honestly say that they would "submit a change" that they new would have to be reviewed by someone at some point in the future, just to fix a typo? Can anyone point me to a single instance of a typo being fixed by an IP on an article under PC during the trial?), will likely spread over far more articles than intended, will create backlogs at some point, confuses people, and cements the concept of "Wikipedia rulers" into the public mind. I'm sure I missed most of the problems with PC, but these are the major issues that first come to mind. --Yair rand (talk) 06:30, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
RE: "And of course it increases elitism by a ridiculous amount...ruins "the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit", eliminates instant satisfaction and thus discourages new users and basically annihilates minor edits by readers"
I keep hearing this refarin, but it still makes no sense to me, seeing as the guidelines for PC is for it to act as a substitute where Page Protection would have been applied. While there may be interest in using PC in other ways, that is not the proposed use of PC. If we're going to make assumptions that PC will be used in any way imaginable (despite the proposed guidelines), then it doesn't seem there will ever be a way to satisfy some of the people who oppose it. Page protection does all of the things you oppose in the list I've quoted, and is far more inconvenient to get around. BigK HeX (talk) 06:52, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
"the guidelines for PC is for it to act as a substitute where Page Protection would have been applied"? I was not aware of that. Where are these guidelines? --Yair rand (talk) 07:12, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Support everything except the 6-month trial part. The original trial lasted 2 months and it didn't work. Extending it to 6 months won't achieve or accomplish much. OhanaUnitedTalk page 03:48, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
Please double check that. It's only for a poll within 6 months, nothing about a 6 month trial, or a definite trial even. (talk) 18:51, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment I do not think we should remove PC completely from the main space. Those arguing for the shutting down are not in the majority and have not provided sufficient reason for removal. Where is the evidence of harm? To do ongoing testing to determine effectiveness it needs to be at least live on a few pages. Yes there are technical issues and the program could work better however an exception for small more structured trials is needed.--Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 05:14, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
    Don't make promises you don't intend to keep. --Yair rand (talk) 06:03, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
    Huh? I have not made a single promise above. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 06:07, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

Another, less helpful alternate[edit]

I see the two options above are signed (more or less) "the community". I propose that a majority approval but not 2/3rds approval is a trademark sign (grossly oversimplifying things here) of a lack of consensus. As such, we are best not saying the community speaks with any one voice. Perhaps simply the conclusion could be that we don't have a strong enough base of support to expand PC to wikipedia and that the trial itself was approved contingent upon a time limit. that way we don't impute a great deal of meaning where perhaps little exists. Protonk (talk) 21:12, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

I don't think the second proposal claims consensus...? BigK HeX (talk) 21:14, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
It's explicitly signed, though. I'm less attempting to disparage a particular proposal then to remind people the difficulty of drawing conclusions from a relatively pitched debate. Protonk (talk) 21:15, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
The statement/agreement seems to reflect the substance of many !voters comments. I think that is more reflective of consensus than mere numbers. Also, 'representatives' from both sides find it satisfactory, so it does seem to speak for a broader swath of editors. Last, it avoids a protracted debate about this trial, which a very limited statement might (since it doesn't address the complexities or the significant support). I see what you mean, but I think this is a good in-between. If the signature is a sticking point, we can just take it out (see, 'we' again) and let some admins adopt it under their name. Ocaasi (talk) 21:25, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

Quick note: I'm out of computer range for a few hours/days, so wrap up the language however you want. Good luck, good to have this almost done! -- Ocaasi 15:08, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

Jimbo annoucement[edit]

In case anyone did not see the link on the "closure" page, Jimbo Wales has made an announcement at his talk page. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:49, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

To quote the Emperor Joseph II, via the film Amadeus, "Well, there it is." —Preceding unsigned comment added by Revcasy (talkcontribs) 23:13, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

Summary of Wales' announcement[edit]

I pulled these from User_talk:Jimmy Wales, they're verbatim but excerpts, emphasis added, signatures omitted - Ocaasi

  • In my traditional leadership role in the English Wikipedia, I am therefore also asking the Wikimedia Foundation to keep Pending Changes enabled, and to increase the hard-coded limit of pages as the performance characteristics of the system allow it. We will discuss on various policy pages where the use of the system is appropriate. I would ask all those opposing the system to use the coming weeks to provide feedback (or code!) that will reduce the complexity of the system, and help us to make Wikipedia more open, not less. And I suggest that 6 months from now, in mid-March, we have a deeper conversation about determining success or failure of this system, on the basis of the data available by then. My hope and belief is that, working together, we can build a system and policies that have even broader support, similar to page protection and user blocking today.
  • 2/3 is enough to keep it enabled. I'm not happy with stopping here, though, which is why I'm requesting that the Foundation address the specific concerns so we can get to 80%
  • [The straw poll] discussion was started after the time when I was reading a static (downloaded so I could read it offline) version of the discussion... and it only progressed a short time. I am not going to ask that the feature be removed from any articles where it is currently active, as there appears to be absolutely no positive reason to do that. If there are articles where it is causing problems, then it can be removed from those articles - but why remove a popular feature that is working well in most cases, just to have more discussions? It works well enough to keep - the community has spoken loud and clear on that point (65% in favor!). The best energy looking forwrad is to assist with comments and code on how to improve the feature.
  • I think the question of what do to while we wait for the foundation to release version 2 is one that isn't hard for everyone to agree on, at least in principle: remove it where it is causing a problem, keep it where it is working, and use it more in cases like the ones where it is working ("gradual limited expansion").
  • I'm sorry that you feel that the community has "walked on" you. That's what happens in voting situations. Fortunately, we aren't in a pure voting system, we try to proceed based on consensus. You can have my assurance that I will, at the appropriate time, again recommend to the Foundation that they follow the wishes of the community, and that they listen really hard to dissent to try to find a way to make things more universally appealing for everyone. I don't really understand your attitude here, as if someone is doing you wrong, or I'm overriding the community. The numbers just don't support you.
  • You have misunderstood me. 2/3 support is plenty strong enough to keep it on for now. When I said that I'm not happy with 2/3, I meant it in the sense of: I want it to be even better. That's why I'm asking the Foundation to fix the known problems with it, improve it, and do so with energy and vigor!
  • None of this makes any logical sense whatsoever. How exactly does accepting the communities overwhelming support (65%!) amount to a signal that it was always going to be kept on? That is not only false, quite obviously, it is also not even remotely plausible in term of giving that impression. If I asked that it be turned off, that would be a horrible violation of the community, it would be ignoring what the community has said loud and clear. I just don't know what you mean.
  • Given that nearly 2/3 of the community disagrees with you, what compromise are you willing to accept and support? What problems is your proposal designed to solve? Are there particular pages where you think it should be turned off? Or is it your view that a minority of the community can - and should - block progress forever? We know the feature is popular. We know that it is working extremely well in the vast majority of cases. Going backwards is not an option. You can try to redefine the terms so that change requires near-unanimity, but that's not the deal and never was the deal. I listen to the community... all the community, and we have strong support for this. We also have some legitimate concerns, and so we will address those concerns and have another poll. Iteratively. In the meantime, turning the feature off is impractical and would be outrageous, given the demands of the community.
  • There is no reversal of burden. In future polls, if there is consensus to keep it permanently, it will be kept permanently. If there is consensus to remove it permanently, it will be removed permanently. If there is, as in this case, an overwhelming majority to keep it, but not quite consensus, then it will be kept temporarily and improved. There has never been any tradition in any of our decision-making processes that in the middle of an iterative process of improvement, we should completely delete or remove something that has near-consensus and start all over. What problem are you trying to solve with temporarily removing it from all the articles where it is working well and very popular, only to re-add it when the next version comes out? That seems entirely pointless and a grave violation of the will of the community, which is 65% in favor of keeping the feature.
  • I don't agree with your interpretation of what we were doing all along, nor what we are doing next. I don't know where we ended up with this strange idea floating around that nothing can change without getting "consensus" (which is undefined, but apparently must be a lot higher than 2/3 support) for anything new. My view is that we should drive for consensus, that we will get consensus, and that in the meantime we should pursue an iterative process of improvement, as opposed to allowing a minority to block progress. It is also worth contemplating the level of screaming that I would *quite justifiably* face, were I to say "65% are in favor of this, so I'm asking the Foundation to turn it off".--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:16, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
  • It meant that we would vote after two months to figure out what to do. So that's what we did. And the results are in: the extension is popular, with 65% support, but has some problems which led to 35% opposition. The next step? Revised software from the Foundation, a new trial, and a new vote. Iterating until we get strong enough support to call it stable and keep it permanently.
  • What I propose we do now is have a discussion of where Pending changes is useful, even in the current configuration, and where it is not as useful, and make some gentle adjustments based on that. I do not want to see sudden fast moves in any direction, as I think that would not be helpful for general peace and harmony. There is no reason to rule out removing it from some articles, but there is also no reason to rule out adding it to some articles that don't have it. (When should we add it? When it improves the encyclopedia. When should we remove it? When it improves the encyclopedia.)
  • I've asked the Foundation to give me a firm schedule for when a version 2.0 will be available. There seems to be general support from everyone who isn't just absolutely dead set against the feature no matter what that it will be worthwhile to test a new version. The remaining question is what do we do until that new version happens. Given that it took years to get this version, I am sure some are wondering whether the time scale should be estimated in weeks, months, or years. When I hear back from them, I will report on what they have said, and we'll do a quick poll strictly to determine what to do in the meantime. The two options will be simple:
  1. Stop using it (either by turning it off, or removing it from all the articles, leaving it turned on but dormant)
  2. Use it, with an evaluation (in the normal policy discussion way) of where it should be used and where not, based on our existing experience. (I.E. it works in some cases, not in others, so we can clarify and use it based on those parameters).
The result will be determined by a simple majority vote, since either option is guaranteed to be temporary in any case. Item (2) will also include a "hard stop" or "drop dead" date - *not* the Foundation's estimate of when they will have Version 2 ready, but a reasonable date after that (to allow, in full fairness, some slippage of ship date - this is software, after all).
I will also encourage the Foundation to roll out fixes in a "release early, release often" fashion to the existing product, i.e. to do some of the super easy UI fixes like naming the buttons properly as quickly as possible. I hope that this will resolve the impasse caused by the vagueness in the closing conditions of the original trial, and give us a way to determine what the community wants to do in the meantime. (I think we will all agree - if the meantime means 3 more years, we might as well turn the feature off and wait. And if we are talking about 3 weeks, there's no need to get agitated about anything. I'm sure the real timing is somewhere between those two!) --Jimbo Wales

Pasted by Ocaasi (talk) 09:09, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

Also of interest is a discussion at User_talk:SlimVirgin#Quick_question, between Wales and a few others. Ocaasi (talk) 09:20, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

So it's agreed that there was no consensus, only a majority, and that consensus was supposed to be required for the trial to be extended. However, I assume none of that matters, since Jimbo wants it to be continued. The benevolent dictatorship marches on... ☻☻☻Sithman VIII !!☻☻☻ 16:03, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

Not all of use saw the original "agreement to turn it off it a super majority was not achieved" and would have disagreed with this agreement if we saw it. There appears to be a number of prior agreements. I feel Jimbo has done well walking a fine line between two camps who would have been unhappy no matter what he decided. I can accept this as a second best temporary solution.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 05:55, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
Consensus ≠ participant ratio. Our policies and guidelines consistently affirm that principle across the board.   — C M B J   10:44, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

Breakdown of votes[edit]

I've drawn up some tables showing how the support for pending changes breaks down by option. Here a user is regarded as supporting an option if they express any wish for it to happen (even if the comments impose caveats or conditions). I haven't included any of the users in the "other responses" section. Hut 8.5 11:50, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

Options by number of votes

Option Supporters Percent
1 217 34.8
2 105 16.8
3 298 47.8
4 154 24.7

Votes by type

Options supported Number of votes
1 only 216
1 and 4 1
2 only 44
2 and 3 19
2, 3 and 4 41
2 and 4 1
3 only 192
3 and 4 46
4 only 64

Thanks for the detailed breakdown. Since we keep having people saying how it should be simple majority vote, even though Wikipedia doesn't run that way, it looks like none of the option got a majority. Option 3 is the closest to the goaline, but short by 2.2%. And if we look at "votes by type", option 1 (stop pending changes) still wins under first-past-the-post scheme. What does it mean? It means that no matter how the supporting camp spins it, there just isn't one scheme that support or retain pending changes. OhanaUnitedTalk page 04:29, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

Please don't try and divide people into "camps". This is not politics and we don't want it to be. – Smyth\talk 11:10, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
I beg to differ. It is very clear that there are 2 camps, those who support and those who don't support pending changes. The results, no matter which criteria you choose (consensus or simple majority), showed that it didn't reach the threshold to continue. OhanaUnitedTalk page 20:24, 14 September 2010 (UTC)


Although the design of the poll wasn't too brilliant, it's amazing how such clear result can be spun to mean nothing by picking apart the in principle supporting votes against an underwhelming minority. But this is the problem with this community model. It's like pure communism, and it hasn't worked in the real world either. The result couldn't be more clear: keep PC and work out the details of operation between the 3 remaining models. Kbrose (talk) 05:46, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

True, I suppose we should just do what Jimbo says as well all know, people may think Wikipedia is a democracy and it isn't one! The C of E. God Save The Queen! (talk) 09:15, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
Sure, the results may be considered clear if you count votes without reading comments; that's why we have WP:NOTVOTE. Results of a straw poll ≠ consensus. —Ost (talk) 21:17, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
So you would argue that the votes against PC outweigh the larger amount of votes that are in favor of it? I won't deny that both sides raised (very) valid arguments, but both sides have their share of weak or content-less votes. Equally I would point out that a fair share of the oppose votes are aimed at temporal issues such as a clunky user interface or speed issues, rather then arguing against the core idea behind pending changes. You are correct that straw poll ≠ consensus, but a large straw poll such as this one at least gives a strong indication what consensus might be. Excirial (Contact me,Contribs) 06:50, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
A comparison based on the final results.
"both sides have their share of weak or content-less votes..."
Sure, but the ratio is seriously disproportionate. Just take a look at the numbers.   — C M B J   09:43, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
Weren't we asked to simply !vote, and not leave comments? I'm fairly sure I ignored that, but I take the view that voting is evil... other editors may be better at following instructions than yours truly. TFOWR 09:53, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
The instructions said to "add brief comments" as of the poll's closure, but I do not believe that they did when the poll started. Nevertheless, everyone on both sides of the discussion received the same debriefing relative to the times of their respective comments.   — C M B J   10:09, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
And still more of those who voted for 2,3 and 4 left comments.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 16:52, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
Numberwise, yes; proportionately no. —Jeremy (v^_^v PC/SP is a show-trial!) 18:04, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
Typically, discussions with 56.6% against 43.3% result in a "no consensus" judgment anywhere else on the project; XfD, RfX, ANI--you name it. In order for consensus to be determined based on a discussion that erratic, the argument of one side must be significantly more substantive than the other.   — C M B J   03:48, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
I don't believe that this straw poll can gives the "clear" result to "keep PC and work out the details of operation between the 3 remaining models." While the the poll may arguably put the cart before the horse by using "Keep" in the support options, but it's also reasonable to read a result of "work out the details, fix the problems, and try it out again". I understand that "Keep" implies continuity, but without adequate choices (such as Suspend or Rework), supporters were forced to choose a "Keep" option to ensure their vote counted and weren't grouped with the opposition. There is obvious support for PC, but I believe that it is less clear than the above statement recognizes; unfortunately, it's all to easy to look at numbers instead of having a discussion. —Ost (talk) 18:13, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
True, some of the oppose votes are (mostly) targeted at temporal issues such as performance and user friendliness, and the support section has several conditional votes pointing these issues out as well. I agree with the "Work out the issues before continuing" assessment you made above. It has taken a fairly long time before we even had a trial (and something to try), so some additional time to iron out the flaws before deciding won't hurt anyone. I presume that the oppose side will like seeing that raised issues are being resolved, and that the support side won't disagree with improving before finalizing (Though that is a guess not backed by any data :) ) Excirial (Contact me,Contribs) 13:39, 16 September 2010 (UTC)