Wikipedia talk:Stub/Archive 14

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Usability stats

Would the usability initiative be able to provide any input into decisions about how stub templates and categories are used? Basically what we have is a sensible arrangement derived from reasonable, but untested assumptions, we have one and a half million stubs, and no way of knowing how effective tagging, categorising etc are. We could of course do some simple tests ourselves. For example take a sample of 20,000 stubs and de-tag half, wait a month and see if there was a difference in the percentage expanded. Or try different tagging methods or location. Or try advertising 100 selected stubs via different means (subject projects, clean-up projects, Signpost, talk pages, mailing lists, universities). Rich Farmbrough, 04:09, 7 February 2011 (UTC).

FWIW, I keep an eye on those of my contribs which have been re-edited after my last edit (via a "hide top" on my contribs list) - I'm finding that the majority of stubs which I move to more specific stub categories seem to get either improved or expanded within a couple of weeks (though most still remain at stub level). So it's not entirely untested assumptions, though (of course) I don't have a "control group" to compare it to. As to the advertising of stubs, that's already done regularly via WikiProjects and user talk pages. Grutness...wha? 22:06, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
That's interesting data, I have just done some work on stubs SmackBot edited in 2009, and a significant proportion of them have not been touched since - so that's some kind of a control. But again that is an impression, not a hard figure, and we don't know what biases my be in either sample. Rich Farmbrough, 16:18, 10 February 2011 (UTC).
True, it's more anecdotal evidence than good hard facts, but it is perhaps indicative. I've also no indication of how frequently those articles were being edited before I changed/added the stub templates. Grutness...wha? 22:27, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

Two blank lines prior to stub templates - revisited

I made a change change to this guideline, removing the requirement to have two blank lines before stub templates, and was reverted on the argument that the outcome of this archived discussion was not I as I think. I find that very arguable. See also this discussion, where two blank lines was said to give "the desired spaceing". This is precisely what I contest. I think the outcome of the old discussion here was that such spacing is not deemed necessary by most. Your opinions please. Debresser (talk) 09:57, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

IMO the instruction is probably not needed, but since it's already been in place for so long it's better to just leave it in. However, if you want to get rid of the 2 blank lines requirement then it's better to just remove that sentence altogether, instead of changing the requirement to 1 blank line, as then we'd be getting thousands of useless edits by users and/or bots wanting to make articles conform to this new rule. -- œ 10:23, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
That (removing any specific requirement altogether) is also fine with me. Although the best thing in my opinion is to be clear about it and change the requirement to one, and just agree to not make any special efforts, apart from changing it in AWB. Debresser (talk) 13:24, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
There are no users or bots making edits to put them in, so your statement seems without merit. Rich Farmbrough, 13:45, 1 March 2011 (UTC).
I think you have to look at stubs templates which use "tall" icons, which butt up against navboxes in an unsightly manner. Years ago users caught loads of flack for formatting without two blank lines. And the same used to apply to navboxes until CSS was changed, you can still see (some quite snarky) HTML comments in many articles, designed to preserve those blank lines. Rich Farmbrough, 13:45, 1 March 2011 (UTC).
Do we have an example? Debresser (talk) 14:49, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
Who can change the CSS, btw? Debresser (talk) 14:50, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
I agree, a double space is not needed. -- Basilicofresco (msg) 12:00, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
Some things do look bad with only one line in between but I've never seen an example of something that would exist in an article. Perhaps the specific stub templates that need an extra line should include the line as part of the template? McLerristarr | Mclay1 15:18, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
The stub template with tallest image that I know of is {{Chile-geo-stub}} (if it were normal height it'd be too narrow to see). On Iquique Province it's given two blank lines beforehand, on Laguna del Laja National Park just one; Laja Lake has none. I don't think that being without a gap is such a big problem. --Redrose64 (talk) 16:57, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
Definitely not. That stub template with only one blank line looks fine to me. Debresser (talk) 22:31, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
WP:FOOTERS states that the order is navboxes, ..., categories, stubs, interlanguage links (ILLs). Since no article should be uncategorised, there will always be some cats, and so stubs shouldn't be butting against the navboxes unless the article doesn't comply with MOS in at least these respects (the aforementioned Laguna del Laja National Park has the stubs before the cats, whereas Laja Lake has the navbox after the cats). I don't actually see why two blank lines are needed as opposed to one; an argument in the past was that this made it easier for bots to detect the stubs, but any well-written bot should be able to detect a stub template anywhere regardless of whether there are two, one or no blank lines before it. Personally, when editing article for a different reason, and I encounter stubs placed before the cats, I move them to between the cats and ILLs; if there is no blank line before the stubs, I insert one; if there are three or more, I reduce to two: But when I find either one or two blank lines, I neither add nor remove.
So: don't change explicit "two blank lines" to explicit "a blank line", change it to "either one or two blank lines". That'll forestall the useless-edit mob. --Redrose64 (talk) 16:57, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
I'm not sure that we need this for appearance to the reader, but I think it is helpful in the edit box. A double blank line serves as a subtle indication that the (new) editor has reached the end of the article, and what follows can be ignored. Also, it helps less experienced people get things into the right place, especially with external links. Without it, the latest addition to ==External links== tends to show up underneath a navbox.
Redrose's "one or two blank lines" works for me. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:59, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
Personally, I prefer two blank lines, although I'm not sure that it's so critical that we need to mandate it. I think it helps signal, "The article is now over. What follows is templates and categories." This is particularly useful to less experienced editors. The point isn't to make the article display differently, but to make editing easier for humans.
For the same reason, I also prefer labeling what follows as <!-- Categories --> and such. I remember that when I was a newbie, I briefly thought that {{Foo}} and [[Category:Foo]] were redundant. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:53, 1 March 2011 (UTC) (moved from Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (layout) by Redrose64 (talk) 17:37, 1 March 2011 (UTC))
I think that "signaling" the end of the article per se, is a bad reason to have a double blank line. Especially since many articles have no stub templates at all... Debresser (talk) 22:31, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
  • I would definitely not change the guideline to "one space". The examples given above for Chile, are inapposite as they all have a template box before them that may vitiate any potential problems. Although it seems, that with a long article (past the info box) and without the template box at the bottom, the system makes extra space for the starting line, at least in my browser. Older browsers may still have a problem. --Bejnar (talk) 22:07, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
I chose them precisely because they had a navbox before them: please see Rich Farmbrough's post of 13:45, 1 March 2011. --Redrose64 (talk) 22:23, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
Compare one blank line with two blank lines. I don't think the former looks bad. Having categories between the text and the stub template makes no difference. However, with a navbox, it does look too bunched up with one space but two spaces looks too far apart. McLerristarr | Mclay1 04:03, 2 March 2011 (UTC)
We have fiercely disagreed on another subject, but in this case you and I are of one mind completely. Debresser (talk) 09:08, 2 March 2011 (UTC)
Some earlier tests (play with the page if you wish). And yes a half-line would be ideal. Or ditching the icons... Rich Farmbrough, 19:20, 2 March 2011 (UTC).

[Parenthetical note:One blank line will display the same as zero blank lines, an uncategorised stub with a defaultsort will have too much space, however this is likely to be a temporary and rare occurrence] Rich Farmbrough, 19:29, 2 March 2011 (UTC).

Stubbing existing articles: seeking precedent

Over at Wikipedia_talk:Requests_for_comment/Jagged_85#Tag_for_stubbed_pages? we're discussing what to do about some articles that need stubbing due to long-term pollution. I think we want a tag, something like "This is a stubbed version of a much longer article that was found to have problems. You may see the earlier version at []. Please help us rebuild it". Is there any precedent for this? William M. Connolley (talk) 10:14, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

Usual method is to simply stub the article as normal but to also make a note on the talk page to say that there was a longer article, with a link to the article history showing the earlier material. There should probably be a separate template (additional to the stub template) which can go at the top or bottom of the article saying that (I've made a prototype of the sort of thing I mean at User:Grutness/Shortened). Grutness...wha? 10:45, 5 April 2011 (UTC)