Wikipedia talk:Substub

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Initial discussion[edit]

I created this type of stub because I saw a reference to it on Wikipedia:Find or fix a stub and thought that it needed to become official. Mike Storm 02:36, 21 Jul 2004 (UTC)

These should just be deleted. All the examples on the page (from a quick glance) fall under speedy deletion reason #4. Of course expanding anything into an article is good, if something is so poor that it requires being labeled as a substub instead of a stub, just put {{delete}} at the top. Maximus Rex 04:52, 21 Jul 2004 (UTC)
We're not really in the business of trying to delete what can become articles - it's better to start on the process of improving them while using them as Google-bait. For patent nonesense and vandalism I changed the deletion link to speedy deletions, because that's what they qualify for. Jamesday 13:13, 21 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Actually, none of those examples fall under speedy deletion reason #4. Quote from speedy deletion reason #4:
"Very short pages with little or no definition or context (e.g., "He is a funny man that has created Factory and the Hacienda. And, by the way, his wife is great.")".
That falls under the category of patent nonsense. While substubs are indeed very short pages, very few of them are patent nonsense. Even though Example #2 on the Wikipedia:substub page features a strange and inaccurate definition, it is not just patent nonsense, and can be easily corrected and expanded upon. Let me reiterate: Speedy deletion reason #4 only applies to patent nonsense. -- Mike Storm 16:00, 21 Jul 2004 (UTC)
The deletion section gives just two examples: "If the subject of the substub is patent nonsense or vandalism". Both of those are speedy deletion candidates: patent nonsense is 1 and pure vandlism is 2 in the list of speedy deletion candidates. However, I have considerable reservations about the use of a link to speedy deletions in the substub message - I don't think it's wise because I don't think that substubs are really deletion candidates - they seem more like small stubs to me. Jamesday 11:35, 23 Jul 2004 (UTC)
What gave you the idea that it only applies to patent nonsense? Case #1 is "patent nonsense". Case #4 is "no definition or context". One is not dependent on the other. Substub example #2 is a good example of speedy deletion Case #4. -- Cyrius| 18:34, 22 Jul 2004 (UTC)
"Little or no definition or context" is just another way of saying "patent nonsense". The Speedy deletion case #4 example would be impossible to improve, expand, or correct, because it's impossible to discern what the article is talking about. Substub example #2 has a definition (albeit an incorrect one, but that can be fixed) and context (you know what the article is talking about without even looking at the article title). Therefore, substubs should not be speedily deleted. I'd also like to refer you to the deletion section of the substub page. [[User:Mike Storm|Mike Storm (Talk)]] 20:05, 22 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Patent nonsense is "George Bush is a great demon come to devour our souls! With chocolate!". No context is "George Bush was born in 1946". Completely different. One is a candidate for speedy deletion because it is actively bad, and the other because it is useless. If you want to change speedy deletion policy so that this is not the case, then you're welcome to try. But don't claim that it is not current policy. -- Cyrius| 00:43, 23 Jul 2004 (UTC)
An "actively bad" page is simply vandalism. Patent nonsense is exactly what the name implies - nonsense that isn't any use to anyone. Speedy deletion case #4 is a type of nonsense. "George Bush was born it 1946" is a perfectly legitimate substub, useful, and should not be deleted because it has context (George Bush!) and definition (he was born in 1946!). Even with that simple sentence, an amazing article can be made. It's much easier to expand one sentence than to start completely from scratch. Also, I don't recall a speedy deletion case involving "useless" pages, and that's because you don't deleted pages simply because you think that they're useless. One person's trash is another persons treasure. And furthermore, I am not a policy-changer, and I resent being called that. [[User:Mike Storm|Mike Storm (Talk)]] 12:40, 23 Jul 2004 (UTC)
You disagree with the currently accepted interpretation of the policy, and that's okay. But what I am describing is how things are done. If you want the policy to fit your interpretation, you will have to change it, because otherwise admins are going to go right on speedy deleting substubs under Case #4. -- Cyrius| 16:46, 23 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Are you even reading my posts? I do not disagree with the policy. Our interpretations are merely different. I have no intention of changing the policy. And no, your interpretation of the policy is not the "currently accepted" one, and claiming that it is without proof is evidence of a swelled head. Sorry about the insult, but I've been defending against criticisms for several days now and I get ticked off when someone doesn't even bother to read my posts. [[User:Mike Storm|Mike Storm (Talk)]] 17:01, 23 Jul 2004 (UTC)
If you want evidence, read the Wikipedia:deletion log. I see dozens of them, including one that is almost identical to the example I gave: "10:05, 23 Jul 2004 Hadal deleted "Tahj Mawory" (content was: 'Date of birth (location) 17 May 1987 Honolulu, Hawaii, USA')". It's evidence of current practice at the very least. And you would do well to back off on the insults, buddy. -- Cyrius| 18:43, 23 Jul 2004 (UTC)
And you would do well to actually read someone's posts, and I find not doing so much more offensive than a direct insult. "Tahj Mawory" was deleted because, while it did have a definition (of a sort), it had no context. Therefore, it was rightfully deleted. I said that quite a while ago. You can give me a hundred more examples of short pages that were deleted, and I can tell you why they were not substubs and therefore were rightfully deleted. Substubs, however, should not be deleted. I'd like to refer you to Wikipedia:Shortpages, where there's more than a hundred substubs and only a few that should really be deleted. [[User:Mike Storm|Mike Storm (Talk)]] 19:23, 24 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I think tagging substubs is a nice alternative for the anti-deletionists, but I also think that the people using that template need to be aware that there a large number of people who will disagree with it and simply delete such pages. However, there are many pages that come very close to be CSDs but just hang around unimproved forever so it could be useful for those. However, I'm not sure if this just duplicates what the Special:Shortpages list already tells you. Angela. 18:59, Jul 22, 2004 (UTC)

I agree, Wikipedia:Shortpages does indeed list what are usually considered substubs. However, not many people actually go to Wikipedia:Shortpages. But if someone sees the boilerplate message {{substub}} at the bottom of a page:
This article is a substub. A substub is even smaller than a normal stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.
Then it practically shouts, "Hey! This page need to be fixed and expanded!" Try comparing how many people edit the pages listed on Wikipedia:Shortpages to how many people see that message and directly edit the page from there. My point (if I'm being unclear): a lot more people will see that boilerplate message than will go to the Wikipedia:Shortpages page. That's why substubs are necessary. [[User:Mike Storm|Mike Storm (Talk)]] 20:17, 22 Jul 2004 (UTC)
I'm not convinced people will be more likely to edit them here than they would at Wikipedia:Shortpages. The only advantage might be having them as a category means people are more likely to find them than they would be to find the Wikipedia:Shortpages list. As the stubs category has become so large that it's useless, there isn't any harm in splitting substubs off into their own category. Angela. 03:13, Jul 23, 2004 (UTC)
The category and the use of caps in the edit comment might attract the attention of those willing to convert the substub into an introduction to the subject. The one disadvantage I see is that I can think of one admin who might delete these on sight even though the use of the tag means another wikipedian has opined that they aren't suitable for instant deletion. Jamesday

For possible copyvios I suggested a rewrite rather than a copyvio report. The definition of substub implies that the text is going to be so short that it's very likely to be so generic that it's uncopyrightable (lack of originality). Better a quick rewrite than the overhead of a possible copyvio listing when it's probably not a copyvio. Of course, this will sometimes not apply - sometimes there can be something really short which is creative rather than generic. But in this category, that seems unlikely to happen much. I suggested a SUBSTUB at the start of the edit comment so RC watchers can quickly pounce and expand these to stubs if that's possible. Jamesday 13:13, 21 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Yeah, adding something like SUBSTUB or {{substub}} into the edit comment after marking them would be a good way to get them expanded faster. That should probably become standard for substubs. If you use {{substub}}, you just need to copy/paste it from the text. Also, since the page so short, there's really no need for anything in addition to it in the edit comment. siroχo 19:35, Jul 23, 2004 (UTC)
There are certainly some "substub" articles that deserve expanding rather than deleting. In fact, I have added the new boilerplate to Metal/punk and the article looks genuine enough and probably has potential for expansion. Dieter Simon 23:21, 23 Jul 2004 (UTC)


See also Template talk:Substub#Voting

What are we voting on? Whether or not there should be substubs? Whether we should have a tag for them? Whether or not the current tag is good? Whether the tag should be on the article page itself? anthony (see warning) 18:54, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I second anthony's above questions. In the absence of unambiguous clarification what this vote is about, it can only be considered null and void. Ropers 19:02, 9 Sep 2004 (UTC)

The question is whether or not substubs should exist or be deleted. [[User:Mike Storm|MikeStorm]] 16:27, 11 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Substub support[edit]

Please add your name here:

  1. Mike Storm
  2. Ilyanep (Talk) 18:17, 22 Jul 2004 (UTC)
  3. siroχo (see #Why the hate?)
  4. Jamesday 11:35, 23 Jul 2004 (UTC) - I support it as a way to highlight stubs which are more in need of work than others.
  5. Phil | Talk 13:47, Jul 23, 2004 (UTC) - A lot of "stubs" are too big for my threshold for the stub link colour (500 characters IIRC) so this might be a good idea
  6. Acegikmo1 20:16, 23 Jul 2004 (UTC)
  7. Dieter Simon 23:21, 23 Jul 2004 (UTC)
  8. Eequor 18:39, 3 Aug 2004 (UTC)
  9. Why not? Neutrality 02:49, 10 Aug 2004 (UTC)
  10. ··gracefool | 06:38, 10 Aug 2004 (UTC)
  11. Rossumcapek 18:10, 10 Aug 2004 (UTC)
  12. Dmn / Դմն 00:34, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC)
  13. CHL Substubs should rarely be allowed to exist, but if someone refuses to take 20 seconds to google the subject (I'm looking at you, Mike Storm), there should be a category for them.
  14. Andre 21:55, 13 Sep 2004 (UTC)
  15. • Benc • In a way, I wish we could delete substubs on sight; massive numbers of articles like "A horse is a type of animal with hooves." degrade the quality of the wiki, no question about it. However, most substubs are good faith efforts by relatively new editors. In the interests of not biting the newcomers, the civil solution is to (1) keep adding the {{substub}} tag and (2) drop the substub disease-infected editor a boilerplate note on their talk page asking them to put more thought into their contributions. Well-meaning users will soon come to their senses and the truly bad apples will inevitably get themselves blocked for vandalism. Substubs from the former group will be expanded by the abashed editor; substubs from the latter group can be safely deleted. • Benc • 05:46, 16 Oct 2004 (UTC)
  16. --Sketchee 00:28, Nov 29, 2004 (UTC) I think it's useful. For many of these short stubs, clicking "What links here" will quickly tell you if they do in fact have context and if the stub is appropriate for the context. A dozen articles linking to an exandable stub may or may not be better than a red link depending on your point of view; I'd rather have the short stub. When Googling topics and finding little tidbits of information on tangent subjects that deserve a page, putting that information on the new page is a start. Expecting an individual to fully explore each and every one of those tangents is both unreasonable and defeats the purpose of the wikipedia concept. Substubs as a subcategory does brings attention to the fact that wikipedia is incomplete, but at least it'd be more complete than before. All that said, substubs should become stubs as quickly as possible; for that matter, stubs should become full articles as quickly as possible and and articles should become more complete as quickly as possible. It's a process and will be a long one.
  17. [[User:Frazzydee|Frazzydee|]] 23:14, 9 Dec 2004 (UTC): Something is better than nothing. I don't think we should discourage these pages, as people often don't want to say more, although it can be expanded upon. If it can't be expanded and it will always be a substub, then maybe it deserves to go to VfD, but I see nothing wrong with substubs...they can usually be expanded upon at least to a stub, and if not, then it's either not notable or better than nothing.
  18. -- AllyUnion (talk) 03:15, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC) : As project lead of stub sorting on the Wikipedia, I have something to say. The project for stub sorting was created for the purpose of cutting down the stub category. I firmly stand behind this, and I support the substub template for the reason that it helps to reduce the stub category. The stub category isn't used because there are far too many stub articles, which is why the stub sorting project began. The shortpages aren't always updated, and the Wikipedia is always changing. One of the reasons I think the substub template is useful is that you have editors who go around marking substubs. Even if this is mindless or they have a robot doing this, a person who is the RC patrol, or always looking out for speedy candidates can look at all the substubs and determine which ones need to be deleted. The issue it seems to me, is that the template: 1) deters from the original stub template; 2) is useless; 3) disrupts the page or is spam. My reply to that is: 1) There are already categorization of stubs, short short articles just means they might require a bit more attention or determine whether they need to be deleted; 2) I do not think it is useless, because it is helping to cut down the use of the stub template; 3) This same argument has been made for stub templates in general. One person's criteria for being notable is not the same as another person's criteria for being notable. Besides, "Wiki is not paper"


  • Much to my amazement, I have seen a few miserable-looking stubs...blossom into real articles. Viajero
  • A short stub does no harm. Fred Bauder
  • I get enjoyment from creating stubs. Honestly, I think that something is better than nothing. Tim Chambers
  • I don't see a one-line stub as a waste of time; that's more than was there before. Have faith, eventually they'll improve. Meeler

[[User:Mike Storm|MikeStorm]] 14:33, 4 Aug 2004 (UTC)

These quotes are out of context. They are referring to stubs, not the idea of substubs. --Mysteronald 10:36, 25 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Since substubs are a type of stub, and these quotes are referring to small stubs, they are perfectly appropriate. [[User:Mike Storm|MikeStorm]] 16:20, 25 Sep 2004 (UTC)
My point is that these quotes are showing support for the idea of short stubs. Note they are talking about stubs which are short (which I agree are great things), not substubs as distinct objects (which I think are confusing and pointless). They don't actually say a thing about substubs. --Mysteronald 14:29, 26 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Substub opposition[edit]

Please add your name.

  1. anthony (see warning) 18:54, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC) I'm not sure what I'm opposing, but hey, I'll oppose it anyway.
  2. Dunc_Harris| 15:11, 3 Aug 2004 (UTC)
  3. Jallan 13:28, 5 Aug 2004 (UTC) No substubs. Discourage creation of substubs by blowing them away. If someone doesn't know enough about a topic to write more than a substub, then that person shouldn't be creating an article.
  4. Cyrius| 13:58, 5 Aug 2004 (UTC) -- Substubs are by definition useless. If they were useful, they'd be stubs.
    Everyone should note that the glossary states that substubs are short stubs, but does not define them as useless. Whether they should be marked differently is another matter, however. siroχo 01:10, Aug 7, 2004 (UTC)
    Everyone should also note that Wikipedia:Find or fix a stub says substubs are possible candidates for speedy deletion due to lack of definition or context. -- Cyrius| 01:36, 7 Aug 2004 (UTC)
    Then all I can say is that Wikipedia:Find or fix a stub should be amended. This speedy deletion business is a bit too much like trigger-happiness. Just to repeat my earlier reminder, look at Metal/punk, all you young Wikipedians, have a go at adding content to that and teach this Oldie what it is all about. I tell you there are lots of websites out there discussing what it is all about, how it differentiates between (Heavy) Metal and Punk, and who are the leading exponents of this particular genre. Dieter Simon 00:06, 8 Aug 2004 (UTC)
  5. John Kenney What Cyrius said. By definition, a substub is useless. The things you are describing are just short stubs, and should be marked as stubs.
    You're right - they are short stubs. But because they are so short is the reason that they should be given the extra attention that the {{substub}} message and the ideas stated on Wikipedia:Substub brings. [[User:Mike Storm|MikeStorm]] 15:35, 5 Aug 2004 (UTC)
  6. I initially thought this was a bad idea that would simply die a natural death. Unfortunately, it has now become an overly personalized controversy. I see no principle by which we should distinguish a substub from a "normal" stub, and I don't think there are any benefits to creating such an additional classification. Certainly not all so-called substubs are candidates for speedy deletion, but tagging them one way or the other won't have much to do with whether they get deleted or not. --Michael Snow 21:23, 5 Aug 2004 (UTC)
    The point of tagging them as substubs is so that they recieve extra care, loving attention, and expansion. [[User:Mike Storm|MikeStorm]] 21:30, 5 Aug 2004 (UTC)
    Is there any indication that tagging something as a substub rather than a plain old stub actually brings it any extra care and attention? If we pile up enough substubs, they will be just as neglected as most stubs currently are. --Michael Snow 21:38, 5 Aug 2004 (UTC)
    Well, if most people accept that substubs need more attention than regular stubs, then the philosophy will change and then they will get more attention. [[User:Mike Storm|MikeStorm]] 15:50, 6 Aug 2004 (UTC)
    Most people do accept that bits of food littered on the street need more attention than good food of one wants to make a gourmet meal out of it. But why bother trying to make a meal out of litter? Blow the litter away and start fresh with good ingrediants. Don't encourage the attitude that if someone puts anything into Wikipedia, no matter how useless, someone else will fix it up. There's too much of that, by which the litterer sets the agenda for others. Encouraging littering creates a new opening for trolling. A substub may need attention to grow, but most substubs don't deserve it. They are only litter, dropped by the inconsiderate or ignorant, unless Wikipedians capable of creating good articles want their agenda to be set by substub creators. Jallan 17:00, 6 Aug 2004 (UTC)
    I do not want people to create substubs, I merely want them to fix up the ones that already exist, as well as the continual stream of new substubs (unless they really are candidates for speedy deletion). However, you brought up a good point, and I'll add a section to Wikipedia:Substub discouraging the creation of substubs (they should instead make regular stubs). [[User:Mike Storm|MikeStorm]] 17:14, 6 Aug 2004 (UTC)
    The best way to discourage creation of substubs is to blow them away when they are created, not to attempt to discourage them by yet another Wikipedia mock policy that will be ignored since there is no penalty for ignoring it. Now if anyone who created more than three substubs in a 24 hour period was blocked for 24 hours, that might be a reason for the category to exist. No-one should be creating any articles so short with the idea that someone else will fix then do all the work. Wikipedia is replete now with poor articles and inaccurate articles and true stub articles (quite different from many decent short articles someone has labeled as a stub but can stand quite well as they are). It is those that should be getting attention before short articles of one or two sentences, sentences which don't help if you know nothing about the subject and don't help if you know a lot about the subject, because you will already have that information (or more correct information) or you couldn't expand the substubs. I see no point in keeping substubs. Jallan 21:42, 6 Aug 2004 (UTC)
    I'll say what I've said before: they are not useless. Their uses include a) Google-bait, b) at least a little info, c) it is much easier to expand a substub, no matter how small, than to start one from scratch, d) if a newcomer sees:
    This article is a substub, the first step on the way to becoming a full article. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.
    then what is that newbie likely to do? Edit the page, and he (or she) thereby does two things: 1) expands the page, and 2) becomes a new Wikipedian :-)! Also, deleting pages as soon as they are created, without a vote (unless they are vandalism), is so against our current deletion policy that the ideas contained in your post seem astounding. [[User:Mike Storm|MikeStorm]] 23:57, 6 Aug 2004 (UTC)
  7. Kate | Talk 06:52, 2004 Aug 6 (UTC)
  8. Noisy 12:57, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)
  9. pstudier 00:17, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC), Don't need substub, stub is sufficient.
  10. Neilc 06:59, 20 Aug 2004 (UTC) I agree with Pstudier, and most of the other arguments posted in opposition to substubs.
  11. ==Mysteronald 10:30, 25 Sep 2004 (UTC) Either something is a 'stub', or it is a 'candidate for deletion'. Substubs just confuse matters. This seems to have turned into a personal debate fuelled by a single user.
  12. Brianjd 05:48, Oct 15, 2004 (UTC) Substubs are just the latest complication to hit Wikipedia. Soon only lawyers will be able to maintain it. Well, not the latest complication. But certainly the latest complication I've heard of.
  13. Terminate substubs on sight. →Raul654 05:50, Oct 15, 2004 (UTC)
  14. If it's short but useful it's a stub. If it's short but useless — delete it. Gadykozma 10:27, 29 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Most substubs are created by inexperienced users. They add nothing to Wikipedia, their minimal content usually being covered elsewhere. They create blue links that users will follow, only to be disappointed and annoyed by lack of content, and this is particularly true of new users and lurkers. It is better to have a red link to these pages, which makes users aware of their non-existent content, and which are as easy to create from scratch as substubs. It is best therefore to offer them to Wikipedia:Cleanup:cleanup, and if and when they have run through the required month without improvement, then listed on votes for deletion. Alternatively, one may consider redirecting them; a user then may create a proper stub out of them later, whilst preserving page history. Googlebombing should be not an issue; Wikipedia is top of many Google searches anyhow, and substubs create a bad impression.

(In reply to Duncharris' deleted post) They are not useless. Their uses include a) Google-bait, b) at least a little info, c) it is much easier to expand a substub, no matter how small, than to start one from scratch, d) if a newcomer sees:
This article is a substub, the first step on the way to becoming a full article. You can help by expanding it.
then what is that newbie likely to do? Edit the page, and he (or she) thereby does two things: 1) expands the page, and 2) becomes a new Wikipedian :-)! [[User:Mike Storm|MikeStorm]] 15:52, 3 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Oh, and by the way, Duncharris, that was not a rant, as you described it in your edit summary. Nor was it obscure, as I am directly replying to what you said. Just because I have an opposing viewpoint does not mean that I'm ranting. And, um... why did you only move my post, when by your rules, your post should be moved too? Also, if you have an opinion about something, then please post it on the talk page instead of your edit summary. [[User:Mike Storm|MikeStorm]] 18:35, 3 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I'm getting annoyed, Duncharris. Stop rearranging other peoples' posts. You are free to do what you wish with your own, although it is considered (or rather, I consider it) impolite to delete your post unless it is a flame. Also, please sign your posts. You can do this by inserting four tildes (~~~~) at the end of your post. However, you are the second Wikipedian to mention a newcomer questioning the quality of information in Wikipedia, and I have changed Template:Substub in order to reflect that. [[User:Mike Storm|MikeStorm]] 14:09, 4 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Duncharris, this is it. You seem to misunderstand the purpose of talk pages. The point of a talk page is to express your POV. I would again like to remind you to post your opinion on the talk page itself instead of the edit summary. Furthermore, just because you don't like my posts does not give you the right to call them "rambling" and rearrange them in any way you please. People arrange their posts themselves, and they arrange them in a specific way for a reason. I do not appreciate you rearranging an entire talk page; while you did not delete my posts, you rearranged them in an obscure section of the talk page. Please stop it. [[User:Mike Storm|MikeStorm]] 18:01, 4 Aug 2004 (UTC)

More talk[edit]

Err...can we mark our opposition to this idea? It seems to me that if an article is so short as to be useless, it is perfectly appropriate to delete it. If somebody wants to write an article on the subject, of course they should feel free, but the substub is so short that there's no real reason to preserve it even in such a case. john k 17:01, 24 Jul 2004 (UTC)

It's much easier to expand an article, even a substub, than it is to start one from scratch. That makes them very useful. Why do you feel, then, that substubs shouldn't be preserved and given the chance to be expanded? [[User:Mike Storm|Mike Storm (Talk)]] 19:23, 24 Jul 2004 (UTC)

It's much easier to expand a stub. A substub is so worthless as to make it completely indifferent whether you build upon it or start from scratch. Or else it is a stub, and not a substub (as some of the examples listed on the main page are). john k 12:59, 26 Jul 2004 (UTC)

  • Stub:James Madison was the 4th President of the United States (1809-1817) and is considered the Father of the U.S. Constitution.
    • Comment: This provides useful context, and, while short, can be built into a useful article. It should be marked with a {{stub}}, but is otherwise fine
  • Substub:James Madison was very short.
    • Comment: This is worthless - it would be just as easy to start from scratch as to use this as the basis for an article. It should be quick deleted.

john k 12:59, 26 Jul 2004 (UTC)

You're right -- it is rather worthless. However, isn't it easier to simply add information to a page, no matter how small, than it is to start one from scratch? Most people label starting a page as 'difficult', while they label adding info to a page 'easy'. Besides, as Jamesday said, small pages are great Google-bait. [[User:Mike Storm|Mike Storm (Talk)]] 01:57, 27 Jul 2004 (UTC)
That Google finds them is a good reason to delete them. A person coming in and finding "James Madison was very short" will form a bad opinion of Wikipedia. This will likely be worse than finding "Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this name." -- Cyrius| 02:59, 27 Jul 2004 (UTC)

My opinion is short of support, but I do not oppose those who want to use the substubs template and category to try to fix them. However, as has been pointed out above by a few others, they should not be upset to find that other Wikipedians decided to speedily delete a substub. Personally, if I come across a poorly formed substub that is embarassingly incomplete (like "James Madison was very short."), which I do not have the inclination or resources to research and improve, my preference is to delete it. There is no shortage of things to improve in Wikipedia, so whether it shows up as a substub or as a red link makes little difference--but I find the mere existence of an embarassingly short substub does not reflect well on the quality of information in WP. So in sum, I wish you well in your efforts to improve WP, but please don't get upset when someone else sees a substub as a candidate for speedy deletion. olderwiser 15:42, 28 Jul 2004 (UTC)

As I said before, the point of substubs is to point them out so that they can be fixed. If you do not have the time or energy to expand them, then tag it with {{substub}} and let someone else take care of it. However, you raise a very good point about the quality of information in Wikipedia, and I am going to amend Template:substub to reflect that. By the way, I'm not crying about people deleting small pages if that is their personal opinion, but I would like to convince them otherwise if they are doing it recklessly. [[User:Mike Storm|Mike Storm (Talk)]] 22:02, 28 Jul 2004 (UTC)
James Madison, what is all this talk about James Madison about? Nobody in their right mind would write an article "James Madison was very short" unless he was an outright vandal, and that would be in itself a good enough reason to deleted it, especially with this nicely-rounded article "James Madison" already being in existence. Why indeed don't you look at real "substub" articles such as Metal/punk and see what you can make of that one. There are loads of websites out there about it in Google and Yahoo, so it would be worth your while having a go at. Dieter Simon 00:33, 1 Aug 2004 (UTC)
"James Madison was very short" isn't a substub, it's patent nonsense. The average person would go to the James Madison article to get useful info about him, not to find out that he was very short. While this statement might belong somewhere in the article, it cannot stand alone as even a substub because it is irrelevant to the main topic. If an editor cannot find a better thing to write when creating an article other than "James Madison was very short", then he/she obviously does not know enough about the subject to create such an article. Either that, or he/she is an outright vandal as said above, as it is embarrassingly obvious to the vast majority of users that "James Madison was very short" is not a satisfactory article. 09:10, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

Discussion from the village pump[edit]

A new type of stub has been created: it's called a substub. Substubs are like regular stubs, only even smaller. You can read more about the difference between stubs and substubs here, or view examples of stubs vs. substubs. There is also a new substub template message; the new message is meant to replace the normal stub message, but only where, of course, an article is a substub instead of a stub. The new message looks like:

This article is a substub! If it is not expanded soon, it may be deleted.

You can use this new message by either replacing {{stub}} with {{substub}} in cases when a stub is more accurately described as a substub, or simply inserting {{substub}} at the bottom of an article. Many substubs are automatically listed on Wikipedia:Shortpages. You can discuss this new type of stub here, on the template message's talk page, or, preferably, on the substub talk page itself. -- Mike Storm 03:10, 21 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Nice. When do we get {{subsubstub}}? ;-) Chris 73 | Talk 04:31, 21 Jul 2004 (UTC)
A subsubstub is any article with fewer than 14 characters including any messages. Adding {{subsubstub}} would put it over this limit; thus such a message isn't needed! :-) --gadfium 04:41, 21 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Actually, I believe the proper boilerplate for {{subsubstub}} is {{delete}} (; siroχo 07:28, Jul 21, 2004 (UTC)
{{delete}} - Yes, that's less than 14 characters, so we can use this. Now what do we write in the last 4 characters for a {{delete}} subsubstub? ;-)
"coke" (sans quotes of course) :-) Ilyanep (Talk) 20:20, 22 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Wouldn't it be cool if the contents of a template could be overridden on a per-user basis, like we do with the style sheets and javascript. Then I could blank templates like {{stub}} and {{substub}} because I don't find them useful (I can see that it's a short article, ok!) but others who like these messages for whatever reason can still see them. Whatlinkshere etc would still work as they do now. Pcb21| Pete 07:23, 21 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Good idea, like class='urlexpansion' for a text that may or may not be displayed.--Patrick 10:09, 21 Jul 2004 (UTC)
I think you could get that effect by editing Template:stub, enclosing the text in <div class="template" id="stub">...</div> and then putting div.template#stub { display: none; } into your monobook.css. I didn't dare try that one out on the live Template:stub, though, but a test using Template:testing showed that it works for the display. However, Template:testing has a link to User:Lupo/temp (a test page of mine), and "What links here" on User:Lupo/temp didn't show the page I had included "{{testing}}" on, only the template itself did. Is this normal, or are some templates (e.g. Template:stub) handled differently so that the pages including the template show up on "What links here" on Wikipedia:Perfect stub article? Oh, and BTW, could some admin please delete Template:testing again? Thanks. Lupo 11:34, 21 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Deleted Bmills 12:14, 21 Jul 2004 (UTC)
No, you are seeing the standard whatlinkshere behaviour for all templates. Thus I think this solution works. The only argument against it is that it complicates the wikitext when editing the template. When considering who edits template pages (experienced), I think this cost is worthwhile - obviously the talk page and an HTML comment will make clear what is happening. What do others think? Pcb21| Pete 12:11, 21 Jul 2004 (UTC)
These complexities can themselves be hidden in a template. See User:Pcb21/stub test and its includees. Pcb21| Pete 12:33, 21 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Fine, then let's go for it! (Frankly said, I don't think the two-stage template solution in any simpler than just adding a <div> around the text. But I don't care very much about such a minor implementation detail, both are fine with me.) Lupo 12:41, 21 Jul 2004 (UTC)

How about {{nanostub}}? Exploding Boy 07:44, Jul 21, 2004 (UTC)

Actually, if you go to Wikipedia:Shortpages, you'll see that there are no pages under 14 characters. I think the smallest right now is 46. -- Mike Storm 16:05, 21 Jul 2004 (UTC)

What exactly is this addition of another layer of complexity to the rules supposed to accomplish? You have a fancy new tag. Why? -- Cyrius| 22:45, 21 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I think this is really rather silly. It doesn't seem to accomplish anything useful, it's just over-categorization. Lady Lysiŋe Ikiŋsile | Talk 22:48, 2004 Jul 21 (UTC)

First topic: The whole idea is that substubs are in extreme need of improvement. Besides, while you complain about over-categorization, hundreds of other people scoff at Wikipedia and complain about how unorganized it is. Second topic: If you support the idea of having substubs, then please list your name on the substub talk page. Third topic: I have no plan to make a subsubstub. If anyone did, I would be against it. -- Mike Storm 00:03, 22 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Agreed. While many substubs (damn, you got me confused, I almost put subsubstub :0) may be candidates for speedy deletes, it's a very fine line. And these are the articles that need help the most (and are easiest for aspiring writers such as myself). While this may be overcategorizing, it is better than having thousands of articles @ 15 bytes Ilyanep (Talk) 20:20, 22 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Stubs include many articles where the article is clearly incomplete but still provides much useful information about the topic. Substubs seem like stubs which really need a bit more work. Highlighting the more deserving of attention group of stubs might be useful. Jamesday 11:35, 23 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Why the hate?[edit]

There seems to be boundless hatred for the idea of the {{substub}} template. This makes no sense. It doesn't harm Wikipedia, nobody's advocating creation of substubs, nobody wants to keep candidates for speedy deletion. Those in support of substubs simply want the ability to mark the articles that are in dire need of expansion. The fact that these articles are tougher to expand than stubs while being more in need of it is the reasoning behind marking them as such. While they are tougher to expand—because they don't have as much context—information as longer articles, keep in mind, for someone who knows somethign about the topic marked as a substub, all it will take is a sentence or two to expand it to stub level. This is not a collection of hopeless articles.

Now, as is inherent to wikis in general no Wikipedian is forced to improve or mark substubs. So, if you're so against allowing this template, one which can only serve to help Wikipedians improve Wikipedia (see above paragraph before picking that sentence fragment apart), tell me why some of us dedicated Wikipedians should be deprived of a tool that we feel is useful?
siroχo 00:34, Aug 7, 2004 (UTC)

This is of course my view, I can't speak for anyone else. Keeping a substub of the "James Madison was short" variety reduces the overall quality of Wikipedia vs it being a non-existent page. Note that Cleanup and the various stubs lists have pages that have been listed for weeks or months without help. There's no reason to expect a substub list to be any different. Thus, by marking them and keeping them around until someone gets to them (or doesn't), we increase the reduction of Wikipedia's overall quality. -- Cyrius| 00:54, 7 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Cyrius, the erroneous example "James Madison was short" was removed from the project page; such an article is actually a candidate for speedy deletion that I would not advocate keeping. Substubs are a type of stub, not an argument for keeping worse articles. There is no change in the speedy deletion policy due to substubs.

The argument for marking them as such is, quoting myself, "that these articles are tougher to expand than stubs while being more in need of it" (here I make a distinction between substubs and stubs for clarity, a distinction that is often made, but substubs remain a type of stub in the larger sense). I agree completely when you say that substubs might be "listed for weeks or months without help." However, as Wikipedia grows so does the number of stubs: shorter ones and longer ones alike. Why not give Wikipedians the tools to mark and find the ones that need the most help, that they may use them if they so choose?
siroχo 01:34, Aug 7, 2004 (UTC)

I think I've figured out what the problem is here. The definition of substub I've seen in use is not the "short stub" one. It is "an article which does not meet the qualifications for being a stub".
A stub is defined on Wikipedia:Find or fix a stub as being a short article which likely provides no more than trivial coverage of the subject. The people supporting seem to be focusing on the "short", and the people opposing seem to be more interested in the "trivial coverage". Hence the Madison example.
Assuming everyone's been talking past each other the whole time, I still oppose, but for different reasons. Extremely short stubs should be tagged as stubs instead of inventing a new classification with an arbitrary dividing line. It should be solved with a size-ordered list of stubs generated programmatically. -- Cyrius| 01:52, 7 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I would support such a list. However, I would also hope that the stub template could somehow reflect when stubs are in more need of help, so that visitors realize that it is shorter than the average stub. Half the point of the substub template is to mark them as worse than the average stub. Perhaps remove the new category, and use instead the list idea you suggested, but keep the new template (but include Category:Stub instead)? After all, expanding short stubs to long stubs is something we do want to encourage. Another option is to use some sort of priority variable on the stub template which would determine what message is placed, and using "if defined:" (or whatever it is), the normal stub message would be included if no priority was set? Several things to think about. siroχo 02:13, Aug 7, 2004 (UTC)

We already have Special:Shortpages (auto-generated) and Wikipedia:Offline reports/This is one of the shortest articles (created using SQL on a database dump). Send people who want to work on really small stubs there. All this substub rigmarole is just yet another category and list of stubs, with no useful way of defining the difference between substubs and "normal" stubs. After all, the concept of a stub itself is not precisely defined. Tagging something as a substub is no more likely to encourage improvement than tagging it as a stub. We'll just end up with two huge, practically useless categories instead of one. --Michael Snow 04:29, 7 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Further thought - for those wanting to use character counts to identify short stubs, the use of a {{substub}} template actually defeats the purpose, because it adds more characters than the {{stub}} template. --Michael Snow 17:12, 9 Aug 2004 (UTC)
That's actually helpful, because on pages like Special:Shortpages it helps identify which articles have the {{substub}} message and which ones don't. [[User:Mike Storm|MikeStorm]] (forgot signature originally)

Yes to short stubs, no to a category[edit]

Short stubs (IE, stubs that aren't candidates for speedy deletion, but are short) are fine.

Pages that aren't even short stubs are candidates for speedy deletion, which is fine.

A category to distinguish short stubs from long stubs serves no purpose. Martin 22:18, 8 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Agree. The definition of a substub primarily by size encourages people to mindlessly tag articles just because they're small. That doesn't make sense. What is it with this classification of all articles into swans, cygnets and eggs anyway? Animals come in all sizes. A hummingbird can be beautiful, even if it never outgrows the swan's egg. The swan's beauty is not in her size. IMHO, many articles in Wikipedia are already obese.

There are some topics that by their nature require only very little text. An example for this is Wing Luke Asian Museum. The article is useful even if it doesn't grow because it provides a hub for other links from or to pages such as Museums and galleries of Seattle or Asian Pacific American, and to the external official museum page, which probably defines the museum better than we all could. Sebastian 09:46, 2005 Feb 13 (UTC)


It's interesting to note that the Substub support list above was started without any corresponding Substub opposition list. Since that list has been added, the additions have almost all been to the opposition. Anyway, since we still don't seem to have a clear consensus, we are trying a survey on what to do with the substub template. See Template talk:Substub. --Michael Snow 21:20, 9 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Umm... no, not all the additions have been to the opposition list. And when I created the support vote, how did that prevent people from starting an opposition vote? [[User:Mike Storm|MikeStorm]] 19:59, 10 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Difference between sub and substub[edit]

Even after reading the explanation in this article, whether an article should be considered a sub vs. whether it should be considered a substub is still unclear to me. For example, is Richard Linklater a sub or a substub? It is barely two sentences long, but it has a filmography and an external link. Taco Deposit | Talk-o Deposit 20:31, Aug 25, 2004 (UTC)

That is a short stub as far as I'm concerned. A substub would be "Richar Linklater makes movies." -- Cyrius| 01:05, 26 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Obviously a stub. How about "Richard Linklater is an American film director, best known for his independent films"? ··gracefool | 03:02, 26 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Definitely a stub, although an improved description would be more useful than a filmography. [[User:Mike Storm|MikeStorm]] 23:49, 26 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Is "Richard Linklater is an American film director" a substub? ··gracefool | 13:36, 28 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Why should we not create substubs?[edit]

Isn't "An airplane is a flying maching." better than nothing. Why are definitions pages discouraged? Are they not a good way to start a full blown article? Making an article from scratch is daunting, but allowing small contributions make wikipedia that much more inviting.


My thoughts exactly. [[User:Mike Storm|MikeStorm]] 00:29, 28 Aug 2004 (UTC)
There is a lot of opposition to this idea, when the stubs or substubs in question are about fiction. I've created a proposal to clarify when fictional subjects deserve their own articles at Wikipedia:Articles about fiction, and welcome any contributions. ··gracefool | 13:36, 28 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Huh? Who's talking about fiction? "An airplane is a flying machine" isn't fiction. [[User:Mike Storm|MikeStorm]] 13:23, 29 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I agree with LegCircus and Mike∞Storm. There is no compelling reason for discouraging people from starting an article in good intention, however long or short it may be. ··gracefool (or anyone else) did not care enough anymore to follow up since last August. I therefore vote for deleting this section. — Sebastian 17:14, 2005 Mar 23 (UTC)

"Substub" should not mean "Short stub"[edit]

I have wanted to introduce substubs for a time, so I was delighted when I heard of this proposal. However, when I read it and looked at how it works so far, I see that it's not what I wanted at all.

This proposal tries to introduce an unnecessary differentiation between regular stubs and short stubs, which it calls "substubs". But "stub" already means "short article", so substub is a short short article. category:substubs is now full of short stubs that aren't going to get expanded any time soon and it is in fact just a short version of category:stubs, and just as useful.

OTOH, there are articles that are less than stubs - those that are just unwikified fragments of information. They are sub-standard in quality and as such reflect badly on wikipedia, therefore they should be corrected ASAP. When one is found, the best thing to do is to correct it, but that's not always possible - I know I always feel completely lost when I read a substub on an American athlete and have no idea how to turn it into a stub. In those cases, it would be genuinely useful if you could put them into category:substubs, which some nice hardworking editors would patrol and try to keep to a minimum.

How does that sound? Zocky 00:28, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Unfortunately, now that the definition of "substub" as it stands now is accepted by a significant number of Wikipedians, it's too late to change.
However, your idea certainly has merit! As an alternative, I'd suggest using Wikipedia:Stub categories, an idea that's been around for a while but hasn't received much publicity. • Benc • 01:01, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I think that is a really good point, • Benc. I've looked at the stub categories and I think that they are helpful for those of us who might not know all about various topics, but rather want to target our war against stubs (by expanding them) specifically by category. I'd like to see how this new idea from Zocky shakes out. --Jpittman 14:45, 1 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Is it really accepted by a significant number of wikipedians? Or is it accepted by, you know, Mike Storm? john k 16:18, 26 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Sigh. Read the voting sections on this page and on Template talk:Substub. [[User:Mike Storm|MikeStorm]] 20:44, 26 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Yes, I'd say it's more or less become part of WikiJargon, the definition of the word accepted even by those who believe that substubs should be deleted on sight instead of being tagged. For example: m:Substub disease. • Benc • 18:43, 26 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I don't think that the definition of a substub as a short stub has been accepted. People who think substubs should be deleted on sight obviously do not believe that ordinary short stubs are substubs - because short stubs clearly shouldn't be deleted on sight. john k 19:06, 26 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Inappropriateness of substubs[edit]

Substubs tend to be short for a reason... either because it is a future event with currently limited information (Power Rangers: SPD), which should be updated soon enough with the other stubs; the articles should be grouped or marked for deletion (Swazi embassy to Mozambique is surely a joke); can never be more than a definition (identically distributed) and possibly should be redirected or deleted rather than marked with substub; or gives all possible information (Ilia (Star Trek)). Anyone who marks something as a substub for special attention without giving it the simple attention it needs is not benefitting the community.

I think it's much more important to mark out stubs that might appear a bit longer (say, a paragraph or more - perhaps even a longer article not normally considered a 'stub') but which are missing more useful information. --Mysteronald 15:02, 26 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Defense of myself[edit]

I posted this on WP:RFA a while ago. This version is edited.

I'm wondering why everyone has been suddenly so against substubs for the last few months. Do you agree with the policies on Wikipedia:Find or fix a stub? I guess not, if you count the part where it mentions substubs. But, how long had that part about substubs been there before I created Wikipedia:Substub? A week? Two weeks? A month? If you check the page history, you'll find that the part about substubs was there for over seven months with zero objections. So one day, I decided to help out by creating a separate page, entirely devoted to defining what substubs are. Maybe I'll even create a template message! But once I created Wikipedia:Substub, woah! Grab your torches and pitchforks! Down with substubs! Down with the evil user (me) who created them! Apparently nobody's noticed that I did not create substubs; in fact, since the policies on Wikipedia:Find or fix a stub were accepted policies, substubs were already accepted by the Wikipedia community. I am tired of people holding the fact that I created Wikipedia:Substub and Template:Substub against me. Did anyone accept the edit made on Jan. 2, 2004, to Wikipedia:Find or fix a stub? I guess that everyone did, because the "substub" addition stayed there for seven months (and continues to stay there). And if you did, then you support substubs too. But how come there is such stiff and resentful resistance to the idea now, when two pages were created that were devoted to their definition and labelling? It seems just a tad unfair to me. So in the end, why did I create Wikipedia:Substub and Template:Substub? I was just trying to help.

P.S. - This will be labelled as a rant, even though it isn't. I guarantee it. [[User:Mike Storm|MikeStorm]] 21:03, 26 Sep 2004 (UTC)

According to the history that I've seen, the policy on substubs during the period you refer to read as -
A sub-stub is, informally, an extremely short article, shorter even than most dictionary entries. The term implies the information in the stub is insufficient or hard to interpret, e.g., "An airplane is a flying machine with wings," or "Douglas Adams was a famous author who has died in the United States". While stubs are legitimate and useful articles, sub-stubs can be considered otherwise, as they are sometimes confusing or misleading. They may therefore be deleted, depending on the situation.
This clearly states that the term is informal, and there is no indication that a category is valuable... indeed, it says that sub-stubs may be deleted, dependind on the situation. Otherwise there is no difference between a worthy stub article and a worthy 'sub-stub' article, so why categorise them differently? (Would you mind answering that directly, please, so that I can perhaps understand the point of this)
I don't have a problem with an 'informal' idea of a sub-stub, but I believe that having a separate category is not at all useful and might be detrimental to the community. That is why I am against the idea of formal substubs. --Mysteronald 22:26, 26 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I'll admit that the "old" definition was a bit different from the current one, but my point was that I was not the one who invented substubs, and the idea of them went unobjected (if that's a word) to for quite a long time before I formalized the idea. Anyway, if you don't that that a separate category is useful, then don't bother with it; I don't see at all how it would be detrimental. [[User:Mike Storm|MikeStorm]] 00:00, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)

If you admit that you have changed the definition, then you can't use the fact that the old definition went unobjected to for 7 months as evidence for anything about the current defintion which is clearly being objected to (in my opinion this argument would be without grounds anyway - plenty of things go unchecked for months). Again, there is objection to what you are currently using as a definition - what has happened in the past is irrelevant.
I object to articles being marked as substubs firstly because they don't appear on the stubs page where they should; because there is no useful reason to categorise them as such; because it is confusing for users - which category should an article go into?; because it is an awkward terminology; because it tells us nothing more and nothing useful about the content of an article other than the fact that it is short. I find it aesthetically displeasing, and I think the category has been created as a way to formalise something which was better left informal. As far as I am are, there is only one user in strong support of the idea who is dominating the debate. I find that to be an example of wiki idealism gone awry. If there really was support for this idea throughout the community, you wouldn't need to be the one replying to every comment. --Mysteronald 19:42, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Fine! I'm thoroughly sick and tired of defending personal attacks on myself, as well as defending substubs. I'm taking this page and others off my Watchlist, and I'm not responding to any more messages that have anything to do with substubs. I have better things to do with my time. I still support substubs, and I'm certainly not leaving Wikipedia, but this whole ordeal has just been terrible. And anyway, substubs are not that big of a deal! Such a relatively minor category is not worthy of months and months of discussion, along with personal attacks and votes against anything that I try to do on Wikipedia! Just forget it! [[User:Mike Storm|MikeStorm]] 22:18, 6 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Er... OK. Just so you know, I didn't intend a personal attack. --Mysteronald 10:48, 8 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Umm... sorry. I didn't mean you specifically; that was kind of built-up anger. [[User:Mike Storm|MikeStorm]] 16:21, 12 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Mike, no one thinks you're "evil," they just percieve that you took a fringe part of policy that had recieved little scruitiny and treated it as gospel. The votes above demonstrate there was no consensus to do this. At any rate the block you quoted above doesn't sound like a defense of yourself at all. It's very accusing of other users. You apparently believed people were out to get you for their own ignorance. This, I think, is why opposes piled onto your RfA after you posted it. Whether you intended it as a rant or not, it very clearly is to me and others. Anyhow, I'm with you on substubs, just not your intemperate defense of them.
I hope you come back. Cool Hand Luke 07:00, 5 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Substubbing : I think this cat is usefull bat I don't understand the first lines, please rewrite in flat english.

(Please do not forget that not everybody in the world knows by heart the Ugly Duck story and that it is asking them too much to look in the link. English wp readers are not all of Western culture. "Is the metaphor necessary? No!" + "Is it fancy and culturocentric? Yes!" = "rm metaphor")

Computer example[edit]

I would consider the substub example "A computer processes information with a mouse" to be patent nonsense, not a proper substub. It's like saying a car engine provides motive force with a turn signal. Coneslayer

Lack of Credibility of Wikipedia:Substub[edit]

The fact that the content of this talk-page's article is not WP policy is one thing. It's yet another that it lacks any credibility as potential policy.

This page tolerated, for 6 months,

  • A supposed provision clearly in opposition to existing policy, with
  • A false statement given as justification for it.

It should not need saying, but

  • Articles lacking context are not speedy-deletable.
  • Being a substub is not a recognized basis for deletion, let alone speedy.
  • The thrust of the section "How to fix a substub" is "depending on your personality and the time you'd like to devote, here are your options". The idea of including "get it deleted" as one in such a list of alternative approaches is shockingly antithetical to the stated philosophy of deletion policy as the means of ascertaining whether an article could become worthwhile if and when someone has the various resources to take it further.

I am removing the numbered point in question. (As if it's being there made any difference.)

--Jerzy (t) 01:37, 2005 Apr 12 (UTC)

From WP:CSD Very short articles with little or no context (e.g., "He is a funny man that has created Factory and the Hacienda. And, by the way, his wife is great.") Looking at the various definitions of substub given on the page, it is clear that some of them would undoubtedly qualify for speedy deletion under this citeria. But as this is a mostly ignored and largely useless page anyhow, your deletions makes little difference. olderwiser 02:08, Apr 12, 2005 (UTC)

Here's more that's similar, and now removed:

In point of fact, "relevance" is all but explicitly excluded from having any bearing on what constitutes patent nonsense. At point 1 of Wikipedia:Criteria for speedy deletion#General], the "random characters" language in

    1. No meaningful content or history (e.g. random characters). See patent nonsense.

is there with the specific intent to keep anyone from construing "patent nonsense" as anything nearly that broad. At Wikipedia:Patent nonsense, before the first heading, the PH door is opened beyond "random characters" -- about a 16th of an inch beyond it. Just having coherant syntax isn't enough to escape patent nonsense, but having a coherant idea or two is; if the article does, but it's irrelevant to the title, then it isn't patent nonsense (or even particularly likely to be deletable), but it probably needs retitling.

--Jerzy (t) 02:35, 2005 Apr 12 (UTC)

Proposal for a nomenclature changeover[edit]

There are many stubs that are over 6 paragraphs long. And I also think that the transistion line for a substub should advance to 3 paragraphs and also, start the term microstub for the current substub transistion line. Click [[Wikipedia:Microstub]] to start the new concept. --TheSamurai 02:18, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC) This contrib's lk to "Wikipedia:Microstub" has been disabled bcz creating the article would be vandalism. See below in this section. --Jerzy (t) 19:01, 2005 Apr 26 (UTC)

Many users have been nominating some pages for deletion under the term nanostub. I think we could use that term instead of Microstub. Click [[Wikipedia:Nanostub]] to start the new concept. --SuperDude 01:01, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC) This contrib's lk to "Wikipedia:Nanostub" has been disabled bcz creating the article would be vandalism. See below in this section. --Jerzy (t) 19:01, 2005 Apr 26 (UTC)

  • Why not give it a whirl yourself...? The term "nanostub" is kind of a made-up one, but it's one we use around here a lot. Great ideas, by the way. - Lucky 6.9 01:07, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
    • Actually, these are lousy ideas, because they do not further our process of making better articles and getting rid of unimprovable ones. In particular, "nanostub" is just hyperbole for "substub", and suggests indulgence in emotive language to the detriment of reasoning about the issue at hand.
    The idea of starting new WP: articles for them, and especially of inciting others to do so, is still lousier, bcz these ideas are so closely related that they amount to subdividisions of the existing "substub", and would need to be worked thru here rather than fragmented elsewhere.
    And these ideas have already been rejected by the community: See below. --Jerzy (t) 19:01, 2005 Apr 26 (UTC)

The following contrib has been moved here from its unsuitable original location at #Abolish the "substub" concept altogether. --Jerzy (t) 19:01, 2005 Apr 26 (UTC)

  • I think we should just move the nomenclature notch over a little for this topic (i.e. convert current substub standards into microstub and/or nanostub standards). There, we can make substub be used for article with 8 paragraphs or less rather than 2 paragraph articles that would be considered "micro". Just click the [[Wikipedia:Microstub]] link to start the microstub concept. --SuperDude 05:17, 24 Apr 2005 (UTC) This contrib's lk to "Wikipedia:Microstub" has been disabled bcz creating the article would be vandalism. See below in this section. --Jerzy (t) 19:01, 2005 Apr 26 (UTC)

The existence of a [[Wikipedia:Microstub]] page was considered on Wikipedia:Votes for deletion/Wikipedia:Microstub and unanimously disapproved. The reasons given apply equally to "Wikipedia:Nanostub". A change such as these could, despite that judgement, be further considered on this page, and such suggestions are on topic in this section. While the previous proposals to "start the new concept" by creating such a page may deserve an assumption of good intentions, placing one, without relevance, in the section

Abolish the "substub" concept altogether

suggests a bid for another bite at the apple, i.e. refusal to accept the community's judgement in ignoring similar suggestions in this, the section where they first appeared; it at best strains the claim to benefit from that assumption of good intentions. In any case,

  • discussion on this talk page of a move or subdivision is appropriate;
  • in contrast, creation of pages with proposed new names was not at the time it was invited;
  • the VfD having been noted here, creation of either of the suggested new pages would be vandalism in the face of being warned against it. --Jerzy (t) 19:01, 2005 Apr 26 (UTC)

Abolish the "substub" concept altogether[edit]

Please, let's stop this inflation of sub-, micro-, nano-, pico-,... stubs. Some people like to classify articles, which is good. There are plenty of topical categories waiting for classification. However, the length of an article is not one of them.

Currently, this page starts with the command:

  • If you come across [a short article], peck at it by replacing {{stub}} with {{substub}} at the bottom of the page.

I would like to see a convincing argument why this is preferable to replacing the stub with the topical tag of the appropriate category, such as "China-stub". Doing this has in fact several disadvantages:

  • Later editors will be less likely to change the tag to a topical tag.
  • The "substub" tag does not help readers but rather confuses them.
  • Substubs are sorted alphabetically. It is very unlikely that someone who is interested in Chinese architecture would come across Si Shui Gate by looking it up in the substub category. By contrast, it is much more likely if this article were tagged as "China-stub".
  • The tag "substub" does in no way clarify if an article should be expanded or deleted. For such questions we already have the talk page – why replace them with an inferior tag?
  • Often, articles are tagged just because they are short. E.g. Sensei's Library is a nice short article that does not need any further elaboration, or at least not more urgently than many other articles. If someone is interested in it beyond the description, they can simply click the link.
  • An editor who just changes a "stub" into a "substub" tag does not contribute to an article. Without a comment on the talk page it is not clear if he just counted the paragraphs or if he feels there is something concrete that needs to be added.
  • Substubs add another level of red tape.
  • To sum up: Proponents of the "substub" tag (or further subdivisions) have not demonstrated any evidence that it has lead to a general improvement of Wikipedia so far.

Sebastian (T) 10:19, 2005 Apr 22 (UTC)

Indeed. If it needs expansion, in an obvious or research-rquiring direction, give it a stub tag. If it qualifies for speedy, that should mean keeping it is counterproductive, and it shouldn't last long enough for a label to matter. If it requires VfD, show why it can't be expanded on VfD rather than pretending that an apparently undefinable term of abuse like "sub-stub" contributes to establishing that.
There is some reason to think the motivation for this terminology is to expand the scope of speedy. To the extent that that would result, the discussion belongs on CSD, and should be in terms of the properies meriting speedy and why, not on a silly name for the articles that fit them.
--Jerzy (t) 18:26, 2005 Apr 22 (UTC)
Thank you for your support. BTW, here's a funny case in point: This page contained three warning messages! If this was only an egg before, then these additions turned it into an ugly duckling (in my opinion). I would think it should be obvious that implementing every possible warning only confuses the reader and does not help Wikipedia as a whole. — Sebastian(T) 08:21, 2005 Apr 23 (UTC)

A contribution made here, which does not further this discussion of the proposal to 'Abolish the "substub" concept altogether', has been moved to #Proposal for a nomenclature changeover. --Jerzy (t) 18:59, 2005 Apr 26 (UTC)

Substub length definitions[edit]

I have noticed that some Wikipedia users have different ideas as to what is a substub and what is a stub. For example, I have marked three one-sentence articles as substubs to find another user reclassified them as stubs. Can someone please post a clearer definition of how long substubs should be? тəті 23:54, Apr 26, 2005 (UTC)

For 9 days, the corresponding question abt the far-better refined concept of stub has gone without a response at Wikipedia talk:Find or fix a stub#Stub legnth. If the concept of substub is useful at all, there is no reason to expect length to define it. And even if your three supposed substubs really are substubs (remember that a substub is still a stub), or if you are habitually underestimating the value of stubs, what are you worried about? That you can't find a way force the other user to leave your tagging alone? That you're being laughed at for not putting enought effort into getting this insignificant decision right? Don't forget abt collaborative editing; that's what we do here, and it means virtually nothing is permanent, and there's no dishonor in being reversed. If you can't come up with better reasoning than "Some jerk says these are under the limit written in the stars", it could be time to find some other articles to devote your editing to, without waiting (a minimum of a month, i extrapolate) for a direct (but certainly not definitive) answer here. --Jerzy (t) 18:44, 2005 Apr 27 (UTC)

I am only concerned that these articles may be misclassified. However, I would also like to know length requirements so I can determine whether to classify short articles as stubs or substubs in the future. тəті 17:47, Apr 28, 2005 (UTC)

Abolition of substub[edit]

I am copying this across from where I listed it at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Stub sorting - it is also (in slightly different form) at Template talk:Substub. There are now (count 'em) 40 substubs. Personally, I believe this template has had its day. It may have been useful prior to subcategorising stubs, as a way of saying "these need priority attention", but now the best way to get editors to work on stubs is to put them in subcategories where they can be found, and substub defeats that purpose. Sure, some articles that would have been marked substub are potential candidates for vfd or merging, but the same is true with quite a number of stubs. I would like to propose reopening the debate on whether the substub template and associated category are worth keeping, or whether those articles which would have been marked {{substub}} are better served with a subcategory of Category:stub. So far, comment at WP:WSS has included redirecting {{substub}} to {{stub}}, which would at least put all the unsorted mini-articles into one place. This sounds reasonable, but would have one side-effect, in that many ditors seem to put both substub and a subtemplate of stub onto short articles. If substub was redirected, the articles would appear in Category:Stub and in one of its subcategories. Grutness|hello? Grutness.jpg 07:58, 7 May 2005 (UTC)

Update there are currently no substubs. Grutness|hello? Grutness.jpg 12:48, 7 May 2005 (UTC)

In my opinion, the substub category needs to be kept. Some of the categorized stubs are one-sentence articles and may be misclassified. Many users may want to be able to identify which articles are stubs and which are substubs to find out which articles need more work.

If substubs were abolished, I would favor establishing a method of identifing which stubs needed more work, potentially a category such as {{short-stub}}. тəті 18:17, May 7, 2005 (UTC)

  • UPDATE: Currently, I can identify two examples of substubs, Killing_horizon and Cliff_Condak, which may be misclassified. They contain little information and are not clearly written. There are almost certainly more stubs like this which may potentially be misclassified. тəті 23:24, May 9, 2005 (UTC)
  • Thanks for providing concrete examples. I don't see how the substub category would help in these cases. Killing_horizon is clearly a math-stub, and Cliff_Condak should be deleted since no page links to it (possibly vanity page). — Sebastian (talk) 00:38, 2005 May 10 (UTC)
  • I'm curious... I just moved Survival techniques from {{stub}} to {{substub}}, because (1) it has so little content I couldn't think of any other stub category to put it in, and (2) it seemed to fit the 3 criteria listed at Wikipedia:Substub pretty well. In fact, based on these criteria, {{substub}} seems like it might be a good tag for the bare dictionary definitions I run across on a daily basis. Based on comments here, I suspect others would disagree -- so, how would people handle the particular case of Survival techniques, and the general case of dictdefs.? (Personally, I really think Survival techniques as it currently stands isn't even worth keeping, but I'm not going there now.) --Dcfleck 22:44, 2005 May 11 (UTC)
  • "Survival techniques help one to survive dangerous situations." is all the content of the survival techniques article. However, someone reclassified this as a stub. This is not even a sorted stub, is 8 words, and does not have much content at all. This is an example of why substubs are needed. If editors wish to find sorted stubs, why can't both tags be used? Another alternative is for substubs to be changed into a notice similar to {{expand}} or {{delete}}. тəті 22:58, May 12, 2005 (UTC)

Change the meaning of sub-stub into something useful.[edit]

Short vs. long stubs is not a very good distinction. Stubs are short by definition. A long stub (2-3 paragraphs) is really a short article, not a stub. It should probably get an { {expand} } tag or something.

But, there do exist entries that are substubs, i.e. less than stubs. They are those which contain valid information, therefore aren't VfD or speedy deletion material, but don't conform to minimal standards of our style manual. They should therefore be corrected, i.e. turned into stubs, ASAP. If the substubs category contained only those, it could be a good resource for house-keeping. Zocky 19:06, 7 May 2005 (UTC)

Template up for deletion[edit]

A discussion is being held at Wikipedia:Templates_for_deletion#Template:Substub over whether to deprecate the template and category. It hasn't been widely advertised, but I believe anyone can join. Kappa 21:14, 10 May 2005 (UTC)

What the heck happened to substub?! - Ta bu shi da yu 06:31, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
What other category will Daniel L. Lurker fall under? 21:40, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)


User:Netoholic marked this page as {{historical}}, but even though the substub template was deleted substubs unfortunately still exist and have to be dealt with, so I've removed it. Mentioning the content of the template is okay for historical interest, but I had already rewritten the rest of this page somewhat to give general advice on dealing with substubs. MAybe a bit more division of historical and present operation is still needed, however. I'll give that a shot later. -- grm_wnr Esc 13:56, 18 May 2005 (UTC)

The recent edits to the page, after I tagged it, are fine. I tagged it because it primarily documented procedures which have been depricated. It was a clearer message for people who may visit this page so that they didn't get confused. Now that the page has been re-written to give general advice rather than documenting a specific procedure, I think it's fine. I'm going to tag it as a "guideline". -- Netoholic @ 14:41, 2005 May 18 (UTC)

That's good. Only now User:Radiant! has put {{historical}} on it. I commented it out this time, with a note to read talk before reinstating it. The main reason for not having "historical" on this is that "substub" is a part of Wikipedia jargon and users are likely to look at this page if they see it mentioned, so we most probably want to have an up-to-date page on the term. Also, just by posting here we already satisfy what is written in {{historical}} - we are using the talk page to revive the discussion. -- grm_wnr Esc 10:27, 19 May 2005 (UTC)

Grin. That's correct. However, I do hold that something needs to be done about the Substub page, as there no longer is such a thing as substubs, and the stub sorting project would not appreciate their revival. Maybe a rewording is in order? Radiant_* 10:42, May 19, 2005 (UTC)
Read the page, Radiant. There have been some good changes which take this from a formal process into a set of recommendations that do not promote tagging substubs. I still think that all pages related to stubs and mechanism for dealing with the should be merged into one single page at Wikipedia:Stub, but that's for the future. -- Netoholic @ 15:27, 2005 May 19 (UTC)


I support substubs. At least then they can be expanded. Which is more likely to be worked on - A substub page, or a nonexistant page? 04:04, 18 November 2006 (UTC)

They can't always be expanded. Many stubs that have existed for a long time would in many cases meet the criteria for speedy deletion, which is easier than having substubs.--h i s s p a c e r e s e a r c h 11:05, 12 August 2007 (UTC)