Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Council/Archive 16

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Group (official or otherwise) of editors to obtain source material

I think one of the problems some of our editors might have is that they might have an interest in writing articles on a given subject, but do not necessarily have access to reference materials, like for instance databanks or libraries with extensive holdings. I, as an individual, generally do, however, and I think others may as well. Would the rest of you think that there would be a purpose in perhaps getting together a group or, maybe, just a list, of individuals who would be willing and able to obtain material on specific topics for editors who are not able to obtain such materials on their own? John Carter (talk) 16:46, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

WikiProject Resource Exchange already exists. Svick (talk) 18:35, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, but I'm not sure how much attention it gets. Maybe if we could add a link to it on the boilerplate project page or elsewhere, we might be able to get more input from editors with limited access to resources. John Carter (talk) 18:48, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
Here is a record of page views for that page. You can edit the date in the address bar to see the records for previous months.
Wavelength (talk) 19:36, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

Improvement ideas

I've been thinking of some ways we could clean up the various pages that are part of the Council and generally improve the way the group works at the moment. For ease of commenting, I've split the proposals into several broad areas, below; comments on any (or all) of them would be very appreciated! Kirill [talk] [prof] 15:50, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

Cleaning up the main pages

  1. Rework the layout of the main page (WP:COUNCIL) to be more welcoming to visitors. I'd suggest having a couple of introductory sections ("What we do", "How you can help"), followed by a couple of link sections ("Resources", "Statistics").
  2. Introduce a tabbed format (see, for example, WP:MILHIST) to link across the main Council pages (main page, directory, guide, proposals, etc.)
  3. Enhance the navigation box to link to all the major pages, rather than just a subset.
  4. Clean up the introductory page (WP:PROJ) to present a more concise overview of what WikiProjects are and how editors can participate in them; at the moment, a new editor is likely to be more confused than enlightened when reading the page.
My two cents: I like all of these ideas except #2. I'm apparently blind to tabs, so this change would not be helpful to me.
I particularly like the proposal to add "what we do" and "what these things are" kinds of information. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:01, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
No objections personally to any of the proposals above. I don't pay a great deal of attention to tabs myself, but I think others do, and that's enough for me. John Carter (talk) 18:29, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
Yes, it all sounds good; I'm generally a fan of the tabbed format, and it could be helpful in this case. Mlm42 (talk) 02:38, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

Improving the proposal process

  1. Change the listing duration for proposals to two months and archive proposals after that, to create a more concise list; anything not moving forward after two months is really dead in the water anyways.
  2. Modify the proposal structure to have everything visible on a single page, either by transcluding all the listings or by actually having them in sections rather than subpages. This should make it easier for people to keep track of the discussion and increase participation in the proposal process.
  3. Get more publicity for the in-progress proposals by, for example, transcluding a list to the Community Portal and/or the Signpost.
  4. Clean up the boilerplate WikiProject template to better reflect how project pages are set up these days.
  • I agree, two months should be long enough. More publicity would benefit most proposal discussions. Regarding {{WikiProject}}, I agree it's a bit stale.. Mlm42 (talk) 02:38, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

Updating the project guide

  1. Update the guide to reflect newer developments in project structures, such as A-Class review schemes, assessment checklists, open task and alert bots, and so forth.
  2. Clean up the various obsolete portions of the guide, particularly as far as references to deprecated technical items are concerned.
  • Sound good. John Carter (talk) 18:29, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
  • An excellent idea. Mlm42 (talk) 02:38, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

By the way, what status do the pages Wikipedia:WikiProject_Council/Guide/WikiProject, Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Guide/Task forces, and Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Guide/Technical notes actually have.. are they just {{essay}}s? Mlm42 (talk) 17:52, 27 January 2011 (UTC)

I would assume so; they're not really prescriptive enough to be guidelines. Perhaps something like {{how-to}} would also be applicable to some portions, although others are really just abstract philosophical discussions rather than practical instructions. Kirill [talk] [prof] 04:07, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

Improving the project directory

  1. Add more columns to indicate the presence of A-Class review processes, etc.
  2. List task forces normally (i.e. in a column format) to make browsing and sorting easier.
  3. Create a "completed" status for projects (primarily university participation ones) which have actually finished, rather than merely being inactive.

I think occasionally about completely blowing up the directory and starting over. It's complicated to maintain and hard to find what you want. I've wondered if not using tables would help. Also, a flatter structure might help. There's no compelling need for a structure that runs as deep as Science, technology, and engineering:Biology:Tree of Life:Animals:Arthropods. Four, or even three, levels ought to be plenty.

Alternatively, I've wondered whether a bot-maintained system is feasible. I'm thinking of something like what the 1.0 bot does with statistics: We'd expand {{Project header}} (already at the top of nearly all WikiProjects) to include activity, assessment participation, collaboration, associated portal, and content category(ies). (Peer review seems to no longer be project-based, so that column should probably be removed.) (Task forces could just point at associated projects.) The bot then auto-assembles this data into directory pages, and we no longer have to update the directory manually. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:43, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

A bot system would be great, if it could work, because a lot of projects seem to get created without prior discussion or much linkage, and that would make it easier to find them. No objections to any of the other ideas. John Carter (talk) 18:29, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

I don't know how to make bots, but one of the things a bot could do is update a "number of articles" column, as well as something like "last updated", to give a measure of how active the project is.
And, Kirill, I'm not clear on your suggestion about listing "task forces normally". Do you mean create a "task force" column, and list all task forces in there? That would certainly make sense to me. Mlm42 (talk) 02:38, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

Increasing participation

  1. Bring back some form of a "participant" concept—either as a list or a user category—to encourage advertising participation. We don't need a list of members, per se; but not having people sign up has caused us to lose out on the publicity other projects get through userboxes and the like, and I think we ought to reconsider our approach at this point.
  2. Start some sort of drive to reactivate and/or merge inactive projects, both as a general clean-up activity, and to try and drum up more attention to (and hence participation in) the discussions here.

As I mentioned, comments on any or all of these proposals would be appreciated! Kirill [talk] [prof] 15:50, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

{{WikiProject Footer}} is on some 1200 pages, and that means this page is advertised on 1200 pages. I think that communicating what we do whenever people click that link (about 30 times a day) would be more effective than userboxes.
I think that the inactive projects will be easier to address after the directory is cleaned up.
I have wondered on occasion about spamming notices to all (active) WikiProjects reminding them of the Council's existence and purpose, and encouraging them to make sure that at least one participant is watching this page (a "delegate"), so that if something comes up that interests or affects their group, they can tell the WikiProject. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:15, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
The problem with the footer template is that while it's present on a great many pages, it's treated as part of the boilerplate, and is thus ignored by most readers. (Similarly, most people don't really read the banners at the top of pages; we're linked from {{Project}}, but I doubt that does much for us.)
Having said that, I suppose that all we really need for advertising purposes is the userbox itself; there's no particular need to have that feed a member list/category, so long as people display it regardless (which they seem to do). Kirill [talk] [prof] 02:55, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
I like the idea of changing to "participants", and if there would be any way to make updating such a listing automatically by bot, think that would be wonderful. John Carter (talk) 18:29, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
Also, as a side note, I am, to a degree, trying to create, eventually, lists of periodicals and other publications which are directly relevant to the topics of individual projects. If anyone knows just how many such publications there are, and how hard it is to sort them, you might have an idea of why it is taking so long. I also think that, maybe, having some sort of separate article for a bibliographic listing of works related to the projects' topics would be very useful as well. Those lists, unfortunately, take even longer to generate than the lists of periodicals do. John Carter (talk) 18:29, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

I'd be interested in a drive to reactivate and/or merge inactive projects. I'm a member of WP:SPACEFLIGHT, and that project has recently benefited in a restructuring which started with about 6 projects and ended up with just one. I think other projects could benefit from similar restructurings; a smaller number of successful projects is clearly preferable to a larger number of disorganized and confusingly related projects. Mlm42 (talk) 02:38, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

timeline of collaborations

I too am intrigued by the participation discussion above. After looking at scoring in the wikicup, I've been musing on how our more rigorous GA and FA processes lead editors to favour more esoteric than general articles. Hence I have begun reviewing the history of collaborations I've been involved with. I wasn't sure whether to place this here or on the talk page of Wikipedia:Collaborations. Collaborations are often (but not always) a good indicator of the activity of a wikiproject as a collaborative group. Thus ones I have been involved with are:

I also came across:

Anyway, I think it'd be interesting if folks listed timelines of active collaborations here - would be interesting to get a sense of what has been tried and when. Casliber (talk · contribs) 12:57, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

Maybe it would be better if I put them down here

WikiProject activity

It would be useful to have some kind of objective measure of how active each WikiProject is. I was considering how this could be done, and realised the activity could be measured in two "dimensions"; one dimension being the number of editors, and the other being how active each editor is within the project. So a project with one extremely active editor might get the same amount done as a project with many mildly active editors.

So I was thinking that a bot could take a list of members from a given project (maybe based on userboxes, or the member list), and then count the number of edits they have made to pages which have the project's banner within the last three months, say. Then the bot could report this information in the WikiProject directory by filling in a column "Number of members who have made over 100 edits to the project's articles in the last three months"; and then the same for "20 - 100 edits", and for "1-20 edits". I think this might give a pretty good idea of the project's activity; and the best part is that it could be completely automated (in theory..). Indeed, this data might bring to light some surprising information.. in particular, it would give a more accurate "member count" than most WikiProject member lists (which are usually long out of the date). Mlm42 (talk) 17:18, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

I think you will find that most projects, aside from tagging articles with their banner arent very active as a collaborative group. The project pages are generally just a centralized place to hold discussions about the subject or articles in its scope and so therefore you would need to base much of your results on how much activity there is on the talk page as well as the project page. I also believe that even once these inactive projects are identified there is little that can be done about it. --Kumioko (talk) 17:30, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
What I meant is not only counting activity on the project page and project talk page, but also counting activity over all the articles under its scope. In particular, all the articles which have been tagged with the project banner. Mlm42 (talk) 17:44, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
@ Mlm42 we have a tool here that will show you the edits of all in a project that will show you edits activity of project members. As for pages under the projects scope that's a bit harder but most will have a page like Wikipedia:WikiProject Canada/Popular pages but it does not shown who edited what just the main articles under a projects banner. Moxy (talk) 17:49, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
Moxy, thanks for the link to that tool, I hadn't seen it before; yes, it would be nice if that tool could be modified to only consider edits to a subset of pages - in particular, articles within a given WikiProject. Mlm42 (talk) 18:06, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
Ok That might help a little but since most articles have more than one banner it might misrepersent which projects are editing or not. I do agree that something needs to eb done at a high level (like from the Council) to clean up and refocus the articles of some of these dead projects. Maybe just putting an inactive tag on all the projects and see which ones are removed in 90 days. IF they still have the inactive tag in 90 days then chances are knowone is actively doing anything with that project. --Kumioko (talk) 17:51, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:Database reports/WikiProjects by changes and Wikipedia:Database reports/WikiProject watchers.
Wavelength (talk) 06:51, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

Scope of WikiProject United States

Until recently, WikiProject United States has been a bit dormant. However, there is now an effort to revitalize it. Unfortunately, this has taken the form of sending out invitations on 3,000 user talk pages, and leaving repeated messages on the talk pages of state-level and subject-specific WikiProjects. I fear this may have a demoralizing and distracting effect on other people who are working to make the state-level and subject-specific WikiProjects vibrant collaborations. Hence, the relationship between all of these groups must be approached with diplomacy and sensitivity. One way of working toward a resolution of these problems is to better define the mission statement on the WikiProject United States page. This is being discussed here, and I welcome all interested persons to join in the discussion to help resolve this amicably. Thanks, Racepacket (talk) 15:42, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

Just to clarify. Racepacket doesn't agree with the scope of a WikiProject he is not a member of and after discussing his concerns with the project and not getting the result he wanted he submitted his concerns to:
and you left what I personally feel are inappropriate comments on the talk pages of several of the State projects including:
and others. The last comment by the way doesn't even directly relate to WikiProject United States but was an effort to get users from all US related projects to Collaborate and participate in the improvement and maintenance of Portal:United States and the US Collaboration of the month. Other than the fact that it was members of the WPUS project that got them cleaned up and going again these last 2 should be available and used by 'All US related projects as they pertain to United States topics in general and other than the name implies and that it was members of our project that currently maintain (which is what I am trying to fix by those comments) do not and should not tie directly and specifically to WPUS. Your comments are in fact in direct opposition to getting other users from other US related projects to participate in the US portal, Noticeboard and Topic of the Month so that the members of WPUS will not be the sole proprietors of it. Your own comments are in fact in direct contrast to your concerns that WPUS is growing too big and too powerful, too fast.
In just a couple months we have made huge progress towards our goals and I see the coming months ahead to be just as productive with more focus on improving content, getting the information out there and getting folks interested and feel like they are working together as a team rather than a bunch of individuals trying to fight the world on their own. Now that we have the Project established as a foundation, the portal and the US noticeboard are improved and that will help get the information out there, Collaboration of the month and other pending initiatives future content drives and other initiatives that will have direct influence on US topics (such as the Library of Conrgress, National Archives, Smithsonian Institution collaborations) to improve content and several bots running with more pending to help maintain the project, portal, and the articles we are IMO well on our way and off to a great start.
In fairness to Racepacket, he has brought up some good suggestions and his comments are being considered by the project members so IMO spamming these comment gathering messages in all the WP forums is a bit innappropriate. Whether he likes the result of what the projects members decide or not is yet to be determined. I also admit that I have recently been somewhat abrupt and direct in my comments after attempting to remain calm and level headed for the last several days of unending discussions and trying to drive home the point that the members of the project (we have over 180 now by the way) were going to decide the scope and the mission of the project and not 4 or 5 editors who are not even members of the project. As I explained to Racepacket and others over the last several days. If we decide that we want the scope to be all US related articles (even if thats a million articles) then we could do that. I doubt it will come to that and in fact even counting several thousand files, categories and templates we only have 61000ish. Large projects are not unprecedented as noted by WPBiography and we are becoming more active and after only 4 months (really only the last month or so if you don't count me) we are continuing to build an active and vibrant community of editors interesting in improving content for US related topics (we have members accross all spectrums of interests by the way).--Kumioko (talk) 17:18, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
To clarify, we are discussing the scope of WikiProject United States at one location where there has been active discussion. I notfied the previously involved editors and posted a notice right here and at Wikipedia:Requests for comment/WikiProjects and collaborations. The purpose of those notices was to direct interested editors to that discussion, not to start separate discussions in each place. When people arrive at the centralized discussion, they are not supposed to be repeatedly dismissed by User:Kumioko as "non-members of WikiProject United States." (See the above paragraph where he references "what the projects members decide.") I would invite everyone interested in the scope of the WikiProject United States to post at the centralized location and not start a separate thread here. The above comment also raises why I would post comments on a separate topic -- group collaborations at the local WikiProject level in WikiProjects where I have been active. User:Kumioko, without sufficient discussion and consensus, posted an invitation on all state-level and subject area WikiProjects relating to the US, an invitation to join a new collaboration of the month effort sponsored by WikiProject United States. A fair reading of his message was that state-level articles should be nominated for that collaboration rather than trying something within the local WikiProject. I responded to his comments by suggesting that if people were interested, we should try something on a local basis. Clearly, there are WP:OWNnership problems at play here. Again, if Kumioko wants to discuss whether WikiProject Illinois should collaborate on an article locally, the debate belongs on that project's talk page instead of here. Thanks, Racepacket (talk) 18:28, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
Actually my real point in the rather long thread above was your inappropriate use of Forum Shopping, votestacking and campaigning. I did not dismiss you opinions or anyone elses. You tried to tell me we didn't have consnensus and I explained to you and the others that with 180 members joining the project after the scope was established we did. If people are interested to collaborate locally great knowone is stopping you, in fact I encourage that. Hence the reason I left the message on all those project pages so that each could decide if they wanted to do it or not. Some responded, some did not (presumably because they are Inactive) which also means that questions about the project or associated articles would also likely go unansered, thereby not supported.--Kumioko (talk) 18:41, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
Sir, you are incorrect. The idea of centralized discussion is to give adequate notice to all interested editors. The forum is the talk page of WikiProject US. I did not try to start a separate discussion by using RFC or by placing a friendly notice at the top of this section. As to my comments on the local WikiProject talk pages, I was responding to your suggestion that they nominate local-interest articles for WikiProject US's collaboration of the month instead of doing a local collaboration. Most important, any Wikipedia editor has a right to participate in the discussion, not just members only. Thanks, Racepacket (talk) 18:46, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
You are absolutely right that any editor does have the right to voice their opinions but the final decision on what the projects scope is going to be must come from the members. There is no point in having a project with members if any random editor can simply come along and tell them to change. Thats not how it works and with 180 members joining after the scope was established 4 or 5 editors disagreeing isn't enough to sway the vote. Regarding your first sentance. If the projects want to start their own collabroation like a few have done like Texas (I don't think that collaboration is active) or Congress thats great and I support that. But we already have one for US going, its supported, we go on a highest vote count wins rule. Why not use it. Why break out and create 50 or more collaborations that all require time, maintenance, resources and support to maintain when one will do? If the projects are inactive though the liklihood that they are going to have the time or resources to now create a noticeboard and Topic of the month of their own is unlikely. So adding comments to talk pages of a topic that has gone unanswered anyway is at best only readvertising the discussion and at worst tainting the result by spamming identical masseages on a simple request for help message. --Kumioko (talk) 19:04, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
I shall reply to your views at the point designated by the centralized RFC, rather than here where most people participating in the discussion will not see it. Racepacket (talk) 14:36, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
I agree and stated so on WPUS a moment ago when you suggested going here intead of continuing the debate there. --Kumioko (talk) 14:41, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
Just to be clear, the centralized discussion location indicated in the RFC notice is there. Thanks, Racepacket (talk) 18:23, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
I'm sorry that you two are having such difficulties resolving this, and sorrier that I didn't notice it earlier. Please go to Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Guide#Inter-WikiProject_coordination and search down until you find the words "exclusive right". The members of WikiProject State cannot tell the members of WikiProject United States which articles they are allowed to work on (or tag), full stop. (And just in case it comes up, WikiProject United States cannot force WikiProject State to use a combined banner.)
WikiProjects are social groups. If two groups of people don't happen to want to work together—even if their scopes are identical, or overlapping, or random, or idiotic—then they are not required to coordinate their work with each other or to get any kind of permission to work on or tag articles. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:51, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
I know you don't particularly care for the scope of the project either but thanks for taking the time to comment and point that out. --Kumioko (talk) 23:56, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
Please centralize you discussion at WT:WPUS so that we can all participate in one place. Thanks, Racepacket (talk) 20:40, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

New Proposal

Can I propose a project that failed a long time ago ([Essex]) as I think that now, it would gain support, and there are wikiprojects for lots of other English Counties ([see this]).

Thanks,
Thomas888b (talk) 12:56, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
Yes you're free to re-propose, renew, or revive any inactive wikiproject at any time. -- œ 13:35, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
Thanks OlEnglish. -- Thomas888b (talk) 14:07, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

When can I start the project?

When I get 4 peoples support, can I go ahead and start the project? Thomas888b(Say Hi) 19:26, 4 February 2011 (UTC)

Link please. (unless.. you're just asking ahead of time?) -- œ 19:52, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Proposals/Essex Thomas888b(Say Hi) 20:56, 4 February 2011 (UTC) It has support, and it would be good to set it up, and then add people to it as we go. I really think it is essential to have one. Thomas888b(Say Hi) 20:56, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
Thanks to advice from another member of Wikipedia, I'm going to Be Bold and start the project. Thomas888b(Say Hi) 12:28, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
If you have four people interested and active, that'll be a helluva lot more active than many other wikiprojects. Good luck. Casliber (talk · contribs) 14:06, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
And if you have only four people, you're at risk for going the way of most small projects, which is a big burst and then nothing. My advice on avoiding that is to keep up the chatter on the discussion board. Answer comments, even if it seems unnecessary. Post a note about which article you're working on every few weeks, just to let people know that you're still there. An appearance of activity tends to attract new participants; an appearance that the group is dead or uninteresting tends to discourage participation. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:57, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
Agreed. Casliber (talk · contribs) 20:23, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

The Banner

Is there a way that I could put our banner {{WP Essex}} on all of the pages in the category 'Essex' and all of it's subcategories automatically? Thomas888b (Say Hi) 10:43, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Guide#Use_bots_to_save_work—and the rest of that page, and half its subpages, if you haven't already. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:50, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
Hmm, that doesn't really explain very well.Thomas888b (Say Hi) 17:19, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
Or you can try User:Xenobot Mk V#Instructions. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 17:41, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
Awesome! Does it do all of the catogories within a category? Thomas888b (Say Hi) 21:13, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
This is usually a bad idea, because the categories are recursive. (Cat X contains a sub cat of Y, which includes Cat X as a sub cat, and so forth.) However, they can do multiple cats, and it's easy to copy the list out of your target cat. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:38, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

Advice for creating a WikiProject vs. Task force

It seems to me that pretty much all articles on Wikipedia are within the scope of at least one WikiProject. In light of this, I was wondering what exactly the advice should be for creating a new WikiProject versus making a Task force of an existing project. The main difference between a separate project and a task force appears to be that task forces don't have their own banner. Is that a fair assessment?

I have noticed that some of the recent proposals (e.g. Sweden task force of WP:Football and Tokyo Subway task force) would like to create task forces. Yet it appears that the Proposal page is for new WikiProjects, and new Task forces should be proposed at the relevant project. On the other hand, the relevant project may be somewhat inactive, and proposing it here would get more attention. So to boost visibility, maybe new task force discussions on WikiProject talk pages should be linked to from the Proposal page. Thoughts? Mlm42 (talk) 03:25, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

Yes, you may post task force proposals here. You may also publish a brief advertisement at WP:VPM, and/or at the talk pages of a small (one to three?) number of major articles.
In the event that the 'parent' project is half-dead, I recommend a "friendly takeover", skipping the task force and proposal work altogether, and going straight to announcements of the project being revived and seeking new members. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:37, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

Measuring success

I wonder if we could figure out what the odds of success for a WikiProject is, based on the evidence at the proposal. It would be interesting to see whether a given number of participants indicated a significant likelihood of success. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:40, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

The difficult question seems to be: how does one measure the success of a WikiProject? Mlm42 (talk) 02:54, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
Indeed. I'd say that having a good method to do so would be more valuable in and of itself then the application of that method to proposals would be. The typical metrics that seem to be used tend to produce results that disproportionately favor very large projects (number of FAs/GAs/etc.) or very small projects (proportion of FAs/GAs/etc. relative to article count); we don't really have a good measure of "success" that can be used across the board. Kirill [talk] [prof] 03:11, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
Ultimately it'd have to do with content review presumably - GA and FA content are clear benchmarks to aim for, and raw numbers can be used to compare a group of related articles before and after the existence of a given wikiproject (i.e. measuring against itself really). GA and FA numbers are probably more applicable now than previously - some early collaborations seem to be more about getting articles to some semblance of comprehensiveness, whereas now the focus is much more on quality (referencing and Audited status, for lack of a better term). But if editors engage in banter and this helps morale, then that is good too. I guess adoption and upskilling of new editors is another benefit too. Casliber (talk · contribs) 03:43, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
For the application of WhatamIdoing suggested, it seems a project's success could be measured simply by its "activity" - a concept I was trying to nail down a few sections above. That is, if it's consistently "active", then it could be called successful. The question of exactly how successful is a more subtle issue.. as Casliber alluded to, it's not really the number of FAs/GAs a project has under its scope that is important, but rather the rate at which they are producing new FAs/GAs. Mlm42 (talk) 05:20, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
Activity is what I have in mind. Specifically, what interests me is whether or not the WikiProject (the group of editors, not the page) actually exists after the initial burst of enthusiasm. (Background: I firmly believe that a WikiProject is a social group, not a backup system for proper categorization of pages.)
So, for example, Wikipedia:WikiProject Adoption, fostering, orphan care and displacement is probably a failure. It was proposed here about 18 months ago. It had an initial burst of enthusiasm and fun creating templates and categories. However, during the last 12 months, exactly one notice on the talk page was replied to. The others were (apparently) ignored. No members posted any messages about what they're working on. The "active members" probably amounts to one. The project pages are well-constructed, and I think the scope is appropriate for a small WikiProject (neither too expansive nor too narrow, neither too vague nor too rigid, and not overlapping significantly with any others), but there's no group of editors—no actual WikiProject—there. It should probably be tagged as semi-active.
To be clear, I don't think that the outcome for this project is anyone's fault: I use it solely as an example of a perfectly good effort in which doing everything right just didn't achieve the critical mass necessary for an ongoing, sustainable conversation among editors. There are many much more obviously failed projects out there. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:08, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
I don't know that activity on the project pages is in any way useful as a measurement. A proper measurement of project activity would actually require cross-tabulating the editors listed as members of a project, their edits, and articles within the scope of the project. Discussions about the project may be minimal on the project pages when very little of controversy goes on within a project. Such activity may come in short bursts, or take place between editors at other talk pages. One could even take the opposite point of view - that massive amounts of activity on a project talk page indicates a problem within the project and could indicate a lack of success. Jim Miller See me | Touch me 19:19, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
Earlier on this page, at #WikiProject activity, I provided links to Wikipedia:Database reports/WikiProjects by changes and Wikipedia:Database reports/WikiProject watchers.
Wavelength (talk) 19:36, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
As an aside, is there a way to see more detail from some of those reports? My main reason for asking is that it could be very useful for a project to see who is editing its articles. A non-member making a large number of edits to articles within a project's scope would be a natural target to invite to the project. This could be useful to both active projects and those that may need to be nudged a bit into more activity. Jim Miller See me | Touch me 22:52, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
But the only definition of 'membership' is if someone signs the wikiproject page bit which lists members or has a userbox. I dunno, I reckon folks either feel involved or they don't...not sure that pushing/reminding etc. someone to list themselves as a member is particularly useful. I guess I have some reservations about reifying the wikiprojects too much in some way....even though I am a member of a few and see the good output. Casliber (talk · contribs) 23:03, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
Jim, this is exactly what I suggested above; in particular it would be great if the UserActivity tool could be modified so that it only counts edits to articles within a given WikiProject. Unfortunately I don't have any knowledge of how to make or modify tools. Mlm42 (talk) 23:45, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
See Category:Lists of popular pages by WikiProject.
Wavelength (talk) 23:51, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
Jim, I hope you won't mind me picking on you for a minute.
If the project page isn't being actively used by editors (for discussion, organizing collaborations, getting help, asking questions, etc.), then just what was the point of creating it?
Setting up an official WikiProject page involves a lot of work. Even simple pages take a couple of hours (not counting time spent tagging articles). If the only way that we're going to work together is by chatting on user pages or article talk pages—or if we're not going to work together at all—then IMO those hours creating a page at WP:WikiProject You and Me were a complete waste of time and energy that could have been much better spent improving the articles.
I'll give you a live example: WP:WikiProject Azeri football has (apparently) one member. It looks like he spent five or six hours in March 2009 creating the project page. It looks very nice. There has been zero discussion (ever). What's the community's return on investment for those five hours? Has the creation of that page advanced the project in any meaningful, reasonably direct fashion? Was any article improved by those hours? Or, if you were a real-world manager, who was trying to get the encyclopedia written (and given the benefit of hindsight, or perhaps of a pattern in the data), might you have been inclined to encourage that person to put those hours into something that is more likely to produce results, like improving an article?
For that matter, if you were you, right now, and someone said, "I'm interested in working on X: am I better off just getting to work, or am I better off spending five hours setting up a project page and then getting to work?", what would you say?
If we deleted the whole project now, would anything be harmed (other than the pride of the person who went to so much trouble: NB that I do not recommend taking this to MFD)? Would the non-existent collaboration between the editor and, well, nobody else, somehow be even less existent? (The sole member is still active and seems to be doing good things, just not as a WikiProject.) Would the encyclopedia be any worse if, in some alternate reality, it had never been created?
I do not think that any silent project, or any project of apparently zero active members, is actually fulfilling its primary purpose. WikiProjects are social groups. They are not reading material.
In general, rate of GA/FA promotions seem messy. Not everyone thinks these are the pinnacle of writing the encyclopedia (e.g., I rarely bother submit anything for GA and never for FA, even though my most recent new article, Breast cancer awareness, meets the GA criteria), and not every promotion of an article within a project's scope has anything to do with the project. Also, identifying participants and non-participants is awkward. Membership lists are notoriously incomplete. Public participation is a poor indicator (for example, I do not consider myself a member of WikiProject Christianity, but it's on my watchlist and I reply occasionally; I regularly leave notes at all sorts of projects).
But communication—if you're not talking to each other, you're not working together. If you're not working together, you're not a WikiProject. The project is the people, not the page. (People who spent their childhood at church will recognize the sentiment behind "The church is not a building: The church is the people.") That's why I think that project page activity is the simplest metric for whether creating the project was worth our time. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:45, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
Okay, but what if the bulk of the discussion takes place on the article talk page? e.g . an editor requests feedback on a particular article in hte scope of a particular wikiproject and discussion moves to the talk page there. All trinkets and chest-puffing aside, GA and FA represent the nearest thing we have to Stable/Agreed Versions that we can refer back to in cases of subsequent vandalism or article erosion. Agree about inaccuracy of pages, many member lists contain editors long since departed or inactive. Casliber (talk · contribs) 01:15, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
PS: I have no problem with the creation of Wikipedia:WikiProject Azeri football - all it needs is for one day a few editors to be interested and there is a ready-made template for discussion right there. I think having the material there to build upon is better than starting from scratch. Casliber (talk · contribs) 01:18, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
I generally agree with WhatamIdoing that the project's talk page is a quick, easy place to look if you are deciding whether a projects is "active" or "inactive". I think the disagreement here is that the talk page might not be as good for deciding between "active" and "very active". That is, just because project A's talk page has more activity that project B's talk page, doesn't mean that project A as a whole is more "active" than project B. Hence the desire for a more precise measurement. Mlm42 (talk) 01:50, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
True. I think for this purpose, I'm more interested in distinguishing between "active" (ranging from 'barely active' through 'extremely active') and "dead, or nearly dead". WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:54, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
Maybe, for these purposes, one of the possible baseline points might be whether the group is about a very popular aspect of pop culture, in which event it likely would be successful for the length of the popularity of the subject. Otherwise, I would tend to think that one of the relevant points might be the number and accessability of dedicated works, be they encyclopedias, journals/magazines, or whatever, which specifically deal with the subject. With the exception of pop culture projects, I tend to think that availability of clearly relevant sources might be a primary concern. John Carter (talk) 17:27, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
There is another angle to this subject. How much time was spent in locating Wikipedia:WikiProject Azeri football and determining its level of activity and how much of that time could have been spent in creating or editing an article? To put it more simply, how does measuring the effectiveness of each of the projects improve the encyclopedia? The purpose of the encyclopedia is not to provide metrics to be captured and analyzed. The purpose is to provide reliable information. If an editor is acting as a project with only one member, as is the case in Wikipedia:WikiProject Azeri football, what part of that is of concern to anyone else? If an "outsider" is truly concerned about this project, the best thing to do about it may be to follow "projects" contributions and do some copyediting. JimCubb (talk) 17:46, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
Those are noble words Jim but the problem these days is that too many editors only want to debate and discuss every edit. They want to scour the pedia looking for images that are unused or articles that don't meet their personal notability criteria and delete them. There is too much drama and not enough editing. --Kumioko (talk) 17:50, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
I know that all too well. I know of two templates that were deprecated (never officially) because two editors did not understand them; one template that was changed from a stand-alone to a special case of another because editors did not like what how it appeared when it was expanded (there was no explanation of why one would want to expand it); and one category that was depopulated because a few editors could not understand why anyone want find it useful (explanations were given). However, it is not limited to these days. How many policies and guidelines are based on reliable sources and have references to those sources compared to the policies and guidelines that are based on personal preference. JimCubb (talk) 18:27, 17 February 2011 (UTC)


Jim, to answer your first question, I think I spent less than 15 seconds finding the project (go to Wikipedia:Database reports/WikiProjects by changes, scroll to the bottom, pick something that sounds limited), about 30 seconds looking at the project (load four pages: WP:, WT:, and their histories), and another 10–15 seconds looking at the founder's contributions and personal talk page. In other words, not very much time.
IMO, dead projects are a problem for Wikipedia because:
  1. New people who stumble on them do not end up with a positive impression of Wikipedia. We directly invite them on the banners to hit the project's talk pages if they have questions or want to discuss things. They get to the page and discover lifelessness. The whole place looks "abandoned" when you can't find anyone at a place that is designated for people to congregate. They ask questions, they get no response, and they either feel ignored or they decide that Wikipedia is too complicated to figure out. This effect disproportionately harms groups who are underrepresented on Wikipedia: women (who often want a relationship with others), people with limited English skills (who need to find grammar help), and people with limited technical skills (who need to find technical help).
  2. Fragmentation results in isolation and lots of little independent "warrens" that wrongly believe themselves to be the entire community. One result is WikiProject "guidelines" that directly contradict normal practice. Want a practical example of harm? Look over Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Composers/Infobox debates and related pages. I can't tell you how many hours I lost last year to Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Composers/Infoboxes RfC. If memory serves, two long-time, highly productive editors threatened to quit when they "lost" that debate. That debate would never have happened if the composers' project hadn't been permitted to wall itself off.
  3. Having thousands of WikiProjects makes it hard to find the right one for any purpose. We end up with a bloated directory (have you tried to find a project in an unfamiliar area recently?) and even if you find a project with a plausible name, there's no guarantee that locating the project will put you in touch with an actual person.
So as you can see, I think that dead projects are problems that need to be solved, both at the back end (merging into larger projects) and at the front end (gently preventing clearly doomed projects from getting started). WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:38, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
WhatamIdoing "WikiProject Composers" is great example of what can go wrong with a project that is isolated (though they are not that small). Still to this day we have problems stemming from WikiProject Composers- cant tell you how many times i have had to apologizes to people who got "bit" by the projects members for adding infoboxs. Bigger projects are better just because that have more editors to voice and opinion. Mergers of small Projects should be more aggressive and done much more frequently. We should try and implement a merger policy for small projects. Moxy (talk) 18:45, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
I completely agree with WhatamIdoing about the hazards of dead projects. --Kumioko (talk) 19:37, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Good to see its mainly just the music groups (hopefully the other 5 months are the same) - It not just about keeping a record. Things are not being done properly...We really need to set up a system so we can make sure us here are aware of what is going on. Because h onestly a red link like Talk:Steven Wilson is not better then a historical page?
Just out of curiosity, are there any data that supports the idea that inactive or dead projects are hazardous? There was mention in a recent Signpost of a study that indicates that users do not look at Talk pages. Could this whole prolonged discussion be based purely on the perceptions of the editors involved? JimCubb (talk) 01:20, 19 February 2011 (UTC)

Conservativism

As with the rest of the internet conservatives are a minority. This is glaring here, as Socialism and Liberalism both have strong wikiprojects, where as the conservative movement does not. Although I am not attempting to POV push, and such groups may lead to POV issues, to not have a group that supports improvement, in a NPOV way, of articles that relate to the conservative movement is appalling. --RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 03:26, 23 February 2011 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:WikiProject Conservatism. — Carl (CBM · talk) 03:32, 23 February 2011 (UTC)
Thank you SO very much, how I missed that I have no idea. --RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 07:41, 23 February 2011 (UTC)

WikiProject banner tagging

Hi there.

Can someone point me into the right direction for archived discussions or specific diffs on using full WikiProject banners for tagging rather than the short names or other alternatives. Two good faith editors have raised issues with me about tagging in relation to WPCHINA. I understand discussions took place several months ago in several places but I haven't seen the actual diffs or specific discussions. If someone can provide me with the specific diff, I'm very interested in reading the discussion and understanding how it all works. I have no problem with using the full WikiProject China banner in assessing articles but would like to see hard evidence or solid discussion in writing or the consensus reached in those discussions so I know I got something to back me up or refer to when I or some other editors raise a issue in assessing banner tags . Thanks in advance. --Visik (talk) 05:37, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

Do I correctly understand that you have two people fussing at you for typing {{WPCHINA}} rather than {{WikiProject China}} on relevant talk pages?
It is completely inappropriate for anyone to tell a WikiProject what their template ought to be named, or which redirect the members must prefer. Even WP:STANDARDIZE—an essay I believe seriously inflates the truly trivial benefits of a consistent naming convention—admits that redirects are cheap and can be freely used. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:04, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
Indeed. I have even seen bot operators that remove shortcuts to WikiProject banners and expand them. There is no issue with you using the short name of the template, and people who insist otherwise are misrepresenting consensus. Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 01:18, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
We really shouldn't be using bots to bypass redirects like this. Does anyone know which bots are doing this? I haven't seen it happening myself, but several people seem to think that it is (or was?) happening. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:26, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
[1] for an example that came to mind immediately. Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 01:28, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
WPArkansas Bot was doing the rounds in late 2009 for changing short tags to full tags for WPCHINA [2], think its inactive now.--Visik (talk) 02:01, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
Thanks guys for your comments. I agree with your comments WhatamIdoing. But for the spirit of collegiality with others who disagree, I'll use the full WikiProject banner tags for existing articles already tagged and just update the assessment. Everything else I'll tag it as WPCHINA. --Visik (talk) 01:53, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Just to give some background, the WikiProject Banner standardization has been going on for several months and is an effort to simplify the thousands of variations of WikiProject naming. The projects and the members are free to use whatever they want but the bots and other editors doing cleanup should be allowed to standardize the naming (normally while performing other things at the same time) as it passes through. I also disagree that this is innapropriate. We have bots fixing all sorts of things and IMO there is nothing wrong with standardizing the WikiProject naming in general. It would be different if we were targeting a certain WikiProject but this is a general cleanup designed to make things easier for everyone. To clarify yes redirects are free and usually work fine however with a couple thousand projects each with multiple redirect possibilities it is unnecessarily complicated. As an I do admit thought that we shouldn't be standardizing the banners unless we are doing something else at the same time (such as adding WikiProject bannershell). If you want to see just how many Projects and variations there are take a look here. Here are a couple of reasons why it is good to standardize the banners:

  1. It is easier for editors and people leaving discussions on the talk pages if they don't have to try and decipher what is what.
  2. It is less messy when you have all the banners that say WikiProject Foo.
  3. It is easier to program scripts, bots and Apps like AWB if you can just look for WikiProject Foo rather than try and anticipate every conceivable possibility of a WikiProject banner.--Kumioko (talk) 01:58, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the rationale and I think its reasonable to assume newcomers or people unfamiliar with project names should be able to see the full name. I can understand having too many short banner tags can add to the complexity. But as you mentioned, bots will do the cleanup and I don't have a issue with it.--Visik (talk) 02:04, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the quick reply and understanding. I also forgot to mention that there are a couple of projects that adamantly objected to their banner being changed (but only 3 that I know of; WPMILHIST, USRoads and one other that I cannot remember). This does mean however and it was made clear to them that the functionality being built into some of the tools like AWB to do things like add wikiprojectbannershell would not work with them because the logic was only being written to support WikiProject X because to add thousands of lines of code to account for all the possibilities is not reasonable and not efficient for the program to run or to maintain. --Kumioko (talk) 02:09, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
Kumioko, I know the background: I've long objected to it. From where I sit, pushing a mistake for two and a half years does not make it any less of a mistake.
Suggesting that a group of people follow a desirable pattern is one thing. Telling them that they must follow the pattern, or forcing that pattern on them by bot—especially on such flimsy grounds as "People leaving discussions will be confused" (as if the purpose of {{Chemistry}} couldn't be guessed at just as easily as the purpose of {{Talkheader}}, and much more easily than the instructions to the archiving bots)—is inappropriate.
There are real consequences for forcing volunteers to do what they don't want: They quit. For example, I've dramatically reduced the amount of time I spend assessing articles for WPMED since Xeno pushed through a change to the template name last year. Category:Unassessed medicine articles and Category:Unknown-importance medicine articles used to be empty—because I emptied them, nearly every day—and kept that way. I have assessed more than articles for WPMED than everyone else put together, since the day the assessment program was started.
Now—well, if you prefer the bot's opinion to mine, then you can have the bot do that work. I do a bit here and there, because no one else does it systematically and the 1.0 team needs it done, but candidly, when I get irritated by the reminders that a bot was considered more valuable more than me, I stop again.
This gets back to the discussion above: WikiProjects are social groups. They are volunteers working together. If you don't treat them well, they'll stop. If you prefer standardization to people, then you're on the right track. I don't, and I think we're on the wrong track with this plan. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:35, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
Well the issue of it being a mistake is an opinion that you are welcome to have just as I disagreed with delinking dates and several other changes that have affected WP over the last few years. I have even thrown my hands up in frustration a couple times and walked away (sometimes for months) but I always come back eventually. I also find it unfortunate that you chose to stop assessing articles but that also is your decision. You are correct that we are all volunteers but I would hope that few are so concerned about WikiProject Banners that they would give up and leave in frustrations because a bot expanded the name of a banner. I also understand that you see little value in making things clear and understandable for folks who aren't familiar with the thousands of policies (many of which contradict each other), naming conventions and secret squirrel handshake situations that exist on WP. I for one think that standardizing things like the banners is extremely useful for the longterm health of WP and that we need to try and trim down and eliminate some of the unnecessary ambiguities. As for valuing a bot over an editor. To make such an assessment quite frankly is just being dramatic IMO. If you really think that its too bad but I believe I speak for nearly everyone when i say that your (or any editor for that matter) edits are actually more valuable than the bot edits. Bots can be programmed to do many things but to accurately assess and gauge an article is something that cannot be easily done with more than a marginal degree of accuracy. They cannot write articles, discuss issues about them or any number of other things. So no you are not less important than a bot. --Kumioko (talk) 03:59, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
No, I'm not being dramatic, and I'm not deliberately on strike. I just realized a while ago that I wasn't doing that tedious work any more. I stopped because it was no longer fun. It became no longer fun at the moment when Xeno (inadvertently) arranged for the community to tell me that they appreciated it so little that they thought my preferences about how to do this work were unimportant.
I understand the bot-programming problem: I do assessments with a very limited, rather elderly script. It does not understand the concept of redirects. If a bot changes the template name (or if someone types in one of the many valid redirects), the script adds a duplicate template under the hard-coded (most commonly used) template name, which requires manual clean up. I can't (physically) do this for hundreds of articles. Having a bot gratuitously substitute the less common name simply because somebody else wants a mindless consistently, regardless of the needs of the people who are actually doing the work, is enough of a problem to tip the task from "a backlog I regularly handled for two years" to "a task I regularly avoid". WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:26, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

My point of view in brief:

  • It's OK that everyone adds wikiproject banners the way they like. Shortcuts are faster to type than long names anyway. So, I also may type WPE instead of WikiProject England.
  • We should expect that the final result is readable for future editors. When I read wikicode I like to be able to understand what a template does without having to click on the list of transcluded templates at the bottom. It's not always obvious were shortcuts redirect to. That's why we have bots for.
  • There is always this conflict between easy to add, easy to read. It's much easier to remember that {{WikiProject Foo}} corresponds to WikiProject Foo but it's much easier to write WPF.
  • I initiated a month ago a discussion in RfD about non-standard names for wikiproject banners like CHINA (not WPCHINA).
  • Small detail: The reason Yobot did this edit above is because of the missing |1= which causes AWB bots to froze. I'm working on it but until then I usually run the bot once per month to add the missing parameter. -- Magioladitis (talk) 09:44, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

I too disagreed with the standardization. It would seem that quite a few people disagreed with the standardization as it failed to get past its being an essay. It is not a policy and it is not a guideline.

It is no more confusing to the average editor to see {{Composers}} than it is to seen |blp= or |blpo=. However, it confuses the bots. Therefore, according to Kumioko, we must standardize.

{{WPBS}} displays just fine with or without the |1= so long as |blp= is not used. However, if |1= is not there AWB bots freeze. Therefore, according to Magioladitis, we must insert the |1=.

Who says bots are not considered more important than humans? JimCubb (talk) 02:05, 12 February 2011 (UTC) ──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── That is not exactly what I said. Yes it does help the bots there is no denying that but it helps the people too. The bots are there to do stuff that are routine and bore typical people. In the very basic example you gave there is no way to know if {{Composers}} is for a wikiProject banner or a template or something else entirely. Maybe its a template listing composers? And what about {{Composers1}}, {{WP Composers}}, {{WPCOMPOSERS}} and {{WikiProject Composers}}? I can't tell by looking at it. But if all the WikiProject banners start with WikiProject then there is absolutely no misunderstanding what it is for and anyone can tell at the slightest glance without having to dig around and start clicking links. I personally hate having to click a link and hunt for what the name is only to find out that the redirect leads me to another redirect because 2 banners merged 2 years ago and knowone cleaned it up. That is why bots are good, people can only do so much and they forget to do things. The way things are now there are well over 1000 banners and almost all have at least 1 redirect and many have multiple redirects. Are you really trying to convince me that its easier for people and bots to look at the thousands of variations and somehow know that what we are looking at is a WikiProject banner? I'm sorry but I'm not buying that argument. There are just too many variations. Standardization is a good thing and it will make things much much easier in the long run for bots and for people. For the sake of understanding though could you provide some examples and or rational of how not standardizing the banners would be better?

Heres another example. Below is a listing of all the redirects to WikiProject Food and Drink. If you were looking at these redirects and weren't familiar with the project would you Know that {{F&D}},{{Wpf}} or {{WP Ice Cream}} would all lead you to WikiProject Food and drink or would you be inclined to think that there was a separate project for WikiProject Ice Cream. Or maybe that F&D stood for something else like Fire and Disaster? How about Friendship and Dating? But if we standardize it then WikiProject Food and Drink is pretty hard to misunderstand.

--Kumioko (talk) 04:27, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

If we're assuming an average talk page, I don't see any problems with any of these. The top of the talk page will probably say something like:
{{talkheader}}
{{Food}}
and the editor will probably look at it and think, "Oh, I bet that the first thing is what makes that tan 'This is the talk page for discussing...' box, and the second thing is what makes the 'This article is within the scope of WikiProject Food and Drink' box."
Editors don't see these things without first seeing the finished product on the talk page. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:57, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
I can see that regardless of what arguments are presented on either side neither of us is going to agree. I personally think that standardization is good and think we should be working toward that for the many improvements it brings and in your defense you prefer to stay with the status quo because you see no value in standardization. Clearly neither of us are going to change our minds so I see no reason to dwell on it. The bottom line is you can put whatever you want down and the bots will do the tedious work of standardizing it so if its easier and faster for you to put Food rather than WikiProject Food and Drink thats perfectly fine, go ahead. No harm no fowl and no hard feelings. Knowone is telling you otherwise. Thats what the bots are for. --Kumioko (talk) 19:47, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
Bots would not be approved to make these changes, since bypassing redirects is generally not encouraged behavior. AWB users are expected to refrain from making this sort of change, as well, per the AWB rules #3 and #4. — Carl (CBM · talk) 21:56, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
The bots would not be able to do these changes as a standalone change that is true however if the bot were there making other changes then doing these would be just fine and that is how things are working now. --Kumioko (talk) 23:22, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
Standardisation enables bots to groups projects banners in WPBS and do other stuff. I don't understand why someone not to want a clean wikicode. I made a lot of programs in various computer languages and even if they work, I usually go back to fix spacing, parameters naming to make them look better and easier to read. -- Magioladitis (talk) 01:08, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
As this discussion shows, these kinds of changes are controversial (evidenced by the lukewarm reception of standardization ever since it was introduced). As such, AWB users should not perform them, even if there were other changes applied simultaneously, due to rule #3 of AWB usage. Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 01:12, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
As well as the rules of AWB usage, as WhatamIdoing indicated, these changes do nothing to affect the rendering of the page in view mode. There has been a bit of a flap about editors and their bot making changes that do not affect the rendering of the page. Standardization's status on the list of priorities should be almost at the bottom after all the backlogs have been cleaned and all the repairs have been checked for correctness. JimCubb (talk) 01:55, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Oh, and to answer Kumioko's question with his carefully prepared list of redirects: Yes, I would because above the edit window I would see either the full banner for the Food & Drink project or its name in {{WPBS}}. I would go so far as to say that a person who could not make the connection between the banner and the code lacks the competence to make a positive contribution to the encyclopedia. JimCubb (talk) 02:11, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
I really don't see what the problem is here. Are we really arguing about cleaning up article talk page templates? The WikiProject standardization is allowing us to fix a lot of problems with the talk pages much much faster. Like making sure that all the BLP's have living = yes; like making sure that the templates appear in the correct order as outlined by the talk page layout; it will allow them to be easier to read and understand as well as other reasons without having thousands of lines of code. These are all important changes that will be made far more difficult without the standardization. There is no need for these types of changes to be forced to be done manually by users because 2 or 3 editors don't like bots or standardization. IMO these banners should have been standardized from the start instead of allowing every project to create a banner with any name they wanted. With that said. I support that if the users don't want to spell out the banner they don't have too. I also support that if the projects don't want to standardize their banner that's ok too. But I also support the code developers in only supporting those projects that use the WikiProject X format. If the projects do not want to use it that's ok but it should be made clear to them that by doing so the code will not fix the various problems that could be fixed if they did use it. If there is no "requirement" for them to use a standard format then that by extension also applies to the code developers for applications like AWB.
In reply to JimChubb's comment about me carefully selecting an example. I didn't need to carefully select anything. There are examples literally everywhere that are as bad or worse than the one I pointed out above. WP is littered with garbage like that. Its like cleaning out the garage. You can only pile stuff in there for so long before the stuff on the bottom starts to rot. Its time to clean the garage and get rid of the banner rot. As far as the competence comment goes WP is chock full of awesome editors and at the same time it has just as many or more that aren't so good. Its that group that needs the help. --Kumioko (talk) 03:06, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Are we arguing about cleaning up talk-page templates?
No, we are arguing about whether what you call "cleaning up" is actually an improvement, from the perspective of the individual humans who have to deal with the results.
In case I have been unclear: I do not want to spell out the banner, and I do not want the banner to be spelled out by a bot, either. I want the tag to remain MILHIST, rather than being "helpfully" converted to "WikiProject Military History", and I want the tag to be WPMED, not "WikiProject Medicine". WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:06, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Thats fine and I understand. I did not want to delink the dates in WP. I did not want to do several other changes that were forced upon me, but they happened anyway. The standard is established and is working. I do not think you have the voice to represent the entire project but if you feel that strongly start a discussion on the projects talk page and see what the members of the project want to do. Again you need to make clear that the logic will then not support that project if they choose not to follow the standard naming. In the end its the projects decision if they want to use it though.
I can't speak much for WPMED but as for MILHIST. They are one of 3 exceptions out several hundred projects that stepped up and vocally opposed the standardization. Thats fine but thats why the logic does not work with that project. That is why when AWB adds a Wikiprojectbannershell, adds BLP to WPBS or several other changes, it leaves the WPMILHIST banner outside or doesn't do that particular edit. Same goes for USRoads. The logic as written in AWB (which is used by several bots and a couple hundred users) supports WikiProject X. Not Insert a list of over 1000 lines of code to account for all the variations of projects and redirects and then have to maintain that code as the daily changes to the projects come about. I also fail to understand how the poor humans who are suddenly "forced" to deal with WikiProject Medicine instead of WPMED are enduring such a hardship. Aside from the bots again, For the people who work the project it might be ok to see WPMED if they are part of WikiProject Medicine. But WPMED could mean Mediteranean, Medicine or Medium (like the TV show maybe) and again I agree that these edits should only be done if we are doing something else more significant to minimize the traffic. --Kumioko (talk) 19:39, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Kumioko, I think it's wrong to compare "standard" things in article space, to "standard" things within WikiProjects. Just because a lot of WikiProjects want to have a more standardized banner does not mean those WikiProjects are in favour of forcing standardization upon others. I think projects should have certain freedoms, and what they call their banner should be one of those freedoms. Mlm42 (talk) 21:38, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

Just so I understand, there are bots approved to go through articles and add dashes to ISBN numbers, but standardizing the names of WP Banner templates because some editors cannot type the extra few characters is considered a problem? WikiLogic at its most productive! Jim Miller See me | Touch me 04:27, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
The way this is usually thought of, adding dashes to ISSN numbers actually changes the appearance of the article, and in a way that has broad support. On the other hand, bypassing redirects on talk pages has no effect at all on the rendered page, and violates the general principle that redirects don't need to be bypassed.
We generally don't have bots going around making changes that don't affect the rendering, except as a byproduct of some more useful activity that does change the rendering. It fills up people's watchlists and makes them look at a lot of diffs for changes that have no actual effect on the article.
For example, SmackBot will change {{fact}} to {{citation needed}} but only when it is also adding a date to the template, which changes the article's categories. — Carl (CBM · talk) 12:46, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
Reply to Mlm42 - I agree with what you are saying and never advocated that the project "had" to standardize. In fact 3 declined and I support that because they have the right to do so. However they do so with the knowledge that the "logic" in AWB and other applications will not work on them because it is unreasonable to code thousands of lines (at least 1 for each project) when one should do. For example the logic currently looks for WikiProject X but if we had to account for each project and each redirect for each template it would have over 1000 lines that looked something like this:
ArticleText = Regex.Replace(ArticleText, @"{{\s*(WikiProject[ _]+African[ _]+diaspora|AFRO|Project[ _]+afro|WPAD|WPAFRICANAMERICAN|WPAFRICANDIASPORA|WPAFRO|WikiProject[ _]+African[ _]+Diaspora)\s*([\|}{<\n])", "{{WikiProject African diaspora$2", RegexOptions.IgnoreCase);
Aside from making it easier to program its easier to read if all the projects Say WikiProject something rather than 15 projects with no consistency allong with 5 or 6 other templates. Its true for the articles with 1 or 2 templates its fairly easy to figure out but if you have an article like talk:Barack Obama or talk:Douglas MacArthur with multiple templates then it because fairly complicated to figure out whats doing what. Add to that the issue that many WikiProject banner redirects don't even refer to them as a wikiproject banner (food, Drink, US, Maine, etc) one is left looking at the template wondering what it does. Standardizing naming on the templates should be just like the way we do it on the main space. The naming for porals, categories, infoboxes and the many many other things is standard, particularly when they are in widespread use and the talk page templates should not be any different.
Reply to JimMillerJr - Pretty much sums it up.
Reply to CBM - I don't think that is how its usually thought of. Just the way some have perceived it and made it into. Also the watchlist comment is really invalid and a bad example because I mark most of my talk page edits as minor so they won't appear on most folks watchlists and most editors ignore bot edits anyway so they wouldn't be clogging any watchlists. As for smackbot. Its true that it does some dubious editing occassionally but I personally think there is a huge difference on how the casual reader would interpret a {{fact}} tag and {{citation needed}}. I have actually talked to folks who though Fact meant that it was a verified fact and Citation needed is pretty self explanatory. --Kumioko (talk) 17:30, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
Kumioko's been (temporarily) stripped of AWB privileges and is at ANI over this. WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:04, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
Yep pretty sad that my access got revoked by an admin who doesn't agree with me in this discussion but rather than discuss it my access gets revoked damaging my credibility in the discussion. that's Wiki I guess. --Kumioko (talk) 14:20, 20 February 2011 (UTC)

Further to the above discussion:

  1. No one should be chiding anyone for using a shortcut template, and I don't beleive anyone is.
  2. In general we (the editing community at large) do not make edits specifically to replace template short cuts with the canonical version.
  3. In many cases we would like to make such a replacement if there is no cost - i.e. bundled with another edit - for the sake of readability.
  4. In some cases people take umbrage at having the short cut they used replaced with a canonical name, see it as somehow indicating a reprimand. It is never intended to be. I personally use cn, wfy, unrefsect etc., safe in the knowledge that a bot will change them to the "correct" form. Human editing time is precious, bot time, less so.
Rich Farmbrough, 16:45, 20 February 2011 (UTC).
I personally consider having a clean and easy to read version history more important than my precious time. I'd much rather take the extra 2 seconds of time to type out the date= parameter on tags for example, than have a bot follow after me everwywhere polluting the version history with senseless, avoidable, inane edits. There's lots of great ideas in WP:Pruning article revisions to solve this problem, but what I really want to see implemented, and frankly I'm very surprised it hasn't already been done, is an option to automatically hide bot edits in the version history (you can do it in Recent changes, so why not in the Revision history???). When I'm trying to track changes to an article I don't want to see a useless tag-changing bot every second edit, it really pisses me off. I find things like this ridiculous. Apologies for going off topic. -- œ 21:17, 20 February 2011 (UTC)
Indeed, it is something whose absence has often puzzles me, as well as the inability to hide revert pairs. Rich Farmbrough, 14:17, 23 February 2011 (UTC).

Tag Article .

How Do I Tag An Article . It Is Not Easy. Can You Answer As Soon As Possible.. Thank You. --JabocJacobOhYeah (talk) 03:36, 1 March 2011 (UTC)__ __

Can you explain what you want to tag it for? Do you mean to add a WikiProject template to the talk page? If so, which WikiProject? Walkerma (talk) 03:48, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

nested=

Hi

Can someone point me to documentation on "nested=" what it does etc.

Why are people removing it from the templates on talk pages

Chaosdruid (talk) 12:23, 3 March 2011 (UTC)

There was a time when that parameter was needed for templates that were wrapped into a "banner shell". Now the templates detect that automatically, so the parameter is no longer necessary. So at the moment it has no effect, and some people started removing it, although removing it also has no effect. Basically you can just ignore the "nested" parameter as a historical anomaly and you don't need to add it to any future articles. — Carl (CBM · talk) 12:33, 3 March 2011 (UTC)
I admit that it has no effect to the "rendering" of the page as CBM suggests but it does have an effect in that it is leftover garbage left lying around. I also admit that ignoring problems is one way of dealing with them but I personally tried and get rid of them when I saw them. If you don't want to spend the time on it though thats ok too. --Kumioko (talk) 15:10, 3 March 2011 (UTC)
@Kumioko - "If you don't want to spend the time on it though thats ok too." Who was this directed at ? Chaosdruid (talk) 20:59, 3 March 2011 (UTC)
Knowone in particular and I didn't mean it to sound snyde or rude. It was just a general statement. I was actually one of those going through and removing the nested field (along with a couple hundred others) and got my AWB access revoked because another user with admin rights didn't agree and rather than discuss it revoked my access. After a long and gruelling beatdown in ANI I basically gave up editing and am moving towards retirement from WP. Down to a dozen edits a day instead of over a thousand. To answer your question though (which Carl already basically did) there is no reason for the field and no reason to keep it. Me and CBM just differ in the opinion that he would rather leave useless garbage lying about and I would rather remove it and clean things up leaving the useful stuff behind and making it easier to read and edit. --Kumioko (talk) 21:09, 3 March 2011 (UTC)
Np - I just did not want to answer if it wasn't me you were talking to lol. I am of the opinion that if there is no longer a need for it and it is not going to be reinstated, then I will remove it from our projects the Robotics templates. There is no need to add things that are unnecessary. Chaosdruid (talk) 07:13, 4 March 2011 (UTC)
I encourage you to remove it for various reasons: Rendering is slower when empty or unknown parameters exist, some editors tend to copy templates from one page to another, some bots may malfunction with these parameters, without them it's easier to read the code and find other stupid mistakes in typing like missing brackets. -- Magioladitis (talk) 16:04, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia:WikiProject Intelligence

Is this an officially sanctioned wikiproject? Wikipedia:WikiProject Intelligence -- I can't find a link to a proposal. 65.95.15.144 (talk) 07:07, 4 March 2011 (UTC)

It is recommended that before Wikiprojects are started that people see if there is a need for them thru the WikiProject Proposals procedure. However editor(s) are free at anytime to form projects that they believe will help Wikipedia. On Wikipedia you dont need to ask permission to create articles, essays, portals, projects, etc. That said - other editors are free to bring up projects for evaluation (as you have done here) and/or deletion so that the greater community can determine there viability and neutrality. See Wikipedia:Proposed deletion for more info as i think the project you mentioned is already covered by other projects and deletion would be supported.Moxy (talk) 07:55, 4 March 2011 (UTC)
WikiProjects are normally taken to WP:MFD. WP:PROD is only used in the main namespace (articles, lists, diambiguation pages—stuff without a "Wikipedia:" or "Template:" or such at the beginning of the page name.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 07:42, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

New page layout

Thumbs up from me, so far. Looks nice. Thanks, Kirill Lokshin -- œ 07:22, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

Concern Concur - we needed a new updated look.Moxy (talk) 07:33, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
I don't happen to share Moxy's concern, but I think the new look is fine. WhatamIdoing (talk) 07:43, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
Thanks everyone! I'm going to be making various minor adjustments to the text and formatting over the next few days—some of the sections could stand to be rewritten and so forth—so if anyone has suggestions for other changes that I should make at the same time, please feel free to offer them! Kirill [talk] [prof] 08:23, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

Different "types" of projects

It seems to me, personally, anyway, that there are basically at least two variant "types" of projects: those which deal with a subject which has had a good deal of academic and other attention over years, basically the projects related to sciences, geography, and other disciplines, and the "pop culture" projects, primarily dealing with television programs, performers, pop music, etc. Based on what I can see, the latter tend to get more attention in the short run than the former, but they also tend to become inactive when the project's main topic does. Depending on the scope of the "academic" projects, I tend to think, personally, that they are probably the ones which we should most work to maintain; Lady Gaga and other related topics of pop culture tend to have fewer reference and other sources, but also tend to get more attention, and can thus generally live without them. The academic projects tend to be, so far as I can tell, generally less receiving of attention, but have more resources which would make development of content sometimes easier. Any opinions? John Carter (talk) 19:07, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Directory includes Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Directory/Wikipedia, "a directory of WikiProjects that deal with Wikipedia contents systems and general maintenance". This is the first thing that came to my mind when I saw the heading of this section in my watchlist.
Wavelength (talk) 20:29, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
I do tend to agree with you John, and also we need an element of realism/pragmatism. It is hard to maintain a project with no interest, but easy if there is some nexus of interested parties, and I think much more successful if we are flexible rather than rigid. So for instance, there are a few editors interested in Essex-related articles as we can see by recent posts here and elsewhere. In an ideal world, a broader scope such as an East Anglia project might be more sensible, but risks losing input of some editors who really only want to focus on their local area - hence my apporach is to foster interest rather than make a top-down proscriptive approach. To me also, the collaborations are a key indicator of the activity of a project, and I have been looking at timelines of the activity of collaborations over wikiprojects - again, the key here is to foster interest (not make it from nothing). My suggestion is to keep an eye out for groups of two or more keen editors in an area and try and give them a boost. I also think looking into the hisotries and recording activity levels somewhere is very helpful. Casliber (talk · contribs) 00:36, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
I had the same initial thought as Wavelength, and also that we have a third type, which is WikiProjects that aren't called WikiProjects (WP:NPP, for example).
On the actual point: WikiProjects are social groups. They are people who choose to work with each other and happen to be interested in something. We can't magic people interested in academic subjects into being; we can only encourage the interests that already exist.
One thing that we can do, and have successfully done for academic subjects, is to encourage a broader focus. WP:WikiProject Psychology isn't a hotbed of activity, but it is sustainable and functional. Individually, WikiProject Primal Therapy or WikiProject Dream Interpretation would be doomed, but when you add up all of these narrow psychology/alt-psych people, they make a sustainable group. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:04, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

I guess my primary point is that we should probably try to do a better job of what might be "sustainer" projects. So, for instance, although it is perfectly possible that Lady Gaga may be active and thus generate additional content for forty years or more, it is also I guess potentially possible that she might retire or become inactive by the end of the month. In that event, if the interest in the related content swiftly dies down, maybe merging the dedicated project for her into a broader project which might have more sustained interest, or at least ongoing content development, would be a good idea. I tend to think that the main "problems" tend to be more in the possibly transient "pop culture" projects, be they music, television, movies, or whatever, which have a pronounced tendency to become inactive when nothing new relative to them is being done (The Beatles and some others being a bit of an exception). John Carter (talk) 17:23, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

I've just been compiling some music project statistics which may be worth looking at. You can see how both 'popular' and 'serious' music projects perform in reality. See Table showing productivity/size of the 48 music projects. --Kleinzach 08:27, 11 March 2011 (UTC)

Rash of Wikiproject deletions

I have noticed we have had a rash of Wikiprojects deleted - good to clean house i guess - but we have some that may be being deleted that should not be (cant tell as there deleted). If i am not wrong we decided long ago that we would keep the bigger dead projects for historical purposes no? -->Template:Historical and Template:Dormant. It has been brought to my attention a few weeks ago we have many red links from projects templates on talk and article pages that have been deleted over the past six months. I dont think all understand our guidelines on this that only rarely should projects that had a vitality (even limited) be deleted - wondering if we should update our wording on our guidelines on this and perhaps set up a system that will let us know here when projects are up for deletion so we (meaning more editors that are familiar with our policies on the matter) can determine if they should be retained for historical purposes and to make sure that the deletions are done properly and implemented fully. What you guys/girls think?Moxy (talk) 08:29, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

When? Where? How? Can we keep a permanent log of deleted wikiprojects here please, so new enthusiasts don't reinvent the wheel? I've been using template:inactive, didn't know about the dormant one. Casliber (talk · contribs) 09:38, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
Isn't ArticleAlertBot supposed to be notifying us of pages up for deletion? -- œ 09:50, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
We're not signed up to receive article alerts, for one. More importantly, the bot would need a category to work from; most projects are buried several levels under Category:WikiProjects, and I don't think the bot can parse through the categories recursively. Kirill [talk] [prof] 09:55, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

When you say deleted, do you mean via MfD? It would not be too hard to make a bot that recursively scans the WikiProject category and announces MFDs somewhere. — Carl (CBM · talk) 12:20, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

Yes..Moxy (talk) 12:25, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
Have any been deleted so far? If so can we make a log somewhere here then (?) Casliber (talk · contribs) 21:51, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
Yes -- not sure how many still in the process of finding them all at --Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Archived debates. Will make a list so we can review the ones gone. Moxy (talk) 21:57, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
Is there some reason we should keep all the dead wikiprojects? I think a huge chunk of dead wikiprojects gives the false appearance of "nobody cares"-ism. Almost all of the ones being MFDed have had little to no actual activity to speak of, nor any relevant discussion of any relevance. Ten Pound Hammer, his otters and a clue-bat • (Otters want attention) 05:48, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
You say "Almost all" so you know the ones off hand that we should have kept? Not sure the way it may "appear" to some is a valid reason to deleted the record of what was done by projects. Moxy (talk) 06:49, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
Wikiprojects are not in article space. I am all for economy of effort, and anything which at all facilitates collaborative editing. If some future editor stumbles over a dormant wikiproject on a talk page, and alerts others who may have been interested, then all the better. Many broad wikiprojects are all but inactive too, so activity as such is not a great criterion for deleting. Deleting a wikiproject has a chilling effect, essentially sending a message that certain groups of articles are not worth collaborating on, and I resent that some editors feel it is their right to dictate this to others. Collaborative editing is what this whole place is supposed to be about. A log makes this a little easier to deal with, but not much. Casliber (talk · contribs) 10:30, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
I have never seen a case where a WikiProject goes dead, someone is alerted of it and the WikiProject comes back to life. And if every single topic gets its own WikiProject, then everything's spread too thin, subdivided too far, and everyone is confused: if I like X, should I go to WikiProject Y, Z or A since all three seem to cover it? Ten Pound Hammer, his otters and a clue-bat • (Otters want attention) 14:37, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
WP:VETMED and WP:NURSE have both cycled through periods of inactivity and revival. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:55, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
I admit that WikiProject United States was basically dead and rotting on the side of the road for years before I revived it. Sincen I basically had to recreate everything including a lot of work from several users on the Project Banner template I can say with a degree of certainty that it would have made little difference if the project would have been deleted and I was starting from scratch. Even the history that was there was so many years old that it was all but useless. I admit that in some cases it might be useful to keep the history though and in some cases the projects do get revived later. Certainly if there is evidence of that such as the 2 you present we should keep them and redirect rather than delete. But I also take the position personally that if the project goes through periods of inactivity for extended periods then it should be a task force of a larger related project and not its own WikiProject. --Kumioko (talk) 21:33, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
I don't think there's necessarily a reason why all—or even most—dead WikiProjects need to be retained as independent entities; but, in my experience, merging them into an active project, or transforming them into a task force of one, is a more effective approach than outright deletion. Keep in mind that, if a project is deleted, chances are it will wind up being recreated at some point in the future; it's not as though these topics will suddenly lose their followings. Absorbing an inactive project into an active one, on the other hand, ensures that there remains a logical way for editors interested in that particular topic to participate in ongoing collaboration that (potentially) includes it. Kirill [talk] [prof] 11:58, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
So changing the name from "WikiProject X" to "X Task Force" automatically makes it not dead. Whatever you say. Ten Pound Hammer, his otters and a clue-bat • (Otters want attention) 14:16, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
Of course it doesn't—but I never suggested that it did! What merging a project rather than deleting it does do is ensure that nobody recreates that project in the future. If a project with a reasonable name is deleted, the next person with an interest in that topic will almost certainly recreate the page and start the entire cycle again; if the project is absorbed into an active project, that person will either join the active project (in the best case) or have their impulse to create pages/templates/etc. constrained by the active project's existing infrastructure (in the worst case). Kirill [talk] [prof] 20:03, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
  • For the record, this is every WikiProject that was deleted in February:
  • To say that doesn't suggest a precedent for deleting inactive WikiProjects would be foolish. The ones that were deleted had virtually nothing on their talk pages — i.e., no discussion about the project's scope, just things like Esperanza invitations, "is this still active?" or off-topic rants. Also, every single one that was deleted had mostly just the bare bones — little to no templates, only a black and white page with a members list (and sometimes not even that!) All of the ones that were deleted had five members at the most, and I know that in almost every instance, at least two out of five were retired and/or made only a couple edits (for the Fender project, I believe, there was one editor who literally made no other edits other than signing up!). Also, at least a few of these simply didn't even get started — that is, the founder did the groundwork, maybe got one or two members, but there was literally no activity at all within a couple months. I would call that a total non-starter and say that it quite clearly has no grounds for inclusion. Also, many of them are overspecialized groups for individual singers or bands, where it's best just to let that band's articles fall under the appropriate music genre (or, if it's country, whine about how nobody ever does anything on the country articles). In short, I think there is a good precedent built up that WikiProjects should be deleted within reason. Ten Pound Hammer, his otters and a clue-bat • (Otters want attention) 14:35, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
I don't think that a dozen low-profile discussions over the course of a month constitute a substantive precedent, but that's really beside the point. The real question is far more practical: when the next new editor with an interest in, say, Steely Dan joins Wikipedia and decides that they want to organize work on the topic, will they:
(a) Magically discover that they should really be working as part of WikiProject Rock music, and that creating a new "WikiProject Steely Dan" would be unnecessary and/or frowned upon; or
(b) Happily create WikiProject Steely Dan again, and possibly go off on a frenzy of template creation, tagging, and other wasted effort.
In my experience, the correct answer is almost always (b), particularly if the "active" projects involved in the topic area are less than totally thorough with tagging articles and otherwise advertising their own existence.
I don't particularly care whether the content of stillborn WikiProjects is deleted, in other words; but having those locations redirect to the "correct" WikiProject is far more useful than merely leaving them as redlinks. Kirill [talk] [prof] 20:03, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Good to see its mainly just the music groups - Things are not being done properly...We really need to set up a system so we can make sure us here are aware of what is going on. Because honestly a red link like at Talk:Steven Wilson is not better then a historical page?Moxy (talk) 20:12, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
I completely agree with Kirill; dead projects should be redirected instead of deleted.. redlinks to deleted WikiProjects aren't helpful to anyone. Mlm42 (talk) 21:36, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
I don't have a problem with deletions in general but I think that there could a case for producing be some general guidelines on when and when not to delete a project. Things such as Wikipedia:WikiProject Theme songs were kept in Jan 2011 where as some projects with slightly more content were deleted in Feb. Sometimes it depends who can be bothered to vote on the nomination though. -- WOSlinker (talk) 22:01, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
You are correct we need to watch out more and be involved in the votes (would be nice if editors notified peoples as the guidelines say to do - but thats another problem). I have added a bit to the Council/Guide in-hopes that people will actually notify this "noticeboard" when this come up... any-other changes/updates we should make? Should we talk about what should be saved and if so what is that we are going to save.Moxy (talk) 23:05, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

TenPoundHammer has explained this well above. Re WP:ENC, this is an encyclopedia, not not a dumping ground for failed social media fora. WikiProjects are not part of the encyclopedia, not an end in themselves, but there to facilitate article creation. If they are over-narrowly defined, they fragment activity with the result that motivation flags, standards fall, and editors leave.

Unfortunately, around 2007 to 2008, there was a 'rash' (to use the pejorative word used in this topic heading) of new music projects devoted to single artists and bands, that were started with minimal participation. On average they seem to have lasted about 6 months, produced generally poor quality articles, and then lost their editors. It's a bad idea to put this stuff on 'life support', when we want new contributors to join productive, broadly-based projects (which in the case of music usually means genre-based groups). Also remember: any useful work done by these old projects - articles, templates or whatever - will not be deleted. It's only the ephemera that existed in the background that is no longer relevant. --Kleinzach 02:46, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

But what's the point in deleting when we could just make a redirect to some bigger project? Mlm42 (talk) 04:34, 9 March 2011 (UTC)
Redirects are indeed sometimes appropriate. It's case by case - exactly what the WP:Mfd process is anyway. --Kleinzach 05:37, 9 March 2011 (UTC)
Yes much more should simply be redirected and not deleted so the history is not gone.Moxy (talk) 09:33, 9 March 2011 (UTC)
"Re WP:ENC"?! WP:ENC is not a reason, it is a rant. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 09:43, 9 March 2011 (UTC)
For what its worth I agree that we don't need to be keeping defunct and inactive projects if they are not being used and especially if they were never very active. There even less needed if there is a low chance of it being restarted. If needed we can always create it again later. Many of the ones mentioned above were rightly deleted IMO. If you expand the list to those deleted for the last 3 or 4 months it is much longer. There were several deleted that were in some way affiliated with WikiProject United States over the last few months thanks to Kumioko as seen here with several more that should be. US roads recently downgraded several roads related Wikiprojects to Taskforces and Eastern Washington and Seattle are being incorporated into Taskforces of Washington State if they haven't done so already. --71.163.243.16 (talk) 12:35, 9 March 2011 (UTC)
Agree that from now on these old projects should just be redirected to their parents, if any. I think that's the best outcome here. Do we have consensus on this then? If so we can add a formal instruction somewhere to that effect and be done with this thread. -- œ 11:05, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
Support - best to keep the history intact of projects that did have a vitality - A redirect still makes the project null and void and can be removed from all relevant lists (Directories) of active projects.Moxy (talk) 11:12, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
It appears the Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Front matter already contained similar advice; I have just reworded it to advise redirecting the project. I removed the advice to create a task force, since I think that's something the parent project could decide. Mlm42 (talk) 20:49, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
Good advice at Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Front matter is often ignored. The advice could be given strength by "speedy close" !votes on the basis that instructions haven't been followed and the deletion discussion is premature. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 01:14, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
By the way, ten or so WikiProjects are currently on the chopping block, and based on the number of votes, most look like they're going to get deleted. Mlm42 (talk) 02:07, 12 March 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:WikiProject Trivium

Would an admin take a look at the deleted Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Trivium (Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:WikiProject Trivium)? I believe this WikiProject had substantive discussions according to my comment to J Milburn (talk · contribs). The page was deleted before he had a chance to comment at the MfD. Cunard (talk) 09:20, 10 March 2011 (UTC)

There were 13 sections on the talk page with just about all the talk talking place in 2007. I could put a copy on one of your user pages if you want to see it or if you are wanting the project undeleted then you should add a request at Wikipedia:Deletion review. -- WOSlinker (talk) 21:26, 10 March 2011 (UTC)