Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Modular Articles

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Potential problems seen by DGG[edit]


The advantages are obvious, so I'll mention a few problems ahead.

  1. Some of the articles being worked with a controversial, and involve dozens of daily edits, many of them disruptive. If there is a text unit in common in two articles, who gets to change it? To fit in with one article's other changes it may need to be modified one way, and this may not suit the other article. But otherwise they will diverge and no longer be modular. Transclusion only works with agreed-upon text, and requires disciplined and organized editing.
  2. Organized and orderly editing is entirely foreign to WP. There are always a few people who try to do it for a few months, until they get sufficiently disgusted to leave, or sometimes to become an administrator and worry about other people's projects. If WP were to change, we might be able to keep such people, which would certainly be a good thing. But if WP worked that way many of the horde of anarchic uneducated would leave, and they are what gives the project its life.
  3. Some of the articles are so controversial, that it seems desirable to keep them away from others. The D. article is very good in many respects, and the E. article has major problems keeping its integrity and seems to have required a constant running fight since WP started, Having worked a little on both, I would like to keep as much of a firewall between them as possible.


  1. This is no different to current POV problems. Discussion and consensus. Samsara (talk  contribs) 01:36, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
There are pages where there will not be consensus. As applied here, consensus is organized by stubborness, and sometimes by mass, and sometimes a small lobby can concentrate on a point.

What does

  1. See Wikipedia:Expert retention and similar pages. Not sure about the anarchic uneducated being particular useful, assuming that this definition excludes the self-educated and willing-to-learn. Not sure what difference they make to this project. Samsara (talk  contribs) 01:36, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
Well, I meant it to include those people :). The more of them we can attract--and teach the fundamentals of evidence and logic, and effective writing, the better. Some of the most valuable contributors in some of the topics being discussed right here are --to me--surprisingly young. I am y have been as clever as they when I was 20, but I did not know nearly as much as they.DGG 05:54, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
  1. The Darwin and Evolution articles are not likely to share summary sections as far as I can tell. Samsara (talk  contribs) 01:36, 29 November 2006 (UTC)


This may be misleading and perhaps a misunderstanding of what I see as a natural consequence of WP:Summary style following on from avoiding excessively long articles: for example, the article Second voyage of HMS Beagle provides a common source of detail for Charles Darwin#Journey on the Beagle, HMS Beagle#Second voyage and The Voyage of the Beagle, but in each of these articles the "summary" is rightly completely different: the first picks out aspects important to Darwin's biography, the second gives details of the ship, and the third points to the journey article as describing what's in the book. To me, it's important that the summary sections are adapted to the individual main articles, while the detailed articles form common modules that can be modified or added to as required. Of course there's nothing wrong with copying a summary section to another article, but that's as a starting point for specific adaptions rather than as an unchangeable standard module. .. dave souza, talk 10:09, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

That's a good point, and what I think we need is a way to point out where summary sections of articles reside. So say I want to write an article about HMS Beagle, and I know that the article Second voyage of HMS Beagle already exists, then I'd want something that enables me to find out that the Charles Darwin article already contains a summary section that I can adapt. Summary sections could be strung together using categories, and a link to the category could be placed on the talk page of the detailed article. How does that sound? Samsara (talk  contribs) 04:16, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
I would agree--the application of this style in many long articles is mechanical. It may be a good fast way of breaking an article up--rather like an outline--but that shouldn't be the finished text. DGG 05:54, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

Article size[edit]

What are the intentions of this project with respect to Wikipedia:Article size? --Sadi Carnot 02:07, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Can you tell me what the articles were that you've had problems with? - Samsara (talk  contribs) 02:15, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Well, from experience, breaking up long pages is hard enough, even when you have consensus and other editors are helping with the breakup. I have not yet fully engaged in page breakup on tensioned pages. I have, however, tested the water in this respect. The entropy page is full of tension (it has religion/evolution conflicting themes); I have already broken it up twice, and it is still growing. Other examples of water testing are:

For example, I would like to contribute to the evolution article. I own about a dozen books on evolution, particularly Darwin-related, chemical-related, and thermodynamics-related books. Presently, this article is the longest science article at WP. If it is too long for me to want to contribute to, then I can image how others feel. If I were to break up the evolution article, by myself, through much argument and debate on the talk page, it would take exorbitant amounts of energy and weeks of time. The same for the photon article.

may I suggest that you leave this alone as hopeless. There are some rather good neighboring articles, such as the one on Natural selectionDGG 05:54, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

When new users come into talk pages and suggest a page is long, e.g. see: example, they get shot down in debate and go somewhere else. Myself, on the other hand, have no trouble arguing with dozens of people until the issue is resolved. But page breakups are a whole different ball game. There should be a civilize way to go about this process so that Wikipedia stays trimmed, tight, and distributed per topic. Storage space is unlimited. --Sadi Carnot 02:45, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Well, I think the photon article is an interesting example. Its problem seems to stem mostly from the fact that it is not written for laypeople. Most of those equations should only, if ever, appear in more detailed sub-articles. The problem here would not be of simply shunting off material, but of completely rewriting large parts of the original article at the same time. - Samsara (talk  contribs) 02:55, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I agree with you; but basically, it’s not that hard to open up some new pages, paste material there, do some cleanup work. Then let the new pages grow. My issue is not with the photon or evolution articles, directly, but with the fact that (a) articles stop growing when the page gets past 20 printed pages, (b) people stop reading when an article gets past 15 pages, and (c) talk pages of big articles are like bottle rockets constantly exploding. Periodically break up an article and these problems disappear. --Sadi Carnot 03:06, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
or replicateDGG 05:54, 30 November 2006 (UTC).
As a first step, we could establish a project page for this goal. Then, we could alert Wikipedians, via long page warning suggestions, on the Wikipedia:Long articles page, or discussion somewhere, etc., to add pages to our list that they feel are to long to read. Thus, firstly we can collect a list of pages in need of article breakup per request of other users. What do you think? --Sadi Carnot 03:15, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
I would hesitate to make long page breakup an explicit goal of this project. I agree that it's great when the shortening of a page comes about as a result of modularising a page, and this is an implicit goal of the idea, but I don't think people are going to be very agreeable to the idea that we come along to "break up" their pages. My strongest objection is probably to the terminology. It shouldn't be about "breaking up", it should be about summarizing. The focus has to be right for it to work. - Samsara (talk  contribs) 15:29, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
The chronological divisions used well in the Darwin series, and less cleverly in many history of ... series, are not the only way to break up an article, nor is it the only way used. One technique is to break apart a complex technical series into a number of short articles--and I think this is usually not a good idea. Another is to break out aspects. The obvious one is --History but this may not be ideal either as such a discussion tends to duplicate the main article. The very reasonable idea of doing evolution, and debate of evolution as separate pages will also not work, because the debaters are not going to leave the main page alone. In the group of pages about printing, the practice when I came here a few months ago seemed to be to give everyone his overlapping article do avoid edit wars--which didnt work either because the more aggressive editors tried to expand into adjacent articles.
This is much to early for us to try for rules--the landscape is littered with ill-considered rules. A number of the various Projects have dealt with this is different ways, and I suggest the best role here could be for general discussions of the topic, for even if a group acts in harmony, the whole body of editors won't. An additional benefit will be variety: the style of WP is very bland, and doing different things differently should help. I entered into this with a sense of obligation, to try to fix a few things I knew how to fix, but of course i stayed because it is also the best of the word oriented games.DGG 05:54, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

I don’t understand, module means “a standard unit of measurement” Merriam-Webster. On this definition, here you two are exemplifying the evolution article, which happens to be the longest science article in Wikipedia, as a good example of modularization. I would say that the evolution article is an example of a Wiki module x 100. A module is supposed to be a small unit, not the longest example in a category. --Sadi Carnot 10:06, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

Think of Lego modules, and you get the idea. The aim would be to make sensible sub-units. Imagine an article about a food producing conglomerate. We would not be joining together the sections about salmon and cream into one module, just because they are adjacent. I expect that we would try to refactor articles in such a way that they become modularisable.
Since you mention the evolution article, it was cited as an example of an article that is already modularised. I am doubtful it can be further compressed within the module framework. I think each section just needs careful review and rewriting for brevity. The evolution article is an example of an article that is never satisfying to a lot of people because it isn't written in their own personal style of writing, and to the other half because it has been rewritten too many times by different people, and reads quite badly as a result. It would no doubt read much better if Jimbo simply hired Mark Ridley to write it, and protected the final version, but duck - the pteranodons are flying low again today...
So I think this project isn't what you are looking for. I apologise for being I mistaken in believing we had the same idea about things, but thank you for participating in the discussion - if you had not brought up your concerns, this project might not have got started. I hope we can achieve something positive. Regards, Samsara (talk  contribs) 10:33, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

Yes, I see that we have related but different agendas: you want to make generic paragraphs that can be copied verbatim and pasted as is into a number of other related articles. This is a novel idea, but keeping up with simultaneous multi-page edits on the same paragraph is difficult. Myself, I am primarily concerned with the following issue:

"Wikipedia is now a top-12 website in the world with almost two million articles. That people read these articles is obvious. How much of each article the average person reads, however, is not so obvious. The average person stops reading, of course, when his or her reading tension span is broken. In this direction, Wikipedia articles are now only broken up when more than 50% of “editors” feel they are too long. The real question is, at what point do more than 50% of “readers” feel an article is too long? Hence, the famous motto “ignore all rules”, with respect to article size, is presently favored towards the editors rather than the readers. With more than one-thousand administrators at Wikipedia, I don’t see why a non-optimal situation like this should exist?"

If you know of anyone who has interest in this area, please don't hesitate to send them my way. Adios: --Sadi Carnot 14:16, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

Extra-long article project[edit]

Hi, I recently started a new sister project to this one the: WP:Extra-Long Article Committee; if interested please join. Thanks: --Sadi Carnot 18:03, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Moving forward[edit]

What's the most user-friendly way of doing this? Is there anything we need that Mediawiki doesn't already offer? Your replies, please! Samsara (talk  contribs) 15:39, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Um... I don't know how we could tell that. Unless I'm missing something, this is still at the "How exactly will this work?" stage. -Amarkov blahedits 05:34, 13 December 2006 (UTC)


Would this project also involve something like a template for creating new articles under a specific category, something like they've done over at the aviation portal? They've got a boilerplate text template that's just subst in, this way all the articles follow the same approximate layout. NDCompuGeek 12:11, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

The idea here is to help with old articles which are bloated, not create new ones. I think. -Amarkov blahedits 15:38, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
Yes, like you said, most WikiProjects already have their own format that you are encouraged (although not obliged) to follow (some of the better articles seem to have a different structure from the rest, but it can help in the initial stages of an article). You should probably shop around for the WikiProject that does the thing you want, or start your own. Samsara (talk  contribs) 18:18, 14 December 2006 (UTC)


Just a thought, but would "WikiProject Article series" be a better name, in line with Wikipedia:Article series? It would basically mean the same thing as "modular articles", I think. -- Ned Scott 06:37, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia Day Awards[edit]

Hello, all. It was initially my hope to try to have this done as part of Esperanza's proposal for an appreciation week to end on Wikipedia Day, January 15. However, several people have once again proposed the entirety of Esperanza for deletion, so that might not work. It was the intention of the Appreciation Week proposal to set aside a given time when the various individuals who have made significant, valuable contributions to the encyclopedia would be recognized and honored. I believe that, with some effort, this could still be done. My proposal is to, with luck, try to organize the various WikiProjects and other entities of wikipedia to take part in a larger celebrartion of its contributors to take place in January, probably beginning January 15, 2007. I have created yet another new subpage for myself (a weakness of mine, I'm afraid) at User talk:Badbilltucker/Appreciation Week where I would greatly appreciate any indications from the members of this project as to whether and how they might be willing and/or able to assist in recognizing the contributions of our editors. Thank you for your attention. Badbilltucker 18:59, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

Comment on the WikiProject X proposal[edit]

Hello there! As you may already know, most WikiProjects here on Wikipedia struggle to stay active after they've been founded. I believe there is a lot of potential for WikiProjects to facilitate collaboration across subject areas, so I have submitted a grant proposal with the Wikimedia Foundation for the "WikiProject X" project. WikiProject X will study what makes WikiProjects succeed in retaining editors and then design a prototype WikiProject system that will recruit contributors to WikiProjects and help them run effectively. Please review the proposal here and leave feedback. If you have any questions, you can ask on the proposal page or leave a message on my talk page. Thank you for your time! (Also, sorry about the posting mistake earlier. If someone already moved my message to the talk page, feel free to remove this posting.) Harej (talk) 22:47, 1 October 2014 (UTC)

WikiProject X is live![edit]

WikiProject X icon.svg

Hello everyone!

You may have received a message from me earlier asking you to comment on my WikiProject X proposal. The good news is that WikiProject X is now live! In our first phase, we are focusing on research. At this time, we are looking for people to share their experiences with WikiProjects: good, bad, or neutral. We are also looking for WikiProjects that may be interested in trying out new tools and layouts that will make participating easier and projects easier to maintain. If you or your WikiProject are interested, check us out! Note that this is an opt-in program; no WikiProject will be required to change anything against its wishes. Please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you!

Note: To receive additional notifications about WikiProject X on this talk page, please add this page to Wikipedia:WikiProject X/Newsletter. Otherwise, this will be the last notification sent about WikiProject X.

Harej (talk) 16:57, 14 January 2015 (UTC)