Help talk:Archiving a talk page/Archive 2

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Archiving links

If you archive your talk, should you be required to provide links on your main talk page to those archives? I realize its polite, but wouldn't it be seen as the same as blanking the comments by moving them to subpages that the average person can't easily find? --Crossmr 02:39, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

Yes, I think that absolutely should be required. It is standard procedure and there is no reason not to do it. An editor should not be required to attempt spellings "archive 1", "archive1", etc. —Centrxtalk • 20:11, 2 July 2006 (UTC)

I thought you meant an article Talk page, not a User Talk page. There is a lot more leeway in what users do in their own space. It is acceptable to not even, archive old discussions at all, and Help:Talk page states that only "Most users users treat their user talk pages like regular talk pages, and archive the contents periodically to a personal subpage". Removing recently added comments is impolite, and Help:Talk page mentioned it as uncivil, and removing recent vandalism warnings is not acceptable. —Centrxtalk • 19:42, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

I've seen that its one thing to remove old benign discussions, its another to remove warnings and discussions that indicate a behaviour problem. I've been told it can be construed as trying to hide the evidence of your past behaviour (even though you can look at the old content via the history) its not readily available.--Crossmr 19:51, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I agree, and have seen many references to that. Further, if someone is making an archive, I don't see why they would not just link to it. However, I do not know of any specific prohibition on not archiving, and if a user is in good standing they will be more likely to hide accolades than admonition, perhaps not the case for the user in question. —Centrxtalk • 19:55, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
This goes to the case below where I left an NPA, warning on their page and few hours later when they came back to wikipedia they immediately archived their page.Given past history it looks like they're trying to hide that, but I don't want to turn it into a gong show by reverting as the user and I had just finished a debate about unsourced content, (which is where he earned the NPA warning). I'm finding it very difficult to balance following rules and policies and ensuring they're being followed and not looking like I'm hounding someone.--Crossmr 21:00, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
Note, however, that archiving recent vandalism warnings is not acceptable, but without evaluating the user's actions, a personal attack notice might not qualify under that. —Centrxtalk • 03:10, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

Problem with the move method

A major problem with the move method is ongoing discussions. After move, the history for several discussions is, then, not present on the same page while the discussion is ongoing, and when the discussion that was ongoing at the time of the archival is eventually archived in a later archive, its history is not part of the archive. —Centrxtalk • 20:13, 2 July 2006 (UTC)

Eh? You're not supposed to archive ongoing discussions... ~MDD4696 20:27, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
Yes, exactly, but using the move method, the Talk page is moved to another archive, with its page history. This move includes ongoing discussions, which I have seen are then copied back to the main page by the archiver. Yet the history of the ongoing discussions remains in the page history of the archive. —Centrxtalk • 20:56, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
Ah, very very good point! ~MDD4696 22:44, 2 July 2006 (UTC)

I see the history remaining with the archive to be an advantage. It is much easier to show that the information copied back as active discussions is a true copy (because there is less of it and because if it were not, those taking part in the conversation are likely to notice). It is much harder to show, (and less noticeable because of an assumption of good faith) that an archive is a true copy of the page as it was at a certain point. Also unlike viewing a current conversation, it may be months or years until someone questions the validity of an archive by which time the editor who made the archive may not be available to explain. --PBS 10:46, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

So the better reason for the move method is to ensure a true copy, not to segment page history? —Centrxtalk • 19:50, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

The move method not only allows the easy validation of the final version of the archive, it also allows an editor to follow easily the edit history from the first entry of the archive page. So anyone who argues that even though the final archive was a true copy of that day's enrty, but the entry they put on months before that was altered by someone else some time before the final move, can check in the archive history using diff to find who and when. This would be more difficult to do with a copy archive. --PBS 09:36, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

Archiving same-day

If someone archives a discussion and an NPA warning tag, the same day they were had (even if the discussion might technically be over), should it be reverted? Seet this User_talk:Davidkevin for what I'm talking about. The user seems to have a history reading his archived talk about trying to insert unsourcable information, and in trying to debate his point this time, he resorted to a personal attack (which again from the talk he may have also had issues with in the past). As I only placed the text today and he's already archived it, it looks to me as though he's trying to hide it. Any advice? --Crossmr 19:20, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

See my comment at Wikipedia talk:Resolving disputes#Salman. —Centrxtalk • 03:15, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

Merging short archives

I am considering merging some old archives on Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (dates and numbers) as some of them span only a couple of days and two screenfuls of comments. Is there any reason not to do this, with redirects from the old archive pages? It would greatly facilitate searching the archives because the number of links needed to be opened and searched would be greatly reduced. —Centrxtalk • 03:13, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

Sounds OK to me – Gurch 12:05, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
As long as the changes are accurate and representative of the original discussion, I see no problem. Just make sure you have good edit summaries. ~MDD4696 16:08, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

Searching archives

Is there any easy way to restrict a search to the archives of a page? I hate asking a question on a Talk: page only to be told wearily that it's already been answered on Archives 4,7,11, and 21. jnestorius(talk) 00:58, 28 July 2006 (UTC)


Should there be a policy on archiving too often? Sometimes I've commented in a talk page only to find that (usually a new user) has archived it all a minute later. This isn't a major problem as far as I can see it, but it sure is frustrating not being able to link to any official policy on it when it occurs.--Badharlick 17:01, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

Not sure if it is neither necessary nor useful. It would be like making a policy on common sense. Might it be better to just politely suggest to the person of alternative methods and their advantages? --Swift 19:27, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

Hmm, old discussion, but same idea. I get the general impression that a user's talk page is not just for their benefit, but for others. I'm starting to see users archive stuff (usually via Werdnabot) that is only a day old. Archiving that often pretty much makes the user talk page useless. -- Ned Scott 05:12, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

Archival strategy

The prevalent archival strategy seems to be rather unsophisticated. I'd suggest to assign an optional archival hint to each section on a talk page. The suggested archival strategies could be:

  • Please archive this section(s) verbatim.
  • Please archive this section(s) in summary.
  • Please archive this section(s) as conclusion.
  • Please do not archive this section.
  • Please do not archive or discard this section before {{{date}}}.

Different authors could leave contradictory archival suggestions. The decision would be left to the person bothering to archive the page.

A standardized remark section at the top of a talk page, which would never be archived, might also be a good idea. (Example: de:Diskussion:Anti-Pattern). The purpose of the section would be to summarize and to refer to discussions that could be interpreted as to affect the application or applicability of wikipedia policies to the specific article. --Fasten 20:06, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

I agree that it may be a good idea to come up with a few pointers at to the pros and cons for each archival strategy. I don't think the suggestions are needed, nor that they hurt (so go ahead if you like).
I'm not sure about the "standardized remark section". The current archive box templates allow for a short mention of what it contains. The archived page itself can then contain a summary that would then not overwhelm the talk page.
What I would love to see (and this may very well be implied in your suggestion) is a section on this project page on the current common best practices regarding how to make archives accessible (when to archive by date, when by topic, etc). All too often, topics are scattered around and hard to dig out. --Swift 05:04, 15 October 2006 (UTC)

I agree with Centrx (below) When a talk page is archived it should be copied verbatim otherwise the it is wide open to manipulation by interested parties. It is to protect myself from such accusations that I always move the page. If a party then then wants to place a summary on the current talk page they are of course free to do so. --PBS 08:16, 21 October 2006 (UTC)


Archives can become very bothersome, especially when a lot of discussion is moved to the archive without bothering to summarize relevant results. Archival hints can give important hints to archivars and help them to distinguish relevant and irrelevant content. A standardized remark section at the top of a talk page can help to find the most relevant discussions quickly, even when already archived. --Fasten 20:06, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

The problem is it takes a significant amount of time to summarize archives. They should be copied verbatim also anyway, and they can be searched. Anyone is free to summarize if they want, but you can't force anyone to do it and it is not necessary. —Centrxtalk • 02:49, 21 October 2006 (UTC)
I didn't mention forcing anybody to do anything. The idea is to give a recommendation from the authors of a thread to the archiving editor what kind of archival they would like to see. It could be a requirement to link to the last history entry of a thread from the summary. This way anybody could conveniently see the discussion in full if the summary seemed inadequate. --Fasten 10:17, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

Partial Archival

Is it ever appropriate to archive parts of a talk page instead of archiving the entire page? --Milo H Minderbinder 12:52, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

It is usually appropriate to do that. Recent discussions should not be archived, and usually pages require archiving while discussions are on-going. —Centrxtalk • 00:32, 28 October 2006 (UTC)
That makes sense. But what about archiving bits and pieces of a page, not based on age but handpicking individual posts? --Milo H Minderbinder 01:10, 28 October 2006 (UTC)
I think WP:REFACTOR answers your question. The way I see it archiving entire pages irrespective of the content is just laziness. --Fasten 09:38, 2 November 2006 (UTC)


From the history of the page:

  • 22:53, 27 October 2006 PBS (RV: "cutting and pasting the text of sections is the most common" How do you know this Centrx. Please discuss this on the talk page before making such a large change)
  • 00:45, 28 October 2006 Centrx (I know this because I have archived many talk pages; it is also evident by simply looking at them. For a sample, take a look at all the archives on featured articles in the last month.)

Well I nearly always move talk pages to archives ;-) I think that we should see what others think about your rearrangement of the page, (that in my opinion puts back too much emphasis back onto the Cut and Paste method), and see if there is a consensus for such a reorganisation before it is made.

See here for the difference: before and after Centrx's rearrangement. --PBS

  • How is the cut and paste method not more common?
  • Why would the move method be better?
Centrxtalk • 19:14, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

I am not claiming that it is or that it is not, you are claiming that it is and I asked how do you know given the number of articles on the English Wikipedia. As for why the move method is better or worse see the article where that question is addressed. As I said lets see what other people think about your reorganisation and if there is consensus to do so. --PBS 21:05, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

  • Simply take a sample. Look through the featured articles, or the most-viewed articles, look through some categories. Talk:Bill Gates, Talk:Kolkata, Talk:Hurricane Katrina, Talk:World Wrestling Entertainment roster, Talk:Pluto, Talk:Wiki, Talk:Jorge Luis Borges, Talk:Batman, Talk:Supreme Court of the United States, Talk:Argentina. I just clicked around randomly. Obviously many have no archives at all, but I found these have copy-paste archives, and I found only one, Wii, which is move-archived. If you want, I can find 10 copy-paste archive talk pages for every 1 move archive you present, but we don't need to play that game to know how archiving is usually.
  • Regarding why the move method would be better, the only arguments I find on the main page are under "Disadvantages of the cut and paste method". The first one is not an advantage of the move method, which has the same problem. The second one is the only reasonable one I can find in favor of using the move method, but it is still not a serious problem and it is still possible with the move method to tamper with the text. The third one is irrelevant; there is no need for someone watching the talk page to also watch the archive. Conversely, there are several disadvantages to the move method. —Centrxtalk • 23:19, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

As the guideline template says "When editing this page, please ensure that your revision reflects consensus." To date there is no consensus for a large re-organisation. What is the hurry to make sucg a change? --PBS 23:13, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

It is an improvement that makes the page clearer and more accurate. I have explained why that is the case, you have not explained why that is not the case. —Centrxtalk • 23:22, 7 November 2006 (UTC)


What, exactly, is the problem with using werdnabot on article talk pages? If threads are getting tucked away too quickly, increase the "age" threshhold to a suitable figure. If a section of a talk page has not been touched for a couple months, it probably does not need to remain in plain sight (and there's a good chance it was flame bait anyway). If something (is so important that it) needs to stay on the main talk page indefinitely, it should probably be put above the first section header, where people can notice it right away. Significant items such as "this article was nominated for deletion" usually take the form of a big brown box rather than a signed comment, and thus would not be accidentally archived due the lack of timestamp.

Alternatively a "no-archive" directive could be specified. Post-date a dummy comment with the year 2525 if need be, but between now and then let's try asking the bot's operator to address our concerns instead of completely shutting it out. —freak(talk) 04:34, Oct. 29, 2006 (UTC)

This assumes that articles will stay at the same level of high activity. What often happens is a month after Werdnabot is added, no one is active at the article any more, the talk page becomes totally empty, then someone comes by and adds a comment to do something about the article, no one responds to it, then it gets archived. There is no reason to archive a page if it is not lengthy. With user talk pages there is a single person who is normally in sole control over the talk page—it is a page for sending him messages—and with administrative noticeboards the page is so active and always has dozens upon dozens of people watching it and responding that few if any comments will be missed. Articles have a spurt of some insane activity—during which it is simple to do an archive every week—then eventually the participants leave. —Centrxtalk • 04:46, 29 October 2006 (UTC)
A better way to do the bot would be to have it check the length of the talk page and if it is very long to simply archive the oldest messages before a certain time, rather than having a fixed time interval which for most articles would should be 300 days or more not 30 or 3. —Centrxtalk • 04:49, 29 October 2006 (UTC)
Sounds like a good idea, and from a programming standpoint, it's actually easier (byte count vs. regex'ing various idiosyncratic timestamp formats). In any case I think it's something that should be decided on a case-by-case basis, by the people who actually frequent the talk page, rather than being subject to global deprecation (or encouragement). —freak(talk) 04:52, Oct. 29, 2006 (UTC)

Regarding the current issue on the article page. There are times when these bots could/are very useful, for example with a page like: Wikipedia:WikiProject Military history. However for many articles there is a flurry of activity on the talk page and then it dies down, and when that happens the arguments Centrx is advancing becomes true. However I think it is worth mentioning the bots on the article page because if ever I need to set up such an archiving method I would like to come to a central place to see what they are, rather than grubbing around in past archive looking for a half remembered conversation. If this page can have a link to another page which lists them so much the better --PBS 09:51, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

Reorganisation again

Are you going to respond to the reasons I have given rather than revert warring? —Centrxtalk • 18:11, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

It is disappointing that there has been little response to your postings on this page on issue one way or another, so IMHO you have not yet built a consensus for the change, because I for one am not convinced by your arguments. --PBS 01:01, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
You have not explained what is wrong with them, or even which of the changes are wrong. Wholesale reverting is not productive. Not communicating is not productive. There does not need to be a poll for every change to every instructional page or guideline on Wikipedia. Explain what is wrong with it. —Centrxtalk • 01:04, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
A poll is not needed by a consensus is. There is no evidence that there is such a consensus. Personally I do not like the changes because they emphasise, and therefore encourage, the use of one method over the others. I am not against the page being changed, it is far from perfect. But I am against promoting one method over the others. --PBS 07:16, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
Okay, so your objection is about having cut-and-paste being the first and main method, and the others being alternative methods in subsections. —Centrxtalk • 07:21, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

Suggestion: cut & paste + permalink

Maybe we should use the cut & paste method, and add a link to the version of the talk page just before archiving. Diff links would still be valid, and someone looking for the history of the archived discussion has a link going straight there. What downsides might this method have? Jobarts-Talk 22:48, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

That sounds like a good idea. The text at the linked revision would not be exactly the same as the archive, because most archiving copies all the older discussions, rather than all the discussions on the page, but it would still be helpful to ensure the archive is accurate or for anyone who would otherwise scroll through the history to find the revision. —Centrxtalk • 06:00, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

Subpage Location Convention

Is it convention to place the archive of a talk page as a subpage of the talk page or of the article itself? The instructions at the top of the Subpage archive method section are a bit confusing and make it sound like it could be either way. Personally, the former method makes the most sense to me, but I'm not too familiar with how things are usually done. Thanks, Dallben 23:10, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

As a subpage of the talk page. This both makes sense because it is an archive of that very page of which it is a talk page, and is also necessary because the article namespace does not allow subpages so any archive there would show up as just another "article". —Centrxtalk • 23:17, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
Thanks! That is what I thought it meant, but because the instructions used the Article/Archive # example, I was a little confused. (I guess it doesn't yet seem natural to think of a Talk:Article page as an article itself). Maybe there's a better way to word that section? Either way, thanks again. Dallben 23:43, 5 December 2006 (UTC)


I'm wondering if some sort of "locking" policy couldn't be enacted at this. I've occasionally come across IPs vandalizing archives which aren't watched all that much, and I'm not sure I see the benefit in leaving them editable. Once archived, they shouldn't ever be edited anyway (once you've moved on to your next archive). Manually it would be a bit of work, but if there was an automated way to set it up it might be handy. Yes I realize the vandalism excessive, but nor is the need to edit the archives afterwards.--Crossmr 06:11, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Currently the protection policy states that pages should not be protected as a result of isolated incidents of vandalism, nor as a result of persistent vandalism from one or two users who can simply be blocked. In the unlikely event that a particular archive page recieved a lot of vandalism, it might be semi-protected, but any attempt to protect all of them would require a substantial change in the protection policy first; changes to such established policies rarely happen without a long discussion beforehand – Gurch 11:37, 24 December 2006 (UTC)
I think it would be too much of a burden and is unnecessary. Archives are rarely vandalized, and it is easier to revert vandalism on archives than any other vandalism. Also, there are legitimate edits to archives, though rare. —Centrxtalk • 23:24, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
I disagree that this is "unnecessary", I have thought this myself before. To be valuable, an archive must be assumed to be accurate, or it must simply be discounted. Once a page has been archived, it should not be changed since an archive is not active. Locking seems a reasonable suggestion to me. And the revision to Wikipedia:Protection policy wouldn't be that major, all it would take is a new section, Wikipedia:Protection policy#Archives specifically referring to archives. Then a tamplate could be placed by the user on the archive to request an admin to protect it.
In the long-term, an archive feature of the MediaWiki software may be valuable. It could prompt the user to select either the current or the archive material, and then automatically append it to an archive page, which is automatically protected. The page history relating the archived content could be copied to the archive. Features such as archive limits (eg. max 1 per 50 days) could be included. Automatic archival could be simpler with this method, as instead of opening, identifying sections older than n days, copy & paste to a subpage (through, providing edit summary and submitting the form), simply open the link, selecting sections older than n days, and submit

Thanks, Jonabofftalk

19:42, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

Another archive method

I saw recently on User talk:Saoshyant an archive method different to the two on this article, which uses the hidden comment (<!-- -->) tags to prevent old content from being displayed; something like:


old discussions

current discussions

This method, I think is valuable because it fully preserves page history (the only change caused by archiving is the addition of hidden comment tags); rather than removing it from the comments (cut & paste method) or breaking it for current discussions (move method).

Alternatively, using <includeonly></includeonly> tags and transcluding the page to a subpage would give an active discussion, and a complete version at talk page/archive.

A disadvantage would be that multiple archives would not be possible.

Before I add this to the page, I thought I would ask if others agree that this is a valuable method.

Thanks, Jonabofftalk

19:06, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

Unlikely. The size of the page would just increase endlessly, taking longer and longer to load and edit. This would be a very bad archival method; the whole point of archiving is to get rid of this stuff. —Centrxtalk • 19:13, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
Fair comment, I had not thought of this. It does make sense.

Thanks, Jonabofftalk

19:44, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

Template Atnhead, adding atn to the normal talkarchive heading

I created a template {{atnhead}} for the top of archive pages... it is just the normal {{talkarchive}} with the navigation features from {{atn}} that I find quite useful. The layout could be improved, but all-in-all, I really like it. I realize there might already be such a template, but I haven't found one. The idea is that there should be one template I can use on top of the archive page that does it all for me, and this one comes close to it. I have only tried it at Talk:The_God_Delusion/Archive_2, but since it is basically just {{atn}} there should be no problems. Any opinions? --Merzul 21:42, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Excessive archiving

I noticed on some of the archives, see here for example, that very little discussion has been preserved in the archive. I was wondering if in these cases if some of the adjacent archives could be combined?--Sefringle 06:57, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

September 11, 2001 is the same: Excessive archiving.
My theories:
  1. The reason I suspect veteran users excessively archive is to stifle debate, stop "disruption" (i.e. changes to their own version of the page) and protect their version of the article from dissent.
  2. On the other side, which adhers more closely to WP:AGF, is that a handful of wikipedians are simply worker bees, who are trying to keep the page organized and managable, this avoids edit wars, problems with dial up computers which load slowly, etc.
The reality is probably somewhere in between.
I posted a link to this section on Talk:Christianity and Talk:September 11, 2001. Travb (talk) 15:49, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
No, these archives are smaller simply because someone made them that way; someone thought it was an appropriate length. Some people follow the article size guidelines, or followed the warning that used to appear at the top of pages longer than 32 kilobytes, and kept archives that small. Many old archives are less than 32KB and have only a handful of brief discussions. I archive to around 130KB. 96KB is not very small. The reason for not combining adjacent archives is that there are links internal and external that refer to the archives. —Centrxtalk • 18:24, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

Edits to archive pages

Is it appropriate to edit talk page archives when performing maintainance such as userbox migration? I noticed Metsbot (talk · contribs) had edited some talk page archives here, here and here, and reverted the changes in the belief that the archive is a historical record and should reflect what was actually being discussed, not updated to reflect subsequent changes and page moves. But Mets501 (talk · contribs) suggested that adjusting the archive would be appropriate, because the history of the template being discussed had been moved. What's the general sentiment about editing or updating links on archive pages? —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 17:23, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

My experience and observation is that this practice is based on I cannot say what is black and white; maybe someone more informed can chime in and let me know too. --HappyCamper 17:29, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
This changes the statements by the other user and changes the record of the discussion. The user Jamdav86 never created anything at User:UBX/Doctor Who, and if someone were to read the archive they would get the false impression that the userboxes had already been in userspace at User:UBX in December 2005. I do not see any reason why archives should not simply be searchable records of the page history with the added bonus that naive users won't maul the active talk page by accidentally editing a permanent link archive. —Centrxtalk • 16:17, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

archiveme template

Can we add a section on if someone dosn't want to do it themself, what they can do to have it done, like use Template:Archiveme. → p00rleno (lvl 85) ←ROCKSCRS 17:28, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

IP Talk Pages

from the introduction:

"The only exception to this are warnings of vandalism and other abuse on IP talk pages. These must be retained so that admins can readily apply or remove edit blocks"

Perhaps I'm a bit ignorant but... What's an IP talk page? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by John Smith (nom de guerre) (talkcontribs) 11:34, 1 April 2007 (UTC).

undiscussed "descrimination" of user pages

I removed from the guideline the undiscussed change which was originally made by UtherSRG on February 20, 2007:

Archiving of one's own user talk page is not needed. A user may simply delete any comments they have read, whether they have acted on them or not. The only exception to this are warnings of vandalism and other abuse on anon IP talk pages. These must be retained so that admins can readily apply or remove edit blocks.

The first sentence of which had been edited to read:

Archiving of one's own user talk page is not required.

While I understand the intention is to get across that users aren't forced to keep all comments, deleting legitimate material from one's talk page is controversial, and the general practice is archiving. WP:TALK#User_talk_pages says, "Policy does not prohibit users from removing comments from their own talk pages, though archiving is preferred," which is likewise restated at WP:USER#Ownership_and_editing_of_pages_in_the_user_space. We should clarify that while not required, archiving user talk pages is a positive thing, because it benefits the community to be able to follow on-going Wikipedia-related discussions; and in particular, when there may be concerns about problematic users. --LeflymanTalk 19:26, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

The problem as I see it is that the policy pages are weaker than actual practice. We have had, and possibly still do have warnings for removing warnings from users talk pages. When a user is warned for vandalism, etc. and then erases the warning or blanks the talk page--often the person who warned will come back and revert that edit with an edit summary of "rvrt vandalsim". When someone removes particular content from their talk page it can either be ignored, be seen as totally normal and following policy, or the person can get in trouble for it, and what sort of reaction occurs depends on what is removed from the talk page, how it's removed and who the editor is. Which obviously makes it hard to write something that reflects practice.
But something should be done here--users complain when they remove warnings, etc, pointing to policy, saying that it's their user space and that it's only frowned upon, and if they revert a warning a few times in a row--they can get blocked for vandalism even if they don't hit 3RR. Either practice needs to change, which I doubt it will, or we need to have something that seriously reflects practice, because it's unfair to say one thing and do another. Miss Mondegreen | Talk   01:11, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

Any way to find longpages?

I know there is Special:Longpages for the main article space, but is there an equivalent for the talk namespace? That would be a useful tool for someone wishing to help archive talk pages.-Andrew c 02:45, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

If there is an answer to this, could you contact me on my talk page please? Thanks.-Andrew c 18:07, 20 April 2007 (UTC)


Actually, a lot more than just talk pages are archived. Simply south 18:44, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

What do you mean? I think the only other things that are archived separate from the page history are various noticeboards. —Centrxtalk • 15:29, 16 May 2007 (UTC)
There are various discussion type pages which are not notice board pages, which are archived, but they are predominanly Wikipedia pages. Simply south 16:08, 16 May 2007 (UTC)
Such as...? —Centrxtalk • 03:42, 20 May 2007 (UTC)


Woa, I came to this page wondering how to archive a talk page. And have to admit, after 5 minutes, I have no idea. Could you please clarify the sentence "There are two main methods for archiving a talk page, detailed below." I can't work out which are the 'two' that are mentioned. There is no numbering, there are no clear headings to indicate two different methods. There's at least 3 headings (of various boldness) with the word 'method' in it... spurrymoses 13:00, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

The usual way is, simply, cut the old sections out of the talk page, paste them into a subpage, like "Talk:Albert Einstein/Archive 1", slap a {{aan}} tag on top of it, and put a link to the archive from the main talk page. —Centrxtalk • 16:13, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

Archiving a Wikipedia Page

Wikipedia:new contributors' help page is getting huge and I feel that the page should be archived, but it isn't a talk page and I'm confused on how to go about this and if I should. Should I just have werdnabot archive sections older than 14(?) days or should i do this differently because it is not a talk page. Thanks, Urdna 17:37, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

How long?

Shouldn't we make a rule for how long talk pages can be? I mean, is there any such guideline/policy? What prevents users form having talk pages thousands and thousands and thousands long. --PaxEquilibrium 22:06, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not made by rules; if you try to add a "rule" here it does not "prevent" any user from having talk pages thousands and thousands and thousands long. If someone purposefully has an extremely long talk page so as to be unusable, it sounds like they would just be disruptive and not trying to help build an encyclopedia. —Centrxtalk • 02:23, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
I know that, but I'm simply just spent out of begging User:Joy. And he's not a disruptive user - he's one of the best there is on Wikipedia, but with this very odd tiny (OK, now huge) thing. What action can be done. My petition failed, numerous pleas too. Am I being worried or just too obsessive about his talk page? ;) --PaxEquilibrium 00:24, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
I usually archive if the talk page is above 80KB, but it can depend on how active the page is. —Centrxtalk • 01:37, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
I thought 40–50k was the suggested limit, but I don't remember where I read that, if I did.
—wwoods 21:57, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
Old browsers and old versions of the Google toolbar were broken such that pages above ~30KB would be truncated, but currently the only limitation is load time, which is a sliding scale. —Centrxtalk • 03:30, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

←What's the purpose of keeping talk pages short? While discussions may get old, new editors coming to the discussion can benefit from seeing the older topics. Most are not likely to root around in the archives just out of curiousity, unless there is a hot-button issue under discussion to motivate it.

In addition, Wikipedia:Don't worry about performance tells us not to be concerned about server load, and for comparison,'s main entry page is around 600KB tonight and is around 500KB. They depend on customers to load those pages to make profits, so certainly they've tested every possible size and found those to be optimum numbers. Even if we assume more of our users have slower computers or connections than the average customer of those two mainstream companies, we can figure that 150KB to 200KB, a third of what eBay nad Amazon use, are still easily loaded.

There is also an advantage to allowing talk pages to keep the older discussions visible in that newly arriving editors won't bring up old topics again, starting something over again that has been on the table previously. --Parsifal Hello 07:18, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

Step by Step Instructions - Archiving a Talk Page

I created the instructions list at the suggestion of another editor, who then suggested I share it with the Wikipedia community. To be sure the steps were 100% accurate, I followed them and successfully archived the James Randi talk page. They definitely work and produce a simple archive box. Instead of being called "subpage move method," it might be easier to call it the "move to subpage method." It would be nice if checkboxes could be installed, but that's probably not a feature Wiki supports. Writing down the numbers on a slip of paper and then crossing them off as each step is completed would help. Printing out the list first, too. I think the entire help page needs a cleanup, but for now I'm restoring the list (an editor removed it) because the instructions, as I said, do work. Also, in any case, the list can also be found on my User Page (click link): 5Q5 19:34, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

Keep an eye out for a better example in the Instructions than the Psychokinesis talk page. I archived that page long ago and I used lower caps "archive1" and I don't want to confuse anyone since I should have named it Archive1. (update: Disregard--A wiki bot had already fixed the problem long ago and was redirecting to the correctly named pages.). The archive box on this help talk page is using an old style box code. 5Q5 17:38, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
  1. Which windowing system and which browser are you assuming that people use?
  2. to move a page (assuming one is using a MonoBook (default) skin) then why can one not click on the [move] tab and add "/Archive n" to the name of the page to be moved?
  3. Why does one have to follow the steps you have layed out? For example what are the cut and past instructions (steps 5 and 7) for?

--PBS 22:17, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

I added a "See also" link to my User page where Wiki editors can find my archiving instructions list. This should resolve this issue. Thanks.5Q5 14:45, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

I am still confused, are not your instructions cut and past instuctions not instuctions that use the move tab that appears at the to ps the page assuming that one is using the MonoBook (default) skin? --PBS 22:14, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

I will look into this, as now I am confused, too. Thanks for pointing this potential conflict out to me. Maybe moving a page is for moving articles to renamed pages? I'll have to study this. 5Q5 14:28, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
5Q5's instructions look similar to the "Cut and paste procedure" shown on the main page. I don't think it's the "Move procedure", as 5Q5 doesn't instruct the user to click the move tab.
IMO, the steps shown on the main page's cut and paste procedure are pretty cluttered with options. It's hard to follow the steps when one is unsure of which options are and are not necessary.
1. Have the instructions on 5Q5's page link back to this help page. Possibly a note re: Wikipedia's available help and that there are other archive boxes, etc. available.
2. Create a separate help page subpage for 5Q5's instructions. For an example see what User:JzG has done at Help!.
3. Clarify step #3 on this help page re: the cut and paste method. IMO, 5Q5's instructions on why and how the "/" is used is more understandable.
I now see the instructions related to the "/". They are in the paragraphs below the heading "Subpage archive method." They are clear instructions, but I feel that at least a note to their location would be useful within the cut and paste instructions.
4. The help page's cut and paste instruction #4 suggests that "it can [emphasis added] be useful to have a 'box' of archive links." Why list this as a step if it is optional? What other methods of linking are possible?
5. Which option in the help page's cut and paste instruction #8 is used most commonly?
Just some thoughts and questions, Jamie 18:00, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

Update: Both of you are correct. I have renamed my instruction list on my User Page to "Cut-and-Paste to Subpage Method." Regarding the "Move" tab button, I am personally leery about using it to archive a talk page. Supposedly that would just rename the current talk page "Archive 1" (or 2, etc.) and then the current talk page link would redirect to Archive 1. Of course, that would definitely not be good. The Move help page: Help:Moving_a_page does not even have the word "archive" in any form on it and it only mentions Talk pages in saying that if you move (rename) an article, the talk page automatically moves with it. It actually doesn't even use the word "article," calling everything "pages." That lack of specificity is why this is all confusing (to me included!). These "Help" pages could use a "clean-up" or "expert needed" notice at the top. I'm getting some good feedback on my step-by-step instructions. 5Q5 18:08, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3 Archive 4 Archive 5
Return to "Archiving a talk page/Archive 2" page.