Help talk:Archiving a talk page/Archive 5

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Archive 1 Archive 3 Archive 4 Archive 5

Why two archive bots?

Two different, yet similar, archive bots. Why?? One uses hours, one days; one gives max size as xxK, one spells out max as xx,000; one has a counter parameter, one does not; one says "algo", one says "age. Really, is there any sense to all this? For the non-bot educated editor who sees problems, what is the best way to solve the problems? I raise this because in looking at templates on the article talk pages I see conflicting info as to what bot is in use. Come on, bot-wizards, fix this and give regular users a unified, user-friendly archive template. Thanks. – S. Rich (talk) 05:56, 8 June 2014 (UTC)

It is this way because it is how it developed over time. There are not good reasons for it. As with many things on Wikipedia, it is the result of volunteers seeing a need and responding to that need.
Yes, in an ideal world it would be nice if the parameters for the bots were identically formatted. However, the current use is not going to be changed to that for a variety of reasons. The bots are run by different volunteers who would be unlikely to be interested in modifying their functional and approved bots to handle parameters in some other manner. In addition, both bots have a large base of pages which already have the parameters formatted in the manner each bot is expecting.
It is, unfortunately, not possible to create a over-template which uses a unified parameter syntax and use that. This is because each bot must have their exact template on the page in order to function.
In my experience, the most common source of conflicting information as to which bot is in use is which bot is reported by either an archiving notice and/or an archive box template vs. which bot actually has a configuration template on the page (or if there is a configuration template on the page). The bot that is actually in use is the one that has a configuration template on the page. The bot in the archiving notice or archive box template should be changed to reflect that fact. The one caveat there is that all MiszaBot/Config templates actually are handled by lowercase sigmabot III. Any page which reports that it is being handled by one of the MiszaBots should be changed to lowercase sigmabot III. — Makyen (talk) 06:26, 9 June 2014 (UTC)

Editing archive for rectifying error

  Resolved

I just did 2 times.[1][2] Because the archive header tells not to edit content and there are many pages like these that have errors. So there are no issues? Thanks OccultZone (TalkContributionsLog) 14:37, 6 July 2014 (UTC)

Those edits are fine. Any changes to archives that don't alter the actual text are completely unproblematic. In other words, correction of spelling or grammatical errors in archives would not be a good idea. Graham87 03:51, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
I am marking this section as resolved. This post shall be referred if there are any concerns. Thanks Graham! OccultZone (TalkContributionsLog) 04:09, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

Size of Archives

For the summary of the discussion see the Closure statement section. Armbrust The Homunculus 20:30, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

A point of debate came up between myself and Technical 13 regarding the optimal size of a talk page archive. While the page does list the ideal size for the talk page, it does not enumerate the ideal size of a talk page archive. A quick tour of several pages revealed configuration for archive sizes from 100k to 700k. So that we can have a codified answer, what do people think is a reasonable size for the archives of a talk page before whatever archiving process is being used spills into the next archive. Hasteur (talk) 18:45, 24 June 2014 (UTC)

I am going K? Spills into the next archive? We use GIGAbytes these days for single files! WTF? Next time I see the opportunity, I will manually archive a talk page with a pointer to the full version. 75.152.119.10 (talk) 13:17, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
My personal viewpoint is for somewhere between 120k to 150k bytes. Obviously some pages are much more deserving of larger archive sizes (else certain whopper threads will dominate an entire archive by themselves) but the amount of casual access of the talk page archives is low enough that I feel a doubling of the main talk page size is reasonable. Hasteur (talk) 18:49, 24 June 2014 (UTC)
  • I've changed the 700KB ones you mentioned because pages crash and fail to load between 120-250KB, and anything over that is asking for trouble. My personal preference is in the 120-150KB range but I need something documented somewhere to be able to link to that from the template in question. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 18:51, 24 June 2014 (UTC)
    • If our ANI archive pages were max 150k we would have archives in the 4000's range. No. –xenotalk 18:55, 24 June 2014 (UTC)
    • T13, I think you better undo that change and pray that nobody saw it as AN and ANI operate on a very specific archiving routine and individual threads can go onward for ~150k without breaking a sweat. Hasteur (talk) 18:57, 24 June 2014 (UTC)
      • Xeno already reverted it, and I've posted on WT:AN about it because those archives are useless if people can't open them because all they see is WikiMedia Error:... then that means the page is too big to load and there needs to be an adjustment... — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 19:11, 24 June 2014 (UTC)
There is an unresolved, intermittent issue with archiving failing when pages get beyond 512 KiB. An example of this issue is at Template talk:Automatic taxobox/Archive 8. I would suggest that any size be kept well below 512 KiB so as not to hit that.
WT:AN and other very high volume talk pages are significant exceptions which are in a class by themselves. They should not be considered when adopting suggestions for general use. It can easily be explicitly stated that they are the exceptions which they, in point of fact, are.
What size to use for archive pages is a trade-off which needs to balance a desire to have relatively few – 10s to 100s (high volume), not 1000's – archive pages created over a significant time (years) with the need to keep archive pages small in order to allow those with less capable machines to still be able to view the archives. Obviously, the MediaWiki software is also a constraint due to a variety of limits. Which limit is hit will depend on the content of the page. There are some talk pages which already run into some of those limits.
In my experience, for the vast majority of pages, archives in the 100kB range are more than sufficient for the amount of traffic which they experience. Obviously, for higher volume pages that should be adjusted upwards. Keep in mind that most pages experience a relatively low volume of traffic on their talk pages. In addition, when they do experience a high volume it is usually something that is only in a burst of traffic (perhaps over a couple/few months), not a high volume of ongoing traffic over years. It is quite reasonable for the size of current and new archives to be adjusted if the level of volume changes significantly over an extended period of time. — Makyen (talk) 21:40, 24 June 2014 (UTC)
With WP:FLOW on the horizon isn't this discussion somewhat academic? WaggersTALK 09:21, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
FLOW has been "on the horizon" for months if not years (see WP:LQT), and considering the WP:VE rollout (and Vector before it, and monobook before that, etc. going all the way back to WikiAntiquity), it's almost certainly going to be massively unpopular and take months or years to fully roll out. So yes, this does matter. --NYKevin 03:13, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
  • I see no reason whatsoever to impose a limit on the size of archive pages. The limits we set for wikipedia articles stem from our mission to provide access to readers and editors on older machines and slower connections. For archives of talk and project pages, the rough goal is still the same but the imperative is much less strong. If someone on a much older machine can't easily read User_talk:Protonk/Archive_5 we haven't failed in our mission to readers. Moreover, when I manually archive my talk page I have no interest in looking up a policy or help page to see if I'm violating some rule on what is likely to be one of the least trafficked pages on the wiki. I'm especially uninterested in being told after the fact that I have to move 50k here or there (or worse, have someone else edit the archive) in order to meet some incredibly minor use cases. As for the considerations below, the first is unimportant because the second limit will be breached well before it. The third is a concern, but we all need to keep some perspective on how likely it is that any user, let alone a user with a machine that can't load 1-2 Mb of content per page, will ever read a talk page archive. I'm not saying it doesn't happen. It obviously does. But it's just not that prevalent, so let's not overstate the upside. Protonk (talk) 15:21, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Considerations:
1) Technical: It needs to be small enough so an edit-and-save of the entire page won't cause difficulties with the server. This applies to all pages, not just talk page archives.
2) Technical: It needs to be small enough that an editor can edit-and-save the entire page without having difficulties at his end, assuming he's using a browser less than a few years old and assuming he's not using a browser or device that is simply unsuited to the task of editing pages (e.g. some cell phone web browsers just aren't good for page-editing). This applies to all pages, not just talk page archives.
3) User experience: It needs to be small enough that an editor can scroll from top to bottom in a reasonable period of time OR it needs to have a table of contents section at the top. As most talk page archives have such an index this likely won't be an issue.
Bottom line: If it's got a table of contents, just use the same maximum size as for any other Wikipedia page. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 17:51, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

Three archive maximums

  • 1. 70,000 for User talk pages
Under page User:MiszaBot to setup user talk page archiving: {{subst:User:MiszaBot/usertalksetup}}
That setup has: | maxarchivesize = 70K
Under page User:MiszaBot/Archive_HowTo, Example 2 has: | maxarchivesize = 70K
  • 2. 100,000 for article talk pages
Under page User:ClueBot_III, Example: Changing from MiszaBot to ClueBot III
MiszaBot                  ClueBot III
|maxarchivesize = 100K    |maxarchsize=100000
Note that this talk page's article has a similar comparison between User:lowercase sigmabot III archives max 100K, and User:ClueBot III archives max 100000.
  • 3. 150,000 for high-traffic Wikipedia project pages
Under page User:ClueBot_III, an example for Numbered archives has: maxarchsize=150000
Maximum is actually minimum

Description: The target maximum size of the archive in bytes before %%i (see format) is incremented. If 0, this is disabled. In general, this parameter is used for numbered archives, but not for archives organized by date. This is not a hard limit. Resulting archive page sizes will almost always exceed this number, perhaps by a great amount. Each time ClueBot III runs on a page it archives all threads that are old enough to qualify for archiving into a single file. If you have maxarchsize=100000 with a current archive file size of 90k and it ends up that there are 60 threads to archive with a total size of 250k, then the current archive will be extended to 340k despite of [sic] the 100k limit.

According to WP:TALKCOND: "Large talk pages become difficult to read and strain the limits of older browsers. Also loading time becomes an issue for slow internet connections. It is recommended to archive or refactor a page either when it exceeds 75 KB, or has more than 10 main sections." That's everything in my notes on this topic. FWIW: My browser does not like archives greater than 500K.
Cheers. —Telpardec  TALK  20:57, 4 July 2014 (UTC)

Telpardec Main pages are reccomended to not go over the 75 KB, that's why I floated the suggestion of an archive being about 150 KB so that there's space for high frequency archives, but at the same time not have certain templates start nagging visitors when the talk page archive goes above 75 KB. Hasteur (talk) 22:42, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
@Hasteur: Thanks for the clarification. My additions above were in response to a request for a documentation page to link a certain template to. There is more than one source of information regarding the maxarchivesize parameter. Perhaps recommendations based on the above could be incorporated into this talk page's article. High frequency pages like AN/I do not need greater than 150K maxarchivesize, since the bot only stops using a particular archive number after the max size is reached or exceeded. (Hmmm... Why would anyone want to be nagged by a template? :) Cheers. —Telpardec  TALK  23:20, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
Re: the template nagging, I think Hasteur is talking about the MediaWiki message MediaWiki:Longpagewarning (see its source code), which has been deprecated for over three years. Graham87 03:37, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
Oh, never mind. It's about the changes discussed above in this thread. Graham87 04:39, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
Graham/Telpardec (Graham87Telpardec) I'm referring to this diff which inserted a nag into pages that used the Archive basics template that kicked off this entire discussion. Hasteur (talk) 16:32, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
  • I think it is a fine idea to limit the size of archives for heavily trafficked pages such as ANI., the main page, etc I don't think we need more than general guidance for article talk pages, and I don't see any need at all to enforce limits on user talk archives. I don't think that is a problem so it doesn't require a solution. I am also wondering if this really a topic of broad interest and wide impact, as the listing at CENT would imply. (I note the last comment before this one was four days ago)
Since this seems to be a discussion between some more technically minded people I have to ask: I often see people commenting on how many KB a page is. To us non-technically minded people this is a bit of a mystery. How do you even find that number? Beeblebrox (talk) 19:56, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Beeblebrox, there are multiple ways you can find the raw page size including, but not limited to, the page history . . (42,256 bytes) , reading from the page information page (append &action=info to any page URL), or using the {{PAGESIZE}} (which is expensive only when using it to find the size of a page you are not on) mw:Help:Magic words#PAGESIZE. You can find the post template inclusion size in the preprocessor report which is hidden in a comment in the page source or in the Parser profiling data: section of any page in edit mode. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 20:11, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
Ok, I guess I did know that first one, but not the others. thanks. Beeblebrox (talk) 21:01, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
  • (edit conflict)Beeblebrox The reason why this discussion is adverted at CENT is due to the fact that the change that kicked off this discussion imposed a "You're not doing it right" nag that would show up on pages that used the {{archive basics}} template. While there is no explicit guide as to how long the talk page archives should be, the user leading the cause for this argued that the archives should be no longer than the main talk page because of legacy browser support. It has been my experience that unless there is an ironclad consensus or written in policy statement it is better to wrestle in the mud with a pig than discuss with the user when they feel that they are right. As this is off in the 4th "Over the Horizon" from core talk pages I felt that a notice in CENT would be helpful given that the best practice will affect many pages throughout the entirety of Wikipedia. Hasteur (talk) 21:33, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
I've never used that template, but I think we can all agree that one editor of one template cannot create new policies by fiat. Beeblebrox (talk) 22:15, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
Followup on archive overflow

After noting the archiving behaviour of ClueBot III above, I came across a talk page where archiving was recently activated and 22 sections with 141,601 bytes were archived at once by lowercase sigmabot III, which spread the sections across 3 filenames, instead of 1 big one like ClueBot. FYI. —Telpardec  TALK  01:55, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

  • Support any standard I like giving people the option to choose anything, but I also like having a single recommended value for people who have no idea what is appropriate. Setting archive sizes is a problem which I personally have faced. Anywhere between 70-150k seems reasonable to me. 70k looks best when there are many 1-sentence messages. 150k is best for longer wiki-style discussions. I would support any consensus in that range which proposed a blanket recommendation of one single value for all cases and in all circumstances. Blue Rasberry (talk) 19:31, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

Closure statement

Official closing was requested at WP:AN, and since this was listed at WP:CENT, it ought "formally" to be closed...but as that's not normal for this kind of page, I figured a statement here ought to work, without the formal "this is an archive; do not modify" warning atop the big box. This is quite clearly a no-consensus situation: after rereading everything, I can't see anything that would attract substantial agreement, aside from Beeblebrox's obvious point that one editor ought not to be making major changes alone. Nyttend (talk) 12:01, 19 August 2014 (UTC)


The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Size of Archives 2

The discussion above closed without consensus a couple of months ago, but I think we as a community can do better. Andy mentioned above that we are in no danger of running out of subpages. This is of course true, but it is easier to search fewer, larger archives than a multitude of smaller ones. That is the primary argument in favor of maximizing archive size - archives function better as archives when they are less fragmented.

Talk page archives not routinely accessed the way talk pages are, so a larger loading delay is acceptable. We still need the archives to be visible to all editors, of course - but since they are intended to be static, their editability is not a priority.

I suggest we confine our discussion to "vanilla" talk pages; there will be exceptions such as ANI archives that need not be considered in this edit page. Additionally, this is a discussion about updating the recommended settings on our Help page - the settings will not be binding if local talk page consensuses prefer other settings.

For reference, I created example subpages of (roughly) 127kB, 255kB, 512kB, and 1024kB. They all load in less than a second for me. I have seen various claims that pages above a certain size "cause trouble" for some browsers or connections; is there any actual evidence that this has been studied? The server sometimes hiccups, so simply experiencing an isolated occurrence of load failure is not a particularly strong argument.

Based on the above, I think the "default" automatic archival threshold at which to stop adding new threads and move to the next subpage should be 400kB. By contrast, Google tells me that the average website is over 1600kB. VQuakr (talk) 07:35, 30 October 2014 (UTC)

Other things to consider include: what is the maximum size that the archiving bots can create - for example, the MiszaBots (now replaced by lowercase sigmabot III) apparently froze when the archive reached 2000K; and what is the maximum size that the search feature can handle - the current default search (LuceneSearch) can manage 512K but not 1024K, although I don't know where the boundary is. CirrusSearch (Preferences → Beta features → New search) may move the boundary, but again, I don't know what to, and a bigger issue is that it's not enabled for all users, and has occasional downtime so we need to take both search methods into account.
For those pages where we may run out of subpage numbers (ANI is now up to IncidentArchive860 and at the present rate may reach IncidentArchive999 in about November 2017) the bots should continue (e.g. with IncidentArchive1000) without a hiccup. --Redrose64 (talk) 08:04, 30 October 2014 (UTC)
About the 2000k limit - that is the default page size limit of the MediaWiki software, and I think the value that is currently used on Wikipedia, which is presumably why the bots couldn't cope with it. (See mw:Manual:$wgMaxArticleSize.) — Mr. Stradivarius ♪ talk ♪ 09:10, 30 October 2014 (UTC)
The MediaWiki default is 2048K to be precise. Wikimedia wikis set wgMaxArticleSize to 2000K in http://noc.wikimedia.org/conf/highlight.php?file=InitialiseSettings.php. PrimeHunter (talk) 13:46, 30 October 2014 (UTC)
  • The key factor that you are overlooking, VQuakr, is that browsers do not load wikitext, which is what your demonstration page sizes are based on. The following is a table of your page sizes and what the browser actually has to download.
Wikitext size Webpage size Difference
Average page size
according to Goggle
1600kB (1.56 MB)
127kB 2100kB (2.05MB) 1973kB (1.93MB)
255kB 2228kB (2.17MB) 1973kB (1.93MB)
512kB 2488kB (2.42MB) 1976kB (1.93MB)
1024kB 3028kB (2.95MB) 2004kB (1.96MB)
So, our page size without any text for some users is already well over the 1600kB average page size. For me, on my mobile device, I start have troubles with archives that are about 170-200kB of wikitext (which is about 2.12MB of actual data to download for the page). This is why I suggested above that the 120-150KB range is reasonable. As far as being able to find stuff in the archives, it's not hard to add a search box to the talk page to find a specific topic or phrase in the archives for that page, so "having to look through multiple smaller archives to find something" isn't a valid reason for opposing this limit in archive size. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 14:12, 30 October 2014 (UTC)
@Technical 13: the search box works fine if you have a keyword or phrase to search that is relatively unusual. Less so if you are browsing, or attempting to follow the historical flow of discussions. Reducing the fragmentation of archives is indeed a "valid" reason, even if it does not apply to your personal workflow. My takeaway from your summary above is that we could reduce the archive fragmentation by 400% by increasing the default size from 100k to 400k, while only increasing the web page size by 15% (2073 to 2373 kB) (and of course greatly reducing the total download size if someone is browsing all the archives). Given the strong positives and apocryphal negatives, this seems like an obvious decision. VQuakr (talk) 17:19, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
  • VQuakr, what you are failing to observer is the fact that webpages on mobile devices start failing to load between 2MB and 2.1MB, so page sizes between 100kB and 300Kb do not load well on mobile devices. Based on this, we should try and keep our pages sizes as close to the 100kB (2MB) side as we can. 120kB to 150kB seems fairly reasonable for this. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 21:41, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
What is your source for this? VQuakr (talk) 22:50, 1 November 2014 (UTC)

Auto-archiving of WP:ANRFC

Could anyone advise how this page can be autoarchived? This would not be a time-based archive, but should be activated by the addition of the {{done}} template within a section (as things should remain listed until they have been closed). Cheers, Number 57 21:36, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

How to archive

For beginners, on the Help page go to "Cut and paste procedure" near the beginning and follow the instructions underneath in the box headed "Simplified procedure for archiving". This is the easiest way. All the other instructions are very confusing and hard to understand, IMO. ~ P123ct1 (talk) 08:54, 6 December 2014 (UTC)

Unrelated comment

Hi kikichugirl.

Actually, I tried to create a page for company. I'm completely new to wiki. But i have followed some of instructions. Im little confused of my page getting deleted. Can you please role back my page again? Is their any issue for me to create same page again? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Vthink developer (talkcontribs) 09:48, 13 January 2015 (UTC)

@Vthink developer: This is the talk page for discussing improvements to the help page Help:Archiving a talk page. You probably intended to post to the talk page of the user kikichugirl (talk · contribs). --Redrose64 (talk) 14:02, 13 January 2015 (UTC)

Legobot

Shouldn't the information about Legobot archive indexing be removed from the page? According to User:Legobot page, the indexing function is inactive ("Replacement for User:HBC Archive Indexerbot -Inactive"). Vanjagenije (talk) 12:16, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

Yes, It should be removed I think. It's currently misleading to keep giving the indexing instruction using that bot. Tvx1 00:27, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
  • I remember talking to Legoktm about this not too long ago, Legobot is still indexing. That said, I'm guessing you are reading it as legobot inactive when I read it as it's doing the task the inactive HBC used to do. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 03:17, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
    • Just to make it clear, based on this report, I updated the table on Legobot to say the tool is active. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 03:34, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

Either way the page size [of 400k] is tiny by modern standards

In the history of the article:

  • user:VQuakr (Restore 400k default size per talk. Searching is done by some; browsing by others. Either way the page size is tiny by modern standards.)

From the lead of this page:

The talk page guidelines suggest archiving when the talk page exceeds 75 KB (or 75,000 bytes), or has multiple resolved or stale discussions.

The arguments presented in the section "when to archive pages" in WP:TALK are as valid for archived pages as they are for talk pages. There is an additional point to those mentioned in that section: Have you tried reading a 400k page on a phone? -- PBS (talk) 07:37, 14 May 2015 (UTC)

From manual to automatic archiving?

Is it possible to put automatic archiving with bots on a talk page that is already being archived manually? The talk page I am interested in archive with a bot is this one.--Forich (talk) 17:51, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

@Forich: Yes. There is one existing archive with the odd name Talk:Colombian Armed Conflict/Archives/2006/02. That could be moved to Talk:Colombian conflict (1964–present)/Archive 1 so that the usual templates will find it; and then the bot can be told to start at archive number 2. -- John of Reading (talk) 18:02, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
@Forich: I've done it for you. Now, wait for the bot to do the archiving. Bot runs once a day. Vanjagenije (talk) 19:08, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
Thanks --Forich (talk) 21:14, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

Need new example page

According to the "Example pages" section of this article:

Talk:Jesus has a mixture of numbered and topical archives. It also includes a summary of recently archived discussions.

I wanted to see this mixture. Maybe I'm wrong, but the mixture seems to no longer exist. At present, its Archives consist of "Index" and numbers 1-125.

Would you please update "Help:Archiving a talk page" to include an article that has "a mixture of numbered and topical archives" and an archive box? Thanks. Knife-in-the-drawer (talk) 13:39, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

@Knife-in-the-drawer: Actually, that article still has a mixture of numbered and topical archives (see: [3]). But, on 13 May, FutureTrillionaire removed the archivebox template from the article in this edit. In the edit summary, he wrote that he is "pretty sure we dont need these archive links". I would like to hear from him why he thinks we don't need those links. Those links were actually the only way to know about those archives, if you don't search for them explicitly. I think they should be left on the talk page. Vanjagenije (talk) 19:41, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
That got got fixed by Vanjagenije adding the content directly to the article, inside the {{tl:archive box}} call. --Elvey(tc) 18:10, 20 December 2015 (UTC)

Archive function?

Hello. Could anyone find out why my User talk:Chicbyaccident doesn't seem to archive properly, and if possible activate the function? Thank you! Chicbyaccident (talk) 13:42, 6 January 2016 (UTC)

@Chicbyaccident: It looks fine to me; the instructions at the top ask for everything older than 90 days to be archived, and that is happening. If you want the October posts to be archived sooner, then reduce the "age = 2160" to something smaller - that's a number of hours. -- John of Reading (talk) 13:51, 6 January 2016 (UTC)
Alright. Was just wondering. Thanks for your reply. Chicbyaccident (talk) 13:54, 6 January 2016 (UTC)

Archive Index

How can I display an Archive index in my talkheader like that is seen on this talk page? I have been trying some stuff but I can't figure it out. Jahn1234567890 (talk) 16:33, 23 March 2015 (UTC)

@Jahn1234567890: I just saw your question now. I see that you figured how to add it in the meantime. Vanjagenije (talk) 17:05, 6 May 2015 (UTC)

I have the same question. Would like to set up an archive in the header the same way, but everything I try creates a box on the right side. 1305cj (talk) 22:18, 19 January 2016 (UTC)

@1305cj: Did you menage to solve the problem? Vanjagenije (talk) 23:39, 19 January 2016 (UTC)
No not yet. The talk page has a talk header so... that should have archives or search archive function on it right? But nothing's been archived yet so it doesn't show. I'm reading through https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Help:Archiving_a_talk_page cut and paste and step-by-step procedures but getting confusing, and I don't want to mess up anything on the talk page if I don't get it right. I'm not trying to archive the entire page, just clean it up by archiving certain entries that have been resolved. 1305cj (talk) 00:00, 20 January 2016 (UTC)
@1305cj: Which page are you archiving and where is the archive page located? Vanjagenije (talk) 16:16, 20 January 2016 (UTC)

Manually archive sections of an autoarchived page?

This doesn't seem to work, or will it be done later? --.jsWP: [democracy needed] 01:00, 23 February 2016 (UTC)

@.js: {{archiving}} only adds a notice that the section/page is being archived; it doesn't speed up the process in any way. Graham87 03:06, 23 February 2016 (UTC)
But how can it be done? --.jsWP: [democracy needed] 00:22, 24 February 2016 (UTC)
I don't think it's possible. Graham87 10:18, 24 February 2016 (UTC)

@.js: What exactly do you want to do? Vanjagenije (talk) 12:18, 24 February 2016 (UTC)

See WP:VPT#How do I manually bot-archive talk sections? --.jsWP: [democracy needed] 08:27, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
@.js: I am still not sure what you want to do. I understand that you wwant to force archiving of certain sections on the page. You can do it in two ways. One way is to install OneClickArchiver. That script lets you archive section with one click. Other way is to use the ClueBot III and than to use "archivenow" parameter (MiszaBot/Lowercase sigmabot III does not allow that, you have to use ClueBot III). If you set the "archivenow" to some value (i.e. "archivenow=<nowiki>{{archiving}}</nowiki>"), then all sections containing the string "{{archiving}}" will be archived immediately (on the next bot run). Vanjagenije (talk) 14:01, 25 February 2016 (UTC)

Links to archives

Is there any plausible reason to not have links to all archives available on the page that was archived? The language in this help page and WP:TALK only suggests it, and I don't think there's any other policy or guideline or anything of the sort that discusses it. I am aware that generally this information is available in the edit history (unless it's manually archived via cut-and-paste move with no edit summary or something) and the content that's been archived is definitely still available, but for ease of access and (potentially) transparency for those who don't want to go digging through diffs, they should be explicitly linked from something like {{archives}}, correct? This is partly in response to the #Need new example page thread above, but I think it's probably worth discussion as an issue on its own. ansh666 23:37, 22 April 2016 (UTC)

Yes, they ideally should be linked. I always thought this was common sense, though. Graham87 05:37, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
I've noticed that new users don't always add the link templates to talk pages when they set up archiving; on articles this is usually caught and added quickly, but not always on talk pages. I guess what I'm asking is, should it be required? ansh666 01:28, 24 April 2016 (UTC) (Cross-linked at WT:TALK, where this should ideally have been started. ansh666 01:28, 24 April 2016 (UTC))
well absolutely archives should be linked, that is a no-brainer. Template:Talk header does that automatically. Jytdog (talk) 02:31, 24 April 2016 (UTC)

Why is example minthreadstoarchive set to 1?

For those of us who don't like the Extended Watchlist and don't hide bots, every bot edit pings everyone who has the page in their watchlist. Given that archiving is never urgent, wouldn't a higher minthreadstoarchive default be better, so that the bot doesn't clutter up watchlists as often? Is there any significant downside? Rolf H Nelson (talk) 05:15, 22 June 2016 (UTC)

@Rolf h nelson: But, it can be set to any number. I don't really understand what change do you want to make? Vanjagenije (talk) 14:28, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
Many people are likely to just copy the given example, so the example should obviously contain "best practices". If best practices would usually be 1, it should say 1; if best practices would usually be, say, 3, it should say 3. It seems to me that 3 would be a better setting than 1 is. Rolf H Nelson (talk) 17:39, 25 June 2016 (UTC)
Feel free to change it. Default number is 2 (if the parameter is omitted, it is automatically set at 2). Vanjagenije (talk) 00:05, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
I preferred 1, so as the default is 2, I am going to change it to that, and it is a compromise. -- PBS (talk) 10:43, 14 August 2016 (UTC)
@PBS: There is no point to set the "minthreadstoarchive" parameter ti 2 becaouse 2 is the default value. If it is set to "2" then it should be omitted, as that would be the same. 12:33, 14 August 2016 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Vanjagenije (talkcontribs)
I'm re-pinging PBS because the previous ping probably didn't work. Graham87 13:56, 14 August 2016 (UTC)

There is a point to setting to to 2 because as Rolf H Nelson wrote 'Many people are likely to just copy the given example, so the example should obviously contain "best practices".' I set it to two as it is a compromise and presumably the default is the "best practice". If it is not the best practice then the default ought to be changes. -- PBS (talk) 14:06, 14 August 2016 (UTC)

Archive links

Automatic archiving was enabled for Talk:Scranton general strike quite some time ago, to the point that 20 archives have been created by sigmabot. Unfortunately there was no archive box created, so there are no links to any of the archived versions. To make matters worse, there was an intervening name change.

So all in all, I have no idea how to untangle the mess of archives. Does it have to be done manually? Would doing it manually mess up the bot somehow? TimothyJosephWood 15:03, 18 August 2016 (UTC)

For some reason the archiving counter was set to start at 17, so there are only 4 archive pages, numbered Archive 17, 18, 19, 20. The Search button in the archive box will show these: Noyster (talk), 18:43, 18 August 2016 (UTC)
I fixed it . Vanjagenije (talk) 18:47, 18 August 2016 (UTC)
All the thanks. TimothyJosephWood 18:50, 18 August 2016 (UTC)

User talk:Govvy

I just tried to make a new archive page, doing it myself and not using a bot, I edited User talk:Govvy/archive bit, but it's not showing on my other pages. But for some reason, I can't see page 5 of what I just done in the other pages. I am not sure what went wrong. Govvy (talk) 16:24, 4 September 2016 (UTC)

@Govvy: I think your edits were correct. When a sub-page such as User talk:Govvy/archive is edited, the software doesn't always update all the affected pages immediately. I've given the servers a kick by purging your numbered archive pages, and they seem to be displaying OK now. -- John of Reading (talk) 18:54, 4 September 2016 (UTC)
Cheers, Thank You. Govvy (talk) 19:13, 4 September 2016 (UTC)

Help with my talk page archive?

Someone said my archive was a mess and I am not really sure what's going on with it. It's not correctly displaying my archives. --Jennica / talk 20:04, 26 December 2016 (UTC)

It is really a mess. You can see the list of all your archives here: [4]. They should be consolidated into two or three pages. I recommend numbered archives. I will be able to help you tomorrow, it's too late now. Vanjagenije (talk) 23:56, 26 December 2016 (UTC)
@Vanjagenije: - hi. would you still be able to help me? Or perhaps tell me what is needed to sort it out. I could try to attempt it. thanks --Jennica / talk 01:37, 13 January 2017 (UTC)
@Jennica: I'd be happy to re-number them for you, just let me know if it's ok. -- ferret (talk) 01:47, 13 January 2017 (UTC)
@Ferret: - oh sure! thanks a bunch  --Jennica / talk 01:50, 13 January 2017 (UTC)

A new archiving bot

Lowercase Sigmabot III and ClueBot III do an excellent job, especially for user talk pages, however for more project-oriented venues I sometimes want a template-based archiving system. Basically these options:

  • Don't archive by timestamp alone, but wait until {{done}}, {{not done}} (or whatever you configure) are in the thread. Then wait N hours as configured.
  • Archive to different places based on the template. So done's will go to a /done subpage, etc.
  • Still offer a {{archive now}} that will force the bot to archive based on the config (so follow the rules above if configured that way)

I probably wouldn't use this at WP:PERM, since the format of the archives is a little different, but I would love to have the above functionality at WP:EF/R. It seems this might be helpful for other venues with similar processes. The idea is some admin notation template is what causes it to archive, but we don't want it to archive immediately, which is the only way to do with with ClueBot III.

With all features enabled, the config might look like:

{{User:MusikBot/Archive
| age = 24 <!-- wait 24 hours -->
| template_1_name = <nowiki>{{done}},{{EFR|done}}</nowiki>
| template_1_location = Wikipedia:Edit filter/Requested/Done/%Y/%M
| template_2_name = <nowiki>{{not done}},{{EFR|denied}},{{EFR|impossible}}</nowiki>
| template_2_location = Wikipedia:Edit filter/Requested/Denied/%Y/%M
| archive_now = <nowiki>{{archive now}}</nowiki> <!-- bot will archive only if template_1 or template_2 is in the discussion -->
}}

There will of course be good documentation, especially with the date formatting.

What do people think of this? I basically have the code already since MusikBot does this very similarly at WP:PERM, I'd just need to generalize the functionality and offer the config options. Is this helpful? Too confusing? Maybe it's better to write bot tasks for each venue as needed? MusikAnimal talk 19:16, 24 February 2017 (UTC)

It sounds reasonable to me. I'm not involved in any processes that could use this, but it'd be nice to know it'd be there. Graham87 07:44, 25 February 2017 (UTC)
Absolutely essential for WP:EF/R (and I'm sure a lot of other places could end up using it too!), so that's a +1 from me -- Samtar talk · contribs 08:12, 2 March 2017 (UTC)

How to turn OFF auto-archiving? How to modify its activity (length, timing)? (Autoarchiving)

Personally, I believe auto-archiving, and even manually archiving Talk pages, is generally a BAD IDEA except maybe in the most extreme cases.

Few really want to have to search a closed Archive that cannot be commented on or link to a locked discussion in the main section. It is wonderful to have a substantial Outline / Contents at the start, to quickly see what topics have been discussed. Archiving basically destroys that ease of use, and other conveniences that facilitate Talk. More about what happens when archiving occurs is mentioned here (especially near the bottom).

How does one turn OFF auto-archiving (auto-archive, autoarchive)?

How does one modify an archive-bot's activity? For example: how long it waits till it archives part of a Talk page; or other timing, such as when it thinks a Talk page is "too long" (for a size of 75K is outdated in a time of faster mobile and computer connections).

Misty MH (talk) 06:39, 28 May 2017 (UTC)

Help:Archiving a talk page#Automated archival has bold links to documentation pages for archiving bots. PrimeHunter (talk) 11:04, 28 May 2017 (UTC)

Archive index coloring

I was stumped for around ten minutes regarding what the grey shading indicated in the index: Talk:India/Archive index. After the sorting it by replies, the arbitrary rows having it confused me. What on earth did it signify? I thought, whether the discussion was "successful" or something?!   Then I realised, it was probably purely cosmetic in nature, added to each alternative row, quite obvious when you view it without sorting it. Not really helpful for the index in that case. Ugog Nizdast (talk) 08:12, 15 April 2017 (UTC)

The point of the grey shading is an aid to keep the eye focused on the line you are currently viewing so your eye doesn't wander off the row and pick up information from another line. Sort of like lined paper to keep everything in line. — Myk Streja (who?) 02:22, 25 June 2017 (UTC)

2 checks please?

Can someone please check my implementation at Talk:Tesla Model S, and my talk page, the latter hasn't been archived since August 24th. Thanks, L3X1 (distænt write) 03:18, 3 September 2017 (UTC)

I've removed some errant text from the Tesla Model S page, so it should work OK now. ClueBot III has been down since 25 August. Graham87 04:05, 3 September 2017 (UTC)

This seems very wasteful

What's the point of keeping old versions of archive files? It seems to me an immense waste of disk storage. All the text is contained in the most recent version. Either the archive files should not have a history (that is, no old versions), or else the bots should create a new archive number each time they toss a bunch of discussions into an archive, so there would only be one version of each number. Eric Kvaalen (talk) 10:38, 27 September 2017 (UTC)

mw:Manual:MediaWiki architecture#Database and text storage says: "Wikimedia sites use a MySQL-backed external storage cluster with blobs of a few dozen revisions. The first revision of the blob is stored in full, and following revisions to the same page are stored as diffs relative to the previous revision; the blobs are then gzipped. Because the revisions are grouped per page, they tend to be similar, so the diffs are relatively small and gzip works well. The compression ratio achieved on Wikimedia sites nears 98%." See also Wikipedia:Don't worry about performance. PrimeHunter (talk) 11:05, 27 September 2017 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)#RFC on automatic archiving of long user talk pages

This may interest many of you. Please comment. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 12:29, 11 October 2017 (UTC)

Dispute over archiving

I'm in a dispute with DanielPenfield over whether (and how) old discussion should be archived on a page that is far smaller than what I see as the common size for archiving talk page discussions. Please comment at Talk:Triangular trade#Archiving of 12 year old discussions. Graham87 10:18, 12 February 2018 (UTC)

Talk:Scott Baio archive is broken

An ip pointed it out: Talk:Scott_Baio#Archive_box. --Ronz (talk) 17:21, 15 February 2018 (UTC)

Discrepancy between instructions on page and results on wiki

Being a newer user I have been reading many of these very helpful articles such as this one. This is a little thing, but I did notice it. When following the instructions and examples of creating an archive page it is done with a space ( /Archive 1 ) which I followed. Sometime later the system or some process changed the space to an _ underscore. This has happened all four times I created an archive for a talk page. I do not know if this is an error or not, but is it acceptable to use ( /Archive_1 ) to begin with or best to let it do its thing? Darryl.P.Pike (talk) 15:18, 11 April 2018 (UTC)

@Darryl.P.Pike: In titles of Wikipedia pages, an underscore ( _ ) is rendered as space, i.e. those are the same. For example, if you click United States or United_States, they link to the same URL, which is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States. URL cannot have a space, so it is replaced by an underscore. Vanjagenije (talk) 15:35, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
@Vanjagenije: I read that in there somewhere, but when I create an archive page with the space it adds it to my watch list, which turns red when it gets changed to the underscore and I have to remove it. Doesn't hurt anything. Just seems, an erroneous way of doing things is all and there really isn't anything to explain what I was seeing directly. You have answered my question that I can use the _ on creation and I won't have to manage dead-red's out of my list any longer. Thank you. Darryl.P.Pike (talk) 15:52, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
@Darryl.P.Pike: I'm not sure what you refer to but you probably misunderstood something. Do you mean you get a red link at Special:EditWatchlist? You cannot watch a talk page alone. You watch the non-talk page and talk page together, and only the non-talk page like User:Darryl.P.Pike/Archive 1 is shown at Special:EditWatchlist. User:Darryl.P.Pike/Archive_1 is the same page and also red. The archive is User talk:Darryl.P.Pike/Archive 1. None of this is specific to archiving. It doesn't matter whether you write a space or underscore when creating pages. PrimeHunter (talk) 16:29, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
@PrimeHunter: I will try to explain what brought me here better. I repeated this process again to be sure I got the same results. I archived some stuff on a talk page using a space to create the page name. The box at the bottom is checked "add to watchlist" and it does. When you go to Special:EditWatchlist the archived page is in your list, red, and when you click it it takes you to create the page with the space and not to the page with the _ that you just created. Does this explain what is happening? I can't think of a single good reason why one would want to watch a page that isn't supposed to ever get any changes and I figure this is a symptom of having that box checked by default for its intended purpose. If you forget to un-check it when doing an archive the above occurs. *shrug* It isn't the end of the world and now that I understand the process better I can avoid the problem. I am not "complaining" per se, but pointing out that it does not appear to be logical in how it functions considering how the results preform in the end. Without that understanding it caused me to think I did something incorrectly and I went looking for what it was I did wrong. Thanks for the help on it, learning is SUCH a process! Darryl.P.Pike (talk) 18:12, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
@Darryl.P.Pike: That's exactly the misunderstanding I explained and yet you still appear to misunderstand it. When you create User talk:Darryl.P.Pike/Archive 1 you are creating a talk page because the name starts with "User talk:". Special:EditWatchlist never links to talk pages. It links to the associated non-talk page User:Darryl.P.Pike/Archive 1 which starts with "User:" and not with "User talk:". The difference between the two pages is the same as the difference between User:Darryl.P.Pike and User talk:Darryl.P.Pike, except User:Darryl.P.Pike/Archive 1 is a red link because the page has not been created. There is no reason to create it but if any of the two pages User:Darryl.P.Pike/Archive 1 or User talk:Darryl.P.Pike/Archive 1 are edited then it shows up at Special:Watchlist, assuming you don't have a watchlist setting which hides the edit. None of this has anything whatsoever to do with space versus underscore. It does not matter whether you write a space or an underscore when you create a page. The software immediately forgets which character you used and creates exactly the same page in the two cases. The only thing you have possibly done wrong is to delete it from your watchlist. This means Special:Watchlist will not show edits to the archive, but archives are rarely edited. PrimeHunter (talk) 20:58, 11 April 2018 (UTC)

Archives v. Archive box, auto=yes v. auto=long

On 1 July 2018 I made two substansive changes to the section "Automated archival" by altering the parameters to {{Archives}}:

  1. auto=yes to auto=long
  2. bot=bot name

About 8 hours later user:Graham87 edited my change: keeping the bot=addition but reverting auto=long back to auto=yes, and also changed two items that had not been changed by me. Graham87 changed the template from Archives to "archive box" and also removed search=yes. with a editorial comment of "the archive box template is mor common in my experience ... and it tends to be used like this"

Today (8 July) I have reverted all the changes apart from the addition of bot=bot name.

user:Graham87 in response to your editorial comment. Just because something has been done one way in the past, that is no reason to include less than best practice on a help page, particularly with templates as template functionality changes, and their use may require different parameters depending on circumstances.

@user:Graham87 what is the advantage/disadvantage in this case of using {{Archive box}} over {{Archives}} (I was surprised that one is not a redirect of the other—{{Archive box}} is a wrapper around {{Archives}})

As an example of changing functionality of templates: By default the search parameter was set to search=no is the default now search=yes and is that stable? If so then I think we should remove that parameter.

I think that there is a clear advantage of using auto=long over auto=yes as it is much easier to click on the longer name than just the number. It may be that with very big archives that using just the number is preferable, but usually when the auto-archiving is being set up we are talking about only a couple of pages at most. If sometime in the future there are dozens of pages then the parameter can be changed to auto=yes, but as these examples can be cut and pasted when setting up the initial archiving auto=long is preferable for the reason I have given.

-- PBS (talk) 08:30, 8 July 2018 (UTC)

Looking at the defaults first {{archives}} then {{archive box}}, it appears that we can drop all but the bot parameter and let the rest revert to their default setting. If {{archive box}} is used then the auto parameter is required. -- PBS (talk) 08:39, 8 July 2018 (UTC)
@PBS: I don't really have a strong opinion about the use of {{archives}} or {{archive box}}, especially now that I know that the latter is a letgacy wrapper around the former. But I do feel a bit more strongly about the use of the "auto=yes" parameter rather than auto=long, as the former can be used anywhere and is indeed the default form used by {{Talk header}} and on almost all noticeboards, so it's more familiar. It's also a little easier to use with screen readers precisely *because* a screen reader user doesn't have to hear the word "Archive" before every link. I know that most new archiving setups will have only one or a few archives, but I think it's better to plan to make room for more rather than using a restrictive parameter. Graham87 11:13, 8 July 2018 (UTC)
According to the documentation, if no auto parameter is given the default is to use long until the number of archives are greater than 36. I suggest that we go with the default and simply include a bot parameter. -- PBS (talk) 13:25, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
  • PBS & Graham87 - Sorry couldn't comment yesterday as got blocked, Anyway just to add my only reason for the reversion was that in this edit this was how the page looked for me and it was like this for well over half of the help page, Obviously at the time I thought someone had changed the font hence why I reverted, Thanks, –Davey2010Talk 15:10, 22 July 2018 (UTC)

Step by step instructions --Problems

I tried to follow the step by step instructions for archiving and they did not work for me. There are some assumptions made in the instructions and it is not clear to me. Probably WP changes over time and the exact icon is no longer there. Maybe the writer assumes more knowledge of WP than an irregular contributor. I created an "Archive 1" page and guess what? It's been created before.... AND deleted. Obviously people have been following those same instructions with the same wrong results. Here are my questions.

  1. What does it mean to be in the editing window? I clicked Edit This Page. There is no Edit Source Tab as the instructions say.
  2. Why did someone add "header templates should remain on the main talk page" without defining it? "Step by Step" means click then go there exactly, not general "watch out for this and remember that when you're doing it." It is no longer Step-by-Step at that point.

With the above ambiguity, we have not been able to archive a page. I'm just talking my own talk: page, not a general use one.Kristinwt (talk) 00:47, 8 January 2019 (UTC)

@Kristinwt: You missed the part about a slash in front at Help:Archiving a talk page#Step-by-step procedure. I have fixed the link.[5] Without a slash in front you would have to write the full name User talk:Kristinwt/Archive 1. You haven't created an archive but you can do it now by clicking the link. It varies with user preferences whether the tab says "edit" or "edit source". You get to the editing window when you click one of them. The text "Any WikiProject header templates should remain on the main talk page" is not relevant for user talk pages. PrimeHunter (talk) 01:53, 8 January 2019 (UTC)
Return to "Archiving a talk page/Archive 5" page.