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Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive 70

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Non-admins moving pages with no Talk redirect

Pretty-much in the title: what would you think if non-admins could move pages without leaving a talk page redirect? Maybe the software could check for inbound links to the talk page and not present that option if they exist. The vast majority of talk pages have no incoming links, and the ones that do probably shouldn't be moved. The article/page would still leave a redirect, so no harm done. ▫ JohnnyMrNinja 19:34, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

I think that's a dreadful idea. Only admins should be allowed to do anything. Malleus Fatuorum 06:14, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
"move pages without leaving a talk page redirect"... how often is that a good idea? And WP:CSD#G8 makes cleanup of the occasional case easy. Changing the software is always hassle, you need to make a pretty good case to stand a chance of it happening. Rd232 talk 00:54, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

Interesting idea Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 08:26, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

Merits aside, I think this is technically problematic as "not leaving a redirect behind" is currently achieved using the delete tool, which would have to be split or otherwise tinkered with a lot to isolate this particular implementation from the ability to delete other pages. Skomorokh 18:36, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

No, "not leaving a redirect behind" is achieved by unchecking the "Leave a redirect behind" checkbox on the move form or using the noredirect parameter in an API action=move query. This is available to users with the suppressredirect right (currently bots and admins). Anomie 21:59, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

Warning sign on Mediawiki:Signupend

Hello,

I just wrote a proposal about removing some of the more off-putting things on one page in the account creation. The discussion can use your input. Best wishes//Hannibal (talk) 14:26, 11 March 2011 (UTC)

After receiving only positive feedback on my proposal, I edited Mediawiki:Signupend to create a shorter second page in the account creation process, which I hope seem a little bit friendlier now. All the relevant information is just one click away. Assuming that newcomers like the shorter version, this may actually increase the number of new accounts slightly. We will have some results on that shortly on this page. (If you have an account on the Toolserver, please help out with that.)
Best wishes//Hannibal (talk) 22:46, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

Tag team

A large number of WP articles now have maintenance tags, many of which are years old. In some cases the issues have been fixed, in others not. In some cases the person adding the tag acted in good faith with rationale on the Talk page, in others it's a drive-by or agenda account whose sole problem is that the article reflects WP:NPOV instead of WP:TRUTH.

Proposals:

  1. That tags over 1 year old be removed by a bot.
  2. That tags over 1 month old and with no active discussion be targeted for manual removal.

It is clear to me that newbies do not feel they have the right to remove tags. Issues not actively being fixed, and where the editor identifying the issue cannot be arsed to make a case, should simply be closed - as is the case with any trouble ticket system. I think that's the way to view tags: as trouble tickets. In every system I've encountered, "no response from originator" is solid grounds for closing.

I'd exempt WP:BLP articles; tags on these over a month old should result in listing at WP:BLPN and loud klaxons and flashing lights.

Lets pick up after ourselves. Guy (Help!) 01:22, 26 February 2011 (UTC)

  • Strong Oppose - Ignoring the problem doesn't make it go away. These tags for the most part represent things which ahve problems. An example of backlogs being worked on would be the Unreferenced BLP Rescue wikiproject has done a great job at cutting down the backlog on unreferenced BLPs, there are now fewer than 11,000 compared to the 50,000+ that we had 2 years ago. The {{fact}} category is down to ~267k from ~312k. So clearly things are eventually being fixed. Having a bot remove tags simply because we aren't keeping up fast enough doesn't fix the problem, they ARE useful for at least tracking what needs to be done. --nn123645 (talk) 02:59, 26 February 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment in Guy's original form I must strongly oppose the proposal, but I think there is a germ of a good idea here. The problem of old tags is certainly real; the trouble is that "old" is not very adequately measured by the passage of time, and "activity" is too hard to quantify for the wide range of high and low activity pages on Wikipedia. We could certainly try and find ways to prod editors to ensure that there is a current rationale for tags, and a bot would figure in that somewhere, but doing this in a way that doesn't clear out tags that shouldn't be is not going to be easy. Rd232 talk 17:36, 26 February 2011 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose as nn123645 said, "Ignoring the problem doesn't make it go away." Many of these tags are for serious issues, such as articles not having sources. There are people that work on these things, however they only work so quickly. Also, if a problem persists the tag should not be removed no matter what, period. Whether it's by bots, newbies, or experienced users, removing a tag without fixing the problem is not acceptable, period. Sven Manguard Wha? 21:15, 26 February 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose per nn123645. Even if people aren't actually fixing some of the problems, these provide useful statistics and many tags warn readers about potential reliability issues. Why should people be required to start a discussion for things that are often blindingly obvious? If an article has no sources, that's not something that needs explanation. I agree with Rd232 though, there are probably a lot of articles that are mistagged due to the problem being fixed. A bot could, for example, find all pages with citation templates or multiple external links that are tagged as having no sources, but a human would still need to do the final check. Mr.Z-man 22:57, 26 February 2011 (UTC)
  • Strong Support. Maintenance tags are, as currently implemented, a blight on Wikiepdia. JzG spells out several of the problems perfectly. To be clear though, what I support here is the removal, or change in practice, in the use of Category:Cleanup templates (for the most part). I think that inline templates are very useful, it's the more general "cleanup this article" template that is problematic.
    Realistically though, we're not going to get rid of them. My idea for quite some time now has been to move these templates onto the article talk pages. That would get the "nastygram" aspect of the message box out of the reader's faces (especially since these tings are normally the very first thing someone sees when they go to an article). Putting them on talk pages would allow for the continued categorization and tracking of pages, as well. More importantly though, it seems obvious to me that if the message is left on the talk page then that would encourage those adding the tags to say something in order to describe the problem.
    — V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 23:38, 27 February 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. First, with reference to Ohms law's comment, see WP:Perennial proposals#Move maintenance tags to talk pages. The point is that we actually want them to be "in the face" of the readers. One, we want to warn them if what they're seeing may have problems (so that they may be more wary about relying on it), and, second, we want to encourage them to try to help fixing it. The only way to fix these tags is for a human to go through and actually fix the problems, or, at least, identify that there is no actual problem. That's actually the goal of things like the current Great Backlog Drive or similar drives run by other wikiprojects. I can tell you, just because a tag isn't old doesn't mean it's valid. I'm working in a category with tags from 2007, one which requires a substantial amount of effort to fix, but I can tell you that in every case except for 2 or 3, the tags were fully valid and substantially problematic. Qwyrxian (talk) 07:19, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
    You want them to be "in the readers face". Myself and others certainly don't (admittedly, this seems to be a minority point of view). There's no "we" here; people with your viewpoint 'win' on this issue more because of inertia then any real consensus.
    — V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 20:00, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose both, but especially #1, per everyone above. Removing a legitimately placed tag is like taping over a "check engine" light on your car instead of getting the engine checked. Wrongly placed tags can and should be removed, but a bot isn't going to know the difference. 28bytes (talk) 17:53, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. As nn123645 said, "Ignoring the problem doesn't make it go away." This would be defeating the purpose of tags, wouldn't it? Guoguo12--Talk--  21:35, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose The goal of maintenance templates is to identify the problems. Removing these templates without addressing the problem is counter-productive. Armbrust WrestleMania XXVII Undertaker 19–0 19:17, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose - though I hate to see articles plastered with tags they are important pointers to problems that have been identified that need to be investigated further and fixed before removal. Unfortunately I cannot see how a BOT can check out if the problem has been fixed or not, apart from possibly dead-links. May be we could encourage WikiProjects to use the clean-up listings more and continue have specific tag drives to clear out the older tags. Keith D (talk) 19:54, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose What if there is still the problem? ~~Awsome EBE123~~(talk | Contribs) 23:42, 9 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose tags tell us what is wrong with an article. --Guerillero | My Talk 17:24, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose - the proposal defeats the entire purpose of having a tagging system - unless instead of removing the tags we delete the articles...

Deny automated recognition

You may be interested in my user essay User:Yaris678/Deny automated recognition. It recommends a tweak to how the various automated and semi-automated anti-vandal tools should work. Yaris678 (talk) 15:50, 12 March 2011 (UTC)

I've seen some vandals that were obviously trying to earn warnings, but I usually start at uw2 and will skip right to a uw4 if it looks like it's gonna be a vandalism only account. However, most of the IP vandals I see are people just testing the waters, and they get scared when "some admin" (apparently only admins can give warnings?) "threatens to ban them" with the standard warning templates. Though I do agree that it is a problem that if I give a uw4 at the end of the month, ClueBot starts off with a uw1 in just a few hours, but I also see that behavior in human editors. Ian.thomson (talk) 21:29, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

Fair use upload bot

Please see commons:Commons:Village_pump#Proposal:_Fair_use_upload_bot for my proposal for a bot that would re-upload images that are deleted on Commons but in use on En to En as candidates for fair use. Please comment there. Dcoetzee 12:11, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

Use of Abuse Filters for enforcement of bans (including ArbCom bans)

I emailed ArbCom about this (because I thought since it would be an ArbCom ban, it was ArbCom's decision) and they said that I should make the proposal to the community. Basically, the proposal is: I was thinking: people occasionally don't listen to ArbCom or community bans, and end up editing pages or topics they are banned from; sometimes with full knowledge, in which case they might create lots of drama and hinder editing, or a complete accident, where their claims sometimes can't be believed, even when they're true. Then I thought of a way to 'block' users from pages in certain categories or pages etc: the abuse filter. The abuse filter can be used (as said in an IRC discussion) to prevent users from editing certain pages by preventing the edit if a certain user tries to edit a certain page, and I believe this would be useful to prevent users from deliberately going past bans and causing disruption, or banned users accidentally editing pages they are banned from editing and being punished for their mistake. That's my proposal.   --123Hedgehog456 : Create an account! 20:09, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

I suppose this could be useful for specific page bans, but in my experience topic ban violations are less often a matter of (to make up an example) "He was banned from Scientology articles and edited scientology!" than of "He was banned from Scientology articles and edited [article of someone marginally related to scientology which may or may not be covered by the ban and which needs ANI drama to determine if it is]." For that reason, having a software solution isn't going to help with most topic bans except in the most obvious of cases. Not necessarily a reason to not pursue it; just saying it may not be as useful as it sounds at first blush. A fluffernutter is a sandwich! (talk) 20:14, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
(ec) Agreed. Editing restrictions are normally so broad that they cannot be usefully implemented in software, see e.g. WP:TBAN.  Sandstein  20:23, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
Hmm, maybe there are areas where it would be impractical, or impossible to implement, but in areas where it is possible to implement, it may provide benefits. --123Hedgehog456 : Create an account! 20:31, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
I think you can ban users from editing articles that are in specific categories, and lots of categories carry the same topics as those that are commonly topic-banned (if you get what I mean). And in my opinion, this would be useful, as no-one wants to be blocked for an accident, or unnecessary drama created by a user editing a page they are banned from and causing problems. --123Hedgehog456 : Create an account! 20:21, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
The server cannot have too many filters and some useful filters were disabled in the past simply because they were not triggered often enough. So a filter for just one user is not going to be created. By the way, another possible solution is to remind users about topic bans through their own common.js. — AlexSm 20:47, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

This doesn't seem to be a good idea for a filter for the reason's given by Alex, but a bot would be easier (reports edits made in the topic). We can keep a section of monobook.js which gives them a nice "do not edit please please please" banner on the relevant pages, so that they don't accidentally edit.

Revolutionizing Peer review and the accademic Process through wiki: Involving the Professors and digitizing academia

I propose we, wikipedia, begin to create appeal for PhD.

I propose the following

Wiki registration divide members up according to discipline of major and level of education (Elementary, Middle, Highschool,Undergrad Freshman+Sophmore, Undergrad Junior and senior, master candidate, master, PhD. Candidate, TA,)then...

Instructor 2 Board Eligible 50-75 hours of teaching per year

Assistant Clinical Professor 8 High degree of clinical competence, 50-75 hours of teaching per year

Associate Clinical Professor 6

Clinical Professor - - Evaluations - Excellent teaching, 50-75 hours of teaching per year

Emeritus - - Reserved for highest rank - distinguished record of UCSF teaching and clinical competence.


I proposed based on academic rank no level can edit the information placed by a supperior accademic title, and can only be altered by one of a higher or equal rank,

However, the issue is when a piece of information becomes out dated event though a professor said it is true and no one can change it. I would propose that any Graduate can question the point made by a professor and opon reaching a certain boundary it should be checked by a staff of PhD.'s hired or open sourced through wikipedia.

Also I propose anyone can hypothesize, while also a process of philosophical building can occur in the mind and words of anyone, as such anyone can propose theory (Following this same rank system mentioned above), however I propose only a graduate can choose to breath life into the idea and perform appropriate scientific experiments that will move the idea from philosophy to theory.

I believe this would revolutionize accademia giving professors access to a vast sea of ideas while establishing an interactive process of peer review which is constantly being refined by the masses. I believe this would increase education, reseach, wealth, knowledge and the condition of man.

Finally I propose we establish a section for every discipline with a subsection for every theory and its associated subsets until the fact level. I believe that this would enable man to revolutionize the peer review process making responces between professors instant and furthermore breaking peer review down from massive 30 page essays of 6 months of independent thought to thought by thought constant refinement.

Tell me what you think and please add and edit as you see fit! You can reach me at <redacted> — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mcl10002 (talkcontribs) 10:08, 12 March 2011 (UTC)

Anyone signing up can claim to be a Nobel Prize winner, but how do you propose to verify the claims provided by a registrant? Your ideas may have some merit for an academic Wikidea (see also http://academia.wikia.com/), but not for an encyclopedia. I don't know if you are familiar with academia, but it is a battleground of ideas, and you don't want this battle to be fought out on the pages of an encyclopedia. And trust me, there are plenty of professors who are also kooks. If a professor replaces verifiable information by unverifiable self-glorifying content, anyone should be able to revert that. Academic qualifications are not required, or even particularly helpful, for being able to contribute to a good article on a topic like, say, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. Finally, the title Emeritus doesn't mean more than that some geezer managed to get old without being kicked out of academia.  --Lambiam —Preceding undated comment added 12:36, 12 March 2011 (UTC).
You may also want to review Essjay controversy; the failed proposal Wikipedia:Credentials (proposal) and its talk page; competing essays Wikipedia:Credentials are irrelevant, Wikipedia:Ignore all credentials, and Wikipedia:Credentials matter; Wikipedia:Expert editors; and Wikipedia:Expert retention. Anomie 13:47, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
I've known brilliant physics professors who couldn't program the time on their VCR. Having a degree in one field does not mean you know anything about unrelated fields. And, as Anomie points out, every field has its quacks. Simply put, what you're proposing won't work for Wikipedia. It might work as its own service, but I doubt it. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 19:13, 14 March 2011 (UTC)
In addition to all of the above concerns, which are correct, proposals that restrict editing in some hierarchical way are incompatible with meta:Founding principles and therefore will not be realized.  Sandstein  20:33, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
Citizendium works on similar principles. Peter jackson (talk) 18:06, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

Automatically redirect CamcelCase

I usually have this issue when it comes to WikiProject redirects, but have had it elsewhere. It becomes really annoying when I am confused for a while as to why my link is redlinked. I usually try several other things before it dawns on me it was an issue of CamelCase formatting. I realize that this could cause issues when 2 items conflict and one is spelled with CamcelCase and the other isn't, but I think we already do something similar with plurals.Jinnai 23:28, 14 March 2011 (UTC)

If capitalization differences are autoredirected, then it becomes impossible to create distinct articles should one be evenetually needed under two capitalization schemes. For example, sat is a redirect page to a disambiguation page, while SAT is the college admissions test. If the redirecting was handled automatically, it would be impossible to distinguish between these two usages. There are likely many more examples. Instead, what you should do is create redirectes manually as needed. --Jayron32 05:45, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
I would think the software should be able to be updated to check for the lack of an existing article under the exact name if typed in and only then redirect.Jinnai 22:32, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
Since it already does this with first letters of the title, I would think it'd be possible as well. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 00:10, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
I could imagine a search function similar to Google's that asks, when you are searching for 'dinasore', say, responds with "Did you mean 'dinosaur'?" That should also resolve 'New York times' and 'CamcelCase'.  --Lambiam 22:11, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
That would be useful, although I think it should auto redirect and ask the question then because I'd think most of the time the answer would be yes and it involves less clicking for the user.Jinnai 20:50, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

Wikibets

Anyone want to start a page where users place bets on things like sporting events, elections, or really anything. We would be betting work on Wikipedia. Example:

Superbowl:
Person A Offer: 20 new page patrols says the Greenbacks win next season
Person B: I accept
Music:
Person A Offer: Getting any article of the other person's choice to good article status. I'm betting that Justin Bieber's next single doesn't even break the top 40.
Person B: His next single will make it to the top 20, I'm accepting this bet. My article will cardiovascular system.
Person A:Damn, nobody wants to touch that article!

Some wikifun to pass the time and hopefully get some work done. Thoughts?AerobicFox (talk) 20:58, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

No, you are not going to be immortalised in WP:NOT with such a poor proposal. That page is only meant for things that might with some plausibility be expected to fit here, or that a lot of people think should be allowed. Try again. Hans Adler 21:43, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
I lol'd Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie, AKA TheArchaeologist Say Herro 22:00, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
That is pretty harsh Adler considering the proposal could just be an add on to our current bounty boards.AerobicFox (talk) 22:25, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
I'll bet you 15 featured sounds that your wikibet proposal is not accepted. —SW— soliloquize 23:49, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
I like the enthusiasm! Unfortunately though I don't think it will be accepted :( , so I decline your bet. Maybe I will just make bets with random users...AerobicFox (talk) 06:00, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
SW, if you mean that you're going to upload FS quality sounds, I'll pay in barnstars. If you're the performer, I'll pay in custom made barnstars. How's that? Sven Manguard Wha? 06:21, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
Can I have a barnstar too? What's that worth in Jew gold? (Also, what is it? Seriously). Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie, AKA TheArchaeologist Say Herro 06:30, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
Right... Jew gold. Go be racist somewhere else please, there's no place for that here. Sven Manguard Wha? 06:46, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
As a Jew I reserve the right to make self-depricating jokes as it is part of our contemporary culture, especially that memorable one from South Park. Please check my userpage where I put that bit of my heritage (Ashkenazi Jewish). Also relax mate, it's the net (though being the net I can see how you'd make that mistake what with the rampant anti-Semitism elsewhere on it). ;) Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie, AKA TheArchaeologist Say Herro 06:56, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
Eh, your comment wasn't appropriate, but I suppose I overreacted. Sven Manguard Wha? 06:58, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
Nah, despite my reaction, it's good to see people stand up for us now and then. Jewish humor is rarely appropriate, mate. ;) (We came up with most of the holocaust jokes) Though I suppose if my username were more clickable then you could have just clicked there and seen my background etc. Another reason to change it. On the issue of race in Judaism btw, I recommend checking out Category:Jewish_ethnic_groups, we come in many different flavours, but are genetically related (except one group, which I forget). So what was a barnstar again? What do they do for you? Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie Say Herro 07:11, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
You are mistaken, and Sven Manguard did not overreact. Wikipedia is connected to the Internet but different procedures apply here, and crass commentary is not permitted. It can take quite a long time and lot of argument, but eventually people who repeatedly make comments such as yours are persuaded to do it elsewhere. Johnuniq (talk) 09:48, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

::::Oh will you relax, lol, such outward hostility like that can dissuade one from editing all together as it makes them feel unwelcome. Are other groups not allowed to make self-depricating comments in talk pages as well or does it just apply to us? I am curious, how is it handled when it does come up (in practice, not in theory)? I will take the approach that as you feel offended by it, I will not make self-depricating jokes on the encyclopedia, but I do still consider it to be an important part of our culture, and so I feel nothing wrong whatsoever about it. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie Say Shalom! 17:06, 16 March 2011 (UTC) Edit: alright, now that I am a bit more chill about this, and can look at it without the distraction of being offended, let me analyse it as an anthropologist. I think this is an instance of common cultural and (in my case) professional practice coming up against Wikipedian cultural practice and rules. So as an anthropologist I must of course conclude that the best approach to take is to adapt to the cultural practice of the Wikipedians so as not to cause further offence to them (and I know you're probably thinking I am talking about you guys like natives, etc, but the same applies if you're in France or elsewhere). So that is what I will do. Though might I suggest in the future this sort of thing be approached with a gentler hand? What starts and argument is two or more people approaching something in an angry manner rather than one person being calm, polite and friendly and dealing with it in that manner. Remember the old saying "you win more flies with honey than you do with vinegar." You do that until friendliness no longer works and then simply bring the banhammer. No one can blame you if you failed, but odds are that being friendly diffuses the situation. Anyway, about this bet thing, I oppose.

This might be a fun thing to have on a completely separate website..... Wabbott9 (talk) 01:35, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

Undo button for text editing

Alright, maybe I'm missing something, but I am not sure why (to my knowledge) there is no undo button for those times when you accidentally hit Crtl+A while writing something. Just happened to me before. I see no option for undo, and it's not in the perennial proposals or in the old proposals afaik. So why don't we have an undo button exactly? Oh and redo too I suppose. If there are none without the toolbox thingees then I propose that an undo and redo button be added. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie Say Shalom! 17:39, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

What editor are you using, and what effect does Ctrl+A while editing have for you? I use the browser edit box, and there Ctrl+A has the effect of "Select All"; I also have Undo and Redo with their key shortcuts in the Edit menu.  --Lambiam 18:13, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
From a technical standpoint, I'm not sure how readily that functionality can be added to the interface; the edit window itself is just a text box in my browser, and I don't know if an external button can send it an 'undo'. For a user, undo should be available with the shortcut Ctrl-Z, and redo is Ctrl-Y. You can also right-click the text box and select 'Undo' or 'Redo' from the menu that appears. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 18:54, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
Did you intend to start this thread at WP:VPT instead of here? —SW— confabulate 23:49, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
Hmm, didn't see that section, so guess I did. I'm using the plain old vanilla editor. And now that I tried the buttons CTRL-Z and CTRL-Y, it did have the undo and redo effect even though I cannot see the buttons indicated. That'll do. =p Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie Say Shalom! 18:57, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

Proposing a new "sister project"?

Is there a standard procedure for proposing a new "sister project" (Wiktionary, Wikiquote, WikiBooks, WikeSource, WikiNews, and a number of others are "sister projects" of Wikipedia, run by the Wikimedia Foundation)? I've created this proposal, but I don't know if that's the sort of proposal being sought there, and as far as I know, no one's noticed it. What would be the best way to inform online communities of the proposal and invite participation? (Besides maybe a brief notice on the talk pages of interested WikiProjects?)

Briefly the idea is this: Web sites like rate-my-prof (or whatever its called) are for soundbites only; they do not welcome serious substantive discussion. They have extremely small limits on lengths of comments and don't want to change that. I'd like to have a forum devoted to the same topic, differing from those in that it would allow and encourage serious discussion. Michael Hardy (talk) 23:34, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

I don't believe this is something that the Wikimedia Foundation would be interested in. All of the current projects revolve around making knowledge more accessible, an encyclopedia, a dictionary, a collection of primary source documents, a collection of multimedia files. Your idea seems more along the lines of a social network or a forum on living people. I would personally not support such an idea being created under the WMF banner. Sven Manguard Wha? 04:59, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
You may want to check out the Strategy wiki, it's a place where you can make these kinds of proposals. -- œ 08:01, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
Without considering the merits of the proposal, Wikimedia does have a page for proposing new projects at meta:Proposals for new projects. Qwyrxian (talk) 08:04, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

Testing new account creation processes

During the next couple of weeks, there will be some testing on the account creation process. I and the others who are working on this of course aim to disturb the normal routines as little as possible, but as we have seen (see WP:AN for more details), there can be some unforseen side effects. If that is the case in the future, you are welcome to help out. I have created this workspace, so that everything is transparent. If you have any questions about this, feel free to contact me through my talk page (but remember that I am on GMT+1 time), or through email (which you can find on my user page). I apologize in advance for any problems this may cause and hope that many people jump and create their own versions so that we have many new alternatives to test.

Oh, and by the way, I intend to start testing version nr 3 in about 10 hours. You may edit that page up until that moment. Thanks for your patience.//SvHannibal (talk) 00:15, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

In my opinion this is a great idea. I think that it would also be a good idea to provide this information to those whose accounts were made at the ACC interface.. perhaps a little blurb on the response email for requested closed as created? Ajraddatz (Talk) 03:16, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
Well, when ACC-created users login for the first time, they see the shiny "New messages" bar and they read the normal welcome template. The welcoming bot was down for some time last year, so the messages didn;t get out, but I;m quite sure they do now. *checks . Yep. They do. Oh, and the idea is wonderful!. I might try to create my own version... ManishEarthTalkStalk 12:05, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
  • FYI: Now test nr 3 is up and running. Let me know if there are any problems.//SvHannibal (talk) 12:54, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
  • And now test nr 4 is going on.//SvHannibal (talk) 23:31, 2 March 2011 (UTC)
  • I just started test nr 5.//Hannibal (talk) 16:01, 8 March 2011 (UTC) PS. If you are curious about the results, you can have a sneak peak here.
  • I just started test version nr 6. //Hannibal (talk) 12:52, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Me again. Test version nr 7 is on now.//Hannibal (talk) 16:56, 14 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Test nr 8 is running from today.//Hannibal (talk) 22:57, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

Automatically welcoming new users

The Welcoming committee has a huge task, to try and introduce new editors to the basic aspects of the wiki once they make a contribution.

My proposal would be to use bots to automatically leave a message with registered users once they make their first edit into the project namespace. Regardless of wither this is a positive or negative edit, I think a simple message could be generated to neutrally present the five pillars, some basic links to editing, and a handful of other useful links. This would in turn automatically show users the broader aspects of the community and perhaps lead them to make more constructive and focused edits. More specific welcoming messages could be used if the first edit is to a user page, a talk page, and so forth.

This would not negate the use of the Welcoming Committee, they could still provide a more specific and human welcome. But for the most part, their basic duty could just as easily and more accurately be performed by automation. Thoughts? --NickPenguin(contribs) 06:13, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

This is a Perennial proposal ;) -- œ 08:48, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
See also User talk:Hannibal/Welcomecreation#Use the user's talk page for confirmation (a proposal intended as an alternative to the confirmation page for newly registering accounts) prompted by the hubbub caused by outreach experiments adding a preloaded inputbox "Create your user page" on experimental versions of the confirmation page.  --Lambiam 15:37, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
Ah bummer, sometimes a good idea is just the same old unpopular idea. --NickPenguin(contribs) 16:54, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
One unusual aspect of this perennial is that some of our sister projects have successfully implemented it, Commons has been doing it for years. What we don't know is whether the advantage of welcoming those newbies who currently get ignored offsets the disadvantage of giving an impersonal welcome to those newbies who would otherwise have received a personal one. I did make a proposal some time ago to try and achieve the best of both worlds by using a bot to welcome all the newbies who were still unwelcomed a week after their first edit - strategy:Proposal:Welcome all useful new users, if necessary by a bot. Perhaps now would be a good time to refloat that idea? ϢereSpielChequers 01:15, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
I think that sounds like a great idea. I'll definitely expand on my thoughts if there's another proposal. Seems like a bot welcome is better than no welcome any day of the week. At least a welcome template tells newbies where to get help and answers to their questions- whereas an "unwelcomed" newbie will have no clue where to go for this. Swarm X 02:27, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
Maybe welcoming the people who fall through the cracks might be a good idea, after a week they're probably not goingto get noticed by anyone. More generally tho, how personal are the welcomes from the Welcoming Committee? Is pasting a template on a talk page really a personal welcome? Certainly humans can give more appropriate welcoming messages, like if the user makes an nonconstructive edit, but for general editing advice and policies, I think a bot would do just as good or better. --NickPenguin(contribs) 04:37, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
Exactly what I was thinking. How impersonal is a bot compared to a human when all it does is paste the exact same welcoming template a human would? Another point to consider is that if an account creator has the option enabled a welcome template is automatically placed on any account they is create. This is on Wikipedia. Swarm X 05:46, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
Just for the record: it's much more important to have a welcome template on commons to inform the user how to proceed within the context of the many different languages. This is not an issue here. Magog the Ogre (talk) 05:53, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
I welcome a lot of newbies, but I almost always use one of four options on friendly: The plate of cookies, welcome your first article didn't meet guidelines, welcome IP vandal and welcome vandal. Two of those are tailored level 1 warnings and a third is almost a warning - so I fit the usual pattern of personalised relevant info for problem users but an impersonal welcome for our best newbies. Occasionally I will tailor it by adding a relevant wikiproject to the message. Maybe we need an easier way to do that? Or maybe we could get the bot make their message personal by mentioning some wikiprojects that are relevant to the articles they edit? If we want to reverse the trend of fewer editors joining us, then personalising the welcome message would be sensible. Better still we need an analysis done of the hundreds of thousands of users welcomed and the welcomes they've been given so that we can identify which welcome messages work best and encourage their use. ϢereSpielChequers 10:32, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
I did some counting.
Of the last 1000 user creations of February, 461 had one or more contributions. Of those 461, 278 (60%) had no talk page yet.
Of the last 1000 of January, 356 had at least one contribution. Of those, 166 (47%) had no talk page.
I think that means that half the users who did more than only register received no welcoming message.
Here is a simple experiment. For a couple of days, we send randomly about half the new users an automated welcome message. For the other half, business as usual – maybe someone welcomes them personally, maybe no one does. (Whether someone does or does not gets an automated message should not be really random but be decided in a way that can easily be repeated afterwards, such as whether the user name has an even or odd length.) Then we check say two months later if there is a difference in activity between the two groups.  --Lambiam 18:10, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
I think that's a great idea. If we determine which method best increases the number of return users then it would help us move forward. --NickPenguin(contribs) 01:27, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
From a pragmatic point of view, I would oppose this. Redlinked talk pages can be a good cue for vandal fighting and sock-hunting. Seeing redlinked talk pages for people with precocious knowledge of Wikipedia is a very useful cue to investigate further. If we bluelinked every talk page as soon as someone edited, it would make it somewhat harder to track these sorts of issues. --Jayron32 04:46, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
Special:Log/newusers shows both links to talk and contribs. Checking for vandalism involves actually looking at user contributions, and the only useful information you can glean from redlinked talk pages is that no one has chastised them yet. If this proposal were put into place, it might take an extra click (or mouse hover depending on your setup), but I think the potential of increased return users would far outweigh this small negative. --NickPenguin(contribs) 06:00, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
Oh, it was a small (but very real) concern. I am quite experienced enough to know how to root out problematic users. I was just noting the lamentation of the loss of one small tool that does help find socks rather easily, should this proposal be accepted. In other words, yes, I know quite well the limitations of relying on the redlinked talk page as the sole method of finding socks. Still, its a handy tool at times, and I would miss it if we bluelinked every talk page the second an account went active. --Jayron32 06:13, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
I understand your perspective, and it is a legitimate concern. --NickPenguin(contribs) 07:13, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

This is a perennial issue which really arises because of the flaw in MediaWiki:Welcomecreation: it disappears and can't easily be found again. The solution was proposed as T23318: essentially, turn it into a dismissable message shown on new users' talk pages, which isn't an actual talk page posting and doesn't turn the redlink blue. Rd232 talk 14:34, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

  • I hadn't been aware of the sock spotting advantage to redlinked talkpages. However that would not be affected if we set the bot to welcome people who still had redlinked talkpages one week after their first edit. ϢereSpielChequers 18:19, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
  • I oppose welcoming users on their first edit with a boilerplate message. First off, personally I don't think that boilerplate welcome messages help with anything at all. People recognise it instantly as an automated message. I for one wouldn't care for an automated message on my talkpage. Ideally I'd say leave a personal message on a talkpage after about 5 edits, to show the newcomers that they are free to experiment and make mistakes, and people aren't watching on their fingers with every step and mistake. Then, if they still haven't been welcomed after about 20 edits, leave a boilerplate message (and hang our collective heads in shame). I know this is a lot more labour intensive than templating. Still, I believe that welcoming one newbie properly should be chosen over welcoming 20 with a template. Martijn Hoekstra (talk) 21:55, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
  • By the way, I would very much welcome metrics of newbie retention on editors templated newbies verses non-templated numbers. I can have all the ideas I want on the effectiveness of template/boilerplate messages, but without any numbers it's anyones guess really. Martijn Hoekstra (talk) 22:00, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

Proposal to run a test session

I think the test method outlined by Lambiam would give us the most neutral way of determining which method of welcoming functions better. Taking a test group of new editors and automatically welcoming them when they make their first edit, and then a control group where regular methods of welcoming occur. Using a few thousand accounts for each group would reduce the chance of number skewing.

The bot welcoming message would be simple, it would only include neutral information about content policy, MOS, how to interact with users/talk pages and how to get involved with the community. Just short and simple. Then after several months, we analyze the results. Thoughts? --NickPenguin(contribs) 15:59, 11 March 2011 (UTC)

I'd support a test, though it needs to be 7 days after their first edit not immediately, and in that case the control group should be unwelcomed users not manually welcomed ones. We also need to test the efficacy of various welcome messages. ϢereSpielChequers 18:23, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
I'd support a trial, either of immediate welcoming or welcoming after a week. Personally I find the red links useful for identifying users who might need more basic explanations in discussions, but I would quickly change my view if there were evidence that a bot welcome increased retention.--Physics is all gnomes (talk) 19:51, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

Things I, as a newbie, would have liked to have seen when I was "welcomed"

This is my first visit to the village pump. After a year or more of considering the possibility, I did my first edit on 23 February and since then have been enjoying populating a very small corner of the Wikipedia world (Jewish musicians, poets, actors, etc involved in cabaret in Warsaw between the World Wars) using a few Yiddish reference books I've been reading and some amazing Polish savants who post inter-war tangos on Youtube!

Feedback for the old-timers: I found the Wikipedia interface incredibly intimidating. It's austere and verrrry nerdy and obscure. It took me a while to even SEE the "edit this page" tab - at first I thought I could only edit the reference list, not the article itself. Also, I couldn't figure out for a couple days HOW to make my references show up in a reference list.

I needed (still do need) a list of formatting rules close at hand - I still look some of them up by GOOGLING wikipedia to see, for instance, how to format a "redirect." I know there is a cheat sheet but I can't remember how to find it. I am overwhelmed by all the acronyms. I stuck it out because I was curious, but it wasn't easy. I'm surprised and pleased to see so many people here caring about there being new editors - and I did receive a "welcome" note - but really what you need is to see this interface through my eyes (or any other newbies). It doesn't work like any forum or other user-content-generated site I've ever been involved with. And now I will remember to add my four tildes. Jane Peppler (talk) 03:37, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

Truly this is a testament of great courage and tenacity. Hearing your comment about learning how to make a ref show up is a very common problem I see new users having when I—very rarely— patrol new pages. Perhaps more effort should be made to direct new users towards the help button on the left hand side of Wikipedia, or to use the "first article" creator, or to look at the tutorial.AerobicFox (talk) 04:42, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
One of the biggest problems with referencing is that there is no standard. We have our citation templates, but not only do some people (including veteran editors) not use them, but there are different ways of using them, such as list defined references vs. ordinary inline references. Some use {{Sfn}}, others use {{Harvnb}}, and many simply create footnotes manually. Some "References" sections have "Literature cited" subsections and use footnotes, others don't. And if you try to discuss standardizing it across all Wikiprojects, expect to see people charge at you with pitchforks and torches... or just ignore you completely. Personally, I hope the new editing interface is released relatively soon, and I especially hope it handles references for us in a clean, efficient manner. But one of the biggest things I think we need for new users is a better interface to policies, like WP:MOS, WP:V, WP:NPOV, etc., as well as other things like WP:ASSESS. It needs to be super simple, easy to find, easy to read, but providing links to more detailed explanations for when the general overview is insufficient. As it stands, these important pages are long and difficult to read, and I doubt few editors have read them completely. – VisionHolder « talk » 05:22, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
Re refs: There should be a "cheat sheet" which includes the suggestion that new users (or anyone, really) is welcome to insert a reference by simply entering the plain text in brackets. A wikignome will format it in due course. What is needed is a simple suggestion about what information should be entered, and the order, with a couple of examples.
Re new editing interface: The rich text editor at wikia.com is ghastly. Management and newbies love the idea of it ("look, there's a bold button just like on my word processor"), but the only things the clever editor can do are the dead easy things (bold, italics, and perhaps one or two other things since the last time I tried, months ago). The stuff which is tricky in wikitext is ghastly or impossible in a clever editor. Johnuniq (talk) 06:27, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
Dear Visionholder: I visited those acronym links of yours (WP:MOS etc) and nearly fainted. Though I am a cum laude graduate of Yale University and read very long books quite happily, I find the formatting and tone (if not the content) of those pages so dense that they immediately fall into the life is too short category. You would have to hold a flame to my foot to make me read them. Jane Peppler (talk) 12:00, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
Hi, Jane Peppler. I can remember being intimated by the interface, the tools and the WP:bureaucratese of the policies and guidelines. I've attempted an advice page at User:Philcha/Essays/Advice for new Wikipedia editors, which tries to write in simple English, to concentrate on useful tools and techniques, and to summarise the main policies and guidelines and link to pages where editor can get advice on the main policies and guidelines. But I'm aware that I'm very probably assuming too much - apart from WP, I've been using Windows since 1992. If anyone can identify problems or omissions, or suggest improvements, please comment at User talk:Philcha/Essays/Advice for new Wikipedia editors. --Philcha (talk) 12:29, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

Automating submissions for Autopatrol right

In an effort to reduce the burden at WP:NPP, several people have undertaken a large project to review and grant autopatrol rights to users that qualify for them. Over the last 2 months, about 2,500 users have been reviewed and about 1,000 users have been granted the right so far. The task has been laborious and I would like to get one or more bots to help with the effort. Before making a bot request, I want to get input from the community to see if we want to do this. Do we want to do this?

If we decide to do this, I think much of the effort could be automated. We already have a script/bot that is generating reports of possible qualified users. This is the general idea — only users that would easily qualify for the autopatrol right would be automatically submitted for review.

  1. The existing script/bot would be left "as is" to generate reports
  2. One or more bots would remove users from the list using defined criteria
  3. Users that remained on the list would be submitted to Wikipedia:Requests for permissions/Autopatrolled by a bot over a series of days rather than having seperate lists as we have now.

The bots could remove users from the list using several defined criteria;

  • Users that have been declined recently
  • Users that have copyright violations in their recent talk page history (certain messages from CorenSearchBot}
  • Users that have created unreferenced BLPs in their recent talk page history (certain messages from DASHBot}
  • Users that are currently blocked

Note that this is completely different than users requesting the right. This would be specifically defined to find users that would easily qualify for the right. Any input is greatly appreciated. - Hydroxonium (talk) 13:04, 12 March 2011 (UTC)

As one of the people who has been appointing Autopatrollers, I would add that the most important filter that the current bot reports lack is that the editors need to have created articles recently. The current bot just identifies people who have created sufficient articles to qualify, but many have been inactive for years. It is only worth assessing candidates who still create articles. ϢereSpielChequers 13:19, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
If the bot is just weeding out candidates who qualify on numbers but not on other things, leaving those who are eligible for review by admins, I think this would be helpful. I would suggest that it only remove indefinitely blocked users and it would be good if it could remove anyone who hasn't created a new article in, say, two months. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 14:08, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
I think that's all good. No copyvios, no unreferenced BLPs, no indefinitely blocked users, no users recently declined. Indefinite is the requirement here in that if someone happens to be on a 1-hour block while the bot goes round, they'd be excluded under your criteria. Ironholds (talk) 14:26, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
If the bot was running a weekly report then you could keep it simple by excluding blocked users. If they happened to miss one week's report because of a 24 hour block the next week would include them. It would also be sensible to exclude those currently displaying a retired template on their userpage. ϢereSpielChequers 15:01, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
And the {{Not around}} template. -- œ 15:10, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
If we can exclude authors who haven't recently created articles then all the {{Not around}} ones will be excluded. If we can't do that then the report will be almost unusable as we have already picked off most of the active ones in the recent trawl. So unless we can screen out those who haven't created an article in the last couple of months then I doubt if there will be any value in running the report till nearly Xmas. ϢereSpielChequers 16:56, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
Would it make sense to check for deleted article creations? For example, if the editor has created a couple hundred stubs, but half of them have been quickly A7'ed, that might suggest that having NPPs continue to patrol their creations would be a good idea. 28bytes (talk) 17:26, 12 March 2011 (UTC)

───────────────────────── Minor remark. The generated list is based on the count of created articles that are not redirects, but this also includes articles in the count that were created as a redirect, but were later changed (usually not by the creator) to a normal article. I assume that that is not intentional. In practice this may not be a big deal.  --Lambiam 21:08, 12 March 2011 (UTC)

I would also suggest looking at the List of Wikipedians by number of edits here for those that may qualify. I would also recommend excluding from the list anyone with Admin Rights (the permission would be inherent in their admin powers) and anyone with a Retired template. --Kumioko (talk) 17:14, 14 March 2011 (UTC)
The current prospect list excludes admins and Autopatrollers and yes any new list needs to continue to do that. I'm not convinced it is worth assessing editors who have high edit counts but don't create articles, the reason why we flag users as Autopatrolled is as a white list for newpage patrol. If someone has done fifty thousand useful edits but never created a new article then they would get Autopatrolled flag as part of the admin package if they passed RFA. But there is no reason to spend time checking their contributions otherwise - and no history of creating articles would mean it was more difficult to predict whether any future articles they created might merit deletion. ϢereSpielChequers 13:53, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, latecomer to this discussion. Per 28Bytes, and there are editors who mass create stubs - some of them are socks (or reformed socks and still creating stubs). What experience has been gained on this by the admins who have been according the right?--Kudpung (talk) 10:33, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

Need help with time frames

Thanks for all the great input everybody. This is what the search currently does.

  • Finds users on en.wiki who have created 50+ non-redirect articles
  • Remove users that are Admins, Autopatrolled or Bots
  • Remove users that are less than 6 months old
  • Remove users whose last edit was more than 30 days ago

These are new suggestions

  • Remove users who are indef blocked (or any block, they'll get picked up on the next run)
  • Remove users that are {{retired}} or {{not around}}

These suggestions need timeframes

  • Remove users that have been declined in the last (30? 60?) days
  • Remove users whose last new article was more than (30? 60? 90?) days ago
  • Remove users that have copyright violations on their talk page within the last (??) days
  • Remove users that have unreferenced BLPs on their talk page within the last (??) days
  • Remove users that have deleted articles in the last (??) days

Any help for suggested lengths of time is greatly appreciated. Thanks very much. - Hydroxonium (TCV) 08:25, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

Classification, Quality and Authorship

Let me start by saying how amazing the Wikipedia is. Given the disparity of views and how difficult human nature is it is amazing that the Wikipedia works at all.

I wonder if it would have been better to have different classes of pages within the one wikipedia.

Quality

  • Draft.
  • Mad ramblings of uniformed amateur. ;)
  • Original work (new ideas etc).
  • Expert.
  • Reviewed for accuracy.
  • Reviewed for unbiased and referenced.
  • Reviewed for readability.
  • Core document.

Classification

  • Encyclopedia entry (a page describing a comprehensive list of final results and facts relating to a subject).
  • Encyclopedia summary entry (a page describing a summary of key results and facts, to allow quick understanding of a subject).
  • Derivation (a page showing how results are derived).
  • Rigorous proof (a page showing a rigorous proof. Bias is towards accuracy, not readability).
  • Teaching Page (a page showing a lesson or lessons to allowing the understanding of an area. An ordered series of lessons designed to allow understanding of a subject).
  • Research Paper (allow actual research papers to be published on the wiki).

Authorship

  • Designated author (or co-authors)
  • Expert authorship only (authors must have established expertise in field)
  • General authorship

I think this could open the Wikipedia up and allow a broader range of content. Thepigdog (talk) 02:54, 14 March 2011 (UTC)

Please see WP:PILLARS and WP:ENC ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 04:12, 14 March 2011 (UTC)
"Allow actual research papers to be published on the wiki" -- Never going to happen. This is a proposal which would fundamentally alter the structure of Wikipedia, as such such a system would probably need to be implmented as a new project. --nn123645 (talk) 14:48, 14 March 2011 (UTC)
Also, WP:OWN. Kayau Voting IS evil 15:00, 14 March 2011 (UTC)
Yes, "original works" and "experts only" will not happen because of WP:5P. There are already a number of systems that classify articles by quality or deficiencies, too.  Sandstein  20:30, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
Most of the above types of material can be posted on Wikinfo, while Citizendium has an expert approval system. Peter jackson (talk) 18:08, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

I am not asking Wikipedians to give up principles that have worked well for them. I am asking that these principles be assigned to a class. That class is good. It has worked well for Wikipedia.

I am suggesting that something major has been inspired by Wikipedia. An idea that human knowledge may be available online, in a form that anyone can add to in a spirit of mutual co-operation.

The other Wikipedia sites will never work because there is no organising principle that co-ordinates them or gives them validity.

The Wikipedia is what people want, the encyclopedia of unbiased verifiable facts. But these facts should be backed by other material within the same database. How wonderful it would be to click on a theorem in the wikipedia and go to the derivation or proof. The proof belongs to a different class. But it two is subject to the same open review as the result.

External links will always suffer from linkrot. And the external links are not open to the same review as in the Wikipedia community.

If you dont do this the Wikipedia will increasingly become a conservative element in society. A repository of safe ideas verifiable by out of date sources. If you expand the wikipedia gradually by adding in new classes the Wikipedia will be come a co-ordinated library of human knowledge.

The choice is yours. I understand the spirit of the age is against me. And encyclopedia of established facts fits well within that age. If you expand the Wikipaedia by creating new classes you will create something amazing. If you dont do this you will have lost an opportunity. Thepigdog (talk) 05:33, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

Proposed liberty on essays

(NOTE: The following was moved from Wikipedia:Proposed liberty on essays. -- Uzma Gamal (talk) 14:10, 18 March 2011 (UTC)): The Proposed liberty on essays is a Wikipedia proposal that would let people have POV essays that don't have to do with Wikipedia. Well, we have userboxes that often have a POV and userboxes are often short. It would be healthier for the brain because then we can read more and thus our brains don't become mush. -- SomeDudeWithAUserName 21:22, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

  • I'm not supporting or opposing the proposal, but I feel that the word 'liberty' is not accurate in this case. Such a change will change the scope of userspace completely. Kayau Voting IS evil 14:32, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
Obviously not, we are not a general discussion forum. If it is not related to building an encyclopedia it doesn't belong here. POV userboxes are already evil, but are tolerated because they are relatively harmless. Yoenit (talk) 14:37, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
  • I am definitely against anything like this. There's enough rubbish discussion forums on the web without turning Wikipedia into another one. And that essay can be moved to userspace after this discussion is ended. Dmcq (talk) 23:40, 19 March 2011 (UTC)

attachments

How about for admins, for incidents, they can attach a PDF Doc of the incident and after other admins can download it? PDFs are able to be uploaded to wikipedia. ~~Awsome EBE123 talkContribs 22:00, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

What kind of incidents are you referring to? Mr.Z-man 22:17, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
Any type. ~~Awsome EBE123 talkContribs 15:49, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
Why? Yoenit (talk) 13:34, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

Wikignome image

I am a gnome - on my page I have the gnome userbox - it looks from a distance like a black and white image of a vagina - do I need to see a psychiatrist, an optician, or should the image be improved? MarkDask 19:45, 19 March 2011 (UTC)

Well, you may need to see a psychiatrist or an optician anyway, but not because of what you see in that image. IMHO it doesn't look like a gnome at first glance. (Maybe not a vagina either, but I had to stare long & hard to see it was a small person peaking around a tree & wearing a pointed hat.) FWIW, I vote that you Wikignomes find a better image; you guys deserve it. -- llywrch (talk) 06:13, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

Featured disambiguation

We now have Featured articles, Featured lists, Featured pictures, Featured sounds, Featured portals, and Featured topics. The effort and skill to create a great disambiguation page is along the lines of lists and topics (and the up and coming Featured books). -- Uzma Gamal (talk) 05:05, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

I don't think DAB pages are of sufficient interest, artistic and creative scope to be considered for featured pages. They belong more to the meta side of the encyclopdia. --Kudpung (talk) 05:10, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
It is also impossible to come up with criteria for them. Kayau Voting IS evil 05:20, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
Not for two weeks yet... ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 06:09, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
DABs are just a practical interface necessity to the working of the encyclopedia, due to the limitations of identifying subjects by title alone. They don't actually represent content, or at least in general they aren't supposed to. Only content should be "featured", not interface elements. Equazcion (talk) 06:52, 20 Mar 2011 (UTC)
We already tried Wikipedia:Featured redirect... didn't go so well. Edokter (talk) — 17:18, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
I agree that we should not have "featured" disambiguation pages, but I think we should have "good" disambiguation pages, to the extent that a disambig page addressing a large number of possible meanings can be shown to have thorough coverage and conform in every respect to WP:MOSDAB. bd2412 T 18:05, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

Qualification for being a reviewer

My proposal is that no editor ought to be allowed to review an article at a level that they themselves haven't reached. In other words, if you haven't written a good article or a featured article then you have no demonstrated expertise to review someone else's GAN or FAC. Malleus Fatuorum 03:08, 3 March 2011 (UTC)

Is there an actual problem this solution is designed to resolve? Lack of reviewers is a problem that has plagued Wikipedia for years. Creating artificial barriers to willing volunteers will simply exasperate the existing lack of supply. Additionally, FAC has a reputation for being rather cliquish in nature. Implementing a restriction that only existing members of the FA club are able to comment on the worthiness of others efforts will simply compound this widely held perception and breed animosity to the FA process. --Allen3 talk 03:42, 3 March 2011 (UTC)
No, of course there's no problem, everything's just hunky-dory, my mistake. Malleus Fatuorum 03:46, 3 March 2011 (UTC)
I personally would oppose this, but only because I can't write a good article to save my life. It doesn't mean that I don't have a literary skill set, I'm just better at reviewing than writing. Seriously read one of my books and you would agree. That said, I agree with Allen3 on many points. Any input is better than no input, IMHO. Who 05:12, 3 March 2011 (UTC) sorry my sig got scrubbed. Who (talk) 05:15, 3 March 2011 (UTC)
I oppose this, not because I don't think there's a problem, but because I think your solution needs adjustment. Not everyone is an excellent writer, but that does not mean that they don't know what to look for in conducting reviews. Instead of mandating that everyone produce content in order to review content at that level, why not mandate that new reviewers get mentored into full reviewer status. Case in point: In my first and only GA review, I asked an experienced reviewer to check my work. I got some things right, but I also missed a bunch. In the end, it went rather well, everything got caught and fixed, and I learned a lot about what to look for. If I decided to continue to do reviews, I would have continued to ask for guidance until I performed a review where the second reviewer did not see anything that I missed. It might have taken three or four or five tries, but in the end there would be two competent reviewers instead of one. Perhaps training is a better option, as it both includes those that make for good reviewers but bad writers and excludes those that make good writers but bad reviewers. Thoughts? Sven Manguard Wha? 07:04, 3 March 2011 (UTC)
Indeed, people may know how something should be done without being able to do it themselves. Otherwise, we wouldn't have, well, critics in general. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 07:07, 3 March 2011 (UTC)
you can't vote for president until you've been one ;) Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 08:12, 3 March 2011 (UTC)

This would discourage/forbid editors who may be experts or have access to good sources who don't happen to have got an article to GA/FA from commenting at all - surely this would make for a poorer quality review and poorer articles.Nigel Ish (talk) 22:12, 3 March 2011 (UTC)

  • Comment I've done quite a few FA reviews including at least one to an article that Malleus submitted, and don't even have a Good Article to my name, so I suppose I'm a fairly extreme example of the sort of reviewer that this proposal seeks to weed out. As you'd expect I think this sort of rule is unnecessary and unhelpful, but I suppose I would say that wouldn't I. I'm especially not convinced that FAC reviewing should only be done by FA writers, as this is a collaborative process with multiple reviewers and FA delegates who can judge the reviews and ignore unhelpful ones. I accept that GA is somewhat different because one reviewer can pass or fail an article. But if it helps keep the peace, I will avoid reviewing further articles by Malleus Fatuorum, ϢereSpielChequers 00:27, 4 March 2011 (UTC)
  • I have a hard time believing that doing this would be anything less than detrimental to the GA/FA review process. Second, I don't see how writing a GA/FA makes you more competent to review GANs/FACs. Who would say when "you've written a GA"? Nominating a good looking article and fixing minor mistakes brought up doesn't automatically make you competent to review GAs, and never doing this doesn't mean you're incompetent. Third, the "you can't comment on it unless you've been there" sentiment simply valid. Fourth, I don't see a problem that needs fixing. Swarm X 17:15, 4 March 2011 (UTC)
    • second point is a good one. it's not always clear who gets how much credit for writing an article. Rd232 talk 18:08, 4 March 2011 (UTC)

Support. Of course. We don't need more unqualified reviewers. We need more qualified ones. It's hard enough dealing with qualified ones, but throwing poor quality into the process reduces efficiency, not increases it.

Doing a good review in some ways requires even MORE perspective than doing a good article. Ideally we'd have some superstud New Yorker editor figure. But failing that, an article writer is much better than someone who can't or won't write articles. If someone doesn't have the capability (or desire) to write an article, I don't want the review.

I've been unimpressed by the reviews from people who haven't done an article. They don't have an overall vision, they don't spell out their crits, they don't have any sympathy or understanding of the author. They seem to play the RFA power game of playing with the support/oppose to drive personal views on style choices, rather than making reccs on things where a choice is allowed. I've actually twice (in a short go) seen very malicious behavior from reviewers who had not done an article.

Only other thing is would add that we should do quid pro quo (require reviews) as DYK does. I'd MUCH rather have an enforced review from someone who writes featured content (he's going to give a good review, he's already shown that by writing articles that he can compose his thoughts) than have a review from someone who is intimidated by actually...well writing an article (which after all is the unit of work product from the reader [customer] point of view). And I'd be more likely to do the reviews and be more interested in the process, if it was a part of the civic duty, than if it's some ad hoc thing with Sandy whining about how no one does reviews or isn't nice enough to reviewers.

And I actually agree that the places (well FA really) are kind of clubby. But I don't think inviting Randy from Boise is the answer. The answer is getting ALL of the populaton of FA writers to do reviews, not just a small number.

TCO (talk) 14:33, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

Improving review processes

Moving beyond the original proposal, which hasn't had any support, there is a real issue motivating that proposal. Now I would have thought more emphasis on collaboration would be the way to go, to ensure that (for GA) reviews don't rest solely on the shoulders of a single editor who might not be qualified enough. Get a minimum of 2 or 3, and on average it should be OK. Alternatively, and more in line with the original proposal, get the relevant community (FA/GA) to approve reviewers, based on some defined standard in which contributing FAs/GAs would feature as providing lots of credit, but not be required (necessary credit for approval can be reached without that). We could also consider ways to make reviewers more accountable, with a clear list of review contributions. Rd232 talk 08:11, 3 March 2011 (UTC)

I think there is a case for doing something close to this at GA where currently a sole review by any editor other than the article creator can include promoting the article to GA status. At FA we have FA delegates who close FAC discussions, perhaps GA needs a similar role but with the added responsibility that they can promote as GA an article that they have reviewed, and even where they are the sole reviewer. This would mean that any editor could still review at either GA or FAC, but only someone who has been trusted to do so by the community could close a discussion and decide whether or not to promote an article. So a single review could still lead to a GA being promoted or not, but only if a "GA delegate" did the review or made the call based on another editors review. As an aside, I'm not convinced that either reviewer or delegate is the best title for this. WP:Reviewer is already in use and I think delegate is a title that we have given a very different wiki meaning to its real world meaning. ϢereSpielChequers 15:32, 4 March 2011 (UTC)
GA nominations can sit for months awaiting a review from a single editor. How long would they sit waiting for a second or third editor to review them? Or, in the case of the alternative option, how much longer would they sit waiting for a "GA delegate" to promote them? The great thing about the current system is that GAs can either be reassessed by the community or by a single editor and delisted at any time. GA reviewing is a much more massive operation than FA reviewing, hence it naturally needs to be quicker, more flexible, etc. While a good idea in theory, I don't see how it could work practically. Swarm X 17:06, 4 March 2011 (UTC)
"How long would they sit waiting for a second or third editor to review them?" - depends. Additional reviewers would be able to draw on the work of the first, and contributing to an existing review discussion is less daunting than taking lead (and often sole) responsibility. So paradoxically, you might get more people move into reviewing, if you can create a clear path for reviewing baby steps through contributing to reviews led by an experienced reviewer. Besides which, waiting months for a competent reviewer isn't a problem per se (WP:DEADLINE); far better than having people pitch in who aren't really interested and risk the review being too superficial. Rd232 talk 18:06, 4 March 2011 (UTC)
Would this slow the process down? Well that depends on the proportion of the current GA reviews that are done by people who would merit "GA delegate" status. If the bulk of the GA reviews are already done by people who are already at the standard to do a GA review on their own, then my proposal should not greatly impact waiting time, and as RD232 pointed out it might even speed it up, both for the reason RD232 gave and also as it could encourage reviews from people like myself who check some but not all aspects of articles. But also there is no deadline, better to get something like this right than have them done to a schedule. Though it would be important to appoint all the suitably active and accurate reviewers as GA delegates. ϢereSpielChequers 19:17, 4 March 2011 (UTC)
Well, that pretty much answered my concerns. At the same time, while we have no deadline, backlogs are bad. Excessive waiting is bad. I wouldn't like see the GAN backlog get any more overblown due to waiting time when most reviewers are perfectly competent already. If process wouldn't be affected too much, it's definitely something I'd support. Swarm X 01:08, 5 March 2011 (UTC)

The other direction

Personally, I'm all for going in the complete opposite direction, here. We should just mark the whole GA/FA process historical and forget about it. Regardless of original intents (which, I believe, were good), the reality of the current GA/FA ecosystem is that it consists of an insular group of people who seek to provide ego boosts to themselves and others associated with the group. I, for one, will not be a part of it.
I don't expect that my opinion here will be popular, of course. As a matter of fact, I expect it to be largely ignored. There's nothing wrong with that, but I think that it's still important to state. People such as myself generally avoid those of you involved with GA/FA due to your collectively prickly nature (in the area concerned with the GA/FA process, at least). I have done some MOS work, and may contribute to parts of the MOS again, at some point in the future. Unfortunately though, the FA/GA process has become a rather exclusive and, as I said above, insular group (dare I say elitist?). I simply feel that it is the antithesis of what Wikipedia should aspire to, so I have no real motivation to enable it. I know that I'm not alone in basically ignoring the whole system (which, interestingly, is easy to do. Happily.). Regards
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 02:33, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

  • You're not alone, although I would go further and include at least some of the most vocal the MOS regulars in that assessment. Many MOS-related discussions are simply impossible to contribute to due to a certain group of users, and enough MOS "guidelines" seem to be decided on and then enforced as if policy by small insular groups that when I hear about a new MOS prescription decided on without any community discussion I just chalk it up as par for the course. I too just try to ignore them whenever possible. Anomie 15:15, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
  • I think it helps the articles to have people concentrate on individual ones to try and bring them up to a good standard. I definitely would not discourage that. And as to stopping people doing a review who hadn't themselves done work to that level, hasn't anyone heard of film critics? Do you really want to get rid of such opinions? Do you expect artists for instance to work in a vacuum with no feedback? Dmcq (talk) 15:41, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Whether V = IR is being cynical or serious, they make a very, very good point. A large number of people who "write GAs" tend to view themselves as vested contributors who increase in value with each   icon they add to the top of their userpage. They then presume to look down on people who haven't done GAs. This commonly manifests itself as an oppose in an RfA or the like. It's really quite nauseating. While doing away with GAs entirely is...one option... a more practical option perhaps would be to do away with "keeping score" when it comes to GAs. This probably wouldn't be a successful community proposal either, but people who track GAs as if it were a game certainly tend to be a problem. Swarm X 01:22, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
  • While I tend to agree about what the processes have turned into (not to mention the constantly tightening standards, especially with FA), I see them as more of a necessary evil. Being able to put a little icon on your userpage or seeing your work on the main page for a day provides a little more incentive for people to improve our existing articles, which we desperately need. They may be insular groups, but they're insular groups going around and improving articles; I can't really complain that much about it. Mr.Z-man 19:41, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Hear, hear!!! the reality of the current GA/FA ecosystem is that it consists of an insular group of people who seek to provide ego boosts to themselves and others associated with the group. I, for one, will not be a part of it. Articles should just be rated A - B - C - start - stub, with clearly-defined criteria for each, and any established editor should have the freedom to assign a grade. I have no interest whatsoever in any of the FA/GA nonsense, which seems to me to be related to the Cult of Administratorship, in which I also refuse to participate. Carrite (talk) 01:45, 14 March 2011 (UTC)
  • I've heard a few iffy things about GA, and worse things about FA, however the criticism I hear the most is that there exists a group of reviewers who will fail the reviewed item because there are problems in it, fixable problems, and yet even though it would be easy for those problems to be fixed by the reviewer, the reviewer does not 'see it as their problem' to do so. In the worst cases, reviewers will say 'you failed criteria X' and not even make themselves available for clarification, let alone assistance. I saw this recently in a Featured Sounds review, and the reviewer actually said as much, that reviewers review and that it should have been right before being put up for review (Mind you mentioning FS is a tad off topic, but still illustrates the point which I've seen in GA and heard about in FA). Now I agree with the second part, to a point, things should be in as good a shape as possible before being reviewed, but at the same time, there needs to be a recognition that things won't be perfect going in, and more importantly than that, there needs to be an attitude shift. I would go as far as to say that any reviewer that is unwilling to help fix the problems he spots should be barred from reviewing. I'm not saying that reviewers need to help rewrite articles or fix up articles that were clearly not ready to be submitted, but the fail and run attitude I've seen at GA and heard about at FA needs to end, and it needs to end now. More than a textbook sized MOS or the learning curve required to write top quality material, the biggest, most discouraging factor hampering these processes is getting a drive by panning. If a user's first GA review ends up like that, I doubt that user will be back for seconds. Sven Manguard Wha? 19:53, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

Online testing of FA/GA reviewers

I have another proposal for improving FA/GA reviews - subjecting reviewers to a short 10 question open-book online quiz to make sure they have read the criteria. Anyone who passes the quiz would have a bit set in their signon record and they would be eligible to review FA and GA candidate articles. We are facing a large problem with criteria creep. Some people who are reviewing DYK-suggested articles treat the process as if it were a GA review of the article. Other reviewers give GA nominated articles an FA level review, etc. The plan could be implemented by designing a panel of 25 multiple choice questions that would be selected at random and presented to the test-taker one at a time with an explanation of why each answer selected was right or wrong. The test-taker would only advance to the next question if he answered the prior one correctly, and the bit would be awarded after 10 correct answers in a row.

At present, there is no guarantee that the reviewers understand their role or the criteria. This proposal would give FA/GA reviewers a sense of being "certified" and would lead to better reviews. Racepacket (talk) 15:45, 10 March 2011 (UTC)

  • I'm just going to go ahead and disagree with all of the above. Instruction creep would scare away GA/FA reviewers when we have few already. Those complaining about it being "cliquish" I have not seen myself, but making requirements and restrictions seems like it would exacerbate such a problem if it does exist by making more difficult to get in. Similarly, who would design and review these "tests"? If someone disagrees with the GA process then they should point out what they disagree with their and try to fix that problem.AerobicFox (talk) 23:06, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

Time limits on adminship

Obviously going nowhere as proposed. Suggest the OP re-write it as a "term-limit" proposal or "reconfirmation" proposal. Forced time-off for admins really won't work, for the many reasons listed below. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 17:36, 21 March 2011 (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.

I propose that adminship be granted for a period of three years only. An editor must also wait three years between adminships. All existing admins that have been admins for longer than three years lose that status (but may reapply for adminship in three years). I think this proposal is a good idea because:

  1. It reduces admin burnout
  2. It reduces factions of admins persisting for any length of time
  3. It reduces the special status of adminship - admins really are just the same as other editors, they only temporarily serve in a higher capacity
  4. It ensures a renewal process in the admin pool
  5. It helps prevent WP rules and policies from becoming too byzantine. Very long term admins will know all the existing WP rules inside and out and naturally attempt to extend them to cover every eventuality. Short term admins will seek a smaller ruleset.

--Surturz (talk) 12:47, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

I think limiting terms is a good idea, but I think there will be a lot of resistance from long time admins, especially those who use a lot of admin specific tools to do their day to day work here. --NickPenguin(contribs) 13:12, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
In that case, the newest admins should sign up for the policy. It will increase their influence, and improve their ability to implement new ideas. I suspect that people being people, some of the long-time admins have become warlords of a sort with entrenched factions? I pulled the "three year" period off the top of my head. Is there a way to work out a time limit that would eliminate the oldest (say) 40% of admins? --Surturz (talk) 13:19, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
  • I think a set time limit is a very good idea, I would even advocate reducing it to 2 years. However, I'm not sure about a long gap in between though, perhaps they could re-appply immediatly for a vote of confidence. More importantly still, I would like to see editors having to show a 2 year commitment to the project before being able to become admins in the first place - I think this would reduce a great many of the problems which are caused by Admims being unaware of policy and common sense. Giacomo Returned 13:21, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
This proposal isn't practical. WP:RFA created 117 new admins in 2009 and 75 in 2010. If we carry on promoting people at the same rate as last year then by the end of 2011 this proposal would mean that we would have about 270 admins. Since we currently have 1,780 (780 of them active) this would probably result in huge backlogs in admin-related tasks. Hut 8.5 13:23, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
In order to assess partiality. It would e a good idea if those commenting on this stated if they were themselves admins. I am not. Giacomo Returned 13:26, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
I'm an admin, and I think some time limit on adminship would be a good idea. 3 years sounds fine, although it would be good to know how many reconfirmation RfA's we'd have in that case (how many users that were made an admin three years ago are still active as an admin today?). A mandatory pause of three years sounds problematic for the reasons Hut 8.5 outlined above. --Conti| 13:29, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
Well, I'm still as active as an admin as I was three years ago; even more, since the number of admins working copyright cleanup queues has declined. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 13:33, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict)As an admin, I'm tentatively in favor of time limits, but opposed to a 3-year break in service. A month without the tools would be sufficient to see if you think you still need them enough to jump back in the meat grinder... --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 13:37, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict)x2 Assuming we maintain a pool of around 1000 active admins we would have one reconfirmations/RFAs per day on average with a 3 year time period, which is less than RFA handled in 2007. Should be doable. Yoenit (talk) 13:38, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
I would suggest a large cohort of existing admins would mean that less and less people get granted adminship as time goes on. Newer admins will encourage newer users. With a time limit, we do not need to vet admin candidates as much, since there is a built-in limit to their power.
This link shows the 1780 admins, 40% of 1780 = 712, and admin # 712 was created Nov 2004. So we could set the time limit at SIX years and still retire the 40% longest serving admins.
Reconfirmation isn't required, I think the link I provided can be used to work out which admins are auto-retired. --Surturz (talk) 13:34, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
Your link gives the date that the username was created. It doesn't tell you anything about when adminship was achieved, other than that it has to be more recently than that. Dragons flight (talk) 13:41, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
60% of 1780 is 1068. 818 people were promoted to administrator in 2007 or later, and there were 353 promotions in 2006, so if you wanted to retain 60% of the admin corps the time would have to be at least four-five years. Of course not all these people are still administrators so the limit might have to be set back even further. At this stage the proposal isn't going to be very good at tackling burnout, because if you're going to experience burnout it's probably going to happen less than five years after becoming an administrator. Hut 8.5 14:02, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
Two of the above reasons have nothing to do with being an admins: factions of users, and byzantine rulesets. Both happen with experienced users, and admins that are abusing their rights to enforce these when it is counter to consensus is not appropriate. Admin burnout can be dealt with on a voluntary basis, though I could support periods where as less-strict remedies for burnout is to deny an admin their admin status for a month or so.
To me, it is the lack of admins in various areas that need regular admining that put the task to only one or two dedicated volunteers that is an issue; that persists today. Any process along the lines of the above will cause these processes to break (we can't force admins to work on specific tasks so we can't necessarily replace the dedicated volunteers). --MASEM (t) 13:50, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
With the health of our community being as fragile as it is right now, I think that experienced admins are a resource that we won't be able to replace if we desysop all of them. If people want to serve the community long term as an admin, why not let them? Arbcom, though imperfect, can remove serious problem admins. (I am an admin myself, though I rarely use the tools)--Danaman5 (talk) 13:59, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
With a regular reconfirmation of adminship, say, every 3-5 years, admins could serve as long as they (and the community) want to. --Conti| 14:03, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
Reconfirmation is possible, but this proposal specifically is talking about a forced break between terms. And to extend what the original idea is, reconfirmation likely would not fix any of the mentioned problems with an "old boys" network (as they pile on their "support retention" to a reconfirmation) --MASEM (t) 14:09, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
This process will just create a lot of unneeded bucrocreacy. In most cases the reconfirmation of good admins will have a huge supporting result, making it unneeded to go through it in the first place. It may be better to leave reconfirmation processes for cases when there's really a strong and specific reason to propose it. MBelgrano (talk) 14:21, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
The issue is that, of the 700+ admins which are "active", all but maybe a few dozen never show up as being "problematic". In other words, this is a case of taking 95% of the admins and making them jump through some silly burocratic hoop merely to catch the 5% that cause problems. Why not just come up with a better procedure of addressing the 5% of the problems directly, and let the other 95% do their job... For the record, I am an admin, have been for many years, and if anyone wants me to give up my tools for any specific action I have taken, feel free to raise the issue specifically about me. However, there is no need to tar the entire corps of administrators because I screw up. Deal with the individual on the individual basis, not on the group. --Jayron32 15:18, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
  • I'm an admin, and this idea has a lot of problems. It fails to consider that what is controversial and damning at RfA is not necessarily what is inappropriate. If, for example, I close a difficult AfD, I will undoubtedly piss off one side whatever happens. This is inevitable. The impact of turning adminship into an eternal popularity contest is that "difficult" decisions, those requiring judgment calls, will be avoided. However, I like the theoretical basis for it, and personally I'm not going to stop closing things just because I have the chance of being shouted at for it. As such, I hereby announce that I will stand for adminship again, precisely two years after my successful RfA. If it goes well, it'll reassure those people worried (me included) that such a system would have a chilling effect on our admins. If it doesn't, the fireworks display will be damned fantastic :P. Ironholds (talk) 16:15, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
  • I'm not sure that time limitations solve anything. There needs to be an efficient recall mechanism whereby serious errors of judgment or abusive behavior can be reviewed, defenses mounted, and votes of confidence taken. Carrite (talk) 17:23, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
Oppose: Personally, I think that mandatory reconfirmation after 3 years is a bit too short. It'll cause unnecessary trouble for our existing admins. Concerning admin burnout, this would not solve the problem. As Wikipedia isn't a bureaucracy, this would be against the goals of the project.Jasper Deng (talk) 17:35, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Most of our admins were appointed more than three years ago, so to desysop them and put them on a three year break from adminship would be an irresponsible action that would mean attack pages sat around for longer and vandals could do more vandalism before they were blocked. I'm one of the 346 admins appointed in the three years up to the beginning of this month, but don't imagine this would leave you with 346 admins, as many of those 346 have already gone. On current trends we won't appoint half as many admins this March as the 22 who were appointed in March 2008 and who on this proposal would be about to stand down for three years, so the number of active admins would not only be slashed but would quickly slide further under this proposal. If you want to introduce term limits first fix the problems at RFA and start appointing more admins than we lose. We currently have only 12 admins who started editing in the last 24 months, the challenge at RFA is how do we persuade those who joined us in 2008, 2009 and early 2010 to volunteer for adminship. Discussion of term limits is at best a distraction from that. ϢereSpielChequers 17:50, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
  • I would agree with a 4 year term of adminship. I think that taking three years off could cause good editors to loose interest in the project. Maybe 8 months off. Inka888 07:17, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

This is clearly listed at WP:PEREN#Reconfirm_administrators. Mono (talk) 17:35, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

  • OpposeI'm an admin, and I think periodic reconfirmation would be a good idea, as would be some period between terms of adminship. "Elected for life" sounds like a tinpot dictator, although in a kinder light it might be viewed as being like a US federal judge, who can serve until he dies, resigns, or is impeached for bad behavior. I have seen many admins desysopped for bad behavior. The proposal is flawed: Three years off after three years service is too long, and would slash too severely the pool of hardworking volunteers which keep this project from turning into Uncyclopedia, full of vandalism, spam, and agenda editing. I could agree with a 4 or 5 year reconfirmation, or a 3 or 6 month timeout after 4 years with the option of reapplying. Then the folks at WP:RFA would not just be speculating about whether the applicant would properly wield the mop, and could look at performance versus promises about what admin activities would be done. Stepping away from the keyboard for a while and experiencing real life might be good for some admins (and other editors) who are glued to the keyboard 50 hours per week. Some of the anger aimed at admins in various forums is, in fact, from agenda editors who want to ignore the principles of Wikipedia and use it for their own purposes, without hindrance, don't want to be hindered in their flaming and personal attacks on other editors. (Speeders would prefer fewer traffic cops: after being a cop for three years, the cop should take 3 years off). Slashing the ranks of active admins, and making sure they are fairly inexperienced, would make it easier to make Wikipedia say what they want it to say, regardless of reliable sourcing, verifiability, neutral point of view, or undue weight. I expect that a variety of agenda editors would try to vote out any good faith admin who had thwarted their desires, even if it was done in full accord with policies and guidelines. More participation on WP:RFA from the general community would be needed to keep a cabal from voting out the good guys, broadly defined. The shiny buttons an admin gets do not confer any special privilege in regular editing that I have noted. After 3 years as an admin, I do not detect any special "power" when engaged in regular editing activities such as AFD debates, and regularly endure personal attacks from editors who have different views and who do not agree with Wikipedia:No personal attacks. Edison (talk) 18:05, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
I think comparison with a federal judgeship is probably taking our role a bit too seriously. Most jobs are pretty stable unless the company goes out of business or you screw up repeatedly and/or egregiously. (It's not like admins are paid; there's no incentive for Wikipedia to lay us off to reduce costs or bust our union.) Janitors, grocery store clerks, garbage collectors, bus drivers, mailmen, truckers, gardeners — they've all got a job for life, at least as long as the work needs to be done. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 18:30, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
There is such a thing as periodic corporate downsizing, where they lay off a fraction of the workers, chosen more or less randomly. A "job for life" might have been more typical in the 1950's than today. I see a great many people who lost their jobs in favor of a new hire who was younger, fresh of of school, and happy to work for lower pay. Granted volunteers here work for "no pay" but to make up for it they get unlimited abuse from agenda warriors. Edison (talk) 19:02, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
I see adminship as more akin to a driving licence. You can lose it if you break the rules, but otherwise you go on till you are old enough to start needing medicals (I gather that the US and some other countries charge annual renewal fees, but does any country make everyone resit their test?). Term limits are needed for politicians, trustees and in our case Arbcom members, basically anyone whose role is to make policy as opposed to implementing it. Term limits are inappropriate as long as admins are wielding the mop in accordance with policies that the whole community makes. If policy making or banning decisions became an admin only matter then there would be a case for term limits. Refresher courses or training modules for different parts of the mop are a different matter, they probably would be a useful innovation. ϢereSpielChequers 19:04, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose (are we voting?) - I'm an admin with lots of outside interests. Health breaks are natural and needed, but an enforced 3-year break is unworkable, as per Hut 8.5 above, and will probably cause some of the best sysops to walk away. - Now, of course, if we could be sure that the vandals were taking a 3-year break too, then it might be worth a second thought... Ian Cairns (talk) 18:20, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Comment Perhaps a "matching service," so that one agenda warrior or vandal takes a 3 year break along with an admin? Nah, the admins are outnumbered 100 to one, and the other side has a drawer full of socks Edison (talk) 19:04, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose There is already an admin shortage, the last thing we need is an automatic, mindless process which further lowers the admin count by forcibly desysopping experienced admins who are perfectly willing and able to perform admin duties. —SW— squeal 18:32, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment. I'm not an admin, and I was heavily involved with Wikipedia:Community de-adminship/RfC, which (speaking of perennial proposals) please see, if you haven't before. I dislike the idea of a three year gap before reapplying, for the reasons given by others. I also dislike the idea of only applying it to new administrators, since (a few of the) older administrators are usually the ones for which this issue arises. I like the idea of making RfA more reversible than it currently is. I like that a lot. In fact, I think it's inevitable. But as noted above, making the many conscientious administrators jump through this hoop is an inefficient (at best) way to accomplish that, just to weed out a tiny subpopulation, and it has no chance of getting consensus anyway. I think we will need to find a way to more efficiently place administrators who lose the community's trust in front of ArbCom, without putting all administrators there. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:15, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Support One of the reasons RfA is such an ordeal is that adminship is a life appointment, so people are looking for the tiniest indication of unsuitability in candidates. I'll bet an adult beverage of your choice that a lot more candidates would be approved if we knew bad admins would naturally age out of the system. At present almost the only way to get rid of admins is if they firebomb the server farm and GOATSE the main page. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 20:17, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
  • comment: Currently, surplus of administrators, or even surplus of "burned out" administrators (I am not sure how that category is defined), is not among wikipedias problems. Are admin cliques a problem? If they are I don't see this proposal helping that - three years is plenty of time to join or form a clique. As for complicated rules - admins don't make the rules, the community does. I don't see what process would lead to rules becoming simplified if this proposal was enacted. To me it looks like a bad solution looking for a problem. The real problem people are worried about is how to make admins more responsible and easier to remove - this is of course best adressed by enacting rules that serve that purpose, for example an easier process of desysopping (e.g. through rfC/U) - although even that might mean that less people would want to become admins.·Maunus·ƛ· 20:26, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose per WP:BROKE. This proposal would turn our current admin shortage into a devastating drought, which the community will no doubt fail to compensate for by loosening RfA standards. Swarm X 20:31, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose If someone is a good admin, why should they lose the ability to help others and have to wait another three years (remember, Wikipedia's only 10 years old, so that is a long time) to be able to assist again? Also, if you get rid of the required waiting period between RfAs, what is the point of a three-year term? One or two years might make slightly more sense, but three is seems weird. /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 22:51, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
  • The 3-year forced non-adminship part of this proposal is ridiculous and counterproductive; it would significantly deplete the admin corps, which is absolutely what we don't need as the size of the project continues to increase. Periodic admin reconfirmation makes sense though. --Cybercobra (talk) 22:58, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
  • As noted, this is a perrenial proposal, and as always, the question remains whether the consequences of such a plan outweigh the supposed benefits. The last proposal was built far more solidly than this, and it failed pretty easily. I don't expect this will work either. Truth is, if there was an expiry date on my adminship, I simply wouldn't waste the time looking for a reconfirmation. The tools, when I use them, are useful for page maintenence and quick blocking of vandals. If I gave up the bit, that is work that would fall to a smaller cadre of admins, who would likely face burn out at a much faster rate. So of the five arguments presented, I'd say 1 and 4 are patently false, and this proposal would actually make both problems worse. 5 I think is unproveable, 3 depends on the editor. I think most of the people constantly clamoring for term limits find the position far more glamourous than I do. 2 would happen, of course, but the question is whether that is actually a problem in need of repair. And if it is a problem, all it takes is one admin to make an action. non-admins can just as easily comment and help build consensus, even on AN/ANI, so nothing is solved this way. Resolute 23:11, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
  • I agree with Resolute. Given the choice between going through RFA again or just not doing the few admin tasks that I do anymore, I'd choose the latter. Personally, I think this would make the "special status" issue much worse. If it's not a special status, why does it need additional rules about keeping it and why should people have to repeatedly go through a long, stressful process just to maintain the status quo? The real way to fix that issue is to make it easier to remove bad admins and lower the standards at RFA. Being an admin is not significantly more difficult or more dangerous than it was when I got the bit in 2007 (we can't even crash the site by deleting the sandbox anymore) but standards have continuously increased. Mr.Z-man 04:52, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. As noted above, the effect would be to make the good 95% of admins jump through hoops over the actions of the 5% (or less, IMHO)—and those are admins who should be addressed more frequently than at the end of their term.
    For disclosure's sake, yes, I'm an admin. No, I'm not listed as open to recall. However, I've taken a break or two in the past from admin tasks, and it's been in part because of concerns raised by fellow admins or veteran users about how I was using the tools. I stepped back, cleared my head, re-read the rules, and when I was ready eased back into the task.
    I'm a referee off-wiki, and there are procedures in place there to deal with errors made in games. It never happened to me, but I know crews who've had to go in and review game tapes sent in by coaches to the association and had to explain why a call was(n't) made, and I know crews who've gotten suspended over there errors. If we need to restructure the procedures with admins, that's the route to go: sit down the admins who are making the bad calls, but don't take the mop away from those using it well. —C.Fred (talk) 05:12, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I'd oppose mandatory removal of the bit. Why should a good admin lose the bit just due to a time period running out? Even if I didn't have a problem with that, why on EARTH shouldn't they be allowed to re-apply immediately?! I've suggested a reconfirmation process below, which I'm expecting to get blown out of the water due to the perennial status of it. If burnout is an issue, perhaps there should be a system where X admins/editors can get to suggest a 1-month break for an admin, which then is enforced by the removal the bit for that period? I can think of a situation where that would have been useful in very recent history... WormTT · (talk) 09:09, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
  • 250% opposed I can't see this working. RFA (you know what I mean) is a big page with just 3 requests, so if former admins and admin hopefuls are mixed together on the page, then I can see people with slow Internet/computers waiting to the end of time for the page to load. And if the page swells with this idea if it goes ahead, it may not load at all. There is no way to make RFA smaller, just get a faster Internet/computer. I also add Metropolitan90's and a litany of other users thoughts. Just chuck this idea in the bin. It must never be remembered, only mourned as this idea fails as consensus dwindles. --The Master of Mayhem 09:59, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. We have a declining number of admins - sending good experienced ones away for a forced break is one of the worst ideas I've heard in a long time. There might be some merit in some sort of review/reconfirmation in case they're doing a poor job, but most are doing just fine and forcing every one to go for a new RfA is not a good idea - we're trying to attract more admins here, not chase them away. And re: "In that case, the newest admins should sign up for the policy. It will increase their influence, and improve their ability to implement new ideas" - I'm a new admin, but I didn't do it for influence. And admin has got nothing to do with news ideas - anyone in the community can come up with new ideas any time they want. -- Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 10:09, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose : We already have trouble with backlogs, and admins are needed pretty much everywhere. I'm not an admin myself (and don't want to be one in the near future), but I think that we should keep out admins. ManishEarthTalkStalk 11:06, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
  • I oppose this specific proposal with the mandatory three-year break, but support the general idea of admins needing to go through periodic re-election. Standards for admins now are so much more restrictive that those who passed the 2004-5 process can't be said to have gone through anything that we would now understand as an RFA.—S Marshall T/C 12:12, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose As a non-admin, I have concerns about re-confirmations. Long-term admins are at least as much an advantage to the project (through consistency, institutional memory, and ability) as they can be a detriment. The problems come in our most difficult areas of adjudication. What admin is going to make difficult decisions in the face of aggravating their "constituency" to the point that they stand a very real chance of being denied another term? While I do believe that the loss of adminship is one of the least substantial actions the community can impose (considering interaction bans, blocks, site bans, etc. to be far worse restrictions) for actions that are non-constructive to the project, I have not yet seen a practical manner of implementing a reconfirmation process. Administrators in this project do not sit as a group and set policy, nor do they have much in the way of an authoritative role in process. They are not elected representatives in the democratic sense. As an example, a regular editor providing a third opinion tends to carry as much weight as an admin doing the same. Policies, guidelines, and consensus itself are created by editors who far outnumber admins. As such, I do not see that "re-election" really serves a substantial purpose. A community-based de-adminship process that does not require going to ArbCom would be far more effective in removing those few admins who have shown themselves to be problems in the general consensus of the community at large. The elimination of WP:NBD and the recognition that ALL actions by an admin, and not just those involving the use of admin tools, are "admin actions" would contribute greatly to the needs of the community in demonstrating a loss of support in a particular administrator. Reconfirmation would be a bureaucratic nightmare, and the limited number of members of the community who would bother to participate would probably make such an action a farce in terms of determining actual consensus for retaining admin rights. Jim Miller See me | Touch me 19:29, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

So if three years is crazy what would be a good number

I get the feeling there is some support to give admins a bit of a break, and clearly three years is too long. What about a much shorter period of perhaps three months? It is not overly long and would give admins a chance to reevaluate things from the outside once again. And what if this was a voluntary program to sign up for? Consider it a like a periodical sabbatical. --NickPenguin(contribs) 04:34, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

I get much the opposite view. A few relatively new non-admins and one noted anti-establisment figure support this, the vast majority, now and historically, do not. There are things I support, such as making it easier to desysop admins who frequently break policy, (however the process would have to have safeguards against personal grudges and vendettas taking the form of desysops,) however I think that the idea of fixed time limits is an absurdly bad idea. If you want adminship and the RfA atmosphere to improve, you need to make adminship easier to gain, but also easier to lose. That will make it less of a zero-sum game. However the vast majority of admins do good work on a consistent basis, and imposing time limits on that work will hurt the project. Sven Manguard Wha? 04:54, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
Sven - easier to gain and easier to lose really is the best rubric, but unfortunately that's extremely unlikely. Rule #1 of power is that no one ever gives it up willingly once they have it (except for the few saints among us, and burnout cases), and unfortunately the project has been naive about the RfA and desysopping procedures, so that now becoming an admin is torturous and removing an admin is all but impossible.
If you wanted something interesting that might stand a ghost of a chance of success, suggest an admin lottery: one person a week (chosen at random from the group of editors who meet some minimum standards) is granted adminship no questions asked. they can refuse, in which case someone else is chosen, but otherwise they're in. That would add 52 new admins a year - enough constant fresh blood to shake up the establishment, but not so much that the newbies overwhelm the old guard. Very Roman republic, that...   --Ludwigs2 06:07, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
Certainly a new idea, but I think it would end poorly. What happens when we give an admin that has issues with behaving civilly to others the mop? How do we decide if he should be excluded? Perhaps a better option is that we turn the system upside down: That every editor that hasn't been blocked in 18 months (ignoring blocks that were overturned as a bad block) becomes an admin unless the community decides that they don't deserve it. A reverse RfA if you will. That has it's risks too, but I think that it would be better than something random. Sven Manguard Wha? 06:21, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
18 months is too tiny for anyone to even consider this proposal, three-four years is better, though still I feel it isn't a good idea. Admins have quite a lot of power (and they carry around some respect, too... most people listen to admins). That's why we thoroughly vet them with RfAs. ManishEarthTalkStalk 11:07, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
Eh, I think the 'who hasn't had a block' condition is just a wide invitation to gamesmanship. For instance, my block record sucks, but all except for one of my blocks were entirely undeserved (the result of science editors trying to game me because they think I'm a fringe editor - dorks!). But how am I supposed to argue that in any meaningful way?
The 'random admin' thing has two advantages:
  1. it would insert people as admins who might be too shy or scared to run the AfD gauntlet but would otherwise make excellent admins.
  2. it would give an incentive to improve the desysopping procedures (so long as adminship is seen as a powerful privilege admins will always fight against regularizing desysopping, but start throwing in wild cards and we'll start getting a few bad apples, and then we'll have to create a consistent process for desysopping just to get rid of them).
sometimes the only cure for systematic problems is to stir the pot - add random elements and force the system to adapt. --Ludwigs2 16:25, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
Don't we already have a voluntary process, Wikipedia:Administrators open to recall, which handles this more efficiently than a term limit does? —C.Fred (talk) 04:47, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
Admins that misuse their powers certainly wouldn't sign up to that voluntary process, wouldn't they? --Conti| 08:04, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

It's not gonna happen, ever. I've read all this stuff many times before in different variations. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 04:58, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

  • Oppose. I am an admin and have been one for over three years, and I agree with Jayron32's comments above. If an admin is doing a good job, there is no reason to take adminship away from them, particularly given that there is no maximum limit on the number of admins. --Metropolitan90 (talk) 07:42, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Completely opposed to this for a litany of reasons that have already been covered. Strikerforce (talk) 07:50, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
  • 3 months of non-adminship sounds like a good idea to me. There'll still be enough admins to do what needs to be done, after all. The sad thing is that, thanks to Wikipedia's consensus system, even if just a third of our admins are power hungry and oppose any and all means to take away their toys, these proposals will never get anywhere. --Conti| 08:04, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
  • If we have so many admins to do what needs to be done, why can't I get people to help out in a sustained way with copyright cleanup even when I advertise? :( (1; 2, for example.) One or two people pitch in for a while, but then they fall away as real life interferes or the tedium of the job overwhelms them. Of the four "copyright admins" (that is, people dedicated to the work on a sustained basis) that I can think of promoted in the past three years, three of them have vastly declined their participation levels ([1]; [2]; [3]). People don't seem to be lining up to replace them. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 12:05, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
  • A short break that admins can voluntarily sign up to? We already have that - they can just take a Wikibreak like everyone else. -- Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 10:09, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Non-admin comment. This proposal seems to once again highlight the perceived problems caused by rogue admins. I do not dispute that there are bad admins, but these are usually ones that have not signed up for recall, and usually use all means (such as bullying, lawyering) to hang on to their tools. So we must treat the underlying cause, and re-evaluate the mechanism for de-sysopping. I do not believe systematic retirement after three years is the answer, nor is the three-year fallow desirable for the smooth operation for our project because it will potentially cut our admin staff by half, with the most dramatic effect being in the first year of operation. This is the wrong medicine for the patient, and risks doing harm. An alternative could be to make the recall mandatory rather than voluntary. --Ohconfucius ¡digame! 01:59, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

Annual/Biennial Re-confirmation

I was thinking about this on my way home from work yesterday, completely unrelated to this thread which I only saw this morning. I think one of the major reasons that RfA is "broken" is that there is a common belief that it is too hard to get administrators out. I was trying to work out if there was a way to re-confirm the administrators. What I propose is a process where "Once every *time period*, administrators would submit themselves for community review, where the community could offer feedback and most importantly !vote on whether they should retain the mop. The voters should be *editors in good standing*, and if the !vote is below *arbitrary limit*, then the administrator would lose the bit".

Now, I think the idea is good in principle, but the three items in question should be discussed. I was thinking a *time period* of 1 or 2 years (if we did 1 year, we'd have around 6 a day... that's possibly to much), *editors in good standing* should be editors with say over 100 edits (to prevent people registerring in order to get someone out), and the *arbitrary limit* I was thinking at around 50%. Definitely not as high as RfA, but if less than 50% of the community think you are doing a good job, I don't accept that "Someone has to make the tough decisions" is a good excuse. I wouldn't be averse to putting in a leeway of say, 20% for crat judgement either. Above 60% mostly retain the bit, below 40% mostly lose the bit. For the record, I am not an admin, but if I were I would be looking at something like this for my recall procedure. WormTT · (talk) 09:02, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

Periodic review (of active admins) may be helpful, in the sense of an Editor Review. Re-confirmation is too much work for too little benefit and too much risk of detriment to admins taking tough decisions. Admins are not elected representatives (in theory everyone could be an admin...), and they don't need to be re-elected; sufficient opportunity for desysopping when appropriate is quite enough. And to come back to the Review element: if there is no immediate risk of desysopping attached, it'll be reasonably open, honest and productive. If there is such a risk, it becomes a trial, with the admin being charged with Being A Bad Admin (chief witnesses: anyone they've ever acted against, fairly or not). Really, I think we should institute such a Review, because the demonstrated usefulness of that would reduce the frequency with which this perennial bad idea of Reconfirmation comes up. Rd232 talk 15:29, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
The last thing I'd want is a trial, and I was trying to avoid that by setting the bar to a point where it is more a review. But I also think this "job for life" thing is causing RfA to be regarded as a "gauntlet". Admins do drift off, burnout, exhaustion, whatever - leaving a much smaller admin corps. If there was a review process which could involve a de-sysop, I think that people would be less harsh at RfA. I could be wrong of course WormTT · (talk) 16:39, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
Setting the bar low wouldn't work, it would still be the same dynamics if immediate desysopping was on the table. Remember, a really bad review would be a wakeup call to the admin, and otherwise lay a basis for future desysopping if problematic behaviour continued. Besides, overall RFC/Us are more effective in this area than people credit, particularly as a wakeup call, which is part of what makes me think we should look at Reviews first. And apart from anything else, Reconfirmation is a perennial proposal which isn't going to get anywhere, so best not to waste energy on that anyway. Rd232 talk 18:18, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
I have in the past proposed incorporating Editor Review as a preliminary stage in RFA, so that candidates have a better idea of likely reception and what they can do to improve (if necessary) before getting to the more hardcore voting stage. Rd232 talk 18:09, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
How about this. We get a strong consensus from users here that we want an attitude change regarding desysoping. I would be behind a proposal that does not involve term limits or reconfirmation but would say "All admins, irregardless of their stated position on recall, are eligible for a desysoping procedure when a consensus of uninvolved users determines that they have made an egregious error or show a pattern of consistent error in admin related tasks." The proposal would have to put that bar in a high enough place that this doesn't become a tool for vendettas or content wars, but low enough that if an admin does screw up, there's a viable last resort system for correcting the issue that's more accessible and less extreme that ArbCom. Even if it never get's used, the mere presence of such a system would, I think, make RfA a bit less nasty and admins a bit more honest. Sven Manguard Wha? 17:12, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
I approve of that idea. WormTT · (talk) 17:52, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
The problem is that admins are expected to learn from their mistakes, with review via ANI and sometimes RFC/U. Anything more contentious needs the formality and neutrality of something like ArbCom - and we already have one of those. About the only thing I can see being useful is making it easier to refer admins to ArbCom for review, with possible outcomes including a reconfirmation RFA or even outright desysopping (also rejection of the request for review, and of course any censoring, sanctioning or advisory motions that might emerge from the review). Whatever the outcome, it would be properly justified after careful consideration by neutral parties. Rd232 talk 18:09, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
"Learn from their mistakes"'? I don't think that the way it is. In order to become an admin, one has to be perfect, after that, one can safely ignore any criticism short of murder in the real world. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 20:27, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
One can also claim to have "the trust of the community" while admitting that you would never get through another RfA because you've had to take "some hard decisions". Dishonest doesn't even get close. Malleus Fatuorum 20:32, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
My point exactly. I disagreed with a block that an admin made and left them a message on their talk page. 3 days later, the admin was still plodding along, the message was ignored (though is still there), the block had expired. I'm not one to take it to WP:ANI (one incident, and I disagreed with the length, not the block itself) so basically that is going to be totally ignored for all time. I've got the admin's talk page watchlisted, there has been no further incidents, so as far as I'm concerned he/she appears to be a good admin in general - but that doesn't mean that a feedback process wouldn't help them. WormTT · (talk) 20:36, 17 March 2011 (UTC)


  • Oppose - I am open to six year terms or such, but we already have horrendous backlogs in many urgent areas of admin work - from WP:AfD to CAT:CSD - and this proposal will make it much worse. I have written many times that I am open to recall. Bearian (talk) 16:26, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
  • It's obviously a good idea, just as the enforced break of three years suggested above is equally obviously too long. But even more obviously, none of these proposals have a snowball's chance in Hell of getting past the self-interested entrenched positions so evident here. Malleus Fatuorum 18:52, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
    "It's obviously a good idea" - it is? ErikHaugen (talk | contribs) 20:17, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
    I don't think it's obviously a bad one, as I wouldn't have suggested it. Malleus is right though, the people who actually discuss these ideas most fervently are generally the same people who have an interest in them not happening. WormTT · (talk) 20:25, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose: I'd have to oppose this too, not so much that it's a bad idea (I think it has merit), but that it's addressing the wrong problem. The problem, I think, is that admins are insufficiently answerable to the content creators they serve. I think what we need is an easier, community-based, admin recall process - and ideas like this, while possibly good, detract distract us from that -- Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 19:09, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose What we need is a way to remove the tools from admins that don't use them correctly, not a means of pestering admins that do their job correctly just to make them jump through some hoops. As I said above, the problem isn't the vast majority of admins who don't create problems. Its the small handful that do. I support efforts to remove the tools from admins that don't use them right. But I think that forcing all admins, including the hundreds that do nothing wrong ever, just to catch the 10 or 12 that may need to give up the tools, is wrong-headed. --Jayron32 19:50, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Ten or twelve? I could name you at least 30 or 40, which is a substantial proportion of the active administrators as oppsed to the headline number. Malleus Fatuorum 19:56, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
      • Oh, we all understand your position, Malleus. We know that you believe that 100% of all admins are instantly corrupt and worthless the moment they accept a nomination for an RFA (and quite interestingly without any actual evidence on an individual level, person for person). It makes it quite easy to ignore your statements on these matters because they are so obviously without merit. Which is a shame really, because I think that in some cases you often have valid points. However, your presense in arguements which would otherwise help fix the situation with real problematic admins instantly ruins them, if only because of your position in opposition to a specific administrator in indistinguishable against your unfounded, baseless and nonspecific prejudice against the administrator corps in general. Again, what it really hurts is that, once you show up with the same tired arguements, it ruins any chance to remove actual problems because it poisons the well; people who would otherwise be able to rationally consider removing an administrator who needs to be removed will just stay away lest they be associated with you. Thanks a bunch. Keep it up, and we'll never ever get any real reform towards having a respectable administrator corps. After I finish typing this, I'm going to mail myself an email with your highly predictable response, before you even write it to me, so as to prove how predictable and tired your behavior in these matters is. --Jayron32 21:07, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
        • You very evidently don't understand, so I fail to see why you might want to pretend that you do. Malleus Fatuorum 21:20, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
        • Whether Malleus is right or wrong on the numbers, there should be a way for individuals to express such concerns and have them looked at by the community. (And I've never seen Malleus suggesting anything like the suggestion that "100% of all admins are instantly corrupt and worthless the moment they accept a nomination for an RFA", so you really should not malign him like that) -- Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 21:22, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
          • Indeed I've never said anything like that, no matter how many times Jayron32 tries to convince himself and others that I have. What I have said repeatedly is that the system is corrupt, a view that I find it difficult to believe that any rational person would disagree with. Malleus Fatuorum 21:26, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose Let's focus on a recall process instead. If there's a problematic sysop why do we have to wait up to a year or whatever to deal with it? Why go through all the trouble of a "reconfirmation" RfA if nobody has any concerns about the admin? ErikHaugen (talk | contribs) 20:17, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
    I understand the general thinking and why the proposal has no chance of getting through - but my answer would be feedback and confirmation that you're doing a good job. The bar to desysop was intentionally set so low that there had to be a significant problem with the admin, but the feedback would be helpful. WormTT · (talk) 20:22, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
  • I've got the same answer for just about everything that comes up at WT:RFA: I have no objection if people want to experiment. If someone wants me or any other admin to run for reconfirmation so we can see what that looks like, then fine. My guess, based on the recalls we've had so far, is that most people will be disappointed with the results, for a variety of reasons. But if a significant number of Wikipedians think it's worth trying, then let's have a look and see what happens. - Dank (push to talk) 20:46, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose as per WereSpielChequers, Erik Haugen, and Sven. Most admins I know and who are active divide their time between admin tasks and content building/page repairing/policy making. Submitting their work to review after a fixed period would only invite opposes from people who have had their pages deleted or who have been blocked. Adding a time limit to tenure would also add to the reasons why so few good editors are coming forward to run for office. After my own recent RfA I would not expect to go through it again, and If I had thought for a moment that I would have to do it again or take a forced break, I wouldn't have bothered wanting the mop. 'Time' feels different for different people; I've been on Wikipedia for five years already, two very active, which demonstrates that I was in no hurry to get the bit. Now I've just got it, three years is is one heck of short time for people of my age. Let's not forget also that many of our admins are very capable young people who are still at school or college, and Real Life can get in the way for a few years. They may want to return to sysoping when the pressures of school or college life are over. I'm an admin open to recall, and I think we should be looking more into that direction than introducing proposals for probationary periods or reducing admin tenure. It can often take three years as an admin to gain the experience and the trust to become a bureaucrat. Kudpung (talk) 09:00, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

Time-based solutions don't work

If I'm hearing it right, the perceived problem is that "adminship is for life", and that it's too hard to get rid of those that are perceived as "bad admins". The proposals above focus on either forcibly desysopping admins after a certain period of time, or forcibly putting them through another mini-RfA every year, or something along those lines. None of these time-based solutions work. If an admin is doing a good job, and is willing to continue doing a good job for 20 years, then desysopping them for no other reason than "a certain amount of time has passed" is shooting us in the foot and throwing a good admin into the trash. Forcing a good admin to go through a mini-RfA every year is also an unnecessary burden on the admin and on the community. Getting through RfA once is stressful enough, having to go through that process again every year would be borderline unbearable. The problem is with "bad admins", not with "good admins", so any proposed solution should only affect the bad admins and leave the good admins alone. If the problem is that it's too hard to get rid of bad admins, then the proposal should focus on creating a mechanism for desysopping an admin when there is an overwhelming community consensus to do so. Or, the proposal should focus on making WP:AOR more enforceable. Any solution that involves mandatory events for all admins at specified time intervals is too cumbersome, bureaucratic, and places an unnecessary burden on admins who are busy enough doing a great job (i.e. the vast majority of them). I'd suggest this thread gets closed and you go back to the drawing board. —SW— gossip 20:47, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

I concur, but I'm wondering if something more simple might work. For example, we could say that that a new minted admin has a term of 3-4 years, and after that time, they stand at RFA again or the bit's removed, but only once (this to weed out admins who are gung ho, but lose steam, or who deviate from the path of truth and beauty sooner rather than later). And we work on a better recall system for the bad admins that have passed that bar. --Nuujinn (talk) 21:29, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
That's to ignore the possibility that a corrupt system (adminship for life) leads to corrupt and unaccountable behaviour, which in my view is where we find ourselves today. Malleus Fatuorum 21:32, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
It doesn't ignore that possibility, it just recognizes that a minority of admins will become corrupt as a result of the "adminship for life" system, and therefore the solution should only affect the minority that have become corrupt, not the ones who haven't done anything wrong. It's the whole hatchet vs. scalpel thing. —SW— speak 21:47, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
So your excuse for a corrupt system is that it hasn't yet corrupted everyone? Well-designed systems have checks and balances, not a "let's wait until someone goes crazy" mentality. Malleus Fatuorum 22:55, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
That's not even what it is; I'm all for "let's wait until someone screws up" — the current situation, however, is rather "let's find excuses for anyone who does screw up and sing kumbaya." Again, admins can practically do whatever they want, everyone knows it, and that's the problem. Once you're an admin, it is basically a courtesy of yours to give a damn. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 23:49, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

To trow any crazy idea in the fray, one of the main concerns about RFA is that it is currently very, very hard to pass which causes a massive reduction in the number of successful candidates (and I assume candidates in general). How about we do something like:

  • 75-80+% support => full adminship
  • 55-65+% support => temp adminship for 3 months
  • less => fail.

A temp admin could do RFA again in three months and either get full adminship, get a second temp run or get demoted. The focus in the second RFA should be on his/her actions in those 3 months. I am pretty sure something like this has been suggested before, but I dunno what would be problems with it. Yoenit (talk) 23:09, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

It has been proposed, yeah. The problem I see with this is that those three months aren't very useful to judge a potential admin. The temp admin will know that he'll be scrutinized very closely, after all, so he'll be on his very best behaviour. Only once he gets full adminship he'd be himself, for better or worse. So you can just as well give him full adminship from the start. --Conti| 23:15, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
"There is a problem, but this is not the ideal solution, so let's do nothing." That's the impression I get from a lot of the comments above. It's true, this isn't an ideal solution, but I sure as hell don't see a better one being proposed. As for the proposal, we could do it the other way around. Adminship will be automatically granted every year unless a significant number of users protest. That way, all the admins that do their work won't have to do anything at all to keep their adminship. --Conti| 23:13, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
Not a particularly bad idea, but it has no more chance of success than any other idea that's been floated only to be shot down the entrenched admin corps. The only solution to this impasse is to unbundle the admin tools and to make it easier to add or remove those tools. This fiction that we have a trusted cadre of users just because they managed (once) to get through a popularity contest is simply that, a fiction. Malleus Fatuorum 23:16, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
I think this last notion is also an interesting option. I wonder if we could configure a set of "admin lite" tools, for lack of a better word, each with a particular orientation (vandal control, for example). But I have no conception of how difficult that would be in practice. --Nuujinn (talk) 00:53, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
I do: impossible in the current "admins have been through an RfA and are therefore trusted forever with everything, even those things that didn't exist when they were elected" environment. Malleus Fatuorum 01:04, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
Ha! I wasn't thinking of the political layer of the OSI model, but rather the technical aspects of breaking out what is often described as a bit into multiple bits. --Nuujinn (talk) 01:58, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
I'm sure it would be trivial. Just as I'm sure that it'll never happen while the admins rule the roost. Malleus Fatuorum 04:09, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
Unbundling is something I would support, and have done several times at WT:RfA, but it always gets shot down -- Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 09:08, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for that, that answers a good question I did not know I had. Ok, different tack, I think Malleus has a good point in regard to balance of powers. Would it make sense to pursue establishing a way to recall admins that does not rely on admins to make the judgement? That is to say, could we make a new category of editors, who cannot be admins, must have a reasonable number of edits (say 2500) including a good percentage of wp talk pages, and granted the bit in a process the same as the admin bit is granted? Perhaps establish a minimum quorum for recalling an admin, and have it not be a !vote and require 60%-40% for a decision as to whether or not to take up a vote when a recall is proposed and to determine if a recall is justified? Does that tickle anyone's fancy? --Nuujinn (talk) 01:12, 19 March 2011 (UTC)

In the name of Jimbo!

I just read through the entire text above. Consensus sits (fairly) squarely against it, for various reasons, not the least being that there is already a shortage of administrators. Now discussion is drifting back towards unbundling, and temporary adminship, which really doesn't seem to be directly related to the three years proposal. While I am against it for many of the reasons above, I think that this discussion either needs to truly redirect itself at some targeted proposals, or refocus on what was presented and what can be changed in the original proposal to make it viable. NativeForeigner Talk/Contribs 03:58, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

What evidence do you have that there's a shortage of administrators? My experience has been that there's a damn sight too many. Malleus Fatuorum 04:11, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
None. Just parroting the feelings voiced above. NativeForeigner Talk/Contribs 04:27, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
I seem to remember reading about the shortage in the Signpost. I think it was covering a potential or impending shortage, but I don't recall clearly. Swarm X 07:01, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
If we are to assume that a growing number of users and articles needs a growing number of active admins, then we definitely have an admin shortage. --Conti| 07:35, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
We have a declining number of active admins, and the longterm trend is steadily downwards. Whether or not there is currently a shortage depends on how you measure needs and backlogs. But I would prefer a measured reponse to the situation now, rather than a panic mass recruitment exercise the first time AIV is unattended long enough for a vandal to continue vandalising several articles a minute for half an hour after being reported to AIV. ϢereSpielChequers 17:48, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

Other Wikis

I understand from this discussion thread now ongoing as part of the March 2011 update on Strategic Planning at WikiMedia that the Swedish wikipedia currently has one year terms for admins, reportedly with successful results. Could we learn from what might work elsewhere and apply lessons learned here? Perhaps Lars Aronsson, who made the observation there would weigh in here? (I'll ask him) Geoff Who, me? 22:16, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

Keep in mind that the Swedish Wikipedia also has half of the ratio of admins to articles that we do. They have 97 admins for 390,408 articles, a ratio of 1 admin for every 4025 articles. We have 1 admin for every 2014 articles. If we had the same ratio as them, we'd have about 891 admins instead of the 1,781 we have today. —SW— confer 23:59, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
The ratio of admins to articles is irrelevant, and simply demonstrates what an over-inflated view administrators have of their own importance. The overwhelming majority of vandalism is dealt with by the (untrusted) troops on the ground. Malleus Fatuorum 00:04, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
Um, that's because reverting vandals doesn't require admin tools. What's your point? —SW— confess 04:07, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Bad math. If en.wp had an annual renewal, it would lose some of those 1781 admins, who aren't active and wouldn't bother to be reelected, so the ratios would become more similar. The lower Swedish ratio is in part the result of having annual renominations for five years. --LA2 (talk) 00:23, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Quite possibly a significant number are dead, which puts the lie to the "admin for life" idea; it's actually "admin for all eternity". Malleus Fatuorum 00:32, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Ha, good point ... I feel enshrined. - Dank (push to talk) 03:49, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
"admin for all eternity" - that's actually what it says on the pyramid I built. You wondered what it was for? It is in fact a giant barnstar I gave myself, for being patient enough to wait thousands of years for Wikipedia to be invented. Well hey, when you've got eternity, you need to be patient. Rd232 talk 13:41, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

Proposer comment ("This is not a admin reconfirmation proposal")

  • This is not a admin reconfirmation proposal. The crucial part is that admins are forced to take a break from being an admin for a period of time. I am happy to compromise on the timeframes, so that "Adminship be granted for a period of X years. An editor must also wait Y years between adminships". The value for X could be as high as 10, the value for Y could be as low as 1. I think the periods should be measured in years, not months, however.
  • Just to cement my claim that this is not a reconfirmation proposal, I'm happy for admins to be automatically reinstated after Y years (though I'd prefer them to go through RfA again).
  • While a lot of people are understandably focused on "rogue admins", this proposal is really about governance and renewal. This proposal suggests de-sysoping admins for a period of time even if they are doing a good job, for various reasons.
  • Despite their self-image of some, admins are not simply normal editors with extra widgets. Because of the WP:RFA process, admins wield political power, and normal editors will usually call in an admin to personally mediate disputes in the first instance.
  • Some admins have claimed that there are not enough admins. Patently untrue. The WP:RFA process is currently rejecting applicants at a rate of 50% or more. If WP were really desperate for admins, it would not have the luxury of rejecting so many applications, nor the time to be so exhaustive in vetting candidates.
  • Given the tens of millions of people on the internet, the millions of wikipedia users, and the hundreds of thousands of active WP editors, it is not reasonable to assert that there are only 1800 or so suitable to be admins. The only reason that there are not enough admins is because the current system keeps people out of joining their ranks. This is not surprising, and not even a necessarily bad thing. As more people join the admin cohort, it is natural for the cohort to keep raising the barrier to entry (the counterintuitive aspect of this is that new admins are more likely much better admins than older ones!).
  • The issue of governance is that the group of wikipedia leaders, who wield political power, should not be granted that political power indefinitely. Not because of "fairness" or "democracy", but out of the simple fact that if the group of admins is largely static, the website will inevitable end up tailored to the desires of that group, rather than appealing to the community at large.
  • The issue of renewal is that with a largely static adminship, the website will be much less able to adapt and cope with changing circumstances in the future.
  • We have an encyclopedia here where articles are changing every second, yet we grant adminship for eternity. It makes no sense whatever.

--Surturz (talk) 08:03, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

Apologies, the reconfirmation thing was my fault, an idea I put forward later on which I considered similar to your idea and worth mentioning. WormTT · (talk) 08:18, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
The root of your idea seems to be that admins get "political power" from being admins. But they don't (they're not elected representatives), they get "political power" (such as it is) from (a) being the sort of highly experienced and non-divisive[ish] editors able to get through RFA and (b) having (via RFA) the demonstrated trust of the community to wield powerful tools. As a result, taking an enforced break from adminship will have no effect, since the trust has not been withdrawn: only desysopping on grounds of untrustworthiness will have an effect. Besides which, admins have no more say in any of the "political" processes (of policy writing, enforcement and reform) than anyone else qua admin. The problem is rather one of numbers: the sort of people who get heavily involved in those over a longer period are very often the sort who will either become admins (becoming involved before RFA), or are admins already (becoming involved after). PS your remark of "a largely static adminship" is in any case highly debatable; especially on a 3-5 year time scale, there's actually a lot of churn in active admins. PPS given the perennial confusion between admins and elected representatives, I sometimes wonder if we shouldn't be done with it and have some, empowered to develop policy proposals with something like the deliberation process of ArbCom and put the proposals to the community. At least it would reduce the scale issues perennially experienced in developing big policy changes. Rd232 talk 09:28, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
But what actually is the point of a forced break? What actually is it supposed to achieve? It seems to me to me to be just trying to cosmetically address the "Admin is for life" issue but completely missing the reasons why that is considered a problem -- Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 12:05, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Your proposal works on the presumption that admins will actually remain active during the term you proscribe and will fill in the necessary tasks. I've put a lot of thought into this, because I am an admin of over three years standing, and I needed to ensure that I'm not protesting out of some self-interest. I don't think I am; I'm sure some others will disagree. :) That said: however many admins there may be, there are not enough admins working in the area I work (text based copyright cleanup); as I demonstrated above, of the four text-focused copyright admins that I know who were promoted within the last three years, three of them are either participating much less or virutally gone. Cut and paste repair, too, is a tedious and complicated task. User:Anthony Appleyard has been steadily working on this task for almost five years. He is one of very few admins who bother to do so. Anthony has been an administrator since December 2006. What benefit to the project could it possibly be to remove him from this task, which he attends to so well, for any length of time? I have myself long thought that there should be an easier process to review and remove admins who are unsuited to the tasks or who go off the rails. But universal forced breaks will only pull qualified people away from tasks which they are willing to undertake. The only way that I can imagine it would work is if we created some kind of draft system to require our new admin volunteers to take on the tasks that are then abandoned, rather than allowing them to work where they want to...and that seems like a whole separate recipe for disaster. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 12:26, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Those are great examples - forcing you and Anthony Appleyard out of the job for a while would be a disaster. The "admin for life" issue is only a problem for bad admins, not for good productive ones. You wouldn't, for example, force all doctors out of their jobs at regular intervals as a way to address medical malpractice - you'd have a process for addressing bad docs without harming the good ones. -- Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 13:22, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
  • It goes a lot further than that Boing!, under this scheme, only 1 of the top 10 admins by administrator actions (who are not bots and are still admins) would be remain an admin. These administrators are doing lots of uncontroversial work, not causing any issues, not showing signs of burnout or political gain (to the best of my knowledge). Desysoping would clearly harm the encyclopedia and I'm unsure of the benefit? WormTT · (talk) 13:28, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
  • The WP:RFA process is currently rejecting applicants at a rate of 50% or more. If WP were really desperate for admins, it would not have the luxury of rejecting so many - RFA is generally accepted to be a broken process. There is a huge disconnect between how things work at RFA and the needs of the rest of the project.
  • the hundreds of thousands of active WP editors - If you define "active" as "has made an edit in the last month" perhaps. But most of those people wouldn't even qualify for rollbacker. There are only 11,000 users who have averaged at least 1 edit per day in the last 30 days. Fewer than 7,000 have averaged 2 edits and only 5,000 have averaged 3.
  • the group of wikipedia leaders, who wield political power - Wikipedia works on consensus. When it comes to policy discussions, admins in general hold no more weight than any other user. As Rd232 noted, any power they have comes from their experience and trust, not their user rights.
  • As more people join the admin cohort, it is natural for the cohort to keep raising the barrier to entry - Have you actually looked at RFA before making these comments? Most of the voters are not admins. Looking at a recent unsuccessful RFA, almost 80% of the voters were non-admins. Mr.Z-man 15:09, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
  • We have an encyclopedia here where articles are changing every second, yet we grant adminship for eternity. It makes no sense whatever. - Regardless of whether it makes sense, that's a nonsensical reason why it might not. One of those has nothing to do with the other. How does someone adding information to an article create a reason for someone else to take a break from something different?
  • Also, to put those "active editor" numbers in a little perspective, of the 1143 admins who made at least one edit in the past 30 days, the average admin made 11-12 edits per day. Mr.Z-man 22:46, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Re: "The WP:RFA process is currently rejecting applicants at a rate of 50% or more. If WP were really desperate for admins, it would not have the luxury of rejecting so many applications". That does not follow. There are actually very few marginal RfAs, and the vast majority of the rejected applicants are nowhere near ready for admin, no matter how bad a shortage might exist - they might make good candidates some day in the future, but they're obvious NOTNOW and SNOW results. Rejecting them is not a luxury, it's a necessity. -- Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 15:53, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Maybe a better example for RFA being broken is how hard it is to persuade candidates that fit the RFA expectations to even run. Once quality candidates get to RFA, they're almost always treated well... but the reputation of the place makes getting them to go harder than a 16 seed beating a 1. Courcelles 22:04, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Yep, I definitely agree with that - there must be a lot of great candidates out there who are just too intimidated to run -- Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 20:16, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Especially due to the clarification above I'd oppose such an implementation. You kick all the experienced people out of a job that they have done (as a whole) well, and leave less experienced admins, like me, to do their jobs. Sure I could try to substitute Moonriddengirl at copyright concerns, but I wouldn't do as good a job, and Moonridden girl would still probably have more authority than me (in the eyes of the community ) if it turned into a conflict. NativeForeigner Talk/Contribs 04:17, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Without Moonriddengirl, the Foundation would probably be sued or at the least receive twice as many DMCA takedown notices... she's kind of awesome. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 08:36, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
  • So this whole thing is a really bad idea. If I take five controversial actions in __ years (whatever the limit would be), I'd be screwed in any reconfirmation because you and I both know there will be people who will (1) dig them up and (2) disagree with the action I took. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 08:36, 20 March 2011 (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.

Pending changes RFC

I know, everyone is sick of it. We're almost done. Phase three, the review/recommend phase is now up. It is a questionnaire you can fill out with any reply you want, without having to argue or read fifty thousand words before participating. We really want users who haven't yet participated to join in in this phase, along with everyone who participated in the first two phases. The more responses we get, the clearer consensus will (hopefully) be. It will only take a few minutes of your time so fill one out whenever you have a moment. Thanks! Beeblebrox (talk) 19:28, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

Given past experience would it be safe to assume that if this questionnaire does not produce the Right AnswerTM there will be yet more rounds of RFCs and trials and questionnaires? Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 19:57, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
If you really want users who haven't yet participated to join in in this phase then you need to provide a link when you invite them. I'm too busy trying to fix articles to spend my time looking for where this discussion might be. Phil Bridger (talk) 01:12, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
There seems to be some confusion over whether Phase 3 is ready to go: meanwhile we're in limbo with Phases 1 & 2 archived and Phase 3 "pending". Here's the link anyway WP:Pending_changes/Request_for_Comment_February_2011 Contains Mild Peril (talk) 11:54, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
WP:Pending_changes/Request_for_Comment_February_2011 is alive again with a proposal to remove pending changes protection from all articles in the short-term. Further phases are still under discussion. —UncleDouggie (talk) 13:22, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

Stop using cookies to log in to Wikipedia

Lately, when ever I have tried to log in to Wikipedia, I have had the message that some people have reported trouble logging in. This had not affected me at all until tonight, when I got the message that Wikipedia uses cookies to log in, and with cookies disabled, I had to enable them and try again. Well, my guess is that explains why people have reported trouble logging in (I was not sure how to enable cookies on this laptop - I use Google Chrome as my default browser, but I logged in tonight on Apple Safari when I did not get the same message. I know this is a proposal which should really go to technical proposals, but I don't feel knowledgeable enough about information technology to post it there, and also, I guess that more people read this feature than the proposals there - so, since this proposal could affect all Wikipedians, I am posting it here. My proposal is this - can we please stop using cookies to log in? I am prepared to be shot down by some one more computer-savvy than me, but I just thought I would pop the question! Thank you in advance for any help on this one - it just occurred to me that if we stopped using cookies to log in, a lot of people would cease to complain about having trouble logging in. ACEOREVIVED (talk) 00:37, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

Even when I have cookies enabled, I get this message sometimes. My fix is to just try again =P. Otherwise its probably a 1.17 bug. ManishEarthTalkStalk 01:09, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
This thread belongs here. I've kept a small section there. ManishEarthTalkStalk 01:12, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
The session cookie is the mechanism used to maintain the login context. Without it, users would not be able to make any edits as a logged in user. The browser has to provide something with every edit to identify the logged in user and the only mechanism available to do that is the cookie. —UncleDouggie (talk) 01:49, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
I've removed the VPT thread for that reason. Cookies are the only way Wikipedia knows what browser is what. If you don't supply a cookie, you'd have to enter your password on every edit. Session cookies are required to log in to log in to any site anywhere on the Internet (unless they use something esoteric like flash cookies, but let's not...). Prodego talk 04:10, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
In-URL session IDs are the only alternative to cookies that I know of. They result in fuglier URLs, have worse privacy implications, and wouldn't persist across browser sessions like cookies do. Cookies are so widely used and required that I don't think adding support for another mechanism would be worth the trouble or help any significant amount of users. --Cybercobra (talk) 04:59, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

The reason I posted the VPT thread was to ask why the bug is occurring at all. I'm posting at bugzilla. ManishEarthTalkStalk 12:11, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

bugzilla:28201 ManishEarthTalkStalk 12:15, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

Random Article

I have read through WP:PEREN and as far as I can tell this issue haunt been directly proposed yet. I have also searched through the archives of the pump and again as far as I can tell this issue has never been directly addressed.
I believe that there needs to be a way to tag something to not show up if you press the random article button on the side bar. I am saying this mostly for the point of censorship, I am not saying that the article be removed I am just saying make it so a 5 year old on Wikipedia can't hit the random article button and get something inappropriate for his age. I understand there are ways to go into setting to dis able pictures showing up but to do that you would have to know that the picture was on there in the first place. @ d \/\/ | | |Talk 11:42, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

WP:NOTCENSORED. I am also willing to bet my left kidney that 99.999% of all children visiting "inappropriate" pages on wikipedia do so because they actually searched for a specific term rather than with random article. Yoenit (talk) 12:14, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
I'm also willing to bet a child has a better chance at winning the lottery than they do at landing on an inappropriate page instead of some obscure stub article.AerobicFox (talk) 17:21, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
Every time I click on the "Random article" button, I get an unreferenced stub of questionable notability on some random person/band/town in India with a population of 19. Reaper Eternal (talk) 18:17, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
There is an ongoing discussion on adding content control features; see meta:2010 Wikimedia Study of Controversial Content: Part Two, especially the section User-Controlled Viewing Options. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 19:34, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
I did one time land on an article that would be inappropriate. Well for children. ~~Awsome EBE123 talkContribs 20:14, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
I understand that most of the time people don't end up on on, I am just saying it is possible. @ d \/\/ | | |Talk 21:26, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
There is a 1/141,167,095,653,376 chance that a child types in pedophilia by hitting random keys. Clearly we cannot prevent any possible way that a child could randomly access inappropriate content.AerobicFox (talk) 21:47, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
That's not what I mean, I think that you need to be able to tag an article to not show up if you click the random article button on the sidebar. @ d \/\/ | | |Talk 21:56, 18 March 2011 (UTC)


If - and i don't think we should restrict it at all - we put any restrictions they should be based either on date of creation (5+ days old to give chance for some stability), ranked at least start-class or list-class by one wikiproject (this would exclude stubs and articles completely outside wikiprojects) or give weighted priority to the average importance classifications (should they exist). Of course the latter changes the dynamic and its no longer truly random, but weighted mean towards encyclopedic importance.Jinnai 06:08, 19 March 2011 (UTC)

───────────────────────── Well, I suppose that would work, although I would personally object to that because that is how I find many of the articles I try to help out since there are so many "bad" or stub articles out there. @ d \/\/ | | |Talk 14:44, 19 March 2011 (UTC)

A paper and ink encyclopedia wouldn't have any mechanism for preventing this; any "inappropriate" material a child could come across would likely be discussed in a scientific or neutral way rather than in a pornographic or otherwise inflammatory sense; I don't think any significant harm would come from a child viewing an article on Wikipedia other than that they may learn something their parents--and other significant adults--wouldn't have expected, been prepared, for them to know, especially when factoring in the likelihood of coming across such a potentially "harmful" article by using Random article. Wikimedia has the board outline for controversial issues here. I think it would be beneficial to review it if considering a specific policy. Lord Arador 01:30, 26 March 2011 (UTC)

Project/Category for math markuping?

I'm not sure if this already exists, but a quick check didn't reveal anything interesting. I'd like to propose a framework for wider use of the <math> LaTeX syntax. By this, I mean:

  • A cleanup template for marking articles which have non-LaTex math (like this old rvn)
  • A category for the same
  • (maybe) A WikiProject for inserting/maintaining the math

I've seen quite a few pages which have normal text math, which makes it hard to understand and doesn't look as nice (compare the above example with the rvn where I've replaced the math, and The slightly meatier current revision).
Any comments? Thanks, ManishEarthTalkStalk 11:20, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

WP:MOSMATH and Help:Math deals with that. I would be against extensively changing inline maths to Latex as it can make the formatting look nasty, you can't always depend on \textstyle. You can get the same fonts using the {{math}} template for inline maths, e.g. see argument (complex analysis) which uses that and a couple of other templates. For <math> there is some work to try and give better support using javascript rather than MathML in Wikipedia, see WT:WPM#MathJax update which should hopefully remove some of the problems with it eventually. Dmcq (talk) 14:50, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, but is there a category for pages with inline math (and maybe a template for those pages where latex would help)? People doing cleanup in this area can choose to change to latex at their own discretion. ManishEarthTalkStalk 08:39, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
The TeX-to-HTML is badly broken (e.g.  ,  —there oughtn't to be a space after the first minus sign), and it has been that way for as long as I can remember, making me doubt that it'll be ever fixed. I normally prefer regular wikitext/HTML, using <math> tags only for indented equations, where I usually try to force the PNG rendering. --A. di M. (talk) 17:51, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

Note pad

What would be the support for adding a "note pad", where you could enter plain text (it would not have any wiki formatting, images, or anything). Basically, it would be a private little "TODO list" or whatever the editor wanted to use it for. As an idea for design, click on "Edit raw watchlist". Each editor would get ~10kb of space to use. (This may be amended to each editor with more than 100 edits to save disk space as 13,000,000 users each with 10kb = 130gb.) Reaper Eternal (talk) 20:18, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

Here (WP stuff only, please). Otherwise, use Google Docs. /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 21:10, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

Force edit summary usage for new users until they're autoconfirmed

I don't expect to get much support for this one. But I want to propose it anyway. I often see new accounts make big bold edits without leaving edit summaries, and I assume good faith of course, but I still don't know why they boldly removed that certain paragraph or sentence, or changed that date or statistic, or whatever. I don't know how many times I've had to leave an extended message on new users' talk pages explaining why they need to use edit summaries. Better to get them in the habit early, then once they get autoconfirmed they can have the option to turn it off. -- œ 09:29, 11 March 2011 (UTC)

I like it, can we set a trial to test this out? I think use of edit summaries would reduce the number of good faith edits reverted as vandalism. Yoenit (talk) 09:40, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
Agreed. I've often reverted silent deletions due to lack of an edit summary (they're indistinguishable from vandalism or POV-zealotry). Occasionally I've inferred "lack of references" as the reason and not reverted, but requiring an edit summary would significantly help in distinguishing nonconstructive deletions from good-faith ones. --Cybercobra (talk) 09:59, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
WP:PEREN#Automatically prompt for missing edit summary. (But I'm not sure I agree with the “[r]easons for previous rejection”: after all even most e-mail clients warn you if you're trying to sent a message with an empty subject line.) --A. di M. (talk) 11:35, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
Do we have evidence that this is even a true perennial proposal? It seems to have been added back in 2006 [4], but has it ever been the subject of discussions? Yoenit (talk) 12:07, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
What about turning on the prompt gadget by default? Kayau Voting IS evil 12:44, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
Right. The gadget is already there, but only registered users can turn it on in their preferences setting. If turned on, an attempted save of a summary-less edit does initially not succeed but instead displays a conspicuous warning banner: "Reminder: You have not provided an edit summary. If you click Save again, your edit will be saved without one." (See it at MediaWiki:Missingsummary.) Unregistered users and most new users don't get to see this, as it is turned off by default. Although enabling this by default is not exactly forcing unconfirmed users to use edit summaries, it most definitely will help encourage them to do so.  --Lambiam 14:02, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
Could we change the text to something like "Reminder: You have not provided an edit summary. Edit summaries help other users understand the intention of your edits. Please enter one before click Save again, or your edit will be saved without one."? I am afraid the default text is not really helpfull to a newbie and is more seen as annoying. Yoenit (talk) 14:27, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
I've put this proposal up at Wikipedia:MediaWiki messages#Proposed change for MediaWiki:Missingsummary. Please discuss it there.  --Lambiam 23:22, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
I'm definitely all for trying to get people to put in edit summaries and I haven't the foggiest why ips aren't prompted to do so. It should be like that by default. Dmcq (talk) 16:13, 11 March 2011 (UTC)

I really dislike this proposal. What are the new users supposed to do say they are for instance, just trying to get a piece of wiki code to work, or making minor edits. Forcing them to write a summary of everything they do seems like a hassle for new users.AerobicFox (talk) 17:27, 11 March 2011 (UTC)

I would weakly support a dismissible reminder for anons and new users (weakly because of AerobicFox's concerns), but I would oppose forcing users to provide one. Mr.Z-man 17:38, 11 March 2011 (UTC)

I've had other users ask me how to leave an edit summary before, so I do suspect that many just can't see the bar right above the "save page" button. How about we just move the edit summary above the edit box, make it some obnoxious color, and render "Edit summary (Briefly describe the changes you have made)" as "Edit summary (Briefly describe the changes you have made)" and/or (along Mr. Z-man's suggestion) if they try to save a page without putting an edit summary, a prompt comes up saying "are you sure you don't want other editors to understand what you're doing?" Ian.thomson (talk) 17:50, 11 March 2011 (UTC)

If you use an obnoxious colour then the message could use the same colour so they can easily spot where the place to insert a summary. Dmcq (talk) 13:13, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

I would oppose compulsary edit summaries. The last thing we need is another hoop for new users to jump through before they can edit. Support a reminder, which would leave it firmly in their hands while still encouraging them to use the tool and educating them about its use. Interesting to note that of the eleven of us involved in this discussion, only four used edit summaries on the first edit, and none on all of the first ten ([5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15]). Would it be right for us to force new users to do something that we failed to? Alzarian16 (talk) 13:27, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

Support the default reminder in article space for non auto-confirmed users. It's no great imposition and should reduce misunderstandings and possible summary reverts due to misjudging new editor's intentions, particularly if edit is not well formulated. It should also serve to highlight intentional disruption. RashersTierney (talk) 13:45, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

Oppose. As Alzarian helpfully pointed out this is not something we should hassle newbies about. I would be more tolerant of something along the lines of "congratulations on your 100th edit, may we now introduce you to the idea of the edit summary", but as for newbies I'm much more concerned about getting them to tell us their source. DE wiki has a referencing prompt and I would like that to be trialled here. ϢereSpielChequers 14:00, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

The last thing we need are more barriers, especially those requiring a degree of technical aptitude, to new editors contributing. Would not object to a dismissible prompt after 20 or so edits though along the lines of the comments by MuZemike and WSC above. Skomorokh 18:33, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

Much as I appreciate that this proposal was made with good intentions, I for one would quite strongly oppose it. Many newcomers to Wikipedia probably are just getting the hang of editing it, and are not even at the stage of thinking about edit summaries. My guess is that, every day, there are probably numerous edits which lack an edit summary which are perfectly good edits. This proposal does have shades of the perennial proposal (which seems unlikely to work - ever) of only allowing logged in registered users to edit Wikipedia. People who are new to Wikipedia are probably learning how to edit it before doing edit summaries - after all, one must crawl before one can walk. ACEOREVIVED (talk) 00:44, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

Well it seems to me the point is to help OTHERS recognize those good faith edits. The question of if newbies will be turned off by the summeries more than they are currently by their good faith edits being reverted (I've even seen plenty of seemingly good faith edits directly called vandalism...at least with an edit summery it's easy to tell if the reverter is in the wrong) ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 02:15, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

Oppose mandatory edit summaries, support default reminders. ACEOREVIVED said it best - "one must crawl before one can walk". Let's not give newbies more hoops to jump through by forcing them to write an edit summary before their edits can go through, but rather let's encourage them to provide summaries with friendly reminders and a brief explanation of the benefits of providing summaries. Aside from discouraging participation from new users, another potential drawback to requiring edit summaries is that some - who don't care to be bothered with providing a summary but want to see their edit(s) materialize - may be tempted to write nonsensical gibberish or some kind of wisecrack in the summary space just to satisfy the "write something" requirement. And, of course, such summaries would unhelpful and counterproductive, as they would likely seen by patrollers as a sign of vandalism when this may not be the case at all. No, better to focus on ways to more effectively encourage edit summaries. The ideas proposed above by Yoenit and Ian.thomson are very good ones that should be given strong consideration.--JayJasper (talk) 03:51, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

JayJasper, thank you for your comment. Your comment about another difficulty here being that if we force people to write an edit summary, they might start writing nonsense is well taken - I had not thought about that, but it is an excellent point! ACEOREVIVED (talk) 19:32, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

I think that a prompt for, but not enforced edit summary, is a brilliant idea. I have a terrible history of not giving edit summaries, and have only recently discovered the pref where I could ask for a prompt! Since when, I've begun to get into the habit without having to be prompted. Pesky (talk) 05:07, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Rename accounts blocked due to username violations and username blacklist

I am proposing that a user who was blocked due to a username policy violation should have the account renamed. Even if a username gets blocked in the current system, it still has some advertisement value if that's the reason, as it's still visible. The renaming should go with a common nomenclature. To prevent the offending username from appearing again, I also propose a blacklist of usernames that will be technically blocked from account registration.Jasper Deng (talk) 03:07, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

A very sensible and useful proposal that should be implemented. The whole point, after all, of blocking accounts for username violations is to to remove them from the view of other users, so why leave them visible even if they are no longer active? I cannot think of a downside or of any potential drawbacks to this proposal. Can anyone else?--JayJasper (talk) 04:04, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Strain on the servers, bureaucrat workload, title blacklist, and rename logs, to name a few. –xenotalk 14:32, 23 March 2011 (UTC)


Almost no one replied to this proposal that I think deserves more attention. I am proposing to rename usernameblock'd accounts with a common nomenclature and a username blacklist to prevent offending usernames from appearing again. Please comment with your ideas on this. The proposal is an earlier Village Pump thread (scroll up please)Jasper Deng (talk) 04:19, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

Here's a direct link for those who, like me, don't like to have to manually trawl thru the threads. --Cybercobra (talk) 05:01, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Sections merged. –xenotalk 14:34, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
  • This seems like too much work when the promotional value of such user pages is quite negligible to begin with. What exactly is the renaming scheme you propose? Perhaps making blocked user pages NOINDEX would be easier and about as effective? --Cybercobra (talk) 05:11, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
For example, we could use USERNAMEDELETED<insert a long hexadecimal # here>. The user accounts would still show up on Special:ListUSers. NoIndex does not help because generally only Wikipedians look at the user list.Jasper Deng (talk) 05:15, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
The "USERNAMEDELETED" proposal sounds like a simple, practical and effective solution. Having the accounts visible only on Special:ListUsers keeps a record of them for reference should the legitimate need for such arise. More importantly, it virtually eliminates the risk of readers and users inadvertently stumbling upon them while reading or editing WP, thus thwarting any "advertisement value" the offending names might hold by remaining visible in namespace and edit histories.--JayJasper (talk) 14:12, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Seems like a lot of work for little benefit. A username on Wikipedia has close to zero value as a promotion technique. Truly offensive usernames are regularly hidden or renamed, though. –xenotalk 14:29, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
That does not seem to be the case, like a user whose username was a blatant attack on Barack Obama. That account wasn't renamed.Jasper Deng (talk) 22:30, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
If most of the truly offensive usernames are being hidden or renamed, obviously that's a good thing. But clearly some are being missed, which is presumably the reason Jasper Deng made the proposal. If the proposed plan is too technically cumbersome, might be there a simpler way to ensure that blocked usernames get renamed (or hidden)? Would it be feasible to have a bot periodically scan for blocked names that have not been renamed and remain visible?--JayJasper (talk) 23:07, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
The proposal seems to be not only for offensive usernames (which I agree should be renamed or hidden as appropriate), but for usernames deemed promotional (which I do not think need to be acted on further if they are blocked for the same). –xenotalk 14:30, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
I once recently found a highly inappropriate account name; I emailed the bureaucrats (at Special:EmailUser/Bureaucrats), and a few hours later I got an email from one of them saying that the user was renamed and the rename log redacted. (Admins can still see the original name here - it isn't bad enough to require oversight-level hiding; if it did, I would have comtacted Oversight, not Bureaucrats). However, most problematic user names don't need this - merely preventing them from insertign their user names into page histories and sigs is enough. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 08:35, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
I think that we can trust our bureaucrats to recognise what is and what isn't that bad; if you ever find anything which you think is that bad, just inform the bureaucrats and let them decide. (Note that the bureaucrats are admins, and can redact the rename logs if necessary, too.) עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 08:46, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

French-style talk pages

I doubt I'm the first person to bring this up, but it's not in the perennial proposals. Why, oh, why are we not shading our talk page discussions like they do on French Wikipedia? I think that making each level of indent a different shade makes it far easier to see who is replying to whom. You can see an example of this on French Wikipedia's main page's talk page here, just scroll down past the information boxes. —Arctic Gnome (talkcontribs) 00:40, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

The code is ugly and it breaks a ton of other stuff, anywhere there is a ":". --theMONO 03:24, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
Ugh that is hideous. I thought the French were supposed to have a good sense of aesthetics. —SW— confabulate 04:54, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
It's probably better than LiquidThreads... MER-C 04:57, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Who cares about the aesthetics? Speaking of the general idea rather than the particular design and color scheme used there necessarily, I like it. Some more subtle version of similar shading would help show the flow of discussion on a talk page. Regardless of it looking "hideous" it does seem easier to follow threads there than here. And if someone says LiquidThreads is coming soon so this discussion is moot, I will physically hurt them. Equazcion (talk) 05:01, 21 Mar 2011 (UTC)

We could try it as a Gadget, if someone is willing to code one which doesn't break too much. Rd232 talk 08:57, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

We had a discussion on this a while back. I tried the CSS for a while, but did not see any advantages. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 10:29, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
  • I can barely make out the colour (Dell monitor, Firefox browser), but when looking closely I couldn't quite see the advantage. SilkTork *YES! 10:32, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
Maybe it would get people to actually use threading again, though. Nowadays people seem to prefer to communicate in bullet points around here. (ec: See above :) ) --Conti| 10:34, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
I don't think there's anything wrong with bullets... Kayau Voting IS evil 14:55, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

We'll have a much better discussion system when LiquidThreads comes out. It's in testing mode (The labs wiki is closed now). It allows you to watch individual threads, and looks better, too. For an example, see mw:Project:Current_issues (LT is deployed on Mediawiki.org and on the strategy wiki) ManishEarthTalkStalk 13:34, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

No LQT. Please no. It goes against why I love plain old MediaWiki—no fancy frontend interfaces that complicate everything. It's hard to navigate through individual pages of threads when you don't want to see them in a chat-like interface. /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 15:04, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
Are you kidding? Standard Wikimarkup is complicated for anyone not used to programming or CLI interfaces. I'll be glad when LQT takes over. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 20:47, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
Those of a geekier and/or more experienced disposition could adapt to anything; I'm more concerned about what's easiest for newbies and those daunted by editing wikipedia. bobrayner (talk) 16:10, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

I have been using this code for months and it is awesome. Absolutely worth changing a few templates that use ":" for; it also has accessibility benefits. I proposed this earlier as well; could we at least make it a gadget? /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 15:02, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

The intended effect could be reached with less obtrusive thin grey vertical lines that you can follow upwards to see which earlier comment a given comment is in response to – if the editor responsible for the later comment has properly followed the indentation conventions, which not everybody always does.  --Lambiam 15:26, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
More people would reply correctly if it were more obvious when they did it erroneously, as some graphical cue like this would seem to aid in doing. Equazcion (talk) 15:45, 21 Mar 2011 (UTC)
Previous discussions:
The CSS is now at User:Gadget850/talkhighlight.css. You can test it by importing it to Special:MyPage/skin.js:
importStylesheet('User:Gadget850/talkhighlight.css'); // Linkback: [[User:Gadget850/talkhighlight.css]]
---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 16:52, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
  • It looks very, very nasty. It adds a load of un-necessary HTML to pages. And it's perfectly easy to notice that
    this line
    is not as indented as
    this line
  • even without exciting fancy colours all over the place. ╟─TreasuryTagduumvirate─╢ 09:43, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
    Huh? doesn't it work by just changing the CSS? --A. di M. (talk) 17:56, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
It's easy to see that one is more indented than the last, sure, but how do to tell who is replying to whom when so many people just make their comment one level more indented than the last comment regardless of to whom they are replying? Most people don't make a second reply to the same comment the same level of indentation as the first reply because it looks too much like one long paragraph. —Arctic Gnome (talkcontribs) 04:54, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
I like this, especially for the reason given by Equazcion at 15:45, 21 Mar 2011 (UTC). --A. di M. (talk) 17:59, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

It seems unnecessary to me and I am worried that it might make long talk pages even slower to load. Apart from that I don't mind it. Unlike Liquid Threads it's not likely to drive me off Wikipedia if implemented. Hans Adler 18:19, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

AFAICT it doesn't change the HTML of the talk pages themselves in any way, it just adds about half a kilobyte of stuff to the (already ginormous) style sheet. --A. di M. (talk) 19:04, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

I'm surprised that so many people think that it's ugly, I think it looks alright, although I would be fine with a redesigned version. I just want it to be more clear who is replying to whom. To many conversations make each reply one level more indented than the previous comment even when they are not replying to that person's comment. It would be nice to at least have a gadget that did this. —Arctic Gnome (talkcontribs) 04:54, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Username Change

Instead of a Username block, we could force a username change. We do not like force but we Request for that the user changes his/her username. We block all editing exempt for username change if the user hesitates to change the username himself. If the user has email, we email the requested username change. ~~Awesome EBE123 talkContribs 22:51, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

It'll be hard to do this technically though the idea itself is perfect.Jasper Deng (talk) 22:56, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Blocking all edits until the user requests a new name is the whole idea of a username block. I will note that renaming users can only be done by wp:Bureaucrats, it is not something the user can do himself. Yoenit (talk) 23:08, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
I don't see why it'd be that hard to do technically. The only table you'd have to update is the users table. It'd be just be a matter of adding another column to the users table or possibly working it in with the block table. @Yoenit that is exactly what the proposal is, to allow users to change their own name if allowed instead of just blocking the user. --nn123645 (talk) 01:01, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
And if the user just renames themselves to something else inappropriate? I really don't see any significant benefit here over how things currently work. Mr.Z-man 05:15, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
Well, there is a category for users needing username change for bureaucrats. When there is the Username Block template, it will add the category. Also, the user will indicate the new username. ~~Awesome EBE123 talkContribs 18:33, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
Not if they decide that they don't want to contribute to a project where they are blocked without warning or without being giving time to respond to a warning about their username (see also WP:BITE). –xenotalk 18:36, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

We will not accept other inappropriate usernames. We will notify the user of the username policy. Also, I didn't see admins that especially use the Wikipedia:Username policy#Dealing with inappropriate usernames. I saw it some times, not that much though. Oh, the bureaucrats that don't want to contribute wouldn't be changing any usernames at all. Also, it will be inside Wikipedia:Changing username. ~~Awesome EBE123 talkContribs 18:45, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

The username policy was recently clarified on this point. We still have a few people who haven't gotten the memo (NB that nobody, no matter how determined, can keep up with every policy change on Wikipedia). In some cases, persistent editors complain to UAA, get told that the name is not a violation, then move on to COIN and demand that the editor be sanctioned, get turned down, and keep going. These complaints are usually over trivial things, e.g., a username that includes a reference to an iPod (there are at least half a dozen of these).
With this policy, the community wants to stop two kinds of abuse: Direct advertising (think User:Buy from Microsoft.com today! and article ownership (think "but I'm User:Microsoft's VP of Marketing, so I have special inside knowledge of the Truth™, and therefore I don't need to provide reliable sources"). The policy actually hurts us in trying to stop the third kind of abuse: by requiring generic usernames, we make it harder to spot people with a COI, and therefore they will get less scrutiny for abusing their COI.
In general, the goal is to have the fewest number of blocks necessary to stop abuse. I think we're moving in the right direction, and eventually, as people learn more about the recently clarified standards, practice will even out a bit more. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:11, 26 March 2011 (UTC)

Testing on MediaWiki:Fancycaptcha-createaccount

Hello,

As I continue my work with the Account Creation Improvement Project, I have taken a longer look at MediaWiki:Fancycaptcha-createaccount and its talk page to see how we can improve it. I would like to test a few things, so I wanted to give you a heads up. More information here.//Hannibal (talk) 23:57, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

New CSD group

There could be a new type of CSD with is for unremarkable chemicals. There is tons of them and not that many of them are notable. So how about making it a new CSD. ~~EBE123~~ talkContribs 21:09, 26 March 2011 (UTC)

  • Per WP:NOTCSD, notability is (for good reason) not a criterion for speedy deletion. --Kinu t/c 21:22, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
  • As a chemistry undergraduate, I actually find that a good number of the chemical articles I need haven't been created yet. As I've slogged through the three years so far of my course, I've found that the articles on niche (but still existent and studied) chemicals that my tutors use in problem sets start to get rather thin on the ground. If anything, Wikipedia needs more chemical articles. I think most editors probably have their pet "too much of this" category (sportspeople, bands, animal species, villages in Poland) but let's not forget that Wikipedia isn't paper-based; there's plenty of room for everyone's interests. Brammers (talk/c) 11:18, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
  • what they said.
    — V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 18:24, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
I'd recommend that you take many of these to individual AfD discussions (probably not more than 20 a day); if most of these end up getting deleted, then discuss this at WT:CSD. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 08:24, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
You might want to visit WT:CHEM, where editors interested in chemicals and chemistry can help sort through the articles, perhaps improving some of the poor ones. They (okay, we:) might also be able to find a pattern to a bunch of the bad ones, so maybe could bulk-nom a bunch. Going the other way, we'd love to have people improve or write new articles on special compounds of interest. If a structure is a particularly good example of a certain set of compounds, or has particular chemical/biological properties worth mentioning in a class, or is an important teaching example of a certain classic reaction, maybe you could help those students in future years find more info here? DMacks (talk) 21:08, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
There are dozens, if not hundreds, of scientific journals about chemistry and related fields, some with publishing history going back over a hundred years. I would be very surprised to see a chemical compound that we have an article for that doesn't have a journal article covering it. Mr.Z-man 01:39, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
Why CSD? Why not WP:PROD? Is it hugely important to have it deleted today or tomorrow, rather than next week? WP:There is no deadline applies to deletion processes, too. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:52, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

edit summary should be required

Making the edit summary a required entry should make ip-edits more useful. Hpvpp (talk) 00:58, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Already being discussed above, see #Force edit summary usage for new users until they're autoconfirmed GB fan (talk) 01:44, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, I should have been clearer. The change is aimed at ip-editors so that other editors can more easily tell if they were in good faith. See also the post by Melodia Chaconne above which I copy here for convenience.
Well it seems to me the point is to help OTHERS recognize those good faith edits. The question of if newbies will be turned off by the summeries more than they are currently by their good faith edits being reverted (I've even seen plenty of seemingly good faith edits directly called vandalism...at least with an edit summery it's easy to tell if the reverter is in the wrong)
Note the point that newbies (and thus ip's) can be turned off by having their edits reverted. Hpvpp (talk) 02:05, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
This will not make edits by anons "more useful", it will just make vandalism easier to spot. The quality of an edit is not related to the edit summary. Like the other proposal, the real goal is to make things easier for vandalism patrollers at the expense of making learning how to edit even more difficult. The benefit for new users is dubious at best. Mr.Z-man 05:53, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
Please see WP:PEREN for the usual list of reasons why this proposal has been previously rejected. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:58, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

Unfree media copyright expiry

I've seen a number of nice images disappear because of copyright problems. Nothing wrong with that of course. What I'd like though is for those which are deleted for that reason to be marked with a date when the copyright expires whether it is 3 years 30 or 90 or whatever. And Wikipedia should take care to try and not permanently delete them and revive them when the time is up. I know it will be a different world in 30 years time but even trying to keep them and having a mark on saying when they are okay would make it much easier to make sure they are not used in between and then come back alive at the end. Dmcq (talk) 12:41, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

You've already begun a discussion on this on WP:VPP. Please don't split conversations among different notice boards, as it makes it much more difficult to judge consensus. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 22:46, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
A question was asked there as an add on to another discussion there. This is the appropriate place to make a proposal, I'm making a proposal now so I would prefer the talk to be here. There was no proposal there and what would be the point of a consensus there? Dmcq (talk) 22:57, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Okay I see at that other place that someone has raised something that would be a blocker if true. I guess that better be thrashed out before starting on a proposal. Dmcq (talk) 23:10, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

My point exactly: don't start a conversation at two places, because it's counter-productive. Wait until the VPP discussion is closed, then if you have a working proposal, bring it up here. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 17:34, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

MOS : Flags

There seems to be (imo, very dangerous) attempt to wipe away the entire MOS on flag icons by a small number of editors. I think this needs far, far wider attention (with proposals, amendments, discussion, vote, the lot) - and would like to know how the community can be made aware of these changes (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Village_pump_(policy)#MOS:FLAG ) doktorb wordsdeeds 17:33, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Implementing real time new editor assistance into Wikipedia

Like everyone else these days, I have been thinking recently about how Wikipedia can solve the problems of editor growth and retention. It struck me that what Wikipedia currently lacks is true, on-wiki real time editing assistance for new editors. I think this is unfortunate, because speaking with someone in real time is usually much more engaging than receiving a template on your talk page, no matter how pleasant. I'm aware of the IRC channels, but many (most?) of the non-professional, non-geeky people we are most trying to attract and retain right now don't use IRC regularly and probably don't even have an IRC client on their computer. There are also things like Wikipedia:Editor Assistance, Wikipedia:Help Desk, and Template:Help me. However, very new editors are not likely to know about them, and some will not want to bother using them. Real time chat is right there, no setup required, and most people know what it is and how to use it without any specific Wikipedia training.

So, my proposal is that we embed a kind of real time chat room into the MediaWiki software that is exclusively for new editor assistance. To be clear, this is NOT a proposal that Wikipedia become a social network or a forum for general, off topic conversation, both of which I strongly oppose. The chat would need to be moderated in some way with off topic users removed. This proposal also does not suggest that everyone would need to be in this chat and receive messages. Users should have the ability to go invisible or disable the chat function entirely in their preferences. Most likely, only new users and those willing to help them would spend any time in it at all.

I know that I am proposing the addition of a functionality that does not yet exist in MediaWiki. There would obviously be programming to do. However, since many websites have this type of functionality, it seems like it would be possible to create here. I’m just trying to gauge the community’s feeling on pursuing any form of real time communication beyond what we have now, because I think it would bring benefits to community health if implemented correctly.--Danaman5 (talk) 13:11, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

We have that. It's called #wikipedia-en on freenode. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 13:37, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
In addition, freenode implements a web-based IRC client, qwebirc (link), which is linked from WP:HELP. SpitfireTally-ho! 13:41, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
As I said in the proposal above, not everyone uses IRC or even knows what it is. Their computer might not be able to run it without installing additional software, and they might leave before going to WP:HELP. When I clicked on the link that Headbomb provided just now in Google Chrome, it did not bring me to a chat window. There are quite a few non-technically minded users who will not search for a way to open an IRC channel for a website to which they have not yet become attached. If we want to attract and retain those users, we need something more immediate and more simple. If nothing else, we should make the link to that web based IRC chat page that Spitfire referenced visible on every page.--Danaman5 (talk) 13:48, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
As he said, IRC is for geeks. Adapting his idea, I think we should have something like Reference desk to facilitate new users' wiki editing. I remember spending two hours figuring why my first article Binet equation look so ugly like below, in contrast to other pages
   Binet equation is the orbital equation for central force motion in plane polar coordinates.
   Its form is  (  , )
   It's obvious that when F is an inverse-square force field,the equation will be simplified into a linear ODE ...
I don't know what kept me trying, but that feeling of helplessness definitely would scare off a lot of other potential editors.--Netheril96 (talk) 14:01, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
My concern with a reference desk type idea is that it would require the new user to post a new section on a page somewhere, and they might not find the page or understand how to post on it initially. We have to see things from the perspective of a non-technical user here. I guess what I'm thinking of is a chat functionality that has sort of the style of the Gmail chat, for those who have used that, in the sense that it is right there floating on the page with you. Simple, immediate, with no searching around or additional expertise necessary. I appreciate this idea, though; a reference desk type page would be a good place to direct people for instruction on more complex features like math syntax, but I think that it should begin with the chat.--Danaman5 (talk) 14:09, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
My concern with such a chat is that it'd need to be monitored. You just know all the /b-tards would swarm it, along with folks looking to argue various fringe-theories and ethnic/cultural debates. It's bad enough trying to keep the trolls off Wikipedia itself. Live chat would be a nightmare. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 17:40, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
Many of the people that visit #wikipedia-en-help in search of assistance have never used IRC before. They get there through the numerous webchat links around the help pages. KFP counted around 40 people getting help in that channel during the last 24 hours (looking through his logs). It's a valuable tool and it is monitored by many, many people (including Freenode staff) so the threat of trolls/spammers isn't something to be worried about too much. Killiondude (talk) 17:57, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

(outdent) I've just been informed that this idea is already under consideration. See the Outreach Wiki page. This looks like a good proposal, but I don't know how much planning or programming has occurred. It's worth publicizing it again here on Wikipedia, so that maybe we can get the ball rolling on it.--Danaman5 (talk) 02:22, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

Change color of redlinks

I don't know if this really is the right place to ask this, but I hope it is. Is it possible to change the color of Wikipedias redlinks? I am not proposing making them green or something. However (at least on my screen) the redlinks are hardly distinguishible from unwikilinked words. Blue links are unproblematic, as the contrast is sharper. Also I don't know if it is only an issue of my own display. But if it is not, I would suggest to use a lighter tone of red for the redlinks. Toshio Yamaguchi (talk) 19:16, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

For most of us they're fairly distinct, since red is a rather bold colour (note that dark red stubs or visited redlinks may not be as distinctively red). You can change the colour of redlinks in your css at User:Toshio Yamaguchi/vector.css according to the directions at Wikipedia:Link_color#Making_links_appear_a_different_color_just_for_you. Dcoetzee 20:49, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

Render Wikipedia in ROT13 by default

April 1 is over.
 
This is an April Fool's proposal

Alternatively, we could invert lowercase and uppercase.

In ROT13, the first few sentences of quark

A quark is an elementary particle and a fundamental constituent of matter. Quarks combine to form composite particles called hadrons, the most stable of which are protons and neutrons, the components of atomic nuclei. Due to a phenomenon known as color confinement, quarks are never found in isolation; they can only be found within hadrons. For this reason, much of what is known about quarks has been drawn from observations of the hadrons themselves.

would read as

N dhnex vf na ryrzragnel cnegvpyr naq n shaqnzragny pbafgvghrag bs znggre. Dhnexf pbzovar gb sbez pbzcbfvgr cnegvpyrf pnyyrq unqebaf, gur zbfg fgnoyr bs juvpu ner cebgbaf naq arhgebaf, gur pbzcbaragf bs ngbzvp ahpyrv. Qhr gb n curabzraba xabja nf pbybe pbasvarzrag, dhnexf ner arire sbhaq va vfbyngvba; gurl pna bayl or sbhaq jvguva unqebaf. Sbe guvf ernfba, zhpu bs jung vf xabja nobhg dhnexf unf orra qenja sebz bofreingvbaf bs gur unqebaf gurzfryirf.

We could also give the readers the option to combined both ROT13 and inverted casing.

n DHNEX VF NA RYRZRAGNEL CNEGVPYR NAQ N SHAQNZRAGNY PBAFGVGHRAG BS ZNGGRE. dHNEXF PBZOVAR GB SBEZ PBZCBFVGR CNEGVPYRF PNYYRQ UNQEBAF, GUR ZBFG FGNOYR BS JUVPU NER CEBGBAF NAQ ARHGEBAF, GUR PBZCBARAG BS NGBZVP AHPYRV. qHR GB N CURABZRABA XABJA NF PBYBE PBASVARZRAG, DHNEXF NER ARIRE SBHAQ VA VFBYNGVBA; GURL PNA BAYL OR SBHAQ JVGUVA UNQEBAF. sBE GUVF ERNFBA, ZHPU BS JUNG VF XABJA NOBHG DHNEXF UNF ORRA QENJA SEBZ BOFREINGVBAF BS GUR UNQEBAF GURZFRYIRF.

This feature as been missing from Wikipedia for the longest of times, so to compensate I think we should enable it by default for everyone. It's in fact much better than pending revisions since vandals would probably think they've won, and they would leave us alone. Plus, Daniel Brandt couldn't complain if he can't read what we write about him. Users who don't like this could send an email to the Wikimedia technical staff to opt-out (or contact them directly in #wikimedia-tech). I spoke to a few guys and this wouldn't break vector or monobook.

Consensus should be pretty resounding for this, but since process is important, we should conduct a quick poll for all of today (ending at 23:59, 1 April 2011(UTC)), after which we can file the bugzilla request. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 08:12, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

  • Support first. Excellent way to deter vandalism, as they will get confused and leave. Oppose CAPS though; should only enable that for Caps Lock day. —  HELLKNOWZ  ▎TALK 08:18, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose for procedural reasons. I don't think this proposal is ripe for voting, or even !voting. See WP:POLLS. You have not addressed what to do with non-standard characters. For example, should "Brontë" become "Oebagë" or "Oebagr̈ "? Neither is really satisfactory. Even worse: what do we do about "α-decay"? Hans Adler 08:37, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
Well ë would become r̈ yeah. ROT13 the base character and keep the diacritics. α-decay would become ξ-qrpnl (α ROT13 ξ in Greek, and decayROT13 is qrpnl in latin). Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 08:53, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
With this clarification, strongly oppose. The Greek alphabet has only 24 letters, so we should certainly use ROT12 for the Greek parts of Wikipedia. ROT13 is not self-reversing, which is absolutely critical to safe algorithmic space in our users' brains. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 09:02, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Fhccbeg, V qba'g haqrefgnaq jul guvf unf abg orra qbar rneyvre --Nfvyi (gnyx) 08:43, 1 Ncevy 2011 (HGP)
  • Yellow. ROT-13 may actually make ArbCom evidence pages make sense. I don't think that's a good idea. I prefer the clusterf*ck model which has served us well so far. Anyway Rot 13 is for the rotationists, and I'm a stationist. Down with rotationists. Always spinning. We're supposed to supply the sum of the world's knowledge, not its radial velocity. Stick to what we have, no matter what. That's my motto. (And that's what my motto will stay). Ocaasi c 08:52, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment GIXTL FACQN NLUMW
WVYPK PGNRF MSSOE YMVCR IRLZS GGSCV TUGDH DREGH VAEPM JXDIU OKIHK HSIGY XOCVQ PKSGT BIGGM ZLCAJ KUKJY JLWFN YTQZZ LOZVI WJGXS EHUIZ MFJSJ XUKZI WGLPD SBOSN EBXQE PENBA GIALZ ZJFGQ DBBTO CXZKF GWCAX WJXUQ CBNDB UQQOL NFGZT --agr (talk) 10:26, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Support with modification a single iteration of a cipher isn't as good as multiple iterations of it - after all, DES has been replaced with 3DES. Therefore we should use 2ROT13 instead of ROT13. I'm pretty sure this will be easier to implement technically, and will still achieve the end result of confusing people. Hut 8.5 11:52, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
    I support this modified proposal, and in the spirit of WP:BOLD have implemented it.-gadfium 21:34, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Support This is, of course, the best idea ever. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 13:43, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Support—I've been using 128ROT13 in all of my communications for years; I can't imagine how anyone could possibly ignore a basic requirement for encryption. {{Nihiltres|talk|edits|}} 15:32, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Support, but only for English text. Greek should be rendered in ROT12 and Russian in ROT16​12. 28bytes (talk) 16:44, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
    • Could you give some examples of how Russian should be rendered? --Carnildo (talk) 01:42, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Support since this is better for us to read. Frozen Windwant to be chilly? 21:02, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose since the proposal to use ROT13 was launched on a Friday, which seems like bad karma. Rd232 talk 21:47, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose Support. According to a report issued just today, WP does not need this right now, although it is possible that it may be worth considering in the future. The report implies that it may take quite a while for something to be done about this and that it could be years before some action is revisited. Setting aside the countless practical obstacles and the prohibitive expense, WE (Wikipedia Editors) just don't know enough about this to justify the time and expense to move forward at the present time. Editors in nearly every field, including economics, entertainment, pharmocology, Randian philosophy, macrobiotic nutrition, finance, robotics, oncology and animal husbandry concurred with the report. The consensus seems to be that now is not the time and WE are just not ready for this yet. WE may be getting ahead of ourselves by even talking about it. Buster Seven Talk 22:34, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Support --but only if I can just mash on my keyboard and pretend its still a translation.--Yaksar (let's chat) 22:43, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

Proposal

April 1 is over
 
This is an April Fool's proposal

I propose a weight restriction of 150 kilograms (330 lb) be placed on all new editors after April 1st, 2011. This weight restriction would include not only clothes, food items, kitchen ware and furniture but also the physical bulk of the named editor. A grace period of 14 days may be granted for weight-loss and/or the sale of goods. Should the editor in question still exceed the presCribed limitations after the 2 week grace period, the account will be transferred to Encyclopedia Brittanica where bloating is permitted.

  • support as nominator...Buster Seven Talk 13:29, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose—this would greatly reduce Wikipedia's impact in the wider world. {{Nihiltres|talk|edits|}} 15:29, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Too weighty. --Izno (talk) 17:25, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
  • support because this means that ten pounds isn't too much. I like that. Ten Pound Hammer, his otters and a clue-bat • (Otters want attention) 22:00, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Because weight is a function of gravity and, therefore, one's location, it could have unintended systemic bias effects. Though I'm sure, if this were to pass, Wikipedians on the moon would be jumping for joy, and those on Jupiter would be crushed. —C.Fred (talk) 22:41, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

Notice of RFC re trial project which allows any editor to remove new articles from mainspace for incubation

See RFC and discussion here. Regards, TRANSPORTERMAN (TALK) 14:13, 1 April 2011 (UTC) PS: Not an April Fool's gag.

Fix Wikipedia for new users

Regardless of whether it's true or not, the world believes that Wikipedia hates new users. New users see WP:NPP and WP:AFD as places to get eaten alive. On the other side, the dedicated users at NPP and AFD are overworked and tired of being attacked for doing their job. So why not just fix the damn problem? Just have everything start out in the garbage can.

You could combine WP:AFC and the WP:INCUBATOR with NPP and some of AFD. Other Wikipedias are already doing this. New articles would start out in an AFC area that is out of sight and non-indexed. The role of NPP would change from tagging articles to promoting articles to main space.

A bot could periodically go through and delete articles that aren't suitable for main space after some period of time. A note could say All articles are deleted after # days if they don't graduate to main space so that new users knew where they stood right at the beginning. This would have several benefits.

  • New users would be encouraged to learn how to create good articles
  • New users would view NPPers as heroes instead of villains
  • This would reduce the workload at WP:CSD, WP:AFD and WP:PROD
  • This would make Wikipedia seem much more friendly to new users.

From a certain point of view, this is just an expansion of WP:AFC, so I can't really see why anybody would object to this. But being that I'm just an IP, I'm ready for a whole bunch of objections. Here are some suggestions; we're not the (fill in the blank) Wikipedia and my all time favorite we can't have garbage sitting on Wikipedia forever. 64.40.61.45 (talk) 17:11, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

Hi, this issue and possible solutions are actually being discussed right now here: Wikipedia:Village_pump_(miscellaneous)#We_need_more_New_Page_Patrollers. Come join the discussion :-) --Physics is all gnomes (talk) 17:17, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
As a veteran editor of Wikipedia, I think this proposal is a great idea. Perhaps even a long overdue one. Indeed, it would encourage more participation from new users as well as improve the quality of their contributions. I will do what I can to help bring the proposal to fruition, as I believe it would bring much benefit to WP, in its content as well as its public image.--JayJasper (talk) 17:31, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
Great idea, but most inclusionists will throw a fit about it, so you'll never get the broad support you'd need to get it enacted. —SW— gab 18:09, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
Do they? so far support has been pretty strong. If combined with a redesign of AFC as described by the IP above it think it has a shot. Yoenit (talk) 23:43, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
I consider myself something of an inclusionist, and think it definitely has a shot. It should appeal to inclusionists and deletionists alike, as it would likely reduce the creations of decidedly unencyclopedic articles and increase the number of encyclopedia-worthy content.--JayJasper (talk) 04:02, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
I consider myself a deletionist, and one of the reasons I like this proposal is that it would eliminate much of the confrontation that raise the ire of both sides. In a system such as that being proposed, the interactions between inclusionists and deletionists would mostly be collaborative in assisting new editors write quality articles, rather than the "Us vs. Them" nature of AfD. I also feel that this proposal addresses many of my concerns which lead me to adopt deletionist views: the fact that a great number of people think that since we are "The encyclopedia that anyone can edit", that we're inherently unreliable. I strongly feel that the existence, in mainspace, of poor quality articles is a severe detriment to our credibility(for further reading, see Meta:Immediatism). RadManCF open frequency 17:18, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
Presumably experienced users would not need to go through such a process to create articles. If so, how do you decide when a user is experienced enough that they can just create articles in the main domain? And if users at a certain level do not need to have their articles pass through this process, then does that mean their articles will not be patrolled at all?AerobicFox (talk) 04:22, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
I really like this idea! ("combine WP:AFC and the WP:INCUBATOR with NPP and some of AFD.") I hope to see it refined, more broadly discussed, and one day, implemented. I believe this would be a much more positive way of expanding Wikipedia coverage of topics over time, with less bad baggage as exists today. N2e (talk) 18:26, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

If we make AfC mandatory for all new users then there won't be a need for the Incubator. And we should do that because it promotes helping people write articles without blindly tagging them a minute after creation. /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 21:45, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

Won't AFC need to be patrolled as well though? If new users keep creating stubs, and then abandoning them immediately after then we could end up with a huge backlog of stubs that will never be worked on. Similarly, articles that fundamentally will never have notability would have to be deleted as well. Should we let a new user keep working on an article in AFC if it will never be able to be moved to the mainspace? The problems with speedy deletion and PRODDing of articles by new users would still have to continue.AerobicFox (talk) 23:11, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
Obviously, we'll still need a dedicated team of reviewers at AfC (we do now, actually: CAT:AFC anyone?). I don't see any problem with changing AfC slightly so that all obviously inappropriate articles are deleted after a short time (attack pages immediately, spam after a day or two, non-notable bios after a few days, etc.) and leaving the rest for, say, two months, before they are deleted? As the pages won't be immediately in the mainspace, we can easily give users more time without ravenous patrollers looking to scourge Special:NewPages of anything less-than-perfect. If the creators are informed of the set times before creation and after their article has been declined, there no be no real problem. (I'm thinking of this as less of an incubation thing and more of a "start your article here and we'll tell you what you need to work on still" proposal; incubation never worked well because people abandoned stuff there and no one from the community helped improve it, and their deletion guidelines were fairly unclear as well.) /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 23:44, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
It won't happen. The project is already chronically short of volunteers in key areas. To assume that there are loads of editors chomping at the bit to expand and source the number of poor articles that are created every day is pie in the sky. Malleus Fatuorum 00:00, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Pie in the sky indeed. As for this comment "ravenous patrollers looking to scourge Special:NewPages of anything less-than-perfect.", do you realize that new page is almost completely handled by two or three users? New page patrollers are extremely overworked and know that if something doesn't get tagged or deleted by them that they will then go unchecked as after awhile all unpatrolled pages loose their unpatrolled status automatically(otherwise their would just be a ridiculous backlog). Most new users just make a stub, and leave. Why not just get volunteers to help new users with their new articles, or force IP's to use the article wizard? Get some people to patrol new pages and add references, correct wiki text, and help out new users, etc.AerobicFox (talk) 04:43, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Hmmm, the article wizard idea suggested by AerobicFox has merit. Perhaps it would be simpler to require all noncomfirmed users to use the article wizard before creating an article. For that matter, maybe it should be required of all users before making their first page creation outside of user or talk space. I believe that doing so would accomplish many if not all of the objectives stated by the proposer and would be less cumbersome for all involved.--JayJasper (talk) 14:28, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
I'd like to see AfD use some nomination templates that are more language neutral. Too many nominations seem spiteful or petty, being based on personal biases or beliefs. These can also violate WP:BITE. The large majority of nominations can be handled by just a few templates cases.—RJH (talk) 22:35, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
1. Summary of the topic
2. Reason why the topic is notable
3. Reference to a credible source about the topic

That is a simple list that almost everyone can understand. But when we show them the full list of things they need to know, including all the policies, the manual of style, the correct way to contact people, wikiformatting, etc, it is for sure a daunting task. And to sort out the super-important from the things that are simply important or trivial, is not something most people have the time to do. But to return to the question at hand: I don't envy those that patrol the new pages, and I have the highest regard for them, so can we help them in some way by making sure that the newcomers at least have a fighting chance of understanding what the important rules are - perhaps when they create their accounts? Let me know - and add your thoughts on the list of assumptions. Best wishes//Hannibal (talk) 11:44, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

Rather than try to teach them to do something difficult, why not encourage them to do something easier? Creating a passable new article is one of the hardest editing tasks. Learning how to do something by reading is slow, boring, and for many people ineffectual. Rather than trying to spoon-feed them every single skill they need at once or distill it down to something that in practice won't actually be that helpful, users should be encouraged to learn the necessary skills in a hand-on way, by editing existing articles. Mr.Z-man 13:29, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedians don't just create articles. There's lots of other work which new users get involved in - usually within the confines of existing articles. We should bear that in mind. bobrayner (talk) 16:15, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

I think that this is a very good idea, and feel that its worth pointing out that, at this RFC, a number of editors expressed the same sentiment. RadManCF open frequency 16:59, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

I do wonder about the point made by Malleus Fatuorum, that there would be shortage of editors available to assist in the operation of the new process. I would think that editors currently working in NPP would be able to repurpose themselves, but I may be wrong. RadManCF open frequency 17:07, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Some points to ponder based on comments and suggestions in the above thread:

  • Malleus hits the nail on the head (again). I do a lot of new page patrolling, and stop to ad cats, stub tags, move misspelt page names, check out any dubious refs, check the edit history for previous deletions, check the creator for previous blocks and warnings, and put project banners on the talk pages. However, I see myself under no obligation whatsoever to otherwise repair or expand the work of lazy editors and mass stub crators who can't be bothered to read even the simplest article creation instructions.
  • A recent research has shown that it is precisley new editors who go straight for working at WP:NPP with very little knowledge and experience, and who have not read NPP guidelines or WP:DELETION. Pages get tagged that shouldn't be, pages get passed that shouldn't be, and vandal pages, hoaxes, and attack pages that should be deleted immeditely get tagged A7 and remain live for hours until noticed by more experienced editor or and admin.
  • NPP is the one fundamentally and most important aspect of Wikipedia where the least experienced users are allowed to act as article policemen without out requiring any training or the assignment of a special right. And that's why they do it.
  • The only NPPrs who complain about criticism are those who have been repeatedly requested in the nicest possible way look at WP:NPP and WP:CSD first, and who still refuse to slow down and improve their performance.
  • NPP is short staffed because those who are experienced are busy patrolling the work of the patrollers and rectifying their mistakes, and looking for solutions to improve the process.
  • I strongly support absolutely any solution that prevents new pages from going live immediately, except those created by autopatrollers.
  • No new article is so urgent it can't wait 24 going live. A great many web forums need the posts authorising by a moderator - why not Wikipedia?

Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 01:57, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

Protection icons and accessibility

I would like it if for the protection templates, a user changes the images (like the top icons) for WP:Accessability?

Here's the new images

 
Fully protected
 
Semi-protected
 
Pending changes protected (level 1)
 
Pending changes protected (level 2)
 
Create protected
 
Move protected
 
Upload protected
 
Permanently protected

Here's the links

~~EBE123~~ talkContribs 22:30, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

  • Oppose—putting obscure mathematical or abstract symbols onto anyway tiny icons doesn't increase accessibility. ╟─TreasuryTagconstabulary─╢ 07:27, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
    It doesn't decreases it, either; and for some people such symbols, once learned, might be easier to remember than colours. --A. di M. (talk) 11:59, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Neutral - some of them can be useful, as it takes a while to remember the colours. Kayau Voting IS evil 11:27, 26 March 2011 (UTC)


I'm not trying to rain on your parade, but the use of the |small= parameter is very common, and that would look like this:

Do you really think that the icons would be distinguishable by someone with even mild vision impairment (say, a 50-year-old person who can't find his reading glasses right now)? I don't. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:38, 26 March 2011 (UTC)

That seems like a silly reason to deny it though. Just because some people won't be able to tell the difference doesn't mean it's not helpful to those who can. As it stands now there's no difference, so for that "50-year-old person who can't find his reading glasses right now" it wouldn't be any different than it is already. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 18:12, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
I've just got a 50-year-old person to look at it without his reading glasses right now. The colours are easily distinguishable but the icons are not. If anything, the icons conceal the colour. Nice idea, but introducing complexity to solve a problem that doesn't exist. I just hover over the padlock and see what it links to. Brammers (talk/c) 13:00, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
I'm 68 and recently had interocular lenses installed to get rid of coke-bottle bifocals. For me, the colors obscure the icons. Also, see MOS:COLOR. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 18:21, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
Oh, forgot:
~~EBE123~~ talkContribs 21:01, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
Opposed, introduces unneeded complexity and makes icon's less 'visual' recognizable due to their complexity. Protected is protected. Some colors to 'help' distingish protection levels help, but the primary method to help accessibility and usability here is the text accompanying theses icons in in the templates. For the small mode, that text is the 'title' label. Beyond that, these icons are still under an 'attribution' license, which makes them incompatible for 'direct' linking to help pages. Bypassing image description links with link= generally requires PD material on the English Wikipedia. Although, I doubt that the addition of the symbols qualifies for a new substantial copyright claims in these cases, in which case all the icons are PD anyways because they are derived from a PD original. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 14:14, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

Can the names of referenced policy pages be expanded when cited?

I am a new editor, happy (after reading all the controversies at the Village Pump) that none of my 35 new articles have been deleted! My request: when information is being transmitted via reference to other wikipedia pages (like AFC or those other hundreds of acronyms), that you expand the names so I have some idea of what you're talking about: the pages they point to are densely written and require quite a lot of time to plod through. I do not have the time to memorize all these acronyms though they obviously transmit important information. They are intimidating and strongly support the conviction the outside world has that: Wikipedia is an insiders' club and if you don't know the lingo you don't belong. Jane Peppler (talk) 11:25, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

"I do not have the time to memorize all these acronyms though they obviously transmit important information" they are not important if you are not interested in maintaining Wikipedia. If you just want to contribute to the content of Wikipedia, there is no need to hang out at WP:AfD and so on, unless of course your own articles are nominated for deletion.--Netheril96 (talk) 11:41, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
She does not mention AFD, but AFC, which stands for wp:Articles for Creation and is definitely something relevant for new users. They also have a chance of seeing short form for policies such as wp:PROD, wp:OR, wp:NOT, wp:N, wp:V when receiving feedback on their contributions. In response to Jane: This is recognized problem and most users will not use shortcuts when communicating with new users. I suppose we could make some template to automatically display the full page name when you type in a shortcut (something similar in functionality as {{tl}} is for templates), but it would be a challenge to convince the community of using this exclusively. Yoenit (talk) 11:54, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
I still dream of the day when we can reduce the number of policies and other project-internal pages to a nice compact, user-friendly manual that will bring new users into the project rather than frighten them off... That day's a long way off, however - every policy and process seems to have its staunch defenders who believe that anything but the most minor changes to it will cause Wikisociety to collapse, and so progress (if it comes at all) is made excrutiatingly slowly. --Kotniski (talk) 12:05, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

In theory you could have a bot automatically expand and link standard abbreviations on talk pages to the relevant policy (so eg WP:AFC automatically becomes Articles for Creation). As for Yoenit's suggestion - maybe {{w}} could be repurposed for this, so you'd write {{w|AFC}} to get Articles for Creation. But you'd probably need a bot to go around subst:ing these, or you'd be creating zillions of transclusions (and if you require people to subst: the template, it won't get used). Even that would be more effort to type, because it needs the shift key and finding the pipe character, so might not get much takeup. Rd232 talk 17:17, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

Incomprehensibility is why we usually link the shortcuts (at least the first time in a discussion). No matter the obvious benefits, the fact is that it takes longer to type, say, Wikipedia:Identifying reliable sources (medicine) than it does to type WP:MEDRS, so people simply aren't going to do it very often, especially if they're thinking about a conversation between a couple of people who clearly know what page they're talking about, and forgetting how many hundreds of people might be reading that section.
Additionally, if you don't already know what (for example) MEDRS says that's relevant to the discussion in hand, then you need to go read it anyway. Knowing the title isn't enough. Advice pages change, and people misremember and misunderstand their contents. You don't necessarily want to blindly trust that what someone says about the contents of a page (unless it's me ;-) or to guess what it means from the title or shortcut. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:18, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
I don't think you're taking into account how unfriendly that alphabet soup looks to browsers, new editors, and even moderately experienced editors (people do forget or get confused about what abbreviations stand for). At least having the page title makes what's said in that sentence make a certain sense instead of appearing cryptic, and ensuring that the reference is wikilinked ensures people can click for more details. Hence the issue of how to make this happen more often, eg with a template and/or bot. Rd232 talk 20:44, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
I like how when you put {{cn}} and {{ec}} it expands into {{citation needed}} and {{edit conflict}}. I don't see why that couldn't be done for acronyms. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie Say Shalom! 20:51, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
Almost of the common shortcuts are already used as (redirects to) templates. For example {{NOT}} is a maintenance template and {{PROD}} leads to the proposed deletion template. We would thus need to rename a lot (100+?) templates or change the shortcuts. Either option seems more trouble then it is worth. Yoenit (talk) 21:07, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
That expansion is only done if the bot is editing the article for some other reason, e.g., to date the template. If you date it by hand (as I almost always do) then the bot leaves it alone.
The question was about changing talk page comments, not templates in articles, and while it's not a bad idea, I don't think that an analogous bot change is possible. So many editors refer to policies by shortcuts without linking them. The bot could never distinguish between "I think that word is spelled with a V in the middle, rather than a W" and "I think that sentence contradicts V, which requires sources for that type of statement". WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:58, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
I am pretty sure he was talking about the fact that {{cn}} displays as [citation needed], rather than bots replacing the actual wikicode. Yoenit (talk) 22:08, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
But people don't usually say "contradicts V", they say "contradicts WP:V". Such uses are surely unique and can be processed by a bot if we think it worth it. Rd232 talk 22:11, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
I've seen more editors drop the "WP:" recently. There are at least ten instances of just "RS" on WP:RSN at the moment, all unlinked, one of which is additionally lower case. There are at least sixteen instances of just "V" at WT:V at the moment, also all unlinked. WT:V also includes seven instances of just "OR". There's no way that a bot could distinguish between "I think that violates OR" and "You must choose this OR that". WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:41, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
I am a relatively new user and I personally like being part of AfD, which uses a lot of shortcuts. I appreciate the shortcuts when writing an opinion because my argument is more readable and appears more cogent when I reference, for example, WP:ORG, rather than Wikipedia:Notability (organizations and companies), because it's shorter and more to the point. It allows the debate to focus on the policy rather than get lost in a sea of words, especially when citing several of these policy pages. Just like how Wikipedia uses superscript numbers in articles rather than citing the entire source in the text of the article. If you don't know what a shortcut means, simply click on it--or if unlinked then copy paste it into the search bar--and educate yourself. Simply seeing the title doesn't tell you what the policy says and seeing the entire policy name doesn't add to discussions. Participating in AfD, I have made some errors, mostly because I haven't read through an entire policy page or because there was a policy that I didn't know existed, but this is how I've learned about Wikipedia policy. You can't claim to actively participate while simultaneously complaining that the shortcuts make it difficult to join in because you don't have time to read the policy. Contributions without regard to policy or at a minimum recognition that they have importance are often poor in quality. Lord Arador (talk) 01:46, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

Here's a tip, if you want to know what WP:SOUP says without clicking, just hover it with your mouse. After a second or two, there should be a tool tip appearing with "Wikipedia:You spat in my soup!". Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 08:43, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

WP:Navigation popup must be installed for that to work.--Netheril96 (talk) 08:59, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
I don't have that enabled, and it works for me. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 20:46, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
It's definitely not a default setting. It could be something in your .js settings or a browser thing. Anyhow, I'd recommend navigational popups for the OP. It's a great time saver. Killiondude (talk) 03:17, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

Day Protection

While at the french wikipedia, I saw some protections of pages of special days (like "St. Patrick's day") because of more vandalism when close to the day. So I thought that for major days, they are automaticly protected from editing (semi-protected) a couple days before the day, and 2 days after. ~~EBE123~~ talkContribs 22:53, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

You mean auto-protection annually on that day? That sounds interesting... Rehman 23:25, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
that would be rather trivial, just need a few parser functions, cascade protection, and a setup page. ΔT The only constant 23:52, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
The technical part is not the problem, but I expect serious resistance to any proposal of preventive protection for these types of pages. Yoenit (talk) 19:53, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
IMO, there's already a fair amount of "preventive" protection used on articles; the admins just use weak claims of too much vandalism or some other reason from the drop down box. This idea seems useful in the sense that we all know specific holiday pages will be vandalized and need to be protected on their respective dates, but I doubt TheCommunity™ will go for it. Killiondude (talk) 03:09, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

What links here results and links inside templates

What links here -functionality creates a list that also shows the links inside templates. Resulting list should only show the link to the template, not the links inside the template.

For example, the results from Västerås show[16] also the links that are inside the 5 templates at the bottom of the page[17].

The links inside those 5 templates should not be included in What links here-list. Only the 5 templates should be listed in list, not the 5 x 15 extra useless links inside the 5 templates. What links here should only list those pages that actually have a link in the article text to Västerås-page.

There is a bug report in Bugzilla [18], but it is not moving anywhere. It is almost two years old.

What links here is a important and very useful functionality. Also you could get links that you would never thought to be related to article that you are reading! --Pasixxxx (talk) 16:32, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

The issue is more that the other links are not "useless" for a number of maintenance tasks, including orphan identification. - Jarry1250 [Who? Discuss.] 17:25, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
I think a more useful approach is to allow the user to explicitly request that such links not show up - just like the user can currently request that redirects not show up. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 20:50, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
I'd like to see that as an option, but I agree that if it were the default, it would screw up the orphan-hunting bots. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:55, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

There could be a workaround to this problem. Links inside the template could be replaced with a link to someother-namespace-page that would redirect to the actual article-namespace article. For example, Västerås could have a Metapage (or whatever) namespace page Metapage:Västerås/redirect that would redirect to Västerås. You could put the Metapage:Västerås/redirect -link to template, and then user could filter out Metapage namespace. I don't know how the bot stuff would do with this. --Pasixxxx (talk) 16:24, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

If you had a Template:Sweden, you could create a page Template:Sweden/Västerås, and in that page do a redirect to Västerås. There is no need to create a new namespace. All other swedish cities in the fictious template would also have a redirect-page under the Template:Sweden, like Template:Sweden/Stockholm, Template:Sweden/Gothenburg. Links to the redirect-pages would be used in template and What links here-function would work properly. Maybe I will test this somewhere. Or someone could test this. --Pasixxxx (talk) 17:35, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

Changing the article creation requirements

Please note: this is a procedural move. I moved page here and transcluded it in (in order to keep the edit history intact) so that it would get more broad discussion than on a narrowly focused project page. Also, the idea properly originated here. I have not formally taken a position on this issue. Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 21:34, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
Executive summary: In this broadly attended discussion, more than two-thirds of those expressing a clear "support" or "oppose" opinion supported the proposal to limit article creation to autoconfirmed editors, either as a trial or on a permanent basis. Non-autoconfirmed editors would either need to submit new articles to Articles for Creation or create a userspace draft, preferably using an improved Article Wizard. However, because there is a vocal and passionate (albeit minority) opposition and there are empirical uncertainties about the exact impact of the proposed change, the preferred approach for proceeding is to conduct a trial of a definite duration, followed by the autoconfirmation requirement being turned off for a period of review, after which the community can decide for or against long-term implementation. The exact duration of the trial and review periods, and the preferred criteria for review, should be clarified prior to the trial commencing. A trial of 3-6 months followed by a review of 1-3 months seems to be the most common view in discussion thus far. In addition to these conclusions regarding the primary topic of the RfC, the discussion also showed consensus for making (unspecified) improvements to the Article Wizard and giving more attention to the Articles for Creation process, regardless of the ultimate outcome of the main proposal. Extended close discussion below.

This RfC received substantial community input, with over 500 editors participating. As with any large and well-attended discussion, there were comments about secondary issues and tangents, ambiguous statements, even contradictions. Nonetheless, there was considerable clear commentary for and against the main proposal of the RfC. One supporter of the proposal created a summary table that classifies the views of the participating editors. I conducted my own review of the discussion independently of this, but I believe the results are broadly similar. (Where I have noticed differences in spot comparisons, I was more conservative about not assigning a clear "support" or "oppose" value to ambiguous comments.) The overall result: more than two-thirds of the participants expressing support or opposition were in support. Depending on how some of the less clear comments are allocated, support might be as much as 70%, but I have chosen to avoid potential over-interpretation of such comments. Either way, the result is consistent with the Village Pump discussion that preceded the RfC, in which just under three-fourths of about 60 participants expressing a clear position supported the idea. (Most, but not all, of the participants from the earlier discussion followed through to the RfC.)

In addition to the discussion on the primary RfC page and the prior Village Pump discussion noted above, there was extensive talk page discussion and some discussions spun off onto subpages. The topic has also been raised at least twice at User talk:Jimbo Wales. I have also received comments regarding my prospective closing on my own user talk page and via email. While I have read all of this and it has informed my evaluation of the consensus, I will not attempt to summarize all of these numerous discussions. Some of the participants have already attempted to summarize the common arguments for and against the proposed change. I will not repeat all of those. What I will focus on from the primary discussion is two key points of disagreement, one philosophical and one empirical, and one point of agreement. I believe there are also some secondary points around which rough consensus can be inferred, which I will discuss at the end.

The philosophical disagreement is that many opposers see the proposed restriction as contrary to the "anyone can edit" principle, a core Wikipedia principle that is affirmed in multiple locations. Supporters argue that limiting article creation to autoconfirmed users leaves "anyone can edit" intact: anyone (even unregistered users) can still edit most pages, and those who wish to create new articles directly instead of through AFC will only need to achieve the relatively low hurdle of autoconfirmation. They also point out existing restrictions on editing that are accepted by the community: requiring account registration to create pages, and semi-protection of some pages. (A minority of the opposers – clearly not a consensus, even among the oppose positions – believes that these pre-existing restrictions are also contrary to "anyone can edit" and should be abolished. Similarly, a small and clearly non-consensus portion of the supporters called for even more restrictions than what was initially proposed.)

The key point of agreement, also philosophical, is that both sides want to encourage participation by quality contributors. One of the comments made to me was about the recent Wikimedia Foundation resolution on openness. I believe many participants on both sides would generally support the positions expressed in that resolution. But both sides view their own preferred approach as encouraging quality contributors and making Wikipedia more inviting to them, which is the key empirical disagreement. Supporters of the change believe that the current approach drives away new editors, because when they are allowed to create new articles without prior editing experience, the result is often for their articles to be deleted, which dispirits them and ends their involvement with Wikipedia. By channeling prospective article writers into editing established articles, they will become more familiar with Wikipedia norms before creating an article, and as a result will have a better overall experience. Some would-be article writers won't bother, but supporters believe these will mostly be the creators of vandalism and attack pages, who will not be missed. Opponents, on the other hand, believe the proposed restriction will simply drive potential editors away: upon realizing that they cannot immediately create a new article, most will simply give up on Wikipedia. Those that persist will primarily be dedicated vandals and POV-pushers. In effect, the two sides have mirror image expectations about the effect of the proposed change, and as suggested by Jimbo, the absence of empirical evidence prevents us from knowing which of these expectations is accurate.

The desire for better empirical evidence and sensitivity toward the strongly expressed concerns of the opposition – one of the more popular opposition views said this change would "kill Wikipedia" – led to discussions about conducting a trial. Although these discussions drew less participation than the primary proposal, discussion was robust enough that I believe some conclusions can be taken from it. Most who discussed the idea of a trial generally supported having one, with some supporters directly conditioning their support for the proposed change on the idea of it being a trial. Discussions about possible details of the trial were less conclusive, but a couple of common themes did emerge. Most crucially, the trial should be for a strictly defined time period, with a firm understanding that the feature will be deactivated at the end of the trial and not reactivated (if ever) until the results are reviewed and discussed by the community. The messy end of the recent pending changes trial was cited as an example of what to avoid. A trial period long enough to gather substantial data (at least three months) was the most common preference. The need to gather "before and after" data sets and have some prior notion of what to review were discussed, but no specifics were decided. Further planning is needed to refine these items.

Finally, some "secondary" items were discussed that had broad support. Almost everyone who commented on it seems to think that the Article Wizard can and should be improved. There were also repeated concerns about making sure that the Articles for Creation process gets more attention so it does not become clogged and proposed articles get the improvements they need. Participants on both sides of the discussion agreed on these points. There were also a number of ideas proposed that I cannot describe as having consensus, but which did have some support and may be worth discussing on their own merits. These included trying to make New Page Patrol less confrontational through better notifications and/or grace periods for new articles, a suggestion to limit new articles to titles redlinked from existing articles, and a suggestion for automatic creation of user sandboxes. Finally, there was noteworthy support for the view of User:Malleus Fatuorum, which cautioned against neglecting established editors in our efforts to improve the experience of new ones, a fitting point on which to end this somewhat TL;DR summation of an even longer discussion. --RL0919 (talk) 02:10, 27 May 2011 (UTC)


Follow-up: After my close above, discussion of the details of a trial was begun at Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Proposal to require autoconfirmed status in order to create articles/Trial duration. --RL0919 (talk) 20:18, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

In a discussion on the Village Pump, User:The Blade of the Northern Lights proposed preventing users creating new articles until they gain autoconfirmed status. The Wikipedia:Village pump (miscellaneous) rationale was:

  1. This would reduce the workload on New Page Patrollers;
  2. New users would be "bitten" less due to the resulting reduction in stress on the part of those most in contact with them;
  3. New users are less likely to be disenchanted by their article being deleted – because they would not be able to create them automatically, but instead send them through WP:AFC;
  4. Autoconfirmed users with 10 edits to existing articles would enjoy an easier learning curve than trying to create an encyclopedic article with their first edit.

Notes: autoconfirmed status is automatically given to editors who reach 10 edits and whose account is at least 4 days old. Under the proposal, editors without the status would not be able to create articles in mainspace without some form of assistance. Possible forms of assistance include the Articles for Creation system, the Article Wizard (an exemption can be engineered for non-autoconfirmed editors using it) and the use of userspace drafts in combination with a request to move the draft to mainspace.

Individual views

View from User:Fetchcomms

This is basically repeating what was discussed at the Village Pump. I don't think this RfC will result in anything conclusive, because the change is so massive that we will probably end up having a community-wide vote on whether or not to do this.

I propose two things:

  1. This RfC be ended or put on hold for a short period of time (one month?) as the arguments from the VP will only be repeated.
  2. A more efficient AfC, article wizard, or other article creation system—possibly even a MediaWiki extension later—be designed and tested, and data collected.

I hate to bring up the words "pending changes" again, but I think a strict PC-type trial (maybe just one month long, no questions asked) that collects data we can use to analyze both the a) editor retention rate and b) the article retention rate, would be very helpful here. Because otherwise, we're going off random opinions that have no solid backing other than Wikipedia philosophies.

Users who endorse this view
  1. /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 19:44, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
  2. Hits all the right points. NW (Talk) 20:07, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
  3. Didn't understand this one at first. But yes. I see broad support for change. If it's short of a consensus, we should run a controlled trial, rather than letting speculation stop a potentially good idea. Shooterwalker (talk) 23:51, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
  4. Not sure about putting it on hold, per se, but I think that any trial with a very clear scope would cause much less drama. bobrayner (talk) 19:52, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  5. Yes, we should fix the software then test it. I'm not comfortable with telling newbies we don't want their articles, but getting this in place first would certainly reduce the damage. ϢereSpielChequers 20:21, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  6. Sadads (talk) 05:56, 16 April 2011 (UTC) - very good, we need time for other options which have been in the making for a while to work, instead of wholesale banning new users from article creation
  7. Tom Cloyd (talk) 22:55, 27 April 2011 (UTC) YES, let's get some actual performance data before any decision is made. That's very reasonable, and any resulting decision would be far less contentious.
  8. Nat682 (talk) 21:25, 28 April 2011 (UTC) - I really think we should have a vote. The views from both sides are clear, and there is by far enough opinions for everyone to make a very informed decision when voting on this. So let's just vote on it!
  9. Ekin(talk·@) 08:58, 29 April 2011 (UTC) - Let's do this. Simple and true. End of anonymous vandalism.
  10. Frozen Windwant to be chilly? 14:41, 30 April 2011 (UTC)

View from User:Ironholds

This is going to be a bit TL:DR, so I apologise for that, but this is a pretty big topic, and a pretty important one. New users and new articles are primary to Wikipedia. We are a project built around a simple goal; to be "The encyclopaedia that anyone can edit". That is our mission statement. An encyclopaedia, that anyone can edit; two clauses which sometimes, inevitably, conflict. When they do, one has to be partially sacrificed for the other - be it restricting editorial rights to protect our encyclopaedic status, or tarnishing our position as an encyclopaedia in an effort to include more people in the box marked "editors". In this case, we are being asked if we support the former - a restriction on who can edit, or who can edit in a particular fashion, to protect our position as a compendium of that knowledge we judge to be notable. When making changes which impact on part of our statement, we need to take a lockean balance-of-rights approach; restrictions must be:

  1. necessary for the upholding of the mission statement as a whole, or other elements of the mission statement, and;
  2. the smallest possible restriction necessary for the upholding of the mission statement (or elements thereof).

So, does this restriction pass that test? In my opinion, no.

There are various arguments put forward in favour of this proposal. The first is that it will reduce the workload of those who patrol Special:NewPages. I admit, this is the case, but is that workload reduction necessary? Special:NewPages has a 30 day "buffer"; after an article is more than 30 days old, it falls off the back of the log. Fairly simple. At the moment, the buffer has 20 days remaining - in other words, even with the complaining about how difficult and stressful being a new page patroller is, we could happily not touch it for 3 weeks and not suffer an issue. I don't mean to ridicule those complaining, because I understand the issue. I'm a patroller myself, and I've cleared the entire backlog twice. I'm not ignorant of the workload patrollers face. But the workload is not as bad as it's being made out to be, and people are failing to take into account the long-term possibilities; that if an effort is put into accepting and tutoring new users, they will become part of the solution rather than part of the problem. Any issues with more people needed at Special:NewPages can be solved simply by getting more people involved.

Another argument is that shifting people from Special:NewPages to WP:Articles for Creation will reduce the "bitiness" new users experience, and thus the problem with retaining them. I disagree. Special:NewPages is a place categorised by stress and a siege mentality, which comes from having a backlog, a small number of contributors, and the feeling that Everything Will Break if things aren't done immediately. That's where bitiness comes from. Shifting people from Special:NewPages to AfC will not fix the problem, it'll simply move it - by ensuring that the Articles for Creation people become stressed, backlogged and overworked. Sound familiar?

New users are less likely to be disenchanted from editing if their articles are sent through AfC, yes. However, a lot of new users simply won't bother trying. The AfC interface is problematic, and many new editors create articles for the immediate thrill of doing so. Denying that thrill will send a lot of them off, never to return, during a period when we're having significant problems with attracting users. If you want to do this, you have to improve AfC to a decent standard first; you can't just shove this into place and then scramble to fix things afterwards.

This proposal does not address actual problems, alternating between shifting the burden to another party and simply driving off contributors. If you want to fix the issues, fine, but don't kill our intake of new users along with it. Ironholds (talk) 20:15, 3 April 2011 (UTC)


Users who endorse this view
  1. User:Darion29 ((User talk:Darion29|talk]]) 16:35, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
  2. HighSocietyCanada ([User talk:HighSocietyCanada|talk]]) 21:04, 18 April 2011 (UTC)
Note: user's only other edits consist of promotion in own userspace. Feezo (send a signal | watch the sky) 07:35, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
  1. Ironholds (talk) 20:15, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
  2. very strongly. DGG ( talk ) 21:55, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
  3. ^ Juliancolton (talk) 22:25, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
  4. The proposers intentions are pure but I just don't see the current proposals for locking down article creation (or trying to push them to AfC) as helping the issues stated. History shows that the amount of good faith editors that will be lost is under appreciated and the amount of bad faith editors who will give overestimated. The AfC idea makes logical sense but the current structure of the process and the significant historical precedence we have on wiki shows that the backlog, and the problems, will likely only move from one place to another. James of UR (talk) 02:17, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  5. I tried AfC the other day as an IP. I managed to do it only because I was proposing a redirect. There are too many steps and too many options. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 06:09, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  6. Hear, hear. Stickee (talk) 07:33, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  7. ϢereSpielChequers 07:42, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  8. Ruslik_Zero 15:37, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  9. Protonk (talk) 21:51, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  10. I don't see the length of the New Articles backlog as particularly problematic. Carrite (talk) 01:30, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  11. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 03:31, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
  12. At the moment, we need that influx of users. Long processes are scary. ManishEarthTalkStalk 04:24, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
  13. Definitely agree. This change would discourage a lot of potential contributors and merely shuffle workloads. Torchiest talkedits 17:02, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
  14. Agree. A bureaucracy is more likely to drive away new users who have potential than a pack of bitie wolves at NPP. Abductive (reasoning) 07:43, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  15. Sjakkalle (Check!) 10:24, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  16. Strongly agree. -- Orionisttalk 10:36, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  17. Agreed. The bottom line is: "to be "The encyclopaedia that anyone can edit". Any measure that conflicts with that is bound to invoke the Law of Unintended Consequences and must be avoided at all costs. André Kritzinger 11:18, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  18. Strongly agree. This is a terrible proposal and contrary to the principal of wikipedia. There are enough editors here to sort out the new articles anyway. We need to be doing everything we can to encourage growth and new content from new editors.♦ Dr. Blofeld 13:30, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  19. Strongly agree. Some of the best content I've seen in recent months has come from non-autoreviewed editors. It would be more than a shame to force them to go through extra hoops to create articles. I don't believe the patrolling backlong to be that severe as yet. --Ser Amantio di NicolaoChe dicono a Signa?Lo dicono a Signa. 13:55, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
    If some of the best content you've seen in recent months has come from new editors then you and I are obviously inhabiting different universes. In any case, the aim ought to be to make patrolling less necessary, to reduce the burden on existing editors. Malleus Fatuorum 22:18, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  20. Timneu22 has expressed his frustration with new articles to me in the past, so I understand that patrollers may perceive inexperienced users as nuisance. Nevertheless, I don't believe that shifting the burden to a new group isn't going to reduce the overall levels of frustration. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 14:33, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  21. Strongly agree, I don't think I would have ever started contributing if I had not been able to start immediatiely by creating an article and then got hooked. Davewild (talk) 16:21, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  22. Unquestionably agree. The encyclopedia has survived thusfar on these principals. LiteralKa (talk) 18:06, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  23. I agree strongly. The problems that come from this openness are far outweighed by the credible invitation to become part of the encyclopedia's future through contributing. I have seen great work come out of the blue that this would frustrate. Wareh (talk) 18:23, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  24. Strong endorse - the project is not served by selling part of its soul for a modicum of convenience, even if that be substantial, which this arguably won't be. What's that, an encyclopedia anyone can edit? See fine print for qualifications and restrictions, other conditions may apply. If the intent is to solve the problem of biting, making the entire project less open and friendly isn't a solution, it's a surrender. ☯.ZenSwashbuckler.☠ 20:15, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  25. I largely agree with Ironholds here, and I am surprised there is so much enthusiasm for this poorly thought out proposal. It is indubitable that further restricting what new editors can do will lead to fewer new editors. How could it not? Chick Bowen 22:00, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
    Here's a statistic for you. According to figures published in The Signpost, in February more than half (52%) of the 21,366 articles created by new editors were deleted. In what way is that a desirable state of affairs? What's more discouraging? The likelihood that your new article will be deleted, or being asked to at least superficially familiarise yourself with some of the ropes before creating your new article? Malleus Fatuorum 22:11, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
    Notwithstanding the amount of work it creates for new page patrollers, 52% doesn't seem that high to me. That means 10,000 articles were kept. Chick Bowen 23:28, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
    It means that 10,000 articles weren't so obviously crap that they met the CSD criteria, which is a pretty low bar. Malleus Fatuorum 23:45, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  26. Ironholds makes a lot of good points on this; I particularly agree with the last paragraph. CT Cooper · talk 22:18, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  27. Strongly agree. Hullaballoo Wolfowitz (talk) 22:47, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  28. --Gwern (contribs) 23:46 7 April 2011 (GMT)
  29. Agree. If this policy had been in place when I created my first article, I would not be an editor today. This proposal will not be appropriate until the AfC process is simplified and streamlined. --E♴(talk) 01:49, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  30. Very well put. Just like Pesky below, I very much doubt that I would have become a regular editor if such "safeguards" had been in place back in 2004. The principle of "anyone can edit" also means that if you notice an article missing (like I did on 20 March 2004), you can create it without having to jump through some hoops. I fully understand the reasons for this proposal but I also think that there are ways to reach those goals without practically dismantling a founding principle of this project. Any restriction that basically says "You have to first prove your worth before you can create an article" (even if the requirements may be low) is not creating a welcoming and collegial editorial environment but instead adds more unneeded "classes". On a side note, while I do support the principle of self-government, I do think that such a drastic change should probably be approved by the Foundation. This proposal effectively makes it impossible for anyone to create articles without first editing and thus has potential to change the way Wikipedia is perceived by others. SoWhy 08:24, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  31. Agree, especially with Denying that thrill will send a lot of them off, never to return, during a period when we're having significant problems with attracting users. I would like to add that auto-confirmed is awarded on a per-project basis, and therefore experienced users from sister projects would be surprised to find they first have to prove themselves here first. That seems like very condescending behavior to me! Jane (talk) 09:42, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
    There's already a workaround for that; all you have to do is go to Requests for Permissions and ask for the autoconfirmed flag. It's not that hard, and an experienced user from another project would almost certainly know how to do that. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 21:16, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
  32. Strongly agree, though I can see the point of the proposal. I'm one of those who would most likely not have come back if I;d had to go through a clunky process to get my first article (2006) in place. I think a lot of people "want to do it NOW!!", and curbing the enthusiasm of new editors who may well have some real potential in future is probably not where we want to go. Pesky (talk) 12:34, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
    And you have to take a look at this user's history. You really do. And their article. I really think that the kind of editor who has the bodlness and energy and enthusiasm to want toleap right in at the deep end and just do it is, in the long term, also going to be the kind of editor who has the enthusiasm and energy to stick with it as and whn it gets a bit tough, who can see their end goal clearly, and is likely to turn out to be one of the best. We just can't afford to lose those because the first thing they come across is a clunky 'prove yourself first' attitude which may well make them say "Bugger that! I'll go where I'm appreciated instead." Pesky (talk) 08:59, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
    While the statistics somewhat agree with you, they also show that it's not a sustainable way to attract users. Users who create an article that gets kept have an extremely high retention rate. However, since 75-80% of new users see their articles deleted, the overall retention rate for users who start by creating articles is fairly low. Mr.Z-man 13:38, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  33. Absolutely. J Milburn (talk) 13:09, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  34. All makes sense. And so too does Jane023's perceptive comment three above this. Angus McLellan (Talk) 21:47, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  35. I suspect the proposal is more likely to deter useful editors than spammers. Contains Mild Peril (talk) 06:05, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
  36. Agreed on all points, the autoconfirmed requirement would be the step too far that pending changes narrowly avoided. Res2216firestar 06:37, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
  37. This proposal would move Wikipedia further in the direction of ossification and sterility. Christopher Parham (talk) 06:18, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
  38. Agree. What if the user is only interested in a pair of articles/topics. Would be obligated to edit 10 existing articles before obtaining status for creating a new page? JuanR (talk) 12:35, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
  39. Agree. Goes against our mission statement. Yogesh Khandke (talk) 14:47, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
  40. Agree. The proposal seems to go against the whole concept of Wikipedia, and the "problem" with backlog isn't really a problem anyway. Dennis Brown (talk) 19:15, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
    Oh really? Exactly how much NPP have you done? For my part, I've done 11,000+ pages since last June. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 23:31, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
    Last time I checked, this was not a "mine's bigger than yours" competition - this is about logical oratory and rhetoric. "I've patrolled more pages than you, therefore your opinion is invalid" or "your opinion contradicts mine and must be subservient because I have patrolled more pages than you" is not how it works. If it was, I'd point nicely towards my 38,942 patrols and invite you to kindly swivel on it. Ironholds (talk) 23:35, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
    Then I wasn't particularly clear, that's my fault. I'm trying to get an idea of how much Dennis has done with new pages; the purpose of pointing to my patrol log is to show that I have experience. Someone who's done 1 day of NPP will likely have a somewhat different take on the situation then after 150 days of doing it. I'm not trying to turn this into a competition, I really didn't mean to come off that way. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 23:44, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
  41. Agree. I've spent a long time thinking about this and come to the conclusion that it is totally contrary to WP's mission. Preventing users from creating articles based on their status is simply wrong. rpeh •TCE 23:12, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
  42. Agree. I think that this is the best approach. Qrsdogg (talk) 05:01, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
  43. Agree. Placing more hurdles in front of new editors really moves us further away from the encyclopedia that anybody can edit. Ironholds has summed this up very well. -- Whpq (talk) 14:11, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
  44. Very strong support. The way to stop pissing off new users is to stop pissing them off (ie take a damn sight more care before speedying good faith, but Wiki-incompetent contributions) not by giving them more damned hoops to jump through. SpinningSpark 15:07, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
  45. Many good points here. I agree that this proposal wouldn't do much beyond moving the backlog from NPP to AfC, along with all the associated problems. Also, reading Ironholds' view led me to look at AfC closely for the first time. I agree that (a) the interface is problematic, and (b) the disappearance of the thrill to which Ironholds refers would be a big problem. A Stop at Willoughby (talk) 20:28, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
  46. Well Said --Mactrac (talk) 22:39, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
  47. As above, you're just shifting weight. NativeForeigner Talk/Contribs 04:46, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  48. Agree. Well put. --EnOreg (talk) 13:28, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  49. Agree. I created a new article on my third edit way back in 2002 (we were a little more relaxed back then). Anyone notice the irony that all the opinions here are from people who are already autoconfirmed? twilsonb (talk) 15:08, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  50. Agree. Requiring a user be auto-confirmed (which is an off-putting name, without looking it up I have no idea what auto-confirmed means, which I guess is a slight burden, but again off-putting) gives at least the impression of non-openness. I realize that the criteria for auto-confirmed is rather objective (I think, I'm actually still a little unsure if I understand auto-confirm-ness exactly, by the way is there any way to check to make sure you're auto-confirmed? I realize this is probably just me, but something about the terminology strikes me as confusing), I think an impression a new user might get is "we need to make sure you're good enough for our club" - which is the opposite of what Wikipedia is trying to promote. Jztinfinity (talk) 03:51, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
    See WP:AUTOCONFIRM. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 15:51, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
  51. Agree. Excellent presentation of the issues.Roberterubin (talk) 18:20, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
  52. Agree. /Julle (talk) 05:56, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
  53. Agree. Sindinero (talk) 13:50, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
  54. Strongly agree. I'm very leery of this proposal. There's an aroma of unintentional elitism wafting from it. My first edits were admittedly clunky complete articles, some of which have become rather nice articles through the advice and contributions of others. I can state with confidence that if I had been barred from doing so by a policy like this I would have thought to myself "What the eff? Doesn't it say anyone can edit", and I would have walked away.Glorioussandwich (talk) 16:34, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
  55. I strongly agree with Ironholds. Restricting potential new users will not make them want to stay. You can say that 4 days and 10 edits isn't all that much, But as Ironholds mentioned, Its the thrill of making an article. If you cant do that when you first join up (especially if its an article you are passionate about), you might not even bother trying. Some people may not be able to maintain their enthusiasm that they had when they signed up to create the article. To be honest, i dont think i could. Bailo26 (talk) 23:29, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
  56. Agree. Wiki ian 04:26, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
  57. Sadads (talk) 05:57, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
  58. Indeed. Hobit (talk) 11:15, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
  59. Aye. FeydHuxtable (talk) 11:37, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
  60. I agree with Ironholds. I'm a contributor of the Catalan Wikipedia (Viquipèdia) and there, the motto was slightly changed: "the encyclopedia that anyone can improve." Maybe we should adopt it here as well. - Al Lemos (talk) 15:30, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
  61. Bulwersator (talk) 18:36, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
  62. Agree. I don't know enough about WP yet to give proper comment, but if it helps, from the vantage point of a new user, this makes absolute sense to me. — Gk sa (talk) 22:03, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
  63. Wholeheartedly agree. Disabling page creation is incompatible with Wikipedia's anyone can edit philosophy. Forcing the article wizard for non-autoconfirmed users is a much much more reasonable and measured action to the situation than having a knee-jerk reaction to a "crysis" whose impact is greatly exagerated (backlogs are at perfectly reasonable level, situation is no worse today than it was a few months ago). Minimal changes [Article wizard for non-autoconfirmed users] have to be tried before paradigm shifts [no one but the in-crowd gets to create articles]. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 05:40, 18 April 2011 (UTC)
  64. Per my comments under DGG's proposal. Alzarian16 (talk) 16:38, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
  65. Agree. TotientDragooned (talk) 20:37, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
  66. What's next: You can't make your userpage until you are autoconfirmed because you might use it for spam? Reaper Eternal (talk) 01:15, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
  67. Agreed. Very good points. Mark Mukasa (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 20:10, 20 April 2011 (UTC).
  68. Agreed. Cheers! Feedintm (talk) 00:24, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
  69. Agree. This comment will probably get lost in the shuffle, however one of my concerns is the trend that this proposal innately suggests. Will it stop here with "quieting" non-autoconfirmed editors? OR once this is in place, then what will be the next way we decide to restrict editors? How long will it take until Wikipedia is just like other encyclopedias that require a masters or even a PhD to edit? – Paine Ellsworth ( CLIMAX )  02:15, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
    As the one who got this started, I can categorically say I would be completely against anything more restrictive than this. I'm a major proponent of IP editing, and I've seen plenty of new users add some great content; however, editing and creating new articles aren't the same and aren't mutually exclusive. I don't think we'll be going back to the days of Nupedia, as your comment seems to suggest. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 02:31, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
    Good words spoken with good intent. We shall see? – Paine Ellsworth ( CLIMAX )  02:38, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
  70. What Spinningspark said. Ladislav the Posthumous (talk) 11:27, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
  71. I know I certainly wouldn't if I was a new user. Everybody starts from somewhere and this certainly isn't welcoming. Magiciandude (talk) 09:27, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
  72. Strongly agree.Ddama (talk) 05:04, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
  73. Sleigh is what teaches a foal. Let new users try. Forcing them through a complex, controlled process is not going to help us getting new energy to our ranks. No one is obligated to partol New Pages, there is no excuse to be bitey to new ones. Pitke (talk) 12:26, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
  74. Strongly agree. Some other views here that suggest new page creation doesn't fall under "editing" are taking our catch phrase a bit too literally. Say a new user has interest in a single overlooked topic. Why force him/her to practice on other topics? One can get the gist of creating a new article by reading up on policies prior to taking the plunge (as I did myself before making my first edit). Though nearly every edit I've made in my Wikipedia "career" has been cleanup-related, I do it gladly knowing that those more creative than I can continue to expand our scope of knowledge without restriction. I'd happily spend 12,000 more edits cleaning up new user errors than miss a single useful new article generated by someone who wouldn't bother if such restrictions were implemented. Some suggestions I've seen to the effect that "all the useful articles have already been created" concern me greatly; they sound much like "we know all there is to know". --AbsolutDan (talk) 15:02, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
  75. I like how you used the phrase "the smallest possible restriction necessary". The autoconfirmed status means several days worth of waiting and several edits. That's not really the smallest possible restriction; a step up from the requirement to create an account would be the requirement to e.g. make 1 legitimate edit before creating a new article. We could also refine that to 2 edits, or maybe 2 edits and 6 hours. My point is, there is no apparent proof that the specification of the autoconfirmed status exactly matches the requirements of a procedure for creating articles. Picking it seems pretty arbitrary. --Joy [shallot] (talk) 18:38, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
  76. I agree, more than helping this will simply deplete our supply of newcomers.·Maunus·ƛ· 00:08, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
  77. Couldn't agree more strongly. The proposal is not without merit, but our volunteers remain our greatest asset, and they should not be discouraged. Xymmax So let it be written So let it be done 00:16, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
  78. Strongest agree. I first used wikipedia as a resource, and once found it lacking in an article. So I went away and found out, and added to en.wiki as well as I could, so that the next guy would have my entry to draw on. I do not think that is unusual. If it had been any more effort to create that article I would not have bothered. I'm a New Pages patroller and so long as I remember not to "bite" I think I'm converting lots of first timers into wiki editors with a plate of cookies and an offer of help. Editing and creating are very different things anyway, and auto-confirmed status shows experience in one, which is probably not applicable to page creation. Many people's first edits are to insert a comma of fix a typo. That does not prepare them for creating an article. Philip.t.day talk 00:50, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
  79. Agree! New and anonymous users are important to the project. DrPoque (talk) 02:19, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
  80. I agree with what you say. Many of us are making long term committments to Wikipedia so it continues to be free for all. However it is confusing, I was doing a page for a bio on my own user page as suggested and that suddenly showed up on Google with my user name and the person I was doing the biography on while I was still referencing it completely, and while I was trying to fix it I suddenly got a big red notice of Speedy Deletion before I had it ready to even ask for input from other editors or admins. It has left me feeling stupid. User;JoeyD2010 — Preceding unsigned comment added by JoeyD2010 (talkcontribs) 06:14, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
    N.B. diff of the article in question Rivertorch (talk) 07:48, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
    That's an interesting note, because I also have just recently noticed User pages coming up during Google searches, and I thought User pages were supposed to be out of that loop and unsearchable. Whassup with that? – Paine Ellsworth ( CLIMAX )  17:05, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
    The search engines seem to like our userpages, although if you'd rather they not show up on search engines you can use noindex tags. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 20:46, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
    I suppose I read long ago that the noindexing was automatic for User pages. Things change. – Paine Ellsworth ( CLIMAX )  23:10, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
  81. As a brand new user myself, I strongly agree. Although I haven't made any new pages, if I had to jump through hoops to make an edit I would have just stayed a lurker. Blackhawk441 (talk) 07:12, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
  82. Its better to uphold the motto and accept the newbie attempts at new articles. Ten edits aren't going to make someone much wiser than zero edits without hand-holding and guidance, and ten edits are reached quite fast. Let all be free to create articles but new editor receptions, courses, guidance etc be increased multifold in volume. AshLin (talk) 18:10, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
  83. I agree--don't drive off new contributors.Adallas (talk) 20:09, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
  84. Before I tried editing an obviously lacking article on a subject I am currently researching, I thought of Wikipedia as something like Encyclopedia Britannica (if I thought about it all) that would require you to be some sort of editorial professional. I was thrilled to be able to make a change - if I had been dissuaded by any you-can't-do-this-without-training kind of message I would have dropped it right there. I made close to some 200 edits on the live page - newbie ignorance and overkill not to mention no training at all (I just looked at the code of other articles and tried previewing my versions of it) - but there's something to be said for jumping into the deep water. I'm sure a lot of new editors are the kind of people that assemble things without reading the manual, although I could see why it would drive experienced users a bit nuts. Curiocurio 20:51, 25 April 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Curiocurio (talkcontribs)
    You do realize that around 80% of the users who jump into the deep water right away essentially drown in the process? The status quo is not only aggravating to experienced users, its discouraging to new users. Mr.Z-man 20:58, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
    So essentially, this boils down to which is more discouraging: (1) jumping in and probably drowning, or (2) not being able to jump in and sink or swim in accord with one's education and abilities. If I were new to Wikipedia, I would prefer seeing a notice to the effect that you mention, i.e., that most new articles written by new users take a lot of work to meet WP standards, and that, if I still want to create a new article, then I should keep that in mind. I'd rather see that than to find out that Wikipedia excludes me from creating articles simply because I'm a new user. – Paine Ellsworth ( CLIMAX )  23:10, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
  85. I agree with the views expressed by Ironholds. Deb (talk) 17:21, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
  86. Agree with Ironholds. - Rgrant (talk) 21:10, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
  87. I too agree with Ironholds. --LeValley 04:53, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
  88. I agree with Ironholds User:jkslouth 18:26, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
  89. Agree - why encourage people to make 10 needless / potentially unconstructive edits if they really want to put a rubbish or malicious page up? Jimbobolaffsson (talk) 22:10, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
  90. Strongly agree. Well written, thoughtful analysis. Even today, there are subjects WP arguably lacks coverage of. I doubt this will do anything to stem vandalism, but it might well stem contributions. Holmwood (talk) 23:43, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
  91. Agree strongly - Richardofoakshire [talk] 10:37, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
  92. Agree. The proposal will only shift the workload elsewhere, not reduce work. The key to getting out of our current problem is growing our editor base, and this will only serve to reduce it. —Charles Edward (Talk | Contribs) 13:57, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
  93. Sounds about right. Melchoir (talk) 22:32, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
  94. Agree - SteveStrummer (talk) 01:33, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
  95. Agree, and I've added an argument of my own below.--Johnsemlak (talk) 05:17, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
  96. Agree with Ironholds. Wikipedia been losing long-term contributors faster than it is gaining them, which increases the workload on the remaining volunteers and the WMF is rightly concerned about the issue. This RfC started as a request for more voluteers at NPP, which is what we need. The restriction of requiring autoconfirmation will get us less volunteers and make things worse, not only at NPP but everywhere on Wikipedia. This restriction will not deter vandals, spammers, etc., it will only deter the good volunteers we so desperately need. - Hydroxonium (TCV) 08:12, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
    That's not quite how it happened. I started off suggesting both that we need more NPPers and the autoconfirmed idea. Just for clarification. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 16:48, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
  97. Agreed. [[User:J'ai osé] 01:33, 29 April 2011 —Preceding unsigned comment added by J'ai osé (talkcontribs)
  98. Agree, AFC will simply move all the existing problems to a new location. --Enric Naval (talk) 10:40, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
  99. Agree more or less with this sentiment. TomStar81 (Talk) 11:32, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
  100. Chester Markel (talk) 18:13, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
  101. Agree! --NERIUM (talk) 18:57, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

View from User:Jayron32

Lets keep this short and sweet (which is very hard for me to do). Edit is not the same thing as create articles. Newly created accounts can still edit existing articles, so there is no loss to Wikipedia's core mission by disallowing new users to create articles. By restricting article creation to autoconfirmed users, we substantially reduce the number of deleted articles without affecting the core mission, since new users may still contribute. Since creating a proper article (one which will survive deletion and stick around) is very hard, this will allow new users to "get their feet wet" and to learn basic Wikipedia policies and guidelines. 4 days and 10 edits is enough to do that, without being so long as to drive away potentially serious users. Restricting article creation to autoconfirmed users is a change we should make.

Users who endorse this view
  1. --Jayron32 20:51, 3 April 2011 (UTC) (as writer)
  2. Nyttend (talk) 20:54, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
  3. A fluffernutter is a sandwich! (talk) 21:40, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
  4. bahamut0013wordsdeeds 21:43, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
  5. agreed A ntv (talk) 21:03, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
  6. Malleus Fatuorum 22:18, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
  7. Pol430 talk to me 22:19, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
  8. Users who do "get their feet wet" rather than diving into the deep end right away are more likely to have positive experiences. Mr.Z-man 23:10, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
  9. There's something to be said for letting them learn to drive in the parking lot, instead of jumping onto the highway. Shooterwalker (talk) 23:27, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
  10. Even restricting article creation to editors who had ever made one edit in an existing page might help. The people at the biggest disadvantage are the ones whose only main-space edits are at a page they created themselves. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:38, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
  11. To recycle my favourite metaphor for this issue: creating articles is like learning how to drive. The status quo is an Angry Dad giving his kid the carkeys and saying "off you go, try not to crash and burn, WHAT ARE YOU DOING, YOU IDIOT, DON'T YOU KNOW HOW TO DRIVE?". This is why driving instructors exist. Rd232 talk 23:43, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
  12. /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 23:44, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
  13. Basket of Puppies 01:31, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  14. -- DQ (t) (e) 02:32, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  15. SilverserenC 02:45, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  16. Rd232's metaphor is a true one --Guerillero | My Talk | Review Me 02:48, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  17. MER-C 04:12, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  18. A sensible approach - one must crawl before one can walk. And of course, WP:AFC remains an available option for new users with a desire to create new pages.--JayJasper (talk) 04:23, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  19. Racepacket (talk) 04:49, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  20. Per Rd232. The metaphor is apt. Rivertorch (talk) 06:02, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  21. Rschen7754 06:24, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  22. Giving potentially serious users a hoop or two more to jump through is not a bad idea. It might make them feel more important and give them a sense of belonging to the project, rather than those who don't give a hoot and just breeze in to to vandalise, make hoax, attack, copyvio, and test pages, or paste huge chunks of foreign languages they have no intention of translating. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 07:47, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  23. Hut 8.5 10:19, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  24. --Mkativerata (talk) 10:20, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  25. -- Donald Albury 10:53, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  26. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 10:55, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  27. To avoid repeating what others have written already – my views mirror those of 7 (Mr Z-Man) and 21 (Kudpung) above Apuldram (talk) 10:58, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  28. —  HELLKNOWZ  ▎TALK 10:59, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  29. Stifle (talk) 13:51, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  30. Danger (talk) 19:05, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  31. Tentontunic (talk) 19:09, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  32.  Sandstein  19:35, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  33. Rd232's metaphor is perfect. bobrayner (talk) 20:00, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  34. RadManCF open frequency 20:45, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  35. Brammers (talk/c) 22:14, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  36. Killiondude (talk) 00:47, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  37. Armbrust WrestleMania XXVII Undertaker 19–0 01:49, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  38. Elekhh (talk) 02:04, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  39. Yoenit (talk) 09:08, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  40. Shrike (talk) 14:22, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  41.  Ronhjones  (Talk) 20:14, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  42. Ajraddatz (Talk) 01:25, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
  43. Jayron32's reasoning is clear, concise, and—in my opinion—correct. Guoguo12--Talk--  02:11, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
  44. My thoughts exactly. Excellent points. Deyyaz [ Talk | Contribs ] 03:24, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
  45. Agree completly. Lugnuts (talk) 06:43, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
  46. Wikipedia has changed from the slap and dash days when we wanted to grow and any content was welcome. We did grow, though we also gained a reputation for publishing unreliable and poor quality material. We are now in the days of more demanding quality article building, and our reputation is improving. Article editing and article creation is more difficult now, and it requires an editor with more than a five minute attention span, and who has the patience and willingness to read guidelines and follow consensus. Editors who are not prepared to wait, listen and learn are not the editors we want. SilkTork *YES! 11:15, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
  47. Sole Soul (talk) 13:14, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
  48. Absolutely. Jim Miller See me | Touch me 14:14, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
  49. This makes more intuitive sense to me than the counter-proposals. We should at least try this and figure out which fears and hopes voiced in this RfC turn out to be true. Pichpich (talk) 18:56, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
  50. mc10 (t/c) 22:00, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
  51. Steve2011 Chat 00:54, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  52. Ancient ApparitionChampagne? • 4:48pm • 06:48, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  53. eo (talk) 10:58, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  54. Also agree with JayJasper --- User:Shuipzv3 Shuipzv3 (talk) 11:10, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  55. I've been expecting this for a while now. About time. -- Scjessey (talk) 11:29, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  56. Very persuasive argument. - Artoasis (talk) 11:34, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  57. --BelovedFreak 11:35, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  58. - Sitush (talk) 12:13, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  59. --Coemgenus 12:34, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  60. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 13:12, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  61. Ynhockey (Talk) 13:15, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  62. patitomr (talk) 13:37, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  63. Works for me. It takes just a little time to "learn the ropes". If the new editor is serious about contributing, then a break-in period won't hurt. As an encylopedia, we still expect minium standards, don't we? Cuprum17 (talk) 13:52, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  64. Well said. SheepNotGoats (talk) 14:27, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  65. I made quite a few IP edits before registering to create my first article. Definitely helps with acculturation. I see only an upside to requiring some of that. Ntsimp (talk) 14:52, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  66. Well said. Sounds like good justification to me. Ruby2010 talk 15:12, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  67. Agreed TomorrowsDream (talk) 15:23, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  68. Yes. - Burpelson AFB 16:19, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  69. --M4gnum0n (talk) 16:25, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  70. Probably a good idea TheTechFan (talk) 17:00, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  71. Jclemens (talk) 17:12, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  72. --| Uncle Milty | talk | 17:14, 7 April 2011 (UTC) - Spend some time patrolling the User creation log and you'll begin to see the patterns that gave birth to this discussion: Almost all new articles created by new users fall into two types: Pure vandalism, and piles of incorrectly formatted text. Thus my endorsement of the above viewpoint.
  73. This. Newcomers should be encouraged to enhance and improve existing articles. Get them used to things there, then they can create. Tarc (talk) 17:15, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  74. Imzadi 1979  17:22, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  75. This will decrease the pressure at on new page patrollers, AfD patrollers, and admins who patrol CSD's by quite a bit. And this comes from a user whose first non-IP edit was to create an article (which later went on to be a GA). I don't think that having to get auto-confirmed would have stopped me from creating the article. —SW— babble 17:23, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  76. THANK YOU! Nobody leaves in 4 days, esp when they're allowed to make edits from day one. Ratibgreat (talk) 17:53, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  77. Yes. Mr. Stradivarius (drop me a line) 18:08, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  78. Otelemuyen (talk) 18:20, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  79. I know this is a contentious issue but--as a vandalism patroller--I believe it may result in a net improvement. — UncleBubba T @ C ) 18:27, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  80. This will help make the encyclopedia a bit less of a target for trash edits. Binksternet (talk) 18:40, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  81. --Jezebel'sPonyobons mots 18:53, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  82. yes, wholeheartedly agree. Soosim (talk) 19:04, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  83. If they can't wait 4 days, it wasn't meant to be. Kafziel Complaint Department: Please take a number 20:27, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  84. --CutOffTies (talk) 21:23, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  85. Agree; would like to see the autoconfirmed requirements go up and hope that as an added plus we might curtail paid article writers and COI's by making them provide other productive work apart from what they are after.
    ⋙–Berean–Hunter—► ((⊕)) 22:33, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  86. I appreciate the clarity of this presentation by Jayron32. A better balance of rights with responsibilities, no doubt. Sunray (talk) 23:36, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  87. Agree. Reduce the number of bigheaded proud people who make self-glorifying articles about themselves. --43?9enter ☭msg☭contribs 23:45, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  88. Agreed. I don't put much weight into the concern that new users who want to create new articles won't bother with WP:AFC (I probably wouldn't have even noticed or cared about this mechanism as a new user, so who cares?). I think most would just wait a short while and do the small amount of edits to get their credentials (autoconfirmed), and many of those eventualities will seem like a sudden, delightful surprise for the user. I'd much rather have new users get their chops by learning how to edit properly before creating an article, which literally requires several wiki skill sets. Stevie is the man! TalkWork 23:49, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  89. Schlitzer90 (talk) 00:08, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  90. Very well said. I'd like to add that improving existing articles is often more important than creating new articles, given that there are no longer so many broad topics not yet covered. IPs are of course welcome to improve existing articles, and statistics have shown that they do that more than they contribute bad-faith or good-faith nonconstructive edits. But articles created by IPs are many times more likely to have to be deleted than their simple edits have to be reverted. --Jsayre64 (talk) 00:19, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  91. Agree Openskye (talk) 01:20, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  92. Agree - the best start by putting a little toe in the water first to test the waters before going in, and adding an article-create restriction means that new users have to take time to twiddle with things a little bit before expanding things. SchuminWeb (Talk) 01:54, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  93. Agree There are so many good points being made, all spurred on by Jayron32's core argument: "edit is not the same as create article". And I would add this: mechanisms are already in place that make distinctions between IP and user (q.v. semi-protection). I don't think it degrades the "openly editable" model, it merely refines the permissions. VoxLuna (Talk) 02:31, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  94. This is exactly the comment I hoped to make. Further, people who try to create their own article to promote a business will perhaps think twice before sending it through AfC. Whereas, they might hope that it wouldn't be noticed if they made it themselves. Strong support, Cliff (talk) 03:17, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  95. Fair and well said. DP76764 (Talk) 03:32, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  96.  Glenfarclas  (talk) 04:00, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  97. Concur.  Ravenswing  04:38, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  98. A key reason that autoconfirmed status exists is so that those who may wish to vandalize or disrupt are deterred. Someone wishing to create a junk article just for giggles might not want to go through the process of having to make 10 other edits and having to wait four days first. Conversely, a new editor wishing to make a constructive new article probably has a better head on their shoulders, and wouldn't find having to go through a very small confirmation process a hindrance to their goal of adding something worthwhile to our community. Restricting new article creations to autoconfirmed users is a proposal I endorse. --Sgt. R.K. Blue (talk) 06:58, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  99. Herostratus (talk) 07:52, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  100. canticle (talk)09:13m 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  101. It might mean that the number of people needed at AfC is going to increase dramatically. The people at AfC are competent and used to backlogs though. This is needed, I think. This is doable too. So let's do this and hope for the best. Sven Manguard Wha? 08:23, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  102. Agree. --Phospheros (talk) 08:32, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  103. Your opinion is correct! --Ghostshock (talk) 08:50, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  104. Sound argument Warren (talk) 10:49, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  105. Agree. It's a very small hoop to jump through and it's much better that a new editor has a couple of minor edits reverted in the process of learning what's what that an article that many have taken a significant time to produce. PRL42 (talk) 12:01, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  106. Ditto? dragfyre_ʞןɐʇc 12:28, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  107. Editing is not necessarily the same as creating. Anyone can set up an account, and make 10 edits over 4 days. The mission is not compromised. The proposal brings new editors in on a more gentle learning curve; We'll have a better chance of retaining them. --Kvng(talk) 13:25, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  108. Reluctantly agree Blue Square Thing (talk) 13:27, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  109. --Ron Ritzman (talk) 13:44, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  110. Dabomb87 (talk) 13:48, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  111. Based on thousands of hours I have spent patrolling new articles and edits by new editors, this is a sound proposal. Edison (talk) 14:59, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  112. Endorse. Shajure (talk) 17:18, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  113. Agree Mo ainm~Talk 17:36, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  114. Agree - Provided this does not stop creation of user-space sub-pages. Currently, if, as recommended, a new user prepares an article in their user space, they must be autoconfirmed to move it. However, they can create a main space article with their first edit - crazy. Arjayay (talk) 18:10, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  115. Well put Jebus989 19:12, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  116. Ten edits over four days is a very minor hurdle. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 20:07, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  117. good idea Bentogoa (talk) 21:17, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  118. Makes sense. Users who come to edit first rather than specifically make an account to create an article they want usually seem to end up being much greater contributors as a whole in the long run. A simple message saying some brief editing is required before an article can be created would put off only the users who have no interest in staying around, just the ones who are more likely to create jokes, ads, or articles on themselves. Plus, if we encourage starting creations in userspace, I think most confused new users would still be satisfied. And there's always AfC.--Yaksar (let's chat) 22:28, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  119. Should save everyone some time. Albacore (talk) 22:45, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  120. Quality, not blind quantity. — Coren (talk) 23:11, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  121. Makes complete sense that new editors should take some time to get to understand the project and how to edit before attempting to create an article. Based on the experiences of those working in the trenches (NPPers), I believe it's completely reasonable to require a few days and edits before being given the option to create. Just make it very clear to new users why this restriction exists and what they can do to prepare themselves to create a successful article. Lara 01:15, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
  122. Agreed. Parrotistic (talk) 03:23, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
  123. It lessens the effort needed to monitor new articles that should have been put into improving existing ones. Moray An Par (talk) 10:48, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
  124. I agree to the proposal. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mittgaurav (talkcontribs) 12:41, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
  125. Makes sense. Mystylplx (talk) 16:35, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
  126. --STATic message me! 19:36, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
  127. Makes sense to me. Baby steps. The more you edit the more likely you are to get a feel for the place, become a better editor, and maybe get hooked and branch off into other articles and 'behind the scenes' stuff.--Brianann MacAmhlaidh (talk) 20:14, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
  128. Agree USchick (talk) 20:40, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
  129. Nev1 (talk) 21:08, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
  130. First Light (talk) 23:07, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
  131. A few days and a few edits are not too much to ask before article creation is enabled. If someone declines to participate in Wikipedia at all because of that minor restriction, it is unlikely to be a major loss to the project. Neutron (talk) 23:42, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
  132. Absolutely. Would probably vastly reduce silly non-notable autobiographies, attack pages, and G11s. OhNoitsJamie Talk 23:50, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
  133. Yep; not more for me to say beyond my view below. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 23:59, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
  134. Personally I waited about six months before I created a new article. Beeblebrox (talk) 01:27, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
  135. Nolelover It's almost football season! 05:35, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
  136. Same thoughts. Tbhotch* ۩ ۞ 07:09, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
  137. Jclavet (talk) 12:32, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
  138. Agreed. You wouldn't believe how many new article creations from recently registered editors get smacked because of the CSD. Someone who is serious would not really need to (or want to, since (s)he would be more cautious by virtue of the fact that (s)he's more serious,) create many articles (I myself haven't created a single article yet, all I've done is do complete overhauls on a few, like Alkali metal.) Lanthanum-138 (talk) 13:27, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
  139. jcgoble3 (talk) 21:17, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
  140. AussieLegend (talk) 23:25, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
  141. This is a good move to help confirmed editors manage their time more effectively and help new users contribute in meaningful ways. — btphelps (talk) (contribs) 01:02, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
  142. Open to changing my mind if the data shows otherwise, but tentatively leaning towards this view. T. Canens (talk) 04:08, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
  143. Completely agree with "edit is not the same thing as create articles".--  Forty two  06:49, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
  144. Agreed for auto confirm users to create new articles User:PREVRAVANTH Prev Ravanth 07:15, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
  145. Yep. It's time to shift from article counts to quality control, and this is a really small requirement. A data-collecting trial should be done. --JaGatalk 08:21, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
  146. DoRD (talk) 12:19, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
  147. Yes, that makes sense. Wikidas©
  148. Even in 2005, when there were lots of notable, easy topics still missing (lots of notable ones are still missing today, but not so many easy ones anymore), I made 13 mainspace edits and was around for 6 days before creating my first article. If someone or some rule would have said back then that I should have made ten, or twenty, or fifty edits before starting to create an article, I would have considered this to perfectly normal. Everyone can edit, sure, but you have to learn a bit how things are done before you can start, and first editing some articles before actually creating new ones is a good method to get a bit more used to Wikipedia culture and style. Fram (talk) 13:40, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
  149. Right on. Makes sense to me. Most of the new articles I see, from accounts created today are crap. Love letters to their schoolmates, hoaxes or vandalism. Few new-inexperienced editors can create decent articles that can pass muster on their first day. They still can edit and gain experience, and they still can request a new article be created. I see no problems with this approach. -- Alexf(talk) 14:00, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
  150. Agree I am currently about 8 hours from being auto-confirmed. I would say I'm probably the exception as opposed to the rule. I've been on Wikipedia for 3 years, but just under 4 days ago I decided to make an account to start regularly contributing. I've made close to 100 edits over the past 4 days- most of that copy editing and wikifying. While I am making efforts to expand a few regional pages, I would say I am not ready to create a page yet. And I am an educator- a writer- and technically comfortable. So if I'm not ready, I have a hard time believing the vast majority of non-auto-confirmed users are. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Nightenbelle (talkcontribs) 15:03, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
  151. The "getting their feet wet" way of viewing it is a really good idea.  A p3rson  23:18, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
  152. Agree - 4 days and 10 edits is a low barrier to entry. Greenshinobi (talk) 01:12, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  153. This will be for the good of the wiki in the long run. Kansan (talk) 05:22, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  154. I would be interested to see how many articles created by non-autoconfirmed users actually last, get expanded, and become a useful part of the project. My gut instinct and experience tell me that people who come here with a particular article in mind, that they immediately create, are rarely of benefit to WP as a whole. Indeed, they often seem to be responsible for some of the more egregious and problematic content.--KorruskiTalk 08:09, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  155. Absolutely support. Restricting creation is an effective way not only to get newbies more experience with editing, but to encourage them to get the feedback they need on their new contributions and how they can do better next time from processes like AfC before they get bitten by rapid deletion. Dcoetzee 09:35, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  156. Huzzah! Cyphoidbomb (talk) 16:10, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  157. Support --Chris.urs-o (talk) 20:47, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  158. Short, sweet, and exactly why we should implement this. EricLeb01 (Page | Talk) 21:04, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  159. SpencerT♦C 21:50, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  160. Beyond My Ken (talk) 22:21, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  161. WormTT · (talk) 13:52, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
  162. DavidHobby (talk) 14:22, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
  163. Michael Bednarek (talk) 14:30, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
  164. Evanh2008, Super Genius (User page) (talk) 08:30, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
  165. Hkcd1265 (talk) 10:08, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
  166.  Badgernet  ₪  10:29, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
  167. --Teukros (talk) 12:03, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
  168. Short and sweet and completely right -- Fyrefly (talk) 17:23, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
  169. Should be more than autoconfirmed status - several hundred edits, in my view. Buckshot06 (talk) 20:29, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
  170. Baseball Watcher 01:18, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
  171. Agree, Wikipedia is a fascinating project, but quite honestly a bit of a maze. I have made about 100 edits I guess, have managed to familiarize myself with some cite templates and a couple of dozen policies and guidelines, but do not feel sufficiently experienced to create an article yet. This proposition demands a very low-level of commitment (4 days, 10 edits) and if it reduces the workload and stops 50% of new articles being deleted then I say "yo". Captain Screebo (talk) 13:08, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
  172. Agree, TRANSPORTERMAN (TALK) 13:53, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
  173. Wizardman Operation Big Bear 15:33, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
  174. Agreed with this view. It is very sensible to follow through with this. Gb105 (talk) 17:00, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
  175. Absolutely agreed.YuYuNinjaGaiden (talk) 12:57, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
  176. It's a good point. - Al Lemos (talk) 15:37, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
  177. Alfie↑↓© 08:36, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
  178. Agree নাফী ম. সাধ nafSadhtalk —Preceding undated comment added 13:54, 17 April 2011 (UTC).
  179. Agree. The Helpful One 22:18, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
  180. Agree. - Cullen328 (talk) 02:04, 18 April 2011 (UTC)
  181. Agree Zlqq2144 (talk) 03:56, 18 April 2011 (UTC)
  182. Strongly agree. Not only is this proposal very reasonable, it really should have been implemented a long time ago. --SoCalSuperEagle (talk) 17:20, 18 April 2011 (UTC)
  183.   Support -- Thomas888b (Say Hi) 07:14, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
  184. -- 李博杰  | Talk contribs email 16:35, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
  185. I agree with the general idea here, but I don't think that NPP is a problem. I've seen the backlog fluctuate from 45 days to a of couple hours. I would hope this action would lead to a less bitey community, but new users who don't have a clue (often through no fault of their own) are still going to tick off some established users. I think implementing this change will force those new users to read a few more pages like WP:FIRST and hopefully understand to at least a minimal degree WP:NOT, WP:V and WP:RS, among others. If they feel there is a sudden, urgent need to create an article, they can be directed to WP:AfC, preferably from the page that tells them they can't create a new article. P. D. Cook Talk to me! 19:36, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
  186. Agree. Simple enough to explain, simple enough to implement. Shouldn't deter useful contributors. AndyTheGrump (talk) 01:08, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
  187. I agree with this view--Nyswimmer (talk) 09:20, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
  188. Definitely seems like the way forward. BigDom (talk) 10:30, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
  189. NYyankees51 (talk) 14:28, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
  190. Improving existing articles is much more needed than creating new ones. -- Marie Poise (talk) 16:53, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
  191. Agree Karl 334 TALK to ME 16:13, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
  192. Agree. It would avoid disappointing potentially valuable editors, whilst reducing the workload on the existing community. Hchc2009 (talk) 21:48, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
  193. Absolutely right. This change should've been made a long time ago. Jahahn (talk) 04:01, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
  194. Captain panda 07:02, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
  195. Gah, the difference between editing and creating articles has been driving me crazy. Thank you for stating exactly how I feel about this; we can be open to new editors contributing to the encyclopedia without allowing just anyone to create articles (which require additional administrative attention, and can serve to drive away otherwise well-meaning editors when they simply just don't "get" the rules).
    Personally, I think we're far too obsessed with picking up every single potential editor than in asking ourselves if any of those potentials are actually a good fit for a massive collaborative project; let's not kid ourselves, we may want to be open to anyone editing, but being an active contributor means you have to learn what the rules are and be able to follow them. That isn't everyone's cup of tea. EVula // talk // // 22:05, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
  196. Thought I'd endorsed this one already! It makes perfect sense: "edit" is not a synonym for "create", technically, colloquially, or in Wikipedia jargon. Feezo (send a signal | watch the sky) 01:06, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
  197. STSC (talk) 04:04, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
  198. Strongly Support. 'Auto-confirmed user' has such a small requirement. It even confirms that the User is interested in contributing: not just adding A page, but get general knowledge about the rules. They can even ask their WikiGuide if they got one, for support. AdvertAdam talk 05:03, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
  199. Support A great reduction of clutter and a good way to de-noob the noobs. Dahn (talk) 10:32, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
  200. This is simply right. PT (talk) 11:20, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
  201. Agree --  Nashville Monkey  talk  -- 20:53, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
  202. Even more than with Jayron32's comment, I agree with WhatamIdoing. If your first edit to Wikipedia is creating an article, then something's fishy (WP:COI). In my opinion, a simple "one edit, and then you're allowed to create" rule would be enough, but this autoconfirmed proposal is better than the status quo. --bender235 (talk) 01:24, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
  203. --Cybercobra (talk) 02:13, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
  204. Sounds sensible. Doctorcito (talk) 09:08, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
  205. This can be done. Support, especially if new users are automatically made aware of the possibility to draft in userspace. Pitke (talk) 12:28, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
  206. Strong Support 4 days and 10 edits is the figure at the heart of the issue. Aaditya 7 18:19, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
  207. CRGreathouse (t | c) 19:07, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
  208. Agree . Per nominator. Adrian (talk) 20:52, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
  209. Agree. Most of the deleted new articles come from non-autoconfirmed users. It would give new editors a chance to look around, and I think would limit page-creating vandals (who tend to be lazy.) 78.26 (talk) 21:53, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
  210. Agree. Unless more controls are put in place Wikipedia is on its way to becoming the new Craigslist. There are too many spammers and they will just over run the supply of responsible editors sooner or later. As is, there are not enough people to watch pages, and this will free up badly needed resources. History2007 (talk) 22:39, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
  211. This proposal does little harm, and I believe will actually encourage users to stay, rather than discourage, as some editors have said in other suggestions. The truth is that Wikipedia is hard--it's not like any other place on the web, in that it allows open editing but also has a very complex set of policies and guidelines that govern that editing. Let's help good-intentioned new users by giving them a little bit of exposure to our structures first before giving them the opportunity to do something that will almost certainly not succeed. Qwyrxian (talk) 06:42, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
  212. Agree to the view. The objective of wikipedia is bare & free representation of facts. This supports this core objective. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Hardik4 (talkcontribs) 08:27, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
  213. Agree Requiring new users to gain some minimal editing experience before diving in to create articles from scratch is completely reasonable. — Loadmaster (talk) 14:39, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
  214. Agree. Although not all non-autoconfirmed users vandalize and spam Wikipedia, a large portion do, so these suggestions are especially useful here. — Glenn L (talk) 05:01, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
  215. Agree "By restricting article creation to autoconfirmed users, we substantially reduce the number of deleted articles without affecting the core mission..." Webwires (talk) 10:29, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
  216. Agree nothing more to say. mabdul 15:33, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
  217. Agree. Really no new editor should try creating a new article with edits 1-10. Johnbod (talk) 00:08, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
  218. Agree We have to crawl before we walk. Trilobitealive (talk) 01:54, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
  219. Agree. Four days and 10 edits is a tiny feat to accomplish before the much larger task of creating a good article. I'm a very new editor, and I still agree with this, and don't think it is discouraging to other newcomers. SnehaNar (talk) 01:58, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
  220. John Vandenberg (chat) 18:19, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
  221. Agree The bar is set so low it is no impediment to anyone who is serious. Sarah777 (talk) 21:13, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
  222. Agree—Sensible. Please do it as an important step towards professionalising the project. Tony (talk) 14:12, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
  223. Agree Dzlife (talk) 19:51, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
  224. Agreed Frozen Windwant to be chilly? 14:43, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
  225. Agree. Theoboyd (talk) 15:52, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
  226. --mauchoeagle (c) 20:54, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
  227. Agree. A minor change with an impact in the right direction.  Unscintillating (talk) 21:40, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
  228. Agree, and would add that editors who are impatient and demand to do everything their way right this moment are probably not good fits for this project anyway. The vast majority of "first edit is a creation" articles are destined for deletion, of types ranging from well-meaning but inappropriate articles to obvious promotion and pure vandalism. I'm certainly glad to drive off spammers and vandals, and this would help to keep them away, but I am worried about those whose articles were clearly written with good intent but just not in keeping with our project. With a little learning of the project first, they may have come to the realization on their own that their planned article wouldn't work, rather than writing it just to have a speedy notice/prod slapped on it. Which of those is more discouraging to someone who wants to make good contributions but just doesn't know how yet? Seraphimblade Talk to me 02:24, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
  229. Oh, hell. Looks like this is going to pass. "Fuck the newbies" should be new motto of this project. Let's see how the WMF deals with this emanation of consensus in their grand strategy. Tijfo098 (talk) 06:05, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
  230. Yes, as long as there is a mechanism for a draft to be reviewed and accepted/rejected in a decent time why not. The procedures and set up at AFC need to be overhauled before this is implemented though Spartaz Humbug! 09:21, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
  231. KarikaSlayer (talk) 23:12, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

View from User:Mr.Z-man

Will shifting the NewPages backlog to AFC just result in a bigger backlog at AFC? Almost certainly. Are "restrict article creation and have new users use AFC" and "no change" the only options? Absolutely not. The restriction of new article creation should be accompanied with a shift in focus to improving existing articles rather than creating new ones. If new users create their articles at AFC, they're still going to fail in large numbers because its still difficult. We should be encouraging users who want to contribute to contribute to our existing body of stubs articles. We have over 3.6 million articles; how many notable topics are there that are so unrelated to anything we currently have an article on that a new article is necessary? People seem to read WP:N as some sort of commandment: If its notable, then it must be in a standalone article. By using a quantity over quality approach, we're doing a disservice to readers by scattering related information all over lots of tiny articles and we're doing a disservice to new users by encouraging them to start editing by doing one of the most difficult editing tasks first.

Users who endorse this view
  1. Mr.Z-man 20:57, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
  2. My point exactly. There's no shame in making existing articles better. Quality over quantity. --Jayron32 21:21, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
  3. Mergism does have its appeals. --Cybercobra (talk) 21:46, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
  4. This approach is particularly valuable for subjects described at WP:ORG. We do newbies no favors by permitting them to write articles that nobody ever wants to read, either. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:22, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
  5. Rd232 talk 23:43, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
  6. /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 23:45, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
  7. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 00:21, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  8. Sturgeon's law applies to Wikipedia, too. MER-C 04:14, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  9. --JayJasper (talk) 04:21, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  10. That's basically my editing/mainspace philosophy in a nutshell. It's not how many pieces on the Wikipedia globe, but how they fit. –MuZemike 07:12, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  11. -- Donald Albury 10:54, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  12. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 10:55, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  13. Apuldram (talk) 12:14, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  14. Indeed. At this point in the game, we should redirect new users toward improving rather than creating. Less cruft, fewer n00b roasts. (Oh what shall I eat then though!) Danger (talk) 19:08, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  15. Brammers (talk/c) 22:14, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  16. Permastubs are evil and utterly useless to our readers. Yoenit (talk) 09:09, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  17.  Ronhjones  (Talk) 20:15, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  18. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 13:12, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  19. --M4gnum0n (talk) 16:26, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  20. ... with the caveat that "improving the average quality" is best accomplished by actually improving articles, rather than deleting articles on encyclopedic topics but deemed too problematic to fix. Jclemens (talk) 17:14, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  21. Useful thought. Stevie is the man! TalkWork 23:59, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  22. Yes, "shift in focus to improving existing articles rather than creating new ones" is wave of future. Herostratus (talk) 07:54, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  23. Bloat will kill off Wikipedia. Too few eyes on too many stubs and other junk will lead to problems. We could probably stand to shed a few hundred thousand articles as it is. Sven Manguard Wha? 08:40, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  24. Wikipedia has matured. New articles are not as valuable as they once were. Policy needs to reflect this. --Kvng (talk) 13:28, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  25. As well as expanding stubs there's also Category:Redirects_with_possibilities. In both cases we have "placeholders" for subjects that the community has already decided are "encyclopedic". (Well mostly, stubs do go to AFD) Turning these into articles instead of creating new ones is less likely to get a newbie nastygrammed off of Wikipedia. --Ron Ritzman (talk) 13:57, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  26. Lara 01:17, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
  27. Nolelover It's almost football season! 05:33, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
  28. — anndelion  23:29, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  29. --Nyswimmer (talk) 03:57, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
  30. Fair point, especially with all the backlogs there are currently! The Helpful One 22:21, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
  31. Armbrust Talk to me Contribs 10:53, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
  32. -- --  Nashville Monkey  talk  -- 20:51, 23 April 2011 (UTC) agree completely
  33. agree - workload doesn't disappear, it gets moved sideways to AFC. Burden is a burden, doesn't not get alleviated by shifting load around. Either have a NPP drive to increase numbers to deal with NPP or improve new article wizard. --Takamaxa (Talk) 03:34, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
  34. Focusing new editors on the [edit] button on existing pages is a better use of their time and ours. John Vandenberg (chat) 18:21, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

View from Sven Manguard

I am of the longstanding view that Wikipedia has too much bloat already, possibly as high as 300,000 articles worth of it. We're inconsistent at best and deliberately manipulative at worst when it comes to interpreting notability guidelines, especially for things that touch on modern popular culture. I don't participate at NPP because I know that I will personally be more heavy handed with deletions than most, and I don't want to be the direct cause of other people's suffering, so to speak.

The answer, I believe, is to make all non-autoconfirmed users go through Articles for Creation, and to refocus Articles for Creation with an eye on efficiency. Recently, AfC got rid of the 'hold' option for nominations, which is a step in the right direction. In reality, it needs a policy shift towards the very explicit:

"If it can be made ready easily, do the work yourself and push it live. If it can't be, userfy it at the creator's namespace, leave them a message, and then if the person comes back (which is rare) work with them in the namespace then push it live. Anything that can't be saved gets declined, anything that needs deleting gets tagged."

I say this because while de facto policy is moving in this direction, too much of AfC's time is still wasted on waiting for people that will never come back to help fix problems that can be done by the reviewers themselves.

This has three benifits:

  • The RPP will shrink dramaticly, I would expect.
  • Because AfC has a focus on getting articles ready before going live, this will result in less articles needing wikification, less unsourced articles, less articles with major problem tags, etc. If you don't think that's the case, consider this: By making all non-autoconfirmed users use Files for Upload to upload images, the amount of copyvio images has gone down.
  • Ideally, because we'd have more human interaction and personalized response, we'd be able to have more positive responses to Wikipedia by the new users.

There is a downfall:

  • Fixing articles is more time consuming than placing deletion tags on them. This will likely cause backlogs if the current level of AfC participation remains the same. However hopefully AfC would be able to recruit people that were doing NPP, and the people that do wikification and cleanup, and have them do what is essentially a similar task in a centralized location.

I think this will work, and I think it's the best option. Sven Manguard Wha? 21:14, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

Users who endorse this view
  1. My idea, so... Sven Manguard Wha? 21:14, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
  2. I like this as a next step if this RfC passes. AfC can indeed use some streamlining, and doing it in the style Sven recommends will help with the "But then AfC will be backlogged instead of NPP!" problem. A fluffernutter is a sandwich! (talk) 21:41, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
  3. bahamut0013wordsdeeds 21:43, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
  4. Pol430 talk to me 22:22, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
  5. That would help. Rd232 talk 23:45, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
  6. /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 23:45, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
  7. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 00:25, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  8. The only issue is that we would need to have these "drafts" deleted 3 months after the last time they were edited so we don't have a glut of these that need to be taken care of. I would be more then happy to help improve brand new articles if this goes through. --Guerillero | My Talk | Review Me 02:59, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  9. Seems reasonable. Rivertorch (talk) 06:06, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  10. Definitely worth further discussion. -- Donald Albury 10:56, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  11. Stifle (talk) 13:52, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  12. Yes. -Fnlayson (talk) 15:49, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  13. RadManCF open frequency 20:48, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  14. Yoenit (talk) 09:14, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  15. Ancient ApparitionChampagne? • 4:50pm • 06:50, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  16. --JaGatalk 16:06, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  17. I agree. Mr. Stradivarius (drop me a line) 18:10, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  18. Well, "make all non-autoconfirmed users go through Articles for Creation" ... yes, that would be a valid alternative (to simply forbidding article creation by non-autoconfirmed) and would be OK to try this instead. Herostratus (talk) 07:57, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  19. I also think it will work. --Kvng (talk) 13:31, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  20. Baseball Watcher 01:20, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
  21. Bloat kills. Safety Cap (talk) 04:10, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
  22. -- 李博杰  | Talk contribs email 16:31, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
  23. Armbrust Talk to me Contribs 10:56, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
  24. CRGreathouse (t | c) 19:13, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
  25. reasonable and sensible approach to strengthen and give article wizard more teeth and grunt to handle new users article request. --Takamaxa (Talk) 03:36, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
  26. Agree. History2007 (talk) 20:46, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
  27. I would agree with this. Bassist DaTaco (talk) 03:42, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
  28. Agree, mabdul 15:52, 30 April 2011 (UTC)

View from User:HominidMachinae

This is a tough issue for me because I see good points both ways, but my opinion remains that the quality of Wikipedia, and its long-term prospects would be better served by limiting article creation.

Wikipedia is at a turning point of sorts, we already have almost all of the high-visibility and vital articles created (in other words, the articles that an encyclopedia must have to be taken seriously as a source of knowledge have long been stable articles). That places less importance on the creation of new articles and more importance on focusing on creating and maintaining a high level of quality.

The problem with allowing new users article creation ability is that they don't understand the community norms. I would say of my work at NPP fully 80% of the material meets the criterion for speedy deletion. They're not vandals, that's important to point out, they just don't know any better. They don't understand that 'well he exists' isn't a good reason for making an article about their 9th grade biology teacher, or their garage band or why they can't use myspace as the only source for an article. They could be good editors in time, but giving them immediate article creation access does not serve that purpose.

It is inherently bite-y to delete someone's first and only article, but just because we wait an extra week doesn't make it less bite-y either. An article about a garage band that meets three different CSD categories will always be an unsourced article about a non-notable garage band, no matter how long we wait. The solution to not biting these newcomers is to help make sure they have read the "big three" (wp:RS WP:N and WP:V) and understand what they can and cannot do before the user and established Wikipedia community are both faced with the uncomfortable situation of dealing with their unsuitable rookie article

In summary, as Wikipedia moves from its teenage years into adulthood the focus must necessarily shift from growth to maturity, from the desire to get as many new articles included as possible to the task of sorting, filtering and polishing those articles. There is little to lose from forcing pre-vetting of articles from the very newest editors and much to gain in terms of reducing the undeniable tide of poor articles that are creating a significant backlog.

Users who endorse this view
  1. HominidMachinae (talk) 21:52, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
  2. Pol430 talk to me 22:25, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
  3. Malleus Fatuorum 22:52, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
  4. Feezo (send a signal | watch the sky) 23:14, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
  5. With one minor tweak: They don't necessarily have to read the policies, just understand them, learning by experience is the key here IMO. Mr.Z-man 23:14, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
  6. A slower introduction is likely to retain more editors in the long run. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:38, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
  7. What WhatamIdoing said. Rd232 talk 23:46, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
  8. --Jayron32 00:22, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  9. SilverserenC 02:49, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  10. Quality over quantity. I somewhat disagree with the bit about noobs contributing garbage don't know any better -- the encyclopedic nature of Wikipedia obviously forbids schoolyard nonsense, spam, band advertising, vanity and the like. MER-C 04:21, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  11. --JayJasper (talk) 04:28, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  12. In fact, giving them immediate article creation access may be detrimental to their long-success as editors. Rivertorch (talk) 06:10, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  13. Rschen7754 06:26, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  14. Giving potentially serious users a hoop or two more to jump through is not a bad idea. It might make them feel more important and give them a sense of belonging to the project, rather than those who don't give a hoot and just breeze in to to vandalise, make hoax, attack, copyvio, and test pages, or paste huge chunks of foreign languages they have no intention of translating. And in my experience at NPP, although 80% is about right, at least half of that is from the 'don't care' creators. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 09:15, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  15. -- Donald Albury 10:57, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  16. —  HELLKNOWZ  ▎TALK 11:00, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  17. Yes. Quality, not quantity, should be the aim Apuldram (talk) 11:04, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  18. Danger (talk) 19:13, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  19. Kudpung says exactly what I was thinking (but more eloquently). bobrayner (talk) 20:07, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  20. /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 21:14, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  21. Brammers (talk/c) 22:13, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  22. The times, they are a-changin'. --Cybercobra (talk) 22:49, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  23. --Guerillero | My Talk | Review Me 01:52, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  24. Yoenit (talk) 09:15, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  25. bahamut0013wordsdeeds 12:03, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  26. Armbrust WrestleMania XXVII Undertaker 19–0 17:13, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  27.  Ronhjones  (Talk) 20:18, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  28. I wasn't going to worry about participating in this discussion, but I had to support this excellent statement of the situation. Johnuniq (talk) 08:50, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
  29. Yes. We are now in the quality development stage. And we do also need to pay attention to the thousands of pages of unsourced original research that was created in the early days of Wikipedia, and often lies hidden in orphaned or uncategorised pages. SilkTork *YES! 11:20, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
  30. Agree completely. The priority should not be creating yet more articles. Efforts should be much more focused on significantly improving the vast number of poorly written, unreferenced, etc. articles that we have already. -- Alarics (talk) 11:00, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  31. Agreed. Hekerui (talk) 11:25, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  32. --BelovedFreak 11:37, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  33. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 13:16, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  34. Very well stated. Cuprum17 (talk) 13:57, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  35. --JaGatalk 16:08, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  36. --M4gnum0n (talk) 16:28, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  37. ... noting that WP:N is still not a policy, I don't disagree with it being one of three key things that normally torpedo new articles. Jclemens (talk) 17:17, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  38. I likey. Ratibgreat (talk) 17:51, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  39. Yup. Binksternet (talk) 18:41, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  40. --Jezebel'sPonyobons mots 18:56, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  41. Mgcsinc (talk) 20:54, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  42. --Diannaa (Talk) 03:10, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  43. Herostratus (talk) 07:58, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  44. Well said. GRAPPLE X 12:37, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  45. Definitely will take some of the WP:BITE out of Wikipedia and we desperately need that. --Kvng (talk) 13:33, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  46. Extremely good analogy in a well-written summary. Agree completely. Lara 01:19, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
  47. The key to this philosophy is that we aren't discouraging users from contributing content, we are in fact providing them "on the job training," as it were, by directing new articles from brand new users to a place where they can be given a once-over or twice-over by editors with both experience, and the patience to explain the basics to a newcomer. Users who might have searched and found an article on Wikipedia who want to contribute content, can just poke around as they always have, without being bitten too severely and chased off forever by surly, over-worked NPP and RC patrollers. This may also help reduce that group of editors on NPP who just seem to perversely going around deleting articles by newbies, without bothering to see if the article could be rescued, just because it isn't standards-perfect and ready to achieve "good article" status. --OliverTwisted (Talk) (Stuff) 07:31, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
  48. Blue Rasberry (talk) 12:10, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
  49. Golgofrinchian (talk) 12:23, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
  50. Absolutely. First Light (talk) 23:41, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
  51. Well put. Beeblebrox (talk) 01:29, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
  52. mc10 (t/c) 05:12, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
  53. --joe deckertalk to me 22:34, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
  54. Nolelover It's almost football season! 23:01, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
  55. DoRD (talk) 12:23, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
  56. Beyond My Ken (talk) 22:23, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  57. -- 李博杰  | Talk contribs email 16:37, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
  58. Jebus989 14:58, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
  59. I fully agree with the need for more controls, the need to restrict new article creation and I support HominidMachinae's "turnig point" comment, but I must say I could not possibly agree with the spirit of the statement that:
    "we already have almost all of the high-visibility and vital articles created (in other words, the articles that an encyclopedia must have to be taken seriously as a source of knowledge have long been stable articles".
    Stable, maybe. High quality? Please kid me not. Taken seriously? You must be kidding! Stable is one thing, "pure junk" is another. Is Search engine technology an important topic for an encyclpedia? Yes. Is that article stable? Yes. Is it junk? Yes, absolute utter junk. How about Intangible property? And I can point you to 50 more important and pure junk articles. So there are many articles out there, and they need "better quality" while the rush is on to add millions of more articles on obscure artists who have recorded 1 obscure album, and waste our time. Wikipedia quality has a long long way to go while IPs create havoc. There is need for more quality, better controls and less chaos. History2007 (talk) 17:06, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
    As an extreme example, look at the sad state of studio album. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 17:14, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
    Yes, we are floating on an ocean of junk and the rush is on to put more water into the ocean. And also see the Wikipedia is not Twiggy metaphor in response to DGG below. History2007 (talk) 16:39, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
  60. John Vandenberg (chat) 18:25, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
  61. Perchloric (talk) 01:48, 29 April 2011 (UTC)

View from User:My76Strat

I think every perspective highlights valid consideration; To this extent, I think we have the best balance achievable, currently in place. After consideration, I believe we should keep everything related, as it is. I would agree that the Article Wizard could be improved, but that is a separate consideration.

Users who endorse this view
  1. My76Strat (talk) 22:19, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
  2. jtbobwaysf - I agree with 76strat and oppose this proposal. This is an effort to make it more difficult to create new articles, and is i am sure widely supported by the "Deletes." Jtbobwaysf (talk) 07:53, 18 April 2011 (UTC)
  3. Short and to the point. We are dealing with Special:NewPages at an adequate rate. There is no real issue with "over creation" or at least the current system's ability to keep up with it. Philip.t.day talk 00:54, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

View from User:DGG

I cannot easily think of a better way to kill Wikipedia. It should be obvious to everyone that our medium- and long-term survival depends of new editors joining, becoming active, and staying active. Many people join in order to write articles on something they want to write about--let's say half, though it may be greater. About half the time, what they write is capable of being a decent article. Probably of those whose first article is not possibly useful, half are capable and willing to learning how to write a good article, if treated nicely and the standards explained to them. This suggestion proposes to discourage about 40% of the people who want to join Wikipedia. It would really need to have amazing benefits in order to be worthwhile, and the benefits would need to be proven in advance.

The benefit that is proposed is eliminating the half of new articles that are not good. Actually, it won't even do that. Of the hopelessly bad articles that get written, probably half the people are determined to write them in any case. This certainly includes any POV pusher, and any serious vandal. But we catch these pages usually- fewer get through now than was the case a few years ago, based on my experience actually working on the problem: I've deleted over 12,000 articles in my years as an admin--and most real junk is now removed before that by the edit filter. In general, I do think new users should start making trivial edits and work up from there, and that's the advice I always give. But people have many ways of doing things, and there are many perfectly OK editors who started with an article. I'm not at all sure all of them would have started if there were any blocks at all to the process--considering that so many of the complains of people who tried to use Wikipedia and stopped has been the difficulty with even the current interface. I didn't find it difficult myself, but I was used to HTML, and used to other forums.

The real thing we need to do is positive work with new editors. In a sense, this will solve the problem of insufficient experienced editors to help the new ones--there will be so many fewer new ones.

Users who endorse this view
  1. DGG ( talk ) 23:08, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
  2. Scray (talk) 23:43, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
  3. Agree esp. wrt "Easiest way to kill Wikipedia." --Jorm (WMF) (talk) 00:03, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  4. Agree, people join to write 1 thing (We almost all started as a SPA). Taking away things like that is much more significant then recognized. James of UR (talk) 02:18, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  5. I wouldn't be here today without Akin Ayodele – I created an account just to create that article. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 06:10, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  6. It is a quarter rather than a half of those who start editing. But we should be trying to keep more of the good faith newbies. ϢereSpielChequers 07:39, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  7. Creating articles is one of the primary reasons why new accounts are created, including mine (and that had to survive CSD and PROD in its first week). Perhaps some sort of stricter quality control should be introduced, but a blanket ban on non-autoconfirmed users creating articles? I think not. Alzarian16 (talk) 10:57, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
    What's proposed is "a blanket ban on non-autoconfirmed users creating articles" without any assistance (via AFC and/or Article Wizard and/or userspace draft+request to move to mainspace). Rd232 talk 20:58, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
    Right. But for most new users, that equates to the same thing. AfC and userspace drafts are techniques that few new users could easily find out about unless they'd spent a fair amount of time editing anonymously, in which case they're probably well suited to independent article creation anyway. Alzarian16 (talk) 20:44, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
    Yes, probably, but that's fixable. eg we should make MediaWiki:Nocreatetext ("you can't create this article" message) more like MediaWiki:Protectedpagetext ("you can't edit this article" message), pointing to relevant options. (We should really do that regardless.) Also at the moment I think search hides the redlink "create a page" option if you can't create a page, and it would probably be better to provide the redlink and let it go to MediaWiki:Nocreatetext. Rd232 talk 22:24, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  8. Ruslik_Zero 15:42, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  9. Protonk (talk) 21:52, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  10. Agree, other than with the figures which are rather arbitrary (see WSC above) - Kingpin13 (talk) 00:23, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  11. Cbrown1023 talk 01:53, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  12. Agree very strongly. NeilK (talk) 02:19, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  13. Totally agree. -- Orionisttalk 12:42, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  14. it's dead already, but this is dancing on the grave. Slowking4 (talk) 20:49, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  15. Agree. We need fresh blood to prevent further calcification of the project. This proposal would limit the supply. Torchiest talkedits 17:07, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
  16. Agree. If one considers only those users who will mature into useful editors, it is a bad idea to restrict them. Abductive (reasoning) 07:54, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  17. Very well put. Sjakkalle (Check!) 10:20, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  18. Agree 100%. Newbie users need freedom to create articles. --Marcusaurelius161 (talk) 13:12, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  19. Agree with DGG completely that to prevent new editors from creating articles would be extremely damaging to content in the long term. Wikipedia depends on new editors from different parts of the world to write new content. It is then up to us established editors to sift through it and built upon it and delete the non notable stuff. We need need new contributors on wikipedia to have the freedom to route out new topics. The obvious no notable ones are usually speedied anyway♦ Dr. Blofeld 13:35, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  20. Prettily put. Especially as someone whose first substantial edit (on another account, lo these many years ago) was a new article. This cannot but discourage new article creation. And yes, the people who want to put crap up will simply put it up there regardless; a lot of what I see in newpage patrol is POV-pushing stuff that keeps coming back again, and again, and again... --Ser Amantio di NicolaoChe dicono a Signa?Lo dicono a Signa. 14:01, 7 April 2011 (UTC) Addendum: Just as an example: Hoge Heren, UP 6916, Isabella Cortese, 2011 Rio de Janeiro school shooting, Márton Illés - all recently created, perfectly correct articles that were not created by autopatrolled users. The problem isn't as significant as is being suggested. --Ser Amantio di NicolaoChe dicono a Signa?Lo dicono a Signa. 14:41, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  21. Enric Naval (talk) 14:09, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  22. New users won't commit themselves to meeting the new requirements. Requiring autoconfirmed status is a turn-off. The only new users willing to commit themselves to the extra effort will be the determined, ideological POV-pushers. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 14:54, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  23. its an issue of trust. We need to trust these new contributors. Errectstapler (talk) 15:20, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  24. Davewild (talk) 16:28, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  25. While this may be seen as contradictory, I agree with this position as well--at the least, the cautions need to be heeded. While "Autoconfirmed" isn't a particularly high hurdle, it is a hurdle, and one which we should mark (if adopted) with well-documented guidance of the pathway between a new user and their ability to create new articles. The hurdle should serve to educate, rather than outright eliminate, the clueless newbie. Jclemens (talk) 17:24, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  26. ˉˉanetode╦╩ 19:18, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  27. Tibetologist (talk) 19:26, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  28. I don't think it will kill Wikipedia, but I agree with the point that whatever happens, this should be approached with caution. CT Cooper · talk 22:23, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  29. Very strongly agree. Hullaballoo Wolfowitz (talk) 22:50, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  30. Hits the nail on the head. Frickeg (talk) 03:01, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  31. Eloquently put. Regards SoWhy 09:02, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  32. I don't always see eye-to-eye with DGG, and I can't speak for the numbers, but yeah, I strongly agree with this view. J Milburn (talk) 13:15, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  33. Absolutely. --Falcorian (talk) 20:27, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  34. Perhaps there's a hint of hyperbole in DGG's choice of words, but I agree with the sentiments. A Very Bad Thing. Angus McLellan (Talk) 21:33, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  35. C628 (talk) 21:46, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  36. Unable to believe this RfC even exists and even more ashamed this is the first "against" viewpoint on the list. - filelakeshoe 23:20, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
  37. Neither HTML or American english are universal languages so more hurdles for the majority of people who use neither is a very bad idea.Jnast1 (talk) 00:16, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
  38. This is very well put, and I agree completely. A Stop at Willoughby (talk) 03:49, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
  39. After creating an account, my first edit was starting the article Book League of America. --Rosiestep (talk) 05:13, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
  40. JoshuaZ (talk) 14:12, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
  41. Agree SpinningSpark 15:13, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
  42. I agree, and the backlog will not be eliminated, just shifted. --Bejnar (talk) 16:57, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
  43. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 06:35, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  44. I agree and add that to a new user, they are there to add some knowledge that they have and the easiest way to get them committed is to allow them to write a dreadful article, and allow an experienced editor to correct, encourage and guide them. What is impenetrable to a new users are the waves of bureaucracy, the layers of Ruritanian style status, and the hijacked words- 'auto-confirmed' what has that to do with a ritual in the Anglican church untaken by commoners wishing to marry princes? This week I was speaking to several museum curators, trying to persuade them to become involved and they already were put off by the rigmarole of the editing process, so now it is suggested that they, experts in their field must do random number of copyedits before they add material we want? I vigorously disagree with more pfaffing around. --ClemRutter (talk) 12:21, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
  45. I agree User talk:Blackrock01 —Preceding undated comment added 06:57, 15 April 2011 (UTC).
  46. I agree. I created my first real article as my fourth edit, which wouldn't have been possible under this current proposal. To borrow another experience of mine - On the Scots Wikipedia, one of our top article creators is an IP. They do tons of quality work there, and I'm sure there are similar persons here. Avicennasis @ 23:40, 11 Nisan 5771 / 15 April 2011 (UTC)
  47. Sadads (talk) 06:02, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
  48. Agree we shouldn't do anything that would discourage new people from participating. I got started after creating my first article. Dream Focus 06:23, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
  49. I think deleting new people's work (edits or new articles) is what really drives them away and not letting them create new articles is likely going to be even worse. Hobit (talk) 11:18, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
  50. Very well said. FeydHuxtable (talk) 11:37, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
  51. Agree as well. It seems that a lot of people who are trying to push this are underestimating the impact of such a seemingly small change. User:Duttler (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 16:06, 18 April 2011 (UTC).
  52. Strongly agree. "Easiest way to kill Wikipedia" indeed. Scaring away potential contributors by making them jump through a ton of bureaucratic hoops is completely wrong-headed. TotientDragooned (talk) 20:40, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
  53. STRONGLY AGREE--Moneya (talk) 20:17, 20 April 2011 (UTC) My first article was deleted and was willing to improve but had this polocie been in place i would have not continued
  54. Agree. WP is too biased towards its own language & culture. This change would deter people creating balance with translated versions of articles from a different world view. So what if it needs reflowing or spell checking - such collaboration is precisely what WP is about. Ephebi (talk) 08:31, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
  55. Your warning is a good reminder.Wayne Roberson, Austin, Texas (talk) 04:13, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
  56. Strongly agree. Ddama (talk) 05:09, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
  57. Agree. This proposal is a solution in search of a problem. RJC TalkContribs 16:56, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
  58. Agree. I'm willing to look at editing restrictions for our most vulnerable article, but that should be the exception. Xymmax So let it be written So let it be done 00:25, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
  59. Agree! I've endorsed a few similar opinions, but I think this hits the nail on the head. A good number of new users are creating articles which need a bit of help. When that user never comes back or feels attacked and gets moody, it's us who's in the wrong, not them. Usually we failed to Assume Good Faith for a moment, and they reacted to a NewPages patroller behaving badly. Wikipedia needs a new attitude to new editors, not a new policy! Philip.t.day talk 00:58, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
    At the risk of sounding annoying, can I ask what ability you have that allows you to tell the difference between a good-faith editor and a spammer? It can be extremely difficult/impossible to tell the difference, and while we need more of the former we need to strongly discourage the latter. AGF isn't a suicide pact to allow shitty pages to endlessly sit around, and there's no non-BITEy way to tell someone that their article will be deleted. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 01:41, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
    • Comment on DGG's view and metaphor DGG's comment that "I cannot easily think of a better way to kill Wikipedia" made me think of an interesting metaphor. I think he fears that Wikipedia will die of starvation. But have no fear of that my friend, the prognosis here is certainly not anorexia nervosa, alas it is likely to be atherosclerosis. Wikipedia is in no danger of starvation at all. Does Wikipedia remind you of Twiggy? No. Is it wafer thin and starving? No. The scenario seems to be one of a person who has just eaten 12 orders of chicken wings in the last 5 minutes, is offered 24 omelettes, accepts them immediately, and before he can finish, orders 37 burrito just to be on the safe side. And the feast continues indefinitely. "Give me more, give me more" seems to be the mantra in the Wikipedia diner. Alas, a lot of it is junk food that ends up blocking the arteries. Just above here HominidMachinae made the point that after a decade "most articles on major topics that an encyclopedia needs have been created". I agree with that point. I do not have exact numbers, but I guess that 90% of the major article titles that exist in Encyclopædia Britannica already exist in Wikipedia. So the task for the next decade is not to recreate those, but improve their quality. There is a serious shortage of experts who can improve the quality of articles. The key focus should be to attract and maintain those types of users now, not get new articles started on a wannabe musical trio looking for their first album deal. Personally the two types of information I find accurate in Wikipedia are geographical facts (e.g. cities, towns, etc.) and the number of times celebrities such as Charlie Sheen have been to rehab. That second type of information is probably always accurate. But would I trust Wikipedia information to make a business decision? No way. Would I trust Wikipedia information on medical matters? Not in this lifetime. At a time when the quality of key existing articles remain so low, focus should not be on force-feeding, but the cleaning of arteries and quality improvement. Wikipedia is in no danger of starvation, but does run the risk of becoming "the largest rummage sale on the planet". We should avoid that scenario. History2007 (talk) 13:59, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
  60. Agree with DGG and several of the WMF staff who have said the same thing. Requiring autoconfirmation is likely to kill Wikipedia in as little as a year. - Hydroxonium (TCV) 08:19, 30 April 2011 (UTC) NOTE: numbering is broken by the comment with the asterisk above. This would be number 60 on the list. - Hydroxonium (TCV) 08:34, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
    So can you tell me what my career path is going to be? You seem to have such fortune-telling skills. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 16:35, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
    There, if it does not kill Wikipedia in 1 year and 1 day from today, by May 1, 2012, I want my money back. History2007 (talk) 21:05, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
    On a separate note, another metaphor is that the requirement to do work before creating articles is a form of taxation, and the statement is that this will kill Wikipedia. Actually, all communities have various forms of taxation, and FYI Wikipedia has it too, except that they call them "requirements" so people do not get nervous. Where? Most recently in DYK: A user has to review a DYK before they can submit one. A user has to "pay dues" by working to review a DYK before they can get on the front-page. That is taxation. So the days of free editing ended some time ago - and no one noticed it. And it has not killed anyone yet. History2007 (talk) 21:05, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
  61. I came to Wikipedia looking for an article which did not exit and then created it. Almost embarrasing now to look at that edit. But with a little help from friendly editors I got drawn in. Been involved in vandal/sock-fighting, became an admin and although am not very active still do a bit of wikignomish work. In short: If I had not been able to create that one article back on 06 there would be 20k articles missing from here. Agathoclea (talk) 16:59, 23 May 2011 (UTC)

View from User:Cardamon

If we make this change, I suggest automatically creating a sandbox for every newly registered user, and automatically leaving each new user a message explaining how to get to their sandbox, how it can be used to work on a new article, and how long it will be until they can make articles. Cardamon (talk) 23:22, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

Users who endorse this view
  1. I suggested something like this recently. It could just be a subpage in the user's userspace, with an additional tab added via CSS/Javascript to access it, with a nice helpful header in it (like MediaWiki:Welcomecreation, perhaps, only the user can actually get back to it). Obviously the new tab would need to be deactivatable via a Gadget - I think many would find it useful, but it's bound to irritate some. Rd232 talk 23:49, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
  2. This is a seperate issue from letting new users create articles, but it seems like a very good idea --Jayron32 00:23, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  3. --Guerillero | My Talk | Review Me 02:53, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  4. Sure. It could also be done manually along with giving them welcome templates. Rivertorch (talk) 06:12, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  5. Brilliant idea, I'm all for making it easy for them to contribute if they have something to contribute I'd even be all for having a way for them to contact an admin saying "I think this is ready, can you move it?" HominidMachinae (talk) 06:53, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  6. Great idea. Sandboxing helps to improve quality and build confidence Apuldram (talk) 11:45, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  7. I agree. Strongly encouraging article creation in a user sandbox would help new users experiment in a safe place. Would be good to make this and "Your first article" more prominent on the Welcome template --CharlieDelta (talk) 06:34, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  8. Worthwhile compromise. bahamut0013wordsdeeds 12:03, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  9. Yep, that's a good idea, and I think we should carry on with it regardless of the result of this RfC. -- Orionisttalk
  10. A good idea, with the caveat that sandbox edits ought be dated somehow (to prevent them from becoming forgotten WP:WEBHOSTs). Danger (talk) 17:02, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  11. Anything that gets the user used to the way WP works, before diving into the main article space has to be good  Ronhjones  (Talk) 20:21, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  12. I didn't sign on for this one already? Oops. A fluffernutter is a sandwich! (talk) 13:28, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
  13. Ancient ApparitionChampagne? • 4:57pm • 06:57, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  14. Armbrust WrestleMania XXVII Undertaker 19–0 10:58, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  15. Interesting idea. --BelovedFreak 11:41, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  16. ditto Cuprum17 (talk) 13:58, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  17. Strong support! That would be really helpful for new users. Farscot (talk) 16:11, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  18. Sandbox, or an article wizard, or something. We should redirect, rather than outright block, new users. Jclemens (talk) 17:25, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  19. Useful idea. Stevie is the man! TalkWork 00:09, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  20. Yes, something like this. Direct them to a sandbox, or an article wizard, or some place, rather than then just saying "no you can't do this yet". Herostratus (talk) 07:44, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  21. Agreed. It should also contain a link to AfC and the guidance boards. Sven Manguard Wha? 08:42, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  22. Others have argued here that the main reason people create accounts is to create articles. If that's true, shouldn't we be setting new users up for the regardless of whether we make the proposed policy change? --Kvng (talk) 13:39, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  23. Dabomb87 (talk) 13:50, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  24. I believe this is a very good idea if it's causally added into a welcome message that mentions various other ways they can contribute. I think it's not a great idea to make it a focus or, you know, put greater emphasis on article creation for new users. But I think it is a great idea insofar as it lets users who have registered in order to create an article know exactly what the requirements are and what they can do in the meantime of meeting those requirements. Lara 01:22, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
  25. Golgofrinchian (talk) 12:23, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
  26. Interesting idea. mc10 (t/c) 05:13, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
  27. I support this or some other meaningful process to encourage competent editing. Could we make the creation of a sandbox automatic for every editor's first new article? Ten edits in four days doesn't accomplish anything. It only adds another hierarchical layer to the burgeoning bureaucracy. I see a lot of optimism here about the general quality of articles, and how major subjects are already covered. Present on a page, maybe; but humanities articles as a whole are still not at the level of science and math articles. I'd say that most articles I see about literature are either woefully outdated, or generally poor. So there are major coverage gaps, despite some excellence. This may seem tangential to the issue of new-article creation, but if we want to recruit more competent editors, this proposal should be part of an overall strategy to make sure knowledgeable contributors aren't driven away by learning the daunting rigmarole. Cynwolfe (talk) 14:00, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
  28. Excellent idea. 28bytes (talk) 18:06, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
  29. Very neat idea.--KorruskiTalk 08:12, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  30. Great idea. Currently, explaining the concept of creating a subpage/sandbox in a userpages is very difficult. I think that's probably the reason why most of the users who ever go through the trouble of asking helpers how to start an article are those who will benefit from it - the COI's. Making the creation of drafts easier will help attract new users who will hopefully stick and lessen the number of new articles going live broken. --ObsidinSoul 18:54, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
  31. Safety Cap (talk) 04:10, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
  32. The Helpful One 22:20, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
  33. I'm against making the proposed change to new page creation but if it's going to happen, let's at least make these usability improvements! TotientDragooned (talk) 20:41, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
  34. I like this idea. However, realize that edits to the sandbox will count toward the 10 needed for auto-confirmed status, which may not be the kind if experience that will help a newbie the most. —UncleDouggie (talk) 10:02, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
  35. A brief apprenticeship should not discourage a potentially good contributor. Wayne Roberson, Austin, Texas (talk) 04:19, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
  36. Great idea. We'll need to make that these new sandboxes can be easily monitored and periodically deleted if they dont contain anything useful, but that is implementation details. Teaching new users about their userspace is vital. John Vandenberg (chat) 18:29, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
  37. Also, newbies wanting to make a wikipage on a lark for a friend or acquaintance can do so in their sandbox. I see no harm if they want to print wiki-flyers for birthdays and the like, providing they don't subject the rest of us to their exposition. Measure for Measure (talk) 08:11, 29 April 2011 (UTC)

View from User:Shooterwalker

Asking an editor to make 10 edits before creating a new article isn't a lot to ask. I see it as much more difficult to ask someone with no editing experience to create an article that doesn't run afoul of basic policies like verifiability, original research, and neutrality.

The difference of opinion comes down to the impact. Some people warn this will literally kill Wikipedia, because if people can't create articles in their first ten edits then they'll never want to participate at all. It's obvious that I agree more with those who think this will keep new users from wandering into a difficult area, reduce the clean-up workload, and lead to a more friendly learning curve for new users. But the problem is people are just going to advocate for whatever scenario they believe in, based on their ideological preference of what Wikipedia should be.

Why not be empirical about it, instead of being ideological? Why not test it?

I propose a pilot study. Not sure what the parameters would be: a particular subject area, or to try it for 14 days... But it would allow us to measure the real impact, and measure the benefits against the cost.

Users who endorse this view
  1. Shooterwalker (talk) 23:37, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
  2. Yes, a trial, see my view at the very top. We should compare making all new users go through AfC vs. the current system. /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 23:48, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
  3. Absolutely. Feezo (send a signal | watch the sky) 23:52, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
  4. Such a major change should be planned as much as possible to collect data and consider how it works in practice. However it's also enough of a culture shift that I think it would need to be more like 3 months to see how the community adapts to the new philosophy of trying to help newbies (as opposed to defending Wikipedia against a continuous onslaught of newbie jokes, spam and mistakes). Rd232 talk 23:53, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
  5. Unlike Rd232 I don't see this as a major change, just basic common sense. Nevertheless it's perhaps prudent to consider some kind of trial along the lines he suggests if that will assuage those who do not see the proposal as common sensical. Malleus Fatuorum 00:01, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  6. I see no downside to attempting to test this in a careful manner. A fluffernutter is a sandwich! (talk) 00:42, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  7. A trial will be the best way to accurately assess the effectiveness of this proposal. Airplaneman 02:08, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  8. A trial would probably be the best way to determine how effective this will be. SilverserenC 02:51, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  9. --Guerillero | My Talk | Review Me 02:56, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  10. Agree in spirit, though I am not sure about technical feasibility, or on actual mechanics of how it should work. Afraid of implementing needed changes if something like this leads to "paralysis by analysis", so I have my concerns, but at least in spirit we should be open towards studies like this. --Jayron32 03:02, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
    This could probably be tied to the autoconfirmed right; rather than require 'user' (ie, login), the software configuration would require 'autoconfirmed'. -- Bk314159 (Talk to me and find out what I've done) 01:04, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  11. MER-C 04:23, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  12. if technically feasable, I'd be all for it. It would be nice to be able to measure in percentage terms the reduction in CSD usage and deleted articles, and see if it impacts signups. I share Jayron's concerns about waiting forever while collecting data, however. It should be a defined trial with defined objectives. HominidMachinae (talk) 06:55, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  13. Without a trial, all we have are speculations and conjectures. T. Canens (talk) 10:56, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  14. Fourteen days, IMHO, is far too short a time to measure editor retention, and trials must be carefully constructed and analyzed (cf. the current arguments over PC), but we really could use some hard data on what works. -- Donald Albury 11:02, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  15. (edit conflict) I am unsure one can measure the ratio of "articles that newbies created that wouldn't be otherwise created and would miss important content". Then again, any study is better than no study, as it now stands (afaik). —  HELLKNOWZ  ▎TALK 11:03, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  16. I agree; there are some widely conflicting beliefs on what the effects would be if the very newest editors were restricted to working on existing articles instead of creating new ones. I do not agree with those who feel that it would cause a serious problem by deterring new editors, but that concern is valid, so I think it would be very useful to run a trial to see what happens. Make the scope of the trial clear - we don't want another PC. However, I think that 14 days is too short:
    A: Part of what we'd want to test for is a behavioural change among existing wikipedians as well as newbies, and that might take a little while to settle down (as a couple of backlogs are cleared and existing editors gradually find new things to work on &c)
    B: It might be useful to see what happens to the newest editors over a slightly longer period; the effects could, presumably, last longer than the first two weeks of their life as a wikipedian. bobrayner (talk) 20:16, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  17. Would recommend a longer trial period, but I can see that a compromise will probably be required. Brammers (talk/c) 22:11, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  18. Let us be empirical whenever feasible. --Cybercobra (talk) 22:54, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  19. Always in favour of trials, rather than assumptions Yoenit (talk) 09:40, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  20. Tests are good. bahamut0013wordsdeeds 12:04, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  21. Armbrust WrestleMania XXVII Undertaker 19–0 17:18, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  22. A trial is sensible - though it would need to be conducted over a long enough period to measure impact. SilkTork *YES! 11:22, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
  23. Ancient ApparitionChampagne? • 4:59pm • 06:59, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  24. --BelovedFreak 11:42, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  25. Mainframezen (talk) 15:50, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  26. --M4gnum0n (talk) 16:30, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  27. Nightscream (talk) 19:30, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  28. A trial would be welcome, BUT you to gather the right data, which will take at least a year. You need to determine not only if the new editors still create articles under the new rules, but also if their retention rate is affected by the new rules. Maybe they'll go trough the hoops to create their one beloved article, but still leave at the same rate as before, and their first article may still be junk. Tijfo098 (talk) 21:12, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  29. Trial, yes. Tijfo098's point about needing a year to measure retention is well taken, but: this is not possible, a year-long trial is essentially the same as adopting for good. True, a short trial won't give any retention data, but you can't have everything. 14-day trial, or something like that. Herostratus (talk) 07:47, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  30. Two things: 1) The trial better have an end date, the community won't stand for another indefinite trial like PC turned out to be. 2) Cardamon's idea above should be incorporated into the trial. With those things, I'd say yes. Sven Manguard Wha? 08:45, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  31. A trial is an excellent idea, although I doubt 14 days is enough time for good data. But this could be hashed out later; if the community decides to look into a trial, we could get feedback from WMF or whomever about the proper time span. In this discussion on Jimbo's talk, it appears data collection over four-week periods has been discussed. --JaGatalk 17:56, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
  32. mc10 (t/c) 05:14, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
  33. As long as the trial is very clearly defined right from the start. Nolelover It's almost football season! 23:05, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
  34. Trial, yes. With an end date and how it would be measured. I suspect it will be a success. If not, at least it's a trial. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 12:17, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
  35. We can build the trial with a simple WP:Edit filter, which means it is easy to turn off after the trial period. (no need to ask WMF to enable and disable the feature) John Vandenberg (chat) 18:31, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
  36. Well defined tests are good, even of common sense. Subjective feedback from New Page Patrollers is also good. Measure for Measure (talk) 08:01, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
  37. Cautious agreement. Though I agree that a well-defined trial, setting out the metrics to be measured and means to measure them before the trial begins, is a good idea, our last trial (PC) turned into a massive debacle due to lack of planning and failure to stick to the plan. The trial parameters (including its end date) should be set out in stone before we even think of asking approval to start it, and they'd better be held to this time. No one would stand for another trial continuing past its expiration date. Seraphimblade Talk to me 02:41, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

View from User:Kaldari

So much for all our campus ambassador programs, not to mention all the random college classes that have started integrating Wikipedia editing on their own initiative. Just when we were starting to get a large influx of serious scholarship into Wikipedia, we're going to shut the doors behind us. This semester alone, we have several hundred college students adding new Wikipedia articles through the public policy initiative. If we implement this policy, we won't be seeing any more of that in the future. Kaldari (talk) 00:28, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

Comment This is a very important issue to raise but it can probably be fixed by adding the autoconfirm flag to those who are part of recognized university programs. I am a Campus Ambassador and I know exactly what you are talking about. If it's not already I'll raise it on the CA talk page to see what might be done. I would like to request that if the proposal to require autoconfirm is passed then it specifically allow for granting of autoconfirm before the normal threshold is up. Basket of Puppies 01:34, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
I've started a conversation on the ambassadors talk page here. Basket of Puppies 01:50, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
comment We could also easily change the program to have people create their articles in user space as drafts which are then moved by an administrator involved in the ambassador program to mainspace when they are ready. I think that encouraging the sandbox draft as best wiki practice would be appropriate for a program encouraging people to get into editing in any regard. In addition it's possible for a user to be confirmed without being autoconfirmed, by editing their bits isn't it? HominidMachinae (talk) 06:59, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
Comment Most of the professors in the ambassador program already require their students to edit some (often random) articles before picking a target article, so this change wouldn't affect them. Many of the classes also require the students to improve an existing article, so they wouldn't be trying to create a new article for a while. I don't see any significant impact on the ambassador program from the proposed change. -- Donald Albury 11:06, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
I hate to be the typical site moderator who screams "Source?!" at everything, but how do you know this? Juliancolton (talk) 21:56, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
My comments were based on my personal observations from being an Online Ambassador. In many of the classes the students are required to pick an existing article to improve. All the classes I've looked at require the students to get their feet wet by making edits in existing articles before settling down on a specific article. Can you cite any classes where the professor has asked the students to create a new article without first doing some editing in existing articles? I would be interested in seeing any case of classroom assignments that would actually run afoul of this proposal. -- Donald Albury 21:32, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
I have had students create new articles in my college classes. In general it is their first contact with Wikipedia. I have not however done this as part of a formal 'campus ambassadors' programme. Tibetologist (talk) 19:30, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
How did that go? Many of us are arguing that editing an existing article is a better way to get started on WP. Can you share any experience to the contrary? --Kvng (talk) 13:43, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
I also had students create new articles in a specialized area, without editing experience. Since the goal of the class was for them to become experts on the topic, not to learn how to edit wikipedia in particular, it would not have made sense for them to have an assignment to edit other pages. As the professor, I made an effort to become familiar with Wiki policies and to help the students implement them. None of the articles was deleted or needed massive editing. All have been up now (with me continuing to monitor) for more than a year. A number of people have told me they are an important resource in our area. So I consider it a success all around. But I would not have contributed to the project under the proposed change. I think it will negatively impact contributions from colleges -- which are valuable. --Kfederme (talk) 15:06, 18 April 2011 (UTC)
If you contacted me with a proposal like that (especially with examples of what you'd already been doing), and asked me to set autoconfirmed rights on your students' accounts or move userspace drafts for them into mainspace, I'd help you without a second thought, as obviously the careful oversight in that case eliminates the need that this proposal addresses. However, yours is an extreme edge case, and those can and should be handled on a case by case basis, as one edge case does not demonstrate there's not a need. We should write regulations for the rule, not the exception, and the rule here is that 99% of new editors (a made up statistic admittedly, but I doubt far off the mark) know little to nothing of what an article should be, and a good percentage of that number don't care either. We want to attract the ones who care now and will learn later, and requiring them to edit first will help with that in the vast majority of cases. We can always address edge cases through special exceptions, we've done that many times for many reasons. Seraphimblade Talk to me 02:49, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
Comment This seems unnecessarily pessimistic and dramatic. I seriously doubt professors couldn't easily work around this change, were it to happen. Having students register on the first day of class, for example, and having them make 10 productive edits over the next four days. Having them draft the article in their sandbox first, as HominidMachinae suggested is also a very good idea and, as he noted, a good practice to encourage anyway. Lara 01:28, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
And how exactly do you propose to inform all these college professors about how to work around this problem? Do you really think they are all going to take the time to figure this out rather than simply coming up with something less complicated that doesn't involve Wikipedia? Even if that means 1 fewer well-written article for Wikipedia, that's a net loss. Kaldari (talk) 06:03, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
I think it is preferable to encourage newbies to create articles in mainspace rather than in sandboxes, aside from the benefits of collaborative editing, if a sandbox is moved to mainspace doesn't it bypass newpage patrol? ϢereSpielChequers 20:11, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
Comment Assuming the article creation wizard is functional, they could just use that to make the article instead of starting from the ground up. Probably better articles anyway, and unless it's a web design class they're probably going to want the hand-holding anyway. SDY (talk) 20:15, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  1. ϢereSpielChequers 20:11, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

View from User:WereSpielChequers

We have several problems with the current New page patrol process, a large proportion of the articles coming in do merit deletion or being turned into redirects. Currently we are fairly efficient at deleting the vast majority of the new submissions that merit deletion. However we often do this in an unnecessarily bitey way and worse still a significant minority of speedy deletion tags and even deletions are incorrect. This annoys our newbies, and some of our longstanding if intermittent editors, and has brought us bad publicity because of mistakes and over zealousness by people deleting articles or tagging them for deletion. Much of our problem at newpage patrol is due to miscommunication between Wikipedia and the 25% of our new editors who start their wiki career by submitting new articles. The symptoms of that miscommunication include hundreds of thousands of articles every year that we manually tag and delete. Deleting those articles is an effective way of treating the symptoms of our miscommunication, but it does little to solve the problem.

So this is a complex multi-faceted problem and solving it merits several changes to Newpage patrol:


  1. We currently communicate our requirement for new articles to be notable, verifiable and encyclopaedic by tagging the ones that aren't for deletion, and usually informing the author that we've done so. This is communication after the event, and would be much better done up front by edit filters or other software. We need the article creation screen used by new editors to include a routine that checks for the presence of a reference, and if one is absent asks the author for an independent source such as a newspaper article. This software needs to have routines capable of spotting links to Myspace, Facebook or LinkedIn, explaining that such sites are acceptable as a link to the subject's own website, then returning to the page that asks for a reference. We also need a clear prominent option for the creator to tick that "the subject has not yet been reported on by journalists or other writers unconnected to the subject" have that leads to a page explaining our notability requirement with an option to have the article emailed to the author.
  2. Currently it is optional to notify the author when you tag their article for deletion, and occasionally we get newpage patrollers who consciously choose not to do this. I accept that there are some circumstances such as RTV where notifying the author is inappropriate or overkill. But it should no longer be acceptable to leave a newbie with a redlinked talkpage when you tag a newly created "good faith" article for deletion. Informing such authors should be seen as part of the process of tagging an article for speedy deletion.
  3. Many new articles should be deleted on sight, especially those that are validly tagged as G3 or G10. But for most good faith contributions there is nothing to be lost and much to be gained by leaving the article a few hours for the second or third edit that gives it context or explains why the subject is notable. Giving patrollers an extra choice for a new article of a 24 hour pause would in effect create an incubator in article space with the author unbitten but give rescuers the opportunity to rescue the article before it risked being tagged for deletion. Full proposal at strategy:Proposal:Speedy_deletion_-_24_hour_pause_for_some_articles.
  4. Some templates are needed to warn our readers that an article is spammy or unreferenced. Others may be useful in they are proven to persuade some readers or newbies to fix the article. But many templates serve neither purpose,so we have no benefit from them to outweigh the cost of template bombing an article. such templates should be replaced with hidden categories. We don't need to warn a reader that an article is uncategorised or an orphan, and we certainly don't expect newbies to start their wiki career fixing such issues, hidden categories would serve our purposes just as well and without the disfigurement of templates.


Users who endorse this view
  1. ϢereSpielChequers 00:37, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  2. Airplaneman 02:06, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  3. Totally agree and I think focusing on things like that are going to help both NPP issues and new user issues. I do think many of our templates need a bit of a rework as well :) We seem to like mean looking templates..... James of UR (talk) 02:20, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  4. We can change NPP, or we can change article creation requirements. The latter is process-based and easier to implement, the former avoids most of the issues but is harder because it's people-based, and people can be ridiculously stupid at times. NPPers are always working hard and many of them follow these types of informal guidelines, but having something written that tells new users "your article must be V w/ RS etc. and might be deleted in 24 hours if you don't come back" could help. And re. templates, can we just make them not fake-sounding? /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 02:23, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  5. (except that it is not unreasonable to create a p. in several edits, and the ref need not be added in the very first, as long as it is promptly added. The difficulty in allowing for this in screening is the only reason why I have not made a similar proposal to his #1.) DGG ( talk ) 03:43, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  6. Indeed we have several problems with the current New page patrol process, many newbies might start their career by making new articles - ironically, many start their wiki career by policing them at NPP. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 07:29, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  7. Kingpin13 (talk) 00:27, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  8. Agree. Perhaps together with the Sandbox idea proposed by Cardamon above which would provide for a "not ready for mainspace" option to move a poor/embryonic article to the user's sandbox along with the a menu of a few links to the basic requirements. That would be a lot less bitey.--CharlieDelta (talk) 06:46, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  9. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 07:03, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  10. -- Orionisttalk 12:36, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  11. These are good ideas worth discussing whether or not this change goes through. Danger (talk) 17:05, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  12. Good ideas. They need further consideration regardless of what happens in this current discussion. SilkTork *YES! 11:27, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
  13. This could fix some of those times where a patroller nukes a new page, and the page turns out later to be a notable-enough topic. --Enric Naval (talk) 14:12, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  14. Davewild (talk) 16:31, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  15. Jclemens (talk) 20:31, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  16. These are excellent ideas. Frickeg (talk) 03:03, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  17. In addition to the idea above a link to the wikipedia-en-help IRC channel and a talk page for help should be given in an editnotice. MorganKevinJ(talk) 03:35, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  18. I'm not sure how effective these proposals would be, but they, and any similar bright ideas, should be tried before embracing the dreadful idea of requiring autoconfirmed status to create new articles. Angus McLellan (Talk) 21:42, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  19. The Land (talk) 18:11, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
  20. Agree entirely. And, if I knew where to begin trying to work towards #1 I'd start today. An automated, as-I-edit-am-still-here interface that tells me what I did wrong and helps me do it right is a thousand times less bitey than tagging, deleting now, deletting later, or any other option. The lack of interactive feedback is the at the core of the majority of new user bite, in my opinion. --joe deckertalk to me 22:40, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
  21. Perhaps we need a deletion patrol, or an admin-bot that can track the tagged pages that get deleted before creator is notified. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 06:42, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  22. Glorioussandwich (talk) 21:39, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
  23. Aye. FeydHuxtable (talk) 11:37, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
  24. Nice ideas. TotientDragooned (talk) 20:45, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
  25. Good ideas, especially the edit filter extension, and the 'prevention is better than cure' attitude in general Jebus989 15:03, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
  26. Good commentary.Wayne Roberson, Austin, Texas (talk) 04:09, 24 April 2011 (UTC)

View from MER-C

Something we can do right now as a stopgap measure (via a couple of lines in MediaWiki:Common.js) is to force all non-autoconfirmed users through the article wizard. Hopefully this will flatten the learning curve a bit and slow the inflow of crap while we work out a more permanent solution.

Users who endorse this view
  1. MER-C 04:10, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  2. Support as a short-term stopgap measure.--JayJasper (talk) 04:34, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  3. If that can be done, I think it's a good idea, especially as it can be done quite quickly. Rd232 talk 12:23, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
    From my post at VPM, the code is like: if ( user is not autoconfirmed && url.contains("action=edit") && namespace == 0 && page does not exist && !url.contains(some parameter in the URL that signifies the user went through the wizard ) { location.href = "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WP:AW2" } (though not sure if location.href works now). Everything here can be discovered through pre-existing JavaScript variables -- wgAction, wgNamespaceNumber, wgUserGroups, wgCurRevisionId (==0) and whether the URL contains the preload from the wizard. To avoid the wizard, one needs to be quick to stop the page from loading or add the preload parameter to the URL (unlikely). MER-C 12:42, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  4. no mater what the outcome is we should do this --Guerillero | My Talk | Review Me 15:38, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  5. Should be done only as an interim solution if and only if the outcome is to require autopatrolled status to create articles.Marcus Qwertyus 13:50, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  6. Just by the size of this discussion, it looks like this will take a while. The stopgap proposal is an improvement to current policy. I'm not convinced it is uncontroversial. I'm not convinced that it is any easier to implement that the original proposal. I do support it though. --Kvng (talk) 13:47, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  7. Lara 01:31, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
  8. This might help, and it certainly won't make things worse. Beeblebrox (talk) 01:31, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
  9. Wholeheartedly agree. Disabling page creation is incompatible with Wikipedia's anyone can edit philosophy. Forcing the article wizard for non-autoconfirmed users is a much much more reasonable and measured action to the situation than having a knee-jerk reaction to a "crysis" whose impact is greatly exagerated (backlogs are at perfectly reasonable level, situation is no worse today than it was a few months ago). Minimal changes [Article wizard for non-autoconfirmed users] have to be tried before paradigm shifts [no one but the in-crowd gets to create articles]. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 05:47, 18 April 2011 (UTC)
  10. Armbrust Talk to me Contribs 11:04, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

View from Promethean

We have many different things to consider here and some of these things are: Are we trying to make it easier for ourselves at the cost of fucking new users over? Are we staying true to our "anyone can edit" motto? What impact this will have on our dwindling user base? I've briefly thought about all of this and this is my 2 cents on the matter. New pages are something that needs to be addressed, the ratio of crap to actual useful stuff being created is completely over the top in most cases and it has come to a point where we have to make the changes we want to see. Every competent user on Wikipedia wishes that new users would get an understanding of our policies before they started creating articles and we have to provide new users with a reason (and the time) to gain that understanding. If new users can just click the create button, why on earth would they want to go through all the hoops of checking whether the topic is notable and has sources etc? It would just be easier for them to play the hit (it doesn’t get deleted) and miss (it gets deleted) game of article creation. So no, if we restricted article creation to autoconfirmed users we would not be fucking new users over, rather we will be equipping them with the knowledge so less of their articles are deleted (which makes a happy user) and they will play a greater role in the community for a longer period of time. The only people we might be putting off are those who don’t give two hoots about what they are publishing and that is a good thing.

In regards to our "The free encyclopaedia anyone can edit" motto, I feel that people need to remember that building a free encyclopaedia comes first, the anyone can edit bit is secondary. So if restricting new page creation to Autoconfirmed users reduces the ratio of crap to useful stuff then I am all for that. I would like to add that dealing with this now WILL have a positive flow on effect to other areas such as cleanup, CSD and AFD, NPP etc.

The Article Creation Wizard is a great idea and my proposal is this:

  • Restrict article creation to Autoconfirmed users only.
  • Force any user to use the Article Creation Wizard for their first 5 articles.
  • Make the Article Creation Wizard a preference option so people can keep being forced to use it if they wish after their first 5 creations.
  • In the mid-long term (if not required for the above), make the Article Creation Wizard an extension.
  • In the mid-long term, Allot of our project pages and templates are not 'New User' friendly by any means, some are quite technical and other require Mediawiki syntax knowledge to use properly. This really has to be addressed.

Creating articles is allot like uploading images and we don't allow non auto-confirmed users to do that, so this would also bring things into line with other areas.

Users who endorse this view
  1.   «l| Promethean ™|l»  (talk) 05:08, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  2. Do note that creating articles doesn't necessarily have anything to do with "anyone can edit", since they can still edit Wikipedia as much as they want without creating an article. Also...I think 10 articles is a bit high, 5 seems more appropriate. After 5 articles, you should know what you're doing. SilverserenC 05:18, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  3. Even as a moderately experienced Wikipedia editor I wouldn't attempt to freehand a new article, there are too many steps to follow to make a proper article. I also very strongly support re-writing projects and templates and even policies to make them more readily understandable to newbies or perhaps creating a lightweight summary page to point new editors to that covers the most important points. HominidMachinae (talk) 07:03, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  4. This probably needs to be discussed as a separate issue, but I do like the idea. However, what changes to the software would be needed to make this automatic? Would redirects count as articles for this? Lots of things to consider. -- Donald Albury 11:14, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  5. Armbrust WrestleMania XXVII Undertaker 19–0 11:09, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  6. I think first five articles going through the wizard is excessive, but otherwise a good proposal. Lara 01:34, 9 April 2011 (UTC)

View from Rivertorch

Recruiting and retaining editors is critical, but not just any editors. One hundred conscientious editors who are willing to take the time to learn the ropes and get it right, in terms of both the content they add and the procedures they follow to add it, are more valuable than 10,000 editors who neither have any understanding of what Wikipedia is about nor particularly care to learn.

The current bar for gaining autoconformed status is set quite low; four days and ten edits is often insufficient to reveal whether a new editor will be an asset to the project. It is likely that any person unwilling to cross that very modest threshold before being granted the privilege to create a new article is someone lacking the patience and diligence necessary to become a good editor. Considered in the context of the constant bombardment of "junk" articles that Wikipedia faces every day, requiring autoconfirmation before allowing new users to create articles seems like an entirely reasonable policy that should be enacted.

Users who endorse this view
  1. Rivertorch (talk) 05:59, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  2. SilverserenC 06:14, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  3. Rschen7754 06:29, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  4. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 10:51, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  5. -- Donald Albury 11:14, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  6. A fluffernutter is a sandwich! (talk) 11:43, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  7. Go through your IRL circle of friends right now and ask around among them to see who edits Wikipedia regularly. We are a rare bunch. --Jayron32 11:45, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  8. Apuldram (talk) 11:48, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  9. Rd232 talk 12:22, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  10. MER-C 12:24, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  11. Explains why this proposal will do very little damage. There are also benefits for new users in terms of a friendlier learning curve. Shooterwalker (talk) 12:49, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  12. —  HELLKNOWZ  ▎TALK 13:09, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  13. Stifle (talk) 13:53, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  14. Danger (talk) 19:17, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  15. bobrayner (talk) 20:20, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  16. Spot on. Brammers (talk/c) 22:06, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  17. Mr.Z-man 22:33, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  18. Yoenit (talk) 09:42, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  19. Feezo (send a signal | watch the sky) 09:48, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  20. bahamut0013wordsdeeds 12:07, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  21.  Ronhjones  (Talk) 20:27, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  22. Malleus Fatuorum 23:54, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  23. Johnuniq (talk) 10:09, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
  24. Yes. If Rivertorch hadn't written this, I would have written something similar. SilkTork *YES! 11:28, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
  25. --Guerillero | My Talk | Review Me 23:40, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
  26. Ancient ApparitionChampagne? • 4:59pm • 06:59, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  27. I have high standards for what I'd hope to see in Wikipedia, and I constantly find that people consciously lower their standards in the interests of being nice. Those two things are not mutually exclusive. We can greet, guide, and mentor, new users without having to accept bad articles, it just takes a lot more work than placing a delete tag. Sven Manguard Wha? 07:13, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  28. Armbrust WrestleMania XXVII Undertaker 19–0 11:12, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  29. --BelovedFreak 11:46, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  30. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 13:20, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  31. --JaGatalk 16:11, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  32. --M4gnum0n (talk) 16:35, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  33. There is indeed a power law distribution in new editor productivity. Jclemens (talk) 17:28, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  34. Nightscream (talk) 19:30, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  35. I agree and would like to see the autoconfirmed requirements go up to serve as a filtering mechanism. If they don't care to make 25 edits & two weeks worth of editing...I don't care to see their article make it onto the Wiki.
    ⋙–Berean–Hunter—► ((⊕)) 22:29, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  36. Stevie is the man! TalkWork 00:21, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  37. --Diannaa (Talk) 03:15, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  38. Herostratus (talk) 08:05, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  39. Coroboy (talk) 11:32, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  40. The qualified editors we lose due to being bitten must be far greater than the qualified editors we retain by allowing them to create a new article within their first 10 edits/4 days. --Kvng (talk) 13:51, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  41. — Coren (talk) 23:09, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  42. Lara 01:35, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
  43. Spot on.--Yaksar (let's chat) 04:49, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
  44. No-brainer. First Light (talk) 23:43, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
  45. Yep. Beeblebrox (talk) 01:32, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
  46. mc10 (t/c) 05:17, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
  47. Nolelover It's almost football season! 23:07, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
  48. DoRD (talk) 12:28, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
  49. This view is "spot on". I remember a thread on Wiki-en a few years ago about someone, apparently either from the Turkish government or at least with a pro-turkish POV complaining about the semi protection of some Armenia related articles and my first thought was "is it really that difficult to create an account and wait a few days?". Whoever it was wanted to push their POV RIGHT NOW. Many articles that are eventually deleted are created by new accounts that never edit again, this includes articles that are pure vandalism or LULZ articles about high school kids. In other words they were created by school kids on their lunch break. Requiring new editors to make a small jump through a tiny little hoop in order to create a new article will cut down on the number of "drive by" article creations. Someone who won't do something if they can't do it "right now" is unlikely to make a good long term editor. --Ron Ritzman (talk) 14:10, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
  50. Exactly.--KorruskiTalk 08:13, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  51. Bingo! Interferometrist (talk) 23:42, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
  52. UncleDouggie (talk) 10:06, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
  53. Captain panda 07:06, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
  54. Spot on Jebus989 15:06, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
  55. --Cybercobra (talk) 02:08, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
  56. Indeedly! Pitke (talk) 12:35, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
  57. Srays (talk) 06:24, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
  58. Agree. History2007 (talk) 20:49, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
  59. Agree. chuckster2.0 (talk It seems logical to require a certain level of responsibiliity and dedication in order for a user to start an article. 10 edits seems a little too easy. I also think that there should be a certain amount of agreement among users before this policies is put into effect. 17:04, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
  60. John Vandenberg (chat) 18:34, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

View from The Blade of the Northern Lights

I seem to be the one who got this started, and I've made my view pretty well known. I'll only add the following points. One, the backlog is down, for now, but it's trending upward again. We had it down to nothing briefly, and to keep it there I was regularly patrolling around 200-350 pages a day. Secondly, it may be that 25% of new users start by trying to create an article, but that still means the majority of new users will be unaffected. When I joined, in March 2010, it was to fix typos; I didn't really get into it until a month or so after I joined. Furthermore, I would submit that a substantial number of these new users are only here to promote their wares; I strongly suspect that the vast majority of editors whose first edit is to post about their garage band have no intention of helping the encyclopedia. We have a system now where it's frequently difficult to tell who's here to spam and who could actually turn into a decent user; I will make any effort necessary to retain the latter, but I don't want to encourage the former. This is not only a problem for the new users, it makes NPP a very lonely, isolated job; new users get a bad impression of us when we tag their articles for deletion, and even a couple of misfires (which happen to everyone doing anything here) bring wrath upon us. This sort of job actually fits my personality pretty well, but I've learned over my 20+ years of living that my personality is extremely unusual. I would, however, agree that a trial run would be the best way to go; if it does turn out to be a complete fiasco, we can reconsider our options. I doubt it will, but stranger things have happened.

Users who endorse this view
  1. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 13:50, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  2. Well, just know that all of us established users really appreciate the work you guys do. :) SilverserenC 15:42, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  3. Rivertorch (talk) 19:52, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  4. Brammers (talk/c) 22:06, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  5. Boo to backlogs. Yay to backlog patrollers. Danger (talk) 22:48, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  6.  Ronhjones  (Talk) 20:28, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  7. Armbrust WrestleMania XXVII Undertaker 19–0 11:15, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  8. --BelovedFreak 11:51, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  9. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 13:22, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  10. Yes trials are good. Herostratus (talk) 08:07, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  11. Beeblebrox (talk) 01:34, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
  12. John Vandenberg (chat) 18:35, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

View from NickPenguin

Interestingly enough, my 5th edit was the creation of a new article, back in 2005. Would this appearing as a new page get deleted with today's standards? Probably. Would that have strongly influenced my decision to stay? Definitely. Would the current version get deleted if it showed up looking like it does? Maybe. Would everyone involved benefit from some guidance in the creation of their first article? I think so. And we are seeing the beginnings of this undercurrent with the Wikipedia:Wiki Guides program.

I think many of us, especially editors who have been here a long time, are subconsciously caught in the 'old tyme' thinking that increasing the article count is the only way to increase coverage, and thereby increase credibility. If the statistics show anything, regardless of silly things like facts and truth, Wikipedia is the go-to place for most people on the planet.

If we look around, it's easy to say Wikipedia has reached it's most current plateau. And I mean this in terms of the number of editors, the number of articles created per day and the quality of those articles. I think we are in the middle of a paradigm shift in how the wiki is improving, especially in the last few years now that most policies and best practices are considered long standing. Now, major improvements to coverage and quality are through existing articles, rather than new articles.

We should only allow auto confirmed users to create articles, simply because the kinds of articles that still need to be created, and the standards we hold new articles to now, take a little more effort and a little more knowledge of how the community operates. Investigating new articles should be done by editors who have been here a while, and know what it's all about. This would probably also increase the quality of both newly created articles and new editors, since you have to make an effort to stick around to create articles. No more of the driveby-delete-disappear cycle, instead we would include the word discussion. --NickPenguin(contribs) 19:23, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

  1. --Guerillero | My Talk | Review Me 01:51, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  2. Editors who poke around a bit are also more likely to discover requested article lists. Danger (talk) 02:49, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  3. bahamut0013wordsdeeds 12:09, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  4. Good points. People who start editing because they see something they think they can improve (typos, style, etc.) are more likely to become continuing contributors than are people who want to create an article about their pet topic. -- Donald Albury 21:40, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  5. Armbrust WrestleMania XXVII Undertaker 19–0 11:18, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  6. --M4gnum0n (talk) 16:38, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  7. "[M]ajor improvements to coverage and quality are through existing articles, rather than new articles" is probably wave of future. How about this: You only get to create a new article if you delete an existing one first. OK, just kidding. But do endorse NickPenguin's point generally. Herostratus (talk) 08:13, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  8. Agreed. There is a plethora of random articles popping up just for the sake of creating a Wikipedia article. It is always better to ease a beginner into the community by allowing them to make edits, correct spelling mistakes and generally try and improve an article that is already there, before the next stage of allowing them to create an article. Gb105 (talk) 16:58, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
  9. -- 李博杰  | Talk contribs email 16:41, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

View from User:Danger

I like the proposal in principle, but I'm also concerned about the attention span of new users. I think that something like this would be a big enough deal to create a new user flag. Instead of using the current auto-confirm flag, use an alternative based solely on edit count so that a person can sit down, figure out how to use Wikipedia, make a few edits and then create a page. If I were starting over now and I were the sort to write new articles, I would never have the patience to wait four days doing nothing; I would probably make 100 edits in the first few days and then get bored. So, perhaps set the confirmation to 15 edits on 2 different pages, at least one of which is in article space (so the user has gotten out of the sandbox).

Danger (talk) 20:29, 4 April 2011 (UTC) I've changed my mind based on talk page arguments, but if others want to endorse this, okay. Danger (talk) 17:16, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  1. Experience editing is the key here. I believe the time requirement on autoconfirmed is just to deter vandals. Mr.Z-man 22:31, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  2. I could probably accept this as a reasonable compromise if one is necessary. Alzarian16 (talk) 22:39, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  3. I think we should be reviewing the autoconfirmed threshold before & after the first trial. The mw:Manual:$wgAutopromote functionality used to determine autoconfirmed is quite flexible, and we could add more conditions to it easily enough.(a few lines of code). For example, we could have a lower age for accounts which have confirmed their email address. And we could use APCOND_AGE_FROM_EDIT instead of APCOND_EDIT. John Vandenberg (chat) 18:45, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

View from User:Brammers

The slew of poor quality articles that new users create (80% are deleted, according to User:Yoenit) wastes potential contributors' time and that of the new page patrollers. I believe the statistics compiled by Mr.Z-man are telling: less than 0.65% of new users whose article is deleted will stick around, but many more users whose first actions are edits will be retained.

Wikipedia is no longer a young project. With every extra article, maintenance and vandal fighting becomes more work. At over 3.5 million articles, I believe that the bulk of future work will be (to quote Albert Michelson) "in the sixth place of decimals", i.e. refining and improving rather than article creation. After ten years, everything obvious has an article; the days of huge gaps in coverage which must be plugged are out. The days of MOS, REF and 3LA are in. The need for rapid numerical growth in the articlespace is a bygone, and quality requirements are much more stringent.

Our need now is for new editors who have the patience to develop a grasp of the tools and the guidelines with which we build this admirable project. My first edits were damn unencyclopedic, but after a dozen or so I was getting a better idea of things. I suspect that after ten edits and four days, any problematic editors would have been picked up and either coached (assuming good faith) or blocked (as vandalism-only accounts).

To summarise, forcing new users to make edits before they can create articles will:

  • Expose them to what the encyclopedia is actually about (not a garage band directory, or repository for your CV, or a soapbox)
  • Deter some instant-gratification vandals
  • Help new users who really want to improve the project get assisted by established users
  • Do no harm to the project: as I've said and as evidence has shown, most new pages are not kept
  • Grand summary: this measure would encourage competence in new users and be less bitey than stomping on pages created by willing but inexperienced newbies.

In the long term, the project must adapt to its growing maturity or it will wither and decay.

Users who endorse this view
  1. Brammers (talk/c) 22:05, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  2. As I noted above, I'm unconvinced that the age of an account matters, but otherwise, I concur. Danger (talk) 22:14, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
    • Sorry for being ambiguous: I believe that the four day wait would give ample time for other users to see any problematic edits via their watchlists. Ultimately I think the number of edits is more important, but that the "cooling off period" is also a necessary restriction. Brammers (talk/c) 22:19, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
  3. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 01:33, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  4. bobrayner (talk) 09:05, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  5. bahamut0013wordsdeeds 12:11, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  6.  Ronhjones  (Talk) 20:30, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  7. - BilCat (talk) 22:41, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  8. Yes. We are at a different stage. We must address our current concerns. Growth is not a priority. Cleaning out the existing poor quality edits is more important. SilkTork *YES! 11:53, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
  9. Armbrust WrestleMania XXVII Undertaker 19–0 11:24, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  10. Yes. As Wikipedia matures, focus must move toward quality control, especially a change like this that makes for a less bitey experience. --JaGatalk 16:18, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  11. --M4gnum0n (talk) 17:00, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  12. Thanks for the statistics. I disagree with the MOS part: it's a perennially edit-protected page due to never ending opinion wars between regulars that should probably invest that time in improving some articles instead. I hope you're not suggesting new editors need to pass the MOS exam before being allowed to edit. Also, I disagree with "everything obvious has an article", unless by that you mean everything you see on pop TV. Plenty of book-length topics don't have an article. I can give you examples if you want. Tijfo098 (talk) 19:16, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
    • No, not at all. Expecting new users (and even most regular users) to memorise a 70-page document would be unfeasible and extreme. I used MOS as an example of the "quality over quantity" approach to improving the encyclopedia. As for the "everything obvious" article, I used "obvious" in the sense of "obvious to a member of the general public". In specialised areas, there is still room for improvement. I've noticed that by the third year of an undergraduate chemistry degree, a few of the topics taught have either thin or no coverage on Wikipedia. But the chances of someone deciding to join solely to write one esoteric article would probably be fairly slim (e.g. a lot of the fungus articles are created by a few prolific editors, not new users). Off-topic: is there any list of "technical articles that are not yet created but we could do with", such as ones one might encounter during the course of an undergraduate degree? Brammers (talk/c) 13:46, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  13. Herostratus (talk) 08:34, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  14. Actually agree with this too. I don't think it a) has been shown that a problem exists, b) that non-auto-confirmed users are responsible for this problem and c) that this proposal will actually address any hypothetical problem that may or may not exist. Basically, convince me why this matters first.Volunteer Marek (talk) 19:57, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  15. mc10 (t/c) 05:19, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
  16. -- 李博杰  | Talk contribs email 16:42, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
  17. --Cybercobra (talk) 02:06, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
  18. CRGreathouse (t | c) 19:20, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
  19. John Vandenberg (chat) 18:46, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

View from User:bobrayner

The current system is a shameful waste; the large minority of new editors who start by creating an article will usually find that it's speedied (which upsets them) or, if they're lucky, it will languish under a heavy burden of tags (which frustrates them). Either way, much labour is wasted. Meanwhile, more experienced editors also spend lots of time trying to clean up this mess when they could be making substantial quality improvements elsewhere; or, if the surge of new pages slowed, NPPers could take the time to make deeper improvements rather than a ten-second tagging.

This is a huge waste of willing volunteers - wikipedia's most precious commodity. There's so much more improvement that they could make - new and old - on en.wikipedia's huge pile of existing articles. We shouldn't worry that a lightweight restriction will prevent some important new article being created - it's a low hurdle and there will still be thousands of willing & talented article-creators around.

Users who endorse this view
  1. bobrayner (talk) 09:13, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  2. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 09:21, 5 April 2011 (UTC) NPPers are already supposed to be doing more than a WP:NPP|ten second tagging.
  3. You're probably right, NPP is likely the biggest inefficiency we put up with in order to maintain "anyone can edit [anything at any time]" at all costs. Mr.Z-man 13:26, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  4. Airplaneman 13:45, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  5. --Jayron32 14:18, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  6. Well said. The labor and time of existing volunteers–especially NPPers and other maintenance workers–should not be taken for granted or wasted. Danger (talk) 17:09, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  7.  Ronhjones  (Talk) 20:31, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  8. - BilCat (talk) 22:39, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  9. Rivertorch (talk) 03:27, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
  10. Yes. SilkTork *YES! 11:54, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
  11. bahamut0013wordsdeeds 15:51, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
  12. Armbrust WrestleMania XXVII Undertaker 19–0 11:26, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  13. --M4gnum0n (talk) 17:01, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  14. Herostratus (talk) 08:46, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  15. Autoconfirmation is such a low standard, the idea that this will "kill Wikipedia" is ridiculous hyperbole. Beeblebrox (talk) 01:36, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
  16. mc10 (t/c) 05:20, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
  17. -- 李博杰  | Talk contribs email 16:44, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
  18. Jebus989 15:09, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

Radical view from User:Collect

Perhaps we are looking at this backwards. There is no doubt that new articles just created by new users do not generally meet WP standards. The current system is "delete new non-notable articles even if less than 1% of the new users will ever try again at all." This is not-good. I suggest that new articles be auto-tagged as "in progress - noindex" and allow editors to try contacting the new user to explain how to improve the article which, in the meantime, would not be "published" to mainspace. Indeed, the "pending chages" software would likely be of immense benefit for such a change in procedure. New editors who write about clearly non-notable topics (My Dad) would get a polite non-templated welcome saying that, while the editor personally would love to meet your dad, it is not really important enough for an encyclopedia article without something special others can look up about him. The purpose of this suggestion is to get the retention rate at least up to 2%. Clearly the current system fails at editor retention utterly. Second part: Also end the unfriendly "your edit was deleted" welcome message (other than for obvious vandalism). Tell the person why the edit has a problem, not just that it was an evil edit (yes - that may mean a menu of templates for those who do not wish to write sentences) . Collect (talk) 11:25, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

I agree, we need to have specific templates for specific instances and the "your edit was deleted" message. Some of the edits are well intentioned and if they get the "your edit was deleted" welcome message, than they will be turned off from editing again and think "screw this, I'm never editing Wikipedia again." Like you said, it's all about retention and boosting it. Mr. C.C.Hey yo!I didn't do it! 17:10, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
Users who endorse this view
  1. Collect (talk) 11:25, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  2. NeilK (talk) 21:02, 5 April 2011 (UTC) This is a step in the right direction
  3. I've separately advocated that articles deleted for notability concerns should go into some sort of purgatory, where they remain available for imrpovement, but are not searchable from outside the site. Jclemens (talk) 17:31, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  4. Did someone actually find a productive use for the Pending Changes functionality? Well, hell - this sounds like it might be a winner to prevent a quick speedy deletion. SchuminWeb (Talk) 02:42, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
  5. Contains Mild Peril (talk) 05:55, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
  6. I'd be willing to compromise to this. - filelakeshoe 23:26, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
  7. ϢereSpielChequers 16:36, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
  8. A brilliant idea and a good use for PC. It does need a positive and polite explanation that will encourage newcomers to stay and earn creation rights. Certes (talk) 15:01, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  9. One of the few palatable uses of PC I've read so far. Interesting idea. TotientDragooned (talk) 20:47, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
  10. YE Tropical Cyclone 15:14, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
  11. Agree. Most of our "welcome" templates are hardly welcoming at all. Philip.t.day talk 01:11, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
  12. Mr. C.C.Hey yo!I didn't do it! 17:10, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
  13. I think this may address the issue while best adhering to the principle of open editing. AndreisEntaro (talk) 05:49, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

View from User:Orionist

I didn't take part in earlier VP discussion, so this is hopefully a new view:

I thought we already have a way to deal with backlogs: we get more people to work on them. Ever wondered what all these unreferenced BLPs, Wikification and copyediting drives are all about? If we apply the same logic of this proposal to other backlogged areas, we'll end up sending to AfC or userfying every single article that is not Featured, and restricting any editing in main namespace to administrators. This proposition will only shift the load to AfC, and soon we will have editors working there complaining about the huge backlog and how we should add hurdles for new editors. AfC is not that helpful either, I can see there very good articles, better than many on the main namespace, that are declined for reasons like "needs more inline citations" or "wikify". Another thing, if 80% of new pages are really deleted for good reason, then why on earth would we want their authors to make 10 more edits - edits that they don't want to do in the first place? We'd be only multiplying the problem by ten, and adding a huge amount of questionable - if not vandalous - edits to the backlog of RC patrollers. And what if after a while, the number of NP patrollers goes down, and they - again - face the same problems? Should we raise article creation threshold to, say, 100 edits and 20 days? And what if the patroller numbers go down again?

Most new pages that are worthy of deletion do not constitute a real danger on the 'pedia. If they are about obscure or non-notable subjects, no one would read them anyway, except maybe the creators and their friends. If the subject is notable, but the article is crappy, people will stumble upon it and improve it, that's the whole point of the wiki, and that's how Wikipedia has become what it is now. The real danger comes from POV pushers, WP:POINTy editors, and uncivil editors who could be well established. These can not only destroy the quality of articles, but also chase away other editors, newbies and veterans alike. Hurdles should be set up for them, instead of the well-meaning but inexperienced.

Some alternative suggestions:

  • Recruit more NP patrollers. Have a look at the methods used by successful projects and follow them. Spread the word, I think most Wikipedians have no idea what NPP is.
  • Article Wizard can be a great tool, used by new and established editors alike, but not the way it is now. If it's ever going to be useful, it should be turned into a real wizard, not a bunch of instructions. The AfC can also improve. As a start, editors can lend a hand at creation instead of judging. Once these two processes see significant improvement, we can discuss rerouting new users through them, but in any case, that should happen because they are useful to new editors, and not because we want to "slow them down": We are checking new pages in the 'pedia, we are not defending it against a Hun invasion.
  • To reduce the chance of "bitiness", several things can be done: a "grace period" can be set up, during which pages shouldn't be tagged or deleted, I guess a duration of one hour for tagging and one day for deletion would be suitable, with an exception for harmful material (e.g. libel, hate speech). Another thing could be tweaking the tags and templates, and including big, clear buttons or links to help areas, where newbies can ask friendly established editors (Wiki Guides for example) who'd have the patience to explain the policies, or talk on their behalf to the taggers/deleters, thus avoiding the bitiness or lessening its impact.

Other solutions can be devised. The proposal above, however, would cause many more problems, without solving any.

Users who endorse this view

  1. -- Orionisttalk 12:10, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  2. the thesis that "i will stop biting people, if we make it harder for them to put their fingers in my mouth" is farcical. behavior modification will require what you suggest, and above all leadership Slowking4 (talk) 20:52, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  3. I tend to agree. The wizard is ugly, and AfC would need more volunteers. Why not just volunteer for NPP? Abductive (reasoning) 07:38, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  4. Barriers to entry should not be raised ever higher, at least not explicitly. Implicitly they are anyway rising since I joined (2004), as citations etc become necessities and the language more and more technical. IP editors are likely to register to write or edit articles on subjects they are passionate about, not to correct semicolons and apostrophes. Forcing 10 initial edits is likely to either a) entangle and kill that passion in editing red tape, or b) ensure that those edits are hurriedly done, trivial (if not damaging) and do not really serve the cause of him/her learning the ropes, as the good-intention is.VishalB (talk) 20:53, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  5. Though I'll note that there is tremendous consensus against providing a blanket grace period for articles (for PROD or AfD). Most times it has been suggested at WT:DEL or WT:AFD it has been quickly shot down. But I prefer people actually work on backlogs rather than offer dramatic faux-serious change in order to avoid backlogs. Look at the recent unreferenced BLP drive as an example of best practices. Rather than nuke/blank/whatever all of the articles because it was "impossible" to deal with them we just set out to deal with them. Harder work, but there is no free lunch. Protonk (talk) 22:07, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
  6. --V111P (talk) 07:15, 17 April 2011 (UTC)

View from User:Ronhjones

As most have said, the need for new pages is not as great as years ago. We have an excellent range of articles, and the number of really good articles that need to be created must, by definition, be very low. Therefore why not stop all page creation in article space, making the users make all their new pages as user subpages. When the user thinks the page is ready he can ask for it to be moved. Move rights need to be the same as for files - i.e. for those who have the Wikipedia:File mover right. Will also stop new users moving articles unnecessary, and may also reduce cut and paste moves.

Nope - the need for new pages is as great as years ago. The geotagging study is just one famous example of that; there are many more. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 06:20, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
Really? Really? REALLY? Unless life didn't happen, than there will always be a need to create articles. It must be nice living in a world where nothing happens and your Wikipedia is stagnant. If we stopped article creation than Wikipedia would become just that, stagnant. Not everything that has ever happened in the history of the world is on Wikipedia. So there are hundreds of thousands if not millions of articles yet to be created. Mr. C.C.Hey yo!I didn't do it! 16:59, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
Users who endorse this view

View from User:Malleus Fatuorum

Wikipedia has become so desperate to attract new editors that it ignores the retention of existing editors. There are plenty of articles, but far too few of them are even half-way decent. The new editors who need encouragement are those who pitch in and improve articles, not those who create articles on their newly formed garage band or whatever on their first edit, as I think the statistics clearly show.

Users who endorse this view
  1. Malleus Fatuorum 02:43, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
  2. Thank you for being so frank on saying this. Some of the above skirts around the issue (including me), but you say it well. --Jayron32 03:09, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
  3. More or less, yeah. Rivertorch (talk) 03:27, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
  4. Yep. MER-C 03:48, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
  5. Malleus makes a point, and I share Jayron's sentiment. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 07:47, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
  6. bobrayner (talk) 09:17, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
  7. Grabbed the nettle by the stem. Brammers (talk/c) 09:39, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
  8. Johnuniq (talk) 10:09, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
  9. I agree, editors who come to WP to create an article about their garage band, something they heard at school or saw on YouTube, or their company or themselves, are not likely to become helpful contributors to WP. -- Donald Albury 10:40, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
  10. Yes. While there is an important focus on newly created articles, we should also look at existing articles. Try clicking on Random article 10 times and see if you're satisfied with all ten articles you encounter. We need quality editors who are willing to work on improving existing articles. It is a shame that so many WP:Vital articles are in such a poor state. SilkTork *YES! 12:00, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
  11. I wouldn't have worded it quite so strongly against attracting new editors, but how to encourage new and existing editors to improve existing articles definitely doesn't occupy enough of our mindspace. Encouraging prioritising of articles to improve (eg WP:Vital articles, per Silktork) is also important and not done enough. One point made elsewhere I think (this RFC is getting long) is that new articles on closely related subjects can easily end up pretty duplicative, so you end up with 2 crappy overlapping articles which then at some point take a lot of effort to merge and/or properly demarcate along the line the topic should be split. There is, in general, too much emphasis on creating new articles as a goal in itself, rather than taking the goal as expanding Wikipedia's coverage of encyclopedic topics in a way that is useful to readers. Rd232 talk 12:46, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
  12. bahamut0013wordsdeeds 15:51, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
  13. a little freaked out that I'm agreeing with Malleus about something, but somehow I am. I wouldn't say that all new editors who want to write articles are of the garage-band type, or that we should not encourage editors who want to create new articles at all, but Malleus speaks the truth when he says that prioritizing those who want to create their own pet article over those who want to improve the 'pedia through various other methods is silly. A fluffernutter is a sandwich! (talk) 16:22, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
  14. Couldn't say it better myself. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 16:56, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
  15.  Ronhjones  (Talk) 19:10, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
  16. --Guerillero | My Talk | Review Me 23:42, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
  17. --JayJasper (talk) 04:39, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  18. Shockingly enough, I agree completely. Mind you I'd go further by tightening up the notability guidelines and culling upwards of 500,000 articles (the 300,000 currently unsourced articles and the massive bloat that teeters on the edge of even the low standards we have now. I'm quite confident that we can cut half a million articles without really losing anything. That, however, is a separate matter.) Sven Manguard Wha? 07:08, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  19. Sure, I agree with this. I don't have much of an idea how to improve the situation, though... Abductive (reasoning) 08:02, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  20. Armbrust WrestleMania XXVII Undertaker 19–0 11:34, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  21. Sound comment. Also tend to agree with User:Sven Manguard's OT point, especially if it results in a reduction in articles about (to me) non-notable schools and other educational establishments, many of which are of irredeemably poor quality and frequently vandalised. - Sitush (talk) 11:46, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  22. BelovedFreak 11:54, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  23. Agree 100%. - Burpelson AFB 13:54, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  24. Enric Naval (talk) 14:15, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  25. --JaGatalk 16:19, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  26. --M4gnum0n (talk) 17:03, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  27. One way to invest in the retention of existing editors is to devise ways to reduce the amount of janitorial work required to maintain the project. This change would result in a precipitous drop in the number of AfD's, CSD's, and new page patrolling required, and would free up experienced editors to do more valuable tasks. —SW— confer 17:28, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  28. We need to balance attracting new, productive editors to at least replace the actual attrition rate of our productive contributors. Jclemens (talk) 17:33, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  29. Otelemuyen {talk) 18:25, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  30. I agree with this feeling, but I don't know what if anything it entails for the question at hand here. We need some real statistics as to how many new junk articles are created by new editors relative to mmkay articles created by new editors. Tijfo098 (talk) 19:10, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  31. Agree with this sentiment
    ⋙–Berean–Hunter—► ((⊕)) 22:25, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  32. --Diannaa (Talk) 03:25, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  33. Pol430 talk to me 08:01, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  34. Fully agree. Pedro :  Chat  09:33, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  35. A belief I have held for a while now (but at the same time, we should still be gentle with all good-faith and potentially productive newbies, regardless of their first edits). Dabomb87 (talk) 13:49, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  36. In general yes, though some areas are still woefully underrepresented.Volunteer Marek (talk) 19:54, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  37. Wikipedia could easily purge a good half a million articles, maybe more, and be better off for it. We desperately need existing articles polished. Lara 01:42, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
  38. Exactly. Wolfehhgg (talk) 16:44, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
  39. Anytime me and Malleus agree on anything there has got to be something to it... Beeblebrox (talk) 01:38, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
  40. mc10 (t/c) 05:21, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
  41. New users shouldn't focus on article creation, when they do create a new article it'll most likely get torn apart and destroyed. I agree with this wholeheartedly. —James (TalkContribs)4:47pm 06:47, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
  42. DoRD (talk) 12:30, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
  43. Yes, the quantity vs. quality issue... Mojoworker (talk) 17:38, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
  44. As with others, disconcerted to agree with MF, but he is correct. Beyond My Ken (talk) 22:25, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  45. — anndelion  00:18, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
  46. Per this ANI incident which drove off another established editor and basically rewarding poor behavior on the part of a newcomer. That being said, I'm concentrating more on that first statement, which I think is clearly going on. –MuZemike 18:13, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
    Drove off? Sorry, I see no evidence of this. Ruslik_Zero 18:27, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
  47. I agree. But what do you propose exactly? Xionbox 09:53, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
  48. -- 李博杰  | Talk contribs email 16:45, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
  49. Enough speaking, a Big YES. Ald™ N☺Nym☻us 22:00, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
  50. UncleDouggie (talk) 10:07, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
  51. I agree. So many times admins have not blocked editors who only contributions are making pages made of vandalism just because they are new. JDDJS (talk) 16:31, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
  52. More blunt that I would have put it, but correct. Captain panda 07:10, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
  53. Hits the nail on the head. AD 14:37, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
  54. The article count increase has dropped off to linear (I believe somewhat independently of the decline in new editors); there is no need to focus on new articles nearly as much. Old missing articles are likely on non-English/Western topics, which we're SOL on regardless. --Cybercobra (talk) 02:01, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
  55. Well said! A good starting point.Wayne Roberson, Austin, Texas (talk) 04:05, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
  56. Yes, as of now "There are plenty of articles, but far too few of them are even half-way decent." Are we trying to create a rummage sale here or a "high quality encyclopedia"? There is need to better focus the efforts of the experienced and responsible editors, instead of the spammers and joyriders. History2007 (talk) 22:43, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
  57. agree. Johnbod (talk) 00:06, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
  58. John Vandenberg (chat) 18:49, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
  59. Too true, they can always create articles in their sandbox and ask others to check them out. Chaosdruid (talk) 02:08, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
  60. mabdul 20:08, 30 April 2011 (UTC)

View from User:Worm That Turned

A new article requires an administrator to delete. Sure, we can use speedy deletion criteria, but it still requires an administrator to do the work. Moving to this system will therefore reduce the amount of vandalism that cannot be reverted by normal editors. Autoconfirmed status does not take long to get, and there are alternative methods to creating articles. This seems like a good move to me.

It won't reduce the amount of vandalism. That's wishful thinking. A portion of the users will vandalize to the required amount edits to meet the requirements. So no it won't curb vandalism. Mr. C.C.Hey yo!I didn't do it! 16:53, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
I didn't say it would reduce the amount of vandalism, I said it would "reduce the amount of vandalism that cannot be reverted by normal editors" - the more editors who can revert vandalism the better IMO. WormTT · (talk) 09:33, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
Users who endorse this view
  1. WormTT · (talk) 11:20, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  2. Armbrust WrestleMania XXVII Undertaker 19–0 11:36, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  3. --M4gnum0n (talk) 17:04, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  4. True, it would reduce CSD work as well as work at NPP (which has been mentioned before), so freeing up editor time for other things. That's probably not that important (I certainly think the key issue is the new editor experience), but it does, and that's obviously a benefit. Rd232 talk 19:49, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  5. Yep. Beeblebrox (talk) 01:39, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
  6. +1 bobrayner (talk) 21:12, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
  7. Mojoworker (talk) 17:42, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
  8. Baseball Watcher 01:24, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
  9. mc10 (t/c) 02:11, 18 April 2011 (UTC)
  10. -- 李博杰  | Talk contribs email 16:45, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
  11. Agree. AD 14:36, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
  12. This is a very good point. We need to reduce the need for admins to press the block or delete buttons routinely for hours, as this encourages the continuation of the model of sysop rights going to people who merely block and delete, and prefer to do that than communicate. John Vandenberg (chat) 18:54, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

View from User:Rd232

Somewhat reluctantly I add an additional view to the growing list, because Jayron32's view (the leading view in support of the basic idea of restriction) does not mention some key points. So, in addition to everything said in favour of preventing brand new (non-autoconfirmed) editors from creating articles in mainspace without some form of assistance, it must be emphasised that such editors should still be able to quickly create articles with assistance. I see three assistance options, and I think all should be available if the restriction is implemented.

  1. Articles for Creation. I think the key element of the immediacy of the status quo actually involves a form of feedback - of look, it's really there on Wikipedia, I CAN create it! (in parallel to the more common I CAN edit it!). The AFC system should provide much of the key "I CAN create it" experience. AFC may not put the article live into mainspace as quickly as the status quo permits, but it does (should) provide fairly quick feedback, and in particular, it gives new editors the crucial expectation of positive feedback, as opposed to the present experience of creating an article without knowing what feedback to expect (which feedback typically turns out negative, via deletion or tagging).
  2. Article Wizard. An exemption can be engineered so that editors going through the Article Wizard can immediately create articles. This is partly to reduce the workload on AFC, partly to direct users who aren't really interested in feedback away from AFC. It also provides users who want it real immediacy of creation.
  3. userspace drafts in combination with a request to move the draft to mainspace provide a way to quickly create articles without going through AFC or Wizard, which some find very offputting. This needs a little work to make it clear how to do (from the "you can't create a new article" message) and then how to request a move to mainspace if the user isn't willing to wait (possibly adapting the Article Wizard's userspace draft preload, which provides some help). user:Cardamon's view mentions a per-user sandbox which could work well to make this approach easier to grasp for the newcomer.
Users who endorse this view
  1. Rd232 talk 11:22, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  2. Armbrust WrestleMania XXVII Undertaker 19–0 11:39, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  3. bahamut0013wordsdeeds 12:09, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  4. I'm flexible on which/how many options are available, but some options should be available and well-advertised. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:15, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  5. Absolutely essential points to make this change work right. Jclemens (talk) 17:34, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  6. Support options 1 and 2. These exemptions are reasonable ways for legitimate new users to create new articles. Some editors come here explicitly for the reason to create a legitimate article, and may not be interested in making 10 other edits to other articles. If a user created a userspace draft, however, they would probably (hopefully) already be auto-confirmed after they finished their userspace draft, so this option is probably unnecessary. —SW— comment 18:24, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
    1. They might well get to 10 edits, but do so quite quickly (< 4 days). Hence the need for a clear path for requesting moves (eg via WP:FEED or WP:NCHP) to avoid frustration. Besides which, a request ensures a second pair of (more experienced) eyes before the article goes live. The potential feedback there reduces the risk of deletion/tagging/etc. Rd232 talk 19:37, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  7. --JayJasper (talk) 18:47, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  8. mc10 (t/c) 02:11, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

View from User:Marcus Qwertyus

If we are going to require autoconfirmed status to create articles we should also require reviewer status to review them. There are 5,500 reviewers already and it can easily be requested.

Users who endorse this view
  1. Marcus Qwertyus 13:45, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

View from AGK

A suitable compromise would be that anonymous users can still create new articles, but that pages they create are not viewable except to them and to registered users until the article has been confirmed in much the same way as FlaggedRevs provides for. AGK [] 14:34, 7 April 2011 (UTC)re

Users who endorse this view
  1. AGK [] 14:34, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  2. ...Or make it viewable but require that the article eventually be patrolled at some point Currently all articles that aren't patrolled after (3?) months disappear from the patrol log. Articles that are written by autoconfirmed users could still expire from the list after a set amount of time. This would prioritize page patrolling of articles written by new users by backlog patrollers. Marcus Qwertyus 16:28, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
    It's 1 month. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 13:25, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  3. There is mileage in this. I think that "article incubation" is probably the sort of thing, though the term has been taken over by an existing process that holds deleted articles in a community userfication space. A process whereby articles created by unregistered or new editors are automatically placed in an incubator which is noindexed and not part of article mainspace would be great. I think that is what people have been looking for all this time, and keep missing. The article would remain in the incubator until an admin or reviewer checks it over and moves it into mainspace or deletes it. The current Article Incubator is misnamed, misunderstood, has been misused (people deleting articles out of process), and doesn't work. It might be an idea to hold a RfC on the existing Article Incubator to see if that can be made to work under a new name (Community Userfication?) or simply closed down so the Article Incubator name can be used for this idea. SilkTork *YES! 16:35, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
    1. How is that different from my third point in my View (userspace drafts)? Rd232 talk 16:39, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  4. --M4gnum0n (talk) 17:06, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  5. Jclemens (talk) 04:30, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
  6. I like the way this avoids the pitfalls both of incubation and of userfication. ϢereSpielChequers 20:25, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
  7. this sounds like a decent solution. Also, I would argue that there is less potential for damage and abuse from new users creating new articles (which get checked anyway) than from those same users editing existing articles. Sometimes a new user can do serious damage to an article and if the changes aren't super obvious it takes a while to catch the changes which by that point may have been incorporated into other changes since. Drew.ward (talk) 01:16, 29 April 2011 (UTC)

Possibly contrarian view from Daniel Case

For one thing, I thought this was already a requirement. But with all the UAA work I do, I should have realized it wasn't. Perhaps I was confusing the semi-protection requirements with the creation requirements. It doesn't matter.

Now, if I were forced to take a stand on this RfC I'd say, do it. A lot of accounts that begin by creating articles are indeed SPAs that create an article about something non-notable and, no matter how politely you treat them about this, never edit again as far as I can tell (and by "as far as I can tell", I mean that I've actually had email dialogues with some of these people about this). Whereas a lot of accounts that begin by editing existing articles (and by editing, I should clarify that they are actually adding good-faith factual information, or copy editing, and not just spamming external links) seem to have more staying power. To generalize from my own experience, I had had my account for a month before I felt the courage to create a new article (clip show, if anyone cares), and I was still so apprehensive about doing it that I created it anonymously (that was still allowed at the time). It's been almost six years and I'm still here.

So as far as this proposal goes I will say at the very least, get data on whether editors who start by creating articles or editors who start by merely editing existing articles (again, as opposed to spamming or vandalizing them) before we make any decision.

But that's not as far as I want to go.

Everybody above seems to take it as a settled assumption that the decline in activity from newer accounts is a Really Serious Problem and that if we don't do Something Drastic Right Now Wikipedia won't be around in a year. Or a day. Those of you as long in the online teeth as I am may remember "Imminent death of the net predicted. Film at 11. The only difference is whether this proposal is seen as an acceptable tradeoff in light of this.

I do not dispute the facts about the editing patterns of new editors. I am, however, beginning to have second thoughts about the extent to which this has been seen, or been allowed to be seen, as some sort of existential threat.

We say this often enough to mock it as a cliché, but it's no less true for that: This is a project to create an encyclopedia. It is therefore about creating and maintaining quality content above all else. How we continue to grow and adapt as a community can only be considered within the context of that goal.

We should not consider it our goal to attract as many new users as possible. Yet we are on the verge of discussing this and fretting about this to the point that perception will trump reality, that the discourse about this will make any actual underlying facts, their implications or the lack thereof irrelevant. And when you have reached that point, you no longer have a problem but a moral panic or the equivalent.

Or to be a bit more restrained, I note that we presently have no article on the well-known organizational phenomenon of goal displacement (And no, I don't mean this; see here instead). Because it seems to me that without some skepticism at the right time (i.e., now), we're headed in that direction, with the usual deleterious effects likely.

The smaller amount of new accounts that become regular editors is an issue. A concern, perhaps. And certainly not without some relevance to the question of how welcoming we are to new users. But it's not a PROBLEM.

For it has been equally true that while this has happened, the total amount of edits has remained relatively steady as the existing core of editors has increased their activity. I see other indicators that, from an editorial standpoint, the community is doing quite well for itself. I note that we seem to be producing as many featured articles as we generally have, and the proportion of defeaturings to FA promotions has also remained relatively consistent. Likewise more articles have reached GA status in the last couple of years than the years before. The amount of new admin candidacies has declined, but no more than the amount of new long-term editors (IMO) (and maybe that's not such a bad thing, to be honest).

And is the decline in new editors necessarily the result of, or only of, our practices toward new editors and new articles? I suppose it is true that we have become more efficient at sizing up a new editor and assessing their potential than we were in 2005, allowing less time for a vandal to become a serious editor. But I also have to point out that, with five times as many articles as we had back then, perhaps new editors see less places where they can add new information (An interesting metric in this regard would be the amount of new editors in the last few years who have built up their edit counts on pop-culture phenomena that did not exist in 2005 ... episodes of, say, Lost that have aired since then and associated articles. Or newer TV shows that have become very popular, like Modern Family). Maybe we should find out what newer editors are editing and what we can do to encourage more of this, before we go throwing what may or may not be solutions at what may or may not be problems.

We may also have to consider that we have captured most of the user base that has the time and inclination to effectively write and edit open-content online encyclopedia articles in worldwide collaboration. Especially with strict requirements for sourcing and such ... a lot of us too easily forget, I think, that many people don't have pleasant memories of writing papers in school and approach the imperative to footnote their work with the same dread I'd have if I had to factor quadratic polynomials again on a routine basis.

And that such a user community is OK working with a decidedly retro editing interface that lacks WYSIWYG capabilities (believe me, when we solve that problem, we won't be worrying about what we can do to attract new editors. In fact, we'll have the opposite problem. And then, anyone who doesn't remember what that problem was like will be pining for the days when we had discussions like this.) Or true social-networking capabilities (We could stand to learn a few things from Facebook) that could enhance the editing experience. Within a few years web users will expect that sort of thing, and we will need to provide it if we want to get some of them into our community).

So here's to conversations that I think we should be having. Daniel Case (talk) 16:48, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

Users who endorse this view
  1. Daniel Case (talk) 16:48, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  2. --M4gnum0n (talk) 17:12, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  3. Danger (talk) 17:56, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  4. Rd232 talk 18:14, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  5. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 18:19, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  6. --JayJasper (talk) 18:48, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  7. Agree -- As a gnome-ish, for-the-most-part contra-vandal, I see the problem being not so much one of quantity as quality. There seems to be no shortage of people who think it's fun to trash articles. (Even the fictional Howard Wolowitz on The Big Bang Theory suggested they "vandalize some Wikipedia pages" for fun.) I'm not at all sure that someone having a millisecond attention span and unwilling to wait less than a week to create articles is the sort of person that will help build a good encyclopedia. But, then again, I could be wrong. — UncleBubba T @ C ) 19:05, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  8. --Jayron32 19:26, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  9. Agree with the general tenor. Many excellent points. Settled assumptions part (para 3) overstated; I don't assume that at all. Rivertorch (talk) 19:38, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
    Good; I'm glad some people are keeping their heads on. That does seem to be the view on some of the mailing lists, though. Daniel Case (talk) 00:46, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  10. The reason we thought it was a requirement was because if the users follow the suggestions and create their article as a draft in their userspace, they are unable to move it into mainspace until they are autoconfirmed. So the people who follow the suggestions are punished, while those who dump new articles directly in main space are rewarded. Gigs (talk) 19:58, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
    That is a very, very good point. Rd232 talk 21:40, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  11. Not sure I fully agree with everything here. But very well thought out... and more experience than me. Shooterwalker (talk) 00:52, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  12. Lara 01:44, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
  13. Very well thought out and expressed. I would wager that if we eliminate from the Wikimedia study all SPAs that create new vanity and spam articles, then the new editor retention rate would rise significantly. The real question should be "how do we retain editors who are serious about writing an encyclopedia?" If anything, this proposal would help those quality new editors see that Wikipedia is serious about writing a quality encyclopedia. First Light (talk) 05:16, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
  14. Some people have their priorities on Wikipedia all wrong. We aren't aiming to be the biggest encyclopedia, nor are we aiming to be the best one. "Anyone can edit" is already false, because of all the users that get blocked every day. Creating an article is a step up from simply editing. In the rare case of a good article being created by a brand new editor, no harm will come by waiting a bit. AD 14:34, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
  15. Wikipedia de facto entered a new phase a while ago when the emphasis on quality was jacked up and good-faith-but-uncited stuff started getting routinely reverted. I agree that a WYSIWYG editing interface would probably have the greatest possible impact of most of the change suggestions being circulated. --Cybercobra (talk) 01:52, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
  16. --Enric Naval (talk) 00:28, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

Brief view from Anetode

Don't cut off your nose to spite your face. ˉˉanetode╦╩ 19:16, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

Totally inappropriate metaphor which seemingly ignores everything said by proponents of the proposal. Also a "view" which adds nothing to existing ones, and ignores the instruction at the top of the page to avoid unnecessary proliferation of views - so I've moved it here. Rd232 talk 19:34, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
Moved back. It's all right if you disagree with my view, but I would appreciate a respectful treatment of it. Although concise, the metaphor I brought up took some consideration. In order to save people the time of reading multiple paragraphs which would have detailed my reasoning I would much rather offer a thesis. My intention is to get people to consider this statement and comment on whether their conclusions are ultimately similar. ˉˉanetode╦╩ 19:48, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
I gave your view rather more respect than it gave the proposal. Rd232 talk 19:55, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
I see. You may have the impression that this view is in some way contemptuous, but that was not my intent. It's honest, if unorthodox. And speaking of unorthodox, please allow me the following parable:
Imagine wikipedia as a vast and empty plot of land where people are allowed to build whatever they want and help each other out. After the first couple of years the plot accumulated a sparse number of shacks and, oddly enough, the foundations for a number of skyscrapers. More people come and join the build as the years go by. Wikipedia is no longer a plot, but a sprawling city. Many fine structures are erected and people who occupy them feel a sense of comfort and achievement (and rightfully so).
Then something bad happens. The people in the nice houses become vary of the litter of small shacks from the continuing influx of builders. Such ghettos are blamed for lowering property values. A fence is put up wherever newcomers attempt to lay even a brick. Now they need a license, a security check and a complete blueprint to populate the wiki-metropolis.
Unsatisfied with the lack of camaraderie and the price barriers instituted by the emergent wiki-government, they leave to create their own suburbs, towns, dens and lairs. The mighty skyscrapers require constant maintenance, but the lack of new talent gradually turns them into a state of disrepair.
So the point is, you don't have to limit new constructions to established "citizens". We need fresh talent, more houses to store new ideas. ˉˉanetode╦╩ 20:16, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
And with that metaphor, you can also end up like Rio or São Paulo, with a small elite that does a lot of good for society with a giant morass at the fringes progressively growing larger and degrading the overall appeal of the city. Or you can institute some building codes and prevent that from happening in the first place. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 20:40, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Very nice job describing the status quo. Now how does it relate to this proposal? Or did you think you don't need a license, security check and a complete blueprint to prevent your shack from being crushed by a bulldozer right now? Yoenit (talk) 20:42, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I did have that impression. Your extended metaphor deflects that impression, but also fails to take into account that the issue here is not exclusion, but lack of skills. We don't allow just anybody to put up a building in a city anywhere they like, without any assistance or supervision. Even if they're trying to build something desirable, there's a good chance they'll make an almighty mess, and then get upset when they fail and the neighbours angrily point to the flaws. Much better to ask for help beforehand, getting the neighbours' help (see my View on the key assistance issue). The second house they build they'll still struggle, but at least have some degree of clue, plus be clearer about the community's expectations. Rd232 talk 21:48, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
I take exception to your assumption that the issue boils down to a lack of skill. It's premature to gauge skill potential - or lack thereof - from a couple of simple contributions. The issue here is experience. Without the opportunity to engage in article creation at the base anonymous level there's no incentive to pursue editorial experience. And while a few contributions may acclimate a user to wiki markup or layout, they are no substitute for starting of with an idea (new article) to build on. User status (anon/new/old/admin) is a formality where the actual content is concerned, so the definition of a community must be widened to include the entire readership as potential contributors. This is the very premise of a wiki, the nose or eyes or what have you, the principal distinguishing characteristic. If it is encumbered by too many layers of bureaucracy then the growth and development of the project is compromised. Requiring autoconfirmation effectively destroys the first couple of steps to experienced contributorship and isolates the idea of a community to an internal wiki that not just anyone can edit. This is just another case of the neighbours crying NIMBY. ˉˉanetode╦╩ 22:38, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
I wasn't distinguishing skill from experience here; it's not about "gauging" skill since anyone can attain autoconfirmed status purely off their own back without anyone else getting involved. The issue is that creating new articles (which most new users do not start off doing) is a difficult thing, and 80%+ of them fail. That right there suggests that something is broken and needs fixing for the sake of the newcomers, not for the sake of the existing editors. Insisting that new editors go through a creation route which involves a modicum of assistance if they want to put something live in mainspace in less than 4 days is very very far from putting up barriers. It's repeatedly asserted that only unwanted editors like spammers will be willing to wait 4 days; well what sort of editors refuse to create an article merely because they're required to get some assistance in doing so? Are these editors actually a loss to the project? I would say not. There are both quality and quantity issues about converting readers into editors, where those readers wish to begin by creating an article (most don't), and on both counts, insisting that they get some help so that they don't flat on their face 80% of the time (WP:BITE) ought to be an improvement. Finally, whether this is formally done as a trial or merely kept under review for possible cancellation, we should keep a close eye on the impact. Speculation only gets you so far. Bottom line: the status quo is really crappy [it worked very well when Wikipedia was young, but as of 2011, it's crappy], and we ought to try something different. Rd232 talk 23:08, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
You make some very good points and a trial might be a workable idea. Overall though, I think that this proposal runs counter to the model that's made wikipedia a success. 10 years is still pretty young for such an ambitious project. ˉˉanetode╦╩ 01:25, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
If we were writing a paper encyclopedia, I would agree. But 10 years on the internet is basically a generation, if not several. 10 years ago, IE6 was the top of line, there was no Firefox, Facebook was still 3 years away from being created, and Google was only about 3 years old. Mr.Z-man 01:53, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
Grrr. Ten years ago, Netscape was top of the line and IE was more like bottom of the barrel ;) Your point is well taken, though; a decade at Wikipedia is an eternity. To Anetode: in general, I like methodical trials and careful analysis of hard data, but I'm not sure that would be workable in this case. If this proposal is enacted and then compelling evidence shows it to be having a deleterious effect on either clueful new editor retention or the creation rate of worthwhile articles, I'd be inclined to support its repeal. Rivertorch (talk) 04:15, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
This pointless discussion should be moved to the talk page. Lara 01:47, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
I don't think this discussion is pointless. It gave me a better sense of the issues than most of the rest of this page. Kathyfeller (talk) 18:22, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
Users who endorse this view
  1. It is a natural feature of any mature community to reject growth and move toward solidifying extant positive qualities instead (ie quality not quantity). This is poisonous in the extreme especially when the problem we face is not a lack of quality but a dearth of growth in our userbase. Protonk (talk) 01:59, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
    "the problem we face is not a lack of quality but a dearth of growth in our userbase." - um no, clearly the problem is both. The response to this dual problem depends an awful lot on whether, or how, you weight users. Is a zero-experience user who only ever makes one edit worth exactly as much as a 1,000-edit Wikipedian making their 1001st edit? If not, is the relative value (to the quality/size of the encyclopedia) fixed, or changing over time? If it changes with the growth of the encyclopedia in quality and size, in which direction does it change? I think you know the answers many people would give to these questions; and that leads to certain conclusions about how to focus efforts to turn readers into contributors who actually make meaningful contributions. eg the proposal this RFC is about. Rd232 talk 02:13, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
    No we don't face both. the quality problem is endemic to any venture. Acting as though it is unique to wikipedia requires blinders. Second, if we face a declining editor to reader ratio and an increasing average account age, what in the world do you think this proposal will do to those figures? Improve them? Third, there seems to be this lurking notion that we can somehow quantify the quality of a contributor or that we are willing to build walls to new contributors in order to keep or privilege existing contributors. I invite anyone holding that view to please step back and think about it in context. If you had to bet money could you identify long term users, banned users, admins, FA writers, etc. from their first article (excluding blatant vandalism) or their first edit? Even if you could, what the hell kind of judges are we that we can decide what worked well enough for 10 years on wikipedia suddenly doesn't work now? Wikipedia was created in order to be the fastest means to add or retrieve information about the outside world. The competitive advantage to wikipedia was that it was faster than any other website which you could add information. It had less friction for potential contributors. And we succeeded beyond anyones' dreams. All the people who wanted to do exactly what we are proposing right now left for Citizendium content that they would weather the coming hordes of non-productive contributors (or whatever the euphemism of the day was). Look at them now. 10 years later we face a crisis--not a crisis of quality but a crisis of relevance. Fewer people can edit wikipedia (as more people are connecting to the mobile site), and among those who can fewer do. As those numbers continue to drop we will probably have a few years of inertia where the existing stock of information is still relevant to readers. But after a certain point people will have moved on to some source which allows them to make changes without some elaborate procedure or arcane set of policy pages. If you want to hasten that day, go right ahead, but I'll be damned if I am going to let it come sooner without protest. Protonk (talk) 03:27, 11 April 2011 (UTC)

View from Tijfo098

I looked at the data, and unfortunately it's not the right data for the question at hand here. If the new editor's fist edit is kept, the data gathered tells us nothing about whether their first article is kept or not (of if he ever creates one). Also there is no data (in those tables) on articles created by old editors in the same period (kept/deleted or total). The only thing you can answer is:

  • Assuming your goal is just to retain new editors and nothing else (no regard for article quality, articles created, or retention of old editors), you're better off preventing new editors from creating articles: 1.33% retention for 1st edit being article creation vs. 2.57% for regular mainspace edit. (I did not consider the non-mainspace action relevant. Do we want more users that focus elsewhere? I also did not calculate the statistical significance of this.)

However, by not allowing the new guys to create article right away, you might not have gotten at least 2,375+ kept articles (and possibly more; they may have created more than one each). Maybe they wold have created them under the new rules, maybe not. There is no way to tell that from the data gathered. We also don't know if the "non-create" editors ever created any articles after their first edit (to compare with the 2,375+), or if their edits were plain reverted, which means they might also have been a net negative. Sadly, based on data gathered, you cannot even answer the question:

  • Assuming you want to retain new editors whose first article is kept, are you better off preventing new editors from creating articles?

If you assume that among those new guys only those who created an article on their first edit ever created one (big if), the answer to the above is no (i.e. the proposed measure contradicts the goal of retaining new [minimal] quality contributors), because based on the data gathered the retention rate of editors who created a new article that is kept is above average for the mainspace sample. (4.4% vs. 2.32%) But, unless you have some data on the article creation of non-create-by-first-edit editors, you can't really answer the big if part. I doubt anyone followed this, but hey, everyone has an opinion, informed or not. Tijfo098 (talk) 20:44, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

View from User:Blackwidowhex

As a new user, I see contentious points are points of pressure on Wikipedia. It's what drives the new Wikipedia users to contribute to Wikipedia. Wikipedia should make it mandatory that new wikipedia users be warned that their first articles will be deleted and be advised how to create articles that are not contentious, before the new user makes an article. Blackwidowhex (talk) 20:08, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

  • It is not a given that an editor's first article will be deleted. There are many of us who created a first article after having made a few edits over a few days, without the article being deleted. I believe that making new editors wait a few days and make a few edits before they can create an article will increase the chances that the first article they create will survive. I also believe that the potential editors who are not willing to make a few edits and wait a few days before they can create their first article are not likely to turn into productive long-term contributors to Wikipedia. Of course, we need to do more to help new editors. There are many ways to do that. Helping new editors does not diminish the benefits of adopting this proposal, however. I would also note that the problem is not "contentious articles". Editors may be contentious; articles are not. It is unsourced (and often unsourceable) articles about non-notable subjects that are the problem. -- Donald Albury 21:05, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
    • It is though a probability that a new editor's first article will be deleted, according to what figures are available. Malleus Fatuorum 22:24, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  • We try to give new users advice. The problem is, creating a new article is just really hard. If we give people all the advice they need, no one will read it because it would be too long. However, the skills needed to create a new article do not have to be taught. The point of this proposal (as I see it) is to have new users learn from experience, rather than the community continue trying (and failing) to teach by passive advising. Mr.Z-man 22:07, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

Okay, so this is a rewrite for my flawed view. It's a definite phenomenon that people prefer getting it done to taking the time and get it done right. I would think that most people do not need to be introduced to the idea of citations. I would think it's a standard practice with today's education. The Article Request log is also backed up. So new users perhaps are overwhelmed if few Wikipedia articles come to mind that they like to edit. Here are two possible modifications to make: Wikipedia could detect if a new user adds an article without references and then stop the article from being created. And have the create new article pages written with "may be deleted" big and bold. Blackwidowhex (talk) 02:55, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

View from User:Barts1a

I personally think that this proposal is a good idea. It will allow users to learn the basics by editing existing articles rather than learning only how to get a slap on the wrist for creating a non-notable article. Good faith but incorrect edits are much easier to correct and point the user in the right direction with than good faith but non-notable articles. Barts1a | Talk to me | Yell at me 23:02, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

I agree, and support asking new page creators to register Tim bates (talk) 10:25, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
That is already required. You seem to misunderstand the proposal here. Tijfo098 (talk) 12:30, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

View from User:NatGertler

I agree with those who say that this would set an unnecessary bar. However, I think in addressing this situation, we should be looking for ways of being less discouraging through our new page deletion, and be careful of doing anything that makes proper page patroling too difficult (as a frequent deleter, I can tell you that one of the reasons I do NPP is that it's simple; when I have a minute or two I can look at a few new pages, and with Twinkle I'm a click or two away from calling for deletion of things that qualify for deletion; if I had to engage in a conversation to justify each one to its author, I wouldn't be doing much patrolling.) If possible, I would like to see most categories of deletion not actually delete but rather userfy the page by default. I'd like to have Twinkle leave a message saying "Your page has been removed from the Wikipedia listing because we require articles about organizations to say why that organization is notable, and yours doesn't. However, your article is still right here (LINK TO USERSPACE COPY), and we encourage you to improve the article and resubmit it by such-and-such a process. Here (LINK) is a guide to the sort of content that suggests notability of an organization. And if you need any help or have any questions here (LINK) is my talk page." Make it seem less like we're rejecting their work outright, and that the time they spent creating the article is down the tubes. --Nat Gertler (talk) 23:29, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

Agree with NatGertler's idea. It may be that new users creating a new article not yet up to scratch would appreciate the kindness of a twinkle-generated anonymous loss, while still having the ability to continue work on their contribution until it's at an acceptable point for inclusion. There should be, in that case, an algorithm that counts their twinkle rejects so they get no more than 2 or 3 before an actual person reaches out to them with some helpful words. Sctechlaw (talk) 09:02, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  1. Good Idea Jane (talk) 09:52, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  2. I like the idea about shoving the new poorly written article over to their userspace. It saves any work they have done and allows them to fix it to the standard. As it stands the vandal tools we use can sometimes be pretty harsh and I wish I had more options. Golgofrinchian (talk) 12:23, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
  3. This seems eminently sensible. --Joy [shallot] (talk) 18:29, 24 April 2011 (UTC)

View from User:dankarl

Oppose. There are users who would rather jump in and create a new article and they may be the better informed users with writing and research experience in other venues; although they would be well advised to start offline or in user space, this concern is more a matter of mechanics than of content. If you have researched your topic and know the basic rules of notability you should be able to produce a decent start that will stand scrutiny.

Putting in something that amounts to advance peer review is contrary to WP:Bold and imo would encourage blandness.

That said, there will be new users who do not know the rules. I really like User:NatGertler's suggestion in the post above. I also think patrollers should back off a little bit and wait til a new page has not been edited for an hour or so before doing anything, to avoid both the impression of a slapdown and possible edit conflicts. Dankarl (talk) 13:35, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

I've said this before, and I'll say it again; that solution will lead to an enormous increase in spam. A huge percentage of speedy deletions are G11s, and if we delay deleting those we'll have even more businesses dumping advertisements on us to improve their search engine rankings. Not to mention that with just about all of these pages (see the talkpage for an example I gave), the chance of them becoming a decent article is mathematically zero. Userfication can work in some instances, and I too would like a better process for that, but we can't default to that; there'd be too much garbage floating around in userspace if we just userfied everything. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 20:59, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
I concur. Userfying at this scale is like dumping unfiltered chemicals in the river—out of sight, out of mind. Plus, if an editor leaves, this is just even more wasted space that may never be freed up simply because it is orphaned and forgotten. It would at the very least create a need for an entirely new Wikiproject of massive proportions. As a member of the GOCE, I can tell you that there are a lot of pages that need a lot of editing...I can't even imagine the rate at which first-edit page creates are deleted. Trawling through millions of pages worth of dusty junk is not a task I can see editors leaping to volunteer for. And WMF doesn't have enough server space to keep all that junk forever.Bronsonboy (talk) 18:42, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

View from User:History2007

I see this as part of a larger trend. The "total freedom paradigm" in Wikipedia is gradually fading out - ever so slowly. And I see that as necessary, given that as the "value of the content" in Wikipedia increases, more protection will be needed. As the number of Wiki-pages increases, so should protection. Given that I am tired of reverting vandals (and the ever increasing number of skillful spammers) in general, I support this as another step along the path of the end to the "total freedom paradigm". Along that path we will encounter the 5 stages of the Kübler-Ross model of accepting the inevitable: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance. At the moment a large portion of the Wikipedia community is in the first stage: Denial of the end to the total freedom paradigm. The other stages will gradually follow. Then in a few years, Acceptance will eventually arrive. History2007 (talk) 16:00, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

Users who endorse this view
  1. Other models notwithstanding, I more or less agree. Rivertorch (talk) 19:04, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
  2. I wouldn't have brought Kübler-Ross into the discussion but I fully agree with your views. If WP doesn't protect itself better most of it will gradually become a very unreliable and badly written heap of trivia. If it isn't already. Every single forum on the internet, from airplane model builders to the zoo cleaners association, is better protected than this. FCTS 142 (talk) 15:03, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
  3. Nothing gold can stay. It has occurred to me that, as a supplement to my view above, that there is a certain amount of misguided nostalgia behind this. Was Wikipedia really ever more welcoming than it is today? (Take note of when WP:BITE was first written, after all). And even if we somehow reverted ourselves, the world around Wikipedia has changed since 2005. And there's no reverting that. Daniel Case (talk) 01:15, 15 April 2011 (UTC)

View from 75.57.242.120 (talk)

WTF? You mean autoconfirmation isn't already required to create new articles? I thought it had always been that way (ever since IP's became unable to create articles) and I just got done proposing elsewhere that only reviewers should be able to create articles. The same should go for image uploads. Something like 80% of new articles are speedied, new users are constantly templated to death by bots for NFCC problems, and the inhumanity of it all is appalling. That tells us two things: 1) inexperienced users who think they have a suitable topic for a new article are usually wrong, and 2) inexperienced users interested in creating new articles are really better off with some guidance and handholding from an experienced user.

I actually think the above (making article creation and file upload require an advanced permission) is a pro-freedom proposal, since it puts IP's back at the level of autoconfirmed users (autoconfirmation itself was very controversial when it first arrived, I've heard). I used to be annoyed when that parity was taken away, but after submitting a few new articles through WP:AFC and seeing what crap arrives there, it became clear that shutting off completely unfiltered article creation was unavoidable. But, I think the stuff coming from brand-new accounts isn't much better than stuff arriving from the "fire hose". So adding more filtering wins in all ways: improves WP content, decreases newbie biting, and gets closer to the founding principles vision that editors without accounts still have something close to full privileges. 75.57.242.120 (talk) 05:40, 9 April 2011 (UTC)

View by User:Halo

Polls are evil. This will effect a large amount of users negatively, yet the only people contributing are self-selected hardcore editors of Wikipedia who will have their own biases.

The slow erosion of freedom, the ridiculous bureaucracy, and complete inaccessibility of Wikipedia process are why I don't contribute anymore and why editors are constantly dwindling.

I think this trend should be reversed. IP article creation should be turned on, autoconfirmation and rollback flags scrapped, the abolishion of the chronically abused semi-protection, and a promise that flagged revisions will never be implemented. -Halo (talk) 12:59, 9 April 2011 (UTC)

Although I admire the firmness of your belief, I feel that in this case it is incompatible with the available evidence: The quality of new articles created by first-time editors; the NPP statistics; the user retention rates; the torrent of speedies; and so on. bobrayner (talk) 21:22, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
Comment: I object. Not everyone's a self-selected hardcore editor here. I support the idea, and I am not fitting that description. Removing semi-protection, autoconfirmation and rollback flags will unleash a hellstorm of vandalism, especially on sensitive pages about celebrities and certain anatomical parts. HTMLCODER.exe (talk) 23:58, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

View by User:Chzz

I fully support the proposal. I will quote verbatim from what I wrote in Signpost 14 Feb;

As Wikipedia matures, we shift focus from "quantity" to "quality". This makes it harder for new users to join in. It is no longer a reasonable expectation for any truly new user to write a new article, from scratch, and for it to conform to basic policy and guidelines without help. I'm sure that less than 1 in 250* first articles are - without considerable help to develop them - really, genuinely meaningful additions to the project. It is no longer a matter of mere competence; learning to edit takes effort.    *The figure is a very rough estimate; we desperately need to analyse this information.
A few people will learn things for themselves, but largely these are from the type we already have in abundance. The system lends itself to attracting the younger, more technical adept, mostly male, mostly American editors. To widen the demographic, it is essential we make the whole system more friendly and accessible.
There is a disparity with the way new users are treated if they make a live article, as opposed to if they use AFC. Most (truly) new editors creating a live article get a CSD-tag, and/or other template warnings. In AFC, they (mostly) get informed help. I think that creation of new articles needs general reform - and I'm sure it will happen, one day. The system is nasty, to new users - and really, that is why we don't get retention of new editors, and why the editorial mass becomes more and more of an entrenched community.
However, it is not a mere volume of new blood we need, it is quality editors. AFC is most frequently used for Conflict of Interest, so we may be focusing resources on the wrong people. Most new editors are not here to edit an encyclopaedia, they are here to have their article up.
We're approaching the stage where anything with good coverage in RS is already on Wikipedia, particularly for Western culture. We're not lacking in articles on e.g. (ex-) Kings, a (non-trivial) USA town, or some invention (that is known to a few thousand). So naturally, most new articles are either junk, (few) genuine new discoveries or - and this is the big one increasing - conflict of interest cases. At least, this applies to Western culture topics; the drive for new editors from other places can shift that, but raises other issues, as they often need considerable help with the language itself, and there are the difficulties in sourcing information in other languages.
The ratio of helpees to helpers is shrinking.
I think we will require a 'quarantine' for all new articles, similar to AFC, changing auto-confirmed requirements to e.g. 100 edits / 1 month, and thus force all new users to create articles in a 'holding pen', with a checking process. This would inevitably create AFC-type backlogs, but would considerably reduce new page patrol, speedy deletions, proposed deletions, requests to userfy, and annoyed new users, shouts for help, people blocked, and so forth. So instead of productive new users getting horrible nasty CSD template warnings, they'd get helpful advice - "Sorry, can't accept that because of x, y, z - if you can address those concerns though, sure, it'll be fine - ask again".
New users are the lifeblood of the project; we need to treat them much better.

I'll also repeat what I wrote on the AFC talk page a year ago;

As I understand it, back in 2005, Mr. Wales decided to stop non-registered users from creating articles (signpost article here). This was to prevent vandalism. AFC provides an alternative way for non-registered users to create pages, with various assistance and checks that the articles meet standards.
I am all in favour of keeping Wikipedia as open as possible. The questions is - which is it? Can non-registered users create articles, or not? If the community believes that they should be able to, that's fine - we can just enable it again (though whether we could cope with the vandalism is another matter). If not, then should we really be 'bending over backwards' to allow them to create pages via AFC?
OK, so we are helping them to format articles and make them pass the notability criteria, etc, but, why should they receive this special treatment, which is not afforded to people who do create an account - often the latter create a poor article which is speedy deleted, and we hope that we have processes in place to help them. In reality, those processes are poor - but that seems to indicate a general fault, and not a reason for an alternative system to create things via a 'back-door'.
There seems to be rather an overlap, and perhaps excess bureaucracy, by us having requested articles, articles for creation, and the ability to create user-space drafts.
Perhaps we are shooting ourselves in the foot here, by going to all these efforts to fix problems in this way. Perhaps we ought to say 'get an account' and that's the end of it. Surely users who do get an account should receive helpful advice and assistance with their first article - perhaps moreso than those who do not take this step.
I notice that, currently, the messages that a non-registered user will see if they try to create a page are not exactly user-friendly. If they type in a non-existent article name, it goes like this;

1. "There were no results matching the query", "You may create the page "(NAME)", but consider checking the search results below to see whether it is already covered."

(There may or may not actually be any results)

Note, this is a bit wrong already - the anon may not' create it.

2. Clicking on the red link produces; Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. Please search for (NAME) in Wikipedia to check for alternative titles or spellings.

  • Start the (NAME) article, using the Article Wizard if you wish, or add a request for it.
  • Search for "(NAME)" in existing articles.
  • Look for pages within Wikipedia that link to this title.

3. Clicking on the 'Start' link then produces a page entitled 'Unauthorized', which says;

Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact title. Please search for (NAME) in Wikipedia to check for alternative titles or spellings.

  • Log in or create an account to start the (NAME) article. (which links to special:login)
  • Submit the content that you wish to have created. (which links to AFC)
  • Search for "(NAME)" in existing articles.
There are quite a few problems there, and it's certainly not a very 'friendly' start.
Surely, if a non-registered user tries to create an article, they should be seeing some nice, friendly message - suggesting that they sign up, offering alternatives, and certainly highlighting the basic need for reliable sources.

...and that is why this proposal makes sense - to provide a friendly, uniform interface to new users wishing to contribute.

 Chzz  ►  17:42, 9 April 2011 (UTC)

Users who support this view

  • You said it exactly right: As Wikipedia matures, we shift focus from "quantity" to "quality". The policies that drive an organization as a startup have to change as the organization grows. Successful organizations change policy as the world changes, and as they change. History2007 (talk) 18:37, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
  1. Despite my sneaking suspicion—or just a wild hope—that there are lots more worthwhile, sourceable topics to write articles about, this is all very sensible. Rivertorch (talk) 19:14, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
    Oh, I'm absolutely sure that there are, Rivertorch. Especially as we widen our horizons (India, etc.) - but the best chance to assist those users is, to provide them with support from day 1. If we didn't have to worry so much about all the utter crap articles that are created every few minutes, we'd have more time to help 'em. And even the quality-standard required of brand-new articles has increased dramatically over the years.  Chzz  ►  20:56, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
  2. To the extent there are folks in India (or elsewhere) who'd like to write for Wikipedia, it's far more important for them to do it in their own languages than English. En.wp has 3.5M articles and Tamil WP has about 30k, less than 1/100th as many. We're trying to give everyone in the world an encyclopedia in their own language, so in some sense a new Tamil-language article is worth 100x as much to the project as a new English article. I'm stuck here because English is the only language I can write, but someone who can write other languages is far more useful on the smaller wikipedias. Sure there will always be more things to write about, but we can make do with 3.5M for a while. 69.111.194.167 (talk) 07:30, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
  3. I support this view as well, but from a different angle, perhaps. I have been a user since September 2009. I joined simply to correct a few minor typos in some articles. Since then, I think I've got 25 edits under my belt and, recently, I have started to escalate. I have never created a page in mainspace, although I want to - badly - and I think I would do well. My different angle is that, and perhaps I'm a rare new user, though I hope not, I actually took the time to read all of the policy pages - twice - once then - and once recently. It is an intimidating process. I would never attempt to create a page without spending time learning how things work. I have a fair idea right now, but I humbly submit that even I would need a lot more than 4 days and 10 edits to be "allowed" to create a page. --Alex146 (talk) 02:34, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
  4. Said perfectly.--v/r - TP 00:03, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

View from User:BeenChanged

I think that creating a page is a far bigger commitment than editing one. Anyone can be on Wikipedia, find a mistake in an article they can fix, and fix it properly and quickly. Creating an article takes time and commitment. Time and commitment from a user would indicate that they would like to be a Wikipedia "user", therefore they most likely already have an account. Anyone can have an account, and you literally don't have to put anything on your userpage. Therefore, I believe only those who are willing to make a simple userpage and account should be trusted to make quality Wikipedia articles. BeenChanged (talk) 18:07, 9 April 2011 (UTC)

I don't understand what making a userpage has to do with it. There are veteran editors who apparently have never made userpages (not to mention the ones whose userpages just redirect to their talk pages). Rivertorch (talk) 06:04, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
I don't get it either. Userpages are not required to create articles. Some choose to have them and some don't. Mr. C.C.Hey yo!I didn't do it! 10:30 am, Today (UTC+2)
"Creating an article takes time and commitment" - Creating a passable article takes time. The underlying problem behind this whole RFC is that the vast majority (75+%) of articles created by new users are so seriously deficient in some way that we speedy delete them. Mr.Z-man 16:44, 10 April 2011 (UT
Speedy deleting an article discourages new users from participating in the basic functions of Wikipedia. Sure not all articles will be kept. But we have to look at each article on an article by article basis to see if there is merit on keeping them. Any form of deletion is discouraging. So telling new users what they can do to improve the next article they create or how to improve the current article, than we would retain new users instead losing them because of deletions and not bother to work to coach them or work on the article. Most times I see people who tag for speedy deletion don't bother to see if the article can be improved to standards that meet the criteria for it being kept. Mr. C.C.Hey yo!I didn't do it! 20:33, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
Yes, it does discourage them, we already know that. Unfortunately, most of the articles deleted are entirely unsalvageable. They are articles about non-notable garage bands, things made up in school, amateur sports teams, videos on Youtube, etc. There are some problems that simply cannot be fixed by more editing. Even passing the criteria for speedy deletion doesn't mean it will be kept, it just means it won't be deleted immediately. Coaching would be great. Unfortunately, there are so many new users (tens of thousands per month) and new articles (several hundred deleted every day) and so few people patrolling new pages/working AFC (probably less than 50), its just not a realistic option. Mr.Z-man 22:07, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

If you see my view point under this one it addresses what you are saying in some ways. But I'm saying that some articles are not unsalvageable. Some can be kept and shaped to fit the standard set forth here on Wikipedia. Mr. C.C.Hey yo!I didn't do it! 16:04, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

My suggestion about making a userpage is simply a way for a new user to show that they are serious about contributing. Looking back on that, I didn't choose my words well. However, I do agree with Fishhead2100 that deletion, especially speedy deletion is discouraging. At the same time, speedy deletion is usually reserved for articles that have no real worth to Wikipedia, and discouraging users from making more articles of the that type can be useful. If you are taking the time to make an article that is good enough not to be deleted, you probably are smart enough to realize the difference between what was speedily deleted and the good article you are making. BeenChanged (talk) 23:28, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

Having a userpage doesn't show how someone is serious about contributing. For example, if I didn't have a userpage, but over 50,000 edits, you wouldn't consider me a serious contributor? That's a bit of an ignorant view. Someone could have stuff on their userpage, but isn't a serious contributor, but the fact they have a userpage you would consider them a serious contributor. Looks can be deceiving. Not everybody who has a userpage is necessarily serious about contributing or vice versa. You can't go off whether or not they have a userpage. It's a userpage, it's optional. That's the whole point. If you forced everyone to create a userpage, than half the users would create one just to satisfy you. Doing something just to do it to satisfy someone doesn't show inherent seriousness. Mr. C.C.Hey yo!I didn't do it! 16:04, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

I think one viewpoint expressed in this discussion is that creating new articles should no longer be considered a "basic function of Wikipedia". We have plenty of articles, most of which need a lot of improvement. While there's occasionally reason to create a new article, that should now be considered an advanced function rather than a basic one, as opposed to improving the existing articles. I wouldn't let anyone create new articles until they'd made a reasonable number of sourced contributions to existing articles. (They could still propose new articles through AFC or something similar). 69.111.194.167 (talk) 03:16, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
Why don't you create that as a new view if it hasn't already. But any edit can look good no matter if it's NPOV, POV, original research, a hoax article, or whatever if it's sourced. So that's where my view under this one comes into play. Mr. C.C.Hey yo!I didn't do it! 16:09, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

View from User:Fishhead2100

From some of the views I've read, I haven't seen this issue addressed. Couldn't the number of days and edits be upped? Maybe to sevens and 15 or 20 edits with them being reviewed. Some people might do unconstructive edits to get the required amount of edits. I know monitoring new members might be hard to do, but I am sure there is portion of the new members who will make unconstructive edits and wait the four days to get autoconfirmed status so they can create articles that are POV (easy to fix), PROMOTE something, or create a vanity article which is on themself. A well intentioned editor wouldn't do that. But how are we to know if they are well intentioned? We need to find a way to monitor new editors. Since there is a user creation log, we could use that our advantage to monitor the creation of new accounts. But how we would monitor them is another challege unto itself. But this would make sure we are getting well intentioned editors and community members. Mr. C.C.Hey yo!I didn't do it! 10:30 am, Today (UTC+2)

Users who endorse this view
  1. Yes. This needs to be explored. Rivertorch (talk) 15:51, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
  2. Yes - I did mention in View from User:chzz, above, about "e.g. 100 edits / 1 month".  Chzz  ►  01:39, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
  3. --M4gnum0n (talk) 12:52, 17 April 2011 (UTC)

View from User:Dream Focus

How many articles are currently created by new editors? How many of them remain? Any way to actually find that out? I only edited by IP address when I first got here, not bothering to register a name until I wanted to start an article.

Solution: Just have it where when someone makes an article it says "if you want to make an article, you must include two references in it(click that thing that looks like an open book, and fill in a reliable source for something in the article)". Check to make sure they did that when they try to post it, and refuse to let them if no references are found. There, problem solved. Dream Focus 12:51, 11 April 2011 (UTC)

An overly simplistic view, no doubt motivated by your blinding case of rabid inclusionism. Here are the stats you're looking for. In the February 2010 study, 168 articles that were created by new users escaped deletion. The other 12,432 were deleted, at a considerable expense to the time of new page patrollers as well as those who monitor AfD's (i.e. experienced contributors). Your solution assumes that there is a practical, automated way of ensuring that a reference someone submits is valid and from a reliable source. Any half-witted new user would surely figure out that they could just put in "asdjfaofijwenrakwnfoasij" for the reference and get their article created. —SW— chat 13:53, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
Those whose articles are deleted almost always have zero references in them. Done by people who make simple mistakes. I've patrolled new pages before and seen this time and again. By simply stopping them and saying they have to have a couple of refs in there, you will eliminate most of the problems. If someone adds in fake references, it'll be a small minority, and they'll be much easier to go through without all the rest there. New users aren't usually trying to put something they know won't belong here. Its just honest mistakes. Assume good faith. Dream Focus 01:34, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
Users who endorse this view
  1. Guy Macon (talk) 01:54, 13 April 2011 (UTC) Brilliant solution! With just the right verbiage explaining why, this could solve many many problems and help to retain editors as well.
  2. Excellent concrete solution. We can have the edit notice offer editors a '2 min quick start' guide to referencing in case they lack the patience for the article wizard. Dream's proposal wont frustrate newbies by making them wait and unlike interventionist solutions it doesn't reply on a large pool of good willed editors with the time to help new users. FeydHuxtable (talk) 11:37, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
  3. I'd rather go for one reference than two, but yes this is a much better way to go. ϢereSpielChequers 12:01, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
  4. We need to reduce both the excessive creation of deletable articles and the resulting excessive number of AfD nominations.  Low barriers or guides to the creation of articles both guides people in what we want and reduces the voluteer effort to remove what we don't want. 
    (1) List two content sources  The content policy requirement uses the plural "sources", so I agree with requiring the listing of two content sources, and it is not even necessary to impose a software requirement since not having two sources could be a speedy deletion criteria.  Getting the software to require "asdjfaofijwenrakwnfoasij" would be the next step up and entirely useful, because better than 90% of people want to do a good job, and those using "asdjfaofijwenrakwnfoasij" have self-identified their skill/intent level. 
    (2) User:Plrk's requirement to have a red Wikilink to the new article (see below) before it can be created is another very simple and useful guide. 
    (3) Require a statement of notability from the creator on the talk page of the new article is a third suggestion.  Unscintillating (talk) 01:47, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

View from User:Jamietw

I believe that most of the articles I flag as a New Page Patroller are by New Users who are not using the Article Wizard - however, sometimes articles written by new users can by really good, therefore I believe that we should force all users who are not confirmed or auto-confirmed to use the article wizard or articles for creation therefore new users can still create articles but if they use the article wizard then they are guided and thus more likely to write a better article. Jamietw (talk) 16:13, 11 April 2011 (UTC)

You can't force someone to do something or use something if they don't want to. That would turn them off. I've never used the article creation wizard even when I was a new user. Why? For the simple fact I wasn't forced to. Mr. C.C.Hey yo!I didn't do it! 16:35, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
Users who endorse this view

View from User:Arghyadeepd

Okay! I too agree with the motion. But what about the articles which is totally relied upon personal experiences? Means, there are certain articles and certain topics in which you can't cite any references. They are very common among new users. And by many people they are considered to be vandalism and thus removed. Arghyadeepd (talk) 18:23, 11 April 2011 (UTC)

If no refs at all can be cited, such articles shouldn't exist. They're not vandalism, though. I have off-wiki drafts of several articles that need better sourcing before I'm willing to bring them online. Rivertorch (talk) 18:37, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
I have myself seen an article to be made in front of my eyes and that too by a new user in a wikipedia seminar about a small town which eventually grew to be a full fledged article (Nirjuli). So should it be barred only because proper citation couldn't be placed?--Arghyadeepd (talk) 20:05, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
No, not at all. The standard is verifiability, and for non-BLP topics and non-contentious topics proper sourcing can be added over time. You said, "there are certain articles and certain topics in which you can't cite any references [my emphasis], and that was what I was replying to. Rivertorch (talk) 04:45, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

View from User:A p3rson

I think that this would be a good idea, with limiting creation of new articles to auto-confirmed users. However, I have some of my own thoughts:

Give the user a choice for what they want to do when creating a new article. Either they:

  • Use the Article Wizard, and they put their information that way, or,
  • Give them the option to user-fy their new page, and once it is done, let them ask for it to be moved (also exposes them to Wikipedia's discussions). This would probably be used less, as most articles take more than 4 days to complete, especially for newcomers.

Maybe this has already been proposed (TL;DR), but I think this is the most practical (and easiest to engineer) option.  A p3rson  23:28, 11 April 2011 (UTC)


View from User:BarkingFish

NB this view was moved after being misplaced in the implementation-focussed Trial discussion section. Rd232 talk 00:13, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

Absolutely no way should this be put into effect. It does not benefit the project as a whole, and it does breach the spirit of the site. Saying "yes you can edit, but you can't make an article for 5 days" is like saying "we don't mind what else you do, but you ain't making something till we're sure we can trust you." This is absolutely wrong and you will drive a whole lot of new editors away if you implement this. Shelve it and get on with writing articles instead of working out how to stop people from doing so.

FishBarking? 22:33, 11 April 2011 (UTC)

So experienced editors should be writing articles? Well it's too bad they have to spend so much of their time undoing changes by unverified users then, a high percentage of which are deliberate attempts at defacement and misinformation. And if an admin blocks that user, no problem - they can just set up another account and do the exact same thing! If new editors spend the first 4 days editing they won't even notice this change. There are freedoms to be protected here, but you're trying to protect the wrong ones. RedactionalOne (talk) 23:18, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
Are NPP folks who would otherwise be writing new articles? I'm an NPPer, and I know I'm not. I've probably written one new article per year, and they're stubby things to boot, and I've never skipped doing one because I was busy doing NPP. I doubt many people start editing Wikipedia articles Because They Want To Be An Editor; they do it because they see something that needs fixing, or something that isn't covered and should be, and if we stifle that instinct and tell them that they have to go edit things they didn't particularly want to before they're allowed to do what they do want to, we're apt to start generating fewer "experienced editors" to do anything. --Nat Gertler (talk) 23:26, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
Thank you Nat :) My point in a nutshell. The problem as I've been told is that we're gonna let people write articles through AFC, but not directly. Which is going to lead to experienced editors cleaning up the mass of AFC's put in the wrong place, the backlog of AFC's which will be generated by this "experiment", and all the general crap that comes with templates on the wrong pages, people sending absolute garbage to AFC, etc... We'll just create a shitload more work than we already have by doing this. FishBarking? 23:30, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
Please lend me some of your TRUTHTM, you seem to have plenty of it. Yoenit (talk) 23:35, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
My "TRUTH" as you put it, is that this whole idea is an utter abomination, and should be burned with fire. We're trying to encourage people to contribute, and this is not the way to do it. FishBarking? 23:45, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
BarkingFish, you were telling editors that they should be writing articles instead of engaging in a debate you don't support - not cool, btw. NatGertler was not supporting your assertion because she was discussing people seeing things in articles that aren't right and trying to fix them - which is editing. "...should be burned with fire" is an aggressive statement and not a very Wikipedian form of conduct.
NatGertler, I agree that many experienced editors would have set out with that as their motivation, and I don't think anyone here is trying to stifle that. The bar for becoming a Wikipedian is incredibly low, and users can edit - even extensively - without having cleared it. In fact, so extensive are a new user's editing rights on day 1 that an admin block is all but useless. If we are careful to be welcoming and positive in our wording to new users we can foster that motivation, by letting them know that they will be able to create articles in just a few days, and encouraging, for instance, sandbox experimentation in the meantime. (We already do this, and we do not emphasise to non-confirmed users that they can create articles.) If a signup isn't willing to wait just 4 days to create their first article that doesn't bode well for their attitude and value as a Wikipedian.
RedactionalOne (talk) 12:08, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

View from N419BH

As a regular participant in WP:NPP and a participant in WP:AFC when the backup gets big, I wholeheartedly support this proposal. Any New Page Patroller knows that the the vast majority of new articles are speedied, and most of the rest require tons of cleanup. Requiring new accounts to use AFC will ensure new editors get the help and support that the welcome template just doesn't provide. There is good content out there, and AFC does lead to good articles being written. Some are even written by account holders already. I think requiring AFC to be used will actually encourage new editors; the process of writing an article from scratch with wiki-markup is exceedingly daunting, and knowing there are people there to help will be a big plus to new editors and encourage content creation.

I'd actually be a fan of turning the "Autopatrolled" flag into an "article creator" flag. AKA we would require everyone to use AFC until one shows the ability to create content within the guidelines, in particular WP:N. Two or three articles would be sufficient to show this, but that's another proposal for another day.

With that said, the AFC process, while workable, can be somewhat clumsy to use from a reviewer standpoint (I have not tried it from a content creation standpoint). There are automated tools which can help, but it gets clumsy particularly when an article is submitted multiple times. Definite improvements can be made. Nevertheless, it works reasonably well, and can handle more traffic than it currently receives from both a content and reviewing viewpoint.

If this were implemented I think a lot of NPP people would migrate over to AFC and continue doing mostly identical work there. Really we have two choices: Implement this now and then improve AFC, or implement this later and improve AFC now. Either proposal works for me. I would strongly oppose a trial period as we all know how the last one of those went. Lots of drama and no consensus. We either need to do it, put it on hold and then do it, or we need to not do it. Doing a "trial" is just going to muddy the waters.

In short, this is going to improve the wiki, make a smaller backup at NPP, and make a larger one at AFC. AFC will give new accounts the help and support they need. Improvements to AFC can be made, but the system as is can handle a massive increase in activity provided more article reviewers step up, which I think they will. Just look at how many people stepped up for Reviewer when PC was trialled. Applying the lesson from PC, a trial will be counterproductive. Therefore, I strongly support requiring Autopatrolled rights in order to create a new article without AFC. N419BH 01:59, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

  1. I've put a few articles through AFC. It's tolerable but it should probably be reworked, or (it occurs to me) maybe even eliminated. It's always possible to write a new article in userspace and then ask a regular editor to check it and put it in articlespace. We should stop pursuing new articles in general. New editors should be encouraged instead to contribute to existing articles, and to join wikiprojects of areas that interest them. All wikiproject should develop some culture and process for editors wanting to write new articles, i.e. you'd write in userspace and then put a link on a wikiproject noticeboard. Preferably before the person even start writings, they'd get a few other editors' views on whether their article idea sounded worthwhile and if they had suitable RS to write from. I like the idea of autopatrolled as a "new article creator" flag. I had elsewhere proposed using Reviewer for that. There should also be a flag for file uploader, which is given only after a brief conversation/quiz to check that the person understood NFCC policy. 69.111.194.167 (talk) 07:44, 14 April 2011 (UTC)

View from User:Dcoetzee

When discussing article creation, I often make a comparison to TV Tropes wiki, which has a very successful article creation forum called YKTTW (You Know That Thing Where). Although it is not strictly mandatory to use it, something like 95% of new tropes are created through YKTTW. The large majority of suggested tropes simply fall away either for lack of interest, or because someone discovered it was redundant, or because there was consensus it was not considered a useful trope. Even of tropes I've proposed, probably less than 30% ever got launched, and I'm not a newbie there. Sometimes experienced editors will comb the very old YKTTW posts for good looking tropes and revive them and clean them up - similarly, someone could comb through old AFCs and rescue the ones that look especially promising. We could learn a lot from this model.

And this model is not unlike AFC here at Wikipedia: just as a proposed trope can sit indefinitely on YKTTW, a rejected new article proposal can sit indefinitely on AFC without fear of contaminating the project, and an author can continue to learn from their experience of working on proposed new articles, whether or not they are ever launched. For a newbie, it hurts far less at an emotional level to see your rejected work face constructive criticism and then fade into obscurity than to see it summarily eliminated while still fresh. Everything we can do to encourage new editors to use this process will benefit them and benefit us, in the short and the long run. Fears of a backlog are unfounded for the same reason they are unfounded on TV Tropes: because the backlog itself represents the long tail of rejected and forgotten proposed articles. When your proposed articles are hanging out in user space, there is no real need to decide the ultimate fate of every last one of them. Dcoetzee 09:48, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

View from User:Shipsview

Have I got this wrong?
Is it being proposed that we should encourage, no force, new users to make changes to existing articles as a means of testing their Wikipedia writing ability? How does the garage band publicist (to take an example from above) choose which article to edit? Should they work on The Beatles? Elvis Presley? Would you be happy for them to work on one of your articles just for the sake of it?

Whilst they spoil the appearance of many pages already, maybe a banner saying 'This article was produced by a new user' might be a way of going forward? Shipsview (talk) 10:03, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

You can't force someone to do something if they don't want to. That would turn them off. We can't afford to turn off new users. A portion of them are here because they want to contribute. That's why monitoring new users is crucial to seeing which are here to be a legit contributor. Mr. C.C.Hey yo!I didn't do it! 16:46, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

View from Guy Macon

While I support the basic idea of requiring autoconfirmed status the use of a wizard in order to create articles, I strongly oppose any proposal for a "trial" until I recieve some sort of assurance that the trial will not be extended indefinitely against clear consensus, as is currently happening with the pending changes "trail." See Wikipedia:Pending changes/Request for Comment February 2011 for details.

View from User:Peter coxhead

I'm not convinced that we yet understand the potential impact of such a change. Statistical analysis of the data at User:Mr.Z-man/newusers (see User_talk:Mr.Z-man/newusers#Statistical_analysis) shows that being allowed to create new articles does have a small effect on staying on, but is far, far outweighed by the negative effects of first edit(s) being deleted. However, we don't know enough about why these edits are deleted. We may be putting off editors who shouldn't be here – because their only interest is to advertise or push some POV. We may be putting off editors who simply don't know enough about Wikipedia's policies and practices – in which case perhaps mentoring will help. So at present I'm against the change. Peter coxhead (talk) 14:03, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

View from User:Steelpillow

There is a real danger here of using bureaucracy to override individual energy. Many of the best Wikipedia features subliminally leverage the user's attitude to advantage. We must not lose sight of that. (Ancient Oriental political and military philosophy makes some interesting parallels). If we do anything it should be incremental. One might begin by say watermarking suspect articles, and allowing only autoconfirmed users to remove the watermark. Would the watermark demotivate vandals? There's only one way to find out. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 18:21, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

View from User:CycloneGU

My honest answer? No, we should not limit article creation only to those who earn the AutoConfirmed status. My simple reason: Jackie Evancho. Yes, before August 2010 it probably should have been deleted because there was not sufficient notability for Wikipedia. Now, she is the youngest debut artist ever in the Billboard Top 10 and the biggest debut of the year for all of 2010 for O Holy Night. The creator of the biographical article created the page in her userspace and moved it into the article space, where it got a haircut. Since AGT 2010 however, it's quintupled its original size and then some. If the article wasn't there when I found it right after the show, I would have watched its creation for sure, but this user submitted something that is going to get a lot of clicks for the next few years. I'm currently keeping an editorial eye on the page and am in the process of cleanup across articles as some information appears to be duplicated across the articles. CycloneGU (talk) 20:53, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

Remember, the current proposal would allow non-autoconfirmed users to create drafts of new content in userspace and then request the content be moved to mainspace. So a scenario like you the one you described could still take place under the new proposal as well.--JayJasper (talk) 21:20, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
I guess I don't undertand the point of this Jackie Evancho story. Somebody wrote an article that might not have appeared for a few more weeks otherwise? WP:NOTNEWS, the delay doesn't matter. 69.111.194.167 (talk) 03:22, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

view from User:purplepox01

Agreed. That would be a good tool as considering the recent articles that appears to be based on crap. jeez... But honestly, if and when this is implemented, we should be able to see vandalism drop sharply.

Vandalism won't drop. That's wishful thinking. Do you not realize that people will vandalize to get the required amount of edits to satisfy the current requirements? Mr. C.C.Hey yo!I didn't do it! 16:33, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
users who endorse this view

That's right. Ianlopez12 (user talk:Ianlopez12|talk]]) —Preceding undated comment added 04:15, 15 April 2011 (UTC).

View from Quintucket

I had a lot to say, but I realized most of it was just a complaint about how picky Wikipedia's new article standards are, even for non-controversial topics. I know from experience that it's a lot easier to start a stub and watch people edit it, or edit a stub, or both than it is to make a decent article in one go. I stopped regularly participating in Wikipedia once my stubs started getting deleted because I was using that strategy.

My other point: I haven't used this account for five years, editing anonymously for most of that time when the mood struck me, after Wikipedia required new users to go through AFC, I simply stopped trying to create articles. It would have been easier to retrieve the password to my old account, and damned if I was going to do even that. --Quintucket (talk) 18:20, 16 April 2011 (UTC)

View from Crisco 1492

Support proposal. Naturally, we must remember that Wikipedia is "The free encyclopedia that anyone can edit" and therefore limiting anonymous and new users' permissions too much will make us stray from that mission. However, I must note that anyone could still edit articles, they just can't all create articles on their own. Semantically, we'd still be true to our mission. As for the reasoning behind this proposal, I firmly agree that something needs to be done to reduce the workload of our serious editors and admins. There is a backlog a mile long for stuff like articles that are too technical or written like essays. It would improve the quality of the encyclopedia enormously if editors could focus on that instad of hundreds of new articles that violate policy. Crisco 1492 (talk) 23:22, 17 April 2011 (UTC)

View from User:Filmmaker2011

I agree with the proposal, however the biggest problem I see in the subject areas I am looking at (the arts) is the huge numbers of people joining to create their own personal CV page as an article with zero notability. Is there no way to separate individuals as a category that has this (proposed) new functionality whilst leaving creation of articles about everything else as it is? I imagine that this would be more complex than what is proposed here, but if you examine motivation, this has to be the primary reason anybody would create a totally invalid article as a first or early edit. It is different to say an article that is based on a persons activity or subject area that has bias but involves other people (for instance politics or commerce) and therefore has more chance of debate on relevance or suitability. filmmaker2011 —Preceding undated comment added 07:46, 20 April 2011 (UTC).

If you would look beyond your subject area you would see the same thing applies to companies, organizations, bands and websites. There is a reason we have a special speedy deletion criteria for those articles. A very practical problem with restricting only those articles is that you somehow have to know what an article is about before the user starts to write it. Only way we could possibly do that is by presenting the user with an multiple choice question "click here if you want to write about X", in which case we are back to some form of the wp:Article Wizard. Yoenit (talk) 08:12, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I do see your point Yoenit, it can be reduced to the open or closed debate and wikipedia is what it is because it's open. However, my point is exactly that personal pages are different from the other examples you give as even a website has a structure that involves many areas and probably many people. Personally I like the fact that I can use wikipedia as a collation of type, for instance examples of artistic creation, whether or not they are generally notable. It is a very useful part of research and one that mostly doesn't require personal information about the creator unless they themselves are a leading light for the category of work. To me there is a clear and practical distinction of at least 'potential' usefulness vs blatant uselessness. In the new user section of the Wikipedia article it states
"60% of registered users never make another edit after their first 24 hours. Possible explanations are that such users only register for a single purpose, or are scared away by their experiences."
I think I know what a sizable portion of that 60%'s single purpose might be. Couldn't there be a 'double speedy' deletion process for what I posit is a uniquely problematic area of motivation for page creation of non serious participants? --Filmmaker2011 (talk) 09:11, 20 April 2011 (UTC)

View from User:Train2104

As a community project intended to cloudsource the editing and creation of content, it appears at first glance that requiring permissions and/or experience for the creation of new content is counterproductive. However, the English Wikipedia has become massive, to the point where new users are often daunted by policy and procedure once their first edits get reverted or deleted. If we do implement the change at hand, we will significantly reduce the deletion backlog. Not only will the CSD rate drop, the PROD rate will also drop to the point where it may not be even necessary. If you consider that several AfD's a day are denied PROD's and many PROD's are of new articles, I don't think that the AfD rate will increase significantly if PROD is eliminated under the new proposal. However, every proposal has it's pitfalls. Upon learning of this procedure, a new user may consider making unconstructive or even vandalistic edits just to achieve the 10 edits required. If necessary, we can raise this to 25 edits and decrease the time requirement to 2 days. This will help distinguish legitimate alternate accounts from new users. For those contributors who would submit to an assisted program like AfC, the reviewer (combine with PC reviewer?) can autoconfirm the user then and there if the article meets all standards and is created. Even if the creation rate of legitimate articles drops, we already have millions of articles and each new one increases the chance of copyvios or non-notable topics. Also, how about requiring autoconfirmed at a minimum to creating userpages? While they are designed to be a collaboration tool, many new users consider it as a personal webhost. Why should we dedicate server space to a new user who may never come back? — Train2104 (talk • contribs • count) 02:16, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

I feel that, though 10 edits are too much, atleast 2 or 3 of them should be made by a person before he can make a page. Richu1996 12:45, 23 April 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Richukuttan (talkcontribs)

I think 100 unreverted edits at least for article creation, 50 for editing without pending changes. The day will come when that will be implemented, it is just a question of accelerating it. History2007 (talk) 21:55, 24 April 2011 (UTC)

View from User:ZoneAlarm5

I don't think this will change the amount of vandalism, just relocate it.

If someone wants to create a new page, they will jump through any hoops we put in front of them to do it. Others have mentioned the likelihood of seeing an increase in page edit vandalism to increate your pages edited score. I suggest that there would be other unintended consequences of this proposal, some of which we can't even foresee.

Perhaps the low barrier to entry -- that includes being able to create new pages -- is an important ingredient to new editor generation. If that goes down because this proposal is adopted and the overall number of new editors drops, I believe we are likely to see reduced numbers of quality editors as well.

Does anybody know how many quality editors we now have who started by creating a single page? They might not be editors now under this proposal. ZoneAlarm5 (talk) 20:07, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

View from User:Mr Grim Reaper

I do not support this. What would it solve? It shuts people out; you shouldn’t have to register to create an article or even log in if you so choose. It may relieve the articles needed to be deleted and the load on new article watchers, but now you’ll have a log of unnecessary user accounts (how many people will make accounts just to make an article and never use it again? If they realize they need to wait or make edits they‘ll just abandon it) not to mention a new log of articles that need to be checked for approval. I may not be a very involved user of Wikipedia, but I feel the need to express my distaste for this idea. —Mr Grim Reaper 20:12, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

Comment: Yes, as you said, you are probably "not a very involved user of Wikipedia", and it shows from the comment. My watchlist says: You have 1,174 pages on your watchlist. This is for 400 articles I have written, 400 or so I have expanded and another few hundred that I just watch. Do you have any idea how much time I waste dealing with totally idiotic edits by IPs and vandals? My biggest help against vandals has been Cluebot, but it can not catch everything and there is little other protection. There need to be "more controls". Will I write another 400 articles? Not a chance, for as long as there are so few controls, I will not be able to watch them against the idiot IPs and vandals. Go figure... History2007 (talk) 21:30, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
Err, but then you're also against the status quo - one already has to register and log in in order to create articles. This discussion is about adding additional hurdles to those that already exist. See Wikipedia:User access levels. --Joy [shallot] (talk) 15:10, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

View from User:Popa01

Personally limiting creation of new pages to users who have been autoconfirmed is great but since I have not been an active member in these discussion. I can not say that this opinion I have has been vocaly heard in the cammunity. Personaly I also feel that Wikipedias' allowance of not registered persons to edit is the worse thing that is part of Wikipedia. Controling new users ability to create new pages is a step in the right direction. Removing non logged persons to edit pages will help wikipedia become an official source in educational communities across the world. -Popa01 (talk) 12:20, 24 April 2011 (UTC)

Well, they can register in 2.36 seconds anyway. So? Registering has nothing to do with it at all. Wikicopter what i do s + c cup|former 00:06, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
Having it were only registered editors may edit Like I said would be a major step in making Wikipedia become a reliable source of information. The main concern of schools and teachers alike is do Wikipedia's allowance of non-registered editors to edit causing any information on Wikipedia to be unreliable. That why I porpuse that all edits to be made by those that are register only.Popa01 (talk) 20:37, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

View from User:Jezhug

I think that 10 edits is quite fair to ensure that new users learn the ropes before jumping into a new page. I initially tried to start a new page and found that without editing other pages I didn't have the knowledge to create pages to the correct standards. I am still a few edits off having auto-confirmed status, but am enjoying my Wikipedia apprenticeship. -User:Jezhug (talk) 01:11, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

  1. Agree. As an editor of a couple of month's standing, with some major edits I am quite pleased with, I have yet to create a page, and have become less inclined to do so as I see just how many existing pages need work on them.RobinLeicester (talk) 00:35, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
  2. CRGreathouse (t | c) 03:34, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

View from User:Albicelestes

this article is quit important.I think 10 edit is not enough to learn,making more than 50 edit is better.User:Albicelestes (talk) 04:57, 24 April 2011 (UTC)

View from User:WikiCopter

I support this. If somebody wants to submit an article for creation and is not autoconfirmed, either let him submit an AfC or ask an admin at PERM for confirmation. Besides, if you aren't autoconfirmed, you probably didn't edit enough to know what goes into an article and what doesn't. Wikicopter what i do s + c cup|former 00:06, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

That last sentence reeks of ignorance. How do you know if someone doesn't know what goes into an article or not? Just because they only have had an account for a short time doesn't mean they don't know how Wikipedia works. Give them the benefit of the doubt. Mr. C.C.Hey yo!