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Wikipedia talk:Articles for discussion/Proposal 1

ConsolidationEdit

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.
Copied from WT:Articles for deletion/Archive 58#Consolidation. Diffs to verify integrity of copy: original vs copy copy vs current

Why not rename this to "Articles for Discussion", and then fold Wikipedia:Requested moves, all of the {{Merge}} stuff, {{Prod}}, and possibly some of Wikipedia:Criteria for speedy deletion into one process? I'm sure that there are one or two other process that could easily fit under an "articles for discussion" umbrella, as well. De-emphasizing deletion as the primary mechanism, even if it is only a "psychological" de-emphasis, certainly couldn't hurt anything though. Most importantly however, simplifying and centralizing 4-6 different processes into a single discussion forum could only help all of us as editors, I would think.
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 04:38, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

CommentsEdit

Prod and speedy don't involve discussions. We have those mechanisms to avoid discussing some deletions when it is not necessary to do so. We could have a better way of summarising and publicising what articles are candidates for deletion, but that doesn't require that we only use a single process. Fences&Windows 17:45, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
That said, I think we do need to reform our merge processes. Unless I'm missing it, there's no centralised equivalent to AfD or RM for discussing merges, other than Category:Articles to be merged, which is unmanageable and has a huge backlog. Fences&Windows 17:51, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm not saying necessarily that we don't need a better merge process, but you are missing Wikipedia:Proposed mergers:-)--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 18:17, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
I knew I was missing something. It's still a poor process as there's no deadline to the discussion and far too little participation - I think my forgetting about that page is typical of most editors... Fences&Windows 22:48, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
There was also the failed WP:Mergers for discussion. Flatscan (talk) 03:38, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
And there is Wikipedia:Proposed mergers and its spawn Wikipedia:Proposed mergers/Log. @harej 02:54, 26 December 2009 (UTC)

For reasons I've stated further down this page, I believe that deletion and merging discussions should be merged together into Articles for Discussion. I have no strong opinion either way regarding whether requested moves should be folded in or not, but PROD should remain separate. A listing at AfD typically results in lots of eyes seeing the article and often improving it. The same cannot be said of the merge and move procedures that are vastly under participated in. Thryduulf (talk) 12:42, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

Follow up statementEdit

OK, the main objection to renaming AFD to use "discussion" instead of "Deletion" in past proposals is that the current intent of AFD is directed towards deletion. That merge, move, transwiki, or other actions are occasionally the result is purely coincidental to the fact that AFD causes discussion to occur, and the result is not actually limited to deletion by any practical reason. If the process were expanded to specifically include mergers and moves then that objection is moot.
There has also been some consensus to use "discussion" in place of "deletion" for other XfD areas, so a change would hardly be unprecedented. I recall one of the XfD areas recently was ready to make exactly that change, but ran into some technical issue or other. I'm not really sure what ever happened with that, but the point is that the position that "there's consensus to not do this" isn't as clear cut as the link to the old discussion above appears to make it seem.
As for PROD, and possibly parts of CSD, one thing that I've been slightly unclear about for a long time now is the reason for desiring to reduce discussion when it comes to deletion. I've seen proposals to consider AFD's that generate little or no discussion as PROD's, and thinking about it that sort of thing makes sense to me. I understand that one reason for the creation of PROD was as an attempt to reduce the workload at AFD. I don't have any statistics to back this point up, but it doesn't seem that PROD has been effective in reducing the workload at AFD. I have a sneaking suspicion that some advocates desire to keep PROD simply so that they can delete things without garnering as much notice. I've seen convincing refutations of that, but the perception of impropriety is still there, and it's very easy to assume bad faith about a function as destructive as deletion.
Anyway, the main problem that I see with the current situation is that it's simply inefficient. There's CSD, PROD, AFD, RM, PM, the other XfD's, and probably more that I'm forgetting about. We're scattering editors all over the place, and that strikes me as an inefficient and overly complicated means to handle things.
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 09:54, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
I agree with folding in the merge process to AfD. If it were Articles for Discussion then editors could nominate articles for merges or redirects using the exact same process as articles for deletion. Requested Moves is about the article title, so I'm not sure that fits. Prod is good as it is both simple to nominate and simple to contest, it still needs an admin, and it can be contested after deletion. You can try to reduce the scope of CSD, there are some areas where it is used overzealously to delete salvageable articles, but we're always going to have a CSD process. Fences&Windows 00:17, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
Well yea, I'm realistic about things. We're never actually going to get rid of CSD, and we're not likely to deprecate PROD. I don't think that PROD is in nearly as strong of a position as CSD is, though. I think that most view PROD as a sort of "AFD Light" already (which I'm fairly certain is the intent anyway), so it's not as though we'd really be getting rid of a whole process by consolidating it back with AFD. Aside from all of that, I'm not sure why people would complain. The only real difference with AFD from PROD is that the nominator has to start a page, and may have to actually discuss the article.
Requested Moves is a much lighter process, but it does have a generally similar structure as AFD. The largest difference between RM and AFD right now is that the discussion for RM's take place on the article's talk page. The other issue here is that both moves, mergers, and deletions all overlap somewhat already. A discussion about one already leads to performing one of the other procedures occasionally, so it's not as though we would be combining oil and water.
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 03:42, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
Here's a follow up to the issue of whether or not consolidating requested moves into this would be appropriate. Keep in mind that I'm taking no position in the legitamacy or usefulness of teh !vote in the linked to discussion, but this !vote should make it clear that I'm not off base in asserting that there is a similarity between all of these processes.
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 10:27, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

Previous discussionEdit

  • WT:Articles for deletion/Archive 53#Renaming this process Articles for Discussion (April 2009) rejected the rename. Flatscan (talk) 03:38, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
    I encourage interested editors to review previous discussions (older ones were themselves referenced at the archive link I gave). The rename was the primary topic of the most recent discussion, but other issues have been raised. Two that I remember are increased numbers of nominations that further strain AfD and a lack of transparency from rename/expanded scope (imagine explaining to a new editor that his article is in danger of deletion at Articles for discussion). I agree that considering content on a continuum (full article – partial article – no article) makes sense, but there are non-trivial issues to consider. Flatscan (talk) 05:08, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
    Hi Flatscan. Since this was the second reply in a row which discussed previous discussions along similar lines, I thought perhaps pulling them out and starting a sub-discussion about that might be appropriate. One thing that I wanted to ask about is the motivation behind these two replies. The first was understandable, but the tone of the second seems slightly... annoyed, I guess, if you read it the "correct" way. For the record, I was aware of the above linked discussion, and at least one other which occurred prior to that, before posting this. I do tend to agree that renaming would be somewhat pointless without a larger change in purpose or structure, which is really what the heart of this proposal addresses. If we do decide to consolidate mergers, moves, and possibly other procedures into the current AFD procedure are you stating that you would oppose changing the name to "Articles for Discussion"?
    V = I * R (talk to Ω) 10:27, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
    My second reply pointed out the existence of even older discussions (there were a few closely-spaced ones in January 2009) and provided a rationale for why a reader should consult them. I think that consolidation is a superficially attractive idea with downsides that must be considered. Flatscan (talk) 05:02, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
    Well, OK... let's see. There is a consistent concern in these discussions regarding the "strain on AfD". Aside from the fact that consolidation should actually help that issue, due to the fact that it will focus more community members into a single area, I just don't see the "strain" issue as anything more then white noise. That there is a significant amount of work at AfD is taken, somewhat correctly in my estimation, as a given; however, that there is some sort of epic struggle to keep up with it doesn't seem to be born out by the facts. To point out a simple barometer which addresses this: there's no backlog at AfD. As for the transparency argument, I don't really know how to address that. It seems so self evident to me that the process page itself, and the participants in the discussions, would satisfy this concern that simply asking the question tends to create a "bad faith" impression in my mind. People aren't stupid, after all, and it seems fairly safe to assume that Wikipedia editors can read.
    V = I * R (talk to Ω) 05:20, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
    • Do you mean a closing backlog? Evaluating a discussion and closing it generally takes much less time than the discussion itself. Some users point to the number of relists as an indicator of stress, but I think that AfDs in unpopular topics will be neglected even if considerably fewer AfDs were filed.
    • "Transparency" was not a precisely correct word choice. The combined possible outcomes and additional degrees of freedom may be confusing to some editors – of course, some have difficulty with the current process. I think that we have differing expectations of editor competence.
    • A new question: in the new process, how easy will it be to jump from a merger discussion to a deletion discussion?
      Flatscan (talk) 05:04, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
← Well, I don't envision the AFD process itself as being significantly different then it is now. Maybe some people would want to take the opportunity to change other things, I don't know, but that's a bit beyond the scope of this... I just don't think that it would be any more confusing then it is now, and with the name change it could even be clearer.
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 08:28, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

Move a disputed merge to AfD, retitled Articles for DiscussionEdit

I very strongly support the proposal that anyone could optionally move a disputed merge to AfD, retitled Articles for Discussion. I base this upon these reasons

  1. It will bring disputed matters out to where people in general can see them
  2. it will provide a simple solution to the current complicated multi-place discussions about the extent to which merges etc. are enforceable at AfD, deletion review, etc.
  3. It will prevent evading the intention of AfD closes--in any direction.--I've seen all sorts of them.
  4. It will end the meta discussions at individual AfDs about what the true intent is, and whether AfD has jurisdiction over the proposal--as when a person nominates an AfD and says "delete, or at least merge" and is challenged for taking it to AfD.
  5. It will simplify the repeated and sometimes circular movements of disputes over multiple stages and places. As is, we end up discussing the same thing repeatedly because nobody quite knows where to handle it.
  6. It will greatly discourage edit warring over merges & redirects, by providing a place to reach an open decision.
  7. Particularly important, from other XfDs, I have learned the advisability of keeping all options open at a discussion. It really helps get the best solution, often one not thought of at first. Many such discussions end up with everyone agreeing on a somewhat different proposal.
  8. Most important, it encourages compromise, which makes consensus much easier to obtain. It's highly desirable that we do reach consensus on things--consensus being defined as something everyone can at least accept. It might even remove a good deal of the incentive for multiple AfDs or re-creations. It will encourage working together, rather than trying to oppose each other.

I know that a step like this will cause everyone to wonder: what will happen to my favorite type of article, or my least favorite? Will it help me, or my regular opponents? I have not analyzed it this way myself as applies to what I personally like or dislike, for i really do not think that anywhere near as important as a major simplification of process. (I think it might, for example, keep fewer individual articles on aspects of fiction than I would really like. But it would be worth it, in order not to have to continue fighting each one.) I'd rather get a reasonable chance at a simple compromise than get my way if it takes continual arguing and party-formation. I do have some experience disputing at AfDs under the current system, and it is possible I will need to develop new skills--all the better , is what I say. It's time the wiki-debater specialists like me (& my habitual opponents) went on to other things. I'd really like the chance to consider a group of related questions together, with the question not delete/keep, but what can we do best with this set of articles. I recognize this may in one sense bring more matters to AfD--but this will be balanced by not having them elsewhere. And, I'd hope, by disposing of things more rapidly and easily. DGG ( talk ) 06:47, 21 December 2009 (UTC) A focus on individual article decisions

  • linked from Template:Cent (diff), WT:Requested moves (diff), WP:Village pump (proposals) (diff) Flatscan (talk) 06:41, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Strong support for this. All DGG's reasons are good; I can see no downside. JohnCD (talk) 10:56, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Support As in previous discussions, I support the idea of bring these processes together. Having a central avenue will bring more focus to areas needing improvement, and it will better interlink the areas in which different editors work. I think it is an inevidible thing, especially since it has been proposed numerous times with increasing frequency. --NickPenguin(contribs) 19:38, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Strongly support considering my past contributions to this idea. There's so many benefits of considering merges and other options in the same venue as deletions (even if the resolve does not require admin actions) that it seems silly to keep them separated. --MASEM (t) 20:19, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
  • What benefits? You don't list any nor provide any evidence of them. We have clear evidence that merges are not satisfactory outcomes at AFD (see below) and encouraging more of the same seems likely to cause the entire process to collapse. Colonel Warden (talk) 15:52, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Support. Next step would be to write out what is being proposed nice and clearly, open an RfC and advertise it at Cent etc. Fences&Windows 00:55, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Support though I fear this will require substantial other changes as well in procedures. Collect (talk) 01:47, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Strong support per DGG, "It will prevent evading the intention of AfD closes--in any direction.--I've seen all sorts of them." How many times has a article been put up for deletion, closed "keep" or "no consensus", only to go through a prolonged bitter fight over merging? Hopefully this proposal will address this problem also. Ikip 01:59, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
    • Neither keep nor no consensus dictate that the article must be a separate page – a subsequent merge discussion is often a normal step in refining content organization. I have seen a few cases where an article was quickly redirected following an AfD supportive of or ambivalent (arguments for each side) towards separate articles; I prefer that WP:Be bold be avoided after relevant discussion. Flatscan (talk) 04:19, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
      • I understand the policy history. Maybe I am not understanding the proposal fully, I have had a nagging feeling that I don't this entire time...but if an AFDiscussion specifically offers the choice of merge and redirect, and editors decide to keep instead, wouldn't this possibly avoid the merge and redirect arguments? If there was no consensus, then the editors could simply renominate the article later, as a merge, avoiding the bitter fighting. That said though, ...if no one argues about a BOLD merge/redirect, despite the AFD, then their is really no issue anyway. What I envision this doing is allowing the community as a whole decide these nasty arguments, instead of two polar opposite parties. Ikip 15:04, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
        • If keep separate is codified as a separate outcome, such a closure would explicitly preclude merging or redirecting. Current AfD closures are not final decisions and may be appealed outside of formal process with a discussion on the article's Talk page (WP:Non-deleting deletion discussions describes common practice). Flatscan (talk) 06:41, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Support - could some kind soul notify me if I seem to have missed it when this is announced as a centralized discussion? - 2/0 (cont.) 04:08, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose made explicit Flatscan (talk) 07:22, 29 December 2009 (UTC) Write a proposal as suggested by Fences and windows, preferably as a separate WP page that can be readily edited. I see good reasons and support here, but very little addressing of previous objections. Flatscan (talk) 04:19, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
    • I see the benefits, but I think they're overstated, especially relative to the costs. I'll continue to participate at any specific proposals. Flatscan (talk) 07:22, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Support - and here's my proposal: Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Proposal 1Sebastian 04:58, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Sorry to go against the apparently unanimous flow, but while I agree that finding a way to bring these articles to a place where they will be discussed is a good thing, it is already a lot of work to keep on top of the articles that are proposed (one way or another) for deletion every day. With increased numbers of articles at a less-specific forum, this is going to be even harder, and with so many editors apparently with the opinion that virtually everything should be deleted, a lot of these merge discussions could turn into deletion discussions. I think a more effective, and separate way of discussing (possibly) controversial mergers would be preferable. Deletion shouldn't be taken lightly, and I would prefer AFD to become more specifically about deleting articles because the subjects of those articles don't belong in an encyclopedia, which is sometimes not the case already.--Michig (talk) 08:29, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
    You're making a number of interesting points; let me reply to them individually: (1) Re the number of nominations: the overall number will not change (at least not directly). You can see with one glance if a nomination proposes a merge or a deletion; this seems like a small price to pay for those who only want to look at deletion proposals. (2) I think it's rather unlikely that a change of venue would change "a lot" of decisions towards deletion; I think by and large people here care more about the merits of the article than about the venue where they are discussed. (3) You may have a point when you say "more effective", though. The current procedure has at least the benefit that it has been around, and for that reason may have an edge over any changed system. (4) see #2. (5) "Articles that belong in an encyclopedia": That sounds like a good criterion, but it's unfortunately not so clear cut. In reality, much of AfD deals with articles that neither fully belong nor fully don't belong: redirects, transwiki, rename, and such. That's the whole point of this proposal. If it were always such a clear-cut distinction, then I would wholeheartedly agree with you. — Sebastian 09:15, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
    Michig: the overall no. will be cut down if everything is discussed in one place, not two or three. As for balance, would I be proposing something that I was certain would change it to many more deletes? The truth is that I haven't the least idea, but rational procedure will find out better what the community wants. What I hope we will find it wants is more good merges. "articles that belong in an encyclopedia" = notability minus NOT. Of course it's a matter for judgement. That's why we have discussions. If it were an actual mathematical equation we wouldn't need AfD at all. DGG ( talk ) 00:34, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Support The more attention it gets, the better. Otherwise you have just a small number of people, rampaging about, avoiding AFD entirely by placing redirects everywhere, and claiming the information was "merged" when almost never is anything actually merged. Dream Focus 20:13, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Support, reflects what we do already. AfDs often close with a "merge" recommendation, so having all these discussions in a single place will save effort. Tim Vickers (talk) 02:57, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
  • An excellent idea that I most definitely support. However, I am unsure of whether or not Articles for Deletion ought to be renamed; there are quite a large number of scripts that rely on the current page title. Obviously they could all be changed, but I wonder if it is really worth it to do that. In addition, you would then have the problem of either moving all old AfDs to the new pagename or breaking an easy way of finding old discussions. NW (Talk) 03:07, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Support - Right now the only way to get a merge or redirect done in a potentially contentious subject area (WP:FICT) is to be both very BOLD and not attract any opposition whatsoever. Nifboy (talk) 03:55, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Support - but and agreement for merger does not mean it will be done. ηoian ‡orever ηew ‡rontiers 04:44, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
    See #How effective is the merge decision? below. — Sebastian 05:01, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Qualified support – DGG's reasons laid out above are very compelling. I'm not going to comment on the proposal for rename, which is largely a technical rather than policy argument. Instead, I'd like to raise a few cavils about the proposal of combining the merger and rename discussions with the AfD process.
    1. Turning first to requested moves, the closing instructions state highlight a couple of differences between the two processes. Moving pages doesn't require the admin bit (unless you are moving over a redirect), and most page moves are non-controversial. These two factors combine to make the sort of participation and consensus that one finds at WP:RM different than what occurs at AfD; for this reason I am opposed to merging those two processes. (Also, the fact that a move leaves behind a redirect means that it is impossible to edit-war over a move, so the visibility of conflicts is minimized.)
    2. Proposed merges is a different animal. First of all, we have a backlog of more than two years of requested mergers. If anything, I'd like to see the proposed merger process used less often – a cursory cruise through the backlog shows that many, many of the pages are there because someone threw a template on the articles and then left, often without even opening a corresponding talk page thread. We should encourage a WP:SOFIXIT mentality in this area because merges often are time-consuming.

      The level of research/subject area knowledge one needs to do when discussing mergers is qualitatively quite different than that needed for deletion. In the latter event, one considers notability guidelines, and most questions can be settled by googling: the relevant question is the relation of one concept to the external world. For merging, though, one must consider the mutual relation of two ideas – which requires more specialized knowledge. And merging can be a dialectal process – gradually moving paragraphs from one article to another, seeing what fits, getting feedback, and eventually reducing one ofthe articles to a redirect. Perhaps I am overreacting, but DGG's hope that discussing mergers at AfD will lead to "disposing of things more rapidly and easily," lead me to fear that merge discussions will degenerate into drive-by !voting with no follow-through by participants.

      Finally, I am worried that by combining the discussion of mergers with that of deletions, mergers will seem like a tempting "third way." If some editors say "delete" and some say "keep," I do not want some well-intentioned compromise-minded soul to come by and say "merge, and you can both be happy." This will just create a mountain of tedium for the WikiGnomes who actually carry out these requests, who (as has been insightfully observed upthread), are rarely the !voters.

I do recognize that it can be useful to have a binding decision on a merger, if it is contested or edit-warred over. So I propose that we leave the proposed merger process mostly as-is. (I would like to see a WikiProject Merge Sorting, akin to the Deletion Sorting one, to publicize better the merge discussions. But that is a separate proposal). However, if a merge is heavily contested, either in the discussion on the talk page or in the form of an edit war over a redirect vs. full article, any editor can take it to a "Court of Appeals" where a binding consensus can be reached. This "court" would be structured like the current AfD process (list for 7 days, close by (usually) an admin at the end, etc.); I'm ambivalent as to whether this should be mixed in with AfD or have a new area created for it (I can see advantages to both). This two-level system would be analogous to the PROD/AfD distinction we have for deletion. Requested moves could be done through this system as well – though I've indicated ways in which the move process is different, it would still be a good idea to get more input in controversial cases.
Thoughts? — ækTalk 08:35, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
AfD is sometimes used (mainly in topics related to WP:FICT) to clear disputed mergers/redirects, very similar to your proposal. These often have preceding discussion per WP:BEFORE and are phrased to avoid WP:Speedy keep. Flatscan (talk) 06:41, 26 December 2009 (UTC)

Comments:
While i'm appealed by DGG proposal, i think few points need to be clarified

  • This proposal should have no retroactive power to avoid people appealing for the unmerge of currently merged articles on the pretext that a new recourse appeared.
  • Have the usual restriction of Article for Discussion. No i will sent it to AfD until it's merged and the like.
  • Sanction editors who abuse the process using it as a delaying & filibuster action. It's for "Disputed Merge" not for every single merge.

--KrebMarkt 10:39, 25 December 2009 (UTC)

  • Oppose The quality of discussion at AFD is currently poor and numerous discussions have to be carried forward for lack of any significant participation. For example, see Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Dust suppression. This is a highly notable topic and of great significance for human safety. This was nominated for deletion on the absurd grounds that the topic was not notable (there are hundreds of books about it) and we then have a poorly attended debate in which the few participants appear to know next to nothing about the topic. Observing this travesty, I expanded the article to get it back on track only to be informed by an admin that there was now a supposed consensus for merger. This outcome clearly damaged the encyclopedia in that my well-sourced and informative addition was reverted and further work upon this notable topic has been suppressed. So, by expanding the scope of discussion, this existing poor process will be both overloaded and further degraded due to confusion over the proper object of the discussion. The purpose of AFD is to direct an admin to use his deletion button and that's all. This process should be reserved for hopeless cases per WP:BEFORE and then the process is clear and easy to administer. If you expand the scope to include cases where the material has merit but the question is how best to present it, then we might easily have thousands of articles to consider every day. Such discussions are best held upon the talk pages for the articles in question per the current WP:MERGE procedure. This process is scalable and will attract the correct audience - editors with an interest in the topic who we may hope actually know something about it. Colonel Warden (talk) 11:04, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
    • First, I will point out that we need to distinguish problems with interpretations of notability and "encyclopedic quality" with the process of AFD itself. The example above is not a problem with the AFD process, and actually shows a case where it seems to make sense to use AFD for merge considerations. But to the main point - yes, mergers and redirects should be discussed first on the talk page of affected articles, just as issues with articles with notability should be brought forward first there. But, there will always be people that disagree with the results - whether its the one person that doesn't want the merge and editwars to fight it, or the one that wants the merge but is met with several editors that are OWNing articles. AFDiscussion would be a natural extension of what the dispute resolution process is, as it is supposed to be handled. --MASEM (t) 15:37, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
  • We already have dispute resolution procedures such as RFC. This proposal seems to add nothing but confusion to what should be a clean and simple debate about deletion. Please see below where it is clear that merge results arising from AFD are already being neglected. This seems good evidence that the proposal is both redundant and unworkable - we already have merges being suggested at AFD but then they are not acted upon. Colonel Warden (talk) 15:46, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
  • I didn't realize there was a deadline on AfD related merges. I thought there was no deadline at all. I am not compelled by your argument they are being neglected, there are many cleanup categories that are backlogged for well over a year, and that in an of itself is not a sufficient reason. --NickPenguin(contribs) 19:00, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
  • The nice thing about deletion is that you get a fairly clear binary decision - either the article is deleted or it isn't - and so you get reasonably swift closure. Once you start talking about mergers which might take a year to complete, if they are ever completed, then you have a fuzzy, open-ended outcome in which it may not be clear whether the matter has been resolved and completed or not. Articles often form part of a interlinked set and the rest of Wikipedia cannot be expected to stand still while such indeterminate decisions are left hanging. Editors who may have played no part in the discussion cannot be expected to know of it or abide by it and so will create facts on the ground which will make a supposed consensus obsolete if it is not acted on quickly. Fresh discussions will then take place and these will tend to become running battles because there will be no closure. To avoid this, the editors taking the decisions should be the editors who will do the work; who will take responsibility for seeing that the decisions are acted upon. These are best found at the article's talk page. Once you move matters to a separate central forum, then you get armchair editors who are quite ready to pontificate and vote but less willing to do the resulting work. Power without responsibility does not make for a good governance. Colonel Warden (talk) 21:41, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
    • In my mind, all mergers (discussed in and out of AfD) have common issues that must be addressed separately. Rolling mergers into AfD will help some problems, but it is not a magical fix-all. Flatscan (talk) 06:41, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
  • I support this idea. We need to do something about the shitty articles with usable content, and allowing merges in the AFD process will help. Sceptre (talk) 15:21, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Support per the reasons given by DGG. Merge discussions quite frequently overlap with deletion discussions, so I agree that it would be beneficial to rename the process and implement a revised system. JamieS93 18:36, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Support - This sounds like a great idea. Merges are quite frequently the result of AFDs, why not give them a permanent place to be discussed? The rename also shows a better understanding of what the process really is. --Coffee // have a cup // ark // 22:05, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Support of course.
    V = I * R (talk to Ω) 02:07, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Fantastic proposal. ÷seresin 06:30, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Strong support. I was thinking of proposing this myself just a few weeks back. Currently there are many borderline keep or no consensus results where a clear merge or semi-merge would have been the better outcome. Since AfD currently only deals with deletion, these peripheral results are not considered by the closing admin and in my experience, none of the editors actually goes back to do said merge or the necessary editing once AfD closes. In addition to keep, no consensus and delete, Articles for Discussion should also have closing options such as merge, semi-merge, redirect (without merge), move/rename/change of scope (for articles and lists whose title results in the topic being covered in a problematic or skewed way, where deletion can be avoided). Zunaid 06:42, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Support I rarely propose merges/redirects on talk pages because I know that no one will respond or consensus will not be gained. I nominate articles for deletion (which would have the same outcome) and then I'm yelled at because AFD is for deletion discussions, not merge. Reywas92Talk 21:36, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Support - This will be a sweeping change to procedures, but it from my experiences it will be worth it, as well as help AfD reflect reality more. It is very frequent for AfDs to end as merge and/or re-direct, and many editors, sometimes openly, prefer to nominate an article to AfD to get a merge as they know it will happen faster via AfD than by the offical talk page method. Schools are a perfect example of this. Camaron · Christopher · talk 22:27, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Strong Support, I agree with the benefits listed by the proposer and other commenters. Additionally I just personally feel that anything to encourage more discussion is welcome. Redirects for discussion, rather than deletion, is a great benefit, so I feel that this change here would help with the merge processes and such other things. --Taelus (talk) 01:19, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Support Articles for Discussion is the more appropriate name. And merge discussions tend to get neglected, apart from the page watchers who tend by their nature to want to keep the status quo. This is a win win proposal. 81.185.116.128 (talk) 17:24, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Support. Tired of this "well, it's between a keep and merge, so let's just decide it on the talk page, but it never gets resolved" business. -- King of ♠ 18:59, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose – but I don't understand why a blessing from an admin is necessary on anything except a deletion or non-deletion as far as AFDs are concerned. Also, perhaps I'm against this notion of keeping discussions on major editorial actions (such as merging) local and strictly amongst those users who are actively collaborating on an article as opposed to having "community exposure" on each and every single major editorial action made on every article on Wikipedia. Article talk pages, not a centralized community venue, are the places to discuss such editorial changes. I think we've gotten so lock-step into just typing in simple !votes for literally everything (like what we're all doing here now) instead of actually having a discussion, which has been at least what I have experienced in the last few merge proposals I have brought up (even though it's been a while, now). I also have to echo some of the concerns that Colonel Warden brought up such as overloading the already-overloaded (IMO) AFD queue. –MuZemike 02:07, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
    Flatscan and I briefly discussed AFD being "overloaded", above. I would be interested in hearing the reasons that you believe that AFD is currently overloaded.
    V = I * R (talk to Ohms law) 02:46, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
    Convenience link: #Previous discussion. Flatscan (talk) 07:22, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
    An admin closure is sometimes necessary to halt tendentious opposition. I added a suggestion along these lines to Help:Merging#Closing/archive a proposed merger. Flatscan (talk) 07:22, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose This proposal would encourage forum shopping. The talk page and the chain of dispute resolution mechanisms should be the primary way to settle content disputes, including splits and merges. Yes, it can be trying to form consensus. But the question of whether a given blob of content should be in one article to two is rarely that consequential. AfD should an exception mechanism for determining whether material belongs on Wikipedia at all and there is plenty of unfinished business on that front. I can understand that editors on AfD, having spent time on a nominated article, wish to opine on how material that passes deletion review should be organized, but that temptation should be resisted. The consensus process requires a single place for content discussions. One question for supporters: if I want to split an article and others oppose that move, should I be heard on Articles for Discussion? If mergers are fair game, why not? --agr (talk) 12:39, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
    In answer to the question about splits, personally I don't see why you wouldn't be heard at AFD. If you're trying to highlight a perceived weakness with that question, then it need further explaination, because it seems that this proposal is exactly what you want.
    V = I * R (talk to Ohms law) 20:02, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
    There is already some asymmetry between mergers and splits. Combining mergers and splits has been suggested at WT:Proposed mergers#Proposed mergers *and splits*?, but not heavily discussed. Flatscan (talk) 07:22, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Strong Support. This will be a good thing. One concern I have is what happens when a newbie creates an article, and it soon gets slapped with an "Article for Deletion" tag. That must be downheartening for a lot of new editors who it happens to. We surely lose some of them by this process. Whereas, articles for discussion gives a better chance of alternative outcomes other than deletion, such as userfication, or incubation - see WP:BITE and WP:PRESERVE. Mjroots (talk) 17:49, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
    • The newbie must be made aware of the possibility of outright deletion – "deletion" or a scary template are equally bitey. Flatscan (talk) 07:22, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Agree with MuZemike (talk · contribs) and Michig (talk · contribs) that the most appropriate place for these sorts of discussions is the talk page, whereas Articles for deletion should be about whether or not to delete. Also, agree with ArnoldReinhold (talk · contribs) that this would encourage disruptive forum shopping. Cirt (talk) 21:21, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose I concede that a number of DGG's reasons are compelling. That said, I really don't think expanding the function of AfD is a good idea. The daily AfD logs are already massive, typically containing at least 100 discussions each. Reading through the above debate, I notice some have asserted that mixing in proposed mergers and requested moves won't result in an unhelpfully large AfD workload. I don't buy into that argument at all. Furthermore, I agree with MuZemike, Michig, and Cirt in that I feel article talk pages are the proper province of merger discussions. I don't believe that bringing those discussions to a bloated, rebranded AfD will be helpful at all in decreasing the proposed merger backlog. And finally, I don't think the current name of this forum discourages outcomes like "userfy," "incubate," etc. They still occur – and how can that increase if closing admins notice the rename? Not too much, I'm willing to bet. So I object to the proposal. The status quo is better. A Stop at Willoughby (talk) 03:49, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Support. This would stop closings with consensus is to keep, take merge discussion to talk page please that end up never getting resolved. Bsimmons666 (talk) 15:26, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
    • Merge-specific results will probably be better, but may be inconclusive or require relists. AfDs reaching consensus are already closed as merge. Flatscan (talk) 07:00, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
      • Not always, I thought. Bsimmons666 (talk) 04:20, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
        • That's not a consensus to merge. Even if that were an AfDiscussion, that's a pretty SNOWy keep, in line with most AfDs on recent major news events (I think there's an essay, but I can't find it). Flatscan (talk) 05:17, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Support. Aside from the practical benefits, technically, the question of whether or not a separate article should exist on a subject is essentially a deletion discussion: We're asking "should this article exist or not?" The fact that a redirect gets created and the content moved doesn't negate the fact that we're discussing the fundamental merits of the article's existence, which in some merge cases (presumably the disputed ones) can hinge on notability -- a question that it's traditionally been agreed merits centralized discussion at AfD. Equazcion (talk) 22:51, 29 Dec 2009 (UTC)
    • I agree that the stand-alone article metric makes sense, and AfD is pretty good at evaluating that. In my limited experience, AfD is pretty bad at discussing merge specifics. Flatscan (talk) 07:00, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
      • Specifics don't need to be discussed at AfD; Only the binary question of whether or not a merge is warranted. That's basically the same as a deletion discussion. Once that's determined, specifics are discussed on the talk page. Equazcion (talk) 15:23, 30 Dec 2009 (UTC)
        • I think we are actually mostly in agreement. Finalizing specifics at the Talk page happens in the current AfDeletion. There are issues with it (#How effective is the merge decision?, below), and I don't understand how this proposal can fix them if it does the same thing. Flatscan (talk) 07:16, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose The main purpose of the articles for deletion debate is to find a consensus on an action - deletion - that specifically requires administrator intervention. Page moves can be done by any editor and there is no reason to obscure the purpose of the deletion process. The fact is that Wikipedia does need a clear and unambiguous deletion process, and clogging it with other debates will only slow the process down and mislead people as to the purpose of the discussion. Many of the problems raised in the proposal could be addressed by more modest policy changes. It could simply be made clear that a consensus reached in an AFD as to an article change necessary to avoid deletion is actually binding. Locke9k (talk) 20:29, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Support I think this is a particularly good idea in that it will help streamline the number of processes required in a situation where an article should be either deleted, merged or moved, but where it is initially unclear which is the best option. One forum for all of these is better than having to make three different proposals in such situations. Brilliantine (talk) 01:02, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment Maybe I'm missing the big change, but as far as I can see, all this proposal would change is a question. As things are, AfD is a process where someone selects and article and asks the community "Should we delete this article?". That's a binary question, and often discussions reveal the solution is more than black and white; sometimes the article is not appropriate, but the content is acceptable somewhere else. So we get rid of the article, and save the content; make the article a redirect and the content gets merged. Regardless of what you want call it, AfD is always going to be a place that deals with both article and content issues. Given this is what actually happens in reality at AfD, I think the question nominators really need to be asking the community is "What should we do with this article and this content?" Renaming AfD to Articles for Discussion would reflect this question. And when we start asking that question, the inclusionist/deletionist divide vanishes. It becomes insignificant. And while a new name may not have some of the... shal we say 'focus' of Articles for Deletion, it would be a healthy change that would reflect what actually goes on in practice. --NickPenguin(contribs) 04:04, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
    • One big change is all the pages that must be moved. I agree with the idea of "what should we do with this content", but I disagree that 1) AfD's name/scope should be changed and 2) that the inclusion divide will magically vanish. There are contentious merger discussions that originate from the articles and rapidly escalate to AfD – the heat is not all attributable to AfD's structure. Flatscan (talk) 07:16, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
      • Well, I'm a bit of an idealist, but even still, I think this would be a major factor in the healing process. Aside from that tho, why would we need to move all those old pages? Why not just leave them where they are, and change the newly created ones? Certainly something like this wouldn't go into effect overnight, a future date could be set when scripts and such would need to be updated. Then on midnight on such-and-such a day all new AfDs will be located at Articles for Discussion/blablabla. And the universe continues as normal. --NickPenguin(contribs) 03:53, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
        • There are templates that may include nominations before and after the rename, such as {{oldafdmulti}}. This issue should be a consideration, but it seems that NuclearWarfare has been the only participant to mention it. Flatscan (talk) 07:31, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose I see no benefit from the change. I rarely see benefit from change. Edison (talk) 05:38, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
Why? The Junk Police (reports|works) 14:54, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
  • I used to oppose this (April 2009 proposal). I will tend to support, per nom. If I wish, create new naming convections for XfD, renaming all for deletion(s) to to discussion. The Junk Police (reports|works) 14:54, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Support as long as this doesn't become overly bureaucratic, in particular per issues 3 and 6. Often merge discussions don't have enough participants and tags linger for years. Redirects due to WP:N failure get edit warred over or wikilawyered at AfD: "you want to redirect, not delete". Sometimes a WikiProject discussion is pretty much this, i.e. "articles for discussion" (e.g. 1, 2, 3) but this works only if the article is part of a sufficiently active WikiProject. Pcap ping 07:49, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Support as long overdue. Following the good example of CfD and TfD, this change will shift the tone of AfD from a full-stakes war over deletion to a discussion of what is best for the article and for the encyclopaedia. Move discussions already get mixed into AfD; streamlining the process to reflect this reality is apposite.  Skomorokh  12:59, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Support. This will be a great way to bring light to important, yet oft-ignored, merge proposals. youngamerican (wtf?) 00:09, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Support At AfD this will cut bureaucracy by allowing proposed merges to get the attention they need. Currently, if a nominator makes the mistake of suggesting a merge he is shot down with cries of "afd is not for merge proposals" with little attention payed to the actual quality of the article under discussion. I also support the added focus on community discussion that this would bring to merge discussions, as our current system for advertising merge discussions is severely broken. ThemFromSpace 00:38, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Support. Agreeing with DGG. Give merges their needed attention.  Dspradau → talk  19:00, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Support I support the inclusion of merge discussions at AFD, I oppose a change to the name. It's unnecessary and will cause too much extra work. Jujutacular T · C 21:27, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Approve - This is a wise proposal that has been too long in coming. — James Kalmar 22:32, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Support - Merge discussions already happen there from time to time, and some people even already nominate merges. Not saying we should adopt this change because of that directly, but it's proven itself useful already. --Shirik (Questions or Comments?) 01:04, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Support for the multitude of reasons above. A wise change that's taken way too long. —what a crazy random happenstance 07:23, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Support - Always a fan of making things simpler, making one place for the same discussion is a good thing for efficiency. Shadowjams (talk) 07:54, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Support This will give merges much-needed attention. The Thing Editor Review 03:34, 9 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Support this works well at WP:CFD, providing a centralized place for discussion, and can hopefully get broader consensus on proposed merges. Bradjamesbrown (talk) 06:27, 10 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Please move this comment if it's in the wrong place. I've plonked it here at the end because I'm only passing through. It struck me that "articles for discussion" is not a great name. It seems too wide in scope, and sounds as if it deals with any point of debate, which is really what the articles' talk pages are for, n'est-ce-pas? 86.150.102.84 (talk) 02:19, 11 January 2010 (UTC).
  • Oppose per everything that MuZemike (talk · contribs) said, particularly his first sentence. ╟─TreasuryTagassemblyman─╢ 08:30, 11 January 2010 (UTC)
  • I support letting AfD handle disputed merge proposals, but I don't like the name Articles for Discussion. It doesn't mean anything for people who don't already know what it is. Articles for Discussion? A place to discuss articles? Isn't that what talk pages are for? I would rather we keep the name Articles for Deletion which at least means something, if slightly inaccurate. --Apoc2400 (talk) 10:50, 11 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Support - merging can be used in place of deletion to avoid the centralized AfD discussions. DGG's proposal closes that loophole, and I'm definitely for this. The Transhumanist 22:35, 11 January 2010 (UTC)
    • Do you mean that mergers should be handled exclusively at AfDiscussion, with the existing merge process completely deprecated? Flatscan (talk) 04:59, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose The proposal solves some problems and creates others, on balance I think the negatives suprass the positives. Sole Soul (talk) 01:12, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose. know that articles taken to AfD often end in merge or smerge recommendations, but that does not mean it is the most efficient to make this obligatory passage for every article. The AfD process is clogged up enough as it is without all other discussions on articles needed here. What's more, this would be instruction creep – page moves, mergers and redirects often get performed in localised talk sections or per WP:BOLD, and I see no good reason why these should not stay that way, except possibly when it is likely to be HIGHLY contentious. However, that is often difficult to define, and is likely to be the thin end of the wedge to further bureaucratising the process. In addition, an AfD should not confer any more or less legitimacy that an RfC conducted over a page merge or move – it is the consensus itself which is of prime importance. Ohconfucius ¡digame! 04:06, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
    One question, and one observation: In your view, how is AFD "clogged up enough as it is"? Flatscan and I briefly touched on that above, I think, but I don't think that the question has really been addressed, and I'd like to understand it. Are there AFD's being missed, or something like that? The observation that I'd like to make is that nobody is suggesting that merge, move, or other discussions would be required to occur here. That would be certainly be creepy, but this criticism seems to be misplaced. There is some more discussion about that, below.
    V = I * R (talk to Ohms law) 22:55, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
    Some comments – most recently The Transhumanist's, to which I responded – mention mergers and redirects as ways to bypass the deletion process. Closing this "loophole" requires that all merging and redirecting be handled within AfDiscussion. Flatscan (talk) 04:41, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
    OK, that's understandable, but I don't see general support for that position (requiring the use of AFD), that position seems to go beyond the scope of the actual proposal, and I personally certainly don't support such a requirement. I suspect, based on on what I believe to be strong anecdotal evidence (namely, most of the replies here) that AFD itself will largely appear exactly as it does now after this proposed change, both in terms of "workload" and participants actions and behavior. I see this proposed change as more a reflection of the realities "on the ground" then a substantial change (An exampleof a more substantial change would be the issue re: SNOW, below). Anywawy, I'd still be interested in hearing from Ohconfucius regarding his perceptions about AFD being "clogged up", by the way.
    V = I * R (talk to Ohms law) 07:49, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Support - I've always thought that the current way of doing merges is messy, non-formalized, and just doesn't work as cleanly as it could. This proposal looks like it will provide a solution for the problem. (X! · talk)  · @122  ·  01:56, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

Closing proposalEdit

Does anyone object to this being closed in a week's time? –Juliancolton | Talk 22:46, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

I would prefer if this proposal were left open for a minimum of 30 days, the default RfC duration. The proposed rename has substantial effects, this specific proposal was started near the holiday season for many editors, and many commenters from the April 2009 discussion have not participated. If this poll is primarily to gauge interest – i.e., a proposal draft will be brought back for confirmation – I am fine with closing soon. Flatscan (talk) 05:19, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
I've been waiting to see what others say about it, but I tend to agree with Flatscan. This discussion having taken place over the holidays is the main concern, I think. That being said, the main issue appears to be in regards to implementation details, not with doing it at all (although my view is decidedly biased, so feel free to correct me here). Rather then "closing" this, we should probably move to more of an implementation phase, which seems to be where we're headed in the section below anyway.
V = I * R (talk to Ohms law) 12:21, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
Would prefer to keep this open the standard 30-day-period for RfCs. Cirt (talk) 19:20, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
  • This proposal was shot down when raised previously less than a year ago. Raising it again so soon is not conducive to genuine consensus and an early close of discussion would exacerbate ths by generating a sense of WP:STEAM. Colonel Warden (talk) 16:52, 9 January 2010 (UTC)
    • The prior proposal was, I believe, simply a rename proposal. Besides, to oppose on the grounds that a proposal was opposed before is ignoring the fact that consensus can change. Please oppose for a good reason, not inertia or process wonkery. Fences&Windows 19:27, 11 January 2010 (UTC)
      • Juliancolton's motion is a procedural one and so is properly considered on procedural grounds. Colonel Warden (talk) 22:51, 14 January 2010 (UTC)
        • Juliancolton was simply asking about the timeframe for this to run. Are you indicating that you're going to oppose any changes here, regardless of what appears to be support (with some caveats)?
          V = I * R (talk to Ohms law) 23:30, 14 January 2010 (UTC)
          • I make my points regarding the main proposal in the main section above. All we should be discussing here is the proposal to close early and there does not seem to be consensus for this. Colonel Warden (talk) 23:36, 14 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Let it run the full time. The rename would be messy. Timotheus Canens (talk) 19:29, 11 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Isn't this what WP:PM is for? Stifle (talk) 09:24, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

Merge discussion location criticismEdit

I see one discreet criticism above, which seems to be repeated among at least a couple "opposers", is that merger discussions are best discussed on the article talk page. Since this seems to be a common complaint I wanted to pull it out in hope of having a more detailed discussion about it (if there are other similar issues, it would probably be helpful to start a section about them as well).

One point that I wanted to make on this issue is fairly simple: The stance is that merge discussions should occur on the talk page, but my question is often which one? I've actually personally run into the problem of needing to choose an appropriate venue for a merger discussion in the past, and I've talked to others who have run into similar issues.

Additionally, there are many pages where the number of watchers is either minuscule, or most of those who are watching the page are inactive. We all know that listing an article on AFD increases viewership of the pages being listed, so utilizing a central discussion area logically would seem to help.

So, between the "meta" nature of merge discussions themselves (or split discussions, for that matter), and increased attention which would be given to those pages if the AFD system is used, I'm not clear as to what the downside would be.
V = I * R (talk to Ohms law) 07:50, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

Merge discussions aren't inherently "meta." Holding them in a centralized venue as a matter of course will tend to make them so, of course.
If I may toot my own horn a bit, I think that my proposal (elevating merge discussions to a central venue only when consensus is stalled) addresses the main thrust of the original proposal while also addressing to some degree the objection you've identified. Currently, we treat merges as content issues, meaning that the dispute resolution pathway for them runs something like:
talk page --> third opinion --> subject-specific noticeboards (if there is a compatible Wikiproject) --> RfC --> (rarely) mediation committee.
Merge disputes seem to be common, contentious, and sui generis enough that it would be justified to create a processual exception for them by running them through AfD. The advantages are (potentially) increased participation and speedier resolution (7-14 days vs. 30 for a RfC); the disadvantages are overburdening AfD further and risking sacrificing consensus to a "take a vote" attitude. The degree to which the community thinks that merge decisions deserve special consideration will dictate the degree to which they need to be excepted from the regular content-building and DR processes; but it doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing proposition. — ækTalk 09:34, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
Heh, I'm fairly certain that we could argue about "meta"-ness until the end of time.   Ohms law — continues after insertion below
That's a good idea - could someone start an essay at "WP:METANESS", please? — Sebastian 21:14, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
I tend to agree that using a centralized discussion area would be most appropriate as a psdeu-dispute resolution step (or even formally as a dispute resolution step). I'd think that would be the way it would most often be used, regardless. I'm not sure how useful it would be to create any sort of a rule about that, however.
V = I * R (talk to Ohms law) 18:51, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
having seen some of these merge discussions first hand, I agree with ohms. Many merges can be done without a !vote, with little controversy, the problem is there are some merge discussions which are incredibly nasty, not completly solved by RFC (in that editors go away from the discussion really angry), were the most well connected group of veteran editors usually win. A larger community discussion at afd would help. Ikip 20:15, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
From the merger discussions that I've observed, "the most well connected group of veteran editors" that "win"s is backed by a WikiProject. Containing members interested and knowledgeable in the topic area, WikiProjects are given wide latitude, unless they're horribly out of sync with the community or creating WP:Walled gardens. Flatscan (talk) 07:01, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
Even though I love DGG's proposal, I have to say that unfortunately this argument about centralizing merge discussions sounds good in theory, but doesn't actually hold water in reality. See #How effective is the merge decision? below. — Sebastian 21:06, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
Also consider the low traffic of WP:Proposed mergers and the failure of WP:Mergers for discussion. Flatscan (talk) 07:01, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
I wouldn't characterize proposed mergers/Mergers for discussion as "low traffic". At this point they seem to be a fairly clear failures. That's actually one piece of what is prompting this proposal.
V = I * R (talk to Ohms law) 07:08, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
My opinion is that the backlog is associated with mergers in general, not any specific merger-related process. Flatscan (talk) 07:16, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
This proposal doesn't stop editors from having low-key discussions about merges on talk pages, or even stop bold merges with no discussion. It simply allows editors to nominate articles for merging using the AfD process. If an editor made such a nomination in the middle of a local merge discussion, that'd be disruptive and probably subject to a speedy close. If discussion is absent, deadlocked or stalled, being able to reinvigorate it centrally is very useful. If we make it a rule that nominations done in the middle of active merge discussions are considered disruptive and forum shopping and that nominators must link to prior merge debate on the talk page(s) in question, would that allay some fears over this process? Fences&Windows 03:24, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
Editors – as long as they provide a deletion rationale and avoid WP:Speedy keep – already use AfD this way. This proposal is different things to different people, which is why I'm most interested in an actual proposal draft. Flatscan (talk) 07:01, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
Right... which is another good reason to go ahead with this. Doing so follows the same principle as adding a common practice to a policy/guideline page, even if there are some who don't like said practice. As for the draft proposal... there is one started, but it's sort of tough to take that forward without support, or even knowing what will be actively opposed. Hence, this (and hopefully other) discussion(s).
V = I * R (talk to Ohms law) 07:12, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
Using myself as an example, I'm a strong oppose to the rename, but a support to continuing to allow merge-ish discussions at AfD. Flatscan (talk) 07:25, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
Right, which I don't quite understand. What is it with the rename that is so objectionable? Since we all know that it's pretty much occurring anyway, what's wrong with formalizing that (with the added benefit of getting rid of the "this is AFD, Merge doesn't belong!!!1!1" process wonkery at the same time)
V = I * R (talk to Ohms law) 07:40, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
The existing pages that must be moved. As far as I can tell, the process wonkery is legit (speedy keep, which often indicates an inexperienced nominator who missed the correct merger process entirely) or ignored in the closure. Flatscan (talk) 07:16, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
Well, there are two distinct issues here. First, I don't see any reason that the existing pages would need to be moved. As a matter of fact, trying to do that would seem kind of silly to me. All that would need to be changed would be the main page and the various templates, and then from that point forward everything would be changed. It may create a small amount of difficulty for the first 7 days or so, but I don't see any obvious show stoppers. Besides... if there really are show stoppers to something like this occurring, shouldn't we identify and eliminate them? I'd think that we should avoid becoming inelastic simply on general principles.
As for the process wonkery issue, the main issue with it is that there is some amount of "wonkery" occurring, in both directions, simply because we're in a sort of half way state here right now. I've seen plenty of people argue for mergers where everyone essentially reached consensus that such arguments were legit. On the other hand, I've seen many discussions where someone tried to start a merger discussion, and then the whole AFD devolves into a discussion about that "being allowed". It just seems to me that it would be much more efficient if we explicitly allowed any argument to stand on it's merits, rather then sometimes allowing the merits of the arguments themselves to be debated. It seems that most of the people closing AFD discussions tend to accept any reasonable argument that offers a solution regardless, so maybe making it clear that arguing over the relevance of specific solutions might make things slightly more approachable here and we could end up with better arguments being offered.
V = I * R (talk to Ohms law) 02:56, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
Whether to move the subpages should be a point of discussion – I haven't started a subsection since it may look like puffing up my objection. Templates like {{oldafdmulti}} would need to be modified more carefully if there is a naming changeover.

As I wrote above, the merger AfDs with process disputes that I remember often fall into two groups: actual merger nominations that are SK'd and relatively minor comments that have no effect on the outcome. I have seen derailed AfDs, but I think that obstructive process wonkery here is strongly associated with contentious topic areas and individual editors. Flatscan (talk) 07:31, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

(ec) Did you see my post right after your post of 07:22, 29 December 2009? There is a proposal. — Sebastian 07:15, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I have it watched. In my opinion, it misses a lot of necessary details. I will participate there soon, but it's not my top priority. Flatscan (talk) 07:25, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm looking forward to several of us coming together there to flesh out the actual policy/instructions related to all of this. We just need to hash some of the criticism out first is all, so we know exactly where to go with the documentation.
V = I * R (talk to Ohms law) 07:40, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
Help:Merging#Proposing a merger should be clear: the discussion should usually occur on the destination Talk page. If the merger is implemented, the discussion will be more easily found in the future, as the merged page becomes a redirect. Editors of the destination page may have a better sense of how to integrate the merged content. Watchers of either article should see the merge tags being placed. Flatscan (talk) 07:16, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
I agree with what Fences said above, that "This proposal doesn't stop editors from having low-key discussions about merges on talk pages, or even stop bold merges with no discussion. It simply allows editors to nominate articles for merging using the AfD process." This was exactly my intent. We already have preliminary discussions of whether an article is sufficiently notable on article talk pages--and in fact at all sort of other places--where there is agreement, there is no need for formal process in these cases. As for BOLD, I do quite a few merges boldly as is, generally of articles I see at PROD, and I would expect to continue--obviously, if anyone objected, then discussion would be necessary, and usually AfD would be the place. DGG ( talk ) 04:01, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

Implementation discussionEdit

OK, most of the discussion seems to have died down. My take on this is that there's general support to move forward, with some caveats about implementation. With that in mind I wanted to start a discussion about possible implementation details, here.
V = I * R (talk to Ohms law) 13:45, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

My vision of how we move forward is fairly simple. I don't think that we really need new policy statements or anything, since we're essentially just actualizing a change which has already occurred. With that in mind, the front page simply need to me moved and then copy edited slightly to reflect the change.
First however, we'll need to edit the {{afd1}}, {{afd2}}, and {{afd3}} templates to reflect the change. Flatscan pointed out that we'll also need to edit the {{oldafdmulti}} template, which would probably be easiest to accomplish by simply creating a new one (creating {{oldafdmulti2}} seems like an obvious choice, here). There are likely a few other templates at Category:Articles for deletion templates which should or would need to be changed as well.
Also, we'll need to notify WP:BAG so that all affected bots can adjust their scripts to a potential change. It should be fairly straightforward for most operators to make such a change (and if it's not, for whatever reason, then the operator probably shouldn't be running the bot anyway), given enough notice to do so. A good 30 day warning would seem appropriate, here.
One last issue would be archives. Personally, I don't see any compelling reason to move the thousands of old pages. Doing so would be time consuming, confusing, and would at least temporarily break thousands of links. I never envisioned moving them, but this seems to be an important sticking point to many so I figure that it's good to explicitly state that they won't move.
Is there anything else that will need to be changed or adjusted?
V = I * R (talk to Ohms law) 13:56, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
These are what I thought of:
  • User scripts for both nomination and closing must be modified. There are at least a few in use, I know of User:Mr.Z-man/closeAFD.
  • The most common templates are linked from Template:Afd see also documentation.
  • {{oldafdfull}} (compare to {{Oldvfdfull}}) and {{oldafd}} need forking to keep old uses working.
  • Simply forking {{oldafdmulti}} won't work, as I tried to explain. The Wikipedia:Articles for deletion prefix is assumed and inserted automatically. Substituting discussion will not work for an article with AfDeletions and AfDiscussions. Adding another parameter should work. {{multidel}} takes formatted wikitext, so it could be used as a replacement.
Flatscan (talk) 04:20, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

ImplementationEdit

  • To start off, I think this is a good sketch but a little minimal. I'd rather hold off on working on details until after Jan.2 or 3. But in the meantime, here are my arguments from WT:AFD:
  1. It will bring disputed matters out to where people in general can see them
  2. it will provide a simple solution to the current complicated multi-place discussions about the extent to which merges etc. are enforceable at AfD, deletion review, etc., or how to enforce them otherwise.
  3. It will prevent evading the intention of AfD closes--in any direction.--I've seen all sorts of them.
  4. It will end the meta discussions at individual AfDs and Deletion Reviews about what the true intent is, and whether AfD has jurisdiction over the proposal--as when a person nominates an AfD and says "delete, or at least merge" and is challenged for taking it to AfD.
  5. It will simplify the repeated and sometimes circular movements of disputes over multiple stages and places. As is, we end up discussing the same thing repeatedly because nobody quite knows where to handle it.
  6. It will greatly discourage edit warring over merges & redirects, by providing a place to reach an open decision.
  7. Particularly significant, from other XfDs, we can see the advisability of keeping all options available at a discussion. It helps get the best solution, often one not thought of at first. Many such discussions end up with everyone agreeing on a somewhat different proposal.
  8. Most important, it encourages compromise, which makes consensus much easier to obtain. It's highly desirable that we do reach consensus on things--consensus being defined as something everyone can at least accept. It might even remove a good deal of the incentive for multiple AfDs or re-creations. It will encourage working together, rather than trying to oppose each other. DGG ( talk ) 00:38, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
These are great points, which is why I already supported them at #Move a disputed merge to AfD, retitled Articles for Discussion. The proposal is a wiki page that anyone can edit, so I don't consider it ready yet. I, too, would like to work on the details later.
I'm not sure if we're on the same page when you say it is too minimal. The current text is an edited version of the lead section, and remained at about the same length. Maybe you got confused because I inserted new headlines, which makes it look like the proposal stands in for the whole page. That's not what I meant; I only left the body text out to simplify the discussion. Sorry if that caused confusion; I'll add a note about that. — Sebastian 03:40, 25 December 2009 (UTC)

The downside is that in many cases, this new term will sugar-coat the reality of what we're really doing in most AfDs – i.e. debating whether to deep six an article. When something is sent to AfD, we're not debating whether it should be discussed; we're debating whether it should be deleted. Therefore, they are articles nominated for deletion, not articles nominated for discussion.

Other than that, it doesn't seem like such a bad idea. The merges/etc. can all be viewed via templating on one central page, just like AfDs. I wonder if there is some other nomenclature we can use that more accurately describes the nature of these debates, while still keeping the discussion structure that this proposal calls for. Tisane (talk) 00:59, 12 February 2010 (UTC)

Questions that a proposal should addressEdit

A complete proposal should cover not only the consolidated process, but also details of the transition.

  1. Which existing processes are included in the consolidation?
  2. Will all existing AfDeletion pages be moved, or will Articles for discussion be used on new pages only?
  3. May a merger nomination be changed to a deletion discussion? Will nominations be segregated between deletion and merger?
  4. How much (if any) of the existing merger process (Talk page discussion, WP:Proposed mergers) will remain separate?
    • If AfDiscussion is the only merger process, will it be required for all mergers?
  5. Where will decisions be appealed (currently WP:Deletion review)?

This list is neither necessary nor sufficient, it's just what I think should be covered. Flatscan (talk) 04:41, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

2. Given the way Votes for Deletion was dealt with, I see no reason for a mass move. 4. Requiring a merge discussion would be imposing unnecessary bureaucracy. --Cybercobra (talk) 01:19, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
How was it handled? Special:PrefixIndex/Wikipedia:Votes for deletion/ shows both normal pages and redirects (italicized). From spot-checking, it appears that all VfDs after a cutoff in early 2005 were moved by a bot operated by User:Uncle G. Flatscan (talk) 05:02, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
This isn't a consolidation; this is simply an expansion of the AfD process to include outcomes other than the binary delete/keep. Thus, it won't affect any other pages except in language, though WP:Proposed mergers will likely be rendered moot (thus, the answer to 3 and 5 is, there's no difference between the two). Regarding 2, if we kept all the old pages at "deletion" then we would have to create a new set of templates pointing to the new "articles for discussion" pages (or at least build in reverse compatability for templates pointing to the old pages), which would be template creep on a pretty significant scale. Nifboy (talk) 03:39, 23 January 2010 (UTC)
  • How I see it:
  1. CSD and PROD should remain separate. I'm not sure what moving them here would even mean. Formal mergers would be completely folded in here; WP:PM would be marked historical. I'm not sure about moves, I'm not sure we need to put them here, as they aren't really subject to problems. I'm not necessarily opposed to it though.
  2. I would leave them. I can't think of any problems with leaving them, and a lot from moving them. If a problem does exist, though, we might move them.
  3. Non sequitur; the result will be whatever the AfD consensus is irrespective of whether the nomination argued for something else.
  4. All formal merge processes will be folded here. I think we can allow merge discussions to take place like they normally do on talk pages; only contentious ones will be sent here.
  5. I don't anticipate large numbers of discussions that aren't like AfD is now, so most will be deletion–keep binaries appealed at DRV. The numbers will be small enough, I imagine, that reviews of other decisions can be held at DRV without changing the pagename. ÷seresin 06:56, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

I have to oppose this - sorryEdit

I don't see the need to replace Articles for Deletion with something that changes the scope of it's purpose. - Tbsdy (formerly Ta bu shi da yu) talk 14:37, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

This is not a discussion about should it happen, this is a discussion about how to implement it. The discussion about doing it was well advertised, kept open for more than 30 days, and achieved significant consensus. See Wikipedia_talk:Articles_for_deletion#Consolidation. SilkTork *YES! 19:52, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
SilkTork describes that discussion accurately. However, I don't mind opposition raised here, as long as it stays in its own section and doesn't disrupt the other discussions. Flatscan (talk) 04:32, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
I see much of that time was during the Christmas and New Year period. –Whitehorse1 05:08, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
I'm in agreement with Tbsdy, and oppose this. From what I gather, one significant reason for proposing it should happen were incidents of users supposedly "merging" articles on which they either failed to obtain, or didn't care to go to the trouble of attempting to obtain, deletion through our various processes. Essentially this "merging" took the form of selecting all text and clicking 'delete'/'backspace', followed by adding a redirect to some other page and clicking save. That's page blanking without consensus rather than careful merging of two articles into one. We should advise such users that's unacceptable, so that they cease doing it; if they are unwilling or unable to stop, administrative measures such as blocking are suited. We should not pander to that behavior by changes to Articles for Deletion's scope, structure or purpose. –Whitehorse1 04:58, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
Redirecting articles is not a blockable offense, nor is it unacceptable. I redirected Pasi Palmulehto to another article without merging anything, and without prior discussion, and I did it again after it was undone as well. This is part of the normal editing process. Fram (talk) 11:59, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
I couldn't agree more with Whitehorse1. Deletion by merging is merely a method of by passing the normal deletion process, which is brought about by consensus. When Fram states that "This is part of the normal editing process," that's the problem. Some users are merely by passing the normal deletion process through unilateral merges. There should be a rule to end this. David Straub (talk) 06:42, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
Of course articles that're unsourceable or lack notability yet are plausible redirects can be redirected, yes. That's long been part've deletion policy. –Whitehorse1 17:17, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
Correct, it has long an ABUSED part of the merge policy. The specific examples cited at Deleting_an_article#Merging are "... information about family members of a celebrity who are not otherwise notable is generally included in, or merged into, the article on that celebrity. Stub pages about minor characters in works of fiction generally are merged into list articles." The example that Fram cites above of Pasi Palmulehto falls far beyond a mere family member or a work of fiction. The into to the article before it was blanked and turned into a redirect is "Pasi Petteri Palmulehto (born 1980-11-04, Turku)[1] is a Finnish politician who is currently the leader of the Finnish Pirate Party." Now I am not saying that article should have stayed on wikipedia, but it should have gone through the normal process for deletion nomination rather than a simple redirect, which is a backdoor method for avoiding any sort of communal consensus on deletions. David Straub (talk) 19:03, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
Merging and redirecting are editorial actions that may be done and undone by any user. Since they generally do not require admin action, the normal editing process applies, including WP:Be bold, WP:BOLD, revert, discuss cycle, and Talk page discussion. There were only a few comments at the previous discussion that supported closing this "loophole" by requiring AfDiscussion for mergers. Flatscan (talk) 04:45, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
Yes, if I would have brought that article to AfD, I would have been sent away in tar and feathers because AfD is not for merges and redirects. I like it that you don't dispute that the result of the redirect was correct, but that the method was incorrect, even though it is obvious (since it happened) that this redirecting is quite different from deletion, since it can be undone, and the previous version is there to see for everyone in the history. Fram (talk) 08:36, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
And if someone wonders why David Straub is here opposing my point of view, it is because I redirect an article of his to another article. Anyway, David, in what way is a chairman of a barely notable political party different from a character from a series or a member of a family? It is a "part of the whole", where the whole is notable, but the part isn't. A chairman of a party, a victim of a plane crash, a member of a band, ... are typical examples of things to merge or redirect. Fram (talk) 08:41, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
Why are we re-discussing this? All of this has been covered already... I know, I'll pull the discussion from the archive and post it here.
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 02:19, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
[redacted comment about since restored text]. –Whitehorse1
It would help if you'd at least skim over it, so that you could participate here with an informed opinion. You're bringing up points above which are either essentially irrelevent, or rehashing the same discussion over again. You don't like this idea, I get that and I appreciate it, but that doesnt' mean that you can just stonewall the whole thing. If you have suggestions which would make things more palatable to you, I'm all ears.
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 03:41, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
There's no need for that. Although the thread further up sidetracked as perfectly legitimate non-contentious ordinary merges along with suggestions of dispute between editors impacted discussion, I had read and thought before commenting. No harm in refreshing the memory with a reread from top to bottom though, so I'll continue doing that and add any further new thoughts below. Thanks. –Whitehorse1 23:48, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
I oppose this, per all opposers above. I think AfD is good enough the way it is. Kayau Don't be too CNN I'LL DO MY JOB uprising! uprising! 10:12, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
  • If nothing is changing then we don't need to do anything. Please get back to building the encyclopedia as this is not a bureaucracy. Colonel Warden (talk) 20:58, 14 February 2010 (UTC)

Don't over think thisEdit

Folks, y'all are over thinking this. There's nothing to really oppose here, since the proposal is to simply change the process to reflect how it is currently being used. These opposes seem to be opposing the entire AFD process, which is way beyond the scope of this discussion.
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 02:51, 14 February 2010 (UTC)

What would happen to WP:BEFORE in the context of this new proposal? The title "Articles for deletion" clearly indicates that pages should only be brought to AfD if deletion is desired; the title "Articles for discussion" seems to advertise AfD as a venue for general discussion about articles. -- Black Falcon (talk) 03:18, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
See the front of this page, and the earlier discussion about this above. The direct answer is "essentially nothing"... what do you think should happen?
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 03:36, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
I would have to oppose the renaming. It's a euphemism. It misleads new participants into believing that deletion isn't the major subject up for "discussion" and might lead them to believe its no big deal when in fact the article they have been working on for a week is actually on the chopping block. For me to support the renaming the only thing that should come out of a "discussion" is a recommendation that is then forwarded to the actual deletion trial. This proposal has things the other way around: Redirects for Discussion should be renamed Redirects for Deletion. Lambanog (talk) 03:45, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict) The version of the page when I posted is very different from the current version. If the only change is to rename AfD and WP:BEFORE still applies, then I have no strong opinion on the issue either way; I do, however, strongly oppose renaming AfD as part of an effort to consolidate merge or other processes with deletion, or to de-emphasize the point that articles should be brought to AfD only when deletion is desired. In my experience, discussions on talk pages are more likely to result in substantial improvement to articles than centralized discussions at AfD. Questions about the organization and reorganization of content (and that's essentially what merging is) do not need to be handled at a central venue. -- Black Falcon (talk) 03:47, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
I feel a bit like the man in the middle here, being attacked from all sides... The thing is, AFD already considers "Merge" as an acceptable response and outcome for AFD, so the proposal here isn't actually changing anything. That's what we discussed above at least (or, that's what I thought we were discussing). I feel the need to continue to reiterate what I said above: don't over-think this. This proposal started as a larger thing, but what was agreed to in the end was essentially nothing more then a simple rename.
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 04:10, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
Hmm. Would you please clarify something for me? I've read most of the "Consolidation" discussion, and I saw at least four different proposals/contexts that might involve a rename:
  1. Rename "Articles for deletion" to "Articles for discussion" to reflect the fact that "merge" is a valid option at AfD.
  2. Rename "Articles for deletion" to "Articles for discussion" and make AfD the appropriate venue to discuss disputed merge proposals (DGG's proposal of 06:47, 21 December 2009 (UTC)).
  3. Rename "Articles for deletion" to "Articles for discussion" and make AfD the appropriate venue to discuss any merge proposals.
  4. Rename "Articles for deletion" to "Articles for discussion" and make AfD the appropriate venue to discuss any issues related to articles, such as moving and merging.
There was also the initial proposal to incorporate {{prod}} and some of the speedy deletion criteria, but that seemed to lack consensus support. In which context does the current proposed implementation take place? I oppose the latter three proposals as Wikipedia:Requested moves handles pagemoves quite well, and I think that improving/nurturing/reviving Wikipedia:Proposed merges would be a better to handle merges than expanding the scope of AfD. As for the first one, I do not think that we would gain anything by renaming to "Articles for discussion". The fact that "merge" is a valid option at AfD will not be affected by renaming the process; what will be affected is the perceived scope of AfD. Thanks, -- Black Falcon (talk) 06:42, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
Yes, as I said above, the original post was more ambitious, and there was some discussion about going further. In the end, there was support for what you outlined in points #1 and #2, while #3 and #4 were touched on but rejected (not really explicitly, from what I remember; more like left by the wayside to get back to #1/#2). The first 2 seem pretty much the same to me. Regardless, DGG's proposal is what was ultimately RFC'ed, and what the votes/comments really applied to.
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 18:05, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for clarifying. I'm afraid I must still oppose, though, per my points above: I think that #2 can be handled better by pumping life into the Proposed merges process or requesting comment (RfC) through talk pages, and #1 can does not require renaming. Merging is something that can be handled through the normal editing process, including WP:3O, or through a Wikipedia:Requested moves-type process, and it would be inefficient to use AfD for it.
As I noted above, my experience has been that decentralized discussion on talk pages, perhaps advertised at a more central location such as a WikiProject talk page or RfC, is more likely to result in substantial improvement to an article (and with less "overhead", i.e., meta-discussion) than centralized discussion at AfD. The fact that AfD currently is titled "Articles for deletion" does not suggest that "merge" is not or should not be a valid outcome, but rather that an article should not be brought to a central discussion venue when the problem is something that can be fixed through normal editing processes. -- Black Falcon (talk) 20:06, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
OK, I guess we're going to re-legislate this after all.   I have a question for you now, based on what you said just above: Are you going to go running around AFD closing requests where the participants are seeking to merge? A second question: Are you going to "breath life into Proposed merges" yourself, and if so how? I'm not angry or anything, but considering that this is the third time around this topic... should I start another RfC?
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 23:41, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
The reason I made the proposal was the increasing difficulty in following multiple venues. At present, there is one central process for discussion of articles that gets attention, and it is AfD. The sort of merges that need central attention are the ones which in essence amount to the same major change in coverage of a subject as AfD does not the ones which are just style changes. I would encourage anyone discussing a merge to start off at the article talk page, with it moved to AfD only at request--and I would not even oppose keeping RM or some such place to list those which might be scanned to see which needed attention. I don't want to re-argue this--I argued enough already. It is one of the faults of policy decisions at Wikipedia that one or two people raising a stubborn object can prevent the implementation of consensus. Ohms, I see no reason why you should consider the basic discussion reopned because of this objection. Cf Liberum veto. DGG ( talk ) 01:09, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
Ohms, in response to your questions:
  1. No, definitely not; I did and do support "merge" being an option and possible outcome in a discussion whose point, initially, is to seek deletion of an article. However, if a nominator initiates an AfD in order to request a merge (i.e., he or she has no desire for the article to be deleted), then I would express the opinion that AfD should not be used to request merges.
  2. I don't know whether I alone could do it, but I will try over the coming days unless opposition is ignored and AfD is rescoped. As for the how, well... I think two steps are needed. (1) Clear the backlog of current requests for discussion. In light of the fact that there are currently only about 50 requests listed, this should not be too hard if a few editors become involved. (2) Advertise Wikipedia:Proposed merges as a location to request discussion or assistance regarding merges. I want to note that there is yet another option: using the existing process for requesting comment (RfC) through talk pages. -- Black Falcon (talk) 06:46, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
The community was asked about this, and they decided that it should be made within scope. The side supporting it had the consensus. You are out of order in personally trying to block it at this point--we have to settle something somehow. Policy changes. This one has changed. This is not appropriate behavior for an administrator. And yes, I would say the same if it were someone else's proposal than mine, or even if it were a proposal that I opposed.
Ohm's, the next item of business is changing the text in appropriate places. it does not have to be done all at once. The first step is changing the page title, the references to the title wherever they occur. The specific procedural matters can be discussed subsequently. DGG ( talk ) 23:28, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
I think you have seriously misinterpreted the purpose of my participation here. I am not "trying to block", either personally or in conjunction with any other editors, anything (by the way, it's not just "one or two people" who voiced opposition in this section, as you suggested in your comment above, but several); I am merely expressing my opinion on the matter in light of the fact that I missed the original discussion. Surely, the fact that a matter is discussed and perhaps even settled does not mean that there can no longer be any discussion, criticism, or reconsideration of it. It's one thing to want to move ahead in spit of continuing disagreement, but it's another to suggest that those who disagree should simply remain silent or be ignored.
As I indicated to Ohms above, I do not intend to speedily close merge discussions brought to AfD (unless otherwise appropriate), and I also do not intend to undo any move to "Articles for discussion". What I have been doing is suggesting alternate means of addressing the concerns that were raised that do not involve renaming AfD, or that could be used in conjunction with AfD (either in its "deletion" or "discussion" form). -- Black Falcon (talk) 00:18, 16 February 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for your explanation. Of course things can always be reconsidered, but it is usually not a good idea to try to undo them immediately after they have been accepted. It might be a good idea to let this develop and try to have it organized so it is used only when necessary--just as AfD should not be used for deletion when prod is sufficient. . As I said above, I agree with you that it need not be the routine way of handling merges, just as AfD is not for uncontroversial deletions. Sometimes, though, a fairer decision is reached by a broader process. We have too many venues to keep track of, and it has unfortunately been known to happen that people have thus done, often unwittingly, actions which would not in fact have gotten general consensus. DGG ( talk ) 00:33, 16 February 2010 (UTC)
It would be better to combine AfD with RfD and MfD and any other XfDs and call them Pages for Deletion and have them discussed solely for deletion rather than creating a forum that is euphemistically and misleadingly named. Lambanog (talk) 02:20, 16 February 2010 (UTC)
I don't disagree with the idea of having a central venue to discuss controversial or complicated merges; my opinion was/is that a process as formal (and sometimes downright hostile) as AfD is not suited to being that venue. I guess I can see how the timing of my involvement (a by-product of seeing a link to this page at {{cent}} or one of the village pumps) may have made it seem like I was trying to block the change; I can't support the proposed change, but I also will not attempt to undermine it if it is what the community wants.
Out of curiousity, would you (or anyone else supporting this change) have any objection to Wikipedia:Proposed merges being a central venue for informally requesting merge-related assistance? Part of the reason that I prefer the format of pages like WP:PM and WP:RM for dealing with editing issues is that I view them to be more editor-friendly than any of the XfDs... -- Black Falcon (talk) 03:38, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

─────────────────────────Coming into this new, I'm not sure why this is a controversial proposal. Proposed merges is pretty useless and should be put out of its misery. As well, there is a massive backlog of merge tags with discussions that never happened or never got closed, so that process kind of sucks too. I agree that the new name sounds kind of like a euphemism, and I don't think the rename is critical to the scope changing, so if there is opposition to the rename then just go forward with the scope change without the rename. It should be made clear that this process change doesn't forbid bold merges or talk-page discussed merges. Lets not oppose change simply because it's change. Some changes are good. Gigs (talk) 14:02, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

Summary?Edit

It would help to have a summary of what has already gained wide consensus.

Also, I think that getting rid of "deletion" in the name decreases clarity. Maurreen (talk) 14:28, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

Yes, i understand that with respect to articles, discussion can mean discussing a whole range of things not more than whether to delete or merge articles --but in fact at AfD at present a whole range of things are discussed, even when there are other places also--we discuss BLP issues, copyright . articles by banned editors, WP:NPOV, WP:RS, and all the rest, even when there are specific noticeboards. The name was patterned after Redirects for discussed and Templates for Discussion, , which were renamed similarly a number of years ago, and have not had any problems of scope. I can not immediately think of a better word, especially one that would begin with a letter D. DGG ( talk ) 19:03, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
Return to the project page "Articles for discussion/Proposal 1".