Wikipedia talk:Refactoring talk pages

Active discussions
Wikipedia Help Project (Rated Project-class, Mid-importance)
This page is within the scope of the Wikipedia Help Project, a collaborative effort to improve Wikipedia's help documentation for readers and contributors. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks. To browse help related resources see the Help Menu or Help Directory. Or ask for help on your talk page and a volunteer will visit you there.
 Project  This page does not require a rating on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This page has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.

Best Practices for deleting irrelevant conversations and "archiving" completed or "closed" topicsEdit

As a very casual editor, I often get lost in formalities, but always do my best to research an action that I'm about to take for the first time. I've read this article from head to tail and still can't determine when it's acceptable to remove off topic discussions, and how to "archive" topics that are no longer relevant - essentially when they're almost 10 years old and bear no resemblance to the article in its current state, what can I do to help things? Sudopeople (talk) 20:13, 7 October 2014 (UTC)

I've read Help:Archiving_a_talk_page which answers my second question. The first I think, is still unanswered on this project page. "Removal of off-topic, uncivil, unclear, or otherwise distracting material" is mentioned at the top of the page, but the article doesn't discuss exactly when, why and how. Sudopeople (talk) 20:36, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
I think much of what you're talking about is covered in WP:VANDALISM and not refactoring. This guideline is mostly about clarity than it is about keeping malicious material off the website. Mkdwtalk 18:01, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
Not at all. Vandalism is deliberate (italicised at WP:VANDALISM). A shining example of what I'm talking about is the Talk:KTM#KTM_ownership page, specifically "KTM Ownership". The guy has written a rant about how awesome KTM is compared to other brands. I deleted it but it was reverted. What should I have done instead? Archive it even though it specifically falls under this project page's subject: "Removal of off-topic[...]" content? This page hints about what deserves removal, but not how or why. Sudopeople (talk) 18:09, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
It is not possible to specify exactly what should occur in situations like this. In general, edit warring is the primary concern and that means you should never repeat something more than once or possibly twice. In principle there are exceptions but they need experience. For Talk:KTM the situation is that an off-topic comment about the quality of the product from 2008 was removed and then restored—it's simply not worth worrying about that, forget it. It would be worth taking firmer action if someone were adding that comment now, but there is no evidence that the stuff on that talk page is attracting more fluff. Bear in mind that removal may be the "better" outcome if all other considerations were disregarded, but keeping is still the right thing to do if the matter is inconsequential and involves conflict—don't sweat on trivia. Johnuniq (talk) 01:11, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
I've already forgotten the article I used as an example. There is zero edit warring going on there. I was being bold and my edit was reverted. As far as I'm concerned I'll never touch that article again because of it. My question is not about how to win the perceived "battle" on Talk:KTM, it's about when I'm allowed to make talk pages better, and more productive. THIS project page tells me I can remove off-topic discussions. I simply want to know when, why, and how I can do so. You'd probably think most of my edits are trivial, but I don't think it's your place to discourage any edits I choose to contribute. From my point of view, if a user fixes a single character in the Greek Alphabet article, they've may have made Wikipedia one iota better (pun intended).
"It is not possible to specify exactly what should occur in situations like this." This notion is absurd. If it is true, you should add a template to this page saying, "Don't even bother reading this article. It's impossible to know what to do. Forget it."
This article needs clarification on when, why, and how to edit talk pages when discussions are off-topic or otherwise don't belong. If I don't have the "experience" you mention to make the right choice, then this article should say so. If this project page is more about "clarity" as @Mkdw: says, I'd like to see a link here to another page discussing the issue I see regularly: "crap in talk pages". Sudopeople (talk) 21:45, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
I'll add that Talk page guidelines also specifically mentions the subject briefly: "Keep discussions focused on how to improve the article. Comments that are plainly irrelevant are subject to archival or removal." Sudopeople (talk) 21:52, 9 October 2014 (UTC)

Setting up an archive bot to archive old talk-page sections is the best solution to an accumulation of old discussions. It happens automatically, and so does not lead to accusations. I only realised this after an admins explained it to me, after there had been a huge mess over the refactoring of a talk page in 2012. I realised afterwards that about half the problems could have been avoided that way.-- Toddy1 (talk) 17:36, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

Is fixing dead links a appropriate form of refactoring?Edit

Hello! In this change, I had added text to this page which listed fixing dead links in other peoples comments (see example). However, the change was based only on what was implied in a table on a mostly unrelated page. That is why I ask whether it is appropriate to change other people's talkpage comments so to fix dead links. Please vote yes or no below. TheAwesomeHwyh 00:43, 2 January 2020 (UTC)


I think it is perfectly appropriate. I would, however, make it an addition rather than a replacement link so that there is no chance of inadvertently changing some intent. MartinezMD (talk) 00:55, 2 January 2020 (UTC)

I think it is fine. If it is obvious that no intent change occurs, just replace it; otherwise, follow MarinexMD's suggestion. -- (talk) 03:13, 27 February 2020 (UTC)



Return to the project page "Refactoring talk pages".