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Existing and potential portal design features and support tools. Technical stuff.

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WikiProject Portals (Rated Redirect-class)
This page is within the scope of WikiProject Portals, a collaborative effort to improve portals on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
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See also: Guidelines • List of Portals





Discussions about WikiProject tasksEdit

Discussions about new portals or specific portalsEdit

Junk PortalsEdit

Portal:Syriac Christianity is a minor religion and should not have been created. Portal:Anabaptism is a minor religion and should not have been created. And there is the worst portal on Wikipedia, Portal:Evangelical Christianity, it is ugly and should have never been created. In fact I still don't understand why the keepers came out to save that piece of junk.Catfurball (talk) 18:27, 1 August 2019 (UTC)

Requests for Admin assistanceEdit

No longer required subpages on Portal:busesEdit

To ease addition and maintenance of the selected images on Portal:buses, I've changed the portal from selecting an image from subpages to using template:Transclude files as random slideshow. This means Portal:Buses/Selected picture and all of it's subpages are surplus to requirements - however, the captions have been copied into the new template, so are there attribution issues? Do the captions have to be rewritten, as there is no longer any edit history (as to move captions onto the template from subpages is essentially lots of cut and paste moves)?

~~ OxonAlex - talk 19:10, 31 August 2019 (UTC)

Also no longer required Portal:Buses/Intro - now transcluded , & Portal:Buses/Reviewed articles - no longer included. ~~ OxonAlex - talk 06:44, 1 September 2019 (UTC)


Bug collectionEdit

This section is only for tracking bugs and feature requests, in the MediaWiki software itself, which affect portals. For general technical help with portals or portal-related templates, create a new section on this talk page.

  Do not report new bugs or feature requests in this section – only list them here after a Phabricator task has been created.
  • T196722: Gallery slideshow controls take up more than one line on narrow displays
  • T196723: Gallery slideshow flickers when changing images
  • T194887: Mode slideshow of gallery tag is not working in phone screens
  • T199126: Scribunto/Lua should have a built-in method for retrieving category members

Discussions about possible cool new featuresEdit


Discussions about technical issuesEdit

This section is for technical issues with specific portals, templates, or modules.

Portal:Kingston upon Hull wrong captionEdit

The file on the lead excerpt is showing the wrong caption. It is selecting the caption from the |pushpin_map_caption= field rather than the |image_caption= field of {{Infobox settlement}} template. Keith D (talk) 01:24, 25 April 2019 (UTC)

Portal:Music errorsEdit

Today's Birthdays on August 26 is broken and tossing up a wall of red errors. --Phospheros (talk) 17:57, 26 August 2019 (UTC)

@Phospheros: The page is simply too complex to render correctly. Raised at Portal talk:Music#Parser error. Certes (talk) 18:19, 26 August 2019 (UTC)

Related portalsEdit

Proposing that {{Related portal}} and {{Related portals2}} be changed so that clicking on an image takes a user to the portal and not to the image itself. --Phospheros (talk) 21:14, 10 September 2019 (UTC)

That sounds sensible. The only objection I can see is that it makes it harder to get attribution information for the image, but I think approximately 0% of readers are looking for that rather than the portal. Certes (talk) 21:47, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
This has been tried before and reverted. Sadly, the attribution rules seem to prevent us from helping readers in this way. See Help:Visual_file_markup#Links. Certes (talk) 15:22, 12 September 2019 (UTC)
@Phospheros: ...on the other hand, certain portals get away with images which link to portals by essentially hard-coding the output that these templates might have produced had they been enhanced as you suggest. The matter may be worth taking up with the attribution specialists. Certes (talk) 01:25, 13 September 2019 (UTC)

Page options in excerptsEdit

It is now possible to vary excerpt options between pages, for example to take the first paragraph of one article but the second and third paragraphs of another. I have also documented the existing capability to use sections and piped links. Details: Template:Transclude lead excerpt/doc#Page options. These features apply to most templates using Module:Excerpt. Certes (talk) 11:44, 12 September 2019 (UTC)

Named images in excerptsEdit

It is now possible to display a named image, even if it does not appear in the article. Only a single image is supported, but it can vary between articles using page options, e.g. Article{{!}}files{{=}}Myimage.jpg. This feature has similar scope and documentation to page options. Certes (talk) 13:38, 12 September 2019 (UTC)



General discussion threadsEdit

Concerning portal guidelines and topic minimums (eom)Edit

Guideline discussions announcementEdit

Proposal to shut down or reform this WikiProjectEdit

The discussion has been closed and archived to Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Archive307

I know, me proposing shutting down a WikiProject I'm in? What am I thinking?

Well, I mainly joined to make sure things would go smoothly after that RfC to delete all portals - clearly it has not. As thus, I think a solution (among the others) would be to shut down the WikiProject responsible for many of the bad portal creations. Right now it appears all its doing is creating new portals, not maintaining or improving them - which is what a WikiProject is supposed to do.

However, a less extreme solution would be to reform the project to actually maintain and improve the portals it creates, and creates portals sparingly. I'm fairly certain a task force making sure portals meet standards would be beneficial to the issue, and also making it clear that not everything needs a portal.

I'm going for the latter option to reform - however, I'm going to leave the shutdown option up in the air in case people find good reason for it to be considered.


Addendum 13:48, 15 March 2019 (UTC) - Since I forgot to clarify (  Self-trout) here's two examples of reforms I could see being useful:

  • A quality scale for portals, like we use for articles - this could help with knowing which portals are good and which ones need improvement
  • Dividing the Project into task forces to make sure necessary tasks for the maintenance of portals are completed, as right now they clearly are not
  • Sub-reform for this would be to make a task force that deletes bad portals that don't meet quality standards and are not needed

Hopefully this can help clarify this proposal somewhat - if none of these can be done reasonably (which I doubt they can't) the shutdown option should be considered.

Kirbanzo (userpage - talk - contribs) 23:01, 14 March 2019 (UTC)


Survey on sub-proposal to shut down WikiProject PortalsEdit

SNOW No
There is a strong WP:SNOW consensus against shutting down WikiProject Portals. (involved close) — pythoncoder  (talk | contribs) 15:39, 20 March 2019 (UTC) (non-admin closure)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

  • Neutral as per above. Kirbanzo (userpage - talk - contribs) 23:01, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose firstly this is the wrong forum, secondly there is nothing in the nomination that explains why this is needed, or how it will result in an improvement to the encyclopaedia. Thryduulf (talk) 01:04, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Abyssal (talk) 01:35, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support: might as well. --K.e.coffman (talk) 02:23, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. There is consensus to keep the portal system but it has many faults, so a focus for improving it seems sensible. Certes (talk) 14:36, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose. Not necessary and not the best way to fix Wikipedia’s portals. — pythoncoder  (talk | contribs) 19:49, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose – Would amount to throwing the baby out with the bathwater. North America1000 01:19, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose For the same reasons. — AfroThundr (u · t · c) 19:48, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose For the same reasons. Bermicourt (talk) 22:37, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support Incompetent project that doesn't want to deal with the crud their members create. CoolSkittle (talk) 18:07, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose as ad hominem vindictiveness. The only rationale for deleting such a project would be a proper community-wide decision to eliminate all portals. This is not the venue for that; WP:VPPOL is. And this is not the venue for deletion of a wikiproject; WP:MFD is. WP:Process is important, most especially in deletion discussions and related matters, because damned near zero people are going to look for such discussions in an admins' "house organ" page like this. Hardly any non-admins watchlist this page or pay any attention at all to what is said here. It is not intended to be a venue for community-wide concerns in the first place, and even with belated addition to WP:CENT, discussing such matters here is a special kind of forum shopping, namely an attempt to appeal to a small cadre of specialist editors whose concerns about maintenance (and cop-like role of "going after" people for alleged behavioral flaws, often with little oversight, especially compared to WP:ANI process) will colour everything they do and say about the matter.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  20:58, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
Widely misleading arguments. This is a widely advertised and widely participated discussion. It came from a VPR discussion, linked from the very beginning. There are far more non-Admins than Admins involved here. Try to stick to facts. Legacypac (talk) 23:23, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support [non-admin comment :] opposed to portals, they harvest legitimate contributions yet the creators expect them to be automatically protected as legitimate contributions and outside of normal guidance on creation. There are cadres of users who think this is what wikipedia is about, or at least it is a way of making a big splash without knowing anything but how to tweak code (and then wikilawyer when challenged). cygnis insignis 06:10, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose Punishing a whole community for the actions of one person is not reasonable. WaggersTALK 16:49, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose per above. It's getting cold out... SemiHypercube 16:52, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose In the grand scheme of things I'd like to see portals deprecated, but doing so is not where the community is at right now. If there is consensus to keep portals, having a wikiproject to maintain them seems like a good idea. I also feel cold... Wugapodes [thɑk] [ˈkan.ˌʧɹɪbz] 06:47, 19 March 2019 (UTC)

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

Survey on sub-proposal to reform WikiProject PortalsEdit

  • Support as proposer and per above. Kirbanzo (userpage - talk - contribs) 23:01, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose as the proposal is in the wrong forum and contains no details of what reform is being suggested, let alone how these reforms would solve the issues identified. Thryduulf (talk) 01:05, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
  • This is related to the discussion as the WikiProject is headed by the user being discussed here. Kirbanzo (userpage - talk - contribs) 13:48, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
    • Wikprojects are a collection of editors, not just one person. There is no evidence presented that there is any admin action required regarding the WikiProject as a whole collectively (not that I can immediately think of what that action could look like if it were), and there isn't even consensus that admin action regarding the single editor is required. Thryduulf (talk) 13:57, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Fair point, but considering the discussion below it should still be considered. Kirbanzo (userpage - talk - contribs) 14:00, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. I’ve been doing some reform work of this type by creating a page to clean up some of the damage done to the older portals. WikiProject Portals has an assessment page but I’m not sure how much it gets used. — pythoncoder  (talk | contribs) 19:49, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
    • It took quite a lot of discussion to form a consensus for those assessment criteria. Any portals would need to be evaluated against them to ensure they meet at least minimal quality standards (not including the other criteria in the portal guidelines). It will take a while to go through all of the portals and rate them on the quality scale, and that is one of our backlog tasks. — AfroThundr (u · t · c) 19:48, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support in theory. It makes more sense than the above "I disagree with you so I will try to just erase you" bullshit. However, it's not at all clear that the wikiproject, as such, needs any "reform"; rather, some specific decisions and actions taken by its participants have turned out to be controversial, and the community will discuss that (hopefully in a more sensible venue like WP:VPPOL), and the wikiprojects should abide by the result of that process. We don't have any indication this would not happen, so there isn't actually a "reform" to perform, nor is there yet any consensus of what form that should take anyway. Some people here seem to be under the impression that WP is going to come out against portals; others that it'll be against automated portals; others that it'll be against portals on minor topics (and sub-sub-sub-topics) that people aren't likely to seek a portal for; others that nothing is actual broken; others that .... There isn't a single direction of "reform" being proposed.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  21:03, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose The way to reform a project is to get involved with it. We've already had multiple discussions about how the project should be structured and how it should operate on the project pages themselves, and further suggestions there are always welcome. But proposing "reform" without specifying what particular changes are being suggested isn't exactly helpful. WaggersTALK 16:53, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
Exactly right, Waggers, exactly right. You've hit the nail on the head. ~Swarm~ {talk} 18:22, 20 March 2019 (UTC)
But is you see little need for portals why get involved? Legacypac (talk) 23:18, 21 March 2019 (UTC)
Nominating hundreds of portals for deletion is getting involved. If you see little need for them then fine, live and let live, they're not doing you any harm. The community has decided to keep portals, so either you respect that consensus and ignore them, or you respect that consensus and get involved with resolving whatever problem you have with them. WaggersTALK 12:58, 3 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Qualified support. The current project is far from perfect but it's hard to give unqualified support without a statement of specific reforms. We don't want thousands more portals, but last year's RfC shows that it would be equally inappropriate to "reform" into WikiProject Nuke All Portals From Orbit. I removed my name from the project's roster when portal creation grew rapidly. Since then I have done some maintenance but I see little point in improving pages that other editors are working so hard to delete. I could rejoin a project that combined improved existing portals with the right blend of identifying poor, narrow portals for deletion and creating portals in small numbers where clear gaps exist. Certes (talk) 13:32, 29 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Qualified support per @Certes:. As a participant in the Portal project, I would encourage them to adopt a more rigorous process for creating new portals, including qualifying criteria, and also for the maintenance of portals by the relevant project members. I'm disappointed that, while this discussion is going on, at least one portal that I help with has been nominated for deletion (it's not one of the automated portals created by TTH which is subject of a deletion nom that I support). Bermicourt (talk) 11:45, 13 April 2019 (UTC)

Discussion on proposal to reform WikiProject PortalsEdit

  • Query @Kirbanzo: - do you have any early thoughts about what some good reforms would be to shift the primary focus of the project towards maintenance/improvement over creation? Nosebagbear (talk) 23:11, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Transcluded to Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Portals. {{3x|p}}ery (talk) 23:36, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
  • No, do not transclude important discussions from AN to the relevant talkpage. Hold the discussion on the relevant talk page. Transclude to here is there is good reason, which there is not. Holding hte discussion here means watchlisting it doesn't work, and it wont be archived in the right place. Shutting down a WikiProject is not in scope for WP:AN. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 02:20, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
  • The Portals Wikiproject members can't even come up with a proper new guideline for what topics get a portal even when faced with a village pump imposed moratorium. The discussion is all over the place with no focus. Heck they did not even follow their old guideline about picking subjects broud enough to gain reader and editor interest. The only thing they appear to agree on is MORE MORE MORE and using WP:VITAL as a to do list. Their newsletter said they are pushing to 10,000 portals (off a base of 1500 old line portals). Now the number of portals will shrink until and unless they get new guidelines passed by an RFC. Legacypac (talk) 09:57, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
  • That old guideline wasn't generally followed, ever. That's because portals (except those on the main page) get about 1 to 3 percent of the amount of traffic that their corresponding root articles get. In other words, "not a lot". That's because almost all their traffic comes via WP internal links. Almost nobody googles "Portal". So, for the vast majority of topics, large numbers of readers and editors will never be forthcoming, and never were. Out of the 1500 portals, about 100 had maintainers (maintained by around 60 editors), and maybe 20% of them regularly edited the portals they maintained.
The WikiProject, and the community, need feedback in the form of hard numbers, in order to get a sense of what will even get used. How hard would it be to make a chart listing all the portals in one column, and their page views for the past month in the second column, and then sort the chart by the second column? That might provide some insight.    — The Transhumanist   11:05, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Sigh. :TTH, you had this data already. You know that portal pageviews are miniscule. At the RFC on deleting the portal namespace, stats were posted on pageviews, and not even all the portals linked from the front page had decent viewing rates.
Yet despite knowing all that, you personally created thousands of new portals, despite having all the evidence in front of you that they are useless.
And when I presented the evidence to you again, and asked you to desist, you were furious. Instead of assessing the issues, you posted multi-screenfull unfocused ramblings replete with shouts of "bias", "personal attack" etc.
The problem is not any shortage of information. The problem is that as @Legacypac notes above, the discussions in the WikiProject have no focus, no regard for available evidence, and no respect for community consensus.
Legacypac and usually disagree, but in this case we see exactly the same problem: a WikiProject which has a long and sustained track record of being utterly incapable of acting responsibly wrt the page within its purview.
This is not solely TTH's doing. TTH bears by far the highest responsibility because TTH has been both the most prolific creator and the most angry objector to calls for restraint, but several other regulars at WikiProject Portals have been equally unfocused and equally bonkers. For example:
So the community simply cannot rely on this group to set and uphold resposnsible guidelines. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 11:53, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
@BrownHairedGirl: I make the proposal 5. And it was a proposal. I Support a reform in WikiProject Portals. My idea is the existence of approximately 1000(level 3) single page portals layout, directly linked in tree model with the main page. The role of the wikiproject should be to organize this tree and develop tools to transform all portals into single-page layout portals.Guilherme Burn (talk) 12:11, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
@Guilherme Burn, no technical diversions. My point is not about how the portals operate; it's about their scope. And 20 pages is insanely narrow. A 20-page portal is just an bloated navbox. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 12:36, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
@BrownHairedGirl: I'm trying to figure out how you've come to the conclusion that WPPORT completely ignores evidence and consensus. The project discussions I've participated in have been rational and reasonable, and far from unfocused. Also, please try not to conflate individual editors' behavior with the project as a whole. I've seen no evidence that the WikiProject has acted irresponsibly regarding the Portal system. If you're referring to the several thousand new portals created by TTH, you should keep in mind that WikiProjects don't have any actual authority to dictate who can and can't create something (even if we were opposed to creating new portals). That's what guidelines are for.
We've been working to develop updated criteria for the Portal guidelines since November (rebooted from even earlier discussions in April) - which you already know, since you've participated as well. We're still working on the guidelines so that we have better, more concrete criteria to judge new and existing portals against (and which would make MfD easier for those that fail). Once we've developed consensus on these, they can be applied to the namespace to fix the portals that can be fixed, and remove the ones that can't (new or old). (Side note: Anyone with input or ideas is welcome to participate at WT:PORTG.)
Actions in the Portal namespace itself (for most of us, it seems) has mostly been technical fixes and tweaks to our tools. Also, your not agreeing with particular proposals does not make those proposing them irresponsible or incompetent. Talk pages are a place to discuss new ideas so that we can find the benefits and drawbacks of each. If we constantly had to worry about being labeled as irresponsible or incompetent for suggesting something, we'd never have any new ideas or get anything done. I've made plenty of suggestions that didn't pan out later, as I'm sure you have, and everyone else here. That's how we learn what works and what doesn't and build a better encyclopedia. In the end, that's what we're all here for right? — AfroThundr (u · t · c) 19:48, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
@AfroThundr3007730: that's not at all how it looks from outside.
  1. Last year, the project began developing automated portals, whose advocates claimed need little or no curation. No attempt was made to hold an RFC to determine whether the community found these automated portals to be a worthwhile addition. (I think I see an emerging consensus that they are not useful, or maybe useful only in some curcumstances)
  2. Following the WP:ENDPORTALS RFC which decided not to actually delete the whole portal namespace, the project decided to massively expand the number of portals, despite the clear evidence at RFC that many editors wanted fewer portals. At no point did the project initiate an RFC to establish whether there was a community consensus for the project's enthusiasm to bizarrely interpret "don't TNT the lot" as "create thousands more".
  3. You are right that a WikiProject has no powers of restraint on an individual editor. However, the project does have an ability to watch what is done, and to act a venue to monitor inappropriate creations, and to initiate cleanup as needed. I see no sign at all that the project has done any of that ... and on the contrary, when outsiders have challenged TTH's sprees of portalspam, other project members have rallied to TTH's defence.
  4. Even now, as a cleanup is underway, I see next to no assistance from project members. V few even comment in the MFDs. For example, take the most extreme case so far: MFD Portal:University of Fort Hare, an utterly absurd creation for which there exists precisely zero relevant selected articles ... yet none of the project regulars is visible.
    In my view, a WikiProject which shows zero interest in removing inappropriate pages within its scope is dysfunctionally irresponsible.
  5. The project's efforts to develop guidelines have been exceptionally poor. The discussions have been rambling and unfocused, with a persistent failure to distinguish between factors such as technical ability to create, availability of editors to maintain and monitor, actual usage data, etc.
  6. Above all, none of the proposals has been put to an RFC to gauge community consensus, so the guideline discussion have effectively been the work of a small group of editors who are united by a common desire to massively increase the number of automated portals.
  7. The result of this failure has been a walled garden of thousands of micro-portals, sustained only by the enthusiasm of the portal project ... and the absolutely inevitable massive shitstorm at the village pump.
What this needs now is a structured RFC, which brings together some or all of the proposals made at the project, adds proposals from outside the project, and seeks a community consensus. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 20:18, 16 March 2019 (UTC)

Is automation dead or alive?Edit

In April many portals that were automated just two months before were reverted to their manual versions as a result of a discussion on this page. I am a relative newcomer to the portal debate, but I've noticed recently some portals (e.g. Portal:Vietnam) that have come up for deletion have been saved from the brink by single-page automation. Is this evidence that opinion is turning in favor of automation? Should automation be the default position? Mark Schierbecker (talk) 03:40, 26 August 2019 (UTC)

@Mark Schierbecker: I don't think so. I don't think I am the only editor who sees many remaining problems with the single-page implementation as it currently stands, of which the most serious is the likelihood of Lua timeout errors like were recently re-introduced to Portal:New York City. On the other hand, I do think there is strong consensus that individual subpages should be automated, but transcluding mainspace articles, so that they may be kept up-to-date. UnitedStatesian (talk) 16:56, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
  1. Automation of excerpt creation. This reduces maintenance, and ensures that the excerpt remains synchronised with the article. Broadly supported.
  2. Automation of topic selection. This was what was done in TTH's portalspamming exercise, and there was a clear consensus at the two mass deletion MFDs (one, and two), and subsequent small groups MFDs that automation of selection was a bad idea where it simply replicates existing navigation tools. (TTH's portalspam cosnisted of navbox clones).
As USAian notes, the downside of automated excerpt production is that it is a greedy user of processor power, leading to timeouts if too many pages are included. That led me a few days ago to revert[1] some enhancements which NA1K had made to Portal:New York City, because Lua timeouts had turned the page into a sea of redlnks. The current version didn't timeout in my latest test, but it loads unacceptably slowly.
The current vogue is for type 1, i.e. a list of pages for which excerpts are automatically transcludes. I regard this as an improvement in maintenance terms over the forked sub-pages model, but still a problematic approach for two reasons:
  • It produces excessively high load times, which deters readers
  • It is a form of continuation of the excerpt model, which is redundant to the review-on-mouseover which is now built into every Wikipedia page (for readers who are not logged in, which is the overwhelming majority of readers). Mark, if you haven't tried this, then view in a private/incognito window a navbox sch as Template:County Antrim constituencies, and mouseover any link.
That second issue is a function of the dogged conservatism of most portals fan, who appear to have had no fundamental rethink of the nature or purpose of portals in light of the new technical developments, let alone the abysmally low usage of portals and the decade-old widespread failures of maintenance and of WikiProject involvement. As TTH noted in his final "newsletter", these new technologies make the old model of portal basically redundant. A simple navbox now does the portal job better than these portals.
That's why I believe that if we do retain standalone portal pages, then they should be converted to the mega-navbox format deployed by @Bermicourt for many German portals e.g. Portal:Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Those portals have many advantages: they load quickly, they cover far more topics than the sub-page format, and they display on the face of the portals all the available links rather than requiring the reader to view one a time with no list of the set. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 02:01, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
  • @BrownHairedGirl: I've been using "Page previews," which is an option under the appearances tab in preferences. Preview loading speed leaves a bit to be desired. Mark Schierbecker (talk) 02:51, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
  • @Mark Schierbecker, right now the DDOS attacks seem to have slowed everything. But if your comment on speed is more general, then yes, it isn't superfast ... but it's still a lot faster than waiting ten of seconds for the portal page to load (with automated transclusions) or the absurd old purge-for-new-selection approach. And readers won't necessarily want to preview a link; the title will often be enough. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 03:00, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
  • I agree that it would be useful to have some tips on automation. I think Portal:Jamaica might be a good example of such a portal. (I'm not a fan of "did you know" sections, but this one seems to have been smartly recycled from previous DYK for the main page, so at least it has some chance of being maintained.) Nemo 10:14, 28 September 2019 (UTC)

Portal:Nanotechnology deletion reviewEdit

Portal:Nanotechnology was recently deleted based on the mistaken assertion that the portal had been abandoned since 2012 and had no maintainer, with no notification given to me, the maintainer, that a deletion discussion was occurring. This now at deletion review at Wikipedia:Deletion review/Log/2019 September 10. I invite everyone to participate in the review discussion. Antony–22 (talkcontribs) 21:10, 10 September 2019 (UTC)

WP:MFD says that it is generally considered civil to notify the good-faith creator and any main contributors but doesn't explicitly forbid disposing of portals quietly. I urge everyone who maintains a portal to ensure that its main page is on their watchlist, so that the mandatory MfD notice there will tip them off. Certes (talk) 21:36, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
I agree with that advice, but depending on how many pages someone has on their watchlist and how distracted they are at the exact time of nomination, that's something that could still be missed. A user talk message is much harder to overlook. For portals that have an explicit {{Portal maintenance status}} template on them, MfD nominators should be advised to notify any named maintainer(s). --RL0919 (talk) 21:48, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
We've tried that. Even an explicit request from a maintainer to be pinged if certain portals went to MfD met with a point blank refusal. (The portals were deleted a few weeks later, while their maintainer was offline dealing with a real-life emergency.) Certes (talk) 22:11, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
The implicit notion that many portals depend on a single individual is a strong endorsement of the view that many of these portals are just the playthings of one portal enthusiast, rather than having large numbers of readers and being the read work of multiple maintainers and a Wikiproject as required by POG.
If Certes and others want portals to continue to be the occasional plaything of a lone editor, they should move them to project space.
And if Certes or any other editor wants to keep en eye on which of the many abandoned portals are up for deletion, they need only watch Wikipedia:WikiProject Portals/Article alerts. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 00:04, 12 September 2019 (UTC)

Not only are portal maintainers not always notified, but the relevant projects and article talk pages aren't always notified. Or they're only notified after the MfD has been on for some time which minimises the window for comment. Finally you would have thought that portal MfD's would automatically be notified here at the Portals project, but they're not... Still at the rate things are going, in a few months time there will be no portals left, so no need for this page anyway.Bermicourt (talk) 09:57, 11 September 2019 (UTC)

Watchlisting should also catch most alternatives to deletion such as the Quidditch gambit. Certes (talk) 10:32, 11 September 2019 (UTC)
Re "you would have thought that portal MfD's would automatically be notified here at the Portals project" - see Wikipedia:WikiProject_Portals#Automated_alerts. DexDor (talk) 11:59, 11 September 2019 (UTC)
Click here to watchlist portal-related deleted activity. —Kusma (t·c) 14:37, 11 September 2019 (UTC)
So, after ~4000 portals (85% of them) have been deleted at MFD in 6 months, we still have a cluster of vocal member of this project apparently unaware of Wikipedia:WikiProject Portals/Article alerts, which provides exactly what Bermicourt and Certes wants. I can imagine better ways of persuading the wider community that portalspace is overseen by an effective WikiProject. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 00:10, 12 September 2019 (UTC)
Thank you for the reminder about Article alerts. I agree that it works well for editors interested in the entire portal namespace. Here, we are trying to help maintainers who concentrate on a few portals in their subject area. They need to highlight activity on those particular pages, which might get lost amongst hundreds of alerts about other portals. Certes (talk) 10:28, 12 September 2019 (UTC)
If you want alerts for a subset of portals (e.g. technology portals) you could possibly set up a task force for that subset of portals and alter the template tags on the relevant portals to refer to that task force. However, would it really be worth the effort? Note: portals at MFD are also (assuming the portal is tagged) in the article alerts for the relevant topic's wikiproject so editors interested in deletion of any pages within that topic should also be aware. DexDor (talk) 11:33, 12 September 2019 (UTC)

Relisted for deletionEdit

The deletion review was successful at having the deletion discussion reopened for Portal:Nanotechnology at Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Nanotechnology. Again, I invite everyone to participate. Antony–22 (talkcontribs) 03:00, 22 September 2019 (UTC)

Proposal to delete Portal spaceEdit

It has been proposed again that the entire Portal: namespace be deleted. Discussion is at WP:VPPR#Proposal to delete Portal space. Certes (talk) 00:13, 20 September 2019 (UTC)

agreed, thanks for posting this here. --Sm8900 (talk) 17:21, 20 September 2019 (UTC)

Need comments on proposal to delete portalsEdit

Please comment at Wikipedia:Village_pump_(proposals)#Proposal_to_delete_Portal_space. A proposal is being made there to delete all portals entirely. thanks. --Sm8900 (talk) 17:21, 20 September 2019 (UTC)

New template cache for speeding up slow page loadsEdit

I've made a template cache feature to help fix the slow page loads for portals per request from Armanaziz. It's used on heavy template calls, such as in the news sections and DYK retrival. See {{Template cache}} for documentation if you want help implementing it I'm happy to help. --Trialpears (talk) 18:52, 22 September 2019 (UTC)

Thanks Trialpears!
@Armanaziz: Portals with errors appear here. I think we can ignore .../Selected... which are blank pages. The others could have errors other than excessive complexity but I don't see any at the moment. We could use the new template on Portal:Biography, Portal:New York City, Portal:San Francisco Bay Area, and perhaps Portal:Music which has no current errors but was reported previously. Certes (talk) 20:40, 22 September 2019 (UTC)
Thanks @Trialpears:. I'd love to learn how to use this feature. Will try and get in touch with you on your talk page if I struggle. Arman (Talk) 06:29, 23 September 2019 (UTC)

Portal "guidelines"Edit

The VP RfC closed with a clear consensus that the "Portal guidelines" are not, in fact, official guidelines. WP:POG has now been tagged as an information page again. Certes (talk) 09:00, 26 September 2019 (UTC)

Interesting, then, that POG has been cited as the authority for deleting hundreds of portals. I've been saying all along that it's obsolete and needs a total review because portals have moved on. Bermicourt (talk) 11:42, 26 September 2019 (UTC)

POG contained a lot of old nonsense, mostly supporting the abominable forest-of-content-forked sub-pages model of magazine portal, complete with its disgraceful support for the use of "Did you know" sections as unscrutinised trivia farms.

However, its requirements that portals need broad scope, lots of readers, multiple maintainers and a supporting WikiProject have been supported by consensus at over 850 MFDs in the last six months, so clearly have broad community support. So deletion of the abandoned junk will continue.

However, the de-guidelining means that there is now clearly no community consensus for any of ways in which portals have been built. It's time for portal fans to seek a broad community consensus for whatever role they want portals to fulfil in the future. Magazine? Navigational aid? Showcase? Playground for editors who like making pretty pages? The latter function is the old one which portals have successfully filled so far.

If a consensus can be reached on the actual purpose of portals, then a discussion can start on how to serve that purpose in a way which readers might actually use, instead of shunning all but a tiny number of portals as has been the case for the last decade. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 19:18, 26 September 2019 (UTC)

If portal deletions show the community consensus on requirements for portals, it should be easy to write them down and to clarify what type of portals MFD participants think should exist, remembering the strong community consensus that portals should not be deleted just for being portals. As to consensus on portal roles, I am not convinced we need one. Portals have always played several roles, and I see no reason to change that. Attempts to unify all portals, e.g. by replacing everything by navbox-based automation have been strongly resisted. But if you would like to have a community consensus on how portals should be, I suggest you lead by example. Go and create or improve a portal to show us an example of a portal meeting your ideal guidelines. You could spare us the rhetoric of "disgraceful" and "abominable" and help {{sofixit}}, which is the normal wiki way of cleanup, not mass deletion. —Kusma (t·c) 21:41, 26 September 2019 (UTC)
There is a risk of circular reasoning here. Hundreds of MfDs closes have been influenced by a mistaken belief that POG was a guideline. It would probably be unproductive to take them to DRV, but it would also be wrong to cite closes based on a misunderstanding as precedent for deleting similar portals. Certes (talk) 21:57, 26 September 2019 (UTC)
Not so, @Certes. Hundreds of portals have been deleted because the editors participating in the MFD agreed that the criteria cied were appropriate grounds for deletion, and that they were not just POG, but common sense. The determination of some editors to preserve and even resurrect decade-old abandoned junk which has no reasonable prospect of success is a bizarre phenomenon. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 17:36, 1 October 2019 (UTC)
@Kusma: the way to fix a misconceived page is, and always has been, to delete it. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 17:40, 1 October 2019 (UTC)
See Portal talk:Law#Proposed portal merger.
Deleting all the worst portals from bottom up is training for deletion methods. Looking for ideas from the top down.
If only 1 in 1 million visitors to the Main page go to a main page portal, and only 1 in 1000 of them click a second portal, that’s a sure sign the current portal structure fails from top to bottom. What is the purpose of a portal, from a reader perspective? —SmokeyJoe (talk) 22:12, 26 September 2019 (UTC)
@SmokeyJoe: It serves as a portal to a particular subject area, by providing significant links, articles, information, etc, to give readers and editors a helpful general picture of a particular topical area. --Sm8900 (talk) 14:44, 27 September 2019 (UTC)
"From a reader perspective" refers to only one use of a portal and implies that portals are articles. PORTALS ARE NOT ARTICLES! They are, however, a useful navigation aid to a topic area, much better than categories at giving an overview of a topic. PORTALS SHOULD HAVE LOW VIEWS BECAUSE THEY ARE NAVIGATION AIDS AND PROJECT TOOLS. But to be useful they need to be linked from mainspace articles. There's the other problem: most portals have very low views because, according to WP:POG they should only be linked from the main article, the main category and templates. So PORTALS HAVE VERY LOW VIEWS BECAUSE WP:POG SAYS THEY SHOULD ONLY HAVE ONE LINK FROM MAINSPACE. So there's the final problem. WP:POG IS OUT OF DATE AND HENCE USELESS AS A GUIDELINE. In fact, it's no longer a guideline. So in a sense SmokeyJoe is right - the current portal structure fails from top to bottom, NOT because portals are a bad idea, but because the guidelines are out of date and the structure we have set up is flawed. Portals are a great tool - for navigation and for project editors - IF properly designed and well linked. But, like categories, they will never compete with articles - they were never intended to. Bermicourt (talk) 18:45, 27 September 2019 (UTC)
@Bermicourt:, well said. Sm8900 (talk) 19:13, 27 September 2019 (UTC)
  • I agree it would be useful to have, if not a guideline, at least a realistic help page to show how to create a portal which will have some chance of being maintainable. The help page could answer some questions like #‎Is automation dead or alive? and maybe list some examples like Portal:Mecklenburg-Vorpommern or other. As for a guideline, I don't think it's possible to get consensus for a guideline on the content of portals, but it might be possible to find consensus on a very simple guideline with a procedural requirement or two, for instance that for a portal to be created (or to exist?) there needs to be a strong consensus on the corresponding WikiProject. Nemo 10:21, 28 September 2019 (UTC)
I think that would be most useful and I've proposed something before based on the much more rigorous German Wikipedia process where portals cannot go live until approved. However, before that we need to rewrite the now useless WP:POG so that it states clearly the purpose of portals and follows up with how to achieve those purposes. Currently it is totally contradictory e.g. it starts out by saying they should "attract large numbers of interested readers" and later says there should be a link "from the root article". How on earth will they ever attract large numbers of readers if they only have ONE LINK from mainspace??? DUH! POG is also unclear. What are "large numbers"? Does "large numbers" apply to maintainers - the sentence is unclear? If so, why would you need large numbers of maintainers; surely one or two is enough? What does good portal maintenance look like? Once a portal is up and running it needs very little maintenance - its job is to give a good overview of topic articles so that readers can see the coverage and quickly navigate to their area of interest (NAVIGATION AID) and to show gaps in coverage and quality to enable editors to improve and extend the topic (PROJECT TOOL). POG is silent both the use of portals for topic navigation, coverage and improvement of topic articles. This has been exploited in the current campaign to wipe them out, so until POG is rewritten, sadly we're wasting our time devising a portal creation process. Any new portals created will just be MfD'd. Bermicourt (talk) 11:35, 28 September 2019 (UTC)
If we let WikiProjects (dis)approve portals, maybe we'd learn what kind of portals are considered viable nowadays. I admit the chances are slim (the discussion on each WikiProject could easily get sidetracked) but it seems even less likely to find consensus on a general guidelines. Or does someone offer to write a draft (keep it simple please)? Nemo 15:07, 28 September 2019 (UTC)
On a minor note, Wikipedia:Portal/Guidelines § Linking to portals doesn't say there should only be one link to any given portal. Regarding new portals, if the editors interested in a topic area were behind a portal, they should be able to make their case at a discussion for deletion. isaacl (talk) 15:39, 28 September 2019 (UTC)
In effect it does. It says "they should have the following links leading to them: 1. From the root article... 2. From the category of the same name... 3. From ...templates." That is the default setting. It then goes on to say "consider adding links to portals from the selected articles." So, yes, they may be given one or two more (depending on the portal), but it's only a suggestion. No wonder page views are so low. Bermicourt (talk) 08:17, 29 September 2019 (UTC)
It's a non-exclusive statement. isaacl (talk) 15:55, 29 September 2019 (UTC)
@Bermicourt: as @isaacl notes, POG says nothing about that being a maximum.
Many portals have thousands of incoming links. I recently replaced the backlinks to the deleted Portal:Anglicanism with Portal:Christianity, and Portal:Anglicanism had over 7,000 incoming links, including over 6,500 from articles.
Here are a few examples of the total links from articles+categories:
Note that even with thousands of links, portal pageviews remain low. Even with over 25,000 links Portal:Sports got an average of only 55 views per day in the year to date. That's abysmal, but unsurprising, because portals are redundant and readers don't use redundant pages. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 00:23, 3 October 2019 (UTC)
I wonder how many readers are even aware the portals exist at this point? The use of mobile platforms and how a lot of readers don't go to the end of the article (where portal links are) means few are likely to see them. I wonder if the French have better luck with their portals? WhisperToMe (talk) 21:45, 12 October 2019 (UTC)
Wording needs to be more precise "broad subject area" "many maintainers" "connected to a fictitious project" is what got us here in the first place with many bad portals and has also lead to the isolated deletion board thinking that some form of consensus exist for deletion despite what the actual Community says. Why portals exist is pretty clear to anyone not playing games....what is not clear what should be the criteria.--Moxy 🍁 03:51, 30 September 2019 (UTC)
I don't think "maintainers" is or should be a direct relevant factor. Are WP:Outlines required to have maintainers? I think a desire for maintainers implies a recognition of transient content, and I think the building of transient content is not desirable. I think a new portal structure might be better restarted from the current state of WP:Outlines than from the current state of portals. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 04:21, 30 September 2019 (UTC)
Agree about maintainers as outlined at Wikipedia:Wikipedia is a volunteer service and I guess after all the talks most agree that a Wikiproject should not Own anything as per WP:PROJGUIDE#OWN and should not be forced to take over control of portals as per WP:PROJSCOPE. So a clear content criteria is needed. ..."board subject" changed to something along the lines of "academic fields" (as in top level disciplines Outline of academic disciplines).--Moxy 🍁 04:49, 30 September 2019 (UTC)
I believe that WikiProjects should OWN their Portals, and that their portals should be located as a subpage of their WikiProject page. Eg Move Portal:Mathematics to WP:WikiProject Mathematics. So far, no one either agrees or disagrees with me on that. A problem could be that currently, WikiProject-associated Portals are highly overlapping with the WikiProject main page. Overlap and redundancy is a common criticism of portals.
Outline of academic disciplines has, in my opinion, far more potential as a viable top-down comprehensive browsing resource than any current-style portal. It's not very attractive, is that a problem? --SmokeyJoe (talk) 06:01, 30 September 2019 (UTC)
I think "stewardship" is a better description than ownership. The editors interested in a topic (whether or not they choose to explicitly identify themselves with a WikiProject) are the best positioned to decide the scope of pages they plan to maintain, which includes articles, navigation templates, and portals. By definition, anyone interested in maintaining any of these pages is automatically an interested editor. This doesn't mean they own the pages, but they have a vested interest in making them effective. isaacl (talk) 23:49, 30 September 2019 (UTC)
Agree "stewardship" is a better description than ownership. In practice, stewardship/ownership is demonstrated & accepted by having the talk page redirected. If the portal talk page redirects to the WikiProject talk page, then the portal is owned by consensus at the WikiProject talk page. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 01:49, 1 October 2019 (UTC)
One issue too is that WikiProjects themselves have been slowly fading as users have been less and less active. I remember circa 2006-2007 when Wikipedia was more buzzing with activity. Back then I could see WikiProjects being asked to maintain portals. Now that activity has gone down, I don't think that's feasible. WhisperToMe (talk) 21:45, 12 October 2019 (UTC)

List of aging portalsEdit

I have updated my query of English Wikipedia portals by age and number of edits, editors to include the average timestamp of the surviving revisions for all portals (or orphaned portal subpages...). If you download the table you can crunch the numbers and discover a few things which may or not be interesting.

Some portals (even excluding portals created in 2018 or 2017) have most revisions in the same year as their creation year, suggesting they were not really worked on after creation: Finger_Lakes, Conservatism, Freedom_of_speech, Staffordshire, Human–computer_interaction, Studio_Ghibli, Mesozoic, Cretaceous, Alps, Hesse, Tuvalu, Brandenburg, Peak_District, Eifel, Lighthouses, Wetlands, Franconia, Amiga, North_Palatine_Uplands, Rivers, Evangelical_Christianity, Jakarta.

Some portals were worked on slightly longer, having their average edit age one year higher than their creation: Nursing, Rock_and_Roll, Philosophy_of_science, Numismatics, Belgium, Dogs, Scouting, Gibraltar, Television_in_Australia, Tennessee, Discworld, Motorsport, Music_of_Australia, Hawaii, English_football, Organized_Labour, Drink, Crustaceans, Primates, Horses, Fungi, English_law, North_Rhine-Westphalia, Battleships, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Bolivia, New_England, Cartoon_Network, Infrastructure, Women's_sport, Caribbean_Community, Sailing, Anglo-Saxon_England, Cartoon, European_military_history, Bollywood, Geography_of_Kenya, Sasanian_Empire, Women's_association_football, Paleozoic, Globalization, Soap_operas_and_telenovelas, Snakes, Rhön, Football_in_Africa, Mughal_Empire, Saarland, Holy_Roman_Empire, Baden-Württemberg, Frogs, Amphibians, Liquor, Latter_Day_Saint_movement, Bremen, 1930s, 1940s, Turkmenistan, German_Empire.

Some portals have an "average age" of 2014 or earlier, having been created less than 5 years earlier than their average age, and have collected edits from less than 50 editors (consider that even the most abandoned portal typically has at least 10-20 editors touching it for deletion notices and similar things): Nursing, Rock_and_Roll, Philosophy_of_science, Numismatics, Belgium, Dogs, Scouting, Gibraltar, Television_in_Australia, Tennessee, Discworld, Motorsport, Music_of_Australia, Hawaii, English_football, Organized_Labour, Drink, Crustaceans, Primates, Horses, Fungi, English_law, North_Rhine-Westphalia, Battleships, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Bolivia, New_England, Cartoon_Network, Infrastructure, Women's_sport, Caribbean_Community, Sailing, Anglo-Saxon_England, Cartoon, European_military_history, Bollywood, Geography_of_Kenya, Sasanian_Empire, Women's_association_football, Paleozoic, Globalization, Soap_operas_and_telenovelas, Snakes, Rhön, Football_in_Africa, Mughal_Empire, Saarland, Holy_Roman_Empire, Baden-Württemberg, Frogs, Amphibians, Liquor, Latter_Day_Saint_movement, Bremen, 1930s, 1940s, Turkmenistan, German_Empire.

Some of those portals only contain content which ages well, like Portal:Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. However, several of the UK counties portals have news older than ten years, while some have since replaced the news section with a link to the BCC: should that be done on all of them? Nemo 09:03, 29 September 2019 (UTC)

Although it may be debated, there seems to be a general acceptance that the portals are meant to be extensions of the main page. Just as the main page acts a wikipedia's face to a general visitor, a portal should be wikipedia's face to a visitor specifically interested in a broad topic area, like a field of study, or a country or a geame or a religion etc. If we accept that as the purpose of of a portal, then it makes all the sense that the news section of the portal should filter out news of relevant topic from the news feed on the main page and recently there have been some excellent developments in that area which was not present even a year back. There is little point for portal maintainers to manually collate and update news items while tools are available to filter out news from main page. If at all, the portal maintainers should help ensure that the main page news feed does not miss out any important news on their subject area. Once the news section is automated, there is usually no need for daily manual maintenance of the portal, rather a periodic up keep can keep it up to date. -- Arman (Talk) 11:18, 29 September 2019 (UTC)
Automated news can improve a portal but it does need to be used carefully. For example, we need to ensure that a portal about bears doesn't feature a sports team called the Bears. (My last serious portal work was systematically fixing such loose searches, but most of that automation has been reverted or the portal simply deleted.) One point against automation is that it fails to meet the artificial requirement that portals be manually changed for change's sake. An editor adding a news item which has been missing shows up in the page history and staves off deletion; an update which happens promptly due to automation doesn't. I would like to see more ITNs (and DYKs) automated, but that may have to wait until the deletionists consider their work in this namespace complete. Certes (talk) 11:51, 29 September 2019 (UTC)

FYIEdit

Hello to the members of this project. I noticed that the replacement of the Christmas portal with the Christianity one has led to the latter being a part of articles like Silent Night, Bloody Night, Robert L. May and Steam Railroading Institute which seems inappropriate. I guess the dilemma is that not every article about Christmas has to do with religion. I know portals have different guidelines than categories and I'm guessing it would be a major project to deal with this so whatever the members of this project decide will be fine but I did want to let you know about it. MarnetteD|Talk 05:10, 1 October 2019 (UTC)

@MarnetteD: at Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Christmas, I proposed Portal:Christianity as the best fit. The only response agreed with that.
I agree that in some cases it was merely the least-worst fit, and in a few cases not a fit at all.
But when I set out to do the replacements, there were only 136 article-space links to replace. The overwhelming majority to me look worth keeping, but obviously editors should review any they consider problematic and WP:BOLDly remove those they consider inappropriate. The small size of the set means that it is not a big job. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 23:53, 2 October 2019 (UTC)
Thanks for the info BrownHairedGirl. Your thought process sure makes sense and I'm glad to know that checking on this isn't as big a project as I thought. I've removed a few and this thread will alert other editors to be on the look out for any articles that may need looking at. MarnetteD|Talk 00:27, 3 October 2019 (UTC)
Glad that helped, @MarnetteD. I try to do the AWB run for each deleted portal as a single batch, to facilitate review ... but this is the first time that has actually been needed. So I'm kinda pleased that my self-discipline has had a use. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 01:31, 3 October 2019 (UTC)
Sweet - synchronicity - serendipity BrownHairedGirl. One of these "S" words apply - or maybe all three :-) MarnetteD|Talk 01:35, 3 October 2019 (UTC)
In the 80s and 90s, if someone said "fuck" or "shit" on the TV it was hilarious. And we would cry out, sort of, if you weren't allowed to say these words on the TV at certain times, something must be wrong because it was hilarious and nobody got hurt. Now people can say "shit" all they want on the TV. People rarely want to and when they do, nobody even notices. We got what we wanted, but we can never have that fun time back because you'd have to take the freedom away and wait for so long, that everybody forgot anything ever happened anyway. We'd all be dead. And I am like, that movie is about Christmas, but what has Christmas got to do with that movie? But of course over here in English speaking Europe, Christmas meant movies like Star Wars and Mickey Mouse, Home Alone, Gremlins... I dunno where you get your movies from over in America though... And I suppose if it's different, there's only so many ways we can find out, like when we search up Christmas at Christmas trying to figure out what to do. And stuff. Apparently, in Japan, the tradition is to take your girlfriend to KFC at Christmas. Isn't that romantic? Wonder what they do for halloween. Probably watch Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer or something... Yes of course I'm watching it, what do you think I am stupid? I'm the one who says uh stupid! Nevertheless... ~ R.T.G 16:50, 14 October 2019 (UTC)

Merger discussion for Portal:SportsEdit

An article that you have been involved in editing—Portal:Sports—has been proposed for merging with another article. If you are interested, please participate in the merger discussion. Thank you. Guilherme Burn (talk) 12:14, 2 October 2019 (UTC)

A proposal for portal system overhaulEdit

ProposalEdit

The portals at Wikipedia are expected to serve as gateways for readers interested in specific subject areas for browsing the best Wikipedia has to offer in that area. In other words the portals are supposed to be extensions of the main page, but more focused in a specific topic area. Given the Wikipedia communities agree on the need of such gateways or extensions of main page the main page should not only link, but also prominently feature and promote a few portals which should be selected and organized in meaningful / systematic manner. Currently the main page does link a few portals, but there is room for improvement in the way they are organized.

I would like to propose a system of “Portal Tree” which would help decide which portals should be linked to main page and also serve the purpose of deciding which portals are needed and which are good to have.

The main page should link to portals which would offer to break-down Wikipedia into certain themes. Let’s call these portals linked from the main page as L0 Portals:

(of course the above list is an output of my initial brainstorming. Wikipedia community can discuss and decide what should be the ideal structure)

I would also recommend that each L0 Portal within a given theme should have some structural consistency.

Each L0 portal, should lead to sets of sub-portals - let's call them L1 Portals. L1 Portals will be a logical sub-division of an L0 portal. For example a Country Portal can be an L1 Portal to a Continent Portal.

L0 and L1 Portals should be designed in a way that they give a balanced representation of the topic covered. With that goal, they should be allowed to display contents (articles/lists) of up to B-Class and any media of relevance to the topic area. DYK and News items should ideally be sourced from main page. Until a L0/L1 Portal reaches a certain level of acceptance of quality, they may show a Notification message on top saying "This portal is currently undergoing update and may not give a balanced representation of the topic."

L1, and L0 portals will not be deleted on the ground of quality or page views.

In addition, if community wants, there can be additional "Featured Portals" (let's call LF) linked to L0 / L1 portals which would only focus on a narrow subject area where Wikipedia has highly developed content. LF Portals will only be used to feature FA / GA / FL rated contents.

Examples of LF Portals would be portals on Specific Cities, tournaments, specific non human species etc.

LF level portals can and should be deleted if they fail to maintain standard.

Please place your comments under in the comments section below. Arman (Talk) 06:15, 3 October 2019 (UTC)

CommentsEdit

  • Agree. I agree with the proposal above. I have added some comments, further down. --Sm8900 (talk) 15:03, 11 October 2019 (UTC)

I have a couple of comments: firstly, we're probably wasting our time because portals are being deleted so fast they will cease to exist in a few months' time. Secondly, the idea of portals as extensions of main page is the reason they are being deleted. They are so poorly linked (POG only requires one mainspace link) and have such low page views that the deletionists are using that as a major reason to eliminate them. Page views would go up with more links, but they will probably never be 'read' more than high-level categories and that is fine, but only if the community accepts them as navigation aids. My final point is that, if portals survive the current holocaust, it will only be because they are accepted as project tools used by editors to view at a glance the coverage of a topic and then expand and improve the topic area. With one or two exceptions, the only portals that have survived total annihilation so far are those that I have moved to project space. No-one seems to be objecting to that... yet. So, yes, the portal system does need an overhaul, but I think it's now too late. Their almost total destruction is imminent. Bermicourt (talk) 06:26, 3 October 2019 (UTC)

I am aware of the drive against portals and was hoping the above proposal would help give a fresh thought on saving the portals or helping them eveolve into a more structured browsing tool for wikipedia. But of course the above proposal assumes that we need some sort of extension of the main page for readers interested in specific topic areas. This assumption itself needs to be validated by community first. Arman (Talk) 07:01, 3 October 2019 (UTC)
  • I think that the notion that a portal should be like the main page for a specific subject area is the single biggest flaw in Portals. The main page is not for navigation but for showcasing. It is the glossy foyer. Portals are for navigating and that means function not gloss. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 07:19, 3 October 2019 (UTC)
Just to understand this comment a bit more - what is the problem of using Portals for showcasing, like main page? While we have "Outlines" and "Categories" for navigation, why not designate Portals for showcasing? -- Arman (Talk) 08:37, 3 October 2019 (UTC)
Showcasing may be fine, but showcasing is not navigating. Or, showcasing is a highly POV form of guided navigating. The two shouldn’t mix. Link, yes. Mix, no. Someone may want to see Mathematics Featured Articles, but that’s no way to get a sense of all mathematics. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 11:00, 3 October 2019 (UTC)
Hardly any portal claims to be a systematic navigation tool. That's what outlines are for. Portals always were showcasing tools. The POV concern is legitimate and like any other wikipedia content it should be managed with peer review. This is why in my proposal I mentioned that L1 and L0 portals should provide a balanced view of the topic area. Until that is achieved, the portals should display a suitable disclaimer. On the other hand LF portals should make it clear that the portal's goal is to showcase featured components, not to provide a representative coverage. Arman (Talk) 11:14, 3 October 2019 (UTC)
“Portals always were showcasing tools”. Portals have been a failure from the start. Clarity of purpose is a good idea. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 21:29, 3 October 2019 (UTC)
@Armanaziz: I agree. Please take a look Wikipedia:WikiProject Portals/Portals tree, Template:Portals tree, Wikipedia talk:Portal/Guidelines/Archive 9#Portal creation and deletion criteria proposal 5 and Talk:Main Page#Add Portal:Law to the list of portals displayed on the homepage.Guilherme Burn (talk) 11:32, 3 October 2019 (UTC)

Portals are redundant. Interested in mathematics? Go to mathematics. There's your L0 portal. Categories and navboxes are all we need. Less is more. — UnladenSwallow (talk) 17:42, 9 October 2019 (UTC)

Is the average Joe willing to read a lengthy article to be recommended the most important/best articles? The portal model sounds like it could have a user for a person not willing to wade through an article but interested in being recommended a few choice articles. It would be best to think about the average person. WhisperToMe (talk) 21:49, 12 October 2019 (UTC)

Smokey Joe makes a good point: "clarity of purpose is a good idea." It's clear from the various comments that we all have different POVs on the purpose of portals and that, naturally, leads to different POVs on their utility. What is also true is that this lack of consensus has been a major factor in the perception that 'portals are redundant' which is another way of saying "I personally don't have a use for them". My practical experience is that portals have real utility, if well constructed and linked, as navigation and project tools, but too many editors have seen them purely as showcases having to compete somehow with articles. Bermicourt (talk) 06:53, 10 October 2019 (UTC)

the perception that 'portals are redundant' which is another way of saying "I personally don't have a use for them" It's not about utility, it's about the consumption model. When people want to learn about something, they google it from the browser's address bar. Then they go to a news article, a YouTube video, the official website, or a Wikipedia article. If they choose to go to a Wikipedia article, they may occasionally dig deeper by following the links (including links in navboxes) until they satisfy their curiosity. No one ever thinks: "Oh, this topic I'm interested in is related to mathematics, so I'd better open the Mathematics portal and try to find it there." 99.9% of Wikipedia users don't even know portals exist.
Perhaps L0 portals have their place, but they have to be updated regularly (every day) and featured on the main page even more prominently than they are now. And they must cover only the most general topics, for example:
  • Politics, Governance & Law
  • Business & Economy
  • Culture & Arts
  • Sports
  • History
  • Technology & Engineering
  • Science
    • Mathematics & Computer Science
    • Physics & Chemistry
    • Life Sciences & Medicine
    • Biology
    • Geography & Urban Studies
    • Astronomy & Space Exploration
Also, they should be titled, e.g., Wikipedia:Science_Page (like Wikipedia:Main_Page), not Portal:Science. Only if these L0 portals become very successful (and that's a big if ) should we consider adding L1 portals. — UnladenSwallow (talk) 14:56, 11 October 2019 (UTC)
Re: "Perhaps L0 portals have their place, but they have to be updated regularly (every day)" I think we should make it so the top/most active Wikipedia users don't need to update it, as the portals would be updated by drive-by users - Make it so it's easy for others to do it. I only have so many hours in a day, I have a day job, and I'm not getting paid by the WMF - I'm more active than 99.9% of the public, and I feel that it's not reasonable to expect a core dedicator to "maintain a portal" when instead one should have the user base, the public, do it. But that will mean:
  • A. people need to know they exist
  • B. they need to be placed at the top of the article/in a prominent place so they know they exist (people on Reddit note that commenters don't read beyond the headline so portals need to be at the start of each article)
  • C. Editing needs to be super-super easy from a mobile phone, so that even a person relatively uneducated in technology can do it.
Otherwise I feel portals are being set up for failure as it'll burden people who can otherwise work on articles which don't get deleted even if they aren't maintained.
WhisperToMe (talk) 21:53, 12 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Strongly disagree. Sorry to the proposer, but I will be blunt: this proposal is silly. It has made as if the last year of discussions had never happened.
The problems with portals are simple:
  • The whole concept of portals is redundant. They were a 1990s technology for navigating the web, which needed high maintenance, and therefore didn't scale as the web grew. So when Google offered powerful search, and content management systems allowed website to offer massive cross-linking, portals faded away.
  • Wikipedia portals were started in 2005 when the web portals were all dead. Nobody has ever identified any problem that they were intended to solve, or any reader demand that they were intended to meet. They were, and always have been, driven by the desire of a small number of editors to create pages without having to go through the hard work of identifying and using sources, and building verifiable, referenced NPOV articles.
  • As a result, portals have adopted a design and structure which fails every task which they have been set:
    • They don't function as a mini-mainpage, because they don't get remotely near as much editorial attention and is needed to sustain that type of page. (The wikipedia Main Page is sustained by several large teams of hard-working editors. No portal has even a tiny fraction of that much editorial effort)
    • Portals don't assist navigation, because that job is done a million times better by categories (which are largely compete, and have a hierarchical structure) and navboxes (which a massively more usable, because they appear on the same page as the article).
    • Portals are near-useless as showcases, because the list of articles is not drawn up against any objective list of criteria, is almost never discussed, is usually created by editors with little or no demonstrable expertise in the topic area, and is almost never even displayed on the face of the portal. The list of topics is core of any portal, but it receives little attention.
      Additionally, the Rube Goldberg machine structure use for showcasing is a usability nightmare and a maintenance nightmare. For readers it doesn't even display a list of available topics, leaving the poor reader to to the completely counter-intuitive task of purging the page to see another random topic from an undisclosed list or unstated size; for editors it offers a hideously complex, unfamiliar framework.
So before defining a hierarchy, let alone proclaiming that some portals cannot be deleted even if they are unused crap ... start by building a consensus on what portals are actually for, and whether they can actually fulfil that task ... and then test them to see if readers actually find that they add value. The rest is just building cardboard castles on sand, as has been done for the last 15 years. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 16:18, 12 October 2019 (UTC)

SubsectionEdit

  • Agree. I appreciate and agree with the initial idea above by @Arman, about possibly designating different levels for portals based on their content.

if anyone wants to start a topic of this nature, then maybe as one good starting point, or maybe as one possible item to include, perhaps we might agree that at least there are some portals which are well-run and which prove the value of portals in general. this might be one possible starting point for establishing and illustrating some good practices for defining portals in general.

here is a HIGHLY incomplete list of some of these. can our group get some consensus that these are some of the portals that are considered valid and worthwhile? Is that one good starting point? By the way, the purpose of this list is just to agree on a few examples; this list is not intended to be complete in any way; i.e., this is not exhaustive, and I am not saying that all portals other than these should be deleted. Thanks!

Useful portals:

As an alternate approach, here is another format to present sets of portals systematically, i.e. portal bars, to highlight some portals that are of great importance. here is science portalbar, i.e. based on existing template:

 Science
  History of science     Systems science     Mathematics     Biology     Chemistry     Physics     Earth sciences     Technology   

some other possible portal bars, i.e. that I simply compiled on my own:

etc etc Sm8900 (talk) 19:51, 10 October 2019 (UTC)

I haven't checked all the portals above, but I do agree that there are some that have interesting content and are reasonably maintained, and therefore should not be considered targets for deletion. Regarding some of the "purpose of portals" comments above, I see portals primarily as showcases of content that is either high quality (FAs, FLs, FPs, maybe GAs) or with an identifiable "hook" to draw interest (DYKs, OTDs, ITNs). This is similar to what the Main Page (which has a portal-style layout) provides, but with a narrower scope so that readers interested in a specific area can see something focused rather than hoping their interest shows up on the Main Page once a month. Showcasing includes allowing users to navigate to the articles and images that are being showcased, but saying that navigation per se is the primary purpose of portals is out of step with what most of our portals do and have done since they were first used on Wikipedia.
With that understanding of purpose, it becomes easier to formulate criteria for what makes a good portal. To have a portal at all, a topic should have a substantial amount of promoted content (FA, etc.) to show, and it should be broad enough in scope generally that there are enough "hook" items. To be a good quality portal, a healthy set of these should be presented on the portal: "healthy" both in number (so return visitors can see something different being showcased) and in quality (for example, showing only "selected articles" that are currently at featured status). Portals that "feature" a handful of C-class articles and show the same three DYKs on every visit are failing. --RL0919 (talk) 21:36, 10 October 2019 (UTC)
Also, "In the news" section should be featured prominently and regularly updated (once a day). And giant boilerplate introductions like the one at Portal:History should go—we all know what history is, and if someone doesn't, he/she will go and read history. If these L0 portals become one of the best places on the Internet to read the latest news & high-quality articles about specific areas of knowledge, then I'll agree they have their place. That means they have to become "magazines" competing with various media outlets and blogs, with dedicated editors putting in a lot of work to make them interesting. — UnladenSwallow (talk) 15:18, 11 October 2019 (UTC)
To date, there hasn't been enough editor support for such frequent updates. We have to work with the reality of what editors are willing to sign up to do on a sustained basis. isaacl (talk) 20:00, 11 October 2019 (UTC)
Exactly. Which is the reason we should remove portals. — UnladenSwallow (talk) 22:37, 11 October 2019 (UTC)
Only if you expect portals to be magazines. Other interested editors may have less lofty goals. isaacl (talk) 17:27, 12 October 2019 (UTC)
For some topics, ITNs can be automated pretty easily. Others may be harder to automate, and some topics don't generate many ITNs. Similarly, some topics will have a lot of biographies to support a "featured biography" box, but others may not have enough featured bios. They important thing is to align to the showcasing concept, not that every specific type of item needs to be included on every portal. Context matters. --RL0919 (talk) 20:52, 12 October 2019 (UTC)
Unless the ITNs (when generated) are tagged with the topic/category, there will always be extraordinarily bad entries. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 00:47, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
Here's what I would do with your list of portals:
  • Split North America portal and merge into Canada portal, United States portal, and Mexico portal (not every continent makes sense as a portal).
  • Merge EU portal into Europe portal.
  • Rename Biochemistry portal to Life Science portal, covering genetics, molecular biology, cytology, immunology, neuroscience (but not zoology, botany, ethology, which should be covered in Biology portal instead).
  • Rename Computer programming portal to Software portal, expanding coverage to user interface design and software security & privacy.
  • Merge Battleships portal into Engineering portal.
  • Merge American Revolutionary War into United States portal.
  • Merge Opera portal into Music portal.
  • Merge city portals into their respective country portals.
  • Split History of science portal and merge into respective science portals.
  • Remove Systems science portal.
  • Rename South America portal to Latin America portal, expanding coverage to Central American countries and Mexico (not every continent makes sense as a portal).
— UnladenSwallow (talk) 16:11, 11 October 2019 (UTC)
I don't agree with pre-defining a specific set of portals without engaging with the editors interested in those areas to see if they want to create and maintain those portals. I believe those interested in doing the work should define the scope of the work they want to do. isaacl (talk) 20:06, 11 October 2019 (UTC)

Portal:Contents is really a portal?Edit

It has been proposed that Portal:Contents its subpages and Portal:Featured content be moved to Wikipedia space. See Portal talk:Contents#Requested move 9 October 2019.Guilherme Burn (talk) 17:20, 9 October 2019 (UTC)

Nomination of Wikipedia:US State Portal Metrics for deletionEdit

 

A discussion is taking place as to whether Wikipedia:US State Portal Metrics is suitable for inclusion in Wikipedia according to Wikipedia's policies and guidelines or whether it should be deleted.

The page will be discussed at Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:US State Portal Metrics until a consensus is reached, and anyone is welcome to contribute to the discussion. The nomination will explain the policies and guidelines which are of concern. The discussion focuses on high-quality evidence and our policies and guidelines.

Users may edit the page during the discussion, including to improve the page to address concerns raised in the discussion. However, do not remove the deletion notice from the top of the page. North America1000 00:02, 11 October 2019 (UTC)

Perhaps put portals at the top?Edit

Observing the slow decline of portals, I remembered a maxim on Reddit that few people read beyond the headline of a newspaper article before commenting. Despite numerous complaints from other Redditors and critiques of behavior, the trend keeps happening: people just read the headline and comment (without even reading other comments). There is an element of human nature that is sadly unchangeable. I think it goes to show that many humans are either very busy, or very lazy, or a combination of both.

The fact portals are placed at the bottom means that they cannot serve their supposed purpose, as their intended audience (in my view), the casual reader intending to see a short, easy to digest gateway into a topic won't see them; I would be very interested if the WMF is keeping track of how many people even scroll to the end of the article and what percentage do so.

I have read comments saying top-level articles like mathematics are better than portals, but many top-level articles are no longer short and easy to digest, and I don't see casual readers reading the whole thing to get the details of the subject, let alone go to the bottom of the page. I write many articles for scholars/people deeply interested in the subjects, but I think we as Wikipedians need to think with the casual reader, with an average level of education, in mind.

I strongly suspect that this human nature of not going to the bottom (for casual readers) is, in addition to the issues of displaying portals on mobile devices and Google now summarizing Wikipedia articles in its search engine, one factor on why portals with thousands of links are starved of readers. If portals are to survive, they should go to the top where readers first view the article, and if there are MoS restrictions that prevent that, either the restrictions go, or portals will be condemned to a slow decline for more years. WhisperToMe (talk) 11:44, 13 October 2019 (UTC)

If portals were to be given that much prominence, there would need to be a consensus that portals do indeed provide such a fine short, easy to digest gateway into a topic that they be highlighted at the top of the page. But given the generally abysmal state of design, content, construction and maintenance of wiki-portals, that case clearly fails.
Portals remain a solution in search of problem, which is why there are such poor pageviews for even the 8 portals linked from the top-right of the Wikipedia Main Page. That is one of the prime pieces of real estate on the whole of the internet: it's the key place on any internet page, and the main page gets an average of over 16 million views per day. Yet those 8 portals get between 1500 and 2300 daily views … so on average, only about one in 8,000 visitors to the main page follows a link to those portals. There's your measure of how little readers want portals, even when they are waved in the readers' face.
The enthusiasts for wiki-portals retain a faith that wiki-portals have some great inherent value, despite their demonstrable huge failings, and despite the web as a whole having largely abandoned portals for 20 years. They make lots of proposals to promote portals (mostly from a small set), but seem sadly undeterred by the evidence. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 15:11, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
…so on average, only about one in 8,000 visitors to the main page follows a link to those portals. Wow. Now I'm even more convinced that portals have to go. These statistics show that users aren't using portals not because they're badly maintained—they simply don't want to click on these thematic links at the top. The search box is all they need. I guess most people think that these thematic links are some sort of article catalogs and decide (correctly) that it would be easier and faster to just type in what they need. So there's no need even for "L0" portals. — UnladenSwallow (talk) 04:46, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
Some data we did about the above.--Moxy 🍁 05:14, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
Thanks, Moxy! I really appreciate this confirmation. Yes, it seems to be the case that relatively few people even go that far down. Re: UnladenSwallow's comment, I'm wondering what level of readership would prove that a certain portal "works"? I see the point that a reader would generally just type in what he/she/they want(s), but a person unfamiliar with a technical topic may not be aware what the topic contains and isn't willing to wade through a lengthy, detailed article (the link above explains the issue). How do we serve him/her/them? WhisperToMe (talk) 13:06, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
Am I the only that thinks that one in 8,000 is actually quite a high number? Given how many people use Wikipedia, and how many readers don't ever see even the main page because they just click through article links after googling a certain person/business/thing, I'd say that's a higher than expected number of portal users. To me, that stat suggests a decent number of WP readers actually think there is a value to the portal and click through. It would be a much worse ratio if not, I already expected the 8k to be bigger and am fiercely against deleting portals. I think we are all probablt interpreting the figures to support our arguments, but I can't help see myself that I thought the portals were less used and still saw them as valuable. Kingsif (talk) 14:19, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
I agree the numbers show usage. Organizations that deal with disabilities recommend portal navigation when using Wikipedia as popups, categories and nav templates are not seen by the majority of our readers (over 60%) because of mobile view invitations. If portals were linked in info boxes and visible to even mobile readers - readership would most likely increase.--Moxy 🍁 15:08, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
Having a portal link in the top right would probably look quite good too - as it does on the talk pages that have them. Kingsif (talk) 15:17, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
Oppose The reasoning is specious since it is based on WP:OR. Some to many readers read the whole article - others scroll to the bottom to get to the external links. The precedence could lead to lets move succession boxes - navboxes - external links - and even categories to the top so that they will be seen. IMO a change to Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Layout like this will need a well publicized RFC. MarnetteD|Talk 15:32, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
Original research is allowed on talk pages in regards to article planning and setup, although article content itself shouldn't be OR, and decisions based on published references (and debating the validity of concrete facts) should use published sources. Thanfully one can find references about general/overall internet behavior. WhisperToMe (talk) 00:17, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
I know it is allowed. I also know it is guess work with no proof that it is actually the case for readers of our articles. Policy changes based on it is not the ay to go. MarnetteD|Talk 00:25, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
I feel that the study presented above about overall Wikipedia article reading behavior is helpful as proof as it summarizes overall trends: I am aware some people strategically look at some articles for particular purposes, but the internet has grown to encompass much of humanity now, and it's more helpful to think of the average Joe, not a person well-versed in Wikipedia (or even a person well versed at research at an undergraduate level) who is using it for a strategic purpose. WhisperToMe (talk) 00:34, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
Portals are already place in info boxes all over so no real change in policy would be needed.--Moxy 🍁 15:36, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
A) I've never seen a portal in an infobox. B) Being in an infobox is not the same thing as being placed at the top of the article and C) If you want the whole s**tstorm about portals to resume just start placing them at the top of an article without the RFC. MarnetteD|Talk 18:28, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
I agree that I don't recall seeing portal links from infoboxes (although there's a bit of everything around enwiki, so it has probably been done somewhere). And I also agree that putting links at the top of individual articles is a bit of a slippery slope. However, I do wonder why there is a fixed list of portal links at the top of the Main Page, when most of the other content there is changed out periodically. There were a lot of bad portals, especially after the big expansion of semi-automated portals, but there are even more bad articles, and that's not stopped us from having a rotation of TFAs, etc. --RL0919 (talk) 19:47, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
Sorry wrong wording I mean in Navboxes in the lead normally seen in academic topics like Genetics - Evolution - History of Canada etc..these are not seen in mobile view.--Moxy 🍁 20:34, 14 October 2019 (UTC)

Every portal should fall under a single specific WikiProjectEdit

I propose that every portal should fall under a single, specific WikiProject. If there is not either a single WikiProject for the topic of the portal, or a single WikiProject under which the portal would fall as a subtopic, then the portal should not exist. There should be no intersectional portals combining topic areas. An example of such a portal would be the recently deleted portal for "Television in Australia" (see Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Television in Australia (2nd nomination)), or the current Portal:Football in Africa, Portal:Military history of Europe, Portal:Michigan highways, Portal:UK waterways, and Portal:Geography of Kenya. To the extent that these topics are important, they should already be covered in Portal:Association football, Portal:Kenya, Portal:United Kingdom, and the like. Similarly, to the extent that there is no Wikipedia:WikiProject Telephone, there should be no Portal:Telephones. bd2412 T 01:39, 17 October 2019 (UTC)

Oppose as per Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Guide#WikiProjects do not own articles..plus most projects are dead because portals are not seen or have been deleted - thus no-one knows about projects anymore because portals are the only content namespace that we could recruit in. Looks like a set up for deletion crew over a rule to help portals get better.--Moxy 🍁 01:49, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
Tying portals more closely to projects would definitely help them get better. bd2412 T 02:16, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
Oppose proposal as worded. I have found the most useful aspect of portals is in enabling project editors to have an 'at-a-glance' overview of a topic and to use it to extend and improve coverage and balance of a topic. Portals are not articles so 'ownership' is not a factor; they are not owned by projects any more than the WikiProject pages themselves. So I think it makes huge sense that portals are supported and maintained by a WikiProject, but not to limit this to one portal per project. Why not take this in 2 stages: get portals under projects first. Then look at the support for and against one portal per project. Bermicourt (talk) 12:40, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
@Bermicourt: apart from the mega-navbox-style portals imported by you from de.wp, most portals barely even try to give an overview. They are crude, thin, magazines with a small selection of random highlights, often surrounded by forests of trivia such as fake DYKs and stale "news". Meanwhile, the head articles do give an overview.
I do agree that it makes huge sense that portals are supported and maintained by a WikiProject. However, a crude one-portal-per-project map doesn't work neatly, because some projects have very broad topics, such as WP:WikiProject North America. What we need is each portal to be actively supported by at least one active WikiProject. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 20:23, 19 October 2019 (UTC)
Bear in mind, I am suggesting this as one step, not as a cure-all solution. bd2412 T 20:37, 19 October 2019 (UTC)
@BD2412: if you refine and simplify that one step to something simple like any portal must be actively supported by at least one active WikiProject, then I think you will have a good proposal to take to RFC. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 20:49, 19 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose the exact statement but support the principle. The best scope of a portal may be wider or narrower than one wikiproject. Perhaps nominating a lead wikiproject would be a better implementation, even if it just defaults to the first one listed on the portal talk page. Let's encourage wikiprojects to get more involved with portals but not make an inflexible rule. Certes (talk) 13:28, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose, completely arbitrary. Nothing wrong with topics like Portal:American Civil War, which is both USA-related and military history-related. Merging such portals into bigger ones risks losing their focus completely. Also, while WikiProject infrastructure is useful when creating and maintaining portals, it is not necessary. —Kusma (t·c) 13:58, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment - This just isn't feasible because WikiProjects indeed have died. About 15 years ago WikiProjects were booming. Now... they're not. WhisperToMe (talk) 16:30, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Support something like this in principle, tho the precise proposal needs some tweaking. I partly agree with WhisperToMe's observation. But the reality is that both portals and projects have mostly died. Even after abiut 7 months of deletions, and ~950 portals deleted, MFD is still looking at long-dead portals … and while checking out projects related to the portals under discussion in the last week or two, I have found that an alarming number of their related Wikiprojects are dead or barely alive.
I don't see any evidence to support Moxy's claim that portals have ever led editors to WikiProjects. Portals had low readership even when projects thrived, and talk page banners seem to me to be a much bigger gateway to WikiProjects (e.g. {{WikiProject Spain}} is on the talkpges of 40334 articles, but only 2686 article pages link to Portal:Spain. It seems to me that the death of WikiProjects is due to a bunch of other, bigger changes in the editor base and in editing practices.
However, portals need Wikiprojects to support them. Without that project engagement, portals either rot, or became the plaything of one lone editor.
The main remedy is to continue the work already done to reduce the number of portals, both by continuing to remove portals which lack active maintenance, and by setting a much higher threshold for the notion of "broad topic". That means for example, removing nearly all portals on cities and sub-national regions, and also adopting BD2412's idea of culling the intersection portals, but a lot more such culling is needed, e.g. of portals for many countries.
I think that BD2412 has chosen the wrong venue for this discussion, because the portals project continues to be dominated by the same small group of editors who have left portalspace to rot for a decade without even assessing the state of the existing portals. Many of them have repeatedly opposed the deletion first of TTH's portalspam, and then of long-neglected portals on narrow topics. Insofar as I can see any strategic vision from the poral enthusiasts, it seems to be a halfway house to TTH's full-automation: using automated excerpt generation to avoid rotting of content forks, but leaving content selection of generally unscrutinised portals in the hands of a small crew of portal fans, rather than as part of wider community processes with more eyes involved.
In Q2+Q3 2019, this page had an average of only 57 views/day, and a median of only 30 views/day, while WP:MFD averaged 215 views/day .. and that 215/day doesn't include the many views of the MFD subpages which are directly linked from MFD notices. That huge gap in viewing figures explains the huge chasm between between MFD outcomes and the opinions expressed on this project page. Basically, the wider community supports the culling which this project's groupthink opposes.
So any discussion here is highly unlikely to be in any way representative of a broad community consensus. It should be at a wider forum, such as the village pump. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 20:13, 19 October 2019 (UTC)

Duplicate portals for task forcesEdit

Is there a system for finding and fixing cases where a WikiProject banner has a portal for the main WikiProject, and the same portal associated with one of its taskforces? For example, this edit by BrownHairedGirl (talk · contribs) which resulted in {{WikiProject Pakistan|Islamabad=yes}} showing Portal:Pakistan twice. I fixed it, but how many other similar cases are there? --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 18:06, 19 October 2019 (UTC)

@Redrose64: that's probably the only one done like that by me. My usual practice in cleaning up after a portal deletion is simply to remove the portal link from a project banner template; I don't recall what prompted me to try something different there, but AFAICR it was the only one.
In the last few months, the vast majority of such portal link fixes to WPbanners have been done by me, so that's probably a one-off. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 18:56, 19 October 2019 (UTC)
Return to the project page "WikiProject Portals/All".