[Foundation-l] depth

Marcus Buck me at marcusbuck.org
Mon Mar 23 16:08:41 UTC 2009

Mark Williamson hett schreven:
> I think we should find a way to exclude redirs from depth stats.
Redirects _are_ a sign of depth. Well, _meaningful_ redirects of course. 
But there's no automatic way to distinguish meaningful and less 
meaningful redirects.

And that's the main problem of the whole "depth" metrics: It wants to be 
a measure for collaborativeness. But its counting methods are so rough 
and simplicistic, that inefficiency, messiness and mindlessness are 
pushing the depth too. Creating a 100 KB article in one edit lowers the 
depth, while creating a 1 KB article in 30 edits most likely will 
increase the depth. Creating ten useless templates or creating ten 
discussion pages with ditsy comments on the articles is good for the 
depth while ten new elaborate articles is bad for the depth. An edit war 
is very good for the depth while adding 100 KB text to the 100 KB 
article of another user adds few to the depth.

Well, in the end it's not the fault of the metrics. It's the fault of 
the people interpreting it as a measure of quality. It's not a measure 
of quality.
The results can easily be skewed by individuals who have much power in a 
single project (Volapük, Ripuarian for example), it's always skewed for 
very small projects (Kanuri, Greenlandic), and it is often skewed due to 
the specific methods of a wiki (English Wikipedia's wikiproject ratings 
on almost every single discussion page for example put the depth higher).
Comparing depths for different projects is almost futile, if you don't 
know about the specifics of the project that influence the depth.

Marcus Buck

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