[WikiEN-l] Cruft

Gallagher Mark George m.g.gallagher at student.canberra.edu.au
Wed May 3 12:04:50 UTC 2006

G'day Brian,

> On Wed, May 03, 2006 at 01:27:09AM -0700, Pete Bartlett wrote:
> > >Er. [[WP:OWN]]?  Images are an exception, as nearly all images 
> are the 
> > >work of one or two people at most.  Articles are not.  Articles 
> can, 
> > >and often are, watched.  Wikipedians ought to pay attention to 
> their 
> > >watchlists if they wish to express opinions about their 
> contributions.> 
> > The vast majority of AfDed articles are very new and have just 
> one author.
> Indeed and it is likely that they are put off by having their gems
> described as "cruft". However, I think people are put off more by 
> otherthings:-

I would make a distinction between "gems" and "articles that should not be deleted".  Good articles are rarely put on AfD (an exception is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/TransLink_%28South_East_Queensland%29_services, which I started myself and wholly acknowledge received a *lot* of effort; but which is not an encyclopaedia article).  Articles that need work and could one day become real gems, however, are put on AfD all the time, and this is a pity.

> 1. General jargon of which cruft is just one.

Absolutely true.

> 2. Being put to AfD within hours or sometimes minutes of starting the
> article. I think this is most offensive. New editors are finding their
> way. They are not obsessed with WP. They have a life. They will take
> time to develop the article. If someone thinks the article is bad, 
> theymake a note of it and follow it for a week or so, talk to the 
> editor on
> his talk page and perhaps the article talk page. It is sheer bad 
> mannersand certainly biting the newbie to push something to Afd so 
> quickly. There
> is no hurry. WP is not going to be perfect tomorrow if you speedy 
> deletea few articles.

Indeed.  What's the rush?

> 3. Comments on Afd like, "looks non-verifiable to me", "seems
> non-notable" and other comments that show the nominator has not done
> enough homework before jumping to conclusions. I have seen quite a few
> AfDs withdrawn recently after the nom realises that the debate is
> showing they were quite wrong. Nominating something for deletion 
> has its
> responsabilities.

For many people, nominating an article is no different from "voting" to delete.  I've been sporadically trying, along with several others, over the past few months to lift the quality of AfD nominations (the AfD nomination I link above, I would consider a minimum standard).  An article nominated for deletion on the grounds of non-notability, for example, should include the reasons the nominator believes the article is non-notable, any steps he took to verify this (check history for number of editors, check "what links here", check Google, and so on), relevant policy if any, and so on.  What it should *not* include is any bolded recommendation ("'''Delete''' NN"), insults, or the word "merge".

> 4. Nominations which are basically "I do not understand this, so lets
> see whether people want to delete it". We should want to improve and
> keep stuff, noit delete it.


> I could go on. AfD depresses me for several reasons and the fact that
> most of the articles are so bad they deserve deletion is only one of
> them. It is the others that could be improved that leads to so much
> trouble.

Fortunately there are very few of these, but those that crop up could be handled much better.

> > >> It is amazing how often AfD debates
> > >> do not benefit from the opinion of the original creator.
> They may not have set their preferences so articles they edit
> automatically go on their watchlist. They probably do not yet 
> understandthe watchlist system. Welcome messages should advise 
> newbies on the
> watchlist.

Uhh, *no*.  Welcome messages are long enough as it is --- I often wonder how many newbies take the time to read the current crop of welcome messages, let alone an expanded version.



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