[WikiEN-l] Can sweet reason still work on en:wp? Occasionally.

Carcharoth carcharothwp at googlemail.com
Thu Oct 22 12:09:39 UTC 2009

On Thu, Oct 22, 2009 at 12:40 PM, Charles Matthews
<charles.r.matthews at ntlworld.com> wrote:
> Surreptitiousness wrote:
>> stevertigo wrote:
>>> So the question is, how do we aggregate and sort arguments such that
>>> we can apply a meta process for quickly discerning good, valid,
>>> arguments, from those that aren't? Other than "IAR" that is?
>> Didn't we used to reformat discussions? Maybe we need to re-integrate
>> that into our tool-box.
> Refactoring talk pages being one of those things that work in theory but
> not in practice, I can see why it became less popular (perhaps is
> extinct). These days some pages with many talk archives could probably
> do with their own FAQ.

Indeed. There is a bot that can help index talk page archives. I'll
give details below.

The best talk page archives ones are accessible both chronologically,
and by topic, and have a well-organised FAQ to pick out the main
points for people new to the article. This does, of course, presume
that lengthy talk page archives are needed for all articles (some need
very little talk page discussion at all). Some subject are genuinely
controversial (i.e. in the real-world as well as here) and need
discussion. Others are more cranks or obsessives arguing back and
forth endlessly. Or politically-active people soapboxing.  Wikipedia
deals with that very poorly.

The best articles, unsurprisingly, are where a good team of editors
and writers (and not too large a team either) work together to produce
a great article. It would be great if that sort of teamwork happened
on some of the messy articles, but the very existence of
highly-charged emotions puts off some of the people that could help
fix things. And some people are happy to just argue incessantly,
rather than move forward and end up with a better article.

Details are here:


More links:









Search for talk page FAQs:


Search for indexed archives:


Talk page archive indexing bot:


Examples of bot-generated indexes:



Example of manually maintained talk page archive index:


How successful these approaches are, does need some looking at.


More information about the WikiEN-l mailing list