Currently our policy for closed discussions is to delete them after a while. The advantage is that it's very easy to do, but on the other hand it makes it much harder to retrieve old important discussions that for example justified some decisions in the past. In fact, I can remember (briefly) discussing this very policy a long time ago somewhere, but I'm not even attempting to look for it, as it would probably take me half an hour...
Wikipedia uses another policy: they archive old discussions in Archive subpages, so that they'll always appear e.g. in search results. I'd like to discuss (more than propose) here whether such policy would better suit our wiki as well.
We may even create an "Archive" namespace and use its talk pages as archives, so as to allow better filtering the searches.
Finally, I think that I could automate the process of moving a closed discussion to an Archive page with Wiki Monkey, if we found that the added manual work is the only disadvantage.
- The biggest problem of the archive-by-moving method is that it is necessary to update all links to the archived discussion. Therefore the archiving process would be practically limited to using a bot.
- Personally, I find the archive scheme used on Wikipedia rather disorganized - IMO the "Archive" namespace would be better than subpages of the talkpage. They also have some archiving templates to ease browsing of large archives (I found one with ~120 pages), not sure if we need this. But wikipedia:Template:Hidden_archive_top certainly looks interesting, maybe we can just archive-by-hiding and leave the discussion in the original place (possibly moving to the top)? This way we would not have to update the links...
- If we agree on some archiving method, shall we archive all discussions or only the relevant (missing definition) and delete the others?
- -- Lahwaacz (talk) 10:51, 12 February 2014 (UTC)
- Well, I wouldn't require updating the links to archived discussions: if, after following a link to a talk page, the section is not found, a user should be aware of the fact that the discussion may have been archived, so (s)he should look in the appropriate Archive page, just like now (s)he's forced to look in the history. In fact, we're not currently requiring updating links to deleted discussions either.
- Only archiving "relevant" discussions would be ideal, the problem is indeed defining "relevant" so well and briefly that it doesn't take 10 minutes to a user to understand whether to delete or archive a discussion (most likely ending up choosing the third option "give up").
- -- Kynikos (talk) 09:19, 13 February 2014 (UTC)
Closing of several discussions in one edit
When deleting exhausted discussions, however, some explanation words are required (e.g. "closed discussion," "fixed," etc.) and including also the title of the discussion could help retrieving it in the history in case it needs to be reopened.
to something like:
When deleting exhausted discussions, however, some explanation words are required (e.g. "closed discussion," "fixed," etc.), as well as only close one discussion per edit, together with the discussion title, to allow easy retrieval from the page history.
- There is only one problem: would you split this into 11 different edits, one per section? -- Lahwaacz (talk) 20:42, 3 August 2014 (UTC)
- Well, deleting 1 discussion at a time (2-nd level headings) is what I've been doing hopefully consistently for at least the last months, see for example my recent streak in Talk:Arch packaging standards: removing discussions by clicking on the section's edit link writes the section title in sort of a /* comment */ in the edit summary that as you can see from the example I've mentioned makes it very easy to see what was the topic of each closed discussion.
- I think that since we are removing closed discussions instead of archiving them, having the title appear in the edit summary should indeed be mandatory, so unless there are reasonable objections I'd approve Alad's proposal.
- -- Kynikos (talk) 09:56, 4 August 2014 (UTC)
- Removing closed discussions one by one is undoubtedly useful, but currently also tedious. I think that there should be an option to remove multiple closed discussions in one edit, unless we make everybody use some helper script(s) (e.g. Wiki Monkey when ready, and provided it will be expanded to also remove closed discussions). -- Lahwaacz (talk) 10:33, 4 August 2014 (UTC)
- It's probably not more tedious than always writing an edit summary and splitting big edits into multiple little ones. If we allow tediousness to justify "shortcut" edits than all these recommendations lose their meaning.
- That said, from my personal experience removing a series of closed discussions one by one can easily be done with a loop of simple keyboard shortcuts which I don't find tedious at all, although of course a helper script would be handy and shouldn't even be hard to write, given that Wiki Monkey's parser is already perfectly able to find the section structure of a page.
- -- Kynikos (talk) 15:55, 5 August 2014 (UTC)
- I'm for removing closed discussions one-by-one, I want the title of the removed discussion in the history tab - that's how I'm doing it. Also, I don't think the edit should be marked as minor.
- Removing closed discussions is not an urgent task, so you can leave it to me and do something less tedious :-) -- Karol (talk) 22:32, 6 August 2014 (UTC)