User:NetSysFire/ArchWiki Maintenance Stuff

From ArchWiki

Some notes about my workflow. And as always, it depends.


Note: Patrolling and Patrolling are different. ArchWiki maintainers can mark edits as patrolled, which is visible to other members in the maintenance team. You are still encouraged to check the recent changes, too.
Tip: Some of this has been merged to Help:Procedures#Patrolling, but this remains as a rather informal personal opinion on things which have not been merged with the mentioned page yet.

The most important task is something I look out for first. One of the first things I usually do after logging in is checking the recent changes. There are certain things I concentrate on:

  1. Edits without a proper edit summary
    1. It is one of the three fundamental rules.
    2. A recent change to the abuse filter disallows empty edit summaries (except in the User namespace), but this does not prevent users of using bad or nonsensical edit summaries.
    3. If this is a simple edit, e.g fixing a typo, there is a decent chance I will just move on and mark it as patrolled.
    4. Since the user knowingly (there will be a big red box warning you if you press "Save changes" without an edit summary, try it in the sandbox!) violated one of the three fundamental rules, I may even undo the edit if it is not straightforward.
  2. Typos/Grammar
    1. Very easy to verify. Usually one of the first things I tackle.
  3. Very large differences
    1. Depending on the circumstances, this tends to be legitimate.
    2. Users cleaning up talk pages or blanking obsolete translations will usually cause this.
    3. May be spam and is in every case worth to check.
  4. User pages
    1. User pages are basically the wild west. As long as it is the user the page "belongs" to and no content violates the Code of conduct, I will mark it as patrolled.
    2. Other users e.g fixing typos are also okay but editing the page of another user without permission is still discouraged. I will usually ignore those unless it is vandalism since there are no guidelines on how to deal with it.
  5. Talk pages
    1. Basically as above (user pages). As long as the content makes sense and is relevant (e.g talking about a game on the archiso page is not relevant), I will mark it as patrolled.
    2. If the content is unsigned, I will add Template:Unsigned.
  6. New accounts
    1. Important to check, since new users may not be familiar with all the guidelines.
    2. May also be spam, but fortunately it is rather uncommon.
  7. Translations
    1. Especially if new accounts translate things, put the translation into e.g DeepL to see if the content vaguely matches the english translation.
  8. Undos
    1. May require extra attention.
    2. Mistakes happen. If a user e.g accidentally overwrites the whole page but undos it immediately I will mark it as patrolled.
    3. Edit warring is strongly discouraged.

Communication with others

This is something that was initially scary but it got a lot better the more I do it. This is even more important as an ArchWiki maintainer. Communication usually happens on the user talk pages, but some may be in the IRC channel, too. And more minds on the matter does not hurt, so I usually ask others when I am unsure about something.

Encouraging users

If something impresses me about a users' contributions, I will mention it. Everyone likes to hear compliments. Other than that, I will try to motivate people to update the articles in the ArchWiki they are familiar with. This usually happens in one of the Arch IRC channels.

Edits without edit summaries

If I notice users which repeatedly ignore the big red box and continue to not use proper edit summaries, I will talk to them. We have Template:Editsum for this. But I usually add a few comments below the template. Some people get confused with the /* foobar */ in the edit summary and think this is a comment but it is a section link, this is definitely worth pointing out.

Contacting admins

Sometimes there are cases where I think I need the help of an ArchWiki administrator. There is the difference between things where I am certain and are semi-urgent and just asking for guidance. For semi-urgent things I will mention all the admins in the wiki IRC channel. Not all admins are in the IRC channel, so if it is just a suggestion or anything else that should be properly discussed, it is better to use ArchWiki talk:Maintenance Team.

  1. Obvious spam edits
    1. Semi-urgent. This will usually result in a block of the user doing these edits. This is especially bad if the account is new.
  2. Inappropriate edit summaries
    1. It depends. There was a case about a user complaining about things in the edit summaries, which was classified as trolling. This is not urgent. Accidentally putting private data into edit summaries may be urgent.
  3. Edit wars
    1. Should be mentioned depending on the scale and how civil it is.