A notice on external links to old revisions, thoughts.

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A notice on external links to old revisions, thoughts.

Gregory Maxwell
Right now it is possible for someone to criticize Wikipedia for
mistakes and vandalism in ancient versions... perhaps mistakes they
inserted themselves which were reverted later.  Although I think it is
important that our readers understand the nature of Wiki and that such
things can happen, the ability for external sites to deep link our old
revisions at will when combined with our relaxed presentation of old
content makes it quite easy to misrepresent the situation and creates
a greater risk that users will be directed to stale and incorrect
content which we've since corrected.

I'd like to know what people think of the following proposal.

When a non-logged in user visits an old Wikipedia revision via a link
from a third party website, we first display a notice that on enwiki
might say something like:

'''Please note:'''  You have requested an old version of the article
{{{PAGENAME}}} from {{{rev timestamp}}}. A more current version of the
article is [[{{cur}}|available here]]. You may also [[{{{diff
page}}|view the differences]] between the version you requested and
the current version, or [[{{{hist page}}}|view the entire history]] of
this article.    The old revision is available [[{{{old
revision}}}|here]].

We could decide to display this notice either to people who followed a
link from another site only, or those users plus ones who directly
typed in or followed a bookmark to the old revision.   Since logged in
users are far more likely to understand Wikipedia, we could probably
skip the notice for them.

Thoughts?
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Re: A notice on external links to old revisions, thoughts.

Creidieki M. Crouch
> '''Please note:'''  You have requested an old version of the article
> {{{PAGENAME}}} from {{{rev timestamp}}}. A more current version of the
> article is [[{{cur}}|available here]]. You may also [[{{{diff
> page}}|view the differences]] between the version you requested and
> the current version, or [[{{{hist page}}}|view the entire history]] of
> this article.    The old revision is available [[{{{old
> revision}}}|here]].

Could we just put a similar message in [[MediaWiki:Revisionasof]]?  I
don't understand quite how the MediaWiki-namespace messages are
included in the page rendering, but it would also need to be a much
larger font than it currently is.

-- Creidieki M. Crouch
User:Creidieki
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Re: A notice on external links to old revisions, thoughts.

Gregory Maxwell
On 3/22/06, M. Creidieki Crouch <[hidden email]> wrote:

> > '''Please note:'''  You have requested an old version of the article
> > {{{PAGENAME}}} from {{{rev timestamp}}}. A more current version of the
> > article is [[{{cur}}|available here]]. You may also [[{{{diff
> > page}}|view the differences]] between the version you requested and
> > the current version, or [[{{{hist page}}}|view the entire history]] of
> > this article.    The old revision is available [[{{{old
> > revision}}}|here]].
>
> Could we just put a similar message in [[MediaWiki:Revisionasof]]?  I
> don't understand quite how the MediaWiki-namespace messages are
> included in the page rendering, but it would also need to be a much
> larger font than it currently is.

I'd agree that we should have a more obious notice in the common case
as well, but the challenge would be that a a sufficently loud notice
on every such page would be an unacceptable annoyance to the huge
number of users who know what they are doing. At least, that was my
thought.
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Re: A notice on external links to old revisions, thoughts.

Michael R. Irwin
In reply to this post by Gregory Maxwell
Gregory Maxwell wrote:

>Right now it is possible for someone to criticize Wikipedia for
>mistakes and vandalism in ancient versions... perhaps mistakes they
>inserted themselves which were reverted later.  Although I think it is
>important that our readers understand the nature of Wiki and that such
>things can happen, the ability for external sites to deep link our old
>revisions at will when combined with our relaxed presentation of old
>content makes it quite easy to misrepresent the situation and creates
>a greater risk that users will be directed to stale and incorrect
>content which we've since corrected.
>
>I'd like to know what people think of the following proposal.
>
>When a non-logged in user visits an old Wikipedia revision via a link
>from a third party website, we first display a notice that on enwiki
>might say something like:
>
>'''Please note:'''  You have requested an old version of the article
>{{{PAGENAME}}} from {{{rev timestamp}}}. A more current version of the
>article is [[{{cur}}|available here]]. You may also [[{{{diff
>page}}|view the differences]] between the version you requested and
>the current version, or [[{{{hist page}}}|view the entire history]] of
>this article.    The old revision is available [[{{{old
>revision}}}|here]].
>
>We could decide to display this notice either to people who followed a
>link from another site only, or those users plus ones who directly
>typed in or followed a bookmark to the old revision.   Since logged in
>users are far more likely to understand Wikipedia, we could probably
>skip the notice for them.
>
>Thoughts?
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>foundation-l mailing list
>[hidden email]
>http://mail.wikipedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>
>
>  
>
This seems well worth experimenting with to me.  Perhaps all older pages
could have a message at the top  "This page is obsolete and kept for
historical archival and reference purposes.  The current articile is
available at   ..... link to front page.  Other revision levels are
available via the article history tab here ... link to the diff history
page.

I like your emphasis on avoiding confusing new users.  As a onetime
regular who now only tweaks occasionally while doing research,  I still
find the diff utilities or history page an easy place to get lost.

Sincerely,
Lazyquasar

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