Another notability casualty

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Another notability casualty

Ken Arromdee
I stumbled into this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Kinuyo_Yamashita

My personal summary: Notability requirements shown to be utterly broken for
popular culture topics.



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Re: Another notability casualty

Carcharoth
On Sat, Feb 20, 2010 at 4:05 PM, Ken Arromdee <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I stumbled into this:
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Kinuyo_Yamashita
>
> My personal summary: Notability requirements shown to be utterly broken for
> popular culture topics.

Yeah. It's difficult. The discussion looks like a 'no consensus', but
throw in the socking accusations and the BLP background, and you can
understand the result, even if you disagree with it. I would look up
some sources, but I really hate those "pseudonym in another language
in an obscure and emerging genre (video music)" cases. You really
can't make much progress with those unless someone actually goes and
writes a book about it, or you know the other language (and I know no
Japanese at all).

Carcharoth

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Re: Another notability casualty

Ken Arromdee
On Sat, 20 Feb 2010, Carcharoth wrote:
> I would look up
> some sources, but I really hate those "pseudonym in another language
> in an obscure and emerging genre (video music)" cases. You really
> can't make much progress with those unless someone actually goes and
> writes a book about it, or you know the other language (and I know no
> Japanese at all).

I never understood, why does notability require a reliable source anyway?
The source isn't being used as a source of facts about the subject.  We
should require a *prominent* source, not a reliable one--something mentioned
on Rush Limbaugh and Conan O'Brien really ought to be considered notable.
Prominent blogs and fansites would then count towards establishing
notability, which would have eliminated this problem.

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Re: Another notability casualty

Charles Matthews
Ken Arromdee wrote:
>
> I never understood, why does notability require a reliable source anyway?
>  
Doesn't - urban myth put about by people with a kindergarten version of
logical positivism. But no reliable sources means nothing can actually
be said in an article that has any content. "X is famous for being
famous" - we get round to deleting articles like that.

Charles


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Re: Another notability casualty

Durova
Actually our notability guidelines foster bad music articles.

"Songs that have been ranked on national or significant music charts, that
have won significant awards or honors or that have been performed
independently by several notable artists, bands or groups are probably
notable."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Notability_%28music%29#Albums.2C_singles_and_songs

As a result we get thousands of articles which are basically nothing more
than laundry lists of chart placements and recordings, usually unreferenced
but occasionally with minimal referencing.  A few from 1955 (randomly chosen
year).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boom_Boom_Boomerang_%28song%29
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Croce_di_Oro
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domani
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dreamboat
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Fool_for_You
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_to_Get_%28song%29
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/How_Important_Can_It_Be%3F
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Guess_I%27m_Crazy
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Just_Found_Out_About_Love
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Love_You,_Samantha

Systematic cleanup is nearly impossible because my time tends to get eaten
up with the real basics when I do sweeps.  These articles are magnets for
copyright violations, for instance.
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=In_the_Wee_Small_Hours_of_the_Morning&diff=345538182&oldid=341758494

-Durova

On Sun, Feb 21, 2010 at 2:59 PM, Charles Matthews <
[hidden email]> wrote:

> Ken Arromdee wrote:
> >
> > I never understood, why does notability require a reliable source anyway?
> >
> Doesn't - urban myth put about by people with a kindergarten version of
> logical positivism. But no reliable sources means nothing can actually
> be said in an article that has any content. "X is famous for being
> famous" - we get round to deleting articles like that.
>
> Charles
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> WikiEN-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> To unsubscribe from this mailing list, visit:
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikien-l
>



--
http://durova.blogspot.com/
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Re: Another notability casualty

Gwern Branwen
In reply to this post by Carcharoth
On Sat, Feb 20, 2010 at 3:59 PM, Carcharoth <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Sat, Feb 20, 2010 at 4:05 PM, Ken Arromdee <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> I stumbled into this:
>>
>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Kinuyo_Yamashita
>>
>> My personal summary: Notability requirements shown to be utterly broken for
>> popular culture topics.
>
> Yeah. It's difficult. The discussion looks like a 'no consensus', but
> throw in the socking accusations and the BLP background, and you can
> understand the result, even if you disagree with it. I would look up
> some sources, but I really hate those "pseudonym in another language
> in an obscure and emerging genre (video music)" cases. You really
> can't make much progress with those unless someone actually goes and
> writes a book about it, or you know the other language (and I know no
> Japanese at all).
>
> Carcharoth

And it doesn't help that composers lend themselves to being indexed in
databases and general name-checking without substantive content.

For example, look at the hits for Kinuyo in my CSE:
http://www.google.com/cse?cx=009114923999563836576%3A1eorkzz2gp4&q=%22Kinuyo+Yamashita%22

Leaving aside the issue that I have no idea whether to whitelist
originalsoundversion.com as a RS or blacklist it as a database/blog
filling up my results, note that there are tons of references &
mentions, but few substantive discussions. (Ironically, one of the
more prominent hits is an osv.com post criticizing the deletion:
http://www.originalsoundversion.com/?p=7667 )

--
gwern

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Re: Another notability casualty

Ken Arromdee
In reply to this post by Charles Matthews
On Sun, 21 Feb 2010, Charles Matthews wrote:
>> I never understood, why does notability require a reliable source anyway?
> Doesn't - urban myth put about by people with a kindergarten version of
> logical positivism. But no reliable sources means nothing can actually
> be said in an article that has any content. "X is famous for being
> famous" - we get round to deleting articles like that.

No reliable sources *for notability* doesn't mean that nothing can be said in
the article.  The restrictions on reliable sources for notability are stricter
than the restrictions on reliable sources for article content.  Notability
requires that each individual source has significant coverage, and is limited
to secondary sources only.  Article content allows you to take information
from multiple sources each of which only has a small amount of coverage, and
it is not limited to secondary sources (in fact, under some circumstances
you can even use material written by the subject).

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Re: Another notability casualty

Carcharoth
On Mon, Feb 22, 2010 at 5:14 PM, Ken Arromdee <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Sun, 21 Feb 2010, Charles Matthews wrote:
>>> I never understood, why does notability require a reliable source anyway?
>> Doesn't - urban myth put about by people with a kindergarten version of
>> logical positivism. But no reliable sources means nothing can actually
>> be said in an article that has any content. "X is famous for being
>> famous" - we get round to deleting articles like that.
>
> No reliable sources *for notability* doesn't mean that nothing can be said in
> the article.  The restrictions on reliable sources for notability are stricter
> than the restrictions on reliable sources for article content.  Notability
> requires that each individual source has significant coverage, and is limited
> to secondary sources only.  Article content allows you to take information
> from multiple sources each of which only has a small amount of coverage, and
> it is not limited to secondary sources (in fact, under some circumstances
> you can even use material written by the subject).

This tends to indicate that you are better off putting a small
section, paragraph, or footnote, in another article, and having the
original title redirect to that article instead (or some list or
overview of the main topic). It may not be an ideal solution, but it
works until more sources are found, or are published, and then the
redirect can be turned back into an article.

That way, the information confirmed by reliable sources is kept, the
arguments over notability are avoided, and readers looking for
something at that title are sent to where they can find the
information (they do have to look a bit harder if the location of the
information isn't obvious).

This is otherwise known as merging.

The single silliest convention at AfD is the one that says you can't
merge an article that is being discussed for deletion. It is silly
because on any given day a skilled editor can merge half the articles
nominated at AfD, thus retaining the information that has been
reliably sourced, rather than losing it. But this is outweighed by
most people not considering the merge option and only opting for keep
or delete.

Admittedly, some articles aren't really suitable for merging.

Carcharoth

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Re: Another notability casualty

Charles Matthews
In reply to this post by Ken Arromdee
Ken Arromdee wrote:

> On Sun, 21 Feb 2010, Charles Matthews wrote:
>  
>>> I never understood, why does notability require a reliable source anyway?
>>>      
>> Doesn't - urban myth put about by people with a kindergarten version of
>> logical positivism. But no reliable sources means nothing can actually
>> be said in an article that has any content. "X is famous for being
>> famous" - we get round to deleting articles like that.
>>    
>
> No reliable sources *for notability* doesn't mean that nothing can be said in
> the article.  The restrictions on reliable sources for notability are stricter
> than the restrictions on reliable sources for article content.  Notability
> requires that each individual source has significant coverage, and is limited
> to secondary sources only.  Article content allows you to take information
> from multiple sources each of which only has a small amount of coverage, and
> it is not limited to secondary sources (in fact, under some circumstances
> you can even use material written by the subject).
>
>  
You are paraphrasing from [[Wikipedia:Notability]]. However, as is
common enough in this (endless, unresolved) discussions, you are not
doing so accurately enough. Firstly, [[Wikipedia:Notability]] is only a
guideline, not an official policy for anything. Secondly, you are
paraphrasing from the detailed explanation of the first section, but
missing the essential (really) point. Which is that "If a topic has
received significant coverage in reliable sources  that are independent
of the subject, it is presumed to satisfy the inclusion criteria for a
stand-alone article" is a sufficient condition, not a necessary one. The
nutshell says "A topic that is suitable for inclusion and has received
significant coverage in reliable secondary sources that are independent
of the subject is presumed  to satisfy the inclusion criteria for a
stand-alone article".  In other words certain topics pass. This
criterion isn't saying for sure what is not notable.

Admittedly the rest of the article is badly drafted enough so that the
confusion is somewhat forgiveable.

Anyway, recall what notability is for. We use it as a rather crude tool
to prise people away from their initial view of what topics should be
included, which is typically subjective. And then when they have taken
the point that there should be something "objective", we move to saying
notability depends on available information. So really notability only
functions as a stepping stone across the river: once an editor is on the
side of developing content by referencing and thinking in those terms,
we can talk to them as colleagues. (Well, doesn't always go that way.)
But my point about "logical positivism" was based on that conception, to
the extent that people who really believe that an abstract "protocol"
could be used to replace dickering on about quite which RS might
establish N are doomed to dickering, but at the level of abstract
guidelines rather than at AfD. Sufficient conditions for inclusion are
cleaner, but (for example) tend to reinforce systemic bias problems. To
the extent that you phrased your comment in terms of necessity, you have
an abstract point.

Charles


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Re: Another notability casualty

Ken Arromdee
On Mon, 22 Feb 2010, Charles Matthews wrote:
> You are paraphrasing from [[Wikipedia:Notability]]. However, as is
> common enough in this (endless, unresolved) discussions, you are not
> doing so accurately enough. Firstly, [[Wikipedia:Notability]] is only a
> guideline, not an official policy for anything.

In practice, guidelines end up having the same effect as policies: anyone
who can quote them in a dispute that is anywhere near close always wins.
Policies don't appreciably differ from guidelines in this respect.

> Secondly, you are
> paraphrasing from the detailed explanation of the first section, but
> missing the essential (really) point. Which is that "If a topic has
> received significant coverage in reliable sources  that are independent
> of the subject, it is presumed to satisfy the inclusion criteria for a
> stand-alone article" is a sufficient condition, not a necessary one.

In the very example I'm bringing up, the notability guidelines *were*
interpreted as a necessary condition.  Since the article failed to satisfy
them, it was deleted for lack of notability.

And I'd wager that notability is pretty much always used this way.

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Re: Another notability casualty

David Goodman
David Goodman, Ph.D, M.L.S.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:DGG


On Mon, Feb 22, 2010 at 6:53 PM, Ken Arromdee <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Mon, 22 Feb 2010, Charles Matthews wrote:
> > You are paraphrasing from [[Wikipedia:Notability]]. However, as is
> > common enough in this (endless, unresolved) discussions, you are not
> > doing so accurately enough. Firstly, [[Wikipedia:Notability]] is only a
> > guideline, not an official policy for anything.
>
> In practice, guidelines end up having the same effect as policies: anyone
> who can quote them in a dispute that is anywhere near close always wins.
> Policies don't appreciably differ from guidelines in this respect.
>
> > Secondly, you are
> > paraphrasing from the detailed explanation of the first section, but
> > missing the essential (really) point. Which is that "If a topic has
> > received significant coverage in reliable sources  that are independent
> > of the subject, it is presumed to satisfy the inclusion criteria for a
> > stand-alone article" is a sufficient condition, not a necessary one.
>
> In the very example I'm bringing up, the notability guidelines *were*
> interpreted as a necessary condition.  Since the article failed to satisfy
> them, it was deleted for lack of notability.
>
> And I'd wager that notability is pretty much always used this way.
>
> _______________________________________________
> WikiEN-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> To unsubscribe from this mailing list, visit:
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikien-l
>

If you look at enough AfDs, you can find every possible interpretation and
misinterpretation. A great many articles have been kept with less than full
formal sourcing by the GNG guideline, and a great many have been deleted
even though they had it. Such deletion is usually done under the provisions
of WP:NOT, which rules out a great many types of articles.  Although WP:NOT
is policy, there are very few agreed guideline for interpreting any part of
it, so the actual decision sometimes seem to come out only a little better
than random.  Other decisions are made on the technicalities of what should
count as a reliable source for the purpose--and again, there is not very
great consistency. The present rules at Wikipedia are so many and
contradictory that it is possible to construct an argument with them to
 justify  almost any decision--even without using IAR.
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Re: Another notability casualty

Charles Matthews
David Goodman wrote:

> David Goodman, Ph.D, M.L.S.
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:DGG
>
>
> On Mon, Feb 22, 2010 at 6:53 PM, Ken Arromdee <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>  
>> On Mon, 22 Feb 2010, Charles Matthews wrote:
>>    
>>> You are paraphrasing from [[Wikipedia:Notability]]. However, as is
>>> common enough in this (endless, unresolved) discussions, you are not
>>> doing so accurately enough. Firstly, [[Wikipedia:Notability]] is only a
>>> guideline, not an official policy for anything.
>>>      
>> In practice, guidelines end up having the same effect as policies: anyone
>> who can quote them in a dispute that is anywhere near close always wins.
>> Policies don't appreciably differ from guidelines in this respect.
>>
>>    
>>> Secondly, you are
>>> paraphrasing from the detailed explanation of the first section, but
>>> missing the essential (really) point. Which is that "If a topic has
>>> received significant coverage in reliable sources  that are independent
>>> of the subject, it is presumed to satisfy the inclusion criteria for a
>>> stand-alone article" is a sufficient condition, not a necessary one.
>>>      
>> In the very example I'm bringing up, the notability guidelines *were*
>> interpreted as a necessary condition.  Since the article failed to satisfy
>> them, it was deleted for lack of notability.
>>
>> And I'd wager that notability is pretty much always used this way.
>>
>>    
>
> If you look at enough AfDs, you can find every possible interpretation and
> misinterpretation. A great many articles have been kept with less than full
> formal sourcing by the GNG guideline, and a great many have been deleted
> even though they had it. Such deletion is usually done under the provisions
> of WP:NOT, which rules out a great many types of articles.  Although WP:NOT
> is policy, there are very few agreed guideline for interpreting any part of
> it, so the actual decision sometimes seem to come out only a little better
> than random.  Other decisions are made on the technicalities of what should
> count as a reliable source for the purpose--and again, there is not very
> great consistency. The present rules at Wikipedia are so many and
> contradictory that it is possible to construct an argument with them to
>  justify  almost any decision--even without using IAR.
>  
Many of the inconsistencies exist only in the eye of the species known
as the Lesser Horned Wikilawyer - they illustrate the proved that "the
Devil can cite Scripture". The phenomenon under discussion belongs
really to the Illogical Positivist: the "notability guidelines" are a
vast case analysis, and the General Notability Guideline is the default
case, meant to catch the situations where no other guideline applies. As
we have been saying, it is phrased as a sufficient condition: if it is
not also a necessary condition, what happens? Well, the case analysis
might not be complete: we might (gasp) have to use our own brains.

Must it be complete? Only if you believe there is a hypostatised concept
"notability" that really must be applicable in all cases. I think what
is being said above is that there are many of those Illogical
Positivists around, and they argue somewhat in the way I'm saying. Now
that wouldn't surprise me at all, as a statement. People often enough do
use any argument from quasi-policy in what is a rhetorical rather than a
logical way.

Charles


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Re: Another notability casualty

David Goodman
The existing situation is of great assistance to another species: the
wiki-barrister,  expert is using whatever legal processes are available to
achieve equity. .  If such a person  intuitively think an article should be
kept, they will find arguments to keep it, and vice-versa. For essentially
every article at AfD contested in good faith, they  could find plausible
arguments based on policy for either keeping or deleting. For  the
unscrupulous  subspecies, they could find arguments of some sort for a good
deal that is not really reasonably contestable.

In truth, the only general concept of notability   is  what articles are
suitably important for the encyclopedia that we want to have. Collectively,
we can decide on whatever sort of encyclopedia we want, and can consequently
have whatever concept of notability we want. There is no actual pre-existing
meaning of the term, and WP:N goes to some lengths to distinguish it from
any word used in an ordinary way. People argue as if Wikipedia should
conform to some standard of notability, but we can have whatever rules we
please. We can use a concept like the GNG to whatever extent and in whatever
way we decide to use it. For example, some people have argued we should in
some fields only count scholarly articles, and no general news sources at
all; some people have argued the exact reverse.   If we prefer abstract
standards, we can have them at whatever level we want.  To take an area I
work on, we have decided to include all college  presidents; we could limit
 it to major universities, or we could decide to include all high school
principals.   To take an area  where I don't work, we have flipped back and
forth on whether to include minor-league baseball players.

Since we have no really universally agreed  vision of what the encyclopedia
should be, almost any decision is the result of compromise. We can have
whatever compromise can get enough agreement. It's not a matter of logic,
just a matter of of what we can find that works for enough of us to resolve
the individual problems. (At present, we use inconsistency as a sort of
compromise: of articles on computer programs of very similar marginal
importance, and very similar marginal sourcing, about half will be included
and half not, so people of all positions on this can say they win half the
time, or (more likely) complain that they lose half the time.  Personally, I
think that's the worst way to find a solution.


 David Goodman, Ph.D, M.L.S.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:DGG


On Tue, Feb 23, 2010 at 12:58 PM, Charles Matthews <
[hidden email]> wrote:

> David Goodman wrote:
> > David Goodman, Ph.D, M.L.S.
> > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:DGG
> >
> >
> > On Mon, Feb 22, 2010 at 6:53 PM, Ken Arromdee <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> >
> >
> >> On Mon, 22 Feb 2010, Charles Matthews wrote:
> >>
> >>> You are paraphrasing from [[Wikipedia:Notability]]. However, as is
> >>> common enough in this (endless, unresolved) discussions, you are not
> >>> doing so accurately enough. Firstly, [[Wikipedia:Notability]] is only a
> >>> guideline, not an official policy for anything.
> >>>
> >> In practice, guidelines end up having the same effect as policies:
> anyone
> >> who can quote them in a dispute that is anywhere near close always wins.
> >> Policies don't appreciably differ from guidelines in this respect.
> >>
> >>
> >>> Secondly, you are
> >>> paraphrasing from the detailed explanation of the first section, but
> >>> missing the essential (really) point. Which is that "If a topic has
> >>> received significant coverage in reliable sources  that are independent
> >>> of the subject, it is presumed to satisfy the inclusion criteria for a
> >>> stand-alone article" is a sufficient condition, not a necessary one.
> >>>
> >> In the very example I'm bringing up, the notability guidelines *were*
> >> interpreted as a necessary condition.  Since the article failed to
> satisfy
> >> them, it was deleted for lack of notability.
> >>
> >> And I'd wager that notability is pretty much always used this way.
> >>
> >>
> >
> > If you look at enough AfDs, you can find every possible interpretation
> and
> > misinterpretation. A great many articles have been kept with less than
> full
> > formal sourcing by the GNG guideline, and a great many have been deleted
> > even though they had it. Such deletion is usually done under the
> provisions
> > of WP:NOT, which rules out a great many types of articles.  Although
> WP:NOT
> > is policy, there are very few agreed guideline for interpreting any part
> of
> > it, so the actual decision sometimes seem to come out only a little
> better
> > than random.  Other decisions are made on the technicalities of what
> should
> > count as a reliable source for the purpose--and again, there is not very
> > great consistency. The present rules at Wikipedia are so many and
> > contradictory that it is possible to construct an argument with them to
> >  justify  almost any decision--even without using IAR.
> >
> Many of the inconsistencies exist only in the eye of the species known
> as the Lesser Horned Wikilawyer - they illustrate the proved that "the
> Devil can cite Scripture". The phenomenon under discussion belongs
> really to the Illogical Positivist: the "notability guidelines" are a
> vast case analysis, and the General Notability Guideline is the default
> case, meant to catch the situations where no other guideline applies. As
> we have been saying, it is phrased as a sufficient condition: if it is
> not also a necessary condition, what happens? Well, the case analysis
> might not be complete: we might (gasp) have to use our own brains.
>
> Must it be complete? Only if you believe there is a hypostatised concept
> "notability" that really must be applicable in all cases. I think what
> is being said above is that there are many of those Illogical
> Positivists around, and they argue somewhat in the way I'm saying. Now
> that wouldn't surprise me at all, as a statement. People often enough do
> use any argument from quasi-policy in what is a rhetorical rather than a
> logical way.
>
> Charles
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> WikiEN-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> To unsubscribe from this mailing list, visit:
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Re: Another notability casualty

Bod Notbod
On Tue, Feb 23, 2010 at 7:38 PM, David Goodman <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Since we have no really universally agreed  vision of what the encyclopedia
> should be, almost any decision is the result of compromise [...] Personally, I
> think that's the worst way to find a solution.

I hope I'm snipping in such a way as to not change your argument
there, I have no doubt I'll be told if not.

What is the *best* way to find a solution then?

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Re: Another notability casualty

Charles Matthews
In reply to this post by David Goodman
George Herbert wrote:

> On Thu, Feb 25, 2010 at 1:15 PM, Charles Matthews
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
>  
>> ....  Perhaps this contains the
>> germ of an idea: a process "Drafts for mainspace", a review debating
>> unuserfying. The "Bizarre Records" solution to our problems - "just what
>> <s>the world</s> Wikipedia needs, another <s>record label</s>
>> contentious process".
>>    
>
> Either namespace, or another independent namespace ("Drafts").
>
> User namespace makes things harder to find; which is not necessarily
> appropriate.  We want drafts to be communally findable - to encourage
> contributions, fixes, reviews, and eventual upgrades.
>
> This has floated before, in some variation, and not flown.  But
> perhaps it's time to float it again and see if it flies now.
>
>  
Right. But doing things with aliases is not exactly out of reach.

And I'm somewhat surprised, considering it all, that there isn't even an
editorial guideline on moving drafts? Not that I would feel compelled to
read it, but it seems an omission.

Charles



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Re: Another notability casualty

Luna-4
In reply to this post by David Goodman
On Thu, Feb 25, 2010 at 1:56 PM, George Herbert <[hidden email]>wrote:

> On Thu, Feb 25, 2010 at 1:15 PM, Charles Matthews
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > ....  Perhaps this contains the
> > germ of an idea: a process "Drafts for mainspace", a review debating
> > unuserfying. The "Bizarre Records" solution to our problems - "just what
> > <s>the world</s> Wikipedia needs, another <s>record label</s>
> > contentious process".
>
> Either namespace, or another independent namespace ("Drafts").
>
> User namespace makes things harder to find; which is not necessarily
> appropriate.  We want drafts to be communally findable - to encourage
> contributions, fixes, reviews, and eventual upgrades.
>

Userspace does have the benefit of being *blatantly* unofficial, which is
sometimes a good thing with drafts, especially if those drafts have
problematic content that's being indexed by search engines.

Aside from that issue, though, a "Draft" namespace does sound like a
smoother workflow, as you suggest. If you can't get a canonical namespace
in, "Wikipedia:Drafts/Page[/Version]" might not be a bad naming convention.

--
Luna Santin
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Luna_Santin>
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Re: Another notability casualty

Ken Arromdee
In reply to this post by David Goodman
On Wed, 24 Feb 2010, George Herbert wrote:
>>> Interesting comparison with historical antecedants! This is more the
>>> sort of level of debate I'd like to see at AfD. I wonder what a
>>> closing admin would make of it... :-)
>> You shouldn't *need* to go through this level of debate just to keep a page
>> around when the notability rules could be fixed instead.  Otherwise we're
>> no longer the encyclopedia anyone can edit, we're the encyclopedia that
>> anyone with an extraordinary level of debate skills can edit.
> And yet - without the first level filtering offered by these rules, we
> can't easily seek out and remove a lot of obvious abuse.

My point isn't that we should do away with notability; it's that we should
*fix* it.
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Re: Another notability casualty

Abd ul-Rahman Lomax
In reply to this post by David Goodman
At 05:53 PM 2/24/2010, Ken Arromdee wrote:
>You shouldn't *need* to go through this level of debate just to keep a page
>around when the notability rules could be fixed instead.  Otherwise we're
>no longer the encyclopedia anyone can edit, we're the encyclopedia that
>anyone with an extraordinary level of debate skills can edit.

Wikipedia painted itself into this corner.

Before being blocked, a minor inconvenience this week, I came across
a situation with 13 AfD's filed on national member societies of the
International Amateur Radio Union. Some of these societies had
existed since the 1920s, and it is a certainty that reliable source
exists for them, but those sources can be a devil to find, unless
someone has access to and is willing to comb through old issues of
QST, or can search in local print archives of newspapers from the
time of recognition or other notable events.

WP:CLUB notes that national-level nonprofit organizations are
*generally* notable. In this case, the IARU, at some point, when they
were not members and did not participate in the decision except by
applying, decided to admit them as the sole representative of the
entire nation in the IARU. We  have the IARU as a source for the fact
that they are the national members, and the IARU points to the
national societies' web sites, and we often have those sites as a
source for additional information about the societies, information
that is highly likely to be true. In ordinary language, that means
that they are "reliable" for that purpose. This is not controversial
information.

But the problem is obvious. I proposed a change to the guideline, a
special provision, that *generally* a recognized national member
society of a notable international society would be notable. If you
know the notability debates, you can anticipate the objections.
"Notability is not inherited." A bit more puzzling was the claim that
the IARU was not independent from the admitted member. As to the act
of admission, it certainly was! It will only admit one society, and
it appears that when there are conflicting claimants, they want them
to get it together and form a uniting society. Tehy want one
representative in the nation to represent the international union to
the government of that country, and, as well, to represent the
country's interests before the IARU and international bodies.

I got practically no support at the relevant talk page (it is the
talk page for the guideline that WP:CLUB) points to. And there was no
support at WP:RSN for the proposition that the IARU was reliable for
the purpose of determining membership and official web site URL.

Yet what happened at AfD? Out of 13, 11 closed as Keep, 1 as Delete,
and 1 as No Consensus. Some of the Keep results had exactly the same
lack of "independent sources" as the Delete result.

Guidelines are supposed to represent actual practice, not prescribed
practice. The point is to avoid disruption from AfDs that will fail,
or from insistence on keeping something that will be deleted. But the
editors who sit on the guidelines seem to think otherwise, and one of
them complained that editors, voting in the AfD, were not following
the guideline, and he helpfully pointed to it. As he had just changed
in an effort to make crystal clear his interpretation, which was
obviously not theirs!

By not allowing guidelines to move to represent actual practice, when
there is an opportunity, disruption and senseless debate continues.
Someone else will read the existing guideline, interpret it with a
literalist understanding ("there *must* be at least *two* independent
reliable sources, period, no exceptions) and then file an AfD,
wasting a lot of time. In this case the editor filed 13, and there
were obviously many more on the way, there are something like 200
such national societies.

There is an alternate interpretation. The stubs should be deleted.
And they were only kept because people interested in amateur radio
voted for them. Suppose this is the case. (It's not. DGG was asked
about one of these AfDs and he basically came up with the same
arguments as I did.) If it's the case, then the guideline should be
clarified so that the rest of us won't make that mistake again, of
trying to keep stuff that will only be deleted, and, instead, we will
pull the stubs back into a list article. A similar list article had
existed previously, and it had been decided that stubs were cleaner
and better, because there is, in fact, a lot of reliable information
about these societies, that could indeed be put in a list article
(where some kinds of self-published information can be used), and
having looked at the articles and reflected on the list possibility,
I agree with the standing consensus. But nobody voted to remove the
information, just to delete the articles. It's an absolutist
understanding of what an "article" must be, based on a technical
failure, the failure to find what surely must exist, independent
sources for these societies, some of which are pushing ninety years
in existence.

Sorry, something that might look like "instruction creep" is actually
necessary, or the same battles get fought over and over. And over. As
long as it is understood that the guidelines are not rigid
regulations, there isn't a problem with that. And consensus can
change, so when actual outcomes are seen, and stand, that contradict
a guideline, the guideline should be changed no matter what the
rule-bound think "should be" the rule.


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Re: Another notability casualty

Charles Matthews
Abd ul-Rahman Lomax wrote:
> Wikipedia painted itself into this corner.
>  
Indeed, said corner being #5 website in the world according to recent
Comscore figures. The onus is still on those who think the system is
broken. ("Notability" has always been a broken concept, but the real
question is whether the system as a whole is broken, rather than whether
individual subjective judgements always agree with the result of
deletion processes.)

<snip>

 >I proposed a change to the guideline, a
> special provision, that *generally* a recognized national member
> society of a notable international society would be notable. If you
> know the notability debates, you can anticipate the objections.
> "Notability is not inherited."
Indeed, it isn't. Some of the more high-profile associated topics of
notable topic X can be mentioned in the article on X, but that doesn't
mean they are all worth a separate article. Such decisions should go
case-by-case, but in general terms they are about structuring of
content, rather than permissible content. [[Mary Ball Washington]],
mother of George Washington, gets an article (not very substantial); her
mother doesn't. I don't see that "recognized national" is a very
different attribute from "notable", but certain office-holders might be
considered worth an article "ex officio" (general notability doesn't
recognise anything ex officio, I think, but arguably more special
guidelines could.)

<snip>

Charles






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Re: Another notability casualty

Carcharoth
On Sat, Mar 6, 2010 at 10:25 AM, Charles Matthews
<[hidden email]> wrote:

<snip>

> Some of the more high-profile associated topics of
> notable topic X can be mentioned in the article on X, but that doesn't
> mean they are all worth a separate article. Such decisions should go
> case-by-case, but in general terms they are about structuring of
> content, rather than permissible content.

Structuring of content is an interesting question. Sometimes small
stubs are better than a list, as it is easier to link to separate
articles than to items in a list, especially if there is no real
unifying structure for the list. Sometimes it takes a while to work
out what list, or summary article, something should be part of, but if
done well, that can work well.

But sometimes separate articles is the way to go. Even if the
individual articles are unlikely to be much more than a GA-level
article at best, the separate articles approach has several
advantages, even if some content gets duplicated across several
articles.

Carcharoth

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