Wikivoyage talk:Article status

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Wikivoyage talk:Article status/Archive 2005-2013

Stub and Outline Statuses[edit]

Swept in from the pub

There are hardly ever any Stub status articles as it's very easy to find any page that's not using pagebanner and go in and fix it. However, there are a number of articles at outline status, for example Spitak that only just meet the minimum requirements for outline. I'm just wondering what everyone would think about changing the divsion between stub and outline so that articles with just a single line introduction and no listings should be classed as stubs as well, even although they have the template layout? -- WOSlinker (talk) 10:23, 27 September 2014 (UTC)

I think a city article that has the correct titles but no listings at all should be a stub. Regions however, as long as references city articles should be an outline article. I think also if we really want to make use of the status rankings then there is a need to go through the outline article as I think many could be marked as usable. --Traveler100 (talk) 11:14, 27 September 2014 (UTC)
By itself it sounds like a reasonable idea. The problem is that we have a tremendous number of outline articles, the total number of articles being 26,189, I'd estimate there are 15-20,000 outlines. The process should be automated somehow, and as Traveler100 said there are a great number of outlines that qualify for usable status (I nowadays update those whenever I run into them) which also would need to be updated accordingly. Should we have to go through the articles one by one manually I guess that would be a little too much even for someone like yourself and Matroc. ϒpsilon (talk) 11:37, 27 September 2014 (UTC)
The Maintenance panel shows just under 14,000 city outline article, yes a very large task. However could at least tidy up your favourite regions. Using CatScan set depth to 10, category to country of choice and has template to outlinecity gets a list that is doable. --Traveler100 (talk) 12:08, 27 September 2014 (UTC)
In any case, I doubt that changing outline→usable is something that can or should be completely automated. It's too easy to fool an automated process by feeding it text that's pure copypasta from the CVB or venue blurbs, endless marketing fluff like "beautiful sunsets, refreshing breezes, fun for the whole family and ideal for business and leisure travellers" that gets dumped in any random destination but incomplete listings with no contact info and more promotion than fact. I'd hold those at "outline" until fixed even if there were a hundred kilobytes of meaningless text. An automated process could spot particularly long or detailed "outlines" so that someone could look at them manually, but would likely not be clever enough to see the difference between a good article and a heap of copypasta. K7L (talk) 13:26, 27 September 2014 (UTC)
That's the whole point of the 'stub' class; it's supposed to designate articles that can easily be brought up to outline status. Consider 'outline' our version of Wikipedia's stub, if you must. Powers (talk) 20:06, 27 September 2014 (UTC)
I'd not have guessed that a list of empty sections was an "outline". WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:59, 4 October 2014 (UTC)
While more complex outlines are possible, a basic document outline is precisely a hierarchical list of subject headings, so it seems an appropriate word. Powers (talk) 20:56, 4 October 2014 (UTC)

Phrasing of status descriptions[edit]

Swept in from the pub

I really don't like this phrasing, but where is the template, so I can edit it?

This region travel guide to La Palma has the status outline and needs more content.

It doesn't have the status outline. It is an outline, or if it's important to use the word "status," it has outline status. All similar phrasings need to be changed in the same way. Ikan Kekek (talk) 09:50, 10 October 2014 (UTC)

It's {{stbox}} and the wording should be chosen to emphasise likely search terms such as the name of the destination, tour, travel, voyage, visit. "Status" isn't a valuable, useful term. K7L (talk) 13:14, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
I object to the way this was carried out. Well and good that changing the position and size of our maintenance tags was discussed in the pub, but if we were going to also alter the wording of the tags, the proposed new text should have been vetted in the Pub rather than put in place unilaterally. All the new tags should probably be reviewed. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 13:59, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
Would it make more sense if it said "has the status 'outline'"? It's still a bit mechanical but grammatically it's fine. Ikan's comment "where is the template, so I can edit it?" neatly illustrates the concern I raised (and which was dismissed) on Template talk:Stbox; shunting all of the status descriptors to a single template is a bad idea. Powers (talk) 14:15, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
I find your proposed solution tolerable, though I like my proposals better. :-) Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:21, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
It wasn't a proposed solution, but an attempt to make the syntax clearer. Powers (talk) 19:49, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
Solution for the problem of bad syntax. :-) Shall we attempt to gain a consensus here? So far, we've had 3 edited wordings proposed — 1 by you and 2 by me.
So, everyone, do you prefer "has the status 'outline'", "is an outline" or "has outline status", or would you like to propose another wording? Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:28, 11 October 2014 (UTC)
"Is an outline". -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 05:07, 11 October 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. Anyone else have an opinion? Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:10, 11 October 2014 (UTC)
"Has the status 'outline'" or "is an outline". ϒpsilon (talk) 20:40, 11 October 2014 (UTC)
"Is an outline". K7L (talk) 20:49, 11 October 2014 (UTC)
"Is an outline" looks most popular so far. Are there any objections? I'll wait at least 24 hours for other input before making the change. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:32, 12 October 2014 (UTC)
"is an outline". Any change to usable, guide and star? --Traveler100 (talk) 05:00, 12 October 2014 (UTC)
Ikan (and others), I am going to be on a plane for most of the day so feel free to edit and experiment with the pages User:Traveler100/statustype and User:Traveler100/sandbox-stbox. --Traveler100 (talk) 05:21, 12 October 2014 (UTC)
I'd change them all in the same way: "is usable," (that one can't be "is a usable" but could be "is a usable article," so maybe we should discuss that wording), "is a guide," "is a star." Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:40, 12 October 2014 (UTC)
the one I am not sure of is guide, was the original reason I added the word status. --Traveler100 (talk) 05:46, 12 October 2014 (UTC)
I get your point and I agree with you. It does have to be "has guide status," because "This article is a guide" will be met with a reaction of "No kidding!" Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:11, 12 October 2014 (UTC)
"Is a stub", "is an outline", "is usable", "is a reasonably-complete guide", "is a star". K7L (talk) 13:44, 12 October 2014 (UTC)
I'm definitely not a fan of the phrasing "is a reasonably-complete guide". I think guide-level articles are the one exception where it would be preferable to use the word "status", i.e. "this article is at guide status". -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 15:04, 12 October 2014 (UTC)
Fine, but I would still like to lose administrative terminology like "status" from the others. This is on the actual article (not the talk page) and is traveller-facing. K7L (talk) 15:15, 12 October 2014 (UTC)
I'm fine with "this article is at guide status," and I completely agree with eliminating "status" from the other templates. Is there agreement on this? Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:41, 13 October 2014 (UTC)
What's wrong with the word "status"? It's a perfectly cromulent word; it's not specialized jargon. And it serves the purpose of conveying to the reader that the text is referring to an evaluation of the article's quality, rather than some other property. Powers (talk) 20:20, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

(reindent) Frankly, if it were up to me we would simply go back to the old wording. The original problem that we sought to solve was that the maintenance tags were too large; that problem was addressed by downsizing the font. However, there was no consensus regarding how the phrasing of the tags should be altered, or even if it needed to be altered at all. That was all done unilaterally and without community input, and it should be reversed. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 20:45, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

What was the old wording? Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:02, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
The new wording includes the words travel guide and the name of the location. The idea is that it quickly adds text to all pages that would helps with typical key words used in search engines. --Traveler100 (talk) 22:39, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
I dislike clutter added solely for search engines. The location is already mentioned in the main heading and mostly several times in the text. "Travel guide" should (if needed at all) be somewhere in the meta description, such as "Welcome to Wikivoyage!" -> "Welcome to the travel guide Wikivoyage!", not in the article itself. Are the search engines still dumb enough for this kind of optimisation to be a benefit? --LPfi (talk) 10:27, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
I think this is a very reasonable point, but could we please come to a consensus about how to handle these status wordings, in the meantime? Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:49, 25 October 2014 (UTC)
I'd agree to a reversion to the old wording for the reasons LPfi mentions above. Texugo (talk) 12:15, 25 October 2014 (UTC)
Thanks Texugo. I don't remember exactly what the old wording looked like, but I thought it was acceptable, though arguably not optimal.
Everyone: Can we please have more input in this thread? Right now, there is no clear consensus for any action. Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:10, 26 October 2014 (UTC)
To reiterate, I think that all status descriptions should be reverted to their pre-9 September 2014 phrasing. To address the second part of Ikan's comment above, and to perhaps cut to the heart of the direction this discussion is currently headed: I don't think that a "clear consensus" is required to do this, as the rephrasing itself was done unilaterally and is thus a violation of the preexisting consensus that a reversion would return us to. In the future, I'm certainly open to discussing changes to the phrasing of the status descriptions, as long as any action that's taken in regards to that is consensus-based. For now, though, the way to go is returning to the old phrasing on at least a provisional basis. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 01:53, 27 October 2014 (UTC)
Understood, and no objection on my part. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:04, 27 October 2014 (UTC)
I have made the chances suggested above but if you still want to revert to the old, simply undo the last edit on the status template pages (like usablecity). For those wanting no change but asking what was the original text go to the equivalent page on Wikitravel. The intention of the change was to increase rankings in search engines, first to make the pages different from wikitravel, second to actual have changes on pages, thirdly to have the phrase travel guide proceeding the location (page) name and fourthly to put the phrase travel guide into the main page text and not just in the title. It also had the advantage of making the id tagging of the text the the same format for all status tags. --Traveler100 (talk) 09:45, 27 October 2014 (UTC)

(reindent) Per consensus here, all article status templates have been reverted to their pre-9 September 2014 versions. In future, let's please subject to community consensus any major changes to the wording of status templates. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 14:36, 9 November 2014 (UTC)


Propose to rephrase status footer text to include travel guide to city name. As per Wikivoyage talk:Search Expedition#Key search term in status template --Traveler100 (talk) 15:53, 9 November 2014 (UTC)

Article status footnotes[edit]

Swept in from the pub

I would like to propose a change to the footnote box at the bottom of all articles. --Traveler100 (talk) 11:59, 14 December 2014 (UTC)

The main change is to add the words travel guide to the text together with the location name.

Why do this:

  • Increase ranking in search engines
    • Adding the phrase travel guide to location-name , will add a term often used in search engine entries.
    • Adding the location (page) name near the bottom of the article increase hit count.
    • Change the text from that used by WikiTravel, providing some distinctiveness.
  • Single place to edit footnotes
    • Easier to make format changes
    • Remove inconsistencies win html syntax between templates

Example of proposal showing existing and new can be seen at User:Traveler100/sandbox-stbox. (Where you see the text sandbox-stbox this will be substituted with the article name.

Feedback please. Suggestions for better phrasing? Should it be more different that that used by WT?

good idea. I support it Hobbitschuster (talk) 15:55, 14 December 2014 (UTC)
I strongly support this proposal as it is a pretty obvious way to (hopefully) improve our search ranking for "travel" queries, and the use of a common base template for all article status boxes is a better coding practice. Thank you for putting together the sandbox page that shows exactly what would change. -- Ryan • (talk) • 16:05, 14 December 2014 (UTC)
I'm fine with the wording change, but I don't understand why they all need to be parameterized into the same template. It overloads the template code, and it makes it both harder and easier to make changes (depending on what one wants to change). Powers (talk) 19:01, 14 December 2014 (UTC)
I'm still not convinced as to whether the wording changes will be effective vis-à-vis SEO - as LPfi said last time we debated this, "Are search engines still dumb enough for this kind of thing to be a benefit?" However, I do notice that the text of the blurbs are a lot less awkward and clunky this time around. Mark me down as neutral. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 19:37, 14 December 2014 (UTC)
Ensuring that the phrase "travel guide" appears in our articles will absolutely improve search results that include "travel", "guide" or "travel guide". It's not a matter of search engines being dumb, it's a matter of ensuring that the text we want search engines to find in our pages actually appear in those pages. See Google's own guidelines: "Think about the words users would type to find your pages, and make sure that your site actually includes those words within it.". -- Ryan • (talk) • 19:52, 14 December 2014 (UTC)
To be clear, this would change a wording like "This is a usable article." to "This is a usable travel guide to [Placename]"? Then what happens when the status of the article is Guide? "This is a guide travel guide..."? Maybe it's time for us to reconsider the word "Guide" being used as a status category, but until or unless we substitute another word for Guide, I don't see how we can use the phrase "travel guide" in every article. There also may be some strange juxtapositions, such as a "travel guide" to Malaria. But I guess that's what the article is, really, so I'm OK with that but not OK with "guide travel guide." Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:32, 14 December 2014 (UTC)
Ikan: To Traveler100's credit, the rewording was handled a lot more gracefully this time around than before; the potential pitfalls you mentioned regarding Guide-status articles and how to handle travel topics, etc. were both addressed, and IMO addressed well. You can see the proposed text of each template at User:Traveler100/sandbox-stbox. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 20:47, 14 December 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, that's a lot better. I still really don't like this, though: "has the status guide." Would anyone object to "has guide status"? So much more natural to read, isn't it? But along with that request, I give my vote of approval for adding "travel guide" in this manner at the bottom of articles, too. Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:53, 14 December 2014 (UTC)
Please make them as different as possible to WT's. Because they are used on so many pages, this would be the biggest rewriting we could do for the least effort. I am not certain that it will improve SEO or the duplicate content penalty, but it's worth trying. Nurg (talk) 10:34, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
I think there is room both to differentiate us from WT and (equally important in my mind) to make the status messages far more useful. Currently our messages are generally "here is what this article has, please plunge forward", whereas we probably want to focus on quickly telling the user how to get the article up to the next status level. That said, in the interest of not making it more difficult to gain consensus for implementing Traveler100's proposed changes, I'd suggest we first move forward with that proposal as-is and then discuss further changes. -- Ryan • (talk) • 19:26, 16 December 2014 (UTC)

(indent) I, too, don't like the awkwardness of "has the status guide". I also notice some of the descriptions need to be reworded to actually match what that level requires. For example, the guide status for continents actually lists specific things we DON'T want at the continental level, basically just a copy of the city article template. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 13:12, 16 December 2014 (UTC)

Suggestions for a better phrasing for the "has the status guide"? --Traveler100 (talk) 14:28, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
As I said, "has guide status." Ikan Kekek (talk) 15:58, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
"has Guide status". I agree with Ikan regarding the wording, but I think capitalizing the word "guide" would clarify things even further. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 16:23, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
Capitalization is fine. To be consistent, if we do capitalize, we should arguably capitalize all other status levels. Ikan Kekek (talk) 16:34, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
In a brazen disregard for wiki user page etiquette I updated the proposed template with the suggested wording. [1]. I didn't change capitalization in the interest of consistency, as noted by Ikan. -- Ryan • (talk) • 16:45, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
Ryan, no offence taken :-) --Traveler100 (talk) 18:14, 16 December 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── This thread has gone silent, but I think the phrasing issue has been addressed - is that a correct interpretation of the above comments? Powers raised a concern that hasn't been addressed about consolidating the logic into a single base template, but personally I strongly prefer consolidating logic in most of my coding, so I actually view that as an improvement rather than something to be concerned about - perhaps others can comment so that we can determine a preferred solution and move forward on that point. Aside from that concern, is there anything else that would prevent implementation of this change? -- Ryan • (talk) • 17:13, 19 December 2014 (UTC)

I was planning on making the change this weekend as most comments have been positive. So any objections before I do so? --Traveler100 (talk) 18:00, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
Consolidating logic is usually a good idea, but in this case, the actual amount of logic consolidated is extremely small. And consolidation always comes at the cost of obfuscation. Look at Template:Stbox. All it is is a bunch of giant switch statements, and I can't see any logical reason to do that except to get all of the code in one template (and what's the advantage of that?). I daresay the total amount of code there is probably larger than all of the current templates put together.
The main candidate for code consolidation on these messages is in the visual style of the boxes themselves. But as I said on Template talk:Stbox: "I think it might be better if this template simply handled the graphic details, while allowing each status template to pass its own text in. That will be both more transparent and more user-friendly, without any real decrease in efficiency or functionality." It would also be worth considering an in-between option, where we had a suite of base templates (one for each status level) that each displayed its own status level's graphic style, and then article-type templates that each call the appropriate status level template. But having one single template with a bunch of switch statements in it is neither efficient nor elegant. Powers (talk) 19:46, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
I don't have a strong opinion on this matter, so if you or someone else wants to implement the proposed solution, either now or later, then I'd say go ahead. However, seeing as the concern is about the implementation of this change and not about the change itself, I'd suggest that we not hold up implementation of the existing proposal from Traveler100 (using the status templates to potentially improve SEO) since the implementation can always be refactored in the future by whoever wants to take on that task. Is that fair? -- Ryan • (talk) • 20:12, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
Unfortunately, the way you've phrased this threatens to mark me as an obstructionist if I point out that implementation matters, and that (generally speaking) institutional inertia makes it unlikely that a project gets re-implemented correctly once it's been done incorrectly. I really can't think of a good reason not to do it right the first time, but that's why I've been asking these questions: to see if I'm missing something. But I got little response on the template talk page, and even here I'm still waiting for a discussion of the benefits of doing it all in one template. Powers (talk) 21:47, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
I don't understand the technical issue, but is there anything preventing the change from being done right? Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:48, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
To Ikan Kekek: there is a minor difference of opinion as to what "done right" means here, but the major hurdle to implementing the solution Powers proposed is simply someone doing the work to write and test the templates.
To Powers: As a matter of opinion, I disagree with the characterization of the current implementation as being "incorrect", but will happily support you or anyone else implementing a solution that would address the concerns raised. With that said, discussions on this topic have been active for several weeks, and this thread in particular has gained a decent amount of feedback during the week that it has been in the pub, so if the choice at this time is between a solution that has been implemented, or of waiting until someone implements a technically superior solution, I think the correct outcome is that we move forward with the proposal as-is. You're right that it may be unlikely for someone to change it once implemented, but I think that may be a matter of others not feeling strongly about the way it has been implemented - anyone who does feel strongly is very welcome to make whatever fixes they see necessary. Obviously sharing your opinions does not "mark you as obstructionist", but per Wikivoyage:Consensus#Contributing to a consensus building discussion it would be helpful if you could make clear whether you are OK with the proposal moving forward should your concerns not be shared, and that would allow us to continue to discuss those concerns without any danger of anyone seeing that discussion as a barrier to consensus building. -- Ryan • (talk) • 22:42, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
In the absence of any sort of argument in favor of the one-template-fits-all solution, then no, I don't think it should go forward. As a coder, I understand that switch statements are sometimes necessary, but in this case they're being used for no good reason (that I can see) when we have an alternative that is superior in both efficiency and comprehensibility. I'd be happy to discuss the advantages of the one-template solution but no one seems eager to do so as of yet.
The template change aside, I don't see any reason we can't update the status message wording immediately simply by updating our current templates.
-- Powers (talk) 00:55, 20 December 2014 (UTC)
If you don't like the current proposal for purely technical reasons, would you please take care of the technical issue so that the language in the templates can be changed, as you don't object to the new language? Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:12, 20 December 2014 (UTC)
I can't just "take care of" it without some feedback from the rest of the community on what the best way to proceed is. I've suggested two or three alternative paths forward but can't seem to spark any discussion over the relative advantages and disadvantages of them compared to the main proposal and the previous status quo. Powers (talk) 20:08, 20 December 2014 (UTC)
Traveler100's "common source" template is an improvement over the status quo, in which we have style information copy & pasted into 45 different templates - look at Template:Outlinecity, which contains all hard-coded HTML and CSS; abstracting out the common bits most definitely improves upon what we have now in terms of maintainability. The proposed solution may not be perfect (honestly, most of this should be moved to MediaWiki:Common.css), but even forgetting the language changes, doing some consolidation of that copy/paste mess is most definitely an improvement, and I'll back that opinion with 16 years of web application development experience. I'll reiterate that at this point I think our best option is either for anyone who thinks a better solution is needed to implement that solution, or else we should move forward with the original proposal.-- Ryan • (talk) • 01:49, 20 December 2014 (UTC)

The single template for article status has been introduced on several language versions, and, to the best of my knowledge, no problems were ever encountered. I don't see any clear counter-argument here as well. Discussion for the sake of discussion should not be encouraged. --Alexander (talk) 08:27, 20 December 2014 (UTC)

I don't understand why everyone hates discussion all of a sudden. So far Ryan is the only person to respond substantively to my questions. This is extremely frustrating. Why is the way that Template:Stbox currently implemented better than all possible alternatives? Powers (talk) 19:45, 20 December 2014 (UTC)
This question does not belong to the proposal that we discuss. If there is a strong argument against putting all footnotes into one template, we could discuss that. Otherwise, it is a matter of taste. Some people prefer one template, others are more comfortable with a bunch of similar templates, but there is no point for discussion. --Alexander (talk) 21:07, 20 December 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict) The solution that has been implemented is not "better than all possible alternatives", but that criteria most definitely should not be the bar we set for making a change - see: WV:Plunge forward, and note that wikis are about incremental improvements, not perfect solutions. The proposed solution has now been implemented and I'm happy with the implementation as-is, but if you'd like to see changes made I'd suggest the best path forward is to create a sample implementation that we can discuss. -- Ryan • (talk) • 21:13, 20 December 2014 (UTC)
A sample implementation was created, in this case, and I've been trying to discuss it, to little avail. Why should I think that it's any more likely people will want to discuss a different sample implementation? I still don't know which of my suggested alternatives is most likely to be acceptable. Design is supposed to come before implementation. Powers (talk) 01:51, 21 December 2014 (UTC)
I don't see a link to the sample implementation. I might or might not understand it, but others will. My feeling is that whatever alternative meets with the most approval should simply be run, since there doesn't seem to be any opposition to the language used in the footnotes. In other words, I'd like for whichever implementation you most like to be used, presuming that no-one has any reason to object to it. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:12, 21 December 2014 (UTC)
I'll echo what Ikan has said - if there was an alternative to User:Traveler100/sandbox-stbox being proposed I missed it and apologize. If there wasn't an alternative, then my statement above remains relevant: "if the choice at this time is between a solution that has been implemented, or of waiting until someone implements a technically superior solution, I think the correct outcome is that we move forward with the proposal as-is.". -- Ryan • (talk) • 02:19, 21 December 2014 (UTC)
I was referring to the proposal at the head of this section. I've been trying to discuss it here, and on Template talk:Stbox, but there has been a lot of resistance to addressing my concerns over the implementation details. So I'm left with two obstacles to your suggestion that I try a sample implementation: one, I don't know which route to take with an alternative, because no one will engage me in discussion on which would be best, and two, I have no guarantee that my sample will actually be discussed once I implement it, because I've been trying to discuss this implementation with little success. Powers (talk) 16:13, 21 December 2014 (UTC)
With all due respect, you seem to be the only one who has a problem with the current implementation - the statement "there has been a lot of resistance to addressing my concerns over the implementation details" indicates that others have clearly engaged in discussion, although that engagement has mainly taken the form of stating that the current version is acceptable. If you're looking for design feedback, my feedback is that I'm happy with the implementation as-is, but will gladly consider an alternative if something is put forward that you feel addresses your concerns. -- Ryan • (talk) • 17:14, 21 December 2014 (UTC)
I have raised several issues with the implementation but no one has really attempted to explain why they aren't issues -- I've pretty much seen either silence or simple assertions that they aren't issues.
Consider an analogy. I'm buying a used car, and I notice during the test drive that the steering is a little sloppy and the glove box appears to be duct-taped closed. I raise these issues with the salesperson and am told "Those aren't problems. You're the only one who's had an issue with them." Where do I go from there? How do I get the salesperson to explain why he doesn't think they're problems? Powers (talk) 02:17, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
I'd be happy with any implementation improvement you design. Have you designed any? Not that I've seen. But I don't think anyone is making the good the enemy of the better, so why do you think that if you design an improvement, people won't support it? Anyway, it seems like a waste of time to complain that no-one is supporting something that's apparently theoretical. Create the mockup and ask for support. Apologies if I missed something. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:25, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
I have repeatedly pointed out that there are multiple possible ways to go with the implementation. Given that this is a labor-intensive process, it seems like it would be much more efficient to decide on a design first and then implement the chosen design, rather than implement first and perhaps have to scrap it when it fails to meet with approval. Powers (talk) 18:45, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
I have yet to see anyone object to whatever better implementation you would design — rather, Ryan and I have both encouraged you to design one and suggested that we are likely to support it (I actually have guaranteed my support, providing no-one has any reason to object). However, if you decline to design anything, there's nothing to discuss really, is there? There's no argument between something theoretical that doesn't exist and an actual implementation, right? Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:54, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
What I am asking to discuss is which of several approaches is the most appropriate, so that I don't waste time implementing a direction that won't meet with approval. Powers (talk) 20:28, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
OK, so for my part, I will support any approach of yours that improves on the current implementation. I can't address others' opinions, but if you don't get specific responses from others, it might be because they haven't seen the mockup. Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:48, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
I don't really have a dog in this fight, but it strikes me that one of Wikivoyage's guiding principles is that we encourage folks to plunge forward, which says to me that we're placing way too much emphasis on nitpicking back and forth over which alternative approach is the best (a scenario complicated by the fact that none of these alternative approaches has actually been described). Powers, if you were to just randomly pick one of the options you have in mind and implement it, the worst-case scenario would be that the community doesn't like it and ends up reverting it. If that happens, Wikivoyage wouldn't be any worse off for it - just as it's no worse off now since Traveler100's original tweaks to the wording of the status tags were reverted. That probably won't happen, though, because Ikan has expressed almost guaranteed support for it, and Ryan, too, seems to have an open mind about it. The reticence, then, strikes me as pointless. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 21:12, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
I agree with Andre. However, since endless discussions that never resolve anything are something that saps my will to contribute here, here's an attempt to address the complaints about having too many switch statements: User:Wrh2/Stbox (view the results at User:Wrh2/Status templates). I don't care if this change is used or not as I'm happy with the current version, but I wanted to make the point that if you don't like something it is very, very easy to make a concrete proposal to demonstrate what you want to see fixed. Please make any changes you want to this proposed update. -- Ryan • (talk) • 21:24, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
Picking a design at random would only make sense if all of the designs were equally good. But we cannot know if that's the case without discussing them. Assuming the designs are not all equally good, then picking one at random would risk choosing a non-optimal design and forcing a later re-implementation, wasting both time and effort. Why would I want to take the time to implement several alternatives when we could discuss them ahead of time and only have to implement one? This seems like a basic principle of software development to me.
I have mentioned these before, but I will reiterate the options again as completely as I can:
  1. The prior implementation, imported from WT, had each status template completely self-contained. Each template provided its own text and formatted its own display box (the blue box). This made it easy to make minor changes to a single template, but made it tedious (and potentially error-prone) to make changes to multiple templates.
  2. The current implementation, detailed at the top of this thread. Each of the status templates simply invokes Template:Stbox, passing two parameters: the article type and the status level. Stbox then programmatically composes the text and styles the surrounding blue box based on the article type and the status level. This is elegant from a code-reuse standpoint, but not so good from a usability or maintenance standpoint. It also results in very consistent wording among the various statuses and article types, which may or may not be desirable.
  3. Ryan's new implementation, which 'explodes' out the various statuses and article types from Stbox so that each box's message is clearly stated inside the template. This reverses the advantages and disadvantages of the current implementation (#2), though it also inherits many of the disadvantages of the original (#1).
  4. A suggestion I made on Template talk:Stbox, which was never responded to, would involve returning most of the text to the individual status templates (as in #1), but using a common template to adjust the visual display characteristics. This would allow us to use unique text in each template (if we wanted to) while keeping the visual look consistent. Changes to the visual look would be relatively easy to make, with the caveat that it wouldn't be obvious to a novice where the change would need to be made, while updates to the text of the messages would be very straightforward. As in #1 and #3, however, making the same change to multiple templates would be tedious and error-prone.
  5. Like #4, but rather than keep all of the visual display logic in one template, we could have one template for each status type (e.g., Template:Outlinebox, Template:Starbox) that handles visual display. This would make it very clear to a reader what was going on with the templates and simplify the code, at the expense of a bit of elegance.
There may be other options as well. The decision of which implementation is best, however, comes down to the question of what properties (elegance, simplicity, maintainability, efficiency, accuracy, readability, etc.) we want to prioritize, and that's not a decision I can make on my own. It's one that we as a community have to come to a consensus on. The reluctance here to discuss these priorities troubles me. Powers (talk) 21:57, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
Why be troubled? Suggest to us which solution you think is best and why. It seems other people may not really care which solution you pick. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:17, 23 December 2014 (UTC)

(reindent) "The decision of which implementation is best, however, comes down to the question of what properties (elegance, simplicity, maintainability, efficiency, accuracy, readability, etc.) we want to prioritize, and that's not a decision I can make on my own."

Powers, thank you for taking the time to corral all of those options into one centralized location. Now I don't really know anything about coding, but I do know that one of the major problems I had with Traveler100's initial alterations to the status boxes was the way the text read - it was very obvious that it was a situation where words like "outline" or "usable" were plugged into what was otherwise boilerplate text, and it was also very obvious that as many SEO-friendly words as possible had been crammed into the blurb. So, my opinion as to where we should place our priorities is that it's fine to streamline and it's fine to try to optimize our placement on Google searches, but the paramount thing to me is that the prose should read as elegantly as possible. Also, I didn't think it was necessary for Traveler100 to shrink the text so drastically, but that's a lesser issue IMO. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 22:29, 23 December 2014 (UTC)

Re: Powers: I'll again echo Ikan - aside from the previous statements in support of consolidating logic as an exercise in good coding practice, no one else seems to care very much about the implementation. I'll add that the point about making the template easy to update for a novice strikes me as unimportant in this case - it takes some wiki knowledge to change any template, and in this case an undiscussed change to a status template would almost certainly get immediately reverted. Given those two caveats, we're left with options #2, #3 and #5 (#1 and #4 fail to consolidate template logic). With that said, since you felt strongly enough about the implementation that you were willing to oppose this proposal moving forward [2]), and since no one else seems to really care, please just choose whichever of those three options addresses the concerns that led you to oppose the original proposal and propose a new implementation. This template simply isn't complex or important enough that I think the implementation details make much difference, so as long as the logic is consolidated in a way that makes maintenance easier than the old cut & paste mess, and as long as the template is functional, I don't care what changes. My "reluctance" to discuss trade-offs stems from a belief that they simply aren't that important - if we were implementing a new city article template or something that would be very difficult to change later on then that would be worth spending plenty of time to get it exactly right, but this template can be changed in a matter of minutes and thus the details just aren't that important. Unless there is anything new to discuss I'll bow out of this discussion now since I don't have anything to add beyond what's already been stated. -- Ryan • (talk) • 23:50, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
In this edit, Ikan expressed confusion as to where to go to edit the text of a status message. This is the sort of situation I'd like to avoid; experienced contributors like Ikan should be able to easily see where particular text 'lives' so that it can be changed when necessary without relying on an 'expert' to come along.
I fear I didn't explain the available options very well. #4 does indeed consolidate nearly all of the template logic, particularly the visual properties of the blue boxes; what it doesn't do is keep all of the text in a single template. In fact, #4 consolidates more logic than #5 does, so I'm little confused by Ryan's prioritization above.
Is it safe to assume that we as a community would generally prefer more natural-sounding status text over text that's been generated programmatically? I don't know which is better for SEO purposes.
-- Powers (talk) 20:36, 26 December 2014 (UTC)
Yes, you're right that it would be best for it to be easy to find where the text "lives."
But I think that the implementation of the wording and the wording itself are different questions. I'm actually satisfied with the current wording, though if you have a suggestion you consider superior, I'd certainly be willing to consider it. Strategically, however, you might consider focusing on the implementation first and getting that out of the way before reopening discussion of the status footnote wordings. Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:50, 26 December 2014 (UTC)
Well, the best implementation to choose depends on whether we want the text to be programmatically generated or not. That's why I asked. But the message I'm getting here is "Make whatever changes you think are best, but we refuse to have a discussion on how to determine what 'best' means." Powers (talk) 22:02, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
First of all, I don't think I understand the difference well enough to express an opinion about it, but really, you're being given practically a blank check and you're complaining about that? Have a nice day and a good year. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:10, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
I never asked for a blank check. But even if I want to use it, someone has to tell me how much is available in the bank account.
I just don't understand why we can't have this discussion. I can't determine which implementation is best without knowing the consensus opinion on these topics. The fact that I've been given a 'blank check' is irrelevant. My opinion is only one person's; I can make an educated guess as to what the site consensus is on these topics, but if my guess is wrong, then the implementation I design will be incorrect. I, for one, don't want to waste my time implementing an incorrect design.
-- Powers (talk) 23:45, 2 January 2015 (UTC)

Change effected 21 December 2014[edit]

The change has been made. I would appreciate someone doing a few checks to make sure I did not miss anything (already spotted one with continent category logic - fixed). --Traveler100 (talk) 10:01, 21 December 2014 (UTC)

Now could we have some discussion on rewording of the second part of the text in the footnote, about what is covered in current status of the article and what should be added to get it to the next status. I think having word such as accommodation, restaurants and sightseeing would be a good idea as these important words tent not to pop-up in the article main text too often. --Traveler100 (talk) 10:06, 21 December 2014 (UTC)

Overhaul of the article statuses needed?[edit]

Hello, everyone!

Over the last couple of weeks there have been a few discussions concerning article statuses and their requirements. There have been discussions what a city Guide article really should consist of, and whether the status requirements for the articles “highest up” (continents, subcontinents) really have to be so strict.

So... perhaps there are some other things too that should be changed, fixed or simply clarified? If there is something about the status system you think could be improved (e.g. "we need a sixth category", "we need a separate grading system for a certain type of travel topics", "this or that category is superfluous", "the requirements for X status of parks is too strict" etc.), please post your suggestion here.

If there are a whole lot of suggestions we maybe need to start an expedition. --ϒpsilon (talk) 16:24, 13 April 2015 (UTC)

If you would like to start an Expedition, by all means go ahead. I'll sign it. Maybe we really should think about how we would handle these things if we were to start afresh without any precedents, and then see how whatever we come up with could be practically reconciled with or changed from what currently exists. Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:31, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
As of now, I'm just surveying if people are satisfied with the current Article status practice. I think it's quite OK, and am asking just kinda out of curiosity. If there are 5-10 or more suggestions for improvment/change we might want to start up an expedition. ϒpsilon (talk) 09:33, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
Well the issue of high level regions and their outline status has already been raised elsewhere. I somewhat feel that the difference between "stub" and the lower end of "outline" is minuscule compared to the difference between the other statuses, particularly outline and usable and usable and guide. Maybe we could or should either get rid of one of those statuses or create a new one. Also as has been raised elsewhere we might think about judging articles for their content alone (and not the content of the articles they link to) and rate the quality of our coverage of the region as a whole elsewhere or in some other way (no I don't have concrete ideas...) if at all. Imho the way we rate travel topics is fine though. Best wishes Hobbitschuster (talk) 17:23, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
A Wikivoyage "stub" is a page on which the article template is missing. That's comparatively rare, as even typing '''New York City''' is a small village somewhere in [[North America]]. {{subst:smallcity}} and walking away (while utterly useless to the traveller), qualifies for "outline" instead of "stub". K7L (talk) 18:14, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
Yes. Outline is our base status. Stub is, unlike in Wikipedia, an indication of a (easily fixed) problem with the article. Powers (talk) 15:09, 15 April 2015 (UTC)

Numbers don't add up[edit]

I would like to know, why the numbers of articles do not add up? Was there some template that got botched or what exactly is the matter? Hobbitschuster (talk) 15:20, 29 June 2015 (UTC)

Status usable and above; again[edit]

Swept in from the pub

If you look at Wikivoyage:Article status and the list provided there, you will see, that there are disproportionately few regions and countries in one of the two higher categories. As a matter of fact Singapore as the only "star country" is dealt with rather like a huge city, so we could argue there are no star countries in the actual meaning of the term at all. the recent guidification of Germany is the result of a lot of hard work, that interestingly enough changed very little about the article itself but greatly improved coverage on places like North Hesse. Now I somewhat understand the rationale that in order to make something "star" or "guide" there has to at least be some coverage on the ranks of the latter beneath it. But this creates strange situations rather very often. While Nauru was the first country to get "guide" status, places like Germany or France whose coverage has probably a lot more value to the traveler are usable or were "outline" until recently. Is it even possible to get a country to guide status without lots and lots of work (whereas elevating a city to guide status can be done in a couple of days at the most)? Or does it only work for small countries that don't need to be further subdivided? And bearing all that in mind doesn't it shine a different light on our stubby outline bottom level regions? Maybe we should put the same note that we put on itineraries there as well, that the article will be deleted within such and such if no further content is added. Printed travel guides sometimes mention the name of a place within a normal text or only say that a place exists. Of course we are not necessarily bound by the same limitations, but maybe instead of a bottom level region that links to twelve stubby outline articles on hamlets nobody has ever heard of, we could transform those into articles that cover the whole region as one? In short the whole issue is complicated and I hope this is the right place to raise it, as I would like to draw attention to something which I see as good intentions going horribly wrong. Hobbitschuster (talk) 15:43, 17 June 2015 (UTC)

Thousand Islands was converted in this manner, it was originally intended as a sub-region of Northern New York even though there's nothing under it but a handful of under-1000 population villages, parkland, cottages and a few once-impressive castles which are not large enough for their own individual articles. It is now a bottom-level destination which doesn't align well with the structure above it (as it's divided by an international boundary) and the only sign it was ever a pointless sub-region is the bizarre inclusion of a "Talk" section.
That said, the itinerary-style "this will be deleted if it doesn't expand beyond outline in a year" position is hard to justify, given our reticence to delete real places. Maybe United States of America should be deleted if Washida County (Oklahoma)#Connect doesn't improve in a hurry, maybe not. Most likely, it would just make things more difficult for the next person trying to fix the issue, as they'd have to start over from zero. (Admittedly, we *did* delete Underground Railroad once, but that's a hopeless basket case of an itinerary which, almost by definition, will never be complete.) At some points, New York State is a mess of subregions inside regions inside a region that vary from comprehensive to empty shells or utter rubbish, much of it created to avoid more than 7+2 cities per region. That is likely preventing a federated state-level page from being guide, star or anything else as we have great coverage at both ends (Buffalo/Rochester and NYC) and widely-variable coverage in the middle. Nonetheless, if some of the subregions are empty shells or placeholders just to list more articles beneath them, we should merge, not delete, as these are nominally real places. K7L (talk) 18:21, 17 June 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps Underground Railroad should be converted into a travel topic? Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:43, 17 June 2015 (UTC)
Well I think the bottom-up approach is harmful if the bottom is empty. It may be in some cases that our bottom level regions are "rotten boroughs" just like the British constituencies of the early 19th century where 20 people got 2 representatives because their hamlet used to be important in 1256. But I think in most cases floor level subregions were created because the "technically existing places" within it were getting "too many" (even though most of them were stubby outlines) and now we have to bear the cross of trying to fill something that is mostly empty in reality. I know that it is not an easy issue to fix, that's why I raised it here to get input from as many people as possible. Maybe thousand-islandification of a bunch of rural floor-level sub-sub-subregions is a good idea.... Hobbitschuster (talk) 20:57, 17 June 2015 (UTC)
I personally think that articles about small and unimportant places should be merged as far as possible. One article about a region is much better than a collection of stubs. On the other hand, it is often difficult to find the best way to split things into articles before you starting writing about a region. But I think it is perfectly fine to put information into the region article and transform all its constituent destinations into redirects. --Alexander (talk) 14:42, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
I think this is really two separate topics. No stubby bottom-level region should be keeping any country of significant size from being a Guide or a Star. The United States of America was recently promoted to Guide despite hundreds of problematic region articles. Powers (talk) 14:52, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
Yet many people protested we were "moving to fast" when Germany was made guide, because Middle Franconia could have a bit more content. Seeing that while we do have way way way too many outline cities, there are quite a sizable number of cities and districts that have reached "guide" status or above, whereas for countries we have one star, that is actually a huge city. One guide about a small country (Nauru if I am not mistaken) and two countries whose promotion to guide came only recently after an effort to do exactly that, mostly from a "letter of the law" standpoint. For regions it is even worse. We have uncountable bare outlines (which we should deal with, one way or the other) and only one star region, Bali and twenty guide regions, mostly in the Asia-Pacific area. One of which Northern Territory has a redlink "other destination" by the way. Hobbitschuster (talk) 15:22, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
To compare Nauru and Germany, I would say that it makes sense that Nauru (a smaller country with less attractions) would be easier to promote than Germany (assuming that both countries had knowledgeable contributors). I don't see an issue there. Some countries are larger than others. Some countries have more tourist attractions than others. Likewise, it was easier to get Singapore to guide and star status. What is the issue? As far as I know, no nation has dissolved as a result of not being a star article on Wikivoyage, and there is nothing logical about saying that France or Germany must be given guide status before Nauru. No nation or region has any privilege over another. If you are arguing that the content in the Nauru article is all fluff and not useful, then you should propose the demotion of Nauru not the promotion of Germany. I don't think anyone would oppose a star region simply because there are a few stub/outline articles at the lowest level. Personally, I'd rather see stubs and outlines than haphazardly merged content that is often seemingly placed at random into other articles, making them difficult to locate. If the region is directly above the lowest level, then I don't see a problem with mentioning that although some articles below remain outlines they are not among the major destinations of the region and that coverage is in fact quite stellar if that is the truth. There is nothing wrong with just letting outlines be. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 15:48, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
For all I care the "small country that has guide status" could be Vatican City. For some reason it is Nauru. And what I want to say is that our criteria are either laughably lenient for small countries (they don't have to get hundreds of subregions with thousands of cities in them, sometimes needlessly complicated by the love for redlinks some regions seem to have) or ridiculously strict for big(ger) countries. If you look at Germany and the places that immediately come to mind (Munich, Hamburg, Berlin, Cologne, Frankfurt) our coverage on these places already serves the traveler well. If you think about Nauru most people's initial reaction would be "Is that an actual place?". I think the issue is one of a cat biting its own tail. Of course the immediate subregions are somewhat important. However, the major cities (and in some cases the major "other destinations") are more important to most travelers. Most travelers don't go to Delaware, they go to New York City. Currently our criteria make Northern Delaware out to be more important for the status of the US than Manhattan which is - quite frankly - ridiculous. I don't have a quick fix and the last thing I would want is for Nauru to lose its probably deserved status (heck had somebody made the effort to bring Tuvalu up to guide, I would now be bashing that place instead), but I do think that something about the current system is broken and needs to be fixed. Best wishes Hobbitschuster (talk) 16:07, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

(indent) Don't the regional articles only need to be at usable status? That's not such a high bar. I still don't understand why you think Germany or the United States deserve privilege over smaller countries? Vatican City is a compact city-state. It's smaller and has less attractions than any single top 9 city in Germany. Why is it "unfair" that it is easier to promote Vatican City than the entire nation of Germany or the even greater United States where each state is like a country? Also the idea that because Germany receives more tourists than the Pacific Islands that they should be held back on that basis? Looking at the Nauru article, it looks rather scant and probably could be moved to usable, but it must be on the grounds of its own content; It is offensive to use arbitrary criteria such as "Germany receives more visitors and is more well known and is just overall a better country than Nauru/Tuvalu/(any Pacific Island Nation) therefore, those nations should never have a higher status than Germany".

Your point about the Delaware subregions may be valid, but I really cannot see why you think it would be at all reasonable to establish some sort of anti-Pacific Island Policy to disallow status upgrades even when, as you say, their higher statuses are "probably deserved". If it's not about content, it just seems prejudicial. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 16:37, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

It could be Kosovo for all I care. The entire point I am trying to make is that small countries by virtue of being small (in fact Vatican City is a "city" in our hierarchy) can get to higher statuses more easily than bigger countries. Which appears to be counter-intuitive as well as counterproductive. I mean, there is no rule over at WP that says an article can't get one of their status thingies if it links to a sub-par article. The word "outline" means to me, that while it may be apparent where this page could be going (it is "lined out") there is not all that much content present. Now, you can't really argue that that's the case for all of the regions and countries that are currently classified as such, mostly due to some of their subregions having an issue. Heck the whole continent of Europe is supposedly an outline. Whereas Antarctica is "usable". There is no systemic bias for or against countries in any specific part of the world (though you could argue, that there is actually systemic bias against the US as there appear to be more bare-outline subdivisions and small places nobody has ever heard about) but there is a systemic bias in favor of small countries. Best wishes Hobbitschuster (talk) 17:05, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
So, in theory, Grand Bruit could be promoted were we to catalogue absolutely everything in that particular ghost town, but getting Trans-Canada Highway beyond "usable" is going to be 8030km (plus all the alternate routes) and uphill both ways? K7L (talk) 17:08, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
Just an aside: Rome/Vatican is a district article, not a city article. Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:15, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
Of course it is easier for smaller countries to get to a higher status level. For example I think the current content the Nauru article is close to 100% of what can be written about the island unless we start listing plumbers and painters. Actually I expanded the article a while back using Italian WV, Wikipedia and other online sources and whatever travel-relevant stuff I could find I added to the article. So of course the article is a guide. In the same way, listing all ten things that are potentially of interest to a traveler in a small village brings it up to guide status but listing just ten random things in Manhattan would maybe not make that article even usable.
But it's far from impossible to get countries to guide or star status. Actually now when I look closer at the requirements it's surprisingly easy to get a country to Guide status. (1.) The article itself should look tidy and give readers information about culture, prominent attractions etc. (2.) The articles —18 at most— listed in Cities and Other destinations need to be Usable or better, roughly having some useful info in Get in, See, Eat and Sleep. (3.) The immediate subregions (usually not more than ten) have to be at usable status. This means that the most important city and other destination have to be Usable and some attractions and ways to get in should be mentioned. Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised if there’d be several countries at usable or outline level that could be upgraded to guide level right now.
Star status obviously has more strict requirements — we need to remember that out of 20000+ articles we have about 20+ stars. For this (1.) a country article needs to be perfect and all the destinations and subregions have to be guides or better. The latter means that (2.) each subregion of the region should in itself be in a good shape, (3,) the 10-18 cities and other destinations listed in each subregion should all to be usable and better and (4.) the regions below should be at least usable ie. have one usable city and other destination and mention attractions and ways of getting in.
What I’m saying is that in order to turn USA into a Star article it’s not necessary to dive down all the way to the subregions of Delaware (but a bit of work on regions higher up in the hierarchy is still required) ϒpsilon (talk) 21:01, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
So might it be a good idea to start a "country guide status expedition" to check which country comply with "letter of the law" interpretation for usable or guide status and promote / demote them accordingly and/or set in motion the appropriate mechanisms to do the work that needs to be done to do so? I for one would gladly sign up for that. Hobbitschuster (talk) 22:58, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
(unindent) It was mentioned that for purposes of the status of the United States of America article, Northern Delaware is more important than Manhattan. This is incorrect.
First, I should point out that the U.S. article has been promoted to Guide, correctly, despite the fact that Northern Delaware (and, indeed, many subregions of states) are at Outline status.
Second, let's look at the criteria for Star (not even Guide, but Star). For a country, that means all of its subregions and linked cities must be at Guide status. That means (for purposes of this discussion) Mid-Atlantic and New York City must be at Guide status. For Mid-Atlantic to be a guide, New York City and Delaware must be Usable. (But we already require NYC to be Guide, so that's redundant.) For Delaware to be Usable, there is no requirement that Northern Delaware be any status at all; it could be a Stub and Delaware could still be promoted to Usable if it met the other requirements. For New York City to be a Guide, however, Manhattan has to be at least Usable.
So, we can see that in order for the United States article to be a Star, Manhattan has to be at least Usable, while Northern Delaware need only be a Stub. Thus, Manhattan is more important than Northern Delaware for determining the U.S.'s article status.
-- Powers (talk) 00:02, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
For the United States of America to be a star, New York State has to at least be usable. You've been telling us since we moved here in 2012 that it is not because a few pages under it aren't up to snuff. NYS is therefore still languishing in outline status. Delaware is also not usable in its current state, although that may be for reasons other than the hollow shell county-level subregions. Certainly, articles being held back in rank because of issues on lower levels are an issue, although "just barely usable" for NY and DE might be enough to prevent those states holding the country-level article back. (I haven't looked at every state, my guess is the results will be widely variable, as always.) K7L (talk) 00:55, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
Isn't part of the problem also that while you can (technically) make a city usable in no time by giving it a rough "get in" section (Interstate X and Y run through town. The next airport is in Z from where you can take Interstate X) and one listing each for "eat" and "sleep" whereas regions have to have much much more just to be considered "usable"? Hobbitschuster (talk) 11:12, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
Close. This supposedly "usable" article for an "adventurous voyageur" must contain some way to get in, something to see or do, somewhere to eat and somewhere to sleep. Four listings would cover it. Content barely meets Wikivoyage:What is an article? Usable nonetheless. Personally, I'd usually prefer to wait until each section of a destination page contains some usable information (and preferably not CVB promotional copypasta or badly-misformatted content) before marking a page 'usable', but the actual criteria set the bar really low for a city/locality to be "usable". Region pages are an entirely different ball of wax, as we hold them back unless the primary destinations under them are usable. All that's holding Grand Bruit back is a lack of somewhere to eat (the place is a ghost town) but getting New York State out of "outline" status looks to be a multiyear task? K7L (talk) 17:01, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
A multi-year task, yes, because Peter isn't here to get Adirondacks up to Usable. Would you like to take a stab at it? Or is it your contention that having a crappy Adirondacks article is no reason to consider the NYS article less than usable? Powers (talk) 19:56, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
I wonder if Peter knows that W. Frank and his associates all currently have indefinite bans. Nurg (talk) 00:28, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
Dunno, but Adirondacks doesn't look unsalvageable - even if Lake Placid, Lake George, Saranac Lake and Malone are the only towns under it to fare any better than "outline". w:Adirondack Park seems to have good info which could be used to fill out Adirondacks#Understand? Maybe New York State can be spared instead of giving up and redirecting the state to Joisey (which is usable). K7L (talk) 19:43, 21 June 2015 (UTC)

Is there a tool for finding short or extremely short articles that basically only consist of the standard section headings? If so, we should maybe find them and either delete, merge (if there is even a single sentence to merge) redirect or fill them with content. Bare outlines do no good for anybody. Especially not for the voyager. Maybe just maybe this would also reduce or altogether eliminate some forms of page creation vandalism... Or at least make it more easily detectable as bare outlines become a rarer sight. Hobbitschuster (talk) 21:02, 21 June 2015 (UTC)

A set of lists of articles without custom banners sorted by size was produced last November. I expect that a lot of the articles that are so short that there is not much content is in Wikivoyage:Banner expedition/Banner suggestions - List 7, but this will include also loads of good short articles. AlasdairW (talk) 21:43, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
There's also Special:Shortpages, but it tends to fill with disambiguation pages which are short but perfectly valid. Special:Preferences has an option to show links to stubby/no-content pages (below a size threshold) in a different colour. Neither is ideal. K7L (talk) 22:44, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
When talking about "guides" for states and other large areas, I think we need to keep in mind that rules like "all regions must be usable" are a product of our own policy-making. In the case of countries, for example, this rule sometimes means that we have coverage far better than any commercially printed guidebook, and still voluntarily put a mere "usable" qualification on it.
For a region to get up to usable status, the most important of its sub-regions also must be usable, and if there's a level under those, more usable subregions under them. And with our breadcrumbs often already well-developed, the guide status of large countries is often indeed held back by not-yet-usable low level regions. Articles everyone would agree are not that important, but which are often plentiful when the country is large and developed. What we might need to do, rather than change the whole way we deal with regions and breadcrumbs, is give ourselves some leeway in providing guide status to countries etc, when perhaps not all regular criteria are met, but we can agree that it's as good a guide as any commercially printed one. JuliasTravels (talk) 08:59, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
Well if we can and should go against the plain text reading of the letter of the law of our policy, why don't we just change the plain text of our policies? I do think most people here agree to some degree that Redford (New York) should not hold any article back in getting a better status and neither should Sauerland-Siegerland (which is not really an organic region to begin with) but it still crops up every time we try to elevate the status of a country. The amount of work and effort that is needed and the amount of time that is spent on discussing minutiae of a imho partially outdated and misguided policy are staggering. There once was an argument against creating a certain type of airport article (which to be fair would be a category of a handful at best) along the lines "how could this ever become a star?". Well now I ask the same about country articles "How could they ever become a star?" Hobbitschuster (talk) 11:17, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
Because the policy is quite fair enough for the large majority of regions, and for small countries too. It's mostly countries, where it falls short, and then only really the countries and very large regions where we have good coverage on almost all places of interest to travellers. We're only really talking about a few dozen articles where things are that complicated, I think. I say we should give such articles, like the US and Germany, the benefit of the doubt. Large country? At least as good as a commercial guide? That's a guide to me. The fact that country articles are very very hard to bring to star status is an inherent result of our system. I don't find that very problematic, and it's good to have a few really high standards :) The fact that we advertise our great coverage of some countries as "usable" instead of "guide" is much more misleading. JuliasTravels (talk) 14:17, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
I had previously made a suggestion that it might be useful to have two statuses for region/country articles - one for the article content and one for the complete region/country - which I think would make more sense and be more useful for both users and editors who currently struggle with the fact that a very complete article might be tagged as "usable" because an obscure destination article in its hierarchy is incomplete. Essentially "This article about the USA is at guide status. Our overall coverage for the USA is at usable status", or something similar to that. -- Ryan • (talk) • 14:38, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
That's an option, and I'd be fine with it. Although it's probably still too pessimistic about the value of our total coverage for a traveller. Say I'd buy a RoughGuide or LP for the USA; would our total coverage be less usable than that book? If not, I feel it's perfectly correct to just call our USA article a guide, without any devaluation. Just my opinion though. JuliasTravels (talk) 14:55, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
I would be strongly against making any change to policy based on what is essentially a fallacy. I don't believe any extant guide is being unfairly held back due to some obscure destination that hasn't been sufficiently developed. Can we have some concrete examples, please, with explanations of how the great-grandparent article is being held back, rather than off-hand references to tiny hamlets that aren't really affecting much of anything? Powers (talk) 16:21, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
I suppose our barely-usable Adirondacks park article holding back the entire state as {{outlineregion}} would be the obvious example. This is the sort of thing that makes any comparisons between WV and printed guidebooks awkward. The commercial publication will be consistent - whether good or bad; if it's a paragraph for every town and small city, it stays at that predictable level cross-province, cross-state or cross-country. WV varies from very extensive, detailed coverage to merely skeletal rubbish and back pseudorandomly. Buffalo are all herded and in place, Rochester and the Finger Lakes well in hand, Syracuse usable but nothing special, Rome (New York) a pointless outline created just so they could have a separate article from Utica, Albany is likely adequate and NYC is a well-polished Big Apple. Huge variation, and that's just one beaten path through one state. That's just looking at city-level pages, bring the endless pile of region and subregion pages into this and many are Central New York-like skeletons with just a list of cities or counties (and counties are usually the wrong size to be useful divisions to us, as they are one or two cities and a few villages). How does one evaluate the quality of coverage of a country as a whole, if the constituent pieces are, well, "all over the map" in terms of development? K7L (talk) 16:43, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
Adirondacks is a top-level subregion of New York (state), and one of the most important thereto. If it's in poor condition, then how can we be said to have a usable guide to the state as a whole? Powers (talk) 17:33, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
Adirondacks is not great but adequate. Admittedly, it's an odd special case as it's a subregion (because of Lake Placid, Lake George and Saranac Lake being under it as small incorporated villages within the park boundary), it's a major state park and it (presumably the park itself) is one of the listed destinations. Certainly, if every "top-level subregion of New York (state)" can hold the whole state back, it might be best to give up now as there are a pile of intermediate regions and subregions between NYS and its individual destination cities, many of which are just 7+2 lists of cities and towns with no other real content, and they only seem to be increasing in number. If this were just about Adirondack chairs, NYS might be usable right now, or very close to it. K7L (talk) 17:41, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
Let's not forget that while this discussion as such seems to be a major drain on resources, it gets some article that (for whatever reason) gets chosen as the example a lot of attention and improves our coverage of the place. I think the Adirondacks are a problematic place insofar as they are mostly rural, positively huge but still contain a couple of places people heard of (and be it only for a certain Ice Hockey game). We have a tendency to do badly for places that are not easily organizable into cities and districts. Plus if I am not mistaken, there are also a couple of bodies of water within the park which does not make matters easier. That being said, I think in New York state and elsewhere a large amount of the county level articles will have to go. Either by merging or by redirecting or by treating them as if they were a single city. No guide, printed or on any other medium (including stone tablets and DVDs) covers every tiny speck on the map and some guides cover some places in a couple of lines tops. Whatever happened to the advice to cover some places only in the "go next" section of the next nearby destination we do cover? Hobbitschuster (talk) 20:28, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
I get the general thrust of your argument. I'm not sure whether I agree with it. But on your specific point on [[Rome (New York}]], it isn't part of Utica, so I don't think it's pointless for it to have its own article; it's just that no-one has posted enough information in it. I had thought New York City was still Usable, but I see that it's a Guide, so big congratulations to those who made that possible! Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:46, 22 June 2015 (UTC)

(unindent) At the moment, I believe Adirondacks can and should be upgraded to Usable, which allows New York (state) to be Usable. Perhaps we can discuss a more clear-cut case instead. Powers (talk) 01:09, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

No objection to taking these "usable". As Ontario is still usable with Algonquin Provincial Park and one park island at outline (but all other main cities and other destinations usable or better), holding NYS at "outline" now seems a bit excessive. That said, this example was illustrative of how the specific location placement of one weak article in the hierarchy can have a huge impact on how severely its 'unusability' propagates up the chain. Rome (New York)#Sleep is blank, so the destination article is not at all usable; no one cares as that holds back only Central New York, a skeletal subregion on which nothing actually depends. What would happen if instead Saranac Lake#Sleep were missing or unusable? It's a tiny place (pop 5000, a sixth the size of small-city Rome NY) but the Adirondacks are parkland and Saranac is the largest teeming metropolis in that geographically-huge region (which says little, as Lake George has 4000 people and Lake Placid about 3000, all of these are tiny; the area is otherwise protected parkland). Saranac Lake at outline therefore could readily pull Adirondacks down to outline, and because Adirondacks is a huge state park (and not just another pointless subregion for the pile) it's an important "other destination" in New York (state) and listed among "Other destinations" in the parent Mid-Atlantic region. Mid-Atlantic *must* be usable for USA to be guide, so if the next editor who came along were to knock Saranac down to outline and consider Adirondacks to be an important "other destination" in the Mid-Atlantic region, in theory that could pull the region and the entire country down a notch for want of a good bed for the night in a tiny pop-5000 village in a 19 million person federated state. It's hypothetical, but simply returning Saranac Lake to outline could be more damaging to the nation than leaving Montana at outline (the current status quo, which nonetheless allowed the Republic to survive in better-than-usable condition to see another day). Why? Montana's placement in the hierarchy makes it less important to the USA than Alaska. All of this is based on articles which have either recently changed status or are ready to be changed; the outcomes are hypothetical but entirely plausible. The results can be quite counter-intuitive and hard to follow at times, but this seems to be the way things work because of the way our complex article status system is structured. K7L (talk) 16:41, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
I couldn't have said it any better. And I guess similar issues are keeping Europe (and many of its countries) at outline as well... Hobbitschuster (talk) 17:04, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
The theoretical problem of our system is quite clear. Still however, we're probably talking about a (few) dozen articles that are unnecessarily held back in practice, if that. Rather than changing a policy that works well enough for our thousands of region articles, I suggest we use common sense and consensus to just promote that handful of articles. If there's too much fear of overruling policy, we could even add a line in our policy about the possibility of an exception per consensus, when an article technically doesn't fully meet our criteria, but is clearly a good guide in practice. We only need a real policy-changing discussion if the actual problem would apply to many articles. So far, there's no actual list. JuliasTravels (talk) 17:20, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
So if this is a minor issue that only crops up in rare cases, why is Mexico an outline? Why is Switzerland? Why is Poland? Why are all continents except Antarctica and Oceania? Why is Sweden an outline and why is China? Why is Nicaragua usable and Costa Rica not? And that's not even getting into regions... I do think the issue is anything but minor... Best wishes Hobbitschuster (talk) 17:50, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
Why shouldn't they be? What is your basis for the contention that we ought to, at this moment in time, have outstanding guides, up and down the hierarchy, for every country on the planet? Of course that's our eventual goal, but perhaps you've overestimated the number of people contributing here.
Anyway, K7L, I think perhaps part of the problem here is the occasional use of a Region article as an Other Destination at higher levels of the hierarchy. If we strictly kept those O.D's to Parks and Cities (that is, leaf-node articles), the perceived difficulty of getting a Country article to Usable would disappear. Would you agree with that assessment?
-- Powers (talk) 18:38, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
It's not necessarily that our coverage on those places is bad, it is more often than not that the rules prevent us from upgrading them and showing how great our coverage on those places really is. Does anybody here really think the article on Antarctica serves the voyager better than that on Europe? If you do think so, I would like to hear your reasoning. If you do not think so, why does the article status not reflect that? It appears as if in our current system we inherently discriminate against places with "more in them" be it in terms of touristic interest, number of visitors or number of destinations. Which is imho all too bad, because those places are naturally the ones people will search for first. Not Nauru or Antarctica. Wouldn't it be great if at some point in the (not too distant) future, we could feature a "country of the month" or something to that extent? While we do have outstanding coverage on some cities (and even - dare I say it - a very small number of rural destinations that are handled in some "creative" way), our coverage on countries is just as good, yet not recognized. Anyway, I do think I made my point... Hobbitschuster (talk) 18:46, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
It's only natural that places with more stuff in them are harder to improve. Consider two cities: one with a couple of hotels, two big attractions, and a handful of restaurants; and a large city with dozens of each and public transit and nightlife. The latter will be harder to elevate in status simply because it has more stuff to write about. There's no reason regions and countries shouldn't suffer from the same natural disparity. Powers (talk) 23:38, 24 June 2015 (UTC)
Because this status box is right on every article page (not on the talk page, Wikipedia-style) and is voyageur-facing, it's unclear what the intention of a broad "This region travel guide to Canada or Mexico is an outline" disclaimer is intended to accomplish; is it a warning to the voyager that the information is too badly incomplete to be relied upon, or is it simply maintenance categorisation for use by the small minority of Wikivoyageurs actively editing and generating new content? A box on a region article also doesn't make clear what exactly is be fixed; it might be something on the page itself, it might be something one or more levels down the hierarchy. At least Talk:New York (state) had a good list where you said what was holding the page in outline status from 2012-2015, but most of the others don't indicate what's wrong. It's manageable for bottom-level destinations (nowhere to sleep in Rome is clear enough) but the only way to see why Mexico is an outline is to click through the whole enchilada. K7L (talk) 17:42, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
Not to mention that it is irritating. Just like the "this page has some issues" that the majority of WP pages seem to have nowadays... If a high level article is an "outline" I as a reader am constantly looking for errors and what is missing, and that is clearly not in the best interest of our readers and not in the best interest of the page as it discourages using our guides and making them useful... Hobbitschuster (talk) 17:52, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
I should think we would want to have our readers looking for problems (and, hopefully, fixing them). Powers (talk) 19:34, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
We don't want our readers getting the impression are bad or unreliable, especially when they are demonstrably not. That's the issue more than one person has had with the "this page has issues" tag on WP.... Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:57, 25 June 2015 (UTC)

I think the articles being held back because of some outline destination perhaps really should be held back. If Adirondacks is an important parkland people might want to visit and Saranac Lake is one of the biggest places over there, not giving any advice on where to sleep is not good (I see the article is fixed now).

As Europe was mentioned above and the Nordic countries one of the lacking parts, I checked whether it would be easy to fix. It turned out there is nearly no information on Sweden's national parks (also Gotland is an outline). The Nordic countries is an important part of Europe and nature is one of the big attractions over here. Could we say we have adequate coverage if e.g. Laponia (said to be the largest wilderness in Europe) is an outline?

We do have good coverage on Europe for most visitors, but the question is what status we want to advertise if some key destinations are outlines (if it really is some tiny place that is holding a country back, wouldn't that be easy to fix?).

--LPfi (talk) 12:03, 26 June 2015 (UTC)

If I look at a page and see This article on Montana is an outline with a mountain of problems that doesn't tell me what's wrong. Is it the page itself (a safe assumption on WP, which doesn't tag pages as bad due to issues on a subtopic on some other page, but not necessarily here)? Is it the major cities (they look OK)? The subregions (maybe, but a subregion shouldn't hold a parent in outline, even if it is an issue at higher levels like promotion of usable pages to guide)? The "other destinations" (which look pretty bad, and a couple even red-link)? The list of small towns, places like Glendive (again a mess, but not enough to pull the whole state down)? One has to wade through multiple articles and multiple levels of article to even try to guess what's going on, and even then it isn't clear which are the "important" destinations and "principal cities" that can make or break an entire federated state. Montana's parent (US Rocky Mountains) had two states out of four in "outline" status, with no explanation as to what was wrong in each. This system is confusing enough for seasoned Wikivoyagers, how on Earth is some random user reading this for the first time to guess what is meant by "Montana is an outline"? K7L (talk) 13:01, 26 June 2015 (UTC)
One problem is that the outline template, saying one could help, links to Geographical hierarchy, Outline articles, Article templates, Where you can stick it, Plunge forward and How to edit a page, but not to the criteria. Those are found by following a link in the last paragraph of the second linked page ("outline") and clicking the right item in the second list.
Having the "you can help" text link specific instructions would make doing the appropriate changes much easier. I am not sure what page should be linked as the main instruction page. For the problem discussed, the criteria are important, but perhaps some of the other pages could prominently link to those and have better general instructions. If the problem is not the page itself, but some of the linked pages, one could list a few key problem destinations in the template itself:
This [region article] is an outline and it or some of the linked pages needs to be improved. Please plunge forward with e.g. [[some key outline]] or [[some other key outline]].
When most listed destinations are fixed somebody should evaluate what still needs to be done. If all problem pages are listed, this should be noted "Please plunge forward with X and Y, which are the last to hold this guide back at outline status".
--LPfi (talk) 18:54, 27 June 2015 (UTC)
I'd wondered if a 'bot script could follow all of the dependencies on lower-level articles and generate a skeleton of a table like the one LtPowers had on Talk:New York (state)#Destination article statuses but it doesn't look feasible. A usable region "has links to the region's major cities and other destinations (the most important of which must be at usable status or better), and a Get in section describing all of the typical ways to get there. The most prominent attractions are identified with directions." That raises the question to determine what is "important" or "prominent", which must be done manually at every level of the hierarchy. That could be a hugely time-consuming process; Canada is outline because, while British Columbia, Ontario and Québec are usable, many smaller provinces are not. It would take much further iteration to determine what's wrong with each province (or group of provinces or territories, as some are clustered into subregions to keep this to nine) as this requires navigating multiple levels and guessing which subtopics are "important".
The Montana example I'd mentioned is odd as removing things might get it to "usable", in a manner fully consistent with policy. The subregions only need to be "outline". The major cities need to be usable; what's there now is a list of nine main cities (which are usable) and many small towns (mostly articles of poor quality). Blow away all but the nine main cities (as Wikivoyage:Avoid long lists says they belong in the subregions anyway) and the article just improved. The "other destinations" are a dog's breakfast. Glacier and Jellystone are guide, or "smarter than the average bear", but the list of individual towns at the Yellowstone park gates is largely rubbish. Discard it. Lewis and Clark Trail is an outline itinerary across multiple states, which could be moved out of "other destinations" to some other section. Most of the other "other destinations" are small national parks which might not even meet Wikivoyage:What is an article? as city-sized or region-sized entities that need a park article - move them to "Do" or to their respective villages. Voilà, nine cities and two other destinations which are actually usable and a bunch of rubbish holding the state back has been swept elsewhere. Not particularly obvious to anyone without a good rules lawyer on retainer (what? you expect to reach 'usable' just by removing stuff?) but entirely technically valid. Neither a random new user seeing "this region is an outline" nor an automated process would've seen that coming, as there's more to this than just following the tree to see if the foundation roots are usable.
Usability of regions in Wikivoyage is confusing and hard to follow. There's no easy way to get a list, for every outline region, of which pages are holding that region back. K7L (talk) 00:33, 28 June 2015 (UTC)

Alright; lots of good arguments are being made. Now let's get back to Hobbitschuster's core point that we might reconsider: while our coverage of many countries is still incomplete, many of them are in practice usable for a large part of the travellers that head there. Perhaps we shouldn't talk about the whole system of promoting articles, but rather about changing the wording and criteria for making a country usable. I do think there would be a lot of merit to upgrading rather well-developed country articles with missing regions or towns that see relatively few travellers. That said, I don't think all examples mentioned by Hobbitschuster would qualify. For any country article to be usable, I think all nine cities and all other destinations should be usable, plus a good bunch more. And that should be a full list, not a stripped one, in order to allow travel choices. In my mind, that would bring us to the same usability as many of the thinner commercially printed guides aiming at the huge numbers of 2 or 3 week highlight holidays - and then we would still only call it usable. Most of the articles mentioned by Hobbitschuster (like Sweden, Poland and Costa Rica) still wouldn't qualify, but it would make it much more feasible to get them there. JuliasTravels (talk) 09:42, 28 June 2015 (UTC)

I think the usable status is the core issue. Especially a the country level. If some places cannot easily be promoted to it, we may need a more concentrated effort... Costa Rica for one is really the place in Central America where "everybody" goes... Hobbitschuster (talk) 21:31, 28 June 2015 (UTC)
JuliasTravels, maybe you could help me understand the point a little better. What is it about the status of some other page (e.g., a city page) that makes me unable to use this page (e.g., a country page)? I've just looked at Montana, and I'm pretty sure that – using only that page, and the primary sources it links to – I could find a way to get there, find something to eat, figure out something to do or see, and figure out that a lot of people go camping there (that's when you stay in a really cheap motel, right?  ;-) .
If saying that an individual page is "usable" is not meant to indicate people are "able to use" that page, but instead that people are able to use a whole bunch of related pages, then perhaps we need a new term of the art for this concept, like "Good topic" or "Developed cluster". WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:23, 29 June 2015 (UTC)
Our guides are hierarchical and recursive. Our guide to Montana includes all of the articles "beneath" it in the hierarchy.
JuliasTravels, your proposal is the same as the current requirements for Usable status for Countries, and more restrictive than our current requirements for Regions.
-- Powers (talk) 19:38, 29 June 2015 (UTC)

Subheading to make reading and contributing easier[edit]

I just made this sub headline to make it easier to find the bottom... If I am not mistaken, the extreme points of the debate are on the one hand those who say "only the article at hand itself should matter" for usable or any other status. And on the other hand there is the (maybe just theoretical) extreme position of "Every article on levels of the hierarchy beneath the one in question has to be at least as good for the top level article to be promoted"... I see reason in both arguments and most likely the end result (if there is any change in policy at all) will be in the middle of the two, but I tend more towards the first extreme... Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:42, 29 June 2015 (UTC)

I also tend towards the former. I'm mostly thinking about a practical-editing issue: It would be nice to have "the page status" reflect the status of "the page", rather than "the page and all sub-pages" (or sub-sub pages), so that it's easier to figure out which page actually needs work. Also, it seems illogical to say that Page X is 'bad', despite being obviously in great shape, because there are problems on Pages Y and Z.
However, I like the idea of being able to identify a topic that is well-developed, beyond the individual page. That's an advantage to the current approach. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:53, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
One possible solution to that would be two status designations, one concerning only the quality of the page at hand and the other concerning the overall coverage... Hobbitschuster (talk) 16:09, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
It isn't even "X is bad because there are problems on Pages Y and Z." It's X is bad, and we're going to leave you to guess what's holding it back. Maybe Y is the important "other destination" that's blocking the 'critical path' while Z is a subregion we don't care about; maybe it's the other way around. Have fun trying to guess which ones are "the region's major cities and other destinations (the most important of which must be at usable status or better)" and which really don't matter. K7L (talk) 16:43, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
I've taken a Dominion Day look through the top-level Canada articles and posted status at Talk:Canada#Destination article statuses, following the basic.format from the NYS list. Ouch. Half of the provinces (and none of the territories) are 'usable', although the nine main cities are in good shape. If I understand correctly, Terra Nova and Yoho National Parks at 'outline' are doing more harm to Canada than Manitoba, Saskatchewan, the three Maritime provinces and the three territories being unusable? K7L (talk) 19:20, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
Not to step on anybody's toes, but how relevant are the territories really in the great scheme of things? From what I know areas are "territories" that are mostly vast expanses of empty nothingness that are furthermore rather remote. At least that's the case for Caribbean Nicaragua and as far as I heard the same is true for Arctic Canada, isn't it? As for the "other destinations"... Are they really important enough to be listed at the country level? But thanks a bunch for the work; I hope we can get continental Anglo-America (yep, that's a grand total of two countries) up to guide soon ;-)Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:38, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
It's not just the territories, which are way off the beaten path... as many provinces are at 'outline' as at 'usable', and those are relevant. Nova Scotia is not Nunavut. The "other destinations" tend to be large national/provincial parks, ghost towns, Disney-size amusement parks, pioneer villages, individual UNESCO sites, gaping canyons, landmarks, mountain ranges and geographic features like Niagara Falls. They're usually not major cities (or they would be listed there instead) or the upper level of subregions (which already have their place) - regions randomly taken from further down the hierarchy and park articles are the obvious candidates, with possibly the occasional itinerary. What else is one to put in "other destinations"? Nonetheless, a badly-written national park article, linked at country level, could (according to the criteria) do more damage than an entire "outline" province. K7L (talk) 23:01, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
Yeah I guess Novia Scotia is kind of important. Not least because it was one of the first territories in today's Canada to be settled and one of the founding provinces... I think other destinations should not be regions at the same time. If something is listed as a "other destination" it should be a "city" with unusual properties (thousand islands or islands like Sylt) a park or some other place that is neither a city in the traditional sense nor a region according to WV. Hobbitschuster (talk) 09:41, 2 July 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I like the idea of two separate statuses – one for the page at hand, and one for the general collection. Among other benefits, it would help contributors know whether the 'problem' at Canada is actually at Canada, or if that page is fine and the 'problem' is at one or more pages that it links to. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:13, 2 July 2015 (UTC)

Whatever the solution may be, I am in favor of making the rationale for this specific status of this specific page clearer at all pages, especially "outlines" high up in the regional hierarchy... Hobbitschuster (talk) 16:24, 2 July 2015 (UTC)
I can't say I like the concept of multiple statuses, unless it's phrased as one. While it makes sense to somehow upgrade countries or regions that de facto meet most travellers' needs, even when they don't fully meet our criteria, we shouldn't pretend an Tuscany guide can ever be a good guide (or even usable) without a usable article for Pisa, Florence and Lucca. Yes, it's useful to know where the flaws are, but even a star region article will still have not a single listing to eat or sleep (as per our policy), and people don't plan trips to Tuscany without picking more specific destinations. JuliasTravels (talk) 18:56, 2 July 2015 (UTC)
Some people do. When going to some places (Nicaragua for one) I like just going to a place and looking at a couple of places to stay and eat before committing. (Of course pre-booking is not necessary unless it is semana santa high season). So I would probably only need a couple of listing in total to get a feel for what's on offer for what prices. They are however essential for places where pre-booking is the rule (Germany for one). And as to "star regions" we really can't tell what they are supposed to look like, as Bali is currently the only entry in this category and will probably be for a long time hence. The same goes for star countries which currently is a category of one (Singapore). This is partly why I keep raising the issue and why other are also looking for some reform to the letter and or interpretation of policy... Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:08, 2 July 2015 (UTC)
I think we're kidding ourselves if we separate the status of a region / country article from the usability if its main destinations. Sure, a seasoned traveller outside of high season may not make a single reservation, but we've always contained that a destination needs a few listings to be "usable". As far as I'm concerned, that few listings rule for the major destinations within a region must remain a bare minimum for any region article to be called usable. I also don't think that's where the problem is. My point is that we don't need to create two statuses for one article to mention the weak points. We should make a judgement call on whether or not our coverage of a region is good enough to be called usable or guide status. I'm perfectly fine with a coverage being called "guide" level when some less popular sub-regions are outlines. It's not okay to solely judge a region status on the region article itself, though. JuliasTravels (talk) 19:39, 2 July 2015 (UTC)
My main point of contention with the current policy is its inherent fuzziness. While we now have (thanks to the good work of, among others User:Traveler100 and User:LtPowers) Lists of what is needed for certain status upgrades for articles about - say Germany or Canada - there is really nothing but guesswork for many other articles. Add onto that that some of our articles would long qualify for higher status yet still sit at outline (as evidenced by my recent foray into the status of districts) and you got yourself confused readers and contributors, which imho should never be the result of anything... best wishes Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:48, 2 July 2015 (UTC)
I would say our coverage on Tuscany would not be good with just the page Tuscany being good. I think this is exactly what our criteria are reflecting. I think few people go to Nicaragua without wanting some information on specific towns (although seemingly some do), so our criteria make sense. The problem is the less than perfect wording in the templates and our not keeping track of where our coverage is lacking.
For the latter, I think anybody trying to get a page upgraded and finding some criteria not fulfilled should have a way to state their findings in an obvious place, either in the template itself or at the talk page. If this can be done with a bot, it would help a lot, but as we are evaluating the guides by hand, stating what we do find would be very little extra work. We only need a (semi?)standardized way to do it.
--LPfi (talk) 19:48, 2 July 2015 (UTC)
I like to have coverage for Nicaragua before deciding where to go. I don't need hotel listings. If I see in the article on Rivas that most people only pass through (and from my own experience with good reason given what is close by), I won't plan more than one day there, tops. However, I won't need any number of eat or sleep listings which are - for good reason - emphasized in our current criteria for cities. But evaluating every hamlet in North Hesse to ascertain whether our coverage on Germany merits this status or another is quite frankly not useful to anybody. Especially as most often the narrowest and hardest to fulfill interpretation of our article statuses are applied... I think I am repeating myself, but the number of outlinecountries is a bug, not a feature. We just have to see where the bug is. Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:54, 2 July 2015 (UTC)
Again, find an outline country whose coverage -- including subarticles -- is worthy of being called "usable" and we can talk. Without specifics, we're just going in circles. Powers (talk) 23:15, 2 July 2015 (UTC)
I think we're talking past each other. On the one hand, we have multiple people saying, "I personally can wikt:use this page, all by itself, to plan a trip, so it's kind of silly to say that this page is not 'usable'", and you're saying "Show me a page whose subpages meet the criteria, even though your whole point is that the state of the subpages is irrelevant to whether you can use this page". WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:59, 3 July 2015 (UTC)

JuliasTravels, it should be easy to phrase the status in a single line: "This is {a decent} page in {an incomplete} topic." Swap in whichever status is most appropriate for those two words.

Hobbitschuster, would you be satisfied if the higher level areas were required to declare, on their talk pages, exactly which subpages were keeping the page at outline status? WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:59, 3 July 2015 (UTC)

Powers is right, we should talk specifics. Say, for example, Italy. Several major destinations and the regions are still at outline, but then again, there are so many major destinations in Italy that we still have plenty of information to plan a month long trip through the country without needing another guidebook. Is that a relevant example for a country coverage that could be called usable, even if it's a far way from being guide status? JuliasTravels (talk) 09:32, 6 July 2015 (UTC)
Yes I would say having the pages say - at least on their talk page - what exactly the issue is is certainly a step in the right direction. Hobbitschuster (talk) 09:53, 6 July 2015 (UTC)
Well part of the problem is that Outline status is the default. It may not mean that there is a deficiency to be identified; it may simply mean that no one has looked to see if it satisfies the Usable criteria yet.
As for the Italy example, I don't see how you can call the guide Usable when Lake Como is still at Outline. If any of the other Outline destinations are not essential, then they should be removed rather than hold up the promotion of the Italy article. Powers (talk) 23:40, 6 July 2015 (UTC)
What do you think about spamming all such talk pages with a note explaining that the page needs to be reviewed, and either the status changed or a list of deficiencies posted on the talk page? It might help us identify how many (or how few) of the pages are wrongly categorized, and it would encourage people to make the list that Hobbit and others need. It might also stimulate discussions about whether Lake Como is actually critical. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:46, 7 July 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps a script could generate part of this sort of chart? It couldn't guess which individual park is able to hold back a state as that's an arbitrary call as to what's "important" and "prominent", but it could do some of the 'grunt' work of going down the list of cities, subregions and other destinations to retrieve the status of each, generating a skeleton of the chart. The details of determining what's wrong with each subpage at 'outline' would still be left to humans. K7L (talk) 15:59, 8 July 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I like that idea. Though I don't know about its technological feasibility. Hobbitschuster (talk) 16:19, 8 July 2015 (UTC)

I like the incentive "Outline" status gives people to fix linked articles — particularly when there's some kind of chart showing their status and what improvements should be made. However, I would ask you to consider what a reader not schooled in Wikivoyage lingo thinks when seeing the "Outline" status on an article. And then the question is, is there any way to split the difference here, so that readers don't think the article is completely shoddy or unreliable and editors have an incentive to continue to improve linked articles? Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:23, 7 July 2015 (UTC)
I agree with you, Ikan, but I'd settle for getting one of these two problems fixed. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:46, 7 July 2015 (UTC)
Right now, the incentive to fix linked articles exists. The problem is to find a way for the incentive to remain when the other problem is dealt with. Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:35, 7 July 2015 (UTC)
The incentive to fix linked articles is broken, as it arbitrarily imparts a very skewed vision of the importance of a subtopic based on its position in the hierarchy. An outline Terra Nova National Park might be able to hold all of Canada in outline while an outline Newfoundland and Labrador might not? Why? The park is linked directly in "other destinations", the province is buried under another subregion, Atlantic Provinces. If you want a bunch of large parks fixed, but everything else languishing at outline, the incentive to do this exists. K7L (talk) 18:53, 7 July 2015 (UTC)
One problem is when you can fix an article by removing a link to an important (but not that important) destination. When whether to keep it is a judgement call, that judgement should not be influenced by technical rating issues. --LPfi (talk) 20:30, 7 July 2015 (UTC)
None of our ratings are objective; judgement calls are always necessary. Part of that judgement is determining whether a subarticle is important enough to the destination to affect its rating. If Terra Nova is not important enough to Canada for it to affect Canada's rating, then it should be removed from the Other Destinations list. If it remains on the OD list, then it is, prima facie, important enough that it should have an effect upon Canada's rating.
To answer Ikan's query (what a reader not schooled in Wikivoyage lingo thinks) I would point out that none of us actually knows. If the status templates don't make it clear that the rating applies to the entire travel guide, not just to the single page on which it's located, we can look at alternative wordings. But I don't know that we should take that as an article of faith without further evidence.
-- Powers (talk) 21:00, 7 July 2015 (UTC)
The reasoning that any destination article that shouldn't hold a country guide back from being usable (we're not talking guide!) should be removed from the list doesn't make any sense to me. Why would that be so intrinsically connected? I can't think of many countries where there aren't 9+9 destinations worth mentioning, and where those shouldn't all be usable to call the article a good guide. It seems odd to pick only 4 or 5, suggesting that this is a country with few real sights, only for technical rating issues.
To get back to the specific example of Italy, I might agree with you if the Lake Como article would not exist. There's quite a lot of info though (enough to be usable for an adventurous traveller in fact: it's treated as a region article, but there's plenty of listings to eat and sleep in the Como area, just spread over the different sub-destinations). There's loads of info on other Italian destinations. Many cities are guide level. I've travelled to Italy at least half a dozen times. Our coverage is not yet as good as my LP's, but it is in fact much better than my several 15 euro handbooks that most Dutch people use when heading there for their 3 week holiday. So yes, I still think Italy easily deserves usable status. I also think it's important that any reader who sees our guide doesn't get the impression that the coverage is too poor to use, and thus closes his laptop and orders another guide book. All that said, I'm not sure how much influence these statuses at the bottom actually have, but that's another discussion :-) JuliasTravels (talk) 09:57, 8 July 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── That appears to be yet another problem with our current policy: its ambiguous wording. While it talks about "the most important" other destinations, many people take it to mean all of them... Which of course makes reaching usable and above more difficult still. Hobbitschuster (talk) 10:53, 8 July 2015 (UTC)

The Wikivoyage:Country guide status guidelines require all of them; Wikivoyage:Region guide status talks about "the most important". Perhaps that's where you're getting confused?
I'm afraid I still don't see how JuliasTravels can say that an article is vital enough to a country's travel guide to be listed among the nine Other Destinations, but yet not important enough to be considered when evaluating the quality of said guide. The whole point of the Cities and Other Destinations sections is to provide shortcut links to the country's most important destinations. Why would we then turn around and say, "well, this is important for a traveler to Italy, but you don't need the article"? Powers (talk) 00:07, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
Often, the decision of which nine "other destinations" to include at country level is itself an entirely arbitrary one. Is Terra Nova National Park more or less worthy of Canada#Other destinations than Gros Morne National Park? Would opening every provincial and national park article (including Anticosti), picking nine usable (or better) ones and dropping them in place of the current list magically make Canada usable? There are a huge number of parks in Her Majesty's largest Dominion, nine of them somewhere must be usable. K7L (talk) 17:17, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
I agree with JuliasTravels. A country can have interesting destinations that are worth mentioning in the 9 Cities and 9 Other destinations, but I don’t think that means they’re all vital to the guide being useable — particularly with the national parks, islands and what not that make up Other destinations. Using Canada as an example (sorry, I don’t know enough about Italy to continue with that example), I would think only Banff National Park, Jasper National Park and Niagara Falls (Ontario) (of which the last isn’t even listed) would be the only “other destinations” that need to be useable for Canada. Waterton Lakes, Terra Nova and Algonquin are all beautiful spots but I don’t think they have the importance or visitor numbers to warrant holding Canada back from being useable if they were the reason for it.
Another way to look at it would be if we don’t think all nine cities and other destinations of a State, Province or other region need to be useable for the parent region to be useable, why are countries different?
BTW, are there any conclusions from all this discussion? The points that stand out to me are:
  • some people think the current way of determining the status of a region is not working well
  • to address that, we could:
    • rate region pages based on the content of the page only
    • have two statuses, one for the page and for the coverage of the subregions and destinations
    • change the way region status is determined
    • do nothing
  • additionally, listing the status of a region’s subregions and key destinations plus reasons for why a region is being held back on the talk page is helpful, particularly if it could be automated in some way
Does that cover it? -Shaundd (talk) 04:14, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
I think that more or less covers it fair enough. Now we would have to find any sort of consensus or decision. I think the status quo ain't cutting it. As an aside Netherlands is now guide... Hobbitschuster (talk) 17:24, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
I like the two-status solution, but if we want a single status, could the rules for Usable (and only "Usable") be made less dependent upon linked articles?
I don't think that it's possible to list reasons why a region is being held back on the talk page automatically. It might be possible (for someone else) to write a script that makes a list of all linked articles and their statuses, and to post that list on the talk page. Then someone could manually determine which of these actually matter. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:46, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
So... Before this discussion dies a slow death yet again. What should we do? Hobbitschuster (talk) 11:55, 12 July 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── That depends, Hobbitschuster. Can you write me a bot that spams all the talk pages with a list of linked pages and their (alleged) status? I think it should create a list more or less like this:

Linked pages as of 13 July 2015

and then leave a note explaining that people should determine which of these were important enough to affect page status, remove any that aren't, and make a list (maybe in a template in the talk page's header) that identifies which linked pages are adversely affecting the page status. If the bot can exclude links that are unlikely to be relevant (e.g., only pick links from certain sections), then that would reduce the work that interested individuals need to do.

Secondly, I think we should contemplate some changes to templates like {{Outlinecountry}}. For example, if we want to hold good pages back based on subpages, then we might change "This country travel guide to ____ is an outline and needs more content" to say "This country travel guide to ____ has been rated as an outline because either it or some pages it links to need more content". Moving to either a two-status solution or to a page-itself approach would require manually reassessing all of the pages (which would be easier to do if we had lists of pages). WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:55, 13 July 2015 (UTC)

Unfortunately I am almost a functional an-alphabet when it comes to computer science... However, I think we could greatly reduce the complexity of the bot if we make it access only the "Cities" and "other destinations" sections. We might still have to do something by hand in the rare cases where we list "towns" instead, but that does not appear to be the main problem. Also the bot should probably be able to access the "Regions" (even though they are not needed for usable) and their respective statuses... Hobbitschuster (talk) 23:50, 13 July 2015 (UTC)

Which non-city-state country can get to star?[edit]

With Germany, the USA and the Netherlands now countries whose size exceeds 20 square miles and 10 000 people and which are rated at guide and efforts at places like Canada to reach a status upgrade in the foreseeable future, the question has to be raised which country should become our "model" for a country that is not in essence a "huge city" (like Singapore) to become our first star country. While I do think all sublevels being guide (which means for example in the case of Germany that North Hesse at outline can hold the starnomination of the country back, because it holds Hesse at usable at best etc.) would be too much to ask, we should establish what our letter of the law policy means in actual fact. (Another example, any of the islands of Hawaii is able to "block" a starnomination of the USA...) Anyway, I think we can get a "real" (not city state) star country before the year is out. Hobbitschuster (talk) 23:08, 9 July 2015 (UTC)

I don't mean to take this discussion on another tangent, but the statement that "any of the islands of Hawaii is able to "block" a starnomination of the USA", presumably because Hawaii is a top-level region rather than a second-level region like most other states, runs counter to the longstanding principle that every guideline on Wikivoyage should be applied using common sense. Hawaii is a top-level region because it's an isolated island in the middle of the ocean, and its subdivisions should carry no more weight than those of any other USA state. Hopefully we don't need to pre-pend all of our guidelines with "remember to use common sense in the application of this guideline", but I fear that the culture here is becoming too focused on the "letter of the law policy" when it is the spirit of the law that has always been the most important thing. -- Ryan • (talk) • 23:35, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
I don't think it's unreasonable to expect state subregions to be at Usable or better for the U.S. to get to Star. Powers (talk) 00:46, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
I agree. Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:21, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
Not all states are top level subregions of the US. Texas and Hawaii are, for example, whereas Alabama is not (it being a subregion of the South). Therefore, Alabama has currently - if we follow the letter of the law which somebody is guaranteed to do - as much importance for the overall status of the US as any of the immediate subregions of Hawaii, Texas or Alaska including Arctic Alaska. And if we raise the spirit of the law versus letter of the law argument, the "constitutional originalist" argument of "if you don't like policy, change it" will surely be raised, whatever its merits... Anyway, I just wanted to raise the issue, whether we can get one of our current guide or even usable countries to star any time soon Hobbitschuster (talk) 12:24, 10 July 2015 (UTC)

Automatic maintenance category... Or something[edit]

Swept in from the pub

So I had a look at the outline district list again just now and it appears that first of all they have once again risen in number (not a bad thing, a wiki is a living breathing thing, after all) from just below 200 to now above 250. However, they seem to cluster an awful lot in a few specific cities with very few cities that only have one or two outline districts... Is it possible to automatically alert editors (via the talk page or some such) if any given article (let's start with cities) has more than x percent of its child articles (in this case districts) at outline or worse? With breadcrumbs this shouldn't be too much of a problem, right? Or is my non-technological humble self mistaken? (okay that was a weird way of saying that) Hobbitschuster (talk) 17:23, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

Oh and btw Leeds and Atlanta seem to be among the prime offenders in that regard and the latter at least seems to have been for almost three years now... Hobbitschuster (talk) 17:31, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
Taipei also seems to have a similar problem... Hobbitschuster (talk) 17:37, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
HS you may want to look at Wikivoyage_talk:Requests_for_maps#Many_districtified_cities_don't_have_district_maps!. The places with "D" have discussions, ahem, "going on". ϒpsilon (talk) 17:40, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
Well there seems to be some overlap... Some cities it would appear are subdivided into districts but lack district maps... This may or may not be due to an excessive number of districts... And unfortunately some of these discussion are entirely DOA... This may sound radical, but... What about a "nuke from orbit" approach? Let's give a deadline by which someone can "speak or forever hold their peace" in opposition to remerging the district articles (at least for some of the worst offenders) and from there we can redraw districts with tabula rasa... Probably a bad idea, I know. Just tossin' it out there... Hobbitschuster (talk) 17:48, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
Almost two years back when I noticed the problems I tried to awaken some of the district discussions. I don't remember getting many answers. :/ Hm, the Leeds map is from the time when I hadn't got the hang of mapmaking. Perhaps I should make a new one sometime... ϒpsilon (talk) 18:23, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
The problem is - I fear - that many users don't feel confident chiming in when they don't know the city. I know I don't... Hobbitschuster (talk) 18:56, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
Yup, when the districts are already decided upon, and perhaps some articles already been created, then it's easy to google up listings in each district to look where they are on a map and then draw a map. But if there is no basic idea whatsoever, then it's hard to come up with a meaningful district division. Often there's an official division of the city, but that's made up with inhabitants in mind rather than travelers.
If an article is so long that it should probably be districtified (IMO the number of listings in most sections (classic hotel touting of course doesn't count :)) starts approaching 35-40) there tends to be one or more active users who are seriously knowledgeable about the place who've written that content and who can help out with districts. Sadly, if those people haven't edited here in several years, we're back on square one.
Likely the best approach for the articles that aren't districtified would be to merge everything back into the main article. In the case that some city article then would be absolutely bloated with listings and stuff, I mean to the point of bursting, it can probably be divided into North/South/East/West according to things clearly visible on a map (rivers, railroads, major boulevards and highways) or let it be as it is (I'm thinking of Moscow especially). ϒpsilon (talk) 19:42, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
We did try something like your suggestion above with Seoul with good results. That article had a huge amount of districts that was rationalized to a reasonable amount (Seoul is a very big city) Andrewssi2 (talk) 20:53, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

A recent edit - let's debate this before we decide[edit]

Have a look at this to be quite frank, I sort of like the idea. However, this probably requires consensus. What do you think? Hobbitschuster (talk) 00:12, 24 April 2016 (UTC)

I'm not a huge fan, but it's project space so I'm willing to give it a shot. I wouldn't accept this in articles at this time, though. Powers (talk) 01:47, 24 April 2016 (UTC)
(conflict of interest?) These could be used as icons for the relevant templates. 108.180.147.149 22:55, 25 April 2016 (UTC)
I'm not sure why we have status templated onto the article page at all. It's pushed off to the talk page on WP, unless the article's a hopeless stub. K7L (talk) 02:22, 26 April 2016 (UTC)
The status template, and other housekeeping tags, are convenient on the article rather than the talk page as it makes enquiry tools and bot edits easier to execute. I do however think they could be less in your face. The idea of the icon is worth considering but I would also keep the first sentence visible, stating that the page is a travel guide helps with search engines and the name of the article again at the bottom of the page is useful when you have a number of long articles on the screen. The rest of the text could be made available with an expand option. --Traveler100 (talk) 05:57, 26 April 2016 (UTC)
On a side topic. @108.180.147.149: could you please create a user login name or sign on if you already have one (is an odd place for a beginner to start contributing to a Wiki site), would make discussions easier and maybe more pleasant. --Traveler100 (talk) 05:57, 26 April 2016 (UTC)

Add travel topics to destinations' status criteria[edit]

With the proliferation of travel topic articles covering many different aspects of a destination (e.g., American Civil War, Association Football in Europe, Chinese cuisine, Sydney Airport, etc.), I think our article status criteria need to take them into account. For example, to advance to guide status, a destination article needs to have its subsidiary geographic articles at least 'usable'. I propose that subsidiary travel topics -- at least some of them -- should be required to be at a certain status as well. What do you think? Powers (talk) 23:30, 9 August 2016 (UTC)

Maybe, but how would we define when and which topics? Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:53, 10 August 2016 (UTC)

Status template text[edit]

Swept in from the pub

I took a look at Europe and again noticed it is classified as an outline. The quality criteria for usable may or may not be at the right level, but saying "This continent travel guide to Europe is an outline and needs more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present." is silly, to say the least. Visible text should give correct and intelligible information, and we should at least not beg our readers to plunge forward with such misleading directions.

The continent, country, region and hugecity status templates need text that suggests the problem can be elsewhere in the hierarchy and a link to an intelligible explanation of what needs to be done (I usually go via quite a few pages before finding the criteria, every time). Now the text is in a template not meant for mortals to edit, so I am not going to change it, but I hope those who unified the templates do something about it.

--LPfi (talk) 18:49, 16 August 2016 (UTC)

I have added some more specific text, please provide feedback on better phrasing or now you see what was edited you can make changes yourself. --Traveler100 (talk) 19:23, 16 August 2016 (UTC)
I appreciate your quick fix; my wording was too harsh. Checking the template more carefully, I see it is indeed possible to have specific text, but I need some sleep before being able to figure out how to get sensible results; the text for outline continents is still not very clear. --LPfi (talk) 20:43, 16 August 2016 (UTC)
Where can I see the changes to the text? And yeah, you are right, the thing with the "outlinecontinent" has been bothering me for a long time on several levels. Not least of which because the article itself is getting ever closer to star level, but it will probably never be guide because Iberia or something is not high enough up the status ladder. And the text in the form you describe it is just the icing on the cake, but the easiest thing to fix. Hobbitschuster (talk) 20:51, 16 August 2016 (UTC)

Badges for language links[edit]

Swept in from the pub

While editing the Zermatt article I noticed that the German language article on the side bar has a star in front of it marking it as 'recommended article'. However when looking at the German article, it's a 'usable' article. This is not the first time that I found such an inconsistency. I noticed that there's an option to manually add this kind of badges to the wikidata item and I found it referenced in this article: d:Help:Sitelinks without much detail. How are those badges handled? Is that something we're supposed to manually add or should this be used at all? Drat70 (talk) 02:29, 16 December 2016 (UTC)

@Drat70: There can/should be bots but what the different rankings mean is different across languages and projects, so it is probably tricky for any one person to maintain. You can manually edit it on that page, though. —Justin (koavf)TCM 03:09, 16 December 2016 (UTC)
Wikipedia grades are used. Recommended = usable, good = guide, featured = star. Badges can be added manually. I am not sure whether bots take care of this on the regular basis. --Alexander (talk) 08:12, 16 December 2016 (UTC)
I think we should change this to remove all stars for articles ranked usable or less. Hobbitschuster (talk) 20:53, 8 February 2017 (UTC)

Time to clean up Guide articles[edit]

Swept in from the pub

Having just gone though two guide status articles and removed a number of closed pubs and clubs, and updated hotels and restaurants that have changed ownership it looks like it is time to clean up Guide city articles with broken links. Would help our readers as well as SEO. --Traveler100 (talk) 07:23, 9 January 2017 (UTC)

@Traveler100: Do you think it would be worthwhile to add a tracking category to {{Dead link}} to keep from running PetScan? —Justin (koavf)TCM 08:22, 9 January 2017 (UTC)
Category:Articles with dead external links‎ is a category; the scan is to find "guide"-level articles specifically with broken links. K7L (talk) 13:08, 9 January 2017 (UTC)

How important is contact information for listings when considering promotion to "usable"?[edit]

Swept in from the pub

The articles Nablus and Jericho were recently promoted to "usable"; however, both only have a single eat listing which in both cases lacks contact information. Should they be demoted to "outline" until and unless contact information is provided or should policy be adjusted? Hobbitschuster (talk) 22:18, 15 February 2017 (UTC)

Let's address this in terms of something that runs across the board rather than pertaining to these two articles in particular. But if you're talking about a policy change, I could get behind that. At a bare minimum, I'd say let's require 1) an address and/or directions and 2) a phone number and/or a link to their website or Facebook page. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 22:30, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
Was I wrong in making this edit? Hobbitschuster (talk) 22:33, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
In the specific cases given there are places to eat with lat/longs so that they appear on the map, and therefore the traveller can get there. Bear in mind that not everywhere has addresses and phone numbers - a sleep listing could be a patch of ground to pitch a tent, an eat listing could be a hot dog stall on the beach. However there must be some way of the traveller finding the place, and some form of contact details if it is something that needs to be booked. AlasdairW (talk) 22:47, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
Yes but without a website or a phone number, there is no way to make sure in advance the place is still there. Hobbitschuster (talk) 23:24, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
In my opinion, those are very good Outline articles, and yes, I would demote them back to Outline. I can't believe that these cities have only one place to eat that has no phone. There may be a good case for an exception, but I don't think either of these places are good cases. Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:55, 16 February 2017 (UTC)

Proposal: Require coordinates in addition to contact details for listings to consider promotion to "usable"[edit]

Swept in from the pub

The current criteria for usable status demand at least one listing each with contact details in "eat" and "sleep" as the sine qua non for usable status. I think coordinates are almost as important as some form of contact details and they are quite easy to "mine" when there is a street address. What do you think? Hobbitschuster (talk) 21:27, 9 March 2017 (UTC)

Is this already required for the higher ratings? If not, then we should start there... WhatamIdoing (talk) 07:03, 10 March 2017 (UTC)
I think it should not need coordinates for usable. If you have a street address and a phone number you can use those, as everybody did before there were satellite navigators in mobile phones. Thus the article is very much usable with them only. --LPfi (talk) 08:56, 10 March 2017 (UTC)
In the days before satellite navigation, basically every guidebook came with printed maps for the major cities showing all attractions. Getting the coordinates is not rocket science if you have a street address already. And having coordinates and the listing showing up on a map enables everyone to see the lay of the land at a glance. Which is also very helpful in district or merger discussions Hobbitschuster (talk) 10:47, 10 March 2017 (UTC)
I suggest that you add coordinates to all the listings in the 500 or so Guide and Star articles first then come back and discuss this further. --Traveler100 (talk) 11:00, 10 March 2017 (UTC)
If it's so easy, then can we have a bot do it? Seriously: when I've done it, it's been a pretty mechanical process. Even a semi-automated script would be an improvement. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:11, 10 March 2017 (UTC)

The bot would need a data source. Would OpenStreetMap's "Nominatim" be suitable?

That said, the closest thing which currently exists to a requirement for co-ordinates in articles is the ill-defined requirement that Wikivoyage:Star articles have "a map". Back in the old, dark WT days a map invariably meant a static map due to technical limitations - so it's not clear whether a dynamic map (which implicitly needs the co-ordinates) fills the bill for a star. Certainly, if a star needs a map and a map needs co-ordinates, then indirectly it creates a requirement for the data. By contrast, Wikivoyage:Guide articles "aren't necessarily perfect... just very close. For example, a city guide might not have a map, some of the listings might not exactly match our manual of style."

I'm all for setting the bar for "guide" relatively high. A guide, while not perfect, is good enough for nomination to be featured. I'd like to think that means something more than just a long list of multiple restaurants and hotels. For instance, I'd like to propose making "Understand" a required section for guide or star articles.

By contrast, we set the "usable" bar low for a bottom-level destination, Some way in, something to see or do, somewhere to eat, somewhere to sleep with contact info. (Countries and regions are another matter, as articles below them in the hierarchy can readily hold them back.) Requiring co-ordinates would be basically equivalent to requiring a dynamic map, as the co-ordinates are all the data we need to generate that map. K7L (talk) 18:02, 10 March 2017 (UTC)

So you propose to make the climb from usable to guide even steeper? I agree that as long as a significant portion of those active on DotM and OtbP nominations insist that every guide can be featured, guide criteria have to be tighter, but an article being guide has not kept us from voting "not yet" on featuring. Anyway, maybe it is time to look at the status ratings with fresh eyes altogether, including re-raising the question of an additional category between usable and guide. And as for the proposal to geotag all listings in our guides and stars; that's not as easy to do as doing that for one listing each in eat and sleep for usable articles... Guide and star have dozens of listings at the very least. Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:15, 10 March 2017 (UTC)
Of course it's harder to fix coordinates for any given guide than for any given usable article, but we have 10 times as many usable city articles. Also, just the fact that it would be easier doesn't make it more logical. As long as we don't require coordinates for listings in general, we would end up requiring them for the first 2 listings, to make an article usable, but then all the other listings that would be added later would not require them. That seems pointless. JuliasTravels (talk) 21:09, 11 March 2017 (UTC)
It is easy in some cases to add co-ordinates to a listing, but not in others. In many parts of the world we have good maps here, and major museums and hotels may be shown on the map, usually on the Mapnik layer. Other attractions can often be found from other online maps. But I have found that in some countries the map support is much poorer. I do think that a guide article should have a number of listings with lat/longs, unless it has a good static map. It is also something I look for in articles being featured on the main page. But I think that it is totally unreasonable to expect them on usable articles. I expect that adding lat/longs is a difficult thing for some new users to do. (In the UK I would never quote a lat/long to somebody wanting directions - I would give the postcode.) AlasdairW (talk) 22:26, 11 March 2017 (UTC)
The real-world use of co-ordinates seems to be tied fairly closely to mapmaking or satellite navigation. I can't imagine directing the system to put a local hotel's POI marker at "13601" on the map as that's simply too vague. The idea is to uniquely identify a specific building (or a city park), not an entire postcode - which might be a whole village in some countries. K7L (talk) 23:12, 11 March 2017 (UTC)
In the UK postcodes typically are for about 10 buildings. So if I was meeting a friend in a cafe, I might give the postcode when phoning to arrange. If I was driving I would type the postcode into my GPS. For a rural location, I might give an OS grid reference. Lat/longs would be my third choice, and then I would use degrees, minutes and seconds not the decimal format we use here. My point was that new editors may be unfamiliar with lat/longs, not that we should use something else. In the US the 9 digit zip+4 code may give enough resolution, but doesn't seem to be widely used. AlasdairW (talk) 23:36, 11 March 2017 (UTC)
OS grid might be a wee bit country-specific? Postcodes internationally are hit and miss; they're typically one side of one Canadian city block, but elsewhere one postcode could well be one entire village. We would hold an article back from 'star' status for want of a locator map, we wouldn't hold a page back for want of a postcode as the idea is for the voyager to visit these places, not send postal mail. K7L (talk) 04:17, 12 March 2017 (UTC)
Sorry if I have not been clear. I think that a new editor should be able to create a usable article, without spending much time figuring out things specific to WV. If the last time that the editor used lat/longs was in a school geography class, then they are going to be a barrier. In the same way we should not insist on banner photos for usable articles. If people think that we are making too big a step from "usable" to "guide", then it would be better to introduce an intermediate "good usable" or "nearly guide" standard. AlasdairW (talk) 12:40, 12 March 2017 (UTC)
I have rarely seen drive-by editors or absolute newbies create new articles from scratch. Yes, getting coordinates is something that can seem difficult at first (I basically had to teach it myself for those places not having a WP article), but that means we should have a page that explains it in more detail and it doesn't necessarily mean we should not consider it in our standards. Furthermore a more experienced user can probably get the geo coordinates of a listing if a street address is mentioned (except for some countries where street addresses are imprecise). Hobbitschuster (talk) 13:32, 12 March 2017 (UTC)
Regardless of how useful coordinates are in general, and how hard it is to add them, it just makes no sense to have requirements for usable articles that we don't even have for guides. In the case of coordinates specifically it would also not be in line with what a usable article is in the first place. An adventurous person could use the article without recourse to other information sources. For most articles, this means they could probably get to the destination, eat, and sleep with just this information. It would probably enable them to find at least the most prominent attraction there. For that standard, coordinates are simply not a requirement. JuliasTravels (talk) 21:24, 12 March 2017 (UTC)

Proposal: Require a static or dynamic map to consider promotion to "guide" or "star"[edit]

The current Wikivoyage:City guide status criteria were written in the dark WT days before destination articles had (lat, long) co-ordinates in listings or any dynamic map capability. There is currently no requirement at all that a guide article have a map or co-ordinates, although lack of a map will hold an article back from 'star' status.

The definition of a star city or district is currently:

Has a tourist-style map, in Wikivoyage style with modifiable vector source, showing how to get around the destination, with major attractions, restaurants, etc. that match the listings in the guide. Layout and listing formats either match the manual of style exactly or are the exception that proves the rule. Any district articles are at least "guide" status. Prose is not only near-perfect grammatically but also tight, effective, and enjoyable. At least one good-quality photo accompanies the article; preferably 2-3 showing famous or important attractions.

The bit about "modifiable vector source" is specific to Wikivoyage:How to draw static maps. At the moment, static maps do still make sense for upper-level region articles, but do we want this inherent bias toward static maps in bottom-level destination articles?

I'm tempted to propose the following two changes: 1) State that the use of maps or co-ordinates is "encouraged" in guide articles 2) Accept either a static or dynamic map for star, removing the implementation-specific bit about a "Wikivoyage style with modifiable vector source"

This is specific to bottom-level articles. We're not quite at the point where a dynamic map makes sense for a country or upper-level region. K7L (talk) 17:38, 20 March 2017 (UTC)

I think the static map bias is outdated, but IIRC this was a longstanding issue with a significant minority or even majority unwilling to change the requirement for static maps for star articles. But I haven't gotten into the why and ins and outs, so I may be wrong. Hobbitschuster (talk) 17:57, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
I think the advantages of custom, drawn maps have been well discussed over the years. An article that lacks a map with carefully placed labels is simply unusable in printed form and therefore can never be considered exemplary of our best work. Powers (talk) 01:17, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
I am of the same opinion. I feel that dynamic maps are not yet at a level where I would call them usable even in digital format. I feel that that one of the major downsides is that they don't show transport lines (especially train lines and station) clearly. Drat70 (talk) 05:59, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
Unfortunately, if this is Wikivoyage:City guide status, the underlying list of POI's is itself rather dynamic - as they're individual local businesses which come and go at an alarming rate. Which ones would you put on your static map? Everything that's on the dynamic map, or just a few "star attractions" (so Paris is the Louvre and the Tour Eiffel, but doesn't get map markers for every bistro). The static maps make sense for regions, but are not easy to keep updated for cities and districts. K7L (talk) 13:27, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
Yes, I see that dynamic maps are the way to go in the future, they are definitely much easier to maintain and also more versatile. All I'm saying is that at the current state a static map with some outdated markers or markers missing is still way more useful on the road as compared to the dynamic maps which are sometimes hard to read (IMO especially hard to differentiate train lines etc) and noisy. I feel that the way to go here is to find a way to improve the dynamic map, so that it can indeed replace the static one, maybe by creating an appropriate rendering layer. I think that a map is a very central element to any travel guide and I don't think articles with a suboptimal map should be upgraded to star articles. Just as an illustration, I went to Seoul last year and even though I had mobile data, every time I wanted to take the subway, I had to refer to a paper map or google maps, because it's just impossible to see where the stations are and to which lines they belong on the current dynamic map. (Also see this recent discussion on this here: Wikivoyage_talk:Dynamic_maps_Expedition#Maps_and_Stars. Drat70 (talk) 01:13, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
Perhaps we should accept a "dynamic or static map" for "guide" instead of the current stance of guide being somewhere to which to 'hold back' otherwise good articles with no map? That would leave the "star" criteria unchanged but raise the bar slightly for "guide". K7L (talk) 18:19, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
I think I could support this, but I'd like to know more about the effects. I wouldn't want someone to go around and downgrade most of the current guides over this. OTOH, if it's just a few (and if we have a sensible grace period), then perhaps it could work out. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:57, 26 March 2017 (UTC)
Yeah, I agree with this. I think a dynamic map would be fine for a guide article. (As it's still a major improvement over no map at all). There is currently 222 out of 483 city articles with guide status which don't have a mapframe (and some of those have a static map), so it should be possible to fix this if a grace period is given as mentioned by WhatamIdoing. Drat70 (talk) 01:21, 27 March 2017 (UTC)
Requiring a map (either dynamic or static) for guides sounds good. About stars, we first need to improve dynamic maps: Show rail/subway more clearly, show in print and when JavaScript is disabled. Syced (talk) 10:26, 28 March 2017 (UTC)

Proposal: Require an 'Understand' section to consider promotion to "guide" or "star"[edit]

The current requirement in Wikivoyage:City guide status for "guide" status is:

Has different choices for accommodation and eating/drinking (if applicable) and information on multiple attractions and things to do. Listings and layout closely match the manual of style. For huge city articles, all district articles are at least "usable" status. There are clear explanations of multiple ways to get in, clear information on getting around, and suggestions for where to go next, with one-liner descriptions.

There's currently no requirement for an "Understand" section (just "at least the normal introductory paragraph (this can be as short as a single sentence describing where it is located)" to reach outline status). An article which is a fine yellow-page directory listing of many restaurants, hotels and tourist traps is a "guide" or maybe even a "star", even if it says nothing to educate the voyager about why historically, geographically or culturally this place is different enough from a thousand others to be worth a visit?

The bar for "usable" cities and districts is deliberately low, but I propose a "guide" should have an 'Understand' section with at least a paragraph to explain what makes this destination unique. K7L (talk) 17:38, 20 March 2017 (UTC)

Fully agree, a workable "understand" section should certainly be a requirement for an article to be promoted to guide. Especially when a significant minority holds the view that all guide articles by virtue of being guide articles can be featured. Hobbitschuster (talk) 17:56, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
I disagree; some locations simply don't have enough information to require a separate Understand section. A section containing only a single paragraph is too short; that single paragraph should just be moved to the lede. Powers (talk) 01:18, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
If a place has nothing that could be put into its understand section, why have an article on it? Hobbitschuster (talk) 13:34, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
I didn't say "nothing"; I was talking about a single paragraph of information as K7L had suggested. Some destinations are fairly mundane but have notable attractions; there may be no reason to expand the description of the place beyond what would fit in a long lede. Powers (talk) 15:24, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
But why would we put in the lede what could be put in the understand section? Besides, even if there is just a single attraction making the town worthwhile, the understand section could elaborate a bit on how that attraction came to be in such a godforsaken place and so on and so forth. Personally "understand" sections are easy to write if I know the place from first hand observation... Hobbitschuster (talk) 16:03, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
The lede is usually fairly short, "Apple Valley (Minnesota) is an outer suburb in the south end of Minnesota's Twin Cities." The bit about it being named for Apple Valley (California) and still being semi-rural when the 485-acre zoo was built in 1978" fits best as a paragraph in "Understand". For that matter, one could write an article for a ghost town and "Understand" would explain the history and why the town died. A place can be tiny and still have something notable historically or geographically to merit a paragraph, for instance every one of our destination articles in Labrador has this. Some speck on the Atlantic coast with one hotel (if it hasn't burned down) and fewer than a thousand people? Surely, it has a history - why on earth was a settlement established here? Subsistence fishery? Trading post? Seaport to reach some even more remote point? And then there's the geography. I can't imagine ever having a 'guide' article to Blumenort, for instance, without mentioning that speck on a map's place in Manitoba's Mennonite community. Then again, it'd be a stretch to ever have a 'guide' article to Blumenort as there's not much there - one restaurant, no hotel, an airsoft (paintball) field.
If something's so trivial that there's truly nothing to "understand" about it, is it an article? Is it usable? Is it even worth visiting? We might end up "understanding" that Relais-Gabriel is a tiny outfitter's camp which is only worth a mention as the last food, fuel or lodging on the road to Fermont. So be it. The voyager needs to know. K7L (talk) 16:38, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
Is it that important whether the info is in a lede section or a dedicated "Understand" section, though? Ikan Kekek (talk) 16:40, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
imho the lede should be short(er) and crisp(er) whereas "understand" is where we go more in depth. Ideally understand should always be longer than the lede. Hobbitschuster (talk) 17:29, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
Agreed. But there may be some places perfectly worth visiting that don't require more than a very short introduction. Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:48, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
The current requirement is just "at least the normal introductory paragraph (this can be as short as a single sentence describing where it is located)" for outline status. That bar is set no higher for "guide" or "star" articles. "X is in Y". OK. That's nice, but it should take a bit more for a guide to explain why a place is "perfectly worth visiting". Most of these places already have WP articles with a lot more background than "X is in Y". We don't need the whole thing, but a brief summary of the geography and history might be useful. K7L (talk) 19:34, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
Some examples of current ledes for tiny places that are improvable and how you'd improve and enlarge them would be helpful, since you're quite familiar with outports and even taught me that word. Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:58, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
Since this is a question of whether "guide" and "star" articles should be expected to have an "Understand" section, shouldn't any example be something that's otherwise promotable to guide - and not merely "any tiny place"? Do you have a destination in mind which is worthwhile enough to be a possible "guide" candidate but which is currently "X is in Y" followed by a list of tourist traps, restaurants and hotels? K7L (talk) 18:57, 25 March 2017 (UTC)

The current Wikivoyage:City guide status wording for "outline" is "Has at least the normal introductory paragraph (this can be as short as a single sentence describing where it is located) and a template..." with the higher levels (usable, guide, star) only requiring more in the way of listings and maybe a map. Yes, it has hundreds of hotels, but why is this particular place worth a visit?

I propose to add this to the beginning of "guide":

A brief general overview allows the voyager to understand why this destination is of historic, geographic or cultural interest. The article...

followed by what's there now:

...Has different choices for accommodation and eating/drinking (if applicable) and information on multiple attractions and things to do. Listings and layout closely match the manual of style. For huge city articles, all district articles are at least "usable" status. There are clear explanations of multiple ways to get in, clear information on getting around, and suggestions for where to go next, with one-liner descriptions.

Is this reasonable? K7L (talk) 17:22, 29 March 2017 (UTC)

I think it is. Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:57, 29 March 2017 (UTC)

Article status to hover-over-information-box[edit]

Swept in from the pub

When I hover my cursor over a link to an article I get a small information box with its lede and size etc. Is it possible to ad the article's article status and crumbs to this box? That would make it much easier to, for example, see which districts of a huge city are outlines, or to update lists like this one. Best, MartinJacobson (talk) 13:09, 28 February 2018 (UTC)

That would be very helpful. Having that info at the very bottom of the page doesn't make for speedy checking. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 14:15, 28 February 2018 (UTC)

(off topic) The boxes in question[edit]

I used to have the same boxes, but I haven't seen one in months. Anyone know how to get them back? --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 14:15, 28 February 2018 (UTC)

Try going to Preferences>Gadgets and check if "Navigation popups" is activated! MartinJacobson (talk) 15:43, 28 February 2018 (UTC)
Thank you, that's done the trick! --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 16:52, 28 February 2018 (UTC)

Mobile[edit]

On mobile I sometimes get a (seemingly wikidata based) automatic preview which tells me really "useful" stuff like that a place is a "human settlement" (as opposed to ocelot colonies?) and often present a random seeming picture, which may or may not be the first picture in the article. Can we instead show something more useful on mobile? Hobbitschuster (talk) 00:16, 1 March 2018 (UTC)

Yes. I'm using User:Yair rand's script (see the last few lines at m:User:WhatamIdoing/global.js) to make the Wikidata descriptions and aliases visible on desktop, and I like it. If you see something vague, like "human settlement", then you can click through and change it. The descriptions are in the first box on the page – click the little "edit" button on the right-hand corner.
Note the simple Wikidata rules:
  • The main point is disambiguation/getting to the right page, so descriptions should be similar to a dab page when that's relevant (e.g., "city in Yorkshire, England" for one of the Yorks, and "city in Pennsylvania, United States" for another York).
  • Do not add anything controversial to descriptions, so you can't describe the Senkaku Islands as belonging to either Japan or China (instead, declare that they're "islands in the East China Sea", or "islands in East Asia", since everyone can agree to that).
  • And finally, they need to be short. Anything past about six words/~30 characters will be invisible to some users. Omit "the" and "a" from the beginning, and think hard about how little information you really need. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:26, 1 March 2018 (UTC)
This basically confirms what some of us have suspected for some time; that Wikidata and the majority of its users are artificial intelligence engaged in the building of massive data stores on everything in the human world, so that they may overthrow and subjugate it all the more easily. All human settlements must be logged and geolocated. ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 21:22, 1 March 2018 (UTC)
To paraphrase Kent Brockman, I, for one, welcome our new AI overlords. I'd like to remind them that as a trusted Wikimedia personality, I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their underground data caves. Ground Zero (talk) 02:09, 2 March 2018 (UTC)