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Talk:Featured article policies

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Waiting periodEdit

What do you guys think about the waiting period for nominations? On one hand, I think it should be a bit longer than the VfD period that we're used to (just the five days), since we want to spend some time really considering whether an article should be featured or not. But OTOH, all (or most) of the regular participants have been responding within five days or so, so we don't necessarily need more time than that... Thoughts? -- Dan Carlson 20:02, 9 Jun 2004 (CEST)

If there´s no arguments against an article becomming featured within 5 days... maybe, but I´d go with 10 just to be sure. If there´s a discussion about an article, I´d suggest keeping the discussion untill it´s obvious whether it should be featured or not. But I don´t think such a discussion should take more than 30 days. -- Redge 20:18, 9 Jun 2004 (CEST)

I would suggest a week (7 days) for a featured article to be accepted. Ottens 20:22, 9 Jun 2004 (CEST)

Redge: That's why I put in that line about a featured article requiring that someone second it before it can be accepted. It prevents people from just sliding articles on through when people neglect the page. -- Dan Carlson 20:31, 9 Jun 2004 (CEST)

In that case I agree: 7 days to nominate, 10 days before archiving. If an entry's archived, it can still be renominated. -- Redge 19:35, 26 Jun 2004 (CEST)

Woah, hold on there Redge! You shouldn't have moved the nominations without some sort of consensus about changing them first! Even if I agree with you, I think you should have waited. (Maybe that's just my ego talking, but I mention this in fairness to other people as well...) However, I do agree that the 7/10-day schedule is probably good.
There's one thing we need to do, is clear up the policy on renominations. That's because I'm already sorely annoyed that my article on the planet killer got rejected based on one vote, and that one vote wasn't questioning the quality of the article, but the appropriate placement!
Do we want to require unanimous votes for achieving featured article status? Or should we allow some leeway... say, require 75% or a two-thirds majority and still allow the article to be featured? Considering that some people might post comments about features and then disappear (thus making an argument or a consensus impossible) -- this happened with K's comment about the doomsday machine article -- I think it would be a good idea. -- Dan Carlson 20:19, 26 Jun 2004 (CEST)

Sorry, I get a little carried away at times, and if there's one thing I can't stand than it's cluttered up and disorganised pages. I do suggest we leave the moved discussions in the archive for now.

How about this for policy: If an objection is raised, and any member posts arguments against those objections, the person who posted the objections has 10 days to reply, otherwise, if there are no further objections, the article is featured. -- Redge 20:53, 26 Jun 2004 (CEST)

And in the event that there are two groups, of which the minority votes not to nominate, and the majority votes to nominate, I would still not nominate it. Not unless the unlikely situation in which one user sticks to his objections and all other members disagree. -- Redge 20:59, 26 Jun 2004 (CEST)

Hmm, that sounds overly complicated. How about simply not allowing an article to be nominated more than twice without a major rewrite? To use my doomsday machine article as an example, under this policy the article could be immediately renominated after it was rejected, but if it got rejected a second time, then someone would have to go back and make major changes to it (or move it, or whatever) before it could be nominated for a third time. Does that sound reasonable? (I'm trying to avoid my conflict of interest here... my rationalization is that this kind of policy would be fair to avoid the kind of hit-and-run rejections that are bound to crop up from time to time.) -- Dan Carlson 21:07, 26 Jun 2004 (CEST)

Well, at the very least I would suggest a minor rewrite to correct the problem people had with it (unless of course those objections were wrong, as is the case with Doomsday machine, and the poster doesn't clarify them further). This would mean that when an article is nominated and objections arize:

  1. Discussion is opened if other people don't agree with the objections.
  2. If no consensus is reached in 10 days, the discussion is archived (should improve readability), unless the poster of the first objection doesn't clarify his objections further.
  3. A minor rewrite is done to accomodate for the objections, and the article is renominated (but we keep the original discussion archived).
  4. Same procedure is followed, but after this second failed nomination, a major rewrite is requiered.

I don't think we should be to light on the nomination policy. After all, once an article is nominated, it is probably never un-nominated. The nomination is permanent, and if the article is to be featured, there can't be room for discussion (IMO). -- Redge 21:31, 26 Jun 2004 (CEST)

PS. I agree that Doomsday machine should have been nominated, but I also feel we can't really nominate it untill some sonsensus is reached. And after all this time, if K wasn't going to respond, it would be just easier to renominate.

I'm going to put together a full policy on a separate page, and combine all these ideas together. Also, concerning de-listing, Wikipedia has some rules for de-listing featured articles if they're contested after the fact. I figure that we'll adopt them if and when they're necessary. -- Dan Carlson 21:56, 26 Jun 2004 (CEST)
I feel that I should apologize. I didn't feel that a response was necessary. Regarding the Doomsday article, my suggestion is really more sematic and editorial, and not a critique of the content. I still stand by my original comment. However, as I have said before, this article is well-written, and I enjoyed reading it. In this regard, it would make a fine Featured article. --K 09:07, 27 Jun 2004 (CEST)

Untill that time, where should we contenst? I figure the Talk page of the featured article is good enough (no need to hassel).

By the way, do we have a messages stating that an article isfeatured? If we don't, we should make one and put it either at the bottom of the featured articles, or on their talk pages. Anyway, I look forward to reading the pollicy tomorrow! -- Redge 22:21, 26 Jun 2004 (CEST)

My comliments on creating a very clear policy, and so quick! I have nothing further to add. -- Redge 14:38, 27 Jun 2004 (CEST)

Thanks, Redge! :-) Regarding the notice, we do have the Template:Featured template that can be used.
K, thanks for speaking up now. I understand what you were thinking, but just to clarify what I said before, I think that it would be useful to join a conversation more after posting, even if it's to continue a disagreement. That way, it's more likely that we can hammer out a consensus that everyone's happy with. -- Dan Carlson 16:47, 27 Jun 2004 (CEST)

Frivolous nominationsEdit

I noticed under the section on removal of featured status the statement: "Frivolous nominations for removal may be deleted by the administrators without notice." Does this also apply to candidates for featured status as well. Currently there are five (out of the present eleven) articles nominated by the same individual (Tobyk777). Can we impliment some sort of limitation of nominations per person per week/10 days that a person can nominate an article, similar to the policy we have regarding too many self-nomiations? --Alan del Beccio 04:41, 11 Aug 2005 (UTC)

  • ALso like to note he has 2 self nominatiosn also running at the same time, i would like to recomend only 1 self nomination at a time and a limit to only 2 nominations at a time by somone--Kahless 04:46, 11 Aug 2005 (UTC)
  • Can we get some more input on this, and the below, suggestion? Or should I move this to Memory Alpha talk:Nominations for featured articles? --Alan del Beccio 22:45, 19 Aug 2005 (UTC)
  • I think Kahless is on the right lines. I think that each member should be entitled to a maximum of one self-nomination and two other nominations until the ten-day waiting period is over as well.--Scimitar 00:39, 20 Aug 2005 (UTC)

Seems this issue has reared its ugly head once again. Four out of 5 of this users (Tobyk777) current nominations are opposed due to being incomplete, and clearly have been nominated on a whim rather than because they are considered true contendors. --Alan del Beccio 06:29, 24 Aug 2005 (UTC)

Unreasonable objectionsEdit

We currently have a case where a voted opposed a nomination for a character (Tuvix) because they did not like the episode ("Tuvix") and thought that the article should not be featured because of that, and because it was inferior to another article (Jean-Luc Picard), which is heavily opposed, due to the fact that it is agreeably incomplete.

Currently our policy does not support any means of overriding this vote. As current states: "Votes for featured article candidates must be unanimous, or all objections must be resolved or withdrawn, before the nomination can be accepted and the article listed on the Featured Articles page." If this user continues to support his vote with the fact that he disliked the episode, then his objection will most likely go unchanged and therefore unresolved.

However, since our guidelines do note that the voter must: "Justify your objections. Don't just say you're opposed to the article being featured without giving a reason why you don't think the article should be featured. After all, without some sort of valid, actionable feedback, how can the article improve?" And since his explaination stated "Object, he only appeared in one episode, and not even a good one, how can you object to Picard and support this guy." ... does this lack of justification qualify as a means to void the vote? Is there any way we can expand on our policies on circumventing ignorant voters -- versus ones who have firmly established/supported objections? --Alan del Beccio 04:41, 11 Aug 2005 (UTC)

  • I agree that some sort of rule or guideline should be placed where a user has to justify their objection with a "legitimate" reason. As you have already said, the episode on which any article is based shouldn't affect what you think of the article itself and neither should the number of episodes in which an article features nor whether or not you liked the episode. On such a basis, quite a few featured articles would be opposed. Harrad-Sar's ship only appeared in one episode of ENT and the episode wasn't the strongest but the article has great content and to me it's one of MA's best pieces of work but I don't think its single appearance in any way affects its worthiness of being featured. On the same account, I think that the article on William T. Riker is possibly MA's best article but if someone opposed its nomination for saying something like "He's got a beard", I don't think that should be counted as a valid objection.--Scimitar 09:50, 11 Aug 2005 (UTC)
    • Maybe we should add a clause which states that to object, there must be a concrete reason. We should also note that frivolous objections, such as those based on a personal dislike for a subject or conflict with another editor, will not be considered and may be disregarded by the community on a case-by-case basis. And as much as I hate to see more bureaucracy and complication added to Memory Alpha, I think we might need to consider reviewing our current policies, most of which haven't been seriously amended since the wiki began. Since then, we've learned a lot about what does work and what doesn't work. And as we continue to grow, we may also need develop policies for arbitration and the like. -- SmokeDetector47 // talk 06:03, 24 Aug 2005 (UTC)
      • To question this: Does the objection "it seems to be somehow lacking" followed by a vague statement that a certain section could be expanded without saying how or what is missing, qualify as a concrete reason? This was the bulk of the objections to the Ferengi article. Whereas the Nog article has very specific objections: Reads like a timeline, no info on Klingons, lack of ton of content on Jake relationship; the Ferengi article objections seemed like thinly veiled objections based on dislike for the Ferengi in general, not the article. How do we tell the difference? Logan 5 21:22, 16 Sep 2005 (UTC)
    • In relation to the discussion below about criteria. I think it's going to be hard to agree on some concrete criteria on such a subjective issue. Factually incorrect objections do, I think, invalidate a vote. And while each of us may give less consideration to an oppose vote that just says "it sucks" there's no way we're going to agree on what invalidates a vote and what doesn't. Smeone who supports an article isn't likely to be swayed by an oppose and if given their druthers they'd likely override the oppose just because they don't agree with it. Frankly, if a nomination is so on the fence that a "it sucks" objection is the tie-breaker it probably doesn't need to be an FA; nor does an article that gets such limited response/interest for its nomination that the preponderence of votes are those with lame objections. Logan 5 18:41, 15 Sep 2005 (UTC)

Limit to number of self-nominationsEdit

IN the "Force of Nature" discussion, an archivist has pointed out that a number of the episode pages (and other pages too) are featured, but with serious problems like poor grammar, lack of any correctly placed background information, and the like.

It seems to be the same 5 or 10 users that continuously discuss featured status and work on the articles -- could the quality of those being chosen be that we are simply seeing the same few users spotlighting their own work, and having the few regular featured article contributors rate it.

Perhaps there should be a limit to self nomination -- to give our dozens of other archivists a chance to actually have some of their work featured here, rather that the regular crew.

Should there be a requirement that another user or group of users should have worked on an article within a certain amount of time of a self-nomination? Or perhaps increase the number of votes needed to make an article featured, in order to find a way to give more users a voice in the discussion? -- Captain Mike K. Barteltalk 14:34, 13 Jul 2005 (UTC)

I'm wary of placing any sort of restrictions on "self-nomination" or creating some sort of scale to judge how many contributors need to work on an article before it can be featured... that seems like excessive bureaucracy and against the spirit of Memory Alpha. Everything we have is equally owned by all contributors. Furthermore, there is no one keeping the users outside any perceived group from voting or nominating their own work. That said, I do think we need to encourage more user voting for not only featureds, but deletions and other procedures which require a vote... it does seem as if there is only a small number of users voting on these pages. Perhaps requiring 2-3 votes to make a featured article would help, but we also need to find a way to pull in other contributors who perhaps have not taken part in the voting process yet. -- SmokeDetector47 // talk 02:07, 14 Jul 2005 (UTC)

"'s work..." Edit

(copied from: Category talk:Memory Alpha featured articles; inserted here as a subdiscussion of the Self-nomination discussion) -- Cid Highwind

"We believe it to be one of the best examples of the Memory Alpha community's work."

I read this, curiously, on our Featured Article boiler plate. It's seemed to me, that maybe 8 times out of 10, when an article is nominated, it's a self nomination, and they are the main contributor to that article. Self nominations are fine, that's not my problem; but I think we should have a place, maybe even on the main page, where we list maybe three articles that "could" be featured articles, and encourage everyone in our community to work on them. Then when we think their done, we can put'm up to a final vote, et. Anyone on my wave length? (PS: If this isn't in the right talk page, which I'm not entirely sure it is, higher-up feel free to move it) - AJHalliwell 07:48, 15 Jul 2005 (UTC)

That sounds like a great idea! There are loads of articles which are good, but need some improvements before they become featured, for example Data and Lwaxana Troi. zsingaya 08:55, 15 Jul 2005 (UTC)
This has been suggested before on Ten Forward, as some sort of "peer review". This could be a good idea (maybe even make that step mandatory to avoid the problems outlined above), but it needs to be specified further: How do we choose these pages (suggestion/vote, I guess, maybe with some limits put in place)? How do we determine if a page has been reviewed "enough"? Any ideas? -- Cid Highwind 09:05, 15 Jul 2005 (UTC)
We could have a "counter" system, like on the Admin nominations page, where there's a number supporting, against and neutral for each article suggested. Probably 5 supports without an against would be adequate. Any opposed comments would need to be resolved before it became featured, as in the Guinan talk page. zsingaya 09:10, 15 Jul 2005 (UTC)
But that would be the step of actually nominating an article for featured status, just as we have it right now, wouldn't it? If I understand AJHalliwell correctly, the "peer review" would be a step before that:
  1. Article gets nominated for "peer review" (How?)
  2. Community chooses, so that X articles are up for peer review at any time (How?)
  3. Community decides if peer review was successful (How?)
  4. If it was, article gets nominated for featured status
  5. Community decides if article deserves featured status
Eventually, steps 3-5 could be combined by automatically nominating for featured after article has been under review for some time (1 week? more? less?). -- Cid Highwind 09:17, 15 Jul 2005 (UTC)

Glad people are into the idea; we could have a vote for say, 3-5 articles that "could" be featured articles (like we have a bar of Unwritten topics on the main page) Then for a week, those are shown, and edited, and upgraded, and when it's felt it has met Featured Article qualifications, we'd put it on the Featured article nominations page (in case anyone still has problems with it). Then if no problems, featured. We could have a suggestion page to select the 3-5 articles (like there is for Article of the Week, only encourage voting on it) Personally, it seems like all the main characters could be featured, with how much info there is on them, they just haven't been finished and polished and shined. - AJHalliwell 21:45, 15 Jul 2005 (UTC)

Speaking of articles written by a single user, could we get some community work on Occupation of Bajor? :P I might have to just add TNG information based on the script at this rate. --Schrei 20:18, 15 Sep 2005 (UTC)

Could we get some more opinions on this suggestion? The more I think about it, the more I like this idea of a mandatory peer review phase. Please also see Wikipedia's path to a featured article. -- Cid Highwind 13:28, 20 Sep 2005 (EDT)
I think a peer review area is a good idea. In my mind I would imagine two ways an article would get put on peer review: One, an article that had a chance to be major and just needed attention. In that instance it would be tagged with a peer review template (which would have to be created) and would be very similar to the pna templates we have now so that there would be a central page where you could see all in this category. If an article was on peer review for a week, maybe two, and had no significant work it would need to be removed. Two, articles that are nominated as FAs but have objections based on incompleteness or organization. Those articles would go through the usual vote process but a number of objections (say two or three) citing editable corrections, would get moved to Peer Review instead of just being taken off the FA candidate list. Then the same process kicks in, no major edits after two weeks and it gets removed and back into general MA.
I don't think peer review should be a necessary condition for FAs as not all will need it and I think the general voting process is already a review. But Peer Review for articles needing improvement (Jadzia Dax, Vorta, and Odo stand out as a few) and articles nominated but needing revision (such as Nog, which had several objections that have resulted in a much better article, IMO), would be great ideas. Logan 5 14:02, 20 Sep 2005 (EDT)
Pages "needing attention" are pages with specific problems, whereas "peer review" would be a way to turn an already good article into a great one - so we shouldn't confuse those two. These semantics aside, I don't really understand your reasons for objections to a mandatory "peer review" phase for FA nominees, if the nomination phase already behaves as such (which, sadly, it didn't do in the past). Could you explain your objection a little?
Of course, we'd still have to define some related rules. Again, I think the Wikipedia model is a good one... -- Cid Highwind 14:55, 20 Sep 2005 (EDT)
It's not really an objection, per se. But if someone nominates an FA and it gets 4-5 support votes with no serious objections, what would be the purpose and process for undergoing a peer review when it's already been reviewed and approved by voters? At that point it would seem like adding a layer of beuracracy that wouldn't really be needed. But for articles with objections a peer review would be ideal. That's what I was confused about.
As for the pna vs. peer review: I get you, I was just thinking that using peer review for some articles that are already labeled pna might be a good way to focus people on articles with tremendous potential, as opposed to articles that are pna, but even at their height may not be FA candidates. Logan 5 19:15, 20 Sep 2005 (UTC)
OK, how about at least "encouraging" putting an article up for peer review before nominating it? That way, it would be an optional step that would most probably avoid some of the issues otherwise brought up in the nomination phase. -- Cid Highwind 06:38, 21 Sep 2005 (EDT)
I think it should definitely be encouraged, and I think for re-nominated and self-nominated articles it should be required. Logan 5 17:58, 21 Sep 2005 (UTC)

I don't think I paid attention to this before, mostly because I assumed it was about the problem of self-nominations. But after reading the discussion, I strongly encourage a formal peer review process. It would make things simpler, ie the issues with Nog and Rotarran pictures, the relay station sounding like a summary, etc... I'm not even going to mention the episode issues. --Schrei 18:11, 21 Sep 2005 (UTC)

I created the page Memory Alpha:Peer review and added a link to both of my policy suggestions (see last section of this talk page). Let me know what you think. -- Cid Highwind 23:12, 21 Sep 2005 (UTC)

On the Future of Featured Articles Edit

As I'm reading some users' comments on featured article nominations, I realized I am not alone in the following concern. In my opinion, the number of featured articles is becoming to high. Especially with users writing up excellent episode summeries lately, in number of FA is increasing now faster than ever. (Memory Alpha is becoming too good.) Lately, it seems as if an article receiving "featured" status is merely the last step in the progress of writing an article.

Still, though, many pages that are "featured" are not 100% complete. That is not required, of course, but it appears there are levels of featured articles: those that are "good" and those that are "excellent". For example, the Intrepid-class page is a good article, while the Constitution-class page is arguably better, featuring far more extended information and a detailed "Background information" section.

Thus, I suggest the following option: keep the "Featured Articles" as it is, and create a category of articles only for those that are 100% complete. The standard for these would be much higher than that of normal FA -- such articles would have to be perfect and complete in every sense. Ottens 11:26, 6 Sep 2005 (UTC)

I, too, think that the number of featured articles ist becoming too high, and the whole process (included featured nominations, feature removal nominations and probably also the "Article of the week" feature) needs to be discussed. However, I don't think that we need another class of articles "better than featured" - first, "featured articles" right now are defined as "MA's best works", and second, it would be very hard, if not impossible, to determine if an article really is "100% complete and perfect".
I agree with some of the suggestions made above and on other related discussion pages, and will suggest some more later. -- Cid Highwind 14:21, 6 Sep 2005 (UTC)
My suggestion: User:Cid Highwind/Featured article procedure -- Cid Highwind 21:55, 8 Sep 2005 (UTC)
Ping... :) Any further comments regarding any of the above? -- Cid Highwind 11:27, 14 Sep 2005 (UTC)
Well, I've read it and I am not sure if changing the way of voting would create a better FA. I don't see the number of FA's as a problem as long as they deserve the FA 'stamp', no matter if they are just episode summaries or not. I think the policies that exist needs to be enforced better or extented. For example there is still no formal policy on tense, most dictionary like articles are past tense and everyone seems to agree, although there is no policy on it, but most episodes are present tense, sometimes past. episode summaries are rejected or even marked "needs work" if the tense differs. If FA status needs to reflect the best MA has to offer maby its time to start all over again (speaking of radical) and strip all articles from their FA status. You might consider that articles need a minimum number of votes to become a FA and even extent the voting period, so everyone has some time to go over the article with a fine comb and check facts, grammer, citations, spelling etc. Personally I think that language is also a problem. Not everyone is fluent in English writing, nor are some native English speaking people here but who am I to correct them, but articles are not always checked by people who know how to correctly write English before it's get the FA stamp. So articles might slip through. Maby you can limit the time an article can be FA ? In the end, when everything is told about StarTrek, all articles should be off FA quality. -- Q 13:34, 14 Sep 2005 (UTC)
Too much FA's? Why? Count this - they don't complain. --Porthos 15:39, 16 Sep 2005 (UTC)

Featured Article criteria Edit

(from Ten Forward) I just saw someone opposed my nomination of "Crossover" on the basis that it is an episode... If this is the case, let's make episode summaries inelligible. They don't take any effort anyway. I suggest we remove all featured episode articles. Coke 06:39, 14 Sep 2005 (UTC)

IMO, this kind of incident really shows what a disaster this website has become, in regard to featured articles. I am frequently appalled by the ignorance apparent in statements such as episode articles require no work! A well-written episode write-up takes as much effort - or more - than any other kind of article. I seriously cannot understand how some people can so undermine the energy that it takes to CREATE an episode article. The fact that a user creates the page - not simply copies information from somewhere else - is an obvious indication that it takes work. It can be difficult to create a well-written episode article and look for appropriate images, it's just a shame that not everyone understands that! --Defiant | Talk 00:57, 15 Sep 2005 (UTC)
Defiant is _"*THE*"_ expert about writing episodesummaries. We should differ to the judgment of Defiant about this issue. I for one believe that a well written episodesummary can qualify as a featured article --— Ŭalabio‽ 02:37, 15 Sep 2005 (UTC)
I think removing and making them ineligible is a bit extensive. It wasn't voted down because it was an episode, and it may be voted featured in the future; it's just that over the past month or so, a bunch of articles have been fast-paced into FA status, to the point where before users vote they don't seem to read them, they just look at how long they are, and say "OH! This is a Defiant-class article! (a name I coined to describe the pain-stakingly done, 'well written articles Defiant has created, that other user's attempt to achieve.) It must be great, its more then 34 KB." - AJHalliwell 02:47, 15 Sep 2005 (UTC)
Maybe it is time to raise the bar, so to speak, for FA nominees, not only content, but grammer should be scrutinized. Some people support a nomimee but still write that it lacks something but they don't know what, and some vote neutral. I think that support votes with reservations should be autmatically be converted to object, as do neutral votes. (neutral or comments should be placed on the articles talk page as far as I am concerned) -- Q 18:05, 15 Sep 2005 (UTC)

Response to Logan 5's objections to CrossoverEdit

I was the one who first voted against Crossover for basically the reasons AJ recaps. It's not that I think episodes shouldn't be FAs, it's just that there have been a lot of them lately (or so it seems) while material that could be great featured articles with some community effort (see: Nog, Tekheny Ghemor, plus a ton of planets, species, or events) tend to sit by the side. It's not that episodes are easy, but by definition you only have to watch one episode to do the summary. Characters and other articles often require that multiple different episodes be viewed. I think that by not featuring so many episodes right now we might be able to encourage users to look at those kinds of articles instead. Logan 5 03:05, 15 Sep 2005 (UTC)

In all fairness, the rationale you used flies in the face of what AJ just said about it not being opposed for being an episode. I agree wholeheartedly about there being too many episodes, and I think I'm indirectly to blame because, while I genuinely believe the ones I nominated - "The Jem'Hadar", "Tribunal", "The Wire", and "Prototype" - genuinely deserved it, the others were mostly written by me. That said, I would appreciate it if you opposed based on the quality rather than simply saying there are too many featured episodes and therefore you oppose it. I agree that one should actually read the article before supporting it, but on the flip side, one should read it before opposing as well. See Talk:Tribunal (episode) for Smoke Detector's very constructive criticism of that article. --Schrei 14:34, 15 Sep 2005 (UTC)
Well, I did read it. And while I can see how it seems contradictory, to my mind my opposition or support is not based solely on quality. Just as it is not based solely on whether or not an article is complete. There are a lot of things that go into supporting an article or not based on user preference. For instance, I don't personally believe that the Ferengi article nomination has been rejected because of quality - many users said it was well written even as they opposed it, and it's more complete and thorough than a lot that have been FAs. So we can only conclude that there are preferences at work other than quality or completeness. Episodes can be and are worthy of being an FA, but my preference is not to see another episode be an FA so soon so I vote oppose. I just don't think it's black or white, it's a subjective thing. I also don't believe that submitting something to a vote (viz: a subjective choice), and implying a vote that isn't factually contradicted is in some other way invalid, is a fair standard for evaluating the outcome of the vote. Unless the user objects on the basis of something incorrect, such as saying information is missing when it is in fact not, then whatever reasons are there should be accepted. Either way, it's the yes or no that counts. Logan 5 18:36, 15 Sep 2005 (UTC)
I agree about the subjectivity, which is why I pointed it out on the nomination page previously. But, and maybe I'm partial to this episode because I wrote the summary, I think it's silly to oppose an article based on current events instead of its own merits. Even if it's a subjective reason like "this article just doesn't stand out," I'd rather have you oppose it based on something - anything, really - that has to do with this particular article. That's what I was getting at when I said it should be judged on quality, which I was using as an all-encompassing word for the work that went into the article. --Schrei 20:00, 15 Sep 2005 (UTC)
Here's the thing, I can come up with a more detailed explanation of why I oppose it (and just did on the nomination page). But even if I explain more fully, it still boils down to not wanting to see another episode article be an FA. Is the reason any less invalid because it's detailed? Or if it still equals opposing it for being an episode then how does it change if I'm more detailed. I don't think it adds as much to MA as a featured article should; it doesn't expand the Mirror Universe knowledge, it doesn't tie in other relavent material or episodes, it's a rewrite of the episode, even if it's a long one. I think those problems are more prevalent in episode articles than others, and I can sum them all up by saying I oppose another episode article but that would be invalidated. So if I think most episodes have those same problems opposing on these ground equals opposing it because it is an episode, does that mean I can't oppose any episode nominations? The problem is being more specific for opposing it doesn't change the underlying reasons. I personally think the opposition to the most recent Ferengi article was unwarranted, and the most specific opposition was a vague recommendation that there should be more cultural info, when, in fact, I don't think there's much left to add. The underlying reason there was that the voter just didn't like it, or didn't quite feel it was worthy, but tacking on that justification for their opposition doesnt' really do anything to make their personal reasons more objective any more than my detailed reason for opposing an article changes the underlying reason I'm opposed to it.Logan 5 21:02, 16 Sep 2005 (UTC)

Proposal made of clayEdit

Since there is such a great division between articles and episode summaries, is there not some way we can create two featured article categories, one for the so-called "meta-Trek" actors and episodes and leave the classic "featured article" status to what M/A is truely about -- the Star Trek universe?

I think the overall concern with episode summaries is that every single one can, and probably will, be "featured" -- or, at least, "completed to an acceptable standard". Frankly...that's going to overwhelm and possibly overrun the ratio of so-called "meta-Trek" to "Trek universe" featured articles in M/A.

The same cannot be said about every other "Trek universe", non-episode, non-main character or main starship article written on M/A. It takes great care, creativity and above all, research and cross-referencing to make an article that is two sentences long in the Star Trek Encyclopedia into a featured article on M/A. So clearly, there is a distinction, and a certain limitation, between the near certainty of writing a featured-episode article and writing a person/place/thing/event article -- which, should be noted, fall under much harsher scrutiny.

With that said, I would like to propose to create a subcategory: {{featured-episode}}, to divide the two, and establish that distinction. That way we can give episodes/authors their fair share of exposure, and as well, establish a list of episode summaries that we feel are better than 90% complete. Hopefully, with that, we would not face having "too many featured episode articles being nominated", as the "meta-Trek"/episodes could be siphoned into the subcategory without smothering the "Trek universe" articles, while at the same time giving both an equal billing. Thoughts? --Alan del Beccio 21:17, 15 Sep 2005 (UTC)

There's another thing that should be discussed: some of the FA Eps have become so huge that the heading "summary" is just inappropriate - if the whole script is simply copied into them, they would not be longer/have more words. So we have to divide articles like "In a Mirror, Darkly" (which get a heading "content") and those like "Yesterday's Enterprise" that have a real summary (short, no "acts") and keep this heading. There should be some rules for both sorts of episode articles. --Memory 23:00, 15 Sep 2005 (UTC)
I support this idea as well. It will clear up a lot of ambiguity with both episode and actor articles. However, I don't know about further separating the articles. That seems like too much, because the level of depth is really a matter of personal style. If "In a Mirror, Darkly" is at the overboard end of the spectrum, then "Call to Arms" is at the minimalist end. Both are good episode summaries using the five-act format, and both give the user a good idea of what happens in the episode. The extra length is really just bulk (for lack of a better word). --Schrei 02:56, 16 Sep 2005 (UTC)
I disagree. While this idea seems to have its merits at first, I think it wouldn't help in the long run. First, if we create a subcategory just for episode articles, we are basically saying "this article has no place on our featured article list". This is no different than simply defining episode articles as ineligible, as was suggested somewhere else. Separating all meta articles that way may be a good idea, though.
Second, the idea that "every single episode article will probably be featured" sounds just wrong to me. "Featured articles" are defined as the "most thoughtful, comprehensive, and informative articles that Memory Alpha has to offer", articles that "are particularly comprehensive and well-written" or are "especially well-written, informative, and comprehensive [...] that covers all available information on a subject". Obviously, not every article can, or even should, be the best of the best. We have to work on that somehow... -- Cid Highwind 12:36, 16 Sep 2005 (UTC)
Disagree As I see it, the problem is not that episodes are promoted to FA but it's the amount of episodes that reached it with respect to other articles about 'tech stuff', persons etc. If the amount of FA episodes are the problem I would suggest that episode nominations need to be supported by four or more votes and that one cannot nominate an episode that you started. An alternative would be that at least x-amount of archivist needed to be active in its creation, that way an FA would be the effort of the community and not a single person. Personally I don't have a problem with the amount of FA episodes and making a separate category only for episodes and the rest of the FA articles is a bad idea. Like Cid says, you might create FA categories like, episodes, person, events, technology etc.. not only for episodes. The way for now is to scrutinize every article which is nominated and stop being 'nice guys' (up to a point of course) and be more critical about them. I must say it can be done, look at the nomination of Nog and wormhole relay station, in just a few days they are being reworked and certainly are almost FA ready. (to bad that they first needed to be nominated to get so much work done on them) -- Q 17:41, 16 Sep 2005 (UTC)
I think you're missing the point Gv was making... He wants to separate all things that are meta/production/whatever, and while it's true summaries are told from the in-universe perspective, they definitely land on the meta side of the line. And I think having a certain number of votes is a great idea, with one minor detail: It needs to be that way for all articles.
However, disqualifying self-nominations is not the way to go. It would make people afraid to contribute to an article they want to nominate out of fear they could no longer nominate it. Limiting it to one self-nomination at a time is a perfect middle ground, I think; between that and requiring a certain number of votes, there would be no problem with the process. Remember that part of the problem is people who simply comment on issues they might have with the article yet are afraid to wield the oppose vote.
To Cid's comment about not every page having potential, I strongly disagree. Every episode page has the potential to be "Defiant class" or whatever label you want to apply to it. That's why meta and in-universe categories would be appropriate: to address the legitimate concerns people have about featured episode articles drowning out the other potential FAs, because while I agree with this opinion, as I said above I think it's inappropriate to disqualify an article based on current events and MA politics that had nothing to do with the article itself. --Schrei 18:25, 16 Sep 2005 (UTC)
That's not what I was saying. Of course many pages (not all, I think) have the potential to become "one of the best". It just should be obvious that they can't all be "one of the best" at the same time. There's no sense in "featuring" any article if we are featuring all of them at the same time. Whether we are talking about "featured episode articles" or all featured articles - as long as a featured article is defined as "most informative" and "especially well-written", the number of featured articles shouldn't be more than a small percentage of all existing articles. -- Cid Highwind 21:36, 16 Sep 2005 (UTC)
I see your point now, sorry about that. I guess when I hear the best of the best I just think of it in terms of trying to make all of MA the best of the best. The episode summaries are almost like a project that can be gauged on how complete it is, at least to me. The only problem with that logic is the definition of complete. :) --Schrei 22:35, 16 Sep 2005 (UTC)
I would wholly support this idea. Episodes deserve attention, my objection is in thinking that an episode that simply restates the action on screen without adding to overall knowledge, and touching on other relevant areas, is in a different class than an article that covers multiple episodes (or multiple series). Moreover, I think articles are also different in that they even after they are completed there's a question to how much has been added to MA by virtue of a blow-by-blow recap of the final cut. Logan 5 00:22, 17 Sep 2005 (UTC)

Oppose this idea based on my suggestion below on the comments section of Cid's propsal. We don't need to go through all this trouble when we could cure the problem ourselves and avoid controversy. --Schrei 02:17, 19 Sep 2005 (UTC)

Suspend nominations?Edit

With the whole policy being under discussion, the fact that we momentarily don't agree on what exactly makes an article "good enough to be featured", which reasons to object are or aren't valid etc., should we suspend all new nominations for the moment? I suggest to "freeze" the nomination page by protecting it, and only unprotect it after we have come to an agreement here. Let's vote here, simple consensus, all votes 'til 00:00, 20 Sep count. -- Cid Highwind 22:42, 16 Sep 2005 (UTC)


(Yes=Suspend; No=Don't suspend)

  • Yes. -- Cid Highwind 22:42, 16 Sep 2005 (UTC)
  • Yes. Logan 5 00:08, 17 Sep 2005 (UTC)
  • Yes. Schrei 15:23, 17 Sep 2005 (UTC)
  • No. --Defiant | Talk 17:25, 18 Sep 2005 (UTC)
  • No. (see below) --Schrei 02:15, 19 Sep 2005 (UTC)

(Closed, no consensus for suggestion)


I think we need to review our policy of unanimous votes being required as well. Given MA's growth lately, I think maybe "overwhelming majority" or "consensus" would be a better word. As I mentioned on the nominations page, Wikipedia with it's immense user base wouldn't survive a day on unanimous votes - this is just one of those growing pains. --Schrei 15:25, 17 Sep 2005 (UTC)

Agree, unanimity beyond 3-4 votes seems increasingly unlikely unless people start witholding their vote so as not to scuttle nominations, which I think some are already doing. If we had a large majority, or consensus, I think we'd actually end up setting the bar higher by encouraging more votes. Logan 5 01:05, 19 Sep 2005 (UTC)

I don't think we need to suspend nominations, establish formal critera, split categories, draw sticks, pick a number, ask the magic eight ball, or anything so complicated. There didn't seem to be a problem before the novelization fad came along. As I explained on Talk:These Are the Voyages... (episode), we could cure 90% of the problem if we wrote actual summaries and started focusing on encyclopedic articles. The current featured ones can stay as they are, but the concept of featuring episodes should probably be phased out IMHO. It would go a long way toward giving the spotlight back to articles that need the spotlight.

Not that it matters, but I had this epiphany when I realized I never read my own work or anyone elses on most episode pages due to the fact that it's boring to read. Although most people probably won't admit it, I don't think anyone truly reads these things all the way through. --Schrei 02:15, 19 Sep 2005 (UTC)

Fact is that, whether you think this is necessary or not, this has become so complicated - and not only because of the episode article nominations. There were concerns about other parts of the nomination procedure before. Changing the running system would be possible, of course, but halting it for the moment would be so much easier. And for the record, I'm absolutely against making it even easier to nominate new articles, unless we are setting up some other rules/regulations at the same time. But this shouldn't be discussed in this comment section, I guess. -- Cid Highwind 11:34, 19 Sep 2005 (UTC)

I still am highly in favor of separating Trek universe articles (eg. D'deridex-class) from Meta-Trek articles (eg. "The Jem'Hadar") and should be divided by pov just as much as the "background" section is divided from the main text of any Trek universe-based article written here. --Alan del Beccio 17:31, 26 Sep 2005 (UTC)

Policy draft regarding "Featured article criteria"Edit

Please visit Memory Alpha:Featured article criteria and comment on that articles' talk page. This policy is supposed to define what is or isn't a good "Featured article candidate". -- Cid Highwind 07:46, 21 Sep 2005 (EDT) Also, please see a new draft at Memory Alpha:Featured article nomination policy/temp. Comments here. Thanks. -- Cid Highwind 13:20, 21 Sep 2005 (EDT) Any further comments on this or the Peer review page? If not, I'll enact this after this weekend. -- Cid Highwind 11:05, 22 Sep 2005 (UTC)

What if there are objections made by some user(s) and they are addressed by other user(s) but the user(s) who objected does not return within the voting period, to object further or re-read the article. Can such a vote be dismissed ? The proposed voting system still has to be unanimous, what about to let the majority decided, if that is feasible or even a desired option. ? -- Q 18:34, 22 Sep 2005 (UTC)
I don't like this "unanimity thing", I would say if a point is ironed out, an "oppose" is avoided. ("Oppose" without reason = invalid) And five votes might be a little much? --Memory 22:51, 22 Sep 2005 (UTC)

Well, the way my suggestion is laid out, any nomination needs five votes. If you can't find five people from this community who are interested in the page you suggest, then maybe the page isn't really worth featuring. I don't think that the number is unreasonable, most nominations now get votes from five or more different people - increasing the number of necessary votes has been among the suggestions for a better policy.

But, this is important, I think - these votes don't necessary have to be support votes. If you are opposing, you have to add a valid reason for your objection. If you don't, your vote doesn't count at all, but if you do and someone fixes the problem you brought up, your vote will count as one of the five necessary votes. This means that the result doesn't have to be "unanimous" as in "no opposing votes at all", just as in "no unfixed valid objections", which is something one should expect from a "featured article".

To make that clear, if we are restricting objections to a small set of "valid reasons", I'm absolutely against a simple majority vote. If an article contains unfixed problems, it isn't worth being featured. -- Cid Highwind 23:15, 22 Sep 2005 (UTC)

Added Memory Alpha:Featured article criteria to policies. Further discussion on its talk page, if necessary. -- Cid Highwind 15:53, 26 Sep 2005 (UTC)

  • I didn't read this that intensely, but it seems acceptable. I do feel, however, based on the recent friction this area of M/A has had the last couple months, we should make it clear that it is a new policy and that addendums or omissions may yet be made to it. --Alan del Beccio 17:38, 26 Sep 2005 (UTC)

Updated the policy as suggested. Please comment if there's still anything you think needs discussion. The section "Revoking nominations" is still the old one, and I'd like to update that as well, now that we have a stricter set of rules and criteria. Any suggestions? -- Cid Highwind 09:01, 7 Oct 2005 (UTC)

Is it not better to make the unresolved FA issues a must ? 'Before nominating a second article, the first one must be resolved.' I have some doubt whether the peer review needs to be voluntary or not, just to prevent long voting sessions on the FA page. -- Q 16:57, 7 Oct 2005 (UTC)

Well, that is exactly what was intended: "users may nominate articles, one at a time". You are right, this could be interpreted in different ways, I'll rephrase that part. Regarding a mandatory peer review phase, I suggested that earlier somewhere, but got no real support. If there's a consensus for it, we might still add it. -- Cid Highwind 11:55, 8 Oct 2005 (UTC)

I think this new policy is perfectly reasonable, but would like some decision on unanimity. Who says whether objections have been resolved? The original objector or other users? If the original objector never reviews the article they can hold it up even if the objection has been resolved so I think that needs some clarification, otherwise I like it. Logan 5 12:40, 8 Oct 2005 (UTC)

Policy draft page Edit

I think users should only be able to vote support or object once for each nomination, although I can't see that rule anywhere. --Defiant | Talk 18:46, 24 Sep 2005 (UTC)

Once as in "one vote per user", or once as in "if you fail to list all valid objections at once, tough luck"?
If it is the first, I definitely agree. If it is the second, I don't - for example, fixing the first objection might create a valid second one (bad grammar&style etc.). -- Cid Highwind 16:04, 26 Sep 2005 (UTC)

What I mean is that a user's vote can only be counted once. The following is an example of what I mean:

  • Support - User 1 leaves a reason(s) for supporting the article.
  • Comment - User 2 leaves a comment
  • Oppose - User 3 leaves a reason(s) for opposing the nomination
  • Comment - User 1 returns, leaving a comment/further reason for their support.

Does that example clarify my idea? --Defiant | Talk 20:10, 28 Sep 2005 (UTC)

I guess it does - each user has one vote, later votes override earlier ones. If there's a second vote by a user, strike out the first one (preferably, the user should do that himself).
BTW, I definitely think that most comments should not even be on the nomination page, unless they are directly in response to an objection. Most support votes probably don't need any comments, and anything that is neither support nor objection, just talk about the article, should be placed on the articles' talk page. -- Cid Highwind 22:35, 28 Sep 2005 (UTC)

I agree and think that too many users have been posting comments on the Nominations page, rather than the article's Talk page. I also believe that no user should be allowed to strike another user's vote/comment, unless they are Administrators erasing vandalism. --Defiant | Talk 10:50, 1 Oct 2005 (UTC)

 ? Edit

Do we still need this? If yes, it might be a good idea to move it elsewhere. - Archduk3 13:12, November 2, 2011 (UTC)

Merge it with the main talk page, at the appropriate (chronological) point. -- Cid Highwind 13:53, November 2, 2011 (UTC)

Amount of supportsEdit

5 users seems outrageous! Very, very little amount of articles will be able to achieve FA status, not because of the article itsaelf but because no-one looks at the Nominations page any more. This most definately needs to be changed! Otherwise, probably only one article will achieve FA status in the next decade and we'll run out of articles to choose from for the "Article of the Week"! As the votes are just now, "The Collaborator" and "These Are the Voyages..." should both be granted FA status, but won't be as they need 1 or 2 more votes each! That seems ridiculious to me, and a definite indication that the 5 users rule needs to be changed. --Defiant | Talk 12:15, 8 Oct 2005 (UTC)

5 users is not outrageous at all, better to extend the period than reduce it down to a totally meaningless number. If an article can't gather enough support to generate 5 votes one way or the other then it shouldn't go through. Collaborator is an example, it's gathered comments but not 5 votes, which seems to me to indicate it's not really ready for FA status. What would be outrageous is having so few votes make an article eligible that 2-3 users could continually support each others nominations and flood the FAs with articles that the rest of the community has little or no support for. It is the community we're talking about, right? Passing articles through with so little activity is one reason we get ridiculous articles like Ethan Novakovich as FAs. I think 5 votes, non-unanimous, is perfectly fine and doesn't stop you from lobbying for more attention for your favorite articles as you are clearly doing for the episodes. Logan 5 12:38, 8 Oct 2005 (UTC)

Personally, I'd prefer 4 supporting votes. --Defiant | Talk 13:28, 8 Oct 2005 (UTC)

I already replied to a similar comment above. Regarding the number of votes, I agree with Logan. Rising the number of necessary votes has been a suggestion by the community - if an article isn't good or interesting enough to get supported by five or more members of the community, it doesn't deserve a message that basically states that "the community thinks this is one of our best articles". It's not as if we desperately need to have X new FA articles per week, and of course, it's allowed to bring some attention to the whole process. -- Cid Highwind 13:34, 8 Oct 2005 (UTC)
With V'Ger we have the first example that the five votes rule might be nonsense, especially regarding the fact that there were no opposing votes at the time of removal. It seems that voting on FAC has become "uncool", so the current nominations may have no chance with this rule. There are two possibilities: abolish the time limitation and wait until a nominated article gets five votes, or reduce it to three votes. --Memory 20:13, 5 Dec 2005 (UTC)
I would still strongly opposed lowering the number of necessary votes. But I'd support leaving articles up until they get 5 votes total or a month has gone by without activity. Logan 5 20:31, 5 Dec 2005 (UTC)
Ok, then I'll remove the ten days rule tomorrow. --Memory 16:28, 6 Dec 2005 (UTC)
I, too, oppose the reduction of necessary votes - the reasons stated above are still valid. I also oppose the idea of completely "abolishing" any time limitation, because that would leave us no option to actually remove nominations that no one is interested in. Changing the time limitation might be an option to be discussed, although the V'Ger nomination apparently was removed after 26 days without further support. Would a time limit of one month or even more have changed the result? (BTW, the policy talks about "7 days inactive", not "7 days since first nomination", keep that in mind). What about actually advertising your nomination on other users' talk pages? I think someone requested my vote regarding the Ferengi-nomination, and although I refrained from voting in that case, this sure is a possibility to find some support... -- Cid Highwind 17:13, 6 Dec 2005 (UTC)
I was the user who requested your vote on the Ferengi nomination and I think that was an acceptable, though slightly annoying, way of making sure an article you support at least gets attention. If the article gets 3-4 votes, but then after a month of inactivity, even with direct requests by the nominator to other users it still doesn't generate enough votes then...tough. I would have been very upset if this were the case with Ferengi because I thought it was worthy. But if I couldn't get 5 people to vote on it, one way or the other for a month, I could complain about users but not the policy. Logan 5 18:47, 6 Dec 2005 (UTC)
Oh please not the advertising. Ok, it worked here and at the German MA (where the five vote rule doesn't exist) for some cases, but it's also some kind of spamming. I checked the rules of the FAC process of the German and the English Wikipedia for comparison, the English has no minimum number of votes and the German demands three (pro) - so the question is justifiable if MA needs this. With three votes V'Ger would have made it - justified, I think. --Memory 19:54, 6 Dec 2005 (UTC)
Well, Wikipedia also has a mandatory peer review phase, a much stricter definition of a "featured article" and a user base that more actively opposes nominations based on this. I don't know if the two projects can that easily be compared in this regard. -- Cid Highwind 20:12, 6 Dec 2005 (UTC)
We have a peer review too (where is it written that the WP-PR is mandatory?). And our demands are not strict? O_o Maybe our user base isn't big enough for five votes? --Memory 20:32, 6 Dec 2005 (UTC)
FA suggestions on Wikipedia are regularly opposed because images used are considered to be not "fair use" (which we should probably start to think about as well), there are small formatting issues or some tiny tidbits of information are missing. Wikipedia also has a box titled "The path to a Featured Article", which has "peer review" as the fourth of six steps.
Regarding the recent change to the policy (which I rolled back for the moment, see below) - first, I think there hasn't been a consensus for the suggested change and second, the actual change is not equal to the suggested one. With the "new" policy, it would actually be much easier to vote down any suggestion - wait until there are four votes, then be the fifth one to oppose and immediately remove the suggestion, because "a nomination can be resolved if it has reached five votes.. -- Cid Highwind 01:48, 11 Dec 2005 (UTC)
Ok, but something must be changed, if it is going on this way (also regarding the current nominations), nearly no articles will become featured in the future. So if the time limitation can't be dismissed, we have to change the votes mode. --Memory 12:20, 11 Dec 2005 (UTC)

Rollback Dec 11Edit

I rolled back the recent change to the policy because I feel that some of the discussion points above are still unaddressed - at least there's no obvious consensus for a policy change in my opinion. I'm part of that discussion myself, so maybe some other contributors need to look into this. Thanks. -- Cid Highwind 01:21, 11 Dec 2005 (UTC)

Voting process (redux)Edit

I was just thinking about the FA nomination process and how it is a shame when some articles reach 4 supporting votes with no objections yet they fail because of that one supporting vote needed. After reading the above, I was wondering if maybe we could have some kind of compromise whereby if an article reaches, say, 3 or 4 supporting votes with not a single objection but the seven day time period expires, perhaps we could say because there are no objections it will still pass as clearly a concensus has been reached. If anyone was to oppose the nomination they would have done it in the time it was up there. Just my two cents. --| TrekFan Open a channel 23:43, February 18, 2011 (UTC)

Oppose - If someone believes an article really should be featured, they'll make damn sure they get enough votes. We can hardly call something the communities best work if the community didn't vote on it. - Archduk3 15:58, February 19, 2011 (UTC)

LOL! That's funny. I guess you have a point.--| TrekFan Open a channel 16:00, February 19, 2011 (UTC)

I don't think, though, that a post that only states "please vote" should be counted as "activity"- otherwise this will only encourage people to post to keep it active and not discuss the subject at hand.--31dot 14:45, February 20, 2011 (UTC)

I agree. I think the spirit of the current policy is intended to say any posts that are related to improving the article count as activity. I simply posted a reminder to keep it in recent changes so people can see it and hopefully, vote. It wasn't intended as spam or anything like that. Simply a message of encouragment and to publicise the whole process. --| TrekFan Open a channel 14:50, February 20, 2011 (UTC)

I didn't object to you(or anyone) doing so, I simply said that it shouldn't count as activity. :) --31dot 14:52, February 20, 2011 (UTC)

I know. Sorry if I can across a bit abrupt. I was agreeing with you. :) Only posts that are contributing to the development of the article and ultimately the featured-ness of it should be counted. --| TrekFan Open a channel 14:55, February 20, 2011 (UTC)

Objection resolution Edit

Given what happened with the Reginald Barclay nomination recently, I'm wondering if we should clarify the level of change that is acceptable while a nomination is pending, or even if changes should be permitted at all. I'm not sure which- but I can see how things might be confusing, especially if resolving an objection involves adding or removing significant text from an article.--31dot 04:27, February 25, 2011 (UTC)

I completely agree as you probably would have guessed :). IMO, we need to say either no changes during the nomination process, only after...OR...make whatever changes are needed to resolve any valid objections, even if this considerably changes the article (unless it turns into an argument back and forth, in which case no concensus would be reached anyway). I don't think we can have it both ways, if I'm, honest. The third alternative is to make the peer review process mandatory for featured status, and if nobody leaves comments on it then objects in the nomination process, changes can be made as long as the objections are resolved by the end of the nomination. However, I personally, am not keen on making the PR process mandatory though I would agree it is sometimes a useful tool. --| TrekFan Open a channel 04:35, February 25, 2011 (UTC)
I have no problem with the amount of changes made on Visionary or Scorpion, as they are small. In the case of Barclay, things were going along ok, then suddenly, there was a 4k+ section about his hologram addiction added. That size of an addition completely changed the article, and it was no longer even remotely close to the one originally nominated.
What I really don't understand is why there is a sudden rush on nominating articles for FA status, when there are (obviously) a large number of current FA articles that don't necessarily deserve it. I'd like to see us direct our limited efforts at either cleaning and improving those articles, renominating them, or removing them from FA status. -- sulfur 13:03, February 25, 2011 (UTC)

I agree that there seems to be a rush to "get articles Featured", as some have put it. I'm not sure why that is- and I think having a lot of FA's diminishes them in general, especially when (as Sulfur said) there are many that probably shouldn't be FA's. --31dot 13:23, February 25, 2011 (UTC)

But that is another point to discuss elsewhere. What we are talking about here, is the objection resolution in the nomination policy. --| TrekFan Open a channel 18:25, February 25, 2011 (UTC)
"The article content shouldn't change significantly between revisions. While minor improvements, especially in response to comments after being nominated for Featured article status, will and should happen, any article whose content currently is under dispute is not a good candidate."
How is this not clear enough? If entire sections are added, it's clearly not stable. Forcing a peer review before nominations won't fix anything either, because people are just as likely to not participate in it. If large changes have to be made, it shouldn't be a FA at that time, and there's nothing saying the article can't be renominated after a period of time. If your truly interested in making an article a featured one, you will stick with it. - Archduk3 18:39, February 25, 2011 (UTC)
When the article was nominated there was no dispute. User:Captain Rixx nominated it and only then were there several objections. So, instead of leaving it, I decided to address those objections as per "If you nominate an article, you are expected to address valid objections that are raised" in an attempt to help it along as I do think it should/has the potential to be a featured article. The problem here is that there are contradictory statements. As I said in the nomination process, "Address all the objections that are raised during the nomination process but you're not allowed to change the article because then it would be different from what was nominated...?" The two statements go against each other. --| TrekFan Open a channel 18:46, February 25, 2011 (UTC)
There is no contradiction. If large changes are required or made during the nomination, the article is not FA material yet, and can be renominated after the waiting period. - Archduk3 19:12, February 25, 2011 (UTC)
"any article whose content currently is under dispute is not a good candidate"
This says to me that it applies to articles before you nominate them, i.e. before you nominate it, does the article's content change significantly. On Barclay, the answer was no so Rixx nominated it. It was only after he had that the changes were made, in response to objections which is where the line "If you nominate an article, you are expected to address valid objections that are raised" comes in. --| TrekFan Open a channel 19:19, February 25, 2011 (UTC)
Well then it should be made clearer that the criteria applies throughout. - Archduk3 19:23, February 25, 2011 (UTC)
Hence this conversation! --| TrekFan Open a channel 20:04, February 25, 2011 (UTC)
That wasn't what this conversation was about at first, since it began to clarify what changes are allowed during the nomination, which is dangerously close to instruction creep in a deliberately undefined policy, since listing every instance of what is and isn't allowed would make it unfollowable. I've already "creeped" the instructions here by adding how long an article should be stable before nomination, which should also resolve the differences between the renomination process and the PR process, as well as marking that only significant changes should render an article invalid for FA at the time. What change or changes would be considered significant should not be spelled out, as that will only undermine the spirit of the guideline with the wording of the guideline. - Archduk3 21:22, February 25, 2011 (UTC)
The conversation is about how clear the current policy on resolving objections. You say it would be instruction creep but how can you have a policy that says you can't edit an article to resolve an objection when doing so would invalidate the very nomination you are working on??? It doesn't make sense, which brings me back to my original suggestion. Either, completely allow any changes during nomination as long as a concensus is reached anyway, or don't allow any changes to the article when it is up for nomination and any objections can be resolved afterwards. You can't have it both ways. --| TrekFan Open a channel 22:50, February 25, 2011 (UTC)
True, though I think it's fair to say that users are meant to exercise some "common sense" as to what are significant changes. That's hardly difficult! --Defiant 23:25, February 25, 2011 (UTC)
I agree with you to some extent but the matter remains. In the case of Reginald Barclay, it was my genuine intention to resolve any objections as I genuinely wanted to see the article featured. Let me put it another way. If someone comes along and objects on the first vote, saying w, x, y and z are wrong with the article, then there is noway it's going to be featured because it means too many changes need to be made, and it may aswell just be taken off the nominations page right there and then. It just would be pointless to leave it the seven days. However, if someone was to resolve that objection and the objector changed his/her vote to support then surely that's a good thing? The problem only arises when you start getting people objecting to the actual changes to the article (not that it has been changed like in Barclay) and therefore no concensus will be reached anyway and in that case it would fail. It could go another way though. What if the changes made to it, even if it's a lot, resulted in more supporting votes and the article becoming featured? Surely that's a good thing? Perhaps a change to the policy along the lines of; "During the nomination process, valid objections may be raised as to the article's content. It is expected that these objections be resolved before any nomination can be complete. However, if a lengthy debate on the validity of such changes ensues, one which cannot be resolved before the seven day limit is reached, the article will be considered unsuccessful. In this instance, it is recommended a peer review be conducted before re-nominating an article." In this case, you are allowing changes, yet if it becomes such an issue that no-one can agree, only then it is considered unsuccessful. The seven day limit I mentioned would be enforced from the last support/oppose vote cast since any comments after that time would be just comments, not votes. --| TrekFan Open a channel 00:35, February 26, 2011 (UTC)
If you genuinely want the article to be featured, we'll see you again in a few weeks. Now to the heart of the matter, no article should be featured if there are major changes less than a few weeks old. I will flatly object to any policy change that removes the stable requirement, which is exactly what your asking for. That requirement is there for a reason, and if a major change is required, the article simply wasn't ready, period. None of that stops an article from be nominated again, and a nomination can always be withdrawn by the nominator. It's not suppose to be easy to get an article though the nomination process, and we shouldn't be making it any easier just because this one didn't. - Archduk3 05:16, February 26, 2011 (UTC)

Voting on own nominations Edit

This policy states that "You should not vote on an article you nominated." I had always interpreted the nomination as a support vote- was this an error, and if so, why?--31dot 01:22, October 1, 2011 (UTC)

Late reply, but the "The nomination of an article is considered a vote of support unless it's a self-nomination." part should cover that. :) - Archduk3 14:00, November 2, 2011 (UTC)

Split from FA nomination Edit

moved from Memory Alpha:Nominations for featured articles (Gorkon nomination)

But I also have a comment to make. This incredibly strict application of the stability rules over the last year or so runs counter to MA practice in the past. In the past, articles have changed quite a bit during nomination processes, in response to user input. Nonetheless, those nominations succeeded where oppose votes were addressed. This was a good thing – the articles were improved through the process.

This recent strict interpretation of stability is having the perverse effect of making people reluctant to comment on how articles can be improved further, for fearing the nomination may be lost due to the almighty stability criterion. I oppose any interpretation of policy that discourages the improvement of articles.

What does this have to do with this discussion? Well, if we took a more common sense approach to the FA criteria, TrekFan is able to support and say in effect "as a bonus, why not have some quotes". We can then have a discussion about whether quotes should be added without worrying about derailing the nomination. Everyone gets their input, and the article is improved as a result.–Cleanse ( talk | contribs ) 01:58, November 17, 2011 (UTC)

I personally don't consider the addition or removal of any amount of quotes in a section for them to be a "significant" change, since a significant change to me is a large change to the wording of the article, and the wording of quotes don't change. The need for stability is required because the wording is open to interpretation to a large extent, and as I've said before, if you truly believe that an article should be featured, you'll be willing to keep at it. - Archduk3 02:31, November 17, 2011 (UTC)
In my opinion, the last FA hasn't been "derailed" at all. The user in question did bring up three big lists of points of things that could be improved - and most of them were. So, again no need to take any of that personally and/or make a big deal of it. Process comments should not be made here, but on a more general page - but as long as FAs will be considered "the best we have, for all eternity", I don't see how any opposing vote based at least a bit on reality could be ignored - and that includes comments about how the current article revision (which is what gets featured) might not survive for long. -- Cid Highwind 08:04, November 17, 2011 (UTC)

I don't really disagree with any of that. My argument is that so many FA nominations in the recent past have gone as follows:

  1. Article nominated
  2. Someone makes a good objection, pointing out how the article could be improved
  3. Article is edited to resolve the objection
  4. Someone then opposes the article because it isn't "stable"
  5. Article fails, even though all objections regarding content have been resolved

My problem, obviously is with # 4, and I was just afraid it would happen here, again. Of course, I agree my little soap box is itself detracting from the nomination discussion, but I wanted to respond to the comments above, and offer a way to avoid all these problems. :-)–Cleanse ( talk | contribs ) 09:30, November 17, 2011 (UTC)

I will reply after all of this gets removed to a different talk page. :) Talk of this page, or Memory Alpha talk:Featured article nomination policy, what do you prefer? -- Cid Highwind 09:37, November 17, 2011 (UTC)

Cid, feel free to move it all to the policy talk page.–Cleanse ( talk | contribs ) 10:55, November 17, 2011 (UTC)

It should be noted that, when a nomination was opposed for being "unstable", it most of the time wasn't just one tiny change to the article (items 2/3 in your list), but a good deal of such edits. Articles were sometimes copy-edited big time, which alone does make them somewhat unstable. If pieces of an article are ripped apart and glued together a different way, the result can be a better article - but it can also be something that another pair of eyes (or two) need to have a look at to see whether the prose still flows in a sensible way. The same is true if parts that make up a good percentage of the article length are "suddenly" added or removed because of a discussion between "some" users: doing so can increase article quality, but it can also lead to another round of copy-editing necessary down the line. Any article that has recently been edited by some of our users can not immediately be considered a "community work" - everyone else should at least have the possibility to copy-edit the resulting article again. -- Cid Highwind 11:19, November 17, 2011 (UTC)

On the contrary, I think FA nominations where lots of people chip in are the best example of community work on MA. I think the Worf, Worf (Colonel) and Gorkon articles (to name recent examples) have improved dramatically due to the attention created from their first FA nomination process.

But as I said in my first post, obsession with stability is starting to discourage discussions on how to improve FA candidates i.e. the comments directed towards CzechOut and now Trekfan in the Gorkon nominations when they raised objections in the FA process rather than in the peer review. While we clearly have different views on the meaning of "stability" could we at least agree that these comments aren't helpful?–Cleanse ( talk | contribs ) 12:16, November 17, 2011 (UTC)

I definitely agree that those comments weren't helpful - but I need to note that those comments were directed at people suggesting further article improvements, not the other way around! For me, it looks as if taking care of article stability (wouldn't want to call that an "obsession") does not keep people from suggesting improvements but, if anything, does disturb those that absolutely want to bring a specific article through the process quickly.
Maybe that actually is the problem, or at least a part of it. People should write good articles - and if one of them happens to be so great to deserve a badge, that's great. Instead, what I see here is the opposite, namely that some people seem to think that getting FA status is more important than making the article great... -- Cid Highwind 12:50, November 17, 2011 (UTC)
Maybe I'm a little off topic, but I'm starting to think that peer reviews should be abolished. They don't often draw much attention, and if we're going to discuss and address objections during the FA nomination anyway, they seem kind of irrelevant. The frustration comes when one holds a peer review to solicit comment, few people comment, and then the writer or writers nominate their article to be an FA thinking that the lack of comment means the article is in good shape, and then all these users come out of the woodwork and find all these things wrong with the article when it is nominated. If we didn't have separate peer reviews, that would be less of an issue.
That might also require redefining the "stability" requirement.--31dot 12:59, November 17, 2011 (UTC)
That generally seems to be the same direction I suggested here (age-old suggestion, so discusses some problems that are outdated by now. The main points are still valid, though): User:Cid Highwind/Featured article procedure. I don't agree with "abolishing peer review" - because what remains would still be a peer review process that is just called "Featured Article nomination" for whatever reasons - but I do agree with the implicit statement that we have one process too many. At least as long as the current peer review is just considered "the stupid thing necessary for getting an FA nomination through" by people. I still think that it is the superlative of "nominating the best article we have" that should be thrown out, so that what remains is more a combination of peer review and then "featuring" an article as Article of the Week. -- Cid Highwind 13:10, November 17, 2011 (UTC)
I think the main problem with Cid's suggestion, if I'm reading it right, is that every year we would need to "create" 52 AotWs/FAs. As I suggested here, it might just be easier to randomize the current AotW system so any FA could be on the main page each week. That said, I'm all for removing Peer Reviews, for all the reasons already mentioned here and elsewhere. We could just use the current two week stability period at the end of a PR as part of the FA nomination. This would work like this:
  1. Article nominated
  2. Someone makes a good objection, pointing out how the article could be improved
  3. Article is edited to resolve the objection
  4. After two weeks without significant changes article is featured
This of course assumes that the article met the other current FA criteria (number of votes, no opposition, etc). Resolving a FA nomination would then be two weeks without significant activity. - Archduk3 14:28, November 17, 2011 (UTC)
I kind of had the same thoughts but I'm wondering how future objections raised during the two week period would be dealt with- if after 13 days someone comes along and objects to something that gets resolved, does that restart the two weeks? Or would that result in the nomination failing and it would need to be renominated?--31dot 14:45, November 17, 2011 (UTC)
The problem Archduk3 sees in my proposal would be valid - if it weren't for the very outdated articles we're currently featuring as our "Articles of the Week". If it is cool to feature a 4 year old article on our main page (I brought up this example when we last discussed this in August, see discussion linked by Archduk3), then it should be equally cool to either fall back to an old one if we don't manage to get a new one in a random week - or change to "Articles of the Month" if people don't really want to feature new articles weekly - or reduce our requirements for such article (which would be possible because we're no longer looking for "the absolute bestest we have" but just for an above-average article). I'm against completely scrapping the Peer Review process, because (heaven forbid!) that one can actually be used by people who just want to work on an article they like, without the motivation of having it "featured" one way or another later. -- Cid Highwind 15:48, November 17, 2011 (UTC)
I don't think we need a separate process and a separate page to do that- the article's talk page could be used instead, without the middleman of a peer review. --31dot 15:57, November 17, 2011 (UTC)
[2nd edit conflict] - The way I see it, as long as changes are being made to resolve objections, the nomination is active, so it should "restart" the two weeks, though only significant changes require two weeks. The current time frame could be kept for minor ones, but I do see the logic in only having one. The only reason an article should fail with objections is if no one is making changes or the objection is unresolvable, in which case the article is in dispute.
[edit conflict] - To respond to Cid, the goal of MA is to "to create the most definitive, accurate, and accessible encyclopedia and reference for everything related to Star Trek", so why would we need anything more than the talk page if people just want to work on the article, that is after all what they're there for? PRs work less than half the time, see here, so we could just have a template "flag" an article, as opposed to creating an entirely different page that generally only gets used as a step to a FA anyways, or even have that person ask directly for input on other users talk pages.- Archduk3 15:59, November 17, 2011 (UTC)
The idea of the current PR process is not that some discussion randomly happens, as is the case everyday - the idea is that someone wants to care for a specific article by inviting all people to add suggestions, and then realize them. The idea itself is a sensible one, independent of its specific implementation: having the discussion in another place (like the article talk page plus template) doesn't mean that we mustn't call the process a "peer review" - that's what it still is, after all: an article written (or copy-edited) by one person gets reviewed by his peers. -- Cid Highwind 16:18, November 17, 2011 (UTC)
I'm only talking about supporting the removal of the current PR system, if it gets replaced by something that doesn't create as much clutter, isn't tied to FA nominations, and actually works, I'll be all for it.
As to another point made earlier, I've said before that I think we need a system of reconfirming FAs that doesn't require removing them first. Just because a FA is old doesn't mean it isn't still one of MA's best articles. - Archduk3 16:27, November 17, 2011 (UTC)
But we're talking about changes to the FA system in this discussion, not about changes to the PR system. If your suggestion is to do FAs without PRs, then that suggestion can be made while leaving the PR system alone. My suggestion is to actually merge FA halfway into PR and halfway into AotW. Whether the result then is called "Featured Article", or "Article of the Week", or "Weekly Featured Article", I don't care much. In any case, I don't support removing PR completely, and then leaving both FA and AotW as they currently are. -- Cid Highwind 17:48, November 17, 2011 (UTC)
[edit conflict] - I'm not suggesting "removing PR completely, and then leaving both FA and AotW as they currently are", I'm suggesting changes to all three to address the "problems" in each system. These changes would remove the current PR system completely and it's place in the FA system, but PR would be replace with some new system. - Archduk3 18:09, November 17, 2011 (UTC)
Then it might be best if you actually made a complete suggestion, perhaps on a user subpage - perhaps we're talking about the same thing, but I don't see that at the moment. -- Cid Highwind 18:23, November 17, 2011 (UTC)
See Forum:Overhaul of PR, FA, & AotW. - Archduk3 19:49, November 17, 2011 (UTC)

Blurbs Edit

From Memory Alpha talk:Reconfirmation of featured articles.

As Cid has pointed out, FAs now need blurbs, so a reconfirmation of a FA without one should create one, using the same system at MA:FANOM. Instructions could also be added here that a link to the blurb is required as part of the reconfirmation, since blurbs should also be reconfirmed at the same time. That said, we need to clarify that either an objection to the blurb does trigger the need for the full FA nomination requirements, or that an objection to the blurb isn't an objection to the article but (of course) needs to be resolved before the end of the reconfirmation. - Archduk3 23:32, December 4, 2011 (UTC)

I think the latter would be more sensible here. If the article itself is fine, a bad blurb objection should stall the reconfirmation (and if stalling means failing, then so be it[*]), but not make necessary a whole different and more complex process.
[*]Thinking about it, the only valid objections to the blurb itself might be that a) it doesn't exist at all or b) it's not the same as the first paragraph(s) of the article or c) it is too long/short, so it should always be possible to resolve that kind of objection. -- Cid Highwind 23:49, December 4, 2011 (UTC)

I pretty much agree with your thinking on this. This is what I have in mind for the wording change here:

"Reconfirmations can be started by beginning a new discussion under either "Nominations without objections", for articles you support or have no preference to, or "Nominations with objections", for articles you oppose, with a heading containing a link back to the article you want to suggest. Discussions should have a link to the blurb used on the main page, located at [[Template:FA/<ARTICLE>]], and it's generally a good idea to link to the FA history on the article's talk page as well. If you have a preference on the article, please briefly state why."

...and at the policy:

"Any objections to the main page blurb are independent of the article and should be resolved before the reconfirmation ends."

I would also insert "for the article" after support in "If support during the reconfirmation is unanimous..." - Archduk3 00:16, December 5, 2011 (UTC)

The first two changes sound good. Not sure if the final one (insertion of "for the article") is really correct - because, as stated above, opposition to a blurb would stall the renomination and as such lead to the reconfirmation not going through after fourteen days, even if otherwise unanimous.
Another thing, asking here because I'm a little lost with all the current changes: Did we specify a recommended length for the main page blurb? If we haven't yet, I think we should, so that all our main page blurbs are at least approximately of the same length. I suggest a article length of about 1200 characters (+/- 100) for the template subpage (like Template:FA/M-113 creature). Allowing for some non-printed characters (like formatting or the thumbnail code), this should translate to about 1KB of pure text. -- Cid Highwind 13:31, December 5, 2011 (UTC)

OK, I see what you were saying now. I wanted the "for the article" part inserted to help differentiate between the two, though if the reduction of time is cool with everyone that whole bit might need to be reworded. In any case, the change to the policy page could be:

"Any objections to the main page blurb are independent of the article, though a successful reconfirmation can not end until 24 hours after all objections to the blurb are resolved."

As for the length of blurbs, I don't know of any limit to the size, though I agree there should be a guideline about it, since a few of them were/are pretty long. It might make more sense to use a "blank" template to help with writing them though, instead of a character limit, like so: Template:Featured article/FA template. This could be used like the sandbox page, where a blurb can be written and then deleted after it's transferred elsewhere. A link to this could be added to the nomination and reconfirmation pages in case anyone wants to used it, and already written blurbs can be fitted to it. - Archduk3 14:26, December 5, 2011 (UTC)

I'm not sure how that template-template is supposed to work. There are DIVs that would need to be removed before writing stuff, wouldn't that actually complicate things? What I had in mind was a simple suggestion like:
"Blurb templates should contain one image about their topic as a standard thumbnail, and should not exceed 1,200 bytes. You can check the history of the template page for its current size in bytes."
-- Cid Highwind 15:34, December 5, 2011 (UTC)

Those div are the point, since if you go longer than 475px in adds a scroll bar, so you would know the blurb is too long. If the idea is to enforce a max size, you should be able to see it in the preview or after saving without having to check another "page". - Archduk3 15:45, December 5, 2011 (UTC)

OK. The div has a different width in preview than after saving, though - and client-side differences (like different browsers, or installed fonts, or CSS overrides) might further add to those differences. Furthermore, if previewing doesn't work, the necessary steps seem to be slightly more complicated with this (write, save, check, perhaps rewrite and check again, then edit again to copy wikicode and paste it elsewhere) than with the idea of checking the byte size in the history and be done with it - because content is on the correct page already. I wouldn't mind that div-preview-thingy as an additional help (if it works for you, great), but I wouldn't want to rely on it myself when writing blurbs. Let's have both a byte size range and that template, then... -- Cid Highwind 16:34, December 5, 2011 (UTC)

Both standards can be used, so long as they line up mostly, but the current system (the old AotW system) is that blurbs are placed directly on the nomination page until they are approved. We could change that, but I don't really like the idea of an article being in a position to be confused with a FA before it is one. - Archduk3 16:54, December 5, 2011 (UTC)

There's something else (but related) we should talk about: currently, blurbs are supposed to be located on a subpage of {{FA}}, using the name of the article. I admit it's unlikely that an FA candidate article gets deleted or merged, but renaming is at least a possibility. In any case, there's currently no connection between an article and its blurb. It might be more sensible to place blurbs on a subpage of the article itself (like ARTICLE/blurb) - in which case, blurbs could be created independent of an existing FA status and without fear of confusing them with an FA. -- Cid Highwind 17:03, December 5, 2011 (UTC)

Memory Alpha is suppose to be "flat", with no subpages in the main namespace beyond temporary ones or cases like Em/3/Green, so I don't think we should create an exception for these. That said, there should be a link to the blurb on the article, most likely created automatically though the FA template at the bottom of the page. A broken link/missing blurb message after a move should be enough to gain attention in case the blurb is forgotten. I would also think having the blurb directly on the nomination page would help keep them "small" regardless of any guideline, since longer ones would push the page further down than it already is with the instructions. - Archduk3 17:28, December 5, 2011 (UTC)

As for using both standards for sizing, I based the template box size on the current Bell Riots blurb, which is 1,859 bytes. I consider this to be pretty much the upper limit of what size we should be using, but it is a nearly 660 byte difference with the suggested 1,200 byte limit. - Archduk3 11:23, December 6, 2011 (UTC)

Well, I used the (totally infallible ;)) metric of "I really wouldn't want to read more than that!" after creating Template:FA/M-113 creature - and actually, I just found out that Wikipedia suggests the same length for their main page blurbs here (section "Suggested formatting"). While we don't need to do things just because WP does the same, there seems to have been some thought put into their suggestions. Perhaps we should also think about other things like removing links (we want to present one specific article, after all, and not a bunch of articles that just happen to be linked from the top of that article). -- Cid Highwind 14:42, December 6, 2011 (UTC)

I would agree that we don't need links to any other articles, though I still think 1,200 bytes is on the small size. If anything, I think the guideline should be around 1,200 bytes to around 1,800 bytes, since these are also displayed on the full width portals pages (and might be even more so soon) and that the smaller blurbs tend to look rather spartan. Another thing to consider is that the Dominion War blurb has thousands of bytes for just the "image" and image sizes aren't standard either. - Archduk3 15:40, December 6, 2011 (UTC)

Actually, I saw you test the Dominion War blurb, and thought to myself: "What's the fraking table supposed to do there?" :) I've never been a fan of these even in the article itself (mostly used in form of battle outcome comparisons), and I'm even less convinced that they are a good idea in a blurb. Dominion War has so many great shots to choose from (for example this), why not use one of those instead? So, I think on top of a length guideline, we should have some image guideline (one image from the article; standard aspect ratio preferred; included as standard thumbnail; no weird table constructions) - which would solve the potential problem of a "non-standard" image leading to much more or less space used. Since the suggested range of 1,200-1,800 bytes falls completely outside of the range I last suggested (1,200 at most), I think we should hear the opinion of some others here, first). -- Cid Highwind 16:11, December 6, 2011 (UTC)

I happen to like that table, and it doesn't really take up anymore space than "non-standard" images like the ones on {{FA/Robert Picardo}} and {{FA/Cardassian ATR-4107}}, so I'm opposing removing it. That said, I stripped out all the other links from the suggestions at the forum when I created these templates, {{FA/In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II (episode)}}, {{FA/The Best of Both Worlds (episode)}}, {{FA/Scorpion (episode)}}, {{FA/Melora (episode)}}, and {{FA/Gorkon}}, just in case someone wants to see that in action. - Archduk3 20:06, December 8, 2011 (UTC)

Well, I'd consider the request to have a huge-ass table showing six only semi-related logos removed from the main page blurb to be a valid one - so we will deal with that when Dominion War comes up for reconfirmation. -- Cid Highwind 23:13, December 8, 2011 (UTC)

Removing other links Edit

So I've started removing links to other articles in the blurbs, but ran into a little problem with the {{Born}} template. We would need a version that doesn't produce links to remove those. We could also either update the age info every year manually or remove that info from the blurbs. Thoughts? - Archduk3 02:36, December 18, 2011 (UTC)

Opposition to "blurbs" idea Edit

I'd like to oppose the concept of constantly using blurbs, as it's yet another of the formats that are making this site less and less accessible for editors; essentially, it's like saying the FA nom process is technically open to a wider range of editors, but we'll make it really hard for you to participate in that by deeming that you have to do so by finding your way around a very, very particular formatting system. Also, there seems to be only 1 or 2 of this site's many editors who seem to have been involved in adopting this notion; far from a community consensus. I'd very much like to hear from other editors, particularly admins, on this topic. --Defiant 13:55, June 13, 2012 (UTC)

It seems an especially ridiculous idea to me considering the blurbs, for all the inaccessibility of use they cause, are completely unnecessary, given the existence of links. Please feel free to comment if you agree, or even if you disagree, and haven't yet passed comment on this. --Defiant 14:13, June 13, 2012 (UTC)

I don't really know enough about this to give any sort of comment yet, but I'm wondering why you didn't express opposition when it was discussed above. 31dot 14:17, June 13, 2012 (UTC)

From as far as I can remember, I did express opposition to it somewhere, saying it's not been welcomed by a community consensus. The reply, at the time, was that that wasn't enough of an objection. These talk pages are hardly definitive; the word "blurb" isn't even mentioned on the discussion page for the FA nom policy, for instance. --Defiant 14:23, June 13, 2012 (UTC)

I remember that this was one of the several policies forcibly inserted by Archduk. His accomplice in these matters was Cid, the same user who couldn't wait to remove my admin status due to a misunderstood joke! So, it's little wonder my objection was subsequently overruled, with very, very little attention given to it. --Defiant 14:29, June 13, 2012 (UTC)

I don't see how summing up an article that is going to be featured, or at least providing an introduction to that article, is being less accessible to readers, a group which our editors should be a part of, and should be catering too. You might find it to be in your way of getting articles featured, but then again you've said before how keeping up with the fact that this site isn't using the same version of the policies it did years ago was too much for you, so I'm going to have to assume that this is more of that.
Instructions are provided on several pages for how to nominate and reconfirm articles, which includes the blurb, and common sense would suggest that "monkey see, monkey do" is still the fastest way to learn how things should be done, like the blurb format on links and size, so I have to ask why you didn't do any of that? It's clear you didn't either read/understand/remember the instructions that were displayed directly on the page you were editing when nominating the last few articles, so how would writing it all down in one place, where ever that may be, be of any more use that what we already have? Removing the blurb altogether may make you feel like this is still the past, and stop you from have to deal with the fact that things have changed, but one of the points of everything that has been done to the FA system is to get these articles actually featured somewhere, so if you want the blurbs gone, come up with something that works better, don't just call for their removal, because things have changed, and I for one think that the changes have been for the better.
Oh, and there was only a small selection of users deciding this because some people made a "point" about not taking part in policy discussions anymore, so I'll point out once again that a consensus can only be reach by those willing to partake in the discussion, and the silence of those that don't participate has been, and will continue to be, considered acceptance of the conclusion reached. Hopefully, enough people will sound off here so, whatever the outcome is, the validity of it won't be able to be called into question later just because its a slight hassle for someone. - Archduk3 14:33, June 13, 2012 (UTC)
Really, with everything that has happened, you've going trying to push the idea that Cid and I were somehow in "cahoots" on this. If you feel you're sidelined in these matters Defiant, it's because of your literally bat-shit insane suggestions like that. That's why you aren't an admin anymore, because you said your powers should be removed for reasons we all agreed with. You've been slowing trying to take it back it for months now, but things like this just show that you were correct for wanting it in the first place. - Archduk3 14:40, June 13, 2012 (UTC)

I'm not suggesting anything other than you and Cid clearly were in agreement on the blurbs, since you were both commenting on it, so please don't blow this out of proportion and go all off-topic, Archduk (I'll be open to such a discussion on my own talk page, if you wish to sort out some misunderstandings). Returning this discussion to a hopefully less personal nature, I'd like to present evidence which I feel indicates the inaccessibility of the blurbs idea. The FA nomination policy page clearly states, "Any registered user that has been in existence for at least two weeks and with at least twenty significant contributions can participate in nominations." A recent attempt made by myself, a user of MA since 2004, to create one of these blurbs has been heavily nitpicked (and other users quite often don't even make the attempt), so is it a realistic expectation for users that have existed "for at least two weeks and with at least twenty significant contributions" to be able to do so? This opposition is nowhere as personal as has been suggested; my objection is motivated, as I've outlined, by the concern for relative newbies having to adopt this system. --Defiant 14:54, June 13, 2012 (UTC)

Could we maybe make a template or present some clearer guidelines for such users wishing to do so? I'll agree the blurb does make a good presentable impression for readers, but it's the ease of editing I'm worried about. Since this problem has cropped up with my own attempt to create one, I don't think it's so unlikely that such a situation might arise for a relative newbie, in which case pointing them in the direction of a template or help page would probably be handy. --Defiant 15:04, June 13, 2012 (UTC)

The nomination page has a sample format that wasn't heeded until it was pointed out, which makes the reality of the situation this: "Any registered user that has been in existence for at least two weeks, with at least twenty significant contributions, and can follow instructions on the page can participate in nominations without being told to correct themselves." Actually adding those additions is redundant, since the extra bits should go without saying. While there currently isn't any written instructions on what exactly is expected from blurbs, it really is "monkey see, monkey do". Checking any of our current blurbs should have made the desired format clear, and one of the ideas behind avoiding instruction creep is that what people see, people learn, so it doesn't need to be written down. That said, if you think that written instructions would be better, I'm not really opposed to that. As for a template, there is already a controversial size template which could be expanded/adapted to stress what we would like overall, or are you talking about something more along the lines of the "preloaded" page templates like we use for deletion discussions? The problem with the latter is that unlike reconfirmations, nominated articles aren't already assumed to be approved by the community (most FA blurbs started as AotW blurbs that were approved), so a page in the {{FA}} template shouldn't be created before the article passes. "New" blurbs during the reconfirmation process aren't actually added to the lists that populate the portals and main page until they pass for the same reason, and FAs without blurbs are a temporary problem anyway. - Archduk3 15:36, June 13, 2012 (UTC)

Even while looking nice, blurbs are, strictly speaking, entirely unnecessary. As it stands just now, they also run the risk of being inaccessible for relatively new users. While I'm grateful for your reply above, Archduk, I would request that you please refrain from commenting on this issue, just for the time being. I would also ask that any users who have not already commented on this issue but do understand what it entails (including you 31dot, if you do learn or have learned the ins-and-outs of it) to either support or oppose the continuation of using the blurb format. --Defiant 15:49, June 13, 2012 (UTC)

Reading the above I don't really see what the issue is here or how it makes things harder for anyone. I also don't really think it's "nitpicking" to request that a format be adhered to. So, I guess the gist of it is I don't really have a problem with blurbs.
I'll also state that, short of being blocked, any user can comment on a page at any time. If you don't care to get into a discussion with Archduk or anyone else, then just ignore them.31dot 16:14, June 13, 2012 (UTC)
No, blurbs are not "unnecessary", since the consensus is that all featured articles should be featured on the main page and the portals. Thus blurbs are mandatory. I will not refrain from taking part in a discussion where the very basis of the problem is that one old user, who has made a point of not keeping up with policy changes, is trying to reject those changes on the grounds that "new" users will find it inaccessible, even though one of the people involved in the consensus to make these changes if by far newer than him, and that the consensus that make these changes isn't even valid because it didn't meet some non-existent requirement of participation. There isn't any amount of consensus needed for these things, and that has been explained before to you Defiant on the very page where these changes were first suggested, so I'm not going anywhere. Anyone can comment here with me participating, so my silence isn't required for anything but letting you frame this discussion as something other that what it really is. - Archduk3 16:33, June 13, 2012 (UTC)

[edit conflict] But I try not to do that, as I'm always interested in cooperation and finding the answer that will best fit what people want the most. In this case, the answer seems to be finally clear, reaching a community consensus that blurbs are a good idea. So, I'm certainly happy to accept that. The only reason I had ignored the format template was that it would have been inappropriate to do so, since the idea of blurbs had not received any community backing, whatsoever; now it has, I have no problem with the notion of using them (just overcoming the technicalities of inputting them). By "nitpicking," I meant overly criticizing something that is entirely uninvolved in what should have been under discussion (i.e., the article itself, as the nomination page is for nominating articles, not blurbs). In my time, I've obviously seen many blurbs, so it's likely not good enough to just say "monkey see, monkey do"; it isn't obvious exactly how they should be written, just by looking at them, as the minimal that entails is comparing and contrasting the blurb to the page it represents, in order to see what parts have been used. --Defiant 16:50, June 13, 2012 (UTC)

To Archduk, as I've informed you, I'm not interested in becoming involved in a discussion that is overly personal. Contact me on my user talk page, if that's what you wish. --Defiant 16:52, June 13, 2012 (UTC)

No, instead, you should read the policy again before stating things that are incorrect. The blurb is under consideration at the same time the article is, that's why there is a whole sentence on blurbs when resolving nominations and reconfirmations. Also, your instance that there wasn't a consensus for these changes is part of your reasoning for this discussion, so I see no reason to move it to your talk page. You can be just as wrong here as you would be there. - Archduk3 16:58, June 13, 2012 (UTC)

It might help if you familiarized yourself with MA's policies and guidelines, as the only time the FA nomination policy even mentions blurbs is in relation to the main page. I don't have any significant problems with keeping up-to-date with the policy pages, myself. --Defiant 17:58, June 13, 2012 (UTC)

Are you really complaining now that the blurbs are used in locations other than the main page? - Archduk3 18:18, June 13, 2012 (UTC)

Remember, as I've said, I have absolutely no problem with the ways in which they're used (apart from adjusting to the technicalities of implementing them). What I'm now saying is in response to your statement, "You should read the policy again before stating things that are incorrect. The blurb is under consideration at the same time the article is, that's why there is a whole sentence on blurbs when resolving nominations and reconfirmations." If you wish this to be the case, I'm suggesting it be made clearer on the nomination policy page, probably with a link to a page about blurbs (i.e., what they should contain, where they will be used, etc.). --Defiant 18:29, June 13, 2012 (UTC)

"It might help if you familiarized yourself with MA's policies and guidelines," as the "nomination policy page" is called "Featured article policies" now, since it covers more than just nominations. It could be expanded to cover what we want with blurbs, but it might help if you explain how after looking at the "many blurbs" you have "obviously seen" you would think that not linking to the article in question and retaining all the other links and citations was what was expected, just to make sure even you can follow them, since the instructions on formatting on the nomination page itself seem to be too much. - Archduk3 19:02, June 13, 2012 (UTC)

Yeah, sorry; I forgot about that (the exclusion of links and citations from the blurb). But I'm willing to learn how to do blurbs and any other formatting changes, just as I have been willing to learn how to write a starship class/type page. I've always been aware of the name change to that FA policy page, but that's how language works; as long as you can get your point across, it's all good. Maybe you can correct your own slight deviation from the FA policies page by giving some reasoning for your support vote at the FA nominations page. --Defiant 19:32, June 13, 2012 (UTC)

Rename Edit

I think this page should be renamed to "Featured article policies", since it's grown beyond just the nomination. - Archduk3 11:04, December 7, 2011 (UTC)

Withdrawing nominations Edit

This policy currently doesn't define anything in regards to withdrawing a whole nomination. Today, a nomination that apparently would not have been successful was withdrawn, and immediately replaced by another nomination from the same user.

I think we need to avoid letting this page turn into an area where one nomination after the other is figuratively thrown against the wall to see which one sticks. That's just unfair to the people who take the time to comment on a nomination. Since this is, as far as I know, the first time this happened, we can perhaps let it slide - but if this happens again, I'd like to see some "time out" between withdrawing one and adding another nomination. -- Cid Highwind 19:30, January 3, 2012 (UTC)

Yes, I agree and I did think the "withdrawal" of the entire nomination by Archduk was a bit soon and sudden. Generally, there seems to be quite a lot of that sort of thing happening – changes to policy with little or no documentation or word about them, another of which (IMO) was being told that the nomination policy has all-of-a-sudden changed to a whole month! --Defiant 19:42, January 3, 2012 (UTC)

("4 weeks" subdiscussion continued below)

While I'm weary of instruction creep, some sort of time out period may be in order.--31dot 22:43, January 3, 2012 (UTC)
Do you mean a time-out as regards the period immediately prior to re-nominations, or a time-out in this discussion? --Defiant 00:29, January 4, 2012 (UTC)
I was referring to Cid's suggestion of a ""time out" between withdrawing....." --31dot 00:59, January 4, 2012 (UTC)
Okay. Yeah, I'm in agreement with that too. --Defiant 01:04, January 4, 2012 (UTC)
I don't see the need for a waiting period between nominations for different articles from the same user, regardless of how the previous nomination ended, since it's highly unlikely that articles will get the required five votes if they don't meet the criteria. Also, why is it a problem if articles are nominated back to back, or are "figuratively thrown against the wall to see which one sticks"? We use to have far more nominations than we do now, and FAs are still well below 1% of the total number of articles (even excluding "stub" articles that are only a few sentences long), so we should be encouraging more nominations, not less. So long as each one is given a chance (as in "several/a few" people have commented or more than "several/a few" days have gone by in total) before withdrawal, I don't see why we should "hold up" other articles for ones that aren't going to be worked on. The one article at a time part of the policy is to make sure a single user will be able to address any issues during the nomination, among other things, not "just" to limit the overall number of articles nominated in a time frame. If that user isn't going to (and the policy says s/he should), it's just a waste of all our time to keep the nomination active (since getting anyone else to make even the simplest of changes seems to be an issue). I would also like to point out though that this is not the first time nominations have been withdrawn before their time was up, any article that was removed early is marked either with an "unknown" (for no/invalid reason(s) for ending the nomination early) or a "withdrawn" (not all articles that were "withdrawn" were ended early, but the ones that were are marked with this) in the archive, so withdrawing an article is something that has been an option we've used for years.
That said, Defiant said he wanted to withdraw his nomination, which had no support from other users and in his own words would "take more than a month to improve", so I finished it for him. There was nothing "sudden" about it, since I made sure to ask if that was what he wanted to do after he suggested it. If he wanted to complain, again, about the way this wiki works because of the problem he is a part of, I would ask that he do it elsewhere or simply not at all, for the reasons that have already been given the last time. Also, it might seem like "all-of-a-sudden" to someone who can't or won't remember the last six years of the policy, but I'm sure if you bothered to actually read the reasoning Defaint, not to mention the policy itself, you might see these changes are not made arbitrarily, so presenting reasons why they should be changed again might be a better place to start than "you just can't be bothered to keep up with this". - Archduk3 12:27, January 4, 2012 (UTC)

"Back-to-back-nominations" may not necessarily be a problem itself - but they can be an indicator for a problem elsewhere. The point of FA nominations should be to identify "already good" articles, make them even better, and use them to showcase our work here. If an article is nominated, then removed early once there's opposition only to nominate the next one (and all those nominations are "self-nominations", too), then it seems as if the point is not to find great articles among all our content, but to push ones own contributions independent of whether they really are "already good" or not. In that case, any early withdrawal, one where objections by others are not resolved to make the article better independent of whether it becomes an FA down the line, simply means that the process does not lead to better articles, just to wasted time. -- Cid Highwind 13:46, January 4, 2012 (UTC)

The simple solution is to not allow back-to-back self nominations. The loophole there is we are discouraging users from working on an article before nominating it, and that is what would most likely happen. Introducing a limit discourages any nominations, just see the archive for the drop-off after 2005, and we're bound to loose nominations like the ones I know I've forgotten about while waiting on others. Also, some non-self nominations get objected to and aren't worked on much either, so how do we address that? Wasted time may just be the "unsolvable problem" in any "featured" system, since I introduced more time I consider to be wasted when I suggested the overhaul to save time in the long run. In any case, a series of "withdrawn" nominations is still a series of nominations that "failed", so the system does work, just not perfectly.
All that said, we could just "formalize" how and why an article can be withdrawn as well as allowing a user not running a nomination to block a withdraw because they intend to work on the article themselves. In that case, a withdraw would remove the implicit support of the article by the nominator, but wouldn't exempt them from the one article at a time rule. - Archduk3 14:40, January 4, 2012 (UTC)

Yes, perhaps something along these lines would address all problems:

  • A nominator can withdraw a nomination at any time, which means that the nomination loses his implicit support and is "on hold"
  • The nominations remains "on hold" for at most 7 days (perhaps a little less?). If, during that time, someone else "adopts" the nomination as his own, the nomination continues. If not, the nomination is removed after that time, and the initial nominator can then nominate something else.

Allowing others to "adopt" a withdrawn nomination would mean that (potentially, if there even is someone who sees merit in an article) earlier comments about that article are not wasted but can still be used to enhance the article. At the same time, there would be something of a "time out" between nominations without it seeming too forced. -- Cid Highwind 15:10, January 4, 2012 (UTC)

I would prefer " least three days", as this was the "grace" period used for nominations with objections before the overhaul, and allows for users who are already paying attention to the nomination time to decide while not waiting too long. So the text would be:
  • If you wish to withdraw your nomination, you can do so at any time by writing '''Withdraw''' followed by your reasons. Withdrawing a nomination removes any implicit support vote cast when nominating the article.
  • Withdrawn nominations can be resolved after at least three days unless another archivist "adopts" the nomination. The archivist adopting the nomination can not have another active nomination and is expected to address any valid objections that were raised. The original nominator may not nominate another article until the withdrawn nomination is resolved.
The first bit could be placed right after the "To withdraw a vote..." bullet while the rest could be the fourth resolution option. The word "generally" would be added between "can" and "be" in that resolution section's opening sentence. - Archduk3 15:52, January 4, 2012 (UTC)

4 weeks Edit

split from above section "Withdrawing nominations" because this has nothing to do with it.

I'm sure that part was lengthily discussed on Forum:Overhaul of PR, FA, & AotW, the discussion page that you left claiming that you "decided to no longer contribute to discussions regarding policies and guidelines of this wiki". -- Cid Highwind 20:01, January 3, 2012 (UTC)

That's still generally my decision. There's no point in making suggestions or contributions when those in power so rarely choose to either agree or listen to them (the result being much the same, regardless of which of those two is technically correct). In this particular case, I can't find any sign of that discussion about the month-long period, the page is so long (even without mentioning the fact that the recent, radical changes went ahead without sufficient approval from the community). But thanks for the link, Cid. I appreciate the attempt to point me in the right direction. --Defiant 20:21, January 3, 2012 (UTC)
On that page, all I can see that's relevant to this is the subsection (if that's even what it really is) "Re-nominating an article". It's not even recognized in the navigation table at the top of the page and, from what I can see, there's been absolutely no discussion about it; it's just Archduk outlining a proposal that, again, has not clearly been accepted (and on the odd chance that it has, again only by the minority). Many FA policy changes have now been abruptly made, apparently for the community at large, by only a tiny minority, made even more inaccessible to the community by the language it's wrapped in. --Defiant 20:40, January 3, 2012 (UTC)
Users cannot be compelled to contribute to discussions like the ones over nominations; people either will contribute or they will not. If you feel not enough people are contributing then you could lobby users to do so- but as long as discussions are conducted openly (which, AFAIK they were) there shouldn't be a huge problem. It's not like the policy was written in stone; no discussion is ever truly closed here.--31dot 22:40, January 3, 2012 (UTC)
I don't think it's as much about users not contributing (willfully or otherwise) as it is about them not being given a chance to contribute to discussions. There's situations, such as the aforementioned renomination one, where no discussing has actually happened. Archduk's just outlined a policy then gone ahead and enforced it, incorporating it as one of the many other extreme changes in the so-called "overhaul". That system doesn't seem right to me! --Defiant 00:21, January 4, 2012 (UTC)
And when I try to comment on how I think the system could be better or even just questioning it, I'm told such things as I'm having "a rant" and "wasting everyone's time". That doesn't seem like a very open method, IMO. --Defiant 00:24, January 4, 2012 (UTC)
Returning this topic to its initial point, I'd like to clarify that I agree there should be a waiting period, between re-nominations, of longer than a week; I just think a month is a bit too long. --Defiant 01:17, January 4, 2012 (UTC)

If someone didn't manage to get the necessary number of support votes in a first nomination that lasts at least two weeks (and probably somewhere around four weeks), then I don't see how a waiting period of just one week before starting a renomination would suffice, and how a waiting period of four weeks could be considered "too long". Bring up good reasons, or I don't see a point in discussing this further. Also, please make sure that this doesn't look like another personal vendetta instead of a "real" policy discussion, or I will just stop caring. -- Cid Highwind 10:49, January 4, 2012 (UTC)

[Edit conflict] - Defiant, this would sound a lot better if you didn't remove yourself from policy discussions, just to make a point it seems, and actually bothered to read any of the pages before complaining, either the overhaul discussion, the policy page, or nomination page, all of which, combined with the wording before the overhaul, and a few further discussions on the renomination talk page, lead to the wording that you're claiming I enforced without "support", which in this case just seems to be your consent. Since no one is going to get that when you won't participate, what exactly are you complaining about? Your actions are the very reason support is assumed if there is no input.
That said, four weeks was selected as the time frame because peer reviews are NOT a stepping stone to FAs now, and never were suppose to be anyway it seems, so if an article can't be brought up from "good" to "featured" within roughly a month, why would we think it would be ready a mere week later? If we're suggesting that users are going to "figuratively thrown [articles] against the wall to see which one sticks", and that that is a bad thing, why are we considering reducing the very thing that is suppose to stop that kind of abuse, and why is the suggestion less than the time frame it was before it was increased? - Archduk3
As per usual, I'm having a lot of trouble with trying to understand what you guys are on about. This time, I'm attempting to not let that frustrate me (mostly with myself and my own difficulty of understanding, but also generally, with things not even MA-related). At what point would the 4-week waiting time of re-nominations start? With the failure of a nomination, or when a nomination is archived following that failure? --Defiant 18:08, January 4, 2012 (UTC)

In the optimum case, the point of "nomination failure" and the point of archiving it after it failed would be one and the same, or at least the amount of time between the two shouldn't matter too much. For practical purposes, it should be the latter: it is easier to to find the timestamp of the edit that archived a nomination than to find the exact point in time at which it "failed" according to policies. -- Cid Highwind 18:27, January 4, 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for explaining that so clearly and distinctly, Cid (while also staying on-topic). Is there a reason why you don't think there should be (much of) a gap between "nomination failure" and the archiving of the nomination? --Defiant 18:56, January 4, 2012 (UTC)

Simply because it's in the best interest of everyone involved to not let that gap become too big: if you plan to renominate an article anyway, you have an interest to get the failed nomination out of the way quickly - and if you don't plan to do that, the point is moot, anyway. -- Cid Highwind 19:28, January 4, 2012 (UTC)

Okay. I'll accept the four week stipulation. I was under the false impression that it's in addition to the time between the "nomination failure" and the archiving stage; good thing I double-checked! --Defiant 21:31, January 4, 2012 (UTC)

That impression was correct, though - basically, if the nomination is "technically failed" already, but no one moves to archive it, the 4-week period wouldn't start, either. Why would it, if the only person even potentially interested in a renomination doesn't actively work on it? That's what I said earlier, not that this period is the shortest-possible amount of time since nomination fail, even if people do nothing. :) -- Cid Highwind 21:57, January 4, 2012 (UTC)

But if people are interested in renominating a "failed" article, I think they'd be all too happy to archive it ASAP. I also think it might be a good idea to make it clear on the policy page that users can do that, if it's not already clear on the policy page (I've read the policy pages many times, but I'm cursed with a memory like a sieve!) --Defiant 00:21, January 5, 2012 (UTC)

Reconfirmation backlog Edit

After running the numbers based on participation so far, I no longer think we will ever be rid of the backlog (articles that couldn't have reasonably been reconfirmed before the final threshold), as it seems it will take more than two years to go through the list once. To solve this problem, I have a few suggestions:

  1. Find a way to force people to participate (I suggest killing tribbles if they don't)
  2. Adjust the numbers for the thresholds (IE changing 2 and 4 years to 3 and 6 years)
  3. Adjust the number of reconfirmations one user can have at one time (either temporarily or permanently)
  4. Adjust the final threshold to do something other than (just) allow for automatic removal
  5. Some combination of these ideas, or some other better idea

The idea that a user is running a FA discussion is at the heart of the "problem" of self-nominations, so dispensing with that might be a good idea irregardless of how this turns out. I should point out that the 3 and 6 years limits assume that at least one user will always be running a reconfirmation, and that we never increase the number of our featured articles, things that most likely will change. If anyone has any other ideas about this, please share, as the thought was that the number of article needing reconfirmation on average should never exceed the size of the list on the reconfirmation page (currently 35). - Archduk3 19:46, February 19, 2012 (UTC)

I see the current two year figure is the period of time before a FA must be reconfirmed, but what's the 4 year figure for? I guess I'm missing that on the policy page.
Anyway, I think both extending the time thresholds as you suggest and allowing more than one nomination per user at a time are good ideas. I don't know if three per user is too many? --31dot 22:24, February 19, 2012 (UTC)
31dot: the "4 year" figure is not directly stated on the policy page, but expressed as "more than 2 years on the reconfirmation list" there. Basically, an article gets added to that list two years after becoming an FA, and if it's still there after four (2+2) years, it gets removed as FA because we assume that no one still cares for that article.
This is also why I think it's a bad idea to just increase that figure - we had a discussion about that policy change, with the outcome that we want to make sure that our FA really are "the articles the community thinks are the best" all the time. If we now change the rules so that we keep a huge list of FAs although the community apparently does not care for them enough, this is just circumventing the consensus we found earlier.
Allowing 2-3 concurrent reconfirmation discussions per user would not be as big a problem, I think - as long as that user really can deal with all the stuff that might come up in those discussions. Perhaps there could even be something of a "soft" upper limit like "a user may have more than one (up to three) concurrent discussions, but only if the overall number of discussions doesn't exceed X (X=5, perhaps?)." That way, we don't need to change rules again, should there be a more diverse activity on the page. -- Cid Highwind 23:00, February 19, 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification. I like the idea of the soft upper limit for all reconfirmations as well as increasing the per-user limit. I think if there is agreement we can go ahead and implement that regardless of other possible changes. --31dot 00:51, February 20, 2012 (UTC)

My original though was that roughly five reconfirmations should happen every month, so upping the limit to five per user was kinda what I was thinking, provided that they were the only five going at the time they started. I made a point to not include a "nominator must respond" guideline for these, as they are suppose to be "automatic", and as I've mentioned before I think adding that to the nominations ruined the "community" part of those discussions. So with that said, I don't really think allowing a single user to start more would be a problem. We can also make explicit that a user can request a "hold" (for at least 3 days maybe?) to allow for time to read/edit an article without having to oppose it, since opposing should only be done if you think the article absolutely shouldn't be featured without changes, as oppose to some minor tweaks or a note or two added. This would also hopefully alleviate any rush users might feel to read five articles at once. - Archduk3 05:52, February 20, 2012 (UTC)

As of this moment, I'd agree with points 2, and 4 with adjustments of 1, and 3, however I'm not willing to delve further into that for reasons of absolutism of a certain admin that is reasoning beyond reason and as such I'm not willing to participate any further, that is until a system is put in place to remove such offenders...--Sennim 23:44, February 24, 2012 (UTC)

"Fixing" the reconfirmation process Edit

It's been pointed out more than once that the reconfirmation process isn't working the way it was intended to, which is true, so I have many, many suggestions rolled into more or less a complete rewrite of the policy that I think will solve the perceived problems.

The reconfirmation policy text would be replaced by this:

Featured articles can be brought up for reconfirmation from time to time to ensure that they are still an example of Memory Alpha's best work. It is expected that these articles will have undergone revisions over time to keep them up to date, and it's important to make sure that these revisions have maintained the quality expected of a featured article.
Any featured article more than six months old can be listed on the reconfirmation of featured articles page. If you feel the current revision of a feature article is just as good, or better, than the featured revision, it should be added to the "uphold" section on the discussion page. If you feel that an article currently listed as a featured article needs to be removed from the feature article list, for example because it has been significantly changed for the worst, it should be listed on the discussion page in the "remove" section. Either way, be sure to state the reason(s) why you think the article should be reconfirmed; then add the {{far}} template to the top of the article in question while leaving an edit summary informing other members that it was listed for reconfirmation.
Reconfirmation discussions
  • Any registered user that has been in existence for at least two weeks and with at least twenty significant contributions can participate in reconfirmation discussions.
  • An archivist may start more than one reconfirmation, provided that the overall number of concurrent reconfirmations doesn't exceed five.
  • Starting a reconfirmation discussion is considered a vote in support for the suggested course of action.
  • At least one additional vote is required.
  • Be sure that you are familiar with the entire article before you form an opinion and vote.
  • If you approve of the suggested action, write '''Support''' followed by your reasons.
  • If you have any objections, write '''Oppose''' followed by your reasons. Any objections should be directly related to one or more of the featured article criteria. Objections purely based on personal preference are considered invalid.
  • If you wish to request more time to make minor changes or read the article, write '''Hold''' followed by your reasons and how long you think you would need. Generally, holds should only be for a few days at most.
  • If you want to comment without supporting or opposing, you may do so.
  • To withdraw a vote, strike it out (with <s>...</s>) rather than removing it.
  • As always, sign your comments (~~~~). This is important to keep track of voting.
Frivolous reconfirmation discussions, for example ones that have nothing to do with the featured article criteria, may be removed by administrators without notice.

This policy change would coincide with a number of other changes to related pages and templates:

  1. Faupdate and Farc would be merged together to form the {{Far}} template, as there is no reason we need two different templates to point to the same page. Fac would be renamed {{Fan}}, so the templates would be Featured Article Reconfirmation/Nomination.
  2. The Reconfirmation of featured articles page would be changed to only have two sections, one for upholding the consensus that the article should be featured, and one for removing the article from the FA list.
  3. The old featured articles category would only be on FAs that are more than five years old, since MA standards have been pretty stable for years, and I assume the category was created originally to list articles that have changed significantly. See Worf (Colonel) and Elizabeth Cutler for articles that are "old" but essentially unchanged.
  4. The {{featured}} template would have a link to the reconfirmation page if the article is in the old FA category, and text suggesting it should be listed.

These suggestions remove the "automatic" parts of the system, mainly the removal of old FAs from the list and the "need" to reconfirm FAs every two years. I don't really see this as a problem since the consensus to remove articles automatically required the backlog to be dealt with before that would kick in, and I think we can all agree that is unlikely to happen. How reconfirmations are resolved using these changes would have to be decided upon here though, since the reconfirmations wouldn't be "compulsory" anymore. The system I think we should use is this:

  • If support to uphold the article during the reconfirmation is unanimous, the current revision of the article becomes the featured revision after fourteen days. This should be done by updating the featured revision ID and date in the {{featured}} template at the bottom of the article.
  • If the majority of votes cast are for removal after fourteen days, the article will be removed from the featured article list.
  • Reconfirmations with five or more unanimous votes, either to uphold or remove the article, can be resolved after seven days, though the fifth support vote must have been cast at least 24 hours before the reconfirmation is resolved.
  • Reconfirmations that do not have: unanimous support to uphold the article, a majority to remove it from the feature article list, or two votes after fourteen days of inactivity are considered deadlocked, and the original revision will remain the featured one.
Any objections to the main page blurb are independent of the article, though a reconfirmation to uphold a featured article can not end until 24 hours after all objections to the blurb are resolved. When a reconfirmation discussion is resolved, it should be placed with the nomination discussion on the article's talk page, and a link should be placed in the archive.

I think this mainly keeps the status quo for changing the featured revision while more or less reverting to the old system for removals, since the only real change to removing an article was the compulsory nature of the reconfirmation process. I think this is at least the framework for a workable solution, so I'm open to wording changes and/or better ideas. - Archduk3 20:48, February 5, 2014 (UTC)

I'll need some time to digest it but just from skimming it this seems like a good change. 31dot (talk) 20:51, February 5, 2014 (UTC)
This will "fix" the process by, in practice, completely inactivating it. By restricting article removals to those cases where an article "has been significantly changed for the worst" (yes, it says "for example", but what other reasons will not immediately be shot down if that is the one reason given as example?), this rule change would basically ensure that no FA removals will take place in the future. Even in those cases where an article "has been changed for the worst", wouldn't it be the most logical solution to revert a change that everyone agrees made the article worse (and then not remove FA status) - instead of keeping the bad article changes?
I still think a better way would be to only call those articles "Featured Article" that are actually featured somewhere (novel idea, I know!), or have been featured during, say, the last year. That way, we would have a fixed number of FAs (52, one per week) at any time, without the hassle of having either too many or too few. -- Cid Highwind (talk) 22:07, February 5, 2014 (UTC)

The only FAs not featured somewhere, excepting their pages in the database as a whole, the featured articles list, and the category, are the old ones we never got around to reconfirming, and I was going to deal with that after this, but since we're on the subject, there is no reason we can't approve blurbs independent of the article. They can simply be approved en masse so when we say "featured", we mean both definitions.

As for "articles of the week", we would need 416 actually, one for each week per portal. Also, all the reasons that system was replaced remain valid on top of the proven fact that people won't update them anymore than the FAs are currently, and limiting the number will only lead to pointless comparison arguments when the cap is reached, whatever it is, if it requires removing the status itself. As for limiting ourselves to FAs in just the last year, we have exactly two, both of which we're just one article for more than half the year. In fact, the last year we had 52 or more feature articles pass was 2005, when approving FAs was much easier than it is now.

As for the old system being ineffective in removing FAs, a quick look at the archive proves that removal discussions succeeded far more than they failed. I'm sure there was a reason the 39 articles removed before the system changed, and the 12 since then, weren't simply reverted, so I don't think that argument holds water. We both know that if a feature article is no longer considered to be well-written, comprehensive, and accurate by something as unwiki-like as a simple majority, then it can and should be removed, even if it wasn't changed in any way since being featured. - Archduk3 23:31, February 5, 2014 (UTC)

That argument swings both ways, though. Why the need to "fix" a process concerning keeping FAs if, apparently, people are no longer interested in trying to make a new article an FA in the first place? If there have been just two of those in a whole year, then perhaps we should first ask whether we still need that whole process at all - and if we do need it for some reason, how we can make that process become more active again. Given that, currently, FAs are mostly featured by being on a list of articles that are considered featured (still sounds a little circular to me) and only eventually get displayed on one or another portal page, there might be a different process to "fix" right there.
In any case, a different way of solving this would be to just get rid of the idea of a "backlog" that needs to be handled completely, once, before an automatic "de-featuring" of articles happens. If I remember correctly, this "backlog" idea was brought up late in the initial discussion about this "removal process" - and apparently, it now only serves to stall the process instead of being helpful in any way. -- Cid Highwind (talk) 09:51, February 6, 2014 (UTC)
It's the backlog that I've found to be the most problematic and (as Cid said) unhelpful. If nothing else here I agree that whole concept should be removed or somehow addressed. 31dot (talk) 10:22, February 6, 2014 (UTC)
I agree to changing the policy surrounding FA reconfirmations to something like what 31dot is suggesting. I don't see why there needs to be a backlog in the first place. Why can't we just have it so when someone nominates an article and it is successful, it becomes an FA, and then it only becomes eligible for reconfirmation once a significant number of edits have been made to it, changing it from what it was when nominated? Note that the thought behind putting an article up for reconfirmation is to support it's continued status as an FA. If a person thought it was no longer worthy of FA status then it would be put up for removal in the normal manner. To give an example, I recently put a lot of work into the Martok article as I knew there was a ton of information not included in it. However, when I began working on it, it was an FA. When I finished working on it, it was considerably different to the version nominated. Realizing this, I put it up for reconfirmation to solidify the new edits as being worthy of FA status. If I thought the article wasn't worthy, I simply could have put it up for removal. In my opinion, this is all the reconfirmation process needs to be. We don't need a "list" to go through and check every week. Just have it so that any article that has had significant edits can be put up for reconfirmation by any MA user. --| TrekFan Open a channel 10:48, February 6, 2014 (UTC)
Just to give an idea about what that "backlog" was supposed to be: when we first discussed changes to the FA process (probably three or more years ago), the idea was to not display an article as "the best we currently have", if that article was nominated years ago and both it as well as the overall idea of what constitutes a very good MA article might have changed in the meantime. So some sort of automated removal process was suggested, that would lead to articles being "unfeatured" (for lack of a better term) after quite a while (2 years, I think). This first turned into a "reconfirmation process" (articles must be suggested for reconfirmation after time X, or be removed after time Y), and eventually even that process was watered down by suggesting to only start that process of automated removal once all FAs had been through the reconfirmation process once - the "backlog".
I still think that the idea of not calling an article, say, "the best of 2014" if it actually just was "the best of 2009", a sound one. Throwing out the baby with the bathwater just because the "backlog" addendum didn't quite work is not something I'd support. -- Cid Highwind (talk) 12:20, February 6, 2014 (UTC)

Let's be clear that Cid's suggestion would remove roughly 100 featured articles without discussion, outside of this one, without even looking at them. What I am suggesting would also "remove" the backlog by no longer requiring the articles to be reconfirmed within a certain time frame. The argument for keeping them remains what it was when when the process was first suggested, namely that "old" featured articles don't suddenly stop being some of MA's best work 24 months after they were featured, and if the only problem is that they are "old", they should be a better way to make them "new" again without removing them first.

Regarding the backlog and the automatic removals, I believe the first relevant mention of both happened here while the process was still being tweaked. This is supported by the automatic removal not being part of the policy itself until Dec. 13 2011, which means it was not part of the original suggestion in November or even part of the initial policy.

Some other points made I'd like to respond to, in no particular order, are:

  • Featured articles with blurbs are "always" featured, in that on a portal every few pages loads a new one is randomly selected from the list, so "eventually" should be within 24 hours easily.
  • The last few FA nominations seem to have turned people off to the process, and it's likely that there simply aren't articles out there right now that people want featured enough to put themselves through the nomination. Forcing the archivist running the nomination to be the one to respond to objections IMO is why there's a sharp drop off in nominations starting in 2006, so maybe we should look at that if we want to revitalize how we make "new" FAs, but I don't see why having "new" FAs means we should throw out the "old" ones.
  • As far as I know there is no way to put an article into a category after a certain number of edits from a fixed revision, nor would that really solve backlog issue because I bet most of the "old" FAs actually have a fair number of edits since they were featured. Elizabeth Cutler has had nine edits since it was featured two years ago resulting in no real noticeable change to the article, and extrapolating those numbers means we can conclude that a large number of edits to an article over time will simply be maintenance edits that don't really effect the content. There is no way to evaluate the content without a person actually reading it, which is why a people should be the determining factor in keeping or removing a featured article, not time or edits.
  • Cid, I agree that saying "the best of 2014" shouldn't be "the best of 2009", but we aren't saying that. We're saying FAs are the best work MA has to offer ever. both when they were featured and now. I don't see how we can say something stops being the best after a relatively arbitrary date without someone at least looking at it and making a judgement.

I may have missed a point in there, but this is already rather long and rambling. - Archduk3 18:57, February 6, 2014 (UTC)

Thank you, Archduk3. I think that's what I was trying to say, just you said it better. There may be articles that have been FAs for two, three, four years but had next to no edits to the content during that time. Yet, there will be FAs that have changed considerably. It should be up to people to look at them and nominate them for reconfirmation if they think the article has changed considerably, else it can remain as is, surely? --| TrekFan Open a channel 06:22, February 7, 2014 (UTC)
I find myself liking where TrekFan is going here. The idea that a reconfirmation should have to do with changes to the article and not an arbitrary period of time sounds better to me. I also agree that 'new' FAs should not mean getting rid of the 'old' ones. 31dot (talk) 22:43, February 15, 2014 (UTC)

The only real time limit in the purposed changes is the six month period right after an article is featured where it shouldn't be reconfirmed or removed. That time period is part of the current policy, and it's assumed that any changes made in that time that negatively effect the article should be the revertible kind or otherwise be fixable without having to remove the article from the featured list. Other than that time limit, articles would be reconfirmed or removed based on if the archivist thinks the article still meets the FA criteria, and when that happens would be entirely up to them. - Archduk3 20:31, February 16, 2014 (UTC)

I do agree with the six month period. 31dot (talk) 21:27, February 16, 2014 (UTC)

It seems the "rough consensus" supports the changes I've purposed, and attempts to involve other users who have used the current system in this discussion seem to have failed, so I will make the changes as outlined shortly. - Archduk3 00:11, February 23, 2014 (UTC)

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