Talk:Kill the Stub Pages
I think stubs are a useful starting point. Regarding the concern that they may always be a large percentage of what new users see if not discouraged or minimum size, content, style etc. defined ..... IMHO this is more an issue of configuration management and the attractiveness of the community/wikipedia to self training newcomers.
With greater numbers of diverse contributing wikipedians, it seems to me the stub problem should be self correcting quickly ..... assuming that the community is effective at wikifying and merging content vs. taking ownership of more prestigious articles.user:mirwin
- I agree; stubs can be very useful starting points -- on many occassions I have expanded a stub greatly just after it was created by somebody else. I really don't know why there seems to be so many people against stubs. Sometimes, a concept person or thing is important enough to list in an encyclopedia but there either is not that much information about this thing or not enough interest in the thing to warrent anything more than a line or two --- sometimes that is all that is needed. maveric149~
- In the vast majority of cases in my experience the information put in stubs (my def. is 1/2/3 lines) is so obvious or vague that it is near to useless. When writing an article when there is a stub already I have pretty much always just deleted them. Just because a subject is important enough to need a page doesn't mean that text should be written for the sake of there being text, however unhelpful. They do probably encourage people to add to *that* article, simply to write something half-decent. But it is likely that the contributor would be working on something else had he/she not come across the stub in Recent Changes. sodium
- I think the stub pages can be useful, but need to be counterbalanced with a better mechanism for finding the important ones to fix. Earlier today, I posted a feature request on Wikipedia for a better "Stub articles" sort order (in a nutshell, sorting by number of pages linked into, rather than by size). See w:Feature requests for more.
Save the stubs! 
The stubs may be screaming "Wikipedia misses a lot of info", but don't red links, no links at all, or "There is no text on this page" (I've gotten used to typing in terms directly into my browser's URL field), too?
You say that writers need incomplete lists, while readers need complete ones. But in any case both are better off with lists (I assume that in almost all cases, writers are readers, too), so why the heck delete them or "discourage the creation of more empty lists"???
Even if all the terms in a list are read, there is information in exhaustive lists. If I then want to know more about a term, and it's not yet in Wikipedia, I can use Google. So much for me...
"Only leave the few links that already have significant material attached." -- I bet that this will produce lots of pages that do not have links to significant terms, even after these terms have been thoroughly defined. The people who bother writing these articles will not even know that there are "dead links" on other pages, since they don't show up in the list of referring pages.
Here's my view on value of pages:
Thorough article > Stub > Empty page > Junk page
Of course, a stub has to be correct and use NPOV, otherwise it would most likely be junk (one factual error in a three page article obviously does less relative damage than one factual error in a single sentence). And it must include some real information so the reader will not be bored to death. E.g. instead of "Spiders are animals." it could be something like
Now that's clearly a stub at a mere 16 words, but it already contains information that the typical reader wouldn't have known:
- They are arthropods and, more specifically, arachnids. As soon as the linked-to pages are complete, the reader can find out that they are related to other arthropods, e.g. the insects, but more closely to other arachnids, e.g. mites.
- Most, but not all spiders have venom - there are exceptions.
- Many, but not most spiders build cobwebs, there are plenty of hunter spiders or such that use other trap mechanisms.
Admittedly, it should rather be possible to tell from the link whether an article is a stub, this would be useful to both readers and writers. But deleting pages or links is in my eyes a bad solution, since it does more damage than benefit. Instead, I suggest to use a special marker for stub pages so the links can be displayed in a different color (or in another distinguishable way). The typical "This article is a stub..." text could then also be left out, and automatically inserted. I'll see whether I can get this idea to the Wiki developers.
Aragorn2 14:05, 21 Sep 2003 (UTC)
- Stubs can already be coloured differently. You can set a threshold for stub display in your preferences. See Wikipedia:User preferences help. See also deletionism. Angela
'pointlessly detailed' award 
I just stumbled on the infinitely tedious collection of articles about Gundam, an anime series. Somebody is creating detailed, albeit not very coherent, plot synopses about every single series: It could swamp the server all by itself ... (Not that I think anything can be done about it, since editing them all into coherence would be an inhuman task. I just wanted to spout.) -- DavidWBrooks 01:27, 7 Nov 2003 (UTC)
- I dunno. It's no more pointlessly detailed than the interminable stuff we have about Star Trek, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings etc. While a bunch of the articles aren't wikied (yet), a bunch are. I suspect untold legions of gundammers will spring from the wiki and polish those to the same degree. -- Finlay McWalter 01:56, 7 Nov 2003 (UTC)
- Gundam is more accurately a series of series, and is often tedious and incoherent itself. There's a lot of info (I think there are 14 series or so... most a season long, some longer), but hardly server-swamping. I could list a lot of TV series, books, etc, with much more detailed and tedious descriptions. Just ignore it unless you're in a position to improve it. -- Jake 02:01, 2003 Nov 7 (UTC)
- I'm prepared to tolerate such indulgence, mainly because achieving consensus for deletion is impossible. But what really annoys me is when they branch the article out into dozens of short subpages. Some hard-working wikipedian usually comes along and adds context to each article "in the Gundam Anime series...", but the practice still pollutes the namespace and makes it hard for fans to gather significant amounts information. Ruthless merging is often necessary. If you ever see one of these articles with all the characters, all the concepts and all the places linked to as-yet non-existent articles, defuse the timebomb and remove the links before it is too late. -- Tim Starling 08:46, Nov 7, 2003 (UTC)
TV episode names 
I just spent a little time moving The Shelter around. The article name was in use as a Twilight Zone episode. On closer examination I found that dozens of Twilight Zone episodes were listed as just their title. Many of them were just common phrases or nouns (The Mirror, The Shelter, A Game of Pool etc.)
The chances that anyone who enters 'Mirror' or 'Shelter' as a search term in Wikipedia expects to find a Twilight Zone episode is tiny. Also, my guess is that there are fifty or so shows on US television with named episodes; that means that a thousand of these articles are potentially being generated every year, ignoring foreign contributions.
It seems to me that this is not helpful to our users. Any thoughts? DJ Clayworth 18:37, 21 Nov 2003 (UTC)
- I dislike episode articles on Wikipedia, especially stubby ones. You may want to orphan and redirect to Twilight Zone. Ideally our search engine should return shelter before The Shelter. Martin 18:53, 21 Nov 2003 (UTC)
- Show episodes are like short stories; only one in a hundred is significant enough to discuss at length, the rest are likely be stubs forever, and can be effectively converted into 2-3 line entries in a big list - more readable for the TZ fan, doesn't lose any info. To keep List of The Twilight Zone episodes from becoming a really massive article, I would suggest making an article for each season, and redirecting titles to season articles, which hold the date, synopsis, and cast notes. Isn't there are a Wikiproject that makes TV article recommendations? Stan 19:22, 21 Nov 2003 (UTC)
- I definitely don't think we want to see individual entries for every episode of every popular television series. Even the people who are looking for that level of information would probably prefer to find it organized in a more accessible manner. In my opinion, as a rule of thumb there should be a main entry for general information about a television series with a linked "episode guide" entry for those who want detailed information. In a few cases, like "The Simpsons" for example, there might be a legitimate need for other specialized sub-entries like "characters" or "inside jokes". But overall, I think we should be working on reducing the proliferation of fan articles about every individual item on a single show. MK 02:16 (EST) 22 November 2003
- Eh gads! There is no reason why stubs like Escape Clause should have its own article. All the info in there can easily be placed at the episode list. --mav 07:27, 22 Nov 2003 (UTC)