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Old discussion page (WoWWiki:Policy/4 Oct 2005) archived to...
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On being BOLDEdit

This discussion is an offshoot of an argument over changing WoWWiki:Stub to a redirect to WoWWiki:Stub policy from this and moving some of its original content into WoWWiki:Stub policy. See WoWWiki_talk:Stub#Stubs. --Gengar orange 22x22Beware the sneaky smile! Fandyllic (talk · contr) 5:30 PM PST 9 Apr 2009

I freely admit my own arrogance. Every edit I make is informed by my own aesthetics. While I will generally follow boilerplates, I make no bones about disregarding them in favor of what I feel would best serve our customers, when I feel justified. (And yes, I'm frequently reverted for my efforts. Such is life.)

Policies are one metalevel up. I have been unable to find explicit rules for editing Policy pages. Without such rules, they are subject to the same rules as other pages. Because of their impact, I well understand that changes to policy pages require greater scrutiny.

However, I see WoWWiki:Policy_status_phases refers specifically to the changing of policy, not to editing the policy page per se.

So, in this case: was WoWwiki policy altered by the edits that caused this contretemps? The first post I could locate related to the above issue seems to indicate that it wasn't.

Please, educate me. --Eirik Ratcatcher (talk) 20:36, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

The distinction is somewhat subtle. Sky's change didn't blatantly alter policy, but added to it. The sections he moved to the policy were more guideline oriented and perhaps should have been discussed a bit more before being added.
Also, the line between "editing" policy and changing it can be a thin one. A subversive way to alter policy would be to slowly "edit" it over time and hope no one noticed until the policy was completely changed.
The distinction between policies and guidelines is that policies can and should be enforced, whereas guidelines are just that. A guideline should guide editors to provide a consistent method and experience, but can be flouted for good reason or even bad, if people don't think the guideline is that great. You don't want enforced policies to be changing at individual whim.
Does that make sense? --Gengar orange 22x22Beware the sneaky smile! Fandyllic (talk · contr) 1:44 PM PST 9 Apr 2009
Makes sense yes: "greater scrutiny". It does point out that guidelines on policy pages need to be clearly labeled as such. I don't know what particular pages started this, so I'm limited to devil's advocate here: Were the moved sections explicitly labeled as guidelines, before and/or after? (I am inferring "no" on "after", but confirmation would be nice.) If not "before", perhaps those entries need to be examined in their original context, too.--Eirik Ratcatcher (talk) 21:06, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
That's the thing, the stuff moved into the stub policy wasn't even labeled as a guideline originally. Also mixing guidelines with policy can be confusing, so that isn't a good idea either. If you mix them, then people will use the excuse that it was on the policy page, so why was it a guideline. You can look at the history for WoWWiki:Stub, if you want to see what was there before it was changed to a redirect. I'm not going to fight these battles as much anymore, so you may see more reverts, demotions and bans from me in the future. I'm sick of arguing when as Adys pointed out, I really don't have to. Why try to be nice to those you're already unpopular with? --Gengar orange 22x22Beware the sneaky smile! Fandyllic (talk · contr) 2:13 PM PST 9 Apr 2009
For the Stub issue specifically: I have looked at the relevant Stub policy and guideline articles, and I see that...
  1. yes, Sky's change seems to conflate the policy with the guidelines
  2. but that with relatively minor changes to the page layout, I feel that the policy section could be separated from the guidelines, and
  3. in general, I think that new editors are likely to find this a useful change.
Of course, the way to prove that last is to ambush some new editors and ask their opinions on the matter.
What would you folks say on my suggestion of an ambox to separate the policy from the guidelines? (Since you're here, Adys, how about your opinion? :) ) --Eirik Ratcatcher (talk) 22:06, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
I think this is a dead-end issue; Policies and Guidelines, need reorganization and probably some kind of merge. Thinking like a first-time user, what I'd like to see is a WW:RULES page that gives a general overview of the most important policies and guidelines, easily and quickly readable, with links towards more info. WoWWiki:Policies does sort of the job, but links too much stuff a new user wouldnt care about, and is a bit confusing.
Generally, I don't think a lambda user should know the user between a policy and a guideline. Policies can be legitimately broken, and important guidelines regularly ignored should sometimes result into bans.
Lastly, some policies and guidelines should be deleted or replaced (thinking of 3RR for example). Stuff that made sense when drafting the first policies, but doesn't anymore/was never used/... Adys 22:15, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
I'm glad I was defended here, to some extent. :)
As I see it, the exact page at hand should be a guideline. That would be a change I would, and which should be, sought through the way that you ask for Fandyllic.
In my mind (and possibly I agree with Adys here), the only difference between policy and guideline is that one set can be broken far more easily. For example, we contradict "Stub" when we say that an item can have minimal information, when it would be ideal to see item pages of the quality of Thunderfury or Atiesh. Obviously, those two are easy to write about, but other item pages could have comments pulled and synthesized (or rewritten) from one/all of the databases. Similarly, this is a reason why I think we should eliminate [most] item [database] pages; as is, there is a net loss to a person visiting our pages when compared to one of the item databases.
Adys, what you ask for can be found by default on new Wikia wikis; something called the "Simplified ruleset", and now that you bring it up in this manner, maybe it would be a good idea to add such a page here. --Sky (t · c · w) 22:34, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Can we move this discussion to somewhere other than my talk page (minus Adys' off topic comment)? --Gengar orange 22x22Beware the sneaky smile! Fandyllic (talk · contr) 3:48 PM PST 9 Apr 2009

WoWWiki talk:Policy, or possibly the VP? --Sky (t · c · w) 22:52, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
Either place, perhaps with some additional intro context so it doesn't confuse too many people. --Gengar orange 22x22Beware the sneaky smile! Fandyllic (talk · contr) 3:55 PM PST 9 Apr 2009
Sorry, guess I added flame to a user-talk page fire. I'm just not a regular on policy talk pages, that's usually above my pay grade. --Eirik Ratcatcher (talk) 23:22, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Policy and Guideline review Edit

Adys suggests that policies and guidelines should be reviewed. While apropos of the discussion above on Policy/Stub, I feel it should be given more direct attention. That is, an actual Project (if that is a formal thing, anyway). I think the natural people to be on that project would be administrators. While I'd be happy to lend my mouth and boot to the project, I am not (an IMO probably should not be) one. Could we have volunteers from the audience?

I would hate for the that thought ("we should review these things") to be lost in the general "what to do about stubs" dialog. And I'd also hate for the "stubs" issue to be tabled waiting on a review that got forgotten.

This is perilously close to "let's you and him do the work", but as I prompted this, I ought to at least keep it rolling. --Eirik Ratcatcher (talk) 00:27, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

The current policies and guidelines were created with the encouragement that non-admins (because there weren't that many at the beginning) have input. I think it would be a very bad thing, actually, to have mostly admins have input on policy and guideline changes. If that isn't very anti-wiki in spirit, it should be. Contrary to popular belief, I didn't agree with several things that are now enshrined in policy, but I still think they should be enforced. --Gengar orange 22x22Beware the sneaky smile! Fandyllic (talk · contr) 5:37 PM PST 9 Apr 2009

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