I am making this forum two reasons. Firstly, this thing. It serves two purposes: a meta-policy (policy on policy) and as an overview on what users should expect on policy pages. I based it a lot on the Wikipedia equivalent with obvious changes (I still say they have the best policy pages).
Secondly, this thing. I've talked about a navbox for policies and guidelines for a while, but never made a good one. Navigation between these pages beyond a basic category is something I would like to see.Thoughts?
Infobox, sure.Policy of policy page though... I'm confused by this. We have phrases like "if a policy prevents you from improving the wiki, ignore it". If that rule exists, why do we need so many layers of Constitutionality then? (As you may have guessed, I've never read all of our policy pages. But if all these rules can be broken anyway, why do we have reams and reams of these rigid documents?) Anyway this proposed page doesn't even really seem like it needs to exist if we're just going to freeball it the way we've been doing. Are these actually rules or what?
It's basically saying "yes, these are rules, but do not blindly follow them". It's saying in certain cases if a rule will actually hurt you ability to improve a page, then post on the talk page and see if people will agree to not applying policy in that instance.
I'll say a few things now in case I forget to respond later today: I want to suggest some revisions to your proposal policy on the procedure of determining policy. It goes on some tangents like the one about staff, which might seem strange for the king of tangents to say but it's easier to recognise when it's someone else doing it.
I don't like how Wikipedia handles this: The page does two things, (1) define what policy is, (2) explains how policy is determined. But neither of these things somehow make it the policy above all other policies, it's just a guideline of a wiki process. I'd put that policy in the nav, rather than just the link that makes it the header.
And as for indexing pages: Project:Returners' Conclave. A navigation template is not substitute for a proper structure. When we tell users where to find the index of policy pages, telling them to first find any random policy page they know of and know the location of and scroll to the bottom to look in the navbox is not the appropriate thing to say.
I'm not totally against a navbox. However it certainly not as useful as they are in the mainspace. Articles are, well, articles. They're structured in a way that you could read it all or just read specific sections. And they're full of links to related articles, and so a navigation at the bottom including all relevant articles is great. -- Policy isn't like that. Policies aren't meant to be read out of interest, you go to them to find the official practise relevant to what you need it for. So why do you need the navigation? If the space is designed properly the portal should take you exactly where you want to be. You might need the navigation if you refuse to acknowledge the existence of the Conclave I guess. JBed (talk) 02:06, May 3, 2015 (UTC)
- I don't like bolding on most occasions.
- Some of the wording sounded stilted and like it was copied and edited to follow another page's format.
- Remove mentions of common sense (it's a myth). I also don't like harping on about "being bold".
- The whole sandbox thing is odd, because you don't need to have policy written out in words before you can make a change. The consensus point is otherwise mentioned; consensus is an agreed upon procedure, and then someone writes it out. We do sometimes write out policy portions or pages before we enforce them, but this is usually the "fast-track" method. Ergo, present policy, hopefully you agree or only suggest minor amendments so we can just get this straight in.
- I don't think naming matters enough to mention. We have no rules to speak of.
Bolding felt appropriate for anyone skimming through for a tl;dr summary. I actually didn't copy it from anywhere, it was inspired by WP (and as SCM points out I have fixed the link). There was only one instance of "be bold", but I felt it was appropriate; we should forgive editors for not reading the policies and guidelines when they first start. I do not see why policy should not be treated as common sense.If you think policies and guidelines need a base page to go to before users scroll down to use the navbox, this proposed policies and guidelines page could be a base page - and would be the one first linked to in the top nav, presumably with important policy pages underneath it - and the existence of a navbox would not mean we would delete the Conclave. As for the point about people not browsing through policies like they do articles, this is demonstrably untrue. In my own case, I have found myself checking the category often due to a lack of a navbox, but a navbox easily shows anyone viewing, say, MoS, what other policies the wiki has without leaving the page, and based on opinions I have gathered from others, the extra convenience is not a detriment in any way. Also - and I feel like a hypocrite making this point, as I normally hate the "other wikis do it" argument - other wikis do it, which shows that people have found it useful elsewhere.
I like the idea of a navbox. Contrary to JBed, I've often wished that we had one. For example, when looking for relevant policies, I'll generally try to read a few of them, and it helps to have links between them. Another reason is that I sometimes will not remember the exact name of the policy page, and will try to manoeuvre to the correct one from the name of one which I do remember. I'm not sure a meta-policy page is really necessary, but I don't oppose it.
@Techno: Because common sense is a myth; saying "common sense" is a great way to insult someone's intelligence because if you do not agree with something labelled "common sense", or an idea does not actually come naturally to you, you are dumb. Policy is calculated anyway. I saw some mention of "common sense" on Wikipedia, which was a link and eventually took me to a page that says "there is no common sense". Does every WP policy have an anti-policy or something?
I read the policy, and saw the "further the goals" part on both pages. It sounded awkward there too, but it ended up looking forced here. Though if that's the only example then okay.
- "this proposed policies and guidelines page could be a base page"
Please no. The page already has two roles, don't give it a third. The page is not a mother-of-all policy page. It outlines one of the wiki's procedures.
- "we should forgive editors for not reading the policies and guidelines when they first start"
I agree. But I think there's a difference between just ambiguously telling someone to "be bold" and giving them a free pass. I thought about how we would handle people for not following policy. With new users we just don't give a shit, we'll clean up after them. With minor things like style guide stuff, again, someone else will clean it up. But God, if you've been here for a few months you better license and categorise your files. I guess licensing (and referencing) is a different issue because the one who adds it notes the details they need; but I feel like part of it is "I cba to categorise your files".
- "For example, when looking for relevant policies, I'll generally try to read a few of them, and it helps to have links between them."
If policies relate to each other then they'll link to each other. The Naming Policy links to the tags policy so if you go there looking for tags you'll be taken to the place they are covered.
But if want to look through multiple pages, the better thing to do would be to go to the Conclave and read the policy names, and opening the ones that seem relevant in new tabs.
- "Another reason is that I sometimes will not remember the exact name of the policy page, and will try to manoeuvre to the correct one from the name of one which I do remember."
You might do that. I try to get pages in weird and wonderful ways too, but it's not up to the wiki to help facilitate odd methods of navigation. If you just used the Conclave like the current structure is designed for then you can get to a policy page a more logical way.
But whatever, as long as people understand the purpose of the dedicated portal and keep it updated having both is not really a detriment in this situation. There is such a thing as excessive navigation but this won't reach it. JBed (talk) 14:53, May 3, 2015 (UTC)
It only has this third role in that it will be the easiest to find when it will be the top on the navigation top bar. Although, that could link to Category:Policies and guidelines instead with this new page being one underneath it. If that is the case, the navbox' first link should be the category or the Conclave too.
First, a criticism of the page itself to help make it clearer. Bold text can be very annoying when it is abused. After a while, at least for me, my eyes glaze over and I stop paying particular attention to bolded text over standard text. Unless all of our policy pages are like this now, in which case, why?
Now that that's out of the way...
Yes, but they should also have a clear purpose for why the policy should be changed. Otherwise you end up getting waste-of-time policy changes that don't benefit the wiki but create unneeded bureaucracy (something that happens far too often on the wiki imo).Agree with SCM that IRC consensus isn't enough; a lot of people just hang around on the IRC but don't edit the wiki, or used to but now are out of touch (exhibit A); also agree with Yuan that a metapolicy page is unnecessary but not harmful; and agree with JBed that a naming section isn't necessary. If, other than "You don't need to call it a Policy" (i.e. "There are no rules") all you can say about naming policy pages is that they have to be in projectspace... well, I think you made that point already.
Most people seem to be in favour the navbox, so I'll go ahead and add that, but for now it will link to the category instead of this project page.The only people who have commented on the bold text seem to oppose it. I was using it so it could convey points quickly, so if anyone has any suggestions for doing so without bold text (a "Summary" section at the bottom?) that'd be sweet. Since people seem to not really oppose the idea, I think it can be implemented, but with revisions. So it's just bolding now, and anything else anyone would like to change?
Okay, I think I've made the policies and guidelines page suit everyone's need unless there's anything else anyone wants to pick at.
Final thing I want to ask is, adding this to the top nav. I think, in place of "Manual of Style", we should link to this new Policies and guidelines page, with other policies going below it. Such as:
Actually, I think that's a good idea. Maybe a more brief thing than the page I came up with, but given that most people have said "it's not harmful but not necessary", a briefer summary on the Category:Policies and guidelines page might be good.
I support the navbox: it helps navigating through the Wiki (besides, we have few policy and/or guideline pages floating somewhere in the categories but they are not listed on Help:Contents so working on that would certainly help locating those "orphaned" pages). As for the policy/guideline thing for policies and guidelines I think it can stay, but we should ask the editors to slowly adapt to our policies and guidelines instead of just letting them do things and leave the standarizing the articles to the OCD people: I know it's good to have many editors, but I'd like for the new ones to grow if they (of course some will stay and some just make occasional edits) plan to stay here for longer.
Is there an article you think is of an exceptional quality? Vote for it here!
I'll keep my sandbox page up just for reference, or if we ever want to use it again, but I've put a brief description on the category page, and I've linked to a couple more on the wiki navigation. Feel free to suggest/make amendments to either of those, probably on their talk pages.I think we can close this discussion now.