Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Portals

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To discuss work on the portals, and project administration, including policy issues.

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Existing and potential portal design features and support tools. Technical stuff.


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General portal topics and announcements that don't fit elsewhere

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WikiProject Portals (Rated Project-class)
WikiProject icon This page is within the scope of WikiProject Portals, a collaborative effort to improve portals on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
 Project  This page does not require a rating on the project's quality scale.
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See also: Instructions • Guidelines • List of Portals

General discussion threads

Concerning portal guidelines and topic minimums (eom)

Guideline discussions announcement

Proposal to shut down or reform this WikiProject

I know, me proposing shutting down a WikiProject I'm in? What am I thinking?

Well, I mainly joined to make sure things would go smoothly after that RfC to delete all portals - clearly it has not. As thus, I think a solution (among the others) would be to shut down the WikiProject responsible for many of the bad portal creations. Right now it appears all its doing is creating new portals, not maintaining or improving them - which is what a WikiProject is supposed to do.

However, a less extreme solution would be to reform the project to actually maintain and improve the portals it creates, and creates portals sparingly. I'm fairly certain a task force making sure portals meet standards would be beneficial to the issue, and also making it clear that not everything needs a portal.

I'm going for the latter option to reform - however, I'm going to leave the shutdown option up in the air in case people find good reason for it to be considered.

Addendum 13:48, 15 March 2019 (UTC) - Since I forgot to clarify (trout Self-trout) here's two examples of reforms I could see being useful:

  • A quality scale for portals, like we use for articles - this could help with knowing which portals are good and which ones need improvement
  • Dividing the Project into task forces to make sure necessary tasks for the maintenance of portals are completed, as right now they clearly are not
  • Sub-reform for this would be to make a task force that deletes bad portals that don't meet quality standards and are not needed

Hopefully this can help clarify this proposal somewhat - if none of these can be done reasonably (which I doubt they can't) the shutdown option should be considered.

Kirbanzo (userpage - talk - contribs) 23:01, 14 March 2019 (UTC)

Survey on sub-proposal to shut down WikiProject Portals

There is a strong WP:SNOW consensus against shutting down WikiProject Portals. (involved close) — pythoncoder  (talk | contribs) 15:39, 20 March 2019 (UTC) (non-admin closure)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

  • Neutral as per above. Kirbanzo (userpage - talk - contribs) 23:01, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose firstly this is the wrong forum, secondly there is nothing in the nomination that explains why this is needed, or how it will result in an improvement to the encyclopaedia. Thryduulf (talk) 01:04, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Abyssal (talk) 01:35, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support: might as well. --K.e.coffman (talk) 02:23, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. There is consensus to keep the portal system but it has many faults, so a focus for improving it seems sensible. Certes (talk) 14:36, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose. Not necessary and not the best way to fix Wikipedia’s portals. — pythoncoder  (talk | contribs) 19:49, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose – Would amount to throwing the baby out with the bathwater. North America1000 01:19, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose For the same reasons. — AfroThundr (u · t · c) 19:48, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose For the same reasons. Bermicourt (talk) 22:37, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support Incompetent project that doesn't want to deal with the crud their members create. CoolSkittle (talk) 18:07, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose as ad hominem vindictiveness. The only rationale for deleting such a project would be a proper community-wide decision to eliminate all portals. This is not the venue for that; WP:VPPOL is. And this is not the venue for deletion of a wikiproject; WP:MFD is. WP:Process is important, most especially in deletion discussions and related matters, because damned near zero people are going to look for such discussions in an admins' "house organ" page like this. Hardly any non-admins watchlist this page or pay any attention at all to what is said here. It is not intended to be a venue for community-wide concerns in the first place, and even with belated addition to WP:CENT, discussing such matters here is a special kind of forum shopping, namely an attempt to appeal to a small cadre of specialist editors whose concerns about maintenance (and cop-like role of "going after" people for alleged behavioral flaws, often with little oversight, especially compared to WP:ANI process) will colour everything they do and say about the matter.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  20:58, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
Widely misleading arguments. This is a widely advertised and widely participated discussion. It came from a VPR discussion, linked from the very beginning. There are far more non-Admins than Admins involved here. Try to stick to facts. Legacypac (talk) 23:23, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support [non-admin comment :] opposed to portals, they harvest legitimate contributions yet the creators expect them to be automatically protected as legitimate contributions and outside of normal guidance on creation. There are cadres of users who think this is what wikipedia is about, or at least it is a way of making a big splash without knowing anything but how to tweak code (and then wikilawyer when challenged). cygnis insignis 06:10, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose Punishing a whole community for the actions of one person is not reasonable. WaggersTALK 16:49, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose per above. It's getting cold out... SemiHypercube 16:52, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose In the grand scheme of things I'd like to see portals deprecated, but doing so is not where the community is at right now. If there is consensus to keep portals, having a wikiproject to maintain them seems like a good idea. I also feel cold... Wugapodes [thɑk] [ˈkan.ˌʧɹɪbz] 06:47, 19 March 2019 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Survey on sub-proposal to reform WikiProject Portals

  • Support as proposer and per above. Kirbanzo (userpage - talk - contribs) 23:01, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose as the proposal is in the wrong forum and contains no details of what reform is being suggested, let alone how these reforms would solve the issues identified. Thryduulf (talk) 01:05, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
  • This is related to the discussion as the WikiProject is headed by the user being discussed here. Kirbanzo (userpage - talk - contribs) 13:48, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
    • Wikprojects are a collection of editors, not just one person. There is no evidence presented that there is any admin action required regarding the WikiProject as a whole collectively (not that I can immediately think of what that action could look like if it were), and there isn't even consensus that admin action regarding the single editor is required. Thryduulf (talk) 13:57, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Fair point, but considering the discussion below it should still be considered. Kirbanzo (userpage - talk - contribs) 14:00, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. I’ve been doing some reform work of this type by creating a page to clean up some of the damage done to the older portals. WikiProject Portals has an assessment page but I’m not sure how much it gets used. — pythoncoder  (talk | contribs) 19:49, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
    • It took quite a lot of discussion to form a consensus for those assessment criteria. Any portals would need to be evaluated against them to ensure they meet at least minimal quality standards (not including the other criteria in the portal guidelines). It will take a while to go through all of the portals and rate them on the quality scale, and that is one of our backlog tasks. — AfroThundr (u · t · c) 19:48, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support in theory. It makes more sense than the above "I disagree with you so I will try to just erase you" bullshit. However, it's not at all clear that the wikiproject, as such, needs any "reform"; rather, some specific decisions and actions taken by its participants have turned out to be controversial, and the community will discuss that (hopefully in a more sensible venue like WP:VPPOL), and the wikiprojects should abide by the result of that process. We don't have any indication this would not happen, so there isn't actually a "reform" to perform, nor is there yet any consensus of what form that should take anyway. Some people here seem to be under the impression that WP is going to come out against portals; others that it'll be against automated portals; others that it'll be against portals on minor topics (and sub-sub-sub-topics) that people aren't likely to seek a portal for; others that nothing is actual broken; others that .... There isn't a single direction of "reform" being proposed.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  21:03, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose The way to reform a project is to get involved with it. We've already had multiple discussions about how the project should be structured and how it should operate on the project pages themselves, and further suggestions there are always welcome. But proposing "reform" without specifying what particular changes are being suggested isn't exactly helpful. WaggersTALK 16:53, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
Exactly right, Waggers, exactly right. You've hit the nail on the head. ~Swarm~ {talk} 18:22, 20 March 2019 (UTC)
But is you see little need for portals why get involved? Legacypac (talk) 23:18, 21 March 2019 (UTC)
Nominating hundreds of portals for deletion is getting involved. If you see little need for them then fine, live and let live, they're not doing you any harm. The community has decided to keep portals, so either you respect that consensus and ignore them, or you respect that consensus and get involved with resolving whatever problem you have with them. WaggersTALK 12:58, 3 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Qualified support. The current project is far from perfect but it's hard to give unqualified support without a statement of specific reforms. We don't want thousands more portals, but last year's RfC shows that it would be equally inappropriate to "reform" into WikiProject Nuke All Portals From Orbit. I removed my name from the project's roster when portal creation grew rapidly. Since then I have done some maintenance but I see little point in improving pages that other editors are working so hard to delete. I could rejoin a project that combined improved existing portals with the right blend of identifying poor, narrow portals for deletion and creating portals in small numbers where clear gaps exist. Certes (talk) 13:32, 29 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Qualified support per @Certes:. As a participant in the Portal project, I would encourage them to adopt a more rigorous process for creating new portals, including qualifying criteria, and also for the maintenance of portals by the relevant project members. I'm disappointed that, while this discussion is going on, at least one portal that I help with has been nominated for deletion (it's not one of the automated portals created by TTH which is subject of a deletion nom that I support). Bermicourt (talk) 11:45, 13 April 2019 (UTC)

Discussion on proposal to reform WikiProject Portals

  • Query @Kirbanzo: - do you have any early thoughts about what some good reforms would be to shift the primary focus of the project towards maintenance/improvement over creation? Nosebagbear (talk) 23:11, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Transcluded to Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Portals. {{3x|p}}ery (talk) 23:36, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
  • No, do not transclude important discussions from AN to the relevant talkpage. Hold the discussion on the relevant talk page. Transclude to here is there is good reason, which there is not. Holding hte discussion here means watchlisting it doesn't work, and it wont be archived in the right place. Shutting down a WikiProject is not in scope for WP:AN. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 02:20, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
  • The Portals Wikiproject members can't even come up with a proper new guideline for what topics get a portal even when faced with a village pump imposed moratorium. The discussion is all over the place with no focus. Heck they did not even follow their old guideline about picking subjects broud enough to gain reader and editor interest. The only thing they appear to agree on is MORE MORE MORE and using WP:VITAL as a to do list. Their newsletter said they are pushing to 10,000 portals (off a base of 1500 old line portals). Now the number of portals will shrink until and unless they get new guidelines passed by an RFC. Legacypac (talk) 09:57, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
  • That old guideline wasn't generally followed, ever. That's because portals (except those on the main page) get about 1 to 3 percent of the amount of traffic that their corresponding root articles get. In other words, "not a lot". That's because almost all their traffic comes via WP internal links. Almost nobody googles "Portal". So, for the vast majority of topics, large numbers of readers and editors will never be forthcoming, and never were. Out of the 1500 portals, about 100 had maintainers (maintained by around 60 editors), and maybe 20% of them regularly edited the portals they maintained.
The WikiProject, and the community, need feedback in the form of hard numbers, in order to get a sense of what will even get used. How hard would it be to make a chart listing all the portals in one column, and their page views for the past month in the second column, and then sort the chart by the second column? That might provide some insight.    — The Transhumanist   11:05, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Sigh. :TTH, you had this data already. You know that portal pageviews are miniscule. At the RFC on deleting the portal namespace, stats were posted on pageviews, and not even all the portals linked from the front page had decent viewing rates.
Yet despite knowing all that, you personally created thousands of new portals, despite having all the evidence in front of you that they are useless.
And when I presented the evidence to you again, and asked you to desist, you were furious. Instead of assessing the issues, you posted multi-screenfull unfocused ramblings replete with shouts of "bias", "personal attack" etc.
The problem is not any shortage of information. The problem is that as @Legacypac notes above, the discussions in the WikiProject have no focus, no regard for available evidence, and no respect for community consensus.
Legacypac and usually disagree, but in this case we see exactly the same problem: a WikiProject which has a long and sustained track record of being utterly incapable of acting responsibly wrt the page within its purview.
This is not solely TTH's doing. TTH bears by far the highest responsibility because TTH has been both the most prolific creator and the most angry objector to calls for restraint, but several other regulars at WikiProject Portals have been equally unfocused and equally bonkers. For example:
So the community simply cannot rely on this group to set and uphold resposnsible guidelines. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 11:53, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
@BrownHairedGirl: I make the proposal 5. And it was a proposal. I Support a reform in WikiProject Portals. My idea is the existence of approximately 1000(level 3) single page portals layout, directly linked in tree model with the main page. The role of the wikiproject should be to organize this tree and develop tools to transform all portals into single-page layout portals.Guilherme Burn (talk) 12:11, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
@Guilherme Burn, no technical diversions. My point is not about how the portals operate; it's about their scope. And 20 pages is insanely narrow. A 20-page portal is just an bloated navbox. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 12:36, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
@BrownHairedGirl: I'm trying to figure out how you've come to the conclusion that WPPORT completely ignores evidence and consensus. The project discussions I've participated in have been rational and reasonable, and far from unfocused. Also, please try not to conflate individual editors' behavior with the project as a whole. I've seen no evidence that the WikiProject has acted irresponsibly regarding the Portal system. If you're referring to the several thousand new portals created by TTH, you should keep in mind that WikiProjects don't have any actual authority to dictate who can and can't create something (even if we were opposed to creating new portals). That's what guidelines are for.
We've been working to develop updated criteria for the Portal guidelines since November (rebooted from even earlier discussions in April) - which you already know, since you've participated as well. We're still working on the guidelines so that we have better, more concrete criteria to judge new and existing portals against (and which would make MfD easier for those that fail). Once we've developed consensus on these, they can be applied to the namespace to fix the portals that can be fixed, and remove the ones that can't (new or old). (Side note: Anyone with input or ideas is welcome to participate at WT:PORTG.)
Actions in the Portal namespace itself (for most of us, it seems) has mostly been technical fixes and tweaks to our tools. Also, your not agreeing with particular proposals does not make those proposing them irresponsible or incompetent. Talk pages are a place to discuss new ideas so that we can find the benefits and drawbacks of each. If we constantly had to worry about being labeled as irresponsible or incompetent for suggesting something, we'd never have any new ideas or get anything done. I've made plenty of suggestions that didn't pan out later, as I'm sure you have, and everyone else here. That's how we learn what works and what doesn't and build a better encyclopedia. In the end, that's what we're all here for right? — AfroThundr (u · t · c) 19:48, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
@AfroThundr3007730: that's not at all how it looks from outside.
  1. Last year, the project began developing automated portals, whose advocates claimed need little or no curation. No attempt was made to hold an RFC to determine whether the community found these automated portals to be a worthwhile addition. (I think I see an emerging consensus that they are not useful, or maybe useful only in some curcumstances)
  2. Following the WP:ENDPORTALS RFC which decided not to actually delete the whole portal namespace, the project decided to massively expand the number of portals, despite the clear evidence at RFC that many editors wanted fewer portals. At no point did the project initiate an RFC to establish whether there was a community consensus for the project's enthusiasm to bizarrely interpret "don't TNT the lot" as "create thousands more".
  3. You are right that a WikiProject has no powers of restraint on an individual editor. However, the project does have an ability to watch what is done, and to act a venue to monitor inappropriate creations, and to initiate cleanup as needed. I see no sign at all that the project has done any of that ... and on the contrary, when outsiders have challenged TTH's sprees of portalspam, other project members have rallied to TTH's defence.
  4. Even now, as a cleanup is underway, I see next to no assistance from project members. V few even comment in the MFDs. For example, take the most extreme case so far: MFD Portal:University of Fort Hare, an utterly absurd creation for which there exists precisely zero relevant selected articles ... yet none of the project regulars is visible.
    In my view, a WikiProject which shows zero interest in removing inappropriate pages within its scope is dysfunctionally irresponsible.
  5. The project's efforts to develop guidelines have been exceptionally poor. The discussions have been rambling and unfocused, with a persistent failure to distinguish between factors such as technical ability to create, availability of editors to maintain and monitor, actual usage data, etc.
  6. Above all, none of the proposals has been put to an RFC to gauge community consensus, so the guideline discussion have effectively been the work of a small group of editors who are united by a common desire to massively increase the number of automated portals.
  7. The result of this failure has been a walled garden of thousands of micro-portals, sustained only by the enthusiasm of the portal project ... and the absolutely inevitable massive shitstorm at the village pump.
What this needs now is a structured RFC, which brings together some or all of the proposals made at the project, adds proposals from outside the project, and seeks a community consensus. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 20:18, 16 March 2019 (UTC)

Discussion update

The Proposal 4: Provide for CSD criterion X3 proposal at the Administrators' noticeboard to create a speedy deletion criteria X3 for the deletion of automated portals created by User:The Transhumanist between April 2018 and March 2019 was closed as no consensus (permanent link). As such, the criteria was not added to Wikipedia's Criteria for speedy deletion page. North America1000 11:55, 6 April 2019 (UTC)

Nomination of 1,426 portals for deletion

A discussion is taking place as to whether 1,426 portal are suitable for inclusion in Wikipedia according to Wikipedia's policies and guidelines or whether they should be deleted.

The pages will be discussed at Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Mass-created portals based on a single navbox until a consensus is reached, and anyone is welcome to contribute to the discussion. The nomination will explain the policies and guidelines which are of concern. The discussion focuses on high-quality evidence and our policies and guidelines.

Users may edit the pages during the discussion, including to improve the pages to address concerns raised in the discussion. However, do not remove the deletion notices from the top of the pages. North America1000 21:11, 7 April 2019 (UTC)

  • Note. A further batch of portals has been added to this nomination. The total number of portals now included in this nomination is 2,698. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 12:57, 8 April 2019 (UTC)

A new newsletter directory is out!

A new Newsletter directory has been created to replace the old, out-of-date one. If your WikiProject and its taskforces have newsletters (even inactive ones), or if you know of a missing newsletter (including from sister projects like WikiSpecies), please include it in the directory! The template can be a bit tricky, so if you need help, just post the newsletter on the template's talk page and someone will add it for you.

– Sent on behalf of Headbomb. 03:11, 11 April 2019 (UTC)

Identifying old-style portals

Further to yet another thread at WP:AN (permalink), I want to encourage others to help in identifying portals which are or used to be old-style — that is, portals which have at some point not been automated.

Pinging other participants there @Northamerica1000, Thryduulf, and Cryptic:, and also @Pldx1 who has shown tech savvy in this area. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 14:38, 11 April 2019 (UTC)

Dreamy Jazz's lists

BrownHairedGirl, I have a list generated from portals present in the archive of all portal pages before automated conversion began and now present in the single-page portals category. it is probably inferior to other methods, but may be of use. It is at User talk:Dreamy Jazz#Tags, but a copy is below for convenience (one marked first list) Dreamy Jazz 🎷 talk to me | my contributions 12:50, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
For example Portal:Bangladesh Premier League is present on Wikipedia:WikiProject Portal/List of_all_portals/Archive/4-22-2018/Page_1. Dreamy Jazz 🎷 talk to me | my contributions 13:02, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
However, it was deleted at MfD back in 2018. There may be useful content in the previous version. Dreamy Jazz 🎷 talk to me | my contributions 13:05, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
BrownHairedGirl, just by random selection I have found some portals which are in the deletion discussion for Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Mass-created portals based on a single navbox but are in the old list. Dreamy Jazz 🎷 talk to me | my contributions 13:01, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
@Dreamy Jazz, please identify those which you found, so that I and other editors can check them? --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 13:07, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
@BrownHairedGirl: In comparing portals for deletion on the page and portals in the list below using python, these portals are present in both lists. It does not mean that these portals currently have versions which could be reverted to, but it does say that they existed on the 22 of March 2018: Dreamy Jazz 🎷 talk to me | my contributions 13:12, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
@BrownHairedGirl: Dreamy Jazz 🎷 talk to me | my contributions 13:12, 12 April 2019 (UTC) (forgot to sign above)
Sorry, @Dreamy Jazz, but that python-generate list is v poor. The most of first few were deleted at MFD, which isn't relevant to the mass deletion discussion. The next 3 — Portal:Polynesia, Portal:Aquariums, and Portal:Exploration — have no history of deletion. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 13:19, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
BrownHairedGirl, this list was supposed to be those which existed then and this might mean they were deleted and then recreated. The list is now smaller as there was a generation issue with the information from quarry, in that the script detected parts of lines. This should be fixed now. Dreamy Jazz 🎷 talk to me | my contributions 13:26, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
Thanks, @Dreamy Jazz, but I'm still not seeing any utility to this. AFAICS, you have identified some portals which were MFDed, then subsequently recreated as automate portals. I don't see how this affects any future decisions. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 13:57, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
BrownHairedGirl, the second list wasn't necessarily meant too, but was meant incase there were any portals which are up for deletion as they were created by the Transhumainst, which may now have the topic base, but had a previous (now deleted or not deleted) non-automated design which may have been useful in creating the portal in a non-automated way.
The first list, I think, is more useful as it shows portals which existed on the 22 of March 2018, but are now single page portals. Several (probably most) portals in this list will have a non-automated version in their edit history (those that don't will have been deleted and then recreated). So if reverting the upgrading from non-automated versions is what is wanted through this discussion, then most portals on this list will need to be reverted back to their old design. Sorry if I have caused confusion. Dreamy Jazz 🎷 talk to me | my contributions 14:06, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
the issue fixed seems to have removed the three portals you mentioned above. Dreamy Jazz 🎷 talk to me | my contributions 13:29, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
sorry for confusion etc. Shows that quick and dirty python scripts don't always work! Face-smile.svg Dreamy Jazz 🎷 talk to me | my contributions 13:31, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
Extended content

Portal:Cryptozoology Portal:Disco Portal:Bangladesh Premier League Portal:French Revolution Portal:Taipei

First list:

Extended content
Portal:A. R. Rahman
Portal:A Nightmare on Elm Street
Portal:Academy Awards
Portal:American Revolutionary War
Portal:American Samoa
Portal:Amusement parks
Portal:Analytical chemistry
Portal:Ancient Egypt
Portal:Ancient Near East
Portal:Ancient Rome
Portal:Andhra Pradesh
Portal:Animal rights
Portal:Apple Inc.
Portal:Ariana Grande
Portal:Arijit Singh
Portal:Artificial intelligence
Portal:Asian Americans
Portal:Asian Games
Portal:Atlantic Coast Conference
Portal:Australian Capital Territory
Portal:Australian rules football
Portal:Avril Lavigne
Portal:Aztec mythology
Portal:Backstreet Boys
Portal:Bangladesh Liberation War
Portal:Bangladesh Premier League
Portal:Battlestar Galactica
Portal:Bob Dylan
Portal:Body modification
Portal:Bon Jovi
Portal:Briarcliff Manor, New York
Portal:British Army
Portal:British Library
Portal:British Virgin Islands
Portal:Britney Spears
Portal:Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Portal:Cape Verde
Portal:Carnatic music
Portal:Cayman Islands
Portal:Central African Republic
Portal:Central America
Portal:Channel Islands
Portal:Charles Dickens
Portal:Christian democracy
Portal:Cook Islands
Portal:Costa Rica
Portal:Daman and Diu
Portal:Democratic Republic of the Congo
Portal:Dominican Republic
Portal:East Timor
Portal:El Salvador
Portal:Equatorial Guinea
Portal:European Union
Portal:Evolutionary biology
Portal:Football in Malaysia
Portal:Football in the Philippines
Portal:French Polynesia
Portal:French Revolution
Portal:French and Francophone literature
Portal:Georgia (country)
Portal:German Empire
Portal:Global warming
Portal:Grand Canyon
Portal:Greater Los Angeles
Portal:Harz Mountains
Portal:Hindu mythology
Portal:Hispanic and Latino Americans
Portal:Holy See
Portal:Hong Kong
Portal:Human body
Portal:Human–computer interaction
Portal:Hunger relief
Portal:Inland Empire
Portal:Ivory Coast
Portal:Latin America
Portal:Law enforcement
Portal:Left-wing populism
Portal:Lüneburg Heath
Portal:Machine learning
Portal:Magic: The Gathering
Portal:Mandatory Palestine
Portal:Marshall Islands
Portal:Martial arts
Portal:Marvel Cinematic Universe
Portal:Men's rights movement
Portal:Men in Black
Portal:Mexico City
Portal:Mind and brain
Portal:Mughal Empire
Portal:New Caledonia
Portal:Northern Ireland
Portal:Number theory
Portal:Ottoman Empire
Portal:Papua New Guinea
Portal:Prehistory of Asia
Portal:Prehistory of Europe
Portal:Punk rock
Portal:Republic of Venice
Portal:Republic of the Congo
Portal:Republika Srpska
Portal:Saudi Arabia
Portal:Seljuk Empire
Portal:Seventh-day Adventist Church
Portal:Shania Twain
Portal:Sherlock Holmes
Portal:Sierra Leone
Portal:Solomon Islands
Portal:South Africa
Portal:South America
Portal:South Sudan
Portal:Southeast Asia
Portal:Spanish Empire
Portal:Strictly Come Dancing
Portal:Studio Ghibli
Portal:São Tomé and Príncipe
Portal:The Bahamas
Portal:The Beach Boys
Portal:The Gambia
Portal:The Supremes
Portal:Three Kingdoms
Portal:Trinidad and Tobago
Portal:Underwater diving
Portal:United Arab Emirates
Portal:United Kingdom
Portal:United Nations
Portal:United States Army
Portal:United States Coast Guard
Portal:United States Marine Corps
Portal:United States Merchant Marine
Portal:United States Navy
Portal:United States Territories
Portal:University of Cambridge
Portal:Uttar Pradesh
Portal:Vatican City
Portal:Visual arts
Portal:Washington, D.C.
Portal:Weimar Republic
Portal:West Bengal
Portal:West Sussex
Portal:West Virginia
Portal:Western Australia
Portal:Western Region (Ghana)
Portal:Western Sahara
Portal:Women's association football

A quick and dirty way of finding some, using AWB

One test which seems to be a possibility is to look for subpages of a portal. So far as I can see, any active non-automated portal will contain one or more of the following subpages:

  • /Header
  • /Intro
  • /Topics
  • /Categories
  • /Selected article
  • /In the news

So e.g. if Portal:Queen Victoria's ankles is non-automated, then one or more of the following pages should exist:

On that basis, I am about to do a WP:AWB list-making run to identify such pages. I will get a list of all currently extant portals, and use that to make a list of all the possible subpages. If any one of those 6 subpages exists, then the portal must at some stage have been non-automated.

It should pick up:

  1. current non-automated portals
  2. portals which were automated, but where subpages have not been deleted (or were deleted then restored)

--BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 14:42, 11 April 2019 (UTC)

Great start, (thanks!) but there is one hole: I've found several cases where the Portal was moved, without its subpages, either before or after being automated. So the restored subpages are sitting under a different name than the actual portal. I'll try to come up with a couple examples. UnitedStatesian (talk) 14:49, 11 April 2019 (UTC)
No prob, UnitedStatesian. Thanks for the pointer. I'll just keep a note of any such orphaned supbages.
I have just set AWB off to ook for extant pages. I found 4913 portals, so it is checking the existence of 29,478 pages.
I expect that it will find very few unused subpages; they should mostly have been WP:G8ed, or (less appropriately) G6ed.
But it's an easy check, so I will see what it picks up. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 15:17, 11 April 2019 (UTC)

Quarry: Deleted portal subpages where the base page exists

quarry:query/35077 should be a complete list. (I suppose it could stand to have the deletion log entries, too, or maybe the page the base portal redirects to when it's a redirect, but those would involve a modicum of effort.) Note that this deliberately still lists subpages like Portal:Zelda/Intro that have both deleted and undeleted revisions. —Cryptic 15:11, 11 April 2019 (UTC)
Bless you, Cryptic. That is brilliant. I will play with that a bit. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 15:18, 11 April 2019 (UTC)
quarry:query/35078 has the redirect targets and deletion log entries. —Cryptic 15:30, 11 April 2019 (UTC)

@Cryptic, if it's not too much trouble, would you kindly be able to make a quarry query like 35077, but which finds "Existing portal subpages where the base page exists"?

It should produce the same results as my AWB job, but more accurately. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 15:29, 11 April 2019 (UTC)

quarry:query/35079 should be up momentarily. It's a fast query, but there's about 146000 such subpages, so - while it's almost instant at toolforge - the Quarry web interface will take a while to catch up. —Cryptic 15:36, 11 April 2019 (UTC)
  • For what I understand, identifying portals which are or used to be old-style — that is, portals which have at some point not been automated amounts to identify portals that have/had any subpage, deleted or not. And then we have a question of policy. How to detect if there are any people or project who want to step forward as a maintainer of the portal, and organize the required editorial decisions ? Pldx1 (talk) 17:23, 11 April 2019 (UTC)

Portal restoration to pre-automated versions

I've been restoring older portals that have been automated back to their pre-automated versions. It is very time-consuming, laborious, can involve many steps, and requires a strong attention to detail. It also requires having a strong knowledge of how portals are designed, their layout, coding and wiki markup, portal templates, portal guidelines, etc., knowledge that many users may not necessarily possess. I'm not aware offhand of others who have taken up this task. It would be great if others who are competent in such matters would consider pitching-in. One person can only do so much. North America1000 18:08, 12 April 2019 (UTC)

I am knowledgeable but don't have the mop. What can I do to help? BusterD (talk) 18:12, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
  • (ec) Hi BusterD: You can check for portals that have pre-automated versions available, such as from the hatted lists above on this page, and if there's functional content available, then perform the necessary reversions on the main portal pages and subpages. For pages that were deleted per WP:G6 uncontroversial deletion, you can simply recreate them anew from scratch, or request for them to be restored at WP:REFUND. These will typically appear as redlinks on the main portal page. North America1000 19:08, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
I've taken the liberty of restoring Portal:American Revolutionary War and its subpages. I can't imagine I missed much. Please look to see if I'm getting it right. I don't want to leave a mess behind myself. If there's a better way, please clue me in. BusterD (talk) 19:07, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
BusterD: Thanks for your prompt replies and actions. I spot checked a bunch of subpages of Portal:American Revolutionary War, and fortunately, it appears that none of them were G6 deleted or tagged with this notice, the latter of which makes the notice appear on the main portal pages because <noinclude> parameters were not used. The notice is also on some box-header and box-footer pages, and when so, also appears on the main portal pages. North America1000 19:15, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
When I see such a G6 tag, I'll simply delete it as unneeded. I'm starting with portals I know, then will work outwards. BusterD (talk) 19:19, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
That's what I've been doing when the G6 notices are there. I've spend a lot of time doing so. Pinging Dreamy Jazz to this thread, as they have been working to remove the tags per discussion at their talk page. North America1000 19:24, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
Northamerica1000, hello. I am still waiting for approval for AWB before I can do mass removal. I suspect it will be some time, but when I'm approved I will start removing notices. Dreamy Jazz 🎷 talk to me | my contributions 19:26, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
Dreamy Jazz: Hey, it's appreciated, and these things can take time. You can still perform portal reversions to non-automated versions and manually remove the tags when they're present, if you'd like. North America1000 19:37, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
User:BusterD to save yourself a lot of wasted effort please familiarize yourself with WP:POG and the very clear results of the MFDs. Working on restoring various classes of portals is an exercise in frustration when pages in these classes will be nominated for deletion. Large classes include individual people, bands, TV shows, media franchises, films, companies and organizations. Also expect to see all towns below some yet to be deturmined exactly size gone. Third level administrative divisions of countries, as well as some 2nd level divisions have been deleted across multiple MfDs. If it looks like a US county type political subdivision it will most likely be deleted. Any narrow focus general topic is likely to be chopped. Feel free to Twinkle anything you find in your sicting through portals that needs to go. This portal project went wild making new portals while not cleaning up the problems discussed at WP:ENDPORTALS and the end result will likely be less portals then they started with after ENDPORTALS. Legacypac (talk) 19:33, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
Wisdom in that. I thought I'd work through the WikiProject:Military History portals first because they were each around long before all this hubbub and have an active base of potential maintainers. Then I'll start picking out portals which have avoided deletion during process. For the record, I've always thought this automated portals stuff was way too much, but I believe I've learned some things about how automation could make a portal easier to maintain manually. BusterD (talk) 19:40, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Lists portals that will likely require various subpages to be WP:REFUNDed at Requests for undeletion prior to being reverted to pre-automated versions.
  • This is necessary to prevent red-linked pages from appearing on the main portal pages.
North America1000 20:18, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
I'm finding the early going rather easy. It helps that the original MilHist portals were relatively sturdy before automation. It also helps that apparently there was considerable forbearance from admins not deleting G6 subpages immediately. So far this has been a simple matter of reverting to before TH's first edit on 11APR2018, then deleting the G6 tags, mostly from the intro and the box-footer. I've been through half of this template and I'm only needing 4 red linked pages restored so far, so it's not too bad yet. At my current rate, I'd estimate about 75 hours labor all told. That's just cutting the timber, not pulling the stumps (I must go back to Portal:USMC and completely rebuild because of some old fashioned selection structure on two subsections). BusterD (talk) 21:02, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
Can I ask why this is being done? TTH's mass creation of portals is a very different issue to this project's work on finding ways to reduce the maintenance burden of portals. It makes sense that the former should be undone but reverting automatically maintained portals to manually maintained ones, when there's nobody to actively maintain them, needs some justification. WaggersTALK 12:26, 17 April 2019 (UTC)
@Waggers: I think the consensus is that automation, while a very good thong in theory, has flaws in its current, rushed implementation, that are technical (e.g. possibility for Lua errors and presentation of unrelated content), philosophical (e.g. removal of the WikiProject to-do lists, adding of a link to the reference desks), and procedural (e.g. rammed through almost entirely without discussion of the specifics with the community and subject-matter WikiProjects and gaining of consensus, and without testing or documentation). UnitedStatesian (talk) 12:48, 17 April 2019 (UTC)

Red links to deleted portals need to be removed

The red links on the Portal:Contents/Portals page resulting from portals that have been deleted should be removed. Red links in other areas (e.g. Related portals portal subpages, article templates, etc) should also be removed. I'm busy with other matters, and one person can only do so much, so posting here to notify others about the matter. North America1000 19:02, 12 April 2019 (UTC)

  • I find the redlinks helpful to identify portals by subject that have already been deleted amd to see trends in various subjects.
Does anyone know the high point? Newsletter #29 I believe said 5700 portals and then #30 said the number dropped so it must have peaked north of 5700. We just hit 4700 and there are over 1850 under MfD right now. Further bulk nominations are in the works to. Legacypac (talk) 19:12, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
Hadn't thought of that. I'll revert my attempts to help. Maybe it's a maintenance we should do on a schedule, once a week, once a month BusterD (talk) 19:16, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
Well anyone that wants to spend time on this is going to be frustrated keeping up while Category:Miscellaneous pages for deletion has nearly 1900 portals under deletion discussion ending in the next week. Maybe wait till the dust settles. I also note this page is missing scores of portals so it is out of date coming and going. Maybe we shoud redirect it to Category:All portals or something similar that automatically updates. Legacypac (talk) 22:46, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
  • A proposed redirect of the Portal:Contents/Portals page should be discussed at Portal talk:Contents/Portals, not here, because users of the page will not know about any discussion about it here. Also, the page has received 91,753 page views in the thirty-day period between 3/11/2019 to 4/10/2019. Clearly a well-used page in the state it is in. Redirection would likely significantly reduce portal page views. North America1000 23:26, 12 April 2019 (UTC)

An easier question to discuss

While going through the war portals template, I came across the nine year-old Portal:Submarine which currently has a merge tag at the top. The requested merge target is Portal:Submarines, an automated portal created recently and currently up for deletion. I made my case for opposing in the appropriate place but thought "should the object class subject of a portal be plural or singular?" The browsebar in question includes portals for Battleships, Submarine, and Tank. Looking through the list of portals and MOS:Portal I didn't get any clear direction. Am I missing something? BusterD (talk) 23:44, 12 April 2019 (UTC)

I completed the merge. "Thing" portals almost always use the plural. UnitedStatesian (talk) 17:49, 13 April 2019 (UTC)
There was no merge to perform. The newer portal is up for deletion and should be deleted. Then we could move to the plural namespace. BusterD (talk) 19:30, 13 April 2019 (UTC)

Revert to manual: what's the plan?

In the last few days I have noticed a steady stream of automated portals being converted back to previous unautomated state. What's this all about?

This is big stuff, because it reverses a year of this project pushing full steam ahead for automation. But I see no discussion agreeing that this should be done, or which portals it should be done to.

I see no list of portals to which this has been done.

Most crucially, many portals which were converted because they were unmaintained. The were often broken, and/or wildly outdated. I see no sign of any plan to ensure that are now actually going to be maintained, no list of maintainers, no discussions with WikiProjects. Where are those maintainers and/or those WikiProject discussions?

I have seen one editor describe these reversions to outdated, broken formats as being close to vandalism. Given that many of these reverts are being performed by an editor who serially opposes deletion of even portals with long-term pageview averages of less than five day, I have to wonder whether they are some sort of attempt to game the system by taking these pages out of the frame of the growing mood to delete automated portals.

If this is not just some sort of effort to dodge deletion, please can someone point me to where the actual plan is, and where's the consensus behind it?

@Northamerica1000, you appear have been one of the most prolific performers of these reverts. Please can you explain where this high-speed reversal of the project's direction was discussed, and where the plan is? --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 19:58, 13 April 2019 (UTC)

Also pinging @BusterD and @Legacypac, who have discussed this issue with NA1K above. Have either you seen the consensus-based plan for this full-speed=in-reverse? --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 20:01, 13 April 2019 (UTC)
I think it is a deletion dodge. If the portal project found the page unmaintained and decided to automate it, and no one objected, then they were right it was unmaintained. That is a reason to deleet no lt a reason to revert to a state that was judged abandoned and worth replacing. I'm nominating these cases for deletion as I find them. It is one thing if an MfD finds that there is sufficent interest in maintaining a topic in a deautomated state. It is another case to revert hundreds of abandoned portals to non-automated state to game the system. Legacypac (talk) 20:09, 13 April 2019 (UTC)
@Legacypac, let's not rush to conclusions. I am AGFing that the appearances are misleading, and that this is part of an actual consensus-based WPPORT plan to establish some framework for maintaining and updating all those manual portals which are being restored to manual. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 20:54, 13 April 2019 (UTC)
I watch all the project pages and the talkpages of involved users. If such a plan had been discussed I'd know it. Legacypac (talk) 21:08, 13 April 2019 (UTC)

─────────────────────────First, I appreciate the ping to be involved in this valuable conversation. I have performed about 25-30 of these reversions myself, responding to this request for assistance from NA1000, an admin I admire yet frequently disagree with. I have had no hidden or private discussions with anyone. Note that I haven't performed any of these in the last 8 hours or so. I was waiting until the inevitable discussion provided an attaboy or otherwise. Thanks for providing a discussion for us to utilize. My starting position has been stated several places in the last two days: 1) IMHO the attempt to automate every portal was misguided and somewhat pointy, 2) community consensus has shut down new creation of these sorts of portals for the nonce and virtually every newly created one is up for deletion--and IMHO should be deleted 3) portals appearing in this template were of a regular quality and didn't for the most part need full automation though they did need maintainers 4) I am willing to put myself forward to recondition each of these MilHist portals and keep them maintained and 5) the techniques and technology developed by this project in the last year provide some useful tools to assist me in performing maintenance and keeping them maintained. BusterD (talk) 21:35, 13 April 2019 (UTC)

@BrownHairedGirl: I've never been a formal member of this Wikiproject, just a maintainer of portals, but from my perspective the project direction to change all portals where the maintainers didn't kick up a fuss to the automated format was never agreed, just promoted by a minority so loudly that those with other opinions fell silent or walked away. Reverting functional hand-curated portals to their previous state seems to me akin to reverting vandalism, though I agree it fails to fix underlying problems with lack of maintenance. In the current hostile climate, however, it's difficult to hold forward-looking discussions about the real problems of maintenance. Espresso Addict (talk) 23:53, 13 April 2019 (UTC)
I appreciated you classing some of the conversions as vandalism. There is not a one size fits all solution here. In many cases the automated version, with all it's failings, is an improvement on the old version. Since no topic needs a portal (unlike how many topics need an article), the solution is deletion. Legacypac (talk) 20:01, 14 April 2019 (UTC)
At this point in time, It is crystal clear that the community is against most (but not entirely all) of the automated portals that were created using automation, specifically, those that have no history of being hand-created using subpages. This is evidenced by present discussions at MfD (perm link). A further example exists at Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Mass-created portals based on a single navbox, which resulted in 1,390 automated portals being deleted en masse. As such, it is common sense to restore old-style potals that were later automated back to their former state. It makes no sense to keep portals in a style and format that most people in the community don't want and are strongly against, and natural and normative to improve Wikipedia's portals by restoring hand-created ones to pre-automated versions. North America1000 04:14, 15 April 2019 (UTC)
I agree with your preceding statement and support your rollback efforts, for any portal that is not currently at MfD. I have done a number of rollbacks myself and made WP:REFUND requests of CSD G6 deleted subpages. UnitedStatesian (talk) 04:21, 15 April 2019 (UTC)

I have an incomplete list at WP:WikiProject Portals/Cleanup. For the time being, I have only targeted featured portals, because those are the portals that are most likely to have lost content in the conversion to automated. My goal was to readd removed content so it is more helpful to readers. I have intentionally avoided reverting smaller portals to as to not waste effort on portals that will become abandoned or deleted. —pythoncoder (talk | contribs) 19:42, 16 April 2019 (UTC)

Supposed Mass deletion of manually-maintained portals

While I fully agree with the recent proposal to delete the hundreds of 'auto-portals' mass created by TTH, AFAIK there is no consensus for the mass deletion of other, manually-maintained portals, especially while we're trying to reach agreement on how those portals should be created and maintained and what role Wikiprojects should have. I'm dismayed that certain editors are riding on the back of the TTH-deletion to embark on a campaign to delete other, manually-maintained portals, without a consensus existing on what standards portals should meet for creation or deletion and while discussion is still in progress. I'm involved with Portal:Rhön and Portal:Harz Mountains, but many others have been targeted. We're just swinging from one extreme to another. Happy to delete the TTH creations, but let's hold fire on the others until further agreement has been reached. Bermicourt (talk) 22:31, 13 April 2019 (UTC)

  • What is happening is a portal by portal discussion of older portals as well, a review the portals project shoild have done before creating 3200 new portals and converting many more to a automated format. Some of the old portals may well be kept but many need to go per the results of WP:ENDPORTALS. Legacypac (talk) 22:38, 13 April 2019 (UTC)
The result of WP:ENDPORTALS was, and I quote, that "there exists a strong consensus against deleting or even deprecating portals at this time". So I don't understand how that gives carte blanche for a mass deletion exercise. Don't get me wrong; I never supported the mass creation either and I have always been an advocate for having an agreed approval process and for setting standards. But swinging the pendulum back the other way is a blunt weapon that risks throwing out perfectly good portals that have taken many man-hours to create. What criteria are we using to propose these deletions other than editors' personal views on whether they're good enough/broad enough? Do you see where I'm coming from? Bermicourt (talk) 22:53, 13 April 2019 (UTC)
Agree with User:Bermicourt. What seems to be happening here is that while hundreds of portals are being nominated for deletion in batches, (in what I'm sure is a coincidence) scores of deletion discussions (some overlapping) are going on simultaneously to eliminate portals whose creators, maintainers, and defenders are often retired from the pedia. It also seems a bit disingenuous to continually refer to ENDPORTALS as if the consensus were to END PORTALS when the actual outcome was otherwise. BusterD (talk) 23:05, 13 April 2019 (UTC)
I see more misstatements here. The consensus of WP:ENDPORTALS was that some portals were useful. If you see a consensus against deprecating portals there, you're seeing things that aren't there. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 21:58, 14 April 2019 (UTC)

First there is no mass deletion of manually maintained portals. However all portals have come under scrutiny. If you look at the ENDPORTALs discussion it is clear even many of the people against ending all portals supported a purge or cleanup. The sorry state of portals in general lead to the whole proposal. Legacypac (talk) 23:02, 13 April 2019 (UTC)

Most of the large bundled nominations at present are automated portals but Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/People Portals A-C, nominated by Legacypac, appears to include some/many hand-crafted portals. There is also such a large number of individual deletion discussions for hand-crafted portals (some, like Portal:Architecture, Portal:Hip hop & Portal:Jordan, rather odd choices) it is hard to keep up with them all -- not to mention dispiriting. Espresso Addict (talk) 23:34, 13 April 2019 (UTC)
The group of portals on individuals is looking for concensus on if an individual is a broad enough scope for a portal. Results so far, and even from 10 year old debates we have found, suggests otherwise. Portal:Jordan is a laugh. It's busted. Legacypac (talk) 00:38, 14 April 2019 (UTC)
Wikipedia is a collective enterprise and we are meant to get consensus before making contentious moves, especially deleting large numbers of entire articles (=mass deletion). You have taken WP:END (ACTUALLY KEEP) PORTALS as a mandate to bring all portals under your scrutiny and are now acting as if your personal WP:POV is the sole criterion for whether a portal should exist. What you are doing is as bad as TTH's mass creation, but in reverse and going much further - not just deleting his portals (which did have a consensus, including my vote) but, like the Baltic Sea, sweeping back like a storm surge taking everything else in its wake, good or bad. Please undo your deletion requests, except where they have a broad consensus, or this will have to go back to the community that voted to KEEP portals in principle. Bermicourt (talk) 07:21, 14 April 2019 (UTC)
Um... no one is acting without community consensus. The entire point of discussing a portal at MFD is to see what the community consensus on that portal actually is. Blueboar (talk) 15:09, 14 April 2019 (UTC)
Um... no it isn't. The wider community isn't visiting every single one of the mass of portal MFDs. What is happening is that a few anti-portal editors have decided they can pick off portals one-by-one precisely because the community won't go there to discuss generic portal standards and they won't meet much opposition from a portal maintained by a couple of editors from a Wikiproject. Bermicourt (talk) 19:51, 14 April 2019 (UTC)
But the portals aren't being maintained. (Or, at least, they weren't before the MfD.) — Arthur Rubin (talk) 21:54, 14 April 2019 (UTC)
And longstanding generic portal standards already exist, at WP:POG, from which I quote: "portals should be about broad subject areas, which are likely to attract large numbers of interested readers and portal maintainers" and "the subject of a portal should be broad so that it presents a diversified content."; That first sentence was put into the guideline in 2006. The portals being deleted do not meet these standards and never have. UnitedStatesian (talk) 03:03, 15 April 2019 (UTC)
The guideline is no longer valid - WP:ENDPORTALS made that clear. There was no consensus on what portal standards should be, but it was clear that many editors saw portals as having wider use e.g. as a tool to aid Wikiprojects improve and extend coverage of a topic. Meanwhile the guideline is being used as an licence by anti-portaleers to wipe out as many portals as possible and to do it by individual MFDs because they know the community won't visit each individual portal discussion. This mass deletion is exactly what TTH did but in reverse. Bermicourt (talk) 06:26, 15 April 2019 (UTC)
Bringing a page to XFD so editors can debate whether it should be kept/deleted is part of forming a consensus about what Wikipedia should consist of. If that consensus is to delete the page then it indicates that the page creator (e.g. TTH) was wrong/misguided to create it. Note also that more thought/care has gone into many of the MFD nominations than appears to have gone into the portals. DexDor (talk) 06:37, 15 April 2019 (UTC)
Precisely, and um, no, the MfD's are not "exactly what TTH did but in reverse." Please point me to where TTH first proposed any portal creation, waited seven days for other editors to comment, and then had an uninvolved administrator actually perform the action he proposed, but only if the discussion reached consensus to do so. The broader community has had plenty of notice (at the village pump, in the wikiprojects) that lots of portals are being brought to MfD. The lack of opposition to those deletions at MfD is proof the community sees no problem with the deletions that have been proposed, or the process. UnitedStatesian (talk) 03:49, 16 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Saying because they know the community won't visit each individual portal discussion is perhaps fallacious, but surely a tactical error. The community is now visiting many portals for checking purpose. Some great moments:
Did You Know that males of the fossil ant Proceratium eocenicum have a hair fringe ? (at Portal:Men)
Did You Know that spiders in the genus Plato have cubical egg sacs? (at Portal:Plato -- the featherless biped, not the 8-pode)
Did You Know that in the Battle of Kharistan in 737, the Umayyads caught the Turgesh khagan off guard with only a fraction of his army, and secured a victory that saved Arab rule in Central Asia ? (at Portal:fraction)
Portal:Versailles, about Palace of Versailles, was in fact based upon the Versailles_(band) article
The Selected quotes page of Portal:Trump was created 26 September 2016‎, and has never been modified afterwards, except from (1) replacing {{/box-footer}} by {{Box-footer}}; (2) suggesting to include the grab them by the pussy quote, with no ensuing decision.
What could be the reason if the community is c-mused (=amused+bemused) by what is discovered ? Pldx1 (talk) 08:33, 15 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Perhaps, we should start by a definition of what is a manually-maintained portal. In my opinion, this start by filling the maintainer1= item of the {{Portal maintenance status}}. If nobody can compulse herself to step forward and claim to be a maintainer, the portal is clearly unmaintained. The same goes when you look at a subpages based portal and only see, after 9 years of existence, a grand total of 3 articles in the Selected articles page, and a grand total of 3 pictures in the Selected pictures page (live example, not figures at random). Pldx1 (talk) 08:33, 15 April 2019 (UTC)
So many funny things to pick from but a recent favourite is the huge red Lua error on the images slot at Portal:Lua programming language. Perfectly illustrates the wisdom of using Lua for portals. Legacypac (talk) 08:46, 15 April 2019 (UTC)
I am sorry, but I disagree. When function makeTranscludedGalleryLinesTables (line 117 of Module:Random_slideshow) ends with error occurred at Module:Random_slideshow, line 170, error message=No images found, this is not an error of the Lua (programming language). There was no image in the file given as argument to this function, while line 170 is required to test the existence of images and otherwise send an error message. But there was at least 3 human errors:
  1. Implementation error: using the cryptic message 'Lua error at' instead of the correct 'error in Lua:module..., message=...'
  2. Implementation error: the listing of Lua modules is so poorly done that line numbers are not given.
  3. Caller error: the main page containing the images is Lua (programming language), while the Lua programming language used in the {{Transclude files as random slideshow| Lua programming language||}} call... is only a redirect, and therefore contains no image.
Therefore, what this example perfectly illustrates is the lack of wisdom of not having deleted on sight all the template-generated portals as soon as the TTH-overflow has been detected. Pldx1 (talk) 09:40, 15 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Of note is that per WP:NOTCOMPULSORY, the notion of a required maintainer for any Wikipedia content is against Wikipedia policy. As such, a lack of a maintainer, or immediate maintainer (per requests for maintainers at MfD discussions) for Portal content is not a valid rationale for deletion at MfD. North America1000 12:24, 15 April 2019 (UTC)
Portals are a copy of content. One of the problems with portals is that the portal is less well maintained than the corresponding article so any readers that do get to the portal (which is, of course, very few readers) are not seeing the best content that wp can offer to them. Not having a maintainer isn't itself a good reason for deletion, but it does add to the evidence that the portal is unlikely to be maintained. DexDor (talk) 12:44, 15 April 2019 (UTC)
You are assuming that articles continuously improve. This might be true for some, but certainly isn't in my experience for many. There's often a long slow decline or at best an accumulation of well-meaning but disorganised/poorly written content. Espresso Addict (talk) 05:45, 16 April 2019 (UTC)
I'm not assuming that articles continuously improve - although, of course, one hopes that the long term trend is for good edits to prevail (otherwise we should edit protect all articles). There are many examples where the portal is less well maintained than the corresponding article (e.g. Obama's article was updated from "is" to "was" president within a minute; his portal wasn't updated for months). DexDor (talk) 06:21, 16 April 2019 (UTC)
I found a TV show portal that was 6+ years out of date (at MfD now). Portal:Caribbean has news about Castro making a TV appearance last week which is a remarkable think for someone who died in 2016. Even Portal:Donald Trump is significantly out of date. Let's just admit no one but a few ideologues think portals have any use any more (if they ever did). Remember when people went to Yahoo as a web portal? Search killed the portal. Legacypac (talk) 06:34, 16 April 2019 (UTC)
@DexDor: In my experience, the higher-quality articles that aren't featured tend to deteriorate over time, unless someone wades in and takes them in hand, but perhaps I'm looking at a different set of articles from average. Espresso Addict (talk) 06:44, 16 April 2019 (UTC)
  • I see another false statement about the "result" of WP:ENDPORTALS. It is not the case that many editors "saw portals as having wider use". In fact, I don't see a smidgen of support for expanding WP:POG, and considerable support for contracting WP:POG. WP:POG should remain, in general, as it was before TTH BOLDLY edited it, until more restrictive standards are agreed on. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 13:09, 15 April 2019 (UTC)
    • You may disagree, but please don't accuse other editors of lying. It was quite clear from the debate that raged back and forth, that there was a range of views on how many portals there should be from zero to thousands. That means that there is a range of views on where to set the bar for portals and, in addition, editors debated the utility of portals, for example, to enable Wikiprojects to improve and extend the coverage of topics. That's not so much expanding WP:POG but tightening up the guidelines around portals so that they make clear what we're aiming at and why. The current guidelines are now out of date and, in any case, were always too vague which is why editors can't agree on how many to have and we've reached the stage where editors at different places on the spectrum are all using WP:POG to support their particular WP:POV. Finally, let me make clear that, underlying this proposal, is not an intent to maximise the number of portal, but to call a halt to portal warring while we sort out a consensus on the standards and purposes of portals that allows the community to move forward. In doing so, and to show willing at some risk of being criticised, I am actually going along with proposals to delete the majority of mass-created automated portals which IMHO do a major disservice to other, decently created and maintained, portals. Bermicourt (talk) 14:38, 16 April 2019 (UTC)
      • Then why is the proposal one-way? Why not have it also call a halt to any creation of new portals? And why would it stop MfD's for automated portals created by users other than TTH? UnitedStatesian (talk) 14:53, 16 April 2019 (UTC)
        • I don't have a problem with that either of those amendments. Would you support a rewording along those lines? Bermicourt (talk) 15:13, 16 April 2019 (UTC)
          • I take it from your silence you wouldn't even support a proposal with your own suggested amendments? Bermicourt (talk) 11:42, 17 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Dear User:Northamerica1000. Perhaps you should read again. The sentence if nobody can compulse herself to step forward and claim to be a maintainer doesn't intent to compulse anyone to do anything. This is simply a reminder of the fact that WP:NOTCOMPULSORY is a double edged sword. No one can compulse the Wikipedia to keep large amounts of unmaintained shit, mainly produced by a 14 characters incantation, and that result in butchering the content (articles, pictures, etc) created by other people. Did You Know that spiders in the genus Plato have cubical egg sacs (about Plato, the featherless biped) ? Pldx1 (talk) 13:34, 15 April 2019 (UTC)

Nomination of 1,165 portals for deletion

A discussion is taking place as to whether 1,165 portals are suitable for inclusion in Wikipedia according to Wikipedia's policies and guidelines or whether they should be deleted.

The pages will be discussed at Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Second batch of mass-created portals based on a single navbox until a consensus is reached, and anyone is welcome to contribute to the discussion. The nomination will explain the policies and guidelines which are of concern. The discussion focuses on high-quality evidence and our policies and guidelines.

Users may edit the pages during the discussion, including to improve the pages to address concerns raised in the discussion. However, do not remove the deletion notices from the top of the pages. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 02:18, 15 April 2019 (UTC)

  • Thank you for not making 1,165 MfD nominations. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 03:40, 15 April 2019 (UTC)

Nomination of 83 portals for deletion

A discussion is taking place as to whether 83 portals are suitable for inclusion in Wikipedia according to Wikipedia's policies and guidelines or whether they should be deleted.

The pages will be discussed at Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/83 more navbox-based portals until a consensus is reached, and anyone is welcome to contribute to the discussion. The nomination will explain the policies and guidelines which are of concern. The discussion focuses on high-quality evidence and our policies and guidelines.

Users may edit the pages during the discussion, including to improve the pages to address concerns raised in the discussion. However, do not remove the deletion notices from the top of the pages. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 13:24, 16 April 2019 (UTC)

Multiple hand-curated portals up for deletion

As it appears that some editors are choosing to attempt to define portal guidelines at Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion, just a heads up that multiple (formerly) hand-curated portals have recently been suggested for deletion under a range of rationales. These include:

among others mainly on bands/people. They are rather getting lost among the larger number of automated portal deletion requests. Espresso Addict (talk) 21:20, 16 April 2019 (UTC)

Not so much. Old portals are being tested against long standing WP:POG, a cleanup that should have happened a long time ago instead of a focus on mass automatic creation. Please join in on the cleanup. Legacypac (talk) 21:49, 16 April 2019 (UTC)
It would help if you & others followed BrownHairedGirl's example in advertising your MfDs here. Espresso Addict (talk) 22:00, 16 April 2019 (UTC)
Interested editors should watchlist MFD. I'm not seeing a benefit to selectively soliciting input from the portal proponents. Legacypac (talk) 22:15, 16 April 2019 (UTC)
Agree with Legacypac; even BHG is only "advertising" here her larger noms. Watch MfD please. UnitedStatesian (talk) 22:17, 16 April 2019 (UTC)

Anyway one off MfDs and bundled ones where there is a specific Portal in the title are automatically on this very project page [1] Legacypac (talk) 22:15, 16 April 2019 (UTC)

Ah, that's interesting. Unfortunately it seems to have got stuck at 14 April, for some reason, many hundreds or thousands of deletion requests back. Did the bot get overwhelmed, or is it not running for some other reason? Espresso Addict (talk) 22:46, 16 April 2019 (UTC)
That is two days ago so not hundred or thousands of MfDs but anyway, not my bot, no idea about how it works. Just know there is no reason to do what a bot does any anyway. Watchlist MfD and all the portal mfds will come up. I calculate about 55% of remaining portals are now up for deletion, so one of these days we will get to the bottom of the bin. You can see the numbers update on the Project Page associated with this talkpage. Legacypac (talk) 02:53, 17 April 2019 (UTC)
I make it 1,315 portals, but I might have missed some. Espresso Addict (talk) 06:41, 17 April 2019 (UTC)
We are still waiting for thousands of sub pages to be reinstated so reversal of the automated system can work. We literally have 10,000 pages to restore still.--Moxy 🍁 23:40, 16 April 2019 (UTC)
Moxy (and anyone else), I am willing to undelete moderate sized batches of portal subpages that were deleted per G6, G7 or G8 for editors in good standing who will take responsibility for ensuring that the requests are within scope. Make a list somewhere (a user subpage of your own is recommended) and ping me to it. One editor - one list. Cheers, · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 06:29, 18 April 2019 (UTC)
I will go slowly make sure I do this right lets start with Portal:Calgary pls Pbsouthwood ...--Moxy 🍁 11:42, 18 April 2019 (UTC)
Is there a list somewhere? I haven't seen any open requests at WP:REFUND. UnitedStatesian (talk) 23:44, 16 April 2019 (UTC)
It's not clear to me that restoring 10,000 subpages is a sensible direction when unmaintained hand-curated portals are the subject of multiple deletion discussions. Is there a way of triaging the list so as to prioritise those portals where an editor/project has shown interest in updating & maintaining? Also those that were in better shape to start with, such as former featured portals? Espresso Addict (talk) 02:49, 17 April 2019 (UTC)
No way of triaging that I am aware of. Only admins can look at the deleted pages, and only one at a time. The structure of the old portals using up to scores of subpages means that it is not possible to even look at the portal without first undeleting all or most of the subpages, so it is simply easiest and quickest to undelete everything so anyone can take a look. Most will probably be have to be redeleted, but that is just the way the old portal system works. One of the real advantages of the one-page portal concept is that deletion and undeletion are quick and easy. and it is actually possible to view a deleted portal to a useful extent, though as they use much transcluded content, the quality may be better or worse than when originally deleted, because the transcluded content may have changed in the interim.· · · Peter Southwood (talk): 07:59, 17 April 2019 (UTC)
One can easily see how many subpages a portal had without restoring them. Just go back to the version in the history before the portal deletion notice was posted in April 2018, and look for statements in the code of the form "{{Random portal component|max=37|seed=43|header=Selected article|subpage=Selected article}}". Espresso Addict (talk) 23:47, 17 April 2019 (UTC)
It is not clear why one would want to know how many subpages a portal used to have. They have to be undeleted to look at the whole portal anyway.· · · Peter Southwood (talk): 06:01, 18 April 2019 (UTC)

The difficulty of working with Portals with 73 subpages (to use an example I found) is one of the reasons that portal space has failed. Very few editors want to mess with it, or can figure out how to do all the coding. Restoration of these busted pages is a fools errand. I can build a great webpage on Wordpress with drag and drop and widgets. Portal construction takes a lot of coding knowledge most people have no interest in. Legacypac (talk) 12:42, 17 April 2019 (UTC)

73 subpages is nowhere near the maximum. Portal:Pornography had 467 by my rough count - could be out by a few - The new modal portals have one page. They are trivially easy to create and delete.Not so trivially easy to make them good, and not perfect by far, but most of us were working on improving them all the time, mainly by developing the tools to do it easily and quickly, sort of like the widgets to build a webpage, and precisely so that the ordinary editor does not need to mess with the coding. It would have been more constructive to assist with creating good creation and deletion criteria than this late stage mess and cleanup, which is what I and a few others were trying to do, but that is water under the bridge, and we still dont have useful and objective creation and deletion criteria. I predict that on close inspection a large proportion of the refunded portal subpages will be found to be from portals not as good as the ones that replaced them, and will be deleted again, but that is what the community or parts thereof want to do, so that is what we are doing. In the long run the alleged mess that TTH created may turn out to be the lesser evil and smaller timesink, but time will tell. Cheers, · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 14:21, 17 April 2019 (UTC)
The new portals have one page, no content, and display random errors, even if done "correctly". It's possible they might be kept if any (extended confirmed) user can "hide" the portal if it's acting up. (By "hide", I mean hide all links from articles (even if in templates) and from categories.) I don't think this is technologically feasible, but it seems a minimum requirement for automated pages which can display errors due to reasonable edits of other pages. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 18:50, 17 April 2019 (UTC)
No unique content - they are not content forks. They display existing content. Is there a requirement for them to contain unique content? If so, where?
The errors are not random, they are the consequences of bugs that have not yet been solved or of misapplication of component templates. When a bug is fixed, all instances of the associated error disappear from portals using the debugged component.
The ability to hide portal links for a specific portal is an interesting and potentially useful concept. Does anyone have any ideas of how it might be done? · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 06:06, 18 April 2019 (UTC)
Perhaps the errors are not random, although my understanding is that they are often not detected unless someone carefully looks at the display of the portal. They often due to making reasonable changes to a template or article, which damages the additional use made of that page by the portal. It is irrational to expect template or article editors to understand that the portal is making use of the material. If portal links are appropriate in the used page, perhaps invisible comments that the page is used by the portal and to be careful on editing should also be on the page. (These should DEFINITELY be deleted when the portal is deleted.) This also explains why automatic portals need a maintainer who actually looks at the portal.
As for hiding, if portals are always called by {{portal}}, a quick solution which allows anyone allowed to create pages in portal-space to disable a portal, but requires an admin to re-enable it, would be to change the local function checkPortalExists in Module:Portal to check that the portal exists but that "SHUTDOWN "+portal does not exist. Then Portal:Foo could be disabled by creating Portal:SHUTDOWN Foo. (Is space 100 Portal:). I don't know Lua well enough to tell if it could check whether Portal:SHUTDOWN Foo exists and is non-empty. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 07:02, 18 April 2019 (UTC)
See my comments on Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Kathmandu. I was able to break the automated portal by wikilinking newspaper in an associated article. Since my kids have never read a newspaper wikilinking that word is not unreasonable to assist the reader, but it makes a completely dumb feature artcle on the capital of Nepal. The new portal already had 4 inappropriate featured articles so it's not like I made the page much worse. Legacypac (talk) 19:10, 17 April 2019 (UTC)
Once a multi-page portal is set up & running it is very easy to maintain and update. The number of subpages is irrelevant except for watching for vandalism. The one-page template-based portals can't be edited at all, as far as I can tell, or at least require Lua knowledge, not wiki editing knowledge. Espresso Addict (talk) 23:38, 17 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Regarding bundled nominations, I feel that automated and hand-created portals should not be intermingled in one bunch. Some users may not take the time to view each portal and assume that they're all automated as per the many "delete per nom" bandwagon !votes occurring at MfD regarding automated portals. It would be detrimental for portals that meet guidelines to be indiscriminately deleted per this type of potential oversight. Furthermore, non-automated portals should be denoted as such in MfD discussions, as should portals with a history of being hand-created that were later converted to automation. North America1000 22:09, 17 April 2019 (UTC)
    Might also be a good policy to not bundle portals created by different users. · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 06:09, 18 April 2019 (UTC)

Automated portals: not bugs or random errors

The automated portals don't have fixable bugs, they have unfixable core design failures. By calling on templates, links in lists and other articles, DYK's and images chosen for articles they are absolutely guaranteed to break. The theory that portals can maintain themselves is seductive but the reality is that relying on automatically selected content will never give results that match what a human can select.

If editors wanted to test some automation it should have been done in a proper test environment not linked from mainspace and not 4500 pages large. Rigorous testing would have included efforts to break the design in various ways. Instead of testing, a flood of crap was unleashed, many pages of which appear to not even have been checked by the creators for obvious errors. Instead of saving portal space this group may have killed it off. What a massive waste of time and effort.

And Peter, I read your ideas for automatically building nav boxes from categories so that you could build portals off them. The community has done the testing you should have done on automatic portals and has rejected them. An automated portal based on an automatically created nav box is an even worse idea. Legacypac (talk) 08:44, 18 April 2019 (UTC)

Having played with fully automated portals (FAPs), I've concluded that they fail to meet the 2 most important roles of a portal. Firstly they don't provide comprehensive and balanced signposting of a topic because they rely on a single navbox that often does not provide representative coverage of the topic; they blindly pull all pictures off the main article regardless of relevance or quality; and the formatting is very clunky. I know they can be manually enhanced, but the FAP structure is too limiting to overcome the problems. Secondly, they totally fail the other important role of portals which is to provide WikiProjects with a tool for improving and extending coverage of a topic with a structure that gives a balanced overview of topic articles, highlighting where gaps are, listing top articles and wanted articles, categories, etc. Those 2 things can only be provided by intelligent, human interaction.
That said, I have found some level of automation useful, usually at subpage level, to keep lists and categories up to date or to rotate key article summaries and images that I, not some robot, have created.
In sum, FAPs do a disservice to those portals that are manually created and properly maintained and used by WikiProjects, not just to signpost readers, but to extend the quality, coverage and balance of topics on Wikipedia in furtherance of its aim. Bermicourt (talk) 09:32, 18 April 2019 (UTC)

Manually maintained portals: some design failures

We should not forget that automation was proposed as a remedy to some design failures of the so called 'manually maintained portals'.

  1. Lack of maintenance. When using subpages, a main subpage contains calls to (and transclusions from) subsubpages. The subsubpages themselves are more than often hand selected pieces of mainspace articles, that are cut once for ever and never maintained. A solution could be using automated subsubpages. E.g., using a page .../dongnamgangnu containing something like {{#section: Hwaseong Fortress |dongnamgangnu}} where "dongnamgangnu" refers to a pair of tags placed in the Hwaseong Fortress article. And now, the snippet is automatically maintained when the main article is changed.
  2. Lack of useability of the templates. When using {{Transclude excerpts as random slideshow | .../paldalmun | .../namsumun| .../dongnamgangnu }} , the page .../dongnamgangnu isn't selected. On the contrary, .../paldalmun is selected because this subsubpage was created using {{subst:#section: etc . But obviously, this one is no more automatically updated.
  3. Lack of useability of the templates. Let us create a page .../structure containing a list of links to, say, .../paldalmun and Joseon. Then {{Transclude list item excerpts as random slideshow|.../structure}} ignores the .../paldalmun page. Because of a titleObject.namespace == 0 clause in Module:Excerpt_slideshow.
  4. Lack of useability of the templates. When a gallery is included in the snippet, the randomslideshow knows better than you, don't transclude the gallery... and don't use the images either.
  5. Lack of maintainability of all this enchilada. When you try to construct a portal in some private space, using pages in this private space, in order to only launch a tested portal, part of the features are not available.

Therefore, reverting to manual doesn't appear to be a solution either. Pldx1 (talk) 11:14, 18 April 2019 (UTC)

Regarding "A solution could be..." in point 1 above: I don't think editing articles to make their code more complicated just to support portals (which readers don't use) is an improvement to wp. When newbies click on the "Edit" link every extra bit of markup etc could be confusing and offputting. There may also be issues such as what if several portals want to use the same article? DexDor (talk) 11:59, 18 April 2019 (UTC)
I agree that articles should not be made more complicated to make them easier to use in portals, but the transclude excerpt tools for portals have gone a long way towards making it easier to use a part of an article in a portal, without any direct affect on the article. Unfortunately, a badly written or badly formatted section remains badly written or badly formatted when transcluded, but it only has to be fixed at one place. The excerpt transclusion tools also work the same if several portals transclude the same or overlapping content. · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 12:26, 18 April 2019 (UTC)
But would such content sharing run counter to the WP:POG guideline's statement that portals ". . . should not be redundant to another portal. . . "? I would consider taking to MfD a portal that shared content in that way. UnitedStatesian (talk) 12:46, 18 April 2019 (UTC)
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