Project talk:IP page creation proposal

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i'm not really seeing the evidence of this massive problem. looking at the deletion log, i see perhaps 10 deletions per day. i didn't count how many of those were pages created by anons, but even if it's all of them, that hardly seems like a huge problem. since a lot of page creations seem to be accidents, perhaps the editnotice for new pages could be made a bit larger. Kate 16:24, 19 September 2008 (UTC)


I have no objection to this proposal in principle (though I haven't done much new page patrol recently, so can't comment on the scale of the problem), so long as:

  • IPs can still edit pages (this only stops them creating new ones).
  • We are able to give a specific error message in this situation. It should explain exactly why they can't create the page, that they are able to edit existing pages, and that registering/logging in will allow them to create pages as well. A generic 'permission denied' message is not sufficient.

-- HappyDog 16:28, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

If there is not a problem (which, looking at the deletion log, there isn't) then I don't see why we should restrict anonymous from creating pages which can often be useful - especially given our wide community. MinuteElectron 16:30, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
I don't know if that reply was aimed at me, or not (indentation implies it is), but I agree that if there is no problem then we should leave things as they are. I am not in any position to make that judgement myself though, I was just stating a couple of important caveats to bear in mind if this proposal gains consensus. --HappyDog 16:33, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

"Truly massive"?[edit]

I see ten or fewer pages deleted per day by admins. None of them have complained about this gruesome burden until now. I think we might be able to permit anons to continue making pages for the foreseeable future, without suffering undue risk of the site spontaneously self-destructing or suffering admin revolt under the strain of unrestricted page creation. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 16:27, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

Agreed with Simetrical. With the massive amount of active admins here coupled with the fact that it takes many admins with some sort of script about two seconds to delete a page (if that), and only around 10 deletions per day, that encompasses about, what, 20 seconds? That's less than a minute if even one admin was doing it all by themselves. That, coupled with the fact that there are many other reasons to look at RecentChanges other than to look for vandalism/test pages, de-bases your indication that this is a "massive problem", or even a "problem". @AnonDiss, in the future please try to actually get factual evidence before you start some random discussion that almost nobody on this site except for you seems to care about... Yes, I know that's harsh, but frankly, this and the discussion you started about Steward policy here both shared a seeming lack of thought before you made them. --Skizzerz 20:50, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
Your figure is completely incorrect, Simetrical. We get around 450 pages deleted a month; look for yourself. Hardly "ten or fewer". That number is ridiculous for a wiki so remote as this one. We have more junk pages created than proper ones! More evidence? Think of it this way: If these junk pages were allowed to remain, it would only take around 7 months for the site to double in size. And Skizzerz - there's your factual evidence. For your information, my remarks on the Stewards page were based on cold hard policy, and it was actually the community that decided to go against that - which is fine, but my remark was within policy as it stood, and as it happens, as it still stands. Finally, I created this discussion to see if anyone else did care - if they don't, then that's fine, but how else am I supposed to know the thoughts of the community without discussion? —Anonymous DissidentTalk 05:12, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
10-15 deletions a day times 30 or 31 days does add up to a few hundred per month, so I think both are correct. However, I think that it goes for pretty much every wiki in the WMF that if junk pages were allowed, the wiki would double in size in short order, even on a wiki as large as the English Wikipedia (that's just an assumption, of course, but the point is that the size of the wiki doesn't have much to do with the people creating junk pages on it). I don't think that this wiki is as "remote" as you may think, however, since it is not only the hub for documentation of the software, but also as one of the first stops for people with their own installs to look for help (and there are quite a few people that use MediaWiki). As such, it also attracts people who don't quite figure out that they need to install their own wiki and just think that this is theirs or something like that, at least I've figured that out from a few user page deletions and whatnot (with content of "Welcome to Xxxx's personal wiki" and the like). Other junk/test pages are from people who want to test out what the software does before going through all the trouble of downloading and installing it. This accounts for many of the deletions here, which were in seemingly good intentions, just completely misguided. By restricting page creation, it may turn off those people from downloading and installing their own MediaWiki and finding some other wiki software instead. As for the Steward policy, I literally could not find anything on meta stating that Stewards needed community approval to take action on a local wiki unless the community decided that, so it must have either been some sort of unwritten policy or some random discussion somewhere that isn't properly documented (or I just suck at searching). As for the last point... touché. --Skizzerz 16:33, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
This has sparked an idea, but it would be quite difficult to implement. We could designate a kind of creation sandbox for the creation of test pages for these people who want to test the software. We could also flag a deletion bot who could delete the test page hourly. We could also make a custom notice at the top of the page giving instructions on how to use the ever-deleted page creation sandbox. Finally, we could make a link to it from the Main page. Thoughts? Otherwise, I will admit, you make good points, Skizzerz. In regards to the Steward issue, I refer to this m:Steward policies#Don.27t decide. Sure, common junk doesn't require higher order thinking, but often the decision isn't black and white, and it is in these cases that Stewards really should not be intervening and leaving it up to the local admins, who likely are more aware of the scope of the project, or other avenues of procedure for a questionable page; alas, the community decided that we would allow Stewards to perform these tasks, despite what was written on MetaWiki. Cheers, —Anonymous DissidentTalk 17:18, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

A lot of junk pages are created and deleted during a week, that's true. However, removing page creation rights from anonymous users might not actually solve the problem — only move it. Think about it. If anons figured out, "hey, I can't create pages but this user:X guy can, maybe I need an account", then they'd start creating accounts and posting the irrelevant junk pages under a username.

As Kate said, we need to make the edit page notice larger. Maybe translations of the notice would help, too. As a long-term solution, we should have a test wiki for users (test.wp is for developers rather than users) and a notice on the main page just as Trac wiki does. Sure, this wouldn't totally "fix" the issue, but it'd most likely lower the amount of junk/nonsense pages created if the users had their own test wiki. --Sayuri 10:20, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

You make a good point. However, we can indefinitely block registered users. Obviously, we'll be more initially lenient, but we can stop true vandals altogetehr with more efficincy. Aside from everything, making the notice better is certainly a start. —Anonymous DissidentTalk 17:19, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

Basically, the point of the matter is that this is a wiki. Yes, we know lots of trash is added. The only question is whether it's dealt with promptly. It seems it is. It's not a problem unless you can point to a significant degradation of the utility of the site. (Which wouldn't happen even if a few stupid pages slipped through for a while.)

How about you indicate how exactly this is a problem? Who does it hurt? —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 00:52, 21 September 2008 (UTC)

I think any unnecessary and potentially stoppable consumption of admin time constitutes a problem, and this is true tenfold when the problem is ceaseless. It "hurts" the quality of the site for those few that are allowed to escape the filter. —Anonymous DissidentTalk 02:59, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
Okay, so you're just saying it's your opinion that people are being hurt, based on absolutely nobody anywhere who's complained except you. Including any of the poor suffering admins who are laboring under this Herculean burden of deleting 15 pages a day. And you haven't even said why you're complaining except speculation about the feelings of other people who have manifestly failed to complain.

You really don't know when to abandon a lost cause, do you? —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 23:34, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

General comment/Edit notice[edit]

Well, we definitely do not have a massive problem with page creations by anons/new users on this site (and "new users" is a relative term since SUL went live). Basically we get the normal "nonsense test edit" stuff and obviously misplaced pages which only went to the wrong wiki (that happens presumbly when a user clicks the "powered by MediaWiki" icon or such and doesn't recognise he's on another site then). The removal of such pages only takes a few seconds each, and as they are normally not linked from anywhere and are only accessible via RecentChanges or NewPages, it's nothing to get excited about, imo.

In addition it's probably helpful to realise that this site, rather unnoticed, reached one relevant step of its goals within the last couple of months – already became the first access point about MediaWiki, which Meta-Wiki was before (not perfect yet, but that's another issue *g*). So it's even more important for us to allow all interested persons to easily get a personal impression of MediaWiki's basic features. Generally blocking page creations for anons (including that silly vague "Unauthorized" notice) is different to allowing page creations (so that a user can play around with the complete "look and feel", and, theoretically, can create new pages as he likes) but displaying a simply notice that explains "please only click save if your page is actually worth being saved here" or so. – Furthermore, please don't forget the impact such a restriction would probably have regarding expectations about wikis being more or less "locked down" by default (which is contrary to MediaWiki's generic and in-house openness in nearly all features).

Hmm, currently you get this notice on page creations (permalink). So should it have a red border and some blinking text? *g*
Seriously, reasonable suggestions are welcome, of course :-) --:bdk: 03:01, 21 September 2008 (UTC)