Topic on Talk:Talk pages consultation 2019/Tools in use

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Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Hey @Wbm1058, I mreged your latest entry into the one above it, because "structured" means something specific and technical that isn't actually present in the example you gave. If a discussion is "structured" to use that template, then you would have no choice about whether or not to use that template. A structured process for requesting a page move would be look more like a form that you filled out. Instead, what we use is a blank section with no imposed structure.

I particularly want to thank you for posting that very interesting example. I think that it's important to remember that "free-form, used freely" is often not what editors actually want. What enwiki's WP:RM is using right now is technically "free-form, used in a specific way" – ike a typist from the 1960s who always typed three blank lines between the date and the address on a business letter: there's a conventional approach, but there's nothing actually stopping her from typing a letter however she wanted to on that blank page. It would be interesting to build something that changes that fully to a structured system.

Wbm1058 (talkcontribs)

No, the format must be structured in a specific way, or my bot will not be able to interpret and process the requests to update WP:RM. I would like to be able to force editors to use that template, as it can be a pain to clean up after those editors who don't. My bot is not highly artificially intelligent so it cannot interpret any old "free form" request. It will spit out error messages when it sees requests that aren't structured the way it expects to find them.

Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

I'm sure that the bot can't handle free-form contents, but page is still free-form. Editors can choose to use that page (or section of it) in a way that happens to be compliant with the bot's requirements, or they can choose to confuse the bot. A structured page would not leave them that choice. Special:CreateAccount is a structured page: you can fill in the blanks, or not, but you can't do whatever you want. This Flow board is a structured page: you can fill in the blanks, or not, but you can't rearrange it. Article talk pages at the English Wikipedia are not "structured". The only "structure" that exists on them is due to manual/voluntary compliance with a set of rules that people agreed to follow. That makes them "unstructured pages".

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