Help Wikitravel grow by contributing to an article! Learn how.
New users, please see Help or go to the Pub to ask questions.

Wikitravel:Stub articles

From Wikitravel
Jump to: navigation, search

A stub article is any article in Wikitravel that doesn't have a proper template or outline with standard Wikitravel section headers (e.g. Get in, Eat, Drink, Sleep). Without even places to put this information, it probably doesn't have very much of it, and is of no use to a traveller in its current state. Stubs are usually created by people who are new to Wikitravel and don't know about templates or how to add them; they just add some information to a blank page, which is certainly a good first step.

If an article is worth writing about on Wikitravel, it will usually fit one of the templates. If a template is inserted and one or two of its sections are filled out – even just the opening paragraph explaining what and where this destination is (e.g. "Hobbiton is a village in the Shire."), then it is time to move it to outline status.

See also: Outline articles, Usable articles, Guide articles, Star articles.

Pros and cons of stubs[edit]

Stubs have their bad sides. Readers can get confused by a too-short article: Is that all there is to say about the article? Is that the expected length of articles for Wikitravel? Where's all the info? Stubs can give a bad first impression if people haven't seen other Wikitravel articles. (But see below for a way to make stubs less confusing.)

Mostly, though, stubs are a good thing. A stub is the seedling from which the full plant of an article emerges. One Wikitraveller can add a stub, and other Wikitravellers will come along and add more information to it. Someone else comes in and reformats the article according to the Manual of style, and someone else adds photos. Eventually, the tiny one-sentence stub becomes a healthy, useful article.

Identification[edit]

If you set the Threshold for stub display value to something other than 0 in your preferences, links to stub articles will be shown in a different color from links to complete articles or to non-existent articles. The threshold value is a number of characters in the article; somewhere around 500 characters should give you a good idea of whether an article is long enough or not.

Note that this only shows short articles, and so it's a very rough approximation of stubbiness. Some articles may need additional information, even if they stretch for hundreds of thousands of characters. We don't have the software yet to decide if an article covers its subject well.

What to do with them[edit]

If you make a stub article, or see one that someone else has made, you can tag it, upgrade it, or (if necessary) delete it.

Tag[edit]

If the article isn't going to be improved right away, it's good to add a little disclaimer that admits that the article is barely begun. This gives a bit of extra impetus to readers to add what they know to an article. There's special tag in our software to mark something as a stub. It looks like this: {{stub}} which makes this appear on the page:

This article is still a stub and needs your attention. It does not have a template. Please plunge forward and help it grow!



You can add the stub message at the bottom of the page. This reassures readers that we know the article is not complete, and that it's not indicative of the overall quality expected out of Wikitravel articles. Also, it invites them to add whatever they can to make the article better.

Upgrade[edit]

But there's really no need for the {{stub}} tag to get used at all. Instead, copy the appropriate article template to the stub article, and incorporate the existing nuggets of information into the appropriate section(s). For example, if the stub is for a region of a country, copy over the region article template. The quickest way to do this is to type {{subst:region}} into the article, save the page, then continue editing to fix the intro paragraph and place the existing information in the right section(s). Other common templates you can include using {{subst:____}} are: smallcity (for anything from a village with a couple motels to a typical city), bigcity (for major travel destinations), district (for sections of a bigcity), or park (for national and other major parks).

People are more comfortable if they can add just a little information at a time, rather than writing the whole article from scratch, and a template like this makes it much easier to do that. And once you've properly added a template, the article is no longer a stub. The disclaimer can be changed to an {{outline}} or (if it contains enough information) something even higher.

Delete[edit]

Alternatively, if a stub is about a topic that is never going to turn into a worthwhile Wikitravel article then it should be proposed for deletion if it doesn't align with our goals or else redirected to an appropriate article that the topic can be incorporated into. Redirection or deletion is often a pragmatic decision. There is little point in writing lots of tiny stub articles about small but nearby places (each with only one or two attractions) when a single article about the area all those places are in can cover all the attractions in one hit, and it will not be a stub, because the template can be filled out too.

Variants

Actions

Destination Docents

In other languages