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Wikitravel talk:Article status

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Status rating discussion[edit]

Originating discussion moved from Wikitravel_talk:Articles_needing_attention#Another way of marking articles. This was refactored into Wikitravel:Status rating. -- Huttite 17:12, 18 Nov 2005 (EST)

I've been having some problems with the way that we mark articles on Wikitravel. It's been a problem for a really long time, and I think we need to change it.

Right now, we have two states of "doneness" for an article: either it's a stub, or it's a well-made, usable, perfectly formatted, excellent travel guide. In other words, we have just two ways of marking an article: perfect, or not yet perfect.

I think we should consider a more gradated list of article states that more reasonably reflects the level of completion of an article. I'm thinking that a 5-tier system makes more sense. Here's my idea; feel free to edit.

Wikitravel guide maturity values
Number Name Description
1 "Stub" An article with little or no information in it, or not formatted even close to the MoS. An empty template would have this state.
2 "Getting there" Has at least the template skeleton laid out for the article. Some of the sections of the template exist, but not all of them. Does not have enough information to get you to the destination and keep you alive.
3 "Usable" Has at least a Get In section and one Eat and Sleep listing each with contact information. An adventurous person could use the article without recourse to other information sources to get to the destination, eat, and sleep. They would probably be able to find at least the most prominent attraction at the destination.
4 "A real guide" The article is a usable 3 guide; in addition, it gives you different choices for accommodation and eating out, and information on attractions and things to do for at least a few days at the destination (if possible). Listings and layout closely match the MoS. There will be multiple ways to get in, some suggestions for moving out, and information on getting around. At least a few things are missing to make this a 5 article.
5 "Star quality" The article is a real guide; in addition, it has a tourist-style map showing how to get around the destination, with major attractions, restaurants, etc. that match the listings in the guide. Layout and listing formats either match the MoS exactly or are the exception that proves the rule. Prose is not only near-perfect grammatically but also tight, effective, and enjoyable. At least one good-quality photo accompanies the article; preferably 2-3 showing famous or important attractions. Enough variety of content is presented that residents and experienced visitors would have little to point out as absent. Changes to this kind of article more reflect changes in the destination (a museum closes or a hotel price changes) than improvements in the coverage.

I thought originally about considering an article on several dimensions (grammar and spelling, conformance to MoS, amount of information), but I think that this scale is clear and simple and more oriented towards usefulness to the traveler.

I suggest that we use this scale to markup the articles in Wikitravel, using a {{Template}} thingy. Better names would be welcome. --Evan 10:10, 31 Oct 2005 (EST)

I like this idea lots! Do you want to build the templates? -- Mark 11:56, 31 Oct 2005 (EST)
Bump. I dig the idea as well. I've got the time to build the templates if Evan is too busy with RDL/Turtle. Seems like the two would eventually merge, as well... -- Ilkirk 17:13, 17 Nov 2005 (EST)
Yes, great idea! Let's start Template:Status1, Template:Status2, Template:Status3, Template:Status4, Template:Status5 (unless someone has a better idea for naming scheme). We can also have a page called Wikitravel:Status levels (or something like that) to list out the above criteria for status levels. Sound about right? --Evan 17:20, 17 Nov 2005 (EST)
I've got status 2-5, choosing some one-word titles along the way, but I've got a problem with status1 - it's a stub! We've already got stubs, and it would represent a decent sized change. Should it be changed? -- Ilkirk 19:00, 17 Nov 2005 (EST)
Surely we can think of better names than integers? How about Template:Stub, Skeleton, Usable, Guide, Star? Jpatokal 23:53, 17 Nov 2005 (EST)
Those are great! --Evan 00:19, 18 Nov 2005 (EST)
I wasn't sure about the naming, so I just stuck with the integers to begin with. I'll go through a remake them today. -- Ilkirk 08:21, 18 Nov 2005 (EST)

Rated as[edit]

I think the wording "rated as" in the template notes is ugly. Why not say This article is a ... Rated implies some sort of censorship as well as being obtuse English. Using "rated as" also implies an opinion and that is not a neutral point of view. and why should it be in bold?

What we have with these article notes is more like a statement of fact, rather than an opinion, with a relatively objective an reasonable assessment criteria. Dropping the words makes no real diference to the meaning. All the Wikitravel main namespace articles will fit into one of these categories, or else Votes for Deletion or (former/proposed) Destination of the Month. (That implies there are some missing or duplicate categories.) -- Huttite 16:38, 18 Nov 2005 (EST)

I have no problems with changing away from "rated." I chose that word to be an active verb instead of a passive - trying to give the statement a little more... If you have a better word or words, please go for it. I dove into this knowing that it is a Wiki and things will change with everyone else's input... I've never felt as if it would be perfect the first time through. -- Ilkirk 10:30, 19 Nov 2005 (EST)
Using "status" is a better word, too. Also, let's not forget that part of the Wiki way is doing something first, and making it perfect as time goes on. Ilkirk got these status templates started, which is absolutely fantastic and worth some applause. Getting anything started means someone has to plunge forward. Let's improve them all together. --Evan 11:16, 19 Nov 2005 (EST)


I think the wording of each of the template notes needs to be discussed. I think the wording for each note should be different. Very different. The notes should be small and unobtrusive, with them getting smaller and less noticeable as the article improves. That way inexperienced Wikitravelers will tend to not to badly edit the really good articles but will be encouraged to edit the short, incomplete or really bad articles. -- Huttite 17:26, 18 Nov 2005 (EST)

Stub wording[edit]

Until it is discussed I have reverted the change to the wording of the stub template. Please discuss there, not here. -- Huttite 17:20, 18 Nov 2005 (EST)


I disagree with both the naming and wording of the Skeleton template. Skeleton does not really describe the sort of article we want. I think Outline is more understandable and familiar to most people and really describes the sort of article this template will be used on. I also think the current wording is verbose and the border should be dotted. I am discussing this at on the template talk page. -- Huttite 17:48, 18 Nov 2005 (EST)

Outline sounds good to me - that may be a better term than Skeleton, and still carry the same connontation of being incomplete. -- Ilkirk 10:52, 19 Nov 2005 (EST)
One problem is that most of the long-standing "Stub" articles (as opposed to the ones targeted for this designation in the new scheme) in fact do follow an "outline," i.e., one of the templates. Do you want to use this terminology if it means having to go through and sort the current "stubs" according to whether they follow a template or not? If you (we) don't do that, the term will be misleading, but it'll take a lot of effort. -- Bill-on-the-Hill 11:02, 19 Nov 2005 (EST)
I think there will be a shift... there are plenty of articles that have stub reminders that will have to change up - it will be a community-wide type of change and will be labor intensive. I don't it'll be a situation where everyone of them will be located and re-evaluated right in the beginning. As we work through the articles, we'll spy a stub that is really something that should be a different state and change it.
To paraphrase, I think the definition of a stub is changing... -- Ilkirk 11:10, 19 Nov 2005 (EST)
I concur. I see the REAL stub articles as being articles that have been contributed by anonymous or inexperienced users that do not have any (or only one or two) sections. (Often the do not even have a stub notice.) These are the ones where there is no table of contents and no template sections to guide contributors about what needs to be filled in. The Outline has, as a minimum, an introductory paragraph and a template added. In other words Stubs are all those articles without templates - if that makes categorisation easy. Outlines are all those pages with templates and a stub message ... which is probably about 5000 articles. Changing the messages sounds like a job for a robot. At this stage I would suggest that we just change the templates for articles to put a different note on the bottom. We then migrate pages as they get edited from the Stub state to the Outline state as we find them. I.e. It is still a stub while it has the stub note on it, unless somebody (including a robot) assesses the page and decides to change it to something else. -- Huttite 19:43, 19 Nov 2005 (EST)

Note borders[edit]

I think the solid border on some of the notes is too obtrusive. It looks like a rubber stamp that says Top Secret or Confidential and implies the article is complete, when it may not be. That will tend to inhibit editing. I think a broken border should be used for any article that is not substantially complete. This would indicate the article has holes in it. Borders could be made more solid as the article changes status. -- Huttite 17:59, 18 Nov 2005 (EST)

I think that makes sense. Start with dots, move to dashes, then single line and finally double line? -- Ilkirk 10:53, 19 Nov 2005 (EST)

Stub border - solid or dotted[edit]

I noticed that the stub note border has changed from dots to a solid line. This will introduce an inconsistency with stub notes on existing articles. Unless someone is going to refresh every page, I suggest that the old dotted border be returned. Besides where is the discussion for changing the border? I cannot see anything recent. I also think that the other borders should vary too. -- Huttite 16:48, 18 Nov 2005 (EST)

Until it is discussed I have reverted the change to the stub template. Please discuss there not here. -- Huttite 17:20, 18 Nov 2005 (EST)
So, I can refresh all the pages on the server in a few minutes. I'm going to try and build in a refresh-this-page for use by any user and refresh-all-pages for admins only. I hope that caching issues don't get in the way of design decisions, here. -Evan 17:36, 18 Nov 2005 (EST)
I was not aware of that sort of facility. Good to know it exists. However, I think the issue here is more about change management, rather than technical issues getting in the way of the design. Irrespective of what features can be used, major style changes need to be discussed considered and agreed to by a broad range of users, especially when the change will affect a lot of articles. -- Huttite 18:00, 18 Nov 2005 (EST)
Ryan just changed all statuses to use the same border. I liked the old style better: you could tell the article rating at a glance just from the 'completeness' of the border, without actually needing to read what the box says. Jpatokal 04:33, 3 April 2006 (EDT)
I missed this discussion before changing. The borders seemed to be somewhat inconsistent, but I'll revert my changes on the status articles for now. -- Ryan 04:37, 3 April 2006 (EDT)

(Meta)Article Name Change? - The concept of states[edit]

I think the name of this (Meta)Article should change to Wikitravel:Article status. The use of the word rating gets to me. It has connotations of opinion, not fact. It also implies a relative or subjective comparison, not an absolute or objective one. There is also the issues of popularity, censorship, criticism that come with the word rating.

What this meta article is really describing is an assessment of an article's completeness or usefulness and how one goes about assessing, describing and representing that. Although it talks about how to assess articles for a particular category, the relative merits of any two articles within a category are not assessed. Also the existing categories, while having an implied ranking, if looked at from one point of view, are not necessarily linearly related but are really descriptions of the various states that an article can acquire.

As such there are other states that articles can acquire. The current states reflect articles by usefulness as a travel guide but what about the other states that articles might be in. There are already the following article states that do not fit the current linear scheme, including: disambiguation page, famous place, CIA factbook country article, article needing attention (because something is wrong with it), non-article (because it is off topic) and vote for deletion. Each of these article states could do with a template message, and some already have them.

I believe that by confining ourselves to rating rather than status we are left with needing to have a separate meta article about all the other states an article can be in. Instead we should bring all these states together on one meta page. -- Huttite 20:10, 18 Nov 2005 (EST)

I'm good with changing the name to "Article Status"... and I think the reasoning makes good sense. Like I said eariler, I wasn't making this as a defintive process, simply plunging foward like we've all been charged to do. I was, and have been, slightly uncomfortable with "Rating", but that was all that I could seem to drag from my head at the time. -- Ilkirk 10:39, 19 Nov 2005 (EST)

Maintain article list with Whatlinkshere[edit]

moved from Wikitravel talk:Skeleton articles needing attention

How about linking (integrating the contents?) of the Special:Whatlinkshere/Template:Skeleton to Wikitravel talk:Skeleton articles needing attention instead of adding articles to the list by hand?

For me it is a bit crazy to maintain 5 lists of articles by hand, especially that the engine does it for us. --JanSlupski 10:24, 18 Nov 2005 (EST)

Is that actually possible? Seems like a discussion along those longs was held on Stub talk page at some point... I'd support that whole-heartedly if it's possible! -- Ilkirk 10:29, 18 Nov 2005 (EST)
Well, if you click the link mentioned - it is partially supported already. This is the list of articles that use given template. Of course it would be better if Wikitravel... articles could be skipped, and there is no hierarchy, but since Stub talk page talks problem is 5 times bigger now. I just don't believe that these 5 lists will have any value if maintained by hand.
Well, I doubt if these kind of lists has any value at all, but this is a different topic. --JanSlupski 10:39, 18 Nov 2005 (EST)
This is one of the applications for Categories. Put the category in the stub message etc. and then all pages with the message on them end up on the category page, but in alphbetical order. It then becomes a simple matter to track down the uncategorised pages, because you really want to find the pages that are NOT on the Stub Whatlinkshere list, but should be. Any thoughts Evan? -- Huttite 20:55, 19 Nov 2005 (EST)

Next step: automatically add hierarchy & entry comments[edit]

Another challange would be to use isin: info to create hierarchy automatically.

And eventually to use template parameter as an entry comment on the Skeleton articles needing attention listing.

  • eg. In Torun article {{skeleton|need to add Sleep and Eat entries}} could display Toruń - need to add Sleep and Eat entries on the skeletons listing page. --JanSlupski 10:34, 18 Nov 2005 (EST)
No it should be obvious that Sleep and Eat entries are needed because they are empty. What you could do is put a template message in each empty section that asks contributors to fill it in. Then all the empty sections are linked to a page relevant to that empty section, so you can find them. Displaying a message on the page, alone, will not help finding the missing information. This is perhaps a novel idea for a search engine. Search for pages that have missing information i.e. you want to find pages based what is NOT there! -- Huttite 20:55, 19 Nov 2005 (EST)
Oh, this is misunderstanding. My idea was that the comment will be displayed on the automatically generated Wikitravel:Skeleton articles needing attention page. Also need to add Sleep and Eat entries was (maybe bad) example. Consider something more subtle like Reword history section and a few more cheap sleep options. Something that is not obvious as looking into empty header, but rather similar to advise given on Wikitravel:Destination of the Month candidates --JanSlupski 03:43, 20 Nov 2005 (EST)
I second the idea of entry comments. I think there are places where they will be useful. For example, it would be great if there were some way to tell the contributors to Bangalore that it has way too many restaurant listings and someone should pare it down or split the article into district pages. Of course, the obvious way would be to put such a comment in the talk page, but it looks like most people adding the listings are IP editors to whom it will not occur to look at the discussion page to or any other policy page to see what Wikitravel really needs -- Ravikiran 04:12, 20 Nov 2005 (EST)

Status rating templates[edit]

I wonder that if every single page is going to have it's own status, isn't a smart idea to replace stadard "template" message with something integrated to the navigation/toolbox or footer bar. After all this is pure meta-information not the article content. Well, I didn't read the WikiMedia source, so I have no idea how much hacking this would require. Just an idea. --JanSlupski 20:02, 19 Nov 2005 (EST)

Every single page already has its own state from which the status can be assessed. What we are trying to do is provide human readable metadata about the page. -- Huttite 21:00, 19 Nov 2005 (EST)
Every single page already has its own state (...). Oh, Didn't know that.
Anyway my point was about the way these human readable messages are presented. I'm proposing to separte the rating message from the article contents/frame, and display it in similar way as the information about authors. --JanSlupski 17:44, 20 Nov 2005 (EST)

Decisions to make[edit]

From the above conversations I feel there are a number of decisions to make. These may need to be explained on the relevant meta pages.

  • Decision? - The term Skeleton changes to Outline - Is this agreed? -- Huttite 19:57, 19 Nov 2005 (EST)
  • Decision? - Stub is an article without a template - Is this agreed? -- Huttite 19:57, 19 Nov 2005 (EST)
    • Support. I believe that the table on the accompanying article page more or less says this already. Maybe it should be made even clearer? -- Ilkirk 21:18, 19 Nov 2005 (EST)
    • Comment - An article with a template but nothing filled in except perhaps the first sentence saying "X is a city in Y" is also a stub right? --Ravikiran 04:25, 20 Nov 2005 (EST)
      • Reply - I am thinking it should be the bare minimum for an outline. But if it says "X is a city in Y" and has an empty template that already has a stub note on it it doesn't get changed. -- Huttite 07:44, 20 Nov 2005 (EST)
    • Support. -- Bill-on-the-Hill 15:06, 20 Nov 2005 (EST)
    • Support. Jpatokal 21:25, 20 Nov 2005 (EST)
  • Decision? - Stub articles remain in the Stub article state until somebody, including a robot, assesses them and changes the notice to something else. And we do not worry about it or proactively change the notes unless the page is edited. - Is this agreed? -- Huttite 19:57, 19 Nov 2005 (EST)
    • Support. I think it's way too big of a project to say we have to go change them right away. -- Ilkirk 21:18, 19 Nov 2005 (EST)
    • Don't support. I don't see a reason to wait on this. --Evan 22:32, 19 Nov 2005 (EST)
      • How does it get done then? Start with the Stubs Attention page, then the Stubs:What links here? Seems like that will take the whole team of dedicated editors a good while to get sorted... or do you have a decent way to automate it? -- Ilkirk 22:40, 19 Nov 2005 (EST)
      • My reason for proposing this was that if we went and changed the stub note on all existing articles that were stubs before starting new ones then that would hold us up. I was thinking that we start using the new messages straight away then go back and change the stub notes on the pages that have them as they get edited. That is as each article appears on recent changes it gets the stub note changed to whatever state the article is in. Or is that too much work? But if someone wants to trawl throught stubs needing attention then great, especially if they also improve the article at the same time, but I wouldn't want it to slow us down. See the decision about a robot to do this. -- Huttite 07:44, 20 Nov 2005 (EST)
        • OK, I think I understand what you're saying. We're not going to change Template:Stub to something else so that all stubs are changed; we're going to let human beings or possibly a bot (I think humans is more reasonable) assess and change. I do agree with that. I thought what you were saying was, "Don't change an article's status just to change the status,", which I don't think makes sense. --Evan 15:55, 20 Nov 2005 (EST)
    • Support. --Evan 15:55, 20 Nov 2005 (EST)
    • Support the first part, don't support the second. (Evan, is that what you were saying?) I don't see any reason why someone who chances upon an article mistakenly labeled "Stub" shouldn't be able to correct the label without adding content -- although there is no obligation to. -- Bill-on-the-Hill 15:06, 20 Nov 2005 (EST)
  • Decision? - The Stub message on article templates is changed to give the Outline message. - Is this agreed? -- Huttite 19:57, 19 Nov 2005 (EST)
    • Support. -- Ilkirk 21:18, 19 Nov 2005 (EST)
    • Don't support. It just produces a different set of incorrectly labeled pages, and the Law of Unintended Consequences argues against it. -- Bill-on-the-Hill 15:06, 20 Nov 2005 (EST)
    • Support. That sounds fine. --Evan 15:55, 20 Nov 2005 (EST)
    • Support. Jpatokal 21:25, 20 Nov 2005 (EST)
  • Decision? - We may think about having a robot or script change the stub messages and how this should be done but do not wait for one to be developed - Is this agreed? -- Huttite 19:57, 19 Nov 2005 (EST)
    • Support. How much of an effort will this bot be, any opinions? -- Bill-on-the-Hill 15:06, 20 Nov 2005 (EST)
    • Support. I think the effort for making a bot to do this would be huge, and I don't think it's worth the effort. --Evan 15:55, 20 Nov 2005 (EST)
    • Support. Jpatokal 21:25, 20 Nov 2005 (EST)
  • Decision? - The details for implementing individual states should be discussed on their individual pages. This page is for the overall concept. - Is this agreed? -- Huttite 19:57, 19 Nov 2005 (EST)
    • Support. This is the logical place for an overall concept discussion. If there is debate about what makes up a "Guide" state article or a template's wording, that's the best place for it. -- Ilkirk21:18, 19 Nov 2005 (EST)
    • Support. -- Bill-on-the-Hill 15:06, 20 Nov 2005 (EST)
    • Don't support. I don't think these statuses are independent; for example, I think an outline is an article that's got a template but is not yet usable. --Evan 15:55, 20 Nov 2005 (EST)
    • Support. Jpatokal 21:25, 20 Nov 2005 (EST)

To add another:

  • Decision? - This metadatabase change it's name to "Article state" "Article status" instead of "Status rating" - Agreed? -- Ilkirk 21:18, 19 Nov 2005 (EST)
    • Support. Though I did suggest Article status, Article state is close enough and does it for me. Your choice... -- Huttite 21:42, 19 Nov 2005 (EST)
    • Support. "Article status" looks right to me. -- Bill-on-the-Hill 15:06, 20 Nov 2005 (EST)
    • Support. Done by me without waiting for this. --Evan 15:55, 20 Nov 2005 (EST)

Metapage Move[edit]

  • METAPAGE MOVE - I cannot move this metapage to Wikitravel:Article status at this time. Either it gets copied and pasted then we redirect this one or we leave it here until someone sorts out the problem... -- Huttite 22:13, 19 Nov 2005 (EST)
    • Done. It's a problem with the move tabs code... I'll see what I can do to sort it out. --Evan 22:30, 19 Nov 2005 (EST)
      • Thanks Evan , your a champion and I didn't even report it as a bug! -- Huttite 22:57, 19 Nov 2005 (EST)
        • I see: It's leaving out the namespace. I'm on it. Meanwhile you can just add the namespace to the URL in your location bar. -- Mark 04:41, 20 Nov 2005 (EST)
        • This is fixed in my Arch repository: [email protected]/mw-cache--mark--0.5--patch-5 -- Mark 05:25, 20 Nov 2005 (EST)
          • I thought I tried that and it still gave me an error. - Perhaps I didn't persist with all possible combinations. (I didn't try BFI=the Brute Force and Ignorance method!) -- Huttite 07:51, 20 Nov 2005 (EST)

Elevation to Star[edit]

I'd like to see some sort of more formal process to control elevation to Star status and also give these articles more visibility (more on the next point). For starters, I'd suggest that Destinations of the Month should automatically become Stars — but would it make sense to have a separate page for selecting Stars, and then choosing DotMs from the Stars? Jpatokal 21:41, 20 Nov 2005 (EST)

I agree. I was thinking that candidates for DotM be Stars before they be DotM's, and those that have been DotM's should be Stars. They should follow the same nomination process. -- Huttite 04:43, 22 Nov 2005 (EST)
I agree in principle, but the requirement of a good map has made stardom all but impossible to achieve. So I guess we should choose the DOTMs from among the guides. -- Ravikiran 05:35, 22 Nov 2005 (EST)

Main Page[edit]

I'd like to suggest that articles linked in from the Main Page should be limited to those in the "Guide" and "Star" classes. Discuss =) Jpatokal 21:42, 20 Nov 2005 (EST)

Seems like a reasonable end state, but give this some time. There is still real uncertainty as regards what constitutes a "Guide" caliber article (particularly for things other than cities), let alone a "Star." Let these stabilize and rankings get applied, then re-visit this suggestion. -- Bill-on-the-Hill 21:54, 20 Nov 2005 (EST)
Definitely should be at least a Guide and preferably a Star. -- Huttite 04:43, 22 Nov 2005 (EST)
Agree. When we finish rating a decent number of guides and stars, why don't we have some kind of automatic rotation among the guide and star rated articles? Every day for one continent, someone picks up the next guide-rated article and drops the oldest one. The next day it is the next continent, and so on. My biggest complaint about the main page is that it does not really reflect the dynamic, continuously evolving nature of a wiki. It remains static for days on end. --Ravikiran 05:41, 22 Nov 2005 (EST)

Wikibooks development status[edit]

I saw this morning that Wikibooks also has a 5-stage rating for books developed there (I assume developed independently). Kind of a good indication that we're on the right track with this. --Evan 11:05, 28 Nov 2005 (EST)

What's a usable state article?[edit]

North Carolina and Hawaii are usable. How so? The Eat sections don't have restaurant listings, and there is no Sleep section. -phma 21:51, 2 Dec 2005 (EST)

These are regional articles, which discuss the whole region. There is little point in having listings for restaurants or sleeping places, etc. if you still have to travel somewhere in the region to get to them. Those attractions should be listed on the destination pages such as Cities. Besides, usable means you could survive, if you got there, based on the information in the article. I think the article tells me more than enough. I know what cities to read up on and do not need to do more research about the region just to stay alive. Compared to the current state of the Ischia article, which is a region article that does have a Sleep section, North Carolina and Hawaii are far more informative. -- Huttite 22:06, 2 Dec 2005 (EST)

Who is rating articles?[edit]

Can Wikitravel:Article status clarify who is ranking articles? Is it any editor who thinks a page is worthy of a certain rating? Does it require discussion on the Talk page of that article? Is it controlled by a cabal? There's some talk on this page of the "we" who make these decisions: who is that? This being a wiki, I appreciate that the answer is most likely to be "anyone does it, until we develop policy that says otherwise" (eg, the suggestions for Star above), but it would be great to have that, or whatever the situation is, briefly summarised in the policy. Hypatia 20:14, 15 Dec 2005 (EST)

Anyone! The criteria are actually fairly objective: the article can't be a Star without a good map, the article can't be Usable without a place to sleep, etc. If there's a debate it should be carried out on the Talk page. Jpatokal 22:10, 15 Dec 2005 (EST)
Well said, and agreed. Article status is more of a project-management signpost than an award. --Evan 00:10, 16 Dec 2005 (EST)

Standard style[edit]

I notice that some but not all of the status pages are starting to develop some non-uniformity in the style with which pages are identified. For a long time the standard has been that destinations within a country/state have been presented list-style, e.g. under Wyoming (USA), one would have

Buck Snort | Casper (Wyoming) | Chugwater | Lost Dog

(BTW, yes, each of these really is the name of a place in Wyoming; I'm not kidding.) Recently, however, there have been some additions with commentary, e.g.

  • Chugwater - needs somewhere to sleep, if there is one
  • Lost Dog - content OK but needs copyediting (etc.)

The new entries have the advantage of presenting (one person's thoughts on) possible ways to improve the article and advance it to the next status level, but if this is done for all of the entries, it's going to produce a horrendously long page. What do people think is the "right" way to go about this? Let's discuss. -- Bill-on-the-Hill 22:12, 31 March 2006 (EST)

I think this happens because it's not quite clear, from the rating only, which kind of attention is needed - form or content - and to which extent. So if I read that Ciudad Perdida (where I've never been) needs a template, proofreading or has a potential copyright violation, maybe I'll go in there, check what the article is about and give it a template, do the necessary edits or work on the copyvio. However, if I know beforehand that the kind of attention ite needs is additional information, I won't even go inside because I feel I couldn't make a decent contribution. That's why I'm all in for commentary. I understand, however, that this can eventually lead to some "horrendously long" pages. If that is the case, maybe we could split the page(s) into smaller ones according to the type of attention needed or by continent, or something else. -- Ricardo (Rmx) 22:55, 31 March 2006 (EST)

Template updates[edit]

The various status templates weren't all using the same borders, so I've updated them to try to be consistent. I've also widened them slightly from 50% to 60% as that looks noticeably less "squished" in my browser. -- Ryan 03:43, 3 April 2006 (EDT)

(They were previously reverted to their (deliberately) different border styles.) I've just tweaked the borders to provide a smoother progression from weak to strong, switching to pixels as the thickness measurement instead of millimeters, because that renders more consistently on-screen. - Todd VerBeek 17:51, 10 April 2006 (EDT)

Travel Topic standard[edit]

I've added a draft of guidelines for rating the development of Travel Topic articles. Feedback/suggestions/criticisms are invited. - Todd VerBeek 18:25, 7 April 2006 (EDT)

Well done, Todd. As for "If practical, it should contain a listing of relevant destinations, which closely match the manual of style" on the proposed Guide status rating, it's not only the listings that should match the MoS, but the whole article (section headers, use of bold and italic and so forth). Ricardo (Rmx) 19:48, 7 April 2006 (EDT)

Beyond travel topics[edit]

Thanks 10^6 to User:TVerBeek for expanding this process to include travel topics. I think it's a good step, but now it's got me thinking: could we do this for other types of articles, too? I think that itineraries and phrasebooks would benefit from this kind of status tagging, as well as other types of destination like countries, regions, and districts. I think that would let us focus on concrete milestones for moving an article forward.

I propose that we keep Wikitravel:Article status as an abstract description of each of the 5 status levels, and that we link out to different pages for concrete steps for each kind of article, e.g. Wikitravel:City guide status, Wikitravel:Country guide status, Wikitravel:Phrasebook status, Wikitravel:Region guide status, Wikitravel:Itinerary status, Wikitravel:Travel topic status.

Does this make sense? Is it too complicated? Comments and ideas, please. --Evan 16:38, 10 April 2006 (EDT)

I think it makes sense. What makes a "complete" article varies depending on what kind of article it is (e.g. only "city" guides need Sleep and Eat listings), so it'd help to have applicable milestones for each kind. The "stub" and "outline" statuses are pretty generic, but the criteria for "usable", "guide", and "star" wouldn't be. I've created first drafts of these. Some of the "This is a real guide" type phrases could probably removed from them if those subjective criteria are going to be outlined here. - Todd VerBeek 17:20, 14 April 2006 (EDT)
I've abstracted the descriptions on this page, and took out the corresponding language from the type-specific criteria pages, making them very checklisty. I've also created the templates for all the type/status combinations. For consistency, I duplicated {{usable}} {{guide}} {{star}} as {{usablecity}} {{guidecity}} {{starcity}} but left the existing ones in place to avoid wreaking unfathomable havok. :) I figure we can phase these new tags in as articles get updated.
Are there any other types we need? The City criteria don't apply perfectly to national parks and such, but I'm not sure if they need their own type or if that's getting too specific. - Todd VerBeek 14:34, 15 April 2006 (EDT)

National park status[edit]

I'm trying to develop article status guidelines and templates for National Parks. I have personally been using the Region templates on National Parks, so I thought I would base the templates and guidelines around them, but add in a reference to attractions (including flora and fauna) and accomodation.

So far, I've got Template:usablepark. I know the wording isnt great, so please play around with that until it's perfect! Tim 13:23, 18 August 2006 (EDT)

linking to article ToDo from status banner[edit]

I am using ToDo section on talk pages for articles for a while, and I found them particularly useful for improving articles: adding something to the ToDo list is a halfway to be done :-)

I'd like to extend article status banners so that they link to the ToDo list for those willing to help, but stuck in understanding where to start. This extension will ONLY affect those articles where ToDo section is explicitly specified when template is used (thus most articles having no ToDo section yet will have just exactly the same banner they have now).

Here's how I'd see extended banner (I would appreciate a better wording):

This article is an outline and needs more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. Please plunge forward and help it grow!

Check [[Talk:Wikitravel:Not_an_article#ToDo|ToDo list]] for an idea of what is specifically needed here.

Here're some examples of how ToDo sections look like: Budapest, Buda, Hungary, Eger, New Year holidays in Hungary. The idea of ToDo sections came from this discussion in Manual of Style.

Any objections on plunging forward to extend the status banner templates in such direction? --DenisYurkin 04:54, 11 February 2007 (EST)

This could be a good idea, but I'm not convinced that adding something into the status banners is a best way to go about doing it... -- Tim 16:40, 11 February 2007 (EST)
Maybe you have in mind some other method of better connecting ToDo lists with those willing to improve an article? Of course, this idea does not apply to articles of Guide/Star status. --DenisYurkin 17:39, 11 February 2007 (EST)

Other opinions, maybe? --DenisYurkin 18:05, 13 February 2007 (EST)

Putting status icons on the title bar[edit]

So, in browsing around it: today, I came across it:Parigi, which has a cool UNESCO logo in the title bar. I read back through it:Template:UNESCO to it:Template:Icona del titolo, which has the (impressively tricky) HTML that puts an icon on the title bar.

Anyways: I wonder if we should use this trick in our article status templates to put up different icons for our status levels (stub, outline, usable, guide, star)? --Evan 21:17, 2 March 2007 (EST)

Is there any way this can be implemented without the absolute CSS positioning (perhaps using RDF or some other magic) that would allow for more than one icon? It seems like this could be useful as a way of tagging a few different things, such as star articles, previous destinations of the month, articles with docents, etc. Wikipedia does something similar with WikiPedia:Wikipedia:Featured articles. -- Ryan 22:08, 2 March 2007 (EST)
Agree with Ryan: if we're going to do something like this, there are other things that could go in the title bar (CotW in addition to the ones he suggests). All strike me as being in the nice-but-not-urgent category. If you're going to pick one to start with, it should probably be either Star status or DotM/OtBP. Not sure there's really much point in putting Stub or Outline status in the title bar; the reader will discover that the article is of less-than-stellar status soon enough. -- Bill-on-the-Hill 22:53, 2 March 2007 (EST)
This conversation continued at Wikitravel talk:Destination of the Month candidates#Tagging former DotM/OtBPs?. -- Ryan • (talk) • 20:43, 19 June 2007 (EDT)


Swept in from the pub:

As a contributor, can I change the status of an article on my own judgement, or is there supposed to be some discussion? Sailsetter 10:22, 7 April 2008 (EDT)

Are you talking about stub/outline/guide/star etc? Read over the qualifications and decide on your own. If you think it meets them, change it. If someone else thinks something else, they'll either change it or discuss it. Jordanmills 12:19, 7 April 2008 (EDT)
Yes, that's what I mean, thanks. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Sailsetter (talkcontribs)
Qualifications are detailed here: Wikitravel:Article status, also see Wikitravel:Usable_articles#What_to_do_with_them --Nick 13:31, 13 April 2008 (EDT)
Only an upgrade to Star status requires discussion/approval - see Wikitravel:Star nominations. Gorilla Jones 20:58, 13 April 2008 (EDT)


As I understand this, status' are for judging how complete an article is and to provide an incentive to improve the article to star status, correct me if I am wrong. Yet Star status can only be achieved if there is lots of specific information given, and in a region specific references are irrelevant. So what is the incentive to improve region/non city articles if the highest status they can achieve is outline. This system is aimed at city travel guides, surely travel is about more than just cities?HJ.Phillips94 12:38, 10 June 2009 (EDT)

Regions and even countries all have potential to reach star status, but it's sort of a pyramid sort of thing. The articles that it links to (in this case, the cities within the region) would need to all be at guide status in order for the region article to be a viable star nomination. People often find their own incentives for improving articles. A popular incentive is to get the article to guide status in order to make it the Destination of the Month, featured on the Main Page. I think a love for the area is perhaps one of the biggest reasons people choose to add information to any article, whether it be a city, region, or country.

Although city articles are of high importance, there is information that is often region-specific that only a region article can provide. Some things to do may cover larger areas than just a single city/town. Although specific restaurants are not listed in region categories, regional specialties are perfect for a region article. Regional dialects exist in many places. It's also often a better place for historical accounts to be written, since most historical happenings occur over broader spaces than just cities. Region articles are also great for highlighting all of the very best attractions in the area for those who may not want to stay planted in the same city for their entire trip.

They are similar to country articles, really. ChubbyWimbus 13:02, 10 June 2009 (EDT)

    • Thanks for all that info, but I have a small counter point for you, some of the more remote regions may not have any 'cities' or even towns that could make guide status, as there is simply nothing there. The appeal of some places is the lack of civilization. So surely an article like this could be missed out by the system. -- 07:24, 21 June 2009 (EDT)
If a region article has no subregions, towns, other destination articles, then its status is judged solely on the basis of its own content. I can't think of any examples, and I think "empty" regions tend to get the park template, regardless of whether there is any official park. --Peter Talk 17:55, 21 June 2009 (EDT)

Article status[edit]

swept in from the Travellers' pub

I am a little confused as to the precise meaning of ...listings and layout closely match the manual of style. I see for example that Gili Islands has just been bumped to guide status. Yet many of the listings there are effectively bulleted prose and do not use listing templates. There are other similar examples. The first ever article I did any serious work on here was Nusa Lembongan and I was told then that to have guide status the article needed to use standard listing templates and not the mass of bulleted prose that was already present there (spent many hours putting that right!!). What is the policy please? --Burmesedays 09:56, 30 September 2009 (EDT)

The policy is as you state it. If you disagree with Jani's promotion of the article to guide status, the proper place to discuss that is on the article's talk page. LtPowers 11:50, 30 September 2009 (EDT)
I am not specifically disagreeing with any promotion of any article - this issue is widespread. I used the Gili Islands article as an example as it happened today. I was seeking a clarification of policy for which I believe this is the correct place? Thank you. --Burmesedays 11:54, 30 September 2009 (EDT)
Since we don't follow a nominations process for guide articles, they are often promoted by users who are unfamiliar with the ins and outs of our article status criteria. Re: Gili Islands, they use a city article template, and thus follow Wikitravel:City guide status. I would, though, call Nusa Lembongan a strong guide—not terribly far from star status, and the Gili Islands a rather weak guide. --Peter Talk 16:50, 30 September 2009 (EDT)
I think you may be right about Gili Islands. Almost none of the listings are formatted properly. I think sometimes when users notice a lot of content, they bump up articles that may not actually meet the criteria. Also, I think some people prematurely bump up articles that they have worked on, because they are proud of them. You can always bump them down. In this case, because the user who gave it guide status is known, you could message him about it. In cases where you simply notice an article with an inappropriate status, you can change it without discussion. If someone is watching the page and disagrees with you, you can discuss it from there. ChubbyWimbus 22:36, 30 September 2009 (EDT)
I think the method of plunge forward first, and then revert and discuss if anybody objects generally works well. If it came to a discussion, I'd certainly support Gili Islands being a guide. I see the using of the listing templates as very optional, as the listings there are formatted well, and I think the text is good. --inas 23:53, 30 September 2009 (EDT)
Agreed -- AFAIK templated listings are not a requirement for guide status, it's sufficient for listings to be properly done in the "old format". For third-world places like the Gilis, it's also important to remember that there are no street addresses, fixed line phone numbers etc, so "Name. Description. Price." really is a complete and compliant old-style listing for many places.
Also -- and this may be more my view than site policy? -- all statuses up to and including guide are fundamentally about how much content the article has. On this count, the Gili article certainly qualifies, the lack of map being the major issue as far as I see. It's only Star that demands near-perfect formatting as well. Jpatokal 00:00, 1 October 2009 (EDT)
If bulleted listings in the "old format" are acceptable to meet the bar of closely follows style etc., then I do think this should be made very clear. I am sure I am not the only user who has spent a lot of time changing perfectly clear bulleted prose into template format. Time which could have been spent creating original work. --Burmesedays 00:09, 1 October 2009 (EDT)
I suppose it would be presumptuous of me to suggest that you find the appropriate policy document, plunge forward to make that part of the documentation clear, and if anyone reverts or objects, we'll discuss it there :-) --inas 00:44, 1 October 2009 (EDT)
Please don't feel that your formatting was done in vain! Cases like what JPatokal mentions (a city where none of the attractions have opening/closing times, addresses, prices, etc.) are exceptional. Most locations will have these things, and formatting things properly makes them more complete and brings them closer to star status. Even those places that lack some of the categories will eventually have to be formatted with as much information as is available, so your work is good for the page!
Actually, I made the suggestion here [1] to make formatting a prerequisite for Destination of the Month, because a lot of problems with nominations are related to improper formatting. No one has given their thoughts yet, but proper formatting is definitely a good thing, although it can be tedious work. ChubbyWimbus 02:52, 1 October 2009 (EDT)
Just to be clear here, converting everything to the proper listing templates is definitely Good(tm) and a long term goal for every article on the site, but we haven't started enforcing their use as a requirement yet. Jpatokal 03:22, 1 October 2009 (EDT)

Article Statuses[edit]


I have a few questions about article status:

  1. For a district or small city article to become usable status, does it need attractions from both sections of See and Do? Or is just from See ok?
  2. For a region article to become usable status, how many important major cities and other destinations must be usable? Half? 2/3?
  3. Do guide articles need overview paragraphs? Discussion: Talk:Manhattan/Theater District#Guide Status?

It would be really helpful if someone helped answer these questions for me! Sumone10154 00:04, 21 January 2011 (EST)

Hi Sumone10154;

  1. According to Wikitravel:City guide status a Usable city guide Has at least a Get In section and one Eat and Sleep listing each with contact information. At least the most prominent attraction is identified with directions. No mention is made of both see and do. In fact "the most prominent attraction" is singular, so only one is essential.
  2. A Usable region Has links to the region's major cities and other destinations (the most important of which must be at usable status or better), and a Get in section describing all of the typical ways to get there. The most prominent attractions are identified with directions. This implies a minimum of one major city must be usable, as attractions dont generally have their own articles.
  3. There is no requirement specified in Wikitravel:City guide status for overview paragraphs in the sections as requested in Talk:Manhattan/Theatre District. Guide articles aren't necessarily perfect... just very close. For example, a city guide might not have a map, some of the listings might not exactly match our manual of style. If a City article can reach Guide without a map, then overview paragraphs do not seem critical to me. This is a judgement call. For me, in the case in question, I think they are not essential. Again, as a personal judgement call, I would suggest if you know the place well enough to do a good job, humour the request and write an overview paragraph. If you dont, say so and suggest the person making the request Plunge forward (the locally polite way of saying do it yourself if you really want it), but go ahead and rate the article guide if it meets the listed criteria and you think it is deserved.

If there are other references, it is not immediately obvious which take precedence, but I would say the name "Wikitravel:(Article type) status" implies that it is the primary reference, specially when it does not link to another page indicating that the other page must be consulted. So if anyone disputes this, it becomes a policy change discussion. Of course we have those all the time, whenever needed, and they are just part of the background.

These are only my interpretations, but I will argue them if pressed. Hope this helps, • • • Peter (Southwood) Talk 01:58, 21 January 2011 (EST)

For #2 I think "the most important of which" is intended to be plural. In some cases, there may be only one major city that is "most important", but in others there may -- and probably should -- be more. For example, in Mid-Atlantic, I would consider New York City, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia to be the "most important" of the listed cities, plus Niagara Falls (New York), Adirondacks, and Appalachian Trail for the "most important" other destinations. LtPowers 08:56, 21 January 2011 (EST)
That is your interpretation. I am not saying it is a bad one, but based on the wording, there is no plural specified, and we have to guess at the intention if we were not involved in the original decision (uless you can point us to the records). There may even be cases where there is only one major city in a region, not that I can think of an example. If we want to require a plural except in exceptional cases, it should be specified, and in that case the preferred number should be specified for clarity (as is done for star articles), with the condition that if there are not enough to go round, a smaller number is acceptable. I think it is understood that a larger number is better, but that does not preclude an article from being usable and getting rated as such if there is only one. I think this is something that is best argued for a specific case • • • Peter (Southwood) Talk 15:45, 21 January 2011 (EST)
I agree that in relation to #2 the wording in the policy does not necessarily imply that it should be more than one. But in my opinion, it does not make sense to define a region as usable if any important cities or any important other destinations are not usable. Therefore, I suggest that we change the wording to make it clear that all important cities/other destinations must be usable before a region is usable, --ClausHansen 17:10, 21 January 2011 (EST)
All could be a large number. Should probably be limited to the more or less standard 9. I think we have a case of serious upwards creep here for the standards. Changing this will mean that all existing usable articles will have to be checked and a large number may have to be downgraded. Do we want or need this?
My personal opinion is that an article can be usable even when important items are missing. Look again at the wording of the usable templates.
At Wikitravel:Article status, Usable is defined as: An adventurous person could use the article without recourse to other information sources. For most articles, this means they could probably get to the destination, eat, and sleep with just this information. It would probably enable them to find at least the most prominent attraction there. • • • Peter (Southwood) Talk 00:59, 22 January 2011 (EST)
To me, that sounds like there should be more options. I would never consider promoting a city to "usable" status if it only had one attraction, one restaurant listing, and one hotel listing along with "Get in" info. Look at Mombasa, Lilongwe, or Soja. They don't quite look "usable" to me, but they seem to qualify with 1 sleep, 1 eat, and 1 see listing, and no one else has upgraded them either. I think part of it is that perhaps we all know/believe there is too much left out (especially with the African cities) to even make the claim that an "adventurous traveler" could get by on our current guides. We wouldn't still call Chicago "usable" if we hacked it down to the Sears Tower, Vito and Nick's restaurant, and the Hyatt Regency Chicago hotel, even though that would seem to be all we needed, because we all know that only giving that information would really not make it usable at all. There are definitely standards used that are perhaps beyond what is written. ChubbyWimbus 16:22, 22 January 2011 (EST)
Having written the article status guideline, I can say with some certainty that the intended meaning was plural ;) Granted, there may be some regions where really only one town is of any importance, and is generally the only place travelers visit, but that would only happen with bottom-level regions in obscure locations. The feeling in the discussions behind this criterion was that determining which cities need to be usable will always be subjective, and that that's OK.
For #1, See is all that is necessary. For #3, I think the answer is no. We have always held that to be a requirement for star articles, but not for guide status.
As an aside, it may differ from the text at Wikitravel:City guide status, but I tend to think that if a city has many restaurants and hotels, there should be at least a few in each section before calling the article usable (if, say, Indianapolis had just one restaurant listed, that should not be a usable article). --Peter Talk 23:33, 22 January 2011 (EST)
Yes, I think that's pretty much how I had interpreted it. Some smaller towns might be very usable (or even guides) with only 3 attractions while it would be absurd to apply that to huge cities like Beijing or Paris. Three listings would not even begin to list even the most famous sites in such large cities, and the same applies to the other categories (maybe not "buy" as much...). At usable status, I think we should be able to confidently say that our article is a good overview; it doesn't have everything but it does offer some good options. The number of options required can and should vary by city. Some locations that are more famous for their "Do"s than their "See"s also exist and that should be taken into account when determining status for such locations. ChubbyWimbus 00:09, 23 January 2011 (EST)
I have no objection to an upgrade of the requirement descriptions in Wikitravel:City guide status to comply with these last two opinions, as long as the new text is reasonably unambiguous. It should also preferably be clear to a person who has not been to the destination whether the article is likely to fit the status description or not. Any other opinions? • • • Peter (Southwood) Talk 00:38, 23 January 2011 (EST)

I agree with ChubbyWimbus --inas 01:23, 23 January 2011 (EST)

  • Why do articles have to have a status anyway? Shep 01:41, 23 January 2011 (EST)
I guess that question equates to how necessary is it to have a measure of completeness? It can give us examples to emulate, and focus activity on less developed areas. --inas 02:17, 23 January 2011 (EST)
I think it is also important for letting casual viewers know that if XCity is an outline, it does not represent our best article. Having a standard to allow visitors to know that an article has not reached its full potential lifts some burden off us, I think, by providing acknowledgment that certain articles are substandard and not how we want them to be. Then when they want to blame us, we turn on them with the "Plunge forward" bit to place the blame for a poor article on THEM. lol It's also good motivation for someone working on an article to know that they don't have to go from nothing to a star just to get somewhere and gives us leads on possible features for DotM/OtBP. ChubbyWimbus 03:19, 23 January 2011 (EST)
I agree with the combination of reasons given by Inas and ChubbyWimbus: the status labels are useful to both contributors and casual users• • • Peter (Southwood) Talk 11:46, 23 January 2011 (EST)

Proposal for new status system[edit]

Hello there all.

I 'm around for some time and I 've noticed that most (if not all) countries are currently in the Outline status simply because, for some subsections of these the information is not enough to complete in order for the subsection to be promoted in a usable, article.

This, in my opinion, is not a correct system because:

  • For some areas there have been suggested cities that are no (or no longer) tourist destinations and therefore, no reliable information might be filled for them. My latest edit involved Jordan and Split, one of the cities, is not a tourist destination (almost no European group goes there as far as I know) and the entry was not edited for a long time. Because of that, the article about Jordan had no chance of becoming a Usable with the current policy.
  • Some areas are so congested that it's impossible to fill reliable information. For example, London's Get in section is outdated because there 're hundreds of ways to get in to London and they are constantly changing; On the other hand, some areas are so obscure that it's also impossible to edit because no one actually can go there; For example Kidu or (Kindu) in Democratic Republic of the Congo, it's unlikely that anyone of us will actually go there, so the DRC stands no chance of becoming anything more than an outline.

Based on that, I propose some changes to the status system:

  • Vfd and Stub, OK, seem fine.
  • Outline should only reserved for subsections with a template, but with not real information. Parent sections that have complete information for MAJOR destinations should be upgraded to usable.
  • All countries should be upgraded to usable, except countries that lack significant information in the major tourist destinations.
  • There should be a status rating which defines the tourist level of the country. For example, both Greece and Chad are outlines, which may lead the reader that they are in the same "tourist" status.

Tourist Status[edit]

The tourist status could be a score that contains, for example:

  • Visits by wikitravellers.
  • Safety level
  • Transportation level (how easy is to go or leave)
  • Other levels we might discuss.

Best Regards. WindowsNT (talk) 14:08, 7 August 2013 (EDT)