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Wikitravel talk:Article status

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Status rating discussion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • 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

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

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

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?

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?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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)