This page is an archive of a community-wide discussion. This page is no longer live. Further comments should be made in the Senate Hall or new Consensus Track pages rather than here so that this page is preserved as a historic record. This debate was no consensus, no change to policy.Atarumaster88(Talk page) 16:43, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
Now, I mean no offense to Farl. He did what he could. The thing is, our FA requirements implicitly require us to have a quote on everything. Whether it makes sense or not, whether they're any good or not. Heck, there's nothing actually in the requirement that says there even needs to be a quote for one to be required. Rule 13 is very clear:
An article must provide at least one quote on the article.
But I think it's pretty clear from Kallidahin why such a requirement can be detrimental. To meet the requirement, Farl had to find something someone said, even if it has only the most tangential connection to the subject. Like I said, I'm not saying this as a criticism of his work, but as a sign of what the rules are forcing him, and every other FA writer, to do.
An FA is supposed to be one of the best articles on the Wook. What rule 13 is saying is that an article cannot be one of our best without cribbing a certain number of words from an official source. Does anybody think that's a fair requirement? Does an article get a boost in quality when quote marks get placed somewhere in it? Does anybody honestly think Kallidahin would be a worse article if none of those quotes were there? Once, we required images in the infobox. But when it grew clear that for some things, that was a detrimental requirement that was simply blocking perfectly fine articles from being FA by a totally arbitrary standard, we dropped it. We made images only needed when they exist and they're of good quality. Quality is another issue there. Right now, if a character says anything, including simply "Hello," this needs to be the lead quote. Does anyone think that improves articles?
If anybody feels there's a reason we should require quotes, I'd like to hear, but for now, I don't see it. We're not adding anything to these articles by making them have quotes come hell or high water. We are, in fact, making some of them downright silly with the proliferation of off-topic quotes. Once upon a time, when we were still figuring what it meant for an article to be an FA, this may have served a good guideline to set people on a certain course. But like the image requirement did a while ago, it's become outdated. It's simply an obstacle where none is needed. We don't need to steal LFL's words to make our articles good, so let's get rid of this requirement and judge FAs by our words in it, not someone else's.
Currently, we only have "keep" and "remove" as options. I don't think either is good. Like images, they *should* be in our articles when they exist and are of sufficient quality to improve the article, but shouldn't be shoehorned in where they don't belong. Thus, I think a rewording of Rule 13 is in order. Perhaps something along the lines of "provide a leading quote at the beginning of the article if a suitable and relevant in-universe quote exists. Additional blocked quotes may be added to introduce individual sections or subsections of the article, limited to one per section or subsection." Thoughts? jSarek 08:47, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
The only problem I can see with that is the vagueness of "suitable". Perhaps the "of sufficient quality" phrase you used can be incorporated in there. I'm adding a third section, at any rate. - Lord Hydronium 08:52, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
My question here is, why should an article have a quote, even if one is available? When it genuinely adds something to the article, well and good, but those are the rare instances. "Suitable and relevant" reads, to others, "vaguely relevant, subject is mentioned in sentence, etc." The only reason, I think we're saying that something should have a quote is because it's what we've always done. But that doesn't make it particularly functional or complementary to the article itself. Thefourdotelipsis 09:09, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
In retrospect, I agree with 4dot. I won't remove the option, because if that's what people want I'd rather have a less-hardline requirement than the mess we have now, but I still support removing the whole thing as an outdated archaism. - Lord Hydronium 09:11, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
I have to agree with Hydro, and kudos to him for bringing this to CT, in that having a quote as an absolute requirement for a FA certainly detracts from the quality of an article. However, like jSarek, I believe that we should have a quote in our articles if they are of a sufficient quality. Of course, "sufficient quality" is open to interpretation, but that is not something that is difficult to overcome. I have found that in the majority of articles, the lead quote had added to, not subtracted from, the article. For me, and I suspect for many others, the lead quote, and to a lesser extent, the section quotes, set the tone as to what impression we want the reader to gain regarding the subject of the article. I know that we strive for our articles to be written in an encyclopedic form, but encyclopedic does not have to mean dull, or downright boring. I find that the quotes add in a bit of flavor. Furthermore, since our articles are written in an in-universe perspective, I find the quotes a nice tie-in into the SW universe. Cylka-talk- 10:36, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
In all things related to FAs, we judge based on quality. We only allow quality writing. We only allow quality images. But for quotes, we say that if anyone says anything about a subject—no matter how bad the quote is, or how little it actually illustrates the subject—we must include it if there's nothing else. Our current quote requirement flat-out contradicts the idea that FAs are about quality, because it doesn't necessitate that the quotes be good, or useful, or relevant, just there. - Lord Hydronium 00:16, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
I'm pretty much on the fence with this one; I think Hydro, Havac, Culator and Toprawa all make good points and I'm not entirely sure what I think about this (Barring the "common sense" option which could easily be applied in place of a rule, but that'd obviously not work at all). But I would like to point out that, regardless of the content of the quote itself, having a lead quote improves presentation, quiet drastically, imho. Would anyone say this looks better than this, purely from a presentation point of view? (Of course, lots of may do, but I certainly don't). Obviously that's no reason to grasp at straws and find one word quotes from absolutely anywhere, but when I'm not sure if a lead quote's worth including or not, I tend to add it on that basis. Another point is that, with the rewording option, "sufficient quality" is quite subjective - some people like quotes, even for the sake of quotes, some people don't, some people don't care, and that would cause many disagreements on the FAN page. -- AdmirableAckbar(Talk) 00:41, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
I'd submit, and correct me if I'm wrong, that the one without the quote only looks worse because we're used to seeing a quote at the start of an article. There's no way that it's an objective improvement, it's only a subjective one. I don't think one is particularly better than the other...it's six versus half-a-dozen as far as I can see. I don't go on Wikipedia and think to myself, "Gee, I wish this had some kind of quote here." It's just...normal. Don't get me wrong, there are times where I think "Wow, that's a terrific quote, you've given me a real feel for this subject by providing this quote." But that's the exception. A lot of the time, we get a quote saying "We must get to Ando Prime with all due haste," followed by a chunk of text saying that "Billy-Bob travelled to Ando Prime with great speed, as the situation required it," or something like that. It think that the real genuine usefulness or "art," if you want of putting a quote before your text has been lost, because we do it all the time. In fact, we're required to do it all the time. I, personally, rarely read a quote these days, because about 8 times out of 10 it'll be some generic trash talk. I shrug and get to the actual meat of the article, the stuff that we've written, the stuff that actually counts. Quotes have always been nothing but a little tassel or bauble that we hang on the article. And yeah, that's nice, sometimes brilliant, but the idea that we must have that little decoration is somewhat confusing to me. It seems that we must have it because we always have, which, I dunno. I'm not particularly a fan of. I think we need to move on, frankly. Thefourdotelipsis 01:07, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
To all the people voting "no" because the wording jSarek proposed is vague: my idea wasn't that we just take that wholesale. It's that we agree that a change is needed, and discuss it here. If you think a change is needed, even if it's not the proposed one above, please don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. - Lord Hydronium 23:29, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
Everyone's probably made up their mind at this point, but does everyone voting "no" really think we shouldn't even have a note about quality in the requirement? Aren't FAs supposed to be about quality? Why should we let it slide here when we don't let it slide on images or text? - Lord Hydronium 22:22, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
Per Hydro. Why should a quote be required if it doesn't help the article, or even makes it worse? Put simply, we need a rule similar to that for images. A quote must be added to the article, if said quote is available. If no quote that relates to the subject of the article exists, then it shouldn't have to be added. Jonjedigrandmaster(Jujiggum) 22:39, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
There's nothing wrong with insisting on articles including quotes when suitable quotes exist, just like we require images, infoboxes, etc, when they're appropriate. But there's also no need to force a stupid, irrelevant quote into the article if a suitable one simply does not exist. Go common sense. Havac 21:49, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
I think quotes should still be, in general, insisted on, but a rewording would be good to allow for cases when it just isn't possible. Taral, Dark Lord of the Sith 13:57, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
While I don't necessarily think my wording is ideal (it was meant as a starting point for further discussion, not as a final word for this voting option), I think requiring a quote no matter what will inevitably diminish an article, not improve it, when the available quotes are mediocre or worse. jSarek 23:07, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
Allowing some room for common sense is always a good idea, IMHO. ~ SavageBob 23:54, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
Rewording the requirement will invite debate that the current rule neatly shuts out. A quality control department needs rules to enforce, not things to look for that would be nice. Since quotes improve an article in an overwhelming majority of cases, and people generally can't be trusted to even attempt to follow guidelines they don't personally like, this is the only logical option. -- Darth Culator(Talk) 11:50, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
Absolutely Keep. I'm tired of these Hydro and 4dot "Rules we don't like so let's not follow them." There's nothing wrong with the Kallidahin quote, and there's nothing wrong with necessitating a quote at the top of the page if it exists. Comparing this to something that needs to be changed per the infobox picture rule is just silly, because if there isn't a quote, then you don't need to add one in. It's that simple. Why does this rule exist? Because people like quotes. These are the community's articles, not your personal pieces of work. It looks better, it works better, it is better. Toprawa and Ralltiir 15:47, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
Quotes are the salt and pepper of an article. Without them, it would just be a bland meal. Count me in the liberal-conservative faction. Andykatib 23:53, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
For Kallidahin, you can just take the quote from the biology and appearance section so it would be at least about the species itself. Nowhere does it say every section needs a quote. However, there should probably be an addendum that says "unless there is no in-universe speach about them" or something. NaruHinaTalk 00:11, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
Per NaruHina - in this case, you're forcing more quotes on an article that don't really make sense even when you don't need additional quotes. —Xwing328(Talk) 17:04, 10 May 2009 (UTC)
Gonna go with Culator here, because the rewording is seriously open to interpretation, and there's such a difference between various opinions on quotes. -- AdmirableAckbar(Talk) 16:52, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
I've been on the fence with this one for a while, but after thinking it through I think we need a clear rule that avoids unnecessary confusion or debate on the FAN due to differing opinions. Grunny(Talk) 23:45, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
I won't be heartbroken if this vote swings the other way, but this keeps it more out of the fuzzy areas that make things more unclear. Atarumaster88(Talk page) 07:23, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
Per many of the above. First of all, I'm in no way prepared to open the Loophole to End All Loopholes. I'm not a fool and only see potential for abuse in relaxing the wording. The Inquisitorius can handle exceptions and so forth, as necessary; that's what they're for, regulating the FA process. Second, I find this endless procession of borderline WP:POINT consensus threads to be quite tiresome. When I don't get my way, I decide that as long as the majority of the community is getting theirs, that's more than fine with me. Finally, I don't buy these excuses not to use quotes one bit. It's a fabricated argument that doesn't hold any weight when you consider what can be done with a little imagination. If you can't seem to make a quote work for you, feel free to ask another talented writer to help you out. There's no shortage of them on the site. Graestan(Talk) 16:15, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
Kallidahin is a bad example since there's arguably too many quotes in there already and another could have easily been used as the lead quote. Not every subject does have a suitable lead quote, and the Inqs have already passed articles without them as I recall. Since we can already make exceptions, I don't see why we need to relax the rule. Green Tentacle(Talk) 18:22, 13 May 2009 (UTC)