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. The result of the debate was bi-weekly featured articles to start on 13 August 2007.Green Tentacle(Talk) 14:21, 12 August 2007 (UTC)
I think we have a bit of a problem with the FA queue.
We now have a 64 article queue for FA. The last FA on there now isn't going to be on the front page until September 28. Of 2008. And even though we aren't cranking them out quite as fast as we were a couple months ago, we're still doing it at an average of more than one a week, which means that number is going to just keep growing. And that's a problem.
Reason 1: 14 months is a long time in wiki terms. Consider that the Inquisitorius has stripped articles of their FA status that had only been up for a few months. A few months, and they still didn't meet standards. There are a few reasons for this:
Standards change. We used to not require sourcing. Then we did. Suddenly, every FA no longer met the criteria.
Articles change. People add new stuff, people change things around. And the article that was great when it was made an FA may suffer from the addition of poorly written new material.
Canon changes. We get new sources all the time, and bar the more obscure ones, a lot of FAs are going to need updating. Some FAs have their main author dedicated to keeping the article up-to-date, but that's not the case for all, nor is it a requirement. An article can easily fall behind on being comprehensive, even if everything else stays perfect.
Reason 2: Part of the incentive of doing FAs is, honestly, seeing your article on the main page. I'm sure everybody wants to help the wiki too, and in an ideal world that might be all it took, but for people who aren't normally inclined to dig up a bunch of sources and sit down to write an article on a topic, the idea that they could get it on the main page is a nice bonus. But when the queue is over a year long, that incentive loses a bit of its luster. Yeah, you'll eventually see your article on the front page, if you want to wait a year and change.
So, this idea has come up in the past, and there have been rebuttals. I'll address a few of the ones I remember:
We can't keep up the pace of FA-making we're at now, and may find ourselves running out of articles. It's better to have too many than to be scrambling to catch up.
Now, in fairness, this has proven somewhat true since we last had one of these discussions. We don't kick out the articles quite as often as we did before, but we are still churning them out at a pretty good rate. However, the point stands even that could change. Nonetheless, assuming we were to halve the current FA time, we would still have seven months of articles to fall back on (and that's assuming no other articles are made after that). If the article rate started dropping any time within that, we would still have plenty of time to change it back. We could even do it on a trial session: go to half a week (or whatever) for a couple months, then see if it works, and if not, switch back.
Standards simply need to be raised.
Again, this is a fair assessment. But to those who believe this, look at the queue and ask "How many of these don't meet what should be the standards?" Is it even half? Because even assuming we do raise standards, and assuming we don't simply raise them artificially high, I don't think that's going to drop the rate below one article per week. It might make the growth rate a bit smaller, but I don't think it's going to shorten the queue any.
So anyway, that's the idea. What we would actually shorten it to is another matter, so I made a subsection for that too. - Lord Hydronium 03:29, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
I think a vote on this should be delayed until after the next Inq meeting, for which raising our standards is one agenda item. I for one think the rotation should stay at a week; it's the most natural thing to do, and reducing that span of time will only make featuring a little less special for everybody. Plus, if our standards are tightened, I bet we'll see that queue shrink. (Now get your keisters over to the meeting page and post your preferred dates, Inqs!) Gonk(Gonk!) 12:14, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
Assuming we do decide to shorten it, what to? I think half a week might be a good starting point, and see how well it works from there. - Lord Hydronium 03:29, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
I'd support switching featured length to 3.5 days. -- Ozzel 03:48, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
Bi-weekly was my first thought too. The change-overs would happen on the same days of the week vs. doing every 3 days for example. -Fnlayson 04:05, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
Alas, weeks have seven days, making dividing them up a tricky task. ;-) Twice a week seems the most reasonable starting point. jSarek 06:09, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
Two a week sounds good to me as long as we remember when to update it. Green Tentacle(Talk) 09:18, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
I hate changing it, because I like the once a week FA tradition; however, twice a week seems to be the best choice. —Xwing328(Talk) 16:55, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
Speaking as someone who only has one article in the queue right now, I'd be happy to lessen its time on the front page in exchange for having it up much earlier. —Silly Dan(talk) 17:23, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
Here's another one with Silly Dan's POV on the subject. My FA is one of, if not the, last article in the queue and I too would rather have it up for less time if I can see it earlier. Besides, since there's no picture to go with it, who could see it for a whole week?--Goodwood 00:35, 21 July 2007 (UTC)
Next meeting. There's no point whatsoever to discussing this until after the meeting. Havac 01:02, 21 July 2007 (UTC)
We had a little parley about the issue in our Tenth Inquisitorius meeting (this should be linked after we get the log up), and came up with some ideas.
We agree that the queue is very, very long and needs to shortened. Part of what the Inquisitorius will be doing is going back through some articles currently on the queue and reviewing them again at an unspecified time with our Inqtastic abilities. However, the primary method of shortening the queue we agreed was to shorten the rotation time to two a week. However, we differed on methods of shortening the rotation time, so we brought it back here. We propose two different mechanics for changing the FA display process here.
There will be two-featured articles per week, and the box on the Main Page will be set to randomize them. There will be a link to the other article at all times, but the intro blurb will randomly alternate between two articles. The Inq will arrange the queue so as to have variety in the currently featured article.
The rotation time for an FA on the main page will now be half a week instead of a full week, as it currently is. At 3 and a half days through the week, the article wil change. There will be a link to the week's other FA at all times. We are not sure on the technical aspects/difficulty of the option.