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 Adopt proposed policy changes. Imperators II(Talk) 17:46, May 2, 2017 (UTC)
At the March 2016 Mofference, we amended Wookieepedia:Sourcing to require that a permanent archival link be added to all citation templates referencing external links. Rule 9 of WP:S currently reads: When citing an external link, a permanent archival link must also be included in the citation template if available. WebCite is recommended for this purpose. However, I've begun to notice a limitation in WebCite's service that makes it inferior to Internet Archive's Wayback Machine.
To illustrate what I'm talking about, here is the Random House Kids product page for The Phantom Menace Golden Book. Like many product pages, this page includes a feature where you can toggle back and forth between the book's different editions, in this case hardcover and eBook. The problem with this type of feature, though, is that the toggle feature doesn't work on archived pages. The WebCite archive of this page is a jumbled mess that is very difficult to read. Worse, it doesn't even show the eBook's unique data, even when you enter its specific URL into the archive. Best-case scenario, you would end up having to use a different reference note for each book's edition just to be able to enter a different archive link into your citation template. Obviously, this is not ideal.
On the other hand, observe Wayback Machine's beautiful archive of this page. Everything is neatly arranged, and it cuts through the toggle feature, allowing you to use one reference note in your article for every book's edition. Just to show this principle in action a second time, here is the Penguin Random House product page for this same book, which uses a similar toggle feature. Here is the WebCite archive, which doesn't allow you to access the info from both editions; and here is the Wayback Machine archive, which allows you to see the page's full information.
Whereas WebCite can only do one thing (save a permanent archive of a live web page), Wayback Machine does that plus allows you to access past versions of a web page, even long-dead pages, which is why we've been using Internet Archive for everything with the exception of this WP:S rule. There's really no reason to use WebCite at all, unless Wayback Machine can't save a live page. See the "Save Page Now" section of the WM homepage, where it says this feature is "Only available for sites that allow crawlers." That's the one scenario I can imagine where WebCite can actually do something that Wayback Machine cannot.
Therefore, I'd like to propose revising this rule to state that Wayback Machine should be used as standard, unless there's a case where the Save Page Now feature doesn't work, in which case WebCite will be our backup alternative. The second sentence of Rule 9 will now read:
I've started noticing some odd things with our WBM archives. For example, if I want to access the Encyclopedia entry for the Junker species, it will say there are archives available and redirect me to the Databank entry live on SW.com. However, if I just post the URL in WBM's search bar, it works just fine. This seems to happen with every archived page. Is there any specific reason this keeps happening? - AV-6R7Crew Pit 13:14, April 25, 2017 (UTC)
I'm not really sure what you're referring to, but it sounds ancillary to this forum's focus. Side note while you're here, your image in your signature is 25px, which violates Wookieepedia:Signature policy. You need to decrease it to 20px. Thanks. Toprawa and Ralltiir (talk) 13:20, April 25, 2017 (UTC)
Yeah, I noticed the same thing yesterday. I clicked "backup link" for Mungo Baobab's databank entry in this link: Mungo Baobab in the Databank (content now obsolete; backup link) ... and it got an HTTP 301 response at crawl time and redirected me to an archived page of a circa-2016 sw.com databank. I had to go to archive.org and type http://starwars.com/databank/character/mungobaobab/index.html into the wayback machine in order to access Mungo's old databank entry. Maybe we need a bot to fix the coding for the old databank backup links. Menkooro (talk) 01:51, April 26, 2017 (UTC)
That's a pretty broad question. It'd be easier to speak to specifics. One thing that will need to be done immediately is revise many of our Internet citation templates, which are currently set up for WebCite. Toprawa and Ralltiir (talk) 13:34, April 25, 2017 (UTC)