Template talk:Stub

Definition of stub

The introductory note states that this is a "placeholder" flag used to indicate incomplete content. The "Usage" section then clarifies, that Template:Expansion should be used to indicate "content lacking in detail" and Template:Stub for anything else.

Is this definition up-to-date or is there a better one nowadays? Even Template:Expansion can be used to flag "too short" pages, the distinction "in detail" seems unnecessary to me.

-- Lahwaacz (talk) 16:17, 13 May 2015 (UTC)

I interpret "stub" as an article which does not (yet) have all regular attributes like, e.g. a proper introduction, a TOC structure that satisfies the subject (so that other editors can easily add) is not concluded on, missing categorization and linkage with other related content, etc. If I would use a Template:Expansion top page, it would indeed be for a particular part (/detail) of content that should be expanded on. E.g. Systemd could never receive a stub template, but there may well be a case something important pops up that makes a top-article expansion template useful.
A stub article will always lack content, so you cannot use that as a distinction. --Indigo (talk) 18:05, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
You may be right, but it seems to me that a similar effect could be achieved with the Style template, or with Expansion + Style combination. -- Lahwaacz (talk) 19:49, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
Sure, but with a stub you can also do it after there was time for the article to define itself. You pick one, e.g. Bose_speakers (first pick!), and now you can still make up your mind about a more to the point Template:Expansion, or perhaps a Template:Moveto? --Indigo (talk) 22:59, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
Sure, but an article can stick with "Expansion" flag forever as well as with "Stub" flag, unless the "Stub" flag is to avoid flagging such pages with all kinds of different flags. Anyway, I just noticed that this is one of the old Kynikos' ideas (no. 8.3), so I suspect he might have something to add... -- Lahwaacz (talk) 17:16, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, would be nice if he finds time. From your wording I am unsure though, if you agree to what I mean or not. Merging Stub and Expansion makes a big bucket of both. Imagine the recently added Wolfenstein:_Enemy_Territory would be stub at the beginning. Plugging an expansion template onto it instead of stub it gets indifferent in "whatlinkshere" to any subsection expansion there is in the wiki. (Thought: Maybe template Expansion should be only for subsections and only template Stub top of page.) I don't really mind if you want to deprecate it, but I think it makes differentiation of incomplete content more difficult if done. --Indigo (talk) 20:50, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
I've thought about this for a while, but I really can't form a strong opinion (maybe that's also why I hid the idea in my shamefully messy list): IMO there are good theoretical arguments on both sides, but in practice, after browsing a bit Special:WhatLinksHere/Template:Stub, I haven't found any "stub" whose template couldn't be replaced with a more meaningful Style (including Bose_speakers), so I'd vote for deprecating this template, also to force us to be more specific when flagging a new page (I haven't seen a Stub template with a proper accompanying message).
A particular use of Stub that I've seen is to mark articles that might have good style but feel "too short", however I think this is an arbitrary decision that doesn't offer much help, especially for articles that don't actually have much room for expansion (I've been "guilty" of that too of course). Short articles are listed automatically in Special:ShortPages btw. As I wrote in ArchWiki:Requests#Enforcement (first post's PPS), maybe we should just try to be a bit more "forgiving" when it comes to short articles, and only mark them if their style is subpar: deprecating Stub would help us lose this "bad" (my humble opinion) habit.
I think in the little rest of the cases where using Stub could be justifiable, moving the page back to its author's User page should be a preferable action, which is probably what we're already doing.
Kynikos (talk) 12:30, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
Actually I was unaware of Special:ShortPages, or just did not think of that. It covers what I had in mind with the "buckets" generally.
For deprecating Stub, an important point should be to make it clear how editors can mark content as work-in-progress then. The way I interpret your and Lahwaacz's statements, editors should place expansion templates (stating topics, linking a to-do list in talk) instead. With respect to the "PPS", I do agree but see it as a case-by-case decision at the same time. Just logical is that the older the short-stub content gets without further content commits, the more likely it is outdated/not interesting for readership.
Regarding your last point, User namespace, in the cases I know about that was chosen, because either it was not foreseeable the article can gain enough content for mainspace (i.e. in respect of the user contribution to avoid deleting it fully) or it was unclear/ disagreement how it would fit with existing content. User pages are non-collaborative per se, so that cannot be a general measure for a wiki to handle initially subpar content IMO. That said I think a lot of editors may be unaware of subpages in their userpages and a hint, e.g. in ArchWiki:Contributing#Creating, of that possibility to prepare content would be helpful (how to mark w-i-p should be mentioned there as well). --Indigo (talk) 17:25, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
If the WIP argument is the only one, we can simply rename this template to Template:Work in progress (and update the existing transclusions). On the other hand, this template should never be necessary on a wiki as every page is "work in progress" in its nature. Its usage on the newly created pages can be simply compensated with the existing (non-stub) templates, also eliminating the implied "don't touch" meaning of the WIP flag. Instead of using WIP flags on existing pages, their restructuring should be carefully prepared beforehand in order to provide meaningful information in an organized way all the time (in contrast to the GRUB page, which is flagged as WIP for almost half a year). The status templates should be connected only to the content, not to some indeterminate time period or (group of) editors as is the case of a WIP flag as I imagine it. -- Lahwaacz (talk) 18:15, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
I wouldn't like a specific WIP template: it would end up being used just like Stub, but with 4x typing required, so between the two I'd keep Stub.
Apart from that, I fully endorse Lahwaacz's last post, I especially like the argument that we should avoid connecting status templates to temporary events, but only to static content issues.
Also Indigo's idea to expand ArchWiki:Contributing#Creating seems very wise to me.
Kynikos (talk) 03:42, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
Well, GRUB is an important but particularly difficult article. I agree with you generally, but see such as a valid exception because (a) Stevenmw indeed laid out ideas to re-structure different sections in the linked talk (there was a previous [1] too) and (b) it can always be that a top level template can raise awareness for others to help with the task. Certainly I agree "temporary" should be much shorter in such exceptional cases; two-three weeks maybe. Regarding WIP I did not mean to imply we do need a template for that. I just reflected that Stub is used for that widely at current. I'll see how this item is concluded & expand ArchWiki:Contributing#Creating a little according to above points of all, if no-one is faster. --Indigo (talk) 12:50, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
I think we need to hear the opinion of other admins/maintainers before deciding the fate of this template; also, allowing some time to reflect and re-reading this discussion later in the future might help us make a better decision. If meanwhile you want to expand ArchWiki:Contributing#Creating, go for it of course! — Kynikos (talk) 04:02, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
I've taken a closer look at the pages transcluding Template:Stub and most of the time the flag is placed inappropriately - the page has either been improved years ago and the flag remained, or the page has more specific issues and Stub flag can be replaced with any of Merge/Expansion/Style, or it is placed on non-English page (note that most languages don't have a localized Stub template). Out of curiosity, certain editors seem to like translating pages literally, including stub template reasons, or call themselves "stub". Of course there are more difficult cases, such as Sharing_Files_Remotely or Convert_ext2_to_ext3, where the Stub flag gives general message "there's something wrong", but I don't see any easy way to improve it. The Stub template may find its use after all, but the "reason" argument seems unnecessary. In any case, we can decide whether to deprecate it or not later as the list of pages transcluding it grows smaller. -- Lahwaacz (talk) 16:45, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
(Meanwhile I've made Special:WhatLinksHere/Template:Stub human-free :) ) — Kynikos (talk) 01:12, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
+1 on deprecating Stub. Expansion is basically the same (but more constructive, and more prone to justification), and the positive effects from replacing existing transclusions are already clear. I also agree it's a good idea to make the unwritten rule on subpages literal in ArchWiki:Contributing.
I've replaced Template:Stub on Sharing Files Remotely and Convert ext2 to ext3. [2] [3]
There's a few dozen transclusions left, but I've opened a poll anyway. -- Alad (talk) 13:15, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
If deprecating a status template leads to making it unused by improving the pages transcluding it, perhaps we should just "deprecate" all of them O_O But on the other hand, unused status template does not mean that it will not be useful in the future :/ Lahwaacz (talk) 09:49, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Sure, but here I meant using specialized templates and user guidelines (as described above) is more effective in solving outstanding article issues, rather than a "catch-all" template like Stub. :) -- Alad (talk) 13:23, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
As said, let's wait until the list of backtransclusions gets smaller (thanks guys for working on it) to see if we can really do without this template.
@Lahwaacz: after reading your last post I don't understand if you've changed your mind with respect to the original post and your vote in the poll, can you clarify? :)
Kynikos (talk) 03:46, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Besides just kidding as indicated by the smilies, which was definitely the point yesterday :D, today I can think of one more: We have not defined what does "deprecate" mean, so in one interpretation we could periodically "deprecate" a status template — just to ripple the calm waters, you know — and when the waters settle, "undeprecate" it again instead of deleting it.
But I guess I'm just thinking too much ahead, the poll about Template:Stub is a serious matter and I was definitely not kidding when voting. For the moment I assumed that deprecation (not in quotes) would have similar effects as in the case of Template:Wikipedia.
-- Lahwaacz (talk) 08:04, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Eheh the limits of written communication... your post felt kind of "ironic" to me instead (still in a light-hearted way of course), probably I was in a different mood from you :D now I get it :P
My acceptation of "deprecation" would be "act towards its deletion and oblivion", although as I said I'm not 100% convinced actually, let's see how it goes, this discussion has already given very good results in any case for what I've seen :)
Kynikos (talk) 09:14, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
So, less than 250 pages still use the template, and it has seen even less use in the last six months. With the deprecation option is unanimously chosen in the poll, I've marked the template for deletion. -- Alad (talk) 16:04, 24 January 2016 (UTC)


Poll closed at 16:06, 24 January 2016 (UTC)
Keep the existing Template:Stub
  • [Vote here ~~~~]

Keep Template:Stub, but remove the reason argument
  • [Vote here ~~~~]

Deprecate Template:Stub
Return to "Stub" page.