User talk:Guy vandegrift/Archive 5

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Is This topic an abandoned resource? I see that nothing links there. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 03:23, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

Yes, there's a story about that. When I started to place sister-project links on Wikipedia, I didn't understand all the options available, and the default template created this tortured language whenever the name of the topic did not match the name in Wikiversity namespace. So I created some generic "this topic" sister-links and intended to redirect the reader to the proper Wikiversity page. You might recall me making namespace out of "1+2+3+..." because I wanted to link out of Wikipedia to Wikivervisty. I don't think anything links there from Wikpedia now.
So... I put a note to anybody from Wikipedia just in case I forgot about a sister-project link. I also placed a delete request with the understanding that you will remove it if you feel "this project" should remain in namespace.--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 03:41, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
Confirmed by bot. Nothing from Wikipedia links there. Thanks! -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 03:54, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

Speaking of resources with no incoming links,

suggests that this file is "lost". That's because I am using a quick way to display them automatically whenever such files are created. This external link "finds" the pdf file:

Astronomy Quizbank PDF files

If it makes you feel any better, this is a "quick" fix to speed up the laborious effort of transforming all my quizbanks in this way. Once all are transformed, I will make proper links to them.

Also, I chose the word "Quizbank" because "Testbank" has an entirely different meaning that confounds google searches. Some people prefer "Assessment Bank" but that is too many syllables for me. Also, "Wikiquiz" has another meaning, albeit rather obscure, so I am trying to get away from that word.--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 04:16, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

Okay, thanks! -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 12:20, 29 May 2015 (UTC)


Hi Guy, You may also be interested in Help:Quiz. Sincerely, James -- Jtneill - Talk - c 10:15, 15 June 2015 (UTC)

Boubaker polynomialsEdit

Thanks for your work on this. I have explored the issue you raised on a footnote. The difficulties there bear on the Wikipedia controversy. In looking for the sources, and having read Wikipedia discussion of this topic, one fact flies in my face: ethnic identities or identifications. It appears that Boubaker partisans have claimed racism is involved. From what I'm finding, it is plausible. I am not yet ready to come to a conclusion on that, but this is an enormous can of worms.

When I adopted an African daughter, I was astonished to encounter racism in very unexpected places. Overt racism has become rare, it is in retreat everywhere. But there are subtle forms that are still very much alive. And then there is racist rejection of racism. (I.e., if you are black and your boss fires you, and your boss is white, is this racism?) It will take time and patience -- and tolerance of "racists" as human, as well as a strong stand against racism -- for all of this relic of human history to fade.

It is obvious to me that Boubaker or partisans were simply appalled at how the Boubaker affair was handled on Wikipedia. Under those conditions, some of them could be expected to become vandals or to sock or to otherwise violate policies. In theory, this should be irrelevant to content decisions, but the reality is that the communities are composed of human beings who react according to personal ideas about "right" and "wrong," and, to them, "POV-pushing" is wrong and a major harm.

The original wiki theory assumed that fringe groups, however defined, would accept consensus that fairly presented their views. Consensus process was established, not voting. Consensus process developed in the 20th century and requires inclusiveness and tolerance for minority points of view. However, the communities developed an aversion to anyone who has strong beliefs and who promotes them. They were not "Wikipedians," but outsiders, and a threat, to be eliminated. Thus, even though the traditions that developed on the wikipedias usually worked, and the project grew rapidly, gradually the community became insular and highly conservative, and what it conserved, most of all, was "we are right." In spite of the tradition that "consensus can change," past decisions become enshrined as unchallengeable, and if one challenges them, trying to create that change, one is "against consensus," and will often be sanctioned.

The Boubaker affair is a hot potato. I intend to document it on the subpage created. That must be done with extreme caution, lest it become or be seen as an attack on other users or other wikis, which these things have, in the past, become.

However, this impression has been growing strongly as I read more and more sources: Boubaker polynomials are easily notable by Wikipedia standards. There is actually a Wikipedia notability policy on numerical sequences, and they handily satisfy it, it's not even questionable. In addition, I'm finding peer-reviewed secondary sources that address them, and many, many sources refer to them.

So what is a Boubaker polynomial? Given all the reliable source, surely somewhere on Wikipedia we would be informed, perhaps under Chebyshev polynomials to start. (For mention in an article, only one reliable source is necessary, normally.) It appears that this information has been systematically excluded, being called "promotion." I've seen this before in other areas, and it can be tenacious, once the "promotion" label has been pasted across the face of something. --Abd (discusscontribs) 13:42, 30 June 2015 (UTC)

Thanks. What you have done so far seem fair and neutral.--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 15:01, 30 June 2015 (UTC)

My take on thisEdit

(in response to...)

I've just spent an insane amount of time reviewing all the sources that were in the External Links section of the article. If it was Boubaker who was visiting here to create this resource, he was hiding his light under a bushel. I'm overwhelmed with what I found. And then, after completing that first task (see Boubaker Polynomials/Sources), I did a Google scholar search limited to 2012-present. 296 hits. Nearly all the journals that I looked at were mainstream, reputable. I did not yet list maybe 17 Boubaker publications in the Hindawi family of journals. He had not pointed to them. I see no reason to expect the more recent publications have gone to pot. This guy has been astonishingly prolific. I did not compile citations, so we are only looking at articles from the 2011 set that have Boubaker in the article name. For 2015 alone, Google Scholar comes up with 62 results.
I can understand why the first deletion discussion on Wikipedia was delete. But the second, it was getting iffy. The third, in 2011, was preposterous.
Yes, this guy is an author on very many of the papers. However, notability guidelines have been misunderstood. This is not self-published material. All of it shows the notability of the name "Boubaker polynomials." Not Boubaker himself. Not yet, anyway. On him as a person, I only found a weak source, and one possibly stronger, but inaccessible.
I've seen this many times, users confuse independent publisher with independent author. It would be like saying that a source can't be used because the author is a professional in the field. After all, not independent! If he had called them "mousetrap polynomials" or something like that, there wouldn't have been such a strong reaction. But in his field, it is common to name a kind of mathematical object over the person who first specifically studies it. It looks like his first publication didn't use that name. --Abd (discusscontribs) 03:02, 3 July 2015 (UTC)

I noticed something similar when I looked at "papers cited" on either Google scholar or our library search engines. I think the Boubaker page on Wikiversity can turn into something very interesting, but not because Boubaker polynomials are interesting. I recently saw something on TV about Wikipedia (on 60 minutes?). It turns out that Wikipedia struggled over whether a wedding dress recently worn by British royalty was "notable". I think it is inevitable that Wikipedia will make mistakes. I see exactly three internet systems that provide general information:

  1. The entire internet is the largest. As an educator, my biggest problem with this internet-at-large is the copyright issue, coupled with the fact that even "fair-use" copying and editing of internet pages for instructive purposes is awkward and time-consuming.
  2. The second system consists of other open-source resources (PlanetMath, Wikibooks, ...). The problem with PlaneMath, Chemwiki, and OpenStax College is that while it is legal to copy/paste/edit this material, it is currently an awkward operation. The ability to integrate with Wikipedia is a tremendous advantage for the wiki-sisters. My hope and expectation is for the Wikipedia-sisters to grow and become as sort of "open source internet-at-large". I actually believe this growth is exponential, occurring right now, but at a slow growth rate that nobody notices. You can't measure this growth by looking at the number of pages; it's the quality that counts.
  3. Then we have Wikipedia. I don't think any of us have anything against Wikipedia. But for this planet to rely on a single open source of information would be insane. --Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 13:11, 3 July 2015 (UTC)

Placing aforementioned discussion into Boubaker Polynomials/WikipediaEdit

@Abd: I added the above discussion to Boubaker Polynomials/Wikipedia. You have clearly become the "principle author" on this, so your judgement will not be challenged by me. If you want, I can go through and delete the signatures (--~~~~) because that seems to be the standard that you adopted for this page.--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 13:46, 3 July 2015 (UTC)

Okay, some principles. Neutral resources may contain opinions, but that should be accidental. I.e., I might state what I think is a fact, but it's actually an opinion. Opinions (which include judgments, assessments, an aspect of Original Research) should be attributed, hence signatures. When I introduce an opinion on a resource page, you will generally see either a signature or an attribution, i.e., "Comment by Abd" or something like that. Someone may remove those comments, but should not change them, though spelling corrections, formatting and the like are routinely allowed.
There can be a problem with moving discussions. Discussions are created with context in mind. What I intend for your user page, I might not intend for a resource. User pages I would call "semi-private." In this case, though the discussion is about the page and page process, and it's fine on the attached Talk page. Useful, in fact. Thanks. Unless our conversation becomes part of the "Wikipedia story," though, not in the resource.
What we can do on Wikiversity is balance neutrality and academic freedom. It is not "anything goes," like some Wikipedians think about Wikiversity. Personal attack, for example, is not only rude, disruptive of cooperation, and not academic, it can create interwiki disruption.
There are certain topics that should not be addressed on Wikiversity without having ethical guidelines in place. It's really the same with brick-and-mortar universities, which must balance freedom (academically necessary) with avoiding unnecessary conflict with the host society. There is always a level of tension in that.
We often don't have guidelines. So we proceed with caution! --Abd (discusscontribs) 21:03, 3 July 2015 (UTC)
As an example of a problem with moving comments, we now have signed comments on that Talk page. If there is an edit to the, responding to a comment there, you won't be notified by your Watchlist. The new notification system, though, should notify you that you have been mentioned there, through the placement of a link to your user name. --Abd (discusscontribs) 21:05, 3 July 2015 (UTC)
I have no problem with your revert; your explanation is sound--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 22:03, 3 July 2015 (UTC)

Copyright ViolationsEdit

If you see a copyright violation, you should delete it. No need to announce or warn for that. It's a supported speedy deletion. Exceptions are made for legitimate Fair Use. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 18:21, 2 August 2015 (UTC)

There are marginal cases. Example: user needs a template here, copies it from Wikipedia. Dave has opined that the template should be transwikied, which is definitely superior, because it preserves history, but it is enough, for license purposes, that there be a reference to the original. I.e., if one sees one of these, one could supply what is missing. Or, as a sysop, could transwiki the original. Then the issue becomes if one wants to do that much work. If it is deleted, there is not a great deal of harm if there is reference to the original in the deletion reason. I.e., "copied from Wikipedia, ask me for transwiki."
As to announcement, if a user has a history here, it would be a courtesy to notify of the intended deletion, which suggests tagging the page instead of directly deleting it. But Dave is correct, it can be deleted; however, what will be the impact on the user? Some users respond very badly to abrupt deletion, not to mention being blocked for repeated creation, which they may think is okay. With most users, it's easy to communicate about all this and fix it; where I've seen this break down is with users whose language isn't English and who may, in addition, be very young. --Abd (discusscontribs) 18:39, 2 August 2015 (UTC)
The reason I didn't delete involves the question of whether it really was a copyvio. In this case I was 90% sure because a website was selling it. In retrospect, that should have been enough evidence -- but a claim of copyright on an image that appears all over the internet is not absolute proof. (I know it appears all over the internet because I google-searched the image). In the future I won't be so cautious.--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 19:56, 2 August 2015 (UTC)

Full CustodianshipEdit

You've been a probationary custodian for almost five months now. Are you interested in pursuing full custodianship? In looking over the list of custodian skills, are there any listed that you have a question about, or anything not listed, for that matter? I don't believe you've tried any imports or history merges yet, but everything else seems to be going well, at least from my perspective. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 02:41, 3 August 2015 (UTC)

Yes, I am interested in pursuing full custodianship. I will analyze the list of custodian skills today, and place them in the next section.

Custodian checklistEdit

---Comments in bold and the {{done}} templated edited by user:Guy vandegrift

  1.  Y DoneMonitor Wikiversity:Request custodian action and Wikiversity:Notices for custodians I just added the latter to my watchlist
  2.  Y Done Welcome new users (Find new users on 'Recent changes') How do you find new users?
    • New users, in this case, are those who haven't been welcomed yet. The way I identify them is to review the 'Recent changes' list for contributions that have a red Talk link. A non-existent talk page shows someone who hasn't been welcomed yet. But I check their contribution first. I don't welcome solicitation. I often welcome and advise, meaning I first use the {{welcome}} template, followed by a post explaining why I moved or corrected their recent contribution.
  3.  Y Done Respond to Colloquium questions and requests
  4. Review the Template:Administering Wikiversity resource list. I have skimmed through it and will begin a careful study on 8/3/2015
  5.  Y Done Move a page without redirect
  6.  Y Done Move a page with subpages
  7.  Y Done Move a page with delete
  8.  Y DoneDelete a page
  9.  Y Done Undelete a page I assume I just check the UNDELETE box, right?
    • There is no UNDELETE box. See Fog collection and storage and experiment with undeleting and re-deleting it, or experiment with one of your own deletions by restoring and re-deleting it.
  10.  Y Done with no confidence or understanding Merge page history I need to learn to do this
    • Merging history is confusing until you do it a few times. It's a combination of move and delete, followed by undelete, often followed by editing and restoring a historical edit to get the better or more accurate content. I also find I often need to Purge the page before the history is accurate. There is a Purge option that can be added to the page menu, available under Preferences / Gadgets.
    • Am I supposed to study all of w:Wikipedia:How to fix cut-and-paste moves#Repair_process_.28for_admins.29?
      • Can I just learn w:Wikipedia:How to fix cut-and-paste moves#An_easy_case?
        • You're an educator. I'll leave it to you to determine what level of Bloom's Taxonomy you want to apply to the concept. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 04:10, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
          • On my lack of confidence or understanding: I created two pages User:Guy vandegrift/A and User:Guy vandegrift/B. Each page had three headings, (A1,A2,A3) or (B1,B2,B3). They are now merged under User:Guy vandegrift/A. I would have to do this a few times before I would ever want to do it with an actual resource.
            • It's important to remember that merging history only merges the edit history of the two pages, not the content. It effectively addresses the cc-BY-sa licensing issue rather than the resulting content. It is most useful when a user copies an entire article and creates a new article rather than moving the original. Later, we find to articles, one abandoned and one with an incomplete edit history. At that point, we merge the histories together rather than deleting the abandoned article. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 13:07, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
              • For me, it is unnerving to delete the page I want to keep. Can any deleted page be undeleted?--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 13:21, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
                • As far as I know, every deleted page can be undeleted, unless there is database corruption and we need someone to restore from a backup first. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 14:55, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
  11.  Y Done Hide revisions
  12.  Y Done Monitor Wikiversity:Import and import content from a sister project Never attempted
    • Try importing some article, just so you are familiar with the process. You can delete it again if it doesn't seem relevant. Moved w:Galaxy with well over 50 templates. If that is ever attempted again, it needs to be moved to a subpage of a wikiversity namespace dedicated to that move. Otherwise you have to undo by deleting each template separately.
  13.  Y Done with caveat-see below Monitor the AbuseLog and create or update an abuse filter Do not even know what this means
    • At the top of the Abuse filter log, click on Home. Click on the different descriptions to see the code behind the filter, what it checks for, and what actions it allows. We can prevent abuse by proactively filtering out inappropriate content, or adding an alert so we know what edits are more likely to need a review.
    • Caveat: I looked at home in the AbuseLog and saw the 11 filters. I think I understand the most commonly used filter #6:!('autoconfirmed' in user_groups) & length(added_links) > 0 means for all people who are no autoconfirmed editors, any edit with added links trigger the filter. Also, I tried adding "OMG" to the questionable language filter #4 (planning to delete the trigger after writing OMG on a page). I typed "OMG" but failed to trigger the filter,perhaps because it takes time for the trigger go into effect. In summary, I get the idea but am not proficient in writing the code to create filter.--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 19:17, 3 August 2015 (UTC)
      • Try changing the filter to omg rather than OMG. Note the lcase in the filter. That means we don't need to search for all possible capitalization, just the word in lower case. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 20:25, 3 August 2015 (UTC)
  14.  Y Done Review one or more Maintenance reports and make appropriate corrections Not sure
  15. Edit one or more pages in the MediaWiki namespace I could do a simple edit, but have not done so. See below Don't understand
    • The MediaWiki namespace contains the pages that control what we see in terms of the overall user interface, including menus on the left, content at the bottom, etc., etc. It's worth looking through the different pages to understand where things are and how you would edit the user interface if desired.
    • Most of them seem to be the text associated with functions used to create the pages. I presume this permits the same software to be used by different languages. I wouldn't want to edit any of these without supervision, obviously.--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 19:56, 3 August 2015 (UTC)
  16.  Y Done Block a user or IP address and monitor Category:Requests for unblock I think I know how to do this
  17. Work with other custodians to effectively support Wikiversity

Comments embedded above. Experiment with the tools and features you haven't tried yet, and let me know what questions you have. Thanks! -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 14:31, 3 August 2015 (UTC)

Congratulations on full custodianshipEdit

!!! --Abd (discusscontribs) 15:30, 10 August 2015 (UTC)

Promote WikiversityEdit

Hi Guy, thanks for your reaction on the discussion below.

I hope to find more people that want to promote Wikiversity. I think the Wikipedia Eduction Program should also tell teachers and students about the Wikiversity. If you have any suggestion on how we can promote Wikiversity, please let me know. Timboliu (discusscontribs) 15:03, 14 August 2015 (UTC)

This is not something we should or could do, a push might someday come from students and perhaps taxpayers. Our current system of education is not cost effective. I never understood why NASA never wrote one or two college level astronomy textbooks and included a testbank. NASA could also post online lessons, and universities could host the exams. Each college could set its own grade standards, and perhaps add supplementary tasks for the students and instructors to do. In the past, the cost of higher education has risen higher than inflation. With a bit of technology, we could drastically reverse that trend. Another structural change above my "paygrade" would be for college education departments to require that pre-service (i.e. wannabe) teachers post lesson plans and create curriculum materials on Wikiversity (or any other open source platform). Don't expect any of this to happen soon. Social change is very slow, and then it suddenly happens.--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 16:45, 14 August 2015 (UTC)

There is a vast "market" on Wikipedia. It is common there for users to want to discuss the topic, and they are commonly told that Wikipedia talk pages are not for that, but they are not told where they can discuss topics on-wiki. (And then dominant factions often discuss the suggestions of editors with "fringe" ideas.)
Anyone can actually begin a discussion here, but this will be more successful on Wikipedia if sister wikis templates are shown in Wikipedia articles or on Talk pages where we have an existing resource. There are a quite a number of sister wiki templates.
I had an experience attempting to insert a sister wiki link to w:Cold fusion.
  • [2] added ordinary sister wiki link, 15:18, 4 October 2010, (shortly before being topic-banned from cold fusion). This was removed 00:29, 5 October 2010, by an editor who has been, essentially, an anti-cold fusion single purpose account, for many years. Edit summary: (removed link to CF wikiversity page, which is essentially self-published by Abd and biased; if you want to add it back please discuss it first)
As suggested, this was discussed on the Talk page.[3]. This was typical for Talk page discussions. My intention for the Wikiversity cold fusion resource is for it to be neutral. However, I do have a point of view, based on extensive research in the topic, and I'm now a published author in a mainstream peer-reviewed journal on the topic. If a Wikiversity page is not neutral, any user is welcome to fix it. The Wikipedians have never come here to do that, in spite of many invitations. The argument given could apply to any Wikipedia article with See Also links. There is no guarantee that the article is neutral, and Wikipedia is not a reliable source. In spite of high caution -- you can see it in my comments there -- I was shortly banned from the topic by "the community." As instigated by the last user to comment there, an administrator. In reality, he was reprimanded by the Arbitration Committee for his behavior on this topic, and, after the smoke cleared, returned to former behavior.
My sense is that any neutral user can add links to Wikiversity without a problem, and if they are removed, follow normal Wikipedia:Dispute resolution process. The faction I was dealing with always failed to prevail when DR was followed. But be careful. This faction includes a number of administrators.
Then, one of our probationary custodians added the sister wiki link to the same article, 22 January 2014. Removed the next day by the same user as before,[4], summary (Undid revision [...] (this external source is misleading)]
If our Cold fusion resource is misleading, it should be fixed. If it isn't fixable, it should be stubbed. There seems to be no understanding that, in general, external links are not required to be "neutral." As shown in the discussion linked above, the standard for inclusion of sister wiki links is that they be useful to readers. If it were true that our resource is misleading, due to editing by a biased user, a "believer," as they claim, then one who wants to know what the "believers" think and claim would find the page useful. There is no understanding of what true students of a topic will want. They will want to see all arguments, but information from mainstream peer-reviewed journals and academic publications, golden for Wikipedia reliable source, has long been excluded because it contradicts the beliefs of the faction that has long sat on the Wikipedia article, picking off and banning or wasting the time of experts, one at a time, with few recognizing what is happening. There were Wikipedians with skill at dispute resolution. They were banned, because they were successful in improving the article and preventing abuse. It's a long story. It did not begin with me, and I was not interested in cold fusion when I discovered abuse and corrected it. Then I started to research the topic....
So, first of all, to do Wikiversity outreach, do not start with highly controversial articles where prominent users are involved here. Start with whatever. We often routinely link to Wikipedia articles in resources. Those links may show connected articles.
If one only adds a single link to a controversial article, that may be picked off quickly. It is tempting, because those are the articles where links to Wikiversity would be the most useful, where editors are often blocked and banned because they show a POV that is not neutral, and that is not the dominant view.
Eventually, though, someone with some moxie is going to replace that Cold fusion link to here. Meanwhile, we have users here who are knowledgeable in physics. The topic of cold fusion, unfortunately, is not actually physics, it is chemistry. That is, it is an experimental result in chemistry that is not understood as to the physical interactions involved. That experimental result was never shown to be artifact, and it's been massively confirmed, and the ash from the reaction is known: helium, confirmed by strong correlation with the primary experimental result, anomalous heat. That's what my Current Science paper was about, a review of the literature on that. That is, secondary source! Published in a mainstream journal! And that entire special issue of the journal was mentioned on Talk:Cold fusion. We have an subpage resource set up to examine -- and critique -- those papers. (Cold fusion/Current Science) The result of the mention? See for yourself.[5] and then [6] (at the end of the section). This comment is how they think: Frankly, it looks like something weird happened with Current Science.
To complete this, cold fusion is intrinsically multidisciplinary, because the experimental evidence is chemistry, not physics. It is only a suggested explanation that would be physics ("nuclear fusion"). There are, then, dozens of theories, mostly created by physicists, none of which are satisfactory to explain the evidence, yet that evidence is clearly of high interest, not to be cavalierly dismissed. It is not just one journal that has published in this field over the last ten years, it is many. See Cold fusion/Recent sources. That's, by design, a neutral page, any papers published since 2005 in mainstream peer-reviewed journals, relating to cold fusion, should be listed there. It is not up-to-date, though. Secondary sources are bolded. --Abd (discusscontribs) 18:21, 14 August 2015 (UTC)

Hiding the messEdit

[7]. Suggestion. "Hiding the mess" is a violation of standard revision deletion policy. So you have some bad edits. So what? This is Wikiversity, Learning by Doing.

Less is more. What you did created a confusing record. I looked at history, first. You hid an edit of mine. What was that about? I suggest unhiding all edits and summaries, etc. Revision deletion is normally restricted to clearly delineated causes. It causes lack of transparency.

The addition of the content from one article into the other was unnecessary. History should show clearly what happened, which it doesn't. Notice that you added the additonal version of the content in a version where you hid your summary. But at least the revision is somewhat visible, so I could figure out what you did. And as soon as I looked at the actual page, it was obvious. I'd have stated, if I was going to do that, what version I was copying, but, in fact, I'd have simply pointed to that revision instead of copying it.

You were flopping around, why your sandbox page? Your actual sequence of actions is hidden by the RevHide actions.

Your content merged, where you copied one version into another, I think got it backwards, what you called the "old version" was the newer one. That simply was not necessary. The newer page was better, a bit, reflected by it being the later work of the same user.

Out of this, we should state a simple and clear process for merging the history of two pages. Looking at w:Wikipedia:How to fix cut-and-paste moves, it might as well have been designed to massively confuse..... There are certain basic facts that are assumed as knowledge. This is really funny: "Due to some minor bugs in the MediaWiki code, ..." Yeah. "Minor" does not mean that you don't tear your hair out or bang your head against the wall. It only means that the bug doesn't affect so many people that the user community is screaming for it to be fixed. There is a fundamental bug, which there is no preserved field for edits that shows what page is being edited. It's assumed that history is distinct and unique. But it is not, because pages can be moved and assume the same name. It has not been considered a priority to fix this.

This bug (i.e., something missing from the code and database structure) makes it extraordinarily difficult to fix a botched merge, and I've seen a rogue sysop wreak complete havoc on a wiki using it. So far, the WMF rogue sysops I have seen have probably been unaware of this bug, they did other massively disruptive things that were far easier to fix..... If a sysop did this, the only way to fix it could be to shut down the wiki, restore from backup and restore ensuing edits from the recent history cache. Could take days. If the sysop set up a bot to make the changes, it could be difficult to detect and stop before massive damage were done.

What was needed here was the "Manual process/an easy case." Notice that no extra pages need be created. However, the way they explained it was not step-by-step. Wikis were invented for self-documenting systems. I continue to be amazed how primitive some of the Wikipedia documentation is. See if this is the procedure:

  • Goal: Merge A and B.
  1. Delete B.
  2. Move A to B.
  3. View history of B and click on "View or restore ... deleted edits?"
  4. Restore all edits.
  • Done.

The rest is ordinary editing, because the entire history is now visible to an ordinary editor, who can restore whatever they please. The edit summaries from the steps will disclose what you did.

I did not state which content is on top. When all edits are restored, the latest edit will show. In the case above, the pagename will be B at the end, so one should choose which pagename is preferred, to reduce later work. I.e., the process above would be considered to "merge A into B." A is now a redirect if that is left in place. That redirect will not show in the contribution histories of the users who edited A. All that now points to B. --Abd (discusscontribs) 22:41, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

I am sorry about the sloppy merge. I think I reversed the two pages when I tried to do that third party move with the sandbox. My sole reason to use the sandbox was that I am not yet comfortable with the delete of the page we want to keep. I recall a conversation with someone from Dutch Wikiversity where files could not be undeleted.
  1. I unhid all edits.
  2. My reason for showing the previous version (in <pre></pre> form) was so that you could pick which version you wanted to restore. It shouldn't be hard to go back to the last edit and restore which ever version you want.
I'm glad we had the opportunity to do this on a simple merge. I now have the confidence to do this with a larger page.--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 02:25, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Yes. Showing a different version on the page itself was not necessary. A link would actually have been more useful. I just went back and picked the revision I wanted and edited it and saved. Much easier than moving text around on the page, and I could also use diff to show me differences. In the Dutch issue, beta, the problem was an enormous number of deleted files and difficulty even recovering them from a dump. Gigantic XML files. Very different problem.
  • The tricky stuff on Wikipedia is actually about splitting files. I hope the explanation above of how to do it with a couple of clicks is clear. Is it? As described the page name in the end is B. Flip the sequence and it will be A. Just slightly easier, then, if the best pagename is B. Merge A into B implies that.
  • Deleting and undeleting pages is no big deal, that's trivial to undo! Just be transparent. These would be the dangerous actions that I know of:
  1. Moving an entire page hierarchy (i.e., check move subpages). Never do that without looking at the page structure. I did. It was hundreds of pages, and the user involved objected, and I spent many hours fixing it.
  2. Merging pages with many edits. I'd suggest getting consensus for it first. It can be undone, but can also be, as they say on Wikipedia, tedious, unless someone writes a tool to make it easy to find and click on all the edits from a particular previous version. If the separate page histories are available, this would not be difficult. The actual HTML has the revision numbers in it.
  3. And, of course blocking. If one blocks a good faith user, it can cause irreparable damage, even a short block can do this, sometimes. --Abd (discusscontribs) 02:53, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
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