Talk:Needed Articles

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Wanted pages versus Needed articles

Hi Ian, I find the Wanted pages very helpful to find out, what nonexistent pages are most wanted by other articles. However, I can not really see the use case for the Needed articles, though it is prominently placed on the side bar and on the front page. Also, it seems to be empty. What is the purpose? Rfc 10:45, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

Hi Rfc, I can see your issue. But the wanted pages and needed articles are two separate entities. Firstly, the "wanted pages" are a list of links on existing pages that lead nowhere and look like this. As you say, this is really useful as you can have a "display all" list of "missing" pages.
This is different from the "needed articles" (usually referred to as the "List of Lists"). This list was created by the developers and by the directors of the Mars Foundation (mainly) to "steer" the efforts of Marspedia. These lists are the "desired" articles we would like to see being created. All the lists were created by hand and doesn't really reflect the current content on Marspedia. So, in summary:
  • Most useful: Wanted Pages - Pages that are linked to in Marspedia, but do not exist yet.
  • Least useful, but desired: List of Lists - Desired articles we would like to see and may not exist yet (I say may not as the lists need to be updated manually). Refer to this list to see which direction in which we hope to see Marspedia moving in.
Thanks for pointing this difference out, I think we need a better link to the wanted pages section on the front page :-) Will do that now -- Ioneill 21:35, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

Structure for Bootstrapping Needed Articles

I have overhauled the introduction of List of Lists. There seems to be some redundancy with Category:Bootstrap_lists. But there are also differences: The advantage of List of Lists is the involvement of empty lists. The advantage of Category:Bootstrap_lists is the automatism. The problem with Category:Bootstrap_lists is all entries will be "L" entries.

How about the following rearrangement:

-- Rfc 08:59, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

The List of Lists of Needed Articles is a concept I developed at Lunarpedia as a short to medium term tool for helping to get needed articles indicated for bootstrap purposes (and has proven to be the most useful such effort on Lunarpedia). The execution of the concept was largely quick and dirty (with some tidying over time) and the start of the Marspedia list of lists was to take the Lunarpedia one and and rip out hopefully all of the entries that didn't really belong on Marspedia's list. As you're the first Marspedia regular to do any work on it, it's presently missing a great deal of needed entries.
The main value of the category right now is to keep the bootstrap articles categorized (every article on the site should have a place in the category tree (this rule is Mike Delaney's doing) -- even quick and dirty badly formatted bootstrap lists that are destined to become legacy historical curiosities that served their purpose already).
Why I don't like empty lists is a matter of thought process. If you're brainstorming for types of articles, you can quickly browse for missing links for bootstrap lists and create a few. When a list is empty, you don't know it's useless until you click on it hoping to find at least a short list of article ideas and see that you can't do what you'd hoped to do without changing gears first.
Another point in defense of the status quo is that adding 15 entries to the main list is easier than creating 15 empty lists. I have generally only done one task at a time -- adding needed lists to the main list, creating new lists from the main list, adding to lists, or creating articles (not that I've had enough time to do the latter -- when I have time to work on the wikis I'm usually too occupied with overhead tasks to actually do articles) -- if no one else actually finds it convenient to do things this way that could be an argument for substantially modifying the concept.
I hope this helps explain my thought processes and why it is the way you found it. By all means think of ways to improve it or maybe make the originally (and so far still) intended way to use it less difficult to figure out. Until I created the bootstrap list tag, people on Lunarpedia kept tidying up the lists and categorizing them for general use. 8)
As for the categorization problem, that's a function of the template doing the categorization. I can think of two solutions that preserve the 'List of' name scheme: one is to manually categorize each article (as was originally the case), and another is to figure out how to get the template to automatically do the likes of [[Category:List of Articles on Lovecraftian Lullabies|Lovecraftian Lullabies, List of Articles on]]...
Simpler in execution would be your suggestion to change to a naming convention that doesn't have this problem, but what is one that wouldn't have a risk of colliding with the name of a content article or some other potentially needed site infrastructure? I suppose one advantage of Marspedia's List of Lists of Needed Articles is that any major conceptual changes won't be too much work to implement -- unlike on Lunarpedia. While any innovations that are devised here may not be feasible to do on Lunarpedia, they could be transferred to Exoplatz, which is mostly at the moment content that was originally on Lunarpedia buried in a sea of stuff added by a Chinese botnet I can't prevent from successfully attacking right now.
As always, thank you very much your your efforts, attention, and ideas!
We probably should move this thread to the List of Lists talk page. Here we go. --Strangelv 12:42, 22 November 2007 (UTC)