[pmwiki-users] RFC: Deleting pages from the core documentation
tamouse.lists at gmail.com
Sat Sep 7 11:18:52 CDT 2013
On Sep 7, 2013, at 7:03 AM, Petko Yotov <5ko at 5ko.fr> wrote:
> I'd like to know the opinion of the community about deleting pages from the documentation of the default PmWiki distribution. This concerns not only new users but also those who upgrade from older versions.
> PmWiki ships with a number of pages containing documentation in the PmWiki group. As we work to improve the documentation, while refactoring, content can be moved from a page to other(s) and some pages may become empty.
> In this case we search pmwiki.org for backlinks and point them to the new place of the information, so that no page on pmwiki.org points to the empty page.
> There is also concern for "link rot" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Link_rot that is, external sites possibly pointing to the empty page - in this case, we can use a (:redirect NewPage status=301:) directive so when someone lands on the old page it gets automatically sent to the new place with the information.
> Or, instead of redirecting, we could delete that page and when people land on it, they will see an invitation to search the wiki or to create the page. (Recently, previously deleted pages have been re-created by spambots adding unrelated links, but our main concern is to not confuse real people.)
> When someone upgrades from an old version, the core documentation gets updated too, but only existing and new pages. If a page was removed from the distribution and someone upgrades, they will still have the old page in their wikilib.d directory, with the old content. So they will have an orphan page with obsolete content. If, instead of deleting the page, we use a redirect, they will have a tiny page and if elsewhere on their wiki (or on external sites) they have linked to it, it will redirect to the most recent information. If nothing links to this page, they will have a tiny orphan page.
> In a new, clean PmWiki installation, if we delete the page, everything's fine; if we redirect the page, they will have a tiny orphan page.
> So my question to the community is should we delete empty pages or redirect them to the latest place of the content? Are there other pros and cons?
Given this changes legacy sites, the redirection is the way to go with this. It populates perhaps useless pages in new wikis, but deleting breaks the standard social contract of the web to redirect when content changes, keeping old links working. The user clicking on that old link may not have any understanding of the original intent of the link, and not know what to search for if they land on a 404.
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