[pmwiki-users] RFC: Deleting pages from the core documentation

Simon nzskiwi at gmail.com
Sat Sep 7 17:26:29 CDT 2013

I'd prefer
1) redirection while there are still internal backlinks.
2) redirection for a limited period of time once there are no backlinks (eg
max 12 months)
3) then deletion of 'old page'
4) after deletion an invitation to search the wiki or to create the page
(as suggested by Petko)
5) any page that is a redirection should not be distributed as part of
6) if there is a real desire to support this long term then I suggest a new
feature, a Site page where a mapping between old pages and their current
version can be maintained and used in (5) to suggest where to go.

I don't believe we should be trying to keep old links working for wikis
that have not updated their software for year.
And I'm not in favour of many PmWiki redirect page files (in wiki.d) that
confuse with real pages, show up in pagelists and searches, and confuse
wiki users.
While I agree there is a social contract to redirect, there is also a
social contract to update, and as a group with limited resources I'd favour
maintainability and keeping the effort low, over having redirect pages.


On 8 September 2013 07:34, michael paulukonis <xraysmalevich at gmail.com>wrote:

> redirection over deletion, for the argument of the cleanest and most
> maintainable solution (given that linkrot is neither clean nor
> maintainable).
> -Michael Paulukonis
> http://www.xradiograph.com
> <http://goog_2112721603>Interference Patterns (a blog)<http://www.xradiograph.com%5Cinterference>
> @XraysMonaLisa <https://twitter.com/XraysMonaLisa>
> http://michaelpaulukonis.com
> <http://www.BestAndroidResources.com>
> Sent from somewhere in the Cloud
> (hearthrug, by the fender)
> On Sat, Sep 7, 2013 at 12:18 PM, Tamara Temple <tamouse.lists at gmail.com>wrote:
>> On Sep 7, 2013, at 7:03 AM, Petko Yotov <5ko at 5ko.fr> wrote:
>> > Hello,
>> >
>> > 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?
>> >
>> > Thanks,
>> > Petko
>> 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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