Wikiversity:Notices for custodians

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This page is a central location for communication between custodians.

Probationary Custodianship[edit]

User:Abd has expressed interest in probationary custodianship. Based on his editing history, user support interest, and actions as a custodian previously, it seems likely that his efforts would reduce custodial load on others (with deletes, imports, moves without redirect. etc.) and would also address some maintenance issues he sees that others often ignore. It also seems likely that at some point his passion for defending users whose editing habits are outside generally-accepted norms will lead to controversy. Since we as custodians seem to be working well together at this point, I wanted to ask you all for feedback before responding to Abd's request. If you have any concerns about Abd's role as a probationary custodian, please respond or send email so that I may understand your perspective.

For others in the community, I understand that Abd's role as probationary custodian might raise concerns. But this is specifically a custodian support request rather than a community support request. The community's opportunity for discussion would come later, per Wikiversity:Probationary custodians. Thanks!

Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 21:13, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

Having been performing a small portion of cleanup for a while with an aim to continue, more help is great! --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 22:29, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Thanks, Dave, for consulting the administrative community. It can't hurt.
I just looked at the Wikiversity:Probationary custodians page. That was a proposed policy that was radically changed by one user and never accepted as edited. Actual practice required no community review to create a probationary custodian, and such review has been rare. It required only a mentor acceptance and a bureaucrat action. The actual practice, long-standing, is at Wikiversity:Custodianship. That was marked policy 12 February 2007, was clearly accepted by the community at a time -- without a formal "vote," it was added to a list of policies by a 'crat -- and is what has been done ever since.
It was deprecated to "proposed" 26 November 2011, without discussion; I reverted with "See talk," and was myself reverted. Because this was an incipient revert war, with incivility, I went to RCA to request custodian attention, and was indef blocked (along with the other editor). And so the policy remained deprecated in spite of abundant evidence that it had been accepted as policy without objection for years, other than one not-sustained effort to deprecate it to proposed.[1]
Review occurs when the probationer is up for permanent custodianship. There are problems with the policy, which can be addressed. The proposed policy does not handle them. --Abd (discusscontribs) 01:47, 29 April 2015 (UTC)
Honestly the easy solution is to set up an "assistant" usergroup (I think the usergroups need to be single-word, and "probate" sounds a bit off), that users can be added to by a 'crat, but then removed by any "full" custodian in a no-drama way if someone is unable to rein in their enthusiasm over a problematic issue. For Abd in particular, he could just stay in that usergroup for a couple years until he's got a better track record of keeping things simple. --SB_Johnny talk 12:13, 1 May 2015 (UTC)

Information Systems and Computer Applications[edit]

I have a class of 15 - 20 students who are starting work on Information Systems and Computer Applications. Tuesday evening is the first class meeting, so there could be some creative editing for awhile as they learn their way around. Just wanted to let you know. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 02:34, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

I'll make sure to know so I don't mess up again like before with another class. --Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 10:41, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

Edits under protection and request process[edit]

Today I noticed that the Edit under protection box on WV:RCA had two open requests. So I looked and found:

  • Most requests took a ridiculous amount of time for edits that were uncontroversial and that would take a minute.
  • There was a request still undone that had been open since 8 December 2013. It was a simple edit, and, yes, it was one of the few requests that had Template:Editprotected included. So that means that for almost two years, this category has had an open request, unhandled.
This and other recent events have raised in my consciousness that we don't need more administrators! We need an active community that leads, because actual usage of admin tools usually takes minutes, if the community sets it up. One of my Wikipedia adventures was clerking w:Mediawiki talk:Spam-whitelist because requests were sitting there for many months, for something that really should be routine. If a regular editor asks for a blacklisted page to be whitelisted, it should take no more than a few hours. Instead, admins would argue with the user as to whether the page was "necessary" or not. That's really a decision to be made by the editors of articles, and sometimes they just want to discuss a link. The blacklist administrators were making it difficult for themselves, creating more work, which they then avoided doing, but making themselves guardians of content. That is not the best administrative role.
So I'll be making structural suggestions out of this. I am not writing this to berate our volunteer custodians. Really, the community has largely abdicated its responsibility to run the wiki, thinking that is the job of administrators. And when administrators do it, what do we get?
We get standard wiki practice, which readily can become less than welcoming to new users. It is not bad administrators, it is unstated but assumed duties laid upon them. I did it too, when I was a custodian. I considered it my duty to watch Recent Changes, to supervise everything happening on the wiki.
Bad Idea!
However, I do request this of all administrators who are active:
  • Once a day, when possible, review the action request categories. Requests should receive a response quickly. Such responses do not need to be extensive, nor to take a lot of time. If a request is not prepared, ready for action, advise the requestor how to prepare; for example, "please discuss this on the Colloquium," or the like. Then disable the request. It can be renewed later. If you don't know what to do, ask. I.e., ask for another opinion and leave the request template in place, because if custodians are examining these categories, another will see it if you leave it open. Just expressing your "I don't know" will show the user that their request is being taken seriously. And you will then have the relevant page on your watchlist.
  • Following these ideas, all requests should be handled quickly, even if only to suggest further action to the user.
  • When you handle a request, note this with the request, so that others don't waste time checking it out. Template:Done and a signature will do the trick.
We used to have many "speedy deletion" requests open. It's poor process, because we then stop paying much attention to the category. I know what happens. One looks at the request, doesn't know what to do, so one puts off doing anything, and then it is lost in the avalanche of more events. We have become extremely proficient at handling speedy deletions, without becoming deletionist. --Abd (discusscontribs) 00:57, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
I added some examples of poor process from Wikipedia, but it's far enough off topic here that I've removed it, it can be read at [2]. --Abd (discusscontribs) 01:42, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Update. I've been expanding the open requests box on WV:RCA. This is intended for requests that should be promptly attended to. If any custodian looks at such a request and believes it should be discussed before being done. the speedy template should be removed, reason given. Template:Delete may be replaced with Template:Proposed deletion, or removed. Template:History merge may be replaced by Template:Merge to (which proposes discussion). When custodians put this off, requests accumulate and then get less attention. Speedy requests may now be seen in a single glance by looking at WV:RCA. --Abd (discusscontribs) 17:21, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Operational note. The cached version of WV:Request custodian action/Header is routinely not updated, so the box display will be obsolete. So I added a "purge cache" link to the table. Clicking on that link will purge the cache. It also opens up the Header page, so one sees the updated box. When acting on a request, one may also wish to purge that page cache afterwards, to clean it up for other custodians. Anyone can do that, though. --Abd (discusscontribs) 16:41, 29 August 2015 (UTC)