Wikiversity:Vision/2009/Namespace reform

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This discussion was transferred from Wikiversity:Vision/2009 due to its size.

Proposed organizational chart for Wikiversity, Dnjkirk, 2006

Top of discussion[edit]

Directed acyclic graph of Wikiversity naming conventions, Trevor MacInnis, 2006
A possible example of a simplified namespace structure.

At some point the structure of namespaces should be simplified to reduce confusion and overlap between them. Its not immediately clear whether something belongs in the School, Topic, Portal or main namespace. This should be reduced to two namespaces, one used as an organization space for reading groups, learning projects and class materials in the other namespace. The name chosen should make it immediate apparent what its usage is, and ease organization long term. A good name should suggestion that many organizational schemes are possible, much in the same way as Category is a good name with many ways pages can be categorized. --darkYin yang.svglama 19:46, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

see also this discussion, ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 18:08, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
During the above discussion, I was wondering if it made sense to have a level of organisation within the main namespace. For example, we wouldn't need Topic:Japan to link to Topic:Japanese which links to Topic:Japanese for beginners which links to "Japanese grammar" - which is to some extent how the Topic namespace is being used. Instead, all of these would be in main namespace (without Topic: prefix), and have an initial few lines setting the subject in context (with links to its hierarchical subjects), and then using the rest of the page to link to resources in this field. This way, the topic namespace can be either freed up to focus on other aspects (like content development), or replaced/phased out. I think we need to focus on what namespaces afford us for particular tasks (and specify as best we can exactly how they afford us these things) - and base any subsequent action on this. Cormaggio talk 22:53, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
I was thinking the actual development of contents would go in the main namespace, the current approach would seem to suggest that content development happens in some other namespace. Is there really a difference between content development and the actual content or material for a learning project, research project, reading group, etc.? Put another why separate contents from content development? I've added an image demonstrating how an example class page might be structured. Instead of it containing content development it would include templates and other things which help in aiding the development of content. So the main namespace would be for content both as its being developed and as it matures. Perhaps we are both thinking of the same thing, but are using different names for it? --darkYin yang.svglama 22:10, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
Well, content-in-development has always been intended for the main namespace - learning materials (content) being developed, the normal wiki way. I think what John has referred to as "content development" refers to something similar to the WikiProjects in Wikipedia - pages dedicated to the development of content, for example a page for coordinating all pages about Chemistry, Japanese, or whatever. We have Wikiversity:Content development - though I see much of this page as redundant with our pages about namespaces, and not really saying anything about a process or model for developing content. In any case, I'm also confused about what you're proposing - as, on one hand, you say content should be developed in the main namespace; but then you propose a Class namespace to develop content, which functions in pretty much exactly the same way as I see the Topic namespace working. Were you proposing the Class namespace as a simple replacement (name change) of the Topic namespace, or did you see it working differently? Cormaggio talk 13:11, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
I think the term "content development is confusing, to me it means content-in-development, so we are agreed that content being developed has always appears to be intended for the main namespace. However the use of the term "content development" as applied to the other namespaces seems to suggest that they are intended for that as well. I'm not sure how your confused. The class namespace is not intended to be for content-in-development, rather for linking to content-in-development, links to other resources available on the internet, for listing or linking to templates, boilerplates, etc. that can help ease the development of new content pages related to the class, and listing interested participants who either want to learn the topics covered by the class or interested in developing content for the class as a means of showing what sort of interest exists for the class. To try to clarify by "help ease development" I mean like listing an animal classification template in a class on animals, which could help ease creating of descriptions of an animal for people writing animal learning resources, research projects, etc. I'm proposing that the Class namespace (which is just an example namespace name btw) as replacing not only the Topic namespace, but also the School and Portal namespaces. Its function or how it works would be similar to all three namespaces, with room for flexibility in how each class page would look or what would be listed. The namespace would not be just a rename of the topic namespace. Are you less confused now or more confused? Do you understand or do I need to try to explain more? --darkYin yang.svglama 17:21, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

Collaboration/Organization space[edit]

Wikiversity[edit]

Current namespace structure. All actual learning resources go in the main namespace.
A breakdown of an example class page for comparison with the current namespace structure
Figure 1. Hierarchy of Wikiversity schools and topics.
Short podcast about school and topic pages.
See also: Wikiversity:Naming conventions.

I think it remains important that Wikiversity provide a designated space for collaboration on content development for particular subject areas, both narrow and broad. That kind of "meta content" could be organized in many ways: Wikipedia used "WikiProject" pages in the "Wikipedia:" namespace. The "School:" and "Topic:" namespaces were historical accidents, but they are not difficult to understand, even if they could have been named better. I suspect a fundamental problem is that most Wikiversity participants do not have an interest in using special purpose wiki pages to facilitate collaborative efforts aimed at planning and organizing groups of related learning resources. Similarly, most Wikipedians probably do not participate in WikiProjects. "I do not understand/use these pages so lets get rid of them" and "I do not like/understand the name of these pages so let's change the name" (without suggesting a better name) do not seem like very compelling reasons for action. We could adopt the name "WikiProject" because it is used at Wikipedia. We could try to select some other name that more intuitively communicates the idea of a collaborative wiki workspace for the development of learning resources in a particular subject area. We could adopt the Wikipedia approach and put all pages for such collaborative content development projects into the project namespace, "Wikiversity". --JWSchmidt 23:46, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

You've said many times that you suspect people aren't interested in special spaces to develop content - but I don't know why you say this. I, for one, am very interested in models and spaces for developing content - but I think that our current model is not well enough explained (despite several dedicated pages), and not working in practice. If we focus on practice, and our best judgement - then we could perhaps come up with a better model. If something is not working, or not understood - surely, this does clearly call for action. Cormaggio talk 14:42, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
"You've said many times that you suspect people aren't interested in special spaces to develop content - but I don't know why you say this." <-- Oh, its just me trying to make sense of my years of wiki experience during which I have seen a never ending struggle over how best to organize complex online collaborations. Maybe I do not know how to correctly interpret what is being said when I see statements such as: "the Wikiversity community no longer believes that the School namespace serves any useful purpose". Maybe I do not know how to correctly interpret what is being said when I see statements such as: "I was thinking the actual development of contents would go in the main namespace, the current approach would seem to suggest that content development happens in some other namespace. Is there really a difference between content development and the actual content or material for a learning project, research project, reading group, etc.? Put another why separate contents from content development?" What is the optimal way for a wiki to organize and integrate both its intended content pages and the "meta-level" activities of editors who are engaged in collaborative content creation processes? Is there an optimal collection of namespaces for arranging pages that are concerned with our "meta-level" collaborative content creation processes? Maybe. The Wikipedia community created one approach to organizing its wiki pages that are concerned with facilitating content development. In my view, the Wikipedia "WikiProject" is an important innovation and I have tried to find ways to create space within Wikiversity for the functional equivalent of "WikiProjects". The namespace system is flexible, so the Wikiversity community is free to have its own approach to organizing its content development processes. I was not involved in the creation of the "School:" and "Topic:" namespaces, but I decided pages in those namespaces could usefully be the functional equivalent of "WikiProjects". Some wiki editors seek out and participate in "WikiProjects" while many other editors do not. It is true that much wiki content development does not involve or require "WikiProjects". Most collaborative decisions about wiki content take place on main namespace talk pages. So you can ask: "why separate contents from content development?" Because some content development does not concern individual learning resources: some content development involves higher order organizational decisions. "WikiProjects" are of interest to those relatively rare editors who are concerned with issues such as organizing and coordinating large groups of related main namespace pages. In the case of the Wikiversity community, such "higher level" coordination started at Wikibooks when Wikiversity participants started making "department pages" where they could collaborate to compile lists of related learning resources for specific topic areas. When the number of these topic pages grew large, it was natural to make a smaller set of "school pages" that could be used to organize the many topic pages in a hierarchical way. The community thus created a bunch of pages that were not learning resources and were also not pages concerned with the development of individual learning resources. The "topic" and "school" pages were naturally separate from content (learning resources) in the sense that they were concerned with organizational matters that cannot naturally be associated with any individual learning resource. Here at the start of Wikiversity, when there is very little actual main namespace content, many topic and school pages developed as not much more than "wish lists" for Wikiversity learning resources that still needed to be created. Some Wikiversity participants say it is undesirable to have Wikiversity pages that have long lists of links to nonexistent or underdeveloped learning resources. Wikiversity is in a dysfunctional state where some editors have made use of "Topic:" pages to create lists of needed and developing resources while other editors have complained about the very existence of links to developing resources. Some editors feel that "School:" and "Topic:" pages can play an important role in the development of Wikiversity while other editors ask why such pages are needed or even try to vote them out of existence. Maybe there is a middle road where we find a better way to name Wikiversity "WikiProjects" and find ways to educate Wikiversity participants about the value of "WikiProjects". --JWSchmidt 16:31, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
I started this proposal with that vary intention, to find the middle ground, to ask the questions that need asking, for us to try to find answers, and as a community hopefully find a more long term solution. Adding or deleting namespaces is an easy short term solution, but it doesn't really solve problems. I hope this will result in more well thought out solutions, then the attempt to delete them immediately.
Unlike Wikipedia, Wikiversity has several things which seem to serve the same function as that of a WikiProject, which I think is one source of confusion. When I read "content development" I think of writing books, articles or learning resources, because that is what it means to me. This is probably why there is also confusion over whether something belongs in the main namespace or some other namespace. After different discussions on IRC I think these namespaces are intended to be a space for only people who are interested in the work involved in indexing, categorizing or organizing things much like librarians do for books, or biologists do for species. With that in mind, I think only a single space is needed to make that possible, that it should be easy for organizers, indexers categorizers, etc. to add or update indexes or "organizing spaces", and for the average person who just wants to focus on writing lessons, research projects, etc. to insure there work is organized without having to do anything outside of the page there working on. --darkYin yang.svglama 15:18, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
If we were to replace the "School:" and "Topic:" namespaces with a new (and better named) namespace X that would be for the Wikiversity equivalent of "WikiProjects" then I guess we need a list of exactly what would be desirable for pages in namespace X so that people are not confused. I still find it difficult to understand how people get confused about things like: "A Wikiversity page in the topic namespace helps Wikiversity participants organize learning resources related to a single academic topic area." For school pages we now have: "A Wikiversity school helps Wikiversity participants organize learning resources for a set of related academic topic areas." I guess "organize" is rather vague, and it is important that we have a page such as Wikiversity:Content development that would explain how editors can collaborate in an effort to improve groups of related learning resources. --JWSchmidt 16:48, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

Wikibooks[edit]

Is wikibooks' use of Subject: basically similar to other projects' use of Portal:? -- Jtneill - Talk 01:03, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

The short answer is no. Subject pages are more than just Portals. Subject pages serve as an advanced replacement for category pages. Pages include intersections, for instance a list of books related to the subject, a list of books related to the subject which also contain PDF versions, and a list of books related to the subject which contain print friendly versions. That is something that categories are incapable of doing for instance. There are also subject pages for books listed by reading level. Anything that could be done with categories can also be done with Subject pages in a more user friendly/intuitive way. However Subject pages are more than just simply a replacement for categories, which was one of the initial concerns with creating the namespace. Subject pages can also serve as a hub of links to related information both on other subject pages and on other websites, as the equivalent of Wikipedia's disambiguation listings which Wikibooks has traditionally not had, and many other purposes. Subject pages doesn't yet have a strictly defined purpose or function yet and have instead been left open to many uses with only the early stages of developing a general idea of what common things should be found on them. With that in mind Subject pages could be said to be similar to Categories, Portals, Topics, Schools, Indexes and other things. --darkYin yang.svglama 01:54, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia[edit]

Is Wikipedia better or worse off for its use of the Project: namespace for WikiProjects? -- Jtneill - Talk 01:03, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

Cleanup[edit]

Cleanup. I think the namespaces are fine. They just need to be cleaned up in order to be useful. And then have their possible uses spelled out. Perhaps there are a variety of acceptable uses for each, and these could overlap a bit perhaps. If they are clean and tidy, and everyone is clear on what uses are and aren't appropriate, then perhaps they will be used in a more advantageous manner than they currently are. --Remi 00:45, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

JWS, I think you're misinterpreting what's been said, and creating a strawman argument. The arguments for simplifying namespaces are not based on an opposition to content development spaces, but on a concern with the way in which our structure has no clear rationale and has the potential for creating confusion. My arguments against the School namespace are exactly that - that it doesn't offer any clear benefit that could not be taken care of by other existing namespaces (or their replacements), and that it creates a situation where people are unsure of how to order their resources within a given structure. The length of time that this discussion has been going on is itself testament to this confusion. I think we must provide clear rationale for structure, as well as a model for using it - otherwise the structure becomes an obstacle to participation. My goal is to develop the simplest structure that will work - for the various user cases of finding content, developing content, ordering content, and planning content development (including pedagogical planning, and other higher order organisation). I think we should be describing these user cases and aligning structure to these cases - making a structure which is useful, and minimising the potential for confusion. This, for me, is the only way to approach the issue of structure - there is no reason to hypothesise a "middle way". Cormaggio talk 16:16, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm still having trouble making sure I understand the suggestion at the start of this thread. Is the idea that we should simplify by reducing four existing namespaces (School, Topic, Portal or main namespace) to two? Or are we just talking about moving "School:" and "Topic:" pages to a newly named single namespace? --JWSchmidt 17:10, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
The idea that I was proposing was for both. If namespace X were created tomorrow, ideally a first phase towards reform would be to move all existing School, Topic and Portal pages to namespace X, before those 3 namespaces were deleted, with any pages which would overlap decided on a case-by-case bases. After which the pages would be improved in whatever ways people want based on what was decided here. --darkYin yang.svglama 17:34, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
Okay, but I think your diagram for an "example class page" still fails to convey they idea of links to related class pages, a key concept if such pages are meant to replace/assume the functionality of portal pages. On IRC you seemed to accept the idea that the "Class:" namespace will allow subpages, which I think will be important for dealing with all of the multiple functions that would be pushed into this single namespace. --JWSchmidt 19:22, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
The actual structure could vary. Related classes might be linked through the use of the class descriptions, included along with the list of class resources in another column, listed under the banner, listed in its own section, or there might not be any if its a new class without any related classes yet. Same kind of deal with subpages, depends on how the people working on the page want to do it. Subpages should probably than be transcluded within the main class page so that all the relevant information is at least present. Subpages could make it easer to manage just as subpages do for Wikiversity:Main Page. --darkYin yang.svglama 20:00, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

I think that if namespaces are to be moved to a single one, it would be better to name them like this: X:School of whatever, X:Topic of whatever, in case they overlap, only. The idea of a single namespace grouping all of them is very good. Maybe wikiversity should use more the WikiProject: namespace because it is similar to wikipedia and people can understand it. Besides, it is a logical way to group what wikiversity is about: learning projects. So, if there is someday consensus about one namespace, I would vote for renaming it to WikiProject: or Project: We should realize that namespaces are not the answer for everything, there are other approaches that work. Categories are useful for grouping pages and links can help find related information; besides, the hierarchical idea behind School: and Topic: can be simulated using hyperlinks and categories. Namespaces are something that is not that useful as it seems. Wiki technology has not made heavy use of them, at least, those outside MediaWiki, like School:. The problem with several namespaces is also that they can facilitate the wrong practice of creating duplicate content in several of them, if the collaborator does not check other namespaces for existing related content. So, we can use other methods to organize stuff, that will not confuse the users and will be more effective for finding information. --Davichito 01:52, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

I am one of those that find the current namespaces helpful. The Jade Knight (d'viser) 01:02, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

What's left?[edit]

My thinking goes like this:

  1. Could the content reasonably go in the mainspace? If yes, put it there.
  2. Could the content reasonably go in a default namespace? If yes, put it there.
  3. What's left? Anything? -- Jtneill - Talk 00:31, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
Jtneill: "a default namespace" <-- Is "default namespace" a new concept or another name for what Darklama proposed above? Do you agree with the idea that a single namespace could "reasonably" replace the "Portal:", "School:" and "Topic:" namespaces and that what is referred to above as the proposed "Class:" namespace is the same as what you are calling "default namespace"? --JWSchmidt 16:28, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
Hi JWS; Actually by "default namespace" I had in mind the default MediaWiki namespaces: mw:Help:Namespaces. I guess I am meaning a minimalist approach whereby as much content as is reasonably possible would preferably be located in one of the "mediawiki default namespaces". Then, we should examine what's left over. -- Jtneill - Talk 16:37, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
  1. Help is for pages that help learners and mentors understand how to use Wikiversity.
  2. Image is for describing uploaded files
  3. Media is for the uploaded files themselves
  4. MediaWiki is for system messages and cannot be edited by everyone
  5. Project or Wikiversity should focus on local policies and guidelines specific to Wikiversity
  6. Talk is for discussing improvements, changes and other things related to the content of the page
  7. Template is for things which will be reused and are general enough to be useful in many different cases
  8. User is for registered users to describe themselves and to include various things there working on.
  9. Category is for categorizing in various ways things from any namespace with a predefined layout/structure
  10. learning space or mainspace is for learning resources, research projects, etc.
What's left? A means of organizing all of these things in ways that go beyond what categories do. --darkYin yang.svglama 17:03, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
I've put this useful list into a table - Help:Namespaces. -- Jtneill - Talk 02:40, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
What are the purposes of? -- Jtneill - Talk 03:17, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
  1. Topic
  2. School
  3. Portal
  • Okay, now I understand that "Could the content reasonably go in a default namespace?" meant "Could the content reasonably go in one of the defined mediawiki default namespaces?" We certainly have the example of Wikipedia where "WikiProjects" are placed in the project namespace (their page names start with Wikipedia:WikiProject). I still have fantasies about the possibility that we could perform a cost/benefit analysis of two options: 1) placing the Wikiversity equivalent of "WikiProjects" in their own namespace or 2) placing "WikiProjects" in a pseudo-namespace as is done at Wikipedia. However, rather than complete such an analysis, it seems like the decision will just be made based on how many Wikiversity editors have an interest in WikiProjects. Most Wikiversity editors seem to be either 1) unaware of "WikiProjects", 2) uninterested in participating in "WikiProjects", or 3) confused about the role of "WikiProjects" in collaborative wiki content development. --JWSchmidt 18:54, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
I find this framing unhelpful. There clearly are people with an interest in particular forms and models for organising and developing content - and everyone who has participated in this discussion so far seems interested. So this is clearly one of the uses for which we should be designing structure (and which we are doing right now). People who are not interested in this type of structure or activity won't be forced into anything against their will, so it seems pointless to keep on mentioning it (as well as not being based on practice, from my own experience). And anyway, even if people express an opposition based on a "lack of interest", the case where there is a clear motivation for a structure, proposed by people who are interested and who have clearly described needs, means that there would be a rationale for that structure existing. I wish we could drop the argument of people being "uninterested", and move to describing what activities and uses our structure affords, and how it can be further developed, tweaked, improved, focused, explained, etc. Cormaggio talk 11:44, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

I'd suggest for consideration the viewpoint that not having additional namespaces offers the greatest flexibility. Then you can freely call a page whatever you like without feeling like its in the wrong place or called the wrong thing or that someone is going to threaten to move it. Call your page a project, division/faculty/school/department (etc.), topic, etc. - it really doesn't matter. But put this info in the pagename rather than the namespace. Unlike other WM projects, the nature of WV involves lots of projects, so projects IMHO are really the main content. It seems unfortunate to have so much content scurried away into problematically-named namespaces. -- Jtneill - Talk 12:41, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

School:[edit]

Add specific comments, proposals, or votes for the current School: namespace. See also: Removing the school namespace discussion.

Retain as is:

  1. Symbol support vote.svg Support - The School of History is very useful for coordinating History projects. The Jade Knight 12:49, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
    Coordination could just as easily be done from the topic or portal namespace. Why is the school namespace needed for this? --darkYin yang.svglama 18:57, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
    The school namespace is not needed, per se, but it is appreciated. It is a convenient way to conventionally organize things and get people to coordinate together. I am not arguing that the school namespace is necessary, but simply that it is useful to some. The Jade Knight (d'viser) 22:16, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
    What makes the school namespace more convent or useful for organizing things than the topic or portal namespace? What harm do you see in removing the school namespace? What disadvantages do you see in shifting content to another namespace? Is because some find it useful the only reason you feel the school namespace should be kept? I'm trying to understand better why you think this namespace should be retained. What would be lost by shifting content to another namespace? How would shifting content to another namespace harm the Wikiversity community? Why is retaining this namespace the best option? --darkYin yang.svglama 14:29, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
  2. Symbol support vote.svg Support - with cleanup. There should only be perhaps a couple dozen schools IMHO. They should all be conventional areas of study. Shift everything that is not (a conventional and high level area of study) to the topic namespace. They should be easy to navigate. Emesee 16:24, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
    What is the difference between conventional and unconventional areas of study? I think this is dependent on the university/college and ones geographical location. Surely Wikiversity should avoid locking itself into a specific system or hierarchy? Why is a school namespace necessary? Why not use the topic namespace to link to related topic areas instead? --darkYin yang.svglama 18:57, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
    I definitely think that, no matter the naming conventions we use, we should be fair (equal) to all. I'd be wary of selecting a dozen schools to favor over all of the rest. The Jade Knight (d'viser) 22:16, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

Shift content to mainspace:

Shift content to Topic:

Shift content to a combination of mainspace and Topic:

  1. Symbol support vote.svg Support -- Jtneill - Talk 03:06, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
  2. Symbol support vote.svg Support The purpose of grouping can be done via categories or a list of pages. School namespace is not something we cannot achieve using other wiki methods. The metaphor of a university must not go that far as namespaces; I think the metaphor is more about debate, scholarship, content done by experts and learn by doing rather than organization. If this is approved, wikiversity organization can be improved greatly, new users will not be confused and they will focus more on writing content than trying to find a hierarchy for their learning projects. This is similar to the moment when people moved to relational databases instead of hierarchical: not everything is good for hierarchical models. Besides, relational model (similar to using only one namespace and linking to other namespaces) can simulate hierarchy with hyperlinks and categories. So, the hierarchical model is over complicated, in my opinion and a simpler model will help. We should learn from other wikimedia websites like wikipedia or wikibooks which only use one namespace for meta content. The way this is now, it gives the new user the impression that wikiversity is more about organizing content rather than creating it. --Davichito 01:22, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

Shift content to a new single namespace:

Topic:[edit]

Add specific comments, proposals, or votes for the current Topic: namespace. See also: Topic subpages & research page location

Options:

  1. Retain as is
  2. Retain with cleanup
    Symbol support vote.svg Support -- Jtneill - Talk 03:06, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
    However, significant tidy up and clarification of purpose is needed e.g., I think this is a telling edit. It's embarrassing to be calling largely empty, inactive, stub-type topic pages "Departments". Such pages should be cleaned and moved into the main namespace. It's fairly obvious that there was a period in Wikiversity history when a large number of largely benign School: and Topic: pages were created yet subsequently, they have attracted little development. -- Jtneill - Talk 03:38, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
    Symbol support vote.svg Support - Amen. The Jade Knight 12:50, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
    Symbol support vote.svg Support Topic: could be the single namespace we need. We can move it to another name later; the name is not important. The really important thing here is that several namespaces are confusing for new users and they do not ease the searching of content. They make it harder. School is a group of groups, something which can be achieved better with Categories. So, if Topic is the single namespace, we can link between topics and namespaces can go back to being meta in a useful way. --Davichito 19:24, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
  3. Shift content to mainspace
  4. Shift content to a new single namespace

Portal:[edit]

Add specific comments, proposals, or votes for the current Portal: namespace.

This new namespace should be the one Topic and School are moved to. Else, it would just enlarge the mess. Too many namespaces do not help organization, but over complicate it. I still stick to Category:Meta, Category:Topic or links to relate content. Even subpages are more useful, they contain a link to the parent. Portal can be moved to Project: or the single namespace, in case that option is chosen. Namespaces are so redundant in wikiversity that they are not serving the original purpose. Besides, they help redundant content in different namespaces in the same subject. Not everything is hierarchical and hierarchies can be achieved by using simpler wiki techniques like categories and hyperlinks. Namespaces could be linked, like Topic:Biology having links to Topic:Cell biology, for instance. The grouping of namespaces is where the problem lies. For groups, MediaWiki already invented categories, instead of groups of groups like the School: topic. So, portal would be another group of groups and single pages, which is not useful to find information. A category makes wonders, compared to a namespace, which is just a name with ':'. --Davichito 02:12, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

Options:

  1. Retain as is
Symbol support vote.svg Support -- Jtneill - Talk 03:11, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
Symbol support vote.svg Support with a major cleanup. Emesee 16:26, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
  1. Shift content to mainspace
  2. Shift content to a new single namespace
Symbol support vote.svg Support --Davichito 02:12, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

I would like the portal namespace to be changed to a faculty namespace. I don't know if anyone would agree with this. Go raibh mile maith agaibh 16:24, 22 June 2008 (UTC)

Portal namespace musn't be changed (In my opinion). Because, portals collect learning resources by educational levels (Portal:Pre-school ..,by types (Portal:Learning project),by subjects... So, not by faculities only.Srhat 13:22, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

Additional custom namespaces[edit]

Add specific comments, proposals, or votes for additional custom namespaces. See also: Proposals for new namespaces

Appease the Wikimedia Foundation[edit]

Speculative thought: This may have been said somewhere already. The school and topic namespace are quite similar, almost identical (it seems this way in many respects). However, the school namespace is reserved for special topics that encompass an inordinate amount of other topics. When I first joined Wikiversity, I thought the topic namespace just felt weird. Why not use department? I've grown to like it. I've come to the conclusion that the topic namespace may be there instead of something like "department" in order to appease the Wikimedia Foundation. I could be totally wrong on that. We don't want this to look too much like a brick and mortar school. However, the school namespace gives Wikiversity a bit of this traditional flavor in a way that is not too overwhelming. I could be totally off base. That is just a thought... somewhat speculative. :) --Remi 18:31, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

I suppose the questions that should be asked are: Why do topics which encompass lessons, need to be further encompassed by schools? What's to stop this from going even further by creating a University: namespace to encompass schools and than a Country: namespace to encompass Universities, and so on as each namespace becomes more unmanageable and/or disorganized? Why can't or shouldn't topics encompass other topics as well? I don't think these were to appease the Wikimedia Foundation. Schools existed back when Wikiversity was still part of Wikibooks, just they were called School_of_whatever and didn't have there own namespace. --darkYin yang.svglama 19:12, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
I was not involved in the decision, but my best guess is that both the "School:" and "Topic:" namespaces were created because the "School:" pages were thought of as directory pages that would be the Wikiversity equivalent of Wikipedia's "Portal:" pages. Many of the original "Topic:" pages were "departments", but I do not think it was fear of the Wikimedia Foundation that was the major motivation for selecting "topic" as the name of the namespace. It was recognized that in addition to "department" pages, Wikiversity editors at Wikibooks had also created other pages at both "higher" and "lower" levels of organization than a department. For example, some pages that needed to be imported to Wikiversity from Wikibooks were like hub pages for a course where people were planning the types of learning resources that would be included in that course. So the more general purpose and ambiguous name, "topic", was selected for this new namespace making it suitable for all pages that were not primarily directories (those went into the "School:" namespace) and also that did not belong in the main namespace (they contained plans for -and links to- learning resources for a particular topic area). Later, we also made the "Portal:" namespace because Wikiversity needed the kind of flexibility for creating directories of content that is provided by the "Portal:" namespace, as developed at Wikipedia. Had I been present when the decision was made to make the "School:" namespace I would have argued for making use of the "Portal:" namespace; that is, we could have imported the "school" pages from Wikibooks directly into the "Portal:" namespace rather than create the "School:" namespace. So, in a rather stumbling way, Wikiversity had eventually achieved a namespace structure that was perfectly analogous to the what is used at Wikipedia. What is distinctive is that Wikiversity did not try to cram WikiProjects and directories for WikiProjects into the project namespace: we have the special purpose "School:" and "Topic:" namespaces. --JWSchmidt 19:38, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Darklama: "Why do topics which encompass lessons, need to be further encompassed by schools?" <-- clearly, it does not have to be this way. What they do at Wikipedia is have pages in the project namespace such as Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Directory/Science. --JWSchmidt 19:45, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
And at Wikibooks, there is now the Subject namespace which includes links to both books and other related subject pages. --darkYin yang.svglama 20:01, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

Perhaps rather than appease, we could compare? Is there a table somewhere which shows the namespaces used in each of the WMF projects with definitions for what they are used for? Consistency with other WMF projects would presumably be desirable help to facilitate users and editors moving between the project sites. This is part of my 'minimalist' reasoning above; i.e., additional namespaces should have a powerful argument to justify variation from MW default namespace structure; if the argument is weak or problematic then WV development and WMF sister project development might be better served by having the content reside in the main namespace or a default MW namespace. -- Jtneill - Talk 12:50, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

There is no such table that I know of. You would need many people involved in creating such a comparison table. I can give some of the rational used behind the creation of the Subject namespace however. Wikibooks still has, but is moving away from the Departments and Bookshelves system. People on Wikibooks wanted a simpler way to catalog the books and have the catalog be easier to search. The first part could be achieved by using an existing namespace, but without its own namespace, searching would turn up whatever else that namespace was used for. By having a dedicated namespace searches could be performed on just that namespace, listing pages dedicated to just the catalog becomes much easier, and finding orphaned pages is easier. In other words its much easier to find something when there together than trying to find a bunch of needles in a haystack. Pages dedicated to listing works by different criteria are easier to link to by other websites and keep them up to date. By having a dedicated namespace websites can more easily provide search functionality improving the chances of people finding what there looking for and using the project. Websites can with more confidence link to pages in a dedicated namespace, and reduce reliance of maintaining there own listing of works from the project. A dedicated namespace can help reduce the need to invent new systems and reduce the chances of there being confusing over what the intentions of a page is (eg Wikiversity:Topics could be a policy or it could be a listing of all topics if a person doesn't know). Overall separation of things by functionality/usage is good, otherwise why bother having namespaces at all? Could just as easily have everything use a single namespace, wouldn't that be fun? --darkYin yang.svglama 14:04, 18 May 2008 (UTC)
How does a wiki community decide which namespaces it needs and exactly what should be in each namespace? I grew up in Wikipedia and based on my experiences there I find both "Portal:" and "WikiProject" pages to be useful. I expect that the Wikiversity equivalent of "WikiProjects" will be even more important to Wikiversity than WikiProjects are to Wikipedia. Wikipedia has a fairly "flat" content structure because there is really just one stereotypical kind of content page: the encyclopedia article. Wikipedia does not concern itself with creating articles targeted to special audiences such as different age groups. In contrast, Wikiversity welcomes all types of learning resources and has the specific mission of providing content for all age groups. The more ambitious mission of Wikiversity means that this project has a greater need for collaborative efforts aimed at developing organized collections of learning resources that address the needs of particular target audiences. Wikiversity editors can concern themselves with helping introduce beginners to topics, moving learners with intermediate levels of knowledge in a topic area towards more advances concepts and also provide learning resources for advanced learners who want to explore the full depth of a topic. I think it is appropriate that Wikiversity have a namespace for collaborative projects that to create, develop and organize learning resources in particular topic areas for particular target audiences. Sure, we could put the pages for these content development projects into the "Wikiversity:" namespace in the same way Wikipedia puts their WikiProjects in the "Wikipedia:" namespace, but I think it makes sense to put such pages in their own namespace. --JWSchmidt 15:19, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

Table of WV custom namespaces & WMF project equivalents[edit]

Table of WMF projects & namespaces[edit]

Criteria for a custom namespace[edit]

Proposed criteria[edit]

  1. Clearly defined purpose and function
  2. Consideration of alternative methods for achieving #1, with pros and cons considered
  3. Logical and articulated relation to default MW namespaces
  4. Logical and articulated relation to relevant namespaces on other WMF projects
  5. Clear explanation of the impact of proposed namespace change on content in other namespaces

Discussion[edit]

I suspect part of the problem here is that the current custom WV namespaces were created because "it seemed a good idea at the time"? On this page should we be referring back to the original discussion that led to the creation of School:, Topic:, and Portal:? Anyone know where that is?

Looking forward, I think we could move towards solving two birds with one stone here by developing something like "criteria for a custom namespace" guidelines or policy - this could help in the current discussion and decision-making, but also for when this issue crops up again in future (as it will presumably). -- Jtneill - Talk 00:26, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

I think the only criteria should be a demonstrated need for it with the pros and cons of doing so considered by the community, and a general agreement that its needed. I don't think comparisons with other projects are all that helpful because each project is different and has its own needs that should be considered. To me pros and cons would include any impact that would result from creating a new namespace or removing an existing one. Some leeway should be given as far as a defined purpose and function goes to encourage experimentation as seems to be the main philosophy of Wikiversity. --darkYin yang.svglama 00:43, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
"On this page should we be referring back to the original discussion that led to the creation of School:, Topic:, and Portal:?" <-- The discussions for "school" and "topic" namespaces were brief and were mainly on IRC in the context of the need to import pages from Wikibooks at the launch of this website. Many of the Wikiversity pages that had been created at Wikibooks were plans for future learning resources in particular topic areas, so the "Topic:" namespace was created as a place to import such pages to. The "School:" namespace was created for the relatively few "school" pages that were the closest thing Wikiversity had to a directory pages. Slightly later, it was felt that it would be useful for Wikiversity to have the "Portal:" namespace, for the same reason it is useful at Wikipedia. Portals efficiently direct wiki content browsers to existing learning resources. The school and topic namespaces remained as namespaces for organizing the content development efforts of editors. I agree that Wikiversity had its own special needs, but we can certainly try to learn from other wikis: we do not have to re-create the wheel. Just like Wikipedia, we have a need to efficiently direct content browsers to our main namespace content. Just like Wikipedia, we have a need to provide collaborative workspaces where editors can coordinate efforts to develop content for specific subject areas. There are many ways these needs can be met by placing these kinds of pages in various namespaces. Right now, we have an existing system for doing so. If we are going to change our system, then it would be nice to have a proposal for change that clearly says, "This newly proposed system is better than the currently existing system for the following reasons: X, Y, Z." --JWSchmidt 15:42, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Well this page already starts off proposing that a single namespace would be better than the existing system with the reasons behind that. We seem to be backtracking now with this. --darkYin yang.svglama 17:43, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Is it better to replace the three namespaces (portal, school and topic) with a single namespace possibly called the "class" namespace? Why? "the structure of namespaces should be simplified to reduce confusion and overlap between them. Its not immediately clear whether something belongs in the School, Topic, Portal or main namespace....The name chosen should make it immediate apparent what its usage is, and ease organization long term."
There are two kinds of issues in this proposal. First, names for namespaces. We all want the best names possible, names that indicate the function of the namespaces. The second issue is which namespaces we want to have. The three existing namespaces have the following functions:
1) The portal namespace "is for reader-oriented portals that help readers find Wikiversity content that is related to a specific subject"
2) "A Wikiversity school helps Wikiversity participants organize learning resources for a set of related academic topic areas."
3) "Pages in the Topic: namespace can serve as content development projects for narrow academic topics in a similar fashion to Wikipedia wikiprojects."
It is not clear to me that putting all these types of pages into a single namespace is the correct solution. Doing so might relieve some Wikiversity participants of the need to learn what the portal, school and topic namespaces are for, but at the expense of trying to force Wikiversity participants to use a new type of page that mixes together distinct functions. This will create a serious problem for naming the new single namespace. I do not understand how the name "class" could fail to cause confusion if we use it for pages that will function as directories of content, replacing our current portal pages. Similarly, I do not think "class" is the best name for pages that function as the Wikiversity equivalent of "WikiProjects". I fear that the new part-directory/part-wikiproject pages will end up providing us with poor portal pages and poor content development pages because they will be trying to do more than one thing at the same time. This proposal seems like an alternative way to do things, but it is not clear that it is a better way.--JWSchmidt 20:42, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Yes its an alternative way of doing things, whether it would be a better way is the point of this proposal and discussion. There are a lot of questions to be asked of the current system. Even the current namespace definitions are confusing. Take for instance the definition of portals, it uses "portals" in defining what portals are, which doesn't help in explaining its purpose. Reducing that ambiguity suggests to me that a portal's purpose is to "help readers find resources related to a specific subject" which is a bit clearer. Moving on we see that "Schools help Wikiversity participants organize learning resources for a set of related academic topic areas." How is "a specific subject" different from "a set of related academic topic areas", or how does "organizing resources" differ from the purpose involved in being able to "find related resources"? I think finding resources is easier when there well organized, and its easier to organize resources when they can be found, so how is organizing and finding resources not part of the same goal? Moving on we see that topic pages "serve as content development projects for narrow academic topics" and that "content development" means "collaborative editing of pages to create, organize and develop learning resources for all subject areas", which would seem to mean that topic pages "are way for participants to collaborate on creating, organizing and developing resources". How are participants expected to collaborate in organizing resources when the process is split across 3 different namespaces? How are collaborations efforts in creating and developing resources not improved by a more unified system? I think any efforts to collaborate in the creation, development and organizing of resources is hurt by being split and/or duplicated across 3 namespaces. I think the current system tries to departmentalize efforts that are suppose to help and benefit everyone, which results in not helping many people. I think this is why discussion about the three namespaces keep popping up. --darkYin yang.svglama 23:18, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Two "tracks": content browsing and content development. Portal pages function as directories of learning resources that are ready to use. Pages in the school and topic namespaces provide collaborative work spaces for editors who are concerned with creating, developing and organizing learning resources. All actual learning resources go in the main namespace.
From above: how does "organizing resources" differ from the purpose involved in being able to "find related resources"?"
There are two fundamentally different ways people behave at wiki websites. Some visitors to a wiki are content browsers who click on links and find information. Other people become involved in editing wiki pages and the process of content creation. The task of finding existing resources is fundamentally different than trying to create new resources or organize resources. Portal pages provide links to learning resources that are ready for learners. Wikiversity content development pages often have many links to planned pages and stub pages that are not ready for use by content browsers who are looking for complete learning resources. --JWSchmidt 17:49, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
In order to browse effectively at Wikiversity, all kinds of people have to be able to use it, the behavior of a single group is not as important. Learners and mentors both need to be able to browse Wikiversity and someone, let us say designers, need to design the system. Designers need feedback from both learners and mentors in order to improve the system for everyone. This is very similar, if not identical, to the process used for improving learning projects. The designers and browsers both need to be able to learn from each other. A person browsing may or may not be looking for just resources ready to be used and may not even know what it is they are looking for. With resources split up someone who may of been able to contribute to a planned or developing resource if they had seen it listed while browsing, is unlikely to do so if they don't see it, out of sight-out of mind, wasting an opportunity to improve resources. I think assuming people are only interested in one thing is not a good approach to encouraging people to contribute. Instead of splitting resources up, resources can be grouped together on a single page based on if there ready, being developed or are planned resources, with ready coming first, being developed coming next, followed by stubs and lastly planned resources. With that approach ready resources can still be seen first, while allowing other resources to be seen too. --darkYin yang.svglama 22:26, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
"Instead of splitting resources up, resources can be grouped together on a single page" <-- I agree. The choice is between trying to put everything on one page (as in the "class" proposal) and linking between two types of specialized pages (content browsing and content development). Does it serve content browsers better to have links from portal pages to content development pages or to have single pages that try to do two things at the same time? Two alternative systems, but which is better?--JWSchmidt 16:06, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
The choice I'm proposing is not about trying to do two or more things at the same time, rather its about trying find a way to be more balanced without making assumptions about what people want or are looking for. --darkYin yang.svglama 23:13, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
From above':"How are participants expected to collaborate in organizing resources when the process is split across 3 different namespaces?"
One "split" is between the school and topic namespaces. These two namespaces provide the kind of hierarchical organization that arises naturally in wikis that need to organize large amounts of information. At Wikipedia they have ended up with a hierarchy in which pages such as Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Directory/Science link to pages such as Wikipedia:WikiProject Molecular and Cellular Biology. The school and topic namespaces arose from a hierarchical structure of Wikiversity pages that were created at Wikibooks. When it was time to import those pages to this website it was decided to create two namespaces that reflect the hierarchical organization. Wiki collaborators have to deal with such hierarchies no matter which namespace(s) the pages are in. I don't think it is really difficult to understand that school pages link to topic pages. The other "split" is between the portal namespace and content development pages. For editors who are interested in organizing Wikiversity content, it is not difficult to make sure that complete or "learner ready" learning resources have links to them from the appropriate portal pages. This is a normal function for participants in content development projects. The content development project page is the locus for collaboration, but content developers take care to make sure that there are good portals for directing content browsers to completed resources. --JWSchmidt 17:49, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
Wikibooks is moving toward using a single namespace without needing to resort to subpages to divide hierarchical. For instance Subject:Science currently links to Subject:Physics which in turn links to Subject:Classical Mechanics. I think it can be difficult to tell what should be a school page and what should be a topic page. The focus should be more on linking to learning resources. Subject:Science for instance also links to a book on research methods. So Subject:Science acts as both a School and a Topic page, because it links to both "resources" and other "topics". All a book editor had to do to participate was add Category:Science to the book and it showed up automatically on Subject:Science. This way book editors have more time to work on improving books, and don't have to spend any time involving themselves in how books are organized in order for there book to get noticed, unless they want to be involved. Requiring Wikiversity editors to be involved in organizing resources, even if they don't want to be, so there resources get noticed by the average person, may currently be the normal, but it doesn't have to be and it is not the only way. At Wikibooks, people who care about organization can ensure that good subject pages exist to direct people to books without as much effort. --darkYin yang.svglama 22:26, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
The point is not to force editors to perform tasks such as organizing groups of related resources. However, it does not take long to explain to wiki editors the value of tasks like categorizing pages and linking to learning resources from other pages. It is not possible to force everyone to agree to use just one type of hierarchical organization, but I don't think it is possible to efficiently organize all of human knowledge without using some type of hierarchical structure. There are many ways of forming these hierarchies in a wiki. The original Wikiversity "school and department" structure was placed into two hierarchically arranged namespaces. Other wikis use other systems. No matter what system is used, people still have to make decisions about how to organize large numbers of wiki pages and shifting from one organizational structure to another does not change this. I'm skeptical that any one system is better than another. Some people might prefer one system over another, but the wide variations in our subjective biases do not help us reach consensus.--JWSchmidt 16:06, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
My proposal isn't about trying to force a single structure, rather its about having a flexible structure where different systems can more easily coexist and be managed easily. I know its not possible for everyone to agree to a single way of organizing things, which is why I think a flexible structure that allows many systems to coexist is important. An editor doesn't have to know that page Y in namespace X exists if all they need to do is add categories or templates that contain the category already and than behind the scenes categories are used to build different organizational models . --darkYin yang.svglama 23:13, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
From above:"How are collaborations efforts in creating and developing resources not improved by a more unified system?"
Forcing all the functionality of portals and "wikiprojects" into a single page means exposing content browsers to the details of the content development process, which is a distraction from the browser's goal of finding complete learning resources. Forcing wikiproject pages to include the functionality of a portal page is a distraction from the main tasks of content development: planning new resources and developing incomplete resources. --JWSchmidt 17:49, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
How do you know what a browser's goal is? Could be for reading, could be to find resources they can improve, could be the person doesn't care whether a resource is complete or not, could be simple curiosity, or could be many other things. How is exposing details of the development process harmful or a distraction? I think it can be beneficial, Wikiversity should be encouraging involvement, not hiding things. This is a wiki after all. I think hiding the development process is harmful to collaboration and improving resources, since what isn't seen is unlikely to be improved. How is including other works a distraction from planning and developing resources? I think having other works listed gives content developers something to compare to which can be helpful in both the planning and development process. --darkYin yang.svglama 22:26, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
I think it is overly dramatic to talk about hiding the content development process from content browsers. Portal pages emphasize links to related content development pages and invite browsers to edit. "How is including other works a distraction" <-- Portal pages are "browser friendly" in that they are specialized to explain things to wiki content browsers who are expected to be having trouble finding content. Content development pages have an entirely different function and are used to coordinate the efforts of experienced wiki editors who are already familiar with a topic area. All of the "for beginners" material that is suited to portal pages is a distraction at content development pages.--JWSchmidt 16:06, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm not being overly dramatic, you basically said the content development process should be hidden from content browsers because its a distraction and I disagree. Not every person who can help contribute to a resource is an experienced wiki editor, necessary an expert in the area they are trying to help out in, nor necessarily good at explaining things. Isn't part of the intention of Wikiversity to encourage people to contribute there knowledge, assumptions, interpretations of things, etc. and have them learn from people more experienced/knowledgeable than themselves? --darkYin yang.svglama 23:13, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
From above:"why discussion about the three namespaces keep popping up".
First, the current system (school, topic, portal) came about "by accident" and nobody thinks it is the best way to do things. I think everyone agrees that change is needed. Second, until recently, there has not been even a start towards having a community-wide and coherent discussion of these issues. In the past, from time to time, a few individuals have made complaints about the existing system without bothering to propose a better system. Third, what is a better system? There are several alternative systems that Wikiversity could switch to, but it has not been clear to me that we have ever identified a "better" system. I think it is possible that we could find and incremental path towards improving the system. For example, as a starting point, I think it might be possible for the community to reach a consensus for eliminating the school namespace if the proposal for doing so were done in a sensible way. A second incremental step would be selecting a better name for the topic namespace. Cormaggio has been a major advocate of replacing the topic namespace with "a different namespace with a more appropriate name to indicate its content developing function".
The "class" namespace proposal (merge the portal, school and topic namespaces into a single namespace, possibly called "Class:") is a much more audacious "sword of Damocles" approach to namespace reform. As I've tried to explain, above, I have not been able to convince myself that the "all in one" approach is best. I wish more people would comment on the "class" namespace proposal.--JWSchmidt 17:49, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
Well the move away from Departments and Bookshelves on Wikibooks seems to be happening in incremental steps, so I don't see what the problem would be in doing that here. I don't expect any solution that comes from discussions here to happen overnight. --darkYin yang.svglama 22:26, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
Sometimes taking one giant step is the only way to get across an obstacle. For me, this discussion has been useful: I feel like I now have a fairly good understanding of your "all in one" proposal. Maybe this is the time to go back to the Colloquium and refresh the stalled process for namespace reform. As I see it, there are basically two different paths to reform that have been suggested. 1) eliminate the "School:" namespace and find a better name for the "Topic:" namespace (find a new name that indicates its content development function). 2) replace the school, topic and portal namespaces with a single namespace (possibly called "class", but for me personally, I'd rather use "subject" for the name of such a namespace). Maybe this is the time to find out if the community wants to try to push ahead with one of these paths to namespace reform. --JWSchmidt 16:06, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
I think letting people know about this discussion in the Colloquium is a good idea. However while I did start this discussion and made a proposal on how this reform could take place, I don't want people to get the wrong idea. This discussion should be more than just about my proposal. This discussion should be about namespace reform in general, ways to go about that and if its really needed, and working towards either replacing the current approach or improving it. This proposal could perhaps be thought of as a research project in its own right, as a "think tank" or as a WikiProject. --darkYin yang.svglama 23:13, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
Could I just add that the discussion on this page has been most instructive for me in helping to understand the history and structure of WV. I'm a little hesitant to make bold suggestions because I'm personally still trying to get my around the current reality and gamut of namespace possibilities, pros, and cons. But I am gradually digesting this hearty meal. Some of my remaining questions include. What are the pros and cons of putting a development/topic type page as a:
-- Jtneill - Talk 23:37, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
For further reference, please see the content split across Psychology, Topic:Psychology, School:Psychology, and Portal:Psychology. -- Jtneill - Talk 23:41, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
English Wikibooks uses that convention, which I think could cause more confusion about how English Wikiversity differs from English Wikibooks, how contents on Wikiversity differs from books, and questions about whats to stop Wikiversity from duplicating Wikibooks' mission. I'm sure these questions/problems could be resolved if that approach was used, but I'm not sure how, since I am only familiar with projects that either copy the Wikibooks approach and try to write book-like materials using subpages, or copy Wikipedia's approach of articles and avoid subpages altogether. There are even books on Wikibooks that to me look like they belong more on Wikiversity than Wikibooks because they look more like lessons or tutorials than like a book to me, but which the Wikibooks community consider fine as they are. I think Wikiversity is trying to fit somewhere in between articles and books, and any confusion about what Wikiversity's mission is by the Foundation wouldn't be good for Wikiversity's continued existence.
I think using namespace-like names could be done, but may result in people treating it like a real namespace and creating pages full of facts or encyclopedic-like information, rather than being focused on helping people to understand psychology. I could be wrong though, and jumping the gun.
I think descriptive titles could be done, and I'm rather found of the idea of using descriptive titles for books on Wikibooks. However I'm also found of making clear what's what, and I don't think descriptive titles are enough to tell the difference between resources and organizational models. Hence I'm all for using a namespace for this purpose, I just don't think 3 is needed to do the job. --darkYin yang.svglama 01:13, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
  • "Psychology/In development". The idea of placing content development projects in the main namespace has some appeal because I can think of content development projects as being a special kind of learning project. I've felt similar motivation to move much of the "Help:" namespace content into the main namespace.....why not structure help pages as learning projects? However, a page called "Psychology/In development" would not really be a learning resource about psychology, at best it might be a learning resource for how to organize psychology learning resources. It seems more natural to me that such "meta pages" should be in a "meta level" namespace rather than in the main namespace. --JWSchmidt 06:23, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

See also[edit]

Wikiversity[edit]

Meta[edit]

  • meta:Namespace (Includes a partially complete comparative table of namespaces for WMF sisterprojects.)