Deadlinks Proposal

Hey folks, so it initially came to my attention via Tuomey that we had a rather significant issue that hasn’t been dealt with, whether its because access to the information in regards to wanted links was buried in Wikidot’s UI, or no one ever went poking around. The issue is that we have probably somewhere in the range of 305 deadlinks/Redlinks on the site on 776 pages. In simpler terms, we have 305 links that go and end up nowhere, pages that are dead/404/don’t exist. The 776 figure doesn't account for duplicate pages with multiple deadlinks.

This is a somewhat prevalent issues among wiki’s, and not just here, but we are unique in that we create more deadlinks on average than a typical wiki would. You are probably wondering why I am bringing it up? Well, with the establishment of MAST, and Wikiwalk’s primary task having been completed back in 2018, there are now a dedicated selection of staff members whose purview this falls under. More specifically, broken or deadlinks are a jurisdiction that the wiki-walk team, and now the wiki-walk sub team of MAST typically dealt with in the past when implementing and maintaining crosslinks on articles. For many articles we created links that could, in theory, become dead should an author delete their works.

So how do we deal with these links? The obvious answer is we fix the deadlinks. That is a no brainer. But it’s important that we have a level of documentation as to what caused the deadlink, did we totally remove the link? Did we find that it was just a page that got moved or renamed? How do we handle deadlinks on Site News, which is a big source of deadlinks? Fortunately, these are questions that are also easily answerable.

First, we would like to preserve the look of deadlinks on certain pages, nominally if those links contribute to the style of the article (site news, select SCP articles that use deadlinks as part of their narrative.) For this, aismallard has suggested using a wikidot function [[a class="newpage"]] which will show up the same (signaling the page is no longer present).

In order to tackle and document properly, I would like to implement a system of documentation for each link similar to but different from the Wikiwalk initiative. I believe its important to document the following information:

  • Where the deadlink was (article link).
  • Who the deleted/moved page was created by (If attainable).
  • What type of page the broken link went to (Tale, SCP, other?)
  • How was the deadlink created? (Typo, page deleted, page moved and link not changed)
  • How the link was fixed (Link removed, fixed, or replaced)? Link to the moved article if available.

As far as how many to tackle at a time, this is a little harder because we cannot physically use list pages to interact with the wanted page category. Since wanted pages are listed in alphebetical order based on the links, we will take tackle them in a "From X to Y" manner. For this reason and the fact that this is a complicated initiative I would like to limit to operational staff and above, with a relatively small number of people.

It is important to note there are currently 21 pages of broken/wanted links, as visible here. This is deceptive, as the current dead links includes the entirety of Series VI wanted links. In actuality there are roughly 7 pages of broken links, roughly 305 give or take a few. This is a fairly manageable task that I would like to spearhead. As Tuomey initially discovered this problem, I'd like to tap him as my second in command. To make it easier to track and assign links, I've created created a Google Doc which I will make available to the folks who will be working on this project.

Page 1 has: 129 pages with 50 broken links.
Page 2 has: 157 pages with 50 broken links.
Page 3 has: 120 pages with 50 broken links.
Page 4 has: 107 pages with 50 broken links.
Page 5 has: 105 pages with 50 broken links.
Page 6 has: 142 pages with 50 broken links.
Page 7 has: 16 pages with 5 broken links.

Once the initial drive is finished, I forsee this as becoming a regular duty for the Wikiwalk subteam of MAST as this issue is unlikely to ever go away, but we can certainly make it manageable.

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