Refactor Dont Refer

(WikiOnWiki: ReferDontDelete vs RefactorDontRefer)

Seen on ReferDontDelete:

Let's say you have a Wiki page with a name like "TruckFactor". This isn't the canonical name -- "TruckNumber" is. However, instead of deleting "TruckFactor", turn it into a reference to the other one ("See: TruckNumber").

The next guy who guesses incorrectly and tries TruckFactor will thank you.

I don't agree with this.

The wiki will end up containing a page for each different way of spelling each title? All of these pages will point back to the original? This seems like a horribly redundant practice. I hate having to wade through "pointer pages" to get to the content.


The next guy who tries TruckFactor will have his text ReFactored as well. I don't see the harm in that. When he comes back, he'll see what I've done and that will be that.


I don't think we need to keep pages like ExceptionHierrachy? just because maybe somebody will make the mistake. The ExceptionHierarchy page contains similar but not identical information. These two should be combined into a single page with the title spelled correctly. The remaining page should be deleted as it no longer serves a purpose.

ReFactor the incorrect page so that it is correct - whether that means correcting the spelling in the title or merely editing a few backlinks. Remember, WikiForgets?.


("ExceptionHierrachy?" is just plain offensive and confused. I just voted my opinion with heavy-handed use of the edit button. -- JeffGrigg, VolunteerHousekeeper ;-)

Notes from one VolunteerHousekeeper (the one who wrote ReferDontDelete) to another (the one who wrote RefactorDontRefer):
What about all the pages with entries like: WikiPages

That last one [the convention of keeping short pages] to keep appears counter-intuitive. For example, if a page is just the plural form of another page, and only contains a link to the other page, then it seems a bit much to have two pages. I'm imagining that you're saying that there's no sense in deleting a page that is a small start to an (important) new topic. -- JohnStoshMuczynski

Sometimes it can be valuable to keep the short pages that just redirect to another page. Often the pluralized form is more commonly used in a sentence, while the non-plural form actually contains the content. Most people (especially newbies) will automatically link to the plural form instead of the non-plural form. If there was no redirection page then you'd just end up with someone creating the plural page as a new topic, and you'd then end up with (for example) FooBar and FooBars? both having meaningful content, but developed completely independently. That's just irritating and wastes disk space. On the other hand, a short redirection page won't use very much space and it avoids all those problems.


See WhatIsRefactoring

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