Refactor Faster Delete More

Floated for discussion before inclusion in RefactoringWikiPages or GoodWikiCitizen


I now openly question the following from GoodWikiCitizen:

I've begun to disobey this, first in small ways, more recently in much bigger ways. It's time I came clean.

I don't even apologize.

-- RichardDrake

(Caveat: I've normally at least been part of the thread)

Don't refactor live threads. Is this perhaps a practice to reject now that we've seen its effects, a reason WhyWikiWorksNot? If people are continuously refactoring sprawling ThreadMess into coherent DocumentMode, no great ThreadMess ever accumulates. More importantly, when virtually every page on Wiki is a ThreadMess, people come to think of Wiki as a purely ThreadMode discussion forum. "Sure, what the hell, I'll toss a rude little barb onto this page. Everyone else is doing it." Letting ThreadMode run without continuous refactoring teaches people a bad way to Wiki. Continuous refactoring never lets people forget that beautiful DocumentMode is the goal. -- BenKovitz

Why not build a parallel document that attempts to improve the organization? Why dinker with the original if its still changing? We can then rename or remove the original after the dust settles.


The Ayes: (people are known to broadly agree)

The Nays: (one or more people are known to disagree)


Previously in the list of "Nays": If they're refactoring things "away" then they're discarding information. If information is discarded then there is a problem with the refactoring, not with its timing.


Makes sense to me. After all, the XP people don't wait until a certain part of the program "has settled down" before they refactor, on the contrary, they refactor before adding new stuff.

XP doesn't work when you want to do exploratory work. You know, to go off on tangents and see where takes you. If you immediately cut off all potentially interesting points, you'll destroy the whole point of randomly smashing words together to spawn a new discussion. Actually, XP only works when you have requirements. See ImproveSignalAndReadability.


After fourteen months I'm tempted to delete the yet

Churning old pages is a great feature/misbug. It works like your mind when something triggers an old memory that launches you into a new direction. However, with NewNotification, that's kind of broken now. :(


The moral guidelines have been deleted in favour of the more strenuous and accurate ethical framework set out in ChangingSignedContributions.


There is a problem with DeletionInWiki. It seems to me that refactoring is meant to capture the essential essence, distilling it in places, reorganizing it in other place, and removing non-contributory elements to another place or removing them. Deletion should be reserved for segments or pages which in the view of the community (not an individual) are not wanted, or are not helpful. It is well to be cautious in refactoring to be sure to reflect and retain as much of the original essence of the page as possible. (See TrustAndResponsibility)

That's what's meant by deletion in the title of this page. For information on Deletion, See DeletionInWiki.


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