[pmwiki-users] RFC: Deleting pages from the core documentation

michael paulukonis xraysmalevich at gmail.com
Sat Sep 7 14:34:10 CDT 2013

redirection over deletion, for the argument of the cleanest and most
maintainable solution (given that linkrot is neither clean nor

-Michael Paulukonis
<http://goog_2112721603>Interference Patterns (a
@XraysMonaLisa <https://twitter.com/XraysMonaLisa>

Sent from somewhere in the Cloud
(hearthrug, by the fender)

On Sat, Sep 7, 2013 at 12:18 PM, Tamara Temple <tamouse.lists at gmail.com>wrote:

> On Sep 7, 2013, at 7:03 AM, Petko Yotov <5ko at 5ko.fr> wrote:
> > Hello,
> >
> > I'd like to know the opinion of the community about deleting pages from
> the documentation of the default PmWiki distribution. This concerns not
> only new users but also those who upgrade from older versions.
> >
> > PmWiki ships with a number of pages containing documentation in the
> PmWiki group. As we work to improve the documentation, while refactoring,
> content can be moved from a page to other(s) and some pages may become
> empty.
> >
> > In this case we search pmwiki.org for backlinks and point them to the
> new place of the information, so that no page on pmwiki.org points to the
> empty page.
> >
> > There is also concern for "link rot"
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Link_rot that is, external sites possibly
> pointing to the empty page - in this case, we can use a (:redirect NewPage
> status=301:) directive so when someone lands on the old page it gets
> automatically sent to the new place with the information.
> >
> > Or, instead of redirecting, we could delete that page and when people
> land on it, they will see an invitation to search the wiki or to create the
> page. (Recently, previously deleted pages have been re-created by spambots
> adding unrelated links, but our main concern is to not confuse real people.)
> >
> > When someone upgrades from an old version, the core documentation gets
> updated too, but only existing and new pages. If a page was removed from
> the distribution and someone upgrades, they will still have the old page in
> their wikilib.d directory, with the old content. So they will have an
> orphan page with obsolete content. If, instead of deleting the page, we use
> a redirect, they will have a tiny page and if elsewhere on their wiki (or
> on external sites) they have linked to it, it will redirect to the most
> recent information. If nothing links to this page, they will have a tiny
> orphan page.
> >
> > In a new, clean PmWiki installation, if we delete the page, everything's
> fine; if we redirect the page, they will have a tiny orphan page.
> >
> > So my question to the community is should we delete empty pages or
> redirect them to the latest place of the content? Are there other pros and
> cons?
> >
> > Thanks,
> > Petko
> Given this changes legacy sites, the redirection is the way to go with
> this. It populates perhaps useless pages in new wikis, but deleting breaks
> the standard social contract of the web to redirect when content changes,
> keeping old links working. The user clicking on that old link may not have
> any understanding of the original intent of the link, and not know what to
> search for if they land on a 404.
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