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In the past weeks, I noticed that old talk page discussions get revived more frequently than in the past (most recent example). These are done by different users, to random articles, and most often do not add anything of value, because an issue that needed to be discussed 4 or in one case even 7 years ago most likely is already fixed in the article itself. Is this a mild enough annoyance to simply ignore, or do we need to take care of this? If we do, in what way? -- Cid Highwind (talk) 10:35, September 2, 2013 (UTC)

If I notice a user comment on few old discussions, I gently suggest they be more diligent about looking at dates and that old discussions should be considered archived; perhaps we could simply be more aggressive in archiving old talk page discussions. 31dot (talk) 10:59, September 2, 2013 (UTC)
The question for that is "how do we go about archiving talk page discussions?" Are we going to split off talk pages with a single comment into a sub-page called "Archive" and protect that? -- sulfur (talk) 12:57, September 2, 2013 (UTC)

Just to throw out an alternative that might be less troublesome: if a discussion is over (whatever that really means to be determined), just replace it with a short summary of the topic and outcome. This could look like this:

A discussion with the topic "Did Ferengi have warp-drive earlier than Vulcans?" (started 01/2008) and outcome "we don't know" was archived on 13:33, September 2, 2013 (UTC). It can be found in the page history at that date. Before reviving this discussion, please read the archived discussion as well as the article to see if this is still an open issue.

This message could even be templated, like {{archived|<topic>|<outcome>|<startdate>|<archivedate>}}. This would have the additional benefit of "shortening" discussions, so that we won't need the "Redux" sub-headers as often. -- Cid Highwind (talk) 13:33, September 2, 2013 (UTC)

I figured we would just archive more like the archives we already have, but I am intrigued by Cid's idea as it wouldn't require creating a bunch of new pages. We could even start small and just do it to old discussions that get commented on. 31dot (talk) 17:15, September 2, 2013 (UTC)
Replacing the original content is a fundamental change in how we archive, and I'm not sure I would ever trust a brief summary if I couldn't just scroll down and read the discussion myself. I'm not sure this is enough of a problem to compromise the integrity of other user's posts, and if we started doing that what is the rational for keeping user talk page posts intact that seems fair, especially warnings or instructions. That said, a template could "hide" an archived discussion with an option to expand, so the original discussion is still right on the page, but I would rather have a standard message display rather than a summary, since the idea is there shouldn't be a need for further comment at all. This isn't to say I would support such a template right now, I'm just throughing out ideas. - Archduk3 17:37, September 2, 2013 (UTC)
(Seven days doesn't count as revival, does it? :D) I don't think the summary solution would work: lots of discussions are rightfully or wrongfully not perceived as having come to a clear or satisfactory to all solution, and it's exactly those discussions that tend to be revived. Plus the work of deciding what and when to archive seems way more work then occasionally warning users of. That's not even counting all the extra clicks needed for users wanting to do a quick scan of the talk page before bringing up a new topic, fixing a perceived error, or making other kinds of major changes. Hmm, guess I'm firmly in Cid's "a mild enough annoyance to simply ignore" camp. -- Capricorn (talk) 06:38, September 9, 2013 (UTC)
I don't know about others but personally I generally consider discussions of two years or more ago "old", especially if the talk page is somewhat lengthy. Perhaps an edithint template could be created to make it easier for us to gently warn users who habitually comment on old discussions. 31dot (talk) 09:09, September 9, 2013 (UTC)
I have noticed on Wikipedia that talk page discussions which are "closed" are collapsed into a single line(which can be re-expanded by any interested party), and marked with warnings against posting something in them. Is that something we could do here? 31dot (talk) 18:57, September 17, 2013 (UTC)
That is essentially what I suggested above, I just think it's a lot of work for a minor problem. I believe Wikipedia uses a bot for that, and if I'm correct the two big problems with that are we don't have any "always on" bots like they do, and we only have one "active" bot. - Archduk3 19:10, September 17, 2013 (UTC)
I follow the In the News candidates page and I had thought they just plugged in a template to do it, I didn't think it was a bot. But I am not an expert in wikicode so you are probably right. :) 31dot (talk) 19:39, September 17, 2013 (UTC)