Proposal:Arrange articles as subpage galleries videos and subarticles

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Every proposal should be tied to one of the strategic priorities below.

Edit this page to help identify the priorities related to this proposal!

  1. Achieve continued growth in readership
  2. Focus on quality content
  3. Increase Participation
  4. Stabilize and improve the infrastructure
  5. Encourage Innovation


In the future, articles should be expanded to have subpages containing image galleries, videos, sound-clips, and sub-articles tied to the parent article.


In the future, articles should be expanded (or re-arranged) to have multiple subpages that contain image galleries, maps, videos, sound-clips, and sub-articles tied to the parent article. Each subpage would gain the notability (and edit-protection) of the parent article, without extensive debate as to whether the text was "notable" as a separate article. There is no debate needed: the text was in the notable main article, so it doesn't suddenly lose notability when moved to a subpage. A list-the-subpages template would be linked, into each article, to help readers to view the various subpages of each article. For compatibility with the current style of article titles, the various subpages could be accessed, like current articles, by redirect-titles that give them the appearance of being separate articles, even though they are stored as subpages of the parent article (with the same notability).


There are numerous issues that provide the motivation for a significant change, even though the implementation would be simple:

  • Stuck acting like paper articles: Wikipedia began as, basically, a wikilinked copy-cat concept of other encyclopedias, which were mostly based as paper articles. It began as a sort of text Word-ipedia with the main focus on words (or text) in flat articles. There was little consideration of expanding each article to become a folder of related subarticles, with image galleries, map sets, videos, or related sound-clips.
  • Bias against images: From the text-page viewpoint, image galleries have been "frowned upon" by some, while, out in the real world, many people are transitioning to faster Internet connections to quicken image and video displays. The original Wordipedia-mindset continues to thwart Wikipedia's future potential in being limited by the old viewpoint treating articles as merely pages full of text (with as few tiny images as could be tolerated).
  • Bias against maps: The continual removal/shrinking of maps is a major problem. Many maps need to be large to be readable. Meanwhile, people who most-often edit an article, typically knowing the region, do not need a map and get tired of seeing it (especially large) during editing. When a map is thumbnailed, 95% of the time it is too small to be read (Thumbnailed maps typically require lettering in rare 3-pixel width to be, partially, readable when small.). Yet, when the map is right-clicked to enlarge, the image-page of the map is typically too large, or also too small to be readable. Square areas map easily, but oblong regions display as too-small (such as Italy or the U.S. state Florida). Solution: A maps-subpage is needed to display the rarely viewed map(s) in appropriate size, also showing possible closeup sections, or including a huge-map scrolling region below the full-page map to allow viewing tiny details of a gargantuan map. No single map image is likely to handle all those aspects (as with a large city), so a dedicated maps-subpage is the most workable alternative, which does not interfere with editing the main article.
  • Need to group related videos: There can be a tendency to just dump the related videos into a "category" group. However, it would be much more informative to have an article subpage (about its related videos), which could describe some background information about each one, with links to each video (or sound-clip). For example, the article on "Mozart" could have a subpage about "Selected recordings" which could describe video clips or sound-files from free performances of Mozart's music, such as choral works typically sung by the Vienna Boys Choir at the Royal Chapel in Vienna.
  • Text pages have practical size-limits: Although future computers are expected to allow 3-part, fold-out flatscreens, there is still the practical limit that many computer screens will remain the size of 8.5x11 text pages (or smaller). It would be better to cross-link 3 small pages rather than display a mega-page which must be scrolled up/down to reach each major section.
  • Massive articles are slow to become split: Many very large articles remain as giant pages on Wikipedia (despite the readers being repeatedly warned "This page is 115kb and should be split").
  • Pages are often bigger than warned: Although editing a page might warn, "This page is 89kb", the actual size of a formatted article page includes the images and table-columns, as well as the text, often totalling 250kb (nearly a quarter-megabyte) of data. Again, many articles need to be split into smaller subpages.
  • Stop debate about subarticles being notable: Each subpage would directly gain the notability (and edit-protection) of the parent article, without extensive debate as to whether the text was "notable" enough to be a separate article. There is no debate needed: the text was in the notable main article, so it doesn't lose notability when moved to a subpage.
  • Stop debate about subarticles being protected: Each subpage would directly gain the same edit-protection settings as the parent article. A subpage about "Charles_Darwin/Beagle_voyage" would immediately gain the same protection as the main article, without needing to argue (for weeks) that vandals keep inserting, "He acted like an ape on the ship too".
  • Fallacy of one-size-fits-all: Perhaps the most fundamental problem is that the concept of a full-page article was doomed to face the one-size-fits-all problem, where all information just does not fit well within a single page. Diversity is needed instead.

Considered all together, the above issues can all be handled by using subpages. The total savings of avoiding the protracted minor debates, with their inevitable risk in promoting user hatred, is difficult to estimate. Any change that avoids so many debates, such as about notability of subpages, is a major motivation for rapid approval.

Key Questions

  • Should a document to written as the "Guideline for article subpages" to explain the structure of large articles, being split into multiple subpages?

Potential Costs

  • The concept requires mainly a shift in the typical manner of splitting and storing articles.
  • A guideline should be planned to explain creating an appropriate redirect-title for each subpage to appear as being a typical article title. For example, "Scenes of New York" could be a title redirected to the subpage "New_York_City/scenes" containing a well-structured image gallery displaying major scenes of New York City (separate from the main article). Note: It would not be an image-category dump listing, but rather a thoughtful, logical arrangement of images, as appropriate, to concisely cover the subject.


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Community Discussion

Do you have a thought about this proposal? A suggestion? Discuss this proposal by going to the related talk-page: Proposal talk:Arrange articles as subpage galleries videos and subarticles.

Want to work on this proposal?

  1. Vibhijain 14:53, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
  2. .. Sign your name here!