Wikiversity talk:Notices for custodians

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Moving files to Commons[edit]

This is a request for discussion, not action, so I'm putting it here. Babel seems to be for announcement and it's looking to me like the various policy talk pages that might be relevant don't exist here.

A sequence we have seen on en.wv: File is uploaded to en.wv and used. Then file is copied to Commons, and the local file is deleted. Then Commons deletes the file for some reason, (some defect is found or imagined, Commons process isn't perfect), and the Commons file is deleted, and then the delinker bot comes to en.wv and removes the link.

The local file has been deleted, and if the link to that file is not obvious, it can be a piece of work to even figure out what the filename was, if the file was renamed when it was moved to Commons.

The deletion of the local file does nothing but obscure history, because the file remains in the database, it simply becomes invisible. If the link to it has been changed, it will appear to be an unused file, but it can have the CommonsNow template on it.

So, two sequences that just happened:

  • 12:04, 31 January 2014 User changes an image filename, from File:Ochtend-ritueel1.png to File:Morning routines model.png. Looking at this now, looks helpful, right? Red link to active file! But:
  • 20:39, 1 February 2014 [custodian] deleted page File:Ochtend-ritueel1.png (Duplicated file) The file may have been tagged with Template:NowCommons by the user, who one minute before changing the filename in the resource had uploaded the "Morning routines model" file to Commons. Or a speedy deletion template was used.
  • 12:03, 31 January 2014‎ This is a very specialized file, it is not likely to have general usage. If the file is for a time not used here, for some reason, and is not used elsewhere, it might easily be deleted from Commons for that reason alone.

No improvement was made by this action to Beta or the specific resource. The risk of loss of the file increased somewhat. The user who did this gained a contribution here, and a contribution on Commons, and he has 43,069 edits on Commons at this point. The user who uploaded the file here has one less contribution, s/he will not be able to find the file in Contributions. If there is a problem later on, it may be obscure how to fix it.

Did the user who uploaded this file realize what had happened? Maybe, maybe not. The page will look the same. I've seen a custodian look at the redlinks and say, ah, deleted from Commons! Nothing we can do about that! But if the original file can be found, yes, there is something a local custodian can do. The original filename can sometimes be tedious to find, but it will be there in history, but how does one know that it exists? There is no indication in the current events that there ever existed a local file, and the Commons page, which would have the reference to the local file, has been deleted! Only administrators there could read it.

So, another recent sequence that turned out differently, but with the same attempt:

However, the author of the resource is a very experienced Wikipedian. He sees these changes, and acts.

There were two other new filenames used:

There are currently 127 files in Category:NowCommons. I picked one at random, File:Copo gbg 03.png. The NowCommons tag in it says: This picture/multimedia file is now available on Wikimedia Commons as Copo gbg 03.png (i.e, same filename) and can be safely deleted (see how).

However, if the file is deleted locally, and if it happens for a time that this file is not being used anywhere, it might be deleted on Commons. It is possible that this file was used in a page that has been deleted, here, and there is no way for a non-admin to tell (and it's not easy even for for an admin, one would probably need to review the deleted contributions of the user). Deleting the file passes control out of the hands of local administrators.

A competent administrator will check for incoming links before deleting a file. Since the files tagged as NowCommons in 2010, mentioned above, have never been delinked, that could explain why they were not deleted. However, I found only three deletions in the last year that seemed to be "duplicated files." I can't tell from the deletion summaries if these were from moves to Commons.

In all the first four examples I looked at here, when a file was moved to Commons, the file was renamed. (The random file I pulled from NowCommons was not renamed.) There is a Commons:File renaming guideline, and it suggests "As a matter of principle it's best to leave all files with generally valid names at their locations, even if slightly better names may exist."

It's fairly obvious why: both files can exist. The page will load the local copy if it exists; if not, it will go to Commons. Thus it's more flexible. It is not necessary, then, to change links to files, as was done in the sequences above (with two files, the other two hadn't been changed yet).

So, comments? I'm tempted to remove speedy deletion tags based on "NowCommons" or the like if I happen to see them, and to revert filename changes in resources simply to point to a Commons copy (which likely means that the Commons name was a rename, bad idea). What do people think? I am mostly an en.wv user, and I'll certainly do that there, but I am being much more careful here, due to my lack of Beta experience.

I am taking interest in Beta because of interest in the worldwide Wikiversity movement, because I think Wikiversity is, long term, far more important than most think, and some of the international wikis need help. --Abd (talk) 03:07, 22 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]