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Archives of talk pages are made when a talk page becomes too long (due to browser limits, 32kb is generally considered the maximum length).

Utilising the "Move this page" feature for such an operation is not at all advised.

Please note that refactoring a talk page is an alternative to archiving it.

Sequential archives[edit source]

Cutting and pasting the text to be archived into a new page is considered the best method for archiving a talk page.

When archiving old discussions, it is customary to leave current, ongoing discussions on the existing talk page. In some cases, a header text is also preserved.

For example, to archive the discussion on the talk page of this article:

1. Start at the Talk page.
2. Click on "Edit this page".
3. At the top of the edit area, type in:
[[Help talk:Archive/Archive 1]]
4. Click on show preview.
5. Once the preview is on your screen, highlight the desired text in the edit box.
6. Cut the desired text from the page using CTRL-x or the cut command in the menu bar.
7. Click on the red coloured "Help talk:Archive/Archive 1" that is in the preview text. This will open a new page with an empty edit area.
8. Paste (using CTRL-v or the paste command in the menu bar) the desired text into the new page ("Help talk:Archive/Archive 1") and the click on "save page".
9. Finally, place a link to the archive on the talk page.

In due time, you would end up with a sequence of archives files named Archive 1, Archive 2, Archive 3 and so forth.

Archives by sub-topic[edit source]

To complement or replace a series of sequential archives, consider organizing archives by sub-topic. This is less appropriate for personal talk pages than for talk pages in the article or project namespace, where it may be desirable to be able to refer to earlier discussions quickly.

An example of sequential archiving can be found at Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions.

Sometimes subpages under the given talk page are appropriate. Other times, it may be best to move comments to the talk page of a logically related article. So, for example, a discussion of French politics at "Talk:France" could be moved to the talk page of the "Politics of France" article.

In general, if you have two or more sequential archives, organising archives by topic may be a better alternative.

Monolithic discussion file[edit source]

For certain discussion pages, particularly those concerned with policy, which don't lend themselves to organizing by topic, the following alternative archiving strategy may be preferable.

In this method, texts are simply deleted from a page and not moved to a different file. To reference an earlier discussion, you simply provide a link to an earlier version of the page. All discussions remain in one monolithic page file. One small caveat: it is not possible to link to an earlier version of a page with an internal-style link. You have to supply the full URL.

To create a link to an earlier version of a talk page:

  • Open the Page History of the page
  • Open the relevant earlier version of the page which still contains the discussion.
  • Copy the complete URL from the navigation bar of your browser.
  • Paste this into the latest version of the Talk page. It will look something like this:

You would then format this like this:

[ earlier discussion].
Note: because this is an URL and not a Wikilink, you use single square brackets ([ ]) rather than double ([[ ]]) and you use a space rather than a vertical bar (|) to separate the URL from the label.

The final result will look like this::

Also see this earlier discussion.

This archiving strategy can be particularly useful for summarising discussions; you provide a succinct overview of the various points of view and a link to the complete discussion.

User talk pages[edit source]

It is recommended that you do not attempt to archive another user's talk page. These are not subject to the recommendations on this page, and each user may choose alternate means to archive their own talk page.

When archiving your talk page by moving it, be aware that this causes the newly-created archive to be added to the watchlist of any user who was previously watching your talk page. This could be annoying for people who have no desire to watch your talk archives.

Conclusions[edit source]

Separate archive files have the advantage that they are indexed and can be searched, whereas this is not the case with the monolithic approach. This should be taken into consideration for pages where people repeatedly ask the same kinds of questions and it is useful to be able to search the archives.

In closing, there are no fixed rules about archiving discussions on the Brighter Shores Wiki.

See also[edit source]