Seattle Wiki

This article was taken in part or whole from Wikitravel

A stub article is any article in SeattleWiki that does not address its subject sufficiently to be useful for other users.

In general, stub articles are short articles. Subjects worth having an article about usually are worth writing at least three or four paragraphs about. If there's less text than that, either the subject is not covered fully, or it probably doesn't merit its own article, and should be incorporated into another one.

Length doesn't guarantee completeness, though. An article can go on for pages and pages and still not cover its subject with the appropriate depth or breadth. Such an article would still be a "stub", even though it's not particularly stubby.

Pros and cons of stubs[]

Stubs have their bad sides. Readers can get confused by a too-short article: Is that all there is to say about the article? Is that the expected length of articles for SeattleWiki? Where's all the info? Stubs can give a bad first impression if people haven't seen other SeattleWiki articles. (But see below for a way to make stubs less confusing.)

Mostly, though, stubs are a good thing. A stub is the seedling from which the full plant of an article emerges. One user can add a stub, and other users will come along and add more information to it. Someone else comes in and reformats the article according to the Manual of style, and someone else adds photos. Eventually, the tiny one-sentence stub becomes a healthy, useful article.

Stub detection[]

If you set the Threshhold for stub display value to something other than 0 in your preferences, links to stub articles will be shown in a different color than links to complete articles or to non-existent articles. The threshhold value is a number of characters in the article; somewhere around 500 characters should give you a good idea of whether an article is long enough or not.

Note that this only shows short articles, and so it's a rough approximation of stubbiness. Some articles may need additional information, even if they stretch for hundreds of thousands of characters. We don't have the software yet to decide if an article covers its subject well.

Practical stub-making[]

If you make a stub article, or see one that someone else has made, it's good to add a little disclaimer that says that the article isn't done yet. It gives a bit of extra impetus to readers to add what they know to an article. There's special markup in our software to mark something as a stub. It looks like this:


...which makes this appear on the page:

This article is still a stub and needs more content.
Please contribute if you can.

You can add the stub message at the bottom of the page. This reassures readers that we know the article is not complete, and that it's not indicative of the overall quality expected out of SeattleWiki articles. Also, it invites them to add whatever they can to make the article better.

Taking out stub disclaimers[]

It can be hard to tell when an article is no longer a stub. An article doesn't have to be perfect to take the stub disclaimer out of the article -- just relatively complete.