Forum:Deleting old images

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Forums: Yew Grove > Deleting old images
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This thread was archived on 28 May 2010 by Aburnett.

I've noticed that several images are getting deleted due to their being replaced by a more recent vintage of the image. An example that recently came up is File:Blurite ore rock.png, which replaced [[:File:Blurite.PNG]] (wrapping to keep red-links out of this page).

Mind you, I'm not trying to single out PsychoRobot here, as this is a pervasive practice on this wiki at the moment with several admins and contributors. I'm just trying to bring this issue to the attention of the greater wiki community and raise the question on if this is a good practice to continue. More specifically, I would like to propose that this kind of action stop, and that images of already existing content be updated with an identical file name or that their editing and content histories should be merged together. Merging edit histories is sort of complicated, but it can be done and IMHO the extra effort is worth the hassle. This said, simply uploading the file with the same file name would make it a whole lot easier on everybody involved.

The sad thing here in this case is that there is a file history existing for this particular image, including some historical images that have now been wiped out and are now only viewable by admins... if they even want to care about finding those images. I consider this to be a sort of loss to the history of this wiki as a whole, and sort of is anti-wiki in its nature as it is a change that is much harder to reverse. There is value in the historical versions of the images, and those should at the very least be available as thumbnails "in the archives" of this project for ordinary users to access and not locked behind admin tools in this fashion.

Acorn 5.png
This page in a nutshell:
If an image already exists for an item, location, character, or object, that image name should be uploaded with the same name or the image file be merged with the edit history of the older image.

I'm not sure if this should be a tweak with RuneScape:Images and media policy and/or RuneScape:Deletion policy, but it impacts both policies. My request is to make this formal policy and help preserve these older versions of the images involved. While it would be nice for a dedicated admin who wants to spin their wheels on trying to recover some of the older images that have been deleted previously and has copious amounts of time on their hands (yeah, right.... don't flame me on this point), my request is simply to draw the line from this point forward and make this policy on any new "upgrades" of images into the future. --Robert Horning 00:10, December 7, 2009 (UTC)


Comment and Support - My question is, would this make it so that some admins should not move an image from an incredibly long name to a short version (example: [[:File:Runescape_controls_emotes_skillcape_woodcutting.gif]] to [[:File:Runescape_controls_emotes_skillcape_woodcutting.gif|File:Woodcutting emote.gif]]? As far as the reissuing of new files, it is incredible that we don't generally upload under a the old file name (however this cannot be helped whenever someone uploads a different file extension versus the new one). Other things I have seen (and asked for) is the clearing of file history (revert wars/etc.) to make it readable. For this idea, as it should be the main focus for historical purposes (look at's Champions Challenge page, showing all the SD graphical images or Sal's Tzhaar page), we should have it so we do not lose credit to the uploader(s). Personally, I would like to see many files moved to a more reasonable name than what many are at the moment. Ryan PM 01:28, December 7, 2009 (UTC)

Moving files would not be affected, as the history is moved with it. - TehKittyCatTalk Wikian-Book 01:40, December 7, 2009 (UTC)
Keep in mind that ordinary registered users (with more than 4 days of edit history and a few minor restrictions) can move/rename pages on this wiki. If you find a file name that you think ought to be simplified, it would be a benefit to this wiki in a number of ways to simply make that sort of change.... changing the appropriate links to that image as well. File history mergers, on the other hand, require admin tools. --Robert Horning 01:55, December 7, 2009 (UTC)
Although all registered users can move pages, only administrators can move files. --Aburnett(Talk) 23:30, April 19, 2010 (UTC)

Support - A lot of history is held in the lost archives of the wiki, we should do what we can to keep it. I'm looking for a way to merge file histories easily, if I can't find one I might try to write an extension capable of merging file histories. It is sad that MediaWiki provides this ability for pages(but it is disabled) and not for files. - TehKittyCatTalk Wikian-Book 01:40, December 7, 2009 (UTC)

As far as I know, the only way to merge file histories is to delete the "target" page, move the content to be renamed to that "target" name, delete it too, and then undelete the whole mess. If there is another way to merge histories that avoids this ugly mess of double deletion/undeletion, I would love to know how to get it done. Still, there is no reason to delete the "old" image and all of its history simply because it is inconvenient to perform this merger. --Robert Horning 01:47, December 7, 2009 (UTC)
Edit - I just did the merger with that method, and it worked on the Blurite example I mentioned above. The logs are now going to look a bit ugly, but it gets the job done and does preserve the edit history including previous images uploaded with that earlier name. --Robert Horning 02:08, December 7, 2009 (UTC)
Looks great. - TehKittyCatTalk Wikian-Book 02:23, December 7, 2009 (UTC)

Support - I'll have to admit that I have observed some who have ruthlessly deleted old unused images without checking its history and the significance of its history. But with the amount of persoanl images and duplicate images, it seems that admins have been working overtime deleting "unwanted" images from the wiki. However, admins should exercise caution before deleting anything.

I have also done some mindless deleting myself, but mostly I delete old GEMH files. Since they are historical images, I find no reason keeping the old images.

Anyway, and here are some reading material from Wikipedia:

These manuals or help pages contain the steps involved in moving and merging histories, and detailed instructions for complex processes that Robert briefly described above. I think admins should read them as they are useful how-to guides.   az talk   08:14, December 7, 2009 (UTC)

Strong Support - Also, that would have made the Graphical improvements page sooo much easier. Now we have to look through the deletion log for historical images, have them undeleted and stuff. I don't understand it anyway. Ancient talisman.png Oil4 Talk 20:31, December 7, 2009 (UTC)

Support - Per myself for the past two years. Dragon medium helm! Whaddaya know?Chiafriend12Better than rune!I have 12 friends. 02:37, December 8, 2009 (UTC)

Support - Yes, I do think it's nice to be able to look through an image history and see what something looked like in a previous version of RuneScape (the changes have been significant). It may be a detail that some enthusiastic cleaners have missed, but I'd be surprised if this was purposeful or ill intended. In any case, it's nice to have those histories preserved if we can. Air rune.png Tollerach hates SoF Fire rune.png 08:21, December 9, 2009 (UTC)

I am not asserting that it is purposeful, but with the HD update there has been a significant portion of the historical database of images that has been wiped out from this wiki. I don't know if this is simply ignorance or apathy, but these images have been deleted and it would take a significant effort now to get most of them recovered. Formal policy in this case would at least give a reason to drop a note with a newer admin and say "slow down there, buddy. Make sure that you aren't deleting images that need to be preserved." --Robert Horning 12:23, December 9, 2009 (UTC)

Support - When I took screenshots of the rocks, I did a multiple upload. As such I didn't know that we had another blurite rock image. Still, I probably should have deleted my version and uploaded it to the old version (and moved it to a different name, since "blurite.png" isn't a very specific name. I suppose I should do that now >_> kitty.pngPsycho Robot talkSilver bar.png 20:40, December 14, 2009 (UTC)

Support -All the way.. Fire Surge icon.png Vivieln/ talk File:Soul split.gif|27px 04:59, December 20, 2009 (UTC)

Support - I felt this way when I was uploading a ton of images a year ago. Most of the ones I replaced were png and I uploaded .gif (from the Game Guide), so it wouldn't allow me to upload as png. However, I love historical images, and now I try to always upload with the same file name. 20px‎ Kudos 2 U Talk! Edit count! Contribs! 12:14, December 22, 2009 (UTC)

Support - I didn't even know this was happening. Yeah, the history is important. I don't think we should even be merging them, just upload with the same name.

Bonziiznob Talk

14:19, December 22, 2009 (UTC)

The problem is what to do in the situation when multiple images exist, either by accident or on purpose. It is indeed a problem when the image file format changes (gif to png or the other way around), but as I've explained even if the file format is the same, images have been deleted simply because they are redundant... and the "older" image is often discarded in favor of the "newer" image. This should not be happening. If the image file histories can be merged together, they should be merged instead of deleted. --Robert Horning 21:09, December 22, 2009 (UTC)

Comment - Ok, this really ticks me off... [ File:Animateddramaticpoint.gif] did not have to be deleted. It is labeled as Unneeded, yet the new uploader should see whether there was a file already in place, rather than do it under a new file name. If the name would need changing, an admin could merge/move it to a more suitable file name. [[:File:Dramatic_point.gif]] would have been the more appropriate name, but that is absurd to delete it. I would be fine if people wouldn't bastardize other people's work by letting it be deleted because they aren't checking whether the article in question already has a file under a different name from their own. While this isn't meant to attack, it's meant to say, "Look before you leap." It would be nice to know why some people refuse to upload over an older file (Whether it be a day or 2 years old). Ryan PM 21:25, December 23, 2009 (UTC)

Fixed, but the point still remains. Ryan PM 21:36, December 23, 2009 (UTC)

Request for closure - This forum has not been edited in 2010. I would close this now, though I have had rather strong opinions in similar discussions, so I cannot remain totally neutral when closing this. Magic-icon.pngStelercusIlluminated Book of Balance.png 19:17, April 19, 2010 (UTC)

I wouldn't worry about the bias, since there's obvious consensus to support Robert's proposal. But we do need the changes to be implemented before closing, so somebody would need to step up and add the proposed sections to the relevant policy. Robert? Endasil (Talk) @  23:55, April 19, 2010 (UTC)

Formal Policy Change... based on Discussion

Here is what I'd like to see changed explicitly on RuneScape:Deletion policy:

Under the section Cases where a page can be deleted the following additional policy be added:

  • Duplicate files of the same item or location should be deleted, with preference going to the first image, or the oldest version of the image first. Multiple versions of essentially the same item or location can be merged together instead of being deleted as well. Users should be encouraged to upload files using existing naming conventions where possible.

Under the section Cases where a page shouldn't be deleted the following additional policy be added:

  • Historical images of Runescape should be preserved, even if the content is otherwise not currently being used in any articles on the wiki at the moment. This includes but is not limited to images whose file format has changed (changing from GIF to PNG format, for example), and images marked with the {{SD}} tag. Where possible, historical images should be merged into the file history using the file merge administration tools, or otherwise explicitly noted on the current version of the image as having a historical version.

Also, from the RuneScape:Images and media policy under the Images section the following policy also be added:

File Naming

An effort should be made by users uploading files to this wiki to see if in fact the item or image has already been uploaded previously, and to preserve existing naming conventions for this item or for similar kinds of images. Attempts to upload a new image under a new file name for something that already exists on this wiki may result in that image being deleted.

Go ahead to prod, tweak, fold, spindle, and mutilate that policy as you see fit, but this is one explicit policy change I'd like to see made that relates to this discussion. Where possible, I'd even like to see some of the previous images that have been deleted to be undeleted. --Robert Horning 14:38, May 1, 2010 (UTC)

Added per this forum and RS:BOLD to the appropriate policies. Now to see if they'll be followed. Ryan PM 02:09, May 11, 2010 (UTC)

Request for closure - Changes already implimented per RS:BOLD. Ajraddatz Talk 19:46, May 27, 2010 (UTC)

Closed - Proposal has been implemented. --Aburnett(Talk) 01:22, May 28, 2010 (UTC)