In the HFWiki, a stub is defined as a very short article, generally of one paragraph or less. Stub artiles primarily tend to be short, simple sentences (or even a single sentence) that fails to cover all but the extreme basics of a topic. Sometimes, a stub may simply be a filled-in infobox template.
Stubs can be useful as placeholders; if you are researching more into a topic, or writing a longer article to place on the wiki, it may be best to start with a short article. However, when stubs are left in the database, untouched, they provide very little benefit to those who read them.
- Before creating a stub article, you should ask yourself if it would be useful to anyone. Sometimes it is better to have no article at all than one which fails to describe even the very basics of a subject.
- When creating a stub article, please add a stub message to show other contributors that the article requires expansion. This procedure is explained below.
- After creating a stub article, don't just leave it in the database. Try to return after a while to expand the article, if no-one has in the meantime.
Making Stub Articles
If you create a stub article, or find an unmarked stub, add the following template to either the top or the bottom of the article to encourage users to expand it.
This is a generic message for all stub articles, it will appear as follows;
Finding and Fixing a Stub Article
If you happen to come across a stub article on a subject which you are familiar, take a few minutes to flesh out the material. Try to provide more information and include more wiki links to the text.
If you would like to find stub articles that need fixing, you can use the following pages to find lists of stub articles:
- Category:Stubs - For all stub articles
- Special:Whatlinkshere/Template:Stub - For generic stubs
Alternatively, the MediaWiki software can automatically mark short articles for you. In your preferences, set the Threshold for stub display to a number higher than zero (a recommended number is 200 bytes). By doing this, links to short articles will be colored differently, allowing you to spot them on all pages.
In all cases, please make sure to remove the stub message from any article that you fixed.
Articles that aren't stubs
Not all short articles are stub articles. Sometimes, there's only a little bit of information available on a subject and it only warrants two or three sentences. Short articles that cover their subject entirely should not be marked with a stub message.
Not all incomplete articles are stub articles, either. The stub message should not be used to mark any article that you think is incomplete. If an article consists of more than one paragraph but is still incomplete, you should instead list the article on HFWiki incomplete articles.