Refactoring By Deletion

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There is a long-standing and useful way to edit a large grubby page and draw the useful stuff out of it. You don't delete anything - you move the good stuff to the top and put a line under it. Do that. Don't delete discussion, abstract it.

We believe that we need to break the taboo about deletion, in every Wiki reader's mind, not just a few. Deleting a person's signed contribution that has clearly been made redundant by other contributions, for example, is trivial and fine. It's the risk any of us run when we put something up on Wiki. No offence should be taken.

Deleters: This should not be abused. Work in a pair if you can - see PairRefactoring.

Deletees: It will be abused at times. Complain only when you think that a significant abuse has occurred. I'm suggesting RefactoringNotes for such complaints, if not the page itself.

Everyone: We must reduce the crud on Wiki. Be bold but compassionate at the same time. May the forceps be with you.

Deletion by itself usually doesn't lead to clarification. Summarization, editing and even rewriting often will. Perhaps it would be better for us to put Summaries On Top Discussion Below and leave deletion to extreme cases or original authors.

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