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New FAC and FAR nomination process

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By Gimmetrow, Maralia and SandyGeorgia

Beginning April 1, 2009, Featured article candidates (FAC) started using stable subpages—like AFD's subpages—that will not need to be moved when the FAC is promoted or archived.

Rather than using {{FAC}} on an article talk page to start a FAC discussion, nominators will use {{subst:FAC}}. Featured article review will function similarly with the {{FAR}} template.


Before this change, the subpage for discussing the FAC for Article looked like Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Article. This caused some difficulty if the article did not pass FAC and was later re-nominated. For a subsequent FAC nomination, nominators generally had to move the old subpage to Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Article/archive1 (or some variation), and then edit the redirect to create a new FAC page. This system caused some difficulties, including:


As a temporary solution, from sometime in 2007 subpages for articles that were not promoted were moved to Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Article/archiveN (the next open integer N) when the discussion closed. This kept Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Article open for a later FAC nomination. Most of the links to the FAC subpage were updated when the page was moved, so this avoided most of the problems with the previous system. However, it was difficult for many editors to maintain by hand, and required a bot to help maintain operations.


Beginning April 1, FAC uses stable subpages. These pages should not need to be moved, so links to them should not need updating.

Rather than using


on an article talk page to start a FAC discussion, nominators will use


Template substitution and logic with mw:ParserFunctions will determine an available subpage. The template logic will look for an available page in sequence

until a page is found that doesn't exist. For example, if the first page already exists and the second does not, {{subst:FAC}} will produce the following text on the talk page

{{featured article candidates|Article/archive2}}

Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Article/archive2 will not conflict with existing pages, should not conflict with future pages, and should not need to be moved. Records in the {{ArticleHistory}} template would link to that page. If an article passes FAC and is removed through Featured article review (FAR), the FAC subpage will not need to be moved for any later FACs.

A similar system has existed for over a year at Peer review (see related story), Portal peer review and Good article nominations.

Some technical details

The template only supports 10 subpages (up to /archive10). After that it will always produce /archiveNN. In these rare cases, using {{featured article candidates|Article/archive11}} on the talk page will provide links to create the appropriate subpage.

{{FAC}} is a template that must be substituted rather than used directly. Once the transition period is over, the output of {{subst:FAC}}, which utilizes {{featured article candidates}}, will require a parameter to specify an archive number (e.g., {{featured article candidates|Nancy Cartwright/archive1}} for first candidacy of Nancy Cartwright).

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