# New book policy: What should we do about the old questions?

However, it is of a form that it can only be applied to new questions. We have many old questions with answers that do not satisfy the policy, what should we do about them?

• Note: For now, if I come across old book questions (example), I'm closing them with the intent of revisiting them once this discussion gets over. – Manishearth Nov 15 '13 at 16:24

I propose that we edit the resource recommendation banner into these questions, making the questions follow the policy.

As for the answers, those which do not follow the policy can be collected into a single Community Wiki answer. Maybe with a disclaimer about how it is no longer considered a good answer to a recommendation question. We could alternatively historical lock it, though the historical lock post notice seems to talk about questions even when applied to an answer.

This way, there aren't any broken windows, but the content is preserved. This requires some effort, though. I don't mind doing it myself, but I'll have to start a week from now. This isn't something urgent, so we can handle it at our leisure.

### Update

I rather like @Emilio's banner for the community wiki questions:

This answer contains some additional resources that may be useful. **Please note that answers which simply list resources but provide no details are strongly discouraged by [the site's policy on resource recommendation questions](https://physics.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/4697/are-resource-recommendations-allowed)**. This answer is left here to contain additional links that do not yet have commentary.


This answer contains some additional resources that may be useful. Please note that answers which simply list resources but provide no details are strongly discouraged by the site's policy on resource recommendation questions. This answer is left here to contain additional links that do not yet have commentary.

• I support this proposal. It keeps the content where it should be while avoiding broken windows. I don't see that the effort involved is substantially greater than for the other proposals (except, of course, the blanket lock, which seems to me quite violent on the old content). – Emilio Pisanty Nov 15 '13 at 22:00
• Thanks for putting this here. It'll stop me fishing for "where is that damn banner..." every time. – Emilio Pisanty Dec 29 '13 at 9:06

Move the content into the relevant tag wikis, then delete the old questions. Those who have volunteered to be custodians of book questions (or at least, that subset who aren't currently suspended) should do this tag-wiki curation before any new book questions are started.

That way, no useful content is lost, and we find out if there's genuine maintenance commitment or not.

• Ah, right. This option. However, some of the book questions (see the examples in the current policy) do have good, on topic answers. Since these are now allowed, I personally feel more comfortable with preserving these in answer form and linking to them in the tag wikis, while the disallowed answers (just recommendations) can be shifted to tag wikis or a CW answer. – Manishearth Nov 15 '13 at 21:03
• The volunteering was for new book questions, not for handling the conversion of old book questions, which had not yet been discussed. – Manishearth Nov 15 '13 at 21:03
• @Manishearth Yes, I know that the volunteering was for new book questions. But it might be prudent to test whether that the commitment and the ability is actually there, before going against a principle that's pretty widely enforced across most Stacks of disallowing big-list questions. Particularly given that two of the four volunteers are repeatedly-suspended users. Curating the old questions is a great test, and involves removing old broken windows, rather than creating new ones. – 410 gone Nov 15 '13 at 21:11
• True. However, I'm uneasy about the tagwiki bit; since tagwikis are pretty hidden. We can of course enlist their help in handling with the old questions, I just don't feel that moving to tagwikis and deleting is the right way given that we have a new framework for these in place. – Manishearth Nov 15 '13 at 21:18
• No! This is like moving houses into remote, uninhabited forests. – Abhimanyu Pallavi Sudhir Nov 16 '13 at 3:26
• @DIMension10 If tag wikis had content then they would no longer be remote. They do turn up while searching, and if someone asks for them we can always link them to it. – Manishearth Nov 16 '13 at 15:42
• @Manishearth They turn up while searching but not in the 'similar questions' box while asking, which is a major dupe-stopper, I think. -1 on this. – Emilio Pisanty Nov 17 '13 at 9:49
• @EmilioPisanty True. We should really try to keep some content in them though. That' a separate discussion to be had anyway. – Manishearth Nov 17 '13 at 10:34
• Yeah. @DIMension10's efforts notwithstanding, the tag wikis are woefully incomplete. But I don't think moving book reviews there is the answer (we need a long, community-driven process of putting useful stuff in there, which should wait, I think, until after this round of site refurbishment). It's a consistency thing, too: if people see Q&As with book recommendations, they'll never look at the tag wikis when looking for that. – Emilio Pisanty Nov 17 '13 at 17:57

(Kept this answer here for voting, I don't agree with this myself)

An alternate idea is to simply (permanently) historical lock all the old questions. This has the disadvantage of disallowing new answers1, however it is less effort, especially as many of these are already locked.

1. This can be partially remedied by allowing users to repost the question conforming to the new policy. That causes some unnecessary duplication of content though.

• Can't community flags and VTOs just alert a moderator who can unilaterally reopen the question?. That way, it's not so much work. – Abhimanyu Pallavi Sudhir Nov 16 '13 at 15:40
• @DIMension10 Reopening involves more work, as the posts have to be made to fit the policy. And that's the other option that I proposed. – Manishearth Nov 16 '13 at 15:42