Wiki Master Edit
A wiki master edit or WME of one or more pages is the act of editing these pages which has received various contributions to make them more consistent and easier to read afterwards.
A Wiki master edit adds value by removing that without.
The WikiMaster's hand should be so subtle that the original author delights at how clearly and compactly he expressed himself.
(quotes from Ward's wiki)
Often, the subject of these pages is discussed and different sides are presented. Sometimes the discussion converges, and what is left can be long and confusing pages, with related material scattered across multiple pages. Anyone who wants to will then go through these pages and edit them. The master in the title does not to refer to the skills of the editor but to the master state the pages go into.
The resulting pages should, in general, be more succinct. Of course, the wiki master editor should be 'impartial' to the discussion and attribute the contributors to the original pages. There is a list of pages which are in need of master editing. If you have too much spare time on your hands please consider making them shorter.
There is no reason a wiki master edit cannot be a collaborative process. In fact, when people have expressed differing viewpoints, doing so is a good idea. That is especially so when the editor holds one of those views.
When does a page merit a wiki master edit?
When the discussion has converged, the page can/should be edited. Often, it makes sense to leave the page as it is for a couple of days to see if anyone wants to contribute and to ensure that everyone included in the discussion has had a chance to catch up on the last entries.
If the discussion has been lively, it may also make sense to add something like 'The original discussion leading to this page was held at [PageName / Discussion]', and then copy the old page to this location.
If you think the page needs wiki master editing, insert the Needs WME template into the page, which will make it show up in the list of pages to be master edited.
As a final note, just because the page has been wiki master edited does not mean that it cannot be contributed to later. There are some pages that have received multiple rounds of wiki master editing over time.
Merging of pages
A common operation during wiki master editing is the refactoring of material across multiple pages. As a special case, sometimes it makes sense to merge the contents of multiple pages into one.
To merge multiple pages, a suggested action is as follows:
- Select the page with the best page title to be the canonical page. If none of these pages have a suitable page title, the canonical page can be a brand new page with the desired page title.
- Move the material from all the other pages to the canonical page, and editing the canonical page for clarity and succinctness in the process.
- Make each of the other pages an alias to the target page so that links are maintained. Since Sensei's Library does not support recursive deferencing of aliases, if any non-canonical page has other aliases pointing to it, make sure to change those aliases to point directly to the canonical page instead.
In such cases, one may use the Merge template as an alternative to the Needs WME template, for which the pages will show up on the to be merged page.
 Phelan: Shouldn't edit history also be considered? I think keeping a longer history of edits should be preferred, since you can always rename the page with a better title.