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Remove the Book namespace from enwiki
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A consensus was reached to delete the book namespace from the English Wikipedia following an onwiki discussion. In preparation for this all books have been moved to other namespaces to ensure page history can be accessed after deletion. The only page left is a redirect from the proper title of an article without significant history. It should not be moved and it's fine that history becomes inaccessible.

I also believe $wgCommunityCollectionNamespace should be changed because of this.

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Urbanecm subscribed.

Note it is not possible to delete only Book namespace, the Book talk namespace will have to go as well. Since book talk looks to be emptied as well, I assume that's fine with enwiki. If not, you'd need to decide between either keeping both or deleting both.

mysql:research@dbstore1003.eqiad.wmnet [enwiki]> select page_id, page_namespace, page_title, page_is_redirect from page where page_namespace in (108,109);
| page_id  | page_namespace | page_title | page_is_redirect |
| 68076252 |            108 | A_Novel    |                1 |
| 31371445 |            109 | A_Novel    |                1 |
2 rows in set (0.001 sec)

mysql:research@dbstore1003.eqiad.wmnet [enwiki]>

Those are the only two pages in this namespace as of writing. I do think this page needs to be deleted or moved away (suppressing redirects) – there's no way to guarantee other namespace won't use same IDs in the future, at which point the page would just move to the new namespace. IMO, that's less problematic if it happens with deleted history than when it happens with a live page. Upon namespace deletion, the page won't be accessible anyway, so deleting can't hurt at all.

mysql:research@dbstore1003.eqiad.wmnet [enwiki]> select count(*) from archive where ar_namespace in (108,109);
| count(*) |
|    24032 |
1 row in set (0.031 sec)

mysql:research@dbstore1003.eqiad.wmnet [enwiki]> select ar_namespace, count(*) from archive where ar_namespace in (108,109) group by ar_namespace;
| ar_namespace | count(*) |
|          108 |     6780 |
|          109 |    17252 |
2 rows in set (0.024 sec)

mysql:research@dbstore1003.eqiad.wmnet [enwiki]>

For the records, there are currently 20k deleted revisions in the book (talk) namespace (see per-namespace counts above). Those revisions will be inaccessible for all on-wiki users (in another way, it won't be possible to apply WP:REFUND).

Book talk has indeed been emptied as well and should be deleted as well. The matter of deleted pages in the book namespace was discussed at Wikipedia:Village pump (technical) § Implementation of book namespace deletion and there were no objections to those being lost, but if that is an obstacle to implementation I can move it over. As laid out at the discussion above the likelyhood of anything there being wanted is very low and any moving would run the risk of temporarily restoring copyright violations, BLP violations, PII or other material that definitely shouldn't be restored even for a short time. Doing the move properly and minimizing the time potentially very problematic content is visible would probably involve an admin bot which would take some time to get approved.

Book:A Novel exist as a redirect to the article about the book of the same name. Ideally this should exist for navigational reasons, but I think it's fine not having such a redirect for a couple days if this ticket will be handled quickly. I plan on deleting the page as soon as someone claims the task.

Thanks for your explanation @Trialpears. I'm more than happy to just delete the two pages shortly before namespace deletion myself, if you think that's helpful. On the other hand, the page will cease to exist the moment I delete the namespace either way.

I'm going to work on this one personally, btw :).

Alright, just delete the page just before namespace deletion then. I can take care of moving the article to the proper name afterwards. Thanks for having a look!

@Trialpears just to point out that after the namespace deletion you can actually move the main article from Book – A Novel to Book: A Novel, as that won't be interpreted as a namespace.

Once the namespace is disabled, what error message would be displayed when a user tries to access a missing Book: page?
Are we able to modify the text of this error message to explain the absence of the former namespace?

@GhostInTheMachine Pages that would formerly be in the book namespace do not get special error messages by default since they are interpreted as new mainspace pages without history. This can be observed at Education program:Example which ones upon a time existed but the namespace has since been uninstalled.

I will however, as mentioned at Wikipedia:Village pump (technical) § Implementation of book namespace deletion edit MediaWiki:Titleblacklist-forbidden-book and Template:No article text to show a descriptive notice linking to the Books/archive subpage which would show the normal deletion log.

Change 703601 had a related patch set uploaded (by Urbanecm; author: Urbanecm):

[operations/mediawiki-config@master] enwiki: Delete Book namespace

This will also need gone just to be sure. In theory, it shouldn't be an issue, as no one has the rights to save books in community space.

This will be deployed next week, when the WMF offices reopen.

Great! I took care of MediaWiki:Coll-community book prefix.

Change 703601 merged by jenkins-bot:

[operations/mediawiki-config@master] enwiki: Delete Book namespace

Mentioned in SAL (#wikimedia-operations) [2021-07-12T23:33:31Z] <urbanecm@deploy1002> Synchronized wmf-config/InitialiseSettings.php: 8a79bf752ff5eb15f3042fd94ba10c2c50607a85: enwiki: Delete Book namespace (T285766) (duration: 00m 57s)

I've deleted the redirect and the namespace itself. This is done now.