I cannot delete a page, why?


As any action in Drupal, "delete" is  a permission which is granted to users with privileges (your PWGC and detector sub-system's software leader) but not to normal users. So, why is this not granted to normal users? Before you scream and shout, please read the below ...

The ability to delete pages was suppressed by default (i.e. normal users not allowed to do so) and by design requirements: it was brought up that our previous Web support (standard set of web pages) had up to 50% of dead links and cross links to other documents. This "complaint" was a recurrent theme and we decided to investigate. It did not take long - we determined this was because users made lots of "cosmetic" changes to their own pages such as change in the name of page or changing the directory tree structure (hence the document previously located at /a/b/c/x.html was now /x/yz/w/a.html). Of course, all of this sounded good for user A restructuring their pages but not to user B who referred or cross-linked to them. A content management system was identified as needed.

Upon deploying Drupal, the decision was made to try to not allow page deletion and to encourage Drupal's native way to cross-reference a page ... and we have 100% of cross-links valid since 2005 when Drupal was first deployed and used in STAR (that's quite a change for sure). Though, links to external web sites still have some issues (as we cannot guarantee they would exist forever).

Since lots of users ask how to delete a page, I wish there would be an option "allow deletion until the page is at least a few days old" because the accidental page creation event is more frequent than anything. But it is a allow delete or a deny delete. For now, the least of the two evils was chosen by demand. But if you want a page to disappear, you could ask a privileged users (any PWGC and sub-system leader has that right and I hope they will use it wisely) to
  • delete the page for you - we would hope they would mostly if the page is recent enough and/or is not referenced from anywhere else ...
  • BETTER option for older page: privileged users can also edit, go to the bottom of the form and search for "Publishing Options" and uncheck "Published" - this will hide the page but it will STILL exists meaning that if someone has reference that page, they will still find it. It would be highly recommended though to leave a message indicating the page is obsolete.