Wikivoyage talk:Using MediaWiki templates

Latest comment: 1 month ago by SHB2000 in topic Templates vs. software

For archived discussion(s) see:

Under construction and In useEdit

Out of the trillions of templates/tags they use over at Wikipedia, one I've stumbled upon recently is w:Template:Under construction and its pair w:Template:In use. They're essentially for situations where you make major edits to articles and ask others not to edit them for a little while to avoid edit conflicts.

Would such templates be useful here as well? -- ϒψιλον (talk) 11:47, 16 March 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I thought they used to exist around here? And whatever happened to doing stuff like that in user-space? Hobbitschuster (talk) 22:36, 16 March 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Under construction and In use templatesEdit

Swept in from the pub

I just noticed a discussion on Ikan's talk page about edits getting lost when two users edit the same article at the same time. That reminded me of a suggestion of mine (which should probably have been posted here in the pub right away). In short: Wikipedia has two templates for articles that are undergoing major edits:w:Template:Under construction (for a longer time) and w:Template:In use (for an hour or so). Would it maybe be useful to import these templates here too, to avoid situations like above? -- ϒψιλον (talk) 08:48, 25 March 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

So basically, this would tell other users not to edit the article for a while? Definitely I'd agree we should include w:Template:In use but I'm not sure we need the other one. But I'm not opposed to having it here. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 14:23, 25 March 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Bad idea, just something else only those who know can use, and something to forget to remove later. --Traveler100 (talk) 21:08, 25 March 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't think that we need these templates.
However, people who are less familiar with the edit-conflict system might want to go to Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-betafeatures and enable "Two column edit conflict". You can read more about that at mw:Help:Two Column Edit Conflict View. Although I'm used to the old way, this is supposed to be better. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:50, 28 March 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Often you can just redo your changes in the new version or save yours and incorporate the other changes. Or save yours, undo, and ask for help. This should be noted somewhere in newbie instructions. It gets complicated when two or more editors are doing some restructuring at the same time, but that tends to happen only in situations that could be foreseen and avoided (not necessarily by newbies though). Instead of using the template you could wait with your changes until the article has been left in peace for some time, or use the talk page. --LPfi (talk) 11:57, 29 March 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The default is to discard your changes, so remember that the edit-conflict page has lots of stuff underneath what's showing at the top.
The other typical workaround is to copy-and-paste your changes to a separate file (like a blank e-mail message), and then try to reconstruct it later. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:45, 29 March 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The most frustrating case is where you have been doing a lot of editing all over the article and before you save someone comes along and restructures it. A copy of your version says little to help you and the diff of the edit conflict not much more. You need a diff between you version and the previous one, which requires you to save your version somewhere on-site, and the new version (in a separate tab or window) to find the context where to redo your changes. If you save your version anywhere but in the article history (temporarily overwriting the new version) you need to construct the diff URL or Special:Diff address manually, using the permalink oldurl= numbers: [[Special:Diff/old/new]] or [https://whatever?oldurl=old&diff=new]. Another approach is to copy your version, paste it into a fresh edit window and then mirror the changes until your version matches the current article structure. This might be easier, but it gets messy if you miss some paragraph splits, sentence moves or similar. --LPfi (talk) 07:10, 1 April 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Template overkill?Edit

Swept in from the pub

It seems that in the last few months and years, without ever consciously taking that decision, we've moved towards using more and more templates, with the EUR template just the latest example. While they all individually have pretty clear upsides, I worry that they may in the long run reduce the accessibility of editing WV, particularly on mobile. If we want to live with that downside, we should at the very least consciously decide to do so, not just die the death of the proverbial frog in the slowly boiling water. Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:35, 7 April 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Hobbitschuster: Thanks for bringing this up; I was waiting for someone to do so as I plunged forward and began converting prices to use currency templates.
The way I see it, I agree on the upsides of inline templates, and I've given the downsides some thought. I don't think usability for editing would be impacted; new content can be added the old way, without templates, and then somebody else can put the templates in afterwards. I certainly wouldn't support a change in policy requiring the templates to be used by editors, but I would support language encouraging their use for experienced editors.
I've taken some measures to prevent some of the other downsides - for example, having one template used by many pages makes it a vandalism target, so I went ahead and semi-protected {{PHP}}, with which I replaced the majority of mentions of the Philippine peso. I've also changed the currency templates to support ranges with a dash, so that it would be easier to add them without looking it up, like {{convert}} requires you to do.
I would very much like to hear any argument against the use of these inline templates. I think many of the downsides may be addressed with some edits to the templates, and I think these sorts of templates overall can really enhance the usability of the site for readers. This is also a good way to deploy accessible code for screenreaders across the site, such as was discussed recently here for words in foreign languages. ARR8 (talk | contribs) 19:48, 7 April 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Having worked on a number of different wikis, it is my opinion that:
  • The fewer templates used on a wiki, the better. You can use the same template a million times, but let's not have a million templates used once each.
  • The simpler the template, the better. It should be easy to figure out how to use it. For example, {{eur|1}} is going to be better than {{currency|1|€|1.13|$|0.86|£}}.
  • For wikis that are still growing content, templates should be used to save us work. So, for example, if this template means that we don't have to go back and update the currency conversion rates in hundreds of articles every few months, then this is good. If, on the other hand, the main effect was to save me the trouble of figuring out how to type a € from a US keyboard – well, we might have a template, but I might also suggest that this template should be automagically subst:d back out of the articles, to leave only the € character.
If I were going to suggest an enhancement that would both provide more information to readers and be easy for editors, it's that it might be possible to use this conversion approach automagically within the listings, when the listing content for |price= contains only numbers/ranges. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:12, 8 April 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am sympathetic to the concern about templates discouraging new editors from contributing, and we need more editors. But I have also created a bunch of templates that have saved me a lot of time and effort in updating currency exchange rates in country and subnational jurisdiction articles. Beyond saving time in updating euro exchange rates in one template instead of in the 34 articles in which it is used, Template:Exchange rate euros also ensures that readers see one set of euro exchange rates in Wikivoyage, rather than different rates that have been updated at different times. Template:Exchange rate EC, Template:Exchange rate CFA, Template:Exchange rate US, Template:Exchange rate GBP, and Template:Exchange rate NZD do the same for these other currencies that are used in many countries and jurisdictions (the East Carribean $, the CFA franc, the US$, the UK £, and the New Zealand $). I believe that these templates are justified. Ground Zero (talk) 21:50, 8 April 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
templates seem marvellous for saving the time of editors, but I personally have no idea how to use them. Not all travellers are technically savvy and the tutorials for wikimarkup read like a maths textbook.

If wikivoyage becomes harder to edit I suspect fewer people will contribute. Templates cause me considerable headaches because I edit on mobile and it's easy to mess them up. —The preceding comment was added by Billbarrelrider (talkcontribs)

These are some of the reasons this site had been opposed to template creep in the first place. Does it not give any of the supporters any pause? Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:51, 20 April 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't think anyone is saying that we should have unlimited templates, and I don't think you're saying we should have no templates. So it really comes down to determining which templates are useful enough to have, and which should be deleted, i.e., on a case-by-case basis. What do you propose? Ground Zero (talk) 10:41, 20 April 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think the important point to restate is that new users or those who find them difficult to enter can simple add readable text and other will come along later and edit the format. Templates, whether the standard See and Sleep listings, or more general ones like {{km}} help with keeping a constant format across all articles, as well as a method to facilitate easier mass updates and improvements. --Traveler100 (talk) 10:52, 20 April 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes. I think that it is important that the templates are compact and readable. As a new user you should not have to be able to use them, but you should not be scared either. On Wikipedia the huge fact boxes in the beginning of articles are a real problem. This is one reason why I try to keep an empty line between {{pagebanner}} and the article text – it makes it easy to see where the article text starts in wikitext mode (the same with images, but images in lists have to be treated differently not to break up the list, I have started using HTML comments to be able to insert line breaks there. A {{km|2}} or {{EUR|5}} is easy to understand, so hardly an issue for new editors, but already the {{infobox}} can be confusing. I think these are useful enough to be kept and used, but introducing new ones or using the existing ones should be done with due thought. --LPfi (talk) 07:43, 26 April 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'd love to learn how to use template properly, but Ive found it hard to learn because of how fragmented the learning tools for wikimarkup are. I've met maybe ten travellers on the road who refer to wikivoyage/wikitravel regularly and all say the same thing "the articles are really useful but I can't understand how anything else works".

I'm concerned our editing community is Too small, largely I think because of the huge jump between using and contributing to the site. I've clocked a hundred edits and still can't understand how to use most of the features. It might help if the "help" section was Updated and more prominent, especially when anonymous users click "edit" --Billbarrelrider (talk) 08:42, 5 May 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Babel templatesEdit

Category:Babel templates seems to represent about a third of the templates present on this wiki. They're not widely used, and they are unnecessary. Instead of typing

{{user en}}
{{user es-1}}

you can use the Babel extension: {{#babel:en|es-1}} to get the same result. The Babel extension supports more languages. It has the additional advantage of working on all the wikis, so you can use it on your global user page (which is your user page at Meta) or copy it to any other wiki.

I think it might be worth switching to the Babel tool and deleting all of these. Obviously, that would require a little bit of work, but it's not difficult, and it wouldn't have to be done immediately. What do you think? WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:38, 25 April 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Would say {{Babel}} should be used. --Traveler100 (talk) 19:52, 25 April 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I suppose the extension ({{#babel:en|es-1}}) has made the other ones obsolete and is now the recommended solution, mostly for performance reasons. No hurry to exchange them though. The babel boxes (however implemented) are useful when they contain languages other than the project default – and new users do not have to learn about them to contribute. --LPfi (talk) 07:53, 26 April 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I could run a bot through all user pages and change the user templates of different languages to the #babel with parameter. Would however be multiple entries of the extension as cannot work out how to safely stack all parameters into one template. That may have to be manual task. Could then remove all the user templates. --Traveler100 (talk) 06:16, 5 May 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Worked it out. Should I run this through user pages?--Traveler100 (talk) 08:05, 5 May 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Proposal to never delete templates merely because it lacked community supportEdit


Before I begin, I quote the following

Before a new MediaWiki template is put into general use it needs to be discussed and accepted as good or preferably best practice. Until such acceptance, new templates will be tagged {{experimental}}, and should not be added to more than one low-visibility article—so not Paris. (If other editors object to that addition, though, expect it to be removed until a consensus is reached.) If new templates fail to gain community support, they will eventually be deleted.

More, the last line.

If new templates fail to gain community support, they will eventually be deleted.

I am proposing to get rid of this. There's a couple of reasons why, but it mainly comes to time and effort. Here's what I would say based on medium to difficult to make template.

Difficulty in making it Time to create Time to delete
Simple 30 seconds-1 hour. 30 seconds
Medium 1-4 hours 30 seconds
Complex 1 week to 1 year (and sometimes even longer) 30 seconds

If you put it into perspective, someone who put a lot of effort into a template, probably had numerous trial and errors, and probably spent a lot of effort into it, deleting it is showing little or what I would call, no consideration for all that. While I understand that some templates like {{tps}} only take about 1 minute to create, there are some others, much complex, take a lot more effort and have been neglected. I'm not saying we open up to all templates, nor to follow French Wikivoyage in creating a template just for hours and prices (I'm okay with it, and I actually like it), but I'm saying we just leave those templates alone. Who knows, but they make come useful in the future, like {{mergecredit}}?

From a technical viewpoint, having such a strict template policy and posing harsh restrictions on those who are into templates, it's sort of like discouraging shortcuts. From a nontechnical viewpoint, it may seem like an overcomplicated, pointless, difficult to use, unnecessary thing, but I'll tell you I felt that as well in March, but I've got the hang of it, and looking back to it, the English Wikivoyage is quite behind.

So, I'm just proposing that we never delete templates solely because they didn't get community support. Even if it's still out and about nor if it's never used. Because I quote this (it's modified):

If someone is criticized for even creating new material in a collaborative project, they will be less likely to do so again, and less likely to contribute.

Sort of just like saying someone who put hard work into it has their work ruined by just simple deleting it.

--SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 02:29, 11 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Edit: Just for some extra clarification, it's different if it gets deleted through vfd, but this is for when the community didn't approve it.

I for one don't buy this. If it did not get support, trash it as a failed experiment. Pashley (talk) 03:21, 24 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  • Oppose. Templates can be nominated for deletion like any other file or page, and should remain subject to nominations for deletion. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:04, 11 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Ikan Kekek: for some extra clarification, it is just that if it didn't get approved, it doesn't get instantly deleted. It does however, not prevent deletion through vfd. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 04:08, 11 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Gotcha. That seems reasonable to me; however, I suggest you clarify what form of words you're proposing. "If new templates fail to gain community support, they may be deleted through the votes for deletion process"? Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:07, 11 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Feedback - The same argument against deletion can be (and has been) made about specific articles that users have put a lot of effort into but nonetheless don't meet the criteria of WIAA. In those cases, we usually provide the user an opportunity to move the article into their userspace, where they can either continue working on it in an attempt to make it acceptable to the community or just to preserve it for posterity.

I see no reason why we couldn't provide the same option for templates which haven't been approved for use. Moving them into userspace would have all the advantages of SHB's proposal; specifically, we would still have the template "for later" if the community consensus changed, and we wouldn't be destroying somebody's hard work. Moving these rejected templates into the creator's userspace would also prevent random users coming along and deciding to use them in mainspace. Having unapproved, and therefore unused, templates hanging round on the main site is unnecessary.

It would also be a waste of everyone's time to use VfD to decide whether to delete unapproved, unused templates. The 'vote' on whether to keep them in mainspace was already held when the community rejected their use initially. Instead, when an initial approval discussion ends in consensus against using a proposed template, that should be when the proposer is asked if they want the template moved into their userspace; if they don't want it, it should be deleted within a set period of time.

So, counter proposal - Replace "If new templates fail to gain community support, they will eventually be deleted." with "If new templates fail to gain community support, they should be moved into userspace within 14 days of the approval discussion concluding or they will be deleted." (the 14 days is absolutely negotiable from my point of view, but it seems like a good amount of time and provides symmetry with the standard VfD process).

Thoughts? --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 10:07, 11 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I would strongly support this. Forgot that we do this or articles so why not for templates? SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 10:10, 11 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm fine with that, too, but what do we do if the template in question is nonetheless used in mainspace or talk pages after that? Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:19, 11 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Replace it with the plain text equivalent.
If editors are concerned about wasting a lot of time creating a template which is then deleted, they can ask for approval before starting work on the template. An outline of the template documentation could be created before starting work on the template itself. If the template is very similar to that on another wiki, then just point at an example there. AlasdairW (talk) 21:55, 11 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
To make explicit why I asked that question, it's because the "support" template was explicitly approved for use on one user's talk page only, but it has been creeping into discussion after discussion. I don't greatly care (I use it all the time on Commons), but I think that allowing unapproved templates to sit on users' pages risks approving their use through a back door, especially when there's a precedent of one or more other unapproved templates creeping into discussions from that same user's talk page. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:23, 11 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If often accidentally use it after coming from meta or simple. Use it on commons as well SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 23:42, 11 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Others have been using it, too, though. I think that if we really don't want it, it should be deleted. And therefore, I think that if we add language stating that unapproved templates can stay on user pages, we should add that if they are subsequently used on any other page(s) more than x-amount of times (3 times?), they will be deleted. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:13, 12 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The problem with deleting it is it'll break the format on where it's used. AFAIK, we are the only English language project that is against the template. (not sure about Wikispecies, but that is a multilingual project) SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 00:31, 12 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If we never delete templates because it will break links, that means never, ever deleting a template that is used without consensus. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:08, 12 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Unless you go to Special:WhatLinksHere, which in the process is quite tedious. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 03:14, 12 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Ikan Kekek: I hear what you're saying about the support template, but it seems like you've misunderstood my above proposal. It doesn't mean that someone is allowed to use a rejected template only in their userspace. Rather, my proposal for such templates is to move the template page and its documentation to the creator's userspace, e.g. Template:Support and Template:Support/doc would go to User:SHB2000/Template:Support and User:SHB2000/Template:Support/doc, respectively. Correct me if I'm wrong, but this would prevent their use in mainspace and projectspace, wouldn't it? At the very least, it would take the template and its documentation out of project space, so there'd be no danger of someone mistaking it for an approved template which they should use.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 11:04, 12 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support was a little different scenario. Rather than it, LPfi instead fixed the old {{support}} template, leading {{s}} to just be a redirect to {{support}}. But otherwise, it's how it is. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 11:19, 12 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
OK, but it remains an unapproved template, so unless the community changes its mind about approving, it would be subject to the same policy: moved into someone's userspace or deleted.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 11:22, 12 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I thought {{s}} which I created was unapproved. {{support}} which already existed pre-June, was OK, unless that was also unapproved. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 11:36, 12 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There's no discussion at Template talk:Support approving the template. Ikan Kekek (talk) 11:47, 12 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Pinging who made the template. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 12:03, 12 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have no idea why waste time with this discussion - it's for "internal" discussion use, not in the main content... The template costs 0c, so what's this about, again? I liked that clearly visible yes/no signs in the votings and there was a 'former act' ( ), so I added here too. If 3 years later it seems like a bad idea, or it's unused and adds significant admin work somehow, just remove it and it's done :) -- 12:37, 12 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
For the record, again, I don't mind the template, but we should discuss whether to approve it or not. Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:54, 12 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Support the original proposal. If a new template is created, and no discussion takes place, but someone objects to the template, let's take it to a VFD discussion as is normal. There shouldn't be any automatic deletions because a template is experimental. Then, if it's VFD'd, it can be moved to userspace or deleted. But if I understand the status quo, which is deleting experimental templates without any VFD nomination, this runs contrary to our deletion policy for other pages and disrespects the work of the template's author. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 19:17, 12 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@SelfieCity: "If a new template is created, and no discussion takes place..." - that's not how it's supposed to work. You start a discussion, then with approval write a template that you can immediately use as long as it works OR you write a template then seek the community's approval before putting it to use. The discussion has to happen as part of the initial creation.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 09:42, 13 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
On the support template, I've started a thread at Template talk:Support#Do we support the existence of this template and its use on talk pages? Please participate. We should probably put a pointer in Requests for comment, too. Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:57, 12 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
TT, I'm supporting the proposal, which as I understand changes the current procedure you mention. But maybe I'm misunderstanding SHB's proposal. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 20:39, 13 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@SelfieCity: You have misunderstood. The only change proposed by SHB was dropping the sentence "If new templates fail to gain community support, they will eventually be deleted." If that change is approved, then we will still require templates to get community support before being used. And since we will still need to have those discussions anyway (even if retrospective to a template's creation), and since some of those discussions will result in a template being rejected by the community, we might as well use those same discussions to ascertain whether the author wants a rejected template moved to their userspace.
The reason I disagree with the original proposal: if a template is not approved for use, and the author doesn't even want it saved in their user space, then it should be deleted as a matter of course, because it has no place on Wikivoyage. And that's where my proposal comes in: a template that has already been rejected by community discussion should be moved to someone's userspace within [e.g. 14 days] or it will be deleted. Adding a VFD stage to the procedure, when the community has already expressed its view on a particular template, would lengthen the inevitable deletion process unnecessarily and waste contributors' time.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 11:32, 14 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Okay. In that case I’d propose changing “fail to gain community support” to “opposed by the community,” because there’s a difference between templates that have received no discussion and those which have been opposed by community consensus. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 11:39, 14 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That's definitely a salient point, and I'd support that amendment to wording. That would also work well with the proposal (in the Pub) to put a status tag on templates based on whether they're approved, under discussion, or rejected.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 11:43, 14 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@ThunderingTyphoons!: There's a new template which I proposed yesterday which is under discussion at the pub (last thread). It's how you just described it. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 12:00, 14 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Mm-hmm, I have been following that discussion.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 12:02, 14 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Another extensionEdit

To add on, templates that are designed for a bit of keeping Wikivoyage fun, such as barncompasses don't need approval. This also includes userboxes (I can only imagine trying to get an approval for every one userbox here or here). SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 09:27, 12 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'd like us not to have so many userboxes. I don't think all the different barncompasses are necessary, but I doubt anyone would object to them. Ikan Kekek (talk) 09:59, 12 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The barncompasses are just a way to represent the best of each and every country in an entertaining manner. The userboxes... I've only created I think about 6. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 10:08, 12 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As barn compasses are used only on user pages, and not in articles, I don't think that they pose any barrier to participation in Wikivoyage by new editors. And they build community, so I think we should keep them. Ground Zero (talk) 11:04, 12 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Agreed with Ground Zero.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 11:06, 12 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Like I said, no-one would object to them. A little creativity in community-building is good, not bad. Ikan Kekek (talk) 11:46, 12 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So it looks like we've got a good opinion on barncompasses, but what about UBXs? SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 12:43, 12 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I happen to find all those details on Wikipedia user pages rather daunting, almost like all the color bars on military uniforms but with much less justification. Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:54, 12 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I propose we put a limit on the number of userboxes allowed (maybe ten). After those ten, community consensus is required to introduce more userboxes. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 19:12, 12 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
How about just Babel? If you guys/gals are going to insist on Wikipediizing the style of this site, I could propose a lower limit to userboxes (3, maybe 5), but I think at that point, any limits are likely to inexorably disappear. I think that instead of making this site increasingly technically complex and full of bells and whistles, it would be great to simplify the experience of new, non-technical-minded users as much as possible. We should resist making this site as close to being as complex, technical and nerdy-clubby as Wikipedia as much as possible. Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:52, 12 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree with the general sentiment, though don't really understand why userboxes are a priority here. If people want them in their own userspace, then what's the problem? It doesn't really have anything to do with keeping the travel guide simple and easy to use. The priority, as I see it, is the above discussion about deleting templates or moving them into userspace.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 20:15, 12 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Maybe it's just a question of taste. I see the point that we could just let well enough alone. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:44, 12 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The question of userboxes differs a lot based on opinions. I can tell that tt! and myself are really into it (per wikipedia and meta), while some others (not sure if there's anyone here) who hate userboxes, and there's others who have it just for the sake of it. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 23:01, 12 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think the main thing is about setting precedent. Before creating their own user pages, many newcomers will take a look at other user pages. Wikipedia users might have a lot of them on their Wikipedia user page and copy them over here. Then many newcomers will see it as user boxes would be more or less expected. If they see a "I use Linux", they may want to have an "I user Windows". The same with cats, dogs and snakes, RPGs and whatnot, using a lot of energy on that instead of on real work. And those who don't know how to import or adjust a template might feel frustrated. If we think that frustration is more important than the joy of having your "prefers sleeping in a tree" boxes, then forbidding such boxes makes sense. We might approve some that we think are important, foremost the babel, but there are others I think add significant value, such as the admin, sister projects, and perhaps technical user ones. –LPfi (talk) 09:25, 13 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've created some at User:SHB2000/Userboxes/User status. Some of them are on my too fancy userpage copied off almost every admin here. Includes admin, temp. editor, autopatrolled and patroller. Not going to do IP block exempt or autoconfirmed though. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 09:47, 13 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I have to ask - how come transliteration templates aren't used on Wikivoyage?Edit

Swept in from the pub

I'm a Wikipedian who occasionally hops over to edit a few interest-related articles here, which are generally those covering Japanese-language or -culture related topics. I've noticed that {{lang}} is in use here, but that there's no corresponding transliteration template.

This puzzles me, I have to say. I know the language templates at Wikipedia are a mess - there's no real standardisation, because why can you throw the zh parameters around the place in any old order, but rearranging nihongo means using three separate different versions of the same template - but they still serve a purpose. My main contribution to this wiki is the Purchasing a kimono guide, where all of the foreign-language terms are transliterated; I've made similar contributions to the Wikipedia page on Kimono in general. The only difference is that on Wikipedia, all of those transliterated terms will be pronounced correctly by a screenreader, and on Wikivoyage, to the best of my knowledge, they won't be.

I'm not a code monkey, so I've no clue as to how implementing templates really works. All I know is that words outside of Merriam-Webster need the right information surrounding them for a screenreader to know what language to pick from to work, I think. It's boring work to add language tags, but it is worth it, and once it's done, additions don't take much effort. If anyone could clue me in as to why the transl template isn't used here, I'd be grateful - thanks! --Ineffablebookkeeper (talk) 14:27, 1 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

We try to minimize template use, to accommodate pass by edits by non-regulars. It seems the lang template is straight-forward, and so should the transl template be, if imported. The straight-forwardness needs to apply at least to grasping what it does when seen in wikitext or in the visual editor, and being able to remove it or correct parameters by both methods. It being easy to import or add to a phrase is a minor issue, as that can be done by those that understand it, at least if we don't make it seem mandatory. –LPfi (talk) 17:01, 1 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As LPfi already said, we try to minimize template use, and more, I don't even understand how {{lang}} works in the first place SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 22:40, 2 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It tells the browser what language the phrase is in. This is important for browsers that speak the text (pronouncing French in French, not in English), and might help other browsers to render the text in as good a way as possible (I suppose there might be differences between Arabic and Farsi, or Japanese and Chinese, and there was between Rumanian and Turkish, I think). –LPfi (talk) 06:07, 3 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
LPfi - exactly right; lang and transl both send, technically, the same information to the browser ("this string of text should be read in X language"), but transl is there for rendering terms in the correct font when transliterated into the Latin alphabet. For some browsers, simply using the lang template will render transliterated terms in a different font; I've seen editors remove lang|ISO-latn tags from text for not rendering correctly. More than that, I'm not certain Latin alphabet text placed with a language tag for a non-Latin alphabet language - say, Japanese - renders or encodes correctly. The transl function smooths over these issues.
I don't think wikivoyage necessarily needs the unholy mess of language templates wikipedia uses, but a combo of lang and transl should cover all the bases, really. I'd be happy to write up a do's-and-don'ts guide for each, if necessary. Usage is quite clear and straightforward once grasped, even for the drive-by editor. --Ineffablebookkeeper (talk) 11:40, 4 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You can do the same in the visual editor, without remembering any templates at all. Select the text, go to the character formatting menu, find the "Language" item, and put in the ISO language code (e.g., ja for Japanese) and you're done. It's not much harder than underlining text, and if someone copies the article to another wiki, it's guaranteed to work there, even if the other wiki has no templates. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:09, 4 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So what does it do? Places the Japanese text inside a span: <span lang=ja>Japanese phrase</span>? I think, as we try to avoid HTML, that {{lang|ja|Japanese text}} is cleaner and easier to grasp, as you don't introduce a strange "span" and a non-obvious closing tag (closing brackets are a no-brainer). –LPfi (talk) 16:20, 5 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm not a huge fan of the limited-template policy, and accessibility concerns should certainly override it. --Nelson Ricardo (talk) 17:25, 5 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Same. I guess we're the exact opposite of the French Wikivoyage... SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 09:09, 6 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, that's pretty much exactly what it does (plus setting reading direction via dir="ltr"), and I agree that a template would be the better choice here. Keeping the source code clear of too many unnecessary templates is a good idea, but it shouldn't turn into a fetish. --El Grafo (talk) 08:54, 6 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Compared to clicking a couple of buttons and having the software do everything for you in the background, templates could only cleaner and easier to grasp if (a) you already know how templates work here, and (b) you are looking at the wikitext. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:23, 6 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

How would a phrase in {{transl}} be supposed to be pronounced? Usually we give the transliterated version only as complement to the English and native spellings. The English phrase is pronounced in English, the native phrase in the native language, what third pronunciation is there to present? Should the transliteration be read out al all? Or told letter by letter, as it is of interest mostly to those who want to spell it? When there is no English version, the transliterated version is used instead, but should it then be pronounced like an Englishman (or somebody speaking the language from the browser preferences) would pronounce it given the spelling, or given the native pronunciation? Or like a native trying to make it intelligible to the Englishman? How do you get at that? –LPfi (talk) 14:51, 6 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

LPfi - apologies for the late reply - as a sighted editor who doesn't use a screenreader, this isn't a question I could answer. I'd imagine it'd be much the same as the lang function in terms of pronunciation; though it may seem like a question of "why introduce the transl template at all" due to this, it does avoid display problems across a number of browsers displaying lang tag text in the wrong font.
Additionally, looking on the Wikipedia transl template, it apparently adds a tooltip label, identifying, I would assume, the language transliterated from. It also states that "This template is kept separate from {lang} to address formatting issues (via css classes) and identification of transliteration schemes used" amd that it's "intended to unify all "transliteration" templates, such as {IAST} and {ISOtranslit}", thus cleaning up the language template mess a bit.
Again, even though it may seem a bit pointless, it does have reason for existence, and probably avoids a number of articles switching font mid-text because of how a reader's browser interprets the css. --Ineffablebookkeeper (talk) 09:56, 12 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes. Thanks Ineffablebookkeeper for the explanation. It might be that repeating the same name thrice is less of an issue than having some of the three have deficient markup. My comment was mostly about what we do want to happen, not what it does at the moment. I suppose we should change some CSS to have screen readers skip some of those, but adding a parameter to an existing template (and possibly by bot where it is used) and adjusting CSS is much easier than finding strings that need to have the markup. Neither I know how screen readers behave, so at the first step we should probably trust the work done elsewhere. We just need to keep the templatedata as shown by VE and the inline wikicode simple and easy to grasp. –LPfi (talk) 11:46, 12 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Template creation rulesEdit

Swept in from the pub

I read these statements in the policy Wikivoyage:Using MediaWiki templates:

  • "In general, a template should be discussed prior to being created or modified."
  • "In some cases templates can be confusing for new users"
  • "having large numbers of templates that perform similar functions is counter-productive"

I wonder if we should consider updating these:

  • "Any admin may choose to delete any template created during the last month (including templates copied from another site) without warning, unless its creation was discussed in advance. If this rule about discussing templates before creating them is violated repeatedly by the same person, then immediate deletion is encouraged."
  • "Editing templates in wikitext is an advanced skill, and it is often confusing to new users. We use a small number of listing templates heavily, but we also have a goal of minimizing the number, variety, and complexity of templates used in Wikivoyage, so that we can simplify the editing process." (This could be mentioned in Wikivoyage:Goals and non-goals.)
  • "having large numbers of templates, especially if they perform similar functions, is counter-productive. Do not create a new template if any existing template or a non-template process (e.g., posting a note at the Project:Travellers' pub or using the Wikivoyage:Requests for comment process) would suffice."

and perhaps adding these:

  • "Most forms of maintenance templates, such as those that add a request for improvements or a maintenance category, are not appropriate for a community with less than several thousand active contributors."
  • "Maintenance templates and/or maintenance categories should normally not be used unless a reasonable number of pages (more than 100, but less than 5,000) will be included, the problems require more than a few minutes of active editing time to solve, and more than one editor have agreed to work on addressing the problems. For smaller numbers of pages or if you will be working on the problem by yourself, please consider making a list of articles on a page in your userspace."
  • "Investing significant amounts of time organizing a mess, such as by tagging problems in articles rather than solving problems in articles, is not a goal." (for Wikivoyage:Goals and non-goals).

Does any of this resonate with the rest of you? WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:24, 25 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'm not sure about the proposed updates, but I'd support the proposed additions to policy. A clarification regarding our policy on templates would help to alleviate the current strain on the community imposed by the new template proposals. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 17:43, 25 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • No. Just no, no no no no. I cannot stress the importance of "no". And no. Completely unreasonable. Time to analyse it:

"Any admin may choose to delete any template created during the last month (including templates copied from another site) without warning, unless its creation was discussed in advance. If this rule about discussing templates before creating them is violated repeatedly by the same person, then immediate deletion is encouraged."

We just recently agreed that we won't be deleting templates unless going through the vfd process. If not, they'll just be moved to a user's userspace. And why such heavy implementation of "no templates". For that matter, having a look at some older templates, Traveler100 has created so many templates which are currently "unapproved", including {{time}}.

"Editing templates in wikitext is an advanced skill, and it is often confusing to new users. We use a small number of listing templates heavily, but we also have a goal of minimizing the number, variety, and complexity of templates used in Wikivoyage, so that we can simplify the editing process."

Templates are a shortcut! Confusing? For some of the more complex ones, try outputting the same result without the template. That's about 10 times harder.

"having large numbers of templates, especially if they perform similar functions, is counter-productive. Do not create a new template if any existing template or a non-template process (e.g., posting a note at the Project:Travellers' pub or using the Wikivoyage:Requests for comment process) would suffice."

Again, templates are there for a reason. Even if a template does one function differently, there's a purpose for it. An example would be {{AU routebox}} as opposed to the under construction RINTroad. AU Routebox (or AUR) is much easier to use, and given that we try not to use userspace templates in mainspace. But when RINTroad is up and ready, will we be outright deleting AUR despite it coming into the mainspace earlier? Perhaps not.

"Most forms of maintenance templates, such as those that add a request for improvements or a maintenance category, are not appropriate for a community with less than several thousand active contributors."

We already have these.

"Maintenance templates and/or maintenance categories should normally not be used unless a reasonable number of pages (more than 100, but less than 5,000) will be included, the problems require more than a few minutes of active editing time to solve, and more than one editor have agreed to work on addressing the problems. For smaller numbers of pages or if you will be working on the problem by yourself, please consider making a list of articles on a page in your userspace."

I don't think that will turn into a success but I don't know.

* "Investing significant amounts of time organizing a mess, such as by tagging problems in articles rather than solving problems in articles, is not a goal." (for Wikivoyage:Goals and non-goals).

That's the only one that I would agree to.
But overall, I strongly oppose this proposal. We don't even use enough templates to begin with, and we're not the French Wikivoyage to have templates for prices and hours. The English Wikivoyage already allows for a lot of freedom with policies, let's not make this any more restrictive. --SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 23:05, 25 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I expect you to oppose this, because the main point is to stop you from creating so many templates. I see that you've created 32 new templates this month, and there's another five days to go.
I am curious what you think "enough templates" would be. A thousand? Ten thousand? WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:04, 26 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There's never something called "enough templates". Templates are something the MediaWiki developers designed for shortcuts. Why are you wanting to prevent shortcuts? SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 00:54, 27 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Templates were designed to place duplicate content into multiple articles at the English Wikipedia. The original design has very little to do with how any wiki uses them now. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:31, 27 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
But you still haven't realised that most of my templates are redirects or userspace templates. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 23:56, 27 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think that much of what's mentioned at #Coming soon: Template dialog improvements for VisualEditor and new wiktext mode will mitigate some of the concerns about new user confusion. I support the judicious use of templates when they are useful in improving Wikivoyage. Most other Wikimedia projects use templates with little or no ill effects. I don't think we should let some irrational fear prevent us from employing a helpful tool that 's a standard Mediawiki feature. --Nelson Ricardo (talk) 04:52, 26 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I was confused by the "consider updating these" and "perhaps adding" bullets. They read like taken from some general guidelines at Meta. They are not useful as such for a project that has a known de facto user base.
On the de facto suggestions:
  1. I don't think it is useful to be forced to have a discussion before starting experimenting on a template. If it is labelled as experimental and not used in articles (it can be tested in a sandbox article) it does little harm, and the discussion is less frustrating if the template is reasonably mature when proposed, so that we know what we are supposed to discuss (some discussions here have been arguing about shortcomings that can be overcome with minor improvements to the templates).
  2. Like SHB2000 says, templates are shortcuts. We should weight the complexness of the template against the advantages compared to plain text and the complexness of implementing the formatting etc. in wikitext. Complexity of the template itself is a minor issue, as long as article editors and readers don't have to mess with it.
  3. I agree that having a large number of templates is confusing, especially if they differ in usage syntax and semantics (no problem with having both {{see}} and {{do}}). On the other hand, suggesting a new template might result in somebody showing how an established template can be used with the intended results, sometimes after adding some functionality.
The suggested additions are mostly discussions only, suggesting we should not invest in infrastructure. It is mostly sensible, but maintenance categories do really help in our work, such as identifying where effort should be put in, e.g. to get countries up to usable, or notifying on articles needing updates, such as the out of date categories for warning boxes.
LPfi (talk) 10:17, 26 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@LPfi, about point #1, I think the problem is that we have a "known de factor user" who has created 185 new templates since the middle of May. I'd estimate that 90% of them are undiscussed. In fact, I suspect that almost everyone reading this page will be surprised to discover that he has created an average of 10 templates per week for the last four and a half months.
Several editors have asked him to stop. He doesn't stop. Several editors have said that we don't want so many templates here. He doesn't stop. I thought that giving other admins the option to remove newly created undiscussed templates (NB "may delete", not "must delete") might bring some balance to this flood of unrequested and undiscussed templates. Do you think another approach would be more effective? WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:13, 26 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't think we should write guidelines because of single users. We can start deleting those templates without the guideline, if asking the user to stop doesn't work. We can block the user. It doesn't help to have ten templates a week to discuss in the Pub. Creating such an amount of templates is unreasonable, especially as it is clearly said in the guidelines that we don't want to have a lot of templates. I am surprised, although I have seen many more templates being made in the last year than through my time here before that. –LPfi (talk) 19:39, 26 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That said, I agree with our guideline to have few templates. A template should be introduced only if most established users can be expected to learn to use it, and start using it often enough that it is a real help.
For a template to be useful, it must be well-known. We cannot expect users to get acquainted to tens of templates a week, not even ten templates a year. If a template is obvious enough, it is not a great hindrance for new users as a single occurrence. But many templates you don't know are detrimental to feeling welcome, you start think you should know all those. Established technical users, on the other hand, want to know the templates that are used, and new templates thus take time to study, time that could have been used better. And this is true also for very handy well-documented ones. You have to use them quite many times before the time to learn them starts paying back.
LPfi (talk) 19:55, 26 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
WhatamIdoing, time to analyse your comments again:

I think the problem is that we have a "known de factor user" who has created 185 new templates since the middle of May. I'd estimate that 90% of them are undiscussed. In fact, I suspect that almost everyone reading this page will be surprised to discover that he has created an average of 10 templates per week for the last four and a half months.

"I'd estimate that 90% of them are undiscussed.". Yeah, because most of them are barncompass templates as well as userboxes. They don't need approval and this was confirmed by two users. We even had a discussion on it, and I've pasted the more important bit of the discussion:

As barn compasses are used only on user pages, and not in articles, I don't think that they pose any barrier to participation in Wikivoyage by new editors. And they build community, so I think we should keep them. Ground Zero (talk) 11:04, 12 August 2021 (UTC)
Agreed with Ground Zero.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 11:06, 12 August 2021 (UTC)
Like I said, no-one would object to them. A little creativity in community-building is good, not bad. Ikan Kekek (talk) 11:46, 12 August 2021 (UTC)

And re the "we have a "known de factor user" who has created 185 new templates since the middle of May.". Just letting you know that I have created much more barncompasses that have been moved out of my userspace which aren't shown in the link you mentioned above.

Several editors have asked him to stop. He doesn't stop. Several editors have said that we don't want so many templates here. He doesn't stop. I thought that giving other admins the option to remove newly created undiscussed templates (NB "may delete", not "must delete") might bring some balance to this flood of unrequested and undiscussed templates. Do you think another approach would be more effective?

Well, only you have asked to stop, while TT asked to slow down (which isn't the same thing as "stop") so wrong. Ikan Kekek only asked to not use a (talk page stalker) template, which I later deleted. We don't propose policies based on one user (singular). You'd have noticed I start lengthy discussions on the pub about those templates. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 01:10, 27 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

[Undent]: I want to highlight this remark by SHB2000, so that it doesn't get lost in the interior of this thread: "There's never something called 'enough templates'." SHB2000, you are well aware that the philosophy of this site has been not to use more than a few essential templates. In the past, I can remember non-admin users engaging in longstanding behavior in blatant flouting of site rules and guidelines, but you're an admin, so I'm quite uncomfortable with your apparent unwillingness to slow down or consider the existing consensus. And may I suggest, since you are so interested in software editing, might you find a way to work on making MediaWiki software or at least the forms of it we use here much easier for new users to use? That would be so much more valuable than templates that highlight text by changing its color, etc. Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:14, 27 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

To be clear, I'd have been more willing to slow down if this thread was taken in a more collaborative way, like this being taken to my talk page, instead of a repeat with the "redirect cult" thing against Ground Zero last winter. And may I ask, when Traveler100 created numerous templates few years back, why weren't they approved templates, which include {{time}}? SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 01:23, 27 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't remember. However, this is not the first time people have questioned your creating or importing so many templates. There's nothing inherently wrong about creating templates, but that's never what this site has mostly been about and might not be a thing to concentrate on here, whereas I think lowering the steepness of the learning curve for new users is an important issue. Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:26, 27 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
True, but most of my templates aren't even intended for newbies anyway. And others, such as {{AUR}} is much easier to use than the future RINTroad. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 01:33, 27 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I understand, but unless there's a real need for them, it might be a better user of everyone's time to concentrate on something else. And when you create one, I think it's incumbent upon you to detail what it's useful for. Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:53, 27 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Most of the time, the real need is that it's much easier than using plain wikitext. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 02:32, 27 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Easier for whom? Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:38, 27 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Anyone who hates using plain wikitext. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 05:27, 27 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Not easier for new users, right? Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:36, 27 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Using html markup is much harder and tedious to use than templates, even for newbies. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 05:38, 27 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Using HTML is of course more tedious than a template, but usually we are assumed to use plain text. For the {{AUR}} that you mention, the first use in what links here is in Beauty Point#Get in. I'd argue that this is not less tedious to write than the equivalent in Loimaa#Get in, and arguably not easier for the readers.

I remember some Australian transportation templates being discussed, but I don't remember any conclusions on road templates, and the discussion isn't linked to from the template talk. I also see no instructions on when to use the template.

When a new user, having worked mainly on Australian articles, edits an article for some place elsewhere, say Finland, they might as first thing start looking for the equivalent {{FIR}} or {{FINR}} – and won't find it. I don't think we should introduce separate standards for individual countries, not without a very good reason anyway.

So a template might be a good shortcut, but it needs to be a good shortcut to something we really want to do, and it should be made into a standard that can be used all over the site (in the context it is intended for). It shouldn't be a shortcut for a single user. I know I expressed some doubt even about user boxes, but let's keep them out of this discussion.

LPfi (talk) 08:31, 27 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The issue with this though is that AUR is meant to be used until RINTroad comes up and into the template space. But until RINTroad is used, what do we use? AUR is a widely used template on the French Wikivoyage but it's a shortcut for Modèle:Route australienne. But my concern for RINTroad is that it is much harder to remember than rint nor this template. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 09:18, 27 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Follow the link I provided, and you see how we have been handling this, and are handling it in articles not on Australia: we use plain text (and links if there are itineraries on the roads). –LPfi (talk) 10:01, 27 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We do use plain text, but then on the contrary we use rint which is used site wide, which we don't use plain text. And when rintroad goes into mainspace, pretty much we won't be using plain text at all. I might help work on RINTroad though, despite it being on hold. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 12:08, 27 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So where is the discussion on starting to use images (or coloured and framed text) when mentioning roads in Get in? I'd have a word or two to say on the issue. –LPfi (talk) 12:26, 27 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No discussion, but there's a template under progress although it has been put on a hold. See User:Wauteurz/RINTroad SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 12:32, 27 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If a template is going to result in "pretty much we won't be using plain text at all", I think a serious discussion is needed before putting any effort in developing the template. –LPfi (talk) 12:53, 27 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
True. Although re AUR, I don't think that template will be used after RINTroad comes out, and I'll probably manually replace all of them but I guess this is a placeholder template. Pinging @Wauteurz: here about rintroad. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 13:07, 27 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Okay, there seems to be a bit of misunderstanding about what RINTroad (documentation) is and is intended to be. It is a spin-off template of {{Rail-interchange}} (RINT), solely intended to generate (car) route labels for usage in {{Routebox}}. It has never been intended to be used in articles as substitute of plain text. Similarly, RINT should be used minimally in the article's plain text and should be reserved for listing templates instead. RINTroad is a personal project of mine to test the viability of this concept, essentially auto-generating route labels for routeboxes. It enjoys a low priority in my to-do list and there is no real ETA. It has in fact been largely dormant since November 2018, and I currently have no real plans to complete it either unless a genuine need for the template arises.
@LPfi: There is no discussion to link and there is none to be had, as RINTroad is a personal project of mine with no timeline for its development. The context in which SHB plans to use it (specifically in-line in Get in/around sections), is also not the intended context for that template. I hope that this resolves the confusion here. If there is any left though, then let's continue this discussion over on my or RINTroad's talk page.
-- Wauteurz (talk) 15:48, 27 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I also have a problem with Whatamidoing proposing a policy whose "main point is to stop you from creating so many templates". As far as I can see, Whatamidoing has never raised this issue with SHB2000 on their talk page. Yes, there have been comments in various discussions, but I think that Whatamidoing owes a respected and productive contributor like SHB2000 the consideration of raising their concerns directly, rather than proposing a policy explicitly directed against one person. We should be working towards a collaborative project here, not a legislative one. Ground Zero (talk) 12:50, 27 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Multiple editors have raised these concerns with him both "directly" on his talk page and also "in public", multiple times. Repeated requests from me and others do not seem to have registered; until now, I'm not sure that he really understood that anyone thought that his template-creation work was anything less than admired. Of course, if you have some reason to believe that me personally asking him on his user talk page would have more of an effect than when multiple admins made the same requests on his talk page earlier this year (e.g., User talk:SHB2000/Archive 2021#Template and User talk:SHB2000/Archive 2021#Minimal use of templates), then I would be happy to hear those reasons, but I don't assume that there is something special about a request from me on his talk page that would produce an effect different from a request from others on his talk page.
As for why we should consider changing the policy: It is possible that SHB2000 is not "the only", but merely "the first" editor to think that increasing the number of templates would be an indisputably Good Thing™. The rules should be the same for everyone, and they should be clear. If, despite these persistent, repeated, and gentle requests from multiple people, any editor can still believe that the multiplication of templates is desired by the community, then I think it is likely that the problem is a lack of clarity in our ruleset. "Stop it already, or we'll start deleting them on sight" offers a level of clarity that isn't currently present in that policy. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:49, 27 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think WhatamIdoing has a point. Rapidly creating and/or importing large numbers of templates in a short amount of time, irrespective of advice to slow down and concerns about the creeping annulment of what's heretofore been site policy and style feels disruptive to some of us. Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:15, 27 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, but the numbers she's mentioning are completely wrong. How many of them are redirects, barncompasses, or just templates that newbies will never have to use. The answer is very few. I'd have been more accepting if WhatamIdoing told factual numbers, or even communicated in a collaborative manner, but it seems she didn't. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 02:39, 28 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • How many of them are redirects? Eleven (11).
  • How many of them are barncompasses? Thirty-five (35).
  • How many of them are templates that newbies will never have to use? Any template used on any page that any newcomer might try to edit is a template that can affect a newcomer's willingness to continue contributing.
WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:41, 28 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
How many of them are used in mainspace, very few. Stop trying to over-exaggerate my template use. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 22:36, 28 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Also WhatamIdoing, you also didn't count on how many of those templates were documentation templates (which don't count) but rather just counted them as a wholly individual templates, did you? SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 03:09, 29 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
And yet the last time anyone raised this on SHB2000's talk page was a month and a half ago. We are talking about someone who is an administrator, and therefore can be presumed to be responsible. I think it would have been better to leave a short note to say "Hey, you don't seem to be listening to what others are saying about not making so many templates. Do we need to adopt a new policy to stop you?" If that didn't work, then the need for such a policy would have been clearly demonstrated. And citing the number of new templates was a cheap shot when many of these templates are redirects, to be used on user pages or discussion pages only, or are otherwise templates that new users will never face. Ground Zero (talk) 20:54, 27 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Your point is taken, too. But this is an ongoing issue. And as an admin, I still don't think it can be presumed that if I were to decide to take a course of action contrary to site guidelines and persist in it despite concerns being raised on my user talk page and other discussions, it should then automatically be assumed that I was acting responsibly. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:42, 27 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
WhatamIdoing, you mean, once? The very first time was when I was still quite new and I was still unaware of how WV worked. I'd edited under an IP before that but not to a mass scale level. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 22:26, 27 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Also, WhatamIdoing, the million dollar question is, how many times have you even asked me on my talk page: zero. And how many times has anyone asked me to stop. And the answer to that is also zero. That latter thread was only to ask me to slow down, which I did. I don't know what "too much" for you is, but you can't so call "cite" that I've been told to "stop" numerous times when the answer to how many people have told me to stop is zero. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 22:56, 27 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Please re-read this comment, which begins with the words "SHB, would you please stop importing templates". WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:13, 29 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That as you just mentioned "SHB, would you please stop importing templates", but you didn't mention, for me to stop making templates entirely. My point still stands. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 00:16, 29 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Let's forget about history and persons.

We have three questions:

  • Do we need the guideline to be amended to stop excessive template creation? I don't think so, at least not with the suggested wordings. It is clear enough in words and in spirit, the problem now has been that the interpretation has been slipping. Something should probably be added on templates not intended for "general" or "widespread" use.
  • Should we in fact change our guideline to allow use of more templates. I don't think so. I have seen only one user having that opinion, and several who support the current (or pre-2021) practice.
  • Can the one user who wants more templates follow the guideline? I think so, only there is a clear consensus that this is demanded. He is acting in good faith, but does not see the problems some others among us are seeing or anticipating.

LPfi (talk) 05:50, 28 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I for one don't see the big fuss. As long as a template is not disrupting regular day-to-day editing (which I very much doubt, it's just a box that a beginner contributor will skip in the visual editor; if we had template for each 'get around' section or whatever crazy like that, that would be disruptive), and helps maintaining the uniform style across WV, it's worth a try. Unless the target is to discourage advanced editors trying to improve WV. Go ahead, compare WV and WT articles, e.g. Paris/2nd_arrondissement - if having no templates produces better look, or if it helps to attract new editors. Yes, it's extreme argument - but if we don't try new stuff, we'll never have chance to pick the good ideas.
As for {{AUR}} in particular, no strong feelings (tm). But TBH these days, I doubt many people will take the WV directions to "get in" - they'll 99% use mobile/car navigation. I wouldn't want to google whatever "A87" road is, to get to Coober Pedy :-) It's plenty enough to have it in the routebox on the bottom of page(s), IMO - for whoever the information may be useful. -- andree 09:41, 28 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
(Also, for anyone wondering how to put templates in routeboxes, use {{routebox2}} which an empty discussion can be seen above) SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 10:46, 28 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I broadly agree with LPfi, SelfieCity and Ikan Kekek's comments above. I support the existing policy of limiting the widespread use of templates and the need to discuss whether a new template should be created or not. Templates can increase the barriers to edit for newbies and non-techie established editors and tagging templates are visual eyesores. One tagging template on a page may look okay but on Wikipedia they pile up and they look horrible. Even with the templates where the pros outweigh the cons like the listing templates can be difficult to grasp. During the Nigerian edit-a-thon many good-faith, eager editors (who had prior Wiki editing experience) still weren't comfortable using them after a month of editing here. But I also don't think we need to changing the current wording in the guidelines. Gizza (roam) 02:05, 29 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Templates vs. softwareEdit

The mediawiki software does a lot of formatting -- headers, lists, photos, ~~~~, etc. -- without any templates being involved. Its main goal in life is to take reasonably simple text and produce a reasonably pretty presentation. Editors can also use HTML formatting like nbsp or mdash, though that is not always a good idea.

Currently we have a number of templates for formatting; one example is Template:Spaced en dash which (unfortunately in my view) recently survived a VFD nomination. This would be unnecessary if mediawiki were a bit smarter & knew not to start a line with a hyphen or ndash (& perhaps other things like the unicode ndash or an mdash).

I suggest that for all formatting templates, we look at whether medaiwiki software could be adjusted to make them unnecessary. If so, submit a change request. If the change is made, then the template is no longer useful & should be deleted. Pashley (talk) 04:10, 24 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Oppose. If there's a reason why formatting templates were created, it's because either: a) writing the same code in MediaWiki code would look cluttered and be cumbersome, or b) they were created to solve something on the technical side of things (e.g. w:Template:Nothing). Requesting a change request for something that works just fine, or because a wiki was too petrified to use templates, is not a good use of time. --SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta) 04:23, 24 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Return to the project page "Using MediaWiki templates".