Template talk:Guideline

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editing of Guidelines[edit]

Certainly, policy pages are watched very closely, with almost every change requiring debate. Guidelines are community aids which seem to be updated quite frequently. I think we should make sure people know they can edit those pages more freely than with policies, but still ask that they propose major changes on talk. Considering that Wikipedia:Be bold in updating pages is itself a guideline, I think we need to encourage participation. I hope this explains why I feel the wording should reflect that. -- Netoholic @ 16:51, 2005 May 17 (UTC)

  • I certainly don't mind if people edit guideline pages (or even policy pages), however, I don't think we should put explicitly on top, 'please do edit this'. For advanced users, it won't make a difference, and they'd probably know what they're doing anyway. But new users should not see a guideline with a 'edit me' sign, as this might encourage strange behavior, or cause them to disrespect policy or guideline, on grounds that it is frequently edited anyway. Besides, most pages don't have a "please edit me" sign on them, so why should guidelines? Radiant_* 07:32, May 18, 2005 (UTC)
    • So many guideline pages practically demand regular changes. To not put a statement there, I think, fails to encourage participation. -- Netoholic @ 07:43, 2005 May 18 (UTC)

Style[edit]

I don't see what avoid using meta-templates has to do with anything. Just because this wasn't initially part of the list at WP:TS doesn't mean it shouldn't be standardized; standards are a good thing. Radiant_* 07:32, May 18, 2005 (UTC)

  • Brightly colored boxes are meant for dramatically grabbing attention to some pressing issue. They're garish on "day-to-day" pages. -- Netoholic @ 07:42, 2005 May 18 (UTC)
  • Well, on both cases we should agree to disagree and ask for a third opinion. Radiant_* 08:31, May 18, 2005 (UTC)


This is graphically a little too overwhelming to me. It's nice to have this note but it isn't the most important thing on the page, many times it is the most obvious thing on a white, otherwise plain, guideline page. - cohesion | talk 09:24, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

This template is a way to sneak in "standards" that many disagree with[edit]

This template creates the impression of a standard or policy, when in reality the "guideline" may have a lot of opposition. Shouldn't Template:Proposed be used instead? ··gracefool | 03:03, 19 Jun 2005 (UTC) 08:12, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)

  • A guideline is not official policy. An accepted guideline is not a proposed policy. Anything that has a lot of opposition should not be tagged as guideline (e.g. WP:RPA is under heavy debate) but that should be discussed at the relevant talk pages. Radiant_>|< 09:00, Jun 19, 2005 (UTC)

Not policy?[edit]

I have a mild objection to stating 'this is not policy' in this template, for the simple reason that nothing is policy unless specifically named as such; Template:Notpolicy was deleted for precisely that reason. Radiant_>|< 09:56, Jun 24, 2005 (UTC)

I think it's needed to distinguish, to show that "guideline" isn't another word for or kind of policy. ··gracefool | 12:34, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I agree and thus used the def at Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines. --mav 02:47, 14 July 2005 (UTC)
However, a clear wording is needed to ensure people don't see "guideline" and say "oh it's only a guideline I don't need to take any notice". Stifle (talk) 12:32, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

is considered -> is[edit]

So, I changed the sentence This page is considered a guideline on Wikipedia to This page is a Wikipedia guideline. I believe it's an unnecessary softening that introduces more confusion than it needs to.

If Wikipedia's decision-making bodies -- including community consensus -- consider some rule or idea a guideline, then it is a guideline. What other definition of a guideline could there be? Is considered implies that some other group considers this a guideline, and it may or may not be so. If that's truly the case, such a group should probably be identified (This page is considered a guideline on Wikipedia by the International Committee of the Red Cross), and it's questionable whether that information is sufficiently important to put on the guideline page itself.

This page is a Wikipedia guideline is clearer, plainer English. --ESP 23:12, 14 July 2005 (UTC) (P.S. I made a change to Template:Policy recently along these same lines.)

Disagreement with current version[edit]

I strongly disagree with the change that says that the guideline is based on a consensus, that could not be farther from the truth, though guidelines are kept and generally modified majorly by use of a consensus not all guidelines are supported on a page by consensus. This change has lead me to stop using this template due to the fact that the new template implies that a majority of users agree with the marked guideline most notably WP:1RR which while it would be appropriate to say that a number of editors agree with it would not fall under the saying that a majority agree with it. Jtkiefer T | @ | C ----- 23:12, July 25, 2005 (UTC)

for comparison:[edit]

Current version[edit]

This page is a Wikipedia guideline. It illustrates standards or conduct that are generally accepted by consensus to apply in many cases. Feel free to update the page as needed, but please use the discussion page to propose major changes.

Original version[edit]

This page is considered a guideline on Wikipedia. It illustrates standards or conduct, which some or many editors agree with in principle. However, it is not policy. Feel free to update the page as needed, but please use the discussion page to propose major changes.

Jtkiefer T | @ | C ----- 23:17, July 25, 2005 (UTC)

I strongly agree. The current version is clearly misleading and pushy; why remove the note that it is not a policy, for instance? If a guideline has consensus, it's not a guideline, but a policy. That's what a policy is. I'm reverting, someone needs to address these issues first. There should be a distinction between policies and guidelines, because something can be labelled a guideline without going through requests for comment or similar proper community process. Most probably many guidelines out there are ready to become policy; but there are some which are not. ··gracefool | 17:06, 27 September 2005 (UTC)

That was crazy![edit]

I was just checking out Wikipedia:Consensus, only to discover that it was not policy. I've reverted the template to the last version where that mistake does not occur.

Oh, was that you Gracefool? Ah, well please don't do that again. If you mess around with templates, you can cause massive damage to multiple pages. Don't do it again please.

Kim Bruning 00:34, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

Kim, it was changed awhile ago to the wording about consensus but was afterwards changed back due to the fact that not all guidelines have consensus. I think your preferred version is fundamentally flawed due to the fact that it makes an assumption that all the editors agree with the guideline and it confuses guidelines with policies. If you want something that has been approved by consensus you're looking for a policy not a guideline. JtkieferT | C | @ ---- 06:17, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
Odd that the category wasn't in the other version though. I re-added the category [[Category:Wikipedia guidelines|{{PAGENAME}}]] back to it. JtkieferT | C | @ ---- 06:19, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
Well, according to the previous version, wikipedia:consensus was not in fact approved by consensus, and was not policy. How's that for wierdness!
As I've remarked in other places (odd how often you have to repeat yourself these days :-( )... I've noticed that pages marked policy can often be safely ignored (think WP:CSD) , some guideline pages can get you into massive trouble if ignored (WP:POINT), and failure to apply some "essay" pages will get you banned, blocked, or cause you to fail RFA: (WP:SR, which has exactly that criterion for each paragraph).
So the current tagging and/or categorising of pages is in fact not as meaningful as it might seem. I'm not sure what should be done about it, if anything at all.
But well, consensus not having consensus... that really cut the cake for me! :-P Kim Bruning 07:02, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
I think it's the details of the page Wikipedia:Consensus that don't have consensus. We all know Wikipedia is run by consensus. -- SCZenz 07:13, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
Doesn't surprise me though since the details of policies are often disputed. JtkieferT | C | @ ---- 07:16, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
Sorry. Your revert makes it say that consensus is not policy (whatever that means) . Figure something out. Kim Bruning 07:19, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
My opinion is that Wikipedia:Consensus should say {{policy}} at the top. I don't know exactly why it doesn't, and I don't have time to investigate because I need to sleep. I assure you I'll look into it. -- SCZenz 07:31, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

Image[edit]

I don't mean to offend Elvarg, but I don't care for the new image (which significantly increases the template's size). Does anyone else have an opinion? —Lifeisunfair 01:45, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

I went and removed the image. Who said we need an icon in every box? Zocky 02:58, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
We don't need images. It's unhelpful fluff. -- Netoholic @ 05:44, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
I object to the image, it doesn't convey any clear message here or look good aesthetically... I don't like the new background, it makes the notice less pronounced: I believe this version is highly preferable to the present version of the template. --Mysidia (talk) 02:23, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
To be clear, the current image is not the one to which I referred above. I happen to like the small check mark, the blue coloring of which helps to visibly differentiate guidelines from policies (to which I assigned a green check mark). This, of course, is an entirely subjective matter.
The issue of background color is a bit different. The previous color is supposed to be reserved strictly for talk pages, so I switched to the default color for non-talk namespaces. It could be changed to something else, but the previous color should be avoided. —Lifeisunfair 02:56, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

Version with optional shortcut[edit]

To eliminate the redundancy created by {{guideline with shortcut}}, I've whipped up a couple of versions with optional shortcuts via CSS magic at User:Alerante/Scratch/Policy and guideline with shortcut. I'll add my changes if there are no objections. æle 01:29, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Less talk, more action. Stevage 22:47, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
Done. The parameters work the same as {{guideline with shortcut}} for backwards compatibility. æle 18:40, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
I have updated all of the {{guideline with shortcut}} links to {{guideline}} with the added parameter. The Neokid 20:38, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Being bold[edit]

I've restored my earlier edit because I don't think we should be advising people to be bold on a guideline page, and especially not on WP:RS (which is why I changed the template), because it touches on sourcing, which we should be taking very seriously. We get new editors turning up on that page wanting to change things because they've been stopped by the guideline from making an edit to an article, and the changes they want to make are inconsistent with the policies. WP:RS must remain consistent with WP:NOR and WP:V, and other guidelines have to remain consistent with other policies. Therefore, the advice to "be bold" is inappropriate. SlimVirgin (talk) 13:08, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

I've seen some odd stuff added on to guidelines and even policies and then cited as 'reasons why this must be done', but the fact is that has been our process to date and if stuff is disputed it eventually gets taken out or modified. I don't know that it is particularly important to cite 'be bold' in reference to guidelines, but historically it is 'accurate'. --CBDunkerson 13:29, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
Exactly, if someone makes a controversial edit to a policy or guideline, then more often than not the addition is removed/reverted and discussed. The only people who revert warrior of such stuff are the people pushing an agenda, and they'd probably "be bold" whether or not we had a "feel free" link there or not. —Locke Coletc 15:16, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
I agree with SlimVirgin. Boldness is generally welcome, but it isn't a good idea to explicitly encourage it on guideline/policy pages. It isn't as though the omission of such text is tantamount to declaring that no editing is allowed. —David Levy 13:36, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
It's been worded this way since May 2005.. and if someone modifies WP:RS in a major way, you point out the "discuss major changes" note in this template. Don't penalize everyone else because of a few people who took it too far. —Locke Coletc 15:16, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
The problem is that it's not just "a few people", but, as it turns out, all sorts of people who find they can't edit articles to their liking under the existing guidelines, and feel a strong need to change them. In my experience the vast majority of changes to guidelines are almost immediately reverted for this very reason, and so the statement in the template is just an invitation for edit wars. It would be far more sensible to simply suggest everyone work out changes on the Talk: page first, particularly as guidelines support policies, which are fundamental to the functioning of Wikipedia, and cannot contradict them. Please remember, while this is a wiki, policy and guideline pages are quite different from article pages; they should be stable and helpful. Jayjg (talk) 18:00, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
The exact passage being discussed is this:
Feel free to update the page as needed, but please use the discussion page to propose any major changes.
If people are making "major changes" (which I assume is what's being done at WP:RS; I'm unfamiliar with disputes/issues there, so forgive my ignorance if they're minor changes) without discussion it's not the fault of this template. It's right there and unambiguous, "but please use the discussion page to propose any major changes".
I guess I'd rather assume good faith in editors (not people pushing agendas, but regular editors). Having said all that (and noting that I agree that policy pages should be stable/helpful; and that I don't think this passage affects that in the least), if there's consensus here to remove, I'll respect that. —Locke Coletc 19:11, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

Request for comment[edit]

I've posted an RFC at WP:RFC/POLICIES. I've requested that the discussion be centralized at Template talk:Policy (however I've left pointers to both these pages so commenters can see what's been discussed so far). I'll also be leaving a note at one of the village pumps. —Locke Coletc 21:28, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

Alternatives[edit]

Please see the centralized discussion at Template talk:Policy, do not respond here.Locke Coletc 22:49, 3 May 2006 (UTC)
Please stop it with the ForestFires. —Locke Coletc 22:49, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

For anyone coming from the RfC, the alternatives are below. SlimVirgin (talk) 21:59, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

Feel free to update the page as needed, but please use the discussion page to propose any major changes.
or
Please make sure that any changes you make to this page reflect consensus before you make them and use the discussion page to propose any major changes.

Rewording[edit]

I think that the wording of this template greatly misrepresents what a guideline is. The definition at WP:POL includes the key points that a guideline is "(1) actionable and (2) authorized by consensus" while at the same time "not set in stone and should be treated with common sense and the occasional exception". This wording doesn't reflect that definition at all. Therefore, I propose that it be changed to this:

Blue check.svg This page is considered a guideline on Wikipedia. It has general acceptance among editors and is considered a standard that all users should follow. However, it is not set in stone and should be treated with common sense and the occasional exception. When editing this page, please ensure that your revision reflects consensus. When in doubt, discuss first on the talk page.
Shortcut:

The difference between policy and guideline is not that one is actionable and the other is not, nor that one should be followed and the other should not. The difference is that both should be followed, and both are actionable, but a guideline is less polished, more open to revision and alteration and more likely to have exceptions in appropriate circumstances. I think that the current weak wording encourages wikilawyering from types who say "well, I don't have to follow so-and-so guideline, it's not a policy".

Discuss. --bainer (talk) 01:50, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

I like the rewording, personally. Good work! Ziggurat 02:03, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
In my opinion this strengthens guidelines too much, blurring the distinction between guidelines and policy. Maybe I just have a different view of what a guideline is supposed to be. Also, the language is too verbose and informal. Deco 02:10, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps change "should follow" to "should aspire to". Stephen B Streater 06:22, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
Guidelines are very useful to editors and many questions that arise are resolved on their talk pages. I believe the template should include some statement about how absolute a guideline is without stepping on the creativity of editors. One element that appears too wishy - washy is the "set in stone" statement. Some elements of Wikipedia articles actually are set in stone. For example, Bolding the title of an article. For example, using personal website opinion as a secondary source of information. Could we have something like, "set in stone in called-out, specified areas while encouraging creativity in unspecified areas?" Terryeo 22:37, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

Category parameter[edit]

A cute trick used in several templates adding pages to a category is to say
...<includeonly>{{{category|[[Category:xyz |{{PAGENAME}}]]}}}...
instead of only
...<includeonly>[[Category:xyz |{{PAGENAME}}]]...

In a template list category= (no value) can then disable a bogus categorization of the list with examples. -- Omniplex 09:22, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

I've performed the requested edit. —David Levy 15:49, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. -- Omniplex 06:52, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

Replacement image[edit]

There's an existing SVG version of the PNG currently used in the template. We should replace Image:Blue check.png with Image:blue check.svg. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by El T (talkcontribs) 18:02, 25 June 2006 (UTC).

Why? The SVG version is rendered as an 859-byte PNG-24 file that's displayed improperly for most users. The PNG-8 version is 685 bytes, and it's displayed properly for most users. —David Levy 18:11, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
I'd overlooked that for most versions of IE currently running 24 bit PNGs aren't transparent. Apologies El T 18:18, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
No problem. (I made the same mistake before someone brought this to my attention.) It's quite refreshing to receive a response other than something along the lines of "IE users deserve to be punished for using such a crappy browser."  :-) —David Levy 18:50, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

Someone went and changed the image again. [sigh] æ² 2006-09-24t22:37z

I have a username, you know :-) No problem, I've reverted it. —Mets501 (talk) 22:53, 24 September 2006 (UTC)

Official guidelines?[edit]

I think we shoud insert the word "official" right before guideline (the part in bold). I think there should be a distinction between guidelines that are to be followed most of the time, and other things that are called guidelines (even style guides are sometimes called guidelines). Fresheneesz 00:11, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

I just learned that style guides are guidelines. How bout that. I know i'm not the only one with this confusion, and the word "official" would make it abundantly clear. Fresheneesz 07:52, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

There are no "official guidelines". There are official policies, like NPOV, fair use, etc. but those are rather different matters related to the fundamental purpose of Wikipedia and to legal issues. —Centrxtalk • 21:54, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

Worth a link to WP:IAR?[edit]

From the template: "and the occasional exception". Would this be better as "and the occasional exception"? --Damian Yerrick () 22:41, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

I think its a good addition. Edit made. EVula // talk // // 02:18, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
  • I think this confuses new users about the importance of guidelines and should not be incorporated into this template. "Occasional exception" is not equivalent to "ignore all rules". IAR is a transcendent policy, but it shouldn't be bandied about casually. One can only "ignore the rules" when one knows the rules. It's the Zen of Wikipedia :) --LeflymanTalk 05:57, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

Redundancy[edit]

  • "It is generally accepted among editors and is considered a standard that all users should follow."
  • "It is a generally accepted standard that all editors should follow."

No loss of meaning but much crisper. Marskell 10:24, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

SlimVirgin's edits[edit]

Yesterday (my time), noting that this template was too similar to Template:Policy, SlimVirgin edited it to reword it and insert the sentence "It is not policy." I then removed the new sentence, explaining that the link was redundant (because it already is present in the previous sentence) and that the statement encouraged users to disregard guidelines on the basis that they aren't policies (something that already is a problem). I left the other wording changes in place.
I then noticed that some minor improvements made to {{policy}} a while back had not been carried over to this template, so I did so. This corrected the text to note that the page documents a guideline (rather than claiming that it is one), clarified that the guideline applies to the English Wikipedia, and added the word "please."
Today, SlimVirgin reverted
both of my edits (with the summary "no point in having it say the same thing as the other"). I don't understand this explanation (given the fact that the changes that I made to harmonize the templates were purely stylistic, not relevant to any distinction between the two templates), and it does not address my concerns regarding the new sentence. This is why I have reverted, and I hope that SlimVirgin will discuss the matter here before again performing this undiscussed addition. —David Levy 14:40, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

This was in the template before and seems to have been removed without discussion. There's no point in having a separate template if it says the same thing as the policy one. I only want to make the point that guidelines aren't policy. SlimVirgin (talk)(contribs) 14:43, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
I understand that, but such a distinction is useful only if the reader understands the difference between the two. I believe that the remainder of the template's wording (which you've improved) now explains this as well as can be done in the available space. (For a fuller understanding, one should read Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines.)
Lacking this knowledge, users are likely to misinterpret "it is not policy" to mean "it is unimportant and may be disregarded if you dislike it." I say this because I've already encountered this misunderstanding on many occasions. (People believe that it's okay to ignore a guideline with absolutely no justification beyond "it isn't a policy!".) —David Levy 14:55, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
They can look up what a policy is -- they won't know what a guideline is either if they don't look it up. The point is that we need to make clear that there are these two things, and that the guidelines are the lesser of the two. SlimVirgin (talk)(contribs) 15:03, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
"...advised to follow it" is a significant weakening in wording. If not "should follow" then "should usually follow." I'd also eliminate the "but" and have two declaratives. "Set in stone" was not good wording, certainly. Marskell (talk) 15:54, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
I agree that the template's wording (as improved by SlimVirgin) adequately conveys the distinction without the "it is not policy" statement. I also agree that SlimVirgin was correct to remove the phrase "not set in stone." It hadn't occurred to me that this falsely implied that policies are set in stone. —David Levy 16:12, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
1. Indeed, people won't fully understand what a policy or guideline (in this context) is unless they read Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines. That's my point. If they do, they'll know the difference (rendering the statement in question unnecessary). If they don't, the statement is meaningless (and potentially misleading).
2. It isn't accurate to say that a guideline is "the lesser of the two," and that's precisely the sort of notion that we should avoid conveying. I know what you mean, of course (guidelines needn't be followed as strictly as policies), but a common misunderstanding is that guidelines are unimportant and entirely optional. (In fact, they should be followed unless a good reason exists to deviate from them.) —David Levy 16:12, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

Just a note that the second sentence isn't strictly logical: I don't approach something with an occasional exception. It "admits to the occasional exception." Don't know how to incorporate that without the sentence becoming clunky. Marskell (talk) 12:37, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

If that, may I suggest "admits" rather than "admits to"? Tony (talk) 15:11, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
We have a forest fire breaking out here. Could we keep this discussion on one page, please? SlimVirgin (talk)(contribs) 15:16, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

David, why do you keep reverting? I thought this had been agreed days ago. SlimVirgin (talk)(contribs) 17:15, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

No, it wasn't. I patiently waited nearly five days without reverting, and you never replied to the most recent of my above comments (in which I explained why I believe that the "it is not policy" wording is problematic). Instead, you added it to another template (noting that you were bringing it "in line" with this one), and another editor reverted because of what appeared to be same concern.
Quite perplexing are your repeated reversions to the text "As it is not policy, it may admit of the occasional exception and should be approached with common sense.", as it was you who removed the "not set in stone" wording on the basis that this is equally true of policies.
I continue to contest the inclusion of the phrase "it is not policy," but rather than revert-warring, I've simply relocated it (because its inclusion is less harmful if it doesn't imply that policies must be followed without exception and shouldn't be approached with common sense). This time, I hope that you actually resume discussion (rather than interpreting my non-reversion as implicit agreement with your position). —David Levy 17:36, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

Admit of/to[edit]

Marskell, I think it's "admit of" -- may admit of the occasional exception. It isn't admitting it, or admitting to it. SlimVirgin (talk)(contribs) 18:04, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

I believe that SlimVirgin is correct here, though I must acknowledge that this terminology is mostly unfamiliar to me. Perhaps we could adopt alternative wording that means the same thing. —David Levy 18:10, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
Rather than talking about occasional exceptions (policies might admit of occasional exceptions too), why not simply: "While it is not policy, and should be approached with common sense, editors are strongly advised to follow it."
That gets across the point that it isn't policy, but it also makes clear that it has strong backing. SlimVirgin (talk)(contribs) 18:17, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
Blah. When I'm typing I constantly forget prepositions, so don't listen to me. It just seems unfamiliar.
I support the shorter version, anyway. I've never been comfortable linking to IAR from the template. Marskell (talk) 18:24, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
Done. Marskell (talk) 18:27, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
That wording reintroduces the problem of implying that policies shouldn't be approached with common sense. —David Levy 18:29, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
I don't see it as implying that. SlimVirgin (talk)(contribs) 18:30, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
I find that odd, given the fact that you perceived "it is not set in stone" as an implication that policy was (despite the fact that the word "policy" wasn't even mentioned). Surely, "While it is not policy, and should be approached with common sense" could be interpreted as such a distinction. —David Levy 18:34, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
I've introduced new wording that hopefully addresses all of the above concerns. —David Levy 18:41, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
It looks good. Thank you. SlimVirgin (talk)(contribs) 18:48, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
I don't see a substantial difference, but I'm fine with it if David's concerns are met. Marskell (talk) 19:01, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
I'll add that I don't think "occasional exception" should be relinked to IAR. Marskell (talk) 19:04, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
I omitted the link in response to your earlier comment to that effect. —David Levy 19:56, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

Latest edits[edit]

Firstly, my latest edit didn't pertain to the previous disputes. I simply copied over the wording in use at {{MoS-guideline}} at the time (for the sake of uniformity).
Secondly, SlimVirgin, I'm disheartened to see you repeat the claim that there was agreement on the current wording. As I noted four days ago, the fact that I decided not to revert-war (and instead invited you to discuss the matter) should not be construed as implicit agreement with the "it is not policy" phrasing. Once again, I patiently waited for you to rejoin the discussion, and once again, you ignored me and acted surprised that there was any disagreement. —David Levy 22:46, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

David, please. This is absurd. Guidelines aren't policy, and that's all it's saying. You agreed to this. It was your last edit I reverted to. SlimVirgin (talk)(contribs) 22:47, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
No, I didn't agree to that. I explicitly stated in the section #SlimVirgin's edits that I was leaving the contested wording in place to avoid edit-warring (in the hope that you would discuss the matter).
I've explained why I believe the "it is not policy" wording to be harmful, and you've yet to address my specific concerns. (You've simply stated that I'm wrong.) —David Levy 23:08, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
You wrote above "I've introduced new wording that hopefully addresses all of the above concerns. —David Levy 18:41, 25 January 2008 (UTC)." You can't have everything your own way all the time. SlimVirgin (talk)(contribs) 22:48, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
1. I was referring to the concerns discussed in that section. I don't know why you would think that I no longer objected to the "it is not policy" wording, but I apologize for the misunderstanding.
2. I can't have everything my own way all the time? I reverted one portion of your original edits (leaving all of the others in place), and I'm the one who's insisting on having everything my own way? —David Levy 23:08, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
David, your edit was left in place, because you said you had found a way to address everyone's concerns. It isn't very good writing, but it was left that way because it was the compromise you had come up with. Now, a few days later, you've changed your mind saying that in fact you were just waiting for other comments. You always turn these template and tag edits into giant issues that go on and on with no end in sight until you absolutely get your own way. SlimVirgin (talk)(contribs) 23:50, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but that isn't what happened. I'll quote exactly what I wrote:
I continue to contest the inclusion of the phrase "it is not policy," but rather than revert-warring, I've simply relocated it (because its inclusion is less harmful if it doesn't imply that policies must be followed without exception and shouldn't be approached with common sense). This time, I hope that you actually resume discussion (rather than interpreting my non-reversion as implicit agreement with your position).
You never replied to that.
As I explained above, when I stated that I'd "introduced new wording that hopefully addresses all of the above concerns," I was referring to the separate concerns discussed in that section. I've already apologized for the ambiguity on my part that led to this apparent misunderstanding.
So where does that leave us? Once again, I'm not reverting. I'm simply asking you to please address my concerns. You claim that I seek to "have everything [my] own way," but I've contested only a single change out of several that you introduced.
I respectfully request that you please focus on the content of the template (instead of on me). We've had our differences in the past, and I'm sure that each of us could rattle off a long list of perceived misconduct on the other's part (as we always seem to view these disagreements from different perspectives). But I'm not interested in doing that. I'm confident that you're acting in good faith, and I only ask for the same assumption in return. Agreed? —David Levy 00:28, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

All our differences are about your editing of templates and tags and shortcuts as though you own them, David.

Look above:

That wording reintroduces the problem of implying that policies shouldn't be approached with common sense. —David Levy 18:29, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
I don't see it as implying that. SlimVirgin (talk)(contribs) 18:30, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
I find that odd, given the fact that you perceived "it is not set in stone" as an implication that policy was (despite the fact that the word "policy" wasn't even mentioned). Surely, "While it is not policy, and should be approached with common sense" could be interpreted as such a distinction. —David Levy 18:34, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
I've introduced new wording that hopefully addresses all of the above concerns. —David Levy 18:41, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
It looks good. Thank you. SlimVirgin (talk)(contribs) 18:48, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
I don't see a substantial difference, but I'm fine with it if David's concerns are met. Marskell (talk) 19:01, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

See? It was settled. SlimVirgin (talk)(contribs) 01:22, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

Again, that section pertained to a different issue. When I wrote that I'd "introduced new wording that hopefully addresses all of the above concerns," I was referring to that issue alone. I've apologized for the ambiguity of that statement (which evidently led to a misunderstanding).
Please scroll up to the #SlimVirgin's edits section for my attempt to discuss the entirely separate "it is not policy" issue.
I'm not attempting exert ownership of anything. I'm attempting to discuss my concerns (while leaving the contested change in place in the interim). Again, I respectfully request that you please concentrate on the template's content instead of on me. —David Levy 01:39, 30 January 2008 (UTC)
I don't even know what you're objecting to exactly. SlimVirgin (talk)(contribs) 01:56, 30 January 2008 (UTC)
Okay, let's put the above misunderstanding behind us and start over. I'm confident that we can have a friendly discussion about this (despite our disagreement).
As I've noted, I agree with most of the changes that you've made to the template. I merely object to the inclusion of the statement "it is not policy." I fully understand why you added it, and I support your effort to convey the distinction between policies and guidelines.
While factual, however, such text is likely to be misinterpreted. It's common for editors to disregard guidelines not because of a common-sense exception, but because they regard them as 100% optional. They believe that they're under no obligation to pay any attention to a guideline because it's "not a policy." I believe, therefore, that including the text "it is not policy" will trigger/reinforce this misconception.
Additionally, I don't believe that such a statement is very useful (even in the absence of misunderstanding), simply because someone must already be familiar with the policy/guideline distinction for it to be meaningful. (Otherwise, knowing that this "is not policy" doesn't tell him/her anything, excepting the possible misunderstanding described above). Meanwhile, anyone who already is familiar with the policy/guideline distinction (and is capable of appreciating the statement's significance) already knows that a guideline isn't policy.
As I said, I fully support your effort to convey the actual distinction, but I feel that your other changes sufficiently accomplish this. —David Levy 02:47, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

Sort key[edit]

Can someone more adept at templates than I modify the category inclusion to allow sort keys (like Template:Subcat guideline)? Thanks. Libcub (talk) 02:39, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

That's the purpose of {{Subcat guideline}} -- to allow the different sort keys. If you want to use different categories like that, just go ahead and use that template. --JayHenry (talk) 00:54, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Oh wait, I misunderstood your request. Yes, I can edit the template to do that. One moment. --JayHenry (talk) 00:59, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
I've added the sort key feature to the template, but I'm actually unsure if it's necessary. This template automatically adds pages to Category:Wikipedia guidelines, but looking through there I don't see any pages that need a sort key. I do see some user pages that aren't really guidelines, and should perhaps be removed. We could either remove the Guideline template from those pages, or add a parameter that allows the category not to be added at all. Sort of hate to gunk up the templature anymore than necessary though... Does anyone else watching this page have thoughts? --JayHenry (talk) 01:15, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

Let's make the box pink[edit]

[Please see Template talk:Policy#Let's make the box yellow for the discussion.]

"talk page AKA Discussion page"[edit]

{{editprotected}} Can we pick one or the other? The current wording is distracting, ungrammatical and clumsy, and undermines the credibility of what ought to be an authoritative tag. Thank you. 86.45.150.20 (talk) 01:45, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

Done. To be honest, I don't know how that change remained since December. —David Levy 02:53, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Thank you David. 86.45.150.20 (talk) 09:01, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

Requested Deletion Of Phrase[edit]

{{editsemiprotected}}

This is the template's message:

This page documents an English Wikipedia guideline. It is a generally accepted standard that editors should follow, though it should be treated with common sense, and occasional exceptions may apply. When editing this page, please ensure that your revision reflects consensus. When in doubt, discuss your idea on the talk page.

I suggest:

This page documents an English Wikipedia guideline. It is a generally accepted standard that editors should follow though occasional exceptions may apply. When editing this page, please ensure that your revision reflects consensus. When in doubt, discuss your idea on the talk page.

This is because that link is an essay, which is contradictory considering this is template was achieved by consensus and pages holding this tag were achieved by consensus.Bernolákovčina (talk) 00:54, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

Not done: please establish a consensus for this alteration before using the {{edit semi-protected}} template. Logan Talk Contributions 16:01, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

RFC For The Elimination Of A Phrase[edit]

An rfc was filed earlier with no response. I am filing this rfc into centralized discussion as well.Curb Chain (talk) 06:58, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

I have removed it from {{cent}} as this is really not important enough of an issue to warrant listing there! (You could also remove the rfc tag I think.) I suggest that, as no one has objected to your rewording proposal, you go ahead (be bold) and make the change to this template. If anyone reverts your edit, then you will have someone to discuss this with. Regards — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 08:54, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
Awesome, thanks. I just wanted to not seem zealous by doing something that hasn't received feedback. Look above to see what I mean. Thanks.Curb Chain (talk) 00:02, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

Curb Chain has started discussions proposing the removal of "common sense" in at least these locations (the first of the following was started by Bernolákovčina):

It is unhelpful to discuss the same issue at multiple locations. The core page appears to be the last, and I suggest that any further discussion should occur at that page. I am suggesting that no further discussion should occur on this page until the issue is decided at one page. Johnuniq (talk) 09:11, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

  • Fair point. We should avoid promoting essays in templates, because that has a way of giving them too much weight. Support removing the essay. Shooterwalker (talk) 22:45, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

Is a guideline different to a policy?[edit]

See discussion at Wikipedia talk:Policies and guidelines. ··gracefool 19:32, 19 January 2014 (UTC)