Wikipedia:Templates are lazy

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Templates are a very useful tool here on Wikipedia. They allow us to take something that needs to appear on several pages, either in a static way (meaning it stays the same all the time) or a dynamic way (meaning it changes sometimes, or even frequently).

Sometimes we can get lazy, however, and tired of having to use some of the same formatting over and over, and so we create "template formatting" or "template lines" or things of the like. If you substitute your templates into your working articles, nobody's likely to ever know right?

People always reinvent the wheel[edit]

Much as it may seem a silly concept, the wheel has been reinvented many times: spokes have been added, wood was turned into steel, steel into alloy and now we wrap thick rubber around most of them. Reinventing the wheel is a very common concept in our world and it happens constantly on Wikipedia: people will recreate how a page will look, delete articles, templates, images and categories, and all at a rapid rate, in some cases.

If you're in a habit of substituting your own templates, also consider:

  • The template you create might be pretty, fancy and look awesome, but if it uses esoteric, dynamic or complicated syntax and algorithms (and such), you may find you're scaring away potential editors with overcomplicating the articlespace. In this case, the template may be justified being in template space.

See also[edit]