Wikipedia:Userbox migration

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"WP:GERMAN" redirects here. For Wikiproject Germany, see WP:GER.
Crystal package.png Blue Glass Arrow.svg The Userbox migration (formerly known as the German userbox solution) is a method of avoiding userbox related controversies, by moving the userboxes in question to user space.
No new policy is needed to do this, and this is not a policy proposal. Just go ahead and do it.
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Quick summary[edit]

The Userbox migration involves moving controversial (such as "Template:User Christian") or unencyclopedic (such as "Template:User eats bagels") userbox templates into subpages of userspace (such as "User:CharonX/Userboxes/User christian" or "User:Malcolm/Userboxes/Bagels"). To userfy a userbox, simply follow these steps:

  1. Move the userbox from its template location to somewhere in your userspace.
  2. Edit the resultant redirect from the move and replace the #REDIRECT [[page]] with {{User UBM UBX to}} to indicate where the userbox has been moved to. In our Christian example, this would be {{User UBM UBX to|Christian|CharonX/Userboxes/User christian}}.
  3. Wait a while. People are periodically running bots that update people's userpages to point from the old location in template space to the new location in userspace. If there are only a few transclusions you might consider doing this manually. (To minimize page display disruptions, if you have your own bot or are experienced with a tool like WP:AWB, you might want to bypass redirects before you edit/delete the original redirect page.)
  4. Delete the original template once all incoming transclusions have been taken care of. You will need an administrator for this.

That's it!

The term "German userbox solution" came about because the idea was borrowed from the German-language Wikipedia.

Userbox Migration Codes

Included below is Userbox Migration codes. The first code is used for transferring userboxes from Wikipedia to user page, while the second code is used for transferring userboxes from userpage to userpage.

Code Appearance
Userbox Migration: Template to User Page
{{User UBM UBX to|1|2}}
Crystal kthememgr.svg Per the Userbox migration, {{[[Template:User {{{1}}}|User {{{1}}}]]}} was moved to {{[[User:{{{2}}}]]}}
Userbox Migration: User Page to User Page
{{User:Masky/Templates/Userboxes/UserpgtoUserpg/|1|2}}
Crystal kthememgrreverse.PNG Per the Userbox migration, {{[[User:{{{1}}}]]}} was moved to {{[[User:{{{2}}}]]}}

Help: The "1" on the sample template means to paste in the old page on the code, and the "2" means to paste in the new page on the code.

The basis[edit]

The middle ground is to let people do as they will in the user space, and merely use reason and argument to teach people over time why one ought not use Wikipedia userpages for political or other campaigns.... while at the same time saying, no, really, the template namespace is not for that, that we do not endorse this behavior. This is the solution that the Germans have put into effect with great results. Jimbo Wales, May 27, 2006

It seems that the separate namespace issue won't fly. And I think that's right because I think it fails to address the heart of the matter, which is whether or not official wikipedia pages and/or namespaces ought to encourage factionalism.

But it seems that the namespace proposal goes a bit further than what you need to achieve what you want to achieve. Let me quote you on something: "The text of Wikipedia:Userbox policy poll is filled with what one can and cannot say, specifically, "All userbox templates that show a POV or are not directly related to wikipedia will be deleted after a period of time. Note that a user subpage that is transcluded without substitution by multiple users is considered a 'template'". This is like saying, "You may have pamphlets, but you may not mechanically print and distribute them. This is not an infringement of free speech". To put it kindly, this is counter-intuitive.

Suppose we omit the bit about user subpages transcluded without substitution? If we do that, then a certain amount of userboxing can go on no problem, but outside the officially sanctioned spaces. This respects our long tradition of allowing wide latitude on userspace stuff, while at the same time keeping these userboxes out of officially sanctioned areas which would suggest to new users that this is an official thing that one ought to be doing. There would still be restrictions on the range of possible userboxes, of course, but this is not different from the restriction on all manner of things people might put on their userpages already. Jimbo Wales, March 17, 2006

German implementation features[edit]

Some general features per "How it is done in the German Wikipedia" are listed below. Please add other descriptive statements of German userbox features that apply.

  • Almost no userboxes are located in the template (in German, Vorlage) space, except for the standard "This user speaks XYZ" (aka Babel) boxes and similar.
  • All POV, interest, etc. boxes are part of the userspace - distributed amongst various userpages, often in "archive" subpages.
  • Since they are inside the userspace they are allowed to be biased, controversial, or whatever, within limitations of extreme controversy (eg: no pro-Nazi or pro-pedophilia userboxes, no solicitations)
  • They must still comply with the basic Wikipedia guidelines, i.e. no personal attacks, no hatespeech, no copyrighted content.
  • Any user may use these boxes on his or her page, transcluded from templates or substituted in raw code, as he/she wishes.
  • There is a central directory for babel and closely related userboxes.

English implementation features[edit]

Guiding principles[edit]

  • If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Userboxes can be of clear value to the encyclopedia-building project. Examples include those related to claiming professional or academic expertise, WikiProject affiliations, and claiming access to specialized resources and a willingness to conduct research using them upon request. Templates for these userboxes could stay in template or project space. Controversial and unencyclopedic userbox templates should be moved to user space.
  • Compromise is the source of community. Without compromise and consensus, a "community" would merely be a group of individuals who sometimes happen to share the same goals. Both sides on the userbox issue act in best faith and firm belief that their viewpoint is the "right" one. Meeting in the middle, the will to compromise, is what is required from both to solve the problem. Before embarking on an action that could be thought of as controversial, consider how the issue might be addressed in a true community.
  • Ambiguity allows misinterpretation. Making vague rules and relying on common sense to resolve conflicts is only viable when the issues covered are perceived similarly by a large majority of the participants. The userbox issue has proven to contain many entirely different viewpoints. Thus any attempt to resolve it should be simple and precise.

Migration of the Userboxes[edit]

  • All controversial and divisive userboxes, including those currently in Wikipedia:Userboxes will be migrated out of template space into userspace or an appropriate subpage, such as a corresponding WikiProject.
  • They will be "adopted" and archived on subpages by willing users. This must be done using the move command to move it to a page in user space in order to maintain the edit history of the page.
  • Users adopting userboxes into their userspace assume responsibility for promoting the existence of the userboxes, making them available for all Wikipedians to use, maintaining a logical directory format in their userspace to display them, making aesthetically appropriate decisions on their design relative to their topic, editing links to articles and categories as needed, and managing vandalism.
  • A suggested naming convention for userboxes is "User:<Username>/Userbox/<Userbox name>" or "User:<Username>/Box/<Userbox name>"
  • A suggested naming convention for archives is "User:<Username>/Userboxes/<Directory name>".
  • Users currently using those templates should be informed that they have been migrated, and where to find those templates now by replacing the redirects with Template:User UBM UBX to. (See template page for instructions.) This will add the template to Category:Wikipedia GUS userboxes, and alert other users that it needs to be bypassed.
  • The resulting soft redirects should be bypassed in a timely fashion. Tools such as bots and AWB can facilitate this process.
    • A suggested edit summary is. "Bypassed userbox redirect from [[Template:<old name>]] to [[User:<new name>]]. See [[Wikipedia:Userbox migration]]."
  • After a box has been migrated and all transclusions have been bypassed, tag them for speedy deletion using {{db-g6}}. (CSD G6 refers to the speedy deletion of pages as a maintenance task.) Redirections should not be deleted if they are still in use (unbypassed).

After the Migration[edit]

  • There is emerging consensusSee Straw Poll that some new userboxes can be created inside template space and that this is not going to be a criterion for speedy deletion. However, this implementation feature needs further discussion. It seems obvious that some non-divisive, non-controversial groups of userboxes will continue to exist in Template, so it wouldn't make sense for a "grandfathering rule" to be the policy.
  • There is emerging consensusSee Straw Poll that not all Non-Babel userboxes need to be removed.
  • Userboxes and other "templates" in userspace are allowed to be POV and to reflect personal beliefs or interests, however, they must still conform with all Wikipedia policies and guidelines, especially WP:NPA, WP:COPY and WP:USER. WP:SENSE is encouraged.
  • Userbox deletions should be carried out by WP:MfD if the need arises. This does not preclude the use of other speedy deletion criteria, like G10 (attack pages).
  • Users are permitted to use userboxes on any user pages, by transclusion, substitutiton, or copying the raw code, whichever they prefer. This removes divisive and unencyclopedic templates out of template space and Wikipedia's encyclopedic content. It also removes the perceived "endorsement" of userboxes by Wikipedia, which seems to be an issue for some editors. But it allows users to retain their userboxes and obtain or distribute them as they see fit.
Categories
  • Categories in belief-based and other userboxes are extremely controversial because of a small number of documented cases of abuse for vote stacking. The controversy persists even though many abuses are not related to categories or userboxes themselves, and even though userpages are trivially searchable. They are considered acceptable in Babel boxes, those claiming professional or academic expertise, WikiProject affiliations, and the like. Consensus on this issue has not yet emerged; please help discuss this on the talk page.

Practical implementation (suggestion)[edit]

Assume you are user Foo. Thus your userpage is User:Foo.

  1. Create a subpage for your new userbox archive. Let's assume you want to call it "Userboxes". (Feel free to copy CharonX's as a starting point.) Consider adding {{User:UBX/Userboxes/General Nav}} to your archive. Now that you have created User:Foo/Userboxes and filled it with initial content (table for the boxes, etc.) choose a userbox to migrate. Let's assume you choose Template:User bar.
  2. To maintain existing transclusions, move the original page to a subpage for that box, for example User:Foo/Userboxes/User bar or User:Foo/bar.
  3. Replace the resulting redirect with {{User UBM UBX to|bar|Foo/bar}}. Note that the "Template:" and "User:" must be left out.
  4. Bypass the redirect by editing pages transcluding this template.
  5. Add the template for display to your archive (again feel free to take at look at CharonX's code)

Repeat steps 2, 3, and 4 for each template you want to migrate.
Include links to other userbox archives, if you like. This can be done by adding {{User:UBX/Userboxes/General Nav}} to the bottom of your page.

You might also include this little template on the top of your userpage: User:Richard0612/GermanSolutionMigrate.

Feel free to use User:GRBerry/Userbox migration as an archive of archives should you so desire. Feel free not to. There is also a template located at User:UBX/Userboxes/General Nav. Feel free to add to it or add it to your page.

Code recovery[edit]

If you want to recover the code of a deleted userbox, consider asking the administrator who deleted the userbox, or a different administrator, to provide the code for you.

Straw poll[edit]

A straw poll designed to address userbox namespace location and related issues is available. Please share your views at Wikipedia:Userboxes/Userbox location straw poll 2. The old straw poll is at Wikipedia:Userboxes/Userbox location straw poll.

Other discussions[edit]