Wikipedia:Userfying userboxes

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This is a proposal to regulate the placement of userboxes under the user and template namespaces.

A similar proposal has been discussed at Wikipedia:Userbox policy poll (poll ended on March 8, 2006); that proposal suggests basically keeping the userboxes related to editing interests, expertise, wiki-projects, etc. but moving all userboxes declaring a point of view or extra-wiki affiliation to the user namespace—however, its wording limits transclusion of userboxes created as user subpages.

Policy[edit]

Only userboxes which provide a clear benefit to the encyclopedia should be placed in the template namespace. This includes boxes which state a user's editing interests, skills or expertise, WikiProject affiliations, etc., and userbox creation templates such as Template:Userbox. All other userboxes belong in user space.

Users may create any userbox templates in their own user space, including those expressing humor, POV, or extra-wiki affiliation, as long as they comply with Wikipedia policies and guidelines; however, it is recommended that users only create templates that they plan to use themselves. Userboxes created as user subpages can be transcluded just like any other template (e.g., {{User:Example/MyUserbox}} or {{subst:User:Example/MyUserbox}}).

Rationale[edit]

  1. Moving userboxes out of the template namespace will allow people to express themselves as much as they like, in accordance with the userpage policy, which regulates all other user pages. Userboxes should not be any different from other user pages. NPA and other policies will apply to userboxes in exactly the same way that they apply to user pages. Similarly, NPOV and other content policies will generally not apply to userboxes in the same way that they generally do not apply to user pages.
  2. Moving userboxes out of the template namespace also makes them unofficial, to indicate that they represent the views of particular users and are not necessarily endorsed by the community or by Wikipedia.
  3. Moving userboxes out of the template namespace may resolve the constant userbox edit wars, because users are generally agreed to "own" the pages in their userspace (although there are exceptions for personal attacks and the like, as noted above).
  4. Moving controversial userboxes out of template-space will also help reduce the backlog at WP:TFD.
  5. Jimbo has suggested modifications to WP:UPP which would create the same effect as this proposal.
  6. The Arbitration Committee for English Wikinews has ruled for the implementation of a similar idea: Wikinews:Requests for arbitration/Brian New Zealand vs. Amgine

Problems[edit]

  1. This doesn't solve the "What links here" recruiting issue. On the other hand, that doesn't create a new problem.
Comments moved to talk page.

Pre-policy migration[edit]

Users may opt to migrate their userboxes right now, although this is not a policy. They can do this by moving templates they created into their own userspace, and editing the necessary pages on Wikipedia:Userboxes.

Comments moved to talk page.