Wikipedia talk:Signatures

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Date stamp format[edit]

Why does the display of dates in the time stamp not respect the reader's date format preference (Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-datetime)? For example, users who prefer MDY format (e.g., 03:34, December 13, 2013) still see time stamps in DMY format (e.g., 03:34, 13 December 2013).

Some users have taken to formatting the time stamp in their own signatures manually to counter this, but this stops features such as the Wikipedia:Comments in Local Time gadget (also activated in preferences) from working correctly and also creates inconsistency between the date formats on different users' signatures.

It would be great if the signatures automatically displayed the time in the reader's preferred format, which would also reduce the incidents of time stamp formats the system does not unrecognise. —sroc ðŸ’¬ 03:34, 13 December 2013 (UTC)

How would that be possible? The servers need to cache displayed pages as there would be too much overhead involved in generating the html each time the page is viewed. At any rate, the glorious future awaits us with WP:FLOW which will remove all customized signatures wherever Flow is used, so suggestions regarding the date format might be taken up at its talk.
One reason for a consistent format that is the same for all users is that it is sometimes convenient to suggest that a particular comment at "03:34, 13 December 2013" should be seen. It is sometimes silly to put a diff when the wanted comment is a few paragraphs higher up the page. Johnuniq (talk) 04:00, 13 December 2013 (UTC)
Using a nonstandard timestamp can also defeat bots, particularly archive bots. --Redrose64 (talk) 12:47, 13 December 2013 (UTC)
The Comments in Local Time gadget automatically changes the date/time to suit the reader's time zone and can be customised to change the date format, but it doesn't work on signatures that don't follow the standard format.
The problem arises where some users adopt their own format because the system won't let them have their preference (some users adamantly insist on using their on time stamp format despite these issues[1][2]), and then all the signature date stamp formats (DMY, MDY, etc.) become inconsistent between users. Hopefully Flow will put an end to these issues and allow everyone to enjoy their own preferences. —sroc ðŸ’¬ 01:43, 14 December 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia used to have an automatic feature allowing users to choose how they want dates to be displayed, but it was discontinued (partially, I think because it also provided unwanted automatic links to date and year). I don't think it ever was applied to signatures, though. Outside of article space, I would like to see that feature come back, actually. —Kusma (t·c) 13:01, 13 December 2013 (UTC)

The date formatting feature (see also m:Help:Date formatting and linking) has not been available since MediaWiki 1.21 (October 2012). It is unlikely to return. --Redrose64 (talk) 22:44, 13 December 2013 (UTC)
Are you aware of Wikipedia:Flow? I am pretty sure that allowing users to choose how they want dates to be displayed is already on the feature list. Discussion about desired features is at Wikipedia talk:Flow. --Guy Macon (talk) 16:54, 13 December 2013 (UTC)
I wasn't aware of this, but I would expect that would follow the reader's preferences for date format. In any event, this would make signatures redundant, wouldn't it? —sroc ðŸ’¬ 01:43, 14 December 2013 (UTC)
It will make manually adding signatures obsolete -- the software will take care that automatically -- but every comment will still have a signature and date/time stamp. it will also prevent us from doing some things like forging another editor's signature of putting in a false time. --Guy Macon (talk) 03:00, 14 December 2013 (UTC)
Would it still allow the automatically added time stamps to follow the poster's format, or will this be set by the system (and presented according to the reader's preferences)? —sroc ðŸ’¬ 05:40, 14 December 2013 (UTC)
With the current system, timestamps are stored in a particular format. For example, your post contains the following 29 ASCII characters: "05:40, 14 STOP THE BOTSDecember 2013 (UTC)". In theory, the software that displays the page could present it to you in any number of formats, but that's how it is stored.
Flow will store it in like this: "01010010101010111110111100110000". You will never see that string of ones and zeros, because Flow will convert it into whatever format you prefer. If you like ISO 8601 timestamps it will display "2013-12-14T05:40:00+00:00". If a significant number of users want it, it could display and allow you to enter JD 2456640.736111 (Julian day), 5774 Teveth 11 (Hebrew Calendar), yawm as-sabt, 1435 Safar 10 (Islamic Calendar), or Shanbeh 1392 Azar 23 (Persian Calendar). It will still be stored as 01010010101010111110111100110000. --Guy Macon (talk) 11:11, 14 December 2013 (UTC)
As long as people can't override the Flow format with their customised signatures. (I added hidden text to your post, which displayed the "29 ASCII characters" to me as "16:40, Today (UTC+11)"!) —sroc ðŸ’¬ 11:24, 14 December 2013 (UTC)
Asking whether you can override the Flow format is a bit like asking whether the highway bridges between LA and NY are strong enough for an airliner to make the trip. It would be technically correct to answer that there will be no problems with bridge collapses, but the real answer is "does not apply". Likewise it would be technically correct to answer that you can choose the format that is on your screen, but the real answer is is "does not apply" because there is no format to convert. Perhaps I can explain it better if I put it this way: consider the difference between format-store-reformat-display and store-format-display. If the timestamp isn't stored in any format and it only gets formatted after you retrieve it from storage, the whole concept of reformatting does not apply. If you go deep enough one could say that 01010010101010111110111100110000 is a 32-bit binary integer that represents the number of seconds since 00:00, 01 January 1970 (UTC) but I could also say that it is a bunch of magnetized regions on a spinning disk. --Guy Macon (talk) 18:03, 14 December 2013 (UTC)
All I meant was that users should not be able to circumvent the way Flow records the date stamp the way they can currently modify their date stamps so that the system cannot recognise them, and I understand from your responses that they will not as the date stamps will be recorded by the system rather than input by the user. It will presumably also prevent issues whereby you typing "00:00, 01 STOP THE BOTSJanuary 1970 (UTC)" appears on my screen as "10:00, 1 January 1970 (UTC+10)". —sroc ðŸ’¬ 00:09, 15 December 2013 (UTC)

Promotion to policy[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

The opposers of this proposal claim that it would be "creep"; that upgrading these sections to policy is pointless, unnecessary, gives them undue importance; or that the issues it deals with are "not that important". "Creep" is avoided, in my opinion, by upgrading these specific sections rather than the whole page. It may be pointless or unnecessary to upgrade them, but these arguments do not suggest that there would be any damage to Wikipedia by doing so. To the argument about importance, that is a matter of opinion, but elevating three sections to policy status should not be seen as diminishing any guideline (or indeed policy), as policies and guidelines serve different purposes, and we do not have to have a hard limit on the number of either.

The supporters, on the other hand, point out that the section have widespread acceptance and thus are already de facto policy. They also point out that some editors believe that these sections' current status as "jut a guideline" means that it is acceptable to use a disruptive signature.

Thus, there is consensus to upgrade the sections on forgery, image use, and appearance & colour to policy status. I could have closed this purely on the numbers, but given that the opposes were not insubstantial and that new policy is not created every day, I felt it important to offer a full rationale. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 21:46, 3 February 2014 (UTC)

I propose that several sections of this page be promoted to policy status, specifically Wikipedia:SIG#Images, Wikipedia:SIG#Signature forgery, and Wikipedia:SIG#Appearance and color. One reason is Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/IncidentArchive824#W.C5.8Ddenhelm.27s_sig (and other similar cases) in which an editor is (or was at least) refusing to remove multiple images from a sig, possibly in part because this is "only a guideline". Some commentators in the ANI thread are urging that such action be treated more lightly because this is "only a guideline". Given the way wikipedia policy is generally formed, by use, this standard is so widely adhered to that it is a policy de facto and we might as well say so. Much the same applies to the two other sections I suggest as policy. Blinking sigs, especially, can cause actual harm (I have been present when one caused a seizure) and have no significant value to the project, and the reasons not to tolerate signature forgery are obvious, I would think. So let us mark these items as policy without further ado. DES (talk) 23:13, 2 January 2014 (UTC)

  • Support These are widely accepted practices. NE Ent 23:27, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Support Obvious. --NeilN talk to me 23:33, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Support. The technical reasons convince me that there's no reason this shouldn't be a policy, and the (over-)reactions to someone violating it show me that the community is already acting as if this were a policy. So we have a compelling reason for the change and consensus to make it. Gamaliel (talk) 23:53, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Support. Duh! Vegaswikian (talk) 00:00, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Support, I'm all in favor of making this site more accessible to users with low-end equipment which cannot handle the demands placed upon them by complex signatures. LazyBastardGuy 00:03, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment. I'd support a policy that restricts signatures as suggested, but I don't think this debate should be sufficient to create new policy, because any arguments expressed here won't be sufficiently widely seen to determine the community's response. It would be better to start a formal Request for comment. - Pointillist (talk) 00:19, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
    I saw an announcement at VPP, so it is being advertised. There are more ideas at WP:PROPOSAL if anyone wants to do more. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:23, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
    I have now marked it as a formal RfC. Within minutes of creating it, i advertised on WP:VPP and WP:CENT. It was linked to from the relevant WP:ANI thread. Where else should it be advertised? I note that this isn't really crating new policy, as I propose no new wording, merely applying the "policy" tag to a "guideline" which is already being treated as policy by many. Arguably it weould be accweptable to simply WP:BOLDly tag it as policy based on use, but I prefer not to act like that, as per WP:PI. DES (talk) 01:03, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
    Perhaps it should be also advertised on the Wikipedia:Signatures page, next to the box that says "This page documents ... behavioral guideline ... a generally accepted standard", since that's what you propose to change? - Pointillist (talk) 21:43, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
    It is normal to suggest changes to policy, guideline and other wikipedia namespace pages on their talk pages, and this is the talk page of Wikipedia:Signatures. People intersted in possible or proposed changes who are lookign atr a project page are expected to look at that page's own talk page, i would think. But feel free to add a mention of this discussion whereever you think fit, Pointillist. DES (talk) 22:08, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
    However I have maked all the relevant sections with {{Under discussion}} with a link to this discussion, just now. DES (talk) 22:21, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
    That was quick! Nice work - Pointillist (talk) 22:29, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose, bordering on "What's the point?" If somebody thinks that "policy" is a magic word and "guidelines" can be ignored at will, then reëducate him. Nobody really goes around saying "Well, WP:Reliable sources is just a guideline, so I don't have to follow it". See WP:PGE. Also, sigs are pretty much going away when WP:Flow rolls out, because Flow's design is going to make blinking, imagine-containing, and forged sigs be technologically impossible (yay!), rather than merely a bad idea, so it seems kind of pointless to make a big stand on a page that may be obsolete next year. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:23, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
    Reeducate away [3]. Easier long run just to change the "guideline" word to "policy" -- that's the point. NE Ent 03:05, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
    That comment appears to be a correction of the errors made by a couple of people, including you, in calling it a policy. That editor was right, and s/he does not seem to be saying that the guideline should be ignored. WhatamIdoing (talk) 07:20, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
    The phrase "only a guideline" (emphasis added) seems to indicate a belief that guidelines are less binding than policies are. —David Levy 02:36, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
    Frankly I don't expect Flow to be accepted for general use in the next 24 months at a minimum. We can change policy to accomodate it when and if it is in place. DES (talk) 00:55, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Support By jurisprudence it holds the same weight as policy, and has historically been policed as policy. ES&L 00:57, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Support promoting the three sections listed above to policy. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 01:16, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Support, a most logical and sensible proposal. Cheers, — Cirt (talk) 01:23, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Support as a no-brainer. a13ean (talk) 02:06, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Support Should have been done long time ago. Armbrust The Homunculus 04:14, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Support. I can't believe this is still listed as a guideline. It seems established and respected enough that it should be policy at this point. Plus it seems like common sense. Kaldari (talk) 04:35, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. A lot of this stuff just isn't that important. Yeah, a blinking signature is annoying, but... it's not the same as copyright violations and misrepresentation of sources. It's just not. There might be a good reason even to break the image restriction if, say, we're willing to protect up a character set to encourage participation by some rare minority group not yet in Unicode. These things are guideline level, and a guideline this should remain. Wnt (talk) 04:49, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
I think it's just as important, if for different reasons. I don't think people need blinking signatures or images or other fancy features of HTML. It's a matter of signing someone's post on a page and figuring out who said what. It would help both people with low-end equipment (is this not the encyclopedia made by all people for all people?) and people working behind the scenes at Labs. Plus, the way the guideline's written might as well be read as a policy. This is a technical issue, but just as important as the others you mention. When it comes down to it, I believe the technical side of things is the most basic level on which Wikipedia must function properly; this is another means to that end. LazyBastardGuy 05:07, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
A blinking signature can do real physical harm, which is more than can be said of copyright infringement. Specifically it can trigger an epileptic seizure. I have been present on one such occasion, and the victim was unable to get out of bed for three days. That is not a trivial annoyance. DES (talk) 06:36, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
Actually from a blinking signature, which is just a couple of words on a whole computer screen? I doubt it. Photosensitive epilepsy normally requires the trigger fill most of the person's visual field. A whole computer screen blinking could trigger it, or even half of a relatively large (or close) one, but two or three words is extremely unlikely. WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:50, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
It may be unusual, i couldn't say. I can testify that it occurred on at least one occasion, several years ago. The person affected was my wife, and I was there at the moment that it occurred. It may be that she is more easily triggered than most people with photosensitive epilepsy. Relive it or not, i will admit that I can't cite a published source for this incident. DES (talk) 08:15, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
I'm very surprised to hear this - I would have thought the same as WhatamIdoing, though I should admit I don't have the expertise. However, and here's the main thing: if this is true, then what we would need to consider is if we want to have an overall no-blinking policy for all kinds of content, or better, a technical measure (such as a user script) that disables display of blinking and animation. The guideline on signatures just isn't the right place for this, because it only governs a small percentage of the words on the page. Wnt (talk) 16:33, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
People who know that they have photosensitive epilepsy take far more significant measures, because they need to block this problems on all websites and even normal computer operations or film. Commonly, they block all images and other risky features automatically (meaning: if you know you have photosensitive epilepsy, then you don't need Wikipedia to do anything, because you're already doing it). Also, it's a pretty heterogenous disorder, so one person might be triggered by a fast blink, another only by slow blinks, and a third person by non-blinking, high-contrast stripes (like a referee's shirt). Many people are triggered only be certain colors. However, normally it needs to be a significant part of the visual field. That's why people who "can't" watch television due to photosensitive epilepsy can often watch TV if they are sitting fairly far back from a small screen in a well-lit room. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:00, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I don't have any especially strong feelings on the matter, but 1) I think policies should probably be about things that are really crucial to the encyclopedia. Signatures are important in its own way but as a non-contentious behavioural issue they would look odd, I think, amongst the rest of the list of policies. 2) Some parts of WP:SIG are more important than others. "Sign your posts" and "don't use other editors' signatures" are big deals and might belong as policies, but "don't use big text" and "be sparing with superscript" strike me as things best left as guidelines. 3) We've done alright so far without this being policy, haven't we? As others have said above, to an extent this seems like a solution in need of a real problem. 4) That's not to deny that problems arise, but aren't they usually symptomatic of bigger problems with conduct? If someone says "this is a guideline not a policy so I'm free to completely ignore it", the problem is that user's conduct, not that the guideline isn't a policy. (As far as WP:ANI#Wōdenhelm's sig is concerned, can we not just permaban confederate flag wavers on sight?) – Arms & Hearts (talk) 05:49, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
  • I have some qualms over the wording were this to be made policy "Your signature must not blink, scroll, or otherwise inconvenience or annoy other editors." includes some hostages to fortune. What does one say to someone who insists that they find default uncustomised signatures annoying? But a better solution would be to reassess the technical side of this, and if for the sake of the server kitties we still need a ban on images in signatures then just change the code to disable that option. As for things like images, blinking and large text, surely that could and should be prevented by the software that allows you to change signatures in your user preferences? Ï¢ereSpielChequers 06:45, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
    • Such technical restrictions were proposed back in 2006, i believe, but never implemented. I doubt we will get them implemented now, until/unless Flow is implemented. DES (talk) 06:56, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
      • We can amend the wording of the problem phrase. I think the "annoy" part should only apply to signatures that have been customized, which is what I think it's trying to say. LazyBastardGuy 21:12, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose a blanket promotion. A lot of the stuff in the sig guideline is just not that important (see Arms & Hearts #2 above). Furthermore, going along with WereSpielChequers above, the current guideline is written as a guideline not a policy. That is, it's closer to an amorphous standard than a set of bright line rules. Even though both policies and guidelines are both descriptive documents and vary, in theory, only in terms of their level of acceptance, I think it's fairly straightforward to conclude that policies are written differently from guidelines, and that the writing of the latter tends to be a lot less specific. And Wōdenhelm can be compelled to change his sig by means other than by promoting this to policy. All that said, I could support a sig policy if someone sat down and drafted an appropriate one, with the current guideline either being abrogated, or turned into a MOS chapter (since it would probably retain mostly stylistic concerns). —/Mendaliv/2¢/Δ's/ 10:31, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
    • I would point out that I proposed promoting only three sections. I could (or another editor could) do a draft of a page with just those sections in "policy format". Perhaps I should have done that first, I didn't think it would be needed. But I kn ow tha tchanging a propoisal after discussion has started often leads to problems. DES (talk) 16:07, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Support. If this is needed to enforce the removal of obnoxious sigs, sure.  Sandstein  12:08, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Support - Failure to comply with this is a slap in the face to the community, but as a guideline it is not enforceable, so a policy it must be. Beyond My Ken (talk) 15:55, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Support As I understand it, one of the problems (for there are several) with images in signatures is similar to the case of templates within sigs: if a new version of the image is uploaded, every single page where that image appears will need rebuilding. There is of course a concern with the server load required to do that, just as there is over the download performance when a 4096-byte image takes 16 times as long to transmit as a 256-byte text string. But the point is that the hypothetical new version of the image might look completely different from the old, thus all of the signed posts containing this image change their appearance (and possibly their meaning), which is contrary to the idea of WP:TPO. File:Confederate Rebel Flag.svg is not protected - what if (Redacted) --Redrose64 (talk) 18:02, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:CREEP. I just did a word count and it was 4400, which is about the same as the original US Constitution. And, as the plan is to do away with such vanity in WP:FLOW, it seems to be a big waste of time. Andrew (talk) 18:42, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
    • Please note thst I sugested promting three sections, not the entire page. These sections constitute 633 words, as the currntly exist. You might still oppose this, but please do make your asserions accurate. DES (talk) 17:06, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose Something else for self-appointed people to cry about. Oooh, someone has an image in their sig. Wah-wah-wah, this porridge is too hot. Lugnuts Dick Laurent is dead 20:03, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
    • People already object to such, as per the ANI thread linked above, and IMO for good reason. The proposed promotion is merely to give those objections added teeth. DES (talk) 17:06, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Support and if the entire guideline doesn't make it into policy, a ban on images in signatures absolutely must, because it offers an easy way to vandalise and alter signatures. Nick (talk) 12:09, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose Seriously? We are making a policy on signatures? Isn't a guideline good enough? Leave policy for the big issues. But a users signature is not one of them. (talk) 12:20, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Support on the simple basis that much of the community already considers it as a de facto policy. ☺ Â· Salvidrim! Â· âœ‰ 07:57, 5 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Unnecessary because:
  1. We already have a policy for signatures: WP:IU explicitly states that it applies to signatures.
  2. Exactly how the WP:IU applies to signatures would then be the role of the guideline WP:SIG: recall that "Policies explain and describe standards that all users should normally follow, while guidelines are meant to outline best practices for following those standards in specific contexts." (WP:POLICY)
  3. A better solution than creating a new policy for signatures (or splitting WP:IU into "signature" and "username" sections) would simply be to edit either WP:IU or WP:SIG to contain language that covers that issue that started the problem in the first place (I confess I haven't followed the original issue in detail).
-Well-restedTalk 08:18, 5 January 2014 (UTC)
    • In that case, I would suggest to merge the guideline into the existing policy because, if I understand you correctly, the guideline is basically a corollary of the policy, but since there are technical reasons why it must be enforced as opposed to merely ethical ones (e.g. transcluding images in signatures tends to make for unwieldy server loads), the guideline is in some ways redundant and in others necessary. Perhaps a small blurb about signatures that contains material that isn't already covered by previous headings on WP:IU (which still apply nonetheless)? LazyBastardGuy 16:58, 5 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Support Seems uncontentious to me benmoore 18:51, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Support. This is a de facto policy, so we may as well make it a real one. I sympathise with the "policy is for the big issues" argument, but I really see no harm in cementing this guideline into our policy framework. — This, that and the other (talk) 06:55, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Strong support - I would also add WP:SIG#Transclusion of templates (or other pages) and WP:SIG#Categories, at least. עוד ×ž×™×©×”ו Od Mishehu 17:09, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Support with reservations more about the theoretical and real differences between policy and guidelines than about this being a good idea. There are other parts of this guideline which use terms such as "do not", "forbidden", and "must not" which are not being promoted to policy. Perhaps the thought here is that the absolute prohibitory nature of those statements avoids any argument between whether they are "just a guideline" or not, but if that is the case are we weakening them by not promoting them to policy along with the three sections in question here? For that reason, I believe that all of Wikipedia:SIG#Links should be included in this promotion to policy (which would include the sections mentioned by Od Mishehu, above, plus a couple more). Moreover, I have some reservations, though not enough to cause me to oppose its promotion, about Wikipedia:SIG#Appearance and color due to the open-ended and uncertain terms "otherwise inconvenience" and "be sparing" in that section; I'd recommend removing the "otherwise inconvenience" standard and the bullet point about subscript and superscript unless they can be expanded to be far more specific. — TransporterMan (TALK) 21:57, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
    • Yeah, some of the language in the guideline is very murky. In something that's supposed to be much more rigidly enforced I'd prefer to see something more concrete and less subject to debate (especially where it'll mostly be individual admins with fairly broad discretion enforcing it; I know lately I've been thinking Chevron a lot). I get the feeling the super/subscript line would be best expressed as "do not use nested levels of super- or subscript" (e.g., x<sup>y<sup>z</sup></sup>, which renders as xyz). The whole disruption of formatting issue is because one layer of superscript forces about a half-line margin above the line where it renders (and subscript the same below). Two levels looks like about 1 line or 3/4 of a line. I'm guessing 3 levels would be even bigger. Whether that's something to worry about... I honestly haven't ever seen anyone nesting sups or subs in their sigs. Anyway, I get your point about the strength of the wording of some of the clauses; it suggests that some parts of this page are policy while others are guidelines, kind of like the difference between "may", "should", and "shall". So perhaps there are portions of this that are "policy-worthy" and should be promoted. But on this, I still have reservations, but of a more philosophical nature with respect to policies and guidelines in general, and far beyond the scope of this discussion. —/Mendaliv/2¢/Δ's/ 23:27, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Support. The idea that Wikipedia's guidelines are optional and may be ignored at will is fallacious (and I agree with WhatamIdoing that we should seek to dispel this notion), but irrespective of that issue, the guideline sections in question are routinely treated as policy (and should be designated as such). —David Levy 02:36, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Support. Long overdue reflection of reality, which none of the weak arguments presented against thus far even come close to refuting. — Scott • talk 14:19, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Support Time spent arguing about signatures is totally wasted, yet obnoxious signatures are irritating to many in the community. Making this a policy removes the "but it's just a guideline" red herring. It would be useful to spell out that WP:SIG does not give a right to be obnoxious about an obnoxious signature—gentle persuasion please. Johnuniq (talk) 22:35, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Support. Signatures do come up often at ANI. It is hard to imagine someone getting away with signature forgery for very long, so, it is worth promoting that to policy so that people are aware of the seriousness. The other items seem obvious enough to belong in policy as well. In the long term, one could imagine an interface that would prevent non-conformant (annoying) signatures from being created in the first place. EdJohnston (talk) 18:56, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
    The ANI about Wōdenhelm's signature is now archived at WP:Administrators' noticeboard/IncidentArchive824#Wōdenhelm's sig. EdJohnston (talk) 19:08, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Support – Don't see why not. It would make enforcement of these rules easier in practice by removing the "only a guideline" argument and would reflect the reality that most in the community have a low tolerance for disruptive signatures. CT Cooper Â· talk 06:13, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Support — ΛΧΣ21 Call me Hahc21 02:16, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Support because having sensible rules be "only guidelines" prevents administrative enforcement of abusive signatures (e.g., those that flash). If the guideline is upgraded to a policy, common sense can still be used in how strictly to enforce. Robert McClenon (talk) 02:07, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Support obvious problems with images (etc.) are obvious.MartinHammer-icon.gif 02:39, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose all except Signature Forgery Signature Forgery is literally the only thing on that list that would effect how someone edited, conducted themselves, and in general behaved on Wiki. The rest should remain guidelines only, after all, none of them effect how you or any other editor follows policy and gets along here in the 'pedia (except signature forgery )  KoshVorlon. We are all Kosh   18:19, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose, policy creep. Anything genuinely disruptive is already covered. Stifle (talk) 19:55, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Support Chris Troutman (talk) 02:53, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Strongly oppose in favor of flipping the switch to disable custom signatures all together in order to reduce the drama later when WP:FLOW rolls out. Can't we just kill custom signatures now and get it over with? Technical 13 (talk) 23:35, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose - While I might agree concerning images (for technical reasons, if nothing else), and signature forgery (violates of WP:AGF among other things), but I don't think the grouping appearance and colour with these as policy is appropriate. Even just reading Wikipedia:Signatures#Appearance_and_color suggests guideline to me. - jc37 07:53, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Support all except Appearance and color - My signature breaks 2 rules on it so cant support something my signature fails on, Other than that It's a great idea!. →Davey2010→→Talk to me!→ 16:02, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose Promoting anything in WP:SIGAPP after the line break rule. The rest is extremely vague, and doesn't need to be a policy. I'm not even sure if my signature violates the later part. Is my inclusion of a small subscript making it so small it is hard to read? Does it matter that the majority of my signature is normal sized, and only part of it is small and subscript? Is my use of subscript "sparing". Do I meet the color contrast requirement? Seems a lot of people use the primary color of my signature, but I don't actually know, and does it matter that part of my signature probably doesn't, but that the rest of it adequately identifies me? We really don't commonly enforce any of those points. On the other hand, we strongly enforce WP:SIGFORGE, the no-images rule, and the no blink/scroll rule, and so I don't have an objection to classifying them as policies, though having another page on the issue seems a bit like creep. Monty845 05:31, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose (Except flashing epi-trigger stuff) ---What a great idea for a user name! (talk) 06:32, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose mainly because except for outright impersonating someone else in bad faith, this isn't the kind of stuff that needs to be elevated to the highest level of importance in the vast jungle of wiki policies and guidelines. (And unlike most people opining above, I've never even used a customized signature...) Also, the lead of this page says "Signing your posts on talk pages, both for the article and non-article namespaces, is good practice, [...] " Are you proposing to change it to "Signing your posts on talk pages is mandatory or else you will be blocked immediately?" I think not. Someone not using his real name (talk) 08:40, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Support The de facto policy may as well become actual policy. DocTree (ʞlɐʇ·ʇuoɔ) Join WER 17:16, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Support - Sick of colourful signatures and especially those with various wiz-bangs, symbols, and other junk. Individuality is one thing, but usually, from what I've seen, it's usually a sign of a user I'd rather avoid. Like belligerent 13-year olds with cheetos-dust-stained fingers. Should have nipped this in the f&#@*n bud years ago.--ColonelHenry (talk) 00:46, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Meh — Let's be honest: if someone has a batshit insane signature—and trust me, I've seen a few—then we'll basically take action regardless of whether this is labeled as a "policy" or "guideline." It's just common sense that some other policy (e.g., WP:POINT) will cover WP:DICK-ish behavior, and if someone says "it's only a guideline!" the obvious response is "ok, so if you're going to IAR on this violation to the guideline, exactly how is (whatever you're doing) benefiting the encyclopedia by ignoring it?" The only things that might be good as policies are the two things my bot demands (for good reason): 1. a link back to the user in some form (why: usability/noob-friendly, common interface, obvious first step in dispute resolution, don't have to read the signature to know who left it, etc); and 2. A parse-able datestamp (why: common interface, archive bots and humans dealing with and/or closing discussions). Everything else is realistically common sense that a good ol' fashioned WP:ANI thread or some Rouge-ness will quickly resolve if someone continues to be a dick despite people's objections. Plus, it's easy to spot troublemakers when they're making themselves obvious. --slakrtalk / 03:53, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose Is it really that distracting? Then what's next? Non Admin observation template is too small to read? Should we make it bigger? Sorry but I don't see the importance of this RFC.AldNonUcallin?☎ 22:32, 1 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Support Reason given by proposer is a good one. APerson (talk!) 04:38, 2 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Support . Long time overdue. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 12:49, 3 February 2014 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Enforcing the no-templates provision in this guideline[edit]

I have tried discussion with this user with no avail. how do I escalate this? Frietjes (talk) 15:18, 19 January 2014 (UTC)

Have you told them about WP:SIG#NT? --Redrose64 (talk) 19:59, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
yes, the thread is on the user's talk page. Frietjes (talk) 21:42, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
Left another note for editor -- maybe second time will be the charm. NE Ent 23:06, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
  • I must say that I think both of your notes were a little BITEy and I've taken it upon myself to try and leave a more friendly message offering an acceptable alternative and offering my time to tweak their signature further. Perhaps that will work better. Technical 13 (talk) 23:32, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
    and it continues here. ANI seems a bit much, but apparently the friendly suggestion didn't do it. Frietjes (talk) 18:46, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
  • It's been fixed. NE Ent 17:02, 16 February 2014 (UTC)


Hello, I was wondering if keyboard character symbols are allowed in signatures (like hearts or triangles). I've noticed some users on this page have a symbol. --Turn685 (talk) 08:18, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

Yes, they are ok. The principle is that a signature should avoid anything that is too distracting or irritating or unhelpful for a significant number of editors, and should not be too large or too small or too flashy, both in appearance and in the wikitext. Symbols are ok, but it is best if a signature also includes the user name. Johnuniq (talk) 10:16, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
I would like to mention that if your sig consists exclusively of symbols, it might be considered undesirable in a similar manner to a non-Latin sig. See also WP:NOSYMBOLS. --Redrose64 (talk) 16:10, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
Please see
User talk:Apokryltaros#Appropreateness of signature
User talk:Apokryltaros#Username
for an example of someone trying to enforce a username "policy" that does not exist. --Guy Macon (talk) 16:39, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
Guy, where exactly did I try to enforce anything, to my recilection I asked that a signature be changed because I found it confusing. CombatWombat42 (talk) 22:18, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
You did not just "ask that a signature be changed because you found it confusing". You told him that his signature violates WP:SIGFORGE, then later told him that his signature violates WP:SIGPROB. See Edit1 and Edit2. --Guy Macon (talk)

Nicknames in signatures.[edit]

I recently ran across this user and will use him as an example. User:Apokryltaros, with this signature "--Mr Fink (talk)", which violates my reading of Wikipedia:SIGPROB but not Wikipedia:Signatures#Customizing how everyone sees your signature. Could we clarify. I find this use of signatures very confusing, because in edit histories you see "Apokryltaros" but on talk pages all you see is "Mr Fink". CombatWombat42 (talk) 19:24, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

I have done absolutely nothing wrong with my signature, CombatWombat. If it is not your intent to try and get me blocked at Wikipedia for some trumped up fake charges because I've somehow offended you for refusing to jump through hoops to make you feel better, then please stop harassing me.--Mr Fink (talk) 21:50, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
In this thread, CombatWombat seems to be asking for clarification on the guidelines which seem to disagree with each other. Your dispute with CombatWombat is not the issue here. - SummerPhD (talk) 21:54, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

┌────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┘ (talk page stalker) (Non-administrator observation) (edit conflict × 3) They drive me nuts too, but we can't enforce them and I live in comfort knowing that before too much longer when WP:FLOW rolls out and custom signatures will be eliminated all together. But, as for your request so you will leave them alone about it, Hym411 signs as "--레비Revicon", Timtrent signs as "Fiddle Faddle", Base signs as "--ᛒᚨᛊᛖ (ᛏᚨᛚᚲ)", and I know of at least a dozen others that do it. All you can do is drop a request on their talk page "asking" them nicely to stop doing it because it is confusing and the relevant policy that sums up why it is confusing to you is WP:SIGPROB (at least that is why it bothers me, you may have another section that more accurately describes it). Good luck! Technical 13 (talk) 23:11, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

Other ways of pissing decent Wikipedians off are to include them in threads like this where the amount of hot air expelled is inversely proportional to the benefit of expelling it. Gotta love irony. Fiddle Faddle 23:25, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
By the way Technical 13, given the announced limitations of Phase 1 Flow, I expect massive resistance if an attempt is made to roll it out anywhere on en.wikipedia, and even the development team doesn't claim that Phase 1 would be suitable for project talk pages such as this. I will be very surprised if we see it implemented withing the next four years. DES (talk) 23:31, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
I say I live in comfort knowing that before too much longer when WP:FLOW rolls out and custom signatures will be eliminated all together and you ping me to say this? I thought we were colleagues in the development of an encyclopedia... :p Kick a man and ask him if it hurts... I see how you are... ;) Technical 13 (talk) 23:36, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
I could be wrong, it's just my opinion. But the history of the reception of VE is not promising for the advocates of Flow, IMO. Flow, or something like it will probably come eventually, but I think several more iterations of development will be needed before it satisfies vital use cases, and then (and only then) considerable time and effort to get community acceptance. But who knows. (And yes I see the :) and am not offended in any way.) DES (talk) 23:47, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
Flow is being threatened sooner (in five days time) rather than later at some WikiProjects. See for example Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Hampshire#Flow and all bar one of the subsequent threads. --Redrose64 (talk) 00:17, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

Can we get back to CombatWombat's question instead of turning this into Yet Another Flow Discussion? --Guy Macon (talk) 06:25, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

But what about when the nickname is a match for a pre-existing username? Let's say someone's actual user name is User:Macaroni but they've edited their signature to say their name is Hero (talk). When there is no account actually named Username:Hero then I don't see any unsurmountable confusion or need to disambiguate. But what if there was a pre-existing editor named Username:Hero, would it still be okay? (I'm assuming it would be considered inappropriate for someone else to change their sig to read "Guy Macon" or "Fiddle Faddle", but what happens if they do? ) Or what if someone creates an primary account using the same name as the nickname signature in the near future? __ E L A Q U E A T E 12:16, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
Actually, there is an editor named Hero, at the Hungarian Wikipedia in 2010. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:23, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
I assume this is an attempt to gain consensus about the warning you posted to my talk page? PLEASE AGF next time prior to accusing me of impersonating User:Mike. Mrfrobinson (talk) 17:36, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
AGF yourself. I never accused you of impersonating anyone. I made an abstract example covering more than your actions because I was curious about more than your situation. Your actions, where you started used the signature "Mike" when there's another long-time user named "Mike", were much less nuanced than the example I was asking about here. I clearly stated and meant that I assumed you weren't using it for reasons of impersonation but that it could look that way to other editors, which is also what the guideline advises. And there's already consensus regarding WP:SIGFORGE or it wouldn't currently be in the guideline, so there's nothing I need to gain anyway. And why tell me to AGF in the same comment you explicitly state you're not assuming good faith? __ E L A Q U E A T E 23:23, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
Sorry but when you highlight something in another colour you are trying to push a point:"Never use another editor's signature. Impersonating another editor by using his or her username or signature is forbidden. Altering the markup code of your signature to make it look substantially like another user's signature may also be considered a form of impersonation."Mrfrobinson (talk) 23:37, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
I marked it as example text (xt) because it was a direct quote from the guideline and I didn't want it to be taken as my own phrasing. I use it all of the time. My own words were:
I'm assuming that you're not doing it to obscure your actual username in general conversation or to associate yourself with Mike's contributions here, but others might not notice that your actual username is so different from your signature, and that you're not the long-term editor whose username you're using. Regardless of your intent, it certainly could give the appearance of impersonating another user as you have it now.
That's not an accusation that you are doing with any intent at all. Further relevant text quoted from the guideline:
If you are asked to change your signature, please avoid interpreting a polite request as an attack.
A look at your signature in action gives no immediate indication to any non-familiar editor that you're not Mike, as a conversation with him would look identical. I think there was clear potential for confusion and notified you, and I never accused you of anything. __ E L A Q U E A T E 23:59, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
I think there is a little bit more to it than just the case of confusions on pages where both [User:A|B] and [User:B] discuss. Rather, I have been vaguely aware of Mrfrobinson's signature for some time, as other users have tried to get his attention by making a link to what turned out to be my user page, giving me the notification instead. I believe (most of) those mistakes have been identified and corrected, though... It has not been too often, so I haven't been bothered by it. So I guess this is mostly my way of saying "Hi! As the unwitting third party of this issue, yes, I am aware of it." :p Mike (talk) 10:35, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
See for a list of pages where confusion between the two is at least remotely possible. This looks like a plot worthy of Professor Chaos (see Image:Professorchaos2009.jpg). --Guy Macon (talk) 20:30, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
As Mike says, the confusion isn't really from the rare pages where editors interact on the same page. The greater issue is where one editor is making edits on a visible and contentious page or makes some breach of ethics, and the uninvolved editor is confused with it later. It wouldn't take much. As a theoretical example, if some fraudulent Guy Macon was banned as a spamming COI-loving sockpuppet-master, you might not even hear about it right away, but editors might associate you with their bad behavior. And I don't know how likely any individual example of it would be, but I thought the guideline was useful just to reduce the likelihood of some kind of preventable mix-up in the future between an editor who's quietly and uncontroversially been around for years and another editor that has become more active. This case isn't that important, and I suppose the above is mockery for having cared about a situation that might never develop, but that's fine. __ E L A Q U E A T E 02:53, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
Except for one fact: no noticeboard or dispute resolution forum anywhere on Wikipedia will accept a complaint against a user without diffs showing the exact edits where he supposedly misbehaved. And diffs show usernames, not nicknames. --Guy Macon (talk) 12:39, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
I wasn't talking about the actual sanctions being accidentally given to the wrong user or anything like that, i was talking about general post-scandal confusion about which editor had issues or not. A theoretical example is if "User:Macaroni|Hero" did something truly vile or objectionable, was banned and sent packing, then a couple of months later a lot of editors might not remember that it wasn't "User:Hero|Hero" but would still remember a talk page with a lot of "Hero" comments. If people spent time with a minimal amount of digging, the real story is always available in the logs and diffs, but I think the signature guideline also removes ambiguity in those situations where people wouldn't be expected to be looking at the old diffs. Even if the bad outcome is uncommon, and all of the editors involved are equally responsible and respected, I haven't seen any argument that multiple users using identical signatures wouldn't cause avoidable confusion down the line. If someone else started signing their posts Guy Macon, it would still be something worth taking a look at, even if that editor was an angel and only edited a topic (pick one at random; Teddy Bears, Women's shoes, Generic territorial dispute) you didn't care about and were never likely to be involved with.__ E L A Q U E A T E 15:01, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
Ooh, I just thought of another example. What if "User:Macaroni" started signing his posts "User:Macaroni|Qworty"? I think using the signature of another editor would still be an issue for people even if Macaroni was a saint otherwise and it could be considered disruptive both to people who immediately twigged that it wasn't the banned editor and those who didn't. __ E L A Q U E A T E 15:18, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
Wow that is a very extensive list! It is interesting that elaqueate references a page where I (along with another editor) made a redirect for a duplicate article that was not received well by another editor. Regardless I removed my signature and asked for a rename. Mrfrobinson (talk) 23:23, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
Go ahead and take shots and make innuendos if it makes you feel better, but I made no accusations of you at all, I didn't mention you on this page before you rolled in accusing me of whatever, and I only linked to the last edit you made before changing your signature to show what it looked like before you changed it. But the fact that editors sometimes make accusations of fellow editors unburdened by proof just confirms the value of a guideline designed to keep people from being confused with editors that might make make contentious edits at some point. If the next person you take shots at isn't as charmed by your assumptions of bad faith as I am, it's clearly better if it's done in a name of your own. Happy editing.__ E L A Q U E A T E 02:54, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Exactly, if it was the username of another account, then it could probably be enforced under WP:SIGFORGE. Technical 13 (talk) 18:19, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

I'm still curious about what happens if someone (User:Macaroni) is using something like "Hero" as a signature nickname for a significant amount of time before there is any User:Hero, and then someone picks the User:Hero username. Would there be a push to change the longstanding nickname, or would the new user be asked to change? __ E L A Q U E A T E

Note that it could go the other way: an established user could have a longstanding nickname of "hero" and a new user could choose "hero" as a username.
It isn't very satisfying, but I believe that the answer would be situation-dependent. If both users are non-notable (not an administrator, not a WMF employee, no BLP article, not a real-world name) and have never edited the same pages, we might just ignore the issue. There may be nicknames that duplicate usernames already and we just haven't searched for them. If the two have interacted. especially recently, whoever was first would almost certainly win.
Another edge case; what if, when I first edited Wikipedia 8 years ago, someone already had "Guy Macon" as a nickname or even a user name? (Lets assume they live in Macon and picked it randomly, using Jesse Ventura or Indiana Jones as inspiration, as opposed to trying to impersonate me.) That's my legal name. Would they have been asked to change it? Would I have been prevented from having this username? --Guy Macon (talk) 07:37, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
Or at another Wikipedia, as the "Hero" example shows: first here, or first anywhere? I think we'd use common sense and a community discussion to make decisions for each case, rather than trying to set down one rule for all circumstances. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:23, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
Hmm, I hadn't considered that. I had been trying to use example usernames that weren't currently in use, but I hadn't thought about other wiki-projects. I think parts of that issue are covered here but I don't think it mentions anything about SUL conflicts involving only nickname issues, so it would probably be handled as you suggest. __ E L A Q U E A T E 17:03, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
  • This discussion has become an unproductive poke fight between two editors now and is just circular. Can someone who hasn't participated (or someone who feels there is an appropriate other guideline or essay or something I'm not fully aware) close this discussion now, please? THank you. Technical 13 (talk) 15:18, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
  • First, where an editor is not doing it with the Intent to impersonate another editor, that editor hasn't really done anything wrong until the issue is raised with them, and if valid, they ignore it. Depending on the totality of the circumstances, including who got there first, the activity levels of both, and whether the editor who got there first is complaining about it, it may be necessary to ask the person using the nickname as a signature to do something to avoid confusion. That said, trying to come up with a general rule for a rare, and very circumstantial issue is WP:CREEP. Monty845 05:12, 26 January 2014 (UTC)
  • I personally find it annoying when signatures do not reasonably match account names, but there general wikipedia consensus has been to tolerate these editors, and in at least one case, elect them to the arbitration committee. On my browser, at least, if I hover over the sig the interface pops the real name, so it's not that big a deal. NE Ent 12:23, 26 January 2014 (UTC)
  • I would like to see all signatures being required to display the username in full, unchanged, linked to either the user page or user talk. Colour it if you, add a nickname afterwards – e.g. MyRegisteredUserName (Jim) or BrownHairedGirl/BHG – but display the username with exactly the same sequence of characters as it will appear in the revision history.
    Editors can choose their usernames with huge freedom, and can change them easily. So choosing a username and hiding it with a nickname is a pointless way of making life more difficult for other editors. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 23:36, 20 February 2014 (UTC)
    I agree, and I think the idea of appending nicknames in parentheses is a very sensible suggestion. - Pointillist (talk) 23:08, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
  • I agree to an extent, but honestly don't care if it is the username or nickname in the parenthesis... — {{U|Technical 13}} (t • e • c) 23:13, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
That's a very good point. The corollary is that the username must be explicitly formatted as a link so that it can be distinguished from a nickname. I see various comments here referring to hovering/mousing over names to find out more details etc., but we can't rely on readers having the ability to find important information that way. Hovering isn't an technique that translates well to touch-based interfaces like tablets, and it doesn't work properly for readers who have motor control difficulties or who are using screen readers. This is typical of requirements creep conversations, isn't it? We're negotiating details in isolation rather than going back to first principles. - Pointillist (talk) 23:37, 22 February 2014 (UTC)

RfC: Promoting the links section to policy[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

This is relatively lightly trafficked. Seventeen supports may just about be enough to upgrade something to policy status if they were unanimous, but there is significant opposition that raises coherent concerns about creep and about the wording of a specific subsection. This may well find consensus if the wording can be addressed to the oposers' satisfaction, but for now, there is no consensus to upgrade the section to policy. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 01:50, 28 March 2014 (UTC)

I don't understand why the entire section on links was not included in the above discussion about promoting to policy. I can recall a small but definite number of occasions where people with wacky linkless signatures had to be forced to change them through the threat of administrative action - likewise with transcluded templates. Given that the other promotions to policy seemed to have broad acceptance, how about making this section policy as well? Are there any parts of it that people specifically feel should not be policy? — Scott • talk 16:58, 5 February 2014 (UTC)


  1. Support. I guess it got missed because its not a frequent problem. NE Ent 17:12, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
  2. Support, at the very least the part on internal links. 6an6sh6 04:01, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
  3. Support promoting to policy.
     â€” Berean Hunter (talk) 15:56, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
  4. Support as a very good idea. Should be promoted. APerson talk! 21:10, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
  5. Support, most sensible proposal. — Cirt (talk) 02:58, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
  6. Support adopting WP:Signatures#Internal links as policy. The user's desire for self-expression should not take precedence over the needs of other editors to follow discussion threads and keep track of who is who. EdJohnston (talk) 19:47, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
  7. Support Arguing "but it's only a guideline so I can have no links if I want to" just wastes everyone's time. The community wants link(s). Johnuniq (talk) 22:02, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
  8. Conditional Support. This is undeniably useful where an editor is using a nickname, but to avoid instruction creep there should be an exception for the case where editors sign with their exact user name. That is: if your name actually is Example the policy should permit you to sign as Example without any links; but if you sign as example, Ex@mple, EXΑΜΡΛΕ, etc., policy should require you to link to your true identity. - Pointillist (talk) 22:04, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
    FYI here are earlier discussions about links in signatures—maybe those concerned should be notified of this RfC? - Pointillist (talk) 22:42, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
    No links in a signature (January 2008)
    Require link to usertalk page in signatures? (April 2009)
    RfC on lack of links in Docu's signature (July 2009)
    Signatures must include at least one internal link, elevation to policy? (August 2009). It was after this that David Levy changed the guideline from "some editors will view" to "is widely viewed" as obstructive (diff).
    MoS Accessibility of Signatures (draft)
    OK, I'm removing the "conditional" exception in my support – it doesn't seem to have stuck a chord and anyway I'm broadly in agreement so let's bury the hatchet on this. - Pointillist (talk) 22:09, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
  9. Support, without Pointillist's proposed exception (which has no basis in consensus).
    At Wikipedia (and elsewhere), signatures exist to facilitate communication. As I've commented in the past, there's no valid reason to use a link-free signature, which accomplishes nothing other than making communication more difficult for other users. This is true even when someone signs his/her exact user name, a circumstance that the absence of a signature obfuscates. (Are people supposed to assume that the unlinked name accurately reflects that of the account?) Such tampering also forces hand-typing or copying/pasting, which isn't always easy in certain situations (e.g. when someone is using a mobile device or screen reader).
    Requiring users to refrain from editing their signatures for the express purpose of disabling a helpful automatic feature isn't "instruction creep". Conversely, inventing pointless exceptions to clear-cut rules is instruction creep. —David Levy 01:22, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
    I can't agree with Pointillist's proposed exception either. A signature should have a link to your user page, full stop. — Scott • talk 10:39, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
    The point of having that (very narrow) exception was to address SarekOfVulcan's concern. This clearly is instruction creep, because the guideline already says that a link is required, and Scott Martin hasn't given any examples of users who need extra coercion. Nevertheless it is indeed a good idea, though it could be better – you haven't said anything about the anchor being rendered so it looks like a link, or being large enough to click safely, both of which are potential issues on a mobile device (e.g. try identifying and clicking the links in 6an6sh6 on a smartphone). - Pointillist (talk) 13:22, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
    Neither of those latter points are contained in the current guidance, so they are not relevant to the discussion at hand. If you want to add them to the guidance, you can do so in the normal fashion, not in this RfC. Regarding "examples of users", the point of regulation is to address future infractions. Your proposed exception would serve to do nothing except create a confusing two-tier system for users based on their user name. — Scott • talk 13:30, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
    I can do it just fine, thank you very much. 6an6sh6 18:16, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
    The point of having that (very narrow) exception was to address SarekOfVulcan's concern.
    Firstly, that isn't a narrow exception. It would constitute permission for any editor to use a link-free signature, provided that his/her actual account name appears therein.
    Secondly, SarekOfVulcan's argument is that it's acceptable for editors to deliberately hinder others' efforts to communicate with them (because "you can get a talk link from the history page, if you really feel the need to get in touch with someone"). I find this attitude utterly baffling.
    This clearly is instruction creep, because the guideline already says that a link is required, and Scott Martin hasn't given any examples of users who need extra coercion.
    I don't follow. This is a proposal to designate that portion of the guideline a policy. You've proposed the creation of a brand new exception, which would greatly weaken the longstanding rule by limiting it to editors whose signatures don't contain their exact user names. —David Levy 22:02, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
    Just to clarify, my proposed exception applies only if the signature is their exact user name. If the name is padded with other characters or presented in a misleading way then a link is necessary under the established guidelines. Anything that misleads any reader is wrong, period, and I believe it would be unwise for the Flow system to allow nicknames as signatures, except possibly where these are doppelganger accounts of the actual signatory. - Pointillist (talk) 22:59, 22 February 2014 (UTC) UPDATE I've just noticed BrownHairedGirl's very sensible idea of displaying the username in full, followed by any nickname in parentheses, e.g. BrownHairedGirl (BHG). I'd support that approach in Flow. - Pointillist (talk) 23:26, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
    Just to clarify, my proposed exception applies only if the signature is their exact user name. If the name is padded with other characters or presented in a misleading way then a link is necessary under the established guidelines.
    A link is necessary under the established guidelines, period. Again, you seek to invent a brand new exception, thereby greatly weakening the longstanding rule. Why? How, in your view, would such a change benefit Wikipedia? —David Levy 00:22, 23 February 2014 (UTC)
  10. Support with no exceptions. Links in sigs are such a useful tool for interaction that their omission is disruptive. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 23:19, 20 February 2014 (UTC)
  11. Support as proposed by Scott. The default signature already does this, of course, but if people want to customize their sigs, let's make sure they're aware that there's a minimum threshold for accessibility and ease of communication. 28bytes (talk) 16:10, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
  12. We're an encyclopedia project, not a forum for self-expression.  Sandstein  10:51, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
    This isn't an RfC about stopping signature formatting, or preventing the use of nicknames—I'm sure the vast majority of normal editors would support both of those. This is speculating that in future it'll be less disruptive for a contributor to sign with a nickname – which they can change at any time, and which doesn't correlate with the page history – if at least one character is (maybe invisibly) wiki-linked to their user identity, than it would be if the contributor signed with their true user name but no link; and it claims that this is such a pressing problem that it needs to be raised to the level of policy. I'm still unconvinced. - Pointillist (talk) 22:33, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
    You're conflating separate issues. The idea that not including a link is bad doesn't imply that those other things are good. And as discussed below, purposely hiding/disguising the link constitutes gaming the system (which isn't tolerated). —David Levy 00:22, 23 February 2014 (UTC)
    "We're an encyclopedia project, not a forum for self-expression." says the guy with the big blue box with white/black striped border for a signature.... — {{U|Technical 13}} (t • e • c) 23:07, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
    I'm not fond of such styling, but it doesn't appear to impede others' ability to initiate contact. The community tolerates a good deal of self-expression (more than I'd prefer), but not that which interferes with Wikipedia's mission. —David Levy 00:22, 23 February 2014 (UTC)
  13. A signature with a link should be required for edits to talk pages. It is dickish to make it difficult for other editors to find ones talk page. Edison (talk) 02:13, 23 February 2014 (UTC)
  14. Mostly Support. I support promoting all parts of the Links section EXCEPT the Internal links subsection to policy, as they really shouldn't be controversial. I don't see how anyone could argue against barring disruptive links, external links, categories, and templates; in fact, I think several of those are already covered by existing policy (which brings up redundancy issues, but oh well). But I do see the points on both sides for internal links, so I think it best that that one subsection remain a guideline. - Jorgath (talk) (contribs) 20:13, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
  15. Support I'm dealing right now with a case where a newcomer got into trouble partly because an established editor had obfuscated their talk link: a totally foreseeable problem. Let's not make things so hard for new editors. As a step towards that, let's not make it so easy to make things hard for new editors. MartinPoulter (talk) 17:22, 5 March 2014 (UTC)
  16. Support promoting to policy. My only caveats are that I would not want to prohibit signatures on one's own user page—if not done in a manner that makes it appear like a talk page, and suggest that substituted signature pages be protected, or at least watchlisted, to make it harder to vandalize them without the user knowing. User-page signatures should probably not be timestamped. Wbm1058 (talk) 16:04, 9 March 2014 (UTC)
  17. Support. Signatures are meant to quickly identify the user. "Advertising" WProjects, FA requests, should be left out of it. When you talk at any public place (non-web, out there), or simply meet a friend, do you finish all your sentences with "Save the Whales!"? - Nabla (talk) 13:57, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
    Well, you wouldn't end it with your name either, so that's kinda moot. 6an6sh6 18:02, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
    Nice :-) Off course, if one stretches a analogy too far it inevitably breaks, because one thing is not strictly the other. As much as you were clever in realising where the analogy breaks, I bet you also realise what it means. - Nabla (talk) 20:05, 22 March 2014 (UTC) (Save the analogies!)
    Of course, I just like pointing them out! tongue out 6an6sh6 20:47, 22 March 2014 (UTC)


  1. Oppose. As long as the signature isn't misleading, this one would be instruction creep. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 17:07, 16 February 2014 (UTC)
    I'm at a loss as to why you think this one is "instruction creep" yet you thought the others weren't. Care to elaborate? — Scott • talk 17:21, 16 February 2014 (UTC)
    This is more of a convenience thing, where the others address misrepresentation or technical/accessibility issues. You can get a talk link from the history page, if you really feel the need to get in touch with someone.--SarekOfVulcan (talk) 18:19, 16 February 2014 (UTC)
    So it's not okay to mislead people, but it is okay to make their life harder. Sorry, I can't agree with that at all. — Scott • talk 18:49, 16 February 2014 (UTC)
    Better than misleading them and making their lives easier...--SarekOfVulcan (talk) 18:18, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
  2. Oppose, agreeing with Sarek. Unless this proves to be a problem, why make it a hard & fast rule? -- llywrch (talk) 17:46, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
    (Not trying to badger opposers, just replying.) As the Docu RfC from 2009 linked above shows, this has notably been proven to be a problem, and one that's been a royal pain to resolve when it has happened. The idea is to prevent that happening again. — Scott • talk 17:51, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
    It already is a "hard & fast rule" (as there's never been consensus that an exception is justified for any reason). The misconception that the rule may be ignored at will (because it's "only a guideline") has contributed to the recurring problem to which Scott Martin referred. —David Levy 22:02, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
    The rationale in the Docu case was that Docu was also an admin, & admins need to be reachable. Docu was also an old hand who started with Wikipedia before many of the rules & guidelines were created, so that case was more of getting him to update his signature. Otherwise, as Kusma & WhatamIdoing point out below, this is so rare -- has there been another WP:AN/I case since Docu back in 2009? -- that it's a solution looking for a problem. (If a new user failed to link her/his signature after repeated requests, that would simply be one of many pieces of evidence proving said person was not here to contribute to an encyclopedia, & there'd be a number of reasons to deal with this person.) But if people need rules instead of guidelines to feel safe & comfortable... -- llywrch (talk) 17:28, 25 February 2014 (UTC)
    Everyone needs to be reachable, not just admins. And, as David points out, in practice this is a rule already; "guideline" is a meaningless misnomer. — Scott • talk 18:18, 25 February 2014 (UTC)
    Additionally, given this section's similarity to those recently relabeled "policy", excluding it from the change could be misinterpreted as a de facto downgrade. —David Levy 00:04, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
  3. Not a frequent problem, so it does not need to be written policy. Warn and block people if their sig is truly problematic, leave them alone unless it is absolutely necessary. And what Sarek said. Also, we already have too many policies, and should try to reduce the amount of written policy we have instead of needlessly adding to it. —Kusma (t·c) 22:08, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
    We're discussing a rule that's already been written (and for which no exception has been deemed valid by the community). Are you of the opinion that simply changing its label from "guideline" to "policy" would somehow increase bureaucracy or otherwise complicate matters? Why, in your view, is it preferable to "warn and block people" instead of making it clear from the start that the behavior in question is unacceptable? —David Levy 22:23, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
    I do not think that all the behaviour that this is about is absolutely unacceptable. Changing the label from "guideline" to "policy" mainly means you have a bigger stick to beat people with that have different opinions about signatures. The general observation that Wikipedia has too many rules stands. I find it preferable to allow people to behave in an annoying way compared to forcing conformity, especially in such trivial matters as their signatures. And I know at least one editor who has an unlinked signature (which has never caused problems, at least none visible in the talk page archive), and I find that preferable to "font" tags and shadows and colors, all of which are allowed although they annoy me. —Kusma (t·c) 19:58, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
    I do not think that all the behaviour that this is about is absolutely unacceptable.
    I'm aware of zero instances in which the community has deemed a link-free signature acceptable under any circumstance.
    Changing the label from "guideline" to "policy" mainly means you have a bigger stick to beat people with that have different opinions about signatures.
    That statement is based on the common misconception that guidelines are less enforceable than policies are. This is the very misunderstanding that leads to problems (including blocks stemming from disruption that otherwise wouldn't have occurred).
    Guidelines typically leave more wiggle room than policies do. Compliance is non-optional, but it often is possible to deviate from the letter of a guideline without straying from the spirit. This is not such a case, as there simply is no valid exception to the rule as worded. This proposal isn't about making it stricter; it's about labeling it accurately.
    The general observation that Wikipedia has too many rules stands.
    Perhaps so, but this one exists already (and has for years).
    I find it preferable to allow people to behave in an annoying way compared to forcing conformity, especially in such trivial matters as their signatures.
    I see nothing trivial about tampering with one's signature for the express purpose of disabling an automatic feature that facilitates communication.
    Editing Wikipedia isn't an entitlement. The community demands little in return, but it doesn't tolerate deliberate attempts to make collaboration more difficult for others.
    And I know at least one editor who has an unlinked signature (which has never caused problems, at least none visible in the talk page archive)
    To whom are you referring?
    and I find that preferable to "font" tags and shadows and colors, all of which are allowed although they annoy me.
    Annoyance ≠ difficulty communicating.
    Again, this isn't about outlawing anything; it's about clarifying the community's position on behavior that already is disallowed. If you believe that it shouldn't be disallowed, you're welcome to propose the longstanding rule's elimination. —David Levy 01:35, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
    The general observation that Wikipedia has too many rules stands. Actually Kusma, that's just some people's opinion. — Scott • talk 15:28, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
    That it is an opinion does not make it incorrect. —Kusma (t·c) 19:23, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
  4. Oppose as this is CREEP, not to mention this section is currently ambiguous. As this section is written, "Technical_13" would be an acceptable signature for me to have. As policy, there will be no ability to tell someone that they are not allowed to have that type of thing as a signature. I can obviously come up with much more troublesome examples, but I think I'll keep those to myself. — {{U|Technical 13}} (t • e • c) 02:09, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
    When a user technically complies with the letter of policy but not the spirit, he/she is gaming the system. You're mistaken in your belief that we're powerless to deal with this.
    Regardless, the rule already exists and is enforced. If it's ambiguous, the solution is to reword it. What adverse effect would changing its label from "guideline" to "policy" have (and how would this constitute instruction creep)? —David Levy 02:49, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
    Policies are local laws, and laws are governed by what is written, not by what the intended spirit of the idea was. Guidelines are governed by the intended spirit when written. This is why criminals get away scot-free, because of loopholes in the way that laws are written. As such, if the proposed policy was amended to be exactly representative of the spirit that the guideline was written upon, I would change my oppose to a support. — {{U|Technical 13}} (t • e • c) 23:53, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
    Your understanding of Wikipedia's policies (and what sets them apart from guidelines) is inaccurate. Please read Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines. —David Levy 00:22, 23 February 2014 (UTC)
    Technical 13, given your history of disruptive editing to do with signatures, I would strongly advise you that this is not an area to involve yourself. — Scott • talk 15:26, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
    Scott, I really do not need your advice here, and respectfully request that you stop stalking me and making harassing comments, threats, and other subtle personal attacks. It's really not productive. I've never been banned from discussing signatures, my current signature is in complete compliance, I'm still a member of this community and have as much right as everyone else to voice my opinion, and am again going to politely ask you to avoid further comments like this by letting the past be the past. If you can't do that, please take it up with me personally on my talk page, or take me to AN about it for all I care, but these public discussions are not the place to bring it up over and over and over. Thank you for your cooperation. — {{U|Technical 13}} (t • e • c) 15:37, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
    I'll pass over the silly accusations and links to twee essays. Nobody has said you were banned from anything. This has been a notably problematic area for you in the recent past. I'm yet to be convinced that it definitely won't be again. — Scott • talk 16:29, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
    The fact that he has encountered practical issues with this page in the past means that we need his perspective. When everyone agrees and nobody looks at the other side, the result is usually a poor policy. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:54, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
  5. Weak oppose. Why bother? I've seen a couple over the years. They're rare. If it's a person whom people need to contact regularly, then we make them change it. If it's just a random gnome that gets a message every year or two, then we don't bother. We are pretty good at balancing the convenience of the metapedians (like me) against the potential to irritate or upset good editors. Since the problem can already be solved easily, calling this "policy" isn't going to do anything (except perhaps further exacerbate the impression that guidelines are optional).
    Also, if someone wants to make it difficult, then please note that this:
    WhatamIdoing[[User:WhatamIdoing|&nbsp;]], which produces a signature of
    is valid under SIGLINK, and it will still drive convenience-oriented people nuts. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:54, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
    There are certain to be lots of weird edge cases, but they can always be dealt with individually should the community feel it necessary to. The spirit and the letter, and all that. — Scott • talk 10:57, 25 February 2014 (UTC)
  6. Oppose Unless the "Disruptive links" section is rewritten, I am uncomfortable making the whole links section policy. Would Nihonjoe's signature, which links to WP Japan, be acceptable? Would Darkwarriorblake's signature, which links to his open FAC, be acceptable? Nihonjoe is actively canvassing for members for a WikiProject through the link/wording of his signature, but I have never seen a problem with it. Darkwarriorblade's signature says "Comment on Dishonored's FA nom!", which I don't see as problematic either (I would be less inclined to back it if he said "support" instead of "comment"). These are both signatures that do no harm, but would become "against policy" should this proposal pass. I have no problem making the other four subsections policy, but I think that the "Disruptive links" section casts too wide and too ill-defined a net. Sᴠᴇɴ Mᴀɴɢᴜᴀʀᴅ Wha? 16:33, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
  7. Oppose per Sven Manguard, I can understand abuse of links but there cannot be a blanket ban, my signature allows me to promote an open FAC wherever I go rather than adding it to a relevant wikiproject that gets virtually no replies, I have had people from completely unrelated areas stop buy to comment. This is a benefit to Wikipedia, helping properly promote or improve FAC articles. DWB (talk) / Comment on Dishonored's FA nom! 17:48, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
  8. Oppose per several of the above comments. Unless it can be shown to be actively disruptive, I don't see an issue with links in signatures. The only requirements for a signature should be a) linking directly to the user page and/or user talk page, b) not being inordinately long, and c) not being deceptive (e.g., linking to a different user's pages, having the text indicate a different user and linking to your own pages, etc.) ···日本穣? · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe · Join WP Japan! 19:49, 13 March 2014 (UTC)
    So to the three above Opposes (@Sven Manguard, Darkwarriorblake, Nihonjoe:) You guys support most of the current section, but not one specific section? Maybe you guys should start a new header for that. 6an6sh6 22:48, 13 March 2014 (UTC)
    Ansh666 I went one better and proposed below a rewriting of the section, which would make clear that signatures like Darkwarriorblake and Nihonjoe's are within policy. Sᴠᴇɴ Mᴀɴɢᴜᴀʀᴅ Wha? 02:06, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
    I also oppose making this into a policy. It is no more than a style guideline for signatures, and it should remain that way. If something is obviously disruptive in some manner, that would fall under other policies better able to handle such issues. ···日本穣? · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe · Join WP Japan! 23:24, 14 March 2014 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Help on signature[edit]

Hello, Currently this is my signature. "Jnanaranjan Sahu (ଜ୍ଞାନ) talk. Is there any problem with this ? I've put welcome messge to many users but now I see my signature have been removed and only 4 ~ signs are there please suggest me. Shall I change this ?--Jnanaranjan Sahu (ଜ୍ଞାନ) talk 19:38, 7 February 2014 (UTC)

  • It actually is very blurry and illegible on my laptop with my crappy resolution. I would increase the font size to probably 14px, ditch the text-shadow, and make your name bold like: Jnanaranjan Sahu (ଜ୍ଞାନ) talk. This is much more legible to me (although that is still a tough font to read, I don't want to suggest changing too much). Good luck! — {{U|Technical 13}} (t • e • c) 19:43, 7 February 2014 (UTC)
  • @Jnanaranjan Sahu: you need to use {{subst:w-screen}} instead of {{w-screen}}. I would suggest you go back through your recent edits and correct this. Frietjes (talk) 19:45, 7 February 2014 (UTC)
Thank You I got solutions for my two question. Well quick reply. Have a good time--Jnanaranjan Sahu (ଜ୍ଞାନ) talk 19:51, 7 February 2014 (UTC)
@Jnanaranjan Sahu: Please do not specify the font size in px, because you don't know what resolution or text size other readers are using. If you really must specify a font size, please please use a relative size: e.g. "font-size:90%" or "font-size:110%".
But in any case, why not just whatever default font is in use? It's easily read, and works on any browser. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 23:41, 20 February 2014 (UTC)
Brown HairedGirlThank You everyone for the responses. I've changed it now. I also felt the same so changed. Is it ok now or need modification ? Please tell me what you feel--J Sahu (ଜ୍ଞାନ) talk 08:05, 8 March 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, Jnanaranjan sahu. That's better; using the default fontsize is much more flexible.
However, the main purpose of a sig is to identify you to others, which is best done by displaying your actual username. It is not a requirement to display it precisely, but doing so does make it easier for other editors to identify you, and to associate the sig with a user name. Why not display the full username?
Also, it is conventional (tho not required) for your sig to include a link to your talk page, and the default signature does that. When the link is there, it is much easier for other editors to send you a message.
It's fine to stylise your sig if you want to, but it's a pity that you haven't paid a little more attention to the purpose of a sig. Your current sig looks pretty, but it is significantly less helpful to other editors than the default sig. Why do you want be unhelpful? --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 10:23, 8 March 2014 (UTC)
  • I think your new signature looks much better, is representative of your username, and since it does contain a link to the talk page, I'm not sure what BHG was getting at there. As far as her question "Why do you want be unhelpful?"; I find it a little BITEy even if her intentions were good. — {{U|Technical 13}} (t • e • c) 13:27, 8 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Sorry, I had somehow missed the talk page link. I have struck that part of my comment.
    But I still don't see why we put up with this messing with usernames in sigs. Editors can choose their own username, and this editor chose User:Jnanaranjan sahu rather than the unused User:J sahu or User:J Sahu. Having made that choice, why display not just display the username as is? Much as I dislike WP:FLOW, one good aspect of it is that it eliminates all this nonsense of disguising usernames. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 13:58, 8 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Not a problem with the talk page link. As far as "messing with usernames in sigs" goes, in this particular case, I see it as the same reason we use "dr." instead of "doctor" or "admin" instead of "administrator" (which is technically wrong anyways because they are "sysop" to the system which is also a hack abbreviation of "system operator"). Now, I agree, we use ~~~ to place our signature, so why do we need to abbreviate? My answer to that is our brains (well some of them) have been trained to use and read abbreviations, so they are more comfortable and easier to read. That is, at least, my take on it. J Sahu, since User:J sahu and User:J Sahu both seem to be untaken, and if that is what you would prefer to be called, you may considering visiting WP:CHU/S and requesting a username change to the abbreviated version. Just an option to consider. :) — {{U|Technical 13}} (t • e • c) 14:30, 8 March 2014 (UTC)

"Wanna fight"[edit]

Is just me or a signature saying "Wanna fight" can be considered disruptive, and if read by a newbie kinda bitey. I'm wondering as I've seen this with an user. I won't say the name, just want to know if it is incorrect, and if it is, discuss it with the user. © Tbhotch™ (en-2.5). 05:34, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

  • I'd say it depends on the tone (formatting) of the signature. Can you provide the look of the signature without the username (just use Example)? I mean, if it is a pink lettering with curly scripted letters or something, it's probably not bad. — {{U|Technical 13}} (t • e • c) 16:15, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
  • It is Example (wanna fight?. In itself it is not disruptive, but the user comments are really agressive, which gives the signature more agressiveness: "Where's my popcorn? Listen, [Placeholder], Nobody here cares that you are a big [Artist] fan, it clearly says that on your page :LOL:, and the album received mixed reviews and that's FINAL. I mean girl, there's like tons of people that have disagreed with you, and for real its been like four months and you've been seriously still trying? It shows it... [...] And Dude or whatever you are, DON'T EVEN GET ME STARTED on my input,..." © Tbhotch™ (en-2.5). 23:06, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
  • If they are being otherwise disruptive, then the content of their signature is not really relevant and disruption is not allowed anyways. I'd say that signature is fine (I've seen worse). — {{U|Technical 13}} (t • e • c) 23:14, 26 February 2014 (UTC)

Proposed replacement of "Disruptive links" section[edit]

As an outcropping of the above RfC about marking the links section as policy, which has resulted in several opposes (mine included) over the current wording of the "Disruptive links" section, I have created a proposed rewriting that will clarify the boundary between acceptable and not acceptable in a manner that would alleviate the concerns over the "Disruptive links" section. It's a change I believe is for the best regardless of the RfC. Sᴠᴇɴ Mᴀɴɢᴜᴀʀᴅ Wha? 02:03, 14 March 2014 (UTC)

Current version[edit]

It is better to put information on your user page rather than in your signature. Brief additional internal links are generally tolerated when used to facilitate communication or to provide general information, but undesirable if seen as canvassing for some purpose.

Do not place any disruptive internal links (especially when combined with custom formatting, for example CLICK HERE!!!) in your signature.

Proposed replacement[edit]

It is better to put personal information on your user page, as opposed to in your signature. Brief additional external links are generally tolerated when used to facilitate communication or project functions, but are not acceptable when used for canvassing. Linking to a Wikiproject or open discussion (RfC, FAC, VP proposal) is acceptable, so long as your signature does not advocate that people take a specific position in the linked discussion. Linking to your user page or user talk page on another project is also acceptable, but only in addition to, not as a replacement for, a link to your user page or user talk page on this project. Linking to your RfA, while not prohibited by this guideline, will likely lead people to oppose your candidacy.

Do not place disruptively formatted internal links (such as CLICK HERE!!!) in your signature.


  • Support as nominator. Sᴠᴇɴ Mᴀɴɢᴜᴀʀᴅ Wha? 02:03, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Support this wording as much better clarified and easier to implement and enforce. I still oppose making this a policy, though. There's no reason to make it a policy as it's more of a style guideline for the project space and talk pages. ···日本穣? · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe · Join WP Japan! 23:21, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment - a couple of things: first, "external links" means links to other websites, so that should be rephrased. Second, "Linking to your RfA, while not prohibited by this guideline, will likely lead people to oppose your candidacy" - I think that's unnecessary. If something isn't prohibited (or mandated) by a rule or guideline, mentioning it just adds clutter, or worse, ambiguity. The claim in question is also not supportable by evidence. So, it should be dropped. Otherwise, I think this is fine. — Scott • talk 11:39, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
But see Wikipedia:Requests for adminship/Nominate#User notification; putting a link in your sig to an RFA might be seen as canvassing. --Redrose64 (talk) 12:11, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
Might be, might not be. Let's not make a habit of obscuring our rules with speculation. — Scott • talk 09:30, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
  • oppose the change, oppose the change itself, and oppose changing things on parallel discussions so that discussions are harder to follow and consensus harder to assess - Nabla (talk) 14:06, 22 March 2014 (UTC)

"Appearance and color" cleanup[edit]

This provision is confused, both technologically and with regards to clarity:

  • Avoid markup such as <big> and <span style="font-size: 200%;">(or more) tags (which produce big text), as well as line breaks (<br /> tags), since they disrupt the way that surrounding text displays. The use of non-breaking spaces to ensure that the signature displays on one line is recommended.

It should be replaced with something like:

  • Except for very small characters, avoid markup such as <big> and <span style="font-size: 200%;"> tags (which enlarge text); this will often disrupt the way that surrounding text displays.
  • Do not use line breaks (<br />, which can also negatively affect nearby text display. The use of non-breaking spaces to ensure that the signature displays on one line is recommended.

The size stuff and linebreak stuff are not conceptually related and shouldn't be in the same bullet. The large font-size stuff is not always problematic, only for larger characters. Some characters, including useful ones like ☏, are not very legible unless enlarged a bit. Enlarging them with <span style="font-size: 200%;"> is messy; <big> exists in wikimarkup for a reason. I also tightened up the rambling text a bit (don't use "produce"-type constructions unless there's a real reason to).

Note also the removal of the weird "(or more)" note; the principle is what is important here, not an easily WP:GAMEable pseudo-rule (which suggests that <span style="font-size: 199%;"> is always okay; cf. also WP:BEANS and WP:CREEP). That was also ungrammatical (the proper word would be "larger"), a misuse of superscripting, and hard to parse, since it was intended to apply to the "200", not to the entire sample of markup.

I'm at least going to WP:BOLDly separate the unrelated thoughts. I also fixed a case of "and" vs. "or" confusion in this passage earlier (hint: "or" indicates an exclusive relationship, "follow this rule or that, not both", not inclusive, "follow this rule and that, simultaneously").

 — SMcCandlish ☺ ☏ ¢ ⚞(Ʌⱷ҅̆⚲͜ⱷ^)≼  10:38, 23 March 2014 (UTC)

My Sig[edit]

does anyone notice that my sig: TitusFox'Tribs is too long for the prefrences box because of the 'Tribs thing? TitusFox'Tribs 19:30, 7 April 2014 (UTC)

I make it 259 characters. That is a violation of WP:SIGLEN; please shorten it. --Redrose64 (talk) 19:53, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
  • <span style="border:1px solid #000;padding:1px;">[[User:titusfox|<span style="color:#FFF;background:#000;">Titus</span>]][[User talk:Titusfox|<span style="color:#000;background:#FFF;">Fox</span>]]</span><sup>[[Special:Contribs/Titusfox|'Tribs]]</sup> should work just fine... — {{U|Technical 13}} (t • e • c) 20:04, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
...and of course, never forget to give attribution as to where you "borrow" your signatures from :-) DP 09:56, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
It's done by transclusion in my userpage since the prefrences bit doesn't allow... TitusFox'Tribs 12:28, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
You miss the point. Where did you "borrow" the basic aspects of your signature formatting from? Did you attibute that user somewhere? ...and did you just say you're transcluding something? It's still 259 characters. ES&L 12:39, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
Thanks to User:Technical 13, My Sig now works! And Preferences Allows the sig! Thanks DP for the idea! TitusFox'Tribs 12:55, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
Wait, Aren't ES&L and DP the same person? TitusFox'Tribs 14:11, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 11 April 2014[edit]

--Babu 09:40, 11 April 2014 (UTC)--Babu 09:40, 11 April 2014 (UTC)--Babu 09:40, 11 April 2014 (UTC)--Babu 09:40, 11 April 2014 (UTC)--Babu 09:40, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

Babu 09:40, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

Red information icon with gradient background.svg Not done: as you have not requested a change.
As it states at the top of the page:- "This is not the page to ask for help with using Wikipedia or other random questions."
If you want to suggest a change to this page on Wikipedia Signatures, please request this in the form "Please replace XXX with YYY" or "Please add ZZZ between PPP and QQQ".
Please also cite reliable sources to back up your request, without which no information should be added to any article. - Arjayay (talk) 09:52, 11 April 2014 (UTC)