Wikipedia talk:Templates for discussion

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can this be found/deleted?[edit]

{{=)|sarcastic}} which produces: Sarcastic.gif Thanks Gregkaye 07:04, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

I'm not completely sure what you mean with found/deleted. You already found it, it's at template:=), which is a redirect to {{smiley}}. It has a number of smileys on it. Depending on what you want to do, the following is possible:
  1. Remove only sarcastic: Remove it from the template. I suggest going through the talkpage first - hard removing will lead to breakage of current uses, which seems overly disruptive, so it probably needs some planning/subst'ing
  2. Delete the entire template: Nominate the template for deletion. The template is fairly widely used, so expect a lot of drama if you do this.
The image itself is hosted on commons. Martijn Hoekstra (talk) 09:36, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
We certainly shouldn't be using a continuously-looping animated gif. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 10:14, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

Exploratory TfDs[edit]

We've seen a couple of TfD's lately where debate has gotten somewhat heated over to how far discussions should have a concrete proposal ready. Coming from the perspective that discussion and exploration is a good thing, there is nothing wrong with these proposals, but they can be problematic because of a couple of reasons. Notification is one of them. The people who should be involved in TfDs should in my opinion be the people who use the templates, as well as people who maintain the templates. In general, the template users are less easily notified because they often don't have the templates themselves on their watchlists, and they only see a notification when reading an article that has such a template on them, and only when the notifications aren't noincluded, which sometimes happen because the notification is deemed disruptive in itself, and should be hidden from view. If there are possible merge targets that don't have any notifications on them. The expertise of the users and maintainers of the merge targets is often needed to perform a successful merge, and timely input from them is important in the discussions. Another problem is that exploratory discussions often take a longer time than neatly fits in the TfD format, and that once a proposal has an outcome in principle, it can take a very long time before it is enacted and implemented, and there is no easy way back when problems arise along the way. What would be the best way to address those problems? I could see the following proposal working: TfD discussions can be exploratory. If on an exploratory merge discussion there is consensus a concrete merge is desirable, the TfD can be relisted as a concrete merge proposal with adequate notifications, and runs for another 7 days with the renewed narrower focus of the proposal. Can we refine this proposal (or make counter proposals) we can find consensus on? Cheers, Martijn Hoekstra (talk) 10:39, 29 November 2014 (UTC)

"there is nothing wrong with these proposals" - actually, in some instances I have written in detail what is wrong with them. If the entrance here is "nothing wrong", then the thread is not worth, is it? It would be better if you address the issues raised as an issue. (later more, maybe) -DePiep (talk) 12:02, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
I meant to say that from the perspective that discussion and exploration is good, there is nothing wrong with them, but from other perspectives, there are problems. Martijn Hoekstra (talk) 12:09, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
Please specify which issues you want to address in this thread. As for me, I am only interested in due process here - the whole process that is. As I wrote in several recent TfDs. -DePiep (talk) 12:14, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
What I'd like to address is to keep it possible and accessible to have somewhat open ended discussions on what best to do with some template, while mitigating some of the problems that occur when we propose these discussions on TfD. Sometimes, people just think "something" should be done with some template, but aren't sure exactly what the best direction is. Inviting open discussion in those cases is often the best way to go, as to invite diverse input, and not get stuck in one proposal when other solutions may be better. But you have indicated that you don't welcome such discussions at TfD, and I myself note a couple of problems with them as well above (that I've also seen from @Frietjes:, @PC-XT:, @RedRose64: and others in some form or another, but I don't like to speak for anyone else). We (as wikipedia as a whole) can decide what due process is, and if we don't like the current process, we can change it to something else. That's what I like to discuss. What is in general the best process to solve this? Martijn Hoekstra (talk) 12:31, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
"But you [=me] have indicated that you don't welcome such discussions at TfD" - ??? -DePiep (talk) 12:33, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
I might be reading to much in your words, and my apologies for putting words in your mouth. I noticed that your comments at different TfD's that when there isn't an exact proposal with target and parameter mapping present consistently amount to keep or speedy keep, and figured that you believed that such discussions are out of process per definition. But if I'm wrong in that regard, consider that remark taken back. Martijn Hoekstra (talk) 12:47, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
OK, thanks for this response. For the direction of this thread: 1. An "Exploratory TfD" belongs & fits in Template Talk namespace. Perfectly. If you want to introduce a formal third WP:TFD option (Delete, Merge, Explore?), I say there is no need for that. 2. AFAIK, various TfDs are bad, broken and/or disrupted TfD discussions. If you meant to open this thread about #1, that's fine of course and I won't have to follow it. If you want to address #2 issues, please point that out and focus on that. -DePiep (talk) 13:01, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
The templates talk page seems to be a natural place for that, but a problem is that that often struggles to find much community input. TfD is not that broadly visited as it is, and the templates themselves even less so. RfC might be a good route for it, though that does have quite a bit red tape surrounding it. It's worth the consideration though. Martijn Hoekstra (talk) 10:33, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
as I see it we have a few main problems. (1) a discussion starts as a proposal to delete, but then the outcome is to merge it with another template, but that other template was never tagged for discussion, (2) the editor proposing deletion orphans the template before the discussion starts, then proposes it for deletion, or orphans it during the discussion (3) the editor proposing deletion has "a feeling that it's redundant" or should be merged with something else, but makes no concrete proposal. the response to problem (1) should be to have the discussion closed, and a new merger proposal opened with all editors who commented in the original proposal invited to discuss. the response to problem (2) should be to rollback the orphaning unless it's for a _very small_ number of transclusions. also, if any recent orphaning has happened, the editor should be required to post a link to the edits which orphaned the template for examination. I don't see a serious problem with (3) so long as the outcome isn't merging it with a template which was never tagged. of course there are other problems as well, like what is happening with parameters being added to {{infobox organization}} without discussion, but this response is already TLDR. Frietjes (talk) 14:32, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
Well pointed out by Frietjes; not TL for me. I want to add (4): discussion behavior. I notice sometimes evasion of questions, or non-engaging replies like "it is A as I said", which does not weigh as an argument to me. I noticed that sometimes editors are explicit saying they run away from a TfD after a fruitless exchange of evasions (commonly known as wp:ididnothearthat). In short, the proposal is not discussed or clarified, but enforced by a botched discussion.
(5) Also, in a next level of bad process, I note that sometimes admins and experienced editrors follow the deviated path instead of bringing the discussion back on track. I even met admins who re-discussed the closure outside of Deletion Review pages & procedure. This is a reward of the disruption. In short, (4) and (5) imply that discussion is useless, and the result is a toss. Why discuss if it can be overruled at a whimp? -DePiep (talk) 18:03, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
see step 1 of Wikipedia:Deletion review#Instructions, although I believe if it is resolved by step 1, all editors who commented should be invited to participate in the informal DRV on the admin's talk page. Frietjes (talk) 18:54, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
and it continues immediately following my comments. :( Frietjes (talk) 18:56, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
So, the nom starts a TfD for deletion. Then while it is open the same nom starts pushing changes in an unnotified template to enforce an undiscussed, premature merge. I think this is blockworthy. (But when I recently asked for a block in a similar case, I was told being being wikilawyering, and I was blamed while following good DR practice. Tea anyone?). Martijn Hoekstra. -DePiep (talk) 20:48, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
Frietjes answered well. I only have one response to add to DePiep's (4): Sometimes, editors write nominations for the few who frequent TfD discussion pages, and others who make or use these templates have no idea what these words mean. The learning curve for these things is still high, and misunderstandings are frequent. The nominator may have adequately described the problem to me, but if the person who created the template, and those who use it, don't understand, the discussion starts badly. This can sometimes recover if another editor sees the problem and explains before people get offended, but I'm afraid too many don't even reply. This is inherent to technical discussions, and I don't think the burden should be fully on the nominators without both guidelines to write a better nomination and some kind of help for those new to TfD, such as a template at the top of each discussion page. —PC-XT+ 20:27, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
PC-XT: these cases may exist, and are not the topic here. But there are examples where the nom does not have a plan on how to merge at all (for example: how would you map the parameters, how should presentation forms end up, is there a profit). Then when the creator and actual temaplte users come by, that is: those who know about the topic & the parameter meanings, and they get dismissive answers. This is bad discussion, and it is not these "new" visitors to TfD that are to blame. It is to the nom & its supporters to convince others, not to chase them away. Frustrating editors is not about a learning curve. -DePiep (talk) 20:54, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
I don't see this as a separate topic, but an integral part of the problem. Nominations (and replies) tend to be technical and terse. I don't expect those who know how templates work to also know about TfD terms, even !votes, and the process in general, because many don't. The people who write these short replies become offended because they feel they have already answered the question, and must repeat themselves forever. Those receiving these answers become offended because they find little to no new useful information. This progresses into snarky questions and dismissive answers, (not necessarily in that order,) which easily spread into other discussions. I agree that this is bad discussion, and new visitors are not to blame. The TfD process and those who frequently review these pages are in the best position to help. I don't really think it is up to the nom to convince others, though that seems to be a natural progression almost like WP:OWN. I think it is up to the community to decide if an action is appropriate, and the nom should not argue in a manner that would discourage the community from participating. (When a nom brings a whole plan to the table, the problem may be worse, because there is a greater investment.) Like I said, the guide for writing TfD nominations (and perhaps arguments, if they are not covered elsewhere,) could be expanded, and help provided for newcomers to mitigate this. That would give us some concreteness to cite when this stuff happens. Otherwise, and primarily, we just need more understanding and cooperation and less offensive friction. —PC-XT+ 06:16, 1 December 2014 (UTC) 06:22, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
I agree with DePiep that your comment here isn't TL;DR at all Frietjes. I would really like for the process here to generate less friction, and am hoping to distill some consensus from the comments here, and see if I can put them all together in one or more RfC's to codify what is said here into TfD guidelines. I quickly want to respond to your second point. Orphaning is a very visible action, much more so than a TfD, and I can support that as a WP:BOLD action, and could demonstrate people don't particularly care about the template. On the flip side, when a TfD only runs for 7 days, that may be too short for a timely reaction/revert. If that's the case, it's presenting others with a done deal on a consensus possibly based on the false premise that the template wasn't needed as evidenced by the orphaning. Sure, there is DRV, but that route is not exactly light-weight. So why I acknowledge there are problems in it, I don't see it as necessarily wrong. Martijn Hoekstra (talk) 10:51, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
orphaning is a serious problem if there is no record provided. suppose the editor (1) orphans the template, then (2) sends it to tfd, but provides no indication that the template was just orphaned, and with the rationale that it's not needed since it's not used. editors then comment on the discussion that it's no problem since the template is not in use. however, it's possible that a complete mess was made during the orphaning, with parserfunctions left in the articles, etc. or, scenario two, is that the nominator orphans the template during the discussion, but provides no record of where/how it was orphaned, and then the discussion closes as keep. how are we then supposed to find the places where it was orphaned to revert the orphaning? this sort of behaviour is happening right now, and it seems like it's up to the editors commenting to check the nominators edit history to try to find the articles. the solution is that there should be a requirement for the editor orphaning the template to disclose how/where it was orphaned. of course, I would rather see any orphaning wait until the discuss has concluded (in most cases), but if that's not going to happen, we need at least some level of transparency. Frietjes (talk) 17:10, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
I agree it's a serious problem if there is no (easy) way back. Especially scenario 1 with a delete outcome, where there is almost no way to find out what happened seems problematic. I also see it as problematic if (hypothetically? Hopefully.) an argument is made to delete because of a template being an orphan, if it was just orphaned, and others haven't have had time to respond to the orphaning yet. I'm not sure whether or not scenario 2 is problematic (though I'm open to be convinced, or accept consensus against me). If on an article nobody seems to care a template is removed, substituted or replaced, even if a TfD is closed as keep, I'm inclined to see it as a perfectly valid regular editing action. TfD can never decide on that a template must be used for any particular piece of wikitext. Replacing, removing or substituting templates on any article can be done without TfD as just another regular edit. I'll mull it over a bit more, see if things settle for me. Martijn Hoekstra (talk) 17:32, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
so as an editor, I can (1) nominate a template for deletion, (2) have everyone tell me that this is a bad idea, (3) go ahead an orphan it anyway since I am not technically deleting it, and (4) renominate it as orphaned. sounds like exactly what we don't want happening around here, but what you suggest we encourage through policy (or lack there of). Frietjes (talk) 17:47, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
1 and 2 are clearly fine. It's with 3 it becomes tricky, and IMO depends on good judgement and taking it easy. Removing 1000 templates in two hours would be bad. Removing e.g. 2 templates, and giving it two weeks to see if the places where it is used object to it is fine IMO. Somewhere in between there lies a large area reasonable people can disagree on when it is and isn't a good thing to do. For number four, roughly the same goes. Quickly orphaning and then immediately nominating for deletion on the basis that it's an orphan, without saying you (or someone else for that matter) just orphaned it seems dishonest. After having slowly orphaned something over a period of a couple of weeks, having received no reverts or pushback, and then nominating on the basis that you orphaned it, and that the orphaning turned out to be non-controversial seems reasonable and fine. The disagreement again is probably somewhere in between. I'll definitely need to sleep on it before I have an exact position on it, but I can't see it as black-and-white. Martijn Hoekstra (talk) 20:37, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
I would rather remove "unused" as a deletion argument than to allow this to continue. (I don't mean to propose that, unless other options fail.) Orphaned templates can be harder to figure out, as they may no longer have easily found usage examples. Bulk removals tend to be disruptive, and should require consensus beforehand. A few test replacements are helpful, and should be reported as arguments in favor of deletion. I don't understand why someone supporting deletion would not want to report replacements, unless they feel others would object or they were done improperly. Even if done improperly, it's an opportunity for gnomes. ;) Slowly replacing templates over months is better, though some still object to it. I think it is fairly moot, if those watching the articles have had no objection all that time. —PC-XT+ 05:04, 2 December 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Thanks. I think I see at least a consensus arising that bulk removal of temples without prior consensus at TfD is disruptive, and that removal in smaller numbers may be controversial, and should only be done with care, if uncontroversial, and be stopped and possibly undone if an editor in good faith requests it. Does that sound about right as far as the orphaning goes? Martijn Hoekstra (talk) 08:49, 2 December 2014 (UTC)

IMO there is no need to "codify what is said here into TfD guidelines" (MH, 10:51). I just want the existing guidelines, rules & pillar to seek consensus to be respected and maintained, including and especially by admins (closing or not). I also object the suggestion that wiggling in orphaning as correct, as MH introduces here. A TfD discussion should be generously inclusive for all aspects, and I do want to get rid of talk-evading editing & editors. Bad discussion behaviour (by treatment of other editors or by unsupported edits) should not be rewarded. I do not appreciate it that editors, admins especially, come blaming me when I ask for adherance to proper discussion behaviour. -DePiep (talk) 09:16, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
ping @Plastikspork:. This thread might be informative. -DePiep (talk) 22:54, 7 December 2014 (UTC)
@Frietjes: I'd like to follow up on this comment you made a few days ago. I too am having similar problems with the same user, to the degree that serious allegations of canvassing were cast against me; followed by the same person then trawling through my talk page archives to link to a thread that took place 18 months ago and that they were not even a part of - so clearly searching through a person's history to have even found the archived thread. And then follow-up by nominating even more templates that coincidently I had also created. It gives of the impression of deliberately targeting user's contributions but in a devious and "under the radar" manner. Something needs to be said to stop this from happening to other users. Wes Mouse | T@lk 02:34, 7 December 2014 (UTC)
Wesley Mouse a horrible experience indeed, I understand. I met similar stalking actions. (While Frietjes at 14:32 you reply to, describes a flaw it editing sequences, not exactly stalking. My replies here are a bout the mix of these two. The examples of bad are related to a user, yes) -DePiep (talk) 18:07, 26 December 2014 (UTC)

Another way that TfD is failing[edit]

Sometimes TfDs get "Delete" !votes - or do in fact get deleted - on the grounds that they are "broken" in some way. Looking at some of these, I find that the breakage is caused by the presence of a bare {{Template for discussion/dated}}; and even when enclosed in a <noinclude>...</noinclude>, there's sometimes an extra newline that is not expected by the situation where the template is used. See for example these three fixes, triggered by this "Delete" !vote. --Redrose64 (talk) 15:50, 3 December 2014 (UTC)

Maybe Twinkle should be notified of this problem, since it was used to apply these notices. I've seen it happen once in a while, as well. —PC-XT+ 02:11, 7 December 2014 (UTC)

Process formalisation (RFC)[edit]

In the light of the above discussion, I'd like to propose a few RfC's for consideration, one for completeness of proposals, one for merges, and one for orphaning. Below is the first one of them

Completeness of merge discussions (1)[edit]

Should the following be added to the TfD policy?

To facilitate discussion and enacting an outcome, TfD merge discussions should have at least a rough outline how a merge should take place. The nomination should at least include which parameters would be mapped to the merge target(s), and for which parameters no suitable mapping has been found yet.

  • Support, proposed Martijn Hoekstra (talk) 09:43, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Support if a wrapper would suffice as demonstration of parameter mapping. (If the template is already a wrapper, or one is in the sandbox, the nom can simply mention this. Mapping would only be needed for parameters the wrapper doesn't support or any additional changes proposed.) —PC-XT+ 23:19, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
    A wrapper would be a very clear outline of a merge, easily satisfying my phrasing of "at least a rough outline" above. Feel free to hack at it if you think it could be clearer without adding too much clutter. If it already is a wrapper, would you still consider that a merge proposal? I would say that's a deletion. Martijn Hoekstra (talk) 23:53, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
    I don't really think it needs changing. I mostly wanted to make sure I wasn't misreading it. A simple wrapper only requires subst-delete, but if it includes complex parserfunctions or awkward hacks to make it work, a rewrite or merge may be better. —PC-XT+ 04:00, 9 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Procedural: can someone add signings? Thanks. -DePiep (talk) 17:54, 26 December 2014 (UTC)

Can anything be done?[edit]

This is annoying.

The criminal org template has been proposed for merging into the infobox organization template.

Can we stop "The template Infobox organization is being considered for merging." from appearing at the top of each and every page – there are over 16,000 of them! – that uses the target "infobox organization" infobox?

I think it suffices for it to appear on the criminal org infobox pages (at most). Desire to generate conversation on these 400-odd pages proposed to be changed doesn't warrant marring the tops of 16,000 other pages. --Epeefleche (talk) 22:33, 7 December 2014 (UTC)

It is annoying. A section was just archived in which the nominator asked the general question, but received no answer. —PC-XT+ 01:20, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
See also the section above. Feedback on how to solve the general problem of what notification is sufficient is very welcome. Martijn Hoekstra (talk) 09:43, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
I think we should provide an exception for merges, in which templates that will not change appearance or name may be noinclude tagged as substituted templates are. A merge decision would be invalidated in such a case, if the name or appearance must be changed for some reason. —PC-XT+ 23:34, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
I believe in notification in general being a good thing, and that if something is being discussed, it should be widely advertised. With templates, that's tough. In my ideal situation, they would appear on the watchlist of people who have articles in which it is used on the page they are watching. If one uses the thing, but doesn't edit it, such discussions may still be relevant, even if the name and the appearance don't change, but I don't think that's technically feasible. Tagging the merge target is simultaneously more invasive, and less useful, but it's the only thing we got for now. It's a bit of a judgement call when to noinclude and when not to noinclude, but there seem to be a grey area in the middle where you're doing it wrong for at least someone to vocally complain that you obviously should have used the other one, leading to irritation all round. Martijn Hoekstra (talk) 00:04, 9 December 2014 (UTC)
I agree. There are complaints either way, leading to some protest of nominating merges in general. There are fewer complaints from noincluding, but perhaps only because fewer people notice. Since TfD is meant as centralized discussion, bearing more weight than simple talk page discussion, I would prefer to have more notification, myself. Perhaps we could create |minor= for template notification templates so transcluded minor notifications are detected by a new JavaScript that shows/hides these notices in article space. You could click any visible transcluded TfD notification for options to turn them all off on this page or this and all further pages, adding an option in the toolbar or somewhere to turn them back on, perhaps with a warning that minor notices of template merge/deletion are turned off. Then, |minor= could be used with the requirements I gave previously. Other proposals should probably give notification on all articles, regardless. —PC-XT+ 03:51, 9 December 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia talk:Administrators' noticeboard/Requests for closure#NAC Deletes[edit]

There is a discussion about non-admins closing discussions as "delete" at Wikipedia talk:Administrators' noticeboard/Requests for closure#NAC Deletes. See the subsection Wikipedia talk:Administrators' noticeboard/Requests for closure#So, this is the question we're asking, where the opening poster wrote, "Should non-adminstrators be allowed to close deletion discussions as delete?" Cunard (talk) 19:29, 16 December 2014 (UTC)