Wikipedia talk:Template namespace

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Disambiguation
WikiProject icon This page is within the scope of WikiProject Disambiguation, an attempt to structure and organize all disambiguation pages on Wikipedia. If you wish to help, you can edit the page attached to this talk page, or visit the project page, where you can join the project and/or contribute to the discussion.
 

Part of this page looks bogus[edit]

See here. Any ideas if any of that section is necessary? Biosthmors (talk) 19:50, 2 December 2012 (UTC)

Removed the whole tutorial. It was out-dated when it was placed there, and this is the wrong page for "how-to"'s anyway. --Netoholic @ 04:30, 17 June 2014 (UTC)

Biography[edit]

Kumar Shailesh, a versatile Sadri film actor, has showcased his talent through all kinds of films, romantic, comedy and action. The variety tells enough about his versatility.[citation needed] His Nickname is vickey. He lives with his famili at resides near Coochbehar. Shailesh was born at Jamuwa, a small village in bhojpur dist in Bihar and spent his childhood days at mathabhanga or in Coochbehar Dist in westbengal. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kumar Shailesh (Actor) (talkcontribs) 07:01, 10 December 2012 (UTC)

Lua programming language[edit]

We got Scribunto extension installed - please see Wikipedia:Lua. Could we add a note about the possibility to use Lua to the page contents? Lua is considered quite a big step forward by template makers so I think it is worth mentioning.--Kozuch (talk) 11:18, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

Added to the History section. --Netoholic @ 04:26, 17 June 2014 (UTC)

Delete all single-use templates?[edit]

See Wikipedia:Templates_for_discussion/Log/2013_September_23#Template:Seetal_railway_line, re {{Seetal railway line}}

There is a view (thankfully being resisted) that templates should be deleted because (and only because) they are only used in one instance.

This viewpoint has been supported by quoting Wikipedia:Template namespace guideline: "Templates should not do the work of article content in the main article namespace; instead, place the text directly into the article."

Obviously a dogmatic interpretation of this would be a foolish nonsense and no sensible editor would do so. However this is Wikipedia, and such behaviour is commonplace. In this TfD situation, this mere guideline has already been cited as policy to justify such a deletion.

There may be many reasons why a template might be useful, even when only used once. In the specific case here, these RFD templates represent railway route maps and they are a thoroughly unpleasant bit of coding, requiring skill with both templates and familiarity with the RFD icons. Yet the RFD maps are generally more stable than article bodies. We do not want such a thing placed in the article body itself. The article body doesn't benefit and the bulk of complex and fragile rocket-science code it would dump into the main edit window is just asking for damage. Apart from which, speaking as a software engineer with decades of experience, never rule something out because you haven't yet thought of a use for it. Yes, there is rarely any gain to be had by splitting articles up into a composition exercise from isolated templates. However should another editor have seen a reason to do so, later editors should be very wary of permanently subst:ing the template contents into the article as that is no more likely to offer a measurable gain. We should certainly not have a policy, or extend a guideline, to support bulk removal of templates on those grounds alone. For clarity, we should not have a guideline that can be misinterpreted in such a way. As we appear to at present, it warrants re-wording. Andy Dingley (talk) 16:06, 25 September 2013 (UTC)n s

  • I think the basic principle is valid when it refers to "article content", but an RDT (Route Diagram Template) is a technical construct with long passages of coded sub-templates that would obstruct the editing of the regular text that makes up most of a normal article. That exposed code could also be subject to inadvertant disruption by editors with no experience of what all that "stuff" does. I have seen spelling corrected in an RDT, probably auto-corrected, which completely crashed it. Secondarywaltz (talk) 16:50, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
  • What would you say about creating a universal template for route diagrams, coded with Lua? This sounds like a perfect use case. Keφr 17:44, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
    • If you want to write such a template, then feel free. However it's creating yet another domain-specific markup to describe the route diagrams, which even fewer editors will understand. If you were also planning to convert existing templates, then that would need an automatic tool building to convert them.
    As to this issue, then I'm just here to oppose the, "Single use is a sufficient condition to delete a template" Andy Dingley (talk) 18:53, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
    • …because the current system is so simple and obvious to understand. So simple that you have to isolate markup for the route diagrams and put it in a separate page.
    Using Lua may simplify markup and obviate the need for single-use templates in this case. To be fair, we also have Category:Latest preview software release templates, which also seem to be exempt from this rule. However, Wikidata may soon remove the need for these too. The question is: shall we do away with the rule, amend the rule to make an exception for this practice, or fix practice to fit the rule? This is not just a side proposal, but one quite central to the problem. Keφr 19:18, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
    It's not the markup that's the problem, it's the complexity of the route icons. Andy Dingley (talk) 22:11, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
    Let me quote a person who is supposedly an expert here: "they are a thoroughly unpleasant bit of coding, requiring skill with both templates and familiarity with the RFD icons. [...] The article body doesn't benefit and the bulk of complex and fragile rocket-science code it would dump into the main edit window is just asking for damage." Keφr 04:40, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
  • What's that got to do with the...? We are not discussing the complexities of RDTs here - well you are! Stop doing that and focus! The guideline says: "Templates should not do the work of article content in the main article namespace; instead, place the text directly into the article." RDTs are not text and are not doing the work of content, so this does not apply. The End. Secondarywaltz (talk) 22:24, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
So then why are RDT templates being nominated for deletion on this ground alone? Andy Dingley (talk) 23:45, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
WikiZombies! But you probably knew that. Secondarywaltz (talk) 00:07, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
They are not doing the work of content? You mean, they can be safely deleted and all it would change is that the navigation would be less convenient? Why defend them so strongly, then? Keφr 04:40, 26 September 2013 (UTC)

Proposal: The Template namespace is not a repository of external data[edit]

This is inspired by a TfD discussion related to a sub-template of {{cite doi}} (used in references). The intent of this template and the sub-templates such as {{Cite doi/10.5665.2Fsleep.1378}} is to create a system of preformatted references for each DOI instance. There are over 67 million DOIs in existence and this collection of sub-templates has already grown to 49k at Category:Cite doi templates, created mostly by bot (Special:Contributions/Citation bot). Similar schemes have been created around {{pmid}} (11k sub-templates), {{RussiaAdmMunRef}} (1400), Category:Middle-earth source templates (96), just to name a few (more at Category:Specific-source templates). Essentially, these template schemes are moving citation data (which is article material) and attempting to create a raw data repository within the template namespace. Most are only used on one or few articles, and in many cases become abandoned which editors subst: or replace them, or find that the given formatting doesn't fit the needs of the article they are working on. The additional danger is that someone will change a citation template to fit one article, but cause cited information within another article to be invalid. Now, I think a small number of source-specific templates may have their use, but clearly we don't want to recreate 67 million-entry databases either.

Along the lines of Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information, I'd like to propose that we produce a policy which limits the use of the template namespace, so that it does not become a repository for arbitrary data. -- Netoholic @ 22:16, 10 June 2014 (UTC)

Some of these also contain a block of citations together for some reason that just locks up articles unnecessarily (see Template:Latin_phrases_references used on about 30 pages learning towards delete, Template:Lunar_crater_references on over 1400 pages and Template:Australian Trilobite References leaning towards keep because it's used on nine articles that people find difficult to copy and paste). There's also Category:External link templates. Some people argue for some of these based on the fact that certain websites that are linked so (say IMDb) could change their fundamental structure and rather than having a bot or someone fix the problems, it can be done via a template. I don't agree because it fundamentally makes it more difficult for new users to see what we're doing. For example, at the discussion Netoholic mentioned (note, I was the one who started it), someone mentioned my concern that it was orphaned and "solved" it by making plain text into a template which does not help even regular users because they'd be guessing if that would work unless we actually create all 67 million templates. This whole thing seems strange given WP:T3 which seems to clearly lean towards removing attempts to create templates for plain text like this. -- Ricky81682 (talk) 02:00, 11 June 2014 (UTC)
Calling it as I see it: the OP's post appears to be full of straw men; I do not know if that was intentional or through a misunderstanding. Straw man 1: The information in cite doi templates is neither indiscriminate nor arbitrary. It is specific information that editors have deliberately chosen to insert into articles. Straw man 2: As for the alleged danger, please provide an instance of this happening. I have edited many thousands of these templates and thousands of articles that use them, and I have not seen an instance of this. Straw man 3: We are nowhere near 67 million. What we have now is a small number, compared to our total article count, of useful templates that prevent articles from being cluttered with long journal citations and allow the same citation to be used in multiple articles. This is basic modular construction, used in computer programming and many other fields of endeavor.
It has been proposed elsewhere that this information reside somewhere other than within Wikipedia and be called from within articles. That might be an interesting avenue to pursue, though I don't know how it would work. – Jonesey95 (talk) 13:11, 11 June 2014 (UTC)
"specific information that editors have deliberately chosen to insert into articles" - no, thats the problem. This is data which is not in the articles, but stored in the template namespace. -- Netoholic @ 17:07, 11 June 2014 (UTC)
Just because it is stored in template namespace, doesn't mean that it wasn't deliberately chosen to insert into articles. We use templates all the time for information that is in multiple different articles so that only one place needs to be changed in order to change it in all articles using it. This is no different. -DJSasso (talk) 19:09, 11 June 2014 (UTC)
For navigation and presentation purposes, yes, but almost all template use involves storing the external data as template-call parameters within the article. In this case, the data is stored in the template namespace and is separated from the edit history of the article which relies on that citation information. Also, if the citation is changed in the template (say if an update, correction, or new edition is released), then referenced material within articles could be invalidated. Templates like this don't allow for variations in formatting tailored to each article, nor do they allow detailed information, such as specific page references. Data which is external to Wikipedia doesn't belong anywhere except the articles themselves. Internal Wikipedia data (page links, formatting) is what templates are for. -- Netoholic @ 19:31, 11 June 2014 (UTC)
Re variations in formatting: Your argument that it does not allow variations in formatting, while true, is a non-starter. As is very explicitly stated in a banner notice at the top of template:cite doi, format variations are not intended to be provided. The user is explicitly told that they should not use the template in articles where citations are not formatted in the manner described. I see no reason that this should be a consideration. It is always the responsibility of the editor making an addition/change to an article to be compliant with WP guidelines. This template, like any template, is a tool. It is not intended to perform all of the duties of editing a page.— Makyen (talk) 22:21, 12 June 2014 (UTC)

In addition to the TfD mentioned above this is also being discussed here, and at Wikipedia:Bot owners' noticeboard#‎User:Citation bot - mass creation of sub-templates. Please don't split discussion like that. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 13:19, 11 June 2014 (UTC)

That discussion is about a bot exceeding its mandate (which drew attention to the problem of people using templates to store external data). This is a discussion about what policy guidelines might be necessary to prevent that. -- Netoholic @ 17:07, 11 June 2014 (UTC)

Information: This thread contains some statements which imply a misunderstanding as to how {{Cite doi}} works. {{Cite doi}} was created in 2008 as a method of having reusable citations with bot-filled information when the editor supplies only a DOI. It is a generic method of obtaining a complete citation from only a DOI. A new template is created in a sub-page of template:Cite doi if and only if an editor enters a {{cite doi}} into a page with a |doi= containing a DOI for which a individual template does not already exist. Sometime after such a new DOI is entered a new template is created which contains the bot-filled data for that DOI. The {{cite doi}} then transcludes that new template wherever it is used with a |doi= containing that DOI.

  • Since May 2008, 49k such templates have been created.
  • There is no danger of 67 million templates being created, contrary to what is implied in both the first and second post in this thread.

— Makyen (talk) 22:21, 12 June 2014 (UTC)

One minor tweak to the statement above by my esteemed colleague Makyen: a net of 49K cite doi templates have been created. A non-trivial number (hundreds, at least, maybe a thousand or more) have been speedy-deleted because they were created in error and/or are not linked from or transcluded in any articles. I routinely mark new cite doi templates with the CSD-G6 tag (or fill them in manually, if the DOI is valid but not linked to dx.doi.org yet) after being directed to them by the CS1 citation error categories. I do not routinely delete well-formed but orphaned cite doi templates, figuring that they are not hurting anyone. – Jonesey95 (talk) 00:33, 13 June 2014 (UTC)
This discussion is about setting a guideline to dissuade people from using the template space for storing data, it is not a referendum on how {{cite doi}} work - that template is used as an example of a system which can grow indefinitely without a policy to guide it. --Netoholic @ 01:37, 13 June 2014 (UTC)
If you don't mind me asking, how many do you think you're planning on creating? As of April 2014, there were approximately 454k non-redirect templates. As such, the doi template constitute more than 10% of all templates at the moment. -- Ricky81682 (talk) 05:16, 17 June 2014 (UTC)
The thing is it actually doesn't matter what percentage of templates are doi templates. They are useful both individually and as a group. Even if (which I am not suggesting for a moment) we created all 67 million doi templates the impact on the servers would be negligible, the impact on maintenance would be negligible, the impact on namespace conservation would be negligible. All the best: Rich Farmbrough13:22, 17 June 2014 (UTC).
More straw men, hooray! I have probably marked more cite doi templates for speedy deletion than I have created. – Jonesey95 (talk) 14:57, 17 June 2014 (UTC)

Subproposal: some criteria for citation templates that call on subtemplates[edit]

Assume that the main proposal is rejected, can we formulate some rules on subtemplates then? In comparison, Template:Cite CAstat works by having the parameters in the template and pulls only the quotation from the subpage. Each doi is unique so there are a number of calls (although the main template doesn't seem to go into the subtemplate parameters). At the least, CAstat could have the url being stored in the subpage so that the URLs can be distinguishable per subpage. Template:RussiaAdmMunRef (about 1400 subtemplates) also has the subtemplates in a separate category. I think I would prefer that the subtemplates be placed in a separate category and maybe have some structure behind it in case someone else wants to create a different citation format for the subtemplates. I could imagine a use where someone wants to cite a particular doi template but only the year and date (for a parenthetical citation format) or even some weirdness where people want to pull two doi templates or other combinations, it's a wiki, it'll come up somewhere. -- Ricky81682 (talk) 00:27, 18 June 2014 (UTC)

These are prime examples of why we have Lua and Wikidata. The Template namespace is the wrong place for this sort of complex external data scheme. Its highly inefficient, hard to watch over, and hard to maintain when the creators of these schemes go on wikibreaks. Its why rather than try to think of other equally complex solutions, like endorsing sub-templates, we instead go for the real problem of moving external data out of the namespace. --Netoholic @ 01:57, 18 June 2014 (UTC)

Proposal: we do nothing twice[edit]

I think everything that's done at least twice should be stored in case people want to use it again. Why make more work for us? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 198.228.216.32 (talk) 00:48, 14 June 2014 (UTC)

Good idea, what exactly are you referring to ? Mlpearc (open channel) 14:33, 29 June 2014 (UTC)

Templates for editors only: allowed in more places than just Talkspace.[edit]

About guideline "[...] Templates that provide information only of service to editors belong on an article's talk page."

I think this should say something like "do not belong in content space". As it is written now, we can not use an editors-aimed template in subject spaces like WP:, Help: and Template: (documentation). -DePiep (talk) 14:26, 29 June 2014 (UTC)

Good call, I'll clarifiy it. Thanks. --Netoholic @ 22:28, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
Thx. BTW, I still don't know what "content space" exactly envelopes (Lua seems to have it listed). Check this: is a template home page content space (like template:periodic table)? Its /doc included then? -DePiep (talk) 00:00, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
Articles are "content space", everything is is in non-content space. Messages directed solely at editors should not be visible on articles. -- Netoholic @ 00:14, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
(OT from here) Are you sure? Categories can't be content? -DePiep (talk) 00:52, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
Check [1]. It promises, but it is the worst documentation area in wikiworld ever. -DePiep (talk) 01:00, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
Categories are a navigational aid and aren't primarily article content. As far as that Scribunto/Lua item - I think that is a general function. A wiki could define more than one "content space" - on english Wikipedia we only have one (the articles), but other wikis might have several. The template guidelines on this page are just for english Wikipedia, they aren't technical restrictions, but rather instructions for our use. --Netoholic @ 01:10, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
Splitting hairs: you write "primarily article content". 'primarily' is an escape. But all right: if you will consider my OP, everything is fine. -DePiep (talk) 01:23, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
What I meant was that categories aren't a primary source for content - you wouldn't add a category to an article unless the main content of the article supported that category. --Netoholic @ 01:32, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

Guideline creep[edit]

The earlier nutshell text said: "Templates should not normally be used as a substitute for usual article content, ...". Then in recent edits by Netoholic [2], the 'normally' has diappeared. (My correction today was reverted by Netoholic). I claim that this is a change of the guideline, that should have been discussed as such.

Netoholic is drip-drip changing their position into the guideline here they quote this as "should be"). As it is, there are well-established exceptions to this guideline, and these should not be invalidated by this single edit.

I claim that at least the "should not" intention should be stay in the guideline, or possible we can find an even stronger "acceptable exceptions" formulation. -DePiep (talk) 09:03, 13 July 2014 (UTC)

Added section header. ping Netoholic. -DePiep (talk) 14:36, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
Netoholic changed "content" to "text", but plenty of text in articles is properly contained within templates. I suggest the word "prose" instead of "content" or "text". "Prose" means the meat of the article, the body paragraphs, excluding text that is often properly contained within templates such as {{infobox}}, {{cite web}}, and various footer templates. – Jonesey95 (talk) 15:17, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
This is why I clarified it to "text". When you use a {{infobox}} or {{cite web}}, the "article text" is still stored in the article itself, as parameters to a template, whereas the structure is the only thing that the template contains. --Netoholic @ 19:16, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
That is another point that could be clearer. My issue is that it should not be absolutely forbidden, and not in this editing way. There are well-bases exceptions & reasonings to do it. -DePiep (talk) 18:10, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
Prior to my series of updates to the page (it was in kind of a sad state), the word "normally" in the "nutshell" summary did not match the actual text of the guideline, which is why I sync'd up the intent in this edit and later sync'd the precise wording in this one changing only "do the work of" to "be used to store" which I think is more clear. You can see I didn't alter the actual guideline scope itself there, only the mismatched summary text. In yesterday's edit, I changed "article content" to "article text", since content has been interpreted ambiguously. Changing back to "text" harkens back to the very original version of this particular guideline in 2005.
Exceptions to the rule do exist, and should always be precariously perched in that position only by established consensus, but that doesn't mean its wise to move the boundary lines. --Netoholic @ 19:11, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
Isn't it kind of a tautology to say that 'article text (or content)' should be in articles and not in templates? If you say that templates shouldn't include things more appropriate for articles, that doesn't really provide any guideline. Besides, what are the exceptions leaving really? We have citations in templates, infoboxes in templates, various charts and tables. Is non-graphical prose accurate? -- Ricky81682 (talk) 01:08, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
I could link it to Wikipedia:What is an article? which describes the nature of the main article namespace - "A Wikipedia article, or entry, is a page that has encyclopedic information on it. A well-written encyclopedia article identifies a notable encyclopedic topic, summarizes that topic comprehensively, contains references to reliable sources, and links to other related topics. Most articles consist of paragraphs and images, but they may also be formatted as stand-alone lists or tables. These lists or tables are also considered articles for Wikipedia's purposes." By that definition, citations are article text, and by extension of the template namespace guidelines, that text should be in the articles themselves. --Netoholic @ 03:20, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
re Netoholic. my series of updates to the page (it was in kind of a sad state) you write. Actually you edited out "Templates should not do the work of article content in the main article namespace; instead, place the text directly into the article" [3]. That is quite a different text (and to me not that unclear or bad at all). In short: this is not an 'update', this is plain guideline changing. As is clear from related discussions, especially wrt "what is content" (in this thread too), the matter is not clarified, or improved.
There also is this. I sense a form of spiraling reasoning by you. First you quoted this guideline, then you change the guideline to make your quote stronger, and then you say it is just an update. In other words, the string of edits pushes out other reasonable angles. Next I can expect is that, in a future discussion, you quote this guideline (in your version) to say: "see, it is not allowed".
I disagree with the edits & the process, and I suggest they should be discussed to form a consensus. -DePiep (talk) 16:37, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
The recent changes to the guideline ("Templates should not do the work of article content in the main article namespace" to "Templates should not be used to store article text") were meant to clarify, not strengthen, because the the guideline has always been very strong. There is no substantial difference between the two versions, and I would be happy quoting any of them or even revert my own changes if people feel strongly. It doesn't change the fact that encyclopedic content should not be in the template namespace. In fact, how do you feel about this wording: "'The Template: namespace should not contain encyclopedic text. Such content belongs in the article pages themselves.'" That says the same thing, but makes it even clearer, since some people confuse templates ([[Template:Template]]) and template calls ({{Template|parameter=data}}). Templates (calls) in articles obviously contain encyclopedic text as parameters, but Template: items should not. --Netoholic @ 18:56, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
re. how do you feel about this wording you ask. No reply. This is not the way to settle a wiki guideline question. Please start & write a proposal or something like that. I won't go with your 'as it was meant in 2005' ideas.
And there is this. As we speak, I am profoundly using your "article text in template space is illegal" route to improve enwiki big time. Without that route, I could not and would not have done this (see my edit history). If you want to call this illegal: do so plain out. -DePiep (talk) 21:17, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
The word "illegal" in this context wouldn't fit. I wasn't aware of what work you do, but as you asked, I looked at your history. Seems like you mostly work on the {{Infobox element}} derivatives, which are single-use templates associated with the articles on each element. This seems, to me, to have the consensus of the community to operate as it does, but that is an exception to the rule. This doesn't mean that the main rule is bad, or should be abandoned or weakened, only that exceptions demonstrate a consensus for that status, and where possible (such as as we move raw data into Wikidata), then that exception will probably expire at some point. -- Netoholic @ 22:13, 14 July 2014 (UTChelping)
Which is my point (and stop "helping" me, unasked as it is). We don't need your opinion on this for the guideline. I won't come and "beg" for your personal admission to use a template this way. Now please stop this, and don't abuse my editors's time explaining to you the obvious. Note: I find it destructive that you actually intrude my sandbox edits right now. -DePiep (talk) 23:42, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
To be clear: I am working with these 125 clearly offending and wikillegal templates, but which I only can improve sensibly exactly by having their code in a separated, single-use, "article-text" containing template. If you object to my working, then say so. If not, then use this knowledge. -DePiep (talk) 23:26, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

May I suggest we conduct an RFC on the wording? I would remove the word normally just because it makes it a meaningless guidelines (which is just that, a guideline, so it isn't set in stone anyways). Is there an agreement on that? If not, we can offer a host of solutions and see where things go. -- Ricky81682 (talk) 06:00, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

Strike that part. Just the RfC suggestion. -- Ricky81682 (talk) 06:01, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, an RfC is required to make this WP:guideline current & serious. But ... there is the 2005 version (Netoholic keeps mentioning), and the evolved practice (I edit by). Must say, I have little confidence that we can change a guideline. This WP is so established, no change will happen at that level. I can't see me spending time on this RfC for guideline change. For energy efficiency, I prefer blasting those 2005 wikilawyers in a TfD. A choice. Wiki higher command could intervene to improve our guidelines. -DePiep (talk) 18:41, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
I reverted the injection of WP:What is an article? (a FAQ page) [4]. Instead of working the wording to fit an unknown thing, this guideline needs sound text. The way it is going now, I expect to be hounded (for making sensible edits) in a few X units of time by these very fluid descriptions. -DePiep (talk) 23:18, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

RfC: What should the guideline be regarding the scope of templates?[edit]

How should we word the first guideline at Wikipedia:Template_namespace#Guidelines (and in the nutshell portion) for templates versus what should be in articles? -- Ricky81682 (talk) 00:03, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

The Template namespace should not be used to store article text. Such content belongs in the article pages themselves.[edit]

  • Endorse - Ever since 2005, its been the intent of the community that the Template namespace not be used to store encyclopedic content. Templates are used to maintain formatting of that content (such as {{cite web}} calls), alert messages to readers ({{citation needed}}), and to provide navigation, but the main "meat" of an article, its information and data that we want editors to freely and easily be able to update, should be in the article namespace itself. Wikipedia:What is an article? describes what counts as encyclopedic content. -- Netoholic @ 02:27, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

Templates should not normally be used to store article text[edit]

  • Endorse — In particular there are some images and captions that are used in several places (such as Template:Old Norse language map) that are encyclopædic content that should be templatised for consistency across articles. I can't think of any examples that are more clearly encyclopædic content off-hand, but I'm sure there are exceptions that are reasonable. Fwiw, I totally don't have a problem with the citation-source templates (mentioned earlier on this Talk: page) either.* Because this is software, we're not limited in the same way as we might be with physical artifacts, so surely what does and doesn't belong in templates is, in part, down to editors' convenience. — OwenBlacker (Talk) 21:08, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
    * Were there a convenient way for those to come from Wikidata, though, I would much prefer that, for tidiness's sake
  • Endorse, meaning that the normally allows editor's freedom. No time to argue extensive, right because I am working in that great article-text-in-template area (see my post in the section above). -DePiep (talk) 21:31, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

Threaded discussion[edit]

  • @OwenBlacker: - No one doubts that the template space should be used for things like maps and other visual representations that should exist across several articles, but those are not strictly "text" (in other words, they aren't prose or other "readable" content). Option 1 (the current standard) would never affect the map that you linked, as it is a useful visual aid used across several articles. There are certainly exceptions for other things out there that do use prose/text in templates, but they are rare and maintain their status as exceptions which "break" this particular rule by way of strong consensus. I think the difference in the two options given here is that option 1 about maintaining this strong standard in a way that has served us well since 2005, and option 2 relaxes it in a way that could see those rare exceptions grow to be commonplace which has many negative results. For example, templates for entire paragraphs of prose, which makes that text difficult to edit for novice users and can't be monitored by people that watchlist the article, but not the template. -- Netoholic @ 03:31, 26 July 2014 (UTC)
  • (to Netoholic) Please give me a break. For exactly the reasons that illustrate why I oppose this, from real editor's life: These weeks I am preparing & making a big changeover to ~125 off-article templates (singly used even, how illegal!). Were they in-article --as is proposed-- I could not and would not have made this improvement. I have no time to argue that wide, for obvious reasons. Just one question: would you oppose this process then, however indirectly? -DePiep (talk) 21:28, 26 July 2014 (UTC)
    I am fine with some exceptions to the rule, when there is good reason and strong consensus, but those exceptions should be seen as temporary, and we should not rewrite the basic rule itself. It sends the wrong message. -- Netoholic @ 04:07, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
This is an idle statement. Your statement above does not allow for an exception. You know just very well that, once amade into a guideline or rule, there is no escape and any editor can deny any exception just by linking to it. And you yourself have not even admitted that my current process would be such an "exception". DSimply, igf you recognise there are exceptions possible, just enter them in the rule. -DePiep (talk) 11:07, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
Strong consensus allows exception to any wikipedia policy or guideline. That doesn't mean we soften the stated rules. Your element templates are exceptions, allowed by strong consensus, but in the future there may be solutions that eliminate the need for them to be exceptions. -- Netoholic @ 19:13, 27 July 2014 (UTC)