Template:Redirect category shell/Comparison

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Because of a software modification, as of January 2014 text is now able to appear on Wikipedia's redirect pages. Therefore, they all have the capability to display other readable text in addition to the redirect arrow and target page title, which had been the only displayable content prior to the software modification.

This page compares how text may appear on redirect pages when they are tagged by redirect category (rcat) templates in accordance with the guideline for categorizing redirects. In particular, the style comparisons on this page display examples that show how rcats are rendered when the {{Redirect category shell}} (which has replaced the deprecated {{This is a redirect}} template) is used:

{{Redirect category shell|{{R from plural}}|{{R with possibilities}}}}

in contrast to how text appears when rcats are added to redirects individually, such as:

{{R from plural}}
{{R with possibilities}}

The Rcat shell template wraps rcats in a similar manner to other shell templates, such as the {{WikiProject banner shell}}. However, rather than collapsing the templates, the Rcat shell gives them a more sophisticated and professional appearance.

Learning curve[edit]

With the Rcat shell template, the learning curve for inexperienced editors, who want to learn the details of redirect categorization, can be greatly enhanced. If an editor has no idea where to start and wants to learn, they can just add {{Rcat shell}} to the third line of a redirect's edit screen, and someone will "come a runnin'" to add rcats to the redirect. If they keep track of where they left a shell template, then they will learn how to categorize from more experienced editors. As their learning grows, they are not abandoned. If an editor knows that one or two rcats are needed, but they are unsure if any more should be added, all they need do is leave the very first parameter empty. Just as before, other editors will come a runnin' to double check their good work. This ability to help new and inexperienced editors is not available to individually applied rcats. More details may be found on the template documentation page.

Protection detection[edit]

Another good reason to consider using the Redirect category shell instead of using individual rcats on redirects is that the shell template, in addition to the learning curve and standardized text, is capable of detecting the protection level(s) of a redirect. When an administrator protects a redirect, either edit-protected, move-protected or both, and if the Redirect category shell template has been used to tag the redirect, then it automatically sorts the redirect into appropriate protection categories. If and when protection is lifted, raised or lowered, then the protection tags and categories are automatically removed or adjusted accordingly. If the Rcat shell is added to an already protected redirect, then any manually placed protection templates may be removed as they will not be needed. This automatic protection sensing is not available to individually applied rcats.

Style comparison[edit]

Templates used
The rcat templates used in this example are:

Rcat shell[edit]

{{Rcat shell|
{{R from related word}}
{{R from template shortcut}}
{{R from long name}}
{{R from alternative name}}
{{R to redirect template}}

Individually added[edit]

{{R from related word}}
{{R from template shortcut}}
{{R from long name}}
{{R from alternative name}}
{{R to redirect template}}

  • From a shortcut: This is a redirect from a shortcut in any namespace to a page in any namespace.
    • Shortcuts are wikilinked on community pages, talk pages, and edit summaries, but not in mainspace articles.
  • From a longer title: This is a redirect from a title that is a complete, more complete or longer version of the topic's name. It leads to the title in accordance with the naming conventions for common names and can help writing and searches. However, do not replace these redirected links with a piped link unless the page is updated for another reason.
  • From an alternative name: This is a redirect from a title that is another name or identity such as an alter ego, a nickname, or a synonym of the target, or of a name associated with the target.
    • This redirect leads to the title in accordance with the naming conventions for common names to aid searches and writing. It is not necessary to replace these redirected links with a piped link.
    • If this redirect is an incorrect name for the target, then {{R from incorrect name}} should be used instead.

Incorrect namespace[edit]

Also noted is how these rcats will appear if they are used to tag a redirect in the wrong namespace. {{R from plural}} is an rcat that is only used in article mainspace, and this page is a "template" page, so:

{{Rcat shell|{{R from plural}}}}...

{{R from plural}} if used individually...

  • From the plural form: This is a redirect from a plural noun to its singular form.
    • This redirect link is used for convenience; it is often preferable to add the plural directly after the link (for example, [[link]]s). However, do not replace these redirected links with a simpler link unless the page is updated for another reason (see WP:NOTBROKEN).
    • Use this rcat to tag only mainspace redirects; when plural forms are found in other namespaces, use {{R from modification}} instead.

Note 1: If {{R from plural}} or any template is used in a different namespace than it should be used, the editor may note that both the above error message and a different categorization than expected is generated. The page will not be sorted to the expected category, and will instead populate Category:Pages with templates in the wrong namespace.

Note 2: When the error box shown above is seen on "preview" or after the edit has been published, be sure to correct the error by removing the rcat that should only be used in another namespace. In this case the {{R from modification}} rcat, which may be used in any namespace, can be used instead of R from plural:

{{Rcat shell|{{R from modification}}}}...

{{R from modification}}...

Edit notes[edit]

  • Always double check your edits even after you have previewed and published them. Some edits may appear differently in different browsers and skins, so it's good to be prepared and to check those edits with different browsers and in different skins. Also, a few edits may appear differently after being published than when they were viewed on preview.
  • If your edits fail to appear after you've published them, be sure you have enabled your ability to see "hidden categories". You can make this choice very easily:
  1. Go to Preferences → Appearance
  2. Scroll down to Advanced options
  3. Check the box Show hidden categories
  4. Click Save
You may need to purge your browser cache to ensure that you can see hidden cats in the future.
  • The following "preview trick" is no longer necessary since the bugs were fixed. It is kept only for historic reasons, because it also works for other templates. There is another way the text can be seen and checked to see if the correct rcat has been added. When an editor begins to edit a redirect, the edit screen is brought up that gives the ability to change the page. If the redirect is disabled for preview and not saved, the editor can see the text of the rcat(s) added by clicking on Show preview. Once the editor has determined that the correct rcats have been added, the redirect can be re-enabled before being saved. One easy way to disable a redirect is to type a number or letter in the upper left of the edit field, to the left of the "#REDIRECT", as in "4#REDIRECT". Be sure that the "4" is removed before the Publish page is clicked.
  • The following "preview trick" is no longer necessary since a software update enabled section reference viewing. It is kept only for historic reasons, because it also works for other templates. The above "preview trick" works for other templates as well, such as {{Reflist}} or its shortcut, {{RE}}. Place one of those beneath a paragraph of an article section and click on Show preview to give you a "test reflist" with which to check citation edits. If you forget to remove the test reflist and published the page with it still in, just be sure to double check the edit and correct your mistake. Others will understand because we've all made the same or similar errors.

Bug note[edit]

There are two closed bugs and one open Phab ticket that dealt/deal with the appearance of text on redirects:

Until the first two were resolved, the above texts only appeared at Rfd, because only then was a redirect disabled (by the Rfd template). Only when a redirect was disabled would text appear on redirects.

Editor's choice[edit]

There is no policy nor guideline with a goal to get editors to use the Rcat shell. So it is up to editors to decide which style is better for use: the Rcat shell wrapping the rcats or the rcats are used individually. The editors who have worked to improve the Rcat shell hope that other editors will put it to good use.