Template talk:Astray

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I am a little concerned about the wording of this template: it has occurred to me that "have no inside track" may not be very clear to somebody for whom English is not a native language. I'd like to change it to something like "have no special knowledge". Since I don't know how many people will see this talk page, I will put a note on WT:Help desk as well.

Sounds good to me -- PhantomSteve.alt/talk\[alternative account of Phantomsteve] 00:51, 12 December 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I remember thinking that wording was a tad odd. While we're at it, I suggest a few other changes (new text in green, comments in small italics):
Hello. I suspect, based on your question, that you found one of our over three million articles, and thought that we were directly (unneeded, contradicts "in some way") affiliated in some way with that subject. Please note that you are at Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit, and this page is a help desk (unneeded) for asking questions related to using the encyclopedia Wikipedia itself (using or contributing). Thus, we have no inside track on special knowledge about the subject of your question. You can, however, search our vast catalogue of articles by typing a subject into the search field on the upper right side of your screen. If you cannot find what you are looking for, we have a reference desk, divided into various subject areas, where asking knowledge questions is welcome. Best of luck.
Adrian J. Hunter(talkcontribs) 03:30, 12 December 2010 (UTC)
I have implemented the changes, except that instead of Wikipedia itself (using or contributing), I have used using or contributing to Wikipedia itself. We are also about a day away from hitting 3.5 million articles and should change the number at the beginning at that time (as I tried to keep it up to date in the past).--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 13:52, 12 December 2010 (UTC)
I hadn't meant that "(using or contributing)" should be written in the template... that was just me explaining why I suggested deleting "using". Perhaps "using or contributing to" is redundant?
If you really want to keep the number of articles up to date (and perhaps show off a little), you could use always use {{subst:NUMBEROFARTICLES}} ;-)
Adrian J. Hunter(talkcontribs) 14:23, 12 December 2010 (UTC)
Oh, I did think it was part of the text you suggested! In that case, I think it's important to keep that in, or similar language. We have long had a problem with users asking general knowledge questions as I'm sure you know—so much so that we have the message at the top of the page, in the edit notice, and it's no coincidence that the the RD series of templates were the first help desk templates. "Astray" people are on a parallel wrong path to those asking knowledge questions, and may, once informed of where they are, follow up with a knowledge question. We want that asked at the right place.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 14:40, 12 December 2010 (UTC)
Ah, I see what you're saying, and now I agree. (And yeah, sorry, you didn't want the subst:.) Adrian J. Hunter(talkcontribs) 14:54, 12 December 2010 (UTC)
Great. On the number of articles front, we could have it substituted I think, using {{<includeonly>subst:</includeonly>NUMBEROFARTICLES}}. Would it be better this way, or is it better to have the number always updating in the old posts? I'm undecided.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 16:00, 12 December 2010 (UTC)
I don't think the numbers should update in old posts – that's potentially confusing, and kind of goes against the idea of substituting anything (archives should show posts exactly as the questioner saw them). If your solution above works, then that seems sensible to me. Adrian J. Hunter(talkcontribs) 16:19, 12 December 2010 (UTC)
No, old posts won't update. See the wiki-text at Wikipedia:Help_desk#forensic_doctor for an example. -- John of Reading (talk) 11:34, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
They don't update because Fuhghettaboutit implemented template substitution. If the Astray template contained {{NUMBEROFARTICLES}} without substitution, then the number would update whenever anyone viewed its output, even in archives. Adrian J. Hunter(talkcontribs) 12:16, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Doh, the present solution fails when the user doesn't substitute the Astray template – see Wikipedia:Help_desk#Punjabi_programme. I've no idea how to fix that, except by returning to "3.5 million articles". Adrian J. Hunter(talkcontribs) 14:51, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

Maybe "3.5 million" reads better anyway. The rest of the text gives the impression that it might have been specially composed to meet the needs of the person posing the question, but "3,505,219" makes it obvious that the answer is a canned response. -- John of Reading (talk) 17:07, 18 December 2010 (UTC)
I find that a compelling argument. Given that plus the no-substitution problem, I've changed the template back to "3.5 million articles". Adrian J. Hunter(talkcontribs) 07:52, 23 December 2010 (UTC)
I agree. It reads better this way.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 13:44, 23 December 2010 (UTC)

Location of search box[edit]

The template says "the search field on the upper right side of your screen", but it isn't necessarily there. Mine was sitting in the left hand menu until I changed my preferences a couple of minutes ago. Could we find some better wording? - David Biddulph (talk) 20:07, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

I think all IP's have the vector skin by default so it would be in the upper right side of the screen. Ryan Vesey (talk) 01:37, 17 June 2011 (UTC)


I think this template should not include a signature. Sometimes you will want to follow "Best of luck" with another sentence, and only then add the signature. And, of course, you need a trick to include four tildes in a template. I think it is something like ~~<includeonly></includeonly>~~ -- John of Reading (talk) 19:04, 12 July 2011 (UTC)

Agreed. I often use this template and have frequently added something before or after. Earlier I removed the inital "Hello" because it looked bad when you wrote something before. PrimeHunter (talk) 21:35, 12 July 2011 (UTC)