Template talk:Citation needed/Archive 9

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Archive 8 Archive 9 Archive 10

Edit request from Nfultonovich, 15 August 2010

{{editprotected}} The definition of Pathetic Fallacy is incorrect. Pathetic Fallacy specifically presents an (inanimate) element of nature in harmony with a state of human emotion. For example, rain falls when a broken-hearted person cries, or thunder and lightening crash in synch with an enraged person's shouts. It is NOT personification, nor is it the same as anthromorphism - which is correctly defined.Nfultonovich (talk) 15:01, 15 August 2010 (UTC)

Nfultonovich (talk) 15:01, 15 August 2010 (UTC)

Wrong place. Please request a change at the talk page of the article in question. --Redrose64 (talk) 15:56, 15 August 2010 (UTC)

Redirect categorizing

{{editprotected}} Please put {{R from other templates}} atop Template:Fact. Thank you. :| TelCoNaSpVe :| 18:45, 20 August 2010 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 20:55, 20 August 2010 (UTC)
That Redirect needs an {{R from move}} template, as well. Also, just FYI for future considerations, all such "R from" templates must be added to the same line as the REDIRECT (top line) with no spaces, such as...
#REDIRECT [[Template:Citation needed]]{{R from move}}{{R from other template}}
 —  Paine (Ellsworth's Climax)  15:20, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
FYI, the restriction to a single line seems to have been removed in January 2006. Anomie 16:02, 29 August 2010 (UTC)`
That's great, Anomie! How about the "no space between article link and template or between template and template" rule? I read about both of these, the "no space" rule and the "all on one line" rule, on various maintenance templates, and while visibly there seemed to be no difference, I had read that there was some kind of internal categorization problem if the rules were not followed. So, do you know if the "no space" restriction has also been removed?
 —  Paine (Ellsworth's Climax)  16:48, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
I never even knew of a "no space" rule, but I know from experience it is no longer in effect as I have always used a space and never had a problem. Anomie 18:57, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
Yes, me too. Like I said, I have always thought that there was some underlying, internal category problem that wouldn't show up in normal ops. Thank you very much for the info, and if I come across any {{R ...}} templates that require the no-spacing or top-line insertion, I'll rm the restriction.
Please note that the Fact REDIRECT still needs the {{R from move}} template installed.
 —  Paine (Ellsworth's Climax)  05:03, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
Where two or more {{R from ...}}-style templates are used, there should be no intervening spaces. This is because the templates are coded to end with a forced line break, and begin with a  . When these occur together, it's fine; but if there is an intervening space, you get this box appearing between the two templates:
It doesn't show up normally (and nor does the "This template name redirects to ..." text), but it does show up if the #REDIRECT [[]] is not the first line, as with a case of WP:RFD. You can also demonstrate this by sandboxing the following:
#notaREDIRECT [[someplace]]{{R from move}} {{R from other template}}
The presence or absence of a space before the first template doesn't matter: it's the space(s) between the templates that cause the trouble. --Redrose64 (talk) 14:22, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
Thank you, editor Redrose64! That clears another item for me. This smacks like a bug, so I wonder if it has been reported already? Also, I wonder where this is documented to inform editors of this need?
 —  Paine (Ellsworth's Climax)  18:27, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
Or you could just put each template on its own line. Anomie 22:52, 1 September 2010 (UTC)

More catting


Since the Fact template was moved to this Cn template, please put {{R from move}} atop Template:Fact. Thank you very much.
 —  Paine (Ellsworth's Climax)  18:36, 1 September 2010 (UTC)

Done. Added with no spaces between {{R from other template}} and {{R from move}}, per discussion above. ~Amatulić (talk) 19:34, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
Thank you, Amatulić!  —  Paine (Ellsworth's Climax)  03:13, 2 September 2010 (UTC)

Revival of Merge Discussion

Do we have consensus on whether or not we should merge to Template:Reference necessary? Or should I remove the merge tags? :| TelCoNaSpVe :| 06:17, 24 June 2010 (UTC)

It seems to me there was consensus to merge. For reference, the previous discussion is here. --Waldir talk 11:49, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
I also think we do. Not that it mattered to many people. :) Just do it. Debresser (talk) 10:50, 5 July 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, but I'm mainly concerned about how we should merge the templates. It isn't exactly the same as merging two articles. :| TelCoNaSpVe :| 02:38, 6 July 2010 (UTC)
  • First off, create a sandbox version of {{Citation needed}} here. This should be identical to {{Citation needed}} as it presently stands.
  • Then establish which features of {{Reference necessary}} are lacking from {{Citation needed}} and add them to the sandbox version.
  • Then test it thoroughly - {{Citation needed}} is a very high usage template, so we shouldn't let a broken version escape.
  • Once it all tests out OK, add one line to this page:
{{editprotected}} Please sync from sandbox version --~~~~
#REDIRECT [[Template:Citation needed]]
That's not quite all - several tasks described at Help:Merging should also be carried out. --Redrose64 (talk) 10:14, 6 July 2010 (UTC)
Hmmm... The only thing lacking I see lacking appears to be <span class="referencenecessary" style="border-bottom: 1px #CCC dotted;">{{#if:{{{1|}}}|{{{1}}}|}}</span>, but I don't know how to incorporate the span into citation needed's pipe scheme, which is <column>{{... <break>|... <break>|... <break>}}</column>. BTW, I opened up the sandbox. :| TelCoNaSpVe :| 02:51, 7 July 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────{{editprotected}} Please sync from sandbox version --:| TelCoNaSpVe :| 19:44, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

Please don't, it needs more testing.[citation needed] You see? --Redrose64 (talk) 19:53, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
Ah, so close! :| TelCoNaSpVe :| 20:00, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
I have removed three line breaks which were causing the trouble; it no longer shows the problems that were there yesterday. I have also re-added the documentation, which would otherwise have been lost upon sync. This in turn means that the first few lines, which are there mainly for {{template sandbox notice}}, are no longer necessary, so I removed them also. diff of my changes.
It now tests OK when used alone, or only with named parameters: but the primary change is the introduction of the unnamed parameter. Taking the example from Template:Reference necessary/doc:
Sourced material. {{Citation needed/sandbox|1=Passage to be sourced. Another passage to be sourced.}} More sourced material.
Sourced material. Template {{citation needed}} contains misplaced text "Passage to be sourced. Another passage to be sourced.". More sourced material.
which also test OK; so, if you're happy with that, I think it's OK to go live. --Redrose64 (talk) 20:31, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
Thanks so much! I think we're ready for the merge/sync now. Afterwards we're gonna have to put the {{merged-from}} at the top of this page and merge documentation as well. :| TelCoNaSpVe :| 20:46, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
There should be no need for {{merged-from}} - that's intended for article merges. --Redrose64 (talk) 22:04, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
So should I convert the {{Reference necessary}} to a redirect? :| TelCoNaSpVe :| 17:57, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
Not before this one has been synced from its sandbox version. However, I don't see any remaining reasons not to do that, so {{editprotected}} please sync from sandbox version. --Redrose64 (talk) 19:07, 17 July 2010 (UTC)

CSS class

Before performing the change, I'd like to see some discussion and if possible a consensus about the naming of both the new css class and the one citation needed already uses, as has been suggested here. I tl'd the editprotected request for now. Thanks, Waldir talk 22:46, 17 July 2010 (UTC)

Can you clarify what "CSS class" we're supposed to change? If you're talking about how to rename <span class="reference necessary"> then I think that we could do that after the merge. If you're not talking about this, then I've looked at too much wikicode in one day. :| TelCoNaSpVe :| 00:21, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
No new class is needed; the class which has been added to {{Citation needed/sandbox}} is "referencenecessary" (note, no space), which is exactly the same class as has been in use on {{Reference necessary}} since 31 October 2009, and is being used for identical purpose. If you examine the code in the sandbox, you'll see by the position of the closing </span> that the scope of the class "referencenecessary" is entirely outside the existing {{fix}}, so cannot clash with any classes presently used within that {{fix}}. --Redrose64 (talk) 13:33, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
Let's get to merging before we develop WP:SEP. Class is fine; it's always been "referencenecessary" and will probably stay like that too. :| TelCoNaSpVe :| 03:01, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
Why are you in such a hurry? I think we can easily agree in a more generic name for the css class so we can add the same functionality to other inline tags, which is perfectly logical according to the exact same rationale for this change. I believe the discussion I linked above summarizes the reasoning pretty well, we just need to find whether there's any objection to the generic names proposed there. --Waldir talk 10:59, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
There isn't a hurry; this merge has already taken 10x longer than it should have (I know; I'm the one who proposed it, many, many months ago - it's probably been over a year by now). That said, I agree that a more generic name is needed, because I intend to apply this to every inline template of this kind and make it a WP:ILT standard. A class name like "applicableto" might work. — SMcCandlish Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō Contribs. 17:39, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
I like your original proposal "inline-tag" for the template link, and would suggest "tagged-text" (or maybe even the more descriptive "passage-with-issues" or something alike) for the text itself, rather than your previous proposal, "inlinetagged". That said, I must say that "applicableto" is not immediately clear to me and maybe it would make more sense if I understood what you meant to convey with it. Could you explain the rationale behind that name? --Waldir talk 09:34, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── The renaming of an existing CSS class is absolutely irrelevant to the primary purpose of this thread, which is to merge {{Reference necessary}} into {{Citation needed}}. The change has been sandboxed and tested, no functionality of {{Citation needed}} is being removed, and the new version has all the functionality of {{Reference necessary}}. No new CSS class is required, so {{editprotected}} please sync Template:Citation needed from Template:Citation needed/sandbox version. Once that is done, then the separate issue may be addressed of what the name of various classes should actually be. For those still wondering what class "referencenecessary" is for, it's associated with the [citation needed], although it doesn't actually generate the line itself. --Redrose64 (talk) 13:05, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 16:34, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
Are there any other issues relevant to the merge (and not the new CSS class)? If not, I'll continue with the rest of the process. :| TelCoNaSpVe :| 20:45, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
As I see it, the next few steps are:
  1. Ensure that everything described at Template:Reference necessary/doc has been added to Template:Citation needed/doc. This includes categories, but not any interwikis where there is already one for the language concerned. The revised documentation should make it clear that there are two alternative ways of using {{citation needed}}.
  2. Find all redirects to Template:Reference necessary and amend them to point to Template:Citation needed instead. These redirects are listed here.
  3. Redirect Template:Reference necessary to Template:Citation needed.
  4. Remove the {{Mergeto}} from Template:Reference necessary/doc, and remove the {{mergefrom}} from Template:Citation needed/doc.
--Redrose64 (talk) 14:22, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
What about adding a link to Template talk:Reference necessary at the top of this page for archival purposes? :| TelCoNaSpVe :| 14:34, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
Yes, don't see why not - I didn't say it was a full list, just the next few steps. Hopefully somebody more experienced at merging templates will chip in. --Redrose64 (talk) 16:09, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

Bot work needed before merging

{{editprotected}} Please revert the edit on July 22, or change it to add a hidden tracking category instead of outputting the text of |1=. Articles that use the (unnamed) parameter 1 are now displaying unexpected text, for example the end of the lead in Mu (negative) is displaying "November 2009[citation needed]" rather than the expected "[citation needed]". As recently as January 2009 the documentation here actually suggested using the first unnamed parameter, and it seems no one has bothered to correct the existing uses since that was changed.

To move forward correctly, I think we'll have to run a bot to correct all existing uses with the unnamed first parameter before reinstating this edit. I'll volunteer AnomieBOT for that, if someone wants to add a tracking category (e.g. put {{#if:{{{1|}}}|[[Category:Pages with Citation needed using deprecated parameters]]}} at the start of the template) so the bot doesn't have to check (and possibly recheck) all 191385 pages using the template. Anomie 15:40, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia Rollbacker.svg Reverted. Ouch, that certainly needs some more thought. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 16:04, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
Populating Category:Articles using citation needed template with unnamed parameter. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 16:10, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
AnomieBOT started on the task. Anomie 16:22, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

You could use something like:


This would display {{{1}}} only if it is not a valid date element. ―cobaltcigs 09:16, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

The first unnamed parameter was never supposed to be a date, that is the job of |date=. Instead, it was the predecessor to |reason=; see this bot fix for example. The intended new use of the first unnamed parameter is always to display, with dotted underline by way of highlighting the offending passage. Say we found a sentence like this: Humphrey Bogart was an actor who lived on the moon. Here, we don't dispute the first five words, it's the last five that are doubtful, so we want to highlight those. To do this we would wrap them in the new version of {{citation needed}}, as in:
Humphrey Bogart was an actor {{citation needed|who lived on the moon|date=July 2010|reason=Highly unlikely}}
which (assuming completion of this template amendment) will show as:
Humphrey Bogart was an actor Template {{citation needed}} contains misplaced text "who lived on the moon".
which makes it clear that we don't need a citation for him being of the acting profession. --Redrose64 (talk) 11:12, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

Yeah, I understand all that. The aforeposted code would suppress parameter {{{1}}} if it is date element, but display it otherwise. That address the issue of various instances of the same template using said parameter for conflicting purposes at the same time, and could be removed whenever the bot finishes. Might be a good precaution if many articles already use the parameter in the correct way you describe (and currently have text missing—granted if the veracity of said text is disputed it may not be a huge loss). ―cobaltcigs 12:14, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

There are many articles using the unnamed parameter in place of |reason=, e.g. "Humphrey Bogart was an actor who lived on the moon.{{citation needed|Highly unlikely|date=July 2010}}". Your proposal would not prevent these from displaying as "Humphrey Bogart was an actor who lived on the moon.Template {{citation needed}} contains misplaced text "Highly unlikely".".
Unless someone has gone on a major conversion drive since July 22, there should be few articles using the unnamed parameter in the new way as of yet. Unfortunately, those few will be changed by the bot to move that unnamed parameter into |reason=, as the bot has no way to tell the difference. The bot has fixed over 3000 articles using the unnamed parameter so far (and I believe the job queue is still populating the category), so this is obviously something that needs fixing before the merge can happen. Anomie 12:43, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
It seems that we were in too much haste. Let's slow down and consider the situation. :| TelCoNaSpVe :| 17:42, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Basically we're now waiting on Anomie (talk · contribs) to give the all-clear that there are no cases of {{citation needed}} being used with unnamed parameters. --Redrose64 (talk) 20:08, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Pages are still trickling in as the job queue moves through all the transclusions to put the pages into the tracking category. 3619 different articles have been edited so far as of a few seconds ago. Anomie 20:52, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

I think the category is done being populated by the job queue going through old transclusions, but the bot is still fixing a fair number of new instances of the problem per day (2010-07-29: 14, 2010-07-30: 17, 2010-07-31: 20, 2010-08-01: 25). I don't know if there is any effective way to publicize the change more widely to the community. I'll leave the bot running for now; as long as you remember to remove the bit of code adding Category:Articles using citation needed template with unnamed parameter you should be able to change it whenever you want, or you can add text to User:AnomieBOT/shutoff/TemplateReplacer15 if you want to be really sure. Anomie 11:48, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

How about dropping a note on the talk page of those who make such mistakes, as I did here? --Redrose64 (talk) 13:35, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
Maybe if we could tell them, then they could tell others, and the whole process will stop through word of mouth. :| TelCoNaSpVe :| 22:55, 6 August 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Thank you all for the work you've done and are doing! If I read all this correctly, an error has been fixed and a bot, AnomieBOT, has been making corrections. Evidently, part of the concern is to get the word out, so I wanted to let you know that I got here by clicking on a link installed in the edit summary by AnomieBOT— this one called request— found here. As you'll see, I wrote a Cn template in, dated it, but did not know to use the "reason=" parameter, which AnomieBOT added. So that is how I came here and found your work.

On a separate note, I wonder if there is still a plan to include the focused underlining of text that needs reliable sourcing? Is this a controversial issue? and if so, where do I go to add my 2 cents?
 —  Paine (Ellsworth's Climax)  11:03, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

The bot corrections are to make way for the focused underlining; before we can start using the first unnamed parameter for the underlining, we have to clean up all the places where people have accidentally used it for "reason" comments and such over the years. BTW, the bot is up to 3799 articles corrected now. By day: 2010-08-02: 12, 2010-08-03: 18, 2010-08-04: 15, 2010-08-05: 11, 2010-08-06: 9, 2010-08-07: 16, 2010-08-08: 8, 2010-08-09: 10 (with 4 hours to go). Anomie 20:01, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
What I wonder is if there is any controversy over the underlining? Are there editors who think that the "reason=" parameter should suffice? I actually like the idea of underlining and focusing the text that needs reliable sourcing. It would be great from the perspective of editors. My concern is for the general readers, who might find all that underlining to be distracting.
 —  Paine (Ellsworth's Climax)  05:27, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
It should certainly be discussed beyond this page. Some people do not like clutter, others do not like change. Perhaps somewhere else other people are contemplating an incompatible role for underlining. A note perhaps at WP:Village pump (proposals)? Thincat (talk) 09:20, 12 August 2010 (UTC)
That is a good idea. The more I think about it, the more infeasible the underlining seems. If editors here are serious about it, then some sample testpages should be made to actually show how articles would appear, some with few sources and some with many sources. And then the testpages could be included in the proposal at the Pump. The underlining would be little-used at first, however there is potential for some editors to go nuts with it. The "reason=" parameter should suffice. I just checked, and that parameter has been added to the doc page of the Cn template. What might be better than underlining text in the article would be to have the "reason=" text appear when the [Citation needed] is mouse-overed (if that can be done).
 —  Paine (Ellsworth's Climax)  09:58, 12 August 2010 (UTC)
To clarify. This task is not concerned with adding a |reason= parameter; that parameter is unrecognised by the template as it currently stands, and is also unrecognised by the current sandbox version, and we are not as yet proposing that it should become a recognised parameter. It is mentioned in the documentation as a dummy parameter, and has been since this edit.
The bot task is concerned only with moving hidden data from the first unnamed parameter into the |reason= parameter, where it will remain hidden, thus releasing the first unnamed parameter which may then be used to hold live text (ie text which is always displayed). See the Bogart example earlier on in this subsection. --Redrose64 (talk) 10:27, 12 August 2010 (UTC)
Thank you, Redrose, for your clarification. I did see the Bogart example, and at first loved it. Then I got to thinking about some articles that are literally filled with citations. I began to shiver at the thought of how the underlining could become extremely distracting clutter in many articles. So as much as I love the idea from an editorial viewpoint, I have to consider underlining, such as suggested here, to be an unnecessary flourish that performs the same focus function as the "reason=" parameter.
By the way I checked, and the {{Tooltip}} template, which used to give mouseover capability in some browsers, has been REDIRECTed to the {{Abbr}} template. I plan to challenge this deletion on the grounds that some accessibility issues cause the loss of some really great and useful tools, such as the Tooltip template.
 —  Paine (Ellsworth's Climax)  12:16, 12 August 2010 (UTC)
PS. I was wrong about the {{Abbr}} template. It has the same functionality as the old Tooltip template (except, oddly enough, there is no underlining as before). "Eripuit fulmen coelo sceptrumque tyrannis." (mouseover - move your mouse over the quoted words, and the English translation appears as a tooltip in most browsers) So if the {{Abbr}} template can be incorporated in the {{Cn}} template to place the "reason=" parameter in a tooltip, this might be better than all those underlinings cluttering up Wikipedia articles, isn't that so?
 —  Paine (Ellsworth's Climax)  08:14, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
Just to clarify my own position in relation to my comment above (1) I have no problem with a bot removing hidden data; (2) right now I think underlining is probably a good idea; (3) my understanding is that only text for which a citation is sought will be underlined (not text for which a citation is given); (4) I think the template is seriously overused and misused although in the minority of occasions when it is well used it is very useful; (5) underlining needs broad discussion. Thincat (talk) 15:56, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
This is in the context of the above discussion which talks about what to do with Template:Reference necessary and whether that template is, pardon the pun, "necessary" any longer. :| TelCoNaSpVe :| 16:39, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

Status update: The bot is up to 3971 articles corrected now. Corrections by day: 2010-08-09: 14, 2010-08-10: 17, 2010-08-11: 14, 2010-08-12: 14, 2010-08-13: 16, 2010-08-14: 20, 2010-08-15: 21, 2010-08-16: 15, 2010-08-17: 22, 2010-08-18: 30, 2010-08-19: 19. Anomie 16:33, 20 August 2010 (UTC)

I just checked the 196 edits relating to this task since 2010-08-10:
  • 37 instances specified an actual reason in |1=
  • 1 instance tried to use |reason=, but typoed the "="
  • 1 editor who seems to mainly edit on itwiki tried to use {{citation needed}} like {{reference necessary}}[1]
  • After the bot miscorrected the above, 1 enwiki editor tried to fix it by putting an extra "|" just after the "reason="[2]
  • 1 instance had only a URL in |1=, not sure what the intention was there
  • 5 instances were "{{fact|date}}" (or the like with other redirects)
  • 1 instance was "{{fact|now}}"
  • 1 instance was "{{fact|undated}}"
  • 1 instance was "{{Citation needed|section}}"
  • 1 instance was "{{Citation Needed|Date Ongoing}}"
  • The rest were some variation on {{fact|August 2010}}, i.e. people trying to date their fact tag but forgetting the needed "date=". The number of different date formats used is surprising, including "Aug 2010", "Aug. 2010", "Aug. 2010.", and even "2010-08" and "13.08.2010".
HTH. Anomie 18:25, 20 August 2010 (UTC)
Status update: The bot is up to 4100 articles corrected now. Oddly, in the past few days it has corrected Mass driver (tagged since March), Kulak (tagged since April), Telecommunications in Vietnam (tagged since April), and Butler Act (tagged since May). Anomie 15:38, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
Just out of curiosity, do you have any indication of how many unfixed citation templates are left? :| TelCoNaSpVe :| 23:08, 3 September 2010 (UTC)
Theoretically all the existing ones should be taken care of now; the API reports every page transcluding this template has been "touched" since the tracking category was added. But people keep adding new ones. Anomie 01:16, 4 September 2010 (UTC)

Reinserting Merge discussion template

I see that the tracking cat has been removed, and that the merge templates have been removed from this and from Reference necessary. Are we abandoning the idea then? --Redrose64 (talk) 16:43, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

I think that the informal characterization of this merge discussion that has since taken place only a month ago (not July, as the edit summary purports) is misleading. If no one objects, I'll probably revert these unnecessary changes. :| TelCoNaSpVe :| 07:51, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
If you do, I suggest that you inform those editors who you're reverting, so that they understand that it's work-in-progress. --Redrose64 (talk) 11:59, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
This merge discussion started in January. Does this now have the record of longest merge discussion in the history of Wikipedia?! I seriously thought that this had fizzled. I truly do not understand why it is taking over nine months to resolve one way or another.

Why cannot at least the first step — the addition of {{Reference necessary}} functionality to the {{Citation needed}} template — be done. I realize that various bots need to be dealt with to convert all the existing occurences of {{Reference necessary}}, etc. But, if its functionality were added to {{Citation needed}}, then I and other editors could at least stop using {{Reference necessary}} and start using {{Citation needed}} instead, assuming it would end up looking like this using the same syntax[citation needed]. Because right now, this

{{Citation needed|1=phrase requiring citation}}

produces nothing like this

{{Reference necessary|1=phrase requiring citation}}

Also, the fact that people are continuing to use {{Reference necessary}} attests to the popularity of that functionality. Thanks! — SpikeToronto 18:05, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
You are misunderstanding the situation. Bots are not needed to convert existing occurrences of {{Reference necessary}}, they are/were needed to correct all the places where people accidentally or intentionally used a value in the first unnamed parameter of {{citation needed}} that will suddenly start being displayed to readers when the functionality is (re-)enabled. That seems to have been complete for some time now, but at last check people were still adding 10-20 new instances of the problem per day and no one has yet decided to start letting those be broken. Anomie 02:07, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for the clarification. When will we be able to use {{Citation needed}} in exactly the same manner as we use {{Reference necessary}}, i.e., as a wrapper? When will that functionality be (re)enabled/added to the {{Citation needed}} template? Thanks! — SpikeToronto 03:14, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
329 uses of {{Reference necessary}} compared with 200,090 of {{Citation needed}}. And many of them would be served as well or better by {{Citation needed}}: the first one on the list was "The Arab World is the fourth largest geocultural unit in the world[citation needed] ... "- easily served by
"The Arab World is the fourth largest geocultural unit in the world[citation needed] ..." Rich Farmbrough, 00:53, 18 October 2010 (UTC).

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I’m sorry Rich, but that’s a different discussion entirely. What you’re suggesting would effectively eliminate the {{Reference necessary}} template, with its functionality forever lost. That is not the idea. The idea of the merge is to add the functionality of {{Reference necessary}} to {{Citation needed}}. The two templates are distinctly different.

I am all for merger. I cannot wait to be able to type citation needed instead of reference necessary. So when can the former be recoded so that, when it is placed at the front, it acts like {{Reference necessary}}? In other words, when will {{Citation needed|1=phrase requiring citation}} work like {{Reference necessary|1=phrase requiring citation}} and produce: phrase requiring citation[citation needed]?

Rich, is that programming that you would know how to do? Believe me, it would be somewhat beyond me. Nonetheless, I can’t wait for the merger to occur such that {{Citation needed}} acts as it always does when used thusly, {{Citation needed}}, and, it acts like {{Reference necessary}} when used thusly, {{Citation needed|1=phrase requiring citation}}. Thanks! — SpikeToronto 07:45, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

Yes, sorry I was opaque. My point was that saying "when" presumes "whether" (I didn't see a consensus agreement and I see a lot of resistance to the underlining - but I haven't followed the discussion closely). A secondary point, and a tertiary one were in response to "the fact that people are continuing to use {{Reference necessary}} attests to the popularity of that functionality" - the popularity isn't that high compared with Citation needed (in fact it has stayed the same since my last comment at 328, while Citation needed has increased by 858) and we don't know how many editors are responsible for those 328 transclusions - th tertiary point, setting aside the popularity, is the functionality being well used? In my experience between 2/3 and 3/4 of uses are undesirable, because the scope of the request for citation was obvious, therefore the underlining and syntactic complexity was introduced for no advantage. General comment, I'm not that opposed to the merger, although I have doubts, but if it does go ahead in my lifetime, please drop me a note. Rich Farmbrough, 08:41, 18 October 2010 (UTC).
Oh random thought, the underlining could be made dependent on a [user] CSS snippet. This would make it invisible to average readers and editors, and those that wanted it could turn it on (I would) (better have it controlled by the "hidden cats" switch, but that's MW functionality).Rich Farmbrough, 08:45, 18 October 2010 (UTC).
The problem that first needs addressing is a way to tell other editors that {{citation needed}} will be using the 1= parameter for the wrapper functionality in {{reference necessary}} and that all existing uses of the parameter, which currently produces {{Citation needed|1=reason a citation would be needed}}, will be moved to the reason= parameter to open it up. :| TelCoNaSpVe :| 10:23, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
We have to be careful Rich. This template survived a deletion discussion. So, any merger has to keep its functionality. The way it is now is so faint as to be be barely visible. It’s the best version so far. I could live with the compromise whereby I can turn on its visibility, because I like seeing it, but others could have it invisible. But, making it invisible period, effectively removes the wrapper funtion.

Also, I think it is specious to do a numbers comparison between the two templates. I use {{Fact}} so much more than {{Reference necessary}} that it’s like a mountain versus a molehill. But, there are those occasions where only {{Reference necessary}} will do.

As for consensus, while I saw significant objection to deleting {{Reference necessary}} in 2009, I do not recall any resistance to merger in 2010, so long as the wrapper function with faint underlining was maintained.

Thanks TeleComNasSprVen for the technical explanation. It makes things much clearer in that regard. As for communicating to users of {{Reference necessary}} that it is be moved to {{Citation needed}}, could not a bot be written that would convert uses of the former to the latter? Then people who watchlist articles would see their insertions of the former converted to the latter and get the idea. At least that is my non-techie suggestion, as lame as it may be.

Thanks both! — SpikeToronto 19:41, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

Spike, you earlier asked "when can the former be recoded so that, when it is placed at the front, it acts like {{Reference necessary}}? ... is that programming that you would know how to do?"

The coding has already been done, it's in the sandbox. {{Citation needed/sandbox|1=phrase requiring citation}} produces Template {{citation needed}} contains misplaced text "phrase requiring citation".. The primary hurdle is outstanding mistaken uses of the first unnamed parameter where either |date= or |reason= should have been used. --Redrose64 (talk) 11:00, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

The usage numbers were in response to "Also, the fact that people are continuing to use {{Reference necessary}} attests to the popularity of that functionality." I can see it is very popular with you! And I think the main objection is the visible underlining, which I agree would be useful to editors, and also agree would be distracting to readers - hence my suggestion that visibility would be enabled through CSS. This means you and I would go to our CSS page and paste a few lines there, then the underlining would become visible to us for ever after. Rich Farmbrough, 15:22, 19 October 2010 (UTC).

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Thanks RedRose for the explanation. I notice that the underlining looks a little heavier than currently with {{Reference necessary}}. Is that just my eyes playing tricks on me? Also, thank you for explaining the source/cause of the delay. As you no doubt can tell, I am a wikieditor, not a coder, lacking sufficient technical skills and knowledge.

Thanks also Rich for your response. I actually think that your suggestion where one can opt in/out of seeing the underlining is a good one. If it were put into effect, how could it be promulgated to the editing population at large, so that we would know of the need to insert some lines of code into our personal CSS pages so that we can continue to see the wrapper effect?

Thanks both! — SpikeToronto 19:21, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

The dotted line style in both cases is style="border-bottom: 1px dotted;" - the only difference is that {{Citation needed/sandbox}} specifies the colour as DarkSlateGray     , whereas {{Reference necessary}} specifies the colour as #CCC     , which as you can see from those colour dabs, are rather different. The darker grey would produce the impression of a heavier dotted line, I guess. --Redrose64 (talk) 19:55, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
Well, I guess if we are able to incorporate Rich’s suggestion, to make seeing the wrapper effect something that we can turn off or on, the heavy color might be preferable to those of us who want to see the effect. Thanks for your answer! It was terrifically detailed and very clear. — SpikeToronto 04:35, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
I would think Village Pump and the template docs would do the job. Really we would need consensus for the merge though. Should also discuss with WP:AWB regex-typo fixer people (baically Rjwilmsi and magby Mag? ) as text in templates is excluded from typo fixing. Rich Farmbrough, 00:08, 22 October 2010 (UTC).
But Rich, I think we have consensus. The merge discussion was started by User:SMcCandlish last January and the preponderance of opinion seems to have run in favor of it, so long as the {{Reference necessary}} functionality is fully integrated into {{Citation needed}} (i.e., truly merged). I was away for the Spring and Summer months; but, has there been much opposition? Did something stop that earlier merge discussion? Thanks! — SpikeToronto 04:23, 22 October 2010 (UTC)
Addendum:  I see: it stalled in April and got revived in June by User:TeleComNasSprVen. So, how much consensus is required to merge templates? What is the wikistandard/wikiguideline? There are only a handful of us who have participated here. Does WP:SILENCE apply? Thanks! — SpikeToronto 04:31, 22 October 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I notice that a sysop has created a new template — {{Cn-span}} — that looks almost the way {{Reference necessary}} did months ago when it used objectionable highlighting instead of almost invisible underlining, as it does now. Is this the result of merging {{Reference necessary}} and {{Citation needed}}? I think a lot of readers will object to how it looks. Thanks! — SpikeToronto 06:25, 5 November 2010 (UTC)

It seems to have come from User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 147#Highlighting problematic sentences. At least some of the people involved were unaware of {{Reference necessary}}, but like the "objectionable highlighting" anyway. Anomie 11:16, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
I personally liked the {{Reference necessary}} template even when it had highlighting, but it was found so objectionable by other Wikipedians that it barely survived TfD. The only thing that saved it was a promise from those who liked the wrapper function to improve it and make it less unsightly. Hence the current iteration[citation needed] of {{Reference necessary}}. Then a merge discussion began at the beginning of this year that several experienced coders have been since been working on. The goal of the merge is to incorporate the wrapper function of {{Reference necessary}} into {{Citation needed}}. — SpikeToronto 22:03, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
Question: what would we do with nested templates, say "vague" inside "cn"? Rich Farmbrough, 22:23, 5 November 2010 (UTC).
They would Template {{citation needed}} contains misplaced text "show up a bit[vague] like this".. --Redrose64 (talk) 19:28, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
For clarification sake, RedRose did that like this:

{{citation needed/sandbox|show up a bit{{vague}} like this}}

Now, how do we get ensure that the conversation over at JImboWales’s talk page does not obviate and/or supercede this process? The version that RedRose just used appeals to me much more than {{Cn-span}} with its highlighting.

Also, RedRose, have you come up with a way to implement Rich’s suggestion that seeing the wrapper would be a monobook.css function that readers can turn off while editors turn it on? Thanks! — SpikeToronto 20:03, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

I've mentioned this discussion on Jimbo's talk page. As for CSS, that's really not my field. I do have a Custom CSS page but everything in that I pinched from elsewhere. --Redrose64 (talk) 20:23, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

Yes, remove style="border-bottom: 1px DarkSlateGray dotted;" from the template and add span.referencenecessary { border-bottom: 1px DarkSlateGray dotted; } to MediaWiki:Common.css, for the love. ―cobaltcigs 06:43, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

Application to other inline templates

I support the application of this underlining method for indicating the span to other inline templates, such as {{who}} and {{dubious}}. Hopefully the experience gained with this conversion will help ease the transition. I'm not sure I really understood the technical issues, but would like to point out that the involvement of a class is not strictly necessary[is that really so? – prove it! ] to get the intended presentation.  --Lambiam 22:16, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

So, you don't feel that articles with many {{Cn}} templates aren't cluttered enough? You feel that general readers won't find the added underlining a bit "too much"? How do you feel about instead placing the text within a Tooltip, so that when a reader/editor passes a mouse over the text, only the subject text that requires a source will be shown in a little floating box (Tooltip)?
 —  Paine (Ellsworth's Climax)  09:46, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
  • PS. Here are examples of both renderings from the lede of the article Double planet. In the first, when you pass your mouse over the words that come before the [citation needed], your browser will probably render a small popup-like box called a "Tooltip" that contains the text that requires a reliable source. In the second example, that text is underlined...
Which do you think is more encyclopedic? Which would be more attractive to the general readers? (Again, please keep in mind that some articles have many, many {{Cn}} templates.)
 —  Paine (Ellsworth's Climax)  13:37, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
Both show an underline here. On a side note, I for one think the underline (if any) should be applied from MediaWiki:Common.css rather than inline CSS. That makes it much easier for people who want some different display to override it. Anomie 14:49, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
Well, now this is getting more complicated than I know about. You say that both examples show underlines? In my browser, IE8, the first quote has no underline and the affected text renders a Tooltip. Only the second example shows as underlined in Internet Explorer. My Firefox, on the other hand renders both the underlining AND the tooltip for the first example. Curious! And guess what! The underlining ALSO shows up in the Double planet article using the Firefox browser. Hmm.
[Note: This is Paine. I use IE8 and the "simple" skin when I read and edit Wikipedia. I just now noted that the above "no underline" text I wrote is incorrect. I came here without logging in to check for discussion, and as you know, the "vector" skin is used when not logged in. And in the first example, the underline does show up in the "vector" skin in IE8, but just not in the "simple" skin.] 03:02, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
 —  Paine (Ellsworth's Climax)  15:02, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
I also see the dotted underline on both examples on Chrome. By the way, since you're mentioning the intrusiveness of the underline, please note that the marking can be made very subtle as has been mentioned before. --Waldir talk 22:25, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
Oh, and since modern browsers should support the css :hover pseudo-class for any html element, not only links, we could underline, or even highlight (in a very faint color) the text without changing the current display at all (though that somehow defeats the purpose of highlighting the text in the first place, IMO, at least for readers) --Waldir talk 22:35, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
I read two things that jumped out at me on that archive page, editor Waldir. One was McCandlish's correct observation that the underlining could not be made more subtle without losing its purpose. The other was the fact that I'm not the first one to suggest the Tooltip (hover function). Oh well, it seems that every time I invent something, someone else has already thought of it. <g> So it appears that, at least in Chrome and Firefox, the underlining is already in use in the {{Cfact}} template, at least. It doesn't look as though "highlighting" has received much support; some editors appear to think highlighting was "ghastly", or something like that. It should also be mentioned that since the {{Tooltip}} template was merged with the {{Abbr}} template, a note has been placed on the {{Abbr/doc}} page that the Abbr template should not be used just to generate tooltips; I understand there is an accessibility issue with tooltips that would also have to be overcome before it could be used here. Bottom line... I would still have to express my overall opposition to the underlining. I do feel that something like it is needed, though. I just don't know yet what that something is.
 —  Paine (Ellsworth's Climax)  04:47, 30 August 2010 (UTC)