Template talk:Possibly empty category

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  1. Given that this template is only relevant to empty categories, how about wrapping it in a PAGESINCAT check so that it only displays when a category is empty?
  2. I think the "type" should be changed back to "content" (major warnings); this was originally changed by Davidgothberg who didn't regard this template as a major warning (I disagree), though it's confusing as he says "red" in his edit summary (certainly "type" should not be set to "delete" or "speedy").
  3. Wording. "It is supposed to be empty most of the time" isn't necessarily going to be true in all cases. How about "This is a project category which may periodically become empty and is exempt from speedy deletion criteria C1."

Thoughts? PC78 (talk) 12:53, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

I agree with #1 and #2 but disagree with #3. All those categories are supposed to be empty (even things like CSD). The fact that they are usually backlogged is irrelevant to this supposed state of affairs, so your proposed wording would be incorrect (especially on categories like CAT:HELPME). Regards SoWhy 13:05, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
Agree with SoWhy fully. Happymelon 14:02, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
The exact wording of CSD#C1 is "project categories that by their nature may become empty on occasion", which is more consistant with what I wrote rather the current wording of this template. I would assume this clause in C1 applies to WikiProject assessment categories; Category:FL-Class Agriculture articles (to give a random example) is an empty category that should not be deleted and is not "supposed to be empty most of the time". PC78 (talk) 00:46, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
I support all three proposals. I find it strange to argue that CSD categories are "supposed to be empty", because it is impossible for requests to be attended to in zero time! "May periodically become empty" seems to cover all cases. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 16:03, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
In an ideal world, maintenance cats would spend most of their time happily empty. Unfortunately, we don't live in an ideal world, and as pointed out by PC78, maintenance cats aren't the only ones which may be periodically empty. I support all three proposals as well. ダイノガイ千?!? · Talk⇒Dinoguy1000 16:59, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
Regarding #1: on relection, would it not be confusing for the template to have no visible output if a category was not empty? An alternative could be to have the PAGESINCAT check alter "type" from "notice" (for popultaed categories) to "content" (for empty categories), and perhaps also change the severity of the wording. PC78 (talk) 23:16, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
Sorry if I now might sound rude, but I promise I don't intend to:
1: Your suggested automatic detection does not work because page code and templates are not parsed on every page view. Pages are only reparsed (recreated) when they are not in the cache, or if the cached version is more than one week old, or if the page or a template on it has been edited, or if you purge the page. The page is not reparsed just because the number of pages or subcategories in the category changes. So it can take up to a week until the message box is shown after the category has become empty. (And of course, someone has to visit the page otherwise it is never reparsed since it is not needed.)
Also, the code you used is broken, it wouldn't work even if the page was reparsed on every page view. Your code currently makes that message box always show. Here's how your code should have looked:
{{#ifexpr:{{PAGESINCAT:{{PAGENAME}}|R}} > 0
| There are pages.
| There are no pages.
Since this is a talk page it has no category listing, so for this talk page the code of course renders this:
There are no pages.
2: Right, I prefer yellow minor warning style. I guess it depends on how serious and frequent you think the problem with trigger happy admins is. And yes, my old edit comment said "red major warning style" which was a typo, since red is delete. I meant "orange major warning style". But I am worried that everyone always want to use stronger and stronger levels on their templates, thus weakening the warning level colours.
3: We created this message box since we needed it for some debug categories that actually are empty much of the time. That was its original usage, and it is still used on those categories. But I do realise that this message box is just as useful for categories who are only occasionally empty. And I see that it probably is unnecessary to have two different templates to cover these two cases. So we need some wording that works for both cases. Just saying "may periodically become empty" doesn't work for the categories where this box was first placed. We had such categories deleted in spite of such messages, with the comments from the deleting admins: "But I noticed this category had been empty for months now." But I think we should use simple and succinct wording. Here are my suggestions, number 1 to 3:
I think I prefer my suggestion 2 above. Note that I am not a native English speaker, so I guess some of my suggestions need some tweaking.
--David Göthberg (talk) 22:57, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
2 looks good. But I disagree with you about the warning level; I think orange is appropriate here. PC78 (talk) 23:07, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
My code was of the following form:
 |There are pages.
 |There are no pages.
Okay, so I missed the R (to supress the comma in case the number became more than 1000. But you said "Your code currently makes that message box always show." and I think you are incorrect about this because the code was working fine on the examples that I tested it on, i.e. the ">0" bit is not required by ifexpr. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 08:08, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
PC78: Yes, I see that I am outvoted on the colour, so when I edited the box some day ago I retained the orange colour. But for now I added the text 2 above since you and I agree on it.
MSGJ: Ouch, I must have done some faulty testing. I retested it, and you are right, the #ifexpr doesn't need to have the comparison ">0".
But still, as I described above, the page rendering system will not show the template in time when needed. So unfortunately we can not use your code. And it would be confusing if the template was invisible when one add it. And I am sorry for this too, since we have wanted to use similar solutions in other places, but the delayed page rendering mostly have stopped that. We only use it for instance in {{adminbacklog}} where it doesn't matter that it takes up to a week before the template changes.
--David Göthberg (talk) 22:50, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
We could perhaps use the PAGESINCAT check to change the type from "notice" (blue) to "content" (orange). It only needs to be a "major warning" if the category is actually empty, and since the template will be visible either way the problem you identify won't be that big a deal. PC78 (talk) 00:23, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
At least add something like: if PAGESINCAT > 1000, then hide. Things like All articles that need to be wikified are never gonna be empty and the warning looks silly. Or make it smaller, it's not like accidental deletion of a empty maintenance category is that big of deal. Or what about using visible-to-admins-only css (i don't know what the class is called here) since it's addressed to them? Rocket000 (talk) 19:19, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
I would prefer to use >0. As I understand all new visitors to a page get the fresh version, which is likely to apply to people patrolling empty categories or admins patrolling CSD. And as Rocket says, it's not a huge problem if it does get deleted anyway. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 22:28, 1 November 2009 (UTC)
Not necessarily: logged-in users don't hit the squid caches (too much personal JS, user links, etc, to load), but if someone with the same language, skin, stub threshold, thumbnail size, and various other settings, has visited the page before you, the HTML for the actual page content will still be served from cache. Happymelon 23:09, 1 November 2009 (UTC)
PC78, Rocket000 and MSGJ: Have you guys never heard about WYSIWYG and KISS?
Rocket000: If you make this template invisible to all non-admin users, how do you suppose they should be able to see and use this template? Since also non-admins create maintenance categories that can have use of this template. It would be pretty weird for non-admin users if they could not see the template they need to use.
And I don't think this template should be on categories like Category:All articles that need to be wikified who probably never will become empty. Using this template there is overuse. Rather, this template was created for categories like Category:Wikipedia category-redirect box parameter needs fixing who are often empty.
Rocket000 and MSGJ: We created this template exactly because we did have a problem with that our maintenance and tracking categories got deleted. Some of those categories contains explanations so that when users see the category on a page they can go to the category, be told what the problem is, and how to fix it. Again see for instance Category:Wikipedia category-redirect box parameter needs fixing. If that category is deleted then the users don't get the explanation they need.
And if the category would be deleted, and the caretaker/creator of the category is not an admin, then he can't simply recreate it. Instead he would have to spend time to figure out what to write again, or spend time contacting an admin for help to recreate it.
So again: You guys seem to think this warning is too strong, so then let's make this template yellow just as I have suggested several times before.
--David Göthberg (talk) 02:12, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

I see MZMcBride added a |hide=true option to the template. This seems to be for the benefit of Template:WPFILMS Category, to stop empty categories appearing in Wikipedia:Database reports/Empty categories (see discussion). I suggest adding a |hide=auto function for the benefits specified above. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 08:09, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

MSGJ: You just don't give up, do you? If you add a "hide=auto" feature, then it should at least have a trigger level of about 100 items or so. That at least gives the template some chance of showing before a category becomes empty. Since as we have already explained above, due to page caching it takes up to a week before the template changes when it passes the trigger level. Note that page content is cached separately, and the user's personal settings mostly affects the things outside the content area, thus most users see the same cached copy. Even the changes you see inside the content area really mostly are changes to the user's CSS files, thus doesn't change which cached copy is loaded at all.
Anyway, I have coded it up in {{empty category/sandbox}} and tested it on some categories.
But still, we sometimes fix hundreds of items in one day, thus even with a trigger level of 100 items this template will often remain hidden on empty categories for days. So I think adding "hide=auto" is featuritis and is contrary to the purpose of this template.
Really, if you guys are so annoyed by seeing this template, then we can mark it with "class=template-empty-category" so you can make it invisible in your personal /monobook.css pages.
--David Göthberg (talk) 13:27, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
David, this has nothing to do with personal annoyance, it's about what's best for the template, and there's nothing wrong with a bit of brainstorming. Still, I concur that hiding the banner is more trouble than it's worth, and if you find my above suggestion unnecessary then so be it, but I certainly don't think it's the case that the simplest solution is always the best one. On that basis I think we should problably leave the banner as it is, though the documentation could perhaps be a little bit clearer on when it is and isn't useful to use it. PC78 (talk) 17:01, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

Edit request on 11 August 2013[edit] (talk) 02:21, 11 August 2013 (UTC)

Not done You need to specify what change you want made. Jackmcbarn (talk) 02:47, 11 August 2013 (UTC)

Proposing rename to "Possibly empty category"[edit]

I propose this template be moved to "Possibly empty category" to avoid multiple avenues of confusion over the template's purpose and function. The name "Empty category" suggests it is used on exactly that, categories that are empty. There's a fairly recently created redirect here under the proposed new name so it'd have to be a move over redirect. The naming scheme behind our categories and category templates is something of a nightmare and this would be one small step in the right direction. Jason Quinn (talk) 20:10, 16 February 2017 (UTC)

Done. There are almost 10k transclusions of the old category name. At some point it might be worthwhile renaming those. For now lets just see if any problems arise from the rename. Jason Quinn (talk) 08:38, 5 March 2017 (UTC)
I reverted the rename, as this was definitely insufficiently discussed. Debresser (talk) 22:06, 12 March 2017 (UTC)

Requested move 17 April 2017[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: moved. (non-admin closure) Regards, Krishna Chaitanya Velaga (talk • mail) 02:07, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

Template:Empty categoryTemplate:Possibly empty category – The original name is inherently confusing (see "Proposing rename to 'Possibly empty category'" thread above) as it very often applies to categories that are not actually empty. This is low-hanging fruit for any attempt to better organize our categorization templates. Jason Quinn (talk) 14:20, 17 April 2017 (UTC)

Just want to point out that this move request comes after this same move was proposed in the section above and was executed without any support and then reverted. I see no benefit from this move, but don't really oppose it either. It is one of those meaningless requests, and proposing it does not serve any real purpose. Debresser (talk) 18:47, 17 April 2017 (UTC)
The comment by @Pppery seems like a mistake. This is a maintenance template, not meant to propose deletion, but to warn for categories that are likely to be empty at certain times. Debresser (talk) 15:03, 18 April 2017 (UTC)
No, that was not a mistake. I understand what this template does, and think that the name "empty category" better describes {{db-c1}}, rather than this one. Pppery 18:55, 18 April 2017 (UTC)
Regardless of the pros/cons of retargeting, retargeting would first require bot work to clear the existing usage of the template out of the way. There'd also need to be a grace period to identify and fix any existing templates or automated tools that depend on the name. In light of the complexity there, is it acceptable to you to suspend that suggestion? It's much more complicated than this requested move, and I think it would deserve its own discussion in the future once the path forward is cleared. Jason Quinn (talk) 19:40, 18 April 2017 (UTC)
@Pppery Now I see what you meant. I agree with Jason regarding salting that proposal. Debresser (talk) 20:23, 18 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Support as this is not the template used to tag categories for which being empty is a problem, in fact, it's the opposite. – Train2104 (t • c) 00:15, 24 April 2017 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Empty categories database report.[edit]

I'm seeing some empty categories with the {{Possibly empty category}} template in them that are appearing in Wikipedia:Database reports/Empty categories. Is it possible that the name change to this category is causing them to appear now? --StarcheerspeaksnewslostwarsTalk to me 18:15, 28 May 2017 (UTC)

Hi, Starcheerspeaksnewslostwars. It's possible. I see you already made a change to Wikipedia:Database reports/Empty_categories/Configuration that might fix this. I'm not familier with the script but your edit looks promising. Cheers, Jason Quinn (talk) 15:17, 6 June 2017 (UTC)

Proposal for new parameter[edit]

I propose a new parameter for this template so it can be used with dated categories. For example, if it were named |until= and the value was set in the "Month year" format,

{{Possibly empty category|until=June 2017}}

would render as:

Please support or oppose this proposal, preferably with some form of rationale. Thank you.--John Cline (talk) 19:51, 18 June 2017 (UTC)

  • Support - as proposer.--John Cline (talk) 19:51, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose I fail to see the need for this proposed parameter, or even its potential usefulness. Note, that there is absolutely no reason to suppose a maintenance category (where this template is most often applied) should stop being empty at any specific time. Also note, that no similar parameter exists on other templates. Debresser (talk) 20:18, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
    A dated maintenance category only populates when its "Month year" date is current. If it is empty thereafter, presumably it should be deleted. Therefor, if I correct the single remaining article in Articles with too many wikilinks from May 2017, that category should be deleted whereas if I correct the single article in Articles with too many wikilinks from June 2017, it should not be deleted. This parameter would allow for using this template on dated categories too; where it currently can not be used. Best regards.--John Cline (talk) 21:42, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
First of all, this template was not meant to be used on dated maintenance categories. For precisely the reason I will explain to you now why I disagree with your argument. Because admins working with maintenance categories will understand themselves whether or not the time has come to delete the dated maintenance category. Making up an additional parameter is so assuming admins are stupid, and on the other hand assumes that somebody is smart enough to use this completely unknown parameter. Sorry, but this proposal lacks merit, IMHO. Debresser (talk) 15:51, 19 June 2017 (UTC)
If you were correct, that I had assumed these things which you clearly assume I had, your hostility would be well placed. I assure you, my thoughts were benign and my intentions were born of good faith. If you had assumed this of me, instead, could we not still disagree?--John Cline (talk) 19:21, 19 June 2017 (UTC)
Sorry? I was not being hostile. At most I have been arguing passionately. I do not assume you assumed these things, since - no offense intended - I don't think you thought it through that well. Yes, I can still disagree with you. :) Debresser (talk) 20:11, 19 June 2017 (UTC)
Thank you for setting this out in the above context; I, most certainly, do respect passion, and moreover, the souls strong in that trait. I am happy to count you in that group. Cheers.--John Cline (talk) 02:49, 24 June 2017 (UTC)