Template talk:Talk header/Archive 2

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Legacy talkheader templates

The above templates duplicate the function of {{talkheader}}, for reasons which I don't think are valid any longer. In some cases, they were created because the {{talkheader}} template at the time had article-space-specific semantics. That has since been corrected, and {{talkheader}} can be used on any talk page, including templates. In other cases, people propsing alternative forms for {{talkheader}} actually created separate templates, which were then used a handful of times. Those have universally fallen into disuse, with this "main" template being the clear popular choice. I think these alternatives are suboptimal: We should try and reach concensus on what the talk header should be, not create a bunch of different templates for everybody's personal whim. I propsose that these "legacy templates" be replaced with use of {{talkheader}}, and then submitted to TfD. I started to do this, and then decided it would be better to check for any dissenting opinions first. So: Objections? Agreement? Suggestions? Comments? --DragonHawk 21:28, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

FYI: I just now noticed that this was apparently already done (for the most part, at least). All of the templates listed above are now redirects to {{talkheader}}. There are still a lot of pages which include the old names, which might be suboptimal from a maintenance standpoint, but functionally, this is done. --DragonHawk 19:05, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Easy form for adding a new template

I was bold and added a link to a form that makes it easy to add a new comment to a talk page. This is especially useful for long talk pages and better guarantees the format of the new comment section. I'll be happy to discuss to improve it. I hope its inclusion will be accepted. Stevie is the man! TalkWork 17:38, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

Hmm, I think the general idea is a good one. I shrunk the wording down a bit, here. One goal with this form is to be as consise a possible -- the more words, the less people read. Then I went a bit further, and moved the link to its own bounding box. My thinking here is that this link is different from the other links in the template (or on the web in general), in that it performs an action, rather than giving information. So it should be set off from the others. That being said, I'm not happy with the way it looks right now. There is too much margin space around the link. I'd also like to style the link so it looks more like your typical user interface button. Unfortunately, my CSS skills are rather meager. I might be able to cookbook something up later, but I don't have time right this minute. On a different note, I'm also wondering about using a direct link to a MediaWiki feature like that. Is it considered poor form? Will it be a maintenance headache down the road? --DragonHawk 15:43, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
I've seen a link to this feature on many a talk page, so if it's a headache here, it will be in many other places as well, but that's what bots are for--if it needs to be revised later, it's not that much trouble. Besides, this external link is really a link to an internal feature--hopefully, this link will be wikified at some point, but until then, I don't see any real problem with using it. As far as turning it into a button, we could add a form to the template, I suppose. Not sure if that's necessary for clarity, though. At any rate, thanks for improving what I started. Stevie is the man! TalkWork 15:53, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
Well, it sure sounds like there is plenty of precedent for linking to a MediaWiki feature by direct URL, so I guess that answers my question!  :) Thanks again for the contribution, it is definately a good idea. --DragonHawk 22:23, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
I added <div class="plainlinks"> so the link looks a bit better. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)


There needs to be an extra linespace placed after the first bullet statement that would appear when used on article talk pages. This would make it similar to the spacing between the other bullets. Stevie is the man! TalkWork 19:00, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

I'm afraid I don't understand. What's going wrong with the spacing in the bullets? Perhaps you could post example wiki code here so we can see what you're talking about. Also, keep in mind that (by design) HTML renders differently from browser to browser and computer to computer, not to mention Wikipedia style sheet. Layout spacing to be exact can thus be somewhat intractable. --DragonHawk 22:31, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
Just look at it in use on a talk page. There's no extra space between the 1st and 2nd bullet that appears between the other bullets. If you have done this, let me know and we can go from there. Thanks. Stevie is the man! TalkWork 23:18, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
Well, I have been looking at it all along, and I still don't get what you're talking about.  :-) You might also want to take a screen capture of what you're seeing on your computer with your settings and your browser, and post the image someplace. As noted, the appearance of the web will vary from one user agent to the next. --DragonHawk 04:21, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
In the latest Mozilla Firefox and IE 6, the problem should have been obvious. The spacing that was just added should fix it though. Stevie is the man! TalkWork 13:49, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
If it was obvious, I wouldn't be asking these questions, would I?  :-) Could you please post a screen shot or describe exactly what you are referring to, for those of us who don't understand what you're talking about? Note that "It looks bad" is not describing exactly you are referring to. I want to work with you here, but I honestly don't understand. In the current revision, on my computer, comparing article and non-article pages, there is more vertical space above and below the left bullet list (as a consequence of having one less bullet point item on non-talk pages). The list is still centered vertically, which looks good to my eye. Are you saying you would prefer it to be justified to the top or bottom, with more vertical space opposite? Or something else? --DragonHawk 01:38, 30 September 2006 (UTC)
With the new added space (to replace the line breaks I used), the template looks great on article talk pages, but on non-article talk pages, an unattractive extra space at the top appears. Perhaps there's another way to approach this? Stevie is the man! TalkWork 15:44, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
Was there really a problem before? It looked fine on my system. Unfortunately, if there is a problem, it is best to have the articles talk pages aesthetically pleasing and the non-article ones less so. —Centrxtalk • 01:56, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
Yes, there was a problem before, more pronounced with Firefox than with IE6. But now, the problem is reduced. The template is now aesthetically pleasing (bullets all spaced apart evenly) on article talk pages, but not on project talk pages, for instance. I'm willing to accept this status quo, but it would be nice to engineer it better. Stevie is the man! TalkWork 02:21, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

Where do we want to go today?

I think many of the changes made by Centrx starting around here are good. He's right, it isn't a tech manual, and the template does suffer from instruction creep. Minimizing should absolutely be a goal with this. (Perfection is achived when there is nothing left to take away.) The phrasing of "This is not a forum..." is much better. I didn't like that phrasing before and don't know why I didn't see that alternative. I do have a few concerns, though. One is the use of click here. Another is the loss of "Place new comments after existing ones (within topic sections)". The parenthetical could probabbly be dropped, but the base ("Place new comments after existing ones") is distinct from the section headings part -- replying to old threads vs starting new ones. I also reiterate my concerns about having one link that takes an action while the rest are information. I feel that violates the principle of least surprise. It also looses the educational value of the ==Header example==. Finally, a suggestion on method: Given that this template is protected due to high use, perhaps edits should be proposed here first, discussed, and then implemented. Not everyone who wants to contribute to this template is an admin. --DragonHawk 21:33, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

I have now made it semi-protected instead of fully. —Centrxtalk • 00:25, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. One quick comment before I get some much-needed sleep: Given the high-profile nature of the template, I still think it might be a good idea (for all involved) to discuss proposed changes here first. Not saying it has to happen for every change, just something to think about.  :) I'll response to the rest later. Thanks again. Cheers. --DragonHawk 04:29, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
I don't think it is necessary to tell people that they need to put follow-up comments below the others. I have never seen this to a problem on pages that don't have Talkheader and on pages which have all sorts of other problems with anon's ordering sections and signing comments. I think it is pretty obvious that responses go below what they are responding to; it is not prone to the sort of common, reasonable error of putting new talk sections at the top or not knowing how to sign. I don't think the template needs to educate the formatting of sections; the people who need this template are often passers-by or new users, who figure it out soon enough and it is rather clear from looking at a page while editing. What do you propose to do about the link? It seems a useful thing, but maybe get rid of it entirely and just keep the advice that new sections go at the bottom with the header how-to? —Centrxtalk • 00:25, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
I have seen the "new comments before old comments" problem on some pages. Sometimes it's within existing topics; sometimes it's with new topics. I suspect this reflects the posting styles debate for email. At least one other person apparently agreeded, and put it back (I then cleaned it up). It now says "Place new comments after existing ones", which I think is best, as it covers both the within-existing-topic-sections and starting-new-topic cases. • Regarding section headings, you're right. It's obvious when looking at existing wiki text, and this isn't a tech manual. So, agreed, better to lose it. • Regarding the new-topic link: I do think it should stay, as it is very useful. I'd like to come up with some fancy CSS formatting that causes the link to appear different (perhaps more like a UI button), to make it clear that it takes an action. For now, "click here" will have to do. --DragonHawk 01:49, 30 September 2006 (UTC)


As you may be aware, this MediaWiki message [ MediaWiki:Talkpagetext --DragonHawk] is transcluded onto all talk pages, but is currently empty. There was some dispute a while ago about whether this template should be deprecated and replaced by that message, but it was agreed that including the whole contents of this template on every page would be too much of a nuisance.

The proposal is alive again, see MediaWiki talk:Talkpagetext#Proposed final version for the suggested version. This version aims to clear up many of the objections that people had to other versions of the message. Comments are welcome. --bainer (talk) 07:43, 13 September 2006 (UTC)


I think this talkheader should appear as default at the top of every talk page. Can it also Include, Info about how "Click here to start a new discussion topic" is the same as clicking the "+" button and how : or :: ect... need to be put at the start of your own additions to other people's comments? Alan2here 18:44, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

It is technically possible to have a message presented when editing every talk page. The mechanism is MediaWiki:Talkpagetext. For discusison about this, see the archive for this talk page and MediaWiki talk:Talkpagetext. As yet, there is no clear concensus as to what should be included in said message. It does appear that concensus is that too much instruction is unwanted, but the details of exactly what *is* wanted appears to lack concensus at this time. --DragonHawk 18:09, 4 October 2006 (UTC)

Instruction on new discussion

It appears that some people (particularly Centrx) want this:

* New discussion topics go at the bottom of the page; click here to start a new topic.

while others (particularly me) want this:

* Place new comments after existing ones.
* Click here to start a new discussion topic.

I prefer the later form. The two points are not the same. One deals with starting new topics (threads/sections/etc). The other deals with the ordering of comments (top vs bottom posting). While new topics should go after existing topics, new comments within a topic should also go after existing comments within that topic. I also prefer one point per bullet. People are moe likely to read short bullets; that's why we put them there. The longer bullet is more likely to wrap. I don't want to edit war, so I'd like to see discussion about this. Centrx? Others? --DragonHawk 18:19, 4 October 2006 (UTC)

I prefer the second, though I'd change "after" to "below" to make it more clear. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 19:09, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
Having two lines makes the template full and the instructions seem long and complicated when they're not. —Centrxtalk • 21:18, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
Personally, I find the two-bullet form appears less involved/complicated. By putting it all together in a single bullet, you're making a longer, compound sentence, which takes more effort to read and is more likely to wrap. • You're right that having two bullets will tend to use more vertical space. However, there is a mitigating factor: The longer line is more likely to wrap, and will end up using almost as much vertical space as two bullet points if it does. • All of the other bullet points are shorter than the single-bullet form. The longer line appears uneven with the rest. That "looks funny" to me. That's asthetics and personal preference, of course, but I suspect that's most of what this is about.  :) --DragonHawk 00:19, 5 October 2006 (UTC)
I agree with you DragonHawk. Less to read for the Simpletons with two bullets. Thats three votes for, one against. I'd make the change. Veracious Rey talk contribs 20:41, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Update: My comments here were challenged, and I apologize for any pain I've caused. I spoke only in jest. Veracious Rey talk contribs 22:23, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Time to delete yet?

This is a talk page. Please respect the talk page guidelines, and remember to sign your posts using four tildes (~~~~).

Says it all and is on every talk page edit screen. violet/riga (t) 20:44, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

That doesn't have the information about the purpose of the talk page and the civility guidelines. These are useful for talk pages where the discussion veers way off course into a general forum and for pages with heated arguments. Template:Talkheader originally was intended for only talk pages where the notices were important, and it is still useful for that. —Centrxtalk • 01:45, 22 December 2006 (UTC)


Veracious Rey had changed the color scheme of the template to somewhat bluish; I reverted his change. While I am assume he meant well, I believe the full ramifications for the change do not bode well. • There is a set color scheme for "all" talk page templates. This was agreed upon by concensus a long time ago, and should not be disregarded without some discussuion first. • So, my thoughts on the change: I think the stated goal of "stands out from other talk page templates" is doomed for multiple reasons. (1) There is something to say for consistency for the sake of asthetics (that's why we have a Manual of Style). (2) Not everyone will agree this template deserves to stand out (heck, some think it should be deleted entirely). (3) If the change were to stay, why not have all the other templates change color to stand out, too? So eventually we have a bunch of multi-colored templates, none of which stand out now, but all of which clash. • Obviously, my opinion is clear.  :) What do others think? --DragonHawk 04:28, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

My bad. I meant no harm, and I see your point. My reason for the change had to do with multiple talk pages being jacked up 'cause others don't know how to post. I thought the change might grab their attention. I'll ask first next time. Thanks for the clarification. Veracious Rey talk contribs 05:11, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
No problem. And believe me, I sympathize with your intent. Alas, I've learned that you cannot lead that particular horse to water. Noobs will be noobs, and some people just refuse to read instructions, even if you put them in blinking yellow on black letters (the parent post is educational, too). All we can do is put up a sign-post for those willing to look; we cannot force them to look. (sigh) Thanks anyway, though -- well-meaning contributions are always a good thing, even if they do not pan out. Cheers! --DragonHawk 05:32, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
Just so you know, I did add the beautiful red lettering up there. Now that is nice (if I say so myself). :) Veracious Rey talk contribs 05:37, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Think and discuss before you edit, please

Kind of a meta-talk issue here: This is a widely used template; it gets included on enough pages that it almost qualifies as a "high-risk template", or a kind of pseduo-MediaWiki Message. Thus, any kind of edit war/revert war/etc on this template is harmful. Even frequent edits on such are to be frowned upon, due to server performance impact (or so I understand). The nature of this template attracts those who have a fine eye for detail, so little things may be magnified. Point being: Preference should be given to discussing changes before they get made. We have this nifty talk page feature to do that; let's use it. I have made a note on the template doc page to this effect. Thanks, everyone, and happy wiki'ing! --DragonHawk 04:41, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Proposal: Add article policy notes in third column

I've created {{Talkheader/Draft}} as a "working scratchpad" for people to test ideas. This lets everyone edit, but also keeps it includable, so we can test things out. Include the draft by putting the following text in a page:


Case in point: I'm thinking it would be good to have a note on the "big three" article content policies for this talk header. High-profile articles, especially ones on popular culture (movies, people, etc.) tend to attract a lot of people who put their own personal theories and speculations in articles. They mean well, but don't know that WP:NPOV and WP:NOR are requirements. So I've edited the draft; see above. That's pretty close to what I want. I haven't had a chance to get the column width sizing figured out yet. The leftmost column can be shrunk, I think (if anyone knows how, please edit the draft). One of the criteria I am following is to keep the same footprint as the original. This proposed change also: (1) Links to policy and guidelines on the left; (2) Simplifies a few phrases (3) Makes it clearer that next should go after existing text, within existing topics as well as for new topics, and (4) puts a nifty box around the four tildes. What do people think? Comments? Commendations? Condemnations? --DragonHawk 14:42, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

I think the changes are great. The article policies might help those who feel they need to add their own 2 cents with suspect information, and when an accomplished editor slams the door on them, they'll understand (hopefully). I do have one suggestion. Why not slightly change the coloring on the article policies, perhaps putting it in it's own box same as the talk policies (be polite, etc.). This might make it stand out better. Just a thought. But the box above looks good.
For example, on the Spider-Man 3 talk page their is a warning we keep at the top of each disscussion list telling editors what/what not to add to the talk page. We might not need this anymore with the above template. Veracious Rey talk contribs 15:04, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
With an if-statement so the article policies don't show on non-article talk pages. —Centrxtalk • 04:54, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the feedback, people. I've adopted some of the changes, plus a few more: (1) Made "Article policies" box light green background. (2) Made "Article policies" article namespace only. (3) Moved "This is not a forum" bit up to header and made text red. (4) Slightly clarified "four tildes" bit. (5) Made "Click here...new topic" look sort of like a button to click on. (5) Simplified markup a bit (rendering unaffected). What do you all think? • In particular, I'm not at all sure about the change to the "Click here" link. I cannot find a way to make the text black (like a button). I think that is because it's a link, so the "A:link" selector overrides any style set on the SPAN element. So the link looks a bit "off" to me. • Because this page is in template space, the draft does not display as it would in article-talk. I've got a mockup here that shows what it should look like for that; please check it out. • Thanks! —DragonHawk (talk) 07:44, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
New box looks good to me, DragonHawk. The only thing I might change is to shrink the entire template horizontaly. There's quite a bit of empty space in the middle. Just a thought, but otherwise I like the new design and green color. I also modified the sentence that said "enter four tildes". I changed it to "typing four tildes". This might clue new users in that the tildes are on their keyboard. Heck, I didn't know when I started on Wikipedia. Who uses the tilde button anyway?Veracious Rey talk contribs review me 08:27, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
Good idea on the "type" wording. (Who uses tilde? Unix geeks like me. :) ) • The horizontal whitespace does look funny on wider screens. It is worse outside of article space, where you loose the article policy box. But: (1) It is not bad on narrower screens (think 640x480 or a cell phone). (2) The box width is standard for all talk page boxes. (Take a look at Talk:Adolf Hitler, which is the poster child for busy talk pages.) —DragonHawk (talk) 18:26, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
Cool. Hey, thanks for your work on this. The new template looks much better. When do we implement it? Veracious Rey talk contribs review me 21:21, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
You're welcome, and thank you for your feedback. As far as a timeline, I want to wait a week (3 Jan + 7 days = Wed 10 Jan) to give others a chance to see this discussion and comment. Not everybody checks their watchlist every day. If nobody objects by then, I'll copy the draft to the "production" version. (Even WP:BOLD suggests care with templates and categories.) —DragonHawk (talk) 22:26, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

Okay. I've copied the proposed changes into the "production" version of the template. There appears to be some problem where "Article policies" box is not being included on article talk pages, even though the other conditional elements are. I'm investigating. If someone see some obvious syntax error which I missed, please fix it and let me know. —DragonHawk (talk) 23:26, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

This is weird. The first use of ParserFunctions to make the "Not a forum for general discussion" heading conditional works fine. The same syntax doesn't work later on in the template. It's hard to test because the "Article policies" box is not supposed to appear anywhere but article namespace. So testing anywhere in the usual proper places does not help. I am currently searching for a sandbox in main article namespace to test with. In the meantime, it at leasts looks okay everywhere; it's just one feature is missing. —DragonHawk (talk) 00:08, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
I found the problem. I have fixed it. I have checked on both article talk pages and non-article talk pages to make sure it looks right. —DragonHawk (talk) 05:35, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Revisit article policies box

On 21 Jan 2007, Ned Scott removed this block, with the comment "I know it says discuss first, but holy crap, this isn't a dump-all template for newbies. We do not need -direct- links at every-single-possible-chance. Intro and FAQ are linked, that's enough.". I have put it back and hope to foster further discussion here. To wit: • This template is very much for newbies. It isn't a "dump-all", yes, so we have to agree on what we want included. Let's work on that. I (and others) do feel this box on article policies serves a very useful purpose. There are articles (generally on pop culuture subjects, like movies and books) which attract a lot of speculation and personal opinion. Newbies come and try and defend their favorites (or attack their favorite targets). They honestly do not know that personal opinion does not belong here. This block is an attempt to help counter. Sure, some will still ignore it, but some people do read signposts, if they are present to be read. —DragonHawk (talk) 18:43, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

I for one would like to see that removed block of links restored to the template. A lot of new users seem not to be aware of these policies, and I suspect that if they haven't looked at the FAQ and the Welcome page before posting to a talk page, they may never do so. In my opinion, expecting them to read through all the info in those two sections before they hit "save page" is asking too much too soon. Yes, everyone should read the FAQ and Welcome pages when they're new, but I'm willing to bet most editors don't. I say this because a lot of the arguments I've seen newbies make on article talk pages seem to indicate that they are unaware of basic policies. I think that the simple reminder of those key policies could be more effective than those two links. And it really doesn't take up much space at all. Robotman1974 19:02, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
Most of those users don't even read the talk page before making an edit, so I'm speculative as to how effective this is. Even if they do, over-linking the banner will just cause a loss of focus and people will only glance at it as one of many many links already present. Cramming more stuff in the banner does more harm than good, regardless of the intent. -- Ned Scott 19:12, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
I'll repeat my comments from above: WP:CREEP and Wikipedia:Overlinking comes to mind with the addition of the policy links. Please, I beg of you all, lets keep this template's job simple. What's next, asking him to fix the leak in the kitchen? Jam lots of links in, lose a lot of focus. If you want a template on the top of every talk page that has those links, ok, but make it a different template.
I've re-removed the additional box of links since there really wasn't discussion to include that box in the first place. There was discussion about policy links in general, but that's about it. If you really want to talk about things before change, then lets be true to that. -- Ned Scott 18:50, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
Actually, there was discussion about adding the "Article policies" box. See here. —DragonHawk (talk) 18:59, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
Yes, a whole three users talked about it. I don't blame you for including it based on that alone, but now that I've brought up additional concerns I think it would be reasonable to discuss this fairly recent change. -- Ned Scott 19:06, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
I, too, think it would be reasonable to discuss this, and not revert war over it. —DragonHawk (talk) 19:16, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
Nice double standard you have there. You can make large changes with little to no discussion, but I cannot? -- Ned Scott 19:21, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
The change was first discussed 3 Jan (17 days ago). The change was made 9 Jan (12 days ago). You reverted three times within the past 16 hours, once with the explict comment that you were ignoring discussion. I see a difference there. —DragonHawk (talk) 19:42, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
I was not ignoring discussion at all. I simply meant that I didn't think it was worth it to wait for a discussion to conclude about something so simple. I had read the talk page before making changes. I have reverted twice and when you were the only one re-reverting me. I have no intention of taking it further, especially since another user has also reverted me. I do think it's a double standard, and maybe a bit of ownership, but if that's the way you guys want to go about it, then fine. You get to add your change, but I have to fight for mine, so be it. -- Ned Scott 19:52, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
I feel it is reasonable to consider your remark "I know it says discuss first, but holy crap..." to mean you were ignoring discussion. • "Revert" may be the wrong word. Let me restate: You removed the box three times within the past 16 hours. • I do not feel I "own" this template. I am one of several people who have a strong interest in this template. I also have witnessed a lot of unilateral action which led to edit waring and/or full protection on this template, which is why I tend to jump on it. I am, perhaps, guilty of being overzealous in my defense of consensus at times, but I also bow to it (e.g., on the question of colors). • You state "I didn't think it was worth it to wait for a discussion to conclude about something so simple.", but you also state elsewhere in this talk section that the 17 days over which discussion occurred was not sufficient and not finished. That appears contradictory to me. —DragonHawk (talk) 20:20, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
Fair enough, it is reasonable that you would come to that conclusion given the message, but understand my frustration, I am telling you that is not what I meant. I am trying to clarify that issue. You've already assumed that I'm someone who supports deleting this template, even though I've always supported keeping it. With all due respect, your assumptions about me are inaccurate. I don't feel it's worth waiting to remove something that didn't have strong support in the first place and is a very new version of the template. Going back to the last stable version is a very typical thing to do when people have strong objections, especially when it's something as high use as this. There are a lot of Wikipedians who can't reasonable watch every single talk page on Wikipedia, so don't assume you have consensus or that this is even a good idea. -- Ned Scott 05:35, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
I'll have to agree with Robotman1974 and DragonHawk. I would like to see the removed content restored. To remove something without discussion because there wasn't discussion to add it is a strange argument. The box provides easy access to important links every newcomer should see. Revert Ned Scott's changes. auburnpilot talk 19:11, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
It was a major change done about ten days ago.. -- Ned Scott 19:14, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
And? auburnpilot talk 19:16, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
It means the discussion isn't even over, so the addition is pre-mature. If you want to discuss something before adding it, then fine, but this is adding it while discussing it. -- Ned Scott 19:20, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
Regarding some of the objections raised. • Overlinking is about not adding links which are not relevant to context. In other words, don't link a word just because you can; link a word because the target of the link is useful and relevant. Obviously, the links in question are absolutely relevant to the context, so I do not see that objection as applying. This template is a signpost; links are very appropriate. That page also has a section on "Link density" which would actually seem to favor making these links. • WP:CREEP is somewhat relevant. We cannot forsee every possible situation, and trying to anticipate and provide instruction for every possible situation is doomed to failure. However, in my experience, problems with newbies not being aware of NPOV or NOR are very common, and frequently addressed on talk pages. So I think these links could help quite a bit. • It is very true that many people (let alone newbies) do not read signs. There's nothing we can do about them, regardless of how big or small the template is. However, many people do read signs, if they're there in the first place. Those people will benefit from this template. So I think the argument "People don't read signs" is specious. —DragonHawk (talk) 19:32, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
A lot of new users (most, I suspect) won't even read the talk page. Even those that do might not read or click on those links. The idea is good, but in practice it's not actually effective. If it's not effective then it's not worth cramming more stuff in there just because it might be helpful to a very small group of editors. The reason this template is good for new users is because it is specifically about the talk page rather than editing in general. Thus, only those who are editing the talk page are going to see it. This shouldn't be a dump-all place for new-user help, it should be about talk pages. -- Ned Scott 19:41, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
• As I just stated, I think the argument that "People won't read it anyway" is specious. If it was true, we could just delete not only this template, but all templates and policy pages. Some people do read instructions, which is why we persist in our efforts here, and why others continue to do things like put up road signs and write instruction manuals. It appears one of your major objections is "People don't read instructions". My counter-point is "Some people do read instructions". If you have a specific counter-point to that, please make it; please don't just re-state your original point.
• The idea that this template should only be about how to use talk pages is a legitimately new point, and one with some merit. I do think there are counter-points, though. NPOV/NOR/V are core policies that drive just about everything we do here at Wikipedia. Thus, those policies are relevant (albeit sometimes distantly) to pretty much all talk. Not like, say, WP:LIVING, which is only relevant to some talk pages. Further, on the talk pages where this template gets used, there are frequently NPOV/NOR/V issues under discussion, so it's frequently very relevant. • Now, it could be argued that these points still belong in different talk box template, but one common objection seen here and elsewhere is that there are too many talk boxes, taking up too much space and pushing article content further down. Putting these points in this talkbox is an attempt to help alleviate that problem.
• You may also want to check the TfD logs for this template (see the top of this page). Some of your arguments have been raised before, and concensus was soundly against them, all four times.
DragonHawk (talk) 20:08, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
I think you are making some false assumptions about me. I've voted in at least two of those TfD, and both time it was keep. "People won't read it anyway" is not my argument. My argument is that they are more likely to read or click on a focused group of links, rather than things that apply to Wikipedia in-general. Like I said below, look at what they did on Talk:List of Lost episodes. Or making <!-- in-article notices --> for when things are a major issue. WP:TPT#Small_option has reduced a lot of clutter on talk pages, so we shouldn't be putting these links in here just to avoid making another box.
This was actually brought up for the WP:LIVING message ({{blp}}). For a short while it appeared as apart of {{WPBiography}}, and looked really ugly. Technically speaking, it's still translcuded in WPBiography, but appears as a different box. It's also switchable, so it can be included on some pages but not others. This might be a solution for this situation. -- Ned Scott 20:25, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
I like the idea of making the "Article policies" box optional. Now that's a useful and constructive suggestion, and something I didn't think of. I'll get to work on that. —DragonHawk (talk) 20:33, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
Okay, I've added one possible implementation of this idea to the current draft. There's now a named parameter, "arpol", which controls the display of this box. Set to "yes" and it will be displayed; set to "no" and it will be hidden; omit the parameter and it uses the default. The default is current to display the box on article talk pages. Of course, now we can edit war over what the default should be.  ;) —DragonHawk (talk) 22:02, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
Considering the opt-in nature of the talkheader template, yes I think it should be hidden by default. Also, I still think it should appear as a separate box. -- Ned Scott 06:11, 22 January 2007 (UTC)


"Instruction creep occurs when a person or persons add to a list of instructions repeatedly, causing it to increase in size and complexity over time. Instruction creep is generally frowned upon, as it causes instructions to be unmanageable and daunting. In general, people will be less likely to read and follow long instructions."

From Wikipedia:Overlinking:

"A high density of links can draw attention away from the high-value links that readers would benefit from following."

This, plus the fact that we try to keep the template present but only as large as it needs to be, I don't think it's a good idea to start listing policies in the talk header banner. If a particular article is having problems with new editors violating policy then make another box, like what you see on Talk:List of Lost episodes. At least that way you can provide specific examples instead of generic messages, which is far more likely to be helpful to a new user. Like I've said before, if you want to add these links to the top of every talk page, then that's one thing, but putting them into this banner really isn't the best place to do it. -- Ned Scott 19:37, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Also, if people are correctly using this template then it's only being used on talk pages where there is an issue with new users, etc. It's reasonable to say that the template applies to all the places it's added to (and if not is easily removed). The polices might not be an issue on every article, so they don't always apply. This isn't a job for this template. -- Ned Scott 19:47, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Overlinking also states "Major connections with the subject of another article that will help readers to understand the current article more fully" should be linked, so I think making the article policies links rather than plain text is valid. WP:CREEP is mainly about adding new policies; not linking to existing ones. This is not adding "long instructions"; they are deliberately short bullet points. Further, NPOV is about as fundamental as you can get on Wikipedia; calling it "instruction creep" is a bit harsh. I do think your point about putting these points in a different template has some merit, and have responded to it elsewhere in this talk section. —DragonHawk (talk) 20:31, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
The difference here is the context we are using for those two guidelines. I have a concern that is summed up by the two quotes I gave above, and it's in context to the situation, article or not. WP:CREEP is not just about new policies, but about giving instruction when it is not necessary. Just because the link is short does not mean the set of instructions it points to is short. This is a box for how to use the talk pages, a specific use. -- Ned Scott 05:51, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

Starting over

It seems to me that I've been reverted and this box has been argued for not because it's a good idea, but because people have taken offense to how I've gone about addressing this issue. My apologies, I am in the wrong in that respect. Way too many times I've seen isolated talk pages like this think they have consensus because no one else is watching that specific page. Here I thought watching pages like Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines and Wikipedia:Talk page templates were enough, but I didn't think to watch the templates as well. So yes, I was a bit frustrated to find that a new direction was being taken without a lot of input, and that somehow my opinion was not valid because it took me more than 10 days to notice the change. (Keep in mind I'm saying this is how it appeared to me. By now I know that everyone was acting in good faith and did not intend for such a situation)

If it is possible, forgive me and forget my flawed approach to this matter. I should have been more cool headed about it, and have now caused people to be needlessly on edge. If we can, lets look at the simple issue itself.

There already is a strong consensus to show that the talk header itself is not for every talk page, and that the header should be short, sweet, and to the point. Adding those links to the top of talk pages is an debate in-itself, my point is that it's not the job for this template. I know it seems like a "small" addition, but the history of the template shows how those small additions quickly get out of hand. This template should be about the talk page.

You can't force someone to read policy and guidelines in every talk template. There are much better ways to address issues where people are not aware of policies, so why not explore that instead? Don't get locked into the idea that only one thing will work. -- Ned Scott 05:58, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

WRT your approach before this point: Fair enough. • WRT this template: I do agree that this template has a high information density, and that is something to be aware of, at the very least. • There is, I think, some merit to the idea that this template should only be about the conventions of talk pages, and directives on article policy belong in another template/box. I do think there are counter-points, though. NPOV/NOR/V are core policies that drive just about everything we do here at Wikipedia. Thus, those policies are relevant (albeit sometimes distantly) to pretty much all talk. Not like, say, WP:LIVING, which is only relevant to talk pages about living people. Further, on the talk pages where this template gets used, there are frequently NPOV/NOR/V issues under discussion, so it's frequently very relevant. • Now, it can be argued that these points still belong in a different talk box template, but one common objection seen here and elsewhere is that there are too many talk boxes, taking up too much space and pushing talk page content further down. Putting these points in this talkbox is an attempt to help alleviate that problem. Fixing one problem tends to cause another (in this case, further increasing info density), so we have to choose which evil we prefer. —DragonHawk (talk) 12:40, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
WP:TPT#Small option has helped out a lot. Again, I point out Talk:List of Lost episodes. -- Ned Scott 12:43, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
Right, I'm just trying to figure out how to apply WP:TPT#Small option to this situation. Create a separate template just with the article policies? That seems like an error in the other direction (creating a template which has a very low info density for the space it takes up). I've tried experementing with floating a box to the right of a regular template message box, and the layout gets all messed up. It appears the browser sees the other box as affecting the margins and shifts the normally centered templates to the left. So I don't think attaching a small-talk box to the standard-talk {{talkheader}} will work. Thoughts? Suggestions? Anyone? —DragonHawk (talk) 02:51, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

Click here

Some people (including myself) have objected to the use of "Click here". What's happened so far is that someone will change it one way, someone else will change it back, time will pass, repeat. This talk posting is an attempt to foster actual discussion. • The article on "Click here" (CH) has all the usual criticisms; consider them incoporated here by reference. • Many of the objections to CH do not apply to this case. For example, the link in question is totally useless when printed. • The link in question performs an action, and the use of CH helps to make that clearer. • "Everybody" understands what CH means at this point. In contrast, the target audiance of this template might well not understand what "Follow this link" means. • As you can see, I'm on the fence on this one. What do others think? —DragonHawk (talk) 01:30, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

I would leave the statement"Click here" as is. There are still enough people in the world who do not know that bold, blue print is usually a link of some kind. In my mind the statement in no way detracts from the template. Veracious Rey talk contribs review 01:45, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Accessibility#Links says not to use "Click here." Like W3C's recommendation, it says the best link title is one that's descriptive of what the link does or where it takes the user. "Click here" doesn't say that the link will provide a new section. With "start a new section," even those who read a printout of the page will learn what the guideline is, and be likely to follow it on talk pages without the header, and those who do follow the link -- by clicking or otherwise -- will know what to expect. NeonMerlin 04:38, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
(1) Method: Please note that the template documentation, WP:BOLD#Exceptions, Transclusion costs and benefits, etc., all point to discussing before editing. Editing a heavily-used template causes unneeded sever load. The template has been protected in the past for these reasons. Please, discuss changes here first. Thanks!
(2) Content: Your edit changed the text to be quite a bit longer. There is an "Article policies" box which is supposed to appear (it's broken right now due to a bug) and your text will hit that on all but the widest screens. (Things like this are another reason why the using the draft version first is a good idea.) • I normally detest "Click here", but I'm keeping the target audiance of this template in mind. • I think your second change has merit, but I'd like to see what other people think, too. • Perhaps something like "Put new text after existing text. Optionally [start a new section]." would work?
DragonHawk (talk) 05:09, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
I've updated the draft. What do people think of that? The line in question is still longer than it was. I put "optionally" in there because I don't want the newbies thinking they have to start a new section. (I personally feel that is the lesser evil, but I am trying to solve all problems.) —DragonHawk (talk) 05:38, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
I think the whole "click here" debate is asinine. If you read the critisisms section on click here, none really apply to this template. I think in this case, "click here" is a much better alternative than "Optionally". I mean, seriously, this new word doesn't fit well. If you don't like "click here", at least come up with something better than the current version. But again, I must say this argument is silly and nitpicky. Veracious Rey talk contribs review 18:45, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

How about "You may start a new topic." That makes the link text equal to exactly what it does ("start a new topic"), which hopefully preserves the notion that this link causes an action. "You may" retains the idea that it is optional, while being less pretentious than "Optionally". And it still keeps the wording short and sweet. —DragonHawk (talk) 13:16, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

Well, "You may start a new topic." got shot down. Anyone else have any ideas? —DragonHawk (talk) 12:31, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

Colors and such

I can see people are clearly trying hard to improve this template, but what was wrong with this version? I'm sorry, but this template is getting uglier and uglier by the day. The grey background on "click here" is rather obnoxious, and the box around the tildes is just too much. Think simple. A newcomer doesn't need flashy boxes, colors, backgrounds, and the like. Simple instructions and hints. Please. AuburnPilottalk 06:11, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Hi there. Thanks for joining the discussion! We desperately need more input here. • I agree that the gray box around "click here" (or whatever we end up calling it :) ) is still not good. It started as an attempt to make that link look like a "button", i.e., something that causes an action and leads to a change. This is significant because (1) I think most people expect links to be "harmless" and (2) all of the other links are info-only. • As far as colors and borders goes, they serve a useful purpose. The catch and guide the eyes. That's why there are borders and boxes all over Wikipedia. Even the page backgrounds change color to reflect namespace changes. • I am somewhat concerned that the template is at risk of being "too busy", but I'm also aware that that is a vague complaint that is hard to address. —DragonHawk (talk) 06:49, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
Is it just me, or does the template look completely different on the transcluded talk pages? Click one at random on the "What links here" and see if I'm crazy. I've cleared my cache several times and even reloaded my browser, but it doesn't appear the same on the template's page and when transcluded. I temporarily uploaded a screencap of what I'm talking about here. AuburnPilottalk 07:06, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
That's a feature (or so we believe :) ). In article namespace, the template displays text which is relevant only to articles. Namely, links to the major content article policies, and a reminder to talk about the article, not the article's subject. But on, say, a template talk page like this one, those do not apply. It also appears differently on user talk pages (see mine for an example). Wonder of wonders, this is even documented in the template docs. :) I do think I'm going to take Have taken your screenshot and turned it into a pemenent figure in the template docs, though. —DragonHawk (talk) 12:56, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
Much better with the screenshot; I completely overlooked that line previously. AuburnPilottalk 17:06, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

We had some people object that there were too many different colors in the template. The current draft seems to be more conservative in the use of color. It uses the same standard color scheme for talk boxes on the outside, with each of the "blocks" inside with a white background. I personally find that a good solution, since it keeps the use of color in a minimalist vein, while still separating each block and helping the major points stand out. Do others agree? —DragonHawk (talk) 04:20, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

Sticking to a color scheme

The current draft has changed color schemes again. For a while it had the brownish background all around, with the three "sub-boxes" with white backgrounds as blocks inside it. Now it has a large lower area with a white background, and the other two sub-boxes are contained within that, with brownish backgrounds. (For the record, I haven't been the one initiating any of these changes.) The current draft at least matches the current "real" template. I don't really have a preference for any particular one, but could we all please pick one color/layout scheme and stick to it, and not just endlessly tweak the template back and forth between our personal favorites?  :) —DragonHawk (talk) 12:53, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

I see no harm in tweaking. This is a wiki, after all. -- Ned Scott 12:57, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
It's not tweaking I object to; it's endless tweaking. What has tended to happen with this template is that one person tweaks it one way, and then another person tweaks it a different way, and then the first person tweaks it back, and then the second person tweaks it back their way, and so on, ad infinitum. It's like a low-intensity edit war. Concensus is never reached. At most, one party gives up first. That's not the wiki way. —DragonHawk (talk) 13:20, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
Looking at the edit history I see what you mean.. that is some excessive tweaking. -- Ned Scott 14:00, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

Link for questions

I'm thinking it might be better to link to Wikipedia:Questions instead of Wikipedia:FAQ. The FAQ is directed mainly at answering people's questions about Wikipedia. At the same time, many newcomers end up trying to use an article talk page to ask questions about the article subject. I think that WP:Q does a better job of serving both needs -- it has links to the FAQ, but also the ref desk. I've updated the draft to see what it would look like. I added "get answers" to include another keyword. Thoughts? —DragonHawk (talk) 06:03, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Links to policies and guidelines

Centrx has taken out the line which stated "Follow policy and respect talk page guidelines", with the comment "It is quite for people not to go read all the dozens of policies before editing, let alone commenting in a discussion; see also WP:IAR; & Talk guidelines link already in MediaWiki:Talkpagetext)". I disagree with this change. • I'm familar with WP:IAR. Note that IAR says "If the rules prevent you from improving or maintaining Wikipedia, ignore them." I don't see how providing informative links will prevent anyone from doing anything. As the essay WP:SIR notes, in order to ignore a rule, one has to be aware of it. Someone who does not know "the rules" is ignorant of them, not ignoring them. • This template is targeted at newcomers to Wikipedia. These people are often unaware that Wikipedia does not work like the web site discussion forums or user-feedback-pages they are familar with. These people frequently get tripped up around policy. Giving them a pointer in the right direction would be quite useful. • MediaWiki:Talkpagetext only displays when editing a talk page. As noted by someone else on this talk page, it is useful to provide guidance at other stages as well. • Please, let's try and work things out here first, and avoid an edit storm on a busy template. Thanks. —DragonHawk (talk) 13:29, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

The wording "Follow policy" with a link to the full list of policies is presented as a recommendation and encouragement, and can even be interpreted as a rule for talk pages because this is an official-looking template that is present at the top of many talk pages. So, while providing a link can be nice (though it's not clear that flooding the user with links is very helpful), providing it in this manner is bad. Regarding Wikipedia:Suggestions on how to ignore all rules, this is nonsense created by a troll, and is directly contradictory to the relevant part of IAR; that is, someone reading, editing, or commenting on a Wikipedia article does not need to know the rules, they simply need to keep in mind that it is an encyclopedia and that they are in polite society. See [1]. —Centrxtalk • 14:08, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
Okay, I see your point with regard to phrasing like "Follow policy" being potentially intimidating, and agree. We want to be welcoming. We don't want fear of the rules to get in the way of improvements. I do think the links are potentially useful, though, and am still seeking a good way to phrase the linkage. Ideas are welcomed. • The source of WP:SIR is good to know, but I think the point I was making still stands: Knowingly disregarding a rule is not the same as being unaware of it. • If knowing that we are in a polite society was always enough, we wouldn't have 2/3rd's of the pages in the "Wikipedia:" namespace. Obviously, rules and regulations and all that crap are sometimes needed. IAR is deliberately ambiguous, but my understanding is it means "Don't let rules get in the way of making progress". The other side of that coin is that if ignoring a rule impedes progress, perhaps ignoring it isn't such a good thing. This template is intended to be used in situations where ignorance is making it harder to improve Wikipedia. Sometimes talk pages threaten to disolve into chaos, and a dose of "the rules" will be a strong positive force. • At least, that's my operating assumption. Do you (or others) disagree? —DragonHawk (talk) 03:26, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, I honestly believe that all of this shoving of Wikipedia policy in the newcomers' faces could be a violation of WP:BITE in a sense. Also, the bit below that says 'Article policies' should be renamed to 'Wikipedia policies', as all articles on Wikipedia have the same policies, not just that one article... or possibly rename to 'Policies on articles'.--HisSpaceResearch 10:06, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
Note that WP:BITE is about not being hostible and forgiving newbies for ignorance. It's filled with phrases like "some lack knowledge about the way we do things". This template is an attempt to provide a map to those who are unfamilar with the territory and want to avoid stepping in holes. So while I very much agree that the original phrasing was too strong, I don't believe promoting ignorance is the best policy. Thinking back to when I've joined various communities, one of my biggest complaints as a newbie was not knowing the rules and customs. • "Article policies" is concise and is not meant to imply they only apply to a single article. In English, "Article policies" can mean "Policies of articles" as well as "Policy of article". "Wikipedia policies" was not used for the same reasons: Talk pages have looser standards vs articles. —DragonHawk (talk) 12:46, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
Hmmm, sometimes the most obvious things are the hardest to see. How about if "talk page" is a link to Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines rather than Wikipedia:Talk page? The guidelines incorporate everything from the basic page anyway. —DragonHawk (talk) 13:32, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

WP:CREEP and Wikipedia:Overlinking comes to mind with the addition of the policy links. Please, I beg of you all, lets keep this template's job simple. What's next, asking him to fix the leak in the kitchen? Jam lots of links in, lose a lot of focus. If you want a template on the top of every talk page that has those links, ok, but make it a different template. -- Ned Scott 06:04, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Note that they're gone now anyway. :) Or rather, integrated into what was already there. —DragonHawk (talk) 12:23, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

Where to put new comments

I would be bold but for all the warnings everywhere about discussing changes to this template on the talk page. Anyone care if I changed the wording to make it clearer that new comments go at the BOTTOM of a talk page; not the top where newbies inevitably want to put them? ~ ONUnicorn(Talk|Contribs)problem solving 16:40, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Sounds good to me. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 19:35, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
I went ahead and did it. ~ ONUnicorn(Talk|Contribs)problem solving 20:35, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
The problem with this is that new comments do not always go at the bottom of the page. New topics go at the bottom of the page. New comments withing a topic go after the text they are repling to. For example, this comment I'm making is not at the bottom of the page. Giving explictly incorrect instructions is bad. How about "Put new text underneath old text"? Also, remember, please don't bite the newbies; shouting is a little over the top (CAPS IS SHOUTING). Also, there's a "Click here to start a new topic" link right next to the text in question. If the newbiews cannot understand that, chances are, they're not reading the template at all. There's only so much we can do. —DragonHawk (talk) 02:59, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
Yes I KNOW CAPS IS SHOUTING, I would have preferred to make it bold; but the special formatting in the template prevented it so after some deliberation I used caps. The idea was emphasis "Look at me! I'm important information!". At any rate; I'm not entirely sold on the caps myself. As for the exact wording; why don't we change it to "New topics go at the bottom of the page; responses to existing topics go beneath other responses in the same section"? ~ ONUnicorn(Talk|Contribs)problem solving 17:23, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
The problem with that is it's much more verbose. There's a history of consensus for this template to be as concise as possible. See disucssion elsewhere on this talk page, as well as the edit history of the template. That also doesn't really say anything the shorter version does not. We cannot and should not try to transcribe the entire Talk page guidelines page into this template. —DragonHawk (talk) 21:37, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
Clarity should not be sacrificed in the name of being concise. "Put new text after existing text" was unclear. The current version, "Put new text under old text" with a link to the new topic is better. ~ ONUnicorn(Talk|Contribs)problem solving 16:28, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

Making text smaller

I think it would be good if the text in the template were set to 80% in order to make the template take up much less space at the top of the talk page. Here's what it would look like:

This is the talk page for discussing improvements to the Template:Talk header/Archive 2 page.

Is this acceptable? ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 19:39, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Personally, I prefer the full-size version. After all, a small talk header surrounded by the monstrosities that are some (like the CVG one, or the ones that include ratings, priorities, todos and all that). I would suggest leaving this one big and modify all the others to 80%, because for someone new is more important to read the guidelines for talk pages than the rating of the article. -- ReyBrujo 20:20, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
I would actually prefer all of them be 80% so all of them take up less space. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 20:47, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
Well, as I said, I "prefer", but don't object. After all, people changed it so that now we have virtually seven different font/tones (blue, bold blue, black, bold black, cyan, bold red, cream and brown). -- ReyBrujo 21:01, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
I would prefer the larger size that existed before this change. I actually noticed the change on a talk page and came here to revert it. The text is just too small now and is a bit hard to read. Granted we almost all have completely different resolutions/settings, but I'm having a hard time reading this. AuburnPilottalk 22:44, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
I too would prefer to see the text like it was before it got too small. In particular, the tildes don't really look like tildes when they're that small. Robotman1974 22:52, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Here's the box at 90%:

This is the talk page for discussing improvements to the Template:Talk header/Archive 2 page.

Thoughts? ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 23:56, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

I think 100% text size looks the best. Robotman1974 00:05, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
This should be done for all talk messagebox's, at MediaWiki:Common.css. The only objection to it was that some templates use the talk messagebox class even though they are not talk headers, which just entails that they should be changed. The exact size, also, should be tweaked in order to make sure it looks fine for all browsers. —Centrxtalk • 00:18, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Here's the box at 90% with the tildes at 100%:

This is the talk page for discussing improvements to the Template:Talk header/Archive 2 page.

Thoughts? ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 00:27, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

In general, I don't really have a problem with making text bigger, smaller, rounder, whatever. Just so long as it's consensus. • However, it should not be done on a per-template basis. It should be done in the stylesheets for Wikipedia. There are a number of reasons for this. One is consistency; we don't want all the templates having different sizes. (That would be aesthetically poor, and prolly lead to edit wars over whose favorite templates get the biggest fonts, so let's just please not go there. :) ) CSS would also let everyone override things in their own styles, should they desire. • Pardon me while I preach a bit on accessibility: Please remember that not everyone has your eyes or your computer. Some people are on wide screens with huge resolutions; others are on tiny screens with low resolutions. Some have their text big because they their eyesight is poor. Some use small fonts to fit more on the screen (I do). More still don't know any of this but do know they have trouble reading their screens -- much of the computer user community is "functionally computer illiterate". Starting to tweak font sizes in the templates just seems like heading down the wrong path. End of sermon.  :) —DragonHawk (talk) 03:22, 18 January 2007 (UTC)


The instuctions are "This template should be used only when needed. Acculturation can't be forced, and it can be overdone. If the message is on every talk page, its impact will be reduced" which isn't very helpful. I consider it a very useful template and use it a lot. Since I've been asked not to use it so frequently as per the guidelines I was wondering if anyone would like to throw in some advice on when it should be used. Also do we have any evidence to support the last statement? I'd have thought the more often someone saw it the more likely it would be to sink in - no smoking signs are plastered all over trains for example presumably working on the idea that one might catch someone's eye and get it to sink in. As I say I considere this one of the most useful templates and don't really want to have to stop using it because I don't really know when to post it without it suddenly stopping being effective (a call which must be purely subjective) but I'd rather stop than spoil the template for everyone else. (Emperor 23:19, 18 January 2007 (UTC))

To be honest, I suspect that statement is there because some people really hate this template and keep trying to get rid of it (witness the four TfD attempts so far). My theory is the statement was added in an attempt to mollify them. My own personal opinion is that this template's content should be auto-added at the top of every talk page (in software), but that is not consensus and I suspect I am in the minority on that point. • As far as guidance for when to use this template, my own personal rule-of-thumb is to add it when any of the points it makes get broken. I usually don't add it to pages which are conforming to convention (so far). —DragonHawk (talk) 21:33, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
I couldn't agree more and am currently am in a dispute with Ned Scott who appears to hate this template with a passion. Incidentally what happened to "this is not a forum to discuss the article's topic"? Quadzilla99 21:22, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
My bad it appears to still be on there. Quadzilla99 21:43, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
I don't think Ned Scott "hates this template with a passion". There is some discussion between him, me, and others about what purposes this template should be put, and how to design it for those purposes, but there's a difference between that and "hates it with a passion". —DragonHawk (talk) 04:43, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
Considering I've argued to keep this template twice in the past, and that I have added it to many talk pages, it would be fair to say that I do not hate this template. I dislike misuse of this template, but not the template itself. -- Ned Scott 04:46, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
While I don't think you hate this template, I've checked the TfD logs, and I found no record of you voting keep in any of the discussions. All I found was one comment you made. I only mention this because you've mentioned it twice now. Either I'm missing something, or there's some kind of discrepancy. (For the record, I don't think you're lying. I'm actually more concerned that someone has been tampering with TfD logs.) —DragonHawk (talk) 05:10, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
Granted I did mark it as a "comment" in one TfD, I still supported keeping the template. It was fairly obvious that it would be kept at that point, anyways, so I was more interested in the discussion about the use of the template. As far as a second TfD, I was fairly sure there was one more recent than the February one but before the December one... There might be a TfD missing from the list, I'll look around for it. -- Ned Scott 05:56, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
Yup, I did see your comment, and indeed, took it to heart. FYI, this query can show you pages which link to this template without transcluding it, which may be useful. —DragonHawk (talk) 14:13, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
Odd, I could have sworn there was another one around the end of 2006. I remember seeing the one in December and thinking "oh not again". I might have been thinking of something else all together. But the idea is still the same, in that I don't hate this template. -- Ned Scott 20:59, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

Somebody needs to go into the template's page and say this template should only be used for such and such because right now it says it can be used on any talk page. Which is probably what leads to confusion. People shouldn't read about the template on the teamplate's page and then assume they have to go the talk page to learn about how to use it. Especially when it is supposed to explain how to use it on the template's page. Harvey100 08:35, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

Unfortunately, there is no clear consensus on how this template should be used; only on what not to do. —DragonHawk (talk) 09:02, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
Reading through the comments how about:
"This template should not be used indiscriminantly, but if you feel the guidelines it suggests are not being followed (lots of unsigned comments or people adding new comments at the top) then it may be that adding the template (and possibly refering people to it) may steer things in the right direction."
So people don't just drop it in when adding other headers to a talk page but keep an idea on how things are going. I suppose in some ways it is the first shot across the bows and later tags like the frequently vandalised one or controversial topic or trolling can be dropped in later to address more specific concerns. So less a "how to" and more a friendly reminder of the done thing? Or that is my take on things now. (Emperor 14:27, 28 January 2007 (UTC))
Why isn't what not to do mentioned in the page explaining the template clearly and simply? "This template is a signpost. It is designed to be used on any talk page to provide" What's the point of saying "any page" and then going on to list all the restrictions? That's like those ads you get for free products and then two sentences later there is a bunch of restrictions in small print. "on any page" should not be in there at all if there's going to be restrictions. Harvey100 21:11, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
The docs are open to editing by all. Feel free to contribute. —DragonHawk (talk) 22:19, 28 January 2007 (UTC)


I personally like the current version and think it should stay the way it is but I'm wondering how other editors would feel about creating a bot that would place this at the top of every article's talk pages. Quadzilla99 03:59, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

I think it's safe to say that would be shouted down. Check out the archives for this talk page, the TfD (Templates for Deletion) discussions noted at the top of this talk page, and the discussion at MediaWiki talk:Talkpagetext. While most people seem to think this template serves a purpose, it appears a significant portion of the community (if not consensus) thinks it does not belong on all talk pages. Even if we did think that, the right way to do such a thing would be with a new MediaWiki message, not a bot (which would have to touch every single talk page -- all 1 million plus of them). —DragonHawk (talk) 05:01, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

Please refrain from creating talk pages containing only this template and no discussion. It is disruptive and misleading to readers of an article who mistakenly believe that meaningful discussion exists on the talk page (due to the "discussion" link being blue rather than red, only to be sorely disappointed one pageload later. If you feel that the information conveyed by this template is essential to every single talk page, everywhere, you may consider adding its contents to MediaWiki:Talkpagetext, where it would appear automatically for any user editing a talk page. —freak(talk) 09:28, Jan. 24, 2007 (UTC)

While I don't think it's good to add this template to all talk pages (or even most), I don't think it really matters much as far as "if or if not there is a good message on the talk page". -- Ned Scott 03:50, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
[2]. —freak(talk) 07:32, Jan. 25, 2007 (UTC)
Holy crap, that's excessive. Quadzilla, you need to hold off on adding any more of those templates. This is not how they're supposed to be used. -- Ned Scott 07:59, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
Auto-adding this template is the wrong thing to do. It effectively creates empty talk pages. It wastes server resources and causes needless activity in recent change logs. From what I've seen, a significant part of the Wikipedia community does not want this template's content on every talk page. It certainly is not consensus to add it like that. Should consensus be reached that this template (or anything else) be present on every talk page, the way to do it is with a MediaWiki message or other software change. That would take place automatically, everywhere, with minimal impact on performance, no space used in the database, no corruption possible, etc. —DragonHawk (talk) 04:49, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
Dragonhawk what the hell are you talking about? Figure out what you want, you just said that you favor adding it to every page and not 2 minutes later you put in bold not to add it to every page. I have no opinion myself but people like you are annoying to discuss things with. Incidentally maybe an automatic template on new user's talk pages would serve to educate newbies better but the talk template is still useful. Harvey100 03:32, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
Harvey100, what the hell are you talking about? Dragon stated that he had a personal preference, but believes in supporting consensus about the use. That's somehow hard for you to understand? What? Maybe you need to re-read his message, and maybe you need to read some of the links cited by this template. -- Ned Scott 04:09, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
You're just happy because he's agreeing with you Ned, besides who's talking to you? Seriously can you find somebody who's talking to you?
"My own personal opinion is that this template's content should be auto-added at the top of every talk page (in software)..." then:
"Auto-adding this template is the wrong thing to do. It effectively creates empty talk pages. It wastes server resources and causes needless activity in recent change logs."
Dragonhawk you didn't say you felt that because it was consensus, you just said it was wrong. Not wrong because people don't like it, you said it was wrong period. I don't really give a shit just as I was reading through this page it struck me as absurd. It's not really my argument anyway as I'm not obsessed with this issue like you people on here are anyways. Harvey100 07:32, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
Harvey, if you don't stop being a dick then maybe you should excuse yourself from this discussion. Dragonhawk thinks the header should be added to the software itself, which is far more efficient than using the templates. Auto-adding it via user/bot insertion would use a lot more of the server's resources (doesn't strike me as something very serious, but it is needless). You don't appear to even understand what Dragon was saying. -- Ned Scott 16:07, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
To both of you: Please be polite. (Please note that "responding in kind" is not an excuse for incivility.) —DragonHawk (talk) 20:46, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
To clarify: My personal opinion is that the content of this template should be placed in a MediaWiki message or some other software feature of the MediaWiki software, such that it appears at the top of every talk page. My personal opinion does not qualify as consensus. Consensus is currently against my personal opinion in this case; see MediaWiki talk:Talkpagetext for details. • Note that a MediaWiki message and auto-adding this template are two very different things. • Auto-adding this template to the talk page of all one-million-plus articles has never been explictly discussed before. However, reading past discussion, it seems pretty clear to me that consensus would be strongly against such a move. Some people are against this template, period. Frequent complaints are that talk pages boxes are over-used, or too big, or that some talk pages have too many, etc. The MediaWiki:Talkpagetext message was edited down to a single line. • Before doing something that will impact every talk page, extensive discussion should occur. —DragonHawk (talk) 20:57, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
DragonHawk, I'm glad you could respond, You have to admit that those two sentences look utterly baffling and make you look confused. That was my only point and it's pretty much beyond dispute, when you read them back to back. Now that you've clarified it, your views sure doesn't seem as cut and dry as you were making them sound when you made your earlier comments in bold lettering now do they? Also I would hold off on using bold letters, caps, and/or extra exclamation points or question marks if you're talking about being civil. Those kind of things are kind of childish, they talk down to the reader, and amount to histrionics. Harvey100 06:30, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
You're the only one who's come to this conclusion, Harvey. It was pretty obvious to the rest of us. Now that he's shown that you're wrong you are resorting to criticizing his use of bold lettering. Life will be much easier if you don't seek disputes. -- Ned Scott 06:36, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
Harvey100, I feel you are taking my remarks out-of-context. You quoted two of my remarks. The first you quoted incompletely. The full sentence was: "My own personal opinion is that this template's content should be auto-added at the top of every talk page (in software), but that is not consensus and I suspect I am in the minority on that point." (emphasis added). I even provided a link to consensus for those who are unfamiliar with it. While I can see that "in software" could be taken to mean a bot rather than MediaWiki (the latter being my intention), the second clause makes it clear that such action is not happening any time soon. Hence the reason I bolded "Auto-adding...": The actions being taken by Quadzilla99 were against apparent consensus and not easy to fix. Unilateral damaging action against consensus is considered a big no-no on Wikipedia. —DragonHawk (talk) 06:51, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
In regards to Quadzilla99's original suggestion: See also Wikipedia:Bot policy. —DragonHawk (talk) 06:55, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
"My own personal opinion is that this template's content should be auto-added at the top of every talk page (in software)..." then:
"Auto-adding this template is the wrong thing to do." Yeah I could see how someone could take that out of context. Besides you're the one who started the whole thing by belittling Quadzilla9 with the bold lettering, right after you just said you liked the talkheader on every page. Harvey100 08:21, 28 January 2007(UTC)
and seriously I didn't mention italics but you should probably drop those too. Harvey100 08:37, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

Get rid of colored text

How about we just loose the text coloring entirely? Check out this draft to see what it would look like. It appears that introducing non-standard colors into this template just leads to people tweaking it constantly (over time) to be more what they like. Colors vary too much from display to display, and person to person, for us to ever make everybody happy. At the same time, the plain-old-bold text looks fine to me. Enough with the color tweaking, I say!  :-) —DragonHawk (talk) 03:40, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

I like the "this is not a forum warning" can't it be in black. Quadzilla99 21:23, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
Actually I got confused it appears to still be there, it should be in black though. Quadzilla99 21:42, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

Archiving of the old talk page contents and refactoring of previous discussions

I archived the talk page as there was a lull and it was 100+ kbs. Please feel free to look through the archives and refactor any old discussions you feel are not completed or need to be addressed. Quadzilla99 17:42, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

Here is a refactoring of some former discussions done by myself User:Quadzilla99:

  • Basically the consensus is that the template should only be used on talk pages where it's guidelines have been violated and that it should not be added to any blank talk pages. Several editors expressed this very strongly and a clear majority of editors dislike the idea of arbitrarily adding it to talk pages. Additionally the now protected version of the template's page clearly states that in the description. See here and here.
  • Various editors differed on the things that should be included in the template such as the guidelines that should appear, the size of the text, and the overall size of the template. Here are some of the discussions: Colors, More Colors, Guidelines, Style and appearance, Format.
  • Several alternative versions were created such as smaller and longer versions. Universally these were all deleted and redirected to the talkheader. See here.

Feel free to refactor some your self or re-raise old issues.

Quadzilla99 18:12, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Thanks, Quadzilla99. FYI, I did a small cleanup on the archive talk. Somehow, a piece of text from the template documentation got stuck in there. Not sure how that happened. I noticed because it was messing up the table-of-contents (I was comparing it to the pre-archive page). I removed the extra text. Also FYI, and FWIW, I find the easiest way to archive a talk page is to move the top-level talk page to a new subpage (e.g., move "Template talk:Talkheader" to "Template talk:Talkheader/Archive_1"). That leaves a redirect page behind at the top-level, which I replace with the talk archive box and any other appropriate templates. This moves the talk page history as well, which can be useful when researching past conversations. Cheers. —DragonHawk (talk) 04:10, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Request: enable small version

I don't want to experiment with important template like this but can sb incorporate the following into the first line: {| class="messagebox {{#ifeq:{{{small|}}}|yes|small|standard}}-talk". For desired effect, see Talk:New York City.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  02:34, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Proposed change

A small little change, I just want to change the "Wikipedia:Sign your posts on talk pages" to "Wikipedia:Signatures" to avoid the redirect that comes from the first one. Philip Gronowski Contribs 00:39, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

I guess I should include code as well, here it be:
[[Wikipedia:Sign your posts on talk pages|Please sign and date your posts]] → [[Wikipedia:Signatures|Please sign and date your posts]]

Philip Gronowski Contribs 00:55, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Done. --Conti| 01:37, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
Thank you. Philip Gronowski Contribs 01:52, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

The 'be welcoming' line sounds patronizing, in my opinion

What if someone just thinks 'who the fuck are you to tell me to be welcoming?' They'll get blocked from editing, I guess...--h i s s p a c e r e s e a r c h 13:59, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

Well, I guess that could be seen as somewhat patronizing. On the other hand, Please do not bite the newcomers isn't exactly unpretentious, either. One way or the other, it's a key part of Wikipedia: Without being welcoming, you can't really be something that "anyone can edit". So I don't see much in the way of a better idea. Do you? —DragonHawk (talk) 04:40, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Small option

Wikipedia:Talk page templates#Small option discusses providing talk page templates with the option of writing them to the right with a smaller format. This would allow the talk page TOC to be more visible. Could we modify this template to include that option? It seemed to work okay in the sandbox. --Bejnar 19:14, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Please provide a pointer to the new code for the template. --Ligulem 00:28, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
I frankly don't think that this template should be small. It should be used at the top of a talk page, not later down. Does anyone have any thoughts about this? GracenotesT § 02:09, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
Having the small option does not automatically make the use of the banner small. It just gives that option. Even a small banner is still displayed where it is placed. If this banner is use in a small edition it can still be at the top of the discussion page. It will just be at the right like an infobox. --Bejnar 16:35, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
(a bit late) Yes, I am fully aware of that. I don't see the benefit of having the option, since I don't see the benefit of using it. But oh well. GracenotesT § 00:35, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
I do think it would be nice to have the option of making this template small. However, simply throwing small-talk in the style list doesn't work for this template. This template uses three columns on the assumption that there is more horizontal space than vertical; switching to small-talk invalidates that assumption. Everything gets squished beyond readability. So I'm unsure where to begin. Perhaps if, in "small mode", this template was a single column, with rules (horizontal lines) or some other divider between "blocks"? —DragonHawk (talk) 05:05, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Small option revisit

I had a go at trying to get this to work. Check out User:DragonHawk/Temp5 for the template itself, and User:DragonHawk/Temp6 for test cases. I managed to get something that looked half-decent for the small option, but now I'm running into problems with trying to put a conditional around table separators for the "be polite" and "article polices" boxes. We would need it to be a column separator when not small, and a row separator when small. Everything I've tried has been broken in some way. I'm starting to suspect you just can't put a conditional around table separator syntax (it is a pretty hairy case). Ideas are welcome; feel free to edit those pages if you have any ideas. · One other approach would be to brute-force it and have three templates, one for each size variant, and a master with a single conditional including one or the other, but that's a toxic kludge and I'm really hoping to avoid it. —DragonHawk (talk|hist) 02:52, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

Dangerous ambiguity

I occasionally see editors signing their additions to articles. This could be the result of them following directions: The accompanying template says, in an (unlabeled) demarcated area separate from the (unlabeled) editing-etiquette guidelines and the article-only ones,

* Please sign and date your posts by typing four tildes (~~~~).
* Put new text under old text. Click here to start a new topic.
* New to Wikipedia? Welcome! Ask questions, get answers.

The last of those 3 is not unreasonable to construe as guidance global to WP (even tho experienced editors know the questions & answers belong on talk pages, not on articles, nor, really, in summaries). For instance,

Click here to start a new topic.

doesn't, until you try it out, even vaguely imply that it applies only to talk pages, rather than, say, starting a new section in the accompanying article. (And it inhibits trying it out, since it is far from obvious that that experiment would be easily reversible.) It is possible a few newcomer editors see those 3 unlabeled lines as the most general advice possible abt editing; WP could benefit by giving them a heading such as

About discussion (i.e., "Talk:...") pages


Instructions for adding to this discussion page

--Jerzyt 20:04, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Hmmm. I can see where you're coming from. It could be confusing. The current layout came about because of the length of the various text links, not because of logical grouping, but you wouldn't know that from looking at it. I suppose we could throw a "Talk page guidelines" heading at the top of the left column, but the "New to Wikipedia" wouldn't really belong to that, either. And then there's the four etiquette links in the middle column; they should belong to the talk page guidelines. Hmmmm. Anyone else have thoughts on this? —DragonHawk (talk) 04:49, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Fix Article policies Links

In the Article policies block, we should link to just Wikipedia:Attribution instead of Wikipedia:Verifiability and Wikipedia:No original research, as these 2 policy's have combined onto Attribution. Gary van der Merwe (Talk) 11:52, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

I'd agree that should change. Was about to go and do it, when I realized that the link should be more descriptive than "attribution" -- once they get to the page, yes, it'll be clear what it's about, but should we have a more descriptive link? "Attribute your sources" comes to mind; one person mentioned "cite your sources" when I asked on IRC. Any thoughts? – Luna Santin (talk) 19:53, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Why not just link to the WP:V and WP:NOR sections of Attribution? -- Ned Scott 23:50, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Because we want to make the banner smaller if possible.--Bejnar 00:55, 24 February 2007 (UTC)
That won't make the banner smaller unless the conduct list is shortened, or they are otherwise refactored. —Centrxtalk • 17:00, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
Huh. Maybe "Attribute reliable sources" will work (since "attribute sources" sounds a bit too laconic, and reliable sounds like a good adjective, otherwise "cite reliable sources".) If this leaves space to add another policy below it, would there be some to to incorporate WP:NOT? GracenotesT § 02:14, 24 February 2007 (UTC)
I've updated the draft to reflect the above (and included it in this section). • I'm not sure about adding WP:NOT. While that's one of the policies I cite the most, I'm not sure if it "fits" here. For one, it's not really an article policy, per se; it's a Wikipedia-wide policy. It doesn't seem to fit the "Do's and don't's" tone of the rest of this template (unless we just link it as Don't do this stuff :) ). There's also WP:BEANS to consider. Hmmmm. —DragonHawk (talk) 04:32, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
I was actually coming here to fix the same problem but I see someone has already brought it up. Anyway, I just wanted to point out that the word "attribute" isn't the most common word in the English language so it might sound a little awkward, especially to newcomers (it also has a second meaning, furthuring the confusion). Maybe use the word "cite", or perhaps try "Back up your statements with reliable sources"? Axem Titanium 04:30, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
No? Hmm... please agree with the text, then. This template will generate a big queue in the servers, must be used in over 50,000 articles. -- ReyBrujo 04:41, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
I'm not exactly sure what you're trying to say. What does "please agree with the text" mean? Axem Titanium 03:33, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps ReyBrujo is trying to say "please agree on the proposed change [before making it, to avoid changing the template multiple times]". Quarl (talk) 2007-03-10 11:03Z
I'd like to endorse the proposed "attribute reliable sources" text change. Dekimasuよ! 11:59, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
Considering the policy is called Attribution, I think this is fine. If no-one else objects, I can implement the change. Harryboyles 13:58, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
Seeing as no-one has objected with the proposed text, I have implemented the change in the template and it is now live. - Harryboyles 01:20, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

Emphasis on Wikilinks

Can we please bold the Click here to start a new topic text? // Laughing Man 21:27, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

Personally, I would rather see the "Click here" be a new, fourth bullet. But there are warnings on the template page about how we should hesitate to change anything. Does anyone else have an opinion? CMummert · talk 13:58, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
I removed the {{editprotected}} request for now until the changes are agreed to. Personally, I would just change the line to be:
Doug Bell talk 10:58, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
I think it would be conceptually better to rearrange the lines to start with "New user", then "How to sign", and finally "Click here". That is the natural progression of information for a new user. CMummert · talk 11:38, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
See Template:Talkheader/Draft. CMummert · talk 11:43, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
Yes, WP:ILIKEIT.  ;-) —Doug Bell talk 11:55, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
I like the more logical progression of instruction. However, I object to removing the "Put new text under old text" instruction. They are not the same thing. The order of text (new comments last) applies both within existing threads (topic sections), as well for threads on the page. I'm going to put that back, pending a better idea. I do think that, if nothing else mattered, putting them on two different lines might be a good idea. But size does matter, when it comes to this template, if past discussions are anything to go by. —DragonHawk (talk) 17:19, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Interwiki link

I would like to request the addition of the ar interwiki link

[[ar:قالب:رأس صفحة نقاش]]

Please note that the Arabic language is written from right to left. Thanks. --Meno25 14:24, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

This can be done by editing the Template:Talkheader/doc subpage. At the bottom of that page, you will notice some text in "<includeonly>...</noinclude>" brackets. There are already some inter-wiki links there. Just add your own link there (be sure you do so inside the "<includeonly>" part). That will propagate up to the parent template page. For more on how this works, see Wikipedia:Template doc page pattern. Cheers. —DragonHawk (talk) 20:28, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

"Click here" should be eliminated.

{{editprotected}} I propose eliminating the "Click here" phrasing in this template, as "click here" is generally improper in web links, as established by the W3C. This is a very common template that can easily be fixed against this. See the template draft for my suggested format. Nihiltres(t.c.s) 00:49, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

It is improper when the link is an ordinary link, but in this case it is useful. Starting a new discussion is semantically a different sort of action than following a hyperlink. Ideally the link would be formatted differently, but since it is the same sort of link, we have to use text to distinguish it. Without the "Click here to" phrase, it looks like the link is for instructions on how to start a new thread.
If consensus develops to make the change, I'll do it, but it doesn't seem right to me. CMummert · talk 01:28, 20 April 2007 (UTC)
See the archives and template edit history. This has been suggested before, attempted before, and been shot down every time. Additionally, the suggested phrasing is a lot longer than the current text, and there is definite consensus to keep this template as short as humanly possible. I suspect it's a case of cost/reward; "Click here" is widely understood, all the suggested alternatives are not as good, and the use of "Click here" is not causing any demonstrated harm. —DragonHawk (talk|hist) 05:24, 20 April 2007 (UTC)
Fair enough - I wonder if there is a phrasing that would satisfy both ideals. Nihiltres(t.c.s) 15:27, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
Because this is relevant to DragonHawk's comment: while changing the custom header on my user talk page, I made a shorter version: "New discussions start below old; you can start a new topic." Nihiltres(t.c.s) 21:26, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
At one point, we tried "You may start a new topic", but that still got shot down. It might be worth trying again. On the other hand, can anyone demonstrate any real harm "Click here" is causing? Most of the objections at Click here don't even apply in a case like this. —DragonHawk (talk|hist) 01:58, 30 April 2007 (UTC)


This is a minor thing, but one that’s been bugging me. Could we please change:

This is not a forum for general discussion about the article's subject.


This is not a forum for general discussion about the articles subject.

Note the change in apostrophe from straight (') to curly (’), as it should be. Thank you! Max Naylor 10:04, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

What's the benefit for doing this? I would think we'd be better off sticking to ASCII (for greater portability) unless there's a good reason to introduce Unicode. Proper spelling of native words is a good reason in my book; minor aesthetics are not. But I might be in the minority on this, so others, please comment, also. —DragonHawk (talk|hist) 23:07, 6 May 2007 (UTC)


{{editprotected}} Since I am unable to, can an admin. wiki-link the part where it says: This is not a forum for... Understood? Lord Sesshomaru

Any edit to {{talkheader}} is quite heavy on the servers, so I'll leave this up for the time being to see if there are objections, or if any other requests come up. (To anyone else who wants a change to {{talkheader}}, now would be a good time to suggest it so all the changes can be made at once.) --ais523 10:18, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
My only suggestion is to bypass the redirect (i.e., [[Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not#FORUM|not a forum]] rather than [[WP:NOT#FORUM|not a forum]]). Cheers. --MZMcBride 19:56, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
The link should include all of "not a forum for general discussion". The page is a forum for discussing the writing of the page, so just linking "not a forum" is not ideal. — Carl (CBM · talk) 13:56, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Carl and McBride. Do we have consensus on this version, then: [[Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not#FORUM|not a forum for general discussion]]?--Chaser - T 19:41, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
[[Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not#FORUM|not a forum for general discussion]] or [[Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not#FORUM|not a forum]] is good enough for me. The thing is, it should be linked for newbies who may treat the discussion page like a forum. Lord Sesshomaru
Done. Kusma (talk) 11:02, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

Remove link to Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines

In the bold header text of this template, the words "talk page" link to Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines. This is what I believe to be the cause of the huge amount of random stuff written on Wikipedia talk:Talk page guidelines. With "random stuff" I mean everything from the usual spam and weirdness to useful comments by anons that were obviously directed at a specific talk page.

The template already includes several links to policies that extend the talk page guidelines. Removing the link will therefore not decrease the value of the template. --User:Krator (t c) 17:07, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

N Not done - Part of the point of the template is to link to Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines. If you're interested in preventing vandalism to Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines, request that it be semi-protected. If you're worried about its talk page... well, the random stuff will either remain or move elsewhere - I don't see how this would help. Nihiltres(t.l) 19:06, 25 July 2007 (UTC)
I am not worried about the vandalism to the talk page of Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines per se. What I find worse is that new users who are eager to contribute to Wikipedia are finding and using the wrong page to do so because of this template. --User:Krator (t c) 21:43, 25 July 2007 (UTC)
Misplaced edits are pretty much an inevitable consequence of the spirit of Wikipedia. At most, the link to TPG in this template means they are most likely to make that wrong posting at TPG rather than $RANDOM_PAGE. Take a look at Wikipedia talk:Questions. See the giant red banner at the top of the page? Now look at the edit history. Some people just don't get it. There's not much we can do about them (short of requiring a reading comprehension test before allowing editing :) ). And TPG does contain a lot of detail not present in this template or it's other links. By having a link to TPG in this template, we can at least help those who are able to read directions. Don't penalize people with a clue just because some people are clueless. —DragonHawk (talk|hist) 01:45, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

Use of the template

I realize the guidelines for usage have already been decided, but I was surprised to see the {{talkheader}} template removed from an article I watch because it's "only for 'controversial' talk pages". (It happens that the article is about a controversial topic, but this hadn't been expressed on the talk page yet.) This is the first time I'd heard this. Now, I generally only add the tl to articles if someone is attempting to chat about the subject instead of the article, but I think it's welcoming to newbies to see the the talk page parameters right up there at the top, and might help them know what to do right away, rather than have experienced editors and bots sign and refactor their posts for them. I would certainly never remove one if it was already there, that seems like overkill. I know this won't change the guidelines, but I thought I'd express my opinion. In a nutshell: More information on Wikipedia protocol=Always good. Happy editing. Katr67 15:56, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

Seeing this banner over and over on otherwise empty pages: always bad. --kingboyk (talk) 13:16, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

edit request

Please replace "{{/doc}}" by "{{template doc}}". 16@r 09:54, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

  • Yes check.svg Done ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 18:16, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

edit request

{{editprotected}} Please align template to left, to be in sync with other talkpage-related templates. Wikinger 19:00, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

Talk-page templates are aligned to center... I can't think of any examples of ones aligning to the left. Consider this request declined and X mark.svg Not done until there is a wider consensus for this change to be made. ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 22:49, 28 October 2007 (UTC)
Look here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Windows_2000 Only main talk template is centered, rest of talk-related templates is left-aligned. Thus please don't decline my request. Wikinger 18:56, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
Every template on that talk page is centred on all the browsers I tested it with? --Stormie 00:58, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
I have them all left-aligned in Internet Explorer 5.5 under Windows Me. Thus please edit this Talkheader centered template in such way that it will remain left-aligned in IE 5.5 and remain centered in anything newer. Wikinger 11:32, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
All the talk page templates are supposed to be centered. I've looked at Talk:Windows 2000, and by my reading of the HTML, your browser should be rendering them all centered. If you can figure out a way to get everything to center properly in MSIE 5.5 on your computer, while still being standards-compliant wiki, HTML, and CSS markup, please post your proposed code. Otherwise, I don't think there's much anyone can do. —DragonHawk (talk|hist) 20:36, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

what is the purpose of the Talkheader?

Why would one put it on a talk page? Why would one NOT put it on a talk page? Why not just automatically have it displayed on all talk pages? Kingturtle (talk) 22:09, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

The header gives basic information to new users, like how to sign and the guidelines. I remember an old discussion about why the template should not be put in all talk pages (not all pages need them, just articles in the main space, and only those that may attract a good number of users). And the fact that MediaWiki:Talkpagetext exists is not enough, apparently, to deprecate this template. Check the deletion discussions linked above to read why people think this template is necessary. -- ReyBrujo (talk) 03:44, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
There has been discussion about doing that, perhaps putting it inside a css block so that experienced editors can turn it off. I know this template really annoys a lot of established users - myself included - so it's a shame that nothing happened. On Wikipedia, things can move extraordinarily quickly (wikidrama) or extraordinarily slowly (inertia, failure to get consensus etc). C'est la vie. My guess is this template won't be around forever....
As for why put it on a talk page and why not, please see the instructions. I think it's very clear that the template should not be added as a default and should only be added when undesirable talk page activity demonstrates that it's needed. --kingboyk (talk) 13:19, 20 January 2008 (UTC)