Template talk:WPBannerMeta

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Very commendable guideline being virtually ignored[edit]

In writing this here I am acting on the constructive advice of John Carter.

As a very strong believer in a guideline of ours, for reasons well addressed there, I would like to see it followed by everyone, i.e. that "Priority" be used, not "Importance" when assessing biographies, or at least that everbody stop arbitrarily assessing any biographies with "Importance: Low". How could we go about tying to improve on that?

Most banners seem to have been created, with the "importance" language, before the guideline took effect. Given the number of projects which use the older, less positive, "importance" rating, I would have to think that making changes to a banner, particularly the Meta banner, could tie up servers severely.


  • that assessment categories on talk pages be made hidden categories, which might be beneficial overall actually, as it decreases the somewhat bizarre fact of talk pages being "categorized" in so many ways;
  • that the word "importance" be substituted with the word "priority" in the appearance of the standard iteration of that template.

I would highly appreciate any constructive input. --SergeWoodzing (talk) 05:15, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

I strongly support the second: "Importance" and "priority" could be made synonyms first, and slowly replaced via AWB/script editing when the pages are being edited anyway.
I have no objection to the first idea. WhatamIdoing (talk)
Another thought, to add on to what WhatamIdoing suggested: we could have a bot set to systematically update the banners' display output and move the categories from "Top-importance Foo articles" to "Top-priority Foo articles", using aliases in the templates so that things stay categorized. I actually don't support hiding the assessment categories because I use those to find other articles. Imzadi 1979  02:46, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
I would personally oppose to this suggestion, because there is an important distinction between between the words "Importance" and "Priority," where the former indicates how vital the article is to Wikipedia, and the latter would suggest that it is important for the article to be worked on - that it should be a priority. High quality articles that are of top importance simply don't have as high a priority to be worked on. If "priority" is simply meant as a more neutral synonym to "importance", then I think the semantics would still stand in the way.
This did give me an idea, though: what if we added a priority parameter for high-importance, low-quality articles? That could help guide editors to work on articles that really need to be worked on, rather than stick with the top-importance articles. Perhaps there already exists a confusion between importance and priority? This is just me thinking out loud, though... ~Mable (chat) 08:37, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
Any WikiProject banner may be configured to recognise both |importance= and |priority= parameters, it can be done on a per-banner basis by ensuring that all occurrences of the line
(whichever is currently in the banner) is accompanied by the other, i.e.
In such cases, when that banner is used on individual talk pages |importance= has precedence over |priority= (i.e. |priority= is ignored if both are present on a talk page), but even if only |priority= is given on a talk page, it's described and categorised using the word "importance". To get the description, etc. to show "priority", it's necessary to omit the line
from the project banner itself. --Redrose64 (talk) 13:41, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
Based on what Redrose64 says above, it might be best to do make these changes on a template by template by template basis. ALso, based on what Maplestrip said, which is something I had not previously thought of, it might be very useful if we could, somehow, set up maybe some way of either automatically assigning through some means or manually through direct means some other parameter to indicate which articles are in most immediate attention than others. So that, as an example, Top priority articles of Stub or Start class, and maybe High priority articles of Stub class, might be classed together into a single list which some projects might be able to use to more quickly and effectively develop some of that weak content. John Carter (talk) 21:29, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
I've been testing it... it doesn't work. You can set up a project banner to recognise either |importance= or |priority=, but you can't set it up to recognise both - if you try what I suggested above, you'll find that |priority= is always ignored. It appears that
are mutually exclusive, you can't use them together. --Redrose64 (talk) 23:51, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

I respectfully suggest that Mable read the guideline I linked to in the second paragraph of my post here. That guideline, which I think is an excellent one, is what we are trying to find a way to implement here in real life. --SergeWoodzing (talk) 03:59, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

I read the guideline, for as much as you can call it that. It basically says that both are allowed and that importance is sometimes seen as more controversial, which would be a reason to use "priority" instead. It says that this is the choice of the Wikiproject as well. I understand why Wikiproject biographies use priority rather importance, but it seems like the Wikiproject I am most active at feels the same way: Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Video_games#WPVG_banner_"importance"_vs._"priority"
The fact that the guidelines allow both ways doesn't mean that a mass change should happen, after all. ~Mable (chat) 10:18, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
I don't quite see allow where something is that clearly recommended against and for such good reasons. --SergeWoodzing (talk) 12:55, 18 January 2015 (UTC)

We are talking about the following lines, right?

Some projects also make importance assessments. It should be noted, however, that these tend to be more controversial (since calling articles "unimportant" may upset some editors and talk page readers); as a result, some projects (such as Military history) do not assess importance, while others (such as Biography) only undertake importance assessments for a limited set of articles and use the term "priority" to decrease perception problems.

I read this as "Importance" being the standard, that this is sometimes controversial (I have yet to see any kind of controversy about it, but I'm sure they exist) and that because of that, some Wikiprojects don't make such assessments or have simply renamed it to "Priority." There isn't even a guideline here? There is no "you should" or "it's better to" statement present, and the choice between "importance," "priority" or not making use of this parameter at all is completely optional per Wikiproject. ~Mable (chat) 10:04, 19 January 2015 (UTC)

I agree that priority would be (slightly) preferable to the word importance for these assessments. A change to the wording could be made very easily in the meta-template, but I suggest a discussion of greater prominence (e.g. on WP:VPR) would be needed to establish the consensus for such a change. I don't think it would be worth the trouble in renaming all the categories however, and I can't see much benefit in making these categories hidden. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 10:28, 19 January 2015 (UTC)

Are we sticking to the subject - biographies - here? And are we trying, or not trying, to see, or trying not to see, why the guideline, or whatever you want to call it, or don't want to call it, clearly stands on the side of "Importance" being inappropriate - for biographies? --SergeWoodzing (talk) 12:50, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
I was under the impression that we were discussing the use of this template in general - I was unaware that your suggestion was limited to Wikiproject Biographies. In that case, I don't have any objections. One comment, though: the guideline that Wikiproject Biographies is using "priority" rather than "importance" should probably be made clear somewhere within the Wikiproject itself. If this is the only place where it is mentioned, then I can understand why many people incorrectly use "importance" rather than "priority."
For the specific case of {{WikiProject Biography}}, it's set up to recognise either |priority= or |importance= and treat them identically (they're both described and categorised as 'importance'), with one difference: if you use |priority= the article is placed in hidden Category:Biography articles with plain priority parameter; if you use |importance= it's not. Both of them will put the article in hidden Category:Biography articles needing priority parameter replacement, because it is preferred that the more specific parameters like |a&e-priority= |filmbio-priority= |musician-priority= etc. be used instead. --Redrose64 (talk) 22:29, 19 January 2015 (UTC)

Let me try to be clearer: we need to find a way (adhering to the considerate and excellent WP guideline I'm referring to) to make sure that no biographies are assessed as "Importance: Low" and thet "Priority" is used in assessing all biographies on English Wikipedia, no matter what project (nationality projects or others) assesses them. --SergeWoodzing (talk) 21:20, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Then this is the wrong place. Altering how {{WikiProject Biography}} behaves is a matter for Template talk:WikiProject Biography/WT:WikiProject Biography. --Redrose64 (talk) 22:34, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
That's not what John Carter told me (please see first line above!). National projects apparently circumvent WikiProject Biography and thus sidestep the guideline. I believe Carter understood that part of the problem. --SergeWoodzing (talk) 16:22, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
In what way do national projects circumvent WikiProject Biography? I assume that by "national projects", you mean e.g. Wikipedia:WikiProject United States, Wikipedia:WikiProject Germany etc. These are free to set their own importance/priority ratings, and an article deemed e.g. low priority by Wikipedia:WikiProject Biography may well be rated high importance by WikiProject United States. If you want to change the way {{WikiProject Biography}} works, you must involve that Project - it cannot be decided over their heads. --Redrose64 (talk) 19:07, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
I don't think I said anything like that, or, if that is how it was perceived, was that what I meant. It is true that the same quality assessment criteria are applied at the time of an assessment, but that does not mean that the same terms (like "importance" or "priority") are necessarily used simply because they are the same terms. I do not believe Serge has fully understood that the "priority" option is not available in most templates, however much he might wish otherwise. If he wants to institute changes in banners other than the Biography banner, like specifically the Sweden banner, it would probably be best and most effective to do so on a template by template basis. If he finds resistance to those changes, and he might I don't know, then it is not unreasonable for him to deal with that, or, perhaps, draw more attention to the GUIDE than it has received. I regret to say that page has not gotten a lot of attention, and it may well be that the current phrasing is itself perhaps out of step with the community. John Carter (talk) 19:34, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

It seems I need to remind everyone again that this section is not about assessing articles but only concerns the use of the word Importance (against guideline) rather than the word Priority (as per guideline) when assessing biographies. If that could be clear to everyone once and for all, maybe it would be possible to discuss constructively how all WP editors regardless of project, could be convinced, or helped mechanically, not to use Importance. --SergeWoodzing (talk) 13:40, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

The guideline that you linked says while others (such as Biography) only undertake importance assessments for a limited set of articles and use the term "priority" to decrease perception problems. It's clearly not a universal rule, since it specifically names one WikiProject, as an example of "others", which implies a subset of the whole. Is it your intention to make that guideline enforcable on all projects, to some (which ones?), or just to WikiProject Biography? --Redrose64 (talk) 14:12, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
All artcles which are biographies (regardless of what project does the assessing), because those articles are biographies. No other articles of any kind. And only Importance/Priority assessments (as so well addressed by that guideline in regard to biographies), no other assessments of any kind. It's so frustrating not to be able to make this clear, but I do appreciate your asking, and I'm willing to keep trying. Perhaps you are unaware that many other projects, such as national projects, assess our biographies, not just Biography? --SergeWoodzing (talk) 23:30, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
It shouldn't matter who assesses articles. If the only banner template that is affected by this is {{WikiProject Biography}}, it is that template, and not {{WPBannerMeta}} (or its many subtemplates) which needs to be altered in order for the {{WikiProject Biography}} template to display the word "priority"; so long as that template displays the word "importance", nothing that we say or do here will make the slightest difference. It is therefore not a matter for this page, but a matter for Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Biography, or for Template talk:WikiProject Biography - either way, consensus needs to be obtained from that WikiProject before we start changing the behaviour of their banner. --Redrose64 (talk) 00:06, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
OK, here's an example, of hundreds, of a biography clearly having been assessed as "Importance: Low". Now does anyone understand what I'm getting at? The guideline is being circumvented, and I'd like to suggest we be constructive and try to fix that. I still think John Carter understood what I meant when I wrote to him about it, before starting this discussion here, as he then suggested. --SergeWoodzing (talk) 20:22, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
No, I don't understand what you're getting at. The talk page has
{{WPBiography|living=no|class=Stub|a&e-work-group=yes|listas=Anderzon, Kim}}
- there is no |importance= parameter. I have not removed it, and nor have you (the last edit to that talk page was three months ago). What is your problem? --Redrose64 (talk) 20:58, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
It's the Sweden template that has the low-importance. So it seems the OP is proposing that all wikiproject banner templates switch to this wording. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 21:23, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
Is that right, SergeWoodzing? Are you suggesting that {{WikiProject Sweden}} should use |priority= for their banner template when it's used on the talk page of a biography, and |importance= when used on the talk page of any other kind of article? --Redrose64 (talk) 21:40, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
Martin: when assessing biographies, not other articles.
Redrose: All projects not just Sweden, since the commendable guideline refers to all biographies.
I'm not experienced at all with how that could be done, technically, but as far as I can figure out, John Carter had good ideas here at 18:42 on 10 January 2015. Thank you both for trying to help me figure out what to do! --SergeWoodzing (talk) 21:52, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
I've checked the 1,138 members of Category:WikiProject banners with quality assessment and the 199 members of Category:WikiProject banners without quality assessment (between them, I believe that this covers every WikiProject banner template), and have found that use of |priority= is actually very rare. It's used in {{WikiProject Biography}}, {{WikiProject Bolivia}}, {{WikiProject Business}}, {{WikiProject Economics}}, {{WikiProject Electronic music}}, {{WikiProject Figure Skating}}, {{WikiProject Genealogy}}, {{WikiProject Japan}}, {{WikiProject Sheffield}}, {{WikiProject Sicily}}, {{WikiProject Speed Skating}}, {{WikiProject Spooks}}, and possibly two more that are highly unusual in several other aspects ({{WikiProject Linguistics}}, {{Maths rating}}). Of these fourteen, eleven (all except Biography and the last two) treat |priority= as an alias for |importance=, and it's displayed and categorised as "importance". There are no WikiProject banners which use |priority= exclusively; and in some cases where both are recognised (such as Biography), using |priority= will actually put the talk page into an error tracking category.
It should be remembered that if a WikiProject banner - like {{WikiProject Sweden}} - sets |importance=low, this means that the topic is relatively unimportant within the context of that specific WikiProject. That topic might be a person who is very significant in a certain field - like science - but this should not affect the importance rating for Sweden; instead, they might be set as |importance=mid or even |importance=high by WikiProject Physics. The general guide is at Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Release Version Criteria#Importance of topic. --Redrose64 (talk) 00:11, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Thank you so much for doing all that work! Very interesting and very nice to see that the projects which do use priority are likely to have a high amount of biographies to assess and are being considerate. Is there any feasible way that that guide, which deals with all sorts of articles, could be brought into line with the commendable guideline I'm talking about here, regarding biographies only? --SergeWoodzing (talk) 00:33, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
With the exception of {{WikiProject Genealogy}} and the obvious exception of {{WikiProject Biography}}, I don't see that the WikiProjects that I indicated are any more likely to have biographies within their purview than (say) {{WikiProject Peru}}, {{WikiProject Companies}}, {{WikiProject Marketing & Advertising}}, {{WikiProject Jazz}}, {{WikiProject Dance}}, {{WikiProject Korea}}, {{WikiProject Yorkshire}}, {{WikiProject Italy}}, {{WikiProject Skiing and Snowboarding}}, or {{WikiProject Occult}}, all of which recognise |importance= but not |priority=. Practically all WikiProjects will have some biogs, so the remaining ten aren't unusual in that respect. They are, however, unusual in that they permit |priority= as an alias for |importance=, and so there is a case that those 11, which form less than 1% of the total, should be brought in line with the majority.
If you want Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Release Version Criteria#Importance of topic changing, that again, is not a matter for this page. --Redrose64 (talk) 20:45, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
I do not, because I don't think that's what I've asked for, but I am now at a loss for any additional way to try explain what I've asked for, to you, any clearer than I already have.
Would it be better for us to go against the commendable guideline on assessing biographies, by now making 11 projects not follow it, than trying to find some way to bring everyone into line? ProcectSweden, just to name one national project, has arbitrarily assessed hundreds and hundreds of biographies as "Importance:Low" during the last 5-6 years, and I know for a fact that some WP:BLP issues are being discussed, to Wikipedia's detriment, in that regard.
It's a good idea to try to fix this, not a good idea to try not to fix it, in my opinion. --SergeWoodzing (talk) 21:10, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Late reply to Mable: I think you've misunderstood the purpose. This was set up for the WP:1.0 team, which makes offline copies of Wikipedia (but only a fraction of the articles). "Priority" and "Importance" are treated identically by that process. Whatever you call it, declaring something to be "Top" doesn't mean that you need to improve it right away; it means that your group believes that it definitely needs to be included in offline releases, even if it's a poor article.

Both names make sense in that context: It's very "important" to include that article, and that article should get top "priority" for inclusion. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:17, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

I stopped following this conversation once I realized I misunderstood its purpose and context - no worries :) When this topic was brought up at a Wikiproject, it seemed like its results would directly affect said Wikiproject, but I now understand that this is not the case. Nevermind me — Preceding unsigned comment added by Maplestrip (talkcontribs) 08:36, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

Moving forward[edit]

As far as I know there is no technical means to detect whether a template is on a biography and switch the wording accordingly. (That would require a template to "know" about the presence of another template on the same page.) Therefore it's all or nothing. There is the option to change the default wording for all WikiProject banners from "importance" to "priority". As I mentioned above, I don't think you would find consensus to move all (more than 10,000) the categories around. So one question is whether editors would get confused by having an article described as high priority but categorised as high importance? — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 15:49, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

Thank you! To me, any such confusion would be less important than avoiding overt "Importance" labels on biographies, and I suppose it wouldn't hurt to see "Priority" everywhere. ? Regular readers do look at talk pages quite often (much more often than they notice categories, I think), and changing those bolded assessments on top there, which is the first thing many notice, would be a huge improvement, and adhere quite well to the commendable guideline re: bios. --SergeWoodzing (talk) 16:51, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
I think that having the banner display the less-offensive "priority" language would be fine, even if the internal contents are still stuck at "importance". WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:18, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
To achieve that we will need to do the following:
  1. Change the meta-template to use the term "priority" instead of "importance" (this is easily done by applying this change).
  2. Change every banner template to accept the parameter priority as well as importance. (Otherwise confusion may ensue, as editors see the word "priority" but cannot change it by using that parameter name.)
  3. Demonstrate consensus for this change. (This discussion has not been sufficiently publicised or attended yet.)
— Martin (MSGJ · talk) 15:43, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

Transclusion of to-do lists on WikiProject tags[edit]

There is a proposal at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Council#Proposal: Disallow transcluded to-do lists. Please comment there. PrimeHunter (talk) 02:05, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Automatically assessed categories[edit]

Based on this CFD, is it possible to remove the automatically assessed categories so that they aren't required for Category:WPBannerMeta templates with missing categories? -- Ricky81682 (talk) 21:07, 30 March 2015 (UTC)

Yes on a per banner basis, for example, this edit on Template:WikiProject_Snooker -- WOSlinker (talk) 22:58, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
But shouldn't we change the default since the CFD seems to be against their general creation? -- Ricky81682 (talk) 08:29, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
How about for those projects who have a non-existent category, we simply remove the auto parameter from those banners? — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 11:50, 1 April 2015 (UTC)

Error message on WPBannerMeta page[edit]

The top of the Template:WPBannerMeta page shows the following error right now:

Lua error in Module:Navbar at line 23: Invalid title Template:WikiProject {{{PROJECT}}}.

It might be only cosmetic but something's 'broken' somewhere. Due to cascade-protection a (template code savvy) admin'll need to fix it.

Also Template:WPBannerDoc, listed under "See also" in this template's doc, displays a further error that could do with being fixed:

WPBannerDoc error: required first parameter missing

Cheers -- (talk) 21:02, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

The first part of your request is now fixed. -- WOSlinker (talk) 22:21, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Yellow check.svg Partly done: The red error message at Template:WPBannerDoc is intentional, it shows that the template is not to be used without parameters. --Redrose64 (talk) 08:36, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
I agree done that way it does the job, yep. Thanks WOSlinker and Redrose64 both. – (talk) 23:40, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

WikiProject Directory pages[edit]

Please an we add a link to pages like Wikipedia:WikiProject Directory/Description/WikiProject Chemistry? the Link text should be something like "Automated statistics for WikiProject Chemistry". Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 20:39, 31 May 2015 (UTC)