User:C mon/template

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This discussion concerns templates about ideologies. Specifically:

I reorganized these pages recently adding a hide/show button. This has led to some controversy, but due to the low number of people involved in those discussions, there was no clear consensus.

Therefore I have invited editors involved in those disputes, involved in the editing of those templates and in the editing of similar template, to participate in a centralized discussion here.

I would prefer to have consensus on how to deal with all possible similar templates. This changes has already been adopted on other ideology templates before, without problems or disputes. These are:

The templates which have not yet been reorganized are:

Arguments in favour[edit]

Here I invite people to post their arguments in favour of a show/hide design:

  1. It creates consistency between the different ideology-related templates. As the majority of templates already has this show hide design, it can best be applied to the minority, than vice versa. C mon (talk) 08:29, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
  2. It makes these templates fall in line with: Wikipedia:Navigational templates: "They should be kept small in size as a large template has limited navigational value. For article series with many articles, consider (...) Link only the immediately related articles while hiding the rest, like in the case of {{Johnny Cash}}. C mon (talk) 08:29, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
  3. If an article has multiple long templates on it, these can conflict, creating a very messy article. C mon (talk) 08:29, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
  4. Large templates can be pretty strange on small articles, when half the page is white, because the template continues but the text does not, see for instance this example, where most of the page is white because of a template without show/hides.C mon (talk) 08:29, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
  5. It is not a strong argument, but I think that templates with "show/hide" buttons are nice and likable from a stylistic point of view. C mon (talk) 12:50, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
I agree, the collapsible ones are aesthetically more pleasing. --    GUÐSÞEGN   – UTEX – 02:48, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

Here I invite people to post more arguments in favour such a show/hide design

  1. Navigation templates with drop menus allow for an expansion for broad topics. The Anarchism template was once tightly condensed, and discussions were constantly needed to decide what links should be trimmed if even just a few were to be added. With the implementation of drop menus, the menu could become more inclusive to subtopics. (Note, this leads to a new problem of overpopulation, but that can also be solved by dividing a template into other nav templates, as has been done for the numerous Buddhism templates). When it came to the Libertarian navigation bar, the drop menus allowed a new subsection to be introduced, Related, which solved other problems of inclusion and exclusion.--Cast (talk) 19:05, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
    Nothing is prohibitive about a mix in this regard. For example, the Christianity template has a bunch of links, but also has drop menus for the numerous movements. --    GUÐSÞEGN   – UTEX – 03:16, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
  2. A small sidebar nav box is preferable in some cases over a footer bar in articles where the template should be placed in a subsection of the article, and a navigation bar at the bottom of a page wouldn't be as desirable (e.g. the anarchism sidebar in Emma Goldman.)--Cast (talk) 19:05, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
  3. I'm a bit short of time at the moment, but briefly I'd like to say that I support the remake of variuos ideology-based templates to use show/hide buttons. the old style was problematic because it crashed with infoboxes and were very awkward to use on short articles. Also, due to the constant need to limit the length templates, debates on exact delimitations have become endemic editwars at several templates. The show/hide-option makes it easier to accommodate different interests and reach consensual solutions. --Soman (talk) 19:44, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

Arguments against[edit]

  1. It creates a better consistency between the different ideology-related templates. --Checco (talk) 08:41, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
  2. The templates without "show/hide" buttons are fairly more manageable and better for use, as you do not need to re-open the windows every time you go back to the article where the templates is. --Checco (talk) 08:41, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
  3. It is better to see all the information visible in order to make it easy to find them. --Checco (talk) 08:41, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
  4. It is not a strong argument, but I think that templates wothout "show/hide" buttons are nice and likable from a stylistic point of view. --Checco (talk) 08:43, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
  5. I hate to piss on the parade, but I have come around to the thinking that sidebar templates should mostly all be converted to {{navbox}} footer templates. From a navigational POV, footers can contain more info and organize said info much better. I would have to say that if a sidebar template needs to have collapsible option, then it probably is too cumbersome to be displayed so prominently in the article and would better serve as a footer. If a sidebar template is utilized in an article, it should remain exceedingly simple in size, content and format (i.e., no show/hide).--Tombstone (talk) 18:33, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
    I agree with this. I've seen too many articles with a literal mess of sidebar nav templates. They often end up detracting far more from the article than they add in usefulness. Neitherday (talk) 19:31, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
  6. It makes it much easier for readers to locate the links without the "show/hide" buttons, because they don't have to search for them. Yahel Guhan 19:45, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

Here I invite people to post more arguments against such a show/hide design

  1. The links themselves can be informative. Often, the links in a template can tell the reader a great deal about the movement, ideology, etc. One can learn what is most important from the topical summary that is a template. It is also for this reason that I don't endorse standardization of categories in templates. Different movements/ideologies have different emphases. Nazism has a section on race. Christian Democracy has a section on important documents. Etc, etc. --    GUÐSÞEGN   – UTEX – 03:06, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
  2. Serendipitous surfing. Often, the category titles tell the reader almost nothing about what links are included in that category. Of course, the often used "Other Subjects" is notorious in this respect. Unless I am super-interested, I am not going to open "Other Subjects", but if I glance over there and see a provocative topic, I might follow. --    GUÐSÞEGN   – UTEX – 03:06, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

Possible solution[edit]

This worked with Template:African American topics sidebar. We have 2 templates: One collapsed (called Template:''name''collapsable), and one full (called Template:''name''.) Then, based on each individual article (depending on its size and how it looks, it can be decided which template fits better on which page. Yahel Guhan 19:50, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

I endorse this compromise. When even the short anarchism template couldn't fit in Haymarket affair, a horizontal bar was created to mirror the vertical one. Now editors have a choice of which would be the most useful for a given article. I see that the African American template has also included this feature. The three template versions can complement each other.--Cast (talk) 20:03, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
I too endorse this compromise. --Checco (talk) 23:10, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
I think I agree. Having both kinds is a good way to go. --    GUÐSÞEGN   – UTEX – 03:08, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
I agree whole-heartedly. Full-sized templates might be best for core articles like green politics and liberalism, while collapsible templates might work best in short pages and articles where the template appears in a subsection halfway down the page. Fishal (talk) 04:53, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
I hope that we can use the extended template for default and the compact one only by choice. --Checco (talk) 08:06, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
I'll implement this consensus decision. C mon (talk) 07:33, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
Ok and... thank you! --Checco (talk) 07:52, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
I agree entirely with this compromise, please do also do this for all the "politics of" national templates too (not sure why this isn't also being discussed here), and put the appropriate templates in the various articles. Also, as it stands some of the templates are not that good, as if you go to for example Template:Politics of Norway, you find a show/hide round the "Constitution" section, despite this section containing one link, making the show/hide completely redundant and in fact annoying. So if you could fix this issue in all the templates, and restore the expanded templates concurrently to creating new compressed ones, and finally place the compressed ones in all the articles which aren't long enough... things will be perfect for everybody - rst20xx (talk) 16:23, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
OK, I've reexpanded all that were compressed except Anarchism/Nazism/Libertarianism/Communism, now it's up to you to do the rest - rst20xx (talk) 17:18, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
I see you've made a start - I'm impressed! When all is finished, you'll have made a really good system of templates - rst20xx (talk) 23:59, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
Long, long overdue. I was thinking along the same lines for Template:Politics of the European Union, which sits in its articles like a frog in a bassinet - so much so, in fact, that Template:Politics of the European Union mini had to be created to cope. If you could change Template:Politics of the European Union mini into a collapsible Template:Politics of the European Union, then that would be great. To speed things up, you may want to look at the non-Anglophone wikis: I think I'm correct in saying that the "Politics of Italy" sidebar on it.wikipedia already uses the collapsible format. Regards, Anameofmyveryown (talk) 02:32, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Difference between the formats[edit]

Here are two examples of each different format, the small collapsable template liberalism and the large static template liberalism

The Liberalism series,
part of the Politics series
The Liberalism series,
part of the Politics series
History of liberal thought
Contributions to liberal theory
American liberalism
Classical liberalism
Conservative liberalism
National liberalism
Economic liberalism
Social liberalism
Cultural liberalism
Individual rights
Liberal democracy
Liberal neutrality
Negative & positive liberty
Free market / Capitalism
Mixed economy
Open society
Popular sovereignty
Regional Variants
By Country
Liberalism worldwide
Liberalism in Europe
Liberalism in the United States
Liberal parties of the world
Liberal International · IFLRY
CALD · ALN · Relial
John Locke
J.S. Mill
John Rawls


Hi. I recently began converting the political ideology sidebar templates to use {{Sidebar with collapsible lists}}, which include an "expanded=" option. When this option is set to "all", e.g. {{Liberalism sidebar |expanded=all}}, it should produce the same result as a separate {{X sidebar expanded}} template (e.g. {{Liberalism sidebar expanded}}), thereby rendering the separate sidebar-expanded template unnecessary. (This, at least, was my understanding from the {{caution}} notices on the template pages.)

C mon, however, has kindly drawn my attention to this page in case anyone sees this is not so and/or wishes the separate sidebar-expanded templates to be retained rather than proposed for deletion. Sardanaphalus (talk) 22:56, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

Keep Both I think you need separate because I know it took me a while to focus on the fact that "show" would expand the list and newbies and passerbys might never figure it out. So people who have that concern, not to mention people who just like a long sidebar, should have that option. Carol Moore 00:08, 27 September 2008 (UTC)Carolmooredc
  • Thanks for your reponse. What I don't understand, though, is that the |expanded=all option means the revamped sidebar templates are shown with every section expanded, just like the sidebar-expanded templates -- i.e. nobody needs to do or know anything in order to reveal anything hidden. See, for example, the Liberalism sidebar template as it's currently displayed in Liberalism; because it's transcluded with |expanded=all, everything's visible, just like the Liberalism sidebar expanded template... isn't it? (I wonder if I'm still missing something obvious.) Sardanaphalus (talk) 01:40, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
I strongly oppose the collapsible templates with show/hide buttons. For people doing some research in Wikipedia, as I often do, it is better to have non-collapsible templates. We discussed about this issue before and I strongly like the compromise we reached in this page, User:C_mon/template. I don't see any reason for changing, also because the current solution makes everyone free to use the template he/she likes more.
But, there is a but. I support the work done by Sardanaphalus as long the templates he crafted are non-collapsed by default. It is OK for me also what Sardanphalus did for instance with Template:Liberalism sidebar, which can be included in an article with the "expanded=all" or "expanded=sectionname format. --Checco (talk) 08:04, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
  • The templates that were {{X sidebar expanded}} are now {{X sidebar |expanded=all}}, i.e. yes, they are set to appear fully expanded by default. However, those templates that were {{X sidebar}}, i.e. not fully expanded by default, are still {{X sidebar}}. In other words, the previous status quo as regards expanded / not expanded should be the current status quo. If anyone wants to change a collapsed sidebar to fully-expanded, they just need to add |expanded=all to the {{X sidebar}} code (i.e. {{X sidebar |expanded=all}}) rather than switch to {{X sidebar expanded}}. (This is, at present, apart from the Socialism templates, which I'll convert if/when everyone's happy with the above.) Sardanaphalus (talk) 10:12, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
If it is so, I agree with the update. --Checco (talk) 10:19, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
  • If everyone's satisfied with the above, may I complete the work (the sidebars in Socialism templates)..? Sardanaphalus (talk) 01:09, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
    • ...I've now updated the Socialism templates. Hope they're okay. Sardanaphalus (talk) 14:52, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

I happened across this discussion rather late, but I've got to say that (in my opinion, and mostly from a user's standpoint) having to expand the sidebars is annoying. I happened across the Third Way (Centrism) page and aside from the sidebar being collapsed, there was one section of the sidebar that was expanded. So, in my opinion, that one is both annoying and internally inconsistent. I'm sure that from a technical standpoint an argument of some sort could be made about why one portion of the sidebar was expanded, but from the standpoint of a user who happened across the page in the course of doing some research, it made little sense and otherwise useful links were inaccessible until I clicked the show button (and a 'show all' option might not be a bad compromise here, rather than having each section of the sidebar exclusively set to expand separately). Jwgloverii (talk) 02:02, 5 January 2009 (UTC)