Wikipedia:Centralized discussion/Image placeholders/Question 4. Placeholders and Wikipedia 'style': are they compatible?

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Of all the questions debated in the original discussion this was the most polarized. Those in favour of placeholders claimed they emphasized the self-help, community-based, free content nature of WP. The pro-placeholders were unapologetic. David Gerard said "this image does . . . hammer home that free content is what we're about" , while Phil Sandifer's view was that "Wikipedia articles are unfinished, messy things, and reminding our readers of this is no sin on our part."

Anti-placeholder editors stressed how ugly and inappropriate they thought the boxes. doncram's comment summed this up: "they look bad, it makes the article look unprofessional, it detracts from my contributions to the text." And for some editors the boxes were worse than ugly: they were adverts imitating those on commercial sites such as IMDB. As Northwesterner1 said: "The image looks like (and acts like) an advertisement".

Is any kind of compromise possible here? Everybody (so far) has assumed that WP should have overall policies applicable to the whole encyclopedia, but is this realistic when standards vary so much from subject to subject - should we be more pragmatic about this whole thing?--Kleinzach (talk) 00:31, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

What exactly are you suggesting Kleinzach? That we have one set of rules for one part of wikipedia and another set of rules for other parts? If so, I don't like that idea at all. I personally have no problem with a photo uplink "click here link" on the main article as long as it is unobtrusive to the article itself, which would involve moving the image to somewhere else than its current location. I think that would be an appopriate compromise.Nrswanson (talk) 09:13, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
My intention was to highlight (arguably) the most contentious issue of the original debate to see whether we could move beyond the 'I love it/I hate it' statements, however a day has passed without any comment so I obviously didn't succeed in optimally framing the question. My suggestion of 'horses for courses' was meant as a point of departure. What is important here is your opinion! --Kleinzach (talk) 09:33, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
Y'know, I'm all for having one set of rules for one part of Wikipedia and another set of rules for other parts. I think that in the last year or two Wikipedia has become over-legalistic and inclined to favor uniformity over doing what works. " is evidently equally foolish to accept probable reasoning from a mathematician and to demand from a rhetorician scientific proofs." (Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics). - Jmabel | Talk 18:50, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Opinion as also stated earlier: The boxes are detrimental to Wikipedia as currently portrayed. The boxes themselves are visually detrimental to articles and are therefore not okay in their current state. I sometimes find myself upset by these boxes and do not like the recent widespread and automatic placement of them. The request for free images has an important function, but the gray image itself is distracting and ugly. My recommendation would be to have no grayscale images used as backgrounds for the text. Black and white text with a border would be preferable. Guroadrunner (talk) 12:22, 21 April 2008 (UTC)