Wikipedia:Mackensen's Proposal

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This proposal came out of the debates at WP:DRVU. It is restated here so as to occupy its own space. This is my proposal for settling the many and varied disagreements over userboxes.

My motive here is to end the Userbox Wars for good. They could be over tomorrow. I think this would be a beneficial result; we could all go back to the article space where we belong.

There are, to my mind, two principal factions:

  • There are users, including long-time sysops, who abhor userboxes in the template namespace. Part of this is a legitimate concern about vote-stacking. They also feel it sends the wrong message about Wikipedia. I think I'm safe in saying that, at this point, keeping most userboxes in the template namespace is a non-starter for this group.
  • Now, the other "faction" is numerous on Wikipedia, but counts few administrators. Many of them are relatively new users. This has contributed, in my view, to a culture of misunderstanding, which is unfortunate. They view userboxes as a legitimate tool of self-expression; while I do not agree, I must respect this view. Attempts to remove the userboxes from the template namespace have been treated as censorship; I think most admins would disavow any such inclinations, but that's what it looks like, and we have not been as communicative as we could have.

So. Where to compromise?

  • We subst all non-administrative userboxes (this does not include Babel boxes) onto userpages and then delete them from the template namespace. This way, everyone has their boxes.
  • Lists of template code can be maintained so long as there is no transclusion going on. This will satisfy the sysops, of that I am sure.

I would call this a Burkean peace –Not peace through the medium of war; not peace to be hunted through the labyrinth of intricate and endless negotiations; not peace to arise out of universal discord fomented...It is simple peace; sought in its natural course, and in its ordinary haunts. It is peace sought in the spirit of peace, and laid in principles purely pacific.

Boxes for all, but not in the template namespace. On your userpages they are safe forever, and sysops will quake no more. How about it? Is there anyone else out there who could agree to such an idea? Mackensen (talk) 21:29, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

Straw Poll[edit]

A straw poll on issues concerning this proposal and other related issues has been created. Please express your opinion at Wikipedia:Mackensen's Proposal/Straw Poll.

Alternative and previous proposals[edit]