Template talk:Ambox/Archive 4

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Archive 3 Archive 4 Archive 5

Archive 1 summary

This section contains refactored discussion from archived discussions on this page.

  • History and credit;
  • Scope of this project in this run;
    • Only the design of the article message box templates; other templates can come later.
    • Content/text of the boxes is not to be changed now, only the design.
  • Discussions about the specifics of the color bar, both sides vs just one side? One color bar on the left side was chosen. Can easily be changed in CSS later.
  • Background color is set to match project namespace, to contrast with article namespace background.
  • Width decided at 80%, can easily be changed in CSS later.
  • It was pointed out that future site-wide changes to appearance will be easier with common CSS and/or meta-templates.
  • Some questions about which existing templates fall into which "color code category".
  • Lots of WP:ILIKEIT along with the occasional WP:IDONTLIKEIT
  • Seeking community approval;
  • Perennial proposal to: Eliminate style templates! from article pages.
  • Suggestion to eliminate right-side images, and to replace non-free with free images.

From the Village pump

Template standardisation

Long ago we went through a process of standardising the templates for talk pages. This went very well and we have a theme that means we have standard colours, widths and styles on talk pages. But it was never translated to the article pages. This is a shame because we should be trying to ensure that we have a professional and aesthetically sound scheme in place. Just after the talk page standardisation I started to work on this but ran out of steam.

Take a look at User:Flamurai/TS/blanca, a scheme designed by User:Flamurai (we may wish to discount the spoiler notice). I think this would be a brilliant thing to implement for the following reasons:

  • Easily implemented
  • Colour-coded but without using an overpowering amount
  • Standard widths
  • Generally a better design than we have now

I suggest that we look at changing over to a scheme like that. Thoughts? violet/riga (t) 10:40, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

That's an awful lot of reading. What exactly do you want to do? Juan Miguel Fangio| ►Chat  10:50, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
This is a first step into the right direction. We could use templates that look more professional and aesthetically pleasing. JoJan 13:46, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
A couple of us are having conversations along a similar string at Wikipedia_talk:Template_messages/Cleanup#Use_of_icons. Jeepday (talk) 15:40, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
I agree on all accounts with the favorable review of User:Flamurai/TS/blanca. I'd also like to concur with those who expressed a preference for Tango and SVG as part of a sound design strategy for standardizing template appearance. I have been doing something similar with WP articles, please take a quick look at User:Dreftymac/Docs/ImageDisclaimer#ImageNode_series. dr.ef.tymac 16:32, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
I thoroughly agree with the suggestion, and the praise of blanca. Very clean, professional, and pleasing aesthetics. --Quiddity 17:20, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

There's something to the idea, but I don't find it aesthetically pleasing at all. That thick colored bar on one side is totally visually imbalanced. I'd be happier with a bar on the bottom, or a thinner colored border all the way around, or slightly thinner bars on both the left and right side.--Father Goose 18:30, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

I disagree - it acts as a margin and works very well. Having it on the side only helps with stacking as well. If it were on both sides it would look overpowering and wouldn't look right because of the left-aligned image. All in my opinion, of course. violet/riga (t) 21:12, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
Per violet/riga: agreed 100%. —The preceding signed but undated comment was added at 23:15, August 22, 2007 (UTC).
Same here — Jack · talk · 22:33, Saturday, 1 September 2007
  • To throw in my two cents, I really like the graphics that Flamurai put together. If I were to settle on changes to satisfy those unhappy with the left margin, I would say center the template text & image and put the stripe on both sides (but not the top or bottom). BigNate37(T) 21:22, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Left & right side, 8px, border-right:none looks good to me.--Father Goose 21:51, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Honestly, I really love them the way the look now. I think Flamurai (talk · contribs) did an exceptional job and I fully support their implementation. — pd_THOR | =/\= | 23:19, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
  • I dig 'em. I like the color coding and standard size. Definitely makes a group of templates more aesthetically pleasing and more professional. -Chunky Rice 23:19, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Niiice. Wikidemo 23:42, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
  • A large improvement over the current system. Λυδαcιτγ 04:16, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
  • I like it. -- Boracay Bill 04:36, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
  • I am very much in favor of such standardizations. >Radiant< 10:57, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
  • I was pleasantly surprised by this redesign. The colour-coding is particularly useful and achieving it with a small bar is tasteful and maintains the desired conformity. Adrian M. H. 17:55, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Flamurai's template standards look great to me. I especially like that they are all the same width and stackable. Making two line templates the same height is also good. I personally like the colors, but don't feel as strongly about them. -kslays 19:04, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
  • I also am strongly in favor of Flamurai's templates. My only concern is that I don't see new versions all of the various templates that are currently being used. Is there a plan in place to create Blanca variants of ALL of the templates? Nice as these templates are, they would look terrible with one of the old templates in the middle, say, the "peacock" or "citations requested" templates. Other than that concern, I like it a lot. Horologium t-c 05:18, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Pushing forward

Great to see such support for this. I tried changing over {{cleanup}} and it's quite a direct changeover except for the class, which can be ignored and removed but would best be updated. I know also that it would take more than this to change to this new scheme as I'm sure that there will be those that revert it. Shall we start a discussion page specifically for this? violet/riga (t) 12:18, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

Absolutely. It'd be good to have a place to workshop the design a little to see what works best. (Way to show your agenda, Goose.)--Father Goose 17:02, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

Background color

And another idea: Wikipedia uses background color as a subtle cue to what part of the project you're in. Articles get a white background; everything else is blueish. Perhaps we should force the background color of these boxes to the blueish color? That would help set the box off from the overall page background, and also emphasize that the box is not really part of the article proper. Thoughts? —DragonHawk (talk|hist) 04:09, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

Never mind. It looks like they already do this. I knew it was a good idea!  :-) —DragonHawk (talk|hist) 04:26, 29 August 2007 (UTC)


One of the main problems I have with the current system is the lack of a standard width. Having two templates on an article with totally different widths is really ugly and we should fix this. But what is the ideal width? 100% is probably too much, so perhaps 85% (the standard for talk page templates) would be best. violet/riga (t) 20:16, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

Makes sense. Matches policy/guideline tags. Doesn't align confusingly with dab links. And can be tweaked from css later if necessary. :) --Quiddity 17:32, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
I checked around and pretty much all boxes of many different types I could find use the ".messagebox" class in MediaWiki:Common.css, and that class uses 80% width. I also tested some of the boxes to see that there were no other magic going on.
The old class .messagebox uses this:
"width: 80%; margin: 0 auto 1em auto;"
But the style code people have used in the examples here is better:
"width: 80%; margin: 0 0 0 10%;"
It renders the same width and the same centering on the page but works correctly also in older web browsers like Internet Explorer 5.5, who doesn't seem to understand "auto".
I also tried 85% width but that just looked ugly. So I say we should use 80% width, just like before.
--David Göthberg 05:12, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
Sounds good, and is easily tweaked later. --Quiddity 23:30, 8 September 2007 (UTC)


The colour bar idea was originally that of User:Sparkit and the template design was implemented by User:Flamurai - credit goes to those two for their work on this. violet/riga (t) 20:18, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Template standardisation/article for details and history. --Quiddity 17:26, 27 August 2007 (UTC)


I think they look good. My only quibble that I see is with two templates of the same type (e.g. Afd and db) is that it's a bit hard to see where one ends. Perhaps having the bar at left extend only the middle 90%? -- Flyguy649 talk contribs 20:39, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

I see what you mean. I think it's caused by the horizontal rule in the first template as it's not so much of a problem in the others. It wouldn't be common to have two such template together, but it's something worth looking at. violet/riga (t) 20:45, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

They look great! I don't have much else to say, but since this is the "comments" section, I just want to voice my support for this proposal :) Would there be any other "serious problem" templates other than deletion related? I assume templates like {{Notability}} would be orange, right? and that's the most serious non-deletion template I can think of. Also, should merge really be orange? It seems more like blue. Generally the reader shouldn't be too concerned about a merge. --YbborTalk 02:19, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

See #Merge-specific colorJack · talk · 22:33, Saturday, 1 September 2007

Single left bar; or two bars, one each side?

This is what I had in mind earlier: [1]. Slightly thinner color bars on both left and right sides. Better visual balance, IMO.

Bars thinned slightly more to reduce the "bolding" effect: [2].--Father Goose 21:30, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

  • That looks good, but now I can't really decide which one to go for... violet/riga (t) 21:44, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
  • I prefer the thicker double bars. Flyguy649 talk contribs 21:51, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
  • I like them all too. But as long as the style is in css, they can all be tweaked later. :) --Quiddity 17:29, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
  • I prefer the (slightly wider) single band on the left, but this is not too bad. The thicker double band is not particularly appealing, although all of them are better than what we are using now. Horologium t-c 20:01, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Somehow I don't like the double bars at all - they make the templates look heavy as compared to the light sticker/bookmark-type single bar variation. Миша13 08:08, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
  • I like the thinner double bars best, with the thick single my second choice, then the thick double bar style my last. The colors and everything stack up well, I really like the idea of color-coding issues like that. It makes it easier to see how serious an article's issues are, at a glance. As for the bar on the side: if it's not informative enough, it could perhaps link to a sub-page on the Talk page, describing the article's issues? (ie, Talk:Foo/issues) Dunno how *useful* that would be, maybe it could just link to a Talk page section that talks about them, but it's a thought. ♠PMC♠ 22:12, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
  • I prefer the single color bar on the left side. It's clean and simple. The bars on either side just look too overpowering. No real preference as to thickness. -Chunky Rice 17:00, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
  • It looks like the single bar is preferred by most respondents. In the interest of standardization, I go with the majority.--Father Goose 18:40, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
  • I prefer the single bar as well, though I couldn't really say why. the wub "?!" 10:44, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
  • I do have to say that I prefer the single colour bar on the left hand side. It keeps the template clean, simple and doesn't distract as much from the message which the template is trying to portray whilst keeping its effect. --tgheretford (talk) 21:35, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
  • I also prefer the single bar on the left. Jeepday (talk) 04:11, 8 September 2007 (UTC)
  • Yes, single bar on the left looks best to me too. --David Göthberg 04:18, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

My $0.02 on CSS

(Cross-posted from the Village Pump)

First of all, good work with what's been done so far. The new design looks a bit odd, because it's new, but people would get used to it eventually. I also support the idea of standarisation. One point I'd like to throw in, however (and can't seem to find it proposed already, otherwise it's worth stressing again) is that we use as much CSS power as possible. The templates should IMO have minimal defined styles, mostly classes, and actual definitions be moved to Mediawiki:Common.css. In most cases I could imagine a class="articlenotice" that defines the 80% width, centering, background, borders, etc. while the only "native" definition would be the color of the bar (but that could also probably be solved using common classes like class="articlenotice bar-serious" for the table and a definition along the lines of .bar-serious tr td:first-child { background: #CC0000; } to make the bar red). Миша13 21:33, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

Update: see my implementation of the stacked templates and the CSS that does the magic (rip freely). Also see the rather simplified code for the templates: [3], [4], [5], [6]. Миша13 22:09, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
That's great work - thanks for that! violet/riga (t) 22:57, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

Anyone know what the status of the above is? Do we need to modify Mediawiki:Common.css as part of the roll-out? Should we? Any CSS experts here who also have experience with getting Mediawiki:Common.css modified? —DragonHawk (talk|hist) 00:18, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

DragonHawk: Well, I guess I am perhaps such a person. That is, I coded a bunch of templates and used a fair amount of CSS and had my CSS code added to common.css before. I just took a quick look at the stuff you guys talk about here. I think a better choice would be to use a "meta template" instead of adding lots of code to common.css. What I mean is we can make a template that is used to make other templates. Just like {{navbox}} is used to make navigation templates. Just call {{navbox}} with the proper parameters and it creates the navbox code for you.
In the same manner we could make a standard meta template that takes three parameters: The type (which is used to choose the colour), the image that is placed to the left, and the body content (the text in the box).
Another question is what to call the kind of templates you are discussing here. Since they are not just "templates". Templates are anything that is used to transclude onto a page. I guess the ones you talk about here are "warning templates" or so.
Then I just have to mention: I think way to many warning templates are added to articles. I think they scare of readers of Wikipedia and make us look unprofessional. I think it would be better if they were put at the bottom of the article or on the talkpage. (Just like the stub templates are now being put at the bottom of articles.) I noticed that bots often put warning templates on articles that are just hours old, not giving the article creator a chance to finish his work with the article before he gets smacked by the bots. --David Göthberg 21:04, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

Current text and icons

I like the work that has been suggested here to standardize templates that are used in the article space. It is clean and professional looking. I also like that that the focus is staying on formatting the template size shape and coloring without addressing the text. The text would be a topic for discussion on the individual or family template level. I might also suggest that once this proposed policy becomes policy in fact (which should happen soon I think, based on the lack of opposing voices), we consider addressing template icons here or in a similar venue. Jeepday (talk) 13:29, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

I like this - I like it a lot!

  • Seems like the most professional way forward, and will work best for our readers and our editors. I can't see any objections to this from any significant party.--h i s s p a c e r e s e a r c h 22:38, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
  • I love these templates as well, and am very tempted to be extremely WP:BOLD and just start implementing them. They are such an improvement over the current mess. the wub "?!" 22:50, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
  • I like this also, but I would suggest waiting a while until the policy is well aired and approved. Reflecting back I am sure you can think of a couple good ideas that got died because they moved forward before they were ready. Jeepday (talk) 23:13, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

Will they stand out enough?

Really like the idea, but I have two quick critiques. A) Are we sure that this will stand out enough? To some extent templates are meant to attract attention ... (although frankly at the same time I really like this style - so this is more of a nonissue) B)The speedy temp is way to large - can we do anything to shorten the smaller text?--danielfolsom 21:56, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

I think they stand out pretty well. As for the speedy template, it was just a problem with the nowiki-ing, the contents of {{empty-warn}} had been accidentally substed in. I've fixed it. the wub "?!" 22:47, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

Mailing list

Has anyone posted this proposal to the mailing list About the WikiEN-l mailing list? I don't watch the mailing list, but I know it can be an important part reaching Consensus. Everything I have seen on this talk page and else where about this proposed policy has been supportive. I think that if this well received on the mailing list and after a few more days it appears that consensus still exists this should move from proposed policy to official policy. Jeepday (talk) 23:26, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

It's not a question of policy, it's a question of just doing it -- though establishing that there's a consensus for the change beforehand is a Good Idea.--Father Goose 00:19, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
Done. --Quiddity 17:28, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
link to thread archive (Mon Aug 27 17:28:24 UTC 2007). Currently appears well received. Jeepday (talk) 12:49, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

Unbridled enthusiasm

This has irritated me since day one. If there is anything I can do to help the project I'll do it. I don't have an opinion on the design as long as everything is just standard. ALTON .ıl 05:30, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

Saw it on the mailing list

About time, and very well done. Trying to get the wording more compact will of course have to be done template by template. Is it intended to standardize the use of icons also? DGG (talk) 07:40, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

I think standardizing icons might be a next step after this. Lets keep it simple, one step at a time and all that. Jeepday (talk) 12:45, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
Yah. That. Small steps are much easier. Get the general layout (width, borders, etc.) and colors figured out. Just getting that much alone switched over is going to be a major task. Keep existing icons and wording for now. —DragonHawk (talk|hist) 03:08, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

Informational as an issue

I like where this is going, but I would like to bring up something about "current" templates. While some people often tag any article that can be "current", many people feel that something should only be tagged when being current is an issue in some way (high traffic, etc). Just calling them informational will likely encourage tagging articles that don't have an issue with being current. Thoughts? -- Ned Scott 22:08, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

I suspect that's just an informal name being used here to lump together "all templates that will get a blue bar".--Father Goose 22:48, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
I see what you're saying but as Father Goose says it's more of an informal name that wouldn't be seen other than in the class name. violet/riga (t) 23:30, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
Defenetely, it's in a lower class than the others. Maybe just another name for that class? -- Ned Scott 23:57, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
I can't really think of a good single word or short phrase to cover it that wouldn't raise the same concern. Perhaps we could just name them something non-descriptive, like Levels 1-4, with a brief description of each one on whatever guideline page comes out of this. -Chunky Rice 00:02, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
"Other".--Father Goose 00:46, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
! -- Ned Scott 01:28, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
I like "informational" better then "other" but can live with either. Jeepday (talk) 01:52, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
"Notice"? —DragonHawk (talk|hist) 03:09, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
Eh, the problem with that (and with "informational", for that matter) is that we can say the same thing about all of the templates. -- Ned Scott 03:16, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
"Notice" can mean that, but it has {{other uses}}. In particular, it is one of the four ANSI standard "Signal Words", which define an escalating chain: Notice (Blue) -> Caution (Yellow) -> Warning (Orange) -> Danger (Red). Note the parallel with the color scheme already chosen.  :) OSHA and similar orgs all use these words in this way, so it's pretty standard stuff. —DragonHawk (talk|hist) 03:36, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

Deployment planning

I just found this discussion. I really like the ideas and new designs. Great job, everyone! • I do have the following contribution, with regard to putting them it effect: Many people are resistant to change. There is a risk that we might end up in a big storm of "What did they do to Wikipedia?! OMG WTF BBQ!!". So I think it's important to give people some warning, to ease them into the change. To that end, I suggest the following: Rig up a mock-up, with the current templates transcluded directly, and the new ones showing somehow. Put each template pair in an H2 section. Put some big text at the top explaining what's going on. Include directions on how to comment, but also include a polite reminder that "this is a discussion, not a vote". Finally, gradually post notices (staggered over many days) of the planned change at WP:VPR, the various existing template pages, and a few other key pages like WP:TMC. • I'm willing to help with the mock-up and PR campaign if you like. —DragonHawk (talk|hist) 03:25, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

PR campaign!? What the? When did this stop being a wiki? the wub "?!" 10:49, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
 :-) It's still a wiki. But it's a very popular wiki, and unannounced changes to widely-used things tend to cause controversy and/or edit storms. For some examples, check out the history of WP:ATT and {{talkheader}}. It appears we have consensus here, but that doesn't mean everyone will like it. Unannounced, a lot of people are likely to cry "Revert" just out of gut reaction. Wikipedians are humans, and humans do that sort of thing. Most of the targeted templates are already under Full Protection, so they're already not something "anyone can edit". If we prefer, we can just WP:BOLD, but I think we'd be better off being gentle. —DragonHawk (talk|hist) 11:44, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
I think a short notice in various places immediately would be good (WP:VPR (started there), WP:CBB, WT:TEM). No need to stagger the times. And then start implementing the design sometime during or after the weekend, if there are no critical problems. --Quiddity 17:19, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
I agree. I left a notice at the Community Portal, but I think the design as it currently stands is really, really good and would like to see it implemented soon.--ragesoss 22:37, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
"Implemented soon" sounds nice in theory, but DragonHawk makes good points. Some people who might be inclined to vociferously protest may be less inclined if they do not feel this is being "forced" on WP-land. dr.ef.tymac 04:55, 3 September 2007 (UTC)
I dunno, there does seem to be a strong consensus for change amongst those on this page, and advertising has been running in multiple places for a week. I think more of an issue is the exact coding to be used, and whether or not to use meta-templates. Could anyone shed light on how long till it's ready to go? The weekend came and went. — Jack · talk · 14:36, Monday, 3 September 2007

CSS issues

Okay, so no PR campaign.  :) Then let's talk technical. First: Note my comment up at #My $0.02 on CSS. Second: How do we want to do this? I'm thinking we should use meta-templates or master templates. Have one for each flavor/color. Namely: {{seriousissue}}, {{contentissue}}, {{styleissue}}, {{articlenotice}}. Then {{db-meta}} can just start out with “{{seriousissue|'''This page may meet ...”. I suppose we could take it a step further and use one master for everything, but that might be a bit much, given WP:TCB. Thoughts? —DragonHawk (talk|hist) 00:35, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

Altering the CSS at Mediawiki:Common.css is definitely preferable to having meta-templates, in my opinion. While Avoid using meta-templates is a rejected guideline (which is good, because I disagree with it), there appears to be no reason to have unnecessary transclusions when a more elegant solution exists. GracenotesT § 01:03, 1 September 2007 (UTC)
I'm certainly all for moving as much into CSS as possible. But can all of the table layout and such really be folded into CSS? I'm thinking it would be nice to not have to do the wiki table layout with DIVs and id and class attributes and everything for each template that uses this new style. —DragonHawk (talk|hist) 01:25, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

It's possible to simplify it down to this (and possible more simple), if we used tables:

{|class="issue style-issue"
|class="issue-image"|[[Image:Broom icon.svg|40px]]
|'''To meet Wikipedia's [[:Category:Wikipedia style guidelines|quality standards]], ...

That's not too complicated, in my opinion (and relies on some CSS2 features, such as the first-child selector). But a CSS solution involving <div>s could be even simpler. GracenotesT § 01:51, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

No, that isn't bad at all, especially given some of the stuff I've had to work with. But, just for the sake of illustration, I put up some mock-ups of what I'm talking about: Master for all. Serious issue sub-master. Usage demo and comparisons. For shorter messages, I think it's a definite win, in terms of making the syntax easy to view, write, edit, and manage. Look at this source to see what I mean. But anything really complicated (like the AFD template) runs afoul of esoteric transclusion syntax limitations. For that, I suspect it may be more trouble than it is worth. —DragonHawk (talk|hist) 02:12, 1 September 2007 (UTC)
I've made a rough draft of the CSS here. It can be used as follows:
{|class="issue style-issue"
|class="issue-image"|[[Image:Broom icon.svg|40px]]
|class="issue-text"|'''To meet Wikipedia's [[:Category:Wikipedia style guidelines|quality standards]], ...
And it works, too! (Hopefully it's not too much code.) GracenotesT § 04:55, 1 September 2007 (UTC)
Since you're using classes on the other two TDs, why not a color-bar class on the first one to avoid issues with IE6 not supporting :first-child? It only needs minor CSS changes. As for meta-templates, I don't really see the point if the table wikitext is as simple as Gracenotes suggests; the point of a meta-template would be to make it easy to adjust the wikitext at once across all templates, but there's just about nothing to adjust there. Anomie 13:31, 1 September 2007 (UTC)
IE6 doesn't support :first-child... basic CSS2? Eh, I should have known, but I'm not surprised. For consistency, the class color-bar could be changed to issue-bar. I've tested this on my wiki-on-a-stick, and it does work. Hopefully it'll have consensus at MediaWiki talk:Common.css if proposed. GracenotesT § 19:02, 1 September 2007 (UTC)
Here it is with the new names. (Nothing particularly different.) GracenotesT § 19:03, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

Well, using a meta template is even easier. Then making an "issue template" could be as easy as this:

| type  = cleanup
| image = [[Image:Broom icon.svg|40px]]
| text  = '''To meet Wikipedia's [[:Category:Wikipedia style guidelines|quality standards]], ...

--David Göthberg 00:33, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

The meta-template you've quoted is just about as simple as the table I've quoted above, and the wikitext source of the meta-template is just about as complicated as the CSS source I've linked to above. Most major websites don't have actual CSS in their source code, but rather CSS class names. This approach is more scalable, and puts less load on whatever is parsing the source code: in this case, MediaWiki. (After all, the browser usually caches CSS.) Also, using a meta-template won't work cleanly when the cleanup template must be substituted. See WP:AUM#Alternatives for more information. While meta-templates aren't bad, CSS is a cleaner (and produces cleaner HTML that can be parsed more efficiently by a browser.) GracenotesT § 01:17, 2 September 2007 (UTC)
1. You pointed to WP:AUM but that one was rejected for several reasons. (Among others that it was based on faulty assumptions how MediaWiki handles transclusions.)
2. According to my tests meta templates do work well with substitutions.
3. Which approach causes the least load and the least bandwidth usage depends on if these issue templates are on most pages or only on a subset of the pages. According to stats I've seen an average visitor to Wikipedia only loads 5 pages in one session.
Anyway, no matter if we use a meta template or classes in commons.css I have a suggestion: Why do you use a table cell to make the left border thick and coloured? You can just as well use style on the main table itself like this: "border-left:10px solid #39f;". I tested that it works in Firefox 2.0, IE 5.5 and Opera 9.02 so it is likely to work in most other browsers too. In CSS the way you use it in your examples that would be:
table.style-issue {
  border-left:10px solid #fc3;

Instead of what you use now:

table.style-issue td.issue-bar {
  background-color: #FFCC33;

Oh, and why do you use the code below in your code? I didn't need it for any of my browsers.

table.issue tr {
  margin: 0;
  padding: 0;

--David Göthberg 04:21, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

Thank you for your response. A couple of items:

  1. I don't like WP:AUM—one of the first templates I designed was a meta-template, after all :) The section I linked to seemed relevant, anyway. I tend to prefer style sheets in this case: they are meant to store CSS specifically, while templates can store any sort of content. (See also prettytable, which turned out very well.)
  2. The border idea is makes much more sense the one I had (which, actually, was adapted from the CSS that's currently on Wikipedia:Template standardisation). The <tr> code was copied from there as well, and looking at the computed style without it, that the CSS block doesn't appear to be needed. Thanks for pointing that out.

GracenotesT § 05:59, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

FWIW, I've done a little more work on my mockups of a possible meta-template implementation, adding icon features (default icon, option to specify another icon, or a blank space, or nothing at all). I do think we should use CSS when possible, but I also think meta-templates can yield even cleaner syntax than with CSS alone. —DragonHawk (talk|hist) 05:59, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

Great idea!

  • Yes IAWTC. They look very clean and neat :) Backsigns 00:03, 1 September 2007 (UTC)
  • Man, this is an awesome idea! I've been doing this slowly and very ineffectively for a while now. Looking at Wikipedia:Template messages/Cleanup makes me feel a bit sick. — Jack · talk · 04:04, Saturday, 1 September 2007

A rough draft of {{cleanup-vomit}}. Do you like it? ;) GracenotesT § 04:15, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

Haha, that freakin' rocks! And yet, strangely, it only makes the problem worse... — Jack · talk · 04:32, Saturday, 1 September 2007
  • Is this the place to register one's stamp of approval? I appreciate the good design of the standardised template boxes. Sandstein 15:24, 2 September 2007 (UTC)
  • On second thought, shouldn't the title of this project page be changed to "article notices template standardization" or similar? The project does not really cover all of the Template: namespace. Sandstein 15:27, 2 September 2007 (UTC)
At present, the focus is on article message boxes, but it does not have to stop there. At the very least, I hope this movement can eventually standardize all the various message box templates. Of course, it just occurred to me that there's a fair bit of overlap with WikiProject Templates in this movement. I'll post a note on the talk page there, so people watching that project know about this effort. —DragonHawk (talk|hist) 19:28, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

Great idea!...and a couple of questions

First of all, I really, really like this, and hope it gets implemented. I do have two questions:

1. "Note: The wording of these templates is not under discussion and will likely be older versions of the current text."

What does this line mean? Why can't we just use the current text for the new, standardized templates? Or are you just talking about the design mockups below the note? Clarify, please.

2. Do you have a list of all of the templates that will fall into each category? Which templates are serious enough to be a "serious problem"?--Danaman5 05:56, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

The new templates are going to use the current wording. It's confusingly worded (I'll fix that), but what was meant was that the text is not going to change, only the appearance of the template. As to which templates go where, I don't know, but I think the only "serious problems" are the deletion templates; even the NPOV and Factual Accuracy tags (the worst of the content tags) are slated to be orange. Horologium t-c 13:13, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

Do it.

Go for it. Be bold. Edit. User:Krator (t c) 20:29, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

You know, this might be just a good enough idea that we could be bold. It's really hard to not like the new template look. -- Ned Scott 03:30, 3 September 2007 (UTC)
If it were that simple, we'd be using it as soon as it was proposed. Please read through #CSS issuesJack · talk · 04:23, Monday, 3 September 2007
I just meant from the perspective of users accepting new change. -- Ned Scott 05:48, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

When the new messages are in place, it will be a lot easier to get consensus on changing the way they are implemented. User:Krator (t c) 15:10, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

Short name form

So since we seem to be close to deployment I have to ask again: What short name form should we use for the CSS classes and meta template? We need to decide on a short name so we can start to code and document the CSS code and meta template in the right place, before we can deploy this. The long name seems to be article message box. Short forms used/suggested so far is:

  1. issue – Used by Gracenotes in his CSS code.
  2. issuebox – Used by David Göthberg in his demo until now.
  3. ambox – Suggested by David.
  4. artmsgbox – Suggested by DragonHawk if "ambox" is deemed too cryptic.

Feel free to add any other suggestions to this numbered list.

I prefer ambox since not all article message boxes are issues, some are just notices. I find artmsgbox hard to spell when coding it but still a good second choice. --David Göthberg 00:30, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

'ambox' seems fine. Surely only the folks who actively maintain the css files could have problems/recommendations with this? --Quiddity 07:40, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, in MediaWiki:Common.css we will as usual have a comment above it stating what it is. So there almost any name can be used.
But I want to use this short name for the meta template too, then it would be Template:Ambox and be used like this: {{ambox|parameters...}}
And then I want to document the meta template right there at Template:Ambox. (Of course on a "/doc" subpage as is now the standard to decrease server load and allow doc editing even when/if the template itself has been locked.)
--David Göthberg (talk) 07:58, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

David's article message box demo

The last few days I have coded and tested a meta template that uses CSS classes for pretty much all its looks and that uses default images and has some other nifty features. Features that you guys have suggested here and in your demos. I have put together a demo page at Wikipedia:Template standardisation/issuebox demo. --David Göthberg 06:47, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Looks absolutely brilliant, and easy to use to boot! Something tells me this will be ready to go as soon as your code is in common.css — Jack · talk · 20:16, Tuesday, 4 September 2007
Oh, thank you. But just so no one thinks anything else: I just built on the work the rest of the people here had done and took it one step further. And I bet there are still some improvements that someone soon will point out. --David Göthberg 06:27, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Template messages#Article-related namespace

Is it time to begin placing all of the templates from Wikipedia:Template messages#Article-related namespace into one of these 4 groups? Jeepday (talk) 01:55, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

How do you suggest we do this? I don't think that page should be altered directly, perhaps you could create a draft in your userspace and propose that? — Jack · talk · 22:57, Saturday, 1 September 2007

Separating structure from presentation

I believe it is important to separate the structure of the template from the presentation. Currently, both the CSS and the meta-template proposals fail to do this to some extent. The CSS version requires a strange empty cell just for presentation purposes, while the meta-template solution without CSS can't be customized (which is important for people who don't like the standardization but not the current design or for customized styles for use with other skins.) I propose to use a meta-template to strictly separate the content from the layout and primarly use CSS to presnt the template so the look can be customized. —Ruud 13:01, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

David Göthberg just suggested a way to remove the empty cell above. Anomie 15:34, 2 September 2007 (UTC)
Ruud, would you please explain a bit more on "customization"?  :-) The explicit goal here is to make all these "message box" templates look alike. The ability to customize their appearance would seem to be counter to that goal. Along the same lines, if there is an aspect of these current design you don't like, I would suggest explaining what and why. I feel it is better to strive towards a solution that addresses everyone's needs, rather than having a multiple variations of the same idea. —DragonHawk (talk|hist) 19:56, 2 September 2007 (UTC)
DragonHawk: What the others are talking about is this: If the "looks" of the templates are encoded as CSS in MediaWiki:Common.css, then other skins (other than the default MediaWiki:Monobook.css) can override those classes. So that the templates can colour match those other skins when viewed using those skins. (If you are not aware of the skins of Wikipedia see your user menu on top of the page, click "my preferences", then "Skin".)
Also, it gives the possibility that if you dislike the way the templates look you can override the design in your own personal monobook.css. Although that is probably a non issue since I never heard about any one that actually do that. Except of course for testing purposes like now when we design the templates.
--David Göthberg 21:37, 2 September 2007 (UTC)
Ahhh, I see. That makes much more sense! Thanks for explaining that. • I agree this would be a good thing to have. Now, there are limits to what CSS can do. They cannot change the icons, for example. But we should be able to put quite a bit in CSS, yes. The color coding. Background color of box. Some control over how the box is laid out. If we define classes for each border, we should even be able to let individual users customize, e.g., one-color-bar-on-left vs color-bar-on-each-side or even the classic pastel-background. It will mean a bunch of CSS tags, but I think that's okay. • Plus, if we use a meta-template for the overall design, all that complexity will be folded away. ;-) —DragonHawk (talk|hist) 03:50, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
I'd prefer a CSS version using a large border (to avoid needing to use an extra cell); consensus on MediaWiki talk:Common.css seems to me at the moment to be that the sitewide CSS is an appropriate place for the styling code. I don't see anything wrong with using a meta-template as well. (And if the styling is done using CSS borders, you don't need an extra 'class' for lots of parts of the template; all three possibilities mentioned in DragonHawk's comment immediately above this one can be done just by styling the class for the main cleanup box.) --ais523 16:16, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
ais523: Yes, we have already changed from using an extra cell to instead use "border-left" in CSS. You can see our CSS code etc at my demo page. (Note, the naming of the classes there is just temporary, we probably will use some other word than "issue" in the class names.)
But I think we can't really just restyle the class for the main cleanup box for some reasons:
  1. The default ".messagebox" class is way different than our needs since it is adapted for the "talk page message boxes". We are doing "article message boxes" here. Those two families of message boxes have very different needs. So it really is a bad default to start from. We would have to redeclare almost all lines that exist in the ".messagebox" class in the ".messagebox.cleanup" class.
  2. We need extra classes for the image cells anyway.
But sure, we can use the ".messagebox.something" naming if we have to. But as I just explained that would be weird. But since you made me look at the ".messagebox" etc CSS code again I just realised there is one more simplification I can do in our CSS code: I think I can get rid of our class "table.issuebox td.issuebox-text".
--David Göthberg 04:05, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

Eliminate style templates!

While we are on the subject: the style templates are essentially meaningless to 99.9% of readers: they are aimed at experienced wikipedians who understand the manual of style etc. They do not indicate any problem with the page that a reader needs to be aware of. Their major impact on the project is to convince many visitors that wikipedia is rubbish; most would not have noticed any problem without the template. Hence style templates should be on the talk page not the article page. Furthermore, they should be deleted on sight unless the person placing them has (i) explained on the talk page what they think the problem is ("needs to be wikified" is far too unspecific) and (ii) given a good reason why they didn't fix it themselves instead of leaving an ugly note telling others to do the job. PaddyLeahy 20:08, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

Okay, maybe, but I don't think this page is the place to discuss such. Raise it over at WP:VPP or WP:VPR. —DragonHawk (talk|hist 20:33, 31 August 2007
I largely agree with this. They're like pseudo-disclaimers: "This article is crap, but at least we know it's crap, so don't call us up to remind us, we already know. Why don't you fix it? We can't be arsed."--Father Goose 20:38, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
No way at deleting on sight. First of all, many articles are tagged by bots, which aren't really suited to uber-specific personalized messages of why they tagged an article. Second of all, deleting a cleanup tag on sight will send the article back into the million-plus article abyss where it has even less chance of getting seen and fixed. Crystallina 04:01, 1 September 2007 (UTC)
I think most of such templates are helpful and needed on the article itself to give the issue proper attention. However, I have an idea. I'm not sure how possible this is, but it might be possible to make style templates be hidden anon users (as in, most readers), so they only show up to users who are logged in (and are more likely editor oriented). -- Ned Scott 04:08, 1 September 2007 (UTC)
Can they be nested like multiple Wikiproject, etc banners on talk pages? -- Flyguy649 talk contribs 04:17, 1 September 2007 (UTC)
That would defeat the point of having them being shown in such a visible place. However, there is a template called {{Articleissues}} that condenses multiple tags to take up a lot less space. -- Ned Scott 04:21, 1 September 2007 (UTC)
I remain unconvinced. Any user with the knowledge to act on these templates when they see them is equally able to spot that the article needs work without being "alerted" by the template. If bots are being used to create central lists (categories) of articles needing gnome work, fine. Just add an inconspicuous category at the bottom of the page and leave out the notice. (NB: {{unreferenced}} is another template to which the same applies. PaddyLeahy 09:54, 1 September 2007 (UTC)
While I'm not getting involved in the style issue debate on this page at this time (for reasons I noted above), I do believe {{unreferenced}} and its kin very much belong in the article. They alert the reader to serious problems with the content of the article. In an encyclopedia that anyone can edit, this is critical. This deletion discussion, about {{fact}}, contains an exhaustive treatment of this subject. —DragonHawk (talk|hist) 03:17, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

I strongly object this motion. Wikipedia is not written by "experienced wikipedians who understand the manual of style etc." - it is written by passing-by anonymous editors (IIRC, about 75% of all edits are done by IPs). Issue templates were designed with the following idea in mind: Not everyone may be aware of issues with the article at first glance. On the other hand, a template that stands out encourages readers to think: "Hey, maybe I could improve it?" Then they click the [edit] button which we conveniently provide to everyone for this very reason. This is how Wikipedia works. Миша13 12:17, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

I have a counter-theory: a new reader comes along and sees an obvious fault with an article. If the template is there, the reader says, oh, okay, someone else has noticed that, it'll get taken care of. If the template isn't there, the anon says, "Oh, this is awful, there's this huge error right in the middle of this perfectly good article. Fine, I better fix it."
It may very well be that slapping post-it notes on simple errors suppresses the incentive to fix them. In reality, we just use them to cover our ass: "Yeah, yeah, we know it's broken, move along."--Father Goose 17:06, 1 September 2007 (UTC)
You miss my point, Misza13. I agree anon IPs and inexperienced users make a lot of useful (i.e. content-providing) edits. But they don't know what "wikify" etc means, and very few are concerned enough to read the Manual of style in sufficient detail to understand what needs to be done to "fix" the article so the notice can be deleted (e.g. I've been registered since April and I still can't tell why some of these tags have been slapped on). You can see an entry in wikipedia talk:WikiProject Wikify where the author of an article asked what was the matter with the article that it had a "wikify" template, and the reply was "Oh, don't worry about it"! If the author shouldn't worry, why bring it to the attention of other readers? Incidentally, I also reject Crystallina's argument about bots: are we supposed to give bots more respect than human editors? If a bot can detect that a page needs flagging, it can post to the talk page saying what specific problems it detected. If it doesn't, zap the notice. PaddyLeahy 20:11, 1 September 2007 (UTC)
See also: Wikipedia talk:Template messages/Cleanup#Proposed policy: Keep cleanup tags on talk pages, which was just posted. —DragonHawk (talk|hist) 03:45, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Yes. These tags are far too visible. Stub tags get a sentence at the bottom of the page with no box around it. These need no more. Put them on talk pages. If they have to be on the article page then just make them categories - a separate group of editing categories. If we want to put them in a box on the page then it should be in order to separate them from the article but lets put them at the bottom of the article and lets condense them down to one line by default and lets put the stub templates in there as well.Filceolaire 07:51, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

I have independently recognised the same thing as Father Goose. As soon as the tags goes on -all editing seems to stop. I was wondering too, if this was psychological, meaning: does it give people the subconscious feeling that 'teacher' is now watching over them and is ready to criticize any further contribution to this article rather than heap praise on them like elsewhere on WP. Also, tags on small articles pointing out the obvious may be subconsciously suggesting why bother.. this article will probably get deleted anyhow!. --Aspro 13:01, 14 September 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, I too would prefer if the message boxes were placed on the talk pages instead. But since that probably will never happen I would like if they are placed at the bottom of the articles, just like stub notices. (Except perhaps for the more serious ones.) We could also add a hide/show button. So that they just show one line of text unless you click on the [show] button. I know how to do that, the technology is readily available and used in the navboxes already.
But at least this standardisation project will make the message boxes look much better.
--David Göthberg 13:43, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

PR campaign

Okay, so it was established at #Deployment planning that we don't exactly need a fully-fledged PR campaign, but I still think this proposal should be promoted as much as possible (in case anyone objects to this, as it will affect the whole site). It seems that notices have been placed on the WikiEN-l and at the Community Portal, but it seems more is needed. Perhaps the Signpost should be convinced to run an article? Maybe even a Request for Comment? — Jack · talk · 22:57, Saturday, 1 September 2007

Signpost is good, or maybe we can get a watchlist message put up for a few hours -- that'd attract dozens of commentators.--Father Goose 01:56, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

I fully support this effort. How about a {{RFCpolicy}} and a post to WP:VPP to judge consensus? ←BenB4 03:15, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

It started at VPR, and is more of a style issue than policy. However I did leave a note at the Signpost tipline. --Quiddity 23:08, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

Template standardisation implementation

This discussion move here from my talk page. --David Göthberg 23:38, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

Realistically, how long do you think it'll be till WP:TS is ready to implement? I'm all for starting now, but you guys seem to be debating on code. Having a look over Wikipedia:Template messages#Article-related namespace, there are literally thousands of article-space templates out there. For coding novices like myself who love this idea (and it seems I am far from alone), would it be possible to draw up an easy-to-use instruction manual for converting templates? (Say, at Wikipedia:Template standardisation/Instructions for implementation) As it would very much be in the spirit of the movement if everyone was standardising through the same method. — Jack · talk · 04:54, Monday, 3 September 2007

1. Well, it seems people agree on how the new "issueboxes" should look but not on their internal code. (But should they be called "Issueboxes" or "Issue templates" or "Article message templates" or what?)
2. But how long it will be until people agree on what code to use I don't know. My guess is say one or two weeks. See, there are many ways to code that look and there are several different ways we can make them user friendly for those that want to create/convert issueboxes in the new look. And currently most suggestions are making the code and usage better. We have not yet reached the point where the suggestions are just viewpoints. As you point out there seems to be many issue templates out there, so since that means changing a LOT of templates I think we should wait until we agreed on what code to use for them.
3. Personally I would prefer using one single meta template. (And controlled with CSS code in common.css since that seems to be what people want.) I think we need a meta template since we have several colours to choose from, images that the users should insert (and perhaps default images too) and as DragonHawk suggested it would be nice if one can set a "blank" image (if one wants to) to make the text line up with other issueboxes that do have an image. That are a lot of options, so I think the only user friendly way to do that is to use a metatemplate. DragonHawk shows all that in his examples here: Wikipedia:Template standardisation/demometa.
4. Although I would code it in a different way for several reasons. I'll try to get the time to make a full code example with "external" CSS etc too and post it for all to see, with explanations why I code it another way. But I might not have the time right now.
5. And then I would like that we document the meta template and how to use it on the template's own documentation page. And/or have the instructions directly at Wikipedia:Template standardisation. Not on a subpage. The main page should hold the main instructions. Like for instance how they document the documentation procedure at Wikipedia:Template documentation. Their instructions are right there on their main page. And no worries, we can make this very easy to use.
6. Then when all that is done, then we can go ahead and start converting all the issueboxes.
--David Göthberg 00:01, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
Wow, thanks, that's very comprehensive! Good luck with getting it all sorted out. — Jack · talk · 02:33, Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Image right

I just discovered that many article message boxes use two images, one on each side. For instance look at Wikipedia:Current and future event templates. I think that usage seems OK in some cases. So I am adding the option of an "imageright" to the CSS code and meta template at my article message box demo. --David Göthberg 12:27, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

In your example, at least, that doesn't seem to work so well. Even if it had, I doubt people will agree it fits with the style. Perhaps double-images is a feature that should be dropped for now and suggested later? — Jack · talk · 22:47, Wednesday, 5 September 2007
Seems to work fine here (Firefox The double-images are needed to support templates like {{future film}}. Anomie 23:31, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
I use the same (on XPsp2), so why does it not work for me? All the images are there, they're just not uniformly aligned in the template. Unless it can be made to work for everyone, I say drop it (and possibly pick it up later). — Jack · talk · 00:21, Thursday, 6 September 2007
So, turns out I forgot to update my css - whoops! Looks good, though I'm concerned that these images are way less standardised than the left-hand ones — Jack · talk · 00:26, Thursday, 6 September 2007
Jack: While you posted your comment I wrote this. So I'll just post it as it is although you already answered:
Do you mean you just dislike how it looks? Or that it works badly technically, like that the right image doesn't align right properly?
If it is about the looks I added it since many current templates use it and actually use it in a fairly logical manner. Like one image indicating what needs to be done or what happens, and one image of the category like film or space or similar. So I think those who use those templates won't accept if we throw away one of their images.
If it is a technical problem like alignment then I suggest you check that you have the right version of the CSS code. For convenience I have a version number in the comment on top of the CSS code on the demo page so you can easily check if the CSS you have in your private monobook.css is the right version. I have tested the templates in Firefox 2.0, Opera 9.02 and my very old Internet Explorer 5.5 and they work perfectly in all those three. (Sorry, I can not install Safari on my OS.)
I should perhaps mention that I don't like article message boxes at all. I prefer to have them at the bottom of the article or even on the talk page instead. But I have realised they will never go away so then I prefer them to at least be as good looking and least intrusive as possible, that's why I am helping out here. And yeah, the extra image makes them more intrusive, but I guess without that image we will not be allowed to convert those templates.
--David Göthberg 00:41, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

I would prefer if we could remove the secondary images. The goal of standardization is not to change content, merely presentation For the most part, images are part of the latter category. The best part of this new system is that everything is streamlined; it flows nicely; it looks awesome! With other images, text can get out of (right) alignment. It seems somewhat frivolous to argue for their outright removal, but when standardizing, it might be reasonable. GracenotesT § 01:57, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

Well, I will leave the discussion and negotiating to you guys, since I suck at that part. In this case I am mostly just a programmer trying to provide good tools for you to work with.
--David Göthberg 02:15, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
And you're doing a great job! IMO, I think the colour of the bikeshed should maybe be two pictures, as they allow quick identification of the template by passers-by. However, as they currently stand, these images seem to be all over the place. Often being just appropriate photos, they have no standardised dimensions and contain complex graphics (what with many being jpgs). If we want this to really look good, they should ideally be Nuvola style — Jack · talk · 02:45, Thursday, 6 September 2007
The solution is easy; combine the two images into one (in the case of the current film template, the clock icon and the film icon) and use that one composite image -- 11:09, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
Except that that globe thingy with the clock on it is actually part of the wikinews logo – which is a non-free image, being trademarked by the Wikimedia Foundation. We should really replace it altogether with a free image; this is an opportunity to do so -- 11:12, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
Lol, I don't think the Foundation are likely to sue — Jack · talk · 16:05, Thursday, 6 September 2007 has a point, but cleanup templates are really only meant for in-Wikipedia usage. We want our content to be freely redistributable, with as few logos as possible, but it's not really content, merely an on-wiki annotation. GracenotesT § 17:20, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
We should replace it, nevertheless – in the same way as we should try to replace GFDL images with CC-BY-SA or public domain images where possible -- 20:17, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

Since you guys brought it up I went looking for a good freely licensed globe to make a new free version of Current event marker.svg. But others beat me to it, I found this one Vista-kworldclock.png and this one Crystal Clear app kworldclock.png So now I use the last one in the examples at {{ambox}}. What do you people think? I think a clock with red border might be more "urgent" just like in the old image so I probably will tinker with that. --David Göthberg 12:34, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

Here's an SVG globe-with-clock: Gnome globe current event.svg Anomie 15:41, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
I liked your image, but I could not help myself so I updated your image with a nicer (less flat) clock and a shadow. But I kept your "current events" clock hands since they were the best and the green globe you found is very nice. Unfortunately I had to move the clock since it was too much with the clock and shadow on the same side. I hope you like it. If not revert and tell me and I can upload my version under another name.
--David Göthberg 07:16, 14 September 2007 (UTC)
Looks good. Anomie 13:16, 14 September 2007 (UTC)


Can I just say, I'm in complete support of this whole proposal; particularly the colour coding (including purple for "merge"). It's a great idea - well done to those who've crafted it!--Rambutan (talk) 06:59, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

Seconded,; they look way more professional. Good stuff! Neil  17:13, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

The article message box meta template

I have now moved the meta template to {{ambox}} and added documentation there. If someone dislikes the name "ambox" please do join in the discussion above at #Short name form. It is not to late for another name change.

I think the documentation at {{ambox}} perhaps should stay "technical" and then we can have other documentation at Wikipedia:Template standardisation.

Could some of you guys give the documentation at {{ambox}} a work over? I feel it needs improvement and I bet my English is funny as usual.

--David Göthberg (talk) 22:16, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

I changed the default image for merge/split/transwiki used by the meta template:

Merge-arrows.svg Previous default image.
Edit-copy purple.svg Newer default image. (Based on the transwiki image.)

The old merge arrows only works for some merge cases, while I think the transwiki image works fairly well for all the cases merge/split/transwiki if people are sloppy and don't set a specific image. What do you people think?

--David Göthberg 23:20, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

I actually prefer the arrows, at least for merges (I'm neutral on X-Wiki). The arrows more clearly convey the nature of the proposed change, since (in theory) elements from both articles will be used in the end result. YMMV, of course. Horologium t-c 00:04, 10 September 2007 (UTC)
Oh yes, the arrows should definitely be used for {{merge}}. Just that the same parameter (type=merge) to the meta template is used also for {{mergefrom}}, {{mergeto}}, {{split}} and transwiki proposals and so on. So I wanted a more neutral default image if people forget to set the right image for each case. The default image is in no way meant to override the proper images for each case. We should perhaps mention in the meta template documentation that using more specific images is encouraged? --David Göthberg 00:43, 10 September 2007 (UTC)
Ach, I'm beginning to sound like a yes-man now, but - another good idea, David. The image that you uploaded does look better in purple, but I worry that it's still a bit faint, or too pastel. At least in comparison to the other default images. Also, I've also had a look over Template:Ambox/doc, but there doesn't seem to be much that needs doing. I'm sure people will catch on pretty quick! — Jack · talk · 02:59, Monday, 10 September 2007
If I may:
Merge-split-transwiki default.gif An alternative default for merge/split/transwiki.
--Father Goose 03:31, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

I changed my "paper" image to a sharper, less pastelly version since Jack asked for it. But oh, I like your version Father Goose. It looks like it means "move around" in some way, without specifying which way, which is perfect. So I went ahead and made a SVG version of your idea. But I used slightly thinner arrows more like the usual merge arrows:

Merge-split-transwiki default.svg SVG version based on Father Goose's image. (Now the default merge/split/transwiki image.)

Is that one OK or are the arrows now to thin?

--David Göthberg 05:31, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

Looks fine. For some reason the arrows are differently-sized in all the svg and gif versions: Merge-arrows.gif Merge-arrows.svg.--Father Goose 02:10, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
I made the arrows the new default merge/split/transwiki image for the {{ambox}}. So everyone, please take a look and say what you think. I don't know if it looks better but the meaning is better and I think that is the important part. --David Göthberg 04:20, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
Personally, I like the thinner "split" arrows rather than the thicker ones (as far as this new icon). —Remember the dot (talk) 05:34, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
Oh, sure, go and change Merge-arrows.svg on me so that they're both the same size now.  ;-p --Father Goose 05:59, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

Detach to separate file

I have rearragend the demo page as follows:

  • Actual code moved to Wikipedia:Template standardisation/CSS (maintain and update that copy)
  • Code transcluded on the demo page (so that people could still easily copy-paste it if they wanted)
  • Instructions updated to say the the method of inclusion is now the following addition to personal JS monobooks:
importStylesheet('Wikipedia:Template standardisation/CSS');

This significantly improves the maintenance (it's detached to a separate file) and updating by users (WP:CACHE instead of copying the code again). Миша13 13:35, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

Oh, very nifty! Thanks Миша13! I tested it and it worked fine in my Firefox 2.0 and Opera 9.02 but not my old Internet Explorer 5.5. I keep that old one for compatibility testing of web pages. So on the demo page I added a paragraph with instructions what to do if the javascript doesn't work.
--David Göthberg 15:24, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, that assumes it actually works. But importScript and importStylesheet are now so common by now that they have been ported to most modern browsers. Миша13 16:07, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
Could an admin protect that? It will mean that non-admins can't edit it, but a good, good idea. GracenotesT § 15:38, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
Until it's in development, we can probably leave it be, since we're not going to make it live by adding importStylesheet('Wikipedia:Template standardisation/CSS'); to Mediawiki:Common.js anyway. ;-) Миша13 16:07, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
Mm. Semi-protect then? I would prefer if not everyone were able to edit the CSS with which I view Wikipedia :) GracenotesT § 05:40, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
Oh, I see what Gracenotes mean. (Silly me, should have seen that too, I used to design security software for a living, long ago.) The javascript auto load feature that Миша13 added means people are loading new CSS code every web session, code that any one can edit.
Gracenotes: A simple solution is that you remove the javascript code from your monobook.js and instead hand copy and paste the CSS code to your monobook.css just like before. I do that myself since I want to be able to edit and test the code without all the rest of you being affected.
I don't expect any more changes to that code now so no real need to have the auto load now. Just put Wikipedia:Template standardisation/CSS on watch so you will notice if anyone updates the code. Then you can cut and paste the new version to your monobook.css when/if that happens.
Perhaps we should remove the auto load recommendation from the demo page?
And yes, I think that a semi protect on that code could be good anyway. The only ones that edit that code are (and should be) experienced editors. And it would be nasty if some IP changed the code just before we copy it into MediaWiki:Common.css. Any admin around that can set the semi protect?
--David Göthberg 07:01, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Semi'd. Due to caching, vandalism wouldn't take effect very fast, so watching it should be enough. Миша13 08:04, 13 September 2007 (UTC)