Wikipedia talk:Boilerplate text

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Is it considered detrimental to the Wikipedia for people to include links to WikiProjects at the bottom of article pages? I, for one, never would have considered the WikiProject U.S. States if I hadn't seen a link at the bottom of the State articles.

Mav is of the opinion that these notes aren't appropriate for Wiki pages, and he may be right. This is the comment he posted to Wikipedia talk:WikiProject French departements, along with some responses I've inserted:

  • When potential readers see it, they may feel obligated to visit and agree to the WikiProject in order to contribute.
You have to balance that against the harm of potential users who see a new page and have no idea how to contribute. Some articles are already well laid out, and people will feel uncomfortable adding to them without some idea of their structure.
  • Talk is a page for comments about how to improve the article. The article namespace is not a good place for this.
In theory, Talk is the best place for all meta info. However, we tend to include important info in the article (disambiguation notes, for instance), because people don't immediately go to the Talk page for this stuff. This is particularly true of inexperienced users.
  • Whenever we make articles we should try to make it as useful to readers as possible. Ugly tags detract from the article and are not intended for mere readers anyway; WikiProject tags are for contributors who want to majorly add to a set of articles. These people will visit talk anyway.
On the contrary. I've been here for a while so I know all about the WikiProjects. New users are the people who need the WikiProject tags. The worst you can say about them is that they give an impression that the article is a work-in-progress; this is hardly objectionable when the article is in fact very incomplete. The tags can be removed once the article reaches a certain level of maturity. They can be removed automatically if they follow a certain format.
  • These tags are self-conscience and considerations on how Wikipedia articles will look in print form are important (these tags will have to be removed before a print version is made, so it is best to limit their use).
This is another "Wikipedia should look great now" at the expense of its future development. Who cares how an article looks in print, if it's incomplete and useless? The tags can be removed once the article has been made worth printing.
  • WikiProjects are for a set of users to agree on a set of guidelines. Nobody else is bound by those guidelines. However the tag implies that those guidelines should be followed in order to contribute. This is very unwiki.
It seems that your objection is with WikiProjects themselves rather than simply the idea of adding links. WikiProjects clearly state that they're just a set of guidelines. If this is unclear, then it should be made so in the link.
  • The major WikiProjects (Countries, Elements and Sports) do not have these type of tags in articles (the talk pages od converted element articles mention who did the conversion and that the conversion was based on WikiProject Elements).
Complete pages don't need these tags anymore. Just incomplete ones like the auto-generated U.S. towns articles Ram-Man is currently adding. A lot of people are going to hit these carefully laid out, but woefully incomplete articles and be intimidated into not contributing. WikiProjects might give them a way forward. So long as the WikiProjects are clearly marked as being suggestions and not requirements.

Reaction: I have the feeling that these will give a way backward rather than forward. Imagining myself as a beginning Wikipedia-user, I don't see what's intimidating about having a page with some subheadings already put in that I would not contribute to it. However, if a page says "This page is part of Wiki-project so-and-so", I assume that there are some people working on these things, who will probably rather not be disturbed by my changes as they do a lot of more work on all these cities. And I (still as a new Wikipedian) don't have the courage or don't have the knowledge to really do a lot on this project, so I just leave this page to those WikipediaProject people too for the time being. Besides, I'd have to go through those project-rules first too. If that is not enough to intimidate someone, then a bit of text and some subheaders should also cause no problems. Andre Engels 16:33 Oct 22, 2002 (UTC)

I envisioned something along the lines of "This page was generated by a computer program and probably needs a lot of work. If you need suggestions, visit WikiProject U.S. Cities". I was hoping that wouldn't be intimidating. Dachshund

While I was originally of the idea to put these boilerplates in the articles themselves (In fact I put hundreds and maybe thousands of them in), I changed my view when confronted about it. In essence, they do not belong in an encyclopedia article. Nevertheless, I am still somewhat split. I am all about articles having a similar look so that they are consistant. That is always a good thing. Those users who are new will come in and add a line here or there. If someone wants to write a whole article, let them do so. Someone else can later bring it into a format consistant with the wikiproject. If someone is that motivated, there is a good chance that they already know about the wikiprojects anyway. And we can always *tell* them. Leave them in the talk pages. They can still be found. Oh, having the boilerplates artificially increases the byte count of articles (For what its worth). -- Ram-Man

I'm inclined to agree with Andre. So long as the article is incomplete enough that the WikiProject guidelines still have a strong potential impact on its future development, then it's reasonable to give the impression that the article is still being worked on by that jarring, unprofessional tag ^_^. — Toby 17:10 Oct 31, 2002 (UTC)

I feel like revisiting this. Didn't realize this discussion was so old. I've been a serious contributor to the Wikipedia:WikiProject Tree of Life pages. Part of our discussion of taxoboxes included considering putting a link to the relevant projects in the taxobox. Although I was (and still am) for the notion of having a link to the Projects in the article someplace, I'm even more interested in having te sidebar indicate that the work put into the article was done at least partly with the consideration of the guidelines of a Project. - UtherSRG 02:22, 16 Apr 2004 (UTC)

This discussion is older than God. Why hasn't it been resolved or archived somewhere in the Wikibowels? Oo, a new term. -Litefantastic 00:30, 7 May 2004 (UTC)

Various Topics[edit]

I added a boilerplate text for "see also"; the format that I used seems to be fairly standard, but not universal, which is my reason for adding it. — bdesham

In doing articles on, for instance, res ipsa loquitur, I've had some need for a legal disclaimer. Something analogous to the spoiler warning might work, for instance, "Wikipedia is not legal advice.", linking to a "Wikipedia:Wikipedia Is Not Legal Advice" page containing something like:

Wikipedia is intended as a general reference. It is not intended as a source of legal advice, and its writers are not necessarily licensed to practice law in any particular jurisdiction. For advice on legal matters, consult an attorney.

As a meta-disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, but a mere law student. Is there an attorney who should look this over before it gets implemented? -- Dreamword 01:27 Feb 11, 2003 (UTC)

In the disambiguation text choices, one place it uses '''_''' (three single quotes; bold) for the term, but in the other two it uses "_" (a double quote; quoted) for it. Me, I'm inclined to think it should be either '''''_''''' (five single quotes; bold & italic) or "'''_'''" (three single inside a double; quoted bold), but we should probably decide on one or the other either way. -- John Owens 13:51 Apr 14, 2003 (UTC)

For images, I've experimented with a padding of 10 pixels (as shown in the boilerplates), and also 5 pixels. My conclusion so far is that 5 pixels seem to be enough in all cases, and that 10 pixels seems to appear excessive in many cases. -- Egil 09:03 May 4, 2003 (UTC)

margin-left and margin-right are better than padding, because it only creates whitespace where required. 1em may be on the large side, or it may not. -- Egil 04:13 May 5, 2003 (UTC)
Image use policy has guidelines on this too, which are confusingly slightly different. Perhaps you could help resolve this? :)

I've drafted a Wikipedia:risk disclaimer if anyone has any suggestions questions, etc. please do not hesitate to contact me or post a comment on Wikipedia talk:risk disclaimer. It is just a proposed disclaimer and seems a good idea if you are writing text on Wikipedia that suggests dangerous activities such as bungee jumping. It is not a general disclaimer — there does not seem to be a policy to have a general disclaimer on Wikipedia as far as I can tell which is why you might want to put such a diclaimer on any page that describes very dangerous activities. No one would want anyone to try these things, but there are people who may not realize this when they read something on a web page, it seems to me that a prudent or reasonable person would want to warn others that the activity might be dangerous so that if the reader then followed the directions in the text, it would be their decision and not negligence on the part of the person posting the information. I doubt that Wikipedia could be held responsbile for anything posted as anyone can edit text. — Alex756

Isn't the fact that these activities are dangerous part of what we want to report on? Wikipedia is not a how-to guide so any NPOV article on any dangerous activity will explain, in some detail, why something is dangerous and then give some statistics to back up these data. Wouldn't that preclude any potential risk to the Wikipedia authors over the potential liability of what they write? IMO a risk disclaimer linked from individual articles is a very poor way to add this type of information to a topic. It would be far better to have a general disclaimer link next to the copyright info link on the bottom of every page on Wikipedia. Since we are a Wiki edited largely by non-experts then every page is a risky thing to rely on. My other thoughts on why this is a very bad idea are already on the above referenced talk page. --mav

For your consideration: I've been making a bunch of pages for abbreviations/acronyms, and frequently three-letter abbreviations, that look something like this (see GCS)

'''GCS''' is a [[three-letter abbreviation]] which has multiple meanings, including
*[[Glasgow Coma Scale]] in medicine
*[[Ground control station]] in telecommunications (see also: [[RQ-1 Predator]])
''This is a [[wikipedia:disambiguation|disambiguation]] page. If you followed a link here, you might want to go back and fix the link, so that it points to the appropriate page.''

I figure the link in the first sentence should read "abbreviation" ("three-letter abbreviation" if appropriate) if it is not pronounceable as a word, though "acronym" ("three-letter acronym") if it is pronounceable.

It might be good to break up the page a bit if there are also real words (like GNU vs. Gnu the animal). See BS as a possible example. —Mulad 21:20 30 May 2003 (UTC)

I propose an 'offensive material or links' boilerplate text to place on such wiki pages like Shock site -- Ilyanep

Capitalisation of External Links (and Section Headings in General?)[edit]

Capitalisation of External Links
How do others think external links should be capitalised?

I'm in agreement with the boilerplate text, it should have a lowercase 'l'. But i searched for 500 occurences of "external links", 100 had links, 350 had Links. (The other fifty must have had the words separate.)

Should this be made consistent? Tristanb 02:35 20 Jun 2003 (UTC)

I always lowercase "links" in passing whenever I'm editing an article. I also tend to lowercase anything else in a section header that isn't the first word or a proper noun. -- John Owens 08:23 20 Jun 2003 (UTC)

yeah, i'll change it in articles that i contribute to. what about a mass change? Tristanb 05:43 22 Jun 2003 (UTC)

That'd best be asked of User:Rambot or User:Ram-Man. That's his area of expertise. -- John Owens 20:44 23 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Interestingly enough I have done a decent number of those myself but I generally captilize the "L" so that it is consistent with all of the other entries such as "Law and Government", "Sites of Interest", and "Colleges and Universities" (see Lancaster, Pennsylvania). Now maybe this is wrong and we should follow a different standard, but in any case it would be easy to do a mass replace of headings to a single format. What is the reason for it being one way over the other? I've always capitilized the major headings because they are titles, but I do realize that the articles only capitilize the first word if it is not a proper word. But isn't that just so it is consistent to find articles? If you want to find an article on Chinese food, it is Chinese food, not Chinese Food. But this reason does not apply to headers as they are not titles. In this case I follow the standard literary format of capitilizing all the main words in a title/heading. This *is* supposed to someday be a print format, and doing it this way would keep it the same as the wide majority of other printed text. I personally think this makes the most sense to the broader audience, but maybe there is another compelling reason for it. -- Ram-Man
There is one problem with that though: The H1 title that heads each article (the article's name) is going to be usually lowercase unless it is a proper noun. So to be consistent the H2, H3 and H4 titles should follow the same convention. --mav
Now maybe I just misunderstand what you are talking about, but like I said above, shouldn't the title of each article be different simply because it is the title? The article's title is in a very different role than the article itself. -- RM
In a wiki the title should be the same as what a person would link to within the text. Since that is going to be lower-case most of the time (unless it is a proper noun or is the first letter) then the title should be lower-case. The title is the H1 heading of the article. Ergo H2, H3, H4 ect should also be lower-case (except the first letter and unless the particular words are proper nouns). All nice and logical. Oh, and even non-wiki texts (such as dictionaries and other encyclopedias) also usually lower-case common nouns. --mav
I can't say I prefer that way, but since the majority wants it that way, we can have it be that way. -- RM

Disambiguation Boilerplate[edit]

The longest of the boilerplates for disambiguation had a semicolon which i just replaced with a comma, to keep the noun phrase following it ("that is, one that just points to other pages that might otherwise have the same name") from being a sentence fragment.

But to come to the point, i am nearly as certain that the inner dependent clause in that noun phrase ("that might otherwise have the same name") is a statement contrary to fact and that its mode should therefore be subjunctive. IMO that follows from the fact that the statement "it might be" is contradicted by the statement "it isn't". If something has something else in some of the cases under discussion, then it might have the other thing in any particular (but as yet unspecified) case. In our situation, "other pages ..." never "... have the same name" bcz that would violate our basic software design, and our software is well enough implemented to prevent it.

Unless someone finds me so finicky that they object to the markup

''This is a [[Wikipedia:Disambiguation|disambiguation]] page, that is, one that just points to other pages that might otherwise have had the same name. If you followed a link here, you might want to go back and fix that link to point to the appropriate specific page.''

which will produce

This is a disambiguation page, that is, one that just points to other pages that might otherwise have had the same name. If you followed a link here, you might want to go back and fix that link to point to the appropriate specific page.

i propose to edit Wikipedia:Boilerplate text#Disambiguation accordingly. --Jerzy 18:23, 2003 Oct 30 (UTC)

Does one still have to add the link to Wikipedia:Links to disambiguating pages or Wikipedia:Multiple-place names if one uses the {{disambig}} tag? gracefool 10:57, 24 Jul 2004 (UTC)

New VfD text[edit]

The new VfD text says "...Please see that page..."

What page? It doesn't make sense now and I can't think how to reword it if the aim is avoid using the words "votes for deletion". Angela 20:37, 10 Nov 2003 (UTC)
I rephrased it. Is this better? Daniel Quinlan 09:01, Nov 11, 2003 (UTC)
This page has been listed as a potential candidate for deletion or other action. In the normal day to day operations of Wikipedia, some pages are deleted. Please see the "votes for deletion" page for justifications and discussion. If you have questions about why this page was listed, you can also ask Daniel Quinlan.
It makes sense again but I thought the aim was to avoid using the term "votes for deletion" because that too scary for newbies. Perhaps it just raises again the issue of whether the name of that page needs changing, particularly as pages may well be listed for "other action", not just deletion, as the boilerplate now says. See Wikipedia talk:Votes for deletion. Angela 18:00, 11 Nov 2003 (UTC)

How often do we put a deletion discussion on a talk page, as with Talk:Assessment of Adolf Hitler/Delete? I propose boilerplate of this form for such cases:

This page has been listed on Wikipedia:Votes for deletion. Please see that page for information on the deletion process, and Talk:(Page title)/Delete for justifications, discussion and the vote itself.

Tualha 00:02, 14 Dec 2003 (UTC)

The discussion only occurs on a separate delete page quite rarely, and you would never put it straight on a delete page. It goes to VfD first, and then if the conversation gets too long, you would move it and adapt the boilerplate to include a link to the delete page. There are already some boilerplates for these at Wikipedia:Archived delete debates, but check the talk page as they are currently disputed. Angela. 00:06, 14 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Standard for External Links[edit]

Can I put in a request that we make it an encouraged practice for external links to be more than just the raw URL, and include a proper written-out title whenever possible. For example, instead of just:

which is essentially gobbledy-gok, how about

Online Guide to Buffalo Nickels

The first one provides just about no information about where the reader is headed if they click the link, which I think is bad editorial practice. Whaddya think? Could we/should we tweak the boilerplate to reflect the need for better link labels? jengod 00:07, 10 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I agree. It would be good to remind of people of this. Angela. 06:24, 11 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Jengod, I am not sure why you posted this comment here -- I only came across it accidently -- but I am 110% in agreement. I consider bare URL's extremely reader unfriendly and I regularly pester people about this by fixing them and adding this text to the edit summary: For external link: give meaningful title instead of bare URL. I also added a text on this matter to: -- Viajero 10:37, 11 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Okay, in the name of editorial clarity, I'm goin' in! jengod 22:28, 12 Dec 2003 (UTC)


Why is "Listed for deletion" {{SUBST:vfd}} and not the easier-to-remember {{msg:vfd}} ? Pigsonthewing

Because it is possible the message might be unprotected in future, and would be a likely candidate for vandalism. Using msg means that vandalism of the Template:vfd page would change all the VfD notices on articles, whereas if you use subst, the message would not be changed by this. Angela. 20:29, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Lots of templates are unprotected. I don't think this is an issue really. Angela. 20:34, Oct 22, 2004 (UTC)
Actually, the reason is that VfD is a message that will only stay for a short time, so the advantages of msg (mainly being easy to replace) don't matter much, while the disadvantages (mainly being harder to understand in wikisource) matter more. (SUBST makes a copy of the text, MSG includes it dynamically.) For other texts, we have different recommendations. See Wikipedia:MediaWiki custom messages.—Eloquence
Thank you, both. Andy Mabbett 20:53, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I just thought of a new reason. When the discussion moves from VfD to the talk page as a result of the discussion getting too long, the VfD notice is changed to add a link to the talk page telling people to discuss it there. If subst is used, this involves changing "that page" to "the talk page". If msg is used, you have to go and find the old boilerplate, paste that in and then change the words. It would be a lot easier if the message had been subst so the boilerplate was already there in the edit box. Angela. 09:03, Feb 8, 2004 (UTC)
All VfD discussions now occur on subpages, so this is no longer a reason to use subst. Angela. 20:34, Oct 22, 2004 (UTC)
Yet another reason to have parameterized MSGs - or in this case a simplified implementation of parameterized MSGs would suffice - where #ARTICLENAME could be used in the MediaWiki: page and replaced by the name of the article on each occurence. Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 09:33, 10 Feb 2004 (UTC)
IMO it is smarter to use {{msg:vfd}}, because that makes it easy to find all places by looking at Special:Whatlinkshere/MediaWiki:Vfd. Or is the page shown there even if the text is pasted or substituted in?
And for me {{msg:vfd}} is easier to read than the pasted version :). Thue 18:46, 29 May 2004 (UTC)
Fair enough; it is actually included in the list even if the message is substituted in! I still think the message version is more readable though :). Thue 19:00, 29 May 2004 (UTC)

I don't like this at all. Using SUBST instead of message makes it much harder to find instances of the message which have mistakenly not been removed. anthony (see warning) 15:30, 9 May 2004 (UTC)

The current text is absurd for specifically ruling out the perfectly fine usage of either. --BesigedB (talk) 04:41, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)

See also links[edit]

Moved from Wikipedia:Village pump on Saturday, February 21, 2004.

What's the policy regarding "see also" or "related topics" links in articles? Some of them have literally dozens of links, some that seem only marginally related. For example, the article Homosexuality includes no less than 84 links to "related articles," including to frottage, oral sex and mutual masturbation, and that's in addition to the external links. Exploding Boy 00:29, Feb 15, 2004 (UTC)

Leave them. Ideally, they should go in the article. If they aren't, they should be. But better in th see-also section than not having them at all. →Raul654 03:01, Feb 15, 2004 (UTC)
See wikipedia: Lists (embedded lists)

Yes, but "related topics" surely should mean... related topics? How is frottage related to homosexuality, other than being a sexual technique also used by homosexuals? Ditto for oral sex and mutual masturbation. If nothing else it suggests homosexuality is only or primarily about sex. Surely a link to list of sex-related topics would suffice? But why have links to sexual desire, sexual attraction, sex, sexual intercourse, frottage, tribadism, oral sex, mutual masturbation, anal sex AND safer sex all for one article on homosexuality? Ditto for hustler, rent boy, molly house,consensual crime, perversion (??), and then to top it all off, list of gay-related topics ?

Compare the 80+ links on Homosexuality to the 31 links on [[Heterosexuality, several of which are actually about gay-related topics (eg: Reparative therapy and ex-gay)

Exploding Boy 03:10, Feb 15, 2004 (UTC)

Well, some of those absolutely belong in such an article (rent boy, for instance). Others probably don't. →Raul654 03:13, Feb 15, 2004 (UTC)

I'm not trying to be argumentative (really, I'm not) (deep breath), I'm just trying to understand the rationale because to be honest I'm having a problem with a certain editor and I'd like to figure out if my impressions are wrong or if I'm simply ignorant of policy, but would you mind telling me why rent boy, which links to the article prostitution, a quick scan of which reveals no reference to "rent boys" (though I may have missed it), has anything to do with homosexuality?
ETA: Surely the test would be "could these links be intergrated into the article text?"? Exploding Boy 03:19, Feb 15, 2004 (UTC)
Well, if you don't know want a rent boy is, allow me to enlighten you. A rent boy is a young, male, homosexual prostitute. The term is chiefly british, and originated in the 19th century. IIRC, the term can refer to either (a) the fact that they rent themselves out, or (b) after selling their servies, they use the money to pay their rent. It probably deserves an article on its own. Regardless, a link from the homosexuality article would seem in order. →Raul654 03:25, Feb 15, 2004 (UTC)

I know what a rent boy is, just not why it should be linked from homosexuality. After all, a prostitute, regardless of the gender of his or her clients, may or may not be homosexual; surely a link from "sexuality" would be better? Exploding Boy 03:33, Feb 15, 2004 (UTC)

And heterosexuality seems to get on quite nicely without a link to crack-whore.... -- Outerlimits 03:35, 15 Feb 2004 (UTC)
and with no references to oral or anal sex, frottage or, for that matter, prostitution.Exploding Boy

I'm curious - what do people here think the homosexuality and hetrosexuality articles should about? →Raul654 03:41, Feb 15, 2004 (UTC)

Why? There is a glut of links on the homosexuality page, and not all of them are "related" or justified. A single link to list of sexology topics would cover a huge swath of them, and list of gay-related topics would cover more. I fail to see how a specific link to frottage is necessary or appropriate on the homosexuality article. Exploding Boy 03:51, Feb 15, 2004 (UTC)
I agree - you have a point - there are 'related articles' there that need to go, but (personally) I wouldn't cast as wide a net as you did in your first post here. Regardless, some of those should come out. Your litmus test "could this be included in the article" is a good one, I think. →Raul654 03:58, Feb 15, 2004 (UTC)

Ok, well thanks for your replies. I'll bring this up (with some trepidation) on the talk: homosexuality page. Exploding Boy 03:59, Feb 15, 2004 (UTC)

You are perfectly free to delete links which you think are irrelevant without getting anyone's permssion. I do it all the time. Adam 04:42, 16 Feb 2004 (UTC)

What do you think about these tests for See Also links:

  • Is this something that should be in the article, but there's already an article about it.
  • Is this something that is already linked in the artticle but is likely to be overlooked or is important enough to be repeated, or a significant number of other links (over 3/4ths, perhaps) are also in See Also, so this one is added also, for consistency.
  • Is it something that you'd expect to NOT see in a List Of article which is already linked.

Scott McNay 17:45, 2004 Feb 21 (UTC)

External links or link[edit]

Hi, I find myself in a sort of "revert skirmish" with a well-known vigilant Wikipedian over whether the standard section heading ==External links== should be in plural or singular when there's actually only one link in the section. My preference is the plural form, on grounds of simplicity ("effortless scalability"), but I can't seem to find any explicit style guide statement regarding this or the opposite view. Information on rules and/or precedence, anyone? --Wernher 23:54, 27 Feb 2004 (UTC)

You don't mean me do you? It sounds the sort of thing I'd do but I hadn't noticed I was in any revert wars over it, not purposefully anyway. I think external links when there is only one is incorrect and I've changed quite a few of these lately. If someone is adding new links, it is easy enough for them to add the "s" then. I think this is far preferable to having a heading which is simply false. Angela. 02:48, Feb 29, 2004 (UTC)
Well, I guess we disagree on this one, then. No very big deal, I admit, and I do not intend to waste much time on it. I have stated my view, which is that the plural form makes for the more general term, and this is perfectly logical, as in "the number of external links is one" -- it's not as though "one" is not a number, is it? Such generalisation is found many places, so I found it the most natural form, as I noted above. As regards my rv skirmish opponent: nope, it's not you. :-)--Wernher 17:50, 29 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Personally I go for the plural. I don't agree that this is false in any logical sense. If someone asks "are there external links" and there is only one, the answer is still yes. Note the plural marker in the question. If there were any implicit information in the use of the plural marker, then the answer to this question would be no. I think if someone were to answer "no, there's only one" it would be flippantly, and they'd be seen as pedantic.
PedantI assume that last comment is NOT a personal attack, ha ha. I don't think pedantic would be an appropriate description as your argument
If someone asks "are there external links" and there
is only one, the answer is still yes. Note the 
plural marker in the question. If there were any 
implicit information in the use of the plural marker, 
then the answer to this question would be no.
seems flawlessly correct to me, as well. I prefer the plural for the additional reason that it encourages 'wiki behavior', an 'external links' section with only one link cries out for more links, encouraging the beginning of an edit cycle.Pedant 01:10, 6 Aug 2004 (UTC)
So it's more a matter of grammatical agreement than of truth or falsehood. As a native speaker, I find the plural here completely unobjectionable, so I'd say in terms of modern descriptive grammar there isn't a problem. In terms of prescriptive grammar there would have been, but that's a hundred years out of date. Andrewa 05:54, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)

What is the difference between "disputed" and "dubious"? Why do we need both? Seems to me that "disputed" is a statement of opinion. Disputed is factual, even if one disagrees with the person disputing the statement. IMHO, keep disputed and get rid of dubious. pstudier 06:34, 30 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Free software[edit]

I've removed the following since it's a template, not a boilerplate text, and because this page is not the appropriate venue for either a description of knowledge or for pushing the idea that people ought to use free software. Angela. 18:21, Aug 12, 2004 (UTC)

Wikipedia articles are supposed to present knowledge, which, following the terminology of Immanuel Kant, can be classified as either
Both sorts of knowledge, especially that which is considered scientific, require logical and mathematical representations and calculations, which are clearly beyond what should be placed on wikipedia itself. However, a vast free (as in free speech) software community exists, and by improving the interface between wikipedia and free software which is useful for testing knowledge, for applying it and for original research, we could hopefully improve the rate at which there are more and more negative feedback and positive feedback loops on the quality of knowledge represented in the wikipedia.
Clearly the number of people who can directly test synthetic propositions, e.g. on the latest research in particle physics or cosmology is extremely small. However, the empirical data is often more or less publicly available, and in the case of analytic propositions, it is clear that many, many more people could participate directly in testing this sort of knowledge if they were aware of the free software tools which are available, and to which they can contribute.
So... if you are working on an article for which free (as in free speech) software exists, please add a template
{{Free software}}
to the reference (either internal wikipedia or external to e.g. the software developers' page) to the appropriate software package. As of mid 2004, many people still either are unaware of or find it very difficult to find free software for a subject they are interested in, but wikipedia is the natural place where links should be encouraged.

Cleaning up the article[edit]

Any suggestions on what to do about cleanup? Krupo 05:46, Oct 28, 2004 (UTC)

Is there really any actual cleanup need? This isn't a topical page, this is purely a manual-type page. I see no problem with it at all. It doesn't need to be verbose. Eequor, as you added the cleanup stub, what do you see as the problems? T2X 03:02, Dec 7, 2004 (UTC)

Request for New Boilerplate[edit]

I think a boilerplate for dangerous stunts should be added. For example, donkey punch is written as though it is a sex act that people actually do; but it is both dangerous and illegal, and I have heard of no cases of anyone actually doing such a thing. I think it might be appropriate to have a warning label on all such entries, like sword-swallowing or the like. Eric Herboso 02:31, 21 Feb 2005 (UTC)

That seems like a good idea[edit]

Do you mean that a boilerplate should be made kind of like a "Do not try this at home" warning? --Ironchef8000 23:09, 3 November 2005 (UTC)

How do I....[edit]

How do I create boxes by putting in something like what was created for {{Districts of Birmingham}}. How was this made and how could I make one? - Erebus555«|»TALK

Where to Put the Boilerplate Text box?[edit]

Shouldn't there be some rules about where Boilerplate text boxes go?

Like "vfd", "delete", "attention", "cleanup", "#REDIRECT", "POV", should always go at the top?

And; "disambig", should go at the bottom?

What are the rules. I put "cleanup" at the top, and someone came along and moved it to the bottom of the article.

WikiDon 04:07, 7 September 2005 (UTC)

Clean the article up please[edit]

When making revisions to the page, please try not to repeat information already created. Also, whoever has been working on the page, please clean it up. There are four or five "See Also" sections, most of which repeat each other. When editing an article, please try to keep it clean and organized. Thanks — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 00:58, 25 October 2005 (UTC)


I think the warning, npov, etc. banners should be standardized. It seems like most of them say the same thing, but look slightly different. Standards, my friends, are key parts of any organized system, in this case Wikipedia. Actually, it's pretty ironic that the article "standard" isn't even standardized (I think you guys call it "wikified," right?). — Preceding unsigned comment added by Fuzzform (talkcontribs) 05:30, 3 November 2005 (UTC)

What actually belongs in this article...[edit]

There seems to be a problem. Now, dont get me wrong, I think that people adding to wikipedia is great. However it needs to be put in the proper section. Boilerplate Text is the decal/logo things that appear at the top of a page (Neutrality, Current Event, etc). Boilerplate text is not just any formatting. Please try to clean up this article and to only add what is appropriate. Thank you. --Ironchef8000 23:05, 3 November 2005 (UTC)

Page cleanup[edit]

This page is a mess. It has an incomplete smattering of useful templates which overlaps with Wikipedia:Cleanup resources and Wikipedia:Template messages. I don't think it's helpful to new editors to have things so hard to find. I think this page should be purged of anything already included on one of those other pages, and listed as a "see also" link from them. -- Beland 09:28, 6 November 2005 (UTC)

Hearing no objections, I implemented my proposal. The edit of mine before the template purge has a much cleaner version of the page, if anyone cares to revert. -- Beland 03:38, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

Fair use notice for text[edit]

Post this text in the footnotes or at the top of the text.

Used under the [ fair use policy] of the United States copyright law, and under [ Wikipedia fair use policy] See also: [ What is "Fair Use" in Copyright Law?]

I removed this notice because I have never seen this used for text, and in fact, it should not be. Any quotations should simply cite their sources. There are far too many quotations for each one to get a legal notice like this, and these notices are unnecessary. -- Beland 03:38, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

Further cleanup[edit]

A lot of the remaining content was an incomplete version of Wikipedia:How to edit a page, so I removed the overlap and left a pointer. -- Beland 03:07, 10 November 2005 (UTC)

After that, there wasn't much left, so the remainder has been merged with more complete pages. A lot of new user messages still link here, though, so this page may need to be kept around as a list of helpful links. (Though perhaps eventually it will be untangled.) -- Beland 03:29, 10 November 2005 (UTC)

A certain omission noticed...[edit]

I realised not long ago that when someone says "boilerplate text" I have no idea what they're talking about, so I came here. But even this page does not explain what the term means. I understand that the page is possibly defunct now, due to "an explosion of templates and wiki syntax" but perhaps someone could write a sentence or two explaining the term "boilerplate text" on the page? --Qirex 12:33, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

MfD Result Notice[edit]

This page was the subject of an MfD discussion closed on 19 June 2006. The result was Keep, tag as historical. Xoloz 16:56, 19 June 2006 (UTC)


Are boilerplate messages obsolete or something (which I don't think they are, cause I see them everywhere), or is this just something nobody feels like talking about? Nineteenninetyfour 21:56, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

  • No; most talk pages simply aren't frequented by many people. Did you have any particular question? (Radiant) 16:48, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

Edit request[edit]

This historical page is currently found in Category:Pages needing attention, because an old version of {{cleanup}} was subst'd into the text (in the section "This page needs attention"). The category link should be deleted; it is not visible to readers and serves no purpose. --Russ (talk) 17:47, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Yes check.svgY Commented out – {{Nihiltres|talk|log}} 13:28, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

Edit request[edit]

The section Wikipedia:Boilerplate_text#This_article_lacks_detail_and_needs_to_be_expanded is dedicated to the long-since deleted template {{expand}}, and so should be removed. User:GKFXtalk 19:01, 5 March 2015 (UTC)

Red information icon with gradient background.svg Not done: The page is marked as historical, so we probably shouldn't fiddle with it. If it was a current page then I'd fulfil this request, but I'm not sure it's the right course of action here. — Mr. Stradivarius ♪ talk ♪ 23:59, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

Another edit request[edit]

Please remove all interwiki links. They are handled by Wikidata.--GZWDer (talk) 07:39, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Graham87

Edit request: Making the disuse of this page more newcomer-friendly[edit]

People will often skim text to get to the center of the matter, especially if they are overwhelmed, in a new environment, or both. I'm currently working on Wikipedia:Glossary#B, and I will remove its link to this page. But for the sake of newcomers (although not that many of them would arrive here), I suggest the following edits directly on this page {removals struck through and changes in bold, with all being in the "white space" intro area, not the message boxes}:

Note: Since this page is no longer in use, see Help:Template or WP:WikiProject Templates instead. You can also see Wikipedia:Questions or visit The Teahouse to ask questions or seek help.
This page is was designed to provide simple "copy and paste" versions of text which is was very commonly used, but where using a Template is was unnecessary.
This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.

My suggested edits for the "This page..." paragraph are not as important in my view as adding the note and removing the line that calls for new participation. Thanks for whatever decision you make! --Geekdiva (talk) 23:38, 27 August 2016 (UTC)