Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Layout

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WikiProject Manual of Style
WikiProject icon This page falls within the scope of WikiProject Manual of Style, a drive to identify and address contradictions and redundancies, improve language, and coordinate the pages that form the MoS guidelines.

Duplicate wikilink[edit]

#Section templates and summary style shows "references to such articles may be placed immediately after the section heading for that section, provided this does not duplicate a wikilink in the text." The last part is redundant and causes confusion. At first I thought that it was referring to something different from WP:REPEATLINK. SLBedit (talk) 14:33, 28 June 2015 (UTC)

Seems clear to me. It just means that if a link naturally appears in the section it should not also be given by a {{see also}} or similar template. This is the same guidance as for links in the See also section, e.g. WP:NOTSEEALSO. If the links occur naturally as wikilinks within article text then there is no need to provide additional links in a See also section or hatnote. It is redundant in that it says mostly the same thing but many of our guidelines do this.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 14:59, 28 June 2015 (UTC)
Okay. I looked at Wikipedia and it is not respecting that guideline, in three sections. SLBedit (talk) 15:05, 28 June 2015 (UTC)
Agree with JohnBlackburne. I've been fixing these quite a few myself. Cheers! Jayaguru-Shishya (talk) 17:19, 28 June 2015 (UTC)
What if the duplicate link links to a section? Should we keep it? SLBedit (talk) 00:05, 29 June 2015 (UTC)
And what if the {{see also}} repeats a link in a navigation box but does not repeat in the article's body? SLBedit (talk) 05:28, 29 June 2015 (UTC)

"See also" content[edit]

Is it acceptable practice to provide links to Wikipedia templates in the "See also" section? Examples of what I'm talking about can be seen here, here, here, and at about 20 other recently-edited artclespace locations.

I've been discussing the matter a little with a few editors and there seems to be two schools of thought:

  • One thought is that this practice might violate the spirit of MOS:SELFREF and that WP:SEEALSO's recommendation to add "internal links to related Wikipedia articles" (emphasis added) implicitly excludes "Wikipedia templates, help pages, manuals of style, etc." The place to publicize Wikipedia's templates, then, would be in "talk" (e.g. WikiProject talk).
  • On the other hand, it has been suggested that the "See also" section of articles on topics like ISBN,,, etc. may be the most likely place for Wikipedia editors to look when they are searching for the appropriate template to use when editing and that adding templates to the "See also" section might be a good way to publicize the existence of some of Wikipedia's more under-utilized templates.

I'm interested in hearing the community's view on this and then altering the text of WP:SEEALSO to clarify the situation.
I've cross-posted a request for participants to this discussion here as well.

Prior discussions/background: 1, 2, 3
Thanks in advance for your comments. -Thibbs (talk) 15:07, 9 July 2015 (UTC)

Pinging editors previously discussing this issue: Knife-in-the-drawer, Magioladitis, Jeraphine Gryphon -Thibbs (talk) 15:07, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Thanks for the ping. I'm pretty sure that for now I subscribe to the first school of thought you listed. I'm willing to listen to counterarguments to it, though. — Jeraphine Gryphon (talk) 15:10, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Absolutely the first school of thought. --Izno (talk) 17:17, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Clearly case #1. Passive links to templates don't belong into article space or article category space (or any other page aimed at users in their role as readers rather than editors). It's a name space violation - it's like a goof in a movie, or a blue screen with crash dump. It looks unprofessional, as the goal of our collaborative efforts, the product, is to present an encyclopedia, not to disturb the reader with how it was done. Beyond the artistic point of view as authors, such name space or layer violations can also cause technical problems, f.e. when the work needs to be transferred to other media.
I acknowledge, however, that templates can be sometimes hard to find. To promote the existance and usage of a template, it should be mentioned on the article's talk page. Perhaps there are other means to promote a template as well, but this would be beyond the scope of this discussion in regard to WP:SEEALSO, I think.
--Matthiaspaul (talk) 18:38, 3 August 2015 (UTC)

RFC on Position of Refimprove tag[edit]

An RfC is now in progress on the proper position of {{refimprove}} in an article, adn the degree to which this page's suggestions indicate consensus for putting it at the top of an article. The RFC is at Template talk:Refimprove#RfC: Location of Tag, and the formal RfC statement is: "Where should a {{refimprove}} tag be placed in an article? MOS:LAYOUT says that maintenance templates, of which this is one, should be among the headers. But some editors (see the section above) assert that there is no consensus for this, and that the MOS does not establish such consensus. I ask for discussion leading to a clear consensus one way or the other on this point." Additional views are welcome. DES (talk) 16:17, 29 September 2015 (UTC)

the Layout of header sections, I think it needs more[edit]

I was reading the header part of Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Layout#Order of article elements and that made me wonder:

  • Can/ should a page have more than one infobox ? (the list speaks in the plural)
  • Should the "Foreign character warning boxes" not be before the info boxes? (assuming that the infobox can contain the foreign characters)

The info on this section is very minimal, more information can be found at Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Lead section but then there is no link to that page. (not regarding the headers that is) But even then does this part (the header of an article) not deserve its own Wikipedia:Manual of Style/header section subpage? I did make a link of Navigational boxes (header navboxes) to wikipedia:SIDEBAR and maybe this part can also be expanded on that page. (not all sidebars are relevant here I guess) WillemienH (talk) 23:58, 8 November 2015 (UTC)

Regarding multiple infoboxes, it's sometimes done when a subject is notable in multiple domains. Pat Connaughton plays both basketball and baseball, and has both types of infoboxes. While this "can" happen, it probably shouldn't as it looks clunky IMO; in the ideal world, infoboxes would be more modular to allow for the rare hybrid case. Some infoboxes are designed to include others—see Mark Harmon, who is an actor and former athlete—but even that has some rough edges.—Bagumba (talk) 22:52, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
It's confusing that at WP:ORDER the term "Lead section" is used for the initial chunk of text (listed as the first part of "Body", after a group of items under "Headers"), while the link WP:Lead section leads us to a page which includes all of those "Headers" items as "Elements of the lead".
It would also be useful to have a more detailed list of "what goes where" to include:
They are distinct from the maintenance templates, in that they are permanent aspects of the article - in the case of "Italic title" it's a bit of code to produce an effect, in the other cases a note for editors - but nothing that needs to be dated, or removed when actioned. I think they probably go alongside the Foreign character warning boxes, but it would be helpful if they had a specific home so that their presence or otherwise in an article could be checked quickly. Perhaps all that's needed is for "Foreign character warning boxes" in WP:ORDER to be replaced by some broader category which would clearly include these other things. PamD 15:26, 14 December 2015 (UTC)

See also and navboxes[edit]

WP:ALSO currently advises: "As a general rule, the "See also" section should not repeat links that appear in the article's body or its navigation boxes." However, WP:NAVBOX slightly differs: "Do not rely solely on navboxes for links to critical or important articles. Navboxes are not displayed on the Mobile Web site for Wikipedia, which accounts for approximately 30% of readers." When I use the mobile site, I find it annoying that I can't get to links because no navbox is rendered. I think ALSO needs to be softened and harmonized with NAVBOX to allow a few "critical" links that might repeat what is already in navboxes.—Bagumba (talk) 20:53, 11 November 2015 (UTC)

WP:NAVBOX was recently changed to say that without (verbal) consensus and should probably considered, rather than changing this guideline. --Izno (talk) 14:03, 12 November 2015 (UTC)
@Izno: It appears WhatamIdoing made the change two months ago in early September. Ar you arguing that WP:SILENCE is a weak form of consensus, challenging that 30% on mobile is inflated, or contending that no concessions are needed for mobile readers?—Bagumba (talk) 00:02, 13 November 2015 (UTC)
The change at NAVBOX was due to a discussion at the Village Pumps.
Removing the information from NAVBOX wouldn't change the facts: Navboxes are suppressed on all pages at – even the template pages themselves. shows a series of blue boxes; shows nothing between the page title and the documentation.
IMO links to "critical or important" articles ought to be present in the article itself, but if they aren't (e.g., because it's a stub), then you should WP:Ignore WP:ALSO and use whatever common-sense measures will help the reader, until such a time as the link is properly integrated into the article itself. After all, ALSO explicitly says "as a general rule" rather than "in all cases". ALSO has always acknowledged the necessity of using different approaches in different circumstances. This diff will show you the most significant change to this line in the last five years, and it went from saying that a navbox "may substitute for many links" to saying that they "generally should not repeat links which appear" in navboxes. The "which appear" part is increasingly important, because for 30% of our page views (and growing), the links in navboxes quite literally do not "appear". WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:47, 13 November 2015 (UTC)
Which brings us back to Bagumba's suggestion that WP:ALSO be more explicitly harmonized with the current text in WP:NAVBOX. That suggestion makes sense to me. Butwhatdoiknow (talk) 12:41, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

Issue: unable to find MOS/Layout doc for template 'Subject bar'[edit]

Greetings, In my reading through various articles, I found Ælfheah of Canterbury which uses the {{Subject bar}} template. In the MOS/Layout archives, there is mention from 2011 here when template was created. Wondering if Subject bar documentation needs to be added into MOS/Layout section? Or am I just not looking in the right place within MOS? Regards,  JoeHebda (talk)  15:20, 7 February 2016 (UTC)