Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Layout

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Manual of Style    (Inactive)
WikiProject icon This page was within the scope of WikiProject Manual of Style, a project which is currently considered to be inactive.


I suggest changing the following:

This section is not intended as a repository for general references that were used to create the article content.


This section is not intended as a repository for general references or full citations that were used to create the article content.

Basically, the section tries to instruct how to ensure that works that verify article content and works that don't are listed separately. This is, however, not the case (neither in the guideline or even always in articles).

In the following example, the book on the heat of the Sun was consulted (it is a "general reference"). The guideline tells you not to group it with the further reading entry:


The sun is pretty hot.

Further reading

  • Miller, Edward. The Sun's Size. Celestial Books, 2013.
  • Smith, John. The Sun's Heat. Academic Press, 2005.

However, the definition of "general references" does not include full citations of works that are cited through short citations. Thus the current guideline does not forbid the following, which confuses works that are cited and works that are not:


The sun is pretty hot.[1]


  1. ^ Smith, 2005, p. 2.

Further reading

  • Miller, Edward. The Sun's Size. Celestial Books, 2013.
  • Smith, John. The Sun's Heat. Academic Press, 2005.

Should the suggested wording be adopted, editors could place full citations under any title they choose except for the confusing "Further reading":


The sun is pretty hot.[1]


  1. ^ Smith, 2005, p. 2.
  • Smith, John. The Sun's Heat. Academic Press, 2005.

Further reading

  • Miller, Edward. The Sun's Size. Celestial Books, 2013.

– Finnusertop (talkcontribs) 23:53, 2 May 2017 (UTC)


  • Support. Full citation information should go to the "Bibliography" section. —Codename Lisa (talk) 06:02, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
  • Support. I suggest you add "; these are usually listed in the References section" to the end of the sentence. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Butwhatdoiknow (talkcontribs) 15:08, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
    • @Codename Lisa: are you happy with the above addition by Butwhatdoiknow? – Finnusertop (talkcontribs) 23:02, 13 May 2017 (UTC)
      • To be honest, I assumed this discussion entails adding a lot more elaboration than this. It is feeble addition, I don't disagree with it because I support adding more instructions. —Codename Lisa (talk) 03:45, 14 May 2017 (UTC)
  • mildly support I would prefer two sentences since they are saying two different things. When the full citations are separated out and only brief citations given in the 'Reference' section, then I agree with Codename Lisa. When there is no separate "full citation" section, they belong where first cited in the 'Reference' section, as at least partially indicated by Butwhatdoiknow. A better solution would be something like: This section is not intended as a repository for general references that were used to create the article content; nor should it replace a "Bibliography" section as the repository for full citations where brief citati"ns are used in footnotes.' --Bejnar (talk) 16:12, 14 May 2017 (UTC)
  • If this is a problem that we're seeing, then I support adding a short clarification. Note that WP:Further reading#Relation to reference sections could contain much more detail, if that were needed. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:19, 15 May 2017 (UTC)

RFC on bottom matter[edit]

If you are interested in MOS:APPENDIX questions (such as where to place templates like {{authority control}}), then please see Template talk:Medical resources#RfC on placement of Medical condition classification and resources template. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:20, 15 May 2017 (UTC)

Use of {{section link}} in See Also sections[edit]

I suggest adding something to the following effect to MOS:SEEALSO:

"Links to specific sections in other articles should use the {{Section link}} template, if a piped link is not being used."

It looks neater, and I see most see also sections linking to a section, don't use it yet, so it is worth promoting as style. Take the example:


The "§" style is already in general use as part of {{see also}}, and more see also sections are using it over time. edit:I think we should use the § sign for the same reason we don't use underscores in links. It looks neater, looks less technical, and also has more common usage in printed written texts than "#".16:44, 26 May 2017 (UTC) --BurritoBazooka Talk Contribs 17:05, 25 May 2017 (UTC)

  • Support. However, I must confess that I am a bit of involved supporter. I was the motivator behind both {{section link}} and what happened to {{See also}}, {{Main}} and others. But again, I must say I did all those things slowly and carefully, after seeing how community was welcoming to the use of § sign. —Codename Lisa (talk) 09:51, 26 May 2017 (UTC)

Position of {{Expand French}} etc[edit]

Belated note from original poster: although I pinged Ettrig as a courtesy as they were the editor I noticed moving an Expand template from top to bottom, I posted this message here hoping for wider discussion among those interested in the layout of articles. PamD 11:51, 5 June 2017 (UTC)

@Ettrig: The documentation at {{Expand French}} says: "This template marks an opportunity, not a fault. It is less important than a stub mark. Therefore it should not be used as an urgent warning in the beginning of articles." but gives no indication where it should be placed. Presumably all this family of templates have similar wording - I've checked {{Expand Afrikaans}} and it certainly does.

There is no mention of this group of templates in WP:ORDER, as far as I can see. It would be useful if these templates had a mention in WP:ORDER - somewhere in "Bottom matter", perhaps after the "Featured list" etc templates?

One of these templates has recently been moved from top to bottom of an article, with edit summary (Moving template to bottom, this is not the most important info): I don't disagree but am sure I've seen these templates at the top of many articles and would like to see a statement in this MOS guideline.

Ah, have just noticed discussion at Template_talk:Expand_French#Do not place at the top, and now found Template_talk:Expand_language#Attempts_to_change_the_placement_of_expand_language_templates_without_consensus. Lots of reading there, but extremely relevant to this MOS guideline which is where people will look for a definitive answer. PamD 07:51, 5 June 2017 (UTC)

Thanks! (The latest part of that discussion is two steps further down.) I think the cause of the peculiar state of this phenomenon is a general lack of interest. The usage is rather low intensity. The existing pattern is to put the template at the top. Several protests have been "voiced", but the discussions die out without a firm conclusion being reached. The users of the template think (reasonably) that the existing pattern constitutes a consensus.
I think you point at a couple of places that may be good for settling this issue. Could you suggest one place to start? --Ettrig (talk) 08:04, 5 June 2017 (UTC)
Hmm. You already HAVE started. Thanks again! Let's see what this leads to. --Ettrig (talk) 08:05, 5 June 2017 (UTC)
I'll add my opinion later, but first, some background: Historical usage since template creation in 2008 was to place {{Expand French}} at the top of the page. (For a while, vagueness of the instructions led some users to place it on the Talk page, which resulted in Talk pages being auto-categorized as "needing Expansion from French" until that was corrected.) This template is part of a series of templates ({{Expand Spanish}}, {{Expand German}}, etc.) which are generated by {{Expand language}}. The latter transcludes its documentation in the usual way, and also via Expand language/howto in the case of the green sentence quoted by PamD above; that is why it is included in all of the series of "Expand" templates. The howto page was created in 2009, and the first mention of "opportunity, not a fault; less important than a stub mark" and of positioning at the bottom of the page was on 30 Aug 2016, here. Thereafter ensued a slow edit war about positioning, which remains unresolved. Attempts to implement bottom positioning of the template by fait accompli started 18 April 2017, I believe at least as far back as August 2016, involving hundreds of edits, followed by a pause on May 5. These edits have resumed again as of May 30, with another 500 edits since then. And that's where we stand now. A prior discussion about this is here. Mathglot (talk) 10:05, 5 June 2017 (UTC) update by Mathglot (talk) 10:15, 5 June 2017 (UTC)

My request is that this template should be placed near the bottom of the articles and that the documentation should say this. The main argument for this is the principle that the articles should have the most important information first, combined with my evaluation that this template does not hold important information. The only value for the reader is the potential indirect effect of inspiring to a translation effort. This hope is dubious. Of the last 100 articles that I checked and changed, a vast majority of the articles were tagged in 2008, so they have disturbed the reader for a very long time, without the wanted effect. Exactly 83 (of the 100) pointed to articles in French that were marked as stubs. The vast majority of them were bot generated. So the request wasn't even reasonable. This shows that the process around this template does not provide for reasonable quality of marking, which in turn points at low importance.

The only counter argument that I have seen is that there is a consensus for status quo and that therefore a consensus must be reached for a change to take place. This argument is not valid. Already the second discussion on this talk page raises the same concern. That discussion died out without reaching a conclusion. It mentions two RFCs that showed the same pattern. When I much more recently raised the concern, the one answer was positive concerning the substance.

The Expand template can be compared to the stub marking. Stub marking marks a deficiency. Still it is put at the bottom of articles, so as not to disturb the reader more than necessary. Expand does not even mark a deficiency, so it is less important. Therefore it is even less reasonable to let it disturb the reader a much as it does when it is placed on the top of the article. The stub template is also smaller and therefore even less disturbing. It can be assumed that the handling of the stub template is more thoroughly thought thru, since it is orders of magnitude more common. --Ettrig (talk) 10:59, 5 June 2017 (UTC)

I prefer that these notices go on the top of articles, with a second preference for the talk page. Using this at the bottom of articles is unsightly and unexpected. (Stub templates look different from other templates -- as far as I know, there is not a single template using the ambox master template that goes on the bottom of article pages.) My preference for placing this on the top of article pages is partly based on the usefulness of this template to readers of the article -- which was more clear a few revisions back of the template. This template includes a link to Google translate, so casual readers are notified that there is a better article in another language and given a link to a machine translation. This is now hidden in the collapsed part of the template, but is theoretically accessible. If this template is placed on an article talk page, readers will not be informed of the existence of a better article, and potential translators are unlikely to see the template. On the other hand, these templates are admittedly acted on fairly rarely. I'm not sure it's fair for Ettrig to cite the random geostubs that got tagged with this template en masse, but even articles viewed far more are rarely translated. That's why my second choice is on the talk page -- like the requested photo template (another request that few readers are capable of fulfilling). Calliopejen1 (talk) 20:59, 5 June 2017 (UTC)
Yes, this template is unsightly at the bottom. However, it is just as unsightly at the top. This is because it is modelled after templates made for alerts, for alerting the reader to deficiencies in the article. But this template is not about a deficiency. It only expresses a wish by one user that other users do work that this user thinks should be done, but cannot or does not want to. The argument about unexpected is vacuous. I wish that Wikipadedia editors were more interested in reading statistics, but the community isn't. A very large percentage of these templates point to geostubs. This is a fact that should be weighed in. --Ettrig (talk) 03:57, 6 June 2017 (UTC)
{{Ambox}} is used not just for "alerts" (admittedly, I'm not entirely sure what you mean by this term) but also to various ways that an article could be improved by Wikipedia editors. There is {{Underlinked}}, {{Travel guide}}, {{Arabic script needed}}, {{Alphabetize}}, {{Missing-taxobox}}, etc. etc. These all "express[] a wish by one user that other users do work that this user thinks should be done, but cannot or does not want to". I'm not sure why you believe this box is different in kind from those templates. Not all editors are equipped to fulfill translation requests but then again not all editors are equipped to add Arabic script to articles. And as for "unexpected" it is unexpected at the bottom because these banners indicate that there is a problem with the text/article that follows the banner. (E.g. when the banner is at the start of a section, it means that the section that follows needs some sort of work.) And I don't see why the usage of this template on geostubs is relevant to the placement of the template. Re: unsightly I personally find it strange and unbalanced to have a bright banner at the bottom of the article, but I suppose perhaps I should just strike "unsightly" in favor of "unexpected" because that is by far the bigger issue. Calliopejen1 (talk) 05:41, 6 June 2017 (UTC)
I would like to contribute some substantive comments to the point under discussion, namely the proper position of this template, but I feel that something important is standing in the way.
Since this discussion began (11:51, 5 June 2017 (UTC)), User:Ettrig has altered the template position on an additional eighteen one hundred sixty four articles while this discussion is going on. What can be the meaning of this? You have already been clearly asked to stop acting unilaterally about this question on more than one occasion. Continuing along this path of trying to establish a fait accompli for your favored position on the one hand, while engaging in a discussion of the very same point on the other, is contemptuous of your fellow editors. You can hardly expect to have a reasoned discussion with others while you are doing whatever you please behind the scenes to implement your point of view.
I propose that this discussion of the proper positioning of the {{Expand language}} series of templates be put on temporary hold, until such disruptive editing stops. I'm not sure how others feel about this, but to me, the latter is a minimum bar to a reasonable discussion among equals having mutual respect for each other. Mathglot (talk) 06:42, 6 June 2017 (UTC) updated by Mathglot (talk) 09:20, 11 June 2017 (UTC)
It is a good thing that this discussion is now occurring. My actvities promted it. (See the beginning of this thread.) I repeat: There is no consensus on this issue. There has been protests before. They have been largely ignored. The protester has not persisted. Thus there has been no conclusion. Neither has there been an instruction on where to put the template. Now there is (peculiarly). It says that the template should not be placed at the top of the article. Yes, I put it there myself. But I have not ignored the protests. But my answers to the protests have been ignored.
The examples of similar templates are interesting. There are a lot of Underlinked. My view on that is the same as on Expand: It should be made more like Stub, for the same reasons. Travel guide is used much less (<500 occurrencies). This is a real style violation that merits an alert. Arabic script occurs almost exclusively (but sparingly (<100)) on talk pages. That is fine with me. Alphabetize and Missing-taxobox are also very few. Again: We can assume that they are less well thought through than Stub.
The beginning of the article is very important for the reader. This is where the reader starts looking. This is where we should strive to provide what the reader needs. This space should not be squandered on ineffective processes of editor administration. --Ettrig (talk) 08:30, 6 June 2017 (UTC)
Ettrig, you are proposing a drastic change to the placement of maintenance templates that is not specific to {{Expand language}} -- I don't think it's fair to say that the placement of these templates has not been thought through. There is nothing that makes {{Expand language}} unique here -- yet another reason not to unilaterally move it to the bottom of articles (or elsewhere). Calliopejen1 (talk) 21:08, 6 June 2017 (UTC)
@Ettrig: Where are you getting the idea that only "important" tags go on top. According to MOS:ORDER, maintenance tags go on top. {{Expand language}} templates are all categorized as maintenance templates. The fact that stub templates go to the bottom has nothing to do with importance either. They go to the bottom because the MOS says they do. – Finnusertop (talkcontribs) 04:09, 7 June 2017 (UTC)
Thank you Finnusertop, for this very clarifying argument. To paraphrase, you are saying that this is a rule and that the rules cannot be changed and therefore there is no need to discuss whether they are good or bad. This is probably how the other opponents think too. So now I feel I understand this discussion much better. Before, it felt very peculiar. Why did almost no-one touch on the substantive question: What is the best way to arrange the article? Your view is probably so common that I will have to give up soon. But this is so important (for the reasons that I have given) and wrong, that I will have to try a little bit more. Of course the rules can be changed!
There are also some minor weaknesses in your argument. (But this is much less important.) You refer to MOS:ORDER. It says that maintenance tags typically appear in the following order. This is not formulated as a directive to be slavishly followed. This suggestion links to WP:TMAIN, which can be interpreted as a way of indicating what is meant by maintenance tag in this context. That list is limited and does not include the templates that we are discussing. In that list of about a hundred templates there are only two that I would not also put at the top. To summarize: The "rule" that you refer to is not a rule and it does not point at this template. --Ettrig (talk) 06:16, 7 June 2017 (UTC)
Your paraphrase is incorrect, do not put words in their mouth. You are right that the rules can be changed—and regarding this question, this is the place to do it—but you cannot do it by yourself. Your behavior, discussed elsewhere, makes a mockery of any attempt to discuss content issues with you here. Mathglot (talk) 06:42, 15 June 2017 (UTC)
  • I note that this issue has now reached ANI. PamD 08:01, 15 June 2017 (UTC)
  • I'm not sure if this is the right place to comment or not, since this seems to be happening in a few venues. At any rate, I've pretty much always placed them at the bottom of articles, usually just above the navboxes because it looks very odd to have them below the nav boxes. The current language in the guidance seems to support this. If you don't place it at the top, where are you going to place it? In the middle? No, you would place it at the bottom. And anyway, I always kindof thought about expand templates as usually a companion to a stub template.
Overall, if, for example, an article is under-sourced, or contains original research etc, then readers should be warned of this before reading the article. These serve both as a notice to the reader about what they're about to read, as well as a notice to editors at WP:BACKLOG, of things that need to be fixed.
The expand template is basically just for editors, and not really for readers at all. Besides, it's an ugly template wherever it's placed, so why place it in the most prominent place? And if you have a slow connection/computer, it often first loads as expanded for a short while, and... it's a pretty big template when it's expanded. TimothyJosephWood 20:35, 15 June 2017 (UTC)
Without commenting on your arguments about correct placement of the template, I would merely like to point out that the reason that "The current language in the guidance seems to support this" is because the language was recently altered by an edit-warring user against consensus, who has now gone on to alter 2,500 articles to match "the language in the guidance" according to their own point of view. The user who first discovered this and called out this behavior has recently retired from Wikipedia. Mathglot (talk) 23:12, 15 June 2017 (UTC)
1) The bit you're not commenting on seems to be the important bit. 2) It looks an awfully lot like the language was there in 2009. TimothyJosephWood 10:01, 16 June 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── The language was not there since 2009; you are displaying a 2009 page which is transcluding a 2017 subpage, so you are misinterpreting the facts.

Summary of some disputed template instructions.

The instructions from creation through August 2016 merely said, "Tag it with [the template]..." and everyone interpreted that as meaning tag it at the top, in accordance with long-standing practice. (For a short while, some interpreted it to mean tag the article talk page instead, resulting in nonsensical categorization of talk pages, but this was cleared up with a simple instruction change.)

Two elements of the template instructions were altered by User Ettrig on Aug 30 2016 against long-standing practice. They are:

  1. Placement:
    1. "Tag it with the template..." (2009-Aug 2016)
    2. "Tag it near the end (bottom).." Ettrig Aug 30 2016 et seq.
  2. Importance:
    1. (no statement about importance) 2009-Aug 2016
    2. "This template marks an opportunity, not a fault. It is less important than a stub mark." (Aug 30 2016)

These were subject to reverts and edits which either placed both of them back in the instructions or reverted both of them together, until May 5 2017 when an attempted revert by Mathglot reverted #1 but left #2 in place, and that is how it stands now.

So, as was said elsewhere, Ettrig first changed the instructions, began a massive change to articles, and edit-warred on the instructions when challenged. His preferred language remains in the template doc now in part (the "stub" and "importance" language) and that language as well as the "near the bottom" language is all recent, and is all due exclusively to his edits. Mathglot (talk) 02:05, 17 June 2017 (UTC)

(With an "assist" by a failed revert by the scurrilous Mathglot.) Mathglot (talk) 04:40, 17 June 2017 (UTC)

Another note: The scale of changes currently being made by Ettrig illustrates how these templates have historically been used almost exclusively at the top of article pages (setting aside what the template instructions themselves say). That is, there has been essentially a consensus in practice. Calliopejen1 (talk) 04:51, 17 June 2017 (UTC)

Well, I'm just going to do this here. Thank you for pointing out the translcusion issue. I was very confused. So you do seem to be missing a bit where for two years there were instructions to place in the references section. Other than that, the so called consensus linked to doesn't look very much like a consensus at all. It looks a lot like either a lack of consensus, a bold change that was never followed, and/or a consensus for talk page placement that makes no sense for the obvious categorization problem.
This discussion probably should have happened in September, and doesn't seem to have. Both editors are probably at fault for that (like most edit wars), and if it had, it would have prevented a lot of problems. But no discussion happened, and the language sat without substantial opposition for ten months, and even with a short lived edit war, there's probably a WP:SILENCE argument to be had after nearly a year.
So... again, the obvious solution seems to be to open an RfC. It looks like there have been four options proposed total: top, bottom, talk, references. We can probably cut out the last two. I'll open it myself, since no one can apparently be bothered to, and "block this editor because I can't be bothered to open an RfC" doesn't... you know... really help the encyclopedia. TimothyJosephWood 12:31, 17 June 2017 (UTC)
Your last sentence above is an astonishing misunderstanding or misrepresentation of the current ANI at multiple levels.
  • For starters, no one has called for a block on any user that I am aware of.
  • Secondly, there is no connection between opening an Rfc on the content issue of proper placement of a template, and the opening of an ANI about a single user's remarkable one-man effort to change thousands of articles to conform to his PoV with no demonstrated support for his position. Each can be resolved separately, they are entirely independent of each other.
For example, it would be perfectly consistent for an editor to strongly support Ettrig's preferred template positioning, and at the same time strongly deplore his actions that sparked the ANI. The ANI is not about his template position preference at all, and acting as if it were will only muddy the waters there.
This is at least the third time you have conflated the two topics, and I admit I'm flummoxed about how to explain this more clearly; perhaps PamD or someone can help out.
Finally, your "can't be bothered to open an Rfc" sounds like an accusation of sin by omission against somebody. Who exactly are you accusing? Why would a member of a near-unanimous majority open an Rfc to confirm their near-unanimous majority? Seems like a pointless exercise to challenge their own position on behalf of a lone wolf in opposition. Isn't the burden of creating an Rfc rather on the person who wishes to cause change?
In any event, you have opened the Rfc that you have been castigating others for failing to do, and that is just fine, and the way it is supposed to work. I hope the exercise will be both illuminating and fruitful. Mathglot (talk) 17:18, 17 June 2017 (UTC)
The following thread is an RfC. WP:RFC says (in the beginning of the first paragraph):
Before using the RfC process to get opinions from outside editors, it's often faster and more effective to thoroughly discuss the matter with any other parties on the related talk page. Editors are normally expected to make a reasonable attempt at working out their disputes before seeking help from others. If you are able to come to a consensus or have your questions answered through discussion with other editors, then there is no need to start an RfC.
I urge you to start discussing in earnest. What is the best placement of the Expand French tag? There has been a lot of text about my moving of it to the bottom. But nearly all of it is about my actions and whether there is a consensus. We need a discussion that clearly spells out the arguments for placing it at the top and at the bottom, respectively. This is so we can weigh the arguments against each other. --Ettrig (talk) 20:25, 17 June 2017 (UTC)

Placement of expand language templates[edit]

The following discussion is an archived record of a request for comment. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
As has been pointed out elsewhere, assessing an RfC is not merely a matter of counting noses. There is a reason we refer to arguments made by editors in discussions as "!votes", after all. When a template is used in a relatively consistent manner by a large number of editors across a wide number of articles, such usage is a "silent" consensus. It is argued here and in related discussions that consensus can change and that is 100% correct. For consensus to change, however, proponents of the new position must gain the agreement of their fellow editors and that has clearly not happened here. Furthermore, there are no policy-based or source-based reasons expressed below that would require "discarding irrelevant arguments." As such, the discussion is best summarized as supporting the previous consensus, and the templates should be placed at the top of the relevant articles. This "early" close is in conformity with WP:RFCEND and explicit request on WP:ANRFC. Please also see WP:CLOSECHALLENGE. (non-admin closure) Eggishorn (talk) (contrib) 16:15, 30 June 2017 (UTC)

Should the expand language templates be placed at the top of the article or toward the bottom?


  • A previous RfC was held in 2012 here and failed to reach consensus based on lack of participation.
  • A brief discussion was had in 2012 here, and resulted in an editor boldly adding guidance to add them to the reference section, which was never really followed and eventually removed in 2014.
  • The guidance was again changed in August 2016, which resulted in a short edit war, and the language remaining until last month, which started the current discussion (see above) and lots of ANI drama. TimothyJosephWood 12:54, 17 June 2017 (UTC)
  • Please note: "Toward the bottom" is not an allusion to the suggestion it be put in the reference section (as in the abandoned 2012 proposal), but rather that it be treated similarly to a stub template, as in the current placement at Soyons and Parchin. TimothyJosephWood 12:01, 18 June 2017 (UTC)

Survey: Placement of expand language templates[edit]

  • Top As with other cleanup/maintenance/"you should be aware of this"/"you can help with this" templates. It's not even remotely realted to the References section, unlike {{refimprove}} which is sometimes placed in the References section and has the (debatable) merit that it relates directly to that section. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 20:27, 17 June 2017 (UTC)
    The bottom alternative is unrelated to References. It is just at the bottom, as the stub template is. This is a "you can help with this" template. Symmetry is good. Still, symmetry should not be applied when it is bad for the readers, as is this case. --Ettrig (talk) 13:47, 21 June 2017 (UTC)
  • Top For reasons stated above on this page and at Wikipedia talk:Translation. Calliopejen1 (talk) 00:46, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
  • Top Because I can't think of any reason why they should move to the bottom. The stub templates, at least, are by definition posted to short articles, so they can generally be seen as soon as an article is displayed even though they're at the bottom. Frankly, I'd be in favor of moving the {{uncategorized}} template to the top. Largoplazo (talk) 13:10, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
    I have given a reason below. --Ettrig (talk) 13:47, 21 June 2017 (UTC)
    Actually, you've given a reason for deletion or making the template invisible, not for changing the placement. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 22:15, 26 June 2017 (UTC)
  • Top, no reason to change our standard practice here, or to treat these differently from other maintenance templates. But let's modify the documentation to make clear that these should only be deployed when there is verifiable real value in translating – i.e; when there's well-written and adequately sourced content in the other-language page. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 08:11, 19 June 2017 (UTC)
    I have given a reason below. Sadly, a large majority of the usages of the Expand French template point to articles marked as stubs. --Ettrig (talk) 13:47, 21 June 2017 (UTC)
  • Top of the article, the current predominant practice, per WP:EDITCONSENSUS. —Best regards, Codename Lisa (talk) 08:32, 19 June 2017 (UTC)
  • Top: they go with the group of templates which are displayed there. PamD 11:10, 19 June 2017 (UTC)
  • Top: No reason to change, in spite of the August 2016 change in the instructions. (They were also, among other arbitrary edits, added by the banned "Michigan Kid".) One could make a case for the talk page (although that screws up categorization), or a new "Resources" section toward the bottom. Placing them at the bottom along with stub templates would be completely worthless, and placing them in one of the current bottom sections would likely be counterproductive. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 02:18, 20 June 2017 (UTC)
    I have given a reason below. --Ettrig (talk) 13:47, 21 June 2017 (UTC)
    For those who claim there is no consensus for placement at the top, they have almost always been there since the templates were created. The status quo is clearly "top". — Arthur Rubin (talk) 02:30, 20 June 2017 (UTC)
    Arthur Rubin I took the liberty of correcting the typo (?) temolates to templates in your above statement. Hope you don't mind, d.g. L3X1 (distænt write) )evidence( 01:30, 21 June 2017 (UTC)
  • Top Per RedRose64 and others. d.g. L3X1 (distænt write) )evidence( 01:30, 21 June 2017 (UTC)
  • Bottom The maintenance tags are deliberately designed to disturb the flow of reading. This causes a cost to the reader. This is a small cost that occurs a large number of times. Placement at the bottom would reduce this cost substantially. The possible gain that this price may buy is that it inspires a translator to translate. This would be very valuable if it occurred. It is very doubtful that it does occur. The vast majority of these tags have been in place more than six years. The editors who are capable of and willing to translate have no difficulties finding such material. A tag like this is not inspiring and has not inspired. --Ettrig (talk) 06:25, 21 June 2017 (UTC)
    Hi. That analysis is at best narrow-sighted. This tag is useful for the reader. I've seen them many times, and in almost all of those cases, I went and read the other language's article. Google Translate helped too. Not only did I not find it an obstruction, I found it what mattered most to me. Make no mistake, translation is mind-numbing job, especially when it is from or to Japanese. —Codename Lisa (talk) 06:56, 21 June 2017 (UTC)
    narrow-sighted is void of factual content. Did you really need this banner to find the french article? I have seen thousands. About 98% are about material that is obviously french in nature, and the inter-wiki link is always there. I would suggest that you are very unrepresentative if you do need this banner to find the french article. Yes, translation is hard work. That is one of the reasons this banner very seldom has the intended effect. Why did you mention this? Maybe it is a good idea to provide an easy link to google translate. In that case it should be handled as other good tools. Provided in the tools list and made available on all articles. It should not be where the reader expects the content to begin and it should not be restricted to a small subset of the articles where the user may need it. --Ettrig (talk) 10:44, 21 June 2017 (UTC)
    When there are 26 other languages of one given article, it is useful to know when one has a lot of appropriate contents. Otherwise, you have to click on 25 other links. —Codename Lisa (talk) 13:13, 21 June 2017 (UTC)
    I have already answered this argument. This conflict arose about Expand French. In the thousands of articles with this template that I have seen, in the vast majority, say 98%, the content was obviously French in nature, typically a French commune, so going to the French article was obvious. This template is addressed to people who are able to translate from French to English, so again, clicking on that link would be natural. It is a bit dis-orienting that the argument for handling this message as a maintenance tag is that it is a convenient way to activate automatic translation. --Ettrig (talk) 13:47, 21 June 2017 (UTC)
    Be that as it may, this discussion is no longer about {{Expand French}} alone and whatever case in which you were involved. As such, "what it was about" has no bearing on my decision. In my case, the articles that I visited most led me to the Japanese Wikipedia. —Codename Lisa (talk) 07:31, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
  • Top per Codename Lisa and others. Lepricavark (talk) 03:15, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
  • Bottom If there were any evidence at all that these tags are a catalyst for article-improvement, then sure, top. There is not. I understand the position that tags go at the top and there's no pressing reason to make an exception in this case. I suppose it's a valid argument, but it still seems like process-for-the-sake-of-process. These tags do next to nothing in the way of a better article, rendering them little more than an eyesore and a distraction. Joefromrandb (talk) 19:45, 24 June 2017 (UTC)
    Hi. The first step in solving any problem is giving due notice. If it is useless, nominate it for deletion. Otherwise, putting it at the bottom is a dishonorable way of circumventing a deletion discussion, because something that is admittedly useless at the top is definitely even more useless at the bottom. Our mobile readers do not see these tags anyway. —Codename Lisa (talk) 07:07, 25 June 2017 (UTC)
    This response is not relevant for this discussion, because Expand Language does not point out a problem. The word dishonorable is totally out of place in this discussion. Placement at bottom is used for stub tags. It is seeable and adds categorization. This is a solution that the community has adopted to a very high degree for articles that are very short (stubs), which is a problem, albeit not grave. This response seems to assume that items at the top get more attention. This is true. That is why we should place the most important items there. It also seems to assume that this marking at the top can cause a translation. It is very doubtful that this happens with a sufficiently high frequence for the tag to be important. For it to be important it is also necessary that the translation be more valuable than what that editor would have done otherwise. This is also in doubt. There is extremely little activity on the 1500 or so that I have on my watchlist, so editors in general seem to think that these articles are not important. --Ettrig (talk) 20:48, 25 June 2017 (UTC)
    My compliments. I'm used to users attempting to disguise the straw man when they bring him out, but that's Ray Bolger dancing on the Yellow Brick Road right there. Here I was, thinking I was responding to a request for comment by adding my 2 cents to the discussion. Turns out I'm actually "circumventing a deletion discussion", compounding the felony, no less, by doing so "dishonorably". If you could kindly point me to this deletion discussion, I'll be happy to add my 2 cents there as well. "Something that is admittedly useless at the top is definitely even more useless at the bottom." Say what, now? First of all, that is utterly impossible. If something is "useless" it cannot ever become "more useless". Ever. In any case, I do not think the template is "useless". I think it is a low-value template, and as such, should not be placed in a high-value area of the article. Unlike other tags that (in theory, at least) point out problems with the article that need to be fixed, this one simply offers a suggestion as far as one way in which the article may be expanded. Tags that point out problems (when used correctly) alert the reader to keep certain caveats in mind while gathering the facts he or she is seeking. The "Expand: 'X'" tag does not. These are internal housekeeping memos, through which we editors offer suggestions to each other. 99% of our readers are not editors. "Our mobile readers do not see these tags anyway." Say what-a-what, now? Mobile readers who choose to view in desktop mode, as I do, do, in fact, see these tags. Our non-mobile readers do as well. I don't follow the logic in arguing to keep it at the top because some readers won't see it. Joefromrandb (talk) 07:17, 26 June 2017 (UTC)
    I don't agree with Lisa's wording, but these templates serve NO purpose at the bottom, other than categorization. If placed at the bottom, a rational argument could be made for deletion. I'm not saying that's your intent, but it could very well be the effect of the change in placement. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 14:47, 26 June 2017 (UTC)
  • Top per the template being categorised as a maintenance template, through Category:Language maintenance templatesCategory:Wikipedia translation templatesCategory:Expand by language Wikipedia templates. MOS:ORDER clearly states that maintenance tags go before the lead section. EP111 (talk) 17:32, 26 June 2017 (UTC)
    We cannot expect the writers of that guideline to have considered all the low importance messages that editors would write using this template. So the question still remains: Is it good for the reader to find this at the top of the article? I have explained above why it is not. --Ettrig (talk) 18:43, 26 June 2017 (UTC)
    Describing the template as low importance is a matter of opinion. A more worthwhile discussion might involve limiting the use, of {{expand language}}, to those articles which have more than perhaps 20k of untranslated content in the foreign language wiki (i.e. has an article size of perhaps 15k, and has a parallel article of perhaps 40k). EP111 (talk) 13:51, 27 June 2017 (UTC)
    Of course importance can be discussed, for example in terms of what good is provided to the reade. I did that in brevity in my entry above. And the guideline guideline says that conflicts are to be solved primarily by discussion. --Ettrig (talk) 18:05, 27 June 2017 (UTC)
  • Top. This is a maintenance template; it helps both the readers and editors by leading them to where more information can be found, both for learning and expansion of the article. Just because very few people can act upon it is not valid ground for furtively suppressing its effect. Wikipedia is a work in progress and will always be. Make peace with that fact. Also, neither {{Expand French}} is the only template in Category:Expand by language Wikipedia templates nor is French Wikipedia the only point for importing additional material. FleetCommand (Speak your mind!) 14:56, 30 June 2017 (UTC)

Threaded discussion: Placement of expand language templates[edit]

  • Comment Can you please reword the Rfc so that all the standard votes like support, strongly support, weakly support and all the parallel oppose votes make sense? Why not formulate it per Ettrig's request, and say something like, Should Expand language templates be placed with the bottom matter? This allows the full panoply of support/oppose votes that the current wording does not. Mathglot (talk) 14:59, 17 June 2017 (UTC)
    • Withdrawn; votes have already started to come in under the original wording. Best just to leave it now. Mathglot (talk) 20:55, 17 June 2017 (UTC)
  • I'm just going to reping User:Redrose64 after adding a clarifying note. Apologies for being unclear in my word choice. The main factions here seem to be whether it should be treated similarly to the suite of {{Multiple issues}} templates, or whether it should be treated more-or-less as a companion to a stub template. Compare placement on Soyons and Parchin. TimothyJosephWood 12:06, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
  • Above, Ettrig says: "Sadly, a large majority of the usages of the Expand French template point to articles marked as stubs." This is a reason to remove the template and/or change the instructions about when it should be applied, not to reposition all of the translation templates. Calliopejen1 (talk) 18:34, 21 June 2017 (UTC)
    Agreed. Although it is better if it is at the bottom than at the top, in this situation, this was not meant as an important argument. It is just a comment to a comment. --Ettrig (talk) 20:23, 21 June 2017 (UTC)

WP:CON says: When agreement cannot be reached through editing alone, the consensus-forming process becomes more explicit: editors open a section on the talk page and try to work out the dispute through discussion. Here editors try to persuade others, using reasons based in policy, sources, and common sense; they can also suggest alternative solutions or compromises that may satisfy all concerns. The normal process is that differences are solved through editing. When there is difficulty in reaching an agreement, the next step is discussion. This issue was in a quasi-consensus state. The edits were overwhelmingly top. This placement was sometimes challenged, but the discussions died out without reaching any conclusion. Note that even if there is an edit consensus, it is always up for challenge, and then there is to be a discussion. Most of the statements for TOP claim that status quo holds because it is status quo and that no other motivation is needed. This view is not in line with the guideline. --Ettrig (talk) 09:29, 26 June 2017 (UTC)

  1. Most of the discussion in other fora relates to your editing against consensus. The fact that consensus has been established is more relevant there.
  2. The template serves no purpose at the bottom other than to add the maintenance category; if placed there, it might as well be invisible, in which case, it might as well be at the top. The only reason the template might need to be visible is that if the foreign language article is not matched in Wikidata, which could happen if the en.Wikipedia article is more specific or more general than the foreign language article.
  3. The only templates placed at the bottom are some horizontal navigation templates and stub templates, and perhaps {{uncategorized}}. A reason why it doesn't hurt to have stub templates at the bottom is that stubs are short, so the template should still be visible at first glance. Expand language templates seem (to me) more similar to other maintenance templates than to "stub" or {{uncategorized}}.
Arthur Rubin (talk) 14:19, 26 June 2017 (UTC)
No 2 is the important aspect. There is no purpose for this tag that is nearly important enough to motivate that it be placed at the most prominent place in the article. If you think there is, then tell us about it. --Ettrig (talk) 18:31, 26 June 2017 (UTC)
When consensus is broken there is to be discussion. I have discussed whenever anyone has wanted to. There has been very little of that until recently. Even lately, there has been extremely little of trials to explain why it would be good to place this tag at the top. When the discussion has waned away, I have continued editing. This is the normal process. Your view that there is a consensus and that therefore no discussion is needed is not in agreement with the guideline. --Ettrig (talk) 18:43, 26 June 2017 (UTC)
There is a present consensus that the templates should be at the top. Whether they should be made less visible (or entirely invisible, serving only to put the article into the maintenance category) is a matter for another forum. You seem to be saying the template is normally useless. Fine. Propose deletion, then, rather than proposing a change which we all agree makes it completely useless. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 21:59, 26 June 2017 (UTC)
Consensus can change, but your arguments support deleting the template, rather than changing placement. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 22:11, 26 June 2017 (UTC)
There are some words here, but no motivation why it would be good to place this tag at the top.--Ettrig (talk) 04:59, 27 June 2017 (UTC)
Because the template highlights a problem and the first step in solving any problem is revealing it.
Consensus can change but your reason for changing it is despair on your part. I don't share it. Wikipedia is a work in progress. It will always be.
Codename Lisa (talk) 08:47, 27 June 2017 (UTC)
No, it does not point at a problem. If you think it does, tell us what problem that is. My feelings are not to be discussed here. I have stated my motivation for change. I see no refutal of that motivation. --Ettrig (talk) 09:39, 27 June 2017 (UTC)
That the article is incomplete, evidenced by its peer written in another language. Seriously, you don't think people put this tag over Featured Articles, do you? —Codename Lisa (talk) 09:52, 27 June 2017 (UTC)
That the article is incomplete is not a problem, it is just the normal state of affairs in Wikipedia. The number of GAs and FAs is growing much, much slower than the total number of articles. And even if this was seen as a problem, the non-completeness (in this sense) can be readily detected by the absence of GA and FA tag. As I have answered you before, the large majority of the tags I have seen (and I have seen a lot of them) have pointed to articles about material that is obviously of more interest to the speakers of the other language. Again, that the French write more about most French communes than the English do, is not a problem, it is just natural. Your are repeatedly contemptuous and confrontative. Try to consentrate on the factual argument. --Ettrig (talk) 11:02, 27 June 2017 (UTC)
And the discussion on the content turned into direct personal attacks, complete with the pot calling the kettle black. We're done. Going into WP:DFTT mode. If anyone else also thinks the best way the persuade me to change my verdict from "Top" to "Bottom" is calling me "contemptuous and confrontative [sic]", please be my guest. —Codename Lisa (talk) 06:10, 28 June 2017 (UTC)
The comments on you refer to what you have written in this discussion.--Ettrig (talk) 07:46, 28 June 2017 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion.