Wikipedia talk:Substitution/Archive 3

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Archive 2 Archive 3 Archive 4

Other suggested templates:

  • What about {{shortcut}} (t/l)? Unfortunately, I can see many people complaining that it would make a page look messy when editing if that template gets substituted. BlankVerse 09:45, 3 November 2005 (UTC)


Of the uncategorised ones I think {{sub}} and {{sup}} are good to subst:, but I am not sure about the others, I don't think any more of them should be subst'ed, what do you think? Martin 16:57, 12 November 2005 (UTC)


I think that {{Prettytable}} should be subst's, judging from comments here and here unless anyone objects I will start this soon. <font color=darkgreen>'''''Martin'''''</font> 12:12, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

Not a big deal, but

...but {{tl}} and {{cl}} do not actually produce a lot of wikicode. Radiant_>|< 17:08, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

No, but I still oppose ever subst'ing them. Their explicit presence makes the subsequent discussion in cases where tempales are being mentioned, rather than used, much easier IMO, and also serves as a model for new editors. i learned to use {{tl}} by seeing it used on discussion pages -- others should learn it in the same way. DES (talk) 21:16, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

Should we have templates like these?

I just found Template:Cthu-cat all it does it put articles in certain categories, this is silly because the articles have to be "touched" if the categories change, and I don't think it is a correct usage of a template. Should we subst: it to death, then delete it? There must be many more like it as well. Martin 17:27, 22 November 2005 (UTC)

This particular template is bad in other ways, IMO; the categories it places articles into are already subcategories of each other, making all but one redundant and cluttering up parent categories with stuff that should be relegated to children. I was just about to remove it from all the article's it's used in anyway because of that. Bryan 01:11, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
In the process I just came across Template:Cthu-intro and Template:Cthu-intro2, which look subst:able to me. There isn't likely to be any great value in making the first sentence of each Cthulhu-related article completely standardized like this. Bryan 01:15, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

Flow control templates

Some flow control templates should not be substed. those are

if they are substed, they generate unreadable (for most wikipedians) code --AzaToth talk 16:41, 24 November 2005 (UTC)


Should {{imdb title}} be included among this list? --AllyUnion (talk) 09:59, 25 November 2005 (UTC)

  • I don't think so. It's easier to maintain consistency across pages without substing. Also if IMDb changes the base link we can easily correct all of ours. Eric119 19:31, 25 November 2005 (UTC)

Subst hidden behaviour

After some trials, we have found that subst can have a inconsistent behaviour, that can be a good or bad thing, please add a comment on WP:VPT#subst expansions ?AzaToth 20:25, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

Hebrew letters

I just came across a number of templates which are being used to insert Hebrew letters in articles. I'm in the process of adding as many as I can find to Category:Hebrew letters. I think they ought to be SUBSTituted automagically: they're great for typing in Hebrew but they don't need to be kept around once the text is entered. HTH HAND —Phil | Talk 12:21, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

I'll get Bluebot on it. Martin 12:29, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

Chemical symbols

I was just looking around, and I noticed that although it is recommended that chemical symbols always use subst here, it is also said on each individual template page that "this template is not suitable for use with subst". I thought I'd just point out the contradiction for those who work here (so I won't be coming back to check this thread) — if I'm mistaken, please accept my apology and ignore me completely. Neonumbers 00:11, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

I dont know why someone wrote that, it clearly should be subst'ed. In fact it should be deleted as totally pointless, imagine if we had a templat for every simple wiki link. Martin 10:09, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
Yeah I agree on just deleting the templates entirely. --Kenyon 04:19, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
I disagree on deleting the templates. On chemistry and materials pages, one ends up typing in chemical formulas quite often. These templates allow one to quickly put in the element symbols in a chemical formula, while making each link to the page for that element. I wish I had known about these sooner. On the other hand, these should absolutely be subst'ed. If the templates aren't suitable for subst, they need to be fixed so that they are.--Srleffler 19:58, 23 December 2005 (UTC)
The instruction not to subst: these seems to have come originally from User:Physchim62. I left a note on his talk page asking for clarification.--Srleffler 20:08, 23 December 2005 (UTC)
Since no reason was given not to substitute them, I will list them as "Should be Substituted." Someone must also remove the instruction not to subst them. Polonium 21:20, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
I have already removed the instruction for elements up to letter F. It is very easy to do this using tabbed browsing with mozilla firefox. Polonium 01:57, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

This task is finished. On 21:15, 20 March 2006, Template: Zirconium was finished by instruction change. Polonium 21:18, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

  • As of today, the chemical symbols section is in the "should NOT be substed" section of this page, and some of the templates say to use subst, and some of them say to not use subst. — brighterorange (talk) 21:17, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

Deletion-related templates that should be subst:

Should {{rfd}} be included in the list that should be subst:? Courtland 22:49, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

  • I don't see any reason not to. Radiant_>|< 15:05, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

Table templates

Someone created templates for table layout, e.g. Template:Col-break, that are far longer than the actual wikicode they translate to. Allegedly this makes tables easier to use - however in my opinion it makes tables harder to use than the simple {| |- | |} syntax. Also, per WP:AUM, they cause unnecessary server load when used in other templates, and developer Jamesday has asked us to cut down on that. Are there any objections to subst'ing these? Radiant_>|< 15:03, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

Is it envisaged that wiki-code might be expanded to include a way to specify that a given section should be shown in multiple columns? Certainly this seems to be something people might want, in which case it would be much better if these templates were in place to show where the columnisation should occur. If they are SUBSted away, it would make it much more difficult to find where multiple columns have been used: at the very least you should be careful to leave some sort of comment marking the spot. As to whether they make editing simpler, I would imagine that some editors find "start a table", "use 3 columns", "break to a new column", "finish the table" simpler than the "hieroglyphics" involved in wiki-tables. I would be inclined at first to confine your attention to usage inside other templates, if WP:AUM is indeed your actual concern. HTH HAND —Phil | Talk 16:42, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
  • To my knowledge, that is not envisaged. I agree that the problem lies mostly in meta-templates. But note that creating a table can still be done using these templates; if they're then auto-substed, that's not a problem for the creator - and any editor can simply duplicate the existing formatting. Honestly, I'm rather familiar with the "hieroglyphics" (just the symbols {, {|, |- and |, really) and when I first saw these tls my reaction was a big 'huh?' Radiant_>|< 22:27, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
Visual formatting should be done with css, not tables. Yuck to these templates. — Omegatron 04:08, 10 February 2006 (UTC)


There's ben a little bit of discussion about subst'ing at WP:WSS, and the gereal consensus is that substing stub templates is a bad move, so I've added the stub templates to the "do not subst" section of the page. These tewmplates are edited frequently and are also frequently replaced or removed from articles. Substing these would create far more work for editors and stub-sorters. Consider an example: A stub template is used on 250 articles, then the scope of the template is changed and its wording needs to be edited. Which is easier - editing the one template, or editing the template and re-substing all the articles? If I've been too bold in adding it to the page, feel free to remove it, but FWIW I thought the opinions of those who use them most frequently should be noted. Grutness...wha? 10:10, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

d'oh. they were already there - I just hadn't noticed because they weren't "tl" linked. Grutness...wha? 10:20, 23 December 2005 (UTC)


Does template:disambig count as a stub template for the purposes of the subst/don't-subst decision?The Literate Engineer 17:33, 24 December 2005 (UTC)


Staring at all the double-braces on Wikipedia:Template substitution makes your eyes go funny. TerraGreen 22:06, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Templates for character display

Would it be a good idea to subst the templates used to force correct character display, such as {{IPA}}, {{Unicode}}, and {{Polytonic}}? --Angr (tɔk) 14:54, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Probably not, in the interests of using wiki-text rather than raw HTML, and in case we come up with a better or different method of doing it in future. HTH HAND —Phil | Talk 10:19, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

Lifespan-related templates

I have been bold and moved these to "do not substitute". Given the recent introduction of Category:Living people I am going to attempt to unify these templates, and to fix them so that if a date of death is not specified the article is added to that category. In the meantime, it would be handy if the templates were not substituted out from under my feetWink.png. HTH HAND —Phil | Talk 15:47, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

Using templates to populate categories is a bad mechanism. It cause maintenance problems (bots), suprise factor ("Where is this category coming from?"), learning curve for new editors, and is an avoidable extra database call. If those templates aren't to be subst'd, then they'll just go on TFD. Placing bio articles in those categories is usually a one-time operation... a perfect example of what should be subst'd. -- Netoholic @ 16:12, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
You are ignoring the fact that people who are now living are almost certain to die at some point, at which time they will be changed. You are also ignoring the point of having templates simultaneously populating multiple categories, which is to ensure that sort keys remain consistent, and in some cases that the categories are displayed in a sensible order. This isn't even WP:AUM since you can hardly suggest that these templates in their current form are meta-templates: it's simply another aspect of your anti-template crusade. —Phil | Talk 16:50, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
From Template talk:Lived- "If there is not a date of death, do not use this template". Sort keys remain consistent after subst'ing. This has nothing to do with AUM, but may inspire "avoid using categories in templates". Your last statement is based on a false premise that I am on an "anti-template crusade", so I can't comment on it. I suppose I could accuse you of being on a "over-templatization" crusade, but that too would be of little value when discussing the merits of this specific template. -- Netoholic @ 17:25, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

Objective of this page

The page currently refers to vandalism and server load as the reason to substitute most of these templates.

I don't understand the vandalism concern. Transcluding templates is clearly preferable to substituting them in this case. If the template is vandalized while transcluded, a quick revert of the vandalism is all that's needed to correct the problem. If the template is vandalized and then the bad version substituted, the revert doesn't propagate to all the template instances, and there is no easy way to find them to correct them by hand.

As for server load, lead developer Brion Vibber has said that the load caused by templates is not as bad as it might seem at first glance. In fact, he said, "you should not worry much about little things like templates and "server load" at a policy level." So this page really shouldn't be advocating substitution of templates for technical reasons; those should be addressed by the developers with technical solutions. He did make a special exception for signature templates.

So really, the only reason any of these templates should be substituted is if non-updatability is the intended behavior, which isn't even mentioned except in parentheses in the disadvantages section. This would apply to things like {{prettytable}} and {{doctl}}, but not things like {{clear}} or {{ed}}.

This page should be updated; I think a lot of these templates are being substituted unnecessarily. — Omegatron 04:06, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

There are plenty of templates that only survived TFD with comments like "useful shortcut, but should be subst'd". I think you're taking Brion out of context with that quote, and if you ask him directly, I think he'd support this page's purpose. There are just some things that are never worth any server load or vandalism risk. -- Netoholic @ 04:41, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
There are plenty of templates that only survived TFD with comments like "useful shortcut, but should be subst'd".
There should be a link next to those going to the TFD
I think you're taking Brion out of context with that quote, and if you ask him directly, I think he'd support this page's purpose.
How is a quote about the server load implications of templates out of context?
There are just some things that are never worth any server load or vandalism risk.
Did you even read what I wrote? The "vandalism risk" is worse when the templates are substituted. — Omegatron 16:52, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
I think some templates are subst'd needlessly, for example, subst'ing AFD templates causes the article to look very messy even to a seasoned editor. For a start I think no template that is temporary should ever be subst'd. I do however think that certain templates are absolutely pointless, and even if the reason to subst them can be argued as weak, there is absolutely no reason not to. Martin 12:03, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
Absolutely! As someone who routinely changes {{cfr}} templates into {{category redirect}}, I am glad that nobody usually use subst. It would just make things more difficult. I've changed the page to reflect this. I don't know about all the deletion templates. If there are good reasons to subst some of them, please move them back. I've also reorganized things a little and added some basic examples for those that might not infer the obvious reasons for subst'ing or not. -- Samuel Wantman 10:48, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

New suggestions

  • {{PATH}} (maybe should just be substed then deleted?)
    • There's a bunch of related templates: brace yourself. And there might be more still… HTH HAND —Phil | Talk 16:49, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
  • {{nothanks-afc}} ({{nothanks-sd}}, on which this is based, is already on the list). Thryduulf 13:37, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

Project notice templates

It has been recommended to me that project notices not be subst'ed. I didn't see that on the list. Maybe it should be added. ~ ApolloCreed 03:55, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

Clearer definition please.

I believe this definition is not very clear for the average person. I can usually figure out enough coding to do what I need (e.g. create a new template based on an old one) but I don't understand this topic. The article says: :The subst: keyword (short for "substitution") is used as a prefix inside a template code. It changes the way the software expands the template. Ordinarily, a template is expanded "on the fly"; that is, the template code calls a separate page for the text every time someone edits a page it's used on. Placing "subst:" inside the curly brackets tells the software to permanently substitute the template with text of the template (that is, the text that is on the template's article page). Therefore {{[[Template:{{{1}}}|{{{1}}}]]}} becomes {{[[Template:{{{1}}}|{{{1}}}]]}} and the full text is expanded when you save the page. I can't follow that. --Singkong2005 01:29, 21 February 2006 (UTC) - Better now --Singkong2005 00:23, 27 May 2006 (UTC)

subst'ing user talk pages

when subst'ing user talk pages like this, perhaps it is a good idea to include a friendly personal message with every subst. it may be quite rude to disturb someone with "you have new messages" alert when they don't really have any messages to be received. the personal message should be something like: "Hello, sorry to disturb you but we would like to subst this template to increase Wikipedia's performance. Thank you for your understanding." -- Zondor 19:17, 25 February 2006 (UTC)


The idea of Template:Style(edit talk links history) is apparently no SUBST, I've noted this on its new talk page (= documentation). While I'm at it, what about Template:Style-guideline(edit talk links history) and the other Wikipedia header templates? Omniplex 22:05, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

It is my opinion that no template should be substituted on project pages. These pages document Wikipedia, and should remain standardised as much as possible. {{policy}} on one page should not be different from {{policy}} on another. // Pathoschild (admin / talk) 23:00, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
Plausible, maybe somebody is bold and adds them to SUBST - after a day of editing I'm lazy and not bold ;-) Omniplex 03:38, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

{{Afd top}} & {{Afd bottom}}

This page says that {{Afd top}} & {{Afd bottom}} should not be subst. However, Wikipedia:Deletion process states that they should. This conflict should be resolved. I would note that the rationale given on this page (Templates related to renaming or deleting pages are used temporarily, and thus do not need to be substituted.) is incorrect for these two as they remain on the record of the deletion debate and are not temporary. So, if the desire is not to subst them, that should be updated as well. -- JLaTondre 03:14, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

I suspect all of the top/bottom templates should be in the other section. I'll move them in a few minutes here (soon as I find them all). -- nae'blis (talk) 21:05, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, this was my mistake. I was not familiar with all the templates and did not see any warnings that they had to be subst. when I moved the other temporary templates. My apologies. -- Samuel Wantman 08:27, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

{{dablink}} and other Hatnotes

Hatnotes like {{dablink}}, {{otheruses}}, and {{this article is about}} should all be on the list of templates that should not be subst'd, for the same reasons as {{main}}, right? --AySz88^-^ 00:13, 31 December 2005 (UTC)

I don't want to create another section: should templates like {{schoolip}} or {{sharedip}} be subst'd (like the test templates are subst'd), or is it too much code? --AySz88^-^ 04:17, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
Bump-down to try to get an answer.... --AySz88^-^ 03:52, 1 March 2006 (UTC)