Wikipedia talk:Substitution/Archive 4

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Archive 3 Archive 4 Archive 5


The page lists {{tl}} under do-not-subst, with a note that it has complex code. I fail to see how the code is at all complex; it's a wikilink surrounded by curly brackets: {{[[Template:name|name]]}}. Use of {{tl}} on a very few project pages such as this one might be better unsubst'd, but in most cases theres no need to use a unsubst'd template. Would anyone object to moving it to the subst list? // Pathoschild (admin / talk) 10:14, 26 February 2006 (UTC)

I don't see any reason to move it to the subst list. Why would you? — Omegatron 17:21, 26 February 2006 (UTC)
I would say the code is somewhat confusing, as it looks like a malformed template transclusion when subst'd, but isn't. --AySz88^-^ 17:55, 26 February 2006 (UTC)
[[User:Radiant!|R]][[User_talk:Radiant!|adiant]][[meta:mergist|_<font color="orange">>|<</font>]] 17:08, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

[...] In fact, [ he said], "you should not worry[...]

It has been [[User talk:CyberSkull#substing|recommended to me]] that [...]

--[[User:AySz88|AySz88]][[User talk:AySz88|<font color="#FF9966">^</font>]][[Special:Contributions/AySz88|<font color="#FF6633">-</font>]][[User talk:AySz88|<font color="#FF3300">^</font>]] 17:55, 26 February 2006 (UTC)

[[user:Gangsta-Easter-Bunny|<font color="black">G</font>]][[user:Gangsta-Easter-Bunny/Talk/Archive|<font color="green">a</font>]][[user:Gangsta-Easter-Bunny/practical joke|<font color="red">n</font>]][[user:Gangsta-Easter-Bunny/monobook.js|<font color="gray">g</font>]][[user:Gangsta-Easter-Bunny/Sig|<font color="aquamarine">s</font>]][[user:Gangsta-Easter-Bunny/sandbox|<font color="gold">t</font>]][[User:Gangsta-Easter-Bunny/pagemap|<font color="purple">a</font>]][[Image:Flag of Kentucky.svg|Kentucky|20px]][[user:Gangsta-Easter-Bunny/Esperanza|<font color=green>E</font>]][[Wikipedia: WikiProject U.S. Presidents|<font color=orange>a</font>]][[user talk:Gangsta-Easter-Bunny|<font color="blue">s</font>]][[user:Gangsta-Easter-Bunny/Heading|<font color=yellow>t</font>]][[user:Gangsta-Easter-Bunny/Drawing Service|<font color=orange>e</font>]][[user:Gangsta-Easter-Bunny/Awards|<font color=red>r</font>]][[Image:Flag of the United States.svg|United States|20px]][[Special:Contributions/Gangsta-Easter-Bunny|<font color="orange">B</font>]][[user:Gangsta-Easter-Bunny/my-userboxes|<font color="brown">u</font>]][[user:Gangsta-Easter-Bunny/my-articles|<font color="pink">n</font>]][[user:Gangsta-Easter-Bunny/userboxes|<font color="yellow">n</font>]][[user:Gangsta-Easter-Bunny/sig|<font color="blue">y</font>]]


Wikicode doesn't need to be pretty. Talk pages are habitually filled with newbie-confusing wikicode, URLs, and complex signatures. As it's primarily used on talk pages (templates shouldn't be subst'd on project pages), please compare the above typical strings of wikicode, and tell me how {{tl}} is unusually confusing on a talk page. I don't think it's at all confusing; it's nothing more than a wikilink surrounded by curly brackets to make it look like a template call. // Pathoschild (admin / talk) 22:56, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
So you agree that markup should be made as obfuscated and confusing as possible, to alienate newcomers and those without technical expertise? That's certainly the purpose of a wiki, last time I checked...
You've made an argument for why substitution of templates is not bad, but I don't see an argument for why substitution is good. — Omegatron 00:39, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
The wikicode is not complicated. Whether or not a newcomer will understand a decorated wikilink is irrelevant; they learn by example, which a template doesn't provide. I understand the need to simplify things for new users, but there's a limit beyond which lies absurdity.
Next you'll suggest we create {{wikilink}} to protect the poor newcomers from those labyrinthine double-brackets. Oh, looky, we already have that; imagine my shock! I see you used a substituted wikilink in your previous post; that's bound to confuse the newcomers, shall I unsubst it for you? // Pathoschild (admin / talk) 03:51, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
  • I did?
  • I still don't see an argument for why we should subst tl. Do you have one? — Omegatron 04:59, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
Excuse my ironic confusion at what you mean by, 'I did?'. Full sentences tend to be helpful in that respect. Were you referring to my statement that you were using a substituted wikilink? If so, look right here: "So you agree that markup should be made as obfuscated and confusing as possible, to alienate newcomers and [[Systemic bias|those without technical expertise]]? [...]" That's the substituted form of {{wikilink}}.
I believe I've presented my arguments a few times already. I argue primarily that they're not complex, being nothing more decorated wikilinks. Most substituted templates are much more complex; just look at {{welcome}}, which includes nine wikilinks, two HTML entities, a magic word, and three other wiki syntaxes. Secondarily, I argue that newcomers learn wikisyntax by example, which isn't provided the likes of {{tl}} and {{wikilink}}.
You argue that they're complicated ("as obfuscated and confusing as possible"), and throw in some sarcasm to pad your arguments. Perhaps you could lay off the sarcasm a little and actually discuss; your attitude is hardly inviting civility on my part. // Pathoschild (admin / talk) 07:58, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

The confusion I meant isn't complexity but the non-intuitive result - one would expect {{[[Template:blah|blah]]}} to try to find the article named [[Template:blah]] or even the template named Template:[[blah]] with the parameter blah. It's also possible that the behavior of {{[[ might eventually change since it really isn't intuitive, so one wouldn't want all of its uses breaking on us. --AySz88^-^ 04:01, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

I've just spoken with a developer on IRC, who tells me that they will never change the page title behaviour to accept double square brackets. This would cause complications with wikilinks; how, exactly, would one link to [[Example]]]]?. It's almost exclusively unlikely that MediaWiki will drastically change the way it links pages together.
The result is non-intuitive if one doesn't understand wikisyntax very well. The best way to understand wikisyntax is to see it in use and try it for yourself. Editors won't learn this kind of syntax if all they ever see are templates like {{tl}} and {{wikilink}}. // Pathoschild (admin / talk) 04:38, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
I agree the template should be moved to the subst'd list. {{[[Template:name|name]]}} is not excessively complicated; any editor curious as to the behavior can view the resultant page. "The best way to understand wikisyntax is to see it in use and try it for yourself" echoes my sentiments perfectly; if anything, it should encourage novice users, not intimidate them. ~ PseudoSudo 23:53, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

That's the substituted form of {{wikilink}}.

No it's not. It's a wikilink. I didn't type {{subst:wikilink|Systemic bias|those without technical expertise}}; I typed [[Systemic bias|those without technical expertise]]. It would be absurd to use a template to create a simple link.

The best way to understand wikisyntax is to see it in use and try it for yourself.

Wikipedia:How to edit a page.

I argue primarily that they're not complex, being nothing more [than] decorated wikilinks.

How is the non-complexity of {{tl}} an argument in favor of substituting it?

Secondarily, I argue that newcomers learn wikisyntax by example, which isn't provided the likes of {{tl}} and {{wikilink}}.

Now there's an actual argument. I could say in return, "How are newcomers supposed to learn template wikisyntax if you substitute all the templates?" Those are both pretty far-fetched, though, don't you think?
I've looked at this {{wikilink}} template that you keep referring to, and it's meant for special applications inside other templates, where regular wikilinks won't function correctly. It's not for general use. Read the talk page:
In articles use Wiki link syntax instead of this. This template was created for use within templates due to behavior of bracket and pipe characters.
It would be absurd to use a template to create nothing more than a standard wikilink, and it would be deleted quickly if that was its purpose. And, once again, it's completely unrelated to a discussion of whether {{tl}} should be substituted. — Omegatron 01:03, 2 March 2006 (UTC)
Let me quote my arguments directly from the accompanying project page and denote how each applies to this template.
  • Reasons to substitute
    • Substitute (doesn't need to be updated): Templates are often modified or deleted. If the template is boilerplate text, consider if you want the text to vary as the template is improved. If your answer is no, then substitution is warranted.
    • N/a: If there is a template you would like to modify for a single occasion...
    • Substitute: Substituting en masse may speed up the site. Every time someone views a page, the server must get text from a separate page for every template used. Although each individual template has little effect, the vast number of templates used on Wikipedia is one factor affecting server load and article load times. This creates bottlenecks and slows down Wikipedia. The problem is solved by subst'ing templates on pages where they don't need to be kept up-to-date. This is particularly true on talk pages. If a template isn't subst:, any editing of that template causes each page that has the template to be uncached and reloaded, which slows down the Wikipedia servers further. Whether this is a significant problem is the subject of debate.
    • N/a (protected): Templates are also a prime target for vandalism.
  • Reasons not to substitute
    • N/a (doesn't need to be traced): Once a template is substituted the result is no longer linked to the template.
    • N/a (doesn't need to be traced): If a template is substituted, no references are registered to which template is used.
    • N/a (Not complex): A substituted template can add a lot of wiki-code or HTML to the article, harming accessibility for the less technically-inclined.
    • N/a (permanent): If the template is just being used temporarily, it is usually better not to substitute.
    • N/a (protected): When a vandalised template is substituted...
I count two reasons to substitute, none not to. // Pathoschild (admin / talk) 08:55, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
Any further comments? Unless there's any opposition, I'll update the page appropriately. // Pathoschild (admin / talk) 13:01, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
Just a comment regarding So you agree that markup should be made as obfuscated and confusing as possible, to alienate newcomers and those without technical expertise?, that is a straw man, we could achieve the goal of {tl} with a much more obfuscated code, and we're not aiming to that. There are plenty of complicated code out there, a newcomer learns simple sintax first, like using nowiki tag, if somebody needs to be disucssing templates in a heavy form (which tl is for), then they're likely not to be newcomers anymore. -- ( drini's page ) 05:18, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

tl; and cl

PLEASE stop substituting {{tl}} and {{cl}}! They are deliberately used rather than Template:xx and Category:xx! They were both deliberately listed as "do not substitute" - for some reason someone has deliberately changed this and is now substing them! STOP IT!!!!!! 04:56, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

Please see the discussion above ("{{tl}}"). If you have a reason you believe they should not be substituted that was not addressed, please note them here. We are aware that {{tl}} and {{cl}} are deliberately used rather than a template or category link, but that is merely a description of their purpose, not a reason not to substitute. Since you haven't presented any reason not to subst, I've moved it back to the substitution list. My bot will temporarily ignore them pending further discussion. // Pathoschild (admin / talk) 14:11, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
There being no response from the user, and considering previous discussion, I'm moving the templates back to the subst list. // Pathoschild (admin / talk) 06:16, 18 March 2006 (UTC)
There was no response because there was no discussion on the talk pages of those templates! The reasons were all given when tl and cl were first added to the "do not subst" list. STOP IT. Grutness...wha? 00:37, 19 March 2006 (UTC)
since you clearly couldn't be bothered checking the archive for the reasons, I've added a link: Wikipedia_talk:Subst/archives/2005#Disputed. Grutness...wha? 00:44, 19 March 2006 (UTC)
The discussion you linked to included a single argument, which was addressed above. Since you clearly can't be bothered to read the discussion under this heading, I've added a link:
Please note that civility begets civility. Thank you for your valuable contributions to this discussion. // Pathoschild (admin / talk) 01:25, 19 March 2006 (UTC)
I'm also against substing {{tl}}. The server load issue is a non-issue. --Ligulem 08:51, 27 May 2006 (UTC)
{{tl}} should not be substituted. — Omegatron 11:58, 27 May 2006 (UTC)
Neither of you two gave reasons. Substing it reduces server load (70,000 pages currently used tl unsubsted!) and still allows you to easily write out a template link (just {{ subst:tl|param }} instead of {{[[Template:Param|Param]]}} and not strain the servers unnecessarily. What reason is there for not substing it? --Rory096 19:30, 27 May 2006 (UTC)
Others can then learn about it, and it's shorter. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 04:39, 28 May 2006 (UTC)
Shorter where? When entering it in? Slightly. In the wikimarkup? Yes, but who's editing that anyway? Others can learn about it in other ways too, like when it's not substed or when somebody mentions it. --Rory096 05:07, 28 May 2006 (UTC)
It's shorter both when entering it and in the wikimarkup. People regularly edit talk pages. And people will be way, way slower to learn about it if it's always substed, unless you add a comment to it.

See also the new topic I started at Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)#More template server load debate. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 05:12, 28 May 2006 (UTC)

brion was slightly unhelpful when I asked about server load, failing to answer my question. But he has said previously that we shouldn't be concerned with server load, in general. Tl is not comparable to a signature template, because it will be changed very, very rarely—it's received three edits in the approximately seven months since it was full-protected.

In any case, there's clearly no consensus, so please don't put it in the subst pile. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 21:16, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

This debate is odd, why should a bot not subst Template:tl? Comparison:
{{tl|abc}} (10 characters)
{{[[Template:abc|]]}} (21 characters, bad)
{{[[Template:abc|abc]]}} (wikitext for the latter)
{{[[Template:xyz|]]}} (delete 7 + add 4 = 11 to change the name)
{{tl|abc}} (delete 3 + add 3 = 6 to change the name)
11 - 6 = 5 more is IMO acceptable, and it's a rare case to replace a template name in existing text. But always 11 more right from the start, that's bad, templates are designed to be shorthands. 6 more always using {{subst:Tl|xyz}} is also bad, because it's always, unlike rare changes if a bot subst'ed it. -- Omniplex 06:47, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
Substing by bots (which wasn't really being discussed above, at least not specifically) clogs up page history unnecessarily. I would like to know why anyone wants to subst it, on the other hand, other than the hopefully-killed-by-now server load rationale, which would quite possibly be outweighed by tens of thousands of extra edits even if it were significant. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 23:40, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
Substing by bots loads down the servers. — Omegatron 01:05, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
Which is not a valid rationale, except if you're going to use the server-load rationale that seems to be people's only objection to {{tl}} and friends. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 00:28, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

bots will not?

Automated tools (bots) which do such replacements will never be used on the original template pages.

What does that mean? — Omegatron 05:07, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
{{wikilink}} is on the subst list, but although it's used in the template {{Book reference}}, the bots won't change it there. // Pathoschild (admin / talk) 14:17, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
 ??? It's not on the page. — Omegatron 16:01, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
Um, bad example. Oops. Regardless, it means that templates inside of templates will never be automatically substituted. // Pathoschild (admin / talk) 16:49, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

Suggestion not to substitute bv and vw in anonymous talk pages

I think, it is better to have the anonymous talk pages temporary and just delete them after several days. In this way we save even more resources. There is a bot, User:Terminatorius, that blanks anonymous pages if they contain one of these two vandalism warning templates and are older than 10 days (since the last editing session). The substituted message is much larger and remains in the editing history even if blanked in the current version.

Also, the "what links here" for the unsubstituted template provides the very good list of pages that may potentially be blanked (otherwise a lot more scanning is required). I would prefer to blank vandal warnings only, leaving the anonymous pages with various other messages intact. If the vandal warnings are substituted, the bot needs to look into the page to check if it contains the vandal warning message (and the message detection is not trivial after substitution). Audriusa 17:28, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

As I stated when I opposed your request for permissions for your bot I disagree with this due to the fact that the templates serve as an informative medium for those who want to quickly see the history of a user and multiuse IP's are marked with specific tags to alert people who might be potentially confused that they might be accidentally seeing these notices due to other users' actions. Pegasus1138Talk | Contribs | Email ---- 20:58, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

Template:See also

Never subst the esoteric Template:See also (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs).

--William Allen Simpson 12:26, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
After you've fixed it to use #if: it might now work, test:
-- Omniplex 22:58, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

Chemical symbols redux

Some of these have been augmented to include an optional parameter which allows the quantity to be specified (e.g. {{carbon|6}} ⇒ C6). Substituting templates in this form can produce ugly code, which is better left as the template. I would therefore like to propose that these templates be removed from the SUBST section. HTH HAND —Phil | Talk 23:11, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

Not all of the templates use this relatively complex code. Even for those that do, substitution will reduce server load, and the code is not extremely complex. At least those templates without the code should be substituted. Polonium 22:23, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
The mantra about server load has largely been discredited (if you want to see the whole sorry saga, take a deep breath and dive into WP:AUM and the associated talk-page) and the developers have said that if it should ever become a problem they will take steps to inhibit templates (partially or wholly) until the problem is fixed.
I'm also intending to make all of these templates work the same way. If I can hack it, I'm looking for a way to express ions in a similar manner (eg H+ could be something like {{hydrogen|ion=+}}). HTH HAND —Phil | Talk 10:33, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
Indeed. These people must think that substituting templates by editing thousands of pages with a bot doesn't use any server resources at all.
See Category talk:Chemical element symbol templates for a proposal to create shortcut templates like {{e-Na}}{{e-Cl}}. — Omegatron 21:41, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

Moved to the do-not-subst list per the above. // Pathoschild (admin / talk) 04:19, 31 March 2006 (UTC)


The template above is used on user pages containing many warnings. It reminds users to subst templates, links to help pages on using warning templates correctly, and provides useful links for editors leaving warnings and administrators intervening.

The WikiProject on user warning layout standardisation recommended that it be subst'd, but an anonymous user change the main page to recommend that it not be. I personally think it should be subst'd, as there's little need to update instances when the template is changed. // Pathoschild (admin / talk) 04:24, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

Of course it should be substed. Not only is it a derivative of {{subst}}, which is substed, even if it changes, the old version is perfectly fine to have anyway, so it doesn't matter. Tons of templates have minor changes, does that mean we should abolish template substitution? --Rory096 04:25, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

Impostor template

Should {{impostor}} be substituted? I seem to think so. But I'm awaiting other users' input before I take any definitive actions. --Cyde Weys 16:42, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

I see that template as more of a categorizational template than a message template, so I wouldn't subst it. In the future, if someone slightly changes the wording of the template (without changing meaning) there wouldn't really be a problem, because the message is for users now. If it has been a message for people back then, when it was placed there, then I would subst it because users now would be looking for the exact message that was placed there. ~MDD4696 05:20, 20 May 2006 (UTC)

AFD templates

{{afd top}} and {{afd bottom}} are theoretically supposed to be substituted, yet if you check their "What links here" pages you'll find many occurrences of when they aren't. I could very easily have Cydebot (talk · contribs) go through and subst all occurrences in the Wikipedia: namespace. Does anyone see any potential problems with that? There are a lot of them so I want to get some input before I go ahead with it. --Cyde Weys 21:55, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

I don't foresee any problems as long as you stick to the Wikipedia:Articles for deletion subpages. ~MDD4696 05:21, 20 May 2006 (UTC)

Cleanup templates

Should cleanup templates, like {{cleanup}} and {{wikify}}, be substituted? If not, could they be added to the "Templates that should NOT be subst'd" section? Very few wikify templates are substituted, but it makes it more difficult to work on the article when they are, especially when other cleanup templates have been substituted and there is a mess of code at the top of the article. -- Kjkolb 11:26, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

Does anyone mind if I add them to the article? -- Kjkolb 13:02, 13 May 2006 (UTC)
They should definately not be substed. These are temporary categorizational templates. ~MDD4696 05:22, 20 May 2006 (UTC)
Substing them makes it a lot more difficult for a bot to sort them into month specific categories. Don't subst's more typing for you and tons more work for whoever's checking the cleanup and wikify. --Alphachimp talk 02:45, 30 June 2006 (UTC)


The guideline for infoboxes seems rather vague. Under 'Templates that should NOT be subst'd':

various infoboxes, which should look consistant on various pages.

Does this mean that all infoboxes should never be substed, or that only certain infoboxes should never be substed, or what? I tend to think that substition should be avoided if at all possible, just because of the mess of code it leaves in the article, but I don't know if certain infoboxes need substing, for whatever reason? Flowerparty 20:35, 6 May 2006 (UTC)

IF statements

What about the substing of templates which contain statements like #if:? As I understand it, this gets included unparsed, that is, all code verbatim if necessary or not. I'm asking because of this bot edit. Has this issue been mentioned yet? Femto 12:54, 13 May 2006 (UTC)

I've updated the guideline. Templates that contain #if & co should not be substed. Also templates with defaulted parameters should not be substed. (See bugzilla:2777 for a proposal that would fix these issues). --Ligulem 17:36, 13 May 2006 (UTC)

I don't think {{Archive}} and {{Talkarchive}} should be substed

Hi all. I recently revamped {{Archive}} and {{Talkarchive}} with a new categorization scheme, such that pages tagged with one of them will be placed in one of the subcategories at Category:Wikipedia history based on their namespace.

I don't think that either of these templates should be substed as is suggested in this guideline. My reasoning is that the template is not actually part of the archive, and as such does not need to remain static. It's used to mark the archive. Not substing these templates will lead to more static archives, because if the categorization scheme ever changed, the archives would be automatically updated without changing the pages.

Anyone mind if I move the two templates to the Do Not Subst section? ~MDD4696 05:26, 20 May 2006 (UTC)