Wikipedia talk:Template namespace

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Proposal: we do nothing twice[edit]

I think everything that's done at least twice should be stored in case people want to use it again. Why make more work for us? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:48, 14 June 2014 (UTC)

Good idea, what exactly are you referring to ? Mlpearc (open channel) 14:33, 29 June 2014 (UTC)

Templates for editors only: allowed in more places than just Talkspace.[edit]

About guideline "[...] Templates that provide information only of service to editors belong on an article's talk page."

I think this should say something like "do not belong in content space". As it is written now, we can not use an editors-aimed template in subject spaces like WP:, Help: and Template: (documentation). -DePiep (talk) 14:26, 29 June 2014 (UTC)

Good call, I'll clarifiy it. Thanks. --Netoholic @ 22:28, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
Thx. BTW, I still don't know what "content space" exactly envelopes (Lua seems to have it listed). Check this: is a template home page content space (like template:periodic table)? Its /doc included then? -DePiep (talk) 00:00, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
Articles are "content space", everything is is in non-content space. Messages directed solely at editors should not be visible on articles. -- Netoholic @ 00:14, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
(OT from here) Are you sure? Categories can't be content? -DePiep (talk) 00:52, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
Check [1]. It promises, but it is the worst documentation area in wikiworld ever. -DePiep (talk) 01:00, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
Categories are a navigational aid and aren't primarily article content. As far as that Scribunto/Lua item - I think that is a general function. A wiki could define more than one "content space" - on english Wikipedia we only have one (the articles), but other wikis might have several. The template guidelines on this page are just for english Wikipedia, they aren't technical restrictions, but rather instructions for our use. --Netoholic @ 01:10, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
Splitting hairs: you write "primarily article content". 'primarily' is an escape. But all right: if you will consider my OP, everything is fine. -DePiep (talk) 01:23, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
What I meant was that categories aren't a primary source for content - you wouldn't add a category to an article unless the main content of the article supported that category. --Netoholic @ 01:32, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

Guideline creep[edit]

The earlier nutshell text said: "Templates should not normally be used as a substitute for usual article content, ...". Then in recent edits by Netoholic [2], the 'normally' has diappeared. (My correction today was reverted by Netoholic). I claim that this is a change of the guideline, that should have been discussed as such.

Netoholic is drip-drip changing their position into the guideline here they quote this as "should be"). As it is, there are well-established exceptions to this guideline, and these should not be invalidated by this single edit.

I claim that at least the "should not" intention should be stay in the guideline, or possible we can find an even stronger "acceptable exceptions" formulation. -DePiep (talk) 09:03, 13 July 2014 (UTC)

Added section header. ping Netoholic. -DePiep (talk) 14:36, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
Netoholic changed "content" to "text", but plenty of text in articles is properly contained within templates. I suggest the word "prose" instead of "content" or "text". "Prose" means the meat of the article, the body paragraphs, excluding text that is often properly contained within templates such as {{infobox}}, {{cite web}}, and various footer templates. – Jonesey95 (talk) 15:17, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
This is why I clarified it to "text". When you use a {{infobox}} or {{cite web}}, the "article text" is still stored in the article itself, as parameters to a template, whereas the structure is the only thing that the template contains. --Netoholic @ 19:16, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
That is another point that could be clearer. My issue is that it should not be absolutely forbidden, and not in this editing way. There are well-bases exceptions & reasonings to do it. -DePiep (talk) 18:10, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
Prior to my series of updates to the page (it was in kind of a sad state), the word "normally" in the "nutshell" summary did not match the actual text of the guideline, which is why I sync'd up the intent in this edit and later sync'd the precise wording in this one changing only "do the work of" to "be used to store" which I think is more clear. You can see I didn't alter the actual guideline scope itself there, only the mismatched summary text. In yesterday's edit, I changed "article content" to "article text", since content has been interpreted ambiguously. Changing back to "text" harkens back to the very original version of this particular guideline in 2005.
Exceptions to the rule do exist, and should always be precariously perched in that position only by established consensus, but that doesn't mean its wise to move the boundary lines. --Netoholic @ 19:11, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
Isn't it kind of a tautology to say that 'article text (or content)' should be in articles and not in templates? If you say that templates shouldn't include things more appropriate for articles, that doesn't really provide any guideline. Besides, what are the exceptions leaving really? We have citations in templates, infoboxes in templates, various charts and tables. Is non-graphical prose accurate? -- Ricky81682 (talk) 01:08, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
I could link it to Wikipedia:What is an article? which describes the nature of the main article namespace - "A Wikipedia article, or entry, is a page that has encyclopedic information on it. A well-written encyclopedia article identifies a notable encyclopedic topic, summarizes that topic comprehensively, contains references to reliable sources, and links to other related topics. Most articles consist of paragraphs and images, but they may also be formatted as stand-alone lists or tables. These lists or tables are also considered articles for Wikipedia's purposes." By that definition, citations are article text, and by extension of the template namespace guidelines, that text should be in the articles themselves. --Netoholic @ 03:20, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
re Netoholic. my series of updates to the page (it was in kind of a sad state) you write. Actually you edited out "Templates should not do the work of article content in the main article namespace; instead, place the text directly into the article" [3]. That is quite a different text (and to me not that unclear or bad at all). In short: this is not an 'update', this is plain guideline changing. As is clear from related discussions, especially wrt "what is content" (in this thread too), the matter is not clarified, or improved.
There also is this. I sense a form of spiraling reasoning by you. First you quoted this guideline, then you change the guideline to make your quote stronger, and then you say it is just an update. In other words, the string of edits pushes out other reasonable angles. Next I can expect is that, in a future discussion, you quote this guideline (in your version) to say: "see, it is not allowed".
I disagree with the edits & the process, and I suggest they should be discussed to form a consensus. -DePiep (talk) 16:37, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
The recent changes to the guideline ("Templates should not do the work of article content in the main article namespace" to "Templates should not be used to store article text") were meant to clarify, not strengthen, because the the guideline has always been very strong. There is no substantial difference between the two versions, and I would be happy quoting any of them or even revert my own changes if people feel strongly. It doesn't change the fact that encyclopedic content should not be in the template namespace. In fact, how do you feel about this wording: "'The Template: namespace should not contain encyclopedic text. Such content belongs in the article pages themselves.'" That says the same thing, but makes it even clearer, since some people confuse templates ([[Template:Template]]) and template calls ({{Template|parameter=data}}). Templates (calls) in articles obviously contain encyclopedic text as parameters, but Template: items should not. --Netoholic @ 18:56, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
re. how do you feel about this wording you ask. No reply. This is not the way to settle a wiki guideline question. Please start & write a proposal or something like that. I won't go with your 'as it was meant in 2005' ideas.
And there is this. As we speak, I am profoundly using your "article text in template space is illegal" route to improve enwiki big time. Without that route, I could not and would not have done this (see my edit history). If you want to call this illegal: do so plain out. -DePiep (talk) 21:17, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
The word "illegal" in this context wouldn't fit. I wasn't aware of what work you do, but as you asked, I looked at your history. Seems like you mostly work on the {{Infobox element}} derivatives, which are single-use templates associated with the articles on each element. This seems, to me, to have the consensus of the community to operate as it does, but that is an exception to the rule. This doesn't mean that the main rule is bad, or should be abandoned or weakened, only that exceptions demonstrate a consensus for that status, and where possible (such as as we move raw data into Wikidata), then that exception will probably expire at some point. -- Netoholic @ 22:13, 14 July 2014 (UTChelping)
Which is my point (and stop "helping" me, unasked as it is). We don't need your opinion on this for the guideline. I won't come and "beg" for your personal admission to use a template this way. Now please stop this, and don't abuse my editors's time explaining to you the obvious. Note: I find it destructive that you actually intrude my sandbox edits right now. -DePiep (talk) 23:42, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
To be clear: I am working with these 125 clearly offending and wikillegal templates, but which I only can improve sensibly exactly by having their code in a separated, single-use, "article-text" containing template. If you object to my working, then say so. If not, then use this knowledge. -DePiep (talk) 23:26, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

May I suggest we conduct an RFC on the wording? I would remove the word normally just because it makes it a meaningless guidelines (which is just that, a guideline, so it isn't set in stone anyways). Is there an agreement on that? If not, we can offer a host of solutions and see where things go. -- Ricky81682 (talk) 06:00, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

Strike that part. Just the RfC suggestion. -- Ricky81682 (talk) 06:01, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, an RfC is required to make this WP:guideline current & serious. But ... there is the 2005 version (Netoholic keeps mentioning), and the evolved practice (I edit by). Must say, I have little confidence that we can change a guideline. This WP is so established, no change will happen at that level. I can't see me spending time on this RfC for guideline change. For energy efficiency, I prefer blasting those 2005 wikilawyers in a TfD. A choice. Wiki higher command could intervene to improve our guidelines. -DePiep (talk) 18:41, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
I reverted the injection of WP:What is an article? (a FAQ page) [4]. Instead of working the wording to fit an unknown thing, this guideline needs sound text. The way it is going now, I expect to be hounded (for making sensible edits) in a few X units of time by these very fluid descriptions. -DePiep (talk) 23:18, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

RfC: What should the guideline be regarding the scope of templates?[edit]

Consensus indicates the second wording (Templates should not normally be used to store article text.) is more preferable due to there being situations that merit exception to the first wording. TLSuda (talk) 01:06, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

How should we word the first guideline at Wikipedia:Template_namespace#Guidelines (and in the nutshell portion) for templates versus what should be in articles? -- Ricky81682 (talk) 00:03, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

The Template namespace should not be used to store article text. Such content belongs in the article pages themselves.[edit]

  • Endorse - Ever since 2005, its been the intent of the community that the Template namespace not be used to store encyclopedic content. Templates are used to maintain formatting of that content (such as {{cite web}} calls), alert messages to readers ({{citation needed}}), and to provide navigation, but the main "meat" of an article, its information and data that we want editors to freely and easily be able to update, should be in the article namespace itself. Wikipedia:What is an article? describes what counts as encyclopedic content. -- Netoholic @ 02:27, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

Templates should not normally be used to store article text[edit]

  • Endorse — In particular there are some images and captions that are used in several places (such as Template:Old Norse language map) that are encyclopædic content that should be templatised for consistency across articles. I can't think of any examples that are more clearly encyclopædic content off-hand, but I'm sure there are exceptions that are reasonable. Fwiw, I totally don't have a problem with the citation-source templates (mentioned earlier on this Talk: page) either.* Because this is software, we're not limited in the same way as we might be with physical artifacts, so surely what does and doesn't belong in templates is, in part, down to editors' convenience. — OwenBlacker (Talk) 21:08, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
    * Were there a convenient way for those to come from Wikidata, though, I would much prefer that, for tidiness's sake
  • Endorse, meaning that the normally allows editor's freedom. No time to argue extensive, right because I am working in that great article-text-in-template area (see my post in the section above). -DePiep (talk) 21:31, 26 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Endorse per OwenBlacker. --Holdek (talk) 10:10, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Endorse. Cheers and Thanks, L235-Talk Ping when replying 20:58, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Endorse. I can think of several cases where we've put "text" into templates when we didn't want to needlessly duplicate something across several main space articles - something that wasn't strictly formatting or navigation. The other phrasing sounds like someone wants to use this guideline as a stick to beat people with if they happen to do this. --Joy [shallot] (talk) 19:38, 14 August 2014 (UTC)

Threaded discussion[edit]

  • @OwenBlacker: - No one doubts that the template space should be used for things like maps and other visual representations that should exist across several articles, but those are not strictly "text" (in other words, they aren't prose or other "readable" content). Option 1 (the current standard) would never affect the map that you linked, as it is a useful visual aid used across several articles. There are certainly exceptions for other things out there that do use prose/text in templates, but they are rare and maintain their status as exceptions which "break" this particular rule by way of strong consensus. I think the difference in the two options given here is that option 1 about maintaining this strong standard in a way that has served us well since 2005, and option 2 relaxes it in a way that could see those rare exceptions grow to be commonplace which has many negative results. For example, templates for entire paragraphs of prose, which makes that text difficult to edit for novice users and can't be monitored by people that watchlist the article, but not the template. -- Netoholic @ 03:31, 26 July 2014 (UTC)
  • (to Netoholic) Please give me a break. For exactly the reasons that illustrate why I oppose this, from real editor's life: These weeks I am preparing & making a big changeover to ~125 off-article templates (singly used even, how illegal!). Were they in-article --as is proposed-- I could not and would not have made this improvement. I have no time to argue that wide, for obvious reasons. Just one question: would you oppose this process then, however indirectly? -DePiep (talk) 21:28, 26 July 2014 (UTC)
    I am fine with some exceptions to the rule, when there is good reason and strong consensus, but those exceptions should be seen as temporary, and we should not rewrite the basic rule itself. It sends the wrong message. -- Netoholic @ 04:07, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
This is an idle statement. Your statement above does not allow for an exception. You know just very well that, once amade into a guideline or rule, there is no escape and any editor can deny any exception just by linking to it. And you yourself have not even admitted that my current process would be such an "exception". DSimply, igf you recognise there are exceptions possible, just enter them in the rule. -DePiep (talk) 11:07, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
Strong consensus allows exception to any wikipedia policy or guideline. That doesn't mean we soften the stated rules. Your element templates are exceptions, allowed by strong consensus, but in the future there may be solutions that eliminate the need for them to be exceptions. -- Netoholic @ 19:13, 27 July 2014 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Template to show worldwide article (page) count[edit]

I can't find a dynamic template that shows worldwide "pages" (articles) as displayed here. Currently it's at 37,631,570 pages. What is the template that displays that rolling total? Template: {{NUMBEROFARTICLES}} (PS: why does this template show as a 'red' link in this Talk page post?) accomplishes this on a rolling basis for numbers only. Please point me in the right direction. Thank you. Cheers! {{u|Checkingfax}} {Talk} 22:05, 23 October 2015 (UTC)

{{NUMBEROFARTICLES}} is not a template; it's a magic word that dynamically shows the number of articles on a wiki in real time. You can use it directly by inserting the code {{NUMBEROFARTICLES}} where you want the figure to show up. —ALittleQuenhi (talk to me) 17:15, 2 August 2016 (UTC)

Category:Encyclopedic content templates[edit]

The guideline "Templates should not normally be used to store article text, as this makes it more difficult to edit the content" needs work. I have just discovered the existence of Category:Encyclopedic content templates.

  • Some of the templates in that category should not be templates.
  • Others should provide instructive examples of cases where the "normally" of the guideline does not apply; such as might be worth illustrating in the guideline.
  • The guideline could usefully be augmented:
    • "Exceptions should be placed in Category:Encyclopedic content templates or a subcategory."
    • "Explain in the template documentation (or Template talk: page, or Category talk: page of a group of related templates) why the text is better put in a template than an article."

The big subcategory at the moment is Category:Election and referendum result templates. These are tables rather than paragraphs of prose, so I am unsure if "article text" is intended to cover such cases, but in spirit it really should. Digging around for the reasoning behind this result-templates category, I found Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Elections and Referendums/Archive 4#Election results as a template separate from an article pointing to Wikipedia:Deletion review/Log/2009 January 30#Indian state assembly election results in 2008 and Wikipedia:Templates for deletion/Log/2009 January 14#Indian state assembly election results in 2008.

For me the big problem with putting content in templates is referencing: in a simple case a single reference might suffice, but otherwise you may run into duplication of references between a template and an article in which it is transcluded. If editors have found any way to mitigate this it should be publicised. jnestorius(talk) 14:33, 16 February 2016 (UTC)

This sort of thing will continue to plague us until people come a consensus that the Template namespace should not hold encyclopedic data *at all*. Every time we squash one misuse, we discover another. -- Netoholic @ 05:09, 6 April 2016 (UTC)

Should we have interwiki links in nav-templates?[edit]

Pls see Wikipedia talk:Categories, lists, and navigation templates#Request for comment: Use of interlanguage links in Wikipedia templates.--Moxy (talk) 21:37, 21 January 2017 (UTC)

Template used for inserting same text into multiple articles[edit]

Please express your opinion : Talk:List_of_chemical_elements#Moving to template? . Staszek Lem (talk) 17:30, 10 April 2017 (UTC)

Inappropriate use of Template namespace?[edit]

Template:External program hours seems to be a table of program hours for various radio stations around the world. It's been linked to in the "See also" section of several articles about radio stations, though the link is piped to hide the "Template:" namespace. Is this an inappropriate use of the Template namespace? It seems like an attempt to include content that would normally be in its own article (or part of another article) without actually having to follow those guidelines. --V2Blast (talk) 02:52, 18 April 2017 (UTC)

It looks like pure copyvio to me: Compare with this.Jonesey95 (talk) 04:20, 18 April 2017 (UTC)