Wikipedia talk:Template namespace/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2

Template and category namespaces

66.167.49.222 18:22, 21 Jun 2004 (UTC): It would be useful to allow a template to include a category and have that category apply to all articles including that template. In the current implementation of category support, including a category into a template does result in an article with the appropriate template and category included, but when you go to the category's article, it simply lists the template as another article in the category and does not descent down the implied level of indirection and list all articles which include the template. For example, check out Columbia River Plateau and Template:Oregon.

I agree putting the template in the category is strange, but what's wrong with the article? Looks like it is OK in the category to me. --ssd 22:52, 21 Jun 2004 (UTC)
66.167.49.222 23:56, 21 Jun 2004 (UTC): I don't if the Template is listed as an article or not; what I would like to see is all of the articles that include the template but not directly including the category still show up in the category. So for example, if Template:Oregon includes Category:Oregon, all articles including Template:Oregon show up in the Oregon category. That's what I meant by descending down a level of indirection...
It does work that way...except that articles that had the template before the category was added will not immediately be put into the category. They will go in after the first edit, even if it is a null edit that does not show in history. --ssd 09:52, 21 June 2004 (UTC)

Not sure if this belongs here..

I made a little template for the occupations of politicians (and other people) you can see at the bottom of many pages. It's at Template:Occubox (didn't came up with a better name), and a little example can be seen at the bottom of my Sandbox. There's also a bug, as the president-link does not work. I don't have a clue why.. I'd like to hear other opinions about this and I'm not sure where to ask, so I'm doing it here. Move my comment if necessary. --Conti| 15:43, 29 Jun 2004 (UTC)

  • I went and had a fiddle with it. From what I can see, templates don't like having | characters as part of the data that is passed to them. See my Sandbox for what happens if I change one of the other entries to have a different visible name than target name. I don't know if there is any way around this, but it is definitely the | that is causing your problems. SkArcher 16:25, 29 Jun 2004 (UTC)
    • Right, it's one missing feature for the templates, the pipe character is always interpreted as the delimiter between two parameters. There should something like masking, e.g. a double pipe (||) being interpreted as a single pipe inside the parameter. This problem is already listed at sourceforge, hopefully a MediaWiki developer will take a look at it because IMHO that one is one of the biggest missing features of template. andy 16:28, 29 Jun 2004 (UTC)
      • Another thing that I discovered was that I can't make a Template which contains just part of a table, for example "{| {{tablestuff}} |}" - where {{tablestuff}} is "|hello world" - does not work. --Conti| 16:39, 29 Jun 2004 (UTC)
      • Is there any other use for a double pipe? I've thought of one ... another kind of pipe trick.;Bear 15:49, 2004 Jul 9 (UTC)

A good place to go for things like this in the future is Wikipedia:Help desk. Wikipedia Help Desk--not just for newcomers. This message brought to you by Wikipedians for helpfulness. [[User:Meelar|Meelar (talk)]] 16:31, 29 Jun 2004 (UTC)

  • Thanks! :-) --Conti| 16:39, 29 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Category

I was excited when I first heard of Wikipedia:Categories because I apparently misunderstood and thought that the list which a category generates would then be useable as a template.

For instance, we have a list of diatonic functions at Category:Diatonic functions, which would fit perfectly at Diatonic function.

Given that this appears to be impossible, it seems like a waste of time for me to create categories since, as the page states, they are much like "What links here" except less useful. In almost all cases they show you a list (in meta-space) which it is then necessary to duplicate elsewhere (in non-meta space).

So, question one is: Am I mistaken and is this already possible? Question two: If it is not now possible, could it be done in the future? Hyacinth 20:30, 29 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I think you are mistaken. I see nothing wrong with the way categories work. You can link from the article to the category just fine, or put the article in the category. Either way, you get a nice automatically maintained alphabetized list of all the articles in the category. I see no advantage (and quite a few disadvantages) to including a category as a template. Categories are not in meta space, they are in category space, with their own mini-article above the list of entries. --ssd 03:21, 30 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Thanks. However, the mini-article adds redundency of the article to the redundancy of the (category) list. Am I mistaken and is this already possible? Question two: If it is not now possible, could it be done in the future? Hyacinth 04:22, 30 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Meta-templates

I have written Wikipedia:Meta-templates considered harmful, with input from User:Jamesday, the main database developer on the project. Meta-templates are basically templates used to commonize the format of yet other templates. One example is Template:Message box. There are a number of problems with using these, which look to outweigh the benefits. -- Netoholic @ 19:31, 2005 Feb 4 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Meta-templates considered harmful has now been proposed to be adopted as a true guideline. Please review and discuss on that pages talk page. -- Netoholic @ 22:49, 2005 Mar 21 (UTC)

As of 20:26, 13 November 2007 (UTC) the document itself says, "This proposal has been rejected by the community." The discussion is here. – Conrad T. Pino 20:32, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

Template table within a table

Same template, different contents

Is there a way to, and if so how does one, create a template into which different information could be added? For example, a template added to a page which automatically takes as its heading the title of that page. Or a template which could be used on many pages with a blank spot for a page specific table, such as the following table within a table:

Perfect fifth
# semitones Interval class # cents in equal temperament Most common diatonic name Comparable just interval # cents in just interval Just interval vs. equal-tempered interval
7 5 700 perfect fifth 3:2 702 2 cents larger
Other diatonic intervals
unison | minor second | major second | minor third | major third | perfect fourth | tritone | perfect fifth | minor sixth | major sixth | minor seventh | major seventh | octave

The bottom half of the table is Template:Diatonic intervals, while the top half is a table from Perfect fifth. The bottom half would be identical on all diatonic interval articles, while the top half would have different info for each. It's much more attractive and helpful as one table.

Is there a way to add {{Diatonic intervals}} and indicate content within (a blank space left for such a purpose in) that template? Thanks. Hyacinth 09:30, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Template in table

Okay, this is a simpler solution:
Perfect fifth
# semitones Interval class # cents in equal temperament Most common diatonic name Comparable just interval # cents in just interval Just interval vs. equal-tempered interval
7 5 700 perfect fifth 3:2 702 2 cents larger

But it could look better. Hyacinth 11:10, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)

transcluding prose

Unusual transclusion issue not covered by policy (archived from Village pump)

(I've added this debate from the village pump here to archive it, hope it's the best place for it. Hiding 1 July 2005 09:01 (UTC))

There's something going on over at the articles relating to the 2005 English cricket season that I'm not sure is kosher, but which doesn't seem to be covered by any policies or policy proposals I've been able to find. A large number of small pages have been created detailing the events of individual cricket matches (for example, 2005 English cricket season/Middlesex v Worcestershire 1 May 2005) and then each of these small articles is transcluded into a number of very large articles that group them based on various criteria (the example linked above is transcluded into Worcestershire County Cricket Club in 2005, Middlesex County Cricket Club in 2005, National League Division One in 2005 and 2005 English cricket season (1-14 May)). Anyone know of any policies I might have missed (I've seen the stuff at Wikipedia:Transclusion), or have any opinions on what the policy on this sort of thing should be? Note that the fact that these cricket match subarticles are IMO in violation of Wikipedia:Subpages policy is a separate issue, at some point I'll be moving them all to non-subpage titles to correct this. I figured I should see what people thought of the transclusion issue first, though. Bryan 05:15, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)

That's not cricket! (sorry) I believe the general feeling is that transclusion to generate article content is a Very Bad Thing, and should be avoided if at all possible. --Carnildo 07:35, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I think you've hit the nail on the head with your last clause, which I agree with. It should be avoided if possible. First I invite you to look at 2005 English cricket season (which is a work in progress) and all the related articles to see what we're doing, which is adding comprehensive encyclopaedic information about the season. It takes up a lot of time and a lot of maintaining - but it is dealing with the season from a wide range of perspectives which is just not offered by any other site or publication. It would be impossible to have such comprehensive coverage without transclusion (it would just take so many more hours to put together and maintain as to make it impossible). So here we have a choice between no articles and articles with transclusion - and that's an easy choice to make.

I totally agree that we should not, however, use transclusion willy-nilly. It is only on a very very small number of articles where there would be benefits. On those articles we should accept it because WP will benefit from those articles. In essence I'm saying that the guideline of "no transclusion", like all our guidelines, is not a law writ in stone, jguk 10:43, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)

How about substituting it when the transclusion is no longer necessary? I don't think anything would be lost if the reports were subst'd in now. smoddy 10:47, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I have no opposition against subst'd when it is no longer necessary - but I think that would be, in this case, towards the end of October, once the season is complete and there is time for a full copy-edit and proof-read and an opportunity to put everything in proper context. Otherwise we'd be in the silly position of having to locate and edit four articles each time we find one typo. Kind regards, jguk 11:41, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)
See also Wikipedia_talk:Template_namespace#transcluding_prose.--Patrick 12:37, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Ah, thanks, this isn't a policy but it's certainly very relevant. :) Bryan 19:10, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Forget transclusion and subpages! When the hell did individual team matchs in regular season sports become encyclopedic and worth separate articles? Are we headed towards individual articles on each of the 84 games/season times however many teams are in the NBA, every year, let alone, NFL, NHL, MISL, MLB, Indian cricket, Australian rugby, CFL, Brazilian soccer, etc., etc., etc.? Is there something really that special about English cricket that is escaping me??? Niteowlneils 05:07, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Seriously! Did Wikipedia become a sports news website when I wasn't looking? Can we send this kind of material to Wikinews? They could use content, and we really don't need this. Isomorphic 05:14, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)
They're not separate articles: they're constituent parts of articles that, because they are used in various places (e.g. a match account for Durham v. Essex would be mentioned in Frizzell County Championship Division Two in 2005, Durham County Cricket Club in 2005 and Essex County Cricket Club in 2005) and using transclusion makes the whole thing possible. I think both of you should be able to see that these will be useful and encyclopaedic articles -- for example, I might be looking for information on the 2005 English cricket season in a few years time, and Wikipedia will then be offering precisely the complete information I am searching for. --Ngb 14:32, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)
We don't need this is a terribly poor argument when we've got an encyclopedia with - theoretically - unlimited space. People are interested in this, and if others want to write on MLB, MLS etc. - let them. What's the point in deleting potentially useful information for the sake of it? Sam Vimes 19:05, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)
we don't have unlimted space. The developers do wounderful things with compressing history and such but we do not have unlimited space.Geni 16:04, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I understand that "Wikipedia is not paper", but hard disk space and bandwith are not free. I don't see how the details of regular season sports matches can be considered encyclopedic in stand-alone articles or season summaries. No encyclopedia in the past has included them, and even Almanacs, which offer more detailed coverage of a given year, limit themselves to final standings, playoffs, and the championship. Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not states "Wikipedia should not offer first-hand news reports on breaking stories (however, our sister project Wikinews does exactly that). Wikipedia does have many encyclopedia articles on topics of historical significance that are currently in the news, and can be significantly more up-to-date than most reference sources since we can incorporate new developments and facts as they are made known."--I don't see how regular season matches have any inherent 'historical significance'. FWIW, [[{team name} in {year}]] articles don't seem encyclopedic, nor supported by precedent over the past 4 years of Wikipedia, to me, either. Niteowlneils 19:27, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I just want to comment on two particularly jarring things you've said. 'No encyclopedia in the past has included them' is a *terrible* argument for deciding on Wikipedia content, as no encyclopedia in the past has been like Wikipedia and there are probably gigabytes of content that no encyclopedia in the world has ever included. Secondly, 'even Almanacs [don't cover individual matches]'. I'm afraid I can only assume that sports almanacs have a fundamental difference between the US and the UK. The leading almanac for cricket, the Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, includes *full details of every single first-class and List A cricket match* and has done for over a hundred years.
So I don't think these are questions we should be asking. What we should be saying is 'is this content informative and potentially useful?'. I submit that, indeed, it is. --Ngb 22:11, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Sorry, I should have prefaced both with 'general interest', which I understand Wikipedia to be, a 'general interest encyclopedia'--Wikipedia is not a 'cricket almanac', nor a 'cricket encyclopedia', nor even broader "sport" almanac or encyclopedia. And general "World Almanac"s have summaries of regular seasons, not week by week results. Regular season sports play-by-play is 'current events', not repeated, so is better suited to WikiNews or WikiCities, whereas TV episodes (which I'm not defending as necessarily encyclopedic either, but I find more so than articles about fictional characters, places, and things) get repeated over and over into posterity, more like documenting a book, not a news item.
Also, not every fact that someone in the future 'may want to look up' or 'may find interesting/useful' is encyclopedic. Are you saying we should report every fact that appears in every local police blotter? Movie times listings? Wedding/anniversary announcements? Every death? Every single birth? How about pre-season games? Little league game play-by-play? TV/movie audition results? Every write-in candidate for sewer district councilmember? Everything from the 'business people on the move' columns appearing in most daily newspapers?
How about you write all contributors to the last fund-raising drive and tell them their $50,000 of hardware is going to be keeping daily sports scores for eternity, and see how many want their money back, as I believe that goes WAY beyond most people's idea of the scope of an encyclopedia. And, again, I don't see how regular season matches have any inherent 'historical significance'. Niteowlneils 03:23, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)
How about we write to them and tell them that their $50,000 of hardware is going to be keeping extensive details of every single Doctor Who episode? Or biographies of every character in The Simpsons? Or lengthy accounts of every Pokémon? I don't see why the match-by-match reviews of the season that we are developing for English cricket are any less encyclopaedic than any of that content. When these reviews of the season develop I think Wikipedia will be providing useful, informational content that people simply can't get elsewhere.
I think some of the examples in your list of facts are a little facetious, to be honest. I'm sure you can see the difference between match details in the context of an article on '$Sports-team in $year' and movie times for today, for instance. --Ngb 08:32, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)
So, maybe a couple were over the top--what about the rest. My personal opinion is that Wikipedia's fiction coverage is excessive, and probably should have been confined to a 'sister project' from day one. However, fiction has been included since day one, so people knew what they were supporting. My main concern is that starting now to include play-by-play results of regular season sport matches is a MAJOR, undiscussed, expansion of Wikipedia's scope by a small number of contributors, beyond what I would expect in an encyclopedia. Niteowlneils 15:23, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I quote, from WP:NOT: "This (the fact that Wikipedia is not paper) means that there is no practical limit to number of topics we can cover other than verifiability and the other points presented on this page." As this is evidently useful enough knowledge that it gets printed in a cricketers' almanack which thousands buy every year - a book people keep - I don't think this falls under "news reports", but is encyclopedic and worth keeping for the future. Cheers for correcting typos, btw. Sam Vimes 20:06, 15 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Yup, just because we have infinite space doesn't mean we should try to be the be-all end-all information repository. And once we're done with [[{team name} in {year}]] we should go for [[{Television series} episodes in {season}]]. --W(t) 19:37, 2005 Jun 12 (UTC)

Theoretical 'infinite space', and bought and paid for hard disk space and servers to meet the demand to get the content out, are quite different things. I don't have infinite funds to finance documenting every microscopic detail of daily life worldwide; do you? Niteowlneils 03:23, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Well, good luck on getting List of Star Trek: TOS episodes deleted, then. Not to mention the page-long plot summaries of each episode. Or the 1955 Monaco Grand Prix. AFAICS, that's never been put up for deletion - and an individual Star Trek episode is IMO just as newsworthy as an individual soccer or cricket match. Sam Vimes 20:00, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Or every Simpsons episode. How is a cricket match less important than a Simpsons episode? And you think that almanacs don't contain reports of every match? Then you clearly know nothing about cricket almanacs. I think these pages are wholly encyclopedic. Why shouldn't we have articles on every team's season in the NFL or NHL? Seems entirely reasonable to me. I would not even contemplate reading them, but they are fully worth having. smoddy 20:45, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)
On the other hand, none of those television episode articles are transcluded into other pages. Personally, I think we should just be linking to these; instead of making Durham County Cricket Club in 2005 (for example) into a monster huge page containing everything there is to know about the season, make it into a summary of the season with a list of links to the individual game articles for those who want more detailed information. This is how it's done everywhere else on Wikipedia where there's comparable information. Bryan 22:15, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)
They are a long term project. In the long term, they will not be transcluded, but substituted. What is your argument? That an article about Durham's progress in 2005 should be a bunch of links? This is a work-in-progress. At the end of the season, it will be an excellent resource. It is a little unattractive at the moment, but not as unattractive as your idea. The match summaries are summaries. It would not be ideal to cut the text down any further. What is your problem with these articles? That you don't want to read them? "No other article does this" is not a valid argument. Why is this bad? Who does it confuse? A simple explanatory note could easily be inserted if you are worried about new users being confused. In short term, it is less than perfect. In the long term, it will work out fine. smoddy 22:36, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)
No, my argument is (as I said explicitly above) that the Durham's progress article should be a summary and a bunch of links. It already has a three-paragraph summary at the top of that article along with an infobox listing players. Using substitution in the long term isn't as good as linking, IMO, because if people spot errors or omissions in those game summaries they'll have to go to multiple different places to edit them all (this bit I mentioned at Wikipedia talk:Template namespace#A random note, unfortunately I didn't know about this discussion when I first posted here so it's wound up being talked about in multiple places). There's no need to trim any information out of Wikipedia as a whole, indeed I think linking to the individual game pages instead of transcluding them would make it easier to make them grow even larger. Bryan 23:18, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Here's a quick and dirty example of what I mean. This is simply the existing Durham article with the transcludes turned into links: User:Bryan Derksen/Sandbox (the tables might be okay to subst: in, those aren't likely to be edited again once the season's finished). Bryan 23:27, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I am sorry if I misenterpreted your argument. A bunch of links becomes a list. A list becomes a category. A category is useless. These articles will all become excellent articles in their own right, but the individual matches are unlikely to. We don't need to be immediatist. The articles will evolve, over time, into effective summary articles for each club and division. A bunch of links will totally wreck this article structure, which allows for development that will result in good summary articles after time. No-one would read a set of links. This excellent method allows editors to complete very encyclopedic articles, while still giving the reader something to read. Idealistic notions of no transclusion and no subpages are good in the long term, but use to the reader is paramount in the short term. smoddy 23:30, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)
"A category is useless" is a POV that's far from universally held, and in any event a category can coexist perfectly well with both lists and summary articles. Subst:ing the match articles into all the pages that currently transclude them isn't a good long-term solution either, though; you didn't address the problem I pointed out about how keeping them consistent would require future editors to find all of the multiple instances to fix. Bryan 23:45, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Which is the point of validating them carefully before subst-ing them in. The thing is that each article will, in time, take a different spin on the matter than the others, even if they originally incorporate the same text. I anticipate the chunks of text being a common starting point, that can be worked together into a coherent article at the end of the season. This is why I don't believe a list as you propose would be appropriate. As for the use of categories, I am a firm believer in them. However, I meant that they would be useless here. But categories are beside the point; I apologies for introducing them. Anyway, I'm off to bed now. I'll continue wrangling with the issue in the morning. smoddy 23:55, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)
My response to your sandbox would be a) that it looks nice. b) That no-one will read the articles. I personally don't consider the individual matches encyclopedic. Their inclusion in all four places is encyclopedic. Therefore, they are served best in the article. Else this becomes a news source. smoddy 23:34, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)
We can expand the summary section, though - based on the "match details" which are linked to. Plus, no encyclopedia (at least, no self-respecting one) would repeat the same content in four different pages. It's perhaps a bit more work for the people working on the project, though, but I think it makes it look more professional. Sam Vimes 08:59, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)
We don't intend, long term, to have the same text on all four pages. We intend to have different takes based around the same events and same original text on all four pages. In the short term, it doesn't look great. In the long term, it will work fine. What is wrong with this temporary solution? smoddy 09:54, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)
One problem with such temporary solutions that go against accepted M.O. is that when they are done once, they will forever be cited as precedent for ever-expanding uses, many of which are not likely to be temporary or well thought out. We will see talk pages filled with "What we are doing with Foo really very different from what was done with Cricket articles," the next expansion citing Foo as precedent. The situation with fiction should be an object lesson. --Tabor 17:00, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Original to page discussion

partially adapted from comments by Jguk [1] [2]

Templates allow the use of identical text across multiple articles, and one can update all the articles with a single edit. This makes good sense for marginalia like stub messages and article series boxes, as noted.

It is possible to do this with entire sections of articles—one or more paragraphs of text, perhaps an image or two—as well, and this has potential applications. For example, one could write a separate template for each game of a sports season, then transclude the template into three separate articles: one on the season as a whole, one on one team's season, and another on the other team's season. Without that facility, maintaining such a series of articles would be a time-consuming task: every time a comma or typo were changed, or every time someone changed one article, either all three would need to be corrected or they would go out of kilter.

On the other hand, content that fits well into one article might not fit into another. The text might contain redundancies or irrelevancies, the formatting of the images might not be appropriate, the heading level might be wrong (and a heading is necessary to allow section editing), or the style might be inconsistent. One could not change this without messing up the other articles that use the template—or else abandoning the template entirely, thus defeating its purpose. It would be impossible to edit the article as a whole: one will necessarily be stuck with at least one section that resists any changes more significant than moving it to a different place within the article. Just look at this real-life example (using Wikipedia: namespace pages, which creates an entirely new set of problems, mainly for those who use the article content outside Wikipedia itself):


{{Wikipedia:WikiProject Cricket/MCC v Warwickshire 8-11 April 2005}}
{{Wikipedia:WikiProject Cricket/Cambridge UCCE v Essex 9-11 April 2005}}
{{Wikipedia:WikiProject Cricket/Glamorgan v Cardiff UCCE 9-11 April 2005}}
{{Wikipedia:WikiProject Cricket/Oxford UCCE v Gloucestershire 9-11 April 2005}}
{{Wikipedia:WikiProject Cricket/Northamptonshire v Bradford&Leeds 9-11 April 2005}}
{{Wikipedia:WikiProject Cricket/Somerset v Durham UCCE 9-11 April 2005}}
{{Wikipedia:WikiProject Cricket/Sussex v Loughborough UCCE 9-11 April 2005}}

So: Is using templates for body text a good idea or a bad idea? —Charles P. (Mirv) 01:50, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)


Absolutely terrible idea, for a number of reasons.
  • Transclusion is a complex concept for newbies.
  • Edits to the prose cannot be made except by manually entering the page name in the URL line. Even if the prose is sectioned, not everyone sees, uses, or enables the "edit section" links.
  • Once an edit to the text is done, you're left on the trancluded page, not the main article -- a navigational annoyance.
I dislike tremendously that jguk, after having pointed out that this was a misuse of Template: namespace, simply transferred it all to Wikipedia: and used transclusion. We need to expand this restriction such that transclusion of article prose (Template: or otherwise) is not acceptable. We may even think about requesting transclusion (but not templates) be disabled all together in the article space. -- Netoholic @ 15:18, 2005 Apr 12 (UTC)
This discussion is based on what I'm doing over at 2005 English cricket season and related articles (all of which link from that page). I am trying to have what will be about three dozen encyclopaedic articles covering the whole season from different perspectives. This is something which I have not seen elsewhere on the web, and means that Wikipedia can offer a unique approach to reporting on the season.
The articles I'm using it for quite simply would not be practical without "transclusion" (which I think is the jargon here). They would just be a nightmare to keep up to date and consistent. I see this as using existing Wikimedia technology in a new way to further enhance Wikipedia.
Therefore, whilst I appreciate some newbies might be confused, as the other option is to not have any articles covering the subject at hand - I take the view that it's best to develop and expand Wikipedia rather than to just have nothing. Besides, I suppose I could write a short guide on how to edit them on each talk page - and note in hidden text at the top of each article that editors who aren't sure how to edit the page should look on the talk page to find out.
I would add that very few series of articles need "transclusion" to work - which is probably why I haven't seen it done elsewhere. But if my experiment works, maybe it will encourage others to report on other sports in a similar fashion - and improve Wikipedia even more, jguk 17:36, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I very, very strongly agree with Netoholic. --mav 04:10, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)
To disprove Netoholic's point that it is confusing for new users or difficult to navigate, please see User:Sam Vimes, who clearly got the hang of it on his 12th edit. This dispenses with his first two points. On the third point, you only have to press the "Back" button twice, it really isn't a hassle.
Remember also that a reader will not know how the text has been put together and so will not be bothered by transclusion. And a review of the mirrors show they are picking up the page properly too, jguk 12:09, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)
A person who happens to create a user account is not the type of person who will be confused. The people who will be confused are those who will leave in frustration after trying to edit this 'article' (really, a container page) and never edit again. And all article content needs to go into either the article namespace or if it is tabular data shared by other articles, then through the use of templates. And the mirrors don't have any WikiProjects - so why the line to those pages from within articles? The WikiProject is here - not there. Furthermore, the expected outcome of clicking 'watch' is to see all edits to a page. This is not possible with a container page. In short, we need to follow the principle of least astonishment. --mav 21:07, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Oddly enough, we could use yet another template to help deal with this. Subst: an appropriate HTML comment at the top of each container article with some boilerplate comments about what's going on and where to get help. Note that I'm not saying that this article series is a good enough reason to transclude prose...but if it is permitted, then steps can be taken in policy and procedure to protect neophytes from what definitely is an unusual article structure. --TenOfAllTrades(talk) 16:18, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I strongly agree with both Mav and Netoholic. Perhaps to reiterate - meta-templates are to be avoided. Read - don't use them ever, unless you have a *really, really good reason* to. And this is especially true where where the 'meat' of the article - the actual prose - is concerned. →Raul654 21:32, Jun 2, 2005 (UTC)

These are "vanilla" as opposed to "meta" templates. I believe the technical advice was to avoid changing lots of articles all at once by changing widely used templates. Hardly applies here, where the templates are applied to a handful of pages. Pcb21| Pete 23:35, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I agree that they shouldn't be used except where there is no practical alternative - and it is only in very, very rare situations that there is no practical alternative. In the instance of the articles supporting the 2005 English cricket season it really is a case that without transclusion they would be impossible to set up and maintain (without spending a prohibitively long time tweaking them so they are internally consistent). In this case, we should welcome transclusion as helping WP to expand its base and develop further. I reiterate that I only believe transclusion should be used in articles where there is no practical alternative - but an absolute ban would be to the detriment of the encyclopaedia as there are a very small number of articles that benefit and will benefit from it. Kind regards, jguk 21:40, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)
This is not one of those situations and this idea is moreso aimed at making the editor's life a bit easier than creating a good product. Prose should never be in templates and having the exact same text in several related articles is a disservice to readers interested in that topic area given the likelihood that the same reader will read the exact same text more than once in different articles (this is highly annoying and wastes the reader's time). Instead each article should tailor their own treatment of the content to suit the needs of that article. 2005 English cricket season (8-30 April), for example, should be a summary and overview of its topic; not a collection of parts from more specific treatments. Editing is also very problematic since the editor will land in an unexpected place - a place that only contains the section they were editing. Linking to anything in headings is also counter to the Manual of Style. --mav 22:16, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)
It may be that, after the season has finished, and there is a chance to run through all the match descriptions and copyedit them properly, that we can replace the transclusion with "subst". However, until such a time, this is the best way of doing things. The season ends in September, so such a process should be done by the end of October. Howabout if I agree to subst everything relating to the 2005 English cricket season by the end of October (though please give me a fortnight's warning before doing anything yourself just in case I forget)? Then we get the benefit of using tranclusion whilst the pages are being created, and we resolve your concerns once the benefits of using transclusion are diminished. Kind regards, jguk 22:22, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Interesting suggested compromise. I will ponder this but either way the heading links will have to go. --mav 22:34, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)
The headings would stay as they are until the end of October (under my proposed compromise). In fairness, I will add that there are, of course, other cricket seasons that may be dealt with in the same way - by which I mean they would be trancluded until there is a good opportunity to give them a thorough copyedit at the end of the season, after which the subst function could be used on them. Kind regards, jguk 22:50, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)
That's definitely a deal breaker since there is very little practical use to editors and confusion for readers (who will be confused why the link they clicked on took them to a clone of the text they just read). Just click the darn section edit link - it takes you to the text. --mav 23:08, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Mav asked me to comment on this. I would briefly state the following:

  1. Article content should never be in the Wikipedia: namespace. That's because Wikipedia has hundreds of completely legal mirrors and forks who rely on the fact that all content they need to import is in the article, template and image namespaces. One you put content outside these three, it will no longer be available on those websites. It's also a matter of namespace policy: Wikipedia: is explicitly for policy and community matters. Jguk, please move this content into the article namespace as soon as possible. You can still transclude content if you must, using the syntax {{:Article title}}.
  2. Having article content in the article namespace also guarantees that everything in that namespace is or can easily be edited into an article in its own right, rather than just bits and pieces. The Template: namespace is for meta-content (info box layouts, navigation boxes, dispute tags, etc.), not for content itself, so that would be the wrong place, too.

--Eloquence 22:44, Jun 2, 2005 (UTC)

I have checked a few mirrors, and the ones I have checked have no problem with what I am doing. They do, however, have other problems that appear in many articles we already have - sometimes it is images, sometimes tables.
I have noted above that the evidence suggests newbies have no problem with transclusion. I am also offering to end transclusion of these articles once the 2005 English cricket season is over and there is an opportunity for a thorough copyedit for all the related articles. After that has happened, the benefits of transclusion diminish somewhat, so I am willing to offer to subst. I'm interested about the idea of trancluding using {{:Article title}}. I didn't know you could do that. I'll give it a try, jguk 22:50, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Which mirrors did you check? answers.com, for example, which is probably the single largest mirror (it's linked from Google results pages) does not include Wikipedia: namespace content. Pretty much any mirror which imports the content from the database rather than crawling the site will have to deal with transclusion, and most of them will not import Wikipedia: namespace pages.
And here's an example for how it looks when it goes wrong: English cricket season on answers.com--Eloquence 23:08, Jun 2, 2005 (UTC)
Namespacing is a secondary issue to deciding whether the heart of jg's idea is something we want to run with. His idea, essentially that of providing different "views" of the same content, is interesting. As with most novel ideas like this it is important not to crush it just because its not how we do things currently. We should crush it if the negatives outweigh the positives. Pcb21| Pete 23:30, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)
You're correct -- namespacing is a separate question. However, for that question, the answer is clear, in my opinion: article content should be in the article namespace.--Eloquence
Agreed. Pcb21| Pete 00:30, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I am going to summarize here an argument against transclusion that I previously made at Wikipedia_talk:What_is_a_featured_article#Size. I suggest that any good encyclopedia article synthesizes information into a cohesive whole, and that a good article should be greater than the sum of its parts. Assembling any article from generic pieces that are used elsewhere eliminates the opportunity to tailor the writing to the specific topic at hand, and precludes the creation of a cohesive article that flows well and is stylistically consistent. Using the old "forest and the trees" analogy, a transcluded article simply shows all the trees standing next to each other, and misses the opportunity to show the forest by synthesizing the pieces into a cohesive whole.

In this specific case, it is easy to see how a single cricket match should be written about differently in any number of articles it might be referenced in (forgive my ignorance of cricket that is about to become apparent :) ). A single match would best be written differently from the perspective of an article on the winning team, the losing team, the tournament / season, a single player who achieves a career best, another for whom it is his final match, et cetera. This argues against a single block of text being useful for multiple applications. Perhaps more importantly though, it eliminates the chance to put each game into context with the others, so that it feels like reading a series of newspaper clippings arranged chronologically, rather than an encyclopedia article discussing the season as a whole. The opportunity for integration is what is lacking, and it is sorely missed (and will be moreso as the article grows to cover the entire season). - Bryan is Bantman 16:58, Jun 3, 2005 (UTC)

In the light of these comments I ask jguk. Do any of the following resemble your reasoning for going down the transclusion route:
  1. Did it "because I could"/seemed kinda cool to advantage of the technology
  2. Believe this will create the top quality content in the most efficient manner.
  3. Don't think it will create the very highest quality content, but enables different "views" on the 2005 season to be created efficiently with lesser man-power required.
  4. Easy maintainability?
  5. Something else/a combination?
Pcb21| Pete 18:45, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)
To answer these in order:
  1. If there wasn't a way of transcluding things I wouldn't have begun to write on the 2005 English cricket season. As it is, it takes a lot of time to maintain. Without the benefits of transclusion, the additional editing time would have made it prohibitive. As it is, the articles would not be so complete and up to date without the assistance of Sam Vimes, and without his contributions I may not have found the time to maintain the pages as well as I currently do. I did not start the articles just because I wanted to try my hand at transclusion - I wanted to start the articles, but would not have chosen to do so if transclusion wasn't available. I do believe we should use the technology available to produce as good a set of articles as possible. I wouldn't put any constraints on that.
  2. Yes - indeed, I think it is essential that in this case transclusion is used if this is to be achieved.
  3. No - I think it will produce the highest quality content as well as offering a number of unique views on the 2005 season.
  4. Yes
  5. As per above. The time that would be spent maintaining the articles without the benefit of transclusion would have been prohibitively great, jguk 11:40, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)


Summary of conversation to date

So if I've understood the conversation above properly, the current situation is:

  • this is not a recommended method of working, and if there is any other way use it;
  • however this method might be acceptable for a temporary working solution, to be substed properly when the final result is achieved;
  • if you are going to do it, far better to do it with "sub-pages" in the main namespace (by which I mean articles that look like sub-pages even though that mechanism is disabled for the main namespace)—with some sort of comment in the wikitext of each article to let editors know what is going on—than to transclude from any "foreign" namespace other than template:.

Is that about the size of it? --Phil | Talk 06:53, Jun 3, 2005 (UTC)

Yes. I strongly prefer the no prose transclusion option for the reasons Bantman gives, but I am willing to let the prose transclusion mechanism stay until the season is over if and only if all these component pages are moved to the article namespace and all the heading links are removed. Otherwise I'm going to vfd each component prose page and vote to have all the prose {{subst into their container articles once the vfd is successful. --mav
I have already moved all the pages to the main namespace. They begin with "2005 English cricket season/" now. The headings will remain linked in until the season is over - they are a useful editing tool for now. They can go shortly after the season is over once there has been a chance to proofread them all fully and in the light of how the season ended up. Please remember that these pages have taken hours and hours to produce - damaging them just because you don't like transclusion is tantamount to vandalism: it will not go down well. Kind regards, jguk 23:21, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Have you been reading all the critical comments about what you are doing? It would be hardly vandalism given all that. If the heading links are not removed I will vfd these component pages anyway based on the fact that Wikipedia chose, by policy, to not have subpages and this is just a lame way to get past the template policy of not having prose in templates. So it is up to you - lose the heading links but keep the transclusion until the end of the season, or almost certainly lose both. --mav 00:41, 4 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Jguk, I've argued with you on other policy-related matters before and I wish you'd stop accusing those who try to change your layout of vandalism or of wanting to "destroy" stuff. I don't think there are any editors here who want to destroy these pages, they just disagree with how you're using Wikipedia's tools to present them. We all want to improve Wikipedia, you just have to realize that we may disagree with what things are improvements and that none of us have the sole and final say on that. Bryan 19:19, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)

A random note

I found one of these subpages while using Special:Randompage. If I hadn't seen the discussion here before, I could have felt tempted to add a category tag, or remove the section heading, or even worse (think of how pretty a cleanup tag would look there). This way of editing can be really confusing for a random editor. --cesarb 00:39, 4 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Thus my first choice of just getting rid of the transclusion altogether. --mav 00:43, 4 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I would strongly suggest the addition of some boilerplate HTML comments to the top of each of these subpage articles, at least until it is decided whether or not this is an acceptable process for article assembly—CesarB is quite right that an ambitious editor could inadvertently wreak havoc on a whole family of articles. --TenOfAllTrades(talk) 16:27, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I found them via Special:Uncategorizedpages and my first instinct was to start categorizing them all according to the teams that had played in each; I had no idea they were transcluded into those big main articles. That would have put the main articles in to a heck of a lot of irrelevant categories if I'd gone ahead. Fortunately they were also in violation of the subpage guidelines so before I started that work I went to commment about it on their root talk page and eventually found out about the transclusion. I personally would prefer to simply turn the transclusions into links to the articles on the individual matches; this would greatly reduce the redundancy inherent in having exact duplicates of the text on four different pages, and would fit in perfectly with Wikipedia's style of having overview articles with more-specific and more-detailed articles linked from it. No page on Wikipedia is ever a "finished product", so if we just subst: these things into the four pages then there will still be the problem of having to update four different pages when changes are made (and it'll be tricky for newcomers to notice that there are four identical duplicates out there to fix). Bryan 19:05, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)
That's IMO the most sensible solution - that the "overview" section on top of each page stays and gets expanded a little bit (possibly made into sections on each month for the team, on each round of the Championship for the month-by-month report, etc.), and then we have a separate section with "links to match reports". Sam Vimes 19:13, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Comparable attempt

Just wanted to point out that a similar attempt at transcluding an article together has been made at Benelux (composite page), which has received a highly negative response on its VfD page: Wikipedia:Votes for deletion/Benelux (composite page). - Bryan is Bantman 23:46, Jun 8, 2005 (UTC)

Come back to the pages in November - when they will be complete in all their glory, and with no transclusion. Then the benefits of what I am doing will shine through properly, jguk 11:40, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)

There was also a similar attempt on a number of astrology-related pages a while back. The pages that are currently the articles Astrology and alchemy, Astrology and astronomy and Astrology and numerology were originally templates that were used to transclude identical sections into both of the articles they were about (ie, the first was in both astrology and alchemy). I changed them into stand-alone articles and replaced the transclusion with "see main article at" links instead, and the responses I got on the talk pages were appreciative. Bryan 19:00, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Any discussion still ongoing?

This debate appears to have died out without a particularly clear consensus. I'm going to start going through the cricket match articles in the next few days and moving them to non-subpage titles, I'm thinking that since I'll be updating the articles that transclude them anyway I'll change the transclusions into links. Any further comments or input? Bryan 02:04, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Update: The transcluding is still going on (going by Special:Newpages), so no, the editors involved haven't reached any kind of agreement. Enochlau 12:08, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I have apparently provoked a bit of a flare-up on this issue, I considered the use of subpages to be a separate one and so lacking any objections (or at least lacking ones I considered to be serious) on Talk:2005 English cricket season#Subpages I went ahead and moved the various individual matches to non-subpage titles. The matches were put on VfD where some more discussion is ensuing: Wikipedia:Votes for deletion/Nottinghamshire v Yorkshire 26 June 2005. Bryan 29 June 2005 01:17 (UTC)
The discussion has now explicitly turned to voting about transclusion, in this section: Wikipedia:Votes for deletion/Nottinghamshire v Yorkshire 26 June 2005#Merge issue Bryan 30 June 2005 01:29 (UTC)

Case-specific compromise attempt

OK. As it is evidently not allowed to transclude prose into different bits of an article, I think it's time for us cricket-and-transclusion-fans to concede a point. I think that, since it is so rare that we make edits to the actual match reports (most of them have had 3 - the write-up, and then two categorisations), and most of those edits are done when we add the match report to the composite article, we can use {{subst:}} to add the content instead - and move the "part-articles" out of the main namespace, where they don't really belong (as they are too insignificant on their own).

This would, when submitted, add the entire content of the subpage to the article, so that the net result is nigh-on identical to what we originally did, but it is a) more friendly to new editors, b) it allows changes to one article without editing the other (so that we can give a bit of info on one club's season that isn't relevant to the other club's, for example), c) it doesn't eat resources and d) it doesn't AFAIK violate any WP policies. The disadvantage is that whenever we do an edit (correcting a link or a detail), we need to put it into four different pages, so I was wondering whether we could keep the header link? That means that we as editors can go to the "What links here" page and find the pages we need to change immediately, instead of having to dig through all the different fortnight, club and league pages. I realise that it is confusing (as the link doesn't actually go anywhere), but is there a way of making a link unnoticeable to readers but still able to show up on What links here? Sam Vimes 2 July 2005 07:26 (UTC)

Um, oops. It appears this does not work when the article I want to use {{subst:}} with is not in the template mainspace. Silly me... Sam Vimes 2 July 2005 07:33 (UTC)
Apart from the rest of the discussion: yes, you can, with a double colon: :{{subst::Worcestershire v Durham 1-4 June 2005}}.--Patrick 2 July 2005 10:35 (UTC)
Silly again. It appears that you can not subst articles in the main namespace, but you can subst articles in many others. So if we move them to something under WikiProject Cricket, for example, then it should work. Sam Vimes 2 July 2005 07:37 (UTC)

I disagree with you here. Customs and practices have developed to deal with the vast majority of articles as they are. But they should not be interpreted as though they are a hard and fast law. There is a general principle of "Ignore all rules". That doesn't mean ride roughshod over customs and practices and literally ignore all rules, but it does mean that we shouldn't see "rules" as being rock-ribbed. They are bendable and some rules can be ignored in certain circumstances if the case is right.

In the case of the 2005 English cricket season it is quite obvious that transclusion is entirely beneficial and that the whole series of articles would take considerably longer to put together if we did not use it. The benefits of transclusion far outweigh the disadvantages. So we should use it. It's commonsense really. It should be a slam dunk.

Of course, in other cases the costs of transclusion may outweigh the benefits - and in those cases (which are probably the overwhelming majority) - we shouldn't use it. Again, it is commonsense - a straightforward cost-benefit analysis.

As far as "compromise" is concerned - I really suggest that on a case-by-case basis the costs and benefits are weighed up, and a decision then made based on where scales end up, jguk 2 July 2005 08:10 (UTC)

What's the benefit we have from using transclusion instead of the subst-command, though? Net result is almost the same, and we rarely make edits to the article-parts (most of them have been to conform with what others think we should do) - the only ones who we edit are the tables, and those we can hopefully still transclude. Instead, we're having to deal with an uphill battle against almost everyone else, who thinks this is a wholly stupid idea - a major disadvantage for us, in that we've had to deal with VfDs and these arguments instead of actually going ahead and writing cricket articles like we want to. Sam Vimes 2 July 2005 08:42 (UTC)
Copyediting is the greatest one - also it allows future matches to be set up easily on the various pages. Once the season's over and we can do a thorough copyedit of everything and put it into context, it may be possible to subst:, but I'm reluctant to do it just yet, jguk 2 July 2005 11:47 (UTC)
I'd rather see these transclusions just turned into links, personally - I made an illustrative example at User:Bryan Derksen/Sandbox (ignore the nonexistent category, that's an illustrative example for something else entirely). That way the article's size is kept down, the individual match articles remain in one location each for ease of editing, it matches Wikipedia's practices elsewhere better, and it would allow the individual matches to be categorized according to the teams that played in them without including irrelevant "main" articles in them. Notice also how nicely it handles the fact that there isn't an article for the May 30 match yet. The tables could in my opinion be subst-worthy, though, since I suspect they're far less likely to need editing later on. (subst: does work for articles in the main namespace, by the way; I used {{subst:: to move one of the tables into my sandbox example). Bryan 2 July 2005 19:00 (UTC)
Bryan, at present I'd rather stay where we are for now. At the end of the season we'll be able to see what all the pages look like and think about how they need to be tweaked to give a full account of the season. Your idea may well seem sensible to me then - at present I am not sure. I like the idea of a comprehensive account of each county's season being given on one page, but it may be better to have shorter summary of what went on with links to fuller descriptions. I'm mellowing on your point, but not convinced at present. Can you bear with me till the season's over? Also others (in particular Sam Vimes) may have thoughts about this too. I think overall we're best continuing as we are till the season's over, and then re-assessing the pages then. Kind regards, jguk 2 July 2005 19:15 (UTC)
Although I often argue my case vigorously on talk pages and votes, I wasn't planning on doing anything to the transclusions until there was a clear consensus on it (and hopefully modifying the transclusion guidelines in the process to keep a record of whatever's decided). Bryan 3 July 2005 09:58 (UTC)
There is an article for the 30 May game, btw, you've just linked it wrong. The thing is that there is a lot of other seasons starting around now - August and September, I believe, for Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka, and should we just muscle on regardless for those articles, too? Sam Vimes 2 July 2005 19:25 (UTC)
Ah, the transclusion was linked wrong in the original article too; I've just fixed it [3]. I think muscling on is probably best, whichever way the formatting issues are decided it'll be pretty quick and easy to update them (either leaving them as transclusions, substing them into other articles, or turning the transclusions into links - all can probably be done with simple search-and-replace macros). The hard part is getting the articles written in the first place, so I hope nobody stops doing that pending resolution of these issues. Bryan 3 July 2005 09:58 (UTC)
I'm still writing articles, just waiting for the specific VfD to be closed (hopefully with a keep vote). Sam Vimes 3 July 2005 11:05 (UTC)
And I'm setting up pages to develop, waiting for Sam to post what he's written (hopefully soon). Given the number of WPians, only a small number have questioned using transclusion for the cricket articles (which isn't surprising as the only reason it's being used is to help WP's encyclopaedic coverage of cricket to improve), jguk 3 July 2005 11:17 (UTC)

A non-sporting case

Have a look at the Sustainable energy article for another attempt to use transclusion to add article content. See also Talk:Sustainable energy. Andrewa 23:41, 19 August 2005 (UTC)

See this past version of the now fixed sustainable energy article for a good example of what not to do. Andrewa 16:04, 20 August 2005 (UTC)

See also Wikipedia talk:Template namespace#Transclusion within the article namespace. Andrewa 23:50, 19 August 2005 (UTC)

Transcluding sections

I've encountered a few situations where it would be useful to transclude the contents of one section of one page into another. Will this ever be possible? - Omegatron 23:31, August 3, 2005 (UTC)

What situations are those? I can't imagine any situation where that'd be a good idea, offhand. Bryan 05:51, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
I think the overriding case is Meta-articles. Renewable energy, Sustainable energy, Alternate energy, are all subjects which include small versions of related articles as subtopics. I think almost anywhere one sees the phrase "main article ..." would be a good place to transclude a section - particularly the First section. It is critical that the first section be available (with or without images as a switch). Benjamin Gatti
One more. The alternative of ccreating an incomplete article with links is unappealling, as an encyclopedia ought to be a good read, and not a loosely guided tour of the internet. (About.com might be more of a guided tour approach.) an encyclopedia ought to apply good grammer, and well formed prose to the problem of providing concise but complete explainations of words and phrases and their common use in the language of choice. Benjamin Gatti

Transclusion within the article namespace

(archived here from village pump Hiding talk 14:24, 31 August 2005 (UTC))

Is there a policy on using transclusion within the article namespace?

This question comes from the latest edits to sustainable energy, until recently a redirect to renewable energy.

My immediate reaction was that this use of transclusion should be banned from the article namespace, but I'm wondering, are there times when it would be useful?

So my questions:

1. Is there any relevant policy that I've missed?

2. Are there instances where similar transclusion is working well?

3. Are there potential ways in which transclusion could work well (assuming a "no" to question 2)?

4. What should the policy be (assuming a "no" to question 1)?

Any help with this particular article would also be appreciated, it's a bit of a mess at present IMO but it could be worse and I'm trying to avoid it becoming an edit war. Andrewa 21:11, 19 August 2005 (UTC)

I believe this sort of transclusion is strongly discouraged, but I could be wrong. Template transclusion is, of course, encouraged, however. Shimgray 21:26, 19 August 2005 (UTC)
There has been discussion on this at Wikipedia talk:Template namespace after two cricket transcluded articles came up for deletion and survived. I think a policy needs formulating, but there doesn't seem to be consensus on it either way. Hiding talk 21:28, 19 August 2005 (UTC)
Thank you! That's exactly the sort of previous discussion I was looking for. It seems to have fizzled out without any conclusion being reached, unfortunately. Maybe this will revive it a little. Andrewa 23:46, 19 August 2005 (UTC)
My reading of previous discussions on this topic was that transclusion in article space may be acceptable as a temporary solution for some limited set of circumstances where it is useful, but that it should not be used as a permanent solution to anything. As far as I know, so far there has only been talk and no one has really formulated any guidelines or policies on this issue. Dragons flight 21:35, August 19, 2005 (UTC)

The general principle is that we are here to compile an encyclopaedia. Usually there is no need for transclusion of text to help us achieve this goal - but there is not and should not be an absolute ban. In the very rare instances where transclusion does help this goal, we use it, jguk 22:07, 19 August 2005 (UTC)

Understood. But is that documented anywhere, or is it just assumed to be commonsense? Andrewa 23:46, 19 August 2005 (UTC)
Two notes. - ok Three
  1. The cost of Transclusion could be lessened (it seems) if sections could be identified rather than the whole page.
  2. The Benefit is quite high for Meta-articles, such as is "Sustainable energy" which is really a bried discussion of Wind power, Nuclear power, Wave power, etc ... Since those articles all exist, and each one is summarized in the opening section, the ideal form would be a holding page which lists these energy sources, and then leaves it up to the editor groups who are versed on the subtopics to KEEP THEM CURRENT. So I think the benefit has to do with the degree to which the information is changing, and in addition, it leverages contributions by allowing them to be repurposed in different contexts. I maintain that it degrades the quality of the encylopedia to have a substantive debate on a subject - which comes to a resolution, but the rejected facts are spread far and wide by virtue of having been copied at a previous time into other articles.
  3. In short, Sectional transclusion adheres to the maxim of data normalization and consequently served to increase data integrity. Benjamin Gatti
Your suggestion is in contrast to Wikipedia's summary style. That holds that information about subjects within a larger topic should be summarized and related to the main topic. Full information should not be provided, but should be linked to. Transclusion goes against all of this.Superm401 | Talk 06:43, August 20, 2005 (UTC)
The proof of the pudding is in the eating. The question is, does transclusion help make for a better article for the readers? If the answer is yes (and to be honest, it will only be very rarely that the answer is yes), then use transclusion. Almost always the answer is no, in which case it should not be used, jguk 07:06, 20 August 2005 (UTC)
That's my feeling too. Any comment on the current state of the sustainable energy article, which triggered this discussion? Andrewa 07:21, 20 August 2005 (UTC)
Wow, thanks for the link, because that is a very, very bad usage of transclusion. Just link to the relevant articles, please. --Golbez 07:46, August 20, 2005 (UTC)
Could someone please define transclusion? It isn't in any of my dictionaries, online or paper.
Please sign your posts, user 210.185.11.15, and have a look at transclusion and Wikipedia:Transclusion costs and benefits. In this context, we particularly mean the facility to include one wikipedia page within another by using curly brackets, see this old version for an example of what not to do. Andrewa 14:17, 20 August 2005 (UTC)
In Wikipedia, tranclusion is most often used to include templates, by using the syntax {{nosuchpage}}, which would include the "page" nosuchpage from the special namespace template. There is also a facility for passing parameters to the template, see m:Help:Template for this and lots more details. However it's also possible to transclude from other namespaces. In this case, a syntax such as {{:nosuchpage}} was used to transclude two whole articles from the main (or article) namespace into another article. This gives problems with headings, table of contents, performance, all sorts of things, and there's some debate as to whether it is ever useful, but no policy as yet. Andrewa 15:11, 20 August 2005 (UTC)
It would have been impossible to have such comprehensive encyclopaedic coverage of the 2005 English cricket season without using transclusion (ie transclusion actually allows WP to have articles that it would not otherwise have - because of the time it would take to write the pages if it were not used). Note that in order for it to be used effectively all the pages have to fit to a standard form so that the headings, table of contents, etc. look reasonable for all pages where transclusion is used - ie it is used with thought and care so that the problems are minimised. Apart from the instances of sports seasons covered in detail, I can't at the moment think of anywhere else where it would be appropriate - but I'm open to persuasion. As noted above, the question is - does transclusion make for better articles? In the very rare instances when it does, it should be used. In the case of the sustainable energy article, it made for a bad article, so it should not have been used there, jguk 16:29, 20 August 2005 (UTC)
Elections might be a similar case, but I don't believe any of our current elections articles use transclusion (as opposed to having a lot of transcluded templates, mind), so it's moot. Shimgray 16:36, 20 August 2005 (UTC)
Yes, the cricket articles are a completely different scenario to the sustainable energy case, which now seems to be sorted out, thanks to all who have contributed opinions, links to other discussions and edits both here and elsewhere.
We probably need some guidelines. For example, if a stub is transcluded, any stub template used would become a meta-template, which has performance impacts. So as well as the need for special care in the section and heading design, perhaps templates should be avoided in articles to be transcluded. Probably we need a standard notice to go on transcluded articles to say this (and the notice shouldn't be a transcluded template, we should use the subst syntax instead).
Are these good and workable guidelines? What else is needed? Andrewa 17:01, 20 August 2005 (UTC)

I think it would be problematic having specific guidelines - the real one is to just use commonsense, although I admit some people do have difficulties applying it sometimes! :) Any guidelines are bound to contain bits that some will try to interpret too rigidly. Also, I don't see this as being a real problem - when articles use transclusion inappropriately, they tend to get reverted fairly quickly, jguk 17:32, 20 August 2005 (UTC)

That really means that this discussion and those it links to will become a de facto guideline. There are three problems with this. One is that it's simply more difficult to find than if it were gathered and summarised in one place, and given the appropriate categories and wikilinks. Another is that not everyone is convinced that the decision here was correct, see Talk:Sustainable energy. Lastly, some of the issues are quite subtle. I don't know, for example, whether performance is significantly impacted by transcluding tagged stubs. Andrewa 00:55, 21 August 2005 (UTC)

Transclusion might be useful and justified for verb conjugations as well: I am currently battling with the formatting on French and Catalan conjugations. Interwiki links should be absent from pages to be transcluded, otherwise the target article will have multiple links. Physchim62 19:23, 22 August 2005 (UTC)

When this discussion dies down, and get's archived, would someone(maybe the archiver...) mind copying or linking it to [Wikipedia:Transclusion costs and benefits]]. That way, when this comes up again, we will have a nice list of previous discussion. Thanks! JesseW 08:53, 24 August 2005 (UTC)

VOTE!! - HDI in Infobox#Countries|country infobox/template?

The Human Development Index (HDI) is a standard UN measure/rank of how developed a country is or is not. It is a composite index based on GDP per capita (PPP), literacy, life expectancy, and school enrollment. However, as it is a composite index/rank, some may challenge its usefulness or applicability as information.

Thus, the following question is put to a vote:

Should any, some, or all of the following be included in the Wikipedia Infobox#Countries|country infobox/template:

(1) Human Development Index (HDI) for applicable countries, with year;
(2) Rank of country’s HDI;
(3) Category of country’s HDI (high, medium, or low)?

YES / NO / UNDECIDED/ABSTAIN - vote here

Thanks!

E Pluribus Anthony 01:52, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

Mergers

There were lots of pages with lots of overlapping content about how to use templates. I consolidated it all on this page, but didn't have time to stitch it together neatly. So I tagged this page for cleanup, because it needs to be edited for coherence and to reduce repetition. -- Beland 04:46, 29 October 2005 (UTC)

Single Use Templates to reduce "clutter" i.e. Country InfoBoxes

There seems to some erm "discussion" [4] about useing templates to reduce the clutter that infoboxes produce in articles and it seems that every few days someone spots a "new" one and puts it up for TFD, given the lack of any guidance in this article I propse adding the following to the list of uses:

  • To avoid undue clutter in articles with large complex infoboxes and the like.

Of course if people don't agree this then the following:

  • They should not be used simply to reduce clutter from complex infoboxes in articles.

So Clutter reduceing templates for/against/don't care:

ElvisThePrince 11:58, 10 November 2005 (UTC)

Here's a suggestion: let's discuss first, see if a consensus emerges. A vote should be done - if at all - only to confirm rough consensus after discussion. —Morven 22:23, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
Supporting side
Those people supporting the inclusion of a statement that says templates used in only one article are acceptable
Reasons
  1. they simplify the code
  2. they make vandalism harder


Opposing side
Those people opposing the inclusion of a statement that says templates used in only one article are acceptable
Reasons
  1. templates should only be used when required on more than one article
  2. makes editing more difficult
  3. such transclusion causes an increased server drain
  4. people that are confused by the code can skip it, else it can help them learn
  5. if the template is vandalized, it isn't as immediately clear how to undo the vandalism, when looking at the article

Votes

  • For --ElvisThePrince 11:58, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Oppose. violet/riga (t) 15:36, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Oppose - A Man In Black (conspire | past ops) 22:08, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Oppose without agreeing to the legitimacy of this vote. Usually here we discuss first, then vote. --Golbez 23:57, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Not dignifying this poll with a vote, though you can guess what my opinion is on the matter. Chris talk back 17:40, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

Standard for lowercase parameter names

I suggest adoption of a standard that all parameter names be lowercase. Template parameter names are sensitive to usage of upper and lower case. This means a template user has to know the proper case for a template. Related templates sometimes have parameters with different case. In addition to difficulty learning proper template usage, this causes difficulties when editing requires a change between two templates (until a consolidation began, {{web_reference}} variants had conflicting parameter case usage). In addition, using uppercase leads to CamelCase variants. Wikipedia prefers names with lowercase except when necessary, and I suggest that as parameter names are not visible in articles that they be entirely lowercase. (SEWilco 19:09, 13 November 2005 (UTC))

Lowercase abbreviations

Along with usage of lowercase parameter names, I suggest that abbreviations and acronyms in parameter names also be in lowercase. For example, a parameter for a URL is used in some templates. A paramater should use the lowercase name "url". The URL often contains "HTTP" in lowercase, so users of such a parameter are already familiar with using lowercase exceptions to grammatical casing rules. (SEWilco 19:09, 13 November 2005 (UTC))

Commented out strange section

I have commented out the following:

Search templates

E.g.

Wikipedia template search for regnum

searches the Template and Template talk namespaces for "regnum".

However, this does not work if the search term exists as a pagename in any namespace!

where Search templates is an actual level 2 heading, so as not to mess up this table of contents.

I have a feeling this might be possible, but I am not sure if this belongs here. If it does, it needs to be wikified. x42bn6 Talk 02:53, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

I'm not sure if it belongs here either, but I've uncommented out the section and expanded it somewhat - it should make more sense now. Graham87 07:14, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

User templates

Are user templates allowed on the template namespace? Or should they stick to the user namespace? x42bn6 Talk 02:54, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

Are they a users template, then it's to belong in the user namespace, but templates used on many user pages should be in the main template name space AzaToth 02:57, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
OK, thanks. x42bn6 Talk 07:24, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
Note this may now be contentious advice, since the wikipedia:Userbox wars. Rich Farmbrough, 12:54 13 November 2006 (GMT).

Template forks

Occasionally it happens that a user doesn't like the style of some template or another. He'll attempt to modify it, but will generally get reverted. Sometimes the ensuing talk page discussions lead to a compromise. Sometimes they don't. If the latter, it often happens that the editor who made the initial change creates a fork of the template, using his preferred style, and starts using it in articles. (Sometimes there's no discussion, no attempt to change the original template.) Examples of this include {{spoiler 2}} and {{album infobox 2}}, both currently on TfD.

Since templates exist mainly to standardize the presentation of certain pieces of information across a wide swathe of articles, this behavior defeats their purpose. Not only that: if one editor can create and use a template fork with his preferred style, what's to stop the next user who doesn't like either of the variations from doing the same? Or the user after him? This way lies madness.

Should this page actively discourage this kind of template forking? There's no other guideline on it, as far as I can tell.

(There are, of course, legitimate variant templates: the various numberings of Template:Babel, for example, or {{user}} and {{vandal}}, which are similar but have different intended uses. These need not be discouraged.)

Charles P. (Mirv) 17:18, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

Users will create templates to save keystrokes, if these are used with subst: they need not concern anyone else, provided the results conform to the MoS (and policy of course). Rich Farmbrough. 22:33, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
I would just like to note that there was discussion about {{album infobox 2}}, and the creator did seek consensus and did indeed get consensus, among the few who participated. The discussion can be found here: Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Albums/archive_4#Chronology_section. There weren't even any objections. --Qirex 01:01, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

Policy question

So I've got this large chunk (~2KB) of HTML code that I need to stick in an article. It looks like this:

1\, i\, j\, k\, \ell\, \ell i\, \ell j\, \ell k\,
i\, -1\, k\, -j\, -\ell i\, \ell\, -\ell k\, \ell j\,
j\, -k\, -1\, i\, -\ell j\, \ell k\, \ell\, -\ell i\,
k\, j\, -i\, -1\, -\ell k\, -\ell j\, \ell i\, \ell\,
\ell\, \ell i\, \ell j\, \ell k\, 1\, i\, j\, k\,
\ell i\, -\ell\, -\ell k\, \ell j\, -i\, 1\, k\, -j\,
\ell j\, \ell k\, -\ell\, -\ell i\, -j\, -k\, 1\, i\,
\ell k\, -\ell j\, \ell i\, -\ell\, -k\, j\, -i\, 1\,

I thought it might be nice to create a template with this code in it, so I wouldn't have to clutter up the article with something that will probably never get edited. I know it's not what templates are designed for, but do we have a policy that says I shouldn't do this? The table could potentially be included in more than one article (but probably not). I'm asking first so as to avoid a TFD. -- Fropuff 06:19, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

Template copyleft

Are templates under the GNU FDL? If so, do you only have to reference them in the template namespace, for example, in another wiki if they are modified? Or do you have to mention that they are dervived from Wikipedia in every use? Donbas 10:18, 18 February 2006 (UTC)

Template for tables?

I'm curious - is there a way a template can be used to set a 'template' format for a table that might be used across different pages but the table would be a list which might have an uncertain number of entries? IE: A template that sets a table with the heading row that titles columns, and then takes inputs for the contents of each row of the table for an undefined number of rows, or would I have to make a template for the header and outer brackets and then have a seperate template for a single row and keep repeating that template? Do you think that would be more efficient than just having a location to copy a formatted table code and just skipping templates entirely? TheHYPO 16:47, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

Template documentation

I can't remember where, but I do recall reading that Documentation should go on a subpage which was then transcluded (like so: {{/Doc}}). Has anyone else heard about this? --Swift 20:57, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

I've seen templates documented on:
  • their talk page
  • the template page in the noinclude section
  • a subpage of the template which is transcluded into the noinclude section
Can we please decide on one format and use it everywhere? — Omegatron 21:03, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
I don't see a necessity for standardisation (or standardization, if that suits your fancy ;-)). The reason I asked was that I think there was some good reason behind the subpage-solution.
If there will be some standard, that should go into a guideline and be discussed somewhere other than here. --Swift 23:52, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
The good reason was to allow editors to update documentation on the template page even when it was protected. Rich Farmbrough, 12:50 13 November 2006 (GMT).

User templates redux

Above, at Wikipedia_talk:Template_namespace#User_templates, a user asked if a template for their use (presumed only) should be in the template space or in user space. The response was user space. I agree this is how it should be handled, but the project page of this talk page does not address this case. This has come up at Wikipedia:Templates_for_deletion/Log/2006_August_29#Template:Fir0002. I'm thinking we should add some text to this project page to clearly cover this case. Something along the lines of, "If the template you want to create can only be used by you, you should create it in your user space instead. For example, you would make calls to the template with {{User:JohnDoe/Foo}} as opposed to {{Foo}}". Thoughts? --Durin 13:53, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

please list

From the project page, "Please list any custom messages you create on this page." Just where does that mean? I'm about to give one a try, butI do not see such a list. DGG 02:13, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

Style guidelines in potential disputes

I can hardly believe it, but there is a potential dispute brewing with Template:Sathya Sai Baba regarding the matter of separating followers and opponents. For the record I created the template and I object to the separation under the grounds that such a distinction is not needed at the present time, especially since a large number of the included articles are stub/start-class and have little content and to impose a large and unsightly template on those articles would be detrimental to the article layout. If and when more SSB-related articles are created and added to the template then we can think about separating or creating further distinctions, but not for now. This is how it is intended to look.

Other editors suggest that the separation is necessary in order to "provide clear, concise information and not to serve to confuse the reader by mixing up the information" (see edit summary), but I fail to see how this can be possible when both followers and opponents are grouped under the heading "Followers and opponents" which makes it perfectly clear that both are being displayed.

Perhaps there are similar disputes revolving around similar templates. Is this the correct place to ask for opinions on how templates like these should be constructed? Is there a template-relevant Manual of Style we can consult? Regards, Ekantik talk 16:13, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Project Templatetiger

Hello, you can take a look at:

So you can see all entries in all of our templates. Directly:

Greeting, from Germany de:Benutzer:Kolossos 20:13, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

Text wrapping

Can somebody take a look at the {{LGBT sidebar}} template and determine why, unlike most infoboxes, text isn't wrapping around it? Per Woody's (Toronto), article text is continuing through the infobox in some cases, but it is wrapping correctly on other articles (e.g. gay bathhouse). Bearcat 01:00, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

Forget about it...the problem was the extra "LGBT portal" template, which was actually unnecessary as the LGBT portal is already linked to on the main LGBT template. Bearcat 01:03, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

Overlarge religious template

I came across Template:List LDS Temple USA West while reviewing Idaho related articles. I couldn't figure out why all this information was in the article on Idaho Falls Idaho Temple. Then I find it is a template being used in many individual temple articles. There are other similar templates in other region's temples. I have several problems with this template:

  1. It is too large. The footprint of the template almost doubles the viewing size of the articles.
  2. It is unclear that it is a template as it is formatted like a section of the article.
  3. It goes against the suggestions in this article in regards:

Templates should also not be used to create lists of links to other articles when a category or a See also list can perform the same function.

If this has been discussed before and the template OK'd, I will drop it. I am a fool for templates and user boxes, so it is not that I object to all such objects. There is no discussion on the template page and I am not stirring up a hornet's nest by myself. Day old chick white background.jpg Yes! That's me.

I seek guidance in the best (if any) way to proceed. --Robbie Giles 03:29, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

Might not be a bad idea to discuss it with the person who made it. It does seem pretty large, but if it transcludes useful information, I guess it's useful. Everything in moderation... Wikipedia:Avoid template creep. :) heqs ·:. 23:01, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
If it's too small to be it's own page, it's small enough to be a template. If it would look OK in big article, then don't remove it just because the article is small. WP:BTW definitely approves of templates like the one mentioned. Erudecorp ? 23:19, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

Over-templification

Content squeeze.png

I think we have a problem. Edward Tufte would not be amused.--Knulclunk 03:13, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

templates and citing

I've just read this "Template namespace" article, following a link from "Tip of the day". It says (in "Introduction") "Templates should also not be used to cite sources. See WP:CITE#TT and primary source transcluded templates TfD.". Both the "see" links in that sentence are dead, and surely the opening statement is not true - usage of {{cite}} is surely now the preferred way to cite sources? Does this page need an update, or have I misunderstood? PamD 07:43, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

That instruction, added here is I think quite ambiguously phrased. I don't think it is meant to apply to templates like {{cite}}, {{cite book}}, etc which apply consistent formatting to references. Instead, I think it is intended to refer to templates which actually contain (in their code) the details of the cited reference, unlike {cite book} et al. where you feed into them the details of the cited reference.
However, I'm not so sure that such an instruction is warranted, or if that actually was what was intended. There are in fact a few templates around of similar function, such as many in Category:Attribution templates. So I've commented it out, pending further clarification: otherwise it's misleading. --cjllw ʘ TALK 06:11, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

If a template is too big

This is a good solution: collapsible tables. If you want to edit a template, go to template:name, where name is the name of the template. For example, if you want to edit {{New Netherland}}, go to Template:New Netherland. It is a good example of use of a collapsible table. Erudecorp ? 06:42, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

But do remember that expanding the template will shift everything on the page around so when editing you need to check that it maintains a decent layout. violet/riga (t) 08:08, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
If that is a problem, you could have the template take up a line, rather than float on the right. For example, putting {{New Netherland}} inside a table would cause it not to float on the right. Now it simply heightens the page, and doesn't push text around. You can center align it, or put other collapsible templates next to it in a row. Erudecorp ? 20:00, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

Whenever possible (if there are few permutations.), use an image instead of a template. Altering an image doesn't cause the subsequent pages to be remade. Erudecorp ? 20:06, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

Can anyone find out what's wrong with my template?

The template {{WikiProject Canada}} has a gap below it, both in its full form (as here) and in its nested form (as here). Some users have tried to fix it, but to no avail. Can someone please figure out what's wrong with it? Thank you. --Arctic Gnome (talkcontribs) 19:36, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

I took a look and revised testcases and added sandbox with horizontal lines to highlight the problem. Yes definately extra white space below but it's NOT the template code emitting extra HTML. The problem has to be class= or style= values. – Conrad T. Pino 21:00, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

Templates not showing up in Queen article

There's a problem with some templates in the Queen article, and I'm not experienced enough with templates to figure out what it is. The {{Queen}} and inter-wiki FA templates after the "External links" section are showing up as links or not at all rather than being transcluded. There doesn't seem to be a problem with other articles that include the Queen template (see Bohemian Rhapsody for example). I've gone back to previous versions of the Queen article and it appears that the problem is long-standing.

Any ideas? ... discospinster talk 17:22, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

alignment

The alignment of {{MLBAllStarGame}} is centered. I'd like to "align right" this template in a particular article. Is there some syntax I can use to over-ride the alignment of the template? Kingturtle (talk) 18:06, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

No. —Ms2ger (talk) 09:45, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
Drat. Kingturtle (talk) 15:53, 19 January 2008 (UTC)