Wikivoyage talk:Using MediaWiki templates

From Wikivoyage
Jump to navigation Jump to search

General Discussion[edit]

All righty, so it looks like there's some different ideas on how to use mediawiki templating for the good of all travellers. I can see how Project:Information boxes seems like a neat feature to have, but I also have to agree with Evan on maybe the need to decide if we want to go this way, since there is are a lot of implications for how the data is store, attribution, etc. I guess the point is that just because the mediawiki software lets us do something, there needs to be some thought on if we want to do that thing. Comments? (WT-en) Majnoona 00:11, 15 Nov 2004 (EST)

Sorry to be a jerk about this, but I really want to make sure doing lots of transclusion of template content into other pages makes sense before we rush into it. I've put some questions/objections to the procedure on the page here; can we work together to come up with a reasonable solution to using templates that helps us reach our goals? --(WT-en) Evan 00:17, 15 Nov 2004 (EST)

The way I see it, the infobox is just an extension of standard Wiki syntax, implemented as a template because that's the easiest way to do it. Regarding the 3 objections:

  1. Web-centricity: not an issue, it's just an ordinary HTML DIV already used throughout Wikivoyage (eg. country fact boxes) and will print fine from even the most half-assed browser
  2. Attribution: none needed, the template is around 3 lines of HTML
  3. Other formats: Infoboxes are clearly identified 'secondary' information that can be left out if needed. In fact, standard infobox templates would be much easier to manipulate than the alternative of having to parse through slightly different versions of <div style="width:50%; float:right; border: none; margin: 0.5em 0 0 1em; padding: 0.4em;"> {| cellpadding=5 cellspacing=1 border=0|-|align=left width=100% style="background-color:#f3f3ff; border:1px solid"|... on every page.

But if we can agree on the appearance, then I'm all for getting rid of the DB hit by turning the infobox into a static string in the software or something (is this possible?). (WT-en) Jpatokal 00:43, 15 Nov 2004 (EST)

While we're at it, I'd also like to work out solutions for the following types of boxes:

  • health/safety warning box (malaria, civil war, whatever)
  • political disclaimer box (see eg. Cyprus)

These are found in every guidebook out there and for a reason. (WT-en) Jpatokal 00:43, 15 Nov 2004 (EST)

OK, coolness. It looks like we have goal: to display information that doesn't currently fit in our templates in a way that stands out from the rest of the travel info. Now it's a question of what the best way to do that would be. I also think that there will be a lot of seperate discussions about what sort of content can be highlighted this way (IMHO there're a lot of slippery slopes). But I can agree on the general idea that we might want to do this (the highlighting, not using any particular way to do it, i.e. media wiki or html or whathaveya). If it's going to be a software change, then it might have to "get-in-line" but we'll want to proceed in the meantime in a way that will make it easy to switch to a different solution later on and not have to undo a bunch of stuff. (WT-en) Majnoona 00:50, 15 Nov 2004 (EST)

Country Quickbar[edit]

I wish there should be some kind of Vote to decide what can be Template or not. And of course User:(WT-en) Evan can have a veto power.

Just listing Template:Country Quickbar I made and usage is like User:(WT-en) Bijee/India. See how clean is the source code, how clear it is to read and I think it will be very easy to convert to any format. Evan pl. Reconsider -(WT-en) Bijee 19:06, 2 Dec 2004 (EST)

Hmm, I'd rather we came to a consensus rather than vote (voting has a winner and looser and it's better when everyone wins)... I don't think Evan has a veto so much as some say about how his programing time is spent and more information about what's good/bad for the server... First I'd say we should have some agreement on the idea of having some sort of include or template widget, then, if that looks like something we want to do, some talk about the best way to do it... I'll go first:
Pro reusable widgets create consistancy in the content and the way it's displayed; internal syndication is easy to maintain
Con if reusable widgets are only used by some areas, you end up with inconsistant content anyway. Using "special" codeblocks adds overhead to any upgrades or other changes to the system... See also Project:Using Mediawiki templates.
Ok, now y'all's turn. (WT-en) Majnoona 21:38, 2 Dec 2004 (EST)
OK, so... here's my revised proposal.
  1. We use MediaWiki templates so that they are always expendable. That is, we use MediaWiki templates in such a way that if we throw out all the templates when converting or printing a page, it doesn't grievously affect the content of the page. (This fixes the problems with Web-centricity and different file formats.) Quickboxes would be a good example of "expendable" template info; the WikiPedia:Main Page would be a counter example.
  2. We use MediaWiki templates to make participation easier, not harder. Complicated, hard-to-comprehend templates with tricky rules don't help us get more contributions, and don't help our goals. Templates that make it easier for casual contributors to add information are preferred (country quickboxes would be an excellent example of this, btw.)
  3. We make an effort to document MediaWiki templates. If you add a template, you add documentation on how to use that template. User:(WT-en) Jpatokal's work on infoboxes is a good example of this.
  4. We try to figure out a way to separate metadata templates (stub message, disambiguation message, vfd message, etc.) from content templates (quickfacts, pullquotes, etc.)
  5. People who work on a template are credited like people who work on the article itself.
  6. We avoid "bittwiddleitis" -- messing around with making our templates fancier and more impressive, while the content of our guide suffers.
  7. We don't use templates to force navigation onto people by linearizing their experience, but instead depend on the interesting intertwingled nature of Wiki pages. For example: adding a menu to Texas entitled States of the Old South with an east-to-west order (say). This is forcing a particular itinerary or way of seeing travel on the reader. There are so many itineraries or linearized lists that could include Texas -- "US States with Missions", "Cattle-raising states", "Former Mexican Colonies in the USA", "Oil regions of the world". If we add them all in, the page becomes unreadable; if we add just a few in, we've slanted the travel experience towards one particular view of travel.

That last one isn't inherent in templates -- it's just one of the uses that really weirds me out on Wikipedia.

Anyways: I think by being conscious and careful we can work around the pitfalls that templates could bring. Any other feelings? --(WT-en) Evan 23:21, 2 Dec 2004 (EST)

I've been scold very fast, but I would leave a note anyway... ;) I've prepared alternate way of creating QuickBar using templates. Pros: flexibility of what info you include, uses less space and is much more readable than QuickBar in HTML. I believe that this approach is compatible with Evan's revised proposal. See: User:(WT-en) JanSlupski/Projects/QuickBar and discussion. -- (WT-en) JanSlupski 21:34, 21 Jan 2005 (EST)


Now that Evan & Maj seem to agree that infoboxes are not Evil(tm), I'd like to formalize them for use on Wikivoyage. I suggest the following three types:


Boxen that roxen your soxen

  1. infobox: our friend above, used for tangential data of any sort
  2. warningbox: for destinations currently suffering for civil war or the aftermath of a natural disaster
  3. disclaimerbox: for the Taiwan/China, Palestine/Israel, Macedonia/Greece cases where the mere naming or existence of an article will make some people get their panties in a twist

Basic sample implementations:

Travel Warning WARNING: If you die, you have lost a very important part of your life

Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia.

Comments? My own primary reservation is that the warningbox is not expendable in the same way that the infobox (and to a lesser extent disclaimerbox) are... but I think it's more important to have a clearly visible and standardized way of presenting this: the fact that a region is at civil war and local tribesmen like to play yak polo with the headless corpses of tourists should not be buried in paragraph 17 of the History section or clause 18 of Stay safe. (WT-en) Jpatokal 03:43, 29 Dec 2004 (EST)

One more reason why boxen are the coolest thing since sliced bread: you can just take a look at [1] to see what pages have warnings, and easily review which ones are still timely. This is impossible without templates. (WT-en) Jpatokal 08:42, 5 Feb 2005 (EST)

Seven years later[edit]

I've noticed as of late a proliferation of (undiscussed...) templates that serve as notices. Is there any reason to have anything beyond the three above? Shouldn't a disclaimerbox suffice for anything that constitutes a simple notice? Be it an archival notice, a policy-related notice, a user page notice, etc.? Having tons of different notice templates just seems to me to overcomplicate things and make our site less editor-friendly (which is a general danger posed by templates). --Peter Talk 20:34, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

One advantage to having different types of boxes (for editorial messages at least) is that they can be used to automatically add categories to an article, making it easier to determine what articles have style issues, need merging, etc. The Wikipedia approach seems to be to have a root template used for styling the box, followed by sub-templates that use the root in custom ways. I'm not sure that it hurts us to do the same. If I've misunderstood your concern, were there any templates in particular that you caught your attention? -- Ryan • (talk) • 20:44, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure the only one added was Template:Cautionbox, which I added due to overuse of warningbox (using it for non-life-threatening warnings) and misuse of disclaimerbox (which is, as described, only for organizational/editorial disclaimers in articlespace). If the intent was to use disclaimerbox for everything that wasn't a warning, then it shouldn't have been titled as it was. LtPowers (talk) 22:07, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
Previous discussion at Template talk:Disclaimerbox#Usage (idea floated by me with no response) and at Template talk:Warningbox#Overuse of warningboxes (idea floated by Ryan). When I created Cautionbox, I notified the Pub; that notification is now at the top of Template talk:Cautionbox. LtPowers (talk) 22:11, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

[Edit conflict with above] These all seem like they could easily be replaced with either a disclaimerbox or plain text:
  1. Template:Notice (which also proposes Template:Talknotice)
  2. Template:Busy
  3. Template:Archive
  4. Template:Block
  5. Template:Cautionbox
  6. Template:Historical
  7. Template:Ed
  8. Template:DiscussionMoved
  9. Template:Documentation subpage
  10. Template:Moreinfo
  11. Template:Seealso
  12. Template:Phrase
  13. Template:Main
  14. Template:Confused
  15. Template:Talk archive
  16. Template:Topbox
  17. Template:Transcription
  18. Template:Swept
  19. Template:Talk
  20. Template:Nutshell
  21. Template:Graffiti wall
I'm honestly not to sure what the are the reasons for the following:
  1. Template:Movetocity
  2. Template:Movetodistrict
  3. Template:Edit templates
  4. Template:Multiple image
  5. Template:Main
  6. Template:Advert
  7. Template:Copyvio
  8. Template:Delete
My real concern is that the proliferation of these, instead of just a plain disclaimerbox, is already overwhelming me as an editor. Given that I'm one of our more familiar editors, I assume that other potential editors would be more overwhelmed.
Wikipedia, in particular, has noted a drop in number of editors over the past few years, and I'm inclined to believe it stems from increasing barriers to participation, mostly complexity. --Peter Talk 22:33, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
I agree that these templates are very difficult to memorize. I won't be using most of them because I don't know them, and I don't even know where to look them up. --Alexander (talk) 22:43, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
I don't think replacing all of the above is a good idea. There is an advantage to using templates for text that is copied to multiple articles, such as Template:Nutshell. That said, I agree that there is a danger in having templates that duplicate functionality, but reducing this entire list to three templates seems like it will just cause us to have lots of different implementations showing notes and disclaimers rather than the more standardized approach that can be obtained with using shared templates for specific messaging. Instead, it may make more sense to document the existing templates and try to identify deletion candidates and templates that could be consolidated on a case-by-case basis. -- Ryan • (talk) • 23:07, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
I agree with Ryan's rationale. -- Alice 23:16, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
It's difficult to look at all of these templates as one discussion, I'm afraid. For example, just starting from the top of the list: Template:Notice is a Wikipedia-style template that seems to serve no discernible purpose; Template:Busy has already been nominated for deletion; Template:Archive is a widely-used template created years ago by Cacahuate to simplify linking to archives; Template:Block provides useful links that would be hard to remember how to code by hand. Every one has different issues around it. I agree that we have too many, and some people went a little nuts importing templates from WP or other wikis. But this problem extends beyond our messaging templates; we could probably come up with an equally long list of non-message templates that were a) recently imported or created and b) not documented on this policy page. LtPowers (talk) 23:47, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
(As an aside, Template:Multiple image was created by Peter, so if he doesn't even know what it's for, then it should probably be deleted!) LtPowers (talk) 23:54, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
That's funny! And yes, I'm going to delete it, then. --Peter Talk 00:14, 19 December 2012 (UTC)

Well, I created this list by slogging through the ever longer template space, so I'd like to talk about the items here ;) I numbered them to make things easier. Here are my ideas:

  • A. 1,2,3,6,12,15,17,22,23 are seldom used and could easily be replaced by a simple disclaimerbox. These should simply be deleted for simplicity's sake.
  • B. 4 wasn't discussed and goes against the grain of our Wikivoyage:How to handle unwanted edits policy.
  • C. 8,10,11,18 all serve to replace the function of text, as we have used it. Typing {{swept}} takes me just as much if not a bit more time than swept from the pub:, for example, and just isn't necessary.
  • D. Merge: Template:Confused to Template:Otheruses,
  • E. Delete Template:Talk, which I'm pretty sure we decided we don't want at the top of talk pages?
  • F. Figure out what the intended purposes are of 21,24,25 and then either document them or delete them.
  • G. 27,28,29 all perform a specific function that we've tried (with several positive vfds) to rule out time and time again: templates added to try and get someone else to do work that should just be done on sight. These should just be deleted.

Thoughts? --Peter Talk 00:14, 19 December 2012 (UTC)

  • A. I don't like extending disclaimerbox to non-disclaimer uses. Notices that serve different purposes should be distinguishable in some way; that's a basic precept of interface design. We want readers to associate the light-green box with "this is an organizational disclaimer". If we want to devise a generic talk-page notice box of some sort, we can, but it should have a well-defined scope for use. As for the specifics, I don't think Archive is seldom used, and I think there's some value in having it and Historical to ensure that wording is consistent.
  • B. I largely agree, although the links to the block log and to DeletedContributions are somewhat useful.
  • C. Swept does include a link to the Pub; however, even without the link, I find it easier to type than the expanded version. MoreInfo and SeeAlso are user-facing, and so have some value in keeping the wording consistent.
  • D. Parameterized, to allow for the different wording?
  • E. Agreed.
  • F. Template:Graffiti wall is a template version of the Graffiti wall, and serves the same purpose. It allows us to play around with template code within the template namespace, which allows it to be transcluded (with parameters) on test pages. It's a keeper.
  • G. Agreed, though there might be some value to a speedy deletion template. As we get new users, some of them will prefer tagging to trying to find an active administrator.
-- LtPowers (talk) 03:08, 19 December 2012 (UTC)

I, for one, am not a fan of bulldozing through all the templates like some of you are proposing. Unless a template serves an (almost) identical purpose to another or goes against policies, I think most templates should be kept if they do no harm. Templates are great for keeping wording and style consistent across pages, even when it's just a 5-10 word sentence. In a couple cases, I think it's more visually appealing (and/or attention-drawing) to have a template with a white background, simple image, and links to appropriate policy pages that to have the less visually-striking green background with text that varies between dozens of users and may not have the appropriate links. Another important aspect of using templates is the ability to click on "What links here" in the sidebar, which can come in handy when tidying up. "I don't use them because I don't know they exist" isn't really a good reason to go through and delete a bunch of templates. With the move to WV, I've found myself re-familiarizing with the MoS and templates...and found the Ramadan dates template and added to all the African countries with large Muslim populations. With regard to Peter's suggestions:
  • A. Agree w/LtPowers above...having distinguishable notices for different uses is much better visually than having green disclaimerboxes everywhere. I find it much more appealing to have templates like Transcription, Movetocity, and Movetodistrict with links to the appropriate policy pages and consistent wording. Consider the following example (and I use "translated", since many people are probably not familiar with the term/concept transcription vs. translation...similar to using "translating a conversation" vs. "interpreting a conversation" ...and if you don't know).

This section needs to be consistently translated into English.

The Russian translations in this section all be the same. Most of these people are Russian...their names should not end in "i". Tchaikovsky...not Tchaikovski. Someone who knows better Russian than me please fix all the bad translations here!

IMO, the template looks much better than the alternatives I've created.
  • B. I took a casual glance at the policy page and don't see where this goes against policy, but having a banned/blocked template on a userpage would be helpful. If a troll has racked up hundreds of edits and someone visits their page or goes to write on their talk page, it would be helpful to know they've been banned/blocked and have the links to the nomination/their edits...anyone remember EdmontonEnthusiast?
  • C. Same reasons as "A"...uniformity of text/style.
  • D. These aren't the same. Confused can be used in circumstances other than same/similar spelling. Another place it can be is used is where the local spelling is similar: Peja (Peć in Albanian) vs Pécs, Hungary. I don't see any harm in leaving them unchanged.
  • E. Where was it decided this isn't wanted? (not on the template's talk page) Having a template at the top of talk pages would be useful, IMO, to organize things like adding pages to an expedition (with status/priority), explain purpose of page (questions/comments about page...WV is not a Q & A travel forum for personal advice), display archives, and maybe some other relevant things. Wikipedia has some nice templates for use at the top of talk pages. Look at w:Talk:Orlando, Florida...see how the policies are nicely outlined at the top...and the white-ish box with "This is not a forum for general discussion of the article's subject.; Put new text under old text. Click here to start a new topic; Please sign and date your posts by typing four tildes (~~~~).; New to Wikipedia? Welcome! Ask questions, get answers." WV could use something like that and Template:Talk is a starting point to be expanded, not deleted.
  • F. Not sure either.
  • G. Together with 22 & 23...I don't know about you, but there are many times where I'll come across something that needs to be cleaned up, but don't have the time (I'm slow, so spending 20 min to clean up an article/section I stumbled across when I only have free/intended to spend 30 min on WV is burdensome). Yes, in an ideal world such edits should be dealt with on the spot, but lets say I'm browsing a region and find several pages that are in really bad shape...sections have been written like an advertisement, or some parts seem to be copyright violations...I can spend an hour cleaning them up, or I can add a template to each section and maybe spend a little bit of time tackling some of the issues. For recent edits, a copyright violation should be easy to undo, but for older content where say a section has been copied from a tour guide's website, but several people have come along and edited the page, the only options would be to: 1) delete all content from a section that is suspected of being in violation, 2)weed through to determine what is ok to keep and what is bad (going through edits to page and/or content from original source), or 3) rewriting the text, changing words, moving clauses to different parts of a sentence or to another page, and covering over the violation (taking effort to make text legal since it adds useful content) rather than remove everything. Options 2 & 3 take can take effort in some cases and having the template (and the "what links here" sidebar link which puts it in a category that editors can go through and clean up!) is useful. When the volume of edits increases, the speedy delete template can be helpful. Someone comes along and creates a page called "Narnia", which I notice, I can add the tag to get an administrator's attention (and those on clean-up control could check the "what links here") to delete...rather than have to go over to some policy/community page and add the page to a list (like votes for deletion). So using these templates isn't necessarily about being lazy. AHeneen (talk) 10:08, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
I agree with you that templates could make things nicer, but presently they don't. Two general problems must be considered:
  • Most editors may not know every template that is used on Wikivoyage. Therefore, we need people who will keep track of all templates used in the Main namespace, and will add them to articles, as appropriate. My guess is that even admins (me being a example) have very rough idea on what templates we have. We have no chance of using the templates systematically.
  • All templates are drawn in different styles. They have different frames, different picture sizes, different colors, and even different box sizes. When two templates sit on top of each other (here, for example), this looks awkward.
As long as we want to keep the large number of templates, we have to adjust them to a common style. We should also update the existing list of templates. Additionally, we need people who will keep track of new templates and update the list. Any volunteers?
--Alexander (talk) 12:10, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
First we decide which ones to keep, then we update the list. =) I think ideally we want to keep few enough templates that the list doesn't become unwieldy. But that may be unreasonable. Regarding Template:Talk, I really don't think Wikipedia is a model to emulate in this case. LtPowers (talk) 13:17, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
I'd like to reiterate that my concern here is that we're raising the bar too much for inexperienced editors (or just for me?). Simple wiki markup remains the biggest scary barrier impeding new editors from even daring to try their hand here, and this problem has been identified as one of the principal challenges facing Wikipedia. Consider me pro-simplicity. Also, we can keep that swept template, but I'm not going to use it, and I'm pretty sure I do at least 50% of the sweeping ;)
These are a lot of templates to discuss—should we move discussions to the template talk pages, and handle this more ad-hoc, since there doesn't seem to be much support for my idea to roll most of them back into the disclaimerbox (maybe under a different, more generic name, with a prettier design)? --Peter Talk 18:37, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
I agree many of them could be rolled into a single template, but I would prefer to keep a template of unique design for disclaimers. LtPowers (talk) 19:11, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
Let's discuss that bit here, then. Which should be rolled into a single template (Template:Notice, I would think?). Also, could you provide examples of our disclaimers in use? --Peter Talk 19:31, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
A disclaimer used appropriately can be found in Mali#Sleep, where visitors should understand that since tourism numbers have plummeted, many hotels have closed (likely temporary, until conflict ends) and since the pages aren't likely updated (because of few tourists), many hotels listed on WV Mali pages may be closed...but if it's temporary (say just 1 year), we should delete all of them. AHeneen (talk) 21:49, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
A box with a notice that "many hotels have closed" is something that would be wanted in a printed copy of an article; a maintenance tag like {{advert}} is something which is best changed to div="noprint" as there's no way to actually remove the CVB fluff from a page without actually being online. Maintenance tags also apply categorisation to pages. It's therefore not a good idea to try to use the same {{disclaimerbox}} for both purposes. 2001:5C0:1000:A:0:0:0:BA5 21:56, 19 December 2012 (UTC)

Known Templates[edit]

I have several issues with templates that makes their use rather problematic.

  • Need - Unless a template is going to appear on hundreds or thousands of pages there is probably little need for many templates.
  • Documentation - Each template needs to be documented about how, when, where and why it is used.
  • Identification - If I am going to use a template then I need to first identify that I can use it and then use it appropriately.
  • Location - Once I know a template exists, I have to find it; and so does everyone else.
  • Simplicity - Simple things that are easy to use will get used; more complex things will not be used, especially when they should be.

At present, many anonymous contributors barely know how to wikifi links or format section headings - though they soon learn. But to expect them to then use templates is a bit like expecting a WYSIWYS (or Windows) user to use JCL (or DOS) - it is an arcane mystery to the uninitiated. We can tell them to type a few meaningful characters between curly brackets and a cute message appears but that is more an Act of Faith. I think that the whole Template namespace probably should be write protected and only edited by administrators.

One final thing is that templates do not show up in the all pages listing, so it is impossible to go and search a list of templates to see if there is somthing helpful to use. Consider the following Template examples I found, after much ingenuity (or accident).

  • Wikipedia - Blank. - not used.
  • Gnunote - HTML text. An experiment. - not used.
  • PD - Blank. - not used.
  • GFDL - Blank. - not used.
  • Shark - An experiment that only shows in the Travellers' pub.
  • Navigation
    • Nav england - A navigation bar for England. Not implemented.
    • Nav lincolnshire - A navigation bar for Lincolnshire. Not implemented.
    • Ontario - A navigation bar used on just 3 pages that were edited by one user. I think it looks ugly and it is unstable as it presents differently on different pages. If it gets much bigger it would be a nightmare to use. It would be just as quick to follow the back link to the parent page or have direct links between pages.
    • Months - Only used on about a dozen calendar pages, which seem to be just about one stub article, without much activity.
  • Boxes - These would almost be better called BlueSidebar, RedBar and GreenBar.
    • Infobox - Used on about a dozen pages to show a blue sidebar.
    • Warningbox - Used on just 3 article pages. In all 3 cases it is used for a Tsunami 2004 devastation message that is so similarly worded that it probably deserved its own template. The real point is this template only puts optional text into a red box. It would be almost as effective if the text were bolded, in capitals, or in italics - which needs fewer characters to achieve.
    • Disclaimerbox - Not used.

While I agree that templates have some useful applications as demonstrated by those I have listed in the article, I am challenged to find any more worthy causes. -- (WT-en) Huttite 23:47, 1 Jan 2005 (EST)

I think you have the causality in the wrong order: Evan has to date strongly objected to using Mediawiki templates, so of course any presently existing templates are little used and little documented.
While I understand that Evan's objection have suppressed the use of templates, if there were any really useful applications, they would already be implemented, anyway. The uses that have been presented so fare are all fairly marginal, with limited applications. -- (WT-en) Huttite 08:27, 2 Jan 2005 (EST)
As for the *Box templates, they currently differ only in color because that was the easiest way of separating them: I would hope that they can in the future be improved with more custom formatting and distinctive little icons, like you'd find in a Real guidebook (or even Wikipedia). But certainly the intent and purpose of the templates is to provide a standardized way of creating warnings and whatnot, not red backgrounds (which eg. somebody browsing on a monochrome screen can't even see).
I think that the *box templates would be more flexible if they were merely colour boxes rather than tied to a particular information function. What the colours mean would then be defined by usage instructions. Though my other point with the warning box is that there is, perhaps, a real need to quickly and briefly insert some standard text for destinations that have experienced a civil disaster. Templates are good for saying the same thing on lots of pages and formatting those blocks of text in a standard way. But saying slightly different things on a lot of pages starts to make them cumbersome and complex to use. -- (WT-en) Huttite 08:27, 2 Jan 2005 (EST)
And there are lots of arcane things even in normal Wikimedia syntax: look at the battles I had when trying to get a table of thumbnails to align right in Previous Destinations of the Month. But people very soon figure out how to use templates like {{stub}}, and it's not much of a leap from there to {{warningbox|..}} etc.
As for restricting template editing to admin, I personally agree with you on a practical level, but suspect that this goes against Wikivoyage's currently radically open approach where everything should be editable. (WT-en) Jpatokal 01:47, 2 Jan 2005 (EST)
Bump. Template:Infobox has just been ported over to de:, so obviously somebody else finds it useful too. Could we finally sort this out? (WT-en) Jpatokal 23:36, 5 Apr 2005 (EDT)

Template for regions with small centers of population[edit]

Moved the discussion to What is an article? talk. Mediawiki templates is something unrelated...---(WT-en) JanSlupski 04:40, 11 Apr 2005 (EDT)

Ontario Mediawiki Template[edit]

I've removed the Template:Ontario template from a bunch of pages. A new user found the template which was set as a trap for him, and he naturally thought it was how we do things.

I don't think it makes sense to have a template like this for just Ontario (no other region uses them). We either should be doing this globally throughout Wikivoyage, or not at all. And if we do decide to do this globally, let's make sure the template style is carefully set out and aesthetically pleasing before we do this. -- (WT-en) Colin 02:26, 13 Apr 2005 (EDT)

Templates for formatting listings on Japanese Wikivoyage[edit]

So on the Japanese Wikivoyage we've been translating the article templates, and while the basic idea is OK, the attraction-level listings are causing a bit of a headache. Japanese layout is based on every character being a square box and hence uses empty space for formatting lists, not commas, so the standard blah comma blah comma blah type of listing looks like crap if translated word for word.

A bit of research today validated my suspicion that every single Japanese guidebook, eg. Chikyu no Arukikata (the Japanese equivalent to Lonely Planet), Travel Story, Wagamama-aruki, the Japanese versions of Lonely Planet and Nat'l Geographic etc use some form of square block template for their listings.

So I played around a little with Wikimedia's tables and managed to output something (IMHO) passable. The only problem now is that duplicating this consistently across the guide is going to require a Wikimedia template, and if one template is used for every listing in every article it's going to create a bit of load too. What to do? (WT-en) Jpatokal 04:06, 30 Jun 2005 (EDT)

So, if that's the way it's gotta be, that's the way it's gotta be. Go for it, and we'll figure out the implications later. --(WT-en) Evan 09:39, 30 Jun 2005 (EDT)
FYI, we've achieved an internal consensus of sorts to go forward with this, and here's the first article page implementing it. Obviously this is just a first stab with quickie templates and there are formatting issues to work out, but comments are welcome. (WT-en) Jpatokal 06:43, 27 Jul 2005 (EDT)
So, I think those templates are totally great. Maybe we need to do this on Wikivoyage en: too? --(WT-en) Evan 12:38, 16 Dec 2005 (EST)

Templates for User Pages[edit]

Swept in from the Project:Travellers' pub:

I just wondered what people would think of creating templates along the lines of the userpage and bable templates as seen in Wikipedia. --(WT-en) Colin Angus Mackay 14:42, 23 Jun 2005 (EDT)

Sounds like a really good application of Mediawiki templates. I think there are a lot of "slots" that would be useful to put into a template: where the user lives now, where they have lived, what places they've visited, where they want to visit, what languages they speak and at what level (I really like the Babel templates). Let's start up Template:Userpage and Template:Babel (or maybe combine them?). --(WT-en) Evan 12:10, 27 Jun 2005 (EDT)

Template for Photos[edit]

Proposing one to be used on a photo page (WT-en) here. I started with something User:(WT-en) Admrboltz proposed (WT-en) here. See the talk page for usage. Comments welcome. --(WT-en) Ravikiran 04:06, 18 Dec 2005 (EST)

Pretty, but how to automate it? Wikipedia has a nifty system for extracting image data automatically... (WT-en) Jpatokal 10:03, 18 Dec 2005 (EST)
Is it a Mediawiki feature? --(WT-en) Ravikiran 11:30, 18 Dec 2005 (EST)


I think that the caching of templates is something that could be dealt with quite easily in the cache handler; I'll take a poke at it soon. --(WT-en) Evan 19:01, 20 Jan 2006 (EST)

Correction: the caching system already does handle this. I'm going to take out the explanation about the caching system, since it's not factually correct. --(WT-en) Evan 19:08, 20 Jan 2006 (EST)

<webonly>Only show this part on the Web</webonly>[edit]

So, I was thinking about the problem of Web-centric content that's not appropriate for e.g. print or offline use. And I had an idea: what if we just had some kind of markup that said that "this data only for the Web"? --(WT-en) Evan 10:24, 4 March 2006 (EST)

I think this is an excellent idea, as long as it doesn't open the door to "webonly" becoming "link directory" as the "useful offline" has been on eof our big arguments against over-linking. (WT-en) Majnoona 11:35, 4 March 2006 (EST)
Technically, you can achieve that with <div class="noprint">...</div> -- you can see it in action at (WT-en) my user page. I was also thinking that it could be useful, somehow related to Project:Manual of style#Requests for information in article content -- but gave up without any serious idea so far. --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 14:34, 25 November 2006 (EST)

Templates for structured listings[edit]

Moved to Project:listings by (WT-en) Evan

Proposal for Template:Coordinates[edit]

Over at Wikipedia, I have created a template whose purpose is to display GPS coordinates on articles. I find that knowing specific coordinates helps me to identify exact locations on mapping programs, especially those like Google Earth. You can view the documentation for the template as well as a working example here. Would such a template be welcome here?

Neither page exists now. --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 14:20, 25 November 2006 (EST)


Relevant parts of the discussion started on Project:Disambiguation pages moved here:

I just created Template:otheruses to add a link to the disambiguation page for articles meeting the "most famous" rule, ie adding a link from Paris to Paris (disambiguation). We didn't implement this consistently, and I figured it would be a non-controversial thing to do. I should have known better, and having just read some comments about disambiguating Paris I'm adding this discussion - any user searching for "Paris, Texas" will probably start out by typing "Paris" into the search box, in which case they are taken directly to the Paris, France article. It seems useful and inobtrusive to me to add a link to the dismbiguation page to the top of that article, thus the "other uses" template was created. I've added that template to a few articles already, but will hold off on doing any more until people have had a chance to comment. -- (WT-en) Ryan 05:43, 23 March 2006 (EST)

Sorry for the short reply. Have you seen Template:Samename? Why have two templates for the same purpose? --(WT-en) Evan 10:14, 24 March 2006 (EST)
See Template talk:Otheruses. Short answer is that I didn't see Template:Samename until after I had created Template:Otheruses, but I agree one should be deleted since we now have two. Since Samename merely prints the message passed to it, and thus requires more user work and more maintenance to keep things consistent, while Otheruses can be used by simply entering "{{otheruses}} and is also consistent with the naming used on Wikipedia I'd lean towards keeping that one, although if Samename was modified to be easier to use then I'd be OK with keeping that instead.
Somewhat related, but Project:Using Mediawiki templates seems quite out of date and is definitely missing a LOT of templates that are currently available. Would there be any objection to updating that to include all currently available templates? Otherwise, is there a list somewhere else of what's available? -- (WT-en) Ryan 11:45, 24 March 2006 (EST)
No objection from me. I think otheruses is better than samename, so lets replace the places that samename is used with otheruses and VFD samename. Also, I wonder if we shouldn't move the list of templates to a different place than the template policy page. --(WT-en) Evan 11:49, 24 March 2006 (EST)
Agreed on all counts. Regarding splitting out the list of templates, would Project:Template index, Project:List of templates, or some other name be preferable? -- (WT-en) Ryan 12:28, 24 March 2006 (EST)

I took a stab at it and created Project:Template index. -- (WT-en) Ryan 03:30, 3 April 2006 (EDT)

"Templates are troublesome" - huh?[edit]

The "templates are troublesome" comment seems to fly in the face of current template usage and implementation. We're specifically implementing listing tags to support metadata which can be used in other formats, which contradicts the "web-centric" comment as well. I've removed this section and replaced it with wording that simply requests that discussion be held prior to creating or modifying templates. -- (WT-en) Ryan 06:18, 10 April 2006 (EDT)

I don't think it flies in the face of current usage at all. We are slow and circumspect with templates, and there are good reasons that we do things that way. However, I'm very glad you made that summary -- it was overexplaining before.
As to "web-centricity", the point was added long ago, in response to Wikipedia-style navigational templates like WikiPedia:Template:Montana or our now-deleted MediaWiki:BelgiumRegions. They are Web centric; who would buy a travel guidebook to Montana with a 100-entry table of contents at the bottom of every page? I wouldn't want to be the person who has to go through the 1 million Wikipedia articles and say, "Oh, this template is actually part of the content and should be included in the paper Wikipedia, and this one is a big Web navigation doohickey."
I think that we don't have a big problem with this on Wikivoyage, precisely because we've been really careful with using templates.
I'd like to start implementing some technical solutions that will make it easier to use templates. I'd like to add attribution for template authors to each article the template appears on. We've been going slow on templates for a long time, and I still really prefer them for metadata. I think the problems with templates are soluble, and I think using them carefully is a good idea. --(WT-en) Evan 11:21, 10 April 2006 (EDT)


This page uses the following price ranges for a typical meal for one, including soft drink:
Budget Under 10¢
Mid-range 10¢-$100
Splurge Hock a kidney

So I think it'd be useful to spell out roughly what these mysterious "Budget", "Mid-range" and "Splurge" labels mean, both so travellers can figure out which bracket they can afford and so they're a common reference for what goes where. The template you can admire to your right is intended for use on country, region and perhaps huge city pages, and a "Sleep" version of this would also be nice. Opinions? (WT-en) Jpatokal 03:53, 19 June 2006 (EDT)

Bump. Am I to conclude from total lack of comment that this is a) good or b) evil? I see that at least Sapphire has also started using this... (WT-en) Jpatokal 18:18, 7 September 2006 (EDT)
I've also begun to incorporate your template on DE. I like it and I think it would be excellent to have a sleep version too. I've already created a sleep version for DE. -- (WT-en) Andrew Haggard (Sapphire) 18:25, 7 September 2006 (EDT)
Looks ggod to me. (WT-en) Pashley 14:23, 29 September 2006 (EDT)
This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
Budget Under a bridge
Mid-range $1-$100
Splurge If you need to ask, you can't afford it
Three aye, none nay, so created it is. Template:Sleeppricerange has also been created. (WT-en) Jpatokal 09:38, 9 October 2006 (EDT)
Great idea; let's add this to the list of recommended templates? Where is it? --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 14:24, 25 November 2006 (EST)

Itinerary template?[edit]

We have template {{traveltopic}} that says It provides a link to the travel topics index. I think we should have a template {{itinerary}} with similar content and usage. Other opinions? (WT-en) Pashley 14:23, 29 September 2006 (EDT)

Whether correct or not I've been using Template:IsIn on some travel topics. That has the benefit of allowing a hierarchy, such as Travel topicsTravel transportationDiscount airlines. Itineraries currently only nest two levels, but using isIn for itineraries might be a nice way to allow the possibility to eventually support deeper nesting with having to create a lot of itinerary-specific templates such {{itinerary-asia}}. -- (WT-en) Ryan 15:01, 29 September 2006 (EDT)
Augh! Please don't do that. The "IsIn" template is just for places -- it has RDF code in it that says, "This article is about a place, that place is inside another place, and that other place has a page about it here: ..." I can easily create a hierarchical presentation for topics, itineraries, etc., but I'd rather make sure that the relationships are more precisely defined. I do use that "This is a place" information for other things, too. --(WT-en) Evan 15:16, 29 September 2006 (EDT)
I notice that isIn is used for things like Oodnadatta Track which shows
  • Oceania : Australasia : Australia : Driving in Australia : Oodnadatta Track

as the breadcrumb line. If isIn is wrong, what should be used there? (WT-en) Pashley 08:42, 14 November 2006 (EST)

I think having an itinerary template would be useful, and making both intinararies and travel topics hierarchical might be. What are the issues that need defining? Ryan has taken a cut at it or travel topics, seems sensible. (WT-en) Pashley 20:36, 12 October 2006 (EDT)
So I've created Template:Itinerary, but haven't used it anywhere yet. I want to put it in all itineraries. Anyone care to object, suggest changes to the template, suggest a better method, or do the work themselves, before I go ahead? (WT-en) Pashley 08:42, 14 November 2006 (EST)
Would it be enough to just have one hierarchy-building template that is not isIn, perhaps isPart or some such? That would be all we needed for cases like the Singapore-Shanghai itinerary that got split into three parts, or for Oodanatta Track linking to Driving in Oz, but I'm not sure it works for linking the tops of those hierarchies to the lists of Itineraries and Ttopics. (WT-en) Pashley 09:24, 14 November 2006 (EST)
I've now put that template into all the itineraries I could find; quite a few already had it. There are complications, though. Many itineraries and travel topics also have isIn links. Should they? e.g. Oodnadatta Track isIn Driving in Australia which isIn Australia. Does my suggestion in previous paragraph have any merit? (WT-en) Pashley 04:50, 11 March 2007 (EDT)
Or should we just use "related" tags to link the track to Driving in Oz? Or a "see also" comment in the text? There needs to be some link, and just having them in the same section of the itineraries list does not seem enough. (WT-en) Pashley 04:59, 11 March 2007 (EDT)

Huge cities needing districtification[edit]

People often add invididual listings to the main pages of huge cities, so here's my attempted solution, {{districtify}}:

See Vancouver for an example. Hopefully this will spur people to move 'em where they belong. (WT-en) Jpatokal 08:21, 27 October 2006 (EDT)

I like it! Added it to Oklahoma City also. -- (WT-en) Tom Holland (xltel) 09:21, 27 October 2006 (EDT)

Move this to Shared?[edit]

Should this be a shared: policy instead of English-only? Although templates will be created in different languages, the ways we use them across the language versions could probably benefit from a single policy. -- (WT-en) Ricardo (Rmx) 14:28, 14 November 2006 (EST)


So, I'd like to propose an "eventbox" for putting up temporary advance warnings of major events (Olympics, Super Bowl, Eurovision, etc) that will substantially affect travelers trying to book rooms, flights, etc:

{{eventbox|May 2007|'''Eurovision Song Contest 2007''' on May 10-12.}}

Which would show up as:

{{eventbox|May 2007|'''Eurovision Song Contest 2007''' on May 10-12.}} (template subsequently deleted)

It would also be placed under Category:Events heading "May 2007", so it can be tracked and removed after the event is over. Whaddaya think? (WT-en) Jpatokal 00:13, 8 January 2007 (EST)

That last bit didn't quite work though: now it shows up under the heading "M", but with the name "Wikivoyage talk:Using Mediawiki templates" (d'oh). Guess I'll have to do Category:Events in May 2007 etc to make this work then... (WT-en) Jpatokal
Jani, this is a great idea! I'll throw my support behind the template. -- (WT-en) Andrew H. (Sapphire) 02:07, 8 January 2007 (EST)


User:(WT-en) Sapphire/Template:Forecast I've developed a template in my user namespace, which I think would be a terrific addition to our guides and a big help to travelers, though, there is one downside and that's that the template is irrelevant in printed guides, but online it should be pretty neat.

Say you want to access what the upcoming weather forecast is for Flagstaff, Arizona. That typically means after looking at Wikivoyage you then need to search for "Weather forecast for Flagstaff", but we use my template Wikivoyage could direct readers to a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website, which will provide the reader with the seven day forecast.

All you need to do is type: {{User:(WT-en) Sapphire/Template:Forecast|Flagstaff|35.898641|-112.27718}}

The second field is the name of the place. The third and fourth fields are the geographic coordinates in decimal form for the place (in this case Flagstaff). You can see the template in action above.

Thoughts, comments? -- (WT-en) Sapphire(Talk) • 06:13, 9 May 2007 (EDT)

Ah, and I should mention that the NOAA only provides this service for U.S. locales. -- (WT-en) Sapphire(Talk) • 06:22, 9 May 2007 (EDT)
Typical Americans. ;) I assume that one doesn't have to be quite that precise with the coords; as long as you hit the right county you'd be OK. I vaguely recall talk about the possibility of tagging content only for online display; I don't recall what (if anything) came of it. Final random comment: If you don't mind, I'd like to re-do the icons to be more "readable" at that size. (I have this Fine Arts degree that I hardly ever get to do anything with.) - (WT-en) Todd VerBeek 10:00, 9 May 2007 (EDT)
Something related that's been on my low-priority todo list for ages: WeatherChecker, over at Wikinews, generates spiffy realtime weather maps based on NOAA data. Unfortunately it's built on .NET (eww) and hasn't been maintained at all for a few years, so it would be non-trivial to get it retrofitted for WT... (WT-en) Jpatokal 11:01, 9 May 2007 (EDT)
Todd, by all means, please do make the better looking icons. The webonly thing you mentioned is discussed on this page. I'll check to see if it works. -- (WT-en) Sapphire(Talk) • 15:26, 9 May 2007 (EDT)
Ah, and I think generic coordinates, with at least one number following the decimal point, will work. At least, it worked when I tested it. -- (WT-en) Sapphire(Talk) • 15:29, 9 May 2007 (EDT)
How about these? Clouds really ought to be done in watercolors, but I settled for Photoshop. :) - (WT-en) Todd VerBeek 21:29, 10 May 2007 (EDT)


Should we have something like template:Europe in each page? I thiks it's a quick way to move between countries. I've seen it in it: (Italian wikivoyage) and like it. (WT-en) Handrian 01:51, 4 July 2007 (EDT)

I'm against Wikipedia-style template clutter. The breadcrumbs already provide a fast way of moving up and down in a hierarchy, and places you'd want to go from any place X are (or should be) linked in from Get in/out. (WT-en) Jpatokal 01:54, 4 July 2007 (EDT)
Me too... we generally strive to keep the articles here as clean and uncluttered as possible. – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 01:59, 4 July 2007 (EDT)
Ok. template:Europe could go for deletion. (WT-en) Handrian 02:04, 4 July 2007 (EDT)
I don't think this would be necessary for entire continents, but while working on Chicago, I've wondered if something like this might be useful for city district articles. Most people know the countries that Europe is divided into; not many people will know how we've divided up a city, and how the options in one area bleed right into the next area. (Without need for a new visa, either.) But it'd have to be subtle and unobtrusive - I agree that Wikipedia template clutter is gross. (WT-en) Gorilla Jones 02:14, 4 July 2007 (EDT)
The comment has been made before that if we're going to implement these "menu" templates then it should be done consistently, rather than on a place-by-place basis. If someone has a proposal for when we should create one of these templates, how it should be used, and what the limits should be then I could see it being useful, but until we have such a proposal I think we should stay away from piecemeal implementations. -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 02:16, 4 July 2007 (EDT)
Paris was using one for a while for its districts, but the template was successfully VFD'd a couple months back. I think keeping the focus on the "Districts" section of the main city article is the way to go, repeating that list in a template box doesn't really add much to the article except clutter, in my opinion... the thing that brings the most clarity to a city's districts is a map of them... – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 02:36, 4 July 2007 (EDT)

Template:Infobox not clearing images[edit]

I note that this was discussed in Template talk:Infobox Image clear without a linebreak? in 2005, but no action was taken to fix the problem. Adding clear:right; to the div style will resolve the issue. Anyone have a problem if I go ahead and make the change? It will resolve the layout issues in World Cup 2010, Witbank and possible others --(WT-en) NJR_ZA 12:14, 8 October 2007 (EDT)

Go right ahead! (WT-en) Jpatokal 13:03, 8 October 2007 (EDT)
OK, I have made the change and it resolved the issues on the articles mentioned above. It you see it negatively affecting any other articles, let me know and we can sort it out --(WT-en) NJR_ZA 13:18, 8 October 2007 (EDT)

User Page Banners[edit]

Per the VFD at Project:Votes for deletion#Template:User soccer‎, it's worth asking whether Wikivoyage should put a process in place for supporting user banners beyond the language banners that have already been created. Per (WT-en) Peter we've had these discussions before:

There is some here and here. My more general point though, is that this isn't something we've been doing, and the only appropriate way to introduce new practices is through consensus (be it tacit or explicit).

While I'm not a huge fan of these banners, I can see some value in them for the sake of consistency with Wikipedia and community-building for those interested in such things - this seems like a minor change that could pay some dividends in making Wikipedia users more comfortable contributing here. However, if we were to begin allowing these sorts of things I'd suggest the following guidelines:

  1. They should be travel/Wikivoyage related. Something like "This user has visited X countries", "This user is a docent for Space" or "This user is a member of the Project:Mapmaking Expedition" is probably OK, but "This user loves Dungeons & Dragons" doesn't really have any bearing on travel.
  2. They should be discussed prior to creation. I don't think it serves us well to have hundreds of these banners, but a few dozen might not hurt. We would likely need to create a Project:User page banners page with some guidelines.

Thoughts? I suspect this may not be a tremendously popular idea, but it seems like something that would do more good than harm in fostering contributions/community, and since it has come up on a few occasions it's probably worth discussing. -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 18:52, 3 February 2010 (EST)

Another benefit (not mentioned above?) is to help wikivoyageers find others interested in the same kind of travel / special needs (i.e. outdoor activities while traveling / gourmet / shopping / winetasting / whatever else-centric travel). --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 19:08, 3 February 2010 (EST)
I'm not a fan; I would rather people direct their energies toward the travel guides. Important information can be communicated in prose, or, if need be, by hard-coded boxes. (WT-en) LtPowers 19:50, 3 February 2010 (EST)
Of course, my proposal could only makes sense if used with categories allowing to quickly find other wikivoyagers interested in the same. --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 19:55, 3 February 2010 (EST)
If I understand Denis' point, he is saying that these could make it easier to find people with similar interests in ways that would help improve the guides - a user banner for the Project:Mapmaking Expedition would add one more way to identify people who are interested in making maps, similar to how the current Project:Babel templates make it easier to find people who might be able to help out with language issues. I would be opposed to turning Wikivoyage into a Facebook of travel, but I don't think there is a lot of harm in supporting what are effectively self-bestowed merit badges for those that want them. -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 20:09, 3 February 2010 (EST)
I would strongly oppose the use of user banners except in specific concensus-driven circumstances similar to those which Ryan mentioned in his first edit above. I do not see any harm for example in having a template for those interested in map-making. This needs to be very strictly controlled though. General interest type banners (as in "I like Soccer") will trivialise what is a refreshingly grown-up site. One of the key reasons I hung around here and was not a speeding drive-by, was the obvious lack of social-networking guff. --(WT-en) Burmesedays 21:24, 3 February 2010 (EST)
I oppose these banners as well because WT is not facebook and i like to keep it that way. (WT-en) jan 05:13, 4 February 2010 (EST)
I support travel & wikivoyage-related ones.... we can easily stipulate that in the to be created guidelines.... I can't see how it does any harm or why we would need to ban them completely – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 02:16, 6 February 2010 (EST)
There doesn't seem be anything close to consensus on this issue, and without anyone passionately in favor of implementing user page banners it probably makes sense to table this discussion until the next time it comes up. My reading of the comments above is that there is a very strong desire to prevent anything that even hints of Facebook-style banners, but that there might be support for limited implementation of travel-related banners if users begin asking for them - that might be a good starting point for discussion the next time this issue comes along. -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 19:11, 8 February 2010 (EST)
I do kind of like the idea of having ways to identify and highlight the expeditions and who is part of them. I agree that these would have to be limited, but it could be useful for people working on similar things, such as GLBT Travel to find one another and discuss how to best present these various types of travel, since topics like this can be difficult for those who do not seek out such places/activities to write anything meaningful about them. But I suppose I agree that we should not create them until someone actually raises interest, unless there are specific banners we feel are particularly important. (WT-en) ChubbyWimbus 20:03, 8 February 2010 (EST)
I recognize this discussion is a little dead at the moment, but so that I don't forget why I'm against these: I'm really of one mind with Burmesedays. For the most part, we have done a really good job of encouraging a friendly, but also professional and purpose-driven culture on Wikivoyage, which is one of the main reasons why I think we have had the success we have—this culture attracts serious, talented contributors who are genuinely more interested in creating, organizing, and otherwise improving a travel guide to the world than in "social networking" or other purposes better suited to other websites, online forums, etc. At the risk of sounding like a racist homeowners association, I think it's important that we work to attract the right sort of people ;) --(WT-en) Peter Talk 20:48, 8 February 2010 (EST)

While I think there's a clear consensus against random "I like Pokemon" banners, I don't see anybody loudly opposing "expedition member" banners. Why not try them out, and roll back if things get out of control? (WT-en) Jpatokal 00:49, 9 February 2010 (EST)

Because they could be a Project:Slippery slope, and because there's no real reason we can't continue as we have been: simply add your name to the Expedition page, and if you like, note on your own userpage that you are a member. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 14:25, 9 February 2010 (EST)

What if we use the pattern we have in Project:List of Wikivoyagers by location for this as well? Like "Wikivoyageers by type of travel they are [most] interested in covering/supporting here"? It doesn't have any risk to go down the Facebook path, but looks like it serves the primary goal:

  • help editors cooperate around different type of travel (even if there is no expedition on it yet)
  • and potentially even identify areas where there is much interest, but noone realized that yet (although that is not very likely, I must admit).

--(WT-en) DenisYurkin 16:01, 10 February 2010 (EST)

I've never seen the list of wikivoyagers by location used to cooperate on location - this form of cooperation comes from who is actually working on a location. I've never seen the list of people on a expedition page accurately reflect who is on the expedition right now, that also is more determined by who is doing the work, and commenting on a discussion page. I think we should even drop the list of names from the Expedition pages - make it clear they are open to all, even if their contribution is only small - a comment, or ten minutes spent working on standardising a map or region. --(WT-en) inas 18:32, 10 February 2010 (EST)
As for "list by location": at least, when you need to find people whom to ask to comment on how to districtify a city, the list could be helpful when there's no much comment on city's talk page (see our experience with Rome or Barcelona or Budapest for example).
As for "list by interest", I understand your point for existing expeditions and travel topics. But creating an expedition (or even a travel topic) is a very high entry barrier to start contributing to the topic/coordinating efforts on improving one aspect of articles across regions or countries (but only start contributing, not lead the whole effort).
For example, I would like WT would have info on Christmas New Year travel on every destination. I contributed to one or two destinations I've actually been, but I have no easy way to connect with others who share the same interest in order to share my ideas or hearing theirs on how we should better describe this or that aspect; what or where to include (full-text search followed by leaving a comment on every Talk page inviting to a collab page is a very high barrier). And I absolutely don't expect that anyone will ever find my mention on NewYear travel in Talk:Travel topics. Or we have one (but the only?) discussion on whether we should create a travel topic on Shopping: Talk:Travel topics#Shopping articles. With our high standards "if Travel Topic don't have enough content OR supporters, it will be VFDed", I don't go at risk of creating a travel topic on it until I know there are at least some supporters. And I have more where I'm not ready (yet?) to lead or invest heavy, initial efforts into a topic/aspect, but would be happy to have an easy (and time-effective) way to find who else is interested (and probably help each other start): gastronomic travel/"Educated eating" (something very general on Eat, similar to Tips for flying or Talk), (WT-en) "travelling with a notebook", Duty Free shopping. Having a list similar to "Wikivoyageers by interest" could help me, I believe. --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 23:07, 10 February 2010 (EST)
That's an interesting point. Just to comment on Inas' response: Although I think you are right that our current collaborations have worked when people virtually bump into one another, it should probably also be pointed out that our collaborations are generally very weak. I may be wrong, but the Map Expedition is currently really the only expedition with members actually collaborating to get things done, right? The overall lack of collaborative ability is a problem that has been discussed many times. I don't know if banners or user interest lists would help or not, but they're interesting ideas. (In regards to the New Years Travel: I'm surprised there is not some sort of New Years-themed article, since it is a popular travel time, especially when you include the later Chinese New Year and other new years. I imagine many users probably could add info to such an article.) (WT-en) ChubbyWimbus 23:49, 10 February 2010 (EST)
Essentially, you are saying if we play down the "social networking" aspects of the site, then we shouldn't really express surprise when there is less, well, social networking....
Often when the subject of weak collaborations arises, we ignore the elephant. There just aren't that many people who are so regular contributors to this site, and given the huge amount of work to do, and varying interests and priorities of the people here, I think the collaboration works remarkably well.
The best way to get a New Year/Christmas/Events, type thing happening in articles, is to suggest it, on Article Templates, and if noone argues, just go and add it to the large city article template - then people who want to fill in the info can proceed to do it. Many articles have an events section in See or Do already.
I think (WT-en) DenisYurkin's take on travel topics is very harsh. There have been very few travel topics (or other articles) deleted - even the ones that are obviously complete and absolute rubbish we debate endlessly in vfd. If there has been a travel topic deleted that someone expressed an interest in curating, I must have missed it. --(WT-en) inas 01:05, 11 February 2010 (EST)
It's on the edge of offtopic in this thread, but:
  • ChubbyWimbus, on New Year Travel: what better way could I follow to propose a travel topic and find supporters, if not posting it to Talk:Travel topics? And how harsh is my judgement if in 1.5 years it gained one sceptic, and nothing else? I don't complain too much, and it's true I didn't invest too much energy into pushing it through to main namespace. But it's still an example that barriers to starting a travel topic do exist, and that having a straightforward place to find fellow wikivoyageers interested in a type of travel could possibly help (not guaranteed, of course).
  • Inas, on adding section--it's still unclear for me how detailed we want our article templates to be. Speaking generally, beyond Events, why don't we add "With children" sections to Eat, Do and Undestand, or ATMs, MoneyExchange, ThingsToBringHome to Buy, etc etc? I mean, don't we limit ourselves with top-level sections in templates most of the time?
--(WT-en) DenisYurkin 16:25, 11 February 2010 (EST)
To follow your thread, by all means propose a discussion. I would support a third level heading for Events - because it is something we could do with standardising across articles, and it is common to many. I wouldn't support With children because it is trite. Children have as diverse interests as anyone else, and the info for children should be in the body of the prose, and it is a slippery slope to a zillion other for xyz type topics. Still, others may present convincing arguments to change my mind on both items.
But, to return to the original point, the mechanisms to propose and make these changes are well defined, and the people who are likely to give their opinion are all well known to you. To group people of a common view together in a discussion or proposal is a step in the wrong direction, because you miss the spectrum of opinions that are important to make these kind of decisions, and you, yourself, are certainly no adverse to being part of that spectrum! :-) --(WT-en) inas 17:03, 11 February 2010 (EST)
On the original point: I meant that if I know that I'm not alone in pursuading those people who are well-known to me :-), it helps to start a discussion--with some chance to succeed (which are fewer if I'm alone). --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 14:44, 12 February 2010 (EST)
On the offtopic thread: thanks for your suggestion, I've proposed creating Events section: Project:Article templates#Events. Please welcome to discuss there. --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 15:03, 12 February 2010 (EST)
I have a feeling that we're somewhat stuck in discussion there; any ideas on how to proceed would be welcome: Project:Article templates#Events. --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 13:47, 17 March 2010 (EDT)


Swept in from the pub

Do we have an equivalent here at Wikivoyage for converting units? If not, I would like to migrate this over. Units such as distance, length, temperature, and maybe mass would be better handled by means of this template in order to become more understandable for readers of any background.

As a side note in how it's handled at wp and other sites, generally we adhere to the areas preferred use of units, followed by the parenthetical converted units. So for an article about New York, we would use something like 500 ft. (152 m.) and likewise, for an article about London we would order it 152 m. (500 ft.)

Thoughts? - Theornamentalist (talk) 17:24, 15 November 2012 (UTC)

I don't think there is an equivalent template here, and I don't see any harm in importing and using one. Now that we're on a site where use of bots for updating is feasible, converting to use this template seems like it might be a good task on which the bots could be unleashed. -- Ryan • (talk) • 17:38, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
While the convert templates are quite useful, they tend to decrease readability. We don't use measurements very often, and when we do, it's usually easier to write out the conversion longhand than to go find and interpret the syntax for the template. LtPowers (talk) 18:30, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
The template is useful and I support it being imported but expecting a 'bot replacement to recognise existing free-form text and convert every instance to use the templates everywhere seems a bit risky. I'd prefer not to read about Mile One (1.609km) Stadium in an article on St. John's, for instance. K7L (talk) 19:17, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
There's no harm in importing them over. But I would think just allow users to slowly adopt them, and not have bots make the change. JamesA >talk 00:11, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
That the micro-organism Pspatula is 2.2mm long is important to convert accurately. That the beach is 2 miles from the stadium isn't. There is a place for conversions (driving distances, etc) but also a place that 8-mile-beach should be just that. --Inas (talk) 02:30, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
So Nine Mile Point, Oswego (New York) will go into meltdown if I try to metricate them? Certainly there are problems with deliberately-vague or even wrong info being posted to tout destinations as close to absolutely everything. "This convenient location offers easy access to all major attractions in the region including: Fort Henry, Thousand Island Boat Tours, Murney Tower, Thousand Island Parkway" from a central to nothing hotel, who don't mention that Murney Tower is in Kingston (Ontario) and the 1000 Islands Parkway is on the other side of Gananoque, more than 20 miles (30km) downriver. Intercity distances specified as driving time are even more misleading... Ottawa to Kingston in 1.5 hours was one example (they're 170km / 107 miles centre-to-centre by the shortest, but not fastest, highway route). Our problem isn't too much precision at the moment. Leave Three Mile Island in its non-metric form if you must, but driving distance does need to be accurate as too many vendors play fast and loose with this for promotional purposes. K7L (talk) 03:34, 16 November 2012 (UTC)

As someone who has imported close to the entire network of Convert templates before, I have to tell you that you really need to weigh up whether it's worth the work. Not just of importing it. The template's maintainers are constantly improving the code; the 4000+ pages involved are moved around, deleted, updated on a regular basis. New sub-pages are created every week, because of course it isn't finished yet. There's also the fact that we probably won't need half of them here at Wikivoyage. There are obscure scientific units, medical units, light years, ancient units nobody uses today – and of course there's no way to weed those out unless you examine the code deeply because they're all interwoven with each other.

I'd recommend asking Jimp to resurrect the old-style individual templates like Km to mi, etcetera. He'll be able to suggest a good system. Osiris (talk) 03:54, 16 November 2012 (UTC)

Other template imports[edit]

Swept in from the pub

There are perhaps some other templates we could usefully import, from en.Wikipedia or elsewhere. From the former, {{Tl}} {{Lang}} and {{Diff}} spring to mind. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 17:52, 15 November 2012 (UTC)

See also the above discussion about the EDP. A lot of image-related templates, such as "Self" and "Information", are missing. --Stefan2 (talk) 18:11, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
They are not missing; no one has made a case yet as to why they are necessary. Our existing templates seemed to get the job done before. LtPowers (talk) 18:30, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
Odds are, we are going to have to be a lot more careful about copyright if answerable to the WMF. Slapping {{pd}} on something and expecting to simply be taken at one's word that the content is indeed public domain isn't the way it works over there. They want to know author, date, location, the whole nine yards (8.2 metres) including why some particular image is believed to be free as images are treated as 'guilty until proven innocent' for copyright. K7L (talk) 19:14, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
I'm not too familiar with the image policy on WV, but in most cases I have a feeling it is best to go through Commons. Individual language wikis can make their own policy on exceptions though. For example, at the English Wikisource (a wiki dedicated to hosting source texts) we sometimes host works not allowed on Commons, an instance being where a text is not public domain in it's country of publication, but is public domain in the US. Commons adheres to both rules (PD in country of publication, and in US, where the servers are located). - Theornamentalist (talk) 19:22, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
But K7L, what do those concerns have to do with the templates Stefan2 mentioned? LtPowers (talk) 20:11, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
Most of the image-related templates on WP are there because of licensing or copyright. I presume we will have to deal with the question of how many of those will be required here. K7L (talk) 20:19, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
At the moment, I can only see one category of images (recent architecture and artworks) that should be uploaded locally. Everything else should be on commons. We are a travel guide. We can't rely on the doctrine of "fair-use" like an encyclopaedia can. --Inas (talk) 02:30, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
Yes, and I think that we need exactly one template (for example, {{non-free content}}) saying that the picture depicting the non-free artwork is uploaded within the EDP (+link to this EDP). We don't need individual FoP templates for every country. --Atsirlin (talk) 06:58, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
Inas, we actually have a very good argument for fair use, especially in the limited scope in our policy. Look at any travel magazine, and they'll have pictures of artwork and architecture around the city which they are profiling. That's fair use. LtPowers (talk) 13:07, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
Quick and easy access to currency conversion is a much-needed feature on our guides (at least the country-level pages). I propose importing w:Template:Exchange rate. A few changes may need to be made, but this can be done after importing to WV. For the English Wikivoyage site, the currencies listed should be reduced to just the major currencies of English-speaking countries (delete CHF, HKD, JPY and maybe add NZD & ZAR). Also, improvement to its visual appearance would be nice, such as reducing the # of sites linked to and turn it to "portrait" orientation to fit alongside text in the "Buy" section. A link could also be added in the template to Money. I'm not sure if any other currency templates would be useful on WV. AHeneen (talk) 07:24, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
Another useful template would be the archive template to put at the top of discussion pages. AHeneen (talk) 01:21, 17 November 2012 (UTC)

Be bold situation here[edit]

Swept in from the pub

One of the things that I sense here is restrictions. Many innovations that have been proposed, are being barred and removed by old volunteers. This is bad for the project because it lets the projects outdated. You have to let things happen, let the new volunteers "take" ownership of the project, as well you gain new contributors with new visions. So that's how a collaborative process, if you create barriers to innovation, the project dies. Do not be afraid to lose control and the characteristics, grow together with innovations. Peace! Rodrigo Tetsuo Argenton m 21:18, 15 November 2012 (UTC)

I'm not sure which restrictions and barriers you are referring to. Everyone is free to discuss and add improvements to the project. But of course in the end these should be in line with the project's goals. It is true we have a rather rigid template policy ("discuss it before creating it"). I think this could be relaxed, but there is probably a reason why policy has grown this way. In the end templates should still be in line with the goals of the project, and copy and pasting many of them from Wikipedia without thinking how they add something to Wikivoyage won't cut it.--Globe-trotter (talk) 21:32, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
This is not a Wikipedia thing: Template:Geographic Location, for example, and how describe that?? Is much more easy to do, show how it's work, and the community acceptance on that, is the use, and there's no reason to delete... that's one of the points. The use is the acceptance, don't need a council to decide what's gonna stay. Rodrigo Tetsuo Argenton m 21:54, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
Personally, I'd like to see MUCH more experimentation here than occurred in the past, but I'd also like to ensure that this experimentation doesn't create a site that lacks consistency and editorial standards. While your example of Template:Geographic Location might be a good idea, at the same time it differs from the Template:Routebox approach that has been used up to now, with absolutely no indication why the new approach is being used, why it should be used instead of the old approach, etc. For now it is (hopefully) not too much to ask that significant new changes first be discussed so that the reason for the change is understood. Additionally, a larger discussion about how Wikipedia encourages experimentation while maintaining editorial standards would be very valuable for both sides and would hopefully lead to ways to relax Wikivoyage's historically tight controls over things like templates. -- Ryan • (talk) • 22:20, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
I don't agree with dumping new templates on Wikivoyage:Votes for deletion just because they're new templates. If someone wants to nominate {{Geographic Location}} for deletion because they like {{routebox}} better, or {{commons category}} because they prefer sibling projects linked from the sidebar, fine, say so. A Wikipedian reaction would be "assume good faith, don't bite the newbies and don't disrupt just to make a point" (and no, I don't know if direct equivalents exist to these here) but, if a template is useless, let that be decided on its own merits. VfD if you must, but state some sort of reasoning (such as duplicates an existing template) to open the question for discussion instead of to confrontation. Odds are, some of the Wikipedia methods are useful (for instance, we might want to know who created a public-domain image, when, where...) while others might not suit this project (after all, we don't want to just pointlessly duplicate content already on WP, so {{infobox building}} simply isn't worth importing if our only mention of the w:Sears Tower is as an item to see in its city, Chicago, or as a brief passing mention at the starting point of an itinerary down Route 66). K7L (talk) 23:07, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
The policy on templates is still in effect, and the deletion requests simply follow this policy. We can't ignore the existing policy. That's all. And VfD is not a place to discuss merits and downsides of different templates. It is the place to check the compliance of deletion requests with the existing policies.
We can discuss the template policy and, hopefully, modify it towards softer and more flexible rules on new templates. But we should discuss this policy, not the bad conservative guys sitting on Wikivoyage. --Atsirlin (talk) 23:23, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, but this project has its policies. Many things were tried in the past and considered unsuitable for the travel guide. Therefore, we prefer to discuss new ideas prior to implementing them, not the other way around. If you want to bring a new template from Wikipedia, simply start a discussion in the Pub and provide a link to Wikipedia. Then everyone can see what you are offering.
And please, keep in mind that this project is about travel guides that should be usable in printed form. This is one major reason why templates are kept to minimum. --Atsirlin (talk) 23:23, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
I support the idea that templates should be discussed prior to implementation. I have seen on other projects that too much templates are dumped from en-wiki and for that reason I know another project which has a speedy deletion policy if such thing happens. People must understand that even if the English (or any other) Wikipedia is a big brother/sister, each project stands on their own, with its own goals and policies. Also, templates often distract people's attention from creating and improving content. Greetings - Romaine (talk) 00:39, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
Keep in mind that we do not have a "Be bold" policy. We do have Wikivoyage:Plunge forward, but it's primarily aimed at "authoring, editing, and illustrating". Instead we seem to have a lot of people coming in who aren't doing much authoring or illustrating, but instead seem eager to do tinkering, moving, and organizing. Which is fine as far as it goes, but they have to understand that we've had eight years of experience with organizing travel guides, and while there are a lot of things we'd like to do better, we don't want to do them all at once. We're still in beta; now is not the time to be experimenting with new templates, beyond what we need to go live. LtPowers (talk) 01:25, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
Again and again, I'm not a Wikipedia guy, I helped the incubation of some Wikis, and some others sites based in the Wiki way, "be bold, don't be stupid" works for all collaborative works. And sorry, Wikipedia is a past success, that should be considered, But, you're just taking the bad part... I'll edit and be quiet, kisses. Rodrigo Tetsuo Argenton m 04:30, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
I've opened a new discussion regarding our template policy at Wikivoyage_talk:Using_Mediawiki_templates#Changing_how_we_handle_new_templates. I encourage everyone to offer their input. JamesA >talk 07:14, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
Rodrigo - I mentioned Wikipedia mostly because "be bold" is a WP policy, and most of the new Wikimedia users on Wikivoyage will come from that project. To your larger point, Wikivoyage does have a Wikivoyage:Plunge forward policy that is analagous to "be bold", but I think we would be well-served by making it easier for new (and existing) users to make edits outside of existing policy as experiments.
James has proposed loosening guidelines on template usage at Wikivoyage talk:Using Mediawiki templates#Changing how we handle new templates, and I think there is room for less rigidity elsewhere, although we do want to maintain consistent editorial standards. The "experimental" tag I've proposed for undiscussed templates might be a way to achieve that goal in areas other than template creation - for example, if someone wants to create an article that is outside of Wikivoyage:What is an article but not a clear candidate for merging, while it would be preferable to have that article discussed first, if someone does go ahead and create it then tagging it as "experimental" would allow it to be tracked, encourage discussion, and make it clear that the article is not something that should be copied for other purposes pending further discussion. If the creating user could not make an argument for the new article type that gained support from other users then a delete or merge would be prudent, but it would give the user a few days to try something new and discuss the goal before marking it "merge" or "vfd". Similarly, if someone wants to try a new section or layout on an existing low-visibility article, tagging that section as an experiment would promote discussion of the idea, allow the user time to try something new, and make it clear that the change might still be reverted if there isn't a consensus to move in the new direction.
Other suggestions for encouraging experimentation in a way that maintains consistent editorial standards would be appreciated. -- Ryan • (talk) • 17:03, 16 November 2012 (UTC)

Changing how we handle new templates[edit]

I think we can all agree that our templates policy has been one of the most contentious issues over the past few days. Wikivoyage:Votes for deletion is becoming clogged up with templates that have potential but were simply not proposed as per policy. It's clear we need to take another look at this.

I propose a system where users are allowed to create a template they think will be useful, but must then propose it at a page such as Wikivoyage:Template proposals. The community is then able to discuss its intricacies and whether the Wikivoyage project would benefit from it, before the template is mass-deployed to thousands of pages. If requested in the discussion, the proposer can implement the template on one or two pages, just to show how it would work and why it is helpful.

I don't think a set time for discussion is necessary, as administrators should be able to make a logical decision over the community's position on the template. For example, w:Template:Tl is fairly basic and doesn't affect mainspace pages, so should be able to be approved within days. Something like Template:Geographic Location may take a month to determine. At this stage, it's all just a proposal and everything is open to modification. Thoughts, queries, comments? JamesA >talk 07:13, 16 November 2012 (UTC)

I am in full support of the creation of a Template Proposals page. This could probably be set up like the DotM/OtBP nominations page...user gives proposal with a short description of function as a new header. Comments allowed under the proposal. When created, discussion gets archived. If there has been no comments on a proposal after a set period of time (say, 12-18 months), the proposal gets slushed. I really don't know how to handle the decision to create (or not create) a template, perhaps a vote and if there are 3-5 "support" votes and no opposition, a proposal gets the go-ahead? If there is any opposition, the admins would get a notice and the decision would be left to the votes of admins. AHeneen (talk) 07:36, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
I also support this idea. Let's make a special talk page so that we don't clutter the Pub with template-related discussions. So the procedure should be as follows: i) create a template and explicitly label it as "pending community approval"; ii) discuss the template and, if necessary, adjust it to our purposes; iii) start using the template, provided that the consensus is reached. The selection procedure should be similar to our admin nominations: several support votes and no strong (motivated) opposition. --Atsirlin (talk) 09:05, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
Both of the ideas you two have mentioned are great. I think users should be allowed to vote straight away, but are encouraged to make comments/discuss rather than outright oppose. That means a simple template that really has no issues can be approved within days if it gets enough support and no opposes. A complex one can have discussion. AHeneen, did you mean "12-18 days"? Months seems a little extreme, and there'd be quite a backlog! Anyone feel free to draw up a draft policy and proposals page to work on. JamesA >talk 09:36, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
I'm not convinced we need a special "template proposal" page - I'm not against the idea, but I don't know if most users who are unaware of the template policy would find it. However, I do think it would be valuable to tag undiscussed templates with a note (ironically: probably a new template) that states:
  1. The template is experimental / not meant for widespread use pending further discussion, with a link to this policy and a suggestion to justify the template by discussing its usage and purpose on the template's talk page (or elsewhere). The consensus gathering proposed by others in this thread could be handled in this way.
  2. An indication that undiscussed templates may be subject to a VFD if there isn't a general agreement that it adds value, furthers the project goals, and does not duplicate existing functionality.
  3. The "note" message should also automatically add the new template to a category for "undiscussed templates" so that we can easily track them.
Overall, I think it's unfortunate that we've discouraged some new contributors by flagging contributions with VFD, so it would be nice to strike a balance between encouraging experimentation while at the same making it clear that there is a process to follow when implementing new functionality. -- Ryan • (talk) • 16:27, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
JamesA, I did mean 12-18 months. The thinking being that the Template Requests page would be in the backwaters of the WV site and get little attention, the result being that great proposals might only have a couple votes or, in the case of proposals where no template has been created and there is only a description/comments, then it might get archived without a fair chance. In suggesting 12-18 months, I'm thinking of how some of the project pages on WTS were ignored and didn't see much activity. When WV moves out of beta, then we'll probably see a flood of templates imported from WP and much activity. However, after that fizzles out, then it would be better to take a wait-and-see approach and reduce the timeframe before slushing as necessary, if there is too much activity. AHeneen (talk) 01:42, 17 November 2012 (UTC)
Anything tagged onto "undiscussed templates" should be required to have to have the <noinclude> tags. The objective should not be to attempt to break the template so that all articles using it are listed in category:vfd or templated as deletion candidates. If there are one or two articles using a new template, allowing them to continue to use it pending consensus on whether to discard the template breaks nothing.
"Before the template is mass-deployed to thousands of pages"? Now there's a stretch... unless the user is some sort of robot (for instance, a search-and-replace of every broken wts: link on the wiki to {{commons category}}) the usual pattern will be that the user is writing one page, tried to use a template that is available on some other wiki, and got a redlink for their troubles. At this point, the user grabs the missing template and brings it here for use in that one page. The template might be useful (in which case we don't want to bite the newbies) or it might duplicate something already here (for instance {{infobox country}} is Wikipedia's equivalent to our {{quickbar}}). If it's useful, keep it; if it's useless, make the argument as to why it should be discarded. I see no harm in the template being on the one new page during discussion, just so long as anything which might represent a batch job adding it to a series of existing pages is discussed (WP doesn't have "requests for templates" except from anon-IPs or users expecting someone else to design a template for them, but it certainly *does* have "bot requests" before anything is unleashed onto "thousands of pages"). K7L (talk) 16:36, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
I think something that maybe causing confusion with this discussion (or maybe just me) is: Are we talking about a page where already-created templates (user creations, WP imports) are proposed and approved/denied for use on WV? Or a page to suggest useful templates for WV, with a description of how it may look/function, allow other Wikivoyagers to comment, and tech-savvy users create a few functioning templates for discussion/approval? Or can both types of nominations peacefully co-exist on just one page, with one approval process? I fall into the latter category, where there are a few templates I think would be useful (or I'd like to see ideas discussed), but I don't have the know-how to create a nice-looking, functional template. There should be a place (other than the Pub) where suggestions/discussion of new templates can be discussed. AHeneen (talk) 01:42, 17 November 2012 (UTC)
Ryan, the category sounds like a good idea, as does the template. I agree with K7L that the "organising template" should be "noinclude-d". However, I still believe a central discussions page would be best rather than numerous talk pages. The 'Template proposals' could be linked from the "organising template". Is the idea that the "organising template" is automatically added to the editing window any time someone tries to create a new page in the Template: space? A central 'Template proposals' page would also receive more activity in the Recent changes, allowing all the other proposals on the page to receive some coverage.
AHeneen, I was wondering the same thing. My idea was that any new template could be discussed, so both. Already-created templates in someone's userspace or from Wikipedia, and general suggestions. That way, the latter can evolve as many different users edit the one template with their ideas. JamesA >talk 02:25, 17 November 2012 (UTC)
Adding an "experimental" tag automatically to newly created templates would be an option if that's technically feasible, or we could just manually tag undiscussed templates as they are created in order to encourage the author to discuss the purpose and reason for creation and to make them aware of the Wikivoyage template policies. Also, I'm not opposed to a central page for discussing new templates - your point about a central page making it more likely that people would comment on multiple templates is a good one, although the downside is that a central page may elicit shorter comments than might be found on a template's talk page, and I wouldn't want to see it devolve into another view of the VFD page. -- Ryan • (talk) • 18:48, 17 November 2012 (UTC)

I think having a central template proposals page makes sense, if only because having it would make it clearer that templates can be deleted simply on the grounds of not having been proposed. It would have a welcome "chilling effect" on adding style-changing templates to articles prior to gaining community approval.

If anyone wants to come down firmly in opposition to my creating Wikivoyage:Template proposals, speak now ;) --Peter Talk 02:47, 26 November 2012 (UTC)

No objection, but can you clarify where it's stated that being undiscussed is, alone, sufficient grounds for deletion? That had been my impression, but I can't find anyplace that actually codifies that. LtPowers (talk) 16:30, 26 November 2012 (UTC)
Wikivoyage:Using_Mediawiki_templates#New_Mediawiki_Template_proposals doesn't use the word deletion, but it makes it clear that they need to be discussed first. In practice too, undiscussed templates that attract controversy have always been deleted (usually after a fair amount of semi-contentious discussion). The reasons for this are pretty clear, I would think: 1) changes to our practices that affect many articles need consensus, and 2) we try to not clutter our template space with unused templates.
This hasn't been a big problem in the past, but a note should probably be added to the deletion policy itself now. --Peter Talk 17:01, 26 November 2012 (UTC)
User:Sumone10154 previously created Template:Experimental, and I've expanded it for use in articles. It's obviously a bit ironic to "be bold" and create a template in support of a discussion about how to create undiscussed templates, but it at least gives us a way to track new templates for the moment, and can obviously be deleted if the consensus is that this is the wrong approach. -- Ryan • (talk) • 04:56, 6 December 2012 (UTC)

Experimental templates[edit]

I think the experimental designation gives us a good way to manage new, well-meaning, and hopefully creative template additions. Having them in a sort of sandbox limbo will give us time to think about them and see whether they should be introduced, or possibly have their goals met a different way. This also should hopefully put an end to the stream of messy vfds.

Here are my suggested policy points to handle them:

  1. Experimental templates may not be added to articles;
  2. The experimental tag may not be removed until there is a consensus to do so;
  3. Consensus to remove the experimental tag should be done on the template talk page;
  4. Experimental templates that are three months old will be speedy deleted.

Does that look right? --Peter Talk 21:44, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

Yes! --Alexander (talk) 22:11, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
The "should not be added to articles" criteria might discourage some of the "be bold" mentality from Wikipedia users since many templates will only make sense in the context of an article (example: Template:Listing). How about changing that to "experimental templates should be added to no more than one article pending consensus to deploy it more widely"? -- Ryan • (talk) • 22:56, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
Again Ryan's rationale is faultless - but I would extend the latitude to: "An experimental template should not be added to more than 5 geographically or topically related articles pending consensus to deploy it more widely". -- Alice 23:16, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
I'm amenable to allowing a one-article exemption, although I think people should be ready to see that change reverted (if, say, someone puts a big experimental template on a star article). I don't think this is quite necessary, though—couldn't they just experiment in their userspace? --Peter Talk 23:46, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
Agreed that we don't want experiments in high-visibility articles. As to why we can't restrict these to user space only, the original discussion began due to Wikipedia users complaining that we don't encourage experiments, something that I actually agree with, and if allowing a minimal amount of (tracked) experimentation in the main space encourages more participation and innovation then I think that's a good thing. To Alice's point, why five articles? One would seem sufficient for demonstration purposes. How about the following text: "experimental templates should be used only in your user space or in a single, low traffic article in the main space until there is a consensus to deploy it more widely." -- Ryan • (talk) • 00:03, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
That wording works for me. --Peter Talk 00:15, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
I'd expect that, once more users start coming here from Wikipedia, they will attempt to use templates which were available there (and useful there), find the template is missing here and create it. In some cases, the template might be of use and worth keeping; in others, it might just pointlessly duplicate something we already have (WP's {infobox country} vs. WV's {quickbox}, for instance). I don't agree with deleting new templates just because they are new templates. If a template is tried and proves not to be useful (for instance, {{commons}} duplicates an existing sidebar link, my bad) then sure, take it out and shoot it. As for limiting number of instances of an experimental template, perhaps any limits should only apply to putting new templates on existing content (and not to users creating templates for use in their own new articles). The restrictions should only apply in main space; there's no need to force user pages or documentation into rigidly-fixed formats just because our mainspace city pages are see/do/buy/eat/drink/sleep in one formulaic pattern. We do need to encourage experimentation and, more importantly, avoid biting new users. Simply reciting "but this is the way we've always done it" doesn't quite cut it when our supposed "new" user turns out to be an experienced user from some other wiki which has its own "way they've always done it". Templates need to stand or fall based on their usefulness or lack thereof. K7L (talk) 02:59, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, but I do not see your point. New articles are no different from the existing articles: they all should have same format. If we allow new templates for new articles, this simply creates a mess and complicates things for those who will eventually delete weird templates (like this blatant example of breaking our listings format). Documentation is the core of the project. It is not a place for experiments. What remains? User space? Yes, we can allow new templates there, but user space is not a useful part of the travel guide. --Alexander (talk) 07:23, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
I think that the creation/use of new templates should be organized by creating a Wikivoyage:Template proposals page, which lists criteria for templates, criteria for "experimentation", and criteria for approving templates. Discussion about templates that have already been added (but have the "Experimentation" template) can be held on its talk page, while voting (only support/ comments) would take place on the proposals page. It could be useful to demonstrate a template in a couple different contexts, so I think the limit of mainspace pages the experimental template is used on should be 3-5. With Peter's proposal, the biggest issue I can see is the speedy delete after 3 months. Let's say a new template gets uploaded & tagged experimental. A handful of people comment on the template's discussion page, but (to who...any administrator that feels like browsing templates to delete?) whoever views the conversation after 3 months decides that there's no consensus to remove the experimental tag (but maybe several "I like this idea, but it should/shouldn't include..." comments) and speedy deletes. Many project pages can get lost in terms of attention given and a great template can be scrapped without getting due attention/discussion...and even worse, is deleted so that someone a week later someone uploads the same template and there's no previous discussion to refer to! (What? Would it would just be deleted "because this has already been rejected"?)
So here's an alternative plan: Create Wikivoyge:Template proposals as I suggested. Wikivoyagers can upload templates, tagging as experimental, and also adding it to the proposals page along with a blurb about why it's useful, where it would be used, and others can vote on it below the template's listing. The wordage here may seem confusing...think of how we handle DotM nominations—policy is outlined followed by nominations (in a standardized format...nominee & why) and corresponding votes. The difference would be that only votes would belong on the proposal's page...comments about the nominee go on the template's talk page. Then, instead of speedy delete, if the consensus is to not allow the template it would be archived (with votes swept from proposals page to failed template's talk page)and blocked from being used. An archival note would be placed on the template page reading something like this: "This template was rejected for use on Wikivoyage and is currently disabled. Reasons and discussions along with the final vote can be found on the talk page." If there is no clear consensus either way, there should be no time limit on the template's experimental status. If there must be one, it should correspond to the last comment (not upload date...because discussions might be active on that 3 month mark) and be 6-12 months. The proposals page would also contain a section for suggestions for templates which haven't yet been created or for people with a good template idea, but no coding skills. In contrast to experimental templates listed on the proposals page, proposals without a template can have comments (since it wouldn't be practical to preemptively create a page for each proposal) and when/if a template is created for that proposal, the comments would be swept to its talk page. AHeneen (talk) 10:08, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
This will be a mess, at least on a long time scale. In one year, we will easily get 100 new dubious templates because copying templates from Wikipedia is much easier than generating useful travel content. These templates may affect and impair up to 500 articles, which are likely good articles of usable or guide status. Moreover, the templates will stay in place forever because consensus may be very difficult to reach. Suppose I am an editor who wants to improve an article towards DOTM, guide or star status, and I have to deal with a stupid template that someone added "for the purpose of illustrating the new template". What should I do?
I see no reason to keep all strange templates that people are creating. A template author should be able to bring his/her brainchild to a useful format on a reasonable time scale (and 3 months is quite reasonable). If he/she needs help, Pub is always open for discussions. If the proposal failed, it failed. After all, travel content is more important than perfect style.
I believe that we need a sharp time frame for making decisions on the new templates. The number of articles affected by these new templates should be kept to minimum, because every affected article is eventually an additional cleanup work. --Alexander (talk) 11:50, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
I don't understand... if someone is attempting to improve a specific article, wouldn't they just remove anything that makes the page worse - whether it be an excessive number of templates (old or new) or something more common, like "great for sunsets" and "near all major attractions" fluff in individual listings? K7L (talk) 13:42, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
Suppose I am a new contributor. I don't know which template is "experimental", but I presume that all templates were added to the page for a good reason, so all templates should stay where they are. That's confusing. If the template violates our manual of style, I am even more confused: wherein is the problem – wrong template or dated MoS? Of course, the confusion can be resolved if a new contributor starts asking questions, but we know that many people just write something without getting in touch with the community.
Another problem: I try to be bold and expunge the experimental template from the page. Of course, I do not update any links on the page of this experimental template. Now anyone who is interested in the template will not see examples of its usage and will not realize what a great idea has been put forward two years ago when this unapproved template appeared.
OK, short version: the storage of unnecessary templates for an indefinite period of time creates additional work and confusion that I personally would like to avoid. --Alexander (talk) 14:49, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
The usage examples can be linked as Special:Permanentlink/2050918#Nearby (an example of {{listing}} for bugzilla:43220) as that'd remain in the history even after someone else changes the page (in this example) to split out Prescott-Ogdensburg to its own article. As for MoS problems in articles, there's nothing template-specific about that; those can creep into any aspect of a page. At least a template with an MoS problem can be fixed by editing the template (unlike mw:extension:listings, which had to go to bugzilla and still isn't fixed). K7L (talk) 15:11, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
Well, many of our pages do not follow the MoS recommendations, but it does not mean that we should stimulate new violations of the format and keep them forever. One simple solution is to restrict all experiments to the template talk page. If necessary, one can create subpages and/or transclude parts of the existing articles into the template talk page. This will not affect any of the real articles, yet giving enough space for the development. If we decide to choose this option (i.e., no unapproved templates in the articles), contentious templates can stay open for discussion as long as necessary per AHeneen's suggestion. --Alexander (talk) 16:13, 19 December 2012 (UTC)

First, I would like to remind that the current policy is just to delete templates for which there isn't yet a consensus, so both proposals here are to make it easier for people to be creative and introduce new ideas (and to decrease the amount of "biting" going on). If we don't move forward on one of these ideas, we default to the current overly strict policy, and resulting confusion from new contributors.

Second, the two options I've seen floated are the template proposals page, and the experimental category. Regarding the former, it just seems like more busy work that would be covered by simply adding categories, and letting people discuss on the template talk page. I definitely don't want to see more voting instead of discussion/consensus building—that practice is pretty alien to our project aside from the vfd page, and it may be creeping in lately from other WMF projects. If people want to propose a template without actually making them, that could be done on pretty much any style policy article talk page, or even in the pub. Lastly, three months seems like plenty of time to determine whether a template is worth keeping, and generally consensus is not a hard thing to determine ;) --Peter Talk 18:32, 19 December 2012 (UTC)

I'm firmly in support of the idea I've put forth to have a centralized template proposal page to keep things cleaner. The main issue with the experimental category is that individual templates won't get any (or on a couple editors') attention, while a proposals page makes everything nice and orderly and the suggestion to leave comments/discussion on the template's talk pages and votes on the proposal page was also to keep things cleaner/more orderly...not to make it more complicated. Maybe 3 months is an ok limit for the time period, but deleting the template and the discussions that go with it is definitely a bad idea! How will repeat nominations be handled if the policy were to be speedy deletion? Some new editor, more familiar with other wiki projects, comes along and uploads the same template that had been previously rejected/deleted. Do we go through the whole process again? Or does it get deleted "because we've already rejected this idea" with no opportunity for this other editor to explain or add to the discussion? Templates can be disabled, but kept for reference when reading through the discussions about it, while the template page is clearly marked that it has been rejected and is disabled.
With regards to proposing a template without creating it, that too would be much better handled on a dedicated page rather than get lost among discussions on dozens of policy pages. Plus, it would be easier to draw the attention of those with the skills to create the template. I'm partial to that idea, because I'd like to see an exchange rate template for the buy section that can be readily updated (vs. mentioning in text exchange rates, which sometimes lack the date or are years out of date) and have brought it up twice with little feedback: first in the Pub a year ago, where it was swept to Wikivoyage talk:Currency#Exchange Rate Bot with a couple misunderstandings and positive feedback (but it never got around to approval) and second on Wikivoyage talk:Project#More pages a month ago, where I brought up creating "Request for articles" and "Request for templates" pages and no one has yet responded. Since I've brought it up, the exchange rate template would be a modified version of w:Template:Exchange rate (which is too big,IMO) to fit in the "Buy" section.
Also, not all editors will necessarily have to know every template and neither will a new template have to quickly be added in every location where it should replace something. Wikipedia has hundreds of templates...are users expected to know all of them and should numerous useful ones be deleted just because a newer editor likely won't know/use it? Templates should be judged based on how useful and appropriate they are. AHeneen (talk) 21:43, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
How would a template be "disabled?" --Peter Talk 22:20, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
I don't know the software side of the templates, but have a look at w:Template talk:Wikivoyage. The Wikivoyage template on WP is currently disabled (or at least it doesn't show) by using <noinclude>. Hopefully K7L or Doc James can explain. AHeneen (talk) 23:25, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
Looking at our evolving way of handling this, it seems that people like the experimental template, but are unsure whether a new proposals page is worthwhile and whether the three months idea makes sense. Would anyone mind if I modify our current policy to say that new templates get an experimental tag (which limits its implementation) until a consensus forms for its use? That would mean that templates could sit around forever with experimental tags--until its clear that they're not making progress and get a vfd. --Peter Talk 20:59, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
I'm not clear on what we do with templates with experimental tags. Right now, they kind of just sit around; the tag says they shouldn't be used, but how else do we measure acceptance? LtPowers (talk) 21:57, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
Discussion on the template talk page? --Peter Talk 22:08, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
Hopefully I can find time to create a page to an example "Template proposals" page in my sandbox which would make it easier to understand the above proposals I've put forth. In the mean time, this should be a high-priority issue for the launch. If we get a lot of Wikipedia (etc.) users who get involved here, there will likely be a surge of templates imported. Having a policy page in place regarding the handling of experimental templates will be a huge help. AHeneen (talk) 06:41, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
  • I think we need to just toss the restrictions on templates altogether, and just allow templates to be created by anyone, just like everywhere else. If a template is improperly used or not needed or whatnot, then discuss it or delete. Anything else seems to violate the spirit of WV:PLUNGE. Purplebackpack89 23:21, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
    It's a wiki. Let's do this. —Tom Morris (talk) 23:36, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
    I don't really understand this immense bureaucracy when it comes to templates, it is very unwiki. There is no harm in having more templates, even if they would be unused. On the other hand, trying to comply with the template regulation is an incredibly wasteful (in term of time and effort) exercise, and produces an inferior product. Snowolf How can I help? 23:38, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
WikiSense-small-gray.png Wikivoyager in favor of lifting the Wikivoyage ban on templates
I agree - as a MW developer - I cannot wrap my head around having a wiki installation this large not widely using templates. It's restrictive in too many ways, will hinder WikiVoyage's growth, and will only discourage new WikiVoyage users accustom to other MediaWiki installations. There is no technical reason to continue this restriction, and the arguments made elsewhere on why this restriction is in place does not compel me to agree that the ban is worth the bureaucracy. --Varnent (talk)(COI) 23:41, 19 January 2013 (UTC) {{User:Varnent/Templates}}
I don't think anyone commenting is suggesting an "anything and everything is OK" proposal for use of templates, so it would be useful to hear what limits might be necessary. Specifically:
  1. What to do with templates that duplicate existing functionality? What would the criteria be for deciding to delete a template?
  2. What to do when someone starts deploying templates that are a de-facto change to the Wikivoyage:Manual of style? (I'm thinking of templates that link to businesses, or that alter look and feel).
  3. How to keep things organized as the number of templates grow - others have expressed concern that it is very difficult to know how to (for example) mark a page for deletion if there are 50 different ways to tag an article "delete".
I suspect that with the new hosting situation that there may be more openness to increasing template usage, but many of the longtime editors have limited experience on Wikipedia or other wikis that extensively use templates, so it would be hugely useful to better understand what changes to expect, and what guidelines will be needed, if template guidelines are significantly relaxed. -- Ryan • (talk) • 00:01, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
All excellent point to ponder.
Meanwhile, is there any reason not to relax things a little in User namespace, at least?
Is there a case for reversing the current burden of proof?
(I was particularly shocked when {{TOCright}} was deleted, since that useful template was sometimes the easiest quick fix for many of our country articles that are currently uglified with worm leads and maps superimposed on text because of the inadeqate country quickbox) -- Alice 01:19, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
Having an experimental template to encourage discussion doesn't seem like immense bureaucracy to me. As templates by nature are designed to be introduced to numerous articles, thereby changing their formatting, they should be subject to the sort of scrutiny we apply to changes in our formatting outside of templates. --Peter Talk 01:32, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
As templates by nature are designed to be introduced to numerous articles -> I disagree, templates are snippet of reusable code. There's templates that are I've spent hours working on and that are used on a single page, because they allow for immense timesavings and portability. There's tons of uses outside of articles, I am not sure why you feel that templates should only be used in mainspace. Templates are merely a technical tool that Mediawiki puts into our hand to avoid having to do the same job 5 times when it could be done once :) As with all tools, I don't think it's the tool that matters, it's what you do with it. If somebody makes a template that is in conflict with the Manual of Style and sticks it inside an article without consensus and all, that's not a template problem. It would be just the same if the edit was made without a template. What I find puzzling is this incredibly strict regulation of templates where the burden is not to delete something but to keep it o_O This is honestly confusing to me, and I do not understand why all of this bureaucracy came about, but I do think it should be reversed, as no argument has been provided for it so far. All the arguments seems to be that people are not familiar with them (which I find confusing, as they have been part of the Mediawiki codebase since forever) and that they might be misused in the mainspace. I can't say that either of those arguments seem particularly convincing to me... Misuse of things cannot be an argument against its usage, this runs contrary to the whole concept of the wiki and the barriers it has broken with the innovative idea :D I don't know how to address the unfamiliarity, as templates are not in any way different from any other snippet, with the except of subst: and safesubst:... All the parserfunctions and magicwords are standard parts of mediawiki and can be used outside of templates... Snowolf How can I help? 03:53, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
The effect of our current policy is that new templates get a tag alerting the contributor to not start adding the template to multiple articles unless others also think it's a good idea. That gives us the flexibility to prevent the mass addition of style-changing templates, while also allowing experimentation—and we can just skip adding the tag altogether if it's something uncontroversial. --Peter Talk 04:03, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Maybe the confusion is less about template creation than template deployment and management. Using Alice's {{TOCright}} example, much of the current site layout, image usage guidelines, etc were designed with the assumption that the TOC appears on the left. Introduction and subsequent deployment of this template without first gaining consensus was a de facto MOS change that a number of people were quite unhappy about, and the argument against keeping that template was that it was confusing to keep a template around that we didn't want used.
What the longtime editors here (including myself) seem to be struggling with is determining what guidelines can be implemented that would allow more freedom to create and use templates, but at the same time not leave us in a position where we have people using templates as a backdoor to avoid the normal consensus-building process used when implementing style changes, and that we don't end up with a number of templates that we then tell people not to use (as in the TOCright example). To draw a comparison with articles, Project:What is an article helps us determine whether an article is appropriate as-is, should be redirected, or is a candidate for deletion; I'd like to see a proposal for something similar that can be applied to templates. -- Ryan • (talk) • 04:12, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but I can't buy the argument that templates shouldn't be created because of mass-adds. Just as templates can be added quickly to articles that need them, they can be deleted quickly from articles that don't. A bot can delete all uses of a deleted template in a matter of minutes. Nor am I buying the end=run-around-MOS arguments. I think that many of the templates created wouldn't have any problem with MOS at all, and even if they did, stopping them from being created violates meta:Be bold, which we call PLUNGE around here. In WikiMedia, the way things work is if you make an edit that other people don't like, they can always change it later. If someone feels that a template violates guidelines, they can request its deletion. In short, I'd like to reiterate that not allowing templates to be created freely violates some of WikiMedia's core principles —The preceding comment was added by Purplebackpack89 (talkcontribs)
I am confused as to how templates are the problem here. One can just as easily replicate TOCrights' functionality inside an article without the need for any template... The availability of a function does not mean that it should be used in one specific context. If there's one book that needs to be banned for whatever reason, one shouldn't go around requiring books to be approved prior to publication. And most likely, if I one book has to be banned, me going to hold a rally and and saying whatever I said in that book should be banned too. And hence what should be banned the content of my speech and of my book, not the means by which I have expressed it. Yes, a book will reach a lot more people than a rally would, but this is no reason to ban the book. Snowolf How can I help? 06:59, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
I'm confused as to why people think templates are banned. --Peter Talk 07:10, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
Folks are just using that as a shorthand for "It's difficult, next to impossible, to introduce new templates in the current regime; all the cards are stacked against a successful introduction. Only one person needs to object and sayonara".
Actually, that may be the main reason that the old guard is so worried. Not everyone has the technical ability to make the sort of drastic changes the introduction of some templates can cause. I have a sense of déjà vu that I am in one of the Vatican councils about the time of the invention of the printing press in Germany
However, being perverse about this, if you force folks to introduce changes by using raw HTML and sophisticated wikimarkup then you will actually be forced to consider the look and contents of the page, both before and after the edit - a far longer process than actually spotting a particular template you don't like and then leaping to hit the revert button. (Mind you, even in that case, you can still fall back on "avoid HTML" and still not have to argue the merits of a particular edit before and after - maybe there are even folks out there that like to see thin, squeezed worm, lead paragraphs and text hidden behind graphics) -- Alice 07:21, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

I'll outdent in the hopes of getting this thread back on a productive track. What exactly are the concerns about the current policy of allowing users to tag new templates with Template:Experimental, which leads to a discussion being needed before adopting widespread use? --Peter Talk 07:34, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

Absolutely nothing wrong with the tagging.
Tagging makes it easier to hunt them down and deal with them, whether by bot or manually.
What's wrong is the reversal of the burden of proof. Only one person has to object and, poof! they're gone for ever - even in user namespace (here's a particularly vicious example of this guilty until proved innocent approach). -- Alice 07:41, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
That is incorrect. --Peter Talk 07:51, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

Templates have the following problems:

  1. They're opaque. Many readers and light editors don't have the knowledge necessary to dig into template code and figure out what it does, let alone how to change it. Even I, a professional computer programmer, cannot follow the logic of the most complex templates. They thus become unmaintainable except by a cadre of experts.
  2. They provide a back door way to change countless articles simultaneously. This can be a boon in some cases, but in other cases it is a bane. For example, someone once suggested using a template to insert boilerplate text for every city in Germany regarding bike-sharing (I think it was). While reasonable on its face, the person with Munich on his or her watchlist, but not the Template, won't notice a change in the boilerplate text even if it has a major effect on the way the Munich article reads.
  3. Free creation of templates allows stupid things to creep in like w:Template:Like and w:Template:Busy. These frivolous templates slow down the loading of talk pages and encourage carelessness and laziness instead of discussion and explanation.
  4. Frivolous templates are a waste of time. Someone has to waste time creating them; someone has to waste time marking it for deletion and setting up a deletion discussion; someone has to waste time evaluating the discussion and performing the deletion. That's an awful lot of time not spend writing travel guides, which is what we're all here for. Or should be.

-- LtPowers (talk) 16:24, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

  1. I think you mean that parserfunctions and magicwords are complicated. The only functions specific to templates that I know of are subst: and safesubst:. So not a valid argument as unrelated;
  2. Then you revert the change to the template; actually simpler than having to set up a bot or other automated tool to revert 1k manual changes or more;
  3. Templates do not significantly slow down content unless you have a 56k connection, and in that case, we should simply ban all images;
  4. It is a volunteer's decision what to devote time to. It is incredibly arrogant for you to decide what a volunteer's time should be spent on. And no, 99% of templates do not have to be deleted, hence they "waste" only the author's time. I can tell you that I've wasted so far upwards of 4 hours because I couldn't create templates for basic things.
I am very much interested into why you dislike templates and I would welcome accurate argument to the point, however it seems you misunderstand what a template actually does. Again, I can and do use parserfunctions outside of templates. Same goes for magicwords. Snowolf How can I help? 23:49, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
I understand that there are concerns about frivolous templates, but IMHO we're throwing out the baby with the bathwater here. There's a lot of basic templates that all other WMF wikis depend on and that other users expect to be here that just aren't here. Vandalism warning templates, for one. "You are blocked" templates, for another. Deletion templates, Licensing templates, archival templates, etc. Poor Snowolf has had to do incredibly awkward workarounds just to get the basic RC patrol scripts working without standard templates being present. I think that we need to find a better solution that addresses this site's needs. --Rschen7754 00:02, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
To address another of LtPowers' points, templates actually make things easier for the average user. They provide a layer of abstraction, hiding the technical detail from the average user who has no need to understand how the template works; they just need to know how to use it. You don't need to understand how your TV works, you just need to know how to use it. --Rschen7754 00:03, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

Snowolf, why do you say that you've "wasted so far upwards of 4 hours because I couldn't create templates for basic things." Why can't you create templates for basic things? --Peter Talk 01:40, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

I would appreciate some good faith here. Perhaps if someone looked at my contributions on WP and here he would see that I've created a number of templates and am quite familiar with how they work and what they do. I am well aware that parser functions and magic words can be entered directly into articles, but practically speaking, they are primarily used within templates -- and complex templates invariably use parser functions. They are separate technically, but their uses simply cannot be divorced from each other. LtPowers (talk) 01:50, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
Because per local policy, templates have to be approved before they can be used. --Rschen7754 02:01, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
{{editconflict}} Templates can use parser functions but there's no reason they need invariably to do so. mw:Extension:ParserFunctions has only been around since 2007 (WP and WT were 2001 and 2003 respectively) and is not core MW code, so all those pre-2007 templates (and templates on wikis that didn't install the extension) must work somehow without this. K7L (talk) 02:06, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
It's the combination of parser functions with template parameters. I apologize for not being explicit in the distinction. I had hoped my intent was clear. LtPowers (talk) 02:09, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
That's not entirely accurate (@Rschen7754). If someone has a concern about a new template, they can tag it experimental, which means it should not be added to more than one low-visibility article until it's been discussed. That's really no different from how anything works on this wiki—if someone makes a change to an article, anyone who has a concern about it can undo it, and then there will need to be a discussion before it, or more likely a compromise or "third-way," can be put back in the article. --Peter Talk 02:46, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
Which defeats the point of a template if you're working in mainspace, and prohibits usage outside of the mainspace. Regardless, I am still interested in some substantive replies to the points raised here. Snowolf How can I help? 04:49, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
I agree with Snowolf. There's no need to tag a template as experimental. If a template people don't like is on too many articles, the worst thing that can happen is that it remains there for a week while we sort it out, then you have a bot come around and get rid of it. If it's really bad, than it can be speedily deleted in far less time. No different than a bad article. There's no need for any "third way" when the "second way" of making templates nearly impossible to create is such an anathema to everything Wikimedia stands for. And the "third way" is hardly better (it's just the second way with just one article); if a template can only be used in a single article, there's really no point. Sorry, but I can't accept anything less than freedom to create templates without being hampered by an experimental tag. I know you guys are afraid that that would create some clusterfuck. If Wikivoyage's job was to avoid clusterfucks at all costs, then we'd have to block every single member. Purplebackpack89 06:19, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
Snowolf, I'm trying hard to understand what you are saying, but I honestly don't have a clue. Could you please restate? --Peter Talk 08:30, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
The experimental policy section is conceived only for mainspace, and as such all non-mainspace templates have to go thru the normal pre-approval process. But what I don't get is why you guys feel we have to have all of this extra bureaucracy, I'm still interested in a serious argument about that, as I think we've answered the reasons put forward so far. Snowolf How can I help? 15:29, 12 February 2013 (UTC)


Is it worth having a Template:Merge_from, like the one at WP? A use case is: We have a long-standing article Barra. We have a new orphan article, Isle of barra, about the same place. The new article is tagged for merger into Barra, but as an orphan article, relatively few editors will stumble across it. Many more editors will visit the well-linked Barra article, but at present remain oblivious to the duplicate article that should be merged into it. Nurg (talk) 02:14, 26 January 2013 (UTC)

Yes. Absolutely! -- Alice 02:48, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
I think that makes sense. I'll import it, unless anyone objects. --Peter Talk 07:50, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
Isn't {{merge}} already a "merge to"? K7L (talk) 18:48, 30 January 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps rename {{merge}} to "merge into" to make the distinctions clearer and avoid confusion, then? -- Alice 20:18, 30 January 2013 (UTC)
If renamed, I'd go for "merge_to". I know we're not WP, but consistency for editors who move betw the two is helpful. Nurg (talk) 06:59, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
Good point - I agree. -- Alice 07:02, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
I've imported the template, but it needs some cleanup, and I'm out of time for now. --Peter Talk 16:30, 31 January 2013 (UTC)


Oh yeah, I'm opening that can of worms ;)

We've discussed userboxes a little bit in the past, and mostly came down on the side of not wanting them, in hopes of avoiding the userbox hell that WP finds itself in. I'd prefer to keep travel-irrelevant userboxes out of the templatespace, but am interested in the development of maybe a dozen relevant userboxes that users would be encouraged to add to their user pages. The first that come immediately to mind would be a "hometown" userbox, a "docent" userbox, and possibly a "home" userbox.

I think a category structure for "home" or "hometown" would be a nice replacement for Wikivoyage:List of Wikivoyagers by location, which goes unnoticed by most registered users. Such categories would be a good place to look for advice when dealing with an issue that requires local knowledge, like regioning or districting. I'd love to find someone from Miami to help with Talk:Miami#Districts, for example. If the idea took off, we could even plot a map like the one :de has for its articles of where our contributors are located.

Docent userboxes could be a good way of publicizing that underused program.

Do these sound desirable? Other suggestions? --Peter Talk 19:20, 3 February 2013 (UTC)

First: this is probably a minority view. That said, while I'm not a fan of userboxes, some people really love them so I wouldn't be opposed to allowing them to be used with very few restrictions (and yes, I know this means we may end up with "This user loves ketchup" style boxes) - since they are only used on user pages, they don't do any harm to those who don't like them. If we allowed wider usage, Wikipedia:Userboxes might be a good guideline to follow, particularly their guidance on namespaces:
To host a userbox in the user namespace, simply create a subpage of your own user page or User:UBX.
Userboxes in the project namespace are generally for WikiProject or task force usage. Simply create it as a subpage of the WikiProject. (e.g. Wikipedia:VG/DAH!/userbox)
In the template namespace, userbox names must begin with "User " (e.g. Template:User Brazil or Template:User en)
In Peter's examples, the "approved" userboxes would be in the project namespace, while others could be created by whoever wanted them provided they followed the naming conventions.
If there isn't support for allowing wider use of user boxes then the specific boxes proposed by Peter would be fine by me. -- Ryan • (talk) • 20:19, 3 February 2013 (UTC)
I presume "WikiProject" should be "expedition" here? I recall one of the WP's had User:Box as their User:UBX. It would distinguish "This user likes ketchup" from "This user is helping Wikipedia get its kicks on Route 66" (the latter is one of w:en's WikiProjects). K7L (talk) 20:30, 3 February 2013 (UTC)
Expedition, or whatever is most appropriate. For example, for docents I think Project:Docents would be the right "project", even though it isn't an expedition. As you've pointed out, this would help us keep track of organizational vs. cosmetic userboxes. -- Ryan • (talk) • 21:01, 3 February 2013 (UTC)
There was some discussion about this at Wikivoyage:Travellers'_pub#Userpage_boxes. AHeneen (talk) 02:09, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
I'm fine with Peter's proposal. I realize there's not much we can do to keep users' pages from looking like funhouses, but at least we can discourage overproliferation of userboxes. LtPowers (talk) 00:50, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
I support both Peter's proposal and the extension to wider use (with the naming restrictions) proposed by Ryan. -- Alice 03:52, 13 February 2013 (UTC)

Region of origin user templates and Region of residence user templates[edit]

Well, I cannot think of a Wikimedia project for which Region of origin user templates & Region of residence user templates would be more appropriate.

For an example, please see the region of origin user boxes on the right.

"Flag of Hawaii"
"Flag of Delaware"

For those of us who choose to self-identify, this would then help other editors by letting them know where we live or from where we originate.

Currently Region of origin user templates & Region of residence user templates exist in en.wikipedia as Userboxes. If the rough-N-ready world of userboxes do not appeal to Wikivoyagers, then perhaps someone with Template or Module or Lua skills can code a version that would constrain the use to an origination-only implementation.

Peaceray (talk) 07:17, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

I wasn't ware of this discussion before and I myself never missed boxes on my userpage. However, I agree indications of origin are useful and even broader, I think we should allow people some freedom in their user spaces. We need new editors, we're using terms like Keep Wikivoyage fun. Let's not forget, fun comes in many ways for people. Tastes differ, people differ and many do like these userboxes. Surely some of you would find my style of clothing or the way I decorate my house odd or even ugly, and vice-versa, but that doesn't mean either of us are unwelcome here or bad editors. Sure, let's try to keep those templates a bit more tidy, develop some sort of "house style" perhaps, or allow only boxes that are, one way or another, clearly travel related. I don't see why we would have to be the grumpy wiki where nothing is allowed and Wikimedians with colourful userpages basically get told we don't do that ugly stuff here. I won't be using them, but I have no objections to the development of a set of userboxes JuliasTravels (talk) 09:51, 5 November 2013 (UTC)
I wouldn't mind if we developed a set of userboxes like those above (though preferably their layouts would be the same, with the layout lining up horizontally). I'd very much like to keep any such boxes travel-related and pre-approved though. However fun it may be for them, I don't think we should have a zillion boxes to tell people "This Wikivoyager is a naked chess player/likes cheese sandwiches/twerks like Miley Cyrus..." Texugo (talk) 10:15, 5 November 2013 (UTC)
That seems fair enough. Travel-related is, I think, broad enough to give rooms for development while keeping out the extremely irrelevant ones you dislike so much. JuliasTravels (talk) 10:58, 5 November 2013 (UTC)
I agree with both of you. I'll also say that I think the user boxes above are fine. Ikan Kekek (talk) 11:04, 5 November 2013 (UTC)
Wow, I've fallen in love found some sense talked at last in what Julia writes about the fun part! I was beginning to think this place was just about blocks and personal attacks. Returning to earth, I do think the naming restrictions proposed by Ryan in the main section above are prudent and necessary. -- 11:20, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

Userpage boxes[edit]

Swept in from the pub

I can't seem to find any templates like commons:Template:User Wikipedia admin or Template:User alternative account name. Am I just looking in the wrong places, do they have yet to be created, or have they already been created and destroyed? Ks0stm (TCE) 11:53, 17 January 2013 (UTC)

The extensive use of userboxes is not one of our traditions. We don't, as far as I remember, have a rule preventing their use, and provided they are used for usefully informative purposes, they may be acceptable. We do use a few, so there is precedent. I would suggest you create the ones you feel would be useful in a sandbox, and request comment. The two that you list above would have my support. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 12:05, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
The only ones I know of are Babel templates, and at some point they'll be replaced with the Babel extension. I wouldn't go starting a bunch of userspace templates; we have enough trouble keeping track of the templates we have. LtPowers (talk) 12:19, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
I wouldn't mind seeing userboxes, but it would probably be best to discuss policy regarding their use and creating a page to keep track of them (without flooding Template index). There has been discussion split between those who want to see more templates and those who don't in the last few sections at Using Mediawiki templates (although it is about other templates, not userboxes, which are a bit different regarding use). AHeneen (talk) 14:01, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
User pages aren't mainspace articles and don't have to follow the fixed format (see/do, buy, eat/drink, sleep) of a city or region listing. One possiblility might be to create userboxes in subpages of your user space instead of in template: space (much like Wikipedia uses a placeholder w:user:UBX to store userbox template code in that user's subpage). WV has been restrictive on new template creation in the past, but that's to keep articles in a similar format across multiple cities and regions. Do we care about something entirely in userspace if it's doing no harm? K7L (talk) 22:28, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
Userboxes have been abused on the English Wikipedia, to be frank; I don't think some of the frivolous ones should make their way over here ("Template:Userbox pizza", anyone?) Babel templates or the babel extension are pretty universal, and global users generally expect them, and the userrights ones might be helpful too. --Rschen7754 22:41, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
Just about all the user boxes at w:User:UBX/Userboxes/Food are a bit ridiculous, like w:User:UBX/fishy, w:Template:User loser, [[:w:{User:UBX/jalapeño]], & w:User:UBX/McDonald's. However, I think some userboxes related to travel can be appropriate, like boxes for hometown ("This user is a native New Yorker."), nationality ("This user is a proud Canadian."), interests ("This user is interested in Japan."), and maybe a few reasonable fun ones. The category w:Wikipedia:Userboxes/Travel is full of great userboxes that would be relevant to this Wiki. AHeneen (talk) 23:01, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
w:user:UBX is intended to be a dumping ground for templates which aren't core to the Wikipedia project; as such, it will be missing some of the more useful items like individual Wikiproject (expedition) activity. "This user is helping Wikipedia get its kicks on Route 66" is a different beast from "I like cheese pizza". K7L (talk) 23:21, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
There is a good reason why userboxes aren't part of the tradition here—we cover fewer topics. While the fact that you like to play Shostakovich arranged for xylophone might actually have some relevance to your editing on Wikipedia, it clearly does not here. I'd really like to see us develop a small set of userboxes, above all one that lists where you are located (and then generate a list of Wikivoyagers by location through that) and one for docent designations. --Peter Talk 23:38, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
I am not a huge fan of userboxes as they tend to get overused, but when used in moderation they do convey important information about the user clearly and easily.
Being in the process of returning to editing Wikivoyage again I have just set up my user page. There are two userboxes that I did missed while doing so: 1) a box to indicate that I have admin status. This is very useful information to wikivoyagers that visit one's userpage. This was easy to create under my userspace as template {{userbox}} does exist here. 2) {{User since}} to indicate how long one has been a contributor would have been nice to add, but this is a complex template and not easily duplicated under one's own userspace.
I think userboxes in the following categories will be beneficial: Babel (already there), User status on the wiki (admin/docent etc), User current location, User current disposition (working or traveling) --NJR ZA (talk) 13:44, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
I was thinking it could be helpful to have userboxes for familiarity with SVG/Inkscape (for maps) and photo editing/Gimp/Photoshop (might be handy if we move to the proposed new main page layout). -Shaundd (talk) 06:43, 14 February 2013 (UTC)

Create language template[edit]

Aloha all! I was wondering if it would be alright for a template duplicating w:Template:Language to be created. It would have many uses, although the one I've stumbled upon is for things like in the userbox which can be found at my userpage. Thanks, Ks0stm (TCE) 15:28, 12 February 2013 (UTC)

Whynot use {{#language:}} ? Crochet.david (talk) 17:48, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
I have no idea what that is... Ks0stm (TCE) 12:41, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
You might need to describe the other non-user related uses. Per our current template policy, we don't even mandate userboxes except if you make them and code them entirely within your own userspace. JamesA >talk 12:44, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
Per the discussion above and at the Travellers' pub, we actually have decided to allow userboxes. sumone10154(talk) 05:54, 14 February 2013 (UTC)
{{#language:}} is used the same way as the language template on Wikipedia: {{#language:en|de}} → Englisch. sumone10154(talk) 05:54, 14 February 2013 (UTC)

Convert complex templates to Lua to make them faster and more powerful[edit]

Swept in from the pub

(Please consider translating this message for the benefit of your fellow Wikimedians)

Greetings. As you might have seen on the Wikimedia tech blog or the tech ambassadors list, a new functionality called "Lua" is being enabled on all Wikimedia sites today. Lua is a scripting language that enables you to write faster and more powerful MediaWiki templates.

If you have questions about how to convert existing templates to Lua (or how to create new ones), we'll be holding two support sessions on IRC next week: one on Wednesday (for Oceania, Asia & America) and one on Friday (for Europe, Africa & America); see m:IRC office hours for the details. If you can't make it, you can also get help at mw:Talk:Lua scripting.

If you'd like to learn about this kind of events earlier in advance, consider becoming a Tech ambassador by subscribing to the mailing list. You will also be able to help your fellow Wikimedians have a voice in technical discussions and be notified of important decisions.

Guillaume Paumier, via the Global message delivery system. 19:12, 13 March 2013 (UTC) (wrong page? You can fix it.)

Fellow Wikivoyagers, I will make an attempt to attend the Friday session. LtPowers (talk) 01:11, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
I am in #wikimedia-office now for the Lua instruction. LtPowers (talk) 17:57, 22 March 2013 (UTC)

Importing a WP template[edit]

I want to use a map from WP (see w:List_of_administrative_divisions_of_Shanghai#Subdivisions) here, but it uses a template we lack. Can I just copy that over and use it, or is there more to it?

#Changing_how_we_handle_new_templates suggests we need a Wikivoyage:Template proposals, but I do not see one. Should I create that to propose import of WP's "Image label" template? Do something formal to propose it here? Or what? Pashley (talk) 13:22, 13 May 2013 (UTC)

Go ahead; no one really objected at Peter's asking. The best way to find out if it's going to work is to try it. LtPowers (talk) 14:26, 13 May 2013 (UTC)
Wikivoyage:Using MediaWiki templates#New_Mediawiki Template proposals has the relevant guidelines for new templates - just ensure that the template is marked with {{experimental}} and then use the template's talk page to discuss the reason for its use here. Feel free to update the instructions on Wikivoyage:Using MediaWiki templates to make that clearer. -- Ryan • (talk) • 14:55, 13 May 2013 (UTC)
I imported the template, although it may need more templates to work (not sure). --Peter Talk 16:13, 13 May 2013 (UTC)
I am a bit concerned about importing such a complex template. They can be very hard to maintain, and I'm not clear on the usefulness for our situation. LtPowers (talk) 18:58, 13 May 2013 (UTC)
Hence the experimental tag ;) If you don't want it used here, just mention why on the talk page, and it will be up to those who want it kept to address your concerns. --Peter Talk 01:30, 14 May 2013 (UTC)

Template:Okina is necessary for Hawaiʻian, Polynesian, & other language names[edit]

Currently the Template:Okina is marked as experimental. Please check the pages listed at What links here for the Template:Okina to see how it works successfully.

The okina is necessary for many Hawaiian language words. On the EN Wikipedia wikiproject, where I do most of my editing, there are three methods:

  • Copy-and-pasting the Okina character, ʻ, which is impractical for those who do not have a handy example.
  • Using the &#x02BB; HTML entity, ʻ, which the typical editor does not usually know.
  • Using the Template:Okina, ʻ. Residents of Hawaii and other Polynesian islands are well familiar with this word, & that is the probable reason why the Wikipedia version of w:Template:Okina is used so often. It is easy to remember, since pre-pending Okina with Template: provides an easy mnemonic for the lay editor.

The template works & is necessary for articles that use Hawaiian, other Polynesian names, & many names from other foreign languages. Check with other editors from Hawaiʻi if you need further validation.

Here are some examples from or about the Aloha state using an okina:

Aloha from Hawaiʻi, Peaceray (talk) 05:29, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

Kia ora from Te Waka a Maui! Sounds reasonable to me, but I'll ask my tamariki to have a butchers since the slogan of their school was Ki te whakaako ā mātou tamariki i roto i he wāhi noa. He wāhi kī atu ī ngā tāonga ō te āo ō te reo me ōna tīkanga ... -- 11:10, 5 November 2013 (UTC)
We don't generally use templates for hard-to-type characters. Many of them are in the edittools box below the edit window; it would be easy enough to add the okina, though we have to be careful with proliferation. LtPowers (talk) 20:51, 6 November 2013 (UTC)
The Okina is quite small and difficult to distinguish - both in wikitext and if it were "in the edittools box below the edit window" so I do not see that as a valid objection to removing the experimental tag.
Why do we have to be careful with "proliferation"? -- 07:52, 7 November 2013 (UTC)
Because if we have too many items in the edittools, they become hard to find. LtPowers (talk) 00:38, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
Good point. Thanks for explaining that.
That actually makes the case even stronger for having this template and, indeed, I see that the experimental tag has now been removed. -- 14:59, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia Climate template[edit]

I've noticed that Wikipedia is using a climate template that is looking much nicer than ours:

Wikipedia climate template

It gives me better 'at a glance' information about a location than our existing one:

Using MediaWiki templates
Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation+Snow totals in mm
Average high and low temperatures recorded in Jeju City from 1981-2010
Imperial conversion
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation+Snow totals in inches

It even provides imperial conversations for those who are interested in clicking the link.

Looking at the source, I do not see why we couldn't use this as well. What would be the appropriate way to make this proposal before attempting to create this? Andrewssi2 (talk) 00:56, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

I do agree that it's both more attractive and utilitarian - you just have to make sure the actual figures are not too small for notebook screens - many travellers use them. How does it look in the mobile version of our site? I also think that text will wrap around it better too. The real bonus is that it is easier to tell at a glance what is a good time of the year to visit. Well spotted! -- 01:00, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for plunging forward! I was actually hoping to have some more community buy-in first, but anyhow.
The numbers are slightly harder to read than the existing chart on a mobile device (On a Windows Phone 8 device anyway) although with the general modern zoom 'pinch' functions this is no big issue. Additionally it is easier for me to see rainfall, which is actually (for me personally) often a more valuable thing to know than temperature. (For example, you don't want to go to Korea in July if you want to do a lot of hiking outdoors) Andrewssi2 (talk) 02:49, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
Can you link the Wikipedia template? How often is it edited? Would it need to be monitored for changes so that our copy can mirror the changes? Powers (talk) 03:01, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
That would be the way to go -I've made a real pig's swozzle of the import. -- 03:05, 27 January 2014 (UTC) Andrewssi2 (talk) 03:17, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
Yes, that's the original, but what is the correct syntax to just using the EN Wikipedia template? Suggestions at Adelaide#Climate, please! -- 04:08, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
Powers had asked for the original (hence I provided the link). The correct syntax is on template page is it not? Andrewssi2 (talk) 04:24, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
I think there's a misunderstanding here. I understood Powers to mean that - instead of (unsuccessfully) importing the EN Wikipedia code here to our own Wikivoyage template space - we should just link (correct syntax to do that link I do not know) to the EN Wikipedia template every time we wish one of their neat graphical climate summaries to appear. -- 04:55, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
There's no correct syntax because it's not possible. I was asking about the logistics of keeping our copy up to date with changes that are made to the Wikipedia template. Of course, I see it hasn't been edited in almost two years, so maybe there's no issue. Powers (talk) 14:33, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
I don't see a pressing need to keep it in synch with Wikipedia. I guess we could update it if a compelling new version came along. Andrewssi2 (talk) 14:43, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
Well that was why I asked how often it was edited. Powers (talk) 00:11, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

Where are we with this idea? I don't care about the WD/WP synching aspects - those possibilities exist whether or not we changed our standard way of displaying the info. But I do think this new template is superior to what we currently use, and I'd like to see us go through with this change. It would also be nice to incorporate it into a final version of the proposed Climate policy page and make that official too. Texugo (talk) 16:35, 5 February 2014 (UTC)

I'd be fine with changing to the new template, but I think most of the templates were imported from Wikipedia without attribution, so before we deploy this we either need to add the appropriate attribution or else delete and re-import with proper links to the Wikipedia template version being imported. -- Ryan • (talk) • 16:45, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
Another concern is how much we want to look like or distinguish ourselves visually from Wikipedia. Powers (talk) 00:52, 6 February 2014 (UTC)
I'd like to plunge forward and just bring the template across as-is, in an experimental state (i.e. usage in one low profile article only). We could then continue the discussion about attribution and other concerns there. Andrewssi2 (talk) 05:10, 6 February 2014 (UTC)
Any progress on that, Andrewssi2? Texugo (talk) 12:59, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
From's previous attempt it seems like this is not completely straightforward. I will start by blanking the unsuccessful template pages and starting again with a more piecemeal approach. Andrewssi2 (talk) 03:01, 27 February 2014 (UTC)

Learn template[edit]

I noticed a new user has plunged forward and created a listing template for 'Learn'.

I can see why they are doing this, although having a 'learn' listing is not currently standard on WV. (For example dynamic maps do not handle them)

I added an experimental tag for now. At present it is only being used in one article therefore technically it is allowed. Should we be concerned about this? Andrewssi2 (talk) 04:51, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

"Learn" as a section raises questions of project scope; if someone is spending enough time in one place to obtain a university degree, they are residents and not travellers. The issue of whether "learn" and "work" should be subsections of "do" (if they're kept) went nowhere the last time it was raised, so "learn" remains valid for now... K7L (talk) 07:56, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
Could be taking vocational classes or language classes too, but I agree with K7L. I have seen that in some travel guides though. --Rschen7754 08:06, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
We did have a few conversations around this topic. Talk:Beijing#List_of_universities was a recent one.
I understand that consensus is around moderate listing of education venues where they provide a course of interest to the traveler. (for example, a 5 week Spanish language course, or a 5 day Chinese cooking class)
Universities can sometimes be tourist destinations in themselves (e.g. Heidelburg in Germany, or Oxford in England) and these can be listed under 'See'.
Listing institutions for people traveling abroad to study is not considered appropriate in destination articles (as Rs says, they become in effect resident) however it can be addressed in special articles such as Studying_abroad. Andrewssi2 (talk) 08:41, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
Redirect it to Template:Listing. Using "learn" then becomes both harmless and useful. Powers (talk) 13:39, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
If we want to list the campus for its architecture and museums, {{see}} does that; an on-campus arena, gymnasium, pool, live performance hall might be {{do}}. Once one removes the multi-year diploma or degree for which one must be resident for an extended period, not much is left. I suppose there's the three-week crash French-language immersion programme at Collège de Jonquière and offerings of similar scope, but even there the college currently only has a mention in "Understand" and not a full {{listing}}. I think we will end up with more out-of-scope material (students in long-term residence) or miscategorised content (as it fits in "see" or "do" without needing a special section) than content that has any reason to be sidelined with its own template. K7L (talk) 21:53, 29 January 2014 (UTC)

De-linking of redlinked templates[edit]

I noticed that User:Texugo has today de-linked a spate of non-existent templates. In some cases, this is fine, but in other cases, I think we should avoid this. In particular, on VfD archive pages, the redlink provides easy access to the deletion log for that template. On Wikivoyage:Votes for deletion/July 2013, for example, I already reverted the delinking once back in October, but Texugo re-delinked today. In other cases, like this one, removing the link makes it difficult for a later reader to see that the template no longer exists, and to determine what happened to it. It also raises the issue of changing user's comments after (in some cases 10 years after) the fact. Powers (talk) 14:18, 19 February 2014 (UTC)

I think that linking should be ok but transclusions should be removed. -- WOSlinker (talk) 14:23, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
Not removing/delinking old red links renders Special:WantedTemplates and Special:WantedPages completely and utterly useless. When the links are removed/delinked, there is still an easy way to do what LtPowers mentions — all you have to do is type the name in the search box and you'll be shown exactly what you want to see. However, if we don't remove/delink them, there is no way to filter out the truly wanted pages from the unwanted ones in the Special lists. And a user's right to have their comments unaltered doesn't necessarily guarantee them a right to eternally keep a format that clogs up our special pages forever (i.e. UUTP). It should be standard policy to remove or delink old red links for things we don't actually want. The slight convenience achieved by keeping them linked is not sufficient to outweigh the big disadvantage of losing Special page functionality. Texugo (talk) 14:26, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
What exactly are we even using Special:WantedTemplates for anyway? It seems to me that the redlinks fall into two categories: templates we don't want, which you're delinking, and templates we do want, which should be created. It's worth noting that Wikipedia has disabled the updating of those two special pages entirely. Powers (talk) 16:31, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
WP let their pages get overrun until they were were too far gone to recover, as might be argued for our Special:WantedPages, but that doesn't mean we are wise to follow them. With only around 200 in the list, it's not too late to make Special:WantedTemplates useful again. And yes, it is indeed useful. Special:WantedTemplates is how we find articles with broken templates that need to be removed (mainspace articles should never have them) and it's how we find templates that are indeed wanted and should be created, which would otherwise be lost in a list of stuff we don't actually want (there are actually a few of them there now - see how long it takes you to distinguish them from the unwanted ones). It makes zero sense to ruin these unique functionalities just for the sole purpose of saving a few keystrokes when consulting the deletion history. Texugo (talk) 17:34, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
De-linking templates that don't exist and that won't be created seems fine to me - we already do the same with broken images, and I don't see why templates should be treated differently. If the sole concern is having access to the deletion log in archived nominations then it should be easy enough to provide direct links to the logs (if desired), rather than keeping a link to a deleted template. -- Ryan • (talk) • 17:50, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
No, it's not the "sole concern". As I said above, the redlink signals to the reader that this is a template that doesn't exist. That's the whole point of redlinks. While they obviously don't make sense on content pages (speaking only about templates here, and maybe file links), on talk pages removing them can lead to confusion when someone goes back to read those discussions. Frankly, though, I still don't see the usefulness of Special:WantedTemplates. Why would someone link an uncreated-but-wanted template, unless discussion was still ongoing somewhere about whether to create it or not? If there are templates on the list that need to be created, create them. Powers (talk) 18:17, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
The point is that we can't see whether there are templates on the list that need to be created, because they are mixed in with a majority of things which do not. Neither of the concerns you present are precluded by removing the links, they just take a few keystrokes. On the other hand, the concern with the Special page is completely precluded by leaving the old links, with no alternative available. Texugo (talk) 18:20, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
I agree with Texugo. I see no benefit to having redlinks to templates that we aren't using, but if there is a tool that shows us what templates people have tried to use in articles and some people find that tool useful for cleaning up redlinks or figuring out what templates we might need, we shouldn't make that tool more difficult to use. That should address the point about redlinks being a clue to users, and since Texugo isn't removing templates but simply de-linking them there shouldn't be any reduction in readability on discussion pages, which leaves the sole remaining justification for leaving redlink templates that it makes the deletion logs easier to find, and that isn't persuasive to me. -- Ryan • (talk) • 18:28, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
You know, sometimes trying to communicate on this wiki is impossible. Texugo, my point, if you'd read what I wrote again, is that we shouldn't need to see whether there are templates on the list that need to be created. If someone took the time to link it, and it hasn't already been deleted or rejected, then that someone also should have started a discussion somewhere, and that discussion should still be ongoing. Humor me, please; imagine a scenario in which Special:WantedTemplates has only a few items on it, that truly are wanted templates. What do you do with that information? Create the templates? Wouldn't you have to first go and find a discussion about them to find out whether they had been approved for creation, or rejected, first? If there is no such discussion, what do you do with the template? You can't create it because you don't know what it's supposed to do. If there is a discussion, one of the participants in the discussion would be presumably ready to create the template when the discussion comes to a consensus. So what's the use case here?
Ryan, it's nice for you to say "that should address the point about redlinks being a clue to users", but I'm afraid I don't see how. What you wrote immediately before that has nothing to do with providing a visual indication of the status of a page to the reader. How does the supposed usefulness of Special:WantedTemplates "address the point about redlinks being a clue to users"? Powers (talk) 01:27, 20 February 2014 (UTC)
So you're arguing that only approved templates should be allowed, and that we should assume that if Wikipedians are adding {{prettytable}} to lots of articles that we should dismiss a tool that would otherwise let us know that this is functionality that people expect to exist here, even if they aren't familiar with our template guidelines? However, per the point that started this discussion, if links to that template are added we should not always de-link them, particularly if it is in a VFD archive? That makes no sense to me, and I am 100% in support of Texugo's efforts to de-link templates that don't exist and that no wants to propose for creation. -- Ryan • (talk) • 01:52, 20 February 2014 (UTC)
As I mentioned, having taken the time to go through practically the whole list today, I have seen that there are actually a number of templates on that list which are already presumably sanctioned and do need to be created. If we weren't letting pointless old redlinks sit around indefinitely, you'd be able to see at a glance exactly what I'm talking about. Seriously, go and see how long it takes you to wade through the useless stuff and catch my drift. Texugo (talk) 02:06, 20 February 2014 (UTC)
Ryan, I would ask you to please assume that I'm arguing in good faith here (I also apologize in advance if I misunderstand you, as you seem to have dropped a word or two from your post). Why do you immediately jump to the worst possible interpretation of my words, rather than consider that perhaps there was indeed a use case that I wasn't familiar with (the latter interpretation I specifically invited by asking what the use case was)? Now, if we can discuss your specific example, the last time I checked, we do indeed need to have consensus to create a template, or at least to use it in a widespread manner. But, fine, let's say we a bunch of people try to use Template:Prettytable (which, by the way, you've just made more work for poor Texugo by linking). If we have that many people using it, won't it rise to the top of Special:WantedTemplates, which is sorted by number of links? In fact, all of these templates Texugo has been delinking would be at the bottom of the list, wouldn't they? Doesn't seem like clutter to me.
Also, not for nothing, but you didn't answer my question.
Texugo, it seems like Special:WantedTemplates only counts transclusions, not links or redirects. Are you sure that delinking templates (as in the VfD archives) actually removes them from the list?
-- Powers (talk) 02:42, 20 February 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I realized I didn't respond to all of your message. The fact that someone who has taken the time to link to a new template "also should have started a discussion somewhere" does not mean that they have. It happens all the time that people link to some template they're used to on another wiki that we don't actually have here. And as for the "imagine a list with only a few things that are truly wanted" -- well, you've misunderstood the point of the category. The ideal status of this category, like that of Category:Pages with broken file links and several other maintenance categories, is empty. So yes, if there are things in there that need creating, we create them; if there are things that don't, such as broken templates, we fix them. But if we're going to litter the category with permanent links to templates that we don't even need, then the larger the wiki grows, the longer and longer it takes to figure out what items need an action and which don't.
Regarding only counting transclusions, that was not my impression, since the links supplied there go to the standard "what links here" page and there were a number of templates only linked to from VFD archives, where I did not find any transclusion. If I am somehow wrong, I will gladly alter my stance accordingly though. Texugo (talk) 03:01, 20 February 2014 (UTC)
Sure, but look at the number of links the list specifies, and then click through to WhatLinksHere. I'll have to do some experimenting in my sandbox, but I'm not sure how often WantedTemplates is updated, so bear with me. Powers (talk) 14:52, 20 February 2014 (UTC)
It looks like Special:Wantedpages lists red links from any namespace, including talk and project pages. Would this be something which should be reported to bugzilla: as a bug? After all, a red link to a title from Wikivoyage:Votes for Detonation is hardly a glowing recommendation that we want the page created. K7L (talk) 19:03, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
Is a request to redesign wikimedia Special page functionality not something that would likely sit around until 2019 before it saw any action? Texugo (talk) 19:05, 19 February 2014 (UTC)

I've confirmed that Special:WantedTemplates only counts transclusions. I created User:LtPowers/Sandbox2 with a link to "Template:111 Powers 1" and a transclusion of "Template:111 Powers 2". Only the latter template appears on Special:WantedTemplates. Thus, removing redlinks to templates is pointless and potentially annoying for future readers/editors. Transclusions of non-existent templates should either be converted to links or deleted depending on context. Powers (talk) 02:03, 23 February 2014 (UTC)

What's the difference between links and transclusions? Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:43, 23 February 2014 (UTC)
[[template:listing]] is a link, {{listing}} is a transclusion? It's the difference between linking to a template vs. actually using the template on a page. K7L (talk) 02:49, 23 February 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, I understand. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:14, 23 February 2014 (UTC)
Didn't see the latest replies here til now, but I also independently confirmed that it only counts transclusions, so that's settled. I'll stick to only un-transcluding them from now on. Incidentally, the list is getting cleaned up considerably; I've got it to where it should be down to under 80 or so at the next update, and now I can see clearly that most of the ones that are actually wanted are missing babel templates...Texugo (talk) 15:50, 25 February 2014 (UTC)


Swept in from the pub

I've noticed that climate data is lacking in many WV articles. I myself have not been actually adding this kind of data to my articles. It seems strange since it is pretty relevant (IMHO) for preparing to travel as well as deciding if you even want to visit or not. If I want to visit Rome (for example) then I will not see any climate information at all.

My suggestions are twofold (based on previous discussions)

A) Implement the Wikipedia Climate template to improve an article both aesthetically and factually. (This will supersede our existing template that is somewhat ugly)

B) Investigate placing this data in WikiData so that all language versions of WV can take advantage of it.

Andrewssi2 (talk) 06:31, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

We would need to wait until numeric input is possible in Wikidata - numbers are coming January 28th (hopefully), but units will not be ready by then. d:Wikidata:Development plan may be helpful for future reference. --Rschen7754 06:49, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks! I noticed that Climate items already exist ( e.g. ) but was unaware of that limitation. I will watch the WikiData project with interest then. Andrewssi2 (talk) 07:05, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
Climate information would be extremely useful for travellers indeed! We first need to get Wikipedia to get their data sorted out, I guess. I haven't looked much, but it seems that has no type, and it exists only because someone decided to create a article on Wikipedia, with no semantic attached. Nicolas1981 (talk) 08:38, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
Yes you are right. That Wikidata item is actually one of many 'Climate' WikiData items that are only stubs (i.e. no real content) as of now. Their existence does however point to some interesting possibilities in the (hopefully not too distant) future. Andrewssi2 (talk) 11:35, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
As a side note, the numbers data type is now here, but we are still waiting on units. --Rschen7754 21:43, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
Great, looking forward to units! Andrewssi2 (talk) 12:54, 9 February 2014 (UTC)

New maintenance tag proposals[edit]

Swept in from the pub

I have been doing a lot of work correcting mistakes and oversights in the breadcrumb trails/geographical hierarchy, and I have identified a need for two new maintenance templates which I think would help us track and draw attention to problems in this regard. Below:

1: {{vagueregions}} - This tag can be used for regions where the regional breakdown does not have its borders defined well enough for someone unfamiliar with the region to ascertain which region a given destination should be categorized under. Often a region may be divided into Northern/Southern/Eastern/Western/Central or X Valley/Y Lake Area/Z Mountains, with no map and no discussion of where the boundaries between those regions should be drawn. Other times, someone may have started a few subregions for part of the area but there are gaps or overlaps between them. The template could be placed at the top of the Regions section, would add a hidden Category:Regions with vague subregions for maintenance purposes, and might look something like this:

2: {{putinsubregion}} - As a counterpart to the above, sometimes a destination article should be sorted into and linked from one of the existing subregions of the parent region, but it is unclear which one it should go into, either because of one of the problems pointed out above, or simply because it falls on or near the boundary between two regions. This template could go at the top of the article under the banner, would add a hidden Category:Change breadcrumb to subregion, and might read something like this:

For some examples of where these might be used, have a look at the Chicagoland area (it may be easier to see what's going on if you look at Category:Chicagoland) or try to figure out which subregions the towns listed in Category:Queensland go in. I have come across many similar situations of late, and wish I had had some way to tag them to come back to them later but no appropriate tags existed. Does this seem like a reasonable solution to everyone? Texugo (talk) 15:24, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

Agree that there are a good number of regions that need attention and having a maintenance category to identified them would be useful. A large template banner at the top of the page is something I am not too keen on though, maybe should be placed on the talk page or at least at the bottom of the page rather than the first thing people see. Also would like to propose that other templates like the translated from tag be moved to the bottom of articles. --Traveler100 (talk) 15:34, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
The {{translated}} tag already goes on the talk page (though the {{translate}} tag does not). The problem with putting them on the talk page is that you lose the advantage of calling any attention to the problem, since people don't generally go browsing through random talk pages. Plus it populates the maintenance category with talk pages instead of the actual pages, which precludes any CatScan searches, etc. Texugo (talk) 15:48, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Although I don't think there are any other maintenance tags we've ever put at the bottom, I might be ok with putting number 2 at the bottom rather than the top, since that's where the IsPartOf tag is (invisibly). But I think #1 needs to be in the Regions section itself. Texugo (talk) 15:50, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Indeed, translated goes to the talk page, because it's something that has already happened. On the other hand when there is a need for some form of work on the article (translation, category maintenance, cleanup etc.) I do think it's necessary to have it on the article itself for everyone to notice. And yes, I think such maintenance tags are useful and would support using them.
On the other hand, a huge text box right at the top of the article is not pretty. As cleaning up categories, listingfying sections etc. in practice is something that's performed by users with some editing experience anyway, we maybe don't need to outline exactly what has to be done in the tags and they could perhaps be smaller and briefer. This is something we could consider doing to all maintenance tags. (How about "Maintenance needed:geographical category"?). ϒpsilon (talk) 16:24, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Not sure what I think of removing the instructions — maybe we could just shrink the text and make the box smaller, I dunno. But anyway, if you don't mind, I'd like to divorce any proposal to change the overall style of such tags from this discussion. Maybe you could make that a separate discussion. I think it's pretty clear that these proposed tags above match the existing style for maintenance tags, so concerns about the appearance of maintenance tags in general should in no way be a barrier to implementing these. The overall style can always be changed later. Texugo (talk) 17:31, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Your proposed maintenance tags are useful and address a real issue so we should implement them.
Traveler100's remarks above got me thinking that perhaps we should do something to the overall tag style (which these tags match). Make them a bit smaller or something so that users that know to look after them notice them while "simple readers" don't. E.g. Israel recently had a warning box in addition to the two tags and the thing looked quite massive. But I agree that's better discussed elsewhere. ϒpsilon (talk) 18:09, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
So accepting this template mean that discussion before reordering of major regions is no longer needed? Should we not still use the process of discussing on the talk pages and placing the {{Regions discussion}} on pages before more that simple fixes? --Traveler100 (talk) 05:42, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
I don't think it implies that at all. The guiding practice of ensuring discussion first generally applies to cases where a well-established system is to be changed, where developed region articles have to be totally rewritten to match a new scheme, cases where we want to ensure that the work of previous contributors is not being undone without agreement. Most of the cases which need this tag, however, are cases at the bottom of the hierarchy, in relatively small areas with typically underdeveloped region articles, where the subdivision is poorly or ambiguously or incompletely established — by definition, this tag cannot be applied to "major regions" with an established, functional division scheme. And in these cases where it is applied, often a simple declaration that "North" includes districts A,B and C or that the "Timber Woods Region" extends from river X to river Y would be very helpful, and for that, it's just fine to plunge forward. If anyone disagrees with it later, the discussion can still take place. Texugo (talk) 15:22, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Tinkering with region boundaries and breadcrumbs is something that can be discussed on the article's talk page. We really don't need a big, ugly template on the article itself for something this small. Save the templates for more serious issues, like "This page has been nominated for deletion, the entire text is plagiarised from a local CVB's promotional blurb and consists of the hôtelier's opinion of their own establishment, and, by the way, this country is an active war zone perched atop an erupting volcano." which affect the usability of the article or the viability of an entire destination. K7L (talk) 13:14, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
That is simply not good enough. This is a problem of no less importance than many many other things we track with similar tags, and being able to track them is enormously advantageous. If I had to start a discussion on the talk page of every article of this type, the text of each would be essentially what is written in one of the tags above, but with the disadvantages that a) I'd have to spend more time typing out the same thing every time, b) I'd have no way to keep track of it and come check on it later, c) it would be far less likely to come to anyone's attention because it would have no category and because people don't generally browse talk pages for the hell of it. The purpose for having this tag — to keep track of identified problems of a given type so that we can reduce them to zero — is the same as the purpose for {{crop}} or {{style}} or {{movetodistrict}} or {{merge}} or any number of tags for other problems we currently track. Would you suggest we reduce ourselves to untraceable talk page discussions for all those problems too? Texugo (talk) 14:49, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
Those tags tend to identify problems that a single dedicated editor could fix without assistance or consultation; your proposed tags are more likely to sit on the article for years while we wait for enough editors to be interested to both have a discussion, and find a consensus. Powers (talk) 17:21, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
That is not at all true. In fact, it is very similar to the {{movetodistrict}} and other tags in that respect: yes, it would be easiest if someone who knows the place well comes along, but that doesn't mean that a single dedicated editor could not fix it without assistance or consultation, given a little research time and/or a map. And as explained above, the type of articles these tags are designed for are not the cases where we need consensus, they only call for cleanup of situations which fail to comply with the basic principles of the geographical hierarchy.
Besides, there are plenty of {{merge}} and {{style}} tags and {{regions discussion}} that have been sitting around for years, among others; that's rather irrelevant and it would certainly be impossible to argue that the problems themselves aren't more likely to get worked on when tagged than when left untracked. We generally do mark these types of unambiguously identifiable problems; it's just that these particular two problems are not covered by any of the existing maintenance tags. Why in the world should that mean that subdivision/breadcrumb problems must be left untracked? Texugo (talk) 17:32, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
I agree. I think it's helpful to tag these things. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:11, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

So where are we at with this? It does not seem fair to let this be shelved just because a couple of users dislike maintenance tags in general or are not very interested in this particular type of maintenance. Literally every other type of maintenance problem I can think of can be tagged and tracked: problems with banners, problems with article appropriateness/merging, problems with other images, problems with formatting, problems with transcription, problems with style, problems with translation, problems with content placement, plus a whole other scad of problems we track. The only types of common problems we have no way to keep track of are hierarchy problems, and I haven't seen any convincing argument as to why we should insist on keeping it that way.

The two tags above target two specific problems which are clearly and objectively identifiable, common, and easier resolved than some other things we tag such as merges yet not so easy to resolve that one always has time to fix them immediately when they are found. Keeping track of them so they can be fixed later improves the site by cleaning up the hierarchy we organize the site with, ensuring clearly understandable region breakdowns, correcting mistakes in the breadcrumb navigation system, and helping to ensure we don't have orphaned articles. I believe all these things are truly beneficial to the site. Knowing that the whole purpose of tagging problems is so that they can be fixed and untagged rather than floating out there unrecognized as problems for even longer, I do not understand what disadvantages could possibly outweigh those positives.

If you just don't like tags in general or you don't like they way they look, that is a discussion for another forum and I don't think those are very legit reason to hold this up, because we do have a range of tags, and for very similar reasons, so these opinions apply to tags in general. On the other hand, if you oppose for some other reason, please explain: given that every other type of problem has tags appropriate for tracking them with, and given the advantages I've just outlined, what overpowering disadvantage could there possibly be in completing our set of tags so that there are tags appropriate for hierarchy problems too? Texugo (talk) 03:31, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

I see no reason why this is a discussion for another forum. Defacing the articles themselves with more tags makes them look worse, unless there's something so severely wrong (like an article copy-pasted from a local CVB site) that it's already spam, copyvio or just plain unusable. Wikipedia is already a mess of "I don't like this topic, so I shall plaster the article with pointless maintenance tags." We don't need this on our destination pages. K7L (talk) 06:09, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
Put those in talk pages if we want to track them via categories. Works just as well, doesn't clutter visually. PrinceGloria (talk) 06:14, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
K7L, your comments obviously apply to practically all existing tags. All our tags are big and ugly and designed to catch attention so that both tag and problem can be removed, so these are no different in that respect. But while we do have tags for every other common problem but this one, and while that is the way they're all done, I don't think opposing tags in general or opposing it on the basis that it's a big ugly tag gives you the right to hold us back from completing ourg set.
And PrinceGloria, same thing, all other maintenance tags share the same look and they go in the article. If we wanted to start using talk pages instead for maintenance, that would probably apply to most other tags as well. Otherwise what makes hierarchy problems so much less important than the least of style problems or the slightest of banner mis-sizings, to the extent that we'd relegate it to the talk page where the tags would fail to draw the attention they were designed to draw and unprecedentedly categorize the talk pages instead of the actual page?
These are maintenance problems of the same type as all the others which we tag, using the same look and placement as all the other tags. If either of you propose that this case is so extremely different that it needs a new treatment or need not be maintained at all, make your argument and explain why these particular problems should not get the same attention as every other type of problem. Otherwise, back off the obstructivism and take your fight against big ugly tags to a more appropriate forum or, better yet, be sensible and fight big ugly tags the way they were intended, by fixing problems and removing the tags — that's the whole point. Texugo (talk) 11:20, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
All tags should go to talk pages. They're for the experience editors who know how to deal with stuff like breadcrumb trails etc. Otherwise, giving the amount of problems most of our articles have and the dearth of editors we experience, K7L's fear of our articles becoming totem poles for various maintenance tags is justified. We would present a face we would not want to to the casual readers who might become editors. Correcting a small paragraph text or filling in listings is one thing, but being scared away by a big maintenance tag looking like "a big big problem here, don't touch" is another. PrinceGloria (talk) 16:57, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
I can see the advantage of tagging on the article page as it makes running scripts and category compare runs easier, but I really think large tags at top of article pages are ugly and distracting to readers. May I suggest a two stage approach here. First use the new tags proposed here on the article page but make them small in size and placed at the bottom of the page. Second we have a separate discussion on moving all, or maybe just most, of the maintenance tags to the bottom of the article page as smaller boxes or onto the talk page. --Traveler100 (talk) 18:15, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
I don't have any problem with discussing a change in where we put tags or their size or anything. I wouldn't mind making them smaller. I do have a problem with forcing this particular tag to be different from the others unless there is a very substantial clear reason to have two different tagging styles, and I have a very very huge problem with pegging the fate of this proposal to any wider proposal which would affect all tags and which may take a long while for us to get consensus on if we ever do. The only question here is, is there any reason why these should not be tracked while other similar problems should? And no one can provide such a reason. So let's start tracking them. These other issues about tags in general can still be discussed elsewhere, and whatever result that discussion reaches will still be applied to these too, of course, when and if we finally get consensus on that separate issue. This proposal shouldn't be punished for doing what all the other tags already do, and should not be held hostage while we try to satisfy those who want to change all our tagging practices. These are totally in line with existing maintenance practices, they are very useful, and I'm anxious to start using them. Texugo (talk) 18:58, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
My main concern is that these still seem like more long-term tags than most others we use. They both point to problems with the geographic hierarchy, discussions about which are often complex and contentious. It's one thing for a template like {{regions discussion}} which simply alerts interested readers to an existing discussion that they may be able to participate in; these proposed templates are of a somewhat different character, as they prompt new discussions being created. And they're of totally different character from simple cleanup templates like {{districtify}}. Powers (talk) 01:19, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
That is simply a mischaracterization or misunderstanding of what these are for, Powers. {{vagueregions}} is a tag which objectively identifies a region where the region breakdown either has gaps or overlaps or for which the regions have been named but the borders between them are unclear. Occasionally there is even a map already but it is unclear what boudaries (administrative, etc.) the boundaries have been derived from. Most of the existing regions where I've seen this problem are low, sub-state-level regions where the best thing would be for someone to look into it and then plunge forward, because the chances of getting a group of users to respond to Talk:Michoacan or Talk:North Carolina Coastal Plain or Talk:Siena (province) and actually debate knowledgeably until a consensus is reached are practically nil. Plunging forward is how most lower-level region schemes get put together in the first place anyway. And if and when anyone does finally come along and disagree, the discussion can happen, but at least in the meantime the existing scheme will be hierarchy-compliant and clearly organized for the reader. I have fixed a few of these cases, looking into them and correcting the breakdown toward the nearest compliant scheme that seems to make sense, and I certainly find it easier and less time consuming than it would be to complete some of the {{merge}}s or {{movetodistrict}} or {{movetocity}} things we've tagged. And as mentioned before, some of those have been sitting around for years. Plus, as problems go, I think a situation which causes confusion as to where our coverage can be found is at least as deserving of tracking as a banner that's 6:1 instead of 7:1, and is definitely more useful to track than {{regions discussion}}, which can be placed on any article subjectively any time someone proposes any change in the breakdown, and which tends to keep sitting there for ages even if the discussion is not going anywhere and even if the existing scheme is not actually broken or non-compliant in any way.
Similarly, there should be no controversy at all with {{putinsubregion}} either. There is no subjective decision to be made regarding when they should be placed: they are used when there is a proper region breakdown but a destination hasn't been sorted into it yet. In the last 3 months I have fixed quite literally more than 800 breadcrumb problems of this type. Most of the time it doesn't take more than opening a map and comparing it to our region map, or looking up what county/district/department/district/valley/mountain range it belongs to. It's generally a very objective determination which doesn't require any prior discussion to fix, and it's usually not that hard, but like other problems we tag, it does take a little time, and I certainly don't think I or anyone else should be expected to just "fix it immediately or forget it". We need to be able to tag these things. Texugo (talk) 02:26, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
If you put this in the article itself as a huge, ugly template you're addressing this not just to other editors but to the readers. I can see it now, the traveller looks up London; Lonely Planet tells them to see Buckingham Palace, National Geographic tells them to see Big Ben, Wikivoyage tells them that London isn't complete without creating some more subregions. Which is actually useful as travel advice?
There are enough objections made to Wikipedia-like annotations such as <ref>...</ref>, but something that's purely for maintenance and no use to the traveller at all? It doesn't belong in article space, unless the problem is so severe that we're telling the reader not to use the page ({{warningbox|This destination was just obliterated by a nuclear bomb. Forget we listed it.}}). K7L (talk) 04:25, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
I'd summarize the issue this way: Putting tags in an article is kind of ugly, but putting them in the talk page means that no-one is likely to see them. So given those choices, the lesser evil is to put them in the article, if they need attention. And if we can agree to that, then let's try to find a way to make the tags almost as visible to potential editors but less ugly. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:43, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
The problem is that most people seeing the warning boxes won't do anything about it anyway, will just be thinking the article they're reading is somehow bad. The people who are frequent editors and know about the subject enough usually react to even the slightest mention of a problem in the talk page. And most editors here tend to flock to articles where problems are highlighted, not to mention scouring categories for finding them out. At our level of editor base evolution, I see no benefit from displaying maintenance tags. PrinceGloria (talk) 04:51, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
How about smaller like ths


and at bottom of article page?--Traveler100 (talk) 09:15, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
Brilliant, works for me! PrinceGloria (talk) 09:39, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
Guys, how are you missing the point here? We don't need a new consensus to "display maintenance tags"; we already do that, and for every other problems out there. Yes, your concerns are valid, but they have nothing to do with these particular tags. Nobody except Powers has expressed any concerns that directly relate to the issue, and in the absence of that, we'd need go ahead and to let these through to join all the others. Otherwise you are pegging the fate of this proposal to the fate of a new overall proposal that affects many things and will take some time to work out, in effect holding these two tags hostage until you get what you want for the whole set of tags, and that is both unfair and counterproductive. To the extent that these are not the same all as the others tags, are there remaining diadvantages? If not, stop standing in the road here and let's go elsewhere to discuss changes to maintenance tags in general,, Texugo (talk) 10:40, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
Opened up general discussion on tags' size and position below. --Traveler100 (talk) 11:58, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
On these specific tags, no problem with the suggestion as long as it is not used as an alternative to the region discussion tag.--Traveler100 (talk) 11:58, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
I'd be happy to see these exist, and I'd be happiest to see them on the talk page. As a general rule of thumb, if the most likely fix is not some random passerby (which works for typos but not complicated stuff), then the fix will almost always be applied via a dedicated person who found the affected article in a category. Therefore we don't need "visibility" for that kind of tag; we only need its presence somewhere. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:30, 3 September 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for the support. The comments about starting to hide maintenance tags on the talk page really belong in the other conversation below though, since it's something we haven't done before, something which is proposed for multiple other maintenance tags, and something which more than one user has opposed on the basis of failure to draw any attention and preclusion of cross-referencing due to categorization of the talk page instead of the actual one. Texugo (talk) 15:45, 3 September 2014 (UTC)


Now that the concerns about the size and prominence of maintenance tags in general have been addressed and remedied, and given that these two proposed tags have just as much justification behind them as other existing maintenance tags, are there any remaining legitimate reasons why these two proposed tags cannot be green-lighted so as to complete our set? Texugo (talk) 18:25, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

I believe that the current proposal is for the following, right?
I'd suggest a few clarifications:
  1. Suggestions were made to put #1 at the top of the "Regions" section, and #2 at the bottom of the page. Is that still the plan?
  2. I think the text could be clearer about how to resolve the problem that led to placing the template on the page:
This region has a vague or incomplete regional breakdown. If you are familiar with the area, please help to clarify the situation by defining boundaries between the regions and/or completing the regional breakdown using this article's talk page to suggest specific boundaries for the region so that there are no gaps or overlaps. It may be helpful to start a discussion on the talk page.
This destination could be more precisely located needs a more precise parent region in the geographical hierarchy. If you are familiar with the area, please identify which of the parent region's subdivisions this destination belongs to and change the {{IsPartOf}} tag at the bottom of the article accordingly. review the available sub-regions in the parent region article, and then change the {{IsPartOf}} tag at the bottom of this article to the appropriate one for this destination. Once updated, this template can be removed from the article.
Overall I think the template makes sense and support its usage. -- Ryan • (talk) • 19:37, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
For point 1, yes, as it stands. For point 2, I'm fully ok with the change to the second tag. As for the first one, I'd prefer if it kept a little more sense of plunge forward, in that I don't necessarily think a discussion is always needed; usually for more obscure low level regions where this tag will generally apply, the first go at subdivision is typically arrived at by someone plunging forward anyway, with the discussion coming afterward if others find it necessary. Of course, where regional breakdowns are already complete and established, I do think discussion is needed before making a change and shuffling things around, but where it is non-existent or incomplete, I think plunging forward to fix it is much preferable to starting a discussion which, for many low-level/obscure regions, may take months or years before a second knowledgable person comes along to respond. Texugo (talk) 20:01, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
I might be misunderstanding the purpose of the first template then. Wouldn't it only ever be used when someone has raised a concern that an existing regional structure is insufficient (for example, there aren't enough sub-regions to cover a parent region, or child regions overlap), most likely via a talk page discussion? This isn't something that someone can just slap on (for example) Grand Canyon because they think it should be sub-divided, is it? -- Ryan • (talk) • 20:22, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
No, of course not. It is exactly, as you said, for those objectively and easily identifiable cases where "there aren't enough sub-regions to cover a parent region, or child regions overlap", regardless of whether someone has started a discussion or not and, I would argue, considering that in many cases catching the attention of a knowledgeable person and having them plunge ahead with what they know is more important than just starting another discussion which would be otherwise impossible to keep tabs on, and very likely to languish unnoticed in obscurity for months or years before any action is taken. Texugo (talk) 20:51, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Can you propose any alternate text that would make the reason for the template (and how to resolve the issue) clearer? I'm still having trouble envisioning a time when this template would be added to an article without some discussion somewhere about why it was added and what needed to be done to resolve the issue. -- Ryan • (talk) • 22:12, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
To be honest, I'd be pretty much ok with your wording if you added a "or plunge forward" in there somewhere, the sense being "plunge forward if you know how to set it up". This template is unlikely to ever be added to popular top- or intemediate-level regions anyway. Texugo (talk) 22:35, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Also, if it comes down to it, I'd rather go with your wording than let this get hung up any further. Texugo (talk) 23:05, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
I'm fine with whatever "plunge forward" verbiage you think works. I don't have any further concerns. -- Ryan • (talk) • 23:55, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

Revising Template documentation[edit]

Swept in from the pub

I mostly edit en.wikipedia, but after that & Wikimedia Commons, Wikivoyage is the project on which I have the most edits. I recently noticed that it is difficult for users (like me) to copy & paste from Wikivoyage Templates onto a page. I therefore would like to intermittently work on the Template documentation pages here to ease their use.

I have done this elsewhere. My most extensive documentation revision was for the WikiProject Medicine template. Here is what it looked like before and this was the difference afterwards.

The reason I am bringing this up here rather than just plunging forward was that I started a minor ruckus when I introduced the Okina template for displaying the ʻokina character. There was much discussion here & here due to a misunderstanding about whether it was an experiment (it was not) or whether it was needed (it was, since government entities use it all the time in Hawaiʻi). So I thought I would let y'all know what I was doing beforehand.

My first thought is to start with {{Userpage}} template, which is far from a copy & paste state. Do any of you have any other priority preferences?

Peaceray (talk) 02:05, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

Documentation improvements sound fine to me. The {{userpage}} template isn't a heavily used template, but perhaps better documentation will help promote wider usage. That template was created by the site's founder and has been around for a while, so hopefully attempts to improve it will produce less wringing of hands than your previous attempt with a new template :) If you're interested in additional projects, Category:Hatnote templates are all fairly heavily-used templates that might benefit from some documentation love. -- Ryan • (talk) • 02:26, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

Template creation[edit]

Swept in from the pub

How can one create a template? If it has to be discussed first, where? Skyllfully (talk) 20:26, 2 October 2015 (UTC)

Are you talking about Mediawiki templates (see also the global help page) or our Wikivoyage:Article templates? For the first the answer would be no, but it would have to gain consensus to be widely implemented. For the second, the answer is probably yes, as that's a pretty established set for us ;-) JuliasTravels (talk) 20:39, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
If you wish to create a 'MediaWiki' template, as in what most other wikis refer to simply as 'templates', then you can propose it here or possibly on the talk page of Wikivoyage:Using MediaWiki templates. However, if it's a fairly minor template, you may wish to create it, add Template:experimental, implement it on 1-2 low-traffic articles and then seek the opinions of other users through a thread on the template's talk page about whether it's warranted. The reason we have such stringent guidelines is because we want to keep the coding of the wiki simple, and also because most templates that are necessitated have already generally been created. James Atalk 07:57, 4 October 2015 (UTC)

Wikipedia pronoun templates[edit]

I have copied the Wikipedia Gender template (used on only talk pages, by anally retentive grammarians) to my user space, with a minor change to the documentation. I have unit-tested it in my sandbox. Would anyone object to my moving it into template space? (Wikipedia also has a lot of other pronoun templates, for which I don't see an urgent enough need to want to copy them right now, but it might be nice to get a larger set of them some time in the future.) Peter Chastain (talk) 23:01, 23 January 2016 (UTC)

Assuming this template is just meant for use in userspace (that's what it's for, right?) then I see no harm with using it here, although I'd suggest that we import it rather than copy & paste, that way we can maintain history and avoid any issues with attribution. Once imported then your customized Wikivoyage version could be copied from your sandbox and applied as a new revision. -- Ryan • (talk) • 13:20, 24 January 2016 (UTC)
The template would be used on talk pages in both article- and userspace, by those of use who don't like to write sentences like, "Ryan said that they see no harm..." If you would be so kind as to do the import, I will apply my changes, which are only to the /doc sub-page. (One additional change should perhaps be made, to remove a reference to a category that we don't have.) Thanks! Peter Chastain (talk) 16:49, 24 January 2016 (UTC)
I oppose more template bloat. Come on, if you want to be precise in pronoun usage, just go to the user's userpage. Powers (talk) 19:43, 24 January 2016 (UTC)
FWIW, I don't know how to look on your user page and find your Preferences setting for gender, but this template is not important enough for me to fight an uphill battle for consensus—so I withdraw my request. On the broader issue of what constitutes bloat, I sympathize with your goal of keeping our interface simple, and I would not advocate expanding our small set of templates to anything close to what Wikipedia has—but there are a few others that I would like to bring over, so I think we will be having this discussion again. Thanks for responding. Peter Chastain (talk) 21:30, 24 January 2016 (UTC)
My opinion is that if "template bloat" is a problem, it is far outweighed by the fact that our unwillingness to allow commonly-used templates from Wikipedia is generating unnecessary frustration for would-be contributors from Wikipedia, and also earning us a reputation among Wikimedia projects as unreasonable control freaks. That said, the effort required to change the status quo on this matter makes it a battle that I personally don't have the stomach for, and can only hope that someone else will spearhead at some point. Apologies for the rant, but this is an area where I think the status quo is causing harm to the project. -- Ryan • (talk) • 03:02, 25 January 2016 (UTC)
The number of templates on Wikipedia is a huge deterrent to casual editors. Most people have no idea what to do with curly braces and other template syntax. The more we add to Wikivoyage (especially templates designed to insert text inline within prose) the harder it is for the vast majority of the world's people to edit our site. That's a population I'm much more interested in tapping compared to the steadily dwindling numbers of active Wikipedians. Powers (talk) 19:10, 25 January 2016 (UTC)
Also, I am extremely disappointed that one person's opposition to a given proposal is so often seen as an excuse to drop the proposal entirely. We claim not to seek unanimity, but then pale as soon as anyone expresses the slightest opposition. Powers (talk) 19:12, 25 January 2016 (UTC)
You're right—I did drop my proposal too quickly. Frankly, I was kind of surprised that there was any opposition to what I see as a no-brainer. But some battles are more worth fighting than others, and the {{Gender}} template is relatively unimportant. The other issue here is that you and I seem to have been on the opposite sides of fences recently in a number of WV fora, and I would like to avoid bickering and relate to you as a collaborator on this project, into which you have poured so much dedication and tireless effort. Peter Chastain (talk) 03:01, 27 January 2016 (UTC)
Powers, leaving aside, for now, the question of whether casual WP editors are deterred by the number of templates, and conceding that the number of active casual Wikipedia editors has declined since the 2007 peak, though not substantially in the past three years, I think we can find common ground: we both would like to remove obstacles to wider participation in this project. To that end, we impose a well documented structure on articles via article "templates" (I wish we could find a better word for those) and provide tools, e.g., the Listing template, visual editor, etc., to make editing easier. I support those structures. The Manual of Style should document which templates can be used in articles. I will almost certainly argue for adding more, as the need becomes apparent. One person's bloat is another's rich authoring environment. Templates are a part of MediaWiki markup, and editors will always need to interact with them, even if only through the visual editor, which does hide the braces and pipes.
But none of that has anything to do with the overproliferation of templates that you fear. On talk pages and user space, we should be able to express ourselves with the rich set of tools to which wiki editors are accustomed. So, I respectfully request that you not oppose requests for templates per se. In the near future, I intend to propose formally a change to template policy, in line with what I have written here. Peter Chastain (talk) 03:01, 27 January 2016 (UTC)
My concern is actually two-fold: one, that templates make the editing interface more opaque to newbies, and two, that our base of editors is too small to keep up with the large number of utility templates used on larger wikis. Do you have any suggestions for mitigating these issues? Powers (talk) 02:43, 28 January 2016 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Let me get the easy piece of the problem out of the way, first: templates used in talk pages and user space. I am arguing that people be allowed to create those templates without asking for permission, and that requests to import such templates from Wikipedia (which requires Administrator rights) be routinely fulfilled with no need to seek consensus. These don't affect novice editors, except perhaps to help them learn about templates by exammple, because nobody needs to edit someone else's discussion.

I agree that article-space templates can be an obstacle to inexperienced editors. They can also help those same editors by structuring the entry of information. We can lessen the impact:

  • Document (in the MoS) which templates are permitted in articles, and include some examples of how to use them. Clarify which templates are permitted in articles. Perhaps we should create a category "Article templates", for those that can be used, and put a pointer to the category into the Formatting content sub-section of the Manual of Style. Require new article-related templates to justify their existence (as we already are doing). And make sure new templates have good /doc pages.
  • Favor simpler templates over complex ones. I suspect that's why we don't have Wikipedia-style infoboxes in our travel guides. A template like {{Okina}} or even {{Ambox}} is pretty straightforward.
  • Where possible, supply tools, like the Listing Editor, to insulate editors from the internals of templates. Fix those few bugs that the Listing Editor has.
  • Advocate for improvements in how the Visual Editor handles templates. Specifically:
    • Clicking a nested template should bring up the same kind of dialog box that clicking an outer template does. Currently, the inner template is shown as wikitext.
    • Clicking a template should bring up a dialog box showing all of the template's named fields. Currently, for example, if you are in the visual editor and click a {{Listing}} that doesn't have the doesn't have lat/long specified, those fields do not show up in the dialog box.

That said, there will always be a learning curve for new editors. People who want to be part of our great project can learn.

It may be true that Wikivoyage has a small pool of competent template developers. I think the best way to increase that number is to maintain an environment that welcomes the development of templates. Peter Chastain (talk) 04:01, 29 January 2016 (UTC)

Regarding simple versus complex templates, I incorrectly said that we don't have infoboxes. And that is a case where complex templates are, IMO, much preferable to trying to implement complicated formatting with ordinary wiki markup. Peter Chastain (talk) 18:54, 29 January 2016 (UTC)
Seems like a reasonable compromise, though allowing unfettered non-article template creation still grates on me. We used to have so few templates that they could all be documented on a single page. The more we add, though, the more daunting it looks to a new user. I remain concerned about catering to editors already comfortable with template syntax and usage over new editors who might find it daunting. That's one reason why Wikipedia has trouble retaining new editors, and I don't want that to happen here. Powers (talk) 15:32, 30 January 2016 (UTC)

Newarticletext for template namespace[edit]

I just noticed the recreation of Template:Click on 16 Feb 2016, after deletion of the page over a month ago on the 12th of January (and two other deletions). I'm ambivalent about templates myself, as I think they're helpful but they do make editing more complicated than necessary. Templates - fine; templates in templates - well, useful even if ending braces start getting messy; templates in templates in mainspace - horrendous, confuses experienced editors let alone complete newbies.

So why do templates keep getting created without consideration of local policy? Well, I tried making a template (having forgotten some ins and outs), and realised there's no reference at all to any such Wikivoyage policy on templates, which would be this very page. On assumption that template policy is no different from Wikipedia, templates are copied wholesale and without attribution a lot of times. Then one way forward that will help a tiny bit, if people don't read policy pages, is to edit Mediawiki:Newarticletext. This affects the little blurb at the start of a new page. How about the following introductory sentence, using current policy and to be refined:

| {{ns:Template}} = Templates should be used for editorial markup and metadata. In general, a template should be discussed prior to being created or modified, and until such acceptance, new templates should be tagged {{experimental}}. Without community support, templates will be deleted. If you wish to use templates from Wikipedia, please import page history or include proper attribution. See Wikivoyage:Using_MediaWiki_templates for further details.

Ideas, anyone? -- torty3 (talk) 09:12, 17 February 2016 (UTC)

While I'd like to see our policy on templates made less restrictive, I very much agree with the proposal to add guidance when creating new templates, particularly regarding attribution for imported templates. Until policy changes I think the guidance you've proposed makes sense, and barring objection I don't see any reason not to implement it as soon as possible. -- Ryan • (talk) • 15:45, 17 February 2016 (UTC)
Agreed. Powers (talk) 01:05, 19 February 2016 (UTC)
Yes Done. Further modifications are welcome, but there doesn't seem to be any reason to hold off on putting the guidance suggested by torty3 in place. -- Ryan • (talk) • 02:44, 19 February 2016 (UTC)

Lua Module help[edit]

Swept in from the pub

Requesting assistance from someone who knows about Lua (#invoke) module language. Is it possible to scan the contents of articles for specific text strings (actually template) based on a list of articles in a category and its sub-categories? I would like to make these table numbers dynamic. --Traveler100 (talk) 12:22, 4 January 2016 (UTC)

Though I have done some Extension and Lua (Module) programming with my own wikimedia sites and a few tests on wikivoyage, I don't think that it can be done; however, I would definitely put in a request at Wikpedia. I have had good luck there and you should most likely get some good advice and answers. Wikipedia User:Mr._Stradivarius has done a lot of work on Modules and I think he might be a great source. All the best! - Matroc (talk) 17:36, 4 January 2016 (UTC)
Add Note - Traveler100 - You can scan the contents of an article for a text string, it could be expensive when dealing with multiple articles; especially, if they are large articles - just managed to do that recently as was I was testing to break up a page and produce a word list for that page and avoid using page transclusion. -- Matroc (talk) 04:20, 6 January 2016 (UTC) -- In the pub - Traveler100 appears at last test I did 100 times and the phrase in the region article appears 4 times... - should be pretty close...
It would appear that traversing the contents of a category is not possible. Nevertheless thanks for your input. --Traveler100 (talk) 06:03, 6 January 2016 (UTC)

Outdated template, some way for future dates to be flagged once they become past dates?[edit]

Swept in from the pub

So this is potentially two issues and potentially one. I sometimes find information that is obviously outdated but there is either no possibility at all to ascertain what is the case as of now without actually going to that place or there is no time at the moment and it is likely that I'd forget about it later. Is there some way to tag such sections or information as "outdated" with a template?

Another thing is that sometimes things are announced for a foreseeable future but don't happen immediately. Say, a business ceases to exist but still continues to serve customers for a few weeks/months or a new transportation system/line/whatever is set to come online with the next schedule change or at an otherwise foreseeable date, so it makes sense to add sentences like "Postbus will run its last buses on 31.10.2016" or "the new high speed line will come online with the December 2015 schedule change" but those things just look embarrassing when they are still in an article in 2017. I know de-WV sometimes tags those with a template they have there. Is there a good reason not to have a similar / the same template here? And could we then have a maintenance category for "outdated" articles or sections to fix what needs fixing? Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:04, 25 January 2017 (UTC)

I saw "The new airport is expected to open in 2014...." Ugh. Ground Zero (talk) 19:29, 25 January 2017 (UTC)
It is possible to control content by date, it is done in the {{event}} template. How about a date template where you simply input a date (in words or number format) and it prints in a standard format. Once the date is reached we automatically add the article to a category. --Traveler100 (talk) 21:13, 25 January 2017 (UTC)
Agree with Traveler100 ... Yes it is definitely possible through parser functions currently available. -- Matroc (talk) 05:07, 26 January 2017 (UTC)
I think that is similar to what de-WV does. @DerFussi: how does it work at de-WV? Hobbitschuster (talk) 21:32, 25 January 2017 (UTC)
[edit conflict] In sv-wp there is a template that is invisible until the specified date, after which it indicates an update is needed. It also adds the article to a maintenance category. It has quite large iw, look at your language of preference. --LPfi (talk) 21:40, 25 January 2017 (UTC)
What's iw? Hobbitschuster (talk) 21:42, 25 January 2017 (UTC)
"Interwiki", I suspect. That particular template is used on a few dozen wikis. There's also the w:en:Template:As of approach to consider. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:37, 26 January 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── This seemed like a good idea. @Hobbitschuster: was this template ever created? Ground Zero (talk) 18:09, 28 February 2017 (UTC)

Remove restrictions on creating new templates[edit]

Wikipedia, which uses the same software, has no restrictions on creating new templates, as far as I know. The use of templates can greatly improve content robustness and editors should be bold to create new ones without discussion. Szqecs (talk) 04:20, 9 January 2018 (UTC)

What is the problem with discussing first? • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 16:31, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
  1. They would be implemented later than necessary.
  2. Based on the policy, if there isn't enough participation, they would get deleted, which is also unnecessary. Szqecs (talk) 17:04, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
A drawback of templates is that they make the wikitext much less readable. I find that it is not unusual to find something not quite right with a wikipedia page, and not have a clue on how to fix it, due to the "problem" being hidden by a template. I am not saying that we can't have a few more templates, but I think that discussion before creating templates is good - not necessarily to say no, but to collaboratively produce a more useful template. AlasdairW (talk) 21:21, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
I suspect the overuse of complicated templates is one of the reasons for the oft-bemoaned difficulty of Wikipedia to attract new editors. As such I would like to keep the "barriers" to editing here as low as humanly possible. Especially since a lot of the gimmicks and gadgets which are intended to make editing easier and which really only got necessary due to said overuse of templates do not work on mobile. Hobbitschuster (talk) 22:11, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
I hardly find this an issue. If an unexperienced editor can't edit a template, they can either contact the template editors to make changes, or replace content with a non-template version. We shouldn't restrict the use of an available function to force experienced users to cater to newbies. Szqecs (talk) 02:19, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
Isn't the issue that a page with all kinds of templates on it is difficult to edit because it's hard to read with all the non-text elements (codes, etc.) on it? The other point is that experienced editors on Wikivoyage have been able to edit for years without loads of templates. My feeling is, if there are particular templates you find useful, propose that we use them and explain why they're helpful. If they make editing clearly easier, they're quite likely to be approved. As a regular patroller, I think that bots that do things like adding commas to non-year numbers over 999 might be more useful than additional templates, but the fact is, I am only a light editor of Wikipedia, so I probably don't know the templates you want to use here. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:32, 10 January 2018 (UTC)

The policy conflicts with Wikivoyage:Plunge forward, especially this sentence:

"If new templates fail to gain community support, they will eventually be deleted." Szqecs (talk) 09:52, 11 January 2018 (UTC)

Did you read the entirety of Wikivoyage:Plunge forward? The second part of that statement is "...But don't be reckless!" It's true that templates are not specifically addressed on that page, but the policy isn't a blanket call for every conceivable kind of edit, in any case. Anyway, I think what would be most useful would be for you to make a specific proposal of what new policy you want and why. I guess the issue I think some of the people who've already posted to this thread and some others will have is that we're not willing to simply allow a huge number of new templates to be introduced widely without discussion. If you could provide links to the templates you've already created or imported from Wikipedia, that might be really helpful. Ikan Kekek (talk) 11:45, 11 January 2018 (UTC)

Under construction and In use[edit]

Out of the trillions of templates/tags they use over at Wikipedia, one I've stumbled upon recently is w:Template:Under construction and its pair w:Template:In use. They're essentially for situations where you make major edits to articles and ask others not to edit them for a little while to avoid edit conflicts.

Would such templates be useful here as well? -- ϒψιλον (talk) 11:47, 16 March 2019 (UTC)

I thought they used to exist around here? And whatever happened to doing stuff like that in user-space? Hobbitschuster (talk) 22:36, 16 March 2019 (UTC)

Under construction and In use templates[edit]

Swept in from the pub

I just noticed a discussion on Ikan's talk page about edits getting lost when two users edit the same article at the same time. That reminded me of a suggestion of mine (which should probably have been posted here in the pub right away). In short: Wikipedia has two templates for articles that are undergoing major edits:w:Template:Under construction (for a longer time) and w:Template:In use (for an hour or so). Would it maybe be useful to import these templates here too, to avoid situations like above? -- ϒψιλον (talk) 08:48, 25 March 2019 (UTC)

So basically, this would tell other users not to edit the article for a while? Definitely I'd agree we should include w:Template:In use but I'm not sure we need the other one. But I'm not opposed to having it here. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 14:23, 25 March 2019 (UTC)
Bad idea, just something else only those who know can use, and something to forget to remove later. --Traveler100 (talk) 21:08, 25 March 2019 (UTC)
I don't think that we need these templates.
However, people who are less familiar with the edit-conflict system might want to go to Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-betafeatures and enable "Two column edit conflict". You can read more about that at mw:Help:Two Column Edit Conflict View. Although I'm used to the old way, this is supposed to be better. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:50, 28 March 2019 (UTC)
Often you can just redo your changes in the new version or save yours and incorporate the other changes. Or save yours, undo, and ask for help. This should be noted somewhere in newbie instructions. It gets complicated when two or more editors are doing some restructuring at the same time, but that tends to happen only in situations that could be foreseen and avoided (not necessarily by newbies though). Instead of using the template you could wait with your changes until the article has been left in peace for some time, or use the talk page. --LPfi (talk) 11:57, 29 March 2019 (UTC)
The default is to discard your changes, so remember that the edit-conflict page has lots of stuff underneath what's showing at the top.
The other typical workaround is to copy-and-paste your changes to a separate file (like a blank e-mail message), and then try to reconstruct it later. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:45, 29 March 2019 (UTC)
The most frustrating case is where you have been doing a lot of editing all over the article and before you save someone comes along and restructures it. A copy of your version says little to help you and the diff of the edit conflict not much more. You need a diff between you version and the previous one, which requires you to save your version somewhere on-site, and the new version (in a separate tab or window) to find the context where to redo your changes. If you save your version anywhere but in the article history (temporarily overwriting the new version) you need to construct the diff URL or Special:Diff address manually, using the permalink oldurl= numbers: [[Special:Diff/old/new]] or [https://whatever?oldurl=old&diff=new]. Another approach is to copy your version, paste it into a fresh edit window and then mirror the changes until your version matches the current article structure. This might be easier, but it gets messy if you miss some paragraph splits, sentence moves or similar. --LPfi (talk) 07:10, 1 April 2019 (UTC)

Template overkill?[edit]

Swept in from the pub

It seems that in the last few months and years, without ever consciously taking that decision, we've moved towards using more and more templates, with the EUR template just the latest example. While they all individually have pretty clear upsides, I worry that they may in the long run reduce the accessibility of editing WV, particularly on mobile. If we want to live with that downside, we should at the very least consciously decide to do so, not just die the death of the proverbial frog in the slowly boiling water. Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:35, 7 April 2019 (UTC)

@Hobbitschuster: Thanks for bringing this up; I was waiting for someone to do so as I plunged forward and began converting prices to use currency templates.
The way I see it, I agree on the upsides of inline templates, and I've given the downsides some thought. I don't think usability for editing would be impacted; new content can be added the old way, without templates, and then somebody else can put the templates in afterwards. I certainly wouldn't support a change in policy requiring the templates to be used by editors, but I would support language encouraging their use for experienced editors.
I've taken some measures to prevent some of the other downsides - for example, having one template used by many pages makes it a vandalism target, so I went ahead and semi-protected {{PHP}}, with which I replaced the majority of mentions of the Philippine peso. I've also changed the currency templates to support ranges with a dash, so that it would be easier to add them without looking it up, like {{convert}} requires you to do.
I would very much like to hear any argument against the use of these inline templates. I think many of the downsides may be addressed with some edits to the templates, and I think these sorts of templates overall can really enhance the usability of the site for readers. This is also a good way to deploy accessible code for screenreaders across the site, such as was discussed recently here for words in foreign languages. ARR8 (talk | contribs) 19:48, 7 April 2019 (UTC)
Having worked on a number of different wikis, it is my opinion that:
  • The fewer templates used on a wiki, the better. You can use the same template a million times, but let's not have a million templates used once each.
  • The simpler the template, the better. It should be easy to figure out how to use it. For example, {{eur|1}} is going to be better than {{currency|1|€|1.13|$|0.86|£}}.
  • For wikis that are still growing content, templates should be used to save us work. So, for example, if this template means that we don't have to go back and update the currency conversion rates in hundreds of articles every few months, then this is good. If, on the other hand, the main effect was to save me the trouble of figuring out how to type a € from a US keyboard – well, we might have a template, but I might also suggest that this template should be automagically subst:d back out of the articles, to leave only the € character.
If I were going to suggest an enhancement that would both provide more information to readers and be easy for editors, it's that it might be possible to use this conversion approach automagically within the listings, when the listing content for |price= contains only numbers/ranges. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:12, 8 April 2019 (UTC)
I am sympathetic to the concern about templates discouraging new editors from contributing, and we need more editors. But I have also created a bunch of templates that have saved me a lot of time and effort in updating currency exchange rates in country and subnational jurisdiction articles. Beyond saving time in updating euro exchange rates in one template instead of in the 34 articles in which it is used, Template:Exchange rate euros also ensures that readers see one set of euro exchange rates in Wikivoyage, rather than different rates that have been updated at different times. Template:Exchange rate EC, Template:Exchange rate CFA, Template:Exchange rate US, Template:Exchange rate GBP, and Template:Exchange rate NZD do the same for these other currencies that are used in many countries and jurisdictions (the East Carribean $, the CFA franc, the US$, the UK £, and the New Zealand $). I believe that these templates are justified. Ground Zero (talk) 21:50, 8 April 2019 (UTC)
templates seem marvellous for saving the time of editors, but I personally have no idea how to use them. Not all travellers are technically savvy and the tutorials for wikimarkup read like a maths textbook.

If wikivoyage becomes harder to edit I suspect fewer people will contribute. Templates cause me considerable headaches because I edit on mobile and it's easy to mess them up. —The preceding comment was added by Billbarrelrider (talkcontribs)

These are some of the reasons this site had been opposed to template creep in the first place. Does it not give any of the supporters any pause? Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:51, 20 April 2019 (UTC)
I don't think anyone is saying that we should have unlimited templates, and I don't think you're saying we should have no templates. So it really comes down to determining which templates are useful enough to have, and which should be deleted, i.e., on a case-by-case basis. What do you propose? Ground Zero (talk) 10:41, 20 April 2019 (UTC)
I think the important point to restate is that new users or those who find them difficult to enter can simple add readable text and other will come along later and edit the format. Templates, whether the standard See and Sleep listings, or more general ones like {{km}} help with keeping a constant format across all articles, as well as a method to facilitate easier mass updates and improvements. --Traveler100 (talk) 10:52, 20 April 2019 (UTC)
Yes. I think that it is important that the templates are compact and readable. As a new user you should not have to be able to use them, but you should not be scared either. On Wikipedia the huge fact boxes in the beginning of articles are a real problem. This is one reason why I try to keep an empty line between {{pagebanner}} and the article text – it makes it easy to see where the article text starts in wikitext mode (the same with images, but images in lists have to be treated differently not to break up the list, I have started using HTML comments to be able to insert line breaks there. A {{km|2}} or {{EUR|5}} is easy to understand, so hardly an issue for new editors, but already the {{infobox}} can be confusing. I think these are useful enough to be kept and used, but introducing new ones or using the existing ones should be done with due thought. --LPfi (talk) 07:43, 26 April 2019 (UTC)
I'd love to learn how to use template properly, but Ive found it hard to learn because of how fragmented the learning tools for wikimarkup are. I've met maybe ten travellers on the road who refer to wikivoyage/wikitravel regularly and all say the same thing "the articles are really useful but I can't understand how anything else works".

I'm concerned our editing community is Too small, largely I think because of the huge jump between using and contributing to the site. I've clocked a hundred edits and still can't understand how to use most of the features. It might help if the "help" section was Updated and more prominent, especially when anonymous users click "edit" --Billbarrelrider (talk) 08:42, 5 May 2019 (UTC)

Babel templates[edit]

Category:Babel templates seems to represent about a third of the templates present on this wiki. They're not widely used, and they are unnecessary. Instead of typing

{{user en}}
{{user es-1}}

you can use the Babel extension: {{#babel:en|es-1}} to get the same result. The Babel extension supports more languages. It has the additional advantage of working on all the wikis, so you can use it on your global user page (which is your user page at Meta) or copy it to any other wiki.

I think it might be worth switching to the Babel tool and deleting all of these. Obviously, that would require a little bit of work, but it's not difficult, and it wouldn't have to be done immediately. What do you think? WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:38, 25 April 2019 (UTC)

Would say {{Babel}} should be used. --Traveler100 (talk) 19:52, 25 April 2019 (UTC)
I suppose the extension ({{#babel:en|es-1}}) has made the other ones obsolete and is now the recommended solution, mostly for performance reasons. No hurry to exchange them though. The babel boxes (however implemented) are useful when they contain languages other than the project default – and new users do not have to learn about them to contribute. --LPfi (talk) 07:53, 26 April 2019 (UTC)
I could run a bot through all user pages and change the user templates of different languages to the #babel with parameter. Would however be multiple entries of the extension as cannot work out how to safely stack all parameters into one template. That may have to be manual task. Could then remove all the user templates. --Traveler100 (talk) 06:16, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
Worked it out. Should I run this through user pages?--Traveler100 (talk) 08:05, 5 May 2019 (UTC)