Wikivoyage talk:Using MediaWiki templates

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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)

Proposal to never delete templates merely because it lacked community support[edit]


Before I begin, I quote the following

Before a new MediaWiki template is put into general use it needs to be discussed and accepted as good or preferably best practice. Until such acceptance, new templates will be tagged {{experimental}}, and should not be added to more than one low-visibility article—so not Paris. (If other editors object to that addition, though, expect it to be removed until a consensus is reached.) If new templates fail to gain community support, they will eventually be deleted.

More, the last line.

If new templates fail to gain community support, they will eventually be deleted.

I am proposing to get rid of this. There's a couple of reasons why, but it mainly comes to time and effort. Here's what I would say based on medium to difficult to make template.

Difficulty in making it Time to create Time to delete
Simple 30 seconds-1 hour. 30 seconds
Medium 1-4 hours 30 seconds
Complex 1 week to 1 year (and sometimes even longer) 30 seconds

If you put it into perspective, someone who put a lot of effort into a template, probably had numerous trial and errors, and probably spent a lot of effort into it, deleting it is showing little or what I would call, no consideration for all that. While I understand that some templates like {{tps}} only take about 1 minute to create, there are some others, much complex, take a lot more effort and have been neglected. I'm not saying we open up to all templates, nor to follow French Wikivoyage in creating a template just for hours and prices (I'm okay with it, and I actually like it), but I'm saying we just leave those templates alone. Who knows, but they make come useful in the future, like {{mergecredit}}?

From a technical viewpoint, having such a strict template policy and posing harsh restrictions on those who are into templates, it's sort of like discouraging shortcuts. From a nontechnical viewpoint, it may seem like an overcomplicated, pointless, difficult to use, unnecessary thing, but I'll tell you I felt that as well in March, but I've got the hang of it, and looking back to it, the English Wikivoyage is quite behind.

So, I'm just proposing that we never delete templates solely because they didn't get community support. Even if it's still out and about nor if it's never used. Because I quote this (it's modified):

If someone is criticized for even creating new material in a collaborative project, they will be less likely to do so again, and less likely to contribute.

Sort of just like saying someone who put hard work into it has their work ruined by just simple deleting it.

--SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 02:29, 11 August 2021 (UTC)

Edit: Just for some extra clarification, it's different if it gets deleted through vfd, but this is for when the community didn't approve it.


  • Oppose. Templates can be nominated for deletion like any other file or page, and should remain subject to nominations for deletion. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:04, 11 August 2021 (UTC)
@Ikan Kekek: for some extra clarification, it is just that if it didn't get approved, it doesn't get instantly deleted. It does however, not prevent deletion through vfd. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 04:08, 11 August 2021 (UTC)
Gotcha. That seems reasonable to me; however, I suggest you clarify what form of words you're proposing. "If new templates fail to gain community support, they may be deleted through the votes for deletion process"? Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:07, 11 August 2021 (UTC)

Feedback - The same argument against deletion can be (and has been) made about specific articles that users have put a lot of effort into but nonetheless don't meet the criteria of WIAA. In those cases, we usually provide the user an opportunity to move the article into their userspace, where they can either continue working on it in an attempt to make it acceptable to the community or just to preserve it for posterity.

I see no reason why we couldn't provide the same option for templates which haven't been approved for use. Moving them into userspace would have all the advantages of SHB's proposal; specifically, we would still have the template "for later" if the community consensus changed, and we wouldn't be destroying somebody's hard work. Moving these rejected templates into the creator's userspace would also prevent random users coming along and deciding to use them in mainspace. Having unapproved, and therefore unused, templates hanging round on the main site is unnecessary.

It would also be a waste of everyone's time to use VfD to decide whether to delete unapproved, unused templates. The 'vote' on whether to keep them in mainspace was already held when the community rejected their use initially. Instead, when an initial approval discussion ends in consensus against using a proposed template, that should be when the proposer is asked if they want the template moved into their userspace; if they don't want it, it should be deleted within a set period of time.

So, counter proposal - Replace "If new templates fail to gain community support, they will eventually be deleted." with "If new templates fail to gain community support, they should be moved into userspace within 14 days of the approval discussion concluding or they will be deleted." (the 14 days is absolutely negotiable from my point of view, but it seems like a good amount of time and provides symmetry with the standard VfD process).

Thoughts? --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 10:07, 11 August 2021 (UTC)

I would strongly support this. Forgot that we do this or articles so why not for templates? SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 10:10, 11 August 2021 (UTC)
I'm fine with that, too, but what do we do if the template in question is nonetheless used in mainspace or talk pages after that? Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:19, 11 August 2021 (UTC)
Replace it with the plain text equivalent.
If editors are concerned about wasting a lot of time creating a template which is then deleted, they can ask for approval before starting work on the template. An outline of the template documentation could be created before starting work on the template itself. If the template is very similar to that on another wiki, then just point at an example there. AlasdairW (talk) 21:55, 11 August 2021 (UTC)
To make explicit why I asked that question, it's because the "support" template was explicitly approved for use on one user's talk page only, but it has been creeping into discussion after discussion. I don't greatly care (I use it all the time on Commons), but I think that allowing unapproved templates to sit on users' pages risks approving their use through a back door, especially when there's a precedent of one or more other unapproved templates creeping into discussions from that same user's talk page. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:23, 11 August 2021 (UTC)
If often accidentally use it after coming from meta or simple. Use it on commons as well SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 23:42, 11 August 2021 (UTC)
Others have been using it, too, though. I think that if we really don't want it, it should be deleted. And therefore, I think that if we add language stating that unapproved templates can stay on user pages, we should add that if they are subsequently used on any other page(s) more than x-amount of times (3 times?), they will be deleted. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:13, 12 August 2021 (UTC)
The problem with deleting it is it'll break the format on where it's used. AFAIK, we are the only English language project that is against the template. (not sure about Wikispecies, but that is a multilingual project) SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 00:31, 12 August 2021 (UTC)
If we never delete templates because it will break links, that means never, ever deleting a template that is used without consensus. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:08, 12 August 2021 (UTC)
Unless you go to Special:WhatLinksHere, which in the process is quite tedious. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 03:14, 12 August 2021 (UTC)
@Ikan Kekek: I hear what you're saying about the support template, but it seems like you've misunderstood my above proposal. It doesn't mean that someone is allowed to use a rejected template only in their userspace. Rather, my proposal for such templates is to move the template page and its documentation to the creator's userspace, e.g. Template:Support and Template:Support/doc would go to User:SHB2000/Template:Support and User:SHB2000/Template:Support/doc, respectively. Correct me if I'm wrong, but this would prevent their use in mainspace and projectspace, wouldn't it? At the very least, it would take the template and its documentation out of project space, so there'd be no danger of someone mistaking it for an approved template which they should use.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 11:04, 12 August 2021 (UTC)
Support was a little different scenario. Rather than it, LPfi instead fixed the old {{support}} template, leading {{s}} to just be a redirect to {{support}}. But otherwise, it's how it is. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 11:19, 12 August 2021 (UTC)
OK, but it remains an unapproved template, so unless the community changes its mind about approving, it would be subject to the same policy: moved into someone's userspace or deleted.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 11:22, 12 August 2021 (UTC)
I thought {{s}} which I created was unapproved. {{support}} which already existed pre-June, was OK, unless that was also unapproved. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 11:36, 12 August 2021 (UTC)
There's no discussion at Template talk:Support approving the template. Ikan Kekek (talk) 11:47, 12 August 2021 (UTC)
Pinging who made the template. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 12:03, 12 August 2021 (UTC)
I have no idea why waste time with this discussion - it's for "internal" discussion use, not in the main content... The template costs 0c, so what's this about, again? I liked that clearly visible yes/no signs in the votings and there was a 'former act' ( ), so I added here too. If 3 years later it seems like a bad idea, or it's unused and adds significant admin work somehow, just remove it and it's done :) -- 12:37, 12 August 2021 (UTC)
For the record, again, I don't mind the template, but we should discuss whether to approve it or not. Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:54, 12 August 2021 (UTC)
  • Support the original proposal. If a new template is created, and no discussion takes place, but someone objects to the template, let's take it to a VFD discussion as is normal. There shouldn't be any automatic deletions because a template is experimental. Then, if it's VFD'd, it can be moved to userspace or deleted. But if I understand the status quo, which is deleting experimental templates without any VFD nomination, this runs contrary to our deletion policy for other pages and disrespects the work of the template's author. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 19:17, 12 August 2021 (UTC)
@SelfieCity: "If a new template is created, and no discussion takes place..." - that's not how it's supposed to work. You start a discussion, then with approval write a template that you can immediately use as long as it works OR you write a template then seek the community's approval before putting it to use. The discussion has to happen as part of the initial creation.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 09:42, 13 August 2021 (UTC)
On the support template, I've started a thread at Template talk:Support#Do we support the existence of this template and its use on talk pages? Please participate. We should probably put a pointer in Requests for comment, too. Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:57, 12 August 2021 (UTC)
TT, I'm supporting the proposal, which as I understand changes the current procedure you mention. But maybe I'm misunderstanding SHB's proposal. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 20:39, 13 August 2021 (UTC)
@SelfieCity: You have misunderstood. The only change proposed by SHB was dropping the sentence "If new templates fail to gain community support, they will eventually be deleted." If that change is approved, then we will still require templates to get community support before being used. And since we will still need to have those discussions anyway (even if retrospective to a template's creation), and since some of those discussions will result in a template being rejected by the community, we might as well use those same discussions to ascertain whether the author wants a rejected template moved to their userspace.
The reason I disagree with the original proposal: if a template is not approved for use, and the author doesn't even want it saved in their user space, then it should be deleted as a matter of course, because it has no place on Wikivoyage. And that's where my proposal comes in: a template that has already been rejected by community discussion should be moved to someone's userspace within [e.g. 14 days] or it will be deleted. Adding a VFD stage to the procedure, when the community has already expressed its view on a particular template, would lengthen the inevitable deletion process unnecessarily and waste contributors' time.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 11:32, 14 August 2021 (UTC)
Okay. In that case I’d propose changing “fail to gain community support” to “opposed by the community,” because there’s a difference between templates that have received no discussion and those which have been opposed by community consensus. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 11:39, 14 August 2021 (UTC)
That's definitely a salient point, and I'd support that amendment to wording. That would also work well with the proposal (in the Pub) to put a status tag on templates based on whether they're approved, under discussion, or rejected.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 11:43, 14 August 2021 (UTC)
@ThunderingTyphoons!: There's a new template which I proposed yesterday which is under discussion at the pub (last thread). It's how you just described it. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 12:00, 14 August 2021 (UTC)
Mm-hmm, I have been following that discussion.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 12:02, 14 August 2021 (UTC)

Another extension[edit]

To add on, templates that are designed for a bit of keeping Wikivoyage fun, such as barncompasses don't need approval. This also includes userboxes (I can only imagine trying to get an approval for every one userbox here or here). SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 09:27, 12 August 2021 (UTC)

I'd like us not to have so many userboxes. I don't think all the different barncompasses are necessary, but I doubt anyone would object to them. Ikan Kekek (talk) 09:59, 12 August 2021 (UTC)
The barncompasses are just a way to represent the best of each and every country in an entertaining manner. The userboxes... I've only created I think about 6. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 10:08, 12 August 2021 (UTC)
As barn compasses are used only on user pages, and not in articles, I don't think that they pose any barrier to participation in Wikivoyage by new editors. And they build community, so I think we should keep them. Ground Zero (talk) 11:04, 12 August 2021 (UTC)
Agreed with Ground Zero.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 11:06, 12 August 2021 (UTC)
Like I said, no-one would object to them. A little creativity in community-building is good, not bad. Ikan Kekek (talk) 11:46, 12 August 2021 (UTC)
So it looks like we've got a good opinion on barncompasses, but what about UBXs? SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 12:43, 12 August 2021 (UTC)
I happen to find all those details on Wikipedia user pages rather daunting, almost like all the color bars on military uniforms but with much less justification. Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:54, 12 August 2021 (UTC)
  • I propose we put a limit on the number of userboxes allowed (maybe ten). After those ten, community consensus is required to introduce more userboxes. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 19:12, 12 August 2021 (UTC)
How about just Babel? If you guys/gals are going to insist on Wikipediizing the style of this site, I could propose a lower limit to userboxes (3, maybe 5), but I think at that point, any limits are likely to inexorably disappear. I think that instead of making this site increasingly technically complex and full of bells and whistles, it would be great to simplify the experience of new, non-technical-minded users as much as possible. We should resist making this site as close to being as complex, technical and nerdy-clubby as Wikipedia as much as possible. Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:52, 12 August 2021 (UTC)
I agree with the general sentiment, though don't really understand why userboxes are a priority here. If people want them in their own userspace, then what's the problem? It doesn't really have anything to do with keeping the travel guide simple and easy to use. The priority, as I see it, is the above discussion about deleting templates or moving them into userspace.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 20:15, 12 August 2021 (UTC)
Maybe it's just a question of taste. I see the point that we could just let well enough alone. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:44, 12 August 2021 (UTC)
The question of userboxes differs a lot based on opinions. I can tell that tt! and myself are really into it (per wikipedia and meta), while some others (not sure if there's anyone here) who hate userboxes, and there's others who have it just for the sake of it. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 23:01, 12 August 2021 (UTC)
I think the main thing is about setting precedent. Before creating their own user pages, many newcomers will take a look at other user pages. Wikipedia users might have a lot of them on their Wikipedia user page and copy them over here. Then many newcomers will see it as user boxes would be more or less expected. If they see a "I use Linux", they may want to have an "I user Windows". The same with cats, dogs and snakes, RPGs and whatnot, using a lot of energy on that instead of on real work. And those who don't know how to import or adjust a template might feel frustrated. If we think that frustration is more important than the joy of having your "prefers sleeping in a tree" boxes, then forbidding such boxes makes sense. We might approve some that we think are important, foremost the babel, but there are others I think add significant value, such as the admin, sister projects, and perhaps technical user ones. –LPfi (talk) 09:25, 13 August 2021 (UTC)
I've created some at User:SHB2000/Userboxes/User status. Some of them are on my too fancy userpage copied off almost every admin here. Includes admin, temp. editor, autopatrolled and patroller. Not going to do IP block exempt or autoconfirmed though. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 09:47, 13 August 2021 (UTC)