Forums: Index Watercooler Starter Wikia - adding templates to it or changing them

Current candidates

  1. {{Documentation}}
  2. {{T}}
  3. {{From Wikimedia}}
  4. {{Information}}
  5. {{Wikitemplates}}
  6. {{Infobox}}

Criteria for moving templates to starter

Copying discussion from my talk page.

I noticed you were a sysop on w:c:starter. Are there any specific criteria or process for getting new templates on to starter? -- Fandyllic (talk · contr) 10:27 PM PST 25 Aug 2010

Below reply copied from User talk:Fandyllic#Starter; further comments took place on User talk:Robin Patterson#Criteria for moving templates to starter
In response to your question, I must say I'm not aware of any formal way to add anything to Starter. There was a page on Central Wikia, but I don't know if it's still there. Most of what I have done on Starter was tinkering with existing pages.
If a template here gets consensus from several of our active contributors, I'll consider adding it to Starter, probably after having a look for discussion pages on Central.
Robin Patterson (Talk) 05:43, August 26, 2010 (UTC)
If I can butt in, I can say immediately that updating Starter with the current version of {{Documentation}} from here would be good, though it would require us to roll a better-suited preload template and cut a few things from the documentation. {{T}} could also be updated. ダイノガイ千?!? · Talk⇒Dinoguy1000 08:53, August 26, 2010 (UTC)
Robin put a response User_talk:Fandyllic#Starter on my talk page.
If the a template needs to be significantly changed to make it ready for starter, I would say it isn't ready for starter.
I will think about how to get the ball rolling on presenting candidates for starter and some process for agreeing to move them. I may have to turn on forums here. -- Fandyllic (talk · contr) 2:21 PM PST 26 Aug 2010
Forum:Index is already setup. I will put a link under Community on the sidebar. -- Fandyllic (talk · contr) 2:24 PM PST 26 Aug 2010
Yeah, I knew about his response there. ;)
The template itself is ready to be copied; I could have an appropriate preload ready to go after 10-15 minutes. This would be made easier with the creation of an analog to Wikipedia's Template:Documentation subpage automatically adding the category to documentation pages (since we wouldn't need the <noinclude/> section anymore).
The forum would be a good venue for such discussion; probably the first one we should have would concern what templates to update and how to do so. ダイノガイ千?!? · Talk⇒Dinoguy1000 03:20, August 27, 2010 (UTC)

OK, here it is. I suggest we list them under separate headings. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 03:38, August 27, 2010 (UTC)


See intro above. That would be a major alteration! Should be discussed with the author(s) of the original if possible. On the side issue of Template:Documentation subpage, one of our template experts at Familypedia has now altered {{Documentation}} there, which could be worth a look. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 03:38, August 27, 2010 (UTC)

Familypedia's version has some nice features, but is overly complicated. It has a dependency on 5 other templates. Not the kind of thing for starter, in my mind. -- Fandyllic (talk · contr) 10:53 PM PST 26 Aug 2010
They're actually using a copy of Wikipedia's template, as of this May: [1]. There are definitely more features we could borrow from Wikipedia's version (that is where I originally picked up the ideas for the purge link and the preload system), but I rather like the look of Wikia's version and would prefer to keep it more-or-less intact, though I would like to move the styles to MediaWiki:Common.css.
As to subtemplates, I would actually argue exactly the opposite - as long as they're properly designed and used, we shouldn't be afraid of using an arbitrary number of subtemplates and meta-templates (particularly meta-templates, such as {{Navbox}} or {{Edit}}, which can be used in a variety of templates), since everything on the Starter Wikia gets copied to new wikis automatically. At the same time, though, we should make an effort to document these dependencies, and we should also consider how much complexity might be too much - we're not Wikipedia, and most templates don't need to be nearly as feature-laden and customizable as they do on WP.
Lastly, it would be a major alteration, but much of it is simply code simplification and cleanup - I've worked Wikia's Doc template over several times in the course of adding new features, and am quite proud to say how much of the original code I've managed to shave off. =)
Really lastly (yeah, I lied above =/ ), as a more general comment, should we fork versions of templates we're looking to move to Starter, or to update Starter's versions with, so that we can properly work out the exact code and documentation to be ported, and if so, where should they be forked to? (I'm thinking that any such forking system should feature a forked version of the template(s) and documentation, as well as a "cover page" of sorts with any needed instructions for the final copying process, e.g. styles to add/update in Common.css, so the person copying doesn't have to cut bits from the documentation before saving.) ダイノガイ千?!? · Talk⇒Dinoguy1000 07:40, August 27, 2010 (UTC)
Before you go all pro subtemplates you should spend a few months answering questions at w:Forum:Community Central Forum. At least half the template questions are from people who have mucked up a template by not taking into a account a sub template or trying to get a template to work without copying the sub template.
Starter should have the simplest, but most useful templates. Extra features should come without dependencies unless absolutely necessary. Wikipedia can handle it because it is one wiki with possibly 10s of millions of users.
You should also look at w:User blog:Sarah Manley/Sneak Peek at the New Look - Community Activity. We need to worry about the folks who enthusiastically want to contribute, but know little or nothing about the technical underpinnings of wikis. -- Fandyllic (talk · contr) 10:49 AM PST 27 Aug 2010
Since you pointed it out, I spent a couple of hours looking over random questions there. I would hardly say this qualifies me to speak of it unequivocally, but according to what I saw there, most questions from people trying to get a template to work were cases where the person was trying to copy templates, often from Wikipedia (this is one reason I have advocated for a featured templates process on Wikipedia, where one of the requirements for promotion would be one or more versions suitable for transwiki use - but that, of course, has little-to-naught to do with this discussion). The rest seemed to simply be run-of-the-mill "how does template code/parser functions/parameters/etc. work" questions.
Once again stressing that I may not be right, if this is indeed an accurate assessment of the situation, it still doesn't really apply to Starter - the templates there should be ready to use out of the box, and this readiness has nothing to do with whether subtemplates/metatemplates are or are not used.
I am also not advocating using subtemplates for the sake of subtemplates; I am saying we shouldn't be afraid to use them on Starter, but if we can reasonably get by without them, there's obviously no good reason to force using them. As for metatemplates, if they are on Starter already, there is no reason not to use them in other templates.
The redesign has been at the forefront of my mind since I read the announcement; I've already applied for the beta and been accepted, and am now waiting for my invitation so I can start to get a feel for how the new skin(s) will affect the template landscape. As for those with little to no understanding of the technical aspects of the MediaWiki software, this is going to sound incredibly harsh and probably more than a little closed-minded, but they should NOT be messing around with templates unless they are either prepared to clean up their mess/deal with lots of breakage, or they have a more experienced template coder on call that they can ask for help. The template namespace is not the place to start out learning template coding and wikimarkup; there's a reason every wiki has a sandbox page from its creation. ダイノガイ千?!? · Talk⇒Dinoguy1000 04:24, August 30, 2010 (UTC)


I recall seeing that one of you clever guys had made a version that doesn't need T/piece. Again, it should be run past the original authors. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 03:38, August 27, 2010 (UTC)

Yes, this new version doesn't need T/piece and that's a good thing. The T/piece dependency was somewhat foolish in the first place. -- Fandyllic (talk · contr) 10:54 PM PST 26 Aug 2010
I have also added support for a "prefix" parameter, allowing example template calls to include "subst:" and other such code (directly in response to the creation of {{S}}, actually). ダイノガイ千?!? · Talk⇒Dinoguy1000 07:41, August 27, 2010 (UTC)
The prefix feature is good, but still susceptible to typos. That's why I created {{S}}. Less typos, less typing. -- Fandyllic (talk · contr) 10:50 AM PST 27 Aug 2010
Technically, the entire template is susceptible to typos. It would be easy enough to add a check for "subst" and all caps variants (since the parser ignores case here), but there are other such tags which can be used ("msg", "safesubst" (which currently can't be used on Wikia, but will probably be here sometime in the next few months), and maybe several others), and the parameter (well, the whole template, really) could also be abused for demonstrating interwiki transclusion: {{w:: Documentation}} ダイノガイ千?!? · Talk⇒Dinoguy1000 04:29, August 30, 2010 (UTC)

{{From Wikimedia}}

This update actually makes it useful for actually denoting sources, as starter wiki it fails to trull denote the free licence let alone the attribution requirements of the free license. --  Roguebfl   talk    contribs    email   05:20, August 27, 2010 (UTC)

Not bad, but I'd like to see some optimizations first. For example it could support a wp= parameter to auto-add a [[wikipedia:...]] link and a cm= parameter to auto-add a [[commons:...]] link based on what was passed to those parameters. -- Fandyllic (talk · contr) 10:57 PM PST 26 Aug 2010
Makes it harder to use because you need to learn a special set of codes just for the template instead of knowing the stanrd inter wiki codes. --  Roguebfl   talk    contribs    email   07:20, August 27, 2010 (UTC)
I agree, why not just use the interwiki prefixes (which are in this case, fortunately, identical to the wiki names)? "wikipedia=" and "commons=" are far more intuitive IMHO than "wp=" and "cm=". ダイノガイ千?!? · Talk⇒Dinoguy1000 07:45, August 27, 2010 (UTC)
Now that I look, actually, it should default to linking to {{FULLPAGENAME}} - nonfiles should default to Wikipedia, since that's where most templates and articles get copied from, and files should default to Commons, since that's where most files get copied from (I have no proof of these assertions; I'm simply speaking from experience and what seems to make the most sense to me - feel free to prove me wrong =) ). ダイノガイ千?!? · Talk⇒Dinoguy1000 07:50, August 27, 2010 (UTC)
I just integrated that suggestion --  Roguebfl   talk    contribs    email   08:46, August 27, 2010 (UTC)
The great thing is we can support all the suggestions. wp=/cm= for those like me who like to type less and wikipedia=/commons= for those who want something more obvious. -- Fandyllic (talk · contr) 10:53 AM PST 27 Aug 2010
After testing the idea of supporting wp=/cm=/wikipedia=/commons=, I realized it was just easier to assume either commons: or wikipedia:. -- Fandyllic (talk · contr) 3:12 PM PST 27 Aug 2010
Since we're just assuming the project, I made the rest of the template text consistent with the link text. An override parameter should be possible (and may not even be that complicated), but I don't feel like working on it right now. ダイノガイ千?!? · Talk⇒Dinoguy1000 04:35, August 30, 2010 (UTC)


For much the same why Wikimedia uses as similar template, it helps organize File info, gives strong hints on the info Free licenses require, and will make porting images from Wikimedia Commons simpler. --  Roguebfl   talk    contribs    email   05:20, August 27, 2010 (UTC)

This is one of those templates that I think is a bit too complicated for starter. I'm also not a fan of templates with very general names that actually serve a specific purpose. -- Fandyllic (talk · contr) 10:59 PM PST 26 Aug 2010
but it lack make it more conflicted to take images from Wikimedia Commons. and while the code itself is complicated, the USAGE is not. And it is named such because it replicates the usage of the same named template on Wikimedia. so changing it's name is NOT useful. and it name is exactly what it does, collects and displays the file information.--  Roguebfl   talk    contribs    email   07:14, August 27, 2010 (UTC)
Ordinarily, I'd agree with you about avoiding generic template names, but in this case we should probably stick with what Wikipedia does (our version of {{tl}} is completely different from Wikipedia's version, for instance, and it's screwed me over here at least once in the past). As for the code, why does the template support lowercased and capitalized versions of the parameters? This is the type of design choice that originates in the early days of template design on Wikipedia, and there's no reason for us to continue it here - sticking with one style makes for shorter, more efficient, and more readable code. ダイノガイ千?!? · Talk⇒Dinoguy1000 07:55, August 27, 2010 (UTC)
It support both because most people hand type the template in due to the limitations of the upload page, and I don't want to fight against people typing habit of starting a new line with a capital letter causing breakage.. --  Roguebfl   talk    contribs    email   08:27, August 27, 2010 (UTC)
If someone types in the wrong parameter name, it doesn't cause the template to break; it simply doesn't display what they typed after the parameter. We could use a tracking category for the important parameters, if necessary. And I would argue that capitalized parameter names are actually counter-intuitive; unless I'm mistaken, this is the first template I've encountered on this wiki which supports *any* capitalized parameters. ダイノガイ千?!? · Talk⇒Dinoguy1000 08:32, August 27, 2010 (UTC)
Sticking with what Wikipedia does is one of the worst arguments for putting a template on starter. Try some other argument. -- Fandyllic (talk · contr) 10:11 PM PST 27 Aug 2010


Needs more info in page, while Public Domain does not require attribution it set a very good example. --  Roguebfl   talk    contribs    email   05:20, August 27, 2010 (UTC)

What does this have to do with starter? -- Fandyllic (talk · contr) 11:04 PM PST 26 Aug 2010
Because Starter is where the File is coppyed from when they make a NEW wiki. --  Roguebfl   talk    contribs    email   07:04, August 27, 2010 (UTC)
This is off topic for this post. The post is called "Starter Wikia - adding templates to it or changing them". It says nothing about image attribution. Please make a new topic about this issue. -- Fandyllic (talk · contr) 10:12 PM PST 27 Aug 2010


For all the same reason you have {{Wikipedia}} and as hint for people to come here for the templates rather than Wikipedia. --  Roguebfl   talk    contribs    email   05:20, August 27, 2010 (UTC)

Unnecessary. We need a better way to advertise Templates wiki. -- Fandyllic (talk · contr) 11:05 PM PST 26 Aug 2010
Hardly unnecessary, ever template here is under CC-BY-SA, This template provides the BY requirements of the license when they copy templates from this wiki. and having this on on all new wiki's prevents on less thing that need to be ported. --  Roguebfl   talk    contribs    email   07:06, August 27, 2010 (UTC)
I support the idea, but not the specific template. We need to come up with a better name first (I have a feeling this is actually a good part of your objection to {{SPW}} right now, Roguebfl), and the wording needs worked on - I think this could have a much more informal tone; it would still convey the same message. As for advertising Wikia Templates, we could roll something into the to-be-created {{Documentation subpage}} suggesting people come here to look for new versions or templates to use. ダイノガイ千?!? · Talk⇒Dinoguy1000 08:00, August 27, 2010 (UTC)
My biggest objection to SPW other than the name is it core function is to tell wither it's version is difference than the start wiki's version, information that is not useful anywhere but here, and just get's in the way anywhere else. --  Roguebfl   talk    contribs    email   08:10, August 27, 2010 (UTC)
I didn't mean to restart that particular conversation here; I was merely extending my line of thought to {{SPW}}. I'd like to hear what you think of my other ideas, and in the meantime, no hard feelings, I hope. =) ダイノガイ千?!? · Talk⇒Dinoguy1000 08:24, August 27, 2010 (UTC)
Actully I would like to know what wrong with this name, I chose it match this wiki's name as well how people thinks about the name. just like {{Wikipedia}} I've given when i think it a good name, and all ive been give back is it a bad name, no why, nor idea for better names --  Roguebfl   talk    contribs    email   08:30, August 27, 2010 (UTC)
I'm not saying it's a bad name, I'm just saying we could probably come up with a better one. At the very least, I think "Template:Wikia Templates" would be a better name for this particular one than "Template:Wikitemplates", since "wikitemplate(s)" is actually just a generic compound word which could refer to any template or group of templates from any wiki (it wouldn't even have to be a MediaWiki wiki; it would simply have to be wiki software which supports something like MediaWiki's templates). However, I don't think either name would be nearly as good for a template to be placed on Starter, but any suggestions for a better name elude me at the moment. ダイノガイ千?!? · Talk⇒Dinoguy1000 08:36, August 27, 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Dinoguy1000. Also, the Wikia CC-BY-SA license seems to refer to using Wikia content outside Wikia. If not, many, many Wikia wikis are violating CC-BY-SA because their templates don't credit back to Starter which they should by your logic. -- Fandyllic (talk · contr) 10:17 PM PST 27 Aug 2010
the only way that logic works is if Wikia is the sole contribute to the wikia, and all community members are using wikia under "work for hire" conditions. otherwise CC-BY-SA requires all contributes to be attributed, which the wiki does so via the file history... as the inter wikia links DON'T preserver that these templates ARE need. --  Roguebfl   talk    contribs    email   08:27, August 28, 2010 (UTC)
No, by contributing to a Wikia wiki, you agree that any contributions are released under CC-BY-SA unless the wiki has a specific agreement with Wikia to use another license or to add additional license requirements. "Work for Hire" does not change that. Also, a file history is not sufficient attribution from my reading of the license. -- Fandyllic (talk · contr) 1:24 PM PST 29 Aug 2010


So the Infobox's color scheme will match the user's theme --  Roguebfl   talk    contribs    email   05:20, August 27, 2010 (UTC)

Maybe. Personally I've always hated this template. Making it support the wiki's theme (not the user's) isn't much of an improvement. This is one of the hardest templates for most new users to understand, because it is really a meta-template. I'd also prefer this template not hardcode the table background color to white. It really doesn't work for dark skins.
So, in short, my initial answer to the idea of moving this to starter in its current form is "no". -- Fandyllic (talk · contr) 11:03 PM PST 26 Aug 2010
it might be generic, but it lays the ground work for people making customized ones for their wikis. And you cant say no to it, IT's already there, it's just an update. And it DOES match the wiki theme. The curret one does unless your wiki uses that shade of blue. --  Roguebfl   talk    contribs    email   07:09, August 27, 2010 (UTC)
background-color:#fff; means it won't match all themes (Obsession etc.). --◄mendel► 08:09, August 27, 2010 (UTC)
But it does all the Monoco ones, and being they are main ones here, where my biggest concern. --  Roguebfl   talk    contribs    email   08:13, August 27, 2010 (UTC)
Obsession is a Monaco theme, and, in fact, is the most popular one, if memory serves. If the background is forced to white, it will clash with the text on Obsession and similar themes, since the text color is set to white or a very light color (this is an issue when copying templates from Wikipedia as well). ダイノガイ千?!? · Talk⇒Dinoguy1000 08:26, August 27, 2010 (UTC)
Is there is class the set background color other the "accent" that that availible on all the themes? other wise white is nice and neutral --  Roguebfl   talk    contribs    email   08:52, August 27, 2010 (UTC)
Personally, I'd just as soon see the current template replaced with a pared-down version of Wikipedia's Template:Infobox (I'd like the same to be done with {{Navbox}} and {{Ambox}}, but those are different discussions). If we did go that route, I'd be willing to do the paring myself, since Wikipedia's version has a lot of advanced features most Wikias will never need (and any that do will probably have the template coders to add the features themselves, or will be willing to just copy Wikipedia's version). It wouldn't be that hard to backport any necessary functionality from the Wikia version either, and parameter names could be trivially renamed (though I'd prefer to avoid that if possible, to keep things compatible with Wikipedia).
Also, as Roguebfl says, this template is already on Starter Wikia, so it's not going anywhere. ダイノガイ千?!? · Talk⇒Dinoguy1000 08:10, August 27, 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure the amount of change/improvement of {{infobox}} here justifies moving it to Starter. Also, I find none of the arguments to justify the hard-coded white (#fff) background color convincing. Regardless, infobox may need to be updated completely for the new skin, so there is no hurry moving it to Starter. -- Fandyllic (talk · contr) 10:22 PM PST 27 Aug 2010
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