Talk:Which templates should be global?

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Just make them all global[edit]

Following SUL, why not just make them all global? Are there templates that *have* to be only on one/a few wikis? Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 09:31, 28 June 2017 (UTC)

I can easily think of some that are useful only on some languages, because they are truly language-specific, or project-and-language-specific. They can probably still be global if their presence in the global namespace doesn't bother anybody.
The practical problem, however, is that a "global namespace" doesn't actually exist yet. The way to creating it is far from being finalized. This page is an attempt to find the first groups of templates that should be globalized. Knowing this will make it easier to write product-level and user-level requirements for this global template repository. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 09:53, 28 June 2017 (UTC)
Maybe the global namespace could be meta. How would this defer from meta being your user page if you have no user page in language X? Basically other languages would pull templates from meta if they do not exist in the local language. P.S. thoughs from only a slightly technical person Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 14:52, 28 June 2017 (UTC)
That was my first reaction as well. While I agree that there might be some template specific to some particular language (it would be easier to argue on specific examples of such templates), I am pretty sure the majority of the templates could be made global given the presence of Wikidata. From the practical point, I think it should work as images - the templates locally override templates from the shared storage (Commons/Meta/something else). --DixonD (talk) 11:37, 10 July 2017 (UTC)
Maybe as mediawiki messages is better. IKhitron (talk) 20:51, 10 July 2017 (UTC)

Templates, or modules?[edit]

I'm not sure how easy it is to make templates global, but I suspect it will often be sensible to make the underlying Lua module global. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 09:53, 28 June 2017 (UTC)

I'm talking about both.
Packaging Lua modules in extensions is already possible today, and probably not even very hard. This method was discussed as one of the ways forward at the 2017 Hackathon in Vienna, but I'm not aware of any modules that have been actually ported from an on-wiki page to an extension. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 09:59, 28 June 2017 (UTC)

Consider also templates which form the basis for other templates; it may make more sense to make en:Template:Infobox and en:Template:Navbox global, than the templates that reuse them - at least at first. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 15:08, 28 June 2017 (UTC)

List of popular templates[edit]

It would be a good start to list templates which exist on, say, more than 100 wikis (according to interwiki links). --Nemo 12:59, 28 June 2017 (UTC)

I was thinking the same, but would significantly lower the threshold. You also probably want different categories for the different projects. --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 13:01, 28 June 2017 (UTC)
See the discussion I started at the Wikidata mailing list :) --Amir E. Aharoni (talk)

Thinking to wikisource needs[edit]

I'll be much more comfortable about a group of project-specific shared templates - my feel is that specialized projects as wikisource, wiktionary and similar ones need them much more than "aspecific" ones; i.e. Runningheader (Rh) is one of most used and useful template into wikisource, while is almost perfectly unknown and unuseful into any other project.

So, I'll wait and see what happens, but my suggestion is to work in parallel with general templates and with projec-specific templates without mixing them into one list/one project. --Alex brollo (talk) 13:40, 28 June 2017 (UTC)


There should be problem, that some tempaltes exists in many wikis, but there are different syntax or different purpose. And I am afraid, that big languages (like en) would like to dictate to others their style and their syntax (and I hope, that template name should be localised)

There are some examples

  • template {{Delete}} - in most wikis is used for speedy deleting. But in some projects (like Commons) is used for discussion about deleting.
  • en wiki uses template en:template:Reflist. In is this template deprecated and should be replaced by <references />
  • template {{Wiktionary}} in many wikis is used like {{Wiktionary|foo}}, but in cs.projects is used like {{Wikislovník|type_of_link=foo}}

JAn Dudík (talk) 11:32, 7 July 2017 (UTC)

Cute. In hewiki <references /> is deprecated, and the local version of reflist must be used. IKhitron (talk) 11:35, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
Yes, these are important problems.
Template name absolutely must be localized. And template parameter names, too. Most edits are still in wiki syntax, and mixing alphabets and languages in it is inconvenient.
Big languages, even English, are not actually interested in "dictating" the style. The fact that this page even exists shows that when it comes to templates—and indeed, to almost everything else—each wiki usually only cares about itself, and special initiatives, like this one, are needed to get people from different wikis to come together.
It does happen in practice that templates are copied from big wikis to small ones. Usually they diverge immediately after that, or even during the import ("ah, we don't actually need that parameter in our language, I won't bother copying it"). Ironically, what may happen is that some version of a template that originated in the English Wikipedia will become global, and will be used by many wikis, but not by the English Wikipedia itself ;)
Finally, the more I look at the lists of templates here, the more I think that some of them should be MediaWiki features or extensions and not templates. For example, Reflist and similar templates exist in many wikis because the <references /> tag doesn't by itself provide all the functionality that the editors actually need. Ideally, the different implementations of Reflist templates should be researched, and incorporated in some way into the Cite extension. (I'll immediately acknowledge that the Cite extension is ancient and hard to maintain. I'm only saying what should happen, not when.)
(For the particular case of the Hebrew Wikipedia, which IKhitron mentions, the primary reason for avoiding <ref> and <references /> is that they are very common and very hard to combine with right-to-left text in source editing, so templates with Hebrew names are used instead. This patch may resolve this particular issue, but there will probably be others.) --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 11:49, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
You mean the wiki mechanism will provide a bridge pattern by itself? IKhitron (talk) 11:54, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
You'll just be able to write <הערה שם="כיכר">מרסה רודורדה, כיכר היהלום, עמ׳ 42</הערה> and it will work exactly like <ref name="כיכר">מרסה רודורדה, כיכר היהלום, עמ׳ 42</ref>. (For non-Hebrew-speaking people: The very weird look of these tags is a demonstration of why mixing XML-like tags with right-to-left text is terrible.) --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 12:26, 7 July 2017 (UTC)

Location of these templates[edit]

Hi Amir. Are these global templates going to be located on Meta? Kind regards, Rehman 02:03, 31 July 2017 (UTC)

Rehman, Nobody knows. This is not a project yet. It has no technical architecture or implementation plan. It's just an exploration of ideas, and the question asked is "What could be changed", rather than "How will it be changed". --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 12:58, 31 July 2017 (UTC)
Oh okay. Thanks for clarifying. :) Kind regards, Rehman 13:52, 31 July 2017 (UTC)


Although this discussion only concerns Wikipedia (?). I was wondering if we could also include the Wiktionary. Indeed, there are many models that are identical in all wikis.

Notably models of declensions of verbs for different languages. It would have more participants and fewer errors. Because I often see the same model in different wikis with different errors.
I wonder if we can create something that looks like that but for declensions of verbs. Or create them in a common place?--Ghybu (talk) 12:37, 20 February 2018 (UTC)

When I was creating this page, I tried my best to make it as clear as possible that it's not only for Wikipedia: "for all Wikimedia projects", "Input from ALL projects and all languages is welcome", etc., but I guess I failed :)
And yes, such templates would be useful. Ultimately, when Wikidata Lexeme will work, it will be better to move it there, but perhaps making a common template or module for declension will be useful for multiple Wiktionaries. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 12:44, 20 February 2018 (UTC)