Which templates should be global?
Continuing some discussions that happened in 2017 in Phabricator, Wikimedia Hackathon, and Wikimedia Developers Summit, this is a question to the communities:
Which templates could be useful for all Wikimedia projects, or at least for many projects?
For many years there have been a terrible phenomenon: templates with essentially identical or very similar functionality have to be created on each project (or family of projects) separately. For example: infoboxes, authority control, citations, userboxes, coordinates, and others. Since there is no central management of templates, they have to be replicated and localized manually and they quickly go out of sync. This makes them hard to debug and update. It's difficult to translate articles that include them. People get used to using a common template in a Wikipedia in their language, and then they are surprised that it works differently in Wikivoyage in the same language, or that it isn't available there at all. Every experienced editor of every Wikimedia project should be familiar with this problem, especially those who edit in more than one project.
Currently making templates truly global is not quite possible. There are several proposed technical solutions with different scary technical codenames, for example allowing "shadow namespaces", or packing Lua modules as extensions, but before we get into these technicalities, a more user-level question must be asked: which templates should be global?
At least some templates should be local, because they are truly useful only in one language. But some really should be global. This is a wiki—please be bold and make this list longer, and add details and examples to existing items. Input from ALL projects and all languages is welcome:
- Message boxes like
- en:Template:Authority control
- Coordinates templates like en:Template:Coord
- Date templates like en:Template:Birth date and age and en:Template:Start date (ideally, they would all be rewritten as one template, probably using Lua)
- en:Template:Official website / en:Template:Official URL
- Infobox templates like en:Template:Infobox, en:Template:Infobox person, en:Template:Taxobox,
- Language templates, like en:Template:Lang and en:Template:Lang-fr (one for each language)
- List formatting templates like en:Template:Plainlist
- Quotation paragraphs, like Template:Quote
- Template documentation templates like en:Template:Documentation / en:Template:Lua
- Templates about Wikidata, for use on other projects, like en:Template:Wikidata / en:Template:Wikidata property
- fr:Modèle:Bibliographie This is a wonderful citation template / module that the French Wikipedia has that extracts & displays citation data from Wikidata, but probably best translated into English. Syntax ex.:
- fr:modèle:Infobox Biographie2 Universal infobox for biographies, using Wikidata elements
- Citations (also known as references; often, but not always, it's the content of <ref> footnotes)/ The basic citations templates:
- Resolved (wikidata:Q13365012) and others (see them here)
- en:Template:Pp (en:Module:Protection banner) and the variants.
- Yes (wikidata:Q13407605), No (wikidata:Q10998989)
- en:Template:Font color
- en:Template:Further information
- en:Template:See also
- en:Template:Unreferenced section
- Commons category, Wikibooks/Wiktionary/Wikisources entries related to the subject
- en:Template:Pronunciation (IPA) templates
- en:Template:Aligned table
- en:Template:Annotated image
- en:Template:Multiple image
- Basic alignment and formatting templates, like en:Template:Center, en:Template:Right, en:Template:Left, en:Template:Border, and similar templates.
- en:Template:Citation needed and similar templates, many of which are listed at en:Template:Inline cleanup tags
And any templates which the above require.
What else? Add above!
- Navigation boxes inside Wikibooks and Wikisource books
- Wiktionary templates for tagging part of speech, language, etc.
- For example https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T159334