Wikipedia talk:Userbox policy

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From the Pump[edit]

copied from Wikipedia:Village pump (policy):

Other efforts having failed, we still face the need to build a workable UBX policy. With some trepidation I've posted a starting point for further work.

I should very much like users to edit the proposal directly rather than attempt to vote on it. This is a wiki; we can work it out. John Reid 05:41, 9 March 2006 (UTC)[reply]

That's certainly not bad; I like the writing. I think there are still basic philosophical divisions that need to be addressed, but, baring that, it looks good. 00:21, 10 March 2006 (UTC) (User:JesseW/not logged in)[reply]

I support this proposed policy. ericg 17:14, 23 April 2006 (UTC)[reply]

I have included some comments. Septentrionalis 23:27, 13 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Since comments should remain on the talk page, here's the diff with Pmanderson's (Septentrionalis's) comments. --AySz88^-^ 02:50, 14 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]

It looks good to me. I just softened the tone on the "word to the wise" by using a statement from the Userboxes page banner and clarified that not all UBX need an exemption from the NPOV policy. Rfrisbietalk 04:00, 14 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]

  • Strong Support - 100% backing this is exactly right. Hopefully we can solve this debacle once and for all. DJR (Talk) 15:34, 14 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support. This seems to be a reasonable policy proposal that would go a long way toward settling some of the unnecessary conflicts that are currently raging. I commend you on the wording of items 10 and 11 ('When the purpose of a UBX is to declare a bias...' and 'UBX are not in any way part of the encyclopedia...'). Regards, User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 22:55, 14 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Less strict on meta templates?[edit]

Since WP:AUM was rejected, I don't think "UBX may not doubly transclude" needs to be very strict, within reason; maybe "User templates may not transclude other templates other than {{userbox}}"? --AySz88^-^ 23:34, 13 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]

I won't stand in your way on this but I suggest that this restriction appeals to those leaning away from UBX on technical grounds. The overhead involved may be trivial -- or it may not. I think of this as a compromise between unrestricted transclusion and subst-only UBX. John Reid 06:03, 20 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]

removed blasphemous[edit]

Having just read this excellent work, I removed the "blasphemous" criterion (and added a bit of punctuation thoughout). To many religions, including the one in which I was raised, the beliefs and mere existence of other adherents is often considered blasphemous. For example, Roman Catholic Saints, or prophets not mentioned in the "King James version" of the "Holy Bible". If we don't allow blasphemous statements as seen by one view or another, a fair amount of human history and science would not be in the encyclopedia.

--William Allen Simpson 15:57, 14 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Possible additions[edit]

From the failed Wikipedia:Userbox policy poll.

  • "Templates designed for use in userspace should only be permitted where they are [...] general enough in scope that they are likely to be used by a reasonable number of editors."
  • "Speedy deletions of userbox templates should cease, except as follows:
    1. Userboxes that are blatant infringements of applicable Wikipedia policy, such as No personal attacks, should be speedy deleted.
    2. Existing templates which do not meet the above criteria should not be immediately deleted. These should be substituted onto user pages, or users notified to substitute them onto their user pages. These templates should be deleted after a period of four weeks grace or once all instances have been substituted.
    3. Templates created after this policy comes into effect which do not meet the criteria may be speedily deleted. Any template that might debatably meet the criteria must be sent to TfD, where the sole criterion would be 'utility to the project'.
    4. Userboxes that don't comply with template requirements may be copied onto some special pages, from which they may be cut and paste (hard-coded) onto userpages as desired."
  • "If Jimbo is in agreement, WP:CSD T1 (at least for userbox templates) might be replaced with userbox templates that obviously do not conform to the agreed userbox policy."

Do we want to add in any of these? In particular, the speedy deletion section. How is this policy to be implemented? TheJabberwʘck 17:07, 14 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Also, from User:Misza13/Userbox Gallery Poll:

  • "inclusion of userbox subpages of other users' is not allowed as it would permit factionalism through Special:Whatlinkshere."

TheJabberwʘck 17:38, 14 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Wikipedia:Criteria for speedy deletion#Templates has been working on a T2 that applies specifically to userboxes. Obviously, these two efforts need to be coordinated. At this point, they don't appear to me to be in agreement. The difference seems to be around whether userboxes on "controversial subjects" are inherently "divisive and inflammatory." Until established to be otherwise, the assume good faith policy requires an assumption they are not, particularly as related to speedy deletion criteria. Rfrisbietalk 17:41, 14 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
No, CSD is not the place to create policy. CSD is a process by which existing policy is executed. John Reid 06:00, 20 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Community building vs. factionalism - the value of automated Wikipedian groupings[edit]

In relation to the assume good faith policy, community building and collaboration are very beneficial processes to the basic vision of Wikipedia.

Wikipedia is first and foremost an online encyclopedia, and as a means to that end, an online community. Userboxes are to help us create the best encyclopedia we can. (Wikipedia:Userboxes)

This statement clearly puts the utilitarian benefits of userboxes to the forefront. They are useful for the online community because they help organize Wikipedians by topical interests, through such automated mechanisms as "What links here" and categories.

On the other hand, factionalism that introduces bias into articles is counterproductive to the encyclopedia writing process. However, "an article which clearly, accurately, and fairly describes all the major points of view will, by definition, be in accordance with Wikipedia's official "Neutral Point of View" policy." (Wikipedia:Describing points of view}

When it comes to userboxes, I believe the potential benefits of community building far outweigh the potential costs of factionalism. Because of this, I strongly support the use of templates for userboxes and imbedded categories for grouping Wikipedians by topical interests communicated by the userboxes. Consquently...

  • I strongly support clear policy statements that allow the creation of userboxes as templates and categories that group Wikipedians by topical interests. Rfrisbietalk 18:16, 14 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Alternative proposals[edit]

See Wikipedia:Mackensen's Proposal.

Appearing on Wikipedia talk:Mackensen's Proposal: The statement "Shouldn't all of this discussion go on WP:UBP WP:UPP WP:UUB Wikipedia:Userbox policy or User:Misza13/Userbox Gallery Poll or Wikipedia:Proposed policy on userboxes/Proposals? Kotepho 22:47, 15 May 2006 (UTC)" was met with the response "No, I think this is the place. This is where people will see it. If a critical mass develops I'll write it up someplace else. Those who are interested in this topic will see it here and hopefully contribute. Mackensen (talk) 22:51, 15 May 2006 (UTC)".

User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 22:13, 16 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]

At 61%, the last poll on this fell slightly short of the supermajority necessary. Clearly, most agree that this is a reasonable policy and that a policy is needed to end the war. To all those who were in favour of it at the last poll and would vote for it again, thank you. To any who voted against, this is my question: What is the least that would have to change in the policy, whether adding, taking away, or modifying, in order for you to accept it? My hope is that over the next few days this input can be used to adjust the policy until it is acceptable to the requisite supermajority, hold a new poll, and end the war before the week is out. All in a day's work. D. G. 07:23, 17 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]

What poll? I'm almost sure Wikipedia:Userbox policy poll has nothing to do with this proposal. To answer your question, I would suggest taking a look at WP:MACK, which is where most of the discussion is happening now. Personally, I much prefer this proposal, but Mack's poll is getting a lot of attention. TheJabberwʘck 17:53, 17 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
WP:MACK is neither a policy proposal nor a compromise. Is is a draft of the terms of surrender for all Wikipedians who use userboxes, dressed up in sheep's clothing. D. G. 20:45, 17 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Disagree about the wolf analogy. So far, Mack has been very honest about his intentions, at least on the poll page. And regardless, Wikipedia:Mackensen's_Proposal/Straw_Poll is doing an excellent job of clarifying the multiple issues involved. As I said, I don't support Mack's proposal either, but I like the kind of conversation that's going on there. TheJabberwʘck 22:15, 17 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I've looked a bit more and participated in the discussion, and I think you have a point. I may have been quick to judge Mackensen's intentions. I still think the initial proposal blows, but it seems there is a frank effort going on there, which is terribly good news. We must fight for order. D. G. 02:07, 19 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
This would be a perfect policy. Stifle (talk) 10:45, 18 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Which "this" do you mean? Rfrisbietalk 13:39, 18 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I have no heartburn with this proposal, unlike WP:MACK. Unfortunately, I don't think anything like this will win the favor of the admins who have been opposing WP:MACK as too lenient. I'm not sure there is a bridge across this divide. Jay Maynard 13:50, 19 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Keep in mind that the poll that got 61%, just a little bit short of the necessary supermajority, actually had quite a few who opposed because it was not lenient enough towards userboxes. D. G. 21:06, 19 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Let's work together. Edit this policy as you see fit. John Reid 05:58, 20 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]

  • Lets work together and do it my way. Ansell Review my progress! 23:13, 20 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
    • I think John's looking for people to edit this policy to make it acceptable to them. What changes would you make to it? Jay Maynard 23:20, 20 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
      • I would try to put rationales down for each one. And I don't doubt that he is acting in good faith, however, m:MPOV may be a problem as he totally ignored the amount of discussion that was happening at WP:MACK. Ansell Review my progress! 23:41, 20 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
        • Did he ignore it, or did he conclude there was no way WP:MACK would be transformed into something he would accept? (Why am I asking this? John, which is it? Or is it something else?) Jay Maynard 23:48, 20 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
          • This policy proposes somewhat arbitrary guidelines about the whole issue. The reason currently that a policy does not exist is not because of differences in opinion about the size of userboxes, or the number (of which 64 is a very random number). Currently I disagree with 2,4,6,8,9,10,11 in their current wording. The reasons for not disagreing with some of the others is that they are obvious, or arbitrary, therefore. I don't see myself giving a large contribution to this policy. It in no way attempts to get at the issues I have put down on other pages. Ansell Review my progress! 23:56, 20 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
            • The crucial thing, though, is "UBX may not be constructed to be deliberately inflammatory, destructive, or obscene." I have a feeling a lot of people would support that who would not support something like T2. Λυδαcιτγ(TheJabberwock) 00:57, 21 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
              • I wouldn't have any heartburn with that. Jay Maynard 01:00, 21 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
        • Or was it simply that WP:MACK came along in May 2006 after this proposal, which was started in early March 2006? Jay Maynard 23:50, 20 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
          • If this policy were created by the community, and focused on solving issues instead of simply laying down the law because a new class of objects have appeared, I may have focused on improving it. The attitude of the creator in this does not enthuse me to work on it to make it better. Ansell Review my progress! 23:56, 20 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
            • Sorry to hear that, because I think this is a great proposal, along with TheTrueSora's. John, I think you should stop trying to forcibly convert people - you can see the results here. Λυδαcιτγ(TheJabberwock) 00:53, 21 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Well, I had been strolling around the Pump, sneaking up on users unaware, bashing in their heads with a blunt instrument, and dragging them here. Sorry; I'll stop doing that. :)

Seriously, I think we all need to stay cool and work together. It doesn't really matter what we start with; I'm not even so sure it matters what we end up with. What's important is that we all sit down together on one page and hash it out. It's entirely possible for four competing proposals each to acquire the semblance of community consensus as various editors support their chosen strains. It's more likely that four, five, or six competing proposals will all fail and we'll be left with antagonism and cowboyism. Our best chance for peace lies in a moderate proposal well edited by all sides.

Let's work together and stay cool. John Reid 09:05, 27 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Rule 6[edit]

This policy looks good to me, however point 6 (the one about falsly claiming to be a member of a group e.g. medical practicioners) strikes me as being impossible to enforce - for the most part it is impossible to determine someone's occupation/hobbies/interests in the real world unless they choose to disclose them. I agree in principle that people should not deliberately mislead, but in the end, participation in Wikipedia is anonymous, so it's possible to invent any back-story. The only way you'd find out that someone wasn't, in fact, a medical practitioner (to continue the example), would be if they started making blatantly erroneous edits to related articles, in effect blowing their own cover. Chrisd87 17:09, 20 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]

  • I second that. Rule 6 should be removed; an unenforceable rule is useless, but could be misused. Grobertson 10:39, 17 June 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  • Commenting it out, since it sounds like WP:BEANS to me : ) - Jc37 19:43, 13 August 2006 (UTC)[reply]

"Cartoons of the Prophet"[edit]

The rule about no offensive images mentions "cartoons of the Prophet" without naiming which prophet is meant, and says that further concerns are outlined below, yet I can't see that there are indeed any such. I fear to clarify myself without seeking some sort of consensus, but this needs to be clarified. Jay Maynard 17:22, 20 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Removed 'cartoons of the prophet'[edit]

As the template suggested, I edited the proposal to reflect my concerns (and those of others, as seen above). There are (imho) a couple of reasons why 'cartoons of the prophet' should not be included specifically in the policy:

  • What is sacred to one religion is not sacred to everyone else. Religious opinions deserve no more protection than political opinions or secular moral opinions. (for those who might wonder, I am not an anti-religion fanatic, I am actually religious myself)
  • The Jyllands-Posten cartoons (sorry if I misspelled that), which is what I presume this mention was aimed at, would already be covered by the 'non-free images'-type prohibition.

Cynical 19:20, 21 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Acceptable/Unacceptable uses?[edit]

I think we should include language specifying the acceptable uses of userboxes for members with a shared goal (such as Babel) and the unacceptable uses (such as soliciting outside support for a position on deletion-related matters). It'd be helpful to have these things explicitly stated somewhere. -Hit bull, win steak(Moo!) 21:18, 24 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Limited number of userboxes?[edit]

I wanted to voice my strong support for the general tenor of the policy as currently [1] written. The limit of 64 seems to be a new addition but I think is a good idea. I pretty much overdosed on Userboxes when I created my user page and only have about 34. Eluchil404 17:46, 25 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Each user is free to place any number of UBX on his or her own user page or subpage, up to a hard limit of 64 per page. Question: Why 64? Why not 10? Or 600? Why is this considered the limit?) It is established (Question: By Whom? What is their evidence that this has been established? ) that displaying large numbers of UBX is a waste of human and computer time (Question: How was it determined that this is a waste? What is the standard used to determine this? ), although the exact extent of the waste is disputed. No penalty results from excessive UBX display (Question: Then why even have a policy in the first place? ), but users are warned that their reputation in the community may be diminished.

copy of policy with questions before I rewrote it. I prefer to keep discussion on the talk page. 64 is the right order of magnitude, but it is nonobvious to those of us who don't think in binary. Maybe 50 would be a better base 10 solution? Eluchil404 14:38, 27 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]

64 = four cubed. For those of us who choose to count with only the fingers on one hand. John Reid 22:16, 8 June 2006 (UTC)[reply]
This is a rediculous rule that should be removed if it hasn't been already. Let people do what they want with their userpage so long as it isn't inflamatory. If that's overdoing it on userboxes, so be it. It's not effecting you. It shouldn't "diminsh your reputation" because you're not great with your userpage. I've seen many great editors with rather lackluster, cluttered userpages. - Mike 20:28, 25 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Question time[edit]

I'm sorely tempted to edit this page but I've already had enough direct input. I would like to answer some of the questions raised here and some currently mixed in with the policy itself; then I'd like to hope that some good editor will rm those questions from the policy text -- since I'm not sure how helpful it is for any policy to question itself.

I've noticed some editors referring to policy points by number; this fails if points are added or removed.

  • No false membership claims -- I agree that in many cases it will be difficult or impossible to prove a violation of this point. I still feel it may be wise to set the rule. Perhaps I'm wrong. IANAL.
  • Cartoons of the Prophet (peace on him) -- There are many prophets but only one is frequently referred to in this way. It's difficult for non-Muslims to understand what exceptional offense some Muslims take at any depiction of the Prophet, even a serious, respectful one. Some things are magical and powerful in some cultures that have no importance in another. It's been said that some people fear and hate cameras, for they obviously steal men's souls and imprison them in a square of paper. I don't believe this but I'm courteous enough to refrain from photographing and offending those who do. Likewise, I refrain from hanging pictures of the Prophet in my office -- let alone cartoons. This is an example of a restriction on UBX content, not article content -- where I support the display of the topic.
If you disagree, rm the restriction. It's your fatwa.
{{User Totalbox}}
W This user is a Wikipedian.
This is the only userbox.
  • Acceptable uses -- It may be unwise to attempt to restrict uses of UBX (as opposed to content and form). Both content and form are at least somewhat objective. Intention and use is not so clear. The UBX shown here (an ill-favoured thing, sir, but mine own) has acceptable form and content; it's intention is quite confrontational: a wry comment on the totalitarian nature of attempts to suppress diversity of expression. My experience has been that my wit was either too weak or too dry; other editors have not correctly inferred my intent. And that's okay, too.
  • Hard limit (64) -- Why 64? Why not? Sixty-four UBX should be enough to cover all serious memberships and biases, with quite a few left over for humor and silliness. If you feel 10 or 600 is a more appropriate hard limit then edit this page.
This was originally written to say No penalty results from excessive UBX display under the hard limit. This qualification was rm, indeed making the entire policy point meaningless. I suggest either restoring the teeth or rm the whole point.
Absolutely everything done consumes resources. This is a hard fact of life, the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Whether you consider UBX wasteful depends entirely on your point of view: Is the value obtained worth the cost expended? I suggest that community consensus (not universal agreement) has emerged on this point: As the number of UBX increases, their individual value decreases. Factions at either extreme believe that all UBX have zero (or negative) value or some undefined but constant and important value. The hard limit represents the moderate view.
  • UBX placed by other users -- Truly, I did not think about the possibility that anyone would ask others to populate their own user pages. If someone should make such request, then I can't imagine why anyone would object.

Well, that's already more than 2¢. I definitely don't feel any need to impose my views on the community; I only want those who raise issues to get answers, for whatever they're worth. I'm delighted that so many editors have taken an interest and participated by remolding this policy nearer their heart's desire. If we continue to work together on this, I'm sure we'll arrive at something we can all accept. Then, we can move on. John Reid 10:03, 27 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Points of criticism[edit]

UBX may not be constructed to be deliberately inflammatory, destructive, or obscene. This clause is to be interpreted liberally Opens floodgates of abuse. We saw the turmoil what happened when T1 was interpreted liberally. Adding a clause that actually encourages that will only make things works.

Also what kind of userbox should be in templatespace, what in userspace? Or does this ruleset just equalize both. That also improves nothing.

The hard limit of 64 userboxes per page is, honestly said, dumb. Some will feel restricted by it, some will critcise the number and some will feel that it says "have up to 64 userboxes on your page".

Finally the entire suggestion reads somewhat vague. Which is exactly what we do not need for a such hotly debated issue. Relying in WP:SENSE is fine if people agree what common sense is regarding a subject. A vague ruleset will only result in additional discussion whether rule this or that applies or not, and make things even worse than compared to the discussions regarding T1 we had. CharonX/talk 00:42, 12 June 2006 (UTC)[reply]


I've been bold and added 15 and edited 12. Feel free to be bold in disagreeing with me. Reasons for editing are always useful, though, so:

  • Edited 12 so that we don't get some wikilawyer coming up with some utterly unreasonable UBX that might work under these rules, but would be captured by the rather more general rules in the wider wiki.
  • Added 15 so it's clear these things are unofficial and user-voluntary; this isn't always obvious to new visitors, so the policy might as well tell them, if they're that interested. Grobertson 16:33, 18 June 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Marking this as historical[edit]

The proposed policy currently has very little activity and as it was not adopted in general use I'd like to mark it as historical, if nobody objects. I'll check back in a few days, so please voice your opinion if you disagree. CharonX/talk 18:38, 16 July 2006 (UTC)[reply]

No objection from me. It never seemed to generate much discussion. Eluchil404 19:04, 16 July 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Policy looks good[edit]

can we propose this as an offical policy now? --T-rex 16:48, 21 July 2006 (UTC)[reply]

I wouldn't recommend it, as it has no chance of being adopted, having been overtaken by events (WP:GUS). Eluchil404 17:15, 21 July 2006 (UTC)[reply]
For the WP-novice, could you please clarify why WP:GUS obviates or supersedes this proposed policy? Didn't realize I needed to be conversant with all interwiki policies as well. Williamborgtalk 02:32, 28 July 2006 (UTC)[reply]
It doesn't. WP:GUS isn't even a policy (stated at the top of it's page). It's a suggestion of what to do with controversial userboxes - those that promote advocacies (such as religion and politics). This policy is for all the rest. - Jc37 19:40, 13 August 2006 (UTC)[reply]


Did a ReOrg of the policy list. Attempting to have it follow themes, of sorts.

  • A.) Userboxes as constructs (code and images).
  • B.) Content
  • C.) Placement
  • D.) Uniformity of rules and Deletion policy

-Jc37 20:14, 27 July 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Promoting External Links[edit]

I think that the proposed rule "...UBX are not vehicles to blatantly promote external links or affiliations..." should be further extended to disallow all links except to personally-owned websites and IM Websites; in this way, there would be no "advertisments" at all.

Yes? Anthony 19:08, 13 August 2006 (UTC)[reply]


I think that it should be forbidden for userboxes to use an excess amount of colours that Wikipedia's Colour-blind population would find it difficult or impossible to read, as this would hence discriminate in the sense that some people could see the information and some could not.

However, this is not to say that userboxes have to be black and white, no - not at all. However singing, dancing, flashing userboxes that are a menace to colour-blind Wikipedians and that only allow persons with perfect vision to view them should be forbidden.

Please do share your thoughts?

Anthony 12:59, 17 August 2006 (UTC)[reply]

I think it might be very hard to draw this kind of line. Would you care to display here 2 or 3 particular UBX that you find offensive under this point? John Reid 11:29, 26 August 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Hi there, sorry for the late reply. Yes, I would be happy to. Userboxes that could be dangerous in this situation could be, for example: {{User Hot}}, {{User pump gas no}} and {{user Indian American}}.

Cheers, and Reply Soon!

Anthony 16:38, 8 September 2006 (UTC) (Talk to Me)[reply]

Well, I've looked at your examples. My personal opinion is that two are ugly, one is especially ugly, and none of them are a threat to anybody to the point where they ought to be forbidden. The entire issue of regulating color usage is just starting to surface and I'm pretty sure that most of the players have very little idea what is or is not visually-impaired-accessible. There's also a point past which I think it's silly to even attempt to cater to special needs; some users need to take client-side action, such as overriding colors and styles in their own browsers. For some users, the ideal look is white on black, no grays, with all text sans-serif at size 24pt or larger. It's probably better to build a skin that delivers this, than to try to control the content seen by the majority of readers.
That said, I have no stake in any of the points defined in this policy. If you think you can come up with a set of explicit guidelines for UBX color, edit this page. I would object to any sort of wording along the lines of "UBX must be readable by users with special needs" or "must avoid low-contrast color combinations". You need to set out specific palettes from which users are required to choose. Vague rules are bad rules. John Reid 10:29, 10 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]

I've considered your point carefully and taken on board everything you've said. However, I still agree with my original point of view over extremely high-contrasting colour boxes which would prevent viewing by Colour-deficient users.

Having said that, I think that this sort of thing would be much to hard to enforce and specific guidelines would be nigh impossible to create - the borderline between acceptable and unacceptable would be difficult to place. I think that Wikipedians should just perhaps ask the creators of Userboxes to dull down the colour scheme slightly if need be.

Cheers for your opinion, it was extremely useful.

Anything else just give me a shout on my talk page.

Anthony 19:53, 10 September 2006 (UTC) (Talk to Me)[reply]

Stay cool[edit]

Please try to stay cool. No UBX policy is going to garner instant consensus. GUS is not the answer to all issues. We need a policy by which we can all abide, even if we do not all agree it is perfect. If you think you can improve this policy, I believe it is your duty to edit this page. John Reid 11:22, 26 August 2006 (UTC)[reply]

No sweat. I only tagged it as historical because the activity was near zero and nobody objected when I brought it up above. And to be honest, if I were to edit to improve it, it would probably look pretty much like WP:GUS in the end. Still I believe this is a pretty much inactive policy - more than a week passed with the historical tag being up there with nobody reverting it, and nobody bothered to object my historical suggestion. CharonX/talk 05:11, 27 August 2006 (UTC)[reply]

"More than a week"? My, we do live in accelerated times.

If you think the solution to the UBX war is to demand that all UBX be userfied, so state. Edit that page. I don't have a stake in any particular of this policy; I only want the war to end. This will happen only when consensus forms behind policy. Let's not burn down the house because we don't like the color of the paint. Thank you. John Reid 09:11, 27 August 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Well, as I said before, the only reason I tagged this one as historical was because I believed it was pretty much inactive. Since the tag was removed I will now assume differently, though I might check back in a few months to see if the situation changed. I tasked myself with a bit of housekeeping, cleaning up the debris of the userbox debates, that is all behind my actions. Also I believe that WP:GUS has the ability to permanently solve the userbox issue, policy or not, because even some of the strongest userbox opponents have shown their support. And while WP:GUS won't become a policy (since it does not need to) I think it might become at least a guideline. CharonX/talk 12:29, 27 August 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I have to agree with John Reid, here. As for me, I simply didn't remove the "historical" tag because I wasn't certain about the precedent for such things.
"permanently solve the userbox issue" - wow at that combinative statement. Obviously, deletion of anything can be seen as a "permanent" solution, and would be something that deletionist's would support (userfy = out of sight, out of mind). (And concerningly sounds an awful lot like a final solution). (Not to mention that I think that there are defintely more than a single issue involved.)
I'm beginning to think that the example I have been following (as esteemed as I may consider the person), in just watching and hoping that it would resolve itself, was the wrong example to follow. Perhaps it's time we all started looking a bit deeper into Wikipedia resolution processes and specifically at the Wikipedia:Five pillars. - Jc37 14:51, 27 August 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Sorry, that came out wrong. What I meant to say was that I believe WP:GUS will solve the userbox issue not only temporaily, but offers stable, long term solution. Regarding "out of sight, out of mind" - there are already several big archives in userspace, and while I personally don't really care where the userboxes or the archives are located, some people do, and they have the power to enforce their opinions (and they did, see speedy deletions during the wars via T1/T2). If you can get them to say ok, we don't care if they are in userspace or templatespace, then go ahead with my blessings. Like it or not, WP:GUS has managed to find a compromise between "we want to keep them" and "all userboxes must be deleted" which is respected and accepted by a large majority of those affected. This is not meant to belittle this policy suggestion, but I fear that the userbox-deletionists won't be too willing to accept this policy. CharonX/talk 15:53, 27 August 2006 (UTC)[reply]

I say GUS solves nothing. At best, it defuses the conflict temporarily but it begs a nastier war down the road. I'm truly astonished GUS has gotten as far as it has. Can nobody see what's in store?

Let's say -- for the sake of argument -- that the will of GUS triumphs and all UBX are shoved into userspace. The pro-UBX faction is placated but still upset; the anti-UBX faction is not satisfied either. The conflict has not been resolved, merely deferred. Contentious items, offensive to many and beholden to others, continue to reside in the database -- with more added daily. Eventually, war will break out afresh, with rouge admins mass deleting userspace UBX. But now the deletionists will be on even shakier ground, since they're meddling in semi-private pages. A problem in Public Square is now a problem in My Backyard. Weapons are now employed normally reserved for home defense.

The pro-GUS types want to put a lid on an ugly situation. This is exactly the wrong thing to do. Volcanos simmer away for centuries without causing much trouble beyond a few rumbles and a bad smell; they are erupting continuously and all is well because the pressure is relieved. When the vent is blocked and the pressure builds, the mountain is silent -- but only for a time. When it explodes, it lays waste to everything.

Building consensus in a polarized community is a difficult, lengthy, and thankless job. It is not without its share of bruised egos and hot words. It's easy to understand why many people would like to avoid it altogether. But the only real UBX solution is to go to Wikipedia:Userbox policy, edit it as civilly as possible, and abide by it. John Reid 16:32, 5 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Well said. --NThurston 16:41, 5 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]

My two cents[edit]

Since I was asked to contribute my thoughts regarding this policy suggestion, here are my two cents. It feels like we are overregualating the whole thing. Why the fixed limits in 2,3,4? Remember the KISS principle. To rule 9. What is blatantly. Is it "this user uses(website)" "this user likes (website)" or "(website) is great" or "(website) the best thing since pre-sliced butter"? Too many shades of grey. Regarding 10. There it is - the looming T1/T2 clause. I, (admin) declare this box "inflammatory, destructive, or obscene" and speedy it. Also, why "obscene" I thought WP:NOT censored for minors. Also what is obscene? May a conservative muslim admin delete any userbox depicting females with little clothing? What standarts should be apply? So, there they are, my biggest objections. Hope it helps. CharonX/talk 16:03, 27 August 2006 (UTC)[reply]

First, thanks for your comments : )
As for your comments:
  1. I think #2 (UBX length) has been the standard for even longer than this policy.
  2. #3 (double transclusion) and #4 (image sizing) I don't know specifics. Perhaps someone else can more fully explain?
  3. #8 (I presume you meant 8 and not 9) would seem to be an attempt to re emphasize WP:5P specifically: Wikipedia:What_Wikipedia_is_not#Wikipedia_is_not_a_soapbox.
  4. perceived potential for admin abuse of #10 - While I suppose that this is possible, I presume that WP:DRV would be an option.
  5. obscene - Based on Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not#Wikipedia is not censored, I think I have to agree. I'll remove the word obscene, though further discussion is welcome.
Thanks again : ) - Jc37 18:30, 27 August 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I wrote in the prohibitions against obscenity, double transclusion, and resized images with no other purpose, so I'll explain my rationales.
Remember the Autofellatio image flap? There is an excellent photo demonstrating the act -- and in this article, it can hardly be viewed as pornography; it is entirely germane and educational. Personally, I don't find it at all offensive, let alone obscene. But there is a large, angry mob that has tried several times to get this deleted -- along with anything else that depicts the most interesting features of the human body. Why annoy these people? I used the word "obscene" for a reason; the Miller test is case law of the land. Florida (where Wikimedia Foundation is headquartered) is notorious for obscenity prosecutions.
There is a small but vocal contingent that opposes double transclusion, calling instances "meta-templates". On closer examination, the hard core of this faction questions all transclusion. Personally, I don't agree; but this faction has been able to raise the issue of Transclusion costs and benefits. There's no obvious benefit to double transclusion within UBX so this clause is a bone thrown to this faction.
Image storage is another infinitesimal, incremental cost of maintenance. Images created solely to decorate UBX are, by definition, never seen at full size; therefore this cost is wasted.
I'm not invested in any of these points; I just put them in to help build consensus. Something for everyone. John Reid 08:56, 30 August 2006 (UTC)[reply]

What GUS isn't (or oughtn't be)[edit]

As far as I can tell, WP:GUS isn't a solution for the userbox controversy. By controversy, I mean the warring between those who don't want any userboxes in Template: and those who feel that UBX is OK on template. At best, the GUS discussion could be said to have discovered consensus that divisive or inflammatory UBX shouldn't be in template space. The problem is that certain admins are taking it far beyond that. Hence, while I was willing to see if GUS would lead to an permanent solution, I am now convinced that it will not. In fact, there has been very little activity on GUS recently. Maybe it should be marked historical :) and move the discussion on finding a permanent solution back over here. --NThurston 14:31, 1 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Har, har, har - just accept that the people voted with their feet, and WP:GUS was their choice. Neither blatant WP:POINT violations, nor expremely tastless userboxes or spamming (I'm looking at you there John Reid) will convince me otherwise. WP:GUS works, it fits the job, it tries to follow what Jimbo himself suggested, and it is accepted by the majority (including the admins). As the repeated moan that I dared to mark this as historical - I clearly announced my intent to do so and asked for objections. Then I waited for people to reply, in more than 3 weeks noone bothered to object. So I marked it as historical. And it remained marked as historical for over a week, which in my book does say something about how active a project really is. CharonX/talk 23:48, 3 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]
It's only going to be a workable solution if admins will actually implement it as given and as you say, following Jimbo's suggestions. However, Cyde (as recently as this weekend) has said that he believes that GUS means no new userbox templates. See the problem? --NThurston 13:41, 4 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Did Cyde say "no new userbox templates" or "no new userbox templates, in templatespace"? If he said the first, please give me a reference and be assure that we won't allow an (indirect) ban on new boxes; if it was the second, just go and make that template in userspace and you won't have an issue. CharonX/talk 17:24, 4 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]
He said "GUS practically is policy now. And some sort of message is needed to tell people to stop making userbox templates." (Summary on revision to Revision as of 13:40, 3 September 2006.) However, note that he also refers to that version of the NewBoxes template as a sensical version, suggesting that he might be willing to work with others on this. --NThurston 16:18, 5 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]
If Cyde tries to interpret GUS as saying "No new userboxes in Template space", point him towards WP:GUSP and (if you want to be nice) explain that most people disagree, or (if you don't want to be nice) ignore him. —AySz88\^-^ 17:33, 4 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]
And if you actually read the pegboard, you'll see most people are in support of GUS. No new template in template space is a fair judgement until policy is fully drafted. Once everyone agrees on what should be allowed in template space (if anything), then that will be the time userboxes might be allowed back in template space. Most POV/opinion/interest userboxes are being voted to userspace. -Royalguard11TalkDesk 17:44, 4 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, in favor of GUS, as it is written, which does not say "no new userboxes in Template space." There is an on-going, and important discussion about which new and old userboxes should be allowed there. The problem has been the premature actions of some to quickly a) start userfying everything, and b) delete new userboxes just because they are in template "per GUS." --NThurston 16:21, 5 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]
So what specifically does GUS say about this: 1) "The German solution involves moving userbox templates" into userspace, later clarified to say: "All controversial userboxes... will be migrated..." So this suggests that non-controversial userboxes will not be migrated. I can live with that. 2) "<<No new userboxes should be created inside template space. Userboxes created there are subject to speedy deletion.[?]>>" But, also note that "Parts between <<double angle brackets>> should only be performed if there is consensus between all affected users." So it seems that this cannot be implemented directly unless the person creating the new userbox is in agreement, since it requires consensus between all affected users. What does this mean regarding new userboxes? As I see it, per GUS, new userboxes can be created in template space. If they are controversial, they will be migrated to user namespace and adopted there by someone who cares. If they are not controversial, someone would have to approach the creator and "all affected users" to see if there is consensus regarding a speedy delete, which amounts to the same thing as a regular TfD. So, the bottom line is that no new userboxes should be speedy deleted from template space "per GUS." --NThurston 16:30, 5 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]

I say GUS solves nothing. At best, it defuses the conflict temporarily but it begs a nastier war down the road. I'm truly astonished GUS has gotten as far as it has. Can nobody see what's in store?

Let's say -- for the sake of argument -- that the will of GUS triumphs and all UBX are shoved into userspace. The pro-UBX faction is placated but still upset; the anti-UBX faction is not satisfied either. The conflict has not been resolved, merely deferred. Contentious items, offensive to many and beholden to others, continue to reside in the database -- with more added daily. Eventually, war will break out afresh, with rouge admins mass deleting userspace UBX. But now the deletionists will be on even shakier ground, since they're meddling in semi-private pages. A problem in Public Square is now a problem in My Backyard. Weapons are now employed normally reserved for home defense.

The pro-GUS types want to put a lid on an ugly situation. This is exactly the wrong thing to do. Volcanos simmer away for centuries without causing much trouble beyond a few rumbles and a bad smell; they are erupting continuously and all is well because the pressure is relieved. When the vent is blocked and the pressure builds, the mountain is silent -- but only for a time. When it explodes, it lays waste to everything.

Building consensus in a polarized community is a difficult, lengthy, and thankless job. It is not without its share of bruised egos and hot words. It's easy to understand why many people would like to avoid it altogether. But the only real UBX solution is to go to Wikipedia:Userbox policy, edit it as civilly as possible, and abide by it. John Reid 16:39, 5 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Two of the biggest argument of the no-userbox faction were, One, that userboxes in template namespace somehow "endorsed" them by Wikipedia (don't ask me why and how), something that they (and Jimbo) did not like, and Two, that anything and everything in "official" namespaces (i.e. almost everything but user and talk) better be NPOV and stuff. Half of the people agreed, that other half disagreed, all sides had admins that were certain (and in best faith) that their opinions was the right one and... boom... WP:GUS formed a compromise - even if you do not want to admit it - between the sides involved. Userboxes were allowed to stay, but outside the for its opponents important templatespace. Compromise = both sides get a slice of the cake, but not the whole cake. What this policy currently suggests is giving almost the whole cake to the userbox faction and distributing the rest among various hardliner groups. They get to keep their userboxes where they always have been (something that was the core issue for the opponents of the old status quo) and then placing restrictions on the userboxes like no pornography, no blasphemy (though this is currently not there) only so-and-so in size, and to top it off, you hand those admins that would rather like to see all userboxes gone they ambigous T1/T2 clause "UBX may not be constructed to be deliberately inflammatory, or destructive. This clause is to be interpreted liberally <snip> Offensive content short of this standard is welcomed under the theory that those who choose to display it do the rest of us a service by so identifying themselves" So, you do not think that this might be a breeding ground for controversy? What is deliberately infammatory? We are welcoming all offensive userboxes that fall just short, but speedy-delete the others? And what to liberal interpretation mean here? Does that mean we should keep an open mind and restrict as little as possible, or should we be liberal with the interpretation and also delete borderline cases?
No matter how much anti-GUS campainging you do, WP:GUS works - there are no more mass box deletions like during the wars, there are no more big wheel-wars. Jimbo commented that the solution that was applied in germany would be an acceptable one (the origin of WP:GUS and lately he has commented that WP:GUS is becoming accepted in the community. But honestly, there is another "solution" - the deletion of all userboxes. I was a staunch defender of the boxes at the beginning, but the longer I have to dredge myself through ever repeating arguments, the more often I wonder if they are really worth that effort. CharonX/talk 01:53, 6 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]

I originally wrote the phrase about liberal construction, so I'll clarify. My intention was to draw the line at UBX that were patently offensive, pure trash: This user likes to fuck little boys, This user drags niggers with his pickup, or This user thinks Jimbo should be shot dead. UBX such as This user thinks deletionists (inclusionists) are idiots, This user enjoys autofellatio, or This user wants to delete Main Page are permitted.

It's not really about having an open mind. If I saw any one of these hypothetical UBX on a user page, I'd think that user was a fool. I'd be happy to see the box and not have to work any harder to get a read on that user. I consider it a convenience. I don't see any advantage to requiring users to look like not-fools if they are fools. The key statement of this position is:

Offensive content short of this standard is welcomed under the theory that those who choose to display it do the rest of us a service by so identifying themselves.

If you don't agree, sorry. Edit this page.

As for all the GUS-boosting, I really think it's all BS. You don't; fine. Edit this page; simply make it project policy that all UBX must either prove themselves essential to the project or be banished to userspace. Perhaps you can build a consensus for that POV; perhaps not. But if you absent yourself from the discussion by setting up a competing page then you undermine the consensus-building process and do no good. John Reid 10:46, 10 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]

But if you absent yourself from the discussion by setting up a competing page then you undermine the consensus-building process and do no good. So, that's what you think WP:GUS is - competing page (competing to what - this discussion was all but dead for over 3 months, only recently it picked up slightly) set up to undermine consensus building??? Oh boy... CharonX/talk 20:12, 10 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Don't fight. Fix. John Reid 09:51, 11 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]


Overall, I feel this is a workable policy. I think, however, that it needs to clarify if people are allowed to move userboxes in use by others (located in the Template space) into their own userspace (seen by some to be GUS'ing). Personally, I think it should be disallowed since it affects others and claims ownership. I also think it is worth straining that if a userbox is deleted in either namespace, it should not be recreated in either namespace (per CSD G4). Ian∂∏/t 14:15, 6 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]

I agree with you that UBX should not be migrated from one namespace to another for no particular reason. It's always fine to make a local copy, of course. If the box conforms to policy, it is permitted in templatespace; therefore moving it to userspace is kinda half a deletion. If the box does not conform to policy, it must be deleted, period, not moved. The only exception are UBX that violate the provision UBX created in Template: namespace must be 238 pixels in width and conform loosely to the standards of Template:Userbox.. These must be migrated and if nobody can be found to host them, deleted.
However, if somebody does migrate a policy-compliant box, you can simply revert the redirect and recreate the box in templatespace. It's not a big deal.
Policy is currently silent about UBX migration. I suggest you might want to edit this page to reflect your concerns.
If a UBX is deleted because it failed to conform to policy in general, then of course it must not be recreated anywhere. If a UBX is deleted in templatespace merely because it fails to conform to the extra requirements of templatespace UBX, then of course it can be recreated in userspace. John Reid 11:01, 10 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I question your point on "must be 238 pixels in width and conform loosely to the standards of Template:Userbox" - why not just make it meet standards? Ian¹³/t 19:12, 10 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]
It's not my point anymore, not since I threw it into proposal. Now it's ours. The reason is technical and perhaps most compelling to visual-type people. UBX are generally presented in a vertical column so they should all be exactly the same width lest they look ragged. Other than this, loose conformance to the look-and-feel of other UBX is sufficient. I suggest that if someone is too lazy to define the box at the proper width, it probably isn't very good altogether. My feeling is that something much larger or smaller just isn't a UBX anymore. But you may disagree and that's fine. Edit this page. John Reid 09:59, 11 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Instruction creep[edit]

I strongly disagree with the above. Sixteen separate points without any apparent structure and worded like a book of law are strongly indicative of m:instruction creep. Several of the points are redundant (e.g. 1, 9), several others are just plain silly (e.g. 12, 13), and yet others are way too restrictive (e.g. 2, 15). My advise would be to blank the proposal and restart from scratch. >Radiant< 01:27, 8 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Radiant! (talk · contribs) hints at a good point: since userboxes must be 238 pixels wide, if I create a series of templates which are 237 pixels wide, this policy does not apply to these templates. The policy basically nullifies itself on the matter because by its own rule they are not userboxes. I know, it's wikilawyering. That is another point, the detail to which this proposal has been specified is ridiculous; this is a textbook example of instruction creep. By specifying a size, the policy would now need to define the type of template that falls within the policy's scope so you could say "that 237 pixel template is a userbox per our definition and as such should be expanded to 238 pixels" rather than "that 237 pixel template violates 'all userboxes must be 238 pixels' and so it must not be a userbox." This is violation of policy, Wikipedia is not a bureaucracy. Funny thing is, the proposed policy already does this, this isn't a hypothetical.
Now, I know nobody likes criticism for criticism's sake. What I suggest is to whittle down this policy (a lot) or start over from scratch. Make it brief, to the point, and ignore loopholes—write out the spirit of the policy and leave your lawyer hats behind. Then create a guideline which assists in the application and interpretation thereof, analogous to WP:NOT and WP:NOTE. BigNate37(T) 06:24, 8 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Sorry, Radiant, I just don't follow your point-by-point comments. A major problem with referring to points by number is that the numbering changes when points are inserted and removed; perhaps that's your problem here.
In general, though, I think it's a good sign if you think half the points are obvious and the rest too restrictive. Any workable compromise will annoy all users in the community, for one reason or another. Most will like something and dislike something else. This issue is so highly polarized that I'll consider it a big win if everyone hates the policy equally. There's something for everyone here and that means everyone will object to some part of it.
It's worth noting, once more, that I don't have a stake in most of these points. In my own heart, I can't decide if all UBX should be permitted or all deleted. Mostly, I don't care much about the boxes themselves -- but I care very much about the effect of the war on the community: out-of-process deletions, wheel warring, abuse of admin powers, violations of WP:POINT, general incivility. A compromise policy is the only way out. So I threw as many bones to as many factions as possible. Since then, some points have been edited, some removed, some added -- and although I don't agree with many of these edits, I'll abide by emerging community consensus.
A charge of instruction creep can be leveled at any policy proposal. I think it's usually nonsense often unfounded. Policy is clearly required here; otherwise we'll never stop fighting over UBX. And this had better be a pretty detailed policy or we'll continue to fight over interpretation.

BigNate, I think you skimmed this policy a little too quickly. It applies equally to all UBX except for the single point about size and general conformity to UBX style. If I create a UBX that is 237px wide, I can't put it in templatespace but I can put it in userspace. If it fails to conform to all other points of policy -- if it fails any point -- I cannot create it in any namespace at all.
This restriction on templatespace UBX is made only to keep templatespace tidy. Existing UBX are all 238px wide, so if they are all 238px wide, they all line up the same and can be contained in the same format on index pages.
There is no test for templatespace-worthy content. See All UBX rules and restrictions apply equally to all, including UBX and UBX-like markup appearing on user pages that has been transcluded, substituted, or written from scratch. This policy actually asserts a fairly broad scope. If you put something on your userpage -- or anywhere else -- that looks like a UBX, it must conform to Wikipedia:Userbox policy.
There are no loopholes in this policy; rather, there are a number of blanket points intended to close up any possibility of loopholes, such as the one just cited. Another is If content is not appropriate on a user page, it is not appropriate within a UBX. No part of this policy should be construed to give license where none exists.
Put plainly and in very short words, UBX are required to conform to certain standards in form and content. Those failing to conform are subject to deletion; those that do conform are permitted. The only phrase that entertains any sort of interpretation or judgement call is deliberately inflammatory or destructive and this is explained immediately. The call is made at a point where no sensible person can support the UBX against the charge. This is as opposed to CSD T1, which was rammed through against community consensus and permits almost any controversial interpretation.
That said, I remind you -- once again -- to edit this page to reflect your concerns. If that means deleting half or all of the policy points and writing new, so be it. If your changes are accepted, great. This is a wiki. You do not affect policy by talking about it here. You edit it directly. John Reid 11:44, 10 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Speaking of which, in order to hopefully address some of the concerns about length and readability, I created actual subsections, roughly equivalent the ReOrg explained above.
While I was doing it, I also merged information from Wikipedia:Userboxes as it clarifies much of what was being discussed. (And left out the gallery and construction examples for now.)
Hope this helps : ) - jc37 21:52, 10 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I think the reorganization into sections is a big improvement. Thank you. John Reid 05:43, 20 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]


"Some userboxes have been designed by users to express allegiances or concerns. Some of these are offensive to most Wikipedians; some to nearly all; and all of them (of all types) offend some. Some users wish to see all of them deleted; others oppose any curtailment; and the rest, a majority, wish mostly not to be annoyed by them and fights over them. Specific legal, technical, and social concerns have been raised."

I removed the "Controversy" section, since this is about policy, not past controversies. Compare the text to the template at the top of this talk page. - jc37 02:39, 12 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Userbox name[edit]

"UBX are to be created in Template: namespace or User: namespace only. If created in Template: namespace the UBX must begin with "User " (for example, Template:User Someubxname). Only UBX created in Template: namespace are to be indexed at Wikipedia:Userboxes. Those created in User: namespace should not be displayed there. These three locations are the only places that UBX may be displayed."

Although the current standard is to have "User" as the first word for userboxes, I would like to suggest "UBX" as the first word.

I've done a fair number of searches through template space and elsewhere, and "User" doesn't disambiguate well from "User:"

UBX requires no disambiguation (unlike user, or box), and would be an additional way to make clear exactly what these templates are and are to be used for.

(This is comparable to how all Wikipedian categories are being changed to include "Wikipedian" or "Wikipedians" in the cat name for clarification.)

Any thoughts? - jc37 13:03, 10 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]

I see no problem with UBX. However, due to the volume of boxes which are in the template space, I advise you try and make contact with a developer to see if a giant SQL query could automate the migration process (or a bot even). Ian¹³/t 16:12, 12 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Bias against User: Boxes.[edit]

There is, in the current wording, a distinct bias against boxes in User: namespace by virtue of being excluded from WP:UB directories. This, once again, brings up the whole spectre of which userboxes are "sanctioned" by Wikipedia and which are not, and should be addressed if this policy is to be taken seriously. --BlueSquadronRaven 15:27, 20 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]

see Wikipedia_talk:Userboxes#Proposal_for_a_Quick_Solution

This may be the biggest driver of the anti-UBX faction, the misconception that anything in template space is "official" or somehow "sanctioned" (by somebody). I don't think I can turn this around by myself but I'll do my bit.

Nothing at all in this project is official or should be considered so by any reader. We can't honestly hope that all readers read the General disclaimer but they darn tootin well should. This is a wiki and nobody, from me to you to ArbCom to the Board to Jimbo, should attempt to take responsibility for any content here. Yes, we should all do what we can to make our edits good ones; but so long as anyone can edit this page, we can't guarantee anything. Nothing here carries an official stamp -- nothing at all.

If a UBX is appropriate in templatespace, it is appropriate in the WP:UB index. Indeed, the reasoning is the other way: If it can be properly indexed at WP:UB, then it is allowed in templatespace. The only difference between UBX allowable in templatespace and those allowed only in userspace is format; the only reason for this restriction is to permit neat, readable, consistent indexing at WP:UB.

It is a gross and dangerous miscarriage of common sense to hope that unacceptable content will somehow become tolerable if moved to userspace. Our community has yet to define exactly what content is acceptable in this, our project; but I think every reasonable person will agree that there is at least one UBX that should be permitted -- and at least one that should not. When that unacceptable UBX is identified, it should be deleted -- and re-creation forbidden. It should not be shoved under the rug with fingers crossed. John Reid 10:44, 21 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]

To assert that any content not permitted in encyclopedic space automatically is not permitted in user space doesn't take into account the different expectations for these namespaces, particularly as they relate to WP:NPOV. This substantive distinction is at the core of most of the controversy, IMHO. Any successful UBX policy proposal will have to address this issue head on. Rfrisbietalk 13:02, 21 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I agree. And not just those two wikispaces. I've done several searches, but I can't seem to find more than a quick sentence defining each "space" in wiki(m/p)edia. Has anyone else seen anything more? Also, any suggestions as to how we address this "head-on" (general ideas, or even suggestions in wording). - jc37 15:03, 21 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I just use Wikipedia:Namespace for my general references. I prefer the "by reference" method of specifying acceptable content of userboxes. See Wikipedia:Userboxes/Userbox location straw poll#Applicable policies, guidelines and ArbCom rulings. In effect (for the option I support), "acceptable" userbox content would be determined by the policies, guideline, and ArbCom rulings that apply to userspace. Rfrisbietalk 15:48, 21 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Well; I disagree that userspace is somehow privileged at the bright line of unacceptable content. Every page is publicly viewable, no matter what it's called -- and "namespace" is a technicality that most readers do not understand at all. Granted, the casual reader ought not blunder out of articlespace but there are plenty of opportunities for him to do so -- and indeed, this can be seen as a GoodThing, a route of entry into the circle of active editors. In any case, our userpages are not our doom rooms; neither are any of "our" pages. I'd draw an analogy to open cubicles in a corporate office except that I'd be embarrassed to take a visitor past many cubbies I've seen.

Every page on Wikipedia is potentially Main Page for some reader -- the reader who starts there, probably by Googling a search term or three. Any page may be some reader's first impression of Wikipedia. There is a certain bright line beneath which we simply cannot permit content to be displayed. I don't refer to Image:Autofellatio 2.jpg but to GNAA-type statements which violate a law or are primarily intended to upset the general public and are highly effective at this. We must have an article on NAMBLA and it must be objective and unbiased; we must not post our phone numbers on our user pages begging children to call us "for hot action". Some of us may take the position, on talk, that George Bush (either one) is an evil, lying tool; none of us can plot his assassination here. This goes for every page, every image, every snippet of HTML comment.

Some things are acceptable in one namespace but not another; but this has little to do with namespace qua namespace. It's just a matter of intended purpose. Dirty laundry is permitted in the house but not on the living room floor or kitchen table.

  • Articlespace is strongly distinguished; we assume maximum traffic and frequent mirrors and forks. It is important to avoid anything here not intended for the widest possible readership.
  • Imagespace is distinguished for the same reasons as articlespace plus the technical function of hosting media, primarily images and not text.
  • Mediawikispace is even more strongly distinguished than articlespace; it contains elements of the user interface and general policy is to touch it very gently.
  • Helpspace has been hijacked by Meta and is currently useless, since any edit will be overwritten -- or, depending on your view, helpspace is perfect. If you do visit Meta to edit helpspace, the general expectation is that you are simply educating the reader on the technical function of the wiki engine.
  • Portalspace is, in my opinion, pointless. Portal pages are often very fine but they would function perfectly well in articlespace, perhaps pseudo-namespaced. In any case, they are written for the general public and must be held to the same standards as articles.
  • Wikipediaspace is not distinguished; anything can appear there, including article content (although such will likely be moved off in time). An assumption is made that readers of these pages have made a decision to pass within some inner community boundary but this assumption is unsound. The strongest statement that can be made about wikipediaspace is that it is not articlespace; it is the catch-all namespace for every function for which a specific namespace is not provided.
  • All the talkspaces are equal. The purpose of any talk page is to discuss the subject of the corresponding page. As this is the primary way in which editors communicate, two conflicting needs must be met: (a) the need to speak frankly and constructively on any issue over the range of honest thought and feeling; and (b) the need to present a passably respectable image of a civil, professional community to the world at large. Note emphatically that user talk pages are no different in form or function from any other talk page; in this case the subject of the talk is the user himself, that's all. User talk pages are not a free-fire zone.
  • Templatespace is lightly distinguished on technical grounds; the transclusion mechanism favors it -- and that is the entire and last word on templatespace. Some templates are transcluded or substituted on article pages; some on talk; some on image, category, or user pages; many only on other templates. In every case, the correct standard for acceptable template content is determined by the pages upon which it is used. Anything else is just silly.
  • Categoryspace is also distinguished on technical grounds and although lightly trafficked, we do assume visitors may pass through. As templates are transcluded on a variety of pages, so do categories include a variety. Content acceptable in articlespace is acceptable on pages which categorize article pages; that which is acceptable in userspace is acceptable on pages which categorize users.
  • Userspace itself is provided (a) as a gigantic sandbox, where editing experiments and work-in-progress can take place without disturbing others; and (b) to fulfill human, social needs that all individuals in communities have in common -- the need to identify oneself, the need to brag, the need to apologize, the need to be recognized, the need to join subgroups, the need to wave flags, the need to be naked and the need to be clothed. These needs are complimented by the community's need to identify its members, to recognize and to condemn, to form subgroups, to formulate and advance political positions.
Userspace serves community needs directly and, by serving individual needs, serves community indirectly. Userpages are not OWNed by editors any more than other pages but we recognize that it is a given editor's primary responsibility to maintain his own userpage; only when he demonstrates an inability to do so (or perhaps invites our help) do we take over for him. Short of this point, we damage both individual and community interests by meddling in one another's userpages. This point can be reached -- but direct intervention on another's userpage is a last resort.
All these userspace needs converge on the concept that some content is acceptable there that is unacceptable anywhere else. But templatespace and categoryspace are secondary namespaces that service the primaries; they have no inherent purpose whatever. Do you doubt it? Imagine a template that was never transcluded out of templatespace, even indirectly; imagine a category that included nothing but category pages that were similarly limited. What would be the point of either?

Rfrisbie is exactly correct. Acceptable UBX content is exactly equal to acceptable userspace content. UBX in templatespace, UBX in userspace, it's immaterial. If some hypothetical UBX were used on an article (this is forbidden, of course), then it would have to conform to article page content standards.

Honest GUS-boosters are shooting at a target that isn't there; if content is only ever used on a userpage it doesn't matter from where it's transcluded. I find it absurd to say that any casual reader will browse templatespace or happen on a template page before a user page that transcludes it.

I think it's clear that GUS is used as a stalking horse by many anti-boxers; it's simply a place to put the narrow end of the wedge and hammer as hard as possible. The danger here is not only that many pro-boxers will be driven out of the community; it is not merely that the community binding force provided by UBX is being destroyed and the community with it. Hardline anti-boxers, too, may come to regret the abuse of this blunt instrument. Having driven a box into userspace under the pretext that this makes the unacceptable somehow acceptable, it will be twice as hard to remove the offending material.

Namespaces do have meaning but much less than some editors believe. It's worthy of note that other wikis simply do not have this feature; all edits take place on "some page" and that's that. On one hand, I use MediaWiki for my own, non-WP projects in part because of the highly complex namespace mechanism. On the other, when I read WP talk pages, I sometimes wish we simply didn't have them. John Reid 11:32, 27 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Merger Proposal[edit]

Strong Support This is a necessary next step in achieving a workable, long-run solution. --NThurston 19:39, 25 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Merge this and the German solution[edit]

I'm proposing merging the German userbox solution into this one. It'd only take a tweak or two to merge them, since all WP:GUS proposes is that userboxes be migrated to subpages of userspace. It kind of makes sense to keep all the discussions together, and maybe we can all muddle through and find the middle ground. Sure, there is no official reason why they should be userfied in such a manner rather than in the template space, but on the other hand, the approach does grow somewhat from the userspace guidance. There's a lot of hard work gone into these two pages, and at some point we do need to work out what, as a community, we feel on this issue. It makes sense to do that at one page, and to me this page looks as good as any. Here's some further thoughts on ways forward:

  • Projectboxes and Userboxes. We have some boxes which everyone agrees are Project based, like the babel ones, rather than user based. So perhaps we decide that projectboxes get to live in the template namespace, and are listed at Wikipedia:Userboxes, now renamed as Wikipedia:Projectboxes. Userboxes become boxes for users to declare what they like, have to meet the guidance offered here, howeber that gets hammered out, and inhabit the userspace.
  • Categories: Userboxes shouldn't generally categorise users. The categories don't typically add value. I don't need to know who else eats apples just because I eat apples. Details about my life should be on my userpage, if anywhere.

Anyway, those are some thoughts to kick around and see if we can finally pull all these ideas into a cohesive whole that we can all agree we could live with. Hiding Talk 20:03, 25 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]

I support the idea, while I don't support the interpretation. : )

  • The template space vs user space. I wholly disagree about the whole "official" spaces presumption. (GDFL concerns, for one thing.)
  • Userboxes should be able to categorize, however, those categories should be nominable through CfD, like any other category (as we are doing now). There are more categories besides apple lovers (which was deleted, btw), such as wikiprojects, and other collaborations, interests, etc.

I suggested a "similar" solution to where to store all the userboxes, and associated userbox "stuff" (see below). - jc37 21:02, 25 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Jc37, you don't seem to be disagreeing with me on anything substantial. I'd already attempted to delineate that categories derived from project based boxes were acceptable. Those based on a user's personal preferences are generally discouraged, per WP:CFD precedent. I'm not sure that userfying does create issues with WP:OWN, and I don't see any issue with fair use images. I've trawled user space before now culling fair use images displayed inappropriately, it's fairly easy to do from the image categories. I'm not clear what the GFDL has to do with what namespace a box is in. This solution isn't so much about the validity of one space over another, and let's be honest, the debate isn't really over that either. I'm much more interested in getting everything and everyone on the same page. Let's try and work out what it is we can all accept on this issue. WP:GUS has no little support, so it makes sense to reflect it here and get some consensus around here. Hiding Talk 00:33, 26 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I disagree with any idea/proposal that suggests that any space is not "Wikipedia" space: space which is used, either directly or indirectly, to promote, build, or whatever, this fascinating thing we call an encyclopedia. My GDFL concerns are along those lines as well. IANAL, but it seems to me that policy is such that we should not, do not differentiate between user contributions either. Any user contribution should be considered for those same purposes, whether directly or indirectly. There is/was an interesting discussion along those lines recently about whether an admin is, or should be "required", to continue to make a minimum amount of main space edits, it was pretty much dismissed, saying that we all are allowed to choose how we contribute to wikipedia. I honestly feel that it's sad that there are those who feel differently. To me, such a stance is divisive - "My way of supporting the encyclopedia is better than your way". And by the way, to me, such a stance is also ridiculous. - jc37 18:54, 26 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]
It's long standing that different spaces do different things. Beyond that I'm not sure what your point is or how it addresses the issue of putting this all to bed and moving on. Still, I think it's fair to say you're not the only one. Hiding Talk 12:04, 27 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose per the fact that we just had a vote on this. See WT:GUS#Request to move to sub-page. It was closed less than a month ago (17 days actually). Getting closer to WP:POINT.... -Royalguard11(Talk·Desk) 23:05, 25 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]
    Is it actually possible we could discuss this idea rather than dismiss it out of hand. This idea is not the same as that proposal, or at least not to my eye. I'd also note that there was some impetus towards consolidation, the very idea I am proposing. Your comment does nothing to elucidate your feelings on the merge. What we need to be looking at is moving the situation towards a resolution. How do you feel that is best achieved? Is there nothing of value contained on the front page here? I'd also appreciate it if you didn't throw accusations of WP:POINT around, I haven't actually got anything to prove here. I'd just like to see if there's any consensus emerging from the disparate debates, or any reason why they need to be separate. Hiding Talk 23:51, 25 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]
    All I'm saying is that this is not part of the userbox policy, it is kind of a pseudo policy. First of all, if you wanted to merge WP:GUS (posibly soon to be WP:UBM) you would need to get the whole community to approve GUS. I don't think we can do that though. If GUS were to be defeated, then we'd have astronomical problems. We can't risk the community saying GUS shouldn't exist. The bypassed userboxes are probably into six figures by now, and if the community doesn't like GUS, then that would mean the thing that says just do it doesn't work anymore. The declaration would be that userboxes don't belong in userspace, but that wouldn't change the fact that many people believe they don't belong in template space either. Userbox wars part II, death of the userfied boxes. -Royalguard11(Talk·Desk) 23:40, 27 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]
    GUS never did work. Anti-boxers just forced it on an unwilling community. It was labled "not policy", then used as an excuse for deletionist rampages. The position taken is very cute: "It's not policy so you can't reject it." I say booshwa. John Reid 05:05, 1 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
When Jimbo endorses GUS, then its practically policy. You can't just say it was forced on an unwilling community. It was a compremise between the we want all boxes group and the userboxes are evil and should be deleted group. The userboxes are evil group are higher ups (admins, Jimbo and such), so guess who wins if this isn't here? -Royalguard11(Talk·Desk) 23:44, 1 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose in the strongest possible terms. WP:GUS and the current version of Box Policy are so far removed from each other that to merge them would solve nothing, and likely cause even more division, unless someone's actually planning on working GUS into this policy. --BlueSquadronRaven 02:38, 26 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]
    That's the whole point of the merge proposal, that we work GUS into this policy. Is that not clear? Hiding Talk 12:04, 27 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]
    It is not. --BlueSquadronRaven 15:24, 27 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose No reason to merge the two projects with obviously different purposes. I see where you're coming from, but I think that it would be too problematic and likely lead to even more confusion than it would reduce. - Mike 02:43, 26 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose, they are seemingly opposites.Hemhem20X6 02:54, 26 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose I find Hiding's intentions laudable, but I doubt that the merger would be benificial. It has been shown that the powers that be have a bias against anything like User:Boxes and unless they can swayed it won't work out. Also, I admit, I still have a strong dislike against the various reglementations regarding userboxes (width, double transclusions, image size and the T1/Divisive & inflammatory clause) in Wikipedia:Userbox policy. CharonX/talk 08:52, 26 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  • Comment -- Please excuse me if I'm undiplomatic but it's pointless to oppose a merger. That is tantamount to insisting on perpetual UBX war. Why? It must end sooner or later; not "should" but will and must, if only due to mass user banning or sheer exhaustion. Only the total destruction of the project could possibly avoid a merger forever.
In the very long run, one and only one page will define Wikipedia policy on userboxes. I can't swear that I know what it will be called or what it will contain -- and project history tells us that even long-established policies drift over time. All boxes may be permitted, all forbidden; elaborate rules may define which are allowed, a case-by-case Userboxes for Deletion process may rage continuously, or wabi-sabi may reign. Boxes may be stored in templatespace, userspace, userboxspace, or userboxroleuserspace; they may be transcluded, substituted, pasted in by hand, or secretly invoked via as-yet-unforseen magic tricks. It doesn't really matter; one page will express community consensus on the matter.
So, why not start today?
By the way, we are the "powers that be". John Reid 11:55, 27 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]
One page will exress community consensus on the matter, so why not start today? That's easy. Because we haven't got community consensus yet. The fact that there exist these different pages accurately reflects the fact that different people favor different solutions. You're right that there will eventually be a single page, but we can't just wish ourselves there now; I'm sorry. -GTBacchus(talk) 19:12, 1 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  • I pretty much agree with what John says. Look, this is Wikipedia. We never do detail in our policy, we work out what best suits all and run with it. At some point we have to work out what we are currently doing. There aren't factions on Wikipedia, there is only Wikipedia. What I do find amusing, though, is that I have managed to unite everyone around one idea, even if only in opposition. That means there is common ground on which to raise a standard. Hiding Talk 12:04, 27 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]

I guess there's no point to this now. We've got up and moved to WP:UM. -Royalguard11(Talk·Desk) 22:26, 5 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Proposal for a Quick Solution[edit]

According to my understanding, the main complaint by those opposed to Userboxes is that they are in template space. And since they can be transcluded even while not in template space, they should be moved "elsewhere".

I think userifying creates issues with WP:OWN, and it also may place a user who is keeping a collection of userfied userboxes to be placed inappropriately in categories to which that person does not belong. Since there is a claim that they are useful to/for WikiProjects, I think placing them in userspace is like placing them into Fibber McGee's Closet, or into a Black hole. In addition, a single userbox may be useful to several different and varied WikiProjects.

Note: It has been mentioned that Subst: - ing userboxes can cause it to be more difficult to deal with fair use issues.

(Before I go on, for "full disclosure" reasons: I had this idea after seeing an apparent WP:POINT action, and I have not seen anything like this proposal anywhere else.)

I think the solution to it all would be to move them all: UBX, policies, proposals, and any other page which deals with the listing, usage, or standardization of them.

Move them to subpages of Wikipedia:Userboxes.

This would remove all ambiguity of what they are and are not to be used for, and would give them a centralized locatable location.

Using the following structure:

Personally, I think we could do this now, since it's no worse than the current situation for either side. And what to do "after that" can still be discussed. - jc37 21:02, 25 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]

JC's proposal is eminently reasonable. The only other aspect that does need to be addressed is what constitutes an unacceptable userbox? I have generally favored a very liberal interpretation, because I believe that it is helpful to the encyclopedia to know who you're working with. This is really the crux of the issue, not the location per se. Much more discussion is needed in order to get consensus on this aspect. --NThurston 21:07, 25 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]
(check out the links at the bottom of the template at the top of this page) - the current standard seems to be anything blatantly "divisive and inflammatory" (the word "polemic" has been used as well). - jc37 21:12, 25 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I could live with that, as long as there was a process to prevent admin abuse. For example, if a userbox is SD'd on this basis, someone could request it be reviewed in a TfD-like process. I have noticed that most of the time when truly divisive boxes are deleted there isn't a strong reaction. We do, however, need checks and balances on this system. --NThurston 21:15, 25 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Also, I think the word "divisive" needs clarification. Personally, I have never understood how Template:User Christian is divisive, but rather it helps me understand who I am working with. --NThurston 21:17, 25 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Well the original idea behind the suggestion of WP:GUS was that such userboxes violating "divisive and inflammatory" were to be userfied, rather than speedily deleted, in order to calm everyone down (there were some massive deletions that were occurring at that time).
Well, the problem wasn't so much "this user is a christian", but (just making this up now, to show what not to do) "this user is an x and hates z" (where "x" typically was a religion/culture/organisation/etc; and "z" was typically: profanity-ing religion/culture/organisation/etc.) - hence the issue and a need for a solution. - jc37 21:25, 25 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]

My edits[edit]

I thought I had pointed out the reasons for the edits in each of the edit summaries, and the policy itself says Please note that this policy proposal is new and still under development. You might wish to edit this proposal to reflect your concerns rather than contest it on talk. So I edited the proposal to reflect my concerns. Most of the edits were WP:KISS based, removing stuff that is redundant. Some of the edits (especially the removal of the fixed image size limit) falls also under WP:KISS - I think it is common sense that images shouldn't be 234x586 pixels in userboxes, but adding those fixed limits sounds like buerocracy and instruction creep (see . The one non-WP:KISS is was regarding the D&I clause which I feel would just extend WP:CDS-T1 to userboxes also in userspace, and since lots of good userboxes were deleted claiming T1 I think we can live without explicitly extending that one. If something is really that repugant or offensive I think we can find to remove it under other criteria like WP:NPA or WP:USER or simply XfD. So, that were my reasons for my edits - I tried to contribute in best faith to make this a policy I could agree to. See m:instruction creep

I think I understand your reasoning, and actually only disagree with a couple, but the reason I suggest commenting out, rather than removing whole sections is, as you can see above, this discussion is ongoing, and rather than create more problems through arbitrary deletion, it seemed better to suggest talking it out on the talk page. There is, after all, a difference between editing text (for grammar, etc) and simple deletion. And I have a hard time accepting "anything" as KISS at the moment as far as UBX discussions are concerned. (If in doubt of that, take a moment to re-read this talk page.) I think we could probably safely comment out the image size, and the double transclusion lines, and see what people think, but please note up higher on this page, why they were included. And I think WP:T1D is important to reference, for many, presumably obvious, reasons. Let's see what others have to say... - jc37 02:35, 2 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
You are right, T1 is a pretty important issue for userboxes, but look at the way it was formulated - this was T1 would be extended to userboxes not only in templatespace, but also in userspace. And since it was quite abused in the past and userspace does not have a T1-like criteria I thought "maybe let's not give those admins that way out". After all, what would we do if a template violates the D&I criteria if we did not include this extension? In templatespace T1 would be applied anyway (since there T1 applies) and in userspace we would use MfD or rely on common sense with really bad boxes. So what would we lose by not including it? A little speed by deleting boxes. What would be the risks of including it? Expanding the T1 criteria to userspace and exposing all the boxes there to speedy deletion by admins that would use T1 as an excuse. And I think we don't want that. CharonX/talk 11:40, 2 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Attempt to merge[edit]

I must admit I'm disappointed after I read this summary (though I do wonder why - I should know you better after your oh-so-innocent anti-GUS userbox and the other propaganda) All you do is seemingly run a long-term smear campaign against it. "GUS is the problem" "GUS solves nothing" "forced... under false pretenses". I recall your first edit regarding GUS containg the oh-so friendly "and -- please -- move on". In the end, I think, we have the same goal - we want to keep userboxes. And I'm honestely sick of this faith-war. So I took your suggestion and edited Wikipedia:Userbox policy into something I could agree to. But as I said before, unless you can build a majority for this policy (including admins that are willing to oppose userbox-unfriendly admins) please don't go around pissing in our well. You may not like GUS, but be honest - would you rather have GUS or the deletion sprees of the past. And until this page manages to fly as a policy you only get to choose between those two options. If you still want to say to me, into my face "I'd rather not have GUS", please do so - but please also tell Tony, Cyde, Doc, Mackensen, and other admins that userbox hunting season is open again. CharonX/talk 01:36, 2 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

I'm glad you're attempting a merge. I hope your efforts bring us closer to a consensus on the substantive issue. Thank you. John Reid 00:48, 3 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Who is against Userbox Migration?[edit]

I am against The German Userbox Solution. Dudtz 10/5/06 6:37 PM EST

Please elaborate. And it's Userbox Migration now.CharonX/talk 10:59, 6 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, obviously no one is for the german solution (anymore). Maybe we should call it the "Canadian" solution, because then no one wouldn't pity us! Besides, the right question to ask is "who in the community that has power is for WP:GUS/WP:UM? -Royalguard11(Talk·Desk) 00:19, 7 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
"... that has power..." ? Wow at that statement. - jc37 02:13, 7 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

I don't really care, but I don't see why there is a need to do it. So we have userboxes in the template space - so what? All this does is make a pain in the butt for people to have to edit their userpage every couple of days because they discover that one of their userboxes has been usedmoved. I really don't see the point. -  Mike | trick or treat  15:47, 9 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Well, just take a peek over at Wikipedia:Userbox_War. Userboxes were speedy deleted by the dozends - per day - under T1/T2/whatever claims. People got quite upset and tempers flared. Ugly times. And what do you mean with "one of their userboxes has been used"? CharonX/talk 19:36, 9 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Meant to say "moved" sorry :-). I'll take a look at the page and then post a reaction. -  Mike | trick or treat  21:36, 9 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Well, I've been around for a while and I wouldn't consider myself a "new user", and I support userboxes, whether they present a POV or not. To me it's rediculous that a few admins that don't like userboxes decided to do a mass deletion of them without any sort of consensus. If you ask me, the majority of them should be un-deleted and kept in the template space where they were. I really don't see why it matters where we store them, since they show up the same way on the page anyway. If almost all of them are in template space and that's how it's always been, and we know it's going to be a pain to move them all and get every single user who has it on their userpage to edit their transclusion (there have been occasions where I didn't notice one of my userboxes had been moved for a whil), then why do it? So I guess what I have to say is, yes, I oppose the userbox migration. All it is doing is giving in to admins that just deleted userboxes because they felt like it. -  Mike | trick or treat  22:00, 9 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Um, have you read how it's suppose to be done? I know that not everyone does it, but whenever I adopt a userbox, I update each and every transclusion. And I do that everytime. And I never try to be deceptive, an edit summary always says bypassing redirect from (old) to (new). See WP:UM. Some don't, but most do. Some use AWB, I know that I don't so that's no excuse. I'll ask the question that I asked another person: Why are you opposed to the ideas of GUS/UM? Actually, not just the inconvenience part. -Royalguard11(Talk·Desk) 22:36, 9 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Note. Take a look at Wikipedia:Userbox migration#Quick summary. That summary promotes just moving boxes and then slapping on the {{User UBM UBX to}} tag. I added the note about WP:AWB, but by the looks of Category:Wikipedia GUS userboxes, virtually no one does it that way anymore. Rfrisbietalk 23:47, 9 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I just don't see the point because it just causes needless hassel. Why does it matter if a userbox is kept in the template space rather than the user space? I think I was a bit harsh in saying I oppose the migration, but I just don't think it's necessary and creates needless annoyances for editors. It doesn't really bother me if there are userboxes in the userspace, and I would support requiring all new userboxes that are created to be created in the userspace from now on, but if a popular userbox has always been in the template space, it's a pain to move. Also, I think we should keep a complete directory of userboxes, hosted in userspace or not, all in one place. It's annoying to have to look through WP:UBX AND WP:GUS to find userboxes. Just make a complete directory like we once had at WP:UBX, and if they are hosted in userspace, that's fine, just show that as the code. -  Mike | trick or treat  23:57, 9 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

I'm guessing you all have it already on your watchlists, but a similar discussion is going on at: Wikipedia talk:Userbox migration (The renamed WP:GUS talk page.) - jc37 00:20, 10 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

I think I'll go and take part, thanks. BTW, just to show that I'm true to my word that we should create all new userboxes in Userspace, but keep old ones (that have transclusions) in template, I moved Template:User to User:Mike1/User Just created this userbox, and it didn't have any transclusions yet, so it was a good thing to do it now. -  Mike | trick or treat  00:26, 10 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I am against all parallel efforts, duplication, forum-shopping, fort-building, double jeopardy, and similar attempts to retry an issue over and over until "Somebody" gets his way. I don't like policy proposals labeled as anything except policy proposals. Every attempt at creating workable policy on UBX was shot down in flames before this page was created; this modest attempt to actually work out a consensus solution was completely ignored when UM was floated under cover of "this is not a policy proposal". This is a terrible way to manipulate process. For these process reasons, I'm against UM.
I'm also against UM for substantive reasons. It both solves nothing by avoiding regulation of UBX and creates worse problems downline when editors who have userfied feel entitled to defend "bad" boxes even more stridently than now.
Most of all, I'm upset that so many parties to the boxwar -- pro, anti, migrants, whatever -- simply cannot seem to relax their hardline positions and consider any kind of compromise. What do you all want? A BOX+, BOX− fork? Here is the table; sit down and work it out. John Reid 15:22, 11 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Userbox Migration started precisely because all attempts to create policy, including this one failed. Be honest; this was either ignored or rejected at the time that Userbox Migration began.
Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines#How are policies started? tells us that there are three routes for something to become policy. The first is to just go do stuff, and then we eventually document that something is the way Wikipedia works. The second is to talk and talk for a while, create a consensus, and eventually declare a policy. The third is for Jimbo, the Board, or the developers to declare a policy. (This is the order they are listed in there.)
Wikipedia:How to create policy#Guidelines for creating policies and guidelines has as the first point "Choose policies that have sprung up organically, not imposed from the top down." There is absolutely nothing wrong with Userbox Migration being a just do it approach, and arguments to the contrary reflect a lack of understanding of how Wikipedia functions. It also was a compromise, even if some cannot now see that.
It is also ridiculous to claim that this is the only table for discussing userbox policy; there are 29 different pages in , including multiple policy proposals; I count at least 10 different policy proposals. This was a parallel effort when it began, as there were multiple live policy proposals at the time, are you therfore against this page? 19:59, 11 October 2006 (UTC) —The preceding unsigned comment was added by GRBerry (talkcontribs) .
No, I don't claim this is the only table; it is the table, now. Before I put it up, all previous efforts had tanked badly, often due to OWNership issues. I've done my best, since writing this, to refrain from editing it. By now it's starting to reflect consensus. Just do stuff works great when there is some sort of amity; just do stuff on UBX led to mass deletions, wheel wars, and an RfArb or two. We really do need to sit down at one table and hash this out in words, not in a series of actions that our descendants will label as massive WP:POINT violations. If there's got to be an edit war, let it be here. John Reid 15:47, 13 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
As for the ownership issues, I've made a post on WT:CSD to propose that userfied userboxes are kept out of speedy U1. That should take care of the major ownership issue (ie, users can't just randomly delete subpages with boxes). I hope everyone will take a minute and look. -Royalguard11(Talk·Desk) 23:05, 13 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

A new Essay on Userboxes[edit]

I've created a new essay on different userbox personalities from all that I've seen on Wikipedia. I also had some help from NThurston. If you wish, change it, praise it, ect. Most of the talk about it is happening at WT:UBM. Note: This is just an essay written in a humorous manner, but may help describe the many different opinions on Wikipedia. -Royalguard11(Talk·Desk) 23:10, 13 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Continued irony[edit]

Considering the arguements about "official" namespaces, and such, I find the existance of this category up for CfD ironic. - jc37 11:43, 4 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]

So, what's still needed?[edit]

If this policy proposal is stabilizing, what's still needed to make it so? Does stability reflect... consensus? stagnation? apathy? the perfect policy? Rfrisbietalk 00:57, 5 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]

My two cents are down at stagnation and apathy. Major concerns have not been adressed, my attempts to change to policy to something I could support were promply reverted, and WP:UBM works. CharonX/talk 05:07, 6 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]
You should become familiar with Wikipedia before involving yourself in policy issues. As it stands, it appears you have done nothing related to the encyclopedia since you stopped the handful of vandalism reverts you did six months ago. —Centrxtalk • 21:20, 6 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Watch your civility, Centrx. Admin or not, there is only so much belittlement I will take from you. Also, what did your edit add to this discussion at hand (except perhaps to marginalize my comment)? CharonX/talk 14:52, 7 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I would agree here that "stagnation and apathy" about cover the issue, probably for the better --T-rex 15:21, 7 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  • At present (and it has been so for a long while), this "policy" (actually a proposed guideline) is worded like a codified law (see also WP:NOT a bureaucracy), contains numerous instances of m:instruction creep such as codifying the exact pixel width, and contains numerous instances of obviousness that doesn't have to be stated here, such as allowing users to not put userboxes on their userpage. The result is a bureaucratic and prescriptive page that does not demonstrably solve a non-hypothetical problem. That is simply not what Wikipedia policy/guideline is for. (Radiant) 13:59, 10 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Active proposal[edit]

This proposal is active, not inactive; it is stabilizing and that's a good thing. I suggest it does indeed reflect actual community consensus: this is how we handle UBX these days. It's been here a good long while and everyone has had a chance to edit it to reflect his or her concerns; nobody has been excluded. No page could possibly do more to include every possible opinion. Even the UM-ers have been accomodated.

I'll stop short of tagging it guideline but any other tag is unacceptable. I consider it still a proposal only because it is open to further editing, not because major concerns remain unaddressed. John Reid ° 04:26, 17 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]

I think Radiant's comments are very true; that said, this page does accurately describe what a majority of Wikipedians do in regards to userbox protocol, and reviewing past incidents relating to userboxes, this level of instruction creep is reactive rather than proactive. If administrators (read: some, not all) cannot be trusted to act reasonably without explicit instructions, then explicit instructions makes a good treatment to the symptoms of what might be a greater problem, even if the instructions shouldn't be necessary. Note that I'm not strictly saying I agree with the proposal and everything it includes, and I'm not pointing any fingers. Oh, and if anyone makes a poll, please don't vote on my behalf. BigNate37(T) 05:02, 17 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I made several major concerns that have not been addressed. This page needs a rewrite to make it less bureaucratic. Wikipedia is not a bureaucracy, and guidelines should not be written in the style of a lawbook. (Radiant) 09:16, 17 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]

No polls, BigNate. Good work, Radiant. Edit this page. John Reid ° 02:35, 18 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]

No double transclusion[edit]

Ok, John, I will once more reiterate what - in my eyes - needs to be changed to gain my support. Radiant's pruning of the Kudzu removed the worst part, but I still hold high doubts regarding the "no double transclusions" section. (I will not attempt to remove it, as all my previously attempts to improve the page have been instantly reverted stating "discuss it" - and when I attempted to discuss my concerns I was ignored. Edit and rewrite the page yourself.) Finally, I still have doubts that those who heavily opposed userboxes will agree to this policy (though I personally don't care where they exist, template or userspace). CharonX/talk 14:09, 18 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Did you really try just that one edit, all by itself? Rm "no double transclusions"? And instantly reverted? I'm not saying you didn't; that page has got a long history, I wouldn't know where to start looking. If you tried it as part of a general rewrite, you might try rm it all by itself.
For the record, I put that prohibition into the original draft; I wouldn't revert to keep it in. History: There is a sizable faction, possibly led by User:Netoholic, that sees double transclusion as a drain on system resources. Other arguments are advanced against them but this seems to be the root. There was a war some years ago between this editor and the somewhat bizarre User:Xiong, with plenty of spear-carriers on both sides. The way it shook out is unclear. WP:AUM is tagged off, while Xiong's competing WP:TCB is essayified. Netoholic got a barnstar for his efforts; Xiong quit the project. For what it's worth, I think they both have a point -- but nothing to fight over. Bits aren't free but they're real cheap.
Anyway, Netoholic (and, I presume, his supporters) are still around, and probably hopping mad at a lot of UBXs. I didn't see any obvious reason not to subst box-making templates at the time of box-making, so I threw that in. A policy like this gets accepted when every party feels he got a bone out of it. I don't feel strongly about the point one way or the other -- about any point about UBX, really, except that they should be permitted and content not under tight control. I want to see editors state their identities and biases plainly, if they're willing. Mostly, I just want a workable policy to emerge.
If you feel strongly about the need for double transclusion in UBX, I suggest you open up a thread right here. You say you've made the edit and been reverted; time for discussion. I see at least one editor, right on this page, supports you on this. Drop him a line. Open up a thread on this -- hey, I'll do it -- and explain your views. Ask opponents to explain theirs. We make real progress when we sit down and talk with people we just can't stand. John Reid ° 22:21, 19 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Here's [2] where I tried to prune the instruction creep (quite similarly to Raditant I might add) and make a few changes (it still had the "change to reflect your views" tag on it) as a series of edits (the link shows the diff of about 6 or 7 changes). The result? A complete revert. No thank you, I have had enough of this "policy discussion" which encourages "contribution and editing" - just to be ignored and reverted. I won't consider spending a hour or two on rewriting this page just to have somebody say "nah, we don't like it" and be reverted back. CharonX/talk 13:44, 20 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Per this, I didn't "nah we don't like it" revert you. My edit summary says it rather clearly: "Please comment out sections for discussion before arbitrarily removing them. I (and I presume others) would be happy to discuss on talk page." - I don't see what the problem with discussion is. Too many contested pages have arbitrary removals without any discussion, which then lead to reversion wars, which could have been avoided through a few words on a talk page. So to prevent revert wars, I would think discussion would be the way to go. This is not to say we're not all guilty of it. Often when being bold, we may find others who disagree. But that doesn't mean that discussion is out of the question : )
And by the way, if you want to just remove the double transclusion section, I currently don't see a problem with that. But I would still suggest commenting it out, and further discussion here. And after time goes by, then removing it after consensus is determined. Hope this helps clarify.
After looking over Radiant's removals, I think I understand the removing of the general usage restrictions (who can place them, where, and how many, etc), but I disagreed with removing the fairness in application clause (and restored it). I also am curious why it was felt important to remove template size guidelines for the userboxes. - jc37 03:46, 21 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  • I consider it obvious and overly legalistic. (Radiant) 12:15, 21 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  • There have been many things that I thought were obvious concerning userboxes (or indeed, just about anything on Wikipedia), which turned out to not be so obvious in the opinion of others. I'm not concerned so much about the image sizing guideline (though others may), but I think that we should have a standard for userbox width at the very least, so that they all conform well enough for usage in the babel system, or other template grouping configuration (Template:Userboxtop/Template:Userboxbottom, for example). - jc37 21:47, 21 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  • OK, I removed the double transclusion section, based on the discussion here. I also restored the UBX width standard. - jc37 22:04, 21 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]

User / UBX[edit]

Due to "user" being the name of the user namespace (and the associated talk space), It would be rather helpful if we didn't use the word "user" to identify userboxes (especially for searching). I'd like to suggest that we use "UBX" instead. Any issues (besides needing to do a mass rename)? - jc37 03:56, 21 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Requested move[edit]

I propose that this page be moved to Wikipedia:Manual of Style (userboxes). Incidentally that means it is to be guideline rather than policy, which (per the contents of CAT:P) is also a good idea. Thoughts please? (Radiant) 12:16, 21 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]

That's an interesting idea. (And I like the idea of a guideline rather than policy, would seem to make more sense.) A couple thoughts:
  • I thought eventually we'd be merging the final version of this to WP:UBX.
  • With that in mind, in looking over WP:UBX and this page, what are the significant differences, and of those, what should be added to WP:UBX?
Once we determine that, and perform the merger, I would likely support the moving of WP:UBX to Wikipedia:Manual of Style (userboxes). - jc37 21:47, 21 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]


Just looking it over, the differences between this "policy" and WP:UBX (as of this moment) is:

  • 1.) Namespace clarifications (standards section)
  • 2.) Usage (pruned and moved to standards section)
  • 3.) Policy application
  • #1 "may" be controversial.
  • #2 needs to be reworded for brevity
  • #3 Seems to be ok.

I'll work on rewording #2. - jc37 21:47, 21 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Pruned the usage section and moved it to the standards section. (And added the parentheticals above.) - jc37 22:04, 21 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Where now?[edit]

I haven't been paying much attention for the past while, but got the "historical" notice this morning. In looking this over, I am very excited about how well this has resulted in an acceptable compromise. So, I think this is winding to its natural conclusion. What next? Should this (finally) get merged into WP:UBX? I can't see a reason not to. --NThurston 18:56, 18 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

  • Merging sounds like a reasonable solution. Silence is not assent; this page is hardly an acceptable compromise, in that the comment on the talk page is largely one-sided and, despite of that, contains numerous objections. As stated before, it is worded like a codified law, contains numerous instances of m:instruction creep, and contains numerous instances of obviousness that doesn't have to be stated here. That is simply not what Wikipedia guidelines are for. Please do merge the salvageable content to WP:UBX. (Radiant) 22:45, 18 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
    • Agreed with Radiant. Instruction creep and stating the obvious only encourage people to wikilawyer around the rules. -Amarkov blahedits 05:54, 19 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Based on the above, I merged several sections to WP:UBX. - jc37 22:34, 20 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]