Wikipedia talk:Userboxes/Archive 7

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Loud annoying warning box

  • Endorse this rm by Ian13 on 2006 September 1 of huge, loud, annoying bright red warning box attempting to goose-step all visitors into GUS. This sort of thing is truly divisive and inflammatory. John Reid 13:37, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
That warning box is what caused me to be in a permanent state of confusion for the last 3 days. After reading the warning, as well as the GUS information, it seemed I had no choice. Thankfully I continued searching the Wikipedia pages, reading policy and trying to find my own consensus on what was being done. In the end, I avoided GUS at all costs. I oppose the warning box. It's overbearing and confusing. AuburnPilot 17:03, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
Then remove it -- once. I've already taken my shot; I don't think I get another revert. John Reid 01:34, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

Tag with moderation

Okay, I'll cop to losing my cool over this tag. Having taken my one action to rm it, I don't feel free to take another direct shot. But I offer an alternative.

{{Wikipedia talk:Userbox policy/Header/Alt1}}
{{Wikipedia talk:Userbox policy/Header}} (live)
{{Wikipedia talk:Userbox policy/Header/Alt2}} (prior version)
There is, unfortunately, no consensus in this project on userboxes. Many proposals compete in an effort to regulate their creation, format, storage, and display. Project membership is divided on many related issues; tempers are strained.

Proponents of WP:GUS feel that all userboxes should be maintained in User: namespace. WP:BOXPOL attempts to regulate userboxes wherever they are found. Some editors feel that almost all userboxes are okay, anywhere; some oppose them everywhere. Absent consensus, you remain free to do as you like. However, others may exercise this same freedom to delete your work. It's always wise to keep a local copy of your edits. Anyway, Stay Cool!

Before you create or delete a userbox, you may wish to consider how you want to involve yourself in this debate. See also: UBX talk cat (25 pages at last count)

Let's all try to stay cool. John Reid 02:15, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

While I am not sure that I absolutely agree with everything in your second box, I do agree that it is very much an improvement over the previous one. (For one thing, it does not promote divisiveness the way the former appears to.) I found myself wanting to put {{fact}} notations in several places in the former. As I believe you made this to be an example, I think I should ask, out of consideration: Do you mind if I edit some points in the latter, to further remove possible contentiousness? If not, I understand. Either way, please add a link to the Wikipedia:Userbox policy proposal in the latter box, and perhaps we can begin replacing the former with the latter. - Jc37 23:20, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

WP:BOXPOL is the shortcut redirect to Wikipedia:Userbox policy. You may choose to expand both shortcuts, if you like. You may also edit Wikipedia talk:Userbox policy/Header as you see fit; it's not in my space and this is a wiki. Please keep in mind that it's intended - unlike the previous item -- to be a simple, neutral introduction to a complex, highly polarized situation. As such it will always have shortcomings. I think it's good that newcomers get some kind of heads up before wandering blindly into this political minefield; I think it's evil to turn that into a recruiting poster. John Reid 03:09, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

Or you may add a link to WP:GUS which, unlike Wikipedia:Userbox policy is quite active, accepted by the majority of people (including many admins) and implemented as we speak. CharonX/talk 00:21, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

Charon, I think you're a bit lagged. The version you saw by the time you posted your comment did link to WP:GUS as well as Wikipedia:Userbox policy. It's since been edited -- for the worse IMO but it's way past time to replace the current, offensively patronizing tag.

So far as the substantial part of your comment goes, I strongly disagree with your take. Wikipedia:Userbox policy is the active policy proposal; it's been heavily edited, has begun to stabilize, and most moderates accept it. GUS is the production of a small group of vocal extremists, including admins who seize on any excuse to abuse their authority and ramrod through a solution against community consensus.

I think I did a fine job of writing a tag (the previous version) that managed not to express my position. Now will you show the same neutrality and take down the pro-GUS billboard? John Reid 15:42, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

Not to interrupt the discussion, but I'm curious about something - and we can take it to your talk page, if it's too distracting here - what did you (John Reid) dislike, or find problematic with my edit? Other than a restructure, I removed this:
  • "Proponents of WP:GUS feel that all userboxes should be maintained in User: namespace. Wikipedia:Userbox policy attempts to regulate userboxes wherever they are found. Some editors feel that almost all userboxes are okay, anywhere; some oppose them everywhere."
In attempting to retain NPOV, I removed the "extremes" (all are ok vs oppose anywhere), since there are many other opinions (as we all have read over the last year). I also removed WP:GUS and the UBX policy, because, again, I think it doesn't necessarily explain each person's opinion about userboxes. So I removed both. Neither one is policy, so instead I added some links that were, as well as the often quoted WP:JOU. (And both are in the category that is still listed.) Thanks in advance, I look forward to your thoughts - jc37 23:24, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

I think it's only honest to tell people just how broad the extremes of this debate range. This is a highly polarized issue; new editors should know this right up front and not couched in soft words. There is no point at all talking about neutrality in the context of a debate. GUS and Wikipedia:Userbox policy are each strongly supported by different groups of users. It's only fair and right that new editors who come to this page get pointers to both these very different initiatives as quickly as possible.

I think you added some good links and I'd be well pleased if you restored the earlier content and also retained your improvements. John Reid 15:27, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

No problem : ) - jc37 17:31, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

Userbox columns boilerplate

Here's a userbox columns boilerplate I made for someone. Feel free to try it out. :-) Rfrisbietalk 23:34, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

Templates And Userboxes

So All userboxes will no longer be templates, right? They are all being put on users' pages? I'm user 100110100; please respond there; Thanks! 14:18, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

Only useboxes that serve a distinct purpose in building Wikipedia as an encyclopedia will stay in template space. Other userboxes may appear on user pages, but not as templates. There will also be some specialized cases; userbox templates for wikiprojects will likely be kept on the project pages, for instance. Which userboxes qualify for template space and which don't is still being worked out. The straw poll at WP:GUSP is intended to provide some guidance in those decisions. -- Donald Albury 14:50, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
It's a bit misleading to say that they "will no longer be templates" - they exist as distinct template-like subpages in user space (and they are used exactly like templates, like {{User:someonewhohasboxes/thisbox}} ) even though they're not "templates" because they're not in the "Template:" namespace. The straw poll also appears to be contradicting Dalbury's generalization; humorous userboxes, for example, don't have any "distinct purpose in building Wikipedia" but are allowed in Template space instead of being restricted to user space. (I continue to fail to see what effect any of this will have other than pacifying those against userboxes — which isn't bad, but it doesn't actually solve any of the problems that they were bringing up.) —AySz88\^-^ 15:03, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
To clarify things: after being moved into userspace the userboxes can still be transcluded - you will NOT have to subst them. Instead of writing template:user blabla you now have to write user:guy with userbox archive/boxarchive/blabla. Yes, its longer than just transcluding it from templatespace, but you only have to type it once, and there are no other functional changes. And it won't be deleted by rouge admins. CharonX/talk 00:18, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

Userboxes CAN be templates, and are allowed in the Template: space. NO policy disallows this. Ian¹³/t 14:18, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

Well, I guess that's true, if you only count things written on policy pages as policy. As we know, written policy tends to lag behind actual policy. Meanwhile, there are certain realities that make it rather risky to create userboxes in template space, if you want them to not be summarily deleted by someone who views policy differently than you do. -GTBacchus(talk) 00:00, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

Tell Me

Ok, tell me with what criteria you guys use to include a category with a userbox, & with what criteria you guys use to exclude a category with a userbox. What I'm saying is that some userboxes will list you in a category, some do not. Tell me how do you guys decide which will and which will not.100110100 09:37, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

There is no way to tell. Really, if one is created, it should be taken to CfD if someone wishes to remove it. Ian¹³/t 14:08, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

Box grouping background color

Over the course of numerous edits to my userpage, I've failed dismally at making the baxground of my userbox grouping yellow. I don't mean the userboxes themselves, but the blue border and the background to the boxes within it. Could somebody please check my userpage and tell me how to do this? Kind regards, Crimsone 06:08, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

Take a look at it now and see how you want to tweak it. I did that by using {{boxboxtop}} and {{boxboxbottom}} instead of {{babel}}. —AySz88\^-^ 06:34, 7 September 2006 (UTC)
That's absolutely wonderful. I really can't thank you enough for that. It's been bothering me for quite some time now, and it feels great to finally be able to have it display as I'd wished. You're an absolute star! I shall have to take a look at those templates later. I only wish I understood more about the markup, but even footnote3 confuses me at the moment. lol Crimsone 06:43, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

Who's counting?

As a participant in GUS, I've probably bypassed well over 10,000 userbox redirects, a good chunk of them for "controversial" Religion boxes. During that stimulating and entertaining activity, I was reprimanded for my deeds only a handful of times. Throw in the other GUSifying participants with their bots and I wouldn't be at all surprised if the number of redirected userbox transclusions is pushing into six figures. After all that, I've observed no mass grass-roots rebellion against this activity. The conclusion I draw from this is that userbox location is a non-issue for the vast majority of Wikipedians. They like boxes or they don't, they use them or they don't, but they really don't react much at all when some arcane wikicode gets modified somehow, if they're even aware it happened.

On the other hand, these "userbox wars" appear to be a tempest-in-a-teapot, perpetuated by a handful of advocates for the pro-con positions. Because this vocal subgroup never quite seems to reach consensus, and probably never will, no meaningful policy on the issue is forthcoming. My viewpoint at this time is to "try another way." Kelly Martin has a draft proposal in the works for a policy council that would address sticky issues that get bogged down in the usual wikipolicy development processes, such as this. I wholeheartedly endorse the formation of such a council and hope the development of a straightforward userbox policy is an action item on one of their earliest agendas. After all, they couldn't come up with anything worse than what we have now. Could they?! ;-) Rfrisbietalk 22:42, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

There is a meaningful policy policy proposal on the table and yes, it's working. You can help by editing it to reflect your concerns. John Reid 15:08, 10 September 2006 (UTC)
The noticebox on Wikipedia:Userbox policy clearly states, "The following is a proposed Wikipedia policy, guideline, or process. The proposal may still be in development, under discussion, or in the process of gathering consensus for adoption. References or links to this page should not describe it as "policy"." The above comment does not honor this request. Rfrisbietalk 21:40, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
I interpreted it to mean, "There is a meaningful policy proposal on the table. You can help by editing it to reflect your concerns." --NThurston 21:46, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
I honor your concern and have edited my remark. I hope you'll not be offended if I say I don't personally share your concern and for a reason that goes way beyond UBX. I'll explain, if you'll indulge me.
I don't see any distinction between policy and policy proposal. I never have. I believe that community consensus is the final arbiter of all policy and it is whatever it is at any moment. I don't think we make policy decisions by fiat; instead the process of policy formation involves a complicated cycle of case-by-case action, policy page editing, comment, and action informed by what has gone before. Some say that written policy dictates action; some say it follows action. I say both are correct. No policy is closed to further editing; no proposal is so new that it provides no guidance. No policy page of any kind supercedes community consensus.
At any moment, a policy/proposal page is the best available written summary of community consensus. The only meaningful tag is {{historical}} (={{rejected}}), which I interpret to mean that insofar as the page defines policy, our community would be happiest to see it deleted entirely -- but we retain it for reference, historical interest. All the other tags -- {{policy}}, {{guideline}}, {{proposed}}, and often {{essay}}, too -- really mean the same thing: This is what we think now. Edit this page if you don't agree but be civil about it.
I realize that this position of mine -- this inability to distinguish between various policy page tags -- is a form of extreme fundamentalism, strict adherence to the wiki way of doing things. I'm perhaps in the minority and it was not my intent here to push this view. But that's why I omitted the word "proposal" and if I make the same error elsewhere, please feel free to edit my comment directly. John Reid 05:39, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
Considering all the conflicting and mutually exclusive userbox proposals out there over the past several months, I don't take any of them very seriously. I just watch what people do and play it by ear from there. That's why I just did some GUS stuff. I see no true consensus on this issue so I won't be putting much energy into rearranging deck chairs on any more policy proposals. Rfrisbietalk 13:39, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
Deck chairs on the Titanic, ha ha. John Reid 10:23, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

Proposal for a Quick Solution

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:

I think this should do exactly what is wanted by the supporters of WP:GUS, and will also deal (finally) with the concerns of the opposers of WP:GUS.

What do you all think? - jc37 00:42, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

The main problem isn't them being in template space, it's them being in any official space, which makes them appear to be a sanctioned part of our project. That means any project-related namespace. There's another problem that many of us have with userboxes which has nothing at all to do with where their code is stored, but perhaps we should ignore that for the time being. -GTBacchus(talk) 00:46, 8 September 2006 (UTC)
I'll keep my mouth shut, then. -- Donald Albury 01:37, 8 September 2006 (UTC)
Please define what you feel "official" means. - jc37 18:57, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
Anything but User: and User talk:. I mean, that's what I meant by it. -GTBacchus(talk) 18:58, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

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.

Certainly, "officialness" -- to whatever extent it exists at all -- is not divided along namespace lines. The only real quality analogous to "officially sanctioned" is stability -- some pages are edited less often than others and when they are edited, quickly reverted to earlier versions; edits that persist are of a minor nature. You need to have editor experience and be able to read page history to get a good idea of how stable a page has been. And we have all seen pages remain stable for a time, then go through a period of upheaval. Nothing is permanent here; this is a wiki. Most people don't really understand what that implies but the concept is starting to leak out.

Wikipedia:Userbox policy excludes a UBX from templatespace only on the technical grounds that it does not conform to proper UBX format. It is dangerous to set any content standard because, were that done, UBX permitted in templatespace would appear "more official" to some eyes -- not because they were in templatespace but because they had passed through community review, if only by default.

Another thing that distinguishes some pages is a tag of one kind or another. Some project pages are tagged {{policy}} while others, {{rejected}}. Article pages may also be tagged with {{cleanup}} or {{disputed}}; most such tags end up on corresponding talk pages. Like any other text in the project, this can be edited by anyone and may or may not reflect the true value the page holds in community esteem at any given moment. But it does give a rough idea.

UBX, like all templates, should never be tagged on page body. Instead, any tag must go on the corresponding talk page. I would support a blanket UBX tag to be placed on the talk page of every template, disclaiming any project-wide universal support and explaining briefly the user-oriented nature of UBX.

The only difference between templatespace and any other namespace is that template space is intended for transclusion. It's a purely technical distinction. Nor do I feel that userspace enjoys much license; every page in userspace is just as publicly available as any other and we all need to keep this in mind. One reason I object so strongly to GUS is that many offensive UBX will be permitted in userspace just because of this misconception that we don't need to take responsibility for it as a community. Having fought for userfication and won, I think a lot of people will not be willing to go into userspace after borderline material we really shouldn't have in the project at all. When admins do speedy user pages, there will be even more contention than we have now.

A related, stronger argument against templatespace UBX is that they are not essential to the project -- they are mere user toys, for amusement only; "unencyclopedic". This falls apart, though, when we consider the vast number of pages that support the project even though they are not articles, images, or categories. Policy and process pages are essential to the project even though they are completely unencyclopedic. Most templates are in fact intended for use in projectspace, not articlespace, and serve process-related functions.

Declaring a bias, advocating a position, or just making a joke are all essential to the community and community is essential to the project. No doubt at all that we would prefer editors who lack bias, who edit impartially at all times, and are able to work efficiently without humor in their lives. But we are men and women, not robots. As the community has grown in size it has actually regressed in average maturity and commitment to core project values. There is no way to control this influx of new editors without destroying foundation issues. We need to deal with the situation.

Communities require binding forces. New, small communities are bound by the meatball:SuperordinateGoal itself; as they grow, this binding force weakens in proportion to size. UBX sprang organically from the community to address this need. It is very important to understand this. UBX were not imposed from the top as a form of branding or ID card. They are not an exotic import from Slashdot. They are not the badges of a small clique of radical users. They are homegrown and very, very popular. This is because they express and resolve a basic conflict between the business of building an encyclopedia and the entirely natural desire of most people to pursue private goals.

We must permit UBX -- or failing that, substitute an equivalent device for user expression. They are a safety valve for all kinds of biases. They are a way for users to vent simple frustration. They help us to know who our allies and opponents are -- and like it or not, we cannot simply declare that all users are best buddies, by fiat. Large group politics have come to Wikipedia and there is nothing at all we can do about that without drastically reducing the number of editors and destroying the spirit of the community entirely.

We cannot go back to the early days; there is no reverse gear on social progress. We can go forward to a new era that includes large group politics or we can self-destruct. We can fight a vicious war that can only end by alienating a great many users or we can broaden our social paradigm. UBX do a fine job of meeting a very real social need -- a need that must be met in order for the community to cohere and the project to survive. So, like every page, each UBX serves the encyclopedia by helping to maintain the community that creates it. And for the purely technical reason that they are intended for transclusion, UBX should be created in templatespace. John Reid 15:05, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

Help controlling ubx position

Can anyone tell me how to keep my Babel template language box from being superimposed above/below other elements on the page? On my talk page, I'd like it to inhabit the same vertical space as the table of contents, i.e. above the discussion posts. I notice that a horizontal bar I inserted on my user page stops short of the language box, but the ones inserted automatically on the talk page by the post heading markup (=Post heading=) cut across the language box. I've tried some of my meager HTML repertoire to no avail. Thanks in advance for any help.--Eric 19:28, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

You could try something like this. [1] Rfrisbietalk 21:51, 19 September 2006 (UTC)


I dislike intensely all forms of edit war -- 3RR, slo-mo, tag-team, wheel war, I don't care. Edit warring highlights the breakdown of community and I don't like it. Here and there, I have gone far out of my way to avoid reverting other editors even once. I just don't think it's the way to get things done.

That said, I have to draw a line in the sand here -- with much more than a little regret. This page needs some sort of cogent introduction to the newcomer that paints an honest, neutral picture of what is a highly polarized discussion. NewBoxes is not this, at the moment; it pushes GUS in a completely unacceptable fashion without so much as mentioning the Userbox policy that this community is patiently hammering out. Wikipedia talk:Userbox policy/Header, for all its length, does manage to mention and link to both Wikipedia:Userbox policy and WP:GUS as well as a number of pages which a newcomer to the UBX issue really should visit.

Now, whether you support GUS, desire to work toward consensus on Wikipedia:Userbox policy, feel that all UBX should be banned, or insist that all must be permitted, please for the love of all the gods do not stand here and set fire to yet another page in this project. I swear that I will not let a biased notice stand at the top of this page. I am confident that I am not alone, since I see I am not the only one to suppport the neutral notice. Cool out.

I believe that there is only one way to end the UBX war: Our community must work together to discover a compromise position acceptable to the community as a whole. I find it hard to believe that anyone would disagree but if you do, I still permit you your opinion. I even concede GUS has sufficient numbers of supporters that it is a legitimate position. That is why I do not demand a notice along the lines of:

Community policy on UBX is defined at Wikipedia:Userbox policy. Before you create or delete a userbox, please review this page. If you object to the provisions of this policy, please participate in the discussion there.

As you can see, I can be just as biased and pigheaded as the next fellow if I put my mind to it. I, too, can stand in public square and shout that mine is the only opinion that counts, that my position is the only Right one, and insist that everyone does and must agree with me.

But I don't.

Let's just see if we can't all extend one another the same courtesy? John Reid 05:13, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

That page inplies Wikipedia:Userbox policy is already policy, which it isn't. Ian¹³/t 16:37, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

What page? The box above? Of course it does! That's why it's ridiculously biased and should never be placed anywhere. It's not a page. Okay? John Reid 10:10, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

"Also, note that some projects, such as English Wikinews and Simple English Wikipedia, do not have userboxes at all, and as a result they are much happier (and more focused on their projects)."
Why should we note that? Ruthfulbarbarity 17:12, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

You are naive. How about instead of trying to switch sides on the issue here, you create a concise template that is going to please everyone rather then edit war with an admin. No new user is going to read a 2 page long template about a bunch of jargon that isn't even policy yet. // Pilotguy (Have your say) 16:19, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

Design of Boxes w/ Images from the Commons

Hi peeps. I'm wondering how to design my userboxes with pictures. I'm not really sure of the process or of the code. Each time I pick up an image from the Commons and try to make a userbox the image won't shrink down and it ends up looking really stupid. Can someone please help me? OneWomanArmy--I was born in the Summer of Love when we took a trip and stepped on the moon 17:21, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

Put the desired dimensions under the first parameter of the image: [[Image:Image.jpg|45px]]. 40 or 45 px usually works best for userboxen. Hope this helps. —Akrabbimtalk 17:42, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
Grazie! Now I can create without having a HUMUNGOUS userbox. I'll try it and see what happens. OneWomanArmy --I was born in the Summer of Love when we took a trip and stepped on the moon 18:52, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

Undelete category Sexuality

No reason for this to be deleted it was a large page and it's just been summarily removed with no explanation whatsoever.. moving to userspace is no excuse to delete the page that tells people what the codes to use the boxes are.

Help please

See Template talk:User NHL-Islanders (and put your reply there please). EdGl 00:08, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

I added a |} to the end of the code. It now seems to be working on your page just fine, at least from my end. ​​​​AuburnPilot​​​Talk 01:31, 30 September 2006 (UTC)
Worked; thanks! EdGl 02:22, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

Deletion of Userboxes

Can someone please provide a link to deletion discussions?
I'm trying to clean up my user page after several have-evidently-been deleted.
I still haven't quite figured out which ones have abruptly disappeared Ruthfulbarbarity 18:48, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
In many cases there are none (yes - lots of people seem to think they need not follow policy even remotely). I am however happy to retrieve any userboxes for you if you give me their original locations. Ian¹³/t 20:23, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the offer.
I wound up simply deleting some of my boxes en masse, which seems to have resolved the issue nicely.
I don't object to relocating the userboxes-and it appears that's what Jimbo's directives are-but I just wish some of the more feral deletionists would exercise a bit more self-restraint on occasion, or at least review his admonitions on this subject more often. Ruthfulbarbarity 02:41, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
I think I may start keeping a substed record of my userbox column on a sub page of my userspace within a <noinclude>, along with a verbatim copy of the non-substed column of them. Not only then could I farm out the userbox code from my main page by simply substing it in, but if there's a deletion, I can easiliy fix it :)lol --Crimsone 12:29, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
  • I object to deletion of the userboxes. --evrik 17:18, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

What do you think of this? (Layout proposal for reducing the legnth of pages)

Just an idea: --*Kat* 04:33, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

Are userboxes just a novelty feature? … I don't think so.

I know someone has probably already addressed this issue and I have chosen not to read this entire talkpage because it is egregiously long but, I must say that I personally find inappropriate the last sentence of the introduction box on the top of this page which reads:

However, before spending an inordinate amount of time on userboxes, please ask yourself whether it truly will benefit Wikipedia, such as helping people to collaborate more effectively on articles, and whether it would instead be a better use of time to write and develop encyclopedia articles.

It reeks of a patronising mephitic fetor. Qui bono?? … Qui malo? There are too many fallacies in its line of reasoning to give specific mention to any one, but, to me the overall message seems to be (essentially),

And, while you are free to create userboxes which are well-crafted, meaningful, and anything but commonplace, this choice of approach is highly frowned upon. Instead, we strongly urge you to forbear said activities and focus your efforts on the creation and emendation of encyclopedic entries (of which we currently have a mere 1.4 million). In doing this, you are helping not only your fellow Wikipedians, you are helping yourself.

As for me, I like userboxes: they're portable, straightforward, and often say clearly in a few words (and an image) what would take most people at least a couple of sentences. Since they are not a major highlight of Wikipedia, they should be viewed with less solemnity and circumspection. They may be small and, at times, eccentric, but they can and do help people collaborate more effectively on articles. Plus, pretty much the only places you see them are on people's Userpages; which is where they belong. They work for me.—Strabismus 04:21, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

No, UBX are not mere novelties. They are relatively new; this simple fact causes a great deal of reaction from editors who were here long before the first box. They are an extremely important expression of an emerging community need. I don't speak of the needs of individual editors, which are many; but of the need common to the entire community.
Communities need social glue to hold together the social fabric. I could start citing pages but really MeatballWiki should be read for a few hours to get the background. In short, the more people you have in the community, the greater the need for binding forces to oppose the ever-increasing divergence of individual members from the norm. Or, mock-formally:
As the number of editors increases, the chance approaches 1 that you will find another editor so offensive that you want to kill him on the spot.
UBX oppose this trend directly by coloring in people's faces, by making them real and not mere abstractions. A previous technique was to post a photo of oneself on one's userpage. By making editors human, by making humanity visible to other editors, UBX tend to hold the community together.
UBX are often criticized on grounds of being "divisive"; on its face, this asserts that UBX that define political factions are bad because they contribute to factionalism rather than opposing it. However, factionalism is an inevitable response to community growth -- inevitable, so there's not any point in getting upset about it. Human beings group themselves into factions in order to feel safe within a community that has grown too large to properly embrace a sufficient part of individual values. Factions then engage in politics, in which values are exchanged and compromises formed. UBX ease the process of faction identification and are good things for this reason.
To see clearly how factional UBX assist community integration, imagine a community without UBX -- without any mechanism for community members to declare themselves as members of any faction. Highly literate members continue to articulate conflicting positions on issues but most members lack these skills; they feel marginalized. Their only resort is a descent into hostility -- or departure from the community. UBX allow members with fewer communication skills to say, "What he said!" -- to agree with like-minded others. Boxholders feel a sense of solidarity instead of isolation. So long as the faction is itself a member of the community, the faction member remains a community member, too.
Wikipedian history is crammed full of examples of good, productive editors who found themselves on the losing end of a battle, did not know who agreed with them, and turned nasty and destructive out of a sense of isolation. Every good editor to whom a UBX offers hope is a win.
Factionalism, politics, debate, and all the other overhead human beings require in order to stabilize large group dynamics are unavoidable. UBX are mere tokens of these essential mechanisms. They are not, in themselves, important; but they are at the moment the chosen tool. Each box is created to serve a narrow purpose; by doing so, it serves the common good. When any box is deleted, it leaves behind a hole in the social fabric that must be patched up in order to permit the community to continue to function as a community, so that it can continue to serve the project. If all boxes were deleted today by fiat, a new mechanism would arise tomorrow to serve the same need. John Reid 16:47, 17 October 2006 (UTC)
  • They are like electronic "bumper stickers" that tell you instantly where someone says he stands on something. It's a good time-save in this hurry-up age. Wahkeenah 16:57, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

Hard limit

Is there any sort of limit of how many user boxes, someone can have on their page? I think a limit should be put in place, if there isn't one already. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a place for people to fill a page with user boxes to explain what the like, hate, etc. Don't get me wrong, I like user boxes... but I'm certainly not going to go overboard with them. Work on articles, not a user page so much... then more things could be done. Look at all the unassessed articles for example, and the stubs for another example. With all the time some people have spent making, posting, and adjusting user boxes... they could've easily done more productive things. RobJ1981 04:43, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

"Nannies R Us". Wahkeenah 08:46, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

When I wrote the original text for Wikipedia:Userbox policy, I included a hard limit of 64 boxes per userpage. My rationale was that 64 boxes (, if you want to know why that number) was more than as many as any one visitor would be likely to read before getting bored. This limit was first questioned, then removed. You're welcome to edit this page, either way.
Personally, I feel that display of more than 4-8 boxes is excessive. In a way, displaying 100 boxes is the same as displaying none at all. John Reid 16:55, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

Babel + Userboxes together??

Is there a way to get babel and the userboxes in the same box on the left - rather than having 2 different ones?

Feel free to subst out User:Crimsone/userbox to your userspace as a skeleton - a person here was kind enough to help me with the same :) --Crimsone 04:49, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

Are Userboxes Personal Property?

I do not mean that so directly, but a situation arose that brings a question about userboxes. WP is a place where anyone can edit anything that is not protected, but userboxes seem like a slightly different situation because people create them based on their personal interests. The situation is, I slightly edited one and the creator quickly rv'ed it leaving me a polite message why. To him, his edit is the best because it is a direct quote for a movie. My edit, which changed only the first word, seemed more appropriate to me because it flowed with the style of most other userboxes that say "This user is....". It is only one userbox and a small edit. I can let it go instead of trying to edit again out of spite, but I think you see the dilemma. Are both of us correct or is he more correct as the creator? And aren't situations like this the reason Template substitution was created? -- CobraWiki 04:08, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

  • I'm not speaking as an expert here, just as an observer, but my opinion would be that a user page "belongs" to the user, and although others "can" edit it, they should not, unless the user has posted something that is a violation of wikipedia policy, such as inflammatory remarks, copyright violation, etc. It's similar to editing someone else's comments on talk pages, which is a "no-no", again, unless such comments grossly violate policy. Wahkeenah 01:19, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
  • You could always subst out the template to your userspace and edit it there to suit your own particular preference.Crimsone 01:28, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
  • If it's a widely used userbox, my suggestion would be to copy the code to a subpage where you can make the changes you like. You can then use it on your userpage without disrupting other people's pages. I've done just this with the userboxes {{User American}} and {{User:Feureau/UserBox/Proud Americans}}. I liked the design/look of the first one, and the proud part of the second one, so I copied the code to a subpage and created this box, {{User:AuburnPilot/Userboxes/ProudUSCitizen}}, which is a combination of the two. This also avoids having to subst the boxes, which makes a userpage difficult to edit. -- AuburnPilottalk 01:31, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

The simple answer to your question is, "No." Check out Ownership and editing of pages in the user space, particularly, "As a tradition, Wikipedia offers wide latitude to users to manage their user space as they see fit. However, pages in user space still do belong to the community..." Anyone can edit a userbox in userspace. However, editing by consensus still applies. If you all can't work something out, e.g., agreed-on language or parameters, you still have all those options on how to grow your own. Of course, anyone else can edit that one too! :-) Rfrisbietalk 03:15, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

Continued irony

Considering the arguements about "official" namespaces, and such, I find the existance of this category up for CfD ironic. - jc37 11:38, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

YTMND Userbox

Can someone please tell me what happened to the userbox "User: YTMND"? It has been deleted but I couldn't find any information regarding the deletion of the box. I looked in multiple talk pages but couldn't find anything. Thanks.--the marble 03:27, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

How to

How do you incorporate an image into your own design of userbox? I've tried several different ways and nothing works - it always shows what I typed instead of summoning the image itself. And there's nothing in the instructions that shows an alternative to having text appear. GBC 23:12, 12 November 2006 (UTC)

Hi, GBC. I noticed a typo on your grouping box, so I fixed that. Where's the userbox you're working on? I'll take a look. Rfrisbietalk 23:31, 12 November 2006 (UTC)


Alright, I've made the userboxes. So, say if I make a userbox that says "This User is a Wikipedian", how do I mak it so all you have to do to get it is type {Wikipedian}, then how do I make it so having that userbox will make the bottom of your page say "Category:Wikipedians"? Leave the answer on my talk page please. Thank you. --MasterA113 01:22, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

Replied on your talk. — xaosflux Talk 01:25, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

Religious/Philosophical/Political Userboxes

What happened to the religious, philosophical, or political userboxes?

The Userbox migration happened. See User:GRBerry/Userbox migration and User:Rfrisbie/Userboxes for a start. Rfrisbietalk 20:15, 21 November 2006 (UTC)