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Placeholder headers/templates


Placeholder templates  

8 members have voted

  1. 1. Should placeholders be included in a base article?



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This has been bugging me for awhile, but I think it should finally be discussed. Basically I'm referring to the templates such as game data being included in articles, but being left completely blank as placeholder. I don't think this benefits the page in any way, it doesn't provide anything useful and I can't understand why placeholders should be left in the article.

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They do nothing but take up space, I understand if the article isn't exactly filled out people may be more inclined to add these placeholder templates to fill it out a bit more but I don't think it's warranted enough, if for example there is some data in a template then by all means include empty spaces for other platforms like OS X/Linux but leaving them all blank isn't justified and wasteful.

This also applies for adding references when there actually isn't any references. This is an unused header and should only be added when there is content to go below it, not before. I have absolutely no issue with video settings or other templates that actually have some worth to them, in the case of settings the default option is "unknown" which I believe is valid enough to be included and the article would be essentially empty otherwise.

I'll leave this open for awhile as I want to make a concise and universal decision regarding this matter so it won't be left months on end. I'm interested to hear your opinion on the matter and I'm welcome to counter-arguments. If you vote yes please post with your argument - I want to get as much feedback as possible regarding this.

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I can see both sides of the argument. Any empty placeholder might be enough to push people to fill it out, but the complete lack of data at all can also press people to add missing information.

 

I personally don't add placeholders, I add data as I come upon it. 

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Note that using references without a references section will cause an unsightly red error message at the bottom of the page; references don't work at all until the section is added. I've often introduced a reference when section editing only to find after saving that the page lacks the template and so needs a further edit. Because of this I think it is preferable to always include the references template in readiness for referenced content being added. Since it is at the bottom it isn't really wasting space.

 

I agree with leaving out some of the other types of empty templates (which I tend to do anyway).

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My philosophy is that as long as it's a Stub article it's fine for it to have the placeholder elements. Once it is no longer a Stub we should get rid of unused placeholder elements.

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Note that using references without a references section will cause an unsightly red error message at the bottom of the page; references don't work at all until the section is added. I've often introduced a reference when section editing only to find after saving that the page lacks the template and so needs a further edit. Because of this I think it is preferable to always include the references template in readiness for referenced content being added. Since it is at the bottom it isn't really wasting space.

 

I agree with leaving out some of the other types of empty templates (which I tend to do anyway).

I agree with you to an extent on the first point but this is a non-issue, simply leave section editing if you intend on adding a reference and include {{References}} along with the first reference you add isn't exactly difficult and doesn't require any extensive amount of work to achieve. There could very well be no references at all to be put into the article meaning this is just a completely unused header.

 

My philosophy is that as long as it's a Stub article it's fine for it to have the placeholder elements. Once it is no longer a Stub we should get rid of unused placeholder elements.

Well typically an article wouldn't be a stub anymore if there is any placeholder elements. But why is it fine to be left in for a stub article? I think the reader is the one who is being negatively impacted by this more than anyone, as he/she needs to shift through placeholders to find any relevant information. An article should be concise, clean and to the point - leaving placeholder elements is against this, the sample article is an easy reference which means they do not need to be included because someone might forget how it's added so it doesn't really benefit the editor either.

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I very much prefer placeholders because it creates a unified page template across all pages on the wiki. This prevents confusion for users and allows for those with less knowledge on wiki editing to add data to the wiki easily. I personally think the pages benefit from these empty templates and see no real reason to get rid of them as they don't negatively effect the page in really any way.

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Unfortunately it seems this is contested which I wasn't really expecting, considering the poll is half and half (even though I wish LDK and DeadlySuprise had contributed to the discussion) maybe we can come to a compromise?

 

I'm going to just compare with wikipedia quickly, they do not add a references header if there are actually no references which is something I will completely stand behind. It doesn't contribute anything to the article and it's very easy to add to an article when required. This also ties in with the fact an article could be without references forever meaning this is just a wasted header put as a placeholder element in anticipation of there being a reference (not about it wasting space, I'm referring to the template boxes when saying wasted space) which isn't worthy of being included in a base article.

 

Regarding template boxes like Windows/OS X/Linux locations I'm happy to come to a compromise of including these since nearly all articles should have these at some point anyway meaning they shouldn't ever be left empty indefinitely. As previously mentioned they also may encourage edits as all the editor would need to do is provide a location instead of the whole template which they may not be familiar with. Those are the only things I can warrant being included in a base article aside from what there already is. If there is no further discussion (I expect there will be) in the next few days I will consider this concluded and update the sample article to reflect the discussion.

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I agree with Soeb. Empty Game Data and Settings are fine, but I don't see much use in Issues, Essential Improvements, or References. I'd also say that if you can't find System Requirements for a game (it isn't on Steam or GOG.com, etc.) then there's no reason to keep that section there.

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  • 1 month later...

Apologies for the lack of development on this but I plan to organize a sample article revamp at some point which this will go into. This may not occur for awhile as I'm busy managing other aspects of the website and irl stuff so for now it's up to the discretion of the editor what they would like to include in the base article in regards to these headers/templates - which will be changing when the sample article revamp happens. I want to ensure maximum consistency for every article and giving little room to "do your own thing" outside of fixes and such (which would also help forms for articles, which we also eventually intend to implement) will greatly reduce any confusion as articles will only differ in content, not layout.

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