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Template:User en

I'm just using this page as a mixture of my personal sandbox, and a place to publish some of my thoughts about things I'm doing on the wiki. Please do not edit this page or any of its subpages without my express permission (unless you are an official wiki admin, of course, and it's actually causing any problems).

Warning: Those who do not know anything about the deeper details of the MediaWiki parser or templates may wish to stop reading now. I do not accept any responsibility for mental damage caused by reading about things like that.  ;-)


Some things I want to remember to do:

Importing templates

I've imported quite a large number of Wikipedia utility templates. My rationale is that a rich availability of good quality utility templates can really help a wiki. People familiar with editing on Wikipedia and other WMF wikis should now find our site much more pleasant to work with, since their familiar tools are more readily to hand. It's about trying to make life easier for editors, and trying to make our wiki as good as it possibly can be. A great many of the templates that I have imported are to support {{Documentation}}, and things like a comprehensive set of the special 1, 2, and 3 special character templates for working with template parameters and tables. It should also now be considerably easier to import miscellaneous WMF templates as and when people need them, as the core support and utility templates that they rely on are much more complete.


See User talk:Murph#Template:Documentation.


Having pretty much got {{Navbox}} well under control, I'm also going to take a look at {{Infobox}} as well. I'm not sure if it really needs any serious attention or not, but I do want to at least evaluate our existing infobox templates against the final pre-Lua Wikipedia ones, to see if there's any benefit for us.

Status: No obvious immediate easy benefits from WP version. Replacing our version with the WP one as the core would be a lot of work. Still evaluating both of them, but no plans to do much with WP's version right now. Back burner, pretty much.


Status: Done. (But awaiting CSS update which needs administrator rights.)

Support template for various things. Generates the v · d · e links on boxes and so on. I have successfully updated our main {{navbar}} to the final non-Lua version from the English Wikipedia. It looks like that is the "final" version that will ever be available from WMF for non-Lua wikis. It's actually a fairly simple template overall but our previous version was an unmaintainable collapsed solid blob of code, and had some questionable features added to it for the free wiki site it was scraped off. It was also being used in breach of the CC BY-SA license, as there was zero attribution for it, as required by the license (despite the horrible code formatting, it was clearly originally from WP).


Status: Template framework done other than small tweaking as needed. CSS update awaiting administrator. {{Demo parts}}, {{Parts}}, {{Stock craft}}, and {{Versions}} using it via inline style attributes as an imperfect and inefficient hack (acceptable in the short term with good visual result, but quite undesirable in the long term).

Things I'd like to improve

  • The current {{Navbox}} template is a horribly dense block of wiki script code. It carries a warning not to edit it due to the complexity, which is quite justified, but the complexity is made far worse by it being collapsed into a single block of impossible to maintain code (I rate it as impossible for anyone to reliably maintain, even seasoned MediaWiki experts). Done.
  • We're using raw {{FlipBox}} templates as navboxes, with each instance containing its own style information and variances. This makes it harder to maintain a consistent visual result across the wiki, as well as duplicating maintenance effort and potential errors/variations. Good progress, have replacements for all once the CSS is updated (working on the precise details of what the update should be).
  • Wikipedia provide w:Wikipedia:WikiProject Transwiki/Template:Navbox for other wikis to freely use under the CC BY-SA license. It looks like our existing Navbox may have been based on a version of this, in breach of the Wikipedia license (it is not attributed to them, there's no attribution provided at all). Mostly compliant now, full compliance in sight soon.


  • Work towards a "one true navbox" template which covers all of our major cases and covers them convincingly well.
  • Replace existing navbox template with an uncollapsed version that will be maintainable (with care, it's still going to be complex).
  • Comply with Wikipedia's license.


Our out of date, unmaintainable, and copyright infringing {{Navbox}} has now been replaced with the final non-Lua version from the English Wikipedia. It now has attribution, so it is no longer being used in breach of the CC BY-SA license (everything I have imported states the source is Wikipedia and that it's CC BY-SA, although I now realise that full compliance should really involve a notice within the docs, which I'm gradually correcting). Although I need to clean up the compliance a little more, I'm confident that we're no longer in full breach of the license, and would not have any serious problems if a WMF lawyer were to look at the site, as there's at least some attribution in the edit history for everything I have touched and the remainder is being fixed reasonably quickly.

It looks to be working very nicely when the CSS is there for it, and I'm working on the details for that. We're at least 90% of the way to having full feature navboxes with pretty much all the functionality you'll find on WP.

Test cases

The CSS used by most of my test cases is not currently on the site, it's being loaded locally for me only. The test cases will not be correctly formatted for anyone else.
See Template:Navbox/testcases.