On Sat, 13 May 2006 11:16:42 +0100, you wrote:
> Some of them were blatant trolling, of course.
Others are informative
> but irrelevant to the process of building an encyclopaedia.
They are no more irrelevant to the process of building
than most userpages already are (take mine, for example). Yet nobody
calls for the deletion of those userpages on the grounds that they are
"divisive" or "inflammatory".
You miss the point: your userpage is not made available through a
mechanism which implies that it is officially sanctioned.
>>It is highly doubtful that any significant
amounts of server resources
>>are at stake.
> Nor does it need to be since the benefit to the
encyclopaedia is zero
> and the cost non-zero.
It is doubtful that the cost is greater than that of
Quite to the contrary, using categories and "What Links Here", the
userboxes produce semi-automatic organisation and structure. This
The cost is necessarily greater than the user pages, because the
templates are rendered within the user pages by transclusion. Nobody
(that I know of) has prevented the creation of user categories, which
serve the limited practical benefit. I see no encyclopaedic benefit
from being able to collect together all users who self-identify as,
say, pro-choice - and plenty of disbenefits given the way some editors
choose to use Wikipedia - but I don't discount the possibility that
user categories might serve some encyclopaedic purpose.
>>There is nothing about the templates that makes
them any more
>>"officially sanctioned" than text on a user page on a
>>Wikimedia-controlled server already is.
> So you say. Others disagree. A Template space
userbox which is
> listed in a directory of userboxen appeared to many to imply precisely
> that: "official" support for divisive userboxen.
The argument is irrelevant (because, as I already
pointed out, it
equally applies to userpages, a list of which can be created on
[[Special:Allpages]]). It is the typical kind of argument people come up
with hastily when they're just looking for something to corroborate
their theory or to further their goal.
And as I pointed out, not it doesn't apply *equally* to userpages. But
in the end this debate has already been had, and settled. Which was
my original point. I see no great benefit from rehashing it.
It is odd that, instead of precluding those
discussions, you think you are solving the problem by instead forbidding
certain userboxes entirely, while it is plainly obvious that this
controversial prohibition causes a lot more discussion. There is nothing
wrong with a userbox stating "This user accepts Ayn Rand's philosophy"
-- there is, rather, something wrong with someone going "OMG this
userbox is divisive, it must go!!" So prohibit the latter.
Look back a short way on the list and in the arbitration queue and so
on. Trust me, the debates were massively disruptive. Massively. And
nobody is "forbidding" anything - only saying that it should not be
done through transclusion from Template space.