I'm going to break this down into several related questions and answer them
* Is there a plan to unify the visual style of common layout patterns in
Wikipedia, so that the many thousands of separate people creating templates
and pages can follow them?
Not really; there has been some work on planning a more standardized visual
style guide for *MediaWiki* software components --
-- but afaik no Foundation-funded
work has been done to rework, unify, or improve the various per-site
community-created style guides for content.
* Is there / will there soon be a way to store common templates/styles such
that they can be used from any Wikipedia or other Wikimedia site, so that
single common implementations can be maintained for many of those templates,
instead of separately-maintained copies on many wikis that are harder to
keep in sync?
There's talk about this fairly regularly ("interwiki templates", shared
gadgets etc). It's on the table to happen at some point, but probably isn't
at the top of many activity lists.
* Is there a plan to replace particular template implementations that are
slow or hard to maintain with native MediaWiki extensions that might be more
efficient or easier to maintain in a centralized way?
There's sometimes talk about particular ones, but there's no general program
to be replacing them.
Citation-related templates tend to be at the top of this list as they often
are fairly complicated and take a bunch of parameters to format them in a
fairly consistent way.
* Is there a plan to introduce a different way of implementing templates for
infoboxes etc that will be easier for people to maintain, and possibly
faster than the current markup-based templates?
There's sometimes talk about this; see past threads about possible use of
Not currently at top of list, but both Tim and I would like to see this
happen at some point.
* There might be invalid HTML somewhere!
Fix em if you find em. The wiki system should ensure that output is never
invalid as such (though some "w3c validator" sort of things are
we'll never care about). Better tools to create and maintain templates will
help with real issues like "this template breaks half the time because it's
got a wrong close tag" by making it easier to find and fix them.
On Sat, Aug 13, 2011 at 7:32 AM, Glanthor <glanthor(a)gmail.com> wrote:
Is there any plan according to supersede the old
template system with
built-in software support in core or in extension, at least partially?
I mean there are several common templates, that should be designed once and
professionally, and used on all Wikipedias: like amboxes, infoboxes,
navboxes, coordinate templates, portal templates, sister project templates,
and so on. And I don't mean a „template-commons” with unchanged template
syntax, but real software support.
Users became more and more „perverse” about creating more complicated and
resource-hungry templates, what only a few editor can modify and understand
correctly, because their complexity.
The current practise is far from ideal, these templates I mentioned above
should look uniform, and be informational. Currently they are target to
bikeshed operations: on the hungarian Wikipedia, there was even a voting
about the font size of the infoboxes. Wikipedia is not a coloring book, and
not about constant redesigning of important parts of the articles. As we do
not change the default skin in every half a year, we should not allow to
change the look of standard informational elements, at least not in that
amateur way („my favourite color/font is better than yours!”).
And I not even mentioned, that high percentage of the current templates are
full of not valid html code, because the average user do not understand
should not have to understand) html/html5/css/advanced parser functions.
So, is there any plan or ongoing debate/developement about this?
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