Template talk:Initials

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Oppose use of this template[edit]

I oppose the use of this template. For many articles at en.wikipedia, the bio article on the individual uses an abbreviation for the middle initial, and does not spell out the entire name. In cases where the full name/middle name cannot be verified in secondary sources, this obtrusive template will simply sit at the author page indefinitely, and that is not good. Cirt (talk) 22:18, 1 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There's no vote, but thank you for your brilliant use of the bold letters to inform us of your opinion. Libraries do not work the same as encyclopaedias, libraries need to catalogue works, and thus need to use the full names of authors; otherwise when I type "John Jacob Schmidt" in the |author heading of a text I add, for example, it will appear as a red link because we currently host his page at "John Schmidt" or "John J. Schmidt". Using the full name of authors is the internationally-recognised standard for libraries, and means that WS will not only conform to those standards, but will be on the forefront of helping to "find" the names of authors where WP may not care. In a year, if we've been successful in fixing 98% of author pages, and a few outstanding issues remain, we can always simply edit the Template to be invisible -- but for now, it makes sense to be visible, alert people to the problem and push them to help solve it. Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Nikola Tesla‎. 22:21, 1 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
thank you for your brilliant use of the bold letters to inform us of your opinion - Please avoid such sarcasm in discussion on talk pages. It is destructive, negative, and not conducive to positive dialogue. Cirt (talk) 22:23, 1 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Your demands that I cease using sarcasm is destructive, negative and not condusive to positive dialogue, worse than that, it hurts my feelings. Seriously, discuss the issue and stop whining about withchunts. If your feelings are hurt, there's a wonderful community called w:Livejournal at which to complain about the mean people at Wikisource who use sarasm when pointing out your obnoxious tendencies and explaining policies and guidelines to you. Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Nikola Tesla‎. 22:26, 1 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If you refuse to discuss like an adult in a polite and professional tone, and instead continue to use sarcasm and destructive negative language, I do not think that this dialogue will positively move towards a productive outcome. Cirt (talk) 22:34, 1 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This banner is obnoxiously large, and very different to {{populate}} which is also used on author pages. Cirt, you've raised a reasonable objection; WS:S is the better place to discuss things like this. As a quick thought, this template might be better hidden if reasonable attempts have failed, or tossed on the author talk page. John Vandenberg (chat) 22:50, 1 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

John Vandenberg - I did raise the issue at WS:S. I agree with all of your ideas, if the template were invisible or hidden or on the author talk page those would all work. Cirt (talk) 22:51, 1 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Good point about {{populate}}, I've changed the template to be smaller. It was simply a matter of which template I copied to grab the AMBOX template parameters. It should be smaller now. Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Nikola Tesla‎. 22:52, 1 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Still obtrusive and sticks out, doesn't look good. I would not object if it were invisible/hidden, then it would be quite useful. Cirt (talk) 22:55, 1 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, the point is to be visible without being obnoxious - it's a little strange to have the phrase "please move this page to X" be invisible if nobody can see it...as Jayvdb said, if an author's name truly cannot be found, then it makes sense to perhaps move it to the talk page, after community collaboration has failed to find his middle name. Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Nikola Tesla‎. 23:01, 1 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The template would work much better and not be so obtrusive if hidden. That way it could still be used to see categories and navigate pages in that manner. No need to break up the author page itself and make it look ugly for an indefinite period of time. Cirt (talk) 23:07, 1 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Rather than arguing about it, the best would be to solve the issue. For 23 pages, it wouldn't take that long. It started with the first two in the list: I moved Schwarzenegger to his complete name, and I removed the template for Truman, because his middle name his simply S. See Wikipedia for details about this. Yann (talk) 23:09, 1 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

And yet there will be other author pages where it will not be able to determine the middle name quite so easily, if at all. For these pages is this obtrusive template supposed to just sit there indefinitely? This should be a hidden template, that way it can still output to a category and be useful, without making the author pages look ugly. Cirt (talk) 23:11, 1 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No, as others have said, if the community tries and cannot find a person's middle name, then the template can be moved to the talk page. Nobody has ever suggested anything is "indefinite" except for you. It is a w:Manufactured controversy. Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Nikola Tesla‎. 23:14, 1 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The default should not be having the obtrusive template on the author pages, the default should be not having an obtrusive template on the page. There is no reason it cannot be hidden, or on the talk page. Both ways could be constructed to output to a category without making the author pages look ugly. Easy solutions. Cirt (talk) 23:16, 1 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The default is that the template does not appear at all, unless the authorPage needs to be moved, in which case it is applied briefly until somebody moves the page. Just like any other clean-up template. A simple category without the template would not encourage people who see it added to an authorPage on their Watched list, to take the thirty seconds to remove it - they'd just shrug as another category is stacked on, the same as Category:Methodists. Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Nikola Tesla‎. 23:18, 1 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The category would be the unobtrusive place to manage the pages, not the obstructive template on the pages themselves. Actually maintenance work goes much faster when working from the category - this I know from experience. Cirt (talk) 23:34, 1 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree that the obtrusive (rather than obstructive) notice is not needed at all. A category is more than enough; one does not use the "Random author" link as an efficient way to find things to do. Maintenance work is indeed more efficient when we are dealing with a series of similar tasks. The "populate" tag should be treated the same way; it too is another fine example of digging holes for the sole purpose of having others fill them. Eclecticology (talk) 16:28, 2 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree with everything said in this comment by Eclecticology (talkcontribs). Cirt (talk) 03:11, 3 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I moved the obstrusive header-text from the template itself, to the category, Category:Authors with unidentified initials, per this last comment by Eclecticology (talkcontribs). Cirt (talk) 22:12, 27 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I also agree with this comment by Anonymous Dissident (talkcontribs): My view: delete the template; create a category. Cirt (talk) 22:17, 27 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Documenting the change[edit]

If a change is made to a template, it would be useful to have some visible documentation to its purpose and use. Whatever anyone's personal opinion is of the template, that attention to detail would be useful. Thx. -- billinghurst (talk) 10:26, 28 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

See text at the top of Category:Authors with unidentified initials. Cirt (talk) 21:59, 28 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]