Template talk:Stub/Archive 1

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I propose that we change the text of the Stub message to read as follows:

This article is a shell—a short article intended to encourage additions. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.

There is only one link: the word "expanding" should be linked to Wikipedia:s_link, which can then be redirected as we see fit.

-Anthropos 22:07, 19 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Why? They're called stubs. They've always been that and I don't think there's a need to change this. Also, a shell implies the article structure is already laid out, which is not the case for most stubs. Angela. 05:44, 21 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I think we should leave it as stub too. Dori | Talk 18:11, Dec 22, 2003 (UTC)
I agree with Dori and Angela on this. Jwrosenzweig 20:13, 18 Mar 2004 (UTC)


This article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.
No, please don't add tables and colors. Having tags on articles is bad enough already without making them stand out so much they become the focus of the page. Angela. 03:20, Mar 5, 2004 (UTC)

Noo!! It's too messy. Keep it discreet. — Sverdrup 18:14, 18 Mar 2004 (UTC)

No, I don't like that at all. Please revert it. -- Djinn112 18:52, Mar 18, 2004 (UTC)

I like it; I think that it's both more attractive and more prominent, which might help stubs expand more quickly. -- Seth Ilys 18:16, 18 Mar 2004 (UTC)

At the very least there should be a poll before this is adopted. Dori | Talk 19:52, Mar 18, 2004 (UTC)

I agree that the boxes and colors are not pleasant to my taste. Every now and then I wish people would be a tiny bit less bold. :-) But I don't know table markup well enough to boldly switch it back -- has it been done now? Jwrosenzweig 20:13, 18 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I can't be bold and switch it back. This page is protected. =b Fennec 21:29, 18 Mar 2004 (UTC)
The previous version had no tables. (Btw, all: use the NEW table markup!) — Sverdrup 20:30, 18 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I have to say I don't like this change. There are thousands of stubs, we have to accept that we're going to live with them for a long time, so what's the point in making the notice more prominent? There simply aren't enough users to "finish" wikipedia overnight, nor do I think people should be particularly directed to expand stubs rather than create new articles... one of the joys of wikipedia is people can contribute on subjects they're interested in, whenever it's convenient to them. fabiform | talk 20:29, 18 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Lolzor, what a thought; finish Wikipedia. Fab definitely has a point; stubs will always be the bottom 25 % of wikipedia, so there is no quick sugar-additive to make away with them. — Sverdrup 20:33, 18 Mar 2004 (UTC)

A poll asking this in advance would have been nice. I don't particularly care for it myself, however. Fennec 21:29, 18 Mar 2004 (UTC)

OK, I reverted back. Very few people seemed to like it. Please use a poll if you want to change it to the new one. Dori | Talk 21:37, Mar 18, 2004 (UTC)

They might look better left-aligned (or even right-aligned) rather than centred. It's not so much a problem with this one, but {{msg:Disambig}} looks decidedly clumsy. Remember: we need to look good on all screen resolutions and font sizes. Hajor 00:05, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)

FYI: There is another version at Template:Tolkienstub:


I've removed the protection from this page, so that everyone can participate in the edit war. -- Tim Starling 23:27, Mar 18, 2004 (UTC)


This section is a poll. You can help Wikipedia by voting on it. ;-)

At Dori's suggestion, I think it would be a good idea to hold a poll. There's often a strong and vocal gut reaction against change, which I think we've seen above; given a longer period for discussion and deliberation, we may find that the bulk of the community actually liked the new stub message (or we may not), but I don't think that six comments within a couple hours can be a fair judge of consensus. -- Seth Ilys 23:35, 18 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Polls tend to but a damper on discussion, not encourage it. That aside, I don't like the new proposal because it draws attention to a notice which isn't part of the article at all, really, and because I'm easily distracted by bright colours. I don't see what's wrong with the old, simple version to be honest. --Camembert
I agree with Camembert -- the idea of a stub notice isn't to advertise its stubbiness (after all, by the time you see the notice, you see the article and know what its shortcomings are). It's primarily to allow us to have a standard way of marking stubs so that (as far as I understand) "What Links Here" or some similar alternative can list all the marked stubs to be more easily found. It's not intended to be a signpost -- it's visible only so people know the stub has been marked. I don't see that making a big colorful sign does anything but make the Wikipedia look a little less professional, no offense intended to the people who've designed these boxes (I am positive they have the best intentions). Jwrosenzweig 23:58, 18 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I think that the prominent stub notice helps new users understand what Wikipedia is about a little better. If someone comes in and sees an unimpressive little stub, they might not even look closely before going back to the next Google hit. But if they see a prominent stub notice and note that they can be involved, it might help to draw more people into the project. -- Seth Ilys 00:48, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I feel a bit mixed about this. I like the way that Timwi's version separates out the message from the main body of the text, but I think it also makes the message too prominent. I would like a version which did both. Maybe the stub message could appear at the bottom of the page with Edit this page etc. and the whole lot could be put into a nicely formatted box to separate it from the article text. Washington Irving | Talk

Please vote for your preference, or add a new option if you're so inclined. Voting lasts one week (ending 23:25, 25 Mar 2004)

Please consider disregarding the colours/fonts/margins/etc. as they can always be voted on separately. This is not a "either a blue box or nothing" decision. Please vote on whether you could be persuaded in general to change this to a box of this kind. Thanks.

Timwi's version (revised)

This article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.
  1. Ausir 23:39, 18 Mar 2004 (UTC)
    • Please notice that I have made changes to the above. What was there before was not actually my version. Timwi 23:49, 18 Mar 2004 (UTC)
  2. Timwi 23:49, 18 Mar 2004 (UTC)
  3. Seth Ilys 23:35, 18 Mar 2004 (UTC)
  4. I have reconsidered it a bit. I like this version best. — Sverdrup 23:46, 18 Mar 2004 (UTC)
  5. Vikingstad 00:48, Mar 19, 2004 (UTC)
  6. Bkonrad | Talk 02:25, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)
  7. Tuf-Kat
  8. Phil | Talk 09:35, Mar 19, 2004 (UTC)
    • I like it because it should encourage readers to expand stub articles. To all those who don't like it, how about getting out there and making all those stub messages unnecessary!
  9. sannse (talk) 18:32, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)
  10. Elf | Talk 02:40, 20 Mar 2004 (UTC) I changed my mind after I came across some articles earlier today that used box/colored background formats for vfd and stub and disambig, I think--was there a temporary change?--and by golly I really liked the way they looked.
  11. ♬ bdesham 03:26, Mar 20, 2004 (UTC)
  12. chris_73 04:18, 24 Mar 2004 (UTC) The box is a nice highlight.
  13. Taku 01:37, Mar 27, 2004 (UTC); This is simply more looking nice.

Old version

This article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.

  1. Jwrosenzweig 23:45, 18 Mar 2004 (UTC)
  2. Camembert 23:46, 18 Mar 2004 (UTC)
  3. SimonP 00:10, Mar 19, 2004 (UTC) (I would prefer to remove the link on the word expanding, as Find or fix a stub has nothing to do with improving that particular article).
  4. fabiform | talk 00:27, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)
  5. Angela
  6. Djinn112 01:42, Mar 19, 2004 (UTC)
  7. Dori | Talk 02:12, Mar 19, 2004 (UTC)
  8. moink 02:21, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)
  9. RickK | Talk 02:34, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)
  10. Davodd 06:25, Mar 19, 2004 (UTC)
  11. Ruhrjung 13:37, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)
  12. Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 14:55, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC). See ===Metadata=== below
  13. Michael Snow 17:31, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC) The revised version is even worse than the original. I don't think the extra link adds any value.
    • Huh? What extra link? — Timwi 03:27, 20 Mar 2004 (UTC)
  14. Gentgeen
  15. Ludraman | Talk
  16. BCorr¤Брайен 23:04, Mar 22, 2004 (UTC)
  17. Ryan_Cable 12:41, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)
  18. Fennec 15:16, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)
  19. Stewart Adcock 18:32, 27 Mar 2004 (UTC)
  20. Arvindn 19:15, 31 Mar 2004 (UTC)

General Discussion

Other messages

So are we going to have a poll for every different message? I feel the same way for all of them, but obviously others might not. Dori | Talk 02:17, Mar 19, 2004 (UTC)

I hope polling isn't necessary on every message, but we need to discuss this systematically instead of ad hoc, so that we can have some sort of established practice. I'm much more inclined to favor Timwi's approach for messages that are more short-lived or time-sensitive, like VfD. --Michael Snow 17:31, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)


The purpose of the article page is to have the article. The place for administrative messages is the talk page. By incorporating metadata on the article page, we are moving away from making the pages useful for readers, and making them just useful for editors, which is kind of pointless - what are we making the pages for at all if they are not for readers. The bolding, colouring and boxing of these messages goes even further to make it seem like they are the most important bit of the page, not the article itself. Ideally we would restrict these msgs: to the talk page (with the possible exception of vfd, which is a time critical message), then they cane be as intrusive as people want. Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 14:55, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Almost all these messages, including for example neutrality and accuracy disputes, are extremely important to point out to visitors (who don't know about talk pages and don't look at them). Casual visitors, especially young students, tend to be less trained to look out for possible factual inaccuracies or bias. — One message that I agree with you should not even be in the article, is the "this article is protected" message. That one is solely relevant to editors. — Timwi 03:27, 20 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Tolkien stub

I think a good idea to encourage more people to expand stubs, would be to make more field-specific stub messages, for people interested in that field (like I've done with Template:Tolkienstub. The text can even be the same as in the standard message. Ausir 10:57, 27 Mar 2004 (UTC)

This is at once a good and a bad idea. The obvious advantage is that people with an interest in a certain area can quickly locate and attack stubs they might know something about. The disadvantage is that it is no longer indexed on the main stub What-Links-Here-based pages, which are still important. I recommend this instead (for example):


and edit msg:Tolkienstub to read something like:

See [[whatever|list of Tolkien-related stubs]].

(By the way, please refrain from linking "here", bad style.) The two msgs should cascade together pretty nicely.

Derrick Coetzee 00:41, 6 Apr 2004 (UTC)

The fact that so many stubs exist on a single topic indicates to me that the information on this topic is poorly organized. In the specific case of Tolkein, a random selection of articles I read appeared not really to be stubs... the articles were actually quite complete.. it is just that they are on such specific topics that there wasn't much to write. I would prefer to see in this case, and others as they arise, fewer, but more interesting and readable (because you don't have to click all over the place), articles. Maybe the problem is that the creator of 10 very short articles appears to be more "productive" than the creator of one longer one. Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 10:01, 6 Apr 2004 (UTC)

you may improve Wikipedia

I've again and again been disturbed by the wording "you can help Wikipedia by expanding it".

This may of course be an odd reaction, and I apologize in advance if somebody feel offended, but what about "you may improve Wikipedia by expanding it" instead?

My feeling is that "you can help" sounds approximately as if there exists "a Wikipedia" consisting of The Real Wikipedians, and then others may step in and do some extra work, like the man in the family might be asked to "help in the house" by taking the garbage on his way out to the office... or something. ;-) /Tuomas 19:15, 6 May 2004 (UTC)

I like the "help" wording. I think it reflects a community of people who are kindly asking for your precious time. On the other hand, helping an inanimate object (Wikipedia) seems rather odd. How about "you may help improve Wikipedia"?
Derrick Coetzee 19:27, 7 May 2004 (UTC)

needs to be protected its a vandalism target and why the heck would anyone need to edit it?--Ryan B. 00:16, 15 May 2004 (UTC)

Remember that protection is a last resort. While vandalizing the stub message can affect many pages at once, it also is liable to be noticed and corrected very quickly.
As for why anyone would edit it, its form and wording have been changed a number of times already, and may still change, although I admit there's precious little to alter. One real disadvantage of protection though is the added burden to administrators, who would have to keep an eye on the talk page and carry out any proposed changes from then on. We're lazy.
Derrick Coetzee 02:52, 15 May 2004 (UTC)
Protected pages are considered harmful. If you look at the history of mediawiki:stub and mediawiki:delete, you'll see there have been a number of edits that need not be stopped by protecting the page. It's incredibly easy to revert a bit of vandalism. Compare it with something like Wikipedia or Wikipedia:About which are vandalised almost daily. Angela. 03:26, May 15, 2004 (UTC)

Please don't add an hr to the msg. Some pages already have hr's. The hr is not necessary in the first place. --Jiang 08:56, 20 May 2004 (UTC)