Community Wishlist Survey 2019/Archive/Centralized templates and modules

◄ Back to Archive  The survey has concluded. Here are the results!

NoN Outside the scope of Community Tech

  • Problem: We have a proliferation of Templates and Modules which are copied from one WMF wiki to another, without the ability to maintain them centrally, because all Templates and Modules are specific to one wiki. This puts a huge burden on editors of small wikis when we try to copy existing Templates and Modules from larger wikis.

    Commons already stores images centrally for other WMF wikis to use. If we can have the same behaviour for Templates and Modules, this will save a lot of time for everyone. The central repository of Templates and Modules can be hosted on either Commons or Wikidata - either is fine.

    This problem was discussed extensively at the Wikidata and infoboxes panel at Wikimania 2017 and there is strong consensus that a central repository of Templates and Modules will solve this problem.

  • Who would benefit: Small wikis and cross-wiki editors; Template and Module curators.
  • Proposed solution: When someone tries to transclude a template or invoke a module which doesn't exist locally, but there is an equivalent module or template in the central repository (say, Commons), transclude that template or module instead.

    This is basically the same behaviour as pulling media from Commons, but for templates and modules.

  • More comments:
  • Proposer: Deryck C. 12:30, 30 October 2018 (UTC)


Thanks Deryck Chan! I found this problem when installing the fully automated template system on some small Wikipedias. They don't have anything, not even a coordinates system there. Modules could be better mantained with this system, and there's always the possibility to fork and i18n. -Theklan (talk) 12:34, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Not sure that the central repository of templates and modules should be commons as there are a lot of templates and modules on there that are commons specific. If it was to be used as the central repository, the shared templates and modules should be stored in separate namespaces, for example sharedtemplate: and sharedmodule: rather than within template: and module: -- WOSlinker (talk) 13:46, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
    • @WOSlinker: That shouldn't be a problem: if a local Template or Module exists, then the local Template or Module will be loaded instead. It hasn't been a problem that certain files are Commons-specific. Alternatively, we can put the central repository for Templates and Modules on Wikidata. Deryck C. 14:05, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
  • I think that this proposal has an important social issue: Who is going to exercise editorial control on the modules and templates? The community that hosts the repository or the communities that use it? An edit to the repository might break pages on another project and that will lead to conflict if there is no regulatory process. If people apply a lot of local opt outs to avoid this problem many benefits of the central repository will be negated. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 15:22, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
    Presumably the new wiki would have its own administrators and policies? I think it would be easiest to think about it as if it were Wikidata but for templates and modules (the analogy being that Wikidata content is also transcluded to multiple wikis). Jc86035 (talk) 15:28, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
    And do the communities that use the repository get a say in how it drafts its policies and appoints its administrators? The issue isn't so much how to organize the repository, but how to organize the repository so that it forestalls any "decisions in the repository affect content elsewhere" problems. Incorrect data on Wikidata have caused problems on other projects where it has been transcluded, since editors on the other projects do not always know how to fix the incorrect data or where the problem lies, and I think we ought to avoid the same problems reoccurring on a code repository. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 15:34, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
    Repository doesn't mean "mandatory". A repository of commons templates (coordinates, collapsible list...) can be there and if a local community wants changes, they make them locally, not in the repository. -Theklan (talk) 20:14, 30 October 2018 (UTC)

Der, Legoktm may be able to tell you what is the status of this, I think it was a part of their work. Gryllida 22:56, 30 October 2018 (UTC)

  • Unfortunately this is one of those monolithic projects that's outside of Community Tech's scope. Furthermore this was a top 10 wish in the 2015 survey (before we refined our scope), so there's no need to re-propose. Rest assured this is known wish -- everybody wants it, but our small team isn't capable of delivering it. As such I'm moving it to the archives, but thank you for the taking the initiative to propose it again :) Please feel free to continue with the discussion. MusikAnimal (WMF) (talk) 23:00, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
    • Der & MusikAnimal (WMF): If community tech doesn't have enough resources for such project, we should think how to re-scope it/break it down to smaller and feasible steps. For example, converting top 5 used templates (across all wikis) to Lua extension (suggested name: wmf-common-templates extension). eranroz (talk) 02:28, 31 October 2018 (UTC)
      • Not a bad idea! There was talk of doing something similar for common gadgets as a workaround to global gadgets. I don't recall what happened with that. Anyway, if we're just talking about setting up an extension to contain global modules (probably not also templates), and not implementing these modules, then this might be feasible for us. If you want to create a new proposal for it, you should :) MusikAnimal (WMF) (talk) 03:33, 31 October 2018 (UTC)