Page MenuHomePhabricator

Remove the "References list" item from Wikiquotes?
Closed, DeclinedPublic


Dunno about other languages, but as it was explained to me by User:Ningauble, "references lists are completely deprecated at the English Wikiquote [...] As with all quality compendia of quotations in print, such as Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, the philosophy here is that citations belong with the quotations, in the body of the text and not in separate footnotes." So it may make sense to make the Insert menu shorter for them, if possible.

Event Timeline

Elitre created this task.Jul 6 2016, 5:53 AM
Restricted Application added subscribers: Zppix, Aklapper. · View Herald TranscriptJul 6 2016, 5:53 AM
Elitre added a comment.Jul 6 2016, 5:57 AM

(Ideally, I realize that what I'm asking for is more "make the toolbar adapt to the namespace I'm editing", since of course people may still want to be able to add references list to a user page or to a sandbox.)

We try to keep the toolbar consistent across namespaces to avoid user confusion. On some wikis we move now the 'Cite' button/dropdown to the insert list which we can do here.

Jdforrester-WMF changed the task status from Open to Stalled.Jul 15 2016, 5:33 PM
Jdforrester-WMF added a project: Cite.
Jdforrester-WMF added a subscriber: Jdforrester-WMF.

Right now we show the references lists option next to the other reference (footnote) tools at the bottom of the insert menu. As Ed says, we don't vary per namespace, and we don't hide tools where they're available.

If the user wants, we can re-purpose this ticket to "uninstall Cite from Wikiquotes" but that will need a fair bit of discussion.

Izno moved this task from Unsorted backlog to External on the Cite board.Jul 15 2016, 5:45 PM

"Uninstall Cite from Wikiquotes" sounds a bit draconian, as if "cite" and "footnote" are synonymous. Seriously, every quotation at Wikiquote should be cited, but not in a footnote (at en.Wikiquote and most Wikiquotes).

If "uninstall Cite" would disable footnoting them but still provide tools for adding a citation outside of a footnote (perhaps as described at ) then that is not so bad. But if the citation tool is what allows one to use citation templates from within VisualEditor (as it is defined at ) and they cannot otherwise be used then that is a problem.

Although en.Wikiquote has not adopted a standard set (of up to five) citation templates, and the vast majority of citations at en.Wikiquote do not even employ templatization, the possibility of doing so probably ought not be foreclosed. Though the variety of source types and citation contexts (e.g. line items vs. article or section introductions) would necessitate many more than five citation formats, there may be some potential utility in making citation templates more user-friendly than plain old wikimarkup.

It is not citations, but footnotes that are deprecated at en.Wikiquote. They are not synonymous. Seriously, language like "uninstall Cite" makes me dread the day VE becomes the default interface. Using footnotes in a new article is the surest way to get a {{cleanup}} template slapped on it, but failing to cite it is the surest way to get it deleted.

In that case, I do not understand what you are asking for? Either you do use the Cite system (<ref> and <references />) or you don't… I'm sorry.

If you mean the Footnote system (<ref></ref> and <references />) then en.Wikiquote does not use it. As stated in the opening description above, it is completely deprecated at the English Wikiquote.

If "Citation Tool" is that which allows one to use Citation Templates in VE, as defined at the above link to [[Mediawiki:VisualEditor/Citation tool]], then it should be noted that we do use Citations, which are mandatory, and sometimes Citation Templates, which are optional.

Again, "Citation" and "Footnote" are not synonyms.

If you mean the Footnote system (<ref></ref> and <references />) then en.Wikiquote does not use it. As stated in the opening description above, it is completely deprecated at the English Wikiquote.
If "Citation Tool" is that which allows one to use Citation Templates in VE, as defined at the above link to [[Mediawiki:VisualEditor/Citation tool]], then it should be noted that we do use Citations, which are mandatory, and sometimes Citation Templates, which are optional.
Again, "Citation" and "Footnote" are not synonyms.

Sadly, they are. I agree that it's confusing. Citation templates outside of <ref>s are not supported in the current Cite code for VisualEditor. However, there's T96710: Per-wiki customizable drop down menu for templates which when done would allow Wikiquotes to have their (non-<ref>) citation templates used there.

It sounds like we should proceed with disabling Cite for Wikiquote. Will follow-up with a task specific to that, and give community members lots of time to weigh in.

@Ningauble, by "disabling Cite for Wikiquote", I believe that James F means "disabling the piece of software that is described at for the English Wikiquote".

It currently looks like you'll have 400+ pages (in the mainspace/default search terms) break when this happens, so perhaps some clean up should be required in advance, in addition to evidence of community consensus.

I thought that what he meant by saying that it should be discussed at another specific task which does not exist, was simply to stop the discussion. (The insistence that Citation and Footnote are synonymous, despite what every standard dictionary of the English language plainly says, and that templates are not supported unless they are placed in footnotes, also strike me as thought-stopping absurdities.) However, since you have restarted it I will comment on your findings and give a little background.

There are indeed several pages that use <ref> tags. There is always a backlog of cleanup to be done, but I would note the fact that they comprise less than 1½% of en.wikiquote articles as evidence of the existing consensus against using them. Of course, people who are more familiar with Wikipedia's way of placing citations in footnotes than Wikiquote's way of placing citations with quotations do occasionally add <ref> tags manually despite the fact that they were removed from q:en:MediaWiki:Edittools years ago, per consensus.

Even more alarming to me is the potential need of a huge cleanup project for some 1800+ pages that could break because they use citation templates in unsupported locations. This strikes me as a completely unnecessary imposition, requiring us to either abandon the use of templates or to abandon the layout favored by all quality compendia of quotations.

To be clear about the context in which this "task" arose: en.wikiquote received a bulletin at Editing News #2—2016 with a prominent sidebar saying "Did you know? It's quick and easy to insert a references list." I replied, in a post quoted in the description of this task, "did you know that references lists are completely deprecated at the English Wikiquote?" (I had also remarked about this issue in response to prior bulletins announcing or promoting this feature at VisualEditor coming to this wiki as a Beta Feature (2014) and VisualEditor News #5—2015.)

I was simply pointing out that the feature is ill-suited to the way Wikiquote articles are laid out, and contrary to its style guidelines. If there is any doubt that this is so, take a look at the 27,000+ articles that do not use footnotes. I am not proposing any change in the way en.wikiquote formats its articles, but pointing out how it does format them in order "to help make sure the Editing department understand what the community wants and needs". We definitely do not need prominent buttons or menu items labeled "Cite" that have the effect of creating footnotes, and we really do not need to have templates disabled in our interlinear citation format.

I am sure @Elitre was trying to be helpful in calling the situation to the attention of the phab community, but I am not encouraged by responses from the Product Manager. If it is out of order to continue the discussion here rather than at the designated nonexistent venue then I apologize, and will desist from acting on the notion that this is an appropriate place to seek software support for the the community's established practices.

Jdforrester-WMF closed this task as Declined.Oct 5 2016, 6:05 PM

Understood. If you don't want it removed, then, we won't. :-)

Okay, @Ningauble, let's make sure we're all using the same words for a moment:

A citation template is a local template. The only way those get removed is if some admin deletes them.

The cite extension, which some enwiki folks started calling "footnotes" years ago (and the name spread from there), is what makes <ref> tags turn into little blue clicky numbers, rather than displaying the exact characters <ref> directly on the page.

The Cite button in the visual editor invokes the cite software (=makes <ref> tags). It works for both manual citations and for citation templates. The automatic citation system (the "citoid" service) uses only citation templates.

Now for what's possible:

  • None of the devs care whether you have citation templates. It's a local decision.
  • If you don't want the cite extension (=little blue clicky numbers), then it can be de-installed. That's a significant config change, so follow the process at to make sure that your community actually doesn't want it, etc.
    • Note that you can keep the citation templates even if you remove the cite extension. Unless the pages are cleaned up beforehand, you'll end up with a few hundred pages that say <ref> around the still-rendered contents (e.g., <ref>Smith, Jo (1923) Famous Quotations. Harper: London.</ref>), but both the manual and templated citations will still exist and still display.
  • If any wiki doesn't want the Cite button in the visual editor, then it can be buried at the bottom of the Insert menu. This is a relatively minor config change, and they can get that by asking on Phab. This has already been done for enwikiquote.

What you can't have is this:

  • Hundreds of pages with working <ref> tags on the wiki, and they can only be edited or added if you're using one of the wikitext editors.

So if you want the cite extension tools completely removed from the visual editor, then you need to have the cite extension completely removed from the whole wiki. Being able to edit existing ref tags only if you use a particular editing tool is not fair or reasonable for anyone trying to edit those pages.

By the way, given what you've said, I think you should seriously consider removing the cite extension altogether. If you remove that extension, then most people will stop adding unwanted ref tags, because the ref tags will stop working when the page is saved.

Understood. If you don't want it removed, then, we won't. :-)

Not what I said.

Clearly, I need to seek assistance elsewhere.