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Make template redirects in articles automatically switch to the redirect target
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Author: grmwnr

Template redirects have been causing a stir recently. There are important points
in favor of them (ease-of-use mostly) and points against them (server
performance issues that might or might not be a problem, the fact that template
redirects are handled completely transparently combined with the fact that
there's some naming guidelines for templates emerging, at least at a local
level). A complete solution to this would be to substitute a redirected template
automatically with its redirect target once the page is saved (i.ed {{template
which redirects to other template}} would become {{other template}}). This is a
suggestion by Caerwine ( ), to be
found at
, cited below:

"That said, perhaps rather than human engineering, we should be focussing our
efforts on software engineering, since the later is usually easier to
accomplish. It shouldn't be that difficult to have the software be able to
automatically substitute in the reference from a redirect instead of keeping it
when saving an edit. That would have the benefit of reducing both server load
when the template or article link is refered to in the future and in the case of
stub templates, reduce the number of undesirable examples followed by novice
stub creators. In cases where it is desirable to retain the redirects as
redirects because they are redirects with possibilities, it wouldn't be
difficult to have it differentiate this based on something such as having
#REDIRECT [[Y]] and #REDIRECT [[Template:Y]] be links that do get
auto-dereferenced while #REDIRECT [[:Y]] and #REDIRECT [[:Template:Y]] don't get
auto-dereferenced, as currently the syntax allows for either form and they seem
to be treated the same, so I don't think the change wouldn't break anything.
Caerwine Caerwhine 22:02, 26 December 2005 (UTC)"

Version: unspecified
Severity: enhancement



Event Timeline

bzimport raised the priority of this task from to Lowest.Nov 21 2014, 9:01 PM
bzimport set Reference to bz4410.
bzimport added a subscriber: Unknown Object (MLST).

villadavida wrote:

Note that there are complications with the English Wiktionary template context, which
makes extensive use of redirects using #ifexists and will do so even when it is
greatly simplified with string functions. I don't think this suggestion conflicts, but
please don't break anything! ~~~~


Well, what's the problem that needs solving?

There isn't really a performance issue.

Transparent handling and the ongoing evolution of naming patterns both
point in favor of functioning redirects.

Generally, changing page text on save or automatically gives me the willies.
It smells like confusion (violation of principle of least surprise).

ligulem wrote:

I'm bold and closing this as WONTFIX.

There is no consensus to "substitute a redirected template automatically with
its redirect target once the page is saved". Especially not as side effect of
saving a page.

Some template redirects are deliberately created for editorial reasons. Template
redirects are a feature (of course it should be used wisely, as every feature ;-).

ayg wrote:

If bug 2003 is fixed, this could be done on a per-redirect basis if desired, too.