Wiki-specific templates (a) don't scale and (b) don't work well for many situations. In general, we should make it easier for users to do the right thing and make it so no-one wants (or needs) these templates.
- Mentioned In
- T160498: New parameters to allow to set the class and style of div.mw-references-wrap which is rendered by the <references /> with the parameter 'responsive'
T33597: Render references list in multiple columns based on the number of items
- Mentioned Here
- T176242: [EPIC] Representing / extracting wiki-specific application-level semantics
T6547: Support crosswiki template inclusion (transclusion => interwiki templates, etc.)
What are "wiki-specific" templates? Are they the things that will cease to exist once we have global templates (T6547: Support crosswiki template inclusion (transclusion => interwiki templates, etc.))?
Even with the list of "blocked by" tasks here, it's still difficult to discern exactly what type of templates we're discussing here. Which templates don't scale? Which templates don't work well for many situations?
Broadly, I thought we were trying to either keep wikitext as complex as it is currently or reduce its complexity. Extending wikitext further (e.g., by making <gallery> syntax more complicated) stands in contrast with this perhaps outdated principle of keeping wikitext from growing.
I also see this task as intersecting with the need to clearly define how VisualEditor will handle wrapper wiki templates (if at all) and how Parsoid will handle wrapper wiki templates, particularly partials. In general, I agree that templates on individual wikis have been used as a crutch or a hack to work around limited "built-in" functionality (i.e., functionality from MediaWiki core or one of its extensions), but I very much doubt we'll be able to eliminate the long tail of wrapper templates, so figuring out a more robust approach seems prudent. Maybe this has already been done elsewhere.
This approach is hopeless and counterproductive. The whole point of templates is that the community constantly revises them and constantly creates new ones for new functionality. The moment you expand and complexify core wikitext to make some templates "unneeded", the community will just start making new templates incorporating that wikitext.
The only result is futile redundancy and complexification added to core wikitext.
If you want no-one wants (or needs) these templates let's examine what that means. There is discussion of putting the new #shortdesc keyword in a template. Here's a list of functionality currently planned, or under consideration:
- Displaying a custom text.
- Conditional display: That text should only display in preview mode.
- Conditional display: Is a value supplied?
- Conditional display: Does the value match any of a list of community-defined special values?
- Conditional display: Alternate text, if the value is longer than # characters.
- Including the page into one or more categories.
- Selection of category/categories may be dependent on whether a value is supplied.
- Selection of category/categories may be dependent on whether the value matches any of a list of community-defined special values.
- Selection of category/categories may be dependent on the length of the supplied value.
- On-the-fly translation of values. An absent value , or selected special values, may be converted to different specified values before passing those values to the #magicword.
This task is fundamentally is misguided and doomed. Even if you obviate the need for a wiki-specific template, you must expect that it's just going to be re-wrapped in a new template at any time.
The core wikitext functionality should only be changed when it truly makes sense to incorporate specific functionality into core even if it gets wrapped in a new template 24 hours later.