Obviate the need for wikis' wrapper and functionality-replacement templates
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Description

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.

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Jdforrester-WMF updated the task description. (Show Details)
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He7d3r added a comment.Apr 9 2015, 2:29 PM

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.))?

No. We're writing software for all MediaWiki installations, including those in air-gapped bunkers without access to MediaWiki.org's shared templates (or whatever). :-)

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 syntax more complicated) stands in contrast with this perhaps outdated principle of keeping wikitext from growing.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.

Alsee added a subscriber: Alsee.EditedNov 8 2015, 2:18 AM

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.