Template repository

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This is an idea for something that doesn't exist yet. If you want to help develop this idea, please edit this page.

Idea

To develop a set of "starter" or "default" templates (template templates, you might even say) that new wiki installs can copy and use.

Motivation

Pretty and clever templates are very difficult to write from scratch, and copying them from Wikimedia wikis is often very difficult because of extreme template nesting and hindered by licensing concerns. Good templates can enormously improve the look and navigability of a wiki.

Availability of public domain pedagogical templates will encourage wiki authors to build effective Open Educational Resources for a future wherein Open Distance Learning supported by OER would build the inclusive main stream education system all over the world.

Requirements

  • Templates should be public domain.
  • Templates should be self contained, not calling other templates (or: maybe a maximum of one meta-template?).
  • Templates should have usage and modification instructions.
  • Templates should not rely on ParserFunctions (or: they should indicate if they do).
  • Templates should aim to be easy to read and understand even without usage instructions.
  • We should also write some useful CSS that templates use, and ship it with the templates, rather than having manually coded CSS in each one.
  • Images - use sparingly for easier re-use?
    • use public domain images if necessary
    • Use PNGs rather than SVGs for easier re-use (PNG uploads are configured by default, SVGs are not)
    • Maybe offer multiple versions of templates? one with SVG, one with PNG, one with no image.

Guidelines for template writers

  • Don't try to make the most extensible template ever; don't keep everything as variable for the user to provide, e.g. alignment of boxes, just pick an alignment and hard-code it.

Distribution

Ways that people can get the templates:

  • Possibly bundled - included by default?
  • An extension?
  • Special:Export This will always work, but it's not so much fun for a large number of pages, and it may require exporting metatemplates separately. Also images still have to be manually copied, unless hosted in Wikicommons.

Needed templates

Infobox
Multiple variables.
Navbox
No variables.
Warning
One variable.
Ambox
AKA cleanup/article message box. Could be same as warning?
No variables
Tip
One variable
User welcome
For user talk pages
No variables (put names external to template)?
Edit request
For protected pages - put on talk page
No variables - acts as a "tag" and people put their request below.
Inline
aka "citation needed"
no variables.
Licenses
no variables.
Ratings
Like WikiProject talk page templates
a small number of variables.
Userboxes
No variables.
Pedagogical templates
to develop Open Educational Resources (OERs)
Documentation
no variables; include { {SUBJECTPAGENAME} }/doc, and allow editing it