Help talk:Maintenance template removal

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Semi-protected edit request on 5 June 2020[edit]

AaS2X5 2601:8C0:C000:8700:E426:D917:E68C:36F (talk) 05:20, 5 June 2020 (UTC)

 Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format and provide a reliable source if appropriate. TheImaCow (talk) 05:26, 5 June 2020 (UTC)

unclear: what to do[edit]

Hi,

just a thought: every now and then, people add a maintenance template on a page, but it is unclear what they are referring to (this recently happened to me with "citation style"). It may be helpful to add a suggestion on this help page what to do in such a case. I am experienced enough to go to the editors talkpage and ask them: but newer editors may not have this inclination. This page is being referred to for guidance, so it makes sense to me to describe it here. effeietsanders 23:13, 23 August 2020 (UTC)

Hi effeiets. I must confess I don't understand your concern. I drafted this help page in great part specifically to provide advice describing "what to do" when "people add a maintenance template on a page" and "it is unclear what they are referring to". Did you read the section on addressing the flagged problem, the section on researching the tagged issue section and the section headlined Still need help?

I even included a section on specific template guidance, going into much more detail about what to do when finding a page tagged with some of the more common maintenance templates—there is only so much room on the page for this, so it cannot cover every maintenance template one might come across. If you have read all of the linked parts of the page and your question is not answered, can you try to explain what more could be included to help address your concern? Best regards--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 01:37, 25 September 2020 (UTC)

@Fuhghettaboutit: Thanks for your follow-up. I'll try to walk you through my experience. Note that I'm fairly experienced; an actual newcomer may have a much harder time. The scenario is that I created a page, or care about a page. Someone added a template at the top of that page, without being overly specific. For example, it may state that it needs more citations. Or that the style is not to their liking. But without specificity, that's not very instructive. So they are sent to this help page. When I start reading this page, everything suggests to me that I should already know what the problem is that I have to address. When I go to "Addressing the flagged problem" (I'm assuming the user is of good faith, and actually wants to fix it), I see that I should basically read the policies. That's not very helpful, because those are gigantic often, and don't indicate specifically what is wrong. It then ends with " Whatever maintenance tag brought you to this help page should likewise contain relevant explanatory links addressed to whatever its issue is." (which is not the case in our scenario". Then it spends a lot of time talking about removal, which is not particularly relevant. So I stop reading. The specific guidances are nice, but are folded by default, and hard to spot for our newcomer (they need to know the template name - which they won't know if they use visual editor).
The template specific descriptions are actually rather helpful when described, except that they feel a bit outdated (heavily relying on source editing rather than visual editor - in the case of citations not even acknowledging that visual editor exists), but that is besides the point. Some improvements could include simple step-by-step approaches, rather than a lot of references to policies and other more extensive help pages. It also feels to focus a bit too much on nuance and explaining the expert view (I don't quite understand how
It should not be used for articles with no sources at all ({{unreferenced}} should be used instead), nor for articles without inline citations but which contain some sources ({{No footnotes}} should be used instead), nor for article on living persons ({{BLP sources}} should be used instead). This template no longer applies once an article has been made fairly well sourced.
would help me if I get a 'refimprove' on my article, for example). In my case, the template was not listed, but I can see that you can't cater to each and every template with this level of detail.
But the unfortunately likely problem "I get this general policy notification, but don't know why this would be a problem on my article - looks fine to me" is not solved. All that is then left, is the 'go to these super general places ask random strangers for help' which sounds very scary.
After reading this page again, I realize that there are quite a few nuggets in here. My suggestions for improvement would be:
  • Update to visual editor, or at least acknowledge both.
  • Instead of folding the descriptions, show the templates, and bring people to a more specific subpage. Once you know they care about 'refimprove', that is all they need to see.
  • Cut down on the nuance, and leave that for other pages. Make it more actionable and focused on your target audience: people who need help fixing their template. I personally am a big fan of step-by-step approaches.
  • Maybe rename the page and relay the focus a bit from 'how to remove a template' to 'how to address this issue that someone flagged'. Or split it?
  • Make the 'more help needed' more specific. Give them one first option. If that doesn't work, they can try other things. This choice between options that I don't really know is terrifying after reading so much help-page. My intuition would be to first see if they can contact the person who added the template. That person should probably know what is needed, but may not always respond. But you're more informed to what the best recommendation would be on enwiki (e.g. maybe you're afraid they'll bite the newcomer?).
  • Finally, I would put a 5-line executive summary on top. That makes sure that people don't have to struggle through the whole page.
I know that you put in a lot of effort, and that some parts are still there. My concern is less about my specific problem, but about how we can help more people work through their problems. I love the idea of this help page trying to actually guide people through the problem - I just believe it could be more effective. Sorry for the long writing, I hope it makes more sense this way. effeietsanders 07:45, 25 September 2020 (UTC)

Should the use of the 'Undisclosed paid' template be explained on article talk pages?[edit]

Please contribute to the discussion at Template talk:Undisclosed paid#Make talk page discussion mandatory when this template is used. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 21:16, 4 October 2020 (UTC)