User:K6ka/drafts/sims/Forum:Changing the warning template

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{{Forumheader|<Community discussions>}} Currently the wiki has one template used to warn users - {{Warning}}. All warning messages are bundled into this one template, giving it a clean and formal appearance. The problem with doing this is... everything.

Firstly, the appearance of the warning template gives it a sense of intimidating authority, even for level one warnings. Level one warnings should be used to inform the user about their recent edits without implying authority or that they are "bad users". If the warning is supposed to be a friendly reminder not to make unhelpful edits, the warning template box can only make that "friendly" part totally bogus.

Secondly, the warning template itself leaves a ton of cruft and parser functions on the warned user's talk page. This can be resolved with safesubst:, but I am not precisely in the mood to deal with complex template coding, especially if the end result is to just inform a user. Even if this was fixed, it still doesn't resolve the problem that {{Warning}} is just problematic for someone trying to edit the template, such as if they want to add a new templated message. The template also disables the rich text editor due to its complex coding, which will intimidate a newbie that tries to respond on their talk page when they're confronted with the source editor and unfamiliar code.

Thirdly, and I mentioned it briefly in my second point, it is too difficult to add new and manage existing templated messages. All messages are stored in {{Warning-text}}, which is a pain to simply look at. To add new messages, one must know exactly what they are doing, which is probably why we've been so reluctant to add new messages.

As such, I propose that we retire the old warning template, and instead use a system similar to how Wikipedia does it - multiple warning templates, with each template housing its own warning message. For example, there would be a template for a level one warning for vandalism, another template for a level two warning for vandalism, etc. Wikipedia also avoids using a box or any sort of fancy HTML coding for their templates, which is especially effective for level one warnings, since they shouldn't be implying authority at all.

Here are a few examples of what I suggest templated warning messages should look like:

Level 1 vandalism warning

Hello, I'm Example. I wanted to let you know that some of your recent contributions to Mortimer Goth have been undone because they did not appear to be constructive. If you would like to experiment, please use the sandbox. If you think I made a mistake, or if you have any questions, please leave me a message on my talk page. Thanks! ~~~~

Level 2 vandalism warning

Please refrain from making unconstructive edits to The Sims Wiki, as you did at Mortimer Goth. Your edits appear to constitute vandalism and have been reverted. Users who repeatedly engage in vandalism may have their editing privileges removed. ~~~~

Level 3 vandalism warning

Please stop your disruptive editing. If you continue to vandalize the wiki, you may be blocked from editing. ~~~~


Notice how the templated warning messages have no box surrounding them, and are simply comprised of a small image icon and text. This gives it more of an impression that the messages were handwritten, and are informally issued. The real impact of the warning messages come in the way they are written. Notice how the level one warning is the longest of the three, but is written in a friendly tone that doesn't downright call the user a vandal. The second warning is shorter and is slightly stricter, losing the friendly tone and becomes more serious. The third warning is very short, and it implies that the user has already been warned for vandalism. A user that has reached this stage is likely editing in bad faith, and so, rather than repeating what the previous warnings have stated, it simply tells the user to stop or risk being blocked.

Compare this to our existing warning messages for vandalism:

Level 1

Template:Warning

Level 2

Template:Warning

Level 3

Template:Warning


The problem with all of them is that they're displayed in a box, which implies authority. It even says in the boilerplate that the message is a standardized warning message, which will slap any newbie across the face. The level one warning is also, IMHO, way too harsh; it's too short, doesn't introduce the user that is issuing the warning, and already implies that the user being warned has for sure made unconstructive edits.

This is as much as I want to crank out right now. Thoughts?