Forum:Removing templates and categories from inactive userpages

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Forums: Index > Village Dump > Removing templates and categories from inactive userpages
Note: This topic has been unedited for 2553 days. It is considered archived - the discussion is over. Do not add to unless it really needs a response.
SPIKE has asked me to post this in the dump:

As a temporary admin, I'm temporarily giving Mn-z and anyone else who wants to do it the green light to remove categories, and any templates containing categories, from the userspaces of inactive users.

We have a lot of categories that are clogged with six years of users who added themselves to that category, made a few random edits, and never came back. So:

If someone hasn't made an edit in a year, feel free to remove categories and category-containing templates from their userspace. Because, really, they don't care, and if they do care, they've lost the right to care by abandoning the wiki.

Also, feel free to remove any DEFAULTSORT templates from userpages that have them. A category should cluster all users together under "U" - not scatter them throughout the page.

If a user has made an edit within the last year, please don't touch their userspace in any way, or if you see something that really needs to be addressed, talk to an admin.

Cheers! Tinymasaru.gifpillow talk 17:57, March 11, 2011 (UTC)

Userpages themselves are one thing, but what about userspace pages that are actual articles or versions of articles? Those have categories for a reason, generally. What does it really help to, say, take category:Politicians off a userspace article about a politician, though? Seems like you guys might be taking this a little far. 1234 ~ 16px-Pointy 01:58, 12 March 2011
I can see the reasoning behind your concern. However, the decategorization is only effecting users who have not been here in over a year. That means we can safely assume the pages are abandoned, and since they are userpages, they are probably works in progress, otherwise, they would have been moved to mainspace. The problem is that in some categories, such as Category:Axis of Evil-Doers, there was more userpage clutter than actual articles.
Right now that category is still 45% userpages, but that was after clean-up of both inactive userpages and removal of pages not on the template. If I hadn't removed the userpages, but still did a mainspace cleanup, the category would be 70% userpages. If I had kept the inactive userspace pages that were "on topic", it would be 56% userpages. (My math might be off due to counting errors, but you get the idea.) And the number of inactive userpages is only going to increase with time.
Also, I believe the policy is that users are allowed to revert the de-catting. The current policy really only deals with the "worst offenders", i.e. pages that have virtually no chance of ever being meaningfully edited again. --Mn-z 02:48, March 12, 2011 (UTC)
If it's only affecting inactive users, why did you remove the DEFAULTSORT from User:Maniac1075/Hulk Hogan? Sir SockySexy girls Mermaid with dolphin Tired Marilyn Monroe (talk) (stalk)Magnemite Icons-flag-be GUN SotM UotM PMotM UotY PotM WotM 02:52, 12 March 2011
I think that is what Hyperbole said to do, so that userpages cluster at "U". From what he said here, I believe he meant it should be removed from all userpages, not just inactive ones. Of course, I could be interpreting him wrong. --Mn-z 02:58, March 12, 2011 (UTC)
We shouldn't remove DEFAULTSORTs from active userspaces without discussing it further with everyone, first. So, let's not go doing that, at least not yet. Tinymasaru.gifpillow talk 10:51, March 12, 2011 (UTC)
So why not just remove the troublesome categories, like AoED? 1234 ~ 16px-Pointy 03:08, 12 March 2011
Clutter is an issue regardless of where it is at. It does effect some categories more than others, but I think its best to trim down before most categories get swamped to the point AoED is. There are some exceptions to de-catting, such as categories that are about userpages/userspaced content (i.e. Category:BUTT POOP and Category:IT'S A SECRET TO EVERYBODY.), categories that are too narrow to separate into a mainspace cat and a user cat (for example Category:Preggosexuals), or catting templates that are actually relevant on userpages, i.e. {{NSFWArticle}}
The point is that userpages are generally clutter (with exceptions) in categories. They generally suck even by random article standards, hence they aren't in mainspace, and they can't be improved, since they are in an inactive user's userspace. Since this is a humor wiki, some clutter is unavoidable, but we don't want it overwhelming the actual content. And like I said before, this problem is just going to get worse with time. --Mn-z 03:28, March 12, 2011 (UTC)
Not the userpages, the user subpages that actually are things... oh, nevermind. Why don't you guys just delete the lot? 1234 ~ 16px-Pointy 03:41, 12 March 2011
There is a slight chance the users might come back and want to work on the pages, and deleting them really doesn't accomplish anything. I think the "out-of-the-way storage" system Hype just created makes the most sense. We don't need this articles on 30 categories, but they aren't hurting anything by sitting around in userspace. --Mn-z 03:53, March 12, 2011 (UTC)
Everything is hurting something. Just by existing. Everything. 1234 ~ 16px-Pointy 04:39, 12 March 2011
Hype, how about we generally leave other peoples stuff alone? I really find the level of hysteria being perpetuated by less than a handful of 'temp admins' and their sycophants unhelpful. This place is the worst - you want to be useful people get a wikipedia account, I hear they love this kind of crap. --Sycamore (Talk) 08:53, March 12, 2011 (UTC)
What's with this up-tight attitude, man? Cheel, Weens-tahn. The most important part of being an admin is to never, ever use it for anything. It's like that condom in your wallet. You, like it, should expire without having ever been used. Sir Modusoperandi Boinc! 09:36, March 12, 2011 (UTC)
Being uptight is my USP, my contract stipulates that I can only not be uptight on Christmas day. It's a tough job....--Sycamore (Talk) 09:58, March 12, 2011 (UTC)
The "admin" bit of his comment, along with the indentation, suggests he was replying to Hyperbole. But 'tis the beauty of a Modusoperandi post; the possible interpretations are bountiful. Let us sit back and marvel at his linguistic gymnastics and wonder if we have ever truly known art before this moment.  Sir Skullthumper, MD (criticize  writings  SU&W) 10:02 Mar 12, 2011
Userspace has always been sort of a sacred spot, a "safe haven" for users on a wiki where everything else they create can be edited mercilessly and possibly destroyed. It's where they keep their writing, deleted and draft copies alike. That includes categories and templates. The whole idea of modifying it makes me a bit squeamish. At the very least the templates ought to be subst'd instead of removed entirely, to keep the pages intact.  Sir Skullthumper, MD (criticize  writings  SU&W) 09:42 Mar 12, 2011
Okay, I'm inclined to charge in with a horde of rabid lemurs and say something serious as well, regardless of how I feel about this (do I feel? Is uncomfortableness I cannot rationalise a feeling?). But should this not have been the sort of thing to start in a forum first, where the lemurs growl? Sanity charges around gnawing on the furniture, but and before anyone starts bursting into purple, being angry, dramaising like... well, what's done is done. I'd wonder, but so many shiny things, all done. Now. Stuff. Look, the happening. Look! They're glowing! The preceding unsigned comment was added by Lyrithya (talk • contribs)
Removing a template from someone's userpage has less impact to the universe than using Mr Muscle to polish a single grain of sand. What is the point...seriously. mAttlobster. (hello) 09:50, March 12, 2011 (UTC)
The ensuing drama, of course! Can you see it, building, building, building? The lemurs are dancing; meanwhile everyone prepares to be embraced in a nice clasp of The preceding unsigned comment was added by Lyrithya (talk • contribs)
You're still messing with userspace (someone deliberately put that template there). It's pretty much unprecedented on this wiki.  Sir Skullthumper, MD (criticize  writings  SU&W) 09:53 Mar 12, 2011
I completely agree. My point is that even if it didn't have the potential to piss off users by having their userpage messed about with, the actual taskl its removal is trying to accomplish has an unprecidented ferocious unimportance. So why bother doing it. mAttlobster. (hello) 09:58, March 12, 2011 (UTC)
Oh, I thought you were saying "this won't impact anybody, so why not do it?" Turns out that was the opposite of your argument. Who knew.  Sir Skullthumper, MD (criticize  writings  SU&W) 09:59 Mar 12, 2011
If started adding featured templates to the various BUTT POOP!!!! articles in my userspace, (and made that fact known), I'm fairly certain some admin would revert me, and probably hand out some manner of ban. Its been established policy for years that certain maintenance-categorizing templates can't be in userspace. --Mn-z 14:25, March 12, 2011 (UTC)

I agree with some of you.

Train wreck at Montparnasse 1895

Mandatory derailing of thread begins here.

I disagree with the others, though. MegaPleb Dexter111344 Complain here 10:02, March 12, 2011 (UTC)

No, you're wrong. mAttlobster. (hello) 10:03, March 12, 2011 (UTC)

You smell like... like daisies. Don't you know what the trees sound like? Seriously, stop it all. Just stop; listen to them. It's beautiful. The preceding unsigned comment was added by Lyrithya (talk • contribs)

Guys this is really important: the template removal template actually exists in userspace. If Hyperbole ever takes a year off we're going to see some real serious paradoxes going down.  Sir Skullthumper, MD (criticize  writings  SU&W) 10:09 Mar 12, 2011

And I edited it without his consent. OH NOES!!!!! --Mn-z 14:21, March 12, 2011 (UTC)

Yeah, it's a tough issue

I generally agree with our age-old principle that userspace should be sacred and untouchable. The problem is - category space is public. And categories really should be something that casual users can use to find funny articles that are actually grouped together for a reason.

But as it is, categories are basically a way for private space to encroach on public space, and Mn-z is absolutely right that we have a bunch of categories that have just turned into... utter garbage. They were meant as a collection of articles on a subject (like: things that could be humorously referred to as evil), but years of users adding themselves, sometimes with DEFAULTSORTs, have left them in terrible shape. Click on articles at random, and you're just going to see piles of garbage that no one's cleaned up because it's been on protected land.

I, for one, would like this wiki to have nice, usable, maintained categories. There's merit to Modus's philosophy that admins should leave things alone to the greatest extent possible - but we can see after six years that if we don't police our categories, they eventually turn to shit, becoming nothing but annoying to the reader and embarrassing to the project.

If we're not going to maintain our categories, we shouldn't even have categories. Being unable to remove garbage from categories is roughly the same thing as telling users they aren't allowed to revert vandalism to articles because that vandalism represents someone else's work.

Lyri's concern about decategorizing userpages versus decategorizing actual articles in userspace just has to be a case-by-case call; there's no other way to do it. A reasonably complete userspace article might have a place in, say, Category:My sojourn. Whereas a userspace article that just says "FUCK MODUSOPERANDI HE SMELLS LIKE POO" shouldn't have a right to be in our one featured category, forever, just because the categorization technically exists in userspace where no one is ever allowed to touch it.

For active users, I think this case-by-case call needs to be made by admins, meaning that admins should do nothing at all unless the page is just clearly abusive (like the example above). For inactive users, I think they've forfeited some of their rights by leaving the project. We're not actually deleting any of their work - just de-categorizing it (and removing templates that might categorize it).

What I'm quickly finding out is that we've had a few dozen users over the years who have done nothing at all with Uncyclopedia except create an account, spend six days adding every single template and category to their userspace that they can find, and then vanish for all eternity. These people aren't useful to us. They shouldn't be protected. And if they want to basically create a sandbox page outside of the sandbox - they need to be doing it in a way that doesn't encroach on public spaces.

Sort of reminds me of the public librarian's quandary. Everybody is legally allowed to look at pornography at a public library. No one is allowed to put their hand down their pants and moan while they do it. Figuring out when it's okay to tell a member of the public to leave a public building that taxpayer money pays for it can be really difficult. It's got to be handled on a case-by-case basis. Tinymasaru.gifpillow talk 10:39, March 12, 2011 (UTC)

Frankly this is why loathe characters like yourself being put into positions like this admin thing - you cannot stop yourself peddling personal agendas whilst circumventing the arguments you made in the first place about admin rights being abused... I resent such agenda's being peddled to other contributors. Mo's comments are applicable here and I think it will be a benefit for the entire community when the four of you will be de-opped. I can only hope you will have the decency to as for their removal beforehand, and end this farce and hypocrisy. The simple fact is Hype, is that you are at your best writing articles here, you have completely gone over the edge of acceptable conduct on here with this, its not the odd removal, but on mass policy of editing another users space which is not acceptable or indeed applicable for this community--Sycamore (Talk) 12:27, March 12, 2011 (UTC)
Um, can we please not cause drama while we're at it? I know it's one of the central pillars of Uncyclopedia and all, but it tends to upset some people, ya know. Sir SockySexy girls Mermaid with dolphin Tired Marilyn Monroe (talk) (stalk)Magnemite Icons-flag-be GUN SotM UotM PMotM UotY PotM WotM 12:55, 12 March 2011
Actually, I've just been upfront and honest - there is a difference. Incidentally I would like Hyperbole to respond to my comment.--Sycamore (Talk) 14:29, March 12, 2011 (UTC)
Sure, I'll give you a response. I'm putting it on your talk page, though. Because there's no need for this drama on the dump. Tinymasaru.gifpillow talk 18:41, March 12, 2011 (UTC)
Sure, there's a difference. That doesn't mean you can't cause drama by being honest and upfront, though. If I tell a couple people they suck and don't don't deserve the privileges they've been given, being honest and upfront about it isn't gonna decrease the odds that it'll cause drama. Sir SockySexy girls Mermaid with dolphin Tired Marilyn Monroe (talk) (stalk)Magnemite Icons-flag-be GUN SotM UotM PMotM UotY PotM WotM 19:01, 12 March 2011
I personally think Hype made a good decision which will result in cleaning up some categories by getting rid of very inactive users template links and other links. Mn-z helped by pushing the idea. The abuse comes when things like the Maniac1075 thing by Mn-z occurred. The privilage of removing older users category spam should be given to people who do not have an agenda, or know how to edit without giving in to their agenda, maybe a bot, but be limited to category spam for now. Make sense? I will also chime in and say the four new temp admins are doing a great job, and are working like dogs to help the wiki. Some concerns about the pic destruction, and the glee that is going into it, but aside from that they seem to be growing in their jobs which is what the month test-period is meant to do, impart a learning curve. Aleister 13:52 12-3-'11
Now, now, Al, let's not get OCD mixed up with "good decision." MegaPleb Dexter111344 Complain here 14:29, March 12, 2011 (UTC)
Re: that edit I made to Maniac1075's page There was a slight communication breakdown on that issue. Someone pointed out that I probably shouldn't have done it, I brought the issue back to Hype and undid the edit, and Hype clarified what he said on the issue. I don't think a minor edit like that rises to the level of an "abuse of power". However, I will admit in hindsight, that edit shouldn't have been done (hence the revert). --Mn-z 14:18, March 12, 2011 (UTC)
Also, to reply to Aleister, removing the content would be difficult with a bot, for the simple reason that a bot might make 30 passes on a given userpage to remove all the categorizes categorizing-templates one by one. Also, I'd need some way to generate a list of users who haven't edited in a year to do the removal automatically. If a bot isn't working automatically, its actually the same as a user doing it. By doing it manually, a page can normally be fixed in one edit. Granted, some users might be tempted to be a bit overzealous in trimming down userpages at times, (i.e. accidentally removing a mainspace template that looks like it probably categorizes, but actually doesn't) but its also important to remember that these are pages of inactive users who probably don't care, and if they come back, they have the right to undo the edits. Also, if someone really really cares about this, they could go through Category:Decategorized Inactive Userpages and partially revert any overzealous pruning. --Mn-z 15:17, March 12, 2011 (UTC)
There is a precedent for removing content from userpages. Mordillo forced us to remove transcluded articles from User:CheddarBBQ/Pile_Of_Shit because it resulted in the transclusion of Category:Featured on May 13, 2009. Soon afterwards, Spang removed transcluded pages from User:MrCleveland on May 19, 2009 to get that page out of the featured category. I believe Mordillo forbade the categorization of User:PuppyOnTheRadio/YOUR_MOTHER_SUCKS_COCKS_IN_HELL_MOTHERFUCKER! back in 2010. Mordillo & Zombiebaron also removed templates User:Happytimes/Temples/Rewrite to keep it out of incorrect maintenance category.
I could go on, but it has been standard for years that a user's right to foul up his userspace is limited by everyone's else's right to have a clean mainspace. This is just taking an existing policy and applying it consistency to all serious categories. If having random userpages clutter Category:Featured and Category:Rewrite is bad, isn't it also bad to have Category:Axis of Evil-Doers be 70% userspace clutter? (As opposed to merely 45% userspace clutter). Granted there are exceptions to userpage category, like I said earlier. --Mn-z 14:18, March 12, 2011 (UTC)
Good overview! Aleister 14:29 12-3-'11
I support the Hype/Spike/Mnbvcxz tidy up template reform campaign. --LaurelsRomArtus*Imperator ® (Orate) 16:55, March 12, 2011 (UTC)

This is why you're all idiots

Reading this forum it's become apparent that certain persons don't like the idea of userspace pages being in public categories. And you know what? I can totally get behind that. Certain categories shouldn't be littered with that junk. So yeah, get rid of the categories.

But don't get rid of the templates! That's just dumb.

Categories aren't really part of a page anyway, and removing/modifying them has no impact on the page itself whatsoever. Which is good! We don't want the pages modified because, you know, userspace. Getting rid of templates, on the other hand, is actually irrelevant.

"But Skull!" you say. "Templates sometimes include categories!"

And this is why you are stupid.

The problem with removing templates is twofold and negatively impacts both sides of the issue here:

  1. For the users who are totally against userspace modification, period, removing templates does change the content of the page in a way that removing categories does not.
  2. For the users that want this userspace crap out of the categories, removing templates is such a big, disruptive deal that they can't do it to active users (for a pretty liberal definition of active, I might add).

So this sucks for everyone. But fear not, there is a solution. Actually, two solutions.

The most straightforward one is to subst all templates on a page (lots of bots can do this for you) and manually remove the categories. This would both leave the page intact, templates and all, and remove the categories.

The less straightforward solution, but the more efficient one, is to take templates that are often included in userspace and edit the templates instead of userspace. A simple parserfunction to check the namespace before including the category would solve lots of problems. Heck, if you want me to, I'll even write the line myself and put it in a template somewhere that you can include on offending templates.

tl;dr Our enemies are categories, not templates. And this would be a buttload less controversial if we'd remember that.  Sir Skullthumper, MD (criticize  writings  SU&W) 19:04 Mar 12, 2011

I hadn't even thought of the idea of putting a parserfuction on certain templates to prevent them from categorizing userpages. That's a really, really good idea. Can you make it happen? Tinymasaru.gifpillow talk 19:45, March 12, 2011 (UTC)
What me?! I'm only good at pointing out the flaws in others' plans, not actually doing work... okay I'll give it a go  Sir Skullthumper, MD (criticize  writings  SU&W) 19:47 Mar 12, 2011
In other words, Skully is a useless fucker and this guy is way cooler than he is. MegaPleb Dexter111344 Complain here 19:51, March 12, 2011 (UTC)
Done and done. Meet {{nouserspace}}. To use it, just put the category you don't want included in userspace as the first parameter, e.g. {{nouserspace|[[Category:Featured]]}}.  Sir Skullthumper, MD (criticize  writings  SU&W) 19:56 Mar 12, 2011
How does one go about using that, does it go in templates or userspaces?--Mn-z 20:05, March 12, 2011 (UTC)
The templates themselves. Find the offending categories in the templates and put them in the first parameter of {{nouserspace}} per my example above. Suddenly every user page that includes that template is no longer in the category. It's a lot less work for you, and the userpages remain untouched. Everybody wins.  Sir Skullthumper, MD (criticize  writings  SU&W) 20:06 Mar 12, 2011
Thanks. --Mn-z 20:13, March 12, 2011 (UTC)
Totally welcome. By the way, is it too late to go through the userpages you've already modified and revert the damage done? With the exception of really extreme examples, of course, like the one guy who had seven pages transcluded onto his userpage, I mean holy crap.  Sir Skullthumper, MD (criticize  writings  SU&W) 20:16 Mar 12, 2011
We could, all the pages at are Category:Decategorized Inactive Userpages. However, I don't have time to do that at the moment. --Mn-z 21:37, March 12, 2011 (UTC)

Oh, you can also use the nocat parameter. It works like

<includeonly>{{#if:{{{nocat|}}}||[[Category:<here goes the name of a category itself>]]}}</includeonly>

replacing the original category line. Add it in a template and then just place "|nocat=1" into that double curly brackets thing on a userpage or wherever else you want. — Praetorian the Glorious Strategist. 21:52, March 12, 2011 (UTC)

Thanks, dude. Sir SockySexy girls Mermaid with dolphin Tired Marilyn Monroe (talk) (stalk)Magnemite Icons-flag-be GUN SotM UotM PMotM UotY PotM WotM 22:43, 12 March 2011
Holy balls don't do that. That would require editing every single userpage, again, to set every single instance of that template to nocat=1. {{nouserspace}} works out of the box and does not require the editing of userpages to work, which is key.  Sir Skullthumper, MD (criticize  writings  SU&W) 22:56 Mar 12, 2011
Back in the day, people used to vandalize my user page on a regular basis and get credit for it. You mean everywhere else it's a crime? Holy Bee Stings! WHY???PuppyOnTheRadio 21:48, March 15, 2011 (UTC)

I should point out that conversations such as those on this page...

...would never happen if you all went out and got some pussy. Sir Modusoperandi Boinc! 00:47, March 13, 2011 (UTC)

I could take offence at that... 1234 ~ 16px-Pointy 01:14, 13 March 2011
Mine's in Mexico :(  Sir Skullthumper, MD (criticize  writings  SU&W) 04:06 Mar 13, 2011
Mine is literally a cat. mAttlobster. (hello) 10:13, March 13, 2011 (UTC)
Sounds like a bundle of annoyance, claws and matted fur. Sir Modusoperandi Boinc! 12:57, March 13, 2011 (UTC)

I got laid this one time.

Is this the right forum to discuss it? -OptyC Sucks! Icons-flag-us CUN18:08, 13 Mar

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