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Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2007-08/Babel userboxes

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Babel userboxesEdit

  • Voting on: The addition of the following text to Wiktionary:Neutral point of view, immediately preceding the "Further reading" section:
    Language-proficiency userboxes are encouraged, and may be added easily using {{Babel}}.
    All other userboxes are currently forbidden (though specific exceptions may be made, after discussion).
  • Vote ends: 30 September 2007 23:59 UTC
  • Vote started: —RuakhTALK 04:21, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
  • Vote created: --Connel MacKenzie 16:47, 25 August 2007 (UTC)


  1.   Support DAVilla 05:22, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
    This is basically an acknowledgement of current practice, and well as an acknowledgement of needed flexibility. Overall I am happy with the wording since simplicity can avoid circumvention. For instance, template substitution still counts as a user box in my book.
    There are a few classes of potential exceptions which I would like to point out early:
    1. Association with any project sanctioned by Wiktionary, such as edit patrolling, translations to be checked, requested entries, Wikisaurus, etc.
    2. Pertinent and universally applicable boxes with parameterized text, like time zone and currently working on fill-in-the-blank.
    3. Information about associated contribution, particularly usernames on other projects and, if desired by the contributor, an IP address or other revealing information.
    4. Possible future alterations or extensions to Babel that allow users to more clearly specify proficiency orally, etc. (Braille, anyone?) and possibly native dialect.
    To the extent that such boxes are permitted, it should be on the basis of usefulness as it applies to all contributors, which is to say that none should be permitted unless we would want to (at least passively) encourage their use.
    I would also want to be sure that users aren't disciplined or threatened if unaware of the policy or if they question it through discussion, although they would obviously be expected to adapt to and adopt it. DAVilla 05:22, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
    Due to your, Ruakh's and BD2412's insistence, this is enormously more permissive than the current practice of delete their userpage and block. The exceptions you listed above seem reasonable extensions of this (at some point in the future, as Wiktionary:Usernames and user pages is hammered out.) But it is still wrong to add policy pages so recklessly...the only ones such a page can benefit are trolls. They'll be the only ones to read it in advance, anyhow. Better instead, to have something brief like this, to point to, instead of blocking. --Connel MacKenzie 22:31, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
  2.   Support Connel MacKenzie 05:41, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
  3.   Support Robert Ullmann 07:34, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
    Odd that it says it would be added to NPOV? What's it got to do with that? (Yes, indirectly, since the 'pedia problems often are related to POV.) Isn't this just about not having to manage the piles of cruft the 'pedia has? I'd think it would be better at say Wiktionary:User pages, with part policy and part guidelines and hints. (e.g. use the email setting in preferences, don't put your address on the page) This policy should be on the same page as the description of how to use Babel, and that certainly doesn't belong at WT:NPOV. Robert Ullmann 07:34, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
  4.   Support. The founding fathers supported the U.S. Constitution on the premise that specific amendments would later be added to protect specific rights (free speech, trial by jury, etc.). I think the language about specific exceptions being possible after discussion strikes the right tone to allow this basic policy to be built upon, with any non-language userboxes to be approved or disapproved by the community on a case-by-case basis. Cheers! bd2412 T 16:41, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
  5.   Support Neskaya talk 02:05, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
  6.   Support --Dijan 05:41, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
  7.   Support EncycloPetey 17:19, 8 September 2007 (UTC)
  8.   Support Rod (A. Smith) 01:19, 12 September 2007 (UTC) The clause “specific exceptions may be made, after discussion” gives adequate flexibility. Rod (A. Smith) 01:19, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
  9.   Support, good start. IMO Babel userboxes are also (almost) completely useless, but that's another fight for another day. -- Visviva 13:54, 14 September 2007 (UTC)
  10.   Support H. (talk) 17:10, 14 September 2007 (UTC) Per Connel’s comment below.
  11.   Support Dmcdevit·t 02:15, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
  12.   Support Cynewulf 00:00, 20 September 2007 (UTC) wikt is not your blog. (perhaps there's a better place than NPOV?)
  13.   Support Versageek 12:57, 29 September 2007 (UTC)


  1.   Oppose best, kevin [kzollman][talk] 06:18, 5 September 2007 (UTC) I think this policy it at once both too narrow and too broad. It is too narrow because its apparent purpose is to prevent conflict over the content of userpages. But, it does nothing to prevent a user from adding irrelevant, inflammatory, or divisive content to their userpages, which could then spark conflict over the appropriate limits one should place on userpages. (This, I believe, was the central point conflict at Wikipedia over this issue.) It is too broad because its wide prohibition discourages the invention of userboxes which could do a lot to serve this project (for suggestions see the talk page and, oddly enough, DAVilla's support vote above). Instead, I think a well crafted policy about content of userpages would more appropriately serve the ultimate goals of this policy while simultaneously allowing for innovations that would help the project. --best, kevin [kzollman][talk] 06:18, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
    (Well, no. 3 is barely considered a userbox, but probably best to mention, and no. 4 is more of a clarification. No. 1 I actually wouldn't support in the general case. DAVilla 07:31, 5 September 2007 (UTC))
  2.   Oppose An Englishman's Userpage is his own private kingdom. Or something. Widsith 15:43, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
    But template space is not, and a userbox that is not a template is useless anyway. bd2412 T 16:43, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
    Useless, maybe. We can't ban uselessness though. But I agree with you that there should be strict limits on creating new templates. Widsith 17:28, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
    What, now we have to start making exceptions for the English!? ;-) DAVilla 17:17, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
    I think Connel would probably say we already do... Widsith 17:28, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
    Connel says: Wiktionary (and WMF,) is not a free hosting service. You have content that is not relevant here? Host it somewhere else or your account here gets blocked for spamming. --Connel MacKenzie 22:38, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
  3.   Oppose. Babel boxes should be banned as well. Utterly useless to the project. (Sorry I didn't vote on this in time, I only just found out about it. Not that it matters, since polls are evil anyway, and Wikimedia projects don't make decisions this way.) Angr 14:52, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
    Note: we only consider a poll "passed" if there's fairly clear consensus, which is an acceptable use on all Wikimedia projects. (We're different in that we're more poll-focused than other projects, and this is a problem that we need to work on; but the solution isn't to declare a given vote invalid just because you disagree with its result.) —RuakhTALK 16:53, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
    I didn't. It would have been equally invalid if I had agreed with its result. Angr 18:35, 17 November 2007 (UTC)


  1.   Abstain. If I felt more strongly that userboxes were detrimental, I'd probably say that any policy page is better than no policy page, but as it is I think it's misleading to add this to Wiktionary:Neutral point of view, and would weaken said page, as NPOV does not seem to be the true reason for this policy and it seems difficult to justify this policy in terms of NPOV. (This is not to suggest that banning userboxes is inconsistent with NPOV, only that it's not a natural consequence of NPOV.) However, Connel convinced me in the BP discussion that userboxes, left unchecked, have at least the potential to do detriment to the project, so I can't quite bring myself to vote against this, either. —RuakhTALK 04:19, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
  2.   Abstain. I'm not too bothered about what people put on their userpages. Provided it excludes commercial links. SemperBlotto 07:37, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
  3.   Abstain Thryduulf 01:53, 6 September 2007 (UTC) Like Ruakh I'm not convinced that this is an NPOV issue. While I have no objections to the specific allowance of Babel userboxes and the requirement to discuss any others on a case-by-case basis in the future, I'm not convinced that this will actively help Wiktionary (one of my personal requirements for supporting a policy). It is not the userboxes that are the detriment to Wikipedia, it is the way they are handled (why does it matter if people want to disclose their likes and dislikes in this manner?) Thryduulf 01:53, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
  4.   Abstain today but I may change my mind before it's 30 September. :) I think it would be fine to have some good taste userboxes. I think this would fit better on Wiktionary:User page. Best regards Rhanyeia 19:22, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
  5.   Abstain —Stephen 18:23, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
  6.   Abstain I think this is a bit too narrow... but I don't feel strongly enough to block it. It appears my vote may be late, but at least this will be on the record (hope that's ok) ArielGlenn 00:43, 1 October 2007 (UTC)


  This vote's talk page


  • How will this vote be closed? I'm not inclined to count the abstentions as objections since there is a means of voting against the proposal. On the other hand, I don't think it would be fair to rule them out entirely. Does it make sense to count a 2/3 supermajority as the tally of votes (currently at  ) being greater than one third the number of voters ( )? In that case the proposal would pass as it stands. If anyone objects to counting that way, then we would need to extend the deadline to allow dissenters who only abstained to change their votes. DAVilla 16:38, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
    I believe that people who abstained did so because they did not wish their abstentions to be counted for either side; unless the person states otherwise in their comment, I think it's essentially a way of saying, "I saw this vote, I consider it an acceptable vote to have, and I will abide by its outcome in either direction, but I am not voting in either direction." —RuakhTALK 18:23, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
    Not counting abstentions is a bit stronger than what I had suggested. For instance, it would permit a vote with five people in support and 3,141,592 abstentions to count as achieving consensus, whereas I would interpret a 2/3 supermajority to mean that ten vocalized abstentions would be enough to cast doubt.
    Re: "Not counting abstentions is a bit stronger than what I had suggested.": Agreed. I'm advocating this stronger interpretation of abstentions, as having absolutely no effect (except in that they might sway other people's votes); if someone wants to affect the vote, they should actually vote. —RuakhTALK 21:38, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
    Regardless, in this case either method would pass the vote as it stands. Does anyone object? There's still time to sway the outcome. DAVilla 21:16, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

Recorded vote: 13-2-6 Pass. (Including one vote at technical close+43 minutes ;-) I note that the question on abstentions has come up in the UN Security Council: what if a Permanent Member (who has a veto) abstains? Is that a veto? The answer was straightforward: if the Member had intended to block the Resolution, the vote would have been NO. Abstain means abstain. Note also that most UN Security Council resolutions end with the clause "The Security Council will remain Seized of this Matter" (wonderful prose); we can always reconsider ... Robert Ullmann 00:56, 1 October 2007 (UTC)