Template types, or template classification, is the act of assigning each template a type, such as "infobox", "navbox", or "quote", that then determines how that template will appear on mobile web. Types also allow Memory Alpha to perform more intelligently and make our templates easier to manage.
The biggest difference is what happens in the mobile experience. Classification tells the software whether to employ certain editing tools – like the Infobox Builder GUI – and it helps give an accurate census on which to base Fandom's development priorities. Additionally, this information will help display articles in the best possible way on our mobile skin by emphasizing some types (quotes, context links, infoboxes) and de-emphasizing others that don't work as well (navboxes, for example).
Classifying a template is easy, and many templates never require any work on your part. Most of the ones that need classification are new ones that you create.
- 1 How it works
- 2 Template types
- 3 Template types and categories
- 4 See also
How it works
A template's current type is shown just under the page title on a template page. This type can be changed by logged in users who have edit permissions on that template.
Updates can be made via the template page and via the right rail of the editor when you're editing the template. Clicking the listed type or the pencil icon next to it will open a dialog that lets you select the template type.
Additionally, a dialog will ask you for the template type when creating a new template or when publishing an edit to a template page which has no type set.
Any automated classifications – those detected by the "machine" systems – are overridden by your classification choices.
Administrators can bulk edit template types via category pages. If a category contains one or more templates, an option to "Bulk edit template type" will appear under the "Edit" button dropdown.
When a bulk edit is saved, all previously set types will be overwritten.
If the category contains 150+ pages in any namespace, there may be a delay between saving your changes and seeing the correct type populated.
Changes made to a template's classification can be seen on Special:Log and be filtered under the "Template type" option.
The current template types are listed below. There are some overlaps between the types, so we recommend you choose the type that is most specific to each template.
Note: These may be updated in the future based on feedback – feel free to send in your thoughts to Special: Contact/feedback.
Infoboxes, or Sidebars, display the most essential information about an article in a box at the top of the page. These usually float to the right side of the page, but sometimes they span the entire width of the page. Giving an infobox the classification of "Infobox" will help the server's census to identify infoboxes correctly.
A template should only be classed as an infobox when its contents only and entirely create an infobox. Templates that help constitute an infobox – that is, parts of an infobox – are better classified as "Non-article" templates. Conversely, if the infobox is merely a part of a template that creates a page – or a substantial part of a page – then it's actually better to use the "Design" type.
Memory Alpha uses quote templates to highlight notable snippets of text such as lyrics, book passages, spoken dialogue, or extracts from interviews or news articles. These templates usually contain a quote from a single source.
- Quote templates strip most formatting on mobile web and enclose the text as an italicized and indented block. As such, this classification should not be used for dialogue between two parties (where "Design" is suggested).
Navbox templates display a list of organized links in a box for readers to navigate to related articles, usually at the bottom of the page.
- Elements that use the
navboxclass are hidden by default on mobile web, unless the immediate parent element has the
Also known as message boxes, alerts, or maintenance tags, these templates notify the reader about the status of the article itself, such as if it is a stub, if there is an associated disambiguation page, or if the article contains spoilers. Most notices are editing notes (like "delete this page", "update these sections", or "clean up the links") – notes that most non-editing mobile users will disregard.
Notice templates often appear at the very top of an article page, but can also appear in certain sections or at the bottom of the page.
- Notices are hidden by default on mobile web.
- Notices meant for all readers should be classified as "Design"; if it links to an internal article (for example, a "spoiler warning" notice linked to the spoilers policy), "Context-link" may also be appropriate.
These templates suggest another page that is related to the current page or section. The two most frequent uses of this type are "Disambiguation" or "See also" and display as italicized text. These are used at the top of an article page or at the top of a section within an article page.
- On mobile web, this type is an indented block element, offset by significant vertical space.
These templates are used for creating a link or text with a small icon. The icons are sometimes linked to other pages.
Infoicons can appear inside paragraph text, inside infoboxes, or in bulleted lists.
- On mobile web, these templates render only the icon, with no corresponding text nor any other content beyond the image.
These templates display their contents in a scrollable box. Scrollboxes are used to conserve space on article pages for very long lists.
Citation or reference
These templates organize and standardize how sources of content on an article page are annotated. These can either be used to place a single reference in an article or to build a references list at the bottom of the article page.
These templates can optionally use <ref> tags or build in-line citations.
Image, video, or gallery
These templates standardize or modify the display of one or more images or videos on an article page.
They are often used to build a gallery or to format how an image thumbnail displays.
Any templates that do not fall into the types above but add information or data to an article page should be classified as "Data". This includes (but is certainly not limited to) templates that are used to build tables, templates that are used to generate math equations, or pieces of data (for example, price of an item, release version of a game, etc.) that are inserted on multiple pages.
If a template's sole purpose is to modify how an article page (or a piece of an article page) looks, it should be classified as "Design". Common uses include adding tabs or a scrollbox, modifying the visual display of text or tables, or relocating the table of contents. This is also the suggested classification for multi-person dialogue, due to quote handling on mobile devices.
If a template's sole purpose is to help readers or other editors find another article page or category, it should be classified as "Navigation". Example uses include page-top icons, recommended links to other websites, categorizers, or succession boxes.
The most popular types of navigation templates are navboxes and context links, which are listed above.
- Navigation templates that contain <div>, <table>, or <p> elements are hidden by default on mobile web.
Assign this type if a template is not used on any article (content) pages. For example, if the template is only used on talk pages, template pages, file pages, user pages, or only on Memory Alpha's main page, the template type is "Non-article". Examples of what can go into this classification are documentation templates, main page modules, sub-templates, and image licensing templates.
"Non-article" does not mean "This template won't appear on article pages". It means only that the template is not meant to be used directly on article pages. Template documentation pages (namely, those in /doc sub-pages) should always be "Non-article", regardless of what they're documenting.
The "default" type, when no other template type has been chosen, is "Unknown".
Template types and categories
The template types feature is separate from template categories. Thus, template classification and categories do not affect each other. You can (and should) continue to use template categories exactly as the same as before.