Template talk:Introduction to Wikipedia

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Template discussions[edit]

These templates (Template:Introduction to Wikipedia, Template:Please don't change this page, and Template:Please don't edit this page) are used to prevent test edits from occuring in the bulk of the intro pages, all there talk pages redirect here for a centralised discussion. Clicking discussion on intro pages ( the talk pages of Wikipedia:Introduction, Wikipedia:Introduction 2 and Wikipedia:Introduction 3 ) all point to Wikipedia talk:Introduction to keep talk in one place. Lee∴V (talkcontribs) 12:19, 15 October 2009 (UTC)

Purpose of this page and the sandbox[edit]

Is it really necessary to promote "test edits" to the introduction page, as well as to the sandbox? Many new contributors accidentally remove the intro template and/or the Test edits header... Perhaps the introduction should be changed to direct test edits to the sandbox instead?

ChrischTalk 02:17, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

  • I agree. We should make a good impression of Wikipedia in the introduction and leave all the tests and random stuff to the sandbox. bibliomaniac15 Join or die! 18:54, 16 June 2007 (UTC)
  • I also agree. Only one sandbox area is needed. Michael Greiner 21:02, 17 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Yes. Send them elsewhere, and protect this. Daniel 06:38, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
Does anyone know how I can propose this officially? Because I couldn't really find the right avenue... :) ChrischTalk 10:44, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
WP:VP, at the proposals section. Seems like the right place. Matt/TheFearow (Talk) (Contribs) (Bot) 22:16, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

Is there a reason this hasn't been done? Atropos 06:21, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

I just came across this page while on RC patrol (I'd never been here before). When I came it looked like this. Why do we let new editors edit this page? Horrible idea in my opinion. It seems inevitable folks will accidentally delete the intro information. As suggested above, they should be directed to the sandbox and the page should be protected. We don't want the "introduction" to Wikipedia to be a new user's attempt to practice writing articles by writing up their biography and deleting all of the intro text. Something should really be done about this.--Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 08:44, 13 July 2007 (UTC)
I've made a proposal about this over at WP:VP in the proposals section. It did not seem that anyone did that before.--Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 09:01, 13 July 2007 (UTC)
Shouldn't we be bold and make this obvious improvement? I cannot see how anyone could object to it? --BozMo talk 15:07, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
I made the change. Why you would need to propose it I don't know. -- Andrew Hampe Talk 19:09, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
  • I just saw a note on the Spanish Wikipedia to the effect that signatures should only be used on talk pages (not articles). This might be a good distinction to mention explicitly early in the documentation. Frenezulo 00:30, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

Link to dab page in template[edit]

The template currently contains a link to the page Edit, a disambiguation page, in the following sentence: '(If there are already sections under "Test edits", you can also click on the appropriate "edit" link and edit someone else's text.)' I understand why the word is linked--to make it look like the blue "edit" links a user should be looking for--but I don't think you want new users actually clicking this and being sent off to a dab page that they weren't expecting. May I suggest that the link be replaced with [<font><font color="Blue">edit</font>] , which displays as [edit]? This is very close to what the user should be looking for, without the unexpected consequences. Alternately, the link could be piped to Wikipedia: How to edit a page or to Help:Section#Section editing --ShelfSkewed Talk 06:16, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

The recent change to the template has removed the link altogether, so no longer an issue.--ShelfSkewed Talk 23:39, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
Could somebody disentangle the correct end tag that makes the wierd font go away? (talk) 00:12, 30 January 2008 (UTC)


I've restored the clean version of Wikipedia talk:Introduction from July. (I'm not sure why Cobaltbluetony restored the older copy from June, on August 21. It caused a bit of confusion) I've copied across the 3 legitimate comments made since, to this page.

Should the current state of Wikipedia talk:Introduction be semi-protected, to prevent a recurrence? --Quiddity 23:04, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
I'm asking for help at Wikipedia:Bot owners' noticeboard#Critical - intro and sandbox bot missing. --Quiddity 20:10, 30 September 2007 (UTC)another important point is to make sure that you can be more confidence about what are you talking about...

Shortcut dablink[edit]

Just to clarify, I've re-removed the line about the WP:INTRO shortcut dablink added today, per the prior discussion at Template talk:Intro/Archive 2#Initial line directing people to the guideline on the intro of a section. This isn't an optimal solution either, as it is confusing for advanced editors looking for the lead-guideline. Are there any suggestions on improvements that satisfy both audiences needs? --Quiddity 17:29, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

I don't find the argument that it is confusing to noobs very convincing. DAB links of this sort are simply standard practice around here, and any noob will get very used to them very fast, both in and out of articlespace. I'm not going to pitch a fit about it or anything, but treating inexperienced users like they are mentally handicapped is rather insulting to the intelligence of the average Wikipedian, newly arrived or not. Not sure what else to say on the matter. I probably won't comment further. I didn't come here to advocate an opinion, just to wikignome in standard-practice ways. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 19:25, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
But this is a unique page that is linked to prominently as the place to go for information for someone coming to Wikipedia for the first time. "anyone can edit" links here:
Welcome to Wikipedia,
the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit.
6,201,952 articles in English
I support keeping it the same - users who know how to type in WP:INTRO will have an easier time figuring out where they should go than a noob who is on his 2nd wikipedia page. --Trödel 02:37, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

Warning that edits can be searched by username[edit]

Per Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)#Privacy of contribution lists a user has suggested we add a warning along the lines of All of your contributions will be permanently searchable by any user who knows your username. Your username will be publicly visible in the history page of every article or discussion that you edit. Sounds reasonable enough to me. Any dissenting opinions? -- Rick Block (talk) 03:15, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Suggested amendment to page[edit]

I suggest (along with the sandbox page) that a simple note in bold red lets new editors know that their changes to either of these pages will be reverted as they are only test pages. - CobaltBlueTony™ talk 18:31, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

WP:BEANS issue[edit]

Why bother with "no profanity please" in the comments? If anything it's just going to act as an invitation. --Oni Ookami AlfadorTalk|@ 22:28, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

"See "edit this page" above? On Wikipedia, you can edit articles right now, even without logging in."[edit]

This is patently false. I'm not logged in, and I can't edit this page, and there isn't any "edit this page" to be found. This really needs to be fixed, and quick. (talk) 00:11, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

Inappropriate changes[edit]

Well, I’ve found that some Admins don’t like major edits. Not having time to read them, they consider them “inappropriate changes,” and block you. Therefore, to say on en “you can edit articles right now” is not true. Since I’m tired of being picked on by watchdogs (however good their intentions), I feel my experiences at en Wikipedia could have been better if this page had not said “You can edit articles right now," but said instead, “you could edit this sample page right now.” The current statement is really to show off the software, isn't it? I intend to make the edit myself in a couple of days. What do you think about that? -- Chuck Marean 20:49, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

Chuck, apart from this being yet another of your blatant misrepresentations of your recent block, your suggestion is a poor one. We have literally thousands of major edits to articles every day. Just because youredits haven't been constructive, don't assume everyone else here is unable to follow the rules. Please don't make your proposed edit since it is not accurate. Thanks, Gwernol 00:52, 3 February 2008 (UTC)
Every reason you gave for not liking what I wrote was your opinion, worded in the same forceful tone as you just wrote. I think you think it’s ok for you to block if you personally don’t like what someone wrote, although I don’t know what you were thinking. Being told you can edit articles and then being blocked is, in my opinion, very rude. I think the statement “edit articles right now” makes people want to before reading the directions. Chuck Marean 09:52, 3 February 2008 (UTC)
As it says under the editing page buttons: "If you don't want your writing to be edited mercilessly or redistributed for profit by others, do not submit it." Please do not make your proposed change, it would make things less clear. -- Quiddity (talk) 01:52, 3 February 2008 (UTC)
Do you want people editing articles before reading the directions? I think “edit articles right now” is permission to edit articles just for the sake of editing them. Yet, this is an encyclopedia, not a blog. I think there are so many edits and undos to a large extent because the first thing people read is “edit articles right now.” Chuck Marean 09:52, 3 February 2008 (UTC)
Chuck, I'm removing that RFC tag as it is inappropriate, as is your entire suggestion here, as others have noted. Again, this introductory template clearly notes that "Inappropriate changes are usually removed quickly, and repeat offenders can be blocked from editing." This isn't the first time you've made inappropriate edits, and not the first time you've been warned or blocked about it. Please don't try to change long-standing WP templates and guidelines just because you can't seem to adhere to them. --ZimZalaBim talk 12:52, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

Attention to regular encyclopedias[edit]

Putting this sentence -- “Online encyclopedias with closed editing can be found using search engines and web directories” – putting that sentence after the first sentence might calm people down on both sides of the issue of open editing. When people read, “edit articles right now,” some people probably think, “That’s great; I’ll do that right now,” and others probably think, “That’s terrible; I’ll put a stop to that right now.” Therefore, directing readers’ attention to finding a traditional encyclopedia might stop many of the editing wars going on. -- Chuck Marean 22:29, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

This change would not be helpful, appropriate, nor very effective. --ZimZalaBim talk 02:32, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

To encourage reading past the first sentence[edit]

I think the statement “On Wikipedia, you can edit articles right now, even without logging in” should be changed to “It’s for making corrections and adding facts to articles.” This would lower enthusiasm for editing and encourage reading the rest of the introduction. It seems to me the statement, “you can edit articles right now,” encourages kids without English, Journalism or subject degrees to monkey with the articles and try to become an administrator, as if this were an online game. Being told “You can edit articles right now” but then getting blocked as if you did something wrong is rude. Therefore to be fair, the “you can edit articles right now” statement should be changed to, “It’s for making corrections and adding facts to articles.” Chuck Marean 20:15, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

Again, Chuck, you're offering a "solution" where there is no widespread problem. You may not have been happy with your block, but that doesn't mean that we need to change every policy and page in order to prevent it from happening again. --ZimZalaBim talk 03:05, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
The edit would be:
See "edit this page" above? On Wikipedia, you can edit articles right now It’s for making corrections and adding facts to articles., even without logging in. Please keep reading.
It would then read:
See "edit this page" above? It’s for making corrections and adding facts to articles, even without logging in. Please keep reading.
This edit would encourage reading past the first sentence, reduce initial enthusiasm and thus prevent editing mistakes. It would also be an edit that could be done without references. --Chuck Marean 04:56, 9 February 2008 (UTC)
Ok, then I'll do the edit, and I'll mention there are policies. Chuck Marean 19:01, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
Chuck, do not make this edit, as there is no consensus agreeing that it should be made. Thanks. --ZimZalaBim talk 19:05, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
Without reading this edit, and understanding the concensus mentality mentioned, I already reverted this edit with my summary. Correction: User:Gwernol appears to have beaten me to it. :( - CobaltBlueTony™ talk 19:06, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

Chuck, stop for a moment. You need to understand that the whole point of this encyclopedia project is to encourage people to edit. That is why the first line on this template highlights the fact you can click "edit" and edits pages. But, of course, those edits must be constructive to the project's goals. Which is why, if you shift your eyes about a centimeter down, you'll see this paragraph:

Wikipedia is an encyclopedia collaboratively written by many of its readers. It is a special type of website, called a wiki, that makes collaboration easy. Many people are constantly improving Wikipedia, making thousands of changes an hour, all of which are recorded on article histories and recent changes. Inappropriate changes are usually removed quickly, and repeat offenders can be blocked from editing. If you add new material to Wikipedia, please provide references. Facts that are unreferenced are routinely removed from the encyclopedia.

This provides new editors with a condensed version of some of the common policies and guidelines. This language has been agreed upon through consensus. If you want to change the language, suggest it here, and wait to see if there is consensus to make that change. --ZimZalaBim talk 19:36, 11 February 2008 (UTC)


I've had new editors contact me because they went to this page and got all confused because it was vandalized -- when what they were looking for was an introduction to the project or the tutorial. I'm not sure it's the best idea to have it act as a sandbox either, as it's not entirely clear what's going on -- I don't think many people expect the documentation to be editable/often vandalized. (see discussion above as well). -- phoebe/(talk) 19:19, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

Though it looks like the bot is working well so my questioners probably just caught an unlucky revision. Still not sure if it's helpful though. -- phoebe/(talk) 19:21, 9 February 2008 (UTC)
The problem is that sometimes the BOT doesn't catch vandalism to this page fast enough. It can easily sit there for an hour in some cases. Can we increase the run frequency at which the BOT checks? UncleDouggie (talk) 04:26, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
Youll have to talk to X! about that; he's the one who controls SoxBot. SoxBot can only do so much, though, so my guess is it only cleans the page once an hour because it's working with limited bandwidth. It might be possible to have it automatically restore the image with the red circle on it if an editor removes the image, though. -- Soap Talk/Contributions 04:44, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

Problem with transclusion[edit]

I have tracked down a possible problem when users copy the page to their user page, they then appear in Category:Wikipedia basic information e.g. User:Djreload, I think it must be down to the line:

'<includeonly>{{#ifeq:{{NAMESPACE}}|{{ns:Project}}|[[Category:Wikipedia basic information|{{PAGENAME}}]]}}</includeonly>'

Any suggestions? LeeVJ (talk) 15:46, 4 February 2009 (UTC) The reply on the technical issues help was:

The line works correctly but the namespace test was only added a week ago in [10]. Affected pages can be removed from the category with a null edit. Purging is not enough. If the job queue works as intended then the pages should eventually be removed automatically but that sort of job has sometimes taken weeks recently. PrimeHunter (talk) 01:17, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

A few suggestions and ideas[edit]

  • Change See "edit this page" above? On Wikipedia, you can edit articles right now!' to 'See "edit this page" above? You can contribute to Wikipedia right now!'
  • Remove 'Inappropriate changes are usually removed quickly, and repeat offenders can be blocked from editing.' from first paragraph = there is no need they will find out in due course and it seems to be demotivating 'what if my change is inappropriate?'.
  • Move ' If you add new material to Wikipedia, please provide references. Facts that are unreferenced are routinely removed from the encyclopedia.' into the how can I help as below:

'How can I help? Don't be afraid to edit — anyone can edit almost any page, and we encourage you to be bold! Fixing spelling and grammar, rewriting for readability and removing unconstructive edits can be apllied right away. Changes to controversial topics and wikipedias main pages ought to be discussed first on their talk pages. If you are adding a new fact please try to provide references so they are verifiable.

Remember you can't break Wikipedia, if you make a mistake it can be fixed, if you have a problem or suggestion it can be discussed. So go ahead, find something that can be improved and help make Wikipedia the best information source on the Internet!'

  • Change 'Make your first edit right now:' to 'Make your first test edit right now:'

Finally I think the last two points don't seem right under 'make you first edit' they should be removed to leave three steps - I am thinking maybe a brief section on talk pages should be added somewhere to cover these points? Any thoughts / thumbs up ? LeeVJ (talk) 22:48, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

  • Just one more thing - is it just the way I have my browsing set up or are the tabs in the image not up-to-date with current wording - i.e 'talk' vs 'discussion' ? LeeVJ (talk) 23:01, 1 February 2009 (UTC)ntribs]]) 21:05, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

Do we even need this?[edit]

I've noticed on the bottom of the template, it says "Feel free to change the text below this line. No profanity, please.". The sandbox is the perfect place for test edits. Should we remove this piece of text? Laaa200 (talk) 03:38, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

That's not in the template, that is in the page itself, which calls the template:

"{{Please leave this line alone}}
<!-- Feel free to change the text below this line. No profanity, please. -->"

Where "Please leave this line alone" is actually a clever call to insert the template.

However, it should have a heading line:

{{Please leave this line alone}}
== Below this line can be edited ==
<!-- It is better to use the sandbox than to make edits here. Any edits here will be cleared within 10 minutes. -->
<!-- Feel free to change the text below this line. No profanity, please. -->

Something like that. The same should be done on the main page as well, to encourage people learning that they really can edit. Right now for about every thousand people who use Wikipedia, only one figures out that they can edit. That's a terrible ratio of users to editors. Apteva (talk) 17:17, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

Reverse tabs 2 and 3[edit]

Intuitively it would make more sense to me to have tabs 2 and 3 in reverse order (i.e. Explore Wikipedia before Learn more about editing). Any particular reason for having it this way round?--Kotniski (talk) 09:56, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Actually I believe it is better to encourage learning about editing, both as that is what makes Wikipedia unique, and because it is hard to convince people that they really can edit. Apteva (talk) 17:47, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
Well yes, I don't mean to discourage it, it just seems a natural chronological order - you start by exploring (i.e. using) Wikipedia, and then you (maybe) move on to editing it. You wouldn't usually start editing it without reading it a bit first, I wouldn't have thought.--Kotniski (talk) 08:29, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

Redirecting users to the sandbox[edit]

Would it not be possible for us to change the edit links on this page so that they redirect the user to editting the sandbox? If it can be done, it would allow this page to keep all its text and instructions, without having this page be routinely changed to garbage (Especially as the introduction page to potential new users. It should be pretty). Is this possible or am I just a dreamer? -- Floydian τ γ 03:12, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

From a technical standpoint, I think it's possible w/ a MediaWiki message... but couldn't we just semi-protect this page? --Symms (talk) 01:46, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
Ideally that could be done as well... But this also keeps the functionality that this page claims - Being able to make an edit right now - while keeping that very message from being turned into "John Doe is an awesome guy from America", instead redirecting them to the edit page for the sandbox. - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 02:04, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
In my opinion this page's function is very important, greeting newcomers that is. It would be better to have the sandbox removed from here altogether, because I don't want new editors being welcomed by something like "Wikipedia is teh epic suxx0rz lol haxed" or "Buy cheap stuff online www.fakeinternetaddress.com". Since we want to preserve the sandbox functionality for new users browsing through this introduction, I suggest that we split it into another page because the regular sandbox doesn't link to the next steps of this introduction. Any comments? Kotiwalo (talk) 11:45, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
Can templates perhaps be used to substitute the introduction message into WP:sandbox? This page should really just be an introduction, and only an introduction, and many times I come here and read about (For example, right now) ketchup farts. This is totally unprofessional in my eyes, and the introduction should be clean, just as the main page is. At the same time it shouldn't prevent users from doing what it says though. The introduction could be fully protected, but when you click 'edit', it sends you to editting the sandbox, which isn't a page a reader would normally come across until he made the jump to an editor. - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 23:51, 21 August 2009 (UTC)
Or, we could have the sandbox here cleared much more frequently, to have every edit undone, say, ten seconds after it is made. This way, new users can see they really can edit, but the possibility that they will be greeted by something like "My name is not Herman. What we have is a failure to communicate." (actual quote from sandbox) is lessened. I, too, think having the space under the template be a sandbox is not a good idea. Intelligentsium 02:51, 23 August 2009 (UTC)

Link to the introduction instead of the community portal in the sidebar[edit]

Please see and comment here on this proposal. Thanks, Cenarium (talk) 23:04, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

style of learn more about editing, explore wikipedia and tuturial[edit]

The first intro page is fairly easy to follow, but when you go onto the next pages, the infos downgraded to a list of links, I feel these pages should be written in a more descriptive way - it's all too easy to get lost in a sea of links on wikipedia already... L∴V 12:31, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

Help, Please![edit]

I'm looking for words and music to Laura Cantrall's "When the Roses Bloom Again". Not sure I'm in the right place, I've never used this forum before, but if anyone can help I'd certainly appreciate it. Thanks so much! Lizzietish70 (talk) 19:00, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

Please direct your question to the Wikipedia:Reference desk. UncleDouggie (talk) 01:50, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

Redirection of talk pages[edit]

Currently : the talk pages of Wikipedia:Introduction, Wikipedia:Introduction 2 and Wikipedia:Introduction 3 are all redirected here (Template talk:Introduction to Wikipedia)), if a new user mistakenly decides to ask a question - as often happens, they will suddenly be thrown into the realms of a mysterious thing ' template talk' and upon clicking back to the article end up on the template itself. We should not subject new editors to templates at this point - they should only see the standard discussion and article tabs for now. I propose we turn this around and move this discussion page to Wikipedia talk:Introduction, redirecting the other introduction talk pages to the same page. L∴V 11:26, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

Yes, let's do it! The template exists to protect Wikipedia:Introduction, etc. However, by redirecting the talk pages here, all it takes is one more click for the user to get to the template itself, which we don't want. The easiest thing would be to then redirect the template talk pages back to Wikipedia talk:Introduction. UncleDouggie (talk) 04:58, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

Was waiting for further opinions, but two will do. I was also going to try moving the talk history, but decided we don't really need to, this talk page is pointed at by all the templates so can be left as an editors discussion of templates - and shouldn't change much. the talk pages. all the intro pages discussion will now point to Wikipedia talk:Introduction so that's where comments and test edits from new editors and those that don't find these template pages. Lee∴V (talkcontribs) 12:19, 15 October 2009 (UTC)

lack interwiki[edit]

The german missing link is de:Hilfe:Neu_bei_Wikipedia. --Perhelion (talk) 09:28, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

"Click here" considered harmful[edit]

The Wikipedia article Click here lists several expert sources that strongly discourage the use of "click here". I suggest removing "click here" from this article, specifically changing

Click here to edit the sandbox, a place to make test edits.


You can edit the sandbox, a place to make test edits.

or to

You can edit the sandbox, a place to make test edits.

Anomalocaris (talk) 05:39, 25 February 2014 (UTC)


This template was only used on Wikipedia:Introduction, originally to prevent that page from test edits. As that page is full protected, there doesn't seem to be any purpose in using this template now? — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 16:18, 7 July 2014 (UTC)