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Template talk:Warningbox

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Revision as of 14:46, 11 July 2012 by Texugo (Talk | contribs)

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Alert image

Just double-checking that this image really is licensed as ccbysa... Narya, did you create this image yourself, or can you provide a link to the source? Thank you! – cacahuate talk 12:53, 28 June 2007 (EDT)

It's on Wikipedia as dual-licensed GFDL/CC by-sa: [1] Jpatokal 17:19, 28 June 2007 (EDT)

funky layout

I removed a <br> tag today, on country articles it was forcing the intro text below the quickbar when this template was used (or at least on Somalia it was). If I'm missing something and this was necessary for something else, let me know – cacahuate talk 18:42, 28 June 2008 (EDT)

Out-of-date Warningboxes

Swept in from the pub

Is it possible to get a list of all pages with warningboxes? It would be really helpful in keeping them up-to date. I found a couple that were several months past the time when they mattered. If not, maybe someone could create a bot to do this? AHeneen 21:15, 20 May 2009 (EDT)

I think you're looking for Special:Whatlinkshere/Template:Warningbox. LtPowers 21:32, 20 May 2009 (EDT)
Thank You! AHeneen 02:07, 21 May 2009 (EDT)
I've gone through all of the links to edit, move, remove, or turn them into something else. The only one I didn't know what to do with was Bangkok/Khao San Road. Could someone familiar with the region please do something appropriate with the two unsightly warning boxes at the end? AHeneen 15:08, 21 May 2009 (EDT)

Warning boxes

swept in from pub:

Screenshot of Iraq in Chrome
Screenshot of same Iraq page in IE8

I am asking this here as I can't think where else is appropriate. Can all users please not place warning boxes at the top of a country article, and when you see one there please move it. It completely messes up the page layout in IE, leaving huge amounts of white space in the article. The best alternative place for warnings about travel to a country are the Get in section. IE's market share is dropping (unsuprisingly), but it still accounts for some 60% of all page loads in the world, so we must take this into account. --Burmesedays 10:29, 22 March 2010 (EDT)

Can you give an example? The box ought to be able to be coded to avoid any such layout issues. LtPowers 16:29, 22 March 2010 (EDT)
Iraq and Niger. Huge whitespace at the top in IE, fine in Chrome and Firefox. As I see these problems I move the box. --Burmesedays 22:53, 22 March 2010 (EDT)
Both look fine to me in IE 8. LtPowers 08:54, 23 March 2010 (EDT)
Then I guess your IE8 is different to mine (see right).
When I use IE8, I see the same as LtPowers. However, when I use the IE Tab Classic plugin of Google Chrome, I get the same result as Burmesedays. Weird. --globe-trotter 09:53, 23 March 2010 (EDT)
You get no whitespace in IE8? That is wierd. I tried IE on four different office machines today and at home, all with the same ugly result. I almost never use IE to be honest as it just isn't very good, but figured this must be a widespread problem. There are no issues at all with Chrome, Firefox or Safari.--Burmesedays 09:58, 23 March 2010 (EDT)
I have the same result as LtPowers and so far no issues with IE8. Only when guys try to highlight phone number with this skype tag it gets pretty messy... jan 14:06, 23 March 2010 (EDT)

I think I might have isolated the issue. With IE8 in Windows XP, there is a white space problem. IE8 in Windows 7, no such problem. I would be grateful if another user could confirm that. If that is the case, then my request stands as we cannot limit pages to look correct in Windows 7 only.--Burmesedays 22:03, 23 March 2010 (EDT)

Nope, I'm running XP. LtPowers 22:17, 23 March 2010 (EDT)
Damn!. In which case, it remains a most mysterious problem.--Burmesedays 22:49, 23 March 2010 (EDT)

I see the problem from time to time using Firefox 3.5 in XP, but it doesn't occur every time there is a warningbox. Keep in mind that the screenshot is copyrighted (the IE interface is actually what's copyrighted) and should not be uploaded to Wikitravel...delete it soon. AHeneen 03:07, 29 March 2010 (EDT)

Overuse of warningboxes

The current guideline for warning boxes is that they are for "non-obvious dangers to life and limb", and several examples are provided on the template page for when they should be used. We currently seem to be vastly overusing this template - warnings about minors not being able to book hotels in Vegas is just one of many examples that don't follow the guidance provided.

It would be helpful if editors could review existing uses of this template and trim those that are excessive, but I'm also wondering if we need another template for things like Walt Disney World#Ride safety - ride safety at Disney World is clearly not a "non-obvious danger to life and limb" (there are warnings at every ride, and operators won't let you on if you don't meet height restrictions) but it might still be helpful to have something like an alert box to call out items that are important and worth highlighting, but not life-threatening. Such a template should also be less eye-catching (along the lines of Template:Disclaimerbox), as the current warningbox is meant to grab attention immediately. Thoughts? -- Ryan • (talk) • 06:47, 21 October 2010 (EDT)

Template:Infobox should cover most of those situations, certainly for local quirks like Vegas hotel booking. I think there's probably room for an intermediate step between the two, for urgent but non-life-threatening information — perhaps a Template:Cautionbox, with a yellow diamond icon — but I'm not sure how useful it would be for short-term events like those from Travel news. As your cleanup of the warningboxes makes clear, we're not always good at removing "temporary" warnings! — D. Guillaime 13:32, 21 October 2010 (EDT)
It looks like people are using Template:Warningbox and Template:Disclaimerbox when they want a full-page-width box to call out interesting or important information, such as in the Walt Disney World#Ride safety case. Template:Infobox is meant for this type of info, but it aligns to the right, so it might be worthwhile creating one more template that is more general and less eye-catching than the warning box, and not meant for editorial messages like the disclaimer box, to support this use case. Does anyone know if Wikipedia has already created anything similar? It might help to avoid confusion if we follow their lead. -- Ryan • (talk) • 10:44, 23 October 2010 (EDT)
I previously raised a similar concern at Template talk:Disclaimerbox. LtPowers 21:24, 3 March 2011 (EST)

State Department Travel Warning Template

A discuss at Talk:Uzbekistan#Warning box has me wondering if it makes sense to create a new template specifically for State Department travel warnings ("Template:StateDeptWarning"?). We frequently get contributions from people adding such warnings using the warning box template, but in many cases that seems extreme. For example, there is currently a State Department warning about travel to Mexico, despite the fact that it's only a handful of northern states that are of particular concern. I'm thinking that a new template would have the following advantage:

  • If could be made less prominent than the current template, which is very in-your-face.
  • It could link to the specific warning at the State Department web site, providing more information for those who want it and also providing a way for those without local knowledge to quickly determine if the warning has passed and can be removed.
  • It could be limited to inclusion in the "Stay safe" section of articles.
  • It would (hopefully) deter more edits like this one, which seem overly alarmist, look terrible, and (IMHO) detract from the article's credibility.

Thoughts? Barring objection I'd like to try putting something together for further consideration. -- Ryan • (talk) • 19:18, 20 May 2011 (EDT)

For reference, the list of current State Department travel advisories can be found at http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_1764.html. -- Ryan • (talk) • 19:20, 20 May 2011 (EDT)
It's not a bad idea, but I wonder why we should favor the U.S. State Dept's warnings over other nations'. LtPowers 21:04, 20 May 2011 (EDT)
Is there any particular source you have in mind? As an American I'm obviously more familiar with the US travel warnings, but if there's a better source, or other relevant sources, then there's no reason why they couldn't be used. The only limiting criteria that I would suggest is that any source we use should have warnings that aren't overly broad and that are removed when no longer relevant. -- Ryan • (talk) • 21:30, 20 May 2011 (EDT)
I don't know any specifics; I just assume that other countries issue travel advisories for their own citizens, just as the U.S. does for theirs. LtPowers 11:29, 21 May 2011 (EDT)
I can't say whose advisories are best, but various foreign ministries put them out. Just looking at some English-speaking countries, here are links to advisories from the British, Canadian, Australian, and Kiwi governments:

http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/travel-advice-by-country/

http://www.voyage.gc.ca/countries_pays/updates_mise-a-jour-eng.asp

http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/

http://www.safetravel.govt.nz/

Ikan Kekek 12:09, 21 May 2011 (EDT)

Rather than creating a new template, I think it'd be best just to take it case-by-case. I don't think there's any rule that states that a warningbox cannot be placed in the "Stay Safe" section of the country article, so in cases similar to your Mexico example, it might be better to put it down there so that dangerous areas can be pinpointed but the entire nation is not given the Beware Scare that you feel when it's at the top. An example of a regional issue that does deserve to be at the top of the country article would be Japan. With all the media coverage and the general public's lack of knowledge regarding the size of the country and how nuclear radiation works, it was/is useful to have info about it displayed prominantly at the top. If we use the Japanese advisory as our standard, we can just put a travel warning on every nation's page (except Japan)! haha ChubbyWimbus 12:43, 21 May 2011 (EDT)

Apologies to ChubbyWimbus, I was in the process of creating the template when the new comment was added - for discussion purposes it can be viewed at Mexico#Stay safe. I agree that the warning box should continue to be used for its original intent: "non-obvious dangers to life and limb". My thought with this new template is that it provides a way of presenting official government warnings without beating users across the head with them, and also offers fields to force users to include a source and issue date. If there isn't agreement that the new template is beneficial then I wouldn't oppose deletion, but I do feel that it serves a purpose and provides a good alternative to some questionable warnings such as the current box on Uzbekistan#Stay safe. Thoughts? -- Ryan • (talk) • 13:37, 21 May 2011 (EDT)
It's not so much a question of "is it useful" but rather "which country's advisories do we post?" All of them? The box you put up, for example, simply says "a travel advisory has been issued" without saying who issued it and to whom it applies. (Obviously, in this case, it applies to anyone even though the U.S. issued the advisory, but many of the State Department's recommendations are specific to American citizens.) LtPowers 22:46, 21 May 2011 (EDT)
I would say that any country's travel advisory that has a significant warning should be either posted or summarized. It should be noted who the travel advisory is from, though. Ikan Kekek 14:28, 22 May 2011 (EDT)
The goal with this template was basically to provide a standardized way of handling the seemingly good-faith edits from people who (in the past) have noted that there are warnings from foreign governments about a certain destination. Obviously it would be best if these warnings were broadly applicable, and in such cases I would suspect that multiple governments would issue the same warnings which is why I kept the summary of the Mexico example generic, but linked to the US State Department warning for those who wanted more detail. However, if people think it makes sense to state which agency issued the linked warning explicitly then that's completely doable and the template instructions can be updated to note as much. -- Ryan • (talk) • 21:39, 22 May 2011 (EDT)
*bump* It sounds as if there may be a couple of outstanding concerns (which country's warnings to use and whether to use a separate template at all) so additional comment would be appreciated. -- Ryan • (talk) • 11:10, 26 May 2011 (EDT)
I'd like to try replacing a few more warning boxes with this new template (notably Uzbekistan#Stay safe, Algeria, Bahrain, Chad and several others that show up from Special:Whatlinkshere/Template:Warningbox), but since there were some reservations expressed above it would be good to get some further comment before doing so... so, any further comment? Objections? Suggestions? -- Ryan • (talk) • 12:05, 29 May 2011 (EDT)

Warning Boxes

Moved here from traveller's pub

I see warning boxes pop up on many articles prematurly, usually by people who have never been to the country in question and may make blanket assumptions such as "there are protests in some parts of the Middle East, so every country in the Middle East needs a warning box"

This turns into edit wars, and since the number one rule of wikitravel is that the traveller comes first, I think maybe there should be a medium level warning box. Maybe... a yellow "caution" box or something like that.

It doesn't seem right that "Warning there is a war in this country and you are likely to be shot if you go here" should be the same magnitude as "There are some protests in neigbouring countries, this country is currently safe, but be sure to moniter events closely in case of change"

Just my $0.02. Would something like that be possible? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Kayla (talkcontribs)

This issue was raised previously at Template talk:Warningbox#Overuse of warningboxes but did not elicit many responses. -- Ryan • (talk) • 14:07, 2 March 2011 (EST)
I'm trying to plan a trip to the Middle East, and I'm finding it really hard to decide which countries are "relatively safe" and which are "warzones" when any country in the Middle East is apparently being given arbitrary warning boxes. I know for a fact that Oman is fairly safe, but for others I don't know enough about them to remove the warning boxes. Warning boxes feel like they are saying "absolutely do not go here unless you want to die" but maybe only I read them that way... Kayla 14:27, 4 March 2011 (EST)
This seems to be a problem with a wiki-based travel guide - it's not always possible to know how credible an editor is, and anytime something is in the news then lots of people without first-hand knowledge tend to plaster warnings across the site. While we don't use citations on Wikitravel, warning boxes might be a place where they would make sense. -- Ryan • (talk) • 14:51, 4 March 2011 (EST)
Agreed provided personal experience is allowed as a reference. Signed personal experience. With a username, not an ISP number. (a real name would also be OK as long as it is verifiable). Cheers, • • • Peter (Southwood) Talk 00:21, 6 March 2011 (EST)
That's not a road I want to go down. We don't cite anything else in our guides; why would we cite warning boxes? LtPowers 15:22, 6 March 2011 (EST)
This discussion should probably be moved to Template talk:Warningbox, but since the purpose of a warning box is to warn travelers against a "non-obvious danger to life and limb" it seems reasonable to at least provide an additional level of reassurance as to whether or not a traveler's life really would be in danger when visiting a place, or if someone merely read an article on CNN and slapped a warning on ten different articles. Additionally, it would make these boxes easier to remove since editors could simply check the link provided to see if the danger has ended. Also note that I wouldn't propose that warning boxes without a citation should be removed, merely that using citations as an additional resource with warning boxes might be helpful. -- Ryan • (talk) • 17:58, 6 March 2011 (EST)
A thought. Warnings should dates for specific dangerous events to act as a type of expiry date so that the traveler can decide if the danger has passed. Something like "On 13/03/11 there was street fighting in district X". Violent protests tend to be short lived, as are natural disasters, so the warning may not be relevant by the time the traveler gets there. On going dangers are best included in the main text. - Cardboardbird 21:25, 12 March 2011 (EST)

Category:Warnings

Swept in from the pub.

An IP user has created Category:Warnings and added it to Template:Warningbox so that all articles with warnings are categorized therein. I'm not sure how useful this category is, though, as "What links here" works almost as well, and we don't usually use categories for anything but article status. Thoughts? LtPowers 10:55, 30 November 2011 (EST)

I actually deleted that with the request that it first be discussed (per Wikitravel:Categories) as I was concerned about having so many articles show up in a "warning" category. I'm not excited about using a category for this, but wouldn't be opposed if others are in favor. -- Ryan • (talk) • 11:05, 30 November 2011 (EST)

Review Dates

Occasionally, I'll come across a warningbox that refers to a short-term danger (natural disaster, violence, conflict, etc.) that has long since passed and no longer is a danger. It would be really great if there were a way to include a date in the template to review the status of the warning. There could then be a new page that has a table listing all warning boxes on WT and the date added and a review date. This would provide an easy way to keep track of these warning boxes (there's pages that link to... but that's a long list to review). Now myself, when adding a warning box, I'll always include the date in some way like "In July 2012, there was a coup in Country Y and the military leaders have suspended the constitution...blah blah". Of course, the date should be added but in a lot of cases isn't. Even when the date is listed, dangers from some events may last for a long time (like a city/region devastated by an earthquake and still with minimal basic services 9 months later...such as Port-au-Prince after the 2010 quake or Aceh after the 2004 tsunami) while others may only last a week or two (protests, violence). Examples:

  • {{warningbox|Date Added/Updated/Reviewed|Review Date|Warning}}
  • {{warningbox|July 2012|July 2013|Travelling in Afghanistan is extremely dangerous, and independent travel/sightseeing is emphatically warned against...blah blah}} Not really going to change soon, so 1 year. Just month would be ok.
  • {{warningbox|July 2012|October 2012|Travel to Syria is strongly not advised due to a state of severe political crisis.}} Given the uncertainty of what will happen in Syria, 3 months seems appropriate.
  • {{warningbox|11 July 2012|25 July 2012|Protests over disputed election results has been ongoing since the results were announced July 8. Visitors should avoid travel to Country X for the time being; but if it's necessary, consult the advice of your embassy and avoid large gathering.}} Protests are a short-term issue, so 2 weeks is a good time for a review date.

With the proposed "review date" added to the template and page to keep track of warningboxes, a user can go to that page and see that the review date has arrived and go to the destination's page, read the warningbox, and (if they know about the situation) update it or remove it. This offers an easy way to keep track of and eliminate outdated warningboxes. The maximum time until a review date should be 1 year for dangers that aren't likely to go away soon (like drawn-out conflicts/rebels in Somalia, Afghanistan, Sudan, CAR, DRC, etc.)...but the info in the warning could change in a year's time. Other events like a recent coup or natural disaster would have a review date of, say, 1 month or less. Non-destination pages would be exempt (Tornado safety, War zone safety, user pages, etc.). The page listing all the warningboxes would look like:

  • Page......Date added/updated/kept after review......Review date
  • Afghanistan......July 2012......July 2013
  • Syria......July 2012......October 2012
  • Country X......11 July 2012......25 July 2012
  • Tornado safety
  • War Zone safety

There would be options to sort the columns be ascending/descending alphabetically or by date (with ones that have a day specified coming after those without...August 2012, August 2012, 1 August 2012, 15 August 2012). Basically, like the tables on Wikipedia such as this one.

Since some of the technical/software side of this isn't really possible without changes to MediaWiki (I think? I'm not IT-savy), I am going to post this request at Wikitravel Shared Travelers Pub where a request has been made for new features.(Done: here) AHeneen 02:25, 11 July 2012 (EDT)

A mighty fine idea, I'd say.texugo 10:42, 11 July 2012 (EDT)

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