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Template talk:Unsigned

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How to use this template[edit]

  1. Get the IP address or username from the history page: — Click on the "history" tab at the top of the talk page with the unsigned entry, and find the IP address or username corresponding to that entry.
  2. Type {{subst:unsigned|IP address}} or {{subst:unsigned|username}} after the unsigned message, using the IP address or username you have just looked up in the template (note: do not include the "User:" part for logged in users with an account; just the username is sufficient, and the template won't work properly otherwise).
  3. Save page.


I'm suggesting using this template to allow people to go back and annotate unsigned comments. I find it make it hard to follow the discussion if you don't know who said what. It seems to work well on Wikipedia. Please let me know what you think before I deploy this widely. -- Jonboy 13:34, 26 June 2006 (EDT)

Are unsigned posts really a big problem? They're the standard on old-school wikis like WardsWiki.
My concern with this template is that it leaves out the original poster. Why not just put a message on their talk page that says, "Please sign your posts"? A gentle reminder keeps the poster in the loop, and educates them about an essential piece of wiki etiquette. It also engages the poster rather than talking over their head to other people.
"Outing" the poster instead seems to be kind of a tattle-tale system. The fact that it includes a link to the contributions of the posting user reinforces that -- that there are nefarious doings that need to be monitored.
I wonder if there were a way to re-write this template so it addresses and educates the poster rather than subtly accusing them of misdeeds. Maybe something like Note to [[User:{{{1}}}]]: please [[Wikitravel:sign your posts|]]! --Evan 13:52, 26 June 2006 (EDT)
I find it hard to follow discussions if I don't know who's talking (e.g., those horrible e-mail discussions people have that end up with >>>>>> preceding some previous reply). In no way do I want to make anybody feel bad -- I just want to clean things up a little to keep track. How about something like - written by [[User:{{{1}}}]] at {{{2}}} (please remember to [[Wikitravel:sign your posts|]].) I could even do without the reminder -- many of these comments are left by anonymous users. They won't stick around long enough to learn the etiquette, but it helps to note that several comments were made by the same user. -- Jonboy 14:01, 26 June 2006 (EDT)
We obviously don't want to embarrass the anon contributors, so could a change to the text suffice to make it feel less embarrassing? How about changing "preceeding unsigned comment" to "preceeding comment"? Or something. Also, here is an example of an anon contribution that could benefit from this since the anon user's text placement makes it appear to be the first paragraph of an entirely different comment. -- Colin 21:16, 26 June 2006 (EDT)
I like it. Changed. -- Jonboy 22:02, 26 June 2006 (EDT)
So, I'm growing to love this template. It cleared up a misunderstanding on Talk:Jau National Park, for instance. My scepticism is overcome and I greatly endorse it. --Evan 17:53, 6 July 2006 (EDT)


Right now if I do {{subst:unsigned|Jonboy|date}}, it works correctly, but {{unsigned|Jonboy|date}} doesn't have the correct talk page link. If anybody knows what's going wrong, I'd love to hear it. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Jonboy (talkcontribs) 13:42, 26 June 2006 (EDT)

Hmm, it appears that the software is smart enough not to put a link to the page I'm editing from. Since I was testing on my own talk page (doh!), I didn't get the link. Never mind. -- Jonboy 13:48, 26 June 2006 (EDT)


If anyone wants to see the template in action, please check out my talk page. -- Jonboy 13:53, 26 June 2006 (EDT)


Swept in from the Pub:

Any objections about importing Wikipedia:Template:Unsigned and starting to use it? -- Jonboy 17:19, 23 June 2006 (EDT)

I think that it should be more explicit on Wikitravel:Using Mediawiki templates, but here would be my suggestion: copy it over, explain what it's used for on Template talk:Unsigned, maybe add a note to Wikitravel:Requests for comment, try it in a few places for an example, then wait to see what the support for it is like. It doesn't seem like such a bad template to me; if it's used gently and helpfully, rather than as an accusation, I think that it's pretty OK. --Evan 18:04, 23 June 2006 (EDT)
OK. Done, the way you suggested. I've started to deploy it on my talk page as a first test. -- Jonboy 13:52, 26 June 2006 (EDT)

contribs link[edit]

I've used this template in Talk:Budapest#info on WinterInvasion--but found that the link from "contribs" appear like Special:Contributions/Nammarci%E2%80%8E. I don't see any bug in the template itself--so it's possibly related to MediaWiki redirects. --DenisYurkin 07:17, 10 February 2007 (EST)

Link to instructions[edit]

I think it would be nice to have a link in this template to instructions as to how to sign your name automatically. Otherwise, hapless new contributors see others keep adding it for them, but don't actually know what to do. The Wikipedia version does this straightforwardly. Any objections to simply adopting that syntax? --Peter Talk 17:27, 6 January 2009 (EST)

Ah wait, we already do this. Even so, it wasn't clear to me that we do, despite having seen and used the template hundreds of times. Could just be my own denseness, but I still think it would pay to be clearer, and link from the word "unsigned." --Peter Talk 17:29, 6 January 2009 (EST)
See Colin's comment above for one possible objection. In general, I'm OK with changes for clarification, as long as we don't go in the direction of chastising the non-signer. --Jonboy 20:02, 6 January 2009 (EST)
I guess my answer to the question of embarrassing new users is that I suppose having your comments continually signed by other users is more embarrassing, as it emphasizes that the new user is making a mistake without clearly pointing to the help article. Obviously, this isn't a huge issue, but I'm curious to see whether opinion might have shifted over time. --Peter Talk 20:06, 6 January 2009 (EST)


I'd like to come up with a clearer pointer to the help page. Here's one suggestion, but perhaps someone else can think of one better:

—The preceding comment was added by Peterfitzgerald (talkcontribs) (see signature help)

I would prefer Wikipedia's version, but that's just me. LtPowers 15:47, 2 July 2010 (EDT)

why subst?[edit]

I wonder why subst: is better than just invoking {{unsigned|IP}}? --DenisYurkin 10:53, 20 January 2011 (EST)

Several reasons. First, it reduces server load; on pages with a lot of transcluded templates, rendering can be quite slow. As well, when a template is changed, all pages that transclude it must be re-rendered and recached. Second, it upholds the principle that comments on talk pages should be more-or-less static once made; an unsubstituted template could be changed and cause changes on every talk page on which the template is used. Third, substing lowers the template's value as a vandalism target. LtPowers 15:01, 20 January 2011 (EST)

Update and enhancement[edit]

Now that the relevant instructional page's name has been changed to Wikitravel:Using discussion pages (to more closely follow the actual text that readers see on the tab at the top of their page) I would like to propose that the template code be immediately changed to the following code so as to offer more assistance to new editors:

<small>—The preceding comment was added by [[User:{{{1}}}|{{{1}}}]] [[User_talk:{{{1}}}|talk]] • [[Special:Contributions/{{{1}}}|contribs]]) {{{2|}}} ''(see [[Wikitravel:Using_talk_pages#Discussion_page_formatting|signature help]]</small><noinclude> 

When substituted, the template would then put a string like this on the page:

—The preceding comment was added by ttcf (talkcontribs) see signature help...

Any objections? --Ttcf (talk) 16:42, 30 November 2014 (EST)