The software we use, MediaWiki, has a feature to include the contents of one article into another automatically. This is called templating, although it has nothing to do with our article templates. (The article templates predate the idea of templating in MediaWiki.)
Templates are troublesome for a lot of reasons:
- Web-centricity -- it's not clear how template content should translate to print versions, if at all
- Attribution -- it's not clear what attribution is needed for the creator of a template or people who worked on it
- Other formats -- templates may make it difficult or impossible to convert Wiki markup to other formats (PDF, plucker, etc.)
For these reasons, templates should only be used for editorial metadata, and sparingly so. For example, our Template:Stub disclaimer, or the Template:Disambiguation identifier.