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I propose this draft to be adopted as a policy. This page simply lists some formats that should be prohibited per the reasons given. It will not prohibit users to be creative with their signatures, however, but a few easy rules that should be enforced (more rules to prevent technical problems may be added if we agree to them). Improvements, thoughts, and opinions welcomed. ZooFari 16:03, 25 June 2010 (UTC)

See also Commons:Administrators' noticeboard#Transcluded template in signature, where it was suggested these rules from Wikipedia should be enforced. ZooFari 16:10, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
  Support Sounds uncontroversial--DieBuche (talk) 16:23, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
Shouldn't we add the sections on: External links, Categories, Images since we're on it? Maybe Length & Internal Links (Docu won't like that) as well?--DieBuche (talk) 16:29, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
Well done and thank you, ZooFari. Of course, there will be a few comments:
"Wikimedia Commons allows users to customize their signatures in any creative manner, but a few rules have been enforced to avoid disruption."
I would like to add some sort of weasel word here --"any reasonable creative manner"? As written, a User could add an image to his/her sig, which I think is beyond what we'd like.
Also, I would like to see a strong suggestion or rule that a custom sig must have an obvious link to the user's Talk page and preferably to both the User page and the Talk page. Why should a User make it harder to communicate? And yes, that suggests that I'd like ZooFari to change, perhaps so that the first half is the user page and the second the talk page -- but let me emphasize, I feel much more strongly about forbidding linkless or User page only sigs.
Finally, I think that the first line should say that signing posts is required, not simply good practice. You cannot, of course, be anonymous, and making it clear that signing is expected might save a few of us from having to add {{Unsigned}} from time to time.      Jim . . . . Jameslwoodward (talk to me) 16:38, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
Thank you, DieBuche, for pointing out other possible inclusions from WP:EN. I would vote for forbidding scrolling, blinking, and audio sigs, as well as external links and all images. Although I know it will be controversial, I wonder about asking -- not requiring -- those Users whose usernames are written in a non-Latin alphabet to include a Latin alphabet transliteration -- as WP:EN points out, we have at least ten non-Latin alphabets in common use and very few of us read more thn two or three of them.      Jim . . . . Jameslwoodward (talk to me) 16:49, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
Changed the first line to "required", since we would all probably agree on that. "any reasonable creative manner" - just trying to suggest that we don't take sigs as serious as we do on Wikipedia ;). Could be worded better, and would be appreciated. Also, since my user page redirects to my talk page, I feel that it's redundant ("Zoo" did used to link to my user page though). I haven't seen anyone use linkless signatures but if they exist, definitely enforce a rule to do so. We shouldn't have to go through the page history to get to their talk page. And yes, thank you DieBuche for suggesting other possible inclusions. I think the non-controversial ones can be added, and discuss the possibly controversial ones in a section below. ZooFari 16:57, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
Weird, I just tried to Special:Import the WP page to get the history & it fails without a reason. @Zoo: I agree about the redirected User page; if you choose to only have a talk, why link to the user page as well. Linkless signatures: User:Docu is using one & that was one of the reasons he failed his RfA multiple times--DieBuche (talk) 17:03, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
Apologies -- I had not noticed ZooFari's combined user and talk page, which seems fine, maybe even better than two separate pages? It was Docu that I had in mind, who has used an unlinked signature from time to time.     Jim . . . . Jameslwoodward (talk to me) 17:17, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
Containing images in signature should also be covered. I think adopting as "guideline" is better than as "policy". (In en-wp it is a guideline.) – Kwj2772 (msg) 12:27, 26 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Per en:WP:BURO. All substantive content of this page can be summarized by just one sentence: Do not use unsubstituted templates in signatures. In addition, the reason 3 given in support of this a simple rule is unnecessary because we should not worry about performance. I also disagree with the item 4. It is both unenforceable and unnecessary. Substitution of templates can simplify creation of signatures and the fact that it can be also done as a raw signature is not a persuasive argument to discourage its use. Ruslik (talk) 14:34, 26 June 2010 (UTC)
    • Referring to a guideline/policy on Wikipedia ("per en:WP:BURO and en:WP:Don't_worry_about_performance) was one of the issues brought up on the admin's board, and is why this page was proposed in the first place. The reasons given are there to support Do not use unsubstituted templates in signatures, and they are legitimate. Of course if you still disagree, that's no reason to oppose a signature guideline IMO and this page is always open for discussion. ZooFari 19:18, 26 June 2010 (UTC)
For the reason 3 "Don't worry about perfomrance" please see Wikipedia:Don't worry about performance#Examples:
So it makes no sense to argue the other way round. This is a really unnecessary server load which can easily be avoided. Therefore it's not wanted. I think that's one of the main reasons here and should be listed anyway.
By the way: When and how does this proposal end? Is this a voting? Then I support it. Or where is the voting page? --Geitost diskusjon 15:18, 7 August 2010 (UTC)
No idea when it will end. Maybe when consensus is reached? ;-) --Leyo 15:55, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
  •   Support, seems like a good thing. Per ZooFari, I think it's now ok to get the hammer down. Rehman 03:55, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
  •   Comment The proposal includes the sentence "Wikimedia Commons allows users to customize their signatures in any creative manner, but a few rules have been enforced to avoid disruption." I find this sentence a bit misleading, because if you're not allowed to use transcluded templates, then you're not allowed to customize your signature "in any creative way". Do I understand correctly that we will still be allowed to uses templates for the formatting of our names, but not for the formatting of our timestamps and user talk page links (because the latter involve transcluded templates)? Also, how will the existing template-formatted signatures be dealt with? J+ 15:46, 14 December 2010 (UTC) user talk
  • You don't have to use a transcluded templates to make your signature creative. The guideline basically states that you can customize your signature (via preferences) but some rules apply. One of those rules is don't use templates and the reason for it is provided. You can think of it like this: You can use creative signatures as long as you don't use templates (not limited to). In your case, you will need to substitute all your signatures and begin using another one that does not use a template. Or you can continue to substitute it (because the guideline doesn't say you can't), but it is discouraged. ZooFari 22:56, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
In that case I propose that old signatures that have been placed on talk pages can remain the way they are, and therefore the existing templates should not be removed. Substituting all existing instances of template-based signatures for preference-based signatures would be near impossible to do. However, I can accept to use the preference-based signature for all future signature instances. J+ (talk) 15:19, 18 December 2010 (UTC)
You can request templates to be substituted at Commons:Bots/Work requests. ZooFari 15:30, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

Images in signaturesEdit

Discussion above suggests we should not use images in signatures. Here's what Wikipedia's guideline says:

 See also: bugzilla:6379.

Images of any kind must not be used in signatures for the following reasons:

  • they are an unnecessary drain on server resources, and could cause server slowdown
  • a new image can be uploaded in place of the one you chose, making your signature a target for possible vandalism and Denial-of-service attacks
  • they make pages more difficult to read and scan
  • they make it more difficult to copy text from a page
  • they are potentially distracting from the actual message
  • images do not scale with the text, making lines with images higher than those without
  • they clutter up the "file links" list on the image page every time you sign on a different talk page
  • images in signatures give undue prominence to a given user's contribution
Use unicode characters instead

As an alternative to using images, consider using unicode characters that are symbols, such as these: ☺☻♥♪♫♣♠♂♀§.

Support or not support the use of images in signatures? If so, what can be added or eliminated from the reasons given above? ZooFari 19:35, 26 June 2010 (UTC)
Looks fine (I can't really understand though how you could make a DOS with user sigs)--DieBuche (talk) 20:08, 26 June 2010 (UTC)
Changing an image contained in a signature would probably lead to large server load.
Personally, I think that images should not be used in signatures. --Leyo 16:12, 28 June 2010 (UTC)
  AddedKwj2772 (msg) 10:44, 21 August 2010 (UTC)

Transcluded userEdit

I started a DR for transcluded user signatures. I might not have gathered all of them. --Leyo 15:29, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

Signatures supporting multilingualismEdit

Is there consensus behind declaring this as a part of official policy. Even though it is expressed as a "recommendation" people are taking this clause way to seriously. This undermines the multi-cultural and multi-lingual nature of commons. -- とある白い猫 ちぃ? 23:11, 21 March 2012 (UTC)

The policy status is not the issue (and actually the page is a guideline - standards or behaviors which most editors agree with in principle and generally follow), it's the concept. Once the suggestion is made to a user it applies to, they ought to take it seriously, and either accede to the suggestion, or explain why not. Rd232 (talk) 23:35, 21 March 2012 (UTC)
I believe it supports the multi-cultural nature of Commons. A bunch of people running around with a username that to many users just labels them as Arabic or East Asian and that's not readily identifiable to a single user (to Euroamerican readers) does nothing to promote cultural communication.--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:50, 21 March 2012 (UTC)

Requirement of linking user page or talk pageEdit

We do not currently require users to link either their user page or user talk page in the signature. In de:Wikipedia:Signatur we have the following statement:

Die Signatur muss einen eindeutigen Hinweis auf den Autor eines Kommentars geben und auf die Benutzerseite, die Benutzerdiskussionsseite oder die Beitragsliste (mindestens eines davon) verlinken.
[The signature … has to link to the user page, the user talk page or the contributions list (at least one of these).]

I think we should have something similar here. Thoughts? --Leyo 08:59, 20 September 2012 (UTC)

  • This is the minimum what should exist. -jkb- (talk) 09:25, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
  •   Support: seems logical. — Cheers, JackLee talk 12:33, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
  •   Support The signature has to link to the user's own ±at Wikimedia Commons. Not sure about the last one. -- Rillke(q?) 12:52, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
The above is only my rough translation of the statement in the de.wikipedia guideline. It was not meant to be a suggestion for the exact phrasing to be added here. --Leyo 19:35, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
  •   Support Obviously -FASTILY (TALK) 07:46, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
  •   Support I have raised this issue with an editor and I am a bit miffed as to why this is not required. At the bare minimum we should require a userpage link, but best practice would be a requirement for both a userpage and talk page link. russavia (talk) 15:42, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
  •   Oppose not useful if interface allows to enter signature without contribs/talk page.
  • I would support change in user interface but not YET-ANOTHER-POLICY. my talk page, my greatest edits and me d1g 11:13, 17 October 2017 (UTC)
Return to the project page "Signatures".