Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2022-04-24/Humour

Really huge message boxes: A serious statement of Wikipedia policy.
Originally posted as the humorous essay Wikipedia:Huge message boxes. You may edit this essay, but please do so only on the original page.

Huge message boxes or huge templates is a Wikipedia policy regarding the minimum and average size of templates when used for display on a page as message boxes. The general idea is that these message box templates should be successful in their primary goal — to be seen — and that by being seen they should effectively distract and confuse our end readers and editors.

The general rules (in no particular order):

  • Templates must be HUGE — this means that templates must be so enormous that they cannot possibly be ignored or missed, even by people across the room, and especially by those who have seen them before and already know their contents.
  • Assume no prerequisite knowledge. Any basic common sense or otherwise irrelevant information should be included (see, e.g., "Learn how and when to remove this template message") and done so in the most unordered way — such as to make the average template or message box an object of literature in it own right, competing with the article not only for attention, but for the right to be featured on the front page.
  • Templates must be formatted using the {{ambox}} meta-template, which causes them to fit squarely over the text of an article, like a ton of bricks squashing the article underneath it, optically speaking.
  • Templates should be placed squarely in the center of the page to overshadow the article text. Remember: message boxes are by nature good design, and nothing succeeds like excess.
  • Stack lots of huge templates together if possible, such that the reader must scroll down a ways to see the article's first paragraph. Make sure that you apply templates to every single subsection as well, such as what was done here. This may also require compound templates, and may offer a solution for writing complex articles as well.
  • If the templates are small, use twice as many. You cannot have too much of a good thing.
  • Navigational boxes must be hierarchical (multi-level, or recursive). If templates are capable of such ingenious presentation, then such functionality must be used to the fullest extent. Shakespeare's plays is a perfect example of what to do.
Nota bene: The above example was too perfect; it was previously displayed in its expanded state, which caused the single-page issue to exceed the MediaWiki transclusion limit and display all fizzucked up. I'm replacing it with a link — I encourage you to click it and see the behemoth that broke the Signpost.