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I had been thinking about this for a while when browsing the wiki: is it time to deprecate Template:Empty? Isn't adding the template to an empty section a paradox because the section now has content with the template being added to it? Jk

But then I remembered that while an empty section is painfully obvious when it's empty, the template does automatically categorise the article it's used on, making it easier to find these pages. You want to index mainspace articles that use Template:Empty? A category does just that. (Also Special:WhatLinksHere, but I suppose I shouldn't complicate the matter any further.) The little tag that the section is empty does help to bring attention to an otherwise lonely header.

An empty template nested with a bunch of other filled in sections does make it stand out. An entire sea of them? That is another matter. The same goes for those huge missing video templates by the way. Also Template:Incomplete to some extent.

I've been noticing a number of game articles (later sections of Magneboy, Fluffball, Frost Bite 2) with mostly incomplete Level sections stacked with Template:Empty one atop the other, an incomplete template at the top of the Levels section and a missing walkthrough template at the top of the page. Aside from being excessive, it's counteractive to the purpose it's trying to serve. Templates like these were made to bring articles to attention of contributors finding things to edit and fix.

Like, an empty template in a few scattered level subsections is understandable. But when no one contributes to a levels section, seeing a gigantic stack of empty templates is not exactly going to encourage anyone to help it any more than if the templates weren't there. And the editors who are familiar with helping out these sorts of articles very well have the capability of recognising a header with no accompanying body text.

A better solution would be to unify some of these templates and get rid of the maintenance clutter. If basically the entire Levels section is absent of text, why not just use Template:Walkthrough, which so very obviously states that it's the Levels section that is not on the page. I definitely don't want the fact that each section is "Empty" or "incomplete" to be shoved in my face after already being told at the top that it's the Levels section that needs attention. You probably wouldn't even need the "incomplete" section template if the walkthrough template is already on the page.

Speaking of which, I guess the Walkthrough template itself needs to be reconsidered (even though I was the one who originally made it, haha). Should it be removed when a Levels section is "mostly" complete, and then have those few incomplete/missing sections with the empty and incomplete templates? I realise "mostly" might be disputed, but it's something worth discussing. Maybe we should make the message more clear too.

Butts

"But empty sections have an entire sea of Template:Vids then; how is that different?" - Template:Vid is a standard template used on (most) Level sections for game articles. Each template is varied in the sense that it contains, or should contain, a different video walkthrough within the collapsible component.

"But when people read articles, aren't they also looking at a sea of text when a section is filled in?" - Now I know this question was just designed to be the ultimate excuse to do all, isn't it? Ugh I'm too tired to answer this. Pester me about it in a few months down the road, when I'm not in school anymore.

Disclaimer

This post is brought to you by a lack of sleep and is 98% fueled by ranting. Contains flammable material.

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