Template talk:Dont overwrite/en

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Proposed rewrite[edit]

I see a few issues with the current wording of this template. Here it is for reference:

“Thank you for providing images to Wikimedia Commons. I notice that you have uploaded {{#if:{{{1|}}}|[[:{{{1}}}]]|a new image}} and at the same time replaced an older one. I think you should know that this is only allowed when the two images are almost exactly alike. Here in Commons we would like to host as many different, useful versions as possible for Wikimedia projects to choose from. I have restored your image to an older version, but I hope you will upload your fine image with another name. Thank you, and happy editing!”

The issues I see are the following:

  • "Thank you for providing images to Wikimedia Commons" is not a topic sentence. Failure to read the instructions should not be rewarded with a thank you sandwich.
  • Media files other than images are also capable of being overwritten.
  • We don't make it quite clear that this is essentially about the naming of the file.
  • "I think you should know that" is needlessly wordy and could come across as condescending.
  • "This is only allowed when the two images are almost exactly alike" is unclear. For example, some may think that two photos of an individual taken at two different occasions but from a similar angle are "almost exactly alike."
  • We seem to assume that the replacement is the uploader's own work ("your fine image").
  • If it's a copyright violation or out of scope, it should not be uploaded under another name. More often than not, I find myself having to add a comment that the last part of the template should be ignored (which reduces the usefulness of multilingual message templates).

I propose the following wording instead:

“I noticed that you uploaded a file using the {{#if:{{{1|}}}|name [[:{{{1}}}]]. A file by this name|same name as another file, which}} already existed on Commons. Overwriting an existing file should not be done except when making minor, uncontroversial corrections, so the file has been restored to its original version. If the file you attempted to upload is within our project scope and is in the public domain or published under a free license, please upload it again under a different name. Thank you!”

Any objections? LX (talk, contribs) 12:59, 4 July 2010 (UTC)

I guess not. ✓  Done . I also made sure that the parent template handles uses without a specified file. LX (talk, contribs) 19:45, 30 September 2010 (UTC)


Shouldn't be added a short explanation WHY it is unwanted to rewrite an "worse" image with an "better" (or "old" with "new")? Some users think overwriting is the easiest way how to replace a photo in the article(s). They don't understand why this way is incorrect. We can resume main reasons:

  • customs on Commons: somethink like "Here in Commons we would like to host as many different, useful versions as possible for Wikimedia projects to choose from." as was in the previous version. The "older" or "worse" image (file) can have its specific documentary value.
  • a pertinency toward the author of the original work
  • if the image in a Wikipedia article is changed (replaced), the change should be noted in articles history page.
  • an overwriting of the file causes often incorrectness of description entries (author's name, date of taken, description], categorization, description in articles, and doubtfulnis with regard to licensing.

--ŠJů (talk) 20:50, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

You have a fair point in that an explanation of why it's good to keep versions separate would help the reader remember that it's good. I can think of a few other reasons than the ones you list, for example that Commons should not make global editorial choices on behalf of the projects using our files. I think if we list all the reasons in the template, we get instruction creep, so let's stick with a couple of important and clear examples. If we want to explain further, we can link to a separate page in the Commons namespace.
Suggested wording: "Keeping versions separate allows each Wikimedia project to choose which version to use and ensures that references to the original version, such as image captions, are still relevant." LX (talk, contribs) 22:24, 30 September 2010 (UTC)