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Formatting of inline "background" or "alternate timeline" info

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Currently, we're formatting inline background information using indented italics, and "alternate timeline" info using non-indented italics. On MA/de a suggestion has been made to make this slightly more graphical...

...for example, by creating a template that just takes text as its parameter and formats it like this. Background information placed in a box like this would be notably separated from the rest of the text, without the formatting being too obtrusive.

Similarly, "alternate timeline" information that needs to be placed inline, instead of its separate section or even article, could be formatted like the box above, just using different colors or a small icon in the background. What do you think? -- Cid Highwind 14:02, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

Looks good to me. Maybe make the text a bit bigger, but other than that it looks good. ---- Willie LLAP 14:10, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
I agree, by separating the background info from the article in this way we really get the point across that it's not related in-universe. — Morder 14:34, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
in ma/de this design was chosen by the community:
alternative Timeline In an alternative timeline another layout was chosen by the ma/de community and that led to a dark age of fear and sorrow on earth. (Star Trek)
--User:Shisma 15:51, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
We could of course leave the font the same size, but use italics...

or

...we could even switch to a different font. This one looks best on systems that have the "Cambria" font installed, but will fall back to a standard serif font otherwise.

--Cid Highwind 15:28, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

I quite like the German one (although I'm not sure about the capitalization "alternative Timeline"). —Josiah Rowe 15:37, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
I think we would only really need to change one of the two, as it's pretty much a question of readers getting confused between them. The alternate timeline stuff is currently formatted as it is in the Star Trek Encyclopedia, and I see no problem with continuing with that style. I would definitely support Cid's first 15:28 example for inline background info, as it would look a lot like the footnote style used in the Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual. I don't like the additional identification box of Shisma's: it's a fiddly bit of CSS that isn't really needed, and may not work on all browsers or in all skins. After all, we've only just got rid of the kludged realworld box, which had occasional issues with placement. -- Michael Warren | Talk 15:51, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
See M. Romero (Private) for an example article using Cid's suggestion as a background info template. -- Renegade54 17:47, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
Terrorism This doesn't look very good when the template is applied - though the particular bg info items is really crap anyway. — Morder 21:30, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

Yeah, I agree. There are several problems with that. To solve those, I suggest

this different style. It has a border at the top only, but replaces the bottom border with a bigger margin to the following text.

That way, we would at least avoid the confusion of eventually not really knowing whether the border belongs to the standard or bginfo text. I'd personally still prefer the smaller text, but apparently, this borders on unreadable for some? :) -- Cid Highwind 21:59, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

I've made some more updates to Terrorism. Specifically I've indented the box itself and i think it does a better job and separating the content rather than breaking up the article. Need some feedback before I modify the template though. :)— Morder 22:09, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

Looks fine for me. :) -- Cid Highwind 22:20, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

I've updated it - but I think the more important item here is that they're in templates now which mean we can change it much easier in the future :) — Morder 00:55, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
Is the point of this to remove "Background" and "Trivia" and the like as their own subsections and add these italic boxes in the middle of the articles the way Terrorism and M._Romero_(Private) are currently? And the plan is to have all articles use this format?
I'm not sure if my two cents mean much but I really dislike the way that looks. Will we still be able to jump to subsections? It feels like a step backwards.
Sorry if I've overstepped my bounds, and my intention was not to insult anyone or their hard work. --DhaliaUnsung 02:29, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
This isn't the same thing as the sections. I agree they look ugly but that's what we're trying to fix. They need to be separate from the area they're in but not so disrupting of the article itself. — Morder 02:40, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
Since it looks like this is pretty much accepted by no-one else questioning it :D, might I suggest hard-encoding the style into the CSS? I actually much prefer the solid top and bottom borders to the dotted box, and would like to adapt the bginfo style to that for my personal stylesheet, if the dotted one is the accepted standard. -- Michael Warren | Talk 08:23, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
Heh, I don't accept the current formatting, yet, but nobody else has made any suggestions to change it. It looks especially horrible when it happens to float over images that are |left| |instead of right|. Still, not sure what else do to since everything else we've tried seems to break up the article. :( — Morder 08:26, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
I prefer the open-ended look to the boxed-text look, personally (i.e. the solid top and bottom borders). I do understand that an article with numerous in-article background notes ends up looking very choppy, though, and I don't know a way around that, short of moving all background notes to the bottom of the article, perhaps into a linked reference section (like footnotes). -- Renegade54 13:31, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

What about the last style suggested in here, which has a top border but no bottom border (instead, a bottom margin)? Would that solve any of these issues? -- Cid Highwind 14:09, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

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