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If you've been watching the RC recently, you have seen that I've been working on a quote template and script, to be used for "Memorable Quotes" sections or wherever there is quote. Cid Highwind and Sulfer have given some input as well. Well, now I have something that is ready for testing and public discussion. The template is at User:Bp/Tquote, which would eventually be moved to Template:Quote. The script source is at User:Bp/quote handling. I have set up the page Star Trek: First Contact#Memorable Quotes with the new template so that everyone can see what it would be like.

The old quote formatting was terrible:

  • It abused <dd>, the definition part of a <dt>term</dt><dd>definition</dd> pair (you may know it as ':' and ';term:definition')
  • It was ugly
  • It couldnt be styled independently of any other <dd>
  • It used <br>s and —s inconsistently
  • For long quotes with more than one speaker, it could get confusing as to who spoke each line

The new system:

  • Isn't ugly.
  • Doesn't use <dd>
  • Uses an easy to understand template
  • Uses CSS to style the quote sections, the user can change them as he wishes, can be skinned
  • Makes it explicit as to what was said by whom when mouse-overed, or alternately always or never, depending on the user preference

Known problems:

  • IE6 style is broken a tiny bit, but it still is "good enough for IE". Get Opera, you sad IE users.

So, go try it out and then post some comments. --Bp 17:11, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

Discussion Edit

First I have to say, I like the work done here, and the idea of (finally) having a central template&style for quotes. There are just two small things I don't like about the current setup. Depending on what the majority thinks, these could either be changed in the "default setup", or I will just change them for myself:

  1. As Bp mentioned, there are three settings available regarding "speaker" names - those can be shown never, always, or on mouse-over. Currently, mouse-over is the standard - which, I think, is the worst of the three alternatives. I just don't like it if parts of the text just appear out of nowhere, and while doing so shift other parts of the text around randomly. Here, quotes get moved to the right when the names appear, and (depending on quote length and screen width), it might even happen that new line breaks are inserted, thereby shifting the rest of the whole page up and down. This is especially annoying if the quote contains a link - trying to click that link will first relocate it to somewhere else... Also, I don't really see the reason for "hiding" parts of the information in the first place. My suggestion here would be to either use always on or always off as the default, but not mouse-over.
  2. Currently, the names are shown using a "monospace" font, which I personally find totally ugly. Here, my suggestion would be to change that one to the standard sans-serif font used everywhere else, eventually formatted "bold".

-- Cid Highwind 19:13, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

Mouse over is standard? There is no mouse over in Firefox for me... But before further ranting: Excellent, I really like this standardisation, long overdue! Now to the formatting:
  1. Font: Well, I know it is quite the custom to write the quote in italics, but then the quotation marks are not needed anymore. Furthermore the completely different font family breaks the style. I could well go with quotes and italics, but not with another font.
  2. Quotation marks: I noticed there is a white space before (after) the actual quote, this should be erased. Quotation marks go directly to the text (except for the French, so remember how you achieved that).
  3. Speaker: Well, as said, I don't have the hover effect. However if the person would appear next to the spoken line, wouldn't that make the last line unnecessary? While I like the last line, I also do like the style (used in MA/de exclusivly) with ordinary quotes.
That said, I repeat: standardisation is excellent. -- Kobi 19:30, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

I agree, nice work. I also agree with Cid and Kobi's view on the speaker font: the font face should be in line with what we're already using, and bolded. Kobi, I'm using Firefox as well, and the mouseover works fine for me... did you check your javascript settings? Cid, I understand what you're saying about the text shifting around, but I, personally, don't find it too annoying. I guess it's just a matter of preference. Could the script be set up to do a tooltip on mouseover, rather than altering the lines of text? -- Renegade54 21:59, 30 October 2006 (UTC)


Hey, it's a lot to indent so I just used <hr>, well:

  • Kobi, try loggin out and see if it works, if yes then it's something to do with your user:monobook.js, or possibly it's because you have german as your interface language. Shisma reported a similar problem.
  • Renegade54, if you set explicitQuotes to 0, there will be tooltips and not labels.
  • Monospace label: You all seem stuck on having one typeface for for the whole site, white-only, with either bold, italic, or normal. It makes me feel like I'm back using the monochrome text-only VAX terminals again. Jeeze, have some imagination. I think the monospace yellow labels look good for it's special purpose, and the simple bold regular font would look dull and terrible. This is one of the reasons that different typefaces exist. Also, see the comment below about the label not being a "real" part of the document.
  • Serif font on the quotes: Same as above above, I think it looks "literary" :)
  • Quotes with italics and extra whitespace: The style is caused by using <q></q> which automatically italicises and adds quotemarks on most browsers. On IE6, it only italicises. So, if we removed italics, then IE looks even stranger. The whitespace at the end is caused by the template parameters having a newline in them at the end, to preserve formatting in the articles. This is actually a minor problem I should have mentioned in the "Known probelms" section above, because it will wrap the quotemarks by themselves, not taking the last word with them, if the quotemark just happens to be at the wrap spot.
  • The labels do not make the last line meaningless, the last line describes the quote and if the user turns the labels off, it is still required. Also, the labels are not supposed to be a "real" part of the document, only a helpful aid to make it explicit who spoke each line, for easier reading. That is why they are mousover by default as well. Only explicit when "requested".

Anyway, forgive my defensiveness. --Bp 06:24, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

Well, different fonts do not exist for the reason to use them all on the same document. That, as well as using too many different colors without rhyme or reason, just looks unprofessional. I personally like the Times-like font for actual quotes, but Kobi is right - if we use that AND the default sans-serif font AND a monospaced font all in one single block of text, it starts to look like a typesetter's nightmare.
Also, regarding the visibility of the labels - if they are a helpful aid to make something explicit, why not have them visible in the first place? It's not as if we're playing a game of "Guess the quote" here. -- Cid Highwind 13:25, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
Personally, I find mousovers the most annoying thing in JavaScript, and I am quite annoyed that Sun Microsystems and Netscape (JavaScript), Microsoft (jscript), and EMCA (EMCAScript, which is what that code actually is..) insisted on them. If there is something that should be explicitly requested, it should be the USE of mouseovers. Also, last i looked at my (ancient) World Book Encyclopedia, they used 2 fonts throughout all of 28 volumes. --Six of Six Talk Ω 15:44, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

No other comments, so I'll go:

  • Looking at the world book Encylcopedia, I see three type sets. monospace-serif, serif, and sans-serif. All used next to each other to show the different types of information. The image caption is sans, the image credit is mono, the article is serif. I think the monospace label makes it clear that it is meta information. They also monospace self-references to WORLD BOOK.
  • We aren't playing "Guess the Quote" but the no-lable style looks better in general (although less useful), and I thought it would be better to hide the labels until they were "requested" in some way to get the best balance of aesthetics vs utility.
--Bp 11:29, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

Well, there have been no other comments in a week, so I guess I win. Time to start changing quote sections. :) --Bp 18:44, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

Well, it looks pretty much unsolved one way or the other to me. There seem to be two voices who don't like mouseovers vs. two who like it or don't really care about it. And there seem to be two voices against a bunch of new fonts vs. your voice of using them. At least that doesn't look like overwhelming support for a change of what we have now (just regarding formatting, mind you, not regarding actually using the template with whatever formatting we might put on top of it). -- Cid Highwind 19:21, 11 November 2006 (UTC)
I have to agree with Cid here. Mind you, I'm not opposed to this script or the implementation of the script, but I don't think anything close to a consensus has been reached regarding the details of the script formatting, and for something as wide-ranging and visible as this, I think there should be a consensus. -- Renegade54 17:24, 12 November 2006 (UTC)
If all of you would hurry up and see it my way, we could get on with things. :p Very well, I responded to Six about his World Book stuff, and to Cid about his Guess the Quote stuff, and then no one said anything for a week, so who's going to make a point? --Bp 17:31, 12 November 2006 (UTC)

Known ProblemsEdit

  • Script does not work with language setting other than "en". -- Kobi 13:48, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
    • I logged in and out, and it didn't help, however with my language set to "en" and then again refreshing the site, the script starts to work. -- Kobi 13:48, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
      • For completeness sake - Kobi, Bp and I discussed this on IRC and found out that the "Monobook.js" file that gets included is based on the language setting in your preferences. Any language setting "xx" other than "en" will include the page content of "Mediawiki:Monobook.js/xx", not the default one. This is a known issue with the Mediawiki software. For the moment, if you want to check out this script, change your language setting to "en". After that, we need to find the best way to deal with this for all users. -- Cid Highwind 18:02, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
        • I think this behavior is by design, so the script can be multi-language. The problem is that there is no Common.js that gets served to all languages and all skins. That would be useful. Anyway, I believe the best idea we could come up with when we talked on IRC was just to create the sub-pages by requesting the default while each langauge is selected(to get the tooltips and keys) and add the code to request the script from another location like Memory Alpha:Scripts/. An admin will have to do that. --Bp 11:11, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

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