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Template madness!

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First, we set up 366 Day "articles" that have absolutely no content except a template call, and will never be edited. And 366 Day "templates" that contain all the day article content and are always edited, which is completely backwards... but now we are putting all of the uniform article content into templates as well? This is a terrible idea! The primary content of article pages should not be in templates, and templates, which are supposed to be small pieces of constant information used in many articles, should be set up to be edited very few times becuase of the overhead in updating all of the articles that use them when they are changed. grumf. --Bp 08:56, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

The templates are all prefaced by a header tag, which means they'll always have an "edit" button on top no matter when they're used. And each one is going to be used in three or more articles anyway, and i can't justify copying the same information over three times. grumf. -- Captain M.K.B. 09:14, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

These arent navigational aides or common tables, they are the bulk content of the article. Furthermore, only 3? thats exactly the kind of small time thing that should just be copied, with the paragraph re-written to serve the individual article. uhg! --Bp 09:20, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

I'm sorry to provoke your disgust. -- Captain M.K.B. 09:40, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

Eh, I think it is a bad idea. Not disgusting. Maybe a "mmruh" will do it. mmruh. --Bp 09:43, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

Before you go completely crazy with those, Mike, this is absolutely against everything what "wiki" normally stands for. It does make it harder to edit for people who aren't completely aware of all the Mediawiki functionality. It does take article content somewhere it doesn't belong (I think the day templates are a special case here, but that's another discussion). It does create some sort of content duplication - at least in appearance, by transcluding the same "content template" to several pages. Last but not least, it completely undermines the general structure we otherwise have - one article per item, using navboxes or categories to group them. I think there's absolutely no reason to have three or more articles for one group of items (unless it's an unannotated list in each case, linking to separate articles), each time repeating the same content in different order. This doesn't make reading the stuff easier, this doesn't make finding it easier - it accomplishes nothing in my opinion, and I'm absolutely for re-merging that content, alternatively creating "real" separate articles if necessary. And yes, this apparently something that needs to be discussed in more detail than just you adding snide remarks - thanks for that. :) -- Cid Highwind 09:46, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
I have to agree with Cid and Bp. Before seeing this thread, I was about to create something similar after looking through the uniforms article. That stuff does not belong in templates, it belongs in articles (well, it belongs in the article, singular). I do not see a need for that information to be in half a dozen articles, it doesn't make sense to how we seem to run MA. Since it should be in just one article, it should not be in templates. All putting it there accomplishes is making it harder for people to edit. Now, when they go to edit that uniform article, they get the unpleasent surprise of seeing it is all templates, and now they have to open the template and edit them. You have added steps without reason. I had to deal with the same thing with the Memory Alpha:Requested pictures page yesterday. I wanted to edit the first paragraph, and what did I find? It was a template, a template that is only being used in that page. Why does it need to be a template? Why can't it simply be code in the page? It added work to fix what was a minor error. Why would we want to expand that problem? --OuroborosCobra talk 12:45, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
i don't think its so bad. if you click edit on a subsection in the article, you edit the appropriate template. if you click to edit the article, it gives you a list of templates present.
you vigilant hawks didn't notice that i did the same thing a year ago with dedication plaques, did you? you weren't strenuously guarding Memory Alpha against possible improvements then? -- Captain M.K.B. 13:57, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
Care to tell where the templates are on that exact page? -- Cid Highwind 14:04, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
What are you talking about Mike? I do not see any templates on the dedication plaques article. Maybe that is why I did not raise hell then. In addition, so what? I do not think it should matter that I did not notice something before. I've noticed it now. --OuroborosCobra talk 14:11, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
Sorry -- meant dedication plaque comparison. -- Captain M.K.B. 14:21, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
In that case, I have a very good answer, I was not even a member of MA yet, and would not be for several months. I also feel that it is wrong on that article. It is not what templates are for. --OuroborosCobra talk 14:24, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

Just for the record, those day articles and day templates annoy the heck out of me, too, because I've edited them many times and the extra work is a pain, but they're like that for a specific reason: to be able to use the day content on a new main page (or elsewhere) in an "On This Date in Trek History" section. -- Renegade54 14:37, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

Exactly, there is a reason for them (even though they are annoying to use). What I think Bp and Cid are asking for, and what I know I am asking for, is why we need them for the uniforms, and now also for the dedication plaques. What purpose is served by making them templates rather than in article code? --OuroborosCobra talk 14:39, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
  • In terms of the day article/templates, I've been meaning to sit down and put in a magic edit button that'll take you right to the template for a particular day, but I've not had the time recently to do that. Hopefully later this week though, once i'm all caught up with reality again. *sigh* -- Sulfur 14:42, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
right now we only sort the uniforms by general era -- but "Uniform eras" don't have a set beginning or end. usually the previous era uniforms continue to be used for some time after others are taken out of service. if you click on the "2373" uniform article, and it lists the First Contact uniform and the Insurrection dress uniform and admiral's uniform, you won't have any clear idea that the previous dress and admiral's uniforms were used past the advent of the 2373 duty uniform.
adding them to the article would mean completely duplicating a description which already exists in the article about the previous era. this description would again be duplicated in any article about admiral uniforms, or dress uniforms, in some cases alternate timeline uniforms, etc.
If each description will need to be duplicated three times, if anyone edits one, the other two will fall behind, as newcoming editors of the 2373 uniform article won't know to update the corresponding sections in the 2360s uniform articles containing the same duplicated information, as well as the dress uniform article. -- Captain M.K.B. 14:50, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
Well, if a specific article layout (that means, a definition of a group of articles with a specific scope each) leads to a situation where content absolutely has to be duplicated several times, then this is most often a good hint at the fact that the article layout may not be optimal. Why not try to prevent content duplication by findig a better article layout instead of trying to find a complicated way to solve issues that come with it? -- Cid Highwind 15:05, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
I had toyed with converting it to a "list of links" to individual uniform articles -- but this makes the series of articles as a whole less informative, as there is no clear side-by-side comparison -- which i feel is necessary, and has been requested of MA more than once -- right now, we can compare all the 2360s uniforms side-by-side, with descriptions, however, there is no such comparison for admiral uniforms -- unless a new article is created copying and pasting one section from each "uniform era" article. Someone also suggested combining all uniforms back into one giant article, but this would require a lot of scrolling -- if we group all 2360s uniforms together, then you have to jump back and forth to compare 23rd century admiral uniforms with 24th century admiral uniforms. -- Captain M.K.B. 15:24, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
The two versions: Starfleet uniform (2350s-2370s) (list of links); Starfleet uniform comparison (2350s-2370s) (templatized comparison aggregated from individual articles) -- Captain M.K.B. 15:42, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

Day Templates

About the day templates, they are not neccessary. We can put all the article data in the article, delete the 366 un-template templates, and inlcude the article on the main page the one day per year when it wouuld be used as a template by using {{:Day Article}} to inlclude it from the main namespace.

The article pages would look like:

<noinclude>{{day header}}</noinclude>
 * item
 * item
 * item
 <noinclude>{{day footer}}</noinclude>

See, "day header" and "day footer" (actual templates that would be used on all the day pages) will not be included in the main page, and the article data CAN BE IN THE ARTICLE. --Bp 16:16, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

I knew we kept you around here for something! :P -- Renegade54 16:41, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Well, if that is the way that we wish to go, I can work on converting things to be able to use that layout type. Although, I do worry that people will inevitably end up breaking something, and the whole day system was to make it hard for someone to break it. Unfortunately, at the moment, also hard to edit, but that was an unfortunate side effect of it all.
  • Now, the question I have here is... I was under the impression that the {{blah}} included the blah from the Template: namespace, not the one from the main namespace. Am I wrong in my understanding here? If so, please enlighten me... :) -- Sulfur 16:54, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
No, Bp is correct... {{:{{CURRENTDAY}} {{CURRENTMONTHNAME}}}} (note the added colon)


To include a page from a namespace other than the main, you would use something to the effect of {{:Template:{{CURRENTDAY}} {{CURRENTMONTHNAME}}}}

-- Renegade54 17:10, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

  • Note that you can get the same result as above by using {{{{CURRENTDAY}} {{CURRENTMONTHNAME}}}}. -- Renegade54 17:14, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Ah, clever. In that case, I'll start work on the header/footer stuff, and we can go from there. whee. or something.  :) -- Sulfur 17:21, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
Phlox grinning --Bp 04:35, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

FYI, although you probably figure it out already, it is really easy to merge in the template data to the article pages by using subst:. You can just edit the day articles (in this case "DAY MONTH"), and change them to:

<noinclude>{{day header|DAY|MONTH}}</noinclude>
 {{subst:DAY MONTH}}
 <noinclude>{{day footer|DAY|MONTH}}</noinclude>

...whatever the parameters would be to day header and day footer, they dont exist yet. The data from the template would be copied into the day article. Anyway, this is repetitive work that a bot would do well, unless someone wants to do each one themselves. --Bp 22:20, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

  • Ok, so {{Day header}} and {{Day footer}} now exist. Now, they're not as simple as what Bp suggested above because they're reliant on the particular day/name/whatnot information in order to generate the proper bits and pieces. I've also included those two templates in the current Calendar day template (saves on the duplication stuff). I've also changed 1 January to the suggested new style/format, and as such, it no longer references {{1 January}}, and has the contained headers in it. Whee fun. -- Sulfur 15:54, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

They're all changed now. Every day template should be orphaned. Calendar day is only used in talk pages. Delete them all! woot. --Bp 00:18, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

Im thinking of changing all the "A list of events which occurred on the Xth of Whatever." to something like:

A list of events which occured on the Xth day of Whatever in the production timeline.

Any better ideas for that text? --Bp 11:46, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

  • Yah... remove it? The realworld template should indicate that these are "real life" events. And the date and events should give away what it is. -- Sulfur 12:03, 18 October 2006 (UTC)
I really like the idea of these articles having some kind of introduction/description. At least what is there now. Anyway, I also like it because it gives the lookup bot something to fetch. --Bp 18:55, 18 October 2006 (UTC)
I think each article should have at least a short introduction text, even if it "just" repeats the title of the page because no further explanation is necessary. So, keep that text. -- Cid Highwind 09:55, 19 October 2006 (UTC)
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