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Episode reference templatesEdit

Over the past few days, some of us discussed on IRC a possible new way to handle episode references. Right now, standard way to include episode references is a simple text note at the end of a paragraph. The appearance of this is not supposed to change with this suggestion, but templating it can help with the following:

Formatting
Using a template call instead of text will make it easier to have a standard format throughout.
Article disambiguation
With the template, links to episode articles will get disambiguated (added "(episode)" suffix) automatically, if necessary. No need for user intervention.
Image categorization
On image description pages, this reference template will automatically include a categorization by episode ("Category:Memory Alpha Images (SER: Episode)")

Usage Edit

Very straightforward. For a simple episode reference (notice disambiguation here):

{{DS9|Dax}}
Result: DS9: "Dax"

For more than one episode:

{{TOS|Arena|Catspaw}}
Result: TOS: "Arena", "Catspaw"

For references from different series, combine different templates manually:

{{TOS|Arena}}; {{DS9|Dax}}
Result: TOS: "Arena"; DS9: "Dax"

Similarly, a template for film references was created to go with this:

{{Film|8}}
Result: Star Trek: First Contact
{{Film|TWOK}}
Result: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

As you can see, the parentheses around the template calls would still need to be included manually. This is done for technical reasons, but also looks better in the wikicode.

Right now, the existing "series" templates can handle up to three episode references each. This can be changed if necessary, but discussion has come up about the necessity of this. There are reference lists having more than a dozen items - but shouldn't these be split up anyway, so that they are worth something?

Restrictions Edit

Creating a template that will be put on virtually every page we have can lead to some server issues if done wrong. I was told that this shouldn't pose any problem in "normal" day-to-day work, but it can't hurt to take some steps to assure it will stay that way:

  • The reference templates need to be protected, to prevent vandals from changing the templates after they are already put to use on thousands of pages
  • The templates shouldn't be changed too often: If you can think about a necessary change, tell us now. Later, changes should be discussed before being implemented!
  • We thought about creating just one template that the other six "series" templates call internally. While this would mean that only one template needs to be changed, it would also mean that any change to that template would invalidate all pages we have. Having six independent templates may work a little better in that regard.

Templates Edit

-- Cid Highwind 12:22, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

Discussion Edit

I fully support this. Standardizing the format of the references automatically and not having to remember the disambigs will make it easier for new users. While they may have trouble implementing it when creating a new article, they usually aren't using the existing citation system anyways. When editing existing articles, new users will do what they do know, and look at the code for the other citations in the article, and copy it. I am going to guess that this will be implemented in existing articles by a bot? --OuroborosCobra talk 12:36, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

Yes, changing existing references could and should be done by a bot - in most cases, anyway. A bot might miss existing non-standard references, and any references exceeding the hard-coded limit mentioned above should probably be checked manually in any case. -- Cid Highwind 12:43, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
As it seems there is an additional space before the comma, after the quotation mark. This shouldn't be there: it should look like ", Other than that, should the film template maybe be also be able to catch {{film|TWOK}}? -- Kobi 16:19, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
Done and done. :) -- Cid Highwind 16:40, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
I also concur with using this as I personally think it's a good idea. - Enzo Aquarius 16:41, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
I'm not 100% in support of this. However, I can't really pin down why it's a bad idea yet. However, here are some things that I think we should consider if we go for it:
  • I'm thinking the {{film}} template should have {{{1}}} as the default instead of that joke I put in there. However, it's locked to me now. :(
  • There might-could be some literal ref template. Something that just returns {{{1}}}, but leaves it marked as a ref. Like {{ref|<some literal wikitext>}}. However, I'm not sure.
  • We need some way to dstinguish rematered TOS from TOS. Before this template thing was started, I liked this way ([[TOS]]: "[[Miri]]" remastered). However, that doesn't really fit into the {{TOS|}} template. However, neither does [[TOS-R]] or some other method. --Bp 19:01, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
However, {{ref}} already exists. So it would have to be {{inlineref}} or something. --Bp 19:08, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
Maybe {{STR}} as someone suggested that as a possible TOS remastered abbreviation. Anyway, I support this template.--Tim Thomason 19:31, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
I fixed the "joke" as Bp's suggestion would allow to expand movies, such as:
See.--Tim Thomason 19:44, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
In that case, I am not sure this is a good idea. This whole "episode reference" idea was born as a method to A) streamline the majority of references we have and B) allow us to create something like "image categories by episode". We don't really need a film template for part A (although it is a nice thing to have), but we need it for part B... We don't need either A or B in other cases (such as the "Trekkies" reference above, which shouldn't be a in-universe inline reference like the others anyway), so allowing free-text for that template would be counter-productive in my opinion. Using a default "fallback" link to a page that doesn't exist (or even place "Category:Memory Alpha pages needing citation" there to make articles using the template in a wrong way appear in a PNA category) should be the preferred method. -- Cid Highwind 20:36, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
Regarding the "TOS remastered" links, this is a really special case. First, we should decide whether we want a different reference there at all. I know it's being done in some cases at the moment, but I also know we decided to handle the "remastered" version of an episode and the "original" equally. If there's some information that can only be found in one of those two versions, this difference should be noted on the one episode page we have, anyway - and if we do that, do we really want go through the hassles of another template?
However, if we do want that, another template, "STR" or "TOS-R", would be very easy to create. It would link to the same TOS episodes anyway, and would just need to add the string "(remastered)" after each call to {{EpLink}}. -- Cid Highwind 20:45, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
(EC) That's what I thought too (about using some default "fallback" page), but Bp tried to explain to me why not. Since I'm still confused, I retract my earlier support.--Tim Thomason 20:47, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
Well, perhaps Bp could explain for me, and all others, as well...? :) In any case, the specific implementation of the "Film" template and the general use of the other episode templates are independent discussion points, anyway... -- Cid Highwind 20:54, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
Uh, I can't. Except that then one might {{film|Star Trek: The Motion Picture}}. Also, the literal ref template would mark non-episode and film sources as refs, so they can be detected later. Bp 23:18, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
Any type of free-text alternative would make it very hard to actually use this template for one of its main uses - categorize all images belonging to a specific film. For the same reason I just changed the template from categorizing images as "({{{1}}})", which would lead to several different categories per film, to a categorization that includes the proper film title in any case. -- Cid Highwind 01:32, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Ok. --Bp 05:44, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

I missed this "literal ref template" suggestion until now... This is supposed to just take {{{1}}} and output it as a link? Sounds good, I think. -- Cid Highwind 19:44, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
The current Template:Ref is used on one page only, which means it could easily be renamed... -- Cid Highwind 19:46, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Strange cases Edit

Here are some other cases to consider:

  1. ([[DS9 Season 7]]; [[VOY]]: "[[Message in a Bottle]]")
  2. ([[TOS]]: "[[Charlie X]]", "[[Tomorrow is Yesterday]]"; ''[[Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home]]''; ''et al'')
  3. ([[TNG Season 1 DVD]] Special features)
  4. ([[TNG]]: "[[Unification I]]" & "[[Unification|II]]")
  5. ("[[The Corbomite Maneuver]]", "[[The City on the Edge of Forever]]"; ''[[Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home]]'')
  6. ([[DS9]]: "[[Homefront]]"; brothers established in [[DS9]]: "[[Paradise]]")
  7. ([[ENT]]: "[[Terra Prime (episode)|Terra Prime]]"; ''[[Star Trek Nemesis]]''; various others)
  8. ([[TOS]]: "[[Elaan of Troyius]]"; [[deleted scene]])

Common bad formatting:

  • ("[[Star Trek: First Contact]]", [[DS9]]: "[[Valiant]]") chunk seperated by , instead of ;
  • ([[ENT]]: "[[Horizon]]"; [[Twilight]]") episode list seperated by ; not ,
  • ([[TOS]] "[[The Cage]]")
My 2 cents on the "strange cases":
  1. I'm not fond of the usage of "XXX Season n", since I think in many instances it's a lazy way to avoid looking up and referencing specific episodes. Having said that, there are some cases where it might be appropriate.
  2. The "et al" syntax, in my opinion, shouldn't be used. We should either cite the episodes implied by the et al, or not, but not just allude to them.
  3. The DVD special features reference is valid, and a special case.
  4. The "XXX I & XXX II" syntax is valid, and a special case.
  5. This one is just cited wrong and is missing the leading TOS and should be fixed, or flagged by the bot and fixed manually.
  6. This one should probably just have the extra text removed, just leaving the citation. I don't know that we need to spell out exactly what parts of a reference come from which episode, assuming this is for one sentence. If it's for more, like a paragraph, then there should be separate citations for the different parts, without the extra text.
  7. "Various others" is simply a variation of "et al", and the same applies.
  8. This one should probably just have the semicolon removed.
-- Renegade54 00:41, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

I should have include the pages so you sould see how they are used, for instance Defiant-class uses "DS9 Season 7" as a ref, and I think it fits. There were several Defiant class ships seen during season 7 supporting the paragraph:

"Starfleet eventually decided to put the Defiant-class into full production. By the end of 2373, there were a significant number of Defiant-class ships in operation, and over the next two years they played a vital role in the Dominion War. "

Also, the "et al" is used a couple times in Starfleet, in places that I think it would be really bad to list every episode. Maybe we should change all the "Various others" to "et al" considering everyone's fondness for "as per" on this wiki. --Bp 17:53, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

We should keep two things in mind. First, we don't necessarily have to use some sort of template, if the reference is not to a single episode. Second, the main purpose of an inline references is to show where a specific bit of information is from - broad references aren't always helpful... That said:
  1. Season reference - should be checked, eventually changed to a list of individual episodes, if not changed should stay a simple non-templated reference.
  2. Either it is important which other episodes are meant here, or not. If it is, replace "et al" with those episodes - if not, just remove that text. This is something that needs to be checked manually.
  3. This is not even a valid in-universe reference anyway, right? For background section references, this can stay as a non-templated ref.
  4. While valid, could as well just be changed to a standard format.
  5. Should be changed to standard format - automatically, if possible, otherwise manually.
  6. I agree with Renegade - should be changed to a standard format, but might manual intervention to see if the reference list needs to be reworked completely, in that case.
  7. See #2 "et al".
  8. See #3. Deleted scenes are not valid in-universe references.
-- Cid Highwind 18:21, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Technical discussion Edit

Every page in the Main article namespace and the Image namespace will need to be changed (if they were all properly cited <cough>, <cough>) and Category and Portal will have to be checked, but this is trivial. Now, I'm completely down with getting DYKBot 35K edits, if only to knock gvsualan out of his #1 spot, but I'm not down with the weeks it would take to do this one at a time. I would suggest instead to work off of a database dump, which takes only a few minutes to do all of them, and then, if it is possible, to use Special:Import to change them all at once. --Bp 23:16, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

Support the server dump idea. I would suggest that MA be locked completely (I'm sure Wikia can do it for us) during the time period of the update, as any edits made between downloading the server dump and finish importing the new database would be lost. Call it a maintenance period. --OuroborosCobra talk 01:00, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
I think the "database-level" change is not going to happen anytime soon. First, the Wikia techs are overworked as they are - I'm sure the work necessary for that suggestion to be possible (db lock, export/import, probably some consistency checks) would be pretty low on their priority list. Also, I'm personally a little wary of giving anyone direct database access to change something.
Regarding Special:Import, the last time I tried this for about 20-30 pages and their (small) history at once, it nearly killed my connection and/or the servers - I can only imagine what would happen if someone tried to import a change to about 1000 times as many pages at once. Even that aside, there would still be other things to consider: Would those edits be attributable? Would they show up as individual edits at all so that they may be reverted in case something goes wrong?
In any case, changing these references by bot could be a task split up between several of us. Most of the references to be changed really seem to be in the form of
  • ([[SER]]: "[[Episode]]")({{SER|Episode}})
  • ([[SER]]: "[[Episode (episode)|Episode]]")({{SER|Episode}})
These two cases could be handled by the regular Python bot using a simple regex, done in teamwork by all the available bot owners. This would leave "only" the special cases to be handled in a second step, but those might need some human intervention anyway, don't you think? Spreading these changes across several days would also have the positive side effect of actually not changing/invalidating the whole site at once, probably leading to much less server stress. -- Cid Highwind 11:11, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Yes, the revisions would be attributable. DYKBot would produce a pages_current that contains only the changed pages, where every revision is a completely new revision. Each new revision will have all of the data that a normal revision has, except that it will never have existed on the site. The import will only include the new revisions, not complete page histories. Special:Import will work for this, and all of the revisions will be attributed both in the page histories and in user contributions. The advantage is that it will take only a few minutes to change all the pages, plus whatever time it takes for the admins to upload the changes via Special:Import. The generated xml for import can be split up among a few admins for upload. I'm not sure the database needs to be locked for this.

About splitting it up, DYKBot would be visitng every page anyway as it moves through the whole database dump. It will change every single identifiable reference, in 35 thousand pages, in only a few minutes. The pywikibot changes pages at an average rate of 5 per minute. 116 hours for 35K pages. There is also the problem of work area overlap, where the bots would be downloading and checking pages that another bot has already changed. Also, I planned to make DYK check the links against the episode info database to make sure they were actual episodes or films and in the proper series list. Anyway, it was just a suggestion. --Bp 17:35, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

There is one other thing: The histories would actually have two entries for the change: The DYKBot entry that is the imported revision, and then the admin's entry with summary "(imported XXX by file upload: 1 revision(s))". --Bp 17:37, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Well, some issues regarding the "strange references" seem still to be open for discussion, but if that has cleared up somewhat, I suggest a "test case". The following is a list of (at the moment) 125 articles: Allpages, starting from "Z". An XML file to be imported could be prepared for these pages. We can then see how long that would take, if any problems regarding import would arise, and would have a limited range of pages that could be checked for potential errors/issues. Before that happens, I'd definitely like to get back to Wikia staff to see what they have to say about this. If it works out, why not... -- Cid Highwind 18:07, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

For those interested folks, here some DYKbot readiness status briefing data report. Anyway, sillyness aside, there's that last problem. The thing is that the bot uses a really simple algorithm to find and identify references, that handles alot of problem cases by magic in very few lines of code. That simple magic has the Achilles' heal of detecting things that aren't refs as refs only because they have a link to an episode in them. So until I work that one out, pfuh. There is the other very minor problem when a ref links to an episode through a redirect. Like "Unification, Part I", DYKbot's episode database only has real titles and article names to go by, and thinks that is not a real episode. (It is really "Unification I") By the way, that phrase appears to be a ref because of that link, grr. The minor problem is fixed by fixing all the links with a normal replace, which I did earlier today for most of them. --Bp 08:50, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, false positives are definitely the worst thing that could happen. I'd rather have some references unchanged than have something changed into a reference that wasn't one before. With that in mind, it would be great if you could prepare with the "test case" from above a simple term-definition listing of all the exact strings you replaced.
The obvious (partial) solution to your problem would be to not start from the most generic case ("expect nearly everything in parentheses to be a reference"), but start from the most specific case and work towards the more generic cases until things definitely need to be checked manually:
  1. Skip everything that is not in parentheses; from this point on, work on the string in parentheses.
  2. Skip everything that does not contain a single episode/film link.
  3. Check: Does the whole string consist of just episode/film links, series links, delimiting characters (colon, comma, semicolon, quotes, whitespace), nothing else? If Yes, reorder that and BREAK.
    • NOTE: Up to this point, this should handle all your "easy peasy" cases.
  4. Check the remaining substring (=all ep/film/series links stripped):
    1. Does it equal "et al"/"various"/"various others"/...? Handle as will be decided above, BREAK.
    2. Does it equal "*deleted scene*" (linked or not)? Handle as above (probably don't change and mark it as PNA in some way), BREAK.
    3. Is the remaining part one or more link(s) to a specific set of pages (a pre-determined list of "valid" references, including for example "season articles")? Keep these links, handle the "episode" rest, BREAK.
    4. FAIL.
      • Note: Failing is obviously the last step. If this happens, keep the string unchanged but deal with it in another way, perhaps by marking it with an invisible {{badref}} template that could be checked manually later.
-- Cid Highwind 14:18, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

There hasn't been any discussion in nearly a week. I will go forward and test a "regular" bot run on a limited set of pages: Image pages starting from "Z" ([1]). This should change all appearences of a single episode reference in standard format to the new template call. It will leave all "complicated" forms unchanged for the moment. It'll also allow us to see the episode categorization in action - feel free to check Special:Contributions/HighwindBot for possible problems and let me know about them. -- Cid Highwind 17:50, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
Seems to work, can you post the regex code, so others may replace as well? -- Kobi 18:12, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
Well, no one was online for several days after the first discussion, and this page is getting large and unusable. I don't like wiki pages for discussion. IRC. --Bp 19:04, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
I just had to leave #memory-alpha, didn't want to get spoiled about 24, Season 6... (I'm still in #wikia, at the moment). ;) Anyway, while we can chat about it on IRC, of course, I think that relevant discussion should be held here - this is where things are archived and can be checked later, after all. -- Cid Highwind 19:29, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
After minor changes to the regex, I did another controlled run starting from "File:Y" to see if it messes up at some point. It does mess up for episode titles that are piped for other reasons than a "(episode)" disambiguation. This is easily fixed by adding another regex that removes the piped link in these cases, but I thought I'd bring it up first. The exact link where this occured was [[Yesterday's Enterprise|Yesterday's ''Enterprise'']]. To be honest, I don't see any reason to italicize ship names in this context. The phrase is, first and foremost, an episode title, and not a reference to a specific ship. Can someone think of any other reason where an episode link need to be piped? -- Cid Highwind 16:43, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
There might be some that used special characters, or where divided by ' characters (like T'Pol, I bet there is an episode title like that). It probably is not a problem for current links and such, but old holdovers from older versions of the Mediawiki software that did not handle such names well might be piped. If so, they probably would link to a redirect to the actual article, and have the piped link be the proper name, or some such. Might not be a problem anymore... --OuroborosCobra talk 16:55, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
I finished the run started earlier, leaving out the few cases described above. Single "'" characters generally work as part of links, and the random references I checked all had standard links. Good that you brought up redirects - while the bot run would handle those easily, they might lead to some duplicate categories being created. These would need to be handled anyhow, and could be detected without much additional work. I'll start to work on the rest of the image page references tomorrow, if there are no further objections. -- Cid Highwind 23:31, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Categories Edit

Hi, I know we didn't talk about this before, but I created the template {{Files by production}} which takes both the series (#1) and episode (#2) to generate a standardised text for the categories created by this template. See Category:Memory Alpha files by production (ENT: Desert Crossing) if you want to know how it is going to look. -- Kobi 19:29, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

It's great. I've created all the categories. Actually, (damn near) all of the images should be done. Cid did about 9000 easy ones :p, and I finished the other ~1500 of the hard ones. The rest are not screencaps. There may be a couple that escaped, or perhaps an error here or there, but that's expectable.
Anyway, on to the articles, DYKBot has already started. If you see a problem, tell me, if it is really serious then block the bot. DYKbot's fairly smart, he always makes sure that the link is an actual episode, and even resolves episode redirects. He can also make sure that the episode has the right series attached to the front of it, even if there was no series link in the reference. It is a little less aggressive than it was in the testing, but as long as there is no other text in the reference aside from series, episode, or film links, it can handle whatever crappy nonstandard formatting was used. It does 100 at a time, so there is a small chance of an edit conflict, but DYKBot will win the conflict. It is not changing "Appearances" lists. There was no real agreement on those. That's the update. --Bp 09:15, 7 February 2007 (UTC)
I'm done with the first pass. 15421 articles were modified. Now I can begin doing the ones with extra text which will have to be watched more closely. Also, what about episode lists like "Appearances" sections, are they to be {{EpLink}}ed? --Bp 07:10, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

Italics in episode references Edit

Before that leads to a lengthy edit war, let's discuss it here: Do ship names in episode references really need to be italicized?

(Background: The reference template won't work with "formatted" arguments, so we can either get rid of the formatting, or not use the template in these cases, or create some ridiculously complex template that sorts out these special cases and formats them "correctly".)

I don't like option 2 (if we have a template, we should use it), and I really don't like option 3 (don't even think about it!). I also think that not formatting episode titles would be the more correct way - the episode title is not formatted like that, so why should we do that in the first place? -- Cid Highwind 11:26, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

Well, if the title itself isn't formatted with an italicized word, then I guess we don't need to italicize it. I could have sworn, though, that there were a few episodes – "The Enterprise Incident" and Yesterday's Enterprise", perhaps? – that had the ship's name italicized. I could be wrong, of course... --From Andoria with Love 11:31, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

I re-checked the TOS episodes ("The Galileo Seven", "The Enterprise Incident"), and neither of them uses italics. I'm not absolutely sure about every single of the others, but I believe those aren't italicized either. -- Cid Highwind 11:45, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

Good enough for me. :) --From Andoria with Love 11:48, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

Right, I thought I had removed them all already, but I missed The Galileo Seven. Anyway, there should not be italics in the titles. They are titles, so italicizing the titles in the titles doesn't really make much sense. Plus, The titles on the episode pages are italicized, so they become un-italicized, which is just wrong. --Bp 21:33, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

8 entries per template call - too much! Edit

Does anyone still care about what we discussed in regard to those templates? That it might be better to check articles that reference 8 different episodes at once and edit those reference lists than to blindly convert those to the new templates? Apparently not, and apparently not even Bp, who was most active in those discussions. Too bad... -- Cid Highwind 09:01, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

Well, it was also decided that three was too low. This kind of thing was starting to happen in editing: ({{TNG|one|two|three}}, "four"), which is completely undesireble. The 4th+ refs shouldn't be invisible, mostly because it is not obvious that there are too many. Changing the template to include eight slots means that all current refs will be visible*, they can still be trimmed back, if you want. I was making another edit to the template anyway, allowing it to take zero parameters so that it can be used to head appearances lists, and I thought I would take care of two problems in one edit. --Bp 11:58, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

*A the time, I thought eight was enough, but actually:

--Bp 11:58, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

There is another one at Tuvok#Mental Health with 14. Sulfur made the first 8 a normal ref and then added several , {{e|...}} to it. That is almost as bad as the , "this" thing that I mentioned earlier. So, should that be turned into a tree? Or should we just leave some out? What do you want? --Bp 08:13, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

What I'd like to see are references that really mean something to a reader that doesn't already know the content of all episodes... ;)

A statement that is followed by a single episode reference is good - we immediately know where that bit of information was taken from. A statement followed by 2-5 episode references is "not bad" - more episodes to check, but still precise enough (though should already be checked if all episodes are really necessary). A statement followed by 14 references is just bad. Either the information is presented in so many episodes that we don't really need to cite them all (or, at least, not inline), or it is a list of references added to a whole paragraph of statements (so that no one really knows which reference relates to which statement).

Because of this, I created the templates with three "slots", allowing for 3 references immediately, or already more than that if more than one series is involved. Seeing Bp's numbers, 5 slots might be necessary (although that should still be checked), but I'd really think twice about allowing more than that. -- Cid Highwind 10:54, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

ADDITION: The 14 references in "Milky Way Galaxy", for example, just list all occurences of the same map. Not bad to have something like this, but absolutely not necessary to have it as inline references. Why not just list the first episode where that map appeared (or the first and last), and move the whole list of references to an appearances section, on either Astrometrics, an article about that map, an image description page showing the map, etc.? -- Cid Highwind 11:04, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Well, having a guideline about how many epiosdes should be listed in a ref is different than having a template that just ignores the fact that there are more. The extra episodes should not just be invisible, because that leads to those hack extensions mentioned above. It doesn't hurt anything for the template to be able to handle more than whatever maximum you decide on, and I don't think this should be a way to enforce a rule. The rule should be enforced by editing, the same way it would be if there were no templates, or this was a format mistake or something. About Mily Way galaxy: yeah. --Bp 12:09, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Hmm, I can't really agree with that reasoning, because it presents the available options as either "limit to enforce a guideline through a template" or "no limit at all". This is not the case. The second option will always be "technical limit per template definition".

Right now, this limit is 8. Before, it was 3. If we're looking at the numbers, we might want to set it to 14 because at least one page uses the template this way at the moment. But even if we do that, it still is a limit that the next editor might bounce into when he adds another episode to an existing reference template.

So, if we have a guideline of "how many refs we want" (we don't have that yet, but as stated above, I think <=5 would be reasonable) and a technical limit anyway, why not make those two the same?

If you are concerned about potentially invisible references, we might even use the template itself to detect those. I'll prepare the VOY template as a test for that. -- Cid Highwind 12:34, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

There: I changed the template. As can be seen on "Milky Way Galaxy", it now *lists up to 5 references and

  • if more than 5 references are contained in the template, adds the text "and more" as well as a maintenance category.

-- Cid Highwind 12:44, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Any further questions regarding this, in addition to what can be found here? Any further opinion besides those of Bp and me? -- Cid Highwind 21:23, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

New episode naming schemeEdit

NOTE: This discussion was initially located at "Talk:The Cage", before being moved here.

Naming conventionsEdit

Naming conventions or not, why is the episode page getting moved in favor of a "story" title that was likely not even visible on screen? What about priority... --Alan del Beccio 18:26, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

Because half of our episodes are "(episode)" in favour of stuff never seen on screen. We should be consistent with everything, especially these ones. -- Sulfur 18:29, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

Half? Really. Well I brought this up on IRC with Cid and Bp, and as I recall, we came to the conclusion that moving episode pages in favor of these "stories" was wrong. --Alan del Beccio 18:31, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

True, that has been the conclusion between the three of us.
Sulphur is correct, technically, it is our standard to disambiguate the episode first, if there's a naming conflict - with "in-universe" articles having priority over "production" articles, and all that. At the same time, it seems a little strange to move an episode for something that was clearly meant as an in-joke about exactly that episode. I don't have an easy solution for that, but seeing that we don't know more about the stories than "they exist", and they most probably won't get more incoming links than already exist, it might be a good idea to not just move all the episodes...? -- Cid Highwind 19:02, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
While I can see the logic in giving all in-universe articles priority over production-POV articles, I personally believe that the more significant articles, or, in the case of the authors, real people, should take precedent. As of this moment, some of our articles don't even match whatever standard we're supposed to follow. For example, the "real" Isaac Asminov is currently at Isaac Asimov (author), while the "fictional" Asimov is at Isaac Asimov. In contrast, it is the "fictional" D.C. Fontana who has the (author) disambiguation rather than the "real" D.C. Fontana. We need to choose one way or another, and I personally think real people and real episodes should be the priority rather than in-jokes referencing them. --From Andoria with Love 21:14, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
If we want to make this a discussion not just about episodes but about disambiguation standards in general, then there are several standards possible: "Always disambiguate production POV articles first", "disambiguate less important topics first", "disambiguate titles with less incoming links first", "disambiguate titles less likely to break incoming links first", just to name a few of many.
The idea to disambiguate production POV first makes sense if we want to keep up our definition of "in-universe encyclopedia", first and foremost. And, come to think of it, since all our episode links are (or at least could be) handled by the {{e}} template, they are, of all links we have floating around, the ones least likely to break if they are disambiguated. -- Cid Highwind 12:37, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
As a slightly alternate tack on this... we currently have ~650 redlinks to articles with (episode) tagged on 'em. We're working around this #ifexist bug which MediaWiki has admitted that they'll never change. In fact, my bet is that they'll deprecate it in a future version. It's a waste of time to continue using (to my mind). It was a clever and good idea when we started, but since they've changed the back end, it's been nothing but a hassle. If we slim down the template to only point at the "(episode)" style link, and move (leaving redirects in place where applicable) all of the episode articles so that they end in "(episode)", we'll accomplish a couple of (potentially) useful things:
  1. get rid of the ~650 red links on the most wanted list and get rid of the annoying workarounds we have to go to the first "useful link"
  2. slim down the amount of transcluded template code on articles, thus making them a bit smaller so that we don't hit the article size limits so often on things like James T. Kirk and Worf (for example).
  3. indicate, right off the bat, that something is an episode.
These are all "big" wins (well, the first two are, the third is a nice side-effect). If we do that, then we can make the decision as to what to do with things like this article, and decide whether we want to leave it as "The Cage (story)", or go with the in-universe POV feel.
Yes, we are an encyclopedia for all things Trek, but we have made that decision at some point in the past to be an "in-universe" encyclopedia wherever possible.
Also, as a related aside... we should be using the eplk templates pretty much everywhere as is. Doesn't always mean that's the case... but we should be. :) -- Sulfur 13:23, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
I can live with what Sulfur suggests... that is, disambiguating all the episode pages as "episode". Unless, of course, that ends up breaking something in the process. The last thing I need is to be blamed for breaking something. Again. :) --From Andoria with Love 09:22, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
I am not really sure how it helps number two, but this is a good idea to do so. That way it cuts down on unnecessary clutter. Not sure what he means by "deprecate it in a future version", but eh :P --Terran Officer 23:57, 15 March 2008 (UTC)
He means the functionality will probably disappear completely in the future. - SanityOrMadness 01:45, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
Why not just create redirects from every [[Episode Title (episode)]] to [[Episode title]]? (except where disambiguation is strictly necessary, e.g. Emissary). You're already creating hundreds of redirects this way and this seems to be a needlessly... destructive... change. - SanityOrMadness 01:42, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
Plus, something I didn't notice until after I posted the above. All [[Talk:Episode Title]] pages are being deleted rather than even left as redirects. How many links is 'that going to break. - SanityOrMadness 01:45, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

None actually. We are all checked links to the talk pages as they get deleted. So far, approximately a couple of dozen per series have been broken, and were all easily fixed. Also, this is not a "needlessly destructive change", it basically forces the {{e|episode}} or {{TNG|episode}} templates to be used and routes out the obsolete "[[episode]]" format.--Alan 02:04, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

Progress updateEdit

  • All episodes (and their talk pages) have now been moved. Links are currently being cleaned up. Slowly but surely.
  • The eplk template has been updated to remove the #ifexist stuff.
  • Double redirects cleaned up
  • Data project links mostly cleaned up and fixed (I've got 2 pages to go)
  • Job queue crazy big as it goes through and updates all of its caches.
  • Links to most wanted list simplified. Finally.

Just fyi. -- Sulfur 18:13, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

Will the template be changed so that links no longer point to the non-(episode) page? This is probably a "purge your cache" thing, but Special:Whatlinkshere/The Cage shows all sorts of The Cage (episode) links (which aren't really there). I was tempted, but too hesitant to move "Far Beyond the Stars (story)" because of this.--Tim Thomason 01:29, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

The template has been changed. The job queue (when I last checked) was well over 100k after updating the template. It'll clear itself out... someday. In short, if you do a 0 byte edit on the page, it clears out that cache. -- Sulfur 01:51, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

The cache now appears to be cleared out. Now, these items with disambigs shouldn't be moved over until all of the links have been corrected to point to the proper locations. This can be fixed with the "what links here" option. I've already gone through four episodes to completely fix them up (The Cage, Where No Man Has Gone Before, The Corbomite Maneuver, and Far Beyond the Stars). It'll take a bit of work... but it's going to be much nicer in the long run. -- Sulfur 20:20, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

Is this discussion the reason why all episode articles have been moved? Edit

I've not been around here for a couple of weeks, but tonight I noticed that episode articles have been moved from "episode title" to "episode title (episode)" regardless of whether there was any disambiguation needed or not. Have I missed the group-wide discussion about taking that policy decision, or is this it?

I can't see how a suggestion that started off as a discussion behind the pilot episode about 3 weeks ago can reasonably be said to have gained consensus for something that affects the titles of a large proportion of these articles, nor can I see the reason for such a widespread work intensive change. Did I miss something, or is this basically mostly Sulphur's unilateral idea? AndroidFan 01:38, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

As was said above, there was a bug creating the "Xepisode" (episode) links which the creators of the Wiki software cannot(or will not) fix. That was the main reason for the change, but it also helps to easily identify what is an episode and what is not.(For example, Barge of the Dead (episode) and Barge of the Dead)--31dot 02:16, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Other wikiesEdit

I'm attempting to put up a template similar to this, only for books within a series, on another Wiki, and was wondering if someone would be so kind as to explain how this entire Referencing system works. I attempted to transport it over directly, but given that all of the links are for TNG and such, had no idea where to begin to edit it. Any assistance would be extraordinarily appreciated. CaptainIngold 05:42, June 13, 2010 (UTC)

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