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Wikitravel talk:Using Mediawiki templates

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General Discussion[edit]

All righty, so it looks like there's some different ideas on how to use mediawiki templating for the good of all travellers. I can see how Wikitravel:Information boxes seems like a neat feature to have, but I also have to agree with Evan on maybe the need to decide if we want to go this way, since there is are a lot of implications for how the data is store, attribution, etc. I guess the point is that just because the mediawiki software lets us do something, there needs to be some thought on if we want to do that thing. Comments? Majnoona 00:11, 15 Nov 2004 (EST)

Sorry to be a jerk about this, but I really want to make sure doing lots of transclusion of template content into other pages makes sense before we rush into it. I've put some questions/objections to the procedure on the page here; can we work together to come up with a reasonable solution to using templates that helps us reach our goals? --Evan 00:17, 15 Nov 2004 (EST)

The way I see it, the infobox is just an extension of standard Wiki syntax, implemented as a template because that's the easiest way to do it. Regarding the 3 objections:

  1. Web-centricity: not an issue, it's just an ordinary HTML DIV already used throughout Wikitravel (eg. country fact boxes) and will print fine from even the most half-assed browser
  2. Attribution: none needed, the template is around 3 lines of HTML
  3. Other formats: Infoboxes are clearly identified 'secondary' information that can be left out if needed. In fact, standard infobox templates would be much easier to manipulate than the alternative of having to parse through slightly different versions of <div style="width:50%; float:right; border: none; margin: 0.5em 0 0 1em; padding: 0.4em;"> {| cellpadding=5 cellspacing=1 border=0|-|align=left width=100% style="background-color:#f3f3ff; border:1px solid"|... on every page.

But if we can agree on the appearance, then I'm all for getting rid of the DB hit by turning the infobox into a static string in the software or something (is this possible?). Jpatokal 00:43, 15 Nov 2004 (EST)

While we're at it, I'd also like to work out solutions for the following types of boxes:

  • health/safety warning box (malaria, civil war, whatever)
  • political disclaimer box (see eg. Cyprus)

These are found in every guidebook out there and for a reason. Jpatokal 00:43, 15 Nov 2004 (EST)

OK, coolness. It looks like we have goal: to display information that doesn't currently fit in our templates in a way that stands out from the rest of the travel info. Now it's a question of what the best way to do that would be. I also think that there will be a lot of seperate discussions about what sort of content can be highlighted this way (IMHO there're a lot of slippery slopes). But I can agree on the general idea that we might want to do this (the highlighting, not using any particular way to do it, i.e. media wiki or html or whathaveya). If it's going to be a software change, then it might have to "get-in-line" but we'll want to proceed in the meantime in a way that will make it easy to switch to a different solution later on and not have to undo a bunch of stuff. Majnoona 00:50, 15 Nov 2004 (EST)

Country Quickbar[edit]

I wish there should be some kind of Vote to decide what can be Template or not. And of course User:Evan can have a veto power.

Just listing Template:Country Quickbar I made and usage is like User:Bijee/India. See how clean is the source code, how clear it is to read and I think it will be very easy to convert to any format. Evan pl. Reconsider -Bijee 19:06, 2 Dec 2004 (EST)

Hmm, I'd rather we came to a consensus rather than vote (voting has a winner and looser and it's better when everyone wins)... I don't think Evan has a veto so much as some say about how his programing time is spent and more information about what's good/bad for the server... First I'd say we should have some agreement on the idea of having some sort of include or template widget, then, if that looks like something we want to do, some talk about the best way to do it... I'll go first:
Pro reusable widgets create consistancy in the content and the way it's displayed; internal syndication is easy to maintain
Con if reusable widgets are only used by some areas, you end up with inconsistant content anyway. Using "special" codeblocks adds overhead to any upgrades or other changes to the system... See also Wikitravel:Using Mediawiki templates.
Ok, now y'all's turn. Majnoona 21:38, 2 Dec 2004 (EST)
OK, so... here's my revised proposal.
  1. We use MediaWiki templates so that they are always expendable. That is, we use MediaWiki templates in such a way that if we throw out all the templates when converting or printing a page, it doesn't grievously affect the content of the page. (This fixes the problems with Web-centricity and different file formats.) Quickboxes would be a good example of "expendable" template info; the WikiPedia:Main Page would be a counter example.
  2. We use MediaWiki templates to make participation easier, not harder. Complicated, hard-to-comprehend templates with tricky rules don't help us get more contributions, and don't help our goals. Templates that make it easier for casual contributors to add information are preferred (country quickboxes would be an excellent example of this, btw.)
  3. We make an effort to document MediaWiki templates. If you add a template, you add documentation on how to use that template. User:Jpatokal's work on infoboxes is a good example of this.
  4. We try to figure out a way to separate metadata templates (stub message, disambiguation message, vfd message, etc.) from content templates (quickfacts, pullquotes, etc.)
  5. People who work on a template are credited like people who work on the article itself.
  6. We avoid "bittwiddleitis" -- messing around with making our templates fancier and more impressive, while the content of our guide suffers.
  7. We don't use templates to force navigation onto people by linearizing their experience, but instead depend on the interesting intertwingled nature of Wiki pages. For example: adding a menu to Texas entitled States of the Old South with an east-to-west order (say). This is forcing a particular itinerary or way of seeing travel on the reader. There are so many itineraries or linearized lists that could include Texas -- "US States with Missions", "Cattle-raising states", "Former Mexican Colonies in the USA", "Oil regions of the world". If we add them all in, the page becomes unreadable; if we add just a few in, we've slanted the travel experience towards one particular view of travel.

That last one isn't inherent in templates -- it's just one of the uses that really weirds me out on Wikipedia.

Anyways: I think by being conscious and careful we can work around the pitfalls that templates could bring. Any other feelings? --Evan 23:21, 2 Dec 2004 (EST)


I've been scold very fast, but I would leave a note anyway... ;) I've prepared alternate way of creating QuickBar using templates. Pros: flexibility of what info you include, uses less space and is much more readable than QuickBar in HTML. I believe that this approach is compatible with Evan's revised proposal. See: User:JanSlupski/Projects/QuickBar and discussion. -- JanSlupski 21:34, 21 Jan 2005 (EST)

Boxen[edit]

Now that Evan & Maj seem to agree that infoboxes are not Evil(tm), I'd like to formalize them for use on Wikitravel. I suggest the following three types:

Information
Boxen that roxen your soxen


  1. infobox: our friend above, used for tangential data of any sort
  2. warningbox: for destinations currently suffering for civil war or the aftermath of a natural disaster
  3. disclaimerbox: for the Taiwan/China, Palestine/Israel, Macedonia/Greece cases where the mere naming or existence of an article will make some people get their panties in a twist

Basic sample implementations:

Travel Warning WARNING: If you die, you have lost a very important part of your life

Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia.


Comments? My own primary reservation is that the warningbox is not expendable in the same way that the infobox (and to a lesser extent disclaimerbox) are... but I think it's more important to have a clearly visible and standardized way of presenting this: the fact that a region is at civil war and local tribesmen like to play yak polo with the headless corpses of tourists should not be buried in paragraph 17 of the History section or clause 18 of Stay safe. Jpatokal 03:43, 29 Dec 2004 (EST)

One more reason why boxen are the coolest thing since sliced bread: you can just take a look at [1] to see what pages have warnings, and easily review which ones are still timely. This is impossible without templates. Jpatokal 08:42, 5 Feb 2005 (EST)

Known Templates[edit]

I have several issues with templates that makes their use rather problematic.

  • Need - Unless a template is going to appear on hundreds or thousands of pages there is probably little need for many templates.
  • Documentation - Each template needs to be documented about how, when, where and why it is used.
  • Identification - If I am going to use a template then I need to first identify that I can use it and then use it appropriately.
  • Location - Once I know a template exists, I have to find it; and so does everyone else.
  • Simplicity - Simple things that are easy to use will get used; more complex things will not be used, especially when they should be.

At present, many anonymous contributors barely know how to wikifi links or format section headings - though they soon learn. But to expect them to then use templates is a bit like expecting a WYSIWYS (or Windows) user to use JCL (or DOS) - it is an arcane mystery to the uninitiated. We can tell them to type a few meaningful characters between curly brackets and a cute message appears but that is more an Act of Faith. I think that the whole Template namespace probably should be write protected and only edited by administrators.

One final thing is that templates do not show up in the all pages listing, so it is impossible to go and search a list of templates to see if there is somthing helpful to use. Consider the following Template examples I found, after much ingenuity (or accident).

  • Wikipedia - Blank. - not used.
  • Gnunote - HTML text. An experiment. - not used.
  • PD - Blank. - not used.
  • GFDL - Blank. - not used.
  • Shark - An experiment that only shows in the Travellers' pub.
  • Navigation
    • Nav england - A navigation bar for England. Not implemented.
    • Nav lincolnshire - A navigation bar for Lincolnshire. Not implemented.
    • Ontario - A navigation bar used on just 3 pages that were edited by one user. I think it looks ugly and it is unstable as it presents differently on different pages. If it gets much bigger it would be a nightmare to use. It would be just as quick to follow the back link to the parent page or have direct links between pages.
    • Months - Only used on about a dozen calendar pages, which seem to be just about one stub article, without much activity.
  • Boxes - These would almost be better called BlueSidebar, RedBar and GreenBar.
    • Infobox - Used on about a dozen pages to show a blue sidebar.
    • Warningbox - Used on just 3 article pages. In all 3 cases it is used for a Tsunami 2004 devastation message that is so similarly worded that it probably deserved its own template. The real point is this template only puts optional text into a red box. It would be almost as effective if the text were bolded, in capitals, or in italics - which needs fewer characters to achieve.
    • Disclaimerbox - Not used.

While I agree that templates have some useful applications as demonstrated by those I have listed in the article, I am challenged to find any more worthy causes. -- Huttite 23:47, 1 Jan 2005 (EST)

I think you have the causality in the wrong order: Evan has to date strongly objected to using Mediawiki templates, so of course any presently existing templates are little used and little documented.
While I understand that Evan's objection have suppressed the use of templates, if there were any really useful applications, they would already be implemented, anyway. The uses that have been presented so fare are all fairly marginal, with limited applications. -- Huttite 08:27, 2 Jan 2005 (EST)
As for the *Box templates, they currently differ only in color because that was the easiest way of separating them: I would hope that they can in the future be improved with more custom formatting and distinctive little icons, like you'd find in a Real guidebook (or even Wikipedia). But certainly the intent and purpose of the templates is to provide a standardized way of creating warnings and whatnot, not red backgrounds (which eg. somebody browsing on a monochrome screen can't even see).
I think that the *box templates would be more flexible if they were merely colour boxes rather than tied to a particular information function. What the colours mean would then be defined by usage instructions. Though my other point with the warning box is that there is, perhaps, a real need to quickly and briefly insert some standard text for destinations that have experienced a civil disaster. Templates are good for saying the same thing on lots of pages and formatting those blocks of text in a standard way. But saying slightly different things on a lot of pages starts to make them cumbersome and complex to use. -- Huttite 08:27, 2 Jan 2005 (EST)
And there are lots of arcane things even in normal Wikimedia syntax: look at the battles I had when trying to get a table of thumbnails to align right in Previous Destinations of the Month. But people very soon figure out how to use templates like {{stub}}, and it's not much of a leap from there to {{warningbox|..}} etc.
As for restricting template editing to admin, I personally agree with you on a practical level, but suspect that this goes against Wikitravel's currently radically open approach where everything should be editable. Jpatokal 01:47, 2 Jan 2005 (EST)
Bump. Template:Infobox has just been ported over to de:, so obviously somebody else finds it useful too. Could we finally sort this out? Jpatokal 23:36, 5 Apr 2005 (EDT)

Template for regions with small centers of population[edit]

Moved the discussion to What is an article? talk. Mediawiki templates is something unrelated...---JanSlupski 04:40, 11 Apr 2005 (EDT)

Ontario Mediawiki Template[edit]

I've removed the Template:Ontario template from a bunch of pages. A new user found the template which was set as a trap for him, and he naturally thought it was how we do things.

I don't think it makes sense to have a template like this for just Ontario (no other region uses them). We either should be doing this globally throughout Wikitravel, or not at all. And if we do decide to do this globally, let's make sure the template style is carefully set out and aesthetically pleasing before we do this. -- Colin 02:26, 13 Apr 2005 (EDT)

Templates for formatting listings on Japanese Wikitravel[edit]

So on the Japanese Wikitravel we've been translating the article templates, and while the basic idea is OK, the attraction-level listings are causing a bit of a headache. Japanese layout is based on every character being a square box and hence uses empty space for formatting lists, not commas, so the standard blah comma blah comma blah type of listing looks like crap if translated word for word.

A bit of research today validated my suspicion that every single Japanese guidebook, eg. Chikyu no Arukikata (the Japanese equivalent to Lonely Planet), Travel Story, Wagamama-aruki, the Japanese versions of Lonely Planet and Nat'l Geographic etc use some form of square block template for their listings.

So I played around a little with Wikimedia's tables and managed to output something (IMHO) passable. The only problem now is that duplicating this consistently across the guide is going to require a Wikimedia template, and if one template is used for every listing in every article it's going to create a bit of load too. What to do? Jpatokal 04:06, 30 Jun 2005 (EDT)

So, if that's the way it's gotta be, that's the way it's gotta be. Go for it, and we'll figure out the implications later. --Evan 09:39, 30 Jun 2005 (EDT)
FYI, we've achieved an internal consensus of sorts to go forward with this, and here's the first article page implementing it. Obviously this is just a first stab with quickie templates and there are formatting issues to work out, but comments are welcome. Jpatokal 06:43, 27 Jul 2005 (EDT)
So, I think those templates are totally great. Maybe we need to do this on Wikitravel en: too? --Evan 12:38, 16 Dec 2005 (EST)

Templates for User Pages[edit]

Swept in from the Wikitravel:Travellers' pub:

I just wondered what people would think of creating templates along the lines of the userpage and bable templates as seen in Wikipedia. --Colin Angus Mackay 14:42, 23 Jun 2005 (EDT)

Sounds like a really good application of Mediawiki templates. I think there are a lot of "slots" that would be useful to put into a template: where the user lives now, where they have lived, what places they've visited, where they want to visit, what languages they speak and at what level (I really like the Babel templates). Let's start up Template:Userpage and Template:Babel (or maybe combine them?). --Evan 12:10, 27 Jun 2005 (EDT)

Template for Photos[edit]

Proposing one to be used on a photo page here. I started with something User:Admrboltz proposed here. See the talk page for usage. Comments welcome. --Ravikiran 04:06, 18 Dec 2005 (EST)

Pretty, but how to automate it? Wikipedia has a nifty system for extracting image data automatically... Jpatokal 10:03, 18 Dec 2005 (EST)
Is it a Mediawiki feature? --Ravikiran 11:30, 18 Dec 2005 (EST)

Caching[edit]

I think that the caching of templates is something that could be dealt with quite easily in the cache handler; I'll take a poke at it soon. --Evan 19:01, 20 Jan 2006 (EST)

Correction: the caching system already does handle this. I'm going to take out the explanation about the caching system, since it's not factually correct. --Evan 19:08, 20 Jan 2006 (EST)

<webonly>Only show this part on the Web</webonly>[edit]

So, I was thinking about the problem of Web-centric content that's not appropriate for e.g. print or offline use. And I had an idea: what if we just had some kind of markup that said that "this data only for the Web"? --Evan 10:24, 4 March 2006 (EST)

I think this is an excellent idea, as long as it doesn't open the door to "webonly" becoming "link directory" as the "useful offline" has been on eof our big arguments against over-linking. Majnoona 11:35, 4 March 2006 (EST)
Technically, you can achieve that with <div class="noprint">...</div> -- you can see it in action at my user page. I was also thinking that it could be useful, somehow related to Wikitravel talk:Manual of style#Requests for information in article content -- but gave up without any serious idea so far. --DenisYurkin 14:34, 25 November 2006 (EST)

Templates for structured listings[edit]

Moved to Wikitravel talk:listings by Evan

Proposal for Template:Coordinates[edit]

Over at Wikipedia, I have created a template whose purpose is to display GPS coordinates on articles. I find that knowing specific coordinates helps me to identify exact locations on mapping programs, especially those like Google Earth. You can view the documentation for the template as well as a working example here. Would such a template be welcome here?

Neither page exists now. --DenisYurkin 14:20, 25 November 2006 (EST)

Template:otheruses[edit]

Relevant parts of the discussion started on Wikitravel talk:Disambiguation pages moved here:

I just created Template:otheruses to add a link to the disambiguation page for articles meeting the "most famous" rule, ie adding a link from Paris to Paris (disambiguation). We didn't implement this consistently, and I figured it would be a non-controversial thing to do. I should have known better, and having just read some comments about disambiguating Paris I'm adding this discussion - any user searching for "Paris, Texas" will probably start out by typing "Paris" into the search box, in which case they are taken directly to the Paris, France article. It seems useful and inobtrusive to me to add a link to the dismbiguation page to the top of that article, thus the "other uses" template was created. I've added that template to a few articles already, but will hold off on doing any more until people have had a chance to comment. -- Ryan 05:43, 23 March 2006 (EST)

Sorry for the short reply. Have you seen Template:Samename? Why have two templates for the same purpose? --Evan 10:14, 24 March 2006 (EST)
See Template talk:Otheruses. Short answer is that I didn't see Template:Samename until after I had created Template:Otheruses, but I agree one should be deleted since we now have two. Since Samename merely prints the message passed to it, and thus requires more user work and more maintenance to keep things consistent, while Otheruses can be used by simply entering "{{otheruses}} and is also consistent with the naming used on Wikipedia I'd lean towards keeping that one, although if Samename was modified to be easier to use then I'd be OK with keeping that instead.
Somewhat related, but Wikitravel:Using Mediawiki templates seems quite out of date and is definitely missing a LOT of templates that are currently available. Would there be any objection to updating that to include all currently available templates? Otherwise, is there a list somewhere else of what's available? -- Ryan 11:45, 24 March 2006 (EST)
No objection from me. I think otheruses is better than samename, so lets replace the places that samename is used with otheruses and VFD samename. Also, I wonder if we shouldn't move the list of templates to a different place than the template policy page. --Evan 11:49, 24 March 2006 (EST)
Agreed on all counts. Regarding splitting out the list of templates, would Wikitravel:Template index, Wikitravel:List of templates, or some other name be preferable? -- Ryan 12:28, 24 March 2006 (EST)


I took a stab at it and created Wikitravel:Template index. -- Ryan 03:30, 3 April 2006 (EDT)

"Templates are troublesome" - huh?[edit]

The "templates are troublesome" comment seems to fly in the face of current template usage and implementation. We're specifically implementing listing tags to support metadata which can be used in other formats, which contradicts the "web-centric" comment as well. I've removed this section and replaced it with wording that simply requests that discussion be held prior to creating or modifying templates. -- Ryan 06:18, 10 April 2006 (EDT)

I don't think it flies in the face of current usage at all. We are slow and circumspect with templates, and there are good reasons that we do things that way. However, I'm very glad you made that summary -- it was overexplaining before.
As to "web-centricity", the point was added long ago, in response to Wikipedia-style navigational templates like WikiPedia:Template:Montana or our now-deleted MediaWiki:BelgiumRegions. They are Web centric; who would buy a travel guidebook to Montana with a 100-entry table of contents at the bottom of every page? I wouldn't want to be the person who has to go through the 1 million Wikipedia articles and say, "Oh, this template is actually part of the content and should be included in the paper Wikipedia, and this one is a big Web navigation doohickey."
I think that we don't have a big problem with this on Wikitravel, precisely because we've been really careful with using templates.
I'd like to start implementing some technical solutions that will make it easier to use templates. I'd like to add attribution for template authors to each article the template appears on. We've been going slow on templates for a long time, and I still really prefer them for metadata. I think the problems with templates are soluble, and I think using them carefully is a good idea. --Evan 11:21, 10 April 2006 (EDT)

Template:Eatpricerange[edit]

This guide uses the following price ranges for a typical meal for one, including soft drink:
Budget Under 10¢
Mid-range 10¢-$100
Splurge Hock a kidney


So I think it'd be useful to spell out roughly what these mysterious "Budget", "Mid-range" and "Splurge" labels mean, both so travellers can figure out which bracket they can afford and so they're a common reference for what goes where. The template you can admire to your right is intended for use on country, region and perhaps huge city pages, and a "Sleep" version of this would also be nice. Opinions? Jpatokal 03:53, 19 June 2006 (EDT)

Bump. Am I to conclude from total lack of comment that this is a) good or b) evil? I see that at least Sapphire has also started using this... Jpatokal 18:18, 7 September 2006 (EDT)
I've also begun to incorporate your template on DE. I like it and I think it would be excellent to have a sleep version too. I've already created a sleep version for DE. -- Andrew Haggard (Sapphire) 18:25, 7 September 2006 (EDT)
Looks ggod to me. Pashley 14:23, 29 September 2006 (EDT)
This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
Budget Under a bridge
Mid-range $1-$100
Splurge If you need to ask, you can't afford it
Three aye, none nay, so created it is. Template:Sleeppricerange has also been created. Jpatokal 09:38, 9 October 2006 (EDT)
Great idea; let's add this to the list of recommended templates? Where is it? --DenisYurkin 14:24, 25 November 2006 (EST)

Intinerary template?[edit]

We have template {{traveltopic}} that says     This article is a travel topic
It provides a link to the travel topics index. I think we should have a template {{itinerary}} with similar content and usage. Other opinions? Pashley 14:23, 29 September 2006 (EDT)

Whether correct or not I've been using Template:IsIn on some travel topics. That has the benefit of allowing a hierarchy, such as Travel topicsTravel transportationDiscount airlines. Itineraries currently only nest two levels, but using isIn for itineraries might be a nice way to allow the possibility to eventually support deeper nesting with having to create a lot of itinerary-specific templates such {{itinerary-asia}}. -- Ryan 15:01, 29 September 2006 (EDT)
Augh! Please don't do that. The "IsIn" template is just for places -- it has RDF code in it that says, "This article is about a place, that place is inside another place, and that other place has a page about it here: ..." I can easily create a hierarchical presentation for topics, itineraries, etc., but I'd rather make sure that the relationships are more precisely defined. I do use that "This is a place" information for other things, too. --Evan 15:16, 29 September 2006 (EDT)
I notice that isIn is used for things like Oodnadatta Track which shows
  • Oceania : Australasia : Australia : Driving in Australia : Oodnadatta Track

as the breadcrumb line. If isIn is wrong, what should be used there? Pashley 08:42, 14 November 2006 (EST)

I think having an itinerary template would be useful, and making both intinararies and travel topics hierarchical might be. What are the issues that need defining? Ryan has taken a cut at it or travel topics, seems sensible. Pashley 20:36, 12 October 2006 (EDT)
So I've created Template:Itinerary, but haven't used it anywhere yet. I want to put it in all itineraries. Anyone care to object, suggest changes to the template, suggest a better method, or do the work themselves, before I go ahead? Pashley 08:42, 14 November 2006 (EST)
Would it be enough to just have one hierarchy-building template that is not isIn, perhaps isPart or some such? That would be all we needed for cases like the Singapore-Shanghai itinerary that got split into three parts, or for Oodanatta Track linking to Driving in Oz, but I'm not sure it works for linking the tops of those hierarchies to the lists of Itineraries and Ttopics. Pashley 09:24, 14 November 2006 (EST)
I've now put that template into all the itineraries I could find; quite a few already had it. There are complications, though. Many itineraries and travel topics also have isIn links. Should they? e.g. Oodnadatta Track isIn Driving in Australia which isIn Australia. Does my suggestion in previous paragraph have any merit? Pashley 04:50, 11 March 2007 (EDT)
Or should we just use "related" tags to link the track to Driving in Oz? Or a "see also" comment in the text? There needs to be some link, and just having them in the same section of the itineraries list does not seem enough. Pashley 04:59, 11 March 2007 (EDT)

Huge cities needing districtification[edit]

People often add invididual listings to the main pages of huge cities, so here's my attempted solution, {{districtify}}:

Wikitravel talk:Using Mediawiki templates is a huge city, so all individual listings should be moved to the appropriate district articles, and this section should contain a brief overview. Please help to move listings if you are familiar with this city.


See Vancouver for an example. Hopefully this will spur people to move 'em where they belong. Jpatokal 08:21, 27 October 2006 (EDT)

I like it! Added it to Oklahoma City also. -- Tom Holland (xltel) 09:21, 27 October 2006 (EDT)

Move this to Shared?[edit]

Should this be a shared: policy instead of English-only? Although templates will be created in different languages, the ways we use them across the language versions could probably benefit from a single policy. -- Ricardo (Rmx) 14:28, 14 November 2006 (EST)

Eventbox[edit]

So, I'd like to propose an "eventbox" for putting up temporary advance warnings of major events (Olympics, Super Bowl, Eurovision, etc) that will substantially affect travelers trying to book rooms, flights, etc:

{{eventbox|May 2007|'''Eurovision Song Contest 2007''' on May 10-12.}}

Which would show up as:

Using Mediawiki templates will be hosting the Eurovision Song Contest 2007 on May 10-12.


It would also be placed under Category:Events heading "May 2007", so it can be tracked and removed after the event is over. Whaddaya think? Jpatokal 00:13, 8 January 2007 (EST)

That last bit didn't quite work though: now it shows up under the heading "M", but with the name "Wikitravel talk:Using Mediawiki templates" (d'oh). Guess I'll have to do Category:Events in May 2007 etc to make this work then... Jpatokal
Jani, this is a great idea! I'll throw my support behind the template. -- Andrew H. (Sapphire) 02:07, 8 January 2007 (EST)

WeatherForecast[edit]

noframe

Check the weather forecast for the Grand Canyon from NOAA.


I've developed a template in my user namespace, which I think would be a terrific addition to our guides and a big help to travelers, though, there is one downside and that's that the template is irrelevant in printed guides, but online it should be pretty neat.

Say you want to access what the upcoming weather forecast is for Flagstaff, Arizona. That typically means after looking at Wikitravel you then need to search for "Weather forecast for Flagstaff", but we use my template Wikitravel could direct readers to a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website, which will provide the reader with the seven day forecast.

All you need to do is type: {{User:Sapphire/Template:Forecast|Flagstaff|35.898641|-112.27718}}

The second field is the name of the place. The third and fourth fields are the geographic coordinates in decimal form for the place (in this case Flagstaff). You can see the template in action above.

Thoughts, comments? -- Sapphire(Talk) • 06:13, 9 May 2007 (EDT)

Ah, and I should mention that the NOAA only provides this service for U.S. locales. -- Sapphire(Talk) • 06:22, 9 May 2007 (EDT)
Typical Americans. ;) I assume that one doesn't have to be quite that precise with the coords; as long as you hit the right county you'd be OK. I vaguely recall talk about the possibility of tagging content only for online display; I don't recall what (if anything) came of it. Final random comment: If you don't mind, I'd like to re-do the icons to be more "readable" at that size. (I have this Fine Arts degree that I hardly ever get to do anything with.) - Todd VerBeek 10:00, 9 May 2007 (EDT)
Something related that's been on my low-priority todo list for ages: WeatherChecker, over at Wikinews, generates spiffy realtime weather maps based on NOAA data. Unfortunately it's built on .NET (eww) and hasn't been maintained at all for a few years, so it would be non-trivial to get it retrofitted for WT... Jpatokal 11:01, 9 May 2007 (EDT)
Todd, by all means, please do make the better looking icons. The webonly thing you mentioned is discussed on this page. I'll check to see if it works. -- Sapphire(Talk) • 15:26, 9 May 2007 (EDT)
Ah, and I think generic coordinates, with at least one number following the decimal point, will work. At least, it worked when I tested it. -- Sapphire(Talk) • 15:29, 9 May 2007 (EDT)
How about these? Clouds really ought to be done in watercolors, but I settled for Photoshop. :) - Todd VerBeek 21:29, 10 May 2007 (EDT)

Template:Europe[edit]

Should we have something like template:Europe in each page? I thiks it's a quick way to move between countries. I've seen it in it: (Italian wikitravel) and like it. Handrian 01:51, 4 July 2007 (EDT)

I'm against Wikipedia-style template clutter. The breadcrumbs already provide a fast way of moving up and down in a hierarchy, and places you'd want to go from any place X are (or should be) linked in from Get in/out. Jpatokal 01:54, 4 July 2007 (EDT)
Me too... we generally strive to keep the articles here as clean and uncluttered as possible. – cacahuate talk 01:59, 4 July 2007 (EDT)
Ok. template:Europe could go for deletion. Handrian 02:04, 4 July 2007 (EDT)
I don't think this would be necessary for entire continents, but while working on Chicago, I've wondered if something like this might be useful for city district articles. Most people know the countries that Europe is divided into; not many people will know how we've divided up a city, and how the options in one area bleed right into the next area. (Without need for a new visa, either.) But it'd have to be subtle and unobtrusive - I agree that Wikipedia template clutter is gross. Gorilla Jones 02:14, 4 July 2007 (EDT)
The comment has been made before that if we're going to implement these "menu" templates then it should be done consistently, rather than on a place-by-place basis. If someone has a proposal for when we should create one of these templates, how it should be used, and what the limits should be then I could see it being useful, but until we have such a proposal I think we should stay away from piecemeal implementations. -- Ryan • (talk) • 02:16, 4 July 2007 (EDT)
Paris was using one for a while for its districts, but the template was successfully VFD'd a couple months back. I think keeping the focus on the "Districts" section of the main city article is the way to go, repeating that list in a template box doesn't really add much to the article except clutter, in my opinion... the thing that brings the most clarity to a city's districts is a map of them... – cacahuate talk 02:36, 4 July 2007 (EDT)

Template:Infobox not clearing images[edit]

I note that this was discussed in Template talk:Infobox Image clear without a linebreak? in 2005, but no action was taken to fix the problem. Adding clear:right; to the div style will resolve the issue. Anyone have a problem if I go ahead and make the change? It will resolve the layout issues in World Cup 2010, Witbank and possible others --NJR_ZA 12:14, 8 October 2007 (EDT)

Go right ahead! Jpatokal 13:03, 8 October 2007 (EDT)
OK, I have made the change and it resolved the issues on the articles mentioned above. It you see it negatively affecting any other articles, let me know and we can sort it out --NJR_ZA 13:18, 8 October 2007 (EDT)

User Page Banners[edit]

Per the VFD at Wikitravel:Votes for deletion#Template:User soccer‎, it's worth asking whether Wikitravel should put a process in place for supporting user banners beyond the language banners that have already been created. Per Peter we've had these discussions before:

There is some here and here. My more general point though, is that this isn't something we've been doing, and the only appropriate way to introduce new practices is through consensus (be it tacit or explicit).

While I'm not a huge fan of these banners, I can see some value in them for the sake of consistency with Wikipedia and community-building for those interested in such things - this seems like a minor change that could pay some dividends in making Wikipedia users more comfortable contributing here. However, if we were to begin allowing these sorts of things I'd suggest the following guidelines:

  1. They should be travel/Wikitravel related. Something like "This user has visited X countries", "This user is a docent for Space" or "This user is a member of the Wikitravel:Mapmaking Expedition" is probably OK, but "This user loves Dungeons & Dragons" doesn't really have any bearing on travel.
  2. They should be discussed prior to creation. I don't think it serves us well to have hundreds of these banners, but a few dozen might not hurt. We would likely need to create a Wikitravel:User page banners page with some guidelines.

Thoughts? I suspect this may not be a tremendously popular idea, but it seems like something that would do more good than harm in fostering contributions/community, and since it has come up on a few occasions it's probably worth discussing. -- Ryan • (talk) • 18:52, 3 February 2010 (EST)

Another benefit (not mentioned above?) is to help wikitravelers find others interested in the same kind of travel / special needs (i.e. outdoor activities while traveling / gourmet / shopping / winetasting / whatever else-centric travel). --DenisYurkin 19:08, 3 February 2010 (EST)
I'm not a fan; I would rather people direct their energies toward the travel guides. Important information can be communicated in prose, or, if need be, by hard-coded boxes. LtPowers 19:50, 3 February 2010 (EST)
Of course, my proposal could only makes sense if used with categories allowing to quickly find other wikitravellers interested in the same. --DenisYurkin 19:55, 3 February 2010 (EST)
If I understand Denis' point, he is saying that these could make it easier to find people with similar interests in ways that would help improve the guides - a user banner for the Wikitravel:Mapmaking Expedition would add one more way to identify people who are interested in making maps, similar to how the current Wikitravel:Babel templates make it easier to find people who might be able to help out with language issues. I would be opposed to turning Wikitravel into a Facebook of travel, but I don't think there is a lot of harm in supporting what are effectively self-bestowed merit badges for those that want them. -- Ryan • (talk) • 20:09, 3 February 2010 (EST)
I would strongly oppose the use of user banners except in specific concensus-driven circumstances similar to those which Ryan mentioned in his first edit above. I do not see any harm for example in having a template for those interested in map-making. This needs to be very strictly controlled though. General interest type banners (as in "I like Soccer") will trivialise what is a refreshingly grown-up site. One of the key reasons I hung around here and was not a speeding drive-by, was the obvious lack of social-networking guff. --Burmesedays 21:24, 3 February 2010 (EST)
I oppose these banners as well because WT is not facebook and i like to keep it that way. jan 05:13, 4 February 2010 (EST)
I support travel & wikitravel-related ones.... we can easily stipulate that in the to be created guidelines.... I can't see how it does any harm or why we would need to ban them completely – cacahuate talk 02:16, 6 February 2010 (EST)
There doesn't seem be anything close to consensus on this issue, and without anyone passionately in favor of implementing user page banners it probably makes sense to table this discussion until the next time it comes up. My reading of the comments above is that there is a very strong desire to prevent anything that even hints of Facebook-style banners, but that there might be support for limited implementation of travel-related banners if users begin asking for them - that might be a good starting point for discussion the next time this issue comes along. -- Ryan • (talk) • 19:11, 8 February 2010 (EST)
I do kind of like the idea of having ways to identify and highlight the expeditions and who is part of them. I agree that these would have to be limited, but it could be useful for people working on similar things, such as GLBT Travel to find one another and discuss how to best present these various types of travel, since topics like this can be difficult for those who do not seek out such places/activities to write anything meaningful about them. But I suppose I agree that we should not create them until someone actually raises interest, unless there are specific banners we feel are particularly important. ChubbyWimbus 20:03, 8 February 2010 (EST)
I recognize this discussion is a little dead at the moment, but so that I don't forget why I'm against these: I'm really of one mind with Burmesedays. For the most part, we have done a really good job of encouraging a friendly, but also professional and purpose-driven culture on Wikitravel, which is one of the main reasons why I think we have had the success we have—this culture attracts serious, talented contributors who are genuinely more interested in creating, organizing, and otherwise improving a travel guide to the world than in "social networking" or other purposes better suited to other websites, online forums, etc. At the risk of sounding like a racist homeowners association, I think it's important that we work to attract the right sort of people ;) --Peter Talk 20:48, 8 February 2010 (EST)

While I think there's a clear consensus against random "I like Pokemon" banners, I don't see anybody loudly opposing "expedition member" banners. Why not try them out, and roll back if things get out of control? Jpatokal 00:49, 9 February 2010 (EST)

Because they could be a Wikitravel:Slippery slope, and because there's no real reason we can't continue as we have been: simply add your name to the Expedition page, and if you like, note on your own userpage that you are a member. --Peter Talk 14:25, 9 February 2010 (EST)

What if we use the pattern we have in Wikitravel:List of Wikitravellers by location for this as well? Like "Wikitravelers by type of travel they are [most] interested in covering/supporting here"? It doesn't have any risk to go down the Facebook path, but looks like it serves the primary goal:

  • help editors cooperate around different type of travel (even if there is no expedition on it yet)
  • and potentially even identify areas where there is much interest, but noone realized that yet (although that is not very likely, I must admit).

--DenisYurkin 16:01, 10 February 2010 (EST)

I've never seen the list of wikitravellers by location used to cooperate on location - this form of cooperation comes from who is actually working on a location. I've never seen the list of people on a expedition page accurately reflect who is on the expedition right now, that also is more determined by who is doing the work, and commenting on a discussion page. I think we should even drop the list of names from the Expedition pages - make it clear they are open to all, even if their contribution is only small - a comment, or ten minutes spent working on standardising a map or region. --inas 18:32, 10 February 2010 (EST)
As for "list by location": at least, when you need to find people whom to ask to comment on how to districtify a city, the list could be helpful when there's no much comment on city's talk page (see our experience with Rome or Barcelona or Budapest for example).
As for "list by interest", I understand your point for existing expeditions and travel topics. But creating an expedition (or even a travel topic) is a very high entry barrier to start contributing to the topic/coordinating efforts on improving one aspect of articles across regions or countries (but only start contributing, not lead the whole effort).
For example, I would like WT would have info on Christmas New Year travel on every destination. I contributed to one or two destinations I've actually been, but I have no easy way to connect with others who share the same interest in order to share my ideas or hearing theirs on how we should better describe this or that aspect; what or where to include (full-text search followed by leaving a comment on every Talk page inviting to a collab page is a very high barrier). And I absolutely don't expect that anyone will ever find my mention on NewYear travel in Talk:Travel topics. Or we have one (but the only?) discussion on whether we should create a travel topic on Shopping: Talk:Travel topics#Shopping articles. With our high standards "if Travel Topic don't have enough content OR supporters, it will be VFDed", I don't go at risk of creating a travel topic on it until I know there are at least some supporters. And I have more where I'm not ready (yet?) to lead or invest heavy, initial efforts into a topic/aspect, but would be happy to have an easy (and time-effective) way to find who else is interested (and probably help each other start): gastronomic travel/"Educated eating" (something very general on Eat, similar to Tips for flying or Talk), "travelling with a notebook", Duty Free shopping. Having a list similar to "Wikitravelers by interest" could help me, I believe. --DenisYurkin 23:07, 10 February 2010 (EST)
That's an interesting point. Just to comment on Inas' response: Although I think you are right that our current collaborations have worked when people virtually bump into one another, it should probably also be pointed out that our collaborations are generally very weak. I may be wrong, but the Map Expedition is currently really the only expedition with members actually collaborating to get things done, right? The overall lack of collaborative ability is a problem that has been discussed many times. I don't know if banners or user interest lists would help or not, but they're interesting ideas. (In regards to the New Years Travel: I'm surprised there is not some sort of New Years-themed article, since it is a popular travel time, especially when you include the later Chinese New Year and other new years. I imagine many users probably could add info to such an article.) ChubbyWimbus 23:49, 10 February 2010 (EST)
Essentially, you are saying if we play down the "social networking" aspects of the site, then we shouldn't really express surprise when there is less, well, social networking....
Often when the subject of weak collaborations arises, we ignore the elephant. There just aren't that many people who are so regular contributors to this site, and given the huge amount of work to do, and varying interests and priorities of the people here, I think the collaboration works remarkably well.
The best way to get a New Year/Christmas/Events, type thing happening in articles, is to suggest it, on Article Templates, and if noone argues, just go and add it to the large city article template - then people who want to fill in the info can proceed to do it. Many articles have an events section in See or Do already.
I think DenisYurkin's take on travel topics is very harsh. There have been very few travel topics (or other articles) deleted - even the ones that are obviously complete and absolute rubbish we debate endlessly in vfd. If there has been a travel topic deleted that someone expressed an interest in curating, I must have missed it. --inas 01:05, 11 February 2010 (EST)
It's on the edge of offtopic in this thread, but:
  • ChubbyWimbus, on New Year Travel: what better way could I follow to propose a travel topic and find supporters, if not posting it to Talk:Travel topics? And how harsh is my judgement if in 1.5 years it gained one sceptic, and nothing else? I don't complain too much, and it's true I didn't invest too much energy into pushing it through to main namespace. But it's still an example that barriers to starting a travel topic do exist, and that having a straightforward place to find fellow wikitravelers interested in a type of travel could possibly help (not guaranteed, of course).
  • Inas, on adding section--it's still unclear for me how detailed we want our article templates to be. Speaking generally, beyond Events, why don't we add "With children" sections to Eat, Do and Undestand, or ATMs, MoneyExchange, ThingsToBringHome to Buy, etc etc? I mean, don't we limit ourselves with top-level sections in templates most of the time?
--DenisYurkin 16:25, 11 February 2010 (EST)
To follow your thread, by all means propose a discussion. I would support a third level heading for Events - because it is something we could do with standardising across articles, and it is common to many. I wouldn't support With children because it is trite. Children have as diverse interests as anyone else, and the info for children should be in the body of the prose, and it is a slippery slope to a zillion other for xyz type topics. Still, others may present convincing arguments to change my mind on both items.
But, to return to the original point, the mechanisms to propose and make these changes are well defined, and the people who are likely to give their opinion are all well known to you. To group people of a common view together in a discussion or proposal is a step in the wrong direction, because you miss the spectrum of opinions that are important to make these kind of decisions, and you, yourself, are certainly no adverse to being part of that spectrum! :-) --inas 17:03, 11 February 2010 (EST)
On the original point: I meant that if I know that I'm not alone in pursuading those people who are well-known to me :-), it helps to start a discussion--with some chance to succeed (which are fewer if I'm alone). --DenisYurkin 14:44, 12 February 2010 (EST)
On the offtopic thread: thanks for your suggestion, I've proposed creating Events section: Wikitravel talk:Article templates#Events. Please welcome to discuss there. --DenisYurkin 15:03, 12 February 2010 (EST)
I have a feeling that we're somewhat stuck in discussion there; any ideas on how to proceed would be welcome: Wikitravel talk:Article templates#Events. --DenisYurkin 13:47, 17 March 2010 (EDT)

Template:CNYdates[edit]

I'm lost trying to edit a template in WikiMedia, but if someone smarter than me was able to help get this template updated it'd be helpful. It's outdated by 2 years. Zepppep (talk) 00:14, 5 January 2014 (EST)

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