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Tech talk:Wiki markup is disabled in listing parameters

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Why can't XML tags like <eat> support formatting?[edit]

Swept in from en:pub:

Why doesn't the <eat> template allow wiki markup inside its tags? I went through and marked the selected restaurants listed at the top level of Atlanta#Eat with their district (so it's obvious that this one is in Downtown, and that one is in Midtown), only to find out that all my beautiful wikification is just displayed as plain text.

I also remember finding out some time ago that the '' and ''' syntax for bold and italics isn't supported, either, so we can't list phone numbers as "+1 404 894-2500". These both seem like pretty useful features to have, IMO. It would help reduce clutter/duplication if large city articles could list minimal details about restaurants, bars, etc., on their front page — just enough to get a traveler's interest — and then readers click through to the district article to get the full scoop. --BigPeteB 13:29, 17 November 2011 (EST)

As far as wiki markup in listings, this has been raised multiple times. I think there is a tech request for it to be fixed, but I wouldn't hold your breath. I'm not heartbroken about the phone number formatting though, it is very U.S. centric, and overly focussed on a just a printed guide. Trying to distinguish the must dial component in numbers will go the way of the rotary phone. --Inas 17:12, 17 November 2011 (EST)
As far as minimal details about restaurants and bars in huge city articles, and details in districts, I do believe that this is the way it is supposed to work. --Inas 17:12, 17 November 2011 (EST)
Those listings should be moved completely to the district articles, instead of their district added to the listing. Also I think the phone numbers work fine as just +1 404 894-2500. So while a tech request could be filed, I think others have higher priority. --Globe-trotter 17:25, 17 November 2011 (EST)
Going on a bit of a tangent here, but:... I hate the idea that a districtified city can't have any listings at the top level. You mean if I want to eat, or drink, or sleep somewhere, I have to click through to every single district just to figure out what's famous or good in the city? What's the harm in throwing a couple of highlights at the top level?
Chicago is an example of how terrible this can be, IMO. It tells me that Chicago is famous for deep dish pizza (which I already knew), but if I want to know where to eat some, I have to look through the listings for every single district. Why can't I just get a couple of suggestions of the best or most famous deep-dish pizza restaurants? --BigPeteB 18:55, 17 November 2011 (EST)
There is nothing wrong with putting some of the names of top deep dish pizza restaurants at the top level. In fact the Chicago article introduces the subject, names a couple of the best, and points you at the district article for the details. I think it is a good example of how it is best done. We don't want people to have to check every district guide for restaurants, but we do want push them down into the districts to find the fine details. For pizza in Chicago, you may only wish to check the area you are in. Also adding listings to the top level is a slippery slope that adds to the overhead of maintaining the top level articles. --Inas 19:11, 17 November 2011 (EST)
Huge City articles (and Region articles, for that matter) should avoid listings and simply use prose to introduce important establishments. There may be a case for a city- or region-wide chain to get a listing in the corresponding article, but such cases should be rare if allowed at all. LtPowers 19:47, 17 November 2011 (EST)
Oh, and please see shared:Tech:Wiki markup is disabled in listing parameters for an existing bug report on this topic. LtPowers 19:55, 17 November 2011 (EST)
If the article said something like, "Although there are nationally-known chains like X, Y, and Z, for a more local experience try A or B," I could live with that (presuming that it then wikilinked to the appropriate districts for A and B). Listing a few of the best chain restaurants (an oxymoron, IMO), and leaving the rest to be dug up from the districts isn't quite as helpful.
Anyway, don't assume how other travelers make their plans. The only time I went to Chicago, I had 3 goals: go to a ceremony at the Naval Station, sight-see, and eat the best deep-dish pizza I could find, because that's what Chicago is famous when it comes to food. If the top-level article had read, "Skip the chains, and go to X or Y for the what most people consider the best deep-dish," it would have saved me a lot of time reading district pages. --BigPeteB 10:32, 18 November 2011 (EST)
That's an editorial issue, not a policy one; it's apparent that Peter and Marc explicitly chose not to recommend any single establishment as providing the best pizza. They mention Pizzeria UNO, Pizzeria DUE, Gino's East, Giordano's, and Lou Malnati's as five options for you, and tell you to ask locals for other recommendations. What more did you want? LtPowers 14:05, 18 November 2011 (EST)
It seems to me if I actually knew anyone in Chicago, I would be asking them for suggestions before resorting to WT. But I don't know anyone in Chicago, so "ask a local" is useless advice unless I'm expected to just stop strangers on the street. (At least they speak English in Chicago. If the Moscow article told me to "ask a local", that would be totally useless.) Anyway, if it's not against policy then that's good, I'll just agree to disagree. --BigPeteB 15:50, 18 November 2011 (EST)
Ten pizza places are named in that section, most but not all of them chains (and generally people do go to the local chains for the deep dish stuff). Chicago makes so many fantastic pizzas that to ask for the top three establishments would seem absurd to anyone from there. They would assume you were asking about preferences in chains. Otherwise, just go to a local favorite (i.e., the sort of places listed in the district article where you are staying). Ditto hot dogs. I might try to make this point clearer in the article.
And also, while this is very tangential to this already tangential post, yes, when traveling you should stop random people on the street and ask where is a great place to eat—you can have some great adventures that way ;) (Don't follow people who approach you unsolicited with suggestions, of course.) If you are street shy, you can ask a bartender, your taxi driver, an attractive member of the opposite sex, a hotel concierge, someone stocking shelves in the grocery store, another traveler, waiter, etc. This isn't a bad way to make friends while traveling, too. --Peter Talk 17:37, 19 November 2011 (EST)

This just occurred to me, but... why does WT use XML-based templates instead of normal MediaWiki templates? If templates were used, they would support full wiki markup for all parameters, and they would be easier to edit (if it ever became necessary to edit them). --BigPeteB 11:26, 2 December 2011 (EST)

That was a bugaboo of Evan's, I believe, though it was long before my time. Evan and Jani in particular were quite enamored with the possibility of exporting our data programmatically (thus all of the RDF code throughout the site), and adhered to the standard web-design protocol of keeping data content separate from data presentation. Whether that drove the desire to use XML tags rather than MediaWiki templates I don't know. It's possible that implementing the listing editor was made easier by using XML listings, though I can't think of any reason why that would be, off the top of my head. LtPowers 14:28, 2 December 2011 (EST)
I was under the impression that it was done that way to make use of a Mediawiki extension, thus allowing the custom "edit" link next to listings, the "add listing" link in headers, and edit boxes for entering standard listing fields - see parser extension tags in Special:Version. If there was a way to add this same functionality with templates it would be worth considering, but I'm not sure that templates are flexible enough. -- Ryan • (talk) • 14:35, 2 December 2011 (EST)