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User talk:Steelpillow/Test1

Suggestion to standardise appearances

(discussion moved from user page.)

Suggestion: provide separate house styles for:

  • Info notices - e.g. lists
  • Caution and warning notices - e.g. no insults, alerts
  • Lists within info notices
  • Action requests/notices

Each house style would be implemented as a template, ensuring consistency across notices. so for example to insert the Highlight box, you would code something like:

{{Info|Highlight box}}

where Template:Info would style the outer box, and

Template:Highlight box would in turn comprise something like:

{{List|Helpimprove}} {{List|Recentlyupdated}}

where Template:List would style the individual lists, and

Each of Template:Helpimprove and/or Template:Recentlyupdated would be just a bulleted list.

So updating the highlight box would involve editing Template:Helpimprove and/or Template:Recentlyupdated.

Or is all that too confusing? The complexity is due to the need to style two lists within one overall box. Maybe the number of templates could be reduced using CSS <style> containers, or by a more programmatic approach to some of them. Worth exploring?

Would that scale well? When we have three levels of inheritance, will contributors have to type in {{List|Helpimprove|Addreferences}}? And four, five? Ciaran 14:03, 29 July 2009 (EDT)
It's designed to scale. Users just type the first level of inheritance: {{List|Helpimprove}}. Maintainers update the last level only, which is the list itself. Your Template:Highlight box is unusually complicated because it contains two lists. If it wasn't for that, the number of layers could be reduced.steelpillow 07:18, 30 July 2009 (EDT)
And I'm wondering how dynamic that would be. If we later decided that "Addreferences" should inherit from "Notice" instead of from "List|Helpimprove", then we'd have to change each article, right? Ciaran 14:03, 29 July 2009 (EDT)
This can be worked around by adding yet another layer, so the user types say {{Addreferences}}, and Template:Addreferences contains say {{List|AddreferencesBox}}. You then only need to update Template:Addreferences. steelpillow 07:18, 30 July 2009 (EDT)
I don't know the technical side, but in Wikipedia the text for adding a box doesn't make any mention of which other boxes this inherits from. So, hypothetically, even if "Addreferences" inherits from Helpimprove which in turn inherits from List, the user just enters {{Addreferences}}. The details of inheritance are hidden. Doing it that way would seem to be easier to maintain as things get renamed and restructured in the future. ...but those are just my thoughts from a user perspective. I don't know how the technical end, but I usually copy Wikipedia since I assume they've discussed these things and done the trial and error and that their system is usually not bad. Ciaran 14:03, 29 July 2009 (EDT)
It would be easier for users that way, but the templates get more programmatic and hence need more expertise to maintain. Just copying templates from Wikipedia doesn't always work, as some of them may invoke stuff, such as optional software extensions, which may not be installed or configured on your wiki. Do you want to risk me running away and leaving you with that lot to maintain? My proposal may look a bit convoluted, but at least it exposes the display cascade logic in a tangible template tree rather than some arcane scripting language. Meanwhile, I'll take a look at some relevant Wikipedia templates and see if there is a neater answer. steelpillow 07:18, 30 July 2009 (EDT)
(replying to all three parts here) Ok, I see you have already thought of maintainability. Either path looks reasonably maintainable, so go with whichever you prefer. These things can be changed if the first approach tried proves sub-optimal. Hopefully one day we'll have bots for automating the maintenance of templates (when the number is large enough to need automation) - until then, the cross-fingers-sp-doesn't-run method has worked well so far :) Ciaran 17:40, 3 August 2009 (EDT),