User talk:Lkseitz/Archive 2

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succession boxes

Nice work with the boxes. --Dystopos 22:25, 22 September 2006 (PDT)


  • I'm taking a stab at preparing a "portal" on sustainability topics for a Catalyst4Birmingham task force to use. You can see my progress at BhamWiki:Sustainability. For our own purposes, I'm planning to someday set up similar portals for history, sports, business, music, etc. -- Right now, though, there are a couple of things I don't know how to fix and I wondered if you could help. I've used Wikipedia's Portal:Earth sciences] as a model. (With the difference that I've decided to use the BhamWiki: namespace for our portals). The first difference I see is that WP's portal puts the included text into the box where mine drops it below. The second difference is that the "edit" links in the WP header bars actually take you somewhere, where our don't. And third, the subpages in the WP portal have links back to the main portal, where mine doesn't. -- Any thoughts? --Dystopos 16:43, 10 October 2006 (PDT)
  1. The problem with the text being outside the boxes is a </div> is getting inserted immediately after the one that opens to contain the text. Unfortunately, I cannot determine the cause for this. It doesn't appear to be in a template; rather it looks like something the software's doing (but I could be mistaken).
  2. The edit buttons not working seems to have to do with the "{{#if:{{{section|}}}|&section={{{section|}}}}}}}" bit in the template. This is called a predefined template over on Wikipedia. I'm suspecting this predefined template simply doesn't exist on BhamWiki, thus it doesn't do anything. You might try taking that bit out. I think, for your purposes, the links will work without it.
  3. I'm guessing the sub-pages linking back to the portal has to do with using the "Portal" namespace (instead of "Wikipedia" or, in our case, "Bhamwiki"). Of course, it's possible the whole portal thing isn't implemented here at BhamWiki. --Lkseitz 19:41, 10 October 2006 (PDT)
Thanks for taking a look. I think you're right about not having a portal implementation here. If I try to create Portal:Foo it just ends up being a project page as far as mediawiki is concerned.
So.. I'd like to figure out how to put the text in the box. I noticed that the Template:Box-footer as implemented on Wikipedia had an extra </div> when it was copied over here. It wasn't closing anything, so it just printed out all over my portal here. So I deleted it. I guess what I need to figure out is how to open that command in the right place (and what the command should consist of.. all way over my head). I also think it's important to get an edit link in the header that sends people to the right sub-page even if we have to fake it. I did fake a reverse link by putting it within <noinclude> tags on the subpage. Thanks again. --Dystopos 19:54, 10 October 2006 (PDT)
The </div> in Template:Box-footer is supposed to close one opened in Template:Box-header. I attempted to add a </div> tag to the end of Template:Sustainability box-footer, but the system treated it as literal text instead of an HTML tag, which confounds me. I've now tried it for Box-footer, but again the system treated it as text instead of a tag. I don't understand why. --Lkseitz 04:54, 11 October 2006 (PDT)

Infobox schools

I've created an infobox for K-12 schools. You can see an example at Vestavia Hills High School. Unfortunately the lack of #if means all fields are required. Feedback desired. --Lkseitz 15:06, 25 October 2006 (PDT)

That's a lovely and inobtrusive box. That's important to me. In fact, the smaller the better. Looks like we could reduce the space between the columns a bit and omit the "www." from the link (or just show the word "link" in light blue next to the heading "website"). I think the name of the school should be inside the box (with no divider above the image) and, if you can make some of the fields optional, that would be grand. Otherwise, great job! --Dystopos 15:53, 25 October 2006 (PDT)
I've done what I can to reduce spaces between columns. I've also reduced the total width of the box. I've changed the website text to "Link" because the URL doesn't work without the "www". (This could be deceptive to someone who only had a printed version of the page.) I've moved the school name. Making fields optional is going to require getting #if to work in templates, which is beyond my skills and access level. I've added it to the Homewood High School article too now. --Lkseitz 11:30, 26 October 2006 (PDT)
I hadn't considered the use of printed versions. I think it's good to keep the urls intact. I also linked the enrollment to a new List of high schools by enrollment which is in an embryonic state but might someday be useful. Regarding the #if's, if you get the skills I'll be happy to work with you on access - but don't worry about it on my account. I think at some point I'll have to contract with a programmer for a few tweaks. I'll get your wish-list before I make a step like that.
By the way, in principle I'm still not a big fan of infoboxes. I find them to be rather redundant, to hog space, and to intimidate novice editors. This one does look nice though, and I definitely don't want to be squashing the ambitions of the people I rely on. By now BhamWiki is as much your baby as mine. --Dystopos 12:07, 26 October 2006 (PDT)
I agree they can be redundant and take up space, but as we've discussed earlier, they can also lead to less awkward bits being put in the text. Besides, I think in today's "gotta have it now" culture, they'll be popular with the casual surfer. Hopefully this one is straight-forward enough to not be too intimidating. (Chris, not that he's a novice, was quick to add one to Hewitt-Trussville High School.)
And thanks for saying that last bit, but considering my 90 articles (almost half of which are stubs) only make up 7% of BhamWiki, it's still your baby. (Yes, I know I've done more than articles, but I imagine that's probably a similar percentage compared to you.) --Lkseitz 06:34, 27 October 2006 (PDT)
  • Percentages don't matter. Participation does. As publisher I have to take responsibility for BhamWiki's shortcomings but no one can force me to accept more than my share of credit for its strengths. --Dystopos 06:54, 27 October 2006 (PDT)
Here are my $.02... Personally I do like the infoboxes. I understand they are redundant, but just as Lee pointed out they do paint a quick, easy to follow image of the subject being examined. To be honest, I would like to see something similar for buildings we add to include things such as an image and other technical data --Patriarca12 07:29, 27 October 2006 (PDT)

Geneaology Research

Haha, yea, I'm only putting the info on the page that I'm certain relates to the person it's about, you don't have to worry about that. I'm searching on the net for the specific people and their relation to the history of Birmingham, so, unless the site says that they played a part in the founding of Birmingham, I'm not gonna inlude it. I'm gonna try and get in touch with family, but, since they live 300 hundred miles away in Geneva County, it's kinda hard to do much. There's always Thanksgiving!! AlabamaGuy2007 20:09, 1 November 2006 (PST)


Do you think Category:1972 buildings should become a subcategory of Category:1972 works (etc) or do you think our coverage of buildings is likely to be so central that it needs to be directly under Category:1972? --Dystopos 10:05, 3 November 2006 (PST)

You don't ask simple questions any more, do you? :-) I could be persuaded to go either way, probably. My current feeling is that a city's buildings are often a focal point (less so than the other things I've seen in the Works categories), so I lean to the argument that they should go directly under the Year instead of Works. Perhaps reciprocal pointers should be added to Category:Buildings and Category:Works, at least at the top level? --Lkseitz 14:07, 6 November 2006 (PST)
I suppose it is also possible to put Category:Buildings in both the works category and directly in the year category. Does that sort of redundancy cause any actual harm or does it just strike you as sort of messy? --Dystopos 14:27, 6 November 2006 (PST)
I don't know any reason it would cause harm, but I'm no expert. It does strike me as messy and indecisive. This is one reason I'd like to see some categories given descriptions of what they apply to or mean (e.g. Category:Civic boosters, Category:Community activists). I tend to lump art and literature under "works" in my head, but not buildings. Whether that's typical or not, I don't know that I can say. --Lkseitz 14:54, 6 November 2006 (PST)
I know what you mean. Some of these categories are pretty fluid, and I've changed or retired a few of them as their weaknesses become apparent. Feel free to use the Category Talk pages to hash out some of the ambiguities. The best definition will come, however, from what articles or subcategories find their way into them rather than from what we decide on a talk page. --Dystopos 14:57, 6 November 2006 (PST)


I created Template:Locate to provide a link to Google Maps. Unfortunately, I don't see any way to target it to a new window within the MediaWiki system. I've added it to the Homewood entry to act as an example. Let me know what you think. --Lkseitz 14:34, 10 November 2006 (PST)

Works like a charm! That's very cool. I don't think a new window is so important. People have back buttons and if they're clever like us they can right-click. I wonder if it would be best to go ahead and make the button say "Google Map", just to give credit where it's due? Also, do you know of a way to place the article name in the resulting map pointer, so it would say "Homewood" instead of "33.468306, -86.808146"? --Dystopos 14:48, 10 November 2006 (PST)
  • And it just now occurred to me, Google can find locations by address. Is it possible to make a template that uses a street address for input instead of lat/long?. I'm thinking of one that could be placed in the text, too, so, for example, I could put a little map link next to each entry in the List of Birmingham homicides in 2006. --Dystopos 14:50, 10 November 2006 (PST)
Unfortunately, setting the text of the map pointer isn't something you can do with a link, as far as I can tell. That would require JavaScript, and I haven't looked at the Google Maps API yet. (This would also mean showing the map on the article's page instead of as a link.) You can pass a query, but then you get something like this, which doesn't include a pointer at all. If you pass no query at all, you get a smaller map, still with no pointer. We can have the link text say whatever. How about, "Locate with / Google Maps" (where the / indicates separate lines)? I'll get started on an address template. --Lkseitz 19:15, 10 November 2006 (PST)
  • I've already found them and I think you're a genius. Now I have to think of another award to hand out. --Dystopos 20:12, 10 November 2006 (PST)

Locate city template

I discovered just putting a city and state in Google Maps will work as well, so there's now a new template called Template:Locate city. If you find it satisfactory, I'll change the current city pages using the old template to use this one. I've done Vestavia Hills as an example. --Lkseitz 10:58, 27 November 2006 (PST)

  • Seems appropriate to me. --Dystopos 13:01, 27 November 2006 (PST)

inline locate by lat/long

I'm finding the inline template to be easier to work with than the box. Is it easy enough to make an inline version of the lat/long map link? --Dystopos 20:49, 28 November 2006 (PST)

Your wish is my command: Template:Locate coords inline. --Lkseitz 07:24, 29 November 2006 (PST)
You're a genius at making me look good. --Dystopos 08:07, 29 November 2006 (PST)

Highway 78

I noticed you went through the site and "fixed" all the U.S. Highway 78 links. You probably know this and simply did it for consistency reasons, but for the benefit of anyone else who happens by I'll point out that, according to Wikipedia, it's more costly to the server to edit the article and change the link than it is to let it use the redirect. OTOH, earlier on that page it says the use of redirect links lower a page's search engine ranking. --Lkseitz 13:40, 21 November 2006 (PST)

I was not aware of that guideline at all. As you know, I'm not huge fan of consistency, so I might find it easy to drop the habit of "fixing" redirects. That said, I don't think we're at a point where we need to concern ourselves with server load. Hosting issues aside, our server load is pretty minimal. --Dystopos 14:31, 21 November 2006 (PST)

Ron Casey

This may interest you. Via Wikipedia User Talk:Dystopos:

Thank you for the article on Ron Casey, my father. Did you know him or his work? Also, thought I'd mention that I go to Tulane. Just thought that was an interesting coincidence when I looked at your user profile. --Annajeb 03:30, 8 December 2006 (UTC) 03:25, 8 December 2006 (UTC).

--Dystopos 07:00, 8 December 2006 (PST)


  • Lee, I think I may have steamrolled some of your clean-up on the Agnes article. I apologize. --Dystopos 08:17, 21 December 2006 (PST)
  • No big deal. You actually rewrote some of it while I just went through and did mechanical changes. --Lkseitz 08:28, 21 December 2006 (PST)

Names in Categories

  • I didn't realize we were using the full name when we are categorizing people. I did notice that WP does it that way but hadn't seen it here on BW. I apologize for the cleanup you're having to do. --Wheresdib 11:50, 27 December 2006 (PST)
  • No problem. I only just noticed it with the recent race car drivers entries. We do it because it assures a logical system to the sorting in the category. Using single letters you could wind up with the Allisons, for example, in any random order. (I believe.) --Lkseitz 12:00, 27 December 2006 (PST)
  • Just to clarify, it's not necessary to pipe the article name after a category for sorting most of the time. For example, "Amani Raha" will automatically be sorted by that name. Sorting is primarily for people's names so they can be sorted "Last_name, First_name" instead of by the article name ("First_name Last_name"). Another special case is articles that are primary for a category (for example Cobb Lane (street)) should use "*" as the sorting character so they show up at the top of the articles in the category. In 99.9% of the cases, this should only apply to one article in the category. And there's the weirdness User:Dystopos does with street numbers and street categories, but I won't get into that discussion again here. :-) --Lkseitz 13:36, 2 January 2007 (PST)
  • Thanks... I was testing it to see what difference it made in articles that start with the same letter as where they need to be sorted. That makes sense on the "*" thing, and I have used it in the past with my bank articles. Again, thanks for being patient and know that I am learning. --Wheresdib 13:55, 2 January 2007 (PST)

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