Forums: Index > Wiki discussion > Appearances template finalized

I brought this up a few months ago when I was new, and now that I'm more comfortable and season three is looming, I have completed Template:Appearances and Template:Appearances/background. Before I go convert all pages to it, I want to see again as usual if anyone has any concerns or anything.

  • {{Appearances}} - used for major characters and on character appearances, which I have already converted. An example can be seen at Twilight Sparkle#Appearances. It's much more efficient and not too much harder to edit in visual mode, since the actual appearance cells are still raw table code. And the final result looks the same or better, which is how I designed it.
  • {{Appearances/background}} - for background characters, which have the more detailed lists of each appearance. An example can be seen at Lyra Heartstrings#Appearances, and since visual editing is broken on that page, you can try using visual editor in my sandbox here. Again, a lot more efficient and looks better in source mode. However, visual editor is absolutely terrible. It's still editable, just a good bit more difficult to go through. So I'm not as sure about this one.

Again, the intention is efficiency and ease of use. Several thousand fewer characters of code per page, one edit to update things instead of dozens or hundreds. Visual editor suffers a little bit, due to design, but I think it's worth it, and it's still usable. Please, everyone, let me know what you think. ~Bobogoobo (talk) Lyra_speaks_S2E25.png 20:42, September 18, 2012 (UTC)

The background template doesn't work for me in visual mode because the template editor refuses to open (the pop-up box has so much content that it just grows taller and taller instead of stopping and enabling scrolling at some point). Probably wikia's bug instead of yours, but still. I think for those tables, where a lot of text must be entered, the current version works better anyway. I'm too tired to check right now, but can {{nameconvert}}, placed into the current, normal tables, be used/modified to automatically link to a new episode once that episode gets a title and a page? The template would still eventually have to be removed and replaced with a normal link, but it wouldn't have to be done every two weeks or so.
The main template is pretty much the one you presented a couple months ago, right? I can go with that, though I'm guessing the multitude of green puzzle pieces are going to be a mite confusing for newcomers. Also, it looks like you put the "See also: Character appearances" back in (on every page but that one, anyway)? --Tulipclaymore (talk) 22:05, September 18, 2012 (UTC)
It loaded properly for me. I don't know how many people who would actually work on those tables use visual editor; I still think it looks better in source mode at least. Yes, just put [[{{nameconvert|3|3}}]], for example, and as soon as we get the episode's name, I or someone can update the template and that link will go to the page for it (with the name displayed, also; until then I just have it say Episodes). Yeah, I updated it a little but it's essentially the same. Yeah, unfortunately the visual editor can't detect the table within the template or anything like that, and it also removes line breaks so it's harder to see the structure, but I dunno how anyone could stand working with that stuff in visual anyway. And yeah, I had to put that back in to fix an excess whitespace problem, but as far as I can tell all the pages that would use that template would have the same format, including that see also link, right? If not I can always add in a parameter to remove it. ~Bobogoobo (talk) Lyra_speaks_S2E25.png 22:31, September 18, 2012 (UTC)
This kills visual editing and proper formatting. How visual editing looks vs how the template looks for prominent characters. How visual editing looks vs how the template looks for background characters.
tables with templatestables in templates
This makes the appearances sections extremely inaccessible. Symbol oppose vote oversat Strong oppose. –PonyNews 08:43, September 19, 2012 (UTC)
Visual editor is a badly-functioning, half-done, ineffective and obstructive feature and not worthy of being the main consideration for a change. On the contrary, this template makes the appearances section MUCH more accessible in source mode. Instead of wading through all the table code, which is inefficiently copied from page to page (leaving a lot of room for errors and people messing it up), one only has to fill in the actual appearances row (for main characters) or the conveniently-formatted parameter for an episode (for background characters). It takes a fraction of the vertical space and is nicer to look at. Again, I don't expect anyone to make significant edits to something like this in as horrible an interface as visual editor, so it's not necessarily even a point of consideration. Additionally, it's easy to switch over to source mode, so if someone wants to edit the appearances and is for some unfathomable reason using visual editor, they can simply switch over and have the intended ease of editing. ~Bobogoobo (talk) Lyra_speaks_S2E25.png 23:12, September 19, 2012 (UTC)
As long as these two issues remain, the template will simply make editing the wiki less accessible and full of broken formatting. –PonyNews 03:32, September 20, 2012 (UTC)
Novice editors I doubt would be editing appearances tables, since even the current code implementation involves templates, plus probably more work than they're likely to want to do. I could argue that collapsing it into a single "puzzle piece" could help 1) reduce vandalism or accidental breaking, and 2)get it out of the way of people who didn't want/need to see it anyway, but I have no idea how people who use visual editor think, so I don't know if that's a valid point. It does not break the wiki formatting, it improves it. It breaks visual editor formatting, which is a problem with that feature. And you're ignoring the other side. I, and I'm sure many others, use the source mode. The copy-pasted code currently takes up four full scrolls of the editing box (and that will increase as new seasons air), though that's with the expanded cell code that visual editor caused, but it would still be long with collapsed cells. With the template, it's only 2-3 lines per season. It's easier to use because instead of copying the table code, and then looking through it for what you need to edit (and doing this for every page), you just call the template and then put the individual appearances for that character. Similar idea for the background characters, it's much shorter and easier to edit (even for visual editor, which provides a neat little box for each parameter). This reply is already getting long, I think I've addressed everything by now, and this really makes sense. You shouldn't use visual editor as a standard for editability. As an additional point, converting Twilight's page to the template reduced the page size by over three thousand bytes. Surely that counts for something in loading speed and code readability. And for background characters it's about 2500 bytes. ~Bobogoobo (talk) Lyra_speaks_S2E25.png 04:36, September 20, 2012 (UTC)
This all comes down to the question "is the visual editor an essential part of the wiki" and my answer is "yes". Some code is too complex to be raw, like the infoboxes, but the appearances tables are really simple: they're regular wiki tables, no fancy formatting, no fancy HTML tricks, no complex code. Replacing them with a template reduces accessibility for novice contributors. {{Appearances/background}} is very accessible, but still less accessible than a simple wikitable. If the length of the table is an issue, consider creating /Appearances subpages, just like we did with galleries when gallery size became an issue. –PonyNews 10:39, September 20, 2012 (UTC)
I would say creating a new page sounds like a good option, but with or without these large wiki tables, the pages still load at the same speed. Seeing as they're collapsible for the reason of appearance on the main page, there's really no reason to have a whole other page just for a few collapsible tables. They're fine where they're at with the normal wikitables in my opinion, not everything needs to be made into a template.  Food 25px-Surprise.png  10:46, September 20, 2012 (UTC)

Well okay then. I can accept that they're not wanted, I suppose. Won't find me pasting all that junk everywhere though, and I don't think visual editor can be considered essential (considering, as I've said, how broken, ineffective, etc. it is), but whatever. And can we at least use {{nameconvert}} for season 3 episodes in all those tables? Saves the trouble of fixing names as we find out the final ones. Then a bot could go through and substitute it once E13 airs. Or would using that within the tables break them in visual editor? ~Bobogoobo (talk) Lyra_speaks_S2E25.png 23:38, September 20, 2012 (UTC)

Don't take it personally Bobogoobo, sometimes things just go that way. I've coded many things that weren't wanted here for similar reasons, but they still served a very useful purpose in advancing my understanding of the language. As for the {{nameconvert}} idea, sounds good.  Food 25px-Surprise.png  23:52, September 20, 2012 (UTC)
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