Archive 5 Archive 6 Archive 7

Portals WikiProject update #013, 18 July 2018

I got overwhelmed IRL (in real life) during the production of issue #12. So, here is a catch-up issue, to help bring you (and me) up to speed on what is happening with portals...

By the way, we still have 97 participants. (Tell all your friends about this WikiProject, and have them join!)

Panoramas!

One cool feature of some of the geographical portals is a panoramic picture at the top of the intro section.

Check these out:

The Portals WikiGnome squadron is busy adding panoramas to geographical portals that don't yet have one. Feel free to join in on the fun. See task details at Wikipedia:WikiProject Portals#Add a panorama or skyline to a geographic portal.

Caveat: avoid super-huge pics, as they can cause portal scripts to time-out. Please try to keep picture size down below 2 megabytes. Thank you.

Auto-populated slideshows

Speaking of pictures...

We now have two slideshow templates. You may be familiar with {{Random slideshow}}, in which the editor types in (or copies/pastes) a list of pictures he or she wants it to display.

Well, now we have another template, courtesy of Evad37, which accepts one or more page names instead, and displays a random image off of the listed pages. So instead of listing dozens of files by hand, you can include a title or three to be scanned automatically. It even lets you specify particular sections.

The new slideshow template is {{Transclude files as random slideshow}}.

Here's a sample, that grabs images from a single page:

Selected motorcycle or motorcycling pictures

New Template:Box-header colour

Speaking of new templates, here's another one!

Also from Evad37, we have a new component for starting section boxes, that is color configurable, and that bypasses the need for box-header subpages altogether. It is {{Box-header colour}}.

For color support, see Web colors.

For the discussion in which this was inspired, see Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Portals/Tasks#Colour combinations for accessibility.

(In case you didn't notice, the slideshow box above uses this new template).

BTW, don't forget to close your box with {{Box-footer}}.

Where are we on the redesign?

The answer to this question is quite involved, and would fill this page to overflowing. Therefore, this subject, including a complete update on where we are at and where we are going with portal design, is covered at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Portals/Design.

Where are we on portal conversion?

An AWB pass to convert intros on the portals has been completed. The pass couldn't convert them all (due to various formatting configurations, etc.).

All but about 170 portals now have introductions selectively transcluded on the base page. Not counting manually maintained portals, that leaves about 70 portals that either need their intros converted, or they need an intro.

Next, we'll be converting the categories sections!

What's the plan, man?

The course of action we have been taking goes something like this, with all steps being pursued simultaeneously...

1) Design a one-page automated portal model

2) Convert existing portals to that design (except those being manually maintained)

3) Remove subpages no longer needed

4) Develop further tools to empower editors working on portals

Later, when the tools are up to the task, filling in the gaps in coverage (with new portals) will also become practical.

Are we caught up yet?

Probably not.

Who knows what our programmers and editors have dreamed up while I was writing this.

See ya again soon,    — The Transhumanist   11:04, 18 July 2018 (UTC)

Portals WikiProject update #014, 27 July 2018

Development of design continues, full speed ahead...

Excerpt slideshows are here!

Can you say "paradigm shift"?

Now, in addition to picture slideshows, we have slideshows that can display excerpts. Portals are not just for topic tasting anymore. Now they can be made useful for surveying Wikipedia's coverage of entire subjects. This gives a deeper meaning to their name. Hmmm. "Portals"... Doorways to knowledge.

Portal:Lithuania was redesigned using excerpt slideshows. Check it out.

For those of you who cannot wait to test out these new toys...

We have not one, but three excerpt slideshow components to pick from:

{{Transclude excerpts as random slideshow}}

For this one, you specify the page names where the excerpts are to be extracted from.

{{Transclude list item excerpts as random slideshow}}

This one accepts source pages from where the page names are gathered from list items. Then an excerpt from one of those pages is displayed. The selection of what is included in the slide show can be limited to a specific number from the collection (of the page names gathered), and that selection is renewed from scratch each time the page is purged.
For example, if you specify Template:World Heritage Sites in Spain as a source page, the slideshow will cycle through those sites. Now you don't have to type them in one-by-one. This greatly reduces portal creation time.

{{Transclude linked excerpts as random slideshow}}

Same as above, but gathers links instead of just linked list items.

Panoramic banners

{{Portal image banner}} displays a panoramic picture the width of the page, and adjusts its size, so it stays that way even if the user changes page view size. And it accepts multiple file names, so that the picture displayed randomizes between them each time the page is visited/purged.

Give resizing the page a try:

Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania.

You can now balance section boxes

Before:

Reptile types
Amphibian types

After:

Reptile types
Amphibian types

Notice how the box bottoms line up. That readjusts even if you click the slideshow buttons.

The template used for this is {{Flex columns}}.

By the way, when you include more than one box in a column, any left over whitespace in that column is divided between them.

Box-header colour

You may have noticed the new {{Box-header colour}} template used above. It lets you pick the color locally (right on the same page). Before, this was handled on a subpage somewhere.

Testing, testing

Now that we have lots of toys to play with for making cool portals...

Don't forget, that the majority of views of Wikipedia these days are from mobile devices. We need to make certain that portals display well on those. So, remember to check your work on portals in mobile view mode...

To see a portal in mobile view mode, insert a ".m" into a portal's url, after "en", like this:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portal:Reptile

If you discover problems in a portal you can't fix, report them on Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Portals/Design.

Until next time...

Have fun.    — The Transhumanist   00:55, 27 July 2018 (UTC)

Portals WikiProject update #015, 31 July 2018

Now that we have lots of toys to play with, it's play time!

Here are some fun activities to use our new toys on...

Fun activity #1: put the improved panorama template to use

Would you like to travel around the world? Well, this may be the next best thing...

Here's another fun toy to play with: {{Portal image banner}}

To see what it looks like, check out the panoramas at the tops of the following portals:

The task: There are many geography portals that lack panoramas. Please add some. Please keep the file size down below 2 megabytes, and keep in mind that you may find quality banners at commons: at less than 200K (.2 megabytes). Good search terms to include with the place name are "banner", "cityscape", "skyline", "panorama", "landscape", etc.

Related task: There are also lots of geography portals that have panoramas used as gaudy banners (with print or icons splattered across them) or that display them in some random location on the page. In many cases, those pages would be improved by displaying the panorama as a clean picture at the top of the intro section, like on the examples above. This works best with banner-like panoramas. Please fix such pages when you come across them, if you believe it would improve the look of the page.

Taller images might be better suited displayed further down the page, or in the "Selected images" section.

Note that {{Portal image banner}} supports multiple images, and displays one at random upon the first visit, and each time the page is purged.

Fun activity #2: install "Selected images" sections

That is, image slideshows!

Over 200 have been installed so far. Just 1200 to go. (Be sure not to install them on portals with active maintainers, unless they want you to).

The title "Selected images" reflects the fact that not all images on Wikipedia are pictures, and encompasses maps, graphs, diagrams, sketches, paintings, pictures, and so on.

The toys we have to work with for this are:

{{Random slideshow}}

and

{{Transclude files as random slideshow}}

The task: Using one of the above templates directly on a portal's base page, replace static "Selected picture" sections, with a section like one of these:

Selected images
Selected images

The one on the left uses {{Random slideshow}} (which accepts file names), and the one on the right uses {{Transclude files as random slideshow}} (which accepts source pages from which the filenames are gathered).

The above section formatting is used on many of the pages you will come across, but not all. In those cases, use whatever section formatting matches the rest of the page.

Note that you may come across "Selected picture" sections done with {{Random portal component}} templates. That template call is the entire section. Replace it with a section that matches the other sections on the page, and put the new slideshow inside that.

For example, in Portal:California, this code:

{{Random portal component|max=21|seed=27|header=Selected picture|subpage=Selected picture}}

was replaced with this code:

{{/box-header|Selected images|noedit=yes}}
{{Transclude files as random slideshow
| {{PAGENAME}}
| Culture of {{PAGENAME}}
}}
{{Box-footer}}

And the new section blended right in with the formatting of the rest of the page. Note the use of the {{PAGENAME}} magic word. Plain article titles also work. Don't feel limited to one or two page names. But be sure to test each slideshow before installing the next one. (Or if you prefer, in batches - just don't leave them hanging). Report technical problems at the Portal design talk page.

Fun activity #3: upgrade "Selected article" sections

These sections, where unmaintained, have gone stale. That's because 1) the excerpts are static, having been manually copied and pasted, and 2) because they lack automatic addition of new entries.

They can be upgraded with:

{{Transclude random excerpt}}

or

{{Transclude list item excerpt}}

or

{{Transclude linked excerpt}}

All three of these will provide excerpts that won't go stale. The latter two can provide excerpt collections that won't go stale, by providing new entries over time. The key is to select source pages or source sections that are frequently updated, such as root article sections, mainstream lists, or navigation templates.

Where will this put us?

When the above tasks are completed for the entire collection of portals (except the ones with specific maintainers), we'll be more than half-way done with the portal system upgrade.

Keep up the great work.    — The Transhumanist   19:04, 30 July 2018 (UTC)

Just wondering...

Dear Ancheta,

What is your assessment of the portal project so far?    — The Transhumanist   19:05, 30 July 2018 (UTC)

I am a little worried that you will burn out. You are doing a great job but the singularity may be protracted in coming. --Ancheta Wis   (talk | contribs) 19:35, 30 July 2018 (UTC)

Talk:1st Space Brigade

Hi Ancheta. Talk:1st Space Brigade was orphaned, but contained this text in case you need it somewhere else: "Citation ... Dottie White (July 17, 2018) 1st Space Brigade welcomes new commander". Sam Sailor 05:10, 31 July 2018 (UTC)

The indentation

Ancheta,

Indentation in some programming languages do not affect its functionality, but other programming languages like python are very dependent on it, because their functionality depends on it, it's not just a style, a preference, and that's why I think it should be a typing system. Whitespaces are also cosidered to be operators.

Read this - http://wordaligned.org/articles/space-sensitive-programming

Stan0033, The creator of C++ once mentioned using Whitespace as an operator, but as a joke. It's doable, but the thought is treated as a joke, not seriously. Ancheta Wis   (talk | contribs) 19:48, 4 August 2018 (UTC)

Administrators' newsletter – August 2018

News and updates for administrators from the past month (July 2018).

  Administrator changes

  Sro23
  KaisaLYmblanter

  Guideline and policy news

  • After a discussion at Meta, a new user group called "interface administrators" (formerly "technical administrator") has been created. Come the end of August, interface admins will be the only users able to edit site-wide JavaScript and CSS pages like MediaWiki:Common.js and MediaWiki:Common.css, or edit other user's personal JavaScript and CSS. The intention is to improve security and privacy by reducing the number of accounts which could be used to compromise the site or another user's account through malicious code. The new user group can be assigned and revoked by bureaucrats. Discussion is ongoing to establish details for implementing the group on the English Wikipedia.
  • Following a request for comment, the WP:SISTER style guideline now states that in the mainspace, interwiki links to Wikinews should only be made as per the external links guideline. This generally means that within the body of an article, you should not link to Wikinews about a particular event that is only a part of the larger topic. Wikinews links in "external links" sections can be used where helpful, but not automatically if an equivalent article from a reliable news outlet could be linked in the same manner.

  Technical news


Sent by MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 01:31, 5 August 2018 (UTC)

Portals WikiProject update #016, 15 Aug 2018

Future portal tool

Discussions are underway on the design of a portal tool (user script) that will hopefully have features for modifying portals at the click of a menu item, to make editing them easier. It might do things like change the color for you, add to a selection, add a new section, move a section, and so on.

If you'd like to be involved and suggest features for the tool, please join us at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Portals/Design#What would you want a portal tool to be able to do?.

Progress report: upgrade of portals

As new portal components are built by our Lua gurus, those components are being used to upgrade portals. Each component automates a section of a portal in a particular way.

The sections that are mostly upgraded so far are the Intro, and the Associated Wikimedia section.

The sections currently undergoing upgrade are: Selected image, Categories, and the Intro.

The Intro? Isn't that done already?

Yes, and no.

The upgrade of the excerpt in intros is mostly complete (there are about 70 non-standard portals that still need it).

Now we are doing another upgrade of intros in the form of adding a panoramic picture at the top of the intro, on portals for which such a picture is available on Commons:. Dozens of panoramas have been added so far, and they are really starting to affect the look of portals — the portals that have them look really good.

Regions are the most likely subjects to have panoramas, but a surprising number of other subjects have banner-shaped pictures too. Some examples of non-geographic portals that they have been added to are:

Speaking of pictures, several hundred Selected image sections have been upgraded to include image slideshows.

Progress report: design

The push for automation continues, with new components under continuous testing in the field. As problems are spotted, they are reported to our programmers, who have done a fantastic job of keeping up with bug reports and fixing the relevant Lua modules fast. I am highly impressed.

Construction time on new portals is now down to as little as a minute or less. Though not in general. If you are lucky enough to spot portals that fit the profile of the new tools (their strengths), then a portal can be complete almost as soon as it is created, with the added time it takes to find and add a panorama. Source page titles are not generally standardized, and so it source pages in many cases must be entered manually. Where source page titles follow a standard naming convention, portal creation for those subjects goes quickly.

So, we still have some hurdles, but the outlook on portals is very good. New features, and many improvements to features are on the horizon. I'll be sure to report them when they become available.

What will the portal of the future look like? That is up to you!

See you on the project's talk pages.

Sincerely,    — The Transhumanist   20:58, 15 August 2018 (UTC)

Portals WikiProject update #017, 22 Aug 2018

This issue is about portal creation...

Creating new portals

Myself and others have been testing and experimenting with the new components in upgrading existing portals and in building new portals. They have now been applied in hundreds of portals.

The templates are ready for general use for portal creation.

They are still a bit buggy, but the only way we are going to work the rest of the bugs out is by using them and reporting the bugs as we come across them.

I look forward to seeing what new portals you create!

Be sure to report bugs at WT:WPPORTD.

The main portal creation template is {{box portal skeleton}}.

Portal creation tips

After starting a portal using {{box portal skeleton}}...

  1. Placing a panorama (banner picture) at the top of the intro section is a nice touch, and really makes a portal look good. {{box portal skeleton}} doesn't automatically insert panoramas. So, you will need to do that by hand. They can be found at Commons:. For some examples, check out Portal:Sharks, Portal:Cheese, and Portal:Florence
  2. The search term provided in the Did you know? and In the news sections is very basic and rarely matches anything. It is best to replace that term with multiple search arguments, if possible (separate each argument with a pipe character). For example, in Portal:Capital punishment, see https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Portal:Capital_punishment&diff=855255361&oldid=855137403 Searches in templates use Lua search notation.
  3. Check the In the news and Did you know? sections for mismatches. That is, sometimes entries come up that shouldn't be displayed. If there are any, refine the search strings further, so they don't return such results.
  4. Finish each portal you've created before creating a new one. We don't want unfinished portals sitting around.

Need a laugh?

Check out the Did you know? section on Portal:Determinism.    — The Transhumanist   02:42, 22 August 2018 (UTC)

Administrators' newsletter – September 2018

News and updates for administrators from the past month (August 2018).

  Administrator changes

  None
  AsterionCrisco 1492KFKudpungLizRandykittySpartaz
  Optimist on the runVoice of Clam

  Interface administrator changes

  AmorymeltzerMr. StradivariusMusikAnimalMSGJTheDJXaosflux

  Guideline and policy news

  • Following a "stop-gap" discussion, six users have temporarily been made interface administrators while discussion is ongoing for a more permanent process for assigning the permission. Interface administrators are now the only editors allowed to edit sitewide CSS and JavaScript pages, as well as CSS/JS pages in another user's userspace. Previously, all administrators had this ability. The right can be granted and revoked by bureaucrats.

  Technical news

  • Because of a data centre test you will be able to read but not edit the wikis for up to an hour on 12 September and 10 October. This will start at 14:00 (UTC). You might lose edits if you try to save during this time. The time when you can't edit might be shorter than an hour.
  • Some abuse filter variables have changed. They are now easier to understand for non-experts. The old variables will still work but filter editors are encouraged to replace them with the new ones. You can find the list of changed variables on mediawiki.org. They have a note which says Deprecated. Use ... instead. An example is article_text which is now page_title.
  • Abuse filters can now use how old a page is. The variable is page_age.

  Arbitration

  • The Arbitration Committee has resolved to perform a round of Checkuser and Oversight appointments. The usernames of all applicants will be shared with the Functionaries team, and they will be requested to assist in the vetting process. The deadline to submit an application is 23:59 UTC, 12 September, and the candidates that move forward will be published on-wiki for community comments on 18 September.

Sent by MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 23:22, 2 September 2018 (UTC)

Portals WikiProject update #018, 04 Sept 2018

Bug hunt!

As you know, portals are now supported by a number of new templates, which are in turn supported by some new Lua modules.

Those templates and modules are being put to the test, in the new portals that have been created since this WikiProject rebooted, plus a number of existing portals that have been revamped.

The new portals, and revamped ones, can be found at Category:Single-page portals.

Please browse the new portals at your leisure, and report any and all problems that you spot. Post bug and other portal problem reports at WT:WPPORTD. Please report bugs, quirks, awkward aspects, or anything weird or off that you notice. Compliments and suggestions are also welcome. :)

When you report a bug, please indicate the portal's name, the section that the problem appeared in, and the name of the article appearing (first) in the section with the problem. Most problems will likely be encountered in the Selected general articles" section, due to quirks in a displayed article's wikicode that the lua modules don't handle yet. Your help in spotting those is of utmost value. Thank you.

Don't delete portal subpages just yet

For portals that have been converted to the single-page design, we are not deleting their subpages at this time, because we are working on ways to harvest the data from those pages. For example, the Selected picture subpages include filenames and captions that would be valuable for the image slideshows. Please don't delete portal subpages, for now. They'll be slated for d-batch speedy deletion after harvesting. Thank you.

Development notes

We are currently testing a feature added to {{Transclude files as random slideshow}} that allows it to accept both sourcepages and filenames. Courtesy of Evad37. This will pave the way for harvesting files and their captions from portal subpages, for use in image slideshows.

We need your help

The bulk of the work is being done by a handful of editors. But we can't do it all. We need help with spotting bugs, refining the search parameters in new/revamped portals (in the "Did you know..." and "In the news" sections), adding images to slideshows for a broader selection (they default to showing the images on the root article page but are capable of showing so much more), adding panoramic pictures at the top of the intro section of region portals (cities, counties, states, provinces, countries, continents, and other regions), to name but a few task types.

It is rewarding to be a part of the growing portal phenomenon. And you get to see its expansion and refinement up close.

Feel free to join in on the fun. ;)

Thank you,    — The Transhumanist   06:36, 4 September 2018 (UTC)

File:Buddha - Portable shrine in Lacquer case.jpg needs authorship information

Dear uploader:

The media file you uploaded as File:Buddha - Portable shrine in Lacquer case.jpg appears to be missing information as to one (or more) of the following :

  1. The author or creators of the work, (including information as to the author's lifespan).
  2. Where and how this particular version was obtained.
  3. When the work was created,

If you did provide such information, it is currently confusing for others trying to make use of the image.

It would be appreciated if you would consider updating the file description page, to make the authorship of the media clearer.

Although some images may not need author information in obvious cases, (such where an applicable source is provided), authorship information aids users of the image, and helps ensure that appropriate credit is given (a requirement of some licenses).

  • If you created this media yourself, please consider explicitly including your user name, for which: {{subst:usernameexpand|Ancheta Wis/Archive 6}} will produce an appropriate expansion,
    or use the {{own}} template.

Please also add authorship and sourcing to other files you created or uplopaded. You can find a list of files you have created in your upload log.


If you have any questions please see Help:File page. Thank you. ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 10:25, 12 September 2018 (UTC)

ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 10:25, 12 September 2018 (UTC)

Please claim your upload(s): File:Mural,PostalWorkersSortingMail.jpg

Hi, This media was seemingly uploaded prior to current image polices,

However, due to changes in the copyright situation in some jurisdictions, there is a need to ensure media on English Wikipedia is correctly licensed and attributed. It would be appreciated if you were able to confirm that it was your own work, by marking it as {{own}}, Fully completeing the {{information}} block, and leaving an acknowledgement on the file description page to indicate that you've accepted the license shown (and updated the {{information}} accordingly. If you have other uploads, please consider "claiming" them in a similar manner, You can find a list of files you have created here.

If the {{img-unclaimed}} tag is present, please update it to {{img-claimed}} if you have carried out the steps noted above.
If the {{Media by uploader}} tag is present, please add |claimed=yes to the tag, if you have carried out the steps noted above.

If you don't want to keep your media on English Wikipedia, please nominate it for deletion under Criteria G7 of the Criteria for Speedy deletion ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 13:47, 13 September 2018 (UTC)

ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 13:32, 20 September 2018 (UTC)

Disambiguation link notification for September 21

An automated process has detected that when you recently edited Reorganization plan of United States Army, you added a link pointing to the disambiguation page AMC (check to confirm | fix with Dab solver).

(Opt-out instructions.) --DPL bot (talk) 09:20, 21 September 2018 (UTC)

Portals WikiProject update #019, 22 Sept 2018

Portals progress report

Don't blink. You might miss something.

As of a few days ago, portals had doubled in about a month and a half.

Also, there were 98 incompleted portals in Category:Portals under construction. Now there are just 43.

The WikiProject page has been thoroughly revised

The goals, plans, and task sections have all been updated.

Orphaned portals need a home...

Many new portals are still orphans, and need links pointing to them:

  1. A portal link at the bottom of corresponding navigation footer template. E.g., Template:Machines for Portal:Machines. See examples of a portals link at the bottom of Template:Robotics and Template:Forestry.
  2. A {{Portal}} box in the See also section of the corresponding root article for each portal. If there is no See also section, create one and place the portal template in that. (Rather than placing them in an external links section -- they're not external links).
  3. A {{Portal}} template placed at the top of the category page corresponding to each portal.

All new and revamped portals can be found at Category:Single-page portals.

Portal:Contents/Portals

This is the main list of portals.

Nearly 2,000 of the new portals need to be listed here.

They can be found at Portal talk:Contents/Portals#These are not listed yet. Instructions are included there.

Customized Portal Rating system is now in place

Portals now have a new rating system of their own designed specifically to support portal evaluation! We were trying to use the standard assessment system for articles, but that doesn't fit portals very well.

Many thanks to Evad37, Waggers, AfroThundr3007730, SMcCandlish, Tom, BrendonTheWizard, and Pbsouthwood for their work and input on this.

The new system can be found at the top of all portal talk pages, in the WikiProject portals box. Those with "???" ratings need to be assessed, which makes up most of the older portals.

Most of the new portals were started out with an initial "Low" level of importance when their talk pages were created. Those deserving higher importance should be promoted as you come across them.

Improving the new portals

The starting point for new portals included minimal parameters and content, in the form of default values in the template(s) used for their creation.

Embellishing embedded search strings

So, for the search strings in the "Did you know..." and "In the news" sections, this was the magic word {{PAGENAME}}, which represents the portal's name. Unfortunately, the resulting term is alway capitalized, which limits its effectiveness as a search string for anything but proper nouns. Results for those two sections can be improved, by replacing the "PAGENAME" magic word with multiple search strings, and search strings that begin with lower case letters. There is no inherent limit as to how many search parameters may be included. Lua search notation is used. The more general the subject, the more subtopic search terms you may want to include. For example, on Portal:Avengers (comics), {{PAGENAME}} turned up nothing. But, when more parameters were added, as in the wikicode below...

{{Transclude selected recent additions | {{PAGENAME}} | Iron Man | Spiderman | Antman | Hawkeye | The Hulk | Incredible Hulk | David Banner | Captain America | Scarlet Witch | Black Widow | Tony Stark | Nick Fury | Age of Ultron | Infinity War | months=36 | header={{Box-header colour|Did you know... }}|max=6}}

... that returned several results in the portal's DYK section.

Be sure you make the improvements to both the DYK section and the "In the news" section, as they both require the search strings.

Expanding the slideshow contents

The default starting selection for the image slideshow in most new portals is whatever images happen to be in the corresponding root article (via the PAGENAME magic word). You can improve image slideshows by adding more sourcepages and filenames as parameters in the "Selected images" section of portals.

See Template:Transclude files as random slideshow/doc for instructions.

More exciting things are to come...

Portals used to take about 6 hours or more to create. Now, for subjects that have particular navigation support, we've got that down to about one minute each, with even more content displayed than ever. True, that means the new portals pick you, rather than the other way around. Creating a specific portal that doesn't happen to have the requisite navigation support is still pretty time consuming. But, we are working on extending our reach beyond the low-hanging fruit.

And efforts are ongoing to keep shaving time off of the creation process. Eventually, we may get it down to seconds each.

In addition to improving automation, we're always looking for new features and improvements that we can add to portals, and there is plenty of potential to expand on the standard design so that new portals are even better right out of the starting gate. Additional designs are also possible.

On the horizon, there are many more portals waiting to be created. And we can expect to see at least a few more section types emerge. I never expected slideshows, for example, especially not for excerpts. Who knows where innovation will take us next?

Keep up the great work everyone.

Sincerely,    — The Transhumanist   07:02, 23 September 2018 (UTC)

Administrators' newsletter – October 2018

News and updates for administrators from the past month (September 2018).

  Administrator changes

  JustlettersandnumbersL235
  BgwhiteHorsePunchKidJ GrebKillerChihuahuaRami RWinhunter

  Interface administrator changes

  Cyberpower678Deryck ChanOshwahPharosRagesossRitchie333

  Oversight changes

  Guerillero NativeForeigner SnowolfXeno

  Guideline and policy news

  Technical news

  • Partial blocks should be available for testing in October on the Test Wikipedia and the Beta-Cluster. This new feature allows admins to block users from editing specific pages and in the near-future, namespaces and uploading files. You can expect more updates and an invitation to help with testing once it is available.
  • The Foundations' Anti-Harassment Tools team is currently looking for input on how to measure the effectiveness of blocks. This is in particular related to how they will measure the success of the aforementioned partial blocks.
  • Because of a data centre test, you will be able to read but not edit the Wikimedia projects for up to an hour on 10 October. This will start at 14:00 (UTC). You might lose edits if you try to save during this time.

  Arbitration

  • The Arbitration Committee has, by motion, amended the procedure on functionary inactivity.
  • The community consultation for 2018 CheckUser and Oversight appointments has concluded. Appointments will be made by October 11.
  • Following a request for comment, the size of the Arbitration Committee will be decreased to 13 arbitrators, starting in 2019. Additionally, the minimum support percentage required to be appointed to a two-year term on ArbCom has been increased to 60%. ArbCom candidates who receive between 50% and 60% support will be appointed to one-year terms instead.
  • Nominations for the 2018 Arbitration Committee Electoral Commission are being accepted until 12 October. These are the editors who help run the ArbCom election smoothly. If you are interested in volunteering for this role, please consider nominating yourself.

Sent by MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 20:12, 5 October 2018 (UTC)

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Portals WikiProject update #020, 12 Oct 2018

Whew, a lot has been happening.

A bit of defending of the portals has been needed. But, most activity recently has been directed upon maintenance and development of existing portals.

The majority of portals now use the new design, about 2400 of them, leaving around 1200 portals that still employ the old style.

Newest portals

Please inspect these portals, and report problems or suggest improvements at WT:WPPORTD. Thank you.

MfDs

Since the last issue of this newsletter, Nineteen portals were nominated for deletion. All posted by the same person.

Two portals were deleted.

One resolved as "no consensus".

Sixteen resolved as "keep".

Links to the archived discussions are provided below:

  1. Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Air France
  2. Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Alexander Korda
  3. Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:August Derleth
  4. Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Average White Band
  5. Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Bee-eaters
  6. Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Ben E. King
  7. Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Benny Goodman
  8. Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Bill Bryson
  9. Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Billy Idol
  10. Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Billy Ocean
  11. Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Bob Hope
  12. Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Bobbie Rosenfeld Award
  13. Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Body piercing
  14. Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Canton, Michigan
  15. Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Compostela Group of Universities
  16. Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Diplo
  17. Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Diversity of fish
  18. Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Pebble Beach
  19. Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Peter, Paul and Mary

Many thanks to those who participated in the discussions.

To watch for future MfD's, keep in mind that the Portals WikiProject is supported by automatic alerts. You can see them at: Wikipedia:WikiProject Portals#Article alerts: portals for deletion at MfD

Creation criteria

There was also some discussion of creation criteria for portals. The result was that one of the participants in the discussion reverted the portal guidelines to the old version, which has the minimum number of articles for a portal included in there: "about 20 articles", a guideline that was in place since 2009.

Many of the portals that existed prior to April 2018 do not have that many (being limited to however many subpages the portal creator created), and therefore, these portals need to be upgraded to the new design (which automatically provides many articles for display). Using the new design, exceeding 20 articles for display is very easy.

Linking to the new portals

Efforts have been underway to place links to new portals (all 2200 of them created since April).

  1. Link (portal button) from corresponding category pages.   Done
  2. Link from See also section on corresponding root articles.   Partially implemented
  3. Link from bottom of corresponding templates.   Partially implemented
  4. Link for each portal on Portal:Contents/Portals.   Partially implemented

Your help is needed. It is easy to access the page mentioned in #1, #2, & #3 from the portals themselves.

AWBers could do these tasks even faster (that's how the category pages were done), except #4...

Item #4 above pretty much has to be done by hand. (If you can find a way to speed that up, I would be very impressed). The links needing placement can be found at Portal talk:Contents/Portals#These are not listed yet. Instructions are included there.

The conversion effort: news sections

There are still around 1200 old-style portals that have only undergone partial conversion to the new design concepts, still relying on subpages with copied/pasted excerpts that have been going stale for years, out of date (manually posted) news entries, etc.

The section currently being tackled on these is news. You can help by deleting any news section on the old-style portals that has news entries that are years old (that is the dead giveaway to a manual news section). Be sure not to delete the news sections of portals that have up-to-date news, or active maintainers. For maintainers, look at the portal's categories, and/or check the participants list at WP:WPPORT.

Eventually, conditional news sections (that appear only when news items are available for display) will be added using AWB to all portals without a news section.

News items (and even the news sections themselves) are automatically generated for portals that were created using the Basic portal start page. On those portals, there is a hidden comment at the top of the page (that you can see in the edit window), that says this:

<!-- This portal was created using subst:Basic portal start page -->

Design development

Presently, we are in the process of implementing the new design features, creating new portals with them, and installing them in existing portals.

But, what about development of new new design features?

We have a wish department.

Post your wishes at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Portals/Design#Discussions about possible cool new features, and they might come true. Many have already, and for many of those, this is where they were posted.

Cascade effect

A resource that has been elusive so far will be obtained eventually: categories. That is, the ability to pull category member links to populate a page.

Rather than populate portals directly with such links, it may be more beneficial to the encyclopedia to utilize them in navigation footers, because portals already have the ability to generate themselves based on those.

So, this would create a cascade effect: auto-gathering entries from categories, would enable the construction of new navigation footers, that would in turn support the development of new portals.

The cascade effect would also be felt by existing portals, as existing navigation footers could be expanded using the category harvesting methods, which would in turn expand the coverage of portals that access those navigation footers.

You can help by providing leads about any potential category harvesting methods. Please report anything you know about harvesting categories at WT:WPPORTD. Thank you.

Looking into the future: the quantum portal?

One idea that has been floating around is the concept of a pageless portal. That is, a portal that isn't stored anywhere, instead being generated when you click on a menu item or button.

Many of the new portals were generated by a single click, and then saved via a second click.

Therefore, it seems likely that the portals of the future will employ the one-click concept.

Because of the need for customization by users, this concept would need to be augmented with a way to integrate user contributions. This could be done in at least two ways: posting an existing portal, autogenerating one from scratch if such does not yet exist, or have a special data page for user contributions that is folded into the auto-generated portal.

How soon? That is up to you. All that is needed are persons to implement it.

Until next time...

Keep up the good work on portals. They are improving daily. Thank you.    — The Transhumanist   04:15, 12 October 2018 (UTC)

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