1020304050575859606162636465Archive 666768697071


Tech News: 2018-28

23:09, 9 July 2018 (UTC)

Portals WikiProject update #011, 10 July 2018

We now have 97 participants.

Be sure to welcome our newest members, BrantleyIzMe, Coffeeandcrumbs, and Nolan Perry, with warm regards.

Work is proceeding apace. We have 2 major thrusts right now: converting the intro sections of portals, and building the components of the one-page automated model...

Converting the intro sections

We need everybody, except those building software components, to work on converting intros. If you have AWB, definitely use that. If not, then work on them manually. Even one a day, or as often as you can muster, will help a lot. There are only about 1,000 of them left to go, so if everyone chips in, it will go pretty quickly. Remember, there are 97 of us!

The intros for most of the portals starting with A through F have already been converted to use the {{Transclude lead excerpt}} template.

The standard wikicode for the automated intro that we want to put into place looks like this:

{{/box-header|Introduction|noedit=yes|}}
{{Transclude lead excerpt | {{PAGENAME}} | paragraphs=1-2 | files=1}}
{{Box-footer|[[{{PAGENAME}}|Read more...]]}}

That works for most portals, but not all. For some portals it requires some tweaking, and for others, we may have to use a different or more customized approach. Remember to visually inspect each portal you work on and make sure that it works before moving on to the next one.

Be sure to skip user-maintained portals. They are listed at Wikipedia:WikiProject_Portals#Specific_portal_maintainers.

AWB tips

I've started an AWB tips page, for those of you feeling a bit overwhelmed by that power user tool. Feel free to add to it and/or improve it.

Portal automation

We have some very talented Lua programmers, who are pushing the limits of what we can do in gathering data from Wikipedia's various namespaces and presenting it in portals. Due to their efforts, Lua is powering the selective transclusion core of our emerging automated portal design, in the form of selected article sections that rotate content, and slideshows.

To go beyond Lua's limits, to take full advantage of Mediawiki's API, we are in the midst of adding another programming language to the resources we shall be making use of: JavaScript. The ways that JavaScript can help us edit portals to boost the power of our Lua solutions, are being explored, which will likely make the two languages synergistic if not symbiotic. Research is under way on how we can use JavaScript to make some of the portal semi-automated features fully automatically self-updating, in ways that Lua cannot. Like gathering random members from a category and inserting them into a portal's templates as parameters. Once the parameters are in place, Lua does the rest.

If you would like to get involved with design efforts, or just keep up on them, see Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Portals/Design.

When should we start building new portals?

Well, not at the present time, because building portals is quite time consuming. The good news is that we are working on a design that will be fully automated, or as close to that as we can get. And the new design is being implemented in the portal department's main portal creation template. This means, that not only will portals update themselves, their creation will be highly automated as well. That's the nature of templates. You put them in place, and they just... work.

What I'm getting at here, is that it would be better to wait to build lots of new portals until after the new design is completed. Because with it, instead of taking hours to create a new portal, it will likely take minutes.

That does not mean we should be idle in the meantime. The main reason most of us are here is because it became apparent that portals were largely unmaintained and had grown out-of-date. This had become so apparent that a proposal was made to delete all the portals and the portal namespace to boot. That makes our main objective in the short term to improve all the existing portals so that the community will want to keep them—forever.

Building lots of new portals comes later. Let's fix up the ones we have first. ;)

And on that note, I bid you adieu. Until next newsletter, see ya 'round the WikiProject.    — The Transhumanist   12:31, 10 July 2018 (UTC)

Portals WikiProject update #012, 15 July 2018

We have 97 participants.

Getting faster

Automation makes things go faster, even portal creation. One of the components Certes made was {{Transclude list item excerpt}}. I became curious about its possible applications.

So I worked out a portal design using it, the initial prototypes being Portal:Kyoto (without a "Selected pictures" section), and Portal:Dubai (with a "Selected pictures" section). Then I used Portal:Dubai as the basis for further portals of this type...

I was able to revamp Portal:Munich from start to finish in less than 22 minutes.
Portal:Dresden took about 19 minutes.
Portal:Athens took less than 17 minutes.
Did Portal:Florence in about 13 minutes.
Portal:Stockholm also in about 13.
Portal:Palermo approx. 12 minutes.

Why?

To see, and to show, what may become feasible via automation.

It now looks highly feasible that we could get portal construction time down to a few minutes, or maybe even down to a few seconds.

The singularity is just around the corner. :)

Slideshows

When using the {{Random slideshow}} template to display pictures, be sure to use the plural tense in the section title: "Selected pictures". That's because slideshows don't show up on many mobile devices. Instead the whole set of pictures is shown, hence the section title "Selected pictures", as it fits both situations.

In case you are curious, here is a list of the portals so far that have a slideshow:

Progress on intro conversions

The intros for most of the portals up through the letter "O" have been converted, using this wikicode:

{{/box-header|Introduction|noedit=yes|}}
{{Transclude lead excerpt | {{PAGENAME}} | paragraphs=1-2 | files=1}}
{{Box-footer|[[{{PAGENAME}}|Read more...]]}}

Where the pagename didn't match the article title for the subject, the title was typed in.

Most of the portals that do not contain {{/intro}} or {{{{FULLPGENAME}}/Intro}} have not yet been processed.

About a thousand portals use the method of selective transclusion for the intro section. That's about two-thirds. That means we have one-third of the way to go on the intro section conversions.

Much more to come...

So much has been happening with portals that I can't keep up with it. (That's good). Which means, more in the upcoming issue. Until then, see ya 'round the project. Sincerely,    — The Transhumanist   08:45, 15 July 2018 (UTC)

Tech News: 2018-29

16:00, 16 July 2018 (UTC)

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   11:07, 18 July 2018 (UTC)

Michael Hector

Fair enough. The club is called Eintracht, however, not "Frankfurt". Frankfurt is a different club and currently plays in the fourth-tier regional league -> FSV Frankfurt. -- esse quam videri - to be rather than to seem (talk) 00:12, 23 July 2018 (UTC)

Tech News: 2018-30

09:44, 24 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
Selected amphibian type

After:

Reptile types
Selected amphibian type

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   00:25, 27 July 2018 (UTC)

Tech News: 2018-31

14:05, 30 July 2018 (UTC)

Portals tasks requests: presented in the newsletter below...

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   19:12, 30 July 2018 (UTC)

WikiProject Yorkshire Newsletter - August 2018

Delivered August 2018 by MediaWiki message delivery.
If you do not wish to receive the newsletter, please add an N to the column against your username on the Project Mainpage.

11:55, 1 August 2018 (UTC)

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