UESPWiki:Archive/CP Book Formatting

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Book Formatting

One idea that has bounced around at various times is to have a different, more "book-like" appearance for the various books collected on the site. I've done some experimenting this evening and found out that it would actually be fairly straightforward to implement some different CSS formatting commands specifically for books. An example of what might be possible is shown at Lore:King (you will probably need to do a hard refresh (Ctrl-F5) to see the new format). What has been done so far includes:

  • Indented paragraphs, without any extra vertical spacing between paragraphs: more similar to a printed book.
  • A serif font (instead of the standard sans-serif font used elsewhere): make the book text stand out more clearly as different (would also help to allow the actual text of the book to stand out more clearly from any notes or other additions).
  • A larger font: similar reasons to the serif font choice.
  • Margins on the left and right side of the text: again, differentiate book from standard text.

One of the key parts of this idea is to have indented paragraphs. Note that there are a fair number of books (in particular books imported from the old site) that already have indented paragraphs, for example Lore:A History of Daggerfall. However, the way it's being implemented right now is, well, somewhat ugly ;) The indents are being manually added using a series of   tags. This is very prone to errors and difficult to maintain.

What I'm proposing instead is to have a centrally defined format. If we want to later tweak some aspect of the format, all that's required is for an admin to change the CSS settings in a single place. Once implemented, all books will be consistent in appearance. The easiest way to implement this new format would be to add it to the Book Summary template used on every book page. Some additional details would be:

  • On pages with |Note=Yes, the book format would be skipped by default.
  • The Template:Book Footer template would turn off the book formatting.
  • A new template would be created ([[Template:Non Book]]?) which could be used to turn off the book formatting for any other sections of the page (i.e., for introductory editorial notes, etc.)

For those interested in the technical details, this would be implemented by adding a <div class=book> tag at the end of the Book Summary template. This would be an unpaired HTML tag and therefore would apply to the rest of the page. On most book pages the templates will not actually add a closing </div> tag. But the wiki software is good enough to notice that problem, and automatically adds the </div> after the end of page content, so as far as I can tell the HTML code ends up being fully legitimate and we shouldn't get complaints from any browsers.

If everyone else likes the idea, turning on the book format for all the pages on the site will be trivial. Some followup editing will be needed, however:

  • Some books are using <br> tags to create paragraphs. This new format relies upon paragraphs really being paragraphs (using the HTML <p> tag). The wiki automatically creates HTML paragraphs... but only when the paragraphs are separated by a blank link. Bottom line: <br> tags need to be eliminated from all book pages.
  • Introductory (or other comments) on pages will need to be enclosed in the new Non_Book template
  • &nbsp; indents will need to be deleted.

Some of these tasks are ones that already need to be done (i.e., the existing task about UESPWiki:Task List/Books Needing Formatting), so this proposal isn't really adding a ton of new work. And the book pages will still be functional if the followup doesn't get done right away; they just won't be completely taking advantage of the new format yet.

Thoughts, feedback? --NepheleTalk 02:13, 19 November 2007 (EST)

It looks great and will definitely make the books easier to format. As an extra bonus point, this would be a good opportunity to do some wikification of books too if people are already editing them. --RpehTCE 02:39, 19 November 2007 (EST)
The example certainly looks very good. --Mankar CamoranTCE 09:09, 19 November 2007 (EST)
Update: turns out it won't be so simple :| I'm hitting the same problem Lurlock was facing with the familytree templates: the wiki software is setup to invisibly close all html tags on a per-template level, rather than at a per-page level. So if I enter <div class=book> directly onto a page, it works, because it doesn't try to close the tag until the end of the page. If I put the same code into a template it forces the </div> tag to be invisibly placed at the end of the template, i.e., before the page contents even start.
It's behaviour that can be altered based on wiki settings, specifically using a $wgUseTidy parameter. On Wikipedia, the settings don't force html tags to be closed on a per-template level. Whether they would still be closed on a per-page level, I'm not sure. From what I can figure out at pages like this, we probably have $wgUseTidy=False right now, which means that the wiki's builtin functions try to do html cleanup on a per-template basis, and therefore don't do a great job. With $wgUseTidy=True it seems that a more complex program, Tidy, is used to do the html cleanup, and that program is called at a per-page level rather than a per-template level.
Given that we now have two applications that need $wgUseTidy to be set to true, I think it might be worth looking into getting that change made. --NepheleTalk 17:55, 3 December 2007 (EST)

Resuscitation time! Tidy has been installed; the div code has been added to the Book Summary template; all of the book pages now have book formatting. However, there is a lot of tweaking that is going to be needed. In particular, pages with introductory notes need to be modified so that the note is not book-formatted. My thought is that only the text that is quoted verbatim from the game should be book-formatted; any additional information on the page should in standard wiki format, helping readers to more easily distinguish wiki information from the original information. So far I've set up Biography of Queen Barenziah as an example (including all of the individual volumes). For comparison, The Real Barenziah has not been done.

It took me a few tries to get the code to all interact properly, in particular for a complex case such the Barenziah example, e.g., a multi-volume book included in multiple games. But I've now worked it out so that only the Tamriel versions of the books should need updating. If everyone is happy with the way the examples look, then I can put together the details of what needs to be done to get the rest of the books tweaked.

Oh, and one more detail. I originally was thinking of turning off book formatting on notes, e.g. book summaries where |Note=yes. Now I'm leaning towards using it everywhere, in keeping with the idea of using book formatting to differentiate text that has been copied directly from the game. --NepheleTalk 02:15, 24 February 2008 (EST)

User Page Warnings

A discussion of when and how warnings should be added to and removed from user and/or user talk pages. Much of the discussion is focussed on the warning on Aristeo's user page.

Because of its length (11 printed pages at this time), this discussion has been moved to Community_Portal/User_Page_Warnings. --Wrye 15:29, 2 December 2007 (EST)