Forum:Nobility template on every world page

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Forums: Index > Watercooler > Nobility template on every world page

This was copied from Talk:Akigir (world) to ensure a wider public discussion.

Thomas, the nobility box is duplicated by what you do (Advanced URL & data data statistics for T5SS), but it is important for Wayne and others so they can enter in extra nobility data.
Is it possible for you to not delete this information or for all of us, as in the wiki team, to discuss it?
Seriously, not my pet peeve, designed and implemented for others... including by Marc's request as part of future nobility plans.
- Maksim-Smelchak (talk) 18:14, 20 May 2017 (EDT)

The respect for the content and layout of articles goes both ways. I assert that if Wayne or any of the other wiki editors wanted to add content to an article, they are fully capable of adding the correct headers at this same time. And that the Manual of Style/world exists for this exact reason.
I am also strongly of the belief that the Template: Imperial Nobility, Template: Starport, Template: World Tech, and Template: WorldGov should not be added to every single world article. I'm even thinking about replacing the Imperial Nobility template in the StellarDataQuery.
There should instead be longer, more comprehensive, articles on each of the settings for these template values, with links from the world articles. These links should be both from the UWP and StellarDataQuery templates (i.e. in the infobox) and in the main article text; either from the header information or the other article information or both.
Finally, based upon my review of the changes I made the Akigir article, I would say the removal of the Imperial Nobility template and the header was accidental, not intentional. So thank you for having a discussion about these changes. Let's work some more on what the correct and appropriate layout for these articles should be. Tjoneslo (talk) 16:51, 21 May 2017 (EDT)

Maybe I am getting ready to show my age here, ages ago the conservation of space was at a premium (data-space in your RAM as well as transfer speed through your MODEM) due to the high cost of those micro-circuits. These days RAM and such are ridiculously inexpensive. The limitations of RAM and transfer speeds appear to have been pushed to the far back burner. But why should we burden those highways and parking lots with all the traffic?
That being said, I still see no reason to duplicate information on the same page, or copy info from one page to the next without elaboration. Take the entry on the starport, you can get that – as well as comparisons from one to the other – on the starport page; I see no need to copy (ok, “template” it) onto the world page. The same can be said for Template: Imperial Nobility, Template: World Tech, and Template: WorldGov unless there is a level of detail unique to that world to make it different enough to detail.
At that point, the template in use is really irrelevant, because you no longer have a tech level 9 world, but a tech level 9 (interstellar travel) and tech level 16 genetic engineering entry….. a rather unique entry that precludes the template style.
- Ssteve (talk) 10:26, 22 May 2017 (EDT)

How many of you have memorized the entire sequence? Marc Miller hasn't. Rob Eaglestone hasn't.
We make it easy for new people to get into the hobby by making it easy for them to understand. It's worth the effort and it costs next to nothing in terms of space. And I am one of the only one that takes the effort to do it so it's nothing to you.
Plus the new authors use those categories and details to help them develop content. MJD does. So do many others. It's meaningful.
I am fine if all of you don't want to do it, but my newbies as in 20-year-old players need it. Convention game masters write me all the time to tell me how much it's a great touch.
Let's not be stuck in the old ways. Put yourself in their shoes. I want a new and growing audience, not just old guys quibbling about silly minor details on an old-fashioned forum that almost no one reads.
- Maksim-Smelchak (talk) 19:00, 22 May 2017 (EDT)

I know for sure that I don't have the UWP sequence in my memory (you know that there is only so much space), but the nice thing about this wiki is that when you hover over the UWP in the info-box you get that information.Ssteve (talk) 13:48, 23 May 2017 (EDT)

The issue here is who we feel the audience of the wiki should be. And the design therefrom. The wiki is not designed for Traveller authors. It says so on the front page. You wanted to put that as a headline at the top of the page.
The wiki was not designed to be used as handouts for games. If you think that's a good idea, let's discuss it further. There are several things we can do to make sure the lengthy(er) pages to be printed and given to players include all appropriate information.
The reductio ad absurdum argument for having to include everything is annoying and not what either of us have said. We both want a much smaller version of the existing text with links to the much longer and detailed articles. We want the reminders that Government type 5 really is Feudal Technocracy.
The main issue I have with the template generated wall of text, and I'm assuming you will want to add more, is it hides the content of the article. The content, the parts that are unique and interesting about the worlds are now buried under all the template generated text. Tjoneslo (talk) 07:08, 23 May 2017 (EDT)

I think Tjoneslo hit the nail on the head here; I also believe that the template generated text hides what is of value, the uniqueness for that particular entry in the wiki.Ssteve (talk) 13:48, 23 May 2017 (EDT)

I respectfully disagree with some of the things you are incorrectly attributing to me.
Who do you think the audience should be?
I think that the statistics data does just as much to hide the content using that argument and it's distinctly not user-friendly.
- Maksim-Smelchak (talk) 07:16, 23 May 2017 (EDT)

For what it's worth, here is my Cr1...
When I started running my game 2 years ago, I found that keeping track of all the details about the UWP of each system and what they meant, well, impossible. Whenever my players arrived at a new system I had to look up the :details of the UWP in the book and decide how they would be received, what they would be allowed to carry, if there was a highport or not, etc. So I decided to make a spreadsheet where I could look up the info. The end result :was something that I can select a sector, then a system and it will give my about a 1/2 page of data that outlines, with details, the UWP, trade codes, nobility codes, PGB, base codes, etc. I find this immensely useful :information to have at my fingertips.
Looking at the page that started this discussion, I honestly see nothing wrong with it. The details of the UWP are at the bottom of the page, where they do not distract, hide, or take away from any other info. Personally, I would put them in a nice neat table and make them their own section of the page, but that is just my personal aesthetics. My point is that the information being on the World page does have value and that as long as it doesn't interfere with other information, what is the harm? Keeping it under the fold, as they say in the newspaper world, means that it will never be the first thing you see when you go to a world page.

--Rich aka DickNervous (talk) 21:12, 23 May 2017 (EDT)

It seems like we’re talking about length of the page and the use of space, repetitive blocks of header content with no useful info mixed in the layout as an enticement for content development, general scannability, sticking to design convention, and who the “user” is. In my humble opinion, it’s this last point that’s most important. That and the question site architects should always ask themselves: “what does success look like here?”

Is your goal “get more people to contribute more content and actively participate in the wiki”? If yes, you should design for that. Encourage people with topic trailheads to stay and write more. Seeing these starter headers there makes content development on this page easier.

Is your goal “provide a reference for players, Refs, authors, and fans”? If so, you do it like wikipedia and Britannica, leverage those conventions and eliminate a lot of the page-by-page redundancy.

If the answer is “both,” as it often is in real life… then don’t let your decisions step too hard on one of the users. I’d say leave the blocks to encourage writing, but figure how they can be presented so that scanning is easy. It doesn’t have to be either-or, I think.

- PeterS

Since there isn't a majority opinion about how to handle this situation, let alone a consensus position, I'm going to try a few things. I'd like to come up with a better solution.
To address the question of "who are our users?". The model for the Traveller wiki is, and was from the beginning, Wikipedia. The Traveller wiki was conceived of as the Wikipedia Galactica, covering the whole of Charted Space. As it says on the top of the front page (or did for a long time), it is a in-game resource for the characters (rather than players) to refer to for information about their travels.
As such the wiki design focused on the intermediate to advanced players and referees. We want to, if subtly, encourage the people new to Traveller to buy and use the published materials from the established Traveller publishers (currently this is FFE, Mongoose, and Goodman Games, with a few others). The wiki assumes a level of familiarity with the Traveller rules, background, and conventions.
Like Wikipedia, the Traveller wiki would like authors and content creators to publish their work in other venues. This is to encourage publication of books and magazines critical to continued success of Traveller. Adding new, unpublished content to the wiki is encouraged, but was never and is not a design goal.
If it's not clear at this point, the primary purpose of the wiki is to encourage the continued existence of Traveller. It does this by letting people who find it know about all the various Traveller resources that do, and did, exist. To that end, the wiki and the articles it contains should be working examples of how good Traveller can be. My goal for every article has always been, even if I've not always succeeded, is I picked up a brand new Traveller book and opened it, and the page I was looking at was the article in front me, would I buy the book?
If there are design, or templates, or other ways you feel would make this better, please always ping me about them. Tjoneslo (talk) 20:56, 24 May 2017 (EDT)
I'm going to work with one of the longer articles to see where we can find common ground:
One of the point brought up here was being able to distinguish between the generated templates and the original content. So for the Nobility, Starport, Technology Level, and Government sections, how easy are they to read, understand, and distinguish? Tjoneslo (talk) 12:52, 27 May 2017 (EDT)

Option 2: Move the templates to the end of article, leaving the main body as just the non-generated content:
Tjoneslo (talk) 08:06, 29 May 2017 (EDT)

I think Option #2 is the better of the two, I tend to believe that it shows the uniqueness for Rhylanor in a better format that "boiler-plate" templates.

But notice that Option #1 is not simply boilerplate; it begins with the boilerplate and then adds in the unique data immediately following it in the same "bullet-point" format, so that the boilerplate and unique data mesh together seamlessly. I think Option #1 flows more nicely, and puts everything under a single category heading so that users do not have to "hunt" the entire article for info on a specific facet of the world. What I might suggest is to remove the parts of the "boilerplate" template description that are not definite for all worlds with the given UWP stat. For example: for Starports, remove from the boilerplate the part that says " Almost every starport of this class possesses both a Lowport and a Highport. Sometimes multiple ports of each type. ", as this is a general description of Class A starports that should be noted under the starport type in the article on starports. The boilerplate entry for a starport in a particular world description should only note what is definitely there or not there (or be left unnoted if there is no information to make a determination). One could have the above note as a "Hover-over textnote" display when one hovers his/her cursor over the general starport type. For TL-Boilerplate, my opinion is that it NOT include any text for tech that T5 notes as "Paradigm Shift" technology, such as Jump-Drive or Fusion-Plus technology, as these are not discovered by all cultures, regardless of TL. They should be added in manually for societies that have them. (I am thinking here about expandability to alien-sophont worlds of "first-contact" cultures as well as other milieux/eras for which these technologies might never have been discovered).
Also, look at the current version: Rhylanor (world) - CURRENT, as I believe Maksim has integrated the pre-modified version with elements of Option #1.
Government/summary, Starport/summary, WorldTech/summary, Imperial Nobility/summary contain the text used by the corresponding templates. Improving wording on any or all of them would make this process better.
The question raised for option 1, and option 3 was, can you tell where the boilerplate ends and the original text begins. One of the concerns was to present the text that makes the world (or entire article) unique and special. And the core of the debate has been about how much does the template boilerplate add to an article like this one.
Tjoneslo (talk) 22:07, 30 May 2017 (EDT)

Thanks, Thomas, for all of your hard work developing this detailing item.
Half the time I contribute to the group, it is in hope of getting more of us involved and getting the ball rolling. To inspire.
My real goal is to simply see development. I am okay with the initial hard work I have labored over being refined or changed to the group's preferences and desires.
My guiding principles are to make it easy for folks to add (...the categories have made huge differences across the board), to make it easy for folks to understand who are not 40-yr grognards of the franchise, and to simply make it happen. My work helps to push development forward. It's far from perfect, but it's a start.
I waited for a little over a decade waiting for the wiki to happen before I stepped up to ramp up my contribution level. I am very grateful to folks like you and Ssteve who have done so much, and mostly since 2006.
- Maksim-Smelchak (talk) 19:01, 30 May 2017 (EDT)