Template talk:History of Texas

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Expansion[edit]

Any objection to expanding this infobox? What if we did something like the following (based on the {{USHBS}}):

Part of a series on the
History of Texas
Texas flag map.svg
Timeline
French Texas
Spanish Texas
Mexican Texas
Republic of Texas
Texas in the Civil War
State of Texas
Topic
Annexation · Forests ·
Indian Wars · Jewish history ·
Oil Boom · Revolution ·
Slavery · Texas Rangers ·
Vice
Portal icon Texas portal


--Mcorazao (talk) 14:43, 21 April 2010 (UTC)

Looks promising. In addition to the Jewish history in Texas link, is there an Indian history in Texas or German history in Texas article? — Loadmaster (talk) 15:58, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

Mcorazao, I understand this proposed template to be an example for the moment. Correct? I think you have a good template expansion idea. It just wouldn't be Texas without that Oil Boom category. Maybe WikiProjectTexas could work a little consistency by renaming some individual Wiki pages that are about the history of various groups. German Texan could be renamed as German History in Texas, as that's in reality what it is. Texas-Indian Wars also is the history of non-Asian Indians in Texas, but heavy on the conflicts. Of course, what ethnic groups do you include, or not? Maile66 (talk) 21:22, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

Well, the names of the articles actually are immaterial to the infobox. But there is an issue with consistency on the various pages. But I don't think we should try to fudge on what articles are about (e.g. renaming Texas-Indian Wars to Native American history in Texas). I had proposed in a couple of different places that we really need more overview articles on Texas history for just this reason. Really where I'd like this to evolve into is something like the following for the infobox and navbox (though the necessary articles are missing).
Part of a series on the
History of Texas
Texas flag map.svg
Timeline
French Texas
Spanish Texas
Mexican Texas
Republic of Texas
Texas in the Civil War
State of Texas
Resources
Cattle · Cotton ·
Forests · Oil ·
Ethnic groups
African Americans · Czechs
Germans · Jews
Mexicans · Native Americans
Portal icon Texas portal


--Mcorazao (talk) 04:33, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
I think you nailed it. Looks good.Maile66 (talk) 10:58, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
Unfortunately it is inappropriate to do this until those articles are created (i.e. a bunch of red links in infoboxes and navboxes makes no sense). So in the interim is my original proposal a reasonable expansion? Or else does anybody have a suggestion for something else that doesn't have red links? --Mcorazao (talk) 23:04, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

OK, I expanded it according to the version at the top. As we add more overview articles I hope to migrate to something more like what I proposed at the bottom. BTW, please bear in mind that the intention is not to try to throw in every possible topic into the infobox. The navbox can contain more of the kitchen sink content (although even that should not get too long either). --Mcorazao (talk) 13:58, 27 April 2010 (UTC)

I'm opposed to the change. This template was originally designed to be a quick overview of what is included in History of Texas. The parent article is still History of Texas, and the by topic articles won't ever be summarized in that article - it would make it much, much too massive. The template is currently used primarily on articles about specific events in Texas history, which makes the by topic areas confusing. Please revert the changes for now and let's discuss some more. Karanacs (talk) 21:54, 27 April 2010 (UTC)

? Not sure I understand. First, if the major history topics are not covered in History of Texas then what good is History of Texas? Second, the proposed change was not a clone of the navbox.
I think USHBS is a good model to follow (though how it is followed is, of course, open to debate). The history of any region is more than a timeline of events. I believe that the histories of the 4 core industries are a very valuable thing to explicitly highlight (though noy all 4 of these articles exist yet). As far as what other topics might be worthwhile to include in the infobox (as opposed to only having them in the navbox), I have mixed opinions. Certainly this can be discussed.
--Mcorazao (talk) 18:30, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
P.S. Apart from concerns about specific content, why do we need to use a custom infobox rather than trying to follow emerging Wikipedia standards (e.g. the use of template:Region history)? --Mcorazao (talk) 18:57, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
I didn't know about the emerging WP standards (thanks for that link!), and I have no objections to using that formatting (it's a lot prettier). When I checked out the region history template just now, I noticed that its examples are following the timeline approach - show the articles for each period of the region's history (the political history, if you will), but not the topic-specific articles. That's what I think this template should do. Could we perhaps convert to the region history template and include only the links that are to the specific periods in state history (French/Spanish/Mexican/Republic of Texas, Civil War, State)? Karanacs (talk) 19:37, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
We can do that for now. As I say, though, I think USHBS is a good general model to follow. History is more than simply a timeline. Having said that, though, we don't have a good collection of overview articles yet so we can just postpone that discussion until these articles get created (I've been working on some).
Thanks. --Mcorazao (talk) 21:00, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
I just created a new article (which needs much work) for History of Texas (1845-1860) to provide a good summary for some of the topics, such as Texas Annexation and the Mexican-American War. I think we can do the same for the other time periods that don't have their own articles, and make this a better timeline with much better coverage of the topics. Karanacs (talk) 21:05, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

arbitrary break[edit]

If I might offer a point of view.

We All-Things-Texas people have built-in instincts about related Texas subjects, those things being taught to us from the moment of birth as a Texan (natural born, or transplanted). Before we natural born ones ever set foot in a school room, most of us could cite facts about Texas - football teams, the Alamo, history in our area. The sometimes-obsessive sharing of that history from one generation to the next is very distinctly Texan and not necessarily a universal practice.

Background and ability are unknown about the anonymous cyber user. If we are to serve the unknown user, better to assume they are at Ground Zero on a beginning path to discovery of the state.

The very structure of how Wikipedia is edited can be a less than effective connect-the-dots experience for the user. I see these templates as sign posts for the cyber voyager. Expanding them puts the framework in place to add links within each established category as the Wiki subject pages are created. I am all for this - it's a very forward-thinking and necessary revamping. Maile66 (talk) 13:44, 29 April 2010 (UTC)

In my opinion, templates don't necessarily connect the dots well. There needs to be an appropriate amount of structure to help people who are unfamiliar with the topic figure out how the different articles relate; without that structure, it's just a random listing of articles. The horizontal navbox structure that Mcorazao proposed above does an excellent job of categorizing the articles to help readers understand how they fit together. A random "topics" list doesn't provide that type of understanding. Karanacs (talk) 15:09, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
This is a positive step in the right direction. Maile66 (talk) 17:31, 29 April 2010 (UTC)