Template talk:Infobox book

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Granular publication parameters[edit]

As the consensus of previous discussions shows, the lack of data granularity caused by the new |published= parameter is a problem. The problem of documentation's suggested formatting—including just the year of publication and not the rest of the date—was also raised. I propose this as a solution (Click: compare), which, following the suggestions raised, uses a {{cite book}}-style numbering of parameters, while retaining the presentation under a single "Published" label:

  • |publisher1= to |publisher6=
  • |publication-date1= to |publication-date6= – also named after {{cite book}}'s |publication-date=
  • |edition1= to |edition6= – containing any edition notes (e.g. first edition, first hardback, centenary edition, etc.)
  • |publication-lang1= to |publication-lang6= – could potentially be incorporated into |edition1-6= as "French first edition", "first English edition" etc., which would also discourage overenthusiastic editors from adding "English" to every edition -_-

This also provides more granularity than the old |publisher= and |pub_date= parameters, which in practice often contained multiple publishers and dates (|publisher2= was only sporadically used), and begins to distinguish the data about the book itself from data about each of its published editions.

It also removes the Infobox book using deprecated parameters tracking category, replacing it with temporary cats for each parameter (e.g. "Infobox book using published parameter", etc.) to help us to fix the affected articles much faster, and, as always, all existing uses of the infobox will work exactly as before.

If implemented, I propose we use AWB to quickly work through existing uses of |publisher2= (there shouldn't be many), and then tackle |published=. Any suggestions and or help would be much appreciated! ‑‑xensyriaT 13:51, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

P.S. To try to establish a good consensus, requests for comment have been added at WikiProject Books, Novels, Literature, Children's literature, Infoboxes and Village pump (technical). Also pinging the users who have been involved in the discussion before: @Gerda Arendt:, @P64:, @Redrose64:, @Jason Quinn:, @Pigsonthewing:, @Phil Boswell:, @Randykitty:, @PC-XT:. ‑‑xensyriaT 00:07, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Support Whatever fixes it, and put things back the way they were before, as most people already agreed should be done. There is never any reason to combine different things on the same line, or to remove the full date. The category you mention says there are 28,220 total listed in it, and not one of them needs to be there. Can't you just find all book articles that don't have that, fix them, and then remove this pointless category entirely? Also, can you list all the articles you are fixing to a list somewhere, or would that be difficult to add? Maybe someone can make a bot to look at all of them, see what was there a day before the infobox template was changed, and grab the date from it, then edit the current version of the article to have that date there. If you just copy the infobox as it was at that time period and copy it over to the current article, that might instantly fix all problems just as well. Dream Focus 17:25, 5 April 2014 (UTC)
Yep, this will remove the existing category entirely, and give us the means to find the articles you mention by using a less controversially named temporary category specifically for the affected articles (all categories will be removed along with the problem parameters once we've finished), which will automatically update as they're fixed, and will allow us to restore the full dates: I don't know of any other way to achieve this in practice – the idea of generating a list of all articles with this template, minus the ones with the deprecated category, sounds good and should work in theory (though it'd leave articles that don't have any publication data at all as false positives) but I don't know how to do that in practice. Equally I don't know how (or if it's possible) to get a bot to restore the full dates based on page history, but I'm willing to make sure it gets done one way or another, and once the category is populated we'll be able to see the scale of the problem for the first time and work from there if necessary.
If this lets us restore the full dates and remove the "deprecated" category, would you be willing to compromise on the formatting? There seemed to be a general consensus above that the new formatting wasn't the real problem, and once we implement this new set of fully granular parameters the old display method really won't be up to the job. By listing publishers, publication dates, edition information and language separately readers won't be able to see which edition was published by which publisher on what date, sort of defeating the point of having multiple granular parameters: the way all the publishers, dates etc. were put into only one (or two) parameters was another granularity problem the way the infoboxes had been used in the past. Also, once this is implemented, the formatting can easily be changed however people decide without a need to change any articles (we could keep separate labels as before if a book only had only one published edition listed, for example, or maybe use a subsection for publication history). ‑‑xensyriaT 23:00, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
I support the direction this is going, and thanks to xensyria for putting in the work on it. It does need a bit of debugging. It looks OK with one publication (example1). But with two the second publisher appears again under "Publisher" (example2). With three the second publisher still repeats, and the second language appears where the third language should appear (example3). That's as far as I went. So almost there, but not quite yet. Once it is ready, I do not support using a bot to revert previous changes. I know from my own work with this that many times the changes to the publication fields were accompanied by other improvements, and it would be bad to revert them wholesale. --RL0919 (talk) 19:45, 5 April 2014 (UTC)
Cheers; much appreciated! Bugs fixed in the latest version, and a pretty comprehensive set of testcases made. I'm pretty sure this is ready now, but if you spot anything else go wrong please let me know! ‑‑xensyriaT 23:00, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
How do these new, numbered parameters work with the emitted COinS metadata? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 15:07, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
Seems to me each one will need its own span, unless we just concentrate on the first edition. I've added one for each edition that's in the infobox to the latest sandbox (diff) using {{COinS}}. Until OCLC (and ISBN, etc.) is made similarly granular we can only assume it's to be applied to the first edition included. If instead we only deal with the first edition, even fewer changes would be necessary (just adding the first numbered parameters to each possible parameter switch and ignoring the rest). ‑‑xensyriaT 20:38, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
I also like the way this is moving, and wonder whether a similar approach could be applied to {{{illustrator(s)}}} and maybe {{{translator(s)}}} too. We have loads of Lua code for dealing with this stuff in the {{cite…}} templates, let's reuse and recycle that ;-) —Phil | Talk 21:49, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
I'm still not used to Lua coding yet, but this seems like the best end point solution (and better than trying to reinvent the wheel)! ‑‑xensyriaT 01:03, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
For some reason, I didn't get the ping or the watchlist notification, but I found out at WP:VPT. Thanks for posting there. I also like the progress made. Keep up the good work! Ideally, each edition should have its own parameters for any information that differs. I would support moving towards that, but it is understandable if concentrating on the first edition is more practical for the time being. —PC-XT+ 09:19, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
Thanks; hopefully this will be the first step towards it. ‑‑xensyriaT 01:03, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

Edit request[edit]

Made a few minor tweaks; unless there are any objections this looks ready for an edit request. For the sandbox diff: Click: compare. Thanks! ‑‑xensyriaT 01:14, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

(Request disabled) Given the changes below, is that diff still applicable? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 19:21, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
Changes applied on top of the most recent edit. ‑‑xensyriaT 17:42, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
Red information icon with gradient background.svg Not done for now: Xensyria, since this request is followed by a big banner at the bottom of the page requesting that no changes be made, I'm guessing there is no actual consensus for anything and it is unclear to me at this time what there may or may not be consensuses for. Please open a new request at the bottom of the page when this is sorted out. Thank you. — {{U|Technical 13}} (tec) 11:58, 26 May 2014 (UTC)
I think you've completely misread the situation here. The "big banner ... requesting that no changes be made" is a copy of a banner that Xensyria added to Category:Infobox book using deprecated parameters, asking that users of the category not migrate any articles to use the current configuration of the infobox. The person who copied it is asking for the same thing Xensyria is trying to do: to get rid of the code that demands a single combined 'publisher' field. As far as I can tell, there is not anyone opposing this change. --RL0919 (talk) 15:10, 26 May 2014 (UTC)

It's still a problem[edit]

I've just found that The Discontinuity Guide is in Category:Infobox book using deprecated parameters simply because it uses |publisher=[[Virgin Books]] |pub_date=1995. There is no way that I am going to stuff that information into a single |published= parameter simply in order to get it out of a controversial category: so when is the template itself going to be altered so that legitimate params don't trigger that category? --Redrose64 (talk) 09:21, 25 April 2014 (UTC)

Reactivated the above request with a new sandbox version. To answer your question directly, hopefully soon! Category:Infobox book using deprecated parameters is removed in the proposed change, and once the existing uses of {{{publisher2}}} and {{{published}}} have been migrated there wouldn't be a pressing need for tracking categories at all. ‑‑xensyriaT 17:42, 25 April 2014 (UTC)

Template-protected edit request on 17 April 2014[edit]

Please update the template with the sandbox version here. The only addition made is an optional note / notes area (data28; see this testcase as to why).

The other changes are either invisible or, as regards their (possible) effect on the template, slight:

  • A considerable degree of code tidying – especially the removal of [Tab] characters – and layout formatting to improve comprehensibility;
  • width alternative to infoboxwidth;
  • label22 potential-linewrap mangement ({{longitem}});
  • captionstyle.

I think that's everything. Sardanaphalus (talk) 22:30, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

partially done. the diff was unreadable, so I added |width= and longitem to label22 and note/notes. not clear why we need to override the caption style. Frietjes (talk) 18:33, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

Please remove the code to flag parameters as deprecated[edit]

I would like an immediate change made to the template to remove the code that is tagging some of the publisher date parameters as deprecated. At present this code is affecting 28,343 articles. It appears there was no consensus to declare various date parameters "deprecated." As the template is used on 31,886 articles at present it means that 88.9% of the articles using this template do so with "deprecated" parameters. Off hand, I'd say the consensus is to use them.

Related to this is that the documentation for the publisher/publisher2/pub_date/release_date/english_pub_date/english_release_date fields should be restored as most of the articles use those parameters and editors may want to know how to format them. I understand that part of the problem is that editors have not been using the fields consistently.

I'm also perturbed that Category:Infobox book using deprecated parameters has a hatnote from 9 December 2013[1] with:

Editors working on articles that use {{Infobox book}} have been stuck in wikilimbo for at least six months now. Parameters are declared deprecated and yet we should not move forward with updating articles to correct the issue?

Like Redrose64 above I was working on an article for a book and noticed the article was in Category:Infobox book using deprecated parameters. That lead me here where I see that it's been a month since the previous discussions petered out with no resolution. In looking at some recent discussions such as:

it appears unlikely there ever will be consensus to make the change to using published as the only field. A suggestion to those that want to use published is to work on getting consensus to deprecate and replace the other date fields one by one. --Marc Kupper|talk 05:51, 25 May 2014 (UTC)

There seems to be consensus that this needs consensus. All the best: Rich Farmbrough11:59, 13 June 2014 (UTC).
Yes check.svg Done I disabled the categorisation. --Redrose64 (talk) 14:07, 13 June 2014 (UTC)

Book cover border[edit]

Hello, I was wondering can we have a consensus on adding a |border = yes parameter to the infobox. In that way for completely white background book covers, it will add a faint border around it so that it is distinguishable. For more information on this parameter, {{Infobox single}}, {{Infobox album}} etc already use this paramter. —Indian:BIO · [ ChitChat ] 05:21, 22 June 2014 (UTC)

@IndianBio: It's already there, see Template talk:Infobox book/Archive 6#Borders for infobox images and Template talk:Infobox book/Archive 6#Border parameter: it was added to the template with this edit and to the documentation with this edit. Is it not working for you? Which page are you having trouble on? --Redrose64 (talk) 08:31, 22 June 2014 (UTC)
Oh I apologize, I was trying to add it to The English Roses article but I used "Border = yes" instead of the small 'b' and it was not coming. Then I checked here and could not find it somehow and thought that it might be useful to get it added. Thanks for your clarification. —Indian:BIO · [ ChitChat ] 08:37, 22 June 2014 (UTC)

Tweaking the ISBN parameter[edit]

Would it be possible for |isbn= to seek out an ISBN-shaped string within the argument, and internally link that, rather than failing to link if the argument as a whole isn't an ISBN-shaped string? E.g. the "(hardcover)" at [2] is preventing the ISBN from being linked. It Is Me Here t / c 21:10, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

added |isbn_note= (which is hopefully uncontroversial). Frietjes (talk) 17:35, 26 July 2014 (UTC)


Not sure whether this edit is correct, but the template documentation seems unclear (to me anyway) about how this parameter is intended to be used. Thoughts? DonIago (talk) 20:22, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

In my opinion, almost all of the infobox params are intended for info about the original edition. I note that it doesn't mention the paperback edition, which certainly exists (that or my copy is either absolutely unique or a counterfeit) --Redrose64 (talk) 21:00, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. Given that nobody else has commented I'll proceed on that interpretation. DonIago (talk) 13:53, 28 July 2014 (UTC)