Template talk:WikiProject Biography/Archive 4

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3 Archive 4 Archive 5 Archive 6

Minor bug

I noticed this on Albert Einstein's talk page that this banner doesn't play nice when the next banner if there is an extra space in front of the second banner. The temporary solution was to remove the space, however, this should be addressed by this template. --Farix (Talk) 02:38, 17 June 2007 (UTC)

I'll also point out that the template also add extra space at the end when nested and followed by a few other banners, such as Template:WikiProject Radio. --Farix (Talk) 21:43, 17 June 2007 (UTC)


From my talk page; presented here as it would need the template changing. As per my pasted reply, I don't think we need List-class but am happy to implement it if we do. --kingboyk 20:57, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

In WikiProject Biography, if you assess articles as List-Class they are still in the Unassessed category. I've looked over the template and seen that it needs to be modified to accept this. Should we just not use List-Class, or do you, or someone you know want to implement List-Class in the project? Regards, Psychless Type words! 20:10, 9 June 2007 (UTC)

This is something of a "frequently asked question" :) In my opinion, lists should be assessed using article classifications. Lists can get featured after all. If that's not what folks want we'll have to get a list-class param added to the template. --kingboyk 13:36, 16 June 2007 (UTC)
Yep, that's what we decided. Here I think... --Psychless 00:50, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
So, something like a list=yes parameter? —Disavian (talk/contribs) 17:11, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
No, if it's really needed it should be class=List. Some other projects already have it; we never thought it worth adding I guess... --kingboyk 16:22, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
We used to have a List=yes at {{PeruProjectBanner}} but it became very tricky for use so I reverted to class=list, what it then shouldbe noticed is that Non-article class params shouldn't be given ANY importance value, if so, all project stats gets broken user:andersmusician -- 06:02, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
Class=List is a very bad idea- what do you do if it's a featured list? Lists can have ratings, too, you know. —Disavian (talk/contribs) 15:04, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
IVE GOT AN IDEA: what about making a special box to be shown if class=list, to specify specific list values user:andersmusician -- 19:37, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

Improvement Suggestions when nested in WikiProjectBannerShell

I like the way the current template looks and works but think that the following improvements could be made when it is used with the nested=yes flag...

The show box on RHS for WPBiography doesn't line up with the others.
Clicking on the show box for other projects does not cause the title & show/hide box to move on page. Would be useful if WP Biog template had the same behaviour.
Start with the page as loaded then clicking on the "hide" selection of the WikiProjectBannerShell then click on the "show" selection. Full template boxes are then shown for each section, although the individual sections each still have a "show" flag. This problem looks more generic than just the WP Biog template so here may not be the appropriate place for this to be addressed.

I've observed these using IE7 on the cited talk page at time of posting and haven't tested whether these alignment issues could be browser specific.

All of the above are minor cosmetic changes so I wouldn't rate fixing them as a high priority but possibly someone who is familiar with the WikiScripting language could consider these when the template is next reviewed.Asperal 23:11, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

All of the bugs you pointed out exist on Firefox as well. I'll try to get around to fixing it sometime, I really hate the WikiProjectBannerShell template... Psychless 02:36, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
I dont see the first error (Firefox
Second error was supposed to have been fixed. I checked the history now and CBM made a mistake. After introducing my fix he undid that same fix in his next update. Unfortunately he is now unavailable until 2007-7-2. Any other admins that can take a look at this and this and return put back colspan="3"?
For the third problem, take it to Template talk:WikiProjectBannerShell. Personally I have no idea how to fix that but I agree that that is a problem. What do you hate about BannerShell Psychless? If you visit the template talk page you can even find a way to autohide every BannerShell in entire Wikipedia (by adding one line in your monobook.js). — Shinhan < talk > 13:51, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
I was about to chip in and say this is probably an incorrect colspan in the nested=yes part of the code! I guess what happened was that the fix was made while Psychless was working on the proposed template on his talk page. Then when this proposal was implemented, the fix was overwritten. Geometry guy 14:08, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the responses and for arranging a quick fix to the original edit on line 16. I've played about with the template some though and think a further edit is required on line 35. This has another colspan=2 and currently reads

! colspan="2" style="text-align: center" {{!}} [[Wikipedia:WikiProject Biography{{!}}WikiProject Biography]]{{#if:{{{class|}}} |      (Rated {{ucfirst:{{{class}}}}}-Class)|}}

I think this might also benefit from having colspan = 3 instead. However I don't believe the fix above will completely address the issues. While looking at other templates I did notice that the BannerShell apparently works without problems when colspan=2 with the Wikiproject Germany template, even though this also includes a portal.

There are other instances of colspan=2 in the template but these (lines 16 & 35) are those which, I believe, relate to the header and thus give bad interations with the bannershell.

Any opinions? or (better) anyone sufficiently able to test such a change.Asperal 14:22, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

Apologies, looking at the revision history and your notes we are talking about exactly the same line. Asperal 14:31, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

Read more of the Germany template. They have put the portal link inside the text and since {{portalpar}} is setup to move itself to the top right of its parent it looks like its positioned same as in WPBiography. But WPBiography has allocated entire row just for the portal link. Thats why there are two rows throughout the Germany template (and only colspan=2 is needed) and why there is 3 rows in this template. Btw, the fix I was asking for was again reintroduced. Hopefully it will stick this time around :) — Shinhan < talk > 06:31, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

Width and padding issues with needs-photo and needs-infobox flags

On Talk:Mance Lipscomb, they don't cover the whole width of the BannerShell template area, which looks pretty ugly in my view. BNutzer 23:21, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

Actually, this has been discussed, and when WP:Bio implemented the nesting function they decided not to hide or reformat the boxes (same with the auto=yes function). I think the idea was that they would stand out more this way, and it was encouragement to editors to add photos, etc and thus get rid of these alerts, which are meant to be temporary. TAnthony 15:36, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
They do indeed stand out ;) Thanks for the clarification. BNutzer 15:51, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

More changes...

{{editprotected}} I've made some more changes, I've removed the lines in the actor and filmmakers & musicians workgroup that explain what the wikiprojects are about. I believe it is fairly obvious that WikiProject Actors and Filmmakers is about improving articles on actors and filmmakers, the same for WikiProject Musicians. I've also made some other changes that should be noticeable, just go to this page: User:The Psychless/WPBiography. Psychless 16:47, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

This template is used hundreds of thousands of times, so, before these changes are implemented, I want to leave this discussion open to any other changes that anyone may want. Personally, I see that the code can be simplified using {{uc:{{{class}}}}} instead of listing every variant (i.e., fa|Fa|FA ). If anyone else has changes they would like to see made, now is the time to suggest them. Cheers. --MZMcBride 17:48, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
Hi there. To learn about the template language used in Wikipedia I have been using this one as a basis, principally because it is one I have applied or edited several times in relation to articles. I have a number of suggestions on how the template could be modified, however I stress that none of these are critical (to me) prior to introducing the proposed revised template. I've tried to list each point in my estimate of the order of it's importance:
1)Integration of changes made addressing issues in the current template to the proposed release version. After approaching the author I've already directly applied two of these to the proposed release version: change-1 and change-2. The first mostly addressed an issue I raised above and the second was a bug fix. There is, to date, a third edit change-3. I think consideration should be given to incorporating this change - I haven't seen discussion here about the modification so held back from inserting. It is noted on change logs as modifying default talk page color. Anyone familiar watching and able to comment?
2)Bannershell related bugs
i)Conditional code to hide, when minimised, infobox/photo requests. Example: Engel Requested: here.
ii)Problem with extra space between projects. Example: Archived Einstein talk Requested: here.
iii)(v.minor) show/hide list does not quite line up with most other project templates. Example: Einstein Requested: -me- here.
3)Efficiency changes. The principal improvements I can see relate to the multiple switch statements on class/priority/importance. With these I would make three changes. First the switch subject would start as a lc{{x}} call ensuring the text is translated into lower case - I' ve chosen lower case over upper to give more consistency through the rest of extant code. Second remove all of the exit cases within each switch list excepting the one written in lower case. Finally I would reverse the switch list order so (top/high/mid/low -> low/mid/high/top and fa/a/ga/b/start/stub -> stub/start/b/ga/a/fa) - on the projects I've looked at the exit case will often be reacher earlier with this list order. The class switch section may have one additional improvement although my template familiarity is not sufficient to guarantee this. There is a branch |=[[Cat x]], followed by |#default=[[Cat x]] - I suspect the code for the former branch can be removed as the switch statement will go to the default line in any case. Other efficiency modifications IMO are unlikely to be worth the effort... unless (very very unlikely) the Variables extension is introduced.
4)Minor rewrite, may address point 2iii above. It may be possible to recode this template to just use 2 columns throughout, instead of three in places. 2 columns is already set in many places in the template and I believe 3 is principally used to incorporate the portal display. Responses to a query I raised suggest this is unnecessary as the portal can perform this placement itself - provided it is carefully placed in the template text. I cited the example of the Germany project template.
I think I've compiled here all the items I've thought of or seen noted on this page. Again I'd like to stress that none of these are essential for me. I continue to have a lot of admiration for people who are editing such complex templates. Hopefully I will shortly reach a level of expertise where I could help address some of these issues directly myself. Regards, --- Asperal 20:20, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

Some of the issues you presented are now fixed. It seems the Einstein talk page no longer has the extra space in it. However, the Engel article issue definitely should be resolved. Re-sorting the class ranks (stub, etc.) and priority ranks (top, mid, etc.) would break conformity among the various projects. The code is generally kept in that order, so changing it doesn't seem to be necessary. I've updated the code on User:The Psychless/WPBiography to no longer use FA|Fa|fa, etc. As for the color of the template, it should remain standard per policy. Cheers. --MZMcBride 22:47, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

OK I've made the third change I had listed under point-1 above - I would now consider this element complete. With your edits the bulk of point 3 has also been addressed. Are you able to provide any guidance though on the section dealing with the switch statements under the class input. I don't mind going through and making the necessary modifications but would first like some guidance on whether this will work as expected. With regards to the Einstein talk page, yes it works in it's current form, which is why I linked to the archived version. I am not certain but believe the issue (please check back to original reference in original post) was that this requires the Biography template to be used in a particular way rather than being robust to use. So there may still be some problem in the template output that doesn't exist for other templates. Thanks. --- Asperal 10:23, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
I think 2.ii still exists but only in certain cases and I couldnt hunt down the exact conditions under which its appearing. Most of the time just moving the WPBiography to the bottom eliminates any extra spacing.
Regarding point 4 I have responded at your previous question Asperal. I would just like to add that {{portalpar}} is using CSS style float:right to position itself at the right side. So, if portal is the only reason for 3 rows, then please delete the third row and use {{portalpar}} for the portal link. But be careful with all the colspans. — Shinhan < talk > 15:24, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
I'd appreciate it if an administrator would make the changes now. All you have to do is copy the code from User:The Psychless/WPBiography and paste it in. Psychless 20:50, 7 July 2007 (UTC)
As a note... I raised most of the issues above and (continue to) fully support the change going ahead - there are useful modifications incorporated.
However please recognise that additional work is still required to address some of the points already raised. In order: (1) is closed; all of (2) remains open; (3) is substantially addressed - with the minor exception of how Wikipedia interprets |= Cat & |#default= Cat; (4) is irrelevant as it was more forward looking than commenting on the current proposed change.
I'd be grateful if some of the outstanding items could be considered if work is undertaken on another version. --- Asperal 21:57, 7 July 2007 (UTC)
Please take care of all the outstanding issues and then issue the edit request again. This template is too heavily used for frequent updates (they have an attendant risk of error and temporarily inconvenience everyone else by extending the job queue delay). This template should be written correctly once and then left alone for a long time, rather than incrementally updated each week.
I'll be glad to make the change, once everything is implemented. — Carl (CBM · talk) 00:02, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

I feel sufficiently confident to complete section 3 myself if I can obtain guidance on whether Wikipedia interprets switch statements as I expect. To clarify the issue I've extracted some code here, with my added line numbering...

(1)  {{#switch:{{lc:{{{class}}}}}
(2)  |fa=[[Category:FA-Class biography (musicians) articles]]
(3)  |a=[[Category:A-Class biography (musicians) articles]]
(4)  |ga=[[Category:GA-Class biography (musicians) articles]]
(5)  |b=[[Category:B-Class biography (musicians) articles]]
(6)  |start=[[Category:Start-Class biography (musicians) articles]]
(7)  |stub=[[Category:Stub-Class biography (musicians) articles]]
(8)  |na|dab|template|cat=
(9)  |=[[Category:Unassessed biography (musicians) articles]]
(10) |#default=[[Category:Unassessed biography (musicians) articles]]
(11) }}

My question relates to lines 9 and 10. Given they both lead to the same catogorisation I suspect that line 9 is superfluous and could be removed. However I don't know if there is some problem with this reasoning, perhaps special cases somewhere that require the distinction. If feedback can confirm line 9 as superfluous I'll go through and make the necessary edits. Asperal 10:44, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

Old peer review

{{editprotected}} I have recently had to move the old peer review for Hayley Westenra: Wikipedia:WikiProject Biography/Peer review/Hayley Westenra/Archive 1 to make way for a new review: Wikipedia:WikiProject Biography/Peer review/Hayley Westenra. Yet the link in the bio banner is linking me to the new review when i click on the "this review has been archived". How do i go about changing this link if it is possible at all. This is only a problem if an article has two peer reviews within the same year, so this is bound to crop up again. Thanks for your consideration Woodym555 20:21, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

Use the {{ArticleHistory}}, actionX=WPR. — Shinhan < talk > 21:43, 14 July 2007 (UTC)
That is ok as a workaround, and i have added it to the talk page, but it does not solve the problem that the link in the biography banner links to the current peer review. Woodym555 22:09, 14 July 2007 (UTC)
Please have the code ready before requesting admin assistance to edit this template. One a fix is agreed to, it can be coded in a sandbox and tested before being copied here. — Carl (CBM · talk) 22:34, 14 July 2007 (UTC)
I do not see a problem. {{ArticleHistory}} is for... well.. Article History. WPBiography should not have links to old peer reviews, only the current one. — Shinhan < talk > 06:11, 15 July 2007 (UTC)
My point is there are two sentences in the banner.
  • "A [[request has been made for this article to be peer reviewed by the Biography WikiProject."
  • "This article has had a peer review by the Biography WikiProject, which has now been [[archived]]."

Both wikilinks in the sentence link to the current peer review. If i gauge your earlier comment correctly we should remove the old peer review tag if we have the article history tag? I think that would be acceptable although i do think a workaround has to be attempted. Woodym555 11:17, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

peer-review and old-peer-review are not made to be used at the same time, and I do not see an easy way to change this. If there is a current peer review, set |peer-review=yes. If there is no current PR and there used to be one, set |old-peer-review=yes.
I mean, what would you like to see changed exactly? Changing old-peer-review to a link rather than a yes/no field would work only until we get an article with 3 peer reviews. Adding old-peer-review1, old-peer-review2 and so on is not really a solution, more like a patch. Better to use peer-review for current peer-review, old-peer-review for newest peer review if there are no current reviews and let the ArticleHistory keep track of all the reviews. Besides, any article with more than one WikiProject peer review will probably need the ArticleHistory banner anyway. — Shinhan < talk > 14:05, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

Pre-filled parameters

Is there a reason why the transclusion in the "Usage" section has the "living" and "class" parameters pre-filled? I do not think that we would want to set "living=no" and "class=B" as the default. Black Falcon (Talk) 17:47, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

They never used to be that way. Looking at the [edit history] it appears the fields were accidentally populated by User: on 7th of July. I've just corrected this. However the instructions, as with the main template here, should probably by indefinitely protected from editing - since updates would only be necessary when the main template changes. This, it is hoped, will be quite infrequently.
Could any watching admin consider whether extension of the protection to the instructions template would be beneficial? --- Asperal 18:13, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
Disagree. Template documentation should always be editable, and the only reason templates themselves sometimes get protected is because careless or malicious editing of them can cause instant widespread havoc. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 19:13, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
OK. Thinking about it this does fit much better with the concept of a wiki - which, as far as possible, should be open for all to edit and improve. --- Asperal 20:03, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
This is by design. The template instructions are seperate so that anybody may edit them. We actually had the template itself unprotected for a very long time too, but given the server load that comes with changing it and the risk from vandalism we have to accept protection as a necessary evil. --kingboyk 22:24, 17 July 2007 (UTC)


{{editprotected}} There seems to be a line space underneath the template, which should be avoided. See Talk:Bruno Cullen as an example. SpecialWindler talk 10:51, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

For some unknown reason, that happens when WPBiography and certain templates are added to the same talk page. I don't know why it happens, but it can't be the reason you gave, since it doesn't happen all the time. Regards, Psychless 22:55, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
WPBiography is one of the most complicated templates. Finding a small error like this is very hard. So, if you can find the exact changes needed to remove that space please tell and it will be fixed. — Shinhan < talk > 05:05, 13 July 2007 (UTC)


It'd be nice if someone got rid of the ridiculous capital P in the word Project in this template. That's a pretty high profile error for something that's locked from editing. DreamGuy 06:18, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

I think perhaps that this is referring to 'the Project' as a shortened form of the proper noun WikiProject, as opposed to 'a project', and that the capitalisation is therefore correct. Maybe I'm wrong - some consensus is needed before I change it though. ck lostswordTC 15:46, 17 July 2007 (UTC)
Not by Wikipedia standards it isn't correct. DreamGuy 22:17, 17 July 2007 (UTC)
Although, just as a comment, the bio WP is referred to in the lower case in the rest of the documentation. I'll change in an hour if there are no objections. ck lostswordTC 15:48, 17 July 2007 (UTC)
"a project" vs "the Project" surely? Anyway, looks like it's been changed, I'll remove the

{{editprotected}} template now. --kingboyk 22:22, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

YesY Done ck lostswordTC 22:24, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

Any changes I missed?

I've not been keeping a close eye on the template lately, so if I've missed any changes which may affect my plugin please let me know (new redirects, new or deprecated parameters, new logic, etc). I'm working on AWB at the moment and will hopefully be doing a tagging run shortly to test some new features. --kingboyk 22:26, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

List all categories

Is it possible to list all the categories that this template populates? ie. search for "Category:" in the source code and list all of them here? Carcharoth 13:04, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

I've just notice the long list of categories at the bottom of this page. Is that how many categories there are, or are some missing? Carcharoth 14:27, 18 July 2007 (UTC)
I doubt that's all of them. You'd need multiple templates with every possible combination of defined parameters to see all of them (multiple because of template logic if, for example, parent and child workgroup are both =yes).
The most reliable way to get this info is, alas, to look at the source code line by line. --kingboyk 18:12, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
I just counted, and by my reckoning this template populates 281 categories. Carcharoth 20:15, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
I've extracted a full list, and because of duplication, it is 'only' 212 categories. I will stick the list on a new page somewhere, probably Template:WPBiography/Categories, or something. Carcharoth 00:54, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

New categories and sortkey project plans

I would like to propose to add two new categories to help track the articles that have been tagged with the non-bio parameter and those that have been tagged with the listas parameter. These would function in the same way as the existing categories that this template populates, such as Category:Biography articles of living people (populated with article talk pages where the WPBiography template has the "living=yes" parameter). Since these are internal WikiProject categories, the names should reflect this and the categories should be marked as purely administrative. The new categories I propose are Category:Non-biographical WikiProject Biography articles and Category:Biography articles with listas parameter. Currently, the vast majority of article talk pages don't have this listas parameter filled in. When the balance swings the other way, the category should be changed to Category:Biography articles without listas parameter. Possibly both should be created. The main articles use the DEFAULTSORT magic word directly (the listas parameter also uses this). There are efforts underway to standardise the DEFAULTSORT used in articles and the listas used on talk pages, across articles (see Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/Polbot 3, User:Polbot/ideas/defaultsort, and User talk:Carcharoth/Polbot3 trial run). The same project is gathering data with the aim of having every biographical article on Wikipedia have the correct DEFAULTSORT value on both the article and the talk page. Once that is done, a category Category:Biography articles can be created here, and that will have all the articles correctly DEFAULTSORTed (at least that is the theory).

Anyway, for now, can I ask the template wizards here to: (a) write some addition to the code that will correctly populate Category:Non-biographical WikiProject Biography articles and Category:Biography articles with listas parameter as described above; and (b) for someone to update the template once that has been done? Thanks. Carcharoth 13:02, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

What are they meant to achieve? I still maintain that DEFAULTSORT on talk pages is extremely unimportant (I won't be spending any of my time on that particular job, sorry, as I really do have a lot to get done at the moment, most of it more important to me that listas=). Category:Non-biographical WikiProject Biography articles is a strange one, quite easy to implement I would think but why would we need it? --kingboyk 18:16, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
(1) I am unclear as to what nonbio=yes is being used for (not what it is meant to be used for), but how it is being used in practice). Do you have a list of all the pages with nonbio=yes? :-) In practice, it seems it is not being used at all, or not very usefully. A category would seem to be the simplest way to see what sort of articles are being tagged with nonbio=yes, though there are other way (notably creating a redlink in a parameter's conditional row, as detailed here, and then using "what links here" to track use of the parameter). This would be the first step towards separating out single biographies (where the title refers to a single person) from group biographies or lists (such as List of theoretical physicists and Barlaam and Josaphat and muscial groups like System of a Down). One of the assumptions behind the sortkey project was that the transclusion list of WPBiography was a clean list of all biographical articles about a single person. But when we took a closer look, we realised that there were (a) articles about groups rather than single people (and the sortkeys used for groups are different to those for people, so now we want to filter out the group articles from the single people articles - or rather to identify article where the title is a person's name, as opposed to Bush family and so on); (b) lists and disambiguation pages are another set of articles that have been tagged with WPBiography, but the use of class=list (disputed in any case) and class=dab is not consistent. There are other ways to investigate this, but populating a category seems the simplest way. Ultimately, if it is not useful, nonbio could be removed, but only if we know what article talk pages are using it.
(2) The listas parameter does use DEFAULTSORT, as shown by this bit of the code (I think), which seems to use either listas in a DEFAULTSORT magic word, or the PAGENAME (ie. eliminating the Talk: bit) : {{DEFAULTSORT:{{#if: {{{listas|}}}|{{{listas}}}|{{PAGENAME}} }} }}. If this is "extremely unimportant", why have listas in the first place? The answer is that when people produce categories or indices of assessed articles (or any other list using the article name or talk page), they want biographical articles to appear in the correct order, sorted as you would find them in a printed list. There may be (there should be) a way of getting the DEFAULTSORT used on the article pages to apply to the talk pages, but until then, I think it is important to standardise so the the DEFAULTSORT on the article and the listas parameter on WPBiography are identical and in agreement.
But that is only a small part of the aim of the sortkey project. The ultimate aim is to have every biographical article correctly sorted by a biographical sortkey (by which I mean "LASTNAME, OTHERNAMES" for most articles, and permutations of that for other articles). The initial investigations and data gathering have already shown that many articles have listas but no DEFAULTSORT and DEFAULTSORT, but no listas. Standardising this is not difficult - the bot can already do it. But ultimately at some stage humans have to sort through the different sortkeys being used in a particular article, and select the right one, or suggest one where none is being used. An essential part of this is cleaning up the transclusion list of WPBiography, and that requires analysis of how it is being used. Which is the reason for requesting these categories. I can have a play around myself, but wouldn't want to get it wrong. Does anyone else want to try before I do? Carcharoth 21:32, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

I'm now considering setting up a sandbox template to try and work out how to add these categories. Before I do that, can I ask if any new template code I come up with is likely to be implemented? Carcharoth 00:15, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

"Infobox needed"

Why does this template have an "infobox needed" switch that, when triggered, generates a message claiming falsely that the article "needs" an infobox. No article needs an infobox. That's lunacy. --Tony Sidaway 22:47, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

Because the English Wikipedia loves templates for some reason. Garion96 (talk) 19:31, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
It should be "requested". Changing the name of the parameter would involve too much work because of many existing instances, but the wording of the banner that pops up can easily changed (I'm surprised it hasn't been already, as this isn't the first comment on the matter). As for "why", it's "just because"... I think the wording came from an older template. --kingboyk 20:32, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
I agree that "infobox requested" sounds better. But why is that part of this template? I'm very worried that this kind of behavior might actually result in people placing infoboxes on articles. --Tony Sidaway 23:29, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

Extraneous linebreak when followed by certain other templates

{{editprotected}} This template contains an extraneous linebreak between lines 512 and 513. It normally does not cause any problems, but will display when this template is immediately followed by a template that similarly contains an extraneous linebreak at the beginning. Please make the following addition to hide this linebreak, as has been done with the other linebreaks in this template:

  |=[[Category:Unassessed {{#ifeq:{{{british-royalty|}}}|yes|British royalty|biography}} articles]]
  |#default=[[Category:Unassessed {{#ifeq:{{{british-royalty|}}}|yes|British royalty|biography}} articles]]}}}}<!--
 |assessment=Wikipedia:WikiProject Biography/Assessment

Thanks. Anomie 00:20, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Tra (Talk) 00:40, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

Category list

In case anyone is interested, a manually generated list of the 212 categories (as of the time of writing) populated by this template is at Template:WPBiography/Categories. I am also adding this link to the template documentation. Carcharoth 01:19, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

Proposed change

I have been testing some changes to this template in a sandbox (see User:Psychless/WPBiography and User talk:Carcharoth/Sandbox2. The change I propose can be seen here. It involves the following additions:

{{#ifeq:{{{non-bio|}}}|yes|[[Category:Non-biographical WikiProject Biography articles]]}}{{#if:{{{listas|}}}|[[Category:Biography articles with listas parameter]]|[[Category:Biography articles without listas parameter]]}}


|template=[[Category:WikiProject Biography templates]] |na=[[Category:WikiProject Biography non-article pages]]

The first addition goes on line 4 as shown in the diff. The second addition replaces the |template|na= bit on line 505. I would appreciate it if people more experienced with templates than me could check the coding is OK. The coding allows the template to populate five new categories:

If no-one raises any objections, could this change be implemented? I will then create the new categories (one of which already exists), and update the template documentation. Carcharoth 03:11, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

Looks ok to me. I'd suggest putting the 'non-bio' category in the existing {{#ifeq:{{{non-bio|}}}|yes|| logic circa line 493 rather than adding a new condition, but it should work either way. BTW, the {{DEFAULTSORT:{{#if: {{{listas|}}}|{{{listas}}}|{{PAGENAME}} }} }} at the top could be replaced with just {{DEFAULTSORT:{{{listas|{{PAGENAME}} }}} }}. I'll go ahead and make these changes if there are no objections. --CBD 13:00, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. No rush, whenever you think enough time has been given for responses. By the way, the category list I generated and linked to in the section above was rather a pain to do. I searched for all instances of the word "Category" and also spotted cases where the logic meant that two categories were possible. Is there an easier way to find all the categories a template like this is populating? Carcharoth 13:28, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
Listas should just come out. Since the implementation of DEFAULTSORT it is no longer needed, and doing DEFAULTSORT inside this template won't work properly, due to an apparent DEFAULTSORT bug. I'll explain: In order for DEFAULTSORT to work with multiple project banners, and with cleanup categories like Category:Place of birth missing it must come after all of those banners. Lately I've been doing this:
<!--Templates go above this line.-->
Having listas do a DEFAULTSORT inside this template probably will work for this template (only), but it's a bit misleading; most editors will be under the impression that it works talk-page wide, and it does not. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 17:26, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
listas cannot just come out, as many articles have listas but no DEFAULTSORT on the article - silly, but the information needs to be transferred. What is needed is a bot to (a) transfer the listas sortkey outside the template to the right place, and (b) copy it to a DEFAULTSORT on the article (and vice-versa). It would be even nicer if the DEFAULTSORT on the article automatically applied to the talk page as well. To get an idea of how many articles have the listas parameter filled in, I propose that we go ahead with this category anyway, possibly changing the name later to "biography articles with listas parameters that need moving". Carcharoth 17:53, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
Well of course! I would certainly not propose deleting the listas parameter without convering the current deployment to DEFAULTSORT. It does need to be deprecated though. I'll go do that. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 21:15, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
So if you have no objections, then CBD can go ahead and implement this? Carcharoth 22:57, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

Also, could you point me to a discussion of this DEFAULTSORT bug and an example of the bug appearing? I remember trying something like you suggested and not seeing the behaviour you described. It seemed to work fine at the time. Carcharoth 23:02, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

I've just spent ages trying to find a talk page article using DEFAULTSORT outside the templates in the way you describe, then I realised I could experiment on any old talk page. Still, that is one of the problems with using the DEFAULTSORT magic word. With templates you can get a list of the articles using that template, and hence work out which ones are not using it. With DEFAULTSORT, it is not possible (or at least it seems rather difficult) to get a list of biographical articles using or not using DEFAULTSORT. Equally, it is impossible to distinguish on such a list of "not using" whether they are not using DEFAULTSORT because they don't need to, or whether it is because it hasn't been used yet. This is one argument for entering DEFAULTSORT even on biographical articles where the existing title is the DEFAULTSORT. By the way, have you seen User talk:Carcharoth/Polbot3 trial run? That is one idea for systematically getting DEFAULTSORT more widely implemented. Carcharoth 23:10, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
  • OK, I've been playing around at Talk:Ion Alexe, and I can't reproduce the behaviour you describe. No matter where I put the "place of birth missing" category, the DEFAULTSORT inside the WPBiography template (which uses the listas parameter) is correctly sorting the talk page in the "place of birth missing" category. I suspect that the strange sorting behaviour you see when multiple talk page banners are used is because many of them use a manual over-ride in their category coding, taking the form of a pipe sort using the pagename magic word, like so:
  • This is designed to remove the "Talk" bit from the title, and so sort by the page name alone, but has the unfortunate effect of over-riding any DEFAULTSORT key. I know this way of sorting talk page categories is present in {{ME-project}}, and it is doubtless present in many other talk page banner templates as well. Could you let me know if this is the source of your "bug" or not? If so, we don't need to deprecate listas.
  • Having said that, moving away from that system to one where there is a single and visible DEFAULTSORT on talk pages would be good, as having it inside banners is less visible, and there is the possible problem of different banners producing different DEFAULTSORT sortkeys - I think the last one is the one used. My experiments at Talk:Ion Alexe have confirmed this. It is the last DEFAULTSORT on the page that is used for all the categories on that page. So if I have this correct, listas will work as long as there are no other templates using DEFAULTSORT, but as we can't guarantee that, it should be moved outside the template. (In practice, it is rare for other templates to use DEFAULTSORT, and it is rare for them to use a DEFAULTSORT that is different to that which WPBiography would use). The position doesn't matter, so it should go as low as possible, but not so low that it gets archived with the talk! Again, it would be even better if the talk page just used any DEFAULTSORT present on the article. On balance, I think the current listas system will work, so we should keep it and not deprecate it. What do you think? Carcharoth 23:39, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
The background material in question is in my last user talk archive at some obviously-titled topics, and the archives of the user with whom I was bug hunting this. It was discovered through trial and error that the only way to get this to work was to have the DEFAULTSORT after the project templates. The kluge worked, and I didn't look into it any further. It was clear (at that time) that not putting the DEFAULTSORT in that position caused it to fail to work properly for cleanup categories and for various project banners. It is quite possible that this was reported to developers and fixed. A good testbed, since the {{Cue sports project}} banner does not use {{PAGENAME}}, would be Category:All cue sports pages minus snooker, and a pool player bio's talk page with Category:Place of birth missing (living people). If moving the DEFAULTSORT around does not cause unintended sorting failure in either category, then the problem appears to have been resolved and we just hadn't noticed yet. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 05:37, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
OK, it was obvious after all. The WPBiography template also uses the PAGENAME magicword. The coding is:
{{DEFAULTSORT:{{#if: {{{listas|}}}|{{{listas}}}|{{PAGENAME}} }} }}
This means that any template that doesn't have a listas parameter uses the page name as the defaultsort (instead of the page title "Talk:PAGENAME", which is the natural default). I thought that the logic was saying "if listas, then use DEFAULTSORT", but it is saying "use DEFAULTSORT, either with listas, or with PAGENAME". Thus this DEFAULTSORT will over-ride any DEFAULTSORTs placed before it. Placing a DEFAULTSORT on the page after the templates will over-ride the template ones, but it doesn't need to be placed before the category tags (though it is logical to keep it grouped with them). I think for biographical articles it makes sense for the DEFAULTSORT to be handled inside the banner, as the sortkey for names is a biographical bit of meta-data. So I think we can un-deprecate listas, but warn that other DEFAULTSORTs placed after the banner template will over-ride it. I'll explain in the documentation.
Now for a difficult question. How widespread is the practice of putting DEFAULTSORT on talk pages? Again, I'd like an easy way of generating a list, including those pages where it is used more than once, but how on earth can that be done? Carcharoth 11:30, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
I think that you are presuming that only WikiProject Biography will care about defaultsorting. My counter-view is that none of these project templates at all should have DEFAULTSORTing code in them, but instead rely upon the simple and more transparent DEFAULTSORT visible below the project tags. This works regardless what projects are in question.
I defaultsort EVERYthing, to prevent "Talk:" from being the sort key. The project I do the most work with, WP:CUE, directly recommends doing so in its #Templates section where it illustrates usage of the project banner. I don't keep track of how many other people are DEFAULTSORTing on talk pages, but there are obviously some, since I worked with a couple of them (see my talk archives) in figuring out how to make it work right. I think it's just matter of time before someone has a bot do it on a much more massive scale. Lastly, I don't get the metadata argument. The article will still sort properly for WP:BIO, so no such data is lost; all this is is doing it with DEFAULTSORT outside the template where anyone can see it and know how it is being sorted, instead of buried deep inside one of the most complicated (but with regard to how this sorting feature works, barely documented) templates on the system. {{WPBiography}} is trying to do too much, and is doing so in ways that are essentially "WP:BIO-selfish". — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 22:22, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
One advantage of doing this DEFAULTSORTing through listas is the ability to track the use of the parameter. Have a look through Category:Biography articles with listas parameter and Category:Biography articles without listas parameter. Previously, there was no easy way to see which articles were using listas, and which weren't. This is still a problem with DEFAULTSORT used on its own. Unless you use the template {{DEFAULTSORT}}, there is no way I know of to find out which articles are using DEFAULTSORT and which are not. This presents problems for people who want use of DEFAULTSORT to be complete.
And yes, I do presume that DEFAULTSORTing is most relevant to WPBiography. For people articles, it is the logical place to out a sortkey. Having said that, having the DEFAULTSORT outside templates is probably better in the long run. But how do you spread the word and stop people using it inside templates? For the moment though, I think that the two categories Category:Biography articles with listas parameter and Category:Biography articles without listas parameter will be very useful in getting articles properly sorted. Carcharoth 00:55, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Oh b*gger! You were right. Look at Talk:Aaron Lawrence. The WPBiography template has listas=Lawrence, Aaron; but the WP:LBGT template has "defaultsort:pagename". Because the WP:LBGT template appears on the talk page below the WPBiography template, the article sorts under 'A' in all its categories. If you swap the templates round, it will sort under 'L'. Madness. Let me see if the Village Pump can help find someone who knows more about this. Carcharoth 01:04, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

Dox standardization

Yes check.svg Done{{Editprotected}} Please edit the template to replace:

{{Ed right2|Wikipedia:WikiProject Biography/Project banner|the instructions}}{{Wikipedia:WikiProject Biography/Project banner}}


{{template doc}}

and to move:

[[Category:WikiProject Biography templates]]
[[Category:WikiProject banners|Biography]]
[[Category:Templates using ParserFunctions]]

to the documentation page, at bottom, as:

[[Category:WikiProject Biography templates]]
[[Category:WikiProject banners|Biography]]
[[Category:Templates using ParserFunctions]]

Then move Wikipedia:WikiProject Biography/Project banner to Template:WikiProject Biography/doc. And finally, edit that to remove:

'''Please note:''' This template should be transcluded ({{tl|WPBiography}}) <includeonly>(right here!)</includeonly> and not substituted (subst) because it employs conditional code. Transclusion also allows easy updating of all the Project's talk pages without having to edit hundreds of thousands of pages.

and add:

<includeonly>{{template doc page transcluded}}</includeonly><noinclude>{{template doc page viewed directly}}</noinclude>

to the top of the doc page.

SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 21:32, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

That a good bit of standardisation there. I turned off the editprotected request, as it seems to have been carried out. Could I ask that in future we implement an unprotected sandbox on a subpage of this template for draft templates to be prepared? It might make it easier to implement edits efficiently. As you know, there was an edit being discussed above, and the edit that has just taken place could easily have been combined with this one. Neither were particularly urgent. Doesn't matter now, but maybe something to consider for next time? Carcharoth 22:49, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
Done: Template:WPBiography/sandbox. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 00:08, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. A link from the template documentation or the top of this talk page would be good, otherwise no-one will ever use it... :-) Carcharoth 00:36, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
discussion in progress - {{Editprotected}}
Sorry! I forgot part of the dox cleanup process:
{{intricate template}}
needs to be moved from template into /doc, immediately after the "edit below this line" HTML comment in the doc file. D'oh. Dunno why I missed that the first time. I believe that to be the last needed change of this sort. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 00:08, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
Don't take this the wrong way, but are you sure that this is everything? :-) Maybe all non-urgent requests for change to this template should be discussed first, as more eyes might have spotted this thing you missed? I'm going to patiently wait for the discussion up above to end (have you seen my reply, yet) until asking for my proposed changes to be implemented. Must resist the urge to slap "editprotected" on the page. Must resist... :-) Carcharoth
Yes, I'm sure. There is nothing left in the template page that is not a) template code and b) the call to the doc page, other than this item. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 05:30, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
That seems pretty clear, doesn't it. If you don't mind, I'll turn off the editprotected request, and drop a note off to CBD, since he agreed to do the previous propsed edit, and see if he will do this at the same time, unless there is a pressing reason to keep the edits separate so people looking through the template history can see what is going on. Carcharoth 10:57, 2 August 2007 (UTC)


FYI, some comments on the granularity of name & address metadata: Wikipedia Talk:WikiProject Infoboxes#Granularity. Andy Mabbett | Talk to Andy Mabbett 12:10, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

Fair use

This is not a major issue, but on the next update, the fair use information needs to be updated; the term "fair use" is generally being changed to "non-free."

--Gadget850 ( Ed) 14:08, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

Latest three changes ready in sandbox

Please see here for the latest changes made in the sandbox. This adds the "fair use" to "non free" changes suggested above, the five categories suggested earlier, in addition to the removal of {{intricate template}}. Once implemented, {{intricate template}} needs to be added to the documentation subpage. Carcharoth 15:25, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done. Cheers. --MZMcBride 15:46, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
Thanks! Carcharoth 00:42, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

DEFAULTSORT and listas problems

As mentioned in an overlong section above, there are problems with making listas the DEFAULTSORT value. The way DEFAULTSORT works is that only the last appearance of DEFAULTSORT on a page will be used. This is a problem because many talk page templates use DEFAULTSORT in the form "DEFAULTSORT:PAGENAME" to make the pages sort without the "Talk:" prefix, and if they appear below the WPBiography template, they will over-ride WPBiography's attempt to sort by listas. Rather than try and change this in the many talk page templates used around Wikipedia, I think the solution is to make the WPBiography template have DEFAULTSORT:PAGENAME, and then to use listas as a parameter for internal sorting of template categories. Other templates can similarly set up a template parameter if they want to manually over-ride the DEFAULTSORT. Finally, for categories placed outside the template, the solution seems to be for them to have their own DEFAULTSORT if this needs to be different from PAGENAME. This all seems very messy. Can anyone think of a simpler way to deal with this? Carcharoth 10:51, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

Yes, I've already explained it. See source of top of Talk:Warren Kiamco. Independent, visible DEFAULTSORT is the only sure solution to family-name sorting regardless of project (unless they have a template field that overrides it directly, by other means that a hidden DEFAULTSORT, for that project alone, e.g. because for some reason they hate surname sorting), and ensuring that Category:Place of birth missing and other cleanup categories are also known to be sorted properly. I have no objection to this and other project templates doing {{PAGENAME}} as a default DEFAULTSORT (though I don't see any point at all to doing so for bio articles; having them sort under Talk: would be a good thing, because it tells us what articles need DEFAULTSORTing), but there appears to be no point at all any more to listas being a human-entered parameter, just a variable in the code that talks to DEFAULTSORT – DEFAULTSORT, visible on the page as at the example provided, obviates any possible need for manual listas'ing. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 02:37, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
My problem with using DEFAULTSORT to sort by surname is that on talk pages there is too high a risk of the DEFAULTSORT being removed by talk page archiving, or being over-ridden by incorrect placement of templates (despite your html comment telling people not to do this). I think for WPBiography it is safer to hard-code listas into the categories. Once this is done, DEFAULTSORT could be removed from WPBiography altogether, or it could be used to give a PAGENAME/listas sort value that may or may not work for the categories outside WPBiography (depending on placement of other DEFAULTSORTs and existing pipe-sorting). In other words, by hard-coding listas into the WPBiography categories, we foolproof against any future changes. This would not interfere with any system that puts DEFAULTSORTs after the templates and above categories, but it would ensure that such systems would not affect the sorting of WPBiography categories. In other words, templates have the option to sort their own categories using a sortkey parameter (for WPBiography, this is listas), or to not do this and trust that the DEFAULTSORT value is correct. As an aside, Category:Place of birth missing could be folded inside the WPBiography template, but I'm guessing you have reasons for wanting to keep it separate? By the way, a really efficient system would call such metadata from a separate page, so that the same data is not entered two or three times on the article and talk pages. But implementing such a system would be difficult. Carcharoth 22:52, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
  1. "If it ain't broke don't fix it"; I think it is better to trust that people will do the right thing, especially when taught to do so more and more over time, than to invent redundant system that few will remember or bother to use, and which may ultimately discourage use of the more broadly functional system ("oh, this already has a listas, so I won't bother putting a DEFAULTSORT here"). Aside from one bot, the author of which I contact about the misbehavior, and one editor-in-a-hurry using AWB, I've yet to see anyone break the system I use; it is self-documenting.
  2. Merging the category into the template could be done, I suppose, but the logic is a little more complicated than that; if living=yes, then (to propose a name for a hypothetical new parameter) if needs-bday=yes, then it should be Category:Date of birth missing (living people), and same distinction for needs-bplace=yes, versus the versions without " (living people)" if living=no or if the living parameter is missing/empty/malformed.
SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 00:53, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
PS: I don't mean to pretend there are no possible WP:BIO concerns here; I'm simply suggesting that the tools already built into the system not be bypassed with project-specific and complicate kluges unless/until the problem is shown to be real, and to be so problematic that it can't be dealt with the same way we revert vandalism and other bonehead edits. :-) — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 01:01, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
Just to be clear here, I have no problem with removing DEFAULTSORT altogether from WPBiography, and having the categories sort by either listas, or nothing. That would allow WPBiography pages without listas to pick up a DEFAULTSORT that is added under your system (or other DEFAULTSORTs from other templates), and it would allow the WPBiography pages currently using listas to correctly sort even if DEFAULTSORT is not present. I agree that DEFAULTSORT:PAGENAME is a bad idea for biography pages, but would point out that without this the many biographical categories will look strange, with nearly everything sorting under "Talk:" - though maybe that is a good idea to force people to realise that they need to put a proper sortkey in. Carcharoth 11:44, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

I forgot to mention this, but your idea of all the pages sorted under "Talk" needing an extra-template DEFAULTSORT is a good idea. It is similar to the system recently setup with Category:Biography articles with listas parameter and Category:Biography articles without listas parameter. That system doesn't quite work yet, but will if the latest change I propose is implemented. Carcharoth 22:55, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

I also use it, in WP:CUE maint categories, for sorting articles from non-articles. All (i.e., including non-bio) articles in the project's scope have a DEFAULTSORT on the talk page (though I have not finished cleaning them all up to be in the proper position), while all non-articles don't, that way templates and stuff are not mixed in with the rest but always begin with "Talk:". Pretty handy. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 00:56, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
I think you are assuming that all articles without a DEFAULTSORT under your system will end up under "Talk:". What tends to happen in reality with articles with lots of project templates on their talk pages, is that some of the articles end up sorted under "PAGENAME", because one or more of the talk page templates either have "DEFAULTSORT:PAGENAME", or the categories in the template are hard-coded to sort by "|PAGENAME". The former case can be over-ridden by entering a DEFAULTSORT under your system, while the latter case cannot be over-ridden at all. But the point is that in both cases the articles are not sorted under "Talk:", so while your "all the articles under "Talk:" need DEFAULTSORT on their talk page" is probably correct, you can't answer the question "which articles lack DEFAULTSORT on their talk page". The system I'm proposing can't do that either, as I don't think it is possible to detect how other templates are modifying the effects of this one, but my system does allow a list to be made of all the talkpages within a project that use a sortkey (in this case listas), and all the talk pages within a project not using that sortkey. What is broken at the moment is the sorting.
Maybe it will help if I explain in more detail where this is all going. The aim is to get all biographical articles sorted under their surnames (or whatever sorting system applies for their name - eg. Asian naming conventions and such). To achieve this aim, I asked myself: "which articles with WPBiography on their talk page have DEFAULTSORT on their article page, and which don't?" While investigating this, I realised that the listas parameter existed in WPBiography. I also realised that some articles have "listas + DEFAULTSORT on the article", some have "listas and no DEFAULTSORT on the article", some have "no listas and DEFAULTSORT on the article", and some have "neither". There are also some cases where listas and DEFAULTSORT are not the same. I then envisaged a process something like (just for pages with WPBiography on their talk pages):
  • (1) Use a bot to find DEFAULTSORT on the articles and enter this as the listas value if listas is not present, and to enter the listas value as DEFAULTSORT on the article if DEFAULTSORT is not present there.
  • (2) Use the same bot to list pages where DEFAULTSORT on the article and listas disagree. (The full plan is more refined and also looks at the name parameter of Wikipedia:Persondata and any existing category pipes, ie. "|sortkey" in category tags.) Humans would then have to pick the right one and correct the other one.
  • (3) An extension to this could be to have the bot look for DEFAULTSORT on the talk page and see if they disagree with the listas value, and possibly standardise them if needed. A bot could also take the DEFAULTSORT value on a talk page and use this to enter a listas value if that does not exist.
  • (4) After this has been done, Category:Biography articles without listas parameter, should be a comprehensive list of articles lacking a sortkey, and unlike your "Talk:" system, it will pick up those articles that have been DEFAULTSORTed by another template to appear under PAGENAME (though I realise WPBiography already does this, simply removing DEFAULTSORT:PAGENAME from WPBiography won't solve the problem for other templates).
Of course, that category will only keep track of changes to listas, as people adding DEAFAULTSORT to the articles, or to the talk page, won't remove the page from that category - they would have to remember to update listas. But the same bot could run to keep things updated. Such a bot is needed anyway to keep articles and talk pages standardised in terms of DEFAULTSORT. Carcharoth 11:44, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
  • I'm not sure if I'm communicating clearly in the above. The main objection I have to using DEFAULTSORT instead of a parameterized sortkey (such as listas) is that there is currently no way to obtain a list (or category) of pages lacking DEFAULTSORT, whereas it is trivially easy to do this with a template parameter (eg. Category:Biography articles without listas parameter). Carcharoth 11:44, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
  • I also forgot to mention that one major problem with using DEFAULTSORT above the manually added categories and below the templates on a talk page, is that many categories provided by talk page templates are not sorted by PAGENAME by default, (DEFAULTSORT:PAGENAME), but have their categories pipe-sorted by PAGENAME. In the former case, the "DEFAULTSORT above the manually added categories" (what we can call the extra-template DEFAULTSORT) will over-ride the template-added DEFAULTSORT:PAGENAME, but it won't affect categories inside the templates of the form "CATEGORYNAME|PAGENAME". These will ignore the DEFAULTSORT value and will continue to sort by PAGENAME. The only way to solve this is to go through all templates that are used on talk pages and see which are using "|PAGENAME". And to spread best practice about avoiding the use of "|PAGENAME". In other words, the extra-template DEAFAULTSORT will only apply to non-piped categories below it (can be seen by inspection of the code on the talk page being edited) and to non-piped categories in the templates above it (can't be seen by inspection of the code on the talk page being edited, can only be checked by looking at the code for each template used on the talk page). I can't see any way around this. Carcharoth 14:11, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

More listas and DEFAULTSORT discussion

Please see User talk:CBDunkerson#WPBiography template stuff again for more discussion of listas and DEFAULTSORT coding in the template. I'm now going to tentatively propose a change that should address most issues that are being discussed. Carcharoth 11:50, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

Attempt to summarise the above (DEFAULTSORT, listas, PAGENAME)

I'm going to attempt to summarise the above discussions about listas and DEFAULTSORT and PAGENAME, and give more background.

  • (1) DEFAULTSORT is a magic word that can be used on articles and talk pages to set a default sortkey for category tags used on those pages. Template:Default sort can be used to apply the defaultsort tag, but this is not recommended. If more than one DEFAULTSORT is present on a page, the last occurrence is the one used. DEFAULTSORT is over-ridden when a category tag has its own piped sort key. DEFAULTSORT can be used inside templates, but as it is less visible there, this can cause problems. On articles, DEFAULTSORT is normally placed just above the categories. On talk pages, it can occur inside talk page banner templates (such as those used by WikiProjects to produce assessment categories and the like), or outside the templates and above any existing category tags on the page (as opposed to category tags provided by the templates, which are not visible in the edit screen). This use of DEFAULTSORT inside talk page templates is problematic. The placement of non-template DEFAULTSORTs should be as low as possible to over-ride any DEFAULTSORTs used in templates. It would be useful to list pages that have DEFAULTSORT and those that lack DEFAULTSORT, but it appears that this is not currently possible.
  • (2) listas is a parameter used in Template:WPBiography (template documentation). It is intended to be used as a sort key for biographical articles. It can be used as a category piped sort key for categories populated by the template, or it can be used in combination with DEFAULTSORT to attempt to provide a default sort key for the entire talk page. Using listas to provide a default sort key is problematic (as are all uses of DEFAULTSORT inside talk page templates) because this can be over-ridden by other DEFAULTSORTs in other talk page templates, and any non-template DEFAULTSORT that is present below the templates. It is useful to list talk pages that have listas and those that lack listas. This is currently done using categories, see Category:Biography articles with listas parameter and Category:Biography articles without listas parameter.
  • (3) PAGENAME is a magic word. It is generally used on non-article pages to provide a page name without the namespace (eg. Talk:, Wikipedia:, Template:, etc). It is widely used in talk page banner templates to sort talk pages by PAGENAME. See Wikipedia:Categorization#Sorting with templates. It can be used either as a category piped sort key, or to supply a default sort key value. If it is used as a category piped sort key, then it will over-ride any attempt to provide a DEFAULTSORT key in that template, or anywhere else on the talk page. If it is used as a DEFAULTSORT sort key, then the same problems with using DEFAULTSORT on talk pages arise (later DEFAULTSORTs will over-ride it), though if non-PAGENAME default sort keys are consistently placed below the talk page templates, then this is not a problem.

I think that summarises everything about how these three parameters and magic words work and how they are currently being used. One point I haven't made here yet, but which is important, is that there can be problems of standardisation between three values: DEFAULTSORT on the article, DEFAULTSORT on the talk page, and listas. Sometimes they are different, sometimes one or more are present while others are absent. Sometimes none of them are present.

What I think would be helpful is if people would say below what they think the desired behaviour and interaction of these parameters and magic words should be, and how we can spread best practice and convert existing systems to follow best practice. Carcharoth 13:08, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

I don't think templates (except for Template:DEFAULTSORT, which doesn't count) should ever call the DEFAULTSORT magic word. If templates place pages in categories, then the preferred sort key should be hard-coded into each of those by the template, rather than doing it with DEFAULTSORT. The reasons are fairly obvious. The sorting rules for one category are not necessarily the same as those in another. Once more than one template on a page sets DEFAULTSORT, then the page will be mis-sorted in one or more categories (e.g. Wikipedia:WikiProject Iceland's banner could end up setting DEFAULTSORT to their preferred sort key of "Hallgrimm Thorsson" for its categories, while the general WP:BIO templates sets DEFAULTSORT to its preferred value of "Thorsson, Hallgrimm" for its categories). It would be horrendous to try to work out which template's preferred sorting is being applied by working out which one calls DEFAULTSORT last. DEFAULTSORT should be visible to any editor without trawling through convoluted template code. Templates may over-ride the default sort key for their own categories (via a listas parameter for instance), but should not use DEFAULTSORT for that. DEFAULTSORT must only be called once on any given page, and the best way to ensure that is to have no templates calling it. Ever. --Stemonitis 10:55, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
I agree. With the added comment that I have similar concerns about the overapplication of the hard-coding of "PAGENAME" into talkpage categories. This was probably done with the best of intentions, but what it means is that DEFAULTSORT outside templates can never be assumed to be working for the categories produced by a templates - you have to examine each template's code to find out what is going on. There is, actually, rather a strong argument for changing instances of "|PAGENAME" to "DEFAULTSORT:PAGENAME", as this is weaker and can be over-ridden. The levels of defaultness (for want of a better word) should probably go: (1) "nothing" - ie. sorts by "Talk:"; (2) "PAGENAME" - ie. sorting by page name, rather than Talk:; and (3) the lowest DEFAULTSORT outside the templates (which automatically over-rides any other DEFAULTSORTs. After that, you have the individually pipe-sorted categories.
Anyway, if we are serious about expunging DEFAULTSORT from templates across Wikipedia, in favour of hard-coded pipe-sorting, how do we spread best practice? This is exactly the sort of instance where it would be nice to be able to do a "what links here" for all uses of DEFAULTSORT in the template namespace, and keep doing that check to make sure no-one else starts doing it again in the future. But failing that, what can we do? Get a bot to check Template namespace for all uses of DEFAULTSORT? If so, I think at the same time, the bot should check for instances of "|PAGENAME", which can be equally destructive to attempts to sort by some other sortkey. The trouble is, there are many cases where "|PAGENAME" is useful. Does anyone have any bright ideas? Carcharoth 11:38, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
I concur as well (but don't have any obvious answers for Carcharoth's closing question...) — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 22:50, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
It looks like a bot trawl of the whole Template: namespace may be necessary. I would also suggest bringing something up at WP:TMP suggesting that an addition be made to that page to say that use of DEFAULTSORT in templates be avoided. It's not a very active page, so we may not get a response, in which case we just go ahead and add it. I notice that {{lived}} uses DEFAULTSORT, but I haven't find any others yet. --Stemonitis 08:27, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
There are lots about 129. See this search. If you browse through them, you will see some interesting uses. Carcharoth 09:50, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
I know the title suggests something terrible, but in fact it's arguing along the same lines as us, that the default sort key should be set outside the template in question and not by the template itself. It's hardly used anyway. --Stemonitis 10:26, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Oh. Looking closer, I see I did jump to conclusions there. Anyway, I'm posting at the village pump at the moment. Do you think you could contribute there or otherwise keep an eye on that discussion? I would like to see a developer get involved. Do you know any that might know what best to do? Carcharoth 10:30, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
And 129 templates is not that many to clean up. Carcharoth 10:54, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

Biggest problem with listas, and to a lesser exent DEFAULTSORT, hasn't even been mentioned

What you need in the first place is a whole lot better instruction to editors on how to use these sort keys. We have a lot of not very bright editors on Wikipedia, who need explicit instructions on how to do it. It seems that most of those involved in this discussion would fall into that category, since this hasn't even been mentioned as far as I can see.

The problem is that we have a very rudimentary, simplistic sort mechanism. Everything in the sort key is sorted. That includes spaces, punctuation marks, whatever. But it isn't sorted in accordance with anybody's sorting rules. It is simply sorted in accordance with Unicode numbers.

The essential factors that need to be noted, and that need to be included in the instructions to people who will be using "listas" or "DEFAULT" sort include these points:

  1. Start the sort key with an uppercase letter to insure case-insensitivity at that level. Ideally, we should probably have totally case-insensitive sorting, but to change that just using sort keys rather than through some software change would be problematic.
  2. Do not include ANY alphabetic characters other than the 26 letters of the English alphabet. No diacritics whatsoever.
  3. Strip most punctuation from the sort key, especially if it is the first character in an article's name. The comma followed by a space is the conventional separator between surname and given name in people articles; it should be there, even if the name order is the same as in the article name, as in "Chan, Wai Ho" as the sort key for Chan Wai Ho.

See Wikipedia:Categorization of people#Ordering names in a category for more essential pointers.

Gene Nygaard 12:52, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Note that this applies not only to articles about people, but to all articles. Gene Nygaard 12:54, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

A postscript: One advantage linkas has over DEFAULTSORT is Category:Biography articles with listas parameter. It would be nice if somebody would help out and use that to start cleaning up the problems I mentioned. You could start by fixing everything that comes after Z. Gene Nygaard 13:11, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Missing clause in catchall photo categorization rule

{{editprotect}} This template includes:

{{#ifeq:{{{british-royalty|}}}{{{royalty-work-group|}}}{{{military-task-force|}}}{{{military-work-group|}}}{{{musician-work-group|}}}{{{filmbio-work-group|}}}{{{a&e-work-group|}}}{{{s&a-work-group|}}}{{{baronets-work-group|}}}{{{peerage-work-group|}}}{{{politician-work-group|}}}| |[[Category:Wikipedia requested photographs of people]]}}

This rule is missing a clause for "sports-work-group." The effect is that a page with "sports-work-group = yes" in its WPBiography template appears in both Category:Wikipedia requested photographs of people and Category:Wikipedia requested photographs of sportspeople.

I am not well versed in template conditional logic. I believe this rule should read:

{{#ifeq:{{{british-royalty|}}}{{{royalty-work-group|}}}{{{military-task-force|}}}{{{military-work-group|}}}{{{musician-work-group|}}}{{{filmbio-work-group|}}}{{{a&e-work-group|}}}{{{s&a-work-group|}}}{{{baronets-work-group|}}}{{{peerage-work-group|}}}{{{politician-work-group|}}}{{{sports-work-group|}}}| |[[Category:Wikipedia requested photographs of people]]}}

Thanks -- Tim Pierce 02:58, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done. Cheers. --MZMcBride 19:31, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

Documentation for military-task-force?

Now that I have read some of the source code for this template, I see a "military-task-force" parameter that does not appear in the template documentation. I don't think I understand the difference between "military-task-force" and "military-work-group". They appear to be treated differently only in that articles tagged with "military-work-group" are also placed in appropriate categories for their class, importance and priority, and in "military-task-force" articles, these parameters are ignored. That doesn't make any sense, so I think I must have it wrong. Can anyone shed any light on this and possibly update the documentation? Tim Pierce 03:13, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

Australian Aboriginal customary laws on viewing images of deceased persons

|aboriginal = yes

I would suggest a warning box to come up on biographies of deceased aboriginal people like.petedavo 07:57, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

  • Aboriginal people should be aware that this website may contain pictures and names of deceased Aboriginal people and or images of their art work.
On what basis? While Native Americans and various other aboriginal peoples have historically held negative spiritual beliefs about photography in the past, is there any evidence that this is still a practiced religious conviction? (Cf. Rabbit-Proof Fence, which starred .au aboriginals.) I won't even go into WP:CENSOR issues yet. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 09:53, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
It's one of those taboo things. In my workplace in Western Australia, we do not include images of Aboriginal Police Officers in funeral broadcsasts whilst we do for all our other funeral notices and a notice advising that a picture of the deceased is not being included is specifically stated. Every resigned, retired, or serving officer or staff member has details of their funeral broadcasts when we are advised of their death.petedavo 10:22, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
Again, if Rabbit-Proof Fence did not cause a firestorm of controversy for daring to capture aboriginals on film, then I have to say this is a non-issue. That some police dept. happens to honor dying-out superstitions that do not appear to modernly affect moving making, documentary making, etc., that is of no consequence to Wikipedia. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 22:52, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
None of the actors were dead when the film was released, If any were you will have the warning, or the warning might already be at the start of the movie but you missed it.
Mute point - but it's much the same as some christains who can't say god's name or make images of jesus etc. There's no booga booga superstitous stuff to it - it's just one of those common warnings that are given at the start of every Australian TV show containing images or names of deceased aboriginals. It's a very common warning in Australia and you will find it elsewhere at the start of movies, TV Shows and on the web like at the National Art Gallery, ABC, SBS etc. Anyway in hindsight I think it's better to have it as a seperate template from biography anyway, and have done so. Therefore this request is now redundant.petedavo 00:49, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
I don't have a link to hand, but I believe that there's a policy that Wikipedia has no such disclaimers. Andy Mabbett | Talk to Andy Mabbett 21:24, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia:No disclaimers in articles perhaps? --Stemonitis 21:37, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
That's the one, thank you. Andy Mabbett | Talk to Andy Mabbett 22:09, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

This Template for Personal Websites

HI All, I would like to use this template on my personal genealogy wiki. I tried copying the page but things don't seem to work. Is there a way I can use it on non-wikipedia, wikimedia websites? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

This template transcludes, many, many, other templates. If you wanted this on your site you would also have to copy all the transcluded templates as well. You would also need to upload all the images used in it. My advice is to create your own template. Psychless 18:29, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

adding a religion-work-group?

I'm interested in adding a religion-work-group or a saints-work-group to the WPBiography template. Here's why:

I have been working on categorizing the pages in Category:Wikipedia requested photographs of people by tagging each {{WPBiography}} template with the appropriate working group. The category is filled with requests for images of saints and other religious figures, however, and there is no appropriate working group. There is a Saints WikiProject, however.

I do not personally have an interest in maintaining or working on this work group -- I just want to streamline the job of categorizing requested photographs and images. What process would I follow to start one or to find someone willing to take it on? Tim Pierce 06:15, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

  • It occurs to me now that an alternate solution to my problem would be to remove the "needs-photo" property entirely from the {{WPBiography}} template on the offending articles, and replace it with {{reqphoto}} or the like. That would have exactly the effect I'm looking for -- unless someone can point out a problem with this I'm missing, I'll write a proposal for a bot to tackle this. -- Tim Pierce 06:19, 10 August 2007 (UTC)


I think the text "This article was the Biography WikiProject Collaboration of the Fortnight (dates). For details on the improvements made to the article, see the history of past collaborations." should be changed to the simpler "This article was the Biography WikiProject Collaboration (dates)." Then, a collaboration can be selected for any length of time (week/fortnight/month/whatever) without the need to make sure all the time periods on the templates match with one another. DrKiernan 08:59, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

workgroups: support or scope?

The template says that an article is "within the scope" of the biography wikiproject, but articles are "supported by" the various workgroups. I think it might be better to use "within the scope" throughout, to avoid giving people the wrong idea. Xtifr tälk 14:10, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

Minor changes

I've made some minor visual changes at the sandbox. If the job queue is ever just too low an administrator could make the change :). Otherwise just include it in the next update. Thanks, Psychless 04:40, 18 August 2007 (UTC)


I like Image:P_vip.png, which features prominently on the Portal page. I personnaly dislike portal templates without pictures and would like to start a discussion on its inclusion in the template, like

Free software Portal

for WP:WPFS. -- Kl4m Talk Contrib 03:02, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

More on listas -- categories

I am bothered that there may be an issue of overcategorization within the listas categories. When an article has a listas parameter, the article gets tagged with the unnecessary Category:Biography articles with listas parameter category.

To me, what I see is:

  • Category:Biography articles without listas parameter - "Great! I can fix that by adding listas parameter!"
  • Category:Biography articles with listas parameter - Why is this here? This is overcategorization!

It appears that some coding causes both of these categories to be created. If it sees "listas=yes", why does it need to create a category?

My main point is: How do we code the WPBIO box to not create both categories, but only post a notification to support "Biography articles without listas parameter" ? Any info or insight? Guroadrunner 11:37, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

The reason I created and implemented both was to enable the category with the listas parameter to be used to demonstrate the utility of such a parameter. ie. browse that category to see articles in alphabetical order. In the other category, the one needing clean-up, they are not in the right order. Carcharoth 23:43, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
I still don't see the utility of this listas parameter at all in the face of DEFAULTSORT. I know that someone here does, but the argument has yet to get through to me. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 04:38, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
I've explained it before. Listas is a template parameter. DEFAULTSORT is a magic word. There are some things you can do with one that you can't (easily) do with the other. Here is a simple example. Please provide a list of all the pages that use DEFAULTSORT (not easily done). Now provide a list of all the pages that use the listas parameter (the category allows this). I have never been able to find anyone who can overcome this objection. Seriously. If you can find out a way to list uses of DEFAULTSORT, so that people can identify article that don't yet have defaultsort, then I will happily help in getting rid of listas (which in the simplest case can be seen simply as a way of parameterising and categorising the use of defaultsort on talk pages). Carcharoth 10:28, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the concise explanation. I have been following the DEFAULTSORT/listas argument for some time but had not seen the difference so clearly expressed. But it seems to me that the disadvantages of "listas" outweigh this advantage. Building a bot to track uses of DEFAULTSORT, or lobbying Wikimedia to add this as a feature, both seem like more productive solutions than the "listas" parameter. My two cents. Tim Pierce 00:08, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

Displaying priority

not real important, but next time the template's updated, can it reflect the change frm 'importance' to 'priority' ie display that rating like the other project templates display the 'importance' rating?  ⇒ bsnowball  16:17, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

Actually it IS rather important: now the template uses both "priority" and "importance" in different places without mutual interchangeability and any documentation. (Oh, what I'd give to have the rights to sort out the mess in the code...) --Malyctenar 09:26, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

Potentially libelous

Please fix the wikilink that currently leads to Slander_and_libel so that it correctly leads to Defamation. Jcc1 04:55, 19 October 2007 (UTC)