Template:Automatic taxobox/doc/method

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Note: This is a draft of the documentation: Improvements are warmly welcomed. Please tweak, modify or restructure it if you think that you can make it clearer!


This template combines user input with a taxonomic database to produce an information box for taxa.

Some information needs to be provided manually, using parameters such as |authority=Linnaeus, 1784. Other information is fetched from a taxonomic database made up of many pages on Wikipedia with titles that begin "Template:Taxonomy/".

Step one: Fixed information[edit]

Example taxobox
|image=
|image caption=
Scientific classification

This will be generated in step 2
Synonyms
|synonyms=

Non-taxonomic content, such as images, is generated in the same way as with other Wikipedia templates. You specify code that looks like this:

 {{Automatic taxobox
 | image = name of image.jpg
 | image caption = Text of caption
 | synonyms = ''Synonymus exemplus''
 }}

Step two: Starting to generate taxonomy[edit]

Example taxobox
|image=
|image caption=
Scientific classification

This will be filled in based on the value of |taxon=, or the name of the page
Synonyms
|synonyms=

Next, the template needs to work out which taxon's taxonomy to display. If the parameter |taxon= is set, it will use this taxon: Otherwise, it will try to guess the taxon name from the name of the article that it is on.

Step three: Generating the taxonomy[edit]

Example taxobox
|image=
|image caption=
Scientific classification
... ...
"Rank" specified at Template:Taxonomy/Dinosauria "Link" specified at Template:Taxonomy/Dinosauria
Synonyms
|synonyms=

The template is now going to consult the database to build a taxonomy for our subject taxon. Let's say we want to generate a taxobox for the dinosaurs, using |taxon=Dinosauria.

The template generates the taxonomy list a row at a time, starting at the bottom. It will start off by looking at the database page for our taxon, that is, "Template:Taxonomy/Dinosauria". This page contains details about the Dinosauria: the rank of the taxon, the link to display in the taxobox, and the parent taxon. Using this information, the taxobox displays the bottom row of the taxonomy.


Step three b: Generating the next row up[edit]

Example taxobox
|image=
|image caption=
Scientific classification
... ...
The dinosaurs' "Parent taxon" will display here
Superorder: Dinosauria
Synonyms
|synonyms=

Once the template has completed this row, it moves up a level. But how does it know what taxon should come above the dinosaurs? This information is also stored in the database entry at "Template:Taxonomy/Dinosauria".

Step three C: Generating the rest of the taxonomy[edit]

Example taxobox
|image=
|image caption=
Scientific classification
... ...
Parent taxon of "Reptilia"
Class: Reptilia
Superorder: Dinosauria
Synonyms
|synonyms=

This process continues all the way up the taxobox, until the taxonomy is complete.

Step four: Adding children[edit]

Example taxobox
|image=
|image caption=
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Superorder: Dinosauria
Synonyms
|synonyms=
|subdivision ranks=

List of children to a depth of |display children=:

Once this taxonomy is complete, you can choose to display a list of child taxa. Let's set the parameter |display children=2 to see taxa ranking below the Dinosaurs. This list is generated using the same database referred to earlier.

Where to now?[edit]

Hopefully that gives you an overview of how the template works. For more detail, take a look at one of the other documentation pages:


Introduction
About
How to
Parameters
Technical
See also:
  • {{Speciesbox}} – create an automated taxobox for a species
  • {{Subspeciesbox}} – create an automated taxobox for an animal subspecies
  • {{Infraspeciesbox}} – create an automated taxobox for a plant subspecies or variety