Template talk:DEC hardware

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Missing entries[edit]

This template is very incomplete, it is missing the VAX and other miscellaneous systems as well as significant pieces such as the VT terminals. Please help to get this template more complete. Rilak (talk) 11:19, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

I've taken the liberty of splitting the PDPs into n-bit families - this makes it easier to add the VAX (as the sole member of the "32-bit family"). I've also added the two x86 systems that have articles. How do you feel about chronological vs. alphabetical ordering? I've ordered the groups roughly chronologically. Letdorf (talk) 11:11, 17 April 2008 (UTC).
It looks great. Splitting the PDPs into n-bit families is a good idea since VAX can be included. As for the ordering, I think alphabetically is better since it makes it much easier for others to find something. What do you think about it? Rilak (talk) 11:25, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
I think this is getting much too big. I would prefer a more compact representation which fills out the lines more. Note, too, that the Vax was (at least initially) treated as a member of the PDP-11 family (11/780 etc.).
The header is also incorrect; this is not all DEC hardware, but only DEC computers. DEC of course also made/marketed various peripherals, including terminals, printers, disk drives, etc. etc. --Macrakis (talk) 14:56, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
Its supposed to include peripherals, I'm just a bit stuck as to how to add the VT entries when they already have a template for that. I guess if we cannot find a way, this will have to be renamed to 'DEC systems' or something similair. Rilak (talk) 04:19, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
I've just noticed that WP:CLN recommends meaningful ordering instead of alphabetical ordering for navboxes. Letdorf (talk) 10:52, 2 October 2008 (UTC).

Does chronological ordering sound good? Rilak (talk) 11:04, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Yes, I've always favored chronological ordering for such things, to provide a historical aspect. Letdorf (talk) 11:11, 2 October 2008 (UTC).
Well I've done a quick edit to the template, but I haven't reordered the early PDPs. I'm wondering if all the PDP sections could be merged into one section, but still retain the bit categorizations or something. If the template was less tall, maybe we could have the template at full width, which looks like it might actually be more compact. Rilak (talk) 11:31, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
The PDPs are already roughly chronological, except for the LINC (which I've just fixed). I think it would be difficult to flatten the PDPs into one sequence as the different architectures overlapped chronologically. Maybe could try introducing multiple columns into the navbox to make it wider? Letdorf (talk) 11:45, 2 October 2008 (UTC).

I was thinking, what if PDP had its own section and the entries were organized in a way similar to this:

18-bit: PDP-1/4 • PDP-7/9/15 12-bit: LINC • PDP-5/8/12 • LINC-8 • DECmate 36-bit: PDP-6 • PDP-10 • DECSYSTEM-20 16-bit PDP-11 • DEC Professional

This fits into one line. Not sure if its good though as with the old template, you could glance to the left and there would be a column with all the bit lengths for easy comparison. This scheme needs something to introduce more whitespace between the subgroups if its ever going to get used Rilak (talk) 11:53, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

What about splitting it into two columns like this? Letdorf (talk) 12:21, 2 October 2008 (UTC).
Its better than my idea. But I wonder how it would look if the PDP entries were split into multiple columns and remained on top with the newer non-PDP entries at the bottom. I'm planning to create stubs for VAX system families, so it might be a good idea to leave some room for that. Rilak (talk) 12:46, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
Now that I've figured out how to vertically align the second column, I've split the current navbox into two columns and made it full-width. May need to adjust the split if lots more article are added in the future. We could put all the PDP groups inside an overarching PDP group, but I guess we should be careful not to over-categorize in navboxes :-). Letdorf (talk) 13:04, 20 October 2008 (UTC).
You mean like the top half of the navbox is split into columns containing n-bit PDP entries, but the rest of the navbox is "normal"? That would be good. Rilak (talk) 13:15, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
Um, no, more like the first navbox on this page. I think other categories like VAX, x86 or MIPS will probably have fairly small numbers of links in the near future, so these are probably best kept in columns too? Letdorf (talk) 14:09, 20 October 2008 (UTC).
Well MIPS-based computers at Digital is covered, but VAX is lacking any significant coverage, so I would expect there to be at least ten links in that category as I plan to create stubs for major VAX product families, documented at User:Rilak/02. The article titles and scope is not final, so if want to add or change something, just leave a message on the talk page. x86 will probably expand slightly due to articles such as DECstation and Digital Personal Workstation, which are based on more than one architecture. Rilak (talk) 05:06, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
Okay, I've now split it into a two-column child navbox for PDPs, with everything else in a single column. Letdorf (talk) 09:58, 21 October 2008 (UTC).

Looks good! Good job! :D Rilak (talk) 05:49, 22 October 2008 (UTC)


I am considering expand the template to include buses. Would that make the template too cluttered? If so, I think the template should be renamed to "DEC computers" reflect its current use. Rilak (talk) 12:09, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Hmmm, could be trick to get a satisfactory layout (given that we haven't quite resolved the layout for the current template yet). Agree that template should be renamed if we don't expand its coverage. But if we do, then I think there are enough articles about DEC terminals to include them too. Letdorf (talk) 12:57, 7 October 2008 (UTC).
I've done another mockup of a more general navbox here. But the "Computers" groups looks pretty cluttered. Letdorf (talk) 13:18, 7 October 2008 (UTC).
What if subgroups were used in the "Computers" group? I don't imagine that there would be much overlap in the categorization so there shouldn't be any disputes as to what goes where. I think the "PDP" subgroup should be the only subgroup with "groups" denoted with n-bit as those systems are the only ones with the requirement. VAX should be a subgroup by itself as I intend to create stubs for them some time soon. Rilak (talk) 04:59, 8 October 2008 (UTC)


Should articles that cover systems that used more than one architecture, for example the DECstation, which was based on MIPS and x86, have an entry in both the MIPS section and the x86 section? (I know there was one DECstation branded system that was based on neither, but I can't recall exactly what it was based on at the moment). My concern is that we could be unknowingly "skewing" the accuracy of the template through "unconscious" "bias" when determining which section an entry belongs in. Any thoughts? Rilak (talk) 13:31, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

In the case of the x86 DECstations, we could have a link in the x86 group to the specfic section in the DECstation article dealing with them (preferable using an anchor). Are there any other similar cases? I guess the other DECstation you are thinking of is the DECstation 78 (aka VT78). Letdorf (talk) 13:15, 20 October 2008 (UTC).
That was what I was thinking. I probably get to it tomorrow. And your are right, I was thinking of the VT78 (just checked the article). Rilak (talk) 13:31, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

New title?[edit]

As previously discussed, I think the template should be renamed for the following reasons:

  • The navbox has not covered anything but computer systems since its creation, therefore the title, "DEC hardware", is misleading.
  • The navbox is already populated enough, with future growth expected to increase the number of links by ten or more. Any more links would just clutter the navbox and reduce usability.
  • It is not a good idea to have a template which is too broad in scope, as evidenced at navboxes such as Template:Sun Microsystems, as it encourages the inclusion of too many links, thus reducing usability.
  • By having a navbox that may be featured in many articles (DEC hardware is broad topic), we risk having a navbox which may contain many irrelevant links which only hampers usability. For example, if a section on computer terminals was included, this navbox would be featured in articles about computer systems and terminals, even though half of the links would probably be of little use to someone at a computer terminal article who is expecting a navbox to contain just links to other computer terminal articles. Reverse the example for more scenarios.

I suggest that this template be renamed to Template:DEC computers, to reflect the current usage of this navbox and the current navbox title. Any thoughts? Rilak (talk) 08:05, 22 October 2008 (UTC)