Template talk:Florida

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WikiProject Florida (Rated Template-class)
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WikiProject Miami (Rated Template-class)
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Cities = CDP's?[edit]

I was looking at the template, and I noticed an obscene amount of CDP's listed here, such as Brandon, Town 'n' Country, and Palm Harbor. Since CDP's are not cities in their own right (they rely on the county for support, such as police, fire, legislation, etc), should they be grouped with the "Largest Cities"? Using {{Georgia}} for an example, Johns Creek, Georgia wasn't added until it was incorporated in mid-2006, even though it was larger than Marietta. I have to agree with that standpoint, but before I go and completely destroy the template, I want to get a consensus.

On that same note, I was thinking of, instead of a minimum population, why not have only the top 10 or top 20 cities? That way, the list is not only concise, but also not constantly expanding as Florida's cities get larger and larger; if people want to see more, I could create a supplement to the List of cities in Florida that contains population listings as well that we can link to this. EaglesFanInTampa 18:58, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

I think the template is in need of some severe pruning (see my mention in the Talk:Florida page), but even if we increase the population cutoff to 75,000 (which would be my preferred option), Brandon will still be on the list. Even though it's not a city, it's geographically contiguous and clearly defined, something that is not always the case with CDPs. Some of the others are a bit more amorphous. I don't have a lot of heartache with decreasing the number of cities, but I think a set population figure is better than a list of top cities, because with clear population targets for inclusion there will be less jockeying for position and fewer edits to restore the list after an overeager booster adds his favorite city and removes a (larger, appropriate) city. The Census Bureau releases an estimated population list every year, which should be the criterion for adding or removing cities from the list. Right now, the cutoff is 50,000; I'd like to see it at 75,000 or possibly 100,000, which would reduce the list to a more reasonable size. A large and populous state like Florida should have different standards from a state such as West Virginia, which has a similar template. Horologium t-c 21:44, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
I definitely understand your point, but as the population keeps increasing all across the state, having a population minimum as opposed to the top 20 cities in population would cause more edits as more cities break through that 75K (or whatever) threshold. Having the Top 10/15/20 cities (excluding CDP's, since they are not incorporated cities by, in most cases, their own choosing) by population should save on the edits, and people wanting to add their fave city would be encouraged not to do so by showing the most populated, not the best or the most fun, though some people seem to miss that point at times.
Irregardless of the criteria, there needs to be some major reconstruction of this list, as it's to a point of being out-of-control. It's way past its usefulness and is in dire need of revamping. EaglesFanInTampa 13:11, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
I haven't heard anything one way or another on this issue, so I'm going to chop down the list to the 20 25 largest incorporated cities. Lemme know if you have any qualms with this. EaglesFanInTampa 18:27, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
I will certainly back you up on this; it was way overdue. As I noted earlier, however, there will be squawking from the cities that were cut from the list, especially since there are 21 cities with more than 100,000 people, one of which is relying on figures from the city website, not the Census Bureau. I gave up trying to win the edit war on Palm Bay, Florida, which was unwinnable. I have issues with some of the cities you have listed, however, since Miami Beach and Sunrise should not be on the list. I'll worry about that a bit later, though, since I am heading out for a while. Horologium t-c 18:56, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
Miami Beach and Sunrise are both considered by the Census Bureau as #20 and #19, respectively, so they fall into a top 25 format (changed from my top 20 per the precedent set by {{Missouri}}). I upped it to 25 because you're right about the 21 over 100K, so it's OK to have them all on there. As far as the "squawking", they need to encourage their friends to move to their town from the North if they want to be on the list. It's the 25 most-populated cities; it's not a hard thing to accept or an easy thing to dispute. And again, I disagree with the minimum population because as more people from the North do move here, the list will be back to its grotesque length because more and more towns and cities will go over whatever arbitrary threshold we choose. That's just my thinking. EaglesFanInTampa 19:34, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
I changed the order of the cities and subbed in Boca Raton for Davie; my source for the listing is this list, which is the reference for many of the population citations in these city articles. This is the most recent city-level data released by the Census Bureau, which makes it reliable and citeable. BTW, Sunrise is #21 and Miami Beach is #23 in the current list, which is why I said they weren't in the top 20. (grin) Horologium t-c 20:09, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
Cool, thanks for catching that, because I didn't have the 2006 list, only the 2004. Now that I see that, you're right; they should be there, whereas Davie shouldn't. Did you re-list them to put them in 2006 order? I didn't check yet. EaglesFanInTampa 20:39, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I reordered them as per the 2006 figures. Miami Beach actually shrank, and several of the cities are growing very rapidly, hence the change in sequence. Horologium t-c 00:45, 20 October 2007 (UTC)


Should there be a link to education in Florida in the template? 00:52, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

There is no single article on Education in Florida. In fact, the Florida Commissioner of Education and Florida State Board of Education have been sitting on the "requested articles" list at the Florida WikiProject Page for almost two years, and Category:Education in Florida is a disorganized mess, with no summary-style article to act as a gateway for the topic.
Until there is an article about Education in Florida, I would be opposed to adding Education to the template. I realize that some states have a link without an overview article (Template:Arkansas, for example), but I'd prefer to have something a bit better organized and polished before dropping it onto the template, which is a bit overstuffed as it is right now. Horologium t-c 02:03, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
I created an article on Education in Florida, by taking all of the information in the Florida article and breaking it out into a separate article. I have added it to the template, and alphabetized that whole section of the template, which had the appearance of several successive additions, since there was no organization to the list of topics. Horologium t-c 17:52, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Nav-boxes crowding Wikipedia index-files[edit]

15-Dec-2007: I have confirmed that the Template:Florida has been transcluded into 806 pages, and so adds 806 index-links to each wikilinked word in the nav-box. Every region, county, and major town in Florida has been linked to over 806 articles, providing a total of over 96,000 links:

806 pages x 120 wikilinks in Template:Florida = 96,720 links

The 96,000 links are not yet unmanageable, but the problem is growing as more articles are linked by the nav-box Template:Florida. Eventually, solutions must be found to avoid the growing nav-box index crisis, as discussed below. -Wikid77 (talk) 10:19, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

Nav-box index crisis[edit]

15-Dec-2007: As the nav-box Template:Florida continues to be expanded with more cities or topics, and transcluded into more articles, the Wikipedia indexing is becoming a so-called "N-squared problem" or more accurately an "NxM (N-by-M) problem": when 2,500 articles use a nav-box having 200 wikilinks, the overall effect generates 500,000 entries into the Wikipedia index-file database: the seemingly small nav-box (with just 200 county names, cities and topics) snowballs into a massive half-million entries in the Wikipedia link-files database.

The problem is encouraged because some people treat nav-box templates as being shared subroutines or common menus, but they are not: in MediaWiki language 1.6, nav-box templates are actually copied as multiple instances for each page when used, rather than implemented as a shared common routine. If just 10 pages use a nav-box linking 150 cities/counties, that's 1,500 index entries, and the current result has become the 96,700+ index entries already created by Template:Florida. Solutions should be sought to avoid the growing nav-box index crisis, as discussed below. -Wikid77 (talk) 10:19, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

The template is unlikely to grow significantly in size at this point, as discussion has settled on a limit of 25 cities; it's actually quite smaller than it was (there were 54 cities on the template before the last series of edits in October). It is unlikely that additional counties will be created (it's been 67 counties since 1925), and while a few additional topics might be added, it's likely to be a small number, if any.
The numbers you have quoted are big, but there's little context here. How does this compare with other states? Looking at Template:Minnesota, it appears to be transcluded to over 2000 pages, and has many more links. Template:Illinois, which has ~150 links, is also transcluded to >2000 pages. Obviously, small state templates (such as Template:Delaware) are going to have fewer links on their templates and transclude to fewer pages) than larger and more populous states, but Florida's link-generation does not seem to be out of proportion, particularly as it is the fourth most populous state, with many incorporated cities, towns, and villages (which are the bulk of the transcluded pages) . Horologium (talk) 11:52, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

Solving the nav-box index crisis[edit]

15-Dec-2007: An easy solution is to split a nav-box into multiple smaller nav-boxes, only used on pages most likely to need a nav-box, rather than across several hundred articles. -Wikid77 (talk)

The template format is standardized; changing this one is not an appropriate solution, unless you are proposing similar changes to all 50 state templates, which is something that would need to be addressed elsewhere. As I pointed out in the previous discussion, the template size should be relatively stable at this time, and while it is likely to be transcluded to additional pages as time goes on, it's unlikely to end up on the 2000+ pages of some of the other state templates. Horologium (talk) 11:56, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
Larger states are going to run into this. California must have passed this threshhold long ago. Texas must be nearly there too. Are they doing anything special?
Regions, let's face it, are an affectation. We could do with one pointer to a separate region, uh, disambiguation. (Boy, that was a step down!). Or a page with a regions navbox, I suppose. Leave cities out. Separate navbox for them. Could then include all cities, I suppose. It seems to me that towns/cities could have the cities within their county navbox with a pointer to an external county navbox. Or all counties could just be left in the same navbox. We don't have to do what everyone else does unless we are doing something wrong now. Student7 (talk) 17:55, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
I disagree with Student7's last statement. Standardization/harmonization is always appropriate, and Wikipedia talk:WikiProject U.S. states/state templates was a fairly comprehensive discussion of the issue last year, especially in the August-October 2006 time frame. Changing the layout of the nav box is not something that we should do without raising the issue of changing all of the standardized state-level templates, and the above discussion might be an appropriate place to start.
I looked at the navboxes for Texas and California. Texas doesn't list all of its counties in the infobox (probably because there are 254 of them), and makes due with a link to a list page. (I'm not entirely opposed to that solution). As for cities, they went with listing metropolitan areas, but list each of the principal cities in the CBSA name as separate links. Doing that with Florida would increase the number of links, since there are 38 cities listed in the official designations of Florida's 20 Metropolitan Statistical Areas. Even subbing in "Tampa Bay Region" for Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater and "South Florida" for Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach leaves 34 links. As for template usage, there are only 259 mainspace transclusions of the California template (which strikes me as quite low), and 879 for Texas. While New Hampshire has only 330 transclusions, their template has about 280 links on it, because they list every city and town, and a bunch of unincorporated areas, as well as topics, regions, and counties, which means that they have over 92,000 links as well, and they're a small (size and population) state. Horologium (talk) 18:33, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
Horologium has already pointed this out in the above subsection, but if other much smaller states are presumably impacting Wikipedia in the same manner, it would seem like a Wikipedia problem and not a problem that is unique to Florida. Perhaps it should be solved at a higher level. Student7 (talk) 18:57, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
  • I understand your concerns about consistency of template appearance, also voiced by others. Fortunately, yes, the 254 counties in Texas (has most counties) have already prompted a solution to the nav-box link crisis, so a different precedent has been set already by Template:Texas, discussed below. -Wikid77 (talk) 19:12, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
I have created a new "Template:Texas_counties" to allow an efficient, but condensed, nav-box for Texas articles. -Wikid77 (talk) 20:02, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

Template:Texas reduces nav-box crisis[edit]

15-Dec-2007: As a very simple solution to nav-box overlinking, the Template:Texas does not contain box links to the 254 counties in Texas (most of any state); instead, Template:Texas merely links the full-length counties article by "See: List of Texas counties". Although Template:Texas gives a simple solution reducing the nav-box crisis, it has the drawback of linking a very long article to provide county-name links, rather than a short nav-box template of county-names. Instead, I suggest creating a condensed state-counties template for only counties of a state, similar to Template:Florida, but with only box links to county-names, avoiding a full-length article listing descriptions of all counties. Then, that kind of state-counties template ("Template:Florida_counties") would only be transcluded into a few hundred articles about counties, rather than several hundred. Meanwhile, each state-template could be substantially shortened (by using "See: List of Florida counties" to reduce overall wikilinks by 53,000 or so), until a condensed state-counties template has been developed and verified. Long term, the general solution would be multiple smaller templates:

Other templates could be added for future subjects. -Wikid77 (talk) 19:12, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

As I said, I am not totally opposed to changing the list of (67) Florida counties on the template to a list (although it would be the only state other than Texas to do so, and the Texas list is four times as large; other states with high numbers of counties such as Georgia and Kentucky still list all counties), but I am still opposed to any structural changes to the template without addressing it at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject U.S. states/state templates, which discussed harmonization of all the state templates. The number of links being created by the Florida template is of a significantly smaller scale than what is occurring with both the Illinois and Minnesota templates. Deal with the bigger problems first, then we can discuss this template. Horologium (talk) 19:38, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
  • I understand that other states have more massive index files for their nav-box wikilinks, and the problem needs to be addressed beyond Texas and Florida articles. For further consideration and comparisons, I have created 3 templates (Template:Florida_counties, Template:Florida_cities, Template:Florida_topics) to allow efficient, but condensed, nav-boxes for the Florida articles. -Wikid77 (talk) 20:02, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

I agree with Horologium. Let's wait for a general consensus on what should be done for templates for all states before making changes here. -- Donald Albury 22:58, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

Still testing: I understand fear of changing 1,806 806 articles, but I think the central template could be changed (cleverly), and all 806 articles would "auto-de-link" the 50,000 excessive wikilinks after a few weeks/months. Creating some proposed templates, now, provides the experimental evidence to support the theoretical notions that links will be dramatically reduced and users will be comfortable with the changes (once they are actually made to live templates). I have confirmed that Template:Minnesota generates over 518,500 index entries, from just 250 wikilinks on that template, used by 2,073 articles. In the case of Template:Texas, I found (to my horror) that they removed the 254 county box-links in August 2007, but linked to a county-list article containing 254 county-images (2.5 megabytes), so I also linked the original 254 county box-links as a separate table (not re-generating "254,000" county wikilinks). I think, all options need to be carefully tested, before making a decision as to how to adjust 40,000 overlinked articles, and what to leave as is. -Wikid77 (talk) 11:23, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

Solution in Vermont?[edit]

At least one county in Vermont (sic!) has deleted the state template in all towns and villages and substituted a county template only. So a reader arriving there would have to go up to the county article to get to the Vermont template. I haven't seen anyone commenting on this yet. It does reduce bottom clutter a lot. I doubt they had a "link problem" to start with! :) Student7 (talk) 04:05, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

Clutter was earlier concern: From reading talk pages from the past 3 years, I see that "clutter" was an early concern, and editors were removing notable cities from lists to reduce the size of the nav-box (because listing the counties competed with space to list cities). The problem involves the classic "separation of concerns" (or "separation of features" from over 30 years ago): county names & city names have been competing for space in the state-templates. I think part of the solution is to hide county or city names, by passing section-display parameters to the state-templates (see below). -Wikid77 (talk) 11:54, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

Hiding sections by display parameters[edit]

16-Dec-2007: It seems possible to pass a new parameter ("no_counties") to a state template to provide an easy way to suppress county-name links. The concept requires more testing, to ensure that county-name links coded in a template only generate index entries when displayed, not simply by being hidden somewhere inside a template. The strategy would be, typically, to hide county names by default (as "no_counties"), but allow county articles to pass parameter "counties""show_counties" to force display (and wiki-indexing) of the county names, only in those county articles, not indexing the other 50,000 times when articles don't need county names linked. When county names are omitted from the box links, users can then view Template:Florida_counties, as a separate nav-article (generating only 67 county index entries, not 50,000). At that point, Template:Florida_counties would be a user-requested display. Again, the indexing must be confirmed first: I have already confirmed that wikilinks in a "<noinclude>" section of a template are being indexed into the Wikipedia link database. Wikid77 (talk) 11:54, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

17-Dec-2007: Yes, wikilinks that are skipped (such as by false if-expressions in a template) do NOT get added to the Wikipedia link-index database: if the box-links for county names are suppressed by default, they will be removed from an article (after edit-save) that includes that state's template, even though the template allows parameter "show_counties" to display those county box links. However, once the county names are suppressed, a user should have a link to a counties-template (such as "See: Table of Florida counties" linking "Template:Florida_counties") to access that nav-box, as a nav-page, to proceed with county selection. For now, suppressing county-names by default, but adding parameter "show_counties" in, perhaps, a few hundred county-related articles, will allow the existing state's template (slightly modified) to continue to be used in thousands of articles, without wikilink-spamming. Of course, some states need a similar fix for box-links to 50 or 100 city names in that particular state's template. I understand that Wikipedia is edited by "skeleton crews" of volunteers, so changes will take time to implement. At this point, I will move the discussion to the standards project for "Template:US state navigation box" as requested above. Thanks. -Wikid77 (talk) 11:46, 17 December 2007 (UTC)