Template talk:Halloween series

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Where to link?[edit]

Another editor wants to change the linking of "Other characters" from the body of the template to the side, where it says "Characters". Personally, I do not agree with this change. For one, it moves it to a place in the template that is less visible, and not as obvious to readers that it is a link to a list of characters other than the main characters. It also is not as aesthetically pleasing, because you have one random link over to the left, where all of the other page links are in the body. There is no guideline or policy that says we must link there, as it's a personal preference thing. I say, unless there is consensus for the preference, then it should not be changed. Anyone else?  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 14:56, 20 March 2010 (UTC)

I am the editor who initially wished to make the change to this navbox. Please ignore my statements in my edit summaries which indicate that Bignole has not been willing to discuss this change; there was a miscommunication between us which was entirely the result of an oversight on my part. I agree with Bignole's comment above that the change I have recommended is not required by guidelines. I do believe it to be a better option than the current situation, however, primarily for three reasons:
  1. The list includes all characters, both those who have their own articles as well as those who do not. To call the link "Other characters" suggests that those who are individually named on the template are not listed on the character list.
  2. There is ample precedent for linking to character lists in the side of the navbox and linking to individual character articles in that section. Examples include Template:Naruto, Template:Bleach, and Template:Toy Story.
  3. Navboxes are supposed to include as little unlinked text as possible. On the navigation templates essay, it states that "Unlinked text should be avoided." While this page about how to format navboxes is only an essay and not a guideline, I do believe the concept of limiting unlinked text on navboxes to have merit. By moving the link to the side of the navbox, the unlinked text "Characters" is no longer required.
In summary, I do believe the side would be a better location for the character list link, however I only submit this as a suggestion and will not make this change unless consensus is in favour of it. Neelix (talk) 17:48, 20 March 2010 (UTC)

I've seen the side link on a tons of templates, and if it is a blue link I'm guessing that readers will hover over it, or click on it. Darrenhusted (talk) 19:26, 20 March 2010 (UTC)

I disagree with the statement "To call the link "Other characters" suggests that those who are individually named on the template are not listed on the character list" - Nothing suggests that. "Other characters" means that the list contains "other characters". Given that the page contains those 4 characters who have their own page (3 of those characters I'm not actually sure need their own page), is irrelevant. The fact is, the page chronicles the "Other characters" more than it does those 4 ones that have their own page. So, the term "Other characters" is correct.
When Wikipedia:Navigation templates talks about avoiding "unlinked text", it's not talking about the headers of sections. It's referring to having names in the template that don't have pages. That very section even provides an example of what it means, which directly refers to the unlinked text of "Axis of Justice" at the template on the bottom right section. It also refers to the 8 unlinked "Notable Guests" that appear in that template. It in no way is referring to the section headers needing to be linked.
As for a precedent. The fact that something has been done in the past does not necessarily mean that we should continue to do it. You can find just as many templates that do not link those headers as do.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 19:37, 20 March 2010 (UTC)
Might I suggest that maybe this would be more easily discussed if there were two sandbox mockups that editors here could see and compare. Girolamo Savonarola (talk) 05:14, 21 March 2010 (UTC)


Proposed Change

How is that?  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 05:27, 21 March 2010 (UTC)

The "Characters" link would not work per WP:EGG; it is not intuitive enough for readers to know that it links to specifically List of Halloween characters. Hovering is not a technique to compensate for the lack of intuitiveness. For Neelix's #2, it is unfortunate that these templates violate WP:EGG, and they should be amended. Blue links should be to the right of the left column. Something like "List of Halloween characters incl. major characters: <name> <name> <name>" would be better. Erik (talk) 12:22, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
I do not believe that the "Characters" link violates WP:EGG; I cannot imagine any other possible target of such a link, and it is readily apparent to users that it is a link. Additionally, the concept that "Blue links should be to the right of the left column" is opposed to common practice on Wikipedia. Most templates in well-developped areas of Wikipedia include blue links on the right side of the left column; see Template:Canada topics, Template:Solar System table, and Template:Cheirogaleidae nav, or most other navboxes on featured articles for prominent examples. Neelix (talk) 18:46, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
How about Characters? There's a whole list for various uses of "characters", all of which could be potentially used if a reader doesn't realize that we're linking to a page of characters from this particular topic. Since they'd have to "scroll over" the link to verify what it is, that would make it violate EGG. "Most" articles have trivia sections, but they are not allowed, and the featured status of an article is not dictated by how a template is designed. You could have the most poorly designed template in the world of Wikipedia, and it would have no bearing on the featured status of an article.
As for your examples. The Canada template doesn't have blue links. It has links, but you cannot even tell they are there unless you scroll over them, because the blue indicator was removed. That probably needs to be addressed there, because that surely is a violation of WP:EGG. The links in the Solar System template go to exactly what they say. If you click "Dwarf Planets" you go to a page that says "Dwarf Planets". That isn't the same as clicking a link that says "Characters" and getting "List of Halloween characters" - as there is no pipe linking involved with the Solar System template example. The same is true for the Cheirogaleidae template, those links go to exactly what they say. The only slight difference is that they are piped with the scientific name. BUT, in each case you see the true name (which is the name of the page) displayed underneath the scientific name. It wouldn't make sense to have "Characters" and then "List of Halloween characters" in small print below that.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 03:56, 23 March 2010 (UTC)
According to the relevant essay, "Navigation templates provide navigation between related articles". A link to Character would not make sense because it is a disambiguation page. Even a link to Character (arts) would not make sense because it is not related to Darkwing Duck enough to place the navbox on that article. List of Halloween characters is the only link which makes sense. Employing the term "Other characters" rather than "Characters" does not specify that the link is to List of Halloween characters any further; instead, it introduces the error that the list is only about characters other than those individually listed. If the manner in which my examples of well-developped navboxes have been dismissed was to be followed to its natural conclusion, it would be believed that there is no manner of developping precedent in navbox formatting, no manner of making progress over time. Such surely should not be the case. While there are featured articles, lists, and series on Wikipedia, there is no such thing as a featured template. If we do not recognize templates in well-developped areas of Wikipedia (namely those which have a significant number of featured articles) as establishing precedent, I am open to other suggestions of how to do so. Neelix (talk) 12:46, 23 March 2010 (UTC)
But the assumption would be that articles within the area were related, not that the header would necessarily be related. Employing the term "Other characters" in line with the listing of the individual character articles would suggest that the page contains more characters that do not appear in the template - which it does. The fact remains that the "List of Halloween characters" page deals more with the "other characters" than it does with the four that have their own page. As such, even putting that first would suggest that it is somehow more important than the four characters that have their own page - which it is not. There is no guideline, policy, or essay that says to link in the left column. The essay that even talks about lack of "unlinked terms" isn't even referring to the linking of things in the left column, but the lack of linking of terms in the body of the template. WP:EGG does discourage the use of piping to articles by using terms that might suggest something else, and this would be a borderline case of "Could 'Characters' be assumed to be something else?" - in which it could easily be assumed to be. To say "Characters" suggests that every character is presented on the page, which is not true. The reason it is listed as "Other characters" is because the page lists the other, secondary characters from the films. It is a more accurate title than simply "Characters", which sounds like it will chronicle every last character from the films.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 13:00, 23 March 2010 (UTC)
Bignole and I clearly disagree on this issue; both my arguments and his are starting to become restatements of our positions, both of which are grounded in our own perceptions of what makes for the most intelligible navbox and not based on guidelines on this topic (as they do not exist). For this reason, other users' opinions and ideas would be greatly appreciated. Neelix (talk) 18:22, 23 March 2010 (UTC)
As far as keeping it simple for readers, I much prefer the version where the other characters link is left with the others. Linking 'characters' could just as easily mean that the link points to the concept of characters rather than a list specific to Halloween. I have often overlooked the existence of links because the name of the field is wikilinked rather than the wikilink being left as a member of the field itself, I doubt that's something I alone overlook. I fail to see how readers gain anything by the move. Someoneanother 16:41, 25 March 2010 (UTC)


When I came across this navbox, I immediately thought it was odd that Season of the Witch to Resurrection didn't have years, and was about to add them, when I noticed that multiple editors had done so before, only to have them reverted, on the grounds that the years were only needed to disambiguate between the first Halloween and Halloween II and their remakes.

Since it still looked very odd (as shown by the multiple edits, and, I'm sure, many future edits until it's changed), I decided to compromise by separating the original series from the Rob Zombie remakes, allowing me to remove the years (though I kept them on the latter in case it was thought they still needed disambiguation), making it clear that there was a franchise reboot by Rob Zombie, and as a happy coincidence making it look less cluttered (at least to me).

I was disappointed to find that this was also reverted, so since it's clearly an issue that lots of editors have noticed, but not one that's been mentioned here, I thought I'd test the waters to see if there was a consensus.

Incidentally, after adding the Rob Zombie section, I saw that the Rob Zombie article had the navbox included on it anyway, making the link to him especially neat, but if this was the bias that was mentioned in the revert, then I'd be happy to compromise by removing his name, and making the section just say "Remakes" or "Reboot". The H20/Resurrection continuity could also reasonably have a separate section without it looking sparse I think. --xensyriaT 17:07, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

The nav box is just meant to link to the articles. If we start separating them out, then we'd have to separate all of the films into their respective sections, and there are about 3 different continuities for this franchise, and to lump in some films with one simply because they don't share the exact titles seems a bit odd to me. It makes it seem like Season of the Witch through Resurrection are all connected, and you're simply separating a new continuity. They aren't connected. Hell, Parts 4, 5, and 6 are not connected to H20 and Resurrection (although supplimental material by fans of the series have attempted to connect them for continuity issues, but in reality the films themselves are not because H20 effectively ignores those other films. So, it seems like you're separating just to remove the years on a couple of the films. It doesn't appear that way when you see the box, and that's not, IMO, the best reason to separate out like that.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 00:46, 30 December 2012 (UTC)

Ah, I understand your point, and it's bound to be frustrating seeing lots of editors just coming along and editing without knowing the full details. I would say that Navboxes also provide a simple structured visual overview of the articles that Wikipedia has about a topic as well as linking between them, and they do so through groups—otherwise all the links may as well just be set out alphabetically in one section.
As for the different continuities, I see what you mean, and I hadn't initially realised that H20 was a sort of continuity reset when I sorted the films into two groups, but as I said above, the H20/Resurrection continuity could well be put into a second group, with the remakes in a third; this would address your point, and would also make it much clearer for those of us who were unfamiliar with the series to understand the sequence of films. I've made a quick example of what I mean here in the template sandbox, but bear in mind it's not supposed to be a perfect solution, so if you object to anything, whether its group names or whatnot, update it what you think is better.
As far as the only purpose being to remove the years goes, that was definitely the thing that got my attention (as well as lots of others it seems), but the actual problem is in the formatting—whether it's the years, which stand out even more because they're not part of the link text (another compromise might be to include the years in the link, as they're essentially disambiguators), and also seem to mark out those films that they are next to, making them more prominent and all the rest in the middle just look like a bunch of undistinguished sequels—or the fact that all the films are just squashed into a single group, making it unclear which follows from which, and whether they're sequels, new continuities, remakes or whatever.
Now, I've put up a few possible solutions, but it might be a good idea to ask at the relevant projects if they have any suggestions from here, and to come to an overall consensus. --xensyriaT 10:36, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
To separate films like that would require that the first 2 films be their own category, Season of the Witch be by itself considering it's not a sequel to anything and not even a related story, then Halloween 4, 5, and 6 be separated, then H20 and Resurrection be separated, then the remake and sequel be separated. I don't mind years being in the links, but to separate the films would require a pretty large separation that would look rather obnoxious when reading the template, because there is no logical way of separating films with all the continuity shifting that takes place within them. This isn't like Batman, where we have 1 director working on multiple films and can separate by that.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 14:54, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
I completely agree that separating into five or more groups for the films alone would make it look obnoxious, so I suggest using three. As far as I can see, the first 6 films (except Season of the Witch) follow on from each other, and the continuous numbering (the presence or absence of which is also quite inconsistent at the moment) means it wouldn't be a stretch to include all of them in one group. H20 and so on, which drop the numbering and ignore the previous sequels, are the best case for a second group (just like in the proposed navbox). It's perhaps not perfect (as you point out, there is no such thing in this case), but it seems to me a much more helpful layout for readers. I've also requested input and feedback from the Film and Horror WikiProjects about this, so hopefully we'll be able to come to a working solution moving forward. --xensyriaT 08:57, 31 December 2012 (UTC)

Frankly, I do not think it would be a big deal to simply include years beside each film. Barring that, I think the simple way to solve this would be to use links like Halloween (1978 film) and Halloween II (2009 film) instead of Halloween (1978) and Halloween II (2009). Using the titles of the articles themselves, as opposed to piping, would eliminate the subjective decision of which films should have years by them and which films should not.  Chickenmonkey  09:25, 31 December 2012 (UTC)

To me, piping is probably the best solution because separating the films looks weird. No matter if it's just Zombie's films separated, or multiple films separated, it makes it seem like there is a preference for certain films to be attached to the original film.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 15:25, 31 December 2012 (UTC)
  • There is a tradition of just including enough information to identify the films, so to that end if the years are not needed then they are not included. As for organizing the films into different groups it seems like overkill: as an encylopedia we are not not especially interested in WP:INUNIVERSE continuities, and that level of exposition is certainly not necessary in a navbox. Betty Logan (talk) 18:13, 31 December 2012 (UTC)
The following would seem to be the best course of action, in my opinion:
Piping is unnecessary, in this instance, and avoids the "years" issue altogether. I have also taken the liberty of eliminating the "miscellaneous" group, but I doubt everyone will be on board with that.  Chickenmonkey  00:09, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
If there's no support for multiple film groups, then I'd support the above proposal; the restoration of the numbers of films 4 & 5 is a benefit on top of the years being included in the links. My only question is whether we should use piping just to keep the italics to the titles, like on DAB pages, e.g.:
And yes, having a separate group just for the novel seems unnecessary; while I personally thought the List of Halloween characters link in the group name was neat, the Related articles group does also resolve the problems raised in the section above. As for only the tradition of just including enough information to identify the films, how's the best way to do this without separating them into groups when they have the same titles? --xensyriaT 09:22, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
I think that is a good compromise. Also, I added the italics to "List of Halloween characters" because I noticed you missed that one.  Chickenmonkey  09:38, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
Ahh, thanks. --xensyriaT 10:24, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
I'm fine with it. Though, I think there will be wars later about shrinking it, because people have removed the extra "Halloweens" to make the titles shorter in the past.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 15:30, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
Just noticed we didn't get around to adding this; template updated, and comment added to (hopefully) prevent future edit warring. --xensyriaT 13:55, 13 March 2013 (UTC)