Template talk:Infobox song

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WikiProject Songs (Rated Template-class)
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… and a bugbear: partial track listing[edit]

I've long thought we need to revisit the instructions we give regarding partial track listing (particularly) and full track listing in the infobox. And seeing the above thread has spurred me into raising it at last. Full disclosure: personally, I loathe the partial version; it's the height of triviality to give just the tracks before and after, whereas a full list at least has some encyclopaedic value. In Beatles song articles, a few of us have removed the partials. Last year, a couple of editors tried to reinstate them, and one received a block for their trouble – a bit harsh, I thought, since the documentation does support the use of either a partial or a full track list. Separately from those episodes, editors were (and could still be) successfully nominating full track lists for deletion at TfD, for a range of artists, with the rationale that they provide unnecessary details that are already given in either album navboxes or an artist's song navbox at the foot of the article. Aside from how I feel about the partial versions, this rationale obviously holds true for the before-and-after track lists also. So it seems we need to reword instructions here, to mention a third track list option (the album navbox) and how that renders a full or partial list unnecessary.

During the course of the RfC at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Songs#RfC: Should Infobox single and Infobox song be merged?, someone pointed out the ridiculous level of chronologies appearing at Welcome to My Hood. And we've been working on removing unnecessary infobox fields, of course – with the result that "certification", "covers" and "form" have all been removed. So in light of this more-discerning approach – i.e., aside from whether a song article carries an album navbox or not – can we really say that partial track lists are necessary? JG66 (talk) 07:44, 27 March 2017 (UTC)

The partial track listing may be an attempt to establish a chain of links, similar to previous and next for singles and albums. While the latter also have use as chronologies, the before-and-after tracks seem to be strictly for navigation and have very little information value. This is much better handled by a full track list – it's easier to skip unlinked tracks or to focus on particular songs – plus it puts the track into the context of the whole album. The "Track listing examples" section in the infobox song guidelines should include the use of album navboxes at the bottom of a page. What about the collapsible full album track lists sometimes used in infoboxes? —Ojorojo (talk) 15:41, 28 March 2017 (UTC)
"the collapsible full album track lists sometimes used in infoboxes" – yes, those are the ones I'm referring to that have been getting picked off, individually or in groups (by artist), at TfD since about 2013. The first I knew about it was in August 2015, when a song article I'd just nominated for GA suddenly carried notification that the track list template in the infobox had been proposed for deletion. Here's that particular discussion, which includes a link to the 2013 examples. While the decision in August 2015 was not to delete the Dark Horse track list (because the info was not repeated in an album navbox or George Harrison songs 'box – neither feature exists for that particular album/artist), a while later all the full track lists for albums by the Beatles, i.e. the band not individual members, were deleted. JG66 (talk) 03:07, 29 March 2017 (UTC)
So, there are four current options: album navbox at the bottom of the page; and, within the infobox, partial track listing, displayed full track listing, and collapsible full track listing. (I'm not sure a fifth, the artist's song navbox, should be included here – they only includes songs with links and aren't necessarily an album sequential track listing.) The partial listing is the least useful and, with much better available options, it's hard to see that their use can be justified. I prefer the album navbox – the displayed track list is usually too long and hidden content shouldn't be in infoboxes – but I don't know if you want to tackle that issue. Depending on responses, I'd say open an RfC to remove at least the partial track listings. —Ojorojo (talk) 14:07, 29 March 2017 (UTC)
Sorry, I thought all the full track listings in infoboxes were hidden/collapsible – no? You could be right about dealing solely with the partial versions as the best forward. I guess what I was hoping to achieve here was to catch up with what seems to have become the favoured approach, namely that album track lists in infoboxes are redundant if the same information appears in a navbox. Which is just one reason why I think it would've made sense for those nominating the "tracks" templates at TfD to instead raise the whole issue for discussion, because we've got so many different versions of how to approach this, and heck, a user got blocked for, essentially, following the guidelines. FTR, here's the TfD that resulted in the deletion of all the Beatles track listings in lieu of their respective album navboxes. (I get a bit grumpy there, as in the August discussion, for reasons explained.) I'll post notification now at Songs and other projects. JG66 (talk) 16:11, 29 March 2017 (UTC)
Apparently, some album navboxes have been deleted because all of the songs were not linked and/or already linked in the artist's {{Navbox musical artist}}. Template:Electric Ladyland was deleted because it had links to 9 out of 16 songs, which were linked in {{Jimi Hendrix}}. This works to a better percentage than several existing album navboxes (see Category:Album navigational boxes), although the respective artist navboxes don't include songs. Has the same rationale been applied to track listings (partial, displayed, hidden) within the song infobox? Something to consider when developing a guideline. —Ojorojo (talk) 15:42, 31 March 2017 (UTC)
That's a good point about the rationale. I can't remember ever seeing an example of the displayed listing (which is why I took it that all full infobox track listings were hidden), but it seems to me that most hidden examples carry a majority of blue-linked song titles. Yet that needn't be the case with a partial, just as it's not in an infobox's singles or albums chronology. Put it this way, with the very few hidden track listings templates I've created (probably four or five maximum), it's because over half of the album's songs have a dedicated article or merit one, which I plan to write. I can't really see the point in going to the effort of creating a full list if it's not going to have some additional, navigational value. So I assume other editors have felt the same way. JG66 (talk) 09:52, 14 April 2017 (UTC)
I assumed (but not necessarily agree) that the full listing (navbox or within the infobox) is also desired because it places the track within the context or sequencing of the album, regardless of links (sort of like looking at an album cover). Several Who album navboxes (and probably others) contain many unlinked songs. If navigational value is paramount, an artist navbox or separate song navbox may be better. An album navbox might have limited navigational value ({{Tommy}} has links to 8 out of 25 songs, {{The Who by Numbers}} 4 out of 10), etc. Maybe all album track listings should be limited to those with links to most of the songs (the Electric Ladyland example). Or just click on the album! —Ojorojo (talk) 14:33, 14 April 2017 (UTC)
I do think navboxes, album or otherwise, should have all their components linked. Those Who album examples look wrong, imo – should be a sea of blue. For a full track listing in an infobox, though, one would only expect to see a decent portion of the content linked perhaps, at least half. After all, not every writer, producer or studio has their/its own article; nor, as mentioned, does every entry in the single or album chronology. I keep going back to the hidden full listings – I think they're great. And I was only vaguely aware of album navboxes (even in song and album articles that I was quite familiar with, because the 'boxes appear way down in an area that I wouldn't usually look at) before the feature was cited as a preferred option over hidden track listings, at one of the TfDs. Like everything, I appreciate it's down to what we've each come to expect from Wikipedia articles, based on what we've seen. Alternatively: yes, "just click on the album" could be the answer! JG66 (talk) 16:31, 14 April 2017 (UTC)
OK, only linked songs in a navbox (that's why it's called a navbox), but there probably shouldn't be an album navbox for only 3 or 4 songs with links (the Who examples). Relocating the tracks to the infobox may overwhelm it.[1] Hidden/collapsible material seems to be discouraged: MOS:COLLAPSE includes "A few infoboxes also use pre-collapsed sections for infrequently accessed (usually navigational) details. If information in a list, infobox, or other non-navigational content seems extraneous or trivial enough to inspire pre-collapsing it [consider] whether it should be included at all". But I think it's preferable to the displayed full or partial track listing. Maybe the documentation should include something to the effect: "a track listing in an infobox should not be used if the article has an album navbox, artist song navbox, or artist navbox that includes songs". —Ojorojo (talk) 17:34, 14 April 2017 (UTC)
Agree on all the above. (And boy, that Voodoo Chile example looks frightening – just imagine how the White Album's 30 tracks would look in that format …) JG66 (talk) 14:29, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
This hasn't received any interest yet (infobox discussion fatigue?). However, as you note, a better description of track listing options should added to the "Track listing examples" in the documentation. These include the Template:Album navbox (not actually for the infobox, but an alternative) and the collapsible Template:Album in addition to the existing Partial track listing and Full album track listing options. Additionally, it needs to be clarified that only one of these four options should be used. How should the use of Template:Navbox musical artist or Template:Artist song box (and potential problems) be mentioned (again, not for the infobox, but alternatives)? I don't know that these are discussed anywhere, but are seen by some as removing the need for album track listings. —Ojorojo (talk) 14:22, 13 April 2017 (UTC)
Yeah, sorry – went to sleep on this one myself. You're right that there doesn't seem to have been a general discussion about the last two templates, so it's a case of trying to ensure that the documentation reflects what appears to be the popular approach, judging by those and other TfDs. (Playing catch-up, in other words.) I'll have a think about the proposed wording. May well ping the editors who offered the redundancy-based rationale, also. JG66 (talk) 09:52, 14 April 2017 (UTC)

Here's some proposed wording for the documentation to place the existing section. There may be better existing template examples. Suggestions/fixes? —Ojorojo (talk) 14:09, 21 April 2017 (UTC)

Ojorojo: a) thanks for being so proactive and coming up with the examples (good job); b) feel free to move this message if you think discussion belongs above or in a new section.
The first thing that springs to mind is it might be worth adding bold and rewording the opening sentence of the second paragraph, for clarity. Reason being that this whole issue has come about through editors at those TfDs citing "redundancy"/repetition of information as the reason for removing track listings from infobox song. Perhaps: An album track listing may be added to infobox song if the article does not have a navbox at the bottom of the page, and as long as a majority of the album's songs are linked to WP articles.
The statements regarding the degree to which an option is "preferred" or "recommended" are the potential stumbling block(s), of course. The overall message certainly satisfies my tastes, but as you've noted, others might point to the advice given at MOS:COLLAPSE. So, although further, minor tweaks to the wording might be in order, I think that's all secondary to the overall message. Is there anything further we should do as far as getting word out and ensuring we've got consensus for the statements? JG66 (talk) 04:43, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
(Moved) I thought your recommendations were important to add before a possible broader review. Now that it's neutral – nothing new is being put forth and it merely clarifies current practice – a RfC isn't warranted. The partial track listing question hasn't received any interest (again, infobox discussion fatigue?) and I'm wondering if additional general notice would produce anything. Perhaps ping those who have commented on TfDs, etc., and then add it to the existing section if there are no objections. —Ojorojo (talk) 17:02, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
Sure thing. @IndianBio: @Frietjes: @Warpozio: @SNUGGUMS: would any of you like to weigh in here? In short, we're attempting to update the guidelines to reflect the relevance of artist songs navboxes and album navboxes on the inclusion of an album track listing in Infobox song. Each of you offered an opinion on the issue at two TfD threads in 2015 (links to those discussions appear above). Back then, further to examples from 2013, closing decisions about whether to keep or delete an album track listing template hinged on whether the same information could be found in a navbox, thereby rendering the track listing redundant – so I'm hoping this is a case of the guidelines simply catching up with what seems to have become the preferred method. JG66 (talk) 14:26, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
Personally, I prefer "Partial track listing" as shown here below warpozio (talk) 13:06, 7 May 2017 (UTC)
Don't include tracklists in infoboxes; it needlessly overfills them and would likely detract focus from the song the article is about. Snuggums (talk / edits) 14:34, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
But the guidelines do allow for this feature and always have done. So the issue now (and long overdue, given how navboxes appear to have entered the picture) is to marry up the wording with what appears to be common practice. With the suggested changes below, it will ensure that there is no track listing of any sort if the song appears in a navbox – which is surely getting things halfway to what you'd like to see anyway. Alternatively, we don't change the wording and infoboxes can continue to carry the information, whether a full or partial listing, that's then repeated in the album or artist's songs navbox. JG66 (talk) 14:54, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
JG66 my thoughts on this are still the same, track lists in infobox clutters them unnecessarily when they are also present in the navbox down below the article. In this particular example above for WTMH, I would even say that the chronology feature could be selectively be made collapsible for cases like this, when "n" number of artists feature on a song and the chronology elongates the infobox. —IB [ Poke ] 05:38, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
IndianBio: Thanks IB, I appreciate you want to see a whole lot more happen, so do I. At the risk of sounding like a scratched old record (with a hidden full track-list feature), it's just a case now of formalising what seems to have become common practice. I totally agree about the various chronologies at Welcome to My Hood – hide them pleaseJG66 (talk) 06:38, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
  • my suggestion is that the track listing should not be hiddenGonejackal (talk) 18:26, 30 April 2017 (UTC)
upon further reading, WP:TG also says "They should also not be used to "collapse" or "hide" content from the reader.". So besides navigational footers, which can get very large and potentially infinitely long (i.e.: Template:Academy Awards since each new ceremony might be added), why are these track templates still in existence and fields-not-added to replace and accommodate them if you know what i mean?Gonejackal (talk) 03:01, 1 May 2017 (UTC)
According to MOS:COLLAPSE, there are exceptions: "the collapsed, mw-collapsed, and autocollapse states should not be used in articles to pre-emptively force the closure of these elements, except as noted below ... Collapsed or auto-collapsing cells or sections may be used with tables if it simply repeats information covered in the main text (or is purely supplementary, e.g. several past years of statistics in collapsed tables for comparison with a table of uncollapsed current stats). Auto-collapsing is often a feature of navboxes. A few infoboxes also use pre-collapsed sections for infrequently accessed (usually navigational) details." (emphasis added) Collapsed album track listing templates seem to meet this exception. —Ojorojo (talk) 16:34, 1 May 2017 (UTC)
that seems counterintuitive. im wondering what are all your thoughts on Ojorojo's emphasis part; a discussion on the guideline's talk page could start later.Gonejackal (talk) 18:49, 1 May 2017 (UTC)
JG66, from the discussion at TfD Dark Horse tracks suggesting an RfC, Village Pump, etc., it doesn't look like the hidden track list issue is going to be resolved anytime soon. However, I think the proposed "Track listing examples" should move forward, since it provides important clarification about the use of navboxes. As a possible compromise, add it without the "Collapsible full-album track listing" example. Other ideas? —Ojorojo (talk) 16:07, 6 May 2017 (UTC)
Ojorojo: Yep, I agree, there's no point in holding things up here. I was waiting for SMcClandish's reply at the TfD before adding more there – I still think the hidden track list is by far the most preferable option of the three, but if the decision is to lose the feature altogether (regardless of the presence of a navbox) I'd favour binning the partial and full displayed versions too. But again, that could all be way down the road and needn't affect what we're trying to clarify here. JG66 (talk) 02:30, 7 May 2017 (UTC)
Added, w/o the collapsed option. —Ojorojo (talk) 17:48, 7 May 2017 (UTC)
I'm waiting on the TfD result too. I am not versed or an expert on the partial and full displayed versions but I've seen templates like Template:Dark Horse tracks used in both the infobox and on the article-prose. The big issue is the creation and using templates for this purpose which is isn't what templatespace is for. So User:JG66, if you are in favour of either keeping all three options or none at all, what policy or guideline are you following?Gonejackal (talk) 00:18, 8 May 2017 (UTC)
@JG66:, @Jc86035: Since the Dark Horse TfD was closed as no consensus, the collapsed option is again viable. There are a couple of ways to add a collapsed track listing and I'm trying to figure if there is a preference for one or the other. Recently I tried replacing the fully displayed track listing on song infoboxes from Astral Weeks, with {{Extra collapsed text}} with the songs listed (I did not create a separate "Astral Weeks tracks" template). This was soon replaced by a newly created {{Astral Weeks track listing}}. I attempted to get some clarification regarding using the template (now replaced by {{Hidden}}) at Template talk:Hidden#Use for track listings in infobox song, but my question was misunderstood and not answered. So, if the collapsed option is added to the Track listing examples section, should the example/explanation below be used or include the other possible way to add a collapsed track listing without a separate "Album X tracks" template? —Ojorojo (talk) 15:34, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
@Ojorojo: Replying to your comment on the other discussion, even if a replacement navbox doesn't have all the tracks listed, shouldn't the track listing be on the album article anyway? Jc86035 (talk) Use {{re|Jc86035}}
to reply to me
16:16, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
<ec>@Ojorojo: I appreciate you persevering. Definite communication breakdown there at Template talk:Hidden. (Back at the TfD, you were most definitely summing up what others had said, and no more – that was obvious. Strange.) I see what you did for the Astral Weeks songs before the tracks template was created – collapsing/hiding the full listing that was already there (e.g. [2]. That's the way I was thinking of going with this issue, to avoid another boring TfD session/indoctrination if nothing else(!).
To answer your question, maybe we should go with the hidden (no template) option – as long as we can get it to look good, e.g. avoiding the "{{{1}}}" that appeared at AT's title track. (Perhaps that's what you were investigating at Template talk:Hidden.) My thinking is that if we can't hide the full list, then we just shouldn't bother with album tracks info at all in Infobox song. But then I may have mentioned one or twice how awful I think those partial track listings are … JG66 (talk) 16:25, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
Thanks. I don't remember the {{{1}}} – maybe it was caused by the change from {{Extra collapsed text}} (here's another example where it works fine). I'd like to hear more on the pro and cons of template vs no template collapsed options. Anyway, I completely agree that if some form of track listing remains in the infobox, it should be the collapsed option. But I don't see a consensus for this (warpozio preferred the partial listing, Snuggums wanted none, etc.). Of course, as we noted above (and Jc86035 might agree), "just click on the album"! Part of the problem is when people get used to seeing something, it becomes "standard" and even expected. To change/remove it later, this inertia has to be overcome. I think for now, we're stuck with the existing uses, unless someone has a better idea.—Ojorojo (talk) 16:59, 19 May 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Below is a revised collapsed example for the documentation, which incorporates both options. Of course, it can be scaled back to one or the other, to reflect a preferred option. (The already implemented "Track listing examples" was moved to the archive so as not to confuse the issue.) —Ojorojo (talk) 19:13, 19 May 2017 (UTC)

Why does the closure of the Dark Horse TfD make hiding hidden track templates viable? I didn't see that in the closing comment. I've been asking why parameters are inferior to the track templates. Why isn't it possible to make parameters like
| track 1 = "Snow"
| track 2 = "Ice"
| track 3 = "Fire"
?Gonejackal (talk) 21:54, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
It doesn't. Failure come to a decision about whether to delete some template doesn't magically make MOS:DONTHIDE go away. For {{Infobox album}}, the album's track listing is not "infrequently accessed (usually navigational) details." It's key information. But why are we talking about that template at great length on the talk page of {{Infobox song}}?  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  03:29, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
Here, I learned that pre-collapsed sections in infoboxes are frequently used for species articles but they have no bluelinks so no navigation purpose. What needs to be reinforced is that track list templates should not be created when navigational boxes serve the purpose and that parameters should be used for tracks and "side a, side b".Gonejackal (talk) 01:04, 27 May 2017 (UTC)

Collapsed full-album track listing[edit]

"The Example"
Song by The Artist
from the album That Album
Released April 1, 2016 (2016-04-01)
Recorded January 1–10, 2016
Studio Record Plant, New York City
Genre Contemporary R&B
Length 3:01
Label Columbia
Songwriter(s) The Artist
Producer(s) The Producer
That Album track listing

There are two options for adding a collapsed full-album track listing. Both use {{Hidden}} and the listing remains collapsed until "show" is clicked.

One uses the template to create a separate "Album track listing" template, which is then added to the infobox in the |tracks= field ({{Rumours tracks}} is used as an example). This may be more convenient for multi-disc albums or those with many tracks.

The second places the {{Hidden}} template directly into the infobox in the |tracks= field, then the tracks are listed. This may be copied and added to other songs infoboxes from the same album.


{{Infobox album
| tracks       = {{hidden|
 | expanded    =
 | title       =
 | text        = 
# etc.


Leave blank for the listing to be initially collapsed. By adding "yes" (or anything), the listing will be initially displayed.


Enter the number of tracks, such as "10 tracks". A header will be generated automatically, for example "That Album track listing" (there is no |type= function to set the color to the type of album; the header will use the same color as the infobox top header).


In this field, add the album tracks, using # to generate a sequential numbering. The tracks should be in "quotes", with the article track also in bold. Link if the tracks have WP articles, except for the article title track.

For multi-disc CDs, subheadings for "Disc one", "Disc two", etc. may be included. Similarly, "Side one", "Side A", etc., may be added for LP records and EPs. For the "Disc two", "Side two", etc., track numbers to continue sequentially (so it doesn't start again at "1"), use <li value="x"> where "x"=the next track number.

{{Infobox song
| tracks       = {{hidden|
 | expanded    =
 | title       =
 | text        =
;Disc one
# etc.
;Disc two
#<li value=>
# etc.

"Track list" templates[edit]

Is there anyway for parameters to be included so that lists of tracks on an album can be listed in the infobox, rather than using templates such as {{Born in the U.S.A. tracks}} and {{Another Side of Bob Dylan tracks}}. I think I understand the purpose of the templates: to navigate. So when a Navbox doesn't exist, these "track list" templates are used in lieu of a navbox.

But I'm wondering if using parameters would be better. The album has been published so no new songs will be or could be (rightfully) added.Gonejackal (talk) 08:07, 18 May 2017 (UTC)

@Gonejackal: I think the current format is fine (unless they're all replaced by navboxes). If a new article is written it can be linked in the template instead of on all the pages. Jc86035 (talk) Use {{re|Jc86035}}
to reply to me
08:46, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
So why aren't navboxes made in the first place? EPs, LPs, and singles have been published so there shouldn't be addition to the list-of-tracks.Gonejackal (talk) 08:52, 18 May 2017 (UTC)

"Single" chronology parameters broken?[edit]

Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)#Normie Rowe uses the soon-to-be-merged "infobox single". Currently, I see "I Confess" / "String Module Error: Match not found". On the other hand, "Always Be My Baby" doesn't have that problem. Maybe it's related to two-track releases? --George Ho (talk) 02:00, 24 May 2017 (UTC)

@George Ho: In writing the wrapper, I assumed that the date would be included for each single, in brackets, after a line break. I honestly don't want to write any more regexes for it, since there are already about six or seven nested layers, so the best thing to do is to add <br>(year) (where year is the year of release) to the end of the text. Jc86035 (talk) Use {{re|Jc86035}}
to reply to me
09:07, 24 May 2017 (UTC)
To be honest, I see no good reason to maintain chronology parameters and recommend deprecating them entirely. Here's why:
  1. They detract focus from the article subject (which is supposed to be one song, maybe two for tracks with B-sides)
  2. What was released right after/before a certain track isn't particularly relevant to the article subject
  3. In certain cases, they violate WP:Verifiability#Wikipedia and sources that mirror or use it (WP:CIRCULAR) when solely depending on what other Wikipedia articles give for release dates
Even if coding wasn't an issue, this overall isn't really worth keeping. Snuggums (talk / edits) 16:05, 31 May 2017 (UTC)
All valid points. The same may be said of the various album track listings used in infoboxes. Perhaps open an RfC on the WP:SONGS talk page. —Ojorojo (talk) 17:42, 31 May 2017 (UTC)
I also encourage deprecating album chronology for each of the above rationales (just replace the words "single", "song", and "track" with "album"). Snuggums (talk / edits) 18:59, 31 May 2017 (UTC)

Problem with alt cover art[edit]

Jc86035, something strange is happening when we have Infobox single with an alternative cover included – e.g. at My Sweet Lord. Having said that, I've not seen the same result in a couple of other examples, so it's not necessarily a project-wide issue … JG66 (talk) 10:37, 24 May 2017 (UTC)

Damn, Jc, that's your genius right there – you make it look so easy(!). Thanks, JG66 (talk) 11:03, 24 May 2017 (UTC)
@JG66: Thanks. This is a problem with Module:Infobox; I've asked for help at WT:Lua. Jc86035 (talk) Use {{re|Jc86035}}
to reply to me
11:06, 24 May 2017 (UTC)

Comments on updated documentation[edit]

When was it decided to do away with the option of using commas as separators, as an alternative to the various list templates? (cf Note 2 in previous version.) I remember us talking about it but I hadn't got the impression we were going forward with it … no?

One thing, and I'm sure it's not a new addition: under album we say, "If it was originally released as a single, |album= should not be used, since it is not from the album, but later added to one." So does that mean a lead single, released a week or two before the album, and clearly marketed as representing the forthcoming album, shouldn't carry the album title? For example, is "Miss You" not from the album Some Girls?

Also – again, possibly something that's been in the documentation since the year dot – under released (and reinforced under format), we stipulate that the pertinent information is the first known release date. So, does that mean we're doing away with examples where arguably the most notable release and format for the track – a hit single issued months after the parent album – currently appears under released? Some examples: the Stones again, "Beast of Burden", issued on a single three months after Some Girls; Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" and "Beat It"; countless others …

Finally, I'm confused by the chronology for double A-sides – by the fact that we're allowing for such a chronology. Is it really needed? I'm just imagining the result in infoboxes that already have two tiers of chronologies. Take "Day Tripper": is it necessary to let readers know that the next instance of a Beatles double A-side was "Eleanor Rigby" / "Yellow Submarine"?

Sorry if these comments appear to ignore the good work that's gone into this and focus only on the negative. I don't mean them to sound that way. (The words "welcome", "fart" and "spacesuit" come to mind, perhaps.) JG66 (talk) 16:28, 21 June 2017 (UTC)

Good points – I'm running into these all the time while cleaning up the infoboxes:
  • Hlist=class vs list temps vs commas – this came out of a recommendation by @Jc86035: (something to do with using bots?)
    Well, we did have the choice previously, and now we don't. I'd be interested to hear about the bot-related rationale. I admit I prefer commas (and I've seen other editors support their use), and until a couple of days ago I was able to indulge that preference. If we're canning the comma option, then fine, I'll get over it, because it just won't be an option to consider anymore. But what's important is whether it's been agreed that commas are not to be used as separators, rather than the choice (which appeared first in the list of options, after all) simply being withdrawn. JG66 (talk) 04:55, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
    @JG66: Basically this is to make the template transition easier, since there will always be edge cases like song titles containing quotes and the like which can't be handled easily. After the transition the rule can be changed back, although it might not be such a good idea since the quotes won't be automatically added and it could confuse editors. (Additionally, for multiple songs in comma-separated lists quotes can't be added automatically, since song titles can contain commas, whereas it's possible with {{hlist}}.) Jc86035 (talk) Use {{re|Jc86035}}
    to reply to me
    08:38, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
    @Jc86035: I think we might be talking at cross purposes. I'm referring to commas being used as separators for genres, songwriter(s), producer(s), etc., and the fact that this option has always been acceptable (Notes section > "2") until just recently – when it vanished. I can't see the relevance to quotes at all, nor how songs would be appearing in a comma-separated list inside the infobox (?) JG66 (talk) 06:37, 23 June 2017 (UTC)
    @JG66: I was referring to songs which have two or more B-sides (for whatever reason), since quotes are automatically added for |A-side= and |B-side= now. Rest of it (genres, songwriters, etc.) is probably up to WikiProject policy and I would defer that to others who've spent more time in this area. Jc86035 (talk) Use {{re|Jc86035}}
    to reply to me
    07:00, 23 June 2017 (UTC)
    Again, I can't see what quotes around song titles have got to do with this at all … Okay then, we're back to where I came in: we had talked about the possibility of doing away with commas as separators, just as we did about whether words such as "in" should ever appear in the studio field (e.g. Record Plant, in New York City, vs Record Plant, New York City). But it never went beyond a discussion, as far as I know, and now the comma option has disappeared. JG66 (talk) 07:50, 23 June 2017 (UTC)
3,400+ infoboxes must be manually cleaned up before the merger is completed (I'm managing about 30 a day). Using an automated process would be a helpful option. From what I remember about the middot vs comma discussion, the two should not be mixed within the same infobox, i.e., if one is used in one parameter, then all must follow suit. Would adding something like "Alternatively, two or three entries may be separated using commas. However, please note that middots and commas should not be mixed with the same infobox" to the {{r|lists}} footnote address your concerns? —Ojorojo (talk) 13:54, 23 June 2017 (UTC)
Something like that, yes, although the pre-19 June wording seemed better, imo. Thanks. JG66 (talk) 17:30, 23 June 2017 (UTC)
@Ojorojo and JG66: Noting that I've removed the tracking category from both {{Infobox song}} and {{Infobox single}}, because it's not really useful and the quote removal resulted in thousands of errors. Now, if the songs in |A-side=/|B-side= are separated by <br> tags then {{ubl}} will be used in place of the tags; and if there are otherwise more than two quotation marks then none will be removed (if I did it correctly). Jc86035 (talk) Use {{re|Jc86035}}
to reply to me
08:32, 24 June 2017 (UTC)
  • "from the album" – common sense should prevail: if it's within a month or two, came out of the same recording sessions, promoted together, etc., that should be fine. I added this to prevent the most flagrant misuses (and they are quite frequent), when the song is eventually added to an album well after the single release (for example, the "Beck's Bolero" single preceded the album release by almost a year and a half). Suggestions to clarify this point?
    Ah okay. ("Back on the Chain Gang" comes to mind for me, a single in late 1982 and an album track in January '84.) I think it might be an idea to clarify the point with just the sort of proviso you cite – common sense: if the single's within a month or two of the album / from the same recording sessions / promoted together. I'll have a think and come back with a suggested rewording. JG66 (talk) 04:55, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
  • "first known release date" – yes, this is a carryover from Infobox single (from 2008?). I think the idea is to discourage long lists of all the various subsequent releases and formats (and labels, B-sides, lengths, etc.) in secondary markets. Again, suggestions for better wordings?
    Sure, I agree with the thinking. I'd never read this (or much of the documentation) before now, but it seems we should include wording that allows for the situation you identified in March with the infobox for Cream's "Crossroads". Having said that, I see the article's infobox now focuses on that song's status as a Cream album track ... So, just to be clear: we are still allowing for instances where a song was subsequently issued as a single (those Michael Jackson and Stones examples, the Beatles' "Come Together", Oasis' "Don't Look Back in Anger", etc etc); or not – i.e. are we saying that released means the very first instance that a recording was issued commercially? For me, this is one of the grey areas I was alluding to back in that March RfC. If it is the former – whereby released and format ignore the song's initial album release and focus instead on the track as a single "from the album" – then some guidance is obviously needed in the documentation. Currently, and since '08 perhaps, we're advocating only that very-first-instance approach. (Not trying to pass the buck re suggested rewording – simply want to confirm what the approach is first.) JG66 (talk) 04:55, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
Now with songs and singles falling under the same guideline, this area needs to be reassessed. I started a new section below. —Ojorojo (talk) 15:54, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
  • (pinging Raritydash, Livelikemusic, Kellymoat and MarioSoulTruthFan for additional input) To clarify this, if a song is released as a digital "promotional single" (before the album itself) and then released as a single at some later date, which date is used in the infobox? "Grenade" uses the promotional single release, whereas "Touch" uses the UK radio release (which is the closest thing to the single release that anyone could find after half a year). Jc86035 (talk) Use {{re|Jc86035}}
    to reply to me
    08:38, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
  • "Double A-side" – I think this was Jc's answer to an editor's push for a single to be recognized as a two-track release. I brought up the limited application, but 
    Probably best I stay out of this one, then ... Curious. JG66 (talk) 04:55, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
    @Ojorojo: The application is limited (to the few hundred double A-sides and releases where the B-side is of equal importance), but it's probably better for controlling formatting, as well as for exporting information to Wikidata if it's done someday. Note that a few singles released after the 1970s (e.g. "Thankyou Whoever You Are") seem to have this as well but I don't know if the B-side should be kept in the chronology. Jc86035 (talk) Use {{re|Jc86035}}
    to reply to me
    08:38, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
@Jc86035: Although some editors may add them, B-sides usually aren't included in chronologies. For a long while, B-sides used Infobox song, so their addition to infobox singles is unexplained. An exception may be older 78s, when the A-/B-side distinction wasn't made or marketed. If the instances of double-A is better handled this way, fine, otherwise the Bs probably wouldn't be missed. It seems that if there is a parameter, someone will always find a way to (mis)use it. —Ojorojo (talk) 17:01, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
Ojorojo (talk) 18:00, 21 June 2017 (UTC)
That is the closest date to the single release I could find tbh. The other dates are already on the following year and the single was released to radio stations in US, New Zeland, and Australia as well. Besides this, it was very likely to be released soon after that promo date since rumors started around early October of becoming the next single. In this interview, Mars confirms as the next single [3] plus video was released mi november. MarioSoulTruthFan (talk) 09:54, 22 June 2017 (UTC)

Earliest release info only or?[edit]

Since the infoboxes are now merged, the documentation needs to be clarified to address the different releases. The former infobox single included:

This field should refer to the earliest known commercial release date, using a single occurrence of {{Start date}} ...

For Infobox song:

This field should contain the date the song was released, using {{Start date}}. This is typically the release date of the album on which the song was released. If the song was released as the B-side of a single, specify the release date of the single.

Some of the issues:

  • If the song was released on an album and also released as a single, should |type=song or |type=single be used? Should it be determined by which was released first or does any single release qualify for |type=single? What about minor (specialty, limited, etc.) or secondary market releases?
  • If released on both, should the earliest date be used or both? Should this apply to format(s), length(s), etc.? If the single is re-released or the song added to another album, should the additional info be included?


  • Since an infobox should only present key facts about an article, many details on subsequent formats, release dates, labels, etc., are more appropriate for the body of the article. The guideline should reflect this:
  • The |type= should reflect the most notable release: if the song charted or otherwise known as a single, |type=single should be used. If an album track was released years later as a single or in a secondary market, etc., that is not otherwise notable, use |type=song.
  • "From the album" should not be identified for singles issued well in advance of the album.
  • For released, use the first commercial release date. If an album track also becomes a popular single, add that as a second date. Dates of subsequent releases, remixes, album appearances, in other markets, etc., should not be included unless otherwise notable.
  • Format, length, label should reflect the same as |type=, with only other notable releases added.

Ojorojo (talk) 15:54, 22 June 2017 (UTC)