Template talk:William Gibson

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WikiProject Novels (Rated Template-class)
WikiProject icon This template is within the scope of WikiProject Novels, an attempt to build a comprehensive and detailed guide to novels, novellas, novelettes and short stories on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, you can edit one of the articles mentioned below, or visit the project page, where you can join the project and contribute to the general Project discussion to talk over new ideas and suggestions.
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WikiProject Books (Rated Template-class)
WikiProject icon This template is within the scope of WikiProject Books. To participate in the project, please visit its page, where you can join the project and discuss matters related to book articles. To use this banner, please refer to the documentation. For guidelines on this template's usage, see its documentation.
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→Taken from User talk:Skomorokh:

Howdy. No problem at all with the revert, I just wanted to explain what I was attempting to fix: At articles like Agrippa (A Book of the Dead), where the entry is the first in the line, it's slightly confusing having the bolded item next to the bolded section title. Not at all critical though, and I agree that my fix was less than optimal :)
However I am going to make the author's name identifiable as a link by removing the black colouring.
That's all, just fyi. :) --Quiddity 19:11, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for your courtesy. I appreciate your concerns, but I believe that generic templates are generally frought with design and aesthetic compromises and are unnecessary and undesirable in situations where editors are willing to do the coding, as here. I agree with you that the bolding makes for confusion, but that can be rectified by changing the formatting of the section titles. As for restoring the blue wikilink, this violates the principle of bolding the title of pages in order to state clearly and without confusion what is to follow, as in the the presence in the lede of articles of the title of the page, without links. I am copying this discussion to the template talkpage. Skomorokh incite 19:27, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

I've made the linked articles smaller to resolve the Agrippa problem and linked the entire title so that it's hard to miss. Skomorokh incite 19:35, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

First of all, using the tag SMALL for most of the template's contents is out of question: the text is too tiny to be legible, or easy to click on. The font-size is already decreased by the class=navbox, and the whole point of any navigation template are the links to individual items; they shouldn't be different from the default look.
Anyway, I don't find Quiddity's original argument too compelling. The readers will be aware of what page they are on. Also, book titles are differentiated by italics, so as the template currently stands the only occasion where the bolded non-link to the transcluding page would look the same as the "section title" is the last "Story elements" and the barely-stub Neural Attenuation Syndrome. Another possible solution would be switching to two-column format, with the headings sufficiently differentiated by the layout itself as well as possibly background color.
As for Skomorokh's question about the proper amount of items in that section: I don't care about it that much, so will not interfere with it either way, but I must say that I preferred the older shorter version about when I edited the template the time before the last. Currently it seems full of stubby, poorly referenced articles on obscure detail that might not survive VfD if anybody noticed them; IMO it would be more useful restricting the list to best-known and thoroughly-described concepts. --Malyctenar 19:33, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
P. S. Skomorokh, please simplify your signature's code as I've shown above.

→Taken from User Talk:Kevinalewis:

Hello Kevin, I'm wondering if you would mind making more use of edit summaries, especially when reverting the edits of others. For example, you reverted this edit of mine which seemed to me uncontroversial (novels necessarily being a subcategory of books, and subcategorisation being an uncontroversial Wikipedia policy). I've noticed you have twice edited Template:Gibsonian to convert the existing template to a navbox. However, you provided no rationale for why this was a desirable change. The navbox format unnecessarily multiplies the colours used and unbalances the text, rendering it ugly and difficult for users to read; furthermore by converting an easily identifiable template to a generic version it makes it difficult to identify this particular template by passing glance and contributes to the drab, aesthetically uninspiring style which affects much of Wikipedia, making it a less attractive resource for users. I look forward to reading your opinion on the talkpages, and hope we can avoid unconstructive reversions in future. Regards, Skomorokh incite 11:26, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

Lots of things in here. Having seen a few other editors convert to "navbox"es I thought this to be non controversial. see Wikipedia_talk:Navigational_templates#.7B.7BNavbox.7D.7D_is_the_new_standard :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 12:04, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
"novels necessarily being a subcategory of books", not true, they (novels) are a literary form and "books" are only the "normal" containers of those forms. They (novels) should be considered part of "works". Also the fact that someone has written a "book" tells you little about the nature of his writing, i.e. no "form" information. "unnecessarily multiplies the colours used", by default it adds one hardly excessive. "unbalances the text", all English readers know about right justification etc. and are quite comfortable with this technique, the confusing thing is when Wikipedia mixes one style to another from one article to another, very unprofessional. "rendering it ugly and difficult for users to read", entirely subjective view, one to which I disagree. "makes it difficult to identify this particular template by passing glance" and what on earth is the value of this! "drab, aesthetically uninspiring style", oh unlike the garish, any style will do approach that detracts from a serious reference resource that Wikipedia is aiming to be. "hope we can avoid unconstructive reversions in future", oh please, very POV. Having said all of that I will endeavor to leave this particular template alone if you feel strongly about it. I have no wish to fall out over any of this. We need to talk further an seek to see each other viewpoint and whether there are common grounds. Thanks for you comments by the way. regards. :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 11:49, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

Consensus here[edit]

From the above conversation the block to a move to navbox formatting seems to be by a single editor over aesthetic differences. While it's certainly a valid opinion that navboxes are less interesting than individually-formatted tables, this isn't a consensus position. In fact, quite the opposite would seem to be true. I'm personally in favour of converting this into a navbox for reasons of standardisation, simpler markup (and hence future maintainability) and for the separation of content from presentation (navboxes can easily be styled through CSS in Wikipedia themes; Wikipedia tables intermingled with raw markup less so). While this isn't a democracy, I think the general weight of opinion lies in favour of using the modern template. Chris Cunningham 10:37, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

Skomorokh is the main editor of the William Gibson related articles, so i think his opinion may carry more weight than some of the other people contributing to this discussion - who don't seem to be involved in those articles. CaNNoNFoDDaTalk 13:02, 18 October 2007 (UTC)
Brief comment Haven't got time to respond to the specific issues here but just to say I don't claim any ownership of the articles. I am prepared to manually alter anything that needs maintaining if, as in this case, the manual version is superior to the automated. Skomorokh incite 16:06, 18 October 2007 (UTC)
That an editor has put considerable effort into a particular section of Wikipedia lends him some weight in discussion, but it does not in itself end the debate; especially when the edit in question is not one of content but of mere presentation and maintainability. I've got a lot of experience editing navigation templates, but that didn't give me carte blanche to decide this argument in favour of using a navbox. That's why we're having this discussion. Chris Cunningham 13:18, 18 October 2007 (UTC)
Also the issues seem to hinge round such, strange ideas as being able to identify things by them "looking" different. Where is the serious nature of Wikipedia in that and also the general thrust of the WP:MOS which in basic terms argues for certain presentational and layout consistency between all articles and also between certain article types. :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 13:29, 18 October 2007 (UTC)
Ahem…the idea that objects perceived visually are easier to identify individually when they are visually distinct from one another seems is not in the slightest bit strange; it is precisely the basis for visual identification of disparate objects. You're also going to need to appeal to a lot more than a nebulous principle of "consistency". The current format of the template is hardly inconsistent with, for example Template:Jane Austen novels, Template:Thomas Pynchon, Template:Harlan Ellison, Template:Roald Dahl, Template:ChuckPalahniuk, Template:Sergey Lukyanenko, Template:Works of Lenin to cite just a few of this class of template. Furthermore, a rationale of standardization or consistency with a certain paradigm case (i.e. navbox) could easily be used to eliminate other forms of presentation in the spirit of false consensus in order to enforce conformity to the preferred option of a troupe of vanguardists. The alternative formats should be assessed freely on their merits. Skomorokh incite 19:26, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
It's not a "nebulous principle of "consistency"; that would imply that it wasn't quantifiable, whereas the ratio of navboxen to non-navboxen is verifiably increasing. Arbitrary counterexamples are not evidence to the contrary. The last part of your argument is flowery prose which isn't negatable, so I'm not going to argue against it. So, to summarise: navboxen are easier to maintain than custom wikitables (notwithstanding personal vouching to self-maintain them, which has a low bus factor). navboxen are positively creating consistency across Wikipedia where none existed before (notwithstanding custom WikiProject navbox variants such as template:military navigation, which have not yet been adopted by the project under the template we're discussing). navboxen are increasingly replacing custom Wikitables for navigation template across Wikipedia (notwithstanding random counterexamples). The alternative formats have been assessed freely on their merits and found wanting. Chris Cunningham 21:24, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
So another week's gone by. Any traction on this? Is there any applicable standard for literary articles which might weigh in on this issue? Chris Cunningham 10:59, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

I don't know if it's been suggested, but there are alternate style options for the navbox. Would you be content with something like this demonstration diff Skomorokh? That'd satisfy my discomfort over the title links being in black (we should never make users "hunt" for links), and the aesthetic result seems close enough to both to leave everyone happy? --Quiddity 18:24, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

Support Thank you very much for bringing that to our attention. While I think the centre justification is aesthetically simpler and easier to view, I am willing to meet navboxen-advocates halfway. I think I might also split the Bibliography section of William Gibson off into its own article so that Works of William Gibson will link directly. Skomorokh incite 12:59, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
While I generally don't like custom attributes on navboxen, better a compromise than nothing. Can we go with Quiddity's version, then? Chris Cunningham 13:16, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
Is the current version acceptable? Skomorokh incite 13:26, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
A few (now-corrected) syntax nitpicks aside, I'm happy with this. Thanks! Chris Cunningham 15:33, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Horizontal striping[edit]

Is there any reason why there are horizontal stripes of a slightly darker shade covering the Short stories and Story elements sections? Is there a rationale for these? Is it possible that they might be removed? Skomorokh incite 19:54, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

It's a default part of the navbox styling; it helps visually separate the list sections' contents from each other. As a usability enhancement, I quite strongly support its usage. --Quiddity 21:37, 31 October 2007 (UTC)


Bah, the recurring problem of links running beyond the boundaries of the template has raise its ugly head again. Is there a more elegant way than non-breaking spaces to fix this? Skomorokh incite 18:38, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

The series taxonomy isn't really necessary in a navbox. I've removed it, which should alleviate this. Chris Cunningham 00:43, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
Still broken for me - "The Winter Market" breaches the right hand margin of the template. Can we use <span> or something? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Skomorokh (talkcontribs) 16:43, 9 November 2007 (UTC)


In [1], User:Thumperward said to "just drop the subcats. this isn't meant to be a taxonmy; it's only meant to get people to relevant links. too much categorisation in navboxen is counterproductive". I believe that proper categorization is very useful, however. What does everyone think? ~ Jafet (spam) 16:29, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

I support the inclusion of the Sprawl trilogy and Bridge trilogy articles - they are, after all, works of William Gibson. Skomorokh incite 16:46, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
Done then. Also rewrote link texts in Miscellanea to be more accurate. ~ Jafet (spam) 03:30, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
I like it, much clearer.--Quiddity 04:40, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Story elements mergers[edit]

Discussion on proposed merges moved to Talk:Works of William Gibson Skomorokh incite 17:45, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Adding an image to the template[edit]

William Gibson by FredArmitage.jpg

What do editors feel about adding an image of Gibson (such as that displayed to the right) to the template? Template images are used to great effect in e.g. Template:Nietzsche. I tried implementing it myself, but the overlap problem resulted in "New Rose Hotel" being superimposed on the image. Does anyone know how this might be successfully done? Skomorokh incite 18:25, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

I've uploaded a cropped version. How's that look to you? It stands out a bit compared to the Nietzsche one, but that's due to the lack of defining borders (per previous discussion). Chris Cunningham 20:06, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
I get the text overlap problem too (but with "The Belonging Kind" and "Skinner's Room"), so reverted the addition. I'm not sure how to fix that?
It's also a very bold image, perhaps more imposing than useful? This template is already quite large too. I'd subjectively/weakly prefer to not have an image (happy to be overruled though). --Quiddity (talk) 21:51, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
I can't reproduce the overlap error on either Firefox or IE, so I have to defer to you two on this. I can take or leave the image, but it's there to use in a more compatible format now anyway. I would imagine the problem is caused by the navbox template's attempt to avoid breaking in the middle of links along with this template's somewhat overwrought markup. Might be worth asking the experts over at template talk:navbox. Chris Cunningham 23:30, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm using firefox on linux, without any personal stylesheets that would affect this. The problem is consistent at all browser-window widths.
See Image:Wikipedia-screenshot-gibsonian-template-overlap.png for screenshot. I'll leave it to someone else to diagnose. --Quiddity (talk) 01:40, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

Going back to the styling again[edit]

So it's been a while since we discussed this. Is it okay to think about removing the additional styling here now? The navbox documentation recommends not using styling, and there really doesn't seem to be a concrete reason for setting this box in white. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 09:39, 27 July 2008 (UTC)

I can't see that anything has changed; the navbox documentation is still a horrid indictment of Wikipedia's embarrassing graphic design and monotony for monotony's sake. Standard navbox styling remarkably manages to be simultaneously ugly and dull. Incidentally, is the text overlap problem occurring for you in the current version? I've restored the MOS purity. Regards,Skomorokh 10:05, 27 July 2008 (UTC)
I'm not getting any text overlap problem, no. As for the design, well, I'm rather fond of the standard templates to be honest, and I appreciate that Wikipedia devotes more time to article content than it does to presentation. I'm much keener on this year's version that last year's vintage, and I'd be even keener if we weren't arbitrarily overriding the default colour scheme. Not that I'm a huge fan of lavender or anything, but I'd rather we devoted efforts to getting {{navbox}} changed in that case. I successfully lobbied to rid {{infobox}} of its pastel colouring, after all. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 10:19, 27 July 2008 (UTC)
Sounds like a little more to bite off than I am willing to chew, but I'll pitch in if someone tries to get some reform going, so as not to appear WP:OWNy about this. Skomorokh 10:24, 27 July 2008 (UTC)
Just as an update to this, I've removed the style overrides to see if this can sit for a few days without generating too much acrimony. The dark edge of the image jars when it's not offset by an obvious border, so I think this is appropriate. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 13:58, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
Are we back to revert warring over this? Let it go, Skomorokh. The lavender colour is no more "garish" here than it is on every other navbox in the encyclopedia, and there's more than enough consensus that standardisation is a worthwhile cause. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 14:35, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Kevinalewis: I don't understand how completely deleting the link to the article Works of William Gibson, in favour of a category link, is preferable?
Color: I support the ability to customize any navbox, if we can customize them at all. That said, in light of (featured) articles like 2005 Sugar Bowl having some really garish colouring in their navboxes, I'd frankly prefer to eliminate customization altogether. (See most sport articles, and many cultural or geographical articles, for more hideous – and sometimes impossible-to-read-due-to-low-contrast – color schemes.) All of which is: Not My Windmill. And this is really not the place to argue it out. -- Quiddity (talk) 17:55, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Hadn't spotted the article you mention I will look at it. :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 17:58, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Included the article link as an above - unusual to have this type of artciel as well as a biogrpahical article but included for completeness. On the styling it is discouraged and the "improvement" is entirely subjective. :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 18:04, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
If you don't even look at what you are editing, how are you going to help? (As in: How can you delete something without spotting it?) It is a very standard practice to create a "works by" sub-article: see Category:Bibliographies by author, and Category:Discographies, etc. Linking to the category as the first word in a navbox is far less-standard. Especially when that category is less informative/useful than the article.
I'll leave your styling reversion, but I strongly object to the heading-content change. -- Quiddity (talk) 19:15, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Gentlemen, I am not the one adding style frills, you are; my version of the template is plain simple white, whereas you are adding the horrid functionless purple. The rationale for changing now - "it's a good time to make the change we wanted to now because, um, it's been a while since we tried the same thing last time" - is less than convincing. I'm fine with letting this one slide - this is not a productive use of any of our leisure time, but I must echo Quiddity's objection to the heading change. Introducing the category is pointless (and another warning against unquestioning "standardisation"), as all the articles in the category are linked from the template, where they are even organised better. The featured bibliography offers fuller publication details on the subject of the template - the works of Gibson - and unlike the category is non-redundant. Hopefully, the current version is satisfactory for all concerned. Respectfully, the skomorokh 13:00, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

blatant vandalism from DrinkThineCookies[edit]

did you see any gibsonian articles impacted with this diff? I just reverted such edit. Gibsonian articles are now normal. Also the edit by DrinkThineCookies has a link to Nіmp.оrg note that it's actually o*n.n*i*m*p.o*r*g for people using Windows-1252 (with no *s) --░▒▓Frogger3140▓▒░ (talk) 14:01, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for catching that. I believe it may have been intended to target the Disneyland with the Death Penalty article, which is at WP:DYK today. No permanent harm done, the vandal has been indef blocked. the skomorokh 14:05, 28 September 2008 (UTC)
Warned him for blatant vandalism the day I saw that diff. --░▒▓Frogger3140▓▒░ (talk) 20:24, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
That was some big vandalism. --Macbookair3140 (talk) 14:26, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

Forked to the Book: namespace[edit]

I'm not sure quite how it works, but I've thrown together a copy of this template in the Book: namespace at Book:William Gibson. Input and suggestions welcome.  Skomorokh  14:18, 19 January 2010 (UTC)