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The Signpost
1 December 2018

Portals WikiProject update #020, 12 Oct 2018[edit]

Whew, a lot has been happening.

A bit of defending of the portals has been needed. But, most activity recently has been directed upon maintenance and development of existing portals.

The majority of portals now use the new design, about 2400 of them, leaving around 1200 portals that still employ the old style.

Newest portals[edit]

Please inspect these portals, and report problems or suggest improvements at WT:WPPORTD. Thank you.

MfDs[edit]

Since the last issue of this newsletter, Nineteen portals were nominated for deletion. All posted by the same person.

Two portals were deleted.

One resolved as "no consensus".

Sixteen resolved as "keep".

Links to the archived discussions are provided below:

  1. Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Air France
  2. Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Alexander Korda
  3. Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:August Derleth
  4. Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Average White Band
  5. Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Bee-eaters
  6. Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Ben E. King
  7. Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Benny Goodman
  8. Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Bill Bryson
  9. Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Billy Idol
  10. Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Billy Ocean
  11. Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Bob Hope
  12. Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Bobbie Rosenfeld Award
  13. Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Body piercing
  14. Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Canton, Michigan
  15. Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Compostela Group of Universities
  16. Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Diplo
  17. Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Diversity of fish
  18. Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Pebble Beach
  19. Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Peter, Paul and Mary

Many thanks to those who participated in the discussions.

To watch for future MfD's, keep in mind that the Portals WikiProject is supported by automatic alerts. You can see them at: Wikipedia:WikiProject Portals#Article alerts: portals for deletion at MfD

Creation criteria[edit]

There was also some discussion of creation criteria for portals. The result was that one of the participants in the discussion reverted the portal guidelines to the old version, which has the minimum number of articles for a portal included in there: "about 20 articles", a guideline that was in place since 2009.

Many of the portals that existed prior to April 2018 do not have that many (being limited to however many subpages the portal creator created), and therefore, these portals need to be upgraded to the new design (which automatically provides many articles for display). Using the new design, exceeding 20 articles for display is very easy.

Linking to the new portals[edit]

Efforts have been underway to place links to new portals (all 2200 of them created since April).

  1. Link (portal button) from corresponding category pages.  Done
  2. Link from See also section on corresponding root articles. check Partially implemented
  3. Link from bottom of corresponding templates. check Partially implemented
  4. Link for each portal on Portal:Contents/Portals. check Partially implemented

Your help is needed. It is easy to access the page mentioned in #1, #2, & #3 from the portals themselves.

AWBers could do these tasks even faster (that's how the category pages were done), except #4...

Item #4 above pretty much has to be done by hand. (If you can find a way to speed that up, I would be very impressed). The links needing placement can be found at Portal talk:Contents/Portals#These are not listed yet. Instructions are included there.

The conversion effort: news sections[edit]

There are still around 1200 old-style portals that have only undergone partial conversion to the new design concepts, still relying on subpages with copied/pasted excerpts that have been going stale for years, out of date (manually posted) news entries, etc.

The section currently being tackled on these is news. You can help by deleting any news section on the old-style portals that has news entries that are years old (that is the dead giveaway to a manual news section). Be sure not to delete the news sections of portals that have up-to-date news, or active maintainers. For maintainers, look at the portal's categories, and/or check the participants list at WP:WPPORT.

Eventually, conditional news sections (that appear only when news items are available for display) will be added using AWB to all portals without a news section.

News items (and even the news sections themselves) are automatically generated for portals that were created using the Basic portal start page. On those portals, there is a hidden comment at the top of the page (that you can see in the edit window), that says this:

<!-- This portal was created using subst:Basic portal start page -->

Design development[edit]

Presently, we are in the process of implementing the new design features, creating new portals with them, and installing them in existing portals.

But, what about development of new new design features?

We have a wish department.

Post your wishes at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Portals/Design#Discussions about possible cool new features, and they might come true. Many have already, and for many of those, this is where they were posted.

Cascade effect[edit]

A resource that has been elusive so far will be obtained eventually: categories. That is, the ability to pull category member links to populate a page.

Rather than populate portals directly with such links, it may be more beneficial to the encyclopedia to utilize them in navigation footers, because portals already have the ability to generate themselves based on those.

So, this would create a cascade effect: auto-gathering entries from categories, would enable the construction of new navigation footers, that would in turn support the development of new portals.

The cascade effect would also be felt by existing portals, as existing navigation footers could be expanded using the category harvesting methods, which would in turn expand the coverage of portals that access those navigation footers.

You can help by providing leads about any potential category harvesting methods. Please report anything you know about harvesting categories at WT:WPPORTD. Thank you.

Looking into the future: the quantum portal?[edit]

One idea that has been floating around is the concept of a pageless portal. That is, a portal that isn't stored anywhere, instead being generated when you click on a menu item or button.

Many of the new portals were generated by a single click, and then saved via a second click.

Therefore, it seems likely that the portals of the future will employ the one-click concept.

Because of the need for customization by users, this concept would need to be augmented with a way to integrate user contributions. This could be done in at least two ways: posting an existing portal, autogenerating one from scratch if such does not yet exist, or have a special data page for user contributions that is folded into the auto-generated portal.

How soon? That is up to you. All that is needed are persons to implement it.

Until next time...[edit]

Keep up the good work on portals. They are improving daily. Thank you.    — The Transhumanist   04:26, 12 October 2018 (UTC)

Portals WikiProject update #021, 24 Oct 2018[edit]

Portals have passed the 4,000 mark.

More new portals...[edit]

Here's a list of portals created since the last issue

List of new portals

Please inspect these portals, report problems or suggest improvements at WT:WPPORTD, or develop them further (see below). Thank you.

What's next?[edit]

There is still lots to do...

There are many subject gaps that need to be filled. This can be done by creating new portals, or by adding Selected article sections to existing portals. To create a new portal, simply place {{subst:Basic portal start page}} on an empty portal page, and click "Preview". If the portal is complete, click "Save". After you try it, come share your experience and excitement at WT:WPPORTD.

Each new portal is just a starting point. Each portal of the new design can be further developed by:

  • refining the search parameters to improve the results displayed in the Did you know and In the news sections.
  • adding more specific Selected articles sections, like Selected biographies.
  • inserting a Recognized content section.
  • adding more pictures to the image slideshow.
  • placing a panoramic picture at the top of the intro section (especially for geographic portals).

Besides the new portals, there are still about 1200 portals of the old design that need to be converted to the new design.

Many portals need to be de-orphaned, by placing links to them (in the See also section of the corresponding root articles, at the bottom of the corresponding navigation footer templates, and on the corresponding category pages).

Many of the new portals still need to be listed at Portal:Contents/Portals.

Bugs keep popping up in portals. These need to be tracked down and reported at WT:WPPORTD.

Tools are needed to make developing and maintaining portals quicker and easier.

Dreaming up new features and capabilities. Innovation needs to continue, to design the portal of tomorrow, and the portal development-maintenance-system of the future. Automation!

So, if you find yourself with a little (or a lot) of free time, pick an area (or more) above and...

...dive in!    — The Transhumanist   07:25, 25 October 2018 (UTC)

Portals WikiProject update #022, 11 Nov 2018[edit]

Welcome AmericanAir88[edit]

Give a hearty welcome to AmericanAir88, who has adopted working on portals as one of his main purposes on Wikipedia. So far, he has created the following portals:

Way to go!

Where's Evad?[edit]

Evad disappeared from Wikipedia on October 18.

He has been, and will continue to be, sorely missed.

Hopefully, he is okay, on a Caribbean cruise or something.

The conversion continues[edit]

Portals of the old design, are slowly but surely being converted to the new single-page design.

One factor that has slowed things down is that for many sections, the section header call and section contents call are integrated into a template and buried in a lua module, locking them in on each portal. They have been that way for years.

This means that these sections can't be directly edited like the other sections on the same portal. So, search/replaces affect all the sections except those. So, upgrading headers on these portals, for example, misses the integrated sections and inadvertently results in 2 different header colors.

Before we can continue with the upgrade of these portals, the headers and section contents calls need to be restored to each portal, so that those can be edited in concert with the other sections on the portal, and worked on independently of each other.

This is underway, with a solution implemented on about 1/4 of the affected portals so far. Around 300 of them. The remaining 900 should be done within a couple weeks or so.

Going wide...[edit]

We now have banner-shaped pictures included in the introduction sections of 180 portals. The rarity of such pictures has made it difficult to find suitably narrow images for display across the tops of portals.

We have a solution for this, courtesy of FR30799386...

Most pictures are not banner-shaped. But, you can still use them as banners. Here's how:

{{Portal image banner|File:Blueberries .jpg |maxheight=120px |overflow=Hidden }}

Using both maxheight=120px and overflow=Hidden produces this:

Blueberries .jpg

Project's status[edit]

There are now 4,140 portals, with more being created almost daily. Prior to this project's reboot, portals were created at about the rate of 80 per year. Since April of this year, we've created about 2,600 new portals, or 32.5 years' worth at the old rate.

Of those new portals, about 3/4 of them need links leading to them. Almost all of them are linked to from the category system, but they still need links in article see also sections, at the bottom of navigation templates, and on the main portals list at Portal:Contents/Portals.

Of the 1500 portals created before the reboot, about 300 have been completely converted to the new design so far. About 1100 more have been partially converted, with intros, image slideshows, and associated wikimedia sections getting the most attention.

Discussion has resumed on the portal guidelines.

Until next issue...[edit]

See ya round the portal system!    — The Transhumanist   11:47, 11 November 2018 (UTC)

ArbCom 2018 election voter message[edit]

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Wikipedia:WikiProject Portals update #023, 25 Nov 2018[edit]

There are now 4,180 portals.

Will we break 5,000 by the end of the year?

I know we can. But, that is up to you!

( New portals are created with {{subst:Basic portal start page}} or {{subst:bpsp}} )

Happy Holidays[edit]

Spread the WikiLove; use {{subst:Season's Greetings}} to send this message

Jingling along[edit]

The following portals have been created since the last issue:

Keep 'em coming!

By the way, the above list was generated using this Petscan query. It can be easily modified by changing the date. The data page (under the Output tab) also has options for receiving the data in CSV or tabbed format, which some operating systems automatically load into a spreadsheet program for ease of use, such as copying and pasting the desired column (like page names).

In closing[edit]

We'll keep it short this issue.

Expect a flood next time. Or the one after that. Face-wink.svg

Cheerio,    — The Transhumanist   08:06, 26 November 2018 (UTC)