Wikipedia:Featured portal candidates/Featured log/January 2006

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I've been working on this portal for several months now. It underwent a peer review, which resulted in a number of structural improvements. There is anywhere from a month to a year of future content scheduled, depending on the exact type; the only manual maintenance needed is to the DYK section. As far as I can tell, this is basically complete; I look forward to any comments. —Kirill Lokshin 01:52, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

Support: Tightly written page, well designed and easy to use. TomStar81 02:10, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

  • Comment - Unless the articles and images in the Featured article and Featured image section are actually featured content, the section title needs to be changed to something else, such as Selected foo. See Wikipedia talk:Portal#Overloading "featured" terminology for more discussion. Slambo (Speak) 17:56, 7 January 2006 (UTC)
    I actually asked Raul654 about that. The content is all actually featured; and he said it's fine to retain the featured labels on it in that case. —Kirill Lokshin 19:33, 7 January 2006 (UTC)
I agree with the above - I'd inadvertantly done that at Portal:London but it can be easily resolved by changing it to "Showcase blah" or "Selected blah". Also, I'd like to see {{portals}} stuck at the bottom of the page. It is only a single bar and it should really be on all portals. Anglo-Indian identity.svg Deano (Talk) 18:24, 7 January 2006 (UTC)
I'll add it momentarily! —Kirill Lokshin 19:33, 7 January 2006 (UTC)
I've added it at the bottom. Is that fine, or should it get its own box? —Kirill Lokshin 19:39, 7 January 2006 (UTC)
Yeah that's perfect - definitely not in its own box. As it is does the job. A resolution to the "featured" issue and this'll have my support. Anglo-Indian identity.svg Deano (Talk) 20:48, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
Thanks! As far as I can tell, though, the "featured" issue isn't really an issue in this case—see this comment. —Kirill Lokshin 21:01, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
Sorry - my bad. I assumed the above comments were referring to a present issue, but clearly your article/picture is in fact a Wiki Featured blah. On that basis:-
  • Support - as above. Anglo-Indian identity.svg Deano (Talk) 18:17, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Support. Intuitive and really well designed. SoLando (Talk) 02:48, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Support. Very lovely. You should add some of this structural flair to other portals, too.--ragesoss 20:43, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Support Tobyk777 03:58, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Object. Great portal, but a few issues prevent me from supporting. Firstly, there is far too much empty space at the top. The purge link could probably be shifted to the bottom right corner, and extraneous spaces could be removed. Secondly, the thumb markup needs to be removed from the images in the introduction as they conflict with the box background colour. Thirdly, the edit link to the featured article is broken. --cj | talk 15:21, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
  • The second and third issues have been fixed. I've also moved the purge link to the bottom and tried to eliminate as much spacing as possible; is that any better? —Kirill Lokshin 17:18, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Much better, thanks. I now support. Although I might add that left column is significantly shorter than the right; it may just be the present featured picture, but if not, you might consider adding another box, such as related portals (history?). Great work, --cj | talk 02:30, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
  • It's just the combination of a (vertically) large picture and a long task list with a small FA blurb and a short list of anniversaries. The heights do vary somewhat, but they're generally fairly close. —Kirill Lokshin 02:37, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Support, great stuff. the wub "?!" 15:00, 25 January 2006 (UTC)


I created this portal after a suggestion on Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Trains in May, and I've been keeping it updated on a daily basis (missing maybe two days per month since then). I've also tried to keep it from becoming too centered on any one region as rail transport is used worldwide. Slambo (Speak) 18:34, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

  • Strong Support, this is a fine page and it's obvious that a lot of work goes into keeping it current.--Lordkinbote 05:12, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Weak object: Obviously well-maintained, however a few design issues bug me. Firstly, I think "Categories" should be positioned above "Wikiprojects" (which should be spelt WikiProjects). Secondly, "Trains News" is rather large and I wonder if a better option might be to shorten it and incorporate another section in that column (either an existing one or an entirely new one). This comment is only a suggestion and can be struck as inactionable. Thirdly, the colouring is un-inspiring - is there a particular link to trains? It's a depressing colour. Fourthly, the shortcut link overlaps text in the intro box and the purge link creates extraneous space at the top.--cj | talk 05:55, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
    Thanks for the feedback. I've addressed the issues as follows:
    1. The Categories box is now positioned above WikiProjects box.
    2. The WikiProjects header now has the correct capitalization.
    3. As to shortening the news, there are some days when I end up completely replacing all six news items that are there. I had originally created this section with five items, but found that news was moving off the list a little too quickly to the archive. Also, I originally had the topic links that are now listed at the bottom of the introduction split out into its own box above the news; I found that doing that made the page look too much like a collection of links.
    4. The color is by no means permanent; it was chosen as a more or less neutral brown to (hopefully) look something like the color of a well used rail. It's one of the colors that was taken out of the discussion on template colors that occurred sometime around April that resulted in the colors in the standard talk page message boxes such as {{FAC}} (but I think that template's background color is too bright for use as a heading bar color here). It's the same color that many of the Trains project templates use for a heading bar, so if we change this color, I would suggest changing the article template colors as well (shouldn't be too hard since they're all collected into one page). That's not to say that the color shouldn't change, just that we should change all of the templates at the same time for consistency.
    5. I've tried a few methods to get the text not to overlap the shortcut box but haven't found a reliable method yet (see Portal talk:Trains/Intro, the edit history or the html comments within the box content for details).
    6. The {{browsebar}} (which is the list of main topics above the intro box) was added recently by another editor. I didn't much like the way it looked there, but couldn't think of a better alternative. I've moved the purge link above it. It still doesn't quite look right, but there's less whitespace at the top of the page now.
    Slambo (Speak) 12:11, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
    I've made a few changes to the Portal. On my standing points: I'd recommend just removing the shortcut link from the intro altogether, and perhaps putting it to the talkpage as is done with a few portals. Also, I still think the colour needs to be changed. If consistency with external templates is of concern they can be updated in conformity easily enough, as you mention. I think a requirement of feature portals should be attractiveness, and I just couldn't call that colour attractive - although I haven't any suggestions for replacement. Still, these are minor objections. I really must commend the collaborators to this portal; it easily could be the best-maintained. I'll support once a new colour is selected.--cj | talk 15:18, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
    Ah, the simplest solutions are sometimes the best. I wrapped the intro in a table and put the shortcut box into its own cell and the text wrapping is now correct. Since the color change would affect the navigation templates as well, I brought the color discussion to the Trains project talk page. Slambo (Speak) 18:33, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Support: Indeed, very well done, and obviously maintain with a lot of love for the subject. I do agree with the previous speaker that the colour could do with some improvement. --IJzeren Jan In mij legge alle fogultjes een ij 07:48, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Object, I'm afraid. Obviously a labour of love for Slambo, and I hope changes can be made so I feel able to support it. My comments are as follows: (1) It requires too much maintenance, which is all performed by just one editor (Slambo). If Slambo were to go on holiday, wikibreak or leave the project, the Portal would soon become out of date - in particular the "News" and "Did you know?" sections. (Incidentally I was amazed to see that all 366 Selected anniversaries have already been set up!) By reducing the maintenance time of the portal, this would also allow Slambo to concentrate on writing more WP content (or going out more often to feed the ducks, if he prefers:) ). (2) The San Diego and Arizona Railway and 4-4-0 articles are listed as "featured", but are not on WP:FA. Perhaps some word other than "featured" should be used. (3) The "Categories" section shouldn't be relegated to the bottom right of the page, but should be promoted, certainly it should be promoted above the "Things you can do" section. (4) I'd lose the "Other portals" template. It's redundant with Category:Portals, unnecessarily lengthens the portal, and provides links to some pretty poor quality portals mixed in with the better ones, jguk 08:22, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
    (1) There's nothing wrong with high turn-over portals; I'd venture to suggest they're better. There is no criterion that portals should be low-maintence. WikiProject Trains has a quite a few committed contributors, all of whom would likely pick up where Slambo doesn't. (2) There isn't a requirement that "featured" articles be actually features - they must, however, be high quality. There are only so many featured articles on Wikipedia, and most of them are concentrated in particular areas that may or may not be shared with portals. It is impracticle to restrict articles displayed to featured ones. Admittedly, there is a contradiction in terms, which may need to be rectified. But no harm comes from it, and it shouldn't be a reason to oppose. (3) I agree. (4) I had originally considered making {{portals}} a criterion, but it is duplicated by the category and maybe also {{browsebar}} (see WPT:P). It's optional, but not a reason to oppose. --cj | talk 09:29, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
    Thanks for the feedback, in response...
    1. I tried to design the boxes so that each one could be handed off to different editors if needed. I also tried to mirror the existing processes for similar boxes as they appear on the main page so the process would be familiar and easy to pick up. As to all of the maintenance currently being done by me, well, nobody has volunteered to help out. I've posted messages in what I think are appropriate places to seek volunteers and further participation, but have seen very little response so far. When I do take a vacation, most of my vacation time has something to do with trains, so I don't see the page maintenance as work yet, it's still fun for me. However, building and maintaining the portal has meant that I spend more time building and updating articles as well. It may sound backward, but in maintaining the portal, I have to look at a wider array of trains articles which leads to more edits as I go off to verify facts or fill in red links.
    2. On portal featured articles not being on WP:FA, there are less than 52 trains articles on the featured articles list. I've built and edited four articles that were promoted to featured status (most recently Rogers Locomotive and Machine Works), but to have a different article featured on the portal on a weekly basis means that we have to dip into the Good articles list more often than not. The same applies for the Featured picture box. Perhaps we should change the names of the boxes from "Featured foo" to "Foo of the week"?
    3. Actually, I was tempted to leave the categories box off the portal because there are so many categories that relate to rail transport that it would be nearly impossible to keep up with them.
    4. The {{Portals}} template has grown quite a bit in just the last month and is substantially larger now than when it was first added to the portal (it was four lines and not split into categories then). I've removed it.
    Slambo (Speak) 12:43, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
    A couple more thoughts after letting these simmer for a while... I would think that an actively updated portal would be more welcome than one that is farily static. The Main page isn't static and is updated at least daily; it has more editors working on it because there are a large number of editors interested in presenting a somewhat professional appearance. There is so much information related to rail transport to display, I see few reasons not to make frequent updates to rotate the content through the portal. Except for the first day this portal was live, every addition to the Did you know section was from an article that had at least one image; if I included facts from every rail transport article, I'd have to make even more updates to this section.
    Maintaining the portal does not prevent me from writing new articles or editing existing articles. In the last 30 days, for example, I created Brakeman, Soo Line 2719 and Pere Marquette 1225, and I took Rogers Locomotive and Machine Works through the FA process in October as well as helped out with TGV earlier this month. Other than what happens to the portal if I stop editing for some reason, I fail to see why an active portal is any less feature-able than an inactive portal. Slambo (Speak) 19:37, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
I'm still concerned as to whether the portal will remain fresh, though I agree it is a good portal. May I offer a way out of the impasse? I'll be willing to withdraw this objection provided that it is agreed that if the news and DYK section are ever not updated for a period of three months, it will be summarily demoted from its featured status (though if that ever were to occur it could be renominated for featured status), jguk 17:51, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
Sure, at that point it could be a Wikipedia:Featured portal removal candidate (FPRC); but we should apply the same criteria to any portal. Any that are no longer actively maintained should qualify as an FPRC. We've already seen instances where featured articles were removed from the list through FARC and then renominated for featured status (the article on Belgium comes to mind); we'd just be mirroring that process here. Slambo (Speak) 18:52, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
Slambo, I'm suggesting something slightly different - namely, despite my reservations, I will take your word for it that you will keep the portal up to date. If not, it would be summarily removed (ie no further process such as FPRC), jguk 19:40, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
On this theme, please see my proposed amendment to Wikipedia:What is a featured portal? here, jguk 19:57, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
Agreed, left additional comments there. Slambo (Speak) 23:06, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
OK, based on this discussion, and the amendment to Wikipedia:What is a featured portal?, I now support making this a featured portal, jguk 11:49, 31 December 2005 (UTC)

Any progress on that colour change? I hate to be a pain, but I do believe it to be a requirement (and I'm not the only one to express concern).--cj | talk 16:40, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

Not as many project members joined in the discussion as I had hoped (probably out on vacation or something), but after further experimentation, we may have a winner. The portal right now is using FFFF99, a light yellow shade, for the title bar backgrounds. It seems like the best fit from the experiments that I listed on the Trains project talk page, but I'm not sure it's the ideal selection. I'm not a graphic artist (nor do I play one on TV), and another selection could probably work better. Thoughts? Slambo (Speak) 20:39, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
Color change a requirement? Where is this stated? The Cricket portal color choice was horrid, IMO. I still say stick with the original color, it had some depth to it and a good rationale for its use. The current selection is weak, washed out. Don't mess with a good thing.--Lordkinbote 20:44, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
Actually, I agree that the original color looked better (which is why I haven't updated any of the other templates yet). Is there a graphic artist reading who can suggest a better palette for trains related pages? Slambo (Speak) 21:51, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
There's something between the original color and the pale yellow that we tried yesterday. Comments? Slambo (Speak) 12:16, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
Lordkinbote, attractive colouring in a portal is a requirement per the featured portal criteria. Of course, what actually is attractive and isn't is subjective. Slambo, that colour is better than the original and #FFFF99 (although may still be improved upon). If the aim is to represent a railway sleeper, I feel this is a good compromise and thus I support. Sorry for the trouble. Without further ado, I'll promote this portal. Congratulations on the first FP for 2006!--cj | talk 14:21, 4 January 2006 (UTC)