Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Infoboxes/Archive 1

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General comments about WP:DIT[edit]

Much better. It's less opinionated, better written, deals more with the appropriate use of optional fields, and it comes off less authoritative then WP:ACT. However, I do think a warning should be added cautioning template editors not to get carried away with optional fields — as Netoholic has complained in the previously mentioned proposal. After all, it is not appropriate to make every field optional.--TheFarix 02:45, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

That's probably true—although I've seen cases where only a few fields are required and the rest are optional (this is more an issue with infoboxes intended for historical topics, where the lost information problem really comes into play). Maybe some more general advice about how to select which fields should be optional and so forth would be even better. —Kirill Lokshin 03:09, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
Agreed, this is much much better. Regarding whether or not to make each field optional, the only reason I think it's a good idea is because editors may not have all the information available (but they may have some information). If they can't fill it all in, they should be able to fill in as much as they can, and leave the rest to future editors (in this way, individual editors will fill in each missing piece as they come across the article). The alternatives are to not have a box even partially filled in (meaning we may lose out on that editors knowledge/piece of the puzzle), or worse, have editors who copy and paste the Wiki-markup directly into the article, omitting the data they're not aware of. Anyways, looks good so far, I'll keep this watchlisted. =) —Locke Coletc 19:19, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
I think that the work at {{Infobox University}} is an excellent example of where multiple forked templates were brought together into a single cohesive infobox and shows use of optional parameters. How they are made optional is another issue, but it was a good bit of work. Does anyone know of widely used infoboxes that do not use optional parameters? --Reflex Reaction (talk)• 19:48, 10 March 2006 (UTC)


Is there any particular reason why the mdashes in the General advice section, or anywhere else in the proposal, shouldn't be unicoded? --TheFarix (Talk) 03:45, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

Feel free to convert them; I just use the HTML entities because it's faster for me to type them than to go hunting through the symbol box for the right one ;-) —Kirill Lokshin 03:46, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
Alt-0151 will give you the mdash and Alt-0150 will give you the ndash on a US keyboard. I hope that is of any help to you. ;) --TheFarix (Talk) 04:11, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

Ultimate status[edit]

Am I right in thinking the goal for this should be a style guideline? —Locke Coletc 04:38, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

I was thinking a regular guideline, actually, since we're only making broad comments about style rather than giving lots of specific rules. I could be wrong about this, though. —Kirill Lokshin 04:43, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
It would be hard not to talk a little about style when providing guidelines about when a field could be made optional. However, I believe the goal of this guideline to get encourage template editors to think more about the contents of a dynamic infobox while at the same time avoiding the "Editors are using this badly, so stop using it!" logic of both WP:AUM and WP:ACT. --TheFarix (Talk) 12:42, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
This article is not linked from anywhere substantive. It's orphaned. It really needs to be linked from somewhere, preferably the MOS. But if its in the MOS then it probably needs to be renamed, probably to something like Wikipedia:Manual of Style (infoboxes).
BTW, OT, what is WP:ACT meant to point to? Frelke 07:49, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Creation or usage?[edit]

It seems that most of the guidance here focuses on infobox creation, rather than usage. For example, many (but not all) pages that have a single most-appropriate infobox place the infobox in the introductory section. This seems most logical, but the only recommendation I've found on the topic is in Wikipedia:Chemical infobox (which does instruct editors to put the infobox in the introduction). Would there be any opposition to recommending infobox placement in the introductory section as a usage guideline on this page? Tlesher 01:16, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

There already is! See discussion at the main MOS page and also at WT:LEAD
mikaultalk 13:38, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

Lacking vital information?[edit]

Hi contributors. Is there any reason that this page contains no advice about where infoboxes should be located, when they should and shouldn't be used, and guidelines for the use of images within infoboxes? Tony (talk) 13:36, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

Mainly because, despite the later renaming, it was never intended to be a proper MoS for infoboxes in general, but was rather a page regarding a very specific issue in terms of how the templates themselves were designed. Kirill 17:33, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
There have been discussions on this. Even though there has been a tendency for editors to put infoboxes in the lead section, this has not been part of any guideline. Indeed where advise has been given as a result of discussion and consensus (such as Wikipedia:Infobox_templates#Design_and_usage, it has been that infoboxes be placed in the main body or most appropriate section. Various reasons have been given for this - the two main ones have been aesthetics (too much overload of information in an infobox), and that when a content box is turned off an infobox can displace the section(s) below if it is placed in the lead. I'll adjust the sentence in the lead section to be less contentious, and to avoid a potential clash with other advise. SilkTork *SilkyTalk 16:02, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

Merge Wikipedia:Infobox templates[edit]

This page Wikipedia:Manual of Style (infoboxes) deals with how to use infoboxes, and so does Wikipedia:Infobox templates. Would it be appropriate to look closely at them and merge the information? SilkTork *SilkyTalk 13:42, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

I think it should be the other was around. -- (Cocoaguy ここがいい contribstalk) 20:07, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

Merged talkpage from Wikipedia:Infobox templates[edit]

SilkTork *SilkyTalk 11:03, 29 October 2007 (UTC)


The width of an infobox should be specified in em's not px, as this is relative to font-size. ed g2stalk 11:09, 20 May 2005 (UTC)

That's a bad idea. We're talking about a box itself, not text. px are needed for absolute positioning. -- Netoholic @ 16:19, 2005 May 20 (UTC)
Could you give an example where absolute positioning is needed or used? Em measurements may improve readability in some cases. In others they can make it worse or destroy a layout. I'm not sure what would happed here. Wipe 22:34, 20 May 2005 (UTC)
What are you on about? I've specified loads of boxes in em's. What exactly needs to be positioned absolutely? The infobox itself is floated right. ed g2stalk 00:26, 21 May 2005 (UTC)
Yes, well, thanks for not bothering to wait for a reply or more comments before you went and implemented your suggestion on all the infoboxes. Why did you even bother posting on this talk page if you were set on doing this anyway.
Anyway, px is the only reliable absolute unit on screen. Using em, sometimes browsers use the wrong reference size. Using em might also break things if multiple infoboxes are meant to line up (see the section on secondary infoboxes on the main page). The best practice is to use px for "structural" elements like the outer box size, borders, etc. Leave em for strictly text styling. Appropriate use of both is what we need. Remember also that many infoboxs use images, which are going to be specified in px. -- Netoholic @ 03:11, 2005 May 21 (UTC)
I've always implemented em's, way before suggesting it as a recommendation here. In the cases px's are absolutely necessary (show me an example) they can be used. But most of the simple infoboxes work fine with em's. If defined as the main table width, the em will always be relative to the normal font size, nested width's can then be defined as percentages. Using px's makes the boxes very ugly for anyone who doesn't use the default browser font size. ed g2stalk 10:14, 21 May 2005 (UTC)


The backlinks now show all the pages with the infobox.

Outdated discussion on limitation of number of backlinks[edit]

However, the maximum number shown is 999; therefore, for infoboxes used on more than 999 pages an automatically generated list that is complete is not available, unless there is a category. Alternatively there might be a non-automatic list.

Infoboxes used on more than 999 pages include:

As a workaround, the set of pages with an infobox can be divided in subsets of not more than 999, each calling a redirect to the infobox; the backlinks of the redirects are together the pages that use the infobox; one has to record the names of the redirects, because they are also part of the large set of backlinks of the infobox, of which only 500 are shown.

Redirects allowing 999 backlinks each:

Alternatively, CVG could redirect to CVG1, and the content put there, then on 999 pages less the template tag would have to be changed (from CVG to CVG2, etc.).

The same can be done for infoboxes when the number of pages reaches 999, then the backlinks are and stay complete without cumbersome changes in tags.

For example, for Template:Infobox City (talk links edit), when there are almost 999 cities, the template can be renamed, so that the existing tags refer to a redirect. A second redirect to the new name can be used for new occurrences of the infobox.

Patrick 08:51, 27 May 2005 (UTC)

I changed 500 to 999, and Template:Tic, after reading the message below.--Patrick 10:39, 19 Jun 2005 (UTC)

That's a really ugly hack for a very minor problem with the MediaWiki software. The backlinks page does accept &limit=999 in the URL if you want to see more that 500 backlinks, and probably &offset=999. ed g2stalk 15:25, 18 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Interesting that 999 are possible. However, offset does not seem to work. I think it is a basic limitation if you cannot get a list of all pages that use a template.--Patrick 10:56, 19 Jun 2005 (UTC)


There is a new proposal concerning infoboxes: Wikipedia:No infobox standardization. You are invited to comment.--Fenice 18:50, 15 August 2005 (UTC)

VOTE!! - HDI in Infobox#Countries|country infobox/template?[edit]

The Human Development Index (HDI) is a standard UN measure/rank of how developed a country is or is not. It is a composite index based on GDP per capita (PPP), literacy, life expectancy, and school enrollment. However, as it is a composite index/rank, some may challenge its usefulness or applicability as information.

Thus, the following question is put to a vote:

Should any, some, or all of the following be included in the Wikipedia Infobox#Countries|country infobox/template:

(1) Human Development Index (HDI) for applicable countries, with year;
(2) Rank of country’s HDI;
(3) Category of country’s HDI (high, medium, or low)?



E Pluribus Anthony 01:52, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

Infobox with Template:Infobox Country within another template[edit]

Should we use Template:Infobox Country on Austria or on Template:Infobox Austria. See Wikipedia:Templates_for_deletion#Country_Specific_Infoxboxes_that_only_redirect_to_Template:Infobox_Country. -- User:Docu

Template "lists of films"[edit]

{{lists of films}} Hi! I couldn't find this template here. I would like to know if anyone knows how to add one more genre in this template. It's missing drama films... fizzerbear 23:57, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

Stacking and aligning multiple template boxes[edit]

Editors of Saint Louis, Missouri would like to use Template:Quotebox to place directly under Template:Infobox City, and I've tried several ways to accomplish this, to no avail. How is it done (if it is possible)? Alternatively, it could be placed inside city infobox, but I'm not sure that is possible or desirable, or how to do it, if it is. Evolauxia 09:30, 26 February 2006 (UTC)

you want to add "clear:right;" in the styling of the box. I did it. It will automatically be pushed under any preceding floated box(es). Circeus 15:45, 26 February 2006 (UTC)
there's a problem with that solution... if the second box's containing section is short enough, the second box will overlay the "Edit" link of next section --Millbrooky 07:37, 17 March 2006 (UTC)

Infobox Instructions[edit]

Is there a standard form of usage instructions for infoboxes? Also, is there a stardard that says the instructions should be placed on the talk page. The reason I'm asking is because I think that the best place to put instructions would be on the infobox's main page (inside a pair of noinclude tags, of course). This way when a user goes to the infobox page they don't just see a mess of code or a box with a bunch of inclusion tags in it. A novice may not even realize the instuctions are on the talk page until they go there to ask how to use it. - Trevor MacInnis (Talk | Contribs) 23:28, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

Proposal for common look and feel for geographical infoboxes[edit]

I've created page for discussion about creating a standard look and feel for geographical infoboxes, please contribute at Wikipedia:Geographical infoboxes if you're interested. -- Rick Block (talk) 17:40, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

Notice of Move discussion[edit]

There is a discussion going on at Template talk:Infobox President about moving Template:Infobox President to Template:Infobox Officeholder. Hera1187 09:09, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

Edit infobox as section[edit]

As everyone knows, each section in a wikipedia article has an Edit link which gives a user the opportunity to edit only that section. Is there a way to include an edit link in an infobox which would give the user the opportunity to edit the template call as a section? (I.e., not a link to edit the template itself, but to the infobox within the current article.) I hope this is clear. The Infobox I'm talking about is Template:Infobox baseball team. Thanks in advance. Rolando (talk) 15:19, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

The infobox content is usually at the very beginning of the article, i.e. section 0, so I think the following does what you're looking for:
<span class="plainlinks">[{{fullurl:{{PAGENAMEE}}|action=edit&section=0}} edit]</span>
This produces an edit link for all of section 0 (i.e. everything before the first heading), not just the template invocation. -- Rick Block (talk) 17:47, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

unwanted interaction between infoboxes.[edit]

Hello - I was wondering if I could get some technical help regarding the interactions of two info boxes. I have been developing the template:mycomorphbox infobox as a way to quickly display identifying characteristics of mushrooms on mushroom pages. These pages tend to also have template:taxobox infoboxes. When the two appear together, the "edit" links in each sub-section of the articles get pushed down to the top of the lower infobox, generally the mycomorphbox. I would like to resolve this. Oyster mushroom is an example.

I believe it has something to do with the "edit" links being positioned using "float:right" as when I make test text with <div style="float:right"> I get the same positioning effect.

Thanks for any tips ! Debivort 08:35, 18 November 2006 (UTC)

Please see Wikipedia:How to fix bunched-up edit links. -- Rick Block (talk) 17:56, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

Common Problem[edit]

The infobox is very good template to use in any wikki for right side navigation , or content related navigation , but there is a common problem in implentation of infobox template that many time the box doesent appear. I am implementing a wiki [1] here We are implementing the infobox template IPR look through it at [2] the same like a template Intellectual_Property in wiki but no box is appearing. What to do is any one can suggest any solution . —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Siddhast (talkcontribs).

You're missing the styles that are defined here in MediaWiki:Common.css. If you can't figure out how to fix this on your own, I suggest you ask at the mediawiki-l mailing list. -- Rick Block (talk) 18:03, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

Film Director Infobox[edit]

Isn't it time we had a specific film director box? Editors have often used the Actor format (Scorsese, Hitchcock are examples) but it isn't ideal. El Ingles 22:02, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

I am truly amazed that there isn't one. Nemobius 05:35, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
I am all for having one.--Adoniscik (talk) 17:12, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

Placement of InfoBoxes[edit]

There is a conflict of guidelines. The InfoBox guideline says to insert the InfoBox in the top right of an article, yet the MoS guideline says that an image should be placed in the top right of an article unless there is a compelling reason not to. There is a discussion about this on the MoS [3]. The MoS guidelines predate the InfoBox guidelines and are overarching. The specific guideline to use a picture or image in the top right predates the InfoBox guidelines. Therefore the InfoBox guideline is inappropriate and in conflict with an existing consensual guideline. I have made the adjustment. Any queries please raise them on the MoS talkpage. SilkTork 17:50, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

This is being debated at [[4]]; but, for what it's worth, I don't think your changes are justified. Guidelines which fail to reflect common practice will be ignored; if you want to change it, you need to persuade editors to change their practices, not just alter a document which doesn't even have guideline status. TSP 00:05, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
NOTE: Regarding the guideline conflict noted above, the Infobox guideline has been merged into this article, so the discrepancy no longer exists. And FYI, the previous discussion noted above has been archived here. — TAnthonyTalk 20:48, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

Is this really the guideline?[edit]

So I attempted to "correct" an editor who was adding infoboxes after the lead paragraph in multiple biography articles, and was surprised to discover that this is actually per the MOS guideline in this article (Insert in the main body of articles - either after the intro or in the most appropriate section. Consider putting in the top right only in the most compelling of cases.) As I feel like I've never really seen an article whose infobox isn't right up top, I started choosing featured articles at random, and every one with an infobox that I viewed in fact "violates" these guidelines as far as placement goes. Is this guideline outdated, or just under-advertised and not considered important for article assessment? It seems like a relatively minor aesthetic issue, but if it is so rampantly ignored and unpoliced, I'm wondering who determined this guideline in the first place and why. — TAnthonyTalk 20:48, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

I know this is belated, but I agree with you. Almost every article out there with an infobox has the infobox at the very top, and (in my opinion) this is the way it should be stated in the MOS. Would anyone reject a change in the MOS to state this? All Hallow's Wraith (talk) 07:03, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
I would like to hear more of the reasons for placing the infobox in a particular location, whether always at the top or not. At the top is simple to state, simple to implement, yet there are articles where the main text seems to flow better around the infobox and the TOC depending on how they are placed. I prefer to see text wrapping around the boxes rather than a lot of whitespace, and many shorter articles have short introductions which look better above the infobox in my opinion. Is there any previous discussion of this that can be referenced? I like the idea of having some latitude to arrange the top of the article in a compact and effective manner.Leofric1 (talk) 17:24, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
I think the problem of latitude can create endless discussions and arguments in individual articles about where the infobox should be placed. I also think it's absurd that this MOS somehow ended up stating something that contradicts the location where the vast majority of articles have their infobox (the top), including most if not all featured articles. As for having the infobox anywhere other than the top, most versions of this I've seen look (frankly, to me) terrible, especially the the mix of infobox, TOC, and introduction I've seen in something like this. I also think that having the infobox anywhere other than the top, aside from causing a physical strain to the article, contradicts the basic purpose of an infobox, which is to give you the basic information about the person (or topic), including a picture, things that one would want to see at the beginning of an article (this is especially true about the picture of the subject) All Hallow's Wraith (talk) 17:58, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Looking at the history of this:
On the page Wikipedia:Infobox templates, the description stated "Insert at the top of articles and right-align" up until June 1, when User:SilkTork changed it to "Insert in the main body of articles - either after the intro or in the most appropriate section". There was no discussion or consensus to do this on the talk page (indeed, User:TSP stated that he did not think these changes were justified).
On the page Wikipedia:Manual of Style (infoboxes), the header of the article stated "Infobox templates are a broad class of templates commonly used at the top of an article". Once again, User:SilkTork changed it to simply "in articles" [5] on October 11, and later that month merged Wikipedia:Infobox templates into this. Again, there was no discussion or consensus on this page for the change. Therefore it's clear to me that these changes were done without consensus supporting them. All Hallow's Wraith (talk) 18:10, 22 April 2008 (UTC)