Wikipedia talk:Route diagram template/Archive 6

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LUECKE/RoutemapRoute >> CONT; H--- >>> ---q

Can I please ask that editor complete each template in its entirety with the changes resulting from recent discussions.

A recent edit made on one tempalte has changed exHSTR to exSTRq, but left all the HSTR. If you are replacing all the H--- for ---q please do them all. Another editor is change LUECKE to CONT but failing to remove the {{RoutemapRoute}}.

As it is there are templates all round the patch which have been partially converted. This lack of a systematic approach is leaving the templates in an unknown state. There are at least three, maybe four editors, going round changing little bits.

Since the discussion I have been working my way through the Scottish Historic Railway Templates, including reviewing them (and there are still some more to be created), however I have been finding partially converted templates - in one case an editor changed some instances of HSTR, but left one or two behind.

My suggestion is that if a template is visited it is changed in its entirety, and not changed one icon type at a time. This way we know if it has been completed. It is also an ideal chance to review the template for any errors and or improvements. --Stewart (talk | edits) 10:36, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

I haven't the time to wade through every word of previous discussion about CONT, but at a brief glance I can't see any consensus that {{RoutemapRoute}} should be removed when LUECKE is changed to CONT. And there's nothing at all on the project page Wikipedia:Route diagram template to say RoutemapRoute is deprecated. Personally, I see no problem with RoutemapRoute co-existing with CONT. If there's a strong consensus against my view, then fair enough, but I'm not convinced such consensus exists.
Response to the specific issue - This came out of Kevin's comment that the template looked untidy and I understood that from the discussion that LUECKE/ was to go to CONT. --Stewart (talk | edits) 17:40, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
If we do manage to agree on certain standards, then those standards ought to be clearly stated on the project page. You can't expect all editors to be familiar with the ins-&-outs of every talk page discussion. --Dr Greg (talk) 13:24, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
Whenever I look for pages to convert, I usually exchange all icons I find, but sometimes I miss one or two, just because I haven't seen them. It happens ... axpdeHello! 15:31, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm working on it too (I changed all exHSTR to exSTRq in templates), but one image at a time on all wikipedia's, working from commons (using "Check usage"). - Erik Baas (talk) 15:35, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
Incidentally having now re-read the discussion about H--- >> ---q; LUEKCE to CONT; and all the rest - and I will latch onto Alison's comment - there was no final concenus on H--- to STRq. If fact another suggestion came up.
So any H--- to ---q are premature and personally if others wish to waste their time renaming everything, piecemeal, then that is their time they are wasting, and everyone elses when they come across a half modified template. At worst the use is deprecated - not forbidden - so there is no need to spend time on this. All it does is fill up our watchlists with trival edits. Each template should be visited once - and once only - for the changes, and only once a concenus is reached.
And yes I am annoyed about the imposition of a standard from, again as Alison said above:

"I visited in two dozen different projects": We are not talking here about 'other' projects, but about how WP.en has taken the basic icons (acknowledged as being developed elsewhere but extended) and we've extended them - or made use of the extensions made elsewhere - so that people *on WP.en* are generally aware of their usage and existence, at least those of us making and supporting route templates. Your compliance issue is a non-issue on this project as generally we have been far more specific in what we depict on our route maps (elevated sections, stations in cuttings, light rail/underground services, etc. etc.). I have no issue whatsoever in any project making standards *for itself* but it should not try to impose those 'standards' on other projects in *any* way (imho, etc). --AlisonW (talk) 01:08, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

--Stewart (talk | edits) 17:52, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
AlisonW has warned against a mad rush to adopt new names and icons, for example -qs for H-s. There seem to be editors who, possibly in the belief that making such changes brings Glory and the Salvation of the Universe, tear through templates changing all they see and proclaim that the older established name is about to be deleted. In fact -q for H-seems to be useful, but making LUECKEs into CONTs ignores that their displays are quite different, and usefully so, for example a CONT can mean leaves the template while a LUECKE can show a line which reappears. Moreover LUECKEs used with Over can be useful. A further strike against CONTs is that In The Beginning (where L/R was tied to f-orward and g-ainst running down the page) lines running into the subject route were to be labelled as "From XXXX" and lines running out of the route were to be labelled as "To XXXX" and now it looks plain daft to have an arrow pointing out of the map with the wording "From XXXX ". I fear that the mention of that is enough to start the human bots achanging things. Maybe what is needed are A(nti-)CONTs/FROMs with arrow heads pointing into the track ====< instead of ====>.--SilasW (talk) 19:32, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

Personally I see the point of replacing the Luecke's with arrowed endings and the way this would make the Routemap routes redundant. But I see no logic in replacing the intuitive HSTR (H for horizontal, yes?) with STRq and have better things to do with my time. Where was this discussed, by the way? Britmax (talk) 19:42, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
Changing HSTR to STRq is not at all premature: all icons "HSTR" are going to be deleted from commons. and there is nothing new about this title, it's just that you have been using the wrong one all along. - Erik Baas (talk) 21:57, 22 January 2009 (UTC)


About SilasW's suggestion of "FROM" icon compares to CONT icon, I would say that isn't necessary. Because the icons themselves tell the direction the tracks lie toward. It's still ok to describe "from XXX" with an CONT icon. And I feel a FROM icon doesn't make much sense. If driving directionality must be specific, use STRu, STRd, STRl, STRr then. And the discussion of renaming the CONT set is likely to be passed. You shall join the discussion on the icon pictogram talk page. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 06:36, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

IMHO the simplest cure for this is to change all the "froms" to "to's" as with very few exceptions trains do go both ways. Now could someone please explain why the change from HSTR etc to STRq etc for an icon that still shows a straight line? Britmax (talk) 08:29, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

I have explained the reason for exchanging HSTR with STRq that often, I won't do it again! Read the ... diskussion pages! axpdeHello! 13:22, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
And as AlisonW has stated any change to WP.en without concencus is premature. THere is no concencus in this respect. We have an editor changing them on WP.en without concencus. Anyone reading the preceeding discussion should read what AlisonW has written and stop change H--- to ---q until a concencus is achieve until leave them alone. HSTR still works a dn picks up STRq for example. No problem. Whatever the reason may have been elsewhere in WP, WP.en has yet to reach a concencus. Just stop wasting your time changing something which is in contention, until on only when concencus is reached. --Stewart (talk | edits) 16:30, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

A general P.S.: Someone already deleted HSTR once a while before and replaced it with a redirect to STRq. I heard about using redirects is waisting server power, so I keep on changing whereever I found HSTR. And btw. if we wait until there is a consensus on en-WP, the chaos will already be there. Just have a look at the discussions above, you don't even find a concensus about how to display stations/stop/branching lines etc. and I'm not sure, where the CONT-debate is already finished ... :( axpdeHello! 17:13, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

Problems with hide\show

Please see Template talk:North London Line for discussion. Simply south not SS, sorry 00:11, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

space considerations

why do we put forth so such effort in displaying our icons for the "s-bahn" when we are trying, i assume, improve our own WP.en? BTW, i have not forgotten my own "new" english icon-id program mentioned a bit above here above. it's more work than i imagined. but be patient [;-)]. Dkpintar (talk) 07:30, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

Of course it's quite some work! I loaded up about a thousand new icons, neary all of them listed on commons:user:axpde/BSicons, and there are still several hundreds still missing ... and of course I will keep on being busy about S-Bahn icons, it's a german speciality :)
P.S.: Don't forget to change "BSicon" to something else ... ;-) axpdeHello! 17:29, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

Including a route diagram in an infobox

I am trying to include a route diagram in the Template:Infobox UK Bus Corridor and Template:Infobox UK Bus Route, an example page is at West Midlands Coventry Road bus corridor. I can't seem to include Template:West Midlands Coventry Road bus corridor successfully within the infobox. Any ideas where I am going wrong? Jenuk1985 | Talk 02:41, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

2 things need to be revised: the {{Infobox UK Bus Corridor}}, edit the parameter routemap refers to {{Infobox Public transit}}; the diagram template by applying {{bs-table3}}, see the example in the template doc. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 03:36, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
Thank you for your help, based on your advice I have got it working at West Midlands Coventry Road bus corridor. Jenuk1985 | Talk 04:18, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

request for communication

[i didn't know how else to do this . . . ]

"axpde", could you contact me at

i have some questions for you on your icon table [and a very fine one it is indeed] and if & how it can be modified for use with my wikiEN icon-naming. [i am not the most techno/programming-savvy person]

thanks in advance,

Dkpintar (talk) 17:41, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

If you want to contact me, well, how about user talk:axpde or Special:EmailUser/axpde ?-) Just ask me what you like to know ... axpdeHello! 22:53, 6 March 2009 (UTC)


I think this should be added somewhere.

These templates may ideally be distinguished from others by having the suffices "route diagram", "route map", "map" or "RDT".

Simply south (talk) 11:16, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

Strongly disagree, there is no need to change them, generally RDT's appear to have the same name as the article they are included in, this is a good way to organise them. This is just moving things for the sake of moving things. Jenuk1985 | Talk 12:35, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
I going to create a new section for other people's general opinions. Simply south (talk) 20:42, 25 March 2009 (UTC)


1) Should suffices be added to RDTs to distinguish them from other templates? 2) If so, should a single suffix be used such as RDT, route diagram or equivalent? Which?

Also, Jenuk 1985, is it okay if i move your opinion to this subsection? Simply south (talk) 20:42, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

It's a debateable proposition, but I think overall a good idea - reason - especially in terms of editing wikipedia - having similar templates distinguised helps.
Comment - I've been trying to find the 'instructions' (ie this page) for weeks - if the templates were all called "template:RDT-myfavorite-railway-line" I would have been easily able to search for "RDT" and find this page.
Definately a simple suffix or prefix - ie strongly recommned using the prefix "RDT" as standard. (Question what about other languages - can there be a multilingual term?)FengRail (talk) 21:13, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
I'm not multilingual much, sorry so i don't know. (Btw, a prefix is where it is added at the start of a name, suffix is at the end but either can be suggested) Simply south (talk) 21:25, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
I have used the suffix "_map" on the 130ish route diagrams I have created. I would prefer something readable, rather than a (fairly incomprehensible) acronym. Bob1960evens (talk) 22:22, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
I am wholeheartedly against this sort of change except maybe where a really represenative majority (not just of "activists") is in favour and real benefit could come. Unfortunately there are editors, not in this case, who have an idea, self-evaluate it as a miraculous improvement, and then proceed to slam it in everywhere they happen to think of, damning all previous use as wrong even when the "rules", old and "new", fail in some cases (see the map in User:SilasW/Sandbox2).
Here (adding RDT) "BSheader" templates were not amended when the maps were renamed and so v-d-e stopped functioning and would-be editors of the map were sent into an encircling redirect. It's not enough that "Some good might come of it", the ramifications of the change have to be thoroughly thought out beforehand.--SilasW (talk) 19:58, 26 April 2009 (UTC)
I think its a good idea, roughly the some thing as the "Infobox ..." prefix. I propose maybe "route map" as a suffix or prefix. ChrisDHDR 19:01, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
I am totally against this change. The (majority of the) current templates have the same name as the article for the line that they relate to. I echo and support the comments made by SilasW. I see no benefit whatsoever from this proposal. --Stewart (talk | edits) 20:43, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
I guess I agree with you. ChrisDHDR 14:11, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

Floating and collapse

Would it be possible to amend the general behaviour of the template so that it is floatable; can be placed elsewhere than on the right and enable article writers to place the template in more practical places. The template, which if a railway route is long take an unreasonable amount of "right hand" space.

Is there a state setting available so that the template be set to collapsed by default? This would mean that line diagrams, which can be set to hang on the left, middle or right are not moved below text by the unfriendly navbox? Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons 12:04, 21 May 2009 (UTC)


Any narrow gauge RR
Number of tracks Single track with passing loops
Track gauge 1
Grand Trunk Railway
1885 GT.jpg
Reporting mark GTR
Locale Ontario, Quebec, New England
Dates of operation 1852–1923
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Previous gauge , built to 66 broad gauge but converted by 1873
Headquarters Montreal, Quebec
Grand Trunk Railway
Reporting mark various
Locale southern New Brunswick, southeastern Maine
Dates of operation 1857–1872
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Previous gauge , built to 66 broad gauge but converted by 1873
Any RR in Europe
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge

Could some one redesign this template so that it will not automatically show the rail gauge in mm, the route leghth in km, etc but instead allow the use of template:rail gauge e.g. 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) and the template:convert e.g. 40 km (24.9 mi) instead? This would be for the sake of consistency and uniformity with other rail infoboxes. Peter Horn 18:21, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

Some examples. Peter Horn 18:37, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
See also Template talk:White Pass and Yukon Route#Units

CONT icons

The CONT icons are being renamed, please see User:Chrisbot for more details. In the mean time all users are asked to use the icon names that are shown at User:Chrisbot/Work status even if it seems illogical. They will change from time to time so please check every time before you use a CONT icon. It is in the good cooperation of all that this will work out. ChrisDHDR 16:03, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

Request for Map

Please can someone make a map for the Wye Valley Railway article. I am a bit bewildered by all this map making language so can someone please make the map for me. If you are interested please follow the link to talk:Wye Valley Railway and let me know. Once I know you are willing to do it I will give you information on the route.

Please can someone HELP!!!

Wye Valley Railway Mad (talk) 18:38, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

Sure, I'll sort one out. I'll get back to you via your talk page in a couple of hours or something. -mattbuck (Talk) 18:56, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
 Done {{Wye Valley Railway}} -mattbuck (Talk) 21:11, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

Thanks Mattbuck, the map is wonderfull.

Wye Valley Railway Mad (talk) 09:34, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

2nd or more layer superimposition

Accidentally I've found out that JA WP:ROUTE has implemented the 2nd layer superimposition into their BS-overlap and BS# templates (example: ja:南海本線.) I think we should adapt this idea here too. I can modify the templates without affecting the exisiting route maps. But the real problem is the {{BS-overlap}} and {{Superimpose}} templates are being protected now. We can ask the admin to modify BS-overlap after we have a positive consensus here. But the creator of Template:Superimpose has not responded to me for 4 days, so I've created another expanded version myself, {{superimpose2}}, which supports up to 50-layer superimposition.

Please express if you agree with the modification so to support more overlay layer for BS# templates.

testing sandbox: user:sameboat/sandbox -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 01:48, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

  • Support Multiple superposition would be exceedingly useful. Reduce the number of base icons (and the number of codes to come up with as well!!) The next step would be settling on the set of base icons e.g. straights in all forms, curves in all forms (could possible eliminate the need for junctions! - they can be made out of STR and STRlf for example) Also useful for when you put HUB into account. 리지강 talk 04:27, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Support. Many ugly things are drawn to get past the limit of one Over. Good Grief! What would the Masters of The Icons say to a mass simplification as simple curves wed simple lines for junctions? As Sandstorm6299 says HUBs need the facility, so do attempts at getting a smooth chord between two lines with a feature at the crossing. One snag (or perhaps a stablizing feature) is that a change to the BS number would throw more overlays out of place; I guess anyone increasing a BS number has the incentive of getting a better map while BS number decreasers would be put off by their pointless chaotic intermediate results.--SilasW (talk) 14:26, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Conditional support: As I recall, some browsers have difficulty with even keeping one overlay in registration. If having two doesn't make this worse, then fine. However it is also clear that having the great separation between 'base' and 'overlay' icons makes maintenance more difficult I do question whether this will always be the right approach to take. --AlisonW (talk) 09:57, 2 September 2009 (UTC)


IMHO, this legend (in fact, every legend) should appear as a popup, not as a "next Page" link. -- Tomwhite56 (talk) 18:03, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

Template:SPb Metro\Line 5

In an original template the parameter link has been used. Look how to correct please a template in EnWiki.--Andrey! 18:21, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

I have followed AndreyA's hint and rendered the line name in white font in {{SPb Metro\Line 5}} (to avoid illegibly blue text on a red background). Is that what you meant? --Dr Greg (talk) 19:03, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
BSicon BHF.svg
He means that RU ROUTE map has the parameter to make the image an interlink to other article rather than the file description page itself. I have adopted it to my ZH version as well. The mechanic is fairly simple, just add the parameter |link=(interlink)| in the File: syntax and all is done. Click the BHF image and see where it leads to. But there's 1 thing different from my adoption, the RU BS row templates now don't allow linking to image description page even the link parameter is empty. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 22:56, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
Yes. And it is possible to include parametуr |link = (interlink) into {{BS3}} to apply to images inside the template.--Andrey! 13:35, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
You will need to modify the syntax of {{Superimpose}}, {{BS-overlap}} and all BS(#) icon row templates (original BS(#), BS(#)-startCollapsible and BS(#)-2) as well. Both Superimpose and BS-overlap are now protected. I can do that in ZH (along with 5-layer overlap function) because the BS-overlap isn't protected there. zh:user:sameboat/sandbox. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 14:08, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

Design guideline question.

I am currently Making a diagram for UTA's Sandy/Salt Lake Line (see it at Template:Sandy Salt Lake TRAX Diagram). The Sandy/Salt Lake line terminates at Arena (UTA statuion), but the University line continues farther, using the same tracks. How should I diagram this? YB3 (t) 05:57, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

Actually by the style of Japanese railway route diagrams, the current notation with sufficient sidenotes should suit your requirements. – PeterCX&Talk 09:25, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

Newbie Template User Question

Hello All. I've developed what I believe is a fairly good representation of the Bristol Harbour Rail system, from Bristol, England. I didn't hand-code this. I used Spoorstrip. The problem I'm having is that when I paste the code into the sandbox area, I get the filenames as well as the icons in preview mode. Not great!

Could anyone tell me what I'm doing wrong? I didn't want to post my whole code here initially in case this is a common newbie mistake with an easy answer!

Thanks Chris (LonehawkNZ) Lonehawknz (talk) 22:40, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

I haven't used the Spoorstrip for a long time because it's already too outdated to the EN version of ROUTE. Can you let us see what the code turns out to be in your sandbox? P.S. A ZH user has developed the JAVAscript editor in ZH WP. But you need to at least know some Chinese language so you could understand the help doc and its interface... -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 23:36, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

Ok thanks Sameboat! I've edited the main sandbox area and it's saved and present as we speak! Hope you'll be able to tell whats wrong! Chris Lonehawknz (talk) 19:47, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

I've checked the Wikipedia:Railway_line_template/sandbox. The problem is simply most of the icons are no longer available or renamed. So I think I should really renounce the Spoorstrip if the author doesn't update it anymore. wasser is supposed to be all-caps and the variations are renamed, so check the Wikipedia:Route diagram template/Catalog of pictograms/others for the correct ID. And all of the 6 in the code should be removed (replaced by spacebar, I suppose.) Prefix H indicates horizontal/transverse variation is changed as suffix q now. (HSTR -> STRq BSicon STRq.svg)
Ultimately, even the Javascript edtor would make it to the EN WP someday, I still strongly recommend you to learn how to write the code. And as a hint for the newbie, you can always open yourself an individual sandbox page like user:Lonehawknz/sandbox so your testing will never mess with other users. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 23:44, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

Thanks very much Sameboat. Looks like my best option is to learn the code, which is absolutely fine, as I use SQL every day at work, so a text formatting and query type approach is very familiar. Looks like the more "powerful" option to use as well. Plenty of learning points for me here. Thanks! I'll clear out the wiki sandbox if you didnt already.

Chris Lonehawknz (talk) 18:54, 29 October 2009 (UTC)


Just wanted to add that I talked to the coder of this program, he uses a quite old database (please have a look at nl:Overleg gebruiker:Handige Harrie#Spoorstrip), some icons were even outdated before I started to fix the naming scheme ... don't know whether there will be a new version of this program since he needs bitmaps for all icons in use ... :( Greetings axpdeHello! 23:36, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

You can get bitmaps automatically for all images, I guess a question at WP:VP/T would give you a way how to get an automated reply with the api.php. ChrisDHDR 22:00, 31 October 2009 (UTC)


": Btw. someone announced widely to introduce a new version of icons all named English, but I haven't heard much about it lately ... maybe he realised, that there is no sense in reinventing the wheel! But still it's subject to optimising ;-) Bye axpdeHello! 11:03, 6 October 2009 (UTC)" ' '

That someone I believe is me. And i am still working on it. But there are so many icons that people are coming up with, that I've been scaling it back to BASIC icons. I'm crap at reproducing things and uploading them, so you will get a list which translates the DE to EN. The it will up to some with skill to apply the EN and upload it somewhere.

Hopefully it will also settle the direction problem (u/d f/g r/l) also.

Give me to the end of the year. Ta Dkpintar (talk) 15:02, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

Retrieved from "" —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dkpintar (talkcontribs) 15:05, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

So you found out yourself, it's quite some work to do! Meanwhile I uploaded nearly 1600 icons and there are still a lot missing. And I left out all parallel railways and most mixed icons though ... :(
As long as your icons don't start with "BSicon" both systems won't interfere, so good luck to your undertaking! axpdeHello! 15:53, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

Alt text in route diagrams

While reviewing the featured article candidate Baker Street and Waterloo Railway, another editor and I have noted that the route map at the start of its Opening section doesn't satisfy the featured article criteria because the route map doesn't contain alternative text for visually impaired readers (see Wikipedia:Alternative text for images).

This problem seems to be generic to route maps: it is not limited to this article. I tried to track it down. The diagram is generated by {{BS&WR route map}}, which uses {{BS3}}, which in turn uses {{BS-overlap}} to generate the problematic images. {{BS-overlap}} uses {{Superimpose}} to generate the image, but neglects to pass the |base_alt= parameter to {{Superimpose}} so the images are displayed without alt text.

Where can I report this problem so that it'll get fixed? {{BS-overlap}} is undocumented, and {{BS3}}'s documentation is quite cryptic, so I'm reluctant to charge in and fix this stuff myself.

Thanks for any help you can provide. Eubulides (talk) 06:08, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

I understand that your not the one asking for this. But I have to make sure what you expect the alt text to appear in the route map. As you should be well aware that WP:ROUTE diagram consists of many small icon images to form. If you require alt text to popup from the "whole diagram", which means you have to repeat the same cumbersome alt description for each icon >50 times. Ask the FA opposers if they really wish that despite of the nature of WP:ROUTE diagram. (sorry for my unnatural English). -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 01:15, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
  • What we wish is that route maps should be accessible to visually impaired readers; the details we don't care about. Tje alt text text is there already, but it's so bad that it is worse than useless: it actually gets in the way of understanding the route map. For example, for the first data line in {{BS&WR route map}}, which is generated by this markup:
{{BS3||KBHFa|||[[Watford Junction railway station|Watford Junction]]||Opened 1917}}
and which currently looks approximately like this:
Watford Junction Opened 1917
a screen reader would say something like this:
"link bee ess eye see oh en dot ess vee gee link key bee eitch eff a link bee ess eye see oh en dot ess vee gee link Watford Junction Opened 1917"
which is not very helpful to the reader (especially when this sort of thing is repeated for each entry in the route map). Instead, the screen reader should say something like this:
"link Head station link Watford Junction Opened 1917"
which is far more useful.
Eubulides (talk) 03:03, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
OK, now I have a full idea of your requirement. But please check the {{BS&WR route map/sandbox}}, I've made an edit to overlap another icon over the head station. The ALT text does not show at all. As overlap is now a vital function of WP:ROUTE, we should deal with it properly. And I suggest including an ALT# parameters in the {BS#} templates to further allow editor to write there own ALT text individually if the stock description isn't applicable. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 03:31, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
There was alt text in that diagram, but it was in the "bottom" image rather than the "top" image so your graphical browser didn't let you select it with your mouse. It's nicer to put it in the top image so that the tooltip works, so to do that, and to add support for a new |alt= parameter as you suggested, I installed a better edit into the {{BS-overlap}} sandbox. The {BS#} templates can be modified as in this BS3 diff to support new arguments to override the default alt text. Eubulides (talk) 07:19, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
I see from this edit that there was a bug in the support for |alt1= etc. that I added to {{BS3}}. I fixed it. Sorry about that. As a result of this fix, I now suggest this edit to {{BS-overlap}}, and edits like this BS3 diff into the {BS#} templates. Eubulides (talk) 08:05, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
I have followed up in Template talk:BS-overlap #Alt text support, since that's the template that needs to be edited. Eubulides (talk) 17:58, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
Though bit tricky, I've finally adapted the 5-layer overlaping and image link with your {{{alt}}} into these sandboxs {{BS-overlap/sandbox2}} & {{BS3/sandbox2}}. You can see the result in my sandbox: user:Sameboat/sandbox. Please support this revision and help testing if there's any bug left in the templates. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 12:20, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for doing that, but I'm afraid the 5-layer approach still needs some work. The Altviewer output for the sandbox shows two problems. First (as in the 4th line of that table), many images have an empty |link= specified, but do not have empty |alt= specified. Second (as in the 7th line of that table), many images have no link specified (and therefore link to the file page), and have alt text "Layer 1" that does not help the reader. Both sets of images need to be marked with "|link=|alt="; currently one or both parameters are missing or wrong. Eubulides (talk) 17:29, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
OK, both problems primarily stemmed from {{superimpose2}}. The "large unlinked" issue simply solved. But the former one needs some discussion due to technical difficulty: The "Layer X" alt text is generated from the {{superimpose2}}. If they're not helpful I would like to remove them because the top layer's already shown "X + Y + Z...". But the problem is I can't simply hide it, otherwise it would just display its full file name. If we're forced to display something meaningful it will be the description text from {{BS-alt}} (altering the {{{X_alt}}} in {{BS-overlap/sandbox2}}), but it means that the same text for each icon will be repeated again. I've done that for the 5-layer but remains 1~4-layer unchanged so you can see the differences in -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 23:03, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
"But the problem is I can't simply hide it, otherwise it would just display its full file name." Yes, you can hide it: all you need to do is to use "|link=|alt=" (with empty arguments) for all the images except the top image. That is what I did with {{BS-overlap/sandbox}}. For the top image, you can specify something like "|Straight track + Station + Urban track across" to set the top image's alt text and title text (the latter is used for the tooltip). Empty "|alt=" differs from missing alt: an empty alt disables the alt text, but a missing alt causes MediaWiki to generate the file name as alt text. Eubulides (talk) 23:54, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Revised, looks ok in Please check it :) -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 01:14, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
Please see #Images with links but no alt text below. Eubulides (talk) 03:31, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

Images with links but no alt text

File:Sameboat temp.PNG
"large unlinked image"

Sorry, the Altviewer output still shows problems. Most of the images there have a red region in the second column, which indicates that something went wrong: they have links but no alt text. For example, the fourth image looks like it was generated by "[[|20px|alt=]]", which isn't correct. It should be ""[[|20px|link=|alt=]]". Eubulides (talk) 03:31, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

But then there'll be a "(Large unlinked image)" message in the right column. Is that what you intented? -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 03:51, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm afraid that sometimes the Altviewer generates that message even for images that are OK. The point is that the image should be unlinked and should have no alt text; you can verify that by inspecting the HTML, or by viewing the image's properties. Eubulides (talk) 04:14, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
PS. The Altviewer seems to generate this mistaken message for PNG files that the Mediawiki server generates automatically from SVG, which seems to be the case with the example you give in File:Sameboat_temp.PNG. I think the last two images in that screenshot are actually OK; the 3rd image from the end is problematic, since it has alt text but no link. Eubulides (talk) 04:18, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
Figures~ The screenshot was generated from an IE7-based browser. When using Firefox 3, the red areas display to indicates the problem you mention. But still the "(Large unlinked image)" (on the orange background) is shown for "|link=(empty)" . Does that appears the same in your browser? -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 04:24, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes, Altviewer output appears the same with my browser. I investigated Altviewer a bit more, and "Large unlinked image" means that "|link=|alt=" was used on an image that is 100px wide (or wider). I guess the idea is that larger images should be double-checked by hand. But the images we're talking about are all 20px images so this shouldn't happen with them. Eubulides (talk) 05:55, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
Revised, please kindly check it again. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 06:12, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
Now there is a new problem: some unlinked images have alt text. In the Altviewer output this is denoted "Contents of alt text (Large unlinked image)" in orange. For example, the first line of the Altviewer output is marked that way: it contains the output of "[[File:BSicon STR.svg|20px|link=|Straight track]]" (or of "[[File:BSicon STR.svg|20px|link=|alt=Straight track]]"; it doesn't matter; both are equally incorrect). This image needs empty alt text; that is, it should be "[[File:BSicon STR.svg|20px|link=|alt=]]". If you set up the image this way, it should generate no Altviewer output, since the image is narrower than 100px. Eubulides (talk) 06:46, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
I guess there's a misconception. Please check this sandbox: User:Sameboat/sandbox2 and the Altviewer test result. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 07:20, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

(outdent) Earlier, I was talking about all the bottom overlay images that we want screen readers to ignore: these images should be marked with empty "|link=|alt=". This time, the sandbox is generating the top image of its overlay, "[[File:BSicon STR.svg|20px|link=|Straight track]]", which generates this HTML:

<img alt="Straight track" src="" width="20" height="20" />

This is an unlinked image with nonempty alt text, and that's what Altviewer is reporting in orange. But we want the top image to be announced to the user, and to have a link, and to have a tooltip; so we want "[[File:BSicon STR.svg|20px|Straight track]]", or perhaps "[[File:BSicon STR.svg|20px|link=Target|Straight track]]" for some nonempty Target. Eubulides (talk) 07:46, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

I've revised the code like this: |link={{#if:{{{link|}}}|{{{link}}}|[[File:BSicon_{{{7}}}.svg]]}}. Hopefully this should do the trick. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 08:55, 3 December 2009 (UTC)


If Eubulides doesn't bring out more problem I think it is the time to start a consensus: applying either

to the now protected {{BS-overlap}}.

You may test them with

Please express your thoughts boldly. Thx. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 02:38, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

I like the idea of supporting overlaps, but the sandbox2 versions are a bit too complicated and there's at least one bug in them: the title text (tooltip) for the icon in the 3rd row of User:Sameboat/sandbox is "link=", which indicates that there's something wrong. Also, I noticed that this change involves a change to the argument order and meaning of {{BS-overlap}}; if we're going to do that, it would simplify things if we also dropped support for the (German?) word "leer" as a synonym for empty. I have modified the sandbox version to incorporate the improvements of the sandbox2 version. It is simpler and fixes the tooltip bug and drops support for "leer". Please see {{BS3/sandbox}} (diff from installed version), {{BS-overlap/sandbox}} (diff), {{Superimpose2/base/sandbox}} (diff), {{BS3-startCollapsible/sandbox}} (diff). You can see two sandboxes using this new version in Template:BS&WR route map/sandbox (Altviewer output) and User:Eubulides/sandbox2 (Altviewer output). Eubulides (talk) 22:52, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
I couldn't see the problem without you. Thx for fixing it. Yes, the inclusion of 5-layer overlaping causes the change of numeric parameter order. The "leer" isn't that important I suppose, so it doesn't matter if you drop it. Thx for your helping. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 23:24, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
You're welcome. What other templates need to be changed if {{BS-overlap}} changes in this way? Eubulides (talk) 23:50, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
The {BS#-2} set, like {{BS-2}} & {{BS3-2}} and that's all. Thx. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 23:59, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
It sounds like there's consensus, then. How do we get this installed? Do we prepare changes to all these templates, even the unprotected ones, and then ask an admin to install them all at once? It won't do to change just some of them. Eubulides (talk) 00:51, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
Of course. In Chinese WP, after installing the 5-layer to {BS-overlay}, I immediately revised all of the {BS#}, {BS#-startcollapsible} & {BS#-2} templates as well. If we do it quick enough, there'll be less problem to the reader. OR, we can add a tag at the top of [WP:ROUTE] to remind the readers/editors "the whole project is undergoing upgrade. Malfunction of the related templates will sustain for a short time and may require purging the article to make the revision effective." Or something like that for 1 week or month. P.S. I see no problem of your {{superimpose2/base/sandbox}}, so you can just apply it to the actual template. :) -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 01:01, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
OK, well, since you know these macros better, how about if you prepare the changes to {{BS-2}} & {{BS3-2}} etc. in their sandboxes, and then propose all the edits necessary, here? We can then put an {{editprotected}} on it. Eubulides (talk) 05:41, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
Prepared the {{BS-2/sandbox}} & {{BS3-2/sandbox}}. And my user:Sameboat/sandbox2 ( check). -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 06:48, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, I left a note in Template talk:BS-overlap #Alt text support consensus and plan to add an {{editprotected}} in a day or two. Eubulides (talk) 06:11, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Yep, good to go. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 07:02, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
OK, thanks, I added an {{editprotected}} there. Eubulides (talk) 23:23, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
File:BSicon leer.svg is just a redirect to File:BSicon .svg, maybe we could delete it completely some day ... And your right, "leer" means "empty", so no need to waste a single thought about it ;-) axpdeHello! 10:15, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
The main page for this talk does state 'For no icon to be shown leave blank or use "leer" [German for "empty"]', so before removing File:BSicon leer.svg you need to get that section amended. --Redrose64 (talk) 10:57, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

Today I'm making a grand announcement to all English Wikipedia users who help the whole project and transport articles with RDT transcluded. The upgrades, including WP:Alternative text for images, 5-layer superimposition and image link are:  Done! The remaining task is to rewrite the whole project page so it reflects the revisions. Previously I've done so in Chinese WP, refer it if you find any section usable. (You know my English isn't that good as native speakers.) -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 14:19, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

Objection to having to use German icon names on English Wikipedia

I don't speak German, and I don't want to have to memorize so many German terms and abbreviations just to make a proper route diagram template. I want these names to be in English on the English Wikipedia, French on the French Wikipedia, etc., and the easiest way to implement this is to just make a series of redirects from the file names with the English/French/et al. abbreviations to those with the German ones. e.g., "BHF" might mean 'station' in German, but not in English. I want to use "STN" instead. On the French Wikipedia, "GAR" can be used. Etc. -- Denelson83 22:12, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

Someone did start a project to recreate the naming scheme, but they'd probably be deleted as duplicate images. It's not that hard to learn - you're not learning German, you're learning a few codes. -mattbuck (Talk) 22:35, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
I didn't say duplicate the images, just create redirects to them and the references to the English filenames will load the images under the German filenames. Like this. File:BSicon STN.svg. -- Denelson83 01:19, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Oh, please. Next someone will come along and say they don't like using square brackets for links and want to use curly ones. We have a set of codes and some of them are based on the language of the first project to see the need and create the icons. That the French wanted to change some of them isn't so surprising when you recall that Windows NT4 was translated into French, but it is not a reason that we swhould automatically change our codes too. BSIcons are used over all the WP projects (or can be if they choose to) as they are stored on commons. Frankly there is far more reason to replace the 'translated' names with those that are standard more generally. These are all *codes* and are therefore meaningless in and of themselves. --AlisonW (talk) 23:03, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
If you can't remeber the codes (I can't either), what you need is a big chart showing them all in a logical arrangement, and pick out the one that you want. AlisonW has provided some, they start at User:AlisonW/Rail Icons. --Redrose64 (talk) 23:08, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
And that big chart takes FAR too long to load. -- Denelson83 01:32, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Oh whinge whinge whine moan. There are smaller charts, eg Wikipedia:Route diagram template/Catalog of pictograms. What's more, this is a wiki - if you want a smaller one, MAKE ONE YOURSELF. -mattbuck (Talk) 04:24, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Once all icons are consistently named, you just need to know:
  1. the possible prefixes uexmvdbkht (did I miss one?)
  2. the possible IDs, e.g. STR, BHF, KRZ (about a dozen for main usage, some more for special usage)
  3. the possible suffixes (ht)oufgqaelr+x (all?)
You see, not really too much so consider ... axpdeHello! 00:26, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
Memorising them in unnecessary; just look them up when you need them or cut and paste them from another diagram. That's what I do, and I've created and edited a lot of diagrams. As the icons are in code why does it matter that the code happens to be in German anyway? Britmax (talk) 10:41, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
I would agree with the comments above. What practical difference does it make if icon names are in English, German or Swahili, so long as the instructions are in a language understandable to the user? Take your example File:BSicon STN.svg, what does it matter if the icon is named "STN" (station) or "BHF" (Bahnhof)? Creating a parallel set of English-named icons would only create confusion - what would you call BSicon HST.svg (HST = Haltestelle) which is a "halt" in English (and a "flag-stop" in American English), "HAL" or "HAT" - neither makes the icon's function immediately clear. Lamberhurst (talk) 18:23, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

Today there seem to be only two railway icons

(Copying this comment from Wikipedia talk:Alternative text for images #Solution for WP:ROUTE diagram). I reply below. Eubulides (talk) 18:26, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

Today there seem to be only two railway icons which show what they represent when moused over, STR gives "Straight track" and HST gives "Stop". All the rest give "Unknown route-map component 'aAAa' " where aAAa is the icon. This is a new effect introduced without general notice and I think that, despite the WP rule "Do as you please", it should not have been sprung on users, even in such a limited experimental mode; it's no reply to say that it was discussed in the talk of some not generally read article. It may very well be a Good Thing to have alt text on these icons for some people but not at the loss of the icon name which can be useful when editing a map. Whatever might be the coding difficulties, to display either alt text or the icon name should be an option for the individual reader of the map. Of course given the ever increasing number of icons and their complexity and their ever changing names it looks as tho any alt text implementation would never be fully up to date. What succinct wording would describe xkKRZo+xl? "Straight track bridged over a crosswise straight track with a wee filling quasi-triangle of disused line in the driver's 'left hand' lower corner"?--SilasW (talk) 17:11, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

  • This issue was discussed in #Alt text in route diagrams above. As I understand it this talk page is the standard place where such things are discussed; if this is incorrect, could you please let me know where it should have been discussed, so that I can put a notice there?
  • The code xkKRZo+xl doesn't seem to correspond to the naming convention in Wikipedia:Route diagram template, and the image description File:BSicon xkKRZo+xl.svg contains no documentation, but in looking at its only use I suggest the alt text "Unused bridge over cross track with unused track approaching from left" and have added that to {{BS-alt}}. Could you please do something similar for the other icons you use? That would help others understand the diagrams you edit. It would also help to use document the naming conventions accurately, and to document each icon on its file page. (Just out of curiosity, wouldn't it be better to use an overlay for this sort of thing, rather than jam the disparate notions into a single icon?)
  • Sorry, I don't understand the failure scenario. An editor of the map can see the icon codes, so that's not the problem. Why would a reader (who is not editing) want to have icon codes display when mousing over the map? The codes have nothing to do with the map's appearance and convey no useful information to a typical Wikipedia reader: they are for editors only. Could you please give an example of the problem, from a working Wikipedia page? If we understand the problem better, maybe we can come up with a better solution that still addresses the alt text issue.
Eubulides (talk) 18:26, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
I understand both sides. So I propose that modify the {BS-alt} to make it displays in the form like "alternative text (icon ID)" to satisfy readers and editors' need. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 00:54, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm afraid that won't work well. For alt text the most important users are visually impaired people who are using screen readers to listen to the maps. These readers should not be bothered with icon IDs. The icon IDs will take a lot of their time, because the screen readers will read the codes aloud one letter at a time. Currently, a visually impaired user will hear "Station"; they shouldn't have to put up with hearing "Station left parenthesis bee aitch eff close parenthesis". Similarly, "Unused urban tunnel stop" takes much less time to hear than "Unused urban tunnel stop left parenthesis you ee ex tee eitch ess tee right parenthesis". Eubulides (talk) 01:34, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
There's that; and also, any one icon position can now (as of 17 December 2009) contain six icon files (one at base level (say in column 1), the others as overlays via parameters |O1=, |O12=, |O13=, |O14= and |O15=. Which should be shown? The primary icon (say, a station) need not be on the base layer. The base layer might be a bridge over a cross-track; the first overlay could be a station; and the second might be some other symbol. The primary icon is neither top nor bottom. --Redrose64 (talk) 10:54, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
SilasW, if you read carefully the article alt attribute#Common misconceptions, the moused over image popup tooltip isn't supposed to exist as an alt output. I have to admit it's actually quite useful for me when editing the RDT because I'm still using an IE7-based browser. But soon or later we will be forced to change to IE8 or other updated browsers which are no longer display alt text as popup tooltip. (1 obvious clue is that the Wiki-based websites are growingly slow for IE7 but running smoothly in IE8 and Firefox 3...)
To Redrose64, when alt# entry isn't present in the BS# row template, the default alt output will be ["alt of base image" + "layer 1" + "l.2" + "l.3" + "l.4" + "l.5"]. You may test youself or check the example in WP:ROUTE#Overlay section. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 01:12, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
Well, I don't know if it's because I use Firefox 3.0.16 or what, but that section shows nothing when I mouse over the icons. Further up however, in the box headed "Named parameters" (see Wikipedia:Route diagram template#Named parameters), when I mouse over the composite symbol in the left of the box, my tooltip shows "Train station", which I suspect comes from |L1=Train station. I'm pretty sure that some weeks or months ago, this would have shown "BHF". --Redrose64 (talk) 12:08, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
Catalan version retains the previous version (only 1-lyaer overlapping). When mouse over the icon in the diagram in Firefox 3.5.5, the tooltip pops-up and display the icon ID (for overlapped icons, [base ID + floating ID]). The reason for that is their ca:template:BS-overlap transcludes the older version of ca:template:Superimpose which only provides base/float_caption attribute entries. Since EN version now applies the base/float_alt attribute entries of {{Superimpose2}}, this "prevents" popup tooltip. For the "Train station", yes, you're right. But before the revision, mouse over the icon of that example would pop-up [BHF (base) + uSTRq (overlap)], if my memory serves me well. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 13:02, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
Yep, it shows eg "BHF + HUB84" and similar. I thought our behaviour had changed; now I'm sure of it. --Redrose64 (talk) 13:42, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
This will probably be contentious but ... I'm not sure that having any alt text for the individual icons on a route map is sensible or useful. The description would, almost always, be too detailed and complex and -- given that even the perfect-sighted reader doesn't look at it on the basis of individual icons but as a gestalt -- unless the less-sighted user correctly traverses the indicated route(s) to follow what might be a complex map then they won't make any sense of the (voice) output anyway! The icon is of little or no importance in and of itself, it is the associated meaning - as shown in the name of the station or junction - which has the quality of passing on useful information. I would, therefore, strongly argue that a route map should have no alt text for the individual icons whatsoever, but a screen-reader-appropriate descriptive narrative -- accessed via a separate icon (Speaker Icon.svg ?)within the overall diagram -- of the "This route map covers the railway line between X and Y. There are intermediate stations at A, B, C and D plus a depot to the east of the station at C. South of station A a former line to Z, calling at M and N, has now been removed" style would be of far more benefit. --AlisonW (talk) 12:19, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
Route diagram The diagram shows the railway running from City A station to City B station via Bridge X.
City A
Bridge X
City B
I have a similar thought before. And we can simply provide such place in the BS-header. Because I think describing a complex network in a full paragraph is somehow cumbersome if the reader can read (see) the diagram but it fits alternative text perfectly. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 04:33, 23 December 2009 (UTC)
I think we need to see a realistic example, and to try it out, before deciding. For the example you gave above, the automatically-generated version might be read aloud as "link Head station City A. link Bridge Bridge X. link End Station City B." This is more compact and useful than the manually-supplied version which would be read aloud as "link The diagram shows the railway running from City A station to City B station via Bridge X. City A. Bridge X. City B." Things may well be different for more-realistic examples, but we'd have to see how they actually worked before deciding. Perhaps you could write alt text for {{BS&WR route map}} (which started this whole thread) and compare it to what's automatically generated now? Eubulides (talk) 00:28, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
An overall gestalt would be an acceptable substitute from an WP:ACCESSIBILITY point of view, if it were done well. However, the icon is not of "of little or no importance". The icon is used precisely because it is trying to convey useful detail to the reader, and (as far as I can see) that detail isn't conveyed to the reader in any other way. Eubulides (talk) 17:42, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
Losing the pop-up tooltip of the icon ID isn't that bad. If you have enabled the status bar of your browser, it will display the full link of the top icon image, or article link if there's the L# parameter entry. There's no way we can control the displaying time of the tooltip, anyway. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 13:09, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
It would be trivial to change the templates so that the title text (used for tooltips) is identical to the alt text, if people would prefer that. Eubulides (talk) 17:42, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

Left vs right confusion

Today many more icons give text descriptions but what about this?
  • Those CONTs which are now enabled give 'Left' and 'Right' as seen by a viewer of the map and not as seen by the descending Lokomotivführer.--SilasW (talk) 19:13, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
Is the question of what is left and what is right understood, in particular by editors putting Alt text on these icons? As the map at the top of this shows, once you get away from the original concept of a single spine with indications of what connects to it (ie go to BS#s), the driver's view for left and right leads to ambiguities. Should alt text follow that convention or should it describe the railway as it appears to a normally sighted reader who is not conversant with the convention? More and more icons are getting alt text but would someone look at for example  Template:Kingston Loop Line

and give for the benefit of those who would need alt text an unequivocal explanation of what left and right signify, further bearing in mind that blue and red CONTs transitionally use l and r differently?--SilasW (talk) 13:33, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

When, without Alt text, a child of a root icon is looked at in one of the lists of iconic varieties, the prefixes and suffixes become visible. True, these affixes are also in the headings and footings of the tables but are often so far apart that they cannot be seen when a particular base icon is displayed, and fiddlesome and error-inducing vertical scrolling is needed to find the lowercase trimmings. Either Alt text should be a selectable feature or the lists of icons should be made more cumbersome to read by having lines of affixes inserted more closely.--SilasW (talk) 17:06, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

I agree that more direction is needed for people writing alt text. I've never really understood the "l" and "r" suffixes and whether they are intended to be from the driver's point of view or from the viewpoint of the map reader. These suffixes are used inconsistently: for example, File:BSicon ABZlf.svg contains an "l" suffix that uses the driver's viewpoint, whereas File:BSicon CONTr.svg contains an "r" that uses the map-viewer's viewpoint. I don't understand how the people who make diagrams can put up with inconsistencies like this.Is there some standard for explaining railroad diagrams? If so, we should use the standard. If not, we need to decide and be consistent in the alt text, even when the underlying codes are inconsistent. Eubulides (talk) 17:59, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Route diagram template #Suffix says that the direction is supposed to be from the driver's viewpoint, unless "the direction is described as backward." And "Some icon makes exception, such as CPIC and corner sets." Could someone please explain these exceptions, and why they're there? That might help us be more consistent about the alt text. For example, for File:BSicon ABZrg.svg, {{BS-alt}} currently says "Junction from right", but from the driver's viewpoint this is a junction from the left, so the template should be changed to say "Junction from left" if we want to use the driver's viewpoint consistently. Eubulides (talk) 18:50, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
The driver perspective is originated from the German creator of this project. But I was unaware of this rule when creating the CONT and CPIC set. A bot is intented to exchange the CONTl and CONTr but seemingly not functioning for more than a month... -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 23:38, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
OK, then I guess we need the alt text to match the "wrong" interpretation for the CONT and CPIC set until that gets fixed, and then we can modify BS-alt when the set gets fixed.
As for ABZrg, it means driving backward and there's a junction to right to driver's perspective. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 23:41, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
Since it's far shorter to say "Junction from left", let's do that in the alt text. This maintains the driver's perspective, so long as the driver is assumed to face forward. Alt text is supposed to be brief; see WP:ALT#Brevity. Eubulides (talk) 23:49, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

"diagram" vs. "map"

Hello, Sameboat just exchanged the word "diagram" with "map". In German wikipedia we object to use "map", because it is impossible to create a real map using BSicons, to be honest no matter how you try it will always look schematically or diagrammatic! What dou you think about it? axpdeHello! 10:14, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

Sorry not leaving the edit summary in my edits. Originally there was a short notice in the beginning of Template section: "map" is used instead of "diagram" and in what follows "map" means "route map". Personally I agree that diagram is a better word than map. But I change all of them just for consistency and simplicity. You may replace all of the map by diagram. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 10:25, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
A rapid scan of WP Map suggests that that article is very much concerned with geographic maps but "map" and "to map" are used in a far wider sense and the representation of a railway line by set of Lego-like elements is perfectly covered by "map". There are editors who read and write a vast deal in articles relating to these icons but (with all respect to the editor who above suggests I carefully read some article) it is quite impossible to hunt down every thought they express (with varying degrees of forcefulness and natural English). The note which Sameboat says has gone was not originally in the template article but was put in by me in an attempt at making the article easier to understand. As for alt text, it should be a elective feature.--SilasW (talk) 23:30, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

Level crossings

sameboat001 - uxKRZun - sameboat003

Can the level crossing symbols (except fBUE and exfBUE) be altered so that they show a road please? Nothing fancy, road in plain white would be fine. Mjroots (talk) 07:58, 14 January 2010 (UTC)

How about this? (P.S. you may discuss the icon in the subpage project talk:RDT/C next time, but it's not compulsory.) -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 09:16, 14 January 2010 (UTC)
What I had in mind was something like the representation of the road on BSicon uexSKRZ-Eu.svg. Mjroots (talk) 09:32, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
uploaded new version:   (sameboat001). -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 07:40, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
That's good!. What about creating it as a new icon - BUEst with variants exBUEst, uBUEst and uexBUEst (the st suffix indicating straße / street)? Mjroots (talk) 11:39, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
I think we should gain a general consensus about the naming first. Personally I prefer to make a component straße / street icon   (sameboat003) so you can overlay it with existing icons without creating more variations. I suggest naming it ST(q). -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 13:28, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
Oh no! Not overlays! I can never get them to work! Face-sad.svg Mjroots (talk) 16:17, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
It's not that terrible, just see my demonstration. Emoticon =v=.svg -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 22:42, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
The   (STq) is now formally uploaded because other editor did not participate the naming discussion. The suffix q (transverse) is used, assuming someone would need a vertical version of ST for other purpose. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 07:25, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

Transport hub

I have recently completed Template:Main Line, However, when expanding the template the Hub station's icons disappear (viewed from ie8). What have i done wrong? How can i display the icons without removing the Hub circles? Wiki ian 12:46, 14 January 2010 (UTC)

I used Firefox 3.5.7 and Safari 3.2.1 which should produce the similar result as IE8. But the icons don't disappear. (For some reason I don't wanna install IE8.) Let's talk about the problem of your map. First it's quite strange that you used 2 {{railway line header}} continuously. Second, the {{BS-table/WithCollapsibles}} should be obsoleted because the standard {{BS-table}} works the same (or even better) for in-map collapsible sections. 3rd, the width definition is better applied in the BS# row template rather than in railway line header or BS-table, for this I added the tw=200px (text column width) in the Boyer Railway Line row to override the width of collapsible sections. Hope the map looks fine in IE8 now. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 13:26, 14 January 2010 (UTC)
Hmm, under IE8 the diagram looks fine when it loads. (This revision.) But if you expand any of the collapsed sections, the whole diagram moves about one icon to the left, except for the two hubs which stay where they are. (Everything within the grey hub outline.) And if you resize the width of the browser window, both hubs vanish from sight (until you refresh the window). Under Firefox (my usual browser), no problems at all. -- Dr Greg  talk  21:45, 14 January 2010 (UTC)
Thankyou Sameboat - 同舟, but I'm sorry to report the Template's Hub icons still disappear when the template is expanded (from IE8). The fact is I'm just learning to use templates, and i dont know completely what I'm doing, it took a long time to get that template working in my sandbox. The dissappearing act only started when i introduced collapisables, however the article its being used on is only a stub at present and wouldn't look good without them. If you or anyone knows how to fix it without changing the appearence of the template, then please do. Wiki ian 22:14, 14 January 2010 (UTC)
Actually it's helpless. This problem has lurked in IE7 as well. As explained in the project page, purging the page can temporarily cure it. Just add the &action=purge after the Wiki url (for the /w/index.php?title= format) or ?action=purge for the /wiki/ format: . I suspect the mess is caused by English Wikipedia admin who changed the div class which affects the behaviour of overlapping. This problem doesn't exist in other languages of Wikipedia. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 23:32, 14 January 2010 (UTC)
Purging the page works. Thankyou. Its a pity the wikipedia admins can't fix this problem for good. Wiki ian 23:52, 14 January 2010 (UTC)