Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Cheshire/Archive 4

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Archive 3 Archive 4 Archive 5


I've just noticed the addition to Audlem whilst trying to sort out some slight undesirable edits (someone had changed the map_type in the infobox to Wales, which didn't work). I noticed the section about it voting to become part of Wales. The first inline EL isn't relevant (and could be removed) which leaves only the second inline EL to a BBC news report. My question is: Is this of sufficient notability to have such a dominant section to the article? A similar dispute which led to me being called all kinds of names has happened to Adlington, Cheshire about an accident which deposited mango chutney on the road. Would it be possible for us to discuss this a little?  DDStretch  (talk) 22:08, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

Re: Audlem, only 80 people voted to become part of Wales out of 1,790 population (4.5%), so I'd say not sufficiently notable for more than a brief mention. It's perhaps part of the general feeling hereabouts (I live a few miles up the road) that the split to Cheshire East is unlikely to be positive for this region.
Re: the mango chutney, I'd be in favour of removing it altogether per Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information, but there is little guidance as to what constitutes sufficiently important and it might well genuinely be the most important thing to happen in the village for years. I get the feeling from the tone of the comments on the talk page, however, that the pro-mango editors aren't entirely serious. I have removed it and watched the page -- no doubt I shall get attacked for being pro-espresso & anti-chutney...
As a more general point, is there any way of setting up a project watch page for all the articles tagged by the project? I only watch those I've edited, so I tend to miss these spats. Espresso Addict (talk) 22:52, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
Actually, looking at the Audlem website [1], there appear to be several news stories about this linked there (eg in the Independent [2], and the poll now has a lot more votes (though I see no mechanism for restricting it to Audlem residents). I think the current section is overlong, but the story does seem to have generated broad media interest, including national newspapers. Espresso Addict (talk) 23:27, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
For what it's worth, my opinion is that the vote should get a mention (of one or at the most two sentences) with links to say the BBC and Independent stories, which should be sufficient for the article. What this does bring to light is the enormous amount of work needing to be done to articles on Cheshire settlements; the Audlem article is pretty scrappy and poorly referenced. Peter I. Vardy (talk) 09:30, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
I agree with both your views. The vote should be mentioned, but not in such an overwhelming way. Also, it does sow the extent to which work is needed to bring articles up to scratch. One problem is the extent to which we get editors (often anonymous ip editors) adding ephemeral information to the article which is not vandalism, but which suggests that they view wikipedia as being a Bulletin Board system for all sorts of news and other tidbits that are not referenced. The problem is in how to deal with them: I imagine removing them could cause drama that might divert even more time away from editing.  DDStretch  (talk) 09:47, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
One pragmatic way of dealing with edits that are not frank vandalism but reduce quality is just to ignore them for a few weeks, and then quietly delete or radically shorten the irrelevant content -- IP editors don't have a watchlist and single-topic editors often don't stay around to defend their additions. If the material is replaced then starting a dialogue on the talk page is appropriate, rather than engaging in repeated reverts which I believe only serve to confirm people's opinions. It might be wise to flag the discussion here immediately, so that several of us can evaluate the situation independently and weigh in if necessary.
I've been trying over past months to work towards bringing all the Crewe & Nantwich CPs to a decent start level, beginning with the worst (a long way below Audlem!), but it's hard going and sometimes tricky to motivate myself. Espresso Addict (talk) 15:10, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Ok, I'll do what you suggest in future. However, the person behind two IP addresses has been watching Adlington, Cheshire continuously for some time. I note that tonight he reverted your deletion of the mango incident. I'm also keen to try to get total coverage of civil parishes in Cheshire, and I;m slowly working to that. I aim to try to give information about each civil parish's governance, since I have books that allow me to provide that and reference the material at the same time. I've noticed that the population data for some civil parishes cannot easily be loacted, however: the neighbourhood statistics site does not contain some, even though they are listed as existing in various official sources (like OS maps, and the Cheshire county council and local district or borough sites.) Some have joint parish councils with other neighbouring ones, but it is not this which leads to them not being located for population data. Little Warford is one such example, the Crewe near to Farndon is another, and I suspect a few in Chester District may have a similar problem.  DDStretch  (talk) 20:04, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Re: Adlington, we probably need to have a joint go at politely reasoning with the IP editor on the talk page. I have started a new section of the talk page to attempt to facilitate this, and suggest that no-one reverts the addition until consensus is clear.
Re: population figures: I believe the lack of population figures in some CPs on Neighbourhood Statistics is because of restrictions on publishing census data for small numbers for privacy reasons; I believe the cut-off is 100. I managed to find some of these for C&N CPs, but it looks like the source I used has been removed or moved, sadly. Poking around the CCC page I found a resource called Lilac which might be of help, but I can't get its search to find anything useful at the moment. It doesn't seem very user friendly but there is a very verbose help document. Espresso Addict (talk) 21:31, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

(outdent) Thanks, I'll take a look at the lilac resource. Another article that probably needs some joint action is The King's School, Chester. This has been subject to a long-running edit war between mainly a named editor and a series of IP users, some of which may be the same person. The issue under dispute is the addition of lists of officers of the school's Combined Cadet Force. I was minimally involved in removing what I thought was unencyclopaedic material many months ago, but the edit warring has been in operation up to a month or so ago when I asked successfully for the page to be completely protected. I asked for its complete protection because I had tried to get the two sides to discuss what to do by eventually raising a RfC on the matter. It had no effect and the edit warring continued. Since the protection was imposed, and after I placed invitations on various project talk pages (the schools one, for instance), discussion has started. It has now stalled, and I think some concerted effort needs to be made to reach some decision.  DDStretch  (talk) 12:16, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

WRT: Adlington, Cheshire Although you asked for the reversions to stop, I see that your deletion of the material has been reverted. The anonymous IP users involved in this may be just the same individual, given the style of language used.  DDStretch  (talk) 13:03, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Agree The King's School needs some joint effort. I tried to assist there some months ago, but without success; I'll take another look.
Actually, Adlington was reverted before I asked for a halt. I decided to leave the disputed text in place during the discussion because there seems little likelihood of the IP editor (I think it is just the one) cooperating unless his/her text is there. Espresso Addict (talk) 15:21, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Little Moreton Hall

Little Moreton Hall
Little Moreton Hall, the south wing constructed cira 1570
General information
Architectural style Timber framed
Town or city Congleton, Cheshire
Country England
Coordinates 53°07′35″N 2°15′05″W / 53.126483°N 2.251317°W / 53.126483; -2.251317
Completed 15th century
Client Richard de Moreton

Someone added an HTML comment to Little Moreton Hall asking that no infobox be added to the article. I don't know why this was put in. The person who added it has added similar messages, all undiscussed and as far as I know unexplained, to many other articles. Does anyone know why such a comment should be put there? (I removed it pending a discussion.)  DDStretch  (talk) 22:08, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

It seems rather bizarre, I can't think of a good reason, we'll just have to wait until the editor in question decides to respond to your question on his talk page. You asked him at 21:49, and he's edited since then so he may be ignoring the issue. There's even an infobox that is perfect for articles such as Little Moreton Hall: Infobox Historic building. Nev1 (talk) 22:17, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I suspected an infobox like that exists. Odd.  DDStretch  (talk) 22:21, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

I'm copying over my comments from the talk page of the article. I believe that the comment was placed by the primary editor, Giano, who has written about 60 architecture-related articles, around 10 of which are featured articles, most having been showcased on the Main Page. All of the articles, even those that are not currently FAs, are laid out as if they are going to achieve that status - location and size of images is carefully balanced with text, sections are appropriately organized, and so on. Infoboxes, with their huge amount of wasted space, and restrictions on the use of the rest of the page, do not add to the artistry or the informational value of the page, and actively detract from it in many cases. Architecture isn't a subject that is particularly amenable to userboxes; compare to lichens or fungi, or complicated mathematical formulae, or even films. Giano has unfortunately had to have this discussion on several of the pages in recent months, and I believe he has tried to take pre-emptive action by adding this comment rather than having to have the same conversation 60-odd times. I hope this helps. Risker (talk) 22:38, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

I'm not sure that this Argument from authority is convincing in this instance. Can you point to any FA submissions where an infobox for articles like this has failed? Are there any guidelines or policies about this? If not, I would have thought that specifying some and getting broader consensus about this would have been the way forward. Incidentally, Little Moreton Hall isn't just an article about architecture, and doesn't have any project templates on its talk page showing an interest from any archiatecture project. Finally, I would have thought that unilaterally or pre-emptively adding the comment to 60-odd pages would lead to quite a few identical conversations about this, and there should be a better way forward than risking 60-odd reversions and requests for discussion. On the whole, I'm afraid I am unconvinced by this.  DDStretch  (talk) 22:48, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
Infoboxes are good things, used to give quick facts in a simple format. I don't understand the logic as to what damage they do? Surely they benefit our readers. --Jza84 |  Talk  22:58, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
They can be damaging because they take up a lot of space, and they displace all images in the article down below them. Espresso Addict (talk) 23:15, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

I too find the argument from some supposed authority to be quite unconvincing. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 23:07, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

I agree that sometimes architecture would be difficult to fit into an infobox, but I have to disagree about it not improving the overall article. I think that used properly it can be a good aid to the lead, helping to get across some of the bare essentials. At the very least the inclusion of a map is a benefit to the article. I completely agree that featured articles should be used as templates for other articles but that doesn't mean that they cannot be improved, despite official descriptions of FAs as "finished articles". I think it's worth considering including infoboxes in all historic building articles. Have you seen the template? There are fields for all sorts of things. Nev1 (talk) 23:08, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
I'd better say no more on this topic for now, as my well-known bluntness may get the better of me. Suffice to say I remain unconvinced by arguments from self-appointed authorities. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 23:17, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

I must admit, I have long been of the opinion that infoboxes are overused. Being used to print publishing where page layout is critical, I habitually balance my text and images with care, and find the addition of a long and unsightly infobox which adds little of value and displaces the images in the body of the article rather annoying. Specifically in the Little Moreton Hall article, adding an infobox would mean that one of the images would have to be deleted, and the lead image reduced in size. In St Michael's Church, Marbury, the very long infobox means that the extra images have had to be made into a gallery. On the other hand, the infobox works well in filling the space on the right generated by a long contents box, particularly where the article is only sparsely illustrated, see eg Crewe Hall. I think we have to take their addition on a case-by-case basis, and bear in mind the views of the editor who has created much of the text. Espresso Addict (talk) 23:12, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

I've generally found them pretty useless myself. Part of the problem is that the same article falls under the context of multiple projects, and each one likes their infobox best, and wants the facts they consider key to be included. By the time everyone is satisfied, the infobox can easily take up half the length of the page, and completely throws off any balance to the article. With architecture articles particularly, a larger than usual main image is important, otherwise key details of the building are not easily visible on smaller screens. In this case, the image would have to be reduced by about 40% to fit into an infobox, rendering it essentially useless. Risker (talk) 23:15, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
I don't know if it's possible to increase the width of the infobox image. I've tried various syntaxes without success in the past, but wikicoding defeats me. Espresso Addict (talk) 23:20, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
It was mentioned that infoboxes can clash with images; just left align them in the upper sections. Infoboxes should take precedence over images; the former contains useful information, the latter is not a tier to obtaining GA or FA. --Jza84 |  Talk  23:29, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
That doesn't seem to work with all infoboxes -- at least I remember spending ages trying to get images to appear to the left of one infobox without success. Also, I suspect putting images to the left of an infobox would be against the MoS, which states "Avoid sandwiching text between two images facing each other" and would probably apply to infoboxes.
As to whether infoboxes are more important than images, that appears to be a matter of personal opinion, as the differing views being expressed here attest. The GA criteria state that images are preferred ("It is illustrated, where possible, by images") and the FA criteria actually require them, while neither guidelines mention infoboxes. Images provide information that isn't in the article; infoboxes in general should merely be summarising information that already exists. Espresso Addict (talk) 00:07, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Would it be possible to explain why the architecture project: WP:WPARCH then has infoboxes mentioned as things that can be added to articles? Furthermore, the project even has tools that can be transcluded to generate starter articles that include infoboxes in them (see WP:WPARCH#Help for authors)? I find it very odd why they exist, given that an argument was advanced against including an infobox in an article (Little Moreton Hall) concerned with architecture, and which used the fact that the article was concerned with architecture. Finally, can I politely ask again if there are any examples of FA candidates being rejected because they included an infobox, and also (a new one) whether any have passed when they included an infobox. I think a general rule requesting no infoboxes has not been justified so far.  DDStretch  (talk) 23:30, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

I've added what the Little Moreton Hall infobox would look like to the top of this discussion for editors to have a look at (probably the wrong place to stick it I know, but I couldn't think of anywhere else). Can you really say the image is too small to be of use and that the infobox serves no purpose? Nev1 (talk) 23:39, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

That is exactly what a reader would want to see IMO. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 23:42, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
Though we should not be fixing the size of images in articles but leaving this to user preference. Keith D (talk) 23:46, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
This is a point that was niggling me, as I, too, thought that there was a view that we should not be fixing the size of images in articles: if the viewers should see an image of a good size in order to appreciate the text, then shouldn't it be possible to do this by simply clicking on the image? In fact, wouldn't this be the only way of getting an image of sufficient size to satisfy some of the needs to show ceratin aspects of the architecture? In which case, then an argument based on the size of image shown in an infobox doesn't really have as much force as it may have at first appeared.  DDStretch  (talk) 23:57, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
That's not what the MoS currently says. The guideline now is that image sizes shouldn't be fixed at less than the maximum that users can set in their preferences, 300px. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 00:05, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Okey Dokey. That then leaves the strange inconsistency in the arguments being advanced here, and the tools that are given in, say, WP:WPARCH#Help for authors. However, the issue of being able to click on an image to see it at a greater size, and the fact that sometimes this may be necessary to illustrate a point about architecture still means the argument about image size has less force than it appears to have. Finally, we still have the unanswered questions about articles with or without infoboxes gaining or being refused FA status. I think this surely has to be considered on a case by case basis, and the mass addition of the comment doesn't appear like a case by case process was in operation here.  DDStretch  (talk) 00:14, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
As the MOS now stands we appear to be violating it with most of our infoboxes as we are fixing the image at 240px to 250px which is less than the 300px Keith D (talk) 00:32, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
I would like to point out here that the MOS does not state that images should be at a specific size. It states that the image itself should be no smaller than 300 pixels wide. The actual sizing, IMHO, should be left to user preferences. — BQZip01 — talk 00:35, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
I would like in return to point out that you are quite mistaken in your understanding of the guideline. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 00:38, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
I think then that the guideline needs clarifying, I took me a couple of reads of the sentence to come to my conclusion on it. Keith D (talk) 11:41, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
The image does appear small to me, and doesn't allow details of the timber framing to be discerned. More of a problem is what happens under the infobox -- I previewed a trial version of the page with the infobox and, unless images are allowed to be sandwiched left of infoboxes (which I think contravenes MoS), then all the images of the article will need to be moved, and probably one deleted or at least made into a gallery. Espresso Addict (talk) 00:28, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

People might like to review a similar argument on Talk:Buckingham Palace#Info Box which recently took place for the same kind of reasons.  DDStretch  (talk) 23:53, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

[Cross posted]

[edit conflict]I'm from cheshire (and a parish councillor) and I think it's a terrible idea to add a box here - dreadful things. yuk! I mean what's it going to say? "architect - unkown, style - tudor (duh), age - tudor, vital statistics - "still looking good despite all the 'showing it on the balcony'[sic] (direct italian translation), resulting in a knee trembling weakening in the foundations - but really, what value?--Joopercoopers (talk) 23:29, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

Err, just run that by me again? You're from Cheshire, a parish councillor who thinks that adding infoboxes is a terrible idea? Am I supposed to be in some way swayed by that nonsense? --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 23:33, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
You'd be a fool not to. --Joopercoopers (talk) 23:38, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
Then I'm destined to remain a fool. ;-) --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 23:39, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
Me too :-) Nev1 (talk) 00:02, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

such is our fate. --Joopercoopers (talk) 23:40, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

Did you bother to look at the example infobox at the start of this section? You can leave fields blank if you don't have information. Nev1 (talk) 00:07, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Yep - saw the box, vomited, and then realised I'd written that bit in WP:ARCH- complete nonesense of course, just exuberant wikiyouth coming out before I realised - the wiki way is the one of no rules - If you're writing an article, do as you please, just make it better. Are we making this one better with our box? Or just a better encyclopdia because it all has a standardised look? Me, I'd rather an irregular encylopedia with fantastically written and presented articles, that might differ a little in style - arts articles might be, well arty - science articles would be written to the tastes of good, communicative, scientists - excellence over standardisation for me please. --Joopercoopers (talk) 00:16, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Maybe you should take a moment to clean yourself up then, don't let wikipedia get in the way of personal hygiene. One thing that nobody's really reflected on is the map? Does anyone apart from me think it's useful? Nev1 (talk) 00:20, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
If there was a serious concern about the size of the infobox, then I'd be in favour of dropping the map rather than the infobox. But I think it is useful, yes, and as must be obvious I really don't understand what all this fuss is about. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 00:27, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
That's better - thanks for the advice - the map, yes very useful in the geography and town/village articles, they also occur in - but it's at least as large as the building photo in the architecture article - is where it is in Cheshire, as important as a good view of the additional 'long gallery' that was added and contributed to the frame deformation - perhaps just the picture would be better, with a nice caption about the 'long room' - rather than a large, unnecessary map which might help if I wanted a day trip to the house, but then, I'd just click the coordinates at the top RHS of the page and load it up in google earth - like I usually do. Still failing to see why the earth will stop turning if the map wasn't there - yours --Joopercoopers (talk) 00:28, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Going back to respond to a previous question about Featured Articles on Architecture: There are 33 FAs that discuss buildings. Of those, 25 do not have infoboxes. Of the 8 that do have infoboxes, two are the only FAs of state capital buildings and two are the only FAs on skyscrapers. I would say that weighs 3:1 in favour of no infobox when writing at that level.
As to this userbox, I just popped upstairs to look at it on the 15 inch monitor (which is the standard one in most of the world), and the details of the house were very washed out, the map was overwhelming (and I feel pretty well useless generally speaking - maps with one red dot usually are), and if I was to superimpose it on the article it completely displaced everything else. And why coordinates? They're already at the top of the page. Risker (talk) 00:31, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Would the details of the house not be equally washed out using your preferred size on a 15 inch monitor? Did you test this to avoid bias in this report at all? Fields can be omitted if required. Why does WP:WPARCH#Help for authors still have infoboxes mentioned if they are such an obvious disadvantage to these kinds of articles?  DDStretch  (talk) 00:44, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
The map can be easily omitted, as is now demonstrated. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 00:47, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Yep, still works without the map, still useful. Nev1 (talk) 00:56, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
A vast improvement - so what are we left with by way of information - Client- Richard de Moreton - was he the only client? Isn't the situation a little more complex than that? "Completion date - 15th century" Is it complete? Which bit was complete then? Do we include the 19th century strengthening? Or the other restorations and additions - where's the line? "Style - Timber framed" Do we need this in an infobox? We seem to have the coordinates twice on the page too. I'm not seeing a convincing case this box is adding information that is most pertinent to the article. --Joopercoopers (talk) 00:58, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
You can't see a convincing case for summarising some of the important information about the building in an easily acessible and standardised form? My mind is boggling. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 01:07, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
No, image is still lacking detail when not logged in on a 15 inch monitor. The box is simply too small, and to make the box bigger completely erodes the text.
Here is an example of a FA without an infobox: Queluz National Palace. It took three image specialists 6 hours to get all the images properly laid out in such a way that it worked on the major browsers on the main screen sizes, both logged in and logged out. Layout is much more important than infoboxes, especially when all the key info in the infobox is in the first few sentences of the article. Risker (talk) 01:03, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure who you are responding to here, and I suspect it either isn't me, or, if it is, I may not have made myself clear enough in what I was asking. You mentioned before that the image used in the infobox looked very washed out when viewed on a 15inch monitor, and that was one reason against including the infobox. My question was what did the image look like if it was at your preferred size and viewed on a 15inch monitor? Wouldn't it also look washed out? If so, your specific point doesn't really count against the infobox, but it does point out the unsuitability of using a 15 inch monitor to view such articles, be they in possession of an infobox or not. Your point about a problem of the map as used in this article may well still hold (but your personal dislike about them in all circumstances, however, is just a personal opinion.)  DDStretch  (talk) 01:19, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
because wikiprojects aren't policy makers - they're just a bunch of editors that sometimes get together and decide that's how they'll do things when writing their articles. I bloody delete the section at WP:ARCH if that's your argument - I put the thing there in error years ago - time to go....--Joopercoopers (talk) 00:47, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Conversely, perhaps you were right then and in error now. In any event, it isn't for you or anyone else to lay down the law on matters like this. Parish councillor or not. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 01:10, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

Arbitrary section break

Does anyone think it's bizarre that we're generating thousands of words here and no-one has added a word to the Little Moreton Hall article? Espresso Addict (talk) 00:34, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

I think the map is very useful, and it isn't particularly an architecture issue. Incidentally, Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates#Infoboxes in articles about historic or other notable buildings has just had a message from SandyGeorgia which confirms that opposing an FA on the basis of an infobox being present or not being present would not be a valid oppose, and that it's a consensus item. So, I think the force of the argument in favour of unilaterally adding the comment to many articles is weakened some more: it is as I suggsted, above, a matter to be decided on a case by case basis, and there are ways of getting an image to the relevant size in order to illustrate architectural issues whilst still having an infbox. (The matter of WP:WPARCH#Help for authors could even be said to support these other methods of getting the right sized image.  DDStretch  (talk) 00:36, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

(e/c) No. A thorough discussion here (and elsewhere) is appropriate. It prevents hard feelings and gets the discussion out of the way without generating controversy. Gaining consensus before making a change seems to be the way to go. — BQZip01 — talk 00:38, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

Response to a point made earlier by Risker: "There are 33 FAs that discuss buildings. Of those, 25 do not have infoboxes. Of the 8 that do have infoboxes, two are the only FAs of state capital buildings and two are the only FAs on skyscrapers. I would say that weighs 3:1 in favour of no infobox when writing at that level." Well, it shows that the editors who submitted articles for FA review had preferences against using infoboxes that resulted in a 3:1 proportion against using infoboxes. Given that opposes based on the presence or absence of an infobox would not be valid (as SandyGeorgia confirmed) I don't think it says anything more than a comment about the preferences of the editors who did the submitting. In order to draw the conclusion that the proportions mean infoboxes should always be avoided, you would have to have had articles submitted which had infoboxes, and for the reviews to have asked for them to be removed. These reviews would have to be worded very carefully, given SandyGeorgia's comment. Indeed, perhaps if more people submitted articles for FA review which included infoboxes, they would still achieve FA status, and the apparent unequal proportions would become less. In any case, it does not really support the unilateral undiscussed addition of the html comment asking people to never use an infobox.  DDStretch  (talk) 01:38, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

Well, as I have indicated before, layout and image use are key considerations for FA. Not one of the FAs without infoboxes have defining images that would fit into an infobox; check out Sanssouci and you will see what kind of a problem it would be. As to the comment, I do hope Giano will pop in tomorrow and explain further. Risker (talk) 02:06, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but once again that does not answer the question I asked, and the question is a key one: How many articles have been proposed for FA status with an infobox where the reviewers have asked for the infobox to be removed? As supplemental questions, how many have been rejected that were submitted (a) with an infobox, and (b) without one? Have any been submitted without one and the reviewers have asked for one to be included? Without these data, your desire to show that the number of FA articles you mentioned is caused by them not having an infobox fails, because it could merely reflect the fact that the proposers preferred not to use them. If you can provide these data, then depending on what they show, they will strengthen your argument by making much more unlikely any alternative explanations for the figures you previously provided. The reasoning I am using should be obvious to anyone who has experience in arguing about causes from empirical data. I'm willing to be persuaded, but so far, this argument is not convincing.  DDStretch  (talk) 08:55, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
The infobox as it now appears above strikes me as a bit silly. ¶ It appears to have two titles, first "Little Moreton Hall" and secondly "Building information". The reader, even if somewhat slow-witted, should be able to infer from the page title that it's Little Moreton Hall that's being discussed, rather than, say, "Fallingwater". "Building information" is potentially ambiguous, depending on the syntax of this noun phrase. On the one hand, it might remind our slow-witted reader that this is not, say, fish information or Pokemon information. On the other, it might be self-congratulatory or implicitly hortatory, akin to "Delivering information to the masses". If the former, I really wonder about the level of imbecility to which en:WP is pitching its articles. If the latter, I object to the boosterism. ¶ The "town" is given as "Congleton, Cheshire". Now, I'm gradually coming to realize that en:WP is written for people who are either dimwitted or stunningly uninformed. Such people are likely to misinterpret "Town: Congleton, Cheshire" analogously to "Publisher: Little, Brown". Or they may think that "Town" is missing a final "s". Further, I look at the photo and see no sign that this most handsome building is situated within any town. Indeed, the article says that it is "4 miles (6.4 km) southwest of Congleton". Thus Congleton isn't its location but instead (I suppose) the closest town. ¶ Need I continue? Briefly, almost everything in the "infobox" is a pointless duplication or an oversimplification. Giano was entirely right to take prophylactic measures. -- Hoary (talk) 02:22, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
It is not for you to decide what is "damn silly", nor even the saintly Giano. Frankly I found your comments to be rather unhelpful. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 02:35, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
You puzzle me. I thought this was a discussion about the introduction of, or about the request not to add, a certain kind of infobox, exemplified above. You are of course welcome to give your view. I have. Mine is that the infobox is damn silly, and I have given my reasons for saying so. My reasons or my logic may be inadequate, and you would be most welcome to explain why. But it seems perverse of you to deny my right to draw such and such a conclusion without giving your grounds for this denial. Meanwhile, I regret it if my comments are unhelpful. How might they be more helpful? -- Hoary (talk) 03:32, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
I think you need to realise that using terms like "slow-witted", "self-congratulory", "level of imbecility" and so on do not foster a discussion that tries to be non-inflammatory. You could have given your views without using such terms. Indeed, making use of them routinely is a sign that one's arguments may well be weak. Your position may well yet have a force that persuades people, but using such terms in presenting the argument may well be inflammatory rather than persuasive . I assume that you do aim to persuade people towards adopting your position?  DDStretch  (talk) 08:33, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
That's a carefully phrased and polite comment, which I'll take as I think and hope it was intended. I notice, for example, that you do not accuse me of having described anyone here, or indeed any editor, as slow-witted, self-congratulatory, or imbecilic. I'm grateful for that, for indeed I made no such accusation. ¶ Let me explain. If Britannica, for all its faults, is to encyclopedias what the New York Times is to newspapers, then Wikipedia stands a chance of being [language aside] Die Zeit. (At least for buildings. What it has about Pokemon doesn't concern me.) However, uses such as the above of infoboxes are to me symptomatic of a move to becoming the USA Today of encyclopedias. The editorial board of USA Today are not slow-witted, let alone imbecilic, but they do appear to regard their readers as slow-witted. ¶ And let me rephrase. The species of infobox above -- like so many (but not all) species of infobox -- seems to me to do several unfortunate things, of which I'll here describe two. ¶ First, much of its content unnecessarily duplicates the kind of material that writers are requested to put at the top of [the prose of] the article. Now, when I write about architectural matters (which is rarely and haltingly, as I'm no expert) I'm happy to write for a readership that may be even worse informed about architecture than I am, or rather young, or both. But I'm not happy to write for those with some cognitive deficit that prevents them from rather easily deriving simple information from close by within a well organized article. This is because when I want to read an article and am given information twice in this fashion, I either feel that I'm being treated like an idiot or have unpleasant flashbacks of this or that dire textbook whose writing was so laborious it needed to depend on such gimmickry. (A particular horror of a phonology text, published by Blackwell, comes immediately to mind.) ¶ Secondly, some of the fields encourage or even force misleadingly simple answers: if I'm to believe the prose of this article, this building is not in a town; the infobox implies that it is. ¶ Not everything about infoboxes is bad. The particular photograph here fits the infobox rather well. I've no objection to its placement there. On the other hand, it doesn't benefit from being in an infobox: there are plenty of precedents for articles whose top photo is fine sans infobox, and there may be worthy top photos that wouldn't fit such an infobox well. Further, I'll concede that an infobox may have actual virtues -- and not only for fish or Pokemon, but even for structures. Uniformly formatted location (via OS or whatever) is just the kind of thing that fits awkwardly within running prose but goes well in a box. So let it go in that box, but take out from the box anything that duplicates what's in the prose. -- Hoary (talk) 09:37, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for your response. I agree with your criticisms of the misleading fields in the infobox as it is written at the moment, and I certainly agree with the notion that we should resist any lowering of the standards we should expect of readers of wikipedia. However, I still think your use of "cognitive deficits" is unfortunate: you have no grounds for using such a technical term (and, speaking as a psychologist myself, neither have I) and other ways of phrasing this could have been used as the phrase is still capable of being seized upon in order to inflame the debate by people who do not have lower standards or expectations in debate and argument. This is not Political Correctness, by the way, it is about avoiding unhelpful accusations that could be labelled as political correctness which would only lead to unnecessary drama, and doing one's best to ensure that discussions remain calm and reasoned, whilst robust and searching so as to best find out the way forward.

The other arguments advanced against using infoboxes have not been convincing to me as they currently stand. If we should require a maintenance of high standards in our readers, we should not descend into a lower standard in discussing the issue (such as can be seen here for example), or use arguments that are weak and contain invalid arguments. (An invalid argument is one in which the conclusion does not logically follow from the premises, and the argument based on numbers of FA status articles which I have asked about, above, is one such argument. It is likely to be clear to many people with experience of arguing causes from empirical facts that it is weak in the manner I explained.) So, all I ask is that we are sensibly consistent in requiring a maintenance of high standards in the readers of wikipedia and in the arguments and discussions about content that we have, as should be the case here.  DDStretch  (talk)


As this has become an entirely serious debate, despite my best efforts at a little levity, and as Stretch is now talking about arguments in rather abstract terms, perhaps we should summarise the arguments:-

Against infoboxes in architecture articles
  1. They are unsightly and take up a lot of space
  2. They give relatively unimportant information undue prominence
  3. They replicate information found in the lead
  4. Their uniform nature means less scope for more imaginative layouts
  5. They constrain the size of the lead image below that considered ideal by the Manual of Style, and in some cases below the size needed to see important details
  6. The longer formats reduce the number of images that fit in the article
  7. Shoe-horning informational snippets into the appropriate boxes can be misleading and doesn't necessarily tell the whole story
  8. Many buildings are built by many people, by many architects over many periods. Buildings cannot be uniformed.
  9. 'Battle of the infoboxes' - who decides which project's box should be used?
  10. There's plenty of FA's without them
  11. Their use should be considered on a case by case basis, as no overall prohibition of them would seem to necessarily follow from arguments so far advanced against them. Similarly no argument in their favour need necessarily universally apply. Thus this is neither an argument entirely for or against them
For infoboxes
  1. WP:ARCH says they should be used.
  2. Some FAs have them
  3. They summarise information in the article in an easy-to-read format
  4. FAC never asks for them to be removed
  5. The uniform format gives the potential for automated harvesting of information
  6. Their use should be considered on a case by case basis, as no overall prohibition of them would seem to necessarily follow from arguments so far advanced against them. Similarly no argument in their favour need necessarily universally apply. Thus this is neither an argument entirely for or against them

.....I'm rather struggling now - Stretch perhaps you can sumarise the arguments for having them better than I - most of your debate seems to be about the manner of the debate, rather than it's substance. Please help and add your arguments above. Similarly, perhaps those in favour of exclusion might add further reasons.--Joopercoopers (talk) 11:29, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

  • I'm with Jooperscoopers on this. There is no need for a box. Many people can argue that boxes are bad. If that's the case, then we have a "no consensus" issue, at best. Therefore, there is no advantage to the person who wants the box. If that's so, then leaving it be as the author wrote/designed wins the argument.
  • Additionally, boxes are a redesign. They also set forth a set of judgments about what is important information at the top. Thus, such an insertion without full consensus borders on vandalism, because it is, like vandalism, a statement that, "I don't care what you think is best, and I don't care about what Wikipedians think: I want it to be this."
  • Finally, reference to a project's guidelines is weak. The projects self-select their members, and they do so for a reason. Only those who believe that all articles on X should have a look like Y will join such projects, and then they will all say, "Everything should look like Y." That they would draft a statement of principle or a guideline testifies to no more than their ardor, not their support among the editing community. It can be, should be, and is, rejected. Geogre (talk) 11:38, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Joopers, you missed out the argument advanced above and elsewhere; only those of lesser intelligence/attention-span/take-your-pick like them, and we are above that kind of thing. Mr Stephen (talk) 11:43, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
I sometimes despair of the vanity of Wikipedia editors. What is Wikipedia for? Is it so that editors can gain badges called "featured articles", or is it to make information available to those who choose to consult the articles? People who consult the articles are very varied and have different needs. Some will want erudite and extended articles, maybe with lots of handsome pictures. Others will want a quick bit of information, maybe for homework or general interest. Many will be drawn to a WP article through a search engine and decide to have a glance at it, others will just be generally browsing. For these people the infobox may be of value; it may indeed draw them in to read more of the article; a quick glance may lead to something like "I didn't realise that architect was involved - I'll read a bit further". So to some readers, an infobox may be of value, to others not. Because it is of no value to some, because it may not look pretty or use up space, because it may include duplication (usually unavoidable), because some editors think they are "dreadful", - none of these arguments leads to a conclusion that they should be banned. Sometimes they are of value, sometimes not. They are unlikely to be of any value to the scholar. But most people who drop into Wikipedia are not scholars. Personally I do not think the Little Moreton Hall article is helped much by an infobox; the splendid image should be enough to draw in the browser. But maybe an article like Chester Town Hall (to take an example) gains rather than loses by having an infobox. Let's not be too precious. Peter I. Vardy (talk) 11:49, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Of course different readers have different needs, but that only opens up the infinite horizon. One reader may not want a box at all, but may just want to know how the place is painted. Someone else is looking for tallest. Someone else is looking for oldest. Someone else is looking for easternmost. Someone else is looking for leaded glass. A box can't answer all the needs of people with "different needs" than an erudite article. Instead, they formulate what those needs are and are as much of a constraint on the reader's needs as anything else. The porno boxes were putting in blood type, because in some Asian cultures, that's important. Is the box going to expand like flubber until it can include every possible alternative desire? If so, won't it be the same as the article itself, only in bullet form? In other words, a box is an editorial judgment. A box is not better inherently.
The project people join up the projects because they agree with standardization, and that this standardization should not be "just prose." Therefore, they represent always a group in favor of putting in elements. The people who don't join -- and they strikingly outnumber the members -- are implicitly announcing, by their non-membership, either that they don't like elements or that they don't think any particular element is advisable or that it is not something that should be forced. Majority and consensus is against any enforced design elements. Geogre (talk) 13:19, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
So I assume that you agree with my preferred position that I added to both for and against "sides". It is that infoboxes should be considered on a case by case basis?  DDStretch  (talk) 13:24, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
That's a trick question, or a change of question. Should boxes be considered individually? Yes. There should be no law on any format look to articles. Should this consideration mean that we have to fight it out, tooth and nail, every time? No. I believe that there are two modifications -- two "extra credits," as it were. First, if an article has gone through FAC and passed, then a very, very heavy preference for status quo exists. Yes, all articles should be corrected, if in error, but altered to be in compliance is out. If an article is established and stable, then more preference goes to the status quo again. If an article has a single author or a dominant author, that author should be persuaded. This is not because of "vanity," above, but because of the dynamics of volunteerism. Our most valuable facet is not our articles, but our volunteer amateurs. If something as trivial as a design element is going to horrify a volunteer, then it shouldn't be there. The gain in conformity is overwhelmed by the loss in happiness of a volunteer. Obviously, this is not an argument in favor of fans and such. Someone could try to exaggerate my position, but that's a trap for fools. Geogre (talk) 14:01, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
I can assure you that my intention was not to frame a "trick question" or engage in other kinds of sophistry. If you look at what I have said in the past in these discussions, you will see that previously I have stated on a number of occasions that case by case discussions are required. That being said, the conditions under which you say alterations may not be advisable seem reasonable, apart from the one about horrifying a volunteer which as it stands could be misinterpreted: people can be horrified for many reasons, and some of the reasons may not be sustainable if others think a more persuasive argument exists, perhaps having passed an even greater standard of proof than usual, in favour of an alternative. Everyone should keep an open mind to the possibility of being persuaded to drop a belief they currently have, but, of course, they should not keep it so open their brains fall out. And people perhaps should not be so quick to announce their horror at something just because they prefer another way of doing things. 8-)  DDStretch  (talk) 14:17, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
(edit conflict response to Joopers)You forgot the following points against:
  1. The images that are used in the infoboxes are too small for the detail needed to be illustrated to be shown.
  2. The proportion of FA articles that could include a architecture-related infobox but which don't is 3:1 in favour of not including them, so it seems like not including them is "a good thing".

For the first omitted point, an elaboration of it was that viewing the images on a 15inch screen resulted in a washed out image. However, as yet, despite being asked, no adequate test has been reported that shows that the preferred size of image (if an infobox is not used) would not be similarly "washed out". The last omitted point is not a sound argument as it has a plausible alternative explanation. I am sorry if you do not like the means by which it can be shown to be unsound (my counter argument), but it is an important that we try to get the right decision, and using unsound arguments will hinder us in that. Since an argument was advanced that obviously (to me) had an alternative explanation, it seemed reasonable to explain a bit about this, as it may well have not been apreciated how undermining such arguments are. My counter argument is not in that sense "abstract", as it is of direct relevance in explaining the problems with the last omitted point.

Finally, you omitted the arguments about having the attention span of gnats (on User talk:Giano II and Talk:Little Moreton Hall), and us having lesser intelligence than you, or that you are a parish councillor, and suchlike, but I think those should be acknowleged as being simply irrelevant and/or unnecessarily divisive. I think probably for reasons pointed out by Hoary the infobox is not suitable for Little Moreton Hall, but one cannot yet argue for their use to be universally wrong.  DDStretch  (talk) 11:54, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

  • A Question: Listing the arguments in favour and against using infoboxes is a good move, but there should be, at some stage, an evaluation of each of the reasonable arguments, pro and contra, because some of them would seem to have problems. The problems will weaken their force. Are we going to do that?  DDStretch  (talk) 12:39, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Stretch - I didn't add arguments which I considered had little force - such as the two strawmen you list and the rather silly elitist one people mention above - So we seem to have some common ground on Little Moreton Hall for which I am grateful. As to the 'evil' or otherwise of infoboxes in general, it seems silly to me to force them into articles against the wishes of their principle authors, but if you are quite insistent about it - there's always RFC. --Joopercoopers (talk) 15:23, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for admitting that some of the arguments advanced by people in favour of deleting infoboxes were elitist (though I think one might have been advanced by youself at one point) Unfortunately, at least one of the two you label as a straw men was advanced by Giano himself (in fact, he certainly duplicated one in the list); it formed one of his major original points in favour of omitting infoboxes (I am referring to the number of articles that have achieved FA status that do not have infoboxes, though the other: that the size of images in infoboxes is not big enough was also a serious counter argument taht I think may have some merit to it.) So if you wish to label key arguments Giano advanced as being "straw men" then you really do need to take it up with him and explain why here as well.

As for the accusation of "strawmen" status: an allegation of this without reasoning is just an unsubstantiated allegation and does not prove your counter argument to have any force.

Now, the fact that you chose not to include arguments that had little force means that you weren't really unbiased in your attempt to summarize the situation, were you?

In conclusion, would it be possible for you to explain why you think some arguments I listed are strawmen: I added arguments that had certainly been advanced by editors who I assume were acting in good faith in believing they were serious arguments.

Finally, I would appreciate you not mischaracterizing my position, as you did in your last comment, suggesting that I might insist on forcing the issue: this is an unfair characterization of what my own position has been, though it might apply to some of the other positions being advanced.  DDStretch  (talk) 19:54, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

Thanks, Joopers for the summary of pro and con. Without trying to give ownership to Giano in this matter, I do however want to say I trust his aesthetic judgement quite a lot more than the average editor, so I tend to give weight to his view. My own view... I use infoboxes sometimes. And sometimes I don't. I am not sure that a guideline can be written that properly documents every exceptional case, good judgement is needed. In this particular case, I'm not seeing the need for an infobox in the article. A well written lede can say everything the box says here. Other articles, maybe not so much (my own pet article SS Chris, I think needs one. But that's a different sort of article entirely.) ++Lar: t/c 17:46, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

Problem with caption for the first image in Little Moreton Hall

At the moment, the first image in the article seems to contravene the MOS: WP:MOS#Avoid instructional and presumptuous language, leading to WP:WTA#Words that editorialize. Since the image is in the form that those who do not like infoboxes prefer, it might be an idea to edit it; clearly it shouldn't form part of any argument summaries, above. I'll leave it to those who can probably do it better than me.  DDStretch  (talk) 13:19, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

Are you a parish councillor? They know best, or so I'm told. ;-) --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 00:57, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
ddstretch, I'm not following you there, can you clarify what you think is problematic about the image or its caption? ++Lar: t/c 01:08, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
It's been fixed now, everything is cool. DDstretch was referring to this. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 01:42, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
(Response to Malleus' comment) No, I was asked to be one once, but I declined. More recently, I was asked to become the chairman of a local community council (or whatever they are currently called), but also withdrew when I found that they wanted a rather compliant person who wouldn't encourage a more active response to some of the more unfortunate practices of the local authority. (They hadn't done their homework very well if they wanted such a person and thought I might be at all suitable.) I do, however, know a rather garish counsellor. Would any of that be close enough? Do I hear a shout of "That'll do"?  DDStretch  (talk) 21:50, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
Plenty close enough for the job in hand. Encourage them to join Wikipedia. Bursaries may be available to help you in this task. Mr Stephen (talk) 11:44, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
I empathise with Grouch Marx's famous comment: "I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member". Especially when that club includes "local worthies". --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 23:54, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
  • If the above comments reflect the level of those involved in "WikiProject Cheshire", I can assure you that that Little Moreton Hall will be the first and last architectural page that I will bother with in Cheshire. I would imagine that others will feel the same. Such a pity, it's a nice county. Giano (talk) 05:58, 28 April 2008 (UTC)