Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Succession Box Standardization

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Comment on the WikiProject X proposal[edit]

Hello there! As you may already know, most WikiProjects here on Wikipedia struggle to stay active after they've been founded. I believe there is a lot of potential for WikiProjects to facilitate collaboration across subject areas, so I have submitted a grant proposal with the Wikimedia Foundation for the "WikiProject X" project. WikiProject X will study what makes WikiProjects succeed in retaining editors and then design a prototype WikiProject system that will recruit contributors to WikiProjects and help them run effectively. Please review the proposal here and leave feedback. If you have any questions, you can ask on the proposal page or leave a message on my talk page. Thank you for your time! (Also, sorry about the posting mistake earlier. If someone already moved my message to the talk page, feel free to remove this posting.) Harej (talk) 22:48, 1 October 2014 (UTC)


An RfC has been opened at Template talk:Succession box#RfC. I think that the participation of users who work with succession boxes would be helpful. Kraxler (talk) 13:12, 28 November 2014 (UTC)

Proposal: Add a box positioning parameter, make the box enclose-able in a table or make it collapsible.[edit]

I would like to ask if you could consider adding a positioning parameter to this template which would allow this box to be either movable or make the template enclose-able within external tables or stuck to the right side instead of the center. Userboxes are an ubiquitous example of boxes which can be placed within tables and moved around to wherever they are needed. Boxes which are stuck to the right where they don't get in the way of the article include WP:Taxobox and WP:Infobox. There are numerous examples of boxes which can be collapsed down to single lines on the page. Thanks Trilobitealive (talk) 23:36, 21 December 2014 (UTC)

What would be the benefit of moving succession boxes to the right? --Redrose64 (talk) 00:22, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
If the boxes could be repositioned the blank spaces left beside the writing in the section above them could be decreased. Look at the article Kenneth MacAlpin as an example. There is a large blank space in the External links section caused by this box. There is a similar blank next to the contents box after the lede, however that particular box can either be hidden by the reader or removed by an editor using the NOTOC command if it is found to be too noxious in a given article. Trilobitealive (talk) 01:24, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
By "the writing in the section above them" I take it that you mean the list of external links. To have these appear alongside (and therefore to the left of) the succession box means that the succession box doesn't just need to be moved right, it needs to be floated right, and also be placed before the external links in the wikicode (see for example the positioning of the {{Commons category}} at Forth Bridge#External links - this is a right-floated box); but MOS:LAYOUT says that succession boxes go after the external links. As for the blank space alongside the table of contents, this is by design, and any change to that needs a much broader discussion than can be provided here - such as at WT:LAYOUT or WP:VPR. --Redrose64 (talk) 14:08, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
Kenneth MacAlpin is an outlier, as is Winston Churchill at the other extreme. Locating the box centrally is at least visually consistent - just as you'd expect from a project with Standardization in its name. Bazj (talk) 21:12, 23 December 2014 (UTC)

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Harej (talk) 16:57, 14 January 2015 (UTC)

Unnecessary bold[edit]

I propose that the bold formatting in the succession boxes should be removed, because it is contrary to MOS:BOLD and serves no purpose. (Originally raised at Template_talk:S-start#Template-protected_edit_request_on_26_January_2015). Mitch Ames (talk) 12:07, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

The MOS objection to bolding is based on the idea that it may distract from the flow of the text. Since the succession boxes have no flow of text to be distracted from, the relevance of the edict doesn't seem absolute. Even weaker given the MOS' own inconsistencies on the matter.
Looking at the example used in a previous discussion, Kenneth MacAlpin...
  • having "Kenneth MacAlpin" in plaintext and "House of Alpin" in bold seems perverse,
  • in "Preceded by Drest X", the bolding of Drest X compared to the plain "Preceded by" seems meaningful, and
  • the bolding in "Born: after 800 Died: 13 February 858" seems less meaningful, perhaps even distracting.
I'd agree that the bolding should be reviewed, but a blanket removal seems (imho) overkill. Bazj (talk) 13:21, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
In that vein, the following alteration would certainly seem an improvement to me:
Kenneth MacAlpin
Born: after 800 Died: 13 February 858
Kenneth MacAlpin
Born: after 800 Died: 13 February 858
Bazj (talk) 13:44, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
I think the use of bold does make the page too "busy" unnecessarily. Perhaps more to the point, what advantage does the bold provide? Ie what do we gain by going against MOS? I suggest that - given that we have a clear guideline in MOS not to use bold - the onus should on those who would apply bold to justify its use contrary to MOS. Mitch Ames (talk) 12:25, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
  • I think the use of bold does make the page too "busy" unnecessarily
The boxes that don't follow the flow of the text and have big colour bands across the top of them don't make the page look busy already?
  • what advantage does the bold provide
It draws your attention to the major points (Kenneth MacAlpin, rather than his birth and death dates in the example above)
  • given that we have a clear guideline in MOS
The clear guideline is to not break up the flow of a paragraph of text. There are no large blocks of text to have a flow in the succession boxes. The clarity of the guidelines is also muted by the exceptions in the MOS itself, WP:ARTCON,& WP:MOS#Wikilinks.
  • the onus should on those...
And yet the succession boxes are by-and-large protected. The onus falls on those wanting to overthrow the status quo.
While I'll agree there is a case for reviewing the use of bolding in succession boxes, there is no way a blanket removal is warranted. Are you suggesting the removal of bold at Template talk:Navbox and Template talk:Infobox? Bazj (talk) 13:53, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
The boxes that don't follow the flow of the text and have big colour bands across the top of them don't make the page look busy already?
So why make it worse?
It draws your attention to the major points (Kenneth MacAlpin, rather than his birth and death dates in the example above)
If you need to draw attention to specific elements of the table cell, I suggest that there is to much information in the cell.
The clear guideline is to not break up the flow ...
No, the clear guideline is too use bold only in the specific scenarios.
Are you suggesting the removal of bold at Template talk:Navbox and Template talk:Infobox?
The thought has crossed my mind. However notice that navboxes and infoboxes typically don't use bold in the contents cells, only the header or label cells. Mitch Ames (talk) 05:58, 1 February 2015 (UTC)

I'll be even bolder (no pun intended; formatting added later) and suggest something else: does this house template really serve a meaningful purpose? I've never seen much of a point in it, and shouldn't mind at all were it to disappear. It's a large, visually striking element used in monarchs' succession boxes and nowhere else, even though most of the information it carries (name and dates) exists for the overwhelming majority of biographies in Wikipedia, from Socrates to Benedict Cumberbatch. (Besides, the article name is not always the best way to refer to the subject, or may be one of several equally valid ways to do so, so I do not consider it a good idea to put it at the head of succession boxes.) Why not just do away with it? Waltham, The Duke of 18:49, 2 February 2015 (UTC)

  • "Why not just do away with it?" +1 -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 21:58, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Support removal of {{s-hou}} (it is a bit peacock-y, and its removal appeals to my inner republican) but more than a little daunted by removal of 7624 transclusions. Bazj (talk) 13:57, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
    • I believe there is the option of requesting that a bot removes all transclusions of the template in the mainspace (or a subset thereof, like articles categorised as biographies)—a simple enough task that shouldn't cause any problems, though we can certainly refine the criteria if need be. However, the good people at Wikipedia:Bot requests may require stronger proof of consensus for such an action than our little chat here. It would be nice if more people expressed their opinion on this idea. Waltham, The Duke of 16:57, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
  • I consider that "house" is over-used. It is appropriate for reigning monarchs, but should probably not be bold. It should not be used for peers and the like. Peterkingiron (talk) 17:11, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
    • I haven't seen it used for peers; can you give an example? Your idea is interesting, but one might say a bit arbitrary as well: all monarchs belong to houses (even if they are the ones to found them), so why show it only for reigning monarchs? An "all or nothing" approach seems to me to make more sense, and you know which one I prefer. Besides, if we were to remove the template from dead monarchs, that would render the death date in the template completely superfluous and we'd have to remove it; that would upset the balance we have now, because we'd either have to put something else in its place (length of reign?), or move the birth date to the middle, or remove the birth date entirely, leaving just two names.
    • If we do keep the template, I am undecided on the issue of the bolding, because this is not a regular succession line but a sort of a header, so it makes sense to have it distinguish itself from the body of the succession box. (Not using bold at all would also distinguish it, I suppose, but not in a good way.) Waltham, The Duke of 08:25, 13 March 2015 (UTC)
  • I haven't had my say in this yet and I feel it's time. I was one of the co-designers of the s-hou box originally and its purpose was generally to get the information in once place when there was not already an infobox at the top of the page, as with many minor royals and nobles. As such, I think it serves a purpose. However, I agree that the page name is not always the most appropriate name to be at the top of the s-hou box and it really has never seemed necessary (I don't believe I was the person who included it originally). I think the box itself, though, does serve a purpose in that it places the royal/noble house in the context of the line of succession. Where that house has no relevance to the succession, such as with a politician or a noble with no corresponding house (such as a one-time appointment or a non-hereditary noble), then the box is not necessary. In recent updates I've made to various Wittelsbach family s-boxes, I have chosen not to include the s-hou header despite the individuals fulfilling all the criteria I just outlined. Thus, I suppose I can support the removal or reduction of the s-hou template and any others directly related to it. I do wish to keep the colour bands, though, as they do a good job of quickly separating the different types of titles one person may have throughout their life. Oh, and the bold "Born" and "Died" text can most definitely be reduced to normal size regardless the decision, but the house name should remain bold if the template is kept.
    Darius von Whaleyland, Great Khan of the Barbarian Horde 04:04, 10 August 2015 (UTC)


WhaleylandChoessArdric47AlkariOwenBlackerThe Duke of WalthamPhilosopherAppraiserAdrian M. H.John Carter52 PickupPigsonthewingPeterkingironNoraftTavatarBosstopher

Given that

  • the headline work of the project is long since complete, Succession boxes are now standardised,
  • the succession boxes in use are now all based on the standardised versions,
  • accessibility issues have been resolved,
  • the project's traffic since late 2012 has been so low that we've not responded to questions on this page (& Archive 8)
the question needs to be asked - Rather than let it atrophy, has the time come to put the project to bed and hand over responsibility for succession boxes to another project, perhaps WP:WPT?
Opinions please. Bazj (talk) 16:49, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
  • OK by me. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 17:15, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Why not. I remember having a few ideas for improving the template system, but I might as well propose them at WikiProject Templates, where they might actually receive some input. The Guidelines might be retained, though a streamlining and dramatic reduction in size would make them far more useful; to be honest, I don't know how many people are even aware of that page's existence, let alone trouble themselves with consulting it. Waltham, The Duke of 18:57, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
  • I suppose people come here less often when everything had been smooth sailing with the boxes. The vast information here still provide a valuable centralized source for guidance on succession boxes area. TheAvatar (discuss?) 21:40, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
  • I see no objection to this project being merged with another, but which? The guidelines certainly need to be retained and I suppose we still need a place where they can be discussed. Personally, I have been much less active on WP than I used to be. I am now mainly only monitoring certain deletion lists. Peterkingiron (talk) 11:59, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
  • I don't have a fundamental problem with merging this into some other project, but I still come across un-standardised succession boxes quite frequently (mainly using the old syntax with a whole row in one template call). Is there any reason not to leave things as they are? — OwenBlacker (Talk) 12:39, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
  • No strong feelings either way, but I don't see any problem with leaving this up. As for people not answering inquiries on the page - well, the introduction to this message should give people an idea for who knows what's what around here... – Philosopher Let us reason together. 22:32, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Adding pings to Redrose64 and Michael Bednarek based on their recent responses to discussions on this page. – Philosopher Let us reason together. 22:37, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Neutral – but notify here about the outcome. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 03:44, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
  • I've begun following this page again so should receive notices if anything is changed (apparently I had stopped watching it. Oops!). I am indifferent either way but I do like having a central place to discuss the boxes when things seem amiss. Granted, that has not happened recently, which is very good. I did run across a whole group of un-updated succession boxes in a cadet branch of the Wittelsbach family last week and just finished changing them over yesterday, so there still is work to be done. But that work does not necessarily require a WikiProject page for it. I'd also like to see the Template:S-start page much simplified as it currently is almost readable. I designed this whole updated system in 2007-2008 and I can't even remember all the options each type of s-box template has. I've had to go back through everything just to be able to do moderately complex boxes. If there is anything left to this project, it is simplifying the instructions so anybody can use them.
    Darius von Whaleyland, Great Khan of the Barbarian Horde 04:09, 10 August 2015 (UTC)