The Wiki Fire talk:Formatting, Style, and Organization

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The purpose of this page is to achieve consensus on various formatting, style, and organization issues that arise as we continue to develop and grow The Wiki Fire.

Pages on terms and school years[edit]

I didn't know where to put this, but sense I'm seeking a consensus on this, I thought this was as good a place as any. I'm looking at the most wanted pages list, and the top requests are all "Spring 2007, Winter 2006,", etc. Are these pages neccessary? At this point, it would be easy to go to the 6 or so pages that link to each one of these pages and take out the links, but the longer it goes, the more pages will link to it. I just don't see the purpose of these pages, so I wanted to solicite other people's thoughts. GreatHeights 10:30, 29 June 2007 (CDT)

it might be nice to have an events section for each term. so, you ask "what term was the ambassador from china here?" and you'd find that. and then they'd have the other events from all the different organizations there then. if that doesn't happen, i can't think of any other reason for the page right now. --Afitz 11:26, 29 June 2007 (CDT)

Those are all my fault. What I want to see happen with them is something along the lines of the pages for individual years and days that Wikipedia has, with a list of all the goings-on. User:Yesthatems was talking to me about doing something along those lines over the next few weeks, but if she ends up not doing it then I or somebody else can do it. But I think that, in general, we're aware that a lot goes on in a single term, and if somebody wants to get a sense of the term with trawling Wikifire's entirety then the term and year pages would be a helpful resource. I would envision breaking up the information into sections, like Housing, Classes, Faculty, Club Events, Senate Events, Other Events (e.g. tornadoes, floods, more well-known Campus Safety actions), and then some Miscellaneous or Gossip heading for people to put all their in-jokes under. Camozzi 13:58, 29 June 2007 (CDT)

I think that years should operate like 2006-07. Then within that page, there would be sections for each term. I feel like that makes the most sense and will result in fewer, better pages with more context. Thoughts? Tfooq 11:50, 1 July 2007 (CDT)

yeah, a page for each year with sections for each term and also the sections that brian suggested. --Afitz 21:53, 1 July 2007 (CDT)

I started making the 2006-2007 page. Fall Term and parts of summer and winter breaks are up, using mostly information from the news archive and academic calendar. Take a look and let me know what you think. Camozzi 02:47, 5 July 2007 (CDT)

Looks good. Let's get more user-created stuff when we can. I dig it. Tfooq 19:45, 5 July 2007 (CDT)

Courses of study and academic department pages[edit]

Now that I've done what I can with the course pages, I intend to move next to wikifying and standardizing the pages for academic departments and courses of study. To that end, I need some opinions as to organizing these. There are 18 academic departments, most of which have a significant number of majors and minors. There are also 12 interdisciplinary courses of study. My question is whether you all think it would be better to organize the pages based on departments or majors. The options are:

  • Organize all the information under the academic departments and interdisciplinary committees. This creates 30 pages, such that there are the 18 department pages, each with the various course of study and their requirements linked under a number of headings, with all the major-specific names redirected to a department page, and then a separate page for each interdisciplinary course of study. This would concentrate all the information onto a few long pages and involve a lot of redirects from major names to subheadings in department pages.
  • Create a page for each department and also a page for each major area, with affiliated minors listed in subheadings (minors and departmental coursework without a corresponding major would have their own pages as well). This would create about 66 pages in total (18 departments and then the rest majors and unaffiliated minors and coursework). This may involve fewer redirects and spreading some information perhaps more conveniently and intuitively for those less familiar with the wiki format or frightened by long pages. On the other hand, it would also mean that, given the fluidity of professor assignments, for instance, that getting information about faculty on a major would involve going to the department page anyway.

Thoughts? Camozzi 16:36, 29 June 2007 (CDT)

Okay, well, I didn't hear anything from anybody, so I went ahead and built one (Political Science and International Relations Department). I was about to delete the information on the Political Science and International Relations pages, and then I noticed/remembered that we have Category:Majors, and if I put all these department pages together then I will end up deleting the category. It occurs to me also that the lists of required courses and so on in the department page might stifle the sort of more freestyle editing on some of the major pages, and at the very least do weird things to the tone. So I'm going to try to create some sort of balance, so that the department page has all the nuts and bolts and the major pages can be more talkative and descriptive. So take a look, if you're so inclined, and let me know what you think of the arrangement, and whether you would like it if it were promulgated to all the other departments. Camozzi 22:38, 3 July 2007 (CDT)


I think the name of the site should always be written The Wiki Fire. The official abbreviation should be TWF. This could go in the style guide. Do those work for everyone? Tfooq 01:57, 1 July 2007 (CDT)

I've always been partial to Wikifire, myself. Camozzi 02:26, 1 July 2007 (CDT)

I noticed. That's why I think we should find a way that we write it on article pages that is consistent. It does not matter how you write it on talk pages, but articles should be the same. My reasoning for The Wiki Fire is that it follows The Prairie Fire. People have a hard enough time figuring that connection out as it is, and removing the caps and combing the words might make that even harder. That is also how it is written in the logo, though the logo can easily change. Thoughts? Tfooq 11:53, 1 July 2007 (CDT)

Stub Template?[edit]

Would it be a good idea to create a stub template (like the one in Wikipedia) for articles which exist but need expansion? Or, given TWF's early age, would there be so many pages to put it on that it wouldn't make any difference anyway? Camozzi 04:21, 26 July 2007 (CDT)

For sure. Go for it. I think that would be helpful. We should start getting better at templates, because smart template use can make the site that much easier to navigate and make the site more unique to our content as opposed to just a wikipedia wannabe. Tfooq 16:08, 30 July 2007 (CDT)

Okay, I've created Template:Stub. See what you think. I had trouble thinking of a little image to go next to it, which I think is a lovely touch in Wikipedia articles and an excellent way of setting the stub note off from the article. I settled on an image of the seal. I assume that since it was fair use for us to have a huge picture of the seal, it's also fair use to have a tiny one? Also, if somebody thinks there might be something that would look better down there, please suggest it. Whatever the case, though, it's pretty much ready for use. Camozzi 20:47, 30 July 2007 (CDT)

Oh, also, should we create a bot to automatically tag short pages, since it's a bit tedious to do ourselves? And does anybody actually know how to do that? I know Wikipedia uses Python and/or Perl to write them, but I don't know the languages and I don't know how they integrate them. Camozzi 21:26, 30 July 2007 (CDT)