Forums: Helping Hand > Possible change to infoboxes

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Okay, after wrestling with the tabber function, I finally got something working that looks halfway decent. Take a look at User:Moviesign/Sandbox3 and tell me what you think. There are a number of issues with this solution that we might want to consider before anyone goes and changes anything.
  • I think it was mentioned somewhere that the tabber thing doesn't work on mobile devices. I have no idea what this looks like viewed on a phone.
  • The infobox changes size dynamically when tabs contain different amounts of content. This may cause the text of an article to re-flow around the box (at least I hope it does, rather then overlap) which could lead to some ugly situations on any given page.
  • Putting an infobox inside an infobox makes the text very small. The CSS will probably have to be adjusted so the text isn't so tiny. Oh, and to remove the extra border.
  • We may have to make the infobox wider to accommodate the extra padding (which results in lost width) that the tabber puts in.
  • It makes a messy template even messier, but damn if that isn't cool.

What do you think, sirs?

Moviesign (talk) 19:59, October 11, 2014 (UTC)

That... is very cool. i really like that!
Terrorblades 's Far Realm logs dated 20:24, October 11, 2014 (UTC)

Great Maker!!! Movie, I think you just solved Niirfa's problem... that looks fricken cool!!!
- Darkwynters (talk) 20:47, October 11, 2014 (UTC)

Yeah, I agree, that's much better. Well done and better than I'd managed to do with my own tweaking. I'm fine with this layout, as it's very tidy and easy to read.
Niirfa-sa (talk) 00:39, October 12, 2014 (UTC)

Movie, if you have the code that makes Wikia give you extra tabs to switch between Oasis and Monobook skins, then the Mobile skin should also be available.

Right, now it looks fine in the Oasis skin: the infobox width remains fixed; the length changes, but the text readjusts. In Monobook, however, the width changes and the Basic Information box spills out of the tabber box.

It doesn't work at all in Mobile: no tabs, every edition is shown, 5e, 4e, 3e, 2e, 1e, all at once with a lot of different rows. They're not even labelled by edition.

Does it really need the extra infobox inside? Are the raw tables of before a problem?

I'd rather the infobox wasn't made wider, as the article space is already quite narrow in the Oasis skin, and that would affect the layout of some pages.

— BadCatMan (talk) 04:05, October 12, 2014 (UTC)

I have never seen tabs that let you switch between monobook and oasis. Where did you see it? The monobook.css file was deleted by Wikia back in 2007. Can we restore it? I have no idea what would happen if we do. Is there a monobook fan club that has taken up the torch and supports it or some equivalent?

Okay, we need to make a decision before I put the effort into adding tabs to our infoboxes. Assuming that it will not work on mobile devices or in monobook for the foreseeable future, should we make this change? I can mitigate the problem for mobile devices by adding a section header for each edition so that the content will at least be divided up for them and look pretty much like the infoboxes look now. Everybody will see the dividers regardless of their viewing platform, unless the CSS has a way to make the distinction between mobile and non-mobile.

Moviesign (talk) 00:00, October 14, 2014 (UTC)

I vote for going for it. While there's a few areas that could use improvement, I definitely like it more than the previous method of sorting out edition changes. It'd be nice if we could improve the templates to make them easier to read for mobile users, but the current set-up isn't really better for them anyway (indeed, it's arguably clunkier looking at Ilmater's page, where only a portion of the 1st edition stats are shown by default without a prompt).
Niirfa-sa (talk) 00:50, October 14, 2014 (UTC)

Hmmm, I had another thought... do the Tabs have a default setting... for example, when a reader looks at the black pudding page (What in the Abyss has happened to the infobox!), will they see the 5e tab first... but what if there is no 5e content... will I see 4e info then? Personally, the tabs are cool, but I think the infoboxes are fine the way they are... every time we mess with these, we have to go back and fix them again... and again... and again... and what happened to the black pudding page!!! hehe... P.S. I think the Ilmater page looks radical, BTW.
Darkwynters (talk) 01:37, October 14, 2014 (UTC)

The first tab defined is the default, so don't put in a 5e tab unless you have 5e info to display, same for 4e etc. I've been messing with the Creature template, so you may have to clear your cache (or do a purge on the page) to see it correctly. If there are other issues, let me know. User:Niirfa-sa has been updating them, I just simplified the code and eliminated all the redundant templates. I vigorously applied a greatsword to them, so if I cut out something that you liked, tell me.
Moviesign (talk) 03:15, October 14, 2014 (UTC)

I know a secret trick other people don't! Awesome! Okay, have look at the Doctor Who wiki, at Forum:Easy switching between monobook, wikia and wikiamobile. You get a button you can click to change the skin of a page. It won't stay set though, you have to change it every time you go to a new page. It makes it easier to access features that only appear in the Oasis skin, though they tend not to work if you switch to Monobook. And vice versa.

I wish Wikia was still maintaining Monobook. It's vastly cleaner, faster, and easier to use than Oasis, and it's my default. But Oasis is the default for everybody who comes to the wiki, and I imagine most members use it now anyway. For that reason, I'd say go ahead. We should use our best features to greet the most users, and that's Oasis.

Infoboxes in Monobook have been bent for a long time: alignment grids are stretched and tables are all spaced out. It's probably a problem specific to Monobook, and I've gotten used to it being funky. Monobook is the probably the domain of stubborn old editors like me, and will probably be removed one day. The Mobile skin, meanwhile, always looks like crap; putting edition headings is sufficient to solve that problem.

We probably should default to the latest edition tab, where there is information present for it.

— BadCatMan (talk) 03:31, October 14, 2014 (UTC)

Cool... then let's fix the infoboxes and begin editing!!!
- Darkwynters (talk) 04:17, October 14, 2014 (UTC)

Sorry Wynters, did the image ruin the page :(? Should I remove it? So... erm... how do I apply the tabs? Is there any where that I can read about the code? Sorry if this seams like a stupid question :S!
Terrorblades 's Far Realm logs dated 12:17, October 14, 2014 (UTC)

No, Blades, I do not think your image messed up the page... I think both Admin Movie and Niirfa have been tinkering with the infoboxes... Though, I agree with Blades... just show me the new format and I will copy and paste to my hearts content :)
- Darkwynters (talk) 20:47, October 14, 2014 (UTC)

Hey folks, especially BadCatMan, I may have fixed the problems with monobook. Please clear your cache and view User:Moviesign/Sandbox3 again (or do a Shift-reload of the page) and tell me if you see any problems. I think this is enough to warrant moving to tabs in our edition-partition infoboxes. (Assuming I can get it to work.)
Moviesign (talk) 02:10, October 15, 2014 (UTC)

Since it looks like we're really close to changing all the infoboxes over to Moviesign's model I've been holding off updating the infoboxes for the last day or so. I don't want to accidentally mess up anything he's working on, even though I know he's using sandboxes to do the editing. Once we've transferred over I'll continue with my tinkering, which is mostly a matter of aesthetic consistency and making everything look a little bit fancier/stylish (in line with how the creature infoboxes look ATM).
Niirfa-sa (talk) 05:35, October 15, 2014 (UTC)

I'm done with the {{Creature}} boxes for now, if you want to keep working on them. I'm going to try converting the Deity template first, since I think it will be the hardest, so the other templates are fair game for now. What else are you going to change? Are you going to add edition-specific parameters? Is there a method to your color scheme, or are you just picking colors from a palette? Colored text on a tinted background is harder to read, so please keep it contrasty.
Moviesign (talk) 18:06, October 15, 2014 (UTC)
Mostly everything's going to stick to dark brown and tan, which is what the default 4ed box template created by Fw190a8 way back in 2009 uses. The idea behind the box was to use a template that looks kind of like the sidebars in 4th edition rulebooks, which Fw190a8 thought looked kind of neat and was worth copying. The color coding is specifically for planar subjects, to represent the Outer Planes (astral dominions in 4e), the Inner Planes (elemental realms in 4e), Feywild, the Far Realm, and Shadowfell, although Fw190a8 actually didn't make a dark gray palette for the last one (I just took a look at the usual contrast schemes and made my own guess as to what it would look like).

I'm not planning to add any more color palettes and I think the ones I've worked out at the moment are pretty contrasty (I've actually increased the contrast between the text and the background color to some degree). But if it's still too hard to read I'll look into altering them further.

Other than stylistic stuff, I'm also planning to differentiate the planar creature templates a little bit more in the future, adding a few inputs that are relevant only to creatures from a certain kind of plane or possibly removing some which aren't relevant. I haven't gotten around to that yet though, as my main priority ATM has been adding new material from the 5th edition Player's Handbook.
Niirfa-sa (talk) 19:49, October 15, 2014 (UTC)

Per Moviesign's suggestion I'm bringing forward a minor infobox format decision, which is whether to align infobox cells to the right or to the left. Infoboxes as a whole, like most of our templates, default to the right, but there's an apparent divide within the two kinds of infoboxes we currently have right now (this kind and this kind), where one style aligns cells to the right and one aligns them to the left.

The conflict is at its most obvious when using the alignment grid, which when placed inside an infobox doesn't follow either guideline by default but instead it's own internal direct to float left or right. I tried disabling the float directive so that it would instead go where the rest of the text does but it doesn't work that way - without a float directive it floats naturally to the left, which makes it out of place in right-aligned templates.

Basically, what it comes down to is do we want infobox cells to be aligned toward the right or the left?
Niirfa-sa (talk) 06:01, October 16, 2014 (UTC)

I'm used to seeing them on the right, so I'd prefer it stayed that way. My 2 copper;
Moviesign (talk) 19:59, October 16, 2014 (UTC)

I agree with Movie.
- Darkwynters (talk) 00:19, October 17, 2014 (UTC)

It sounds like we'll probably go with right alignment but before I throw in the towel I'll give a few reasons why I prefer left:
  1. It requires less coding. Unless told otherwise, infobox cells default to left alignment because that's the way that text normally aligns on English-language websites. As a result, right alignment is something that must be explicitly coded, whereas left alignment is inferred.
  2. I think it looks neater. With right alignment, there's a large amount of white space in the middle and there's also a tendency for long lines of text like lists to look a bit weird, because the text moves away from the right rather than from the left as is typical in English.
  3. Nearly all other wikis use left-alignment (including several of our sister wikis like the Baldur's Gate Wiki or the Eberron Wiki). As a general rule I look to other wikis as a model for aesthetics and styling.
What's most important of course, is just that we have a unified model so although I do prefer left alignment, I'll work with right if that's what most people want.
Niirfa-sa (talk) 00:50, October 17, 2014 (UTC)

The first point is easy to answer. If we do it right, the switch between right and left is just a matter of changing one word in the CSS file. So either way, it's just as much code. The other two points are more about personal preferences and sense of esthetic (and individuality, I suppose), so everyone who cares should speak up.
Moviesign (talk) 01:35, October 17, 2014 (UTC)

Huh...I never noticed that before. I always wondered why our infoboxes tended to be abit crumpled, does anyone know why we have been putting things on the right like that? If it is a simple fix then I suggest we go for left alignment.
--Eli the Tanner (talk) 01:42, October 17, 2014 (UTC)

I honestly have no idea why we favored one way over the other to begin with or how the conflict arose in the first place (I made the first alterations toward what is currently the Creature/Location template way back in 2010 and I just don't recall what my exact reason was). But like Moviesign said it is relatively easy to change: all we'd need to do is either tell the infobox cell to align toward the right or leave it blank (which would align it to the left). All that needs to be figured out is basically which we prefer.
Niirfa-sa (talk) 05:14, October 17, 2014 (UTC)

I didn't dig into the history of our templates, but of all the infobox templates, {{Author}}, {{Book}}, {{Building}}, {{Computer game}}, {{Conflict}}, {{Deity}}, {{Dragon magazine}}, {{Dungeon magazine}}, {{Item}}, {{State}}, {{Organization}}, {{Plane}}, {{Planet}}, {{Ritual}}, and {{Spell}} (and all sub-templates) all use right-justification, whereas {{Class infobox}}, {{Creature}} (and all sub-templates), {{Information}}, {{Location}}, and {{Person}} are left-justified (mostly due to recent changes by Niirfa-sa).

I kinda like that our wiki is different from other wikis, and I believe we can create our own style (note the relatively recent addition of the map background image, the {{On this day}}, {{Featured image}}, and {{DidYouKnow}} features on the front page, for example), but we don't need to be quirky just for quirkiness's sake. I will fix whatever templates need fixing once we come to a decision, but I'd like to hear from more people first. I'm sure BadCat will chime in when he's awake, but Hash? User:Daranios? User:Terrorblades? User:LadySilverhair? anyone?...Bueller?...Bueller?...

Moviesign (talk) 13:42, October 17, 2014 (UTC)

Well erm I'f I'm to chime in I guess that the right oriented one is more for short measures of information whereas the left leaning seams more like they have a box to fill rather then a long line that can if unchecked can become this of course the conflict template seams to have that type of issue. But I actually don't really want them to be "uniform" I like that there different, feels like they fit for there type.

The creature template looks like it fit the creatures info without making it to big and the spell template looks to me to fit nicely with the less words making it more direct.

Other then that yes having out own style is very important, its the different features that makes other wiki's get an eye for you... Just like when we talk about new features we usually mention other wikis and show there pages as examples of what we think would be cool/informative. My two coppers. :)

Terrorblades 's Far Realm logs dated 14:23, October 17, 2014 (UTC)

Meanwhile, back on the original focus of this forum thread, the new Deity template is about ready for testing. You can see it in action here, both with tabs and without. Note how the text re-flows when the infobox changes length (it should no longer change width). Unfortunately, I think Internet Explorer 8 does not handle this well, I viewed it with that browser and it looked broken to me, but it looks fine in IE 11. If you view it with the mobile skin (append ?useskin=wikiamobile to the end of the URL) then it still looks terrible, but the section headings are there to separate the edition-specific info. Viewing in Monobook (?useskin=monobook) seems fine, but I defer to BadCatMan who has more experience with Monobook. Please try it out and let me know of any problems or suggestions. The data in those infoboxes is dummy data not guaranteed to be correct.

Just for fun, you can see how the infobox appears for 6 randomly selected deities by clicking here. Click the "Re-roll" link to generate a new set of 6. Just ignore the references, and you will probably have to scroll down to see them all because putting multiple infoboxes on a page is just weird.

Moviesign (talk) 14:55, October 17, 2014 (UTC)

Sorry, did I go of-topic :S? Sorry if what I said was a badly writen I was really tired... Wow looks like there alot of them that needs there editon info's :S! Damn it took a while to roll Arvoreen! Edit: It looks really nice on the once that have the info! Grate work!
Terrorblades 's Far Realm logs dated 13:44, October 18, 2014 (UTC)

Not you TB, it was Niirfa-sa and I :)
Moviesign (talk) 15:18, October 18, 2014 (UTC)

Sorry, I've been swamped the last couple of days and been unable to get back to the wiki. And when I do, it's just wiki work, sigh.

Moviesign: Brilliant, the alignment grid is evenly spaced now. The infobox at User:Moviesign/Sandbox3.1 is working properly in all three skins in Firefox and Google Chrome, though Wikia Mobile is still funky: the "X Edition Statistics" all have different left–right alignments, nothing is consistent. In IE 8, Monobook is good, Oasis looks rubbish, probably as you saw. I also the browser on a Samsung/Android tablet: same results as Firefox and Chrome.

Colour-coding: I don't see the need for colour-coding myself, I was going to delete it a while back as it wasn't being used. But I really can't muster an argument against it, so meh.

I'd like an original, uniform visual style for the wiki, but it's beyond my styling and coding abilities. Maybe it's an issue for the Community Development Team, to polish things a bit. One day, when we've sorted out the crunch and clean-up.

Infobox alignment: Wow, now you point it out, I really see it now... I much prefer the left alignment. It looks so much neater and tidier. You naturally read from left to right in English, and ignore space on the right, so left alignment appears much cleaner. It's also easier to link headings to entries. I vote left alignment!

— BadCatMan (talk) 14:44, October 19, 2014 (UTC)

Left is fine... I just want to know when the infoboxes can be used... with all the buzzers and whizzpoppers... "Point me in the right direction, Azeem. I am ready!" :)
- Darkwynters (talk) 20:01, October 20, 2014 (UTC)

Okay, we are fully left-aligned. If you don't see it yet, clear your cache. Let me know if I missed anything.

The tabs will start working when I update the templates. The Deity template is about done and will be deployed shortly. The rest of the infoboxes that have edition-specific sections will hopefully follow suit soon. You shouldn't have to change anything, they will just appear when I make the switch.

Moviesign (talk) 21:49, October 20, 2014 (UTC)

Rocken awesome... I felt like a dummy when I tried to add your "deity template" to the Auppenser page and nothing happened :)
- Darkwynters (talk) 22:37, October 20, 2014 (UTC)

Okay, the new Deity and other templates look like they're working fine!

However, one teeny quirk: for Ilmater in the Oasis skin, when you move from any tab to the 4e tab, the entries in the Basic Information section above slide a smidgeon to the left. And back again when you click a different tab.

— BadCatMan (talk) 09:41, October 21, 2014 (UTC)

Very very cool! Love it! For me they move when i press the 2e tab for Arvoreen... well that's the biggest movement any way... So guessing its to do with the text in the tab? (Its the deitys Titles* that move) *(Edit: There not Aliases there titles)
Terrorblades 's Far Realm logs dated 09:55, October 21, 2014 (UTC)

That's just weird. I don't see any correlation between which tab is selected and how it decides to split two columns. Starting at the 4e tab (on Ilmater) and clicking the 3e tab, it removes 3 pixels from one side and gives it to the other. The overall width of the box doesn't change, just the relative size of the two columns. I'll play around with it and see if I can figure out what causes that, but don't hold your breath.
Moviesign (talk) 22:20, October 21, 2014 (UTC)

Hey, Movie... just a small note... the Template:Person is acting weird with the edition section... check out the Invarri Metron page.
- Darkwynters (talk) 22:40, October 21, 2014 (UTC)

Yeah, the Person template needs some work. I'll do that one next.

By process of elimination, the column shifting is being caused by the presence or absence of a line that wraps to the following line. The left-hand column is set to "nowrap" but the right-hand column is "normal". When the tab being displayed contains a long line that wraps to fit in the box, the whole infobox is re-rendered and the right-hand column gets slightly smaller and the left-hand column gets slightly bigger (don't ask me why). If there are no long lines in the tab being displayed, then the opposite is true. For the Ilmater page, the 4e tab has no long lines that wrap, while the 3e, 2e, and 1e tabs do. The only way I know to correct this is to use a fixed-width table layout, specifying the width of the columns. This would have to be done on a case-by-case basis (the Deity template will have different sized columns than the Person template, etc.) and might not look good on all screen sizes/font sizes, but that has yet to be determined. I'll see if I can make a test page.

Moviesign (talk) 00:50, October 22, 2014 (UTC)

The new tabbed Person template is about done. Take a look at what the Jarlaxle page looks like with the tabs. I've made alignment an edition-specific parameter, so the 4e alignment can be displayed nicely with other 4e info. It's probably rare that a person changes alignment, but maybe they get turned into a vampire or something. Questions? Comments? Concerns?
Moviesign (talk) 15:02, October 22, 2014 (UTC)

These are looking very good...I have to admit Niirfa was right... they look nice, compact, and less messy. Nice work :)
- Darkwynters (talk) 21:47, October 22, 2014 (UTC)

The tabbed Person template looks good. TBH, I'm not such a big fan of tabs here. I think it's good to look down a list and see how a character's class and level change over time, as they evolve and get more powerful, even around edition switches: see Alusair, for example, going from Fighter to Fighter/Ranger/Purple Dragon Knight. But I may be alone in that, very few characters are enhanced by it, and it's not a strong argument against tabs, so eh.

I encountered something weird on {{State}}: see Vastar. Historical events sit in the left-hand column, so really long events stretch it out and cram up the right-hand column, which then splits over multiple lines. I can't recall if it did that before. I think I ought to be able to just switch the order to "date" followed by "event" and have it fit nicely. I'll tackle that another day unless Moviesign or Niirfa have a good reason why I shouldn't touch it. :)

— BadCatMan (talk) 12:56, October 23, 2014 (UTC)

I switched the columns of dates and events in the State template, so see how you like it now. If that's not good enough, we can make more specific adjustments to the template, or perhaps create another version of {{split table}} to format this better. I'm thinking we might want to do this for dates/rulers also. See Silverymoon.
Moviesign (talk) 13:29, October 23, 2014 (UTC)

Looks good, thanks.

Yeah, I don't think we have anything consistent for rulers and owners (in {{Building}}), and I've never quite been satisfied with the style of split table bolding one column.

— BadCatMan (talk) 13:37, October 23, 2014 (UTC)

If you like it, I will leave it like that. The problem with this sort of info is that we don't know how many data points there will be. The State template allows for 4 events, a split table will handle up to 20 items without adding heaps of parameters to the template. If you have opinions or suggestions on how to handle tabular data in an infobox, you might want to start a new forum thread as this one is quite long already and more focused on tabs and the infobox as a whole.
Moviesign (talk) 14:13, October 23, 2014 (UTC)

No, it's fine. I don't have any ideas right now, and it's a problem for another day.
— BadCatMan (talk) 05:41, October 24, 2014 (UTC)

Hay, side note, I wanted to add tabs for the images for Arvoreen (The different icons in edition forms) But I'm guessing that would be a bit to many tab sections for one info box? Toughs?
Terrorblades 's Far Realm logs dated 12:15, October 28, 2014 (UTC)

I don't think it would be too much. You can use Drow as an example. If there are lots of images, you can use a slideshow like I did on Heralds of Faerûn.
Moviesign (talk) 12:37, October 28, 2014 (UTC)

Hmm that is very nice, is there any way to make it more "center"?
Terrorblades 's Far Realm logs dated 12:59, October 28, 2014 (UTC)

Make what more center?
Moviesign (talk) 12:07, October 29, 2014 (UTC)

The Slideshow to me seams like is leaning to the right. Maybe that's just me? I mean on "The Heralds" ofc.
Terrorblades 's Far Realm logs dated 12:15, October 29, 2014 (UTC)

Oh, that's the way the slideshow displays. I don't think I can change it, but I'll look into it.

EDIT: Fixed! it was easier than I thought. :)

Moviesign (talk) 12:34, October 29, 2014 (UTC)

Nice :D! Thanks!
Terrorblades 's Far Realm logs dated 19:49, October 29, 2014 (UTC)
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