Wikivoyage talk:External links

From Wikivoyage
Jump to: navigation, search

Some things that have moved:

Contents

linking policy[edit]

The policy of not linking to local culture, news sites and blogs is a real disservice to wikivoyage visitors. Locally-written sites help a visitor know and understand a city better than wikivoyage or any travel guide ever could. This policy is extremely self-defeating. It also will discourage local sites from seeing wikivoyage as a partner. The internet is all about interconnection and this policy is an anti-social one that serves only to pointlessly isolate wikivoyage from the wider community. What is the process of having this policy changed? [re: zgberlin.com] --85.178.16.181 12:11, 29 January 2007 (EST)

The process for changing the policy is to discuss your opinion and to try to build a consensus that the policy should be changed. I don't think there is any disagreement that there are lots of good sites out there that would be useful to travelers, but it will be an uphill battle to change the current policy for a few reasons:
  1. We don't want our guides to simply be link farms for every web site out there with a remote connection to a travel-related service. This is a huge issue, and we need a clear guideline that allow us to police links easily.
the policy is simple: "If I was traveling to Berlin (or any other place) might I be happy to have this link? Wanting something simpler than that is unrealistic and a cop-out. This wiki is human edited, not machine edited. The ability to distinguish fuzzy categories is among the things that distinguish humans from machines.--85.178.2.208 14:56, 29 January 2007 (EST)
  1. It is very difficult to determine what is a "good" site vs. what is junk. As a result we've implemented the "primary site only" policy, which makes it crystal clear what sites are appropriate. It is not realistic to expect editors to extensively research every web site to verify its quality, so we simply state that if a site is not the official site of a hotel, museum, restaurant, etc then it should not be included in the guide.
how is this different for a news site vs. a hotel site, the hotel, museum, restaurant, etc could be bad too, or even fictitious, how are online sites of interest to travellers different or somehow more work to manage for quality? --85.178.2.208 14:56, 29 January 2007 (EST)
  1. There is also an incentive issue. We don't want to allow links to other sites at the expense of including content within Wikivoyage.
I agree with this, but news sites and blogs are time-based dynamic content, wikivoyage is evergreen data, they serve different purposes. Wikivoyage can not give a personal impression of a city and what goes on there like a blog can. --85.178.2.208 14:56, 29 January 2007 (EST)
Please read the other discussions on this page, and if you have a suggestion of how the policy can be changed and still address the three points above please let us know. -- (WT-en) Ryan 12:27, 29 January 2007 (EST)
The policy should be same as the rest of the information on the page, if it is usefull to travellers it should be kept, "no reason, just policy" is an incredibly short-sighted reason to alienate the community news sites and the blogger communities, who could and would contribute to the success of wikivoyage. --85.178.2.208 14:56, 29 January 2007 (EST)
There are hundreds of sites on the Web for aggregating lists of Web sites located in or related to a particular place. We have links to one such project, the Open Directory, as a service to readers. Aside from that, direct links to the sites and services we describe in our guides makes sense. Roaming further afield in our guides doesn't. --(WT-en) Evan 13:45, 29 January 2007 (EST)
Another cop-out. Might as well say they could just google it. Check this link: http://search.dmoz.org/cgi-bin/search?search=berlin] Can you honestly claim that serves any useful purposes at all? Please let me know how many clicks it took you to find even 1 interesting news item or blog entry from or about Berlin? --85.178.2.208 14:56, 29 January 2007 (EST)
1. The correct link is [1] (which is on the Berlin page).
equally useless, please provide the click count I asked for to demonstrate the point. --85.178.2.208 15:39, 29 January 2007 (EST)
2. Right on the page is Cityvox Berlin, which looks sorta interesting.
sorry, I failed to see any news items or blogs on that site. Just a commercial listings site. I am talking about local community news sites and local blogs about the city. Sites that give you local flavour, that is exactly what I look for when I travel. --85.178.2.208 15:39, 29 January 2007 (EST)
3. To the extent that the dmoz links are uninteresting, it shows why we don't want to start collecting that sort of thing here. -- (WT-en) Jonboy 15:23, 29 January 2007 (EST)
It is exactly a lack of human editing for context that makes them uninteresting.--85.178.2.208 15:39, 29 January 2007 (EST)
You are wrong -- dmoz is edited by humans. That's why we're pointing at it: if they are "uninteresting" when their entire purpose is to make a human edited directory, imagine how much more poorly we will do the same job when our main purpose is to write a travel guide! -- (WT-en) Colin 16:35, 29 January 2007 (EST)
Sorry Colin if my comment was unclear, the key words are for context, dmoz categories are much broader than wikivoyage articles, making it far more difficult to manage and entirely unlikely that they may produce a handy set of links for local community news sites and local blogs to match a particular wikivoyage article, since that is not their goal.--212.91.238.97 04:07, 30 January 2007 (EST)

Policy Suggestions: 1. Only allow external links to sites which publish content under a compatible "share alike" license. 2. Have a maximum number so that after a certain number of sites is reached consensus is needed to replace one if a new one is recommended. 3. Perhaps have a link-back policy, only allowing links to site that link to wiktravel 4. Of course, the primary language of the site should match the page it is being linked from.

IMO, The above rules would be manageable and would eliminate pretty much all overtly commercial, bad or spammy content. --85.178.2.208 15:39, 29 January 2007 (EST)

85.178.2.208, I would second your ideas in theory--but it's even better if you have a number of news sources/blogs that, in your belief, complements wikivoyage content in a proper way. Maybe having several examples in hand would make your suggestions even more convincing? --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 16:04, 29 January 2007 (EST)

http://www.zgberlin.com is the one in specific that I though would compliment the Berlin article, as I am involved with the project I know that the site is intended to be useful and interesting for those who are interested in visiting Berlin, as for others I might recommend a few of these: http://www.ethanlindsey.com/blog/, http://hermann.blog.com/, http://raskal.typepad.com, http://bowleserised.blogspot.com/, etc, these are the sorts of sites that I look for when I travel, finding hotels is easy, they advertise and have conspicuous signs, finding a place to eat is not so hard either, getting a feel for the flavour, tone and goings on in a city from an insider is far more difficult and interesting. --212.91.238.97 04:07, 30 January 2007 (EST)

85.178.2.208 and 212.91.238.97 is now: --(WT-en) Tricknik 04:12, 30 January 2007 (EST)

Reading through the different here's my suggestion:

1. As the internet is becoming a handy tool even while travelling one could consider certain blogs and personal pages as information sites like a physical existing tourist information. Thus such a blog's URL would be primary in the sense of hotels, museums, etc.
2. as WikiTravel is meant to be unbiased these external pages would be adding to the idea and information WikiTravel caters without breaking the rules on the page.
3. in return the bloggers (supposed to be locals) could add unbiased info to WikiTravel, which is one of the main rules anyway (don't make rivals, make friends). A certain special area would be needed, maybe even added to the templates like: Locals, what locals say - whatever..
4. The external link to the blog then could be in the sense "more of my local opinion"
5. the link back then could be in the sense "more general information about..."

All I am saying is - it's not either that or this, but something in the middle. But like advertisement in newspapers, these local opinions should be separate and not confused with general information in the "TravelGuide".

And for all those PageRankers you just invent a special format or make it a rule, that a NO-FOLLOW tag must be used..

have fun

(WT-en) SonarTom 13:15, 26 June 2007 (EDT)

I like the idea of "opinion from real people's blogs" criteria, linking in return, showing it in special section and NO-FOLLOW (is it really pagerank-neutral?).
One question is to define criteria for that "opinion from real people's blogs". I don't think it should be from locals, BTW--as we're focusing on traveller's point of view (resident's point may be quite different for variety of reasons). --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 14:09, 26 June 2007 (EDT)
Just a quick note to say that even when nofollow is enabled for external links it unfortunately doesn't usually have any effect on people adding links; most of the time people just want advertising for their site, and nofollow-or-not, having a lot of links out there accomplishes that goal. At the moment while blog links aren't allowed in articles it's generally considered OK to add them to talk pages, and Wikivoyage Extra will allow a place for recording personal experiences.
Regarding any attempts to change external links policy, it's been stated repeatedly elsewhere, but any new external links policy must be totally obvious, and there hasn't really been a suggestion that meets that requirement. By "totally obvious" I mean:
  1. There CAN NOT be ambiguity about what is OK and what is not.
  2. It must be EASY for someone who is unfamiliar with the link or destination to patrol, since it's not reasonable to wait for someone from Jaboo to come along and say whether or not jaboo-nightlife.com meets a guideline. Similarly, if an article has fifty blog links there needs to be some way to determine when a personal blog by someone living in Jaboo is inappropriate.
The present guideline is overly restrictive, but it meets the "totally obvious" criteria. Until someone comes up with a new guideline that allows additional sites and still meets those criteria I don't see that changing the current policy would be a good thing. -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 14:24, 26 June 2007 (EDT)
I think that we've done a pretty decent job of expanding space by adding a shared bookmark feature to Wikivoyage Extra. That means we have a place for photo albums, blog entries, newspaper articles, and all that other stuff. It won't be there when you print out an article to take with you, but that's really a good thing. --(WT-en) Evan 16:16, 26 June 2007 (EDT)

Policy Suggestion:[edit]

Allow external links to community created sites which publish content under a compatible "share alike" license.

Where should (or can) links to local community wikis go? They are not exactly blogs or news sites or review sites (though they share some similarities) but they also can have a wealth of local knowledge that can be invaluable to the traveler and that we really cannot hope to duplicate (nor would we want to - cluttering wikivoyage with information about local hair salons would seem a bit excessive). For example the entire wikispot "community of communities" http://wikispot.org/Wiki_Directory has a gazillion local wikis under its umbrella - the largest of which is probably the Davis CA wiki http://davis.wikispot.org/ According to their stats at http://daviswiki.org/LocalWiki_announcement on a given day, about 1 in 6 residents visits the site. Over the course of one week, nearly half of the residents. And over a month, they have found that just about every Davisite visits the wiki. Even more incredible: 1 in 7 residents actually contribute their own knowledge to the wiki. Clearly if you are visiting Davis and are not told about http://daviswiki.org/ you are missing out on a wealth of local information (all of it under a permissive license). However, if we find a place for that type of resource we might run into the problem of a similar style of website that might not yet meet some sort of size/participation/notability level. Would we want to include for example http://alameda.wikispot.org/ or http://pei.wikispot.org/ each of which only has a few hundred pages and a handful of active editors. Over time these sites might grow in usefulness but arguably now there are not too useful to our traveling readers.

So how should we usefully include resources like http://davis.wikispot.org/ ? (WT-en) J-beda 11:57, 25 September 2010 (EDT)

At present such links are disallowed. In the past, for sites such as wikispot we might have set up interwiki links, which allows inclusion of links to useful sites without opening up a flood of external link additions, and in the case of wikispot I would think that might be a reasonable way to proceed if there is consensus that it is a useful enough resource. -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 14:45, 26 September 2010 (EDT)
I see that http://daviswiki.org/Interwiki%20Map has made a interwiki link for wikivoyage.org, so they at least do it from the other direction. I would say that the wikispot wikis useful enough to do the "interwiki" thing. Where (if anywhere) are the interwiki links listed in wikivoyage? (WT-en) J-beda 21:56, 27 September 2010 (EDT)

Maps[edit]

Should links to maps be allowed?

See also Mapmaking_Expedition

As long as there are none in Wikivoyage itself, yes. Good maps, and route planners are sometimes hard to find. For instance, it´s not obvious that map24's route planner for Brazil is also valid for the whole of South America. These kind of facts are very useful for travellers. I think in general, these rules are too focused on rules. The question should first be "is this useful information for travellers?", which is a bit vague of course... Guaka (not capable of locating tildes)
No -- this is one of those things where we're supposed to be self-contained, and like the "don't extlink other guides" rule, we ought not lean on outside content while waiting for our own content to happen. -- (WT-en) Colin 02:33, 25 April 2006 (EDT)
I've said this before and I'll say it again: Wikivoyage cannot ever hope to complete with pro-grade searchable map sites like [2] or [3], and links to these should be allowed. I do agree that ordinary "flat" maps can be ruled out. (WT-en) Jpatokal 02:39, 25 April 2006 (EDT)

I'm curious as to why the ban on links to "map services" in the first place. Sure, you want a printable guide, but you can get *far* more information with, say, Google Maps than you could ever capture into a single picture or a group of pictures.

For example:

  • Getting directions from where you are going to be
  • Finding obscure locations
  • Huge amounts of detail that could never be captured by a reasonable sized map (for example, zoom in on Tokyo and scroll around)

In the case I've dealt with, for Japan, there's a huge list of campsites in Japan available (http://www.campjo.com/Campjo_AllList.asp). We're talking almost a thousand campsites. There's no way that these are all going to get their own page on here. Probably no more than a few will ever get their own page; perhaps a handful will have directions to them mentioned. Yet, knowing where campsites are is critical to backpacking in Japan.

By not allowing map links, we're, in short, making it more difficult for users to figure out where they're going. With Google Maps, they can paste the campsite addresses into the map and figure out where they are -- even figure out what bus stops they're near or how to get directions to them from a different location. It'd be a very helpful link to put alongside the campjo link, but it's currently not allowed. Sure, it wouldn't come up in printing -- but that's no reason not to add something helpful for those who could use it.

I see no good reason to force the handicapping of readers. Just my two cents. -- 70.57.222.103 22:24, 23 June 2006 (EDT)

It's not a question of handicapping anyone; they're just as able to consult online mapping sites as they are now. We just aren't hand-holding anyone, by pointing them there. The reason is based more on the fear of limiting Wikivoyage: linking to Googlexpedia for a map is (fundamentally) no different from linking to Rough Planet for accommodation listings. Sure, that'd be a handy shortcut, and it would useful to the (online) reader in the near term, but it would effectively stifle the motivation to produce our own accommodation listings, which we could distribute offline. Same with maps: a free-as-in-speech map is better than a free-as-in-beer map. (analogy explained) I'm not dogmatic about that preference (and I realize how daunting a task it is to produce maps for these articles), but if we're going to link to external maps, that has to go hand-in-hand with a decision to mothball the Project:Mapmaking Expedition. - (WT-en) Todd VerBeek 19:02, 18 July 2006 (EDT)

I'd like to bump back this discussion, especially in light of IB's new ideas over at Shared. While I agree that external links to mapping services for individual listings are bad for the reasons listed above, the Get around section should list the one (1) best interactive mapping service for the place. For example, Helsinki has a great online map run by the city itself [4], and Singapore's Streetdirectory.com [5] whups the butt of the competition. The "evil competition" argument just doesn't fly with me here: the Mapmaking Expedition's goal is to produce tourist maps, not massive searchable online databases of every single residential street in the city, and Helsinki and Singapore both already have WT maps, making the argument doubly moot. (WT-en) Jpatokal 23:42, 18 September 2007 (EDT)

I think it's clear that there are a lot of external links out there that would be useful, but we don't have any way to easily figure out where we draw the line between useful and not-useful. I don't think there's any way we can create a clear set of guidelines for that situation that is less stringent then the current "primary links only" guideline. The only alternative I can think of is some sort of external link nominations page. That would be a lot of overhead for something as simple as an external link, but it would at least give us a way to deal with some of these "hugely useful but non-primary" cases that come up.
If that idea is something people support I'd suggest we come up with criteria for what should make it through a nomination process. First thoughts are that a link should provide a service that is out-of-scope for Wikivoyage (and WikiExtra/Wikipedia), something that provides an obvious service or benefit to travelers, and something that at least three Wikivoyageers support with no unaddressed objections. There should be more - those are just some ideas. In addition, I'd suggest some sort of template to use when including these links so that we can easily track what's gone through the nomination process - something like {{extlink|url|text|pointer-to-nomination}}. That's a LOT of overhead for a simple external link, but it would also keep the barrier for entry for external links high while keeping patrolling easy. -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 00:27, 19 September 2007 (EDT)
Jani, can you propose an alternative policy for us to evaluate? I presume you want something that allows Streetdirectory.com (since you reverted my removal of it), but do you want this sort of edit? I'm generally pretty hard-line on external links, but I'm willing to keep an open mind. --(WT-en) Jonboy 18:14, 19 September 2007 (EDT)
Frankly, at this stage, I'm beyond caring how we approve the extlinks, as long as it's done. I've previously suggested just allowing one of each for maps, restaurant guides and nightlife guides, but Ryan's style would be more flexible in the long run and easier to monitor. I'd cut down the "votes" needed to two though. (WT-en) Jpatokal 23:05, 19 September 2007 (EDT)
If we go with a nomination process here are some criteria that might be useful:
  • External link must provide a service that is out-of-scope for Wikivoyage, Wikipedia, and WikiExtra. That means no links to personal travelogues, photo galleries, or travel guides. Sites that might be OK include online event calendars, location-specific booking engines such as Expedia or hotels.com, Jani's interactive map example, or something like the "how to get your money back in the case of getting duped in a gem scam" site that is referenced elsewhere on this page.
  • The site must provide an obvious benefit to travelers. If there is any question as to how the site would be useful to the average traveler, it should not be listed.
  • At least two Wikivoyage users must support the nomination, with no unresolved objections. In the case of objections, consensus determines whether the link is appropriate or not.
  • Webmasters should not list their own sites. If a site is useful for travel then users of that site will eventually nominate it, and this helps prevent Wikivoyage from being used for advertising. This one is a guideline that would be impossible to enforce, but it's probably worth stating just to make it clear that Wikivoyage isn't an opportunity for webmasters to improve page rank.
  • Nominations must be listed for at least one week before the link should be added to an article.
  • Once approved the nomination should be archived, and the link can be added to an article using a template that contains the link, the link text, and a pointer to the nomination. That will make patrolling easy.
  • Removing a link would be the same process in reverse: consensus to remove, with a minimum one week waiting period.
  • I'd suggest the nomination page be named something like "Wikivoyage:External link nominations". Having a single page will make this easier to manage.
  • Links should be nominated for addition to ONE article. Just as an attraction is listed in only one place, an external link does not need to appear in numerous articles.
That's a ton of red-tape for approving something as simple as a URL. I'm not hugely excited about the idea, but if it addresses some of the concerns with the current policy then it may be worth the hassle. Thoughts, additions, flames, other? -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 02:42, 20 September 2007 (EDT)
I support the overall idea and Wrh2 nomination process, with only exception:
 :Webmasters should not list their own sites.
Beyond non-enforceable, we should also welcome useful links regardless of their initiator. If there's anything wrong with the link, the rest of the procedure will prevent it from appearing. If a better link appear for the same purpose, it will quickly remove the previous one. The only problem is to have enough eye pairs to expect objections--what about requiring that article should be at least Usable status? --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 03:56, 20 September 2007 (EDT)
OK, now that I've trimmed this page down to size so I can *find* this discussion again...
Is "WikiExtra"="Wikivoyage Extra"?
I generally oppose the idea, but I am sympathetic to the desire to try this out.
If we're going to go forward with this, could we test it out on a subset of Wikivoyage first? E.g., Mid-Atlantic or Western Europe, so that it's easier to roll back if it turns out poorly? --(WT-en) Jonboy 11:18, 20 September 2007 (EDT)
I'm generally opposed to the idea as well, but would suggest a longer comment period if it goes forward--say two weeks. Also a requiement of 3 people supporting. (WT-en) OldPine 16:14, 5 October 2007 (EDT)

I was about to make my first contribution to the site. I'd bumped into your Martha's Vineyard page and thought that the list of lighthouses, while informative, was significantly unhelpful in that it didn't provide any guide on how to find them. Being a frequent traveler to MV I thought I'd slap a few quick links to Google Maps to show the location. But it seems that that is a no-no on wikivoyage. The only alternatives I see are either to provide street addresses (which I don't know and may not even exist for lighthouses) or maybe some sort of hand drawn map? After thinking on the objections to external map links, I'll throw out an idea. What about allowing geo-location tags? One could then associate lat/lon coordinates to objects on the site and then wikivoyage can decide on how/where to link to maps. I think wikipedia has something like this. --(WT-en) Kyrrigle 11:21, 22 January 2008 (EST) OK, so I just noted the "Geo: {{geo|lat|long}}" markup and tried it out but it doesn't seem to do anything?? --(WT-en) Kyrrigle 12:27, 22 January 2008 (EST)

Welcome! I'm not an expert on the geo things yet, but I believe the template you referred to above is only for the whole city... it places the geo coords in the "toolbox" in the left navigation bar, check out the Singapore page for an example. If I'm not mistaken there's a way to add individual coordinates for a place within a city using our handy listing tags such as:
* <see name="" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price=""></see>
But, a field needs to be added, and I'm not sure what it's called exactly or where to stick... can anyone else help out with that? – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 00:28, 23 January 2008 (EST)

I am not all that experienced a contributor on Wikivoyage as to fully understand all the above reasoning, but I have a very specific case of links to external maps: I live in Fortaleza, and also do a lot of editing on its article on Wikivoyage. Since I couldn't find any good maps covering the city's public transport on the internet, I drew a few of my own on Google maps, -for my own personal use, -and then added links on Wikivoyage. As far as I understand the policy, such links would be perfectly ok if they directed to primary sources, e.g. the city's public transport authority. In this case, there is no primary source. Still, I think the maps are obviously useful. Could we not allow these links when a primary source lacks? (WT-en) Mariusm98 23:04, 19 October 2008 (EDT)

(WT-en) Mariusm98, thank you for your efforts in Wikivoyage. If and when I visit Fortaleza, I'm sure I will be very grateful for the information you've put there. You make a good point about it being helpful to have access to a user-created map. But remember, that we want to make Wikivoyage useable by a variety of people in a variety of circumstances. One case is the traveller who prints out the Wikivoyage article and travels with the paper copy. They won't be able to use links to maps! So the best thing is for you to transfer your information from the Google map to a free-content map, and upload it to Wikivoyage Shared. Then everybody will be able to use the map freely, including all the language versions of Wikivoyage. Does this make the policy clearer? (WT-en) JimDeLaHunt 00:44, 21 October 2008 (EDT)

deletion of last "External links" sections[edit]

I just deleted the sentence "Although some older articles still have an external links section, these sections are currently being removed" because (as far as I can tell) there are now only 4 such articles left:

  • Cheap airline travel in North America - (WT-en) Todd VerBeek 16:58, 18 July 2006 (EDT)
  • Discount airlines in Australasia - deleted (12 August 2006)
  • Buying or renting a car in Australia - the last "External links" section heading, removed 28 April 2007
  • Renting a motorhome in New Zealand - moved into other sections (12 August 2006)

plus

  • Aberystwyth - moved to Talk:Aberystwyth (22 July 2006)
  • Driving in Australia - moved most into other sections, deleted remainder (12 August 2006)
  • Electronics and entertainment shopping in Thailand - moved into other sections (12 August 2006)
  • Hitchhiking in Europe
  • Leuven - moved to Talk:Leuven (22 July 2006)
  • Orkney Islands - moved to Talk:Orkney Islands (22 July 2006)

~ 125.24.3.14 16:18, 18 July 2006 (EDT)

Vacation Travel Guides Content Approval[edit]

Archived from the Pub:

My question to you guys, is that we would like to provide this content to WikiTravel if we could post a link back to the original source. What do you think?

Below are some examples so you see: (forget everything at the bottom of the guide, that’s something I added on, so just look at the main content excluding the bottom links they do not go with it)

vlbo.com/maui_vacation_rentals.cgi View Maui Vacation Travel Guide

vlbo.com/key_west_vacation_rentals.cgi View Key West Vacation Travel Guide

vlbo.com/kissimmee_vacation_rentals.cgi View Kissimmee Vacation Travel Guide

vlbo.com/gatlinburg_vacation_rentals.cgi View Gatlinburg Vacation Travel Guide

vlbo.com/hawaii_vacation_rentals.cgi View Hawaii Vacation Travel Guide

What do you think of these and do you think we could essentially contribute these and a lot more to WikiTravel? I am not completely familiar with WikiTravel and I didn’t mean to bug you but would rather contact you as I see you edit information then just spam the wiki page for each city asking for help.

Please get back with me or forward me to the correct location and how to submit.

Thanks and have a great day!

The above is from User:(WT-en) Richhoward and his user page covers the licensing issues. I think we should try to work out how to use these contributions, but there are problems in relation to policies like Project:Don't_tout and Project:External_links. (WT-en) Pashley 09:53, 14 November 2006 (EST)

No other comment, and no contributions from the user, in some months. Can someone who knows Hawaii take a look and work out if there's valuable stuff there? Mostly advertising, but some of it might be worth taking or linking to. (WT-en) Pashley 23:39, 25 May 2007 (EDT)

The problem is that form of attribution he's requesting doesn't fit with the ex-links policy. He gets a gold star for being a nice guy by asking rather than spamming, and even though the statement on his user page technically authorizes us to start copy-pasting and attributing the source only in the edit summaries (i.e. no links), I don't think we should. - (WT-en) Todd VerBeek 09:38, 26 May 2007 (EDT)

External links[edit]

swept in from the pub

Hi Ryan so I cand post only pages for south america, i Post the chat becouse I see people posting it also so i figueroa i do it. Thank you Giovanna I don't knnow How to send messages on here" Sorry

Please feel free to create or edit pages for any city in South America or anywhere else, but you may want to read Project:What is an article? first to understand what topics normally get their own articles. In addition, Project:External links has guidelines about what types of sites we normally link to - a short summary is that we discourage external links unless it is to the official site for a hotel, museum, or other primary source that is in an article. Thanks for contributing! -- (WT-en) Ryan 21:29, 18 November 2006 (EST)

links to current exchange rates[edit]

We have the following piece for checking exchange rates in Egypt:

Online rate check: USD | GBP | EUR | AUD | NZD | CAD | JPY | INR |

I wonder whether it complies to ExtLinks policy, or maybe should be just removed? --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 17:25, 20 March 2007 (EDT)

Sounds like it doesn't comply. If necessary, we can give an approximate exchange rate in the text. If someone's off-line, it's more useful than the links. If they're on-line, they can just Google the exact rates fairly easily. --(WT-en) Jonboy 18:26, 20 March 2007 (EDT)
No! I pretty much agree with what Jonboy said, though I'd really like to see my tech request become implemented to solve part of the problem. -- (WT-en) Sapphire(Talk) • 21:08, 20 March 2007 (EDT)
Yeah, I'd possibly support something that actually shows the current rate/cost, but not in the form that is shown above... I've come across that recently on a few pages... they should probably go... Sapphire, I think your tech request has potential, but that's not my area of expertise... looking forward to how it develops though... – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 01:05, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
I generally just add a link to the central or reserve bank of the country in question. It is generally (except maybe in the case of Zimbabwe) the best source for the current official exchange rate.

Google Transit[edit]

For areas where the public transit is serviced by Google Transit, is a link to that kosher? --(WT-en) Improv 13:30, 7 May 2007 (EDT)

We typically just don't lean on external services like that. --(WT-en) Evan 15:00, 7 May 2007 (EDT)

Guide services[edit]

Is it appropriate to link to guide services? I don't mean online travel guides that compete with Wikivoyage but websites of people that work as travel guides. If it is appropriate, where should such links go? To exactly understand what I am talking about, take a look at article Lucerne. (WT-en) Tristram Shandy 13:23, 21 June 2007 (EDT)

This is a bit of a gray area, as are travel agencies in general. I'd be tempted to say they are OK, because a good guide/agency can be invaluable, but it's a definite slippery slope because most larger cities have hundreds and it's difficult to sort out the wheat from the chaff. (WT-en) Jpatokal 13:31, 21 June 2007 (EDT)

Use short readable links - tinyurl.com[edit]

As a Newbie who's made a few mistakes with external links (hey, I have to learn somehow!), I have been directed to the External links part of the MoS.

One of the sub-sections here states that we should try to use short readable links wherever possible. Something that may help here and that people may not be aware of is a site called http://tinyurl.com. Baiscally it provides a shortened version of any url entered (for example, the url http://tinyurl.com/3b4ykj links to http://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Wikivoyage_talk:External_links, i.e., reducing a 55 character link to one of 25 characters). The longer the original website page is, the better value the tinyurl link would be.

Are these links allowed? I think they'd be very useful, particularly if a traveller prints off the guide, but then wishes to check out a website. Any thoughts? --(WT-en) The.Q 10:09, 17 July 2007 (EDT)

P.S. Just to point out, I'm not in any way affiliated to tinyurl, but I do use the service, and find it very handy.

--(WT-en) The.Q 10:09, 17 July 2007 (EDT)

I believe that "short, readable links" is meant as a way to tell people to use http://www.example.com instead of http://www.example.com/somedirectory/someurl.html. Using tinyurl would make it more difficult to police links to make sure that they actually go to the official site of the place in question - currently I can tell that http://disneyworld.com/ is likely the official site for Disney World without clicking on the link, but I couldn't do the same with an article filled with http://tinyurl/12345 links. The idea is good, but the implementation would likely end up being more work for those patrolling articles. -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 11:36, 17 July 2007 (EDT)

WorldFlicks [6][edit]

Please see the discussion at User talk:(WT-en) RonaldR regarding links to this service. Due to my sense of fairness (and well-known wishy-washyness), I'm soliciting comment on external links to this before it becomes an edit war. (WT-en) OldPine 06:43, 9 August 2007 (EDT)

I don't think links to WorldFlicks are appropriate. It's a nifty idea, but it's not an official site for anything, nor is there much to distinguish it from a link to my image gallery or Flickr itself. (WT-en) Jpatokal 07:37, 9 August 2007 (EDT)
I agree. Best wishes to the people who run the site, but Flickr "selected by millions of users" is still Flickr. (WT-en) Gorilla Jones 11:02, 9 August 2007 (EDT)

Wikipedia "Different subject" links[edit]

Can anyone provide an example of an acceptable Project:Links to Wikipedia#Different subject link? - ie one that does not conflict with Project:External links#What not to link to? ~ 203.147.0.48 04:15, 9 September 2007 (EDT)

The only thing I can think of is linking to articles about the Wiki-Wiki web and how it works, and then only from the Wikivoyage namespace. -- (WT-en) Mark 04:26, 9 September 2007 (EDT)
OK, lets revise that slightly - as before, but acceptable in a "Main namespace" article? ~ 203.147.0.48 04:32, 9 September 2007 (EDT)
In that case I can't think of a reason to do it. Remember these guides are meant to work when printed out on paper. Each guide should have a single interwiki link to the cooresponding Wikipedia article, and that's plenty, since the Wikipedia article will have lots of links going off to different things. If you want to add encyclopeadic information about a destination then that should probably go there, in Wikipedia. -- (WT-en) Mark 05:32, 9 September 2007 (EDT)
Ah, now I see why you're asking. You're helping us get the policy page wording right. Thanks! -- (WT-en) Mark 05:36, 9 September 2007 (EDT)

I can think of a reason. Here's a paragraph from our Quanzhou article:

There's an enormous equestrian statue of Koxinga (鄭成功, Zhèng Chénggōng) that appears to be guarding the town, up on a hill. He was a local boy whose family were seafarers, merchants trading with Japan, and pirates. On land, he became a general, resisting the then-new Qing (Manchu) dynasty. His base on Xiamen's Gulang Yu is one of the tourist sites there. He is best known for driving the Dutch out of Taiwan in the 1660s; the first major wave of Chinese immigration to Taiwan was his soldiers settling down and bringing their families. He is one of the few people seen as a hero by the current governments on both sides of the straights; beating the foreign devils makes you a good guy in everyone's books.

Wikipedia has an article on him. When I wrote the above text, I chose not to link to it; I think our text covers all a traveller needs to know and if someone wants more they can do a web search. However, this is a case where I think there's an argument for going the other way; it would not be wrong to add the link.

There are other cases. For example in a city article that covers a specialised museum it might be appropriate to add a link for dinosaurs or Van Gogh or whatever; some travellers might want the background. (WT-en) Pashley 04:39, 3 April 2009 (EDT)

I don't think I'd be comfortable starting down that slope. If we say it's okay to link to Wikipedia in article text, we risk getting inundated with links because someone "might want the background" on any number of topics. That not only affects the appearance of our articles, but it also encourages users to leave the Wikivoyage site via these external links. (WT-en) LtPowers 09:13, 3 April 2009 (EDT)

wedding agencies[edit]

How do we deal with wedding agencies, and others "special occasion" travel agencies, like [mentioned in Santorini]? Is it just the same as any other external link to a booking agency, or someone sees a reason to keep them? (personally, I don't) --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 15:36, 11 September 2007 (EDT)

I can see how an exception might be made for a place that is an internationally famous place to get married, like Las Vegas, but otherwise I'd say kill it. The percentage of wikivoyagers for whom that listing would be useful is bound to be extremely low, and no one should expect to find wedding planners for every destination in a travel guide. When people post chamber of commerce info about available venues for planning a massive seminar or conference, I delete it for the same reason. (WT-en) Texugo 20:35, 11 September 2007 (EDT)
I don't think evan Vegas should list wedding agencies or planners. Chapels and other places that actually perform weddings, though, are OK. (WT-en) Jpatokal 23:24, 11 September 2007 (EDT)

Thanks, I removed links to wedding agencies from Santorini. --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 17:10, 12 September 2007 (EDT)

Condo booking sites[edit]

Do we allow these? Refer specifically to Breckenridge (Colorado). If they also listed restaurants, I'd revert them without asking, but what if they do not? (WT-en) OldPine 15:55, 5 October 2007 (EDT)

See Project:Accommodation listings#Apartment listings ~ 202.79.25.170 06:44, 6 October 2007 (EDT)

further reading / movies on destination / music from destination[edit]

Please join the discussion in Project:Where you can stick it#BUMP recommended media. --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 02:55, 8 January 2008 (EST)

I'll join that discussion, but want to quickly note here that I don't think that external references are appropriate for these categories. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 03:24, 8 January 2008 (EST)

Official links at the beginning of articles[edit]

Where there's one official website for a region, and an official website that's linked to from the very top of the region article, should that same official link be placed at the head of each article for each place in the region?

Example - region: Collier County & official website: http://www.paradisecoast.com

Do we also want to link to http://www.paradisecoast.com from the top of Everglades City, Marco Island, and Naples (Florida)? ~ 203.144.143.4 15:08, 9 January 2008 (EST)

I think we should only link subregions to dedicated pages for that subregion. So if there was a paradisecoast.com/Naples, that would be allowable, but otherwise multiple links to the same website across many pages seems too spammy to me. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 15:18, 9 January 2008 (EST)

I don't see why not. If the purpose of allowing official sites is to provide the traveler with an official list of things to do, places to stay and eat, etc., then the link should be included in the sub-region as well - if no official sub-region site exists. A wikivoyage user may not think about looking at the region article for an official link. --(WT-en) Wandering 16:07, 9 January 2008 (EST)

Employment agencies[edit]

I suspect that employment agencies are valid candidates for the What not to link to list - anyone disagree? ~ 203.144.143.4 04:38, 22 January 2008 (EST)

BUMP & last call for any objections to employment agencies being added to the What not to link to list. ~ 203.144.143.4 07:50, 24 January 2008 (EST)
I'd say that in articles like Teaching English or Working abroad that are specifically about work, links to job search sites are OK. I would not link to recruiters, but others may not share my bias there; we can debate that when it comes up. (WT-en) Pashley 01:15, 25 January 2008 (EST)
I was tempted just to go ahead and specify those two as exceptions, but I can't help but feel that maybe Working abroad has too broad a scope for it to be practicable to permit employment agency links there. ~ 203.144.143.4 01:33, 25 January 2008 (EST)

Suppose I added this to the list:

  • Employment agencies and job search websites (with two exceptions: see here & here for details)

And then guidelines on what is and isn't acceptable for those two specific "special case" articles can be addressed on their respective Talk pages? ~ 203.144.143.4 07:25, 25 January 2008 (EST)

So if there are no objections, I propose to action the above suggestion tomorrow. ~ 203.144.143.4 05:27, 29 January 2008 (EST)
I do object: narrowly-focused employment agencies are a useful primary resource and outside Wikivoyage's scope. For example, Finland points to the official Ministry of Labour work-hunting site and lists several major temp-staffing agencies that hire foreigners. So IMHO relevant, best-of-breed sites can and should stay in countries' Work sections. (WT-en) Jpatokal 05:57, 29 January 2008 (EST)

How about this then:

  • Employment agencies and job search websites (with three exceptions - 1: the Work section in country articles; 2: the Jobs available section of the Working abroad article; 3: the Looking for work section of the Teaching English article).

Is that acceptable to everyone? ~ 203.144.143.4 09:49, 29 January 2008 (EST)

BUMP & another last call for any objections to the re-revised proposal (the "with three exceptions" version) being added to the What not to link to list. ~ 203.144.143.4 11:31, 31 January 2008 (EST)
Seems to me that the work section exception could lead to very long lists! A quick search reveals upward of 2000 agencies in New York City alone. My suggestion is drop the Work exception. Relevance is kind of hard because it is so job specific (Polish plumbers and Indian IT guys will want different agencies) and wikivoyage is not a job search yellow pages substitute. --(WT-en) Wandering 13:11, 31 January 2008 (EST)

rating of traditional airlines[edit]

Moved in from the Pub.

I am considering to create a "rating of service quality" article for traditional (i.e. non-discount) airlines.

The aim is to help to choose between competing flights basing on service level, not only on price. Anyone willing to join such initiative? Does it sound potentially helpful? And if so, where to stick it?

For me, it looks easiest to start with European carriers only. I know that Iberia, Alitalia, Aeroflot and Olympic tend to be in the end of the list, while Austrian, Lufthansa, SAS and Swiss are closer to the top. --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 19:08, 11 January 2008 (EST)

There is already a web site devoted to this, which I find is very good. Have a look at www.airlinequality.com. (WT-en) Davidbstanley 03:44, 12 January 2008 (EST)
Can we link to it from either Fundamentals of flying or Tips for flying? It's very close to being a secondary source; however it's next to impossible to do all the same job in here at Wikivoyage. --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 07:25, 26 January 2008 (EST)
BUMP. --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 04:39, 15 February 2008 (EST)
Sounds impossible to determine and maintain... I think it's a bit out of our scope, personally – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 21:39, 15 February 2008 (EST)
I agree that it's difficult to maintain, that is why I propose to linke to AirlineQuality.com from Fundamentals of flying. Any objections on adding the extlink? --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 02:31, 16 February 2008 (EST)
We should probably move this to Project:External links then... I'd say it pretty much conflicts with that policy don't you think? We don't allow links to nightlife reviews or hotel reviews... I don't really care much either way, but it does seem to conflict with the current consensus – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 13:06, 16 February 2008 (EST)
Eh, I don't like it as I think it is too much like the "guides" for which we specifically prohibit external links. Addition to the "flying" travel topics of a phrase which indicates such quality guides are available should suffice. --(WT-en) OldPine 14:58, 16 February 2008 (EST)
The main reason we prohibit "guides" is that we don't want direct a reader to an external resource for the content we are aiming to create and maintain here--assuming we're able to maintain such content. When we definitely can't, while we all believe an external site helps a reader, we do allow, don't we?
How airlinequality.com is different from airlinemeals.net or seatguru.com we already have in Fundamentals of flying? (and more in Tips for flying#Choosing a good seat) --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 16:41, 16 February 2008 (EST)
BUMP :-) --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 12:05, 5 March 2008 (EST)
I decided to plunge forward: [7]. --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 10:34, 22 March 2008 (EDT)
Dennis, what are you wanting to do here? Add a link (or however many do this same sort of thing) to the articles at Fundamentals of flying or Tips for flying? If this is your aim, I'd support it, but I don't want it to creep into mainspace articles. (WT-en) OldPine 16:47, 5 March 2008 (EST)
Rating airlines based on experiences? Sounds like exactly the subjective sort of thing Wikivoyage Extra is for. I'd druther not see it here. -- (WT-en) Colin 19:22, 16 February 2008 (EST)
How you see information like this can be practically (a) written, collected and organized at Extra, (b) used and retrieved by a reader? --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 03:04, 17 February 2008 (EST)

External links[edit]

I noticed that external links within articles all have only numbers. I have been changing the numbers to actual words, that make the article look nicer. Is this perferred, or is the preference to just leave numbers? (WT-en) Flowergirl 16:22, 11 July 2007 (EDT)

See Project:External links. The "[1]" format is actually the agreed-upon format. Project:Accommodation listings, Project:Restaurant listings and a few other pages also detail this guideline. Hope that helps! -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 16:48, 11 July 2007 (EDT)
Actually, the number thing was just kinda left there (it's a leftover from Wikipedia-style references, I think), IMHO it looks pretty terrible. Something like "web" would be much nicer -- but this should be handled programmatically by Mediawiki. (WT-en) Jpatokal 22:32, 11 July 2007 (EDT)
I agree... [web] or something would look nicer. I would propose the same for email. I've done so here(WT-en) cacahuate talk 00:02, 12 July 2007 (EDT)
I'd like that, too. The escalating number-links are odd. (WT-en) Gorilla Jones 00:25, 12 July 2007 (EDT)
Another vote for [web] from me for listings; not sure it will fit links placed in the middle of regular text, though. --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 01:56, 12 July 2007 (EDT)
I would actually lean more towards using icons, if we do this. A flying envelope icon for mail is straightforward, although I admit I don't have a weblink icon in mind. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 02:04, 12 July 2007 (EDT)
I second the idea of using just an icon. What's wrong with the icon we already have that appears next to the number? (WT-en) Texugo 02:47, 12 July 2007 (EDT)
Absolutely nothing, I think that could work great. Should we move our discussion to Wikivoyage_talk:Listings#web/email_format? --(WT-en) Peter Talk 17:26, 12 July 2007 (EDT)
YES, please continue to comment THERE(WT-en) cacahuate talk 03:57, 13 July 2007 (EDT)

Taxis[edit]

Swept in from the pub: Is it wise to list a number of taxi companies in city guides? If so, how many? Nine? -- (WT-en) Sapphire(Talk) • 21:57, 19 February 2008 (EST)

I suggest three. Really, you just need the name of one taxi company, but three would give the opportunity for one to go out of business since the last edit, and for the traveler to have a bad experience with another and decide to use the third. That's just off the top of my head, but I can't imagine wanting to see nine. --(WT-en) Jonboy 23:27, 19 February 2008 (EST)
Ha - nine. That was a ridiculous suggestion based on the idea of nine cities. Three sounds good to me. -- (WT-en) Sapphire(Talk) • 00:25, 20 February 2008 (EST)
I've found that taxi information is entirely missing or woefully inadequate for even some big-city articles. I've updated some, such as Philadelphia, that I know about. But it when writing a city article it would be helpful to include: 1) Typical taxifare from the airport to downtown. 2) If taxis are metered or not, and if so, current rates, and if credit cards are accepted 3) If street hales or possible, or street taxi stands, or can a taxi only be summoned by calling ahead. 4) A link, where appropriate, to the local taxi regulating agency for those who need further information.(WT-en) SONORAMA 08:10, 30 April 2008 (EDT)
Sonorama, all your suggestions sounds reasonable to me. --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 15:18, 30 April 2008 (EDT)
I agree with all of the above suggestions (apart from listing up to 9 Taxi firms).
I summarise the consensus as follows - and noted it on the RfC:
Include up to three separate Taxi firms with: 1) Typical fare from the airport to Downtown/CBD. 2) Are taxis metered, if so, current rate 3)plastic card acceptance 4) can be hailed in street, taxi stands or only phone bookings? 5) A link, where appropriate, to the local taxi regulating agency for those who need further information.
Now that consensus has been reached, which are the relevant pages on which this new policy should be added/changed? --W. Franke-mailtalk 16:02, 2 October 2012 (CEST)

Travel aggregator-booker?- RedBus[edit]

Would people kindly check the edits of Special:Contributions/(WT-en) Kumar and provide an opinion? I let this go at first and now find myself wondering if the links 1)violate policy, 2)should be fewer in number and more regionally placed. See also my comment on his talk page. -- (WT-en) OldPine 10:57, 20 February 2008 (EST)

I'm never too sure about these sorts of links also. But for certain, the link should only be on the region/country page for which it is relevant, not on every sub-destination. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 00:23, 21 February 2008 (EST)

Links to educational and cultural programs for travelers[edit]

I put some links on the Greece page to the web sites of several schools offering Greek language instruction programs for English speakers. Since they typically offer programs designed for travelers to Greece who want to combine a vacation with language study, it seems like these would be useful and appropriate links, and I don't see such links excluded by the "What not to link to" guidelines. On the other hand, it's not specifically covered by the description of "primary sources". Maybe there could be a clarification: should web sites of educational programs designed for travelers -- language schools, cooking courses, ecological programs, and things like that -- specifically be listed as acceptable? It seems to me they should be at least as acceptable as links to hotels or restaurant web sites. (WT-en) Sailsetter 11:49, 12 March 2008 (EDT)

My feeling is that yes, as long as those are the people you'd contact if you wanted to sign up for the educational program. We want to avoid "guides to educational programs" or "travel agents specializing in educational programs". To me, however, this is no different than linking to the web site of a dive shop. --(WT-en) Jonboy 11:55, 12 March 2008 (EDT)
Yes, the links I put are definitely links to the schools or programs themselves -- on some you can even print off applications there or sign up on line. Eventually if there's no objections I may change the external links guidelines to say such links are acceptable. I assume I can do this. (WT-en) Sailsetter 20:03, 12 March 2008 (EDT)
I think there are already OK under the "primary links" guideline, and you're free to amend the examples if you think it should be explicitly listed. (WT-en) Jpatokal 03:50, 18 March 2008 (EDT)
OK, I added a line there. (WT-en) Sailsetter 10:14, 20 March 2008 (EDT)

Rule simplification[edit]

I actually didn't realize our link format policy was as convoluted as it is—that we proscribe footnote-style links within listings and for the first link on the page (i.e., in the vast majority of situations), but front-linked links for external links within prose that occurs outside of listings. I know there's a ton of discussion about which link formats people like, but can we agree to simplify this rule and just use the footnotes only, regardless of where they occur? That would shorten this article a good bit, and make it much more digestible. Objections? --(WT-en) Peter Talk 21:48, 16 March 2008 (EDT)

Do you mean use footnote links for all links, or just for all external links? The simplified policy should still specify exactly what sorts of links are used in all cases: external, internal to Wikivoyage, crossreferences to Wikipedia, ... any others? (WT-en) Sailsetter 10:54, 17 March 2008 (EDT)
Yes, just for all external links. This policy only covers external links—we have separate policy articles for internal links, and links to wikipedia. I've now tried to make this a bit more user-friendly by putting all the various link policy articles into the "see also" section of this one.
Now any objections to simplifying this policy & making the footnote-format rule categorical? --(WT-en) Peter Talk 14:17, 17 March 2008 (EDT)
Ok, if I understand, the policy is: All external links, i.e. links to any URL not beginning with the Wikivoyage URL or with another Wiki... project URL, must be footnote links (example: the British Museum [8],) period end of story no exceptions." If that's the policy I think it's a good one, and will assume that I can change any non-footnote external links to footnote ones if they're not. If I've got it wrong, someone please tell me. (WT-en) Sailsetter 16:04, 17 March 2008 (EDT)
I've added this discussion to Project:RFC. Let's wait a bit before rushing forward with this change. -- (WT-en) Colin 17:33, 17 March 2008 (EDT)
I'd really like to not stop there and reopen the discussion about getting rid of the numbering as well. We were on a good path here, but then it kinda got forgotten – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 21:22, 17 March 2008 (EDT)
Footnote style for all external links sounds good to me. Among other things, it makes it easy for the reader so see if a link will take him out of WT --(WT-en) Nick 01:59, 18 March 2008 (EDT)
I agree with the proposed change. And the numbering thing could be easily fixed by hacking at the Mediawiki source code. (WT-en) Jpatokal 03:48, 18 March 2008 (EDT)
Agree with making all external links to some consistent and compact notation. I prefer Cacahuate's suggestion of using something like "[link]", but would agree with footnote numbers like "[1]". (WT-en) JimDeLaHunt 16:01, 18 March 2008 (EDT)
A different possibility for consideration. If what's important is simplicity, consistency, and understandability, then maybe the best solution (ignoring for the moment programming and retrofitting considerations) would be to have only one sort of link, the text link. Wiki markup could be changed to make a link only out of the following string (e.g.): double begin bracket, URL, space, text, double end bracket. This would produce the text as a hyperlink to the URL, and this would be the only way of making any internal, cross-Wiki, or external link. The current facility for turning anything beginning with what looks like a URL into a native-html footnote link would be turned off. All links would then be highlighted text. Simple, consistent, easy to understand, and producing pages that look like most others on the internet. There would of course be programming and retrofitting considerations, and it would require a little more work on the part of contributors -- e.g. you'd have to code the internal links -- but maybe these problems aren't unsolveable. (WT-en) Sailsetter 10:20, 18 March 2008 (EDT)
I think this aims for the wrong simplicity and consistency, making understandability worse. We should focus primarily on our readers, secondarily on our contributors. I think it is important for understandability by readers that external links have a different appearance from internal-to-wikivoyage links or links to partner sites like Wikipedia or Route66. Making all these classes of link look the same would be confusing. Also, the above proposal doesn't require any change to existing source text, it just changes how the formatter interprets that source. It's much different to propose changing source text, which is what I read in your proposal. Am I understanding you correctly? (WT-en) JimDeLaHunt 16:01, 18 March 2008 (EDT)
Yes, as I said the change might involve retrofitting and programming challenges. But changing source text could be anything from trivially easy to impossibly difficult, depending on what resources the project has, which is something I don't have a clear idea of. At any rate, it's not clear to me why readers would be confused by having an internal link look the same as an external one; it's all just more information. Any confusion might be minimized byt the proper use of front text; for example, text that was just a place name would refer to another Wikivoyage page, text referring to a Wikivoyage page section could be introduced with See Also ... My proposal above though was just a suggestion to see if anyone else likes it. If no one does, then I'd go back to supporting the original proposal to make all external links footnotes. (WT-en) Sailsetter 16:35, 18 March 2008 (EDT)

Rule simplification, simplified[edit]

Er... um, I purposely delimited my above proposal to something vary narrow, because these discussions get bogged down, nearly every time, in the morass of slightly diverging preferences. We can and should discuss other more ambitious proposals for the policy in separate threads. But I'd like to keep the discussion within this heading delimited to whether or not people think that the following very unambitious proposal is a good idea:

Extend the rule, that external links be formatted via footnotes, to in-prose links occurring outside of listings.

This is a very narrow category of external links that for some reason we have mandated a link format different from all other external links, and I think we would gain from this change in that the policy would become more succinct and easier to follow (all other preferences aside). Despite having pushed more than a dozen articles (that violated this arcane formatting rule) through the star-nom process and having referenced this policy hundreds of times, this formatting nuance was sufficiently obscure that I never actually realized it existed. So, any objections to this particular simplification? --(WT-en) Peter Talk 16:19, 18 March 2008 (EDT)

Support --(WT-en) Nick 16:39, 18 March 2008 (EDT)
Yes, I'd support it, and let my other proposal just be tabled. There's one point though that I think should be cleared up at the same time, since I for one am still confused by it. What is the standard for footnote links including highlighted front text? For instance, should it be The British Museum or The British Museum [9]? If I understand the standards, it's supposed to be latter, but I see the former if anything more often. And if the latter, should it be an explicit standard that the leading text be in bold, like my example? I know this isn't strictly part of the proposal, but it might be advantageous to include a restatment/clarification of this when making the proposed change to have only footnote links. And I'm sorry to exasperatingly respond to a request to not complicate things by introducing a complication, but I really think it's unavoidable: if we're going to say "OK from now on all links must be footnote links," it really is necessary to be sure everyone understands what footnote links are. (WT-en) Sailsetter 16:58, 18 March 2008 (EDT)
That's exactly what Peter is asking... at the moment we advocate both... the first one for links within a paragraph of text, the second for an actual business listing. By "footnote style links" he's referring to The British Museum [10]... he's proposing that ALL links be like that, even if it's within a sentence in a paragraph – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 19:54, 18 March 2008 (EDT)
Sure I'll support that, and I'll try to shut up about it now. (WT-en) Sailsetter
Support [11] -- (WT-en) Colin 18:37, 18 March 2008 (EDT)
  • Support for the sake of simplicity... but for the record you just bogged down my suggestion again, damn you. I forgive you only because even if we came to a consensus for [web] or web or whatever it would involve one of those retched tech requests that would be ignored for 2 years – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 19:54, 18 March 2008 (EDT)
(That's a very generous estimate.) --(WT-en) Peter Talk 00:55, 19 March 2008 (EDT)

OK, I've now implemented this change. We now allow only footnote style links per policy. I also cut a bunch of prose & examples that struck me as unnecessary and dilutive of the impact of the article. Hopefully we'll be able to move from the footnotes to an icon-only format? --(WT-en) Peter Talk 16:09, 11 April 2008 (EDT)

Great edit, Peter. It's really plain simple and absolutely readable now. --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 17:05, 11 April 2008 (EDT)

guidebooks again[edit]

As long as previous discussion on traditional guidebooks was archived (as VFD and a talk page for (WT-en) article), I post a question here.

How acceptable is the following piece from Vatican City#Do?

> Guidebooks such as Rick Steves, Lonely Planet, Let's Go, etc provide a valid starting point for planning your time at the Vatican.

And if not acceptable, how should we change it to comply? --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 17:58, 18 March 2008 (EDT)

It's not exactly helpful, and it should just be deleted en toto. -- (WT-en) Colin 18:40, 18 March 2008 (EDT)
Agreed with Colin. (WT-en) Gorilla Jones 19:20, 18 March 2008 (EDT)

So should we completely remove the whole quoted sentence from the article? --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 19:21, 18 March 2008 (EDT)

Yes, "en toto" is an expression that means "in total" - it should be totally removed. (WT-en) Gorilla Jones 19:28, 18 March 2008 (EDT)
Done. --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 02:58, 19 March 2008 (EDT)

Formatting of external links[edit]

This is a suggestion about external links, but it's separate from the current discussion about when to use footnote links. It concerns the format of those links, whenever they're used. Currently the example under "Links in Listings" says to do it like this:

Asian Civilization Museums at Empress Place, 1 Empress Place, tel. +66 633  27798 [12].

What would people think of making the standard instead:

Asian Civilization Museums at Empress Place, [13]1 Empress Place, tel. +66 633  27798 .

(Sorry if one example is in a box and one not; I can't figure out how to turn the box off.)

[Putting in a space at the beginning of the line formats the line in fixed-pitch font and puts a box around it. I've made this correction. (WT-en) JimDeLaHunt]

It seems to me much tidier and easier on the eye to have the link right after the name, especially in a list, since the contact information can be a string ranging from null to very long, with the result that in the first format the eyecatching highlighted links end up scattered all over the page. Of course retrofitting would be a problem, but maybe it should be decided first if the latter format is better, then decide if it's too much trouble to implement. I've used the latter format already in a couple places since I didn't notice the example until now, I'll go back and change them if this proposal doesn't go anywhere. (WT-en) Sailsetter 10:33, 20 March 2008 (EDT)

Sailsetter: thank you for your contributions and your suggestions! Now me, I don't feel strongly about the difference. Part of the philosphy if WikiTravel is that it seeks to be usable offline, as a print-out. In that case the link is useless, and the address and phone number are more important. Thus they come first. But you could also argue that on-line use matters too. (Shrug.) One thing to note is that some listings are entered with the "eat" and "sleep" entities, so we could move the placement of the link for those listings with a single edit. [Editorial changes: Corrected formatting of second example above. Promoted this section to level 2 header ("==").] (WT-en) JimDeLaHunt 15:25, 20 March 2008 (EDT)


English-language sites[edit]

I question the following policy:

Some sites have a main page in a non-English language with a cryptic link to an English page, such as http://travel.example.com/fff?349sdshd.asp. This might not be a permanent link, so it is better to use the URL of the main page and let Wikivoyage users find the current link to the English version.

I've used a lot of sites with such links, sometimes for years, and I've never seen such a link disappear. My personal bookmarks contain a lot of links directly to such pages, and I've never had a problem. On the other hand, the frequent clicking on a link in Wikivoyage to a non-English page, on which I have to then search for the English link, is a continual irritant and I think puts people off. Is there really such a problem with these English links that it justifies not linking to them? (WT-en) Sailsetter 12:00, 17 March 2008 (EDT)

Another problem with the policy as stated is that it distiguishes "good" links to English pages from "bad" ones, but it's not clear from the examples how to tell the difference, even to me, and I'm fairly knowledgeable about such things. Some links from non-English to English language pages that I've used involve very long and cumbersome URLs, but they've always worked fine and seem perfectly 'good' to me. Many contributors, I think, are going to be confused by this. And I note that very often contributions link to the non-English version of the page even when there is a perfectly 'good' simple URL. (WT-en) Sailsetter 13:50, 17 March 2008 (EDT)

In my experience at least Japanese sites have a terrible habits of breaking all their links every half year or so. That said, I don't think this is a huge problem either way: it's usually pretty easy to find the "English" link from the main page, and conversely, if the direct link breaks it's not too hard to head back to the root page. (WT-en) Jpatokal 03:52, 18 March 2008 (EDT)
Well maybe other people can weigh in on this: do other people find that links from non-English to English external pages are unreliable? And are they irritated by clicking on a Wikivoyage link and finding themselves staring at a language they can't read? And does is the irritation a bigger or smaller problem than the unreliability? (WT-en) Sailsetter 09:52, 19 March 2008 (EDT)

Travel agents[edit]

On the Symi (Greece) page I listed a travel agent and linked to their web site. It isn't clear to me from the policy page and discussion if this is ok. On the one hand, the agency has a web site which offers to find accommodation and other travel services; on the other hand, I think they're just local to Symi, and they have an office there that travelers can walk into. I used them there and found them good. Any comments? (Maybe I should just list them with contact info but no link?) (WT-en) Sailsetter 20:12, 3 April 2008 (EDT)

My understanding of the general principle is not linking to secondary sites. Travel agents in general are intermediaries. They may be a great travel agent, but we want to be the ones helping travelers find accommodation, etc. --(WT-en) Jonboy 11:32, 4 April 2008 (EDT)
So does this mean we just shouldn't link to travel agents' web sites, or that we shouldn't even mention travel agents or the specific office they might have in a specific location? I think not mentioning them at all can in some cases be a real disservice to travelers. For instance, knowing about the travel agent's office I mention on Symi could be a real help to someone who arrives there without a room and finds everything booked up, as I know from experience. Another example: I mentioned on the page for Sifnos (Greece) that organized, guided walks are available on the island. I also mentioned that information about them is available at the Sifnos office of a certain travel agent (I gave the office's name and town but didn't link to their web site, since in this case the web site looks like a general Greek travel service agency.) The information about walks is certainly useful and appropriate, but so far as I know, that travel agency office on Sifnos is the only place to get details and sign up for them. So if the information is justified, it would seem that naming that travel agent's office also has to be justified, since without naming it the information would be pretty useless. (WT-en) Sailsetter 11:53, 4 April 2008 (EDT)
In the latter case, since the travel agency is the way to sign up for the walks, that seems reasonable. In the former case, I'm hesitant to open up the door a crack. We would rather give travelers a list of hotels, etc. to try than devote space to travel agents, I think. --(WT-en) Jonboy 12:10, 4 April 2008 (EDT)
I think the hope is that our guides become good enough, where the booking agencies become irrelevant. I think keeping booking agencies listed on the site can be a deterrent to contributors actually adding the contact details for the hotels, since they'll see the booking agency and figure that anyone can just get their contact info taken care of through the agency. Moreover, as is natural for a wiki, we have a pretty strong DIY culture here, and booking agencies grate against that ideal. Another reason why our external links policy is so categorical about booking agencies is that experience has taught Wikivoyage that this can be a very slippery slope, where all sorts of useless (and quite possibly unscrupulous) booking agencies start spamming their links all over our guides. (So, even if the Symi agency is useful, its inclusion could undermine a rule that works really well across the site.)
The walks are a separate issue, and sound like a borderline case for our tour policy. I guess my feeling would be to include the walks as a "do listing" and provide the contact info for Sifnos there, without mentioning that it is a travel agency. That is kind of odd advice, but that stays in line with our policies and avoids running afoul of any slippery slopes. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 12:22, 4 April 2008 (EDT)
If there's a consensus on the first point above I'll remove the Symi agency (might not get to it right away though.) The advice about the walks isn't going to work though. The only contact information I can give for that agency is its name and town and the advice to inquire locally for the exact location. This is actually fairly common on Greek islands: many travel agents, hotels, etc. have no address but something like "Odysseus Travel Agency, 81000 Naxos Greece" (made up example.) So I'm not sure what to do. (WT-en) Sailsetter 12:39, 4 April 2008 (EDT)

Another problematic example. There's a couple of hotels I'd recommend on the Greek island of Spetses (though I haven't listed them yet) which are run by a travel agency. That is, it's a family business and the family runs a travel agency and two hotels. The contact information for the hotels is the travel agency: whether you are there personally or contacting them from afar, you need to go to their travel agency office to book their hotel. And again, you can't give the contact information without giving the name of the travel agency, since there's no street address: people have to look for the travel agency sign when they get off the boat, or ask, "Where's the XYZ travel agency?" I'm sure this isn't a unique example. So what to do in a case like that? Another point: most travel guides don't share the reluctance to mention travel agents. Frommers and Rough Guides, for instance, both make it a standard practice to recommend at least one travel agent with contact information and sometimes web sites at each destination they discuss. (WT-en) Sailsetter 12:49, 4 April 2008 (EDT)

A check of my book shelf shows that Lonely Planet also routinely lists at least one recommended travel agency for each destination. DK Eyewitness Guides don't routinely recommend them, but they do sometimes include travel agents listings for special purposes (tours, hikes, etc.) I don't have any Fodor's around, but I think I remember they may include travel agents too. It seems to be pretty standard in the travel guide industry. (WT-en) Sailsetter 13:43, 4 April 2008 (EDT)

Footnote links should print as footnotes?[edit]

What if... when you printed a page, these links that we call footnote style links actually printed as footnotes at the bottom of the page. I think it would improve readability tremendously in some cases, such as the many article that have a few lines like this: This, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, and this airlines service city X. If the person is on the internet, they can presumably pull up the wikivoyage page and work from there. If it's a printed version, I see no reason for the traveller to need to see the URL at all, except as a footnote. What's our feeling there? (WT-en) Texugo 02:56, 12 April 2008 (EDT)

This seems like a good idea. But Wikivoyage doesn't have a special print format function, does it? (WT-en) Sailsetter 10:44, 13 April 2008 (EDT)
There is indeed, look for the "printable version" link in the toolbox on the left sidebar. I also think this is a good idea. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 11:28, 13 April 2008 (EDT)
Thanks, don't know how I missed that. But the printable version isn't formatted in pages, so where would the footnotes go? (WT-en) Sailsetter 12:02, 13 April 2008 (EDT)
I was thinking to just throw them all at the end of the article. I guess technically that style is called endnotes. (WT-en) Texugo 10:25, 15 April 2008 (EDT)

Car rental agencies[edit]

What's the policy, or what should it be, for listing or linking to car rental agencies? Is it allowed at all? If it is, is there a distinction between local, national, or world-wide agencies? What about a national agency whose web site lists an office in a local destination? (WT-en) Sailsetter 10:20, 15 April 2008 (EDT)

No policy that I know of. I usually only list them if there's a large/cheap local agency that's not one of the big boys (Hertz, Avis, Budget, etc). (WT-en) Jpatokal 10:54, 15 April 2008 (EDT)
Also don't think there is a set policy. Normally I list the big ones in the country listing with their national contact details. Smaller local ones as well as the big ones with local offices in city articles. Same with specialist rentals (Camper vans, 4x4 etc) and train services. --(WT-en) Nick 01:28, 16 April 2008 (EDT)

No links to non-English sites[edit]

So, there's a rule that says "Do not link to sites/pages that have no English language content". I've been wilfully ignoring this for years now, and I think it's time to change this: the official site of any listing should always be linked to, whether it be in English, Hebrew or Klingon. Even on the English WT there are travellers who will understand the language in question and who would find them useful; basic pattern matching is enough to read almost any timetable; and even without a word of the language eg. pictures of hotel rooms are still quite handy. (WT-en) Jpatokal 05:17, 4 June 2008 (EDT)

I concur with your reasoning. The only caveat I have is that in some instances it is difficult to know what is being linked to--primarily in the case of non-Western alphabets (sorry, I don't know how best to express that). This can cause difficulty when patrolling non-primary links. -(WT-en) OldPine 06:59, 4 June 2008 (EDT)
I think that can be dealt with as per usual: assume good faith, and nuke it if somebody who does speak the language comes along and spots the spam. (WT-en) Jpatokal 09:53, 4 June 2008 (EDT)
Since there are no dissenting opinions, I've gone ahead and struck that out. (WT-en) Jpatokal 07:53, 9 June 2008 (EDT)
Hear, hear! (Better late than never.) (WT-en) JimDeLaHunt 15:15, 9 June 2008 (EDT)

Link to scanned flyer with Viennese train schedule?[edit]

In Vienna Westbahnhof, the OEBB spreads a flyer with a summary of train connections from and to East, West and Med. Europe. I scanned it and added it to Vienna, and the respective European pages, as Vienna is quite railway hub. However, (WT-en) Colin removed the information, as it was not primary source, and WT wants to be a printed guide too. I responded that a lot of people use mobile devices, and the table-like information is not includable in WT pages, nor are pdf uploadable as files.

The phrase I added, in different variations, was [14]. the flyer is here and here.

As the traveller comes first, and there's no useful info in the several European pages, I wonder if I'm the only one who believes this info should be on the European pages. Also, to me it doesn't seem to be necesarily kicked out under this policy. What do other people think? -- (WT-en) Eiland 11:03, 5 July 2008 (EDT)

No-one reacts so I re-add it. -- (WT-en) Eiland 17:43, 8 July 2008 (EDT)
I believe Colin is correct, the link is not to a primary source and is against policy. I have reverted your re-adds. -- (WT-en) OldPine 18:38, 8 July 2008 (EDT)
To clarify, do you believe you links are within policy, or that policy should be changed to allow your links? -- (WT-en) Colin 20:47, 8 July 2008 (EDT)
The timetable is a primary source. Its is not commented, analysed or summarized in any way. Therefore I think it falls within the primary source policy. It does not fall in the "What not to link"-section. So I dont see a need to change the policy, or you want to add something about scanned resources? Regarding the policy that wikivoyage aims to be standalone, without external information, where is that policy written down? As I already mentioned somewhere, if this is the policy, I believe this should be subject for discussion, considering the increasing usage of mobile devices. -- (WT-en) Eiland 06:25, 9 July 2008 (EDT)
Heh, I see your point. The information is a scan of a primary source. I'm still thinking the link is not a primary source though. Let's see if we can get a few more opinions. For other policy info, see Project:Goals and non-goals. I apologize for not referencing that policy -- I thought the info was in the External links policy. -- (WT-en) Colin 15:23, 9 July 2008 (EDT)
I've added this discussion to Project:RFC to try to get more opinions. -- (WT-en) Colin 15:25, 9 July 2008 (EDT)
I noticed that there. While a scanned timetable might be a primary source, it would also be a copyright violation unless the person scanning it had permission from the copyright owner to copy the timetable. I don't think that Wikivoyage should link to things that are copyright violations, regardless of whether they are primary sources or not, as it could be seen as a form of contributory infringement. If the person scanning does have permission, it might be alright to link to it, but my preference, if possible (it isn't always possible), would be for the person to ask for permission to distribute it under a Creative Commons license, and add the information here directly. (WT-en) JYolkowski 20:33, 9 July 2008 (EDT)
Well, if the official website of the train service had a schedule page, the first preference I think would be to link to that... if not, and you can legally scan a copy of one, wouldn't it be better to just upload it to shared and put it in the article? Personally, if I were writing a city article, I would summarize the main points like "trains run hourly to x y and z, listing common destinations, rather than trying to host info on every possible place they service – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 20:56, 9 July 2008 (EDT)
Regarding the copyright, I see your point, but I think it is taking it a bit too far to want every linked resource also to fall under WT's copyright policy. As the timetable is a handout in the train station, I think scanning and linking it from a travel wiki would qualify as fair use? Also, it is technically not possible to upload pdf's into WT. Does this now mean I can re-add the links? 2008 is slowly running out. -- (WT-en) Eiland 04:11, 10 July 2008 (EDT)
Project:Copyright details#Fair_use seems to indicate that fair use images shouldn't be used on Wikivoyage. Thinking about possible reusers of this material, I would tend to disagree with linking to this without permission. I couldn't imagine a printed travel guide providing a URL to something that is technically a copyright violation, for example. (WT-en) JYolkowski 20:58, 10 July 2008 (EDT)
I still object to this as a non-primary link. It may be a primary source, but the link is not. At any rate the most important thing in all these instances is a telephone number, and indication as to the cities served as Cacahuate points out. PDFs files can be printed and scanned and then uploaded to shared. In any case, this soon becomes old information--unlike a true primary link. (WT-en) OldPine 21:45, 10 July 2008 (EDT)
Actually, in this instance there is a web page at the bottom of the scanned flyer. This official web site appears to have all the information yours does, though in some ways it's a less convenient format. So your link is definitely non-official in this instance. -- (WT-en) Colin 21:52, 10 July 2008 (EDT)
The flyer has been very helpful to me, as it provided me with a clear overview of all connections, and how they might be combined, while planning my journeys. I thought this to be a great addition to Wikivoyage, also concerning Ecotourism, and the general difficulty of obtaining clear train information (as opposed to that for airtravel, which is generally less cumbersome to plan, as planes leap over several countries at once, and the fierce market, which warrants better information). But by now, I think I've put enough effort in promoting it. If people who feel more ownership for the wikivoyage project think its bollocks, risky from a legal perspective, or outdated before its outdated, I don't think I'll be able to convince them otherwise, and, unfortunately, leave it with this. -- (WT-en) Eiland 04:46, 11 July 2008 (EDT)
That was a little overdramatic. You're as welcome here as anyone... and I can assure you everyone involved in this conversation has been disagreed with on multiple occasions... welcome to your first time :) – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 01:47, 12 July 2008 (EDT)

Country/City repetitions[edit]

I think there should be a policy, or if there is one it should be better advertised, about where to put things that can apply to countries and cities. For instance, should a description of the Athens airport and its transit links be in the Get There Greece section or the Athens one? Should warnings of scams common in Italy be in the Stay Safe section of Italy or of Rome? Should remarks on how easy or hard it is to get by with English in Austria be just in the Talk section of Austria or of Vienna or both? Should descriptions of menu items be in the national or the city Eat section? There currently seems to be a great deal of inconsistency about this: sometimes such things are in the Country section, sometimes in the City section, and very often both. The most logical thing would be to put everything at the highest level and cross-reference from the lowest, for instance, give warnings against Italian tourist scams in the Stay Safe section of Italy and then put pointers to them in that section of the Rome, Naples, and Florence pages. But in practice applying this would involve quite a bit of rewriting of some pages, and it would be better if this could be justified by pointing to a specific policy. (WT-en) Sailsetter 10:14, 10 July 2008 (EDT)

I vote for "put everything at the highest level which info is applicable to", even without cross-referencing to it from lower levels. --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 13:03, 10 July 2008 (EDT)
I totally disagree. Information should be at the lowest correct level, with plenty of cross-references from higher levels. Eg. Rome's airport belongs in Rome, and the Italy article should link to it (while also mentioning that Milan is a big hub and worthy alternative). (WT-en) Jpatokal 08:16, 12 July 2008 (EDT)

Yes, I tend to think that's the best policy. Cross-references give a cluttered look, and people can learn that they should read "from the top down" to get all the information on destinations. But it would be good to have an explicit policy statement to point to in case anyone objects to the necessary retrofitting. (WT-en) Sailsetter 13:31, 10 July 2008 (EDT)

I would caution that even if the Athens airport is in the Greece article I would want to see it in the Athens article as well and certainly referenced (without links other than the internal link to Athens) in any subregion of Greece that includes Athens. The smaller cities accessed through that airport could then just refer to the airport at Athens. (WT-en) OldPine 22:18, 10 July 2008 (EDT)
Regarding airports, I think the best and most logical thing to do is to include the general descriptions (size, how many airlines served, how easy or hard it is to get through, relevant web site and telephone numbers) for all international airports in the country page, and then put information about connections from the airport to the city on the City page. With this method I don't think there would really need to be an explicit cross reference from the city By Air entry to the country one, though I suppose it couldn't hurt to make the airport name a link the first time it's mentioned on the City page, e.g. in the Athens Get In/By Air section, it would begin "Getting from Athens Airport ..." (the link would be to the Athens Airport heading in the Country/Get In/By Air section.)
Our policy is actually pretty clearly defined already (though whether it's clearly followed is another story :))... See Project:Country_article_template#By_plane. The United States article is a good example of how a country "By plane" section should look – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 01:54, 12 July 2008 (EDT)

Do we really have disagreement here? Isn't "the highest level reasonable" the same as "the lowest correct level"? It seems to me the following examples are the best way to do things and could be described as either:

  • Dishes common throughout Greece, like moussaka or souvlaki, should be in the Greece Eat section and shouldn't appear on the Crete Eat section, while specifically Cretan specialties like dakos should be in the Crete Eat secction, and not the Greece Eat section.
  • Information on the "clip joint scam," which is found in various places in Greece, should be in the Greece Stay Safe section, though since it's most to be watched out for in Athens, there could be a mention of it in the Athens Stay Safe section with a link to the Greece Stay Safe section for details.
  • Advice to watch out for sunburn, jellyfish, and other dangers common throughout Greece should be only in the Greece Stay Safe section and don't need to be repeated elsewhere.
  • My experience in Austria is that English is commonly spoken in Vienna, though not as commonly as in Amsterdam or Munich, and that elsewhere in Austria English is less common than you might expect. In this case it would be justified to have comments on English prevalence in the country outside Vienna on the country page, and on English in Vienna in the city page.

As for cross references, I think this is mostly a matter of stylistic preference -- personally, I know enough to read all "levels" in a travel guide relevant to a destination and find too many cross-reference give a messy look. But if it's decided to make cross references routine via internal links, I'll do it, but I think there should be a specific policy statement to this effect.

Avoid news links[edit]

Swept in from the pub:

I was about to add [15][16] to China#Shopping as the warning was something I wasn't sure of until I googled it. As this is something verified in reliable sources, I would think it would be useful and not POV to add them. But I know this isn't Wikipedia, so I'm asking. (WT-en) Tenerife 08:58, 25 July 2008 (EDT)

It depends on how relevant such information is to the typical traveler. If they're likely to pick up pre-1911 items while browsing for souvenirs, and if the restrictions apply to everyone and not just "dealers and collectors", then it's absolutely worth a mention. (WT-en) LtPowers 11:04, 25 July 2008 (EDT)


I propose to follow the principles exemplified in the above examples -- what is the agreement/disagreement on this? (WT-en) Sailsetter 12:53, 12 July 2008 (EDT)

None here, I think you have it exactly right. Also agree that excessive cross-referencing should be avoided. We also have a budding internal links policy, which is still a bit of a skeleton.
Re: lowest/highest levels, it depends what you're talking about... I think Jpatokal above is thinking about airline info, etc... in which case it should be at the lowest level (city), with pointers from the country article. But info about a particular kind of food, etc, should be at the highest applicable level, with, IMO, little to no cross referencing – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 23:40, 12 July 2008 (EDT)
Thanks for the comments. I'll keep checking to see if there's further discussion. But it looks like for the present I can at least follow the principles above in making and revising pages, for instance, leave "wear sunscreen" or "eat moussaka" out of all the Greek pages except the Greece one (unless there's some special reason to leave them in, like "This taverna on Mykonos has the best moussaka in Greece.) (WT-en) Sailsetter 11:46, 14 July 2008 (EDT)

External Link Glitch[edit]

Swept in from the Pub:

It looks like the format for links added using the "add listing" tool has been changed and is now a glitch. "www." has been replaced with "http://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/", as if searching for an internal page.Lake Buena Vista#Eat is one example article. (WT-en) Jtesla16 19:13, 10 September 2008 (EDT)

No glitch, they just need "http://" before the rest of the url. It would be nice if the external link formatting automatically understood this w/o the extra code, but that's the way it is. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 20:19, 10 September 2008 (EDT)

Virtual tour of Albuquerque[edit]

Would adding links to the pages on my websites, www.VirtualAlbuquerque.com and www.VirtualSantaFe.com be in violation of the External Linking Policy?

The sites are Multimedia Tours of Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico that use 360°x 360° Interactive Imaging and Steaming Video to show visitors what Albuquerque and Santa Fe look like.

There are tours of historic sites, tourist attractions, museums, hotels, restaurants, etc

VirtualAlbuquerque.com and VirtualSantaFe.com are commercial websites and not the official website of a convention bureau, chamber of commerce or the locations and events that appear on it.

What I would like is to add a link that reads "A Virtual tour of Sandia Peak Tramway" at the end of a paragraph or article, that links to that location's page on my sites.

Thanx for any feedback Doug Aurand

It would violate the policy, per What not to link to — "In particular, avoid links to other travel guides." Thanks for asking before adding them, though! It looks like you have a nice site, but the rule is useful ;) --(WT-en) Peter Talk 13:23, 28 September 2008 (EDT)

What if I provided links like this one for the Sandia Tramway? http://www.vabq.com/ABQlinks/SandiaPeakTramway/

No, the only links allowed are to official sites of the city in question, or official sites of individual listings, like restaurant sites, or museum sites. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 15:14, 28 September 2008 (EDT)

Seams like a pretty closed minded policy, when you could show visitors to WikiTravel.org what the places look like rather just reading about them. Given the choice of looking at images of the Grand Canyon or reading about them, I'd chose the former. But if that's the policy, and it can't be changed, I'll respect it. Thanx Doug Aurand

The idea is that images should be on this site, not linked. That's especially important, given that we aim to be a printable guide as well as an online guide. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 15:42, 28 September 2008 (EDT)

So while the most popular sites on the Web like YouTube, TripAdvisor use "moving media", mostly video, you're staying with still photos only. Again, it seems prety closed minded in today's environment of the Internet that has re-runs of most television programs online and free to view at anytime. And the "official" website links that are allowed, have the same limitation my tour links do; they don't print well. Free professionally produced travel multimedia is hard to come by, and you're turning it down.

The non-official rule also stops spam. And while media can be nice for travel planning, it's worthless in a travel guide, which needs be a quick reference, and portable. You'll notice that Fodors and LP don't include youtube videos either. In any rate, Wikivoyage seems to be doing fine as is ;) --(WT-en) Peter Talk 16:26, 28 September 2008 (EDT)
To add a bit more to Peter's responses, I think everyone agrees that the current policy is too "close-minded" / restrictive. However, until a new proposal is made that meets these three objectives then the current policy will remain the best that we've got:
  1. The policy MUST allow us to remove spammy links such as apartment rental aggregators and sites simply trying to raise their Google rank, and also provide a way to prevent Wikivoyage articles from becoming overburdened with external links.
  2. The policy MUST NOT diminish contributor's incentive for adding content TO Wikivoyage, rather than simply linking to another site.
  3. The policy MUST make it easy for an editor with limited knowledge of the destination and the web site to determine if a site is valid or not.
Anyone with a suggestion that fulfills these three objectives is welcome to propose it, although as yet no one has come up with an acceptable alternative. -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 22:05, 28 September 2008 (EDT)

known exceptions[edit]

As long as the policy is being challenged quite frequently, I thought of creating a list of known exceptions from this policy--all of which reflect a long-standing consensus (and are not undiscussed extlinks-added-yesterday). Hopefully the list can be useful a bit in future battles :-)

If anyone find this idea useful, please contribute to the list below. BTW, is this talk page the best place to have such a list? --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 14:05, 26 October 2008 (EDT)

Exception list[edit]

What constitutes an "official" web site?[edit]

A link to an "official" web site is allowed in the first sentence of an article. Real-world example: Rochester (New York). Should that link be the city web site (http://www.cityofrochester.gov) or the official tourism web site (http://www.visitrochester.com/)? I note that New York (state) uses http://iloveny.com, which is the tourism web site, rather than http://www.state.ny.us/. Is that the precedent?

One complicating factor: Project:Where you can stick it says that data on visitor information centers go in the Understand section. If we use the tourism web site in the article lead, then it seems odd to link it again under "Visitor information" (see the Rochester article for what I mean).

Thoughts?

-- (WT-en) LtPowers 15:42, 10 December 2008 (EST)

Definitely the official tourism organisation. http://www.kk.dk - the Copenhagen municipality website is relevant for residents, while http://www.visitcopenhagen.com - the official tourism organisations website, is relevant to visitors. Same goes for Rochester and NY above - and I suspect the vast majority of cities and countries (http://www.visitdenmark.com vs http://www.denmark.dk). My own policy has been to add the municipality website, only when there is no official tourism agency for the city or region to link to. --(WT-en) Stefan (sertmann) Talk 15:50, 10 December 2008 (EST)
If there is an official tourism site then it goes in the first sentence. If there is a visitor's information center with a street address then that would go under "Understand". If they share a URL that's fine. Note if there isn't a physical location then the official tourism link shouldn't be shown twice. -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 15:53, 10 December 2008 (EST)

Facebook[edit]

I think it is implied in the existing external links policy that we discourage links to faceoook groups - similar to discouraging links to flickr, youtube etc. Facebook is more a blog, photo collection, discussion board that an informational webpage. Does anybody have an issue if I add facebook to the end of that list we discourage linking to? --(WT-en) Inas 00:43, 3 April 2009 (EDT)

No objection here. (WT-en) Gorilla Jones 00:50, 3 April 2009 (EDT)
If a user wants to link from his user page to his Facebook page, that's fine. Anything else, no. (WT-en) Pashley 04:25, 3 April 2009 (EDT)
What is this Facebook of which you speak? and has anyone actually linked to it from a guide, anyway by all means go right ahead. --(WT-en) Stefan (sertmann) Talk 04:35, 3 April 2009 (EDT)
Yes, Its happening over in Panama and one other place currently. Thanks all for their consideration. I'll make the updates to the main article. --(WT-en) Inas 00:37, 6 April 2009 (EDT)
Facebook changed quite a bit since this discussion happened, and now encourages "business pages". Quite a lot of businesses like smaller hostels, bars etc. only have a facebook fan page. Should we reconsider the policy? -- (WT-en) Jjtk 08:06, 8 April 2012 (EDT)
I've never batted an eye at it when I've seen it. In general, Facebook should not be linked, but when an establishment uses Facebook as their only official web presence, I don't see a problem with it. (WT-en) LtPowers 10:16, 8 April 2012 (EDT)
I don't have a problem listing a business' Facebook page as the url in a listing...if they don't have a website. Problem is, many businesses maintain both a website and "social media" presence (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc.). Although a Facebook page for a business likely has a link to their official website, said Facebook page probably won't list prices and related info (tours, hours, etc.). The official website should take preference before a Facebook page. From a traveler's prospective the official website in almost every case will be much more helpful. (WT-en) AHeneen 19:56, 8 April 2012 (EDT)
I'm right there with LtPowers—I've been adding Facebook pages to listings for businesses without any other website for some time. I didn't remember we still called it out in what not to link to! I have added an exception to the rule on the page. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 15:36, 5 July 2012 (EDT)

Car rental agencies again[edit]

Discussion moved here from Project:Where you can stick it

Car rental agencies love to spam our pages, and with good reason—our site can really boost linked site's search engine exposure, especially when spammed across loads of pages. I'd like to see some way to rein in the car rentals spam (we don't have any policy preventing it). The first idea that's come to mind is that we can put the major national rental agencies on the country article, and then ban further listings on any pages below. I don't think it's terribly helpful to have every Hertz office in the USA listed. And I don't recall seeing car rental agencies covered in other travel guides—no reason why travelers couldn't look them up, just as they would do for other services we don't cover (e.g., barber shops). Moreover, car rentals are usually available at the main points of entry like bus terminals and airports. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 09:49, 30 July 2009 (EDT)

I would probably agree completely, if not for the fact that national agencies have frequent-user programs; which agencies are available at a particular location thus becomes quite useful information. But I've never rented a car, so maybe I'm mistaken on the importance. (WT-en) LtPowers 10:39, 30 July 2009 (EDT)
Support limiting to the country level. Not support banning altogether, as in any given country there's some specifics on how an agency work, even if it's a global chain--as I remember from Morocco-booked-from-Moscow experience. --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 10:43, 30 July 2009 (EDT)
I'm not sure on this one - the spam is annoying, but it's valuable to know that there's (for example) a Hertz rental agency at the airport when flying into a small town. Would it be sufficient to limit listing the URLs for national vendors at the country level and then simply mentioning the names of rental agencies available when arriving at a destination without including a URL? We could do something similar for all transportation - there's no need to include full listings for airlines, Greyhound, Amtrak, etc. in every single city article. Note that this discussion may be better suited for Project:External links. -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 11:37, 30 July 2009 (EDT)
That's basically what I did for rental agencies on Rochester (New York)#Get around. No listings with phone numbers or anything, just a list of what agencies are there, like we'd say "Continental and American fly to this airport." (WT-en) LtPowers 12:17, 30 July 2009 (EDT)
I agree this is a problem. I also like the solution of only mentioning the rental agencies (without links) in City articles, as was done in Rochester. My inclination would be to also avoid company links at the national level though. I think that is more in-line with the policy avoiding individual listing details in region articles. To my eyes, it would look more professional to bold the main company names, and leave out links and numbers (in both country and city articles). I don't think the link adds much value for a reader, and eliminating them would obviate the companies' motivation to spam.
That being said, if it isn't a major national rental agency, I think it would be helpful to have the individual listing in a city article (as may be the case for many cities outside the USA). --(WT-en) Jtesla16 19:37, 30 July 2009 (EDT)
I like that suggestion, and suggest we do the same for airline companies. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 20:12, 30 July 2009 (EDT)
I don't think we can be that absolute. I'm just doing some stuff on Kangaroo Island. There is no public transport there, and only two car rental companies operate on the island, the local links and local contact details make a lot of sense, even though they are national chains. I detest the Brisbane and Gold Coast car rental company lists, and they are mostly smaller local players. I delete the local car rental agencies when they appear in Sydney, because we could have a hundred, and there is nothing to say one is better than another.
However, knowing which rental agencies are in the terminal at particular airports sometimes helps, even at major airports. I notice that our star articles don't seem to have extensive rental car listings.
I think a general rule could be, if all the majors operate in a major city as well as smaller players, particularly in western nations, then we omit the listings entirely. People in these cities just aren't going to have difficulties getting a car rental - its just a commodity. If there is some reason to mention the rental agencies, just do so by name. However if in a smaller port, with limited facilities, then we feel free to list.
With regard to frequent rental deals, if you only ever rent with Avis, then you can easily check for yourself if Avis operate at your destination - If you have a deal with Avis, you would be stupid to rent with Hertz without checking just because Wikivoyage only listed Hertz at your destination. --(WT-en) inas 20:32, 30 July 2009 (EDT)
I like that way of demarcating it, inas. I would suggest that we continue to provide links to national rental agencies on the country articles. A traveler to the U.S., for instance, who wants to rent a car will want to check at least a few of the national agencies' websites for price comparisons and policies. (WT-en) LtPowers 20:43, 30 July 2009 (EDT)
That's sounding good – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 20:18, 6 August 2009 (EDT)

(Re-indenting) I'm not 100% sure where consensus is heading on this issue - there seem to be voices in favor of restricting listings, but also a strong desire to allow exceptions. Based on discussions above, here's some proposed language to debate (please edit and update):

For car rental agencies, airline companies, bus companies, and other transportation options, if an area is served by only a handful of companies (five or fewer) then it is appropriate to list full company details including address, URL, and other relevant contact information. However, in cases where there are a large number of options available, particularly if national companies are involved, simply list the names of the companies. For example:

Six major rental agencies have desks at the Greater Rochester International Airport: Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz, and National. Most also have locations scattered throughout the city and surrounding towns, and they will usually come pick you up. Contact your preferred agency for details and locations.

Note that URLs for national companies should be included in the country-level article.

The "five or fewer" guideline may not work for bus companies, trains, or other less common forms of transportation, so this probably needs further refinement, but hopefully this language gives us something more concrete to discuss. -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 13:16, 8 August 2009 (EDT)

It looks good to me, but as the author of the example, I'm biased. =) (WT-en) LtPowers 13:35, 8 August 2009 (EDT)
I'll refrain from discussing buses, trains, etc until we've figured this out on a narrower scope. But for car rental agencies, I like this wording except for the bit about five or fewer companies—I say no listings below the country level for national agencies. (Major regional agencies could be listed in the appropriate region.) I think it's good enough to know that your preferred Hertz is there, and I don't think we need a full listing for national chains in every small town they serve. There may be times when an article would benefit from a couple full listings of a national chain, like perhaps in Ian's example, but I think the benefits of a simple rule would outweigh any negatives from exceptional cases.
That's my preference, anyway, (if we've ruled out excluding car rentals from WT altogether) but I'm happy to be flexible if I'm alone. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 13:52, 8 August 2009 (EDT)
I'll add that if this policy wouldn't work well worldwide, I'd be happy to see it implemented on a geographically restricted basis. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 14:06, 8 August 2009 (EDT)
Certainly I think no national chains listing details in local articles will work just about everywhere. Where there need to be exceptions, like I described above, that can be dealt with by consensus on the article itself.
This doesn't get rid of the issue of having listings for local car rentals in large cities. In Sydney, the yellowpages [17] has over 500 rental car agencies listed. Firstly, does it have any value to the traveller to list rental car agencies when it really is a commodity item? Secondly, how do we select a handful to list out of 500? What would we use as distinguishing characteristics?
In a country town with only one gas station, we might list the filling station. Listing them in a city of 4 million people is just stupid. What I am proposing is we draw a line where a listing rental cars is important for a city article, and when it is a such a commodity that the traveller doesn't really need a list of rental car agencies any longer. It is very useful to know there are only two agencies at West Yellowstone, but listing the agencies in New York just isn't useful. I proposed 5 majors operating as that threshold, where the listing was no longer useful. But I'd be equally happy to limit it to cities under a million people, or some similar themed restriction. --(WT-en) inas 20:09, 13 August 2009 (EDT)
I like the idea of limiting car rental listings by size of city, rather than allowing, say, 500 rental agencies in one paragraph (even sans the contact details). I'd do it by number of rental agencies, though, rather than population. So I'd like a policy along the lines of:
Do not list car rental agencies if there are more than ten in the city. Do not add contact details for the agency locations if they are located at a central location like a bus terminal or airport; merely note that they are at that location.
That would prevent listing hundreds of agency locations in Sydney, while allowing something useful—say, a jeep rental agency in Tbilisi. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 21:40, 13 August 2009 (EDT)
Ok, so we come back to the maximum 9 in a list thing. That seems consistent. So our rental car policy would be:
We don't provide details for national chains in local articles, rather we list them once only in the country level article. Where not all national chains operate at a destination, it can be worthwhile to mention by name those that do. Where listing all the rental car agencies operating at a destination would make a list of greater than 9 agencies, the list should be trimmed to a maximum of nine or omitted entirely if there are no significant distinguishing features that can be used to trim the list. --(WT-en) inas 20:12, 24 August 2009 (EDT)

I think there is a sliver of consensus here. If there are no further opinions, I'll have a go at updating the main page. --(WT-en) inas 19:58, 30 September 2009 (EDT)

I was given a recommendation to use a rental broker which travelers say agregate unsold options and sell them with a discount. It's AutoEurope in Austria, and I'm willing to share that with Wikivoyage (especially when they prove working fine). But it's clearly not a primary operator--so how should we deal with it? --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 12:22, 29 December 2009 (EST)

Per current policies I think that this is one of those sites that we don't currently allow, but which it would be helpful if we had some kind of exception that could be utilized. However, until someone comes up with a good way to allow exceptions that isn't prone to abuse I don't see the current policy changing - I proposed a nominations process a long while back that would have allowed us to vote on exceptions, but I'm the first to admit that it would have been a hassle and prone to abuse, and it didn't gain consensus. -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 13:19, 29 December 2009 (EST)
What if I simply add the specific broker to Austria, and explicitly ask in Talk:Austria for objections? --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 14:55, 29 December 2009 (EST)
Normally, I'd say that's the way to handle one-time exceptions, but in this case, if we "allow" such a listing in Austria, we risk having every agency who comes in here point to Austria and say "how come this company gets a listing but we don't?" (WT-en) LtPowers 15:56, 29 December 2009 (EST)
And this returns us to the idea "what if businesses are not allowed to add listings on themselves at Wikivoyage". Maybe we could try usign that principle specifically for car rental brokers [and apartment agencies]? --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 16:02, 29 December 2009 (EST)
I think that the past arguments given against such a rule still hold - enforcement would be very subjective since we can never really know if someone is associated with the business they are listing, and I'd be a bit hesitant about potentially preventing people who would be most interested in keeping information such as rates, hours, etc up-to-date from adding/modifying their own listings. -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 23:17, 29 December 2009 (EST)

Print rendering[edit]

(WT-en) Stanislav pointed out (on the Russian version) that our preferred footnote-style format renders poorly on the printable version of a page ([18]). E.g., Norwegian [19] renders as Norwegian [x] in your browser window, while the printable version displays Norwegian [x] (http://norwegian.no). The printable version footnote is completely superfluous. (Unpacked links don't have this problem.) Do we have any way of fixing this? --(WT-en) Peter Talk 21:54, 17 September 2009 (EDT)

It seems that nobody really cares much, so I choose for myself to use the syntax "[http://norwegian.no Norwegian]" (as it was intended by developers of the Wikimedia software) because it renders good both in web and printing versions. As far as I understand, the syntax "Norwegian [http://norwegian.no]" is only chosen preferable because of reasons which have very little to do with how comfortable it is to the reader (i.e. not to attract spammers, and so on). Stanislav — (WT-en) Стас 18:59, 20 September 2009 (EDT)
Actually, a lot of users find front-linked external links to look really bad, especially when there are a lot of them, as the aesthetics over-emphasize the links at the expense of the other prose. Changing the preferred link format would be a really big deal, and would need a lot more input to create a new consensus. Personally, I'd prefer that we find a way to alter the print output. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 21:22, 20 September 2009 (EDT)
The reference number for extlinks is in its own class - so to hide it from displaying in the print version would be very straightforward, with access to the appropriate css. The current css defines the display properties for the class. I don't know enough about the mediawiki software, to know if we would have access to the appropriate css files through the mediawiki namespace. --(WT-en) inas 21:38, 20 September 2009 (EDT)

Couchsurfing et al[edit]

These are probably worth a mention somewhere, as a quite valid method of travel, but surely we don't want to mention these services in every article? No links to home exchanges, couchsurfing, etc in individual destination guides? --(WT-en) inas 18:30, 5 November 2009 (EST)

So you would disallow "If you prefer modern comforts consider one of the Hospitality exchange networks, couchsurfing.com for instance, has more than a 1000 available hosts in the city, and gives you the added bonus of having a local pointing you to the great spots."? --(WT-en) Stefan (sertmann) talk 19:10, 5 November 2009 (EST)
I strongly feel that it should be disallowed at city guide level, because the same text could be equally validly placed in many thousands of city guides. I could see an argument for placing this info at country guide level, but really, it is just an open invitation for every similar service to list there. It certainly is a way of seeing travel, so it belongs somewhere, I'm just not sure it belongs across all our destination guides. --(WT-en) inas 19:24, 5 November 2009 (EST)
Me no like. I am a Couchsurfer myself so I probably shouldn't have a voice here, but as long as specifics of the destination are mentioned; i.e. how many hosts there are in the city on the given network, I really don't see anything wrong with it, and I haven't noticed it as problem anywhere yet. I've always been dubious about a too hard stance on the no duplication policy, since most of our users are one click visitors who land on a destination through a search engine. --(WT-en) Stefan (sertmann) talk 19:35, 5 November 2009 (EST)
I'm not a big fan. Putting it in the article doesn't tell the couchsurfer anything he couldn't find out by simply going to the appropriate website. (WT-en) LtPowers 19:45, 5 November 2009 (EST)
If we really are going to allow it, we may as well just write a bot that copies the info into every destination article. At least then the info will be accurate. Surely that is the role of the couchsurfing website - to track their destination specifics? It is not as if the user is not going to have to go and link there anyway. After that we can work on the bot for the home exchange networks, etc..
Really though - there is much that could be written about couchsurfing, but it really can't be sensibly duplicated in every city guide. --(WT-en) inas 20:25, 5 November 2009 (EST)

Weather[edit]

Weather: It seems to me that a reliable weather forecast link would be useful for planning an immanent departure. In the USA, the National Weather Service has an excellent 7-Day forecast for every town in the country. Example: [20]. It is a long link, but the policy of converting links to a simple footnote format deals well with that. This link from each destination page seems like a helpful one, not detracting from the site. -- (WT-en) Algotruneman 16:52, 9 November 2009 (EST)

There is no policy restriction on doing this, and there are templates that make this easier to do already written. --(WT-en) inas 17:04, 9 November 2009 (EST)
Template:Climate is the best way to handle this information (see Chicago#Climate for an example). --(WT-en) Peter Talk 20:56, 9 November 2009 (EST)
Might not hurt to mention it here, though. I'll add something. (WT-en) LtPowers 21:57, 9 November 2009 (EST)

Re: Talk:Blue Mountains[edit]

Linking really is a simple concept...Look at the link, decide whether it is a good resource for a traveler or not. If you genuinely believe that it is not then delete it. I put up a link that one of the rule police even said was a "great site"...and then deleted it because of a technicality. Have a look at this Blue Mountains site (gundungurra.org.au/blue-mountains-tour.html). Can anyone honestly say that this isn't a great resource for travelers?

There is a very strange culture here where good stuff is deleted because of hard and fast rules that seem unable to evolve.

The deletions seem not to be by real users just the rule police who prowl this site. If something seems inappropriate it would be much better to flag it as such and then let real users decide if it is worthwhile or not for their travels. I suspect you are losing a lot of contributors (like me) who just couldn't be bothered anymore because the rule police swoop straight onto good contributions to find what technicalities have been breached. Peter B—The preceding comment was added by (WT-en) 112.141.131.252 (talkcontribs)

If you don't understand some of the perceived unwillingness to see your point of view please consider that the "rules police" that you cite have pointed you to the rationale behind our current policies, suggested ways you could contribute usefully, and in general ignored some fairly abusive name-calling, and yet you have continued to state and re-state the same opinion. As has been previously stated, you're welcome to read the discussions above and propose a change, but note that your "decide whether it is a good resource for the traveler" suggestion was how we initially handled external links, and it didn't work (see discussions above) - people, like yourself, have very broad opinions about what constitutes a "good resource", so the current policies were the result of a consensus developed among dozens of regular contributors over a period of months and years.
As others have suggested, if its important to you that the Blue Mountains have the best possible article, please contribute information to it other than the single video link that you have thus far added. However, if you really feel that this site is not worth contributing to unless you can include a link to a video then it's probably best that you look elsewhere to find ways of promoting that destination. -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 20:14, 30 May 2010 (EDT)

Thanks Ryan, I've heard your opinion and I'm interested in what others think. What I linked to can not ever be replicated on wikivoyage. Simply have a look at this Blue Mountains site and tell me truthfully if you don't think it a great resource for a traveler. There may have been problems before but your system is not working now either. Peter B.

A common theme in the discussions on this page is that there are clearly thousands of great websites out there that would enhance Wikivoyage articles. The problem is that for every good website there are dozens of crappy ones, and it's ridiculously time-consuming to try to sort through them. Our current policies developed after several years of trying to sort the good from the bad - articles were turning into spammy messes, and we had no clear-cut way of being able to say "this link can stay but this one should go", so it was finally decided to draw a very hard, but very clear line as to what links were appropriate and what were not. In the process we realized we were thus excluding any number of valuable nightlife guides, art history sites, etc, but no one has been able to figure out how to allow those sites without re-opening the door to the spammy sites that threatened to make our guides worthless. With the current policies it is very easy for the "rule police" to identify links as appropriate or not, and thus prevent our guides from quickly degenerating as they would do otherwise.
As to your comment that the "system is not working now", the vast number of contributors here would disagree with you - external links are generally some of the least important contributions to any article when compared with maps, hotel reviews, attraction listings, etc, and while we could definitely do a better job of highlighting useful links, until someone comes up with a way of doing so that doesn't re-open the door to the problems we've faced in the past then it's tough to argue that the current external links policy doesn't make the site better then it would be without without it. -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 20:52, 30 May 2010 (EDT)

Ryan, Where are the vast number of contributors that disagree with me? All I ever hear from is you and about 2 others (who I call the "rule police"). Why arn't your "vast number of contributors" shouting me down? Apart from the "vast number of contributors" who supposedly agree with you what about the real users? They should be the ones who should be encouraged to cut out garbage that is not useful. A big awareness campaign to users would be a good start. These sort of wikis need to be able to evolve, not have rules set in stone for ever. Believe it or not that is the idea behind the concept. It works elsewhere. If pages start to degenerate it means that real users arn't going there or are not being encouraged to participate. Peter B.

I think that vast majority of regular users, can't really be bothered by yet another user hell bent on including their favourite link to Wikivoyage - Especially since Ryan has so gracefully explained the reasoning above - but here you go. Administering this site is hard enough as it is, what you are suggesting would cost the unpaid volunteers countless hours arguing with individually with thousands of website owners and their fans over if their website is good enough to be included, and as it stands at the moment we just about have enough resources to get by.
And before you start going on about other wiki's, maybe you should re-check the external link policy of Wikipedia, it has consistently gotten harder and harder to include external links there as well, for much the same reasons. We're a volunteer organisation, that sees no profit, so coming here and making demands on our time, especially in the tone you put forth on the talk page, is pretty tactless if you ask me. --(WT-en) Stefan (sertmann) talk 02:27, 31 May 2010 (EDT)

It is an extraordinary thing that if someone questions how things are done that it is making unfair "demands on your time". You must not question our rules - they must be obeyed!

I'm retired and involved with many online groups but no one has such hard and fast rules...they certainly have guidelines and in a vibrant online community you don't need concrete rules - garbage gets deleted almost as soon as it is created. Real users do this - they get involved. You say the vast majority of users couldn't be bothered - That is so untrue. People love to get involved - just like me giving wikivoyage a go. If real users are not getting involved you need to look in, not out - there is something wrong.

If you had problems with spammers in the past that real users wern't deleting straight away, I'm afraid your system isn't working.

Anyway I've said my bit and got a bit cranky which is silly because you are obviously not bad people and fundimentally trying to do a good thing....but I'm afraid you have lost the concept of what a true wiki is.

Enough said.Peter B

That's the thing though, had you done a bunch of work on the article, or other articles first, or helped out patrolling, or actually made a credible attempt of phrasing policy that addressed the concerns outline above, you'd have gotten a very different reception. Probably the same fundamental answer, but still. Furthermore, we have tried the approach you are suggesting, didn't work, so what are you on about "evolving"? the current policy has precisely evolved from your suggestion.
And we do evolve our policies, constantly, just see this page for recent examples.
Maybe it's also worth noting that we are one of the largest independently run wiki's outside the Wikia/Wikimedia framework. We nearly have 100.000 unique daily visitors [21], and we had over 2 million contributions last year, from over 45.000 registered users and countless more anonymous ones, there are hundreds of websites and iPhone apps reusing our content. So maybe, just maybe, we might be doing something right. And I for one believe that insisting on being a primary source, and not a collection of links, is a major part of our success.
"If you had problems with spammers in the past that real users wern't deleting straight away, I'm afraid your system isn't working."
That's not the issue, the issue is what happens if the spammer and the real user doesn't agree on whether the spammer is a spammer, whos right? The page might have some legitimate info, but mostly be load of crap. Then the real user will argue while the page is a load of crap, and the spammer (who may not be a spammer after all) will counter argue, and suddenly it takes weeks to remove a stupid link, which information should really be on wikivoyage anyway. And that's not theory, that is precisely what happens - Trust us, we know.
Besides, you do know we have have 23.000 destinations guide on English alone right? New York might be fairly constantly monitored, but what about Kazimierz Dolny, hardly that many, and suddenly Wikivoyage is a nice spam machine if you gather a list of obscure destinations. --(WT-en) Stefan (sertmann) talk 05:15, 31 May 2010 (EDT)
Is this still going on? I considered blacklisting this domain during the last round of spamming, and intend to do so if more links are added to this or any other page. Please also note that there is no longer any SEO to gain here, as we have enabled rel=nofollow, so spamming links to your site in talk page threads really isn't going to help you promote your site. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 20:01, 1 June 2010 (EDT)

What a remarkable reaction I am getting to my posts!.. I am certainly flattered that you think that I am the creator of the site that I linked to. Unfortunately I am just an old retired bloke in the Blue Mountains who put up some information on the Aboriginal people here and their extraordinary web site that I first found out about in the local newspaper. I'm sure that if I had the skills to create such a web site I would be spending my time making lots of money rather than putting up posts here.

I think everyone knows that links on these wikis are useless to spammers because of the no-follow tags - I just spoke to a friend who works in the business - he told me that it is widely known that link spamming wikis is a waste of time these days. I think you guys are living in the past, in an era where link spamming was a very attractive thing to do. It obviously isn't any more so maybe the policies should evolve with the times.

I keep saying, discussions like this are important - but you guys just seem to want close debate and no one with a different opinion is welcome. I am arguing that link policy needs discussion and it is immediately..."Link Spammer! Heretic! Burn Him!

Taking out the link from the discussion page so people can't see what I'm getting at is quite appalling. I think you should have the courage to put the link back....After all there is the no-follow tag so why close down the option for people to analyze my argument?

Peter B.

Well, you certainly don't seem to listen to ours either. And I believe we do have overwhelming empirical evidence to the contrary, since we remove swaths of obvious SEO content every single day. Instead of going around circles, I'd suggest you phrase a suggestion for a policy that...
  • Still encourages the information to be added to wikivoyage rather than just being linked to,
  • Allows users to remove links they don't deem to be of sufficient quality to be included.
    • outlines what exactly "sufficient quality" is.
    • ie: if I don't think your link is good enough for Wikivoyage, how do we decide who's right.
  • Won't make the external links section the largest section on every single destination page. --(WT-en) Stefan (sertmann) talk 06:16, 3 June 2010 (EDT)
Point two is important, since we have so many links added every day, discussing every each one of them individually, simply is not feasible. --(WT-en) Stefan (sertmann) talk 06:16, 3 June 2010 (EDT)
Peter B.: I'm around here for a couple of years. Yes, no follow reduced the spam and there are excellent sites in the web. Nevertheless still loads of spam everyday are entered at Wikivoyage. WT is a popular site, we want a comprehensive site and therefore try to integrate informations on our site instead of lazy linking. The you took to discuss would have been significantly better spent integrating the infos at WT instead of discussing to simply linking. That's just my two cent and if you were a bit more continiously around here you would see our daily battle against the marketers and spammers... (WT-en) jan 07:06, 3 June 2010 (EDT)
(WT-en) Stefan's points are excellent and I'd love to see them enshrined at the top of this page so that everyone who comments here reads them first - I'd be 100% behind changing policy if someone came up with a proposal that did a good job of addressing all of his points, but no one has done so yet. And as to User:(WT-en) Peterfitzgerald's comments, apologies if you are a different person, but it does seem highly peculiar that this Blue Mountains link has been added twice in the past year or so, and both times the the user who added it made no other additions of any article content, but instead engaged in a lengthy rant about our external links policy, including adding and re-adding the link to talk pages. -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 10:40, 3 June 2010 (EDT)

Hopefully, we can see in the future a day when some of our well curated articles can have a greater flexbiluty on what they can link to. Maybe if we have a couple of active docents for an article or area, there can be an effective approval/review method for links which could permit a few appropriate secondary sites. That said, I would have thought the first cab of the rank would be the best what's on guide for the town. I would see a link to an non-free external guide or video clip as pretty low priority, and almost really against the goal of creating a free guide here. --(WT-en) inas 08:38, 3 June 2010 (EDT)

This is very confusing. People seem to think I am some sort of serial link spamming offender who for some odd reason is spending ages justifying his actions (which I'm pretty sure link spammers don't bother to do). Maybe this explains why you all have jumped on me from such a great height.
It seems I'm being mixed up with someone else and blamed for something that I don't really understand. From the odd responses I think some of you are talking about a different link to what I put up (as well as text information). The link I put up was to an interactive tour of the Blue Mountains where you mouse over a satellite image and videos pop up of that area. Peter B.
This page isn't just to discuss your link. When you opened a discussion here, it is to discuss the external linking policy. There is a whole range of link spamming issues to be considered when we discuss this, completely independent of the virtue of you or your link.
Can I just repeat what has been said before? You are welcome here at Wikivoyage. Hang around for a while, make some edits to the Blue Mountains, add some info on your favourite spots. After you have seen what happens and the sort of edits that are made here, come back to this discussion, and see if you can help refine the policy. If your only interest remains just adding the one link, it probably isn't going to get up right now, there just isn't the community support for the policy change to allow it. --(WT-en) inas 02:55, 4 June 2010 (EDT)
Right. We don't think you're a link spammer. The problem is distinguishing between people like you, who are interested in improving travel guides, and people like link spammers, who are interested only in advertising their link. Distinguishing between the two is very hard, so to make the job easier, we allow only links to primary sources. This has the added extra benefit of being good for the travel guides, as it encourages the addition of information to the prose rather than leaving it on external sites. This all has very little to do with the merit of your link, or with our opinion of you as a person. We just don't want to risk opening the door to external links and ending up with "travel guides" that are little more than a collection of such links. (WT-en) LtPowers 10:59, 4 June 2010 (EDT)

Contributor research links[edit]

The following discussions have been archived from the now-deleted contributor research links page. -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 19:18, 19 September 2010 (EDT)

Newspaper Archives[edit]

Moved from Project:travellers' pub by (WT-en) Evan

Is there a place on Wikivoyage for links to newspaper article archives? For example:

Or does that fall under the heading of non-goals?

Well, Wikivoyage is not a Web directory (see Project:goals and non-goals). We use external links, but mostly to primary sources (see Project:external links). On the other hand, those archives may be useful for contributors doing research. Maybe we need a Project:contributor research links page? Other opinions? --(WT-en) Evan 18:24, 28 Jan 2004 (EST)
Those are all big newspapers... if you want to use them for research, it's trivial to find them. Putting these somewhere just means we'll have to start maintaining another page. Let's leave this part of the job to google and yahoo. -- (WT-en) Nils 04:40, 7 Apr 2004 (EDT)

Travel Guides[edit]

I know we should only include primary sources in articles, but there are a few travel guides that actually have some useful information in them about places that can be picked out from amongst the trivia and advertising. I thought it might be useful to list them here, with a suggestion of what content they contain. My thought would be that these should be quality guides, with interesting content, not just an advertising portal for tourist operators and service providers to advertise their address and phone number. -- (WT-en) Huttite

I'm not really happy about this. I don't think we should encourage contributors to copy from other guides, nor should we look like we're encouraging that. So, I'm going to remove that section unless there's a compelling reason not to. --(WT-en) Evan 20:53, 7 Jan 2005 (EST)
My thoughts about this section were to provide links to some websites that had interesting information that was more than just adverts for hotels, etc. A number of contributors have been posting pages on these websites as links to individual pages and (WT-en) Colin deletes them because they do not comply with the primary source guidelines. Some keep coming back and I wanted to identify the good ones. I put them here because I felt there was nowhere else for them to go.
An alternative to this list might be to write an article about using the internet to research and book travel and allow these guides to be listed there. That way these websites would be disassociated from article writing and associated with travel research that travelers might do. It now occurs to me that this would be a good place to explain the benefits and disadvantages of the different types of websites too and what makes Wikivoyage so good.
I have no strong objection to removing the list. I merely observe that some sites seem to have useful information that can assist contributors. -- (WT-en) Huttite 21:29, 7 Jan 2005 (EST)

World wide emergency numbers[edit]

[Moved from Project:Travellers' pub by (WT-en) Hypatia 18:17, 2 Jan 2005 (EST)]

May be useful to incorporate this information into the various country pages. -- Nils

Probably should be added to the Contact section of each Country (or City), possibly even as a templated text. Although standard emergency numbers exist in many countries, the number and type of service provided may vary significantly. -- (WT-en) Huttite 17:45, 26 Dec 2004 (EST)

Wikipedia[edit]

Archived from the Pub:

Just bringing up something I've noticed in the deletion discussions, I see the words "according to wikipedia" rather a lot, and wonder why we have to treat it as the number one factual account of everything? I get the distinct impression that's the case anyway. (WT-en) MiddleEastern 07:09, 14 February 2007 (EST)

Well, since Wikipedians like to create articles for every stupid place and thing imaginable they're a good measure for deciding if a place is noteworthy. I.e. if Population-of-Three Town in Jumbobo doesn't have it's own article, then we can say with some certainty that the place is not noteworthy. Of course, this isn't always the case, but it's normally a good measure. -- (WT-en) Sapphire 06:36, 16 February 2007 (EST)
I'd quite like to call them sad... but I'd probably be killed, I was once actually blocked on Wikipedia for asking an administrator why he seemed to spend 18+ hours a day watching the encyclopedia... --(WT-en) MiddleEastern 09:19, 16 February 2007 (EST)

Time to get rid of this page?[edit]

I think this page has outlived its usefulness, and it looks unlikely that it will become anything more than a mass of external links if we keep it around, so would there be any support for deleting it? At this point Wikivoyage has enough content that we typically prefer first-hand knowledge, so referring people to the NY Times, Open Directory, or someone's personal travel blog to mine content seems unnecessary. -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 12:21, 19 August 2010 (EDT)

Absolutely. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 12:53, 19 August 2010 (EDT)


Dropping the "www"[edit]

Discussion moved in from User talk:(WT-en) Peterfitzgerald:

Hi Peter - I notice you've been dropping the "www." from a number of links, but this actually isn't always a good idea. For example, in your most recent edit, https://cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ti.html generates an SSL warning while https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ti.html does not. In other cases, if the site hasn't been set up to redirect the root domain to "www." then the link will not work without the "www".

Was there a discussion about using non-www URLs somewhere that you could point me to? If so I'd like to re-open that discussion as I don't think it's good policy to exclude that from links. -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 14:45, 30 September 2010 (EDT)

I could have sworn that there was such a (short) discussion, but I can't for the life of me find it after some 30 minutes of searching... My rationale is that the unnecessary wwws all wind up getting printed, which is a waste of space (e.g., turning a 4 page print into a 4 & 1/9 page print). It's been a long time since I actually ran across a link that didn't work without the www, but I'll take your word that this is something I should remove from my foxreplace substitution list. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 15:30, 30 September 2010 (EDT)
There is a discussion here with a similar-looking but quite irrelevant subject. And I've also noticed some links not working without the www myself, the website of Danish Embassy in Ankara [22] being one of them I've recently come across. – (WT-en) Vidimian 16:41, 30 September 2010 (EDT)
The spam filter discussion was actually specifically aimed at how we define patterns in spam blocking, and thus not relevant (as you pointed out). The gist of that was that when Evan initially set up the spam filter he always specified "www" in the offending pattern, but I raised the point that "iamspam.com" was likely to be of more use in catching a broader array of spam than "www.iamspam.com". -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 17:11, 30 September 2010 (EDT)
Provided the non-www form works then removing it is totally fine and has the benefits you've described, but I think that doing so automatically is dangerous. While most dot com registrars automatically set up an appropriate alias for "www", there is nothing that requires such an alias to exist, so removing it without checking is likely to occasionally break the link. The problem is magnified with non-dot-com domains - the CIA link above provides one such example, so I'd just like to make sure that if links are being trimmed that they have first been verified to work without the "www". -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 16:46, 30 September 2010 (EDT)
Agree, also check that it is same page, foo.example could exist but be different from www.foo.example. Also note that foo.example might work for some because their browser guesses and adds www, but not all browsers do that. -- (WT-en) elgaard 06:31, 3 October 2010 (EDT)

Shortened URLs[edit]

In this edit a few urls were replaced by "urlabridger.p4o.net/" and a following number. I don't see anything written about this on WT and when I copy and paste it in a new tab, the link works...so there wouldn't be a problem when printing and later typing the address in. However, these shortened urls are nearly as long as the original and I prefer the original. This would also help with patrolling because you can see it links to a valid sight and not have to check each link (the shortened url could be a magnet for linking to spam, etc.). What are your thoughts? (WT-en) AHeneen 14:12, 14 October 2010 (EDT)

Per Project:External links#Use short readable links: "Don't use links to redirection services, such as tinyurl, just to make the links shorter." Since the edit in question is replacing valid URLs with a redirection service the edit should be reverted. -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 14:42, 14 October 2010 (EDT)
Ok. I looked over this page twice and missed that sentence. The edit has been reverted. (WT-en) AHeneen 15:58, 14 October 2010 (EDT)

Wikipedia-style citations/endnotes[edit]

I'm curious about Wikivoyage not using these. It would make the pages both prettier and more useful as a printed reference. 70.103.251.3 13:02, 13 October 2011 (EDT)

That's debatable. A good printing algorithm would print the link URL in-line with the text, which is more useful than a footnote. (WT-en) LtPowers 17:12, 13 October 2011 (EDT)
That depends on the user's browser working the "right" way, though. Footnotes may be less useful for that group of people, but they still provide a better use case for people with browsers that don't, and one that's still at least acceptable for those with browsers that would otherwise print inline links. 70.103.251.3 15:15, 14 October 2011 (EDT)

City/town official website[edit]

Swept in from the pub

Where should the official website of the town or city in question be entered? When I want to visit a place I like to browse their website and maybe even book accommodation through it. It shouldn't replace Wikivoyage as, often the info is not in English, but the link should be made available on Wikivoyage IMHO. --(WT-en) SaxonWarrior 12:16, 22 July 2011 (EDT)

As explained at Project:External links#External link usage, it should go right after the first time the city/region/country's name is mentioned, i.e., in the lede. – (WT-en) Vidimian 12:47, 22 July 2011 (EDT)

I now read that policy page on external links too, and I have a somewhat different question. I see that links to restaurant review sites are unwanted, but this strikes me as odd and not very helpful for the traveler? As a newbee, I was trying to update Eindhoven. I included some restaurants but also a link to the most used review site (In Dutch but with numerical ratings, allowing people to at least get an idea of what's there and the addresses). When traveling myself, I always try to find something like it in order to pick local favorites beyond the 5 or 10 listed in my guide. Or, to find a specific (say Indian) restaurant in a city where none of those are listed. It seems a lot more fair to the other 100 restaurants or more in town, some of which are also quite popular and good, to allow for travelers to see they exist and make their own choice. Should I remove it nonetheless? (WT-en) Justme 05:35, 26 July 2011 (EDT)

Yes. If we have missing content, we want that content added here. Allowing external links to review sites discourages people from adding content here. (WT-en) LtPowers 08:56, 26 July 2011 (EDT)
So, does that mean that ideally I should be listing /all/ good or reasonable restaurants in the city? I get that a bunch of the most interesting ones should definitely be in the article, but all of them wouldn't fit. Neither is it feasible to keep them updated, I guess? How does that work then? (WT-en) Justme 09:14, 26 July 2011 (EDT)
Just add restaurants you have visited and are positive about. We're not the Yellow Pages, so we definitely don't need to list all good/reasonable restaurants. As you're working on Eindhoven, check out Hilversum for an example as it's also a medium-sized city in the Netherlands and it's a star article. --(WT-en) globe-trotter 09:59, 26 July 2011 (EDT)

I've been adding info to Eindhoven (and might add some more later), but the page offers enough info for any visitor to find his way around there for at least a week or so. I don't really know how to make a map, but I posted a request for that on wiki travel shared. Can anyone check if it would be good enough anyway to make it a "guide" instead of "usable" article? Or if not, what it is missing? Thanks, (WT-en) Justme 13:39, 28 July 2011 (EDT)

The article looks pretty good. As you say, it would really benefit from a map though the guidelines state that a lack of a map wont hold it back from guide status. A few points: The See and Do sections could use an introduction parragraph. Many of the listings don't have addresses and phone numbers. The get out secton would be more useful if it listed the nearby/next destinations with wikilinks to the articles. Nonetheless, nice work so far. - (WT-en) Cardboardbird 20:28, 28 July 2011 (EDT)
That's an extremely well constructed article. I would have no hesitation in putting it at guide status. Small quibbles: the listings should be presented alphabetically in each section. Very good work and well done.--(WT-en) Burmesedays 21:07, 28 July 2011 (EDT)

Okay, thanks. I added introductions for See and Do, expanded the Get Out section and fit in contact details where I could find them. Many of the landmarks don't really have public contact details like that, since they were renovated for other purposes and can't really be visited on the inside. I wasn't aware of the alphabetic order rule but I now mostly rearrange the listings to bring them in accordance with it. Can I just go ahead and change the status or should an administrator do something like that?

One more thing: many of the listed places actually shield their email addresses or use [at] instead of @, to keep spam bots from getting them, I guess? Is there any policy on how to use those addresses or you just put them in, unprotected? (WT-en) Justme 11:41, 29 July 2011 (EDT)

Good question. As far as I know, no specific policy exists. Its a tough call. If they have their email address on their website then its public info that you can use, though it does make sense to be nice to those legit businesses by respecting their desire to not have their email harvested by spammers. Generally complete listings are preferred but email addresses are less important than street addresses and phone numbers (who emails a restaurant or museum? Hotels or Do activities that take bookings via email, maybe). Leave email addresses out if you feel it is not essential. - (WT-en) Cardboardbird 23:24, 30 July 2011 (EDT)
I think e-mail addresses should never be listed, unless the listing does not have a website. If you're online, one could always look up the email address from the website. --(WT-en) globe-trotter 23:37, 30 July 2011 (EDT)
What if you're not online and just want to send an SMS message? (WT-en) LtPowers 10:30, 31 July 2011 (EDT)
I know Wikipedia uses an edit filter which will tag and interrupt any edit attempt which even tries to add an e-mail address. These sort of links only serve to enrol the boxholder for more spam. There may be extensions which can disguise (at) somehow? K7L (talk) 22:56, 20 October 2012 (CEST)

Wikimapia[edit]

Swept in from the pub

Could someone give me a basic outline of our policies toward linking to wikimapia policy. My understanding is that we do not link to other guides, as per External links, including mapping services. However I cannot find any specific reference to Wikimapia in our policies or the discussion pages. I would like some clarity as a new user is quite enthusiastic to use them and I do not want to jump on them in case I am in error in any way in my interpretation of this. Thanks -- (WT-en) felix 05:13, 19 September 2011 (EDT)

I would not treat Wikimapia any differently to any other map site, i.e. it should not be linked to. As an aside, it has struck me as being a rather odd site, and probably little more than a means for Google Maps to gather user-generated content free-of-charge. The copyright situation is also murky. --(WT-en) burmesedays 08:12, 19 September 2011 (EDT)
I thought the same but buttoned my lips, I will refer the contributing editor here so they can have a look if they are a bit curious as to what others think about it. -- thanks, (WT-en) felix 08:37, 19 September 2011 (EDT)

A project for anyone who wants to help[edit]

Swept from the pub:

I've been playing with Special:LinkSearch, which I assume to be a new feature since the upgrade, since I've never noticed it before. At any rate, it makes it pretty easy to spot hundreds of links which are not permitted in the main namespace by our external links policy. After eliminating a few dozen of them, I decided to appeal for help from anyone looking for something to do. Here are a few of the searches I tried:

Anyone bored? (WT-en) texugo 23:19, 3 July 2012 (EDT)

tex, not today but i have a conference upcoming, where i'm going to be definitely need to look busy ;-) (WT-en) Jc8136 03:15, 4 July 2012 (EDT)
Tex, it ain't easy to find the links. I tried Yerevan and i see Troll Pub but it has not ext.link. The search for Facebook results nothing. (WT-en) Jc8136 03:21, 4 July 2012 (EDT)
Nifty tool! Several of the above searches might turn up legitimate links, though. Facebook, MySpace, and even Wordpress are more commonly used as websites for obscure little guesthouses than you might think. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 03:31, 4 July 2012 (EDT)
Agreed. I think we should alter slightly the policy to include the possibility of a blog or fb page being allowed when they are the only official web presence of a business. (WT-en) Jjtk 03:50, 4 July 2012 (EDT)

front-linking[edit]

See

  • Wikivoyage, website that says to avoid frontlinking external URL's.

Do

  • While Wikivoyage:External links#External link format opposes front links, tags like <see name="" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price=""></see> and <do> do exactly that. I've indicated that the <see> and <do> tags are valid, just so that no one reads into this an invitation to revert these tags to get rid of the front link. K7L (talk) 16:58, 20 October 2012 (CEST)
This is a known migration bug that hasn't gotten fixed yet - see Wikivoyage:Travellers' pub#Listing Templates, tech:Wikitravel Migration bugs#First testing period 2, no doubt a few other places. It's probably misleading to say that the current listing formatting is "valid", since it is a problem. Ideally this is something that can be fixed during the WMF import. -- D. Guillaume (talk) 21:57, 20 October 2012 (CEST)
So, when do we run up the white flag to post-linking external links? No one follows it, and even our own templates don't support it! --Inas (talk) 02:32, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
Why would we run up the white flag? All the reasons to avoid it are still valid. LtPowers (talk) 02:49, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
It's just a matter of time before we fix this. It's a huge shame that we didn't have it fixed pre-launch. --Peter Talk 03:47, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
The reasons to avoid it were never that strong. Functionally you lose the link between the text when you postlink. (i.e. given a front linked text you can always automatically generate a postlinked text at your preference, but not vice versa). Right now, postlinking urls is like being a salmon upstream. --Inas (talk) 05:09, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

Inline links to Wikipedia[edit]

There are many topics (individual landmarks, bodies of water, highways) which will never have a Wikivoyage article but which are mentioned in WV articles on cities and regions. Route 66 mentions the wikipedia:Coral Court Motel, for instance, even though we (by design) will never have a full article on the motel itself. As far as I know, the primary objection to linking WP in a case like this (as opposed to linking only wikipedia:St. Louis, Missouri at city-level in the sidebar) is that the interwiki links "look like" internal links.

This can be trivially fixed with CSS, as interwiki links are class="extiw" this code will provide an icon next to each interwiki link:

/* display icon next to interwiki links */
a.extiw {
background: url(http://wts.wikivoyage.org/w/images/thumb/c/c0/Wiki_puzzle.svg/16px-Wiki_puzzle.svg.png) center left no-repeat;
padding: 0 0 0 16px;
}

The result would look like:

Wiki puzzle.svgTed Drewes Frozen Custard will be on your left close to the west city limits of St. Louis. Follow Chippewa to the city limits where it will become Watson Road through the suburbs. Wiki puzzle.svgMarlborough was the site of the Wiki puzzle.svgCoral Court Motel, now gone. Continue west on Watson Road until its becomes an onramp for Wiki puzzle.svgInterstate 44.

Marlborough (as an inner suburb of St. Louis itself) might not be worth a link, but Ted Drewes and the like would be of use to travellers. K7L (talk) 17:04, 20 October 2012 (CEST)

I agree, but I would prefer that the symbol used is less obtrusive so that it does not disturb the prose too much visually. A tiny W in the "wikipedia typeface" would seem appropriate.
I propose that our policy is modified to allow clearly marked, in-line links to Wikipedia where they add information useful to the traveller and where it's inappropriate to develop our own content.
I do so wish that editors were allowed to use their common sense about the odd link or two, but it seems that the interests of travellers comes first is the most knowingly flouted goal that we had.
In the discussion section below on footnotes it's difficult to overlook the comparison and not contrast the 3 reasons advanced with NOT having footnotes with the inconsistent stance regarding in-line links to our sister projects:
1)"We don't want our guides to simply be link farms for every web site out there with a remote connection to a travel-related service. This is a huge issue, and we need a clear guideline that allow us to police links easily." Well, the clear guideline would be to allow links to Wikipedia where they directly assist the traveller. If and when we develop alternative content then, equally obviously, they would be redundant and could be removed. I really think you need to credit our editors with a modicum of nous, common sense and good judgement. We don't mandate NO IMAGES for fear an inappropriate image is sometimes included - when it is, we simply make a judgement call and remove the inappropriate image.
2) "It is very difficult to determine what is a "good" site vs. what is junk..." That's not a problem with Wikipedia, is it?
3)"There is also an incentive issue. We don't want to allow links to other sites at the expense of including content within Wikivoyage." This is the silliest of all. In the HMS Bounty example quoted above, we're never going to have an article on that ship because it is neither a travel destination, a travel topic or a travel itinerary. And, bizarrely, the one type of link to Wikipedia that we do sanction is the most useless of all from a traveller's perspective. A link to the Wikipedia article on the exact same subject, but not from the traveller's perspective. --W. Frankemailtalk 02:50, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
I think K7L's example illustrates much that is bad about this. An average paragraph could have many, many links to Wikipedia, once you start introducing this policy. There are a couple of examples where links to WP that I feel would come in really useful. That's where the word or concept is generally unknown, and expanding on it inline would make our guides too encylopedic.
And, the incentive issue is real. We don't necessarily want to have an article on the HMS Bounty, but we do want enough information on the mutiny to make the average traveller get all the context they need without having to follow a link off to another site. --Inas (talk) 05:37, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
As long as the hint that there are indeed hyperlinks embedded on-line are extremely discreet, I don't see this being an issue at all. If people are interested in reading more, they'll click and if they're not they won't. That's the way the whole of the web is constructed and it's futile to pretend that folks might not pop off elsewhere for a bit and then return when they want to. The walled garden concept rarely works. As for there being too many links, this is less of a danger than there being too many images. Until clicked, and unlike too many or too large forced image sizes, links demand NO extra data download charges or upset page loading or format.
I do agree there is an incentive issue, but the issue with in-line links is actually less than with the type of wikilink we currently permit.
Quite stupidly from both an SEO and public relations perspective, we do currently allow thousands of useless "articles" to exist that consist of no more than a "lede" of "x is a city in y" and an empty skeleton of vacant standard section titles. Thanks to wikignomes like myself and kindly bots, most of these now have a left hand gutter link to the most relevant Wikipedia article. Why do you think that one (stupid) generic link will not thwart folks developing the article while the inline version makes them lazy? If your argument has real and substantive merit, then the (stupid) generic link should be removed from them (my preference would be to remove the stupid link by removing the emabarassingly empty stub). --W. Frankemailtalk 14:24, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
Try to stay focused and keep your criticism constructive. You continually complain about our apparently blockheaded stubbornness over short stubs but you have not proposed a change to our Wikivoyage:Deletion policy that would result in the deletions you desire. You continually complain about the fact that we link to WT in the footer of our articles, but you have not undertaken any steps to change that. You harp on and on about SEO practices but never give any details that allow us to evaluate the validity of your claims. This is supremely frustrating, and it is why you are at the end of your rope with this community. LtPowers (talk) 15:09, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
(I should point out here that we do have a consensus for a one-time-only deletion of empty outlines and stubs that have a WT attribution, solely for the purpose of getting rid of that attribution. So you can stop harping on that point entirely.) LtPowers (talk) 15:15, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict) @W. Frank - Also try to keep this discussion concentrated in one place and stop trying to wedge the issue into other discussions all across the site. You are already aware of the most recent discussions at Wikivoyage_talk:Sister_project_links#Inline_links_to_Wikipedia, so there really wasn't any good reason to respond to this year-old thread in the first place. Texugo (talk) 15:19, 17 September 2013 (UTC)

Of the original proposal:

Wiki puzzle.svgTed Drewes Frozen Custard will be on your left close to the west city limits of St. Louis. Follow Chippewa to the city limits where it will become Watson Road through the suburbs. Wiki puzzle.svgMarlborough was the site of the Wiki puzzle.svgCoral Court Motel, now gone. Continue west on Watson Road until its becomes an onramp for Wiki puzzle.svgInterstate 44.
  • Ted Drewes should be a listing in St. Louis#Eat. A proposal to link "wikipedia=" from a {{listing}} there deadlocked in January but would have had the advantage of requiring the listing exist before the link is made.
  • Marlborough is an inner suburb of St. Louis and should redirect there if it's notable at all (it might not be).
  • Coral Court Motel is awkward as it will never have a Wikivoyage listing (closed 1993, demolished 1995) but is notable to the history of Route 66 (decommissioned 1985 but, like RMS Titanic, still has an itinerary)
  • Interstate 44 is likely too uninteresting for a WV article although WP has an I-44 article for each state.

In retrospect, eleven months later? Marlborough and I-44 aren't worth linking. The individual Wikipedia articles on Route 66 landmarks might be of use to the traveller (and more detail than we'd want inline here) but any proposal to link to them would need to be formulated narrowly enough to ensure they get a sentence to a paragraph of description on Wikivoyage before jumping off to encyclopaedic-level detail elsewhere. We're not an encyclopaedia and therefore want just the short, tourist overview in the guide.

We currently have extension:RelatedArticles and mw:extension:RelatedSites. Both are showing severe limitations as one WV article is likely to be related to multiple items on WP. RelatedSites only allows us one WP link. RelatedArticles seems to be devised primarily for internal links within the same wiki, so listing w:Coral Court Motel there would keep that pesky w: displayed. The presumption of a 1:1 correspondence between WV guides and WP articles is an arbitrary and false one. WP has the greater level of detail so a city which has one page here has multiple pages there.

One option would be to put the WP links in a templated box like the "sister sites" template they use to link to us and other poor cousins siblings. Another would be to try to get the extensions changed to allow sidebar links to more than one WP target. K7L (talk) 16:23, 17 September 2013 (UTC)

I would ask that this discussion be halted here and directed to one of the discussions at Wikivoyage_talk:Sister_project_links, as it is mostly covering the same ground already covered there. Texugo (talk) 16:49, 17 September 2013 (UTC)

links to old Wikitravel site[edit]

Could the links to attribute text to former Wikitravel contributors be changed so as *not* to be harvestable by search engines? Either remove the hyperlink entirely in favour of plaintext ("...includes content from USERNAME on wikitravel-en under CC-BY-SA" or place the rel="nofollow" tag? There's no reason to drive traffic to that site if there's no one there but spambots and IB staff. The attribution, after all, belongs to the *author* of the text and not to IB for whatever commercial end. K7L (talk) 23:01, 20 October 2012 (CEST)

Probably simpler to just make them nofollow? Avoids any SEO issues, while still attributing. --Inas (talk) 05:11, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
Looks like all links from WMF sites to WT are rel="nofollow" as of February 2013. Wikimedia actually made a small change to MediaWiki's core code for us. Pity this didn't happen in October, but better late than never. K7L (talk) 22:40, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

bbcanada.com and similar paid full-page directory listings[edit]

I'm running into small, local B&B's which are listed in tourist guides but which have no web site of their own other than a page in a directory like "BBCanada". Are these URL's usable, or are they considered third-party sites? K7L (talk) 04:17, 27 October 2012 (CEST)

This issue has arisen before with rental listings and apartments. See Wikivoyage talk:Accommodation listings. If we have the full property listing, and the owner chooses to list at that website (i.e it isn't a consolidator or agent), and it won't be a slippery slope, and it is a business that we want listed. --Inas (talk) 06:10, 27 October 2012 (CEST)

dead links[edit]

Swept in from the pub

I started a discussion here about how to identify/tag dead external links, of which there are many. -- Phoebe (talk) 20:39, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

dead link[edit]

There are plenty of dead links on Wikivoyage as businesses and organizations often lose or change their links. Some of these can/should be fixed; some may be temporarily dead due to hosting troubles or whatever. We should have a way to tag these. I'd propose moving over the dead links template from Wikipedia to do so. Thoughts? -- Phoebe (talk) 20:36, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

Sounds good. Can we get a bot to detect them? Pashley (talk) 20:45, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
I'd much rather have a procedure over what to do with them, rather than just endlessly tag them. If it is a link to the page that fails with a 404 or some such, replace with just the bare website without a page reference. If the site is totally dead or parked, then remove the link. It is that simple isn't it? --Inas (talk) 21:17, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
We should also give advice to consider removing the listing entirely if the link and/or domain gives no usable pages over the course of a week (to allow for server outages). A restaurant, hotel, etc that does not bother to maintain it's webpage(s) (or re-direct to a new domain) may well have ceased trading. -- Alice 21:28, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
Yes; the reason I suggested tagging is it is also a way to produce a list of businesses that need to be checked for whether they are current. Sometimes a dead link means that the site is simply bad; sometimes it means that the restaurant/attraction/whatever is out of business. It can be fairly timeconsuming to figure this out, so a two-stage process of tagging and checking means that we could produce a to-do list to work from. An alternative would be a "check" flag or similar. -- Phoebe (talk) 21:31, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
Agree with the tagging using a bot of some kind, even though I think it does look bad and will potentially be left there until someone comes around to change it. So something inconspicuous would be nice. Singapore had something like 180 links and at least 20 of them of them were dead. Had to use a link checker, as I'm not going to look up all of them manually. Even Sydney had 5 dead links from about 60+ links. - Torty3 (talk) 21:44, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
The problem with tagging is that it makes our guides look like crap. Wikipedia articles are already loaded with superscripted footnote references, so the superscripted problem tags don't look appreciably out of place. LtPowers (talk) 14:12, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps a 'bot could be used to change url="" to deadurl="" on each broken link (which would cause the links not to display)? K7L (talk) 15:18, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
That would work, but only for listings. LtPowers (talk) 17:05, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
Changing the links to "deadurl" just mean they will be there forever. Noone will go and check them. Perhaps the bot could generate an anchor on the main page, and then a link to it on the talk page of the article. That way people with the article on their watchlist may go and check it? --Inas (talk) 22:27, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
The template could use #if:{deadurl|} to tag the articles with broken URLs with a maintenance category. That doesn't guarantee that anyone will check them, but does not preclude them doing so. K7L (talk) 01:12, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

Icon links[edit]

Per the discussion at Wikivoyage talk:Listings#backward step, I gather that there is some level of support for replacing our [73] footnote-style links with an icon, most likely a blue globe like this Blue globe icon.png. We already use a globe icon in our listings, but people think it is too subtle. The reason for the switch away from footnotes is pretty simple: they're not footnotes, and the numbers are random nonsense. This would also bring our templated listings xl display in line with our... in-line xl display.

First, is there anyone who thinks we should keep the numbered footnote external links instead of an icon? Second, is the blue globe acceptable? While I assume we could debate what sort of icon to use for some time, it would be nice to first make the change to an icon (and the change from the too-subtle gray icon we currently use in icons). We could continue discussion about an optimal icon afterwards. --Peter Talk 01:42, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

I support replacing the random [7] links with the blue icon. AHeneen (talk) 03:29, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
I'm not a huge fan of that particular icon, but provided we can come back to revisit the specific icon used then I'm fully onboard with doing away with the footnote-style links. -- Ryan • (talk) • 04:48, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
I support the blue icon. Texugo (talk) 11:05, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
I support doing away with the footnotes, and I like that particular blue globe. Though how will it be implemented? There must be a way to change the back-end code so that the inclusion of a link like [23] will automatically display the globe, yes? JamesA >talk 11:10, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
A Bugzilla request, and yes. To Ryan, I too will definitely want to revisit the icon itself, but right now care most about just switching to any acceptable icon from footnotes, sooner rather than later. --Peter Talk 15:50, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

A benefit of this change that I forgot to mention is that it will resolve the problem of having footnote style links in untemplated listings right next to icon links in templated listings. --Peter Talk 16:08, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

My concern is that it's not obvious it's a link. External links on wikis usually have the nice little box-arrow icon to indicate that they're an external link. The globe could mean any one of a number of things. And while blue text is a nigh-universal signifier of "this is a link", I don't think the association is as strong for blue icons. LtPowers (talk) 16:12, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
Do you think we should wait to get a different symbol, then? I think link was proposed at one point. My main concerns are that we're using two different link styles right now and that footnotes don't make sense when they're not footnotes. --Peter Talk 16:18, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
The superscripted text looks like a footnote, too, I think. I'd like to find a way to keep using the box-arrow icon as all the other wikis do, but it seems to work best with linked text. It's a tricky thing. LtPowers (talk) 20:26, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
I hope you aren´t coming around to suggesting front-linking is the answer.Texugo (talk) 20:30, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
C'mon Lt, it says "link." It's clearly not a footnote. Let's do this? Our current situation is clearly worse. --Peter Talk 21:17, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
I just mean it reminds me of Wikipedia templates like w:Template:Dead link, which doesn't really go anywhere but just links to an internal policy page. But then, I don't see the problem with the current numbered links, either. LtPowers (talk) 00:52, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
OK, I guess I was wrong that we had unanimity on finding something better than the footnotes (problems: 1) they're not footnotes, 2) they conflict with icon links in listings). I'll go back to the original proposal then, to use the blue globe as discussed previously, and solicit more opinions. --Peter Talk 01:18, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
First, I think the main rationale for using the numbered links was that they worked better for users wanting to print out the guides to carry around when travelling. Or maybe for people printing books? I don't recall; it was quite a while ago, but something to do with printing. Does that still apply? If so, is that problem soluble?
Second, I think any link icon must include some sort of arrow, since that is a more-or-less standard way to indicate an outgoing link. As I see it, both the current globe in listings and the globe proposed above are obviously wrong because they lack that arrow. Pashley (talk) 01:52, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
The print version should display the link written out (I see now that this is broken [24], and should be fixed ASAP!).
So I guess we're going to have to do the symbol debate before doing anything? Sigh. I'll try some stuff that has the arrow. --Peter Talk 02:15, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

Another option would be the letters www, although I really don't see why these links can't be fully spelled out like phone numbers etc. are? Space is not an issue online and the links would have to written out in full, or completely hidden, in print anyway. —Ruud 03:23, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

External link suggestions.png
Let's please not start with front-linking in this thread. Many Wikivoyage users hate them for a number of reasons, so that discussion would become a distraction that goes nowhere.
I've mocked up some ideas in the thumb to the right. They show what they would look like in listings, but it would be basically the same in-line. I would be happy if we would choose any of these and start moving forward, but I prefer 1,4,7,8,9 counting from the top./
Really, we need to do something. Our listings use light gray globe icons, our in-line links use footnotes plus an arrow icon. It looks bad to have both, and I don't think either format is popular (although I'd be fine with the gray globe). Can I put in another plea for folks to stop throwing up roadblocks, be flexible in choosing a compromise for now, and work on perfection after we move forward? A discussion like whether to call it the "Travellers' pub" or the "Travellers' Pub" is inconsequential enough where I don't care if stubborn nitpicking prevents us from working together productively, but this is important. --Peter Talk 05:15, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
I like 6! The globe icons make me think of maps. As the globes go I like #1 though. -- Phoebe (talk) 05:42, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
I say 1 or 6, but agree that making the inline xl and listings xl look alike is a major priority, so I'm not attached to how they look, just that they are the same. Maybe one more possibility though? - Blue globe icon.png External.png (to be combined in a single image file) - Torty3 (talk) 05:54, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
I looked at putting an icon side-by-side with the arrow icon, but that gets really messy if we have more than one link in a row! --Peter Talk 06:06, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
1, 4 or 6. JamesA >talk 06:49, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
6! Jjtk (talk) 11:57, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
1 or 6 would work for me. Texugo (talk) 12:10, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
I'll go with whatever people prefer, but I think 3 is the most obvious and like 6 second-best. -- Ryan • (talk) • 14:53, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
I agree, 3 seems best, 6 second-best. The globes do nothing for me, sorry. --Avenue (talk) 16:49, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
6 is my favorite (mainly because it's just an enlarged version of the icon that already appears after external links, so I think it's a little more intuitive than a globe), but 1, 3, and 4 work for me as well. Heck, any of those would be better than the random numbers we have now. PerryPlanet (talk) 16:21, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
I apologize for not prioritizing the harmonization of inline and listing links as much as some of you do. I remain baffled why it seems to be the most urgent issue facing us at the moment, but it seems the easiest way to fix it would be to go back to using numbered links in listings. If we're insistent upon an icon of some sort instead of numbers, I think only 3, 4, 6, and 7 communicate the concept in a sufficient manner. LtPowers (talk) 17:46, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
Seems like everyone would be OK with #6 except... the person who made the proposal? —The preceding comment was added by Texugo (talkcontribs)
I'd be OK with anything that makes any sense. Let's do #6? --Peter Talk 20:28, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
Support #6, as it's used to indicate external links already. --Rogerhc (talk) 00:29, 18 March 2013 (UTC)
I'd go for #4, as it appears the closest to what a link looks like on every other site other than this one. Therefore it is most likely to be recognised. Do we know if we're going to implement this with a template, or are we seriously going to request that mediawiki devs to change the appearance of their footnoted links just for us? --Inas (talk) 01:35, 18 March 2013 (UTC)
We're going to seriously request it ;) We have to request the icon change anyway for the listings. --Peter Talk 04:45, 18 March 2013 (UTC)
I see a significant difference in requesting a change to an extension developed just for us, and changing what many may consider part of the base mediawiki functionality. I'd be personally surprised if such a change would get support. But happy enough if it did. --Inas (talk) 05:38, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
We might have some options with CSS that don't require bugzilla requests. If we ran a bot and changed all links to use front-link syntax ([http://example.com Link text]) then we can just modify the a.external style with something like the following:
a.external { color: black; text-decoration: none; }
The entire link ("Link text") will be clickable, but it will appear as normal black text without an underline, and we could then control the icon that follows it. I'm less clear on how we could replace the footnote links using CSS without getting in trouble with Google, but again, there may be options if people don't want to switch to (hidden) front-links. -- Ryan • (talk) • 05:53, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
Would we also be able to alter the icon links in listings? Or would that require a Bugzilla request. Is that a more or less onerous request than changing the footnote style links? And why would we get in trouble with Google? I think we have a good enough consensus to switch (at least for now) to the arrow-style link for in-line and in-listing links, and would like to move forward. --Peter Talk 21:43, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
Listings are easy because we have control over everything and can wrap the link in a span tag and style it that way. The issue with trying to update footnote style links via CSS is that we would need to hide the footnote ("[1]"), and the Google sometimes becomes angry if it thinks you're trying to show one thing to search engines and something different to users, which is essentially how this would appear. -- Ryan • (talk) • 21:57, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
So how in CSS would we append the icon to the front link? I can see how we can use CSS to ensure that the frontlink is not formatted at all. I think this is reasonable. How would we add the icon with CSS? The alternative about changing the footnote formatting sounds more doable (although I'm unsure of how the search engines would react. Since the links are nofollow anyway, I can't see it being that big a deal). --Inas (talk) 22:04, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
Front Link gets the icon via the div#content a.external { background: url(...) } style, so we should be able to just specify a different background image unless I'm overlooking something. -- Ryan • (talk) • 22:25, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
Well, presuming that works, that looks clearly the superior way to proceed to me. It gives us pretty much full flexibility with how our links are formatted, it gives us a nice properly formatted anchor in html, and allows us the potential to have skins for people who would like to see their links "traditionally" formatted. --Inas (talk) 02:57, 22 March 2013 (UTC)
So, ah, can we do that now? --Peter Talk 17:24, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
I've tweaked MediaWiki:Common.css for this talk page only so that front links display in black text with the external link icon after it. To make it clearer that it's a link I kept the hover behavior as blue+underline. The icon can be changed if desired, but it wasn't clear to me from the discussion above which one is preferred, and what the icon sources for Peter's original test graphic are. Is this the desired behavior, or are additional changes needed? I'd suspect we might want to solicit additional feedback before undertaking any effort to start converting links to front-links site-wide. -- Ryan • (talk) • 03:48, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
I think that works beautifully, and the mouse-over text link makes it much easier to click. The icon is from File:External.svg, and I do think it was clear enough that it was the preference, at least for now. We do need more feedback for the front-link change, though. Do you have any ideas for how to make such a change without endless manual labor? --Peter Talk 15:49, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────

We can probably do some of the updates with bots, but it will be tough to figure out all cases in an automated way - consider the following text:

"Companies servicing the area include Blue Cab [25], the always-reliable StarCo [26], and Super Awesome Magic Bus [27]"

We might be able to have a bot use a pattern such as "the capitalized words preceding a link should be included as part of the link", but that won't catch everything and will likely have some false-positives. -- Ryan • (talk) • 16:02, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

That will probably work well in destination guides, but much less so in the project and talk namespaces. We should limit a bot like that to the mainspace, and fix the problems as we see them. --Peter Talk 16:41, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

Front linking (hear me out)[edit]

To implement the change to an icon link in a way that we don't have to pester Bugzilla for complex changes of how the footnote-style links are handled, we would need to convert the wiki markup to front links. Ryan has set the front links to work like this (on this page):

[http://wikipedia.org Wikipedia] produces Wikipedia

The icon works as a link as well as the text, but the text lights up as a blue external link only when hovered. I think that's pretty genius. Do others think we should use this format? --Peter Talk 15:49, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

Very nice. Easily the best suggestion I've seen, though I have not been following closely so it is conceivable I missed a better one somewhere.
The things I like are that it is visually simple (no icons that users must learn to interpret) and uses an arrow. Pashley (talk) 16:04, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
I like it! --Alexander (talk) 16:15, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
Very nice - clean and simple! --Nick (talk) 16:49, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
Looks fine to me. It gets rid of the part of front linking that people don't like, while keeping the functionality. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 19:15, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
Huh. I like it! Keeping the appearance of an icon with the functionality of a front-link. It's the best of both worlds! PerryPlanet (talk) 21:39, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
I'd like to see it on a live page (or copy thereof) as an example; would that be possible? LtPowers (talk) 23:21, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
The example above functions - why should it not work the same anywhere else? I would be interested to know how it is done. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 06:45, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
LtPowers - changing the style for an entire article would require either changing Template:Listing (which would change all articles) or coming up with CSS to work around the template just for that article. If you just want to see front links using the new style in the context of a full page, any front link that is currently on this talk page or that is added to this page will use the new style. Example:
Wikivoyage is affiliated with the Wikimedia Foundation, which runs sites such as Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons.
Pbsouthwood - it was changed with a couple of lines of CSS - see the discussion thread immediately prior to this one, or scan MediaWiki:Common.css for "a.external". An advantage of switching to front-links is that we would have full control of how links are displayed, and could easily change the color, behavior, or icon site-wide just by tweaking a couple of lines in the stylesheet. -- Ryan • (talk) • 07:01, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
So if I understand this correctly, the big fix is to change the common CSS for the whole site, and then every front-link on WV will display this way?
Or is it limited to display of front links on listings created by the template throughout the site? • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 08:06, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
Peter F can correct me if I'm wrong, but the plan as I understand it is:
  1. Get everyone to agree on a look & feel for external links.
  2. Update the sitewide CSS so that existing front-links display using the new format.
  3. Update Template:Listing to use the new format so that listings will be consistent with other external links.
  4. Run a bot to convert existing footnote-style links to front-links so that they will use the new format. This may be tricky and some manually fixing may later be required.
  5. Manually correct any existing footnote-style links that the bot couldn't convert into front-links.
  6. Everyone lives happily ever after.
-- Ryan • (talk) • 14:27, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
I like the proposed front-linking format. Although, I don't think steps 4 and 5 are going to be that simple. I don't see how a bot will be able to distinguish when auto-change is appropriate and when it needs to be done manually. And there are a lot of links. JamesA >talk 14:48, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
Ryan, I appreciate the difficulty, but there's a big difference between seeing how these look on an actual article -- in all applicable contexts -- and seeing examples in isolation on this page. LtPowers (talk) 15:05, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
We could create a copy of a live article, subst: all the listing templates, and then use CSS similar to what is used for this page. Would that work? LtPowers (talk) 15:06, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
That would work - just make sure that the listing items are all using normal front-links. After the article is created and the listings have been updated you can modify MediaWiki:Common.css to include the two new CSS styles for the page (copy the existing examples, replacing "page-Wikivoyage_talk_External_links" with the appropriate CSS class for the new page) or let me know if you want me to make the CSS update. -- Ryan • (talk) • 15:28, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
Getting agreement is usually the difficult part, making the changes is merely tedious:-) I am OK with this proposal.
Smile:- think of the number of links in Wikipedia, our number is relatively trivial. We can do it.• • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 19:48, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
I don't even have to wait for a live article example to be convinced. This is a fine solution. Good work! If there's a clear hint on where and when to manually fix links, I'm happy to help. JuliasTravels (talk) 17:08, 8 April 2013 (UTC)
This solution works for me too! Texugo (talk) 11:27, 9 April 2013 (UTC)

I'm very keen on this solution. Is it worth beginning to implement it? --Nick (talk) 21:37, 18 April 2013 (UTC)

I'd be happy to see this started right now, but I think LtPowers wanted to see a demo article. Is anyone working on that? --Peter Talk 03:25, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
As it's a major change, I'm very wary of taking the time and effort to make it only to find that it doesn't work well on a large scale or in specific edge cases. LtPowers (talk) 13:50, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
Should we do that then? Or, like for the Banner TOC, apply it to a particular area? How would we go about implementing it? --Nick (talk) 14:50, 20 April 2013 (UTC)
What is happening on this? Is the demo article request going to block the whole concept indefinitely? • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 06:00, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
Maybe if LtPowers would specify what a convincing demo page should contain, then we could arrange one? • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 06:46, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
I can work on a demo article if I knew what it should have. I might try one now, using Culver City as an example as it's already using listing templates. One question, though. Will listings simply have the grey globe icon changed to the blue arrow, or will they use the front-linking format as above? JamesA >talk 07:09, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
They should use the front-linking format as well. --Peter Talk 07:14, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
Okay, I've got a demo working at User:JamesA/Culver City with the help of a user on #mediawiki IRC, using a modified listing template. I had to remove some of the tags around the URL to make it work, such as the noprint tag, the abbr tag for screenreaders, etc. They'll have to be added later somehow, but for the purpose of a demo, it's fine for now. JamesA >talk 08:40, 17 May 2013 (UTC)

I see that the css fix for this page is:

body.page-Wikivoyage_talk_External_links a.external, body.page-Wikivoyage_talk_External_links a.external:visited {
    color: black;
}
body.page-Wikivoyage_talk_External_links a.external:hover {
    color: #0645ad;
}

I don't know much about css, but could someone show me what the correct code would be that would implement this change on every page? Texugo (talk) 12:04, 17 May 2013 (UTC)

Seems to work surprisingly well. How does it look/work on mobile? LtPowers (talk) 13:53, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
Also, the link doesn't change to blue when you use tab to highlight the link instead of the mouse (at least in Firefox), but I think that's a minor issue. LtPowers (talk) 13:55, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
I just had a go on my mobile; the links are black when using the desktop site, but it doesn't work in the default mobile site, which overrides a lot of css/js. You can see for yourself here. I don't think it's a major issue, as compared to the alternatives suggested above, it still displays well on mobile. About the tab to highlight, that is expected behaviour, as the css says to highlight on hover. Not sure if there is a workaround for that. JamesA >talk 14:02, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
The issue with tabbing should be fixed now - it should display blue (CSS :focus). -- Ryan • (talk) • 20:06, 21 May 2013 (UTC)
So, is there any further objections to implementing this? The only remaining issue seems to be that it doesn't work on the mobile site, but a lot of things don't work on the mobile site that are much more pressing, like the page banners. That can all be sorted out together at some point. JamesA >talk 03:10, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
Are we going to restrict this to mainspace? I don't think it's appropriate for Talk namespaces, but Project and User spaces could go either way. LtPowers (talk) 12:43, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
I'd say just mainspace, as that deals with our general audience and readers. The other namespaces mostly deal with editors and don't require the visual appeal that we seek with our articles. JamesA >talk 12:48, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
That will make our task much easier. --Peter Talk 13:33, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────

What still needs to be done to make this change? There seems to be support for the idea, so will the following implementation schedule work:

  1. Update MediaWiki:Common.css to apply the new style for all frontlinks. Existing footnote links will change slightly (see example below).
  2. Update Template:Listing to get rid of the globe and make front-linking the default.
  3. Update Wikivoyage:External links to reflect the new preferred format.
  4. Modify existing links manually on a case-by-case basis until a bot can be used to do an automated update.

Here are what the different link styles will look like once the change is made:

Front link: Front link with new style
Footnote link: Footnote link [28]

Comments? Objections? Suggestions? -- Ryan • (talk) • 22:47, 2 June 2013 (UTC)

I really do like this; I'd be very happy to see it implemented. --Nick talk 23:01, 2 June 2013 (UTC)
Sounds good. However, the listing template will need some additional work, as I only got frontlinking to work at the sacrifice of some other code, including the noprint attribute. It shouldn't halt implementation, but should be fixed in the medium term. James Atalk 06:10, 3 June 2013 (UTC)
I'll also be very happy to see this implemented.
Point 4 means that in-line links will not be converted automatically for the time being, right? If so, it will be good to get a bot to convert instances of footnote links in the mainspace to frontlinks. To do that, I think it should ideally frontlink preceding bolded phrases, italicized phrases, capitalized phrases, phrases in quotes, or if none of the above apply, just the immediate preceding word. Am I forgetting anything? --Peter Talk 18:48, 4 June 2013 (UTC)
Just to double check, since the official website of the destination generally comes just after the first bolded mention of it in the first line of the article, are we comfortable making all of those front-linked? Texugo (talk) 18:55, 4 June 2013 (UTC)
If so, we might consider making a template for the first mention like {{cityname|officialwebsite}} which automatically does the bolding and front-links when a website is given, so that it can be put into the article models. Combining bolding with front-linking in the first word of the article is not very intuitive for the majority of new users. Texugo (talk) 19:02, 4 June 2013 (UTC)
(Responding to Peter) Point 4 means that initially (after making the CSS change) all existing footnote links will display like they do on this page. Anyone who wants to manually convert such links to front-links would be welcome to do so, but until someone can work out a bot that can accurately convert footnote links to front-links we'll have a lot of footnote-style links still on the site. I don't personally think that having footnote links that display slightly differently than they do today is a big deal, but I would also not be comfortable being the one to update the CSS files and implement such a major change to the site without very unambiguous support for doing so. -- Ryan • (talk) • 20:57, 4 June 2013 (UTC)
Unless I'm missing something, there is 100% support for this change demonstrated by this discussion. --Peter Talk 21:50, 4 June 2013 (UTC)
I read Texugo's comment as being hesitant about making this change at this time ("are we comfortable making all of those front-linked"), and I wasn't entirely sure whether your comment could be interpreted to mean that you don't want any changes made until a bot is ready. I know people have complained (loudly) when people add Support to a discussion, but it does make it easier to determine if there are outstanding concerns that need to be addressed, or if it's OK to (in this case) update the CSS and begin supporting anew link format. -- Ryan • (talk) • 22:18, 4 June 2013 (UTC)
I wasn't opposed, no. Just wanted to point out that changing it by bot will turn the first thing on lots of pages into a frontlink, which might be slightly intimidating to see for new editors. Texugo (talk) 22:23, 4 June 2013 (UTC)

Again the discussion has died off and nothing's been implemented, although it seems everyone who's contributed here is supportive. Do we need to have a wider discussion in the Pub, or can we plunge forward and implement this change in the next few days? James Atalk 05:45, 21 June 2013 (UTC)

Support from me for getting the CSS, Template:Listing and the policy directions on Wikivoyage:External links updated as soon as possible. I've been working on a bot that may be able to do some conversions from footnote to front-link, although it's far from ready at this point so if anyone else has the time and inclination to put something together it would be helpful. -- Ryan • (talk) • 06:07, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
Support from me too, • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 08:46, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
Support. Lets get the CSS going first. I see the policy directions have already been changed and do not quite reflect the reality of the agreed-upon change... Texugo (talk) 14:07, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
What's the substantive difference from "the agreed-upon change", please ? --90.215.245.164 15:16, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
They are not the standard hyperlinks you see across the web because the text will not be in blue. Texugo (talk) 15:33, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
Ah, sorry I missed that - and a very good point, Texugo.
If we are serious about putting the traveller first, it is very important that we stick wih the conventions of the world wide web as proposed by Sir Tim Berners-Lee. Two of the unwritten conventions are that hyperlinks are coloured blue and are underlined - at least when the mouse cursor hovers over the anchor text. Since we have different policies for internal and external linking, the arrow widget should signify an external link and external links should also be made to open in a new window/tab. --90.215.245.164 18:26, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
They do underline in blue when hovered over. They will not, to my knowledge, open in a new window, but they never have, so perhaps that is something that could be addressed separately, rather than holding up this process. Texugo (talk) 18:54, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
I agree. Let's change the basic policy now there is a broad consensus and then we can change any fine details of the CSS later. The quicker the policy is changed, the less work we'll have to do later. The new window/tab opening is quite important with external links since we need people to stick around on this site, don't we, after they've taken a quick look at an external link? --90.215.245.164 19:03, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

Could someone take the lead on getting this feature implementation wrapped up? The four-step plan proposed above saw several minor objections, so hopefully someone else can take the lead and get us out of this ambiguous state where there is general support for getting this feature implemented but (apparently) no agreement on how to actually implement the CSS changes and make it happen. -- Ryan • (talk) • 16:49, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

I'm going to put the needs of the traveller first and undo your reversion of my changes.
Arguments about the exact form of the CSS can continue indefinitely but it's really not fair to waste the time of travellers by making them continue to hunt for for numbered footnotes that don't really exist - also it makes Wikivoyage look lke it's still in Beta (or has bugs) compared to the (actually inferior) Wikitravel. --90.215.245.164 20:10, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
We have an edit war here. I reverted your reversion. You cannot make an important policy change without consensus, and I don't think we have consensus yet.
Yes, front links would obviously be better from the viewpoint of being consistent with what nearly every other web site does, presenting a user with a familiar interface. I think that means just normal blue-coloured front links, not the clever but non-standard format suggested above.
However, the original rationale for the footnote-style links was that they work better when the page is printed. I see nothing above (I may have missed it; there's a lot of complex discussion.) that addresses that issue. Until that problem is solved, I do not want to even consider making the change. Then there are questions about how to implement such a global change, and the policy page should not change until we agreed on good answers for those. Pashley (talk) 20:34, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
Are you forgetting that Wikivoyage has the option to print a pdf? That resolves that (minor) issue. --90.215.245.164 21:12, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
Pashley, is my understanding correct, that you are presenting the first actual opposition to this proposal? I thought we had it rather sorted. Plain blue frontlinks are completely out of the question for some of us, since they result in lists with some titles in black and random others unfairly highlighted in blue. I thought this proposal was going to be a great compromise. Texugo (talk) 21:53, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
How links look like in web, print and pdf versions
Typically space is at a premium in listings and they are ordered alphabetically. For most lists, it will be increasingly the case that those entries without a website are unfairly highlighted by not being in blue - but, since this is merely a functional distinction, it is no more unfair (or avoidable) than alphabetical ordering. --90.215.245.164 23:13, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
Agree that the very first step would be implementation of the CSS, no skipping to the third and fourth steps, since the issue here seems to be the look of the links, rather than their functionality. For printing, it looks like both front-linked and footnote links will mostly look the same anyway. -- torty3 (talk) 00:56, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
So, from what I've read, it appears Pashley's reason for opposition has been accounted for. In that case, are we able to implement in the next 2 days? James Atalk 02:10, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
I feel stupid for missing this discussion, but now we're back to front-linking? It looks terrible! I'm a bit amazed at the site-wide agreement for this change, the globes or bracket-style links looked a lot better. For example, at Bangkok/Dusit, now there are alternating black and blue colored listings depending on whether an external link is associated with them or not. It looks messy and spammy, and places too much emphasis on directing the user to other websites. Globe-trotter (talk) 14:52, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
That is because it wasn't working right. The text is supposed to be black unless hovered over. This has apparently been fixed now. Texugo (talk) 15:27, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
Oh, I see. Yes, a lot better now :-) Globe-trotter (talk) 16:41, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

Implementation[edit]

I'm not sure when we'll be ready to make the change to front-links, but when that time comes here is the change that is needed for MediaWiki:Common.css. First, remove these styles:

/* test CSS for new external link styles */
body.page-Wikivoyage_talk_External_links a.external,
body.page-Wikivoyage_talk_External_links a.external:visited,
body.page-User_JamesA_Culver_City a.external,
body.page-User_JamesA_Culver_City a.external:visited
{
    color: black;
}
body.page-Wikivoyage_talk_External_links a.external:hover,
body.page-Wikivoyage_talk_External_links a.external:focus,
body.page-User_JamesA_Culver_City a.external:hover,
body.page-User_JamesA_Culver_City a.external:focus
{
    color: #0645ad;
}

In their place add the following (assuming mainspace only):

/* CSS for black text external links / blue text on hover */
body.ns-0 a.external,
body.ns-0 a.external:visited
{
    color: black;
}
body.ns-0 a.external:hover,
body.ns-0 a.external:focus
{
    color: #0645ad;
}

If the change is to be applied outside of mainspace then add additional styles beyond ".ns-0" as appropriate, or just remove ".ns-0" entirely to apply to all namespaces. -- Ryan • (talk) • 23:31, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

Yes Done. I've implemented to the mainspace and this Wikivoyage page (for the sake of consistency with guides). I've also made the changes to the policy, and Template:Listing, although that will require some work to add back the "no print" and "abbr" attributes. So that's 3 of the 4 steps that Ryan lists up above. Now to work on a bot/AWB solution to convert formats? James Atalk 13:56, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
I've started work on a bot, but haven't had much time to devote to the task, so if someone else can put something together first please do so. -- Ryan • (talk) • 14:56, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
Um, this doesn't appear to be working right. As Globetrotter pointed out above, the frontlink text is still in blue. Texugo (talk) 15:15, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
It looks like there were some mis-placed commas when this was actually implemented. It should be OK now. -- Ryan • (talk) • 15:29, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
Frontlink text should be in blue, IMHO. That is a web-wide convention. But it turns blue when you hover the mouse, so I can live with the current version. Pashley (talk) 15:35, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
I agree.
However, we can continue discussing the ideal CSS and I suspect that as more world wide web savvy editors find and join our project, we will eventually make some improvements in that direction.
The important thing is that we are now good web denizens, sending appropriate signals to search engines and our readers and our search engine positioning will not be harmed by this long overdue change. The pity is that the positioning of the appropriate anchor text has been lost from many articles over the past year or so by many ignorant reverts and will now need to be painfully searched for and re-constructed. --W. Franke-mailtalk 15:50, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
As is the case with all Wikimedia projects, all external links are tagged noindex and nofollow. Search engines have been ignoring them since day one and will continue to do so, regardless of what text is inside the anchor. -- D. Guillaume (talk) 20:39, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
Simply not true of Google - although that's certainly the way that things are supposed to work. --W. Franke-mailtalk 03:15, 2 July 2013 (UTC)

If two admins could add "support" notes to Wikivoyage:Script nominations#External links I can take a go at manually updating some of the existing footnote links. This bot will only convert those footnote links that are preceded by bold text ('''Bold text''' [http://www.example.com]'''[http://www.example.com Bold text]''') but that's at least a start. -- Ryan • (talk) • 05:00, 2 July 2013 (UTC)

Since the needed support votes were provided I started the bot. It's running through all articles alphabetically and has made updates in 549 articles through Ben Tre. I'll restart it in the morning when I can again keep an eye on it. -- Ryan • (talk) • 06:54, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
It's done an excellent job, Ryan, with no mistakes that I could detect. Thanks for saving us a lot of work! --W. Franke-mailtalk 12:47, 5 July 2013 (UTC)

Bot suggestions[edit]

I'm looking over articles to figure out what a bot could identify next for a switch (in order of how I think they should be done):

'''Bold name''', [link]
'''Bold name''' (*) [link] -> '''[link Bold name]''' (*)
'''Bold name''', (*) [link] -> '''[link Bold name]''', (*)
online [link]
online. [link]
on-line [link]
on-line. [link]
website [link]
website. [link]
web site [link]
web site. [link]
site [link]
site. [link]
Capitalized Phrase [link]
Capitalized Phrase. [link]

I'm sure there are more possibilities, and the last run I assume would be precedingword [link]. --Peter Talk 20:09, 2 July 2013 (UTC)

With the bot having finished its run of '''Bold Text''' [http://www.example.com] conversions I was looking for more common and obvious patterns, but a significant number of remaining footnote links are in non-templated listings (see, do, buy, eat, etc). That got me thinking whether a sensible next step would be to try to convert some of those into templated listings. User:Ml31415 created an online converter tool (http://dev.mldesign.net/wvtagconvert/wvtagconvert.py), but I think it still needs more testing before it could be deployed as a bot, and someone besides me would need to integrate it into a bot since it was written in Python. It may also be possible to implement something in Java (which I use) that searches for very specific listings patterns and converts them to templated listings, which would hopefully avoid false positives (by using a limited set of patterns), would get rid of a few thousand more footnote links, and would also get a significant number of listings templatized. However, that bot would require some time to write and wouldn't be ready for deployment for a while. -- Ryan • (talk) • 05:28, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
You can ask User:Ml31415, but I'm not sure that tool will ever be accurate enough to run as a bot without very careful scrutinization of every listing changed. There are some things it will probably never be able to do with 100% accuracy, like guessing the listing type, distinguishing alt. vs. directions, correctly placing phone/altphone/tollfree, deciding what to do with listings which don't happen to contain any of the keywords it looks for (impossible to create a set of keywords that will categorize absolutely everything), etc., and in many cases what should be two or more separate fields (hours and price, for example) have been linked together in semi-prose, in which case the tool may put all in one field. Perhaps the heuristics could still be improved a little, but User:Ml31415 mentioned to me before that it is approaching the limit where adding further heuristics may break some other previously working functionality, like a whac-a-mole game. What I thought would be useful is to get a javascript button in the edit toolbar (possibly opt-in) which allows us to highlight text in the edit window and press the button to submit it to the tool and have the text automatically replaced (and then scrutinized manually for errors, of course). This would save a lot of copy-and-pasting and window toggling. User:Ml31415 has said this is likely an easy-to-implement solution from the tool's end, but I haven't pressed on the issue, since I don't personally know how to make a button that will submit and replace like that. I think it is probably possible though. Texugo (talk) 11:32, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
Functionality of the sort used by Geobatcher would work—where you can paste a whole article into the field, run the conversion, and then clean up whatever needs to be cleaned up. That would still mean manual work for each article in qusetion, but would cut down the time needed drastically (converting these by hand is extremely tedious). --Peter Talk 18:17, 3 July 2013 (UTC)

Implementation outside mainspace[edit]

While I don't think there would be a point to converting old instances of footnote style links on non mainspace pages, is there any reason why we shouldn't change the frontlinked format to match that of the mainspace? I noticed the old format just now at Wikivoyage:Votes for deletion#Template:Ifd. --Peter Talk 22:27, 3 July 2013 (UTC)

I cannot think of any condition, except for outright vanadlism, under which altering text on talk pages would be a good idea. As I see it, we already made one enormous blunder in this area by changing Wikitravel to Wikivoyage in an enormous number of places, mostly wrong. "To err is human, but to really screw things up you need a computer." Please let's not even think about letting a bot loose on talk pages again.
In Wikivoyage: namespace, fine. Pashley (talk) 22:43, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
I think you misunderstood—I'm not proposing changing any text of any sort, and no bots needed. I'm proposing that frontlinks are displayed the same in all namespaces. So regardless of where I type [http://website.com website], it would appear the same as if it were in the mainspace. --Peter Talk 23:05, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
I had misunderstood. Thanks for clarification. Pashley (talk) 23:36, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
Is there a reason? Yes, because it's not ideal web design. As a compromise for mainspace to avoid highlighting linked listings, it's livable, but there's nothing wrong with the normal external link formatting in normal non-listing usage. LtPowers (talk) 02:17, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
Correct !
f you don't do anything special to a link in an HTML document, it's probably going to appear in a sort of electric blue colour, with the text underlined. This appearance is decided by our readers' browser, sometimes as modified in their user preferences and it's best if we don't modify it with our CSS or by the use of the link properties in the BODY element. Generally, linked text in most common browsers will be the same font and point size as other text in the paragraph, but underlined and in a different colour. Often that colour will change if the browser has visited the link before. --W. Franke-mailtalk 10:08, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
We all know how it works, Frank, but we don't want lists with titles in a random mish-mash of colors and do not want to excessively highlight listings with links over those without. After periods of trying front-links, footnote-style links, and icon links, the current "black text but familiar blue arrow" is the best compromise we have so far. If you have another new suggestion that will address all sides of the issue, you are welcome to make it, but this is an issue which has been discussed continuously for many years now, so we are well aware of the potential advantages of having standard front-links, and it is clear that, especially in our non-prose list context, there are too many clear disadvantages for standard front-links to serve our purpose. At this point I think it very highly unlikely that consensus is going to suddenly swing back toward plain front-links. Texugo (talk) 11:29, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
Sorry if I didn't read the context well enough and was barking up the wrong tree there. For what it's worth, I agree with LtPowers, that there is not reason to blacken the text on non-mainspace pages. Texugo (talk) 11:34, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
Apology accepted.
Incidentally, reading the previous (long) discussions about hyperlinking styles, it's obvious to me that the URL I included may be highly educational for some Wikivoyageurs. --W. Franke-mailtalk 16:06, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
He was apologising if he was out of context, but from what I can read, he was right on the money. James Atalk 02:04, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
The only rationally objective objection to front-linking I've ever been able to discover is Texugo's view that it gives undue (unfair?) emphasis in listings to those with websites listed in our articles. Should I understand that your "right on the money" comment means that you think there is a real reason to implement the CSS suppression of the natural display of links outside the main article name space? --W. Franke-mailtalk 12:54, 5 July 2013 (UTC)

A question[edit]

A question has come up about front links. Anyone here want to comment at Talk:Retiring_abroad#Links? Pashley (talk) 22:26, 7 July 2013 (UTC)

Protocol relativity[edit]

First, a quick definition. "HTTP", or HyperText Transfer Protocol, is what's known as a protocol, and it's one of many (FTP is another; so is Gopher) protocols that define how an Internet-connected computer communicates with other computers. "HTTPS" is another protocol which is a secure version of HTTP.

MediaWiki (as of version 1.18) has a feature that allows external links to be "protocol-relative". By omitting the protocol prefix ("http:" or "https:") and formatting a link as "[//www.mediawiki.org/]", the software will generate a proper link with whichever protocol is currently being used to browse the site. So if I've logged onto Wikivoyage with the secure server, using HTTPS, then the above link will go to https://www.mediawiki.org/.

This is a nice feature, and I'd taken to using it when formatting external links. This makes obvious sense when linking to a diff on this wiki, or any other Wikimedia wiki for that matter. But in articles it's more problematic. I'm always careful to make sure the site in question accepts secure connections before using the protocol-relative syntax, but it's been pointed out that the site's security certificate could expire in the future, or it could stop supporting secure connections altogether. That would render the links nonfunctional for people browsing Wikivoyage using HTTPS.

Thoughts?

-- LtPowers (talk) 23:14, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

I might be wrong, but as a developer my understanding is that protocol-relative URLs were meant primarily for internal usage to avoid mixed-content warnings (see [29] for similar thinking). Thus any image, script, or other content on a page would be loaded with a protocol-relative link to ensure that an SSL page doesn't load non-SSL content, and links to internal pages could also use the the same protocol.
For EXTERNAL usage my understanding is that non-relative URLs should still be the default. As noted, we can't control whether a site will have an SSL-version available into the future, nor can we be sure that if a user is using SSL here that they should be using SSL elsewhere. I did a quick Google search to try to find more further guidance and didn't spot anything relevant, but if anyone can find something definitive that might help resolve this quickly. -- Ryan • (talk) • 23:50, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
Firefox or Chrome users can install the EFF's HTTPS Everywhere extension. With that, the browser will always try https first (even if the URL says http) and communicate securely if the server supports it. Pashley (talk) 02:58, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
I do have that installed, but that's a personal setting and can't be counted on to be present. I looked without luck for any guidance on Meta-Wiki or Wikipedia. LtPowers (talk) 14:43, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
HTTPS on third-party websites may come and go, and even though an automated tool could check for broken links regularly, the maintenance load would be high, given our large number of external links (167,000). How about we use protocol-relative URLs for Wikimedia sites, and protocol-absolute URLs for all other websites? By the way, Wikipedia has a list of externals domains ordered by the number of links to them, does Wikivoyage have similar stats? Cheers! Nicolas1981 (talk) 05:42, 30 August 2013 (UTC)

listing car rentals in destination articles[edit]

swept from Talk:Renting a car

Should we allow car rentals in destination articles at all--besides cases when they are otherwise hard to find and important for visitors to a particular place?

As a conservative traveller, I frequently find myself choosing between local agencies and worldwide brands, and would appreciate any help in making such a choice. If I'm not alone, we could try to outline what aspects should be covered in order for an individual listing to be allowed (and vice versa, when it's enough to give a general overview of rental market)--of course, in the highest level of geohierarchy applicable. What do others think?

--DenisYurkin (talk) 05:25, 14 August 2013 (UTC)

I agree on all points. Key points: (1) Car rental companies should never be listed except when they are hard to find and important for visitors. (2) Reliable general advice on international vs. local brands might be good in a national or regional article. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:36, 14 August 2013 (UTC)
I think our current policy is that major chains that are in every major airport/city get listed at country level, and not in every single article. Local brands get listed when there is a small amount of additional brands. Once there are thirty brands in a city, there is no point listing every one, and we have no real way to distinguish them. --Inas (talk) 05:47, 14 August 2013 (UTC)
I don't think that policy is sufficient, Inas. We've had continual trouble with car rental, car-and-driver rental, and taxi rental agencies and portals spamming India articles, or in some cases, just continually touting in one or two articles, like Siliguri. Unless there's a compelling reason to list a car rental agency at the local level, I think it shouldn't be there, even if the number of listings is 3 or 7, not 30. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:54, 14 August 2013 (UTC)
I like few, list, many don't - because it gives us an objective measure. In some places it is invaluable to have the one or two companies that may operate in a small town. I think our general anti-touting provisions should be applied to those who add an agency to multiple articles on behalf of a rental company, or some dodgy company. I invariably remove dodgy taxi companies. Don't we all under the current policies? I know sometimes we can walk on eggshells regarding contributors. We want contributors, and don't want to revert anyone's first contribution, or make anyone feel unwelcome. But ultimately, the traveller comes first, and if we seem information being added that's obviously biased, and could possibly even endanger travellers, we should just remove it. --Inas (talk) 06:05, 14 August 2013 (UTC)
It's very hard to know which companies are dodgy. The companies that have been problems, due to listing themselves on every damn city in India, may provide great service. But unless it's hard to find a rental car, I think we should list none. Same with taxi companies: In towns where it's necessary to call a taxi, it's important to list local taxi companies, but surely not in a city like New York where you can hail cabs on the street. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:47, 14 August 2013 (UTC)

30 is definitely too many in one undifferentiated list. If there are that many bona fide different entries in one undifferentiated list then the traveller probably wont' need any help finding them and the list shoulod probably be deleted in its entirety. If there are 30 that can be differentiated into smaller more precise lists, then that should be done eg: budget wrecks, open top, luxury. I think we need to recognise that absolute policies can never completely replace the thoughtful and individual judgement of individual editors on individual articles and any brutal attempt to do so is destined to end in tears. Clear and unambiguous guidance, yes; mandatory and prohibitive language, no. "Should" is good, "Must" is bad. --W. Franke-mailtalk 15:03, 14 August 2013 (UTC)

Agree with Ikan. Unless they are rare and hard to find, we should not list them at all. Texugo (talk) 15:16, 14 August 2013 (UTC)
Baby out with the bathwater. Unless you mean full listings. Mid-size and small cities often only have a few of the national brands in town, and it's very useful to travelers for them to know which ones will be available at their destination, because they often have preferences. LtPowers (talk) 23:18, 14 August 2013 (UTC)
If you want to include only mentions and prohibit listings, that has to be a clear policy. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:22, 14 August 2013 (UTC)
I thought we had, but I'm having trouble finding it. LtPowers (talk) 00:58, 15 August 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────

Current policy is the following (from Wikivoyage:External_links#What not to link to):

Rental cars operators, in cities where they are common (10 or more operating in the city). Typically we don't provide details of national car rental chains in local guides. Providing details at the national level, and mentioning the name and location at local level is sufficient if required.

I'm not clear what the change being proposed is, although if the concern is simply spamming by national car rental agencies then our policy (as I understand it) is that they get one listing that includes URL and other details in the country article, and every other listing should be of the form "rental car companies available at the airport include Foo, Bar and Baz". -- Ryan • (talk) • 04:50, 15 August 2013 (UTC)

That was my understand as well. LtPowers (talk) 15:08, 15 August 2013 (UTC)

"Travel guides do not use footnotes"[edit]

This is stated on the page, but it seems like a poor argument (and seems to me like it makes a poorer guide overall):

We also do not provide links to source information or provide references—travel guides do not use footnotes! If a source looks like it could be of use to subsequent editors of a guide, mention it (or link to it) on the talk page - not in the article itself.

Online references of all forms can easily use footnotes - and can choose whether or not to display them when exporting for print. And it is useful to both readers and to future editors to note sources; how that is captured and displayed may change over time. But the capture should definitely be tied to the specific point in the document where a given source is relevant. A new section on a (possible later-archived) talk page is much less helpful than an inline ref... however that ref is displayed. We might come up with an extension that uses ref-like syntax - with refs noted inline in a page - that posted the references section on the talk page instead. But I don't see the value in not providing source info to readers who want it.

If the concern is aesthetic, this could be in a section that is collapsed by default. If it is about touting, an example of bad 'sourcing' behavior would help me understand. If it is something else, please explain :) Sj (talk) 06:01, 15 September 2013 (UTC) (sourcing and annotation fanatic)

The page lays out some of the reasons: "Using only primary sources makes our guide more succinct: while there is usually one, or sometimes two, primary sources for any subject, there can be hundreds or thousands of secondary sources. We also avoid subjectivity and conflict. It's difficult to decide collaboratively which of the thousands of English-language newspapers, magazines, and Web sites has done the very best travel article about New York City, but it's quite easy for everyone to agree that http://www.nycvisit.com/ is the official city visitor's guide." Also, at the top of this talk page you can find three reasons laid out by User:Wrh2 that get to the core purposes behind this policy:
  1. "We don't want our guides to simply be link farms for every web site out there with a remote connection to a travel-related service. This is a huge issue, and we need a clear guideline that allow us to police links easily."
  2. "It is very difficult to determine what is a "good" site vs. what is junk. As a result we've implemented the "primary site only" policy, which makes it crystal clear what sites are appropriate. It is not realistic to expect editors to extensively research every web site to verify its quality, so we simply state that if a site is not the official site of a hotel, museum, restaurant, etc then it should not be included in the guide."
  3. "There is also an incentive issue. We don't want to allow links to other sites at the expense of including content within Wikivoyage."
Now, granted, these arguments are aimed more at "resource"-type external links than at encyclopedia-style referencing. As a result, I would add another two arguments:
  1. Much of our prose is opinion. Ideally, it represents a consensus, or at least something that can be acknowledged as a valid perspective, but "Chicago's set of museums and cultural institutions are among the best in the world" is not a statement that can usefully be linked to a source. It's an amalgamation, a conclusion, original research (to use Wikipedian parlance). There's nothing to reference.
  2. For those portions of our guides that can be usefully cited to a source, including those references would only serve to highlight those statements and make the statements in category #1 seem less reliable.
And I think the aesthetic concern is tied more to the footnote references, not the footnotes themselves; we just don't like to see our beautiful prose cluttered up with superscript numerals.
-- LtPowers (talk) 13:03, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
I agree with LtPowers' analysis - especially if our policy is modified to allow clearly marked, in-line links to Wikipedia where they add information useful to the traveller and where it's inappropriate to develop our own comment. --W. Frankemailtalk 01:04, 16 September 2013 (UTC)
Also agree with LtPowers' analysis, even if I disagree with W. Frank's tiresome habit of proposing in-line WP links at every possible opportunity. Texugo (talk) 02:23, 16 September 2013 (UTC)
For some things, we do need to link to external reliable sources for news. The big red warning boxes in response to a news event (like the Yosemite forest fire or the Egypt coup) would be a prime example. K7L (talk) 02:30, 16 September 2013 (UTC)
And we do. Where common sense points us to link we generally just do it inline. --Inas (talk) 03:02, 16 September 2013 (UTC)
I do so wish that editors were allowed to use their common sense about the odd link or two, but it seems that the interests of travellers comes first is the most knowingly flouted goal that we had. --W. Frankemailtalk 10:41, 16 September 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I see Texugo's point. --Inas (talk) 11:27, 16 September 2013 (UTC)
Last I looked, the discussion on a 'wikipedia' field in {{listing}} was split right down the middle. I see no benefit in turning this discussion into attacks on specific individuals. K7L (talk) 14:29, 16 September 2013 (UTC)
It wasn't intended as an attack but rather an appeal to stop trying to wedge that proposal into any and every other topic we discuss. That discussion needs to stay in one place as much as possible. Texugo (talk) 15:21, 16 September 2013 (UTC)
@K7L I think when a statement is made our community doesn't act in the interest of travellers or our goals, and implies that it lacks common sense, I'd like to reject that statement in place. I think all of our community members should. That isn't an personal attack, it is simply a rejection of an irrelevant and incorrect statement. --Inas (talk) 00:45, 17 September 2013 (UTC)

Linking to wikipedia for animal species?[edit]

As far as I understand, inline links to wikipedia are prohibited in the guides. Would it maybe make sense to make an exception for animal species? Like, if in a 'whale watching' section I list the species that can be spotted in the given location, it may be useful if the names linked to the wiki articles. Same applies to natural parks I believe. AntonBryl (talk) 12:35, 10 January 2014 (UTC)

The problem is that we don't want to encourage readers to leave our travel guide to go read about something else. That's what links do. We do have a link to Wikipedia from our sidebar if someone is eager to look up a particular topic (which could be anything; not sure why we'd call out certain animal species over say, buildings or streets or local consumer goods or...). Powers (talk) 14:28, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
{{related}}? I suppose that could be used to make WP sidebar links, but they'd all show up with the w: prefix. Using wikipedia: to create a sidebar link is also limited, as it only allows one link per page. I suppose the main concern is that we retain enough detail here that the article still makes sense if the reader is carrying a printed copy off-line in tourist baggage and doesn't have access to WP. Would limiting these to the "Understand" section of the article make sense? K7L (talk) 15:32, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
I don't think that would work, as the Understand section doesn't always contain the terms one would want to link. Powers (talk) 16:49, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
We had just this type of discussion a few months ago on another page (someone will post the link; I lack time right now). My proposal was for WP links for such things as types of otherwise unusual animals, plants, foods, drinks, clothing, and terrain that are typical of a region, for example. It was shot down, for some quite understandable reasons. Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:22, 10 January 2014 (UTC)

The problem is that most of our bureaucrats on this Wiki don't seem to understand or appreciate how the world wide web is meant to work. Hyperlinking is an essential ingredient of the World Wide Web and, provided that the links to Wikipedia are well signalled and coded to open in a new window or tab, it's long past the time when links to topics such as these (where an article on Wikivoyage would be out of scope) should not only be allowed but actively encouraged in the interests of travellers... --118.93nzp (talk) 01:23, 12 January 2014 (UTC)

What does this have to do with bureaucrats? Bureaucrats only implement the consensus of users; we're soulless functionaries. Powers (talk) 02:08, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
I'm sorry, I was describing the state of mind of some of our most conservative editors rather than any particular office holder. --118.93nzp (talk) 11:36, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
See also earlier discussion at #Wikipedia_.22Different_subject.22_links.
My take on this is that some WP links would clearly be valuable but there is also a slippery slope in view and I am not at all sure how to avoid it. That makes me quite reluctant to support such initiatives. Pashley (talk) 14:19, 10 February 2014 (UTC)

Navbox Request[edit]

As a new WikiVoyage editor/user and Wikipedia editor, it wasn't obvious to me that links to related sites were along the left column instead of somewhere within the article. I propose that one or more Navbox template(s) be created so we can put at the bottom of articles as a familiar way for all users to easily find similar information in the same part of the article. The would also consolidate a bunch of other existing templates into ONE easy to find template. If anyone decides to go forward with this suggestion, please contact me. • SbmeirowTalk • 10:47, 10 February 2014 (UTC)

Navbox Feature Concepts
  • URLs would be included in a special section at the bottom of the PDF "print" output for each article.
  • Field for banner color. See California navboxes on Wikipedia, like wikipedia:San Dimas, California.
  • Field for name of country where it is located. See California navboxes.
  • Field for name of state or region where it is located. See California navboxes.
  • Field for GPS coordinates.
  • Field for URL to official website.
  • Field for Wikipedia.
  • Field for Wikimedia Commons.
  • Field for Open Directory.
  • Field(s) for other sister sites.
  • Field(s) for photo or map. Maybe not...to prevent people getting out of control with photos.
  • Possibly add common WikiVoyage graphics to make it look pretty, instead of the plain looking navboxes on Wikipedia.
The basic idea is good, though I'm not sure how it might work out in practice. I have never liked the way the current left column includes both on-site links (star articles, pub, ...) and external links (WP, other languages, ...). Nor the way it extends off my rather limited screen so I need to scroll for parts of it.
Country articles have a box with some basic info on the upper right (see China for example). I'd suggest that should have links to WP and a national tourist bureau if there is one.
Much of what you suggest we either do already or did at one point & dropped for reasons that at least made sense at the time.
  • URLs would be included in a special section at the bottom of the PDF "print" output for each article. -- We once did something like that, using footnote-style links (like Xiamen [30]) throughout, but after much discussion we changed to front linking (Xiamen) which I'd say makes more sense. I'm not sure how that is handled in print.
  • Field for name of country where it is located. See California navboxes.
  • Field for name of state or region where it is located. See California navboxes.
-- We have the breadcrumb navigation links at the top of the article
  • Field for GPS coordinates. -- We have a "geo" template for that; it gives an automatic link to a map, little blue-green icon at upper right of many pages. I think it needs a better icon or just the word "MAP" in bold text for better visibility, but basically that works well.
  • Field for URL to official website. -- That is normally done as a link on the first mention of the city (or whatever) in the opening paragraph. e.g. The Xiamen article starts off with:
Xiamen (厦门; Xiàmén) is a coastal city in Fujian Province in China.
Any of this could be reorganised of course, but I'm not certain whether or where that would be useful. However, the only place where I'm utterly certain our current method is excellent and should on no account be messed with is the breadcrumbs. Pashley (talk) 15:01, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
I'm not sure if there is an advantage to putting all of the above into a single template or if it is technically feasible to do so and still keep existing functionality, but I would be in favor of adopting w:Template:Sister project links to make links to sister projects more prominent. In addition to making the Wikipedia and Commons links easier to find, if there is data on Wikinews or Wikibooks for a geographic location it would be nice to highlight it as that data is out-of-scope for Wikivoyage but still relevant to travelers. -- Ryan • (talk) • 00:49, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
Good idea! Let's do that and then discuss whether other changes are also needed. Pashley (talk) 00:56, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
In the current Wikipedia format that you linked to Ryan, it would be too large and dominating - especially in many of our articles with sparse content. A horizontal version with smaller logos might be less overpowering visually. I presume you are thinking of placing it at the bottom of the article rather than the top? --210.246.47.112 01:11, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
I find the Wikipedia and Commons links easier to find if they're in the sidebar, rather than down at the bottom of a long page. Powers (talk) 01:44, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
I don't think that use of the sister project links template would preclude the links from also appearing in the sidebar for those who prefer that. Based on feedback from friends and various users on this site, however, the majority of users aren't finding the sidebar links unless they have been specifically pointed out, so creating more obvious links would be a usability win. -- Ryan • (talk) • 01:49, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
Not sure I like the idea much either. People who claim to have trouble finding them are simply used to the way it is on Wikipedia; I don't buy that putting them at the bottom of the article is somehow inherently easier to find than putting them at the side of the article, and I don't support the argument to always do things the way WP does simply because that's what some people might expect. If people use our site, they will quickly learn the way we do things, just like they did when they started using WP. And after the first time, once you know where they are, there is no reason for the links to be so conspicuous and space-consuming. Moreover, there is no good place to put such a template in our articles without displacing the images and routeboxes we already have in so many of our Go next sections, and unlike WP with its References and External links sections, we don't have a section with which it would thematically fit. I'd say to leave it alone. Texugo (talk) 10:22, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
Agreed. Imagine someone going to WP and saying "I can't find links to sister projects like Wikivoyage; why not put them over in the sidebar like Wikivoyage does?" Powers (talk) 15:27, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
Good ideas from here can exert influence over there; for one thing, there are plenty of editors who work on both projects.
However, your comparison is flawed. It is natural and more-or-less inevitable that influence flows more from the larger entity to the smaller than vice versa. The WP/WV relation is more like England/Wales or US/Canada than a more-or-less equal pairing like UK/France. Pashley (talk) 15:58, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I'm uncomfortable with the idea that users should have to be "trained" to use our site in cases where a simple change would make things more obvious. Occasionally I'll show someone Wikivoyage as an ad-hoc usability test to get ideas for improvement, and no one has ever realized that there were links to other sites for the current article in the left sidebar - people assume that Wikivoyage is like nearly every other web site and that the sidebar, header and footer are primarily static content and look at them as site navigation rather than page navigation. I think moving (or duplicating) those links into the page content area would be a big usability win, although if there are concerns about them taking up too much space if we used the same format as Wikipedia then we could easily mock-up another approach. -- Ryan • (talk) • 16:02, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
It's not as if serious training is needed, not any moreso than it is to figure out that the little symbol at the top right leads to a map or any number of other points on which we differ from WP. I don't like where the logic of "more WP-like = more usability" leads, and think we should continue to differentiate the look of our site from WP in non-critical cases, of which I consider this issue to be one. Plus, as I mentioned, I don't think a sister-site links box fits thematically with any existing section, and I don't want to see the Go next+routebox layout messed with. I might be willing to consider a minimally-sized horizontally-oriented template below any final images and/or routebox, but I honestly don't think it worth the trouble. Texugo (talk) 16:52, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
We should not make the mistake of assuming that Wikipedia's interface is more natural or easier to learn than our own, simply because more people have trained themselves to use theirs than have ours. Both have their virtues and advantages. Powers (talk) 19:18, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
Correct. Equally we should always keep in the forefront of our minds Ryan's point that users should not have to be "trained" to use our site in cases where a simple change would make things more obvious. --118.93.232.239 23:24, 11 February 2014 (UTC)

Linking to non-profit route services[edit]

I'm unsure about policy with regard to external, free websites offering e.g. hiking and biking routes. In a country like the Netherlands, where these are huge travel activities, such links are highly useful: we are not going to incorporate a wide range of biking routes any time soon. Now I've had a user add multiple links to one specific website: in the relevant region article, but then also links to specific routes in relevant destination articles. My first instinct is to leave one and remove the rest, but then thinking again that wouldn't really serve the traveler as they are likely looking for things to do in and around their specific destination. In this case we're talking about small but standalone destinations (like Westerbork). What do we do with these links? JuliasTravels (talk) 10:54, 17 February 2014 (UTC)

Based on the information you've provided, I'd say this falls under our prohibition of links to other travel guides. Powers (talk) 13:40, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
Then I may not be giving accurate information :-) The example of Westerbork uses this website. It's a website with free information on biking itineraries in the Netherlands, no other travel information. We link to tourist offices and tour operators who provide guided routes or printed and downloadable guides (often at a charge) all the time. In that light it seems fine to offer this link as well, under the do section, I'm just not entirely sure where and how? JuliasTravels (talk) 13:49, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
I'm kinda with Powers here. Current policy says we don't link to non-official external guides, of which this still appear to be one. It's just a website, not a tourist office or operator with a physical office, so it cannot be judged by the separate criteria we have for those cases. Is there a reason why we couldn't offer more detailed biking information here? Texugo (talk) 14:22, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, we don't really seem to have criteria for this kind of services. I have no particular interest in this link and don't mind deleting it in principle, but I'm wondering if we're doing the traveler a disservice by not allowing. It doesn't currently seem within our scope to offer a range of biking itineraries around a specific location. I'm not sure what the general feeling is, whether or not we would want to, and I think we had a few tests somewhere for a hiking route in natural areas. In any case though, we're very far off from actually offering them. We don't hesitate to point people to physical places where they can buy such routes, so it seems a bit odd to deny them easy, free, online sources, and hard to explain to people who add the links, that's all. JuliasTravels (talk) 15:37, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
I'd be inclined to link once, as allowing one user to bulk-insert multiple links to the same web site from different pages can get spammy - usually with commercial links such as hotel chains or hire car firms who edit WV to add individual {{listing}}s for every location they own. K7L (talk) 16:05, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
JuliasTravels, this is exactly the sort of content we'd like to have. It's absolutely in scope; unfortunately, of course, we don't have the resources to create it at the moment. But that's never been a valid reason to allow an external link on Wikivoyage. If we did have such a link, there'd be no incentive for anyone to create bicycle routes for that region here, which is where we want it. Now, if the author of those routes wanted to license them with a free license, and donate them to the project, then someone could work on importing them into Wikivoyage format. But unless we have someone willing to do that work, I just can't see it being a good idea to link people to an external, unrelated, non-official web site based solely on "it's information we don't have yet". Powers (talk) 21:15, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, well... tricky. I see your reasoning and I get the incentive idea, but it still seems like a disservice to readers since we're obviously many years away from any such collection of itineraries - if we ever get one. I always had the impression such more or less random itineraries meet a lot of ambivalence here, when there's not much more than a personal pick at the base (and that is what such routes typically boil down to). I also have trouble seeing why a tour operator, a tourist information leaflet kiosk or a physical book shop (with a street address) that sells or hands out routes and maps would get a listing without a second thought, but an online service providing the same thing can't. It somehow seems.. old-fashioned? JuliasTravels (talk) 21:47, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
The main problem I see is that it's not just a "free website that provides just good bike info out of the good of their hearts" - it's still a whole other guide that we are sending our readers away to, it has its own its own understand, get in, and get around info, its own eat, drink, and sleep recommendations, and its own paid sponsors, and in cases like this, it's impractical for us to vet all the info they provide and often impossible to evaluate the degree to which their sponsors/advertisers/partners have influenced the content. I also concur with what LtPowers is saying - we actually do want that type of information here, and just because we don't have it yet doesn't mean we should send people to what are essentially competing guides whose content we thus appear to be endorsing. Texugo (talk) 23:30, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, you're right in the example case, I overlooked the general info. Clear enough, that one's out. It's less clear in other cases though, where they don't have any of that general travel stuff, only maps and routes (and those do exist). In a way, tourist information offices, especially the ones in the Netherlands which exist for large parts of leaflet kiosks, do nothing we could not do here, apart from the fact that it's not reasonably feasible the next so many years, and nothing more than a website with the same information. But I suppose the cases are rare enough so far to just judge them on their individual merits when they're added. Anyway, I'll remove the current ones in any case and we'll see what pops up later. Thanks, JuliasTravels (talk) 08:47, 18 February 2014 (UTC)

Linking policy in general[edit]

The discussion just above can be generalised and I'd like to open it up a bit. Of course we do not want links to various booking services and middlemen, nor to other travel guides, and becoming a yellow pages has always been explicitly (and I think correctly) something we avoid. However, we are on the web and links are very much part of that. There are a number of places where I think our policy could usefully be opened up some:

  • local reference sites like the cycling routes above
  • expatriate-in-wherever sites like Raoul's China Saloon. These have their limitations (see comments at Retiring_abroad#Information_sources) but some are excellent.
  • Wikipedia links specifically relevant to something here, like a link to w:dinosaur or w:Vincent van Gogh for a particular museum or a link to w:K-index that was recently added and then reverted in Northern Lights. Such background info may be quite useful to travellers but it is too complex for easy reading, let alone for easy maintenance.
  • ... at least half a dozen more that I have not thought of ...

In short, current policy works but I think it can and should be significantly improved. Pashley (talk) 22:42, 17 February 2014 (UTC)

It'd probably be more productive if we separate these things out and focus on one thing at a time. I'd suggest starting with your first point above, since that one has just come up naturally above, and either shelving or starting a new thread for the second. The WP-link issue is a can of worms capable of filling whole pages of discussion all on its own, and we've already discussed it on several separate occasions in the last year or so with little agreement, so I'd suggest reading through all those long discussions first and then thinking long and hard before forcing us to rehash that debate so soon. It won't be worth it unless some truly novel ideas are brought to the table. Texugo (talk) 23:12, 17 February 2014 (UTC)

Tourist office link in header or in listing?[edit]

Another question. We try to link to a destination official site directly in the header. We also agree that if there's a municipality site for inhabitants and a separate tourist site, that should be the tourist site (more use for travellers). But what do we do when that official municipality site is maintained by the tourist office, being essentially one thing? We link only once, but we do also want a listing for the physical address of the tourist office. Where do I put the link then, in the listing or in the header? JuliasTravels (talk) 12:17, 18 February 2014 (UTC)

Good question. I'd say that kind of situation might be worth an exception in order to list it in both places, because based on our normal way of doing things, the reader could rightly expect to find it in either place, and not finding it in one, may not necessarily realize that there is one listed in the other. Any other opinions? Texugo (talk) 12:35, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
I'd say put it in the header. While the web site may often be maintained by the local tourist office, unlike a POI's web site it's not about the tourist office itself but the city/region/park as a whole. ϒpsilon (talk) 12:37, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
I've been doing both. I don't think we have a prohibition on duplicate external links if the link is relevant at both positions in the article. Powers (talk) 13:28, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
Sometimes there is more than one official site, for instance a city-owned site and a county site. Sometimes there is a physical location (such as a historic former train station), a telephone number or other contact info. A {{listing}} in the "Understand" section may make sense if there's more there than fits as a single weblink in the intro. K7L (talk) 16:05, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, it's not so much about when to add a listing (policy is pretty clear about that, but about whether or not to include an external link twice when there is a listing. I'll go with double too then, for these selected cases. It seems odd to not include the website in an otherwise complete listing. Thanks, JuliasTravels (talk) 16:13, 18 February 2014 (UTC)