Wikivoyage talk:Article skeleton templates

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Automatic article generation tool[edit]

Swept in from the pub

I design a Automatic article generation tool in Chinese, I hope that it can help newcomers or users to create article easily. Does the English version need this tool?--Yuriy kosygin (talk) 07:55, 29 July 2018 (UTC)

A better starting point when new contributors create a page could be useful. Would need to see a working demonstrator in English of this first though before commuting.--Traveler100 (talk) 08:32, 29 July 2018 (UTC)
I had a very quick play with this using the automatic translation provide by Chrome. It seemed to give a result fairly similar to our article creation page. However the first page may be a better way of starting rather than our "To start, please click on one of the following links to pre-fill this article with the standard sections", which I suspect is not so clear to newer editors. AlasdairW (talk) 11:46, 29 July 2018 (UTC)
For example, the below is automatic article generation tool of huge city:
preload=Template:hugecity skeleton
placeholder=Create to huge city
We can use Substitution version of article templates to design other article type.--Yuriy kosygin (talk) 12:46, 29 July 2018 (UTC)

Enable page previews?[edit]

Swept in from the pub

Dear fellow adventurers,

Page previews has been live on Wikipedia for some time. Wikivoyage is the other wiki I frequent, and I miss it when I view pages here. I wondered if this has been talked about. Technically, there is little stopping Wikivoyage from using it, but if adopted it would mean we'd need to think more about leading paragraphs of articles - to ensure the summaries make sense in this context.

e.g. A preview for Spain ( at time of writing would show "Spain shares the Iberian Peninsula with Andorra, Gibraltar, and Portugal. It has the second-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites after Italy and the largest number of World Heritage Cities." Maybe the 2nd paragraph would be more appropriate as a summary: "Spain is famous for its friendly inhabitants, relaxed lifestyle, its cuisine, vibrant nightlife, and world-famous folklore and festivities, and its history as the core of the vast Spanish Empire." Or a new paragraph combining the two would make more sense: "Spain, with the largest number of UNESCO World Heritage cities, is famous for its friendly inhabitants, relaxed lifestyle, its cuisine, vibrant nightlife, and world-famous folklore and festivities, and its history as the core of the vast Spanish Empire"

Just curious what people think about this feature and whether it would need editorial changes to be supported. It seems like a great way to "explore the world"! :) Jdlrobson (talk) 20:58, 20 August 2018 (UTC).

So what enables preview on Wikipedia? Or is it dependent on which browser is being used or browser security settings? --Traveler100 (talk) 21:14, 20 August 2018 (UTC)
What's the point of having it, though? --- Selfie City (talk | contributions) 21:44, 20 August 2018 (UTC)
So that when you're reading an article, and you run across the name of some place that you can't quite remember, you can hover over the link and see the first sentence or two, rather than having to click on the link and open another page in yet another browser tab. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:20, 21 August 2018 (UTC)
I like this feature on Wikipedia and support implementing it on Wikivoyage. —Granger (talk · contribs) 01:24, 21 August 2018 (UTC)
In terms of what is needed to enable it - it would be a site request (config change) asking for it to be turned on specifying the following:
  • Should it be enabled for new accounts? (PopupsOptInStateForNewAccounts)
  • Should it be enabled for existing accounts? (PopupsOptInDefaultState)

I think the real challenge here is going to be buy-in for the editorial changes needed to support good previews (which would improve the quality of the travel guide in my opinion). I see two fun problems to solve 1) The use of hatnotes at the top of pages

:''This article is about the city of Salzburg. For the state, see [[Salzburg (state)]].''

appears in the summaries for Salzburg as the summarizer doesn't know this is not part of the article's first paragraph. The use of a template e.g

{{hatnote|This article is about the city of Salzburg. For the state, see [[Salzburg (state)]].}}

would help with this as it would allow us to wrap the message with CSS classes to help it be identified. See to get a sense of the impact here.

2) Certain articles might need improvements to the phrasing of the lead paragraph e.g. The Spain example I cite above.

I don't see either of these 2 problems as huge blockers to deploying this but I wanted to make this clear!

Note, if after enabling it you decide this doesn't make sense or degrades the travel guide, you can use the same form to request it to be disabled and we can disable it promptly.

Jdlrobson (talk) 23:56, 21 August 2018 (UTC)

Thanks for the details. I think it should be enabled for both new accounts and existing accounts. As for the two problems to solve: the hatnote issue seems pretty easy—the current hatnotes could be replaced with a template by bot, right? The other problem basically amounts to a constraint on our lead-writing. To me it seems like a small price to pay for implementing this useful feature, and in general it's probably a good idea to start our leads with an appealing hook anyway. What do others think? —Granger (talk · contribs) 01:23, 22 August 2018 (UTC)
Yes, that's probably the correct approach. Also, note that it auto-disables if you've got NAVPOPS turned on.
I don't think it's going to constrain our lead-writing much. Wikivoyage is already practically perfect for this feature. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:49, 22 August 2018 (UTC)
I've setup the hatnote template for if we go with this. If not then it can be deleted. -- WOSlinker (talk) 08:20, 22 August 2018 (UTC)
thanks @WOSlinker:. I think I have a bot script that can find and replace a good number of these cases. Not sure if it will handle all as some have multiple colons on multiple lines and a few with odd use of quote which are probably better handled by hand rather than trying to wrote some complex script to handle every possible combination. --Traveler100 (talk) 10:16, 22 August 2018 (UTC)
regardless of whether you enable page previews using this would improve rendering on mobile which recognises hatnotes and styles them in such a way that they are noticeably separate from content! Jdlrobson (talk) 15:18, 22 August 2018 (UTC)
Once replaced the colon text with {{hatnote}}, should go though its use and where appropriate replace with the more exact {{Otheruses}}, {{about}}, {{confused}} or {{See also}}. --Traveler100 (talk) 19:01, 22 August 2018 (UTC)

We already have something called Navigation popups, which do exactly the function being described here. Just go to your Preferences, then to the Gadgets tab. Personally, I find it annoying to use all the time, but it does come in handy. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 12:38, 22 August 2018 (UTC)

NAVPOPS is more complicated/powerful. I think that readers would be much happier with this simpler tool (which, it turns out, was originally based on NAVPOPS). WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:12, 22 August 2018 (UTC)
Hey all, to close up this conversation, I'm just wondering what the next steps are. Is this something that should be enabled, or should I start an RFC or something equivalent? Jdlrobson (talk) 16:34, 29 August 2018 (UTC)
Jon, does that belong to your team these days? If so, please just turn it on for everyone here. If not, then please pheel phree to phile a Phab task for whichever team it does belong to. We're not into Process for Process's Sake here. If someone wanted to object, they'd probably have said so by now. It's not difficult to opt out, for anyone who wants to opt out later. And thanks for asking. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:44, 29 August 2018 (UTC)
Hey all, per WhatamIdoing's advise I've created phab:T203981 to make this so. Jdlrobson (talk) 18:24, 10 September 2018 (UTC)
This is now live. I direct your attention to mw:Extension:Popups#FAQ for any questions. There are a few clear places where images and lead paragraphs can be improved, but most of the previews I've generated look great and really enhance the experience. I hope you all feel the same, but let me know if there are any problems. Jdlrobson (talk) 18:55, 27 September 2018 (UTC)
I noticed this recently and really like it, but for most of the pages I've seen (in China), the preview photo is a railway station (Wuhan, Ningbo), or occasionally an airport (Yinchuan) or map (Beijing), and in some cases nothing at all despite there being at least a banner image on the Wikivoyage pages (Minle). It's clearly not taking images from the WikiVoyage page, but I've found the sourcing and ranking of images somewhat opaque. Are there ways to tune or control this? Would the pagebanner be useful in the popup (perhaps as a fallback)? Is there a way to veto railway stations, maps, and airports? Dcpeets (talk) 15:04, 24 October 2018 (UTC)
@Dcpeets: I noticed the same thing, and got directed here after I brought it up at the pub. I don't have the programming skill to do it myself, but I'd love to see this issue fixed! - Sdkb (talk) 23:05, 1 January 2019 (UTC)

War-torn cities[edit]

A couple of people have argued that Damascus should be removed from the list of cities at Middle East, and User:Ikan Kekek objects on the basis that "The precedents have been to keep the 'not visitable now' cities of otherwise obvious importance in the list." They suggested starting a discussion here, so that's what I'm doing.

It seems to me that in articles for continents, continental sections, and countries where most of the area is not war-torn, but some part of it is, it's reasonable to remove the war-torn cities from the list until they become visitable again. This serves the traveler, who doesn't benefit from having a destination recommended that isn't actually an option. One of our advantages over paper travel guides is that we can respond in real time to changing political and security situations, de-emphasizing cities if they become too dangerous to visit and highlighting them again when appropriate.

I'm not proposing a new policy, just a general principle that should be applied only on a case-by-case basis. I'm not saying we should remove every war-torn city from every list. It also would not be worth rewriting the lists for short-term emergencies or disasters. I'm just saying that, when we have a list of 6 or 7 visitable cities plus 1 or 2 no-go zones, travelers are usually better served by removing the no-go zones until they become safe enough to visit again. —Granger (talk · contribs) 00:36, 12 September 2019 (UTC)

I think it should be permissible to use danger to travelers as one criterion. War can be but doesn't have to be the cause of that danger for it to be worth a discussion. However, even if a city is currently dangerous, if loads of aid workers visit or spend stints working there, that's also relevant. I'm willing to consider war as a criterion, but not as any kind of automatic disqualification. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:57, 12 September 2019 (UTC)
The point of those sections are to list the principal cities in the respective region, not the principal cities of tourist interest in the respective region. And anyway, tourists are only one among many classes of people Wikivoyage is meant for. A place like Damascus - or Kabul, or Baghdad, or what-have-you - might not attract a lot of tourists, but they undoubtedly attract a lot of aid workers, defense contractors, etc. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 02:58, 12 September 2019 (UTC)
(Notwithstanding what I wrote above, I absolutely do think the blurb for Damascus in Middle East#Cities should be rewritten to better reflect the current state of affairs.) -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 03:04, 12 September 2019 (UTC)
Maybe there's some disagreement about the purpose of these lists. In my mind, the main purpose is to give travelers a sense of the range of destinations in the region and to give them a starting point for deciding where to visit. It sounds like you feel there is some other purpose, but I'm having trouble squaring that with ttcf. What do you think is the purpose of these lists, and in particular, how do you expect travelers to use them? —Granger (talk · contribs) 03:20, 12 September 2019 (UTC)
To further explain my thinking: What fraction of our readers are defense contractors and aid workers? 0.01%? Even that seems high. We should absolutely keep and maintain articles about war-torn cities to help that tiny segment of readers (and indeed one of Wikivoyage's strengths is our ability to thoroughly cover little-visited destinations), but in a big continental section article like Middle East, our main focus should be on the other 99.99% of travelers. This is especially true for the list of cities, because (a) defense contractors and aid workers aren't going to choose their destination by browsing our list of cities, they're going to go where their agency tells them to, and (b) tourists are likely to interpret our inclusion in this list as a recommendation of some kind, leading to confusion or embarrassment. I agree with Ikan Kekek that war and other long-term dangers should be allowed as a consideration in whether or not to list a city. —Granger (talk · contribs) 03:57, 12 September 2019 (UTC)
Do you think tourists would consider mere listing a recommendation if the summary is "This historic city has taken the brunt of a brutal war since [year]. Much of it has been destroyed, and anyone planning to travel there should read our article on War safety"? If they would, it's because they chose not to read. And if they were too lazy to read a ~2- to 3-sentence description before choosing where to travel to, I figure that they have more problems than whether to avoid land mines and bombings... Ikan Kekek (talk) 15:01, 12 September 2019 (UTC)
(replying to comments higher up) No, we shouldn't delete war zones out of all lists as articles should be listed at least the bottom level(s). My point in the other discussion was that if something needs to be deleted from a list, then it would be better to delete a place where people aren't going to/can't go to right now, rather than a place where you travelers can go. I mean, surely the fact that a place is dangerous at the moment is not a reason to promote it higher up in the hierarchy?
Also, in cases like Damascus it's almost certain that many of the attractions and services in the article are, shall we say, unavailable, disrupted or closed permanently. And in addition to what Granger just said about military, aid workers and the like not picking their destinations based on travel guides, I'd imagine they also eat and sleep on their base, and don't have much time or opportunity for "tourism", hence not much use for our guides.
When the war (or other dangerous situation) is over and it's safe to visit again, the place can be added back, of course provided that the things that made the place worth visiting haven't been lost in the war. Ypsilon (talk) 15:26, 12 September 2019 (UTC)
Granger's original statement convinced me. If a tourist destination is a war zone, it's either pointless, harmful, or both to keep it on the list of destinations. It is easy to replace Damascus with another city that is not in so much trouble right now. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 20:40, 12 September 2019 (UTC)
Idem.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 20:56, 12 September 2019 (UTC)

Improved leads[edit]

Our quick templates now have the lead "City is in Region name." (and similar for other templates). Some of us have worked for some time on improving leads and an expedition has been suggested. Shouldn't it make sense to change the quick templates more in line with the full template, which rather say something like "This is a where you give a quick descriptive overview of the destination."

I understand that it is difficult to put ready words in there, as destinations are known for different things, but already

City is a [...] in Region name. It is known for its [...] and [...].

would give the user a hint on what is expected.

This should be done both in the quick templates and in the MediaWiki templates. In the latter "City" should read {{subst:FULLPAGENAME}}, which it does in some of them.

--LPfi (talk) 18:37, 12 May 2020 (UTC)

On the one hand, the quick templates deliberately include as little as possible, so that you end up with a perfectly-formatted article that doesn't have any leftover template filler in it. Note that there's no dummy listing in any section waiting to be filled in, either, even though any new article really ought to have one (else why did you bother creating it in the first place?).
On the other hand, maybe including a hint like that would encourage people to fill it in, just as you hope. And it might cause people to reconsider whether some podunk village merits an article when they realize they can't state why it's famous or noteworthy. (And if we see an outline article where the skeleton lede wasn't filled in, we can take that as a bit of evidence when considering deleting the article.)
On balance, I suppose I'd be in favor of it.
Incidentally, using {{subst:FULLPAGENAME}} wouldn't be correct for any article that includes a disambiguation, such as any of the numerous Springfields. --Bigpeteb (talk) 22:23, 12 May 2020 (UTC)