Wikivoyage talk:Section headers

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general format[edit]

So, I started asking questions from the Mediawiki developers about how to make sure our section headers looked OK. They told me that the software assumes that the first level of sections uses two equals, then three, etc. We've been doing one, then two, then three. Anyways, I've started changing our templates and the articles linked from the Main Page to use two equals to start off. It's going to be tedious changing, but iterative. And, hey: it gives us something to do when we're tired of looking up restaurant email addresses, right? -- (WT-en) Evan 12:03, 20 Nov 2003 (PST)


So, I've been watching people chase each other around in circles, either adding or removing blank lines above and below section headers. I figure it's probably a good idea in these instances to make a call and stick to it. So, I noted that having a blank space before and after a section header is preferred.

If someone's got a good reason why we should either a) leave this undefined or b) not have a blank line above and below a section header, speak up. --(WT-en) Evan 15:56, 13 Apr 2004 (EDT)

I propose a different style: two blank lines before section header, and no blank line after section header. I.e.:

Here starts a first paragraph of a long multi-paragraph section.

*here are some bullets
*and more bullets

and another multi-line paragraph

and yet another multi-line text paragraph

...and that's all you need to know.

== Talk ==
The people of Frosnobish speak Frosnobian.

The reasons for both are to make quick scanning of multi-sectioned edit easier:

  • to recognize a new section start in a series of multi-line paragraphs (and hence two blanks before)
  • to stick heading to its text, to avoid confusion between section header and a single-line paragraph in a quick scan of text being edited (and hence no blank after)

I understand that it's a nightmare to change globally, but propose this rule for our future edits. --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 01:56, 8 January 2008 (EST)

Oppose. I think the existing rule works very well and is much better - far simpler, a lot clearer, way less confusing. ~ 02:08, 8 January 2008 (EST)
Support (WT-en) DenisYurkin's proposal for reasons he stated. --W. Franke-mailtalk 13:34, 30 September 2012 (CEST)

Instead I propose one blank line before section header, and no blank line after section header. Still achieves the same result and one less keystroke for editors and less white space - which is important for those ignoramuses still printing pages off their screens rather than using the new make-a-book feature. -- Alice 10:35, 20 February 2013 (UTC)

Support - Alice's modification - had brought this issue up at another location, and although the actual space on a server is miniscule (as pointed out to me elsewhere as well) - the actual practice would bring closer to what seems to be the general practice in other wikis. sats (talk) 14:24, 20 February 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Capitalization of combined headings[edit]

The capitalization section of the guideline follows normal English conventions. But the examples under "combining sections" disregard this and capitalize the second part of the heading. It seems that the second part of the heading is treated as a pseudo-proper name. I suggest that the examples be changed to follow the capitalization guideline, eg, See and do, rather than See and Do. Nurg (talk) 02:41, 20 January 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Your proposal is logically consistent, therefore easier to remember. I support it in the absence of a stronger argument for the status quo. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 05:27, 15 February 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support as well - caps in following words of a heading seems good sense apart from anything else sats (talk) 04:14, 16 February 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

White space[edit]

Swept in from the pub

I tried to find a tech savvy explanation somewhere as to why wikivoyage - specially in outline articles, has so much white space between headings and text, and portions of text.

(In wikipedia in the old days, some eds would take issue with white space pointing out that the spacing would be fixed by the software)

The answer is at Wikivoyage talk:Section headers and Wikivoyage:Section headers - however it appears to be an unresolved issue.

If I understand the text at section headers, the extra spacing it is to make some editing 'easier' by designating the space convention into a fixed number.

The way it is presented in the current MOS/Section header instruction - suggests that wikivoyage can afford the space? sats (talk) 23:55, 14 February 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Each <newline> character takes up a whopping one byte... same as any other unaccented character. K7L (talk) 00:29, 15 February 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Fair enough - that could be interpreted as (a) why worry? (b) so what, etc... currently WikiVoyage has less than 30,000 articles. It can afford to not worry about server space compared to other wikimedia projects like commons or wp en, what happens when WikiVoyage clears 100,000 the accumulative effect of a spacing policy that is for the benefit of editors, not readers, might just be taking up more than a few bytes... will it be too late then to retrospectively re-format spacing? Just a thought... sats (talk) 09:12, 15 February 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If the concern is solely about storage of text, don't worry about that. A space character (uncompressed) is one byte. A MB has 1,000,000 bytes, and a TB has 1,000,000,000,000 bytes. Modern data centers have storage capacities in the hundreds or thousands of terabytes, so even a million articles with a thousand extra characters each would take up a negligible amount of space (1GB), and that's before considering any savings due to data compression and other techniques. -- Ryan • (talk) • 16:02, 15 February 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for clarifying that - I suppose the only real concern was that at talk of the Section header page there was what looked like an inconclusive discussion as to format and spacing.... sats (talk) 01:04, 16 February 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Certainly the revision required to remove it, would take an several orders of magnitude of additional space. --Inas (talk) 23:21, 17 February 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Perhaps not, if a bot could do it automatically. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:33, 18 February 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Bot or no 'bot, every previous version of the article still needs to be stored as part of the revision history, whitespace and all. K7L (talk) 00:41, 18 February 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Display of level 4 and 5 section headings[edit]

Swept in from the pub

Hi, in my browser, the level 4 and 5 section headings look identical:

Example Level 4[edit]

Example Level 5[edit]

Do other people have the same behaviour? If yes, then I would say this should be changed, as it is confusing to the reader. Xsobev (talk) 18:28, 25 June 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes. They look pretty much the same (Safari/Mac). So ideally should be changed but difficult to see how it could be adjusted and still stand out as a heading (already easily confused with a listing)

Listing Section[edit]

A Test Listing. Which is pretty much as prominent as the Level 4 heading above it Do people often get down to such deeply nested headings ? PsamatheM (talk) 18:47, 25 June 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Both pairs — 4/5 headings & heading/listing, — look about the same for me, using Firefox on Linux. I do not think either is a big issue since I rarely use level 4 & never 5, & haven't noticed the problems before. They might be reported as a low-priority bug to whoever maintains the templates or software involved. Pashley (talk) 19:09, 25 June 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I would not call it a bug, as the least prominent header should not stand out too much, and nobody but the author knows which level will be the least prominent (I think HTML supports down to level 8). I think we should fix the problem just by avoiding those lowest levels.
By car & co are level 3. Is there really a need for subdividing their subsections? In itineraries Go is level 2, making alternative routes level 4, leaving no room for subsections. Perhaps we should have a different style for these? Or could the alternative routes share level 3 with main legs?
--LPfi (talk) 21:14, 25 June 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've used level 4 subtitles at times. I can't think of examples right now, but I'll post them if I remember. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:33, 26 June 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, me too, probably, but I think the issue mostly appears with level 5 headings, which usually hint at a too complicated article structure. Level 3 could be larger, though. --LPfi (talk) 22:42, 26 June 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

In Mobile View (on my smart phone as well as on my laptop using IE) they look different: level 4 is bold, level 5 is regular, but they have the same size. --FredTC (talk) 11:16, 27 June 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A good example where level 5 headings are used - and to my mind for a good reason - is on the Copenhagen#By_plane page. Xsobev (talk) 14:01, 1 July 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I frequently use Level 5 headings. When the change was made across all WMF to make 4 and 5 identical, I raised the issue but I was overruled by Wikipedian voices. Powers (talk) 01:10, 23 July 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

better readability for the Eat section[edit]


the bold H4 subheadings in Budget/Mid-range/Splurge are a pain for the eyes. They have the same formatting as every restaurant name in the listing. Non-bold underlined subheadings lead to a way better readability of the whole Eat section.

Example of H4 subheadings:

A Coruña

Example of underlined non-bold subheadings:


Flightnavigator (talk) 14:22, 23 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I prefer bolding. Doesn't hurt my eyes. Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:32, 23 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I also prefer bolding. Ground Zero (talk) 05:04, 24 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think we do have a problem with differentiating between H3, H4 and H5, the latter used e.g. in itineraries (as most of the article will be below the Go H2). I don't think the solution in Zagreb looks particularly nice. Underlining is used very rarely in properly typeset documents.
For A Coruña i think having "half-bold" instead of bold in the listings would help (I don't know the vocabulary in English, but in Swedish typesetting vocabulary, halvfet, not fet is what gets used. I assume the problem is the low resolution of computer screens, which makes differencing between font weights difficult. Is that problem severe enough that "proper typesetting" is impractical? Perhaps one could play around with other font changes?
LPfi (talk) 07:00, 24 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't know how I could produce a half-bold look, whatever that means. Could you demonstrate it? Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:35, 24 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
H4 and H5 are actually identical. I don't have any trouble distinguishing between H3 and H4. Maybe it's the H5 headings that should get a special font (underlining/semi-bold, or whatever). But not just in the 'Eat' section of articles, it would have to be standard for all 5th-level headings.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 08:17, 24 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, I agree with this. Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:29, 24 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I too favour bolding. H3 and H4 headings are distinguishable, while there shouldn't be a need to use H5 headings at all. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 10:13, 24 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In Kopenhagen#By plane mentioned above we have By plane (H3) → Castrup (H4) → Transport from Kastrup (H5). Now Copenhagen Airport (Kastrup) has an article of its own, so the section should be cut down, but otherwise, should the subheading be removed? What about itineraries (also mentioned above): Go (H2) → From A to B (H3) → Via C (H4) → See (H5)? In standard cases there are no subheadings in the leg sections, but is there never a need? –LPfi (talk) 10:53, 24 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In your itinerary example, why does "See" need its own subheading though? SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 10:57, 24 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Or Do, Eat, Sleep or whatever. If the itinerary passes places for which we don't have articles, such things might be best covered in the itinerary. See French Way. On this itinerary most stops are far away from any cities where people would otherwise go, and there might be sights as well as places to sleep and eat. In Nordkalottleden I left out such subheadings, as the See and Do things were mostly handled inline. However, the fact that one can often – perhaps always – get rid of those subheadings in some sensible way, doesn't mean that every editor at all times finds a way to do that. Either we need to get rid of H4 headings in the standard cases, or we need to allow H5 headings in articles below star status for non-standard cases. –LPfi (talk) 11:58, 24 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sorry, I don't understand your last sentence.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 14:18, 24 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sorry for being unclear. I mean that there will always be a "need" for an additional level of headings, in addition to those that are standard (in templates or in practice). We must expect editors to want to add those in some phases of editing some articles. There may be better ways to organise the article or the section, avoiding the fifth level of headings, thus I don't expect to see them in star articles. However, those better ways may not be evident for the original editor, and I think we should allow them, and make them work decently, even if they mostly (or always) signal that the article structure should be improved. If they don't work, we risk novice editors spending time on clumsy workarounds instead of content. –LPfi (talk) 14:32, 24 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]