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Talk:Wikipedia policy on charts

I have included a chart with some of the articles that I have written or contributed to. It gives lists of related topics. The chart looks like this:


List of Marketing TopicsList of Management Topics
List of Economics TopicsList of Accounting Topics
List of Finance TopicsList of Economists

I think the response has been positive but I have received two criticisms. They are reproduced below, along with my responses.

I don't think these kinds of fancy layout for other links are a very good idea. It is introducing rather useless html code, and cut scare away some contributors. What do you think ? User:Anthere

I find these navigational aids really useful. Not only do they help you get where you want to go with excessive typing, but they also make the 'opedia visually more interesting. It is far more enjoyable reading articles with graphics, pictures, and charts like these.

As for them being intimidating to some users. Maybe. I considered doing a jpeg images, but that still introduces HTML codes, and they have the additional disadvantage that others cannot modify them ( ie. put their own links in the charts). The compromise I cam up with, was to put all the code in one block. People will see that it is a module and they can ignore that section if they dont want to get into codes. user:mydogategodshat

I agree with you these navigational aids are very useful.

It would be a very bad idea to put these in jpg, as they would have been non-editable.

I agree graphics...make wikipedia more enjoyable. However, I still maintain that these introduce unnecessary complexicity. Also, I think many people desire that we maintain a rather common layout for articles, for consistency. It is the first time I see this layout. This troubles me. Besides, you appear to add them in articles for which all of these links are not relevant. I think if you are going to do that, it should be community approved.

For example, I think some of the links you put at the Donella Meadows' twelve leverage points to intervene in a system[?] are irrelevant to this topic. Why adding these ones and not others ?


At this point I just put together a standard chart: the same one as for all business and economics pages. But if you feel that there are other lists that are more appropriate for any given article, then change them. If you don't feel that the list of economics articles, for example, should be included, then where you see the link [[list of economics topics|List of Economics Topics], just replace it with [[list of whatever]. Keep in mind that the chart was designed strictly for lists, not for "See also Articles". It was not intended to replace the "see also" section.
As for community approval, we will see what happens. Already, I have noticed people changing the content of the chart and using it for their own purposes, and the charts are only 12 hours old. The people will speak.

See permission marketing for an example of a better table: It has no Extraneous Capitalization, and includes the list of ethics topics instead of list of economists - who in business cares about economists? If you prefer change that for business ethics or something, but I hope it deals with the issues recently raised. "Finance, accounting, economics, ethics, marketing, management" sounds like a business curriculum. Also the table is non-standard but tolerable if it is the same everywhere, so please agree on it quickly, you two, or it will disappear to be replaced by a standard "See also" list. Fair?

The reason I capitalized the first letter of important words is, in order to make the chart as compact as possible, I used a very small font size. I felt the larger capitals would be easier to read. If you prefer them without caps, then change them. It really isn't important.
As for who cares about the originators of the theories, I guess people- oriented folks do. To them finding out about the person behind the theory is important. They feel that giving credit where credit is due, is the ethical thing to do.
As for your erasing of links and replacing it with a topic of interest to you, that is great. This topic has an important ethical element to it. But please don't start inserting references to God or ethics indiscriminately.
As for "non-standard" I don't know what you mean. I did not realize the WikiPolice demanded all charts to look alike. But I am glad that you found it "tolerable".
You seem to be saying that the chart must be the same on all pages and it must include the topics that you want it to, or else they "will disappear". Firstly, I did not realize that you owned this 'opedia. Let the users decide if the charts are valuable navigational tools, and if they improve the looks of an otherwise bland looking encyclopedia. Let them decide if it is a valuable way of seperating the "see also Articles" from 'Lists of related subjects". Secondly, there is no reason to make them all the same. As lists are developed for other subjects, they could be included. Let the content of the article determine what goes into the chart, not someone that wants to make a desision for all articles and for all time.

What does everybody think? user:mydogategodshat

I think that tables should definitely not be used for this sort of thing. Lists, maybe. See-also links would be best, in my opinion. Someday we may have a nice inset box for the see-also links (it'd be pretty easy to implement right now with some style bits, if we can agree on a standard format). Tables are not the way to go, though. -- Wapcaplet 03:21 6 Jul 2003 (UTC)

This kind of table abuse is not a good idea. The markup is unmaintainable, ugly, and intimidating. What you're trying to do would eb better achieved by category links which can be maintained through standard means; see the test wiki (http://test.wikipedia.org/) for some pages regarding development of this, and recent discussions on the wikitech-l list (archives available at http://mail.wikipedia.org/ ) In the meantime I'd recommend getting rid of these tables. --Brion 03:29 6 Jul 2003 (UTC)

With all these Wikipedia administraters against me, I must be doing something right :)

If I understand correctly you are saying two things.

  1. We should not use links to lists, instead we should use links to articles such as category articles.
  2. We should not use charts for navigational devices, instead we should limit ourselves to "see also lists".

My feeling is that the first policy makes it very difficult to find related articles, and the second helps make Wikipedea the ugliest encyclopea around (Go to Encarta or Britanica and compare). But I don't make the decisions. I will remove the charts, and links to lists as I come across them. user:mydogategodshat

No, no, you do make the decisions. Everyone is free to participate in all decision-making processes; administrators should have no special privileges there. Feel free to continue to argue your case. I will disagree with you, though, incidentally. :)

  1. Linking to list pages is fine; I don't think anyone has said otherwise.
  2. I don't think we should use charts for navigational purposes, because they are intimidating and difficult to edit. The analogy with Encarta and Britanica doesn't work, because their articles are not designed to be editable by the general public.
Hope that helps... -- Oliver P. 07:28 6 Jul 2003 (UTC)

But administrator Brion say to use links to category articles. You are saying that links to lists are fine. Which of you are stating Wikipedea policy? user:mydogategodshat

I think Brion is talking about the strange and mysterious category system which is currently in development, but which hasn't been implemented yet. To be honest, I haven't fully caught up with all the discussion about that, but if my present understanding of it is correct, I think I disapprove of it. But you don't need to worry about that, because it isn't implemented yet. As for putting links in Wikipedia articles to other Wikipedia articles, just put in whichever ones are relevant to the article you're putting them in. If other people think that your links are irrelevant, they may well remove them, but there's no policy on not putting in links, whether they are to proper articles or just to list pages. -- Oliver P. 08:18 6 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I would say that policy is certainly supporting linking lists. I would also add policy is supporting keeping edition as easy as possible for editors.
the chart is not making edition easy, so is not likely to meet a lot of success
what Brion meant is that there is a work going on to have categories on Wikipedia. Your lists could perfectly be a category as soon as it is implemented/tested/made available. Then, you will be able to put in relation all these articles with the categories. The chart you are proposing will be obsolete. I suggest that you go and see the categories proposal on test.wikipedia.org. You might propose the developers a nice layout for the display of categories :-) User:anthere

What will these "category pages" be? Will they be lists (such as list of finance topics)? Will they be articles that summarize a category (such as pricing)? Will they be summaries with a list (such as marketing)? Will they be summaries with annotated lists (such as production, costs, and pricing)? If I knew the 'opedia was going into a standardized format of category pages, I would not have written these pages the way I did. I would have used the standard format. - - - user:mydogategodshat

What topics will be considered category pages? How many levels down the hierarchy do we go before we stop calling a page a category page? For example, in the list of finance topics there is an article "European option", which is a subcategory of "option style", which is a subcategory of "stock option", which is a subcategory of "options", which is a subcategory of "derivitive securities", which is a subcategory of "financial markets", which is a subcategory of "finance", which is a subcategory of "business", which is a subcategory of "applied arts and sciences". Are all of the above going to be treated as category pages? If not, which ones, and how do we decide? - - - user:mydogategodshat

I don't see how this can really be called a "chart" anyway. It's a list of links which just happens to be arranged in a grid-like format using a table. Maybe if it had pictures, or if the links had some kind of spatial relationship (directional, temporal, or whatever), it could be called a chart, but it still wouldn't belong in a table. The only stuff that belongs in a table is tabular data. As it is, it's just a list, only harder to edit :-) -- Wapcaplet 18:27 6 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Two of the diffinitions of chart are:
3. A sheet presenting information in the form of graphs or tables.
5. Often charts . A listing of best-selling recorded music or other items
Excerpted from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition © 1996 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Electronic version licensed from INSO Corporation; further reproduction and distribution in accordance with the Copyright Law of the United States. All rights reserved.
It is a chart. Try not to get too persnickety about your definitions. - - - user:mydogategodshat

Whatever you call it, it does not belong in a table. :-) -- Wapcaplet 20:32 6 Jul 2003 (UTC)

If that is Wikipedia pplicy, I will conform.user:mydogategodshat

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