User:Kempm/Issues (Request For Change)

The longer one works on a project, the more flaws become apparent. I noticed flaws on our policy and I like to point them out here, and make requests for change to resolve issues.


Disappearing taxons throughout the site. The site is not consistent, at certain levels.
Superregnum: Eukarya
Divisio(n): (Phylum): Fungi
Subphylum: Pezizomycotina
Classis: Arthoniomycetes
Ordo: Arthoniales
Familia: Arthoniaceae
Genus: Amazonomyces
Species: Amazonomyces farkasiae

This is how I walk down the tree, when I click down all the way to species level. However, at some point Superregnum disappears, and at the lowest level one cannot see the species belongs to Eukarya. Perhaps this is not so much of a big issue. But. There are too many cases where this involves multiple disappearing levels. Talk:Magnoliopsida, Talk:Opiliones, User_talk:PA/Vertebrate_taxonomy, the whole Mammalia-tree, etc.


Can't solve above problem without going through the whole tree. When a taxonomic level is added or removed, this cannot currently be resolved without going down through the entire tree again. Using templates on every level, makes name changes easy, but adding or removing levels still has effect on all the lower levels. (Number of colons ':').


Wikispecies:Village_Pump#Endless_Taxonavigation User:Totipotent detects the long tree for Insects, where the many levels starts 'falling off the screen'


The use of templates is not used extensively. There are many species who have the entire tree hard-coded on their pages.


There isn't a manual for new people, that tells them how to contribute. There are a few places where pointers can be found, but not one complete manual. I have been contributing on Wikispecies for two months extensively, and I still learn every day. (I think it took me a month to learn how to make a template).


Presented data must be accurate. There cannot be accuracy, when the site is non-consistent. Disappearing taxons need to be revived in order to keep consistency. New contributors, must be able to find a fully-flexed manual, with policies, etc.

At the moment we can do a full revision of the content, 80.000 pages, but things will change in the future. Therefore, in my view the system needs to be changed. We need the most flexible sytem available.

We can find this system as proposal by User:Totipotent Wikispecies:Village_Pump#Endless_Taxonavigation. I mean the straight list he proposed. If we implement that Taxonavigation list, and use templates at every level, all the way to genus level, then we will have a truely flexible system. Adding a level, changing names, removing a level, moving a taxon to a different placeholder, can be done by changing two or 3 files, and does no longer affect the lower taxons.

I therefore propose to make the taxonavigation lists to be straight as Totipotent proposed:

Steps on implementationEdit

  1. Get consensus for the proposal
  2. Once consensus has been reached, write the manual for new (and existing) users. Manual should reflect the new system.
  3. New content from that point on, needs to use templates all the way down to genus lvl, and keep new taxons placed against the left side of the canvas.
  4. Existing content needs to be revised according to the proposal, simultaneously implementing as much of the issues already pointed out.

Revised stepsEdit

  1. Keep this page open until October 19th, 2006 21:00 GMT for users to put their concerns, remarks, counter-proposals, etc.
  2. On October 20th, 2006 make a list with possible Taxonavigation looks, on which the community can vote. (Running for another week).
  3. Gradually implement the community-chosen template/box/list.

I realise fully what this means. I am not particularly fond to make changes, certainly not to make changes as drastic like this one. The straight taxonavigation list doesn't look very nice, but it's the data that matters, and the flexibility. Therefore I hope we can reach consensus, quickly.

Please comment or sign an 'I agree' on this page.


I agree. --Jmb 16:13, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

Note that there have been other, similar proposals, see User:Ucucha/Taxonavigation. Ucucha (talk) 06:00, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

Sorry for stealing your idea Ucucha. But what happened to that discussion. I see everyone detecting the problem with updating trees, and everyone 'willing' to change? Your discussion was a year ago. If everyone is seeing the need to make the change, why don't we do it? Please, please, comment. --Kempm 07:03, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
I wanted to point out that other ways to do this (for example the "taxobox") may be better. I agree that there is a need for change, but you have to consider which option is best. Ucucha (talk) 16:18, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
Well one thing is for sure, a straight list is easiest, but a few lines around the data don't hurt. However, if Wikidata is ever going to happen, then the less text there is on a page the easier it is to transfer it into a database. "Key: data", "Key: data" should be easy to script into the right fields. Once al this data is data driven, CSS can be used to present it any way we like it: text can be placed on the left, on the right, upside down, scrolling, blinking, whatever :). The point is that there should only be data in the database, and no markup. If we can keep markup in templates (by using taxoboxes), then it would be nice. If it means bringing markup to the actual content, we have short-term advantage that it might look better, but it would be harder to script things into the database.
How would you suggest to continue with this? And all other regular Wikispecies contributors, I'd really like to hear your voice :) --Kempm 16:58, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

This would be so much better if the wiki database concept had come to fruition. I agree with all the issues. I just don't know which implementation. I am leaning toward the straight up list. It is simple. Nested templates are not a problem. Perhaps we could mock up 2-3 options and vote? Open2universe 02:09, 12 October 2006 (UTC)