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  • I've been meaning to do this sooner, but forgot (and went on a holiday).

    On April 20, there was a Town Hall, as part of Wikia's Community Connect. Basically, there's presentations by staff that you can watch on a live stream. This one was called "Evolution", and it was about the general changes and shifts in how people view content. Many of the bigger wikis were made 10 years ago, and a lot has changed. We are no exception.

    While it did inspire me to remove some of the category clutter like the alphabet navigation (nobody uses that), the main thing I picked up was.... galleries. Galleries are, in a sense, dead weight. When Google indexes a page, it looks at text, and (our) galleries have no text. SEO-wise, they're trash. That's not saying they're trash wiki-wise, but it may need some rethinking. A high trash-to-content ratio harms SEO. Currently, we're about 10.000 galleries on 104.000 pages (of which about 1.000 are cover galleries).

    What is a gallery, and what is a gallery not? Ideally, a gallery is meant to display different looks a character has had over the years, costume variations, power-related changes in appearance, and appearance without costume. With some variation, that also applies to items, locations, teams, etc. It is not a page with all images with the subject on them, even the ones where they're with others and the image itself doesn't clarify who is who. That's what the category is for.

    Galleries with just one image are pointless. There are plenty of them on Special:Shortpages. They don't add anything SEO wise or wiki-wise, they just inflate the page count. But plenty of other galleries do the same. Like....

    Bruce Wayne (New Earth)/Gallery.

    This will probably break Billy's heart, but this is a horrid page for SEO and Wiki. It's unnavigable, the images are so small they don't actually show anything, and most images aren't even informative. Sorry, but what could this image add that the other 5 images of Batman from that same comic couldn't?


    So, there are a couple of thoughts and suggestions I have listed, and I welcome yours. Keep in mind, this is just spitballing, and I don't necessarily agree with all of them.

    Just for clarification: this discussion does not concern cover galleries
    • Get rid of the numbering system, instead use a more descriptive title. Better for SEO, bad for the look of source.
    • Keeping the numbers, but use captions (~140 characters), if space allows with source.
    • Trimming. May be necessary, to avoid repetition of captions.
    • Limiting. There's no optimal length for galleries, but I doubt we'd still have people's attention after 200 images. Or even 100. Or 50. Or 10. There is no optimal length, but I reckon somewhere between 4 and 50? This doesn't necessarily involve trimming, because....
    • Subcategorization. 800 images of Batman spanning 30 years is something we should be able to split up, with section headers that tick SEO marks. Batman in the 80s. Batman in No Man's Land. Batman in Infinite Crisis. Batman and Robin. Downside is this leaves an inconsistent mess across different galleries.
    • Limit it to textless covers and full pages only (where possible)
    • Switching to new galleries. Hey, I said I was spitballing, don't kill me ;P
    • Image tabbers. Much like we already have on cover galleries. Images with every different code name plus civvies. Though on some people like Hal Jordan that's going to be a large tabber. And these look TERRIBLE on mobile. Galleries are better than Tabbers.
    • Have a small gallery or slideshow in the article, above the history. I'm not sure how this will look with both the main image and if there's a video on top. Content would be pushed way down, especially since covers tend to be portrait. With TV and movie screenshots could work, but that's not our primary source of images.
    • Not do anything. Everything is perfect. I know this because it's true and we always did it this way and I dismiss all these fancy numbers and SEO bs because they don't say what I want them to say.
    • Alternatively, come up with decent ideas and then... not do anything, because we've got to change 10.000 pages and we're not smart enough to bot it.


    So, thoughts?

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    • Good to know. A lot of the first images I uploaded were before I had a scanner and taken on devices. Little did I know this records my home coordinates which is kind of creepy. If we’re changing things up I don’t feel too bad about asking for them to be deleted so I can upload them again as a quality scan and without my location.

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    • That's a different discussion, but if you could list them on my wall?

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    • These are some good suggestions & I agree galleries are definitely not as effective as they could be. Perhaps there could be an example gallery made with some of these suggestions so we can see how they could look if some of these changes were implemented?

      I don't think there should be a slideshow at the top of the pages (as Tupka said, that would push the content too far down) but is there any way to make galleries more visible to the reader? Currently the only way to see that a gallery even exists is by clicking a link that says "Gallery" underneath the main image, which is easily missed. Could there be for example a tab at the top of the page or something like that to make galleries more visible to the reader? I don't know if that's possible but just a suggestion that came to mind.

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    • I can see the issues you’re pointing out. My thoughts are:

      • Purge the 1 image galleries off the hop.
      • Change how the gallery link works in the templates for characters, teams, el al.
        • If the related image category only has one image the gallery link doesn’t show.
        • Otherwise, the link only shows if the gallery exists.
      • Remover the Category: Gallery Page Needed. Both this and the above would reduce the feeling that a gallery, of any sort, is needed for every page.
      • By numbering system, do you mean the one used for image files? I Can see that having both up and down sides. Yes, it can make the sorting of the images more context driven. But it also requires a new standardization of what is acceptable, including file name length.
      • Captions are a good idea, regardless of a change in the numbering system.
      • Trimming, limiting, and sub-galleries all have merit.
      • As for the “new” galleries and tabbies... I’m not a fan of the tabbies for this since there are to many characters with loads’’ of different codenames and/ore costumed looks. I haven see the “new” galleries though, is there a link to an example?

      Aside from that, I can only proffer what I’ve been doing with the actors galleries.

      With them I’ve upped the default image size to 150px for better clarity of the images as well as using captions. I’ve also only created galleries where the actor has had multiple roles and/or a difference between in and out a character’s alter ego.

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    • New image galleries. They might look slick, but you can't control the size and the caption is only visible on mouseover (and even then, grey on grey).

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    • There's a way to preview our galleries as new galleries, and the captions work fine, they are visible for me without mouseover (example see Alternates section), although they do end up covering part of the image. The downside is they're all square, and I'm assuming there's no way to change that, and since most of the images we use are textless covers (rectangular) they end up looking weirdly cropped.

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    • "Purge the 1 image galleries off the hop."

      I think this must definitely be done. A character who made a single appearance in a decades-old imaginary story doesn't exactly deserve a gallery. Especially if that image is their ONLY image.

      "Remover the Category: Gallery Page Needed. Both this and the above would reduce the feeling that a gallery, of any sort, is needed for every page."

      Seconded. I've created myself galleries because of that message made me think it was required.

      I think triming and limiting must be done, but it can lead to arguments as to what images are worthy of keeping.

      Subcategorizing sounds workable, but how it should be done? I'm sure this is a dumb idea, but maybe every character should have a single gallery for all of their incarnations. There must have dozens of Bruce Wayne galleries with only one or two images. Imagine there's a single gallery for the Bruce Wayne character:

      • Bruce Wayne (Prime Earth)
        • Images
      • Bruce Wayne (New Earth)
        • Images
      • Bruce Wayne (Dark Knight Returns)
        • Images
      • Bruce Wayne (Earth-22)
        • Images

      etc...

      Sadly I'm sure it'd be a mess since the most popular and oldest characters have a huge number of images.

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      • Get rid of the numbering system, instead use a more descriptive title. Better for SEO, bad for the look of source.

      Wait, are you suggesting we should use the Marvel Wiki Naming System? Are you out of your mind? What is the council of elder admins going to think about this blasphemy?

      If they only knew that I have already been uploading files without following the ancient rites, I'd be stripped of my powers!!

      • Keeping the numbers, but use captions (~140 characters), if space allows with source.

      Trimming. May be necessary, to avoid repetition of captions.

      Captions and numbers sounds redundant to me.

      • Limiting. There's no optimal length for galleries, but I doubt we'd still have people's attention after 200 images. Or even 100. Or 50. Or 10. There is no optimal length, but I reckon somewhere between 4 and 50? This doesn't necessarily involve trimming, because....
      • Subcategorization. 800 images of Batman spanning 30 years is something we should be able to split up, with section headers that tick SEO marks. Batman in the 80s. Batman in No Man's Land. Batman in Infinite Crisis. Batman and Robin. Downside is this leaves an inconsistent mess across different galleries.

      Now, this one I like. But it still needs a bit of polishing. Character galleries should feature only notable images of the subject, whether it's for historical value, or story significance. As you pointed out, this could be done by adding headers/sections to the galleries, but we should restrict this to a number of sections allowed. Like, standard sections would be "Character"; "Secret Identity"; "Covers" & "Notable Storylines/Moments".

      'Character' only for prominent images of the hero/villain/character within a range of 20-50 pics.
      Same for 'Secret Identity', only that range could be 10-20.
      'Covers' for all textless covers featuring the characters, no range limit.
      'Notable Storylines/Moments' should have gallery captions to be specific about the source of the image with a range of 5 images limit per event/storyline.

      Now, all that would mean trimming those pointless images like the one you linked of Batman. Instead of plain deleting them, why not include a gallery section in the comic they come from? I know it would be redundant with the "Issue Images/Category", but I'd rather do that instead of deleting all of those that don't meet the criteria. That's the lazy way of doing things.

      • Limit it to textless covers and full pages only (where possible)

      For modern characters sounds fine. BUT You'd cripple the chances of galleries for old/obscure characters. There's a reason James Corrigan (New Earth)/Gallery doesn't have that many images.

      • Switching to new galleries. Hey, I said I was spitballing, don't kill me ;P

      This doesn't fix the issue.

      • Image tabbers. Much like we already have on cover galleries. Images with every different code name plus civvies. Though on some people like Hal Jordan that's going to be a large tabber. And these look TERRIBLE on mobile. Galleries are better than Tabbers.

      I believe our system is not compatible with tabbers. Until I see otherwise; I say nay.

      • Have a small gallery or slideshow in the article, above the history. I'm not sure how this will look with both the main image and if there's a video on top. Content would be pushed way down, especially since covers tend to be portrait. With TV and movie screenshots could work, but that's not our primary source of images.

      I don't like this idea.

      • Not do anything. Everything is perfect. I know this because it's true and we always did it this way and I dismiss all these fancy numbers and SEO bs because they don't say what I want them to say.
      • Alternatively, come up with decent ideas and then... not do anything, because we've got to change 10.000 pages and we're not smart enough to bot it.

      Now you're talking like the true DC Wiki admin that you know you are.

      All of Byfield's ideas are sound. MektonZ's proposal of having a unified gallery system for characters doesn't sound practical for editors or readers.

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    • Ugh...

      That neuters a lot of the reason for a gallery. The idea is to see the entire image, not a crop or with an overlay.

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    • These are all the suggestions I could come up with, I don't necessarily agree with them.

      Concerning New Galleries, they cut off the gallery at 8, storing the rest in a dropdown. For quick navigation it's better, but there are many downsides that don't make it suitable for us.

      As for the other suggestions:

      • Creating an #If {{NUMBERSINCAT:{{{PAGENAME}}}/Images}} = <2 or something parser goes beyond my skill in parser functions. And it probably wouldn't work for pages with a ' in them. But if you've got a weekend to spare, knock yourself out.
      • I don't mind Gallery Pages Needed going, but mayber it's better to make it a hidden category.
      • The change in naming standard was something like what Marvel does, and plenty of other wiki too. I don't like it any more than you, but [Character] 0001.jpg is a ferociously bad pagename. Also, I don't feel like changing thousands of images.
      • Merging other versions into one is a mess. It's also problematic for alternate universe Batses that are neither called Batman nor Bruce Wayne.
      • Captions are not redundant. They add text to the image, explaining what's in them/where they're from. It's way better for SEO.
      • Our system is not incompatible with tabbers (see the comic template), but it's worse than a gallery.
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    • I think I see where Tupka was going - right now the filename is the only information a viewer has on most galleries. Adding captions helps alleviate that. Take Kyle Rayner/Gallery for example. A lot of the images can be removed and that would make the section headers impractical. But, captioning the images can Identify which costumed ID they represent and, in the case of the GL costumes, when that look was used.

      Remember, this is for a user who isn't going to be poking around, or relying on, the mark-up. Giveing them context is not a bad thing.

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    • Saying it "don't add anything wiki-wise" doesn't make a lot of sense to me since it turns redlinks blue and there are a lot of redlinks. What *should* happen is that the templates that make up the pages on this site should have if/then statements about links displaying only if they exist but no one wants to bother with that and so instead we have thousands and thousands of redlinks.

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    • Koavf wrote: Saying it "don't add anything wiki-wise" doesn't make a lot of sense to me since it turns redlinks blue and there are a lot of redlinks. What *should* happen is that the templates that make up the pages on this site should have if/then statements about links displaying only if they exist but no one wants to bother with that and so instead we have thousands and thousands of redlinks.

      It's just a page that duplicates non-content. It doesn't aid the wiki - it is not informative for readers.

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    • Pictures are content but sure. Either way, I proposed the solution and it's honestly not that hard to implement. There is clear value in reducing redlinks and there are two ways to do it: either turn them blue or keep them from displaying in the first place. Fundamentally, the approach to how this wiki functions is pretty broken but no one wants to fix that so instead there's just piecemeal deletion with no explanation and self-contradictory admins who write policy based on whims. This will only serve to make it more confusing and difficult to edit but again, no one seems very concerned about that.

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    • This wiki functions pretty broken because it has 2006 framework. The templates are held together by ducttape and chewing gum and run on pure magic.

      As mentioned above, if you want to make the #if switch, go ahead.

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      • The change in naming standard was something like what Marvel does, and plenty of other wiki too. I don't like it any more than you, but [Character] 0001.jpg is a ferociously bad pagename. Also, I don't feel like changing thousands of images.
      • Captions are not redundant. They add text to the image, explaining what's in them/where they're from. It's way better for SEO.
      • Our system is not incompatible with tabbers (see the comic template), but it's worse than a gallery.
      • I guess my sarcasm was not obvious enough. Adopting the "Marvel Method" is an idea I particularly like and have been doing to some degree without consequences, but am aware others won't like it. That said, nobody's going to rename all our files so we're secrewed there anyway. Just change the policy going forwards and let the past remain rotten.
      • If "captions" are what I believe they are, we run in the same issue as naming files. The same amount of work for less reward, thus the redundancy.
      • What I meant by compatibility is visual and practical use. Having character pages with one meekly tab that switches to that character's gallery would make them look rather different from the rest of pages on the site, losing that "compatibility". Should've said "uniformity".

      I've already given suggestions that I believe are most practical and require the least amount of work.

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    • Tupka217 wrote: As mentioned above, if you want to make the #if switch, go ahead.

      I'd be happy to be an admin here if you'll give me the user rights, sure.

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    • Tupka217 wrote: This wiki functions pretty broken because it has 2006 framework. The templates are held together by ducttape and chewing gum and run on pure magic.

      As mentioned above, if you want to make the #if switch, go ahead.

      Correction: I fixed a lot of broken 2006 stuff between 2011 and 2015 with solid coding. I did not fix the Movie or TV templates, because some kind of voodoo evil keeps them broken, despite my best efforts. Further broken things are Wikia/Fandom's fault, for insisting we smoosh their garbage Lua into our templates.

      As for galleries:

      • I'm on board with reducing the number of images to a maximum of... at most 50?
      • With that limitation, I downright insist that we increase the resolution of our thumbnails in that gallery to something more like between 200-350px, versus 150px.
      • I had an initiative ages ago to try to include AltText in images on pages so that they would have some SEO-readable info in them. I'm not sure if AltText is still used, but we may be able to write something into the template, or input it manually.
      • larger thumbs = more space for captions, but I feel like captions give a lot of leeway to bad edits, and stupid captions, when really we just want something informative.
      • Let the image categories be more prominent, and shoulder the burden of housing images of characters for the purposes of identification. The galleries should be a showcase. We should not duplicate categories as galleries just for the sake of digging them out of the back end. Send users to the back end instead.
      • With that in mind, only text-free crops, pinups, textless covers allowed (where possible). If a character doesn't have any "showcase" worthy images, they don't get a gallery - they have an image category for that.
        • If we go this route, I can probably write something into the character template to either override the auto-creation of gallery red-links, or make them opt-in instead.
      • My preference, in terms of descriptive filenames, is that they follow conventions (like our cover naming standards) rather than "batman in that one issue, with the hot chick's boobs.gif"
      • Don't think it's worth splitting up galleries into sections. If we limit it, and add captions, sections would be redundant. Byfield said as much. Also, not convinced section titles will help SEO at all.
      • New Galleries: No. - ugly; awkward; not actually galleries.
      • Tabbers: No. - None of know how to write them. They don't work well anyway. Boo.
      • @Koavf: ifexist parsers are "expensive" - wikia/fandom hates them. And, at no point will we be creating a gallery for a character who doesn't already have a character page. The ifexist as a preventative measure for red-linking isn't a viable solution. I already proposed an opt-in/opt-out solution that would be more effective - provided that the Gallery section of the character template isn't buried in Lua, in which case we're fucked, and you've no right to complain until you've learnt the language, and can fix it yourself (as opposed to blindly mucking about) - in which case we would gladly give you access to edit the template, temporarily.
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    • Alt text should be mandatory anyway whether or not it helps SEO. This is a perfect example of a single admin saying self-contradictory things about policy-on-a-whim.

      I am okay at MediaWiki templates, not great at Lua. Anyone has any rite to complain about something being wrong or broken—how else do you think things get fixed? Everyone who submits a bug report needs to also be able to fix the bug? Where are you getting this?

      Can you give me more perspective on how/why Wikia hates parsers? (e.g. a citation or explaining their reasoning)

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    • Koavf wrote:

      Alt text should be mandatory anyway whether or not it helps SEO. This is a perfect example of a single admin saying self-contradictory things about policy-on-a-whim.

      Mandatory according to whom? It exists in the mediawiki infrastructure, but it is not in any way a requirement to display an image, nor has anyone in any authority declared its use to be mandatory, to my knowledge. I see no contradiction. It's certainly nice to use alt-text as an accessibility option for the blind.

      I am okay at MediaWiki templates, not great at Lua. Anyone has any rite to complain about something being wrong or broken—how else do you think things get fixed? Everyone who submits a bug report needs to also be able to fix the bug? Where are you getting this?

      I wouldn't necessarily class a Wikia/Fandom employee failing to follow our instructions, producing a company mandated template for us in an unintuitive coding language, and then abandoning us to deal with it ourselves a "bug" - but I have certainly made multiple requests over the years to get help from someone who can resolve our issues. No help was given.


      Can you give me more perspective on how/why Wikia hates parsers? (e.g. a citation or explaining their reasoning)

      They don't necessarily hate parser functions. They hate expensive parser functions. Here's a little context. Ultimately, it means that the system load caused by forcing the platform to check to see if the other page exists is high, and both affects the server capacity and load-times for users. A page with multiple #ifexists or #switch functions is especially problematic. Essentially, the point is that they like Lua better for its compatibility with mobile and for its marginally faster load-times. When Billy was working for Wikia/Fandom a few years back, they outright told him that they hate when we use expensive functions like ifexist, and - back on subject - they also specifically complained very much about the size of our Batman disambigs and gallery pages, because they took too long to load, because of all of the images.

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    • According to decency? Why is accessibility an after-thought or just a nice add-on for SEO?

      Re: bugs: This has been my experience as well. But the question I asked was directed to you: why do you think that I am only allowed to voice a problem if I know the solution *and* can implement it? Everyone can bring up problems or issues as he sees fit. I'm not a civil or structural engineer, but it's okay for me to tell someone that a bridge collapsed.

      Thanks for the parser info.

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    • I've made Gallery Page Needed a Hidden Cat (it's very simply). I'll start deleting the tiny galleries.

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    • Koavf wrote:

      According to decency? Why is accessibility an after-thought or just a nice add-on for SEO?

      Idealism is a disease, bruh.

      Koavf wrote:

      Re: bugs: This has been my experience as well. But the question I asked was directed to you: why do you think that I am only allowed to voice a problem if I know the solution *and* can implement it? Everyone can bring up problems or issues as he sees fit. I'm not a civil or structural engineer, but it's okay for me to tell someone that a bridge collapsed.

      I said "complain", not "notify with a conciliatory tone and civility." If there are bugs in our MediaWiki templates, it is most likely that we already know about them - we just can't find them. You are welcome to scour the code for the missing or misplaced curly brackets, or bad math expression. Trust me, though, I have done that myself. We don't just write broken templates on purpose, and think "Terrific! Launch it!" That said, I welcome bug reports on these templates, even if my response ends up being "you are welcome to scour the template for the missing or misplaced brackets."

      If the templates errors were caused by meddling Fandom employees frankensteining broken Lua into functioning Mediawiki templates, then it's a Lua problem. None of us have practical experience with writing or troubleshooting Lua, and if you also don't know Lua, you are no more informed than we are, so we are on equal footing. We know about the bugs. We're annoyed about them too. Complain to people who can fix it, not us. We've made our own complaints and requests. No dice.

      While I'm at it, if you've got more argumentative responses up your sleeve, put them on my wall, rather than derail this thread.

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    • There's no reason to be hostile to the disabled or to me.

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    • At the risk of derailing it further: the disabled?!

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    • Tupka217 wrote: At the risk of derailing it further: the disabled?!

      LSS - A number of text reader can/should pick up AltText and provide the user with an actual description of the contents of the image. If the feature is enabled on the wikia.

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    • Alt text is sometimes thought of as only for the blind or those who have limited vision (i.e. disabled persons) but it is also useful for those who have images turned off (e.g. they have very restricted Internet connections or pay by the kilobyte) or for search engine indexing of an image, etc. We should clearly include alt text for many reasons and refusing to do even allow for it is hostile, yes. I'm not suggesting anyone in particular is obliged to add it, just that we shouldn't refuse to have it.

      But re: galleries, we should definitely restrict their usage to being genuinely useful (e.g. showing different costumes or visualizing contexts).

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    • We might also want to remove gallery links from all staff galleries because this.

      Removed.
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    • Koavf wrote: We should clearly include alt text for many reasons and refusing to do even allow for it is hostile, yes.

      Like I said, it was my plan to roll out the use of alt-text on all images. I did roll it out for the main image on character/comic pages (and I may have included it in the {{Image}}template - if not, I will shortly). Nobody refused to do it.

      (incidentally, the {{Tl}}template is now buggy, and causes unnecessary indents if you {{use}} it in a sentence). Tupka?

      However, because <gallery> tags don't allow #if parsers within them, as shown here (you have to view the source - the result is a blank page), it would require manually adding alt-text to the code for every item in the gallery, as opposed to, say, conveniently using fields to duplicate the image caption as the alt-text (which would probably be my ideal method). The only alternative I can think of is not using gallery tags at all, and trying to arrange all the images properly with styles, which would be a frustrating undertaking, but maybe not a worthless effort.

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    • That was just a stray line break. Should be solved now.

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    • Also, remove the gallery link from TV Series. Most there are just one image placeholders because they got redlinked on every episode page and were clogging up WantedPages.

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    • Tupka217 wrote: Also, remove the gallery link from TV Series. Most there are just one image placeholders because they got redlinked on every episode page and were clogging up WantedPages.

      So, technically, we should remove the gallery link from the episode template?

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    • Unless we rebuild the TV series galleries into galleries with all main characters?

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    • Tupka217 wrote: Unless we rebuild the TV series galleries into galleries with all main characters?

      That's not a bad idea. Unfortunately, the episode template has been Lua'd, so I made some changes in there without knowing how it would turn out. If you can find a TV series without a gallery page (redlink on episode pages), I can use it to check that my edit worked.

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    • Looks like it works, then. No gallery link on episode pages unless the gallery already exists. We can delete galleries that shouldn't exist, and maybe extend them to include main cast photos.

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    • Hatebunny wrote: Nobody refused to do it.

      Unfortunately, this is not true and I have gotten directly contradictory instructions from the same admin regarding when and how to use alt text. As always, it's just policy-by-whim with blithe directives like, "nah, we don't do this". Yes thank you for inserting this option--it's necessary.

      Edit: Actually, I think we should "store" the alt text at the file itself and just have a bot that inserts it everywhere that the file is included or transcluded. That reduces overhead substantially.

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    • Koavf wrote:

      Edit: Actually, I think we should "store" the alt text at the file itself and just have a bot that inserts it everywhere that the file is included or transcluded. That reduces overhead substantially.

      Do you know python? We're going to need that. Or we just pile even more DPL into the wiki. It does not reduce "overhead", whatever you mean by that. It increases server strain, though.

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    • Koavf wrote:

      Unfortunately, this is not true and I have gotten directly contradictory instructions from the same admin regarding when and how to use alt text.

      If you are referring to this, then refer to the forthcoming message on your wall.

      Edit: Actually, I think we should "store" the alt text at the file itself and just have a bot that inserts it everywhere that the file is included or transcluded. That reduces overhead substantially.

      On the face of it, that sounds like a good idea, but I don't know of any way to make it happen, with a bot or otherwise. The only way that I know of that would theoretically make it possible (dynamic page linking) wouldn't work (for reasons too elaborate to go on and on about here), and would be even more "expensive" than ifexists and switches. Ultimately, it would just be easier to manually write it on the gallery pages, and let the other page-templates automate it.

      edit: and if I'd checked before writing this, I would have noticed that the portable infobox "upgrade" destroyed our automated alt-text coding, and without learning Lua, we can't do anything to fix that.

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    • Tupka217 wrote: Do you know python? We're going to need that. Or we just pile even more DPL into the wiki. It does not reduce "overhead", whatever you mean by that. It increases server strain, though.

      I have messed around with Python more-or-less successfully but not DPL--and if you're referring to the MediaWiki extension, I'm not sure how that would solve the problem. If server strain is a problem (is it???) then we can just have them manually inserted, sure but that will only strain servers more.

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    • So, based on my recent interactions with FishTank and his responses to Tupka's questions on the Town Hall post, our separate-page galleries are essentially useless pages, even with a serious overhaul. I'm not 100% convinced of that, to the extent that I think people who use the site and understand its navigation do use it to view galleries. However, I do also think that the Batman gallery, for example, is not one of those. Because it is too damn big, and the thumbnails are too damn small.

      Further more, in terms of SEO, we are limited to descriptive text-sections (not currently part of our gallery template's structure), and captions - which we typically do not include, or use templates like {{cid}} for cover galleries.

      So, rather than inserting galleries into articles, which isn't the worst thing we could do, but isn't a thing I want to do, I recommend highly curated gallery pages, with sections of text that state "this is the image gallery for character X" with some kind of brief description. And then larger-sized thumbnails and descriptive (within reason) captions in the gallery gallery structure.

      Furthermore, I'm told that the best place to improve the SEO on individual images (which is a related goal, here, I think), the best way to do this is to modify the image template so that it has a "Fair Use" field, where the Fair Use information that currently goes in the description field goes, and have that display at the bottom of the page along with {{DC Copyright}} in the notes section. Then, we'll have to use a bot to change all of the "Description" fields in images to "Fair Use", and then (here comes the awful part), add the Description field back in to every image template so that the Body-text of the article can be used for a description of the content of the image - which we may be able to automate in the absence of input.

      Thoughts?

      Edit: I neglected to mention that the awful part is actually the fact that someone will have to go through every image on the site and write a description of the image content.

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    • I think that genuinely high-value galleries on a handful of the topics that are mostly likely to warrant them or have anyone ever click on them is very useful (e.g. Metropolis but not Chicago, the Hal Jordan Green Lantern but probably not G'Nort, etc.) and that we should remove them from templates as automatically appearing--that just creates redlinks that tacitly encourage the creation of galleries that no one will see or signals that there is something *missing* since we don't have a gallery for Mopee.

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    • Hatebunny wrote: I recommend highly curated gallery pages, with sections of text that state "this is the image gallery for character X" with some kind of brief description. And then larger-sized thumbnails and descriptive (within reason) captions in the gallery gallery structure.

      ...

      I neglected to mention that the awful part is actually the fact that someone will have to go through every image on the site and write a description of the image content.

      Curated galleries. Yes, I already pointed it out. It sounds feasible.
      Describing all images on the wiki doesn't. Why is that necessary again?

      Despite the reason; face it, nobody will do that task and see it finished.

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    • Alt text serves several functions including accessibility, logistics, and search engine optimization. All images on the Web--unless they are small decorations--should have alt text.

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    • A little more on this subject, based on some discussion between admins:

      This should not be an opportunity to raze the wiki of galleries.

      For the sake of expediency, I'm going to say "character" and mean any kind of image subject.

      The appropriate approach should be:

      • first decide whether there are enough good images of a given character to warrant a gallery before creating one.
      • We should turn off redlinking to galleries in templates, so as not to encourage the creation of galleries for the sake of getting rid of a red link.
      • The criteria for deleting galleries shouldn't be "is this a prominent character", it should be "are there any good images of this character?" and if there is only one or two images, and neither is "gallery" worthy, then we should delete the gallery (or just not make one).
      • Image Categories and Character pages can and do serve as places where images of minor characters are showcased, if not a gallery.
      • We shouldn't put SEO before being an encyclopedia. While SEO is important, if it comes at the cost of being able to be encyclopedic, then, maybe we can do without the SEO there. (We are still one of Fandom's biggest and most visited wikis, despite our methods).
      • Despite claims that "nobody visits gallery pages" from Fandom, we have anecdotal statements from many creators who say they actually visit our gallery pages to get drawing references for obscure characters. I know cosplayers who do this too. The problem is that only people who know of the site and how to navigate the site are able to use galleries effectively, meanwhile our gallery SEO is so poor that no one can find them with google.
      • The idea of galleries was to showcase different artists' takes on a character, and their different costumes, and changes through the years. That was certainly the approach on the galleries we have for the Big 7, and other majors like Catwoman. The question is then, how many images do we need in a gallery to be able to carry on that ideology - at a maximum, not a minimum.
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    • I've not heard the claim "nobody visits gallery pages". Only that they're bad for overall SEO and a pain to navigate. They definitely serve a purpose and shouldn't be deleted outright.

      I think 50 per section is a a good maximum for the Big 7-category. Or, if we make the images bigger (3 per row?) the nearest number to get a nice full line at the bottom.

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    • That would be 51.

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    • Also, if we're hiding redlinks, that includes the Thumbnav.

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    • Tupka217 wrote: Also, if we're hiding redlinks, that includes the Thumbnav.

      Unless I'm mistaken, the thumbnavs have ifexists built into them for that... which is why wikia hates our disambigs. Maybe I removed them a while back and forgot about it.

      Edit: I'm mistaken. I removed them and forgot about it... and then added a bunch of weirdness so we could link to Marvel.

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    • This is on a mostly unrelated note, but I didn't think it worthy of making a whole new thread over so thought I'd post it here... but I think the administrators panel on the slider on the home page should be replaced with something else. With all due respect to you guys, casual readers of the site are not going to be particularly interested in who the admins or moderators are, and there is already a link to that page under the community section on the navigation bar at the top of the page for those who are interested. That space could be better used to highlight an event relating to DC comics or media which would be more engaging to the average user than a list of administrators. Perhaps something like the ongoing No Justice event could be highlighted instead, for example?

      I also think the slider should use specially cropped images (670 × 360 pixels) so that they fit perfectly without the black bars on the sides, like the Marvel Wiki does.

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    • Samohyeah wrote: ...like the Marvel Wiki does.

      Sweet child... you were doing so well until you said that. You'll soon find that some among the admin team are fervently opposed to do anything like the Marvel wiki, even if it's reasonable.

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    • Samohyeah wrote: Casual readers of the site are not going to be particularly interested in who the admins or moderators are...

      100% agree--it's just vanity. Literally no one cares.

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    • I never cared about it. Sliders get little to no clicks anyway.

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    • Hatebunny wrote:

      Tupka217 wrote: Also, if we're hiding redlinks, that includes the Thumbnav.

      Unless I'm mistaken, the thumbnavs have ifexists built into them for that... which is why wikia hates our disambigs. Maybe I removed them a while back and forgot about it.

      Edit: I'm mistaken. I removed them and forgot about it... and then added a bunch of weirdness so we could link to Marvel.

      How much are those IAGQ links used anyway? Are they really necessary?

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    • Tupka217 wrote: I never cared about it. Sliders get little to no clicks anyway.

      Even if that's the case, it is one of the first things you see on the home page, so it should at least be made to look as good & be as interesting as possible.

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    • Yes. Staff suggest actually putting one thing there, a featured article, picture or a video, not a slider.

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    • Tupka217 wrote: How much are those IAGQ links used anyway? Are they really necessary?

      I've never really used them, but it does seem less intuitive to force people to go to the character page and see if there's a gallery linked THERE instead of making a one-click stop. If no one's using them, though... That said, i'd be in favour of removing those links from Thumbnav altogether, and only using them for the top-spots on disambigs (if there are top spots).

      Samohyeah wrote:

      With all due respect to you guys, casual readers of the site are not going to be particularly interested in who the admins or moderators are, and there is already a link to that page under the community section on the navigation bar at the top of the page for those who are interested.

      Honestly, I'm surprised that our main page gets any traffic at all. Besides the slider and the "new this week" panel, it's just garbage that Wikia/FANDOM forced us to put there.

      I don't think I've visited the main page in years, and I visit this wiki daily. I would think that most casual readers would find the wiki via google searches and external links to content pages, and would therefore bypass the main page completely. But if there are people who do visit the home page frequently, it's a fair point.

      Cofvefe wrote: 100% agree--it's just vanity. Literally no one cares.

      Despite the negative press Cofvefe, that slide was simply meant to prominently direct new users to a place they can get help from an administrator. Not to self-aggrandize. It is, however, presented in the form of a joke. It's okay if you don't think it's funny. We don't think you're funny either.

      If it does appear vain, the vanity is justified, given that the vast majority of the content on this wiki was produced by the people listed on that page, and they do deserve credit for that commitment, no matter how bitterly you feel toward them, for whatever reasons you may have.

      All that said, I am totally fine with just prominently displaying one event with a picture or video, rather than a slider, because sliders are a pain in the butt to maintain - see also:

      Samohyeah wrote:

      I also think the slider should use specially cropped images (670 × 360 pixels) so that they fit perfectly without the black bars on the sides, like the Marvel Wiki does.

      We used to do this, but not everyone has access to the tools necessary to crop things precisely, and sliders are finicky and produce inconsistent results whether you crop or not. It tends to be much easier to link to an existing image on the wiki than create a cropped duplicate of an image that's already on the wiki, just for the sake of having a slider without black bars on it.

      But like I said, i am in favour of not having a slider.

      While I'm at it...

      SforHope wrote: I have developed a chip on my shoulder.

      You'd best see to that, friendo.

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    • Hatebunny wrote: Honestly, I'm surprised that our main page gets any traffic at all. Besides the slider and the "new this week" panel, it's just garbage that Wikia/FANDOM forced us to put there.

      I don't think I've visited the main page in years, and I visit this wiki daily. I would think that most casual readers would find the wiki via google searches and external links to content pages, and would therefore bypass the main page completely. But if there are people who do visit the home page frequently, it's a fair point.

      I was in a Council meeting with Jamie, Nathan and some dev peeps a couple months back (no spoilers - NDA) but they showed the majority of our main page traffic goes to the character portals and this week's comics. Across all wikis, polls and Featured Articles get some attention, but all the other usual things people have on main pages - sliders, social media, admin messages - barely get anything.

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    • The downside with polls and featured articles is that they have to be updated regularly. We used to have a poll and it was removed for that precise reason.

      So why not include a couple more portals? Besides 'Characters", there could be 'Events', 'Films & TV Shows', 'Videogames', etc. You get the idea. The Main Page is after all our front door/direct window to our content. Why not highlight the best we have to offer?

      And while I'm at it: If the shoe fits...

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    • I've waited on weighing in since I don't know much about the behind the scenes workings/coding of the site. As it relates to galleries, I do think we should do what we can to help SEO within reason. Tupka and others probably know more about how to achieve this than I do. It just seems important to me to point out that Fandom will always prioritize clicks over quality content; that's how they make a profit and stay in business. That's fine if we recognize that. That said, I don't think we should sacrifice being an encyclopedia and having good content, both articles and images, in favor of the almighty SEO. I'm not saying one is better than the other but there should be a way to find balance.

      As for criticism of the "admin team", I don't think that's entirely fair. Several admins have gone inactive over the years and some of them pushed harder for things than others. The slider, for instance, was meant to prominently direct people who to ask for help. I personally never cared for the image choice even though it was supposed to be a joke. That can go as far as I'm concerned.

      If the Marvel side has good ideas, great let's see how we can adapt them here. Maybe they'd like to do the same with some of ours. I don't think anyone ever said if Marvel does something, we can't. I just don't think we need to make every choice the same as them. Some of their choices bother me but I'm open to new ideas.

      It seems this discussion has become more (subtly) heated than it needed to be. We're all invested in this site and want the best for it, even when we disagree.

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    • SforHope wrote: The downside with polls and featured articles is that they have to be updated regularly. We used to have a poll and it was removed for that precise reason.

      So why not include a couple more portals? Besides 'Characters", there could be 'Events', 'Films & TV Shows', 'Videogames', etc. You get the idea. The Main Page is after all our front door/direct window to our content. Why not highlight the best we have to offer?

      And while I'm at it: If the shoe fits...

      I think you bring up several good points but I am afraid of this conversation be coming too complicated and too far from its original purpose. You may wish to post a new topic.

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    • A FANDOM user
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