User:Kempm/Request For Change II

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Following a couple of discussions (User:Ucucha/Taxonavigation and User:Kempm/Issues_(Request_For_Change)) initiated by User:Ucucha, it became evident that maintaining wikispecies becomes more and more difficult. The current taxonavigation system does not allow to easily insert or delete a taxon up in the navigation tree, because the number of ":" affects all lower taxa. Therefore a new system was proposed, but as it turned out several possibilities can be made.

The idea is to reach community consensus on one of the taxonavigation possibilities and implement it from that point on.

I'd like to present here several proposals made, and at the same time keep open the possibilty for further discussion and criticism. When choosing keep flexibilty in mind, over the presentation of the taxonavigation. If you have an idea of your own, please add it to this page :)

I'd like to keep this voting open until Sunday October 29th, 2006.

Straight list[edit]


  • Symbol support vote.svg Support Lycaon 14:11, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
See also an example that uses new templates top-down: Glomus przelewicense
  • Symbol support vote.svg SupportOpen2universe 00:29, 28 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Symbol neutral vote.svg Neutral. -- Bggoldie 12:39, 28 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support --Kempm 20:42, 29 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Supportlinnea (talk) 11:55, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

Simple table[edit]

Regnum: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Classis: Mammalia
Ordo: Soricomorphia
Familia: Soricidae
Genus: Sorex


  • Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Lycaon 14:16, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose, (IMnsHO) HTML borders are ugly. -- Bggoldie 12:39, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

Table based on Dutch Taxobox[edit]

Thema: Biota
Regnum: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
No rank: Craniata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Classis: Mammalia
Ordo: Soricomorphia
Familia: Soricidae
Genus: Sorex
Species: Sorex caecutiens

Working examples based on this idea, but I think Bulgarian taxobox:


  • Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Lycaon 14:16, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support, regardless whether it would be based on Bulgarian, Dutch, English, Japanese or Swahili taxobox ;) -- Bggoldie 12:39, 28 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose, unless someone can convince me that it will be easy to use templates as we do now so if the upper taxonomy changes we do not need to change every single one. Open2universe 13:53, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

Hybrid list[edit]

Main Page

Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Metazoa
Superphylum: Bilateria: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Classis: Aves
Subclassis: Neognathae
Ordo: Columbiformes
Familia: Columbidae
Subfamilia: Columbinae
Genus: Streptopelia
Species: Streptopelia chinensis


  • Symbol neutral vote.svg Neutral Lycaon 14:17, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Symbol neutral vote.svg Neutral but I would prefer to have it shortened. -- Bggoldie 12:39, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

Short hybrid list[edit]

Main Page

Regnum: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Classis: Mammalia
Ordo: Primates
Familia: Hominidae
Subfamilia: Homininae
Tribus: Gorillini
Genus: Gorilla

Keep current system[edit]

Main Page
Superregnum: Eukarya

Divisio(n): (Phylum): Fungi
Subphylum: Pezizomycotina
Classis: Arthoniomycetes
Ordo: Arthoniales
Familia: Arthoniaceae
Genus: Amazonomyces
Species: Amazonomyces farkasiae


  • Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Lycaon 14:14, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose! -- Bggoldie 12:39, 28 October 2006 (UTC)


Here are a few examples in the actual trees, that show various setups in action:


  • I am finding it too complicated to try to keep the table structure once we go to templates. It seems that we need to keep tables open in the template and that feels wrong to me. See User:Open2universe/sandbox/st2. I also am trouble seeing how lists fit into the table structure. I am in favor of the simplest structure for now. Open2universe 00:29, 28 October 2006 (UTC)
And where do images go in each scenario? Open2universe 14:53, 28 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Few points I would be happy if addressed:
    1. From my POV the article should start with binomial/trinomial name and authority! I am not feeling happy with the "real estate" usage on the pages at the moment. Taxobox is quite convinient in Wikipedias (where I mainly live) and is handily utilizing the right part of the page. So my preferences go with taxobox way of doing it. That way the left part will be available for taxon authority and synonyms list.
    2. If there is no enough labour resource to maintain the taxoboxes, I would settle for simple list.
    3. The usage of colons only for super-, sub- and infra-taxa is really good and should be utilized even if simple list approach wins.
    4. An update to the idea - I do not think super-/sub-taxa are important beyond current and next upper level. The update is illustrated in subsection #Short hybrid list. The subdivisions of main taxa are one-click away and should not be a big problem.
    If you think the ideas need to be illustrated and/or are worth discussing I can set-up a demo page in my user's space. -- Bggoldie 12:39, 28 October 2006 (UTC)
  • I have seen someone write how a taxobox can be constructed using templates only. (Can't find the link) It would look like {{start taxobox}}{{regnum}}{{phylum}}{{classis}}{{ordo}}{{familia}}{{genus}}{{species}}{{end taxobox}}. Problem arises when there are many children on a certain page, which would probably have to be added outside of the box. A genus page could look like:
{{start taxobox}}{{genus template}}{{end taxobox}}
Species list: species1 - species2 ............
It can be done, I'm sure, also the box doesn't necessarily have to be placed on the right. It could be placed on the left also. Leaving the right open for Images. (Or the box on the right, image on the left). Another way to deal with images is using the <gallery>Image1.....Image100</gallery> tags. This would require adding a new image section to our pages though, and might be a bit heavy on server load when there are many images on one page.
Bggoldie: Not bad ideas you have, and I don't oppose. However, your short hybrid list will probably run into problems when the transition to meta:Wikidata is being made. Remember this project is only sort of a pilot project for Wikidata. One day, hopefully soon, all our data have to be scripted into a database. That means all taxon levels have to be consistent. But I agree for representation all those sub- and infra- levels are not much important, for our transition though these levels are needed to keep at least consistency. --Kempm 15:36, 28 October 2006 (UTC)
It looks like the straight list is favoured by everyone, Bggoldie voted neutral, but I think that's good enough to start using the straight list.
The next step would be to write a wikispecies manual. I'd like to start writing it from October 30th, and use the next few days as a transition phase, where both taxonavigation methods are valid. Once the manual is accepted by the community, I (we) can start working on the actual transition. --Kempm 20:42, 29 October 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the nice words but you have to consider that I am at the entusiast level in the whole biology. So can give advices as an advanced user, mainly in terms of ergonomy in navigation ;)
Consider my neutral for the straight list as slightly above zero, the three iconed templates are quick-n-easy eye-candies but limit the expression. So you can consider it sort of consensus at the moment.
For the template-based taxobox one can visit, that's the way we are doing it there - separate templates for taxostart, taxoimage, taxoregnum/taxophylum/taxoclass/etc. (all done via single taxon-template), taxoname (refering to wikispecies), and taxo-taxons (ranks below). It is doable using current hierarchy with tempates for intermediate levels, if you are interested I can setup a proof-of-concept set of templates in my userspace.
Allow me to express my concerns related to change acceptance - we can count how many people have expressed opinions on the fingers of one hand. I personally am not a frequent visitor here and stumbled on this discussion just by chance, I am not even aware how many people visit more or less regularly WS. So does this poll adequately represent all the opinions across the community? I know change management is not a kids play but am afraid of labour-intensive undo if too many people disagree postmortem. -- Bggoldie 15:03, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
That is a legitimate concern, and as Kempm mentioned there is a very small group of active contributers and this has been posted for a month. I will add something to the main page to let folks know that this is happening.Open2universe 18:40, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, forgot to address one more point. I strongly disagree with galeries and lots of images in WS! Currently there are pages serving the same purpose in Commons, and I personally feel fine with them. Maybe not all are perfectly maintained but are just fine enough. Whether WikiData is going to merge Commons and WS, or not, it is the same - separate galleries from text as some of them grow enormously. Single image is fine, two or more should go on another page. -- Bggoldie 15:22, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
Thx. Your input is highly appreciated, as we are only a small community trying to do what's best for the common interest. I feel strong about the current changes, not only because it's being backed up by the most regular users/administrators, but also since this current discussion was started by me a month ago. Discussions like this have been held more than a year ago, and since that time noone objected to making a change to the tree. So I feel strong about the change (, but I'm also very scared things can go wrong. This change requires an awful lot of work, but hopefully it saves work in the future.
I doubt we will see the gallery tags being used here, so your voice is heard. Further if you think your work on the taxoboxes can change peoples opinions feel free to add a few showcases. Open2universe likes to see them 'in action'. I will still need a few days writing manuals, and till then you can fully influence me with ideas. Keep them coming! --Kempm 16:42, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
OK, I've created a testbed for template-based taxobox in a sandbox. Changing the ordo worked as expected. If you are still interested and want to see also rank reordering, give me an example and I will try to implement it. I know only about Eutheria/Placentalia change but am not sure whether it is good for illustration. As the implementation is burying the open-table under the covers of templates-usage, it might relieve Open2universe's concerns a bit.
As for the galleries you can see the result of Commons:Inachis io for example. If one only needs to navigate up and down the tree, lots of images might be a problem (especially if the browser re-renders the page after each image download). -- Bggoldie 20:30, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
Thx. The box looks good, and evidence beyond resonable doubt was provided, such a box can created with templates only! There's still room for people to change their mind :) --Kempm 21:40, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
It seems Open2universe is expressing moderate interest, so I was motivated to complete the last two - Taxo picture & Taxo taxa. They are creating subsections within the box and together with the classification subsection can be permutated in any order (even in different order for different taxa if one desires so ;)).
This however raises the already discussed problem with subtaxa - up to say 5-10 subtaxa, the corresponding number of rows is fine to extend the table. For large lists like Acacia or Viola it is not very useful due to space waste on the left (other) side.
Setting all the lower rank taxa in single row (as it is now) does not help either. The immediate result is extension of the table as wide as possible which is useless. It can be limited by setting the table to have fixed width but it is measured in pixels and will differ in different browsers/screen resolutions. I do not expect someone to browse WS using 320x200 pixels GSM phone but who knows - high-bandwidth communications are at the door already and people tend to use hi-tech toys. -- Bggoldie 10:22, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

Excuse me, but it's past October 29th, 2006. Do we have a solution? — The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs).

Take a look at our content, the changes are already in progress. --Kempm 08:00, 26 November 2006 (UTC)
Would it be appropriate to indicate at the top of the article that voting did end, when the voting ended, and what the results were? Other wise you might have people seeing the News Flash on the front page and coming here to vote on a topic that is already closed. Jeepday 15:00, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
Yes, please clarify. It's not clear what the result was, nor can I find it in Help:Contents. Also, please update the news flash on the main page.- 18:08, 23 February 2007 (UTC)