Wikipedia talk:Portal/Guidelines/Archive 4

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From Portal talk:Browse#Aesthetics:

I tried to change some of the aesthetics, and it looked much better, but now someone has rv-ed the changes.

I would say: *Lose the vertical bars; dots (·) are much more appealing and less intrusive. *Move the icons (which aren't even necessary, but I think they have been sufficiently discussed on Wikipedia's Main Page draft talk page) to the right of each category name. *Don't include links to actual articles – like "Americas" because this is a page for portals. *Make Sports and games the same size as the others, and don't indent it; it is not enough a part of culture to require the indentation. *People aren't stupid, and if we're going to label Sports and Games twice, they should be separate categories. *Even though I understand the logic behind capitalizing "Culture" and such, when "games" is not capitalized, it is aesthetically displeasing and should be standardized.

Overall, the page looks horrible as it stands, but it definitely has potential. - ElAmericano | talk 19:05, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

I understand the concept of hierarchy, but I don't think we should sacrifice a good look just, say, to have sports 'under' the culture category. - ElAmericano | talk 04:59, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

I don't see why we've allowed the misaligned category titles (in the portal browsers) to stand. We should make tables so that the pictures don't screw up the title alignment. - ElAmericano | talk 18:40, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Main page redesign

There is discussion going on now at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Usability/Main Page/Draft#Health portal and Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Usability/Main Page/Draft#Portals about linking the portals (more prominently) from the main page to allow users to more easily browse Wikipedia.

Some of the concerns include:

  • The inconsistent quality of the major portals that are currently (or proposed) linked in the browse bar on the main page. In particular, the Portal:Health is quite primative and only recently been edited by User:Go for it! and myself. On the other portals, we should make sure the categories are all presented in a uniform style and position on the page. And, ensure each portal is regularly maintained and updated (e.g. switching the featured articles). I'll do what I can, particularly with Portal:Geography. --Aude (talk | contribs) 22:22, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
    • Very good point. We should strive to get these up to be Featured Portals (nothing exists in a vacuum, does it? Or else we could focus on the Main Page alone!)--HereToHelp (talk • contribs) 01:24, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
  • One other issue is the name of the "Society" portal. Is this supposed to encompass social sciences? I'm not sure I'd think to look under "Society" for economics or law. And where would I find popular culture (e.g. television, video games, sports, food & drink, etc.)? I might think to look under culture, but don't see these apparant on the Culture portal. This is all an issue of sorting topics, which is another important usability aspect of a website. --Aude (talk | contribs) 22:22, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
  • The Health Portal is NOT one of the Top 10 subjects. Waht justification does it have to be there? Put it as a subset of Science or even better Anatomy or the Medicine Portal. Unless it is recognized as an equaly important branch of Wikipedia, which it currently isn't, please DO NOT re add it. Those Portals are not chosen arbitrarily, but rather they were hand picked. health is a science; it falls under that category. It has no business being on the Main Page.--HereToHelp (talkcontribs) 21:46, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
    • Agreed, but I think the real problem here is the whole "Top 10" thing - very crass and unprofessional. Wikipedia is not a Letterman bit. I like this top bar a lot, actually, but there's got to be a better way to have links to the portals. Zafiroblue05 22:00, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
    • The Top 10 category was created this month. (Before that, we had the Top 8.) You say that the portals "are not chosen arbitrarily, but rather they were hand picked," but I don't know what distinction you're drawing. Who decided what categories would be included, and why is this determination sacrosanct?
    • Note that I'm not arguing that the health portal should be included (because I'm not sure). —David Levy 22:09, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
    • Actually, if the Portal:Health could be brought up to good quality, it would make more sense for Portal:Medicine to be merged into health, not vice versa. I am not really suggesting this, but health and health care are often confused, but are in fact quite different. The determinants of health go beyond health care and medicine; medicine is just one part of health. Thus, many universities have the fields of medicine, nursing, public health under the category of "health sciences." However, I agree that the health portal needs major revamping (see my comments on the discussion page) before it could be used to encompass the field of Medicine and other areas.--Chinawhitecotton 08:14, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

Feel free to weigh in on the discussion. --Aude (talk | contribs) 22:22, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Portals: Who are they for

For a while, portals have been used as hubs for certain key categories, but my question is: Who are they meant for? If for the end users of our encyclopedia, I cannot understand why we have boxes such as "What you can do" in them. This seems more like something for a WikiProject. If, on the other hand, these portals are meant for our editors, they should not be touted as somethign for our end users. - ElAmericano | talk 18:42, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

They're for both editors and readers... just like Wikipedia in general. --CBD 18:52, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
Your question is very good and timely, as in the ongoing Main page redesign discussion, links to the portals from the main page are being considered as a way of browsing and navigating through topics. In my opinion, I think portals are more for the end-user browsing for information on a particular topic, while WikiProjects and the Community Portal are meant more for editors. Portals (as they are now) may not be ideal for browsing, though. But, I don't think there is anything else on Wikipedia that can serve that purpose (the category pages aren't user-friendly). If portals are to be used to help people browse, I think we need some more standardization across portals (e.g. where on the page, the categories/subcategories are placed). Or suggestions on other ways to make it easier to browse and find topics? --Aude (talk | contribs) 19:03, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

I have some questions about the possibility of users configuring the main page to fit their own tastes, and was wondering what options were available to users right now for accomplishing this. This pertains to portals in that different Main Page designs present differing access to portals. See the various main page replacement draft designs that are being voted on at the Main Page Redesign Project for instance (which the heading above leads to.) Please click on the heading above to see my questions on this subject. I look forward to reading your replies. --Go for it! 23:56, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Portals on other wikis

An increasing number of people running/working on other wikis appear to be coming upon Wikipedia's portals, thinking they look nice, and coming here to see how it's done. Unfortunately, the answer is basically "they just work", since the instructions (naturally) don't say what's been set up already to make it so easy. More unfortunately still, the templates in question use an absolutely hideous amount of nesting, so copying all the necessary parts to another wiki is all but impossible. They also make use of the fact that the Portal: namespace (which is a custom namespace on Wikipedia, not one that's set up "out of the box") has subpages set up, making things like {{/footer}} behave differently from they would in a "normal" page, and, well, who knows what other jiggery-pokery.

As a first move to ward off the questions hitting support forums about this, I've put an ugly disclaimer above the instructions on this page. What would be really nice is if someone who actually understands how it all works (someone must have set those templates up, right?) could put some instructions at meta: for people trying to reconstruct the achievements. Off the top of my head, such instructions would have to cover at least:

  1. relevant software settings ("Portal:" into $wgExtraNamespaces, and that namespace into $wgNamespacesWithSubpages; anything else?)
  2. a full list of the templates that would need to be copied (which could then be given to Special:Export)
  3. any custom CSS rules in MediaWiki:Common.css et al referenced from those templates

I know this is a big ask, but the info could of course be corrected over time if anyone had the confidence to write a "first draft". If no-one does, we'll just have to stick with the disclaimer, I think. - IMSoP 17:57, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

Someone decided to take the time to answer newbie's Qs

IMSoP, whereas you simply state, it is too complex "don't ask" and discourage others to not ask, another user has spent their time explaning how these portal's actually work:

Three cheers to toykilla:


Signed: Travb 21:27, 30 April 2006 (UTC)

Top level categories/portals

Should Health be included alongside to the top ten portals of Art, Culture, Geography, History, Mathematics, People, Philosophy, Science, Society and Technology? My view is that is should not be because it simply is not what one could consider "top level". I have reservations about whether it should exist at all: what is its point? should it be merged to, or made a sub-portal of Medicine? or is it intended to cover the personal life? Whatever its point, it shouldn't be on {{catbar}}, {{browsebar}}, or {{browsebar noblank}}. And whilst we are considering Health, are the top ten correct as they are, or are they contradictory (ie, is each justifiably top level, or could one or another be sub-portals the others)?--cj | talk 07:42, 26 January 2006 (UTC)

Where did these subject categories come from anyways? Culture, People, Society, and Technology are the sections titles from a newspaper, and so is Health. The rest are university departments, which is why there is so much overlap between the two sets. The category names from a true knowledge hierarchy tend to be too long to put on the browsebar.

Also, what selection criteria did you use? Health is one of the most central issues there is. It is a central concern of most people every single day. So I want to hear your explanation that most people care more about Mathematics than they do about their own Health. Because I don't buy it. Do people care more about Art than Health? I hope not.

Health is definitely top level: top level in everyday importance, top level in domestic politics, top level as a world concern. It includes issues about eating, nutrition, exercise, safety, illness, medical treatment, and general wellbeing. How is this category not central nor "top"?? Please explain it to me. --Go for it! 08:23, 26 January 2006 (UTC)

I think you have been placing the wrong criteria on Wikipedia's knowledge scheme. You are stuck on some logical structure issue, when the more important factors here are usefulness and topic coverage. We are trying to help users find what they are looking for in the least number of clicks. We also have a limited amount of space to work with (one line) unless we are willing to go to a two-line format, which I by the way, am not opposed to. --Go for it! 08:23, 26 January 2006 (UTC)

After experimenting with a two line format, I don't like it. I'll give in, Health is okay. But Economics is, though an important topic, a horrible portal. Fix it up and I'll consider it. --HereToHelp (talkcontribs) 23:47, 26 January 2006 (UTC)

Religion should be a top level category

Despite some people maintaining that religion is merely a sub-branch of philosophy (which is technically correct), there are people out there who do not associate these concepts. It is for this reason that Religion should be offered as a separate option for those looking for info on religions such as Christianity, Islam, Buddhism etc. Wikipedia is all about sharing knowledge with the masses, and the current state of affairs would doubtlessly be confusing to many.

If there is ultra-strong opposition to this proposal, then the Philosophy portal should at least have prominent links to its "sub-portals". In any case, something must change! Brisvegas 07:22, 24 February 2006 (UTC)

Enact the latter. --cj | talk 08:27, 27 February 2006 (UTC)
Agree. Religion shouldn't be a top level portal. Just not broad enough. savidan(talk) (e@) 03:42, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

three portal box header templates on MFD

The three portal box header templates Portal:Box-header-square, Portal:Box-header-groovy and Portal:Box-header-round are listed on Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion today. Slambo (Speak) 12:06, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

Proposals process

I've made a start to Wikipedia:Portal/Proposals in an attempt to set up a proposals process similar to Wikipedia:WikiProject Stub sorting/Proposals. Help in developing this would be much appreciated as such a mechanism is so dearly needed to halt the multitude of pointless portals created each week.--cj | talk 04:29, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

I rm the transclusion of this proposal to the main project page. This is inappropriate:
  • No consensus has formed behind the proposal; and
  • The main project page is purely informational and well-established (since 2005 February 5). The proposal is just that: a new proposal for a new policy. The two are incompatible.
I should like to be able to support the proposal but, like most new proposals, it will require much work. Meanwhile, transcluding in-formation policy to an existing policy page would be wrong enough; this operation represents an alteration in function as well (from informational to policy) akin to a cross-namespace operation. Whatever the merits of the proposal I must resist this on grounds that it sets a bad precedent: We do not wish to see new proposals shoehorned into the project under the guise of let's-try-this. John Reid 17:57, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
John, the precedent has already been set by various other trialled proposals, WP:PROD, the semi protection and the barring of anons from creating pages being examples I can think of off the top of my head. The transcluding happens enough as well, but if you're not happy with that I'll just copy the whole thing in, policy pages have had sections with proposed tags on them before. It's not a cross-name space transclusion, since the page transcluded is a sub-page of this page. So I've restored the transcluded section, which is in use, and I would point out I think it's poor form to remove something which is being used without discussing it first. Hiding talk 19:03, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
I'm sorry, Hiding, but I think it's very poor form to start using something without discussing it first. You'd rather use it right away and force others to be the bad guy. I've tried to talk this over with you but you'd rather just go straight ahead. Well, as I've said before: If I'm right and it's important, then sooner or later some other editor will come along and fix it; I don't need to participate in a transclusion revert war. But I'm sorry to say you have lost any possibility of my support. John Reid 02:32, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
Fair play. Mind, it was discussed and no serious objections came forward. If it trials and people use it and it helps wikipedia, I don't see a problem. If it trials, people don't use it and it disrupts wikipedia, it ends trial. I'm forcing nothing. If you don't like it, state why, I'm more interested in the merits of the proposal than any other argument, and you haven't as yet addressed those. Hiding The wikipedian meme 07:58, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Inter-Portal Links

It seems very odd to me that there are no direct links from many top-level portals to portals within that field. Consequently, I've been creating an in-page addition to the browsebar template so that portals can link to each other more obviously and accessibly. The first one was created at Portal:Classical Civilisation, and I've also added one to Portal:Religion, since it seems absurd that the religion portal did not link to portals on specific religions. Could I request that editors on other portals - particularly higher-level portals (I'm not too bothered about the Warcraft portal) - add similar sets of links to ease navigation? I'll try to add more myself, of course, but it'd be better for someone with strong interests in the subject of a portal, who would know what other disciplines are relevant, could make the additions. The code is as follows:

<p style="clear:both; margin-top:-10px; margin-bottom:0.5em; font-variant: small-caps; text-align: center; font-size: 105%;"> [[Portal:Archaeology|Archaeology]] | [[Portal:Architecture|Architecture]] | [[Portal:Egyptology|Egyptology]] | [[Portal:Greece|Greece]] | [[Portal:Italy|Italy]] | [[Portal:Language|Language]] | [[Portal:Literature|Literature]] | [[Portal:Mythology|Mythology]] | [[Portal:Rhetoric|Rhetoric]] </p>

--Nema Fakei 12:55, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

It's probably better to follow the Subportal and Related portals layout being implemented on portals. For example, Portal:Geography has regional subportals (Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America, North America and Oceania). These subportals in turn have country subportals. Portal:Europe, for example, had Portal:United Kingdom as a subportal which has subportals for its constituent nations as well as Portal:Ireland and Portal:Europe as related portals.--cj | talk 06:54, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
The problem with that layout (as it appears to me, at least) is that many portals simply don't have sections like that, and where they do, there's no standard location on the page. Plus, in any given portal, you then have the top-level portals in one place, the subportals in another, and the related portals in yet another: is it not more intuitive for sub- and related portals to occupy the same space as the top-level portals?--Nema Fakei 11:50, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

Portal:South Park

Just discovered this hiding in the portal space. Have nominated it for deletion, see Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:South Park, since there is no meaningful content, and it's not a broad topic. Is it worth getting a speedy criterion for portals so as to quickly deal with portals which have no meaningful content and haven't been edited for ate least a month, say? Hiding talk 13:11, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

Fair Use images in Portals?

Are they allowed? It is an interesting question since the policy is kinda of vague on that point. Portals are like the main wikipedia page and it uses fair use images. But some portals have fair use images while others don't. So what does everyone think? Jedi6-(need help?) 15:14, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

Also does it matter where the image is used. Is it ok to be added along with a part of a selected article? Jedi6-(need help?) 15:24, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
I'd say probably not, although an argument could be made for their use. For example, selected article sections are really just snippets of articles where fair use might be justifiable. Are they in turn able to invoke fair use?--cj | talk 06:58, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
I don't know. I always thought portals go under the same rules as the main Wikipedia page. The problem is some portals are devoid of any fair use images while others are filled with them. Since no one has ever made a big deal of it I assumed it to be ok, but I have no clue. Jedi6-(need help?) 07:03, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
If you can make a fair use claim, use it. Selected articles can be accompanied by images if the image's use is supported by the accomanying text. Regarding running copyrighted pictures as selected pictures, they would need a very well written caption detailing usage of the picture and how the subject is important to the portal topic. For example, an image of Roger Federer would be fair use at Portal:Tennis because he is currently the men's world number one, as long as the caption quantified that: The above image is of Rogere Federer, taken at Wimbledon where he won hos third championship. Federer is currently the number one player in the world on the men's tour, and his play has led John McEnroe, amongst others, to declare him "the most gifted player that I've ever seen in my life." [1] Hiding talk 09:50, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

Help portal:norway

Help me!

The design of Portal:Norway has suddenly gone wild and I cannot fix it. I would really appreciate if someone fixed it, as I get little or no help from the other members of WikiProject Norway. I guess I am just really stupid, but if you would mind telling me how I could fix it...Won't bother you much. Ehjort 00:00, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

It's fixed. You had unclosed div mark-up (which was un-necessary in the circumstance) in your selected picture box.--cj | talk 02:07, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
Tanks a lot Ehjort 06:24, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Just set this up as a project of similar scope to the stub sorting project. Participants welcome. The first task is probably to trawl through the portal space and see what's in there, see Wikipedia Talk:WikiProject Portals for more details. Hiding talk 11:18, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

Good idea, although I think this page has always sort of served as a WikiProject.

Page overhaul

I've just started the page overhaul, which has long been requested. I hope to split off the instructions to separate pages once the proposals mechanism is confirmed.--cj | talk 04:28, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

Browsebar on the top of portals

{{browsebar}} shows up at the top of 159 portals, for example see Portal:Harry Potter or Portal:U.S. Roads. I don't quite its relevance in there, and I think any useful information is already contained in the {{portals}} bar at the bottom of portals, where it is also less intrusive. I would think that portals would look better with the browsebar removed from the top of portals. Comments on this are appreciated. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 23:39, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

The only way in which I find it useful is that it links to the top-ten portals. As portals are arranged by hierarchy, it is useful to be able to return to the origin portal. I would support removing all Wikipedia-specific links (FAQ, Help and whatnot) from the browse bar.--cj | talk 04:54, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
Well, I nominated it for deletion. That may attract more discussion. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 03:01, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
I think that was a somewhat premature action. It would have been better if time was allowed to work out a compromise here.--cj | talk 11:44, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
Well, I had no reply for three days, and I did not see your above comment in time. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 14:44, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
Fair enough.--cj | talk 05:47, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
Any user who is looking at a portal needs be able to easily find related portals which may be more relevant or specific. Moreover, the way in which portals are liked should be consistent between portals and between types of links. That means both subportals (Portal:Sports and games should link to all sports portals in the same way that Portal:Religion links to religions) and related portals (Portal:Film should link to Portal:Television in the same way as Portal:Ancient Germanic culture and Portal:Germany). Further, all inter-portal links should be kept together. At the moment, portals can have subportals in one place, related portals in another, the top level portals in the browsebar at the top, and the {{portals}} at the bottom. And every portal can be different.
My personal preference is that we keep the browsebar, perhaps modify it so the first line is replaced by the {{portals}} bar, but (as per Portal:Classical Civilisation) encourage other portals to add to it, so that all the portal--specific links are kept to three lines on each portal, and we don't have to use things like Portal:Philosophy, which has the entire list of all portals. A simple, consistent layout is less intrusive than the hundreds of variations we have throughout the portals at present.--Nema Fakei 11:10, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
And whatever bar is decided, it need not be on the very top, unless it is just one line long, as it is very distracting otherwise.
The current {{portals}} template links to the list of all portals, grouped nicely, which is very easy to browse that way. I think that should be enough to relate a given portal to other portals. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 15:16, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Linking to portals from articles

I wasn't sure whether to put this discussion here or in Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Portals, but in the end I put it there. Readers here might be interested to hop over to Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Portals#Linking to portals from articles and contribute. Stephen Turner (Talk) 12:12, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Template:Browsebar graphic

{{Browsebar graphic}} was recently inserted into many portals, replacing the text-only browsebar. Per WP:DISCUSS, I feel this needs discussion and consensus here. My own opinion is that the icons are too big and distract from the portals, themselves. They compete for attention with the subportal icons (e.g. Portal:Geography). The text-only links are more subtle and fit more compactly at the top. However, it is common practice to repeat navigation links at the bottom of web pages. The browsebar graphic (with slightly smaller icons) could possibly serve this purpose at the bottom of portals. -Aude (talk | contribs) 19:02, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

I disagree with its insertion also. I would disagree with having a smaller graphic bar at the bottom of portals also. Templates are easy to insert and for that reason they proliferate like mad and end up being very distracting on pages. I would suggest that the graphic browsebar be removed. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 19:05, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
The top-level portals are generally not useful/relevant enough to merit such a large quantity of space. Unless a good reason for using this template can be given, its use should be discouraged, in favour of the normal browsebar template.--Nema Fakei 19:13, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
The icons can be minimized. Many readers may not pay attention to the non-graphical links. I agree about the idea of placing the template at the bottom. Cheers -- Szvest 19:19, 11 May 2006 (UTC) Wiki me up&#153;
I took a look through a few of the portals that have the icon bar on them now, and I prefer the browsebar without the icons. I think those icons are better used on a general page about and linking to all portals rather than on each individual portal. The non-graphic browsebar can get the reader back to one of the main topics. Slambo (Speak) 19:44, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
I also prefer the plain text {{browsebar}}. The {{browsebar graphic}} is far too obtrusive for a minor feature. Perhaps it should be removed altogether, and {{browsebar}} be made the standard? I see no reason for inconsistency.--cj | talk 03:26, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
Agreed. Such icons were suggested (and rejected) during the Main Page redesign process. They detract significantly from the portal itself. -Aude (talk | contribs) 03:33, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
Okay, it has been removed from every portal. WP:TFD?--cj | talk 04:12, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
Just one thing; the template that most people want to delete fits on one line, while the proposed standard is jarring on aesthetics, spilling onto a second line when viewed in Firefox @ 800 X 600. Until this issue is resolved, the Template:browsebar_graphic should not be removed. After it fits on one line, then go ahead and replace it with Template:browsebar. Brisvegas 10:01, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
P.S. Unlike other portals, Template:browsebar_graphic appeared in Portal:Christianity since its earliest inception, as it was taken from Portal:Constructed Languages. No one had previously raised any issues about the graphical browsebar affecting the portal's aesthetics. However, if community consensus is to get rid of it, then this is fine provided that the issue mentioned above (the categories spilling onto a second line) is resolved. Otherwise, we can get rid of browsebars altogether and replace them with something more user-friendly such as Template:Selected portals. Brisvegas 10:07, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
Much of Wikipedia looks awful at 600x800, though. This is one way to avoid the above consequence without making the text too small. Are there any other options? --cj | talk 10:08, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
I edited it so it looks fine on pages like Portal:Islam at 800x600. I'm pretty sure this is the only way. If you make it any bigger than it is right now, it'll become two lines on certain pages. BhaiSaab talk 20:00, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

Hi! I created Template:browsebar_graphic originally. I think it looks pretty good, and it saddens me that it is being removed. Possibly it could be tweaked? Maybe with smaller icons? JonMoore 18:23, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

I like your idea, and would support the addition of the Template:Browsebar graphic to the portals, either to all of them or to only the 10 ones in this bar... -- Jokes Free4Me 21:06, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
One has to keep in mind not only if things are pretty, but if they are useful. The browsebar by itself is not of much use, seeing a link to the mathematics portal from the top of the beatles portal ain't that terribly helpful. Seing in addition distracting pretty pictures not relevant at all to most portals does not help much. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 21:21, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
I concur; the text-only version is better, because it isn't distracting. Is there anyway that we can set the browserbar to scale with screen resolution? I appreciate that this new smaller version fits in one line for 800x600, but for larger resolutions the previous version was much better.--ragesoss 23:07, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
Please, a minimum of 90%, anything smaller is inadvisable. I also am opposed to any icons for all the reasons given above. -Quiddity 02:22, 13 May 2006 (UTC)
90% makes it two lines. See Portal:Islam or Portal:Christianity. BhaiSaab talk 04:18, 13 May 2006 (UTC)
For this reason, Template:browsebar should probably be abandoned as well in favour of a different solution. With that template we have a conundrum; make the text readable but have it spill onto two lines, or fit it onto one line and make it difficult to read. This dilemna makes it a rather poor choice for portal browsing. As an alternative, we could remove one of the categories and reduce them to just 9. This was why the Template:browsebar_graphic was successful - despite having 10 top-level categories as well, it fits onto one line. Brisvegas 04:24, 13 May 2006 (UTC)
The browsebar should be removed indeed, or otherwise put to the bottom, as it is not as important to show up at the top. But no, the perty image browsebar is not the answer. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 04:41, 13 May 2006 (UTC)
What if we made it two lines on purpose? We could the first half of the categories on top, and the second half on the bottom. This way the text could be larger as well. BhaiSaab talk 05:09, 13 May 2006 (UTC)
I tried this approach several months ago, but was later reverted. Perhaps now the community consensus has changed. Personally, I wouldn't mind an intentional double-line bar, with five on one line and five on the other. Brisvegas 05:20, 13 May 2006 (UTC)
That would waste space and look particularly silly at anything over 1024x768. 2 lines, when some people dont even like having the one line, is not a likely option ;)
I don't get wordwrap at 800x600 at 90%, even at the Islam portal (in firefox, windows). I can barely read it at 84% though, it looks very unprofessional that small, in my browser with default settings... And it is on too many pages for it to be tweaked just for one instance. Maybe fix the portal, instead of the template. -Quiddity 05:52, 13 May 2006 (UTC)
It doesn't have anything to do with the portal itself, because at 800x600 it's two lines for me on all portals. BhaiSaab talk 19:14, 13 May 2006 (UTC)
This browsebar should die. A link to Portal:Browse where all the portals are grouped nicely (with cute icons) should be enough. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 21:06, 13 May 2006 (UTC)
I agree. -Quiddity 21:58, 13 May 2006 (UTC)
It's somewhat useful as an aesthetic addition to a page (having a line of links above a large-font portal name seems more balanced than just having the title at the top), but not really needed from a navigational standpoint. Kirill Lokshin 22:20, 13 May 2006 (UTC)

I think it's useful and should be kept if at all possible. I like flitting from portal to portal with it. For me, it wraps to two lines in IE at 800x600, but not in Firefox. But probably most people operating at 800x600 are using IE. I think removing the culture portal is the best solution; it's not a great poral, and it overlaps with the Society portal in its scope anyway. As a reminder, the Main Page has neither the philosophy portal nor the culture portal linked at the top. I could see the a case for the philosophy portal being significant enough to remain in this bar (or not), but the culture portal just doesn't belong.--ragesoss 22:32, 13 May 2006 (UTC)

Since no one has objected, I'm proceeding with the removal of the culture portal.--ragesoss 17:10, 15 May 2006 (UTC)
I support that (just in case ;) -Quiddity 18:52, 15 May 2006 (UTC)
If culture is removed, so too should philosophy be. The browsebar may as well be consistent with the Main Page. Logically though, I see both arts and philosophy as subsets of culture.--cj | talk 07:00, 16 May 2006 (UTC)
Logically, I see science, technology, history, arts, philosophy, and society as subsets of culture. But the culture portal is just plain bad. If we removed philosophy, there would be almost no way to reach the philosophy portal or any of the religion portals from the browsebar portals, just based on the prominently linked subportals and related portals. (History or Science -> History of science -> Philosophy is the only way I can see, but that's not likely to be anticipated by users looking for philosophy or religion portals.) I brought this up at Talk:Main_Page#Adding_Philosophy_to_the_main_portals_list, but no one has responded yet.--ragesoss 00:39, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

This is a reasonably well-formed portal that has been unmaintained for about three months. The creator has not edited Wikipedia at all since March. I helped set up the portal but I am not willing to take over maintenance. Before I nominate it for deletion, does anyone want to take it over? I would be happy to help someone learn the ropes.-gadfium 00:10, 27 May 2006 (UTC)

I don't see any WikiProject for Papua New Guinea, so I suggest letting people know on Talk:Papua New Guinea. I also suggest putting an announcement on the community portal. -Aude (talk | contribs) 00:25, 27 May 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, I've taken your advice.-gadfium 02:12, 27 May 2006 (UTC)

Origin of portals accurate?

I'm fairly sure (but not sure enough to change the main article) that wiki Portals started with the Wikinews project and the bureaucrats working there, then found its way into the German Wikipedia. Davodd 07:46, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

In the context of the encyclopædia, portals were imported from the German Wikipedia. Where the Germans got the idea for a portal from, I'm not sure, though, from my experience with Wikinews, I didn't notice portals there until towards the middle of last year.--cj | talk 08:58, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

Did you know

I think there should be a question mark after Did you know, or at least an ellipsis (…) like on the Main Page. (I couldn't find where can I add it to the template and I didn't really want to mess with templates anyway, since it would affect lots of portals, I guess…) – Alensha  23:26, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

You're working on Portal:Hungary, right? Click the "edit" tab on the Portal:Hungary page. You should see the following lines in the wikicode:
{{/box-header|Did you know|Portal:Hungary/Did you know|}}
{{Portal:Hungary/Did you know}}
  • On line 1, "/box-header" calls the box-header template. After the "|" is the title that goes in the "Did you know" box. This is where you can add a question mark or "...". After the second "|" is "Portal:Hungary/Did you know" which is the "edit" link.
  • On line 2 is {{Portal:Hungary/Did you know}} which transcludes the subpage into the portal.
  • On line 3, is "/box-footer" which just transcludes some more code that formats the bottom of the box.
In sum, just change the "Did you know" on the first line between the two pipes. I hope this explanation is helpful. -Aude (talk contribs) 23:40, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
Thanks! I thought this was some kind of common template for all portals, haven't noticed that it can be modified locally :) (I'm a newbie to portals :) – Alensha  00:00, 24 June 2006 (UTC)
Glad that helps. You can also change the colors in the portal (though I think the portal looks fine). These are set in Portal:Hungary/box-header. Anyway, thanks for working on the portal. We can always use help and portal maintainers. -Aude (talk contribs) 00:11, 24 June 2006 (UTC)
The colors look good, I think (I thought of changing it to the same green that's in the flag, but that would be too bright.) I hope the other Hungarians will join me now that there are several of us :) it'd be nice to have a well maintained portal. – Alensha  00:16, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

Box skeleton - new markup

I'm proposing new box-skeleton markup that uses wiki table markup rather than div boxes. The div boxes were causing usability problems for older browsers, such as Internet Explorer 5 (as discussed on Portal_talk:Science#Box_skeleton_-_new_markup). With the new proposed box-header, it looks basically the same except maybe slight changes in spacing of the boxes. Before I go in and modify Portal:Box-header, I would like others to take a look at Portal:Sandbox and get feedback. Can you find any bugs? Thanks. -Aude (talk contribs) 01:27, 8 July 2006 (UTC)

Great work; I actually like the new placement of edit links better, even if it's by accident. It requires the new Box-footer2 as well, does it not? I tried just the box header on Portal:History of science and it screwed everything up.--ragesoss 01:31, 8 July 2006 (UTC)
Portal:Box-footer2 is needed. I also found a bug in IE6. The right-border of the "Selected picture" box is not showing up. I think it has to do with tables/div boxes used for that box, but not the others? I'll keep looking into it. As for the edit links, they can either be in the same spot or something like this version. Both look okay to me. -Aude (talk contribs) 02:17, 8 July 2006 (UTC)
At least some of the portals probably use a mix of the box-footer template and a substituted box-header; we should fix those portals ahead of time to avoid massive disruption when the changeover happens (once all the bugs are ironed out, of course).--ragesoss 03:05, 8 July 2006 (UTC)
Like I'm doing on Portal:Trains. I got tired of watching the corners switch between rounded and square and watching the section edit link move around, so I substed the header template there. The footer template has been stable enough, so I'm still using the default footer. Slambo (Speak) 16:16, 8 July 2006 (UTC)
The round corners were an experiment by User:Go for it!, which I don't think will happen again. I think WP:DISCUSS applies to box-header, since it's pervasive across so many portals. If people disregard that, I can foresee box-header being protected (as a last resort). Nonetheless, I suggest keeping box-header2 named as such. As a start, it could be applied to Portal:Science (once the bug with IE6 is fixed). -Aude (talk contribs) 20:08, 8 July 2006 (UTC)


I've added the guideline tag. Any comments and/or objections?--TBCTaLk?!? 21:48, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

There's one bit on the page that I think we might be better off removing (the comment about the proposal page being used to propose "the renaming, merging or splitting of existing portals"—this was only tried once, and didn't go over too well), but other than that, I can't see anything that would be controversial. Kirill Lokshin 22:16, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

Portal approval process

It appears that editors are now selecting portals for possible deletion on the grounds that a portal has not been given prior approval: Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Thinking. There is a link on this portal page which directs users to the approval process. Concern has been raised that this portal approval process does not have the wide consensus it appears to claim, and that it runs counter to the principles of Wikipedia - the essence of which is that this is a wiki which enables users to get involved immediately without registration or prior review. Tiresome though it is to tidy up vandalism and to correct mistakes, that is the price we have to pay for having a wiki. This portal approval process appears to be an example of creeping bureaucratic authority. If people feel that editors who are unsure if their portal is a good idea need somewhere to for for advice, perhaps the page could be renamed Wikipedia:Portal/Advice, and it made explicit and clear that there is no need to wait a week for approval. SilkTork 08:09, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)#Portal approval process counter to Wikipedia's aims? Discussion opened. SilkTork 08:37, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

The Wikipedia:Portal/Instructions drastically need to be updated, per approval-process being marked historical. Much of the useful advice from points #1 and #2 of the procedure section should probably be merged there. --Quiddity 01:46, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

I've moved some of the info to Wikipedia:Portal/Guidelines instead. diff. --Quiddity 19:08, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Add random article within portal functionality

It would be nice to have the ability to jump to a random article within the topic covered by a portal. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

Building on that thought, is there a script that will jump to a random link from a page full of links? A few projects maintain lists of articles that are included in the project (such as the Trains or Wisconsin article lists, for example). Since there's a list of applicable articles, it would seem rather simple for a script to randomly pick one of the articles in the list and go there. Slambo (Speak) 10:54, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Bugzilla Bug 2170 requests the code that would be necessary, i.e. random search within a category. If that becomes available then I guess it would be reasonably straightforward to add a link within the portal boxes. --The Sage of Brouhaha 16:27, 4 October 2006 (UTC)

Portal:Orkney has been started up by a disruptive User making a WP:POINT. Are we going to have portals for every local authority area in the UK? --Mais oui! 10:06, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

Of course not. Please bring it to WP:MFD.--cj | talk 22:08, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. I have followed your advice, please see:
--Mais oui! 08:23, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

Errors on Singapore portal

Hello! I need help here. There seem to be errors on the Singapore portal. When I click on the edit section of each sub-box, the links point me to an empty page. Moreover, the pages in question are Template pages. Shouldn't this be Portal pages? I tried to correct this, but it ended up in total disaster. So I had to revert back my own edits. This is also the case for some of the other portals out there. Interestingly, none of the featured portals show this anomaly. They all link to the correct sub-pages which are portal ones. Please help or if someone who is expereinced in HTML codes could teach me to correct this, I would be most grateful! I believe, most of the portal here needs major improvement and I want to be part of the team as well. --Siva1979Talk to me 02:32, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

Someone used the {{ed}} template in Portal:Singapore, which is only for use with templates. I've changed it to {{edit}} which can be used with Portal pages. If you see other portals with the same problem, please fix them yourself.-gadfium 02:51, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
Thank You for informing me about this! There are a lot more portals out there with the same problem and I intend to fix them. If I encounter any problems with this, I would ask you for help. Thanks once again for the information. --Siva1979Talk to me 16:30, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

Portals under development

I went ahead and made a statement at Portal:Kentucky linking "under development" to here and provided links to the Portal's construction area. Please scold me politly or give me some modest praise for what I've done. • CQ 17:13, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

Without discussing the merits of what you've done, could you tell why you did it? What use is that page?--cj | talk 17:16, 24 August 2006 (UTC)
I thought it might be a reasonable precedent for other states and WikiProjects that are planning portals. I've had some favorable comments about building a Portal draft in the Project space rather than in the Portal space. Maybe we can make an attractive "Portal under construction" template? I dunno. I'm just trying to be creative. See Wikipedia:WikiProject Portals. CQ 18:27, 24 August 2006 (UTC)
I think a redirect would have been more purposeful. It's just a self-reference as is.--cj | talk 16:23, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

Navigational template

I've created a template to help users navigate through portal related articles:

Any comments and/or objections?--TBCTaLk?!? 09:27, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

I object. It is blindingly obtrusive, not particularly useful (its purpose is otherwise met by categories and wikilinks), and has no place at page beginnings. I might be less opposed if it were reformated and placed as a footer template.--cj | talk 09:33, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
Ditto. It is oversized and graphic-laden. The icons and colour scheme are far too bold. --Quiddity 11:07, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
What is a "portal-related article?"    — The Transhumanist   18:08, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

New template

{{Portal nav}}

What about this new one? I've modeled it after the one used by WP:DYK.--TBCTaLk?!? 19:17, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

It's still designed to take prominence at the top of page. It would only work if it were designed as a footer template (ie, one that sits at the bottom).--cj | talk 10:08, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
What's wrong with it being on the top of the page? It could make it easier for readers to navigate, as they wouldn't have to scroll to the bottom of the page.--TBCTaLk?!? 04:58, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
Because placement needs to be consistent, and this template wouldnt fit (physically or aesthetically) at the top of Wikipedia:Featured portals or Wikipedia:Portal. Contextually, this navbox is a 'See also' section, as not all the pages are related to each other audience-wise. --Quiddity 06:31, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
Note that since the new template is a side box and not a header, it doesn't have to be at the top of a page. --TBCΦtalk? 06:58, 18 October 2006 (UTC)
I made a bunch of changes, what do you think? Possibly it could be added now? The only place it might have to be left out of is Wikipedia:Featured portals, as it still doesnt fit physically/aesthetically ontu that page.
If either you or Cyberjunkie don't like my edited version, you can always try it in the style of Template:List resources footer. --Quiddity 22:56, 18 October 2006 (UTC)
I narrowed it to make it less intrusive as a side box. Rfrisbietalk 23:30, 18 October 2006 (UTC)
Even narrowed down, I don't think it's particularly attractive for any of the "formatted" pages, including Wikipedia:Featured portals, Portal:list and Wikipedia:Portal/Directory. It might work better as a footer in the style of Template:Contents pages (footer box) Rfrisbietalk 23:40, 18 October 2006 (UTC)
I tried one out at Template:Portal nav footer. Rfrisbietalk 23:52, 18 October 2006 (UTC)
Here's a test of the footer at Portal:List. [2] Rfrisbietalk 01:13, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

Although I'm still not convinced of the need for such a template, I've stated all along that I'd accept a footer template. Rfrisbie's proposed version is the most amenable option produced so far.--cj | talk 08:25, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

I reduced the width a bit so it doesn't wrap on 800X600 displays. Rfrisbietalk 15:01, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

Even if it's not placed elsewhere, I added the footer to Portal:List because it works well with the Contents project. Rfrisbietalk 15:18, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

Here's the footer currently used at the bottom of actual portals (on some portals it is placed inside a box, on others it isn't):

Perhaps you would want to make a corresponding version of this one, so they match?    — The Transhumanist   18:08, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

(Your signature is excessive) I don't think {{portals}} should correspond. That is meant to lay outside the boxes at the end of a page. Its presence in boxes on some portals is a relic of when {{portals}} was a list of portals. --cj | talk 22:58, 19 October 2006 (UTC)
(Signature reduced). Okay, outside of boxes. But it could still contain the same content and lay outside the boxes. I.e., update it to be a non-boxed version.    — The Transhumanist   02:33, 20 October 2006 (UTC)
My impression was that {{portals}} was more of a minimalist approach, so I left it alone. This text-only version also could be expanded to include some or all of the other links. I'll leave that up to others to decide. {{Portal nav footer}} uses color parameters, so it could be matched to different portal palettes, if someone wanted to do that. Rfrisbietalk 00:26, 20 October 2006 (UTC)
I really like {{Portal nav footer}}. I'd support merging {{portals}} and {{browsebar}} into this, and putting it at the foot of all the portal and portal-related pages. -- Quiddity 01:46, 20 October 2006 (UTC)
Isn't that a bit like mixing apples and applesauce?... Uh, anyway, {{browsebar}} seems to play a different role ("main topic" portal navigation) than the others (everything you would ever want to know about portals). Higher up you said, "Contextually, this navbox is a 'See also' section, as not all the pages are related to each other audience-wise. --Quiddity 06:31, 14 September 2006 (UTC)" Doesn't mixing metaphors go to the max this way? Or are you just happier getting rid of one more template? :-) Rfrisbietalk 02:26, 20 October 2006 (UTC)
I'm just happier/suggesting getting rid of one more template. Innate tendency to tidy :) --Quiddity 02:39, 20 October 2006 (UTC)
I thought so! Why don't you try out what you have in mind on a {{Portal nav footer}} diff or sandbox so we can see what it looks like? Rfrisbietalk 02:53, 20 October 2006 (UTC)
Something along the lines of this diff. It bugs me having the very top thing at every portal, {{browsebar}}, be a distraction to go somewhere else. --Quiddity 03:02, 20 October 2006 (UTC)
Or, along the lines of {{Hinduism}}, this. [3] I prefer as little "white space" as possible. Rfrisbietalk 03:21, 20 October 2006 (UTC)
{{Browsebar}} was meant to function as an hierarchical aid; however, as the hierarchy is increasingly diluted, it's now of only limited use. I wouldn't oppose getting rid of it, and its derivatives {{browsebarcountry}} and {{browsebarcity}} (which both should have been deprecated long ago). Conversely, with {{portals}} I'd prefer to continue the status quo; it's the most elegant solution to any navigational requirements on portals (and is similar to the implementation on the German Wikipedia). --cj | talk 03:17, 20 October 2006 (UTC)
The "Contents" project is getting some consistency around Main topic classifications, so I can see some value in a "Main portals" line on a footer navbar. Rfrisbietalk 03:27, 20 October 2006 (UTC)
By the way, how the Germans do it isn't particularly compelling to me. Unless, of course, Jimbo endorses it! :-) Rfrisbietalk 03:35, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

Portals and WikiProjects

WikiProject — Portal dynamics are tricky and require extensive collaboration and could benefit from some central guidance. Please have a look. | 0^#o 21:39, 25 September 2006 (UTC)

Box Skeleton the only portal type?

In the instructions for creating a portal, it says that the Box Skeleton is 'the most widely used layout is the "box portal".' But are there other layout types? Is there some other layout than the box layout? Hires an editor 19:36, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

The design used on Portal:Cricket is one alternate present on some portals. There were at least two other templated designs, but these have both been phased out.--cj | talk 23:04, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

Merge proposal

I would object to merging Wikipedia:Portal/Guidelines back into Wikipedia:Portal at this stage. The sub-page is still in development and it would be irresponsible to insert an underformed guideline in a page which is generally uncontroversial. Even upon Wikipedia:Portal/Guidelines becoming complete, I would be against the proposed merger for the sake of keeping the principal page succinct.--cj | talk 23:16, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

Ditto. This page is nice and short/comprehensible, acting as a summary and signpost. --Quiddity 04:42, 18 October 2006 (UTC)
There's always "tabs" <ducks from flying portholes & icons>. :-) Rfrisbietalk 01:23, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

Okay to have "external resources"?

I wanted to add a section to Portal:Nontheism that would have a multitude of links to legitimate secular blogs and website. I don't see anything like this on other sites, though -- is this against any guidelines? --Wolf530 (talk) 03:33, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

There a section of external links (under "reference links") at Portal:Philosophy. I don't know whether they're allowed or not though ;) --Quiddity 04:08, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
Some portals have Web resources sections. I think we should be careful in our use of these, keeping in mind that portals are intended to promote Wikipedia content, not external content, and that Wikipedia is not a directory of links. Also, in the sense that portals may be misused for advocacy of a topic (or disparagement, for that matter), it might be best to just avoid them. However, as you say, they can serve a legitimate function.--cj | talk 04:39, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

What do people think about this new portal created by someone the other day. I have major reservations and would like to hear other editors opinions (preferably on the talk page of the portal).-- Zleitzen(talk) 01:15, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

Mmm, I would say, in general, that focusing on a "difficult" topic area should not be held against a portal. Whether or not any particular version of the portal has some problem is obviously open for discussion, as it is with articles; but arguing that a portal is inherently problematic while the corresponding set of articles is not in and of itself so strikes me as rather counterintuitive. If we already have a legitimate set of articles on a topic, I don't really see how creating what is essentially a glorified table of contents for them would be any more or less an issue than the content of the articles themselves.
(Granted, portals whose article base is particularly contentious may be more difficult to maintain at a high level of quality; but that's not really an argument for not having them, any more so than we would delete an article because there are too many edit wars over it.) Kirill Lokshin 03:26, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
Hello Kirill Lokshin. The portal is only two days old and already someone has slapped a POV tag on the news section! I had a look at the original draft and there was some fairly contentious stuff in there which seems to have been removed by someone following a dispute. I fear that due to the contentious nature of this the portal could fall into the same trap as problematic categories and templates. Meaning that as they don't carry citations, the classification of what is or isn't included in this "glorified table of contents" could get very messy. There is also a huge and angry debate as to what constitutes a "genocide" among scholars and I believe a subject like this should really be handled in an article space where the complexities of these issues can be properly explored. Armenian Genocide is a case in point and it seems that it has already caused problems for the new portal. Well at least no one can say they weren't warned, but I hope that the editors who dabble in this difficult area know what they're doing. What I've seen so far has only made me grit my teeth and squint at the screen.-- Zleitzen(talk) 03:56, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
I for one would like to delete this portal as I think in the long run it will cause no end of problems. --Philip Baird Shearer 08:52, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia policies

I want to broaden the discussion because I think that the problems attached to the genocide portal also exists to a lesser extent in other portals. There seems to be a belief among some editors that the policies WP:NPOV, WP:V and WP:NOR (and guidelines such as WP:RS), do not apply to portals because portals are not Wikipedia article pages, and as it is not explicitly mentioned in this page or in Wikipedia:Portal/Guidelines this is an understandable position. So I think that it should be explicitly mentioned that these portal pages are covered by the same policies and guidelines as Wikipedia articles. If others agree with me then how best to construct such a paragraph and where should it be placed? --Philip Baird Shearer 08:52, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

I've removed the section. I don't think we need state the obvious just to cater to the lowest common denominator. If there are users with the belief that rules don't apply or that portals are exempted, then this results from their own obtuseness, not from the guideline pages, and they ought to be batted over the head with WP:5P.--cj | talk 11:39, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

Stating the obvious does not cause a problem and it probably does some good. As you know some areas of Wikipeda are not covered by the core content policies, as it could be argued that a portal page is not an article page, spelling it out that portals are covered by these policies reduces the chances of misunderstandings. --Philip Baird Shearer 17:11, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

The core content policies cover all content. Portals are content whichever way you look at it. There will always be users who will pettifog no matter how delineated policy pages are. Nevertheless, as a compromise, I've integrated the message of the section into an existing one, so as to keep the page focus on explaining portals.--cj | talk 02:45, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

8-) --Philip Baird Shearer 13:45, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

News at Business and Economics portal

The business and economics portal news section is still showing news from February. It looks inactive. -- 02:50, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

Too many portals

As of the time I write, at least two top-level portals - Portal:History and Portal:Mathematics - have no featured pictures for July. Portal:Art had nothing for the featured article or picture, so I just transcluded June's content into art so they wouldn't show up empty. Portal:Christianity, a featured portal, had nothing for July and no sign of activity on talk pages in months. I fixed five portals today and there are still a few others that don't have anything.

I have made a template - {{portalwarning}} - that you can put on talk pages, user pages, etc, to warn you if a page is missing from a portal. (You can see several alerts on my user page.)

But if nobody is maintaining these things, do we really need so many portals? Several of the ones under Portal:Sports and games just have redlinks and that portal itself had nothing for June or July. (I backfilled June to make the archives look nice).

I think we seriously ought to consider delisting/deleting ones that nobody is going to maintain. Having broken content linked from the main page is an all around bad idea. This isn't a "you can expand it" - it's just flat broken. --BigΔT 05:46, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

Since portals require some sort of maintenance, either manual or automatic, I agree they should be properly maintained to be listed. Maybe an early step could be to delist offenders, revert them to "under construction" and post a warning that sets a time frame to list them for deletion. When time's up, give them the boot. RichardF 12:05, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
Another long-term solution for the high-profile Portal:History, Portal:Mathematics and Portal:Arts sections that aren't being properly maintained would be to shift them over to automatic updates. Either use randomized displays or periodic displays with no year with the existing content. Additions/replacements can then come whenever they happen. RichardF 14:52, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
I don't like periodic displays with no year, particularly for the top-level portals. We should be using these to showcase new and high quality articles ... they are prominently enough linked that they should be high traffic. I don't like recycling content. One thing we could do just for the sake of never having a broken portal is use the #ifexist parser function. If the current month doesn't exist, it could display an hardcoded standby. --BigΔT 14:59, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
That sounds like a great standby plan! Now, how do you propose to get these things updated on schedule? :-) RichardF 15:17, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
By the way, I declare it to be Virginia Tech month for abandoned portals. --BigΔT 14:48, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

I agree with RichardF "revert them to 'under construction' and post a warning that sets a time frame to list them for deletion. When time's up, give them the boot." One month for "under construction" and if not notable edit activity for a month remove them. --Philip Baird Shearer 15:13, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

Considering all of this, I think it's high time we set forth some guidelines for what makes a good portal topic. While top-level portals aren't being maintained, we have extremely low-level portals like Portal:Dragon Ball above, or Portal:StarCraft (which I nominated for deletion). Shouldn't there be notability or article count guidelines for what makes a portal? Andre (talk) 22:19, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

Requesting portals?

Where can I request a portal? (my signature is screwed - ignore it) ----- [[User:Cuddly Panda|<font face=Verdana color=F0F8FF>Cuddly</font> Panda <small>[[User talk:Cuddly Panda|Blab]] <sup>([[User talk:Cuddly Panda/Non Wikipedia talk|Non-wiki]])</sup> | [[Special:Contributions/Cuddly Panda|Contribs]] |]] 13:53, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

What portal do you want to request 01:06, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

Page traffic

It seems that a lot of effort goes into some portals but there does not seem to be any way to know if the efforts are worth it. Is there a way to get a portal traffic report? Maybe this is an admin only ability but I would really be keen to know if my efforts to maintain the Philately Portal are useful because if the traffic is very light my time might be better utilised in editing main-space articles instead. TIA ww2censor (talk) 16:47, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

This gives a very approximate page hit count for portals.
I decided about a year ago that portals were not sufficiently important for the effort I was putting into them, and so I cut back to maintain only one portal. Running a portal can be fun, and it gives one an appreciation of the diversity of articles and pictures Wikipedia carries, but it can get boring after a while.
Getting involved in a new aspect of Wikipedia every so often can rejuvenate enthusiasm. For example, if you haven't tried spending time at the Reference or Help desks. then take a look and see if you can assist people. Template:Announcements/Community bulletin board regularly has suggestions for new ways to get involved.-gadfium 19:22, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
The chart does not really help me because the Philately Portal does not appear at all so is likely getting very few hits at all. I see what you mean about maintaining a portal, which is why I am trying to implement random selection of articles so it basically runs itself, but still testing that. Then I can focus on something else. Cheers & thanks ww2censor (talk) 20:07, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

How many portals are there in total on Wikipedia?

How many portals are there in total on Wikipedia? There should be a count of this somewhere, but I could not find one, so perhaps there is not. Cirt (talk) 01:33, 2 January 2008 (UTC).

At present, there are a total of 548 portals on Wikipedia. Masterpiece2000 (talk) 12:30, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

Wikinews Importer Bot

Thanks to Misza13, the Wikinews Importer Bot now is available to automatically import certain dynamically-generated Wikinews pages into Wikipedia portals. See the pages that link to User:Wikinews Importer Bot for a growing list of examples. Check it out! RichardF (talk) 17:56, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

Would be interested to hear your input, at Wikipedia_talk:Did_you_know#Template:UpdatedDYKportal. Cirt (talk) 08:04, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

Page style

Why is this page laid out like a portal? It's a project page; the coloured boxes should go and standard style should be used. Sorry if this has already been proposed. BigBlueFish (talk) 23:52, 8 June 2008 (UTC)

Layered image

Hi all, at ---- I'm trying to add a background watermark to the portal page layout, but as you can see it's overlapping certain sections that it shouldn't. Does anyone know of a way to fix this? Many thanks --Joowwww (talk) 21:00, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

OK, I've managed to put it in the intro box instead but it won't stay in there, instead it overlaps onto the parent page. It's at -removed-, and the intro section is at -removed-. Any ideas on how I can make it the background image of the intro section, but not make it overlap or enlarge the section? Many thanks --Joowwww (talk) 11:42, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
Never mind, done it --Joowwww (talk) 21:19, 8 August 2008 (UTC)

Portal links in articles

This discussion has now been mentioned at Template talk:Portal#Location, since the instructions at that template now contradict the brand new text of this guideline. Fram (talk) 09:40, 2 October 2008 (UTC) This page currently states: "individual portals are linked from relevant articles using {{portal}}. These templates should be located at article ends in See also sections (or equivalents)." Is there a reason why portals are linked in the article, and not from the talk page? It would IMO be much more convenient to link them from the top of talk pages, just like wikiprojects. In fact, many Wikiprojects already do this, e.g. Spain, Germany, Archaeology, Ireland and Universities, Biography and LGBT, ... I would propose to make this the standard and to discourage (weakly or strongly) the linking of portals on article pages. Changing the text here wuold not only better reflect current practice, but also what seems to be preferable (not overburdening articles with all sorts of links, boxes, and other clutter that doesn't add a better understanding of the subject). Fram (talk) 12:37, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

I boldly updated the text based upon the proposal above. - jc37 08:25, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. I'll wait awhile before actually doing anything with this change (like moving portal links from articlepages to talk pages), so people have more time to react here. Fram (talk) 09:33, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

I agree with Fram that each Wikipedia has its own rules, but the argument is unsufficient. Whereas all Wikipedias have different forms and language, they all have the same spirit. You accuse links to portal of possibly being spamming and say "we add links which give additional info to the reader, but it is hard to see how portals provide such additional info". On the French Wikipedia, almost all articles have a link to the related portals. So we should also warn French Wikipedia's administrators that links to portal do not respect the spirit of Wikipedia and that French readers need not such links. Of course these administrators won't accept to delete or even modify the Méta lien vers portail, which is used in more than 70% of the articles. They would also claim that such links are very useful and that every Wikipedia should adopt them. Moreover, what is the point of portals if users don't know their existance (I mean users who come on WP not to edit be to learn) ? These occasional readers do not see talk pages, they do not know what is a portal. On the other hand, I agree that the "see also" section should be forbidden, for it is totally pointless. This is why I suggest to translate the French template Méta lien vers portail into English, and to use this templates at the bottom of the articles.

Such strips links have several advantages: 1) They enable the reader to have links to other articles related to the subject 2) They are aesthetical and attractive for the reader 3) They are visible and discreet at the same time 4) They have the same width as navboxes and the same appearance 5) They are to be placed at the very bottom of the articles, i.e. below all the more relevant informations 6) Many links can be placed in one strip (see for example France).

This is only a suggestion, I do not want to argue, and I know that this template is not likely to be much used. I only demand that work groups which want to use this template be allowed to do so. And if links to portals are definitely banned, I suggest that one link be placed in the relevant articles. For example, in the article France, a link to the France portal is very difficult to find (and it may not exist). That is a pity, for the reader who wants informations about France would be glad to find out this portal easily. --Pah777 (talk) 20:24, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

The main argument is 1. The others are arguments for "if we use them on articles, do we use the current small tags at the right side, or the full width banner at the bottom". This is a discussion we only need to have after it is decided if we want those links on article pages at all. If the main argument is that "They enable the reader to have links to other articles related to the subject.": well, that is exactly what categories are for. Fram (talk) 04:36, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
In reality, the two debates are linked. The small tag is to be used in the "See also" section, so it is not legitimate and totally irrelevant, because this section is not hopeful for the reader, and totally pointless (instead, we could have named it "miscellaneous"). Conversely, a strip link to be placed at the bottom of an article must be kept for it has a logic: 1) It cannot be accused of spamming. If you delete it for being spam, you should also ban navboxes from WP. Take the example of Tintin and Hergé: this navbox has been placed in many articles, among them Bob de Moor. There are a loads of links to articles related to The Adventures of Tintin, but which are not directly related to Bob de Moor: what is the more obvious spam: the navbox or a link to portal ? 2) It is more related to the article than categories. Categories are links to even "broader" or "wider" subjects than a link to a portal. Take the example of Bob de Moor: I have doubts that the categories "1925 births" and "1992 deaths" are directly related to the subject, and we can think that that the readers is more interested in having links to comics rather than to births and deaths. 3) It is a link placed at the end of the article, because it is the link which opens to more subjects. It is also a conclusion to the subject. It also allow a reader to recognize to what portal the article is linked.
You see that you cannot split the issue into two debates. You ask "should we link to portals on article pages ?". I reply "if these links are unappropriate small banners: no - if these links are strips: yes". I hope I managed to make myself understood. But of course, if you decide that any links to portals are always bad, I will stop supporting the use of a strip link. --Pah777 (talk) 20:53, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
There are things in categories that are barely related to the subject of the article (the births and deaths links), just like there are things on portals which are barely related to the subject of the article. When you go from Emu to the Portal:Australia (quite a logical portal for it), you find much less Emu-related articles then you will find in the categories, e.g. in Category:Flightless birds or Category:Birds of Tasmania. In general, most directly related articles (not already linked in the main article) will be easily accessible through the categories, which are per definition much much more complete than a portal. There are problems with see also sections and navboxes, and discussions on those may be interesting: but they have no direct bearing on what we do with portal links on article pages. So far, I still don't see any advantage of putting them on article pages, while removing them means that there is at least one (minor) element of clutter less (no matter how well designed clutter it may be). Fram (talk) 21:14, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
I understand your concern. But how to refute the following arguments: 1)presence of such links in another Wikipedia 2)difficulty for the occasional reader to find out portals ? I agree that the vast majority of portal links have nothing to do with the subject of the article. But in some few cases, they are relevant: we can reasonably think that the article France does need a link to the portal:France. Take some other examples: Alain Prost is quite related to portal:Formula One , Roger Federer to portal:Tennis, Milton Friedman to portal:Economics, Plato to portal:Philosophy. However, I agree that these links are likely to be incorrectly used, this is why I propose you this consensus: to use these links when the portal is directly linked to the article. I am ready to delete unappropriate links, as soon as other experienced administrators give their opinion about the subject and agree with you. --Pah777 (talk) 09:38, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
1) Irrelevant. I'm not suggesting to remove portal links from the French Wikipedia because the English one hasn't got as many either. Each Wikipedia its own. German Wikipedia does not accept fair use images, we do. Neither of those has to change for the other. 2) This is using articles to promote portals, where it should be the other way around. Alain Prost is in Category:Formula One (or one of its subcategories) and in the Wikiproject Formula One. Three portals are linked to from the talk page. This is a featured article, so the lack of a portal link on the article page is not a problem for featured articles. Of course incorrectly linked portals should be removed, that is quite astrawaman as that is not under discussion (incorrectly used categories, wikiprojects, ... should be removed as well). The question is where the correct portals should best be linked: from the article page or from the article talk page. I see no reason to treat portals differently from Wikiprojects, and see no benefit from putting them on the article page, since the benefit for the article is already done better through categories. In short: articles are not here to help portals, portals are here as focused starting pages to get to the articles: "In essence, portals are useful entry-points to Wikipedia content." (from WP:PORTAL.) 08:46, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
I disagree that links to portals must be linked in talk pages. 1) "Article talk pages are provided for discussion of the content of articles and the views of reliable published sources. Talk pages are useful such that they may contain information that is not on the article, but such information is often unverified and thus unreliable." (from WP:TP). 2) What is the point of linking to portals in talk pages ? this is as logical as relocating the "See also" section in the talk page. You wonder whether links to portals should be placed in the article or in talk pages ? We can reasonably consider that if links to portals are allowed, they should be placed in articles, not in talk pages, I hope that you agree with that. --Pah777 (talk) 20:54, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

Small icon

I was thinking about Template:Pp-template (and other such templates), and wondering if it might be appropriate to suggest having a "small icon" for portals. (Usage would be a single template for all portals, with one or more variables to input the portal name or names.) - jc37 22:22, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Layout conflict

Wikipedia:Layout#See also conflicts with guidelines presented here: ""See also" is the most appropriate place to link a Portal with {{portal}} template." --—— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 01:49, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

See also the discussion Wikipedia talk:Layout/Archives/2008#Wikipedia:Portal conflict --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 11:23, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Additional featured portal director

Please see Wikipedia_talk:Featured_portal_candidates#Additional_Featured_portal_director. Cirt (talk) 21:58, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

After 6 months, an editor like me rarely recognizes a portal for what it is

I hate to break bad news, but the current format of most portal icons (half a postage stamp with a pathetic violet jigsaw piece) rarely reminds me what it is, let alone invites me to look inside. I can't claim to be a veteran, but I've been working on Wikipedia for over six months and have done a couple of thousand edits (trivial to major) and even a small article. If that's true for me who have (sometimes grudgingly) a nodding acquaintance with a few parts of the whole Wikipedia hierarchy and paraphernalia, that kind of portal must mean next to nothing to the average unregistered reader.

Wikipedia:Layout#"See also" section says that portals come at the end so as not to distract the reader from the article at hand, but to invite further exploration. Two problems that can arise are that (1) the end of most articles is already full of further internal and external references (Sources, See Also, References, Further Reading and/or External Links, plus categories and footers with further internal links), and (2) the portal might do more good at the top of a very long article (e.g. Manhattan, The Bronx) than at the bottom (should the reader ever get there).

It seems such a waste for all the time and care that other editors must put into constructing those portals. —— Shakescene (talk) 17:11, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

Sorry for the duplication of some topics above: I didn't gather from the talk-contents box that they were discussed in earlier sections. As for putting things on the Discussion Page, I'm very firmly opposed to that, because the average reader never goes there, and may not even notice its existence. And I don't have time to look at the discussion page for every article I read: who does? (On the other hand, some of the advisory, warning and nagging templates that now disfigure a main page might well be migrated to the Talk Page.) So putting a portal icon on the Discussion Page means that the portal will be seen even less than it is now. —— Shakescene (talk) 17:21, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
What is the most important? That a user is made aware that an article may be badly sourced or disputed, or that we also have a portal with some more or less related content? Articles are often related to many portals (one portal per project is not unusual), so an article on e.g. the biography of a German aviation pioneer would link to at least three portals (avaiation, Germany, and biography), where probably none of the portals will have any info on the pioneer. What then is the advantage for the reader of the article to have the portals at the most prominent place? Fram (talk) 21:31, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
I fully agree with you that some warnings to readers (e.g. about reliability or neutrality) should stay on the main article page; I was thinking of others that are directed mainly to editors (who are more likely to read a discussion page). And my preference for top or bottom depends largely upon the length of the article (if it's more than say 6-8 screens long, material on the bottom is often unseen). Some of the people who are looking at an article on Henry Ford or Thomas Edison may in fact want more general information about American history, industry, invention or the early 20th century, and just be using these names as a beginning. I doubt, by the way, that they'd ever open a Talk page. —— Shakescene (talk) 00:15, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
I think the problem might be partly that nobody is too sure what the portals are for. They appear to me to be an extension of projects (sort of an insider thing) more than anything else. If we could establish what the portals are for, it might be easier to establish how to link to them.--SasiSasi (talk) 22:25, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
This struck me again, as I was editing the article on Staten Island. Near the bottom, there are little dingbats with the jigsaw puzzle piece for both New York and New York City portals, but I as usual barely noticed them, and I doubt that one person in a hundred or a thousand has any idea what they're there for. They just seem to be more mysterious random clutter. —— Shakescene (talk) 00:15, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

Blatant essay advertisement

I scrabbled some guidelines and tips I've stumbled across over the course of making, editing and maintaining portals to create the semi-essay User:Nanonic/On Portals. Feel free to edit it mercilessly or call me names. Nanonic (talk) 05:51, 17 December 2008 (UTC)