Template talk:Long s

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Why not use the Unicode character "ſ" ?

Why do we want a template for a single character? John Vandenberg (chat) 07:18, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

Because this way, if it's decided that the letter shouldn't be used at all, it can be replaced with an 's'. Or maybe display a different character depending on some user parameter or other. Maybe it's a bad idea; delete it if you want. I posted a comment at Wikisource_talk:Style_guide#Long 's' (ſ)Sam Wilson contrib's | talk 22:03, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
It is a reasonable idea; its worth having these discussions. John Vandenberg (chat) 00:00, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

Why not show s in main namespace?[edit]

I guess the idea is that it's more readable, but it'd be nice to be able to turn it on if the reader wanted it. Anyone know how to do that? (I'm working on Terræ-filius: or, the Secret History of the University of Oxford.) — Sam Wilson ( TalkContribs ) … 06:31, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

User-settable display[edit]

I have made a new template {{custom substitution}} that allows a user to use CSS classes to set their desired behaviour of this kind of template.

The code to use at {{ls}} is:

{{custom substitution|ſ|s|archaic-typography}}

This will always render as "ſ" in the page namespace, and by default will render as "s" in the main namespace. By adding a monobook.css command, users can override this and see "ſ" in the mainspace as well.

See {{Eszett}} for an example of a template of this kind, and here for an example of its use. Inductiveload (talk) 02:38, 8 March 2010 (UTC)


I had given a little thought to a script that would automatically add this template to the page:namespace, others seem to think this is possible. The {{Custom substitution}} would switch this on in the main namespace. If both are these are viable, a script and a switch, we could change the display in main, without changing page:ns, by converging the two into one. The user could apply the script to the transcluded text and voila! an anachronistic type-face for those who want it. The script would define the exceptions, to match the printers scheme, but there would also be exceptions to the rule. I see two ways of dealing with that; 1. use a template to suppress or invoke the substitution of the exceptions; 2. adopt the view (true or not) that the exception was due to the printer's rule, "use a regular 's' when you run out of 'long s' type". Cygnis insignis (talk) 02:14, 23 March 2010 (UTC)

Custom substitution breaks Google[edit]

I have reverted to an earlier version. The attempt at a user-switch via {{custom substitution}} breaks Google as it sees the result as "ſs" or "ss". Google has no problem with "ſ" by itself which it interprets as "s" for all purposes. Please don't make significant changes without further discussion as breaking Google is a big problem. How to effectively switch on demand is still under investigation. Currently this will display ſ in the pagespace and s in the mainspace with no options.--Doug.(talk contribs) 08:00, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

Yes, that's important. It would still be nice for this template to accept a parameter that causes it to show a descending long s as well... though I'm not sure if google handles that character appropriately or not. —Spangineer (háblame) 14:38, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
That's a good question. I'll look into that. Do you know an article that has descending-long-s in it? That would be important as well for checking for breaks caused by the reversion.--Doug.(talk contribs) 14:45, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
Spangineer, it appears that you're using the differential symbol for descending-long-s. I did some testing and Google does not appear to recognize it as an s, only as a special character. e.g. "ʃam ʃmith" has no ghits, whereas "ſam ſmith" even shows "sam smith" as a suggestion before you hit enter.--Doug.(talk contribs) 15:53, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
That's too bad. It's in use at Page:Two_Treatises_of_Government.djvu/208, which is transcluded at Two_Treatises_of_Government/Book_II/Chapter_I. Most of these old works, when they use italics, use a descending long s instead of the normal one. —Spangineer (háblame) 16:22, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
Yup, same in several works that I have worked with though I didn't even know we had it set up, so I didn't use it. It's probably worthwhile to keep some sort of marker but I don't think we should attempt to use it unless Google can search it. It may be that we can eventually get s+(some invisible marker) to be recognized as just "s" by Google and then allow it to be switched via a script. But we'll have to see.--Doug.(talk contribs) 17:31, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
  • The long s character looks like an esh (ʃ) in some fonts, eg. italic typeface used in the printing of this. The Times font also renders it this way, though it still reads as an 's'. The esh character is used in Latin character sets, it won't be read as an 's'. The usage of long s is a bit more complicated than this, but not to stupid computers. CYGNIS INSIGNIS 18:22, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

CSS substitution doesn't work?[edit]

I've tried adding the commands to my common.css, but it seems to have no effect even after doing a hard refresh (Ctrl+F5). The JS works perfectly. Can someone confirm that the css style is now redundant? -Einstein95 (talk) 09:25, 15 April 2016 (UTC)

@Einstein95: In fact it was this edit back in July 2011 which killed this (CSS) functionality stone dead; and it has never been restored. It might be best to remove the misleading "help"? AuFCL (talk) 23:31, 2 May 2016 (UTC)