Wikisource talk:Style guide/Archives/2006-06

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Moved from merged-in pages

Pre-style guide discussion

This is a style guide for Wikisource. Or it will be, eventually. Right now, it is mainly a collection of discussions about relevant issues of style and consistency. The discussions should be moved to Talk: as relevant guidelines are extracted from them.

Interlang links

Which style do u guys like? this one(top and btm) or this one(btm)? keep the languages' names original ones or using translation names?(see the difference between top and btm here) (oh, my poor English!) then we can write it in Guide to layout and style --Samuel 02:00, 11 Feb 2004 (UTC)

I think that what you have on the Chinese language page is the more attractive format. Use the original language names to attract people who know that language. Don't worry about poor English; what matters for you here is being able to edit the Chinese. Eclecticology 05:43, 11 Feb 2004 (UTC)
maybe we should discuss the layout and meet an agreement now? oh, BTW, we should make sure that we have the right categories for all kinds of texts, or we will have a lot of work to do with the headers when it becomes a fixed style and the categories happens to have be changed unfortunately.. :P --Samuel 02:31, 13 Feb 2004 (UTC)~
Wait a few... this can be done server side (ie: by the software), but it needs to be discussed first with the developers first. [1] --Maio 05:11, 13 Feb 2004 (UTC)
I'm in no rush. There are some layouts that are taking shape, but they may still need a bit of refining. The real test is whether people use them. The categories too need to develop over time. That was why I kept the number down in my own scheme. There would always be a place for new ones when they became needed or when the "None of the above" became too full. Keeping the number of categories down at this time will help us to avoid massive changes in the future.
I worked on Author:Dante Alighieri when I found an orphaned German version of the Divine Comedy. Mav had previously suggested the link format wikipedia:en:Dante Alighieri, which works. Unfortunately, using the same format does not work for the other languages. Some agreed format should be decided for these kind of links. I would also like some views about how we are going to handle namspaces for other languages. We already have an instance of Usator:... for user:... being tried for Interlingua. Eclecticology 07:35, 13 Feb 2004 (UTC)
According to Brion, that should be fixed now, cf. Yann 16:38, 16 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Long pages

Is there a current consensus or argument for/against breaking up "large" works? I notice that this has been unevenly done: some long works have chapters divided into separate articles, others have everything in one single article (my initial preference). -- Jehanne 22:44, 18 Feb 2004 (UTC)

And speaking of breaking up pages... what about separating individual (even short) poems onto their own pages, rather than "Poems of" a particular author? -- Jehanne 02:43, 19 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Long texts SHOULD be provided in both schemes, broken and as a full text. Not everyone browses the web with fast connections, having all sources as full text would be detrimental for the project. Check for example Manifesto of the Communist Party (broken) and Manifesto of the Communist Party (full text). They both link to each other.
About poems: hmm, where is that? Poems should be located on its own page, see On Lucy, Countess of Bedford for an example.
Thanks for expressing your concerns Jehanne! :) --Maio 03:02, 19 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Honestly, I'm a bit hesitant about this, too. Although we *could* be all things to all people, is it really beneficial? I'd rather add new content rather than multiplying forms of existing content... so I guess I'll leave that up to you, Maio :). As for multiple poems by one author on the same page, see Bilac's poems and Poetry of Emily Brontë. -- Jehanne 03:29, 19 Feb 2004 (UTC)

I'm having hardware problems, so my I answers may be irregular in the next couple days while I sort this out. Big texts should be broken up. Putting all of the Divine Comedy into one 710kb file was bound to create difficulties on some browsers. Choosing how to break that up into three parts was easy. Currently, at about 540kb the Huck Finn file is the biggest one in Wikisource; that's much too big. We perhaps need to determine a maximum file size after which breaking it up would be essential. For Wikipedia I would consider breaking a file up after after 30kb, but here I think we can handle a bigger number maybe up to 100kb. In determining short term priorities we can begin with the biggest ones and bring the maximum size down when we have the time. Some, like π to 100,000 places, may defy all logical treatment.

The other extreme on some web sites is having each printed page as a separate file, even if it means breaking up a sentence. To a user that's just annoying. Breaking up a book of poems into its separate but distinct components is a reasonable approach, but it's often going to be a judgement call where we can be flexible in dealing with it on a case by case basis.

I don't think that having both a full text and a divided text serves a very useful purpose as with the Communist Manifesto, but If someone feels that both should be there I'm not going to argue about it.

One very important thing when a work is broken up, is to make sure that all the parts work together, and that has been going well so far. The contributors who have been entering Kropotkin's Conquest of Bread in Greek, ant The Book of Mormon in Interlingua seem to understand this. Eclecticology 18:33, 19 Feb 2004 (UTC)

I think that's quite reasonable. We don't need multiple copies of the same documents -- that poses problems for those who need to correct typos and the like. 100kb max divisions sounds good to me. What adopt something like the "series" infoboxes from Wikipedia to link the various sections of a single work? -- Jehanne 20:32, 19 Feb 2004 (UTC)
I broke the nearly-600k Huck Finn file into six parts, all smaller than 100k. Any thoughts? -- Jehanne 21:07, 19 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Looks fine. I understand that how we break such things up is arbitrary, but I don't think that there is any way around that. Eclecticology 21:23, 19 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Less, less! should be splitted into a "by chapter" version! >_< a good start tho! ^_^ --Maio 01:19, 20 Feb 2004 (UTC)
I still want to emphasize that one of the advantage of having source material on a Wiki (over an semi-static archive like Project Gutenberg) is that it allows for easy correction of typos and errors in the transcribed text. Generating multiple copies of the same content (e.g. broken by chapters and full text) does not forward these ends. I propose that we settle on a single standard one way or the other. I'd prefer full-text all the way, but Eclect has already pointed out the drawback of that. The two basic alternatives are 100k (or other arbitrary-size) chunks, or by "chapter" or smallest natural subdivision. -- Jehanne 02:11, 20 Feb 2004 (UTC)
By chapter & full text: try to submit a 100K article on a 56K modem then come back and tell me how much you hated it. I don't understand what's the disadvantage of the by chapter version... in order to edit the full text you just need to copy/paste the chapter that you edited into the sub-section of the full-text version. *shrug* --Maio 05:30, 20 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Certainly there are strong valid arguments for files that are much smaller than 100K, and I don't mind if you have the energy to divide the files up that way. Neither Jehanne nor I should feel obliged to do the work of making that breakdown. Also, if you want to add the full text versions feel free to do so. Your cut-and-paste solution may seem straight-forward but the guy with the 56K modem who was having trouble downloading a 100K file, is not going to be inclined to download a 500K file three times (the normal and edit versions plus the normal version again when he saves his changes) just to co-ordinate a typo correction. The two version scheme will rapidly get out of sync. Eclecticology 08:41, 20 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Yeah, I thought about the problem of synchronization also. The software could handle that too, but it is much more complicated and would require more time to code, test and debug. I'm not saying that you are obligued to submit it that way, that is why I used the word 'should'... as in, we should provide but schemes. This is a wiki and we can't restrict how things are submitted, but if you want to submit it both ways and have the time to do so, then you should submit it in both formats. --Maio 14:06, 20 Feb 2004 (UTC)
I'm starting to form the opinion that we should break up texts into their smallest constitutent units only (i.e. chapters, scenes, etc.). This poses two challenges, though, right off the top... 1) facilitating browsing once someone reaches the bottom of the page -- perhaps a navigation footer/box like those being implemented on Wp is also in order, although I cringe at the possiblity of adding more markup, because that increases maintenance time. 2) creating potentially dozens of pages for a single work artifically inflates the "document count" on the main page. I mean, we don't current have 600+ documents; I'd guess we have on the order of 100; but some take up dozens. The Christian bible has only 1000 chapters (which is the logical way to break it up here), but is one "document." I'm not sure how to deal with that difficulty. -- Jehanne 15:45, 20 Feb 2004 (UTC)
I don't think there is any one solution to this. Often the work itself will dictate the best way. I've broken one of the Shakespeare plays As You Like It into acts, and don't see much value at this time to breaking it down further into scenes. The 100K that I suggested before is an arbitrary amount, above which almost anything should be broken down. Our Interlingua version of the Book of Mormon is being divided into chapters, and we'll soon see how that turns out. The effect on document count is certainly accurate, but I see that as much less important than document navigation. Eclecticology 18:12, 23 Feb 2004 (UTC)
I realise I am very new to this project (not one usefull contribution yet), but as a user, I would prefer full text only when downloading the text. Normally, a chapter breakup is much easier. If you make sure there is always a page with all the files listed, someone can always download the entire article by using DAP, GetRight or something alike. That might be a good temporary solution before someone can actually code a synching system into the source. -- User:Kasperl:Kasperl 16:31, 5 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I'm not familiar with the software packages that you mention, but I accept what you say about their apparent usefulness. I am also intrigued by your offer to provide a synching system. I also look forward to your becoming a registered user who is making contributions. Meanwhile, your reader-only perspective is helpful because it gives a focus on issues that is too easily lost when a person becomes a contributor. I support breaking up lengthy works, but there is a bit of an art in breaking up those works, which don't always have obvious subdivisions like chapters. Thanks for giving your comments and welcome to Wikisource. Eclecticology 17:26, 5 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Woops, thought I logged in before posting that.... I'll edit out my IP into my name.

Getright and DAP are download managers, enabling someone to automaticly download a list of links to one file. I am not offering to make a synching system, I am suggesting one. The easiest hack would seem to be to make a page showing the contents of the pages used. One would need to acces the raw texts of the chapters, and use something like a php include to simply throw them all into one page. Makeup would be retained, if you do the collecting before the normal parsing. How to do this is way behond me, since I never learned PHP behond the include command, and have no knowledge whatsoever on wiki code. Editing the full text would perhaps be harder to make, but isn't the main goal. No one would be willing to edit a 740kb file in one run, if you ask me. I do try to contribute to Wikipedia and Wikibooks, and I would try to help Wikisource as well, but my time is limited. -- Kasperl 17:36, 5 Jun 2004 (UTC)


Tip: line length

For concentrated editing, text running the full width of a browser screen is very tiring, for there can be around 20-30 words per line depending on the screen's resolution. Book publishers, on the other hand have long known that a word count of about 12 is the most effective. This can be easily achieved in WS with CSS. The code is in MediaWiki:Monobook.css, it includes code for prose and for verse. The code was noted on Scriptorium by ThomasV.


To use prose formatting in Wikisource pages, paste the following at the top of the page '<div class=prose>', and on the end of the page add '</div>'. It gives a measure of about 35 ems or about 12 words, but this figure can be customised, as can the justification etc.

.prose p { text-indent: 2em

.prose {
  width: 35em;
  margin:0px auto;

To use verse formatting in Wikisource pages, paste the following at the top of the page '<div class=verse><pre>', and on the end of the page add '</pre></div>'.

I moved the text above from Wikisource:Tools and scripts, since they're not user tools or scripts if they're applied to pages. I think these should be discussed before being added to the style guide, though; the optimal line length on a monitor isn't necessarily the same as it is in print. // Pathoschild (editor / talk) 02:37, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

Wikisource talk:Title formats

Use of quotation marks in titles

Should poems and sons have quotation marks, and should a single quote be used? For example, how would be best to name a page that covers the song " 'Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus "? See Special:Allpages/"A Bruised Reed Shall He Not Break". D. F. Schmidt 09:28, 21 November 2005 (UTC)

  • I don't we should use quotes simply because it is a song or poem. But some poem titles are specifically writen within quotes i.e. "Fuzzy-Wuzzy". I think we should try to duplicate the original source as closely as possible. --BirgitteSB 17:29, 21 November 2005 (UTC)
    Ok. So should we move all the pages with quotation marks in the name? And still, what about an initial quotation mark due to a contraction, say, of 'til (until), or 'tis (it is)?
    And why do you say that "Fuzzy-Wuzzy" is especially supposed to have quotation marks? What gives that indication? I looked at the Wikipedia article on it and didn't notice anything on that point. D. F. Schmidt 05:45, 22 November 2005 (UTC)
First off, the naming convention taken here is we duplicate the title of the work exactly. Meaning, if the work itself was titled with quotation marks, then it should have them here, as well. If the work was not titled with them, we shouldn't add them. Really, in order to figure out which works should have the quotation marks and which shouldn't, some sort of hard copy needs to be referenced (I wouldn't trust Wikipedia on this one). Fortunately, the number of works whose titles are in quotations is small. So, we don't need to move the pages with quotation marks in the name.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 15:49, 22 November 2005 (UTC)

Hear! Hear! Apwoolrich 20:11, 21 November 2005 (UTC)

"Fuzzy-Wuzzy" should be that way because that is how it is published. I have three different books that contain that poem and all print the title with quotations and they don't print all titles that way. For some reason the author decided to use quotations and I personally try to use the original formatting as much as possible. I don't think we should go around moving pages, it we be enough to make the approriate redirects. I realize a lot of people are copying electronic texts that could have already lost some of this info, but there is no harm in being accurate when it is possible. There is no reason to enforce consistancy for it's own sake in my opinion as long as we can make redirects.--BirgitteSB 15:56, 22 November 2005 (UTC)

Help talk:Author pages

Should author pages really belong to wikisource?

(Discussion moved here from the Scriptorium) --18:15, 13 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Hello. I recently started to build indexes of french authors and books, using the automated indexation capabilities of wikimedia. My opinion is that automated indexing using categorization should be preferred to manual indexing, because it is less of a pain, it gives homogeneous results and it ensures nothing is forgotten. Some might disagree with that; indeed the site currently contains a lot of manual indexes. I am not trying to impose my views, both systems can obviously coexist in peace. So this post is NOT intended to start a debate over manual/automated indexing. My point is about something different but it is related to indexing: author pages.

I think it would be great to build indexes of authors, using categories: Ancient authors, French authors, authors of theater, authors of science-fiction, and so on. The same is true for books, of course; but a number of problems arise with author pages.

1 - Author pages are not localized, but they are written in the author's language. This is a problem, because when assigning categories, it will be necessary to assign categories in every language the author's texts are translated in. I guess the general answer to that problem is that author pages should be localized in the first place. For example, I should not need to be read in greek in order to find some text on Plato's page. This is somewhat related to the debate about localized subdomains.

2 - Author pages have prefixes like "Author:" or "Auteur:", that show up in the index. This makes the index look ugly.

3 - Author pages are redundant with the author pages that already exist in Wikipedia. This is the most important point. Some author pages in Wikisource even have a picture and a short bio. A user browsing an author in Wikipedia currently needs to go to the corresponding author page in Wikisource, before she can find the text she's looking for, which complicates the search: 2 clicks instead of possibly 1.

The solution I propose is to remove author pages from wikisource. Indeed, these pages gather information about authors, and it is the role of Wikipedia to gather information about famous people. The mission of Wikisource is to provide texts. I think this would solve points 1 and 2 (and 3, obviously):

1 - Author pages are localized in wikipedia, because wikipedia has language subdomains.

2 - Automated indexing of authors does already exist in wikipedia. Let us use it to index authors, instead of reinventing the wheel.

Instead of the current system, I propose the following: Author pages in wikipedia would link directly to wikisource when referring to a text. Pages in wikisource would link to their author's page in wikipedia, instead of the one in wikisource.

I know this is a big move. However I believe we should keep in mind what the mission of wikisource is, and that it is useless to redo some work that is already being done on wikipedia. The energy that is being spent here gathering information about authors would be better spent on wikipedia, where it would also receive more feedback.

--ThomasV 14:30, 12 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I completely agree with you on point 1. I am strongly opposed to the fact that I need to know another language other than English to be able to read non-English authors, especially such pages as the Greek one; I can figure out the Romance and Germanic ones easily, but I would still prefer that every author page be in every language instead of just the one that is that author's nationality. This is why I'm supportive of sub-domains here (although I know all the arguments for and against this proposal, and I'm not debating the issue here).
In regards to point two, there's a simple way to get around that. For example, we'll take Rousseau's page. Currently in the category, it shows up as Auteur:Jean-Jacques Rousseau. If you want to remove the "Auteur:" look at the wiki-fied link [[Auteur:Jean-Jacques Rousseau]] and at the end of "Rousseau" add a "|" so that it looks like this: [[Auteur:Jean-Jacques Rousseau|Jean-Jacques Rousseau]]. Doing that will make it just the author's name.
And in regards to having the author pages, Wikisource needs to have an index of each author's works, too. While Wikisource can be closely tied to Wikipedia, if people come across Wikisource from another source and are looking for a text from a certain author, there needs to be an author page for that person to locate so that person can see what works by that author we currently have. About the Wikipedia links linking to the author page and not a work, I would say that I think Wikipedia should do both. In talking about a work, there should be a link to that work, but there should also be links to the author page itself so people can see what other works there are.
I have to disagree to your proposal to only have Wikisource link to the Wikipedia author and Wikipedia link straight to a Wikisource text. We do that now, in the biography section. We link right to that author's biography ON Wikipedia, and any user can go to any available biography because we link to every available translation on Wikipedia. In regards to typed biographies here, there really shouldn't be any, unless there is no information available on Wikipedia. Remember, Wikisource is also a stand-alone project, like Wikipedia, and so needs to have a sort of interface for people to use when they access this site. Doing away with author pages seems to me that it would make Wikisource only a "text-dump" and not a full-fledged project (although currently it seems that it is a text dump because there is very little that I see which differentiates us from Gutenberg).
I am very glad that you are doing so much work with the categories. Those have a potential to be very useful and important here, but as of right now are under-used. I'm glad that you've started working with them to index French authors. I will hopefully start doing that with German, English, etc. authors so that we can start grouping authors together under certain similar traits, which I believe will set us apart from Gutenberg; we have much more potential to categorize authors than they do.
Zhaladshar 17:18, 12 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Hmmmmm...After doing some research of my own, ThomasV is correct about the fact that in the Categories, there is "Author:", "Auteur:", etc., prefixed to the name of the actual author. And I thought this could be fixed by editing the category itself and and adding [[Auteur:Jean-Jacques Rousseau|Jean-Jacques Roussea]], but that is not possible. Is there a way to get around this issue? Because he's right: it is pretty ugly to look at. Zhaladshar 18:14, 12 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I think that Zhaladshar has adequately dealt with two of the issues about author pages. I would add that a link from Wikipedia will not show different colours to indicate whether we in fact have that text. Some of our auther pages, Author:Arthur Conan Doyle for example, can become an important bibliographical reference page with details that go beyond what we can expect to have on Wikipedia. The Author:George W. Bush page contains links to regular Saturday addresses that we could not possibly justify on Wikipedia in any language. To the extent that an author page contains biographical information other than links, that falls into very limited kinds of information, mostly years of birth and death and name variations.
The language of an author page is a more tricky issue. While I really don't object to the idea of having every author page in every language, that solution has serious co-ordination problems that are far more significant than any issues of disk space. Having a single author page for a person helps to insure that all the information is managed in a centralized way. It lets us know if we have the original version of the work, as well as what translations we do have in our database. The intent of putting these pages in the author's own language was to reduce the domination of English; in practical terms it does not require that anyone know much about the author's language. The only terms that are constant on these pages are the words for "author", "biography" and "works". Redirects can be created in any language to the actual page. If the Plate page (or that of a more obscure Greek author) has only Greek material, it suggest that we don't have any translations available. That just lets us know that there is work to be done.
Whether automated indexing is less of a pain is a matter of opinion. I suppose that to be successful it requires a set of very clearly defined categories, and that leaves a lot of room for debate. I don't do much with putting authors into genre or time based categories, but I don't object to it either. If I don't pigeon-hole an article into categories I'm sure someone else will come along to do it later. There are no restrictions about the number of categories that can be applied to a given article. I don't see where assigning categories in every language for which we have a translation would be a problem. Eclecticology 19:05, 12 Nov 2004 (UTC)
On Zhaladshar's most recent point the problem arises from the fact that the pipe trick works differently in categories than in other namespaces. In most situations it operates to show a substiutute title, but in categories it is used to put the category list in alphabetical order. Some kind of double pipe that does both could be a solution, but that may require a developer's help. Eclecticology 19:19, 12 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Err ... what do you mean "Zhaladshar has adequately dealt with two of the issues"? He agrees with me on points 1 and 2. But agreeing with me on those points does not solve the problem at all. Concerning point 2, I understand that you recommend me to ask developpers to implement a new syntax, to pray that someone will be willing to do so, to wait for the next software release, and then to wait until the wikisource software has been upgraded... IMHO that problem would be better fixed by a change in namespace, because it results from a bad naming convention (and I guess that would be a developer's opinion too).

Concerning point 3, I agree with you that it can be useful to have a page listing all the works by a given author that are available on Wikisource (although such a listing could be generated automatically, by using a category). So I understand why this "author page" needs to be distinct from the one on wikipedia. However, in that case, I strongly support the idea of having localized pages. Indeed I do not read chinese. Second, I think that when a document in the database contains a link to his author, the average reader would be primarily interested in seeing the wikipedia entry about the author when following the link, rather than a list of his other works in the database. --ThomasV 22:22, 12 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I don't know how sure I can be of that last statement. And I'm only talking from my own experience here. When I go to Bartelby or Gutenberg to find something to read, I look for works by author, seeing as I don't know everything my favorite authors have known. So I like the fact that there are "author" pages of a sort that show me everything there is to read by that author. I'm not really too concerned about the life of the author when I go searching for his works, which seems to be what you are implying here--that people would be concerned about a biography when all they want is an essay or poem. We also cannot expect every work on Wikisource to have a link on Wikipedia; some things like George Bush's radio addresses or Conan Doyle's works or Kipling's poetry are too numerous to be all linked over at Wikipedia. Like any encyclopedia, Wikipedia will probably only ever give a bibliography of an author's most major works. Wikisource can offer far more than that. And in regards to the fact that a person who reads a work here will want to know that author's biography, we do link to the exact biography on Wikipedia. All it takes is an extra two-second click to get to the author's main page and then to his biography. Zhaladshar 23:22, 12 Nov 2004 (UTC)
all right, I buy that. But my points 1 and 2 remain. I wish I was there when it came to voting about subdomains. --ThomasV 23:36, 12 Nov 2004 (UTC)

End of moved material

Biography lists

(Discussion moved here from the Scriptorium) --18:15, 13 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Would anyone be opposed to changing the biography lists on the author pages from this:

to something like this:

Bahasa Melayu | Bahasa Indonesia | Cymraeg | Dansk | Deutsch | Eesti | English | Español | Esperanto | Français | Gaeilge | עברית | Nederlands | 日本語 | Norsk | Polski | Português | Simple English | Suomi | Svenska | 中文(简体) | 中文(繁体)

By columns

Bahasa Melayu
Bahasa Indonesia
Simple English

This is shorter and doesn't require as much screen real estate. —Mike 06:54, 13 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I see your point. The single column form looked much neater at the beginning, but some have gotten quite long. Would a multicolumn system be workable. See the translation sections in en:wiktionary:lead. Language names alone are short enough that we could accomodate several columns. Eclecticology 00:01, 14 Nov 2004 (UTC)
After looking at en:wiktionary:lead's content, I think I like the multi-column system. What we currently use now I think if fine for authors who only have about 10 or less biographies on Wikipedia. Any more than that and a user is assaulted with an inordinate amount of white space. I like Mike's idea, too, but I think his method would really only work for some authors like Aristotle who have an enormous number of Wikipedia bios. Otherwise, the bio section would be very cramped and small, in my personal opinion. But I think the multi-columns would be our best bet since we maximize the amount space used in any given author's biographical section. Since I am not active on Wiktionary, I do not know how easy it is to add new languages to those columns, but from what it looks like to me it would be an arduous task to reorganize each column every time a new language is added. If we adopt it here, my only concern is that it would keep people from updating author pages just for the fact that it takes much more time to reorganize a column than to simply copy and paste a link to a very straightforward list like what we have now. (Not to mention, actually making tables using Wiki mark-up is an arduous task if you aren't familiar with it). Zhaladshar 00:57, 14 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I'll experiment with it. Five columns should do it. In the listing above "Bahasa Indonesia" is the longest item, so it can give a reference length. Reading by columns (rather than rows) should allow the changes to be more easily. Adding a new language shouldn't be a problem. The columns could easily put out of sync, but someone more familiar with the method can fix that quite easily later. Eclecticology 03:00, 15 Nov 2004 (UTC)
The five column example is above. Colours are optional, but for this experiment they make the columns stand out. If people like this model I can still tinker with it to make it a little more usable. Eclecticology 03:40, 15 Nov 2004 (UTC)
It works for me. —Mike 10:00, 15 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Looks great to me, too. Go for it. Zhaladshar 12:53, 15 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I've copied the column format to the Author:George W. Bush page and added the languages that weren't there when that article was set up. How does it look in context? Eclecticology 10:53, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Oh, I like it. It's far more compact than having a straight up and down list. It'll take me some time to get used to seeing the new format since I am very used to the old one. Tell me, how long did it take for you to make those tables? And are we going to turn every page into this new format? I can't see why not, but just thought I'd ask anyway, since some authors only have three or four languages in their biography section.
I'm setting up something at Wikisource:Bio-template to be used for other tables based on this model. It didn't take me very long to do it because I was already familiar with the model at Wiktionary. As to when to use it, I would encourage it with ten or more languages, treat it as optional with five to nine, and not bother with four or fewer. Eclecticology 17:17, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Of course, this problem would not arise if author pages were localized... btw, do you really want to give a link to a chinese biography of an author if we have no chinese translation of his works? --ThomasV 20:08, 14 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Yes, at least for the principal author page for that person. Eclecticology 03:00, 15 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I've been working on an idea for sort order of the languages. It doesn't make much sense to "alphabetize" the languages that don't even use the same writing system. So I took the list of languages that have more than 1000 encyclopedia pages and started trying to sort them logically. This is what I came up with for sorting interlanguage links on english author pages. I sorted the latin languages "alphabetically", then sorted by the two-letter language code in each writing system. A second alternative is to put all the non-latin languages into one group at the end and sort them all together by the two-letter language code.--The Jacobin 20:36, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Bahasa Indonesia
Bahasa Melayu
Kurdî / كوردی
Norsk (bokmål)
Norsk (nynorsk)
Simple English

Arabic writing


Brahmic writing


Cyrillic writing


Greek writing


Han writing


Hebrew writing


End of moved material

More on author pages

(Discussion moved here from the Scriptorium) -- 18:15, 13 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I moved this discussion from ThomasV's talk page because I think it merits enough import to be put in a more open discussion, and because I have some things to respond to also, which would be better to post here for everyone to read and be a part of:

I've been carefully watching the progress on the author pages to see what develops, and a couple of concerns have already appeared that have me more strongly favouring a formal author namespace. We already have two separate entries for the French and English pages in the list of "A" authors. The possible problem there is that these index pages will grow much faster than they probably should. With Karl Marx if I go to the German page, take the link to the Wikisource:Authors-M page then try to link back to Marx from there, I end up at the English page.

I would still like to find some sort of relatively language neutral way of expressing "Author:" Eclecticology 19:43, 20 Dec 2004 (UTC)

sorry if I did not work very much on author pages after our discussion in the scriptorium... Zhaladshar and I thought it would worth waiting for more opinions to be expressed before changing everything, and I spent most of my time on the php extension. so I guess the current state should still be viewed as experimental...
Maybe a localized author page could link to two lists of authors: one that contains author pages written in the same language (like the Category:Fr:Auteurs for french), and one that is comprehensive, ie the full authors index. However, one issue will be how to organize this full index, especially when chinese/greek authors are in there. my opinion is that it will not be possible to mix different alphabets in this index, so it will have to be somehow localized. but I won't complain if it is in english, because monolingual french users will still have access to a french index.
concerning the namespace, I still believe the most neutral way of expressing "Author:Karl Marx" is to drop the prefix for the 'main' author page, just calling it Karl Marx. I think this will make things easier for editors of other wikipedia projects. Another possibility, which would fit well with the extension I'm working on, is to call it "Category:Karl Marx".
--ThomasV 10:47, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC)

In regards to Eclecticology's first point (about the Karl Marx example), the only thing I can say is that those links will have to be changed manually. It's completely muddled up right now, but I think that once we come up with a naming convention for author pages, it won't be hard at all--it will just take some time. I think it would be best, though, to establish what this new convention would be very quickly, because like he said, author pages will keep coming, and the more we delay this the more we will have to change later on.

In regards to finding some way to neutrally denote a "main" author page, I think it would be nice to use something like "Scriptor:". It would parallel the name of our Scriptorium, and I can't see any language bias in using that--Latin is not a spoken language. And, Latin also has a long history of use, so that would also be a plus. I know ThomasV is a fan of just having the author's name ("Karl Marx", for example) as the main author page. I think this would be fine if we made them redirect pages and sent them to something like "Scriptor:Karl Marx," and use a disambiguation page if necessary (such as if "Karl Marx" were also a title of a work).

I do not have a problem with what ThomasV proposes, about localized author pages linking to both the localized author index and the comprehensive one. In fact, I think that would probably be best. As we've discussed about the new way author pages would be constructed, localized author pages would only contain works in that language (i.e. a French localized author page would only have French works, an English author page only English works, etc.), but we should still offer links back to a comprehensive author index which contains everything. ThomasV does bring up an interesting point about Chinese/Greek languages. On this master index, we would be (probably miserably) mixing numerous alphabets together. For this, I propose we use something like the Pinyin of a Chinese name (and similar Romanization of other languages) or use the Latin version of such names (such as Greek) in order to alphabetize the names. It's not ideal, I know, but for the master index, I can't see any way of doing it without having to make small concessions in favor of one language over another. Zhaladshar 16:15, 22 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I did not say that author pages should only link to works in one language. if the listed author did not write in the language of the page, it might be interesting to link to the original version of the text as well, which means 2 languages. What I think should be avoided is a list of lists, where for each listed work we would give a comprehensive list of translations. lists of lists tend to be long and difficult to read.
concerning the 'main' author page, I do not like the 'scriptor' option. I do not understand why we need a prefix in the first place. Ec seems to believe it will facilitate searches, but I do not understand why somebody would want to type "Author" in the search box. it is much simpler to look in the index. or did I miss something?
--ThomasV 17:03, 22 Dec 2004 (UTC)
The "Scriptor" solution would satisfy my concern about not favoring any modern language. From the way that I understand ThomasV's point his concern is less between "scriptor" and "author" than it is about having a prefix at all. It's almost as if we are looking at the same book, but while I'm trying to find out what's in the book by looking at the Table of Contents he's trying to do it by looking at the Index. Both ways are useful, but they need to complement each other.
A number of localized author pages have appeared in the last few days in several languages. That's fine. The problem is that none of these new additions have a built in capacity to scale in such a way as to give a comprehensive view of the author, his works and whatever else may be available in the various Wiki projects. A suitable prefix enables that. I have considered the option of just having the author name without a prefix, and indicating the various localizations by using "/en" or "/fr" as the case may be, and putting a biographer's or other name in parentheses when the reference was to something about the author. That has its problems too. Authors' names themselves vary from one language to another. Also, if a personal name is used for the master author page the technique does not readily distinguish between an author and some other person who may never have written anything.
The concern for authors in other scripts remains, and perhaps I have not given it as much attention as I should. But I suspect that the transition to dealing withe that problem will be relatively easy once we have consensus over the Roman scripted languages. Standard romanizations can be used such as pinyin, and that still doesn't stop the localizations from following the standards of the language involved. Quite some time ago the question was raised about the "extra" letters in Danish, and it was not that big of a problem.
Another interesting point that was raised at some point is the demarcation between what belongs here and what belongs on Wikipedia. My view is that a certain amount of overlap is desirable. At this stage it seems better to be open ended on this while it gets resolved. If at some point in the future we decide that we have included a lot of material that properly belongs exclusively in Wikipedia deleting it will be very easy. I think that for now, none of us would have the stomach to include long biographical sketches about the authors. A few elementary details plus links to Wikipedia are adequate for our purposes; anything more could land us into the NPOV squabbles that are so frequent there. We are still able to consider Karl Marx as an author without having to debate the validity of Marxism. Eclecticology 20:36, 22 Dec 2004 (UTC)
err... I'm not sure to understand what you mean by "looking at the toc" vs "looking at the index". I also have difficulties to understand "to scale in such a way as to give a comprehensive view of the author"...
but since you agreed on writing localized author pages, my main concern has now disappeared. I consider naming conventions as something less important, and I do not want to impose my views on how to name 'main' author pages, also because I am not sure if these 'main' author pages are really needed. Maybe you could start building a few of those, so that we see what exactly you have in mind, how they are linked to other pages, how useful they are, etc. that way, we will be talking about something more concrete. --ThomasV 21:23, 22 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Perhaps it's better if I don't expand my analogy. At this point that might just cause more confusion than it merits. :-)
I agree that something concrete would help. I'll work on a few with the "Scriptor:" prefix over the next few days -- (except when my wife wants me to spend sociable time away from the computer for Christmas!) - Best of the season to you all. Eclecticology 22:07, 22 Dec 2004 (UTC)
If we're getting into localised prefixes and localised indexes, wouldn't it make sense to just go multilingual in the same way as Wikipedia, Wiktionary and Wikinews? If we keep dealing with this in this ad hoc manner, its just going to get messier the larger, and the more multilingual, we get. Ambivalenthysteria 22:46, 22 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I was supporting language subdomains in the first place. however it seems that a majority expressed itself against this idea, so I guess we should move on. for more information on recent developments, check "Wikisource:Scriptorium/Language domain proposal" and "Wikisource:Scriptorium/Language domain requests" pages. --ThomasV 11:14, 23 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I think this is an abundantly stupid stance, and one that is going to cause serious problems down the track, but it doesn't affect what I'm trying to do at the moment, I'll drop it - for now. Ambivalenthysteria 12:43, 23 Dec 2004 (UTC)
what do you mean by 'stupid stance'? --ThomasV 13:47, 23 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Ambi: This was perhaps the most heated debate from the time you were away. What you see in this section is some of the more detailed issues in a compromise. We were able to do this without help from the ArbCom. This proves that the wiki is working when enough people on both sides of the debate want it to work. At this point there are people on both sides of the issue committed to make it work, while respecting the concerns of the others. Ultimately it would also be nice to see multilingual representations of the UN resolutions, but I don't think anybody is in a hurry for that. Eclecticology 18:55, 23 Dec 2004 (UTC)

End of moved material

Author Pages Revisit

(Discussion moved here from the Scriptorium) -- 18:15, 13 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I was getting down to some routine cleanup duties when I ran into Novecento, a fairly clear copyvio of the contemporary Italian Autore:Alessandro Baricco. I considered deleting the author page as well, since we are not likely to legitimately include any of his work in the forseeable future, but then after a little more reflection decided against that based on the vision of Wikisource also being a bibliographic resource. To be able to work with it I had to restore a previous version. This would seem to violate an understanding about the author pages, but so far I have no plans to do this with any other page.

The problem with ThomasV's system is in that it is template rich, and the process is not very well documented. And if I, a person with nearly three years of experience in this family of projects, am having difficulty in navigating this, I can't imagine that it's going to be any easier for a non-technical newbie. I really would like to see our compromises work, but it seems that before that can happen we need to doucment how to write up these author pages and how to edit them in a way that will be clear and simple to everybody. Eclecticology 20:33, 13 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I agree that templates might be too difficult for some. I do not mean to enforce template use in any way. I just see it as an option. templates have the advantage that if you know how to use them, it reduces the amount of work. if you don't know how to use them, you should still have the right to participate. now regarding how the process is (or is not) documented, it seems to me that we have not decided yet how 'main' author pages should look like, and I remember that you proposed to write a few examples which we could then discuss... --ThomasV 14:41, 15 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I will acknowledge that the use of templates on author pages might be tedious for many users here, especially those who are new to Wikisource or her sister projects and so would not be accustomed to the mark-up. Using templates might cause many people to drop the project--or at least refrain from making author pages--due to a seemingly complicated method of creating author pages. But, like ThomasV said, the templates are not meant to be the exclusive "right way" method of creating author pages; for those who do know how to use them, it simply cuts down on the time it takes to create them. It should also be noted that using these templates on author pages was designed to go with translating author pages into various other languages. Hence, the templates are language-specific. We never really talked about using them for the "Main" author page, though, and I would not like to see them used there (or at least the way the templates are currently laid out). But this is assuming that we will still translate author pages into various languages. If we do not, then the templates are most likely not even needed.
In terms of documenting the templates, I would like to get a hold of how we are going to tackle author pages now before I go to documenting. Maybe we will decide that templates are not the way to go and so documentation would not be needed for templates. But I think it would be beneficial for the community to have a couple other options than just templates, too, so that might be something we might want to do, also: get a couple other proposals before we begin writing up a documentation. Zhaladshar 15:02, 15 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Fair enough comments, including the criticism that I should have done more about setting up something about the "main" author page. I've put up Scriptor:Karl Marx which starts from the author page as it was before the templates were introduced. I continue to see the "scriptor" page as broadly based, and including everything that we might want to include about the author in any language. Any localized pages should be able to be composed as a subset of the scriptor page.

For many authors, particularly those that are not likely to have much of their material translated, an author page that follows existing practice may be enough. U. S. presidents John Tyler and Rutherford Hayes are not likely to have a great demand for their translated speeches. Eclecticology 04:53, 16 Jan 2005 (UTC)

End of moved material

Yet more on author pages

I've put some thoughts on author page design on my user page, User:Quuxplusone. Please discuss. In particular, I'd like to support the merging of multilingual content ("Scriptor" style); I think Wikisource ought to get rid of unsynchronized localized content altogether. For example, Scriptor:Karl Marx was missing a link to the Polish version of the Communist Manifesto because the Polish wiki-writer and the English one hadn't communicated. If everything is redirected to one central multilingual page, things will be a lot more cohesive and nice-looking.

BTW, note that "Scriptor" is currently in use by the Latin Wikisource. So it's not quite the language-neutral solution it appears. Personally, I favor "Author" as the most language-agnostic word we're likely to find. --Quuxplusone 00:55, 28 May 2005 (UTC)

As we are going to implement language subdomains relatively soon, I wouldn't put too much work into centralizing/merging the author pages at precent. When the requested subdomains have been created and the relevant content has been moved there, then we could start centralizing the author pages in the remaining languages (those without their own subdomain) if the community here reaches a consensus to do so.

I'm not sure what you're saying here; I can see how and might be a minor improvement over having and in the same "domain", but surely it can't be a good thing to have actually different content on each author page in different languages! How do "language subdomains" address the problem that the Polish author page lists different works from the English author page? And if it doesn't address that problem, then I think it makes sense to start working on a real centralization of author pages as soon as possible. --Quuxplusone 19:35, 29 May 2005 (UTC)

Also, pretty much unrelated, if anyone can tell me how to put an image on a page from Wikimedia Commons or from the English Wikipedia, I'd be grateful. --Quuxplusone 00:55, 28 May 2005 (UTC)

About the images: It is quite easy to use images from commons, you just find the name of the image at commons and then insert the image as you would insert a lokal image. Simply write [[Image:Flag of Denmark.svg]] (an image at commons) and it appears here like this: Flag of Denmark.svg.
If you write in a non-English wiki, you just replace "Image" with the word used for "Image" in that language, and it should still work (remember that it is the wiki language that matters regardless of whether you have chosen another interface language in your preferences).--Christian S 04:27, 28 May 2005 (UTC)


I just noticed you were recommending using sentance style titles. I really think Headline is appropriate here as the titles corespond to actual works. I believe books are always written in headline style generaly. Of mice and men looks really strange to me.--BirgitteSB 20:08, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

I added an exception for original capitalisation. The 'sentence form' guideline is particularly aimed at titles like "Presidential radio address of November 2003 (George W. Bush)", which should not be "Presidential Radio Address...". // Pathoschild (admin / talk) 19:44, 12 February 2006 (UTC)


I feel we should be giving this some priority, since so much in WS hangs on sensible implementation of rules like these. I shall be very happy to take part. It seems to me what we are looking for are simple rules an editor should apply when working on a text, eg, if the text has numbered references and notes, then he/she should know how to do them in WS. Page numbering might be required for reference to the printed page amd also as an anchor for indexing in non-fiction titles. Its akin to a style guide used by publishers which is not only about grammar and spelling but also the presentation of MS and 'house style'.

Otherwise we are going to get all kinds of variations on the use of templates for headers and the like, and worse, editors concocting DIY new ones. Is there anything you would particularly like me to get on with? Kind regards. Apwoolrich 15:07, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

If you have some idea how to implement page numbering and from which source, feel free. I see there's already a template to do so, but it's far more complex than it needs to be. A new {{page}} template containing <span id="page#">page#</span> should work fine for this. // Pathoschild (admin / talk) 19:39, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

Page numbering - I have retrieved the following from the Scriptorium Archive for January 2006. What is needed is a method like the present ref/note system of coding a text and its index to be able to jump back and forth between the index entry and the relevant page. This should be simple where a document has not been split into chapters but it gets complicated where each chapter is a different document. Or will your system of naming sections with the Title/ Chap 1/ etc make this possible? Kind regards Apwoolrich 08:12, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

Page numbering template

I just added a page numbering template {{Page|x}}. With the following example:


resulting in Page:5.

It's short, sweet, and easy to put into a document. It also adds an effective anchor in-page named Page_#, so one can link to a given page number by saying [[#Page_5]] (for example). To wit: try this link. -- ChristianEdwardGruber 05:07, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

Heh heh... the above example won't really usefully work on this page, because this note is already at the bottom of the page. If the page number reference were earlier, it would help. Right now I've only got one document using it, the Will and Testament of `Abdu'l-Bahá. An example would be like this: Will and Testament of `Abdu'l-Bahá#Page_13.
I'm hoping to have a nice page-number-index, sort of like an alternate TOC, since page numbers are sort of orthogonal to topic, if you're looking up references by page number. Unfortunately, the whole lack of a good solid for loop rather prevents it. The foreach stuff and the loop2 templates and such are nice, but are limited to 150 pages, and so there's no easy way to specify a {{Page Index|1|245}} template. It's more work than it's worth to setup such a page-number-table by hand, just to save someone from using ctrl-f on the browser to find "p. 176". Sigh... I'll keep digging, maybe there's a way. -- ChristianEdwardGruber 05:15, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
If this could be worked on it would be a really useful addition to WS, IMHO, since it would make possible the inclusion of proper indexes to non-fiction texts. Project Gutenberg seems to ignore index pages, but they would be easy enough to scan and add in on WS. Apwoolrich 08:43, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

This could be a help to WS! Especially if we are scanning in encyclopedias, dictionaries, etc., or any work that has an index. This allows us to actually make those indices meaningful. And best yet, these templates aren't conspicuous, so you can still read the work and not be distracted by the page templates.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 17:43, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, that's what I thought too. The problem is with arbitrary ranges in loop structures in the MediaWiki software. First-class support in media wiki for the quivalent to the old-school:
 for (pageno=$start, pageno < $end, increment($pageno)) { [[#Page_{{$pageno}}|{{$pageno}}]] ) 
or something like that would be sweet. It would allow for very very simple indexes to be expressed simply, but more complex ones could be built for documents that had ranges of different kinds of pages (i-iv,1-245,A.1-B.5 for example).
As it stands currently, I think that static, pre-fab large indexes will be necessary to get this effect. -- ChristianEdwardGruber 19:21, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
You could always file a bug report if you want it that feature to be added to the software. That would give you the feature you wanted. I'm afraid I don't know much about scripting, so I couldn't even begin to comment on whether it's feasible or not, but Brion or another developer would know.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 19:32, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
I urge that Brion is approached. If it can be done it would be well worth it. There are a number of biographical texts I wish to get on Wikisource that would be greatly enhanced by such a feature. Apwoolrich 19:55, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
w:User:AzaToth has a really nice codebase under consultation at MetaWiki. It doesn't have loop structures, but it does have properly formulated conditionals and comparators. This is half of the situation, but it's a mediawiki software patch. I think the above loop structures would need to be implemented in the php files, or it would drag out performance. I added the wikipedia Template:Foreach (and related), and created Template:Page index as an example. The problem with that approach is that it lists pages up to 1000, but any given document may not have that many pages. Proper comparators and conditionals would very much help, since each call to Template:Page_link could made conditional in a wrapper template. Ultimately, first-tier support for loop flow-control stuff would be much better, and probably be less of a drag on the server. -- ChristianEdwardGruber 21:35, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

Author Page sub-sections

On the Author page section you state: "In the case of very prolific and authors who wrote works of various types, sub-sections—using <h3> markers—should be used to simplify locating a particular work." Some simplification or clarifying link would be useful for those, like me, who have no idea what a <h3> marker is, does or how to use it. AllanHainey 14:58, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

I've rewritten that line to advocate the use of wikimarkup instead. It now reads, "In the case of very prolific and authors who wrote works of various types, sub-sections—using third-level headings—should be used to simplify locating a particular work." Is this better? // Pathoschild (admin / talk) 21:01, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
Grand. AllanHainey 13:00, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

Heading point number 2

I've got a question with point number 2 under the "Heading" section. Could an example be given when/how a third-level header would be used to separate stanzas? I can't picture what is being described here. We've got a template {{stanzabreak}} that adds stanzas to the text.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 22:54, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

Changed accordingly. // Pathoschild (admin / talk) 05:15, 23 February 2006 (UTC)
Wow, I'm tired...I think I proposed a change which wasn't exactly appropriate for the topic under discussion. I read the "i.e. to separate stanzas" and went right to how poetry is separated. However, what's being talked about is something more general than just poetry; it needs to apply to any (or most) situation.
I think the problem is that I still don't understand what is being described here. Why would we separate something which has no "discrete sections or headings in the original text"? It seems like just a blank line should do the trick. After all, if it's not in the text, then we should probably not be adding it anyway. Or, would this be for us to provide a sort of "meta-division" where we explain the what is about to follow (like in the Zodiac Killer letters)?—Zhaladshar (Talk) 05:41, 23 February 2006 (UTC)
Quite honestly, I don't even remember what the situation being described is. If there's a more general application, I think it could be clarified later. -.-; // Pathoschild (admin / talk) 13:16, 23 February 2006 (UTC)


Not sure how feasible it is, but it'd be nice if we could wikilink to WikiQuote as well, for the sake of attributing quotes. I'm looking at the moment at the Speech In Favor of Capital Punishment's quotation of Virgil's Usque adeone mori miserum est? which may have been widely recognised back in the day of Stuart Mill, but certainly today would be improved by being a wikilink. (And not to Virgil's wikipedia entry, since it's the quote that needs to be linked from) Sherurcij 07:27, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

I think the wikilink to wikiquote is Q:, such as Q:John Stuart Mill. They don't have a particular page forQ:Usque adeone mori miserum est though. AllanHainey 12:52, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

Article size

What is the optimal page size? Defining a rough rule of thumb would benefit users working towards having a text featured. I personally have no problem with texts up to 150kB, but that may be a bit big for some users. However, the 32kB recommended by the software is far too small in most cases. // [admin] Pathoschild (talk/map) 16:11, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

I don't think we should define one other than ease of readability/coherent organization. The Time Machine has a breakout with chapters - works well, but it's 176 kB long. If we break it apart it should be to help people read it, not to meet a size rule. Banjee ca 11:57, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

Text Quality

I find it hard to find links from the front page to either the


or the


templates. Would this be the right place to add links? Banjee ca 11:57, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

I've added it in a 'See also' section. // [admin] Pathoschild (talk/map) 16:42, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. I also added a link to the textquality template onto the page Banjee ca 00:35, 15 June 2006 (UTC)