Forum:Overhauling cover stories

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I was wondering what the community support for overhauling our cover story system is? Currently we have a large blue template {{cover}} for nominations, with a parameter that makes it approved. We include up to 1000 characters on to the main page, including anything that is not suppose to be included. This cause breaks when it includes only the open and not the closing tags of an environment. One suggested method is to have a subpage for each cover article that has an article brief that is include on the frontpage instead. Also instead of the blue template may I suggest a small golden brain, similar to the Wikipedia goldstar, but more us. - π 07:31, 24 April 2010 (UTC)

I guess that is no. - π 13:49, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
My wiki-fu is weak, however, I think you can go ahead and give it a try. --PsyGremlinSprich! 13:53, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
Actually, I agree with that suggestion. A subpage that acts as an abstract would be better rather than cutting short the introduction, it also simplifies things greatly. As for the golden brain, I like it. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 14:01, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
As an alternative to the hackish star thing in the upper right corner, with MW1.16 we can do this, or even better, this, using css to then insert a background image into the span. Secondly, the warning should go into an editnotice. -- Nx / talk 14:36, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
The warning box in the edit notice rather than top and centre of the page is a definite. - π 14:46, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
It has to be added manually, though that isn't a big inconvenience. As for the icon, the topicon hack doesn't work so well with the intercom, that's why I don't like it. -- Nx / talk 15:00, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
In what sense does it not work so well? The intercome messages tend to be few and far between and the vast bulk of our articles don't have cover status, so the potential for conflicts is fairly low. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 15:24, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
The icon stays in the top right corner, and overlaps the intercom message, instead of moving down like the rest of the title. -- Nx / talk 15:29, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
The other question is what happens in the other skins? - π 15:37, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
I made skin specific css to make it work with all of them, but because it's a hack, it doesn't work so well when stuff has to wrap on a small screen. -- Nx / talk 15:40, 24 April 2010 (UTC)

Golden brainstar[edit]

Goldenbrain.png Goldenbrain.png Silverbrain.png Silverbrain.png Copperbrain.png Copperbrain.png Steelbrain.png Steelbrain.png

I was just experimenting, and I liked how it looked. The first one can be used as a brainstar award, the second one is sized for the top right corner. -- Nx / talk 15:09, 24 April 2010 (UTC)

Pretty neat. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 15:12, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
Now that I like. Can we have a little silver one (the color the brain is now) for nominees? - π 15:13, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
Cool!--BobSpring is sprung! 15:14, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
It's an interesting thought about putting up silver ones, but that puts me in mind of article ratings, broze, silver and gold class. That's a lot of work to get a consensus on what "level" something is at, but it should be fairly obvious and uncontroversial for the most part. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 15:17, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
(ec x 3)::::I like the goldie. Not sure we need a silver one too, though. --PsyGremlin말하십시오 15:18, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
The bronze, silver, gold is not bad, better than WP's 8 level or what ever they work on a little more short scale. - π 15:20, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
Added silver, couldn't find a nice bronze material so I'll have to create one myself. -- Nx / talk 15:36, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
Or not. Also threw in a stainless steel one because I think it looks cool. -- Nx / talk 15:55, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
I do like the steel one :-) - David Gerard (talk) 15:57, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
They are all very cool. Are people happy with the idea of bronze, silver and gold or just gold for cover articles? Bear in mind that I'd suggest we first rattle out some criteria for each if we go the three-level route and understand that even "bronze" will indicate a good article, while gold is really only attainable for some of the better subjects. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 17:30, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
Artistically they all look great. Really great. But my concern is about the level of admin needed to move articles between the levels. We are are a pretty anarchistic bunch and I'm not sure how well this would work.--BobSpring is sprung! 19:12, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
Bob is spot on. When was the last time we promoted a cover article? Actually, have we even done that since I joined? -- Nx / talk 19:25, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
Just a day or two ago I at least was discussing on some talk page the idea of making the article a bit better so it could be one. ħumanUser talk:Human 19:59, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

I think the jelly brain would be ideal for the deletion suggestions - David Gerard (talk) 17:49, 24 April 2010 (UTC)

Yeah, it's been done. I've kept an eye on it and go back to it occaisionally. The anarchy may be a bit of a problem, but IMHO, it's nothing that can't be solved by people getting over the fact that not everyone needs to have a say in everything. And if we lay down some principles for what the categories entail, it can be applied easy enough so long as someone leaves a justification on the talk page. 99.9% of the time people probably won't disagree or care too much. And perhaps we can move to a stage where people A) care about writing good articles (a rating system would encourage this, I believe) and B) take responsibility for some clearing up and donkey work. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 20:44, 24 April 2010 (UTC)


Okay, so this is just for fun. Undoubtedly people might think it's too much work but meh... Here are some categories of article quality:

Steelbrain.png Unclassified: I used the steel brain because it looks cool but probably wouldn't be used actually.

  • Self-explanatory. The default state of any RW article.

Copperbrain.png Bronze: Good article

  • Article must not be a stub or VSA.
  • Article is formatted correctly according to manual of style
  • Article contains references and external links ("read more at Wikipedia" doesn't count)
  • Article is coherent and free of needless injokes, references to Conservapedia and the jokes and snark are not at the expense of fact.

Silverbrain.png Silver: Very good article

  • Article topic is directly relevant to and worthy of RW's mission (i.e., potential upgrading to cover story would be uncontroversial).
  • Article should be of decent length but without repetitive content.
  • Article is almost fully referenced with appropriate external links.
  • Article is illustrated appropriately.
  • Article is free of basic errors.

Goldenbrain.png Gold: Cover story status

  • The topic is highly relevant to RW's mission.
  • Article is essentially a "go to" resource for the topic at hand.
  • Article covers in-depth all aspects of the topic at hand.
  • It is fully referenced with appropriate external links.
  • Where necessary and possible, the article is supported by others that are of a good quality (e.g., homeopathy and water memory).
  • The cover status has been discussed on the talk page.

So providing people are sensible and don't go whacking the badges on any old thing (and don't get too pissy if something happens they disagree with) I think this would work well. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 16:32, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

I only want to say that we should have a template that puts a larger version of these brains somewhere. Don't let all the hard work my computer had to do to render these at high res go wasted. -- Nx / talk 16:49, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
Ah, certainly. Though I have no idea where. Perhaps awards for users that use slightly bigger versions. On par with the format of the pledges. But it depends what people think of mutual ego stroking, which I'm all for as I reckon it could create a better vibe and produce better work. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 21:32, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

Put the gold brain in the blue box with the first line of text so people know what it means? And, yes, the quality edit warning should appear when editing, so people can ignore it there instead ;) ħumanUser talk:Human 19:57, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

I've made dinky templates for these, I'll go and do a central RationalWiki:Article rating page for instructifyings. Totnesmartin (talk) 09:48, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

Thank fuck for unilateral action! Scarlet A.pngd hominem 10:45, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
I've finally learned that waiting for a consensus on this kind of stuff is futile. Only took me 3 years to realise. Totnesmartin (talk) 11:18, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
Ha! Anyway, use it as it is or add the "topright" hack thing? I know Nx doesn't like it because it conflicts with the intercom, but as 1) he appears to want to fix it and 2) the odds of someone viewing a marked article and intercom message simultaneously are low and the error isn't major, it might still be a better suggestion. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 11:56, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
Hmm, definitely a topright hack of some kind as it looks quite bad on articles without some sort of navbox to the right to keep out the text. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 12:01, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
Eventually, as more articles get rated, someone will view a rated article and an intercom message at the same time, so best to fix it now. Totnesmartin (talk) 12:05, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
It's not simple. The problem is that when a page is cached, only the stuff in the content area is cached, you can't put something outside it. It is possible to change the displaytitle, but that doesn't allow arbitrary html or wikicode. -- Nx / talk 12:07, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
'Tis a pickle. I like the scheme, but is there a way of displaying it differently? Perhaps on the page as a "normal" template rather than in the title line? I assume we can't go for that simple css relative position trick as it needs to work on all templates and be idiot proof and generic. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 12:16, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
How does WP do its article protection symbol? we could go the same way perhaps. Totnesmartin (talk) 12:19, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
With the position:relative hack, similarly to how we do it (I based our template on theirs). It breaks on WP too if you resize your window, and for the site notice they have some css altering javascript that moves the icons down a bit. Not an ideal solution. -- Nx / talk 12:22, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

Cover subpage[edit]

As we're branching, I figured I'd add this section for the idea about a cover subpage. 1000 character limit, the subpage is /cover, you can have pictures but so long as it looks fine on the test area. Style-wise, I'd favour it being mostly originally written, like an abstract, rather than a cut n paste job from the top line of the article. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 15:15, 24 April 2010 (UTC)

I like the abstract idea, try to hook people in with a sell rather than explaining the topic of the bat. - π 15:18, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
I might give it a shot on the homeopathy article since it's one I've probably put most edits into. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 15:53, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
I've added two to the testing area, better or just pointless? Scarlet A.pngd hominem 17:25, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
You probably already know that I'm in favor of this solution. Also I'd prefer if we could lose the dpl and just use choose -- Nx / talk 17:27, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
Indeed. It streamlines everything nicely, but I wondering if the tone is right for it - I've got "this article..." as a recurring theme on those two as they are, and the links to the articles are simple rather than anything something fancy. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 18:00, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
One big advantage of the subpage I see is if someone mucks up the article, the main page version doesn't suffer. ħumanUser talk:Human 19:53, 26 April 2010 (UTC)
I approve of this, although we might want to mark the page no stubs. Also anything to fix the Leader's Guide which breaks every time. - π 12:38, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
I've added a few more, they're all in a subpage titled "cover". Scarlet A.pngd hominem 14:04, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for all this, Armondikov, you have been doing a great job. Volunteers are wanted to fill out the others:
  • Atheism/cover
  • Autism omnibus trial/cover
  • Behe:The Edge of Evolution, Interview/cover
  • Birth control/cover
  • Chelation therapy/cover
  • Common descent/cover
  • Conservapedia:Conservapedian mathematics/cover
  • Conservapedia:Conservapedian relativity/cover
  • Evidence against a recent creation/cover
  • Evolution/cover
  • Expelled:Leader's Guide/cover
  • Fundamentalism/cover
  • Herbal supplement/cover
  • Holocaust denial/cover
  • Homeopathy/cover
  • Intelligent design/cover
  • Lenski affair/cover
  • New Age/cover
  • Non-materialist neuroscience/cover
  • Peer review/cover
  • Poe's Law/cover
  • RationalWiki Atheism FAQ for the Newly Deconverted/cover
  • Same-sex marriage/cover
  • Andrew Schlafly/cover
  • Vaccine hysteria/cover
  • Young Earth creationism/cover
Please don't leave all this to the same few people. - π 12:31, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
I've delinked these and I'll be moving them out into Template space. -- Nx / talk 12:45, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
Okay, I have tweaked the testing area so we can be seen how they look when they are created. I have left redlinks so we know which need to be created. - π 12:46, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

Have we tweaked the cover story instructions to reflect this yet? ħumanUser talk:Human 22:45, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

That will have to come when the system is finalised. At the moment it's still in a work-in-progress phase, it'll probably take a couple of weeks to finish. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 01:22, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
They're getting there. Note to users, the above format is deprecated and the "summaries" are all subpages of the coverstory template (I think). ħumanUser talk:Human 02:09, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

Big title[edit]

I think we should lose the big centered title. Usually the first word is the title, so it's redundant (e.g. Atheism/cover). In some cases it's a bit problematic, e.g. Evidence against a recent creation/cover or Behe:The Edge of Evolution, Interview (the cover hasn't been written yet, but the article basically has no intro). Also, I'm not fond of the "this article" sentences. Ideally the article's lede and cover abstract should be very similar, since they both serve the same basic purpose: summarize the article and get you interested in it. Also also also why no wikilinks? -- Nx / talk 15:32, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

Yes. They should start, IMHO, as direct wiki-copies of the lead of the article and then get tweaked. ħumanUser talk:Human 18:58, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
I like the big centred title because it attracts the name of the article, and it can be changed if the title is problematic because in this case, each abstract can be customised to fit the article. Wikipedia ditches it because by-and-large, WP articles will always start with the article's title. RW articles, by the nature of being collective essays rather than plain descriptions of things will not always have that. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 10:16, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
Scratch the above comment. I've gone off the titles. However, we do need to standardise the abstracts to begin with something resembling the article title. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 15:46, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
Also scratch the above, although only slightly. I like the titles in our current mainpage version, but I don't like them in my own gravelbox version. Go figure, I suppose. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 11:33, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
Yes, it depends on that a lot, but since I suspect the "it's fine, don't ruin my wiki" crowd will win in regards to the revamp regarding the main page, I guess we can leave the big titles. -- Nx / talk 11:42, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
Either way, I'm having fun doing it. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 12:03, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
Don't be a poopyhead, Nx. Armond, how about either/or? Articles with easy bold text titles in the lead don't need them, ones like the Behe thing do? But not too big? Like, just bolded and centered? ħumanUser talk:Human 02:27, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
A normal sized, bold title that's justified to the left would probably work as a replacement if the article title can't be the first word/phrase in the lede. 16:34, 17 May 2010 (UTC)


I see no discussion here of moving the "cover story" template to talk pages. Did I miss something? ħumanUser talk:Human 09:00, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

Indeed we did not agree to move the {{cover}} to the talk page. We did agree to remove it. -- Nx / talk 09:11, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
And, yes, the quality edit warning should appear when editing, so people can ignore it there instead ;) - Human. It is there instead, go edit Evolution or one of the other articles. - π 09:20, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
Excellent. I didn't know it had been changed and was just asking. ħumanUser talk:Human 01:59, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

Thought for the steel brain[edit]

We could use this one to mark "notable articles". These would fall outside the normal ranking system, but would be worthy of highlighting because of their subject matter rather than quality. There are several side-by-sides that would suit this. Anyway, just a random thought, not too sure how it would work, just didn't want to waste Nx's rendering time! Scarlet A.pngd hominem 01:57, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

I think it's a lovely idea. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 00:29, 14 May 2010 (UTC)