Template talk:Helpnav

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About this template[edit]

See: User:Teratornis/Wiki tasks#Navigation templates. --Teratornis 22:38, 27 October 2007 (EDT)

Very nice looking. I'm impressed. ThunderkatzHo! 22:59, 27 October 2007 (EDT)
Isn't saying "RationalWiki" twice in the first line a bit redundant? humanUser talk:Human 01:49, 28 October 2007 (EDT)
I imported a quick copy of the template from another wiki, which in turn stole from Wikipedia. I figured other editors would go to work on it here. I agree that this template style looks nice. Wikipedia has lots of interesting templates to steal, because it has millions of users, and perhaps 100,000 of them seem to know what they are doing. Basically, anything that survives on the deletion-crazed ecosystem of Wikipedia tends to be pretty "good" (in the sense that lots of people have to like it, or it gets clobbered). See Template:NavigationBox for the base template from which we can make any number of navigation templates. Generally, any set of pages that deserve their own category probably deserve their own navigation template, although we wouldn't necessarily put every page in a category onto a navigation template. Probably only the "important" ones. Giving people more things to argue about. I do like to put a link to the corresponding category somewhere on the template, so the navigation box keeps up with new additions to the category, even if the template gets a little behind. --Teratornis 14:39, 28 October 2007 (EDT)

Help page name abbreviations[edit]

Because we presumably want to keep navigation templates compact, I shortened the text that displays for each help page link as much as I could (using just one word from the page title where possible, singular words instead of plurals, etc.). Please review the template, following each link to insure that my abbreviations are a good compromise between clarity and compactness. Change whatever you think can improve. The order of links is arbitrary, too. I just listed the pages in the same order that they sort on the Category:Help page. --Teratornis 14:39, 28 October 2007 (EDT)

Yes, good work on that, especially the "name shortening". Your thing worked well for a few weeks. humanUser talk:Human 00:15, 17 November 2007 (EST)

Magic word for site name[edit]

I like to use {{SITENAME}} magic word rather than the literal string "RationalWiki" because {{SITENAME}} always displays the current value of the $wgSitename variable in the LocalSettings.php file for a MediaWiki wiki. That way if someone decides to change the $wgSitename value (i.e., rename the wiki), we don't have a million things breaking. (And don't say it could never happen - anything that can change, might, or you might want to set up a test wiki with a different name.) Of course I wasn't as consistent as I could have been, because I used the RationalWiki: namespace prefix in all the help page links, when I could have use the generic Project: prefix (for example, RationalWiki:Help is the same as Project:Help). --Teratornis 14:39, 28 October 2007 (EDT)

Unlikely to happen, dumbass. Ever notice that there is some value to a url? You're just too lazy to remember where you are spewing your alleged brilliance. humanUser talk:Human 00:13, 17 November 2007 (EST)

The template does not automatically categorize pages[edit]

A template based on {{NavigationBox}} has a category input field, which lets the template automatically categorize a page that contains it. I left this field blank in {{Helpnav}}, because all the help pages already were categorized, and because I prefer explicit category links anyway. I think it's more confusing to new users when a template categorizes a page as a side effect they can't see by looking at the wikitext of the page itself (they would have to look at the wikitext of the template, and that may not be obvious when they are looking at the page). Categories are already one of the most confusing features of MediaWiki - I don't like template code that makes them even more confusing. Also, I would like to include navigation templates on my index page, and I don't want to categorize the index into every category that has a corresponding navigation template. I might look at adding code to {{NavigationBox}} to allow the user to override the automatic categorization on a per-page basis, if it turns out that RationalWiki users overwhelmingly prefer automatic categorization. --Teratornis 14:48, 28 October 2007 (EDT)

Categories confuse you? Really? I'm sorry to hear that. humanUser talk:Human 00:13, 17 November 2007 (EST)

Susan pwns Teratornis[edit]

Nice work. I almost edited it to "helpkey" when you were halfway done, but I figured you knew what you were doing and didn't want to interrupt you. We should perhaps archive most of the gibberish above, written by a self-proclaimed wiki saviour, who never even bothered to see what we are trying to do and how well (sometimes) we can achieve it. Anyway, again, nice work, Susan. Awesome work. humanUser talk:Human 00:12, 17 November 2007 (EST)

Anyone assist?[edit]


Plea: If someone could grab & change the background colour of: [[Image:Question_mark_refdesk.png]]; to ccccff & import it as "Q_help"; I'd be very appreciative and probably award you a SooStar. Susan... miaow ... 08:46, 17 November 2007 (EST)

See to the right. humanUser talk:Human 13:10, 17 November 2007 (EST)
I also put it in the template. By the way, doesn't png support background transparency? Because that would have worked, too. Anyway, thy will be done. humanUser talk:Human 13:11, 17 November 2007 (EST)

abc s[edit]

Is there any way this thing can look a bit more alphabetized? I find myself getting lost when I try to look for articles in it. I guess it's a discrepancy between the "key" thing and the actual titles? humanUser talk:Human 19:23, 22 December 2007 (EST)

Easy, for each [[category:help|xxx]] put in the wording in place of "xxxx" then put "sortorder = sortkey" in te tempkate. 19:29, 22 December 2007 (EST)

Cool, thanks. I think I understood that...! humanUser talk:Human 19:51, 22 December 2007 (EST)


Should be: "ordermethod= sortkey" (not sortorder). It works but if there's more than one cat then it repeats the entry for each. ("distinct=true" don't work.) Help? 17:55, 26 December 2007 (EST)

Could that go only in the "help" categorization? I know defaultsort can be done that way (with a different phrase, of course) because teratornis was doing it. Otherwise, you are way ahead of me on this so I can't help much. By the way, hope your Christmas worked out ok, and you're almost ready to log back in ;) humanUser talk:Human 17:59, 26 December 2007 (EST)
We really need to fix this. The list is really hard to look through for help files - for instance, "templates", since it is called "about templates", is early in the list, when it should be next to "template list". humanUser talk:Human 17:31, 31 January 2008 (EST)
I saw this at the bottom of the new community standards and definitely think it could do with a revamp. Alphabetising may be fine, but it's still the case that there's a lot of info and not all of it is as majorly useful as others. It's needs to be categorised at least, rather than alphabetised. ArmondikoVgnostic 07:44, 16 February 2009 (EST)
Ok, so I tried my revamped version, but it has to be placed at the top, and the current one is placed at the bottom. Should I just go over all the pages and place it there or try to make one that can go on the bottom? -- Nx talk 12:33, 23 February 2009 (EST)
I prefer yours (& that's coming from she who made the old one) but I do like it at the top, so: get working. :) ToastToastand marmite 12:36, 23 February 2009 (EST)
RationalWiki:Side-by-Side Template doesn't play along well -- Nx talk 13:10, 23 February 2009 (EST)
Collapsible:collapsed? ToastToastand marmite 13:23, 23 February 2009 (EST)
Good? -- Nx talk 17:11, 23 February 2009 (EST)
Eggselent. ToastToastand marmite 18:01, 23 February 2009 (EST)
Do you know if there's any way of creating Indexes (like Help:index) The reason I made the template like it was was to automate it sso that new pages could be auto added. The index is manually done & could be improved. (was was?!) ToastToastand marmite 18:05, 23 February 2009 (EST)

I intentionally made it manual, to allow manual grouping and sorting, but it's possible to do that automatically using subcategories. -- Nx talk 18:27, 23 February 2009 (EST)

Big change?[edit]

Hi NX, I see you just completely changed this template. The new version isn't automated like the old one, and looks a bit weird on shorter help pages (1/4 screen of text, two screens of this). Any real reason for the change? ħumanUser talk:Human 18:25, 23 February 2009 (EST)

Yes, read the previous section. -- Nx talk 18:26, 23 February 2009 (EST)
BTW, you can easily undo the damage by reverting NxBot's contributions, except for a few changes I did with my normal account -- Nx talk 18:29, 23 February 2009 (EST)
Looks a lot better (IMnHO) ToastToastand marmite 18:30, 23 February 2009 (EST)
Should we have two versions? This one will look good on long articles (Community Standards, Newcomer's Guide) but odd on short ones. We could copy the old version as a separate template for those ones. WéáśéĺóíďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:33, 23 February 2009 (EST)
Or put both on one page with a switch? ToastToastand marmite 18:35, 23 February 2009 (EST)
You can use a parameter to make it collapsible (doesn't matter what the value is, as long as it's not empty, e.g. {{Helpnav|1}}). BTW, I removed the keyword template, that probably wasn't such a good idea, as the old one relied on it. Should I add it back? -- Nx talk 18:41, 23 February 2009 (EST)
Leave it - I love it! ToastToastand marmite 18:43, 23 February 2009 (EST)
Adding back the keyword template shouldn't break it, it would just make the old one work too. -- Nx talk 18:48, 23 February 2009 (EST)
Yeah, I know, but I think its a great improvement. ToastToastand marmite 18:52, 23 February 2009 (EST)
Eh, I preferred the old one at the bottom, but as long as all the helps are there for people to see, it's not much of an issue I guess. Should the "collapsed" version perhaps be the default, though? ħumanUser talk:Human 20:37, 23 February 2009 (EST)
It cou;ld, I suppose, be the same shape as the old one & @ the bottom but grpouped as Nx is doing. It's the grouping I like! ToastToastand marmite 20:44, 23 February 2009 (EST)

<-- Yes, I see now that he was essentially trying to address the issue I brought up a while back. Can we try a horizontal "bottom of page" version to see how it looks, somewhere? ħumanUser talk:Human 22:21, 23 February 2009 (EST)


1. I removed the giant "?", all it does on this version is waste vertical space.

2. If the lists of articles were just br/ separated lines instead of table cells, that would save vertical space, too. I'm just afraid to bork the tables and get lost in the middle.

3. Can "collapsed" be the universal default? ħumanUser talk:Human 23:52, 26 February 2009 (EST)

Re 2) I've removed the celll padding. ToastToastand marmite 00:43, 27 February 2009 (EST)
Re 3) like that (commented out #if ) ToastToastand marmite 00:47, 27 February 2009 (EST)
Awesome, thanks! Oh, and 4), which is very minor, those centered lists "look" wrong to me. Can the centering be confined to the headers? We might need to "force" a small left margin on them, of course. Opinions? ħumanUser talk:Human 00:49, 27 February 2009 (EST)
I prefer 'em centred, acshually. opinions? (H, pleeeeeease don't use "awesome" it reeks of 15 year old girl speak.) ToastToastand marmite 01:02, 27 February 2009 (EST)
Toast, I thought you liked 15 year old girls... oops, sorry, neither do I, except as people. How would you prefer to be honored? Here in New England we say "wicked cool" a lot...? Also, if an almost 50 yo male says it, is it really 15 yo girlish? ħumanUser talk:Human 04:05, 27 February 2009 (EST)
I've tried it (4) - I don't like it; revert? ToastToastand marmite 01:07, 27 February 2009 (EST)
I like it. No one else appears to care yet though. ħumanUser talk:Human 04:02, 27 February 2009 (EST)
Sections could be alphabetised, though. ToastToastand marmite 01:13, 27 February 2009 (EST)
Yes, the last one is, but there is the issue of "primacy"? Like putting "new user guide" first? Otherwise, yes. ħumanUser talk:Human 04:02, 27 February 2009 (EST)
I was trying to take into account "primacy", which is why the template is manual instead of a Dpl dynamic list. E.g. the first three entries in "Writing articles" are in logical order. -- Nx talk 09:33, 27 February 2009 (EST)
Yes, I see it now. quite right! ToastToastand marmite 09:37, 27 February 2009 (EST)
I've done a variant @ User:Toast/help2 with 2 columns. Thoughts? ToastToastand marmite 02:20, 27 February 2009 (EST)
I like the small text, you should do that to this version. I don't like the "wider" thing. Can we remake this as a template "at the bottom" (Or, as Private Eye would say, "on the bum") thing? ħumanUser talk:Human 04:00, 27 February 2009 (EST)
The width was to shorten it by double columning it. If it's at the bottom (short & wide) it'd be tricky to get the headers, which I like, in. I'll mock something up. ToastToastand marmite 04:05, 27 February 2009 (EST)
Can I say Excellent? I run out of words like that pretty quickly, so you'll have to forgive me for sounding like a 15 yo girl when complimenting your work. I look forward to the new sandbox version. ħumanUser talk:Human 04:17, 27 February 2009 (EST)
take yer pick ToastToastand marmite 07:27, 27 February 2009 (EST)
I like the second one, with a small change, so the index and wp help files links don't blend in with the last group. -- Nx talk 09:28, 27 February 2009 (EST)
saw what you did, how's what I've did? ToastToastand marmite 09:37, 27 February 2009 (EST)
It's better, though my main problem with it is that the two links are aligned with the lists above them. (sorry for invading the castle) -- Nx talk 09:44, 27 February 2009 (EST)
Re Castle: Feel free. Don't really think it matters; the background colour & the (slight?) font size difference are enuff, thinks I. ToastToastand marmite 09:49, 27 February 2009 (EST)

My original intention with the font size was to make those two links less prominent (because ideally, you wouldn't need them). Rest of reply in edit comment -- Nx talk 10:25, 27 February 2009 (EST)

I like the middle version here. Although, the horizontal blue boxes are slightly distracting, perhaps each header and its list could just be inside outlined boxes? Also, I prefer the leftward headers over centered. But let's keep tweaking... ħumanUser talk:Human 14:41, 27 February 2009 (EST)
? ToastToastand marmite 23:21, 27 February 2009 (EST)

Ez edit button[edit]

I mean something like this:

Help nav what I meant.png

Is that any clearer? ħumanUser talk:Human 23:35, 27 February 2009 (EST)

[1] Boxes would add too much clutter IMHO. -- Nx talk 10:35, 28 February 2009 (EST)
Personally I think that looks less cluttered than all those blue bars. Thanks for whipping up a demo of it, by the way. ħumanUser talk:Human 14:39, 28 February 2009 (EST)
I meant drawing a box around the entire section would look cluttered, as opposed to only one line separating the sections like it is now. It does look nice and clean. -- Nx talk 14:50, 28 February 2009 (EST)
How about if the "headers" are in the same row as the "links"? It would make several rows into one line, and get rid of a lot of white space. ħumanUser talk:Human 14:40, 28 February 2009 (EST)
I'll try that. -- Nx talk 14:50, 28 February 2009 (EST)
[2] It looks too crowded at the top IMHO -- Nx talk 15:04, 28 February 2009 (EST)

So, are we going to change it to Toast's horizontal version? --  Nx/talk  16:55, 5 March 2009 (EST)

Yes, let's. Did we decide to use the one I like yet? ;) Do you have an easy way to move them all back to the bottom? ħumanUser talk:Human 17:17, 5 March 2009 (EST)
I'd prefer the middle one here. As for moving them back, [3] and hit rollback. --  Nx/talk  17:22, 5 March 2009 (EST)
Yes, that's the one I liked too. Oh, I had one thing I wanted to see out of curiosity - putting the bolded "headers" on the same row as the linked files. Non-trivial, due to the table formatting, from what I remember. ħumanUser talk:Human 17:32, 5 March 2009 (EST)
I did that, look up, comment dated 15:04, 28 February 2009 (EST) --  Nx/talk  17:55, 5 March 2009 (EST)
Yeah, it doesn't work. Idea >>> toilet, flush ;) So let's bring it over and do that deNxbot thing. ħumanUser talk:Human 20:54, 5 March 2009 (EST)
But, let's just do it, we can worry about that when it's loaded here just as easily. ħumanUser talk:Human 17:33, 5 March 2009 (EST)

Doing it now. --  Nx/talk  17:07, 6 March 2009 (EST)

THe virtues of collaboration! ToastToastand marmite 17:27, 6 March 2009 (EST)
Yes, everyone pretty much ignored the revamp (except Armondikov) till I borked every help page. :) --  Nx/talk  17:29, 6 March 2009 (EST)
Let me say at this moment that I enjoyed working (as little as possible) with you all. :) ħumanUser talk:Human 23:33, 6 March 2009 (EST)

Nice and cool and all[edit]

Can the default once again be "collapsed"? ħumanUser talk:Human 02:31, 12 March 2009 (EDT)

Sure, but why? I thought it wasn't needed because it's on the bottom of the page. --  Nx/talk  02:35, 12 March 2009 (EDT)
I dunno, it's sorta big fat an ugly looking? Also, it might need a "carriage return" before it - it jams up against whatever is above it. Maybe that would "help" more. Also, if it appears uncollapsed at the bottom, what's the point, now, to it being collapsible? I know it's a neat trick, but who is ever going to "collapse" a box at the bottom of a page? ħumanUser talk:Human 02:44, 12 March 2009 (EDT)
Articles that have no see also sections are a problem. I added an empty see also section to those so the helpnav doesn't jam up against the stuff above it, but the extra break makes it look bad. --  Nx/talk  02:50, 12 March 2009 (EDT)
Cool. The nice thing about the default being "collapsed" is we could stick it in anywhere - maybe even on the welcome template? If only the "collapsed" version were smaller... like a simple outlined box saying "help topics - expand"? ħumanUser talk:Human 02:59, 12 March 2009 (EDT)

layout, sorta[edit]

First, see my last question in the section above...

Second, I'd like to see the width on this be fixed at 750px, not 60% (since it's gonna be 750 wide anyway due to the column widths), since on wider screen the percentage format results in unsightly white space to the right of the columns. But, it is set up with a right margin of 20% to "center" it, and I can't figure out how to simply center it, center tags don;t play well with this wiki/css markup stuff. Any ideas? ħumanUser talk:Human 00:50, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

margin:auto; -- Nx / talk 00:56, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
I tried switching the right margin to auto (the left already is) and it didn't work, at least not in "preview". It ended up at the far right. Same thing when replacing both of them with margin:auto; :( ħumanUser talk:Human 01:04, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
It was the infobox which has float:righ. I had a similar problem a few weeks ago.
Anyway, I think I did everything you asked for. One thing I don't like is the show/hide button jumping away from under the cursor, but unfortunately the only way to solve it is fixed width, which I don't want. -- Nx / talk 01:12, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
You did indeed, thank you. I went back to a fixed width of 750px, since the table columns force that anyway. I don't see why it's a problem. Thanks for fixing the centering thing! ħumanUser talk:Human 07:16, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
It can shrink. -- Nx / talk 09:24, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
I like what you did this time. Unforcing the whole width, it also gets rid of more ugly white space. ħumanUser talk:Human 20:56, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

Text size[edit]

Does the text in this navbox have to be so small? It's quite hard to read. Given the large        gaps and amount of whitespace in the template, it doesn't seem to be saving any space either.Bilorv (smells) 16:57, 25 June 2015 (UTC)

Responsive layout draft[edit]

Hi, I'm working on a responsive layout for this template. Draft at my sandbox. The layout adjusts between small and large screens, eliminating the need for small text and wide gaps. Feedback appreciated! Matt Fitzpatrick (talk) 08:25, 18 July 2020 (UTC)