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So today I was happily browsing MA, and I noticed that someone is replacing the usual way bg notes are formated with a template-based approach. (Example). Which reminds me a bit of how some time ago a beautiful banner (like this) started to appear on top of articles with a real world POV were given a beautiful banner. Some research on that suggested that Cid is behind it, and that he also created three other banners. Why was one suddenly decided to be implemented, but not the others? I have no idea... and that is kind of my point. For some years, as MA grew, I've seen changes like the background note template "suddenly" happen, all the way to when episode links first became template-based. Now, this is not a complaint, all changes so far have been very neat and I'm happy to follow them, but the actual implementation seems to lack transparancy. (either that or I'm missing something huge and obvious here. Which I'll admit is entirely possible).

Where are these changes discussed and decided? And more importantly, where are these announced?? The way I start implementing style changes right now is by stumbling upon one, and then, after concluding they are valid, aping them. Hardly an optimal process. Yet I know stuff like this isn't on Memory Alpha:Announcements, and forum searches tend to be extremely dissapointing. For example, I found nothing on Ten Forward about the background note change. I'm sure Memory Alpha:Manual of Style will be updated shortly with the new guidline (though it still has the old one right now), but since I don't have the entire "memory alpha" namespace in my watchlist, that seems an inadequate way of proclaiming these kinds of changes. Hence my rant, and hence the question; is there some terribly important anouncement page that I am not aware of? Or can there be some more transparancy about new policies/guidelines etc.? -- Capricorn 07:51, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

In specific response to the bginfo Forum:Formatting of inline "background" or "alternate timeline" info. Though not finalized. :) — Morder 07:54, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
Overall - putting the bgnotes within a template makes it easier to change the style - especially since we have several types of information that is formatted the same way - such as you may be looking for... Captain's log... and so on. — Morder 07:55, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Yeah I agree on their usefulness. I just went over the discussion, which admittedly despite it being visible I managed to overlook somehow; a very bad example I've chosen to make my point :( --Capricorn 08:06, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Hah, yeah, I've missed lots of discussions because of that. :) (Especially the one on the realworld/production/alternate reality template change) — Morder 08:07, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Hmm yeah but it's not about missing discussions, it's not that I want to co-decide or something, I just wish once the decision was made to implement something so far reaching that it affects perhaps 50% of all pages, it would be nice if there could be some kind of heads-up about it, for the many editors that don't constantly keep an eye on the forums. Memory Alpha:Announcements seems a perfect place for stuff like that, and for some of these changes even those nifty temporal usertalk widgets might be justified, but at the moment one has to dig through the forum, to find not even an announcement, but a whole discussion to comb through, just to find out what's going on. -- Capricorn 09:32, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

In a perfect world, that may be true... However, what typically happens around here is that, when a change is suggested, there's very limited discussion, suggesting that other contributors wouldn't really mind a change. Once that suggestion gets implemented, though, people start screaming "WTF-you-didn't-ask-me!", followed by tons of mutually exclusive change requests for the initial suggestion.
Because of that, I found that an approach where a change gets phased in slowly is the one that gives me the least headache: 1. Suggest something on a forum. 2. After initial discussion is over, make easily revertable changes to some pages. 3. After more time, make more "intrusive" changes. 4.Rinse, repeat, until the change is complete, or objections against further changes are overwhelming. This isn't meant to smuggle a change past other contributors, but just the way that allows a possible change to proceed at all. However, it also means that there can't be some official "announcement" along the way, because there isn't a clear-cut conscious community decision about the change at some point X. If you see a change (for example: {{bginfo}}) that you like, you can just help phasing it in by using the template whenever you happen to edit an article. -- Cid Highwind 10:28, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
Hm, never looked at it that way; but I guess it makes sense. What about this, as long as you are forgiving if I'm not entirely up-to-date, I'll take it ;-) -- Capricorn 19:35, 8 June 2009 (UTC)