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Data fields

We could probably add a couple of optional data fields to the sidebar along the lines of other sidebars on MA. These could include "homeworld", "type" (i.e. "humanoid" for most, but some were designated as "class 5 humanoid", "Proto-Vulcan humanoid" etc.), and maybe "status" (a few are extinct).

In regards to placement, I was thinking between the first image and the others, though we could of course play around with that. Thoughts?– Cleanse ( talk | contribs ) 05:57, January 29, 2010 (UTC)

Conditional would be the key part to that, as the layout of the species articles isn't anywhere near as uniform as starships or characters are. For instence, the Vulcan article's images seem to be in the order they are mentioned in the article, instead of the more logical order for a sidebar "proper".
As for text to image placement, it would probably be best if any image placed over the text is a logo/emblem or the only image of a species, as the whole point of having this many images is to show as many as possible without any "bias" that the "better" placement might imply.
PS, the one option I left out when making this that hasn't been mentioned already is "Location", by Quadrant, instead of homeworld. - Archduk3 06:36, January 29, 2010 (UTC)
I think that, if we want to keep that, we should move this to a more neutral title like, for example "Sidebar image gallery", and not mix it with functionality for a specific page type. On the other hand, if we want to make this a "species only" sidebar, we should think about image placement again. Does it really make sense for a sidebar to contain seven images? - whenever I see one of those, I have to think about how ugly that really looks on the page.
I can see the reasoning - we want to show different aspects of a species: young and old, male and female. But still, these could either be arranged in the text or, if not, at least be smaller in a species sidebar. What about having one image at the top, and allowing a smallish gallery of either two (one line, two next to each other), or four (2x2) additional images instead? -- Cid Highwind 07:42, January 29, 2010 (UTC)
The only problem I have with either option, adding text or image format changes, is currently, we would be using both. Vulcan is the make or break example for me, as the top part of the article could be changed to a more "standard" sidebar with images in the text without too much effort. The second sidebar however, is defiantly just a image sidebar, and trying to spread the images out in the text is going to lead to reduced readability as the text gets squashed between the images. If we can get it to work on that page, I don't see too many problems with any of the others, though to be honest, I'm leaning towards keeping this and making another, proper, sidebar for species. I'll play around with some other formats today either way. - Archduk3 14:25, January 29, 2010 (UTC)
An alternative might be to actually remove some images. It definitely looks as if not all are necessary. Consider the top sidebar, for example:
  • two old/male Vulcans
  • two young/female Vulcans
  • one medium-aged/male "50%" Vulcan
  • one first contact image that wouldn't need to be in a "species" image gallery, anway
At least three (one old/male, one female, first contact), if not four (Spock), of those could be removed without making the article less informative - or, if we follow the idea of using smaller "characteristic" images in the top sidebar, could be replaced with Tuvok (black male Vulcan) and perhaps a new Vulcan child image (which is completely missing at the moment). That leaves 5 physiology/biology images in the second sidebar, which could either be added to the text (I don't believe we can't place at least three without formatting problems), or in a proper image gallery. -- Cid Highwind 15:49, January 29, 2010 (UTC)
I'm of the mind that the sidebar should contain a really short list of items that are commonly expected to be of interest to the reader and consistent across a wide range of similar articles. Ships stats/Character bios/publisher info and the like. Images should only be used in the sidebar as an example of the most common of something (say the enterprise-d for a galaxy class article) or the most recent image of a character and so forth. Any more than two images in a sidebar is too many. Other images relevant to the article should be placed in the appropriate section within the articles. The Vulcan example is one that is overboard, in my opinion. (Especially with a second sidebar with the physiology section) Just leave a vulcan at the top and maybe another one (say opposite gender) and leave the rest in the article. — Morder (talk) 16:12, January 29, 2010 (UTC)
I tinkered with the options on the table and put this together (Pay no attention to the unrelated links in the main space, wikia is working on that problem). The second Vulcan sidebar is really unimportant and can be scraped, but the others seem to be working nicely.
As for Morder's suggestion, I know where you're coming from with that, and even though MA isn't an image gallery, Star Trek is broadcast on a visual medium. IMO, while the other information is important, the main thing people want to know when looking up a species is what it looks like, so loosing the images would be the worst thing we could do; though as Cid said, not all of them have to be in the sidebar.
Either way, I'll let people mull over the changes I made before updating the template proper, so let me know what you think. - Archduk3 20:44, January 29, 2010 (UTC)
I never said lose the images, I said move them into the article - integrate them properly. The sidebar should be short and concise. — Morder (talk) 20:59, January 29, 2010 (UTC)
Normally I would agree with you, but I think of this as the exception that proves the rule. :) - Archduk3 02:21, January 30, 2010 (UTC)
I removed all but two images from the first sidebar on Vulcan (now just showing a "typical" male and female Vulcan of different age), and removed the second sidebar completely. All images remain on the page, either in the text or as a gallery. That one probably needs further work, but so does the whole section about "physiology", in my opinion. That, however, is something that should be discussed on Talk:Vulcan, if necessary. In any case, it does not look as if a huge image sidebar (or two of them) is absolutely necessary.
By the way, I also changed the width of this sidebar (as well as standard image size) to the site-wide standard. If it's a sidebar, it should look like all other sidebars. -- Cid Highwind 15:48, January 31, 2010 (UTC)

Alternative design

I would think we should probably have bio info on this sidebar rather than images - something like:

  • Planet origin
  • Population
  • Federation member
  • Extinct

and so forth - this would be a much better sidebar than just a list of images. — Morder (talk) 16:15, January 29, 2010 (UTC)

I agree - this sidebar should, like all other sidebars we have, be a place to find the most important facts in list form. Also, although this rule isn't exactly followed by all other sidebars, I still think that we should restrict list items to those that are known for "most" cases where this sidebar will be used, and only "some" optional items that we know in only some cases. I don't think we should include "population" (size, I guess?), while the rest seems OK. -- Cid Highwind 16:03, January 31, 2010 (UTC)
I agree, population seems rather useless. In looking at the one used on the Jem'Hadar page, there are still far too many images in the sidebar. No other sidebars on the wiki have more than 3 images. Total. Everything else should be consigned to a gallery somewhere else on the page. -- sulfur 16:25, January 31, 2010 (UTC)
The 2x2 field of smaller images is what I had in mind, although the formatting still needs to be improved. However, we should have either two big images or one big image plus up to four small ones. Not all at the same time. Also, some of the suggested fields don't make too much sense. "Status"? "Location"? (is a species "located" somewhere, other than through their homeworld?) -- Cid Highwind 16:43, January 31, 2010 (UTC)
There's quite a lot for me to respond to, so bare with me:
  • The "location" field is mainly to distinguish between Alpha, Gamma, and Delta Quadrant species at a glance. The "status" field is simply because we have extinct species in the database, so while most would be 'active', or something similar, like 'endangered' for Vulcans in the alternate reality, some will not be listed as active, so I don't see anything wrong with having it (though a name change isn't out of the question for both).
  • As for the format, I still feel that the sidebar should have the 'main' (this is of course open to interpretation, as I think Vulcans should have five images shown at least) visual examples of a species right in the sidebar, instead of just randomly placed in the article , or a gallery, simply because they shouldn't be in the sidebar. While I'm all for maintaining the 'look' of MA, we do tend to be a bit inflexible with our format. And this type of sidebar format didn't stop at least two of these article from becoming FAs.
  • While I can't speak for everyone's resolution, I think the double row format is right at the line where it begins to defeat the purpose. I still prefer it to the alternatives, and I'm not too against the idea of "one large, rest small", it just isn't my first choice.
While I don't think this is the end of the line as far as the format gos, I do think this is a step in the right direction. - Archduk3 18:32, January 31, 2010 (UTC)
  • Regarding "status", and especially "status: active", that just doesn't sound as if it was the correct phrase to describe the current existence of a species. What I'd like to suggest is the phrase "Extinct (as of 2368)" if the species is extinct with a known date, or just "Extinct" else. This is a special case as far as sidebar formatting is concerned, because it doesn't need the "attribute, colon, value" formatting, but should just be a line of text. If the species is not extinct, or we don't know about it, this should be left out completely. Being "endangered" is somewhat subjective, and would probably only ever be used in the case of New-timeline-vulcans (which don't even have a separate article at the moment). I think this information doesn't need to be present on the sidebar.
  • "Location", according to your suggestion, looks like it would duplicate information that can already be gathered via the "homeworld" attribute. I understand why it might be important enough to make explicit, though. What about two variables, "homeworld" and "quadrant", that get merged into one attribute-value pair, like: "Origin: Earth, Alpha Quadrant"?
Also, may I suggest not adding the current sidebar to even more articles, as long as its content is under discussion? Changing all 10-15 articles that currently use the sidebar will already be a mess. Let's not make that even more difficult. -- Cid Highwind 20:52, January 31, 2010 (UTC)
The Human species
Winona Kirk and newborn son, James.jpg

Human female with newborn

Danica Erickson.jpg
Nakamura, 2365.jpg
Origin: Earth (Alpha Quadrant)
Affiliation: United Federation of Planets
Extinct as of 2012
What about this suggestion? It's radically different from what has been tried before, but I don't think that's a bad thing. Just two images, one male, one female. If only one image is available (or, even better, we have a single image that shows both a male and a female of that species), then some template logic could make sure that the single image gets shown in full width instead. For two images, an optional parameter "width" can be used to scale both images relative to each other, so that they have the same height. Currently, the only attributes are "origin" (put together from "homeworld" and "quadrant", as has been suggested before) and "affiliation" (although I'm not sure that it's really the whole species that is "affiliated" in all cases). Optionally, an "extinction note" plus date can be added as the last line of the sidebar. What's missing that definitely needs to be added to the template? -- Cid Highwind 17:14, February 1, 2010 (UTC)
[Edit conflict] - I only changed the Jem'Hadar sidebar since the 7th image slot was removed with the update. :) I don't intend to add this to any other pages until there is some consensus on the format.
I also changed my template to include the changes Cid suggested (seen here). The extinct issue seems like a good reason to keep the "population" field; it may only be used on a handful of pages, but that doesn't seem like reason enough to get rid of it. As for "location", now "quadrant", this will only display if "planet" is used, so on pages where the species are without a known planet , "planet" will have to be used for the quadrant info. This is also a problem with species that have more than one "home" planet or quadrant, like the Jem'Hadar and Voth. This was the reason I was using the neutral "location" designation over "planet"; and while I do agree that for the majority of pages that don't need them seperated this new format is better, it does leave the question of what to do with those that do. - Archduk3 17:39, February 1, 2010 (UTC)
The first problem would be the Vissians, who have have three sexes. - Archduk3 17:48, February 1, 2010 (UTC)
And possible solutions include finding a screenshot that has all three sexes in one image (or at least two of them, so that the third sex can occupy the second image), or just using one sex as an example image for this species (they all use the same prosthetics, after all), or allowing a third, full width image (that could be used for the third sex here, or the species symbol in other cases). Generally, though, I think that using the most extreme cases one can find is not a good idea when trying to design some "standard". This species might have three sexes, another one might consist of five sub-species, or be located in two different quadrants (although that's still a matter of definition, I think). Does that mean we need to design a standard sidebar so that every deviation from the norm can somehow be put into that template? I think not... -- Cid Highwind 18:14, February 1, 2010 (UTC)
I do get what you mean, but I thought this was about a standard that could be used on all species pages. That's the reason I've been testing my on all possible formats (that I can think of at least). I don't think it would be a good idea to try for less. - Archduk3 18:35, February 1, 2010 (UTC)
Well, I've already noticed in the past that there seem to be two different (and mutually exclusive) definitions of "standardization" at work here, as far as sidebar templates are concerned. Standardization can mean "create a template that can be used on nearly every page" - but it can also mean "create a template that looks nearly the same wherever it is used". I prefer the latter definition to the former, because it works better with the incomplete information we most often have to deal with, and I don't think that it's "trying for less" to use that definition instead of the other one. In fact, a template that "can be used for all information on every page" will inevitably look different in nearly every case it is used. I'm not sure that this is what we want from a page element with the main purpose of "letting the read find the most important information at a glance". -- Cid Highwind 19:56, February 1, 2010 (UTC)
Changed the sidebar suggestion (see above) to contain a third image, if necessary. Also, first image is an example of what can be shown with a single image (both "baby" and "young female"). -- Cid Highwind 21:52, February 1, 2010 (UTC)
After the last round of changes, I think we're almost on the same page here as far as image placement gos, see here. - Archduk3 22:33, February 1, 2010 (UTC)
Actually, I'm not really sure about that - your sidebar suggestion still allows for up to ten images, not three. Also, after having tried to use that template, I found several further "technical" problems with the current implementation. For example, your code calls {{sidebar image}} (which makes the promise of formatting all images to the correct size of 292px), but then allows to override that size by misusing the possibility of adding a caption. The CSS classes "even" and "odd" have been deprecated years ago, "sb-left" and "sb-right" should be used instead. There's a seemingly non-working if-else construct that uses the value of the Species variable if imagecapX is undefined - shouldn't the image just be displayed without caption, then? In fact, should we even allow for the images to have captions? I think it looks cleaner without. -- Cid Highwind 11:55, February 2, 2010 (UTC)
I was talking about the basic layout, not "nuts and bolts" of it, but since you pointed them out:
  • The use of odd and even was an attempt to "fix" the text spacing change when two images are used next to each other in a sidebar, didn't work and it seems the css would need to be change for that to be an option, so not really worth it. If implemented, they would be changed back.
  • While your 'template' is currently just a mock-up, it is using images at different sizes, so I take it to mean that yours will have some functionality for resizing images as well.
  • The imagecapX/Species call should only be for the mouseover text, not an actual caption, but I wasn't aware that mouseover text is a sin.
  • I still can't even begin to fathom why expanded functionality is an issue with this. Yes, it does have the ability to be used with more images, I'm not saying we should use them on all pages, just like the extra images on templates like {{sidebar starship}} aren't always used. Most users won't even see the option, and if there is an agreed upon use of this, which seems a certainty, then it is going to be enforced just like everything else on MA.
- 13:30, February 2, 2010 (UTC)
Re:your last bullet point - because, time and again, sidebar templates are (among other things) a way to standardize layout. Which means that, unless we really want to find a specific layout on some page, we shouldn't go out of our way to make it possible via our template. Do we want to allow up to ten images in our species sidebar, or do we want to restrict the number of images to three (or to some other number yet to be defined)? If it's the latter, then we shouldn't (and need not) put more work into it to allow for it. -- Cid Highwind 15:12, February 2, 2010 (UTC)
Let's try this a different way, 144px and 148px are the sizes you are using on your suggested template, while I'm only using 142px as a 'standard', but allowing for a change if it's called for. Are you saying that your's will only use one size for it's 'small' images? - Archduk3 16:07, February 2, 2010 (UTC)
We can do this any number of different ways you like. If you do the math, then you will see that 144+148=292 - which means that my two images have a combined width of exactly the value we want our sidebar images to be. I admit that this might need further tweaking to account for the small gap inbetween, but that's something for a final design. If done that way, my sub-template for "two small sidebar images in a row" would have one optional parameter, determining the width of the first of the two images. The width of the second one would then be calculated by subtracting that value from the overall width of 292px. The reason for this would be to allow for a use of two images with a slightly different aspect ratio without having to resort to rescaling of one of those images. -- Cid Highwind 16:17, February 2, 2010 (UTC)
I see, while I haven't been able to get any "wide" images to work with a "tall" image without some noticeable difference in height overall, hence the reason for the rescale, it definitely works for images that are sightly out of scale with each other. I doubt the 292px as a total will work, since 284px seems to be the maximum with the gap, and I haven't been able to remove it for some reason, and not for lack of trying. As for captioning, I retained the captions, even with two images, since templates like Character have them, and for species with three pictures, like Jem'Hadar, it's good to know what you're looking at. - Archduk3 18:59, February 2, 2010 (UTC)
As far as my image formatting gos, I have it set up to maintain the "top image-text-bottom image" format of the other sidebars, not counting the Xindi format, which is retained simply to keep it "in-house". This is why there is a single image option and a double image option for both the top and the bottom. You might know of some way to simplify that, but all my attempts end up screwing up the text more than it already is. - Archduk3 20:12, February 2, 2010 (UTC)
Changed the above example to make use of a "two images side-by-side" template (currently located at User:Cid Highwind/twoimg). As described above, that template has a third parameter, determining the size of the first image. The size of the second one will be adopted to result in combined full width. -- Cid Highwind 21:15, February 2, 2010 (UTC)
Which also means mine wouldn't need to have any size adjustment parameters either, since that's clearly better then before. - Archduk3 21:26, February 2, 2010 (UTC)
Even though my efforts to adapt the "twoimg" option to the sidebar are yielding less then stellar results, I still stand by my format, provided that someone can make those damn things display next to each other. - Archduk3 22:53, February 2, 2010 (UTC)
OK, after the excursion to {{sidebar image}} during the past two days, let's continue here. With just a small bit from above, because it's already late here... ;)
You say, your suggestion allows for many images because the Xindi sidebar has many, and that one should be "kept in-house". I personally believe that's the wrong direction of looking at it. Instead of creating a sidebar that makes possible all variations that currently exist, we should have a look at those variations and decide which ones we really want - and then design the sidebar to allow for those, and those only. And, considering all different layout suggestions that have been brought up during the last days, I can only say that "6 or more images in a row" is something I do not want in a sidebar. -- Cid Highwind 22:54, February 3, 2010 (UTC)
I only want the six large images on the Xindi page, as I feel that page is best served by that layout, but that it's the exception to the rule. I'm not opposed to having a custom sidebar right on the page if we're not going to keep it 'in-house', but that's not my first choice. The Xindi aside, I think we're agreed on a basic format of around three images tops, one large-two small, with just the actual image layout still disputed. My option still would have six slots, but only three should be used at a time, in these formats:
Template for suggestions has been changed.
Layouts 3, 4, and 1 seem the most likely, with the others being options. I didn't include the 'two small top-one large bottom' option since it looks a bit goofy, though it's not impossible that it could be used, much like the four image layout, which I included simply to show what I would consider to be the max number of images that should be used at one time. - Archduk3 23:40, February 3, 2010 (UTC)
I'd like to throw out a random suggestion here, in the form of a grenade, about the Xindi page. Specifically... we saw two species of Xindi on a regular basis (ie, as the "main guys" the Enterprise crew dealt with). Why not have those two in the sidebar, and high up the page have a gallery of the various five (well, pseudo six) species laid out. As things stand on that page, the sidebar is the entire length of the article. That seems a bit bollocks to me. A sidebar should be a quick thing at the top of the article that lists the most important factoids. Nothing more.
As an aside... that page as an anon? The sidebar goes a good inch and a half past the bottom of the rest of the article due to the ad.
That. That is crap. -- sulfur 23:53, February 3, 2010 (UTC)
I'll jump on that grenade, if I can. Having the sidebar length go past the article hasn't been much of a problem in the past, see nearly every mirror universe character article or one shot 'important' character. I do know that the Xindi bar is long, and their individual pages would not be using that format, but I think it's still a good idea to show them all, since they all were important to the story arc, except the Avians. - Archduk3 00:10, February 4, 2010 (UTC)
The followup there is... no sidebar should be longer than the article. If the article is that short, then the article doesn't need a sidebar. :) -- sulfur 00:12, February 4, 2010 (UTC)
I threw together a very rough "chart" that could replace the sidebar at the top of the page altogether, based on Sulfur's suggestion. Honestly though, if we're scraping the sidebar format on that page we might as well scrap the images all together, since anyone can just click a link to the sub-species pages and see a good sidebar, and a gallery breaks the article up unnecessarily. - Archduk3 00:45, February 4, 2010 (UTC)
I just tried to have another, "objective" look at the Xindi page again, and have to note: Xindi is not a species article, but one about a group of species. Not only would the sidebar on this page contain more images than any other species sidebar - it would also contain none of the other information, simply because the article is not one about a single species. That being the case - why are we even trying to fit information (here: images) into a non-matching sidebar? If the Xindi sidebar is supposed to stay as is, it is not a "species sidebar", but just an "image sidebar" (and for the record, I'd still object the creation of such sidebar template because I think it's not a good layout element - but at least this hypothetical sidebar would have a name matching its function).
Regarding the different layout variations presented - I still believe that we should decide what we really want first, and then create a template that allows exactly that. For example, I think that any sidebar should have at least one full-width image, and that this image should be at the top (and, as an aside, that this image should show a member of that species, not a logo). This would mean that we could drop variations 3 and 5. Regarding the remaining variations, we might just want to allow for up to three images, and then create either 1, 2 or 4, depending on how many slots are filled. -- Cid Highwind 10:24, February 4, 2010 (UTC)
Well I updated the chart above to show the current state of my proposal, with 4 images being the current max the template can handle. Adding a 'halfwidth' slot for logos/emblems at the bottom may be a good idea, as long as we don't have any species with a logo but not a screenshot, in which case we would need it at the top. "Population" is still on the board in mine, since I don't think it is a good idea to have a extinct notice at the end, or forgo the sidebar text format altogether even if it was moved higher up. I also added a switch for the "Origin" slot, that should solve the nagging format problem of 'planet with quadrant' vs. just 'quadrant'. - Archduk3 19:50, February 4, 2010 (UTC)
I added an option for switching the full sized images to 'halfwidth' size so they can be used with logos. - Archduk3 20:32, February 4, 2010 (UTC)
Why not an optional "permanent halfwidth" image slot, only to be used for eventual logos - similar to the one used by {{sidebar starship}}? Also, regarding "population" - can you give some examples for species which we actually know the population size of? I strongly believe there are so few of those that it makes more sense to keep that number in the text, and not add it to the sidebar. -- Cid Highwind 13:04, February 5, 2010 (UTC)
Species 116: 10,000-20,000; Species 10026: Assimilated; Vaadwaur: less than 600 (endangered), and of course the alt Vulcans. While a number is hard to come by, even Spock was only approximating the number of Vulcan survivors, labels such as extinct, endangered, and assimilated can be added to a number, albeit small, of articles.
As for a slot for logos only, we may have some species with a logo without actually having being seen on screen, in which case, the placement of that slot becomes important. I think it's better to simply have the option built in to the main image slots, much like the changes I made to {{Sidebar government}}, since relatively few will be using it altogether. - Archduk3 20:50, February 5, 2010 (UTC)

Final designs

I've updated my revised template to reduce the number of calls while retaining the basic three image max that everyone seems to have agreed on. The population issue aside, since it's removal or inclusion is far from major change either way, I think the only sticking points at this time are the halfwidth option, if it should have a dedicated image slot or not, and visible captions. I'm still for including the switch to make either images 1 or 2 halfwidth, as I believe less calls is the better choice. The captions are defaulted to off, and the removal of the on switch would only be a minor change, so I don't think that should be reason enough to not start using this by itself. I would like to roll out an updated version of this template sooner rather than later as we all seem to agree that a species template is a good idea, and the original one needs to be replaced. - Archduk3 19:53, March 29, 2010 (UTC)

My opinion is still that there should be a definition of what we actually want to have first and then a phase where we change everything to adhere to that definition - not the other way around. Why do captions need to be optionally available, if there's no realy need for captions in the first place, if done right? Why do we need to allow for knobs and switches to have several different sidebar layout (regarding image number and placement). Why can't we have simple "image slots" and at least let the template automatically choose one of few different layouts, instead of leaving each and every option to the user? What it, again, boils down to is the basic question: Why have a template if the resulting page element doesn't look templated (and instead different each time)? -- Cid Highwind 11:18, April 7, 2010 (UTC)

I'm not really sure what you're getting at with the images. The user doesn't have any options with the images beyond switching two to halfwidth, and I would hardly call that allowing a user to make this look un-templated. As for the captions, species with more than two sexes need captions, while the opinion seems to be that in-universe sidebars shouldn't use images that would need to have captions. Simply not using this for species that would need captions is just stupid, as it defeats the purpose having this in the first place, hence the option to turn them on. We've spent months on what we want for this, surely we should have that answer by now. - Archduk3 18:23, April 7, 2010 (UTC)

I admit, past versions of this and other templates played a role in my warning against a "too free" image layout. These versions had, for example, six image slots to allow for the placement of three "wanted" images either above or below the text. This not only made the template code more complicated than necessary, it also led to a template providing the possibility of six images - something we never ever wanted. A template that is supposed to have up to X images should have X image variables, and not a single one more.
Regarding captions, I have to say I don't quite understand your argument of "three-sexed species needing a caption". Why? And in fact, I'm no longer sure we really need three images to display each of the three sexes. If we're doing that, why stop at sex? Wouldn't we "need" to show all different skin colors, or some age progression just as much? -- Cid Highwind 10:41, April 12, 2010 (UTC)

I'm working under the impression that we had long since decided that age and skin tone were things that didn't need to be displayed in the sidebar with separate images, that an image for each sex was the desired format. As for the captions, "Images in sidebars should generally not have a visible caption. Instead, the choice of image(s) representing the subject of the article should render any visible caption unnecessary". I don't see how to render any caption, visible or not, unnecessary with a species that has more than two sexes, since the reader is from a species that only has two sexes. The third image couldn't be inferred, so some caption is necessary, hence the option to turn on visible captions. Since a third image may be used if a logo is also displayed, the captions don't turn on automatically when the third slot is used.

That said, I'm cutting to the chase with this. I'm not budging on the stance that there should be a image for each sex. The current proposal isn't what I wanted, and we know it isn't what you wanted, so we can agree that we're both unhappy with it. That sounds like the very definition of a compromise to me. The image format is what decides the rest of the layout, and unless there's something new to bring to the table in that regard, we've quibbled over this enough. - Archduk3 21:58, April 12, 2010 (UTC)

Then we might as well consider this discussion stalled with no definite outcome, unless some other regular, preferably several, joins - because I don't like the wishy-washy definition of all-purpose image slots that might be used for a third sex, or a logo (or some unwanted other image?), or optional captions (which will probably be used in cases where we really wouldn't want them, or the other way around). This is just me vs. you since early February - and if no one is interested in a definite sidebar format, then, apparently, a species sidebar is not that important for the project... -- Cid Highwind 22:47, April 12, 2010 (UTC)

I don't see what this has to do with the overall sidebar format. That is not the issue here, we should only be discussing the species sidebar under the current guidelines, which the community has agreed is a good idea, if only by participation way at the top of this page. I would also love for a few more voices in here, either way, so we can get this out there in a format that works better then the current one.

To that end, here is the final format on my end. There are no "wishy-washy" user options, so there is no need to fear that the self-policing wiki concept could be proven wrong. I stopped short of using something like "male/female/third sex image" for the calls, since if someone doesn't get the idea what images they should be using there from the template page or other species pages, something like that isn't going to stop them either.

I would love to see a working template for your idea, assuming you have changed your mind at all from the mock-up seen above. - Archduk3 01:22, April 15, 2010 (UTC)

My objections are very much about this "species sidebar" specifically. For example, your newest suggestion already allows up to four images again (one of them a logo) and not, as has been my understanding of your previous suggestion, three images of which one could optionally be a logo. Then we have the fact that having more than two images in a sidebar is outside of a norm that has previously been defined for sidebars in general. I will readily admit that I've been discussing three-image sidebar suggestions above, but in fact, I no longer really see the pressing need for them, as many of the observations and alternative suggestions I have made before have not even been acknowledged by you. For example, you "demand" one image per sex - but this is not only a very rare exception instead of the norm (how many three-sexed species are there?), it's also a situation that could easily be solved by using a single image that shows more than one character (such as this one). All of that without even asking the question again whether it really is necessary for a "good" article layout to have images of all sexes in the sidebar instead of somewhere else, while it is apparently not necessary to showcase other differences that may be much more obvious than that. -- Cid Highwind 12:34, April 15, 2010 (UTC)
Direct links to TrekCore images don't work. FYI. Also, one image per sidebar, max, with few exceptions, is bp's preference. So, a template "to display a large number of images in a sidebar" is necessary? Eh. --Bp sockpuppet 15:12, April 15, 2010 (UTC)
The Human species
Winona Kirk and newborn son, James.jpg

Human female with newborn

Danica Erickson.jpg
Nakamura, 2365.jpg
Origin: Earth (Alpha Quadrant)
Affiliation: United Federation of Planets
Extinct as of 2012
| species     = The Human species
| image       = Winona Kirk and newborn son, James.jpg
| title       = Human female with newborn
| population  = Extinct
| date        = 2012
| planet      = [[Earth]]
| quadrant    = [[Alpha Quadrant]]
| affiliation = [[United Federation of Planets]]
| image2      = Danica Erickson.jpg
| image3      = Nakamura, 2365.jpg
| size        = 140

I can only conclude Cid that for most of of this you have been acting either very disingenuous, that Mirror Cid and Cid are simply interchangeable without notice, or that you don't remember and haven't read this in awhile. The amount of ground I will have to cover, which we have already quibbled over, to respond to this is staggering. But here we go:

1:"For example, your newest suggestion already allows up to four images again (one of them a logo) and not, as has been my understanding of your previous suggestion, three images of which one could optionally be a logo"

He's your post just above: "because I don't like the wishy-washy definition of all-purpose image slots that might be used for a third sex, or a logo (or some unwanted other image?)" And bp on what is, in my understanding the current guideline, "maybe only allow multiple if they can be named something different, like starships might have image of the starship 'image' and a logo, 'logo'." And he's my post above: "I stopped short of using something like "male/female/third sex image" for the calls, since if someone doesn't get the idea what images they should be using there from the template page or other species pages, something like that isn't going to stop them either." So, all four image slots could be named something different, and there are four again since having a duel purpose slot aparently was something that was stopping a compromise.

2:"All of that without even asking the question again whether it really is necessary for a "good" article layout to have images of all sexes in the sidebar instead of somewhere else, while it is apparently not necessary to showcase other differences that may be much more obvious than that."

Well to that I would have to say that the question was asked, and answered, here and elsewhere, repeatedly. But assuming it wasn't, in this particular case I would have to ask you why it was a good idea: "It's radically different from what has been tried before, but I don't think that's a bad thing. Just two images, one male, one female. If only one image is available (or, even better, we have a single image that shows both a male and a female of that species), then some template logic could make sure that the single image gets shown in full width instead." I agreed, but noticed a problem: "The first problem would be the Vissians, who have have three sexes." And your response: "Changed the sidebar suggestion (see above) to contain a third image, if necessary." Now, before I go any further, let me clarify this statement: "I'm not budging on the stance that there should be a image for each sex." by simply adding part of yours, "if necessary." That has been the intention the whole time, to have enough slots that if necessary, all three sexes would have one, since it shouldn't be necessary to go though TrekCore every time to find a shot with all sexes, if one exists.

3:" many of the observations and alternative suggestions I have made before have not even been acknowledged by you."

This, I have to say, is an insult. You're suggesting that if I simply talk to a wall long enough, not to say that this hasn't felt like doing that, that I would come to nearly the exact same conclusion as you! Seriously, like I liked your suggestion so much as to suggest the same thing on my own just in time for you to reject your own suggestion. Stunned, I sat down...directly on a Tribble.

Is there anything I forgot? Pointing out that while showing each sex one could also choose images that would show other skin color and age. That disagreeing with a point is acknowledging your point. While I'm all for a compromise here, it seems that a compromise was never really on the table in the first place, since the closer to the "middle" I go, the farther you walk away. In that case, I accept your five image design, with "one big image plus up to four small ones." - Archduk3 16:52, April 15, 2010 (UTC)

Well... if you now resort to throwing one of the oldest suggestions back at me, made at the very beginning of this discussion, and before everything else was brought to the table (including, but not limited to, the existence of some previously agreed upon "site-wide standard" and the few comments by other contributors who generally seemed to favor "less images"), all the while either misrepresenting or genuinely misunderstanding (don't know which) my recent comments, then I really don't know how we can continue from here, as long as it's just the two of us. No offense, but this discussion needs some more voices to come to a consensus - and whoever wants to be that voice should have read the discussion before. I'm sure this will not come to any good end as long as just you and me are involved. I will keep some silence here from now on - but please don't consider that a retraction of my objections... -- Cid Highwind 19:14, April 15, 2010 (UTC)

I would have to say that you either missed or misunderstood the point there as well; but since text is the basest form of communication, I won't doubt that we both missed. - Archduk3 21:27, April 15, 2010 (UTC)

(bp saves the day) Non-image data fields

Let's discuss all non-image aspects of the sidebar. What other fields would it have? --Bp sockpuppet 19:19, April 15, 2010 (UTC)

I don't think there was a whole lot of contention there, as there isn't much information to work with. From Morder's original suggestions, origin and affiliation were pretty much decided on, as we should have at least that information on most species. A notice for extinct species, which Morder, Cid, sulfur and I thought was a good idea, which Cid had in his mock up, though it was never made clear how that was to work. I have been using population for that, since it could also be used for the other information I listed above. I'm open to any other ideas, though I'm not sure what else will work on enough pages to be worth it. - Archduk3 21:27, April 15, 2010 (UTC)
The way I had it in my mock-up would simply work by having an optional parameter "extinction" (or "extinctionDate", or similar). If that parameter is defined, then its value should be a year, and that value can be used to create the text as suggested - if the parameter is undefined, the whole line is dropped. -- Cid Highwind 21:47, April 15, 2010 (UTC)

As an aside, the best part of starting a new section is that you don't have to indent! Anyway, fields. The fields need to be common to many species to justify a sidebar, IMO. So, Cid and I were trying hard in the IRC room this afternoon, to find four solid justifiable, very common, reasonably well-defined fields to include, and we came up with two, maybe. Homeworld (or something that includes The Void, like "native evolved place") and a boolean "Space-faring" (or warp capable, or "advanced" or some such.) Origin is strange because of TNG: "The Chase", and VOY: "Distant Origin", and whatnot. Also, species should not have "affiliation" because those aren't really common to all species most often. Your idea for population isn't very common and fluctuates greatly; extinction is relative (DNA remains, clones, time travel, etc). How much of that info is really available anyway? --bp 22:21, April 15, 2010 (UTC)

Well, I've always said that I was open to new ideas on the Pop. thing, since it is acting as a catch all for information. If the extinct thing is being drop entirely, there's little reason to keep it. The whole affiliation thing was that we actually do have that information for a lot, if not most, species. It won't apply to them all of course, but I think there are more then enough to justify it. I do like the boolean idea, though I would limit it just those that are known, like bronze Age, warp capable, and Q...ish. Origin was the way around using the term Homeworld in the first place, since we have quadrant info for more species than homeworlds, and the Jem'Hadar Alphas and Gammas are not from the same place. - Archduk3 23:01, April 15, 2010 (UTC)
To clarify the above suggestion: User:Cid Highwind/template
  • with "extdate=2010": {{{1}}}
  • with undefined extdate parameter (yes, empty): {{{1}}}
-- Cid Highwind 10:39, April 16, 2010 (UTC)
The objection, brought up by bp and regarding "affiliation", is something we discussed on IRC, and which harkens back to some age-old discussion on MA: are whole species "affiliated", or are planets affiliated? In case of Humans, for example, it seems to be the latter - the homeworld Earth, with its government, is a member of the United Federation of Planets. The whole species is not, as some "independent" colonies and individuals show. As such, it might be best to just link to a species' homeworld, and handle political structure on that page. -- Cid Highwind 13:01, April 16, 2010 (UTC)
Humans would seem to be more the exception than the rule there, but I get the point. I was also thinking that some call could be used to distinguish between Humanoids, Insectoids, Non-corporeal lifeforms, etc. I have no idea what to call it though. - Archduk3 17:55, April 16, 2010 (UTC)

The second problem with "Affiliation" is time. List every affiliation throughout history, or just the "latest" one? Also, there are in-species affiliations and multi-species affiliations. I don't think this information has the kind of relationship that could be included in a sidebar for species. So, I say, no affiliation field. It is poorly defined for species. The class of species is probably a good idea though, if it can be more clearly defined, except that it brought to my attention the fact that there may be a need for an article about whatever species the Q evolved from... --bp 19:22, April 16, 2010 (UTC)

I agree with removal of Affiliation. I recall mentioning some random fields that popped into my head as examples and they weren't meant to say "this is what should be in the sidebar" - My ultimate goal was to remove all the extraneous images and get to bare bones information. With regards to extinct - how many species are extinct? Probably very few so I don't think it's all that necessary...Homeworlds are probably more pertinent to the sidebar as Cid pointed out...There really isn't all that much information that really belongs in a species sidebar - if a sidebar is even necessary. — Morder (talk) 19:46, April 16, 2010 (UTC)

Ok then summary/review:

  • Affiliations (and Logos) do not specifically relate to species enough for inclusion.
  • Population or Extinct[y/N] are unknown for most species, or maybe irrelevant with cloning and time travel and junk.
  • Native place (or homeworld or void or region) is knowable but poorly defined, and is problematic considering the female changeling seeded everyone.
  • X-noid (or class of lifeform) is both knowable and relevant, but probably exists in the first sentence of the article.

So, by my count that is one solid piece of info (and images, but we're not talking about that). I believe I can safely say that the majority opinion (Cid, Morder, and myself) is that there isn't enough to justify a species sidebar. --bp 21:49, April 16, 2010 (UTC)

"problematic considering the female changeling seeded everyone." - hah. I agree that there isn't really enough information to warrant a sidebar. — Morder (talk) 21:55, April 16, 2010 (UTC)

(Arch re-ruins the day, and tomorrow) Images...again

Which brings us back to the original, and main point, of this sidebar, the images. This template was never about the non-image data fields. On a television show where over 90% of the aliens are just wearing makeup and rubber on their heads, the most important information is what they look like. And I am clearly not alone in thinking this, since this template was created to move the sidebar code off individual pages. Looking at just the pages using this template, and disregarding the ones where I was the first to add a image sidebar yields this information:

Two are featured articles which had a sidebar when they were voted on for FA.

As for the other articles:

All these sidebars, except Tholian, there was only one image on site at the time, and the original Betazoid sidebar, used multiple images. That's 13 articles by 6 users, restricting the information to just pages already using this template and not because of me, that thought this was the best way to present this information. For the most part, these large image sidebars have remained consistent for practically the entire existence of MA.

Almost every species article, that has images and isn't using a sidebar, has an image for each sex right at the top of the article anyway, so apparently everyone agrees that what the species looks like is very important information. If these images are going to be right at the top anyway, I fail to see how making them a little bigger was cause for all this hoopla. - Archduk3 07:30, April 19, 2010 (UTC)

I'm opposed to multi-image sidebars. They're a mess. Use regular thumbs, and a gallery if they get too thick. Also, the writing images may be a similar discussion to affiliation above; it's not exactly species specific, or maybe there is more than one writing system used by a species. --bp 08:08, April 19, 2010 (UTC)

I'm not saying that everything that's currently in these sidebars should remain, the writing doesn't need to be in there, but I still think a sidebar with at least three images, in this case, is much better than thumbs or the mess wikia has made of galleries. If we get some control of the galleries back, a gallery right before the article is something I would be willing to entertain, but not right now. - Archduk3 08:15, April 19, 2010 (UTC)

The main point of a sidebar is to contain information that is generic and accessible across many similar pages. Lack of that information means that a sidebar for the particular topic isn't necessary. Posting images in a sidebar in lieu of information isn't a good thing, in my opinion. Images should be contained in a gallery - that's what it's for. In response to the above list. This site is always changing. What was acceptable before may not be acceptable now. — Morder (talk) 18:44, April 19, 2010 (UTC)

The main point is that images are the most generic and accessible information across the species pages. In some cases it's practically the only information we have; but even if there are pages of other information, the community, since its beginning, has thought that what a species looks like is also the most important information. That's why our best and most prominent examples use a sidebar to display the most important, generic, and accessible information, images. - Archduk3 20:03, April 19, 2010 (UTC)

My point is that those images would be better suited to being integrated into the article rather than just thrown into the sidebar. — Morder (talk) 21:26, April 19, 2010 (UTC)
In at least one of the above cases, a sidebar has not been added because "that's what the community has always thought species pages should look like", but because of layout considerations without too much further context. Basically, the reasoning has been "either we randomly scatter images around the article, or we collect them in a table like structure" - with the alternative of a gallery, or removal of excess images, not even having been considered in detail, and without this being a deliberate attempt at making "all species pages look like this". -- Cid Highwind 22:03, April 19, 2010 (UTC)

Cid, could you clarify and/or elaborate? - Archduk3 23:01, April 20, 2010 (UTC)

What part exactly is unclear? -- Cid Highwind

How those layout considerations wouldn't be the same on most species articles, since it seems IMO that they would be, and how this wasn't an attempt to make it look more like the Romulan article, which was the example used in on the Andorian talk page, assuming I understood your point correctly. - Archduk3 03:58, April 21, 2010 (UTC)

As I understand the discussion I pointed out, the main reasoning hasn't been "we need to show all different aspects of a species' look right at the front of the article", but "we want to show all aspects somewhere in the article - and if we do it using thumbnail images, we might need to place them somewhat randomly, so that the page layout doesn't fail".
That means, a sidebar hasn't been used because that has explicitly decided to be the best format for species pages - but because it has been considered an easy solution for a generic layout problem (which might have happened on any number of article types, not just on species articles) by the few contributors that were involved in that discussion.
I guess you will now point out that, in the short discussion, Alan described another intent for those sidebars, namely to "show the evolution and/or diversity" of a species - but that isn't what initiated the discussion in the first place and, on top of that, I can't really share the conclusion he (and seemingly only he) derived at. Of course we want to show "diversity" - but that can't seriously mean the "whole diversity", or even "whole diversity, but just for species, and all of that in the sidebar". Even ten images wouldn't be enough to show the whole diversity of a major species like the Vulcans - why would we want to cram all of that in a sidebar? And, if we want that, why not extend it to other things as well? The Vulcan homeworld has been depicted differently each time it appeared on screen, and the NCC-1701 has had a whole bunch of different models (including the animated one from TAS). If we manage to restrict ourselves to a single image or two in those cases, then why can't this be possible in this case? -- Cid Highwind 10:56, April 21, 2010 (UTC)

Which is why we should limit ourselves to only showing diversity by sex in the sidebar. We cap out at three using that, with the vast majority only using two. Evolution of makeup (or animation) aside, the only real diversity in the makeup used is the difference between the sexes. Those differences, along with the actor or actresses body, are not the same as the minor differences between the TOS Constitution class models, that's the difference between the original Constitution class and the refit. This information is what should be up front in the in-universe section of the article, and already is in the vast majority, with any other changes between makeup styles noted in the bg section. - Archduk3 06:18, April 22, 2010 (UTC)

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