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USS Voyager
USS Voyager, ventral view.jpg

USS Voyager

Class: Intrepid-class
Registry: NCC-74656
Affiliation: Federation/Starfleet
Status: Active (2378)

I created this sidebar to test its usefulness. I think it is a good idea to have such templates in cases that standardized information is to be displayed - better than a "manual template" in form of a wikitable in many cases. See the sourcecode of this page for the way this template is implemented - it's a very clean way, I think. Any comments?

Another thing that obviously needs to be discussed (for any sidebar-template that gets implemented) is what information exactly gets included. In this case, I don't think there's much more information that is available for most Federation starships... -- Cid Highwind 12:35, 16 Dec 2005 (UTC)

How many ships do we know when were "Launched"? I don't think enough (maybe one or two dozen out of 200+) to account for having that row added-- and I'm not sure having excessive "unknowns" in the rows (as there would be with having a "Launched" row) would not look all that aesthetically pleasing. --Alan del Beccio 12:32, 16 Dec 2005 (UTC)

Beat me to it, Alan... :) As stated above, everything is just a test at the moment. You're right, we should probably remove that line. Any other line to add? -- Cid Highwind 12:35, 16 Dec 2005 (UTC)

I'm not opposed to having the launch date, where applicable, so maybe adding it to those ships (NX-01, Voyager, Defiant, etc) only. Say like with maybe an alternate template for those ships, or just do it manually? --Alan del Beccio 14:18, 16 Dec 2005 (UTC)
Is this really necessary? I mean, I have the feeling that it will make Memory Alpha look like the fact files where everything was put into a small info box. Next we will have those for the people though there might be no more information than species, sex, name and actor; I think they are just for lazy people who don't want to read the text -- Kobi - (Talk) 16:35, 16 Dec 2005 (UTC)
I can go either way on this. I don't think it is necesssary in terms that Kobi outlined, but in some cases I think it is necessary, such as starship class specifications-- info that really doesnt appropriately fit into the main text. -Alan del Beccio 20:26, 16 Dec 2005 (UTC)
I think we should use the sidebar for all starships (with this form), but do we need a template for this? The German MA uses it just by copyediting the code into new articles, I think that's simple enough. Btw: we have a template for the episode sidebar for months, but nobody seems to care about it, so I doubt that there is anybody who will implement this. --Memory 21:29, 16 Dec 2005 (UTC)

Re:Alan: I think we should just use one template and include the information that is available for most articles. Creating more than one template with different info fields would defeat the purpose of having a template (which is, IMO, enforcing a moderate standardization).

Re:Kobi: It's not as if the sidebars are a new feature. Nearly every starship article (and of course other types) already has a sidebar, it's just that those sidebars don't have any standardization regarding the selection of info fields and their order. Converting all existing sidebars into this template would create a standard "look&feel" (which isn't a bad idea for the most basic facts) and at the same time avoid having "all" information in a sidebar instead of in the text.

Re:Memory: On the other hand, is there any good reason not to use a template, if using the template means standard content, standard formatting and easier editing? About the episode template: I think there was a lengthy discussion about that on Ten Forward. I don't know about that template, but I plan to put this one to use if we can get a consensus here. -- Cid Highwind 11:29, 17 Dec 2005 (UTC) -- Cid Highwind 11:29, 17 Dec 2005 (UTC)

RE:Standarization: Unfortunately, not every ship/person/class/ect has the same information available to use the sidebars the most efficient way possible-- esp. in the case of starship classes. -Alan del Beccio 11:46, 17 Dec 2005 (UTC)

Just a small clarification: of course, this sidebar doesn't need to be used on every single starship article - but if a sidebar is already in use, it might as well be a standardized one. There are some entries in sidebars which I think just don't belong: for example, USS Voyager has "cruising" and "maximum speed" (which probably belongs on the class article if standard, in the main text if related to specific changes to the ship, and removed if it is from invalid resources), "crew complement" (which changes and should be mentioned in the main text instead).

Generally speaking, this template could be used whenever we have an image of the ship (in that case, we know the vessels' class). The affiliation is a given anyway, the status, too (ship status is always related to a specific moment in time - this date should be noted with the status). The only possible unknown is the registry, and I think we can live with one entry being unknown? -- Cid Highwind 14:17, 18 Dec 2005 (UTC)

We just had another case of unreferenced, probably non-canon, information being added to a starship sidebar. As partly stated above, sidebars have the problem of not being cited in most cases, and used to simply dump all kinds of information that might better be placed in the article text. Is there anything else to be added to a generic sidebar - if there is, please discuss here. Otherwise, I'll be updating this template over the weekend and replacing some existing sidebars with it for further discussion. -- Cid Highwind 22:33, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

I now added this template to three starship articles as a test:

  • USS Voyager, a "hero" starship with an extensive previous sidebar, with at least some of the previous information in need of citation.
  • Columbia NX-02, had a medium-sized sidebar before, everything else as above
  • USS Valley Forge, a random "starship-of-the-week", that didn't have a sidebar before.

Any comments after looking at these? -- Cid Highwind 15:34, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

I plugged this template into SS Vico, USS Sutherland, USS Shenandoah and USS Yangtzee Kiang. The template provides essential, "at-a-glance" information and moves the detail into the body of the article. The four ships were chosen because each had an image of the vessel on the page. Question: as many ships never appeared on-screen, should the template be used for those pages? (I think "yes"). If so, would a generic class picture be in order, or simply no image. --GNDN 16:53, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
If we use those templates on pages for ships not "seen", we should not put a generic image of the class. All of those images are of specific ships, and people will think it is a picture of that ship and/or we will open up the can of worms of using images everywhere that aren't what they say they are. Bad can, no cookie for that can. --OuroborosCobra talk 16:57, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

I added the template to USS Bellerophon (NCC-74705). There don't seem to be any immediate complaints, so I guess it is safe to slowly start using the template where appropriate. Don't rush things, though, by adding it everywhere at once, and please make sure to only use it if we really know all the facts. I already found some starship pages earlier where the only source for registry and/or class was the Encyclopedia. Don't use the template there. Regarding the question above, I think we should avoid using the template for "unseen" starships at the moment - most of the time, if we haven't seen the ship, most of the details are guesswork, too. -- Cid Highwind 20:45, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

Should we have a Standard Starship Layout?Edit

After looking at Voyager's, and various Enterprise's (NX-01, NCC-1701, NCC-1701-A, B, D) pages, it seems that there is no form of standard layout between ships. While the same information isn't available for all ships, there should still be a standard layout to the ships pages. This would give all ship pages a similar appearance, as well as slimming them down. As of now, USS Enterprise-D is 44KB in size. Some of the more developed sections of articles may be able to be moved to their own stand alone articles.

Below I have started doing a new layout that I think will help clean up ship pages some and make them a bit more concise. Feel free to edit this layout directly, but if you wish to respond, please do so below the rule. -- Kooky 21:01, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

Working Layout:

  • Dates of Commission, Refits and affected systems(If Applicable), Decommission/End of Life
  • Senior Crew members, chronologically ordered with dates of commission.
    • Captain(s)
      • Pike (dates)
      • Kirk (dates)
      • Decker (dates)
      • Kirk (dates)
    • First Officers
    • ...etc
  • Relevant Ship Statistics
    • Ship Class
    • Crew Compliments/Capacities.
    • Engines / Speed Limitations
  • Deck Layout (Personally I love the way it was handled for USS Voyager. Copy of the Master Situation display followed by Deck-by-deck listing of known areas.)
  • Primary Mission/Purpose
  • Short list of the "Most Notable/Important" events that directly involve the ship itself. An example would be the use of NCC-1701-D's computer core as a backup to the Bynars' homeworld computer. (TNG: "11001001")
  • Alternate timeline/reality variations, such as the Third Nacelle on NCC-1701-D from "All Good Things..."
  • List of other articles to view that contain relevant information consistent to this ship. This would be where you would insert links of events that could stand alone as their own articles.

Because of the limitations of available information for ships, we already have a standard starship layout:
USS Galaxy
USS Galaxy.jpg

USS Galaxy

Class: Galaxy-class
Registry: NCC-70637
Affiliation: Federation/Starfleet
Status: Active (2379)
{{sidebar starship|
|        Name= 
|       Class= 
|    Registry= 
| Affiliation= 
|      Status= 
|  Datestatus= 
Information pertaining to "Crew Compliments/Capacities" and "Engines / Speed Limitations" are generally kept centralized on the ship class page. Otherwise, I really don't agree whatsoever with dividing these types of articles into multiple pages. As an encyclopedia, we really shouldn't have to be jumping all over the site to find information out about 1 thing. --Alan del Beccio 22:13, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
Like Alan, I'm not convinced that this level of standardization would be a good idea for starship articles. Even for the six "hero starhips" you listed, much of the information you want to use in the layout is unknown - and we know even less about all the other ships. The sidebar template already contains most of the information we do know for the majority of starships... -- Cid Highwind 12:10, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

second image markup Edit

Before realizing that this template didn't have the functionality, I added the "image2" variables to USS Brattain expecting similar execution as {{sidebar starship class}}. Fail on my part, I realize; I did preview, but thought it wasn't working because of some imagined other problem. Anyways, could such a second image be implemented for this template similar to the aforementioned class template? Some ships could warrant a second image (changes over time, specific MSD, etc.). Thoughts? — THOR =/\= 03:07, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

Does this have to bloat the sidebar, though? There are many cases where I think that the sidebar is not just the most important information, condensed (as it should be IMO)- but instead, everything and anything that might better be a part of the article. -- Cid Highwind 08:34, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

I was also hoping to get a second image at the bottom of the bar, mostly for the mission patches of the older ships, and refits. I do see the point of not making the sidebar more that the article, but I do think that refits and the like are the most important information, and should be included in what constitutes an overview. Also, the ISS Enterprise (NX-01) page is already not using this to get around the limitations. - Archduk3 19:09, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

Recent change, more images Edit

Accidentally posted to /doc first.

I'd definitely like to see the recent change discussed before being put to use. The sidebars are supposed to display the most important information about something, here a starship. This typically includes one image or, in rare cases two, like on {{sidebar individual}}.

The current change now enables the use of three images plus a "logo". I think this will only lead to a bloated sidebar, running contrary to the goal of having important information condensed. If the article text is long enough to even provide space for more than one image, the additional ones could surely be put in the text, as thumbnails... -- Cid Highwind 10:59, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

I added the extra space mainly to add the Assignment patch to the ENT/TOS era ships, since some articles are not long enough to fit it in a concise manner, mainly the mirror pages. The added image space was secondary, though the mirror Enterprise (NX) page had a custom sidebar on it before to get more images in, so I figured this was a better option then having pages simply not using it. - Archduk3 11:25, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
And it was mentioned on the other talk page. I though that would be the proper place to bring it up again. - Archduk3 11:33, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

In some of these cases, finding another location for the additional images might be a better solution than just bloating the template. The mirror Enterprise-NX is a very good example for this:

  • First image - great, allows to identify the ship this article is about.
  • Second image - hmm... so, this ship can cloak? Wouldn't that be better off somewhere in the text, where the cloaking ability is explained?
  • Third image - eh? What's that about? So, the ship has a bridge... what surprise! Again, if there's something special about that image, put it somewhere else, where there's text to explain it!
  • Logo - Ok.

Perhaps it would suffice to just allow a second image, and eventually use the logo here? So, 2 images max., with most sidebars using just one... not up to 4? -- Cid Highwind 11:45, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

I was using the ISS NX page as my guide in this (those were the images that were already in a sidebar), but when put into play on the other pages, I agree, 4 is way too much. I was hoping for the other two for refit and/or destruction images, plus a logo, but that is just too much now that I see it. So one extra image seems fine. A small page could still show a refit or destruction image without having a thumbnail under the sidebar. - Archduk3 11:57, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

Datestatus issuesEdit

This came up recently (likely the latest Mediawiki upgrade, but note that there's nothing about this behaviour in their "changes" list, merely "numerous bugs fixed" *sigh*) and was noticed late (my time) last night. It seems that constructs that we've been using in sidebar templates (including likely comics, novels, etc) no longer allow us to use layouts like this:

Datestatus = Blah]] [[Date

The sidebar template would wrap that in link tags, but that no longer appears to function. I put in a dirty hack late last night before going to bed, but this needs to be addressed in the bigger picture.

We have a couple of options here that I can think of immediately:

  1. Remove any such "complex" constructs from the sidebar, leaving simply the base date and go into more detail in the text
  2. Remove the linking mechanism from the sidebar and extract it to the template call instead

Early morning brain doesn't allow me to think of anything more immediately. Both of these solutions will require us to give all calls to templates using this construct an eye over, some of which can be automated to a certain extent. The current interim solution is not one that is good for the longer term, and may not even be good for the short term while we sort this issue out, so let's figure something out. -- sulfur 12:26, December 17, 2010 (UTC)

As I already stated in another discussion, misusing one of the template variables as decribed above is not a good idea anyway. There should be a clear attribute/value structure, and if one value is hacked to contain another attribute/value pair besides the first value, there's definitely something wrong! Proper solutions would be to either
  • add another attribute/value pair to the sidebar definition after discussion, or
  • just don't use the existing sidebar to contain more or other information than has been agreed upon.
In this specific case (on USS Defiant (NCC-1764)), the "status" variable is used to not only contain one status, but also another, mirror-universe one. I think it would be reasonable to remove this from the sidebar and only let the sidebar contain "prime universe" information. In any case, it's not a good solution to make the "datestatus" variable optional, because each given status should have a date defined for it. If we make it optional, we will break more than we fix in the long run. -- Cid Highwind 12:44, December 17, 2010 (UTC)

With a bit more hunting, it appears that we fixed this well back in the day on novels and comics, and that we do not put links into the sidebar templates anywhere (with the exception of images) except on:

Is this a smart move to actually deal with the dates in such a way? What if we only have a stardate for that date? That will break the system as it currently exists, especially with the issues we already have correlating stardates and years. -- sulfur 13:07, December 17, 2010 (UTC)

I think it is a good thing to handle values of sidebar attributes in a consistent manner across all sidebar templates and all calls to them - sidebars are supposed to display consistent information, after all. That includes moving as much "formatting" work (such as adding link brackets around a value) into the template and away from direct editor influence. If that doesn't work for a specific template call, we should first think about whether what we want to achieve really is necessary and useful enough for a template, and only if that is the case, find a way to do it by making explicit changes to the template instead of hacking something that more or less works.
Regarding stardate-as-datestatus, for example, we should not code anything as long as that is just a hypothetical occurrence at some point in the far future. Then, if it really happens, we could think about adding a new optional variable like "datestatus-link" that, if defined, will be used in the form of [[{{{datestatus-link}}}|{{{datestatus}}}]] instead. -- Cid Highwind 13:45, December 17, 2010 (UTC)
Why not add a second "Status" and "statusdate" inside "#if:exist" (or however it is) tags? It can be coded so it only appears (like anything else in the sidebar) if used and to appear on a new line if used. --Terran Officer 16:35, December 17, 2010 (UTC)
Because I still believe that sidebars should present information in some standardized way. Every time an attribute needs to be placed in an #ifexists clause, it is a sign for that attribute actually not being that much of a standard. So, what we should do instead of some fire-and-forget where each time we "really like" something we make it work, leading to pretty bloated templates, we should ask whether we "really need" it, too.
Is seeing something like "Destroyed (2345); Actually destroyed (2109, alternate)" really useful information if presented in such an abbreviated way? Or isn't it rather the case that an overwhelming majority of readers will need an explanation for it - in which case, we could just link to the information in the first place instead of "teasing" in a place where succinctness would be a virtue. -- Cid Highwind 23:48, December 17, 2010 (UTC)
Getting to this party a bit late, but I have to ask how many pages currently have a problem with this? The Defiant would seem to have a relatively unique problem as far as I know, and if all we have to do is forgo the call and insert the information and formating directly on the page, I don't think that we should force the information to fit the current template. All information in a sidebar should be further explanied in the article proper, so I don't think that a bit of missing context is reason to remove something; in fact, I believe someone seen a sidebar like the Defiant one would want to read further to find out what the context behind the double date. That said, it would be pretty simple to add another call so further information could be placed into the parentheses, which was the whole point of my original edit to the Defiant page. - Archduk3 22:33, December 18, 2010 (UTC)

Status OptionalEdit

Just a suggestion, the status of the starship should be an optional field, I've come to discover as of late when adding sidebars to starship pages, that not all of them can have an accurate status update. Certainly not in terms of years (Republic is a good example, it could have been in 2153 or 2154 when Hernandez and the cook left), anyways. --Terran Officer 01:55, March 13, 2011 (UTC)

Active works for the Republic, we just don't have an accurate datestatus, though the decade could work. - Archduk3 09:44, March 13, 2011 (UTC)
Except for the name of the ship, status is already the only variable that is not optional. Making it optional like all the others would be the final nail in the coffin for a template that should standardize things, but has went the route of ridiculously allowing each and every entry to be "optional". -- Cid Highwind 11:42, March 13, 2011 (UTC)

"Class" variableEdit

Today a change on a ship article was reverted with the comment ""type" is not a class". I have a problem with that comment -- specifically that a number of ships do not have a "class", but are of a "type" instead. Does that mean to say that we must add a new "type" variable to this template because "type" is not a class and "class" is not a type? (Note: I have no desire to see another variable on here, and feel that "class" should list "type", if the ship is of a proscribed "type". -- sulfur 11:28, March 22, 2011 (UTC)

You can change it back if you want to- I only thought that was the way we were doing that line. 31dot 11:48, March 22, 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Sulfur. "Types" are a class, just one we don't know the name of. But this doesn't seem to be consistently implemented at the moment - USS Curry and Bonaventure list the "type" in the sidebar, while Aeon, USS Centaur and USS Enterprise-J don't.–Cleanse ( talk | contribs ) 11:52, March 22, 2011 (UTC)

Note that the docs say "class or type". Also, the Ent-J didn't have a type or class that we knew anyhow. -- sulfur 12:16, March 22, 2011 (UTC)

The Enterprise-J type redirects to the article anyway. As for the class defaulting to unknown, nothing should be in the sidebar if it's unknown. We don't mention what unknown in articles, so we shouldn't in the sidebar either. - Archduk3 12:26, March 22, 2011 (UTC)

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