Wikipedia talk:Page footers

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Meta Discussion[edit]

In terms of appearance both #1 and #3 are reasonably attractive, but I don't find #2 to be at all exciting.

I was puzzled by just what pages these particular footers were intended for. In terms of content I could see these footers as having three levels: An upper level for the next higher category, a middle level for equaly ranked items, and a bottom level for things that are subsets of the article.

Wikisource has already started experimenting to show a link to a higher level category, and I'll be watching this closely to see how we can subdivide long texts so that they aren't too big. (The one page version of the entire Divine Comedy i German ran to 719kb) At the same time we will want a broken-up work to be as easily navigable as possible. Eclecticology 00:23, 18 Feb 2004 (UTC)

My only problem with #4 is the red writing on the dark blue background. It is very hard to see. All the writing on the German home page is white, so it does not have this problem. Eclecticology 00:27, 18 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Well, that's because they were all pointing to articles that didn't exist; how about now?
Hmm. Light blue on dark blue is even harder to read, actually.
Anyway, my preference is for type 1 sections.
James F. (talk) 02:06, 18 Feb 2004 (UTC)
I think a blue (existant) link does not look well on the blue background either. If we can make it a rule to never put a link in that header, I agree to #4. We can always add another link to the inside of the box linking to Solar System (or whatever it is). -- Timwi 09:47, 18 Feb 2004 (UTC)

IMHO, #3 for "large systems", #1 for brief lists. --Magnus Manske 08:18, 18 Feb 2004 (UTC)

What do you think of my suggestion #3½ above? -- Timwi 09:47, 18 Feb 2004 (UTC)

I personally prefer style #1, that's what I've done all mine as and I think it looks nicer really. Plus most of the others look like that so I think we should decide on a certain style and keep to it. - User:Chrism 17:26, 18 Feb 2004 (UTC)

@#4 someone changed the description of #4, my suggestion was to have a style as the mainpage, i.e. for every language this box is similar to the mainpage of this language. it should work via css

@#2 there is a little rendering problem, isnt it?

  • #2 doesn't look as nice and it's not as clear that it's a cohesive whole.
  • #4 Need to be careful about making article content look like it's part of the main Wiki structure, which it isn't. I'd suggest not doing that. (Same thought about background color in #1.)
  • #1, #3, #3 1/2 each have nice bits. I like the faded border around #1 so it doesn't distract from the text. I like the heading emphasis with the shaded row in the #3s. Also like the #3s' option to have a "more info" row at the bottom.

(Sorry, I guess I didn't sign this last time--it's user Elf and all of a sudden my username doesn't work in this space. Huh.) 01:28, 21 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Like #3 (and this is a different supposedly anon user, but probably someone else whose username doesn't work in this space.)

Objection to "footers"[edit]

I would like to voice my objection to these "footers". I believe that they do nothing more than clutter an otherwise good article. Go look at Puerto Rico. If the content of these footers is valid then create an article containing that content and link it from the required pages. I guess the proponents of these footers will argue that they allow "one-click" browsing between similar articles. I beleive that the clutter produced is too high a price for this "convenience". If I loose my battle, then let them be version 3.5 -- Gaz 08:30, 21 Feb 2004 (UTC)

I have always had problems understanding what people mean by "clutter". It seems that anything anyone ever puts on any page is "clutter" (not just on Wikipedia). I can't extract a relevant argument from that. — The boxes certainly do not interrupt the flow of reading of the article's text (because they're at the very bottom rather than somewhere right in the middle), nor do they interfere with the site navigation (because that's entirely outside everything). What else might there be that you refer to as "clutter"? -- Timwi 12:54, 21 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Well, that one is very cluttered with pointless markup. styles for every link instead of one span around the lot of them. Titles when the titles do nothing which the link text itself doesn't already to. It probably needs to be only about 1/3 of the current HTML size. Jamesday 10:41, 23 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Using Ohio as an example, the footer contains a list of the 50 US states and the US protectorates. Approximately 4.6Kb of extra "data" that has little relevance to an article on Ohio. The Ohio article has a link to Other U.S. States which provides all of the content from the footer and more. All of the footer content duplicates data from U.S. state, and hence is redundant, a waste of space and bandwidth. In direct answer to Timwi's question about "clutter". I define "clutter" on Wikipedia as "content of dubious relevance to the intent of an article, which detracts from the article". This is NOT to say that the content is dubious, just that it's inclusion at that position is dubious, bounding on irrelevance. Under my definition, these footers are clutter. --Gaz 05:39, 22 Feb 2004 (UTC)

I think the footer provides an easy way to navigate. On several occasions, I kept the list of states in one window while opening them in another so I could gather info from several states -- the footer makes this easier. Size is an issue, but Ohio is hardly approaching too long and I think the benefits outway the problems. Tuf-Kat 09:51, Feb 22, 2004 (UTC)

Arguments against style 1[edit]

The description on this page says it all - no. 1 looks like the TOC. It's not a good idea to have two TOC's in the same article. The footer usually contains items that are also part of a group, but not closely related to each other. Therefore, we do not want it to be bright and popping out of the screen. It should be less obvious and separated from the main article, as the divisor on no 2 does. This is not always the case though - the solar system footer doesn't look all that bad, but if we put in 50 countries, it would probably look horrible. This is why we need different formatting for different organizations and categories. We may even add theme formatting on some of them (color the UC footer blue and gold?). --Jiang 21:49, 21 Feb 2004 (UTC)

It's a big advantage to be able to define most of the style with the CSS as style 1 does. Personally, I'd favo(u)r a solution that uses a look distinct from the TOC. -- User:Docu

Flexibility v. standardization[edit]

Refer to Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Countries. Each wikiproject should be able to choose its own formatting to fit its particular needs. There's no need for unrelated articles to look the same. Footers are just like taxoboxes because different articles will have different content in the footers. Are you going to rm the seal from the University of California footer because the East Asia footer doesn't have one? --Jiang 00:46, 21 Feb 2004 (UTC)

The image is not strictly part of the format of the box. A box can contain an image and still have the same format as another box that doesn't. — You say that you think the WikiProjects should be able to choose their own formatting, but have not provided any arguments for that. Consistency is an important argument because it allows users (visitors) to recognise Wikipedia as a whole rather than a patchwork of disjoint bits. -- Timwi 12:56, 22 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Should we exclude the image for being "inconsistent"?
Look at the taxobox for Rose and the one for United States. They are obviously of different size, color, and dimension. Yet, there is consistency among all plants and among all countries. Consistency does not mean everything has to look similar - only similar and parallel subjects. The solar system footer was approprate because it did not contain many items. Add in 50 states and how will it look? --Jiang 20:37, 22 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Disambig pages, stubs, etc. do not belong to a wikiproject - they are by themselves a class. I don't see the "consistency" in image thumbnails - how could they be formatted differently? --Jiang 00:46, 21 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Uhm? They have a very specific background colour, border colour, border width, magnifying-glass icon, image caption font size and font variant, etc.etc. -- Timwi 12:56, 22 Feb 2004 (UTC)
I don't see it. What background color? Thumbnails are not and should not be applied to all images - only to large images.--Jiang

Number one looks good... except that it looks a little odd when applied with only one or two very short links in it. KJ 10:02, 22 Feb 2004 (UTC)

If there are only very few links, and the pages in question don't have a box like a taxobox or a countrybox, then instead of a footer probably something like what I did on -ism should be done. -- Timwi 12:56, 22 Feb 2004 (UTC)


  1. Page footers, yes or no?
    • Absolutely not! This concept WILL NOT SCALE - Gaz 10:37, 23 Feb 2004 (UTC)
  2. Page footer or series box (e.g. Table_Suffixes)?
  3. Information to include in page footers:
  4. Size of page footer?
  5. layout/colors?
    • Skin?
      • cologne-blue for (Suggestion #4)?
    • Screen size? effect of 75% of the screen (Nordic_Council)
    • Browser?
    • Colors in CSS or msg
    • One form for project or all articles
    • Colors for series or all articles
  6. msg or subst?
  7. Are the footers stackable?: e.g. Norway, Greenland, Puerto Rico


I think including organizations in country pages is bordering on really silly. European Union for European countries is somewhat acceptable, but when you start including NATO, APEC, NAFTA, G-8, etc., in the United States, for example, the page footers start to lose their value. The heck... why APEC? (Somebody unilaterally placed the APEC footer on APEC member countries' pages.) Why not place the whole United Nations in the footer? --seav 12:38, Feb 23, 2004 (UTC)

As I said above, this concept does not scale. My prediction is that this is just the beginning. There is no end to the weird and wonderful groupings that people will wish to add via these footers. Who is to judge that one grouping is "valid" and another is "not valid"? - Gaz 12:48, 23 Feb 2004 (UTC)
At Talk:Switzerland we discussed which footer to include there. The result is .. . In Europe, a footer as in the WikiProject Country template (mainly the continent) would probably do and the EU-block if applicable. -- User:Docu
Your assertion that the concept 'does not scale' lacks faith in the wiki process. Who is to judge? Quite simple: the consensus of Wikipedia editors, as in every other matter here.
Note that the history of adding such links way predates the ability to auto-insert them via WikiMedia transclusion. It is a natural and sensible thing to want to link to related articles in this fashion.
It also prevents the body text getting bloated by excess verbiage just to give opportunities to link around. —Morven 00:45, 9 Mar 2004 (UTC)

List of country footers[edit]

For reference, I made a list of all of the country footers at Wikipedia:WikiProject Countries (including lists of dependencies and organizations). I actually included each footer on the page so that they're easy to compare. -- Walt Pohl 22:40, 11 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Page footers and series boxes[edit]

Is there any difference between a page footer and a series boxes apart from their positioning on the page ? Jay 09:53, 10 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Custom footers - how much is too much?[edit]

The custom footers for countries seem to be proliferating. I don't really see how having so many adds to the articles. For example, see New Zealand. As of today, there are four separate footers. Has there been discussion about these somewhere? I just don't see how displaying all those lists at the bottom helps anymore than a link to the lists. One footer for the primary region I think I could abide, but is a footer for APEC or OECD or even the Commonwealth really helpful? I think having so many footers is ugly and detracts from the article. Bkonrad | Talk 13:20, 6 Apr 2004 (UTC)

IMHO one is enough already, making a custom footer for every supra-national organization quickly becomes nonsense. The geographical one is IMHO the most appropiate one. Especially for those organization which cover all (or nearly all) countries of a region (e.g. EU or APEC) or covering way too many countries (UN, Commonwealth) it is rediculous. andy 13:25, 6 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Agreed. On New Zealand the APEC and OECD lists are way over the top and should be removed (but I'm not brave enough to do it!)
Adrian Pingstone 13:39, 6 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Looks like somebody else was [1]; I also agree that too many footers detract rather than adding to the article. Probably one is enough in most cases, I'd propose a maximum of 2, given their average size. - IMSoP 14:52, 6 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Well obviously (value of contributor) is proportional to (amount of text added to pages), thus if you want to feel valuable create some {{msg}}s. Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 16:46, 6 Apr 2004 (UTC)

See also Belgium and United Kingdom. Discuss at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Countries. If not one objects in the next couple of weeks, then I'll be removing them and leaving only the EU and geographic footers. --Jiang 21:02, 6 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I went ahead and made the change to New Zealand (was quickly reverted, however). I think one simple footer with links to neighboring countries is sufficient (even all of Europe is too much and redundant), as I mentioned at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Countries. -- Chevan 13:29, Apr 7, 2004 (UTC)

It seems to me that some contextual editing of footers with a little more thought in the content of the footer messages themselves would help in this case (and others like it). For instance, editing the main footer to have a link that says "lists of commonwealth nations" in the footer, with link to said page (list) vastly reduces the clutter while retaining the self-directing navigation. Other such list links as "nations in APEC, UN, etc. could easily be added to the footer message and thus remove the need for separate footers. This is what some of us have been doing in the footers in naval ships, which list other ships in the class, but also have links in the footer for lists of other aircraft carriers, list of U.S. naval ships, etc (for example). Lestatdelc 19:40, Apr 8, 2004 (UTC)

Necessary footers[edit]

NATO footer CANNOT be removed from NATO member pages. It is a military alliance where the members are happy to blow the **** out of stuff for each other. It is extremely important to see clearly on each members page who are the allies of that country.

EU footer - again, it's not a federation, or military, but it's a pretty close union - I would argue that on each members page one should be able to see the other members.

I see no reason for the geographic footers, e.g. Europe.

Other footers are for specific places, like Counties/Provinces of Ireland, one per county page. Some other countries have such subdivisions. No worries about this. Of course, does one include them in the main country page???

Zoney 23:50, 19 May 2004 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Abridging lists in footers is good[edit]

I agree with Lestatdelc about the clutter. Some of the geographical page footers are so dense and so large that the probability of someone finding something is small. Multiple page footers compounds the problem. One example I'm picking on this evening is Template:California, although I see lots of examples of super-dense footers.

I would suggest that the best practice is to put abridging lists in footers (for example, replacing a list of counties in the California footer with a single link to List of California counties). This will make the footers far more usable (by being far shorter), at the cost of requiring one more click for those people who want to scan the list. The benefit is that we can include more diversity in each footer, as Lestatdelc says above, re naval ships.

-- hike395 08:10, 6 May 2004 (UTC)Reply[reply]

We could also be less ambitious in making footers. How about separate footers for cities and counties in CA? I prefer your suggestion though. --Jiang 20:01, 6 May 2004 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Take a look at my proposed minimalist alternative at MediaWiki Talk:California --- I'm curious to see what you think. Thanks! -- hike395 01:05, 7 May 2004 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Came to a good compromise at MediaWiki Talk:California --- we decided to split the footer into two parts. This may be useful in other states. -- hike395 06:07, 12 May 2004 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Width of Page footers[edit]

Some days ago, I had change the width of a few page footers, because I think is better. Please see how would be better Genetics if the length is equal. Moreover when the page is graphically not balanced the length serves to balance visually it (see for example [2]. Sorry for my bad English.--Archenzo 10:44, 7 May 2004 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I'm concerned about people adding "Largest Cities" to the state MediaWiki boxes. I don't argue with adding the cities, but some are, I think, going overboard. For instance, for Template:Ohio I only added the very largest cities. However, Template:Maine has more cities listed than counties! We need to find some reasonable standardization on this. jaknouse 22:25, 4 May 2004 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I was going to say >500,000, but I see that doesn't work for some states. Maybe limit to top 10, at most? Even a state as big as CA only has 20 listed, and probably half don't really need to be listed. Niteowlneils 23:05, 4 May 2004 (UTC)Reply[reply]

MediaWiki Msg - how to run in-line[edit]

Can anyone suggest how to get multiple small message boxes to display next to each other? For example I was looking at New Zealand and at the bottom it has two large messages, followed by one small 'mgs:New Zealand' ; I though it might be good to have the message 'msg:Australasia' next to it.

But the Wikipedia engine does not seem to allow it as far as I can see; can any assist with wisdom on this?Daeron 06:15, 6 May 2004 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I would prefer a policy to limit ourself to a maximum of two such navigation boxes - the inflation of these boxes makes the articles look ugly. Do we really need a navigational box for the member states of every international organization? For countries IMHO the only navigational box which really makes sense is the geographical location one. New Zealand with three such boxes is barely acceptable, but did anyone look at Romania recently? At least the last two ones are really too much - and besides who ever heard of that Latin Union? andy 08:23, 6 May 2004 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Seems like someone agreed with me about the idiocy, now its back down to two :-) andy 16:28, 6 May 2004 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't agree with this idea of limiting ourselves to two MSG includes at the bottom of country pages. Some countries, such as Switzerland, are not involved in many international organisations, while others, such as Slovenia, are. It would be stupid and uninformative to remove these includes. And, I don't what you mean by the fact that they look ugly - they're at the end of the page and they actually look quite nice. "Seems like someone agreed with me about the idiocy" - what is idiotic in saying that, Romania, for example, is a member of NATO, what is idiotic in saying that Hungary is a member of the OECD? These are important international organisations, constantly mentioned in the media and in world affairs, which need to be highlighted. Of course, I don't agree on putting includes for two types of organisations: those that include more than, say, 50 countries (such as the UN, with nearly 200), and those which are totally unimportant (such as the Western European Union, etc.). But, the Francophonie is not unimportant, and neither is the Latin Union. Just because you haven't heard of it does not mean it's unimportant. And if you're going to pick on Romania and remove it's additional "redundant" includes, then please go along to every country and do the same. Some countries, like Mozambique have a message that links to the Community of Portuguese Language Countries. Others, like Slovenia, link to the Francophonie even though they are associate members. These should all stay, and so should Romania's includes to the Latin Union and Francophonie? Why? Because it highlights Romania's culture and this is important in encyclopedia. By simply looking at the includes, we can see that: Romania is politically part of the EU candidates, it is politically/militarily part of the NATO group, and culturally it is part of the Latin Union, sharing a similar culture, history and linguistic origin. Geographically, it is part of Europe, hense the Europe include. Therefore, we can see that all of these includes deal with a certain aspect of Romania and should be kept. Also, again, I'm not talking just about Romania, but also about the other countries which have these includes. Awaiting a response, Rronline 00:01, 8 May 2004 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The point is not that I we should skip to mention the memberships in organzitations - a list of all international organizations (well, all the CIA thought important enough) is usually at the Politics of Country article, and that would be the natural place to make a more beautiful list. What I object is the inflation of navigational bars - how much likely anyone will use the Latin Union bar to go to any other article? If someone is interested in that organization, the article Latin Union contains the list of members, it only needs to be linked somewhere in the Romania article. Otherwise - how about a navigation list of countries crossed by the Danube. One with the countries bordering the Black Sea. Or the member states of Intelsat? And the same applies to other countries of course - we should limit ourself to the two most important navigational bars, onefor the geographic neighborhood, one maybe one for the most important international organization for that country. There are countries where the membership in the Commonwealth is relevant, while for other members of that one it isn't. andy 14:30, 8 May 2004 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Would love to hear what you think of {{msg:Indonesia}}, couldn't a person just go to the article Indonesia instead.
Looks to me like the information in {{msg:EU_countries_and_candidates}} could be combined into {{msg:Europe}}. The majority of articles where either is used have obvious reasons to use both; even for the European countries that are not EU members or candidates, the fact that they are not would constitute relevant information. -- Jmabel 18:55, 6 May 2004 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You can use a table, but if anyone asks, it didn't come from me. -- Tim Starling 10:27, May 6, 2004 (UTC)
Doh! O.K. I know not your name, but you are a very clever masked person.;-)Daeron

Best format for footer tables?[edit]

Here's a few suggestions for format for a footer table, taken from Ronald Reagan:

Preceded by:
Jimmy Carter
President of the United States
Succeeded by:
George H. W. Bush
Preceded by:
Pat Brown
Governor of California
Succeeded by:
Jerry Brown
Preceded by:
Jimmy Carter
President of the United States
Succeeded by:
George H. W. Bush
Preceded by:
Pat Brown
Governor of California
Succeeded by:
Jerry Brown
  1. First line: Preceded by and Succeeded by are bold, names aren't, title isn't.
  2. Second line: Preceded by and Succeeded by are bold, names aren't, title is.
  3. Third line: Title and names are bold.
  4. Fourth line: Only names are bold.

I don't want a formal vote, just an idea from someone other than me - which of these is easiest on the eyes and most immediately readable? Thanks. --Golbez 01:41, Jul 17, 2004 (UTC)

I would say 2 is the most legible. - SimonP 05:18, Jul 17, 2004 (UTC)
Second is gentler on the eyes. Ocon | Talk 05:19, 17 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Yeah, I thought that would work - it doesn't bold the links (which for some reason just looks wrong to me :P) and it keeps all the bolds on the same level. --Golbez 05:33, Jul 17, 2004 (UTC)
The third form is how they're normally done, on many thousands of pages (e.g., Winston Churchill, Tony Blair, &c.). James F. (talk) 10:08, 17 Jul 2004 (UTC)
I wouldn't say *thousands*, and they are presently done by the first form on many other pages, though I don't know if it's thousands. Even ones I haven't edited. I don't plan to change the format of existing tables, unless I'm making other changes/fixes to the table. This was mostly for new things. Incidentally, the page that first started me on this, George W. Bush, uses style 1. So... I didn't ask how it's normally done, I asked which method was easiest to look at and use. Just because a way is how it's been done so far on Wikipedia doesn't mean it needs to be. That's a major point of Wikipedia. --Golbez 23:45, Jul 17, 2004 (UTC)
OK, rephrase: It's used on thousands of articles (the peerage articles, the British and Irish offices, and so on) because it's the most sensible to use: the things you are interested in, and so are highlighted in bold, are the office, the predecessor, and the successor. This is why you should use 3. I also think 3 looks best. Happy now? ;-)
James F. (talk) 14:44, 18 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Quite; but the verdict at present is running 2-1 against you. ;) I'll continue pondering this. --Golbez 19:31, Jul 18, 2004 (UTC)