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User talk:Robert W King/Archive 4

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I just noticed we were playing tag on the DNA timeline, I thought I was losing my mind ;) I discovered that the correct length is dependant on the width of the browser. That is why it is different on my browser compared to your browser. Did you try using a tables structure to build the timeline. One advantage of that would be the length of the cell on the left would vary proportionally with the timelines length. Chris Day 22:11, 10 April 2008 (CDT)

see Template:Timeline/Sample --Robert W King 22:16, 10 April 2008 (CDT)

I noticed you were changing widths to be in terms of pixels rather than %-ages? I never like doing things in terms of pixels, because for those on very small or very large screens (I have some old laptops with 600 pixel screens, so I'm sensitive to this - not everyone around the world has the latest and greatest), it gives a bad look. What's the problem with using %-ages?

Also, I see you were manually bolding all the dates. Why not have an optional "date=" parameter to {{TLevent}} which does the bolding inside the template? That way if you want to change the look of timelines, you don't have to edit every page which uses them. J. Noel Chiappa 10:48, 11 April 2008 (CDT)

As Chris pointed out earlier, the wordwrap in percentages causes problems with the stem either being too short or too long based on the width of the browser. Fixed widths turn out to be better, unless I can figure out a way to improve the stem. Also, there's other work to be done on the template which I just haven't got around to doing yet, with much improvements to be made. They're all on my mental list. I'm just rrrreeeallly slacking on it. --Robert W King 10:55, 11 April 2008 (CDT)
I just thought of a problem having a data parameter; some entries are just one line, while some have one year and multiple things happen during that year, which involve having a list. You'll need a carriage return to begin the list, but if you include one by default, the event stuff will automatically be on the next line even if it's just a single entry. What I thought about doing was making it like so: |-[date]-[event ] but I'm not entirely sure it's aesthetically pleasing. --Robert W King 11:27, 11 April 2008 (CDT)
Too bad about the bugs. I wonder if it would make any sense to pass the %-age in as an argument, and then, inside the {{TLevent}}, convert it to pixels there? J. Noel Chiappa 14:43, 11 April 2008 (CDT)


I saw your experiment in your sandbox in the recent changes. That's really cool. Can you make the text in the box that pops up when you hover over a link show the text in the definition template for that page? That would be wonderful!
--Joe Quick 15:37, 12 April 2008 (CDT)

It's used on Related Articles subpages. See Tecum_Umam/Related_Articles for an example.
--Joe Quick 16:54, 12 April 2008 (CDT)


Still not eactly sure what you have in mind but I have set up an experiment on the biology workgroup. See CZ:Biology_Workgroup#Lower_priority and siilar sections. The {{WgTable}} template can distinguish redirects too. There is one bug that is a pain, there cannot be a space between the article name and the pipe (or brackets) otherwise the status call to the metadata template does not work. For example, {{WgTable| Biology | Life }} does not work but {{WgTable| Biology| Life}} does work. Chris Day 11:03, 15 April 2008 (CDT)


I think you must have been thinking of someone else? I was staying out of that one... :-) J. Noel Chiappa 10:27, 16 April 2008 (CDT)

Why was the TOC of Compressibility factor (gases) relocated?

Robert, I don't understand why you moved the TOC of the article to the right. It is not a major point, but I think it looked much better on the left, as it was originally, without any text wrapped to the right of the TOC.

When the TOC is located on the right and the text is wrapped to the left of the TOC, the wrapped text looks cramped and less readable ... at least, it does look so to me. Would you mind if I moved it back to the left where it was when I wrote the article? Regards, - Milton Beychok 12:25, 16 April 2008 (CDT)

Up to you; I thought stylistically it looked better. --Robert W King 12:29, 16 April 2008 (CDT)

minor edit please

Hello Robert. Could you check the "minor edit" button when you are making so many edits? That way we can hit the hide minor edits button on the recent changes page to see more items. Thanks, David E. Volk 15:10, 17 April 2008 (CDT)

My apologies, I'm so guilty of not doing it. --Robert W King 15:19, 17 April 2008 (CDT)


Will do (if I can figure how how it works :-). J. Noel Chiappa 15:33, 17 April 2008 (CDT)

In part, because there are still reference to them from quite a few talk: pages, etc, which might be confusing if the target's gone. I am accumulating a list of 'obsolete, deal with them' things, at User:J. Noel Chiappa/ToDo, but I was putting off dealing with them for the moment. E.g. I want to check with Chris Day to make sure we don't need them, etc, etc. Someday! J. Noel Chiappa 15:57, 17 April 2008 (CDT)
I just had a quick look through and many of those are false starts or obsolete. We might want to keep some for historical purposes such as the vertical version of the buttons we were considering at one point. I'll try and work through them. Chris Day 16:32, 17 April 2008 (CDT)

Hi, I did go through and update CZ:Templates to haave the stuff I just did, plus I deleted a bunch of entries for obsolete subpage templates we are about to ditch. I notice that the whole thing is somewhat out of date, though. I'll see if I can find time at some point to update it some more. J. Noel Chiappa 22:21, 17 April 2008 (CDT)

CZ authors

Robert, on the CZ Authors page and Editors page, it would like so much nicer if every name didn't start with "User:". Do you know of a way to automatically make all names like User:David E. Volk appear as David E. Volk on the Authors and Editors pages? It would certainly look much more professional and easier on the eyes. David E. Volk 16:01, 17 April 2008 (CDT)

Funny, I just noticed that it works automatically on this page on my signature. David E. Volk 16:02, 17 April 2008 (CDT)

You mean Category:CZ Authors, right, not CZ:Authors, which doesn't actually list any names.
Short answer: "no". Slightly longer answer: "not easily; it would take a MediaWiki change". The list of constituent pages in a category is generated by MediaWiki code, and we have no control over it.
Ironically, if you include a category in [[Talk:Foo]], when you go look at the category, it only lists [[Foo]] - very confusing! I don't know if this is a 'bug' or a 'feature'. J. Noel Chiappa 17:22, 17 April 2008 (CDT)
Its a feature, it was done so that all the clean up etc. categories could live on the talk page but not all be listed as Talk:Foo. I see no reason why this could not be done for the User pages too. We should start a thread in the technical section of the forum to see if this sounds like a good idea to others. Chris Day 17:26, 17 April 2008 (CDT)
Probably ought to be controllable on a per-category basis, through magic words such as __NOTALK__ and __NOUSER__. I think it's a good idea, but we have no active MediaWiki hackers at the moment (although I keep threatening... :-), so I'm not sure the thread's much use. J. Noel Chiappa 17:42, 17 April 2008 (CDT)

timelines example

I have two pdf to send you. I can't attach them using the CZ e-mail option, send me an e-mail and I'll rely to it. Chris Day 16:29, 18 April 2008 (CDT)

Template Recursion

I had first posted this to Noel's Talk, but as one of our most skilled "templatologists" I thought you might perhas have some insight also...

Well, I saw that where you linked me to the MediaWiki docs it says we can't do this, but this[1] is basically what I was talking about _trying_ to do. So, dey do dat? (Category:Editorial_Council)

Now, the template that is "called" to produce this, {{Editorial Council}} "calls" another one named {{Community}}, and that one kinda hurts my brain...or at least I'm having trouble seeing how we end up with what we do. Thing is, it's not really what we want for this template, I don't really does look to me as if the author of {{Editorial Council}} didn't intend this to be the result. So now it's maybe really two things I'm asking...

  1. how dey do dat?
  2. how do we not do the recursion here, and so get the intended results?

Ain't computers fun!? :^) --David Yamakuchi 22:33, 18 April 2008 (CDT)


Robert, I could write a bit in the newsletter about the proposals going through the system if you want. I've been planning to write a weekly email, but I can't seem to find the time to do so; perhaps a less frequent but more substantial update would work. If you agree, please let me know when you'd like to have the text, and any other constraints (length?). Cheers, Jitse Niesen 10:01, 20 April 2008 (CDT)

Your proposal on "Article Content Request help"

I have not seen any action on CZ:Proposals/Article Content Request help for a long time, so the proposal has now become inactive and I moved it to CZ:Proposals/Driverless. If you want to revive the proposal, just update the deadline in the proposal record and start working on it. -- The Proposals Manager, Jitse Niesen 11:08, 20 April 2008 (CDT)

font style

See this and the link for the full context: [[CZ:{{{1}}}|</font><font size=1>[?]]]</font> Chris Day 10:48, 24 April 2008 (CDT)

See what i did to periodic. Is that what you were thinking. Obviously you can move the ? to a different location. Chris Day 11:59, 24 April 2008 (CDT)

Article specific subpages

Check out cadmium and the Cadmium/MSDS subpage. The subpage is created by using tab1=MSDS in the metadata. We could also add tab2=Isotopes and one other tab3=?. This might be more intuitive than having all the chemical information in a Catalog subpage. I tweeked the {{Elem Infobox}} so the headers now link to the MSDS subpage. I plan to write this up as a proposal so we can get approval from the editorial council. I would be intereasted to get your feedback before I start on this proposal. Chris Day 15:48, 24 April 2008 (CDT)

Project "What Else"

Looks like an interesting coding problem to solve...I see that bots do a lot of cool stuff around here, but I don't know a lot about them. It sounds like a good excuse to push for the "strings package" for our Media Wiki implementation Noel had mentioned to help with parsing a bunch of text into a friendly format...or at least that's my initial reaction to the idea...--David Yamakuchi 09:43, 25 April 2008 (CDT)


Think of the InfoBox as a collection of handy links to have if you are looking at an element...the ones that folks that look at elemental info would tend to be likely to want to click on. Thats how it makes sense to me but...if the same links and or information are readily available on the page anyway, then you're right, the infobox is redundant and we don't need it...I think.--David Yamakuchi 12:50, 25 April 2008 (CDT)

I'm still tweaking the {{Physical properties}} to get it a little more user friendly...See Lead/MSDS and Scandium/MSDS. Also in a short time I will begin trying to implement it as a tabe to improve visual consistency and eliminate some unsightly whitespace issues. Is there some unexpected behavior I'm not aware of?--David Yamakuchi 14:24, 25 April 2008 (CDT)

If you think {{Template:Physical properties/Physical Properties}} is odd, just take a look at what shows up on the top of the {{Physical properties}} page. It's because there is no "{{Template:Physical properties/Physical Properties}}", but I seem to be unable to make a template the (/) of another template or something I think...basically because that's not how the template was supposed to work in the first place. If you can think of a way to make it look better and perform the same then by all means...  :-) ... --David Yamakuchi 14:38, 25 April 2008 (CDT)

Skin bugs

note to myself:

Skin bugs:

  • no vlink color
  • no alink color
  • no category listing below articles
  • no box surrounding categories
  • missing discussion page has no differenting color to indicate its missing status
  • no bold on ; lines
  • no box around "new messages" and "version ends here" notices (see approved/draft talk page for reference)
  • no border around <pre> elements
  • line space issues with : and :: responses
  • table values do not scale correctly (see my user page for example; 33% width is not respected on variable browser width)
  • gallery images are still flush left
  • footnotes are not using <small> or are not of reduced size causing irregularity in line height

Interview, etc

Sure, I'd be happy to do an interview. How? Phone? About the strings package: is there someone/someway to actually get it loaded? As far as I can tell, we have no active MediaWiki developers at the moment (i.e. people who can load in new PHP code). Who/where/how do we make the case for MediaWiki updates/etc anyway? J. Noel Chiappa 22:36, 26 April 2008 (CDT)

If you need help making a case for a strings package: The {{Resizable Periodic Table of Elements}} has a design problem in that it can populate values like mass, atomic number, etc. directly from the articles "subpages" but when the authors eventually enter the data with various units and such, they will be displayed automatically causing the layout of the table to be so large that it is effectively unusable. I suspect that the strings package would allow us to do some basic truncation operations and get the Table to display consistently.
And this is only today's bug. "Yesterday's bug" as it were, would possibly allow us to shrink {{WG Table}} and support a table size of "n+1" with a small pre-expand footprint rather than the table size of 100 that we now use which has a large one.
What will we think of to do with it tomorrow once we get some experience using it?--David Yamakuchi 13:57, 27 April 2008 (CDT)

{{Physical properties}}

Chris/Richard/Noel, would one of you be able to take a look at Phosphorus/MSDS#Physical__Properties and help me figure out how to get rid of the extra whitespace in the Mass and Electronegativity cells? I'm stumped. It looks like it's coming from the line breaks in between lines in {{Physical properties}}, but when I remove them, the table stops recognizing the new rows for some crazy reason...#^%$!!!. It seems like it's possibly something so simple someone with a fair amount of wikitable knowlege will scoff at it, but sadly, that aint me. So, if you have a couple of minutes to spare, please...scoff away :-) --David Yamakuchi 21:44, 27 April 2008 (CDT)

Never mind. I got it!--David Yamakuchi 23:08, 27 April 2008 (CDT)

IUPAC names

If you want to start learning organic chemistry nomenclature, I recommend you take the approach my textbook (and instructor) used: Start with the basic hydrocarbons. Alkanes, then alkenes, then alkynes. Touch on cyclic compounds and stereochemistry along the way...preferably pretty early on. If you dont have a textbook, here:( [2] [3] or if you must...[4] ) are some other options.

I feel like I should warn you might want to pack a lunch. Even tho it's only a small percentage of the total of the IUPAC naming conventions, that much covers a significant portion of 1st semester Organic terminology...


If you can get thru those five basic bits of nomenclature, you've got a pretty good headstart towards reading chemical names...IMHO...--David Yamakuchi 15:58, 29 April 2008 (CDT)

CZ:CZ article

Please see User:Jitse Niesen/Proposals system report, for inclusion in the forthcoming issue. It's a bit later than I had intended; I hope that's not too much of a problem. -- Jitse Niesen 07:43, 30 April 2008 (CDT)


I responded to your recent question here.

Cheers! George Swan 11:49, 1 May 2008 (CDT)

Bot for moving definitions into subpages

Hi Robert, please take a look at this discussion and comment. I can't write such a script but I gather you could, and I would be glad to assist with it. Thanks. -- Daniel Mietchen 10:38, 7 May 2008 (CDT)

Wikipedia Signpost covering Citizendium

Hi! The Signpost, Wikipedia's counterpart to The Citizen, is planning to run a story on Citizendium in the upcoming issue, on or within a few days of May 12. Since you seem to follow the happenings on Citizendium, I thought you might like to take a look at the draft, here. Any comments, suggestions or criticisms before publication would be most welcome. Cheers--Sage Ross 13:11, 10 May 2008 (CDT)

Get well soon

Sorry to hear about your hand, Robert--get well soon. --Larry Sanger 14:32, 11 May 2008 (CDT)

Ditto--Dave 14:54, 11 May 2008

Me too! I had a recent hand accident myself (finger meets table saw), so I sympathize. (If you're interested, you can see the result here. Good (non-shocking!) illustration for a safety poster, I expect!) Hope yours improves steadily and quickly. J. Noel Chiappa 15:26, 11 May 2008 (CDT)

Ditto! You poor kid, that sounds awful. Hope you're feeling better. Aleta Curry 18:45, 18 May 2008 (CDT)

Your template {{pl}} is really cool!

Robert: Chris Day just applied your template to the list of my created articles on my Talk page ... and it is really cool!! Just wanted to let you know I like it a lot. - Milton Beychok 14:11, 12 May 2008 (CDT)

Timeline template

Hi Robert. I wonder if you could take a look at a time line I have been working on. My apologies if this is a work-in-progress, but some of the testing I've done may prove useful in some attempt to solve the problem. I made a series of edits to try to get the line to connect. See particularly this version, one, one and this one. Basically I was trying to shuffle the text around to see how it affected the display. FYI I am using Firefox and a screen res of 1024x768, if that helps.

I'm considering using the Tlsubevent template now as well, now that I've discovered it.

Hope you get better soon - I managed to slice the top of my finger with scissors yesterday.. nothing as serious-looking as your own problem, mind you! Cheers, --Mal McKee 11:11, 15 May 2008 (CDT)

Update: I've added the subevent template to the time line, and I don't know if I've done something wrong or not, but the text doesn't wrap for the entries which use it. --Mal McKee 12:03, 15 May 2008 (CDT)

Hey Robert. Thanks for fixing that time line. I've come across another problem, in that the left-most line doesn't extend beyond the subtemplates for the 1969 entries. --Mal McKee 13:22, 16 May 2008 (CDT)
Does the trick. Thanks again Robert. :) --Mal McKee 20:37, 16 May 2008 (CDT)

Arguments to Dambigbox

Hi, got a quick question I'd appreciate feedback on at Template talk:Dambigbox; didn't want to fiddle with it more without checking with you. J. Noel Chiappa 16:11, 22 May 2008 (CDT)

Hover template

I'm not quite sure what you had in mind? Would this be for Related Pages lists, or disambiguation pages, or what? I think it would be cool to use it for all interpage links (so that when you hover over a link, it shows the /Definition), but that would be a certain amount of work to backfit it (although I suppose a bot could do it). We'd define an {{L}} template, and change all [[Foo]] to {{L|Foo]] - easy enough to code up. J. Noel Chiappa 19:55, 25 May 2008 (CDT)

Hand update?

Hey, how's the hand doing? Did the stiches come out OK? J. Noel Chiappa 10:48, 4 June 2008 (CDT)

Hey, thanks for the update. Really glad to hear that you've got some motion in the joint - but don't push it too hard, too fast! A relapse would be bad... (as if you weren't already perfectly aware of that, sigh...) Cut tendons in the fingers (well, lots of places, but fingers are among the worst) give me the heebie-jeebies; fingers (sic :-) crossed for you that the healing stays on course well! (Bad as my table-saw encounter was, I luckily had no tendon damage, so I'm definitely feeling like you have it a lot worse than me...) J. Noel Chiappa 07:19, 25 June 2008 (CDT)

Could you do this?


When one goes to his/her "View and edit watchlist" at here, there is a list of all the articles being watched. That list is not alphabetized on Citizendium. It is alphabetized on Wikipedia, which means that it can be done.

When one has 70 or more articles being watched (as I do), it is extremely helpful to have the "View and edit watchlist" page alphabetized. Is this something you could do? If not, who can you refer me to someone that can do it? Thanks in advance, Milton Beychok 17:18, 16 July 2008 (CDT)

Hi, Robert: Have you decided whether or not this is something you could do? After your hand has healed, of course. Please let me know. Milton Beychok 21:53, 26 July 2008 (CDT)

Robert, never mind. Greg Sabino fixed it. - Milton Beychok 12:11, 31 July 2008 (CDT)

Re: Arm trouble

Yes, thanks, I have lots of pills and am slowly recovering. At least mine is a repetitive strain injury and didn't involve any blood! - Ro Thorpe 15:13, 19 July 2008 (CDT)

New Article on Gender

Hi, Robert -- I don't know if you noticed, but I've started a new article on gender on User:Timothy Perper/Sandbox. Since you commented and made some changes to the present (one paragraph) gender stub, I thought you might be interested in seeing how I'm revising the whole article. For my credentials for undertaking the revision, please see User:Timothy Perper. Hope you come by and comment. Timothy Perper 18:44, 27 September 2008 (CDT)

Restart of proposal system

Hello. Due to a lack of activity and attention on my part, the Proposal System has ground to a halt and discussion on all proposals has stopped. I decided to clean out the system by marking all proposals as inactive and removing their drivers. This also happened to your proposal "Unified Feature-Rich Workgroup page design template". I would be delighted if you decide that you want to take the proposal up again. You can do this by updating the proposal record, which can now be found at CZ:Proposals/Driverless. Please do not hesitate to ask if anything is unclear. Yours, Jitse Niesen 22:37, 23 February 2009 (UTC) (Proposals Manager)

Starting Article

Hi Robert! I started to add to Abstract expressionism when I realized that it may not be a main article. Please let me know how can I move the one that I have been working on to a main article? (Marika Herskovic 12:05, 7 April 2009 (UTC))

Template:Image Category parse

Robert, could you tell me what this is for? Thanks. Caesar Schinas 07:24, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

Rob, haven't seen you in AGES!

Sending a quick ‘hello’ out to all of you who wanted a weekend write-a-thon. Also, a nudge, push, and a shove to all those who haven’t made it out in a while. This Sunday, 10th January, is your Big Chance. Party theme is ‘stubs’. Now, what could be easier? Write about anything you want! (At least come on over and say ‘hi’—we’ve all been much too quiet lately and I rather miss everybody.) Aleta Curry 20:58, 7 January 2010 (UTC)


Haha! Good to see you stop by! Are you stickiing around???!!! D. Matt Innis 19:38, 1 May 2011 (CDT)

Heck, time flies fast. I'm incredibly busy with school. Maybe. Robert W King 04:35, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
Haha, blast from the past! We can use some help - especially yours! D. Matt Innis 17:41, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
Holy Cow!!! Could I possibly bribe you??? Aleta Curry 11:04, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
A grant or a scholarship wouldn't hurt any :) What do you mean we can use help? Everything seems to be fine, except for the History of Computing article which has been reverted to a disaster. I imagine there's a lot of my stuff that doesn't work anymore. Robert W King 16:58, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
Also I've noticed that WP now has an interesting rating system for their pages, and I wonder how much it will help. Robert W King 17:01, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
Glad to see you back in here, Robert!Pat Palmer 12:15, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
Me too. Ro Thorpe 14:23, 29 July 2011 (UTC)