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Infoboxes portable, old, and new

150px-1330470.png Other blogs by Thisismyrofl
Infoboxes
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Hey! This is Thisismyrofl, a former admin here on Community Central. I wanted to see if I could explain the difference between the three default styles of Template:Infobox, that is, the old style and the old new style and the "portable" new style.

I'm referring here to the default styles, that is, those that were on the Starter Pages Wiki's Template:Infobox page. Since every newly created wiki, at the time of its creation, is given a copy of every page and template on Starter Pages Wiki, that means that there are thousands of wikis that came with the old style, and thousands founded after September 2012 that came with the old new style, and thousands still founded after October 2015 with the "portable" new style. The differences between the three styles are a common source of confusion.

Of course, any wiki is free to customize their infoboxes to a large extent, so there are thousands of wikis with a completely different style. Community Central is an example: our Template:Infobox is far removed from either the old or new format. I can only discuss the default infoboxes, not these customized versions.

Copies of these old and new versions can be found at:

So what's the difference?

Old new infobox
Thisismyrofl
Demonstrating the old new infobox!
Some attributes
First Bar
Second Lol
Third Hum
Other attributes
Old infobox
Thisismyrofl
Demonstrating the old infobox!

Foo

Bar

Baz

Lol

Hoo

Hum


Above, you can see the three infobox styles. Obviously they've got different appearances, but the primary difference between the systems is that the old infobox allows you to define both the row title (above: "Foo", "Baz", "Hoo") and row information ("Bar", "Lol", "Hum") for each row on a page-by-page basis. The old new infobox and "portable" new infobox only allow you to define the row information on a page-by-page basis, and uses a default set of row names: "First", "Second", "Third".

This becomes clear when we look at the default syntax (visible on the templates' Documentation pages). This is what you copy to a page and fill out in order to use the infobox on that page.

"Portable" new style Old new style Old style
Syntax
{{infobox
 | title         = 
 | image         = 
 | imagecaption  = 
 | first         =
 | second        =
 | third         =
 | fourth        =
 | fifth         =
 | sixth         =
 | previous      =
 | next          =
}}













{{infobox
 | title         = 
 | image         = 
 | imagewidth    = 
 | imagecaption  = 
 | first         =
 | second        =
 | third         =
 | fourth        =
 | fifth         =
 | sixth         =
}}














{{infobox
 | Box title    = 
 | image        = 
 | imagewidth   = 
 | caption      = 
 | Row 1 title  =
 | Row 1 info   =
 | Row 2 title  =
 | Row 2 info   =
 | Row 3 title  =
 | Row 3 info   =
 | Row 4 title  =
 | Row 4 info   =
 | Row 5 title  =
 | Row 5 info   =
 | Row 6 title  =
 | Row 6 info   =
 | Row 7 title  =
 | Row 7 info   =
 | Row 8 title  =
 | Row 8 info   =
 | Row 9 title  =
 | Row 9 info   =
 | Row 10 title =
 | Row 10 info  =
}}

Check out Template:Infobox on your wiki[footnotes 1] and compare its syntax format to the above, and its appearance, to see which version of the infobox template you use!

But why do I want the new format?


A lot of people are initially turned off by the first style. "'First', 'Second', 'Third'? Those aren't useful! I want to have useful row names," they'll say.

Your concerns are valid. But please realize something about Template:Infobox: it is unwise to directly use it. You see, Template:Infobox is meant to be a meta template: a template which is used to make other templates, and not really for direct use in articles.

Why you don't want the old format

The intention with the new system and the old new system is that instead of having every-single-blasted-page on a wiki repeatedly define row names which will tend to often be the same (as was often the case with users using the old system), the user can use more specific templates such as "Template:Infobox character", "Template:Infobox location", and so on, with predefined, sensible row titles for each. Then all one has to do is select the appropriate infobox template for a page (character, location, etc) and the row names will be already filled out for you.

Why you don't want the old or old new format

Wikia mobile traffic growth

Wikia's mobile traffic is exploding! We have to accomodate them.

So we now know why the old format sucks, but what's wrong with the old new format? Well I'll tell you. The old new format is not optimized for mobile viewing - that is, users who view Wikia on a mobile phone or tablet (a very significant proportion of users these days) will see a broken template. The portable infobox is instead designed to be perfectly useful on mobile.

So we don't want the old format, or the old new format, leaving only the "portable" new format to be useful!

Switching infobox styles

If your wiki uses the old style Template:Infobox or an unfamiliar infobox, it's easy to switch to the new. Or, if you are uncomfortable with the new style, it's easy to switch to the old.

Please note that if your wiki already makes excessive use of any Template:Infobox, any changes to that template are liable to break pages. Use Special:Whatlinkshere on your wiki[footnotes 1] to find out if it's used anywhere!

You have the freedom to edit the templates of your wiki however you want. But before you revert to the old style of infobox, please give the new style a chance! See "But why do I want the new format?" for reasons why.

Do you want to switch to the "portable" new style, to the OLD NEW style, or to the OLD style? Click above.

Here's how to switch to the "portable" new infobox style from the old style, or from an unfamiliar style.

Switching to the "portable" new infobox style

  1. Go to the page Template:Infobox on your wiki[footnotes 1] and hit "Edit".
  2. Optional - As an edit summary, paste the following:
    Copied from [[w:c:starter:Template:Infobox]]
    This custom edit summary is optional but a good idea.
  3. In another tab, go to the code for Template:Infobox on Starter Pages Wiki and copy the source code to the field for "Template:Infobox" on your wiki.
  4. Save the page - I advise you don't edit the code any before you save it, so you have something clean to revert to if necessary.
Switching documentation

The above steps should update the template, however the template documentation will still pertain to the old template. Your template will still function, but anyone trying to learn how to use it will be very confused! Let's update the documentation too.

  1. Go to the page Template:Infobox/doc on your wiki[footnotes 1] and hit "Edit".
  2. Optional - As an edit summary, paste the following:
    Copied from [[w:c:starter:Template:Infobox/doc]]
    This custom edit summary is optional but a good idea.
  3. In another tab, go to the documentation for Template:Infobox on Starter Pages Wiki and copy the source code to the field for "Template:Infobox/doc" on your wiki.
  4. Save the page - I advise you don't edit the code any before you save it, so you have something clean to revert to if necessary.

Here's how to switch to the old new infobox style from the new style, or from an unfamiliar style.

Switching to the old new infobox style

  1. Go to the page Template:Infobox on your wiki[footnotes 1] and hit "Edit".
  2. Optional - As an edit summary, paste the following:
    Copied from old revision of [[w:c:starter:Template:Infobox]]
    This custom edit summary is optional but a good idea.
  3. In another tab, go to the old code for Starter Pages' infobox and copy the source code to the field for "Template:Infobox" on your wiki.
  4. Save the page - I advise you don't edit the code any before you save it, so you have something clean to revert to if necessary.
Switching documentation

The above steps should update the template, however the template documentation will still pertain to the old template. Your template will still function, but anyone trying to learn how to use it will be very confused! Let's update the documentation too.

  1. Go to the page Template:Infobox/doc on your wiki[footnotes 1] and hit "Edit".
  2. Optional - As an edit summary, paste the following:
    Copied from old revision of [[w:c:starter:Template:Infobox/doc]]
    This custom edit summary is optional but a good idea.
  3. In another tab, go to the old documentation for Template:Infobox on Starter Pages Wiki and copy the source code to the field for "Template:Infobox/doc" on your wiki.
  4. Save the page - I advise you don't edit the code any before you save it, so you have something clean to revert to if necessary.

Here's how to switch to the old infobox style from the new style, or from an unfamiliar style.

Switching to the old infobox style

  1. Go to the page Template:Infobox on your wiki[footnotes 1] and hit "Edit".
  2. Optional - As an edit summary, paste the following:
    Copied from old revision of [[w:c:starter:Template:Infobox]]
    This custom edit summary is optional but a good idea.
  3. In another tab, go to the old code for Starter Pages' infobox and copy the source code to the field for "Template:Infobox" on your wiki.
  4. Save the page - I advise you don't edit the code any before you save it, so you have something clean to revert to if necessary.
Switching documentation

The above steps should update the template, however the template documentation will still pertain to the old template. Your template will still function, but anyone trying to learn how to use it will be very confused! Let's update the documentation too.

  1. Go to the page Template:Infobox/doc on your wiki[footnotes 1] and hit "Edit".
  2. Optional - As an edit summary, paste the following:
    Copied from old revision of [[w:c:starter:Template:Infobox/doc]]
    This custom edit summary is optional but a good idea.
  3. In another tab, go to the old documentation for Template:Infobox on Starter Pages Wiki and copy the source code to the field for "Template:Infobox/doc" on your wiki.
  4. Save the page - I advise you don't edit the code any before you save it, so you have something clean to revert to if necessary.

Creating a "portable" new infobox

Ooh, creating a "portable" new infobox can be a bit tricky - but I'll do my best to explain how to do it! You'll be able to see my instructions at my other blogs:

Creating an old new infobox

I once made blogs for creating and customizing old-new style infoboxes. They're outdated now, but I preserve them for posterity.

Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 A number of times, this page refers to pages on your wiki, such as "Template:Infobox on your wiki". I don't know what your wiki is, so I can't directly link to it.
    If you're having trouble finding the correct page, just go to <yourwiki>.wikia.com/wiki/<page> by typing it in your browser's address bar.
    Or just click the link to go to the equivalent page on Community Central, then edit the URL so that community.wikia.com is substituted with your wiki's URL: for example wolfenstein.wikia.com.

See also

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