10 reasons why you'll want our new infoboxes too
The Catalan Wikipedia community has spent a long time bringing infoboxes (those tables you see at the top right-hand corner of articles) up to date through a Wikiproject led by an enthusiastic user (check out this interview). This initiative has already picked up a lot of momentum, and we believe it is worth replicating in other language versions. We know you'll also want to get your hand on these infoboxes once you've found out how they work. Sure, we could give you a different reason for each article featuring an infobox, but this ten-point list should be more than enough:
- Easy does it: Gone are the old days when you had to write reams of code and enter arcane parameters just to add data to infoboxes. Simply add an infobox to a page and it will source information automatically from WikiData.
- Update all languages in one go: Changes to information on WikiData propagate to all language versions of Wikipedia. For example, adding the date of death of a celebrity or updating a list of prize winners on WikiData will instantly update all versions of Wikipedia.
- Global data, local context: In case you'd rather give your articles some local flavour, these infoboxes let you manually add fields to override information sourced from WikiData. You get to keep all the information you had with the old infoboxes… and much more.
- In style: The infoboxes ensure that related articles share a similar structure, which makes them easier to compare.
- Putting dynamism on the map: Infoboxes can tag a place so that, when you click on its location, it takes you to a dynamic map on Open Street Maps. You can now give like-minded projects a hand.
- Russian dolls: Infobox parameters are stackable: for example, an article about an organisation has a "headquarters" field, which in turn invokes a "building" infobox with information pertaining to monuments. This unleashes a whole cascade of data that are related but not always obvious at first sight.
- Easy maintenance: Similar infoboxes are merged into common types. This reduces the need for maintenance because, apart from their shared and harmonised design, you need to keep tabs on fewer templates —what a relief!
- It's a collaborative project —duh: Collective decision-making has permeated the project, ranging from the colours of table borders to the parameters in each infobox. It gets lots of editors involved regardless of their technical acumen.
- Information at a glance: Occasional readers find information faster in the infobox, and they only need to read the entire text if they want to learn more about the subject. This makes life easier for readers who are only looking for a specific fact or figure.
- A whole new world: We haven't explored the full potential of these new infoboxes yet. They're an ever-changing project, just like Wikipedia.
Here's an example: w:ca:Charles Robert Darwin.