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An infobox template is an infobox that uses the template software feature. They are a broad class of templates commonly used in articles to present certain summary or overview information about the subject. In theory, the fields in an infobox should be consistent across every article using it; in practice, however, this is rarely the case, for a number of reasons. When this occurs, the infobox templates should be designed to dynamically adapt themselves to the absence or presence of particular fields.

Like static infoboxes, they are designed to present summary information about an article's subject, such that similar subjects have a uniform look and in a common format. However, the template technique allows updates of style and of common text from a central place, the template page.

These boxes are designed to be placed into main articles related to the topic area, and are usually associated with on-going WikiProjects. They have parameters; to work properly, the parameter values have to be specified when the template is inserted in the page. This allows each infobox to show information relevant to the article subject, while requiring only a minimal amount of coding within each article.

Design and usage Edit

The recommended process for creating an infobox template is to simply begin, and gather as many requirements as possible. Test the base format for a new template as a static table first, then once consensus is reached, migrate it into template format. The template should be reviewed before being used extensively in articles in case the template or defined parameters need modification to minimize re-works. If new fields and parameters are added, articles must be updated to reflect the new requirements. If parameters are renamed or removed, many articles will likely be unaffected, since extraneous parameters are ignored.

For consistency the following guidelines apply:

  1. Standard suggested width of 300 pixels or 25 ems (300px or 25em in CSS).
  2. Insert in the main body of articles - either after the intro or in the most appropriate section. Consider putting in the top right only in the most compelling of cases.
  3. Right-align.
  4. Using class="infobox" is a good start.
  5. The top text line should be bold and contain the full (official) name of the item. This does not need to match the article's Wikipedia title. It should not contain a link. Avoid {{{PAGENAME}}} as pages may be moved for disambiguation.
  6. Name the template [[Template:Infobox Some subject]] (Somesubject should be in the singular and capitalized).
  7. Start words in parameter names with a small letter unless they are proper nouns.

When creating a new infobox template the content of Template:Infobox is a convenient starting point.

Parameters in infoboxes should be named, not numbered, to provide for future use. A parameter value can contain images (i.e. full image tags), or parameters for parts of an image tag such as the image name, size and caption. In the latter case, if an image is not applicable or available use a dummy image such as Image:No image.png.

If a parameter is not applicable, or no information is available, it must still be assigned a value. This can be the empty string, or if it is the only thing in a table cell use "some_field= ". The field will appear blank; the code is needed by some browsers for drawing the lines of the table itself properly.

There are alternative ways to make a template selectively hide information or provide default values if not defined. For an example and explanation of how these methods apply to infoboxes, see {{Infobox}}.

Causes of inconsistency Edit

A number of factors can cause inconsistency in available summary information for a particular type of article:

Historical incompleteness 
Certain desired information may simply have been lost over time. For example, an infobox describing a modern bank may provide certain financial information that would be unavailable for a medieval one.
Hierarchical inconsistency 
Infoboxes that indicate hierarchical relationships may have subtly different requirements depending on where in the hierarchy the subject of the article is located. For example, an infobox for corporations will be different between an article describing a parent company and indicating its subsidiaries and an article describing a subsidiary and indicating its parent.
Feature inconsistency 
Items within a single set may have optional features that would commonly be listed in an infobox. For example, an infobox for an article about a university may include a motto; but not all universities have them.
Lack of information 
Some items in infoboxes may not be readily available or not available at all, such as the producers of an album or film. In these cases it is better to provide available information while concealing fields for which information may not be available.

Why dynamic templates? Edit

While there are several alternatives to dynamic infoboxes, such as using multiple (forked) templates or leaving fields blank, they should be avoided, for a number of reasons:

Readers greatly outnumber editors 
The most important group to consider are the casual readers of Wikipedia, who will never do any significant editing. Infobox templates that contain many blank fields, question marks, or "Unknown"s present an unprofessional appearance, diminishing Wikipedia's reputation as a high-quality encyclopedia.
Article editors greatly outnumber template editors 
The average editor will merely use templates without making changes to them. To make things easier for them, we should aim to minimize the number of different templates they must be familiar with; creating multiple forks of templates is therefore undesirable.

General advice Edit

The availability of optional fields does not mean that all fields should be made optional, however, nor that large numbers of rarely used fields should be added without regard for the overall layout and ease-of-use of the infobox template. In some cases, the markup for the field still needs to be downloaded even if it is not displayed. Creating overly long templates with a number of irrelevant fields is not recommended.

As you design an infobox template, consider the following questions:

Is the field of value? 
How important is the field to the articles that will use the infobox? Is it summary information, or more extended detail that may be better placed within the body of an article?
Will the field be relevant to many of the articles that will use the infobox? 
If the field is relevant to very few articles, it should probably not be included at all. Conversely, very common fields may be included—and made optional—even if they are not applicable to a few of the articles in question.
How likely is the field to be empty? 
Any field that might reasonably be empty should probably be optional. However, a field that is usually empty may not be particularly useful or relevant.

Implementations Edit

Conditional templates Edit

Main article: m:ParserFunctions

Special "templates" that selectively show or hide particular content (such as table rows) within an infobox based on the value of one or more template parameters.

<!--
-->{{#if:{{{party|}}}|<tr><th>Political party</th><td>{{{party|}}}</td></tr>|}}<!--
-->

Name-resolved meta-templates Edit

Several sub-templates (or even independent templates) with a common name prefix. They are included in an infobox based on the value of a particular parameter, which acts as the name suffix. For example, we create {{Infobox Ship/Military}} and {{Infobox Ship/Civilian}} and use {{Infobox Ship/{{{type}}}}}. Using |type=Military in an article causes {{Infobox Ship/Military}} to be used.

Multi-part infoboxes Edit

Rather than having each field correspond to a parameter on one template, the infobox consists of an individual sub-template for each field; see, for example, Template:Taxobox.

Interaction between multiple templates Edit

Templates can be designed in a modular way, such that various combinations are possible. A combination may even appear on the page as a single infobox.

For example, if the WikiProject Saints group wanted to design a template based on their static Infobox, they could use Template:Infobox Biography, and design a project-specific template with only additional information, and the pages would render both "stacked" together.

List of templates Edit

In many cases, to view a template properly, one has to look at the wikitext also. Therefore below the edit pages are linked. For viewing templates it is convenient to set the preferences to "Show preview on first edit".

The backlinks show the pages with the infobox.

Below, first the primary templates are listed; they are designed to provide high-level information appropriate to a broad subject area.

Anthropology and cultureEdit

Name Where to use Associated
WikiProject
Template:Ti Ethnic groups Ethnic groups

Astronomy and space Edit

Main article: Wikipedia:WikiProject Astronomy/Infoboxes

Biology Edit

Name Where to use Associated
WikiProject
Template:Ti Taxonavigation box for animal families (first draft) None
Template:Ti Articles on plant cultivars Tree of Life
Template:Ti Dog breeds Dog breeds
Template:Ti Articles on species and well-defined genera of mushrooms none yet.
Template:Ti Articles on species and other groups of living things Tree of Life

Chemistry Edit

Name Where to use Associated
WikiProject
Template:Ti
  Template:Ti
  Template:Ti
Full chemical compound articles
  Starting inorganic compound articles
  Starting organic compound articles
Chemicals
Template:Ti Articles about Methamphetamine Pharmacology

Education Edit

Main article: Wikipedia:WikiProject Education#Infobox templates

Fiction Edit

Name Where to use Associated
WikiProject
Template:Ti Anime and manga articles. Wikipedia:WikiProject Anime and manga
Template:Ti A Series of Unfortunate Events characters None / not known
Template:Ti A Series of Unfortunate Events organisations None / not known
Template:Ti
Template:Ti
Template:Ti
James Bond books
James Bond movies
James Bond characters
None / not known
Template:Ti Buffyverse characters Wikipedia:WikiProject Buffyverse
Template:Ti Digimons, especially notable ones WikiProject Digimon Systems Update
Template:Ti Doctor Who characters Doctor Who
Template:Ti Forgotten Realms places Forgotten Realms
Template:Ti Hardy Boys characters None / not known
Template:Ti Harry Potter characters Template:HP Character Foreign Template:HP Forest Character Template:HP Elf Character
Template:Ti M*A*S*H characters Television?
Template:Ti Star Trek characters Star Trek?
Template:Ti Stargate characters Stargate
Template:Ti Star Wars characters None / not known
Template:Ti pages on single episodes of television series Television episodes
Template:Ti Transformers characters None / not known

Geography Edit

Name Where to use Associated
WikiProject
Template:Ti
Template:Ti
Template:Ti
Template:Ti
Template:Ti
Glacier articles
Lake articles
Mountain articles
River articles
Waterfall articles
Glaciers
Lakes
Mountains
Rivers
Waterfalls
Template:Ti National parks and other protected places Protected areas
Template:Ti
Template:Ti
Template:Ti
Template:Ti
Census-designated place (CDP)
City articles
Town articles
County articles
None
Cities
None
Template:Ti
  Template:Ti
  Template:Ti
    Template:Ti
Template:Ti
Country and nation articles
  Country and nation articles
  Countries, colonies, etc. that no longer exist
    Subdivisions of former countries
Micronations
Countries
  Countries
  Former countries
    Former countries
None
Template:Ti Standardized infobox for any type of human settlement
city, town, village, etc
WikiProject Cities
Template:Ti
Template:Ti
Australian place articles
States and territories of Australia
Australian places
Australian politics
Template:Ti Dutch municipality articles Dutch municipalities
Template:Ti GCC Governorates None
Template:Ti Prefectures of Greece None
Template:Ti Provinces of Cameroon None
Template:Ti Regions of Peru None
Template:Ti German city articles None
Template:Ti Ukrainian city articles None
Template:Ti Any settlement in the UK None
Template:Ti
Template:Ti
Counties of the United States
U.S. state articles
None
U.S. States
Template:Ti
Template:Ti
Political Divisions of Venezuela; Venezuelan State
Political Divisions of Venezuela; Venezuelan State
None

Industry Edit

Name Where to use Associated
WikiProject
Template:Ti Chain stores Companies
Template:Ti Business & organizations Companies
Template:Ti Co-operatives Companies
Template:Ti Defunct organisations Companies
Template:Ti Trade unions Organized Labour
Template:Ti Trade unions in country articles Organized Labour

Media and journalism Edit

Name Where to use Associated
WikiProject
Template:Ti Any article about a music album Albums
Template:Ti Infobox for books Books &
Novels
Template:Ti Infobox for television stations Television Stations
Template:Ti Movies and films Films
Template:Ti Musical genre articles Music genres
Template:Ti Musicians and musical groups Musicians
Template:Ti Newspaper
Template:Ti Any magazine, periodical, book publisher Publisher
Template:Ti Radio show Radio
Template:Ti Radio stations Radio Stations
Template:Ti Songs released as singles Songs
Template:Ti Songs not released as singles Songs
Template:Ti Television series Television
Template:Ti Infobox for television channels in the United Kingdom and Ireland British TV channels
Template:Ti Any type of non-stadium music venue or theatre
Template:Ti Information box for articles about websites None

Military Edit

Main article: Wikipedia:WikiProject_Military_history/Style guide#Infobox_templates

People Edit

Name Where to use Associated
WikiProject
Template:Ti Articles about actors Biography
Template:Ti Articles about Artists (painters, sculptors, illustrators etc)
Template:Ti Articles describing people (living or deceased) Biography
Template:Ti British Prime Ministers Wikipedia:WikiProject British Government
Template:Ti Celebrity
Template:Ti Congressman in place of Infobox Biography None
Template:Ti Articles about ethnic groups etc Ethnic groups
Template:Ti Soldier, military leader, etc...
Template:Ti Monarchs (Kings), Sultans, Khans, etc...
Template:Ti Playboy Playmates in place of Infobox Biography None
Template:Ti Politician articles in place of Infobox Biography none
Template:Ti Popes in place of Infobox Biography None
Template:Ti U.S. Presidents in place of Infobox Biography None
Template:Ti Scientists, engineers and mathematicians in place of Infobox Biography None
Template:Ti Senator in place of Infobox Biography None
Template:Ti Articles about writers/authors None

ReligionEdit

Name Where to use Associated
WikiProject
Template:Ti Information about Bishop None
Template:Ti Information about Pope None

Sports Edit

Name Where to use Associated
WikiProject
Template:Ti Information about Athlete Athletics
Template:Ti (deprecated?) Articles about professional baseball players Baseball players
Template:Ti Information about baseball team Baseball
Template:Ti Articles about professional Boxers Boxing
Template:Ti Information about an American College Football bowl game College Football
Template:Ti Information about a college sports coach College Football
Template:Ti Information about a cricketer's career Cricket
Template:Ti Information about a cricket ground Cricket
Template:Ti Information about a cyclist Cycling
Template:Ti Information about a cyclist's second cycling discipline if any Cycling
Template:Ti Information about FIVB tournament Volleyball
Template:Ti Data about football (soccer) player's and/or coach's career Football
Template:Ti Information about a football (soccer) team Football
Template:Ti Information about a football (soccer) league Football
Template:Ti Information about a Field Hockey team Field Hockey
Template:Ti Newer version of above template Baseball players
Template:Ti Information about a martial art Martial Art
Template:Ti Data about individual mixed martial arts events Mixed martial arts
Template:Ti Stats on individual mixed martial arts fighters Mixed martial arts
Template:Ti Information about an NBA player. Wikipedia:WikiProject_National_Basketball_Association
Template:Ti Information about an NCAA (college) athlete. College Football
Template:Ti Information about a college football team, such as Oklahoma Sooners football. College Football
Template:Ti Single Game header for articles about a single college football game, such as Fifth Down or 2006 Rose Bowl. College Football
Template:Ti Articles about professional rugby union players
Template:Ti Information about sailboat classes
Template:Ti Information on a sports league
Template:Ti Super Bowl games National Football League
Template:Ti Articles about professional tennis players Tennis

Transportation Edit

Name Where to use Associated
WikiProject
Template:Ti Aircraft articles Aircraft
Template:Ti Airline articles Airlines
Template:Ti Airport articles Airports
Template:Ti
  Template:Ti
  Template:Ti
  Template:Ti
Automobiles Automobiles
Template:Ti Bridge articles Bridges
Template:Ti U.S. Interstate Highway U.S. Interstate Highway Project
Template:Ti Pier articles Piers
Template:Ti Public transit systems
Template:Ti
  Template:Ti
  Template:Ti
Railroads/Railways
  Standard gauge
  Rail companies
Trains
Template:Ti Roads
Template:Ti Rockets
Template:Ti
  Template:Ti
  Template:Ti
  Template:Ti
  Template:Ti
U.S. Highway
  Missouri State Highway articles
  New Hampshire State Highway articles
  Texas State Highway articles
  Washington State Route articles
U.S. Highway Project
  Missouri State Highway Project
  New Hampshire State Highway Project
  Texas State Highway Project
  Washington State Highway Project

Miscellaneous Edit

Name Where to use Associated
WikiProject
Template:Ti Political parties
Template:Ti political parties of Canada
Template:Ti Computer and video game articles Computer and video games
Template:Ti Dam (water barrier)
Template:Ti Game descriptions Games
Template:Ti Arcade game descriptions
Template:Ti Machinima productions None
Template:Ti Computer software Software
Template:Ti Top level domain None
Template:Ti Roller coasters Roller coasters

See also Edit

These pages describe other types of templates:

ru:Википедия:Шаблоны/Карточки sl:Pomoč:Podatkovno polje th:??????????:????????????????????? tr:Vikipedi:Bilgi Kutusu uk:Вікіпедія:Шаблони/Картки zh:Wikipedia:信息框模板

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