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This is a FLAT idea as proposed by some contributors. Dsammy 02:29, 23 September 2011 (UTC)

Comments:

Personally I do not like this since thee is a method under development that will collaspe portions of the TOC as needed. Dsammy 02:29, 23 September 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for taking a cut at this, Dsammy.

I was envisioning a full level "flatter," so that everything currently on level 4 (for example), would become level 3. Currently, the first level (whether you use Style level 3 or level 2) includes only two subject headings.  But 80%+ of the content is found under the second heading.  The first heading wasn't really leading readers into the most important information. So putting the content from that first heading (Historical Facts, Parent County, and Boundary Changes) into other places on the page (not "flattening" them a layer - so put Historical Facts as part of History, put Parent County info into the Info Box, and placing Boundary Changes under either History or Land and Property) allows all levels to shift up by one place.

Parent County is pretty important information, so I suggested that be added to the County Info Box. I checked this morning, and there is already a Parent County parameter available in the template.

Additionally, I suggested removing the subheadings under "Repositories" and simply listing all repositories alphabetically, whether they were archives, libraries, Family History Centers, or whatever. So I'm really proposing that there be no additional granularity of topics under repositories, meaning that those subheadings would disappear completely, rather than be "flattened" to the alphabetical list of topics. I think this works really well with the Courthouse pages, which link off the County Info Box.

Similarly, I think the subtopics under Probate should be removed, not "flattened" a layer.

To summarize:

  1. Shift content from Historical Facts, Parent County, and Boundary Changes into other parts of the page.
  2. Move all major topics to the same first level (whatever style you choose to use - Heading 2 or Heading 3 or whatever).
  3. Eliminate subheadings on some topics, e.g., Probate Records, Repositories. (others?)

Lise 13:27, 23 September 2011 (UTC)

Response to above:

  1. Subtopics are not limited to Probate, they're in many other subject groups (History, Societies, Repositories, Biographies, Newspapers, etc.) Lumping togther without clear types, making it hard to research. Catalog has subsections abeit slightly different because it isn't wiki.
  2. As for parent county in infobox, it becomes a problem when parent county is not a single county, causing the infobox to bloat, what about changed names? Quite a number of counties' names were changed later, some twice. Tryon County, New York became Montgomery County. Wasco County, Oregon created from SEVEN counties in Oregon Territory. What about additional portions?
  3. Hiding the information about divisions and dates do hinder the researcher.

Dsammy 16:18, 23 September 2011 (UTC)

This definitely has a cleaner look but I also agree with Lise - I like having some sub-levels. I think it's easier on the eye. I'm still struggling with taking out specific info about the county from the top of the page. It's kind of hidden under "history" and like Sammy says, doesn't leave much space to discuss in the County Info box. Is there another way to do it? I'm at a loss but maybe someone else has a suggestion for a heading that might be a place to give details about the county but still be easy to locate. Like County Information? Or County Details? County Origins? Anyone else feel that way? BatsonDL 16:25, 23 September 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia practices no flats:

  1. Dutchess County, New York
  2. Delaware County, New York
  3. Delaware County, Pennsylvania
  4. Frederick County, Virginia

All of them have forced TOC

Obvious to Wikipedia folks, flats are bad idea. Dsammy 17:57, 23 September 2011 (UTC)

Agreed. I wasn't proposing "flat" -- just "flatter." So if there were four levels, there would now be three.  If there were five, there would be four. In the instance of Repositories, I can't see an upside to sub-categorizing - especially since some libraries also have an archive, and some archives loan materials like a library, and some museums have archives, etc., etc. If there is a county that has dozens of Repositories, that topic should probably become it's own subpage or separate wiki article anyway, right? At that point, you could differentiate, if it makes sense to do so. What I'm suggesting is that in *most* instances, the article would lead the reader to the information more effectively without distinct subcategories by which the information under Repository or Probate would be organized. 

The TOC would become more effective, as well, because individual libraries or museums or FHCs could be emphasized using the next heading level. They would be clearly visible from the TOC.

The boundary change information is important information that readers may want at some point. But I don't think many people start off a search for Grandpa's death date by reading about boundary changes. They try first to find a death certificate or headstone, and if they can't find one, may then be interested in information about where else to look. Lise 18:21, 23 September 2011 (UTC)

There should be absolute NO H5 heading at all. Not at all, bold the line instead of heading 5. The collaspble TOC including section collasping is in the works already and I already saw the alpha version of it shown by Darris Williams. He is still working on it. Dsammy 19:29, 23 September 2011 (UTC)

This is way confusing. Flat-flat just conveys confusion and lack of organization. No way we would want have a structure this flat. DiltsGD 19:08, 23 September 2011 (UTC)

I agree!!! Dsammy 19:29, 23 September 2011 (UTC)
Unless someone made a comment during one of the times when I was briefly disconnected from the call, I'm not aware of anyone suggesting this option. Let's move on to the matter for discussion - can we re-locate the pieces of information currently contained under Historical Facts, Parent County, and Boundary Changes, and go to a flat list of resources in roughly alphabetical order? Lise 19:58, 23 September 2011 (UTC)
You were only one I am aware about the flat concept, and it was a recurring one from past projects and Dilts asked me to put it down once for all, knowing me. You might want to read latest in Sandbox 3. Good points raised there. 3 against Sandbox4 and one for, 1 uncertain, unless I counted wrong. Dsammy 00:49, 24 September 2011 (UTC)
Count me under the Against this Sandbox4 format! Lsgc 20:13, 24 September 2011 (UTC)

Do not post any comments below here. Thank you Dsammy 21:06, 24 September 2011 (UTC)

Tally including those in Forum: For: 1 Against: 8 Uncertain: 1

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