FamilySearch Wiki:The Un-Portal Page
|This page explains a policy, a widely accepted standard that all contributors should normally follow.|
Please visit the talk page to add comments or suggestions for further development of the policy.
An Unportal page is one that displays content in boxes using columns and tables rather than portals. Authors desiring to display a wiki page's content in boxes should use columns and tables instead of using portals. To see the code that allows one to layout columns and tables, go to the Maryland page, click Edit, and switch to Wikitext view. To see an example of portal code, go to the India portal on Wikipedia and click Edit this page.
In 2008, wiki users adopted the use of portals for certain types of pages, especially pages about places. Portals display content in boxes; the content of each box actually resides in another page. We learned later that portals caused problems because 1) they confused editors who didn't understand the content resided outside the portal page, and 2) FCKeditor, our editing software, clashed with portals, making it necessary to disable the use of FCKeditor on any portal page system-wide. This meant that in order to edit portals, people had to edit in raw wikitext. Since many users don't like to edit in wikitext, this effectively limited the number of users who would be willing to edit the portals. Generally wiki communities opt to do what they can to encourage editors rather than discouraging them, so this felt like a problem.
Wiki contributors had many conversations in Community Meetings, by e-mail, and over the phone about finding an alternative to portals. David Crowther gave us one: he laid out the content we wanted by using columns rather than portal frameworks. After many delays in reaching a consensus, users attending the 22 September 2009 Community Meeting voted unanimously to allow Eduardo Seoane to convert all the wiki's portals to column-layout pages, or Unportals. (To hear the discussion and the vote, see the meeting recording.)