Talk:Browse by Country

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Revision as of 17:24, 6 July 2011 by Thomas Lerman (talk | contribs) (Comment)

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Multiple Columns

We have talked in meetings about long lists . . . whether we want to put them into columns or not. At this time, the have some great pros as well as some pretty serious cons. I will soon be working on a way to get rid of the cons. Do we want to move ahead with the multiple columns without taking care of the cons at this time? I believe this question is for the powers to be. Thomas Lerman 16:13, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

I like the changes that have been made so far. Are there more that you are thinking of, if so what are they? I think it may take a while to get used to the change but I like it. Darris 17:22, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

The changes that we were talking about, which would take care of the cons are manually demonstrated within my user talk page. It makes columns look and act the same of existing columns within the MediaWiki look. Thomas Lerman 17:56, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

I also like the changes made to the Browse by Country page. Although I don't remember any discussion about the pros and cons, so I'd say let's keep the changes! Fran 21:39, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

I believe the discussion was in the old forum . . . maybe not. If I remember correctly, the big con is the limited ability of most that would do editing. Hopefully, I will be able to get to the changes that I had created the look for in my talk page. Thomas Lerman 21:54, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

WOW! I really do not like this and it is making me motivated to get the other thing working . . . although I have higher priority things going on right now. As Bromaelor and I found out, a small change really messes columns, tables, etc. The other thing will make it all automated and consistent with other lists. Thomas Lerman 04:14, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

Sorry Thomas, which bits don't you like? I have an aversion to thick lines on tables (they look so out-of-date) and tend to get ride of them whenever I see them. But feel free to revert if you prefer them that way.  I agree that additions or deletions do mess up the table for anyone not familiar with coding. bromaelor 20:14, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

I generally would agree on the thick lines that you mentioned. I do not like the inconsistency of the way this browsing works compared to other things within the MediaWiki code. I really dislike how easy it is for anyone to mess up the tables with a simple addition or deletion. That is my biggest complaint with the current method. When I get some higher priority stuff complete, I hope to work on a new extension that will handle all this automatically so it will be easier for all involved. I do not know about you for sure, but would guess by your comment that you are familiar with coding. I am extremely familiar with coding. If you look at the history, both of us messed up the formatting of these tables pretty dramatically. It makes me shutter to think how someone not familiar with coding could mess it up. Thomas Lerman 22:45, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

I always use Wikitext to edit rather than the GUI. The GUI lets inexperienced users mess things up without realising what they are doing. I've been a teacher of IT for 30 years, and a contributor to Wikipedia for several years, so give me coding any day! I was impressed by the "CompactTOC8" template though!!! One of the things I was trying to do on the page was apply a bit of logic! There are only 3 entries under 'W': Wales; Wallis & Futuna and Western Sahara, so why to they take up 2 lines??? I combined them onto one line (as I did with the 'R's) but this has now been reversed by another used. Does common sense not apply here??? bromaelor 14:11, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

I have been in the IT field for almost 30 years as well, mostly as a program and in management. So, I am in the same boat as you converning Wikitext and the GUI. I believe the current layout of this page is too easy for people to mess up whether using GUI or Wikitext. I agree that three entries should take only one line in the current format. To me, even the A's should be more balanced as well. This all adds to the complexity especially for the least computer saavy people. These reasons are why I am wanting to write something new to handle everything automatically. I was glad to implement the CompactTOC8 here to make life easier. I do not believe in having to recreate things all over the place. I am hoping to create something new to replace this as well that would make this even better and easier. I have quite a list of articles that I want to clean up with these things . . . hopefully soon. I am really glad to hear that we have you as a contributor here and as a Wikipedia contributor too. I think that will be helpful. Thank you for your help and contributions. Thomas Lerman 20:22, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

The simplest solution, which should allow anyone to edit, would be to not use tables?


Afghanistan | Albania | Algeria | American Samoa | Andorra | Angola | Anguilla | Antigua and Barbuda | Argentina | Armenia | Aruba | Australia | Austria | Azerbaijan


Bahamas | Bahrain | Bangladesh | Barbados | Belarus | Belgium | Belize | Benin | Bermuda | Bhutan | Bolivia | Bosnia and Herzegovina | Botswana | Brazil | British Virgin Islands | Brunei | Bulgaria | Burkina Faso | Burma | Burundi

and so on? bromaelor 14:16, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

Interesting thought. I agree that the tables cause some pretty major problems and is not very user friendly to edit. The automatic solution that I will work on will not have any tables either. Thomas Lerman 14:33, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

One more thought! Replace tables with columned lists in divisions? It automatically sets the columns so it may be easier for non-coders to edit using the GUI (assuming they don't delete the divisions!). I've tried it out, see what you think bromaelor 09:45, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

The problem with style="-moz-column-count: 3;" is that it only works with certain extremely new versions of browsers. Thomas Lerman 14:04, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

Time for a change

I think it is time to change Browse by Country to columns, maybe even add a nice world map or globe at the top just for looks.  The FamilySearch Beta now links directly to this page and a list like this is not very nice looking.  I do not believe we need to worry about the page not being easy for the average person to edit. How often will a new country be created.  It is much more important for the very top pages to look nice and tie into the look of the new look of FamilySearch.  This page might even be considered as a page that is locked from editing by the general public. garysturn 16:25, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

I would agree that it needs to look nice and be user friendly. The page is actually divided into columns if you have a relatively new browser (you must have an older browser). However, it still could be done to look nicer. Thomas Lerman 17:47, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
I like the idea of including a map in this article. Also the code used for multi-columns was only for mozilla based browsers. I have added in more code so that other flavors will also see 3 columns. --Steve 20:47, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
I like the changes and also agree that a map would be really nice to have. I use Safari on a Mac at home and the page looks great! --Fran 03:49, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
I would like to see an interface very similar, if not the same, as what can be seem through Record Search. I believe we have actually talked about it before . . . unifying the interface between multiple products. If I can get the images (and hopefully the image maps too), I would be glad to implement it. Thomas Lerman 06:19, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
I noticed the page was changed again, this time a template was created and added to the page for three columns. On the documentation of the template it states that all browsers do not support the template for columns. I was wondering why we would use the template when the code that was added by Steve fixed the browser problem for showing multi-columns. --Fran 20:47, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
The new template produces the same results as Steve's changes. The changes he made is not supported on all browsers either. The template would hopefully make it easier to fix the columns if another browser needs more codes added. Thomas Lerman 20:54, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification!!! Good work! --Fran 21:00, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
I still would like to see the alpha listing of countries, but also have a Regional listing using images just like Record Search . . . Two separate pages. Comments before I start doing this (especially if I can get the same images and hopefully image map)? Thomas Lerman 21:06, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm trying to get the map image right now, but it may not happen until after the holiday. -Fran 21:09, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
Sounds great. I presume you meant that in plural so we can have the world image and the regional images. Thomas Lerman 21:13, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
The Canadian section is already in the Wiki Canada Map edited.JPG. Not a single page in the wiki links to the image. The history shows that the image was ported over when the Plone database was ported into the wiki. I don't know if there are other regional sections of the image in the wiki besides this one. I'd have to look. Thanks for the clarification about wanting all the regional maps. I didn't catch that before. -Fran 21:28, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

Browse by Country

I do not understand why this has been done manually whe you already have > Category: Countries ? Or am I missing something? Why is Browse by topic any different it links to > Category: Contents davide 03:30, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

You are correct (in theory). Browse by Country probably should be the same as browsing by "Category:Countries". That may not be a bad thing to combine. It would automatically be build alphabetically and would keep columns consistant with other places. The disadvantage, not sure if there is a way around it, is that a normal table of contents does not work with it and it displays up to 200 entries. It seems to me that the "Browse by topic" can be confusing to a new person with "Category:Contents" because of the inconsistancy in the word. Thomas Lerman 05:11, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
Also, the way "Categories" are presented on screen is far from perfect! Why are the columns not of equal widths? bromaelor 12:34, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
It looks to me that it calculates it based upon the number of lines, not based upon the space on the screen it will fill. Since browsers can display the text differently (it is not WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get)), that would be extremely difficult. To me, that would be a relatively minor issue. Thomas Lerman 15:19, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

Country Name Style Guide

Since this is an English language Wiki, I propose that the names in "Browse by Country" be limited to those commonly used in English language sources. To be specific, use the names and spellings as they appear in the CIA World Factbook. In a few cases the names may not be on the "Browse by Country" list if they are historically uninhabited and would therefore have no known genealogical records.    Diltsgd 02:07, 23 August 2009 (UTC)

Help article???

I am not so sure that personally I would call this a help article nor take up the valuable real estate with a nav box, but that is me. Thomas_Lerman 12:17, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

-I agree. Does anyone know why the Help templates were added to this page? I propose that both of the Help templates be removed from this page. This page is not a Help article, it is a listing of countries and has nothing to do with the Help content. --Fran 21:59, 30 June 2011 (UTC)
I accept that this article is not a help article in the sense that it explains how a user can use the wiki. I do however think that is is an article that will be useful and should be pointed out to new users of the site. I don't think the navbox takes up too much space considering that the AtoZ links are visible and that the only difference taking them away is to show the B's without scrolling down. That being said I have removed the header and navbox from the article that I placed there. --Steve 07:18, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
I agree that new users should know about this article, but we have so many other ways of linking to it or pointing it out. Thomas_Lerman 16:10, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
Elaborate on the ideas, please! I agree on all counts and would even propose that a redesign of the list of countries page is needed. Perhaps with a little design work the header and navbox could be useful, and, or other ideas that Thomas has in mind to improve the whole page. An earlier post on the talk page said that FamilySearch Beta was linking directly to this page. Is that statement still true? The content on this page was placed into columns because of that linking. -Fran 14:51, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
I might be missing something here. I was just indicating that this article does not really fit into the "Help" articles for the Wiki. It really is a way to assist in finding articles. The main page has a "Browse by Country" text (NOT A LINK) followed by a "List all countries" list. This really is redundant text and the formatting is a bit off iAnyway, over 100 articles (less than 250) link to it. The "Search Learning & How-To's" box on the top right also has a "Browse by country" and "Browse by topic" links. It seems to my that the text (with link) on the main page should match what is says in the box on the top right. What other places should link to this page? I really do not know. I suppose all countries could have a link on the top to get to the browse by country (some might call this a breadcrumb, but technically it is not and I think that would be overkill!). I am not what is being called "FamilySearch Beta" at this time (the link is broken). Thomas_Lerman 17:24, 6 July 2011 (UTC)