Template talk:Application

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Revision as of 09:33, 25 October 2007 by Adamr (Talk | contribs)
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How to use this template

This is a template for adding a quick application summary to a page. To use it, enter

{{Application|image=<image address>|caption=<image caption>|name=<application name>|author=<author, current maintainer or company name>|os=<Known OS incompatibilities or requirements>|desc=<brief description, 50–100 words>|translations=<languages supported>|url=<application homepage>|alt=<any well-known equivalents>}}

Please ensure you include all fields. If you need to leave a field empty, type it in anyway but with no text between the = and | symbols, for example: …|os=|…. Better yet, please enter 'None', 'None known' or 'Unknown' instead e.g. …|os=None|… as this is clearer.

For an example of this template in use, see Confix or Grapevine.

Notes

The whole thing is positionable with CSS. It expects to find a class: "infobox bordered", which the current stylesheet doesn't have, but I'm planning on bringing up stylesheets in a separate comment at some point.

Almost all software that is likely to appear on this wiki will be largely OS-neutral, so in that case you only need to enter anything on the OS line if it doesn't work with all the current OS versions

Also it's easy enough to have this with more information in the normal text after the template.


How do you get the images the right size. E.g. WinSnap, MultiError?

Also, has there been any progress on the CSS front? I think the template would benefit a lot from being a bit wider.
Adamr 17:07, 9 October 2007 (BST)

Image size modifications within the template now removed entirely. Template made 10em wider (was 25em). However, I'm not sure about putting the application icon to the left or right (or both) of the name. Doing so does look OK for 34x34 icons, but I feel the better-quality 68x68 ones fit better underneath the application name. I've tried adding a Sample icon: field. Comments on this change appreciated.

See here for further details on image formatting.

Simon Smith 01:02, 13 October 2007 (BST)

Image Sizes

Hmm, although the images would be small, I don't think we should scale them because most aren't going to zoom very well. They're just simple little bitmap icons. How about altering the template so the image is to the left of the title? Then the size should fit OK. From a quick glance at the Wikipedia page, presumably leaving {{{size}}} out of the template would then show the images at 100%?

Also, if the size is specified, it makes more sense to specify the height rather than width since almost all icons will be 34 high, but many are wider.

Adamr 21:56, 9 October 2007 (BST)

I'm afraid I don't really agree. I did try the icons at 100% to see how they looked, and they were so small they looked 'lost'. My reasons for recommending a 2x magnification were:

  • The application icon at the top of a program is a distinctive picture of (and, in a way, an advertisement for) that app. Hence it needs to be large enough to be easily recognised. In my judgement, a 32x32 pixel icon wasn't really sufficient. This is partly an aesthetic consideration, I readily admit.
  • Trying at 640x480 and 1360x1024, a x2 magnification seemed to be a reasonable compromise image size that worked well across a wide range of display resolutions.
  • Some modern apps have Sprites11 files which are approx. 68 pixels square; obviously we would want to use the highest-quality application icons, and using a x2 magnification for the smaller 34x34 icons more or less standardises the sizes of 'application banner images' across all applications, whether we use the Sprites22 or Sprites11 image as the baseline.
  • At x2 magnification, while 34x34 application icons are chunkier than normal, they are not excessively so.
  • The smaller 34x34 icons can still be used at 100% size elsewhere on the site.
  • As far as I can tell from the Wiki docs, if you specify an image's size you'd specify the horizontal size first, then both horizontal and vertical. Specifying vertical only may make slightly more sense for RO application icons, but it's an unusual/unexpected usage, which may trip some people up. Hence I recommend sticking with horizontal size only unless or until that actually causes problems.

Simon Smith 15:36, 10 October 2007 (BST)

I've been thinking more about this and I'm still unconvinced. Taking your points in turn (& paraphrasing - sorry!)

the picture needs to be a banner/advert

Fair enough, but this isn't an appropriate use for an icon. These tiny little images are just not suitable for that job. For this case I don't think there should be an image in the template as most apps simply won't have a suitable picture available.

I felt that an application icon, while not ideal, is the most distinctive graphical representation for any given application. Hence I do feel it is helpful to have it present. However, see the caveat below. Simon Smith

sprites11

Fair enough - if a high resolution image exists, it can be used at 100% (or less) as the page author decides

zoomed sprites don't look too bad

That's very subjective and going against the design considerations of the icon designer. I know I'm not happy about the way my MultiError icon looks when zoomed :(

Given we're not agreeing, perhaps the template should not specify a recommended size and should just leave it to the discretion of the individual page authors? Perhaps there's even a case for removing the image from the template entirely, since it looks quite messy on the pages with no image (which are the vast majority).

I'm about to address this by doing a bulk upload of icons. Let's see if you are still against the idea then. And if anyone else has any views, pro or anti. Simon Smith


Adamr 18:04, 12 October 2007 (BST)

Caveat: Even with a reasonable sample of icons uploaded – I'm doing most of those from the recommended software page, there are icon variations between RO 2,3,4,5 and 6. This raises the question of whether to supply multiple icons, and if not, whether to standardise, and upon which icon set. IMV the only ones big enough to use without scaling are the RO5 Sprites11 files, and only about 2% of common apps have such a set defined. So users of RO4 and RO6 will occasionally encounter unfamiliar icon versions for familiar applications. Is that a big problem? As an RO5 user, I'm not really in any position to say. Maybe it's just too early, and more Sprites11 files will be created in time, and eventually become the standard. Or maybe we'll be stuck with a horrible mix of 34x34 and 68x68 icons in perpetuity. Never mind, I'm uploading a batch of icons now as an experiment. If the consensus is that it sucks, the template is trivial to modify and I hope and think that doing so will make the unwanted icons disappear globally without further editing being needed. Simon Smith 23:12, 12 October 2007 (BST)

Having tried the x2 magnification in situ for a variety of applications, I see that it looks poor more often than it looks tolerable. Ideally we'd want 68x68 icons for as many apps as possible, but for now I'm just removing the size parameter from the template. That means all icons will display at 100% size. Simon Smith 01:02, 13 October 2007 (BST)

I think the new template design looks good and the icons fit in well like that. Also, good work uploading all those icons! :D
Adamr 22:14, 14 October 2007 (BST)

Template Style

I came up with the following as a possible style for the Application box.

 infobox bordered {
   background-color:#DDDDDD;
   border-color:#111111;
   border-style:solid;
   border-width:1px;
   float:right;
   font-size:90%;
   margin-left:5px;
   text-align:left;
   width:30em;
 }

However, there's question of where it wants to end up.

Is it supposed to be an actual box with a snippet of information, and the rest of the page can contain a more detailed description? If so, then floating it right makes sense.

If it's only to provide compatibility between pages, and in general most apps aren't going to have much in the way of additional data, I think it wants to stay at its current position, ie: top left, not floated at all.

A snapshot of the cretin page with the above style implemented is at Media:Appbox.png

Oh, and I recommend using the Firebug extension for Firefox to play with stuff like this dynamically.

Jymbob 14:34, 19 October 2007 (BST)

The style looks great :) As for where it should go, I dunno really - what happens if it floats right but there's no other content on the page?
Adamr 12:37, 22 October 2007 (BST)

I like the new infobox style a lot, but I don't like it floated right at all. That may be OK for e.g. the Cretin page, but where the text in the info box is a bit longer – X-files for instance – I think it looks very ungainly right-floated. Left or centre would be better, I'd say. I slightly prefer left. Simon Smith 12:42, 22 October 2007 (BST)

Can you show a piccy of what the XFiles page looks like? Also, I think possibly the problem isn't the floating, so much as the fact that the description text is too long. The template should be designed to work with a short sentence describing what the program does. (A discussion of how it works seems more suited to being outside the template.)
Adamr 13:21, 22 October 2007 (BST)

XFiles floated left can be found at Media:xfiles.png. I did remove some text from the description to get this, as URLs don't wrap. Obviously, things still need tweaking, but I think it works. Jymbob 13:37, 24 October 2007 (BST)

... and floated right at Media:xfiles-right.png. Jymbob 13:41, 24 October 2007 (BST)

Meh, they both look good to me, with a slight preference for the floated-right version. Why not go ahead and make it live? :)
Adamr 10:33, 25 October 2007 (BST)

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