Talk:Main Page

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Suggested revisions to the main page

Some ideas:

1. I propose that we add an introductory blurb under the main heading to help clarify what IFWiki is for (especially how it is unique from IFDB, since that seems like a common question). For example: "IFWiki is an encyclopedia of interactive fiction, including IF history, theory, craft, tools, and people. IFWiki serves as both a historical record of community knowledge and a guide to resources for playing and creating interactive fiction." Any wording suggestions, please let me know. It feels wordier than in needs to be...

2. Revise the "FAQ" section. Change the heading to just "FAQ" (or "Frequently Asked Questions") and actually include a few questions (that link directly to the answers), with another link to see the rest of the FAQ. So it would look something like this:


What is "interactive fiction?

How can I download and play IF?

(more frequently asked questions)

I don't know if there's a specific reason for attributing the FAQ article to Nick Montfort on the front page, instead of on the FAQ article itself, or for mentioning the FAQ license on the front page. I also am not sure why we link to the page about past raif topics here. Anyone know?

In the interest of making the main page more friendly to newcomers, I'm also wondering about moving the FAQ section closer to the top--it's not even visible until you scroll down past the main article--but I'm not sure of the best way to organize things overall.

3. Change or delete the "Unfeatured Article" heading, which has been reported to be confusing.

4. To highlight that ifwiki is different from IFDB, maybe instead of (or in addition to) rotating lists of games, there could be rotating previews of some articles of general interest. I haven't fully thought this through. bg (talk) 00:22, 9 December 2021 (UTC)

(1) The introduction looks good. (2) There is no need for that attribution, mention of the licence, or the raif topics to be under the FAQ heading. Maybe anything that's not on or linked to the FAQ article itself could be moved there for now. Your proposed list looks fine. The FAQ heading seems all right where it is for now. (3) Go ahead! (4) That sounds good too. Jonathan (talk) 10:50, 9 December 2021 (UTC)
Jonathan, I tried deleting "Unfeatured Article," but the result doesn't look right, because there's still a heading on the right, and it makes the left side of the table not quite line up with the right side. Do you want to see if you can make it look better? Or else think of some other text to put there? bg (talk) 18:33, 9 December 2021 (UTC)
Ok, I added a blurb. Wording suggestions still welcome. Seems like it would look better if it didn't stretch across the whole page, though. bg (talk) 20:20, 9 December 2021 (UTC)
(1) Blurb looks fine though I'm sure you'll think of changes over time. (2) FAQ section looks more welcoming now. (3) I've edited that title now. (4) We can think about that as part of the overall changes. Jonathan (talk) 21:30, 9 December 2021 (UTC)

Format of main page

I've converted the HTML tables to wikitext tables and tidied up the page so that it's easier to understand at a glance, though haven't changed the structure of what the reader sees.

What would be the ideal format? I guess for now we should keep the same look, but change the content.

Here's a description of how the main page currently works:

  • The "Featured article" content comes from Template:Feature article. This hasn't been used for its intended purpose for a long time. It started out showcasing particular articles on the wiki (see Category:Feature article templates and IFWiki:Feature article) and soon ended hijacked for news items. Now its main content comes from Template:State of the Scene 2016 which has been updated to an extent since then, though the extract from a 2016 Emily Short article (not even on the wiki) has remained. If we're to keep the "featured article" heading then the template should be used for that purpose (not News). We could have a separate heading for news. Maybe it could replace Competition news (and competition news could maybe be listed under the main News heading.
Update: I simplified this into a single template Template:Main Page News, under the heading "News". Jonathan (talk) 22:06, 6 January 2022 (UTC)
Update: I simplified this, using the Labeled Section Transclusion extension, so that all the available content is a single page (IFWiki:Main_Page_features) instead of dozens of template pages. Jonathan (talk) 22:06, 6 January 2022 (UTC)

It's all a bit over-engineered but when you decide what end you want we can work on the means!

Maybe the following?

What's new (this could incorporate the current "Competition news") Featured content (this could be article(s) or game(s))
FAQ Contribute

Just an initial idea. Jonathan (talk) 21:58, 9 December 2021 (UTC)

I noticed that when I got rid of the space at the top of the "State of the Scene 2016" template, it messed up the formatting of the "What's New" heading on the front page. I added a space back in to the template to make it look right, but is there a way to fix it on the main page so that's not necessary?
I agree it makes sense to have the "state of the scene" stuff and "Competition news" closer together, but they are covering different periods of time (state of the scene is more like "in the past year & in recent years," whereas competition news is more like "in the past/next few months." Not sure how you'd combine it. bg (talk) 16:45, 16 December 2021 (UTC)
Does it have to be a table with rows of the same height? The news takes up a lot more space than some of the other items. What about having basically two columns: all the news in the left column (as it currently is, but without the FAQ section), and the sections for FAQ, featured article (with the article title, and maybe the first few lines of text from it), and "contribute" on the right? For the featured article, could there be a list somewhere where we can add names of articles so that they get included in the regular rotation? bg (talk) 02:35, 2 January 2022 (UTC)
Columns would work fine. We could make it responsive (eg one column on phones). Once we're on a new server I've an idea for improving how the featured articles thing works, along those lines :-) Jonathan (talk) 08:34, 2 January 2022 (UTC)
I've re-ordered the columns in the way you suggested. On the test server the two columns become one on small screens, but for some reason it doesn't work here. We can look again at that soon. Well, it half works... it works on a desktop browser but not on a mobile, which is no use... Jonathan (talk) 22:01, 2 January 2022 (UTC)

Proposal for "still going strong" section: ZILF

Add zilf to "still going strong section", possibly in the Retro-Parser Section. Should be a link to an internal wiki page. Fos1 (talk) 01:50, 8 January 2022 (UTC)

I don't see why not. What would the sentence say? Would it be worth improving the ZILF page first, enough to remove the "stub" template (I hate those anyway)? Jonathan (talk) 08:11, 8 January 2022 (UTC)