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I don't like infoboxes - EMWCon 2023

 ·  ☕ 2 min read

Here’s a link to the video. The audio for the first couple minutes is a bit unclear, you might want to skip to 1:00 or so.

And here’s a link to the slides. You’re meant to have them open during the talk, assuming you have two monitors.

Finally, I want to point out another particularly egregious infobox I saw on Wikipedia after giving this talk: Cao Cao

Cao Cao’s infobox on Wikipedia

Cao Cao is a historical figure, and when I went to his page I wanted to see the dates he was alive. But his infobox is Infobox royalty. And for Infobox royalty, the thing at the top is a list of tenures. Tenures are confusingly one-to-many with the entity (precisely the problem I discussed in the video), which means that the dates you see at the top are not dates which belong to Cao Cao. Rather, they are dates that belong to one of his tenures. And so, I got super confused, thinking he was born on 29 May 216, which did not line up at all with the events of Romance of the Three Kingdoms.

Of course, the dates “Born” and “Died,” which actually do belong to Cao Cao, appear much further down in the infobox. Were this designed properly, the tenures would be in a standalone, left-aligned table called “Dates holding a title” or something along these lines, and “Born” and “Died” would indeed be the first two lines. Sanity would be restored.

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River is a developer most at home in MediaWiki and known for building Leaguepedia. She likes cats.

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