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User talk:Beland

Feel free to leave a note at the bottom of this page in the usual manner; I assume you'll be subscribed to the thread to get notified about replies. Just to keep things tidy, I generally only keep stuff on this page if it requires further action from me or you haven't read my reply yet, so check the page history for older conversations if you need to refer back.

I created the spelling and grammar checking project at Wikipedia:Typo Team/moss. If you are responding to an edit related to special characters, language tags, or manual of style compliance, HTML cleanup or markup issues, it might have been motivated by some report generated by that project. -- Beland (talk) 16:48, 6 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Typeface/Font/Computer font[edit]

Hi, just wanted to let you know that I have decided not to pursue this merge. I did a lot of work to reduce keyboard layout/keyboard technology/computer keyboard triplication, ending with clearing out the last of these to make it a redirect. It has all been undone and I don't have the inclination to pursue it to the bitter end, I just don't care that much. I can't see why the RTM that we have discussed would have any different result. If you want to go ahead anyway, feel free. --John Maynard Friedman (talk) 10:56, 26 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Coherent style for formulas[edit]

In Nilpotent Lie algebra, you introduced recently the awful formula ((math|''n'' ∈ <math>\mathbb{N}</math>)). I have changed it into <math>n\in\mathbb{N}</math>. Please, avoid mixing latex and html rendering in the same formula.

Happy new year. D.Lazard (talk) 09:42, 31 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]

@D.Lazard: Yeah, it's definitely more readable when it's all in LaTeX. I've just been going through making articles compliant with MOS:BBB, which only requires changing over the blackboard bold characters. I had been converting relatively simple formulas to LaTeX completely, but it got a bit time consuming, and some longer formulas were quite daunting. MOS:MATH doesn't say anything about not mixing the two, so my thinking was that the mixed style was at least MOS-compliant, and we could go back and convert the rest of the markup later. I was hoping some other editors skilled in LaTeX would be able to help with that. Would you be able to help with some conversions? I see 88 articles with mixed markup (not all of which are from my edits) and several hundred articles with ℝ, ℤ, or ℂ. We could also add a note to MOS:MATH saying not to mix LaTeX and HTML, and resolve to do blackboard-bold-motivated conversions in one step rather than two? -- Beland (talk) 18:59, 31 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Well, I added the note to MOS:MATH and put the mixed markup pages on my personal cleanup todo list. It may be a few months before I get to all of them, as there are thousands of articles in my cleanup queue. -- Beland (talk) 22:36, 2 June 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Did a few of these today. Note to myself, use edit summary:
per [[MOS:FORMULA]], do not mix LaTeX and ((math)) in the same expression
-- Beland (talk) 15:44, 12 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]

List of possible chemical formulas that don't use subscripts[edit]

Hello! I have recently been fixing typos from moss and I see there is a list of possible chemical formulas that don't use subscripts. I was wondering a couple of things:

  • what do the numbers on the left of the entries mean? For example 16/5 - H3S10
  • are they for reference only, or would it be in any way helpful to investigate and tag them with their common names, if they are indeed chemical formulae?

Thanks and happy typo hunting 😄 rbstrachan (talk) 19:41, 5 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Greetings! The first is the number of instances this possible formula was found, and the second is the number of pages. So in this instance, H3S10 was found 16 times across 5 pages. It looks like Graeme Bartlett already determined it is not a chemical formula and made a redirect for H3S10, so I took that off the list. That's a preferred way to fix items that are not chemical formulas if they have articles. The spell checker won't care if you make it a link or not, but it might help readers to do so.
Yes, the general intention is to investigate each, determine if they are actually a chemical formula, and update the markup accordingly. There's a full list of suggestions of what to do at Wikipedia:Typo Team/moss#Chemical formulas.
The idea of using the common name to link these to articles is interesting, and something I hadn't really thought about. The spell checker doesn't really care if there's a link or not; it only looks at the display text. So, it will complain about both "H20" and "H2O" ("[[water|H2O]]") because the manual of style says it should be H2O (using ((chem2))). Turning that into a link would make it H2O, which is a bit ugly but potentially helpful to the reader. Sometimes there's a very technical context, and the problem text shows up in chemical equations or something, where putting words (like "water") wouldn't make sense. In that case, we probably don't need a link anyway, and fixing the typography is all that's needed. Sometimes having the name instead of the formula would make the article easier to read, so switching it out and making it a link would be an improvement; you'd have to use your judgement.
I suspect most or all of these either aren't chemical formulas or don't have chemical substance articles we can point to, so the suggestion to add links to chemical articles might apply more to Wikipedia:Typo Team/moss#Known chemical formulas that don't use subscripts, where there usually is an article.
Poking at the "Possible" list just now, I had a bit of trouble figuring out which articles the spell checker was complaining about. I put a note at the top explaining how to use the "insource://" trick, which should be sufficient until I can get those included in the report automatically (or we empty out this list). Thanks for your interesting question and your ongoing cleanup work! -- Beland (talk) 08:09, 8 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]
(talk page stalker) Just out of curiosity, is there a comparable list of chemical formulas that don't contain numbers (like HNO and NaCl), and therefore could be mistaken for words? BD2412 T 22:39, 8 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]
That's an interesting question! While thinking about it, I thought of another, related question.
While converting chemical formulae written with HTML <sub> tags to use the ((chem2)) template, should element names such as In, Fe, etc. and chemical formulas that don't contain numbers, such as HNO and NaCl as you mentioned, also be converted?
On one hand, I'm not sure that it's worth adding the bulk of a template for things that don't technically need them and which don't benefit from a visual improvement to the way they are displayed. On the other hand, it may reduce the number of false positives for projects like WP:TT/M.
One of the main reasons that I can see for converting HTML tags to the ((chem2)) template is to make it possible to search Wikipedia for chemical formulae without having to resort to regex.[1] Having said that, since elements and most basic chemical formulas don't contain numbers, they don't contain <sub> tags, so making them use the ((chem2)) template would not do anything to make them more easily searchable.
In regards to both of our questions I do vaguely remember reading somewhere that the Moss scripts ignore capitalised words, and as elements and chemical formulas (should) always start with a capital, these may not be issues in the first place. 😅
😊 — rbstrachan (talk) 23:34, 8 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]
That's right, for spell-checking purposes moss ignores capitalized words made of only letters, on the assumption they are proper nouns. (These problem formulas are actually pulled from a list of ignored but suspicious words.) Even when I stop doing that (because I want to verify the spellings of proper nouns) most of the ones without numbers would have articles or redirects, so they would still be ignored. The only reason they became an issue for moss is that not using subscripts violates Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Chemistry#Symbols and Unicode subscripts violate MOS:SUBSCRIPT.
There may be other reasons to wrap these formulas, though, such as for accessibility. It doesn't look like they are currently adding alt text, but if you use "auto=yes" with ((chem2)), it does link each element symbol to the article on that element. I'm not sure if that's something we should be doing everywhere or nowhere? It might be worth checking with Graham87 (who uses a screen reader and who helped figure out how to handle fractions) or Wikipedia:WikiProject Accessibility or Wikipedia:WikiProject Chemistry to see if anyone has any particular preferences. -- Beland (talk) 01:36, 9 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]


  1. ^ As an example, to find instances of Si8O22F2 written with HTML tags, you have to search for insource:/Si\<sub\>8\<\/sub\>O\<sub\>22\<\/sub\>F\<sub\>2\<\/sub\>. When written with the ((chem2)) template, it can be done with just Si8O22F2 — no regex, or even insource: necessary.
Thanks, I don't have any opinions on these issues accessibility-wise ... I guess what to do depends on context. Graham87 02:17, 9 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]
👍 -- Beland (talk) 02:42, 9 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Watch out for Hebrew letters[edit]

Hebrew is written right to left, unlike English which is written left to right. So the character following a Hebrew letter like Aleph will appear to its left rather than to its right. This causes a problem when the Hebrew letter is intended to be part of an English text rather than a Hebrew text. You have twice ignored this fact when replacing ℵ0 with א0 at Cardinality of the continuum.

More generally, you should always look at the resulting text as it is displayed to the ordinary user and make sure that it is what you want it to be. JRSpriggs (talk) 14:45, 31 January 2023 (UTC)[reply]

@JRSpriggs: Ah, thanks for the note! I hadn't noticed that I had made the same edit before. That's surprising that the character and the HTML entity have different text direction behavior; I'll be on the lookout for that in the future. -- Beland (talk) 16:35, 31 January 2023 (UTC)[reply]

Edits to 744[edit]

Hello Beland. Thank you for your help on the page for 744 (number). I don't know that MOS:BBB (1) is needed here, only a couple of "special characters" I am going to keep with ((math)) rather than LaTeX, and while a very select few phones and other displays might have trouble with it, it's really not an issue, I have a burner phone and it reads just fine (on the other hand low quality Android devices will generally not read <math> in a note, and I think it's the same for other phones with similar operating systems, for some reason. Mine does not read it, iPhones do not have an issue with this). My intention is to dichotomize the <math> to main text and ((math)) to the notes, that way there is a breathing space for readers to see another style, and connect it with a note for like-information that helps contextualize the main text. Also, for your most recent edit 2 you accidentally left a "))" which took out part of the note into main text (around line 166 in 2 to be specific). Those subscripts that you took out that were in ((math)) tags still and blended with LaTeX, you left in when you had originally converted only the special characters, see 1. Thank you again, and happy editing! Radlrb (talk) 17:16, 12 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]

@Radlrb: Ah, thanks for catching that syntax error! This page is a little overwhelmingly long, and I didn't spot it when checking my changes. I'm a bit unclear on what you mean that MOS:BBB isn't "needed"? Do you mean you're planning to convert expressions like <math>\mathbb{Z}</math> to regular bold like Z, or you're planning to use raw Unicode characters like ℤ? The former is fine, but the latter would violate the English Wikipedia Manual of Style. -- Beland (talk) 22:28, 12 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Please stop converting thin spaces to ordinary spaces in mathematical typography.[edit]

Edits such as special:diff/1219321937, which in part converted some explicit thin spaces in mathematical typography to ordinary spaces, are not helpful. If another editor explicitly chose a size of space to stick into a formula, you should assume they did so for an intentional reason and not automatically second-guess that decision. Often regular spaces leave formulas written using plain wikimarkup (e.g. in ((math)) templates) looking incorrect, and explicit hair spaces or thin spaces make the formula appear more correctly. –jacobolus (t) 01:53, 17 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]

@Jacobolus: In my experience, thin and hair spaces usually aren't necessary, and can sometimes cause excess whitespace. This is a good reason to keep markup simple, along with reducing the skill burden of learning wikitext so we can attract and retain editors. The version of Tensor with those removed renders correctly for me. Sometimes different operating systems and web browsers and fonts render characters like these in an overlapping way; I would consider that a bug in that stack which should be reported and fixed. But once that happens, we don't need to keep these characters around forever. Does the version without thin and hair spaces render incorrectly for you? It looks like Cedar101 may have been the first editor to introduce this character in 2017; pinging them to see if they are (still) having typographical problems. -- Beland (talk) 02:12, 17 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I am extremely dubious of the evidence-free claim that editors of very mathematical pages are deterred by the presence of occasional explicit unicode characters. But I can tell you for certain that good editors are highly discouraged by having their careful deliberate choices trampled by lazy automated regressions.
The version of Tensor with the full-sized spaces is definitely worse than the version with thin spaces, and it is clear why the thin spaces were originally chosen. If you feel like it you are welcome to rewrite the whole page using LaTeX instead, which looks better and has simpler markup, but please stop automatically breaking people's intentional choices in mathematical typography. –jacobolus (t) 03:27, 17 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
@Jacobolus: Ah, your comment pointed out that I added space rather than removing it, which I missed. I would have expected the latter to generate complaints about overlapping text characters. I'm surprised that the complaint is that there was too much space; a full space is normally a safe substitution. It turns out I actually get overlapping characters myself with no space there, so I'll see what I can do to get that fixed. In the meantime, I'll use ((thinsp)) since those are generally a sign that someone is intentionally using a thin space in wikitext. (And it's nice that templates can have documentation to explain what they mean and why they are being used.) HTML entities are often automatically imported from other environments rather than being inserted intentionally.
A high difficulty of editing can result from an accumulation of small difficulties, which new editors sometimes must confront all at once to make useful contributions. Much of the point of wikitext is to spare editors from having to learn HTML, though it's reasonable to expect deeply involved math editors to know LaTeX. But it seems a bit much to expect, say, a math professor who already knows LaTeX to learn wikitext and HTML syntax if one of those isn't really necessary. Perhaps the added difficulty is more pronounced for articles where there isn't already a lot of complicated mathematical markup, but that is most of them. -- Beland (talk) 16:34, 17 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Wikitext is built on HTML, and HTML entities are a basic feature. Using ((thinsp)) instead of &thinsp; is not substantially beneficial. The template is not inherently more accessible, being a weird english-wikipedia-ism that someone has to go do a search to learn about instead of a common standard used across the web.
If you are writing a new page, feel free to use either one. But please don't do automatic replacements of one for another (not sure if you were planning on it). At best it creates pointless watchlist spam. From what I can tell this kind change does not have (and should not have) the backing of any sitewide policy. –jacobolus (t) 17:12, 17 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
@Jacobolus: I generally assume that editors have to learn how to use Wikipedia templates, because they are used in pretty much every article, usually quite frequently. Wikification, where we replace web-standard HTML tags (which do work without modification) with Wikipedia-specific markup, is a general directive, and indeed the whole point of Wikipedia:WikiProject Wikify. That wouldn't be necessary if we weren't trying to save people from learning HTML. I wasn't planning to mindlessly swap thin space HTML entities for templates, but at some point I will probably do a pass through the entire project to remove inappropriate ones. As you can see, most of the existing instances are not in math articles, are not fixing problems with overlapping characters, and do not align with our usual style. -- Beland (talk) 17:28, 17 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
This seems like a huge waste of time. Most of the examples of thin spaces from your link seem deliberate, and don't seem to be harming anything. –jacobolus (t) 17:33, 17 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
@Jacobolus: Well, the first instance, on Kazakhstan, actually is breaking the citation template, causing the string "&thinsp," to show up in the article. Even if it was working properly, a non-ASCII space would be polluting downstream data for citation consumers. (For example, journal web sites that list all Wikipedia references to papers on that paper's page.) The Pirate Bay is also polluting a citation template.
In the second article, Moon, the usage violates MOS:UNITNAMES, which specifies a full, non-breaking space between a number and a unit abbreviation. It looks sloppy to have different amounts of whitespace in different measurement expressions.
In the third article, Amazon (company), the usage violates MOS:$, which specifies no space after "US$" and a full, non-breaking space before "million". It looks sloppy to have different amounts of whitespace in different instances of currency expressions. Apartheid is breaking the same rule.
And so on. -- Beland (talk) 22:21, 17 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Micro vs Micron[edit]

You seem to be routinely changing the micro symbol into micron - they are not the same and do not have the same meaning; in many cases your change seems to be inappropriate. I reverted you here but I think there are many other changes that need to be reverted. Any comment before I start? Tom94022 (talk) 00:25, 14 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

@Tom94022: I'm not sure what you mean by "micron" character. I'm changing U+00B5 µ MICRO SIGN to U+03BC μ GREEK SMALL LETTER MU. As mentioned on Unicode compatibility characters, the Unicode standard advises using U+00B5 only for compatibility purposes with non-Unicode enviroments. Unicode-capable environments like Wikipedia are supposed to use U+03BC for all meanings of this glyph, whether that's shorthand for "micro", in the abbreviation for micrometre, the Möbius function, a muon, or in Greek words. Mixing the two different visually identical characters can create frustrating problems when searching a page for a string or using a search engine; Wikipedia needs to use the same character that appears on hardware and software keyboards, which according to the standard should be the Greek letter. -- Beland (talk) 01:29, 14 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Your change note "mu not micro per MOS:NUM#Specific units and Unicode compatibility character" confused me; it was not obvious that in the second link is the preferred use U+03BC for all usage of this glyph; sorry, I missed this requirement so I didn't understand why u were changing U+00B5 µ MICRO SIGN to U+03BC μ GREEK SMALL LETTER MU when the meaning was clearly micro and not mu === micron. Not sure I agree with the standard since MICRO ≠ MU but I didn't get to vote. I'll revert my revert. U might clarify your change note to prevent other misunderstandings since u seem to be on a crusade in this change. Tom94022 (talk) 18:32, 14 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Sorry for the confusion; I'm using the same edit summary for 4,000+ edits, and usually it's a unit of measure. -- Beland (talk) 18:45, 14 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
When u get into the computer domain its almost always micro as a prefix to some unit of measure especially byte or hertz so u might try a shorter and more explicit edit note. BTW, thanks for your effort on this matter. Tom94022 (talk) 19:39, 16 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I've rephrased my edit summary; hopefully that helps. -- Beland (talk) 21:08, 16 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I had a similar question because the two characters look exactly the same to me, but I think I understand your reasoning. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 02:18, 16 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I also had questions about this that I think are answered by your response here. The important business is in Unicode compatibility characters § Semantically distinct characters: Though not the intention of Unicode to encode such measuring units the repertoire includes six (6) such symbols that should not be used by authors: the characters' decompositions should be used instead. This is hinting that there is some historical issue with these codes but there is no citation I can refer to for verification or details. If you haven't already, consider adding a section link to your Unicode compatibility characters link in your edit summaries and it would be helpful if someone added a citation to Unicode compatibility characters for the should not be used recommendation. ~Kvng (talk) 14:23, 21 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I have already completed my run through fixing the existing micro characters (other than some mojibake I'll fix later) so there's no opportunity to do a different edit summary, but I've added the requested citation. The historical character set that Unicode is maintaining compatibility with for the "micro" character is ISO/IEC 8859-1. -- Beland (talk) 15:11, 21 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Question About An Edit[edit]


I have a question regarding your edit on Mars's page, specifically: this.

As other pages (like: Earth) have conversions to imperial system, I propose to undo this edit.

Eason Y. Lu (talk) 07:46, 20 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Greetings! We were discussing this issue at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Astronomy#RFC: Imperial/U.S. customary units in astronomy object infobox. I was wondering if anyone would actually object to removal of US customary units, so the changes there to Mars were a test edit. I'm curious if there's some reason other than consistency to keep these conversions, since the idea would be to remove them from all astronomical object infoboxes. Your comments would be welcome in that discussion, regardless of your position. -- Beland (talk) 17:59, 20 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Thank you for the information, I made this comment because I was looking at the Talk page on the "Earth" Wikipedia page specifically this comment:
Why does Wikipedia specify densities for all of the other planets in grams per cubic centimeter but > specifies Earth's density in kg per cubic meter? Shouldn't these be consistent? Etr52 (talk) 03:42, 19 May 2024 (UTC)
Because of the above comment, I looked at other pages and indeed, there are many inconsistencies, so my suggestions is to make sure the unit are consistent.
  Eason Y. Lu (talk) Eason Y. Lu (talk) 18:06, 20 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Yeah, I think the goal of Wikipedia:WikiProject Astronomy/Manual of Style is consistency. It says g/cm3 is preferred; I'll change the Earth infobox density and look at the other fields. -- Beland (talk) 02:11, 21 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

I need help with my article[edit]

Hi @Beland

I'm a newbie here at Wikipedia. I found your profile through your editing on the 3D microfabrication page.

For my first article, I thought it would be easiest to take an existing article in my native language (German), translate it, and add additional information. I wrote about Nanoscribe. In case you did not hear about them yet, they make 3D laser microprinters. I made some mistakes at the beginning and didn't realize some problems with citations. But I think I have that pretty well fixed now. I submitted it for review and I've been waiting for several weeks for someone to review it. Could you help me with this? As a newbie, if there are still problems with the article, I would be happy to get your tips :)

Greetings from 3DmicroPrintExpert (talk) 08:44, 6 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]

@3DmicroPrintExpert: What is your interest in Nanoscribe? Are you an employee, contractor, customer or otherwise? -- Beland (talk) 16:45, 6 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]
@Beland I'm a scientist and have worked with one of their old machines in the past in my own research. Now I'm developing materials and I'm not printing myself anymore. When I searched for them on Wiki, because I wanted to look up something about their new devices, I realized that there is the German article, but not in English. So I thought this would be a good opportunity to practice. I'm planning to write more articles in the future, for example about materials for 3D microprinting or a summary of analysis tools for 3D microprinted structures. But tbh, I don't know if I should invest all the time to write new articles when it's already so hard to get a translation of an article with more info (I added the research related part) published. So I want to get this first article out and incorporate all the lessons learned from it into my future articles. And I don't know if there's still something wrong with the article or if there are just too many drafts and no one has time/interest in reviewing mine. That's why I'm searching for help. 3DmicroPrintExpert (talk) 05:43, 7 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]
As the AFC header noted, the backlog for reviews is currently about 3 months, so yours would probably have come up in a month or so. I reviewed Draft:Nanoscribe anyway, and declined for the reasons noted. -- Beland (talk) 14:17, 7 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]
@Beland Ahh - I did not know that they were reviewed in sequence! I thought articles were reviewed whenever someone was interested, since there were many articles that were recommended to me to review, but tbh they weren't in my area of expertise, so I didn't review them. I don't think my request came across the way it was intended. I was asking for help in knowing what to do with the article, not for you to push it. I asked my mentor but they didn't reply so I searched for people from my own field to help me. So you would suggest that I rewrite the article and not use the translated one? As I wrote, I mainly translated it and just added the part about science and research. I thought it was fine the way it is because it's public in another language. How can an article be ok in one language and not in another one? I want to understand what the problems are to work on neutrality before I set-up a whole new article. For example, I did not understand why it is problematic to write that there are top universities among the customers, when everyone can see from several rankings that they are top universities. I want to avoid such mistakes/discussions in the future. So if you would have any tips for me which sections to work on I would be happy. Best, 3DmicroPrintExpert (talk) 15:40, 7 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I expect that the German Wikipedia article is also problematic, but no one has yet noticed that it's less than neutral or has been created by the company itself. You could write a new article from scratch if you want, or take a lot of stuff out of this one to neutralize it. It would need to drop anything that sounds like boasting, especially when that relies on material coming from the company itself. That including the number of articles that mention it, the universities that use it, the list of awards, and any time the article says "world's first" and "world's fastest", and violations of MOS:TM. If you don't already hear those phrases as promotional, then perhaps you are too much of a fan of the company and it would be better to find an editor with less of an affinity to trim the article. Someone with no 3D printing expertise might be helpful, because there is also some jargon. -- Beland (talk) 16:07, 7 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]
@Beland Thanks for your input. Yes, I personally don't think such phrases are problematic if there is a source that it is indeed the first or the fastest. But I don't think this is coming from me as a researcher in the 3D printing field, because I wouldn't see this as an issue for any other company, because in every field there are products that are better/faster/more innovative than others. But now I see that this is an issue here on Wikipedia. I'm going to read the style recommendations page and think about whether it's worth it for me to put so much effort into this or if I should maybe go directly to writing analytical methods in 3D printing since I don't think there will be any brands mentioned. Thanks for your time! 3DmicroPrintExpert (talk) 16:38, 7 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Removal of the flags on the "List of administrative divisions by country" page[edit]

Hello, @Beland. I'll just get to the point. It irritates me whenever you make an edit to this page that removes all of the flags on the leftmost column because as someone who needs visual cues a lot, I usually look at the flags to know which country's subdivisions I'm looking for. Two questions: Why do you do that, and what's the problem with the flags? You've done this 3 times as far as I remember, and as said earlier, it makes me feel slightly agitated as the removal of the flags hinders me being able to know which row is which even when looking at the country name. NaomiIsCute (talk) 14:34, 9 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]

I laid out my reasons at Talk:List of administrative divisions by country#Flags and another editor there also pointed out MOS:FLAGS and opined those guidelines require removal of flags due to the circumstances of this table.
I am concerned, though, that you are feeling a lack of visual clues. Is it just that as your eye moves from left to right, it's difficult to keep track of which line you were looking at? We could mitigate that by alternating row background colors between white and light grey in the style of Template:Alternating rows table. Or, we could pick a color from the flag of each country and lightly tint the background with that color to make them somewhat more distinctive. That would avoid the problems with horizontal space caused by addition of the flags. -- Beland (talk) 19:17, 9 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I like both ideas! How about we try the second option? That could work. NaomiIsCute (talk) 17:08, 10 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I colorized the first few countries. How does that look? -- Beland (talk) 23:28, 10 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Sorry for the late response! It looks amazing! NaomiIsCute (talk) 07:43, 15 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Excellent. Did you have any interest in doing the rest? I can explain a bit about how HTML colors work if you need some technical background. -- Beland (talk) 17:02, 15 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Of course! That would be good, plus I'd be able to learn how to edit colours on to a table as well, it's a win-win! NaomiIsCute (talk) 18:01, 15 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Great! Basically you need to set the "background" CSS property on each row, in the "style" property. New rows show up in the wikitext as "|-" and usually there's already a valign property there, so we end up with something like:
|- valign="top" style="background:#F0FFF0;"
If there's already a "style" property, background gets added to the quoted value, separated from the other part with a ";". I started out by setting the background color on the row with the country name. Depending on how complicated the country is, sometimes the background color also needs to be set on the rows for subnational entities. I'm happy to figure that out if it's not obvious though a little trial and error.
In terms of picking the colors, I tried to stick with the most prominent color in the flag (though often there's a three-way tie). I looked several countries ahead to make sure that the same color isn't used within 2-4 rows. I also tried to use white every few rows for the benefit of completely color-blind readers (who only see shades of grey).
Web colors has more details, but the color values are hexadecimal. The first two digits are red, the third and fourth are green and the lasts two are blue. To keep the shades pale, I've been keeping between F0 and FF, with F8 halfway between. I don't worry about keeping the precise hue from the flag, because it's going to be much paler regardless. Here's a cheat sheet:
F0F0F0 - light gray (for black)
FFF0F0 - red
F0FFF0 - green
F0F0FF - blue
FFF0FF - purple
FFF8F0 - orange
FFFFF0 - yellow (also works for gold)
FFFFFF - white
Let me know if you have any questions, and thanks for your help! -- Beland (talk) 18:47, 15 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Thank you so much! And I also appreciate you taking the time to address my initial concerns and finding this amazing way to work around it, this is gonna help a lot. NaomiIsCute (talk) 19:05, 15 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Just gave it a little test by doing Austria, and it looks great! I'd do the rest now, but I need sleep (it's 8:20pm where I am). Don't worry about doing the rest, I'll get on top of that ASAP when I wake up. NaomiIsCute (talk) 19:20, 15 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Hurray! Beland (talk) 03:24, 16 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]


This was a misclick. My bad. Dieter Lloyd Wexler 22:53, 17 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]

No worries! I have certainly misclicked myself. -- Beland (talk) 00:01, 18 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]
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User talk:Beland
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