Proposal talk:Turning off inline citations

From Strategic Planning


I don't see a half line skip in my browser. That sound like a bug.Filceolaire 07:52, 15 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Look at today's English Wikipedia Featured Article about the Quark. Between the second and third lines of the lead paragraph (that is, between the words "the most stable of which" and "are protons and neutrons") is what I see as a half line skip or skipping half a blank line. This is due to the inline citation (superscript [1]) for the reference: "Quark (subatomic particle)". Encyclopedia Britannica. Also, there's another half line skip between the third and fourth lines in the first paragraph due to superscripts [2][3]. If you look at the lead paragraph as a whole, can't you see the difference between the spacing of the third and fourth lines when compared against all the other lines?
I am using Internet Explorer 8.0 with Text Size set to Medium, certainly one of the most common browsers. With these settings, a standard, non-half-skip line takes up about 0.286 inches on my monitor, including the height of the text. What I call a half skip line takes up about 0.313 inches, about 1/16 more than standard lines without superscripts. Another way of saying this is that the normal space between lines is approximately 1/16 inch. The normal space between paragraphs is just shy of 1/4 inch. The space between two lines the second of which contains one or more inline citations is about 1/8 inch. All measuments are from the bottom of the descenders (e.g., y, j) to the top of the capitals (A, B, C, etc).
So it's really a one-fourth line skip, about half the height of the blank space used to separate paragraphs. But regardless of its size, it was noticable to me, until I got used to it. --RoyGoldsmith 18:54, 15 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Internet Explorer is beyond help. I agree it would probably be nice for readers if there was an option to hide citations, but it shouldn't be made the default or anything. Some JavaScript might be able to accomplish the task. --Cybercobra 07:37, 17 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If you don't use Turn Superscipts Off as the default, you'll loose 90% of our readers; that is, the overwhelming majority of the people that use Wikipedia would still get the half-line skips. In my opinion, everything we do should have, as its end goal, the improvement of the readers experience. Cybercobra, what reasons can you give for not making Turn Superscripts Off the default? --RoyGoldsmith 09:17, 18 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Other superscript display options

I think that end users should learn the importance of inline references if they are not already aware of it.

Why Mike, if they're just reading for casual information? --RoyGoldsmith 15:32, 23 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Still, offering options is a good thing, and I'd like to see a third option: When superscript references are displayed, they would appear as links that lead directly to the provided URL for web references (without the extra "external link" symbol), or unlinked numbers if the references are offline. In this way people could more quickly consult those source articles that are on the Web. Mike Serfas 03:21, 23 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Maybe we should have a new symbol: say [1] for offline citations and {1} for citations you can access with a single click. But I don't see this as a third option: both types of superscript should be suppressed or unsuppressed together. By the way, you can provide both means of access right now with a little effort (and without the curly brackets). For example:
[ subject of citation]<ref>{{cite web|url=|accessdate=whenever}}</ref>
The single-bracket [http://... and subject] provides the external link and the <ref>{{cite web...}}</ref> provides the inline citation. Like this: ...subject of citation[1]... But I assume you want this done automatically, for all Internet citations everywhere. This should be a separate proposal, having nothing to do with my suggestion about handling superscripts. (Hint, hint. :) --RoyGoldsmith 15:32, 23 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

General Metadata

I think this is an excellent idea, especially if it can be extended to suppress all meta-data which appears in artices. I've had to resort to CSS hacking to get rid of the 'fact' and 'weasel words' tags, but people keep creating new tags and message boxes to nag me to add more detail to articles or resolve problems, which almost every user won't do outside a very limited range of topics. Discussion of article quality should be in the discussion page, not the body of the text, and a preference setting/switch to hide them all would be very useful. 19:59, 24 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]