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Old Saturday 25th August 2007, 20:48   #101
wintibird
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I never included rarities in the checklist. It would be a difficult thing: do you add all rarities ever seen there? (eg a Great Bustard in Fanel from 18something). Or all potential rarities? (there you need some medium to tell you the future).
I don't think they should be included. A check-list in my view is a list with all birds regulary seen in the area during the year.

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Old Sunday 26th August 2007, 06:25   #102
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I'll second what Andre and delia just said about excluding rarities from the checklist section, for the following reasons:

1. The checklist is noted as "Birds you can see here." It seems to me that this is a forward-looking description, aimed at guiding future visitors to the site in question. Thus "rare but regular" belongs on the checklist, "one vagrant showed up here decades ago" doesn't.

2. The rarities have a separate section anyway.

It looks like there is some consensus on eliminating the various location tags and folding the information contained therein into the categories and overview sections. I'll try tinkering with a few of my local sites and see what the results look like.
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Old Sunday 26th August 2007, 07:17   #103
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Some minor questions and a larger point.

Andre mentioned above moving pages to a different title. I don't see an easy way to do this, but I'm sure I'm missing something since I've only been playing with the system for a couple of days. Any help would be appreciated.

Second question: how do we go about creating new categories and adding new categories to the front page? The front page now lists just four categories (Africa, Asia, Central America, Caribbean) before confronting the user with the legions of individual pages. It would be nice to have similar treatment for the other existing top-level categories (North America and Europe, for example). The Category: United States page currently has 49 subcategories. It needs an entry for Georgia, and the vacancy isn't because we looked for Brown Thrashers and got Caucasian Snowcock by mistake, either.

The larger point: njlarsen mentioned above that flags for rarity would be a desired feature, if a bit troublesome to program. I'll heartily second that, and suggest that what we need for these location pages is a grid similar to that found in a number of US bird-finding guides. To wit: all of the species are listed next to a timeline, with rarity information given by season. So we could have headings for each month, then options for "common, uncommon, rare, accidental" as needed.

In theory this would provide a great deal of additional information on seasonal patterns of occurance, and eliminate the numerous parentheticals in the present checklists along the lines of "rare- winter." In practice it's probably a great deal of programming effort and substantially raises the bar for the amount of patchwork needed to produce such a checklist. Comments?
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Old Sunday 26th August 2007, 08:11   #104
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To your first question: If you open an article you will find on the top, between history and watch move. If you click on it, you get to a page where you can give the article a new title.
If you give a new title, don't worry about links to the page. If you click on a link, you will be redirectet to the new page.

As far as I know, you can create categories by placing them to an article. I'm not sure about how they appear on the categories page.

You suggestion about the check-list sounds great. But it also sounds a hard programming work and I wonder if we could gather all this information. Even now, with the basic check-list, we have so many stub pages or even empty pages. So I'm not sure, if it's really doable.

Greetings from sunny Switzerland
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Old Sunday 26th August 2007, 15:21   #105
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André: Thanks for dealing with the only bit of JT's post that I could've answered

Are we all agreed then, that we'll strip all titles down to the site name only?

We'd need to make sure that any relevant information that has been removed was put into the body text somewhere.

Like jt I need some guidance as to how to set up different categories. I happened to be in an Italian one and clicked on the link at the bottom which brings up a list of all the Italian sites (I thought).

However at the top is "Sub Category" which has Lazio as the only entry. Click on that and it shows 3 more articles - none of which appear in the main list.

Think I need to have a lesson in this before trying to re-name anything

D
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Old Sunday 26th August 2007, 17:48   #106
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Andre, thanks for the hint. I just experimented with the move feature and it works fine.

delia, even I think that stripping all titles is a bit excessive- there will be times when we need to preserve a few of these in the interest of clarity.
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Old Sunday 26th August 2007, 18:05   #107
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Ooops yes of course jt...

I should have said in accordance with Ben's guidelines:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben
My (quick) opinion is that you just use the common site name in full.

If two or more sites have the exact same common name, then you append the country in brackets afterwards (this is the normal wiki convention). Also spell out abbreviations in full (i.e. don't use "NWR" use "National Wildlife Refuge").
D
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Old Sunday 26th August 2007, 21:23   #108
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I just created a general California page modeled on Andre's fine Switzerland example and brought some order to the local category page. Comments?

Last edited by jthoppes : Sunday 26th August 2007 at 21:24. Reason: typo
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Old Monday 27th August 2007, 08:07   #109
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Looks nice indeed. Especially the references which I'm now thinking about including as well.

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Old Monday 27th August 2007, 18:23   #110
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I've just set up a skeletal category page for the US National Wildlife Refuges, since I had three in my home state and just ran into another in Nevada. Suggest that similar pages would be a good idea for other agencies that run collections of preserves (US National Parks, RSPB, WWT, etc.)

Last edited by jthoppes : Monday 27th August 2007 at 18:23. Reason: close parenthesis
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Old Monday 27th August 2007, 23:03   #111
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Location Titles

I've briefly scanned all posts since my last one, so if I have missed a point then just give me a nudge

My view is strip all (unnecessary) info from the titles, and leave only what a site would be referred to locally, but using the full correct/official name. This might sound a bit contradictory, so let me elaborate my point with an example...

Supposing there is a site called Beautiful Lakes in the county of Greenshire, which is in a country called Treeland. Assume that the site is owned by the National Nature Trust (NNT) and is referred to by the locals as The Beauties. This site might be named:

The Beauties NNT (Greenshire, Treeland)

Since The Beauties is not the correct/official name it should be changed, as visitors are unlikely to find it listed as such in guides/maps/etc.:

Beautiful Lakes NNT (Greenshire, Treeland)

Since the site's ownership may change over time, and this information may be considered non-neutral/subjective, the ownership should be removed from the title, but inserted as a category and probably should be mentioned in the overview too (as to whether one should use the full name or its acronym for ownership... I'm of mixed opinion, but that's another issue):

Beautiful Lakes (Greenshire, Treeland)

Now if there are two or more sites listed on Opus with the exact same name, then they'll need different titles, so I'd recommend appending the differentiating text in brackets (with a space). If these multiple sites are in different countries, then just add the country name to both; if in the same country, then add just an appropriate differentiating region (i.e. the state/county). If, for example, there were three sites, and two were in the same country, then add both the region and the country to all three. However, assuming we don't have multiple sites with the exact same name, remove all geographical regions* and add them as separate categories:

Beautiful Lakes

* unless the region is an essential part of the correct/official name (e.g. London Wetlands Centre)

This site should now have categories for NNT, Greenshire, and Treeland.

What are you thoughts on this idea, and does anyone foresee any problems with it?

Another point to consider is use of common terms like:
  • State
  • County
  • Country
  • Local
  • National
  • Reserve
  • Park
  • Center/Centre
  • Nature
I think the consensus is already not to abbreviate phrases like "Local Nature Reserve", but should they even be included? In some cases they seem necessary, but in others they're superfluous. Can we achieve a balance between meaningful and concise site names, whilst maintaining consistency?
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Old Monday 27th August 2007, 23:41   #112
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Bird Check List

The check list is something that has the potential to be over-engineered - there's just so many possible and useful things that could be done with it, but they would generally involve technical changes. For the time being, I'd suggest sticking to the existing type of list for editing purposes. We should be more concerned with what information is included, rather than how it's presented.

I think the consensus here is only include species which are typical (and current!) annual visitors to a site, thus removing the time-of-year aspect of the problem, and producing a useful check list for visitors. I think we should be aiming for articles targeted towards potential infrequent visitors who are curious to learn about a site, rather than aiming for producing a scientific report that documents all sightings for a site's regular birders. Brief details of rarities should be included in the rarities subsection, and the same might go for less frequently occurring species that aren't quite up to that site's rarity status, but are highly unlikely to be seen in several typical visits.

As a rough guide, authors might like to consider whether or not a competent birder would be likely to record a particular species if they visited the site frequently throughout the next year (based on recent trends). So if a scarce species was present last year, but hadn't been present in the previous years, then it probably shouldn't be included in the check list (yet). It's open to discussion as to whether a small number of sightings every year might constitute a place on the check list for sites that are well watched!?

What do others think?
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Old Tuesday 28th August 2007, 00:09   #113
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Two difficult posers for us at this time of night Ben (second post first - still thinking on the first one )

Most of the 'good' articles cover the time of year under Notable Species and I've been trying to break up the paragraphs to reflect this - Passage Migrants, Resident Breeders etc

I think the Rarities should only appear in that section - not the Check-list; but the Check-list should include all the regular birds that are there throughout the year.

hmmm... reluctant to suggest that the Check-list could be broken up into 'Resident', 'Spring', 'Summer', 'Autumn' and 'Winter'.... who's going to sort the existing ones? I haven't the knowledge It would look better though and be an easier read.

D
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Old Tuesday 28th August 2007, 00:18   #114
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delia todd View Post
hmmm... reluctant to suggest that the Check-list could be broken up into 'Resident', 'Spring', 'Summer', 'Autumn' and 'Winter'.... who's going to sort the existing ones? I haven't the knowledge It would look better though and be an easier read.
I'm for keeping the check list as one.

For species mentioned in the check list, it should be pretty obvious from the site's location, whether or not there's a chance of seeing a species at a given time of year. (Migration range is better left to the species entry, rather than in the locations entry, right?)
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Old Tuesday 28th August 2007, 00:24   #115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben M View Post
I've briefly scanned all posts since my last one, so if I have missed a point then just give me a nudge

My view is strip all (unnecessary) info from the titles, and leave only what a site would be referred to locally, but using the full correct/official name. This might sound a bit contradictory, so let me elaborate my point with an example...

Supposing there is a site called Beautiful Lakes in the county of Greenshire, which is in a country called Treeland. Assume that the site is owned by the National Nature Trust (NNT) and is referred to by the locals as The Beauties. This site might be named:

The Beauties NNT (Greenshire, Treeland)

Since The Beauties is not the correct/official name it should be changed, as visitors are unlikely to find it listed as such in guides/maps/etc.:

Beautiful Lakes NNT (Greenshire, Treeland)

Since the site's ownership may change over time, and this information may be considered non-neutral/subjective, the ownership should be removed from the title, but inserted as a category and probably should be mentioned in the overview too (as to whether one should use the full name or its acronym for ownership... I'm of mixed opinion, but that's another issue):

Beautiful Lakes (Greenshire, Treeland)

Now if there are two or more sites listed on Opus with the exact same name, then they'll need different titles, so I'd recommend appending the differentiating text in brackets (with a space). If these multiple sites are in different countries, then just add the country name to both; if in the same country, then add just an appropriate differentiating region (i.e. the state/county). If, for example, there were three sites, and two were in the same country, then add both the region and the country to all three. However, assuming we don't have multiple sites with the exact same name, remove all geographical regions* and add them as separate categories:

Beautiful Lakes

* unless the region is an essential part of the correct/official name (e.g. London Wetlands Centre)

This site should now have categories for NNT, Greenshire, and Treeland.

What are you thoughts on this idea, and does anyone foresee any problems with it?

Another point to consider is use of common terms like:
  • State
  • County
  • Country
  • Local
  • National
  • Reserve
  • Park
  • Center/Centre
  • Nature
I think the consensus is already not to abbreviate phrases like "Local Nature Reserve", but should they even be included? In some cases they seem necessary, but in others they're superfluous. Can we achieve a balance between meaningful and concise site names, whilst maintaining consistency?
Yep, I think I'm with you there Ben.

I don't really think there's a problem with using RSPB, I think that's known generally world-wide (just waiting now for someone to prove me wrong )

By Category... do you mean adding [[Category:RSPB]] at the bottom? I'm not really sure how this works as I got in a muddle trying to do one.

D
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Old Tuesday 28th August 2007, 01:53   #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben M View Post
Since the site's ownership may change over time, and this information may be considered non-neutral/subjective, the ownership should be removed from the title, but inserted as a category and probably should be mentioned in the overview too (as to whether one should use the full name or its acronym for ownership... I'm of mixed opinion, but that's another issue):
Mentioned in the overview and inserted into categories, I absolutely agree.

I would like to disagree about ownership in the titles. I think this is a bit of Anglo-American cultural difference, as so many more of the American sites are public land that it seems both entirely natural and a straight statement of fact to place "National Park", "National Wildlife Refuge," etc. in the title. Change of ownership is rather less likely than with private organizations...

Agree that categories for RSPB, etc. are a good idea. It took me a couple of tries to get this right. I think the trick is to add a line of descriptive text when creating the new category, otherwise it will default back to "this page has not been created yet." As an example I just set up an as yet mostly fragmentary category for the National Wildlife Refuges.
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Old Tuesday 28th August 2007, 02:09   #117
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I have been lurking a little here lately, but just one question: is there a coherent explanation for how to use categories anywhere? in other words, going beyond placing a tag in a line of an entry to indicate that it belongs to a category, what else needs to be done to actually have the parent category page? and can a page duplicate as a category page and one with meaningfull description? In other words, could a location description of a country at the same time be the category page for the individual locations?

thanks
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Old Tuesday 28th August 2007, 06:08   #118
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I do agree with Ben about the titles, just the blank name of the site. In most countries I visited (and this is excluding the US), the ownership of a site is rarely mentioned and sometimes even not known. Unless the site is widely know with the ownership in its name, it shouldn't be there.

I'm a bit confused about the check-list. I think that passage migrants should be included, as long as they are regular visitors. I guess birders know that their hobby is time-related and that you can't expect to see the same amount of birds or the same species at a visit in May or in July.

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Old Tuesday 28th August 2007, 09:27   #119
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I'm completely lost with how Categories work.

For instance... select 'E' in Locations and there's a 'Sub Category' for Europe.

Click on that and you get all the European countries come up (at least I think they're all there not really checked LOL)

But where has 'Europe' come from?

And, if a 'new' country was to be added to Europe how would you get it included?

More confusingly... click on 'I' and you get sub categories of Lazio (Italy) and Middle East but not Italy.

Some of the Italian articles are:

just Italy... others are ... Italy and Sardinia / Sicily.

Can someone give me a lesson on this

D
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Old Tuesday 28th August 2007, 17:46   #120
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Quote:
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And, if a 'new' country was to be added to Europe how would you get it included?

D
I think this happens automatically, although I'm not quite sure how.

I just tested the missing Georgia category I mentioned above, setting up a very brief stub for a location with a nesting colony of that typical southeastern pinewoods bird, the Red-cockaded Woodpecker. When I wrote [[Category: Georgia]] into the listing alongside stubs and locations, it automatically created a category under [[Category: Europe]]. I just edited that to the proper [[Category: United States]]; when we add locations near Tblisi in the Caucasus we'll need some kind of disambiguation page. Wikipedia adopts "Georgia (country)" vs. "Georgia (U.S. state)" which seems sensible enough.

Now, what I'd really like to know is how to add categories to the main Category: Locations page. Both Africa and Europe are high-level subcategories directly underneath this page, but only the first actually appears on the main portal. I might add that the search function does not handle categories well. For these kind of large searches, a category is really a much better result than a page text match, and yet Category:Europe is only accessible from the individual subpages, not from a general search.
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Old Tuesday 28th August 2007, 19:07   #121
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Just had a quick scan of the above... will write more later tonight, but...

Delia, yes I was referring to those types of categories

I think I have worked out the high-level category thing, so briefly...

If [[Category:Locations]] is the only content of an article, it will be listed as a high-level location. Otherwise it will appear in the longer list. The reason why Europe is not appearing is because the page is only showing the first 200 entries, which are A-C, so only the high-level categories that start with A, B, or C are shown. On the E page, Europe is shown as a high-level location!

More in a few hours
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Old Tuesday 28th August 2007, 20:20   #122
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jthoppes View Post
I would like to disagree about ownership in the titles. I think this is a bit of Anglo-American cultural difference, as so many more of the American sites are public land that it seems both entirely natural and a straight statement of fact to place "National Park", "National Wildlife Refuge," etc. in the title. Change of ownership is rather less likely than with private organizations...
I wasn't suggesting that phrases like "National Park" be removed... only hinting that we should be consistent in where we draw the line (if we draw one!). My local patch is called "Bestwood Country Park" and removing the "Country Park" bit would imply a different location. So I think I'm agreeing with you I do think there's a strong case for removing organization names like "RSPB" from titles, though.
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Old Tuesday 28th August 2007, 20:32   #123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njlarsen View Post
I have been lurking a little here lately, but just one question: is there a coherent explanation for how to use categories anywhere? in other words, going beyond placing a tag in a line of an entry to indicate that it belongs to a category, what else needs to be done to actually have the parent category page? and can a page duplicate as a category page and one with meaningfull description? In other words, could a location description of a country at the same time be the category page for the individual locations?

thanks
Niels
For categories there is a help page, but it doesn't go into every detail.
There is also post #63 of this thread, where I explained how I set up the listing entries with a certain category behaviour I wanted. I think this post also answers some of your questions.
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Old Tuesday 28th August 2007, 21:03   #124
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delia todd View Post
But where has 'Europe' come from?
The Europe Category page lists all entries that have [[Category:Europe]] in them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by delia todd View Post
And, if a 'new' country was to be added to Europe how would you get it included?
In the article for the new country just add [[Category:Europe]]

Quote:
Originally Posted by delia todd View Post
More confusingly... click on 'I' and you get sub categories of Lazio (Italy) and Middle East but not Italy.
These pages list 200 entries, and as there are less than 200 I entries, the subsequent letters are also listed, up until 200 entries are covered. On the I page, the letters I, J, K, L, and M are also covered, so any categories starting with any of those letters are included (currently: Lazio (Italy) and Middle East). Italy doesn't appear because it doesn't exist yet, nobody has added [[Category:Italy]] to an entry (I think?).

Quote:
Originally Posted by delia todd View Post
Some of the Italian articles are:

just Italy... others are ... Italy and Sardinia / Sicily.
All seem to be the latter, at present.
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Old Tuesday 28th August 2007, 21:23   #125
Ben M
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jthoppes View Post
I think this happens automatically, although I'm not quite sure how.

I just tested the missing Georgia category I mentioned above, setting up a very brief stub for a location with a nesting colony of that typical southeastern pinewoods bird, the Red-cockaded Woodpecker. When I wrote [[Category: Georgia]] into the listing alongside stubs and locations, it automatically created a category under [[Category: Europe]]. I just edited that to the proper [[Category: United States]]; when we add locations near Tblisi in the Caucasus we'll need some kind of disambiguation page. Wikipedia adopts "Georgia (country)" vs. "Georgia (U.S. state)" which seems sensible enough.

Now, what I'd really like to know is how to add categories to the main Category: Locations page. Both Africa and Europe are high-level subcategories directly underneath this page, but only the first actually appears on the main portal. I might add that the search function does not handle categories well. For these kind of large searches, a category is really a much better result than a page text match, and yet Category:Europe is only accessible from the individual subpages, not from a general search.
I've made changes to list as the U.S. state, which will hopefully prevent others from encountering the same problem. Although we're talking about categories, someone should probably set up a brief disambiguation article.
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