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Old Sunday 3rd June 2007, 10:48   #26
Keith Dickinson
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Hi Ben
1,2, 3, and 5 in total aggreement.

4 I'd go further and not allow any abbreviations of any type, not even the obvious ones we use all the time. Just 'cos we use it, someone on the other side of the world may not know what it meant.

I'd definitely keep the same format for each level of entry, that way when the editor is looking at new posts, any inconsistencies stand out, while for the novice user the format can be learnt quickly.
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Old Sunday 3rd June 2007, 10:51   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben M View Post
Do not include ownership in the name (i.e. leave out RSPB, WWT, etc.).
My reasoning behind this point is that sites do change ownership. If a site S is owned by O, then naming it something like "S O Reserve" means that it's linked to as that. If it changes ownership, it needs renaming so all current links will break. A redirect fixes this, but why patch up what doesn't have to break in the first place? The current ownership can easily be mentioned in the text of the entry and a category of it can be added/removed without effecting anything else.
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Old Sunday 3rd June 2007, 11:47   #28
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See what you mean Ben. That has arisen once already with one of the Scots reserves, originally listed as RSPB but it wasa given up by the RSPB several years ago.
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Old Sunday 3rd June 2007, 12:01   #29
delia todd
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Basically it comes down to:

What people are going to search for and how they want to use Opus.

If you were planning a trip abroad and maybe staying in Delhi - you'd want to know what birding sites are around there (well I would LOL)

If you thought it an idea to go to Africa but weren't sure which country....

If I want to see a particular bird... where can I see it?

These are the sort of things (I feel) that we should be trying to address, or am I way off beam?????

Then we could decide how the page titles should be named.

Just my two-penn'th

D
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Old Sunday 3rd June 2007, 13:04   #30
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Thinking again

I suppose they could start their search in Information Wanted, where they could then be directed to the various pages of Opus for specific information about the different sites in the area.

Ah! Perhaps light is beginning to dawn on this (at last you might say )

D
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Old Sunday 3rd June 2007, 13:14   #31
Ben M
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delia todd View Post
Basically it comes down to:

What people are going to search for and how they want to use Opus.

If you were planning a trip abroad and maybe staying in Delhi - you'd want to know what birding sites are around there (well I would LOL)

If you thought it an idea to go to Africa but weren't sure which country....

If I want to see a particular bird... where can I see it?

These are the sort of things (I feel) that we should be trying to address, or am I way off beam?????

Then we could decide how the page titles should be named.

Just my two-penn'th

D
My thoughts...

Totally agree, but that's where the conflict starts, because Opus isn't really a database in the strict sense, and therefore such fine detailed searches cannot be performed easily without adding lots of structured information to entries.

Here are some possible use cases:
What sites are near to Leeds? Click on locations, search for Leeds, assuming there is no Leeds entry (and no other results from directions in other entries).... Assuming I know it's in England (but don't know it's in Yorkshire), I click England, get a list of counties in England... I'm stuck. I Google to find out that Leeds is in Yorkshire. I click Yorkshire and get the Yorkshire page. On that page there could be a category link that will list all the sites in Yorkshire. I click it, but I'm still stuck, other than knowing what sites are in the same county. Leeds might even be by the border and there could be other good sites closer to Leeds than the Yorkshire listed sites.

This problem cannot be solved elegantly without using Geo-data, which is beyond the scope of Opus's current technology. (Google maps were mentioned, which would help to solve this problem!)

Let me rethink the above... I want to know what sites are near to Leeds. I look on a map (perhaps online and linked from a Yorkshire or England Opus entry). I find Leeds and look for the names of potential sites, then search for those sites on Opus.

In reality the descriptions/directions for sites will surely list a significant town/city nearby, so searching will bring up relevant results.

If I want to see a specific bird, I look it up in the birds area of Opus. To read where it's found. If it's found all over, then I don't think I'll have a problem. If it's only at specific sites globally, then I'd expect to find links to those locations in its entry. If it only occurs at a few sites in the country/area I'm travelling to, then maybe the entry for that country/area should tell me where? This isn't ideal but, without a true database, problems like this one are inevitable.

The locations part of Opus needs a reasonably well-defined scope (not telescope!). I think it should focus on being a collection of articles written about birding sites all over the world, and the emphasis should be on clear and useful information about a given site. Providing overviews of larger areas (containing many sites) is obviously useful too, and the technology behind Opus can be used to "automatically" create "meaningful" links between locations, but this should be a secondary goal.

Using technology to automate things is great, when it's meaningful, but meaningful automation is hard to achieve. It's best to build the technology around the meaning, rather than force the meaning into the technology. So whilst it may be possible to link locations to be able to plan trips and do restrictive searches, it will be difficult to design and very time consuming to maintain. For now, let's keep things simple

(End of philosophy rant!)
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Old Sunday 3rd June 2007, 13:16   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delia todd View Post
Thinking again

I suppose they could start their search in Information Wanted, where they could then be directed to the various pages of Opus for specific information about the different sites in the area.

Ah! Perhaps light is beginning to dawn on this (at last you might say )

D
You beat me to it... and put it much more elegantly
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Old Sunday 3rd June 2007, 15:27   #33
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So after reading through the thread again we have a template looking something like this ...am I right?

TITLE site only, no abbreviations, no counties or countries.

OVERVIEW including type of terrain, when best to visit, who owns site, link to google maps (if possible)

BIRDLIST

GENERAL INFORMATION to include

History of site

Facilities on site

Flora and fauna of the site

Contact details of site owners if needed for permits etc.

Nearby sites (links if possible)

CATEGORIES

County & Country only Continent not needed as that can be linked to the country
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Old Sunday 3rd June 2007, 16:22   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Dickinson View Post
So after reading through the thread again we have a template looking something like this ...am I right?
Okay, for sites (rather than areas containing many sites)
  1. Title: I agree
  2. Overview: I think should be an overview of the main article points, so not a full description of habitat, history etc. but maybe a single important point from what's written below in the main article. I wouldn't include maps here. Also I would leave this section without a title, but have the menu here on the left and possibly include a single photograph on the right - the subject of which can be debated later.
  3. Birds (main title): Discussion of birds and birding of the site in line with points already discussed in previous posts, possibly with full bird list, but this might be better at the end?
  4. General information (main title, possibly use another name "site information"? ): Agree, let's decide on some sub titles or at least bolded points (i.e. "History: " at the start of the paragraph).
  5. Reviews (main title): Include existing reviews as subtitled sections for now... debate their future later
  6. External links (main title): References to online resources outside of Opus (e.g. local bird club, BF local patch thread, etc.)
  7. Categories: I agree, but also include ownership (i.e. RSPB)? Might need to discuss categories further in the future.

Sub-headings for General Info (no particular order):
  1. History
  2. Use
  3. Habitat
  4. Wildlife
  5. Facilities
  6. Access
  7. Contacts
Any others?
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Old Sunday 3rd June 2007, 16:54   #35
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This is beginning to look good.

Ben: Item 3 would have to be a different name, as the list of birds is titled "Birds"

I like the idea of a link to the Local Patch reports - brilliant idea.

I agree about the maps being put at the end.

Overview I have a bit of a problem with. If we go with Keith's ideas there would be less editing to do on the bulk of the entries so far. Though I can see your point Ben.

D
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Old Sunday 3rd June 2007, 17:06   #36
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I'm for keeping the overview as is, for same reasons Delia said...too many sites would need major edits.
I like your list of sub headings for General information. Must admit I forgot to put in the reviews bit.
I too like the external links bit...this would be the place for ownership stuff as...link to RSPb that sort of thing
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Old Sunday 3rd June 2007, 21:49   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delia todd View Post
Item 3 would have to be a different name, as the list of birds is titled "Birds"

...

Overview I have a bit of a problem with. If we go with Keith's ideas there would be less editing to do on the bulk of the entries so far. Though I can see your point Ben.

D
As far as I can see the bird list is only under a section headed birds because ==Birds== is in the code, so we're free to move this title where we want. It's the "Birds you can see here include:" bit that we can't change.

As for the overview... I didn't realize about the current structure (I've not really read many entries yet!). In light of this, Keith's idea seems much better
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Old Sunday 3rd June 2007, 22:04   #38
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Hi Ben

erm.. if we don't call that 'Birds' what do you suggest instead - Species?

The bulk of the articles are in this sort of format.

D
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Old Sunday 3rd June 2007, 22:12   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben M View Post
Sub-headings for General Info (no particular order):
  1. History
  2. Use
  3. Habitat
  4. Wildlife
  5. Facilities
  6. Access
  7. Contacts
A) What do you think about the ordering of the sub-headings? I think 1+2 go together well, as do 3+4, and 5+6+7. Maybe put access before facilities?

B) Do you think these should be level 2 headings or bolded points?

C) What do you think about putting the map (if any) in the habitat sub-section? (I'm assuming that, despite the overview, we have a sub-section for habitat that describes the site-specific named areas of a site (e.g. The Raptor Watchpoint, Jack's Plantation, Hollybell Wood, etc.). If all habitat info is in the overview then what's a better name for the section describing such areas? Description? Areas of Interest?
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Old Sunday 3rd June 2007, 22:21   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delia todd View Post
erm.. if we don't call that 'Birds' what do you suggest instead - Species?
It depends where the bird list ends up...

If it stays in the middle of the article we can:
i) name the section ==Birds==, give a discussion and then put the bird list.

If it goes elsewhere then we can:
ii) give it a new level 1 title like ==Species== (good title)
iii) keep the title ==Birds== and give the discussion section a title like ==Birdlife== (or something better)
iv) don't give it a title... it's already introduced by the predefined text. This would fit in well in the general info section if other sub-sections are denoted in a similar bold+colon style.

Personally I favour (i) or (iv), but I might change my mind when I see how it looks
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Old Sunday 3rd June 2007, 22:42   #41
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Hi Ben

My head's beginning to hurt again

Access and Facilities could be in the one heading, otherwise I think Facilities first maybe.

I don't really know what a 'Level 2' heading is, I'm afraid.

At the moment 'habitat' is being described in the first paragraph of most of the existing pages.

Maps: are you talking about 'maps of the site' or a map of how to get to the site?

Currently the list of Birds are at then end, before the Reviews, in their own section. I'd be prepared to shift them, but it will be a lot of work.

D
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Old Sunday 3rd June 2007, 22:57   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delia todd View Post
Access and Facilities could be in the one heading, otherwise I think Facilities first maybe.
My thinking was, you get there first (access) and then you use the facilities, but you might not go there in the first place if there are no toilets!

Quote:
Originally Posted by delia todd View Post
I don't really know what a 'Level 2' heading is, I'm afraid.
==Level 1 Heading== is the biggest text and shows as 1, 2, 3, etc. in the contents. ===Level 2 Heading=== is the second biggest text and shows as 1.1, 1.2, 2.1, etc. in the contents.

Quote:
Originally Posted by delia todd View Post
At the moment 'habitat' is being described in the first paragraph of most of the existing pages.
Okay, so another heading then... I was thinking in terms of the site article I've been working on for my local patch, which currently has a 10-paragraph habitat description!

Quote:
Originally Posted by delia todd View Post
Maps: are you talking about 'maps of the site' or a map of how to get to the site?
Map of the site showing paths, facilities, named areas and habitats.

Quote:
Originally Posted by delia todd View Post
Currently the list of Birds are at then end, before the Reviews, in their own section. I'd be prepared to shift them, but it will be a lot of work.
Well it's only worth moving if we think the structure improves... moving is surely just a simple copy and paste job though (quicker than typing a new heading)... I think I just volunteered myself
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Old Sunday 3rd June 2007, 23:11   #43
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OK I've copied that Berney Marshes one from the link above and put some headings in. I can't attach to a post so I'll copy it into the next post, we'll then get an idea of how it will look.

We can then 'play' about with it a bit.

D
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Old Sunday 3rd June 2007, 23:12   #44
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Berney Marshes and Breydon Water

OVERVIEW
A large tidal estuary, the most easterly in Britain, Breydon Water has long been famous as a haunt of large numbers of waders and waterfowl. A popular shooting area for centuries, this still continues but on a much smaller scale but since the mid-1980s the RSPB has managed and protected much of the estuary and nearby marshes. Three rivers, the Bure, Waveney and Yare, enter Breydon Water, the tidal stretch of which is almost 5km long and more than 1.5km wide in places. Low tide exposes vast areas of mudflats and saltings and there are extensive areas of wet grassland bordering the estuary. Nationally important numbers of wintering and passage waders and waterfowl occur here and the area has a good record for attracting rarities. To the south of Great Yarmouth the outlet to the sea can be a good spot for gulls and other seabirds.

BIRDS
Breeding species include Little Grebe and Great Crested Grebe, Mute Swan and feral Greylag Goose, and there is a thriving Common Tern colony on an artificial island. In the meadows, Northern Lapwing, Common Snipe, Common Redshank and Yellow Wagtail breed, all species currently undergoing a decline over most of Britain and other breeding waders include Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover and a small number of Little Ringed Plover. Black Redstart breeds at the power station to the south of Great Yarmouth.
Greater White-fronted Goose and Eurasian Wigeon winter in nationally important numbers and a variety of other ducks and geese can be seen as well as Bewick's Swan. More than 20,000 Northern Lapwing winter and other waders include Golden Plover, Grey Plover and Ringed Plover Snipe, godwits and Eurasian Curlew. Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Hen Harrier and Short-eared Owl regularly hunt the area in winter, often joined by Merlin, Peregrine Falcon and Rough-legged Buzzard. Saltings and grasslands attract Snow Bunting and Lapland Bunting and Twite and other finches.
During passage periods the diversity of waterfowl and wader species increases and there are few species from either group that do not occur. Dark-bellied Brent Goose is numerous on passage. Eurasian Spoonbill and Pied Avocet are annual visitors and many other waders are usually present. Other migrants include scarcer seabirds such as Black Tern and Mediterranean Gull and raptors including Osprey and Northern Hobby. Its position on the North Sea coast makes the Breydon Water area ideal for observing passerine migrants and large 'falls' can occur in certain weather conditions. Divers, grebes and gulls, sometimes skuas, Northern Gannet and Northern Fulmar, can be seen at sea from the rivermouth. Glaucous Gull is often present in winter and Purple Sandpiper is regular at Yarmouth harbour.
The long history of shooting over Breydon Water and the surrounding marshes has resulted in a long list of rarities and just as many are recorded today. Of the larger wading birds species such as Little Bittern, Cattle Egret and Black-crowned Night Heron, Squacco Heron and Purple Heron have been recorded as well as Black Stork and White Stork and Glossy Ibis. Escaped flamingoes and pelicans often manage to find their way to this estuary. Rare waterfowl have included Lesser White-fronted Goose, American Wigeon, Ring-necked Duck and Bufflehead but the list of waders is excellent for an east coast location. From North America have come Pectoral Sandpiper, White-rumped Sandpiper and Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Dowitcher, Greater Yellowlegs and Wilson's Phalarope. More easterly species have include Sharp-tailed Sandpiper and Broad-billed Sandpiper, Great Snipe and Terek Sandpiper.

GENERAL INFORMATION
Breydon Water is the most important estuary for birds on the East Anglian coast and situated close to the very popular tourist centre of Great Yarmouth. There are public footpaths along both north and south shores and hides at the eastern end. One of the best spots is the mudflats in the north-eastern corner on a rising tide. To view the main channel for diving duck and grebes the southern footpath is best.
Facilities: The staff of the Breydon Water RSPB Reserve arrange boat-trips on the first Sunday of each month. Park at the Great Yarmouth ASDA store to visit this reserve and for the nearby Berney Marshes reserve park beside the Berney Arms. This reserve lies on the extensive Halvergate Marshes, mainly wet grazing land with pools and ditches, excellent habitat for wintering Bewick's Swan and Eurasian Wigeon among others.
Accommodation is plentiful in Great Yarmouth and nearby villages but this area is extremely busy in summer and advance booking may be necessary.

Contacts: RSPB etc

SPECIES
Birds you can see here include:
Red-throated Diver, (scarce W), Black-throated Diver, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Red-necked Grebe, Slavonian Grebe, Northern Fulmar, Northern Gannet, Great Cormorant, Grey Heron, Eurasian Spoonbill, Mute Swan, Bewick's Swan, Whooper Swan, Greater White-fronted Goose, Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Dark-bellied Brent Goose, Egyptian Goose, (scarce), Common Shelduck, Eurasian Wigeon, Gadwall, Common Teal, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Garganey, Northern Shoveler, Common Pochard, Tufted Duck, Greater Scaup, Common Eider, Long-tailed Duck, Common Scoter, Velvet Scoter, Common Goldeneye, Smew, Red-breasted Merganser, Goosander, Marsh Harrier, Hen Harrier, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Common Buzzard, Rough-legged Buzzard, Osprey, Common Kestrel, Merlin, Northern Hobby, Peregrine Falcon, Red-legged Partridge, Grey Partridge, Water Rail, Common Moorhen, Common Coot, Eurasian Oystercatcher, Pied Avocet, Little Ringed Plover, Common Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Eurasian or European Golden Plover, Grey Plover, Northern Lapwing, Red Knot, Sanderling, Little Stint, Temminck's Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Purple Sandpiper, Dunlin, Jack Snipe, Common Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit, Bar-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel, Eurasian Curlew, Spotted Redshank, Common Redshank, Common Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Ruddy Turnstone, Arctic Skua, Mediterranean Gull, Little Gull, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Glaucous Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Black-legged Kittiwake, Sandwich Tern, Common Tern, Arctic Tern, Little Tern, Black Tern, Stock Dove, Common Wood Pigeon, Common Cuckoo, Short-eared Owl, Common Swift, Eurasian Skylark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Northern House Martin, Meadow Pipit, Rock Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Black Redstart, Eurasian Blackbird, Fieldfare, Song Thrush, Redwing, Mistle Thrush, Sedge Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Bearded Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Common Magpie, Rook, Carrion Crow, Common Starling, House Sparrow, Eurasian Tree Sparrow, Chaffinch, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Eurasian Linnet, Twite, Lapland Bunting, Snow Bunting, Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting

EXTERNAL LINKS


REVIEWS
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Old Sunday 3rd June 2007, 23:18   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben M View Post
My thinking was, you get there first (access) and then you use the facilities, but you might not go there in the first place if there are no toilets!
OK

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben
==Level 1 Heading== is the biggest text and shows as 1, 2, 3, etc. in the contents. ===Level 2 Heading=== is the second biggest text and shows as 1.1, 1.2, 2.1, etc. in the contents.
Thanks. I know what you're talking about now LOL

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Originally Posted by Ben
Okay, so another heading then... I was thinking in terms of the site article I've been working on for my local patch, which currently has a 10-paragraph habitat description!
Ye gods!

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Originally Posted by Ben
Well it's only worth moving if we think the structure improves... moving is surely just a simple copy and paste job though (quicker than typing a new heading)... I think I just volunteered myself
There's hundreds of sites

D
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Old Sunday 3rd June 2007, 23:22   #46
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I wondered if the Contents box should go after the Overview.

What's the thoughts on that?

D
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Old Sunday 3rd June 2007, 23:43   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delia todd View Post
I wondered if the Contents box should go after the Overview.

What's the thoughts on that?

D
Is it placed automatically directly before the first heading (when there're two or more headings)? If so, then leaving out the overview heading should do what you want.
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Old Monday 4th June 2007, 19:13   #48
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Looks to me like the Contents box is placed before the first heading, checked a few locations.
Where there are reviews, are we going to have a set lay out for them. I've noticed in a few instances that the review has included a 'pros' and 'cons' section. Maybe encourage people to give theirs by including those as second level titles? vis Blacktoft Sands http://www.birdforum.net/opus/Blackt..._%28England%29

I've played about with the page since first posting this Ben, added a picture etc, what do you think.
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Old Monday 4th June 2007, 19:32   #49
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hmmm thanks for posting that link Keith

Not too keen on the position of the Contents box there - too much white space.

If Ben is right and we do have a heading of 'Overview', this box would then appear at the top? Could we then put a phtograph on the RHS of this to fill in some of this space?

D
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Old Monday 4th June 2007, 21:00   #50
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I have not previously chimed in, but here are a few comments:

I like the more structured version included in this thread better than the version with fewer headings given as a link to Blacktoft Sands. More headings of course means that the author should have some disciplin to awoid repetitions.

I think the list of birds given in small print with no spaces or structure is booring. Could it be possible to have a template that reformats the output into columns with check-boxes for production of a checklist? (I know this is a tall order, but by asking the worst I can get is a "No"). The proper heading for this section should either be "complete list of birds" or "Check-list". "Birds" does not work for me when the previous section also has a lot of bird-specific info.

The reviews in the linked to example seems to take up a lot of space, to give information that really should be included already above.

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