Talk:Argentina wins maiden FIFA Futsal World Cup

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Latest comment: 7 years ago by Pi zero in topic Fixing the author
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Review of revision 4252739 [Passed]


Fixing the author


{{editprotected}}In the external links section, FIFATV should be entirely in upper case. How can we fix it?
acagastya 06:03, 7 October 2016 (UTC)Reply

@Acagastya: Short explanation: it's waiting on a fix I haven't chosen yet to a long-term software problem. For whatever entertainment value it may offer, the longer explanation follows.

Early in the history of Wikinews, somebody apparently got very annoyed with people who copied author names in ALL CAPS, so they wired the {{source}} template to detect an all-caps author and apply magic words lc and ucfirst to it. This hack kept those authors from shouting, but didn't always capitalize correctly; for example, SAM SMITH would become Sam smith rather than Sam Smith. Even with more sophisticated tools, there's no simple algorithm to handle all these mixed-case authors correctly; for example, capitalizing the first letter of each word goes wrong because some names have lower-case particles in them (like Sir Lancelot du Lac). But the algorithm also sometimes removes all-caps when it shouldn't, and to fix that another hack was piled on top of the first, that checks for certain initialisms and leaves them alone. Like AFP, AP, UPI. The list of exceptions kept slowly growing over the years, and each time another exception had to be added to the list, it meant modifying the high-usage {{source}} template, resulting in forced updates to many thousands of articles that don't contain any all-caps authors. Further, there was no good way to find all the all-caps authors that should really be mixed-case and therefore could be fixed.

So I implemented a fix for that. I made a one-time change to template {{source}} so that, in processing the author field, it checks to see if the author is all-caps, and if it is, invokes a subtemplate {{source/ucauthor}} to deal with it. This means that if someone wants to add another exception to the list, it doesn't force updates to 20 thousand articles that use {{source}}, only to about one thousand that use {{source/ucauthor}}. And it also means it's easy to get a complete list of all articles that have all-caps authors, just by using Special:WhatLinksHere to list all pages that transclude {{source/ucauthor}}. Once I had that list, I started eliminating them all. Even most of the ones that use AFP, NASA, or whatever can be eliminated — because, after all, if those things would be wikilinked as sources, why shouldn't they be as authors; and if you wikilink one of those as an author, it's no longer all-caps (because the wikilink target contains lower-case letters). When I started there were iirc about 1450 pages calling {{source/ucauthor}}; now there are less than 950. And in the five hundred or so that I've processed by hand, I've found maybe four or five that really are individual exceptions to the rule. So there will have to be some sort of provision for individual exceptions (not exceptions for any time a certain all-caps name occurs, but just for a particular time it occurs); but in all there will probably be only ten or twenty individual exceptions in the entire archive, and I want to fix it in a way that is unlikely to be abused (i.e., each one should be done manually on purpose). I figure there's no great hurry, because there are still hundreds of cases to go through by hand. But in the back of my mind I am thinking over how those individual exceptions ought to be handled. --Pi zero (talk) 11:58, 7 October 2016 (UTC)Reply