User talk:Useddenim

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Recent edits

Hi there. There have been a few complaints from other users about some of your recent edits which I would like to acknowledge. I know you are relatively new to editing on the Wiki, so here are a few tips to consider:

  1. Please ensure you follow our Wiki's guidelines and established standards when editing pages, and not copying Wikipedia or coming up with your own unique formatting. Things like removing the capitalization of existing notes and changing the formatting of tables (from white/clear to grey) and the order of columns is not preferred. For more information, please refer to the pages under the Naming Conventions, or check out this example page.
  2. Only upload photos or scans of material that you own the copyright to, or that doesn't have a copyright associated with it. I think those Orion sales brochures fall in this category - and I'm not sure how useful they are to be on the Wiki anyway.
  3. The depictions of rollsigns that you added to multiple pages yesterday are rather big and long, and disrupt the content of the page, especially for mobile users. The coding is also massive - you added nearly 46,000 characters to the Grand River Transit page! While this type of "extra" content may be okay, please put it on a side page (i.e. create a new "Kitchener Transit rollsigns" page or similar) rather than have it on the main system page.

I appreciate your future cooperation on these matters. If you have any questions, please let me know. Thank you! --ArticulatedTalkContrib 20:34, 18 January 2020 (UTC)

Articulated:

  1. Generally what I copy from Wikipedia is material that I myself wrote there. I have to admit that there was still an Ontario Grade 13 when I finished high school, so I'm "old school" when it comes to grammar (and so is Wikipedia), but I'll try to remember your guidelines (as much as it grates on my sensibilities). I'll try to create a template to simplify the table formatting, but would it be possible for someone to create a "cptdb table" style so it could be coded as {| class=cptdbt, similar to {| class=wikitable? Re "order of columns", I presume you are referring to Orion Bus Industries 'Orion I'? If you notice, before I edited the page the two tables were not consistent: Demonstrator and engineering units had the model listed under "Notes", whereas Preserved units already had a separate column. (The reason I moved it is because I felt was the logical hierarchy: in any given year (or month) there are many different model buses produced; within each model there are many units; and then each bus has its own unique serial. However, I'm willing to be convinced that a different order makes more sense.)
  2. I uploaded the Orion brochure because it was already referenced and I thought it would be a good addition, but if it breaks some rules go ahead and remove it. All other images are either my own or ones that are in the public domain, either because of the source or they are sufficiently old that the copyright has expired. (e.g. File:TTC Danforth Division.jpg)
  3. Point taken about the rollsigns: a separate sub-page is a good idea. (What? Doesn't everyone have twin 24" cinema displays on their desk?) Also, my intent is to redo them in standard wiki markup (the one at Arrow Bus Lines (Mississauga, ON)#Destination sign already is) which significantly reduces the character count. (As an aside, they were originally coded to HTML 2 standards—one of the reasons that each table cell is individually formatted—which lacked many of the tools which we now take for granted, and certainly lo-o-ong before wikitext existed.)
Besides 10,000+ photos from the 1970s onwards, I also have a lot of roster information which will fill many gaps. Is it going to offend anyone's sensibilities if I start adding, for example, complete delivery lists to the appropriate bus model pages?
I look forward to your reply, Useddenim (talk) 23:36, 18 January 2020 (UTC)
Follow-up question: I have close to two dozen TTC signs—should they be all one one page, or separated by division? Useddenim (talk) 23:51, 18 January 2020 (UTC)
Update: {{table}} now formats a table (instead of having to explicitly add border="1" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="2" to the first row), and {{s-table}} does the same thing for a sortable table. Useddenim (talk) 13:42, 19 January 2020 (UTC)
Another question: the naming conventions don't address the issue of a fleet number being reused. For example, take TTC 3579, used for both a 1965 GMDD TDH-5303 and a 2019 Nova Bus LFS HEV. I would suggest that photos of this bus be named File:Toronto Transit Commission 3579-1a.jpg and File:Toronto Transit Commission 3579-1a.jpg etc. to differentiate between the first and second incarnations. Your thoughts? Useddenim (talk) 15:45, 19 January 2020 (UTC)
  1. The example that was given to me with regard to the formatting and structure of tables was actually the SEPTA All-time PCC roster. I appreciate adding the other car deliveries that were missing, but perhaps just a bit of formatting cleanup and converting into a true "retired" roster, since one series of PCCs are still active (although maybe not for long as I understand it) and those are listed in both tables. The Orion I page I am mostly okay with, outside of the missing capitalization in the notes.
  2. Thanks for the explanation and clarification re: photos. Usually I deal with people uploading others' photos without checking copyright or ownership, so I just wanted to confirm that they are okay to be uploaded.
  3. The rollsigns look much better on their own pages, thanks for moving them over. And I see you've been busy adding Categories to them, which might be a side benefit of having their own pages. I will leave the decision to you on whether the TTC rollsigns should be on one page or separate pages per division - however you think the setup of the page(s) ends up working better.
  4. Historical roster information is always appreciated of course. We do have the ongoing VIN Project, which has pages for the serials and VINs for each manufacturer by production year. This might be a better place for the manufacturer's lists than the individual model pages.
    On a side note, I was a little excited to hear you were applying for Wiki Editor status, especially because of your very detailed and complete manufacturer production lists on your website (which tbh I refer to sometimes when making edits on here).
  5. I don't think that we have determined a set protocol for different vehicles sharing the same fleet number. There are very few cases currently on the Wiki where photos of historical vehicles share the same fleet numbers as current vehicles, mostly due to the relatively recent history of digital photography, and the effort involved in scanning old slides and photos. One example I can dig up is between File:Medicine Hat Transit 751-a.jpg and File:Medicine Hat Transit 751-b.jpg, where the uploader simply moved to the next letter suffix. Another example is File:St. Catharines Transit 92-a.jpg and File:St. Catharines Transit 92 (2003)-a.jpg, where the replacement unit was identified by the year. I would prefer not to use the hybrid number/letter suffix you propose - it is difficult enough to have some editors follow the letter suffix requirement, and adding additional rules around it would probably create more confusion than the problems it would solve.
Thanks for your polite responses and questions. I know that a lot of these seem like really small and nitpicky things to worry about, but sometimes it's better to raise things early to avoid having to go back and fix or revert a lot of work. I look forward to continuing to work with you on the Wiki! --ArticulatedTalkContrib 16:30, 19 January 2020 (UTC)
1. Since it seems that the PCC IIs will be withdrawn within a few months (if not weeks or even days), I don't see any point in removing them from the "retired" list just to add them back in again. Besides, I'm nowhere near finished with SEPTA: I intend to create sub-pages for each group which will allow the detailed renumbering to be removed from the summary table. And as soon as I can get to the 250+ Phildelphia PCC slides for scanning (including most of the ex-Toronto cars)…
4. The VIN pages do make sense for post-1980 deliveries, as the (then) new standard pretty much forced manufacturers into a unified serial-numbering sequence. However, prior to that each builder more-or-less started at 001 for each model (Prevost being a notable exception), which is why I think that older models can have the table right on the page — besides, it's not that much more than the (usually incomplete) "Operators" list that's often already there.
I long-ago stopped updating the Angelfire pages (checked the revision dates?) because it became too time-consuming (and the pop-ups were the last straw), whereas CPTDB offers both a wider audience and the support of the entire enthusiast community, so I'm glad to be accepted.
5. I like the (YEAR) suffix for duplicate fleet numbers (although there are a few rare instances where that will break down), so I think I will follow that as a convention.
And finally, I uploaded a few files with typos in their names. How (or to whom) do I draw attention to them to get that fixed? (Or can I just request Filemover privileges for myself?)
Regards, Useddenim (talk) 17:05, 19 January 2020 (UTC)
There are existing serial pages for manufacturers that are underneath the VIN project. Example: Flyer Industries E700A Serials or General Motors New Look Serials. I would prefer that this information stays there.
For requesting photos to be renamed, you can use the Photo Naming on Wiki topic. Put a link to the photo and what it should be renamed to, and one of the administrators/moderators will make the change. There are a few other topics in that subforum for renaming pages or requesting the deletion of photos. --ArticulatedTalkContrib 17:38, 19 January 2020 (UTC)

VIN Page Formatting

Hi Useddenim,

Thank you for hard work and time inputting VINs onto the wiki. However, I am requesting you to refrain from changing the current format of the VIN Page templates. The other admins and I have been discussing our thoughts on your new format (VINdet & VINdet2) for the last month. There are some aspects that are favorable such as the justified VINs. However, the majority of the admins and moderators (such as myself) prefer the current format. The other wiki editors may also find this new formatting to be a bit too complicated. The coding appears to be easy on the eyes, but in terms of editing I would not feel comfortable with adding hundreds of VINs in a short amount of time. I would have preferred if you had reached out to the admins and moderators on the forum page before going ahead with changing the VIN page format. I saw you asked Kevin L. what he had thought, but not anyone else. At this moment we are currently making decisions on what to do next. Pages may need to be converted back to the standard format. During this time I would appreciate if you would use our standard formatting when inputting VINs into the wiki.

Thank you,

DD 6V92TA

3/5/2020 12:21 PM (PST)

Detroit Diesel 6V92TA‎: Can you be a bit more specific? Which aspect of the "new format" are you referring to? Is it simply that the alignment and colours are changed slightly? If that's the case, then it's trivial to adjust the templates so that it displays the same as the current usage. On the other hand, if it's the use of the template in and of itself, then that's a different issue. Templates are intended to simplify the use of repetitive material, and it seems to me that the ability to put a complete VIN on a single line, without having to worry about formatting etc. would have been a good thing. (If you look at existing VIN pages, they are inconsistent, with some entries containing id= and some without, no rhyme or reason as to the use of the quote symbol, a mix of linked, redlinkd, and unlinked unit numbers, etc. etc.) I tried to make it simple to use, but if you all think that a better explanation is needed in the documentation I would be happy to address that.
And finally, which "forum page"? This isn't the first time that another editor has told me "You should have said something at …" without pointing me the the actual discussion page.
I would like to think that my contributions to the CPTDB are useful, and I look forward to your reply(s).
Useddenim (talk) 11:46, 6 March 2020 (UTC)
P.S. The reason I have been concentrating on text and coding is that my old computer crashed over Christmas, and it's a slow process to recover all the image files that were on it — but those are something that I don't think anyone will object to me adding eventually.
Courtesy ping: Kevin L, Articulated, A. Wong.
Just as an FYI, linking to other editor's user pages does not do anything on this Wiki. I stumbled upon this post from reading the "Recent Changes", not because of any links. (The only way that I get a pop-up or notification on the Wiki is if another user edits my talk page).
  • From our (administrator) discussions: Positives of your layout include right aligning the VIN (so the serial always lines up, even if the full VIN is not available), the addition of a model column, and the blue colour you use is darker and less vibrant than the #cceeee that is standard now, which makes the table a bit easier to read. We are split on whether combining multiple models by one manufacturer onto one page is better than the current format (one page per model per year).
  • However, the bigger issues come with the use of the template itself, and not the formatting it produces. Personally I do not like how the VIN is split into two (I understand why you set it up that way, but it would not be my preference), and your use of the template leads to some issues due to the rigidity of the formatting, such as [[]] being visible on any entries where the operator has not been entered (see Proterra Catalyst 'VINs' as one example of this). By creating new larger pages that combine multiple models, it has now created a big issue with having duplicate information, which would require two edits to properly keep up to date, and runs a significant risk of pages becoming outdated or mixed up if one page is updated and the other isn't. As well, I have significant concern with how the user base at large is able to read and understanding the coding associated with your templates. Most users on the forum are not experienced with coding (and definitely not up to the level you and I are at), and implementing a technique that requires an advanced knowledge and understanding of coding may scare off some users from being able to feel like they can contribute. Many years ago as a young editor I tried to bring various "shortcut" templates over from another Wiki I was involved in, and they ended up creating more confusion and difficulties than it was worth; they all eventually fell out of use and went back to regular, simple formatting.
  • Regarding the "inconsistencies" among VIN pages: Welcome to the CPTDB Wiki. We have general formatting standards that we encourage all users to follow on a go-forward basis, but it is a mammoth task to keep track of every detail on the nearly 35,000 pages on this Wiki, especially little coding details that may not be visible. All VIN entries should use the "id" tag to enable linking from fleet pages, and I try to update entries that do not have one when I find them. As for the " marks, they are not necessary for coding in most circumstances. Personally, I prefer them, and usually use them when editing or creating new pages; however, some users do not use them, and on VIN pages in particular I follow whatever the existing formatting on the page is.
  • Nobody has stated that your contributions are not useful, and Detroit Diesel 6V92TA only asked you follow the existing rules for the short-term future, while we sort out what to do with your templates and the pages you have created. It's fine to propose a new way of doing things, but ask first and see if we (the collective community) can work with your proposal or suggest minor tweaks to make it work better, rather than having to go back and redo previous work to fix issues. We have a whole Wiki Discussion subforum where users can suggest edits or larger formatting changes. User:Silly Tilley recently reached out to me via private message to suggest formatting changes to route pages, and I suggested he create a topic in the forum to present it to other users. Finally, the administrative team lives in multiple provinces and time zones across Canada, and all of us have full-time jobs, meaning our involvement with the Wiki is strictly on a volunteer basis whenever we have spare time in our busy lives. This means that discussions and coming to resolutions on various issues (especially difficult ones like this) do not happen immediately. Please bear with us while we sort things out, and we appreciate your patience. --ArticulatedTalkContrib 01:21, 7 March 2020 (UTC)


Articulated, thanks for the thoughtful reply.
  • I think a very strong argument can be made for combining models onto a single VIN page in cases where a manufacturer uses a unified number series for multiple models (e.g. MCI 4xxxx & 5xxxx series, Prevost). I created some combined year VIN pages for low-volume manufacturers (e.g. DesignLine, Proterra) to reduce the number of pages that had only a couple of entries; however, none of these are currently linked and so don't replace any existing ones. (i.e. they could be deleted without disrupting anything else.)
  • Because CPTDB doesn't have as rich a feature set as Wikipedia for its templates (notably the lack of the {{#if:}} function), there are some technical limitations to what can be done. The [[]] problem only required a minor tweak to the {{VINdet}} templates.
  • Admittedly, insufficient and inadequate documentation is a real problem. I don't want to be accused of talking down to anyone or assuming too little knowledge on their part, but I certainly don't have a problem with expanding the documentation for any templates I've written.
  • One of the advantages of templates is that when used properly they enforce consistency. For example, I wrote {{table}} so that I don't have to look up the formatting every time (and possibly accidentally mis-copy or miss something).
  • Now I know where to float new proposals, rather than just throwing them out there and seeing what the reaction is.
  • Of course this is just a hobby (and likely a labour of love in many cases), so any reply in less than a week is both appreciated and a surprise.
Useddenim (talk) 17:48, 7 March 2020 (UTC)


Useddenim: Hello and thank you for all your contributions! We really appreciate it!
Certainly we'd like to keep one copy of data where possible.
If there is a certain plugin that you know of that would be required for the {{#if:}} function or other tools that might help to make things easier, please let us know and I can try to install it.
We know everyone has the right intentions and are all in the hobby together, so certainly appreciate your work on this!
A. Wong (talk) 8 March 2020
A. Wong, {{#if:}} is part of the ParserFunctions Extension (see www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Help:Extension:ParserFunctions). And yes, there should only be one copy of data. (Just this past Saturday I discovered some Academy Bus Lines units that hadn't been entered onto the TEMSA TS 35 'F VINs' page.) Ideally, there should be a database for all vehicle info, with roster and VIN information generated dynamically each time. Useddenim (talk) 21:22, 9 March 2020 (UTC)

Template Issue

Hi Useddenim,

I am having an issue with you changing the layout of the templates used for the buses' VIN page directories. The existing format that is used for the VIN page directory templates is perfectly fine. It is easy on the eyes and easier for inexperienced editors to work with in comparison to the layout you've started to make. There is also an error when trying to edit your templates when pressing the "e" button, as it does not take you directly to the template's code for editing. Your template layout does not include an area for buses older than 1980, which used serials instead of VINs. Your templates also combine 2 different manufacturers into 1 template, which was not the case before (for example, Ikarus VINs). I noticed you even went out of your way to delete the existing template for the Eagle International VINs, which was just recently made and replace it with your template layout. While doing this, you removed links for future pages. I have discussed this with other admins & moderators. They are having issues with your recent template related edits as well. Similar to the issue we raised with you changing the coding layout for VIN pages, we would appreciate if you would reach out to us on the cptdb.ca forum page if you want to request changes. There is no way to know if the admins and moderators of this wiki are in favor of major changes without even discussing it with us. Please refrain from changing the layout of templates in the future. For the second time, the admins and moderators are going to have to discuss what we will do about reverting certain pages and templates back to how they were previously, which is frustrating and time consuming. There are no official written rules about template layout standards, but that does not invite you to change everything to the way you prefer it to be. Consider this your final warning. Action will be taken next time.

Thank you,


Detroit Diesel 6V92TA


April 3, 2020 1:50 PM PDT

Replying to your post accusing me of "Vandalism"

Note: I'm not entirely sure on the proper way to reply to a post on my talk page, as I've never had a reason to do so. As a result, I've double-posted it on my own talk page below your post, as well as an your topic page, where I'm sure you will get notified (As a just-in-case measure if posting it on mine doesn't work). For context to anyone not involved in this, I am pasting Useddenim's reply below:

"I'm trying to make things simpler, easier and faster, and you just go run around and revert everything!"

Attached below is my reply to you:

Normally I just take what's written in my Discussion section and shut up and learn from my mistakes, however this I have to reply to.

I'm simply converting the VINdet (Or whatever it's called) formatting stuff to the correct format that is to be used on the wiki VIN pages. I am not *removing* your information or mistyping it (If there was any instance of that, it was a mistake and for that I apologize), I am simply converting it into the format that is *supposed* to be used.

If anything, I could accuse you for vandalism for taking pre-existing pages and converting them into your non-standard template format for VIN pages, categories, etc. In some pages, you seemingly didn't even add any new info and just converted it to your new format. Based on my conversations with other wiki editors and evidence from your own talk page, your unique formatting isn't supposed to be on this wiki at all, so converting pages to that format could be considered vandalism in and of itself. Just like transit agencies have to spend lots of time and resources into removing graffiti from trains and buses, wiki editors have to spend lots of time removing your template and replacing it with the standard one accepted here. Here are a few quotes:

"Hi there. There have been a few complaints from other users about some of your recent edits which I would like to acknowledge. I know you are relatively new to editing on the Wiki, so here are a few tips to consider:

Please ensure you follow our Wiki's guidelines and established standards when editing pages, and not copying Wikipedia or coming up with your own unique formatting."

(From Articulated, 20:34 18 January 2020 UTC)

"Hi Useddenim,

Thank you for hard work and time inputting VINs onto the wiki. However, I am requesting you to refrain from changing the current format of the VIN Page templates. The other admins and I have been discussing our thoughts on your new format (VINdet & VINdet2) for the last month. There are some aspects that are favorable such as the justified VINs. However, the majority of the admins and moderators (such as myself) prefer the current format. The other wiki editors may also find this new formatting to be a bit too complicated. The coding appears to be easy on the eyes, but in terms of editing I would not feel comfortable with adding hundreds of VINs in a short amount of time. I would have preferred if you had reached out to the admins and moderators on the forum page before going ahead with changing the VIN page format. I saw you asked Kevin L. what he had thought, but not anyone else. At this moment we are currently making decisions on what to do next. Pages may need to be converted back to the standard format. During this time I would appreciate if you would use our standard formatting when inputting VINs into the wiki.

Thank you,

DD 6V92TA"

(From Detroit Diesel 6v92TA, 3/5/2020, 12:21 PM PST)

For consistency's sake, I didn't really want to insert my comments in the middle of all these quotes, but I feel there's a very important passage in Detroit's message above:

"At this moment we are currently making decisions on what to do next. Pages may need to be converted back to the standard format. During this time I would appreciate if you would use our standard formatting when inputting VINs into the wiki."

"However, the bigger issues come with the use of the template itself, and not the formatting it produces. Personally I do not like how the VIN is split into two (I understand why you set it up that way, but it would not be my preference), and your use of the template leads to some issues due to the rigidity of the formatting, such as [[]] being visible on any entries where the operator has not been entered (see Proterra Catalyst 'VINs' as one example of this). By creating new larger pages that combine multiple models, it has now created a big issue with having duplicate information, which would require two edits to properly keep up to date, and runs a significant risk of pages becoming outdated or mixed up if one page is updated and the other isn't. As well, I have significant concern with how the user base at large is able to read and understanding the coding associated with your templates. Most users on the forum are not experienced with coding (and definitely not up to the level you and I are at), and implementing a technique that requires an advanced knowledge and understanding of coding may scare off some users from being able to feel like they can contribute. Many years ago as a young editor I tried to bring various "shortcut" templates over from another Wiki I was involved in, and they ended up creating more confusion and difficulties than it was worth; they all eventually fell out of use and went back to regular, simple formatting. Regarding the "inconsistencies" among VIN pages: Welcome to the CPTDB Wiki. We have general formatting standards that we encourage all users to follow on a go-forward basis, but it is a mammoth task to keep track of every detail on the nearly 35,000 pages on this Wiki, especially little coding details that may not be visible. All VIN entries should use the "id" tag to enable linking from fleet pages, and I try to update entries that do not have one when I find them. As for the " marks, they are not necessary for coding in most circumstances. Personally, I prefer them, and usually use them when editing or creating new pages; however, some users do not use them, and on VIN pages in particular I follow whatever the existing formatting on the page is."

(From Articulated 01:21, 7 March 2020 (UTC) )

"Hi Useddenim,

I am having an issue with you changing the layout of the templates used for the buses' VIN page directories. The existing format that is used for the VIN page directory templates is perfectly fine. It is easy on the eyes and easier for inexperienced editors to work with in comparison to the layout you've started to make. There is also an error when trying to edit your templates when pressing the "e" button, as it does not take you directly to the template's code for editing. Your template layout does not include an area for buses older than 1980, which used serials instead of VINs. Your templates also combine 2 different manufacturers into 1 template, which was not the case before (for example, Ikarus VINs). I noticed you even went out of your way to delete the existing template for the Eagle International VINs, which was just recently made and replace it with your template layout. While doing this, you removed links for future pages. I have discussed this with other admins & moderators. They are having issues with your recent template related edits as well. Similar to the issue we raised with you changing the coding layout for VIN pages, we would appreciate if you would reach out to us on the cptdb.ca forum page if you want to request changes. There is no way to know if the admins and moderators of this wiki are in favor of major changes without even discussing it with us. Please refrain from changing the layout of templates in the future. For the second time, the admins and moderators are going to have to discuss what we will do about reverting certain pages and templates back to how they were previously, which is frustrating and time consuming. There are no official written rules about template layout standards, but that does not invite you to change everything to the way you prefer it to be. Consider this your final warning. Action will be taken next time.

Thank you,


Detroit Diesel 6V92TA"

(From Detroit Diesel 6V92TA, 3 April 2020, 1:50 PM PDT)

I can understand *why* you'd be upset, but all I'm doing is reverting it to the proper formatting where I, and the many others using the wiki, can edit a page with ease.

Also, I fail to see you how you are trying to make things "simpler, easier and faster" when "It [the old format] is easy on the eyes and easier for inexperienced editors to work with in comparison to the layout you've started to make." (Detroit Diesel 6v92TA, 3 April 2020 1:50 PM PDT)

This response is being directed at you @Useddenim which is why I am posting it here rather than on the original topic. I think from the post above that other users are not a fan of your templates.
You have created literally dozens of templates on the Wiki that seem to serve little purpose other than to replicate little pieces of coding that don't need to be shortened. There are templates within templates that are only used in other templates you create. As Orion6025 has explained, having so many templates on a page makes it more difficult for other users to understand the page. The fact that you have put so much effort in needing to create "Documentation" on what the templates are and how to use them only illustrates how complex they are. Most of the editors on here are not hardcore coders, and have a very limited understanding of Wiki coding. Making editing more difficult and less friendly will only serve in driving away good potential contributors.
I am asking you directly to stop creating unnecessary templates and stop trying to change how things are done. You are a relatively new editor here. Please focus on adding new content, rather than trying to restructure what already exists. Thank you. --ArticulatedTalkContrib 00:59, 28 April 2020 (UTC)