Talk:Character Template

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Editing the template

Please do not edit the template, if you have any suggestions then feel free to propose them here. The reason the default data is there is to set an example for the new users. --Locutus 07:18, 19 October 2006 (EDT)

Player name link suggestion

  • I'm a bad boy, I edited the template before I read the above. Revert if you feel appropriate. I changed the [[User:Random|Random Person]] to an external link pointing to the player file of the same serial number. I did this for two reasons:
  1. We have several players entering character files for people other than themselves. This means that they will not enter their own wiki name as 'played by' so whatever name they do enter becomes a broken link (wanted page).
  2. There were three instances where people had taken the template verbatim and used User:Random as the 'played by' name. I've changed these out in the wiki to link the player's ODN file.
Anyway, my thoughts are if we change it to a link to ODN both of the above issues would be resolved. If they are entering for someone else they can enter that persons serial number (minus extension) and get their ODN player file. If they use the template verbatim and use the bogus serial number link they at least won't be creating wanted pages. --Jafo 13:37, 3 November 2006 (EST)
  • I don't have a problem with it, though we'll need to document the change. We could always add it with an hack to the sidebar though I guess some people will still prefer to have the link point to their user pages. Let's face it, the ODN player profiles don't say much beside giving the user email, time zone and how long s/he was in ACTD. Pretty useless information in my opinion.

In a perfect world I would have preferred that each user will have his or her own user page on the wiki but I guess that will never happen. Let's vote on it then. --Locutus 15:53, 3 November 2006 (EST)


Voting will end in two weeks time, 17/11/2006 (DD/MM/YYYY)

YES or NO.

YES --Locutus 15:53, 3 November 2006 (EST)

YES.. Assuming you mean the change to ODN link for those players not having/wishing to use their user page on the wiki.. --TimS 18:23, 3 November 2006 (EST)

  • You assume correctly. --Locutus 19:21, 3 November 2006 (EST)

YES --Rob van den Dungen 04:31, 4 November 2006 (EST) (In concurrence with Tim's comment)


Me and Chris had a bit of debate about this, so my question is this.. Does anyone have an idea on how we can include (If we should even include them beside the text links as shown at the template) them on the template? A few facts to remember though.

  1. They all have different sizes.
  2. They take up a lot of room on the template.
  3. They're pure eye candy with no real usability (My opinion at least).

I'll open this up for a vote if anyone gives a good suggestion on how to include them. --Locutus 19:28, 11 June 2006 (EDT)

  • What about having an Awards Section at the bottom to display whichever awards someone wants? Sure they take up space, but at least on the bottom they're less in the way. - C.J. Tala 09:55, 13 June 2006 (EDT)
    • agreed, if you want the awards then either link the users to the correct user page or add them on the bottom somewhere. --Locutus 18:47, 14 June 2006 (EDT)


Since this is a fairly old vote thihng, I´ll put my comment/suggestion here: Is there a function that allows for the display of the last assignment and position for inactive characters? If not, could this be implemented, so that instead of ´current posting´ it would list ´last posting´?--TimS 09:49, 31 October 2006 (EST)

  • Give me a moment, I might have a way to hack it in there. Though it will be dirty. --Locutus 17:51, 31 October 2006 (EST)
    • Nope, can't be done cleanly. I'm reluctant to create another template just for inactive characters because them I'll have to create one for the NPCs too. People need to annoy Chris D. so he'll add this extension to the Wiki. --Locutus 17:58, 31 October 2006 (EST)



  • YES --Locutus 02:59, 11 June 2006 (EDT)
  • YES to Player Real Name/NPC Owner, NO to serial number, because, if I'm not mistaken, it's the player serial number and the same for every character the player owns. --Shelwass 14:28, 11 June 2006 (EDT)
  • YES To player's first name and Surname Initial. Using the serial number doesn't bother me either way. It could be useful to have there. --felix 15:50, 11 June 2006 (EDT)
    • As a note to the above comments: Shel, a player has a serial number, but a character serial number is the player's number dash their character number. My serial number is 981105-024; Savar's serial number is 981105-024-2, Marla's is 981105-024-1, and so on. Keshir, I think that individual players can have say over what form their name takes on these pages. As a general guideline, I've only be putting first name and last initial, unless the player has explicitly told me that they are fine with their last name being used (I use mine). --Cdickinson 16:18, 11 June 2006 (EDT)
      • Ah...okay, I didn't realize that; in that case, I change my vote to Yes all around. --Shelwass 19:01, 11 June 2006 (EDT)
  • Yes; People would likely do it anyway.
  • YES: It's not hard to get the serial number anyway, its in the character's ODN URL. --Amenser 23:12, 11 June 2006 (EDT)
  • YES to adding players FULL name. (unless they don't want their full name shown) Some people have the same first name and same surname initial... :/ Amenser 23:12, 11 June 2006 (EDT)
  • Yes - C.J. Tala 09:55, 13 June 2006 (EDT)
  • Yes - I've already done so with my own character pages long before this became an actual discussion. --Kvolt 01:11, 23 July 2006 (EDT)

New Sidebar

I'm proposing a new style for the character sidebar. Its look is similar to other sidebars and I think it looks better than the old one. Besides, it has the information a little more structured. Commenting on the above, if I'm not mistaken the ParserFunctions are installed, so the mentioned changes could be made. I'd also like to suggest not showing any image at all rather than the dummy-image if none is given. BTW: I'm rather new to this Wiki, so I just hope somebody finds this message and "delivers" it to the important guys ;) --Sloeffler 08:29, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

  • I'm not quite certain what this bar accomplishes that the previous one does not. I tried it out with Cathryn O'Mally's profile. Mostly, I wanted to see how images appear in it. Personally, I am unsure that we need a bigger image box or more structure to the side bar. It is, however, a rather interesting piece. I'd like to see this discussed a bit further as I think it has potential. --eunhathes 13:40, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
  • In the same manner as James, I'm not certain what is gained here; in fact, most informational "sidebars" presented on MA or Wikipedia would place the comments/captions/information below the image. If you can give some reasons why this is an improvement, we can consider it; "looks better" is insufficient, unless it presents an ease of readability or other enhancement the previous one did not. --CDickinson 16:50, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
    • I admit that additional information/explanations are often placed below the picture. In this case, however, I think the picture is not the (most) important part - especially since it's not mandatory (at least I consider those George Clooney pictures out there as eyecandy rather than anything else). In my opinion, the important information is the name, rank and position. In fact, in the interest of it being an "info-box" (to easily find important information), I'd suggest to add species (maybe only the primary one) and gender - possibly even a row "distinguishing marks". Anything that is particularly important when dealing with the character in game. At least I've already stumbled over a Bajoran I didn't recognize at first because I didn't read his whole character page (and hence mixed his first and last name).
      There are still some style-issues as well, as eunhathes has pointed out. In the interest of readability, I'd suggest to abbreviate the position (i.e. CO, FCO...). Additionally, the whole box should be thinner (maybe even making the image smaller if there is one). Also, at the moment the character name and the headline "Character info" clash a bit. I have updated my proposal accordingly. --Sloeffler 18:08, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
      • Got an IM account, Stefan? --Locutus 18:19, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
    • I just took a look at the one you made and compared it to one on a random character page. I must say, I like the sidebar you made very much, looks a lot better, with some additional useful information, without taking up much additional space. If it were to go to a vote, I'd be all for it!--TimS 21:04, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

Here are links to two versions (with actual images) of the proposed sidebar and the base, for reference.

Reference - Cathryn O'Mally
Proposal One - OMally2
Proposal Two - OMally3

Honestly, it looks more like we're reinforcing the name, given that it will appear on the left, larger and bolder than on the right. Also, there are some extraneous things (like race and gender) that, while easier accessed, are less than vital. Please, sir. Sell me on this. I'd love to see where it can go, but there isn't a need to change. --eunhathes 22:40, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

  • I made the name larger because I thought it would otherwise be overwhelmed by the titel line "character info". Besides, it's what the whole box is about, so there should be some distinction between it and the rest of the data. Another possibility would be to place it instead of "character info" in the grayed title line... But I have to disagree that the additional information is less than vital, in my POV it is exactly vital. I figured: what is the most likely reason somebody calls up a character's profile? To find out if he had ever been awarded the Purple Heart? At least I (as being relatively new here) called up many of the pages to find out what/who I'm dealing with. This means I wanted all the information that would be obvious to my character (such as rank, race, gender) or most likely known to him (such as position, ship). And frankly, the old template focuses (from top to bottom) on the picture (which often doesn't exist), the player (whom I consider in the context of a pure character page as rather less important) and a serial number (what normal user would rate a odn serial number as 3rd most important information about a character?). That's why I started this whole discussion. Besides, IMO a nicer design - as long as it doesn't decrease readability etc. - is worth it, if only because it acts more as an eye-catcher on pages that otherwise mainly contain long lists.
    After a chat with Eldad yesterday I see that there are considerable problems involved with introducing new fields (such as race, gender), but still I think it would be worthwhile... --Sloeffler 07:51, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

Service Record

I like having the sidebar on the Character Pages and the general format. Only two suggestions I can think of. One is having the option of additional sections at the end if the information doesn't quite fit into the other categories (just like the option of Other on the ship template). The other is considering having the Service Record the way it is on the ODN, with everything in chronological order and not split up into separate categories. ----Shelwass 21:14, 9 June 2006 (EDT)

  • Don't you think it looks better this way? More organized and efficient for editing later on? --Locutus 21:41, 9 June 2006 (EDT)
    • I don't see how either way is "easier" to edit; new things go to the bottom of a list, it just depends where. --Cdickinson 16:58, 11 June 2006 (EDT)
      • easier as in few clicks and knowing exactly where to put it instead of have to scroll though the entire page just to reach that section. --Locutus 18:29, 11 June 2006 (EDT)
  • My opinion is that the wiki entry shouldn't be too similar to ODN because there will be no point to ODN then. My opinion on the wiki character entry is to provide more information that ODN wouldn't allow you to put in. For example, someone's experience aboard a ship that he or she served upon. That's the stand I took when I designed my character's page (Captain John McKnight). I put in entries to elaborate on my character's past positions. That's just my opinion. -- Sulvix 17:00, 11 June 2006 (EDT)
    • Adding additional fields is up to the player, but the basic fields listed in the template should be used as a bare minimum. You won't be stoned if you'll add something extra. --Locutus 18:29, 11 June 2006 (EDT)


ODN Style or Separated Style

  • Separated Style --Locutus 21:54, 9 June 2006 (EDT)
  • Separated Style -- Amenser 22:35 9 June 2006 (EDT)
  • ODN Style -- Shelwass 23:10, 9 June 2006 (EDT)
  • Separated Style --Rob van den Dungen 15:37, 10 June 2006 (CEST)
  • Separated Style -we already have the ODN, so why duplicate? --felix 15:53, 11 June 2006 (EDT)
  • I don't have a strong opinion either way. --User:Cdickinson 16:18, 11 June 2006 (EDT)
  • ODN Style - C.J. Tala 09:55, 13 June 2006 (EDT)

Main Content

I like it!

Except, I think the bullets on the Family Background part is a little much. It wouldn't be as superfluous if it just went:

Mother: Mommy BlahBlah

Father: Daddy BlahBlah

But for the Siblings part, the bullets are a good idea.

Bullets are good for the subject, like Mother, Father, Age, whatever, but unless they have two moms or something, bullets under it would only be a bit... busy? ---- Amenser 21:47, 9 June 2006 (EDT)

  • Problem is, if we change that then the rest of the bulleted content will look different, and will not look as good. I know it's a bit cluttered but it's the best looking solution in my opinion. Unless of course we move more content to the sidebar, like this. --Locutus 22:15, 9 June 2006 (EDT)
  • Nah... I don't like that idea... Let me see if I can come up with a template. ---- Amenser 22:23, 9 June 2006 (EDT)
  • It doesn't look too bad. More streamlined I think. ---- Amenser 22:30, 9 June 2006 (EDT) (Note that the changes suggested were included in the main proposal --Locutus 11:05, 14 June 2006 (EDT))
    • That's a matter of taste, I have no problem with that. Let's finish with the other sections before we tackle that one.. Go up and vote while you're online. --Locutus 22:33, 9 June 2006 (EDT)


What about using tabs ":" instead of the bullets? That way you can still have it structured and clean, but without need for the bullets, which can look busy or cluttered. Another option is just to have:

  • Siblings: Sister, Cassandra (24); Brother, Michael (19)


Siblings: Sister, Cassandra (24); Brother, Michael (19)



Sister: Cassandra Sinclair
Brother: Michael Sinclair

For an example see Amber Sinclair from the EC Wiki. Just my two cents...there are lots of options if you play around with the code. - C.J. Tala 09:55, 13 June 2006 (EDT)

  • Isn't your second suggestion like we currently have minus the bullets? --Locutus 11:13, 13 June 2006 (EDT)
    • Yes, however they're organized horizontally instead of vertically (like in the 3rd example). Just trying to present multiple options. - C.J. Tala 13:01, 13 June 2006 (EDT)

Category Links

Shouldn't the category links add in the sort attribute so that characters are sorted by last name instead of first name? e.g. [[Category:Characters|Regnum]] to make sure that Victor Scott Regnum shows up under R instead of V?: Cap 18:11, 29 July 2006 (EDT)

Is there an easy way to do this via template? If so, it might be worth doing - but ODN lists people based on first name, so... --CDickinson 16:55, 4 August 2006 (EDT)
Not sure if it can be put into the template system, but all we would need is to put in a sample with [[Category:Characters|Last Name]] and make sure people change the last name when they are editing their character. : Nick M 23:07, 21 August 2006 (EDT)

Auto linking

Similar to the arguments I've raised on the ship template discussion page, I think that "current position" should not be automatically linked (and perhaps current posting). There are a greater number of possibilities to put into this field than existing pages, and some may not make sense (see Timothy Richmond for an example). --CDickinson 16:55, 4 August 2006 (EDT)

  • If someone feels the need to use a specialized position like the one you linked in Timothy Richmond they should be encouraged to create the article for that position explaining what it. All things fail they can create a disambiguation page linking to a Memory Alpha article regarding it. --Locutus 19:56, 4 August 2006 (EDT)
    • What about civilian positions that don't really need explaining and could easily be linked back to the Civilian article (case in point, I have an NPC that's a nanny/artist Lyndsey Montgomery), or other such positions that could easily be linked back to other departmental articles (like Nurse, Assistant FCO, or various specialties falling under the umbrella of the Engineering Department)? --Shelwass 14:39, 24 August 2006 (EDT)
      • "What about civilian positions that don't really need explaining and could easily be linked back to the Civilian article" -- Well, I'm convinced. In a few seconds I'll start working on a template for NPCs. It seems no one will install the parser extension here so I might as well create another template. --Locutus 15:20, 24 August 2006 (EDT)


  • After reading this I recently went through and replaced all instances of "Trivia" w/ "ACTD Noteworthy". In the process I noticed that several players had turned the "Other" section of this template into a "Trivia" section (ex: David Menzies, Sedious V'trak, Ralkor, Renalla, etc). Based on this I'd like to suggest that we remove the "Other" section and replace it with an "ACTD Noteworthy" section going forward. Thoughts? --Jafo 11:16, 27 February 2007 (EST)
    • I've always taken 'Other' as a section that can be transformed into whatever most fits, adding extra sections in its stead and forgoing it as an actual section title (though I've seen some pages that do use it as such) (ex: Svetlana Irina Morosava). I think 'Other' is more all-encompassing for adding additional information and sections to the page beyond what's on the ODN than would be a more set category like "ACTD Noteworthy" --Shelwass 11:21, 27 February 2007 (EST)
    • From my point of view, if this is a character template, it's automatically an ACTD thing, so I don't think "ACTD Noteworthy" is an appropriate name for the section. As Shel said, I think "Other" is more appropriate, and leaves more room for notes and remarks. --TimS 13:26, 27 February 2007 (EST)
    • Other can be pretty much everything, you'll notice we don't enforce it.--Locutus 14:09, 27 February 2007 (EST)
      • Enforce ... what? The use of "Other"? --Jafo 12:15, 28 February 2007 (EST)
        • Anything beside what is listed on the template is optional but should be placed after the mandatory fields on the template. --Locutus 13:52, 28 February 2007 (EST)
          • Sorry, I still don't get it. "Other" is part of the template - it's existence should be enforced. Or are you saying you don't enforce the content inside of "Other"? --Jafo 16:44, 1 March 2007 (EST)
            • "Other" is where you can put whatever content you want. --Locutus 17:32, 1 March 2007 (EST)
              • That kinda makes the "ACTD Noteworthy" redundant, doesn't it?--TimS 06:15, 2 March 2007 (EST)
                • You can do whatever you want, however, there's no need to bulk replace all the instances of Trivia with ACTD Noteworthy. Again, emphasis on need. If you feel like it would look better then talk among yourself if you want to deal with it and avoid conflicts. That's what the talk pages are about. --Locutus 06:27, 2 March 2007 (EST)
                  • Peraps you missed it in the initial post of this thread but that's exactly what Chris requested here - a bulk replace of "Trivia" with "ACTD Noteworthy". I think where you're going is that there's no need to replace "Other" (not "Trivia") with "ACTD Noteworthy", which was the question I was initially asking. --Jafo 13:11, 2 March 2007 (EST)
                    • I'm sure he meant for official templates, that isn't considered an official part of the template. --Locutus 13:14, 2 March 2007 (EST)
                  • Well, before we all go making assumptions about what I mean, those were "suggestions" for discussion, not edicts handed down from on high. The use of the term "ACTD Noteworthy" is to highlight that this wiki is for ST:ACTD-related material. Random trivia like "OMG, my cat farted in my face during this mission" is hardly worth an effort, but someone might be tempted to place that in a "trivia" section. Not that anyone would. But they might. --CDickinson 14:14, 2 March 2007 (EST)


Q: Why are the Awards and Commendations sections formatted visually different than all other sections of the service record? Adding those indents and italics just makes moving ODN data more difficult for those sections. --Jafo 13:04, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
A: Will be solved with the new character importer. --Locutus 18:53, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

Adding multiple positions

  • What if a character has two positions. How can we add that to the template? --Rob van den Dungen 13:57, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
    • 2O is not an official ACTD position therefore we don't include it on the template. If you have any other valid examples I'll have to give it some thought. --Locutus 14:08, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
      • Ok, it was just a question. Tried it, but it didn't work. So just asked it here :) --Rob van den Dungen 14:19, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

Award Images on Character/NPC Articles

  • Since Eldad asked for suggestions on this ... here is mine. I would suggest shrinking all of the images down to 'dime-size' or smaller. Then creating a sidebar to the left of the existing sidebar (attached to each other). Player's can then input the image into each cell going down along the sidebar. Character importer could probably also be programmed to put these in automatically as the character page is brought in since it already adds the links to the award names. An alternate to this would be to add the same small 'dime-size' cells below the existing sidebar. Just my two cents.--Jafo 14:24, 3 November 2007 (EDT)
    • I want to see award images in the profiles. I think it allows a player a certain amount of "bragging rights", so long as they don't clutter up the template. I believe the 'dime size' thumbnail is a nice idea. Perhaps if there were ribbons to accompany a medal (like in the real world), they could be organized better? Just a thought. --eunhathes 20:44, 3 November 2007 (EDT)
    • Something like this? This is just a first attempt (and I have no idea if it will be officially endorsed). The last two rows are just to try how different image sizes look in the table, ignore them. btw: the awards showcase could also be put below the sidebar, I just tried to implement Jafo's ideas so we have some concrete example to talk about. Note that AFAIK it should be possible to implement the list with the LoopFunctions extension so the user just has to supply the awards' names and a template does the rest. --Sloeffler 05:58, 4 November 2007 (EST)
      • Close - nice job btw. I'm thinking a single vertical column. I doubt anyone has received enough awards to actually be larger than the sidebar. Also, the coloration should match the sidebar so they look one in the same (could even be one in the same, imho). I'm also thinking no header so that it blends in with the sidebar more. A further thought on this is that each award should be shown only once regardless of how many times the person has received it. --Jafo 10:24, 4 November 2007 (EST)
        • On the note of multiple awards... what about this: Since Starfleet is based off of the US Navy, should we perhaps have a little cluster to denote multiple instances of the same award? --eunhathes 12:17, 4 November 2007 (EST)
          • Good thought. The oak leafs actually affix to the ribbons worn on the chest rather then the actual award. Affixing them to the award itself would seem odd to me and isn't supported by canon (i.e. no ribbons have been shown w/ possible exception of Colonel West while wearing the actual award has). Something I had considered was a silhouette around the award denoting multiple instances. Kind of like rings on a tree. But I think this would have to be decided at a game level to be adopted on the wiki. --Jafo 05:45, 5 November 2007 (EST)
            • I had a similar idea, what I'm going to attempt to do is create a sort of a composite image that will have a number superimposed on the image's surface that will detail how many times the player has received said award. My biggest obstetrical right about now is finding a way to make the template as user friendly as possible, even at the expense of some CPU time by introducing yet another extensions. But then again, this might be an overkill. --Locutus 06:23, 5 November 2007 (EST)
  • It looks very nice :D well done. --Rob van den Dungen 04:20, 13 November 2007 (EST)
  • I just want to commend Eldad, and anyone else involved, for their work on making the Character Awards part of the Sidebar. It really turned out looking great! And now I'm acutely aware of how few awards my characters have received. :-D --Jafo 10:28, 12 November 2007 (EST)
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