Template talk:reference-book

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Comma bugs[edit]

Hello. There are at least two bugs with the output of this template. I think they're recent because at least one of them I know wasn't there some weeks ago. Just looking at the documentation page you can see them. (For each example, the first line is hardcoded to the bug, the second one is the template's actual output.)

"Just a title" has currently an extraneous comma:

  • , Mysterious book:
  • Mysterious book:

"Year and title" is currently okay (with a comma after the year):

  • 1901, Mysterious book:
  • 1901, Mysterious book:

"Basic usage" is currently missing the comma after the year:

Maybe that extraneous comma of the first bug is the one that should have been put where it's missing after the year? 62.147.24.224 20:08, 30 July 2010 (UTC)

There's really just one bug here, which is that the display always takes the form [year-if-present] [author-if-present] [comma] [title-if-present]. If no one objects, I'll fix this by changing it to [year-if-present] [comma-if-year-is-present] [author-if-present] [comma-if-author-is-present] [title-if-present]. —RuakhTALK 18:52, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
If it used {{rfdate}} if no date was present, that would IMHO be better, but go for it. —Internoob (DiscCont) 19:02, 5 September 2010 (UTC)
@Ruakh --
It looks like you still need to add the [comma-if-author-is-present] clause -- I'm still getting spurious commas showing up in references where no author is listed. I'd see about fixing it myself, but the page is locked. Cheers, Eiríkr Útlendi | Tala við mig 23:45, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, I set about doing that a while back, and for some reason I ran into further problems. I don't remember the details. I'll take another look soon, so that I can at least document the problems for someone else to deal with. ;-)   —RuakhTALK 23:54, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
Cheers, thanks for looking into that, and good luck! -- Eiríkr Útlendi | Tala við mig 01:46, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
This modification works I'm pretty sure. Any comments, questions, objections? —Internoob (DiscCont) 23:22, 9 January 2011 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done. —Internoob (DiscCont) 00:39, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

Translated passages[edit]

It should also italicize the quote when the translation parameter is present. Robin 02:38, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

What about other scripts? Do some of them italicize strangely? —Internoob (DiscCont) 23:24, 9 January 2011 (UTC)

Ending in a colon?[edit]

I notice that this template ends every line with a colon -- is this correct? Shouldn't it end the line in a period? Curious, Eiríkr Útlendi | Tala við mig 23:03, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

Despite the name, the main use of this template is actually in being called by {{quote-book}}, which is used in formatting quotations, where we do want a colon at the end of the metadata:
  • YEAR, Author, Title, Publisher, ISBN X-XXXX-XXXX-X, page N:
    Quotation. Quotation quotation quotation quotation quotation.
Even aside from the colon thing, this template seems ill-suited to use in an actual ===References=== section, in that in an actual ===References=== section, we wouldn't want to put the year first. And I don't think we have an alternative template that does work well in ===References=== sections. So you're probably best off just manually coding the reference to look like this:
  • Author, Title, Publisher (YEAR), ISBN X-XXXX-XXXX-X, page N.
RuakhTALK 23:59, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
Aha, thank you Ruakh. I wondered if perhaps that might be the case, that the template was intended for quotation purposes. Would there be any utility in creating a separate reference template, or would that just needlessly complicate things? -- Eiríkr Útlendi | Tala við mig 01:45, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
Up to you. I never use these templates, I find them too awkward and painful, so I'm not the best one to judge whether they need more siblings. But {{quote-book}}, {{reference-book}}, and {{cite-book}} are all taken, so I don't even know what you would name your template. :-P   —RuakhTALK 01:58, 7 January 2011 (UTC)


I'd love to see a reference-citing template (used for recording the provenance of factual information, rather than for quoting an appearance in the Corpus), and I would love for it to be more generic (i.e., not just for books or dictionaries). In fact, at the moment, I have some factual information whose provenance I want to record, and I'm having a hard time figuring out how to go about it on Wiktionary. :-/
I don't think having a dedicated reference-citing template would unnecessarily complicate things—in fact, since all of {{quote-book}}, {{reference-book}}, and {{cite-book}} seem to do almost exactly the same thing, I feel like these three are already unnecessarily complex. They seem ripe for consolidation. Perhaps it would be a better use of {{reference-book}} to make it expressly for use in the ===References=== section, as the name implies, rather than having {{quote-book}} make use of it. And it would be a good idea, I think, for one of {{quote-book}} and {{cite-book}} to be deprecated, if they do in fact accomplish the same thing. This would eliminate overlapping functionality, making the citation templates much less confusing, and give us a template for citing factual sources.
As for the use of templates for citations, I'm all for it, 200%. The advantage of using a template rather than hard-coding is that it gives us metadata, so that any automated system knows what each piece of information is (*cough*semantic web), and it allows us to quickly alter the appearance of citations en masse, if we ever choose to do so, rather than changing them individually by hand.
Morganiq 21:07, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
Update: I finally found the documentation I was after. It was a little buried, not being linked to from WT:ELE#References. The article Help:Citations, Quotations, References helped clarify the differences between these, and a Wikipedia-like system for footnote reference citations is documented in Wiktionary:References and Help:Footnotes. (I've added or requested additional links to these pages where appropriate.) However, this system does not seem to be well-adopted or canonical, nor does the current implementation of {{reference-book}} (with ending colon) present the data in a format which could be expected to be used in a ===References=== footnote. Nevertheless, since these are the only sources I have found which document the citation of factual information, I'm assuming they're the closest thing to a policy that incorporates factual reference-citing that currently exists, and I will use them.
There still remains the issue of the ending semicolon, though. This revision by User:Bequw seems to have been when {{reference-book}} was changed from the author-first format more appropriate for a footnote reference to a year-first quoting/citation-style format. If asked, I would vote for switching it back. :-)
Morganiq 23:07, 8 January 2011 (UTC)

authorlink Should Link to Wikipedia[edit]

The documentation states that the authorlink parameter should be, "Title of Wikipedia article about author." But when rendered, these links go to Wiktionary instead. —Morganiq 23:24, 8 January 2011 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done and thank you for saying something. —Internoob (DiscCont) 05:20, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

date gets "Can we date this quote?"[edit]

When a full date= is specified instead of year=, "Can we date this quote?" is displayed instead.

For example, at this writing, this displays "Can we date this quote":

1997 December 18, Kate Bornstein, My Gender Workbook, London, New York: Routledge, LCC HQ1075.B69 1998, ISBN 9780415916738, LCCN 98134184: ~ Robin 20:52, 27 October 2011 (UTC)

I just patched {{reference-journal}} and {{reference-news}} to format ISO dates. I also created a version of {{reference-book}} to do so in {{reference-book/sandbox}}. Give it a look and swap it in. ~ Robin 18:20, 28 October 2011 (UTC)

It looks from the code like date= is supposed to be used with year= and month=, contrary to the documentation. So you would use for example year=2000 month=January date=01. I don't know how to change this without breaking ones that already do this, if there are any. —Internoob 22:58, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
I already worked out how to fix that: if "year" is present use "month" and "date" as before, but treat "date" the documented ISO way if not. That's what the sandbox version does. See Template:reference-book/testcases ~ Robin 23:23, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
Yes check.svg DoneInternoob 19:30, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

more commas[edit]

I've found a new comma-bug, possibly caused by this template or possibly limited to quote-book: Template talk:quote-book#more_commas. - -sche (discuss) 01:22, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

Weirdnesses[edit]

  1. Why does this wikilink the accessdate value? There is zero utility in linking through to 2007, or to June 7. We don't have, and (so far as I know) don't want to have any such entries in Wiktionary.
  2. Why does this end in a colon? So far, I have only seen this template used in reference lists, when it is followed by nothing -- and as such should end in either a period, or nothing.
Curious if anyone has any insight. I'll post on WT:GP too. -- Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 21:08, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
Re: wikilinking of accessdate: I think Wikipedia citation templates do that. Either this template as a whole, or the accessdate feature in particular, was probably brought over from there. But I think the bigger question is — why would this template even have an accessdate? I mean, it's not like the contents of a book will depend on the date of access.
Re: ending with a colon: It's not true that it's only used in reference lists; see Special:WhatLinksHere/Template:reference-book. My impression is that the vast majority of uses are indirect, via {{quote-book}}. (All of these templates are a total mess. When I take over the world, they'll all be deleted.)
RuakhTALK 22:08, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
Ta, thank you Ruakh. That explanation will tide me over for now. Good luck in your plans for world domination! -- Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 22:41, 7 June 2012 (UTC)