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Family parametersEdit

Is it possible to add further parameters mainly relating to the core family: father, mother, brother(s) and sister(s), so that the "family" parameter is not overstuffed? This could match that in Template:Infobox person. --Kailash29792 (talk) 06:09, 2 April 2019 (UTC)

I support this. Data like that of the infobox should typically be presented in a key/value pair, as it both allows for easier computer extraction of data and presents a consistent style for readers. --Gonnym (talk) 09:43, 2 April 2019 (UTC)
We honestly shouldn't have a property which expounds on the fictional family at all, and even if we do keep it, the items listed should be restricted only to separate notable fictional characters or family listings. --Izno (talk) 16:25, 2 April 2019 (UTC)
Not sure I understood what you wrote, mind explaining? We currently already have what Kailash29792 asked for, the only difference is that instead of it appearing in a key/value pair, its all under the family parameter with different styles in each article (as its manually entered). --Gonnym (talk) 16:32, 2 April 2019 (UTC)
The "Family" section is only supposed to be for people that are essential to understand the character at hand. It already gets bloated into a family tree when it shouldn't. I only see this as moving further away from the guideline on writing about fiction and move to treating these characters as if they are real people.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 17:31, 2 April 2019 (UTC)
^ Basically I'm ideologically aligned with that opinion. --Izno (talk) 21:01, 2 April 2019 (UTC)
@Kailash29792: I'm afraid I'm with Bignole and Izno as well. The fact that people are trying to stuff {{Infobox character}} transclusions full of complete family trees isn't a reason to create additional fields that facilitate the practice. It's a reason to remind those editors of Wikipedia's policies and guidelines on writing about fiction, in particular the problems with in-universe perspective. (Those guidelines are the reason that [matching] Template:Infobox person should never be the goal, for the same reason it's prohibited to use {{Infobox person}} on a fictional-character page: The subject shouldn't be treated as a real person.)
And to Gonnym's point about easier computer extraction of data: one of the WP:NOT essays I've always felt is missing, at least in explicit terms (maybe I should write it), is: Wikipedia is not a database. The goal for any article content isn't to provide a structured, parseable compendium of data records in first normal form — that's literally the reason WikiData was created, to serve that exact function. WikiData is a database. To the extent it's permissible, machine-accessible fictional-character data can be stored there.
IMHO anyone who stuffs an entire family tree into |family= is using it wrong anyway. I very much favor the approach found at e.g. Paul Atreides or Scrooge McDuck: simply |family=House Atreides and |family=Clan McDuck, respectively, with |relatives= used to list any fictional members of that family which aren't covered by |spouse=/|significant_other= and |children=. That strikes me as much more in keeping with the intent of |family=. Otherwise, |relatives= is completely redundant.
But, articles like Luke Skywalker, where {{Infobox character}} has both |family= and |relatives= stuffed full of links to other members of the character's fictional family, including branches you've never heard of? The need there isn't to add additional fields to the template. It's to remind the editors involved that Wookiepedia is over that way, and clear out the WP:FANCRUFT. Again, purely IMHO — but not entirely unsupported by MOS:FICT.
(P.S> The WikiData record for "Luke Skywalker" in fact has the "family" property set to "Skywalker family".) -- FeRDNYC (talk) 11:41, 3 April 2019 (UTC)
A few responses - will start from the easier one - your examples of "correct" |family= use, is actually not how that parameter should work, or has ever been described to work in any version of the documentation. In fact, that is pure pointless information in my opinion. Of course Paul Atreides is from House Atreides, what is the point in stating that? Now regarding that guideline that keeps been raised - that guideline, apart from being very condescending to our readers, was either written by someone who thinks our readers are idiots, or is themselves one. An in-universe perspective can be misleading to the reader, who may have trouble differentiating between fact and fiction within the article - seriously? But more to the point, it just does not say what you think it says. In no where in that awful guideline does it state that character relationships should not be addressed. It is just your personal preference that such a thing should be done. Also, another important factor against that guideline, if a guideline is contentiously ignored over all parts of the wiki, from TV, to film, to video game, books and comics - then the problem isn't with how editors add content, but with a limited group of editors who think they know better. --Gonnym (talk) 11:58, 3 April 2019 (UTC)
I was never talking about creating parameters for all relatives; just the main family members: parents and their children. That too, these values would be filled only if the characters were prominent. Kailash29792 (talk) 12:01, 3 April 2019 (UTC)
Also, not to detract from this discussion, but as long as we have those 15 additional manual parameters, anyone can add anything, which is much more potential trivia than family members. --Gonnym (talk) 12:05, 3 April 2019 (UTC)
Which we should also lock down, either accepting certain fields into the main template if we find uses IAW WP:WAF (not likely) or remove them entirely. --Izno (talk) 12:52, 3 April 2019 (UTC)

─────────────────────────Actually, we didn't say that relationships shouldn't be addressed, we said that things that are not essential to understanding the character should not be in the infobox, and MOST of family members listed are NOT essential to understanding characters. Vader and Leia being essential to Luke Skywalker...yes. They both helped define who that character came to be. Superman, although he has many relatives, doesn't need them for you understand who he is (from an infobox standpoint). He's fucking Superman. He speaks for himself. He's more famous than any relative, immediate or distant.

As for WP:WAF not saying what we say it says: It actually does: At WP:WAF-INFO: "Infoboxes, usually placed in the upper-right portion of an article, give key data about the article's subject in tabular format. For entities within fiction, useful infobox data might include the creators or actors, first appearance, an image, and in-universe information essential to understanding the entity's context in the overall fiction." If you have to start labeling roles to provide context in an infobox, then clearly they aren't that essential. With regard to relationships in general, no has said "no to relationships". That would be something in the body of the article that would be built around real-world analysis discussing the importance of those relationships. Otherwise, we also have various Wikias, which are frequently linked in character articles, that serve as more of the fictional world content that isn't appropriate for Wikipedia.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 13:47, 3 April 2019 (UTC)

If you have to start labeling roles to provide context in an infobox, then clearly they aren't that essential that is wrong in so many ways. Just because some editors know that Vader is Luke and Leia's father, that does not mean that every person on the planet knows that. Providing information that helps readers identifies a subject is not something we should take away. And to Izno, I agree with that. --Gonnym (talk) 16:40, 3 April 2019 (UTC)
It's not. If they were essential, then bare minimum they would likely have a page of their own. Context should not be needed for an infobox. Context is provided through prose, which is in the body of the article. It isn't about knowing automatically that Vader is Luke's father. It's about understand that if someone put him in the infobox he must be essential to understanding Luke Skywalker (turns out, it's because he's his father and the main villain of the original 3 movies). Putting a random relative in and saying "cousin" as if that somehow shows that their essential is frivolous. Their relationship doesn't make them automatically essential to the character at hand. The important part is, we have a guideline, contrary to initial report, that expressly says that's a requirement for in-universe information in an infobox.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 13:13, 4 April 2019 (UTC)
What began as a rather peaceful request seems to have now turned into a messy foodfight. Now the consensus is against new parameters for family members being created (some are even opposing the inclusion of family in the infobox of characters). I only wanted parameters to be created for the core family members and they would be filled ONLY if the characters were essential. But since this request is proven to be irrational and absurd, I'm backing out. Sorry for wasting your time friends. Kailash29792 (talk) 14:07, 4 April 2019 (UTC)
But since this request is proven to be irrational and absurd, I'm backing out. Sorry for wasting your time friends. Easy, easy. It's okay to stay tuned in without calling your own ideas irrational :). Maybe another way to look at it is if it's only for essential characters, that's what |family= is supposed to do, and if |family= isn't doing it, why should we think that |brother= will also only be filled with essential characters? We have evidence the one parameter doesn't work, so we're going to try another parameter...? --Izno (talk) 22:34, 4 April 2019 (UTC)
The family, spouse, and relatives ones seem to exist as shown with Richie Cunningham, although that one is coatracked with all sorts of random relatives and in-laws. AngusWOOF (barksniff) 23:42, 4 April 2019 (UTC)
@Kailash29792: I'm (and I'm assuming no one else) not saying your suggestion is irrational; I understand where you're coming from. My point is that adding more parameters is likely to lead is further into trying to treat these character like we're following WP:BIO instead of following WP:WAF. Just liked at the Richie Cunningham box. It's filled with 8 relatives of different roles and most, if any, are essential to him as a fictional character. It even lists his gender as if it was a questionable item. Why? Because the parameter exists and people feel the need to fill it. That's my fear with more family-based parameters (hell, more in-universe parameters period). It currently has family, spouse, significant other (which really should be merged with spouse), children, relatives (which is really family..). There are plenty of options...probably too many. I don't think we need more, I would argue would ultimately need less with better emphasis on the ones that are essential instead of the idea that they should all be included.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 18:25, 5 April 2019 (UTC)
I'll repeat this for the last time this thread, WP:WAF does not regulate what to include in an article, this is your personal interpretation of it. The only word there it uses is "essential" which is a very unhelpful word. What is essential to one person, is trivia to another - as an example of this, while the video game character infobox was merged, an editor who opposed the merger claimed that all family parameters are trivia, while at the same time was fighting to keep weapon name and weapon type parameters, that to me were trivia. To me, a character's brothers and parents, if notable and appear in the works are essential, such as Luke Skywalker's family, Mario and Luigi, Oliver Queen and Thea and Emiko. That is also looks like BIO, so? Again, nothing in any guideline or policy prohibits it. The only thing that it needs to follow is WP:V, but that is an entirely different issue and not specific to any fictional article. Also, to reply to a comment from before - arguing that context has not place in a fictional infobox misses the point that it is not something unique to fictional articles, see the infobox for Donald Trump which has parenthesis showing dates of marriage and divorce, years affiliated with a party, or when the latest net worth estimate was taken, or Brad Pitt (a FA), that has among other things "(brother)" in the infobox. That said, I somewhat agree that context should not be used to explain fields, which is why I believe that |Bother=Luke is much better than |Family=Luke (brother). --Gonnym (talk) 11:27, 6 April 2019 (UTC)

Last or latest appearance?Edit

Is last appearance meant to be for the last appearance of a fictional character or just the latest? JDDJS (talk to mesee what I've done) 14:30, 16 July 2019 (UTC)

They're rather synonymous, in my mind. Primefac (talk) 14:42, 16 July 2019 (UTC)
They really aren't. Last as was implemented and used even before I started editing this, was for the last appearance of the character, not the latest appearance of the character. --Gonnym (talk) 14:59, 16 July 2019 (UTC)
But if they appeared in Episode 51, regardless of whether that was the "last" appearance or the "latest" appearance, it's the "most recent" time anyone's seen them. Am I correct in assuming that both of you are potentially reading "last" as "this is the last time that we'll ever possibly see them because they're dead/gone/etc"? Primefac (talk) 15:02, 16 July 2019 (UTC)
Yes. Either the character is killed or written off or the franchise has ended (at least for the time period). I take "last" as meaning that there are currently no plans for the character to ever appear again. JDDJS (talk to mesee what I've done) 15:05, 16 July 2019 (UTC)
Primefac, yes, that is how I'm reading it. --Gonnym (talk) 15:20, 16 July 2019 (UTC)
  • This has always been a rather ambiguous field. I take it to be the last appearance before the next one. I've seen several people arguing both sides, but no with conclusion. - SchroCat (talk) 15:23, 16 July 2019 (UTC)
  • There is at least one editor at this discussion who for infobox video game character (since-merged) disagreed with "last" appearance. That template had neither last nor latest. I think in both cases it's a pain of a parameter as a) it is ambiguous per this discussion, b) people [read: fans] can treat it as either in-fiction or out-of-fiction, and c) I'm not sure what value it adds to an infobox. --Izno (talk) 16:42, 16 July 2019 (UTC)
    • I actually find it very useful as it gives a reader an indication of when that character's story was over. Any ambiguity can be addressed in the docs ("last" vs "latest", in-universe vs production). Whether said editors will read the docs or not, that cannot be helped. There are some articles here (and most fan wikis) that take this one step further and have seasons listed (see Max Greevey). --Gonnym (talk) 17:39, 16 July 2019 (UTC)
      • an indication of when that character's story was over I'm not sure it does. Prequels are a thing these days, which I believe would be a 'later' out of universe appearance (which are what we should be providing for readers--haven't checked the template docs on the point), as are 'later' sequels (c.f. Star Wars Episode 8 and all the hubbub about Luke Skywalker's possible appearance). 'latest' makes some sense in that context. 'last' does not. --Izno (talk) 18:02, 16 July 2019 (UTC)
        • 'Latest' seems more generally-applicable. Calling a latest appearance a last appearance may be confusing; calling a last appearance a latest appearance I'd say is fine. We could add code to change the label, so editors can designate when an appearance is clearly a last one and when it is merely a latest one; but, especially in comic books, "last" appearances often aren't anyway ("The only people who stay dead in comics are Bucky, Jason Todd, and Uncle Ben"), so I suspect it's safest to use "latest" at all times, and be clear that it is simply the last-published work in which the character appears. TSP (talk) 11:12, 17 July 2019 (UTC)
          • Both in-universe and real-life can work, we just need to decide what format we work with - it can be in-universe and then it lets readers know the story-arc limit, and it can be real-life and can be appearances in the media. It can also be both, with |last= following in-universe appearance, and |latest= following real-life. Both have their uses and both offer readers with value information. Also, just to comment on comic book usage, sadly comic book articles don't use this infobox at all, so no point in adding comic characters as an argument. --Gonnym (talk) 12:15, 17 July 2019 (UTC)
            • Comic book characters and video game characters would be a mess given all the flashbacks, passing mentions and reboots. At least with television characters portrayed by actors, you can identify their final appearance in a series and ignore reunion specials. AngusWOOF (barksniff) 15:59, 17 July 2019 (UTC)

If you're talking about recurring characters, then "latest" may be apt. If you're talking about series regulars, then it's a field that does not need to be filled out until the show is done (or the character is gone). Otherwise, you're just updating it every single week. You just put "on-going" or something similar to indicate that they are an active character on the show.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 15:32, 17 July 2019 (UTC)


It would be useful for characters like Tyrion Lannister, and the Master Chief. The Optimistic One (talk) 18:45, 16 August 2019 (UTC)

Why would it be useful? How does the height give any useful context to the character? --Gonnym (talk) 19:17, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
Because some people would like to know of these paticular ones. I'm not saying this would be the case for all characters; it's just characters like these ones. The Optimistic One (talk) 19:24, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
Usually that's a good reason to discuss it in the text-proper rather than provide a parameter for all characters. --Izno (talk) 19:36, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
There's already a couple of parameteres that are used by a minority of infoboxes. Firstgame only really needs to exist for primarily video game characters where they're first appearance would have been in a different medium (e.g. novel, film). Religion is another one, not every characters faith is known, and even less often does their faith be a defining characteristic. Other examples include, weapon, affiliation, and children. Atleast every character has a height. The Optimistic One (talk) 19:52, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
Other stuff exists. If you want to have a discussion about those parameters, then start a section about removing them. --Izno (talk) 19:54, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
But do you see what point I'm making? The Optimistic One (talk) 19:56, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
You are right The Optimistic One, there are a lot of parameters currently in the infobox that I personally believe should be removed, including some of those you mentioned above. --Gonnym (talk) 20:00, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
As with infobox person, it needs to be a defining characteristic, otherwise it does not pertain. AngusWOOF (barksniff) 22:29, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
Return to "Infobox character" page.