Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Technical

Hi. I am jp×g, writing at 22:29, 24 October 2022 (UTC). The following document will be my attempt to summarize, in an understandable way, how the Signpost works on a purely technical level (i.e. the electrical system that causes Signpost content to go from writers' keyboards to your eyeballs). What is this machine and what does it do? This document is mostly, and perhaps entirely, of interest to people such as me (an editor-in-chief attempting to make sense of a very old legacy system which he has inherited from generations past). Feel free to stop reading now, because this is going to be boring!

Types of Signpost pagesEdit

Main pageEdit

Looks like: Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost

There is only one main page: it shows the current issue. Its contents are automatically overwritten each month with the new issue's release; they're overwritten by content generated by the Signpost Publishing Script.

Templates used by this page are:

Archive pageEdit

Looks like: Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Archives/2022-03-27

There is one of these for each Signpost issue. They (as far as I can tell) are not transcluded anywhere. Their wikitext source is extremely short, and looks like this:

{{Signpost archive|2022-02-27|2022-03-27|2022-04-24}}

A closer look at {{Signpost archive}}, whose output is essentially identical in formatting to the main page (but for dates other than the current issue):

  • It transcludes the header, as the main issue page does, and opens some <div>s for the content (while setting fonts, sizes and line heights for it).
  • It transcludes the appropriate issue page (i.e. from the section below).
  • It closes the <div>s for the content and transcludes the footer.

Issue pageEdit

Looks like: Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2022-03-27

There is one of these for each issue. These are transcluded on yearly archive pages (like Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Archives/2022). They're also transcluded by the monthly archive pages (i.e. Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Archives/2022-03-27 transcludes all of Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2022-03-27 via {{Signpost archive}}). They consist of a bunch of lines like this (one for every article that month):

{{Wikipedia:Signpost/Template:Cover-item|{{{1}}}|11|2022-03-27|Arbitration report|Skeptics given heavenly judgement, whirlwind of Discord drama begins to spin for tropical cyclone editors|0.2 MB}}

This invokes Wikipedia:Signpost/Template:Cover-item, which is its whole own can of worms. The {{{1}}} here allows a pass-through from another template, which is sort of complicated, so I will explain it like this:

{{Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2022-03-27|2}}
{{Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2022-03-27}}

Note the difference: the issue page is getting called with 2 as its first parameter from the monthly archive page, and with nothing as its first parameter from the yearly archive page. This means that different parameters are being passed from the monthly archive page to Wikipedia:Signpost/Template:Cover-item, causing different display modes to be selected.

Note: Why is it like this? I have no idea.

Single-page editionsEdit

Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Single, when viewed directly, automatically transcludes all stories from the current issue for reading on a single page. When transcluded as a template with the date of any archived issue as parameter, it does the same for that issue; this is used to generate archival single-edition pages (example: Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Single/2022-10-31).

  • NB: It includes an autogenerated table of content that is similar to the one on the main page (Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost) but has less detail, e.g. it leaves out the blurb (subtitle) for each story.


TemplatesEdit

A full list of every template we've ever used is available at Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Templates.

See alsoEdit