Wikipedia talk:Automated taxobox system

Latest comment: 13 hours ago by Jts1882 in topic Automatic links to species, commons, data
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This talk page can be used to discuss issues with the automated taxobox system that are common to the entire system, not just one of its templates. Discussions of this nature prior to 2017 can be found at Template talk:Automatic taxobox

Those familiar with the system prior to mid-2016 are advised to read Notes for "old hands".

30 December 2023 use stats update edit

30 December update

Project Auto Manual Total taxa Percentage auto # auto added since 30 June 2023 # manual subtracted
Algae 2163 227 2390 90.5 58 51
Amphibians and Reptiles 22524 206 22730 99.1 354 13
Animals 11167 1158 12325 90.6 1083 900
Arthropods 10774 3067 13841 77.8 866 357
Beetles 24731 13421 38152 64.8 2390 2282
Birds 14358 62 14420 99.6 67 19
Bivalves 1674 32 1706 98.1 14 2
Cephalopods 2009 566 2575 78.0 10 2
Dinosaurs 1643 0 1643 100 11 1
Diptera 14160 2165 16325 86.7 775 477
Fishes 24408 1671 26079 93.6 410 191
Fungi 10655 5171 15826 67.3 1012 513
Gastropods 27510 7224 34734 79.2 3068 2526
Insects 57978 20719 78697 73.7 5123 4599
Lepidoptera 74631 23766 98397 75.8 4876 4827
Mammals 8301 144 8445 98.3 95 9
Marine life 8723 672 9395 92.8 779 648
Microbiology 6971 6030 13001 53.6 727 663
Palaeontology 14779 3474 18253 81.0 689 262
Plants 79920 611 80531 99.2 1468 353
Primates 979 0 979 100 -1 0
Protista 380 80 460 82.6 210 -55
Rodents 3137 28 3165 99.1 17 1
Sharks 829 45 874 94.9 11 4
Spiders 10040 0 10040 100 342 0
Tree of Life 89 6 95 93.7 7 5
Turtles 759 0 759 100 5 1
Viruses 1722 55 1777 96.9 8 1
Total 383888 76708 460596 83.3 19320 16446

Mammal subprojects with articles tagged for both mammals and subproject:

Project Auto Manual Total taxa Percentage auto
Cats 186 0 186 100
Cetaceans 439 0 439 100
Dogs 241 0 241 100
Equine 109 0 109 100
Methods and caveats (copy-pasted from previous update)

Method: For the most part I use Petscan to search for articles with a talk page banner for a particular Wikiproject and either {{Taxobox}}, or any of {{Automatic taxobox}}+{{Speciesbox}}+({{Infraspeciesbox}} and/or {{Subspeciesbox}} (depending on whether botanical/zoological code is relevant)), and record the results. Example search for algae with automatic taxoboxes (search terms are in the Templates&Links tab in Petscan). For viruses, I search for {{Virusbox}} rather than the other automatic taxobox templates. For plants, I sum the results for the Plants, Banksia, Carnivorous plants and Hypericaceae projects. "Total" is derived from the Template Transclusion Count tool ( e.g. results for Speciesbox), and is not actually sum of the results for individual projects (some articles have talk page banners for multiple Wikiprojects, and would be counted twice if rows were summed). I started compiling these stats in April 2017, and have been updating roughly every six months since December 2017. I've kept my method consistent; perhaps I should have included all of the automatic taxobox templates (Hybridbox, Ichnobox, etc.), but I didn't do so at the beginning, and the other templates aren't used in very many articles.

Caveat: The remaining manual taxoboxes in projects with a high percentage of automatic taxoboxes mostly have some kind of "problem". I have periodically reviewed all the manual taxobox articles in projects with less than 207 manual taxoboxes, and chose not to convert them to automatic taxoboxes at that time (however, it has been awhile since my last review, so there probably a few recently included articles I haven't reviewed). "Problems" may include:

  • Fossil taxa; fossil classifications may be derived from multiple sources and present classification on Wikipedia may include mutually incompatible hypotheses. Fossil taxa are often not be linked from extant parent taxa.
  • Synonymy; there is some obvious synonymy issue; e.g., a species is in a genus which redirects (as a synonym) to another genus; maybe the species article needs to be moved or maybe the genus should be reinstated
  • Common names; articles with common name titles may not correspond to taxa, but still have manual taxoboxes. In some cases {{Paraphyletic group}} may be appropriate, in others the taxobox should be removed
  • Parasite and pathogens; article on parasites and pathogens may be tagged for the WikiProject of the organisms they infect. Higher level taxonomy templates for the parasites may not yet exist, and the classification presented in manual taxoboxes may not be up to date.

The template for the Bats taskforce was merged into the template for WikiProject Mammals since my last update. I can't track bats separately anymore, but they had been at 100% automatic taxoboxes for a couple years now. WikiProject Protista is slowly being added to more articles; there has been an increase in the number of tagged protist articles with manual taxoboxes. Primates has one less article than it did last time; perhaps a taxon has been lumped and an article merged.

All projects are now over 50% automatic taxoboxes and the majority are now over 90%.

I have some detailed notes breaking remaining plant manual taxoboxes down by family at User:Plantdrew/Plant automatic taxobox progress. Less detailed notes at User:Plantdrew/Animal automatic taxobox progress that break animals down by phylum, and insects and fishes by order. Plantdrew (talk) 03:10, 31 December 2023 (UTC)Reply

Have you numbers on the number of new manual taxoboxes added, what percentage of all new taxoboxes they make, and the projects still using them? —  Jts1882 | talk  09:18, 18 January 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Jts1882:, there isn't any easy way to get new manual taxoboxes by WikiProject. A PetScan search for articles with taxoboxes sorted by "not at all"/descending shows recently created articles. Of the most recent 20, 7 are moths, 3 fungi, 3 beetles, 2 arthropods, 2 eukaryote incertae sedis, 1 gastropod, 1 insect (Hymenoptera), and 1 (fossil) bird. Single editors (different ones) were responsible for 6 of the moths, 3 beetles, 2 fungi, 2 arthropods and 2 eukaryotes. 8 of the 20 are species and 12 are higher taxa.
82 articles with manual taxoboxes were created between 30 June 2023 and 30 December 2023. Assuming the difference between # auto added and # manual subtracted represents newly created articles (it mostly should), 2874 articles with automatic taxoboxes were created since June 2023. 82+2874=2956. 82 is 2.8% of 2956. Existing articles do occasionally get converted from automatic taxoboxes to manual by editors who want to update the classification without understanding how taxonomy templates work, but that number is negligible.
I guess the take away is that there are a small number of editors creating articles with manual taxoboxes, and they are mostly working in groups where uptake of automatic taxoboxes is relatively low. Groups with low uptake of automatic taxoboxes are going to be missing many taxonomy templates needed to create speciesboxes, but the articles being created with manual taxoboxes are mostly higher taxa, so having taxonomy templates in place probably isn't going to help very much (of the 8 species in the most recent 20, only 1 was in a genus that has an existing taxonomy template). Plantdrew (talk) 16:25, 18 January 2024 (UTC)Reply
7214 articles were created with manual taxoboxes since 10 April 2017, which is when I started tracking stats on automatic taxoboxes. That was a little after automatic taxobox use really started to take off (but well before it was the norm; 13.2% of articles had an automatic taxobox at that point). So less than 10% of articles with manual taxoboxes were created after concerted efforts to use automatic taxoboxes began (obviously there are some articles that were created since 2017 with manual taxoboxes that have now been converted). Plantdrew (talk) 16:58, 18 January 2024 (UTC)Reply
I guess a better date to pick would be 30 August 2018, when the RFC about preferring automatic taxoboxes closed. There are 3970 articles created with manual taxoboxes (and which still have them) since 30 August 2018. Plantdrew (talk) 21:16, 18 January 2024 (UTC)Reply

Aquaterraves‎ edit

Is there any precedent on taxoboxes for 'hypothetical' taxons? I guess they're all hypothetical at some level. YorkshireExpat (talk) 17:03, 13 February 2024 (UTC)Reply

There is precedent; see e.g. Eocyte hypothesis and Articulata hypothesis (there's relevant discussion going on at Template_talk:Taxonbar#Further_discussion, with the newly created Wikidata item taxon hypothesis (Q124477390) stemming from that). I'm not sure that the precedent needs to be followed if something is really framed as a hypothesis (i.e., we might consider removing those taxoboxes).
It gets more complicated with Tactopoda and Antennopoda, which are framed as "proposed clades", but which represent mutually exclusive hypotheses regarding the relationship of tardigrades, arthropods and onychophorans.
Avifilopluma is another weird one. It was the last article tagged for WikiProject Dinosaurs to get an automatic taxobox. It is the clade of feathered animals, with feathers not being precisely defined, and it not being clear exactly which taxa would be included. Plantdrew (talk) 18:06, 13 February 2024 (UTC)Reply
Ok, will leave alone for the moment. Thanks. YorkshireExpat (talk) 08:38, 14 February 2024 (UTC)Reply
There are articles for Columbaves, Inopinaves and Aequorlitornithes (all from Prum et al, 2015), as well as Columbea and Passerea (from Jarvis et al 2014). Gruimorphae also has one, as do the more questionable Otidae and Gruae. While I think it is useful to have short articles clearly defining these proposals, perhaps the Neoaves article could be expanded discuss the alternative arrangements, which are currently shown in he cladograms. I think this new proposal certainly should be covered. —  Jts1882 | talk  10:37, 14 February 2024 (UTC)Reply

Automatic links to species, commons, data edit

Any interest in adding automatic links to wikispecies, commons categories and galleries, and wikidata at the bottom of our taxboxes to improve integration with our sister projects? Compare hr:Dracaena aethiopica / en:Dracaena aethiopica. Coded in hr:Template:Taksokvir (note the four tracking categories). Ponor (talk) 11:43, 17 April 2024 (UTC)Reply

We use {{taxonbar}} to link to various taxon IDs, including wikidata, wikispecies, etc. All of the IDs are stored at Wikidata. We could consider adding commons and gallery to the taxonbar. @Tom.Reding and Jts1882: thoughts on this? - UtherSRG (talk) 12:21, 17 April 2024 (UTC)Reply
I was thinking of a more prominent place. {{Taxonbar}}, to me, is something that experienced editors might need, it's not very friendly to our readers. It's also not shown to >2/3 of them Ponor (talk) 12:41, 17 April 2024 (UTC)Reply
Instead of duplicating the effect in the taxobox, we can perhaps work to make the taxonbar available on mobile. - UtherSRG (talk) 14:46, 17 April 2024 (UTC)Reply
Unfortunate side-effects to that would include:
  1. people complaining about WP:OVERLINKING
  2. people removing {{Commons}}, {{Commons category}}, etc., due to the presence of a link in {{Taxonbar}}
I don't agree with this behavior, but it happens relatively often.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkdgaf)  15:09, 17 April 2024 (UTC)Reply
I'm not against an unobtrusive addition at the bottom of the taxobox. However, as an infobox, the taxobox is supposed to summarize information on the taxon, so it is probably better for links to other resources to be elsewhere.
There was a previous discussion about including wikispecies and commons in the taxonbar or only using the templates {{Commons category}} and {{Wikispecies}} to avoid redundancy. In the end the status quo was kept (with Wikispecies in the taxonbar). I'm not adverse to adding the commons gallery or commons category.
The taxonbar doesn't appear on mobile because it uses Navbox, which is not allowed on mobile view for some reason (possibly because you can't collapse large navboxes or they are condised too large for downloading on phones). I believe there were some proposed changes aimed at making a mobile compliant navbox. @Tom.Reding: do you know anything on this? It would certainly be possible to make an alternative output for the taxonbar without using navbox, although this may go against decisions made elsewhere for such content (e.g. authority control). —  Jts1882 | talk  15:03, 17 April 2024 (UTC)Reply
Mobile & style issues are sort of a black box to me. My impression is that there's a desire, and some work being done, to, at some point, make navboxes viewable on mobile, but I don't keep up with that at all. I don't know of another navbox-like utility (not that I've looked for one). If there were a flag or something in Lua that would designate a user's device as mobile or non-mobile, then an alternate method could be used (even something dumb like an un/ordered list, assuming consensus, etc., etc.).   ~ Tom.Reding (talkdgaf)  15:22, 17 April 2024 (UTC)Reply
There is no way of detecting the skin in Lua. It can only be done in JS or CSS. Without Wikimedia support, this means any solution must use CSS, which can be customised for different skins (including the mobile one, Minerva). I'm not sure how Navboxes are blocked in Mobile view, but I assume it's server side, as the HTML code for navbox is not on the page (although strangely their templatestyles is). An alternative output could mimick the navbox styles and hav different displays for mobile and desktop (or narrow and wide screen).
An alternative output from taxonbar shouldn't be too difficult. I did some experimenting in the module sandbox some time ago, using horizontal and vertical lists, with collapsible options. However, it would be good to find out what Wikimedia plans are for navboxes and mobile. —  Jts1882 | talk  07:39, 18 April 2024 (UTC)Reply