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Forum: The Situation Room > Proposed new episode sidebar

"Proposed new episode sidebar"

Prod. #


May 23, 2005
Story by
Teleplay by
Directed by
Special guest appearance by


Nancy Harding as CTU agent

I made this episode sidebar as an alternative to the current all-purpose one, the idea being to move the guest cast from the bottom of the page to the top and shorten the page overall. This one also goes with the color scheme used in the DVD navigation box. What do you think? --Pyramidhead 10:45, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

I like the general look of it. It really looks pretty cool, but I don't think it's necessary to include the whole cast, including "co-starrings" and unnamed small characters in the sidebar. Thief12 12:29, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

It's much too long with all that cast listed. --SignorSimon (talk/contribs/email) 17:52, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

Visually it is an improvement for the boxes instead of the current episode guide boxes. The text is too small though. Also, there is nothing wrong with the current list of Casts on the Guides, so to move it up top is to fix something that isn't broken. Also the current Cast lists are easier to edit. The episode code looks funny under the title. Minus the Cast list, though, this is a pretty good idea. Blue Rook  talk  contribs 21:28, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
Looks good, just remove the cast list. SteveTalk 23:01, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
I think it looks good, too. But maybe take out the "guest starring" and just leave the special guest stars, special guest appearances, and uncredited actors. --Cubs Fan2007 (Talk) 00:12, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

I agree that, for many episodes, this would probably be way too long. I had an idea to use a collapsible table to contain the guest cast. By default, it would be collapsed, and the sidebar would be about as short as the current one, but it would be possible to show the entire listing. We'd have to add that script to Common.js, though. --Pyramidhead 00:50, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

I don't think it's even worth having as a collapsing box. As Blue Rook said, this way the cast list will be harder to edit, and you are changing something that is fine as it is. I do like the "next" and "last" links though - that's a very good idea. --SignorSimon (talk/contribs/email) 07:43, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

The problem is many "Guest Stars" on 24 are defacto Main Cast members. There are a few ways this problem can be resolved:

  1. Not include anyone with more than a set number of episodes (this could work in combination with the cast list and the character appearances chart).
  2. Eliminate all recurring characters.
  3. Eliminate the guest cast altogether
  4. List only those who's names appear alone on screen.
  5. Limit the guest cast to a select number of guest stars and put on list by billing, with a (more) tag at the end.
I reworked the template to put the guest cast in a div of fixed size with overflow allowed. This would eliminate the problem of it being too long. --Pyramidhead 08:04, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
I see, but this doesn't address the issues of the accessibility and difficulty of editing such a huge block of text, or explain why the cast should be moved up there in the first place (it just seems to move the cast up there "for the sake of moving it up"). The color scheme is excellent, this is a great aesthetic improvement, and if the words were normal-sized and the Episode Code moved down with the rest of the stuff, I'd definitely be down for a change-over. But I don't think the Cast warrants this big of a change, especially one that reduces edit-ability and clutters the screen whenever someone will edit a guide. This is what headings and sub-headings are for. Blue Rook  talk  contribs 13:51, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
Realistically, there's no need to edit any of the cast lists after they've been entered. It's not as if they're constantly being updated. I just think it makes more sense to have all the information relevant to each episode in one place, rather than at opposite ends of the page. --Pyramidhead 06:26, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

All the information relevant to the episode is covered over the whole page, as the page is exclusively about that certain episode. It doesn't matter where the information is because it is still going to be on that page, and therefore will still inform people as necessary. --SignorSimon (talk/contribs/email) 07:40, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

I really like the proposed sidebar, even with the cast list in it. Like Pyramidhead said, the cast list isn't a constantly updated feature. This is a much glossier alternative to merely listing the cast near the bottom of the page. Also, the font is smaller, making it less obtrusive, yet still immediately visible when you load the page. I hate the scroll bar, though, and I'm not sure a collapsible list is even necessary for the cast. Either way, I vote we start implementing this as soon as we can. --proudhug 22:03, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
If this is going to happen, I would like to nail down some stuff with everyone before beginning. The smaller blue lines, used to divide up sections, are visually disruptive in my opinion when used with the larger blue lines between sections. Can we remove those and just indent the content beneath the subheadings? Second, the sidebar will be freakishly colossal in many cases without the scroll in there; and it's not just the length: the width needs to be reduced to some degree in my opinion. I'm using some PCs in public computer labs, and this looks really crowded on some default browser settings. Third, I think the production number should be moved down like it is in the current sidebar. Also, weren't the edges rounded off earlier? They are square now.
The final idea I have is that we implement these as separate templates, and then just transclude them into each episode guide. This way, when someone goes to edit the article, they won't need to scroll through all that bulk of actor names, making editing easier. Each template with have a tiny "edit" button of its own just like Wikipedia templates. Even if everyone hates this, I recommend we implement whatever next step we agree upon in a few trial examples, revisiting it, and then make the final choice. Blue Rook  talk  contribs 00:19, 28 March 2009 (UTC)
The corners are rounded for me in Firefox, but squared in IE. I'm not sure why that would be. What do you mean by the blue lines? Can you be more specific, because I'm unsure what specifically is bothering you. I also don't know what you mean by separate templates. Currently, the code at the top of this page is a little more than twice that of the normal template, but still relatively small, in my opinion. If you mean to eliminate the template and just put all the code in each page, I don't understand how that would help.
As for the problem of the length of the scrollbar-less template, what does this matter? Personally, I don't think it would be overly long and, even if it did scroll all the way to the bottom of the page, would that really matter? Many character sidebars take up 90% of the page, with a huge gap between the IU character Day X description and the Appearances chart at the bottom. Does this bother you as well? --proudhug 00:41, 28 March 2009 (UTC)
Aha I didn't know the corners were different in each browser. The blue line I'm referring to is between Season and 4, and it runs over to be between Episode and 24, Airdate & ... etc. Another one is between Written by and Robert Cochran... underneath Guest starring... etc. And the template I was talking about refers to a template that would contain an episode's list of characters. So everything between the double brackets on this page would be within its own episode specific template, which would be transcluded on the top of its specific ep guide. Then we could put each actor/character role on a new line, instead of a block with all those BRs, and not have a hugely long amount of stuff at the top of each episode guide.
Your 2nd paragraph I dont follow because I don't understand the example with the "90% of the page" situation. Can you put it in other words/upload a screen? Blue Rook  talk  contribs 00:57, 28 March 2009 (UTC)
Visually, it's a major improvement but the cast list is fine at the bottom of the page.- AaronPierce
I like the sidebar, I just don't see why its better to have the cast at the top. It will take a lot longer to change, and why bother cramming them into a small template when we can have them in a nicer, long list at the bottom. --SignorSimon (talk/contribs/email) 09:35, 28 March 2009 (UTC)
I see now what you mean by the blue line, however I don't have a problem with it. Why does it bother you? I find it the opposite of visually disruptive. It neatly distinguishes the headings.
I understand what you mean by the individual headings now. I don't see that they're necessary, though, as I don't find the current format to be that intrusive, but I wouldn't be upset with the decision. The cast list is one of the most important and popular sections of an episode guide, so it's nice to have it right there in the sidebar when you bring up the page, instead of in a boring, ugly list near the bottom. The only real argument I've seen for leaving it the way it is is the ol' "if it ain't broken..." however, I think moving it up is a definite improvement of the page, visually and practically.
Examples of pages with mostly sidebar are Michael or Tarket. --proudhug 02:51, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

On an unrelated note, I think it should be noted that there is a major problem with the writing credits on this site. I haven't looked through all the episodes, but there is no effort made to distinguish between the & and the and writing credits, which mean two different things. Also, there is no place on this sidebar for a story by credit    CANADA DRY    talk    contribs    email   03:20, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

Can you give an example of when the "and" was used? I wasn't aware of any. If you're right, we do need to make that distinction, since they are two different things. Also, both of your points do pose a potential problem with the new sidebar. --proudhug 03:29, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
I can't think of one off the top of my head. However, that does not mean it couldn't be used.    CANADA DRY    talk    contribs    email   03:37, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
Well, of course it could be used, but if there are any instances where it was used and Wiki 24 lists it as an ampersand instead, it can easily be changed. I just can't think of any examples on 24. --proudhug 03:47, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

Your justifications for moving it is that currently its "boring" and "ugly". Well its written the same way as practically all the content on the site, do you consider everything that isn't in a posh little table boring and ugly? I don't see how its practically better where it is, because if we have it without a scroll bar it will dig right into some of the episode guides (as the table of contents will be considerably shorter without the cast lists) which could affect some image placements and interfere with the episode guide text. If you have it with a scroll bar it definately is not visually improved; the scroll bar looks terrible.

Also, why are there random, huge gaps in the "Guest starring" section? I see gaps under Edgar Stiles and Aaron Pierce. Also, the spacing between the different lines in the Guest starring section changes after each of those huge spaces. However, that could just be a problem with my browser. --SignorSimon (talk/contribs/email) 08:28, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

No, my justification for moving it is that it's an important and useful feature of the page and deserves to be prettied up and placed in a prominent spot near the top. I agree that the scrollbar looks terrible, but don't see the problem with leaving it long.
I also see the spacing issues on my computer. It shows up for me in both Firefox and IE. --proudhug 19:54, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
I still don't think this is a good idea, to move the cast lists away from their spot. The minuscule text is bothersome, so saying this is "prettying" it up is purely relative. Also it's not possible to argue that this makes editing the cast list any easier. It's a complete mess in this format, and I'm one of the people that actually edits in there for the sake of clarifying credits and doing unnamed character links. I will get agita and will have nightmares about being chased by the letters "BR" if I have to dig around in this kind of mess.
If the purpose is to move the credits to the top, why don't we just list Cast first? It doesn't need to be in this contentious sidebar, splitting the page in half. Blue Rook  talk  contribs 20:26, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
I made some changes - lowered the width, moved some fields around, etc. Would this be more managable? --Pyramidhead 10:20, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

I like it, myself. --proudhug 15:58, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

On an unrelated note, when testing the template out on the episode pages, I noticed a problem that applies to every page on the site: it seems the icon template creates a "dead" area for about 200 pixels below the icons, so that nothing in that area can be selected. Does anyone have any idea what would cause this? --Pyramidhead 11:03, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

Nice to return and see the template has been put in place despite no decision reached here. I think it looks terrible on the episode pages, intrudes much too much into the actual guide. --SignorSimon (talk/contribs/email) 15:57, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

I'm totally surprised about this too. And I really can't believe you went out of your way to remove the co-star credits the community agreed upon in the DP list many months ago, Pyramidhead. For Day 1 4:00pm-5:00pm it should list Franco's credit as * [[David Franco]] as [[Alan Morgan|Alan Morgan (as "Man")]]. You actually had to go out of your way to put it into the improper version. I shudder to think how many other times you've done this.
Other problems include a large empty bar of space at the top of the guides and text that is too small for the new sidebar on any laptop I use. I hate saying this, or sounding like I'm against "progress", but I just don't see how this can work. And to be perfectly honest there was no clear consensus on applying this anyway. These should be reverted back. Blue Rook  talk  contribs 16:12, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
Go ahead and revert it, then. --Pyramidhead 22:05, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
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