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Latest revision as of 13:10, 20 June 2011
Galleries exist to present readers with a structured and meaningful collection of the media found here on Ryzom Commons. Usually, they are created to give a sample or overview of all the media on a given topic.
Starting a gallery
When creating a new gallery, a few things should always be included:
- The gallery tag to hold media (<gallery></gallery>).
- Obviously: Media! (images, sounds, video)
- Galleries without media are not galleries at all. They are considered out of the project scope and meet the criteria for speedy deletion.
- A brief description of the subject (if necessary)
- Commons is not an encyclopedia. Our main purpose is not to educate readers through text.
- Commons is multilingual. You may use any language(s) you like. Translations of a gallery's description will most likely be added by others. Keep this in mind when adding any text to a gallery. For most subjects a sentence or two is all that's needed.
- Every gallery should be categorized. Add the gallery to the category with the same name, or if there is none, to relevant categories .
- Interwiki links to Ryzom Wiki articles
- Interwiki links are extremely useful for linking to Ryzom Wiki articles. Use them.
- Again, since Commons is multilingual, a "see also" or "main article" link to Ryzom Wiki is not ideal because they are language specific. Including "main article" links to all Ryzom Wikis isn't ideal either as that takes up a lot of room and we have an established system already in place that deals with this quite nicely—interwiki links that show up in the sidebar.
Other things to include
Depending on the subject, there are other things you may want to included in a gallery. This may be a navigation bar, a taxonomy box, links to sister projects besides Ryzom Wiki, among other things specific to the topic.
Unlike naming categories, where English is almost always used, galleries should be named in language most associated with the subject. This applies to people, places, art, culture, etc. For general subjects and ones not tied to any specific language, the name most likely to be searched for (usually English) should be used. An exception to this rule is the naming of galleries of organisms and subjects where Latin names are considered universal. These follow the same guidelines as categories and should share the same name.
When to create a gallery
Not every subject should have its own gallery even if it has its own category. Likewise, not every subject should have its own category even if it has its own gallery. Galleries should not be created if they merely duplicate the purpose of a category. However, this does not mean they should be deleted or "merged". Categories will always be categories, but galleries can turn into something much more.
Commons does not have an equivalent to Ryzom Wiki's "stub" articles. Our goal is not to simply have a gallery on every notable or noteworthy subject. They should be created with a specific purpose. A single image on a page is not a gallery.
It is recommended to create redirects from names in other languages, especially if a gallery's name is not English. Redirects from the plural form and other variations may also be useful.
In the absence of a gallery, or if there is only a gallery with little or no content, a gallery title can be redirected to a corresponding category (a cross-namespace redirect). To make sure that the redirect isn't included in the category, the colon (":") should be used before the target, e.g.
Galleries vs. categories
The biggest issue concerning galleries is their relationship with categories. Many times these two systems appear to be redundant with each other. This isn't (or shouldn't) be the case. They can co-exist. Galleries and categories may both accomplish the same goal—to help users find media—but in very different ways. Categories should contain all files related to the subject while galleries should contain a sample of files related to the subject. Ideally, galleries should contain the best of what we have. All files should be in at least one category, but not all files should be in a gallery.
The benefits of galleries
Galleries can do a few things that categories don't. They can show captions and information regarding each image, and group images into sections. Images in a gallery can be arranged in chronological, geographical, thematic or other informative order. Galleries can exclude poorer quality and redundant images that fill some categories and impede users who simply are looking for a good image, say, to illustrate a Ryzom Wiki article. On the other hand, for users seeking a very specific image, the wider selection usually included in a category may make it worth the extra time.
The disadvantages of galleries
Adding new images to categories is quicker and easier than adding them to galleries. The user doesn't even have to leave the image's page in order to include it in a category. The right categories are more likely to already exist than the right gallery. Files can be added to non-existent categories but not to non-existent galleries. Categories group all related images together which aids in the creation of galleries, but this doesn't work as well the other way around if galleries only include the best images.