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Forums: IndexCommunity discussionsPhasing out Simbio templates | Forum new Post

I am proposing that we discontinue use of the "Simbio" templates, and instead shift over to using the "Sim" templates exclusively on articles for Sims that appear in more than one game. This is something that has been brought up a couple times in the past, and it has even received what could be characterized as an "unofficial consensus," but it has never been formally addressed so far as I know.

For those unfamiliar with The Sims Wiki's setup regarding Sim articles, I'll give you a brief explanation. We do not create different articles for Sims that appear in multiple games; instead, we make use of a series of infoboxes (the colored table-like boxes that appear on the right side of Sim articles) to provide information relevant to that Sim in each of the games that he/she appears in. These infoboxes include information about the Sim's life/death status, life state, life stage (age), marital status, career, and physical appearance, along with a picture (usually a headshot) of the Sim. If a Sim appears in a single game only, the infobox we use is called a "Sim" infobox. For instance, for a Sim that appears only in The Sims 3 or one of its expansions, we would use {{Sim3}} on that page. However, if a Sim appears in two or more games, it's different. For the sake of our example, we'll say we have a Sim that appears in both The Sims 2 and The Sims 3. In this case, we would start with {{Simbio-start}}, which lists the Sim's name, sex, family information, and marital information. We would then use {{Simbio2}} and {{Simbio3}} to list information relevant to those two games.

There are a few issues with this approach regarding multi-game Sims. First, information between two games can differ, and the Simbio model cannot accommodate for these differences. A good example of this is Bella Goth, from the well-known Goth family. In The Sims, The Sims 2 and The Sims 4, her last name/surname is 'Goth,' but in The Sims 3—where Bella appears as an unmarried child—her last name/surname is 'Bachelor'. However, individual Simbio templates do not allow you to list out the Sim's alternative name, as it relies on Simbio-start, which lists her name simply as Bella Goth. Another issue is that of parents and children. In The Sims, the Goth Family consists of Mortimer, Bella, and Cassandra. However, The Sims 2 and The Sims 4 (but not The Sims 3, since Mortimer and Bella were not married at that time) include a second child, Alexander. Despite the fact that Alexander Goth does not exist in two out of the four games where Bella exists, he is still included as her child on the simbio-start infobox. There are further examples of these discrepancies, which are only further confounded by the fact that The Sims 4 occupies a separate timeline from the earlier games, and The Sims Studio has already made changes to the timeline which result in differing information between games.

There are a few issues that we would encounter when moving from Simbio to Sim templates on some pages. The Sim templates have a few more parameters than Simbio templates, since the information not included is usually included in the Simbio-start template instead. This information would need to be moved from Simbio-start into the individual Sim templates, and this would most likely need to be done manually. What I have in mind, rather than simply deleting the Simbio templates outright, is to begin a process by which we gradually move off of Simbio template usage. First we would adjust our "frequently visited" articles to use Sim infoboxes exclusively, and then work on transitioning other Sim pages to utilizing Sim templates instead of Simbio templates. Part of this transition would also involve updating our support/help pages so that new users are no longer directed to use the Simbio templates. In fact, we should explicitly urge against the usage of Simbio templates, as it would run contrary to our attempt to phase them out of use. Finally, there are a few changes we could possibly make to the Sim templates to make the transition more automatic. One example would be to have the 'name' parameter on Sim templates auto-populate with the page name unless the parameter is specified.

This changeover would be significant, so I feel it should be discussed and consented to before it begins. Please let me know what you think. -- LiR talkblogcontribs 18:48, October 22, 2015 (UTC)

This sounds like a good idea to me. The contradictory information in the Simbios has always bothered me and this seems like a reasonably straightforward way of sorting it out. Vpetmad (talk) 16:26, December 21, 2015 (UTC)

I totally agree with this, let's do it. DarkSuicune2000 17:48, December 21, 2015 (UTC)

I also think that this is a great idea. However, in regards to articles in the Fanon namespace, would we ask the authors themselves to remove the Simbio template from their page(s), or would community members do it for them? Would this also be the same for abandoned Fanons and Fanons made by retired users? ~ Waikikamukow (Anyone wanna chat?) 01:25, December 22, 2015 (UTC)

That's a good point to bring up. I personally think Simbio should be kept, just discontinued in the article namespace. This will save us the hassle of dealing with fanons with Simbio, and it seems less bureaucratic than forcing users to give up Simbio. I am very much opposed to any plan that involves "forcing" fanon authors to change something. —k6ka 🍁 (Talk · Contributions) 02:14, December 27, 2015 (UTC)
Regarding the fanon namespace, I think it's an issue that will largely work itself out over time. Once the main namespace articles are converted, many fanon authors may willingly choose to convert their own pages away from Simbio, in order to remain consistent with the canon page style. I don't think we'd need to "force" them to make a change right away; if the step were implemented to convert canon Sim pages away from Simbio, we could re-evaluate the fanon side of things after a long period of time to see if it would be possible to make further adjustments without inconveniencing everyone. However, ultimately I don't have any issue with keeping the Simbio templates as "legacy" templates. We could even code them such that they won't function properly if used in the main namespace, once we've converted the canon articles to using just Sim templates. -- LiR talkblogcontribs 05:32, December 27, 2015 (UTC)
I think that's a good idea, to not force fanon authors to remove Simbio, and to firstly start removing the template from canon articles. ~ Waikikamukow (Anyone wanna chat?) 22:49, December 30, 2015 (UTC)

Continuing discussionEdit

It seems as though there is a general consensus in favor of discontinuing the use of Simbio templates in the main namespace. So, how should we go about implementing this?

I think we can take a multi-step approach to implementation. We first focus on transitioning key articles off of Simbio and onto Sim templates - this will have to be done manually, most likely. We'll have to ensure that the information that is currently included in Simbio-start is included in the individual Sim templates, but this should be easy to do; I'll get started with a test article to demonstrate this. After we've started the transition, we can post a notice or make some other public announcements (via the Weekly News blog, editor bulletin board, and list of editor notices) to enlist other users in making the transition. Once the process has begun, we can monitor the transition, and slowly move our canon articles off of Simbio templates. Additionally, we will need to do some behind-the-scenes work, changing references to that template, updating documentation, etc to ensure that new Sim pages do not use the template in the future. Later on, once all main namespace pages have been converted to Sim templates, we can edit the Simbio templates to remove their functionality within the main namespace, but that's something we can agree upon at a later time.

How does this sound? -- LiR talkblogcontribs 17:35, January 12, 2016 (UTC)

Thread is dead - There is a general consensus for the proposal, so users may continue to pursue the proposal without further community action. This may be addressed in another community discussion thread if necessary. - LiR talkblogcontribs 15:11, March 11, 2016 (UTC)
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