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Commons talk:First steps/Quality and description

Templates for languagesEdit

I think there should be mentioned using templates for languages, such as {{en|Description in English}} in the description part of template Information (see Template:Information). I propose to add something like:


You should use templates to declare language(s) of the description. It can look like:

|Description={{en|Some description in English.}}
{{cs|Nějaký český popisek.}}


Do you think it is OK? --Radouch 20:38, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

It makes the description source code harder to understand a * '''en:''' Text serves the same purpose and the template can only be in some very seldom case be helpful (it is way to complicated for an average user to get the benefits of the template via CSS). Arnomane 21:13, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

Well, I never thought the greatest benefit of templates like {{en}} is in hiding their content via CSS. In my POV it is better to use templates for languages because of possibility of easy future redesign of descriptions and because of better (robotic) analysis (I think it can be e. g. useful to ask questions like "which images have no description in English/German/Czech etc.?".

Anyway, usage of these templates is recommended in Template:Information. It would be good to reach consensus: yes, use this templates, or no, do not. --Radouch 21:24, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

I mentioned it at Village pump to attract more people to express their opinion. As I learned there was already some discussion about it at Template talk:Information, I propose to continue this debate there. --Radouch 20:01, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

I strongly, strongly believe the templates should be used. Any future method of lang selection we use (like the hiding) is going to use at least some method like templates. It will be a pain to have to go back and convert manual '''en:''' into templates, so we should be encouraging it right now. And it puts this useful meta-information where it belongs, in the mark-up. pfctdayelise (translate?) 22:04, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

Pfctdayelise and Radouch have voiced a strong future proofing arguement. Although Arnomane is correct that hiding is only available to elites at the time of this posting, we have to start on the path to multilingualism with an abstraction mechanism, and templates give us that first step. Arnomane, it is unclear to me why you state that the en template makes it difficult for a user to understand the source. Four more keystrokes are required- instead of a colon, they type a Bar and 4 curly braces. Big fricking deal. They will see the pattern how to insert their own language and do so. What I have found with my info pages trial is that people don't try/ don't need to understand. Two people added language information - one did so in chinese, the other in french. There was no instruction on how to code the info page, or what the syntax was. Maybe the language template code looks a litle obscure, but it is a black box to typical users- they could care less how it does what it is doing. -Mak 09:00, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

Hi. I think that if we want to reach multilinguality it must be on every content in Commons. And page descriptions is one of important contents to have multilingual. I'm using lately this combination of Template Information and multilingual templates and I think it's not hard to explain to a newbie with a sample as shown by Radouch above. In fact, I'm using the multi-line template for Description field because sometimes description needs some lines or can need it in a future. So I prefer to prevent it from creation that it's more easy than cahge the template later. Here, an example with multiple lines: (Image:Machu-picchu-c04-info.jpg) Image:Machu-picchu-c04-info-c.jpg. Regards, --Colegota 12:35, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

I am returning to this topic after quite long time: It seems to me there is almost consensus we should use templates for languages and the instruction should be amended as I proposed above. Is it OK? --Radouch 21:40, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

Permission field and license tagsEdit

Hi. When I've read this page and I started to use Template:Information I believed that license tag must be there, in Permission. After readind later some comments on talk pages and Village Pump I noticed that license tag must be outside the template. I believed that was my own mistake, but I've found another user putting license tag in permission field, so maybe would be a good idea to say it explicity in the explanation. For example when it saids: "Note: You still need to tag the image in any case with the appropriate license template!" a "And this must be outside the template." could be added. Or something else you like. Regards, --Colegota 19:33, 26 May 2006 (UTC) PD Maybe this help for the template use can be pasted also in Template page itself.

There's been fragmented discussion about this, and there are good arguments for both sides. I will attempt to address this issue in a forthcoming "Guide to layout" for file description pages. ~MDD4696 23:02, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

Real nameEdit

Is really important writing my real name in author field when I am the author of the image? Even if I'm going to release it under public domain or is it trivial work--Nethac DIU 12:49, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

Well you can use as well your Nickname. You don't need to reveal your real name as long the (license) information you give is valid. Arnomane 21:06, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
My real name is Spartacus. -Mak 08:26, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
Pardon? Arnomane 22:11, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
Obscure joke. From the Kirk Douglas movie of the same name- where people reveal their true identity. Nevermind. -Mak 00:25, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
I think that the Author section of the page should make it clear that a real name is not required Splouge (talk) 16:14, 24 October 2011 (UTC)

I added “(or pseudonym)” there. --AVRS (talk) 17:21, 24 October 2011 (UTC)

DPI etc.Edit

Say if paintings should be signed. Say how many DPI (dots per inch) I should scan the image with. Say what I should comment if uploading file for my spouse (who wants to use GFDL.) I.e., not exactly me myself. --User:Jidanni 2006-07-12

Don't take a higher resolution than your scanner is physically able to scan and don't take a higher one than your original. Usually the advertisments tell you something about 1200 DPI interpolated resolution which is a promotion fake nothing more. Most photos are not really exactly focused so even a resolution of 300 DPI is sometimes more than the original provides. But also do not take a lower one than existing. ;-) So 400 DPI will probably be the best average scan resolution with some extra safety. We don't sign our articles inside the article so we don't sign our images as well directly inside the image, see Commons:Manipulating meta data for better approaches of alternative image tagging. If an image is useful for a Wikimeda project you can upload it in general. Arnomane 00:30, 12 July 2006 (UTC)


The are no way to note the location for a photo in the description template. Is it possible to incorporate this? Regards Malene Thyssen 18:32, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

It might be better to make this comment at Template talk:Information. The Location field seems to be somewhat controversial, as far as I can tell. Since the template is protected, and until there's more discussion about the Location field, you can just include the location in the description of the image. ~MDD4696 23:01, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

Ok Saud Khawar (talk) 21:47, 17 September 2019 (UTC)

Scale information about mineralsEdit

On the English Wikipedia a concern was raised about getting information about the size of mineral images. We started to wonder with Vsmith if it was possible to reach the future image contributions to request more detailed image descriptions. May I add the following kind of sentences on this page here? Or do you have other ideas? "If you have detailed information about the image, for example the name of the species or the size of the object, please add it. Especially with mineral images the size is helpful." It seems you have discussed about the location information separately, so I won't try it on this sentence. Thank you if you have any comments on this. :) Best regards Rhanyeia 07:51, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Thank you very much. :) Rhanyeia 13:23, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

What needs to be got right first time?Edit

I am struggling to make my first-ever image upload, and finding it forbidding. Something which is nowhere discussed (as far as I can find), and would be really useful in reducing the task to something I might manage, is: what do I have to get right first time, and what can I put right later?

Incidentally the title "How to make perfect media uploads" is quite a deterrent. No way will my upload be perfect. I will settle for it not being irretrievably broken. Maproom 20:33, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

As far as I know everything but the filename can be changed, and even that can be altered by a user with higher permissions. If you got a description wrong, made a typographical error, etc., it's simply a matter of clicking "Edit" on the image page and correcting it. For everything else there are always admins willing to help. Lucis 22:13, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
That's very encouraging! And thank you for your rapid response. Ok, a few questions about filenames:

Maproom 22:20, 8 November 2007 (UTC)


  • can they/should they contain spaces?
  • can they contain dots?
  • how long, roughly, should they be?
  • should they try to be descriptive, or will no-one ever see them?

Maproom 18:14, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Ok, I will try to answer these myself. The answers are

  • yes/yes
  • probably not
  • about 20 characters can be good
  • they should aim to be descriptive but it's not important

Maproom 10:40, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Yes, they can and generally should contain spaces, but technically those spaces will appear as underscores in URLs. Yes, they can contain dots. Their length should be limited to ensure that URLs do not exceed 256 characters. The more descriptive they (and the Information template) are, the more easy they will be to find using Mediawiki's search engine and other search engines like Google.   — Jeff G. ツ 03:56, 8 February 2011 (UTC)


Something else that I think needs to be got right first time is the choice of licence. If I upload something with the wrong licence, I have already granted rights to it which I can't revoke. I have failed so far to find any explanation of the six licences offered in the list-box in the upload page. The closest I have come to finding an explanation is the section "Well-known licenses" at Multi-licensing; but this lists five other kinds of license, none of them coinciding with the six in the list-box. Maproom 23:37, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

See Commons:First_steps/License selection. Lucis 01:16, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I had read that, and found it confusing. But, the choices in the list-box have increased since yesterday, and now the first one on the list looks like the one I want to use. So this isn't a problem for me any more. Maproom 10:21, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
What parts did you find confusing? I started a discussion on the talk page there, feel free to comment. Lucis 03:20, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
I guess it's more that it did not resolve any of my confusion. The cartoon at the top of [[1]] tells me that I should double-licence stuff, but I didn't know why I should want more than one licence, nor what the choice of the first type of licence meant. That Commons:First_steps/License selection page did tell me (if I followed its links) what the choice of the second kind of licence meant, but not how I might go about making that choice.
Ok, the above paragraph is not coherent. I find such legal things extremely uninteresting (and therefore respect people who devote unpaid time to them), while being aware that they are important. I suspect that this view is quite common. Maproom 20:46, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

video limits?Edit

On Commons:First steps/Quality and description#Audio_and_video:

What the upper limit for video resolution? Is like Youtube? better? Wiki accept hi resolution and convert it on play?

Bloated pixel count multiplicationsEdit

I would like to ask you for your opinion on the section Size and scaling.

I think that the multiplications of the allowed pixel count are a little bit offensive. It is like saying to the reader: "You are so stupid that do not know how many pixels is one megapixel." In addition no one counts pixels using binary prefix multipliers. If it was meant as a joke I am sorry but I do not consider it as a good one. I think that the help pages should be easy to read thus concise and clear. I was very surprised when I saw that my cautious change (leaving both pixels and megapixels) was reverted by User:Jeff G. Also the argument that "exactly 12.5 megapixels" do not have "enough significant digits" is really strange if the text says "...exactly 12,500,000 pixels..." Do you think that the help pages are place for such a mazy talkativeness? --Pabouk (talk) 14:42, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

I was trying to reduce consumer confusion regarding binary prefixes that might extend from "megabytes" to "megapixels" in the minds of consumers and programmers of software that computes the sizes of images to be uploaded.   — Jeff G. (talk|contribs) 12:15, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

I am sorry to say this but I think that you are causing the user confusion by showing useless and unused multipliers and introducing useless complexity.

  • Binary prefixes are almost exclusively used with bits and bytes. (Their existence is caused by physical organisation of memory chips with cells in matrix with count of rows and columns in power of two.) I have never seen them used for pixel counting. If you know one example please show us the reference. The picture resolution is very loosely related to the memory occupied by the image file because we use compression with various compression ratios.
  • Other multipliers than mega are used very rarely nowadays. The reason is simple - current cameras have resolution more than one megapixel.
  • When someone says "exactly 12.5 megapixels" it means 12 500 000 pixels exactly. There is no ambiguity with the word "exactly".

I suggest leaving (as a temporary compromise) the following in the article: "exactly 12.5 megapixels (12,500,000 pixels)" and I will hope that someone will support me that "exactly 12.5 megapixels" is sufficient. Contrary to this I like the examples of allowed resolutions for the common image aspect ratios. It is really practical. --Pabouk (talk) 14:53, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

Do we need guidelines for the ordering of award templates relative to informationEdit

This may not the best place to post this, but I have not found better places. Please tell me if there are, and I will move this thread.

To my knowledge, we do not have any guidelines concerning where and in which order the various award templates, like {{Picture of the day}}, {{Assessments}}, {{QualityImage}}, {{VI}}, {{VIS}} should be ordered, and whether they should appear before or after the {{Information}} or equivalent sections. Examples:

As a consequence, image pages which has many awards on them can be confusing to look at as the templates appear in very different order. The question is, do we need to development consensus on some recommendation regarding this?

Personally, I do not have a strong opinion about the ordering, but I have a slight preference for having the Information template appear first, and then the award templates. And concerning the award templates, it would seem most logical to have the most prestigious ones first, that is POTD, FP, and then QI/VI (don't care about the order, but I propose to put QI first because that is the oldest and most well-established project), and finally VIS.

My idea is, that once guidelines were settled for this, a bot could be implemented to go through the image pages and reorder the templates, such that it was consistent.

Today, the addition of {{QualityImage}}, {{VI}} and {{VIS}} is handles by the QICbot and VICbot, and these bots simply place the template at the bottom of the image page irrespective of what is currently there already.

Note that a related discussion is taken place at Template talk:Assessments, where thoughts of aggregating all award templates into one template is proposed. Now that would solve problems with the relative order of award templates, but not the order of award templates relative to the information template. Personally, I see more disadvantages than advantages with an aggregate award template than the current separate ones for other reasons, which is discussed there.


--Slaunger (talk) 09:35, 14 March 2009 (UTC)

My opinion:

  1. Information - this I feel the strongest about
  2. Assessments - if we break that down I think the order needs no debate (POTY above FP, Commons FP on top others, etc.)
  3. QI and VI - both have good reasons for being higher. QI is more established, better known, and has closer ties to FP. VI is rarer (not just because it's newer) and harder to achieve. I say QI for now since that just seems to make the most sense.

  Support7. POTD - completely depends on if it's collapsible. If it is, maybe it would look alright under the assessment block; if not, it should go at the very bottom. It's just too big. Rocket000(talk) 08:37, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

Manual of StyleEdit

We should create Commons:Manual of Style soon. At least, we could start a section at this page. Right now, we have just COM:EIC#MOS which refers to Wikipedia. --Mattes (talk) 14:30, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

supported sound typesEdit

According to this Page, only midi and vorbis are supported. In File types it says that FLAC and Speex are also supported. Which one is right?

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Trockennasenaffe (talk • contribs) 12:41, 27 gen 2010 (UTC)
Probably the second one: for example, see File:Audio Wikinews Brief 2008-02-27-speex.ogg and File:Maqam Rast.flac.ogg. -- IANEZZ  (talk) 13:23, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

File extensionEdit

The page says; "For photographs, use JPEG (file extension .jpg or .jpeg)." I understand that this implies that lowercase file extensions are preferred for photographs. It also says that lowercase file extensions are preferred for the other file types. I wonder if the preference for lowercase file extensions needs to be written more clearly. Snowmanradio (talk) 22:43, 29 April 2010 (UTC)

SVG filesEdit

I'm wondering if we should tell people to upload their SVG files to some sort of sandbox. I just created an SVG with Inkscape, formatted it as a plain SVG file, but the PNG converter here replaced one of my textboxes with a black box. It took me four tries to figure out how to fix it. Trlkly (talk) 11:22, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

Descriptions: PeopleEdit

We don't have any guidance on descriptions of people here. The question arose at The Village Pump for June 20, 2010 where there is an example of an image with a 1,200 word description that amounts to a biography. It seems to me that we should follow the lead of the other subjects in the descriptions section and use the word "brief" -- the description of an image should tell us when and where it was taken (if relevant) and enough to identify the person, but not his or her entire life history.     Jim . . . . Jameslwoodward (talk to me) 11:47, 21 June 2010 (UTC)

"Please optimize JPEGs" means what?Edit

Under the subheading about Format guidance, there's the line "Please optimize JPEGs (this reduces size at no cost to decoding)." that has me puzzled. It seems to contradict other advice such as "Generally speaking, image quality and resolution should be as high as possible so images can be used in high-quality printouts, for example." some paragraphs earlier. In my thinking, JPEG optimization is always a tradeoff against quality, though I now realise my default setting for my Commons uploads seems to be "Baseline, 100/100" (GraphicConverter lingo) which is an optimisation. So what's your idea/advice on this?

Source of data in fileEdit

Please, see this discussion for where to cite references of data contained in the file. --SynConlanger (talk) 14:54, 24 August 2015 (UTC)

Return to the project page "First steps/Quality and description".