Horticulture/Modifying Wikipedia Articles for Use in Horticulture

The best way to get a start on most chapters is to "transwiki" the Wikipedia article on the subject, and then modify it to suit the Manual of Style used in this book. Basing the modules of this book on Wikipedia articles has two important advantages:

  1. By basing the module on a Wikipedia article, the topic doesn't have to be developed "from scratch". Many Wikipedia articles have been well-edited and copyedited over time, have images to illustrate features of the topic. and so on.
  2. Because Wikipedia (like Wikibooks) is licensed under the GFDL, there are rarely problems with copyrights.

The main "problem" with Wikipedia articles is simple: they're encyclopedia articles, not book chapters, and so need to be modified, rearranged, and relinked to fit into this book. In order to facilitate this, a number of templates have been developed to fit various topics, which both help suggest a framework into which the sections (or even sentences) of the Wikipedia articles can be put into, as well as helping to create a consistent structure for all chapters, which in turn makes the book a lot more useful for the home reader or classroom environment.

Step One: Start the module Edit

The best way to start a transwiki-based module is to first Import the Wikipedia article, and then apply the relevant template and develop the chapter. The only problem with this is that only an Administrator can use the import tool. To get the article imported, simply list it on WB:RFI, or for faster action make the request on our main IRC channel, #wikibooks (on freenode). There are almost always administrators listening on the channel, so just type !admin for attention.

Alternatively, contributors can simply copy-and-paste the Wikipedia article and work on it while awaiting Import. When doing this, please be sure to list both the wikipedia article and the chapter as an Import/Merge request here. Note that this is a bit more difficult for administrators (several steps are involved), but it accomplishes the purpose just as well. Very active contributors who wish to import large numbers of articles should consider simple becoming an administrator (the RFA process on wikibooks is far less stressful than it is on Wikipedia).

If there is no article on Wikipedia, or the article is a fairly useless stub, just start the chapter from scratch using the templates.

Step Two: Templatize Edit

There are a number of templates available for creating page structures in A Wikimanual of Gardening. They must be used with "subst:" to work correctly, but the templates they include (primarily infoboxes) should not be substituted:

  • For modules about individual plants, type {{subst:plantprof}} at the top of the page (usually just above the taxobox), and save.
  • For modules about weed plants, type {{subst:weedprof}} at the top of the page (usually just above the taxobox), and save.
  • For modules about garden pests, type {{subst:pestprof}} at the top of the page (usually just above the taxobox), and save.
  • For modules about plant diseases, type {{subst:phytopathprof}} at the top of the page (usually just above the taxobox), and save.

Step Three: "Bookify" Edit

"Bookify" is a word occasionally used to mean "change an encyclopedia article into part of a book". The templates for A Wikimanual of Gardening are used to facilitate this process by providing a consistent "narrative structure". Wikipedia articles need to be "dewikified" (wikilinks either removed or replaces with subpage-style links), and for this book they need to be snipped up and re-organized to fit into the fields provided by the templates.

Dewikifying the easy way Edit

The easiest way to dewikify is to simply open both the module page and the edit page side-by side, and just copy from the module and paste over the wikified version on the edit page. There are a few things to look out for however:

  1. References need to be pasted around, i.e. they will not render as references from a copy of the text as it appears on the reading view.
  2. Italics and boldface are also lost in this process
  3. Images also need to be worked around, for the same reason the references need it. If an image appears as a redlink, see the section on this, below.
  4. Sometimes it's better to modify the wikilinks to the subpage protocols, rather than simply removing them. See this section for how to do that.

Moving from taxobox to WMOG infoboxes Edit

  1. Move the image from the taxobox to the hortibox
  2. Add information about family
  3. After {{Hortibox|, {{Pestbox|, etc. (the first line of the template), add the common name of the plant, pest, pathogen, etc.
  4. Use the "| Genus =" field only when the page is about the genus (if the binomial field is used, don't also use the genus field)
  5. Fill in as many fields as you are able, leaving the other ones blank (don't delete fields, as they might be filled in later).

Reordering the text Edit

After dewikifying, move the text into the fields provided by the template.

  • If there is a lot of information that's just not at all of interest for horticulture (like long discussions of the uses of chemicals found in a plant, "trivia" sections mentioning every song or movie that mentions a particular flower, etc.), just remove them, though keep in mind that some trivial information (particularly historical and folklore references) might be useful to the student of horticulture as mneumonic devices, as well as being educational about the uses of plants.
  • For chapters about plant genera, the long species lists often contained in Wikipedia articles are generally not useful, and serve little purpose outside of cluttering up a page. They can be pasted onto the talk page for further reference, but be sure to use the <pre> </pre> protocol in onder to prevent creating bad redlinks.

Adding material Edit

After the adaptations are completed, there will almost certainly be gaps to be filled. The more information the better, remember that Wikibooks is not paper. If using external sources (books, journals, other websites, etc.) please be sure to add a link or citation under the "References" section.

Making Chapter Links Edit

Unlike Wikipedia, Wikibooks uses subpages. Links to other chapters of this book can easily be made using [[../link/]]. Redlinks are fine.

Fixing Image Redlinks Edit

If an image appears on the Wikipedia article, but does not appear on the Wikibooks page, this means that the image in in the Wikipedia Image namespace, rather than being on commons. If the image is important to the chapter, images can easily be moved to commons using different tools (see commons:Commons:Tools).

Categorizing Edit

A Wikimanual of Gardening uses a deep category structure. General categories are automatically added when using the templates, but sometimes they need minor modification. There are also more specific categories that will eventually be employed using DynamicPageList (DPL) to provide lists for gardeners who are looking for plants for a particular purpose.