Actor/Actress categories and pages

Hi all,

This is my first topic, so sorry if I made any mistakes setting it up.

All of you have created a vast knowledge base over the years, to which I am now also giving my modest contribution, but such work deserves, in my opinion, even a better presentation.

I would like to start with the critical case of actors pages.

Today we have:

  1. List of categories in Actors, one for each name.
  2. Category page with different content for each actor, as well as the automatic list of films.
  3. List of actors/actresses by images
  4. (partial) list of actresses by images.
  5. Actor’s page (only for the most important)
  6. Hall of fame

The actors’ personal data are different for each individual case, but above all the pages adopt various solutions, none of which are responsive. this is a problem given that around 60% of users browse with smartphones.

I think we need to start a discussion on how to evolve the situation in order to provide a more clear user experience and a better presentation ot the contents.


Clearly I have my own hypotheses about this and so here is my proposal.

In the last few weeks I have worked a lot on the Actors by Picture list for images, and also on the Actresses A-Z list until I realized that it was a duplicate work that was stealing energy from other probably more important activities.

This made me think about how to act on the rest of the points in this topic too.
My opinion is the following:

  1. The category list can obviously remain as it is.
  2. The category page should remain minimal with a link to the actor’s page and a carousel of the actor’s top performances, to keep the page filmography-oriented.
  3. I’ve reviewed the Actor by Picture templates, so now, if we decide to change the presentation, we just need to edit a couple of templates to change all the occurrences, in all the letters.
  4. An actor page should be created for each actor, respecting an adequate responsive model and data structure; this is because unlike the category this page will be better indexed by search engines. In fact, the category page does not even appear in the site’s internal search.
  5. The Actresses A-Z should be dismissed or in some way rearranged, as a selection, with the hall of fame.

I’ve created a case for my solution to be viewed and discussed.
I’ve created a new page for Fortunato Arena and a reduced category page, both using templates.
Befor discussing this outcome please consider to view the pages using a smartphone, and do the same with some old pages.

I hope the carousel works, becouse somethimes it doesn’t. the options are very limited because the mediawiki parser is ruthless and I was only able to use the little that works from Bootstrap.


Wow that is quite an achievement. I am looking forward to other folks’ reactions. I need to have a closer look how you implemented this on the template level, you worked with a bunch of things I have never used…


Looks really good to me

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Really good work. I’d change the swdb filmography link on the top before imdb and wiki links though.

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One thing to note about the “SWDb Filmography” link: the. Category pages in the database often contain all kinds of article pages assigned to a person, not just the movies they are associated with. Also interviews, reviews, etc… so maybe another wording for that link is necessary…?

You’re right. Maybe something like “Related contents”…

If there is a way to create a wilki page, accessible only to editors, to explain all the templates and how to use them I’d suggest to create it.
I will more than happy to write everything down as a quick reference and a place to copy and past useful snippets,

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It would also help to have instructions as HTML comments in the code.

Bre I am not so convinced yet by this pillbox style but let’s hear more feedback :slight_smile:

Sure, we can make it square in zero time!

Actually the beauty of it is that by only changing a class in templates LinkExternal and LinkInternal we instantly change all the occurrencies in all the site at once.

I kept the roundness to a minimum, square is possible but I wouldn’t recommend it.

Please find the attached pill version, for whom wants to make a comparison.

We could use a redirect, which search will find, instead of making a new page and leave the data on the category page.

Search finds it if you check categories in your search. It may not by default.

This is not wrong, becouse you’ll only have to manage one page, and the internal search will surely show the page. So it would be perfect from an editor point of view.

However we must consider that a redirect is not good for SEO and at the end you will get a URL containing “Category:” in search engine results pages.

Also you will have a page in the site that will have this header:

Category: Piero Lulli

From The Spaghetti Western Database
(Redirected from Piero Lulli)

And by clicking on “Piero Lulli” you will end on an empty page:

Piero Lulli

From The Spaghetti Western Database
Redirect page

In my opinion this is quite an inelegant solution, with negative impact on the user experience.
If we decide to do it, that’s fine with me, but we have to change some engine configurations to avoid confusion.
I’m sorry to be picky about certain choices, but I believe that my point of view on the best web/app practice is the best added value I can give to the common work.

(Off topic consideration: If I may, also the internal result page should be addressed. I’m no mediawiki expert, but as a common user I see the raw page content, codes included, instead of an abstract of the page content. This is a unique case in my experience; I think there must be a way to obtain search result as users would expect them to be. I’ll study this and maybe open a new topic.)

Just to be clear, we can always choose to modify only the main page and leave the categories page blank, with only the “go to dedicated page” button. This way we will only modify one page; which will be the landing page for the actor.

Updating the category page is a chore that can be done in a couple of hours with a script and routine manual work. So don’t worry about the amount of work it might cost.

I’ve created an example for the proposal I’ve described: Claudio Undari - The Spaghetti Western Database and

You’'ll also find a proposal for a red ribbon with star to mark who is in the hall of fame.
I noticed this information was not yet treaded in a structured way.
This could become a “fil rouge” that gives importance to the hall of fame and directs interested users there.

I do believe the category pages should contain a bare minimum of text, like a sentence or two, and can also have a small picture, I mean why not. If someone links to these from some site, we need to consider making them nicer landing pages even though we know users will then click and browse further

Wow, all of this is really impressive, very nice and welcomed additions to the site.

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