Template talk:Technique

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User friendliness vs efficiency[edit]

I find the "color" parameters rather confusing. Another system would be to use {{title without disambig}}. It works and since adjective parameters have been so far used mostly by bots, I dont think the transisition would cause much confusion. But it is really slow. See Template:Technique/pl/testcases ? Is it worth implementing ?--Zolo (talk) 11:51, 27 November 2011 (UTC)


Would it be possible to add a 'under' parameter, with the same use as 'on'? It's much more natural to mention 'luster paint under transparent glaze' than 'transparent glaze on luster paint' for instance. Jastrow (Λέγετε) 10:08, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

The template is rather complex, with about 30 languages than need to be kept in synch. So I dont think it is worth adding new parameters unless they are used in more than a few dozen files. For this particular case, I think {{technique|luster paint}}, {{technique|glaze|adj=transparent}} is okay. --Zolo (talk) 12:23, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
Not exactly: underglaze and overglaze painting are two different techniques. If adding a new parameter is too complicated I'll just stick to using 'on'. Jastrow (Λέγετε) 13:49, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
Right. Would adding "overglaze" do ?--Zolo (talk) 09:31, 5 January 2012 (UTC)
I will add 'underglaze' and 'overglaze' as adjectives, but we can't use two adjectives, can we? So a roundabout is still needed when we need two adjectives, as in 'overglaze metallic luster-paint'. And it doesn't work when we need to specify the type of glaze, such as transparent, opaque or metallic. Jastrow (Λέγετε) 11:18, 5 January 2012 (UTC)
The template could be tweaked to accomodate more than one adjective per noun - I dont know if this would be useful enough to justify the increased complexity --Zolo (talk) 12:57, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

lithographic prints[edit]

When an institution describes an object as a lithographic print, does that make it a print or a lithograph? I tried print with lithographic as an adjective (adj=) and it came back red-linked.Laura1822 (talk) 16:35, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

We have lithograph, chromolithograph, and photolithography. See Template:Technique/list for full list. --Jarekt (talk) 17:16, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
Thanks! I've been studying that list. Is "lithographic print" considered a "lithograph"? This is a fundamental cataloging question: I don't know if there are other, non-print forms of lithographs, or if all lithographs are prints. But even if they are, it seems to me that we should follow the usage of the experts at the institution I'm copying the data from, and describe it as a "lithographic print." What do you think? Laura1822 (talk) 19:50, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
I do not know anything about "lithographic prints" vs. "lithographs", but if you or someone do the research (or someone who actually know the difference) and establish we either need to add "lithographic prints" or change "lithographs" to "lithographic prints" then we can change the current version. all you have to do is to add it to Template:Technique/en, Template:Technique/list and hopefully some other language(s) one is familiar with. --Jarekt (talk) 02:40, 6 June 2013 (UTC)

Photographic negatives[edit]

What about photographic negatives? There are a lot of them on glass as well as on film. Laura1822 (talk) 16:34, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

You are sure busy today Laura. We have photograph, silver albumen photograph and few others but no "photographic negatives". Do we have any "photographic negatives"? --Jarekt (talk) 17:20, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, sorry, I haven't felt brave enough to post my questions till now, so they seem to be overflowing.  :) Here is an example of a file I worked on yesterday that is a plate glass negative from LoC: File:ADM Louis M. Nulton, ca. 1915.jpg, and here's a somewhat random one from a search: File:Philip K. Wrigley 1917.jpg. I also found this one that appears to be in very good order: File:Mathew Brady, Portrait of Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase, officer of the United States government (1860–1865).jpg, though on closer look it is not using the Technique template at all. Plate glass negatives generally pre-date film negatives, and can be made with several processes, though I think the most often used is colloidal silver. When negatives are imaged to be shown online, they are usually reversed so that they appear positive. Laura1822 (talk) 19:46, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
Yes we should add them, see previous section for details. --Jarekt (talk) 02:44, 6 June 2013 (UTC)

Adjectives for support other than color?[edit]

The institutional description of the file I'm working on reads: "Watercolor with gouache and graphite on medium, slightly textured, cream wove paper." Using the template with "Technique|watercolor|and=gouache|and2=graphite|wove paper|coloron=cream" I can get the result "watercolor, gouache and graphite on cream-colored wove paper." It's missing the adjectives "medium, slightly textured" referring to the paper (if I add them it's red-linked). Is there no field for adjectives for the medium? Laura1822 (talk) 22:25, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

New adjectices can be added. I think the main problem is to have several adjectives per non. It would require some upgrades in the template, and it is already rather complicated. I would say that when the technique description does not fit into the template, it should be provided in plain text (without templates). --Zolo (talk) 08:50, 2 November 2013 (UTC)
Of it can be simplified to match the template, or both. Sometimes artwork's have paragraph long technique descriptions, That could be interesting to some but in many cases short concise description in your language is all that is needed. --Jarekt (talk) 02:28, 4 November 2013 (UTC)


I am currently working (offline) on an overhaul of the two pages Template:Technique/en and Template:Technique/list, in order to make sure that each term listed on each page has a corresponding entry on the other. I've never worked on a template before and I think I have figured out the proper syntax, though when I'm finished I would appreciate someone who understands how things work give them a second pass to check syntax, etc.

My question now is that I came across "carved" in the /list file. I think this belongs on the adjective list instead, even though the rest of the adjectives are about color. There is not a corresponding entry for it on the /en page but there is one on en/adjectives. It does not appear on the adjectives list on the main template/doc page. So I moved it there. Is that right? It seems not, since the "output" field is empty. So if not, where does it properly belong?

This reminds me, I've been meaning to ask about adjectives. The /list file of course has many items listed with their adjectives. The adjective list seems limited to color. Is this by design? If the adjective list is indeed supposed to be limited to color (and I was wrong to put "carved" there), shouldn't it be renamed color instead of adjectives? And if it's not limited to color, then shouldn't most of the adjectives in the /list file (like all the different woods, papers, panels, boards, stones, etc.) be split so that the basic noun is on /list and all of the adjectives come from the adjective list? Wouldn't this simplify things? Even now, with colors, we have "black chalk" on /list even though "black" is on the adjective list and and "chalk" is on /list. I have a feeling I'm missing a design parameter here. Laura1822 (talk) 18:19, 14 November 2013 (UTC)

I thought I understood the syntax and correspondence between these two files, but I don't. There is an entry in /list for chalcedony|bloodstone|heliotrope=chalcedony but in the /en file the separate lines for the latter two show bloodstone as bloodstone and heliotrope as heliotrope. Shouldn't they both be chalcedony? What is the underlying logic? Laura1822 (talk) 21:17, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for taking on this task, it periodical needs to be done. The underlying logic is that it is hard to control chaos, and since the template is being edited by a lot of editors and many of them are confused about it, the result is that there are many issues which are often hard to fix. Several users more familiar with the programing spend a lot of time trying to make the template as clear as possible, but it is still quite complicated. And the English is the simplest of them all since most terms do not need to be conjugated or depend on "gender" of each noun. Look at other languages to see the usual cases. The adjective list is for all adjectives, and I agree we should not have "black chalk", the only exception would be adjectives that only go with one noun, like Indian ink. If you make a list of the corrections that need to be done than we can tackle them one by one. As for chalcedony|bloodstone|heliotrope, I agree that there is a discrepancy but I do not know if all those words should be replaced with "chalcedony". --Jarekt (talk) 04:33, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
I think specific entries for "indian ink" and "black chalk" are needed because they refer to a specific concepts (a black chalk is not just a chalk that is black, see http://www.getty.edu/vow/AATFullDisplay?find=black+chalk&logic=AND&note=&english=N&prev_page=1&subjectid=300080058 ). As for "carved" I do not know while it is in the /list file (it isn't in the /en version).
I am not sure to follow you about the bloodstone problem. I see it as transformed to "chalcdedony" in both /en and /filelist. As for the general structure, there seems to be two possibilities, either one separate line for each input term:
|bloodstone = chalcedony
|chalcedony = chalcedony 
or join all synonyms on the same line:
|bloodstone|chalcedony = chalcdeony
We should choose one format. I prefer the former, as it keeps the alphabetical order and is much easier to deal with in Excel, but the second one looks a bit nicer in the /list page. --Zolo (talk) 08:42, 16 November 2013 (UTC)Zolo.
Happy to defer to someone else's judgment for things like "black chalk" (Zolo? you forgot to sign). I suppose the operative determiner should be how it's translated, which leans more closely to concept than word-for-word. In some other language "black chalk" might be a completely different term unrelated to "black" or "chalk," or at least not those equivalent words put together.
The chalcedony discrepancy isn't in /en and /file (which one is that?) but in /en vs. /list. In /list I see, for example:
<tr><td> bloodstone</td><td>{{technique/{{int:lang}}|bloodstone}}</td></tr>
<tr><td> chalcedony</td><td>{{technique/{{int:lang}}| chalcedony}}</td></tr>
<tr><td> heliotrope</td><td>{{technique/{{int:lang}}|heliotrope}}</td></tr>
Do you see something different?
And in /en I see:
| bloodstone = bloodstone
| chalcedony|bloodstone|heliotrope=chalcedony
but no separate entry for heliotrope, so since what shows in the rendered table is bloodstone | chalcedony, can I infer from that that the last entry controls when there is a conflict?
As for "carved," and adjectives, the /doc file states that the parameter "adj" applies only to "the first material" and "adjon" is for "color of support" so perhaps what I am really suggesting is a whole new parameter to allow for a list of adjectives to be interchanged freely with a list of nouns. While this would be more elegant it might not be simpler. Nonetheless I still think that "carved" does not belong in a list of nouns. I will add a noun, "carving," but I don't think this solves the underlying problem.
Also I think I missed something significant because when I put "carved" into the "Lists of supported terms" in the table of Adjectives in /doc, nothing shows in the second column.
This editing job is pretty big and it's probably going to take me several more days. I am working offline and when I'm ready to upload will try to remember to check for any new edits. Jarekt, I appreciate your explanation and I am glad that I seem to have the energy right now to try to bring some order out of chaos. It has always been completely overwhelming before. Laura1822 (talk) 21:19, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
(I've added the signature to my edit). Yes, if a term is repeated in a "#switch" list, only the last occurrence is used, and the repeated "bloodstone" is an error. I've fixed the doc file so that "carved" is now shown.
Actually, thinking about it, it may be better to convert the template into Lua, and that way we could automatically generate the list without the need for a separate /list file :]. --Zolo (talk) 08:42, 16 November 2013 (UTC)
Now THAT would simplify things!  :) In the meantime, are the quotations from /list I cited above proper usage? Thanks for the clarifications and fix. Laura1822 (talk) 15:10, 16 November 2013 (UTC)
How would we store all the translations? Some big translation table (more like a spreadsheet than database) which than can be read by Lua code maybe. --Jarekt (talk) 17:29, 16 November 2013 (UTC)
I think we can use the same method as what is currently, just a bit more harmonized across languages.
argyrotype = {{#switch:{{{query|}}} |#default=argyrotyp |L=argyrotypie |gender=ms }}
argyrotype = {default = 'argyroptyp', l = 'argyropypie', gender = 'ms' }
Perhaps with centralized tables to specify the sytnax:
on_case = {en = 'default', pl = 'l'} </nowiki>
I have tried an English list at Module:Technique/en (but somehow, I can't get it sorted in Template:Technique/list/sandbox)--Zolo (talk) 18:21, 16 November 2013 (UTC)
I've suspended my editing to avoid duplication of effort. I'll keep an eye on your progress. Thanks for taking it on! Laura1822 (talk) 17:48, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Ok, the English version should more or less work, but translations require additional work. It seems better to fix some general internationalization issues first. I hope the new template will be functional by the end of next week. --Zolo (talk) 10:02, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
Fantastic, you are amazing! No rush, though. BTW I just clicked on Category:Unsupported technique and there are 867 files! Wow! Laura1822 (talk) 20:16, 22 November 2013 (UTC)

Lua version[edit]

The Lua version sort of works in English and Polish. No major change in output, but some in the organization of the code, so I'll list themm now to make sure I make nothing preposterous:

  • Template:Technique/en and Template:Technique/en/adjectives are merged into Module:Technique/en.
  • I've tried to move as much as possible of the complexity out of the /lang modules to (not sure how much I succeeded)
  • Synonyms have been moved to Module:Technique/synonyms: "watercolour" is transformed into "watercolour" there. Yes, that is one more page to maintain, but that also substantially decreases the length of the language specific pages. That may also make it easier to map the template onto Wikidata or external databases. --Zolo (talk) 17:25, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Polish regular adjective declensions have been moved to Module:Declension. For irregular adjectives, that is done in Module:Technique/pl, though that is rather unwieldy.
  • Error messages look weird, but that's not voluntary :]

Does that sound ok ? Jarekt, could you check that the Polish version makes sense ?

Note that help will be needed for the conversion of older pages in Lua. Part of it can be done semi-automatically, but I do not know how to handle synonyms automatically. That is transform |watercolor|watercolour= watercolor into ['watercolor'] = 'watercolor', ['watercolour'] = 'watercolor' (let alone remove "watercolour" as it is a depracated synonym). --Zolo (talk) 17:25, 27 November 2013 (UTC)

Few comments on Module:Technique/pl code (I did not run it yet):
  • I would suggest using full variable names like "p.adj" -> "p.adjectives", "sing" -> "singular", etc. They are longer but easier to remember and less confusing.
  • regular polish adjectives should be 'czarny' instead of 'czarn' and the ending should be stripped and replaced as needed. Otherwise it is quite confusing.
  • the terms I would keep in {N = 'yoko-e', L='yoko-e', gender='f'} order instead of {N = 'yoko-e', gender='f', L='yoko-e'}
  • we still have synonyms in the code like ['kakejiku|kakemono'] =. I assume those have to be removed.
  • ['drawings'] = {N = 'rysunki', gender=mp, L='rysunkach'}, seems to be missing quotes around "mp"
I think we need some lua code to be used for maintenance, like:
  • sorting entries and returning code snippets to replace existing code,
  • generating list of missing terms for each language in fill-the-blanks format,
  • testing consistency between languages
  • displaying list of supported terms, etc.
I will look more at Module:Technique/pl. --Jarekt (talk) 18:07, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. It seems that something got wrong when I tried to convert the list into Lua table, I'll look into it. I have created a quick function for detecting gaps and inconsistencies: [1]. I'll make the other changes you suggested tomorrow. --Zolo (talk) 22:49, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
I have (kernel of) an idea going in a little different direction. May be we can keep the translation tables not in Lua format but as a CSV file that is than parsed by Lua. Those files would be easier to work with and we can have an Lua code to add English entries that need translation. May be even have some link to open those CSV files in Google online spreadsheet (if possible)? --Jarekt (talk) 05:12, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
That is fine with in principle, though I am not completely clear on how the csv should be structured (or how the csv-> Lua translation should work) given that different languages seem to require a different number of fields (just the label in English, label + locative etc. in Polish). --Zolo (talk) 09:21, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
I was thinking about using en:Module:CSV assuming that input can be a file. --Jarekt (talk) 18:32, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
I find it clearer to have a table, because the fields are not the same in all languages, but I think we can work on a CSV file and create a simple module to convert it. --Zolo (talk) 10:20, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
Just an idea, I don't know if it is currently possible: Why not fetch the translations from Wikidata? Add in the Lua code only the English name and the Wikidata item, like, "Watercolor" = Q50030. Would save a lot of time for translators and the translations are up-to-date. Raymond 12:45, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
For now it is impossible because of bugzilla:47930. But when the bug is solved, it sounds like a real question. That would provide us with potentially many more translations, but that would not give the grammatical fine-tuning (like "schwarze Tinte" / "schwarzer Stein"), at least not until the Wiktionary switches to a Wikidata-like format. Not sure of what is better (I think we already have translations for the first language of more than 80% of users). --Zolo (talk) 13:01, 6 December 2013 (UTC)

Can we streamline the list ?[edit]

The list of possible values provided in Module:Technique/en is really long and hard to translate (see [https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Template:Technique/maintenance?uselang=pl Polish missing translation for instance).

  • Some terms like "artwork" or "example" have been removed from the English list and I assume they can be removed from other languages too, but should we have other guidelines about acceptable values ?
  • Can we split those ?
  1. fine-grain marble -> adj: fine-grain + marble (as fine-grain can apply to other minerals)
  2. medium-grain marble -> idem
  3. coarse-grain marble -> idem
  4. others ?
  • Material objects. We have values like "accumulator" (any idea where it is used?). That may make sense as some artistic creation may be made of material objects, but that's potentially endless. I would propose to store them in {{I18n/objects}} and to make the template to default there when no value is found in Module:Technique. Not sure of what to do with the material + object case, like in "gold thread"

--Zolo (talk) 12:53, 29 November 2013 (UTC)

Symbol support vote.svg Support I think any clean up you can do would be appreciated. --Jarekt (talk) 18:33, 5 December 2013 (UTC)


What should we do with {{Bronze}}? It seems to parallel {{technique|bronze}}. --Jarekt (talk) 18:44, 5 December 2013 (UTC)


I see it is unsupported here but not sure which parameter should accept it. Danny lost (talk) 16:23, 19 December 2013 (UTC)

parameter ”1“ required?[edit]

Is there any reason to flag parameter ”1“ as required? If no lets change it! Thanks, --Marsupium (talk) 05:57, 11 March 2014 (UTC)

It makes no sense without it and AFAIK it does not show anything without it. --Jarekt (talk) 13:28, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
One should e.g. use {{technique||panel}} → on panel when one does not know if tempera or oil was used. (And it's a better formalisation than {{technique|panel}} → panel.) --Marsupium (talk) 13:52, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
PS: I just found a real case here. --Marsupium (talk) 22:27, 13 March 2014 (UTC)

Some techniques are left?[edit]

What is with all the computer drawing techniques is that only drawing?? -- Perhelion (talk) 13:33, 13 May 2014 (UTC)

Sanguine/red chalk[edit]

I would like to change "sanguine" to equal "red chalk," or duplicate it to include both. (Right now it lists "sanguine = sanguine" and "red chalk" is not in the list at all.) "Sanguine" may be use in the English Wikipedia article title but I didn't know what it meant and "red chalk" is what I see in descriptions from places like Christie's and Sotheby's.

I would make the change but it's been so long since I tried working on this template that I've forgotten how, and maybe others have differing opinions anyhow.

The description I am working from is French, and I have translated into English using Google Translate and guessing but I haven't tried to put it into the template yet:

Sanguine, pierre noire, crayon de graphite et glacis d'aquarelle sur papier vergé blanc très fin; rehaussé au verso
Black chalk, red chalk, graphite pencil, and watercolor glaze on white fine laid paper; enhanced overleaf

A similar one is:

Pierre noire, sanguine, crayon de graphite, aquarelle, glacis de gouache blanche et lavis de sanguine sur papier vergé blanc très fin; rehaussé au verso
Black chalk, red chalk, graphite pencil, watercolor, white gouache glaze and red wash on white fine laid paper; enhanced overleaf

Corrections? Is "lavis de sanguine" a red wash? (Google calls it a blood wash.) Google translates "rehaussé au verso" as "enhanced overleaf" and I thought it might mean that it had some kind of support on the back, but I found another translation of it as "heightened with color on the verso." Is there a better phrase more commonly used in English?

Back to the template, what is its status? Has it been migrated to Lua? Where should edits be made?

I get confused by this template sometimes but I really appreciate that it exists because I enjoy working on artwork metadata and descriptions so much.

Hope y'all are well. Laura1822 (talk) 09:00, 16 June 2015 (UTC)

Photochrom prints[edit]

Can someone that understands how this template works please add 'photochrom print'? The enwiki link would be to en:Photochrom... WikiData gives several articles for other languages as well. Thanks. Revent (talk) 17:56, 30 June 2015 (UTC)