Mouseover footnotes displays inline citations?

+31 votes
314 views
As I'm reading profiles, and they contain inline citations, it would be awesome if, as I hover over an inline citation, the citation "popped up". I know this function exists on other web sites. Is it even possible at wikitree? Do you know what I mean?

It would make reading a profile so much easier- instead of clicking on the footnote, going down to the footnote, reading the note, then coming back, hovering would allow you to see what is cited while you're reading.

I've heard that this is technically feasible.
in WikiTree Tech by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (781k points)
edited by Jamie Nelson

Members who want help visualizing how this might work should check out Wikipedia. Look, for example, at the Wikipedia article about WikiTree and hover your mouse (or other pointing device) over the small blue footnote numbers in the first paragraph.

YES! That's what I want. I LOVE IT!

I have added suport for inline citation previews via a new Chrome Extension.

Thanks, Steve. I've installed the extension.

But I am curious... I still don't understand why this isn't currently supported on wikitree's system (and therefore why it needs an extension that only works on one browser). We have hover-over-pop-ups elsewhere. If I hover over a linked child, for example, it pops up a little box with details of the person.
What Jamie was mentioning below is that the code used on Wikipedia for the Reference Tooltips would have to be bolted onto our system - and that can be harder than it sounds since we are on a older version of mediawiki and have tons of customizations that may interfere with the intended operations. So while it is technically possible to do, it is not something that can be done quickly and would have to be tested, etc.

In regards to the profile previews we have now, it would use the same function (mouseover event) but is not the same code.

4 Answers

+44 votes
Upvote if you think this is a good idea and comment here if you think of additional benefits.
by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (781k points)
This would be awesome, and it clearly is technically feasible because Wikipedia has had this for years. However, I expect that we will be told that (as with many other awesome features of Wikipedia that are not available on WikiTree) it cannot be added because the version of Wikimedia that is installed here cannot be upgraded without massive disruption to the system.

To quote the Hymn of Hope, Ellen 

To dream the impossible dream / To fight the unbeatable foe  / And the world will be better for this / That one man scorned and covered with scars / Still strove with his last ounce of courage / To fight the unbeatable foe / To reach the unreachable star 

Software changes do occur now and then - it could happen, hovering over and seeing what pops up -- does it with that bit where you can hover over a name and get thumbnail of lineage, so THIS ought to be a snap to set up 

Well, although this question has had only 66 views, this answer has had 17 upvotes (over 25% of the people who have viewed the thread), which I think is an unusually high level of support.
Jillaine, I think this is a fantastic proposal and it definitely gets my up vote.
This. Is. A. Superior. Idea. I would love to see this implemented!
I love the idea! I would suggest that if it is implemented that there be a way to turn it off as well, as I'm sure there will be members who won't want it to always be there. Some 'pop-up' features do get in the way at times, and it's nice to have the option to disable them.
I agree that this would be a very useful tool.  I often find myself clicking on the source, shooting down to the bottom, reading the source, then clicking the back arrow to return back up to the bio to where I was reading.  Seeing the source info as a popup would make understanding the sources in their context within the bio a much smoother exercise.

UPvote smiley if it's a feasible technical without problems or headaches for our fabulous crew.

We ought to keep in mind that we need to deal with both citations and references.  For example:  if the inline reference is actually a citation: 

<ref>Baum; p. 42</ref>

Then a simple mouseover would only show "Baum; p. 42" but this is just short hand for the cited work that might look something like "Baum, L. Frank. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Oxford University Press, 2010."

This, then, would be analogous to the mouseover of a wikiid link that shows parents, spouses, etc with the capability to click those references in turn.

To do this, we would need to either allow span tags or implement an anchor template.

This is why I prefer full citations vs. the shorter references (Jones, p 2).
Yes, but they violate first normal form.  In spite of disadvantages such as this, it is quite helpful to be able to see a simple list of references without having to wade through to eliminate the duplicates.  I think if we engineer this properly, we can mitigate any short-comings.
+3 votes
UPvote here if you think this is a BAD idea and comment with why you think it would be.
by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (781k points)
+1 vote
Comment here if you're confused and need more data.
by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (781k points)
+12 votes

Something that is a technical change only doesn't need to go through the proposal process.

Looking at the code, it's not something we can just drop into our 12! year old version of MediaWiki, but it should still be technically feasible I think.

by Jamie Nelson G2G6 Pilot (366k points)
Jamie, thanks. I just thought any proposal had to be kinda formal.

Someone pointed out that we already have mouseover capability when we mouse over a person's profile link. Isn't it the same code?

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