This page is an archive of a community-wide discussion. This page is no longer live. Further comments should be made in the Senate Hall or new Consensus Track pages rather than here so that this page is preserved as a historic record. The result was no consensus. Graestan(Talk) 17:27, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
It's been the good part of a year since our first CT on this. The previous CT closed with 2 people in favor of blanking, 12 in favor of removing bubbles as long as it didn't alter the text, and 10 in favor of keeping all bubbles and text. We seem to have landed on "Remove or blank if you want to, or don't."
Simply put, I think blanked speech bubbles just look bad. The character is clearly speaking, there's obviously something supposed to be there, yet it isn't. At best, it looks like a bunch of random bubbles floating around an otherwise normal image, at worst, it looks like a joke. Is text distracting? IMO, not nearly so much as a big white space in the middle of the image; negative space is much more obvious than a filled-in area of text. And, finally, in many cases, text adds to the image; sometimes it's even the point of the image.
However, I think there are cases where an argument can be made for partial blanking; a bubble on the edge of the screen, where text is partially cut off, might look worse with the text (or part of the text, in this case) left in. Some have also argued that out of context lines can be blanked; I personally don't agree with this, as I think that it creates the same aesthetic problems I mentioned above.
So rather than go straight to a vote, I want to open this to discussion first: What situations do people feel blanking of speech bubbles should be a) mandatory, b) optional, or c) forbidden? Not all of those need answers.
My answers: No blanking should be mandatory; I really don't like forcing images to be modified. Cut-off text, I'd say can be optional, and everything else should be always kept, per my arguments above. - Lord Hydronium 06:18, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
The current policy of leaving everything optional has become problematic, as opinion-based objections regarding the matter have begun to surface on the FAN page. In the interest of Wookieepedians on either side of the issue, and especially those in the middle, some form of policy needs to be adopted.
I am quite cautious regarding the modification of any images that are the property of LFL. It is unclear whether their modification is a violation of Fair Use, but it has been viewed in such a light before. This may have much more widespread implications regarding our image use as a site. Clarification and/or citation of precedents regarding this issue would be of considerable value.
The argument has been made previously that images are uploaded and added to pages for the sake of the images alone, and that their text content (or lack thereof) is irrelevant. While I see the logic of this argument, and support it, my fears regarding the modification of images and its implications regarding our adherence/noncompliance with Fair Use take precedence.
You want to know my thoughts, LH, about this CT you started aimed directly at me over the little stunt you tried to pull on the FAN page? Well, here's my thoughts, shown by our Private Conversation in IRC. Due to my feelings over this happening at all, I feel that it is easier to show this log, then I try and spell it all out, again, for everyone to see. So here it is. Greyman(Paratus) 14:10, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
Session Start: Thursday 15 November 2007
Session Ident: Private message conversation between LordHydronium and Greyman
[16:08] [INFO] Query view for “LordHydronium” opened.
<LordHydronium> Sorry, I've been asleep. Forgot to log out.
<Grey-man> heh, that's no problem
I assumed that's what happened, lol
<LordHydronium> It's actually an image quality thing. Personally, I think those blanked speech bubble images look terrible.
In dialogue-heavy scenes like you're using there, even worse.
[16:09] I have no problem with the caption staying if the bubbles are filled in.
<Grey-man> Well, ya, I know what you mean, but I feel the exact opposite about the same situation. Anyways, even though I never voted on that speech bubble CT that I linked to, it is what we have to go by.
[16:10] <LordHydronium> The CT just says we *can*.
My argument is we shouldn't.
<Grey-man> When people write articles, like yourself, and they make the choice to leave in the speech, it doesn't bother me either way...it's their choice
<LordHydronium> Here's the thing...I think blanking significantly diminishes the quality of the images in this case.
[16:11] <Grey-man> And I think leaving the speech in the bubbles detracts from what the pictures are showing....it's just a difference of opinion, I'm sure we could both find a lot of users who feel our respective arguments
[16:12] but, as per that CT, it says we can blank or leave speech bubbles...neither is a breech of policy.
Hence why I don't care when people have these huge pictures with lots of speech left in them.
<LordHydronium> However...in this case, I think it goes far enough to go into the realm of image quality.
[16:13] And that we do have rules on.
However, I'd optimally like to convince you rather than just use rules to force your hand.
I don't see how it detracts from being in there.
Without it, you get these big blank areas of negative space.
<Grey-man> and I don't see how it detracts from not being there
<LordHydronium> They draw the eye away from the subject.
[16:14] <Grey-man> I feel the exact opposite
I'm sorry about that
<LordHydronium> They also look silly, coming from the mouths of characters.
<Grey-man> I made my peace a long time ago that others feel that way, hence why I never comment on that in objections
<LordHydronium> Speech bubbles signify speech. Without the speech, you look like you have a group of mutes.
<Grey-man> if the picture is grainy, that's image quality, IMO.
<LordHydronium> I mean, Harkas is clearly having an argument. But it looks like it's in pantomime.
[16:15] <Grey-man> one sec...brb
[16:17] Sorry about that, phone was ringing
<LordHydronium> http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/File:Harkas3.jpg It's like a fill-in-the-caption contest.
Or like Trask has lost his voice.
[16:18] I'm sorry, but in these cases it looks ridiculous.
[16:19] <Grey-man> Ya, I understand what you're saying, I just don't agree with it. I was simply following the image CT when I uploaded those pictures, just like with any picture I upload, and those pictures follow it to the tee...as Imp pointed out, their quality as far as artifacts has to be improved, but the speech bubbles are allowed to stay or go -- per the CT.
there are also other FA's that have pictures with larger speech bubbles whited out, and they were never objected too at all
<LordHydronium> I don't see how text is more distracting then big patches of white space that clearly indicate a character is saying something.
"I am so angry I can't even speak!"
[16:21] <Grey-man> heh, I've already said how I feel about it and that I've done nothing wrong here. Just like if I had left the speech in those pic's when I uploaded them, there would be many other users who would have said "Well, why didn't he white them out? They look like crap when condensed in an article and you see squiggly black lines instead of text"
either way I go, you go, anyone goes, someone is going to not like it
[16:22] <LordHydronium> Well...sorry, but I'm gonna have to keep the objection then.
Sometimes it can work. The images there are pretty much the epitome of where it needs to stay to not look like crap.
[16:23] And...they do. This isn't about some principle of blanking. It's that I think those blanked images look absolutely ridiculous.
[16:24] <Grey-man> So why have you never objected before to the other 17 FA's I've written where I've whited out the speech in every single picture I've used?
<LordHydronium> Probably because I hadn't noticed them.
When I saw you FAed this, I flicked to it out of interest.
<Grey-man> Even if you voted for the article?
<LordHydronium> And those images caught my eye immediately.
[16:25] <Grey-man> I'm looking, one sec
[16:27] <LordHydronium> Look, if you, personally, want to stand by blanking, would you mind if I uploaded non-blanked versions instead?
<Grey-man> If that is all it takes to get you to not hold back this nomination, then fine
[16:28] <LordHydronium> Believe me, I don't want to hold it back out of spite or anything. I just think the images look...bad.
<Grey-man> Do what you got to do then.
[16:29] <LordHydronium> OK. Sorry this had to get as confrontational as it did.
[16:30] <Grey-man> That's fine, it just kinda rubbed me the wrong way when you said "...just use rules to force your hand". Especially since the speech bubbles don't break policy.
Anyways, do what you gotta do
LordHydronium> I don't have a scanner, so all I can use are cbrs. I hate to say this, but you may have to upload scanned versions to improve the quality. :S
[16:45] When you get back to your computer, I got an idea.
<Grey-man> Mine originally came from .cbr files as well. I've been looking for someone to clear up Imp's objection.
<LordHydronium> Ah, OK. Here's my idea:
[16:46] I can get to one of the campus scanners by at least this weekend.
I'll remove my objection now, and upload them then.
Since it won't go to FA anyway in that time.
<Grey-man> Like I said before, if you feel you “have” to, then fine.
GM: I'm sorry you got that impression, but this is in no way "aimed at" you, except in the broad sense that our argument over this reminded me that I've been concerned about this for a while. - Lord Hydronium 20:45, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
I understand, and just so everyone knows, LH and myself hashed everything out further on IRC—and as LH has apologized to me for certain things, I have apologized to him likewise for my perception of the whole conversation. Likewise, the personal spin that this subject initially took in IRC was the wrong way with which to handle this type of thing. That being said, my thoughts and opinions are clearly laid above on how I feel about bubble-blanking. Greyman(Paratus) 00:20, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
I would suggest we mandate blanking of partially cropped-off text and forbid blanking in any other case unless some sort of really special argument can be made for it -- if some situation possibly, theoretically comes up in which blanking would actually be useful, then we should be able to do it without being rules-lawyered. But overall, blanking is really just pointless, removes content, and -- especially with big bubbles -- distracting. Havac 00:10, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
I think it depends upon the context. If you're using the image for an infobox, I say blank it, since the text is distracting and isn't the focus. If you're using it in an article and the text isn't integral, I think that blanking should be optional, with a preference towards keeping it. If the text is integral in that particular context, like "XXX argues his point with YYY", I think keeping the text should be mandatory. Thefourdotelipsis 01:52, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
While I've expressed my views on this matter on IRC every time the discussion has come up, none of it has really been recorded, other than the log and the minds of those reading (sorry guys ;-) ). So, here's another block o' IRC log showing my views.
[04:51] <JorrelFraajic> I'd prefer to see the text, but I don't really think there needs to be a concrete rule about it. Just a preference, stating "Wookieepedia would prefer that, unless text is cropped out or incomplete, text be left inside speech bubbles" on the "Upload image" page.
[04:52] <LordHydronium> Problem with "preferences" is that they really don't mean anything.
[04:52] <LordHydronium> As it is now, everything is pretty much optional.
[04:52] <JorrelFraajic> Well, true.
[04:53] <JorrelFraajic> If it /did/ come down to a concrete rule, I'd definitely swing towards the "Text in, no exceptions" rather than the "Text out, no exceptions" sorta thing.
I really do think that having the bonus of being able to read what the character is saying is well worth the added distraction. I mean, in this image, much of C-3PX's emphasis on leaning into Olag's face, plus the bit about "I've learned how to THINK" line, is due to the text in the bubble. Remove it, and you just have a poorly-retconned protocol droid leaning into the Grinch. And yes, I'm using sarcasm there. JorrelFraajic 10:04, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
That image though is a prime example of how the image can be cropped from the left right up to C-3PX and because it has a white background, the text bubble could be completely removed. ;) - JMAS 04:16, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
To me, the bubbles are somewhat distracting with or without text for an image. I'm always wondering what was said. Might as well leave the text there unless there's a good reason to remove, like cropped, illegible , etc. -Fnlayson 05:18, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
If it's any consolation, considering the fact that I'm the one responsible for cleaning up many FA images, the only time I leave the text alone is when there is context to be made. Like in the battle meditation article, the text is explaining exactly what battle meditation is and so it's context appropriate for the image. But when the text is like "HEY!" then it's silly to keep it. Adds nothing and drives off from the focus. --Redemption(Talk) 05:25, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm in favor of leaving the text unless the bubble with some of the words are cropped off, in which case the bubble should be blanked. - JMAS 06:06, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
I really feel that the option to remove text should remain, now that this has been established as a purely aesthetic issue. There are numerous instances, such as the one Redemption listed above, in which the text has little or no purpose. Conversely, there are some instances in which it is beneficial, an example being File:Sylvarbloodhunt.jpg, in which Sylvar's mindless rage is accentuated by her unintelligible cry. I will agree with Finlayson in that I do not like speech bubbles in the images at all, when they can be avoided. In response to Finlayson's remarks on good reasons, I believe Greyman pointed out that when the images are viewed condensed in articles, the text often appears as little more than squiggly black lines, which are therefore illegible. We cannot expect readers to open every single image file that they come across as they browse the wiki. And as far as the selectivity—only blanking those bubbles which intersect the edge of the image—goes, there are plenty of instances in which there is absolutely no discernible context for the speech bubbles that do appear, as the rest of the conversation takes place in separate frames. In this case, I myself would typically opt to blank the bubbles and avoid confusion. I think that this issue is one of sheer opinion, and that there is no need for policy concerning this. There is a big difference between right and wrong and differing opinions, and I suspect that a majority of Wookieepedians understand that this is certainly not a "right and wrong" type of issue.—Graestan(This party's over) 06:35, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
The thing with text is that even if it's too small to be normally legible, it still fills in that part of the image. Without it, you have a big area of entirely blank space. And if you want to talk about visual elements that draw the eye and distract from the purpose of the picture, that's a big one right there. - Lord Hydronium 06:51, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
Per Graesten, I say we only remove text from bubbles if it's really, really necessary. Unit 8311 19:30, 21 November 2007 (UTC)