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Instructions for using this page


This USA/CommonState main page (not the talk page here) is designed as a general template to be used when creating a USA state or territory page. Global templates are used as much as possible to make maintenance much easier due to the 50+ pages that are used in the USA. Be sure not to remove any templates unless absolutely necessary and then it should only be done after review with the [ Wiki experts in the forums].

Templates serve two general purposes. They typically allow common code to be used in multiple places with parameters passed to them changing their outcome. They are also used to hold text which is common to multiple pages that may change in the future and therefore allow for simple updates.

When viewing a page in edit mode, templates appear with double braces like {{RC/Data}}. To view the actual page you could type into the Wiki search box Template:RC/Data. In some cases the template will include a ":" like {{:USA/CommonState/Overview}}. The colon indicates the template code is in the Main: namespace and not the Template: namespace.

Theory of operation

In order to ensure the 50+ state and territory pages are kept up to date, all editing is done through a combination of templates.

Main state page

The main state page is only a wrapper for the main template {{:USA/CommonState}}. The state name provides the name used throughout the templates and subpages on that state page. There is nothing to edit on that page, ever.

The main page will display content into sections. Each section is broken down into four types of content.

Common to all states (static)
This content comes from a common template that feeds all states. It is not altered except by consensus within the forums because it alters more than 50 pages at one time. If it exists, it will appear on all state pages. If there is no 100% common content for all states, then it can be blank in the common template for all.
Common to many states (selectable)
This content comes from the same common template as above, but this content may only be common to some states. The default setup for a state will include this content.
Unique state data (optional)
Individual states can create an alternate set of unique data for each section that will automatically override the optional common content from the common template. If desired, the state unique content can be blanked (page exists, but there is no content) and it will result in only the content common to ALL states will be displayed. To get the common selectable code to appear again after a state unique section is created, the template to display that common selectable code can be copied to the state unique template. Instructions appear on the page when edited through that table on the talk page (discussed below).
Unique state pages (optional)
Each state can create a full subpage for each section of the main page. Typically the editor will include a link from the unique state content section to the subpage. Of course that same unique content section can have links to other pages that are not necessarily subpages of the main state page.

Associated Talk page

The talk page (discussion tab) holds a template called {{EditState}}. It consists of a heading and table of links to all the sections of the state page with unique content. The editing table is dynamic to the unique sections or pages that have been created. The table guides the editor as to which pages are commonly created and which ones are typically not. Most states will not have unique content for all pages.

Each of the pages that are linked from the table will include combinations of code and text. Be sure to pay attention to the comments in the code directing you as to what parts of the code to change and what not to change. When using the table on the talk page, it provides the opportunity to preload content on the page that can then be further edited.

Nearly all of the unique content pages have an associated preload page used when they are first created. That preload code is also alterable, but only after full consensus by the other editors since these pages also affect all newly created state and territory pages. Once a page is created from the preload, future changes to that preload page will have no affect on the already created state content page. Only the actual templates on that page will be affected by updates to those templates, not the preload page.

To help visualize the code better, the browser plugin called WikEd will colorize much of the code on the screen helping to identify the different sections of code that should be altered vs avoided. It is easy to install and automatically loads when editing any Wiki pages.

First time setup

The following instructions are directed to the editor who is first setting up this template for a state.

1. If the current state or territory page exists, start this new page on a page with the "YourStatename/Test" or "YourStatename/Test2." This will not affect the current page. After completion and testing of the new page, it can be moved into the place of the old one with the Move command.

2. Use the {{USA Navbox}} to select the state or territory name desired. If it is red it will go to a blank page so there is no need to crate a subpage with "Test". If it is blue or purple, that means there is content on the page. That means you will need to search for a page with "YourStatename/Test" and press the link to create the page.

3. Insert the following code onto the blank page as the only code. {{subst::USA/CommonState/Start}}

4. In the summary box, type Created new STATENAME page with STATENAME replaced with the state you are creating. Then press Save page.

5. After the page is saved, you will be taken to the page. Near the top of the screen is a yellow highlighted bar used to create a special entry on the talk (or discussion) page. Click on that yellow bar.

6. The talk page is created with the initial text for the talk page. Do not place code above that entry. The template {{EditState}} includes the heading name, and multiple screens worth of data all in that one template. It is used to customize the main page, so it is best to have the template stay at the top of the page. Press Save page.

7. For newly created states, the table will appear with no active links. None of the pages will already exist. For states that already had some subpages, the table will automatically link to some of them.

8. Return to the main page tab to see your new state page.

9. State map image. If your state's map was not already loaded into the Wiki, a full set of instructions will appear on the page until you upload that file. The name of the file is highly case sensitive, so be sure to name the file matching exactly as stated in the instructions.

10. Scroll down to the Area Manager (AM) table. This is a sample table, not the final table for the state. Above the table is a info box with a link to create the table automatically. Press that link.

11. A page will be preloaded with lots of code. The AM table is only partially accessible from this view (now and in the future). The AM editors who are not State or Country Managers will edit their portion of the table from a different place coming up. All the instructions for editing and maintaining the table are on the page when in edit mode.

12. If desired, replace the example State and Country Managers, or wait until later. Press Save page. Next press the link to return to the AM table.

13. A table that can be customized to your state page is almost ready. As mentioned above, the Area Managers ranked below State or Country Manager can edit their portion of the table directly from the table link in the middle of the table. Press the link now to edit the table further and save changes.

These additional steps are not immediately required before the page is ready to be used. However there are sections that would typically get set up to identify some key state specific content.

14. Go to the talk page and scroll down to the edit table. Each section of the main page is noted in the table. Instructions for using the table are covered on that page. The following steps are all done from this talk page table.

15. Mapping resources: Most current state pages have links to mapping resources. They should be added for the editors of the state to have easy access.

16. Cities and towns: Some states already have custom pages. Some states may not have the exact spelling the same as the template expects. Move the page to the template and be sure to leave a redirect to the old spelling.

17. Cameras: Each state had different laws regarding speed and red light camera use. This section enables the legality elements to be specific to the state. Instructions are on the camera page when in edit mode.

18. To do list: Many states have a to do list page. As long as the subpage is named Statename/To do where Statename is the name of your state or territory, it will automatically be linked.

19. The other sections can be modified as well. Use the edit table on the talk page to review which pages should most likely be addressed.

20. Review the state page for construction boxes (they use the special {{AddCode}} template). Those should not stay on the page once it is finalize for use by other editors. Once the task directed by that message box is completed, be sure to remove that template from that section. A few of the message boxes come from the optional common content sections and can only be removed by creating a unique state section entry from the talk page edit table for that section.

21. Ensure all the appropriate content from any original state page is transferred to the new page. Everything should go into one of the current sections. In the extreme case were new material is completely disconnected from the current sections, use the Other section linked on the talk page edit box. The Other section will not appear until there is content to display.

22. Review the final propose page with other editors in your state. Use the forum section to find the appropriate forum.

23. Remove the construction message box at the top of the page if all the content is completed and ready for use by other editors.

Maintenance after initial creation

This overall template uses many subtemplates to make maintenance easy for future changes across all the 50+ pages. That is why it is important to keep them in the template. Be sure to review all proposed changes to templates with the [ other editors in the forums] before making any changes.

Most of the maintenance can be done through the subpage templates (listed below). Each section of the state page will have an associated subpage. For example the Resources section with have a template on a subpage using that same name (USA/CommonState/Resources). Go to the desired subpage to edit the content which will automatically appear on all 50+ pages.

Subpages and preloads

Most of these subpages are used as common templates for each section of the state page to increase consistency between states. They should only be modified after reviewing with the [ other state editors in the forum].

  • The main page link covers the primary content for that section seen on every state page.
  • The two Preload pages are used on the individual state pages when they are first created. The content on the preload page can include hints or proposed content for state editors to use when first setting up the page. Once the unique state page is created, these preload templates have no affect on those pages. Think of them as a one time guidance which is then ignored after that. Only the portion of the preload that the editor keeps on the page will remain, but any subsequent changes to the preload page will not appear on the already created unique state pages.
  • The Full Page Preload is used when creating stand alone subpages, like Connecticut/Cities and towns.
  • The Optional Content Preload is used when creating the section on the main page that follows the universal content. When the optional page gets created, the optional content on the main page in that section gets displaced.

If a preload page is not created (visible as red links), then when users create a new subpage in their state there is no guidance for what might be put on the page. This is more important for the optional content pages that are viewed in the main page because special flow code is often desired.

This page serves as a common template to over 50 other pages. Do not make modifications to this page before reviewing the proposed changes in [ this Waze forum thread] first.

Primary Subpages
Subpage (Preloads) Purpose
(Full Page Preload)
(Optional Content Preload) || Initial overview paragraph before the table of contents. Explains the purpose of the page.
(Full Page Preload)
(Optional Content Preload) || Appears to the right of the Table of Contents. Used to convey overall updates, messages, etc. Can be text, message boxes, links, etc.
(Full Page Preload)
(Optional Content Preload) || Initial introductory section content. Currently contains very basic information that is common to all states and a couple of automated templates that display a little content specific to each state.
(Full Page Preload)
(Optional Content Preload) || Initial resource section information. Typically would include links to Waze and external resources that are common to all states.
(Full Page Preload)
(Optional Content Preload) || Initial forum section information. Likely this content will be the extent of this section for most states as it automatically contains the links to each state.
USA/CommonState/Cities and towns
(Full Page Preload)
(Optional Content Preload) || Initial Cities and towns section information. Likely that this content will be very basic since only some states are dependent upon this page.
USA/CommonState/Major roads
(Full Page Preload)
(Optional Content Preload)) || Initial Major roads information.
(Full Page Preload)
(Optional Content Preload) || Initial Places information.
(Full Page Preload)
(Optional Content Preload) || Initial closures section information. Currently it points to information in the Wiki on closures. Most everything else will be custom per state. The current template automatically adds the link to the closures subpage if it is created as STATENAME/Closures where STATENAME is the name of the state or territory. If no separate page exists it will allow one key Department of Transportation (or similar site) URL to be passed as a parameter like: |
If no link is desired, pass none as the parameter. Most of this automation is for states that do nothing to the state page, but we want some content to be available.
(Full Page Preload)
(Optional Content Preload) || Initial camera section information with general links to various Wiki pages.
USA/CommonState/Special roads
(Full Page Preload)
(Optional Content Preload) || Initial special road information linking to Wiki on road type with no state unique settings. The second part of page is controlled by a state unique flag allowing the unique state page to override the second section.
USA/CommonState/To do
(Full Page Preload)
(Optional Content Preload) || Initial To do section information. It checks for a Statename/To do page and shows a link, otherwise it suggests creating the page and shows a link.
(Full Page Preload)
(Optional Content Preload) || Special section for universal expansion of state pages. Only displays if a state has specific content on their Unique Portion page accessed on their talk page. These pages default to no content and minimal state page preloads.
USA/CommonState/Area Managers
(Full Page Preload)
(Optional Content Preload) || Area Manager information at the beginning of that section.
Area Manager Optional Content Preload A preload only page for the special portion of the Area Manager table that provides the ability to edit just the Area Manager section through a link on the main Area Manager page.
Other Area Editor Optional Content Preload A preload only page for the special portion of the Other Area editors table that provides the ability to edit just the editor section through a link on the main Other Area Editor page.
USA/CommonState/Other states and territories
(Full Page Preload)
(Optional Content Preload) || Contains the {{USA Navbox}} showing all states and territories.
Other Subpages
USA/CommonState/ForumLink A message box that appears on each subpage telling people not to modify the contents of that page without discussion.
USA/CommonState/ForumLinkURL The actual URL used in USA/CommonState/ForumLink
(Full Page Preload)
(Optional Content Preload) || A special saved page holding more complex preload files in case the <noinclude> and <includeonly> tags need to be escaped. Ignore these links for normal purposes. They are not linked to any other template. Do not modify them.

Preload maintenance link

All subpages for cross reference purposes. Italics are redirects:

In this Talkspace:

USA/CommonState/AreaTextUSA/CommonState/Area ManagersUSA/CommonState/Area Managers/Main/Preload
USA/CommonState/Area Managers/PreloadUSA/CommonState/CamerasUSA/CommonState/Cameras/Law
USA/CommonState/Cameras/Main/PreloadUSA/CommonState/Cameras/PreloadUSA/CommonState/Cities and towns
USA/CommonState/Cities and towns/Main/PreloadUSA/CommonState/Cities and towns/PreloadUSA/CommonState/Closures
USA/CommonState/Major roadsUSA/CommonState/Major roads/Main/PreloadUSA/CommonState/Major roads/Preload
USA/CommonState/Other states and territoriesUSA/CommonState/Other states and territories/Main/PreloadUSA/CommonState/Other states and territories/Preload
USA/CommonState/SpecialRoads/PreloadUSA/CommonState/Special roadsUSA/CommonState/Special roads/Main/Preload
USA/CommonState/Special roads/PreloadUSA/CommonState/StartUSA/CommonState/Talk/Preload
USA/CommonState/TalkTableElementUSA/CommonState/TestUSA/CommonState/To do
USA/CommonState/To do/Main/PreloadUSA/CommonState/To do/PreloadUSA/CommonState/UniqueSectionMsg

Other notes during template construction

To do list

This list being managed by « kentsmith9 » (talk) 23:01, 3 July 2014 (UTC)

Steps to First Release
Category Description Status
Testing Create test pages against current states
 • Arizona - Yes check.png Done
 • Southeast - Yes check.png Done
 • Connecticut - In process
 • West Virginia
 • Texas - Yes check.png Done
In process
Area Manager Table More info on Other Area Editors; what they are; why to add; reiterate they are not Area Managers
Area Manager Table Is there a source for knowing who are the AMs for the state to be pre-populated? Or should they add themselves?
Final Steps Move Completed To Do list items to archive and add link, but keep table for future changes after release.
Sections Add generic images to each section as appropriate. In process
Testing Update forum link to a general page for all to see. Will be a prelim Page. Yes check.png Done
Area Manager Table Add State Manager section Yes check.png Done
Talk page table Update section names to match actual page section names, not subpages Yes check.png Done
Instructions Link to AM/Badge should be easier to get to with the badge information. Maybe a redirect from AM/Badge Yes check.png Done
Regions Create special maps like File:USA_Southeast.png for all regions. Yes check.png Done
Regions Southeast is a region that looks like a state, so pages need to be flexible to support both types Yes check.png Done
Regions Overview - Needs to consider territories and regions Yes check.png Done
Regions Introduction - Takes wrong data; needs to determine if a region and then show alternate variables from Template:RC/Data Yes check.png Done
Regions Area Managers table pulling wrong data from Template:RC/Data Yes check.png Done
Regions Add area-type to Template:RC/Data Yes check.png Done
Etiquette Include link to etiquette section of Wiki. Yes check.png Done
Area Manager table Integrate California/AMtest for AM editing of table. Yes check.png Done
Area Manager table Inform editors that the table is only for Rank 3 Area Managers and above. Then create new action to consider automating a lower level editor table. Yes check.png Done
Area Manager table Confirm from forum that less than Rank 3 is desired. Yes check.png Done
Area Manager table Create commented code to enable editors to easily add the table if desired. Integrate the Heading template. Yes check.png Done
Area Manager Table Create forum Icon templates to show in Comments and make background color match first icon. Yes check.png Done
Area Manager Table Automate RC icons from Template:RC/Data so users need not manage them. Yes check.png Done
Area Manager Table Template:AM/Editor need to determine RC status first; if true for current state then shift badges down 2>3, 1>2, RC>1 and then continue as before.

Solved differently by placing the RC at the table head.
Yes check.png Done
Area Manager Table Proposal to reduce grouping to AM and CM without rank. Yes check.png Done
Sections Add State vs Territory to the database and don't use state generically. Yes check.png Done
Sections Each section must include a common template to enable single updates to display on all state pages. Yes check.png Done
Camera Move content on Camera placement from Texas page to cameras page. That camera page is already linked and noted on the CommonState page. Yes check.png Done
State Image Create image for when not found that links to page showing how to add new state image. Can use page in current Wiki with [[File:Wiki.png|50px|link=SomePage]] Yes check.png Done
Purge Create a dynamic return to main page with link with purge Yes check.png Done
{{EditState}} Identify which links are not typically used Yes check.png Done
Final Steps At bottom of the template, create a box to create a section on the Talk page to add the section [[Editing custom sections]] with {{EditState}}. Yes check.png Done
Final Steps Activate __ NOEDITSECTION __ at top of template Yes check.png Done
Final Steps Templates of templates do not immediately update the original page above when changed; found that {{purge}} will resolve the issue, but requires a user click; updated two Area Manager table links; likely need to link to future task to add link back to home page to implement this across all page changes.

California/Test will call:

{{:USA/CommonState}} will call:
{{:USA/CommonState/SectionProcess|To do}} will call:
{{:California/Test3/To do/Main}} will display:
California/Test3/To do
Yes check.png Done
Final Steps Ensure instructions at top of this page are all correct to final operation. Yes check.png Done
Final Steps Before deployment to the general community, update forumURL to link to specific thread on the template. USA/CommonState/ForumLinkURL. Also update the source page to remove the Editor Note portion of the message. Yes check.png Done
Future Releases
Category Description Status
EditState and others Suppress external link arrow with <span class="plainlinks">[http://]</span> In progress
EditState Change Talk page {{EditState}} template to show hyperlinks in red. Further consider making the link a button. Yes check.png Done
EditState Determine if an empty (no display) page can be detected and indicate such on the table.
Statename Talk Page Add link to expanded documentation on State Page usage
Main page Add ability to edit directly from the sections using {{Ed}}.
All pages Create link template to preload pages where appropriate. For use by users as well. Would allow avoiding having to go to talk page edit table.
Main template Add some static indicator on headings at the right to remind people what state they are on.