When I view a WikiPedia page that has numbered sections (e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dance), the section numbers appear only in the table of contents, i.e., section headings appearing in the body of the document are displayed without section numbers. (If one opens any textbook, one will see that every chapter and section heading has a number to the left of it, not only in the table of contents, but in the body of the text as well). I've been told that this problem with the appearance of WikiPedia pages has nothing to do with the way that pages were created, but is rather the result of a flaw in MediaWiki itself. It would be great if this could be fixed.
Hi @Phillipmfeldman, thanks for taking the time to report this and welcome to Wikimedia Phabricator!
This is already possible. See https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Help:Section#Creation_and_numbering_of_sections and https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Manual:Table_of_contents#Customizing_the_TOC in order to find the setting.
Here's what I read in https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Manual:Table_of_contents#Customizing_the_TOC:
"By default, the TOC automatically numbers the sections. The section headings themselves aren't numbered."
(The wording of that sentence is confusing, but I believe that I understand what's meant).
Users can customize the appearance, but realistically, how many people know about this functionality? And, in any case, it doesn't really make sense for this to be the default behavior. Given a choice between two versions of a textbook--one in which chapters/sections are numbered, and one in which they aren't--who in their right mind would choose the latter? This is quite simply a poorly thought-out design.
Dr. Phillip M. Feldman
I would not compare one wiki page to a [linear] "text book".
Each item in the TOC can be clicked to directly jump to the section. I personally do not see how numbers help when reading sections of a web page. However, use cases might differ, hence different preferences for different needs exist. Anyone is free to ignore these preferences. Regarding Wikimedia wikis, some default preferences can be changed per wiki which first requires consensus on that wiki (see https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Requesting_wiki_configuration_changes ).
In this case, I'm trying to change the behavior for a Wiki page on a corporate internal Wiki. I control the page in question, so there is no need for consensus. But, I do not understand what needs to be changed to implement section numbers within the body of the document.
P.S. The section numbers are important in this case because the page in question is quite long, and is more like a textbook than a traditional wiki. Without the section numbers, it is hard to determine where one is in the document.
@Phillipmfeldman: As per https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Manual:User_preferences#Setting_default_preferences , change numberheadings as described on https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Manual:$wgDefaultUserOptions .
For further questions, please consult https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Project:Support_desk - thanks a lot! :)
For further questions, please consult https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Project:Support_desk . Phabricator is not a support / Q&A desk.