Help:Semantic tags

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Semantic Tagging is a facility provided by the Semantic MediaWiki Extension to allow for more in-depth information to be provided. It is being used here on Shifti to bolster categorization and provide for more complex searches.

Available Tags

At the moment we have defined tags for authors, titles, settings, types of transformation, species of transformation, degree of transformation, base page type and a tag specifically meant for use on authors User: pages.

The 'title' and 'author' tags are set automatically by the Title Template, the Byline Template and the Info Template. While the 'settings' tag is set by the Universe Template and the Info Template.

To set the "type", "species" and "degree" tags we provide the TF Type Template, the TF Species Template and the TF Degree Template. If a story contains only one transformation – and that transformation is into one a simpler form – you can use the TF Tag Template.

For setting the type of page we offer the Fiction Template, the Non-Fiction template, the Essay Template, the Example Template, the Review Template and the Help Template.

However… It is very important to remember that you should never use any Wiki Markup in the property values. This will cause the template forms to break and doesn't work if you use a direct insertion either.[1] And remember—if it applies to values, it applies to names!


Multiple Values

Each tag sets the specified 'semantic property' – these are what the system is looking at when you query for the value set. Each property has to be set with a single value at a time, but that doesn't mean that a property can only store a single value at a time. For instance, a transformation into a minotaur based on an auroch has two different 'TF Types' – 'Mythical' and 'Animal' – which means that you'd want to add {{TF Type|Mythical}} and {{TF Type|Animal}} to it. Doing such will give the pages 'TF Type' semantic property two values – 'Mythical' and 'Animal'.

Enumerated Value Properties

Two of the pre-defined properties have a specifically defined range of possible values. These are the TF Type property and the TF Degree property. There is a limited description of what the different available values are at the pages about those properties.

TF Type

The TF Type property has six possible values - 'Mental', 'Animal', 'Gender', 'Mythical', 'Inanimate' and 'Plant'. Each of those values has specific a specific meaning that is enumerated below.

The transformation affects the mind of the transformed
The transformation is into an animal form. Used alone it generally refers to an existing animal
The transformation affected the gender of the transformed – perhaps flipped it from Male to Female or vice-versa
The transformation is into a mythical creature of some sort. Combine with 'Animal' it refers to a mythical animal
The transformation is into a form that does not meet the conventional definition of life
The transformation is into a plant or a plant-like form
TF Degree

The TF Degree property has three possible values. These values describe the depth, or 'degree' of the change - from little more than superficial changes to a change completely into the animal. Those three values are 'Superficial', 'Anthro' and 'Full Form'.

The transformation is superficial — minor to the point of being able to be ignored entirely
This is a 'halfway' form — a gender type of TF could mean this is a "she-male" and for mental changes this could mean "instincts"
Full Form
This means a complete change — the change is completely into the other form

Tag Use

The tags are relatively simple to use – they are just templates and like all templates you use them by doing {{<template name>}}. But because the help on the template pages is very scarce[2] you can find some usage information below.

TF tag

The TF Tag template ({{TF tag}}) is a convenience template for setting a single 'TF Type', 'TF Species' and 'TF Degree' property.

{{TF tag
| type=<TF Type>
| degree=<TF Degree>
| species=<TF Species>

This can (and was meant to) be used in conjunction with ancillary {{TF Type}}, {{TF Degree}} and {{TF Species}} flags. Example:{{TF tag | type=Animal | degree=Anthro | species=Wolf}}

Simpler Tags

The rest of the tags are very simple in use and require little in the way of in-depth explanation.

TF Type

{{TF Type|<TF Type>}} – this means that to flag a TF into an animal form occurring in a given story, you'd just insert {{TF Type|Animal}} somewhere in the text.

TF Degree

{{TF Degree|<TF Degree>}} – you use this the same as the TF Type Template. For instance, if a story contains a total transformation, you'd note this with {{TF Degree|Full Form}} somewhere in the text.

TF Species

{{TF Species|<Species>}} – this is even easier to use than the TF Type Template and the TF Degree Template. In fact, the 'Species' parameter is free form. To mark a transformation into a wolf as occurring in a story, you just stick {{TF Species|wolf}} somewhere in the text.

Universe tag

Unless you are averse to the existing {{universe}} and {{info}} templates there is no reason to directly use this template, as the two I mentioned use this template to set the 'setting' semantic property. To use it directly to flag a story as being in Jon Sleepers 'Paradise' setting, you'd simply add {{universe tag|Paradise}} to the text.

Author tag

Since some stories have multiple authors - and that means the minor hacks built into the Title Template, the Byline Template and the Info Template will not cover all the authors of a story. When this is the case, there is the Author Tag Template. It's used similar to {{universe tag}}, but instead of using a universe name, you put in the authors name. For instance a story written by ShadowWolf and Cubist would have: {{author tag|ShadowWolf}}{{author tag|Cubist}} somewhere in it's text.

Utility Tags

There are several 'utility tags' that are defined simply to flag the type of page that exists. These are Fiction, Non-Fiction, Essay, Review, Help, Example, Favorites List, Non-TF, Poetry and Post-TF. These templates have no parameters and only one of them should exist on any page. To use them, simply follow the classic 'template insertion' rule – that is, stick the name of the template inside curly-braces (ie: {{help}}).[3]

Custom Semantic Properties

Everything up to now has been about how to apply the pre-existing semantic properties to a page. But it is possible to create completely custom semantic properties. The basic syntax is [[property name::property value]] - but this form does create a link to a page with the name of the value. So you don't need to worry about having links to pages for each value spread throughout the text of a page there is a template that creates a property tag that doesn't create a link – the Semantic Base Template. The use of this template is simply {{SMW Base|<property name>|<property value>}} — all the templates mentioned above actually use this template. This means that to set a 'creator name' property for a page – say to Viqsi – you'd put {{SMW Base|creator name|Viqsi}} somewhere in the text of the page.


  1. This was not something covered in any help provided by the creators of the semantic extension. It was learned the hard way.
  2. ShadowWolf would like to apologize for that. He just asks that you not lynch him over it - the upgrade caused many problems that were not even hinted at in the release notes for the new code base
  3. I reassure you that there is no need to have both 'Non-Fiction' and 'Essay' (or 'Review' or 'Help') on the same page - 'Essay', 'Review' and 'Help' all set both the 'Non-Fiction' page-type property and the page-type property for which they are named. And the {{non-tf}} and {{post-tf}} tags both set {{fiction}}.The other templates only set the properties they are named for.