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The ASOIAF wiki thread


517 replies to this topic

#1 Onion Knight

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 04:38 PM

Discuss here about improving and expanding the wiki.

Link:

http://awoiaf.westeros.org

Edited by Onion Knight, 23 May 2009 - 03:09 AM.


#2 Shewoman

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 04:40 PM

You might get in touch with Ran and ask what he thinks about the idea. Sounds good to me.

#3 Ran

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 04:40 PM

Wikis are made by people. If you see an article that needs improving, or think an article is missing, there's nothing stopping you from doing it but yourself. :)

For those interested, the Wiki is linked right at the top of the board. And I'll link it here. Just remember to use the appropriate template for any articles you grab from Wikipedia.org and paste here to indicate the source. If you have an account here, you already have a wiki account, so feel free to go to town with editting!

Edited by Ran, 05 March 2009 - 04:43 PM.


#4 Onion Knight

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 11:16 PM

Wikis are made by people. If you see an article that needs improving, or think an article is missing, there's nothing stopping you from doing it but yourself. :)

For those interested, the Wiki is linked right at the top of the board. And I'll link it here. Just remember to use the appropriate template for any articles you grab from Wikipedia.org and paste here to indicate the source. If you have an account here, you already have a wiki account, so feel free to go to town with editting!

It's not the content that bugs me. The wiki is pretty buggy, the search engine is really really annoying, and you can't upload pictures(or whatever the reason the wiki lack's of pictures)!
It's all making it very uncomfortable to use.

Edited by Onion Knight, 05 March 2009 - 11:20 PM.


#5 Ran

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Posted 06 March 2009 - 04:16 AM

Bugs should be reported so we can look into them.

The search engine is the standard MediaWiki search engine which drives 99% of the wikis out there, and you can't upload pictures because it's not intended to be a repository of character art or anything like that.

If there's images that are absolutely necessary, we can look into getting them added. What kind of images are you thinking of?

#6 Linda

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Posted 06 March 2009 - 04:27 AM

In terms of an actual encyclopaedia, with a list of terms, places, etc and definitions for each, the eventual plan is to add one to the Citadel (the space has been there for years, heh). Right now, with the Worldbook and all, we don't have the time, and I am also waiting on 2.0 of the CMS we use to see if it adds any of the functionality I need (like tags). If not, I'll need to save up and buy the add-ons. :)

#7 Onion Knight

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Posted 06 March 2009 - 03:57 PM

Bugs should be reported so we can look into them.

The search engine is the standard MediaWiki search engine which drives 99% of the wikis out there

Bugs seems to be solved as i started using Firefox instead of IE(today).

The search engine work's fine too with Firefox.

So disregard what i said about those :leaving:

and you can't upload pictures because it's not intended to be a repository of character art or anything like that.

Why not? Can't we add profile images to each character like Toweofthehand?

#8 Werthead

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 12:17 PM

This is something I meant to raise a while back.

When the idea of a dedicated ASoIaF Wiki was first raised, we tried to get one done on Wikia but were turned down for some reason. So Ran created the linked to on the board. However, shortly after this Wikia seemed to relax its policies and there are now dozens of new entertainment-based Wikias out there, and a bunch of non-Wikia-based Wikis have moved over to it because, frankly, Wikia rocks. Very easy to use, even moreso than standard Wiki, and adding images and things is very straightforward. I've been working a lot on the Wheel of Time Wikia in the last few weeks, adding maps to the nation guides, filling in blanks in the history of the nations from the World book and so forth, and it's been great.

Some bright spark, possibly unaware of the board wiki, created the 'new' SoIaF Wikia a while back even though it is in a very embryonic state at the moment. It's also got a number of copyright-infringing images that need to be brought under control. I much prefer using Wikia to the more basic Wiki system the board is using, but at the same time it seems futile to start duplicating efforts and ending up with two Wikis doing the same thing (although at last count there were three or four Middle-earth ones, and there's at least two WoT ones).

I suppose what I'm asking is the doability of switching to Wikia, porting over the good articles and redoing the bad ones (there's a shedload of dead links on the existing one as well, from where we moved them over from Wikipedia). At the same time we do lose the convenience of people being able to use their Westeros.org logins to use the Wiki and keeping the image situation under control could be an issue, much moreso for ASoIaF (where there is tons of great art people will be tempted to put up) than for WoT (where there's not much about).

Why not? Can't we add profile images to each character like Toweofthehand?


This is where copyright becomes an issue. ToweroftheHand have, I believe, asked permission from Amoka and other artists to reproduce their work on their websight that they run and own themselves. Copyright is a much more complex issue on Wikis. On Wikipedia itself you cannot add any art unless it is, effectively, in the public domain or the creator wants to release it into the public domain. We had to go and delete all of Amoka's artwork that was being used on Wikipedia because of that. On Wikia it appears you can use copyrighted material with permission (Lostpedia, also on Wikia, uses official ABC publicity photos and they retain copyright, and Tor Books have given WoT Wikia permission to use the chapter heading icons and some of the maps) but it's an area you certainly don't want to be straying into without taking care.

#9 Ran

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 12:29 PM

Unless I'm mistaken, Wikia uses MediaWiki, just as the ASoIaF Wiki (and Wikipedia) do. Not very familiar with Wikia, though. Perhaps they have a lot of standardized templates in place.

Obviously, the content we have falls under the same license as Wikipedia, which ought to mean it's also transferable to Wikia if people want to do that. I think the link to the forum is a useful bonus here, though, so I'd hope people would see value in adding content to and maintaining the ASoIaF wiki. Still, up to folks to decide. :)

I'd be happy if anyone with some wiki experience would be interested in stepping up to take on roles as "senior" editors, template creators, and so on.

#10 Werthead

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 12:39 PM

All the Wikia sites had a bit of a facelift a few months ago and now seem to act a bit differently to Wikipedia and the Wiki here, with better search engines and automatic identification of links to already-existing articles (i.e. when you type in say [[Wes...]], 'Westeros' immediately pops up as a suggested link along with 'Westerlands' and other possibilities). It also has no problems hosting images, and having created and uploaded 56 maps to the WoT Wikia last week, I know this for a fact :)

#11 The hairy bear

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 12:54 PM

As I see it, the problem with the ASOIAF wiki is just the lack of contributors. We always were a small comunity and contributions became more and more scarece. I guess it's just lack of interest/too much laziness. And too many people devoting all their efforts to a) copy from the wikipedia without creating new stuff, or B) patrolling those who copied from the wikipedia without giving credit.

And while I understand the reasons behind the non-images policy, we should upload a logo asap. This ugly flower on the main page gives a very bad first impersion, and I've never liked the tullys anyway.

#12 Ran

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 01:31 PM

Oops. Forgot that we never came up with a logo. :P Should be corrected now, at least for the Ice and Fire skin at the moment. Just something basic, we're planning some general redesigning after we get IPB upgraded when IPB 3.0 is out.

#13 Happy Ent

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 01:46 PM

As I see it, the problem with the ASOIAF wiki is just the lack of contributors. We always were a small comunity and contributions became more and more scarece. I guess it's just lack of interest/too much laziness. And too many people devoting all their efforts to a) copy from the wikipedia without creating new stuff, or B) patrolling those who copied from the wikipedia without giving credit.

I’m one of those who contributed heavily to the Song-related content on Wikipedia and was less than thrilled with the Westeros.org-based Wiki – basically I saw it as a destructive initiative that brought the number of contributors below critical mass. (I’ve stopped contributing to either initiative for various reasons.)

To be perfectly frank, I saw my misgivings confirmed. In spite of the huge initial boost that the “board wiki” got by copying the Wikipedia content (which, after some initial misunderstandings, is perfectly all-right and the whole point of the distribution license), the new project failed to develop significant content outside of the parameters of Wikipedia, and also failed to attract a large base of contributors. (In fact, for a while, it alienated some contributors.)

After this laudable experiment has ran a few years I repeat my recommendation to focus on improving Wikipedia. Wikipedia’s page rank is a fact, and contributing to a visible project is a strong incentive. In particular, I am sceptical about the idea of starting another wiki, because I see little reason that such an initiative should not fail for the same reasons as the “board wiki”.

I may be wrong, and can be proven wrong my contributing to such an initiative. So please do that.

#14 Werthead

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 02:00 PM

Yeah, being told that I couldn't copy pages that I had created in the first place from Wikipedia to the board Wiki even though that's the point of it, and it was something allowed with guidelines by every other Wiki I'd been involved with, was seriously off-putting.

After this laudable experiment has ran a few years I repeat my recommendation to focus on improving Wikipedia. Wikipedia’s page rank is a fact, and contributing to a visible project is a strong incentive. In particular, I am sceptical about the idea of starting another wiki, because I see little reason that such an initiative should not fail for the same reasons as the “board wiki”.

I may be wrong, and can be proven wrong my contributing to such an initiative. So please do that.


It isn't starting another initiative from scratch, the Wikia is there already and is a very good framework for what can be done. There are additional benefits of having a SoIaF Wikia, such as it being 'plugged in' to the network of many other Wikias (so if you're a contributor to the WoT Wikia or the Lost one or anything else, you can edit all of them). There's also the value of having access to assistance and advice from more experienced contributors from other Wikia pages as well.

As Ran has said, though, the value of having a Wiki plugged into the board is also quite high and there's currently ten times as much content on the board wiki as the Wikia one (although a lot of that is indeed copy-and-pasted and broken up versions of the Wikipedia articles).

Wikis also pick up popularity as people work on them. At the moment people log into the Wikia, see it doesn't even have a proper front page and only 50 entries, and log out. They might then find the board Wiki, see a morass of red links and broken images on every page, and log out. If they see the number of articles rising and the look of the pages improving, then they may feel inclined to stay and contribute.

Having had to deal with some dubious categories created by other people on the WoT Wikia, I must admit the appeal of a clean-slate approach on the ASoIaF Wikia and setting up something more streamlined and user-friendly from scratch is strong (I call this the 'JJ Abrams looking at the Star Trek movie script' effect), whilst at the same time it seems silly to divide resources and efforts between two identical projects. Certainly being able to upload images onto the Wikia does make me favour it at the moment, and as I said before copy-pasting information back to the board Wiki and vice versa should not be a huge problem.

Edited by Werthead, 20 May 2009 - 02:01 PM.


#15 Ran

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 02:08 PM

Didn't realize that images were that important to people. Hrm...

Well, I know Amok did give permission to reuse his portraits, I suppose, and I know there's properly licensed maps and such... So, why not I suppose? We'll see what's needed to enable local uploading and image display.

It needs to be made very, very clear that images must be suitably licensed for use on the Wiki, though. We have way too many people in the community to endanger the site because some overzealous fan uploaded a bunch of unlicensed art from FFG or Komarck or whoever.

ETA: Nevermind about being able to upload Amok's images. I see that Wikipedia users removed them, noting that he failed to give the kind of license required for the Wikipedia license. Since we use the same license, until such time as Amok provides a license in accordance with those terms, Amok's images won't be allowed.

Edited by Ran, 20 May 2009 - 02:22 PM.


#16 Happy Ent

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 02:16 PM

Well, I know Amok did give permission to reuse his portraits, I suppose, […]

Oh please, not this again. I’ve spent many hours removing Amok images from Wikipedia many years ago.

Amok has never released his images under the Gnu Free Documentation License (GFDL). And I don’t think he’ll ever do that. (If he did, you and I could produce a calendar using his images and charge money for it without paying him a nickle.) Amok merely gave permission to use his images for non-commercial purposes (such as Tower of the Hand).

Now, all content on Wikipedia, or the “board wiki”, or most any Wikia, is automatically GFDL-licensed. This includes the images. In particular, it includes the Amok images that Zealous User oploads. So please be careful about claims about Amok’s permissions. We are destroying his intellectual property rights.

ETA: Now, the large Westeros map used on much of the Song-related content on Wikipedia, and on Tower of the Hand, and on purpose games, is indeed GFD-licensed and can be used for whatever purpose anyone intends. It was made by me and released by me under those terms, fully aware of the implications. In particular, the Dabels can produce a 2010 calendar of it and never pay me.

Edited by Happy Ent, 20 May 2009 - 02:20 PM.


#17 Ran

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 02:43 PM

Possibly some of the Wikia stuff is because they're using a later MediaWiki as a base for their own version, not sure. In any case, will see about getting us upgraded over the next day or two to 1.14.0, which is the latest stable branch. :)

From what I can tell, image uploading should now be available, but someone else'll have to confirm that as I've admin rights and can't be sure if that's why I see the upload option. We have not turned on the "upload from URL" option, just to make sure people are really sure about uploading something -- they'll have to download it to their computer and upload it from there.

#18 Werthead

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 02:48 PM

Oh please, not this again. I’ve spent many hours removing Amok images from Wikipedia many years ago.

Amok has never released his images under the Gnu Free Documentation License (GFDL). And I don’t think he’ll ever do that. (If he did, you and I could produce a calendar using his images and charge money for it without paying him a nickle.) Amok merely gave permission to use his images for non-commercial purposes (such as Tower of the Hand).


Yeah, I remember this shitstorm and people having to bash heads to stop people using them.

Surely there must be a different situation on Wikia though, as many other Wikias have absolutely tons of copyrighted pictures and art that they put up under fair use and vast companies such as ABC and Paramount seem to have zero problems with it. In the case of Lostpedia and Memory Alpha, the official sites recommend those Wikias as resources, and the writers of both Lost and the new Star Trek movie say they've used those resources before. Yet neither company seems to have abandoned their rights to that material. Does this have something to do with TV screenshots being produced specifically for publicity purposes and can be used under fair use, whilst a picture from the interior of an ASoIaF calendar or the RPG are not and thus cannot?

ETA: Now, the large Westeros map used on much of the Song-related content on Wikipedia, and on Tower of the Hand, and on purpose games, is indeed GFD-licensed and can be used for whatever purpose anyone intends. It was made by me and released by me under those terms, fully aware of the implications.


I wanted to ask about that map as I wanted to use it on the Wikia. So I can go ahead, modify it for specific purposes and put it up on there without a problem as long as I credit it to you?

#19 Werthead

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 02:50 PM

From what I can tell, image uploading should now be available, but someone else'll have to confirm that as I've admin rights and can't be sure if that's why I see the upload option. We have not turned on the "upload from URL" option, just to make sure people are really sure about uploading something -- they'll have to download it to their computer and upload it from there.


It's admin-only at the moment:

The action you have requested is limited to users in one of the groups "Sysops", "Members", "Root Admin", "Administrators", "Board Moderators", "Forum Moderators".



#20 Ran

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 03:02 PM

Thanks for checking, Wert. Will puzzle over the help a bit more to figure out how to enable it for regular users. :)

ETA: _Think_ I've got it fixed now. Not certain.

Edited by Ran, 20 May 2009 - 03:18 PM.