Malazan Empire: Question on Wiki Format - Malazan Empire

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#1 User is offline   Apocalypse Now 

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 10:55 PM

As I scroll through the wiki, I find that most pages about groups or individuals are just quotes about them from the book. Personally, I think that to be a confusing system. The quotes should be used as sources, but they shouldn't be the only thing there. Some of you will most likely have visited Wookiepedia. It's clear about things, it uses quotes sure, but it has actual writing in it that sums up the person and what they did, their background, etc. This wiki should be as informative as possible, and should give the context of events, not just quotes about them from the books, but that's just my spin on things.

edit: as of this moment, I am editing the Moranth page with a new format which I think is much more presentable, and will post it once I am done.

This post has been edited by Apocalypse Now: 09 January 2009 - 12:19 AM

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#2 User is offline   Apocalypse Now 

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 12:49 AM

http://encyclopediam...iki.com/Moranth

I would like some feedback if at all possible. :p
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#3 User is offline   D'rek 

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 01:37 AM

First and foremost, it definitely looks like you put a lot of effort into that article, and it looks nice! Glad to see some direct usage of quotes, too.

So, feedback, starting with your bit on the wiki having written material and not just quotes. The wiki did originally start out as nothing but quotes, but it has since been getting more and more written material added in. However, the quotes are much more than mere references. After all, the quotes are the only thing that are indisputable, and even their most basic interpretations can be argued fiercely towards different connotations. With that in mind, the wiki (so far) tends to make as little conclusion-jumping as possible and leave the disuptable parts up to the reader.

Some examples of this pulled from your article. As Abyss would say, 'Quote or it didn't happen'.
"During the reign of the Malazan Empire, the Silver Moranth clan dominated the Moranth clans."
"Lead by Twist, the only named Moranth character in the series."

So you can see how we try to avoid any (il)logical leaping to avoid such calamities. As such, it is rather important to back up any potentially crazy assertions with a quote for reference.



As to the issue you raise of including written sequences in the wiki articles (versus not doing so), as I mentioned earlier we have been gradually adding that stuff. But there's well over a thousand pages on the wiki, so it takes time. An excellent example of some recently written-up pages would be the Tiste Edur page (credit goes to Anthony and D Morin). So you can see it is happening, just very slowly.


Finally for format, there's not a whole lot that can be done with the basic PBWiki tools. For any advanced stuff, you need crazy template-scripting stuff that I don't understand. Thesalus has/had been working on that stuff and eventually we'll have a shinier, polished look with funky default script tools and such. Most of the ugly formatting you see now looked good on the old wiki (it had quote boxes and more) and those sites haven't been looked at since the wiki was moved.


Anyway that's about it for me. Let's see what everyone else has to say...

View Postworrywort, on 14 September 2012 - 08:07 PM, said:

I kinda love it when D'rek unleashes her nerd wrath, as I knew she would here. Sorry innocent bystanders, but someone's gotta be the kindling.
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#4 User is offline   Apocalypse Now 

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 02:06 AM

Ahh, I forgot to add the quotation from Steven Erikson where he mentions the Silver Moranth as the ruling Moranth clan and them being the reasons as to why the Malazans receive munitions, it was in the old article, somehow it got deleted. My bad, I will add it and quote it there. As for my other logic leaps, I'll add the quotes that support it as well, they all came from the old page, so it's nothing I made up.

And it's good to see people really trying to sum up their stuff like that. And the PBWiki format sucks, I agree, because it would be sooooooo nice to have the little exponent-like characters they have on Wikipedia that link to the bottom of the page which cites the source, those would be cool, because then the page wouldn't be filled with quotations. Maybe it's just personal preference, but I would've just put all the quotes on the bottom as the sources cited for the article, so that the body of text itself is more fluid, perhaps after statements or paragraphs, have a number in parenthesis that corresponds to a quote on the bottom of the page? But maybe that's just the neat-freak in me. Thanks for the feedback D'rek.

On an unrelated note, were you kidding when you said I represented everything you hate? I figure you were, but either way, I found it funny. :p
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#5 User is offline   D'rek 

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 04:30 PM

Yes, that was a joke.

As for putting all quotes at the bottom or not, it's kind of a mixed bag. Obviously for a short article like Tras, it's easiest just to have the 3 or so quotes about him on the bottom. However, for much larger articles like that cover a less-specific topic, such as The Malazan Empire article, you end up with a hundred quotes on the bottom and finding the specific source is difficult. In such cases I personally prefer to have the quotes grouped at the bottom of their specific section. Of course, then you get some middle-ground articles that are somewhat in between the depth of Tras and The ME...

View Postworrywort, on 14 September 2012 - 08:07 PM, said:

I kinda love it when D'rek unleashes her nerd wrath, as I knew she would here. Sorry innocent bystanders, but someone's gotta be the kindling.
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#6 User is offline   Apocalypse Now 

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 07:52 PM

Oh, sure, I agree that the quotes can be arranged by topic or so. But what I'm saying is that scattering them throughout articles looks confusing. There are many which are just a series of quotes or where whole paragraphs are quotes. This can be confusing for people just looking for summarizing info. Anyway, my objective will be to revamp as many articles as I can to provide context and such.
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#7 User is offline   caladanbrood 

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 09:59 PM

Yes, the important thing is to remember that speculation is not what the wiki is for. Established facts that are provable only :p
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#8 User is offline   Imperial Historian 

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 11:57 PM

Thanks for the help AN,just added you to the wiki contributor group.

Everyone else has addressed this, but I'll add in my two cents.

First the wiki was never intended to just be a quote database, articles such as the tiste edur and moranth ones are more the sort of thing that was envisioned, but to be sure everything is as accurate as possible we need quotes so nothing is unprovable speculation on the wiki. Since writing such articles is a lot of work, most of the contributors have adopted the policy of just adding interesting quotes as they read through the novel, but the end goal has always been to use these quotes to create comprehensive articles. The wiki is currently at the stage I think where these articles can start to be written as I'd say the majority of quotes from the first five books at least are extracted (for characters and races anyway). So I encourage anyone who has the time to write up a few articles on people.

Second always check your facts, and make sure you have a quote to back up what you say. I try and read any articles posted and remove factual errors, correct spelling etc, but I don't catch everything, and it's much easier if there is nothing to catch.

Third, I quite like the format you have used, especially the italicised quote at the top, thats quite a good summation of the moranth. My two major quibles are the absense of a very brief summary of the moranth and two where you have put the quotes, I agree it looks better at the bottom of the article, but if it's there it should be linked to. I'm going to have a dig round another day, but I think there is some relatively simple code which should allow us to add a sources link at the bottom of each article, or maybe even specific references.

Fourth sadly we're stuck with the current editor for the forseeable future, and a great many articles on the wiki need looking over and refurbishing to look good in the new format, but there are a few tricks around I think which can make things prettier, I'm not sure how they work on the new wiki (I generally implemented them on 1.0) but I'll see if I can dig out the code for linking within an article which should be a useful feature.

Keep up the good work guys, I don't post here often but I do read every article edited on the wiki, and your contributions are always appreciated.
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#9 User is offline   D'rek 

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 02:24 AM

Couple things I forgot to add:

1) For a good example of conclusion-jumping, see The Malazan Wikia Wiki

2) Apparently the boxes Thesalus designed can be copy+pasted into other articles, so even without knowing the scripting stuff, we can use the boxes for a somewhat nice format for quotes and such. See the Kalam page for an example. I wish I'd realized this sooner...

View Postworrywort, on 14 September 2012 - 08:07 PM, said:

I kinda love it when D'rek unleashes her nerd wrath, as I knew she would here. Sorry innocent bystanders, but someone's gotta be the kindling.
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