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The issue

It's become clear (eg on Talk:Merchants) that there are a number of people who have (i) noticed that the merchant info on the wiki could do with some tidying and (ii) are interested in helping resolve this. This is obviously a really Good Thing, but it's starting to look as though the fact we don't have a clear/standard way to faciliate collaboration on projects on this wiki could be the source of miscommunication and other unnecessary problems. Can/should we do something about this? How do other wikis do it? (I'm a one-wiki gal myself.)


Just to get us off the ground, here's my off-the-top-of-my-head suggestion:

  • Anyone interested in starting a project (ie something more than just minor edits/adding info to current pages) creates a forum article. People do tend to do this anyway, but it's good to have an explicitly stated process. These forum topics are used as the project hubs, with links to all relevant pages and involved users.
  • We have a new category "Wiki projects" that all forum pages related to projects get assigned to and have this category linked to from somewhere prominent - eg the Community Corner section of users' home pages. This is so that they don't just get lost amongst other topics.
  • We have a more or less standard format for project summaries (eg each project forum topic page should start off with a brief summary of what the project is, who is working on it, and the current status of the project)

Obviously, that's the merest sketch of a policy, but I'm loath to do much more as I'm hoping that someone will be able to point us to a ready-made one we can steal from another wiki!

What do people think? Am I overcomplicating things, or is there need for a clear and explicit mechanism for collaborating on projects? Zoev talk 12:26, January 31, 2010 (UTC)

EDIT: Just spotted Dragon_Age_Wiki:Projects and Category:Community projects, created by Tennessee Ernie Ford (also involved in the discussion about Merchants) earlier today. This looks to be the start of a better way of managing projects than the one I suggested, so thought I'd put the links in so people can take a look. Zoev talk 14:41, January 31, 2010 (UTC)

Comments

I believe that something has to made clear since it has come up as an issue, how, is whatever works best. So far I my biggest projects have been asked of me through notice of small updates I have made, from admins or they have inter-vended before I even had to talk to them about it. So I never worried about it till the sortable tables up-set. I mean our major editors do have some project lists on the user pages and the admins/major editors are very good at watching over the wiki activity. I wouldn't worry about any of my work being replace with better looking formates/templates/looks but apparently some people do not feel the same way.  Hollowness | Talk | Contr 12:45, January 31, 2010 (UTC)

Also I suggested some sort of Under Construction Tag (that what I was trying to do with the clean up tag but that didn't work), I requested this a few days ago, this would help for major editors in amidst a project that doesn't really put the article out of commission but prevents toe stepping. So editors do not do major edits while this tag is up unless discussing with the editor who put it up.  Hollowness | Talk | Contr 15:17, January 31, 2010 (UTC)
Yes, sorry, I did notice that and can definitely see the point in having such a tag. I wasn't sure about the exact text you suggested but didn't have strong feelings about it so was waiting to see if anyone else did. I think you're right we should think about that alongside the approach to projects more generally. Zoev talk 15:25, January 31, 2010 (UTC)
I saw User:Hollowness's suggestion about the under construction tag. Wikis are always under construction and those tags don't make very much sense in the context of a wiki. I know that Hollowness meant for it to be used as a temporary soft-lock of the page to inform others not to touch it. With that purpose in mind, it is just as easy to create the page offpage (via sandbox)/or in the talk page and soft-lock it that way.
Plus, there's a stigma attached with having an under construction tag. Its just one of the internet things you don't do. That, and animated gifs of men at work. -- tierrie talk contr 22:09, January 31, 2010 (UTC)
Earlier, I had considered creating an "under construction" tag myself, but I decided against it for a couple of reasons. First, I fear it could function as a "back off, I own this page" substitute, and secondly if someone uses that tag and then for whatever reason cannot edit the wiki for a while, the page will stagnate, with editors not wanting to interfere.
Dragon_Age_Wiki:Projects looks like a good outline on how to deal with large scale projects, so I think we can build off the framework given there. Thanks to Tennessee Ernie Ford for setting that up. Possibly it might be worth adding it to our helping out section to inform people about its existence. Friendship smallLoleil Talk 23:26, January 31, 2010 (UTC)
Okay, I think those are convincing arguments against having an under construction tag. Perhaps an alternative would be for an editor doing a major overhaul of an article to put a note about this on its talk page? That's what I did for the codex summary pages, which reminds me that I should really update my comments there. (In future, I'd just put in a link to the project page so I'd only have to update in one loaction!) I agree that it would be good to have a link to the new projects page from the helping out section. I'll also create project pages for the things I'm working on over the next couple of days as you like the approach (I definitely do). Zoev talk 01:32, February 1, 2010 (UTC)
The only problem I think will a raise with counting on Dragon_Age_Wiki:Projects, is most editors new especially don't look for such things, I personally have a no worries policy if my stuff gets replace with something better. The heads up line that admins and editors currently have, is more reliable cause it is easier for any user to get a message instead of going to a project page. And the creation of this page was because of the offence of someone is going to change my page, the initial negative reaction to project Bobahn. Next, it might be what needs admins approval before anymore change sign up bored, and it does take away from community socializing and user pages. And what if it is still in a concept stage not quite worth outlining, and its noticed an editor, who hasn't documented their project starts up and even if since notice the user mentions it on the project page advises the other user, it might as well be on their user page.
Also, the reason the construction tag was suggested was because of the negative reaction I got from the merchant incident, I noticed the live updated and formating of the info as it was being build from almost nothing and that started the whole mess, so I thought I'd find another thing as an opener (instead of a clean up tag) for communicating between editors who don't usually communicate with other editors, I am not having my heart set on this tag, I just was trying to figure out ways to fix and prevent problems.  Hollowness | Talk | Contr 03:03, February 1, 2010 (UTC)
I think you're right, Hollowness, that we can't rely on having a projects section of the wiki replacing communication between users, or more experienced editors keeping an eye on new things happening and informing newer editors of ongoing work they perhaps should be aware of. I see this as an addition rather than a substitute. It's also a central location that we can point new editors to rather than having to list a bunch of user pages where we think/know there is info. I can see how the format will work for the lore stuff I'm working on, and will try to work it up as an example tomorrow. (I'm afraid I don't follow when you say: "it might be what needs admins approval before anymore change sign up bored" - could you clarify for me please, then I could perhaps think about your concern that "it does take away from community socializing and user pages"?)

Sorry 'sign up board'**, User_talk:Tennessee_Ernie_Ford has a conversation on how the wiki should be run (at the same time as our dispute), I make reference to the next user to say there should be official projects okay-ed by the admins (this is mean to be an extreme circumstance, hypothetical over the top request.)  Hollowness | Talk | Contr 04:33, February 1, 2010 (UTC)

On a slightly different topic, I didn't read the comments on the Talk:Merchants page as implying offence had been taken at potential future changes to the page - I just took it that Tennessee Ernie Ford didn't see the fact that a project for merchant info has been planned as a reason not to put something together in the interim. A merchant summary table in the hand is worth comprehensive merchant data in the bush, perhaps! But hopefully he'll pop by this forum himself so I won't second-guess any further.

Because after it was on the user talk page User_talk:Tennessee_Ernie_Ford, I saw the user complain or concern to another user about how projects aren't clear on this site. I thought I mentioned it was between the user and I and the merchants page.  Hollowness | Talk | Contr 04:33, February 1, 2010 (UTC)

Finally - I do go on, don't I!? - perhaps we can think of an alternative to the "Under construction" tag that addresses Hollowness's concerns without having the problems Loleil & Tierrie highlighted. I've already suggested that people could put a note on the talk page of an article they're overhauling. Perhaps we also could have a hands-off policy on the part of other editors when it's clear that someone is in the process of creating a new page or overhauling an existing one. Unless a new article is clearly unnessary or inappropriate, I usually give it a few days for the creator to work on it and get it looking as they wish before I weigh in. If I had any concerns about the page, or thought that effort might be wasted or duplicated then I'd drop a message on the user's talk page rather than editing the article they're working on. Is that what other people do? Do you think it's the right thing to do? Zoev talk 04:08, February 1, 2010 (UTC)

Oh, there is nothing wrong with that :P. Ya maybe a editor note on the article yo check discussion page for plans on this page?  Hollowness | Talk | Contr 04:33, February 1, 2010 (UTC)

re-indent A couple of quick thoughts:

  • The Template:Stub is a wiki's version of under construction. The tag implies that (a) the article is meaningful to the wiki; (b) it's unfinished; (c) people are encouraged to contribute. In theory, a lot of current articles could be stubbed.
  • It might be useful to create a section-stub template when most of the article is in good shape.
  • It helps to put a list of public projects in a public place, otherwise there's no way for most contributors to learn about them or get with the program.
    • As Zoev suggests, adding a note to the talk page is very helpful.
    • I've created a template to make that easier for larger projects, e.g. for Project Genitivi.
    • If nothing else, the public project page is more likely to be discovered by accident than conversations taking place on user talk pages. (In my experience, most wiki communities hold conversations about/for the wiki in public areas; the user spaces are used more as Zoev suggests — for offline digressions, for notes about personal concerns, etc.)

I'm really impressed with the outline of the current projects; it will make it easy for peeps to help out in the manner in which the organizer intends. Nice work!   — Tennessee Ernie Ford (TEF) 22:08, February 3, 2010 (UTC)

I disagree, stub it when more information is needed, not that it is being filled in soon. Basically a stub is asking PLEASE add to this article. I have seen other wikis with both stub and under construction tags, I mean it exists I am not trying to make up tags. The current projects were already existing it was a matter of location. I believe the only new one is Zoev's. And notes on talks pages is what has been going on, on this wiki. It is nice having a centralized point of projects. Before, not that is was wrong, was just admins and very active user communicating, which worked for the most part.  Hollowness | Talk | Contr 22:56, February 3, 2010 (UTC)

An example

Okay, I've now created a draft project page for my lore work at Dragon Age Wiki:Project Genitivi (I was jealous of Tierrie and Pwr's projects with cool names so thought I'd try to come up with one myself - it somehow doesn't roll off the tongue as well as theirs, but hopefully is at least apposite.) I'm also planning to create pages for sub-projects, such as the codex work, if only because they'll be less daunting than the whole thing, which I'm scared of now I come to write it all up! However, before I plough into doing that, I thought I'd ask for comments on the project page:

  • Can people see the value in having pages like this for the wiki projects? In particular, as opposed to keeping info in individual user pages.
  • Are there any obvious gaps in the information on the project?
  • I suppose the flipside is whether there is there too much information - though I'm not sure I believe in such a thing! (It could be that some info is better put into separate pages)
  • Would it be helpful for me to create a generic project template based on this project page that people can use (or not) for their own projects?
  • Will somebody shoot me now? Or, better than that, is anyone else willing to be named as a participant in the project (Loleil, I nearly put your name down as you've done so much on lore in the past and are still dipping in, but I didn't want to just volunteer you!)
  • Any other comments/suggestions?

Thanks! Zoev talk 17:11, February 3, 2010 (UTC)

Nice observation on the nomenclature there Zoev. I thought I was being subtle. But there you go, reading my mind again. Get out of mah head! -- tierrie talk contr 19:28, February 3, 2010 (UTC)
Project Genitivi looks spectacular. Sign me up! I can definitely see the value of a page like this. I think if people want to contribute or start multiple projects, having a unique project page will really help. I like having thorough information all on one page too.
I think leaving a note on talk pages is a great idea. Perhaps we can look at creating a project template for use on talk pages, just saying "this page is part of project x and may be be subject to major changes"? Friendship smallLoleil Talk 23:43, February 3, 2010 (UTC)
@Loleil Brilliant - I'll try to flesh out some of the sub-project areas over the next couple of days or so so you can pick whatever you fancy doing (well, you probably know the lore articles and what we're aiming for well enough to plunge in without waiting for that if you have, say, a particular fondness for Dwarven Lore, or Thedan geography!) Regarding a project template for talk pages, User:Tennessee Ernie Ford has created an example of just such a thing - it's linked in amongst his comments a couple of paragraphs above this example section. It does get nigh on impossible to spot things on these forum pages, doesn't it!? Zoev talk 00:53, February 4, 2010 (UTC)
Sounds great, I look forward to divvying up the articles. That template looks like exactly what I had in mind so I'm happy to go with that as part of project pages. Yay for progress! Friendship smallLoleil Talk 01:27, February 4, 2010 (UTC)

Project Juggernaut

Project Juggernaut is a project whose original scope was to add every single armor into the game. The scope later expanded to include weapons, shields, runes, recipes. The project is currently active and needs to insert the consumable and other items into the game. Once this is done, this Project would be complete.-- tierrie talk contr 19:33, February 3, 2010 (UTC)


Project Bodahn

Project Bodahn is a project inspired by Project Juggernaut. It adds merchant inventory from the game into the wiki. This project is currently in its inception stages and needs an active person to work on it. -- tierrie talk contr 19:33, February 3, 2010 (UTC)


New project template

As response to the documentation of Project Genitivi has largely been positive, I've created a template for creating new projects at MediaWiki:Createplate-Project. People should definitely feel free to fiddle with/improve this. Zoev talk 11:23, February 4, 2010 (UTC)

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