UESPWiki:Community Portal/Archive 33

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Redirects for Alternative Names

This was a discussion originally from my talk page that I'm moving here. For context, this topic spawned from me removing the prod from several redirects that were recently proposed for deletion. All of the redirects in question were redirects from alternative names. The purpose of this discussion is to decide if we should actually allow these, and for whom. --AKB Talk Cont Mail 19:27, 14 August 2012 (UTC)


The only redirects that I have seen kept on site are those for misspellings found in-game. If we where to keep redirects for every type of misspelling then the servers would probably crash. There is no logical reason to keep these redirects. The Silencer speaksTalk 15:15, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

As for the 'Gelebor' one, a search for Gelebor without that redirect already leads to that page, so it's pointless. If you look at what the user who created it did just before that, you'll see why he did it in the first place, but it really isn't needed at all. ABCface 15:30, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
They're not misspelling, they're alternative names. If someone were named "John Smith", I wouldn't consider it to be incorrect to call them "John". They all already come up when you search for them, it's true. However, it really isn't necessary to require users to go through the search options if they know what they're looking for. If a user types in "Elisif" into the search box, they clearly want Elisif the Fair. There is no reason to subject them to the search entries if they clearly want a specific person. The only one for a genuine misspelling is "Adelasia Vendicci", which goes to Adelaisa Vendicci. I can understand deleting that one as it is a genuine spelling error, but the rest are in fact useful. Also, no the site wouldn't crash if we have redirects for the short versions of their name. Most NPCs have one genuine alternative name, maybe two. --AKB Talk Cont Mail 15:40, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
To play devils advocate, what happens if another Elisef is added in the next DLC? and that DLC is incorporated into the Skyrim Namespace. Redirects are only needed for misspellings as a correct, but not full name, will bring up the NPC's article. I can see no reason for this, and I propose we take it to the CP for more input. The Silencer speaksTalk 15:47, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
Since it would be "Elisef" and not "Elisif" there would be no issue. There also shouldn't be a redirect in place if it could mean more than one thing. We use disambiguations for those. Bethesda even went so far as to program short names as a field for the CK. As an example, they call Annekke Crag-Jumper "Annekke" in the short name field. And once again, these are not misspellings. They're alternative names. Many NPCs are frequently called by their first name or by their title instead of by their full name. If you want to start a CP discussion, go ahead. --AKB Talk Cont Mail 15:58, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
In all fairness, I was the one who was against all the redirects in the first place. I also sent a message to Nikofeelan and asked him to stop adding them. My reasons can be read on his talk page, but right now it seems like overkill to add the alternate names. On the other hand, I can see Daveh is working on a poll of sorts, asking if the site is easy to navigate – so maybe they will be added in the future. In any case, if we want redirects to the alternate names, my guess is that we’re looking at 2000 redirects in SR namespace – and if we start doing them for Ulfric and Elisif, we invite people to create redirects for other NPCs as well. That was the reason for the prod-tag – and attempt at “temporary control”, so it didn’t get out of hand. The “hard-to-spell”-names can’t be our problem. People will just have to check in-game one extra time and get the spelling right – we can’t predict how people will misspell an NPC name, nor should we try. --Krusty 17:38, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

() I agree that misspelled names shouldn't be added—unless they're a really common or in-game misspelling—but I am never going to search for "Elisif the Fair", I'll just look for "Elisif", as I suspect most people would. So in that case, it makes sense to create a redirect. Same thing goes for Ulfric, whom I think of as "Ulfric, who is a Stormcloak", rather than "Ulfric Stormcloak". I'd never think to actually do a search on "Ulfric Stormcloak", so for me, the Ulfric → Ulfric Stormcloak redirect saves time. Even if there are hundreds or thousands of redirects, that's peanuts to a database server. Also, if a DLC is later added that contains an ambiguous name, then we convert the redirect to a disambig at that time.

Looking through the NPCs category, I see just under 1200 entries, the majority of whom are either one-name NPCs or are so minor it wouldn't make sense to worry about redirects for them. What I would suggest is that we create redirects for any two-named or titled person who's a key player in any of the major quest lines (e.g., the main quest, the civil war, and the various guild quests), but not any of the minor or world event quests. That should keep the number of redirects small and manageable, and it'll give us a well-defined rule to point to if anyone starts to wonder why we have redirects for some but not others. Robin Hoodtalk 17:52, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

If you cut out generic NPCs, NPCs with one name, and NPCs that have names that this wouldn't be useful for (e.g. Argonian names), you don't get that many. I think it should also be possible to get a bot to do this since most of these are actually covered by a data field in the CK, actually. However, I don't think that it really is smart to just wait and see if we get complaints about navigation before anything is done. Wouldn't it be wiser to simply improve navigation instead of waiting to see that it is an issue? It's true that it's almost impossible to help cases where the name is just tricky to spell (like with Assurnabitashpi, a place that even the developers misspelled the name of in the game), no one is arguing that we can do anything about that. Regardless of this, we should do everything within our ability to assist navigation in ways we can logically improve it. This is one clear way. I'm not asking for an entire restructuring of our way of handling NPC names. I'm simply asking for redirects for names that they also frequently called by. --AKB Talk Cont Mail 19:27, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
I think RH's idea of only making redirects for those NPCs who are key players in major questlines is a good one. It would be beneficial in terms of easier navigation, as AKB pointed out, and it would also (more importantly) put a limit on how many unneeded redirects we could potentially end up with. Also, using a bot seems to be the best way to go. ABCface 23:04, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
There is no purpose for using a bot if we're going to individually compile exactly who gets a redirect. As the task will largely be done by hand already, it wouldn't simplify the task at all. We don't really need any complicated guidelines for who gets one or not. In fact, I would find that people are more likely to forget the full names of minor characters versus the main cast. This is simple, if they would benefit from having their primary name turned into a redirect to their page, they get a redirect. --AKB Talk Cont Mail 23:12, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
If the number of redirect pages is not an issue, as per AKB's comment, then I agree that we should create redirects for ANY NPC with multiple words in their name, not just major NPCs. I created one a while back for Aela because I got annoyed with typing in "Aela" and getting a search result page instead of her article, but I don't get annoyed if I misspell the name and end up with search results. I am going to assume that I am typical of site users, so if we are doing this for ease of navigation, then that's the criteria I would use. --XyzzyTalk 00:30, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
My small contribution to this is that the number of redirects doesn't really impact the site performance until you get into ridiculous numbers, at least that I'm aware of. The main concern is the amount of work/maintenance involved in dealing with potentially 1000s of redirects (some of which can be bypassed by bots). -- Daveh 01:18, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
I agree with AKB (and subsequently Xyzzy) that redirects should be created for every instance in which characters are not always referred to their proper name. It has very little impact on the servers (even with all DLC I can't see there being more than 400 redirects) and greatly improves our site's accessibility and usability. • JAT 01:32, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
Whatever the final decision, using a bot is pretty much out. There are too many short names that require a human decision. There are a couple of meaningless short names, like "0"; a great many generic names, like nearly a hundred different "Conjurer"s; a few cases where the short name is the same as the full name (though those, at least, a bot could readily filter out); and there's a lot of duplicates in there as well.
Just to add some context to the number of redirects we're talking about, if I didn't miscount, there are 349 NPCs in the base game that have short names defined, and Dawnguard adds 29 more. Of those, just glancing at the data quickly, I would estimate that somewhere in the neighbourhood of 150-200 would be inappropriate as redirects, so even if we decide to include every last "valid" short name, we're only looking at somewhere around 200 redirects to be created, less if we use a "major quests only" or similar restriction. Of course, that assumes that short names are actually defined for every redirect we'd want to create, which mostly seems to be the case, but there are at least a couple in the CK that don't have short names defined where a human probably would shorten it (e.g., Threki the Innocent). Robin Hoodtalk 02:34, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
The consensus is clearly leaning towards doing this. The real remaining question is who do we actually do this for? As I've pointed out, the benefit of this would be negligible if we only do this for major NPCs. It also wouldn't be that hard to manage. They're redirects, we don't really have to think about them ever after they're made. The only case where we might have to think about them is if something comes along that makes the redirect less useful, like an update that adds an NPC with a similar name. Thankfully, Bethesda isn't really prone to doing this. The only difference between these two strategies is that one will be a recognizable benefit to our user base at large, while the other will be likely be seen to be more as an oddity if it's even noticed. Regardless of how we do this, we're only really looking at a number in the thousands if we decide to expand the other games into this list (and if we're going to be sorting these by hand, we might as well). --AKB Talk Cont Mail 16:07, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
I've been thinking for a while on this, and I tend to have the thought that more redirects is better than fewer. If it's only 200 redirects, it doesn't sound that bad. It is a bit annoying to type in a unique name (Ulfric or Tullius, for example) and end up with "There's no page with this name, check the link right below this message". It's an extra click, an extra loaded page, that I need to go through, which could take up to a minute if using the Steam in-game browser (which I assume a number of people might use if they get stuck somewhere in Skyrim). It would improve navigation on the site, which is the main function of redirects, right? Vely►t►e 16:32, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

Redirects for Alternative Names - Edit Break 1

() I had the bot skim through the Skyrim-NPCs category and all of its subcategories (just to be sure we didn't miss anything) for anything with a space in the name. I then went through it and quickly removed any obvious non-redirectables. The resultant list is here. That should give us a starting point for the list of redirects to be created. It's only a starting point, and anybody should feel free to edit that page to remove any conflicts or non-redirectables that I may have missed. As it stands now, that comes out to 356 redirects, but I'm sure at least a few more can be deleted from that (Molag Bal, for instance)...I tried to err on the side of leaving entries in rather than removing them, just to make sure we're all agreed on what doesn't need a redirect. Robin Hoodtalk 17:14, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

356 redirects (which will probably shrink a little) really isn't too bad. Also, for those who are concerned about this creating too many redirects and possibly straining the servers, recognize that A) many such redirects are already in place, and B) we have multiple situations like Skyrim:Dungeon Delving (Caves) that have dozens of redirects, which are causing hardly any strain on the servers. • JAT 19:26, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
Speaking of which, once we agree on a list and provide short names for each of them, I can reconsider getting the bot involved. I was originally thinking it would be about as much work to create them by hand as it would by bot, but the bot does have the advantage of not making mistakes due to fatigue, which is offset by the fact that it can't handle unusual situations as well as a human could. I'm open to either bot or human creation. Robin Hoodtalk 19:34, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
My concern on the number of redirects is not just about Skyrim. Even if it is not backdated to Oblivion and further, each new game will very likely have the same thing done, taking up more and more server space, that, imo, could be better left to keeping the site running smoothly. I still consider this to be giving in to laziness, that could well be overcome with the implementation of the drop-down list that wikipedia now uses, giving likely results of what you are searching for, as you type it. Another idea is to add the suggestions option "were you searching for:...", that appears on search sites such as google, when you search for something unusual. You can count me firmly in the against column for any sort of redirections.
PS: Can we have some discussion on the misspelt redirects as this was were the original discussion was focused on (again, I am against these, except where they occur in-game). The Silencer speaksTalk 19:49, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
I think we only have one misspelled redirect (Adelaisa/Adelasia). We can't correctly guess human error.
With each game, there's a ton of enchanted items that get put on a single list. The amount of NPCs with single names is probably nothing compared to that amount. If we could get a dropdown, that would be awesome, but redirects seem easier than "were you looking for...?" I would expect the "were you looking for...?" to appear for misspellings rather than actual pages, as we've got the actual pages showing up at the current time already. Vely►t►e 19:55, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I'm sure the server space that would be used by redirects is inconsequential. I'm of the opinion that the alternate short names should have redirects, but we should follow our previous policy of disallowing random misspellings. —Legoless 19:55, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
I think we're all in agreement that there's no reason to include misspellings unless they're in-game misspellings. I like Silencer's idea of a search box with more functionality, that would indeed eliminate the need for a lot of these, but I have no idea what's involved in installing that. It might well require a MediaWiki upgrade, and we all know where that stands at the moment. ;) Robin Hoodtalk 19:59, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
I would be support this notion of Alternate Name redirects, I would volunteer (just spoke to RH about this a bit) to create the redirects which may well be easier than coding the bot. Using redirects for Alternate (or Shortened) names seems to me like a good idea, and will help people browse the site easier. The only problem with modifying the Search Function too much, might have to wait till a MediaWiki upgrade or a *lot* of custom coding.--kiz talkemail 20:03, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

() (edit conflict) Daveh just said that we could handle several thousand more redirects. As we're only looking at a number in the low thousands if we do Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim, this isn't an issue. As for the discussion on implementing new search features, that is an entirely different discussion from this one. If such a topic wants to be discussed, start a different topic from this one to avoid cluttering it up with several different subjects.

Also, this was never about misspelled redirects. Not even when it was originally posted on my talk page. Everyone agrees that they are a bad idea. This was actually discussed during an examination of some of our most common search results as a lot of things searched for were misspellings, and the idea was decided to be a bad idea as it would be virtually impossible to implement. As the only purpose of such a discussion would be to have a bunch of people agreeing that the current consensus on the issue should stand, there is no reason to discuss it. --AKB Talk Cont Mail 20:04, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

It seems you didn't read my original message, it's still up there and only talks about misspellings. Also an upgraded search box would eliminate the need for the redirects, as a possible solution I find it to be entirely within the realms of this discussion. The Silencer speaksTalk 20:08, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict × 3) On the Silencer's suggestion: read here and here for what I believe to be info on enabling this. • JAT 20:09, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
No, redirects from misspellings were truly never the topic of this discussion. Your original comment, "The only redirects that I have seen kept on site are those for misspellings found in-game. If we where to keep redirects for every type of misspelling then the servers would probably crash. There is no logical reason to keep these redirects." This doesn't have anything to do with the topic at hand as it was never about misspellings. A misspelling is "Elisef", not "Elisif" when you're referring to "Elisif the Fair". As my removal of prod tags from redirects from alternative names was what inspired your original comment, and since the only logical way your comment makes sense is that you accidentally called alternative names misspellings instead of what they are, this is the topic of discussion.
Likewise, alterations to our search engine is something else entirely separate to this discussion. Also, there is no reason both things can't be done. In fact, searches would benefit doubly from implementing both redirects and improving the search engine in general. --AKB Talk Cont Mail 20:17, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
Okay, so let's just all agree that misspellings aren't an issue one way or the other and move on. What about the suggestion of a search helper. Jak has done the homework and it appears that we have that functionality available now. I suspect that would eliminate a lot of the question of search functionality...the only remaining benefit to creating the redirects would then be so we could have more convenient redirects in our editing (e.g., Skyrim:Ulfric). Robin Hoodtalk 20:21, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
The only possible concern I can think about is that the drop-down menu offering search suggestions may clash with our site's current layout. It's still worth a try, though. • JAT 20:28, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

Redirects for Alternative Names - Edit Break 2

() If we're going to hijack this topic and turn it into a more general topic on improving search... Yeah, I think it would be great to have a drop-down search suggestions menu. However, that's still not a reason as to why we shouldn't have redirects from alternative names. There are still benefits for having both, though the benefits are somewhat redundant should we pursue both options, as we should. However, there are still several unique benefits, such as shorter links for things like edit summaries as well as providing an alternative for users who happen to have terribly buggy browser add-ons that tend to break the scripts that provide these services (cough*me*cough). --AKB Talk Cont Mail 20:39, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

Another consideration with search suggestions is how well searches will work in a multi-namespace environment. Take Skyrim:Ulfric, for example. If I just type in "Ulfric" and that redirect is in place, I get to the right location. But if I type in "Ulfric" and that redirect isn't there, it might well not find Skyrim:Ulfric Stormcloak, since it's not in the Main space. For a Wikipedia equivalent, try typing "No legal threats" instead of "WP:No legal threats"...you'll see that nothing comes up in the search. There may be a workaround for that, I have no idea. Jak? :Þ Robin Hoodtalk 20:51, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
The Wikipedia one isn't a great example, because by default the search function only looks in the Main namespace, not the Wikipedia (or WP) namespace. The $wgMWSuggestTemplate setting has an {namespaces} variable, which may be what we're looking for. I have no idea what it means, but I'm sure Daveh does. • JAT 21:30, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
I just skimmed through what I missed in this discussion in the last day, and I've got to admit, I'm really surprised by how few redirects would need to created in the Skyrim namespace for NPCs with more than just a first name-- I was thinking it would be about double what it is. Since it's that much less than I thought it was, and could be done by a bot, I've changed my opinion on this, and no longer think it's completely pointless. I do believe it "gives in to laziness", as The Silencer said (and actually said so myself before this discussion came to the CP), but I've been thinking on this more throughout the last day, and instead of seeing this as a bad thing, I see it as a good thing-- after all, if we are striving to be a user-friendly wiki and be more accessible and inviting to new/more users, why would we want them to have to do more work to find what they're looking for? I guess I had the thought in my head before that the redirects would cause strain on the servers, but now that I've been made aware that this isn't the case, I really don't have anything against this anymore. In fact, I think we should try to do the same for some other game namespaces as well (though possibly with slightly different guidelines on certain games, if we decide to do so).
As for the Wikipedia search box function The Silencer suggested, I'm all for it as well. I don't think we have to choose between one or the other; while they would clearly share certain uses or reasons for implementation, the search function would have a number of other uses and benefits as well. I would support both of these ideas, and even taking the alternate name redirects plan to other game namespaces as well. ABCface 03:31, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
I'm a little unsure of where we're at with this now. Am I okay to go ahead and create the redirects listed in the bot's Results page? Robin Hoodtalk 19:36, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
I think what we're waiting on is for someone to implement the change to the search function, just to see how well that works. • JAT 20:20, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

Dawnguard subsection on the left sidebar

A number of discussions have been started asking to see Dawnguard listed as an expansion on the left sidebar, as Shivering Isles, Tribunal, and Bloodmoon already are. These discussions tend to have been grouped by wiki editors to also mean "put it in a new namespace", but we've of course already decided on that--no new namespace. However, wiki users seem to want Dawnguard, being as large as it is, to still be accessible quickly on the side there rather than trying to find it via the search bar (which leads to a search page, which means extra clicks) or the Skyrim main page (on which they might miss it if they look for a bolded word Dawnguard on the page instead of Official plug-ins). If we make it that visible, it's probably going to get more hits. Personally, I would find it rather convenient.

Currently there are two large plug-ins that aren't expansion-size: Knights of the Nine and Dawnguard. While they're large, we've merged some of the content into existing pages because no significant landmasses were added and that was more convenient from a namespace standpoint. But when it comes to user interaction with these plug-ins, it seems to be just as significant as interaction with the expansions; lots of people are interested in these, so seeing the lack of link to something so major isn't really helping out with site navigation. We're appealing to the users, aren't we? We want navigation to be easy and convenient, and to have to figure out where to look (The Skyrim page on the left? Which of these search links do I want, Skyrim:Dawnguard or Lore:Dawnguard or Skyrim:Dawnguard (faction)...? Is this site not yet updated, or do I need to check their news stories for a link?) could be a hassle, especially for users new to this site.

If the issue of DLC size pops up, then I think right now it's rather obvious what's large and what's not. Additionally, Todd Howard described Dawnguard as one of their larger/major DLCs, with a lot smaller ones on the way, at E3, if I recall correctly. Future DLC may run into this problem, but as KotN and DG seem to contain a similar amount of content (large questlines, artifacts, significant amounts of lore), they can set the standard here. Anything that walks the line can, as always, be brought up with the community, as happened when determining whether or not DG should receive its own namespace. If everything with Skyrim follows the "Hearthfire or Dawnguard" size comparison, we'll have it easy.

The "sections" list does seem to be getting large, though. Is this going to be a problem? Would it be convenient to collapse that section, or to collapse the expansions lists, small as they are? Or it is a comfortable size as it is, considering that the length of most pages is much greater than that of the full list of links on the left?

Alternatively, we could add a "Plug-ins" or "Official plug-ins" link under the namespaces on the left (in addition to the expansions), which would avoid the issue of picking which ones to add in the case that there is some question over DLC size being significant enough or if people would prefer that instead of adding KotN and DG to the list. Considering that Todd Howard, in the same interview quoted earlier (I can dig it up if necessary), said that there would be many DLCs for Skyrim, that might be a good way to go. Personally, I would prefer to add KotN and DG to the lists, but this would also make navigation easier. Vely►t►e 03:03, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

I don't see the point. I gave my arguments in IRC to you, and I don't feel like copying it, rewriting it to not sound out of context, blah, blah, blah. I am opposed to listing smaller expansions like Knights or Dawnguard. While they are popular, they weren't so significant to warrant a namespace, which is what the sidebar is for. It's not that much of an inconvenience to click "Skyrim" then "Dawnguard" or Oblivion them "Knights of the Nine". If we started picking and choosing regular DLC, where would the line be drawn on what counts? I would prefer only doing gamespaces on the side with the proposed link to each game's official plugins page, if anything needs to be done at all. ES(talkemail) 03:21, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
I agree with Velyanthe. The whole point of the sidebar is to improve our website's accessibility. We aren't trying to make our website as cryptic and concealed as a CIA database, we're trying to make it user-friendly, and if the users say that having a Dawnguard (and KotN) bullet on the side bar is what they want, then we should add them. Besides, Vely's already stated that there's a pretty obvious difference between what DLC is big and what isn't. Horse Armor isn't exactly in the same league as Dawnguard. Should any questions arise, we'll discuss it publicly, as we do every other issue. • JAT 06:48, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
I also agree alongside Velyanthe and Jak Atackka here. If we added the Dawnguard and KotN content to the side-bar, ti would allow for easier access and more user-friendly for someone who hasn't been to the wiki before. Although Dawnguard and KotN aren't as big as the Shivering Isles expansions, they add a significant amount to the game in comparison to other plug-ins such as Thieves Den and Vile Lair, etc on Oblivion. Helenaannevalentine 06:55, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
I for one am somewhat concerned about the growing length of that section, but that may be just my personal use. The section I end up using the most is the Toolbox, which is at the very bottom. It's got "What Links Here", "Upload File", "User Contributions" and "Block User" (constantly using those with all the spam we've been getting), and a bunch of others I use quite regularly. If it were somehow possible to make that sidebar customizable so you could tailor it to your purposes - a frequent editor for example uses the site much differently than someone who just uses it as a reference while playing the games. Collapsible sections would help a lot if that's possible. We might also consider moving some things out into sub-sections. Battlespire and Redguard, for example, were not major releases, and I'd wager almost nobody clicks those links. We could have an "Other Games" section, which would include those along with "TES Travels", and keep only the major games (and possibly expansions) on the sidebar. --TheRealLurlock Talk 11:40, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
Instead of linking to individual DLC pages, could we not add links to the "Official Plug-ins" pages instead? This would keep the sidebar's size down, if Skyrim continues to receive such large plug-ins. I think TRL's "Other Games" suggestion is also a good idea. —Legoless 12:47, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
How about this. You know how in the Oblvion quest section we have quests, official plug-ins, and Shivering Isles. How about we make the Skyrim quest section like that. With quests on top, official plug-ins in the middle, and Dawnguard on the bottom.--Skyrimplayer 12:57, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
If not. Then I would have to agree with Vely, Jak, and Helena.--Skyrimplayer 13:57, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

() I think being able to tailor the links would be a great idea--the current layout works for me and probably works for those who read but don't edit the wiki, but not for everyone, apparently. An "Other Games" section sounds pretty useful, since those three games seem smaller and less played than any of the others. Vely►t►e 14:07, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

In the interest of user-friendliness, I agree whole-heartedly with those that support adding DG & KotN to the sidebar. I believe that making navigation of the site easy should always be a top consideration when questions like this come up. If we're concerned about the size of the sidebar, we could always lobby to remove the Google+ button ;) Xyzzy 17:19, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
I think Legoless is on to something here, having the plug-ins as part of the sidebar would both make non-expansion DLC more accessible and minimize the additions. While I don't find it excruciatingly necessary at this point, since Dawnguard is linked to from the Skyrim home page already, if it helps to resolve a dispute, this would definitely be a good compromise. And the "Other Games" bit is a good idea too. ThuumofReason 17:57, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
re: Vely - actually 7 games. TES Travels by itself is already 4 (and a half) games. Adding Redguard and Battlespire to that page somehow might not be a bad plan. We'd have to split the page into mobile (the TES Travels games) vs. not mobile (RG+BS), and rename the page to something else - "Other Games" maybe. All of the mobile games already have their own namespaces, so that page is really just a navigational aid anyhow. (It's one of the few pages in the main space of this site.) Speaking from the terms of usage, there's even an argument to move Arena and Daggerfall off the list, as those pages get almost no visitors these days. However, for historical reasons, I think they're better left alone. One could also argue that ESOnline doesn't need to be there until it's actually released, although there's not much point in changing that since it'll just have to be added back in in several months anyhow. TheRealLurlock 18:08, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
I am chirping in again. I am liking the other games idea. Here is how I personally, would like the sidebar. The Main games of the series, ESO, and Other for the Travels and spinoff games. The Sidebar would look like this:
  • Lore
  • Books
  • Elder Scrolls Online
  • Skyrim
  • Official Plugins
  • Future Expansions
  • Oblivion
  • Official Plugins
  • Shivering Isles
  • Morrowind
  • Official Plugins
  • Tribunal
  • Bloodmoon
  • Daggerfall
  • Arena
  • Other Games
Expansions don't necessarily have to be set in from Plugins, but that's just how I'd organize it, as technically you could say they're plugins. ESo, if it ever gets expansions like WoW, would of course receive the "Expansion" section as well. That system keeps the main games and all extras organized and easy to access while compiling the spinoffs that nobody's ever heard of in one convenient section where someone could find it all if they wanted to. Snowmane(talkemail) 18:49, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
Personally, I don't see any reason to condense the "Sections" part of the sidebar, as 99% of our casual users will only use that section (if at all), and if you want to change the sidebar, you can customize it on your Javascript page. Here is an example setup that I'm using:
importScript('UESPWiki:Javascript/modifysidebar.js');

function CustomizeModificationsOfSidebar() {
//general
    ModifySidebar("remove", "general", "How to Contribute");

//sections
    ModifySidebar("remove", "sections", "All Content");

//community
    ModifySidebar("clear", "community");
    ModifySidebar("add", "community", "Admin Noticeboard", "http://www.uesp.net/wiki/UESPWiki:Administrator_Noticeboard");
    ModifySidebar("add", "community", "Community Portal", "http://www.uesp.net/wiki/UESPWiki:Community_Portal");

//toolbox
    ModifySidebar("remove", "toolbox", "Related Changes");
    ModifySidebar("add", "toolbox", "Unpatrolled Edits", "http://www.uesp.net/w/index.php?title=Special:RecentChanges&days=30&limit=5000&hidepatrolled=1");
    ModifySidebar("add", "toolbox", "Skyrim CSList", "http://content3.uesp.net/oblivion/cs/cslist.php?game=sr");
}
addOnloadHook(CustomizeModificationsOfSidebar);
I mention this because this discussion is about what the average user will want to see, not what us power users want. I still stand by my original position.
Also, we may wish to add "Hearthfire" to the side bar, not as a matter of policy, but as a matter of popularity, because in about three days, we're going to see a spike in traffic, all from users trying to find out more info about Hearthfire. The entire purpose of the side bar is to improve site accessibility, so it may make sense to do this in the short run, and then remove it from the side bar in about six months. I'm not opposed to adding an "Official Plugins" link to the side bar, but I think that Hearthfire should be explicitly listed, at least for the next six months. • JAT 19:38, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
Jak, Condensing the sidebar and cutting out what nobody looks at while adding a plugins section will improve accessibility. You can improve accessibility without explicitly adding each individual DLC. My proposal has the average user in mind (Just for the record, since we are listing our sidebars now, I have Lore, ESO, and the 5 main games/expansions on it). The sidebar is long enough already, so (IMO) adding DLC (even for the short term) will only messy it up even more for Joe Blow who doesn't care to log into the site. (yeah, I said "messy it up :p ) Admittedly, while I don't have faith in the internet's ability to actually search rather than asking for spoonfeeding direct links, I trust the average user realizes to click "Official Plugins" under Skyrim to find Hearthfire's home link. Snowmane(talkemail) 19:47, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
I also agree again with Jak Atackka's point before - how it should be about "what the average user will want to see" - and this is entirely true, For us editors, we are completely familiar with the layout of the site, and the change should make it more accessible for those users who aren't as familiar, to make this wiki more user-friendly and helpful towards that group of people. -- Helenaannevalentine 19:48, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

Dawnguard subsection on the left sidebar - Edit Break 1

One idea that I had when creating this conversation was to add the most recent DLC to the sidebar as well for a certain period of time, like Jak said, so that it's very easy to access during the time when it's popular. I think six months is pushing it--two months would be better. I would say just one month, but the exclusivity makes it work awkwardly. I do think it's a good idea. Vely►t►e 20:00, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

I am probably going to stop campaigning for my opinion soon, since I am losing, but one of the bigger reasons that I want "Official Plugins" rather than "Dawnguard", Knights" and Hearthfire is that if we post them, even for just a little bit, when they are removed we will have users demanding that those links and then others be added because we bent for them that one time. The average user isn't going to dig through the politics of the wiki to determine why a link is there and then not there. They will just say "Y my link gone? I want dawnguard back on the side". In addition to better organization and not having to add and remove frequently, we won't upset users by removing popular links after X amount of time. Said link (under my proposal), would be constant and they will know where to look for all things DLC. Snowmane(talkemail) 20:06, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
Snowmane, you do happen to have a valid point right there. Most users would soon after get used to the idea of having the links on the side, and then if we removed them after an extended period of time, they would begin to wonder why. This actually makes your previous suggestion actually more suitable towards this situation at hand. -- Helenaannevalentine 20:10, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
Listing "Official Plug-ins" on the sidebar sounds like the best option to me. It combines accessibility with compactness, and there won't be any need to make changes to the layout down the road as more DLC comes out. Listing only the most recent of small DLC packs seems like it will just create a bunch of problems down the road with only a minimal payoff. ThuumofReason 23:40, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
I disagree, ThuumofReason. The majority of the users who come here are looking for the most recent content, so having a little link that goes to Hearthfire would improve our site's accessibility immensely. Six months from now, however, most people won't be coming to the site for Hearthfire info, plus at that point we'll most likely have more Hearthfire-sized DLC that can be grouped into Official Plugins. It's a simple action that will help immensely, and six months from now will cause no problems upon removal.
Also, it appears that we unanimously agree that Dawnguard should be added to the sidebar. For now, we can title the link "Official Plugins", until we decide whether or not Dawnguard gets its own link. So, whatever admin reads this, please change the sidebar accordingly. • JAT 23:53, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
As for linking to the most recent content - that's what the Main Page is for, which is what 99% of users will probably see first. That or the Skyrim main page, which would also have it, in both cases prominently displayed on top somewhere. Anyhow, I can change the sidebar, but to be clear - should I also replace the Shivering Isles, Tribunal, and Bloodmoon links to just be "Official Plugins"? And are we in agreement about moving Redguard and Battlespire into an "Other Games" section along with the TES Travels games? I'd like to do this all in one go to minimize confusion and possible caching issues, etc. TheRealLurlock 11:21, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

() The expansions aren't plug-ins, and I think we're decided on keeping the expansions on the side there. Velyanthe (talk) 11:38, 3 September 2012 (EDT)

Okay, I made the changes, what do people think? TheRealLurlock (talk) 16:07, 3 September 2012 (EDT)
I had in mind listing Official Plugins for MW and OB as well, when I thought of it, but yeah, that looks good :) Snowmane(talkemail) 23:35, 3 September 2012 (EDT)
Yeah, I would agree with ES that listing the Official Plug-ins pages for OB and MW would be ideal. — ABCface 23:52, 3 September 2012 (EDT)
Well, that's why I was thinking of moving Tribunal, Bloodmoon, and Shivering Isles into their respective games' plug-ins pages, so there'd just be 2 links tops for every game, regardless of some arbitrary distinction for what constitutes an expansion vs. just a plug-in. As it is, we've already got a lot of grey-area distinctions, with KotN and Dawnguard being almost but not quite expansions, and nothing larger than those expected to be released for Skyrim, so it'll never get its own expansion link as far as we know. Seems weird that by those distinctions, Oblivion will always take up more space on the sidebar than Skyrim, and Morrowind even more than either of them... TheRealLurlock (talk) 00:36, 4 September 2012 (EDT)

() Well, I think that expansions (since they have a namespace) should be left on the side, but that's just my opinion. Snowmane(talkemail) 01:14, 4 September 2012 (EDT)

(edit conflict) I hadn't thought about MW and OB taking up more space, I guess. For aesthetics, it may not be balanced, but I don't think this is that much of an issue.
As for the "expansion" distinction, it has actually been made by Bethesda; it's not an arbitrary distinction made on the wiki. For Morrowind, only Tribunal and Bloodmoon are called "expansion packs" (see the covers for each individual expansion). For Oblivion, Bethesda marked Shivering Isles as an "expansion" and the other Oblivion add-ons as "downloadable content". For Skyrim, they've labeled both Dawnguard and Hearthfire as "add-ons", not expansions. As it's from Bethesda, it's official and seems clear enough to me. — ABCface 01:25, 4 September 2012 (EDT)
For this discussion, you have to ignore what you expect of the sidebar. Power users, such as ourselves, have very different needs, as we spend most of our time maintaining the wiki, rather than reading quest walkthroughs. We find links to the Recent Changes and Community Portal useful, and links to Redguard less useful. However, the anonymous user is here for the games.
As I've stated before, I believe that Dawnguard should be added to the sidebar, as well as Hearthfire, for the next six months. I want to stress that listing Hearthfire is temporary. This is only because it has been (will be at this posting) very recently released, and we will be getting a spike in traffic, as Xbox, PC, and PS3 users alike flock here for Hearthfire info - Xbox users for guides, and the others for finding out what's in store for them in the near future. You might be asking yourself, "But wait, Dawnguard and Hearthfire are both plugins. Why should we list them on the sidebar as if they were expansions?" The entire point of the sidebar is to improve accessibility, and to make the website easy to browse. Most people coming here are looking for Skyrim information, and many of them Dawnguard and Hearthfire. Having those links right there on the page, obvious enough for everyone to click, improves our websites accessibility (and thus popularity) immensely. For now, we should treat Dawnguard as if it was an expansion, because:
  1. We don't know how big the other DLC will be in comparison,
  2. We don't have any actual Skyrim expansions to list,
  3. We're still getting a steady stream of traffic of people looking for Dawnguard information. My best friend, for one, only just got Dawnguard, and (thanks to my prodding) has been using this wiki for getting information.
You have to remember that not many people know how to use the site. They come here for Dawnguard and Hearthfire information, and if they see Dawnguard and Hearthfire right on the side bar, then they'll know "Okay, I should click there," whereas if they see Official Plug-ins, they may think "What's that supposed to mean? Dawnguard and Hearthfire are addons, not plugins! Screw this, I'll look somewhere else." And no, this isn't an over-exaggeration. I've talked to some of my friends, and they feel this way. Heck, I remember when I was looking for info years ago when I was playing Oblivion, that I ditched the other Elder Scrolls Wiki because it didn't have it's information in an easily accessible way. If they can't find what they want in five seconds, then they'll high-tail it out of there - I know this, because I do it myself all the time on other websites. The whole point of the sidebar is for the convenience of the users, and if 90% of them are going to look for Dawnguard or Hearthfire information at some point, wouldn't it help if there was an easy link on the sidebar that took them directly where they needed to go?
Anonymous users have completely different needs than we do, and as the caretakers of this site, we should cater to them, not to ourselves. • JAT 03:06, 4 September 2012 (EDT)
I'm with Jak here. On our very own Helping Out page, there's a line which reads "the more experienced editors who add a lot of the wiki's content have a hard time remembering what it was like as a new editor" and I find this to be pretty relevant here. At the moment, Dawnguard and Hearthfire are bringing users to the site. We want to keep those users and grow as a community. This entire wiki is meant to be a guide to help TES players, and making it easy to find what they want helps them. This isn't about those of us who know how to navigate the site already, it's about the convenience of new users who are still learning, and want to be able to find information quickly. — ABCface 07:56, 4 September 2012 (EDT)
I agree with Jak's points. And, after some thought, I think keeping Hearthfire there for six months or until the next DLC comes out is a good idea. If we have the most recent one on the side (like Hearthfire for now), then we can keep rotating them out and, once Skyrim's done with, rotate the last one out for "Official plug-ins". By DLC, I mean any DLC--whenever we add a new one, whether large or small, the last small one is removed. If it gets to the point where there's, say, six different add-ons under the Skyrim link (two expansions, three large DLC, and a small one?), we could revise it then (have Expansion 1, Expansion 2, Official plug-ins, and most recent large DLC, for example). At that point I think a showhide list might work better, but for now? Two links under Skyrim doesn't seem like a bad idea at all.
What if we moved "Lore" and "Books" to the bottom of the list? I can't imagine many people look at the book info, and lore space seems to be something they'd find through a search more than the sidebar. Vely►t►e 11:36, 4 September 2012 (EDT)
I think both these ideas are good. Rotating the newest DLC out would be a good way to keep the list smaller. And moving Lore and Books down is probably better as well, since they're less likely to be searched by more casual users. — ABCface 12:34, 4 September 2012 (EDT)

() What if we met somewhere between the two ideas? Create the sorting that I cam up with, since it makes plugins in general more accessible and improves the organization by reclassifying the minor games, and above Sections, we put "Popular Searches" With the three most popular game/plugin searches as decided upon on the CP every 3 months or so? Then, It wouldn't necessarily be just Skyrim plugins of course. If there was a spike in Siege at Firemoth or Vile Lair or some other plugin, that would get its shot as well in the vote as well. Is this a good compromise between the two, since both have their pros and cons? If we clearly defined that the minor plugins are only on the side for being popular at the time, then unless they feel like trolling, the anons really shouldn't be complaining about it suddenly vanishing, and when it is removed, they can click "Official Plugins" to find it again. And, of course, my new idea keeps plugins in general accessible, which I still feel is more important. But, what I feel is important is irrelevant. I can't find solid consensus either way, so let's try putting the two ideas together to please both sides. Snowmane(talkemail) 13:12, 4 September 2012 (EDT)

That seems like a ton of unnecessary discussion. I don't like seeing the sidebar changed more than necessary as it can confuse regular users, but changing it every three months is just impractical. That would be about an entire month out of the year in which the wiki would be dedicated to discussing an aspect of the site that has previously only received attentions when we needed to add a new link to it. Shuffling it up to add "popular searches" (which we have no way of actually knowing what they were when a recent game or add-on hasn't come out as only Dave has access to search data from what I know). Adding a section for recent releases isn't a terrible idea, but just adding things we think are popular when we have no way of knowing if they are actually popular is just pointless.
I've been doubting how efficient the site is to navigate recently myself, so I see your point for suggesting is. It would probably be smart to create a "Recent Releases" section, which would include three or four links on the sidebar of the most recent additions to the franchise. Drastically reorganizing everything else will likely only see negligible benefits, however. --AKB Talk Cont Mail 15:10, 4 September 2012 (EDT)
I’m a bit late to the discussion, but I’ll have to say that I disagree with almost everything above. First of all, it doesn’t really matter how long the sidebar gets – the UESP is about covering the Elder Scrolls, not to judge whether or not a namespace (or game for that matter) is popular. The UESP is a high-ranked page because of our attention to detail and extensive coverage of even the oldest and smallest games in the franchise, not because we are particularly up-to-date or anything – there’s no need to compete with the gaming sites in that department, because we will lose. Second, I find it comical that we’re worried about a huge sidebar, yet we have an entry for ESO, an unreleased game – that’s something to discuss before merging Battlespire and Redguard with the mobile games. Third, I find the ‘Other Games’ entry questionable. What will be next? An ‘Old Games’ entry? Please remember that we attempt to cover these games in an encyclopedic way, and that includes ALL games, regardless of popularity. I remember my first visit, and how I was fascinated by the coverage of games I never even heard of. That’s part of the reason why I stayed – and I believe that’s why we get the high rankings. Fourth, I see absolutely no problem with temporary sidebar links and it’s just too bad if some users ‘gets used to them’. They will survive, I’m sure. Fifth, whatever happened to Sandbox examples? This discussion is a bit over two days old, yet the Travels Page has been moved, links has been made and so on. I can see a total of two administrators participating here, and that is not nearly enough to make such a drastic change, especially since everybody seems to have differing opinions on what actually needs to be done. If an admin doesn’t respond when an important issue like this is brought up, real life is most likely to blame - then it is useful with e-mails or just a talk page reminder. All in all, I find this decision to be rushed – and wrong. Make a temporary link and let other sites worry about popularity. --Krusty (talk) 16:53, 4 September 2012 (EDT)
I entirely agree with Krusty, particularly on the point of merging the "lesser" games into "Other Games". I feel that this action was rushed, because it was barely discussed. I felt that the focus of the discussion at that point was just on whether or not we'd list Dawnguard on the sidebar. The combining of the "lesser" games wasn't discussed at all, and it was in poor form for TRL to not even post a Sandbox, or wait for at least one person to say "yes". I don't entirely blame him, though. Too many times has a discussion simply died off because an agreement was reached, but nothing was done about it (I'm looking at you, Redirects for Alternative Names and Blocking based on user-name). I think that TRL was just sick of this trend, and decided to be proactive and at least do something. This doesn't mean I agree with the change — I vociferously disagree with it — I just understand why he made it.
I believe that adding "Official Plug-ins" was justified, in that we needed to get at least something up on the sidebar before Hearthfire was released. We were all in agreement that at least something needed to be added, and I was the one that suggested that we at least put up "Official Plug-ins" so we at least have something up there. I wonder how many times I can use the word "something"? But seriously, we were running out of time on that one, and we'd already reached a consensus that at the very least "Official Plug-ins" could be added, so again, TRL was being proactive.
That said, I think we need to reach consensus now. I still firmly believe that we should list Dawnguard and Hearthfire, because it would be very convenient for 90% of the people who come to this site. • JAT 17:29, 4 September 2012 (EDT)
I think linking to Skyrim:Official Plug-ins is enough, without listing the newest DLC individually. I also think we should link to Oblivion:Official Plug-ins. Linkg to Morrowind's page isn't as important, as the free plug-ins were PC only and not very substantial. Legoless (talk) 18:13, 4 September 2012 (EDT)

Dawnguard Sidebar: Edit Break Two

Krusty: Maybe "Other Games" isn't the greatest of titles, but in fairness, most of these games were disappointments, I assume, because nobody has heard of them, so their information isn't quite so desirable to searchers. I see no problem with grouping them, although there are some good points. Perhaps the core 5 of the franchise could stay separated, and we just name other games to Spinoffs? They all technically are spinoffs, so the classification would not be some inappropriate name. Just a thought.

The whole "power users have different needs things is true, but be absolutely honest (with no addon or plugin naming exaggerations like before), is the average reader really going to be so annoyed at clicking ONE extra link to pull up Hearthfire from a plugins list? Honestly, I feel like this is being blown out of proportion. I assume that 99% of the readers who join the wiki to look up the games have a basic knowledge of English and can realize "add-on", "plugin", or whatever it's called is the same thing.

Jak: For my actual question, as opposed to the above ranting: What difference does it makes in directly listing the games, even for a short time? If we set that up as precedent, every subsequent plugin for Skyrim and every game afterwards would be undoubtedly following the precedent. A precedent of constantly adding and removing links to the sidebar. Something that will become confusing for active editors and anons alike, because one day, you would get up to cheat and figure out how to pass a quest, and find your information gone. You were saying how other wikis are organized badly? Well, I would give TESWiki credit for consistency anyways. They may not have our detailed organization, but at least you know nothing will move.

Admittedly, I haven't got the faintest idea how easy it is for whoever is authorized to change the side bar, but still, that's a lot of time changing it often that could be directed to something productive. To quote AKB's first paragraph: I don't like seeing the sidebar changed more than necessary as it can confuse regular users, but changing it every three months is just impractical. Ok, we are talking longer than three months right now, but still... It holds true even for six months. Honestly, I see unnecessary short-term gain when we could easily fix this right away with the proposed "Plugins" fix, which would remain a constant, long-term gain in ability to access information, even if compared to the alternative, it is slightly lesser in accessibility (By lesser, I mean all of one extra click would have to be made, and a skim of a small table that when all is said and done will have less than 10 links on it).

Finally, one last thought. We are not like the other wikis/wikias. We don't have to conform with examples of accessibility. Maybe I am just not a fan of change (and everything is changing around here), but I find the site entirely accessible (YES Jak, even thinking as an anon, which contrary to popular belief, I have done with every post I've said on the subject). We have given anons links to namespaces, links to more means of contacting editors than I can keep up with, we gave them a fancy search bar, meticulous organization of games, lore and books, etc.

Oh, and as an afterthought, since I just saw it, moving Books, I would agree with, but personally, I believe we have the most extensive collection of Tamrielic Lore out of all the TES sites I've been to, and actually understanding the world better immensely improved my love of the game and wiki, so that is something I personally would want at or near the top.

I apologize, this is by far the longest thing I have ever written in a discussion by a mile. I guess I was just into it. I think I said what I meant to quite clearly, but if not, feel free to ask me to clarify any points that nobody understands. Snowmane(talkemail) 18:07, 4 September 2012 (EDT)

"I assume that 99% of the readers who join the wiki to look up the games have a basic knowledge of English and can realize "add-on", "plugin", or whatever it's called is the same thing." I wouldn't always. They're plugins for OB and MW with mods for unofficial content and expansions for large content and DLC/plugins for Skyrim... With other games, they're add-ons for WoW and mods for Neverwinter, probably with a few more words based on content for other games as well. Yes, they add content, but if you've only heard it under one name (DLC), you're going to be looking for that name. As Jak said, if it's not easily visible and the reader considers it a large part of the game (like Dawnguard), they'll probably leave. Especially for recent releases I think a link on the side should be there with the name. What if they call all the DLC just DLC? Some might call them plugins, and others add-ons. It won't occur to them to look for another name, but they might click on the Official Plug-ins link "just in case". I would never go looking for an Elder Scrolls "add-on" or a WoW "plugin" or "mod" because I lack the association with the term, though such combinations exist. At this point I would recognize the terms, but before I got very involved in downloading and altering mods and the like, I wouldn't know that they were the same. I might be a bit too particular about this topic, and I think the link we have now is better than nothing, but I would at least like to have Dawnguard on the side.
As for TESWiki being consistent, they change the slideshow on the front page. I don't know how often, but it changes. They change a link and a picture--pretty much the amount of change we'd have with changing a link.
I think Lore is large and a great section, but I don't think it's used as much as game information for anons. I don't feel strongly about moving it, but I do think Books should be at the bottom. Vely►t►e 18:28, 4 September 2012 (EDT)
I've stayed out of this discussion for the very reason mentioned several times above: as a long-term user who's customized his sidebar, I don't feel I can meaningfully comment on what the average user wants. As Krusty suggests, though, I think it's appropriate for staff and long-time users to contribute their opinions whenever they can. To that end, the one thing I feel fairly strongly about is that the side bar shouldn't scroll off the screen. If it does, then people are faced with scrolling up or down as needed, which is just as bad in my mind as having to click through to something else. It might be nice if we could have some kind of clickable drop-down menus that're hidden by default (e.g., have "Skyrim " with Dawnguard and Hearthfire below it), but I have no idea if that would be doable. Mediawiki sites have something along those lines in Vector skin, but I'm not sure how that's done and if it's doable outside of Vector. (And we don't wanna all switch to Vector...as things stand now, the site looks really really bad in Vector.) Robin Hoodtalk 18:40, 4 September 2012 (EDT)
A drop-down menu would work great, because we could list all of the individual (official) add-ons under each game, without worrying about it taking up too much space. However, there are a few other things on the wiki that take precedence (fixing the search feature and other custom wiki code, implementing AbuseFilter, fixing the patrol bug, etc.), so in the meantime we need to use another solution.
Snowmane: as Krusty mentioned, one of the great things about this site is its coverage of lesser-known games. Just because it was a commercial failure (and an old game that just happened to be released in a different time period) doesn't mean that we should try and hide it. If it wasn't for the sidebar, I'd have never discovered Redguard, which is quite frankly a fantastic game. Similarly, anonymous users are also awed by the grand scale of our website, and can more easily tell how wide our scope is if they can see half a dozen games on the sidebar that they've never heard about. On that note, I'd like to say that we should keep the Lore section at the top, as that's a primary (and unique) focus of our website. Books, on the other hand, can go to the bottom.
As for the issue of changing the sidebar frequently: Really? Is it that big of an issue to change the sidebar every four to six months? We update our news stories about once a month. We change our featured article every three weeks or so, and our featured image every two. Heck, I change my userspace colors on a weekly basis, and that's never been problematic. Part of the issue is that it appears that we aren't going to have a rule about it and will have to discuss it every time, but I don't think it would work that way at all. Here are the rules that I propose we adopt:
  • We add Dawnguard to the side bar. This may be permanent, it may not. We have no way of knowing the size and scope of future Skyrim DLC, and for all we know, Dawnguard will be one of the biggest. In the meantime, though, it is the biggest Skyrim DLC, and I daresay most people treat it as an expansion, albeit a small one.
  • All small DLC are added to the sidebar for either a minimum of six months (to account for the different release dates on each platform, as well as the fact that many people wait months before buying DLC) or until one other minor DLC has been released, depending on which comes first. I know, this seems somewhat excessive, but it makes sense. We'd be listing major DLC (and possibly Dawnguard) as well as the most recent minor DLC.
I think it's safe to say that a year from now, we'll have a drop-down menu system, but until then, these rules should be fine. • JAT 19:22, 4 September 2012 (EDT)
EDIT: Wait, Snowmane, what? " We don't have to conform with examples of accessibility..." So, we should intentionally make our site harder to navigate? I really don't understand how this would help the wiki. We don't have to reinvent the wheel (or in this case, the hyperlink). This has nothing to do with conformity. It only has to do with accessibility. Also, you say it like conforming to examples of accessibility is a universally bad thing. Most people like familiarity, which is one of the reasons why wikis are so successful - because they are all very similar to each other. If people know that the sidebar on the left will allow them to navigate wherever they want (as they will learn after using other wikis) then they'll be expecting that everything they need is on the sidebar. Or, if they go to wikis without sidebars, then they'll be pleasantly surprised by how useful it is.
I for one use the sidebar extensively. I remember discovering the CSList, and then immediately wishing I had a link to it. So, I put one on my user page. However, I started getting sick of having to click on an extra link within a few days, so I added the link directly to my toolbox on the side bar. Now it's always there, and it has proven to be incredibly convenient countless times. Other users feel the same way about these kinds of things, except they'll be looking for a Dawnguard and Hearthfire link instead of a link to CSList. • JAT 19:47, 4 September 2012 (EDT)
I cannot see any kind of consensus on any action in this conversation. The closest thing to a general agreement I see is that the sidebar should be changed. I'm alright with that, but it's almost entirely impossible to make heads or tails about what people want when multiple proposals are being presented, challenged, approved of... this conversation is a mess to follow. Between ideas for changes, rushed changes that should of probably been held back as it wasn't even clear what people wanted, a bizarre tangent on what other sites do that doesn't seem to have anything to actually do with the sidebar, complaints about me saying that frequent discussions about what should be on the sidebar are pointless (most people seem to have missed that, I was saying that the "Popular Searches" idea was bad as it required far too much discussion for no practical benefit) and a discussion on terminology that just doesn't seem to have a solution. Having actually put in the effort to read through this entire discussion, I can't really see the point to it. Personally, I feel such changes need to be carefully thought through, not simply proposed and hope for the best (guilty of doing this myself in the past, I admit). Considering that there are much more important and urgent issues on the wiki as of now besides whether or not it's driving away users by making them use the search function or click one or two links or that having a long list of links is frustrating due to it requiring people to scroll their mouse a bit more.
As there are considerably more important things that need to be resolved, I say we drop this for a week or so when our plates are less filled. If people want to come back to this then with a clear plan on what they want to do, as in a completely clearly thought through listing of how they'd like to have it (like with Snowmane's previous example) alongside why they want it that way, then I say that would be a much better time to discuss it. If this topic persists as is, I'm just going to assume nothing will actually come of it besides a headache. --AKB Talk Cont Mail 19:26, 4 September 2012 (EDT)
Currently, the majority believes that a "Dawnguard" link should be added to the side bar (myself, Velyanthe, Alphabetface, Helenaannevalentine, and Krusty), and I believe most of us also agree that "Hearthfire" should be added to the side bar temporarily. Also, we really should resolve this now. We fell behind on Skyrim, and we fell behind on Dawnguard — I do NOT want to fall behind again. I also don't want to fall behind for a stupid reason like users not being able to easily find the Hearthfire section. And a lot of people here underestimate the inconvenience of having to click an extra link when you look for something. You shouldn't just ignore the wants and needs of anonymous users, just because it inconveniences you. • JAT 19:54, 4 September 2012 (EDT)

Dawnguard Sidebar: Edit Break Three

Okay, let’s get this discussion back on track – and start over. I tweaked the sidebar to reflect the opinions on some users (I would have done a screencap of a preview, but the change is not visible without saving), with Dawnguard and Hearthfire included, and Battlespire and Redguard re-added. I’m aware that the TES Travels section is a bit messy right now, but I don’t want to revert back and forth while this discussion is going on. Honestly, this is a good solution for now – new users hungry for DLC (or whatever we call it) will find it right away, and we don’t hide any of the old games like dirty secrets. We can remove the links to Dawnguard and/or Hearthfire at our convenience – it’s not that big a deal – and for now, we can just wait and see what the future (read: Beth) brings. --Krusty (talk) 06:05, 5 September 2012 (EDT)

That should basically make everyone happy, I think. Now can we please go back to more constructive topics? Discussions about the sidebar aren't the most pertinent to the site when users are having trouble even accessing it. --AKB Talk Cont Mail 06:29, 5 September 2012 (EDT)
I'm happy with this change. I think, at least on a temporary basis, this is the best thing to do right now. — ABCface 08:51, 5 September 2012 (EDT)
I'd still like to see a link to Oblivion:Official Plug-ins on the sidebar. If no one objects, I'll go ahead and add it. —Legoless (talk) 12:04, 5 September 2012 (EDT)
Sounds good to me, that thought actually crossed my mind earlier as well. — ABCface 12:11, 5 September 2012 (EDT)
I'm fine with all of this. • JAT 17:25, 5 September 2012 (EDT)
I've added Oblivion:Official Plug-ins. —Legoless (talk) 15:13, 7 September 2012 (EDT)
In all fairness, if we include Oblivion:Official Plug-ins, we should also include Morrowind:Official Plug-ins and Skyrim:Official Plug-ins. It's weird if only one of the three is featured in this way. Of course that does mean 3 sub-links for Morrowind, but I think it makes sense. (I do still wish these were collapsible or otherwise customizable though - it is still kind of long.) TheRealLurlock (talk) 22:44, 7 September 2012 (EDT)
I originally proposed to use Skyrim:Official Plug-ins instead of individual links. I don't think linking to Morrowind:Official Plug-ins would be very useful, since they're more like curiosities than anything. —Legoless (talk) 22:29, 13 September 2012 (GMT)

() I have to agree with TRL. For consistency's sake, why not include all three game's Official Plugins pages? Snowmane(talkemail) 22:47, 13 September 2012 (GMT)

Let's assume there will be more Dawnguard sized expansions, they can not all be in the bar. After a month, or so, of release, lets add only the official plug-in sign to the bar. Each true expansion should have a place, but the plug-in should only be plug-ins. Prior to this month, lets allow the plug-in to remain.--Br3admax (talk) 01:03, 14 September 2012 (GMT)

Archive Protection

After seeing this edit, I'm wondering: do we want to extend archive protection to user archives as well? The bot could very easily be configured to add those to its search (or more accurately, not filter them out). Currently, it would recognize any subpage that starts with "Arc" and ends in a number as an archive, but if there are other common naming schemes that people are using, I could add something in for those too. Of course, the drawback to this is that if I get hit by a bus tomorrow, it's that much more work for the Admins to do. Any thoughts? Robin Hoodtalk 19:36, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

Don't stand in traffic. Besides that, I don't see enough attacks in user space to justify this. The fact that this would also seriously hinder user's ability to manage their own user space makes me even more unwilling to do this. While these edits are annoying, they are rare enough (especially in user space) that just reverting them is an effective enough strategy. The increase in the amount of work necessary to enforce the policy compared to the actual benefits of extending it to user space definitely seems like it's tipping in favor of the "more work" side. --AKB Talk Cont Mail 00:49, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
I thought of the fact that it's rare we see edits to user archives only after I posted, and in retrospect I agree, it's probably not a big enough problem to be worth it. I'm curious, though, why you say it would hinder a user's ability to manage their space? We're only looking at semi-protection (as is done with other numbered archives), so that wouldn't get in the way of anything that I can think of. Am I not thinking of something? Robin Hoodtalk 01:07, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
Well, the issue would of been a minor one where users couldn't move pages due to them being protected. However, I forgot that we moved moving rights to the auto-confirmed group, so the point is moot. --AKB Talk Cont Mail 01:20, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

Logs me out

Okay whenever I click on the little Discussion tab, the website "logs me out", I try to login I succeed in logging in but I am "not" logged on, if I go to say, the project page I am logged on... in other words it seems like the site isn't working well for me... can anyone tell me if it's my computer or the website itself? SonofKyne 23:14, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

Try a hard refresh; does that help? If not, you can list the pages here or on Purge Requests and they will be purged, after which you should be able to access them with no problem. If you could list them anyway so they can be purged for other users that would be great too.
If that doesn't work, clear your browser's cache.
If that does not work, then that's a new issue that should be looked into, yes. Vely►t►e 23:54, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Do you have cookies enabled? Also, do you have Javascript enabled? I know the first one is mandatory, but I don't know about the second one. If that doesn't work, you could also try restarting your computer. It may just be some weird glitch (I've gotten my fair share of them) and rebooting might fix it. • JAT 23:57, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
I was having this issue earlier today myself, but it seems to have resolved itself. As I'm not sure if this is still a problem from you based on my own experience, could you please confirm that you're still having problems? As for actually fixing it, the simplest solution is to replace the "www" in the address bar with "content1". This issue is caused by an issue with the caching, so you can purge or refresh the page by hitting "F5" to resolve it on that page, but if you're experiencing this problem in many areas of the website going to content1 seems to entirely bypass the caching issues altogether. --AKB Talk Cont Mail 00:54, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

Watchlist problems?

Is anybody else experiencing problems accessing their watchlist? Whenever I try and bring mine up I get a blank white screen. ThuumofReason (talk) 07:52, 4 September 2012 (EDT)

Ditto. Refreshing the page isn't helping.--Skyrimplayer (talk) 07:59, 4 September 2012 (EDT)
I added this to the Administrator Noticeboard yesterday. For me, replacing the "www" with "content1" in the toolbar is working. (Try http://content1.uesp.net/wiki/Special:Watchlist) — ABCface 08:12, 4 September 2012 (EDT)
Good call, Face! That did the trick. Thanks. ThuumofReason (talk) 09:52, 4 September 2012 (EDT)
The watchlist seems to be working now. Just thought I'd give a heads-up so everyone knew the problem was fixed. ThuumofReason (talk) 12:11, 6 September 2012 (EDT)

Search bar not working?

Whenever I search something it doesn't send me straight to that page, it just shows me results. For example, if I type in Skyrim it shows me the results instead of going to the lore or game page. It is really annoying. Is anybody else having this problem? Babette (talk) 22:30, 6 September 2012 (EDT)

That's a known problem that happened during our recent upgrade to version 1.19 of the wiki software. We're still trying to track it down, but hopefully it should be fixed in the next few days. Robin Hoodtalk 22:33, 6 September 2012 (EDT)

An interesting idea

So, I was bored and watching a podcast from some people I like on the internet, and I came up with an interesting idea that I wanted to share. Of course, this is in no way critical to the management of the wiki, it's just a fun miscellaneous thing that could be done. Daveh has always appeared interested in more interaction with the TES community (with suggestions such as mod directories, etc), and I came up with another interesting one. Suppose we hosted a podcast. It would consist of a panel of more active editors on the wiki, and monthly or bi-monthly, we would get together to discuss the direction of TES, talk about newly released or announced games/content, just have general discussion, etc.

This would be a way for the editors of the site to interact more with the wiki-readers and the TES community in general, and it would generate more interest in the site itself, since there are actually faces (or voices if just audio), that would be associated with the wiki, and it could feel more like a community to the outside world. Obviously, this would require a degree of planning, since someone would have to organize a group Skype call or some other means of enabling everyone to speak together, set up to record, edit, find a way to host it here or elsewhere, etc, so it isn't necessarily something that would happen immediately. Opinions? Snowmane(talkemail) 02:19, 7 September 2012 (EDT)

As a relatively new-comer to the community, I feel that I can offer a fresh perspective on this. I've been using this site for many years, and for a long time it never even occurred to me that this massive archive of information pertaining The Elder Scrolls as a series, its games and its lore was actually being carefully maintained by a group of diligent people. I was even more surprised once I did make the jump into being an active community member, at how comparatively small the team who do so much work to keep this site pristine actually was, as opposed to my initial expectation. While I feel like the podcast would be extremely productive in terms of yielding a higher quality of content through the debate and discussion it would encourage, the impact it could also have on the exposure that UESP's community would get specifically, is even more important. As Snowmane said, giving a figurative 'face' to the community of hard-working individuals that make this website what it is, is not only incredibly beneficial for the community as a whole, but also entirely deserved. A little appreciation from the countless people who benefit on a daily basis from the information kept here is completely justified, and could potentially breathe new life into the community through a new wave enthusiastic editors who join because of what they hear from us as people, rather than what they merely see on our pages. Finally, I said before, the unique realm of discourse that a podcast would create could help improve the content we have here in ways we don't even realise through the conclusions we come to on air. Keogan (talkemail) 01:01, 8 September 2012 (EDT)
I like this idea. Especially considering the blog has been somewhat less active in the past few months, this seems like another good way to get the community talking, so to speak. I would like to hear some opinions from the admins on the issue. ThuumofReason (talk) 12:00, 8 September 2012 (EDT)
If people are willing to do it, I don't see a problem with it. Where would the audio be hosted? YouTube would probably be the most convenient, although the wiki does have the ability to host audio files (if we can get past the upload limits, that is). —Legoless (talk) 13:18, 8 September 2012 (EDT)
Well, what I had in mind was something either on or linking from the main page. Perhaps hosting it off a specially designated YT channel, but linking the actual clip for the latest entry to the main page somewhere? Or, put a link to it on the main page should a full window prove impossible. (Might be easier as cluttered as it is already).
As for actual execution of the plan, my idea was we started hosting a Mumble or Ventrillo server (assuming Dave himself likes the idea and was willing to divert resources into it). It could double as another full-time communications option, giving viewers and editors a chance to actually speak with each other and have a more personal conversation rather than typing to each other in IRC or talk pages (speaking of IRC, this is not being proposed as a replacement, rather, an alternative).
Then, on I don't know... every other Saturday (or whatever date the group finds convenient) at a consistent time (if we can manage), we mute the rest, have the podcast discussion, then open up the others and have a little Q&A or something to get whoever is watching to be involved and make it more about community interaction before closing off and returning to regular interaction in the channel. And, all the while, someone the group designates would be running some kind of capture equipment to collect the audio, give it some kind of background or something that would make it more interesting than a black background with voices, and then they would upload it to the channel, and a new link would be placed on the podcast page to replace the old one.
Of course, that is just a concept, and if anyone has a better idea, let's hear them. I'm interested in hearing what other ideas are put forward. Snowmane(talkemail) 13:56, 8 September 2012 (EDT)
Posting the podcasts on the main page seems like too much. Perhaps a news article to announce the new initiative would be alright, but I think all the podcasts should be kept together on a UESPWiki:Podcast page or something, like the other "community pages". —Legoless (talk) 14:05, 8 September 2012 (EDT)
It doesn't necessarily need to be at the top of the front page. It could be towards the bottom. Or, we could instead just link to UESPWiki:Podcast from the front page. • JAT 15:22, 8 September 2012 (EDT)
I'd prefer to link to it from the sidebar. The forums probably deserve a bit more prominence as well, but there's no real need to clutter up the main page with things like that (or maybe there is, but that's a different discussion). —Legoless (talk) 15:26, 8 September 2012 (EDT)

() I'd prefer to see the blog revived before we try to bring about new outlets for community interaction. It makes me feel a bit doubtful of our ability to manage such a program, when we're currently not taking proper care of our other channels to the community. --AKB Talk Cont Mail 17:03, 8 September 2012 (EDT)

I completely understand your concern, AKB, but honestly, I don't see how the blog is important to community interaction. It isn't so much a communication outlet, more like a means for the editors who want it to have a place to ramble about their outlooks on the games or the site. Of course, that's really the only use I see, whereas a Mumble or Vent, in addition to my podcast idea, would additionally be advertised like the IRC: as another way to communicate with long standing editors when you want real time interaction. In the long run, that's what the entire proposal is for. More interaction between users in a way that I can never see that blog doing. Snowmane(talkemail) 15:32, 9 September 2012 (EDT)
I would like to add to this as I have been using the Wiki for 4 years now and never knew about the blog myself. Be that as it may, I would enjoy both watching and listening to podcasts about UESP by UESP Members and reading the Blog (Which I now plan to do). I give a thumbs up to both. --FubarFrank 23:21, 13 September 2012 (GMT)

Template help - Quest Item Data

Ok, so I've been implementing this template on Skyrim:Quest Items, after adding the "icon" field, and it's mostly gone well, but there are a few features it doesn't support:

  • Plug-ins - Doesn't seem to be a way to add the DG things for Dawnguard items. (If there are any Hearthfire items to add, they'll have the same problem). Also should be possible in the "quest" field, since some non-Plug-in items are involved in Plug-in quests (e.g. Elder Scroll)
  • Hovers - No way to do Hover text on names, which exist on some items.
  • Multiple quests - Items involved in multiple quests can only have one quest listed as their "quest" parameter. I've improvised and put additional quests in as notes, but this isn't ideal.
  • Multiple icons - Not too many will have this problem - only Fragments of Wuuthrad and Werewolf Totem have multiple IDs that use different icons. For the Fragments, I've got a single image that shows all 12 pieces arranged to show how they fit together, rather than uploading 12 individual images for this. For the Totems, I'm thinking to break this entry apart into 3 separate entries, since they do different things. So maybe no change to the template is needed for this.
  • Multiple IDs - It can be done (see Dragonstone), but it's awkward. Not sure if there's a better way, though. (Again, Fragments of Wuuthrad will be the biggest problem in this regard, but it's manageable - just ugly.)

TheRealLurlock (talk) 09:45, 8 September 2012 (EDT)

Here are my thoughts on each:
  • Plug-ins and hovers: These can be dealt with by adding a textname parameter, then making corresponding changes to the temple. This would allow you to specify just name by default, but if you needed something like "My Quest ItemDG" then you could put the code for that in the name parameter and then add textname=My Quest Item, which would be used for the linkable entry and the save name. If not specified, though, textname would default to name.
  • Multiple quests: These could be done as numbered quests. It might be possible to make the number unlimited or easily expandable using a subtemplate and MetaTemplate.
  • Multiple icons: Just having numbered icons (as above) might work, but that presupposes that you want to just have a list of them...custom formatting for each situation would be impossible. If it's not too much trouble, a single image might be best. Finally, we could also implement it as an Autolink, which would mean that if it sees a [ in the icon name, it wouldn't try to link it, but if it's a text-only name, it would wrap a File link around it. This would let you do something like, say, have a full-fledged table or div or whatever else, so you could format it however you need, as long as it had at least one [ in it (which it presumably would to link in the icons).
  • Multiple IDs: Probably numbered is the best way here as well. It'd be really nice if we could split on a specific character and then run ID on each, but I don't believe we have any way of doing that right now. For something this simple, I'd avoid subtemplating and just have a fixed amount of these you could add.
Some of the above would be made easier with the Loops extension, but I think Dave's got enough on his plate right now. Robin Hoodtalk 17:16, 8 September 2012 (EDT)
For now, 3 quests would cover every case we have, though there is a problem with distinguishing items definitely used in multiple quests (e.g. Elder Scroll) vs. items which might appear in multiple quests (e.g. the Jeweled __ items for the Thieves Guild). In one case, it's "and", and in the other it's "or", though I suppose a comma-separated list could be used in both cases and no distinction made between "and" and "or". I think single icons will be best. I'll split apart the Werewolf Totem entry as I said, and I've already uploaded the combined one for the Wuuthrad fragments, though I'm considering making that one 1:2 ratio instead of 1:1. The only place it's used, it'll have a taller cell anyhow, and it'll show the individual pieces better with a larger thumbnail. TheRealLurlock (talk) 18:40, 8 September 2012 (EDT)
Okay, so I used your idea for dealing with formatting templates in the name field. (I called it "displayname" instead, seemed more descriptive.) As for IDs, they're still ugly, though actually less ugly than without the template. Only weirdness is you have to leave off the first and last parentheses, since it puts those in automatically. No need to use the {{ID}} template individually on each ID. (All it does is make the text small anyhow.) There was one case where the IDs were displayed as a numbered list which couldn't be reproduced, so I removed the numbers. (Not really necessary anyhow - there's only 4.) For quests, still not done. I made the field optional. (It was before, but if omitted it would also not display the "notes" text.) I'm not sure if this is quite right though - anybody know what's up with the __ Paragon items from Dawnguard? If they're not involved in quests, shouldn't they be on some page other than Skyrim:Quest Items? I also made the "icon" field optional, which I don't know if that's a feature that'll be used ultimately (once all icons have been uploaded), but might be good as a temporary measure. Anyhow, I don't quite feel up to the task of sub-templating the quest field(s), so if you want to take a crack at it, by all means do so. I'm done with the template for now (though I'll probably still be working on Skyrim:Quest Items). TheRealLurlock (talk) 09:01, 9 September 2012 (EDT)
I wondered why the Paragons were on that page before. They aren't involved in quests at all, so I would support moving them to Skyrim:Unique Items instead. — ABCface 09:14, 9 September 2012 (EDT)
Well, I don't have Dawnguard yet, so I'll let the people that know better decide what to do with those. You know, it's occurred to me that this same template could now easily be used on any items, not just quest items. With the "quest" field now optional, it's now perfectly adapted for use in other places. We'd have to rename it to something more general - maybe just "Item Data", and it could be used all over the place. Anyone else think that's a good idea? TheRealLurlock (talk) 17:03, 9 September 2012 (EDT)

() I think using that template for all the items pages is a good idea. The name "Item Data" would work as a good general name as well. — ABCface 17:13, 9 September 2012 (EDT)

Okay, I moved Template:Quest Item Data to Template:Item Data and changed everything over to use {{Item Data}}. In addition, I changed it so up to three quests can be listed. If listing multiple quests, separate them with semicolons ; . Below are some examples on how to use it:
{{Item Data|...|quest=Blood on the Ice|...}}
{{Item Data|...|quest=Blood on the Ice; Diplomatic Immunity|...}}
{{Item Data|...|quest=Blood on the Ice; Diplomatic Immunity; Sovngarde (quest)|...}}
I'll be happy to make any other changes. • JAT 14:28, 10 September 2012 (EDT)
A few comments - I think we should replace the word "and" with just a comma. This way we're not implying either "and" or "or" (as should be used with the Thieves Guild target items), just giving a list which could work in either case. Also, would be nice to still be able to supply alt-text to the entries, as in the case with the Elder Scroll (to add the DG to the third quest). Not sure if it's needed anywhere else, though maybe for disambiguating multiple quests with the same name, or whatever. Otherwise, good work - I like the ; notation. Might be nice to use that in other places as well. TheRealLurlock (talk) 19:34, 10 September 2012 (EDT)
Okay, I replaced "and" with a comma. I added a new parameter, questaddon. This both refers to the add-on that it's added in, and also because it's literally "added on" to the end of the quest link. It is used as follows:
{{Item Data|...|questaddon={{DG}}|...}}
{{Item Data|...|questaddon={{DG}};{{HF}}|...}}
{{Item Data|...|questaddon=;;{{DG}}|...}}
The first one tacks on DG to the end of the first quest link. The second one tacks on DG to the end of the first quest link and HF to the second quest link. The third one skips over the first two links, and only adds DG to the third. It is not necessary to add any extra semicolons if there are more quests, so you don't need to write out questaddon={{DG}};; if there are three links.
Also, if you're looking for a way to customize the quests further, you can instead use the following syntax: ...|quest=nolink&&Quest: [[A Quest|Not a quest]].... The nolink&& tells the template not to automatically link, and the rest is the fully formatted text. • JAT 20:23, 10 September 2012 (EDT)
Hmm. One feature we still don't support is multiple icons. Not sure what to do about that - the ; trick probably won't work, since there could be quite a few of them, and we don't want to bloat the template that much. Maybe the nolink&& method could be used here? TheRealLurlock (talk) 21:55, 10 September 2012 (EDT)

() Okay, now you can add multiple icons, with icon=nolink&&[[File:SR-icon.... The image column width is fixed to 48px now, so images will automatically move to a new line. Below is an example of the flexibility of this new function:

Icon Name Weight Value Quest/Notes
SR-icon-misc-Aetherium Crest.png
SR-icon-misc-Aetherium Crest.pngSR-icon-misc-Aetherium Crest.pngSR-icon-misc-Aetherium Crest.pngSR-icon-misc-Aetherium Crest.pngSR-icon-misc-Aetherium Crest.png
Aetherium Shard DG
(xx00575c), (xx01433e), (xx01433c), (xx01433d)
0.25 100

Quest: Lost to the AgesDG

  • Needed to make the Aetherium Crest.
  1. Found in Arkngthamz
  2. Found in Raldbthar
  3. Found in Dwarven Storeroom
  4. Found in Deep Folk Crossing
Okay, I've finally finished (mostly) getting the armor icons uploaded. (Missed one, I'll get it the next time.) You can see the results on Skyrim:Armor. I'm open for suggestions on a better way to distinguish the gender-specific armors (Glass Armor, Iron Armor, and Banded Iron Armor) from those which just have multiple versions (Fur Armor, Steel Armor) that aren't gender-specific. Only applies to the cuirass-pieces - helmets, shields, boots, and gauntlets are all the same for both genders, and there's only 3 that actually have different versions. (Was tricky, because the version you see is always dependent on your character's gender, not the gender of the person wearing the armor, so even if you see a gender-specific armor in the inventory of someone of the opposite gender, you're still seeing your version. I had to create a new character just to test these.) TheRealLurlock (talk) 21:02, 29 September 2012 (GMT)

Developer Mods

One of the general rules of modspace is that "only fairly complicated mods should be documented". However, the Tes5Mod:Developer Mods page seems to disregard this rule, which is perhaps forgiveable considering who the mod authors are. I have no objections to documenting the mods, but I think the "depth over breadth" rule should be applied to them; if they're going to be documented on UESP, they should be documented fully. The "Real Carriages" mod seems to have enough in it to make a decent page (albeit a page filled with bug notes). It's hard to take Ashley Cheng's two mods seriously, but the loading screen text/changes should still be noted.

I propose to make two pages: Tes5Mod:Developer Mods/Kurt Kuhlmann and Tes5Mod:Developer Mods/Ashley Cheng, with the mod names as redirects to the corresponding sections. Alternatively, we could give the mods individual pages, but that would result in a very small and silly page at "/Less Werewolf Plz". Hopefully more devs will release mods in the future so we can expand the section. Any thoughts? —Legoless (talk) 10:02, 9 September 2012 (EDT)

I agree with this. As the significance of the mods are who made them and less what they actually are, this only seems appropriate. --AKB Talk Cont Mail 10:17, 9 September 2012 (EDT)
I agree with the idea. Vely►t►e 10:35, 9 September 2012 (EDT)
I agree as well. • JAT 15:36, 9 September 2012 (EDT)

() I've created Tes5Mod:Developer Mods/Kurt Kuhlmann. Cheng's page will be up whenever I have the loading screen info. —Legoless (talk) 15:15, 13 September 2012 (GMT)

Abuse Filter - Censorship

A filter for the Abuse Filter has been set up to prevent articles being vandalized with swear words. At the minute it is checking against all articles and talk pages. This brings up an issue of censorship. A few discussions have been had as to the extent of censorship that is implemented, but the only firm decision is to be objective and evaluate each contribution on it's own merits, while vandalism on articles is fairly clear.

There are two filters, one checks for words that are (generally) not used legitimately on the wiki, or for the hardcore nature of it, and blocks the edit. The second filter checks for words with legitimate uses on the wiki, and for its general usage in discussions, and adds a tag that the edit needs careful/double checking, but the edit can be made. Both filters only check against non-autoconfirmed editors, and the words that they add, not any that already exist. As such I feel that the filters are reasonable to implement, as productive countermeasures to vandalism.

PS: Although I have not edited the filters, Jak Atackka copied them fom wikipedia, and modified them, through discussions between me, Velyanthe, and Jak, on the IRC. Golden SilenceBreak the Silence 22:42, 13 September 2012 (GMT)

Colourful Changes

For those of you who are bugged by the green and red colours on Recent Changes and your Watchlist, you can try the following: go to your preferences and click on the Appearance tab. At the bottom of the first section, where it says "Shared CSS/JavaScript for all skins", click on "Custom CSS". Edit that page and add the following line: .mw-plusminus-pos, .mw-plusminus-neg {color:black;}. Save, and the colours should now be all black. If you prefer some other colour, change "black" to one of the colour names found here.

If you want more customization than that, feel free to ask, either here or on my talk page. Robin Hoodtalk 19:48, 14 September 2012 (GMT)

Oh thank god! My RC is saved! eshetalk 19:55, 14 September 2012 (GMT)

Site Formatting Issues

For those who haven't already noticed, much of the site's formatting has now been restored to what it was before the 1.19 upgrade. There are, however, still some issues. Rather than asking Admins to make these changes one-by-one, I'd like to compile a list of issues so that those of us familiar with CSS can work on them in our own user space, then an Admin can transfer them in bulk to the main site CSS page. Please feel free to add to the bulleted list, below. If you're not sure if it's CSS-related, add a comment below the list and we'll figure out what needs done on a case-by-case basis. Robin Hoodtalk 20:01, 15 September 2012 (GMT)

Issues

fieldset#mw-searchoptions { background-color:#fdf5e6; }
fieldset#mw-searchoptions table { background-color: #fdf5e6; }
.mw-search-formheader { background-color:#f5deb3; }
I've modified your solution and combined it with mine to make the entire Search table match our site colours. Robin Hoodtalk 23:10, 22 September 2012 (GMT)
  • Galleries do not appear correctly. Examples: Skyrim:Pre-Release Content and it's accompanying category, Category:Skyrim-Pre release Images. The spaces to the left and right of the individual images appear correctly, but the spaces to the top and bottom appear as a different color. I'm sure this is directly related to the discolored tables.
  • Numbered bullets are now indented a degree, whereas before they appeared against the side, and together with bullet point they both show, but the number is indented further, while before it appeared only as the first example.
  1. Example 1
  • The front page has a spacing problem, but this time, the top indent is too big.
body.page-Main_Page #contentSub { display:none; }
body.page-Main_Page #bodyContent { margin-top: 1.2em; }
Your solution reintroduced the issue with unclickable buttons on the Main Page. A minor tweak seems to fix the problem. Robin Hoodtalk 23:10, 22 September 2012 (GMT)
After noticing that diffs and the history page and things like that looked a bit "squished" at the top, I took a look at how Wikipedia was managing it. I've changed the above to reflect their solution (though I'm too brain-dead right now to really dig through everything they have and make sure that covers it all). It has the disadvantage of getting rid of the content sub-header altogether, which normally contains helpful links like the trail or the "View logs for this page" on the history tab, that sort of thing...but overall, it makes everything look much better. Robin Hoodtalk 21:06, 28 September 2012 (GMT)
  • While the My Preferences page is loading, you can see that the individual sections have the standard wiki background, rather than the light gray one. To view this, click on the my preferences link and hit the Escape key right when you see the page start popping up. This is relatively minor, but it is glaringly obvious on slower connections, and quite annoying.
  • "The UESPWiki - Your source..." is squished up against the top line on pages that have no trail.
  • Many site images have been bumped down by a few pixels compared to 1.14. This is most noticeable on the various perk graphs (e.g., Archery Skill Perks), but can also be seen with the various Page Icons, which now sit right on the page-title line.
  • {{bug}} documentation says, that modnotes are not shown by default. But this seems to be the case: {{bug|test|modnotes=test}}: * test ?
    Mod Notes: test

I just added a bunch of solutions. To test them out yourself, you can try adding the lines to your common.css file. • JAT 03:40, 20 September 2012 (GMT)

Thanks, Jak. I'll go over these tomorrow. Have a look at my common.css file as well, as I've come up with some solutions there. The Special Pages header in particular is one where we need to do more investigation. I approached it your way at first, but realized that there was still the extra pixel "missing", and in some cases, even a 2-pixel line wasn't thick enough. After far too much experimentation, I realized that Wikipedia had the same issue if you overrode the table background colour, which is the underlying cause of the problem. Making it transparent, the lines show through as they should, so that's one possibility. We might also be able to play with the z-order - I don't remember what I tried there. I think we've had problems with z-order for certain elements before, though, so we'll have to double-check where things have been set higher and what should take priority. Robin Hoodtalk 09:20, 20 September 2012 (GMT)
Okay, I've gone through the above and made some changes, as noted. I also removed the breaks in the CSS, just to shorten up the code sections a bit, and I added one formatting issue. Robin Hoodtalk 23:10, 22 September 2012 (GMT)

() I got Eshe to add most of the above changes to MediaWiki:Common.css. Any solutions that aren't hidden inside a ShowHide have not been implemented, because they either need to be discussed or more thoroughly tested. • JAT 19:57, 10 October 2012 (GMT)

Sidebar Reorganization

I just created a small script that allows you to collapse the games on the sidebar. To use it, just go to your Javascript page and add importScript('User:Jak_Atackka/sidebar.js'); on a new line, preferably towards the top. Click on the name of each game to expand the side bar. This uses Javascript (technically JQuery), so you need to have Javascript enabled for it to work. There is a slightly different version, which keeps the game's name hyperlinked, but requires you to click on the bullet itself to expand it. To use this version, instead add the line importScript('User:Jak_Atackka/sidebar2.js'); to your Javascript page. So, what do you think? Is this the kind of thing we'd want to implement site-wide? And would you rather use the first or second version? • JAT 02:44, 15 September 2012 (GMT)

Even if we don't implement them site-wide, if more people than just you and I like the two scripts, I'd suggest moving them to Project:Javascript. Robin Hoodtalk 02:58, 15 September 2012 (GMT)
I'd vote for site-wide implementation of collapsible tables. With that, it becomes feasible to list small DLC like Dawnguard that everyone wants without lengthening the sidebar. Might I also suggest a similar collapsible table for "Spinoffs" and TES Travels? Then, we would actually be able to cut a few lines and simultaneously list all Travels and Spinoff games, going back to Krusty's point about them deserving just as much space as the core series. Snowmane(talkemail) 03:22, 15 September 2012 (GMT)
EDIT: Oh, and is there a way to make it evident that these are collapsible lists? Without prior knowledge that they are collapsible, I can see someone thinking that they are broken main links. A little sideways arrow that turns down or something, perhaps? Snowmane(talkemail) 03:25, 15 September 2012 (GMT)
I agree. I just wanted to see what people think. Also, Note: You will most likely have to hard-refresh in order to see the changes. • JAT 03:23, 15 September 2012 (GMT)
Yes, a great idea. It will defiantly solve the problem of the ES:O, which will most likely have numerous expansions if it lasts long enough.--Br3admax (talk) 04:13, 15 September 2012 (GMT)
The second script is really nice and smooth, and it works nicely to me. Turn the bullets into arrows (or stuck an arrow after the game name) and keep them green-blue, and I think it'd be awesome. Vely►t►e 04:58, 15 September 2012 (GMT)

() Update: I replaced the bullets with little triangles that indicate that it is collapsible, and colored them to match the other bullets. I also combined Redguard, Battlespire, and TES Travels into a single "Spinoff Games" drop-down menu. I've tested Safari, Firefox, Chrome, and Opera, and haven't found any problems (I'm actually surprised, usually one of the browsers is off by 1px or something). The arrows in User:Jak Atackka/sidebar.js are roughly the same size as the bullets, whereas the arrows in User:Jak Atackka/sidebar2.js are larger, because you can only click on the bullet to expand the list. Feel free to compare them (in fact, please do!), just remember that you may have to hard refresh after the change for it to take effect. To do so, hold the Shift key while you click the refresh button.

I would like to implement this site-wide, and it's entirely possible, because:

  • Any computer can display it smoothly. I'm using a 7-year old laptop right now, and I have no problems whatsoever.
  • It's cross-browser compatible. Will someone please check IE9, IE8, and if possible IE7?
  • It's entirely written in Javascript, so nothing needs to be modified on the site (besides adding this script), and anyone that has Javascript disabled will still see the regular old toolbar.
  • It's compatible with UESPWiki:Javascript/modifysidebar.js. Note, however, that you cannot remove any of the drop-down menus.
  • You can change it in your preferences if you don't like the version chosen. Depending on how this is set up, you can either change it the same way that you added the script during this testing, or an option will be added to Special:Preferences.

Also, I will officially cast my vote. I prefer the first version, partly because it looks better, and partly because it's more accessible. For instance, if a user has a hypersensitive mouse or has some other difficulty (such as hand tremors or a bulky cast), it's much easier to click on "Morrowind" than it is to click on a ► that is right next too a hyperlink. • JAT 06:02, 15 September 2012 (GMT)

Looking good. One little thing I want to nitpick about. I think that SR:Official Plug-ins should be included as well. There are two other small plugins, there will be more eventually, and it would just look good for consistency.. Plus, although Dawnguard, as a larger plugin is feasible to be visible with the collapsible list, eventually, I'd like to see Hearthfire at least end up removed, although that's a different tale to tell further down the road. Snowmane(talkemail) 06:32, 15 September 2012 (GMT)
Okay, I added a link to Skyrim:Official Plug-ins. And for now, while it's the newest DLC, Hearthfire is there to stay. • JAT 13:22, 15 September 2012 (GMT)
When I mouse-over the arrows, I get the vertical pipe cursor - like for selecting text. (Using latest Firefox) Is it possible to make it use the pointy-finger cursor instead? That would make it much more obvious. TheRealLurlock (talk) 13:55, 15 September 2012 (GMT)
Chrome, same vertical cursor--that's the only thing I can say I dislike. The pointy cursor would make it more obvious, though if there's a way to make it the default triangular cursor, I'd like to be able to use that (in my personal display). Vely►t►e 14:40, 15 September 2012 (GMT)
I'd agree with TRL and Vely that if there's a way to keep the standard cursor rather than the "I-beam" cursor, that would be preferable. — ABCface 18:29, 15 September 2012 (GMT)
Sorry that took so long - I was gone all day, and it took me a while to track down a solution. Is that better? For the first version, I also made the titles (Skyrim, Oblivion, Morrowind, and Spinoff Games) unhighlightable (new word!) I'm verifying that it works on all browsers, and have confirmed Safari and Firefox. • JAT 01:42, 16 September 2012 (GMT)

() I just discovered a minor issue with the second script: when you click on one of the games, it both follows the link and drops down the sub-menu, which is a little disorienting. Robin Hoodtalk 03:33, 16 September 2012 (GMT)

Thanks for pointing that out. I fixed it. • JAT 03:56, 16 September 2012 (GMT)

Sidebar Reorganization - Edit Break 1

Update: All of these updates are starting to get annoying. Anyways, RobinHood70 showed me how to pass variables into scripts, so I now have everything contained in one script. If you have been using User:Jak Atackka/sidebar.js, then you don't need to do anything. If, however, you've been using User:Jak Atackka/sidebar2.js, then in your Javascript page, you need to replace this line:

importScript('User:Jak_Atackka/sidebar2.js');

With these lines:

arrowSize = "big";
linkGames = true;
importScript('User:Jak_Atackka/sidebar.js');

This new change adds four variables that can be manipulated, which are listed below. Notice that linkGames does not have quotation marks around it, but the other variables do.

Variable Values
arrowSize
  • "small" (Default). Makes the directional arrows roughly the same size as the bullets.
  • "big" Makes the directional arrows quite a bit larger, to make it easier to click on.
linkGames
  • false (Default). Does not hyperlink the games for the drop-down list, instead adding a link to the game at the top of the drop-down list.
  • true Hyperlinks the games.
cursorType
  • "pointer" (Default). Makes it so when your mouse hovers over either the bullet or drop-down list title (unless it's a hyperlink), it appears as a pointing finger.
  • "default" Makes it so when the mouse hovers over the above, it instead shows up as the regular triangular cursor.
arrowIndent
  • "11px" (Default). Distance directional arrow is indented from left side of page.
  • "10px" Defaults to this if "big" arrows are chosen.
  • This variable can be set to whatever you want, but generally you won't need to change this variable.

The advantage of this is that not only is it contained in one script, but you can easily personalize it, if this is implemented site-wide. • JAT 06:58, 16 September 2012 (GMT)

With the update, you've "unfixed" the fix mentioned just above the break. Robin Hoodtalk 07:19, 16 September 2012 (GMT)
Sorry about that - I forgot to copy-paste that change over. Okay, it's fixed again. • JAT 14:00, 16 September 2012 (GMT)
Minor update. I'm trying to make this modification useful, so I replaced the "Official Plug-Ins" links under Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim with their own drop-down menus, that list all of the plugins. I also changed "Spinoff Games" to "Other Games", because in my mind the term "spinoff" is somewhat derogatory, as it implies that it's not a "real" game. • JAT 21:16, 17 September 2012 (GMT)
Congratulations, Jak, my boy. You've done a fabulous job. This is a nice "in the middle" set up. It successfully cut the links down on the sidebar while also enabling the ability to list every individual link. Perhaps the best way that accessibility could be inproved without directly making every link visible from the start. However, as the discussion is definitely not simply about Dawnguard's sidebar inclusion, may I propose a new thread with the last many days of edits be created titled to the effect of "Sidebar Reorganization" or similar? That way, it will be easier to follow just what's happening in relation to this, and (hopefully) at the bottom with a new thread, any roaming anons or other editors would see this and be able to quickly read it, test it, and provide feedback? (Well, anons wouldn't be able to test, but you hopefully get my meaning?) Snowmane(talkemail) 21:34, 17 September 2012 (GMT)
The proposed change to the sidebar probably wouldn't affect me that much personally, since I use my own custom version of it that works pretty well for me, but I do have a few thoughts :).
First off, I really like how this enables us to do things like list all the plugins right from one place without making the sidebar unmanageably huge. I'm a fan of collapsible organization in general, too, so it's definitely a very pleasing effect for me.
I do worry about how this will impact certain users, though—especially anyone who comes along that is relatively new to the site and isn't as familiar with how things are laid out. Whenever I come across a site I'm unfamiliar with, if I don't see the link I'm looking for within a few seconds, I use ctrl+f to search the page for it. With so many links hidden by default, I would be a little concerned about how new users would react to, say, finding no hits for "Knights of the Nine" right away. If they didn't realize the sidebar was expandable and didn't find the link right off the bat, they may just go use another site. Of course, the search function should make up for that, but I still think it's worth thinking about.
I really don't have any strong opinions for or against the change, though. For all I know, having all the extra links more readily available will give us more traffic and cause no problems at all ;). eshetalk 20:04, 19 September 2012 (GMT)

() If you have been following this discussion and have gotten somewhat lost, then stop here and read this and only this post. The above is some technical crap about how to customize this, but you don't need to worry about that. Please try this out! I spent a long time making this, and I think it has the potential to greatly change the accessibility of our website. In order to try this out:

  1. Go to your Javascript page.
  2. Add this on a new line: importScript('User:Jak_Atackka/sidebar.js'); If you haven't created this page, then go ahead and do so.
  3. Save the page. You may have to "hard refresh". To do so, just hold down the Shift key while you click the Refresh button.

If you haven't yet contributed to this discussion, please do so! Even if you only have to say "I don't care either way", that's fine. All I want to do right now is find out how everyone feels about this, and if we'd be interested in implementing this site-wide. • JAT 05:59, 20 September 2012 (GMT)

Overall, I'm pretty pleased with the collapsible sidebar, with a couple of very minor cosmetic exceptions:
1. The collapsible lists (Skyrim, Oblivion, etc.) are black on my browser, while the linked ones are blue. A minor thing, but it just doesn't look right
2. The arrows to the left of the collapsible lists are much smaller than the squares next to the linked ones. IMO, it makes the collapsible ones less prominent. --Xyzzy Talk 06:27, 20 September 2012 (GMT)
I agree with the first one. I think it's redundant to link to the Official Plug-ins page, and then list all of them right below. However, that's a matter of preference. As for the second one, I'm guessing that you're using Internet Explorer 9. IE9 uses it's own (stupid) font rendering engine, so when I tell it to make the arrows exactly 8 pixels wide, every other browser says "Okay" and makes the arrows 8 pixels wide, but IE9 is like "No, I'm doing it my way!" and makes them 3 pixels wide. I've scoured the internet, and the only workaround is to have it use an image, which I'd like to avoid. • JAT 21:16, 20 September 2012 (GMT)
I'd be happy to have it site-wide, but if not, I'm also happy to continue to use yours. Robin Hoodtalk 22:54, 20 September 2012 (GMT)

Skyrim Main page link to People instead of NPCs - moved from Skyrim talk page

I'm moving my question here, where it probably should have originally been posted...

The Skyrim NPCs page is just about impossible to find without searching for it directly, and that has been made more difficult since the wiki upgrade. I think the main Skyrim page should link to the NPC page instead of the People page. The NPC page already contains a link to the People page, and I would consider named People to be a subset of NPCs. Thoughts? --Xyzzy Talk 04:37, 20 September 2012 (GMT)

I would support this change. • JAT 04:49, 20 September 2012 (GMT)

Moving images to "Activity" category

I'm bringing this up again because I originally asked this at the tail end of another conversation, and it never got answered.

I have been slowly proposing moving all activity-related images to the new "Activity" image category. I would like to do the same for the ore vein images since they have been uploaded into more than one category ("vein", "item", possibly others), and "activity" just seems to fit best. Does anybody object to this? --Xyzzy Talk 14:24, 20 September 2012 (GMT)

Not at all—I think "Activity" is the best spot for the ore vein images. They're clearly related to the mining activity, and they aren't really items or places, so I think that makes the most sense. And thanks for fixing the category on the chopping block image, by the way! I forgot to do that yesterday... eshetalk 14:33, 20 September 2012 (GMT)
I'd prefer a separate "ore" category for the ore images, but "activity" is fine. —Legoless (talk) 16:34, 20 September 2012 (GMT)

Did you know... mistake

Not sure if this is the right place to post this, but I will do it anyway;

On the Main_Page, in the Did you know bit, it says that: the Dwemer runes on the Knights of the Nine box cover translate to "By the eternal power of Umaril, the mortal gods shall be cast down"?

However, these are not actually Dwemer Runes, yes, they are very similar, but they are actually Ayleid. The difference is in the more organic look of the runes. This also makes more sense in regards to the Knights of the Nine, since its about Ayleids, not about Dwemer. — Unsigned comment by Kamica (talkcontribs) at 21:24 on 25 September 2012‎

I took a closer look, and while they are a bit small for me to easily read on the cover, I'd be inclined to agree they are Ayleid, taking into account the plot of the game. I've changed the wording of the DYK snippet. Eric Snowmane(talkemail) 22:54, 25 September 2012 (GMT)

Introductory Sentence of NPC Pages

On our current style guide page for NPC page layout, the guidelines state that the first sentence of an NPC page "should always provide the NPC's name (bold-face), race (as a link), and class/occupation (as a link). It should also provide the location where the NPC works/lives." Lately, there's been a mass of edits being made to various Skyrim NPC pages to follow this guideline with the introductory sentence. Most of the time, I think this is a good thing, as it lends some consistency to the pages and adds small details which should have been on the page already anyway. It's really nice to see the editors who have made a lot of these edits doing so, as it's one of those tasks which can seem small when looking at each individual page, but a rather hefty, tedious project to do when trying to update them all to meet these standards.

However, one thing I've noticed with these edits on certain NPC pages is that the NPC's class is being added into the introductory sentence even when it doesn't really fit the NPC in question. For example, Alfarinn's page states "Alfarinn is a Nord warrior, and the Windhelm carriage driver." However, Alfarinn's schedule does not allow him to do anything but sit on his carriage and engage in dialogue-- he doesn't ever stand up, walk around, or leave the carriage, and he certainly does not engage in combat. So while it's true that his NPC stats in game-data match that of one of several classes in Skyrim called "warrior", I don't believe that using that as part of his description (especially in the very first sentence which introduces him) is really practical or helpful in any way. This isn't a unique case either, there are at least a dozen other cases (and probably more) that I've seen in the Skyrim namespace which don't really fit-- another couple examples are Grelod the Kind listed as a lumberjack, or Jonna as a blacksmith.

I realize that the NPC classes are correct in these cases, and that it technically follows the style guide we have in place at the moment. But, personally, I would prefer to see the class information omitted from the introductory sentence on NPC pages if it doesn't really fit the NPC in question when it comes to gameplay. It isn't particularly useful for most players, and those who really wish to know those details can simply look to the NPC Summary box on the right side of the page for that information. I'm not proposing that we immediately eliminate all cases in which the class is present on a page that seems remotely questionable. I do think we should determine its relevance before adding(/removing) it from the introductory sentence, on a case-by-case basis. I understand that this may be a little subjective, but I think it's reasonable to believe that it's not so opinion-based that it will cause issues.

Changing this guideline so that our NPC pages don't have to start off with an obscure link to an impractical and irrelevant piece of information would be relatively simple, assuming others agree. In terms of what's written on the guideline page (currently says that the first sentence of an NPC page "should always provide the NPC's name (bold-face), race (as a link), and class/occupation (as a link).) I think changing the "class/occupation" part to "class and/or occupation" would probably work well enough, possibly with an added note saying not to add the class link if it's not relevant to the NPC?

I don't know, I'm starting to just ramble on now at this point. I realize this might be better placed on the talk page for that particular guideline page, but I figured placing it on the CP would get more attention, which I think is important since it would affect a large number of pages. So, thoughts? — ABCface 21:49, 30 September 2012 (GMT)

I agree with this in the sense that it makes no sense... It seems that the rule governing this is "content over style", but it is so ugly imo, that style should rule. The class link should perhaps come in a secondary sentence, where it can be made to fit or explained properly. Golden SilenceBreak the Silence 22:02, 30 September 2012 (GMT)
I actually agree with your suggestion there ABCface. While I have added the class to some of the NPC article pages, when it came to the ones which I found odd for the particular NPC, I tended to leave it out as it seemed to contradict with what the NPC actually does in game. I agree that the class should only be added to the introductory sentence of the NPC if it relates in some way to the NPC situation or what they do in-game, otherwise leave it out as it can be misleading and like you said the information is found on the NPC Summary table anyways if someone was for some reason looking for the class. -Helenaannevalentine(talk) 22:07, 30 September 2012 (GMT)
I strongly disagree. I only see problems with this proposal. First of all, we have literally 1000s of NPC pages with that formatting. Second, we’ll have to argue over an awful lot of NPCs because whether or not the class is ‘necessary’ is personal opinion, and that’s not something we deal with on the UESP. Third, if we list it on the Summary anyway, what’s wrong with listing it in the text? You can say that listing classes for dead NPCs is a waste of space, but why not? It’s not a big deal, it makes the text flow better and it’s the way we have written NPC pages for the past four years. Like I said, it’s not up to us to decide what is important – it’s up to us to document the games in detail, and that definitely includes NPC classes. --Krusty (talk) 22:17, 30 September 2012 (GMT)
Well, ABCface, you have made some wonderful points, but I side with Krusty, although not so strongly, and closer to the neutral line. We have lots of NPCs already following the old format, and it wouldn't exactly be a task that a bot could do. That's a lot of manual labor to change the text of every NPC page. And, like Krusty said to document the game thoroughly, we should include it. Although I see the counterargument for you where it would be in the infobox. That's why I am on the fence. Consider me to a weak opposition. Eric Snowmane(talkemail) 22:36, 30 September 2012 (GMT)
We're not talking about changing every NPC page, just the handful where the class doesn't really apply to the NPC. It's also still following the general theme, only substituting "occupation" for "class". I'll want to take time to think about it more, and see what other points are brought up, but my gut feeling is that tweaking the style rule makes sense. I certainly see Krusty's point about it bringing up debates, but I think we can resolve that by making it a hard-and-fast rule that we only use the occupation when the class has no relevance in a normal game. I use the word "normal" to avoid debates about mods, console changes, or really out-of-the-ordinary gameplay like attacking wagon drivers and causing them fight back, making them "warriors" for a brief period. (Heck, that's so far from normal gameplay, even if fairly easy to do, that I don't even know if they would, nor have I ever heard anyone talk about doing it.) True, what constitutes "normal" itself could be up for debate, but I don't think it'll come up all that often.
Something else to consider here is that we've already made exceptions to this rule. Just looking through a few of the A's in Category:Oblivion-NPCs, I found A Stranger, Afflicted Brethren, and Agronak gro-Malog. In each case, we've broken pattern because it didn't really make sense to follow it. Then there's Aloys Bincal where we've done exactly what ABCface is proposing, listing occupation instead of class. Robin Hoodtalk 22:56, 30 September 2012 (GMT)
I'm on holidays at the moment, but if you guys do decide to follow ABCface's example, and like RobinHood suggested above me with a few examples that decided they wouldn't fit the rule, I'd put my hand up and slave around the NPC pages to double-check them if you guys want :) -Helenaannevalentine(talk) 23:06, 30 September 2012 (GMT)

() I entirely agree with Alphabetface's proposal. The whole purpose of an introductory sentence is to do exactly that, introduce the subject. It has to create a simple snapshot of the character in question, accurately describing them, if in a very simple manner. The current setup of listing the NPC's class, although fairly accurate most of the time, does not work in all situations. Alphabetface's previous example of Grelod the Kind is a perfect example. The introductory sentence on her page is,

"Grelod the Kind is an elderly lumberjack, and the cruel owner of the Honorhall Orphanage in Riften."

The piece of information describing her as a lumberjack is very distracting, and considering the context of the sentence, is also erroneous. If you could use five words to describe Grelod, "lumberjack" wouldn't be anywhere near the list. Ingun Black-Briar's page describes her as an assassin, Anuriel (the steward of the Jarl of Riften) is described as a monk, and Susanna the Wicked (the bard in Candlehearth Hall) is described as a rogue. The average reader assumes that this is describing their occupation and who they are as a character, not even considering that it's just the name of the class used within the game files. It took me a couple of months to realize that this was referring to the NPC's class. All of the data extracted from the game files can be found in the {{NPC Summary}}, so it's not like removing that one word from the first sentence will adversely affect a person's ability to find the class, if they need it.

Also, remember that this is not geared towards removing all mention of an NPC's class on the page. This change wouldn't affect the vast majority of pages, because it is focused on dealing with a few unusual NPCs on a case-by-case basis. Besides, from what I saw skimming through the Skyrim NPC pages, about a quarter of them don't list the class at all in the text, instead just mentioning their occupation. The whole point to Alphabetface's proposition is to formally recognize that exceptions can be made to this rule. • JAT 04:14, 1 October 2012 (GMT)

I agree with ABCface's idea here. Some of these descriptions have always bothered me. While I agree that this would be somewhat subjective, I don't necessarily see that as a bad thing. I don't think that we should shy away from controversial ideas for fear of argument or debate. It gets the juices flowing and creates more interest for those involved, as well as those (like me) that may come along and read the discussion after the fact. --Xyzzy Talk 05:44, 1 October 2012 (GMT)
What I see here is unhealthy. Please look into the future a bit; if some anon decide that all peaceful “warriors” doesn’t deserve to have the class mentioned in the introductory text, based on this brand new “we can make exceptions”-guideline, you can be 100% certain the anon will make 200 unnecessary edits to NPC pages, because we basically invited him/her to have a personal opinion. This proposal WILL end in arguments, because we all differ on this topic. I for one couldn’t care less if Grelod is a lumberjack, a Gray Fox or a Thief – that’s what she was created to be by the developers, and our personal opinions doesn’t mean a thing. Please remember that this wiki is not maintained by the ten busiest editors – it’s open to everybody, and we will get burned if we continue down this path – regardless of how many unfinished NPC pages you guys dig up as examples. --Krusty (talk) 05:52, 1 October 2012 (GMT)
Krusty, these kinds of exceptions aren't confined to random NPC pages. Some examples of NPC pages that do not explicitly list the class include Ulfric Stormcloak, Delphine, and Balgruuf the Greater. Also, anons make stupid edits like that all the time, regardless of the rules. Barring spam and vandalism, 95% of the stupid edits that I've had to revert was due to users not reading the rules, not users misinterpreting the rules. If an anon/new user does goes out of their way to find out about these rules, then all we need to do is phrase the rules clearly. One possibility is:
The first sentence should always provide the NPC's name (bold-face), race (as a link), and class/occupation (as a link). It should also provide the location where the NPC works/lives. If the name of the NPC's class does not match the character at all (for example, a Lumberjack that's really an elderly woman that runs an orphanage, or a Child that is actually an adult), it can be omitted.
And yes, our opinion isn't important on whether or not we think that the NPC's class fits the character. It is, however, entirely within our control whether or not to confuse the readers by listing extraneous and misleading information. Extraneous, in that the information can be found in the NPC summary; misleading, in that when you refer to a character as a Lumberjack, the majority of readers will assume that they are a lumberjack by profession. • JAT 06:33, 1 October 2012 (GMT)
(edit conflict) Krusty is correct. I am all for change, but I feel that everyone is being too... progressive, for lack of a better word, when it comes to the wiki. We have 1000s of NPCs across many games following this same pattern, and if we start to pick and chose what's relevant or not, then everything is potentially open to change. In order to thoroughly document who the characters are, we need to include information like that in the body text. It describes who the person is, whether or not it's actually used.
If I were to make a page about me, for example, saying "Eric Snowmane is an amateur filmmaker, gamer, and editor of UESP blah blah blah", then cutting out what else I do, whether applicable or not to the current situation, would fail to thoroughly document who I am. Grelod is a lumberjack, whether she uses the skill or not, and to ignore it would be to inadequately document her. Of course, that's just my opinion on it. We document the games as they exist, it's not our place to pick and chose what information is important enough to include or discard.
UESP exists to document the game. We don't get to pick and chose what's is or isn't relevant to the characters. If Grelod was a tooth fairy, I would want it to say so.
Oh, and as to the few OB characters that Rob listed, if I was here for their creation, I would have pushed for documenting the class as well, since it's important to the character. I will step off the soap box for a while, as I fear I am beginning to ramble more than I want to, and I don't want my message to be lost at 2:40 in the morning. Eric Snowmane(talkemail) 06:44, 1 October 2012 (GMT)

() I am vehemently opposed to this proposal. When it comes to these kind of changes, I always think it's important to ask yourself who exactly we are helping by changing things. Ourselves? No, we're just creating more work and more potentially extremely divisive arguments down the line. New users? No, I think it's fairly clear why we list their class, even if it is their first visit to the site and even their first time interacting with anything Elder Scrolls. Regular users who would notice this, and the style is primarily intended to assist due to them learning how we layout our pages so they can more quickly find the information they need? Not really, they would almost surely know why. They might actually get a bit of enjoyment out of it, actually. Can you imagine Grelond as a woodcutter? It's kind of funny once you think about it.

As Krusty said, just because you can provide examples where the style guide isn't maintained, doesn't at all mean that the style guide is worthless as it is. To respond to the examples Robin and Jak have brought up; I wish to point out that A Stranger is an oddity, Afflicted Brethren clearly has issues as it leads with their inventory instead of anything else, Agronak gro-Malog and most arena pages have several outstanding problems that simply having been addressed due to the sheer complexity of the issue relating to them, and all of Jak's examples are VIPs who are treated differently.

All in all, the reasons to change current guidelines on this are just clearly outweighed by the trouble they'll create. I also find it weird to propose a change to the style guide that directly contradicts the purpose of the style guide. To quote the introduction to the Style Guide, "UESPWiki's Style Guide is designed to maintain consistency throughout the site. Since editors from all over the world make modifications and additions to UESPWiki's articles, it is important for the project to have a uniform format and style. This article summarizes our recommended style guidelines, that apply to all articles written on the site. Articles that follow these guidelines are more likely to be well-received by the rest of the community, and will require other editors to spend less time cleaning up the articles." From this text alone, I would oppose this change from an almost entirely objective point of view. The purpose of the NPC style isn't to make that much sense, but to be consistent. By editing it so it'll be less clear cut, we're violating the very spirit the style guide was created on.

And just to be technical, you would of probably had been alright if you had just been bold and edited, without bringing any potential issues with consensus overruling your edits. Assuming someone would even had noticed, the clear argument you could of made to defend your edits after the fact (but not if you're going to start it out as a discussion), was that the style guide is just that, a guideline. We don't need to follow guidelines to the letter, so it can make sense to ignore them when appropriate (as you could of easily had argued after the fact, but not as easily before it). This may seem like I'm directly opposing my own argument here, but this is really a case of going to discuss an issue first instead of just doing what you wish and seeing how it turns out. --AKB Talk Cont Mail 09:57, 1 October 2012 (GMT)

(This was written before the site crash, so it's written without AKB's points to look at, until near the end.)
I'd like point out a great suggestion The Silencer made, which seems to have been missed in the length of this discussion so far. He suggested:
"The class link should perhaps come in a secondary sentence, where it can be made to fit or explained properly."
I think this is an ideal way to document the information within the text of the NPC article page without including it as part of the introductory sentence. It seems, to me, to be a good compromise, allowing us to remove the misleading information from the very first sentence, but still document the information on the page. Using Grelod the Kind as an example again, her page could start with: "Grelod the Kind is the cruel, elderly owner of the Honorhall Orphanage in Riften." Then, later on the page (whether in the next sentence, another paragraph, or even the notes section, but still somewhere within the text of the page), we could add a note such as "Grelod is a member of the lumberjack class, which determines the level of her skills." Obviously, this isn't perfect, but simply an example of the way we could use The Silencer's suggestion as a compromise to the current guideline.


Now, to address issues brought up so far. Let me make a few things clear. A) I'm not suggesting we change every single NPC page. I'm suggesting that we make exceptions only for unusual cases, the number of which is relatively small. B) I'm proposing that we don't add class information in the very first sentence on the page for these particular cases, not that we don't document it at all. C) I'm not suggesting that we don't ever use this format for the introductory sentence. I'm proposing that in cases in which the class does not fit the player's gameplay experience of the NPC in any way, that we use their in-game occupation in place of the class in the introductory sentence.
Now, allow me to address the arguments I'm seeing against this so far.
  1. We have tons of pages using that formatting already.
    • Again, I'm not proposing we change all pages which use this format. While there are many which use this (and should), we also have many exceptions which don't. The examples being dug up are not irrelevant. They are being dug up to show that this has already been allowed for a considerable amount of time—they show that there is already a precedent established to do so when it makes sense.
  2. There will be arguments over the "necessity" of class in the introductory sentence of NPC pages.
    • That's what talk pages are for, it's that simple. In the vast majority of cases, NPC classes do fit the NPC in question. In situations where a conflict arises, the talk page in the article in question can be used. This is how the wiki works, as clearly explained on our own UESPWiki:Consensus page.
  3. "If we list it on the Summary anyway, what’s wrong with listing it in the text?"
    • As Jak has already pointed out, what's wrong with it in these unusual cases is that the information is both distracting and erroneous. The introductory sentence is meant to introduce the NPC. It's meant to sum up the person being described on the page. "Lumberjack" does not sum up Grelod the Kind in any way whatsoever. Reading that on the very first line of the page will throw the reader off from the get-go, before they even have a chance to get to the bulk of the page and learn anything else about her. It's not a good first impression if it seems wrong, and in cases like this, it will seem wrong. We don't want to deter readers as soon as they get to a page by introducing the subject in a misleading way.
  4. Changing every NPC page is not a task that a bot could do.
    • This argument is irrelevant, because it was already stated in the original post that the proposal is meant to address the handful of cases which don't fit the guideline being followed. Not only is there a relatively small number of pages which would be affected, it was never something a bot would have been involved in.
  5. Some random user may decide to change 200 pages to remove the class information because they think it's unneeded.
    • Like Jak said, there are far more edits which need to be reverted as a result of not reading the rules than the other way around. However, since the concern is that the proposed guideline would be inviting this type of behavior, the easiest and most practical way to address this is to keep editors from misinterpreting the guideline by ensuring that the guideline is clear. (To be perfectly honest, the way it is phrased now, using "class/occupation" could already be easily interpreted to mean one or the other, instead of both. For that reason alone, the guideline should be made more clear regardless of this discussion's outcome. But that's a bit of an offshoot from this topic.) Honestly, if a user wants to make that many changes in succession, there will be time to post on their talk page to discuss it before they hit too many pages, so a relatively small number of pages would be affected before a discussion is started. Normal wiki guidelines would apply here in terms of discussion and consensus. On the very unlikely chance that they take the time to use 200 separate tabs to make such changes, then save all of them at one time, it still is not that difficult to undo. In any case, I don't think this would be an issue likely to arise often enough to worry about, and certainly not in the exaggerated magnitude that's been used in the hypothetical what-if scenario used as an example.
  6. The NPC pages dug up as examples of exceptions are unfinished. (implied)
    • (This wasn't a clear argument against this idea, but an implied argument against the examples others have used to support this change.) First of all, as a wiki, there are very, very few pages which can ever be considered truly "finished". The wiki is an ongoing, collaborative project, and almost every single article page on UESP can continue to be edited as long as the wiki exists. So what constitutes a finished article page is also subjective. If you want to go with the idea that an NPC page which has had all the ONPCRP project tag paramaters completed is considered finished, there are still multiple examples of exceptions. There are even exceptions on pages referred to as finished in the edit summary [1]. Maybe adding the class information to the NPC description on these pages is in order, maybe not. The point here is, even pages which would be considered "finished" by many include exceptions to this guideline already.
Having just now read AKB's points, I feel as if I have to repeat myself. If the very first sentence of an NPC page is misleading, it is distracting and it turns the reader off straightaway. So moving the information down to a lower part of the page, instead of starting out with it, keeps the information in place without turning them away. Who is this helping? It directly helps new readers to the site by not giving them a bad impression or leading them elsewhere. This helps all users, regular or new, because keeping new users coming back is how the community will continue to grow. As for the examples being brought up, all that's been done is explaining the reasons for the exceptions. In this case, we have the same reason for a number of exceptions in Skyrim. That's why I think making the guideline more clear by explaining the slash (/) in the "class/occupation" part of that guideline is important. I brought it up here because it will affect many pages and may be controversial, per our current guidelines. For now, I'll quit as I'm not sure anyone will actually read all this anyway. Please, if you've just skimmed this whole post, read the part about taking The Silencer's suggestion, at the top. I think this is a good compromise for those who are so adamantly against this. — ABCface 11:36, 1 October 2012 (GMT)
I think making this change to the style guide is a fine idea—the few cases where the class is a little...weird...have been bothering me lately, probably since some hard-working folks have been adding them to NPC pages lately (thanks, guys!). I think listing it in a secondary sentence—even the second sentence, if it makes more people happy—and phrasing it the way ABCface did above in her Grelod example ("Grelod is a member of the lumberjack class, which determines the level of her skills.") is the best idea. I won't repeat all the reasons why, since they've been said, but I would like to address a couple of the concerns that have been brought up.
First of all, no, this isn't something a bot could do, and it isn't something a bot should do. I'm guessing there will only be a handful that the exception would really apply to. Even if we did have to update a ton of pages to comply with the change, UESPWiki has thankfully never been short of crazy people (myself included) who are willing to take on massive repetitive tasks. So, no problem there.
Also, there's no need to be afraid that one small change in the style guide is going to invite masses of bad edits. Any anonymous or new user who is going to make an edit that doesn't comply with the style guide is going to do it whether we change the guideline or not. (I mean let's face it, very few people probably bother reading all the links we give them in welcome messages, and there's nothing we can do to change that.) But on the off chance someone new does read the style guide before making a change, the guide itself ought to represent our actual standard, which is that some NPC pages are an exception to the rule, and that's okay because it helps that page make the most sense when you read it. It's also handy to have an up-to-date style guide for more experienced editors who don't always work on NPC pages and like to double-check themselves, or for patrollers who need to verify an edit.
I guess my point more simply put is this: some NPC classes don't make any sense (Grelod a lumberjack? Really?), and having a qualifier like "which determines his/her skills" in the text of the article is more informative and less confusing. This can easily be cleared up in the second sentence of an article, while leaving the rest of the first sentence to match what's done on other pages. Only a few pages will be like this anyway, and we can certainly handle it :). eshetalk 13:52, 1 October 2012 (GMT)
My tl;dr opinion is this: classes in Skyrim mean very little, and if they sound ridiculous then it's reasonable enough to exclude them from the opening sentence. If we were to base our opening sentence solely on obscure info from the CK, Grelod's opening sentence would state that she is "a lumberjack of the Old Person Race". Exceptions should be made. —Legoless (talk) 17:38, 1 October 2012 (GMT)
I think I didn't make myself completely clear as I was trying to troubleshoot to make sure there weren't issues on my end and I had to leave about ten minutes after I wrote that (so I was in a hurry, is what I'm saying). I was less opposed to changing it where classes where it didn't make sense (as I implied, that's more of a personal point of view), more to changing the guideline. Guidelines are there to guide, not command. The proposed changes I've seen just make the instructions provided a bit less clear. I was more for just making the change without altering the guidelines at all. As Lego said, exceptions need to made made, and they are. But that's the primary difference between a guideline and policy, one is more "do this or else" and the other is "do this, if it'll work for the given situation". I dislike seeing ambiguity added to instructions that are already supposed to be interpreted a bit liberally.
That's why I said you should of just made the edit, because there wouldn't of been any issue if you did. Well, there might of been but it would of been a bit simpler to resolve. I just felt this discussion was based on a misunderstanding of the flexibility of a style guide. --AKB Talk Cont Mail 18:39, 1 October 2012 (GMT)

() I think the NPC's class should be listed in the CLASS field of the summary template, and beyond that, flexibility should prevail. We should not have "Grelod is a lumberjack..." in the introductory sentence of her page. In that case, her class is a technical detail of interest to certain kinds of users only, and such users will generally know to look for it in the summary template. The idea that everything must be uniform or that chaos will ensue is untenable as an absolute. If we can't abide people making "bad/incorrect" changes, (changes that must be corrected, debated, changed and changed again), then we don't want a wiki. --JR (talk) 05:25, 7 October 2012 (GMT)

To quote Ralph Waldo Emerson, "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." In other words, I see no problem with having a bit of flexibility in cases where being an absolute stickler to the rules makes things just look silly. I'd also like to point out that on a lot of these articles, you see phrases like "So-and-so is a male Dunmer priest" or something to that effect. What bothers me there is the word "male". I don't think it's necessary to stipulate the character's gender in the first sentence. Such can be inferred from the use of pronouns elsewhere in the article, not to mention the table on the right and the picture on the left. (It may be slightly justified in the case of Argonians, Khajiits, and possibly Orcs, because it's slightly harder to tell from pictures, but even then it just seems wrong.) Imagine if Wikipedia's article on Abraham Lincoln started with "Abraham Lincoln was a white male lawyer from Illinois..." It just seems disrespectful. In fact, I don't think his gender is mentioned even once in the article, or for that matter in any biographical article for any person, living or dead, real or fictional, except in unusual cases such as the transgendered, or characters whose gender is unspecified or ambiguous. In all other cases, it's simply unnecessary and almost rude-sounding to mention it. TheRealLurlock (talk) 15:44, 7 October 2012 (GMT)
Including the gender of NPCs in the opening sentence has been discussed before, and was opposed. Feel free to remove them on sight, unless there's some specific reason it's there. —Legoless (talk) 16:07, 7 October 2012 (GMT)
Mentioning gender has been a no-go for about 4 years, so they should just be removed. Still, lets not encourage all of these tweak-edits (race, class, capitalization) and instead encourage people to write full articles. We have a content-problem – and we can focus on all these small details when we get bored. In short, let’s concentrate on fleshing out articles instead of endless tweaking - it clogs up the RC and is not really important. --Krusty (talk) 18:06, 7 October 2012 (GMT)
I really don't see a problem with people making streaks of smaller edits, to be honest. If that's how people want to contribute, then other people don't have to do it later. Every little bit helps! You could always hide minor edits on the RC if it bugs you :). eshetalk 18:43, 7 October 2012 (GMT)
I finished removing genders in the introductory sentences of most named NPCs; pretty much checked most of the NPCs listed on Skyrim:People. I'm sure I missed a few, and also those that are not listed there. But I guess the bulk of the "gender issue" is resolved. If any of you happen to come across articles with the genders which I failed to cover, please do remove them heee :) ~ Psylocke 18:48, 7 October 2012 (GMT)
Well, maybe that's all of them for Skyrim. There's still plenty of them in Oblivion and Morrowind and their expansions. Didn't check the older games, but I don't think there are very many NPC pages for them since they're almost all randomly generated. You can just do a search for "male" or "female" restricted to just those namespaces and you can see lots of them. (Too bad it only searches for whole words, otherwise "male" would find both since it's a substring of "female".) Unfortunately, this search also turns up all pages that don't have the problem, since the word appears in the table as it's supposed to. But you can at least easily see in the results which ones also appear in the intro sentence. TheRealLurlock (talk) 19:26, 7 October 2012 (GMT)

() As far as gender goes, it wouldn't be hard to get the bot to go through the various games' People categories (or anything else it needs to) and generate a list of pages that still have the words "male" or "female" in the first sentence. I wouldn't want to have it remove them, since rpeh already did that with RoBoT back when the issue was first decided on, so anything that's been missed or re-added probably doesn't conform to "the formula" and can't simply be removed blindly. I'm imagining a non-standard start, like "If you are a female, so-and-so will...", which wouldn't work out well at all to have the word removed. So if we want to do that, let me know, but especially with Psylocke having already gone through them, I don't see this is a big priority. Still, if others think it is, like I said, it's a fairly easy task, so I'm willing to do the programming if desired. Robin Hoodtalk 20:13, 7 October 2012 (GMT)

ISoNPCP Edit Break 1

We've gotten off-topic with the gender issue, so back to the actual topic brought up here. I've re-read every single post in this thread, and the consensus seems to be allowing for exceptions to this guideline (eleven people support allowing exceptions, while two oppose). The consensus on changing the guideline is a little less clear. Personally, I feel that if we are going to be allowing exceptions, we should make that clear in the guidelines as well, but I've already expressed this. Since there's no clear consensus about that issue, I won't change the guideline page unless more input is added. However, the consensus here clearly shows we should allow for exceptions to the guideline. Since this is the case, I'll be updating any relevant NPC pages I see from here on using The Silencer's suggestion to document the class link in a secondary sentence of the first paragraph, where it can be explained properly. The format of the class sentence I'll be using is "<NPC> is a member of the <ClassName> class, which determines the level of his/her skills."ABCface 03:27, 8 October 2012 (GMT)

Disagreed once again, I’m afraid, although only slightly. The entire point of the OBNPCRP was to describe all NPCs in a “human” way, which basically eliminated all the technical/formal stuff and focus on describing the NPC as a character, not a piece of game data. That approach is the entire reason I like writing NPC pages and some formal apology for what-is-now-known-as “a confusing class” has nothing to do in the introductory sentence of the story. There is absolutely no reason to change the guidelines from the OBNPCRP, so I’d suggest that we just eliminate "the confusing class" info from the introductory sentence ad add Silencer’s explanation as a note. --Krusty (talk) 05:25, 8 October 2012 (GMT)
I agree with Krusty, so you can add +1 to the number of people opposing exceptions. I've been skimming through the entire catalog of Skyrim NPCs; believe me, I get the complaint. Many of the class names are downright absurd, and I've done a lot of double-takes when reading them in text. But I don't think it's necessary to act as if readers of the UESP cannot figure out what is meant when we say Grelod the Kind is a lumberjack, etc., etc. Bethesda has provided us a way to completely remove bias from part of our descriptions of NPCs, and I think we should hold onto it as best we can. Bright-line rules are awesome, and exceptions often beg to be exploited. Minor EditsThreatsEvidence 05:43, 8 October 2012 (GMT)
(edit conflict) Okay, well unless a bunch more people come out in opposition to making exceptions, I'll move this "secondary sentence" to the 'Notes' section rather than keep it within the first paragraph, as Krusty suggested in his most recent post. — ABCface 05:46, 8 October 2012 (GMT)
I don't entirely understand your last comment, Krusty. (That's an honest request for clarification, not any kind of criticism.) You disagree with "exceptions," but you recommend removing confusing class info from the first sentence? What guideline do you want to adhere to with no exceptions? What would you propose for the first sentence of Grelod's page, for example? If there is some absolute rule about including the class of an NPC in the first sentence, I have not seen it until this discussion arose. People think that the first sentence on Abhuki's page be changed to read that she "is a Khajit publican..." instead of "innkeeper"? (Thus causing many if not most users' eyes to momentarily glaze over without understanding it, or a side-trip to a dictionary.) Does the question of "exceptions" apply to the "First paragraph" section here? What "OBNPCRP" guideline pertains to the issue? The current NPC style guide can be reasonably interpreted in a number of ways. First, there is what I see as an openly-worded general and overarching guideline: "The first sentence on the NPC's page should summarize all the key information about the character." Then there is an "example," and note that it is called an "example", which, again, can be interpreted in more than one specific way. It does not say something like, "The first sentence shall conform to the following format". Even if it did, it is not clear that "smith" in the example sentence describes a class or whether it describes an occupation, since it is both. The next line says that the first sentence should always include "class/occupation," which does not dictate that Grelod (her poor ears must be burning, even if she's dead) must be described as a lumberjack, as such is her class but not her occupation (unless she's moonlighting at the orphanage). Minor Edits, I feel quite certain that a number of users would indeed "need to figure out" what is meant if we introduce Grelod as a lumberjack. And even for those who may be able to "figure it out," why should we write in such a way that requires them to engage in that kind of effort? If we extend that line of reasoning, we could say that our wiki shouldn't exist, because people can "figure out" how to play or enjoy the game without its benefit! I'm not sure what you mean by Bethesda giving us an "unbiased way...." Bethesda calls her "the Orphanage's sadistic headmistress" in the journal entry, stage 20, Innocence Lost. Is that unbiased? I'm sure you must mean something that I don't yet get? For the moment, I've modified the first sentence on Grelod's page. Elderly lumberjack! It's good for a laugh, and it's good to have her class correctly identified in the summary table, but otherwise, she needs to get changed out of that skirt and head over to Heartwood Mill. --JR (talk) 07:34, 8 October 2012 (GMT)
I don't know who exactly you're quoting, but it's not me. I admitted that class names can throw people off in some situations, but I think you're over-emphasizing the problem here. The "effort" that you're concerned about making readers undergo is the realization, when faced with an incongruous description, that we're referring to class names, and that such names aren't always perfectly descriptive of an NPC in context. It doesn't exactly take a rocket scientist, especially with NPC summaries just an eye-twitch away. On the contrary, the vast majority of readers apparently understand just fine, because we're not exactly being flooded with complaints on this subject. On the rare occasions when some newcomer doesn't understand right away, taking half a minute to explain the arrangement and/or revert an edit or two is not difficult. TES games are made for a mature audience, and we can and should presume we are dealing with mature people blessed with basic reasoning and comprehension skills. Therefore, making every facet of the site idiot-proof is not nearly as important as accurately documenting the source material. I've said this on multiple topics related to site policy: there's no reason to treat the reader like an idiot. To quote Douglas Adams, "A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools". The point being, we should concern ourselves with the reasonable people out there, and do our best to cater to them, not to the more extreme cases of the intellectually challenged, because that is itself a fool's errand.
Extending my reasoning in the extreme way you describe is quite obviously ridiculous. That's like saying anyone who believes in providing a societal safety net is a communist. Stretching a reasonable position to absurdity does nothing to diminish the merit of the original position. Also, I'm not concerned with limiting Bethesda's bias; they can say whatever they want about Grelod or any other NPC, and we should faithfully record it. Limiting our own biases, on the other hand, is something we should be constantly striving to do. Minor EditsThreatsEvidence 09:10, 8 October 2012 (GMT)
Just taking a step back, and looking what this thing really is, that we call the "class" of a character. I don't think that Bethesda has provided us a way to completely remove bias from part of our descriptions of NPCs. Those class names are never shown ingame. Those class names are neither shown when editing an NPC in the CK, instead something like "CombatWarrior1H" is shown there. The human friendly names we are talking about, are hidden away in some CLASS records in the game data (example), and are never really used. A link to Skyrim:Warrior (class) isn't really useful, it links to CombatNightingale (or a collection of classes called "Warrior", but there is nothing to distinguish a link to CombatNightingale from a link to Warrior (class)). I guess that Bethesda has probably not worried overmuch, if those class names hidden away in the game data make any sense - trying to read sense into it (and giving it a big weight in the description of an NPC) is a bit problematic in my opinion. We even now make exceptions to the strict rules allowing for common sense, and don't describe the class as "Fire/Frost/Shock Mage" or "Sons of Skyrim Soldier" ("Sons of Skyrims" were changed to "Stormcloaks" during development, that Bethesda didn't bother to update the class name is some indication for it's importance/accuracy).--Alfwyn (talk) 10:04, 8 October 2012 (GMT)

() Alfwyn, I agree. Well-said. ME: Yes, your comments demonstrated that you see the issue from more than one side, and your thoughts are reasonable. I neglected to show that I appreciated that, and it might look like I took a snotty or arrogant tone, but that was not my intent nor was it in my heart. I just disagree. I may have played a little loose with the quotes. In essence, what I got from your earlier comment was that we should always specify an NPC's class in the first sentence because we can rely (enough) on users to be able to figure out what is meant when it's not immediately obvious or seems discordant. I, on the other hand, think that a lot of readers will be puzzled by it and sort of ignore it or just feel something's wrong and move on. Another significantly-sized group will be familiar with the meaning. But it seems to me that a lot of people will need to expend effort to make that connection. I think a lot of people will not be successful or simply not have a smooth experience—and I don't think this group will be restricted to the intellectually-impaired. This seems to be the crucial way our perspectives differ. I don't think we can rely on complaints as a metric here. When most of us see something that doesn't make sense on a website (be it a piece of journalism, an answer to a technical question, or whatever), few of us are motivated to write and submit a complaint. So, I speculate that there's a "cost" in terms of user experience incurred by a level of specification that would require a formula of "X is a [race][class] + [more info]." Further, as has been pointed out, the existing language in the style guide does not call for that, at least not clearly, so the convention that has developed among us of referring to something as a "rule/policy/guideline" and to something else as an "exception" seems to be a sort of fabricated construct (which I unconsciously subscribed to myself until ABCface and one or two others intelligently raised as a fundamental problem here). Before we talk about whether or not to allow "exceptions", should we not first try to achieve consensus on whether there is a rule and what that rule is?

Agreed: my "extending the logic" argument was a poor rhetorical device in this case, and you incisively laid that bare. I should have done a better job at trying to make the point that I think there is a balance to be struck between (one kind of) technical accuracy and uniformity, and communicating what will most matter to most users in straightforward language, and I think we have different ideas on how to do that. As far as the "bias" issue, maybe I don't really know what you mean. I guessed that your idea was that using a strict format in this case would remove a bias like an evaluative statement about Grelod, for example, versus an objective fact: Her class is indisputably "lumberjack." Is that right? If so, my intended point was that describing her as "Bethesda/the game" does, does not reflect a personal bias in my view. Yet another kind of balance involves consistency or uniformity vs. flexibility or fuzziness. It seems clear to me that there will always be a tension between the two in many areas, and I think that's as it should be. There have been quotes from the wiki's foundational or fundamental policies that make clear that both are valued. As time-consuming and tedious as these discussions can be (yes, I know: especially my "contributions"), I think it's a good process and should continue until a consensus of some kind is established, or until it just sort of goes away, which is another kind of consensus, I suppose. How about a few people working together to submit a few versions of a guideline here, (by which I mean potential changes to the language of the NPC Layout Page), including some people with different opinions, and submitting them for feedback/consensus? I would be willing to participate. --JR (talk) 13:41, 8 October 2012 (GMT)

I just want to say that it took me a solid two months of editing to even realize that those were the NPC's class, and did not necessarily reflect who they are as an NPC. Any time I saw an unusual class, I just assumed that I hadn't done the quest for that NPC yet. I'm hardly an idiot (I prefer the term simpleton), yet it took me a long time to make the connection. Remember that most anonymous users won't read the NPC Summary if they aren't looking for their ID. If they are anything like I was, they'll glance at the Summary, marvel at how complete the UESP is, and then never pay attention to it again.
I agree with the point that Alfwyn made just now, and Legoless a little ways back. Unlike in Oblivion, the NPC's class in Skyrim is a very obscure piece of data, and has little to no significance in actual gameplay. You aren't told the NPC's class at any point in-game. Heck, the CK doesn't tell you the name of the class up front. Basing our description off of obscure pieces of data is absurd; extending on Legoless' example,
Grelod the Kind is a lumberjack of the Old Person Race that is notable for not being summonable, having a raw disposition of 35, and moving to HonorhallYardMarker1 if her third or seven packages is activated.
JR makes some fine points, and I don't wish to detract from his argument by making a poor argument, but my point is that listing the class in the introductory sentence is not a good idea 100% of the time. There are plenty of situations where listing the NPC's class in the very first sentence is distracting and detracts from the article as a whole. If the class really needed to be listed in the body text somewhere (even thought the NPC Summary lists the class), then it could go in a secondary sentence, or under the notes section, or something. The whole point of this discussion is to take an unofficial guideline that has been followed for years and make it official. • JAT 14:25, 8 October 2012 (GMT)
I know exactly what you mean, Jak—I was the same way back when Skyrim first came out and I wasn't back to editing yet, and if I'd seen Hroki's page I would have been pretty convinced the article was just plain wrong. Anyway, we clearly are already using this particular "exception to the guideline" guideline, so it really makes the most sense to mention how to handle cases like this in the guideline. Even if it's just something general like "if the character's class doesn't seem to fit the actual character, as with example A and example B, the class can be mentioned in the Notes section instead," it needs to be there for new editors who want to tackle NPC articles and for those who just want to double-check how these oddball cases should be handled. I mean, outlining an idea of how we do things is the whole point of the style guide, right? eshetalk 15:25, 9 October 2012 (GMT)

Underlining on Recent Changes

For those of you who don't like the underlining of minor edits, new pages, and unpatrolled edits on the Recent Changes, add the following line to your common.css page:

abbr { border-bottom: transparent; }

It will go from this:

! N m

To this:

! N m

Odds are, you've adjusted to this by now, but if you still want to go back to when times were simpler, then you can. • JAT 17:04, 9 October 2012 (GMT)

Thanks, Jak. That was on my list of things to look into, but hadn't gotten around to it yet. I'm definitely going back to the old way! Robin Hoodtalk 20:16, 9 October 2012 (GMT)
Oooh, look at that- it works! Thanks, Jak! — ABCface 03:54, 10 October 2012 (GMT)

Guideline for use of {{About}}

I recently created a new template, {{About}}, in an attempt to standardize linking to similarly titled pages. It looks like this:

For other uses, see Archive 33.

This article is about site-wide discussions. For administrative discussions, see Administrator Noticeboard.

This article is about site-wide discussions. For administrative discussions, see Administrator Noticeboard. For image requests, see Image Requests.

Now that we have a template (and some sense of standardization), we need to establish a guideline. For the purposes of this post, I'm going to use Skyrim:Armor and Skyrim:Armor (effect) as an example.

Now, Wikipedia does have a policy on this. Under their policy, a link to Armor (effect) would be added to Armor. However, Armor (effect) would not link to Armor.

Although this is a great policy on Wikipedia, I do not think it applies here. Wikipedia has hundreds of thousands of disambiguation pages; we, on the other hand, have only 216. Wikipedia has disambiguation pages that link to dozens of articles; here, you'd be hard-pressed to find a disambiguation page that links to more than two articles. Also, we don't always have disambiguation pages for similarly named articles (Armor and Armor (effect) being a good example). In this case, there are zero cross-links between them, so if you're looking for one and stumble upon the other, you're screwed.

Specifically, I'm looking at changing the one part of the policy to allow us to post it on all suffixed pages (for example, Skyrim:Battle for Whiterun (Imperial) and Skyrim:Battle for Whiterun (Stormcloaks). I'm okay with the rest of Wikipedia's policy on the use of this template. (For those of you that are curious, Wikipedia uses a bunch of templates that are all based off of one template, called Hatnote, which is why they are called hatnotes. However, on our website, we only really need the {{About}} template, so it doesn't matter.)

So, thoughts? Do we defer to the Wikipedia policy, or use our own? • JAT 21:11, 10 October 2012 (GMT)

I would really like to follow Wikipedias Guidelines here. We have done so in the past (all the examples to the contrary on this site I could find are in the Skyrim namespace) and their rationale is equally valid here ("It is very unlikely that someone arriving there..."). Exceptions for cases like "Battle for Whiterun (*)" could be made, but they should be rare. And I wouldn't want to make it the rule and add it to all the cases like Lore:Winterhold (city).
Apart from that question, I would like people to consider the usage

For administrative discussions, see Administrator Noticeboard.

which is detailed here for cases where the first sentence in the article already explains what the page is about. No need to duplicate that in the hatnote. The gist of all that is to keep hatnotes to a minimum and as short as possible without being unclear. Otherwise it's just text distracting from the article the user was looking for. --Alfwyn (talk) 21:47, 10 October 2012 (GMT)
The purpose of that note was simply to demonstrate to people how the template looked, without requiring them to look at the template's Doc or to look at examples on other pages. I chose it simply because it was the first thing that popped in my mind. • JAT 22:04, 10 October 2012 (GMT)
The example they give on Wikipedia actually applies quite well here too: the gist of it being, don't link to something unrelated that someone is unlikely to be looking for, but do link to something that is related and/or that people might have been looking for. Unfortunately, in a quick search, I couldn't find too many cases where there isn't some reasonable argument for cross-links. The only one that jumped out at me is that we almost certainly shouldn't add cross-links to Arena:Arena and Oblivion:Arena (building). But whether we should link Oblivion:Arena (building), Oblivion:Arena District, and Oblivion:Arena (faction) is another matter. I would say probably not the faction, but the district and the buildling might make sense. Same thing with Alfwyn's Winterhold example.
In the end, I don't know what's best here, but I can see this very easily becoming a point of debate on a lot of articles if we don't establish some concrete guideline. If we can't come up with a concrete guideline on usage, another way to come at it might be a "don't remove an About if someone thought it would be useful" policy, though I can certainly see that posing problems in its own right if someone decides to litter Abouts all over the place. Robin Hoodtalk 22:45, 10 October 2012 (GMT)

Book Icons

I'd like to add icons to the books pages in each of the games. However, this is a somewhat non-trivial task, given the template cross-complexity we've got going on between namespaces and all that. There's several things to consider:

  • Icons should be specified at gamespace level, NOT on the Lore page. Most books have appeared in more than one game, with different graphics, so there'd be no way of including them in Lore space fairly.
  • Templates should all be designed such that the icon is an optional parameter. It may take a while (and maybe a bot job) to get all the pages updated.
  • What do we do about links to groups of books, such as those seen on Morrowind:Books? I already need to fix it so that the ID doesn't try to display. Should the icon be specified on both the parent page and on each of the chapters?

The templates that would need to be changed include: Template:Book Normal, Template:Book Skill, Template:Book Summary and its sub-template: Template:Book Summary/Game. You can see what pages would need to be updated here and here, and of course all of the gamespace book pages. If we can somehow avoid having to change all of the Lore book pages, that would be preferable.

Alternatively, we could avoid messing with the Book Summary and every gamespace book page by manually specifying the icons on the Book Normal and Book Skill templates only, which means you'd have to add them all to those pages only. In this case, we'd only get icons on the tables listing books, and not on the book pages themselves, but that's a reasonable compromise for avoid such a large task. Either way, assuming we want icons at all for book pages, we should choose one method or the other and go with it, because switching later on down the road would be another pain. TheRealLurlock (talk) 13:50, 14 October 2012 (GMT)

I am all for this. To make the job much easier, you could specify the icon(s) on just the Lore page, by defining iconMW, iconOB, and iconSR, and then having the appropriate icon displayed in each namespace. This would be greatly advantageous, because if the icons were consistently named, a bot could possibly do almost all of the work for adding the icons.
Looking at what pages link to Book Normal and Book Skill, they are used infrequently enough that the template itself could be changed, with different formatting on a per-namespace basis, which would also shrink the work load tremendously. • JAT 19:10, 14 October 2012 (GMT)
Oh, one other thing I just thought of is what happens if a book has more than one icon? It doesn't happen often, I think, but for example, several Morrowind books have both an open and closed version. If it were as simple as saying "Just use the closed one always", one icon might be acceptable, but considering that some books are always found open and do not have a closed icon means you have to treat these on an individual basis. Or just keep it at "Use closed icon if there is one, otherwise, just use what exists." I'm not sure it's worth trying to get that nolink&& feature to work with all the crazy transclusion complexity going on here. I do see the advantage to making it work in Lore space possibly, although I'm not sure if every book exists in Lore space. Some very game-specific books with not much Lore-relevant content only exist in their native game space, so it would have to work both ways if that's the case. TheRealLurlock (talk) 21:22, 14 October 2012 (GMT)
Quite a few books don't exists in lore space, almost all notes only exist in game space. We probably have to design the whole thing to allow for more than one icon. There are several instances were a book page describes two versions (often normal and skillbook), but there are other cases (example). --Alfwyn (talk) 21:28, 14 October 2012 (GMT)
Well, okay then. As for positioning, I'd say put the icon(s) at the upper left, in the same cell as the title, much as we do on ingredient pages. And for the Book Normal and Book Skill templates, the icon should appear in the first column, as they do on other item pages. (The column should be able to be empty if no icon exists, or omitted altogether at the discretion of the page, much like the "Location" column is sometimes omitted, using a #define above the table.) As for the icons themselves, I've now uploaded all of the Oblivion and Skyrim ones. I don't have Morrowind installed on this computer, and I've lost the discs (very sad). And to make matters worse, the computer that does have it installed has recently died (won't even turn on anymore), so I have no access to those. Hopefully somebody can take up the slack in that department. (If anyone is wondering why I stopped working on the Tamriel Rebuilt pages a while back, that has a lot to do with it. Well, that and finally getting Skyrim.) As for earlier games, I don't even know. Another reason why the templates have to allow icons to be optional. TheRealLurlock (talk) 22:04, 14 October 2012 (GMT)
I don't know the technical aspects of doing this, so I can provide no feedback in that department, but what's the point of this porject? The books only use a few generic covers, so all we'd see are loads of red books, loads of green books, whatever... If each book had a unique cover, this would make sense as a project to me, but as it is, it seems quite pointless to do. I guess I support the concept of the idea, at the very least in theory. I just felt like dropping in that question at the start since I was curious other people's opinions on the concept. Eric Snowmane(talkemail) 22:37, 14 October 2012 (GMT)
Because - "It's there"? I don't know, we have icons for every other item in the games, but not books. Seemed like a bit of an oversight that needed correction. There's actually more than you might think. Skyrim has 22 generic book and journal icons, Oblivion has 13. Morrowind had at least a dozen, I think. So it wouldn't be just like the same 2 icons over and over again. (For instance, I'm NOT suggesting this for Oblivion's potions. All potions used one icon, and all poisons used another, so it was really generic.) TheRealLurlock (talk) 23:53, 14 October 2012 (GMT)

() Okay, what am I missing here? I've set up a copy of Template:Book Normal at Template:Sandbox, and added the fields to Lore:The Doors of Oblivion, which is included at Oblivion:Sandbox and Skyrim:Sandbox. I've also added the inherits for Template:Book Summary/Lore and Template:Book Summary/Game. Not sure if I have to also do something to Template:Book Summary as well? I'm not seeing an icon on either page, and the Skyrim version doesn't even have the author and description, which do show up on the Oblivion version, despite using the exact same code. Is it just a caching issue? Maybe I'll try back later... TheRealLurlock (talk) 02:36, 17 October 2012 (GMT)

Purging the Skyrim sandbox made it display the author and description. — ABCface 02:44, 17 October 2012 (GMT)
Yeah, I purged several times, but it took crashing my browser and reloading (not intentionally!) before it actually displayed. Icons are still missing though... Somebody really needs to document these parser subroutines better. They're all listed here, but not explained. And the fact that template changes don't show up right away is really frustrating... TheRealLurlock (talk) 02:53, 17 October 2012 (GMT)
See UESPWiki:MetaTemplate. Sorry I haven't been around the past few days, I've been working on other projects, and even apart from that, I just really haven't had the head for wiki work lately. Jak can probably help you with any MetaTemplate questions not covered in the docs, but you can also post on my talk page...I still look at at least that every day. Robin Hoodtalk 03:00, 17 October 2012 (GMT)

() Just a quick question. Why do we try to stick game specific icon data onto Lore pages and going through much trouble to get it to display on game articles? Every other game specific data is on the game pages. And as pointed out earlier, not every book has a lore page. Icon data would be naturally fit onto book pages for the game. --Alfwyn (talk) 13:04, 20 October 2012 (GMT)

Sticking the data on the Lore page is easier, because you can do the work in half the number of edits. I've modified the template to load the icons from both the Lore page and from the game page (apparently you can do that), which allows you to define the icons on the game page if there is no lore page. Considering we're only at the A's, though, we could easily change it to just place this data on the game pages, at the expense of about 400 extra edits. • JAT 18:53, 20 October 2012 (GMT)
Yeah, I already posted on your talk page, but I'm with Alfwyn on this one. It would be nice if it really was half the edits, and in a perfect world it would be, but it seems more often that it's alot more than that, because of all the weird exceptions and differences in spelling between games, not to mention all the complexity with data propagation that makes edits not show up until you've purged half a dozen times per book, and the fact that you can't preview the edits you do on the Lore page, so it's more error-prone. It's more trouble than it's worth, and in the long run it's harder, not easier. TheRealLurlock (talk) 20:26, 20 October 2012 (GMT)

Image Guidelines

Hey guys, I was just looking at Help:Images, and I noticed there's an awful lot of "there's no rule for this" or "there's no standard for that", when actually I think we do follow some pretty strict guidelines for these things. I was hoping to change that page to reflect our actual practice, but wanted to check with you guys first and see what you think.

  1. The first thing I was confused about when reading this page was the licensing. As far as I remember, {{uespimage}} was always for screenshots and {{esimage}} was for other Elder Scrolls images, such as concept art or pre-release art, or what have you. I'm sure it's really not at all critical, but I'm seeing a lot of inconsistency regarding which template ought to be used for screenshots, and it bugs me :).
  2. Despite having talked about it a bit a few months ago (if I recall correctly), the page still lists no standard aspect ratio for item images. Didn't everyone sort of agree that 1:1 was the way to go? If so, we ought to add that to this section.
  3. The page currently says there is no rule for naming images; this is a misleading statement if I've ever seen one, because as far as I've ever seen we're kind of like machines when it comes to making sure images are named according to the standard on the page (<Game>-<Category>-<name>.jpg).
  4. Currently the page is a bit wishy-washy in terms of which format should be used for what. Most importantly, I think it ought to say that JPG is the way to go for screenshots (with the exception of some older games, maybe—I don't have those games, so I don't know what's generally best for them).

I hope this isn't too many points to bring up at once, but as I said, I think most of this stuff is already agreed upon in terms of common practice. Let me know what you think! eshetalk 13:55, 18 October 2012 (GMT)

Just one little input: I think the part you said about licensing is incorrect; well.. either that or the help page was wrong all along. For the three months that I have been on the wiki, all the screenshots I uploaded is licensed with {{esimage}}, according to the guide given on the help page as follows:
Licensing: Choose one of the options in the drop down menu. For screenshots, use "Graphic taken from the Elder Scrolls series" (esimage). ~ Psylocke 14:05, 18 October 2012 (GMT)
Yeah, that was the part that confused me :). I definitely remember it being different before! eshetalk 14:14, 18 October 2012 (GMT)
That part was simply wrong (read the text of the templates), I changed it. {{uespimage}} is for mixed copyright, the content is copyright by Bethesda, but the copyright for the particular composition lies with UESP. {{esimage}} is for cases where the copyright is only by Bethesda - images taken from their website or images from game data that were only altered minimally. --Alfwyn (talk) 14:16, 18 October 2012 (GMT)
On the topic of JPGs, I'd actually make the statement a bit stronger: JPGs should be the standard for all images unless transparency is required (typically for icons and such), in which case PNGs should be used. GIFs should be avoided in most circumstances, as they don't resize well at all, and other formats are pretty much only for special cases. Robin Hoodtalk 18:17, 18 October 2012 (GMT)
Another thought I just had is that we should establish a user-image naming convention to be used either for user page images like GK's picture, or talk-page-only images, even those outside userspace, if only intended for the purpose of discussion (screenshots of a bug occurring, that sort of thing). I'm thinking "User-username-whatever" (e.g., User-RobinHood70-Example.jpg). Robin Hoodtalk 18:57, 18 October 2012 (GMT)
Yeah, good thinking! Not that I think a lot of people will use it, but it'll be nice to be able to organize them :D. eshetalk 18:59, 18 October 2012 (GMT)

(edit conflict) () I agree with your points raised, Eshe. Point 2 and 3 in particular need to be stated more clearly. I would support 1:1, and number three... We very much do have a naming policy, so why it isn't there is beyond me, and I would support immediate inclusion of that information. Then, we'd have an actual page to send users to when they throw fits about their images being changed.

RH70: What of all the user images uploaded all across the wiki already? Chances are none of them follow the pattern as is, so someone would have to dig through all these images manually to make sure that every page is renamed properly to who you propose it, and then the links would have to be updated on each page, a task I am sure HnB wouldn't be able to accomplish, unless HnB can tell what an image is a picture of, which I doubt. I, personally, believe the user images are fine like they are, since they are sorted by the User Images cat, and are more than likely on a personal userpage and fairly out of sight. Just my opinion. Eric Snowmane(talkemail) 19:11, 18 October 2012 (GMT)

I wouldn't see the user naming as something to necessarily do retroactively unless there's a good reason (like .ScreenShot4.jpg, which is awkwardly named with the dot in front of it). I just see this as something for future uploads, and perhaps we would encourage active users to rename their user page images when they have a moment. If we should decide to go back and rename every last image, it would be a massive task, but the bot could make the decision on whether to rename based on if an image is only used on a user page or talk pages. It wouldn't have to know what the actual content of the image was. Robin Hoodtalk 19:27, 18 October 2012 (GMT)
Well, I would agree on renaming from here forward. It was the retroactive renaming that I had a complaint against. Alright. I am satisfied on my one concern then. :) Eric Snowmane(talkemail) 21:37, 18 October 2012 (GMT)
I've had a beef with the user images for some time, but I didn't think there'd be much support for a change in that policy. The problem is, there's only ONE namespace for images, so when somebody uploads an image with a filename, nobody else can use that name, which is a real problem when people use very generic names, such as - well most of them, really. There's so many badly-named images in User Images it's ridiculous. I personally would even favor retroactively changing these. It's not really all that massive a task - there's only about 450 of them, and the task could probably be handled by a bot in most cases. Just figure out which user page each is used on, and add "User-<username>-" to the beginning of the filename and update the link(s). Only odd cases would be those not actually used on user pages, or those used by more than one user. For the latter, maybe just add "User-" to the name. Unused user images should probably be prod'd if they've been around for a while. Check for links as well as actual inclusions, of course. But if an image is unused, unlinked, and doesn't look like it ever will be used or linked, why is it wasting space on the site? TheRealLurlock (talk) 01:39, 19 October 2012 (GMT)
On Eshe's points first:I agree on points 1 and 2. We should be consistent with the license templates and use {{uespimage}} for screenshots taken by UESP editors in-game (mixed copyright, as Alfwyn pointed out), and {{esimage}} for those which are taken straight from ES like concept art, etc (copyright is only Bethesda). As for the aspect ratio on items, if this is the standard that has been discussed and agreed upon, then the image help page should reflect this. On point 3, we already have our naming standards listed, but the problem is that it's written as a recommendation rather than a rule. Considering we stick to it and rename any images which don't follow it, it has basically become a rule, and I wouldn't have any problem with rewording that section to clarify that. On point 4, I'm not sure about games before Morrowind, but at least for Morrowind and newer games, images should be in JPG format if they're used on articles, and that this should be stated on the image help page somewhere. For older games, I'm really not sure of what's best to use.
On the topic of naming standards for user images, I'm all for changing them from here forward, as suggested. As for changing existing images retroactively, I'm on the fence about it. Mostly, I'm with Snowmane in that we have a category for these images already, and since they're not used on real articles, I don't think it's a big deal to conform to a strict standard. However, TRL has brought up some good points, and if it's something that a bot could easily do to retroactively rename those which already exist, I'm not opposed to this. For those odd cases TRL brought up, the number is probably small enough that they can easily be done manually. — ABCface 19:54, 19 October 2012 (GMT)

Wrap-Up

() I'm going to let this sit for another day or so, and if no one has expressed opposition to the idea, I'd like to go ahead and make the following changes to Help:Images (following the points above):

  1. The page currently specifies {{uespimage}} as the appropriate license for screenshots. I plan to mention that {{esimage}} is appropriate for other ES images (such as those taken from Bethblog or wherever), just to make sure that's really clear. The licensing drop-down on the upload page may need some clarification to reflect this as well.
  2. Under Help:Images#Image_Standards, add: Item images should have an aspect ratio of 1:1.
  3. Under Help:Images#Naming_Images, clarify that the naming standard is a standard, and specify that user images should follow the User-<username>-<name>.jpg format.
  4. Under Help:Images#Acceptable_Image_Formats (and elsewhere on the page as needed), clarify that JPG is always the correct format for screenshots, PNG for icons and the like, and GIF...should generally be avoided.

Additionally, because I'm somewhat crazy and between projects, I'm happy to volunteer to retroactively rename user images, if that's what we think is best. Forgive me if I also embark on a quest to correct the licenses on screenshots (the inconsistency really bothers me, and something like licensing strikes be as being somewhat important!) :).

Any objections or other suggestions? eshetalk 14:28, 25 October 2012 (GMT)

The bot's pretty much already set up to rename images and I'm just putting the final touches on what should be replaced with what, exactly, so if we decide we want to do that, it's probably going to enjoy itself renaming 400 images a lot more than you would, eshe. Don't worry, though, if you're bored, there will be a good chunk of them that need a user's judgement on what to do with them—just look at the results page for any action starting with "Requires user intervention". Robin Hoodtalk 01:57, 28 October 2012 (GMT)
A lot of those "Used on multiple pages" examples are ones just used on multiple sub-pages of one user's User page. Those should be treated the same as those just used once on a User page - only thing is more links to update. (It's also possible that it appears on multiple pages as a result of transcludes.) I think the bot shouldn't have much trouble figuring out if this is the case. It's only when it's used by multiple users that it's iffy what needs to be done with them. (I think most of the cases where that occurs, the images are used in Userboxes, so they can go in that category instead, which would leave probably very few that we'd have to do something special with.) Those appearing outside of User space are the only other issue - mostly just used for bug reports and things like that, I think. They'd be another issue which we might need a new category for. TheRealLurlock (talk) 03:15, 28 October 2012 (GMT)
Oh, thanks for noticing the "Used on multiple pages" bug, TRL! I've fixed that in the code now, but it'll take a while to re-run. If there are transclusions outside that user's space, that's a bit harder to figure out—let me fix the multiples in the same user space and then we'll see what's left. I just bumped a few others into a Template Images category...I wasn't paying attention to the fact that those are Userbox icons, so I'll fix that in a moment. For the ones that are strictly for bug reports and such, as you say, that needs some thinking about. I could see an argument for considering them User images if they're just for a single talk-page post, but there's also Category:Talk Page Images. Robin Hoodtalk 03:52, 28 October 2012 (GMT)
I've recategorized some of the images, but I didn't get through all of them by any means, and some I wasn't sure what to do with (like images that are only used in manual userboxes instead of template userboxes). I'm off for the night now, so if anyone feels like recategorizing some more, go nuts. I'm also running a slightly more aggressive search for user names in the file names, along with a couple of changes for specific image/user names, to see if the results are useful. If not, I can put it back. That'll probably get updated in about 20 minutes or so. Robin Hoodtalk 05:05, 28 October 2012 (GMT)
I don't know why, but every time I've seen this page since I got an account, I noticed how strongly and repeatedly this page seemed to stress that there was some (if not total!) flexibility in the standards. I often wondered why. Is it possible that some people might not bother uploading images because it looks too complex, or they're afraid of naming an image incorrectly? Or that some people worried about that, perhaps at a time when the wiki desperately needed lots of images? Could it have been because of certain exceptions that caused problems or arguments, and there was a determination that the "standards" were being applied too rigidly by some? I like the clarity of the proposed changes here, but I wonder if we might benefit from one line indicating that there may be some flexibility in exceptional circumstances (just a look at the number of categories of Skyrim-Images seems to remind that there is a wide variety of different kinds of images). Then isn't there the sort of prime directive that all or almost all rules bend to circumstances wherein the quality of content is at stake? I think there are pages on which for some special reason or other, an image has been sized differently than the "standard". I can't think of any in particular, but I think I remember seeing them, or seeing discussions about setting a size differently with some kind of explanation. Must every conceivable item image be 1:1? And the proposed language above still says "should". Do we mean "should" or do we mean "must"? Defining things better here seems a good thing, and as was mentioned, can help prevent, for example, someone without good knowledge complaining that someone else changed something. But if it's too tight, is it setting us up for situations where a good decision has been made for an exception, and then someone appeals to what has become (or looks like) ironclad specifications? Or is there already the kind of flexibility I'm worrying about losing, because anything can always be discussed? Should we include some kind of qualifying language somewhere (e.g., generally)? Finally, can anything be done to stop me from writing long lists of probably trivial questions? --JR (talk) 07:17, 28 October 2012 (GMT)

() Most of you probably won't notice, since bot edits are hidden by default, but the bot's busy moving all the user pictures. It'll move all the files first without redirects, which means that for about an hour, the image links will be broken. That's unfortunate, but it's a tradeoff between doing that, editing right away but potentially making several edits to the same page over time, or leaving redirects and then proposing them for deletion and giving some poor Admin the job of deleting all 400 redirects afterwards. I figured an hour without images on a few users' pages was the best choice.

There'll be about 20 left in User Images once it's done that'll need manual renaming (look for the ones that don't start with "User-"). In most cases, this'll probably be fairly straight-forward, but because they're used outside of User space, the bot has excluded them from the renaming process so a human can figure out if they should be categorized as User Images or changed to something like Talk Page Images. Robin Hoodtalk 19:33, 29 October 2012 (GMT)

Sounds great. Thanks for doing this, RH! :).
On a side note, I've noticed a lot of people working on Help:Images, which is awesome. I've got a somewhat cleaned-up/rearranged version in this sandbox at the moment...it's not finished yet, but if people could check it out and leave feedback (probably in particular on the use of {{Showhide}} under Adding Images to Pages), that would be cool. Thanks! eshetalk 19:40, 29 October 2012 (GMT)
I still think the arrangement of sections under "Adding Images to Pages" that I set up on the current page makes more sense. We introduce concepts one at a time this way. It keeps all the thumbnail-related sections together, you're not introducing captions before introducing thumbnails, and the non-thumb images used in the vertical alignment section occurs before thumbnails are introduced, but after size settings.
As for the showhide sections, I had another idea regarding that section - they maybe could both be used. I was thinking of using a table to split those four sections up into two pairs of side-by-side cells. The first pair would show left-aligned and right-aligned thumbs, and the second pair would show the misaligned grouping on the left and the corrected version on the right. I'd also like to know what happened to the code to allow us to align thumbs horizontally instead of vertically. That seems to be a casualty of the wiki upgrade. Is there any way to bring that back, because I know it's messed up the layout on some pages. If we get that back, that'd be another pair of cells showing left and right aligned versions of horizontal grouping. (I see that we suggest using tables, but reproducing that behavior with tables is far from trivial, especially for less-experienced editors.) TheRealLurlock (talk) 02:33, 30 October 2012 (GMT)
Wait! esimage was intended for screenshots taken from ES games. uespimage was intended for something like an "original composition" that was created for/by UESP: images that an editor (or someone acting on behalf of UESP) has composed (assembled from multiple elements) using "components" (elements, pieces) of Bethesda copyrighted material, and has "changed" or "added" to Bethesda's property to such an extent, or "combined" Bethesda-owned properties in such a novel or original way, that UESP asserts ownership (and permits copying by others if attributed to UESP under "share and share alike").
The language is confusing to anyone who does not study it like a lawyer, but if scrutinized carefully, the text associated with the two licenses cannot reasonably be interpreted the opposite way. The key difference is that an esimage "belongs" to the "Elder Scrolls", which is owned and copyrighted by Bethesda (is Bethesda's intellectual property), and a uespimage "belongs" to UESP because it was made (composed) by UESP or UESP's agent to differ so much from any one ES image, that we assert copyright for UESP.
The language on esimage begins, "This image was taken from the Elder Scrolls series of video games...." a screenshot clearly falls under this description. The language on uesp begins, "This image was created for use on UESP using components taken from the Elder Scrolls series of video games...." The keywords here are "created," meaning "made" or "authored" for UESP. And "components" meaning "multiple pieces, parts, or elements".
The esimage notice then go on to assert that we believe that we are legally/rightfully posting Bethesda's images/screenshots/property on our wiki based on the "fair dealing" legal principle.
I've had to learn something about copyright law for business reasons, and I (amateurishly) think that the legal language is "ok," though it's possible that it could be written to provide a more solid basis of protection. In any case, we have apparently never been asked not to use Bethesda's intellectual property on the wiki, and it seems fairly clear that they would not have any reason to do so. I think we can certainly do something to avoid the understandable confusion, and I'm happy to make suggestions, but I think we should first stop and re-examine our beliefs about which license is for what. --JR (talk) 03:51, 30 October 2012 (GMT)
Perhaps the language could be tweaked, but {{uespimage}} was clearly intended for screenshots, see the edit history ("New image license for UESP screenshots"). --Alfwyn (talk) 13:43, 30 October 2012 (GMT)
(edit conflict) We originally used {{esimage}} for pretty much everything, until {{uespimage}} was created with the clear intent of being used for screenshots. I think the intended usage is pretty clear in this case, though you're right—it might be prudent to reword the actual phrasing on the templates a bit to make things super clear.
(edit conflict) In response to Lurlock: yeah, I'm planning to do a bit more rearranging, since I do think the current version looks nice. I'm hesitant to try the two-by-two table, though, because I worry how that might confuse new users (for example, I can see someone using the code to left-align an image and being confused when all they get is a left-aligned image, not something fancy in a table). Just for the sake of simplicity and explaining things to people who may never have used a wiki before, I think it's important that the examples look as much like the actual result as possible. Just a thought, I guess :). eshetalk 13:54, 30 October 2012 (GMT)

() I see all the points made above, and personally appreciate all of the rational and thoughtful perspectives. And, I continue to ask for further discussion of the copyright/licensing issues regarding images. I agree with what I interpret as an essential idea that's been expressed above: there is no emergency here. I see Alfwyn's point that at least someone intended the Uespimage template to be used for screenshots. This notwithstanding, the text in the Uespimage template is inconsistent with such a use, and critically so. I think the fundamental issues are important enough to merit further attention. Perhaps it is best moved to a new discussion. Any opinions on that? I mean to propose: let's go ahead with the excellent and substantial improvements made so far, mostly under Eshe's initiative/effort, and start a new discussion on the finer points of image copyright/licensing issues.

Here's why I think there needs to be a further discussion: Let's use the typical screenshot image as a starting point. Currently, the language contained in the Uespimage template asserts that the associated image is the property of UESP/the contributor/creator, in other words, and simplified: UESP owns the title to an image that "UESP/we/the screenshot-taker" created. Further, the language grants a license to others to use the image under Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5. (One cannot just decide to grant a license for others to use something that is someone else's property.) Compare what I have just said to the text, including the assertion that "the copyright for this particular composition is held by UESP." I don't think it can reasonably be interpreted in any other way on careful reading.

Again, I admit (proudly?) that I am not an international digital intellectual property attorney or expert, but I can confidently say that claiming title (ownership) of a screenshot taken from the game is—to say the least—pushing at the extreme boundaries of the laws governing ownership, with the key legal issue being whether the image represents a potentially impermissible duplication of owned and non-free property, or whether it is "derivative" of such property and meets a group of legal tests, chiefly revolving around "added creativity", such that it can be claimed to be novel or original enough to warrant a title (ownership) claim.

The Esimage template language, on the other hand, asserts that "This image was taken from the Elder Scrolls series of video games or ..." and that it's copyright belongs to "Bethesda" (should be updated to Bethesda/ZeniMax Media). It further asserts that (it's believed that) the image is used on UESP under the "fair dealing" area of intellectual property/copyright law ("fair use" in the US). This fits with what I know about the law.

Compare the language in both of these with the, by contrast, sparklingly clear language in Wikipedia's licensing statement for a Skyrim screenshot. Bethesda/ZeniMax, by all indications, appears to not only tolerate but strongly and explicitly value UESP, and it's clear that they are familiar with the nature of its content. So, again, no emergency. Even if it/they wanted to charge infringement, the law would require their first step to simply be a request that UESP cease infringing.

Although it's not urgent, I think it is important. Our policies strongly affirm some basic commitments with respect to copyright law and licensing. Can anyone give me a suggestion? Maybe 1) JR, you can/should design some specific proposals for changes in a sandbox; 2) Let's start a discussion on this as a new topic, either here or on the Administrator's Noticeboard; or 3) A more knowledgeable/experiences member of our community is willing to take the or a key/driving role in moving this forward. 4) I think we've heard you well enough for now, JR. It might be best to let the community take it up (or not) according to its collective wisdom!

If you've read this far, thanks. --JR (talk) 05:37, 31 October 2012 (GMT)

Oops. Eshe has already (above) made a suggestion that I see now I should have followed: "I've noticed a lot of people working on Help:Images, which is awesome. I've got a somewhat cleaned-up/rearranged version in this sandbox at the moment...it's not finished yet, but if people could check it out and leave feedback ... that would be cool."
Maybe I should be giving my opinions there? I'm genuinely hoping people (anyone) will share their honest thoughts with me here: What do you think I should do with my concern. I only ask that if the answer is "Shove them up your... and leave us alone" that you say so politely! --JR (talk) 05:43, 31 October 2012 (GMT)
I think the uespimage intention is not to contest Bethesda's rights (no question here), but third party rights on the image (e.g. they would need to follow CC by-sa if they want to copy it). The basis for this is probably a claim of derived work. If our screenshots meet the criteria for derived works could be debated, but carefully arranging scenery, adding light sources, changing weather, editing brightness and so on could qualify. I think any change to the template should include that aspect - if we can word that better, an example would be indeed helpful I think. --Alfwyn (talk) 11:04, 31 October 2012 (GMT)
I understand you thinking, but I think this entire area is too complex to confidently call a screenshot UESP's property. First, whether or not a screenshot, some screenshots, or all screenshots would be derivative is a question in my mind as well as, I think, yours. Second, "later" works that are legally derivative works (US law) can be infringing or non-infringing derivative works, depending on a set of factors that can be complex. Third, even exact copies of a work can be used in a non-infringing way, again, depending sometimes on a complex set of factors. "Fair use" ("fair dealing" in Canada) can allow us to use an image, whether derived or not, and it's reasonable to assert that we can use others' images on the wiki for reasons covered under such.
But claiming an image as our own property to use as we please and license to others is a very different matter. The issue that you raise, whether or not a screenshot has become a derivative work that can be claimed as the property of the creator because it has been sufficiently modified, is only one question of many. Further, even if this were the only question, would we then need to determine "how much" each screenshot has been modified? As far as I know, many of the screenshots on the wiki have not been "extensively" treated, and perhaps a good number of them have received no such treatment at all. I've taken many that already happened to occur in "good weather and lighting" and my "creative contribution" has involved nothing more than pressing an "auto correct" button on a graphics application. But even that is not the only question that needs to be asked in this particular area, since "the amount of work done" is not the primary measure of "creativity."
A web searches on "Zenimax copyright" and "Bethesda copyright" will show that ES's owners are asserting some infringement claims, including one against "Dragon Shout," a simple Skyrim map app. The author of the app hand-drew the map of Skyrim. The corporate lawyers apparently see themselves protected against such a "derivative" work, even though the "later work" has been extensively treated. Copyright law is seldom about "one thing," like, "how much a later image has been 'treated' or modified from an earlier image". ("...[C]opyright is generated only by instances of "creativity", and not by the amount of labor which went into the creation of the work." -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Image_use_policy )
I think my main point is that the Uespimage template essentially says, "This image is our property, and anyone can use it if they properly attribute it to us, even for commercial purposes!" The Esimage template essentially says, "We believe we can use this image on this page, but we do not claim ownership/authorship of the image." I think it's careless, and I don't think ZeniMax/Bethesda's lawyers would agree that we can do that. Will they ever notice it? If they did would they care about it? If they cared about it would they do anything besides ask us to stop or make a change? Probably not to all of the above, and almost certainly "no" to the last question.
So, I would not be interested in "tweaking" the language of Uespimage for screenshots. I am proposing that screenshots cite a license much like that in Esimage, and even better, like that that Wikipedia uses for screenshots from games/computer programs. I just think they've had a lot more discussion of it, and more research. Also, http://elderscrolls.wikia.com/wiki/Template:Screenshot looks pretty much like that. It makes more sense to me for screenshots, possibly changing "fair use" to "fair dealing" and "US" to "Canada", since that is where the site admin is based. — Unsigned comment by JR (talkcontribs) at 06:34 on 1 November 2012‎
To use an analogy (yes, I know they can be dangerous), photographs are usually not free for anybody to copy too. Why should screenshots be? In my opinion the language on uespimage template should make clear, that anybody copying the image must have Bethesda's permission and adhere to our license. --Alfwyn (talk) 12:49, 1 November 2012 (GMT)
I think it's a useful analogy, Alfwyn, and actually photographs of things like paintings, people, and something like a building seem to be used a lot to try to illustrate intellectual property legal concepts. It may be worth thinking about if a screenshot is or may me different from a photo from a legal perspective, but I can't see any reason why it should be. I wrote my idea of how to move forward on RH's Deletion Policy section. --JR (talk) 07:43, 13 November 2012 (GMT)

What will be with etymologies?

Some of them seems related it would be sad to lost them, is there no option left? — Unsigned comment by 88.207.17.227 (talk) at 14:38 on 21 October 2012

What exactly do you mean by that, some of them have been kept and are on the related articles. Silence is GoldenBreak the Silence 14:51, 21 October 2012 (GMT)
I believe he was referring to bringing back the old hub page we had for them. As a lot of Morrowind and Oblivion etymologies were lost to the wiki with that pages deletion (at least I don't still see them around anymore), and it's kind of hard to simply find etymologies if you want them as you'd have to read almost every page on the wiki to find them, it is worth considering bringing it back. We've discussed returning etymologies numerous time. The consensus was as far as I remember was that if anyone was willing to work on bringing it back in earnest by bringing only cataloging etymologies that actually make sense, and not just some weird oddities due to almost every possible name being used as a word by one language or another, then it could be returned. While I believe this has already been done in the past, I'm willing to give anyone who wants to work on etymologies a copy of the page before it was deleted. While the original page wasn't very useful, it would be a good starting point for the project. I do want to see them returned (this coming for one of the people pushing for its original removal) as people clearly like that sort of thing, but it needs to be handled very carefully to be worth anything. --AKB Talk Cont Mail 14:56, 21 October 2012 (GMT)
If that's the case then Velyanthe took over this project here. Silence is GoldenBreak the Silence 14:59, 21 October 2012 (GMT)
That's the previous attempt I was thinking of, though it's long since been either abandoned or put on the back-burner. --AKB Talk Cont Mail 15:11, 21 October 2012 (GMT)
(edit conflict) I'd have to object to restoring that etymology page. Outside of the notes section on individual articles, etymologies really have no use and are mostly speculative. Only on rare occasions are etymology notes even worth mentioning as trivia (e.g., Vilkas/Farkas). As can be seen from Vely's sandbox, very few of the etymologies are anything other than baseless and meaningless speculation; so few as to make it impractical as a separate page, and more suited to individual notes. Here is the page's original deletion review that AKB mentioned. —Legoless (talk) 15:15, 21 October 2012 (GMT)

() I have to disagree with that. A large number of them clearly have more to do with their characters than assumed. A huge number of them are worthless, but enough seem to be intentional that it's worth documenting (that's why we allow relevant ones onto articles again). While many still are irrelevant at best, it's already been agreed on that they should be documented if they are likely to be intentional. The reasoning for restoring the hub page is simply that people specifically are interested in information related to etymologies. Those peoples needs can't be satisfied by confining them to far flung note sections. --AKB Talk Cont Mail 15:25, 21 October 2012 (GMT)

I'm not disagreeing with adding relevant etymologies (was Umbranox ever restored/added?), but a hub page is unnecessary. The etymology should only be of interest to people who want to know about the NPC or place, not for some strange etymology-hunting sub-fanbase. On another note, if the page is to be restored, it doesn't belong in lorespace. Even in the appendix section, which is usually more lenient, nonsensical real-world information has no place. I'd recommend moving it to General or mainspace if people are in favour of recreating it. —Legoless (talk) 15:34, 21 October 2012 (GMT)
Say what you will about them, but considering how frequently etymologies have come up since we've removed the page it is fair to say it will remain an issue if we don't return it. While it may be inviting more trouble then it will solve by inviting etymologies to be readded, I think that the benefits will out way the disadvantages if we simply lock the page from new and unregistered editors. --AKB Talk Cont Mail 15:52, 21 October 2012 (GMT)

Some new etymologies:

— Unsigned comment by 88.207.17.227 (talk) at 12:58 on 22 October 2012‎

() Pretty much all of the etymologies that were added in the edit above are examples of ones that I would NOT want to see on this wiki. If we have a hub page, I see a lot of arguments in the future about whether or not a particular etymology is intentional or applicable. I have to agree with Legoless that these are too speculative to add to the wiki. --Xyzzy Talk 13:59, 22 October 2012 (GMT)

Dragon Shout "Possible uses"

An editor has gone through most, if not all, of the individual Dragon shout pages and added a "Possible Uses" section. IMO, this is highly subjective and doesn't belong on these pages. I don't want to go through a mass revert them without consensus, though. Thoughts? --Xyzzy Talk 04:24, 22 October 2012 (GMT)

I'm in favour of keeping the more hidden uses of the shouts, as many are duplicated types of ordinary magic, Frost Shout for example, and these ideas provide some hints at how to get the most out of the game. I didn't use Become Ethereal until I read some of the possible uses, such as jumping off mountains. The ones that can be removed are things like saying that Animal Allegiance makes passive animals fight too, that is redundant as it is what the shout does, it isn't hidden, unlike using it to counter a spriggan and turning it's allies on itself. Silence is GoldenBreak the Silence 17:30, 22 October 2012 (GMT)
I'm also in favor of keeping these uses. Remember that Skyrim is a gamespace, and is meant to record information in a way that is relevant to the game itself and how people will play it. For instance, I didn't realize how useful Throw Voice can be, since you can get enemy NPCs to trigger their own traps, until after hundreds of hours of game play. That kind of information is worth sharing. • JAT 17:44, 22 October 2012 (GMT)
I agree with Silencer and Jak. Some pages included those before this recent string of additions, and when I went over those edits before, I learned useful ways to use the shouts that I hadn't known about yet. I think they're worth keeping on the pages, as long as they don't just repeat what the shout is (like Silencer said, that would be redundant). — ABCface 18:10, 22 October 2012 (GMT)
OK. I agree with this reasoning. So instead of reverting them, they should be checked for "worthiness". I'll go through them one-at-a-time and remove the ones I think are redundant or not worth mentioning. Thanks all. --Xyzzy Talk 18:06, 23 October 2012 (GMT)

Dragonborn DLC article

I wrote up a basic article for the DLC here, but I haven't launched it. However, I would like to launch it, even though it hasn't been officially been confirmed yet. The DLC is effectively guaranteed to exist. Basically, should we launch a preliminary article now, even though it hasn't been confirmed? I've already taken care of the links - anything that linked to Skyrim:Dragonborn now directly links to Skyrim:Dovahkiin.

I know that pretty much the first argument against it is that no, it hasn't been confirmed yet. It has practically been confirmed, though, with files leaked in Patch 1.8 as well as a new trademark for the name "Dragonborn" specifically for DLC. In addition, this is following the exact same path as Dawnguard did (files leaked in a patch, trademark discovered, then Bethesda confirming it a few weeks later).

So, thoughts on the matter? • JAT 20:16, 23 October 2012 (GMT)

Since its release is a certainty, I don't see a problem, especially since a lot of readers will be looking for info on the DLC. Unlike material that was leaked for Skyrim, Bethesda has actually (inadvertently?) released the info to the public, so that shouldn't be a concern. I was hoping Bethesda would pick a better name though... —Legoless (talk) 20:21, 23 October 2012 (GMT)
If we launch this, I would like for the page to be immediately protected, as there are likely to be many users trying to add unconfirmed details without legitimate references. I'm all for it, though, as long as the page is protected. — ABCface 20:27, 23 October 2012 (GMT)
(edit conflict) It's good that we have a prelim. article done, but personally, I would opt for holding out just in case. While the patch files are indeed suggestive of new content, we:
A. Have no way of knowing if they are dead set on that name or if they could possibly change it (Until we know for certain, just because it's trademarked doesn't guarantee it's going to have the name. They could change their minds)
B. I want to wait because if the speculation and suggestions that Solstheim will be revisited are accurate, we potentially have expansion sized material coming, since Solstheim is a large world. Expansion sized content could warrant a new namespace, if it is noteworthy enough, so the information would be in the Expansion space (although, in fairness, a page move when the space is created solves that)
Of course, I am talking a lot of "What if"'s, because despite what the data says, we don't really know enough to make a sound decision, IMO. Let's wait a little longer. Eric Snowmane(talkemail) 20:28, 23 October 2012 (GMT)
A simple move could correct either of those problems closer to release. Having the information up seems more important. —Legoless (talk) 20:37, 23 October 2012 (GMT)
I think we should wait the few days it will take Beth to make an official announcement, just to get our facts straight. Once again, I don’t think the UESP should be a rumor mill – there are hundreds of pages out there, doing a better job at that – and, as a general rule, we should not waste time (or space) on guesswork. The news update on the main page is more than enough for now. --Krusty (talk) 20:44, 23 October 2012 (GMT)
Snowmane, to address your concerns:
  1. They filed the trademark for "Dragonborn" back on May 15th, and it was only finalized on September 25th. Also, two of the lines added to the file data\interface\Translate_english.txt include $Dragonborn Quests Completed Dragonborn Quests Completed and $DRAGONBORN_ESMName Dragonborn. The files directly reference "Dragonborn" - I highly doubt they will change it at this stage.
  2. The article I wrote up doesn't say that the DLC visits Solstheim. It only covers what has already been added by the patch files and by the trademarks, nothing more. I was very careful not to say that anything was set in stone.
I think that we should get a preliminary article up. We fell behind on Skyrim, and struggled with Dawnguard. We did well on Hearthfire (thanks to the dedication of our editors), and I want to make sure that we're on top of this DLC as well. Launching an article acknowledging its existence would be the first step. If we launch it now, we will be the first wiki to offer in-depth coverage on it, helping establish our spot as the go-to place for all Skyrim information, including up-to-the-minute info. • JAT 21:13, 23 October 2012 (GMT)

() I agree, we feel behind on the other DLC, but we fell behind by our own laziness, what with last minute planning and all that. I believe that when we have more sufficient information than a name, we should pounce on the information and stay on top of it... HOWEVER, that doesn't demand we run a rumor-mill like Krusty had said. We are the best because we have the best content, not because we follow random rumors and speculation and then treat it like law when it is nothing more than a rumor.

I am still opposed to making articles speculating about DLC. Let's wait til an official announcement by BethSoft. Eric Snowmane(talkemail) 14:54, 25 October 2012 (GMT)

Currently, our "in-depth coverage" IS the news article. What more information do we have? Nothing. I say wait until we have more information to add. You never know if that data is for another DLC, or if something weird might happen and they'll change the name. Vely►t►e 15:07, 25 October 2012 (GMT)
There's more specific information leaked than what is currently written on the news article. —Legoless (talk) 16:04, 26 October 2012 (GMT)

ESO Fan Interview

After the recent release of a bunch of hands-on ESO previews I nudged some people at Bethesda to let them know the UESP is still around and wanting to be involved with their preview events. Jessica Folsom, the Community Manager for ESO, quickly got in touch with me and let me know they definitely haven't forgotten us and wanted to know if we would to do a written/podcast interview. I'd like to do a list of dozen fan contributed questions that we would collect and give to them in a week or two and then have the answers posted here when we receive them.

As a rough guide for topics they would be willing or unwilling to talk about at the moment:

  • Low Level Details
  • Crafting
  • Social and Guilds
  • PVP
  • More In Depth
  • Classes and class interaction
  • Megaserver
  • Lore
  • Not Talking About
  • Business model

We should probably try to focus our questions on things that are more likely to be answered based on this rough list. I figure we can give them the best 12 questions along with a few extras so if any of the 12 can't be answered well they can substitute another question.

Another thing is how best to collect fan questions. I believe it's been a while since we've done this and the last time the site was a bit smaller so manually collecting and organizing through the wiki wasn't too difficult. I'd like to have a voting system but that would require some custom code (unless there's an applicable MediaWiki extension) and perhaps too ambitious considering the short time frame.

Thoughts and comments welcome on how best to get this going would be good....the sooner we start collecting questions the sooner we can get them submitted and answered.

-- Daveh (talk) 13:09, 24 October 2012 (GMT)

I am very interested in the lore surrounding this game, both the newly created lore and how it integrates into the existing lore, but I'm not sure how I'd phrase such a question. I'm also interested in the Megaserver. My understanding of it is that instead of having a large number of completely separate servers running completely separate instances of the game, everything is consolidated into a single server structure, with a large number of virtual "worlds", which allow people to play with their friends, and also not have to worry about overcrowded or empty worlds.
If I could ask it as one question, I'd ask
How many virtual worlds will there be? And will the PvP in Cyrodiil be specific to each world (meaning that each world will have a completely separate war), or will it all be combined into one?
Obviously I'm interested in the rest of it, but I don't want to steal all of the questions. • JAT 16:39, 24 October 2012 (GMT)
When we were collecting questions for the interview with Mark Jones, they were all pooled together via email, organised by Krusty and rpeh I believe. Given that we have a limited number of questions to work with this time, some sort of voting system would certainly be handy. Personally, I haven't read much of the newly-released info, but I'd recommend that submitters should look over one or two of the articles so that we can perhaps focus on getting some unique information off the TESO team. —Legoless (talk) 16:52, 24 October 2012 (GMT)
Why do Jak and RobinHood, among others, come to mind when I wonder who might have ideas about how to collect potential questions from a wide base of users/fans, or whether such is feasible within the time constraint? Maybe relatedly: is there any progress on the site survey idea that daveh raised here some time ago? --JR (talk) 00:49, 27 October 2012 (GMT)
When I was running the Fan interviews for the Official Forums for Oblivion, we simply collected all the questions, and then had a team of about 5 people go through them in a chat room, simply saying "Keep", "Not Keep", or "Combine". It seemed to work well enough, and we usually tried to cover topics in questions rather than just a single question. I think voting takes too long, and potentially removes questions that have a good idea, but are poorly written.--Ratwar (talk) 02:52, 27 October 2012 (GMT)
Thanks for the vote of confidence, JR, but what little I could suggest has already been mentioned. Robin Hoodtalk 04:01, 27 October 2012 (GMT)

Update: I've talked to Avron on the forums and she was willing and eager to head up collecting the fan questions over the next week or two. Once she and the other forum admins have something setup I'll add a news item and possibly a wiki page pointing to the appropriate forum topic. -- Daveh (talk) 02:01, 30 October 2012 (GMT)

We are collecting questions and discussing on the forum - or attempting to. Everyone is more than welcome to come and discuss with us as well; the forum is a very straightforward communication tool. The discussion is currently here in this announcement. Now that my area has power restored after the recent storm, I'll be charging forward to collect everything in a tidy manner! We would love to have some wiki users join the discussion as well. -- Avron the S'wit (talk) 17:52, 7 November 2012 (GMT)
Well, it's been a couple of weeks, and nobody has any questions, so I'll propose a bunch of them that I have, in no particular order. Bold questions are ones that I think are especially important. Edit them how you see fit.
  • How much of the world will be available upon launch?
  • How many skills will there be?
  • How many non-combat skills will there be, if any?
  • What role will crafting play?
  • What will the inventory system be like?
  • How will respawning work?
  • The ten-minute preview video mentioned guilds. How do guilds work? Can characters of different races be in the same guild? How will this integrate into the battle for Cyrodiil? Will there be guild HQs?
  • (I think this was implied, but I'm not sure) Does a character's race determine their faction? In other words, can a Nord join the Aldmeri Dominion?
  • What types of armor will be available?
  • What types of weapons will be available?
  • Will there be merchants and/or trading?
  • Is there a single quest line with a few side quests, or many quest lines and many side quests?
  • How will the classes work? How many classes will there be? Will there be custom classes?
Megaserver Questions:
  • Roughly how many people will there be per world? Is it more like 200 or 2,000?
  • Will you be able to make a private world for just you and your guildsmen?
  • Will the war in Cyrodiil span every world, or be separate for each world?
Lore Questions:
  • What role, if any, will organizations such as the Thieves Guild and Dark Brotherhood play?
  • Will we see any in-game books?
  • Besides Molag Bal, are any other Daedric Princes going to make an appearance?
  • Their artifacts?
Technical Questions:
  • Will the game be at all playable in first-person?
  • Will there be any sort of modding, such as creating custom clients or user interfaces?
Well, those are all the questions I can think of off the top of my head. • JAT 06:04, 11 November 2012 (GMT)
Jak Atackka, I think it's a little unfair of you to be asking all the questions when the questions asked are on the forum which the moderator Avron the S'wit posted. You should consider clicking the link and reading over that. --67.185.108.121 23:04, 11 November 2012 (GMT)
He is not asking all the questions, he has come up with a large amount of suggested questions that can be refined, or dismissed entirely. This is not a final list in any way, shape, or form. Silence is GoldenBreak the Silence 23:08, 11 November 2012 (GMT)
67.*: Silencer is correct. Two weeks have gone by, and no one on the wiki has proposed any questions, so I just listed a bunch that I had off the top of my head. I looked over the thread just now, and it looks like we have the same ideas. I have one more question that I'd like to ask:
  • Will we see any races that have not been previously seen in an Elder Scrolls game, like the Imga?
I didn't see this question in the thread (but then again, I only read the first page :P), so I'm mentioning it here. • JAT 04:38, 12 November 2012 (GMT)
You're not obligated to use the forums by any means (though it makes my collection easier, and of course we welcome you!); I'm simply attempting to collect questions there from forum users to contribute as well. Thanks to the announcement we did get some fresh blood into the thread, so I thank you for the shout out, Dave. We likely have more questions than can be asked anyhow, so naturally we will have to condense, but that ought to be a community effort or done by Dave, I would think. -- Avron the S'wit (talk) 03:37, 28 November 2012 (GMT)

Fan Art

I was recently visiting a few other wikis, and skimming through fan art on them. That's when it hit me-- we have fanfiction, but no fan art! Yes, I realize that there has already been a discussion on this (right here), but that was also four years ago. Media is changing, becoming more social-- and from what I've seen recently, UESP might be too (what with further integration of forum-type stuff and whatnot). Therefore, as UESP is foremost a fan site (with an encyclopedia section, to quote the archive above), I propose that a section for fan art be made. Fan sites should cover everything regarding the games they're for-- that includes art, I believe, fan-made or not. Anyway, thanks for reading my ramblings.... --Vulpa 23:34, 24 October 2012 (GMT)

The problem I see is organization... With fanfiction, we make a page linking to userpages, but with fan art, assuming anybody does some, we end up with a page that is just a <Gallery></Gallery> and loads of images that are uploaded by everybody. Unless a good idea for organization is brought forward, then I am against the idea. Eric Snowmane(talkemail) 00:17, 25 October 2012 (GMT)
Perhaps something like what's done on Oblivion:Recommended Mods where users can create a subpage for their own and link to them from the main fanart page? — ABCface 00:24, 25 October 2012 (GMT)
That's also what I was envisioning, Alphabetface - the images remaining in user space, and being linked to (or possibly transcluded onto) a main hub page, like we have with General:Fanfiction. As long as the images remain in user space, then I would fully support it. • JAT 00:34, 25 October 2012 (GMT)
Yeah, I don't know why I directly mention fanfiction, but never thought of that as an organization system. But, what constitutes "Fan art"? I suppose it would be largely irrelevant, being userpages, but are we talking hand drawn images or are we talking beauty shots like Rpeh had done? Obviously, "art" is subjective and whatever you want it to be, so just the right shot just for a userpage would be just as equally valid as "art" as a hand drawn image. Of course, I am leaning towards being hand-made, although I can see the other. I am just trying to think of all the different things that would need to be covered in terms of the creation of this page. Eric Snowmane(talkemail) 02:25, 25 October 2012 (GMT)

() I imagine such a section would be pretty trashy. There's no reason to move fan art out of userspace, especially if there aren't enough interested artists. —Legoless (talk) 16:12, 25 October 2012 (GMT)

While I personally would agree with Legoless, I guess there is some fair precedent for allowing fan art onto the wiki. However, is there really anyone here actually interested in displaying their art on such a page? No one has come forward saying they'd want to do this with their own art, so I'm not sure there is a need for a fan art page if there isn't going to be that much fan art to be added to it. If there is some personal interest for certain contributors in having their creations featured, I can understand that, but if this is simply being proposed because it is a neat idea, then I disagree with it entirely. In my experience, there are few instances of fan art for the Elder Scrolls considering the size of the fandom (I guess the games have always been photogenic enough that drawings were unnecessary), so I'm also quite doubtful of this being a case of "If you build it, they will come". Without any actual interest from specific users in using the proposed page, I'm against this. --AKB Talk Cont Mail 18:55, 25 October 2012 (GMT)
The big problem with art that doesn't exist with fiction is the previously discussed issue with file naming. While fanfiction can easily be entirely self-contained within the author's user page space, ALL images on the site are stored in the File namespace no matter what. So we'd have to get really serious about enforcing naming conventions for user images so as to avoid potential conflicts with both game images and other user images. Otherwise we're going to have a mess of files trying to be called "MyCharacter.jpg" or "Paarthurnax.jpg" and having to come up with ugly convoluted ways of distinguishing themselves from eachother. I think keeping them named as User-<username>-<subject>.jpg would have to be the absolute rule here, not just a suggested guideline. Either that, or make a rule that fanart be hosted elsewhere and just linked externally instead, though that has its own issues. (Formatting externally-hosted images is a pain, plus we have no control over the images themselves, so if the hosting site goes down (or worse, gets hacked), we could have all kinds of problems with those.) TheRealLurlock (talk) 02:34, 26 October 2012 (GMT)
You can always share your fan art and fanfiction on the forums, which, as you pointed out, is already a deeply social experience. What the wiki is for TES information, we are for TES discussion and socialization. Several users actively share fan art and fanfiction stories in our The Arts subforum, and we'll soon be collecting everything into a sort of index (or, at least, there is discussion of this by our Tea Party Moderators). I would encourage you to check it out. That way the wiki can be retained as a source of information and knowledge, and the forums can fulfill the more social and sharing aspects of the fandom. (And, to anyone who is joining the forums and finds it confusing, please let me know - I'm always willing to help you out!) -- Avron the S'wit (talk) 20:24, 7 November 2012 (GMT)
Okay, seems like nobody agrees with me. X-P That's okay-- I just had an idea and decided to ask everyone else. I do think, however, that it should be easier to find whatever fan art is posted in the forums-- for people who may only use the wiki itself, they'll never see it. Maybe a small link on each game's main page to art related to that game? Or a link on the Fanfiction page? --Vulpa 00:45, 8 November 2012 (GMT)
I think putting a link on the Fanfiction page is a good idea. Maybe in a "See Also" section? — ABCface 00:55, 8 November 2012 (GMT)

() I am utterly opposed to linking to fanfiction on the game hub pages. It sends the wrong kind of message to users perusing our information, when we associate the most important information relating to the games we cover with fanfiction. On that alone, I'd oppose it, but the hub pages simply aren't an appropriate place for that information, even if the creation directly links to the game. We barely allow mods through currently (though that may change in the future), allowing materials less related with the games through just seems wrong. There is no way to convince me that adding links to fanfiction on game hub pages is a good idea. As there is some genuine interest in increasing coverage of fan material, I would propose the most reasonable solution to be to add General:Main Page to the sidebar, after a complete cleanup of the section it serves (for example, pages like General:Reviews need to go, or changed into something radically different to be worth saving save. Things like General:Fishy Stick need to go as well, or be added to a more general look at trends and in-jokes within the ES community).

As for the suggestion to just move this stuff to the forums, there are many downsides to that suggestion. The primary one being that the wiki is the public face of the UESP, and the forums aren't. The subforum in question isn't very popular, and as such is unlikely to be the best way to take care of our reader's interest. I'm more ambivalent towards linking to the forum instead of directing this traffic specifically to that location(somehow as we basically lack decent channels to do this at the moment), but that may be more appropriate for a later discussion on further integration between the various areas of the site.

I may sound demanding here by essentially saying "Fix up an entire section of the site, and then we'll talk" (note that I'm not demanding anyone here in particular do this, it's merely a task that should be done, and I myself am interested), but this is the bare minimum I see necessary that needs doing to even consider expanding our coverage and displaying of fanfiction. Right now you want fan art, but we currently have nowhere good to put it. The only way to find somewhere to place it is to rip out the foundation that kind of stuff is currently built on, and start from the ground up. Along the way, adding things like fan art will become just discussions on the side as part of this much bigger project, and that's how I see this actually being added. --AKB Talk Cont Mail 01:17, 8 November 2012 (GMT)

I agree with AKB that linking to fan art (or fanfiction) from each game's main page is not needed. He's right that it's not important enough for each game's main page and that it's not an appropriate place for that type of information. But I don't see any suggestion to "move" this stuff to the forums... I see a helpful post by Avron explaining where to find fan art on the forums, and a suggestion by Vulpa to make that subforum easier to find- particularly for those who only use the wiki. I understand (and agree with) AKB's opposition to the first idea of linking to the forums from the main game pages, but I don't see any issue with the second idea (linking from the fanfiction page itself). The current General:Fanfiction page has been in place for a significant amount of time, and has worked quite well for fanfiction on the wiki. It's already there, and users have already been using it for this type of information. I think adding a link to the bottom of that page, directing users to another outlet where fanfiction (as well as fan art) is shared is perfectly reasonable. It's simple and it does the job needed. As for the cleanup of the General...pages, that would be helpful, but that's another issue altogether (which should probably be done regardless of any issues related to fanfiction or fan art). Providing a link to fanfiction and fan art on the UESP-forums from a UESP fanfiction page is quick, easy, and practical. — ABCface 04:14, 8 November 2012 (GMT)
I never said anything about linking to the forums (though I guess I might of said that by stating I didn't want links to fanfiction in general there, but that's reading into my comment a bit more than necessary) from the main game pages. I've regularly done that in the past. Just not the one in question, as it isn't even necessarily dedicated to the games. The subforum in question is nowhere near dedicated to the Elder Scrolls, and the proposed index doesn't exist at the moment as far as I can see. Either way, I didn't state I was necessarily opposed, I just saw downsides as the art subforum clearly isn't dedicated to Elder Scrolls. That was my overlying point, for anything we can do is rather ineffectual considering the quality or lack of appropriate channels. The easiest solution would be to make adding fan art as part of a larger task to improve the General section. Just adding a link to one of the wiki's more buried pages to an unpopular subforum isn't going to resolve this in anyway that I would be satisfied with. isn't going to truly improve anything. And for the record, I didn't mean I thought that Avron's comment suggested we entirely move this content towards that subforum, I meant that it might not be best to suggest users use the forums in this case rather than the wiki. That wasn't entirely clear, I admit. --AKB Talk Cont Mail 11:24, 8 November 2012 (GMT)
I'm certainly not suggesting everyone haul over to the forums for this sort of content; it's a very different experience than the wiki with a different user base, in a sociocultural and practical sort of way. (And we've been around for ages ourselves, like the fanfiction pages mentioned above; it is what it is.) But it is a suggestion I'd like to offer up. For one, artists and writers are underrepresented on the forum, and for two, it's a subforum that, while not as active as some of our others, as AKB pointed out, has a vast field of potential. The forums most definitely exist as extra space to try new things, which is what I'd like to remind users who primarily use the wiki. Of course, forum staff is always open to ideas, just as wiki staff is. -- Avron the S'wit (talk) 19:42, 8 November 2012 (GMT)
Yeah, okay, the main-game-page links idea was ill-thought out. And I agree that the forums (if properly organized) would be a fine place to have fan art/fanfiction. However, I think that there definitely needs to be a link that anyone can easily find-- say, at the top of the fanfiction page. A redirect to the Fanfiction page for users who search "fan art" would probably also be helpful.
This conversation also seems to think that while the long-established fanfiction page shouldn't be removed, fan art should not be added to it. Question: what's the difference? Some of the fanfiction has very little reference to lore or actual happenings in Tamriel. Much is based on user game experiences and their characters. The same goes for any fan art I've ever heard of-- maybe not always like the perfect screenshot that portrays the Elder Scrolls series as Bethesda wanted it, but still related to the series and made by fans who want others to enjoy the games as much as they do.
So yeah, there should probably only be a link to fan art on forums from the fanfiction page, but it should be fairly noticeable and maybe every few months put a new fan-made thumbnail up to catch users' eyes and ensure that people who visit the fanfiction page (i.e. ones who might enjoy fan art) will know of the existence of a forum-located fan art page as well. Whaddya all think? It seems like we're getting closer. --Vulpa 16:52, 10 November 2012 (GMT)

Nonsense, just a nonsense bot.

I have noticed that some people seem to think that a common type of nonsense bot is a legitimate user, and I want to ask why? The bot has repeatedly targeted the site, this being at least the fourth time it has appeared since I started watching the RC sometime in May. It is not limited to one IP, and repeats the same nonsense over a few days. The exact phrase is "Hello. And Bye." and it has been exactly the same since I first saw it. Google the phrase, or the IPs, and you will notice one thing come up again and again, spam. Please don't presume innocence here, as it is quite clearly a nonsense bot, posting nonsense that can be traced back to (at least) 2006. If anyone with rights feels up to it, could they create an abuse filter for this. If you still feel unsure, just set the filter to tag it, and it will soon fill up, so you can see how common it is. Silence is GoldenBreak the Silence 14:21, 27 October 2012 (GMT)

The biggest clue was that all the pages it created had been created and deleted already before, which you'd have to be an admin or have a very good memory to know. I've re-deleted them and protected them so only established editors can create them again. Should slow it down at least for a while. TheRealLurlock (talk) 14:41, 27 October 2012 (GMT)
I forgot to add that the edit summary is always "Test, just a test" (the reason behind the title here). Silence is GoldenBreak the Silence 17:13, 10 November 2012 (GMT)

Useful information about skyrim ingredients

(Please, forgive my english, it's not my first language) I would like to propose that these contributions "Discovering All 4 Effects for Every Ingredient" should be added to the Ingredients page or the Useful Potions page; I believe the ingredients page would be the best option, and if not, maybe a link there would be useful; or maybe they can be added to the Hints page? Either way, I'll agree with the community consensus. I think it's pertinent information for players who want to raise their alchemy skill quickly and/or want to save rare ingredients. A disadvantage is that those lists lack the Dawnguard ingredients, and maybe they will require further improvement (people in the chat say there could be less combinations), but since the useful potions page don't use DG ingredients either, so maybe those lists (or at least the last one) can be added now and improved later? (please forgive me if it looks like I'm rude or ironical, I can assure that's not my intention, it's my lack of skill in english language, and I totally welcome any observations you guys may have about it.) If this proposition is approved, I kindly offer my help to edit, yet I have absolutely no problem if a more experienced editor would like to make said edit. Thank you very much for your attention, and divines bless your kind hearts. Audrey Gally talk 15:49, 29 October 2012 (GMT)

I agree, it looks like useful information. Moving it onto an article seems like a good idea. —Legoless (talk) 21:52, 29 October 2012 (GMT)
I put it on the Alchemy page. How does it seem there? --JR (talk) 17:34, 3 November 2012 (GMT)
Looks good to me. —Legoless (talk) 20:29, 3 November 2012 (GMT)
SALDKFGALSDF!! Looks PERFECT to me. Thank you very much, JR and Legoless! :D Audrey Gally talk 06:44, 4 November 2012 (GMT)

Non-Journal Quests

As part of the SRQRP, I’ve looked through all game files named QST (with a bit of good help from Alfwyn) and, out of approx 50 possibilities, I’ve decided to write quest walkthroughs for four of them. This is merely meant as an explanation on why I deemed only four of them “worthy” of actual quest pages. The QST files can represent anything from a brief conversation between bandits in a cave, to side quests bigger than even some of the ‘official’ quests. I played through all of them and based my decision from these personal rules:

  • The QST must have some kind of interesting story, worthy of a walkthrough.
  • The contents of the QST must be too complex to include on the place page.
  • A unique reward is preferred, although not 100% necessary.

In the end, I decided to write walkthrough for the following QST’s: dunRobbersGorgeQST, dunRannveigQST, dunLiarsRetreatQST and dunVolskyggeQST. So, if you’re wondering why I’m launching non-journal quest pages, please know that I have tested everything I could and have made the decision from the guidelines above – and the guidelines of the SRQRP. --Krusty (talk) 20:11, 31 October 2012 (GMT)

Deletion Policy

A discussion on JR's talk page has highlighted what I think are some shortcomings in our speedy deletion policy. Looking at Wikipedia's list compared to our own, I'd like to propose making the following changes:

General
  • Rename "Articles" to "General" since everything in this category applies to all page types—articles, files, categories, templates, etc. While technically any of these is considered an "article" in wiki parlance, I think most people would think of an article as being an actual content page.
  • Add "maintenance" with a description along the lines of "Any pages which no longer serve a purpose on the wiki, and where the deletion would be uncontroversial, such as empty categories, unneeded disambiguation pages, pages created in error, or any other page where no reasonable objection to the deletion is expected." This could cover a whole range of potential uses, allowing Administrators to have discretion on what constitutes "maintenance", but the key word should be "uncontroversial".
  • Add author-requested as a reason. This is distinct from test pages, in that test pages may be created by new users and not speedied by the same user. Again, there would have to be an "uncontroversial" limitation, as we don't want anybody speedy-deleting useful content just because they're the sole editor.
  • Remove the "new user" criteria for test pages. Experienced users do occasionally create test pages outside their own userspace, and generally when they're nominated for deletion, they can go immediately.
Images
  • Images uploaded solely for a talk page discussion which the uploader deems to be no longer necessary for that discussion should be speedy-able.
  • While this would already be covered by changing "Articles" to "General", I want to highlight that copyright images should also be speedy-deletable given that these have potential legal ramifications for the site. This necessarily includes product logos, unless the manufacturer indicates otherwise on their website since, to my understanding, they do not fall under fair dealing (Canada) or fair use (US).

Any thoughts on additional changes, or alterations of anything I've proposed? Robin Hoodtalk 19:09, 7 November 2012 (GMT)

Everything sounds good to me! These have been our unofficial policy for years, so I can't imagine this being controversial in the slightest. • JAT 20:31, 7 November 2012 (GMT)
I'm with you and JAT on this. Well, I'm with you, EXCEPT:
Since "General" includes images ("files"), I don't see any use for any of your language under "Images", above. I would suggest some changes to the "Copyright wording" that covers general content, but maybe I can make those suggestions later.
Logos usually cannot be copyrighted because they are generally not considered original works of "creative expression". Some logos that are sufficiently "creatively/originally" designed can be copyrighted, but most logos are simply arrangements of letters and "unoriginal" shapes. Such cannot be copyrighted. Logos, therefore, usually fall into the public domain. See the licensing info here, here, and here, for example. The permission tags specify that the images of these logos are in the public domain. If something is in the public domain or not copyrighted, then the legal concept of "fair use/fair dealing" is irrelevant. In the event that a particular logo did happen to be copyrighted, anything that we would normally do with a logo on this site almost certainly would fall under "fair use" and be permissible (assuming that we maintain our view that most of the site's content that it takes from or derives from the games are defensible under fair use).
The area of "trademark law" is generally more relevant to logos. The fundamental principle protecting trademarked logos, names, and such, is that we can use Microsoft's logo (or anyone's trademarks/servicemarks) for practically anything except creating a false perception that Microsoft is making a business offer (e.g., offer to sell something), is endorsing something, or is conducting a business transaction. That other uses of logos/trademarks are permissible is evidenced by things like commercials that show "Coke" and "Pepsi" next to each other, with the taste test concluding which tastes better (it's Coke, by the way).
There is something called "fair use" that relates to trademarks, but among experts, it is always called something like "Trademark fair use" to distinguish it from "(Copyright) fair use". Trademark fair use basically means what I've described above. We can freely use trademarked things to identify, describe, discuss, criticize, something, UNLESS we do so in a way that is likely to cause confusion among a "reasonable" consumer/person as to who is making a business offer, endorsement, or conducting a business transaction. In the case of "famous" trademarked things (like logos), there is also a related concept in operation: dilution. One probably cannot start making ketchup with the Nike "swoosh" on the label, because it is so famous that people might be confused if even such a different kind of product is actually made by, offered by, or endorsed by Nike.
So, we can't put a big "Zenimax" or "Bethesda" logo next to UESP's name on the main page, because it would create the appearance that the site belongs to them. But, (from an amateur legal point of view, assuming we don't with to take a sharp turn toward the conservative) we can use their logo for almost any other purpose, such as it currently appears on General:Bethesda_Softworks, and we do not need to delete the separate image of their logo that we store as File:BethesdaSoftworks_logo.gif.
Our intellectual property policies and practices need to be reviewed in general. However, as is clear from earlier discussions that I've seen, this is an area in which Daveh has expressed certain perspectives, so I think it can probably wait until he's ready to address it. Some major topics thereunder, I suppose, relate to: 1) upgrading our ShareAlike License from 2.5 to 3.0; 2) looking again at what we are doing in terms of claiming screenshots as our own property (as occurs when we affix the language under the uespimage template to them;mdash;it looks to me like a single person decided at one point that such images are actually authored by UESP/its editors, and it's probably the most careless thing that we are doing); 3) Revamping the "Copyright" policy page, 4) Figuring out how to educate ourselves (especially administrators) so that we/they can make essentially sound decisions about what's ok, what's not ok ... what's speedily deletable!
The hardest part is that even after one understands the basics of IP law, as soon as there is occasion to look at an issue in any depth, there's a good likelihood of gray areas, and complexities that require reading actual statutes and case law to get a handle on. And lawyers and judges who spend their lives doing so still have to go to court all the time to try to resolve matters in this messy business. Heaven forbid it should get any clearer, or we'd have a lot of lawyers out of work. No one wants that, do they? --JR (talk) 13:18, 11 November 2012 (GMT)
Well, I've been doing some more research on the issue, and I think JR has a number of good points. Specifically, in regards to product logos, I've found the following statement on Wikipedia: "A nonowner may also use a trademark nominatively—to refer to the actual trademarked product or its source." That, however, is based on US law. In Canada, there are no fair use trademark laws, but I found this opinion quoted from a book entitled Canadian Trademark Law:
"While no such nominative fair use doctrine expressly exists in Canadian law, it is clear that such activity would not violate §19 (of the Trade-marks Act). If the plaintiff's mark is used to correctly identify wares for sale from the defendant's site, such use is not as a trademark - in other words, the mark is not being used so as to distinguish the wares of the defendant from those of others. As a matter of principle, it cannot be trademark infringement to make an accurate reference to wares or services."Duhaime.org Legal Dictionary
While we're not selling the product, it seems reasonable to assume that simply using the logo to identify the company is an acceptable usage even under Canadian law. If so, this means we can undelete and start using the various logos that I had us delete a year or two ago.
On the issue of image composition in screenshots, this overlaps with the Image Guidelines discussion, but I found nothing suggesting that screenshot composition would in any way be copyrightable by the creator of the screenshot. Based on the concept of image collages in photography, if screenshots are copyright by anyone, they're copyright by Bethesda. In point of fact, I found several mentions in both US and Canadian law that derivative works of copyright material aren't allowed at all without permission of the copyright holder, but given that Bethesda is well aware of our existence and hasn't complained about screenshots in close to 20 years (whereas they have asked us to take down certain other items, as highlighted in the stuff JR linked to), I think we can take that as implicit permission to post screenshots. I would suggest we remove the "composition" wording from the Image Copyright entirely. It may also be useful to note that Wikipedia exerts no additional copyright in their equivalent of {{Uespimage}} (wikipedia:Template:Non-free_video_game_screenshot). In the end, I think it's fair to say that most companies would issue a take-down request if they really wanted something removed, so we're probably okay, and if we're not, we'll be told at some point.
Long story short, I think that entire bullet can be removed from my initial suggestions. Robin Hoodtalk 23:03, 11 November 2012 (GMT)
All good stuff to throw into the mix. From my reading of things, I cannot see a rationale at all for claiming title/authorship for a screenshot. Confusion is completely understandable, however: One can generally take a photo of a sculpture and copyright it. But one cannot take a photo of a painting and do the same. There is a "2D vs. 3D" distinction made in various legal info sources. One might stretch things to say that the subject matter of a game screenshot is in 3D because we can "virtually" walk around it, etc., but it seems clear that the point where the property is actually "fixed" is in the programming code, with the equipment by which we perceive the images on our (2D) screens being only a "means of projection". At this point, I think we've learned enough to at least be confused, which is preferable to naive uncertainty I believe. Even if all aspects of the relevant laws could be understood, I still cannot see any smart way to decide how to evaluate our relevant policies without input from Daveh. I think we're ok doing pretty much whatever it is that we are doing until that occurs. --JR (talk) 07:35, 13 November 2012 (GMT)

() Okay, I've gone ahead and made the changes. Please feel free to tweak anything if the language is unclear or what have you. Robin Hoodtalk 20:08, 24 November 2012 (GMT)

About the Ingredients Pages in Skyrim

I have been doing minor edits to a lot of the Skyrim ingredients pages, and there's an inconsistence about the subsection "Sources". Should said subsection be named as "Sources"? (the information about how the ingredients are obtained is still in their information boxes, though) or should it be named as how the ingredient is obtained? ("Creatures" for... creatures, of course, "Plants" for plants, and "Sources" from Merchants or other obtaining methods, so it has consistence with the Oblivion Ingredients pages). The reason I'm asking this is because I've been received differents points of view from 3 serious editors in different enviroments: one in the chat, one here, one again in the chat... . I truly mean no harm and no trolling, by all means, I do want to help and I just want those pages smooth as ice. So what do you think, guys? How should that subsection be named? Please forgive my atrocious english. Audrey Gally talk 05:58, 8 November 2012 (GMT)

I have already given my thoughts about this on Audrey's talk page, and just to add on to that: I just finished going through most of the Oblivion ingredient articles, and they usually have at most three sections (some even have just one). The first section is "Ingredients", which lists already-harvested samples and merchant availability. The second section is either "Plants" or "Creatures". Some Skyrim ingredients don't fall in either category, such as Briar Heart or Daedra Heart, so I guess "Sources" is fine? The third section is "Notes" (if any), and there isn't any "Other Uses" section in the Oblivion articles; IMO, that section should be merged with "Notes", because from how I see it, those other uses are notes. And finally, there's "Related Quests" for a select few of the Skyrim articles, which according to the Places and NPCs style guide, are always placed before "Notes".
So, to sum it all up, the following is a possible layout for Skyrim ingredients:
  • leading paragraph,
  • and then "Ingredients",
  • followed by "Plants" or "Creatures" or "Sources" (used only if the first two are not applicable),
  • followed by "Related Quests" (if any),
  • and finally "Notes" (if any, and the "other uses" should be merged here as well).
Using this layout is also somewhat consistent with Oblivion ingredients, and from what I've experienced with my Delphine revamp, consistency is usually preferred. Is this layout okay with you guys? ~ Psylocke 03:18, 9 November 2012 (GMT)
All OK with me, and I think the ingredients pages are generally looking great. On Audrey's talk page, you said something about some "experienced" editors having some kind of different opinion(s) about something. Can you characterize the differences here, or try to ensure that those people have seen your proposals here? Finally, if there's no objection raised, or after there's a conclusion, would you be willing to encode your proposal into policy/guidelines?--JR (talk) 04:10, 9 November 2012 (GMT)
One of the editors is Skyrimplayer, but I'm not sure who the other "experienced" editor is; and by the way, it was Audrey who said the above, not me. And just to add on a bit, I missed out the "Bugs" section. That should be the last section after notes. So, yeah, that's about all. ~ Psylocke 04:29, 9 November 2012 (GMT)
No, no, the editors were Eshe and The Silencer. Basically, in the chat, Eshe agreed that the subsection was named only "Sources", so it would be consistent between the Skyrim Ingredients. And when I was changing back everything to "Creatures/Plants", The Silencer asked me, in the chat, why I was changing it back, since he also thought that "Sources" was more consistent (so I was in a pickle u.u, and asked for consensus).
I would like to say, I consider that Briar Heart and Daedra Heart fall into the category of "Creatures", since they are found in Forsworn Briarhearts and Dremoras (which I think they can be considered as Creatures, in this case). I've made a list, the only ingredient that could be categorized under "Sources" is the Charred Skeever Hide (because, since it's basically a dead skeever, I think it should be in "Creatures"... but since it's "harvested" from the burned carcass of a skeever and it's different from a dead skeever, then maybe it should be like "Plants", even when it's not a plant). I left out Human Flesh, Human Heart, Moon Sugar, Pearl, Powdered Mammoth Tusk, Salt Pile, Small Pearl and Spriggan Sap on purpose, because they don't even have a "Sources" subsection, the information is already in "Ingredients". So, basically, the "Sources" subsection can be easily changed to "Creatures/Plants" without problem. (And, ups, I realized I didn't take on account the Dawnguard ingredients... maybe someone who has the Dawnguard extension be so kind to help us with their input?)
I liked the "Other Uses" subsection, because I think it's more specific than "Notes", but I won't oppose if it's decided to merge them. I agree with Psylocke's layout, and I have absolutely no problem if it's decided to use "Sources" or "Creatures/Plants", I'll agree with the consensus. I would only object if it's decided to merge the few quest ingredients in "Notes". I think those subsections are useful and necesary, and they're only 3. But basically, I agree with everything. Best Regards! Audrey Gally talk 06:38, 9 November 2012 (GMT)
Oblivion:Daedra Heart uses "Creatures" so I guess that's fine. And as for Charred Skeever Hide, it can go both ways, as skeevers are creatures, but the hides are technically "harvested" from "plants". However, I don't think the "Other Uses" section is necessary. Take Skyrim:Crimson Nirnroot for example. You split the notes into two different sections with one point each. I don't think a new section should be created just for the quest usage part, as this can be parked under notes like before your edit. IMO it clutters up the page with unnecessary one-line sections. And for consistency's sake, Oblivion uses simply "Notes" instead of "Other Uses" and "Notes". ~ Psylocke 07:07, 9 November 2012 (GMT)

() Heheeheehe, sorry about that, you're right. I did it because I wanted consistency between the Skyrim ingredients, and I didn't take in account the Oblivion ingredients. But yes, it's not good with one-line sections. Maybe those specific lines of "X samples are needed for the quest Y" would be better in the "Related Quests" subsection? Something like "Y quest: <Description of the Quest>. X samples are needed for this quest." And all of the other points to be merged in the "Notes"? Audrey Gally talk 07:45, 9 November 2012 (GMT)

Hmmm... Lets use the crimson nirnroot example again. I see 3 possible options: We can park them under notes, or like what you suggested, we can do this:
Or this:
I still prefer to simply put them in "Notes", but if we are to use your method, I prefer the third option. What do you guys think? ~ Psylocke 08:21, 9 November 2012 (GMT)
I agree with the third option! :D :D Audrey Gally talk 08:38, 9 November 2012 (GMT)
Hmmm... I was considering the second one, as it looked like it would be easier to see the required amount, but it just looks a little awkward. So, I'm going to swing towards the third option.--Skyrimplayer (talk) 14:13, 9 November 2012 (GMT)
Hmm.. almost forgot about this. This has been sitting here for well over two weeks, so per consensus, and what has been discussed above, I'll go ahead and make the necessary tweaks to the layouts. ~ Psylocke 10:12, 24 November 2012 (GMT)

Help: Images; Image Standards

I (and Psylocke) have made some changes to the image standards section of the Help:Images page. These are felt to be relatively unsubstantial, except that 4:3 has been specified as the standard aspect ratio for "ingredient" and "flora" images. Since this appears to reflect a historical reality, we have gone ahead and made the change. I'm not that happy with the bold formatting, so maybe someone has a better idea on that.

If there is any objection or desire for discussion, please raise it here. In particular, Eshe, please sign off on it, or provide input, since you've just led an overhaul of the page. --JR (talk) 03:43, 9 November 2012 (GMT)

I swapped out the bold formatting on the image types for links to their respective categories. This way, they still stand out from the surrounding text, but it's not so bold, and I thought it might also be helpful for people to have quick access to galleries of example images. Otherwise, the changes look great! Thanks for taking the initiative to clear that bit up :). eshetalk 03:52, 11 November 2012 (GMT)

Software Error

I wanted to post another of my invaluable UESP policy white papers (with a few links in it). After entering the Captcha text, the system insulted me with:

A database query syntax error has occurred. This may indicate a bug in the software. The last attempted database query was: (SQL query hidden) from within function "AbuseFilter::storeVarDump". Database returned error "1153: Got a packet bigger than 'max_allowed_packet' bytes (10.2.212.15)".

How can I deliver my insights to my fans? --JR (talk) 05:12, 11 November 2012 (GMT)

What fans? :P Judging by the error message, I'd say that the problem is with AbuseFilter. It's been having some trouble lately with picking up hyperlinks (If the link began with HTTP in all caps, for instance, it wouldn't catch it), so I implemented my own solution, by manually searching for instances of .com, .org, .net, and .co. Apparently, that broke something. I'm going to revert to the old method temporarily.
To any admin that's reading this: JR needs to be added to the list of Autoconfirmed Users. Apparently, that didn't happen automatically for him. Autoconfirmed users shouldn't be setting off the filter in the first place. • JAT 06:54, 11 November 2012 (GMT)
If I remember right, JR had a username change at one point, so that may have something to do with why he wasn't automatically added as Autoconfirmed. Of course, that's just a wild guess, I don't really know much about that sort of thing. — ABCface 07:03, 11 November 2012 (GMT)
I just checked, and according to the User Rights page (I'd link it but only Admins would be able to see the link), JR is implicitly a member of the Autoconfirmed user group. I don't even think it's possible for me to change that. A Bureaucrat (Daveh or Nephele) might be able to fix it, but I don't know if that's even the problem. TheRealLurlock (talk) 12:22, 11 November 2012 (GMT)
Hmm.... I cannot upload even a very short message with multiple external links here either. But I can upload the entire message I originally intended to one of my sandboxes. Maybe someone can add the text on my talk page, in the sandbox called "ragged flagon", on my behalf? I want it to appear here. --JR (talk) 13:34, 11 November 2012 (GMT)
Moved, I'm trying to figure out what's wrong. You can upload it, I think, so long as you click again to confirm it as the last line in the warning says, "If you believe this edit to be constructive, you may click Submit again to confirm it." Silence is GoldenBreak the Silence 13:41, 11 November 2012 (GMT)
Thanks Silencer. I don't know... it's a bit crazy. After your post above, I successfully uploaded everything right here. I'm quite sure that I received the error after submitting my response to the first challenge. Now, I just tried uploading a few characters of text, along with external links to the main sites for Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft, and again could not! The same error was returned ... after the first challenge. --JR (talk) 14:12, 11 November 2012 (GMT)

() I had Krusty add wikimedia to the "safe" sites. That's a list of sites commonly linked that have relevance to the site in some way, such as youtube video links for talk pages. Silence is GoldenBreak the Silence 14:24, 11 November 2012 (GMT)

Skyrim Effect Icons

So I've been trying to expunge the Oblivion icons from Skyrim effect pages. In most cases it's pretty obvious which ones to use, but in Skyrim, icons are associated not with effects but with spells, which may have numerous effects. And some effects are never seen in spells, only as enchantments or alchemy effects. The end result is that many of the effects (particularly in the Destruction and Restoration schools) do not have a specific icon associated with them because there is no spell which does just that effect, or which does that effect at all. I suppose I could just pick something vaguely similar to fill in the missing ones - it would be no less correct than using Oblivion icons. Or would it be better just to leave those pages icon-less, to keep things accurate? Oh, and somebody with access to Dawnguard should make a new version of File:SR-icon-spell-Vampire_Bane.png. I can tell you the technique I used to make the rest of them if you want. TheRealLurlock (talk) 19:50, 11 November 2012 (GMT)

I'd prefer leaving them icon-less. —Legoless (talk) 21:58, 11 November 2012 (GMT)
I think the pages look really good! And the icons looks so precious :') I would like to know about the technique, if I may. Can it be used in gimp too? -Audrey Gally talk 01:45, 12 November 2012 (GMT)
Gimp can probably do it, but you're on your own for figuring out how. I used Photoshop. The screenshots had to be taken from the Creation Kit rather than the game, because you can't get rid of the GUI overlap in the game. And you have to have the animations turned on in the CK, or you get only part of the effects, like my first few attempts. As for getting the transparencies - and this is the part that will be completely different in Gimp - what I did was screenshot the effect against a black background, and then copy the layer as black-and-white into an alpha channel, which I then inverted and adjusted levels on to create an alpha mask to delete out the black from the image and make it transparent. The trick is getting rid of the pre-multiplied alpha, which is hidden under Layer/Matting/Remove Black Matte. Anyhow, I just got myself Dawnguard because I was tired of not being able to help with that stuff, so I'll throw together an icon maybe tomorrow for it. After playing the game and looking at the icons again, I realized I've got all the shout icons at the wrong angle. They're supposed to be rotated a bit so they're coming towards the camera at about 45° or so. I'll take care of it tomorrow maybe, but for now I'm going to bed. TheRealLurlock (talk) 03:59, 12 November 2012 (GMT)
Thank you very much, TheRealLurlock! This is very useful, I'll start experimenting! :D -Audrey Gally talk 05:55, 12 November 2012 (GMT)
For gimp you would first add an alpha channel to the image, then use "Color to Alpha" specifying black. But you really need a clean single color background for this to work. --Alfwyn (talk) 10:04, 12 November 2012 (GMT)

NPC Summaries on User Pages/Sandboxes

Users who have {{NPC Summary}} templates on their user pages may notice a couple of changes due to recent changes to the template. The initial problem was that parts of the template were disappearing for users who wanted to work on NPC pages in sandboxes. I've fixed that, but that in turn has caused issues with non-standard NPC Summaries on userpages. Any solution I could think of just introduced one problem or another somewhere, so I've given up and made the best compromise I could think of.

Those of you who want your NPC Summaries to look like one for a specific game should add |ns_base=gamespace. Currently, this will default to Skyrim, but when the next game comes out, I imagine we'll update that, so even if it looks okay now, it might be beneficial to add |ns_base=Skyrim to the template if you're using it. In a few cases, I'm adding |ns_base=User to some people's pages to fix the Training box if it didn't conform to a specific game. That'll make sure that the text in the Training box appears as you intended, but you may not be able to see other parts of the template. If you want to emulate a specific game, change the ns_base and make sure your |train= parameter is correct for that game type. That's about the best I can do.

Sorry if that's confusing, but I can't figure a better way to explain it. If anyone has questions, ask and either I'll try to explain it, or maybe someone else can put it in plainer English than I can. Robin Hoodtalk 07:26, 16 November 2012 (GMT)

Proposed change to Book Summery Template

I've gotten an altered version of the Book Summery Template working. I've placed an example Here This change allows a drop down listing of bugs related to the book being summerized. I think it would be much more useful to list them in this style then the current method which appears to involve placing them in the header. Lord Eydvar Talk|Contribs 09:44, 17 November 2012 (GMT)

Not bad, though I'd prefer to call it "Notes", as it could contain things other than just bugs. Are there really very many bugs related to books anyhow? I mean, typos, yes, grammatical and spelling errors, sure. But I wouldn't classify those as "bugs" per se. TheRealLurlock (talk) 12:36, 17 November 2012 (GMT)
Yeah anything really could go there, Notes, Bugs whatnot. I just used bugs cause the book i was working with to get it working had a few bugs. Lord Eydvar Talk|Contribs 19:06, 17 November 2012 (GMT)

Category:Skyrim-Quest Images

This is not interfering with anything I need to do at the moment, but I wonder why it is true, and if it might indicate something wrong that should be fixed. Category:Skyrim-Quest_Images shows (as of now) 350 files, but there must be more than that. For example, I don't see any from Pieces of the Past or Blood on the Ice, just to think of two that came to mind. Yet, these quests both have images that appear to be properly categorized (e.g., File:SR-quest-Pieces_of_the_Past.jpg. Also, there appear to be irregularities in the alphabetical order of the file listing, for which the reason is not apparent to me. Just in case anyone wants to check it out. --JR (talk) 04:03, 19 November 2012 (GMT)

The alphabetizing part isn't new. It's mentioned in one of the upgrade issues discussions, but I'm too lazy to find it. I'm not sure about the other part though. — ABCface 04:20, 19 November 2012 (GMT)
They're there, the problem is that the Next button isn't working right, and because of our naming system, there's no easy way to get to any other entries. If you look at this list, however, you'll see that Pieces of the Past is indeed in there. It's not quite alphabetically sorted, so if you're just scanning, you'll see it in the second batch of almost-alphabetized names. That list also confirms that there are 580 entries (though the link will only show you the first 500), so apparently, it's not just the Next button that's not working, the count is off too, as you noticed. That'll be something for Dave or one of the server type people to look at once we figure out who those are going to be and which one of us is doing what. Robin Hoodtalk 05:33, 19 November 2012 (GMT)
OK. Thanks both. I'm just putting "RobinHood on it" in my official records. --JR (talk) 06:10, 19 November 2012 (GMT)

Indent Lament

I think the guidelines for indentation on talk pages are (or were intended to be) a step more complex (and better) than what we've generally been doing. It is written that we indent one level more than a message we are replying to, but what exactly is meant by replying to a comment is not specified. If Mary writes something, and then John and Salamander each respond directly to Mary, then John and Salamander should both indent their comments to the same level: One more than Mary's, as below.

Are Bleeding Crown mushrooms edible? (Mary)

Yes, they are. (John)
No, I don't think they are. What made you ask? (Salamander)

Both indent 1 from Mary, because both reply directly to Mary.

But:
Are Bleeding Crown mushrooms edible? (Mary)

Yes, they are. (John)
How would you know, John? You hate mushrooms. (Salamander)
No. All mushrooms in Skyrim are inedible and will cause your program to crash. (Prince Blintz)

John and and the prince indent 1 past Mary, because they both reply to Mary. Salamander indents 1 more than John, because he replies directly to John.

This is more comprehensively detailed here. I think this is more reader-friendly, especially when there are many comments in a section, like FA page nomination discussions, etc. Am I the only one who understands it this way? Some would say it doesn't matter much, but we obviously have people who enjoy keeping comments properly indented and signed. If we're going to maintain them so well, let's make sure we agree on the right way.

Proposed: We adopt Wikipedia's policy here (or clarify it if that's what was originally intended). If editors reorganize or "correct" indents, they should follow this guideline. No need to scour talk pages for existing "errors" in relation to such. --JR (talk) 15:57, 29 November 2012 (GMT)

While it's true that that's what the WP policy states, in practice, I find most people there just do the "one more than the last one" thing. I do occasionally see responses that follow policy, but not all that often. Personally, I find it harder to read when they're "properly" indented. The "one more" style delineates one person's post from the next much more clearly, or at least that's what I find. In cases where you need to make it clear who you're responding to, you can always use the "@SoAndSo:" style, or use the old-fashioned method (commonly referred to as "words"), for example, "In response to SoAndSo, ...". Robin Hoodtalk 17:21, 29 November 2012 (GMT)
"If there have been other replies, use one more colon than the previous reply." The written 'policy' on this is pretty clear to me, and has been the same for a long time. I find it a lot easier to read it that the next person differentiates themselves by indenting further than the last person. Places like reddit, where there are lines separating direct replys are easy to read, but talk pages, for me at least, get confusing when you have to flick your eyes back and forth across paragraphs trying to identify who is talking to who. As it has been our 'policy' for so long, I'd propose we keep it, and possibly clarify it to be clear that we are not like wikipedia in this. @Robin, I agree, why not use words to make it clear you are talking to one individual over another, it's much easier and polite. Silence is GoldenBreak the Silence 18:41, 29 November 2012 (GMT)
The current system that we use just works better due to its additional simplicity. We occasionally see people indent as most people normally do right off the start, complicating the system will just require more cleanup of talk pages then they already get, or face this method of indenting just being ignored (like it is right now). --AKB Talk Cont Mail 20:03, 29 November 2012 (GMT)
I fear change. Minor EditsThreatsEvidence 03:26, 30 November 2012 (GMT)
In response to a certain golden SoAndSo, I don't think the policy as now written is clear because it uses the term "reply", and "reply" has a specific meaning: It's an answer or response. This raises questions of "Response to what or to who?" And in Wikipedia's (formal, even if not practiced) policy, those questions and their answers matter to the careful colon quantification calculator.
In the policy, the statement just above that which you referenced says "If you are directly replying...." Was that meant to imply that something different be done if we indirectly reply, whatever that might mean? In response to myself: Couldn't you, JR, have realized before reading RH's comment, that it would be impractical in any case to implement the more complicated rules because there will be so many people adding to a talk page for the first time, or who do so infrequently, who will not scour the policy pages to perform detailed algorithms to decide how many colons to use? Do you also not suppose that it's generally a good idea to chat with a person or two before making a proposal like this? Shame! Well, I can never stay angry at you for very long. You're too cute.
Let me take what has been said so far to embolden myself to attempt to clarify the policy as it apparently is widely understood. So that the policy is: When adding a message to a section in a talk page, indent one level further than the last comment. I will give this a go after waiting a couple of days for any further comment. Finally, I think no one wants Minor Edits afraid. In my case, that comes not from selflessness or empathy, but rather self-interest: I'm concerned that a scared ME is a dangerous ME. --JR (talk) 05:17, 30 November 2012 (GMT)
Don't forget that when a post is indented too much, it should be {{outdent}}ed, usually with {{od}}. The specific number of indents to go before outdenting depends on the conversation. If the messages are all one or two sentences, then generally it can go up to 8 indents before a post requires an () , but with very lengthy responses it's common to outdent after only 5 indents. This isn't a written policy, but it's been standard practice for a long time. • JAT 07:20, 30 November 2012 (GMT)

() Right, JAT. I have taken a stab at revising Help:Editing_Pages#Editing_a_Discussion_Page here on the talk page, where (I know, I know!) such discussions actually belong. If someone wants to move this whole thing to that page, please do. Then I'll add it to "Active Discussions" above, and allow some time for input. Hmmm... it's really much easier to criticize or complain about policies and policy pages than to write them. I MIGHT be relatively quiet for just a little while. --JR (talk) 13:02, 30 November 2012 (GMT)


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