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STOWiki talk:User generated content

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Suggested Guidelines[edit source]

Just re-iterating my opinions here. In My Opinion:

  • All Foundry pages should be in English
  • UGC Content should be able to link to official/canon articles but not FROM them. UGC/Foundry content should not leach into canon pages.
  • Foundry should get a box on the front page to satisfy the need for visiblity/whats new/advertising.
  • Foundry pages should be clearly marked with some banner or outline that clearly identifies it as UGC and Non-Canon.

-- BrooklynKnight 15:54, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

Added your suggestions. The banners/disclaimers are supposed to be added through the two templates (yet to be written :-)). Regards, --RachelGarrett 09:08, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
While I agree that the wikipage itself should be in english there are quite a few non english foundry missions out there. Maybe add the appropriate ISO-639 code in front of the mission name? i.e. Foundry:(eng) This is my super mission. ID#123456789 (ger) & (fre) come to mind, and I'm pretty sure someone will write a (tlh) mission too someday. --Dukedom 10:00, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
We would need to expand the Wiki to allow for different language versions of the same article, which we don't right now. Also, isn't it so, that different language versions of foundry missions have different IDs? --RachelGarrett 08:09, 3 August 2011 (UTC)
Nah, the articles in the wiki should stay in english. It just occures to me that it is slightly more nifty to say 'yes you can make a page for your mission completely written in klingon but please make the page on the wiki in english' instead of 'no! only english missions!'. And the IDs are not different inbetween the languages I checked right now. --Dukedom 09:25, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

Namespace[edit source]

A point of clarification: do we want an actual namespace for this? It's not just a technicality.

Right now, there is no Foundry namespace, so all articles beginning with Foundry: would be able to appear in results on a default search, because technically the software considers them in mainspace. Adding a actual custom namespace (which currently has to be done in the LocalSettings.php configuration file on the server) would change that, and users would either have to change their preferences and/or go to advanced search to get Foundry articles.

I don't recommend we go so far to make it a true namespace for this reason. Taking them out of a default search would be going too far in separating them IMO. Eyes User-Eyes-Sig.png 16:03, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

change their preferences and/or go to advanced search <- Sounds good to me. And now tell me it isn't possible to make a 'search foundry mission link' that defaults to the correct advanced options. --Dukedom 17:37, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
It is possible, but with every article prefaced with Foundry:, I am still against taking the separation to that level. After all, unregistered users have no preferences to change. Also, I tend to use the search box to go directly to a given article, and I wouldn't be too thrilled to see that I don't even get the link I expect on the search page because I forgot to put the Foundry: prefix on the title. Sure, I can change that in my preferences, but my opinion is based on the unregistered users, not experienced editors. Eyes User-Eyes-Sig.png 17:49, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
It is possible to change default search option for people who are not registered or not logged in, see MediaWiki Manual... --Xaal 21:11, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
This presents an option I'm comfortable with. We change the default search criteria to search both mainspace and a true Foundry namespace, and registered users can essentially "opt out" by changing their preferences. It increases separation, but not more than it should. Eyes User-Eyes-Sig.png 05:39, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
I'm just afraid some 'creative and enthusiastic' foundry authors will find a way to get their missions on top of 'standard' searches if the seperation is not there Eyes. --Dukedom 22:26, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
Eh, MediaWiki search isn't that sophisticated. Short of something blindly obvious like a massive list of keywords on the mission page, I don't think we're going to see that. Admins (and regular users, for that matter) can remove any obvious attempts to game the search engine, and if necessary, admins can deal with the users who do so. This seems like a very small risk. Eyes User-Eyes-Sig.png 05:39, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
Would it be possible to have a separate search box that's preset to search the foundry namespace? That way it wouldn't matter if you're logged in or not, so long as you use the correct box you're fine. -- BrooklynKnight 05:18, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
It looks like the InputBox extension can do this, but I'm not sure we could get it into the sidebar or anywhere where it would show up on every page, so it might now any better than the link idea. I'll test this later, but I'm very doubtful that it'll work in the sidebar. Eyes User-Eyes-Sig.png 05:39, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
Yea, if it can be added under the normal one, perhaps yellow instead of blue so it stands out, even if it doesn't appear on every page that's fine. It only really needs to appear on the main page and the foundry pages themselves. -- BrooklynKnight 06:05, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
Tested trying to add an inputbox. It worked as I expected: MediaWiki processes MediaWiki:Sidebar differently and the InputBox is only processed when actually showing that page. It doesn't actually work in the sidebar. Short of a custom extension, this doesn't look like it's going to work. (And the custom extension route would have to be considered a long-term option unless we have someone else to do the work.) Eyes User-Eyes-Sig.png 07:50, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
To answer the original question: Yes, I think a namespace is the best way to make this happen. I do not want UGC articles to rival the "official" content articles on the search page. I think we will have our hand full herding all the newbies that do not follow the guidelines anyway. I do not want to come into a position, where I have to edit perfectly fine UGC articles only to "demote" their search rank. We will prominently (front page) explain how to search for foundry content. Any convenience features as discussed above are of course nice to have. In September I'll have some time on my hands. Although I've never done this before, I would think that I could program such a search box, but no promises. --RachelGarrett 09:03, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
Well, as a temporary measure, the InputBox extension makes a search box for getting a Foundry namespace search easy enough as long as the box will appear in a page (or more than one). I'll add making a Foundry: namespace to the list of things I'll request from Curse when I hear back from them. Eyes User-Eyes-Sig.png 09:29, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
I already requested Taylor to add a Foundry: namespace for us. It kind of looks like we are maybe going to get some kind of access to the server, but I don't know how exactly (and how extensively). Taylor has to negotiate that with the powers to be. --RachelGarrett 23:07, 29 July 2011 (UTC)


Momentum[edit source]

It probably won't be too long now before we have the next stage of the Borg Invasion and our first peek at the duty officer system on Tribble, so I propose we work to get to a state where we can officially allow UGC content on the wiki before we're busy again. To that end, I want to get opinions on what exactly that state is so I know what to do over the next few days to make it happen.

Right now, Template:Ugcinfo is off to a very good start and may or may not be sufficient as it is. It isn't well tested, but that really doesn't worry me much given I should be able to fix any issues relatively (and actual use will ferret them out faster than me trying to test a template for an aspect of the game I'm not familiar with). The policy hasn't had any comments for some time, so I think it might be time to stop considering it a work-in-progress. We could use a formatting guide, except that I don't know if it's really going to be any different than missions except for using Template:Ugcinfo instead of Template:Missioninfo.

The BoilerRoom extension is probably as ready as it's ever going to be if we want to use that to aid foundry mission page authors. So, again, the question is, how much is left to do? What state do we want to be in before we open the floodgates? Eyes User-Eyes-Sig.png 19:35, 11 September 2011 (UTC)

Funny, I'd thought about the UGC stuff yesterday. I'll take a look at everything tomorrow. Should have a bit more time on my hands for the next couple of weeks. Regards, --RachelGarrett 20:50, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
Ok, after reading through most of what we have, I think we should add a mechanism for Foundry authors to list the factions on the ground and in space that are encountered in the mission. I don't want them to use the categories we currently have, since that will mix up Cryptic and user content. Also, we should add the system/social hub of the first objective in the ugcinfo box and use that to create categories that sort the missions by location. When we have that, we could think about cloning and adapting STOWiki:Formatting/Missions for UGC missions. Other than that I think we are good to go. The Boilerroom is a separate issue (mostly the struggle of getting it on the server), but I think it would be great to have it before we let in the UGC folks. Opinions? --RachelGarrett 22:18, 12 September 2011 (UTC)
Project:Formatting/Missions/Foundry. We are now up to date with all suggested additions, except, of course, the installation of the BoilerRoom extension. Once it is, all that will be left is for me to move the formatting guides to the Boilerplate namespace and add the needed boilerplate tags. That should not take long. Eyes User-Eyes-Sig.png 09:47, 13 September 2011 (UTC)
Hopefully, I'm posting this in the right place. My first impressions are as follows: While I appreciate how much thought and work the stowiki folks put into this setup, it is not user-friendly to people who haven't had any experience editing a wiki before. In the guidelines, you speak a foreign language to someone who doesn't know what to make of levels or namespaces. There is no step by step, add your mission this way. Even though I've had some experience with my own wiki, I simply can't comprehend the rules and the lingo because I don't "speak" wiki the way that you guys do. It's obvious that there has been a ton of debate about the proper way to do this stuff, but it doesn't seem like there is much at all in terms of making it accessible or comprehensible to people who've never wikied. People have a hard enough time understanding the Foundry. This takes it a step further by demanding tribal knowledge just to get started. The process for adding a mission to the wiki needs to be geared toward the ugc author, not the needs of stowiki experts.
Please take a moment to try to view the page and interface as a ugc author would. Imagine that it was someone who has never tried to edit a wiki before. What language and terms would he/she understand?kirkfat
I'm sorry. I was under the mistaken assumption you guys were moving from a wiki and had basic wiki knowledge. I've added an Overview section to the formatting guide that covers the basic process of creating a page, and we are waiting on Curse (our host) to install an extension that will help us streamline some of that process.
It might also be possible to install a WYSIWYG editor (think of an interface similar to MS Word or OpenOffice) that would make editing pages easier, but this is uncertain for a number of reasons. They often do poorly with pages that use many wiki templates (like most pages on most wikis, which is one reason you don't see them too often), so I fear that'd quite possibly cause more problems than it would solve. Additionally, this is also something we'd have to wait for Curse to install, and we have to consider the impact of that solution on editing pages for the rest of the wiki as well. Even moreso, we're using a custom skin that might conflict with such editors in some way. In the long run, I think asking users to learn the very basics of wikicode is generally better given the current state of such editors, and the best way to learn is to jump in.
Being this is a wiki, you need to understand that isn't part of wiki culture that we expect users, especially new ones, to get it right from the get-go. Instead, we have policies such as STOWiki:Be bold in updating pages, STOWiki:Assume good faith, and STOWiki:Please do not bite the newcomers. All of these apply to foundry users too, so part of your move here needs to be to learn basic wiki culture as well, and the number one rule I would suggest is to be more bold. Don't worry so much about such things as if you have something in the right place; experienced users won't slap you for getting something wrong--they'll fix it and usually explain what they did and why. We know wiki users have to learn as they go and are going to make mistakes as they do so; after all, that's how we all learned. Eyes User-Eyes-Sig.png 07:57, 23 September 2011 (UTC)

Series pages[edit source]

I would like to propose that we add central pages for "series" of feature episodes... i.e., any set of Foundry episodes that are part of the same storyline and which can be logically given a series title for the page. Common elements, such as NPCs and races, present in the series would be permitted to be placed on subpages of the series page. Eyes User-Eyes-Sig.png 11:42, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

What happens when a standalone mission is added to the wiki and then later on a sequel is made which turns it into a series? Would we have to move all the content again to new the series wiki pages? Sometimes we make missions without planning to make them into a series. My one for example has an open ending that could lead to a sequel, but there isn't one planned yet. --Galactrix 13:18, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
I learned that moving pages on the wiki is rather easy. :p --Dukedom 13:26, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
Updating the links can sometimes be a pain after a move, but then, that is a task I can easily bot upon request. Simple find and replace stuff is something AutoWikiBrowser does quite well with a minimum of effort on my part.
But at the moment, I'm proposing this as an option, not a requirement. I'm hoping it'll make existing series easier to work with, and actually, moving the pages when you do make something a series could be easier for you too--you eliminate any need to deal with the ID in links to cross-mission elements like NPCs. (In retrospect, I kinda wish I'd suggested an alternative naming scheme, but I think we can find ways to minimize the hassles involved with the IDs in the titles.) Eyes User-Eyes-Sig.png 13:39, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
Moving a dozen or so pages is no real problem even with the MediaWiki interface. The real question is, I think, is there harm in allowing series pages in the Foundry namespace? It might lead to confusion with new authors. However, I really like the concept. --RachelGarrett 10:39, 7 October 2011 (UTC)

Lore Integration[edit source]

This is a proposal for the main namespace. I would like to suggest a new category, "Foundry Lore", be added to the various system entries. For example, my first foundry mission starts in the Chapel System, and I took the liberty of creating a planet Chapel IV and making a few details about it. It would benefit the community to have those details cataloged in the Chapel System entry so that if, say, another Foundry author were going to make a mission in the Chapel System, they could look at that system entry and read those details and make their own mission conform to them, reinforcing consistency in the community. --Arin12 17:44, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

I would not be in support of this in the main namespace. I'm even a little iffy about doing this in the Foundry namespace.
Admittedly, I don't think we have close to enough of a Foundry community active on the wiki for this to generate any meaningful conflict right now, but if that were to change, I think it would be rather inevitable that the community and admins would be in the position of having to deal with conflicts and inconsistencies cropping up in what would be essentially be an expanded universe of its own. That's a difficult role for a wiki that practices traditional wiki values like maintaining a neutral point-of-view. I'm not going to say it's impossible or wouldn't work, but it definitely becomes more of a challenge in a section that is more about exercising creativity than documenting it.
I'm also concerned that we might not be entirely avoid the appearance of implicitly endorsing any such "expanded universe" just by nature of being the game's official wiki, which again violates the wiki spirit of a neutral point-of-view. Perhaps it would be manageable with sufficiently strict guidelines on style, such as not allowing any content on such pages that isn't cited to the Foundry mission they originate from, but I remain skeptical that the official wiki should get involved in this. oOeyes User-Eyes-Sig.png 20:16, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps simply a link from each entry in the mainspace to it's foundry counterpart? I did notice my entry has been automatically assigned to Category:UGC missions in the Chapel System (currently nonexistant), those pages could be created/formatted appropriately.
I'm perhaps not understanding the nuance of the 'neutral point of view' guideline (perhaps because STOW:NPOV does not actually exist yet). While I agree that we don't necessarily want any bias, positive or negative, to leak into content at the wiki level (as opposed to discussion tabs like this, where I think that sort of thing would belong), the proposed change would be more of a "this is what's out there" statement, for reference purposes. Theoretically even contradictory information would be welcome on the page (and, I'm sure, inevitable, were the wiki community at large to go back and catalog existing missions) for the purpose of simply providing flavor and, perhaps, inspiration for Foundry authors that follow. I don't necessarily think it would imply endorsement any stronger than what's currently there implies endorsement of PWE's content. :) But that's from a newbie's perspective; perhaps there's more to the request than I've thought of. -- Arin12, 22:34 25 March 2015 (UTC)