Fixing the Wiki: Suggestions Thread

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Fixing the Wiki: Suggestions Thread

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Postby Reichu » Sun Dec 23, 2012 3:20 pm

The "Departures" thread has recently noted some concerns about the way the Wiki is managed, and I've been hearing some valid complaints about the Wiki during my visits to /a/ as well. So it's probably time to do some serious reassessing. Figure out precisely what the hell is wrong, so we can do what's necessary to fix things.

So please don't be shy. The system is a bust; people barely edit the thing. The Wiki is such a cesspool of apathy and neglect that I'm barely ever motivated to touch the thing. We need all the brutal honesty we can get.

It would seem that the current system for gaining editing access ("force people to join the forum and feel like they have to 'prove themselves'") is a major part of the problem, but obviously not the whole story.
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Postby NemZ » Sun Dec 23, 2012 4:03 pm

My main complaint is that people seem to not understand the difference between a factual article and a theoretical one. The standards for who can edit what (and how such edits are to happen) need to be very different to account for this distinction and prevent a difference of opinion from becoming an edit war or for non-majority ideas being silenced. Disagreeing with a theory article should be handled in the forums or writing a new article of your own, not changing the entry.
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Postby riffraff11235 » Sun Dec 23, 2012 4:16 pm

View Original PostNemZ wrote:Disagreeing with a theory article should be handled in the forums or writing a new article of your own, not changing the entry.

I take it you didn't make a hard copy of your writing before it was edited? That's a shame. Does the Wiki archive changes at all?
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Postby Mr. Tines » Sun Dec 23, 2012 4:23 pm

View Original Postriffraff11235 wrote:Does the Wiki archive changes at all?
Yes, that's the whole point of the mediawiki system -- it's pretty much impossible to actually delete anything. The problem is not with rolling back to a previous state, but in the avoiding of revision wars.
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Postby Reichu » Sun Dec 23, 2012 4:28 pm

View Original Postriffraff11235 wrote:I take it you didn't make a hard copy of your writing before it was edited? That's a shame. Does the Wiki archive changes at all?

All edits are preserved in the history, but this isn't much consolation when people are afraid that their edits are going to be buried on account of expressing a particular opinion.

I agree with your sentiments, NemZ. I think that there should definitely be a way for minority opinions to have their say without it "hurting anyone". I remember iterations of this debate in the past, and I seem to recall senior editors being afraid of 'deviant ideas' getting too much 'leverage', else they might 'misrepresent' the community, or something. I might have had more anxiety about these sorts of things in the past, myself, but if there's anything I've learned with time and experience, it's that what I used to think of the "consensus" is a pretty ethereal thing, and popular ideas go in and out of fashion like so much else...

As a result, I think I personally care much less about presenting some kind of illusion of "consensus" nowadays. (Just agreeing on guidelines for sorting out canon will be sufficient, and is enough of a task on its own.) All that really matters is cataloging the available ideas and giving people the necessary information to make up their own minds.

So, yes, edit wars need to be avoided, and mediation brought in to handle disputes where they occur. (But that too brings us back to our underlying problem of "community disinterest in the Wiki": how do you get mediators if nobody gives a shit most of the time?)
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Postby riffraff11235 » Sun Dec 23, 2012 4:47 pm

View Original PostReichu wrote:As a result, I think I personally care much less about presenting some kind of illusion of "consensus" nowadays. (Just agreeing on guidelines for sorting out canon will be sufficient, and is enough of a task on its own.) All that really matters is cataloging the available ideas and giving people the necessary information to make up their own minds.

I think we can agree that certain aspects and parts of the Evaverse have an "accepted" interpretation. Why not configure Wiki pages so that these explanations are featured, then have a section after that with alternate interpretations. The author can be listed along with each article, and people who'd like to discuss the idea can contact the author through the forums. If the author would like to modify their article in light of these discussions, he/she may choose to do so.

If the Wiki is in need of a general "clean-up", I'd be glad to help once my personal situation gets a little less hectic - should be around mid-January - and I've seen 3.0 so I don't have to worry about spoilery information on the Wiki.
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Postby KnightmareX13 » Sun Dec 23, 2012 6:18 pm

from my poking around there seems to be a good deal of pages that redirect no where or more specifically to pages that don't exist. I'm not sure whether this is due to a mistyping of the link or whether someone just didn't get around to making the new page
here is a list: [url]http://wiki.evageeks.org/Special:BrokenRedirects[/url]

Another issue is that with the older pages, especially the ones that are out in the boonies (not easy to find pages) a lot of the external links are dead, so if the original creators of those pages could verify if the site are still in existence and if so update the links.
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Postby NemZ » Sun Dec 23, 2012 6:57 pm

I fail utterly to see the value of a consensus as if this was some sort of end state. Truth is not determined by majority vote, nor is something unpopular in need of silencing. There will always be a lot of eva that remains conjectural and active discussion should be the goal, not a problem to be solved.

I'm not entirely sure I understand what purpose the wiki is supposed to serve.
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Postby Reichu » Sun Dec 23, 2012 7:13 pm

Not sure if I was obvious enough about it, NemZ, but, with regard to the "consensus" stuff, I was agreeing with you...

The purpose of the Wiki is to catalogue (or insert more suitable verb here) information and ideas that would otherwise be scattered in disarray across the forum and everywhere else. Seems straightforward enough to me in basic principle. Proper execution is the difficult part.

riffraff: Certain things are generally agreed upon, at least so far as the broad strokes go. It's where the details are concerned that things become tricky -- and downright contentious.
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Postby thewayneiac » Sun Dec 23, 2012 7:19 pm

View Original PostNemZ wrote:I fail utterly to see the value of a consensus as if this was some sort of end state. Truth is not determined by majority vote, nor is something unpopular in need of silencing. There will always be a lot of eva that remains conjectural and active discussion should be the goal, not a problem to be solved.

I'm not entirely sure I understand what purpose the wiki is supposed to serve.


The original purpose was to fight against all the misinformation that was out there, like the Adam and Eve theory, and Naoko in Unit-00. We felt we had some sort of holy duty to substitute the EvaGeeks way of looking at Eva for all the drivel. The problem is that as the community expands, it gets more difficult to come to a consensus. I would have no problem with a "dissenters" category for articles that disagree with the main articles. This might also let us state our opinions in the main articles more forcefully than we have felt we should. The main reason I have never worked on the EoTV vs EoE article was that I didn't care to hear all the screaming when I forcefully argued for concurrence. The main article could link to a dissenting article with "For an alternate explanation go HERE."
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Postby Bagheera » Sun Dec 23, 2012 7:44 pm

Not going to get too much into this, but since I brought it up I think I should say something:

I don't think we should have "dissenter" pages. In fact, I think the very notion of the setup flies in the face of Eva's purpose as laid out by Anno himself. It's a puzzle box, no? We're explicitly told to watch it and draw our own conclusions, and I think the wiki should facilitate that to whatever extent possible. That means wiki pages should be "just the facts, ma'am", leaving all theory and analysis in separate sections.

No more orthodoxy. No more default theories. Just present the facts as clearly and concisely as possible and trust forum members to connect the dots on their own. If you do that more people will get involved and the risk of edit wars will be minimized.
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Postby Reichu » Sun Dec 23, 2012 8:16 pm

Wayne: I'm completely against this idea of compartmentalizing certain ideas as "dissension". That's not solving the problem at all; it's maintaining the air of elitism and dogmatism. We're not a small handful of geeks camping out in a corner of AnimeNation anymore.

As for combating genuine misconceptions, I think we can do that without continuing patterns of exclusionary behavior.

Bagheera: I agree in principle. However, taken to its logical extreme, it would be all too easy for the Wiki pages to end up being remarkably content-free. In NGE, interpretation is often necessary just to give some kind of shape and context to what we're shown. That's not to say we can't circumvent the worst problems via careful use of language, but, gods, it's like walking on glass sometimes...
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Postby Clover » Sun Dec 23, 2012 10:47 pm

View Original PostReichu wrote:Bagheera: I agree in principle. However, taken to its logical extreme, it would be all too easy for the Wiki pages to end up being remarkably content-free. In NGE, interpretation is often necessary just to give some kind of shape and context to what we're shown. That's not to say we can't circumvent the worst problems via careful use of language, but, gods, it's like walking on glass sometimes...

You'd be surprised how much is blatantly given to you in Eva.

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Postby Anonymous_Evafan » Sun Dec 23, 2012 10:50 pm

Honestly Reichu I think you're simply going to have to decide where you're comfortable drawing the line. This is something I was worried about back when OMF first came up with the idea for the wiki and at this point I feel, like moderating a forum, there is no truly "good" way to do it due to the nature of the show.
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Postby Seele00TextOnly » Sun Dec 23, 2012 10:57 pm

During the time back in the day when I had more time and I was about to start doing some Wiki stuff for the hell of it, all the V-isms and holdovers from that nut discouraged me. You see the first thing I wanted to do was familiarize myself with what's expected of me, rules, etc. And I distinctly remember almost everywhere I looked it was just crawling with V-speak. It's horrendous. I found myself most compelled to rewrite all the freaking rules, as a beginner. And with that frustration in mind I ended up not bothering at all.
..
.. I doubt that helps much, but just felt like adding it. If anyone wants to clean house of V crap, please by all means do. Maybe it ended up discouraging or impeding others too in some ridiculous way like me. Then again I hate the guy with the fiery passion of a million Foreman Grills.
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Postby Reichu » Sun Dec 23, 2012 11:05 pm

View Original PostClover wrote:You'd be surprised how much is blatantly given to you in Eva.

You'd be surprised how much people can argue over things that are "blatantly given"!

Seele00TextOnly: Yeah, since the Wiki started off with V practically authoring everything by himself (and emphasizing a breakneck pace of quantity over quality), erasing all of the undesired V-speak is ever an ongoing thing... If you could help target the pages still in most dire need of facelift, that would be a big help. (Perhaps it's self-evident, but I can confuse easily!)

Anonymous_Evafan: I don't doubt that personal judgment is what it WILL ultimately have to come down to...
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Postby Anonymous_Evafan » Sun Dec 23, 2012 11:15 pm

You don't sound to enthusiastic about that prospect. I wish I could say X is how you can make everyone happy but personal experience has taught me that never works IRL unfortunately.
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Postby NemZ » Sun Dec 23, 2012 11:42 pm

View Original PostReichu wrote:Not sure if I was obvious enough about it, NemZ, but, with regard to the "consensus" stuff, I was agreeing with you...


I know. I was just stating the case more forcefully because it needs to be heard loud and clear.

bagheera wrote:No more orthodoxy. No more default theories. Just present the facts as clearly and concisely as possible and trust forum members to connect the dots on their own. If you do that more people will get involved and the risk of edit wars will be minimized.


This is what I was trying to get at earlier. Entries should be purely factual but have links to interpretation pages (clearly labeled as such) where different takes can be given their own say, none shown any special favor as if it were the one true way.
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Postby Anonymous_Evafan » Sun Dec 23, 2012 11:49 pm

The problem with that, which Reichu already alluded to, is you'd end up with a very boring wiki to read.
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Postby Seele00TextOnly » Mon Dec 24, 2012 12:08 am

Reichu: hrm I went looking and I guess stuff has been cleaned up more since then? maybe should've looked before posting about it.

http://wiki.evageeks.org/EvaWiki:Boot_Camp_for_Newbies
^ I remember reading this thing all in one go; probably shouldn't have. Even just skimming it about gave me an aneurism. It's not too bad on the V-isms though it's all undoubtedly him. Anyway it just... ugh.


http://wiki.evageeks.org/EvaWiki:Rules_and_Regulations
^ this one looks like it's been cleaned up more (major removal of junk by Ornette I think) but then there's something like the 'General' portion of the page, which is just ... well read it for yourself. "Mutiny -- against the Grand Mistress of EvaWiki, Reichu, and her subordinate Administrators, is unthinkable: the deepest circle of hell is reserved for betrayers and mutineers. You have to do what Administrators tell you to do, and this isn't a democracy: we won't "vote" on a course of action to take." I'm not sure if it's written that way as a joke or what, but I don't think it's quite the desired tone, to say the least. Also there's lots of empty places where I assume guides are meant to be filled in? I'm not sure if there's much point in putting even more work into writing guides about how to do things, but it seems the things that aren't elaborated on could just be stripped out
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