Future of the Wiki

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Eofor
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Future of the Wiki

Post by Eofor »

Good morning to you fine folks.

Lately I have been ruminating on the Wiki and where it fits in the broad scheme of our information exchange. Now I know we're still working through the discussion on changes to the forums here but I'm curious how many of us use the Wiki or would if it was in a finished state? I've been unable to craft for a while now and am happy to take on a complete rewrite/refresh of the Wiki if we think that such a thing would actually be beneficial so what are peoples thoughts?

Things like this
Newcomers, did you find the forum through that page? Have you looked at it at all for information?

Experienced forumites, do you think it would help if there was a list of comprehensive articles there to refer questions to? Or do you like the conversation generated by the questions and the revisiting of old ideas?

Would it be better to have a document such as Manveruons handbook that can be more easily updated and shared?

Do you just want me to shut up and go back to writing bad poetry? :mrgreen:
But the white fury of the Northmen burned the hotter, and more skilled was their knighthood with long spears and bitter. Fewer were they but they clove through the Southrons like a fire-bolt in a forest.
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Elleth
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Re: Future of the Wiki

Post by Elleth »

I have used it as a reference for patterns, solved problems etc. Particular examples I can remember are a pouch of Ursus' and Andy's watch cloak pattern.

I do the kits-by-persona section quite a bit, as it's easier than trying to remember what forum discussion a thing was in. But I admit that's quite a bit more work upfront than a showoff thread.



... also I like your poetry.
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Iodo
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Re: Future of the Wiki

Post by Iodo »

Eofor wrote: Mon Feb 13, 2023 10:19 pm Newcomers, did you find the forum through that page? Have you looked at it at all for information?

Experienced forumites, do you think it would help if there was a list of comprehensive articles there to refer questions to? Or do you like the conversation generated by the questions and the revisiting of old ideas?

Would it be better to have a document such as Manveruons handbook that can be more easily updated and shared?

Honestly I can't remember how I found the forum, but it's likely that I found a photo of someone's kit on google images when searching for cosplay inspiration, I just always knew it existed

I did use the wiki a lot when I started out because it was easy to find info, and I still consider it to be a valuable resource, but yes it could use more content so I'm all for what you suggest


Elleth wrote: Mon Feb 13, 2023 10:25 pm ... also I like your poetry.
me too :P
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Jack
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Re: Future of the Wiki

Post by Jack »

Eofor wrote: Mon Feb 13, 2023 10:19 pm Newcomers, did you find the forum through that page? Have you looked at it at all for information?
I've used the wiki but I found it through the forum first.
I only found the forum through Iodo's YouTube channel (which I in turn only found by accident looking for DIY rain gear ideas lol )
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Manveruon
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Re: Future of the Wiki

Post by Manveruon »

I came to the forum, I think, before the wiki was a thing, but I’ve always thought the wiki was a great idea, just never fully realized. Personally, I think it would be great if we could have maybe a person or small team devoted specifically to updating the wiki periodically with new information from the forums, and even from places like the FB group if we find new ideas generated in those spaces to be worth sort of “writing in stone” as it were (although obviously wikis by nature are also an ever-evolving information centers).
I’d really love to have a place where we could collect things like all the Numenorean and other cultural design images we’ve collected, organized by type and artist, etc. I’d also love a place where we could just go to find patterns, or kit breakdowns, or articles/deep-dives on specific topics - all of which have been said here already, and many of which are things the wiki is sort of already supposed to be there for. Honestly, if I do ever actually finish the darned Handbook, I’d love it to have a space on the wiki itself.
Basically, my short answer is YES, I’d love to see the wiki expanded and regularly maintained!
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Tom_Ranger
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Re: Future of the Wiki

Post by Tom_Ranger »

Iodo wrote: Tue Feb 14, 2023 12:29 pm Honestly I can't remember how I found the forum, but it's likely that I found a photo of someone's kit on google images when searching for cosplay inspiration, I just always knew it existed
That's exactly how I found the forum. Looking at images of kits on Duckduckgo.
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Re: Future of the Wiki

Post by Udwin »

I am hypothetically in favor of a facelift or reworking of the wiki, but in its current iteration has never been particularly user-friendly to work with. Or at least, it never seemed to give the same amount of control as something like Wordpress's blogging platform. (I'm pretty sure my original non-Beorning, Woodmen version of Aistan still exists, because I was never able to delete pages and files from the wiki.

What kinds of articles do we imagine would be listed on a revamped wiki?
As much as I like having a list of commonly-asked questions to point to, having newcomers ask in the main forum allows for us to chime in with current insights instead of things being 'set in stone' as it were. It doesn't help that it's also a bit of a pain to update the wiki as-is, and as a result both of my Complete Kits are woefully out of date by a good 7 or 8 years. It would be nice to be able to drop in and update as I upgrade a sheath or sash as projects get completed but I really prefer to make a thread and get feedback from folks on the forum.

The Cultural Resource Database is a great idea in theory, but it needs some coding know-how in order to really effectively serve the community. I always pictured a series of boxes which can be ticked to filter results: ex. click MEN, FOOD, SECOND AGE, and up pops Isildur's need-wallet with wafers of not-lembas.
This part is also out of date as I've continued to add new items and insights to my own notes in the intervening years but the idea of adding these to the wiki entries is daunting.

I really like Manv's idea of collected references including visual sources as well as text!
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Cimrandir
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Re: Future of the Wiki

Post by Cimrandir »

EDIT: You're going to have to excuse me if I seem a bit rambly and unfocused. Feeling a bit under the weather which is leaving my brain a little fuzzy.

First question, I use the Cultural Material Database fairly frequently. Less so now that I have access to some searchable PDFs courtesy of Udwin but I'll still do a quick search of the database if I don't want to do a deep-dive. I agree with Udwin that as it is now, it''s a little unwieldy. I really like the idea of drop-down filters to make a broad search easier but I have no idea of how to implement that being a non-computery type of person. I would also hate to thrust the responsibility for new insights/update on to one person (Udwin). Maybe a community hunt for tidbits and a community effort to add them?

In terms of the Wiki, that's a tough one. It's a fine balance between informative and prescriptive. I was working on a short trousers article to fill in that spot on the Wiki and as I was doing a write-up on the various extant early medieval trousers when the thought occurred to me that was my vision of Middle-earth. Not everyone views Middle-earth as a Late Antiquity/Early Medieval mash-up. What if someone wanted to use the pattern for those 3,000 year old Chinese pants or if they wanted to go late medieval with hose and braies? Can't leave those out even though I know nothing about the period so back to the research books.

So what exactly is Middle-earth clothing for new-comers then? I would say perhaps a simple T-tunic and pajama-pants but honestly, a new-comer could get that information anywhere. What makes it Middle-earth versus generic Ren-faire? If they're already looking at a (frankly) obscure Wiki, they're probably already past that point anyway. Hard-kit is a little easier but still runs into the same difficulties.

To that point, how far do we go with cultures? Yeah, it's the Ranger forum but our non-Ranger companions have been growing rapidly and it's the Middle-earth Cultural Database. Do we have a basic breakdown of all the cultures of the Free Peoples of Middle-earth? (Personally, despite the huge PITA that would be, I say yes.)

- I like the idea of the Wiki being a repository of patterns and pictures. I would say perhaps gather as many patterns and photo references as possible, commission Manv to draw them in a Tolkien-esque way, (Group donation??) and then put them up on the wiki.

- Probably some basic articles on How-To for medieval stitches and hand-sewing, bushcrafty things like lighting a fire with flint and steel, and the 10 Basics that Taurinor wrote up several years ago.

- Discussions of various day-to-day living on the wiki? Maybe? Lord knows that question has come up more than once and been hashed to death on Facebook.

- I like kit breakdowns but those are a hard thing to keep current as everyone here is always working and improving their kit.

As far as the mechanics of updating the Wiki goes, I trust Udwin that it's more of a PITA than it seems so I don't know how to proceed from there. I would be willing to help out there if we go with Manv's idea of a small team dedicated to updating it. Try to give back and all that.

Eofor wrote: Mon Feb 13, 2023 10:19 pm Do you just want me to shut up and go back to writing bad poetry? :mrgreen:

Never! I also like your poetry.
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ForgeCorvus
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Re: Future of the Wiki

Post by ForgeCorvus »

Cimrandir wrote: Tue Feb 21, 2023 3:01 am
In terms of the Wiki, that's a tough one. It's a fine balance between informative and prescriptive. I was working on a short trousers article to fill in that spot on the Wiki and as I was doing a write-up on the various extant early medieval trousers when the thought occurred to me that was my vision of Middle-earth. Not everyone views Middle-earth as a Late Antiquity/Early Medieval mash-up. What if someone wanted to use the pattern for those 3,000 year old Chinese pants or if they wanted to go late medieval with hose and braies? Can't leave those out even though I know nothing about the period so back to the research books.

So what exactly is Middle-earth clothing for new-comers then? I would say perhaps a simple T-tunic and pajama-pants but honestly, a new-comer could get that information anywhere. What makes it Middle-earth versus generic Ren-faire? If they're already looking at a (frankly) obscure Wiki, they're probably already past that point anyway. Hard-kit is a little easier but still runs into the same difficulties.

I suppose we really should turn this question on its head, rather then "What is Middle Earth?" we should ask "What is not Middle Earth?".
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