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Scott, while it's ''nice'' that you're going to communities to help them cope with the ads, ''we didn't ask for this help'', and you changing things around without consensus is aggravating an already strained relation with Wikia staff. The fact that you seem to be ignoring us saying "no, we don't want this," from an admin here no less, is more than a little tone-deaf.--[[User:Rosicrucian|Rosicrucian]][[User Talk:Rosicrucian|<sup>Talk</sup>]] 18:27, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
 
Scott, while it's ''nice'' that you're going to communities to help them cope with the ads, ''we didn't ask for this help'', and you changing things around without consensus is aggravating an already strained relation with Wikia staff. The fact that you seem to be ignoring us saying "no, we don't want this," from an admin here no less, is more than a little tone-deaf.--[[User:Rosicrucian|Rosicrucian]][[User Talk:Rosicrucian|<sup>Talk</sup>]] 18:27, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
  +
  +
:Hi, Rosicrucian. I'm sorry you feel that I'm ignoring you. I posted a draft of the new main page on Monday and met no opposition and saw no changes to the layout. When the ads were turned on today, I made sure the front page was in a layout that didn't look broken for people coming to the site without AdBlock on. If you'd like to use the old front page, that's certainly up to you. I'll post screenshots of what it looks like in the four major browsers to compare with the screesnhots of the new layout as seen above. Also, just want to remind you to clear your cache and disable AdBlock if you have it so you see what everyone else sees. —[[User:Scarecroe|Scott]] ([[User talk:Scarecroe|<font size="1">talk</font>]]) 18:36, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

Revision as of 18:36, 17 July 2008

Important: See here for discussion on Teletraan I's possible move. The discussion has gotten too long to leave on this page. See Transformers Wiki:Community Portal/Complaints for the reasons.


Archives




Timelines disambuig

There doesn't seem to be a consensus on how to name the various Timelines articles.

I feel that any disambiguation in the article title should be limited to keeping the articles separate. For instance, Optimus Prime (Shattered Glass) should be at Optimus Prime (Timelines) unless there is another Optimus Prime who's first appearance in anything was in Timelines. G1 Prime appearing in the 2007 Timelines comic does not affect this, as he is already at Optimus Prime (G1). If G1 Prime being in a Timelines comic affected this, we would need to move Cyclonus (Armada) to Cyclonus (Armada whatever size class he is) because a version of G1 Cyclonus appeared in Worlds Collide. The only reason to include the set name in the article title is two separate characters who first official anything is in Timelines. --FortMax 17:18, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

Shattered Expectations

Um, shouldn't those12 who appear in Shattered Expectations have their own page like others12 even their counterparts' article would be short? --TX55 06:28, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

I brought this up on Category_talk:Mayhem_Suppression_Squad. As I said there, I think they should either get their own articles or if that's not warranted just be covered on the Mayhem Suppression Squad article. Either way, I don't think "Shattered Expectations" fiction sections belong on the normal-verse guys' pages. --KilMichaelMcC 07:08, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

Monaco skin

Hi -- Have you guys seen the new Monaco skin that's being used on Wikia now? You can see it at Muppet Wiki and Marvel Database.

As we've been rolling the skin out across Wikia, there are a few things that we've found when wikis switch to Monaco:

  • The number of pageviews goes up. The flyout menus encourage new readers to explore the content on the site, and people end up sticking around on the site for longer.
  • The number of new editors goes up. Readers spend more time on the site, and find pages that they want to contribute to. Also, the design makes the edit button more prominent.
  • The site is faster. There were some changes made last week to Monaco that make pages load a lot faster than Monobook. Hit "random page" a few times on a Monaco wiki, and you'll see what I mean.

So I'm going around and proselytizing to the Entertainment wikis that are still using Monobook. If you want to make a custom Monaco skin like Marvel Database and Wookieepedia have, I can help you make that happen. What do you guys think? -- Danny (talk) 22:31, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Monaco does look nice, though it might go against what I understand is the wiki's purpose, which is to be quick and dirty, no fancy stuff and no pretention that this wiki is in any way officially endorsed or serious. At least that's the gist of what I was told after I previously suggested we could make the default colour of this wiki a shade of orange, like the computer systems in the original Transformers cartoons. --FFN 23:16, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, we don't have to do a custom skin -- it could be the basic blue and white. I'm mostly interested in the improved functionality. -- Danny (talk) 23:24, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
Eh, if it makes the place easier, I don't think the "pure and simple" folks will object.--RosicrucianTalk 23:26, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

And truth be told, I think the main dealbreaker here might be the extent to which Suki and Derik may or may not have farted about with tweaking Monobook. I know they've both made alterations, but I don't know quite what.--RosicrucianTalk 23:34, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

That stuff won't be affected at all. We can copy Monobook.css over to Common.css, and all of the tweaks that they made will still work. No problems. -- Danny (talk) 23:52, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

My biggest concern is the menus. The "by series" list could easily fill the entire vertical direction of the screen. We don't actually have all the series listed on the main page now (Machine Wars, Dinobots, Timelines, Universe (2008), not to mention licenced lines like Animorphs, SWTF, Crossovers).--FortMax 00:45, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Well, the idea with the menus is to be selective rather than comprehensive. It's not supposed to be a complete sitemap for the wiki -- you just want to give the new readers something to click on first.
On Muppet Wiki, we put up the most popular Muppet Show and Sesame Street characters, and then a link to "More characters". We just want to entice people into making that first click, without overwhelming them with choices.
I have access to click-through data for the Monaco menus, so it's possible to run some tests. You could put up a set of menus for a few days, and then I'll be able to tell you which items are getting clicked. That way, you could refine the menus so that you could highlight the items that are most likely to get clicked on. I've been doing that with the Muppet menus, and it's fun to see what the readers are actually interested in reading about. -- Danny (talk) 23:34, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
So what do you guys think? I'd like to help you switch over to the new skin... -- Danny (talk) 19:10, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
For some reason none of the admins have chimed in. I assume they're all off doing useless things like living in Real Life. --FFN 21:10, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, I left messages for Chris and ItsWalky... -- Danny (talk) 21:12, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
You might want to leave messages for User:Suki Brits and User:Steve-o as well. --FFN 13:28, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

Well admins? Let's hear your opinions! I find the silence from the staff to be discouraging. --FFN 16:18, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

If there's an actual interest in switching over to Monaco, then I would certainly have nothing against that... but I'd definitely like to hear more from the community first. Aside from that, I have no objections speaking as an admin; the modifications really aren't an issue. On the other hand, speaking as a wiki editor and professional web designer... I would definitely want to use a modified version, as it's got several pretty important issues. My thoughts, in no particular order:

  • Search is nigh useless, again. Right now it resembles our broken Monobook search. I don't think that's a good thing. On the other hand, I'm currently working on fixing that anyway, so it's not like the same couldn't be done for Monaco.
  • The header sucks. It really, really does. It's only 150px tall, but it sends a pretty powerful message: we'd rather show you this pretty, irrelevant picture then let you immediately get to article. I would want the top of the article as close to the top as possible.
Gah, I brought it over into another browser that doesn't block ads... and now I see why it's so obnoxiously huge. I am strongly opposed to putting giant hideous banner ads at the top of everything. Like, it's a little insulting that Wikia really thinks that that should be the first thing readers see. Teletraan I, like everything else on Wikia, is naturally ad-driven; but Monobook isn't offensive about it.
  • The language selection is in a dropdown box, which is a TERRIBLE idea. This personally doesn't affect me, as I don't speak Hungarian, but it's pretty awful for anyone who actually is interested in seeing foreign language versions of articles... and has to click a dropdown menu on every single page if they're curious.
  • The "community" box is really unhelpful. Half the content (user page, user talk, etc.) is redundant with the top of the screen, and absolutely nobody is interested in just the most recent two edits. That just leaves the number of articles. This is a lot of wasted room for nothing.
  • I do like that the obnoxious sidebar on the right is gone. The current framing in Monobook wastes all sorts of space and Monaco definitely doesn't look like it has that problem.

There's also a bunch of minor things, but they don't really matter so much. The big issues are the useless space, a need to do major fixes to search, and the huge obtrusive banner ads (as opposed to the ones on the side in Monobook). But if Wikia's really willing to work with us on it, then by all means, it's up to what the community thinks. --Suki Brits 20:48, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

I've been around the Wookieepeedia lately, and I've noticed when you click edit, it loads significantly slower on Monaco than it does on the Monobook format. --FFN 05:25, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
Hi guys -- Sorry it took me so long to respond. I'll make up for it with a super-long answer. :)
Yes, absolutely -- I want to work with you on this. Some of the things you've raised I can clear up immediately. For some, I can explain the rationale behind the approach, and show you some stats that may help. And if there are some things that need to get tweaked, I can talk to the designers & tech folks to see if we can come up with a solution.
Just so you know: I work for Wikia now, but I started out in 2005 as the founder of Muppet Wiki. Working on wikis is my job now, but Muppet Wiki is where my heart lives, so I'm always looking out for what's going to help or hurt "my wiki". I am/was a big Monobook fan, and I was skeptical about Monaco as it was being designed. The thing that made me a Monaco fan was actually trying it out on Muppet Wiki, and then looking at the stats to see how it was working. Muppet Wiki and Teletraan I are very similar -- about a dozen really active contributors, a strong admin team and a community of about 60-80 contributors. So I can share with you what I saw on Muppet Wiki, and what I can see in the pageviews stats.
First up, the rationale behind some of the decisions made with the new skin. There are some features on the new skin that the most active editors think are useless, like the Community box or the flyout menus. And it's true, those aren't very helpful for the active contributors. They're designed for the anonymous/new people, who are the vast majority of our readers.
Here's the stats on unique visits for Teletraan I. (Unique visits counts the number of visits to a site, and not the number of pages you look at in each visit. So if you come to the wiki and look at 100 pages, that counts as one unique.) In the last month, there have been 2,725,000 anonymous visits, and 261,000 logged-in user visits. That means 91% of the visits to the site aren't logged-in contributors.
Logged-in editors make 77% of the edits here, so obviously we're the people who are actually building the content that people are reading. Logged-in editors are important, and the dozen people who make over 100 edits here every month are especially important. Still, if you want to make the community bigger and more active, then you have to think about whether the design of the site encourages anonymous users to sign in and become active members.
The purpose of designing the new skin was to make the wiki more accessible to the 91% of anonymous readers. Obviously, we have to keep the functionality that the active contributors need in order to build the wiki. At the same time, we have to be aware that the Monobook skin that we're familiar with is kind of confusing for brand-new people.
For example, the "log in" button is in really small type at the very top right of the screen. From a website design perspective, that's crazy -- it's like we don't want people to find it. The log-in buttons on Monaco are big, green, candy-like buttons. There's one at the top right, and there's another one in the Community box on the sidebar. We want to encourage people to log in.
In general, having all the important Monobook controls in little bitty tiny type says: We hate people who are older than 40. ("Go back to AOL, old man!") All of the Monobook buttons are in the same font, from the crucial stuff like "Log in" and "Edit this page" to the more obscure controls like "Related changes" and "Permanent link". On Monaco, the stuff that's important to brand-new users is bigger -- log-in, edit, the link to the home page. The search box is at the top, rather than being buried down in the sidebar. The controls that logged-in users need, like "What links here" and "Special pages", are in smaller type -- they're important to us, but a brand-new user wouldn't know what to do with them.
Okay, so that's my very long introduction... Now I'll respond to the points that you guys have brought up.
Search: I think when you say that search is broken, you mean that there's just a "Go" button and not a "Search" button next to the search box. (If you mean something else, then let me know.) That's true, and it's something that I struggled with as the design for Monaco was taking shape. I use the Search button all the time, and I was frustrated that it wasn't included. Then I looked at the stats. On Teletraan I in the last month, logged-in users used Go for 91% of searches, and Search for 9%. Anonymous users used Go for 97% of searches. Given that, I think it's okay to make the Search button less prominent. I remember when I first started using wikis, I was totally confused by having two buttons. (Do I want to Go or Search? Well, I want to search, and then go to the search results...) I only figured out the difference through trial and error. So in Monaco, the search box at the top is Go, and then you can have a link to Special:Search in the toolbox. (Some wikis have that, and some don't -- Muppet has it, if you want to see how it works.)
Community box: That's one of the features that's designed to encourage brand-new users to explore the site. When you look at a wiki as a new reader, it's not always apparent that there's a community there. You read pages, but you don't necessarily know whether the articles were written today or a year ago. (Unless you look at Recent changes, which a brand-new reader doesn't know to do.) The Community box is designed to bring a little taste of the community activity up to their view. It's not a helpful way for a contributor to keep track of Recent changes, but it does show new people that something's going on. If you come to the site and see that somebody edited a page 15 seconds ago, then you understand that there's an active community. On Muppet Wiki in the last month, 1,404 anonymous readers logged in using the button in the Community box, 1,539 anon readers clicked the "more..." button to go to Recent changes, and 1,287 clicked on article links that they saw in the Latest Activity area. Those are readers who may not have been engaged with the site if they hadn't seen the activity going on in the Community box. On the other hand, logged-in contributors only clicked in the Community box 350 times. It's not designed for us; it's for the 91% of anons.
Obnoxious ads: This is the one area that's designed to help the company rather than the wiki. Basically, the deal is that Wikia doesn't make a lot of money from the "skyscraper" ads on the right sidebar. Nobody clicks on them, and most advertisers don't bother to make ads like that anymore. Advertisers want banner ads, and they want them at the top of the page. I can't justify this one in wiki terms, except to say that if we want Wikia to stay in business and continue to host wikis, then we need to change the skin to accommodate the changing ad market. Otherwise, there won't be a Wikia after a while.
Languages drop-down: We changed the list into a drop-down menu because sites like Wookieepedia had a long list, which took up a lot of sidebar space, and only had about 100 clicks on language links in a month. On Teletraan I, there have only been 2 clicks on the language links since October.
Content space: There is slightly less content area on Monaco when you first come to the page. The sidebar is smaller than the combined left & right Monobook sidebars, so the content area is wider. The banner ad means that the height takes a hit for the first screen. As you scroll down, though, the Monaco content area is bigger than on Monobook, because the page is wider. I can show you some screencaps if you want more info on this.
Slow edits on Wookieepedia: That looks like a bug that's specific to Wookieepedia... I'm not sure what's going on there. It looks like when you hit edit on Wookiee, it's looking for something from maps.google, and that can slow down the page load for the edit screen. I hadn't seen that before, so I'm really glad you pointed it out. That's not affecting other Monaco wikis like Muppet Wiki or Marvel Database, so there must be something in Wookieepedia's css that's causing that. I'll look into it. If you look at Muppet or Marvel, you'll see that the page load is lightning fast right now. (Not counting periods of site-wide database problems, which affect every skin.)
So anyway -- this is a huge long post, but I think I responded to everything. As you can tell, I take this stuff really seriously, and I'm willing to put in the time to research the impact and explain what's going on. Do folks have other questions or concerns about Monaco? I could keep talking about this stuff all day. :) -- Danny (talk) 17:33, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
Personally, as regular contributor, I'm fine with switching to Monaco, so long as we get to keep our new 'random page thumbnail' above the search box (or anywhere, really). I think it's useful for visitors to be able to visit a random page with an interesting thumbnail image rather than simply doing random searches or hitting Random page repeatedly. --FFN 17:44, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
I knew there was something I forgot to mention! Yeah, the featured page thumbnail. I think that's something that we can adapt.
That feature doesn't have anything to do with search -- it just happens that you can put a picture in the Monobook search box. I actually think what you've made is a little misleading. The picture says "Search" on it, and it's right above the search box -- so as a user, I would assume that if I click that, I'll get some kind of search results page. Instead, it goes to a featured article, which isn't necessarily what you'd expect.
The feature is really a rotating spotlight for featured articles, which is cool and visual, and helps to bring readers deeper into the content. It's a great idea. I think it would actually be more effective if it was split away from search, so readers would be more likely to recognize it as a featured-article spotlight.
So there are a couple ways to do that in Monaco. The easiest way would be to put it in the sidebar -- check out MediaWiki:Monaco-sidebar for an example. Here's pics to show what that would look like.



It's not graphical, but it allows you to bring the funny into the sidebar, which you've never been able to do before. One advantage of this approach is that you can add in new articles to the sidebar without having to wait for somebody to make a graphic.
If that's not enough and you need to go graphical, then I can talk to our designer, Christian, about creating a widget that can go into the sidebar and have the same function. It could sit above or below the Community box. It would be separate from search, but like I said, that may be a good thing. What do you think? -- Danny (talk) 21:48, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

If you want to sell this to Walky... make it orange.--RosicrucianTalk 22:05, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

It could be even oranger if that would help.

Does this work? -- Danny (talk) 22:13, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
The brick skin has a pretty nice brown/orange thing going. That's what I'm using at the moment. --Professor Icepick 22:17, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
See, that's what was needed to get his attention. The orange will draw him, like a moth to a flame.--RosicrucianTalk 22:24, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

Monaco Brick, in all its dark red and orange glory.

Here's how Brick looks... -- Danny (talk) 22:28, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
Do it! --ItsWalky 00:41, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
I TOLD you guys that we should make this wiki orange (to actually look like Teletraan 1) way back before we even knew about Monaco, but you were all "We are serious business about not taking ourselves seriously". --FFN 06:44, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
I don't know all that much about what can and can't be modified, but can't a number of the problems with Monobook be solved simply by changing the css or js files? I'm mainly talking about the small text size for the tabs and login. Plus, most people who edit wikies are probably familiar with Wikipedia's Monobook interface. Plus, I don't think anyone wants the trouble from the ad format being changed again. A few months ago the site started taking showing wider vertical ads, and it was awhile before the horizontal scrolling mess got cleaned up. But then again I'm the guy who uses XP's Classic Windows scheme with Windows 98's colors and icons, so I may be biased when it comes to new interfaces. --FortMax 22:41, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
The Monobook problems can't be solved with css changes. The type size is an example, but it's really a general problem with the layout. Wiki veterans are used to Monobook, but it's not necessarily a great layout for new people. I meet people all the time who read Wikipedia, but when I ask if they've ever made an edit, they say no -- it never occurred to them. I think it's important to make wikis more accessible to new people, and we're finding that Monaco is helping people to explore the wikis and make their first edit.
Are there other concerns that people have that I can help with? I know that this discussion has gone on a bit, and I'd hate to have it just run out of steam before it gets to a decision. -- Danny (talk) 18:15, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
It seems like there aren't any more concerns about the new skin, so I'm thinking about changing it over to Monaco tomorrow, unless someone has objections. Once it's switched over, then I can help you out with whatever customization you want. Is that cool? -- Danny (talk) 15:55, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
A great number of us are indisposed at BotCon 2008 this weekend, but there should still be a handful of us around. So you know! --ItsWalky 16:09, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
Gyah. I thought we were doing Brick?--RosicrucianTalk 21:17, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
We can do anything you guys want... I'm just playing around for a minute to see if I can come up with something interesting. It's gonna look bad for the next five minutes... and then we can talk about what you guys want, and fix it up nice. -- Danny (talk) 21:21, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
Okay, never mind. That just looked bad. :) So I set it to Brick. If you guys want to change these colors, we can change them to whatever you like. -- Danny (talk) 21:25, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

Apparently implemented

Is there any way to override this that doesn't override the skins on every Wikia-hosted wiki? - SanityOrMadness 21:19, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

Do you mean, you want to see the skin in Monobook? You can go to Preferences --> Skins, and set your preferred skin to Monobook. You can check or uncheck the box that says "Let the admins override my skin choice" to either see customized skins or not. -- Danny (talk) 21:27, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I know that. My problem with that is the "This setting will follow you across Wikia." clause. I don't want to override EVERYWHERE (e.g. Memory Alpha). Just Monaco wikis. - SanityOrMadness 21:30, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
Actually, they're working on switching over to the Monaco skin on Memory Alpha too... At a certain point, pretty much every Wikia wiki is going to end up on Monaco. Is there something about Monaco that you don't like? -- Danny (talk) 21:43, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
The flyouts. Certainly not the only thing - the more I look, the less I like, especially the pathetic "Latest Activity" box with a practically-camouflaged recentchanges link, and why exactly are the preferences hidden? - but they're the biggest dealbreaker. - SanityOrMadness 22:01, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, at first I wasn't crazy about the flyouts either. We tested out using the sidebar without the flyouts on Muppet Wiki, but then I looked at the click stats and found that they really helped new readers to find content on the wiki. The pageviews went down when we took the flyouts out. If you're interested, there's details here: Muppet Wiki:Current events.
The "Community" box is also something for the new users. When you first come to the wiki, you might think that it's just a static site... There's no way to know that there's a living community. The latest activity shows people that there are pages that were edited in the last couple minutes. Also, logged-out users see a log-in button in that box. For active logged-in users, a lot of these features aren't that useful. They're really aimed at the 90-something% of readers that aren't logged in. -- Danny (talk) 22:10, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
(NB: I was expanding my post at the same time you were typing, since I was spending a bit of time looking around).
See, I'm not coming at it from the "guy who runs the wiki" perspective. I'm not a sysop on a Wikia wiki, so "this will boost Teh Stats" has no effect on me [perhaps that means you consider my position irrelevant. I can't help that]. Nor am I a newbie to Wikis, so again, not the target group.
My problem is that (1) they require me to turn JavaScript on in the first place (strictly, add to the NoScript whitelist, but...) and (2) the click-on flyout in the top right is worse than pointless, since there's room for the links without that and it just makes preferences harder to access and (3) I hate non-click flyouts since you they will inevitably be scrolled at the wrong moment, trebly so since they're on the side rather than the top. - SanityOrMadness 22:08, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
I think "this will boost Teh Stats" actually matters to everybody. More readers looking at more pages = more potential contributors = a more active community = more and better content on the site. -- Danny (talk) 22:12, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
By the way, I'm not trying to make you like the skin. Either you like it, or you don't. I'm just explaining the rationale behind some of the design decisions, so you know that it wasn't just random or malicious. -- Danny (talk) 22:17, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

There are three things that would make me more... reconciled... to it. I still probably won't like it, but...

  1. On your own "help.wikia", there's a group of links beneath the flyouts to Recent Changes/Upload/etc. They don't appear here or on most Wikia wikis (well, strictly they appear for about half a second on a Ctrl-F5, which suggests they're present but being hidden with CSS or something). They should be there as standard.
  2. Links to Special:Preferences and Special:Contributions/(self) should be available with a single non-flyover click, either in the "Community" box or at the top right, not in a flyover only. ESPECIALLY Special:Preferences.
  3. Be able to override the colour scheme on an individual wiki basis, rather than just "all or nothing" - SanityOrMadness 22:29, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
For #1, I'm not sure why you're not seeing the toolbox links. That's an important part of the skin, and it's on every wiki. Check out the screenshots that I added above -- every wiki has links to Recent changes and Upload. If you're not seeing it, then that's a weird bug which we can try to figure out. What browser are you using? Are you only seeing the toolbox disappearing on Transformers, or on other wikis too?
If you want it, we can put links to Preferences and Contributions in the toolbox, or in the sidebar. I don't know how to change the top header.
Can you give me an example of what you'd like to see as far as overriding the color schemes? I think it's possible that what you want is currently possible, but I'm not sure. -- Danny (talk) 22:54, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
Okay, #1 was my own fault. An in-browser hack I'd done on Monobook was interacting "unpredictably" with Monaco, and had knocked that (and some minor stuff that doesn't make any difference) out of joint.
Okay on #2. I'd be interested to find out how many people ever use Special:Preferences on any skin(s) while you're trotting out stats...
On #3, basically, being able to use different (non-default) skins, or at least colour schemes from the chosen skin on different wikis without being limited to the "this will follow you across Wikia". Just because one wiki chooses to smother the page in bright pink (or orange...) doesn't mean I want to change the colour scheme on every wikia. - SanityOrMadness 23:32, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

Sure, I love trotting out stats!

Here's the stats on how Transformers contributors click on those links. In the last month, there have been the following clicks:

  • Watchlist: 3,114
  • Contributions: 427
  • User page: 213
  • Talk page: 67
  • Preferences: 22

So, yeah, contributions is #2 on that list, but preferences is all the way down at the bottom. Preferences is useful when you need it, but people don't need it that often.

But the hypothesis is: If you put Contributions and Preferences into a drop-down menu, people won't click on it as much, and you'll see clicks on those two items going down.

To make a comparison, I looked at Muppet Wiki editors' clicks in February (on Monobook) and in April (using Monaco).

Here's the clicks on Monobook:

  • Contributions: 403 (52%)
  • Watchlist: 148 (19%)
  • Talk page: 132 (17%)
  • User page: 83 (11.5%)
  • Preferences: 4 (0.5%)

Here's the clicks on Monaco:

  • Contributions: 320 (60%)
  • Watchlist: 123 (23%)
  • Talk page: 53 (10%)
  • User page: 23 (4%)
  • Preferences: 15 (3%)

The hypothesis doesn't seem to hold up. Percentage-wise, clicks on Contributions and Preferences went up using Monaco. This is a really small sample, so it's not proof of anything... but it indicates that the drop-down menu doesn't chase away clicks.

As far as seeing wikis in different skins, try choosing Monobook in your skin preferences, and keep "allow admins to override my choices" checked. Transformers isn't using a custom skin right now, so you should see this wiki in Monobook -- and you'll also see the customization on Memory Alpha, etc. -- Danny (talk) 00:19, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

New version

I take it everyone got the same message?

Apparently, every top-right image, usually the main image on a page (main character images, title cards, covers, etc etc) will get shunted off the screen by a big ad block... - SanityOrMadness 22:48, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

Bah. Well, Monorailguy did say we could choose to switch back to Monobook. Who wants to find out if he was lying? -Derik 23:02, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
Oh no, wait-- that was a lie! They've decided to take Monobook away with tis version. It's like boiling a frog. -Derik 23:05, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
So... after coming up with a spiffy new masthead to be Monaco compliant, the next version of Monaco breaks that masthead?--RosicrucianTalk 23:18, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
*turns off adblock to experiment* You can force the thing to render as a banner ad above the article. ({{forcebanner}}) I'm thinking that'd be desirable for short articles where forcing down the main image would essentially destroy their flow. Alternately... left-float main images? Episodes (for example) could have their templates redesigned so this wouldn't be too big an annoyance.
(Of course, if you have Adblock Plus installed like all good internet users should, the ads vanish as if there were never there.) -Derik 23:26, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
Those bastards are using our increase in clicks from Botcon as a justification on their feature page. That's so... wildly disingenuous.
Well, it's a good thing this is a wiki anyone can edit. *vandalizes their page* -Derik 23:32, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
Heck, wasn't ToughPigs trying to convince us that the reason for the banner ads at the top was that the advertising brass had determined that all the advertisers wanted that style as opposed to the skyscraper ads? I mean, it's vastly annoying that we made the effort to convert over and it turns out that we're not even converting to the final version of the skin, which renders some of the alterations we made moot.--RosicrucianTalk 23:36, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
Have you seen the mainpage example?! You get about a postage-stamp sized area in the mist of a banner and two+ big ad blocks to the right.
(and yes, I've got AdBlock - not adblock plus, because I've never liked that you don't get a list of blockable-on-the-page elements in the bottom right - installed. But, as "Monorailguy" was always telling us, we need to think of the anons, who probably won't have it installed...) - SanityOrMadness 23:41, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

Grah. I mean... I almost want to be ticked at ToughPigs for this, but he's just a community rep, not one of the decision makers. He was probably giving us the best info he had at the time, but it just feels like we somehow were hard-sold into preparing for the wrong version of this skin. I've given him a poke over at his central Wikia talkpage to see if he can come over and offer some advice.--RosicrucianTalk 23:58, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

*idly gets into edit war with him as he deletes my cites that the stated increase occoured during Transfandom's busiest month of the year*
The trick is to keep making minor, but message-based, changes! That way you're demonstrably seeking to address the deficiencies he found with the content while still maintaining that your part has merit, and not merely getting into a revert war! Because that would be trolling. This on the other hand is merely vastly entertaining! -Derik 00:06, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
*adds note on the Dubai airings increasing anon postings...* - SanityOrMadness 00:28, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
Ros - he made the change over BotCon weekend, while most active editors weren't around to object. Moreover, Memory Alpha (where the suggestion was met with indifference apart from - the two wikia-employed shills aside - a couple of users who didn't like it and posted once, rather than argument) hasn't been changed over...
Clearly, the mistake that got T1 forcibly changed so early was the failure to completely ignore the guy.
PS: Whether or not he was the guy that made the decision to push the snake oil, he was still the door-to-door salesman. They have a bad rep for a reason. - SanityOrMadness 00:13, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
Yes well, I notice that all the site admins were very polite to Monorail Guy while he was here. In my experience they are less polite about him in private. -Derik 00:16, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
If you read my comments to ToughPigs, SanityOrMadness, you'll see that not only am I aware of the BotCon point, I brought it up to him.--RosicrucianTalk 00:20, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
I read it - you brought it up in a different context (that of the post-BotCon flood of content). I was referring to the absence of editors at the time of his "I'm going to do this now unless someone objects?" message - SanityOrMadness 00:28, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Wow. New layout with the ads looks like utter shit. And the idea that we should left-justify or delete main images to accommodate that is basically insulting. --M Sipher 00:34, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Hey, guys. Yup. When I was given the job of doing the communication on New Monaco, I was thinking, Man, wait till the Transformers guys hear about this. I know.
I'm going to repost Rosicrucian's message to me from Central, and then respond to it under that...
Er, couple of problems with the upcoming big switch over on Teletraan-1.
1. It borks up our traditional page layout something fierce. I can tell you probably sympathize, because the Muppet Wiki uses a similar layout of main image in the upper right which under the new system gets shoved downwards in a most unseemly way.
2. A lot of the adjustments you encouraged us to make during our initial switch to Monaco... well... it just seems as if we ended up preparing for the wrong version of the skin. We cooked up a new masthead for the occasion and suddenly we're back to the old masthead. It seems like a lot of wikis were pushed to be early adopters, and now the new version of the skin seems to cater more to the stragglers, which somewhat penalizes those wikis that were given the hard-sell to forge ahead.
3. I personally really don't quite get the logic on the ad placement. First we were told that the right-column skyscraper ads weren't selling so well, which is what necessitated the top banner ads. We were told that the top banner ads were what advertisers wanted, so we went along with it only to find out that, again, we were essentially preparing for the wrong version of the skin. A skin that, very soon, will be mandatory.
I can certainly appreciate the help you gave our community during the migration and if it feels like I am pinning this on you please let me put that fear to rest. I fully believe you gave us the best information you had at the time, and I'm not part of the admin staff at Teletraan so I can't speak for the wiki as such. However, I am seeing a bit of frustration over on our community portal regarding this, as well as the fact that this announcement touts us as a success story for the new skin when we're still not all that certain it had that positive an impact (BotCon is always a big flurry of activity following, as it reveals a lot of new Transformers products which nearly all need new articles).
The sum total of this is that it does feel a bit like we went forward in good faith but were a bit left in the lurch as the standard for the new skin was changed. We could use a bit of help/feedback on this if you have the time.
Thanks in advance.--RosicrucianTalk 23:55, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for assuming good faith about the apparent bait-and-switch. All I can say about that is yeah, you're right. The plans changed, and it's my job to talk to the communities about it. So the bait-and-switch was extremely annoying and not intentional. I apologize for that. If I'd known that this new version was coming so hard and fast, I would've put off talking to you guys about Monaco a couple months ago. I knew changes were going to happen at some point, but I didn't know it would happen like this. So we both got punked a little.
That being said... I don't think there's much difference between the customization that you've done now and the customization for the new version. Monaco.css, Monaco-sidebar -- that's all going to work the same way. The only difference is that the logo will go back to Wiki.png. So, yeah, wasted effort on the logo -- but besides that, the custom stuff is the same.
The page borking is something that everybody is going to have to deal with. On pages with infoboxes and images on the right side, the ad will push those down 250px. Pages with a table that goes across the top of the page will get a banner ad instead, so the table doesn't get broken. Page layouts won't actually break, so when the new format launches next Tuesday, you won't have to go around and fix things. But it does add a new element into the design, and every wiki is going to have to look at whether to leave their templates and infoboxes the same, or change them.
There are some things about the new format that actually make things a little easier. The content on the left side ends up higher on the page. There won't be ads on short pages, and there won't be any ads on user pages, talk pages or special pages. Still, I know that articles are the most important.
I saw the objections to the stats that I posted on the Central page, so I've taken out the Transformers example... Don't worry about it; I'll pull some different stats. There are other examples.
So I think I've responded to all the big points, but I've probably missed something... Sorry to be a little scattered. As you can probably see, I've got people asking questions all over the place. Anyway, the bottom line is -- I'm happy to help you guys with anything you need help with during this (second) transition. I really like this wiki, and I like this community. You guys are tough and funny and critical. So let me know what you need. -- Danny (talk) 00:35, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
Gotta hand it to you, you sure know how to end a conversation!
(Specifically, you end it by locking the page in question before anyone else can site any annoying facts that disagree with the selective picture of reality you're presenting.) -Derik 00:52, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
When are you going to address the lie that we'd still have Monobook as an option, which is part of why we swallowed the change to Monaco in the first place? When are you going to address your completely disingenuous claims that natural usage spikes caused by our fandom's only convention and the airing of a brand new show can be credited to Monaco -- claims you've used to peddle this shit to other wikis? I'm embarrassed about ever letting you host a word of my content for free. Your ads aren't worth shit if people stop coming here. Chip 01:02, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

Derik, any way you can work your magic to restore Monobook? --FortMax 00:52, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Derik: Wikia's New Style page is an announcement page, not a discussion page. The forum pages are there for discussion. Go nuts. -- Danny (talk) 00:56, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
You were trading on our good name to spread falsehoods and lend credibility to your case. When fact was injected into the discussion you removed the section and locked the page to prevent such a thing from happening again.
Community consensus bitch. Consensus is that your version of the page was wrong. -Derik 02:09, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

*snrk* Mean-spirited, but fun. -Derik 03:00, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Transformers-1.jpg

Okay, addressing my lies... When I told you that you could switch back to Monobook if you didn't like Monaco, that was true. That was in April. Over the last two months, senior management changed the plan. Now it's been decided that people can't switch back to Monobook anymore. That wasn't my choice, and it wasn't true two months ago. I told you what I knew to be true at the time.
About the statistics on the New Style page... I'm sorry that you guys found that offensive. I figured that you wouldn't like New Monaco -- nobody likes the ads -- but I was under the impression that you guys kind of liked Monaco. At least, you talked a lot about customizing it, which I took as evidence of a general interest in the skin.
You guys say that all of the increase that I talked about was due to Botcon. We'll have to disagree about that interpretation. When I was writing that page, I pulled up stats on four wikis that had switched from Monobook to Monaco -- Teletraan-1, Muppet Wiki, Neverwinter Nights and City of Heroes. All of them showed the same pattern -- an increase in pageviews, search, and logins. I chose to use the stats from Transformers as the example, because Muppet Wiki was already mentioned a bunch of times on the page, and I don't care about the Gaming wikis. I figured it was kind of a plug for Teletraan-1, talking about how well you guys have been doing lately. Obviously, you didn't like it, so I took it out. If you think I was wrong, then it was an honest mistake.
I've uploaded a snapshot from our stats, showing the pageviews on this wiki since April 15th. Obviously, you see a dip there around the weekend of April 24th, during Botcon, and then a bump afterwards. Then it went up and down a bit, but generally trending upwards, with a huge move up starting around the end of May. You can interpret that traffic pattern in a bunch of different ways. It's similar to what I've seen on other sites when they switch to Monaco, so that's my interpretation. I think saying that the improvement is entirely due to Botcon is a little hard to see. -- Danny (talk) 01:25, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
That really big, 300k spike? That's when the Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen subtitle was announced.
The smaller spike, around the end of May? The day SUV: Society of Ultimate Villainy aired in Canada & A Fistful of Energon aired in the US
The plateau from June 3 onward? That's when English-language Transformers Animated episodes world-premieréd for three days in a row on Nicktoons UK, with corresponding worldwide downloading, and non-downloaders wanting to spoil themselves.
The raise in early May? Post-BotCon combined with the Dubai airings and the corresponding firestorm, that died down as all the BotCon stuff got played out and Animated pages started getting protected against anons.
Weekdays in the middle of May? That's when nothing much was being announced or shown, and the skin wasn't pushing anyone to check much out.
As for checking out the customisation options on Monaco - when you're apparently stuck with something, you try to make the best of it. And the worse it gets, the more percussive maintenance required - if it worked out of the box, it wouldn't need customising. - SanityOrMadness 01:51, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
Fair enough. I stand corrected. -- Danny (talk) 01:57, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

See further discussion here.

Script-style quotes

There seems to be some disagreement on whether script-style quotes should have quotation marks or not. Personally, I strongly favor including them, for two reasons:

  • Visual consistency. There's no reason not to have all the quotes in as similar a format as possible. Having some with quotation marks, and some without, in the same section, seems like needless variation.
  • It's... well... it's a quote. We're not writing a screenplay; we're quoting something someone actually said. And a quote gets quotation marks.... fullstop. -- Repowers 21:18, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
Hmm, I'm afraid I disagree. They're simply not necessary, and they clutter the page.
And, regardless of whether we decide to use double-quotes, can we put a stop to script-style where the quotes are are in double-quotes and italicized? {shudder} JW 21:21, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
The italics stuff is flat out bad formatting, no disagreement here. There's an earlier discussion about it somewhere on this page or the archives. Nobody should be adding stuff in that format anymore... I hope.
As for double quotes... um... I have no clue what you're referring to. -- Repowers 21:23, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

Gone Too Far

I've been alerted it's past the 30-day period for "coming soon Club stuff" non-updating. Have at it. --M Sipher 22:03, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

Searchbox improvement drive

So now we have a very nice set of searchboxes, thanks to the lovely design work of M Sipher and the superhuman coding skills of Suki Brits. The effort of these boxes is to show the visitor all of the awesome crap we have. To do that, said cap must in fact be awesome. Unfortunately, a lot of the pages linked to by searchboxes are imageless, missing fiction, or pretty much content-free. Thus, I propose an improvement drive of the searchbox articles. When you click on one of those suckers, try and add something. I dunno how we'd make this official, exactly... - RolonBolon 06:49, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

Are these images supposed to show up automatically by/around/with the actual text box in which you type your search parameters? If so, I'm not seeing them in the current Monaco skin.--Apcog 14:29, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
They don't show up in Monaco, Quartz, Cologne Blue, or any other custom theme. Just Monobook, the default. --Suki Brits 20:15, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
Is there a way to get the search box changes to load sooner? The way it is now the custom settings for the box are the last thing to load; it uses the default settings until the google ads finish loading. This can take awhile depending on how the crappy campus wireless is acting. --FortMax 20:39, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

I agree with RolonBolon about the searchbox thing. I know we're hard up for help, but why are we spending time creating these little searchbox images using pics from God knows where, yet we've neglected to upload a single image for the actual pages these buttons lead to? Not the mention pages that have absolutely no content whatsoever. I think we've overreached ourselves, and in the future we should only do these searchbox things for articles that are largely complete and/or have alot of content and imagery, otherwise we look really half-ass and unfocused. --FFN 22:37, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

Yeah, what drove it home for me was Sixtrain. I see Sixtrain in the Search box. It looks nifty, like it's his box art. I click on the article, no images. Why the heck can't we upload Sixtrain's box art when we evidently have a clear enough copy of it to make a search teaser?--RosicrucianTalk 23:33, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
I was simply making boxes using what I had on the hard drive as examples, and not everything is good quality at main-image size. I don't think we've "overreached ourselves" at all. At worst, we omit a few items from the searchbox list if their entries are that empty for a little while, OH NOES. --M Sipher 00:22, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
I am of the opinion that a fuzzy picture that can be replaced later is better than no picture at all. It helps users know what it's talking about in the meantime, right? Spriteless 02:24, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
We prefer no pic/no content to a crap pic/crap content. I've been taking a break from the Wiki, but it looks like I'm going on another image safari. My scanner not working is annoying. --FFN 06:54, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

The fact that the image is the last one on the page to load isn't just visually annoying; it for some reason also makes whatever you've typed in the search field vanish in Firefox. I've had this happen to me a bunch of times. A lesser annoyance is that the input box moves when the image appears; it would be nice if it could stay in the same place (maybe by making the whole Search box a fixed size?), as it's a bad idea to have a clickable thing that spontaneously jumps around. - Jackpot 20:31, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

The way the Search Image works right now, I'd rather not even have them. My computer has slowed down epically trying to load those images each time, and if it's a high traffic time of day, the rest of the page will basically freeze for 30 seconds or more until that search image gets around to loading. This is extremely annoying when I just need a quick peek at a page before making a link, like checking if Stormcloud is one word or two or if Whirl needs to be disambig-ed in the link. And if I try to click Search to move on to a next page too early, the Image drops down in front and shang-hais my "click", so I go there instead of being able to type in where I want to go.
I don't like the thing at all. It's been nothing but a hassle for the last day or so. There's already a Random page button right about it -- do we really need this too? --Xaaron 00:30, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
The same thing has been happening to me lately, and I've never experienced that problem on Wookieepedia. And this is a real problem for me, as I'm actually supportive of the image icons. We may want review the system. -- SFH 01:30, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
Though in fairness, some of that may be due to Wikia's tendency to nearly-crash every weekend. And to be honest, this weekend has been rather traffic low. I mean, seriously, did every head to BotCon a week early? -- SFH 02:09, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
Let me know if this continues to be an issue during weekdays (well, before Thursday, anyway). If it is, I'll figure out a way to let users optionally turn them off. I've never noticed it slowing down while trying to load, and any sane browser shouldn't, but if that really is happening for some users, something definitely ought to be done about it.
I'll also take a look at preserving the form data while the images load, because that is definitely something that really should happen, too. --Suki Brits 03:44, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
Things sped back up again shortly after SFH's last post, but I'll post again if it keeps happening regularly. Maybe it was just an anomaly. --Xaaron 03:47, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
Furthermore: I did a bit of code modification that should make the form retain anything you've typed before the images loads. You may need to do a hard refresh for the change to show up, but lemme know if that doesn't work for anyone. --Suki Brits 03:52, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

Templates listing

Is there a page editors can refer to for templates (messagebox, user notices ect) without having to go through the categories or remembering the last time somebody used it so they can copy-paste it? They seem to be unnecessarily difficult to track down. --FFN 03:43, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

here --FortMax 04:50, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
My main concern was not requiring the page soley for myself, but was this page obviously linked on a help page or something somewhere that anybody could find easily? I'd personally like to see this wiki become more user-friendly. --FFN 07:25, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
Agreed, as I've said before on this very page. -- Repowers 15:05, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
Yeah. Our lack of user friendliness might discourage people from joining up. --FFN 17:47, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
What I'm worried about is that some of the other users would actually be okay with that...-- SFH 17:48, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
Well, last time I checked some of these other users don't own the wiki. --FFN 09:12, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

new template: Comicinfo

Please checkout Template:Comicinfo. It's a little rough around the edges, but something I think could be useful on the comics pages. Comments and suggestions are welcome.--MistaTee 02:42, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

Masthead

Okay, the old Monobook masthead doesn't look so good under Monaco. How do we change this?--RosicrucianTalk 21:31, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

I've looked around and seen that other wikis have already taken advantage of the extra masthead space. Question is, how do we do so, and what dimensions would the new masthead be?--RosicrucianTalk 16:05, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
Before we do anything, I would recommend keeping the masthead's filesize reasonable, because there's nothing worse than trying to load a site with a masthead image that is like a megabyte or something. --FFN 16:22, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
Oh, absolutely. I was mainly thinking perhaps something involving a 'shopping of the TFA logo, considering it'd fit the color scheme nicely. Alternatively, maybe something aping the "grid" of G1.--RosicrucianTalk 16:26, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Another thought is whether it's possible for the masthead to be random/rotating. If so, it'd let us do Autobot/Decepticon versions of the same masthead (via color swap) or even rotating versions for different franchises (G1, BW, UT, etc.)--RosicrucianTalk 16:35, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Sidebar

Given that we're getting a lot of Transformers Animated traffic lately, I'd say an item in the Monaco sidebar is likely going to help direct people to the right articles.--RosicrucianTalk 21:45, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

Okay, I put it in the sidebar. -- Danny (talk) 21:56, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

The more I think on it, the more it seems we'd be best served by condensing the G1 and TFA menus and instead just having one menu that's franchise navigation. I dunno. I'm a little bothered that we can't seem to get the admins to chime in on this, since they're the ones that can edit the sidebar setup the most easily.--RosicrucianTalk 19:02, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Eh. Monday after BotCon. A lot of them are probably still sleeping off their flight / drive / booze. Another reason why big changes probably shouldn't've happened this weekend. Give it a day or so. --Xaaron 19:12, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

The sidebar does need major work, and MediaWiki:Monaco-sidebar is a protected page so I guess it's not just easier for admins to change it, they're the only ones who can?

The issues I have with it are:

  • "Featured characters" menu still includes articles that haven't actually been Featured, as well as Spark, which has been featured but is not a character.
  • Generation 1 and Animated are the only franchises listed.
  • The G1 and Animated menus are inconsistent in the sorts of articles they list. The Generation 1 menu includes Autobot and Decepticon, articles were not restricted to G1, then several high profile characters and one obscure, jokey one. The Animated menu, on the other hand, just lists the franchise's cartoon, comic, toyline, and books articles.
  • The "Embrace the Knowledge" menu seems to take a bit of scattershot approach. Marvel Comics is listed, but none of the other publishers. Hasbro is there, but not Takara. With Mini-Con there, might this be a better place for the Autobot and Decepticon articles, and other factions as well?

--KilMichaelMcC 19:55, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

MediaWiki:Monaco-sidebar can only be edited by admins. That's true for all MediaWiki pages. -- Danny (talk) 20:31, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Set up properly, I think the sidebar could be really handy. The best approach I can think of is to turn it into essentially the Main Page. Have the four categories be Featured Articles (with the actual articles that've been designated "featured"), Categories, Franchises, and Series. More or less duplicate the lists on Main. Or if anyone else has even handier ideas, let's hear 'em. "Franchises" and "Series" might be a little redundant if there's something else I'm forgetting. But whatever we do, having an easy way to navigate around the main hub-pages of the site seems like a great potential tool. Edit: Aha, I just thought of something: An "Editing" list of key tools, like Create a new article, Stubs, Templates, How to edit, Style guide, Preferences, My watchlist, etc. Right now there are a lot of very informative pages just scattered around or even apparently unfindable without searching. This could be a great place to round up the most important ones. This conversation also has good ideas along those lines. - Jackpot 07:04, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

Discussion of the sidebar has also started up on MediaWiki_talk:Monaco-sidebar. Might want to mirror your suggestions over there. --KilMichaelMcC 09:05, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Thanks! Done. - Jackpot 16:22, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

Hate the new skin.

Hate this new skin. Just wanted to say it. The old look was much more pleasent and open to read. New one is just crouded and Blah. THIS is gonna take getting use to. No Sir, I don't like it.

Can it at least not be burgundy and orange? - Chris McFeely 22:08, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, it can be any color you like. I was messing around with colors before, but wasn't doing a great job with it, and Rosicrucian said he wanted this color scheme. Any admin can change the colors by editing MediaWiki:Monaco.css. There's instructions on how to do it here: Customizing Monaco. -- Danny (talk) 22:15, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
I mainly liked this because it fits with the color scheme of Teletraan itself. I'm not married to the idea, though. I also figured I'd speak up about it because Walky liked it, and he's off enjoying his ridiculously expensive Transformers collector's items at BotCon.--RosicrucianTalk 22:21, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
Ahh, right, well, I can see the logic, there, all right... I'm just not dying about the dark-coloured backgrounds, since it's a big visually jarring to have big white boxes of text in the middle of them. - Chris McFeely 22:24, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
Seconding the hate. -hx 00:04, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
This looks pretty hideous compared to MonoBook... and it's hard to navigate. Well, at least I can override it in preferences, but I think I'll be ignoring admin skin choices unless a custom one appears in the future.--MCRG 00:44, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
I think I can try to get used to the new skin unless/until I find something inconvenient. Well, so far so good. At least the seach function is better. But the logo on the left side of the top, well... um, oh. --TX55 01:23, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Fourthing the hate. The colors hurt my eyes. That, and the obscure character search images are gone. --FortMax 01:45, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
I'm afraid I don't much like it either. Fortunately, it was pretty easy to uncheck the "override" box on my preferences. JW 01:54, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

I don't like the new skin either. I don't get the menus at the side. "Featured characters" includes articles that I don't think have actually been Featured. G1 and Animated are listed, but no other franchises. And the menus are inconsistent. The G1 menu lists Autobot, Decepticon, and then a bunch of character pages, while the Animated menu lists Animated's toy line, cartoon, comic, and books articles. Why the difference? And what was the selection process for the "Embrace the Knowledge" menu?

By the way, in the middle of BotCon is probably the worst possible time for major changes like this to be made. --KilMichaelMcC 04:29, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

The menus at the side are examples that I made up. You guys can change them to be anything you want, by editing MediaWiki:Monaco-sidebar. I'm sorry about the timing... We've been talking about this for maybe three weeks.
Lots of things can be changed -- the colors, the menus, the logo. I'll put it back to the basic Sapphire for now, which is more like Monobook. -- Danny (talk) 05:08, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

Not a fan of the skin, either. Losing the brown and yellow from earlier was a step up, but it still doesn't quite work. The extra crap on the side feels bigger now, so the actual articles feel smaller. And those blamed automatic pulldown menus keep getting in the way everytime I move my cursor to or from the Search box. Annoying. --Xaaron 17:02, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

I'm a little unclear- you say Monaco is the new Wikia standard skin. No one likes it. But we can override the style in our preferences to set it back to Monobook.
So does TT1 have the option of deciding to switch back to Monobook if that's what the consensus decides? Danny is saying they are switching Memory Alpha Monaco and "at a certain point, pretty much every Wikia wiki is going to end up on Monaco." So is this something we get to decide for ourselves, or will Monaco be forced on us even if we don't want it? -75.168.112.43 18:55, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
What I find interesting on the MΑ example is that Toughpigs said, and I quote:
Actually, they're working on switching over to the Monaco skin on Memory Alpha too
Now, who are "they"? Because I've just looked at MΑ - and in the designated forum on the matter, one Wikia staff member (who has no main namespace edits on MΑ in the past three years) is the only user pushing for it. Only two other users have (briefly) commented - one admin who's strongly against it because of the top ad banner, and one other user who dittoed that. The only other place it is mentioned is on their main page talk, where one "Wikia Helper Group" member (who has no MΑ edits on any other matter, main namespace or otherwise) shilled it - and in response, got a reply from one user that they were confused, and another user that they preferred Monobook. Unless there's some hidden forum somewhere, there's no consensus from MΑ that they want to switch.
If Toughpigs's line is intended to say there's a push from MΑ as a "do you want T1 to be left out", it's, well, draw your own conclusions. - SanityOrMadness 19:42, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

I've been vague about what the future holds, because I don't know. Right now, the community does have the option to switch the site back to Monobook, if that's what you decide.

However, at some point in the future, Wikia may need to switch everybody over to Monaco. We need to figure out how to get more advertisers to buy ads on Wikia. We're exploring a lot of different possibilities right now, so I can't predict how that's going to go yet. But we may find that it hurts us to have skins with completely different ad sizes all over the site. Companies don't want to advertise on sites that have a leaderboard on some pages and a skyscraper on others.

Right now, we're able to offer a lot of flexibility with the skins, and we're not forcing a change on any community. But if you think about it, no other (sane) website does that. Ad-supported websites have a format, and everything on the site is in that format.

I have no real problem with Wikia's need to place more prominent banners. I don't like them, but I recognize that it is a reality of your business model.
I do take issue with the banners being tied to a sucky new UI that's being forced on us, hammering us with a double-negative. Is there any way to place the new banners (satisfying Wikia's business imperatives) in the old skin (satisfying our desire to not have the site suck so badly?) Maybe we can find a treatment that makes them less obnoxious without de-valuing them.
Of course- you keep stressing how this new UI causes more clicks... which means more pageviews, with means more bannerviews, which means more ad revenue. I really feel like your entire pitch is a thinly veiled attempt to monetize this wiki regardless of what the users want. So not only do we have to have the banners that generate more revenue-- we have to have the UI that's editor-unfriendly but promotes more pageviews.
Why don't you just rewrite the site interface so you have to click 8 times to do anything like MySpace? I mean- that seems consistent with the whole 'sacrifice the user experience in exchange for saleable ad impressions' philosophy you're espousing here.
You quote a lot of statistics. Are they internal? Do/can we have access to them? Would TT1 be allowed to pursue evolving our interface to maximize pageviews without having to buy into Monaco?
Strictly speaking the best way to increase pageviews on this wiki would to make all the links un-disambiguated, so every time you click on a link you have to view the disambig page before you can select the page you actually wanted to see from the list. There- pageviews have increased... at the expense of the user experience.
Packaging can be a force multiplier to make content more attractive... slightly more attractive. But in the end it's the quality of the content that drives readers. If we have to increase viewership to pad Wikia's bottom line, I'd really rather we did so by offering different or better content- not by putting obnoxious shiny packaging around it. (And yeah, that's a toy marketing metaphor. You get a lot of those here.) -75.168.112.43 07:05, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

I know that the obvious response to the ad talk is "that's your problem", but it's actually everybody's problem. Wikia offers free hosting to communities like this one because we're advertiser-supported. But the ad market is changing -- and if we don't keep up, then we go out of business, and we can't host wikis anymore.

Anyway, we're not anywhere near a problem at the moment. Wikia is fine, and if the community decides to switch back to Monobook, then that's fine. But it will be easier in the long run if folks give Monaco a chance, and see if we can make it work the way that you want it to work.

Meanwhile, I can address a couple of the concerns that people have posted about. First up: The size of the content area. Xaaron says that the crap on the side feels bigger, so the content area feels smaller. I took screenshots of the same page using both Monaco and Monobook, at the same browser size and screen resolution.

You can see from those pictures that Monaco gives you a wider content area. The first two paragraphs take up 16 lines in Monobook. On Monaco, it takes up 13 lines.

The number of logins has gone up just in the last few days. On April 26-27, 41 people logged in to the site (20.5 per day). From March 1-31, there were 381 logins (12.3 per day). This may be because of the interest generated at BotCon, but it also seems like being at BotCon over the weekend kept people away from the website. The increase in logins is consistent with what we've seen on other sites -- Monaco makes logging in more visible to new users.

On the sidebar over the last couple days, these are the most clicked on items:

  1. Transformers Animated (cartoon): 295 clicks
  2. Murdered puppy: 192 clicks
  3. That big green, fire-snortin' lizard: 168 clicks
  4. Transformers Animated (toy line): 131
  5. Autobot: 111
  6. Optimus Minor: 108
  7. More featured characters: 83
  8. Optimus Prime: 76
  9. Gas Skunk: 74
  10. Airazor (BW): 72

Pageviews for April 26-27 are up 21% over the average from the previous 30 days. That may be because of the interest around BotCon and the new episodes, but it might also be because the sidebar is helping new readers find articles that they're interested in, and because the pages load faster with Monaco. In any event, it doesn't seem like Monaco is chasing people away. -- Danny (talk) 20:27, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

It could also be because existing users have been giving the new skin a test drive. Anyway, couple of things about the skin that I'm wondering. First, the Teletraan 1 image in the upper left corner is now tiny with ugly, empty whitespace on three sides. Can it be enlarged? Second, can the recently-added neat little search box images be included in the new skin? --KilMichaelMcC 20:51, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
The logo can be changed by uploading a new image to Image:Wiki_wide.png.
The search box images are a neat idea, but I'm confused about why they're attached to search. They don't take you to a search page. They're basically a random featured-article generator. If you want, I can talk to the designer here about creating a randomized featured-article widget for the sidebar. -- Danny (talk) 20:59, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, I personally would like to see that added in. I think it makes it more appealing for a random article to be represented in image format. --FFN 10:45, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

Basic test image for the top left:

TFfactions.png

- SanityOrMadness 21:58, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

I've got some ideas for the masthead. I'll 'shop something up when I get home from work.--RosicrucianTalk 22:05, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
My proposal:
Teletraan masthead.png
Whaddaya think?--RosicrucianTalk 02:16, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
That one is beautiful. --ItsWalky 02:20, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
Look nice for Rosi's. --TX55 02:26, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
Ooo, rock me, Amadeus. Verra nice. JW 02:56, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
That is perfect, Rosicrucian. --KilMichaelMcC 04:36, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
That is lovely. --Sntint 04:38, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
Wow, funky. --FFN 10:45, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

Anonymous edits

Lately, I've been looking at wikis that have decided to turn off anonymous edits, and have everybody log in before contributing to the wiki. The idea is that having everybody log in builds a stronger sense of community, because you always have a name to associate with an edit, rather than a random string of numbers. It's easier to talk to people who have names. It also gives you more control over vandalism, since you can recognize potential vandals more easily.

Some people don't like the idea, because they're worried that logging in is a barrier to entry -- if you have to log in to edit, then you won't bother, and you'll go away. Looking at the wikis that require login, that doesn't seem to be true. Muppet Wiki turned off anon edits last April, and the number of active editors has actually gone up. Some of our most active wikis require login -- World of Warcraft, FFXIclopedia, Tibia Wiki and Marvel Database. (WoW and FFXI actually require a confirmed e-mail address before you can edit.)

So I've been talking to folks about this, and we've decided to allow wiki communities to turn off anonymous edits if they want to. There are a lot of anonymous editors here, so I'm wondering what you guys think about it. Would it be helpful to require login for everybody?

Obviously, that's a big community decision... I just want to throw out the possibility, and see what you think. -- Danny (talk) 20:38, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

I strongly oppose disabling anonymous edits! (I also oppose sweeping changes performed over botcon, and unilaterally re-skining the site when the community can argue for weeks or month about proposed style changes to individual templates without reaching a consensus-- but if you're willing to ignore the needs of registered users while making such 'big community decisions,' why would you listen to anon users?) -75.168.112.43 08:18, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
Well, let's get an opposing viewpoint here. Why are you, 75.168.112.43, unwilling to get an account? JW 11:16, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
You assume I don't have an account.
I strongly oppose disabling anonymous edits because;
  1. It puts up a gateway that discourages first time users. Not a tall gateway- but a gateway nonetheless. Even if it only turns back 30% of new editors, that's 30% of people who could potentially become productive members of the community we're turning away out of hand.
  2. Equally important to the new users are the 'casual fixers', people who will /never/ become regulars on this wiki but, while clicking around, notice a link leading to Megatron instead of Megatron (G1). If they have to register to make that simple fix? 9 times out of 10 that kind of fix will not get done.
  3. The problem 'disabling anonymous edits' seeks to fix- trolls- will not be solved. We already have trolls who register for accounts-- right now we don't even require an e-mail address. So next to combat Troll,s we'll require all accounts to have e-mail addresses. Then we'll require those e-mails be verified, then maybe we'll set up a system where new users have to be approved like so many online communities before they can use their account. IP Tracking! Requiring Persistent Cookies! Each and any of these steps makes the online experience just a little bit more unpleasant for the user (and each hoop to jump throuhg makes new users just a little disinclined to join) but none of them actually stops trolls! Clear your cache, sign up for a yahoo account and you're up and running again. The trolls that regularly bother TT1 have already demonstrated they are willing to go to these lengths to evade bans. I am opposed to any measure that would punish the general body of users (registered and non) to deal with trolls. I am strongly opposed to any measure that would punish users and not deal with trolls, which is what this promises to do.
And seriously- while I'm tickled to death to know that the 'wikia community developer' has been attracted to communities that place restrictions on their users, I'm not thrilled to see someone who's not part of the community lobbying that we become more insular. I think changing TT1 to a UI that's different from Wikipedia makes the site harder to use (both for new users, and for users who make contributions to multiple wikis) is an objectively bad decision that was made with little discussion because 'it looks better.' And I really dislike that this was done while everyone was gone at Botcon and it was impossible to form a quorum for proper discussion. Monorail guy dances into town and starts making global changes that he thinks 'make more sense' without understanding that they were that way for a reason, and his whims would require massive secondary cleanup effort to enact. I don't think someone who's not a participating member of this community should be initiating that kind of change, or throwing his weight behind them for them while 'polling for consensus. On a more fundamental level- I'm suspicious about external voices telling us how we should be running this wiki, because sooner or later they're gong to tell us The Funny Should Go.
I feel the burden of proof is on the other side here-- show that there will be a concrete and measurable improvement to the wiki by disabling anonymous edits that will NOT place an unnecessary burden on users. -75.168.112.43 12:38, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
"You assume I don't have an account." Well, then, please tell us why you aren't willing to use it. I'm truly curious. JW 13:04, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
More to the point, the IP address 75.168.112.43 has only made 10 contributions to this wiki, of which only 4 are of actual substance. Your comments will carry more weight if you tell us which long-established editor you in fact are. Otherwise, you're the "external voice telling us how we should be running this wiki". JW 13:16, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
I oppose to disable anonymous edit, too. I was once a anonymous user . If the anonymous edit is disabled, that would mean we close the door for many potential users-to-be. Though I hate anonymous vandalizing, which is really a problem. But any bad anonymous user can get an account to vandalize, too. Urgh.--TX55 13:56, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

The Funny Should Definitely Not Go. The reason why I've been hanging out on this wiki lately is because I like it -- specifically, because I like the Funny. I don't want to annoy people or screw stuff up; I'm just trying to help out in ways that I know how to help.

I didn't unilaterally change the skin... If you look above, the conversation about the skin started on April 7th. On Thursday, I asked if there were any more comments before I switched it over. The only response was from ItsWalky, who indicated that it would be okay. I've been keeping an eye on the stats -- the number of edits, registrations and pageviews have all gone up since the wiki switched to Monaco. (Saturday was the highest single day for registrations on the wiki since January.)

As I said, anonymous edits is totally a community decision. I just wanted to let you know that it's an option if the community wants it. It's a long-term discussion, and I don't have an interest in pushing it one way or the other. -- Danny (talk) 14:31, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

I would be against restricting edits to registered members. This wiki already has a reputation in the Transformers community as alledgedly being the playground for a very specific group of fans. Restricting edits will only further this perception. But more importantly:
  • I tend to agree that if one has no intention of making significant edits, but very occassionally fixes minor mistakes that one sees, then one shouldn't be forced to register to do so.
  • Some of us would prefer not to login while accessing the wiki at school or at work. Yeah, we have our reasons.
  • Chris McFeely, one of our staff members, sometimes has trouble logging onto the wiki when he's not at home, so if we restrict edits to logged-in users, he can't make any contributions if he happens to have free time while out and about.
  • Good anonymous editors sometimes eventually become registered members if they find they enjoy making the edits and would to participate in the little community we have.
  • Trolls and vandals who go to the effort of being repeat offenders will not be scared off by a registration process. I think we'll find that these people have alot of free time on their hands. Even more than I do!
--FFN 15:03, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
I'd be more willing to believe that the increase in edits on Saturday was due to the new skin if Saturday didn't happen to be the day most of the BotCon panels were held. Those give us a lot of new information that needs to be added to the wiki. Plus, two (or three) new episodes were shown that morning: Return of the Headmaster in the US, Mission Accomplished in Canada, and Collect and Save at Botcon. --FortMax 15:46, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
No kidding. You could've changed the site to pink-and-purple polka dots, and traffic still would've increased this weekend, with everyone fighting to be the first to add all the new scraps of information from the convention. --Xaaron 17:05, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
I'm no one special on this wiki, but I wanted to weigh in. Considering that everything else on the web seems to require a login, it isn't asking too much for people to sign up. All the forums require a login so people can own their opinions, why not here? Also, isn't most of the caption bastardry done by anons? Maybe forcing registration might stop some of those careless edits. Requiring an email? Now that might scare people off.--Suzyprime 04:51, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

Image overlap

I'm ugly

Umm, did this overlap happen before the new skin? If so, I never noticed it. If not, then why is it changing what goes on inside the content part of the site, not just the menus and adds and umm, everything that I can't edit as an anon? Spriteless 04:04, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

We're trying to figure it out over on User Talk:Toughpigs.--RosicrucianTalk 04:08, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
That particular overlap always happened- but the transparent frame was apparently a result of some global CSS change Wikia made ~4-6 months ago.
It looks like the fix was posted on the monobook.css discussion page, but never implemented. -75.168.112.43 05:25, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
(Oh, i see this was already discussed. Hrm.) -75.168.112.43 05:43, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
The problem with overlaps like on the Blackthorne Publishing page in the image can be solved by putting one of these {{-}} in, which I just did on that page. --KilMichaelMcC 05:59, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

I've had a slightly different problem with image overlap in the past few days. If there's a stub box or a "needs images" box on a page, occasionally the box's pic will remain stuck at the top of the page. For instance, in the example on the right, Kup's pic would be stuck in the top left corner, covering part of the Blackthorne Publishing title bar. It has also happened on the front page, with Jhiaxus's image from the featured article covering the Primes. --Xaaron 05:41, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

What broswer? (The messagebox template uses styles that render differently on IE and Geko-based browsers... but the difference shoudl eb cosmetic, not functional like that.) -75.168.112.43 05:43, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

Imageproblem2.GIF

IE6. Like the guy below said, it's usually self correcting on larger pages. I've noticed the effect lingers mostly on really short articles. I've been deorphaning individual weapon pages recently (Gravito-gun, Incendiary sword, etc), and the Thundercracker w/Reflector image almost always gets stuck. --Xaaron 15:20, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
I saw the case several time. When the page is loading, the box's pic such as AniMeg's head or Kup will remain stuck on the page, but soon it will be back to the right place. It only happen when I use the IE6 (log in or not).
Speaking of the image problem, it reminds me of another one. When open page with IE(well, 6), some images will be "slashed" by a line, just like the picture shows. --TX55 08:06, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
It doesn't appear to be happening on IE7. This sounds like a rendering issue with IE. (One of many...) Doesn't mean it doesn't need to be accomodated though.
When an image gets stuck int the top-left, is that in IE? What happens when you resize the window? -75.168.112.43 08:13, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
When use IE6, the image only gets stuck in the left of the top when the page is loading. After the page completes loading, all things are back to normal. If I resize the window to small when loading, the image gets stuck in the left of the bottom instead, but back to normal after finishing loading. So, it won't become a problem for me. :D --TX55 10:08, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

Did this ever get fixed? Right now I see the image borders opaque in IE7, but transparent in Firefox, and Safari. (Hey, Safari is out for PC's! I thought it was still forthcoming.) -150.253.90.167 00:41, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Monaco top-of-article spam

This is new, right? -75.168.112.43 09:03, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

IIRC, it has existed for a while. --TX55 10:03, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
Ugh, is there a way to turn it off?
We downgraded visibility of the 'pics needed' templates precisely because we didn't think it was right to harass the 91% of our wiki user who are just readers with demands they join and contribute. -75.168.112.43 10:10, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
It's awful and absurd. I don't know if I can deal with it myself-- we may need to get one of the Wikia sorts to get rid of it. I'm absolutely going to dig in my heels on this. This is not an arguably helpful UI function, this really is just harassing our users. --Suki Brits 11:07, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
It is very easy to turn off, and it is not a function of the switch to Monaco. Go to Preferences, then Editing, then uncheck "Enable similar articles suggestions." Easy-peasy.--RosicrucianTalk 13:55, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
There's also a "Thank you for your Edit, try doing these other 3 random pages," which has also been around for about a week even on Monobook, and which I assume can be disabled by the same method just described. --Thylacine 2000 14:15, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
Yep, that would be "Preferences, Editing, Enable similar articles suggestions". :D --TX55 15:31, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
I would imagine that is what Rosicrucian's talking about. Obviously anonymous users can't change their prefrences to turn that off; they don't have any. The suggestions aren't really problematic, but sticking a notice at the top of random pages for the majority of users saying "HEY YOU SHOULD TOTALLY REGISTER STOP READING THIS ARTICLE THAT DOESN'T MATTER JUST REGISTER FOR THE SITE SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO LOOK AT THIS ANNOYING NOTICE" is incredibly unacceptable. I believe I've managed to set it to be hidden, but it's hard to tell. Let me know if that resurfaces. --Suki Brits 15:03, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

Recentchanges colours missing

Whereas before, the (+X)/(-X) values would be in green/red (and bold for especially large changes), they are now neither coloured nor bolded. - SanityOrMadness 16:20, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

They still look colored to me.--Apcog 17:00, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
I'm seeing black (+X) too. Suki Brits added some code to MediaWiki:Common.css this morning, and accidentally took out all of the .css code that was there as part of the default, including the recent changes colors. If you want, you can restore it by copying the default code here. The recent changes colors are controlled by this code:
/* Recent changes byte indicators */
.mw-plusminus-pos { color: #006500; }
.mw-plusminus-neg { color: #8B0000; }
-- Danny (talk) 17:30, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
Bizarre. It's all back in now; apparently MediaWiki:Common.css adds some content (including those colours) by default if the page doesn't exist, which was quite unexpected. --Suki Brits 18:29, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, the MediaWiki default pages are stored centrally, but can be overwritten locally on a wiki. If Wikia needs to update the default sitewide, you don't have to go into into 5,000 individual wikis and change the page. But if the local wiki has edited the MediaWiki page, then that overwrites the default. -- Danny (talk) 20:49, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

Templates mangled?

Template:Merge and Template:Split are both still titled "HELP US" but have had the Megatron/Ratchet image removed. I assume this was a mistake, since nobody would deliberately do something so ugly and pointless. How do we get them back? --Thylacine 2000 20:11, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

I just checked out Merge, and it looks fine to me. JW 20:20, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

Spoiler lock-out template

I vote for either protecting *ALL* Animated character pages, or setting them to be untouchable by anonymous editors, or both. I'm fucking sick of dubbed scuttlebutt killing the first story developments worth a damn we've had in 9 years. Almost nobody has actually legitimately seen these episodes; most people are just wanking over screenshots and summaries. Let's really try to keep as free of it as possible, is my vote. --Thylacine 2000 01:41, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
Far be it from me to suggest following Wikipedia's lead, but one thing that other wiki does to stop massive edit wars or mass-vandalism on specific articles, an admin will lock the page to anon user and new accounts with instructions posted at the top of the article to leave a message on the talk page if you are unable to make a valid edit. We could save ourselves a bunch of time (and from being spoiled) by putting a similar block on the involved pages and put up a template that says something like the following:
Does Prime die? (goes best with screencap from commercial)
The subject of this article is involved with major spoilers in fiction not yet available in major markets. To avoid spoiling people, editing for anonymous users and new accounts has been disabled. If you are unable made a non-spoiler edit to this page, please leave a message describing the edit to be made on this article's talk page. --FortMax 01:44, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
McFeely semi-protected Sari's page after my recommendation (and a major spoiler was added) so I guess we should probably do that as well. -- SFH 02:00, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
I like FortMax's idea...perhaps we should extend this to all of the episodes that thus far have not aired in English-speaking countries, as well. --Professor Icepick 02:48, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
I endorse FortMax's idea wholeheartedly. This wiki should not be a breeding ground for rampant spoilers. -- Repowers 03:00, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

Here's what I've managed to tool up. I've made it garishly yellow to draw attention to it.

No, Prime doesn't die. Stop crying, kid.
Does Prime die?!

The subject of this article involves major spoilers in fiction not yet available to major markets. To prevent spoiling people, editing for anonymous users and new accounts has been disabled.
If you have a non-spoiler edit to propose, please discuss it on this article's talk page.

Whaddaya think?--RosicrucianTalk 03:03, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

That...is awesome. --Professor Icepick 03:08, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

Perfect --FortMax 03:16, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

What they said. *two thumbs up* -- Repowers 03:20, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

Don't think it could be better. --Sntint 03:40, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

...but if you really want a consensus, a page that people may avoid on sight of the title may not be the best place to test it out? I don't really think anyone will have a problem with it, anyway. --Sntint 03:42, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
I hate to jump on the bandwagon, but I dig it.--AWT88 03:48, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

FIRE AT WILL. If it's not too much of a hassle, can this be done for ALL Animated character / vehicle / object / beyond-Canada episode pages? Maybe something important has already happened to the AllSpark or Bulkhead, and nobody has blabbed about it yet, but will decide to next week. Why continue to basically force some staff members to be on Spoiler Reading Patrol, when we can just nip more problems in the bud?--Thylacine 2000 17:48, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

I endorse Thy's campaign fully. Let's semiprotect the fuck outta those pages. --M Sipher 19:41, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

Lost molds

Hi I had this idea for a article on lost,broken and worn out molds. This would be my first article for this or any wiki and since I'm still a n00b around here I wanted to ask for permission first.Dead Metal 19:14, 15 May 2008 (UTC) So just give me the green light and I'll do it.

I'd take a look at the mold article, first. It's kind of nowhere at the moment. I dunno how much there is to say about lost molds; nobody really seems to know what happens to them, and no definitive list exists of toys whose molds are lost/destroyed. They'd probably be better served a subsection of the Mold article. -- Repowers 18:56, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
Maybe, but I could bring in some vague ideas of what might have happened to them and stuff fans believe, as a bit of comic relief.
And then there are the exhausted molds that will never see release again since they have been used to often, the list might get long.
But if it's best just a sub thing from the existing article, then OK.Dead Metal 19:14, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
I think a subsection would be better, considering "vague idea" is indeed all we really know about the situation. If we had a wealth of accurate info, that'd be different, but we don't. Just one example... more than once, "lost forever" molds have seemingly resurfaced. A list of molds that are known to be lost or worn out would certainly be a worthwhile addition to the existing article, though. -- Repowers 19:30, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
OK, expect it up on Monday, since I'll be to pissed for the next two days and will use -sunday to gather all the info and write it up on word then just copy, past and edit it on here.Dead Metal 12:13, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

Alt modes

I went over the guidelines and discussion archives, but for the life of me I was never able to figure out why a Transformer's alt mode isn't listed at the page intro and the only way to find out what it is is to go to the toy section or skim the plot section. What's up with that?86.51.3.194 08:47, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

Not sure about that policy, but it would be nice, especially since a character could have a different alt mode in various fictions. --MistaTee 10:14, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
I see what you did there. -hx 10:29, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

"References"

I am going to start stabbing people soon. It seems like every day we have to delete a dozen samples of "well this dimly kinda sorta reminds me of this thing from TFs SO ITS A REFERENCE!!!". I'm beginning to think that every "References" section in TFA needs to open with a warning about making goddamn sure it actually is one... for all the good it would do. Come on, people. TFA is not subtle with its references. --M Sipher 15:53, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

BUT MAN THAT PART WHERE THE GUY DID THAT THING IS TOTALLY A REFERENCE TO MY FAVORITE COMIC BOOK/ANIME/VIDEO GAME THAT YOU'VE JUST NEVER HEARD OF BECAUSE YOU'RE A RETARD IT'S SO OBVIOUS DUDE. -hx 16:00, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

We need a user talkpage template for this. It'll get a LOT of use, I'm sure. Every damn DAY. --M Sipher 15:59, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

Message box for people who don't bother to include info and/or copyrights with uploads

Do we have a message box for people who repeatedly upload images in rapid succession without bothering to include any copyright info (or ANY info)? If not, we need one, because I'm tired of leaving messages for people to do the right thing and check our image policy, and I'm sure other regular contributors are tired of doing this as well. --FFN 06:32, 25 May 2008 (UTC)

Yeah, for a brief period I was just glad that we have an image policy set down now so the link can serve as shorthand for stuff I used to have to type out in talkpages but even that's getting tedious now.--RosicrucianTalk 06:38, 25 May 2008 (UTC)
That Skullgrin guy cheeses me off. He keeps updating the Canadian voice actors with new photos, but absolutely refuses to respond to his talk page or provide the requested source and copyright information. --FFN 16:44, 27 May 2008 (UTC)
I've plopped down {{tagyourpics}} as a first draft. Feel free to tweak or reword. I'm not married to the image, as I just grabbed an existing one. I don't have image editing tools here at work so I can't get a better one until I get home.--RosicrucianTalk 17:47, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

Unreleased toys page?

Do we have a page that lists toys that were canceled and thus never released? If not should I start one? I would love to start an article.Dead Metal 13:29, 25 May 2008 (UTC)

Well, there's only the category page by far. --TX55TALK 16:11, 27 May 2008 (UTC)
As a wiki, we're not big on lists, but this sounds like one of the more useful ones to have. I'd say go for it. -Derik 16:27, 27 May 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, I'll start as soon as possible!Dead Metal 17:56, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

Character infobox

Okay, I know that people have had some problems with the infobox concept, but I'd like to be heard out first. I'm working an a template for character infobox's here, but I'm still trying to iron the kinks out. Now, instead of actually putting numbers from the teh specs on courage, intl, etc, I instead propose a small, written discription based on their fictional appearances. For example

Name: Skywarp
Race: Cybertronian
Homeworld: Cybertron
Gender: Male.
Courage: Being able to fly has its advantages.
Intelligence: Worthless without supervision.
Firepower: Bombs and lasers.
Special power: Teleportation
Rank: Air Warrior/practical joker
Actor: Frank Welker

Or say G1 Arcee

Name: Arcee
Race: Cybertronian.
Homeworld: Cybertron.
Genger: Female, and the only one Furman will use.
Courage: Wears pink on the battle field.
Intelligence: Can keep Hot Rod and Springer at bay.
Firepower: Pair of blasters, but her aim needs work.
Special power:
Rank: Gunner, but she's really just Daniel's babysitter.
Actor: Susan Blu

As I said, I'm still working out the kinks. But for now, any thoughts? -- SFH 20:28, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

Best avoided. --M Sipher 20:39, 27 May 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, it really seems like it would open the floodgates for a lot of non-informative jokes without much actual information. -- Repowers 05:04, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
Well, since I still can't get the template to work, I suppose it's a moot point. -- SFH 06:05, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

Link Magic

For unknown reasons, performing edits with Link Magic [[Optimus Prime (G1)|]] appears ot be 'flattening' the results when saved to [[Optimus Prime (G1)|Optimus Prime]]. This is, it goes without saying, undesirable in that it makes the pages hard to to edit again later. I'm looking into it. -Derik 04:54, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

...wait, has it always worked that way? That fucking obnoxious to maintain.
Damnit, I remember it working the other way. I wonder if I fell into a parallel universe where Wiki markup is different? Is Bush good here? Great, now I'm gonna have to find a guru to realign my chakras and send me home... I had much better things to do this summer than travel to massively parallel alternate dimensions. -Derik 05:35, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

Custom toys?

Do you think we should start a article, or articles about Custom toys, Garage kits and third party upgrade sets? You know like the Jizai toys , the Cyber fembots, the HTM-01 Bumblebee and those TFClub upgrade stuff, like the Classics UM armor. I think we should have one, but I think I should ask before I once again start a disastrous think like my first article..Dead Metal 12:21, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

No. Unless it's official licensed Hasbro/Takara product, it's got no place here. -hx 12:50, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
No. --M Sipher 13:27, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
No, definitely. --TX55TALK 14:12, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
OK, but doesn't Jizai toys have some kind of license from Takara that lets them sell theyre stuff exclusively at Wonderfest? At least that's what I believe I've read as they said they couldn't attend the last one.Dead Metal 16:26, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
Kitbash is probably the most you can do. -- SFH 18:28, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
We should investigate the One Day License TakaraTomy (and other license holders in Japan) grant to small 'garage kit' makers to sell their wares at Japanese conventions. We should at least acknowledge it. --FFN 12:41, 1 June 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, I could live with that - maybe give One Day License its own entry and give some examples of popular customs sold under it (the Jizaitoys sets come to mind... wasn't that fan-made fusion cannon for AM Megatron done the same way?) -hx 13:09, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

Humor message template

I've been thinking: Isn't it time that we make a message that informs people that humor is allowed on this wiki? I mean, we've got the whole THE FUNNY STAYS at the top of the main page talk, but maybe we need a more proactive one. As for transformer quotes, I bet something from Random Blitzwing would suffice. -- SFH 18:28, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

I concur. Though I think we should consider how Memory Alpha and other major wikis usually copy-paste a welcome message with all relevant policy links, rules and guidelines for newcomer registered members. Might be too much work, though, as we don't have a 24 hour rotating staff. --FFN 12:41, 1 June 2008 (UTC)
You know, I think that a welcome template would be a good idea. That's pretty much all I do on Wookieepedia these days. I could start working on one. -- SFH 16:00, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

UK G1 covers and cover varaints and stuff

Some of you may have realised that I have uploaded some UK G1 covers. But the nature of how the UK stories are depicted om Teletraan 1 is one article per story, as opposed to one article per issue. In essence this means that only one cover per story can be uploaded.

But shouldn't there be a system where every cover can be catalogued here? Should there a "Covers" section? In the case of Time Wars and Space Pirates we have a half-dozen of covers to chose from, all good, but only space for one.

And on a similar vein, shouldn't there be a section for UK covers for the US stories. For the most part the US covers were inferior, hence the UK havng to draw up new ones in the first place. Using my "covers" idea from above, it could be "UK covers" section. What does everyone think?

(And while I'm on it, maybe a variant covers section for the more modern issues? Mind you, as I type this, I have no idea whether such a thing is actually being done). Drmick 14:54, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

A system where every cover can be catalogued seems to be a fascinated idea! --TX55TALK 16:18, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
Yea it would be, and I would be able to help, since I have lots of the new idw covers, but would it be bad if they were signed, I man can we use signed covers for that, or would those covers be taken down?Dead Metal 16:32, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
Man, I'm so used to having my edits undone I thought TX55 was being sarcastic. I have every UK G1 page scanned on my hard drive, inc the covers. Although, in fairness, there are sites out there with better scans. Drmick 16:43, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
Wow wow, wait a minute. I wasn't being sarcastic, really. I really think we should have a thing like this as a single article page as some sort of catalog page(Marvel UK Cover Gallery, maybe?). But it would be take a little work. --TX55TALK 17:06, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
The problem with this is the page would be huge. There were 332 (or so) UK issues, Plus, many UK issues had two stories (heck, one issue had three stories: A UK story, a US story and part of the Heasmasters mini-series) --FortMax 17:53, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

This problem is not unique to the UK comics. Lots of recent books from IDW and Dreamwave have multiple covers. We just put 'em in at the bottom. See Dreamwave Armada issue 1 for a random example. -- Repowers 17:33, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

"...have multiple covers. We just put 'em in at the bottom". Ok, we could start doing that, but the logic centre in my brain says each UK issue should have it's own cover, rather than putting all the covers (for Time Wars for example) at the bottom of that article. Drmick 19:51, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
That's an artifact of the the UK stuff being storyline articles instead of issue articles. I think each issue should have it's own page (for vital statistics and image credit linking, if nothing else) but at the moment those pages would be baren of info, unless you also want to rewrite all the summaries.
Maybe a "This multipart storyline has a detailed synopsis at ARTICLENAME" on the individual pages as a temporary make-do? -Derik 20:05, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
I think I'd rather see one gigantic list page, with a table of contents for each page, rather than 332 individual articles each with a minimum of information, which would also require a second click-through to get to the actual story info. That info should be on the wiki somewhere.... but considering how hacked apart the UK stories were, I dislike the idea of making story pages subordinate to issue pages. -- Repowers 20:18, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
Child pages that are just the technical details? Time Wars/Marvel UK issue 199 -Derik 01:11, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
Serious question then - why do we have (e.g.) Stormbringer issue 1 (etc) as the main articles rather than everything at Stormbringer? Surely we should be consistent in having either everything sorted by issue, or everything sorted by story rather than some hodgepodge? - SanityOrMadness 12:08, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
'Cause the UK stories are uniquely chopped up. Stormbringer #1 is written to have an opening, a middle and a conclusion. UK stories share issues with other stories (most of which are already presented as single stories in the US issues), and are sometimes cut off in mid-sentence. Story summaries of individual UK issues wouldn't make much sense, and would be ridiculously short. in short, the UK comics are treated uniquely because they are a unique case. -- Repowers 12:15, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

Right, now, ladies. Enough yapping. I'm not proposing all the UK issues get their own articles, for all the reasons above. I need a system whereby they get archived correctly though. To use the mantra "don't come to me with problems, come to me with solutions" I propose that all the UK covers get stuck into their respective articles (and be appropriately named and wikilinked in the 1st place). What I need you girls to do, is to decide the format by which they go ino those articles (top, bottom, sideways, collaged, separate section etc) Drmick 18:32, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

I think top and sideways will be too messy - for any three part or longer story there'll be so many covers running down the side that they'll hit images in the synopsis et al. A special gallery at the bottom may be best.
Also what are people's thoughts on always including the Collected Comics covers? There's a mix of reusing a cover from one of the issues reprinted in it (1, 2, 7, 13-15, 17-19, Autumn 92, Easter 93, Summer 93), using a cover from another issue not reprinted in it (3, 16, Summer 92, Winter 93, Holiday 94, Summer 94, Autumn 94) and brand new covers (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12). Timrollpickering 00:03, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

Disambiguation images?

Dunno if this has been brought up before, but would having thumbnail images on the disambiguation pages be a worthwhile thing? It'd take forever to carry out, of course, but it's something that wouldn't require any new image files (just reuse character page images) and would add a nice visual component to the selection on disambig pages. -- Repowers 17:36, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

I saw something like this on the Bumblebee (disambiguation) page and thought it looked like a neat concept. The only problems I can think of would be using images for larger articles (with 6+ redirects) and people with slower internet connections. --Professor Icepick 17:43, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
One big problem is that Transformers tend to change bodies every so often, especially Primes and Megatrons. Which body would you show? Armada Megatron looks nothing like Energon Megatron who looks nothing like Cybertron Megatron, and G2 Megatron has more in common visually with Armada Megatron (both transform into green and purple tanks) than he does his own G1 form. --FortMax 18:00, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
The Prime page wouldn't gain much by it- all red stuff. Still, I like the idea in concept... it might be worth exploring if it can be done in a compact manner that complements the text descriptions. (And really, some of our disambig pages are getting ridiculously long, we're gonna need a synthesize a new high-density format sooner or later) -Derik 20:08, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
In most cases, the image should probably just be the main image from the character's page. Simple solution... assuming they can be seen at small size. Test page at user:repowers/Sandbox3. -- Repowers 20:13, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
At the very least, you need dividing lines/separating boxes. Plus, there's a shit-ton of empty whitespace there, which looks awful. There's probably some ways to fill that vertical space by itemizing the contents of the original sentences...
  • Bumblebee
    • Apperance year: 1984
    • Origin: Generation 1 continuity family
Or someshit. Could probably fill horizontal by making it a 2-character-wide table. (I just really hate large expanses of blank space.) --M Sipher 20:47, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
I like that. I was thinking about disambig-images myself a while back, and the whitespace issue was also my reservation. A lot of the boilerplate you're introducing could be automated via a template, so it wouldn't be too tedious. For what it's worth, though, I still think the date-template goes a long way toward making the long lists palatable, and I don't see the need for images as particularly urgent. - Jackpot 00:02, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
If you're doign first appearance, can I also suggest last appearance? It tells you a lot if a character was active from 1987-1989 as opposed to 1982-1997. Or 1984-Ongoing.
Prowl is the prime example of why the date-template isn't... necessarily viable. It's long, and it'd have to stop and read 'em all. I'd be nice to be able to see- "Oh hey, RiD Prowl-- CLICK!" I actually have some thoughts on the matter... but I think I'll wait for Rob's design to evolve one or two iterations first- I think it's going somewhere useful. -Derik 00:32, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
"Last appearance" would mean near-constant updating of a fuckton of disambig pages. Characters can come back any time. --M Sipher 01:33, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
I just made two test pages. I prefer the first one, but it would be lots of blank space for several pages. But I hate putting non-original character in the middle.
ps. I think 1st appearance would be better. --TX55TALK 01:38, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
I prefer how we currently have a sentence-ish description of who each version is, which I think would fit better in Rob's mock-up (with Siph's additions). And, yeah, thirded on the no-last-appearance. - Jackpot 01:58, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

I took a crack at it here.--RosicrucianTalk 02:32, 3 June 2008 (UTC)--RosicrucianTalk 02:32, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

I kinda like the image I put up at Sunstorm (disambiguation)... --ItsWalky 02:37, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

I think disambiguation pages are just fine the way they are now, and any change that involves adding images should be done with a minimal impact on the current format. --KilMichaelMcC 04:22, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

Ooh, Kil's not gonna like my pass on the idea at all... -Derik 05:06, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
I like Walky's image too... but as more Sunstorms pile up, I fear that group shots liek that aren't practical to maintain. (That said, I want someone to take a picture of all the Roller toys together. It would be awesome.)
How many different Sunstorms do we expect to pile up? There's still only four, despite how many toys they've gotten. If they make 30 more G1 Sunstorms, that doesn't change the image. If they add one to, say, Animated, we'd have to update the image, but until then... --ItsWalky 12:37, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

Derik has had a lot of caffeine today.

Okay, I did pass at a picture disambig template here. OMGWTFLOL, it's madness? Aye, but there be a method to it... this layout uses a CSS change to accomplish crimes of passion not possible with simple inline CSS. (This is how we did our messageboxes originally.) So to see what it's SUPPOSED to look like... go to my Wikia CSS file, copy the code there, and save it to your own. (Or, just look at the screenshot, but that's much less exciting.)

The Picture disambigs are 300 pixels wide- but that's with full-size text. I figure you could scrunch. They display in as many columns as can fit on the user's page (like the picture gallery here) to maximize the use of the page.

This is a proof-of-concept build- to be sure it could be done. If carried through to completion, it'd allow you to assign multiple faction symbols, one or none continuity logos for the bottom, (both of which would be faded back for legibility.) Box borders might used to visually code prominence- a major characters with 100 + appearances gets a black border, normal characters a gray one, and guys that barely exist a light gray one. Cosmos will probably have a single year '2008,' while Obsidian would be 1999-2007 and Bumblebee might be 1984-ongoing. Lots of information presented succinctly. Actual colors, proportions etc... would be subject to change.

Oh, and I think there's room for a brief italic comment or note at the bottom of the box.-Derik 05:06, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

Yeaaaahhh.... I'm going to have to stick with "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." The current format for disambig pages is fine, and if we want to pretty them up a bit with some images, that'd be fine too, but I don't think it's necessary to radically overhaul them. --KilMichaelMcC 05:29, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
Energon (disambiguation)? -Derik 05:54, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
Is that a question? Are you suggesting there's a problem with that particular page? Because I think it's fine. --KilMichaelMcC 06:25, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

Yeah, this is quickly approaching "skip it" levels. The majority of disambig pages really aren't that big or complicated, and the existing text, most notably the franchise they came from, should be more than enough. And really, would pages like Sam (disambiguation) really gain anything from any of the proposed new formats? Because they'd LOSE a lot more... --M Sipher 13:18, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

Refinement #1. Same place, still requires CSS change. (It might be possible to do it without a CSS change, but the code becomes ungodly ugly.) Screenshot. Responses appreciated. -Derik 04:37, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

That's..... that's getting somewhere. I'd say ditch the "Transformers" logos (which are redundant and pull the eye confusingly), remove the "Appears:" (also redundant clutter) and last-appearance dates (personal taste), and we're just about there. Edit: Also, I'd like to see the explanatory sentence-fragments worked into the resulting whitespace. I think it's still a very good idea to have the brief description (name of alt-mode, significant subgroup, anything else that might be necessary to distinguish the character from those around it) because that sort of thing is rarely conveyed by a robot-mode pic if you don't recognize it at first sight. - Jackpot 05:22, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
Well, you can put in a text note (it's on the Universe Micromaster.) -Derik 05:28, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, but your screencap barely shows that. What I'm getting at is, I'd like to see what it would actually look like if all of the boxes retained the information currently in their descriptions. To see if it's too much text, if it can flow well the way it currently does, if it all ends up seeming redundant, whatever. It's the sort of thing I'd make my own Sandbox for, but I don't have the skillz. And I think you've made something so close to my ideal format, I'd love it if you humored me. - Jackpot 05:35, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
V3 I think the copy could be cut down- I removed the continuity since it was in the text, but in reality I think you'd swap that out. Realistically this would be their most common altmode and anythign important about them. (Oops, and I muffed up animated!Prowl's, oh well) -Derik 06:13, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
Thank you, sir. I'm diggin' it. And I agree that if we can pull bits out of the text and put them elsewhere in the layout, all the better. For instance, you don't even need to mention the allegiance as long as the symbols are up in the corner. And, if I were doing it, I'd make the second line "[date] [continuity]", with no "range" and no last appearance (as I agree with Siph on that count). With all the room being saved, maybe even have an extra line either above or below it for alt-mode. Also, I still think the TF-logos need to go.
At any rate, I'm off to bed, but I thank you again for humoring me. Take my suggestions or not; I think what you're making is pretty and promising.
- Jackpot 06:24, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
I still think this is all entirely unnecessary and find the current format entirely sufficient. --KilMichaelMcC 05:39, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
There's been grumbling for awhile about finding a better way of diaplaying information specific to really high-density disambigs. Nothing needs to be decided now, but it's a useful discussion to have. (And yeah, that means that you saying you don't think it's necessary is useful-- the amount of benefit derived from any new layout would have to offset the negative karma is it being different, and thus less consistent.)
I'd just like to point out that TM2 Prowl shows up in "Withered Hope"... and it's cameos like that that is the reason I'm against "range". It's deceiving as well, as TM2 Prowl was NOT "active" for ten years. He had a toy for one, then did nothing anywhere for nine... and then barely did anything again. --M Sipher 13:35, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, and late G1 guys like Action Masters who didn't make fiction appearances until the modern comics could end up listed as "1989-2008" or some such, as if they were being used the entire time. That wouldn't really make a lot of sense. While I still oppose this whole idea, if changes are made the years listings should be dropped entirely. --KilMichaelMcC 01:27, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
Well- first appearance year would be kept, right? We use that on long disambigs already. -Derik 01:52, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

WOWWiki?

Can anyone tell me why I have a message bar on the top of every page from the WOWWiki that I can't get rid of, even though I've never been there before? --Xaaron 03:13, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

I've got that too. It's quite annoying. I didn't even have any idea what GuildWiki was about. --KilMichaelMcC 06:12, 7 June 2008 (UTC)
They just merged their database, and clearly things are Fucked Up. This far I have gotten unhelpful advice that will clearly not solve the problem. -Derik 06:44, 7 June 2008 (UTC)
It got so annoying to me that I hid all user messages. It's just visually coded too prominently, i can't not read it each tiem the page loads, and it's incredibly obnoxious.
http://www.wikia.com/wiki/User:Derik/global.css .usermessage{display:none;}
Note: This should be considered a short-term solution until Wikia fixes things, because it stops you from receiving necessary messages too. I think i could rig it globally so the message notice would only show up if you have messages on this wimi... but I'd need an Admin's help, and we'd probably only do that if Wikia doesn't fix the problem soonish. -Derik 09:16, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

Dumb question, probably

I remember there being transformers that could combine together to make one big kick-ass transformer. Did I imagine this? If it is true, do they still make them? Could I obtain a set? Thanks, Stimmlerjohnson 03:16, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

See Combiner. They do occasionally still make them, or rerelease old ones.--RosicrucianTalk 03:22, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

Thank you, that is exactly what I needed to know.Stimmlerjohnson 16:22, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

Ads

so, it looks like Wikia is changing the way the wikis look a bit, and one of the things that looks potentially harmful to our wiki is advertisements in the top right OF THE ARTICLES, pushing down the main image. For Characters and stuff, it is gonna suck having the pic that shows us what character we are looking at needs to be scrolled down too. I don't suppose we have a choice in the matter, so what are we gonna do to avoid our articles looking bad?

i'm gonna miss the way the wiki looks now, its hot. :(--Skyglide 00:13, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Wow, this looks terrible. And it comes just a month after the last hideous change, so I figure by fall this place will look crappier thna About.com. Why the hell have I been giving Wikia free content if they're going to present it like this? How much money can they need? And how can they really think this will keep ad revenue sustainably high when it's guarandamnteed to drive people away? Chip 00:52, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

Hey, Wikia guys, please try a little harder and find a place to put new OMG PRECIOUS ads other than inside the damn articles themselves.--Thylacine 2000 01:53, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

Okay, I just opened the Nova Prime page, and was greeted by a John McCain campaign banner between the title and the disamgs. This gotta go. --Xaaron 11:15, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Firefox.
Adblock Plus.
("This has got to go" would be a pretty decent McCain campaign slogan if he hadn't gotten into bed witht he greepy people he crusaded against.) -Derik 11:17, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

While seconding what Derik just typed, the following code, added to http://www.wikia.com/wiki/User:YOURUSERNAME/global.css (replacing YOURUSERNAME with your login name here - you can log in there with the same username) appears to zap all the ads on Wikia regardless of browser. For now, at least - SanityOrMadness 15:33, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

I actually thought the last change was pretty nice (well, we made it the best it could be with the colors and that banging name thing with the 'shopped animated logo.). but this new one makes me want to drink bleach. It looks terrible. Ads IN the articles? what has this world come too!? damn you wikia! why hath thou forsaken us!?!?!?--Skyglide 19:40, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

#adSpace0 {display:none !important}
#adSpace1 {display:none !important}
#adSpace2 {display:none !important}
#adSpace3 {display:none !important}
#adSpace4 {display:none !important}
#adSpace5 {display:none !important}
#adSpace6 {display:none !important}
#adSpace7 {display:none !important}
#adSpace8 {display:none !important}
#adSpace9 {display:none !important}
#adSpace10 {display:none !important}
#adSpace11 {display:none !important}
#adSpace12 {display:none !important}
#adSpace13 {display:none !important}
#adSpace14 {display:none !important}
#adSpace15 {display:none !important}
#adSpace16 {display:none !important}
#adSpace17 {display:none !important}
#adSpace18 {display:none !important}
#adSpace19 {display:none !important}
#adSpace20 {display:none !important}

.widget WidgetAdvertiser {display:none !important}
.WidgetAdvertiser {display:none !important}

ARGH. How the hell am I supposed to get rid of these fucking ads in the articles? Galvanisation 11:06, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

You see that big block starting #adSpace0? Add that to User:Galvanisation/monaco.css (or, if you visit other Wikia wikis, adding it to http://www.wikia.com/wiki/User:Galvanisation/global.css should take care of them cross-Wikia - anyone else, substitute your own username for Galvanisation, obviously).
Firefox/AdBlock is another alternative. - SanityOrMadness 11:38, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
"You see that big block starting #adSpace0?". Sweet! Excellent work guys. Drmick 09:52, 20 June 2008 (UTC)


I just talk to a staff ask if the damn ads could become hideable by clicking on a "x" mark on it. She say she will take the advise to other staff in the next meeting this weekend. Wish us luck. --TX55TALK 12:28, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

Character Main Images, MTMTE, TF: Universe, boxart and stuff

Some of you may know I've been uploading UK G1 covers, after a bit of debate {see above} as to how these should be presented. One of the biggest sources of debate I see on the character pages is on the choice of main image. When I first started I was told that only one main image is picked. I have yet to determine the logic as to how the choice is made between the various images. I assumed it was all round quality. However the articles on Grimlock, Bludgeon and Springer prove that the (non-controversial?) humour can the main deciding factor.

The UK G1 covers have been put into galleries at the bottom of the UK story pages. Is there any reason a similar structure could not be adopted for the profile images? As I understand it the following profile images are out there:

  • Box art (it rules! We need a book of them, dammit Hasbro/Takara, wall scroll will not suffice!)
  • MTMTE (some are excellent, some defecacious)
  • Character models/Marvel Universe Images
  • Some Japanese character models from later series

Am I missing any?

As well, a cover gallery could be included to show all the covers each character has graced, these images mostly already exist on the wiki. It might too big a gallery for Prime and Megs, but it could be useful for some. I mean Windsweeper got a whole (admittedly crap) UK G1 cover for himself.

With this whole new ad/skin it might be a useful way to collect the main images. Thoughts? Drmick 12:26, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

Guys it would have nice to been told "No" before I spent maybe an hour scanning and editing MTMTE art. I mean the "Combiner dumb question" and the "Unicron trilogy designs" questions gained a response, yet a question about wiki policy (which is, like, what the community portal is for) did not. "Dumb stubbies"...... Drmick 10:58, 21 June 2008 (UTC)
Yeah sorry, but at the moment the I would guess the entire staff and the major contributors (except myself) are discussing the problems Wikia's new changes have made and debating if we should move or not. And besides, people's talk page questions get ignored all the time. --FFN 11:40, 21 June 2008 (UTC)
If you had enough presence of mind to ask if people wanted such a collection of images in the first place, you only have yourself to blame if you went ahead and did all the work for it before you got a response. --Xaaron 14:01, 22 June 2008 (UTC)
Additionally, scanning every single MTMTE image is, well, illegal. It's no better than scanning every single page of a comic and putting it up here. --ItsWalky 14:07, 22 June 2008 (UTC)

Userpage limits

Can we start making some hardline limits on userpage fluff? This isn't fucking MySpace. One, maybe two images and that's it. Limited text (with limited exceptions made if people really want to start listing big contributions they've done). I'm frankly getting sick of the Recent Changes page getting cluttered with COMPLETELY usless mass vanity-edits. --M Sipher 14:04, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

We definately need to lay down the law. I've seen this on Wookieepedia. People who are here to edit their userpages are wasting our time. -- SFH 19:33, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
Very yes to everything. The content not related to the Wiki itself should be minimal; nobody here particularly cares for your personal style, information, or opinions that are irrelevant to the Wiki. —Interrobang 04:02, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
I thought I remembered from signing up that we actually have a thing saying you only get to upload one userpic for yourself. (Or is this about the guys who just play with existing wiki pages on their userpage? -Derik 04:43, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
Some examples of the worst offenders would be helpful in this argument. When I first found this wiki, like most, I waded in with little regard for the rules. I was curtailed, but still was able to get some stuff of my chest with the use of Userpage and sandboxes. My userpage has some stuff but it is specifically TF related.
On a similar vein, I notice that the big hitters here seem to be Derik, FFN, ITswalky etc. I have often looked at those users pages in the hope that I can get a feel for which type of fan they are (e.g predominantly a fan of toy/comic/cartoon or G1/Japanese/Beast Wars or Marvel/DW/IDW etc etc). No such information exists, but I think it would be useful. And oddly, M Siphers page is essentially blank, but his discussion page is not. In theory, a suitable userpage might pre-empt a lot of unnecessary discussion. Personally, I ended up having a discussion about my homage sandbox in 3 different places. Drmick 10:31, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
My userpage tells you I am the type of user not the be emulated, since I am TT1's most banned active contributer!
In all seriousness, you raise a legitimate point. My userpage is a collection of stuff useful to me as I edit pages. We've rejected character box templates, but I think it might be worthwhile to look at a template to create a 'nutshell' summary for users, for the very reasons you say. -Derik 13:40, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
I think it would be useful for the staff members to identify themselves as such on their user pages if they haven't already done so. --FFN 16:18, 22 June 2008 (UTC)

Unicron Triolgy Transformer designs

Energon ironhide recolor.png

Who else thinks that Transformers Animated should feature the Unicron Trilogy Transformer cartoon graphics? Now THOSE were good looking transformers, not these new age transformers. Armada had the good graphic designs. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Racecarlock (talkcontribs).

Sorry, this isn't a message board/forum. This page is for discussing Wiki policy. --FFN 08:43, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
Hmmmm.... Does anybody else feel that this wiki could do with a dedicated forum? It would certainly be more user friendly, searchable and archivable than the discussion pages. Drmick 10:33, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
Walky, to clarify that (in case you missed his point,) Wikis can be set up with, like, talk pages that (in some manner I'm vague about) are friendlier for high-volume discussion. -Derik 13:44, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
If the original post is an example of the kind of discussion we'd be looking forward to, then no thanks. --ItsWalky 14:50, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
A-damn-greed. --M Sipher 16:00, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
No. But hot damn, we need to put that fluffy marshmallowy Ironhide SOMEWHERE. -hx 15:09, 21 June 2008 (UTC) (hey, guys! i'm in an internet cafe on my honeymoon! - it's 7 AM here, before you start in with WHY AREN'T YOU FUCKING YOUR WIFE.)
WHY AREN'T YOU KILLING YOUR LONELY?! --FortMax 15:53, 21 June 2008 (UTC)
It's one of Sally's stuffed toys. She has a stuffed "Softimus Prime" too, which still looks less fat than the real thing. -Derik 16:32, 21 June 2008 (UTC)

Section re-linking

While updating the characters featured in Spotlight: Cyclonus, I noticed that some used the anchor to the "IDW comics continuity" section for that character, while some didn't. So I thought, maybe it's a good idea to link IDW stuff to other other IDW stuff (if available). For example, On G1 Cyclonus's page, there is a "IDW comics continuity" section that describes his actions in IDW comics. Within that section, he has interacted with Ultra Magnus, Hound, etc, so I made the links for them anchor to Ultra Magnus and Hound. Detour didn't seem to like this, so I thought I'd post it here for a discussion. --MistaTee 20:01, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

I'm generally in favor of linking to specific sections, where appropriate. For instance, toys in particular I always link as specifically as possible (such as here). But I don't usually bother with fiction-sections, since I think it'd be a huge pain in the ass to do all the time. Also, there's been no naming convention established for the various branches of fiction, so section-titles have been known to change according to personal taste. Or maybe a character makes new appearances in different continuities, and what used to be general section-titles have to become more specific. So there'll be a certain amount of windmill-tilting involved in maintaining the links you make. All in all, if you feel like putting the effort into it, I say knock yourself out, but I don't see a need to do it, myself. - Jackpot 20:26, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
There are 6,578 articles on this wiki. Even if we assume an average of 10 links per page (and I think that's low balling it), that would mean somewhere around 65,000 individual links on this site would need to be updated from "X" to "X#The Relevant Subheading". That's a bottomless black hole of pain and despair. I think we should just trust visitors' scrolling abilities, and let them find the specific subheading on a page themselves. --Xaaron 21:50, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
Well like I said earlier, this is not high on the priority list, but I'll just fix as I see them, and I'm only gonna do the IDW links right now. One benefit I've come across while doing this is making the header "IDW comics continuity" consistent in caps, spelling, etc. If I notice anything else weird I usually fix too. I've touched lot of pages throughout the site, but I tend to "specialize" in the comic section. MistaTee 23:23, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
What I'm saying, though, is that this isn't something that should "only" be done for IDW comics, or even "only" for the comic sections in general that you "specialize" in. This is a radically different idea for how links should be created and maintained on the site, and so should be accepted completely and done everywhere on every link, or not done at all. I strongly disapprove of the idea of you just doing this to IDW links and any other link you happen to come across. That's just so...random and incomplete. --Xaaron 00:15, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
Exactly what Xaaron said. If we do it for one, we have to do it for all. It'd ridiculous, pointless and more trouble than it's worth. Just because it's a section you happen to be editing doesn't mean you can dictate unique linking conventions for it. --Detour 01:29, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

I'm I reading Hot Rod's article, and I see it mention his teammate Gizmo, and I click on that link-- and it snaps me down to the IDW fiction section... I'd get irritated. I didn't click on that link to see a representation of the exact same info I already read in Hot Rod's article (the events of their fateful mission,) I clicked on it to find out who the heck he was, which is up at the top of the article.

Especially in fiction section... I think a link to- "Along with Character X..." or "He fought character X..." while it would seem to make sense (from a contextual standpoint) to link to the equivalent of this 'spor' in their article... in actual use, you will very infrequently desire that functionality.

So basically, I think there's some really good reasons not to do it aside from the technical and logistical problems it would entail.

(I actually had an interesting idea about how to encourage better section naming conventions passively, without being actively obnoxious about it. But it's not-yet-ready-for-primetime.) -Derik 01:42, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

I can see the point of it being a monster to complete, and agree that if it's done for IDW, it should be done for every section (at least fictions) -- a large undertaking. I'll put a hold on doing it until I see some more positive opinions. I didn't hit that many pages, maybe 30 or so where I did this. I do think we need to be more careful/consistant about naming conventions though and would like to hear Derik's ideas.--MistaTee 01:56, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

This conversation has seemed to spawn a drive to do away with ALL section-linking, which I think is uncalled for. In the case of toys, it seems perfectly reasonable to me to link directly to the toy in question. Whereas the fiction-links are about the character as a whole (including the intro), every toy-link is about one specific toy. I see no value in adding a step of effort for the reader. The argument that we would then need to immediately update every toy-link ever is ridiculous. It's okay to have a preferred style and an acceptable style. To my mind, a direct toy-link should be preferred, while a link to just the page is acceptable. - Jackpot 20:28, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

Why? Does your finger hurt too much from clicking the first link to click the second link in the table of contents? Besides, this is a character-based wiki. What if someone looks at the Universe listing and sees, say, Storm Cloud, and think "I wonder if he's a new character or a totally obscure guy I totally missed...." and clicks the link. Well he ends up at the far bottom of the article where the toy is listed and has to scroll all the way back up to find out anything about the character. I think section-linking should only be applied for specific references, like New Rodimus's mention on the Brave page, or the reference to Mirage's legs on Sunstreaker's Universe toy caption, because clearly in those cases you need that very specific reference. --Detour 20:35, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
And in a list of specific toys in a specific toyline, those links clearly need that specific reference as well. The list of toys in a toyline isn't ABOUT the characters. It's about the toys. It's not a list OF characters. Here's a question: Does your finger hurt too much from scrolling back up? --ItsWalky 20:38, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
If it's so useful, why has it only been done to the Classics and Universe articles then? If you were such a supporter of this you'd be implementing it on all the Toyline pages. --Detour 20:43, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
I am also a proponent of every single page on the wiki being completed, and just because I don't spend my every waking moment doing such does not mean I am against the idea. Because I personally don't have time to do something is not a reason for me to delete the efforts of others who are doing the right thing. You're ridiculous. --ItsWalky 20:49, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
dont have time? guess its true since staring out the window for three days straight waiting for a package and doing four little comics a week is soooooooooooooooooooooo time consuming! especially with all of wiigii giving you ideas for the comics—The preceding unsigned comment was added by 85.195.119.14 (talkcontribs) 04:41, 17 July 2008.
Oh wow, I think Walky's e-mail buddy found the wiki.--RosicrucianTalk 04:56, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
TF has more than 700 episodes, 3 movies, 500+ comic books, thousands of toys, at least 5 novels probably over 100 short prose stories (often featuring dozens of characters that may appear nowhere else...)
In case you've missed it, in order to document TV series, comics, and characters, this wiki has over 6000 articles. Even though we often have 1 article for comics containing multiple stories or story-arcs that were told over many issues, or place truly minor characters in a sub-section of someone else's page instead of giving them their own. The sheer scope involved is mind-boggling. There is a fundamental upper limit to how much one person can make a dent into that. The Optimus Prime (G1) article probably represents hundreds of man-hours of work-- and it's still nowhere near "completionist," both the Cartoon and comic sections are just rough overviews of about 2 pages each.
Each person does what they can, places their efforts where they feel they get the most return. One of the constant struggles we've had (and wikipedia has) is how much formatting we can, or should mandate. You can require as much detailed-linking and anal-retentive cross-footing as you want... but either people are going to ignore it (and you have to decide whether to undo their not-up-to-snuff updates or mark them as 'in need of improvement,'- knowing the parts you're marking are the ones people least like to do and thus will languish incomplete,) or people are going to be so intimidated by the stack of prerequisites you places before them if they want to contribute... that they won't contribute at all. "It's not worth my hassle."
Walky think linking to toy sections from articles about toyline is a good idea- but as an ideal, not a requirement. I think it's a terrible idea for functional reasons (when I click on a character list, I don't want to be akin to information about their fucking toys,) and practical ones- it's not gonna get done. And if it is done, it'll be in a shoddy manner, like the links to Bumblebee (G1)#Classics that a) link to the wrong article. b) don't distinguish WHICH Classics toy this link is supposed to refer to. We both agree that the proposal is completely ridiculous- but he wants to aspire to it, and I think we'd do more damage (sloppy mis-linking in this case) in the aspiration than we would good.
...but why am I explaining this to you? You're just here to troll David. Okay, here; David Willis eats his own poop. You satisfied? Good, now go away. -Derik 05:20, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
Detour, we haven't implemented it on every toy section page because we obviously haven't gotten around to doing it Have ya noticed all the work this wiki still needs to have done? I don't think it hurts to make this place more user-friendly. We place too much emphasis on how we can easily navigate this place. Believe it or not, the TF Wiki can be confusing for people who aren't familiar with wikis or who aren't regular visitors. And Walky is right - people who look at toyline pages are searching for the specific toy, not the character history. --FFN 20:53, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
I was the one who added toy section-links to Classics (2006), so why haven't I done more? Well, every time I've edited a toy section in any article, I have linked to specific toys; that just hasn't been as visible. And I haven't gone on a link-changing crusade because this new method just builds on the old, it doesn't invalidate it. I prefer section-links; that doesn't make the old article-links WRONG. Change like this can happen slowly; it's okay. But when you start undoing people's work in the name of a rule that never existed, THEN we sit up and take notice. - Jackpot 21:06, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
I'm re-iterating my reasons stated above for why I think section-linking is a bad idea. If I'm on the Beast Wars Telemocha Series page and I click on Wolffang- it's because I'm curious why such a minor character was included in the anniversary line. Directing me to the toy section means I'm more likely to miss "And he's a new character created for this," which is the info I was looking for.
I often click on dozens of links that look interesting as a surf, openign them in new tabs and then going through them when I have a chance. Having those tabs open in mi middle or articles is incredibly disorienting. "I was reading the Hot Rod article, and I clicked on a link to a Transformer called 'Dealer,' who I'd never heard of before. 10 minutes later I'm getting around to going through my tabs-- and I'm in the middle of an IDW fiction section and I have no idea what character I'm reading ABOUT."
Yes, I agree, there are some circumstances where linkign to specific sections is appropriate, even beneficial... but I think those circumstances are very, very rare and should never be done as a matter or routine. -Derik 23:48, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
And more tot he point in the very article we're discussing- there are two 'Bumblebee' links. The first links tot he 'Classics' section of his toys. The Second (due to a fuck-up) links to the classics FICTION section. Because the anchor was applied blindly and not checked.
The negligence involved aside-- if the point is to link to 'that toy' on the toy page-- you've failed. You've linked to his Classics Section, which includes multiple toys. Both links should be directed to named anchors created using the {{anchor}} template.
And the "Well you just need to scroll down a little bit" argument doesn't cut it. By that logic we should jsut be linkign to the page with no sections at all. -Derik 23:55, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

Well, here's a thought. What if we have a direct-subsection/anchor-link thing on top of linking to the top of the character page? So, when you say "toy X is a redeco of Y*", Y is a link to the character page, while * direct-links to the relevant subsection or anchor point of that page. --M Sipher 06:31, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

You mean like "Bumblebee - (toy)" ? A double link? (Though presumably with a more compact markup than that.) -Derik 06:39, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
Something like that, though probably a top-justified one like the reference/footnote links. Maybe in a tiny gray box like the storylinks. I definitely think that when you say a toy is a redeco of a toy of a character who has a dozen or so toys to their name, usually under a single franchise name, a specific jump to THAT toy is damn well in order. --M Sipher 06:44, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
That is one circumstance when I think linking directly to a toy-section is a good idea-- "This mold got recolored into..." If I'm clicking on that link I'm probably curious what the recolors look like. "Whut? They recolored Landmine into Rhinox? What does that look like?" -Derik 07:28, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

Section naming conventions

I see MistaTee asked for more information about an idea I had for encouraging better naming conventions used for headers... like 3 weeks ago, but I just noticed it so...

There's this... thing under CSS 2.1. It allows you to apply styles, (and even add some content) based on some really specific conditions, such as the names of headers Basically my proposal is that if you get a header 'right,' an icon appears next the header. Like- "Marvel UK [icon]." (The icon in this case might be something denoting a comic book. In another instance a TV... or something.)

The idea is to encourage editors to get titles 'right' by training them to kook for the icon that's an indicator that "Yay, you've lived up to our best practices in naming conventions!" The icons themselves could be useful for scanning long fiction sections. "Okay, here's the cartoon stuff I wanted." But if they're not there... it doesn't negatively impact usability in any way. People with older browsers wouldn't see them- but they'd still reap the ephemeral benefits of their existence in that they would encourage a greater overall consistency in section naming conventions.

This is a test file where I was messing with the idea. Just paste the following text into your monaco or monobook file.

@import "http://www.emopanda.com/tmp/monaco-testbed2.css";

Uh, this is a test file so I've got other stuff going on too. Ignore that. As you can see, instead of icons after the header I've got text-bits before them. It's atest file.

But just for example, the (TV) flag is currently visible by any header ending in "cartoon," "cartoon continuity," "Cartoon continuity, "animated series," or "anime." All 5 are used, frequently, with no real 'leader' more common than the others. Comics are worse.

This example uses end-matching because I wasn't interested in creating a list to match every cartoon series, let alone comic. But this system could be used to match full titles. So "Armada cartoon" would get the little (TV) icon after it, but "Armada anime" or "Armada animated series," or "Armada cartoon continuity" would not.

I feel like this would be a good approach to take because it's subtle, and unlike other initiatives it doesn't require a massive updating spree- I think that as you were editing articles it'd just become the natural thing to do to get the names 'right,' and as awareness of a clear standard emerges (instead of the many, many different markups we use now,) I think people would get used to seeing the section headers formatted that way and would use that formatting without any outside encouragement.

It degrades well, it doesn't place an unfair burden on editors, and even if we adopt this standard... there's really nothing stopping you from using a non-standard section name if that's what the bill calls for. Nothing breaks, the article isn't suddenly less usable... it's just a very gentle push towards conformity that (I think) would be pretty darn effective over time. -Derik 10:33, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

These sort of changes should really be announced more prominantly. I noticed some of our contributors have been changing the section headings lately without explaining themselves. I didn't know what was going on so I changed things back, only for somebody to tell me that's not very useful. What's not very useful? --FFN 11:03, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
I don't know the sections your refering to so I can't say. I do know we decided that the preferred section name for an animated series was "[series name] cartoon," about a year ago- but many other markups are still in use, and I don't know of any other naming standards we've adopted.
If the above proposal was adopted by the wiki, I assume we'd have a Help article detailing the correct naming standard in addition to the visual cues.
It's weird- for the longest time no one read or cared about the help or orientation articles, (since we were evolving the standards as we went, everyone knew them because they'd been there for their development) but I've begin to notice that as the wiki picks up new users... they actually read these things (incomplete patchwork though they be) and seem to demonstrate some awareness of what policies we have laid out vs. which ones we have not. (I suppsoe this is why a proper help/intro document is on Steve-o's wishlist for the move to the new server.) -Derik 12:48, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

Yu-Gi-Oh! Deformers

Since there will be Yu-Gi-Oh! cards based off Transformers (known as Deformers), I was wondering about including them into the site. EHeroDarkNeos 20:41, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

I'm gonna go ahead and vote no, since they don't sound to me like actual Transformers. We don't have pages for the Gobots characters and whatnot, after all. Jeep! 20:45, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
I figured we should include them as their concept is similar to the Real Gear robots. And yes, there are Gobots pages EHeroDarkNeos 20:53, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
I thought Yu-Gi-Oh! merchandise was produced by Bandai, and this is a Hasbro franchise. I wouldn't include it. (I do however think that Deformers would be an insult by a Geewunner for Animated, on an unrelated note.)Metal Gear NOIZE 20:57, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
How would the CARDS be an insult to a Geewunner? Besides, the cards are made by KONAMI EHeroDarkNeos 20:59, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
I meant that I envisioned that a Geewunner would reffer to Animated as Deformers, due to the art style. However, unless the Deformers in question are officialy involved in the Transformers brand in some way (Like a crossover), I wouldn't add it. G.I Joe characters have pages because of the crossovers that the comics have done, but until we see some sort of melding into each other's canon, I wouldn't have it.Metal Gear NOIZE 23:36, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

There are Gobots pages for those Gobots which have crossed over into or had cameos in Transformers fiction. We also have other pages for the Hudson Soft and Konami characters from DreamMix TV: World Fighters, but that's because they appeared in an officially licensed game that contained Transformers characters. Are you seeing the linkage here? These characters are listed because they were involved in actual official releases for the Transformers brand, and thus are appropriate for inclusion. Yu-Gi-Oh is right out.--RosicrucianTalk 22:32, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

I see what you mean but why don't you go here just to see what I'm talking about. EHeroDarkNeos 23:21, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
As Hasbro is fond of clarifying, Transformer != transforming robot.--RosicrucianTalk 23:23, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
Right. We don't have M.A.S.K. in here either. These have nothing to do with Transformers. --Thylacine 2000 23:25, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
Nor is it really appropriate for, say, a Pokemon wiki to cover Digimon or Monster Rancher, in spite of any thematic similarities.--RosicrucianTalk 23:30, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

I don't even know why we're even having this dicussion in the first place. These Deformers don't even remotely look like anything from Transformers. Besides, why would we include pages for them on this site? This is the "Transformers Wiki", not the "Anything-That-Transforms-in-Any-Fiction wiki". The point is, those are Yu-Gi-Oh! monsters, whcih have abosolutely no connection to any Transformers fiction. Just because they can transform, doesn't mean they're "Transformers". Sabrblade 00:11, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

Wave info?

Something we might want to start adding to toy entries... what "waves" the toys shipped in. Naturally, this will be easier for modern stuff. But I think it wouldn't be a bad idea at all to see "oh, Animated Jazz came out as part of Wave three, shipped through four and five". (I just made that 4/5 part up, but you get the idea). --M Sipher 20:11, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

Is it just me or is TF wiki's Monaco layout screwy when viewed in IE? The Teletraan logo in the upperlefthand corner gets covered by the searchbox and navigation bar. But when I view this page in Firefox, it's perfect, all right. I can see the logo. Isn't anyone the least bit concerned? --Destron Commander 03:57, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

He's not wrong. Damnit- I REVIEWED the code in IE before we put it up. Has Wikia changed their behavior again? :p -75.168.120.209 04:00, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
Uh- that was me. Not logged in on IE apparently. -Derik 04:00, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

"Cite Your Sources" Template?

Pardon if I'm asking this in the wrong place or if I've overlooked something obvious, but...is there some sort of user message template that asks a user to cite sources for their news-type contributions? There are always some people who could stand to have the message burned into their scalps delivered to them.--Apcog 08:51, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

AFAIK, All we've got is a (rather skimpy) policy page underlining that we think being RIGHT as opposed to "how you vaguely remember" is important. -Derik 09:09, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
I suppose that'll do for now, but something more pithy in the form of a message box might be worth considering.--Apcog 12:38, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

+/- number in watchlist

What is the +/- number in the watchlist? example: 11:34 Talk:Universe (2008 franchise) (diff; hist) . . (+290) . . SanityOrMadness—Starfield 17:05, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

Number of characters added or deleted. (If I were feeling wittier right now, I'd make some sort of Furman joke.) - Jackpot 17:27, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

Henkei?

Now do we list these to their respective character pages? I haven't seen them listed on here yet. After all they are different from the Hasbro classics releases and I think we should list them. So should we star listing them and if not, why not?Dead Metal 16:34, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

They aren't ALL listed yet, but some are. See Bumblebee or Hot Rod for an example. --Sntint 16:46, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
Oh OK, I'll go and add some myself then.Dead Metal 19:09, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Tech spec numbers, again

I'd brought this up a long time back... and if we're going to move and revamp, now seems like a good time to bring it up. It might be a good idea to find some way of adding the Tech Spec numbers to the toy listings... it feels kinda odd to not have them, since they are "hard" numbers. Perhaps a "base stats" template can be worked up? One that incorporates the name, type, release year, ID numbers, accessory listings, and the tech specs all in one simple, non-elaborate graphic block? --M Sipher 00:22, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

I'd be for it. I created something similar at template:attacktix which wouldn't be hard to adapt.--RosicrucianTalk 00:25, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
I can't say I care for the tech spec numbers either way, but I'm intrigued in the idea of inserting all of a toy's information into its unique visual area. Maybe something like a filecard, with the image of the toy on either side? —Interrobang 00:28, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
I'd sooner keep the image separate if possible, for a few reasons... not the least of which being that the amount of info per toy varies wildly, not to mention the picture dimensions. --M Sipher 00:59, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

Article structure: comic vs. cartoon

Note: This conversation was moved from Talk:Gone but Not Forgotten!.

I'm not sure if there's a better place to bring this up, but the style guide uses this page as the archetypal example for all comic articles, so it seemed appropriate. I've noticed that the structure of the average cartoon article (again, linking to the style guide's example) has a more versatile "Notes" section, and I wonder if it would do us well to imitate it in the comic pages. For instance, I added an entry to the "Errors" section of The Gathering issue 4 that I really felt like putting under "Continuity errors," had it existed. Having seen cartoon articles fill out, I do think there's a substantive difference between art errors and continuity errors, between real-world references and Transformers references and mere miscellania... and why shouldn't comics have a "Quotes" section? - Jackpot 16:59, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

I basically agree on all levels. --M Sipher 17:07, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
Cool. For the record, if we do get a general consensus on this, I'll say right now that I don't have the time or gumption to actually make this change. But I figured I'd run it up the ol' flagpole. - Jackpot 17:12, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
Agree but I think continuity errors should be separated out between those within a story (e.g. a character being shown in a location when the story has them elsewhere) and continuity errors between stories (as these are often contentious as to whether they're an error in the first place). Timrollpickering 17:13, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
I think a lot of the within-the-story errors like your example would end up covered under an "Art errors" section (which would replace "Animation errors"). In fact, comics should probably get an additional section for notable typos, inappropriate narration, etc.... I'd say "Writing errors," but that sounds too broad. "Script errors," maybe? I think that would leave "Continuity errors" free to cover the more nebulous story tangles. - Jackpot 17:27, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
Thinking about continuity, perhaps we should have a continuity-note at the top of comic articles (related to the "next/previous issue" box?) that indicates where the story fits into chronology if the series numbering isn't enough information. I'm considering specifically the Spotlight issues. If I hadn't been keeping up to date this whole time, I'd probably be quite confused about it all, since even IDW's sub-numbering system falls short (and now they're abandoning it entirely). I would welcome a resource that could tell me the "real order" of all the IDW issues. Publication date is the most objective standard I can think of. This could certainly apply to other series as well, like Marvel's Headmasters and G.I. Joe and the Transformers. In fact, now I'm thinking of two continuity-notes: the publication-order one at that top (indicating what the previous- and next-published issues were, regardless of numbering), then a timeline-order one in the Notes ("This story takes place between X Story and Y Story") for in-universe chronology, to further clarify things like the Spotlight issues that are set in the past. How do these ideas sound? - Jackpot 17:36, 13 July 2008 (UTC)
What about stories that past and present events in them. The Shockwave Spotlight takes place mostly in the past, but ending is in the (then) present. Of course the IDW timeline page attempts to make sense of it all. --MistaTee 18:39, 13 July 2008 (UTC)
The in-fiction continuity note could be as specific and multifaceted as necessary. A lot of pages already have them; this would just be a formalization of the process. But I don't want to get sidetracked on that idea too much, since it's not key to what I'm really getting at: Let's take the Headmasters cartoon. I've never seen the show, so when Chris McFeely wrote summaries of all the episodes, I loved being able to just click-click-click from one to the next and read through the whole series. That's one of the best things this wiki has to offer, as far as I'm concerned. But if I tried to do the same for the IDW comics, the current navigation would skip right over the Spotlights, Megatron Origin, Avengers crossover, and whatever the hell other minis, spin-offs, and what-have-yous IDW will make in the future. I see no reason why we shouldn't add a publication-date nav that can guide the reader through the entire run, unimpeded by IDW's numbering/titling madness. - Jackpot 01:33, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

Main Page

Hey guys, I'm Scott. As you know, the ads everywhere on the site have gone away for logged in users. The trade-off is that the front page will be getting a 300x250 box in the upper right hand corner to go along with the banner. I don't want Wikia to go out of business (I love free wikis too much!), so I've been going around to a bunch of wikis to help with that process. The 300x250 ad just for the front page will be turned on at some point this week, so to keep the front page from breaking, I've designed this update for you guys. What do you think? Ads will still be gone for logged-in users -- that's not changing (logged-in people will only see the front page ads, and that's it). I've been suggesting to wiki admins that they encourage their users to log in whenever they can so they don't see the ads. It's even possible to make login mandatory if you want. Anyway, I hope the ads being gone is cool with you guys. I just want to make sure that the front page looks okay with the new format; if they get turned on with the current layout, the front page will look crappy and I don't want that. Let me know what I can do to help! —Scott (talk) 23:27, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

That is a slight improvement, but when I make edits and lay out a page, I'd like that layout to be seen by more than 5% of the site's viewers. And locking viewing to only registered people is likewise counter to our purposes. Technically, we are putting this wiki together FOR those people who just come to browse. It is anti-user friendly. --ItsWalky 00:22, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
I hear ya, man. It's the best compromise we could get out of the deal. Personally, I'm just happy that I don't have to see the ads. I'll be putting up a sitenotice on some of my wikis encouraging people to log in rather than use adblock. In the meantime, is it okay if I migrate the mock-up? I know the change is coming soon, and I really don't want to see the front page break. I hope that's cool with you guys. Peace. —Scott (talk) 00:58, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
Hrm... an unbroken main page... or wikia looking slightly more like a car on bricks in your front lawn...
*contemplates the relative benefits*
This could take awhile. -Derik 02:25, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
The ads got turned on today for the front page, so I went ahead and moved some things so that the layout doesn't break. Ads are still gone for logged-in users on content pages. They only place you should see them if you're logged in is on the front page. I assume that layout is okay since no one objected to it on Monday, but of course feel free to do with it what you like. If you have any questions about the code, or if there's anything I can do to help, please let me know. Thanks guys! —Scott (talk) 17:24, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
Oh, there are objections. We just know that clearly, objections mean fuck-all, which is why we're doing that whole "leaving" thing, and Wikia can have a grand old time making their site more and more unreadable unimpeded by silly things like userbases. --M Sipher 17:46, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
Uhh, it looks to me like | something went wrong. Is it just me?--Inevitable Betrayal 17:53, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

Only checking your layout in Internet Explorer? Priceless.

*slow claps* And a jolly good job you did! Now the layout is broken in Safari and Firefox with or without adblock turned on. You have image blocking texts- and then ads pop up and block the text AND the image! That's like- a a fail so epic... it just might be a win!
But guess what it looks perfect it Internet Explorer! Yeah! *air guitar*
Tell me, do you all naturally suck this badly, or does Wikia give its people special training? -Derik 17:54, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
user:FortMax changed it back, so I think people are seeing different things. Can you clear your cache and check it again? —Scott (talk) 18:07, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
Really? the reversion was your clue that people were seeing different things? Not two different screencaps of the broken layout? -Derik 18:15, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
It's like they WANT us to leave. --ItsWalky 18:16, 17 July 2008 (UTC)


Hi guys. Here are screenshots of the front page as they look in four major web browsers.
Don't forget that you might have to clear your cache and disable AdBlock to see the front page properly. —Scott (talk) 18:26, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

Scott, while it's nice that you're going to communities to help them cope with the ads, we didn't ask for this help, and you changing things around without consensus is aggravating an already strained relation with Wikia staff. The fact that you seem to be ignoring us saying "no, we don't want this," from an admin here no less, is more than a little tone-deaf.--RosicrucianTalk 18:27, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

Hi, Rosicrucian. I'm sorry you feel that I'm ignoring you. I posted a draft of the new main page on Monday and met no opposition and saw no changes to the layout. When the ads were turned on today, I made sure the front page was in a layout that didn't look broken for people coming to the site without AdBlock on. If you'd like to use the old front page, that's certainly up to you. I'll post screenshots of what it looks like in the four major browsers to compare with the screesnhots of the new layout as seen above. Also, just want to remind you to clear your cache and disable AdBlock if you have it so you see what everyone else sees. —Scott (talk) 18:36, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
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