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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.--[[User:Rosicrucian|Rosicrucian]][[User Talk:Rosicrucian|<sup>Talk</sup>]] 21:45, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
 
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.--[[User:Rosicrucian|Rosicrucian]][[User Talk:Rosicrucian|<sup>Talk</sup>]] 21:45, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
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== Hate the new skin. ==
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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.

Revision as of 21:50, April 25, 2008

Archives

Continuity / Timeline

I'm trying to make some sense of how the various major continuities are handled, overview-wise. Some have their own continuity page; IDW's just got a timeline, with overview stuff shoved here and there among the individual miniseries. Some don't have anything. Some, like the G1 cartoon, are not much more than lists. The ones that exist tend to be hard to find, aren't categorized uniformly, etc... is there a master format for this stuff?—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Repowers (talkcontribs) 12:15, 29 October 2007.

There is no master format for continuity pages. Please feel free to make one! It would be a good thing to have! --Steve-o 00:55, show30 October 2007 (UTC)
You know, I think it would be hot if once we got more timelines up, we began putting Chronology links to the timetable on the story pages. Several Dreamwave comic pages have them, and I think IDW comics should too, since IDW really isn't telling the story in a linear fashion.--Zodberg 09:36, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
Sounds like a good idea. --MistaTee 13:51, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
Would it make sense to have an overview writeup at the start of each timeline, a few paragraphs or so? Or should "continuity" be a separate page? Where should a chronological list of issues go -- publisher's page, continuity page, timeline page? That's not such a problem with, say, Marvel G1, but Dreamwave's a little messier, IDW's all over the place, and gods help you if you want to sort out the mess that is Marvel UK. -- Repowers 14:29, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
A continuity page should have the following (in my opinion):
* A one-paragraph description of the continuity, not more than a few sentences long.
* A list of what media belongs to this continuity (which can include some stuff that's vaguely contradictory, but should exclude stuff that's way out there, like Earthforce relative to G1 comics). This can be sorted by publication order, or internal chronology, but if there's a major difference between the two, it should be spelled out.
* An overall description of the main events in that continuity, focusing on the events actually chronicled (not the distant past). In particular, for most continuities, changes in the leadership of either side, the changing status (living/dead, present/absent, duplicated by Straxus/encoded on a floppy, etc.)of the big two leaders (usually Optimus Prime and Megatron), any events involving Unicron or Primus, and introductions of major teams or groups of characters (Headmasters, Fuzors) should be in the summary.
* If necessary, a timeline, which may end up integrated with one of the above parts.
* Pointers to important and closely-related continuities (again, such as Earthforce), discussion of divergences, etc. JW 15:14, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
All that sounds pretty good, though I wouldn't get too hung up on following individual characters too much, even the leaders. In Marvel G1, at least, they changed over on a pretty regular basis.
On a related note... this and a lot of other overview-type pages are really lost in the shuffle. They should be top-level pages, with everything branching off of them and linking back to them, but instead they're buried and nothing links to them. You start off reading, say, the article on Spotlight: Soundwave. Where do you go from there to find out more? The IDW issues category? That's the only link out of that page. If you're a newcomer, or even someone with an imperfect memory, how do you know what comes next? Either the individual issue pages need to link to the timeline and continuity pages, or the category page does, or... something.
Taking care of it on the category page might be simplest, like what's on the Category:Marvel US issues page. -- Repowers 19:12, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
Yes, the site is sadly lacking in both "uplinks" and "sidelinks" for the media; links from a TV episode to the TV series, links from an issue of a comic to an overview of the comic, links from one comic to the next comic in that series, etc. JW 19:21, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
I'm still poking around and figuring out what's been done and what's needed; it might take a while to figure out how to start cleaning things up. It looks like we've got some random timelines started (still need ones for the Beast era and a few others), as well as continuity pages for some but not all of the major storylines, so I suppose each major continuity should have both kinds of pages. I wonder if there's a way to use a category or subcategory to get individual episode/issue pages to quickly link back to the main overview pages?... -- Repowers 19:28, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
JW, we do have that comics nav template, though I like the comic infobox on wikipedia more. --MistaTee 20:04, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
Ah... http://transformers.wikia.com/wiki/Template:Comicnav ...so we do. Very useful. Now we just gotta propagate it over a few hundred comic issue... :S -- Repowers 20:25, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
Also, the nav setup only can link up one level. So Infiltration #2 can link up to the main Infiltration page, but not to the IDW continuity page above that. Would putting a variant of this template on the main page for each miniseries, linking up to the continuity page, work instead? Then you're never more than two clicks away from an individual issue to the continuity overview. -- Repowers 20:25, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
That, or somehow add it to the main comicnav template, perhaps in small letters above the series name. I don't wanna step on anyone's toes though. --MistaTee 20:45, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
That'd make the most sense, to add a "Continuity" level to the template, or alternately a lower-end "Mini-series" option. But hell if I can make sense out of how these things work... that might be a rainy day project, figuring that out.  :\ -- Repowers 20:51, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

Image Copyrights

I asked awhile ago, and nobody seemed to know, so...

I've always been under the impression that images © someone else should be credited not just with a note that they belong to someone else, but a year, for much the same reasons we identify who the image belongs to rather than simply saying 'we don't own it, but it's fair use.' The more info we provide, the more 'seriously' the copyright is being taken. if we wipe our ass with an unadorned, {{fairuse}} clearly we don't think the holder of the copyright is important... or something.

I have a script I've been poking at. It can run through every image detail page on the wiki through a regular expression and pick out which images don't have copyright owners (Hasbro or Takara-- you're supposed to ID which even if you're using {{hastak}},) which don't have dates, and which don't have any sort of copyright notice at all. (A significant chunk of our images have no notices that they belong to someone else.) It could also drop the offending images into categories to be sorted out and properly labeled. (I imagine I'd give it Steve-o and let it do so logged in as the bot to avoid the update-floods.)

...is anyone interested in this? Does it seem like a good idea? Terrible idea? ...Bueler? -Derik 15:29, 7 December 2007 (UTC)


Cartoon Episode Format Mark II

Picking up an old thread here... per some changes I just finished making to all the Beast Era episode pages, IMO:

  • The one-line summary should be bold. It's the single most important thing on the page; your eye should leap right to it.
  • It should be the very first thing on the page, above the nav box (barring temporary templates like "pics needed".)
  • It should be free of links. They're distracting and ugly, and it's kinda absurd to think someone's going to click right off the summary to see what a "Maximal" or whatever is. Links can easily be integrated into the body of the plot summary.

I'd also rather see Quotes before Stats, to keep all the in-universe stuff together before moving to out-universe stuff like writers, air dates, commentary, order of appearance, etc. -- Repowers 00:13, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

I agree with all of this, except for the one-line summary being above the nav box. Pure personal preference, though, rather than any sort of functionality - I just don't like the way it looks. In fact, I think putting it below the nav box actually helps its notice-ability - it "frames" the summary quite nicely between the nav box and the contents box. - Chris McFeely 00:22, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
Heh, I see it the opposite way -- having the summary first provides a frame for the inevitable white space that accompanies the nav box. -- Repowers 06:24, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
Picking up on what I said above, putting the stats section down below not just the extended summary but now below the quotes section as well is something I strongly oppose. Episode writers do not get the recognition they deserve. We should not be burying their credits like that. That section belongs above the summary. --KilMichaelMcC 03:21, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
I do hear what you're saying, but honestly I'm less bothered by the recognition factor than by the inconsistency with comic format, where all that junk is up front (though it often looks pretty bad, IMO.) If it were just the writer credit, I'd be okay with having it up front (though I ain't gonna be the one who goes back through 78 Beast Era episode pages to change it!) But then you get into the odd condition of having that one bit of info up front, while the rest of the standard information external to the episode's events is much deeper in the article. Having much more stuff up front than that makes for a messy, unattractive, and harder-to-read format compared to having it all bundled in the Stats section... IMO, natch.
"If "recognition" is the concern, heck, think of the animators who slaved a lot more than the writers ever did to bring each episode to life. They get no credits at all. Neither does Robert Buckley, who provided music for both Beast series. The list goes on and on. -- Repowers 06:24, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
The information I am suggesting be up front would only be three lines (Written by, Directed by, air date), which I don't think would be very intrusive at all. To my mind, before the summary is the only logical place for this information to be presented, as episodes themselves generally present those two credits up front, and air date is a known factor when watching an episode when it debuts.
On the issue of recognition, you make a good point, however my concern is a bit different. Robert Buckley may not get a lot of recognition from the fandom for the music of Beast Wars, but it's not like they give someone else all the credit on that score, pun semi-intended. But the writers? The fandom often enough acts as if Forward and DiTillio wrote every single word of Beast Wars, and Skir (alone, of course, as the Isenberg Uncertainty Principle remains in full effect) the same for Beast Machines. The story editors are obviously the most important writers, but they didn't do it all on their own.
Burying the names of episode writers down below the summary and quotes sections just doesn't sit right with me, is all. --KilMichaelMcC 04:46, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
Hrm... combined with Steve-o's consistency argument, I suppose I could go along with doing it this way, with them all tucked together and separate from/below the one line summary. Written By and Air Date are in one little combined pair of lines now, an easy cut-n-paste to move up front. I don't think anyone's added Director credits to any of the episodes, by the by.
As I said, I'm in no great hurry to do it myself -- my main concern was that the Beast Era show pages had drifted into all sorts of different arrangements, some of which looked pretty sloppy. For better or worse, they're all uniform now. If we're gonna change the layout, let's work on getting one sample page just right, then we can worry about propagating it. To that end, have a look at "Chain of Command", see if it clicks for you. -- Repowers 05:33, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

I'm thinking if we could merge the Japanese title into the Stats section because it seems to fit the section better. --TX55 03:14, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

I don't have much of a preference, personally, about how to organize these things. However, I do feel pretty strongly that it should be more or less the same for both cartoon episodes and comic issues. Having different organizational schemes for different sorts of fiction doesn't serve much purpose, and makes things harder to get used to. (On the other hand, I also feel strongly that all of our passages relating fictional events should be in the same tense regardless of if they happen to be on a character page or a story page, but apparently that makes me insane, so don't take my pleas for consistency too seriously.) --Steve-o 02:35, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

Cartoon format mark II.5

Did we ever make a decision on whether to place the quotes area before the stats section? Because the sheer majority of episode articles (including old ones recently converted to current standards) place the stats before the quotes, but I notice some of the latest Cybertron episode articles are placing the quotes before the stats, which is creating inconsistencies in layout. Bear in mind it will create less work for us if we just leave things the way they are, with stats before quotes. --FFN 09:34, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

Cartoon continuity headings

Have we decided on a definative format for this yet? most of the pages with characters who appeared in Sunbow's G1 through to the japanese series (and maybe Beast Wars as well) have quite different headings, and I recall we were worried about Transformers Animated causing problems with all the 'Animated continuity' headings on character pages. --FFN 07:08, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

I think we had decided on using "cartoon" instead of "animated." So use "cartoon continuity," or for those who appear in more than one cartoon continuity, use "Generation 1 cartoon continuity," "Beast Wars cartoon continuity," etc. --ItsWalky 07:13, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
Can we have Diagnostic Drone change all occurrences of "Animated continuity" to "Cartoon continuity"? That'll require some cleanup in the Animated articles, but there are far fewer of those than there are of G1 subjects that are currently mislabeled. - Jackpot 17:54, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

Section-title master list

I've made a sandbox for the purpose of assembling a master list of all section titles, their relation to each other, and their proper wording/formatting. Please discuss; I've introduced some new ideas, and I'd love to see a consistent guide established. - Jackpot 01:04, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

Wow, I think this really look nice and useful. ;D --TX55 03:44, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

"First go here! Next go here."

I was thinking a bit about the various problems we've got around here -- stuff like incomplete image descriptions, orphaned articles, etc. There's really no one central place where a newcomer (or a regular who feels like doing something useful but doesn't know what) can go to find a quick list of things that need doing. The current help pages just send you to the list of articles in need of creation, which is kind of daunting, especially for a newcomer who has to learn a million standards and Wikia tags. Is there a more comprehensive way to point people in the direction of useful things they could be doing? Whatever it might be, it should include links to:

  • Pages in need of creation
  • Orphaned pages
  • Stubs
  • Pics needed
  • Any current projects, like the Beast Wars one. Hell, I couldn't find that thing if my life depended on it.

...as well as a note about common problems: dead/missing storylinks, incomplete image descriptions, and whatever else. (Heck, who knows? Maybe it could even distract an IP person long enough to prevent them from screwing with captions.... ahh, who'm I kidding?} -- Repowers 21:51, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

There are some of those things catalogued here, but I think making links to the most important of these categories, and placing them together in one easy-to-find link off the main page, would be best. Perhaps on the Help contents page, since it's linked right off the main page already, in the most logical location? I think that link is a bit small, for what it's worth. --Sntint 22:09, 30 January 2008 (UTC)
One of the projects in the back of my head is a help-page/guide specifically breaking down the creation of character pages, plus the use of "common templates" for them (disambigs, stubs, notes). I'll see if I can scrounge up some time to rough-copy one. --M Sipher 22:56, 30 January 2008 (UTC)


Other Maintenance Templates?

I haven't had much time to do more "substantial" wiki edits lately, but I've been prepping for later with the charstub sub-categories. Fiction really isn't my bag... I mean, I know it in general, but not issue titles and numbers and bla bla. But I figure it's also nice to have the "really needs a lot of stuff" pages separated from the "just needs some stuff in one subsection" ones, especially once I can make a concentrated effort to update the toy sections of various pages. I've been thinking about other similar "needs maintenance" template/categories, but I thought I'd bring it up here since I'm not sure who else might make use of them...
I've noticed quite a lot of pages missing storylinks. I'm not intending on going through a big wiki-wide hunt, but as I go through the stubs and other pages doing little maintenance and tweaks, well, I think I'd like to be able to mark pages I come across that are missing those links they should have. Picture and quote? Isaac Sumdac and/or Tutorbot, "I cannot believe I programmed you with such simplistic information!" (Idea courtesy of Trent Troop.)
I'd swear there was another one, but right now, too tired to think of it and must sleep. --M Sipher 06:53, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

Perhaps a tag for a page with too many damn redlinks for concepts that will never need articles?--RosicrucianTalk 07:08, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
I don't think that will be neccessary, as it's a simple matter of removing the [[ and ]]s. Storylinks, though, require some research. --M Sipher 15:40, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
I usually label such pages with {{stub|storylinks}}. JW 15:44, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
Trick is, often they're not really stubs, are they? the main info is there, there's just not a "where'd this happen?" link. And maybe it's the data-manager in me that says this, but I think it'd be a lot easier to have a common problem like lack of storylinks as a category all its own, all together for easy identification and maintenance. --M Sipher 16:11, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

Disambiguation

We need a consensus on hiw we handle disambuigation in article titles. We've had some moving between Silverbolt (BW) and Silverbolt (Fuzor), and Dirge (Timelines) and Dirge (Whatever the Botcon 05 set was) because there are two Silverbolts in BW and two Dirges in Timelines. However, since one of those Dirges and one of those Silverbolts are G1 characters, the (BW) and (Timelines) tags are fine for the other two. The tags are simply for keeping the articles separate; not for telling you what continuity they're in. Plus, (Timelines) is much easier to type than "(Botcon boxset name I can't remember)". --FortMax 23:35, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

Somewhat related to the discussion at Talk:Starscream (Timelines). My personal criteria is that a name used for two (or more) characters in the same toyline requires more specific disambiguation, regardless of the characters' origin, because readers shouldn't be expected to remember whether some character was already in another toyline. —Interrobang 23:51, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
So... what should disambigs be?
  1. Distinguished only when strictly necessary. "Silverbolt (BW)" is fine because, while there were 2 Silverbolt toys in the BW Toyline, the other one is actually Silverbolt (G1)- so only one entry is trying 'sits' in the (BW) disambig, and no more specific disambing is needed. Parenthetical disambigs should be the broadest possible category the article can sit in without conflicting with another article, (usually a continuity family or franchise.) Absolutely no 'bumping' of disambigs as a concession to aesthetics.
  2. Distinguished on a logical basis. "Silverbolt (Fuzor)" because there are two Silverbolts in the BW toyline, and the article title should not allow for confusion between the two.
  3. Providing continuty info. A hypothetical new character Roller in the 2008 Universe line would be "Roller (Classic)" not "Roller (Universe)"-- so that the article title doesn't mislead people into thinking he's part of the 2004 Universe continuity.
My problem with #2 and #3 is that the diambig isn't supposed to convey that information. The first line of the article, right below the title does. It will say 'Silverbolt is a Fuzor in the Beast Wars continuity family...' or 'Roller is a Ultracon in the Classics portion of the Generation 1 continuity family.'
We are currently usign method #1. I oppose a change to methods 2 or 3 for the following reasons:
  1. The first line of the article already supplies the information that solutions 2 & 3 would seek to add- and does it better.
  2. Implementing 2 or 3 would make it harder for editors to know where article are sitting ("I know there was only one Silverbolt in BW, why is my link to Silverbolt (BW) broken?")
  3. The purpose of the parenthetical disambigs is not to convey info- it is to keep articles with the same title from sitting in the same namespace. Attempting to make disambigs convey information actually adds ambiguity, because it would force the the locations the articles sit in to become less standard.
Let diambigs be disambigs. If we want to make continuity notes clearer or more prominent, we can look at revising our approach to them. -Derik 00:41, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
We already have Help:Disambiguation to more or less lay this out. (I've just made a couple small changes to it for clarification.) There is going to be no simple rule of thumb which leads to tbe best results in every case, so make the parenthetical as brief and clear as you can. Derik is correct that the purpose of the parenthetical is to give the articles different names so the database doesn't get confused. To help out editors when we make links, it is good for them to be short and easy to remember. --Steve-o 21:35, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

So, should we move Silverbolt (Fuzor) and Dirge (Decent into Evil) and the mirrorverse guys back to Silverbolt (BW), Dirge (Timelines) and mirrorverse guys (Timelines)? --FortMax 22:42, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

Wait to see if others have strong feelings/argument first. (We have a policy, but it's subject to conseunsus, remember? Also- I think I wrote most of that page so my point of view is unfairly over-represented there.) On review, no, apparently this is one policy page I didn't write. ...why can't I tell Steve-o's writing apart from my own? Scary.  :~(
Personally I say emphatically yes on Dirge, indifferent affirmative on Silverbolt, and wait and see on the Shattered Glass pages. We don't now where/if they fit in existing continuity. There's no point in movinf them a half-dozen times while arguing about unknowables. -Derik 23:13, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

Pages about fan sites

Is there a policy about this? I wanted to add TF Pulp, but I didn't see any other TF sites on here at all, so I figured I should ask first. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Might Gaine (talkcontribs) 2008-02-27T14:04:54.

We don't give unofficial sites their own articles. You can link to information on TF Pulp from appropriate pre-existing articles, though. That sort of thing enhances the wiki by allowing people to find further information on the topics they are reading about. Just put it into an "External links" section right before the categories. --Steve-o 21:18, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

Cartoon episode title cards redundancy

Why are we moving towards using the title cards of episodes for the main/starting picture of episode articles? Isn't it redundant to have a boring screenshot with the name of the episode placed next to...... the name of the episode in the actual article itself? Wouldn't it be more interesting to do what we have been doing, and use a screen capture that somehow encapsulates the whole episode, or shows a pivitol point in it that sticks in our memory? --FFN 02:55, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

I've wondered the same thing myself, but figured it was a done deal. I too support the "memorable/encapsulating moment" approach. -- Repowers 03:04, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
Uh... I'm sorry, I think I started it.  ;-) When I was doing some early RiD ep stubs I threw in the titlecards because the early episodes were boring as sin. I think McFeely did it for the JP eps because they tend to have those painterly titlecards...
Really, it's just something you do if there isn't a good representative image. -Derik 17:39, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
Like Code of Hero (an article that needs a major overhaul itself), I originally put an image of Dinobot's sword lying on the deck of his quarters, because it looked poignant. Did the same for various other Beast Wars episodes. Then Interrobang replaced them all with screencap of the title screens. Gah. --FFN 07:05, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
So tell him to stop!  ;) -Derik 07:58, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
Sigh. I did it because I like consistency, even with Japanese series. "Dinobot's sword on the ground" might be your favoritest image ever but it's the odd duck out now. (It also looks terrible due to the artifacting brought about by needlessly screwing with the brightness and contrast.) —Interrobang 08:36, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
Consistency is Victory- but Transformers Victory was incredibly boring. (Victory Gundam was pretty good though...) The Weak Component, Survivor and End of the Line all have virtually identical title screens- an aerial shot of the Cybertropolis spaceport. That sucks— I'd much rather have an iconic image from each episode. -Derik 10:07, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
I agree. Using iconic images is really good for the most episode guides, such as Code of Hero, The Weak Component, and several others, especially "Code of Hero" and "The Weak Component" are great and good examples. --TX55 13:38, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
Personally, I started doing for the Japanese series for the reason Derik gives, because it was usually a unique image made for the title card, or a good one that's representative of the episode. There were some duds, but... consistency. And then... Masterforce started to do really, really boring ones, and I was about to give up, then it occurred to me to start using the image from the next-ep preview, which proved a winner in most cases (in fact, I may yet go back and change swap out some of the title-card images with these, if it's a better option). The mention of Victory here amuses me, though, 'cause it's a good example of title cards being boring - it's the same two images of Star Saber and Deathsaurus, rotated in and out, for the whole series. I've used them for the first two episodes just to get them on show, but I plan to use the title-images from the next-episode previews for this one. I mean, when I wake up from the dullness-inducing stupor that Victory induces. - McFeely, at work
I reverted Dinobot's sword back to the version I uploaded. As I had not viewed the page much since last year, I didn't realize that Repowers tried to brighten it up for some reason - that moment is supposed to focus on the sword, not the room. And it's the 'odd duck out' now because some people have been replacing whatever had served as the main image with the title card. --FFN 12:24, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
I brightened it because, when it's reduced for the actual episode page where most people are going to see it, you can't tell what the heck you're looking at. Right now it looks a little bit of vague white stuff in darkness. -- Repowers 13:36, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
Vaat? I can see if plenty fine there, unless you're using a very, very high resolution that makes everything tiny. --FFN 13:54, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
Could be my home monitor, which is HUGE. It does look more discernable from a work computer, though IMO it could still stand to be a tad brighter. -- repowers, not signed in

I've changed my mind on this situation after mulling it over. A winner is FNN. —Interrobang 03:31, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

FNN sounds even more like a Simon Furman sound effect than FFN :D --FFN 04:26, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
You clearly changed your name after I replied. There's no another answer. —Interrobang 04:33, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Hnh. FNN never DID want to live forever. --FFN 04:55, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

Help/policy page namespaces

As part of the help/policy page revamp I plan to do... eventually... I kind of want to consolidate the pages all into a single namespace. Right now we have a bunch of stuff in the Help namepsace, and a bunch of other stuff in the Transformers Wiki (aka "meta") namespace. This is needlessly confusing. I vastly prefer "Help" for the purposes of typing it all the time, but, the meta namespace is more general purpose and standard... and possibly required for some pages like the title blacklist. So I am inclined to shuffle all the Help namespace pages over to the meta namespace. Does anybody have an opinion on this? --Steve-o 17:37, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

Help seems fine to me. -Derik 17:45, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

"The Battlestars" page disappeared

When the "Battlestar" (team) page got changed to "Battlestars", then "The Battlestars" page, which was the manga, disappeared. What happened? --Might Gaine 13:36, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

I don't think that page actually existed in the first place. It was a red link before any moving was done - Chris McFeely 14:04, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
Hmm. My bad. --Might Gaine 15:01, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

Comic character box format Part IV

I believe we should change it from 'Major characters' to 'Featured characters' like we do in the cartoon recap articles. Doing it as 'Major characters' means writers of these comic articles will just not bother list the incidental characters, such as humans, even ones with dialogue, and if any of these characters have articles, they become orphaned articles. --FFN 06:32, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

Well I have gone thru nearly the entire U.S. Marvel series and I think I've included just about everyone who had a speaking line, except for folks who were un-named and such. If someone wants to change from "major" to "featured", it doesn't matter to me, but I'm not gonna go thru all 80 issues again and do it. --MistaTee 20:18, 10 March 2008 (UTC)
I was concerned because I was looking for the article for that Professor Goring guy from Spotlight: Shockwave so I could update the article. To my surprise, Shockwave didn't link or even name him, and somebody had eliminated the 'human' column altogether because evidently we only dealt with 'major' characters. Essentially, Goring's article became orphaned. --FFN 20:32, 10 March 2008 (UTC)
Well that was dumb; he should indeed be re-added. --MistaTee 20:39, 10 March 2008 (UTC)
Uh, yeah. That's not good. I support the change to "Featured" not just for this... but let's face it, this wiki is not simply about "Major" characters. The vast wealth of non-major character information is what makes this wiki great, and we should make sure that they are properly linked to so people can find them, even if they weren't looking. "Oh, hey, who's this?" --M Sipher 20:39, 10 March 2008 (UTC)
MistaTee, well sometimes even unnamed characters can be interesting enough to warrant their own articles if they are interesting in some way/stand out in some way. After all, we have an entire category devoted to unnamed characters. So I think they should have been mentioned in the article in some way. --FFN 04:45, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
Oh, I agree, and if I've missed any, please feel free to add. I do think the 80 issues I've updated is a lot better than they were before though. --MistaTee 13:58, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
Of course. Is there article template pages somewhere on this wiki or are we copy pasting every time we write a new article? --FFN 14:07, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
I've just been going through the Stormbringer articles, and I was not at all happy with the with the way characters who didn't have significant dialogue (such as every Pretender besides Bludgeon) were for the most part not even mentioned in the articles. I assume the original writer of these articles just didn't know who they were, but frankly it's just sloppy considering the information available on this wiki even in 2006. --FFN 14:38, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
I believe I reformatted them to the new format, but just copied the character list from what was there. When I get the chance to re-read, I will add in the others, if someone doesn't beat me to it. Oh, and I am copying and pasting from the previous article, but trying to be consistent. --MistaTee 15:31, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
So... what becomes of the former "minor characters" list? Do we even care about those dudes? Take Totaled! for example -- almost every Earth Autobot to date appears in the story (and most of the Decepticons), but the page currently lists only the speaking ones. Gods help the poor soul who decides to take that task on, but when some nobody like Air Raid makes a rare appearance in the comics, it seems worth noting. -- Repowers 15:25, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
IMO, I think those characters should perhaps be in a cameos section, a subset of "Items of note". But I sure as hellz am not going thru the whole Marvel series again to do that. Someone else can have a go at it. --MistaTee 15:31, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

Navigation boxes for shared US/UK stories

I wish I'd noticed MistaTee's changes to the Marvel US navigation boxes sooner, but that's water under the bridge now. When I set the boxes up, I deliberately left out certain links at points where the continuities split and come back together. The point was that there would be no duplicate links in the box. One hopes that the reader following the UK chain will be smart enough to figure out that the only "Next" link shown will lead to the next step in the chain. This goes double for US stories that have the same Next and Previous links for the UK. Why do the same links need to be duplicated?

Compare:

Also compare:

To sum up my take on current version:

Minus:

  • Redundant links add to confusion
  • Double nav box is ugly and should be avoided when possible

Plus:

  • Lists UK publication number right up front
  • Consistent format for all US issues.

But I've never been one to favor consistency at the expense of practicality. -- Repowers 17:54, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

Now see, I didn't like not having a next for the UK, even if it's the same as the US one. What I think we really need is a revision of the nav box, and maybe have some more options. First, I think there should be a separator line between the US and UK nav. Secondly, maybe some logic could be programmed in so that IF "next2"="next" THEN it would say "same as U.S. version" or something along those lines. Same for the "prev"/"prev2" naturally. Thoughts? --MistaTee 18:10, 11 March 2008 (UTC)
That sounds like an excellent trade-off -- it gets rid of the bothersome parts while keeping the good bits. Uhhh.... anybody have any idea how to do it? The coding of these things is an utter mystery to me. -- Repowers 18:20, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

How to spell Malay.

Hello everyone, I've noticed that on the 'English/Malay' dubs, people have spelt word 'Malay' wrong. It doesn't have a 'y', because 'Maylay' is incorrect, so if you see any mistakes, please correct it, thank you! Also, can we not put the word crack head next to it? It's quite offensive.--akindofdrifter

It's meant in jest because the RTM 1 dub is really, really bad, as if the dubbers didn't know what the hell was going on half of the time. But we have been changing such instances to 'RTM 1 dub name:' lately. --FFN 15:29, 15 March 2008 (UTC)
"crack head" is describing the dubs, and with good reason. Battleship Maximus is called "Spaceship Bruce", Blaster is called "Billy", Twincast "Blaster", Metroplex "Phillip", Spike "Sparkle", Soundblaster "New Soundwave", Minevera "Nightbeat", The Matrix and Energon cubes "Power Packs, etc... --FortMax 15:35, 15 March 2008 (UTC)
We should probably get the drone onto the task of replacing "Maylay" with "Malay", however. JW 15:42, 15 March 2008 (UTC)
I don't know about the crack head comment, it's better to avoid offending people; 'though, Spaceship Bruce is my favourite, next to Wally. Also, you got your drone right here (yay?), but do we replace it with 'English/Malay dub', or 'RTM dub'? --akindofdrifter
I fully agree with the removal of "crackhead." Frankly, it IS offensive to equate the oddities that arise from the translation of Japanese into English done by people who's first language was likely neither with being on crack. --KilMichaelMcC 19:14, 15 March 2008 (UTC)
Can we leave it in for just Spaceship Bruce? The others are at least somewhat understandable, but Spaceship Bruce? WTCHOP? --FortMax 19:37, 15 March 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, but I don't wanna label another country saying it's populated by drug addicts. If it weren't for them, we wouldn't have Headmasters/Masterforce/Victory in English in the early 90's(?), and for a non-Japanese speaking country, they made a good effort. I guess you can emphasise the weirdness that is Spaceship Bruce, in his bio or the RTM page. So, 'RTM dub' or 'Englsh/Malay' dub? Technically, there was no Malay in the English dubs in the first place, so I'd go for RTM dub :) --akindofdrifter
It takes a real willfully oppressed state of mind to interpret that as a racial/nationalist insult. I mean, you have to really want to be offended by something, and be on the lookout for any little thing to jump on. 'Cause "crack-head" is pretty clearly referring to the dubs, not the entire freaking country, and I'm not sure why anyone would decide to think otherwise. -- Repowers 11:32, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
You know, crackhead is generally a term that refers to people, not things. As I said above, we shouldn't be seen to be equating the people who produced these dubs with crackheads because of what we perceive as humorous oddities in the translation, which are possibly just the perfectly natural result of cultural and linguistic confusion. Now it might not be an insult to the entire nation of Malaysia, but it is still, I think, a bit offensive. --KilMichaelMcC 16:13, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
Well, regardless.... shouldn't it actually be the "Crackhead RTM-1 dub"? -- Repowers 16:23, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
'Cracked-up English/Malay' dub, 'though it's not my idea, and it's not so blunt. Or the shorter 'RTM dub', since there is an RTM 1 dub page where people can redirect themselves there and elucidate the weirdness of weird names; but do we have to spell Malay with two 'y's? Maybe we can make reference to that on the RTM page again. --akindofdrifter
I think 'Cracked-up English/Malay' could be used for the article such as Ginrai and Minerva('cause their RTM dub name "Optimus Prime" and "Nightbeat" were too... hilarious?), while just "RTM dub" for Fortress Maximus' Spaceship Bruce. Well, just a little opinion. :) --TX55 12:11, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
Agree! :D --akindofdrifter

Trivia section image formatting

This issue came up a while ago on Frenzy's talk page. There were opnions both ways, and it wasn't really resolved. The issue is, should images in trivia sections alternate left-right, or be all on one side?

Part of the trouble with alternating sides is that it kills the bullet points. A double bullet has to be inserted for it to show up, and then there's some ambiguity over which bullets should be doubled and which left single. Dpouble bullets can also cause images to overlap the text.

Several folks said there's a lot of ugly white space when the images are stacked on one side. I see it just the opposite on my (admittedly gigantic) screen, with every image having a big empty white space below it when they alternate sides. Apparently it's got something to do with monitor resolution, so there might not be a solid answer. But --

I'd love so see some screencaps from folks showing how they see things on their monitors. It's a little hard to understand this problem without seeing it from other people's POV.

I started a little Sandbox at user talk:repowers/Sandbox2 with two different versions of Frenzy's trivia. The first one stacks all the images at the top. Does this work for people on lower monitor resolutions, or does it still look like crap? With them all stacked at the front, I don't see how they could have any white space, regardless of monitor resolution. On my screen, it looks very neat and tidy, while the second one is messy. See:

Stacked
Alternating

Thoughts and input welcomed. -- Repowers 01:36, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

Alternating does kind of suck now. I've been putting pics all on the right side where there are bullet points since Wikia updated their software... an update which covered single bullet points if you put an image on the left side of the screen. I suggest cutting down on images in Trivia, since most users here have smaller monitors and use lower resolutions. --FFN 05:44, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
I think the easiest answer is to just remove the head images. They're essentially redundant and don't really add anything to the reader's understanding. I'd call for a general limit on how many images you can stuff into a section. —Interrobang 06:27, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
I'd remove the head images from the article proper... but then make a text link to them within the relevant paragraph so people can see them anyway if they want to. --M Sipher 06:35, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
That works. —Interrobang 07:11, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

Foreign name format

I just found the foreign names doesn't have an unified format.

For example, some are
Hungarian name: Kerék ("Wheel"(with or without ""))
others are
Hungarian name: Kerék (meaning Wheel(or "Wheel"))

I suggest we could use an unified format like the below:

:''Foreign name 1:'' '''Name A''' (Form A), '''Name B''' (Form B)
:''Foreign name 2:'' '''Name''' ("English meaning")

Take Hot Rod for example, it will look like:

Japanese name: Hot Rodimus (Hot Rod), Rodimus Convoy (Rodimus Prime)
Hungarian names: Nagyágyú ("Hot Shot"), Rodimusz Fővezér ("Prime Commander Rodimus")

Thoughts and idea are welcomed :) --TX55 09:09, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

I don't have a strong opinion on how the international names are standardized, but I strongly agree that they should be. I nominate someone else to go through and do it. -LV 21:40, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

Wookiepedia has a darn nifty interface

What would it take for us to create something similar but Transformers-y?--RosicrucianTalk 21:36, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

I think the admins were adament that we keep a simple, bare-bones default look to the TF wiki, in keeping with our 'let's not take this stuff too seriously' attitude and tone. At least that's what I remember them saying when I suggested an orange layout like what Teletraan I looked like in the cartoon. --FFN 09:34, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
The current Wookieepedia also doesn't seem to want to cooperate with my comp here at work. --M Sipher 18:27, 21 March 2008 (UTC)


Characters lacking visuals category?

It's dawned on me that there are actually quite a few characters who don't have any form of visual representation. They may have been described, but there are no pictures. While a bulk of these are from prose stories, there's several who were simply mentioned by name in comics, or in external sources (Key Code info, S7 site, etc). More than enough to justify a category.
I think that maybe there should also be a template/visual for this to call attention to this fact on the page right up front. I'm thinking a variation on the current {{mainpic}} template... a silhouette, (different from the mainpic one) and some text saying "This character has no known official visual depiction" or something. Anyone? --M Sipher 18:33, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

Well, for the characters with the mainpic template, the idea is that the mainpic image is there as a placeholder, and to annoy people into tracking down an image.
However, characters that have never had any visual depiction, and are unlikely to ever get one, don't need a placeholder for their image, and the template will just pointlessly take up room. I'm against the template, but I think the category is a good idea, and will suffice to identify these characters. JW 18:44, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
I disagree. The point is specifically to call attention to their lack of imagery, so nobody thinks "maybe they do have an image". And considering how little there is to most of those characters, a little extra visual pizzaz to their pages can't hurt. --M Sipher 19:06, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
so nobody thinks "maybe they do have an image" Are you intending to convey that message to editors, or casual users? Editors will, in theory, know enough to look for the category. I'm not sure casual users need to have the point brought to their attention.
And, it's not like we have scads of frantic editors running around trying to find pics for characters who have only appeared in prose. This may be a solution without a problem. JW 19:27, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

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@fandom (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@fandom (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@fandom (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@fandom (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@fandom (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@fandom (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@fandom (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@fandom (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)

Orangemonaco

It could be even oranger if that would help.

Does this work? -- Danny@fandom (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)
Monacobrick

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

Here's how Brick looks... -- Danny@fandom (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@fandom (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@fandom (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@fandom (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@fandom (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@fandom (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@fandom (talk) 21:43, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

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)

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)

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.

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