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Old and/or inactive discussions have been moved to the archive subpage.

Encouraging use of user talk pages

So, I've written this message, which I'm thinking of going around and (manually) placing on the User talk pages of everyone whose User: page is redirected to the main-article space, to point out that they won't receive talk-page message notifications unless they use their corresponding user talk page.

(This covers two types of users:)

  1. Those with user talk pages like User talk:BlueStapler, User talk:Hershey Almighty, etc. that are redirected to Talk:BlueStapler, Talk:Hershey Almighty, etc.
  2. Users like User:Hairplug4men, User:EJ Rose, etc. with redirected User pages, who have no redirect for their user talk page.

Basically it's about 50 people, I have a whole list. Most of them are probably not active users, but I'd plan to contact them all regardless. If they never see it, oh well. If they do, then great.

I just wanted to solicit feedback before I start.

With Special:ExpandTemplates, you can see what the message would look like when it's placed on Djonni's talk page (as an example). Click the following url:

https://wiki.godvillegame.com/index.php?title=Special:ExpandTemplates&wpInput=%7b%7bsafesubst:User:FeRDNYC/User+Talk+Message%7d%7d&wpContextTitle=User+talk:Djonni

You'll see the formatted message at the bottom of the page. -- FeRDNYC (talk) 01:51, 17 February 2019 (UTC)

It seems some people keeps on redirect their user page to another page for some reasons, tried to leave messages but it don't seem to reach through. Well it's not really a serious issue but still happens. --WardPhoenix (talk) 16:03, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
Honestly, though, that's fine and if people want to do it then more power to 'em. (There are all sorts of reasons why someone might want to, including intending their user page to be editable by other people. That's the reason Djonni (talkcontribs) specifically gives on his talk page.) If people want to keep a "god" page in the article namespace, as long as it's properly categorized no harm done. It's only when the corresponding talk page isn't redirected back to User talk: space that there's a down side. But it works just fine to maintain a non-User:Foo userpage at Foo, with a Talk:Foo page that redirects to User talk:foo, and doing that means they won't miss notifications. -- FeRDNYC (talk) 20:49, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
Sorry, the example-message URL above was "down" for a couple of weeks, as I'd repurposed the page in question to do canvassing for the JanuWiki post-mortem and forgot to set it back afterwards. Anyway, it's working again now. -- FeRDNYC (talk) 16:54, 13 March 2019 (UTC)
I'm joining this conversation pretty late, and FeRDNYC hasn't been around the wiki since April... does anyone know if he went ahead with the plan? I think it's a very good idea, speaking from my own experience with an unredirected talk page! -- Djonni (talk) 09:03, 12 September 2019 (UTC)

I don't think he end up doing it, but I could be wrong.--WardPhoenix (talk) 13:29, 12 September 2019 (UTC)

Yeah, alright. I found his draft at User:FeRDNYC/User Talk Message. I think it's a bit wordy personally, and gets a little lost in the weeds about the history of notifications on mediawiki sites, and needs a heavy edit. But I think his idea is really good and we should work up a better draft and go ahead with it.
It's a shame he isn't around at the moment (I'll leave him a talkback regardless!) because he went to the trouble of compiling a list of the affected users and we don't have it! I'll have to do that myself. -- Djonni (talk) 15:07, 12 September 2019 (UTC)

Theming or Other Event Brainstorms

FeRDNYC makes a really good point above that two big events a year would be amazing, but that there's also opportunities for smaller events. With the basis that JanuWiki should now be an annual event, perhaps this should be a list of other event or drive ideas (big and small) that we could do, to figure out how we could space things to still get necessary stuff done. -- SourceRunner (talk) 17:37, 23 March 2019 (UTC)

  • JanuWiki 2020: Year of the WikiGnome/GodWikiStmas -- Big event. Next JanuWiki. Starts when? Ends January 31, 2020. Wrap-up ends February 29, 2020. Theming granularity? Process certainties?
  • Guidelines and Guide Resources Drive

(Please expand)

  • Easter Interlink Special -- Small event. EIS Eternal would be willing to sponsor a small wiki event during the Easter week or two weeks, with the object of adding links between pages on GodWiki (with reasonable reasons for doing so). One of the wiki strengths is the ability to create an ecosystem of lore, and the best way to explore that is following links between pages. So there could be the a specific event that GodWiki editors and content creators each chose a pair of pages to interlink, and write the lore between them that explains their relationships in the ecosystem and links the two. A report to the "Help Request" page when finished a pairing would make the pair's linker eligible for a reward of some sort after EIS checks that it has been done and does make sense.
  • Trans-Lore-Ation -- Small event. A lot of Godville lore is in the forums and tucked away in little sections of personal chronicles. As players, we in common tend to "know" this lore to be true, but not have it on GodWiki. How about a small event where people scavenger-hunt their favorite descriptions of towns, taverns, monsters, and Godville myths from the older parts of forums and the crannies of guild and personal pages, then add excerpts and possible links to the applicable pages in GodWiki.
  • Stub It Out -- Large event. Survey what articles with the "Stub" tag are still stubs, and remove tags where appropriate. Expand articles that are still stubs.
  • "Wherefore ART Thou?" -- Large event(?). Adding art to the "picture needed" category articles. Some artists need a long time to plan, so this may need to be a slow or multi-phase event.
Could be associated with the stub event maybe?


Sounds like there is some good ideas ready for the oven. I'd say that if you want to throw an event, just go for it. Create a page for it and allow us to help for the preparation.
Maybe we should make like a planner for upcomming events. By the way, talks about upcomming event may be more appropriate on the main talk
As for JanuWiki2020 (or GodWikiStmas maybe), I'd say we have the time to see it coming. Let's care of other event before.
--WardPhoenix (talk) 23:55, 25 March 2019 (UTC)
As another idea for a possible event (I don't even know if it would be considered big or small), Category:Pictures needed is up to 314 entries. That's 314 existing articles (primarily ones that use {{Monster}}, {{Artifact}}, or {{Equipment}}) which don't have an image to go with their subject. Trimming that list down a bit could also be a good way to get non-writers involved in creating wiki content. -- FeRDNYC (talk) 06:39, 26 March 2019 (UTC)
Oh, yes, and Category:Stubs is up to 552 articles that (in theory) need fleshing-out.
I say "in theory" because some of them may not really be stubs, having been expanded since they were tagged that way. In the "Advanced options" at the bottom of the appearance preferences is the option "Threshold for stub link formatting". It takes a length (in bytes) an article's source must be so it's not considered a stub. Links to all articles shorter than that threshold will be colored with a darker shade of red than the standard redlink coloring.
I currently have that preference set to 1000 bytes, and still some of the items in Category:Stubs are colored blue. It's certainly possible for an article that's over 1000 bytes long to also be a stub, but it's also possible that there's already plenty of content there and the stub designation is outdated / overzealous. I'd say maybe 10-15% of the category's members show non-stub link coloring. -- FeRDNYC (talk) 07:00, 26 March 2019 (UTC)
These are great ideas for events, WardPhoenix and FeRDNYC. I've added them to the bullet point list above, and tried to evaluate them as large or small, based on your descriptions. Please feel free to expand or change what's in the bullet list.
WardPhoenix, good suggestion about the planner/calendar for events. Is something like that possible in GodWiki, FeRDNYC? --SourceRunner (talk) 15:21, 26 March 2019 (UTC)

I'd say that if you want to throw an event, just go for it. Create a page for it and allow us to help for the preparation.
— User:WardPhoenix

I would agree with that, with one small adjustment: When you decide you definitely are throwing an event, creating a page for it would be the first step in preparing for it, and can serve as the formal announcement of the upcoming event.
I think Djonni worked up to JanuWiki 2019 exactly the right way (whether intentionally or by pure luck): He put out feelers on the forums and in a proposal here at Talk:Main Page, and used those discussions to solicit feedback and take the community's temperature on the idea. Then once he was sure there was sufficient interest that he could commit to definitely doing an event, he pulled the trigger on creating the event page, at which point he had someplace he could link to as a "more information" resource when he made the official announcement(s) about the upcoming event.
At any stage of planning, there's always the possibility that an event could end up getting cancelled for lack of involvement or interest. Things happen. But that risk can be minimized by getting at least a core team on board before putting a lot of work into constructing an event framework for a "maybe" or "possible" event. -- FeRDNYC (talk) 14:43, 27 March 2019 (UTC)

Moved this to the main page as it is more appropriate place and also easier to reach (yeah I'm lazy to reach for januwiki page every time on my phone). By the way I think the EIS event would be quite interesting, and as easter is coming i'd suggest we start thinking about it if you really want to kick it. On a side note, I don't think a guideline event would be appropriate. Guidelines are supposed to be wrote by experimented and active users for beginners. That's more something we have to work on with experimented users I'd say. -- WardPhoenix (talk) 23:02, 26 March 2019 (UTC)

That's a fair point, re: the Guidelines. I guess it depends how broadly you define "event". Certainly, you're right, guidelines-updates aren't the sort of free-for-all activity where we'd put out a call to the entire Godville user community for participation. Maybe "an effort", or "a sprint" (to employ some of my least-favorite software development jargon), among those experienced users.
That being said...
  1. A lot of what's lacking in the current Guidelines articles just comes down to formatting, copyediting, structure, and layout fixes — things that could be done by almost anyone, especially with guidance, as there's no real expertise needed. (However, as they also need major content updates, they're definitely not entirely fixable by casual editors alone. But they could be vastly improved.)
  2. Because (as you say) the target audience for the Guidelines is inexperienced users, in my experience it's a huge mistake to write them without any input from users at or near that level. One of the things I learned in software development is that you never have the senior programmer, the one who wrote most of the code and knows every aspect of the software inside-and-out, write the instruction manual. If they try, 90% of the time it'll end up being unintelligible to the "average users" it's supposed to be written for.

    (It's the same reason you NEVER sign up for a freshman-level "Intro to Whatever" class if it's taught by that department's most senior, most published, most brilliant researcher. Very few people whose knowledge of a topic is at that level will be capable of "dumbing things down" sufficiently that they can effectively teach it to students who have virtually no background in the subject. Everything will go right over their heads.)

The two trickiest problems in documentation don't have anything to do with knowledge or accuracy of information: The first is figuring out exactly where your target audience is at in terms of background knowledge and skill level, so that you know which things need to be explained, vs. what they probably already know so you don't waste their time repeating it. The other problem, then, is being able to explain things at that level, without leaving out any of the information they need because it's just implicitly assumed or seems "obvious" to someone with more experience.
...But, all that being said I agree that Guidelines updates wouldn't make sense as an "event" in the JanuWiki mold, where we try to solicit come-one-come-all participation from as many users as possible. Heck, they may not be a very good fit for any sort of organized "group effort" at all — our best bet may be for someone to eventually just dive in and start making Bold changes to define an updated, improved structure for the content. Even if they only update a single Guideline article, once there's an example to work off of, other editors can pitch in to apply the same changes to the rest of the Guidelines. (That sort of example-based, follow-the-leader model is how most content-wide changes propagate here, really. Djonni created the {{hero or heroine}} template set, but he's responsible for only a handful of edits that applied those templates to article content.) -- FeRDNYC (talk) 14:43, 27 March 2019 (UTC)


The Monstrous Recapitalisation of 2019

So, the way the game handles capitalisation after a hyphen in a monster name has changed recently. The Ideabox has always automatically capitalised monster ideas, but it didn't historically treat a hyphen as a word break, and it does now... Mostly. A word after a hyphen will be capitalised if it is at least 3 (or maybe it's 4) characters long. This is an attempt to make sure that articles and short prepositions in hyphenated words are not capitalised, according to traditional title caps rules. And, of course, ER editors can manually change capitalisation in cases where that simple rule hasn't quite got something right, as they always could.

At the same time, existing monster names in the game have been recapitalised to match normal English typography. The recapitalisation seems to follow these rough rules:

  1. Where something after a hyphen was already capitalised, it has stayed that way (the only changes are to previously lowercase letters immediately after a hyphen)
  2. Articles and prepositions after a hyphen remain lowercase, as they would in a title (e.g. Monster-in-Law), but not entirely consistently (see point 1, e.g. Missing-In-Action Figure)
  3. Word fragments, e.g. Arrgh-onaut, remain uncapitalised, but not entirely consistently (see point 1, e.g. Flame-Ingo)
  4. Otherwise, words after a hyphen have been capitalised pretty consistently.

This post here is essentially to signal that there will be some monster pages that need to be moved to their new capitalisation, and edits being made to List of Monsters as well as monster articles as required. I'm going to do a lot of this, but even taking advantage of some extra external resources I probably won't catch everything, and there's a chance I might move or correct things to a wrong capitalisation.

If you see a hyphenated monster name in the game, and that monster is capitalised differently on the Godwiki, then we need to fix it! It can be a bit of work to make those changes, though, so if you spot something wrong but don't have the opportunity (or perhaps knowledge) to do it yourself, please leave a note about it (right here, or on the monster article's talk page if that's easier) and another editor should get the changes done mañana.

That said... if you think you don't have the skills you're probably wrong. Be Bold, try to do it yourself, and if someone can see you're struggling or not getting it right they'll clean up after you. No muss, no fuss, no worries. It's really not more work for an experienced editor to fix a mistake someone else makes, than for that editor to do the work in the first place, so you're never creating more work for someone else!

A brief checklist for myself and others:

  • If the monster has an article:
    • The article must be moved to the correct name. (Looking at original article, the "More" menu in the top right has the "Move" action. Is this also true on mobile? Can't recall and can't currently check.)
    • Text in article body corrected as needed. {{Monster}} infobox should be fine, as it uses the {{PAGENAME}} magic word by default, but double-check for |title= parameters or unusual description text.
  • List of Monsters to be updated.
  • Check for a relevant navbox and update. (A text search will only include the main namespace by default, but hitting 'Everything' or 'Advanced' in the results will allow searching of templates.)
  • If time permits, search for text in pages with the old capitalisation. Put quotes "..." around the name to get the right results. (Two birds with one stone: correcting the capitalisation and an opportunity to increase interlinking if the monster has an article.)
  • If time permits (lowest priority though, I think), update Omnibus List. The main users of the Omnibus are crossword solvers, to whom capitalisation is irrelevant.

(Please feel free to add to or alter that checklist if I've missed something.)

Obviously, this is a fairly low priority and on-going project, so it'll take a while and a bit of work to get done together. :) -- Djonni (talk) 08:44, 12 September 2019 (UTC)

Put monsters' name here if you can't update

JanuWiki 2020 Ideas and Planning

Heya once again! I did a bit of poking around in the JanuWiki 2019 page, and couldn't find any plans for what the next theme is gonna be. It never hurts to start planning early, so I kinda decided to start gathering a few ideas. After looking around the internet for some potential New Year themes, I have three potential suggestions:

  1. A glasses/vision-related theme. It's going to be 2020 - it shall be the year of perfect vision and clarity!
  2. Something related to time. Similar reason as the first one (mostly because I already anticipate all of the 'hindsight is 20/20' puns that the year will bring), but there's also the whole 'marking of another year going by'. Sounds a bit on the melodramatic side, though.
  3. Chinese zodiac time! Now, there isn't exactly a whole lot of potential rodent-themed articles on here (2020 is the year of the Rat, after all), but I did some cross-referencing! Apparently there are Chinese elemental years too, and next year's element is going to be Metal. So, Metal/Rat articles?

I know it's really early, but I really want to help the next JanuWiki be like the first one (cuz seriously, the sheer number of content was really amazing + fun to read)! What do you guys think? --Arcanedreamer (talk) 02:47, 22 September 2019 (UTC)

Arcanedreamer, I actually think that those are pretty great ideas! I for one have try to give JanuWiki 2020 any serious thought, but using a 20/20 theme is a brilliant thought!
One (really great) thing that happened with JanuWiki 2019 is that as the event rolled on we had to expand and extend it to new themes, bring more ideas into the event, and keep offering don't exciting new ideas for people who just didn't get inputted enough by the first tranche of suggestions. So having a handful of interesting, related-ish, but quite diverse options is really valuable. I think working with the 20/20 concepts you've suggested first (vision, hindsight, foresight, time) is an excellent focal point (pun intended), with metal and rodent articles tucked up our sleeves for when/if we need to grow the theme. For 2019, we started all about beer, and from brainstorming and adapting we added bosses, lions, tigers, and bears over the month. So we've seen that a diverse and interesting collection of ideas can really help catch the interest of folks who might only like one part of it.
Later today I'll do some surveying to see what missing or stubbed articles will be captured by these themes, and that will give us a more concrete notion of how they would look for an event! -- Djonni (talk) 08:38, 22 September 2019 (UTC)
Themes' Ideas looks good. I wonder if doing a survey on the forums could be usefull to see if people would be willing to participate in the event, and what they think could be improved compared to previous ones. --WardPhoenix (talk) 18:33, 22 September 2019 (UTC)
I'm actually really happy you guys like my ideas! So, thing is, I already did a bit of artwork in anticipation of JanuWiki 2020. I'm perfectly fine with doing a couple more items in order to make the event look even better, but I'd like to know ahead of time if that's okay. And if so, maybe let me know ASAP if there's any specific items you guys would want so that I don't have to do a rush job at the last minute? --Arcanedreamer (talk) 19:49, 22 September 2019 (UTC)
So, I got around to that thing I said I would do yesterday... I've started a survey of possible articles for the two theme groups (20/20 and Metal Rat) at Djonni/Shared sandbox (note that I've intentionally kept that out of my User: area so that everybody can tinker with, improve or extend it). I was pretty inclusive about what I captured for the 20/20 theme, and only just started on the Metal Rat articles (I've saved it in progress, I'll carry on and on anon. 🎵🎶Alalalalalonglonglilonglonglong, sing it🎶🎵
I definitely agree WardPhoenix, we should take this to the forums, but before w're ready to do that we should have a very clear idea of what the theme ideas we're presenting are, I think, so that folks there have some concrete, fully though out and fleshed out things to discuss and contribute to. Let's discuss and refine the articles and concepts a little more together here first!
And for readers who are following this but have not yet joined the conversation — please share your thoughts, good, bad, or whatever they may be!
Arcanedreamer, whoa, I'm pretty impressed by your artwork there! Personally I think that's a great piece of decoration for the main page announcement, and will probably be useful in places on the main event page too, fantastic work! Something that I discovered doing the theme survey — Did You Know that there's actually a Steel Rat monster in Godville? I feel like the Steel Rat would make an excellent mascot for JanuWiki 2020, regardless of how the theming conversation goes, what do you guys think? Your geometric artwork there is excellent, Arcanedreamer, I suspect a Steel Rat is much harder. Do you think it's within your scope? There will probably be some reuse-permitted images we could use, so it's entirely up to you! :) -- Djonni (talk) 14:45, 23 September 2019 (UTC)
Djonni, I hear a mild challenge in there. I shall accept and prove your skepticism wrong! In all seriousness, though, it sounds like a fun way to push at my pixel art boundaries (I've been doing nothing but inanimate objects so far, ehehe....)! Also, two things - should I go ahead and place whatever JanuWiki 2020 art I end up creating in the sandbox? And are there any other art requests? --Arcanedreamer (talk) 15:07, 23 September 2019 (UTC)

It looks like from Djonni/Shared sandbox that there is already quite the amount of articles found within both them (good work finding them by the way). So now, what? Do we use the forum to see if there is people interested in a potential event before throwing anything and thinking of the form JanuWiki 2020 could take? --WardPhoenix (talk) 13:58, 25 September 2019 (UTC)

Sorry guys, been a busy week at work! Arcanedreamer, your Steel Rat is great! I'm very impressed! :D
Yeah, WardPhoenix, if you guys are happy with the lists at Djonni/Shared sandbox then we should probably take it to the forum. I'll create a dedicated talk topic for JanuWiki 2020 ideas and planning, so that folks don't feel like they need to wade through months of discussion above to get up to speed. -- Djonni (talk) 15:48, 27 September 2019 (UTC)
Well, I just posted an offensively long message on the forums (Godville Forum topic 308, post 1274998) so if anyone's masochistic enough to actually read it, welcome to the conversation! 😅 -- Djonni (talk) 17:38, 27 September 2019 (UTC)
Bold of you to assume that I would think reading a long forum post is a masochistic action. In all seriousness, I think you did a good job doing an early advertisement for the event! Hopefully it'll attract old and new participants alike~! --Arcanedreamer (talk) 23:47, 27 September 2019 (UTC)

Decoration Questions and Art Requests

Alrighty, so I noticed that the navboxes for the past GodWiki vents tend to have a neat little picture instead of a simple dot separating the different articles. I'm not entirely sure how that works - is there a way to place our own pics (I.E. some specialized JanuWiki pixel art icons) in there, or are we limited to a preset group of images? I was about to start working on a few icon designs before realizing that I didn't know if we're able to even use them. --Arcanedreamer (talk) 05:10, 28 September 2019 (UTC)

Well when I made {{navbox items}} I built in quite a bit of flexibility for exactly this kind of reason! :) Using the |bullet= parameter, you can set the separator between list items to anything you want. We usually use emoji characters for this, which has benefits and drawbacks, but there's no reason why we can't use an image!
The image that we use in the {{god}} template for this: GodArcanedreamer  is rendered as 17x17 pixels, making it just a little taller than the line on most screens. In the wiki software used to run the GodWiki, there's no way to make the size of an image dynamic in any way, so we will have to decide on pixel dimensions to use (and the wiki doesn't have support for any vector image types either, so a small bullet-sized image won't stretch or shrink well on a lot of screens).
If you think you can come up with some cool tiny bullet images for navbox use, I think that would be great! We can do a bit of experimenting and see how well it works. I'll leave choices about size up to you, but it might be wise to aim for something that's around 12x12 to 8x8, and using transparency if you don't want it to be a square block :)
To test out how it looks in a navbox list, use this:
{{navbox items|bullet=[[File:Filename.ext]]|List item one|List item two|List item three}}
Which should give you something like this:
List item one Godicon.png List item two Godicon.png List item three
If you want to play with different render sizes, you can put |12x12px or |10x10px etc in the image options like [[File:...|12x12px]]. :) -- Djonni (talk) 06:31, 28 September 2019 (UTC)