Forum:Articles in time and place

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Time & Place (2007)[edit]

This is an extension of the previous rant about cataloging articles, to discuss the issue of time and place for articles. The place of an article is its in-game source. As Dan has said, this is supposed to be the Imperial Encyclopedia. The articles are written from a neutral (but Imperial) point of view. If an article was to be included that was written from a different point of view, we could include that as a sub-page.

The difficult subject was the one of time. The Traveller history covers eight eras (Interstellar wars, Milieu 0, Milieu 990, Classic era, the Rebellion, New Era, Fourth Imperium, GT Alternate) and 3,000 years (or more). And some of the data in an individual article changes over this span of time (how could it not).

Hans' idea of fixing a point in time as the source time for all articles is an interesting one. The Wiki would be an Encyclopeda from 1116, with any later articles split by era. We could take that a step further and split all the articles by era. I don't think using sub-pages for marking articles by era is going to work for several reasons:

I feel quite strongly that the text of an article should be under the natural heading of the article, not under an era heading. For example, the Virus article should be under the title "Virus" not "Virus/TNE", not "Virus/1130", or any variation.

This leads to the issue of articles which cross the eras. As an extreme example, Naasirka. This mega-corporation exists in all eight eras, meaning there now needs to be an article for each era, specifically written for that era. And no place to see the overall history of the organization from beginning to end.

Even if we use the 1116 as a split date, it means that most of the articles from MegaTraveller, HIWG, The New Era, BARD, New Era: 1248, and GT now all require two pages; one to say: "There is no article in the encyclopeda on this subject, but see here" and another to have the text. This covers three of the most productive canon publishers and two of the largest Traveller fan projects. I object.

The important idea I had regarding the use of sub-pages as an organzational tool was the number of articles with sub-pages would be small, a process rarely used If there are 22 articles with meta-data and 19 with secrets out 4200, this was ok. But if the number gets into the hundreds of pages, this says to me we ought to think through the organizational process again.

So enough of my negativity. I was hoping some really brilliant idea would strike me out of the blue to be able solve this conundrum, but thus far it has eluded me. So I go back and ask the questions:

  • To whom is it imporant that an article be notated as belonging to a specific era?
  • How obvious does this notataion need to be?
  • If an article crosses eras (especially the critical one of classic era -> rebellion/GT), it is more important to have a single article, or multiple articles for each era?
- Tjoneslo 19:38, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

My opinion is that the only critical point is the rebellion split, and mainly as it makes two divergent timelines. Most articles would not be time specific, but then most articles would not apply at all in Interstellar wars time period. Even something as simple as the Tech Level Comparison Chart article could be different when the highest tech level was 10/11 in IW.

Without some sort of attribute system so we can display text based on the era of the user, we should be able to live with those articles that are date dependent having a IW section, then a Mileu 0 section, then classic etc. separated by section headings. Not the best, but the user can stop reading when they get to the end of the era that applies.

Where I see the biggest issue is when we get to the rebellion period, if the article is organized as classic/TNE/Gurps then the rebellion player can stop reading at the end of the TNE section, but the Gurps player needs to skip over the TNE section which is even less appealing. So we need to have some sort of division after the classic era. I would suggest if there is both TNE and GURPS information to show, then we have two tags and follow the article/TNE and article/1130 or whatever as appropriate.

Articles which are particular to an era (such as the Unity of Promise article) should not have a "no info" blank page and then the real article in /TNE (or /Rebellion whatever), the main article should just start with a Rebellion heading. If people know to start reading and stop when they get to the inappropriate heading (in this case nothing) then they can make do.

I know that there are different style sheets (skins), and they can greatly change the overview of how the pages look, perhaps we can somehow leverage this to a IW skin, a Mileu 0 skin, etc. (we would also need an master editor skin)? Who knows anything about how these are done?

- Dcorrin 21:29, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

Hidden Articles (2007)[edit]

It is possible to set up sections of the article to be hidden or shown on command of the user, adding a show/hide button on the section text. See discussion here Tjoneslo 12:18, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

Maybe we should explain our problem to someone or some group at wikipedia. Perhaps they could present some options? Dcorrin 12:28, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

I'd love to try the show/hide thing, but you need to make the changes to the mediawiki:common.css and mediawiki:Common.js files as discussed in the article above. Dan being the sysop for this wiki. Tjoneslo 21:02, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

Something is not working. This should be hidden. (Actually it is hidden really well - it can never be displayed). Dcorrin 19:04, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

You forgot (or missed) the Dynamic Navigation Buttons section to the Common.js:
/** Dynamic Navigation Bars (experimental) *************************************
 *
 *  Description: See Wikipedia:NavFrame.
 *  Maintainers: UNMAINTAINED
 */

 // set up the words in your language
 var NavigationBarHide = '[' + collapseCaption + ']';
 var NavigationBarShow = '[' + expandCaption + ']';
 
 // set up max count of Navigation Bars on page,
 // if there are more, all will be hidden
 // NavigationBarShowDefault = 0; // all bars will be hidden
 // NavigationBarShowDefault = 1; // on pages with more than 1 bar all bars will be hidden
 var NavigationBarShowDefault = autoCollapse;
 
 
 // shows and hides content and picture (if available) of navigation bars
 // Parameters:
 //     indexNavigationBar: the index of navigation bar to be toggled
 function toggleNavigationBar(indexNavigationBar)
 {
    var NavToggle = document.getElementById("NavToggle" + indexNavigationBar);
    var NavFrame = document.getElementById("NavFrame" + indexNavigationBar);
 
    if (!NavFrame || !NavToggle) {
        return false;
    }
 
    // if shown now
    if (NavToggle.firstChild.data == NavigationBarHide) {
        for (
                var NavChild = NavFrame.firstChild;
                NavChild != null;
                NavChild = NavChild.nextSibling
            ) {
            if ( hasClass( NavChild, 'NavPic' ) ) {
                NavChild.style.display = 'none';
            }
            if ( hasClass( NavChild, 'NavContent') ) {
                NavChild.style.display = 'none';
            }
        }
    NavToggle.firstChild.data = NavigationBarShow;
 
    // if hidden now
    } else if (NavToggle.firstChild.data == NavigationBarShow) {
        for (
                var NavChild = NavFrame.firstChild;
                NavChild != null;
                NavChild = NavChild.nextSibling
            ) {
            if (hasClass(NavChild, 'NavPic')) {
                NavChild.style.display = 'block';
            }
            if (hasClass(NavChild, 'NavContent')) {
                NavChild.style.display = 'block';
            }
        }
    NavToggle.firstChild.data = NavigationBarHide;
    }
 }
 
 // adds show/hide-button to navigation bars
 function createNavigationBarToggleButton()
 {
    var indexNavigationBar = 0;
    // iterate over all < div >-elements 
    var divs = document.getElementsByTagName("div");
    for(
            var i=0; 
            NavFrame = divs[i]; 
            i++
        ) {
        // if found a navigation bar
        if (hasClass(NavFrame, "NavFrame")) {
 
            indexNavigationBar++;
            var NavToggle = document.createElement("a");
            NavToggle.className = 'NavToggle';
            NavToggle.setAttribute('id', 'NavToggle' + indexNavigationBar);
            NavToggle.setAttribute('href', 'javascript:toggleNavigationBar(' + indexNavigationBar + ');');
            
            var NavToggleText = document.createTextNode(NavigationBarHide);
            NavToggle.appendChild(NavToggleText);
            // Find the NavHead and attach the toggle link (Must be this complicated because Moz's firstChild handling is borked)
            for(
              var j=0; 
              j < NavFrame.childNodes.length; 
              j++
            ) {
              if (hasClass(NavFrame.childNodes[j], "NavHead")) {
                NavFrame.childNodes[j].appendChild(NavToggle);
              }
            }
            NavFrame.setAttribute('id', 'NavFrame' + indexNavigationBar);
        }
    }
    // if more Navigation Bars found than Default: hide all
    if (NavigationBarShowDefault < indexNavigationBar) {
        for(
                var i=1; 
                i<=indexNavigationBar; 
                i++
        ) {
            toggleNavigationBar(i);
        }
    }
  
 }
 
 addOnloadHook( createNavigationBarToggleButton );

Okay I tried adding that (both after and before the other common.js code, and still nothing... Dcorrin 16:25, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

Two more pieces: The Collapse Tables section of the code must come before the dynamic navigation bars, so you need to switch them. Then you also need to add the following code to the top of common.js (before the other two pieces).
As I said I had tried it both ways, perhaps the other code will help... Dcorrin 13:14, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

/* Test if an element has a certain class **************************************
 *
 * Description: Uses regular expressions and caching for better performance.
 * Maintainers: User:Mike Dillon, User:R. Koot, User:SG
 */

var hasClass = (function () {
    var reCache = {};
    return function (element, className) {
        return (reCache[className] ? reCache[className] : (reCache[className] = new RegExp("(?:\\s|^)" + className + "(?:\\s|$)"))).test(element.className);
    };
})();

I had forgotten you can do this on a per user basis by adding to the User:tjoneslo/monobook.js file. There may be one more tweak to get the hidden/show thing to start hidden.
Tjoneslo 22:12, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

Still doesn't seem to work... Dcorrin 13:14, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

I logged out and back in again, plus altered the page, and it worked. The icons came up hidden by default in Firefox, I think that IE will work differently. Dcorrin 13:18, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

Rancke & Thomas (2007)[edit]

Thomas: The Traveller history covers eight eras (Interstellar wars, Milieu 0, Milieu 990, Classic era, the Rebellion, New Era, Fourth Imperium, GT Alternate) and 3000 years (or more). And some of the data in an individual article changes over this span of time (how could it not).

Me:Hard Times might also be considered a separate era. And we should expect more eras in the future. I'm working on a campaign setting in Glisten in the year 400. Someone may some day think it a good idea to write some Civil War entries or Rule of Man entries. Or there may be actual supplements set in different eras published some time in the future.

I feel quite strongly that the text of an article should be under the natural heading of the article, not under an era heading. For example, the Virus article should be under the title "Virus" not "Virus/TNE", not "Virus/1130", or any variation.

I can understand the feeling, but how can it not belong there if the concept is in-game style library data? The Virus article simply doesn't belong prior to the New Era.

This leads to the issue of articles which cross the eras. As an extreme example, Naasirka. This mega-corporation exists in all eight eras, meaning there now needs to be an article for each era, specifically written for that era. And no place to see the overall history of the organization from beginning to end.

Actually, an IW article about Naasirka would be very different from an M0 article and that from a CE article and that from a Rebellion article and that from a TNE article and (presumably) that from a FI article.

Even if we use the 1116 as a split date, it means that most of the articles from MegaTraveller, HIWG, The New Era, BARD, New Era: 1248, and GT now all require two pages; one to say: "There is no article in the encyclopeda on this subject, but see here" and another to have the text. This covers three of the most productive canon publishers and two of the largest Traveller fan projects. I object.

Well, a lot of the articles would have CE information about the subject. It's pure bad luck that the dozen Rebellion articles that had already been entered dealt mostly with new polities. It's also possible to backdate a lot of the information provided by MT sources. TNE, admittedly, is rather divorced from the Classic Era. But that's more or less the point. CE articles and TNE articles conceptually don't belong in the same index.

* To whom is it imporant that an article be notated as belonging to a specific era?

It's pretty important to me to separate different eras in some way. I'm not wedded to the one I've tried to apply, but it seemed the best possible with the tools at hand.

* How obvious does this notataion need to be?

If the wiki is to be used as a resource for GMs only, we could just label the different versions. If it's to be used as a resource for players it's very important to separate them in some way.

* If an article crosses eras (especially the critical one of classic era -> rebellion/GT), it is more important to have a single article, or multiple articles for each era?

Same answer as the previous one.
Is it possible to split the wiki up into several parts, one for each era, somehow?
- Rancke 13:48, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

I would have three questions then:

  • 1. For an article which exists in only one era, is the use of a category sufficient, or do you feel that the article title should also include era? The difference being the article title appears in large type at the top of the page, and the category appears in small type at the bottom.
I'm not quite sure what difference the difference makes. As I said, I moved those Rebellion-era articles to <article>/Rebellion because that seemed the best means available. Obviously it would be better if someone who was in the New Era 'section' (whatever that may mean) could just search for 'Virus' instead of having to search for 'Virus/TNE'. If it can be done.
  • 2. For an article which spans an era you seem to like the idea of separate pages for each era. What I've asked Dan to do above is to allow creation of hidden sections in an article. Usually used for "spoilers" in other wiki, where we could add each era as a "hidden" section, requiring the user to expand each to see them. Would this be sufficient to hide content from your players?
I'm really more interested in us contributors getting into the habit of not inculding Rebellion material in CE articles and such. Hidden sections sound like a workable idea.
  • 3. A step beyond this is to create skins. If you look under the "my preferences" link at the very top of the page and select the skins tab, you can see the current choices. In this case, the player would select the "Classic Era" skin, which would only show those part of the article as marked for "classic era". The rest of the article would be hidden away.
The indexes would still show the CE user articles like 'Unity of Promise', wouldn't it? It doesn't sound like it is significantly different from the use of hidden sections, but maybe there are aspects I don't grasp.
- Tjoneslo 21:33, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
Rancke 09:54, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

Ron's Riposte (2015)[edit]

As for my unsolicited 0.02 of a credit, we few who view and care about these sort of things, ie. the clients/audience for this wiki, the people putting things on it and reading all know what time it is.

The idea that there will be harmony between eras, I think misses the point. This is a near to library data as a character would read excepting that fact that it will never reflect anything more than the random aggregation of whatever its random fans choose to post and/or contribute. The thousands of monkeys frantically typing <sic> can not be systematically held to a single point of view, they all like what they like and play what they play. Accept it.

Refine and nudge as you see fit, but remember organic growth is inherently messy and difficult to focus. Evolution isn't perfect just good enough (cite panda thumbs, vestigial organs et al). Marking articles is irrelevant, refs and players sift and adapt for use whatever they choose, from which materials suit their fancy.

Oh look, dead beaten horse, found near soap box...

- Ronald B. Kline, Jr. (talk) 21:08, 20 February 2015 (EST)

Eras & Icons (2016)[edit]

Ultimately, I think we need to do what many of the other sci-fi franchises have done and come up with well-defined eras and an icon to indicate each of them. Wookipedia does that and it's very effective.

  • I know that the "inner circle" is working on this as is the team finishing Don's timeline.
  • Then with defined eras/milieus/periods, we can easily tag and sort articles.
- Maksim-Smelchak (talk) 14:32, 14 August 2016 (EDT)