Second Survey discussion (2016)
What a can of worms..
I've been digging (part of the job description of a minion) up data for Beyond Sector, and found loads of issues here in the Wiki; so here is a bunch of questions
- Should we base our astrographic data purely on T5 Second survey data as shown on TravellerMap?
- What should happen to valid data that does not mesh with TravellerMap?
- I've marked multiple Beyond Sector related links for deletion; should I undo them?
- Should we differentiate the "no longer valid data per TravellerMap" as I did for Northstar (world)?
As I hope https://travellermap.com/doc/credits makes clear, TravellerMap hosts various types of data:
- T5SS "Reviewed" data - this will change only via an "Act of God" i.e. Marc Miller. Which happens frequently (or at least it did before Don McKinney passed away, as he was working closely with Marc and together they were actively trying things out, like more Amber Zones)
- T5SS "In Review" data - sectors that have been added to the T5SS dataset but have known issues or simply haven't had enough eyeballs yet. These would progress to the "Reviewed" status, but I'd expect significant changes.
- "Apocryphal" data - this currently includes only the Judges Guild sectors, but you could imagine that any data that got published but is unofficial could fall in here, e.g. Precipice subsector from Disappearance on Aramat. At one point Group One's Theta Borealis, Paranoia Press's Beyond and Vanguard Reaches and FASA's Far Frontiers were in this bucket but Marc liked them so they got the T5SS blessing and are "In Review"
- Unofficial data, which has several flavors:
- Fleshing out Charted Space. This can be stuff written years ago preserved for posterity, or stuff being actively developed. Authors of the stuff being actively developed may hope to get this into the T5SS process, or may just be doing it to fill in blank spaces on the map.
- "Faraway" sectors, which includes broad categories like the Zhodani Core Route (which is a canonical idea but the data is not necessarily representative), isolated clusters (like the Orion OB1 Association that WG Zeist is working on) or one-off sectors (I'll host anything!)
Fundamentally, I'm the curator of TravellerMap - I get to say what's there and what's not there. (Within FFE's Copyrights and Fair Use Policy, of course.) Practically speaking, I'm honored to host the T5SS data and try and support Marc and his compatriots in building a consistent dataset for the OTU, but (and with Marc's blessing) don't limit the site to only official or even OTU data.
- The T5SS/Reviewed stuff is the easy category. It should be mostly stable, and ideally get even more stable over time.
- The T5SS/InReview stuff is by necessity in flux.
- The Unofficial stuff that's fleshing out Charted Space could go through several possible paths:
- It could be scooped up by the T5SS, have the data tweaked a bit, and enter the InReview state (as happened with several sectors recently).
- It could be overwritten by new T5SS submissions (say a new sector book is published by a licensee that discounts previous data)
- It could be overwritten by new but just as unofficial data because I think the new data is better. This happened recently with the Solomani sectors Canopus Sector, Aldebaran Sector, Neworld Sector, and Langere Sector because Randy Dorman did an amazing job researching what was published about them and produced a T5-friendly dataset.
- It could be declared a "preserve" like Foreven Sector was and have all data retracted.
- It could linger in unofficial state forever - the T5SS process may simply peter out, or not bother with every far-flung sector
Now, personally I hope the T5SS process does scoop up most of what's there, but with Don's passing the momentum has stalled and the 1105 Milieu won't necessarily be center stage forever.
So it really depends on what you want to do with the Wiki. Do you want to slavishly track my curation decisions about TravellerMap regarding Unofficial data? Do you want to jump on every edit made to InReview sectors? Do you want to only focus on the Official/Reviewed subset?
(btw, feel free to edit my text and linkify more things; I'm not all that nimble with mediawiki syntax)
This discussion of how to handle multiple versions of the same article is one I had with Hans (here and in several other fora) as well as some others. The general resolution we came to was:
The Traveller wiki was about all forms of Traveller, not just the canon sources. We wanted to include articles that were made un-canon, or never were canon, or never would be. This has not changed.
What to do with conflicting sources? Hans and I agreed there were two ways to handle conflicts, like the one about Northstar. One was to try and integrate the two sources. There is a Template:Conflict to mark these articles if the integration is not simple. And then use the article talk page to describe/discuss the conflicts.
This first approach works for small differences in a larger article. For articles with larger differences, or like the Northstar article, are completely conflicting the approach was to create two articles. The Beyond Sector articles are an example of this. There should be a link at the top of each article to the other to let people find them. The primary article is the most canon or most currently available. The secondary ones (on the sub pages) are the out-dated, alternative ones. For pages like the two Northstar articles, we will need to make sure the sub-page name (e.g. Paranoia Press) is consistent across all examples, and that the articles are linked correctly.
Finally I think it is important to remember that from the Wiki perspective the TravellerMap site is another publication. Like the T5 Core rules book or any of the Mongoose supplements. So the special place in our heart for Joshua and all of his hard work shouldn't distract from our mission being the encyclopedia of all thing Traveller. And that includes the history. Tjoneslo (talk) 09:13, 27 February 2016 (EST)
- I suppose the easiest (or at least equally elegant) would be to add a short blurb to Beyond sector that there is an alternate version of the data (Beyond (PP)) to show the alternate version and on Beyond (PP) show Beyond(T5SS) as an alternate; rather than deleting the data from the wiki.
- Similar approach to the Judge's Guild domain and any data for Foreven Sector. Ssteve (talk) 20:03, 27 February 2016 (EST)
- And then there's the version of Beyond that was on TravellerMap prior to the T5SS, the one that pages like Marrakesh Subsector were based on. 77topaz (talk) 21:18, 2 March 2016 (EST)
I have added a heading called "Meta-History & Background", which documents the publishing meta-history and background of sectors. Odd that.
- I have used the T5SS primary citations from the data as a start and added to them. Hopefully that will make some of this confusion a little easier to comprehend.
- Additionally someone created a "conflict" tab that many of the sectors have in their reference section.
- Maksim-Smelchak (talk) 16:13, 21 June 2016 (EDT)