Notability guidelines

Discussion of all aspects of the website, wiki, and forums, including support requests and new ideas.

Moderators: Forum Moderators, Developers

User avatar
sub2pewds
Posts: 40
Joined: February 21st, 2019, 7:50 am

Notability guidelines

Post by sub2pewds » September 2nd, 2019, 8:25 am

I have been in discussion with a couple of Wesnothians who would like to see some rules put in place regarding article notability. This is less like wikis such as wow.gamepedia.com or starcraft.fandom.com, and more like wikis such as Wikipedia itself. They have proposed this as an example guideline:

Any leader (or enemy unit) who only exists in a single scenario of a campaign and whose sole function is to recruit units is not notable.

Personally, I would prefer not to have such notability guidelines for articles about canon, and there are a handful of reasons for that. With that said, it's obviously not my website, and it's not really up to me to make these decisions. So I open the floor to opinions and/or suggestions. On this thread, if you have a guideline you support (or otherwise), please indicate so. If individual guidelines seem to have the forum's general support, I'll roll them out. :)

Tad_Carlucci
Developer
Posts: 441
Joined: April 24th, 2016, 4:18 pm

Re: Notability guidelines

Post by Tad_Carlucci » September 2nd, 2019, 1:57 pm

Huh?

It feels like you're dropping us into the middle of a discussion.

What do you mean by "notability"?
What is the problem you're trying to solve?
I forked real life and now I'm getting merge conflicts.

User avatar
lhybrideur
Posts: 70
Joined: July 9th, 2019, 1:46 pm

Re: Notability guidelines

Post by lhybrideur » September 2nd, 2019, 3:59 pm

I think the problem they are trying to solve is what pages to create.
Do we need to create a page about any single enemy leader or only important ones ?

User avatar
octalot
Developer
Posts: 407
Joined: July 17th, 2010, 7:40 pm

Re: Notability guidelines

Post by octalot » September 2nd, 2019, 5:18 pm

"Notability" is Wikipedia's name for the measure of whether something is important enough to have its own page.

This thread started when I saw that there were many new pages for Tan-Prodash, Tan-Erinak, Tan-Someone-Or-Other, etc, where each was an enemy leader in one of TRoW's scenarios. The two I've linked to are from the final scenario, where Haldric leaves one orc leader alive to tell other orcs about what happened, which is why those pages show plot-branches.

When the details are "was an enemy leader in a kill-enemy-leaders scenario, said something, died", then no matter how well-written the page is, that orc was just a generic leader with a generic bunch of units to fight. A few pages with interesting orcs would be good, but in this case I feel less is more - if Category:Orcs has lots of generic orcs then it becomes less useful for finding characters to link other campaigns to, and less interesting for random browsing.

User avatar
sub2pewds
Posts: 40
Joined: February 21st, 2019, 7:50 am

Re: Notability guidelines

Post by sub2pewds » September 2nd, 2019, 6:42 pm

@Octalot: I hadn't thought about this particular concern. As far as I can see it, for the purposes of offering people the ability to search only for especially notable characters, other gaming wikis tend to use pages/subcategories such as these:
In WoW's case: https://wow.gamepedia.com/Notable_orcs
In SC's case: https://starcraft.fandom.com/wiki/Categ ... characters

If I were to assess the characters from TRoW, I would mark the especially notable ones below:

Humans: Haldric I, Jessene, Aethyr, Eldaric IV, Addroran IX, Edren, Ruddry, Ladoc
Undead: Jevyan, Caror, Lenvan
Woses: Elilmaldur-Rithrandil
Dwarves: Burin

There wouldn't be any especially notable orcs in this particular campaign in my opinion. If we had categories such as "Notable Humans", "Notable Undead", "Notable Woses", and "Notable Dwarves", it would be a simple task of subcategorization, in my opinion. This is my personal preference.

It is worth adding that I am opposed to a large quantity of material's inclusion on the wiki, specifically that which is not part of the mainline. Wings of Victory was added to the mainline a few months ago, I believe, so that should obviously be included. I do not think that the UMC campaigns merit their own articles, at least until they are added to the mainline. I suspect this is an unpopular opinion, but that's where I stand.

Tad_Carlucci
Developer
Posts: 441
Joined: April 24th, 2016, 4:18 pm

Re: Notability guidelines

Post by Tad_Carlucci » September 2nd, 2019, 7:08 pm

I would have a "dramatis personae" page where we list all the named characters, either with links the their own page, or with a link the the campaign/scenario where they appear.

Even though a given leader might be a kill-the-leader objective, that does not mean someone else could not make a prequel making them notable.

I would agree, however, that there should be a set of guidelines as to who should have a page of their own, and who should appear in a dramatis personae listing.
I forked real life and now I'm getting merge conflicts.

gnombat
Posts: 239
Joined: June 10th, 2010, 8:49 pm
Contact:

Re: Notability guidelines

Post by gnombat » September 2nd, 2019, 7:49 pm

Another criterion you could consider for notability is whether a character has a custom portrait (instead of just using a generic portrait image).

That might not work for newer campaigns like Wings of Victory, but in most of the older campaigns the notable characters have their own portraits.

User avatar
octalot
Developer
Posts: 407
Joined: July 17th, 2010, 7:40 pm

Re: Notability guidelines

Post by octalot » September 2nd, 2019, 7:52 pm

Who would be the target audience for pages about units that aren't included in the "especially notable" categories? (Assuming those pages are limited to the facts available in canon.)
sub2pewds wrote:
September 2nd, 2019, 6:42 pm
I do not think that the UMC campaigns merit their own articles, at least until they are added to the mainline.
A difference between Wesnoth and World of Warcraft is that mainline is much smaller, but UMC items and campaigns are actively encouraged by having the add-on server, which IIUC is the opposite of the situation in WoW.

User avatar
sub2pewds
Posts: 40
Joined: February 21st, 2019, 7:50 am

Re: Notability guidelines

Post by sub2pewds » September 2nd, 2019, 8:44 pm

I don't know yet. Unlike on Wikipedia, I don't have tools to monitor page traffic, so I don't even know if articles like Haldric I get any views daily from anyone other than me. In truth, I suspect they get very few views because people don't yet know that the wiki lore is now receiving support. Hopefully that will change with time as more articles are written and the wiki becomes more comprehensive.

My personal reasons for wanting to read such pages was to understand where each character fits in within the overarching story. I have tried to write UMC before, but swiftly given up when it seemed too hard to make everything consistent with the lore. Giving background, even to the most minor of canonical characters, would have been helpful to me. The links between these said pages also make it easy to navigate quickly in order to find the information of interest.

It is true that the World of Warcraft is larger, but I think most people would be surprised by the number of mainline scenarios. Not including the incomplete scenarios from NR, there are nearly 300 scenarios. I think there is enough lore to pad out the wiki. I also think that the UMC articles are usually written to a low standard and receive no maintenance. This isn't a major problem, but I believe the wiki would be better if it did not allow the reader to confuse UMC lore for canon, which can be done by UMC creators putting their lore in their own user namespaces.

Tad_Carlucci
Developer
Posts: 441
Joined: April 24th, 2016, 4:18 pm

Re: Notability guidelines

Post by Tad_Carlucci » September 3rd, 2019, 3:52 am

To my mind, much of the Wiki is (or should be) directed at three audiences:

UMC story authors and map makers. This is where dramatis personae and the notable character pages, along with campaign and scenario overviews, art galaries, geographies and histories, would be of use.

UMC WML and Lua authors. I view this as a separate activity to writing stories. This would be the techincal documentation.

Players. This would be a much less in-depth dive into the timelines and higher-level overviews of the campaigns and scenario, along with (or as a separate area) detailed information on the client from the player's point of view (as opposed to the UMC author's).

Each of these areas would have distinctly different requirements, style guides, etc.
I forked real life and now I'm getting merge conflicts.

User avatar
sub2pewds
Posts: 40
Joined: February 21st, 2019, 7:50 am

Re: Notability guidelines

Post by sub2pewds » September 5th, 2019, 6:35 am

I've started a notability guidelines page. It is work in progress, and it has reduced the number of articles by about 21 pages of those made so far. If you want to change the guidelines, it's probably best to use the talk page, or if that takes too long, feel free to make your own alterations.

User avatar
octalot
Developer
Posts: 407
Joined: July 17th, 2010, 7:40 pm

Re: Notability guidelines

Post by octalot » September 6th, 2019, 9:08 pm

The notability guidelines page doesn't seem to reflect the input in this thread, nor the rule suggested by a Wiki admin in private conversation ("any leader who only exists in a single scenario of a campaign and whose sole function is to recruit units is not notable").
https://wiki.wesnoth.org/Wesnoth:Notability wrote:Chompey is considered notable because it speaks, despite not being mentioned by name nor controlling a group of units. The Final King of Clearwater is considered notable because he is explicitly mentioned, despite not having any given lines nor does he control any units in a scenario. Eowarar is considered notable because he controls units in a scenario, despite not having any given lines nor is he explicitly mentioned.
Of these, Chompey and Eowarar seem suited to Tad Carlucci's "dramatis personae" page, without adding separate pages. With Gnombat's suggestion, neither has a custom portrait.

While the Final King of Clearwater might be notable, merely being explicitly mentioned doesn't seem a good reason to be so. Being mentioned by title without being given a name suggests that no story has been developed for that character, and he's probably (until someone writes the story) just a footnote in Clearwater's history.

About redirect pages: for me, creating additional redirect pages for non-notable characters seems bad. Having a name be a blue link makes me assume that there will be some additional information behind that link.

User avatar
sub2pewds
Posts: 40
Joined: February 21st, 2019, 7:50 am

Re: Notability guidelines

Post by sub2pewds » September 6th, 2019, 10:49 pm

octalot wrote:
September 6th, 2019, 9:08 pm
The notability guidelines page doesn't seem to reflect the input in this thread, nor the rule suggested by a Wiki admin in private conversation ("any leader who only exists in a single scenario of a campaign and whose sole function is to recruit units is not notable").
This is true, only because we had not yet reached a consensus on what was to be done in particular, and because people had stopped talking on this particular matter. I chose to only make the guidelines conservative, as it does take some time to implement such changes, and I don't want to have to undo any such work. Of course, it is subject to revision, but for the time being, I was either able to write something or drop the matter.

The first guideline "any leader who only exists in a single scenario of a campaign and whose sole function is to recruit units is not notable" would open a can of worms. Take this spectrum of importance:
  • Eowarar says nothing over the course of his scenario, and interacting with him does not trigger any special event.
  • Tan-Burg says nothing over the course of his scenario, although he does give loot upon his death.
  • Tan-Rarbag says one line during his scenario and gives loot upon his death.
  • Daellyn says one or two lines during his scenario and triggers a special event. He also has a small amount of background.
  • Tan-Vragish says multiple lines during his scenario and a significant part of the story can potentially revolve around him.
  • Rualsha says a couple of lines during his scenario but is the chief antagonist of the entire campaign AOI.
I know that have privately argued that none of these characters deserve their own page, although I suspect that to be a contentious position. If we are to roll out that guideline as suggested, can we first get some agreement which of the above characters disappears? That way, we can work towards having something that everyone understands and can follow with consistency.

One other thing that is important to remember is that the guidelines are put in place with someone's benefit in mind. Wikipedia has obvious reasons for its notability guidelines which I studiously follow there. The reasons are different in Wesnoth's case, which means we need to consider their purpose.

User avatar
sub2pewds
Posts: 40
Joined: February 21st, 2019, 7:50 am

Re: Notability guidelines

Post by sub2pewds » September 6th, 2019, 11:11 pm

At the end of the day, we're all volunteers. I'm here only in the belief that I can improve the wiki, and to the extent that this is contingent upon forum discussions, I will always have to work with a little quasi-bureaucracy. I also acknowledge that, particularly as a relative newcomer to this community, I can only be granted so much creative license. The ability to contribute constructively, however, is the goose that lays the golden egg. The faster I can navigate the guidelines without agitation, the faster I can write articles. The faster I can write articles, the faster I can get this wiki into a significantly healthier state.

From my previous post, one can understand why I have agitation about the particular guideline. I am no fan of ambiguity, partly because I like clear rules more than I like interpreting what rules might mean. This is my overall concern with rushing ahead with guidelines before they are set in stone by the community.

User avatar
Pentarctagon
Forum Administrator
Posts: 4057
Joined: March 22nd, 2009, 10:50 pm
Location: Earth (occasionally)

Re: Notability guidelines

Post by Pentarctagon » September 6th, 2019, 11:13 pm

I think that to a certain extent it needs to be accepted that no rule can be created that accounts for every possible situation, so there does need to be some flexibility assumed rather than attempting to nail down every single splinter.

Somewhat relatedly, simpler is generally better (KISS and all that). For example, the rule "any leader who only exists in a single scenario of a campaign and whose sole function is to recruit units is not notable" allows determining notability via two fairly straight-forward criteria:
  1. Do they only exist in one scenario? - yes/no
  2. Do they do anything other than recruit units to attack you? - yes/no
If the answer to (1) is Yes and (2) is No, then they aren't notable, and that's it.
99 little bugs in the code, 99 little bugs
take one down, patch it around
-2,147,483,648 little bugs in the code

Post Reply