Reorganising the Wiki

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Deusite
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Reorganising the Wiki

Post by Deusite »

As we all know, the Wesnoth wiki is in a very messy state. This is rather serious considering that the wiki is actually most of the website. It seems that this has happened because the wiki has only been maintained or moderated on an ad hocbasis, and stuff has gradually been allowed to accrete until no one knows exactly how any of it is structured. I don't have the time or skills to be a proper maintainer/moderator, but I would like to at least restructure a lot of the wiki, which is still a huge project in itself.

Play: Rename this to 'About'. This is a much more informative heading than 'Play', which could mean just about anything. This section could contain an introduction to the Wesnoth project, its philosophy, its development and in-game history, guides on how to play/use mainline campaigns, multiplayer (maybe including ladder), ANL, possibly UMC, and the credits. The campaign dialogue could also go here as part of the lore section. There seems to me a lot of duplication; there are sections on how to play but also an online version of the manual shipped in the game. Some of this could probably be stripped.

Create: Perhaps rename this to 'Contribute'. I know that this section includes information on making UMC, but I think 'Contribute' conveys the message of this section more clearly. It should be stated in 'Home/About' that Wesnoth has a great horde of UMC and a huge scope for making what are essentially other games, like Conquest and Gambciv, and that much advice on making UMC can be found in this section. This section should include advice for potential developers, UMC makers, artists, musicians, coders and translators.

Forum: Rename 'Community'. Information about where all the community members gather could be given much more efficiently; I think information about how people can be contacted should be gathered in one place, although this forum, because of its size, perhaps deserves a separate heading. Much of the 'Support' and 'Project' sections could be moved here. This section could include much of what is currently in the support section: links to other fora, mailing lists, and IRC channels, and perhaps also forum and multi-player moderator contact details, and the contact details for translation maintainers, although these two might be better in 'About' and 'Contribute' respectively. The glossary for Wesnothian terms would also be at home here or on the forum itself.

Support: All of this can be moved to the three sections above.

Project: This section doesn't seem to have any specific purpose. All of this could be moved to the 'Community' and 'Contribute' sections.

Credits: Could be moved/section to the 'About' section, but it could just stay as it is currently.

Links: This could all be spread between the 'About, 'Create' and 'Community' sections, as relevant.

Multimedia: There is some attention to Twitter, Flattr, reviews, release announcements, iPhone and Android releases, but I think these should be given more prominence. Advertising is nutritious and delicious! I know some of the information I would put here isn't official, but this can easily be stated where it applies.

It would also be nice if someone had the powers to upload images to the wiki. Some images, such as on the cartography page and the multiplayer CoC have either been deleted or won't load properly (at least for me).

Edit

If we want the wiki to be up to date with the current state of development, the simplest solution I can think of is to give some of the maintenance duties to certain developers. For the sake of example Jetrel could maintain the advice to prospective sprite and portrait artists, Ivanovic advice to potential translators, various coders could maintain the WML syntax guides, etc.
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Re: Reorganising the Wiki

Post by JaMiT »

Deusite wrote:I would like to at least restructure a lot of the wiki, which is still a huge project in itself.
You say "wiki", but your suggestions seem to be about the navigation bar at the top of all pages on this website (regardless of whether or not the page is a wiki page). That is a lot different that reorganizing the structure (categories and articles) of the wiki, for which you say very little. At most, you are talking about changing a half dozen of the over one thousand content pages in the wiki.

Deusite wrote:Play: Rename this to 'About'.
I think this would not be a good move. Renaming the link to "about" might be more accurate, but could be less helpful. The way it is now, if someone new to the game finds their way to a page on this website and decides they want to try the game, then the "Play" link is pretty clearly what they want. These people probably are not interested in an introduction to the project, its philosophy, etc.; they just want to start playing this gem they discovered. If they don't see an obvious "play" or "download" link, they might move on instead of taking the time to explore.

Was there much you wanted to change besides the name of the link? The "Play" page already includes almost everything you suggest it could contain. It might be less obvious that one would find such things under "Play", so you have the question of who do you cater to -- newcomers or those who are already hooked?

Deusite wrote:Create: Perhaps rename this to 'Contribute'. [...] This section should include advice for potential developers, UMC makers, artists, musicians, coders and translators.
I think "create" is more accurate, since people may want to create UMC for their own use, not necessarily to publicly share. In addition, "contribute" conveys a message of official inclusion in the project, which could scare off people who want to see what they can do, but are not fully confident in their abilities. "Contribute" suggests being "good enough", while "create" is more open.

Again, is this just a change to the link name? The "Create" page already includes links for potential UMC makers, including artists, musicians, WML coders, and translators. It is missing links for C++ coders/developers, but that is sort of a separate subject (since C++ changes cannot be distributed as an add-on).

Deusite wrote:Forum: Rename 'Community'.
I would miss the quick link to the forums, but otherwise this proposal makes sense. But isn't that sort of what the "project" link covers? (You are sort of proposing that the "forum" link be removed, and that the "project" link be expanded and renamed to "community".) Why not keep the "forum" link as-is, and edit "project" to provide more information about where people gather? Maybe rename "project" to "community" if the scope does expand beyond the mainline project to also include UMC contacts.

Deusite wrote:Support: All of this can be moved to the three sections above.
It could, but if someone is having trouble and is looking for help, wouldn't a "support" or "help" link be more, well, helpful?

Deusite wrote:Credits: Could be moved/section to the 'About' section, but it could just stay as it is currently.
Sure, if "Play" is renamed. Otherwise, keeping the link makes the credits easier to find.

Deusite wrote:Links: This could all be spread between the 'About, 'Create' and 'Community' sections, as relevant.
I view this page as something of a site map -- a quick reference for someone who is looking for something specific and does not want to try to navigate the site structure that someone else thinks makes sense. Splitting this page across that structure sort of defeats that purpose. (That is, yes, the links should be spread among the relevant pages, but that should be in addition to the links page, not replacing it.)

Deusite wrote:Multimedia: There is some attention to Twitter, Flattr, reviews, release announcements, iPhone and Android releases, but I think these should be given more prominence.
These are networking aspects, not multimedia (text, images, video, sound, etc.). But anyway, how would they be given more prominence? (Release announcements are already posted on the home page, which by one measure is as prominent as you can get.) You mean create a page devoted to social networking links and add a link to that page in the top bar? Seems like overkill to me, as this would be a page with no information other than a few external links. In fact, wouldn't it just be a stripped down version of the links page you want to get rid of?

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Deusite
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Re: Reorganising the Wiki

Post by Deusite »

JaMiT wrote:You say "wiki", but your suggestions seem to be about the navigation bar at the top of all pages on this website (regardless of whether or not the page is a wiki page). That is a lot different that reorganizing the structure (categories and articles) of the wiki, for which you say very little. At most, you are talking about changing a half dozen of the over one thousand content pages in the wiki.
The reason I'm talking mostly about the navigation is that I can't change it myself, and some of the changes are dependent on the navigation system being changed. Most of the changes I want to do could be done by anyone whenever they wished (within reason), but for this I need approval.
JaMiT wrote:These people probably are not interested in an introduction to the project, its philosophy, etc.; they just want to start playing this gem they discovered.
If that's so, I think they'd be more likely to use the tutorial, manual, and some of the easy campaigns rather than the wiki. I remember when I first found Wesnoth I wasn't really sure what 'Play' actually meant, and didn't actually read much of it when I looked. If most of the new players use the game itself to learn how to play, the wiki should cater more to existing players. If new players mostly use the wiki to learn, then it should cater more to them.
JaMiT wrote:I think "create" is more accurate, since people may want to create UMC for their own use, not necessarily to publicly share. In addition, "contribute" conveys a message of official inclusion in the project, which could scare off people who want to see what they can do, but are not fully confident in their abilities. "Contribute" suggests being "good enough", while "create" is more open.
I thought this as well, but I think this would be more true of new users than old ones.

Perhaps these two things could be solved by creating a "Help" section, with gaming information for new players and advice for WML content, retaining "About" for stuff to do with the project itself and "Contribute" for potential mainline contributers.
JaMiT wrote:I would miss the quick link to the forums, but otherwise this proposal makes sense. But isn't that sort of what the "project" link covers? (You are sort of proposing that the "forum" link be removed, and that the "project" link be expanded and renamed to "community".) Why not keep the "forum" link as-is, and edit "project" to provide more information about where people gather? Maybe rename "project" to "community" if the scope does expand beyond the mainline project to also include UMC contacts.
I think expanding the 'project' section and renaming it 'community' and expanding the 'forum' section would result in the same thing. I think I would prefer the keep a direct link to this forum (it is the official one after all). Moving it inside another section was just devil's advocacy.
JaMiT wrote:But anyway, how would they be given more prominence? (Release announcements are already posted on the home page, which by one measure is as prominent as you can get.) You mean create a page devoted to social networking links and add a link to that page in the top bar? Seems like overkill to me, as this would be a page with no information other than a few external links. In fact, wouldn't it just be a stripped down version of the links page you want to get rid of?
The 'Multimedia' section is generally designed for a newbie thinking 'How do I know how good this game is?/ What can I play this game on?". I reason I want to move the reviews and social networking stuff there is that I fail to notice everything left of release announcements on the home page. By release announcement I mean pages like this, rather than the announcements on the home page.
JaMiT wrote:I view this page as something of a site map -- a quick reference for someone who is looking for something specific and does not want to try to navigate the site structure that someone else thinks makes sense.
In its current state I don't find the Links section very helpful. Most of the things I would want quick links to aren't there, e.g. WML syntax, unit trees, update log. Wouldn't most people simply bookmark certain pages if they kept referring to it?

Edit: It would be much better to integrate a drop down menu, more information and less space, and some of the pages would look a lot less like yellow pages. Something like this:

Code: Select all

Home   News                 About                           Help                    Forum      Community   Media(?)      Credits+Links? 
-------Archives-------------The Project---------------------For Players------------------------Fora--------Reviews            
-------Release Notes--------The World of Wesnoth------------For Content Creators---------------IRC---------Screenshots
------------------------------------------------------------For Contributers-------------------Support-----Social Media
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Links/Other
[/size]
Last edited by Deusite on December 18th, 2012, 9:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Reorganising the Wiki

Post by Iris »

Deusite wrote:Multimedia
No. Anything but that word.
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Re: Reorganising the Wiki

Post by Dunno »

Sorry for barging in like this, but why don't we ask the general public for what is the most messy section, while we're at it? After a short time of open discussion we could make a poll and see which section "wins" and try to fix the winner, instead of just trying to fix everything :wink:
Personally, I think that currently the AI section is absolutely horrible. It's split into many different articles that are not listed anywhere. One, two, three, four, five. Now this is mess! :augh:
Good thing is, though, that the work required here is mostly simple editing, merging, listing etc. I could volunteer for that, if no one else will :)
As to the navigation bar, I agree about "play". The rest would bring little changes, imo.
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Re: Reorganising the Wiki

Post by JaMiT »

Deusite wrote:
JaMiT wrote:These people probably are not interested in an introduction to the project, its philosophy, etc.; they just want to start playing this gem they discovered.
If that's so, I think they'd be more likely to use the tutorial, manual, and some of the easy campaigns rather than the wiki.
You seem to be skipping a rather important step here. "These people" are people who find their way to a page on this website and decide they want to try the game. As in they do not have the game yet. It would be rather tough for them to skip the downloading of the game and jump right into playing the tutorial and easy campaigns.

Yes, they would be following the "play" link to learn how to play, but at a much different level than you are thinking. They would be seeking to learn how to download, install, and start the game, not how to do things within the game.

Deusite wrote:
JaMiT wrote:["create" versus "contribute"]
I thought this as well, but I think this would be more true of new users than old ones.
So you are saying you think your proposals are more likely to confuse new users than old ones? But new users are the ones least able to work through the confusion, and old users are not likely to be confused by the site not changing (presumably they know the site they have been using). Now I think I'm confused.

Deusite wrote:Perhaps these two things could be solved by creating a "Help" section, with gaming information for new players and advice for WML content, retaining "About" for stuff to do with the project itself and "Contribute" for potential mainline contributers.
Possibly. I do not know if the end result would be an improvement over the current organization though. It might be, but it might also be a lot of work with no payback.

Deusite wrote:
JaMiT wrote:(You are sort of proposing that the "forum" link be removed, and that the "project" link be expanded and renamed to "community".)
I think expanding the 'project' section and renaming it 'community' and expanding the 'forum' section would result in the same thing.
That is the gist of what I wrote.

Deusite wrote:The 'Multimedia' section is generally designed for a newbie thinking 'How do I know how good this game is?/ What can I play this game on?".
If I had those questions, it would not occur to me to follow a "multimedia" link. "Screenshots" perhaps for the former. "Requirements" perhaps for the latter. Other people might think "multimedia" for these things, but not me.

Deusite wrote:I reason I want to move the reviews and social networking stuff there is that I fail to notice everything left of release announcements on the home page.
That seems to be a weak reason to me. And why would anyone think "multimedia" leads to reviews and social networking? I'd think the new placement would go even more unnoticed than the stuff on the home page.

Deusite wrote:By release announcement I mean pages like this, rather than the announcements on the home page.
According to Older News (linked to from the bottom of the home page) that was linked to from the home page back in January (when it was more relevant). So it did have its time in the sun. On the other hand, I can see some benefit to keeping that page more visible (until 1.12 is released). You think a new page with a link to that would be better than finding a place on the home page for the link?

Deusite wrote:In its current state I don't find the Links section very helpful. Most of the things I would want quick links to aren't there, e.g. WML syntax, unit trees, update log. Wouldn't most people simply bookmark certain pages if they kept referring to it?
WML syntax might be a shade too specialized for inclusion, but I personally might find that useful. :) Unit trees are there (twelfth thing listed, and even has two links to go with it). Update log is there (fifth thing listed).

People are somewhat likely to bookmark pages they use regularly, and in fact I would be at least a little surprised if someone did constantly use the links page to get to such a page. So let's skip those people and consider people looking for a page they do not use regularly (the target audience). Do you bookmark most pages you visit on the off chance that you might someday possibly have a use for it? Maybe you do. And maybe you can even keep all those links organized in a way that allows you to quickly return to a page you vaguely recall as existing. I don't think most people manage that, though. And therein lies the usefulness of the links page. It can also be useful for finding pages you have never visited before (presumably you know about the page because it was mentioned by someone somewhere).

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Re: Reorganising the Wiki

Post by Alarantalara »

Dunno wrote:Personally, I think that currently the AI section is absolutely horrible. It's split into many different articles that are not listed anywhere. One, two, three, four, five. Now this is mess! :augh:
Good thing is, though, that the work required here is mostly simple editing, merging, listing etc. I could volunteer for that, if no one else will :)
http://wiki.wesnoth.org/Category:AI is a start.

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Re: Reorganising the Wiki

Post by Dunno »

Alarantalara wrote:
Dunno wrote:Personally, I think that currently the AI section is absolutely horrible. It's split into many different articles that are not listed anywhere. One, two, three, four, five. Now this is mess! :augh:
Good thing is, though, that the work required here is mostly simple editing, merging, listing etc. I could volunteer for that, if no one else will :)
http://wiki.wesnoth.org/Category:AI is a start.
There's even more :shock:
Ok, I was wrong that there is not a list of AI articles (haven't noticed there's a separate category for AI :oops: ). But the main problem, imo, is that the most linked article is AI WML. This article is very hard to understand, compared to other wml-related articles. And I found it rather tough to navigate between those articles and understand something.
My suggestion is changing AI WML article to more instruction-like, without any explaining, and placing in that article links to General how-to and tutorial (there are three of them, btw: one, two, three). This may help a lot in understanding how it works, while keeping AI WML clean for those who've already got the basics :hmm:
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Re: Reorganising the Wiki

Post by Iris »

I missed this:
Deusite wrote:It would also be nice if someone had the powers to upload images to the wiki. Some images, such as on the cartography page and the multiplayer CoC have either been deleted or won't load properly (at least for me).
File uploads are disabled/unavailable for this wiki, presumably for historical reasons (hosting constraints, etc.). Instead, site administrators like me do have the power to add images to a dedicated location on the server that is normally used for hosting images for the wiki. If you need something added, feel free to PM the Administrators group.

Also, there is no dedicated wiki administrator, as you probably already figured out.
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Re: Reorganising the Wiki

Post by JaMiT »

Dunno wrote:(haven't noticed there's a separate category for AI :oops: ).
To be fair, at the time Alarantalara mentioned it, that category was listed nowhere other than at the bottom of the pages belonging to it (which four of the five pages you linked to did). That part has since been rectified, and the AI category is now listed in the Development and WML Reference categories.

Speaking of which, that is probably the sort of reorganization the wiki could benefit a lot from, probably more than relabeling the main entry points (i.e. the links at the top of each page). Going through the articles and making sure they are in appropriate categories, making sure the categories are in appropriate categories (aside from a select few that should be "top-level"), making sure category pages exist with reasonable and short descriptions, and making sure articles have appropriate links to other articles are all things that could make the wiki more accessible. That is where the real work is. Changing labels can always be done later, if deemed appropriate.

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Re: Reorganising the Wiki

Post by Alarantalara »

Dunno wrote:(haven't noticed there's a separate category for AI :oops: ).
To add to what JaMiT said, the category has only existed for about 3 weeks, when I added it for exactly the reason you expressed. It really was only a start when I mentioned it.

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Re: Reorganising the Wiki

Post by ivanovic »

Yes, please feel free to reorganize and improve the content of the wiki. The idea to have the "area leaders" responsible for their areas sucks somehow. The reason for this is simple: There is only so much time everybody has. And if there is a time constraint and you can decide between doing something for the game or doing boring documentation work guess what the choice will be. Plus: nobody of us is paid to do work here, so we all select what exactly we work on.

If there are specific cases where you would like to have more information it often makes more sense to talk to the people, get the info yourself and then edit the wiki pages for the other people who might have similar questions. Sorry to be this blunt, but time is precious and all of us don't have too much of it, otherwise the wiki would probably be in a better shape. But it is a wiki and we really welcome people helping with the wiki since you are right, it is an important part of the outreach of our project.

Still my proposal is to start with small sections, refresh them, update them and get them up to shape and move on to the next one. This is more likely to work than a top down "get it all done" approach which often ends only half finished.

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