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Blackout for SOPA

Following in line with Reddit, possibly Wikipedia, and a few other sites, is there any chance we could do the same here? I'd imagine it'd require ANet's approval since they run the site and the company is somewhat represented here, but is this even something the community's willing to do? Just thought I'd open the conversation, although it might be too late given the general speed of things around here. ~FarloUser Farlo Triad.pngTalk 04:42, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

We would definitely need to run this through ArenaNet, and ArenaNet would likely have to run it through NCSoft. The spontaneity of the SOPA protests is awesome, but I don't think it works in our favor.
If we could do it, +1. --Riddle 06:00, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, I'd imagine it's too late to get that setup, but hey, I'll ask Stephane anyways. ~FarloUser Farlo Triad.pngTalk 06:57, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
I have three major concerns
  1. It would be very easy, especially for casual readers who don't know how the wiki works inside-out and backwards, to take any action on the part of the wiki as a political stance of ArenaNet and NCSoft. That is extremely tricky water.
  2. I'm not terribly comfortable with making the wiki inaccessible while the game and the official site remain open. That feels a lot like a breach of our relationship with ArenaNet and the GW community at large. Anet provides hosting for us, we provide documentation for the game. That's the "deal".
  3. I don't really want to set a precedent where the wiki becomes a politically active entity. Now obviously SOPA is a huge thing that has far-reaching consequences for anyone on the internet, but let's be careful about winding up in a position to have to say "Yes, we did a blackout for a SOPA, but no, we won't do one for (next hotbed political topic seriously impacting millions of lives)," or worse wind up where we do blackouts on a regular basis for the political issue of the week. This is more a cautionary note to make sure that whatever we do, it's with eyes wide open.
I think about the only way I'd be comfortable with blacking out the wiki entirely would be if Anet decided to also take down the game itself; else we're essentially damaging the game by taking out a part of it. Obviously this would be something to talk to Anet about.
The other thought I'd consider would be to lock editing for the day, for all users, anon and registered. Sysops could still be allowed (to catch any vandalism that slips through at the last minute) but refrain aside from removing vandalism. This would also need to be discussed with Anet to make sure they're cool with it, planned out to make sure it's clear why people are locked out of editing, and gather a fair bit of community support to make sure the wiki community is comfortable with it and that we don't wind up either on a slippery slope or inadvertantly slighting other perfectly worthy causes.
Unfortunately, I assume the earliest Anet could possibly respond would be Monday (and then probably with an "I need to talk to some people about it" if not a flat no). So yeah. Tight timeframe there. But we can discuss amongst ourselves in the meantime. - Tanetris 15:43, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
Of course it would require ANet's approval and it would definitely mean they were taking some kind of stance, or at least supporting the stance, that's why I asked Stephane, but who knows if it could even get through who it needs to in time. The issue of setting precedents is obviously a tough one, but (I think) anyone with a decent sense of the internet can see that this bill has some ridiculously far-reaching implications, something like this doesn't happen often.
I've been reading Wikipedia's discussion and they seem to be moving towards a page-sized banner that details SOPA and why it's blacked out, but then it can be hidden like their fundraiser banners (or our election banners). Once you click through it the Wiki functions as usual, except there's a small "click for more info" banner at the top of every page for the day. We might not wish to do that, if we do anything at all, but I guess that'd be something to discuss assuming we get approval from ANet. ~FarloUser Farlo Triad.pngTalk 19:41, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
We've been consistent about the message that the wiki is about documenting the game; fighting against SOPA is clearly not about the game. It's been easier to address a certain type of trolling because we have been able to make the blanket statement: if it's not about GW (or ANet), it doesn't belong in mainspace. Is this really the issue that we want to use to break precedent? (Wikipedia has an entirely different mission...and perhaps anti-SOPA campaigning, like fundraising, fits within that wiki's needs.)
That said, I support Tanetris' suggestion to ask ANet if it would be okay to lock editing for the relevant period. In effect, if ANet decides to support the blackout, we would be documenting the game by following their lead. (The sort of loophole that the authors of SOPA ought to be proud of.)
(For what it's worth: I'm against SOPA and the principles upon which it is based.) – Tennessee Ernie Ford (TEF) 19:44, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
Is it really an effective protest to lock editing and not viewing? What does that achieve? Most players don't care/know about what's going on on the editing scene - would they notice the protest at all? If they don't, does it just serve to annoy users who need their daily editing fix?
Anyway, for what reason would Guild Wars Wiki want to protest? Its content comes from ANet, and if ANet doesn't think SOPA is bad enough to blackout their services, why should The Wiki do it on its own?
Sure, SOPA is bad, but I don't see the point in GWW doing anything about it. pling User Pling sig.png 20:01, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
Agreed with Pling. We've quashed political and religious debates/views on userpages before with the understanding that "this is a video game wiki." It's still a video game wiki, and as Tanetris points out, the official wiki hosted by ANet, so it's really not the place to protest SOPA or anything else. -Auron 22:14, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
^ Wasn't someone blocked just recently for bringing up SOPA stuff in mainspace? pling User Pling sig.png 22:59, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
The topic was SOPA but that user was spamming the message everywhere and wouldn't stop. --JonTheMon 00:29, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
Also, previous statement by Stephane about the topic: Feedback_talk:Stephane_Lo_Presti#About_anticensorship --JonTheMon 00:33, 15 January 2012 (UTC)

reset indent I think you guys should make an exception, seeing as how SOPA and PIPA threaten the well-being of the site. 23:31, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

It's k guys, GuildWiki has SOPA covered. User Felix Omni Signature.pngelix Omni 23:44, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

Regarding accessibility: a barrage of redundant information, new categories, and an attempt to prevent excessive duplication of effort through automation

Hypothetical scenario: I want to see which monsters use a given skill. I search for the skill, and encounter mainly Codex entries. I try to use the term incategory:Monks to only see pages which are about NPCs that can use the skill in question. I lament the discovery that the wiki doesn't support that class of search. I exclude the string "codex" in my search and find a number of NPCs, some hostile, some friendly. I don't know if I've found all the monsters that use my skill, but I find some. Somewhat satisfied but with a sour taste in my mouth, I continue on my merry way.

Is there any chance we could improve dynamic information on demand? I don't know the full extent of what MediaWiki supports with regards to searching and network databases (my guess: jack), but it would be nice to make arbitrary queries about a given facet of the game and expect an accurate reply. To continue my example, if I was searching for enemies that used Word of Healing, a search that returned all enemies tagged with WoH or in the WoH category or something would be faster and much more helpful.

If the wiki software isn't capable of handling this, then I also welcome a discussion about ripping off all the wiki information, sticking it into a database, and hosting it somewhere. –Jette 23:50, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

See two topics above yours. Tub 01:42, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
I commend your attempt to humiliate me for my inattentiveness, but you fail to demonstrate why this is a bad idea. –Jette 03:46, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
Why what is a bad idea? I'm not sure what you are suggesting. Many of us have long agreed that the a lot of data on the wiki is stored inconsistently (a natural result of the resource's evolution), making it difficult to run dynamic queries. The problem is that it's extremely time consuming to fix every malformed piece of data.
Possibly an easy way to tag NPCs with category: uses skill X is to update {{skill icon}} to add the category. Then, DPL queries could filter on pages that use {{NPC infobox}} and are members of that category. The problem with that kludge is that it creates 2000 new categories and adds 4-40 category tags to various articles (e.g. each type of peacekeeper might have one of 4-5 different builds). That solves one type of dynamic data problem, but makes it more difficult to use categories while browsing (and adds a new layer of organizational management issues). Worse, it doesn't address the underlying problems with how data is stored.
Alternatively, you can try to build on top of what I've been doing, which is to create a DPL query that filters on links to skills on NPC articles. See: User:Tennessee_Ernie_Ford/Sandbox_4 and User:Tennessee_Ernie_Ford/Sandbox_7. (Pop me a note if you aren't sure how to bend those pages to your will or send me an email if I'm slow to respond.) DPL is supposed to offer some way to look just at a particular section (e.g. Skills), but I haven't figured out how to filter the query to look there. As it stands, looking for Pain Inverter finds a lot of boss pages b/c PI is often recommended as a skill to use against those foes.
I suspect your concern is more general than just skills (there are similar issues with e.g. unique weapon data, although Kirbman et al have been doing a lot of good work fixing that). But that's what happens when a wiki like this grows by accretion. I hope we learn from this for GW2W, so that we start off from a more solid foundation. – Tennessee Ernie Ford (TEF) 07:48, 16 January 2012 (UTC)

Highlighting pending game updates

Robert Gee has just posted some details on an upcoming update. This is something that would be of interest to most people playing GW, however, chances are they won't see it because it isn't mentioned anywhere on the main page. I only noticed it because I was scanning recent updates. Maybe it would be worthwhile to have a section on the main page that highlights these things? It would be like the link on the top of the page to the most recent actual update, but to previews (formal and informal) instead.

I know we already have a link to skill update previews, but

  1. people probably won't bother to click on the link until the update is live, rendering it moot;
  2. that only works for official previews, while this is an informal post that Robert has made on his own initiative.

The recent ele rebalance leak would be another example of an informal preview that could have been highlighted this way. -- Hong 11:32, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

We could introduce a news section like gw2w does, but it's always a question of maintenance, usability, preventing vandalism on the mainpage, fitting it into the layout etc. Tub 12:03, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
Note that I've already updated Feedback:Skill update previews (and Upcoming changes and features) yesterday when he first posted the journal entry. --Silver Edge 19:45, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
That's another reason why we should have a "news" section! I had no idea that the skill update previews page had been updated, because I never go to that page. Given how rare previews are, there's no reason why anyone would regularly go to that page. The only way you'd know it had changed is if you happened to see it on Recent Changes. -- Hong 07:04, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
You could always add it to your watch list, then you'd know exactly when it was updated. --Rainith 00:56, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
Nope. Game updates, skill previews etc. are usually created on new pages, which you can't watch beforehand. The lists you see are merely DPL queries, and they won't get updated on your watchlist when the page contents change - they're only updated when someone makes an edit.
Heck, I added the contributions of most ANet staffers to my rss reader so I won't miss any announcements, but that's hardly a solution for the average reader. Tub 01:26, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
That's not the case for User:Robert Gee/Journal, which needs to be edited manually to display a new entry. --Silver Edge 05:42, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

External gift drop data tool — should it be linked from relevant data articles?

In an effort to improve the quality of the drop data we collect for gift-like items (Lunar Fortunes, Lockboxes, Strongboxes, ...), Tub has created a slick little tool, hosted on a site that he controls. Tub has offered to extend its usage (and maintain the tool) for relevant gifts. Due to the nature of its programming, it cannot be hosted from the wiki.

Should we link to this tool? (from the top of each data collection page, e.g. Royal Gift/Drop rate)

  • Drastically improves the quality of data in three ways:
    • Eliminates the wikicode aspect of adding data rows, making it more accessible to more people.
    • Makes it easier to keep track while someone is opening gifts, reducing transcription errors.
    • Simplifies the process, also reducing errors.
  • Tub is one of the most trusted contributors on the site.
  • It's hosted externally and we haven't to-date linked mainspace articles to webscript pages.
  • We only infrequently link to any external sites that host software (exceptions for TexMod/add-ons, YouTube, and fan sites).
  • Some will argue later that this (will have) set a precedent and that we should link to their tool/site/etc.

I think we should make an exception because (a) this only applies to a handful of data pages; (b) we can include the usual warnings about using offsite stuff; (c) it's easy enough to expose the scripts used and validate their safety; (d) we can specifically note that this should not be considered precedent-setting; and most importantly (e) it's worth the effort to improve the quality of the data we collect. – Tennessee Ernie Ford (TEF) 04:08, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

As long as it is just a utility for wiki editing, which it definitely is, as it just generated wiki code for you, does not store the data itself, and you still have full control over the generated things, I'm perfectly fine with such things. We always had quite a number of tools made especially for this wiki, being them made available directly inside (like GWWT), or externally hosted. We had a very similar tool (in terms of what help it provided) for the daily codex skill pages, which generated the code to be pasted on the article. As long as it serves the wiki and its contributors, it's perfectly fine. poke | talk 22:19, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
I really can't imagine this harming the wiki in any way - can anyone else? I'm aware that that particular branch of reasoning is a poor grounds for validating pretty much anything, but this is just a nonessential yet nifty tool. I see no need in this situation to be wary of hosting it externally and/or linking to another site, especially when we remain completely in control of it. calor (talk) 03:11, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
The risk isn't the code itself, it's giving our trust to a site over which GWW has no control. Hackers have been known to install their Evil-doing code on otherwise safe-looking sites and have encouraged the Righteous to click an innocuous-looking link that triggers disaster (in the form of a small bot).
What mitigates the risk is that (a) it's easy to spot-check the script and (b) and I trust Tub to keep his site secure. – Tennessee Ernie Ford (TEF) 22:42, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

(Reset indent) In the absence of any negative feedback, I plan to add a link to Tub's tool at the top of the relevant articles. Afterward, we can reevaluate to decide if we should keep them and/or use them elsewhere. – Tennessee Ernie Ford (TEF) 18:52, 12 March 2012 (UTC) site wipe contant placment

moved from Feedback_talk:Stephane_Lo_Presti#old_site_wipe

Dose anyone have suggestions as to where the content that we get off of the website before they wipe it should go or should we just make a page like guildwarsoldwebsite? and then just post everything we find there and then post the appropriate places? also who is willing to verify the information that we are getting off the site (ie someone isn't just fabricating guild wars info?)