User:Proslyn/Ruminations

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My ruminations about the wiki, and some things I'd like to see.

Contents

Unavailability

Many parts of the wiki are unavailable to the general editor, as some rightly should (such as user access management, article deletion, etc). However, I must admit that I particularly miss these features, and wonder why they're missing.

Talk pages

  • Purpose: Talk pages allow easy, convenient communication between editors on the wiki itself.
  • Advantages: Talk pages reduce interruptions in productivity by centralizing communications and workplace. Wiki editors are essentially volunteers, and such people tend to follow the path of least resistance. Making it easier to communicate and edit can only help improve quality and quantity.
  • Disadvantages: None known. Perhaps an increased server load? Compared to the size of the rest of the wiki and today's large hard drives, however, it should be negligible.
  • Why disabled: Unknown.
  • Addendum: Why are communications on the wiki important? A number of reasons for communication between editors would be: overall organization, article presentation, information about useful templates which have been made available, notification of tasks, etc.
  • Further addendum: The unavailability of the talk namespace can be circumvented by a variety of means to one given editing access on the other namespaces. For one, a talk subpage can be created. Less easily accessed, perhaps, but a template can fix that. Another possibility I've noticed used on this wiki is simply concealing comments in the source code via HTML commenting.

Watch list

  • Purpose: An editor's watch list notifies the editor when a page of interest has been changed.
  • Advantages: Reduces time wasted checking article histories by informing editors when a page has been changed. Reduces information overflow by acting as a filter, especially when a large number of edits have been made overall within the wiki itself, such that a small number of interesting edits are lost within the Recent Changes. As well as keeping up-to-date on articles of interest, it could also allow an editor to respond immediately to interesting discussions on the wiki.
  • Disadvantages: None known. Perhaps an increased server load? As before, though, this should be negligible compared to the normal running of the wiki.

User contributions

  • Purpose: An editor's contributions page allows one to peruse the edits made by that person, allowing one to judge the quality and standards of the editor.
  • Advantages: Allows an editor to determine whether a person is a vandal, mistaken editor or one unfamiliar with wiki syntax, and proceed appropriately. Users unfamiliar with wiki syntax can then be provided with appropriate advice. For vandals, mistaken editors and those who know little wiki syntax, it allows one to quickly and easily see what edits they have made and correct what errors may have occurred.
  • Disadvantages: ...perhaps allow one to stalk an editor? But stalking edits...well, that seems rather useless.

Public Editing

I believe that it can be taken for granted that a long-term goal of this wiki is to create a repository of comprehensive, high-quality information on Flyff.

What is less clear, however, is whether the wiki is intended to be opened to the public for editing, or not.

If it isn't, well and good, although I believe it could only benefit from public editing.

If it is, then one would conclude that the wiki's short-term goal is to make it ready for public editing. After all, what would be the purpose of "finishing" the wiki and allow public edits, if the public has no reason to make those edits?

Why enable public edits

(More to come)

Preparing for public editing

If the short-term goal of the wiki is to prepare for public editing, then I see the following are needed:

  1. A good number of articles to form a foundation
  2. A set of guidelines and policies to determine what is permissible on the wiki, what isn't, and resolve conflicts.
  3. A core of wiki community 'supervisors' who look through the Recent changes to revert vandalism and ban vandals, protect and delete articles as needed, and elevate other users as required to replenish their ranks. They don't all need to have the same access either. For example, one level might have banning, protection and deletion access, and an upper level can modify user access.

For the first item, I would judge that it has already been completed. With 6,179 articles present on the wiki, and a lot with fully-fleshed content, I think that in terms of size, the wiki could be considered ready.

For the second and third items, however, it seems more problematic.

From what I can see, there are no guidelines or policies -- posted on the wiki, at any rate. I've heard of some allusions to "no posting item drop rates", as well as the implicit criteria that an article on this wiki must relate to Flyff, but nothing else. Some policies which I think would do some good would be:

  • Fully fleshing out what articles are appropriate on the wiki: yes, they must relate to Flyff, but what amount of it should be opinion, and what amount fact? When talking about the Cruiser Set, should only its stats be mentioned, or could one talk about its popularity amongst acros and jesters? What about a class build guide? Or mentioning popular builds?
  • General wiki guidelines might be good as well. I've noticed some pretty interesting guidelines and policies from Wikipedia which could be useful in this context as well. "Building the web", "Edit summary", "Check your facts", "Vandalism", "Editing policy", etc.

As for the core of wiki supervisors, there doesn't seem to exist one at the moment. If my level of access is typical of the others, then the wiki editors have the basic access of a regular contributor on Wikipedia. In same cases, even less (see above).

Disadvantages of public editing

I must admit that opening the wiki to general editing opens the doors to a horde of vandals. Further considering the age range of Flyff players, of whom most probably consist in their teens, doesn't really give much confidence. I would agree that initially, the wiki would be flooded with vandals. However, a page's history allows undesired edits to be easily reverted, so that's not a problem. Locating vandalism might be a bit more problematic, although the Recent changes page should make this easier, although time-consuming.

However, as vandals are identified and banned from further edits, the amount of vandalism should die down quite a bit. From what I know, banning can involve username banning, and for repeat vandals who create new accounts, IP-banning. In the context of the Flyff wiki, banning could have added teeth, considering the link between a player's gpotato account and their wiki account.

Admittedly, this would require that the supervisors concentrate on looking for vandals rather than editing the wiki. However, that is their purpose. Other, legitimate, more numerous users can concentrate on improving the wiki.

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