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Whoa, new look!

Discussion in 'Wiki General' started by SuperApe, Apr 1, 2008.

  1. SuperApe

    SuperApe Registered Monkey

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    Wow, what happened?

    (This will take some getting used to.) :D
     
  2. SuperApe

    SuperApe Registered Monkey

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    Uh. This may be just the shell shock of the new look, but I can't seem to navigate to ... anywhere from the main page. Is it just the organization, or are we re-doing the structure of the wiki?
     
  3. Sir_Brizz

    Sir_Brizz Administrator Staff Member

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    Redoing the structure (let's hope!) :) The old wiki basically had no structure. It would be really nice to have something like Valve's Source SDK wiki.
     
  4. haarg

    haarg PC blowticious

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    The old wiki was lacking enough structure to properly deal with new engine revisions and games, and there are also licensing issues. So separating the old content from the new was needed. Please leave feedback if you see rough areas though. You'll probably get more responses on the wiki itself than in here.
     
  5. SuperApe

    SuperApe Registered Monkey

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    I'm all for progress. While I don't quite agree that the old wiki has "no structure", I do appreciate efforts to make the UnrealWiki more useful, easier to use, more accessible for research.

    That said, I'm not sure the change represents a step forward yet. First order of business would be the main page.

    Pretend you're an Unreal n00b wanting to know about (insert any typical query for UT200x, UT3 or UT99, such as replication, weapon coding, player character modeling, random class page, etc).

    Now compare the old main page:
    http://wiki.beyondunreal.com/Legacy:Home_Page

    With our new one:
    http://wiki.beyondunreal.com/

    And try to do the research starting with one, then the other. This should reveal the concern I have right away. Post your results, comments and opinions of this simple test.
     
  6. SuperApe

    SuperApe Registered Monkey

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    :con:
    /after many other purmutations, including Legacy:SuperApe, superape, <my email addy>, ...
    :hmm:
    Exactly what is better about the change so far?
    :rolleyes:
     
  7. Sir_Brizz

    Sir_Brizz Administrator Staff Member

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    I think you'll have to re-register. I'm pretty sure the old wiki provided no way to retrieve usernames and passwords. I could be wrong though.

    Personally, I find the new wiki MUCH easier to navigate than the old wiki. For several years I have felt that the old wiki was all but unnavigable, particularly if you were looking for a specific topic.
     
  8. haarg

    haarg PC blowticious

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    You need to create an account for the new wiki.

    As far as the front page, that is partly a problem due to the need to separate the old content from the new. We'd like to encourage new content to be created outside Legacy:.

    I'd prefer to continue discussing this on the wiki itself, as it is more likely to get seen by others with an interest in the subject. I don't think many people look at this forum.
     
  9. SuperApe

    SuperApe Registered Monkey

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    What the F is going on?

    44? Did you guys delete the old accounts?

    Now seriously. The UnrealWiki is currently BLANK. Unless you go through the legacy stuff, there is no Unreal info available to research. If there was any plan to this upgrade, it apparently entailed the community riding to the rescue and re-filling the wiki with content before anyone notices.

    :y5:

    Did you guys just *oops* and broke your wiki?

    I'd like to have a frank and serious discussion with you (and whomever else is responsible for this new plan), on why this is a flawed view of the state of the wiki. In short, there is more to the wiki than the class pages related to specific engine versions, yet as it is now, *anything* that came before April 1st is lumped in a category that suggests "obsolete". So, what about the pages like ... oh, MapDesign for example?

    I doubt that, but you should know *this* is the place where comments and questions about the wiki have been discussed in the past. Is this aspect changing as well? (The few links that are active on the wiki now do point to this forum for discussions. See bottom of page: http://wiki.beyondunreal.com/Unreal_Wiki:Community_Portal)

    Just exactly how are these sweeping changes being expressed to the community that uses the wiki? So far, the only one talking about this is ... me.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2008
  10. Sir_Brizz

    Sir_Brizz Administrator Staff Member

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    That's because the only person who uses this forum is you :) We only manage to see you posting here by chance :)

    I'm really unsure of what you are arguing about. Part of the reason the old wiki content is in the Legacy namespace is because it has varying licenses. This was discussed on the old wiki for several weeks before the launch actually took place.

    The Legacy category isn't "obsolete", it's "we don't know what we can do with this". You're free to copy pages that are obviously free licensed (like the class descriptions) out of the Legacy namespace into the other areas of the site, in fact I'm pretty sure we are encouraging that. We would like it if there were not a Legacy namespace at all.

    I realize that there is more to the wiki than the class reference pages, however it is also important that someone coming to the wiki the first time probably doesn't care about really advanced topics that were scattered all over the old wiki. They are probably looking for very basic information and discussion. The structure of the new wiki, if maintained, should make that much easier.
     
  11. haarg

    haarg PC blowticious

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    It's not that the old accounts were deleted, it's that they weren't converted. If it even would have been possible, I don't think it would have been worth the effort as they barely had any information attached to them.

    The need for the Legacy namespace isn't because of the lack of organization (which is obviously subjective), but because the old license was mostly incompatible with the new one. As far as I'm concerned, the old license was incompatible with the idea of a wiki, and there were likely numerous violations of it within the wiki itself.

    The page pointing to this forum should probably be adjusted. I think that MediaWiki provides enough areas to include discussion and keep it in one place.
     
  12. SuperApe

    SuperApe Registered Monkey

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    Okay. Before you aim your sights at my head, please take this discussion seriously. Take into account my long-standing contributions to both the wiki and this forum (and many other community sites). This is one wiki user speaking up. Please address these concerns from that standpoint. I don't bring this up lightly. Now then...

    Apparently, there was a discussion for weeks somewhere about how this was going to go down. Can you please point me (and anyone else looking here for information on this) to that discussion? If this forum used to be the place to discuss such things, why hasn't it been brought up here? If this isn't the place to discuss things, why did that page I linked to above point directly to ... here?

    To clarify, what I'm discussing at this point is, What is the plan from here? I see the current changes and I'm well aware of the previous wiki's organization. I simply don't understand the logic or reasoning behind the latest changes yet. I would like more information on how to reconcile the usefulness of the Legacy content with this blank current content.

    If the rationale was to lump everything before April 1st, including class pages, tutorials, broad concept topic pages, topic hubs, personal pages, etc, into one category called "Legacy" because "it has varying licenses" (btw, please explain what that means, where is the problem?, wasn't the wiki always dealing with varying licensed content?), then some future plan must include re-integrating that content which *does not have* license material in it. No? What exactly is that plan?

    Just a minute...

    SirBrizz, I respect you and recognize you've been a BUF member for a long time. But let's go over that line of thinking:

    *Everything* that was on the wiki is now legacy, and you'd like the community to copy individual contents back out of legacy? Does that mean there was an assumption that "Most likely everything before April 1st is not relevant to what we'd like on UnrealWiki"?

    If so, this seems to suggest that a) UE3 is so different than any previous version of the engine that we can assume old engine info is more than likely irrelevant, b) UnrealWiki is has a particular focus on UE3, forsaking all previous versions and content, and c) content on the wiki before April 1st mostly consists of specific licensed information related only to previous versions of the engine.

    I plainly submit that all three of the above assumptions are false. However, I do expect that there is a rationale for this and so I'd like to stop here and listen to what that discussion was/is now. Please make your case clear to anyone reading this thread.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2008
  13. haarg

    haarg PC blowticious

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    I'm certainly not dismissing your concerns.

    The content in Legacy isn't depreciated, and we don't want to lose it. But the conflicts in the licenses are real. The old license basically stated that once information was added, it could only be modified in terms of small formatting changes or other small changes. I'm pretty sure that was violated in plenty of places.

    If it was possible to reconcile the licenses, I would not have had everything labeled Legacy. The reason Brizz says "we don't know what we can do with this" is because what is allowed with the content is solely at the discretion of the original authors of the content. We'd prefer that content be moved into the main namespace, or the various engine namespaces, but we can't relicense it without the author's approval.

    When you say the wiki is blank, I think you are overstating things. The old content is still there. There should be links to the legacy content where appropriate, and there is obviously still some work to be done in that area.

    The plan from here is that new content is only added outside of Legacy, and where possible content is moved out of Legacy. Edits to Legacy are still allowed, but only in terms of edits for formatting or typos or other things of that scope. That is all that was allowed by the old license anyway.

    It would be easier to address your concerns if you had proposals for things that could be changed.

    I'll say again that I would prefer to continue this discussion on the wiki itself.
     
  14. Sir_Brizz

    Sir_Brizz Administrator Staff Member

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    Again, this content is not considered unusable or outdated by any means. The conversion was part of 1) recognizing a need for something more robust (aka MediaWiki), 2) a desire to make the wiki more manageable by the BU staff, 3) a need to make the wiki perform better on BU's server, 4) an interest in providing information in a more straightforward way (the organizational complaints are my own personal beef and not really a reason for the change). As Haarg has said, if it were up to us we would have just merged the entirety of the old wiki into the main namespaces of the new wiki, however the license provided by the old wiki does not allow us to do that.
     
  15. SuperApe

    SuperApe Registered Monkey

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    Thank you. I will also make every effort to understand your positions.

    Why does it sound to me like you're treating the content on the wiki as if it were created in a place other than a free and openly editable space ... like a WIKI. Here you've said that the content is purely controlled by the original authors, only allowing minor (spelling, grammar) edits by those other than the original author. That simply is not what a wiki is. It's clear now you're not talking about Epic's, DigitalExtreme's or other company's content. It appears you're talking about wiki user's content, which belongs to all wiki users and is not owned by any one person (or company). I *must* be misunderstanding your meaning here, so please explain to me what "license" you're referring to and who holds that license.

    I am overstating things a bit to make a serious point. I see the old content, but it's not obvious to someone visiting the main page for the first time. What the average unreal-researching wiki user will see on the main page is a table of links, most of which are not yet active, which eventually lead to blank pages, with requests for content. This isn't just confusing, because of the "professional-looking" style of the website, this simply looks empty. That's a serious problem, unless the aim is to exclude those who aren't aware of this change and the plan for the future.

    I would plainly disagree with that. The old wiki allowed for any edits at any time. Are you saying there was some violation of the law with that? (perhaps we should inform Wikipedia and all the other wikis) Exactly how would pages be put together then: all at once, complete and done, or not at all? Several wiki pages I contributed to were born from a need, whereby a placeholder page was created, then after some research and work, filled in properly, perhaps going back again later for formatting and minor corrections. Are you suggesting that this is somehow improper and that things will have to be done as whole complete pages when created?

    Looking at this from my perspective, a few days ago, our wiki was running along, then a change happened that makes the site less useful. I do not yet have a comprehensive suggestion to make, partially because I feel I'm still in the dark about how this is meant to work out, what the original problem was, etc, and partially because from my perspective, this is a monumental problem. Creating the vast content on the old wiki took hundreds of wiki users several years. If you think I'm going to say, "oh yeah, just move page X and page Y out of Legacy and it's all good.", you're not understanding the scope of the problem I see.

    I'll say again, please LINK to the discussion place you'd like to point (anyone reading this thread) to. For now, I'm happy to keep the discussion going here. I don't see the harm in that.

    Ah. So the old UnrealWiki actually has a license and this is an attempt to navigate that legal obstacle? So, this isn't an upgrade for the old wiki as much as a recreation of the wiki under new control? Yet, the old content is still allowable, if copy/pasted out of legacy and into the new wiki? Do I have that right?
     
  16. haarg

    haarg PC blowticious

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    Because the license as stated on the old wiki means that it isn't free and openly editable. The license as I outlined it is what is defined on the old copyright page. It is in my opinion (and yours it appears) very opposed to what a wiki should be. And although it wasn't enforced technically, yes, it does mean that many of the edits to the old content were probably illegal.

    The original author maintains copyright of the content they contribute on both the old and new wiki. However, the only additional rights granted by the old license however are distribution and minor edits. The new content is covered under a license that allows freely editing content.

    The reasons for the change, as Brizz outlined, are technical, legal, and to enable better organization. As I've stated though, the reason for the Legacy namespace is solely legal.

    Since you obviously have comments regarding the main page, the Main Page discussion page is probably the place to start for this discussion.

    Also, the new wiki currently doesn't allow anonymous edits. That could be changed easily though, and is another area that's open for discussion.
     
  17. SuperApe

    SuperApe Registered Monkey

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    Apparently, I have a lot of reading and catching up to do, which should signal to all those involved that this change was not as transparent as suggested.

    Before this discussion continues (and it will continue here where it is visible and out in the open, not on the site that no one is using atm), I will need to navigate your previous discussions on license and copyright.

    But on the surface, it appears that (by licenses and copright) we're talking about protecting the wiki from having its content ripped and sold as someone else's original content, not protecting the old wiki (which is now gone) from the new wiki.

    Again, I will have to do more research before I can contribute any further to this discussion. Until then, I hope the new UnrealWiki begins to take some shape. I have already run into instances where people used to referencing the wiki have been unable to find what they need.
     
  18. Sir_Brizz

    Sir_Brizz Administrator Staff Member

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    Why? The search goes through the Legacy namespace and all of the pages that existed on the old wiki are on the new wiki.

    What you don't seem to understand is that a lot of the editing that took place on the old wiki WAS ILLEGAL based on the copyright license of that wiki. The old license was very restrictive (probably for commercial reasons).

    The new wiki has all of the content of the old wiki, however we are unable to automatically merge that content into the main namespaces because they were created under the restrictive license of the old wiki.

    As we have said multiple times we would love if all of the content in the Legacy namespace was moved into the main namespaces. To me, it seems like that is the only solution that is acceptable to you. If that's the case, then go ahead and begin the exciting job of tracking down every single content author and getting their permission to move the pages under the new license in the main namespaces.

    Also, this forum is NOT very visible to people who use the wiki. Just look at how many posts have been here before this thread was started.
     
  19. tarquin

    tarquin design is flawed

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    Ok.
    SuperApe has asked me for my opinion.

    I've had to skim through parts of the above because it's all getting too much.
    But here are my thoughts.

    1. License.
    You guys have done exactly the right thing. Creative Commons didn't exist when I set the wiki up, and it's just the ticket. My original intention was basically 'share-alike, non-commercial'. I tried to express this in the project copyright statement... I probably didn't get it right :)
    Getting the new wiki on a CC license is the right thing to do. Unfortunately, we can't retroactively apply it to old material -- we'd have to get permission from every single contributor, and we'd never be able to find them. Plus UseModWiki only keeps details on the past 10 or so edits for a page...

    2. Organization
    I too disagree that the old wiki was totally disorganized. There was a clear plan at least for the first few clicks from the home page. Maybe the way we sliced topics up wasn't to everyone's liking.
    Again, though, a lot of it grew organically. Every few months it would need a clean-up.
    A LOT of people kept saying that we needed to rethink the wiki's structure from scratch. Well, here's that chance :)

    2b. Still on the organization...
    We DEFINITELY needed a way to separate stuff for each generation of the engine. Doing that in UMW wasn't working, and people weren't happy. MediaWiki has good solutions for this.

    MediaWiki was definitely the right choice. Adding all those features for things like images, etc, would have taken us ages in UseMod. Might as well use something off the shelf that works well and has a HUGE user base.

    3. User accounts.
    Yeah. Shame about that. But heh. People can very quickly create a new account. :)

    Anything else?

    PS. Oh yeah -- great job on converting it all to MediaWiki! :D
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2008
  20. haarg

    haarg PC blowticious

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    As for the wiki's organization, I know there was various complaints, but it obviously worked well enough for some people. The fact that it needed improvements was part of the motivation for the change, but doesn't relate at all to the creation of the Legacy namespace.

    Organization is still a work in progress on the new wiki. The wiki is a community project, so having everyone able to contribute to that is needed.

    As for this forum, so far the only people who have posted here are you, someone you asked to look at this, and two BU admins who have to keep an eye on the whole forum. Having this discussion on the wiki would encourage anyone who visits to contribute, and they may have more insight on improvements to be made.
     

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