Hi! First of all, thank you all for the great work! I'm a newcomer here and there are my suggestions what might we (me, personally) do to make TG even better:
- More linguistic info. I noticed some articles lack info on etymology of their titles and others have it inside the text so it is hard to find what a title means. Maybe we could put this info in the special template blocks (like for pronounciation now) and provide some formalism by creating special templates/categories like "Sindarin term", "Westron term" and so on. I also started to make original Tengwar transcriptions for the Elvish titles (see how it looks on Arnor for instance). If someone would like to get on it too, Online tengwar transcriber makes a great help in that.
- More references. To make the information looking reliable and verifiable I think it is a good idea to provide every article with the references to work of JRRT (or others) where this info come from (book and chapter, as minimum). We also can create another template box for this purpose.
- Geographical articles need maps. Now I play with artificial 3D landcapes generator, so I think I'll be able soon to make few ones in "Google sat maps" style (at least for main realms and regions) without copyrights and licensing issues.
- More chronological info. I think we can follow the Wikipedia way to have special category of articles for separate years.
These ideas come from my first glance on TG. Let's discuss it.
--Vardo 04:28, 25 July 2006 (EDT)
- Welcome to Tolkien Gateway, Vardo, and your new status of being one of those few "Gatekeepers". I would like to respond to some of your points:
- More linguistic info I would agree with this. We have only just starting placing root words into the encyclopedia, and it is hard to get it all done in 4500+ articles.
- More references I agree with you here too.
- Geographical articles need maps At last, someone else who has knowledge of computer-generated landscapes, and much more than I do. That sounds excellent in the highest degree. Recently I have been using Bryce for objects rather than landscapes (see Image:Tilkal-red.jpg, Image:Tilkal-green.jpg. I also have a temporary one of Gondolin, but I can't remember the title at the moment). I did, however, create one of Númenor: Image:Numenor.jpg. Anyway, I have only been working on Bryce for less than a year, and it will be nice to have someone who knows what he's doing.
- More chronological info Sounds good. Can you elaborate on this or is it just a thought that you haven't delved into?
- As I said, welcome to Tolkien Gateway. Thanks for jumping right in. --Narfil Palùrfalas 08:35, 25 July 2006 (EDT)
- Oh, one thing about that link. Is there an English translation of that? If not, could you direct me to where the actual transcriber is? I don't speak Polish or whatever that language is, and can't figure it out. --Narfil Palùrfalas 08:44, 25 July 2006 (EDT)
- Nevermind. There was a problem with your link that I corrected, and I had been directed to the Main Page. I clicked on your link again and now I know. Thanks anyway. --Narfil Palùrfalas 08:45, 25 July 2006 (EDT)
- More linguistic info - Definitely, we recently started adding an article for every Quenya or Sindarin, etc. word, such as Ael. It will take a while to go through all of the articles but it is definitely needed and will look great when completed. I'm very excited that I found this extension which will allow us to embed Tengwar images into the articles quite easily. Hopefully the installation goes smoothly as it needs quite a few programs and isn't very user-friendly. I hope to have it functioning soon.
- More references - You can never have too many references and we have very few, this is something else I would like to concentrate on. In the future we can be more strict in making sure any new content added has a reference as its much easier to catch it then than to have to go back through everything adding the references.
- Geographical articles need maps - I'm sure Narfil will be excited he has someone to work with as creating our own maps will be a great unique aspect as maps are hard to come by with the Tolkien Estate being so adamant about taking them offline. I can't wait to see some of your work.
- More chronological info - Absolutely, just a few days ago I went through and added an article for almost every year since J.R.R. Tolkien's birth, but they are minimal stubs and still need a lot of work.
Welcome to TG and thanks for all your input! --Hyarion 12:19, 25 July 2006 (EDT)
- More linguistic info - yeah, I noticed the articles for Elvish roots and they're looking great.
Tengwar extension - it is really good! I'm waiting for it eagerly. Does it make sense for me to continue attaching Tengwar PNG's to the articles (by random selection as I'm doing now)?
- More references - I agree, it is a damn lot of work to go back through every article for to add references. IMHO, for now we can think what infrastructure we could provide to encourage the authors to use references (maybe special template boxes and so on). I also have an idea to have a special category for articles which need references, like Wikipedia does.
Anyway, I'll try to add references as possible - at least for the most popular articles - major characters, events, objects etc. I'm not a big expert in Silmarillion and Elder Days but I know LotR quite well to remember what happened in what chapter so it is not a big problem for me. I also have almost all Tolkien in electronic format that makes a great help because I can search quickly through it.
I should say that I'm not a native english-speaker and have some problems with English so I'm going to spend more time for improving existing articles (adding references, maps, etymologies and so on) rather than creating new ones.
- Geographical articles need maps - please take a look to the example: Image:Middleearth_3d.jpg. It is a reduced image of the whole scene . I think, for the maps of regions I'll render separate pieces and process them with graphic editor to add labels and other stuff.
- More chronological info
just a few days ago I went through and added an article for almost every year since J.R.R. Tolkien's birth - it is great but I meant years of Arda - of course not every of thousands, but only those we know something about (already mentioned in other articles). Or maybe it is better to have a category for each year so when a reader go in the year category, she gets the list of articles on the events of that year.
--Vardo 18:53, 26 July 2006 (EDT)
- Yes I would hold off on the Tengwar PNGs for now, although there is a good chance we still may prefer the font style of those, or the Tengwar feature falls through (I certainly hope not), we better just wait.
- A category for articles which require references is a great idea. I suppose we could use a special template box for references but the References header at the bottom of articles as well as the reference template which puts a small link next to the statement and links down to the source seems sufficient. (I need to install a more advanced version of this).
- Your English is great, I certainly couldn't tell it wasn't your first language.
- Your map looks a-mazing, if we can add maps like it to the articles it will certainly help add more depth to the article.
- Re: the chronological info, ah yes that is another issue. Since Tolkien's birth its only been a bit over 100 years, First, Second, Third, and Fourth Ages are a tad longer...but I'm rather crazy and would consider doing an article for every year where an event happened, it's at least something no one else has attempted. I think what we can do is have a primary Timeline article which with the help of the include function, simply grabs the content from four other articles; First Age, Second Age, Third Age and Fourth Age. Now these articles also do the same, their content is actually coming from the specific year articles. This way we are only writing down the events in their specific year article, but they are included into various. Having a Category which contains them all is also a good idea. I like this idea and will try to get some progress on it soon.
Keep up the great work! --Hyarion 21:43, 26 July 2006 (EDT)