Tolkien Gateway

Tolkien Gateway talk:Community Portal

Revision as of 04:22, 14 March 2006 by Hyarion (Talk | contribs)

I don't know where else to place this, so I do it here:

The newest skin 'dusk' I find very nice, but I saw that the screen is far too small in width when I was working on J.R.R. Tolkien's Family Tree. So, making it a bit bigger might be a clever thing to do. Moreover, on the Main Page there are references to links on the left (which is fine with the regular skins), whereas all the links in the dusk skin are on the right!

Have a look: Dusky Family Tree

--Earendilyon 10:38, 8 February 2006 (EST)

Hehe, ya that skin wasn't designed by me, I just uploaded it testing the different skins. Dusk really isn't made for a wiki our size and is meant for more of a blog style with small amounts of text. I really need to get a decent skinned created because this default one we are using is just too bland, I'd really love to see something that fully integrates with the Tolkien theme. Unfortunately my CSS/PHP/creativity skills are lacking so it's easier said than done. Unfortunately the skin is made to fit a fixed size thus expanding it would ruin the whole header image there, yet another aspect of that skin I dislike. The wiki skins definitely needs to be something that expands with the browser and resolution to provide maximum viewing for those larger monitors. But it is a good example of how powerful CSS/PHP can be with the wiki software and we can really twist this site into anything we want. --Hyarion 11:26, 8 February 2006 (EST)


Alphabetical Links

Is it possible to get a more encyclopedia-like listing under the heading 'the encyclopedia'? I mean, like what they print on the spine of the seperate volumes: Aa-Bl, Bk-Ce etc. In this case it would be: A El - Eld, Eld - Kin etc; this should be done automatically, of course, if possible. It's now such a long, bare list.

Also, I'd like to see the heading 'the author' back.

--Earendilyon 16:21, 14 February 2006 (EST)

Thanks for the input. I agree with you that the bare small list that takes up so much room is not something that should stay for long. I like the idea of having Aa-Bl, etc, although it's not possible to do that dynamically so it would be something we'd have to change manually, but at least it would take up some space there. Another thought I had is something like A - Ardamir, Aragorn... Then B - Bag end, Bilbo.... And just list the first article or two next to the letter, similar to what Encyclopedia of Arda does. I definitely would like to see 'the author' (as well as all the old links) links back but I think for the moment we should work on improving those articles prior to linking them from the main page. This way people don't see those few links and assume that is our entire collection. Thanks again for the input. --Hyarion 19:10, 14 February 2006 (EST)

Wikipedia portal:Middle-earth

Do you guys know this portal? It's meant to organize all Wikipedia articles on Tolkien. So, now's the existentialist question: what are we here for? Why are we here? Does this Wiki add anything to Wikipedia's portal?

--Earendilyon 08:58, 15 February 2006 (EST)

Great question! I think in the near future as a community it would be nice if we could come up with sort of a mission statement about what we really do want to accomplish. I know in the back of my head I think Wikipedia has done a great job, but they probably only have 1% of the content that is actually out there. Wikipedia being not Tolkien specific they simply cant have an entire article for every edition of every book published by Tolkien, or information about his relatives, and articles delving deeper into the of Tolkien. Look at Wookipedia, almost 25,000 articles! Arda is much more complex and has been around a lot longer, we can't let the Star Wars nerds beat out us Tolkien fans. :) But as of the present we already have quite a lot more articles than Wikipedia's Tolkien section, albeit their's are being updated quicker I think we have our eyes farther out into the horizon. Do you have any suggestions for answers? --Hyarion 19:00, 16 February 2006 (EST)
I think the biggest task we're facing at the moment is to get more people involved in this; at this moment, only you and I are frequently adding to it (and I'm 'just' fixing dead links mostly). Have you considered mailing around a bit to get more attention to this Wiki? --Earendilyon 03:02, 17 February 2006 (EST)
I've tried quite a few different things: searching google for "tolkien links" and going to hundreds of sites and emailing them manually to exchange links with us, unfortunately a lot of them were just dead ends. I've also tried posting links in forums but it's hard to not look like I am simply advertising the site. The linking that has helped the most has been at wikipedia ironically enough, because so many websites mirror the content from there, they mirror our links, search engines are also helping quite a bit. Hopefully word of mouth (or text of fingers?) will help as well as we gain more content. Another thought I had is seeing if any of the current Tolkien Encyclopedia websites would like to merge with us but I don't think we are to that point yet. We have had a few people in the past who edit quite a bit but unfortunately after a couple days they become burnt out and stop. Any suggestions? I think the best offer we can give people is to make sure they know this is not just one person's site as it is true for most websites out there, but the community's. As the popularity grows I would like to have a board of people who make the final decisions and the community would vote as a whole on topics, no one person would 'own' the site. Thanks again for your thoughts. --Hyarion 11:26, 17 February 2006 (EST)

Main Page: Search Page?

Hyarion, maybe you could combine the current Main Page with the Search Page you're suggesting? Cut (some of) the introductory notes and put in the Search bar.

Talking about the Search function: wouldn't it be better to have it a bit higher in the left side bar? Maybe between the 'Navigation' links and the alphabetical index? Now, people have to scroll down (rather far, in my opinion) to find the search box. --Earendilyon 04:29, 3 March 2006 (EST)

This was actually something I had been thinking about doing for a while but never got around to it because it takes a bit of hacking into the code of the MediaWiki engine, but it was quite easy and as you can see I've moved the Search button up to the top. This should make it at least a little easier for the time being. Thanks for your input. --Hyarion 11:57, 3 March 2006 (EST)

Characters with multiple names

This is one problem I've had. We have Gandalf, Mithrandir, Grey Wanderer, etc. I think having separate articles for different names is a must, unlike Wikipedia who simply redirects them to one main article. I think we can go into enough detail about the meaning of the name, when the character used the name, etc, to justify an article for it. Another reason I dislike the redirection is because I will go to one article but redirected to another article abd I become confused as to why I am there. But I do not think content should be spread across multiple articles. For example a ruler of Numenor should not have their pre-ruling information in say Pharazon and have anything after they changed their name to Ar-Pharazon be listed there, it should all be in one article. This being said I think we should vote on a primary article, such as Gandalf for the information to be stored, and other related naming articles should be linked to from there (and to there). The choice is the difficult decision, especially with say Aragorn, do you use his birth name? ruling name? full name? And then what would his full name be? It was different at different times. Another thing in this same area is we need to go through and make sure a page like Gandalf has links to all his other names. --Hyarion 10:36, 5 March 2006 (EST)

In my opinion, it's best to put the main article on someone/-thing under the lemma of 'most-named'/'most-(in)famous name'; i.e. the main article on Aragorn under the lemma Aragorn with links vice-versa to and from the other names and titles [e.g at the end of the article with a See also:]. The main article on Melkor could be, likewise, under the lemma Morgoth. --Earendilyon 15:33, 5 March 2006 (EST)
Hm, in regards to Aragorn though should we at least specify Aragorn II since he was technically not the first Aragorn? --Hyarion 15:37, 5 March 2006 (EST)
But we all do know him as plain 'Aragorn', not as Aragorn II. If it were up to me, I would transfer the disambiguation on Aragorn (that is, the part linking to Aragorn I) to the top of the page on the Aragorn, and therefore also linking Aragorn to the article on the Aragorn (that is, redirecting Aragorn to Aragorn II. --Earendilyon 15:43, 5 March 2006 (EST)
Okay I think I agree with you. But I'm a perfectionist so I need to make sure we have exact statistical reasoning behind it. So what we can do to decide what title will be used as the primary content holder, is to count the references used in J.R.R. Tolkien's work. Thus Aragorn is used mainly for Aragorn II so Aragorn will be the primary content holder. And like you said, place Aragorn II at the top and we can place other names for him such as Strider, Elessar, etc. at the bottom. I'm content with this solution and will add the Aragorn change to my todo list. As always, thanks for the input. --Hyarion 15:50, 5 March 2006 (EST)

Canon scale

I had an idea, what if we created some sort of scale, like 1-5 or 1-10 or something that would specify how canonical (?) an article is considered. Just something to help people identify how scholars view the character/thing. --Hyarion 10:49 2006 (EST)

I don't think one can make a "scale of canonicity". The question of 'canon' or 'non-canon' is far too cmplicated and individualistic I think. One could make a list like 'published', 'postumously published', 'early idea, later discarded', 'late writing', and the like, I guess, with the reader him/herself deciding on canonicity. --Earendilyon 15:24, 5 March 2006 (EST)
You're probably right. But I think even works like The Lord of the Rings aren't perfect. For example in the latest edition Aiglos was changed to Aeglos. In my opinion Aeglos would be considered more canon even though it was altered after J.R.R. Tolkien's death. I guess as long as we specify what makes the character/item/etc canon or non-canon then that would be sufficient. --Hyarion 15:32, 5 March 2006 (EST)
We could add Notes on Canonicity at the end of certain articles, if we think that's necessary, with arguments pro and con its (non)canonicity. --Earendilyon 15:47, 5 March 2006 (EST)

One thing I've been searching for the past few days is an image for the main page. In my opinion its just rather bland and a nice image on the right side would do nicely until we can get an entirely new theme going. My suggestion was either the Smaug symbol from the cover of first edition of The Hobbit or J.R.R. Tolkien's symbol that was on the cover of the first edition of The Lord of the Rings. If anyone has seen either of these images or has another suggestion, please let me know. The perfect image would be with a white background, something that doesn't look obviously scanned or skewed, and something at least a couple hundred pixels wide/tall. I also would be open to changing the logo for the site as well, maybe something a bit more unique? --Hyarion 15:55, 5 March 2006 (EST)

Elvish-English & English-Elvish entries?

I would assume everyone is for having Elvish articles such as hyarmen being the word for south in Quenya. But what about English-Quneya/Sindarin entries? Such as utilizing Ardalambion's English-Quenya word list, this way someone could search for "tall" and the tall article would state in Quenya tall is halla. Obviously we would have a halla article that states in English it translates to tall, but would having the english articles be too much? --Hyarion 13:30, 9 March 2006 (EST)

So, what you are proposing is some kind of dictionary?
On a related note: what do we do with Elvish names and their English translations? Do they always get their seperate articles? I've wondered about that for some time now and was reminded by it when stumbling of Serindë today [nice thing, that 'Random Page' feature ;)]. The article is two sentences long, with the second being "Serindë means 'needlewoman'." Should we have a seperate article Needlewoman, with just one sentence: "Needlewoman is the translation of the name Serindë."?
--Earendilyon 16:32, 9 March 2006 (EST)
Ya, pretty much like a dictionary. Arg...ya the Serindë/Needlewoman/etc is something I've been stalling on. Personally I would create Needlewoman and as you said, state that it is translated to Serindë, this would also work well with the English-Elvish 'dictionary.' But I also tend to go way overboard with these things, heh. We can put it on the back-burner for now as I'd like to sort out all these wanted pages first. --Hyarion 18:26, 9 March 2006 (EST)

Hobbit Classification

I'm having trouble deciding what categories to put Hobbit families into and which articles should be about them. I think we need one article for the family, which would include a family tree and a history of the family etc. Should this be called "Boffin", "Boffins", "Boffin family", or "Boffin Family". On top of that I still haven't fully decided on how to categorize them, Category:Boffins seems the most likely, any ideas? --Hyarion 13:56, 10 March 2006 (EST)

For the family articles, I'd say either "X Family" (since most article titles are capitalized), or the family's name only (singular). For the Category, (also) singular form, as that is the family name itself. I mean, Mr and Mrs Johnson's family name is 'Johnson', not '(the) Johnsons'. --Earendilyon 16:19, 11 March 2006 (EST)

Book Chapters

I definitely would like to have an article for every chapter in at least The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion. One issue that has come up, is of course naming. Would something like A Long-expected Party work? Unfortunately this poses a problem for chapters such as Strider as they would have to be directed to something like Strider (chapter). Or we could use The Lord of the Rings Chapter 1 or The Lord of the Rings Chapter I in Roman Numerals. Another option would be The Lord of the Rings - A Long-expected Party. Any suggestions? Whichever standard we use I think we should at least redirect the chapter titles such as A Long-expected Party to the correct chapter article. And then maybe at the bottom of the Strider article put a link to the chapter. --Hyarion 23:22, 13 March 2006 (EST)