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User talk:Mithrennaith

Revision as of 08:40, 3 August 2010 by Mith (Talk | contribs)

Mithrennaith, welcome!

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Arda Structural Reference Format

Hi Mithrennaith! I saw that you favour the Arda Structural Reference Format. Some week ago I created the article Structural references, under suggestion from Beregond, not sure if you were aware of it. I'm thinking that we could have a usage for this format here on TG, perhaps. I'm often bothered by the difficulties of giving page references.--Morgan 22:56, 1 August 2010 (UTC)

I’d prefer to use ASRF format to page references for the most important works, certainly for Hob, LR, and Sil, where the Ardarathorn list is available, Letters, where paragraphs are usually easily counted, and UT, where it may be difficult, but straightforward, and there are too many paginations anyway. I often experience difficulties when I try to use it for HoMe, where there is only really one pagination, if you disregard the DelRey paperbacks that exist only for a few volumes. I have no experience with using ASRF for the small tales or the essays — I would think it would be needed there as well, as there are many paginations for those texts around.
But the obvious problem is how to get readers to understand it, and get contributors to use it consistently. I tried out a way of using it with links for the quotations on my userpage. Also, ASRF incorporates a list of abbrevations for titles of works and some individual texts, and I always get slightly irritated when people think they need to introduce different new abbreviations. I mean, if I were to start using the citation templates, I would forever be typing LR instead of the names of the templates for individual parts, and PME instead of PM. I think those templates were named (and LR spread over multiple templates) in error. Certainly, it rather prevents me from using them. So we need to consult and proceed on this very carefully. — Mithrennaith 23:26, 1 August 2010 (UTC)
I would prefer, eventually, to use ASRF but I think it's a long road to get there. I also agree that - as far as I can tell - ASRF for THOME is unnecessary (at least at present). There are really a number of stages we have to go through before we can get there, though:
  • Creation
  • Development
  • Accessibility
  • Education
  • Usage
  • Wide Acceptance
Now, as far as I can tell, this is a system firmly embedded between "development" and "accessibility". I say this because I don't consider it to be a polished system ready enough for use on this wiki. At the moment, in order for writers/editors and readers/users to use ASRF they both have to laboriously count paragraphs (potentially incorrectly), which is time consuming (this is not withstanding the existence of this, which being something one has to download from a Spanish website, is a huge barrier to usage to English users). Furthermore, as you point out, abbreviations mean different things to different people: when I was looking at this list I noticed, for instance, that "R" is The Road Goes Ever On; to me, that is a ridiculous abbreviation, "R" should surely be Roverandom and "RG" or "RGEO" should be The Road Goes Ever On.
As far as this wiki is concerned, I actually don't think the abbreviations are necessary, we should continue to list out references in full but add "#42" at the end, for example, for the 42nd paragraph (if we were to use abbreviations like "LR App.A I:114" it would be counter-intuitive and we'd be constantly explaining ourselves). In order to be able to do this, it needs to be an accessible system (even Sociedad Tolkien Española's database still results in users having to hunt in their books for the relevant paragraph) available to everyone, regardless of language, location, knowledge, or book edition.
I am in the process of creating, therefore, a website (which I hope to integrate into TG with an extension) which is in effect a database. On it you'll be able to enter the paragraph number of any text and it will provide you with the text and/or page reference by edition. What do you think about the idea? I want to use structural referencing here, but I don't think we're ready yet. Any suggestions you have would be much appreciated. --Mith (Talk/Contribs/Edits) 08:40, 3 August 2010 (UTC)