Tolkien Gateway talk:To-do

From Tolkien Gateway
Latest comment: 11 July 2011 by KingAragorn in topic Streamlining To-do

Middle-earth Year articles

  • This may be me being anal but what about having a page for "T.A. 2,567" and "S.A. 35" etc. Most years would be empty or simply contain one entry, but I think it would be worth it. --Hyarion 02:00, 21 April 2006 (EDT)
    • If this is too much we could always slowly separate them. For example converting First Age, Second Age, etc. Then taking another step and maybe "F.A. 1,000" "F.A. 2,000", etc. then another step, "F.A. 500", "F.A. 1500", then another, and another, etc. --Hyarion 02:00, 21 April 2006 (EDT)
      • One thing that may be a problem is that not all Tolkien scholars agree on the dates, and in the different works they are often conflicting. According to the most common timeline used Eärendil was born in 503 of the First Age and his famous voyage was in 583. This is impossible, as Elves did not marry this young, and he would hardly have time for all his famous voyages. This is an example of the problems with pinpointing exact dates. --Narfil Palùrfalas 14:51, 22 April 2006 (EDT)
        • Good point, it becomes especially difficult when dealing with time frames as well. I still think its a good idea though, as long as we are careful to put "possible date" and to list where the dates came from. --Hyarion 14:59, 22 April 2006 (EDT)

Just a side suggestion. I find the name format "First Age XXX" quite tedious. To make the articles readable, we are forced to write [[First Age XXX|F.A. XXX]] in the text for no reason. I see in other works they use the format I XXX, II XXX etc. I suggest we use this format. Sage 12:24, 15 August 2008 (EDT)

There's been a couple of other discussions on this which I'm unable to find at the moment, but the consensus was "First Age XXX" as this is what JRRT and Christopher Tolkien use. As we were unable to find any instances of them using roman numerals we decided against them, "I XXX" is also less meaningful for an article title. It is rather tedious to type however, which is why we plan on creating redirects for "F.A. XXX" to "First Age XXX". The other issue is the abbreviation for Fourth Age, I believe we settled on "Fo.A. XXX" --Hyarion 04:53, 16 August 2008 (EDT)
I see. I'd add that the abbreviations should be as simple as possible, even without periods. It's a real pain while we are writing an article and come up with the dates, then search for the . key, press by mistake the , key (which is next to it), delete it, press . again etc etc... happens to me all the time you know. Therefore I suggest we be less formal and as simple as possible and prefer FA, SA, TA instead of F.A. etc. Btw Robert Foster used FO for the Fourth Age. Sage 10:00, 16 August 2008 (EDT)

Song Contest

I didn't know where else to put this so here it will be. Concerning the Tolkien-themed song contest. Is this going to be for anyone, or just those who are registered? As well, when do you intend to start it, and who will be elected judges? --Narfil Palùrfalas 14:18, 6 June 2006 (EDT)

It's a great spot to talk about that. While it's still just an idea, one thought I had was to have a Tolkien Rap contest, and try to convince the Lords of the Rhymes to make another song based off of the lyrics, but that's a long stretch. All contests should allow non-registered users to participate because we don't want to exclude anyone as the more entries the better. That being said, for contests in general I'm trying to think of ways to give those registered and those who edit a bit of a boost at winning for their hard work. For the song I honestly can't even remember if I was thinking lyircs or actual vocal songs. I'm not sure when to start it as there are so many projects to do and so little time but the more interest surrounds it the sooner we will start as contests can help to generate some new visitors. Maybe we should assign a rank to the projects in order of what should be priority, and what should be set for the distant future. I think it only fair us being a wiki and community-driven that the entries be judged by everyone, save in rare circumstances when maybe we can have some "celebrities" pick the winning entries. If you have any suggestions for the contest do let us know. --Hyarion 14:27, 6 June 2006 (EDT)
I think a Tolkien-themed contest would be better in Middle-earth style (Instrumental/Vocal/Ballad style), but then again I am not one of those who likes Rap. I think that we should have a sort of pointing method. For instance, a maximum ten points for lyrical smoothness, ten for style (as in clearly dwarvish/elven/hobbitish), five for good description, etc. --Narfil Palùrfalas 14:39, 6 June 2006 (EDT)
I agree with you on the style, and I too dislike rap, but I thoroughly enjoy Lords of the Rhymes :) Another option would be to have fans create a techno themed song. (I can see you shaking your head :p ) We might as well open the contest to any genre. I like your idea on the score, we can average out all the points from users for the final score. Now we just need to find a prize. I'll try and get an article with more details written up. --Hyarion 14:58, 6 June 2006 (EDT)
The prize? How about free registration to Tolkien Gateway? --Narfil Palùrfalas 14:16, 8 June 2006 (EDT)

Project focus

One thing which I believe could propel this encyclopedia to reach out to more visitors would be to concentrate on one project, one project that no one else has attempted which would give us something (even more) unique to bring attention our way. What do you guys think about everyone concentrating on a single project? Or are we better off randomly improving the articles? (Which is great and well-needed too)

On a side-note I think partnering with other Tolkien websites is a must and even if we got a forum or two to utilize us as their 'official' encyclopedia I think it would help exponentially. I had the idea for a linking project at but that didn't seem to create much excitement. Some other wikis like The Tolkien Wiki or might prove beneficial to talk to about somehow working together as I hate seeing multiple communities trying to accomplish the same task as every edit seems a waste. At this point in time I really think we have something unique to offer and if only we could allow other people to see it the improvements we could make with a larger editor base would be vast. Hm, I've written yet another rant which seems to have gone off topic and should probably be moved to the forums, oh well. --Hyarion 00:37, 15 June 2006 (EDT)

Old post, but I would like to express my agreement. I find no point in the existence of parallel communities. Any news on that? Sage 20:06, 6 August 2008 (EDT)

Forum Extension

Exactly what will the upgrade to the forum extension do (or be)? --Narfil Palùrfalas 21:50, 19 August 2006 (EDT)

Well if you look at the link it looks like the forum would look more like an actual forum with replies in boxes and date/user/etc all formatted neatly. What I'll do is get a 'test' wiki up where we can test out extensions like this before putting them on the live site. --Hyarion 21:58, 19 August 2006 (EDT)
So it will only affect the forums? --Narfil Palùrfalas 08:43, 20 August 2006 (EDT)
Yep. --Hyarion 12:06, 20 August 2006 (EDT)


Okay, you don't mention it, but you might have noticed: I'll do my best to do a big makeover on the years. -- Ederchil 07:35, 22 January 2008 (EST)


When will the whole maps issue be worked on? Smeagol 14:45, 3 April 2008 (EDT)

Hm, which issue is that? --Hyarion 01:48, 7 April 2008 (EDT)
Not sure. However, a while ago I gave you access to the repository of maps I had collected, and you created a maps category but the maps page is still empty.

Now we're talking maps... can we make a clear distinction between canon and fanon maps? -- Ederchil 06:04, 7 April 2008 (EDT)
What are canon maps? Only those crappy ones that come with the books? Or others as well?? Smeagol 06:12, 9 April 2008 (EDT)
I mean, a clear distinction between the maps that use canon material - the ones by Tolkien or (at quick glance) the ones on your site, for example. With fanon maps I mean maps that include non-Tolkien stuff. Like (no complete list) "Image:Arda map.gif", "Image:Gondor-map.jpg", "Image:Gondor map.jpg", "Image:ICE - Part of the Misty Mountains.gif", "Image:Lebennin map.jpg", "Image:Linhir.gif", "Image:Middle-earth (large).jpg", "Image:Northern Middle-earth.jpg ", "Image:Pelargir.jpg", "Image:Sullivan - Gondor map.jpg". Maybe they should be included in "Images of..." rather than "Maps ", because they're not very encyclopedic. -- Ederchil 08:14, 9 April 2008 (EDT)
Then feel free to separate the "canon" maps from the rest and put them on the maps page ;-) Smeagol 14:43, 13 April 2008 (EDT)


About the possibility of publishing a book with our content:
What we need to publish a book is a PDF file with the content. It's quite easy to create a PDF file from one Tolkien Gateway article. The problem is: we have a huge number of different and self-contained articles. So we have to create one article that contains the content of all the articles that shall be published. This becomes possible by inserting every single article like a template with {{:Article_name}}

But what kind of book should it be? A encyclopedia or rather a book about one topic like the War of the Ring? Eldarion Telcontar 11:03, 28 April 2008 (EDT)

Well, the difficult part is finding a publisher, making a PDF/offline version is something which we are planning separate from the book. With a PDF we can just export all the pages and then merge them into, most likely, a document for each letter of the alphabet or based on a particular category. However when we consider publishing content in a printed medium, there are more steps which need to be made. We are watching the current Harry Potter lawsuit and if the fansite is allowed to publish the encyclopedia then in a few years when our content is of high enough quality we will look into publishing it. Obviously we won't be able to publish all of the articles so we will have to manually go through the articles, choosing what to publish, and forking the content to a new wiki where we would remove templates, trim unnecessary images, summarize text in longer articles, etc. Unfortunately I don't think including all the articles into one article is going to be the most efficient method. I'll do some more researching on exporting to PDF as I do think it would be nice to have PDF versions of our content, however I would really like to build a standalone application for viewing the content which is capable of updating, searching, etc. I'll try to expand Tolkien_Gateway:Offline version as I think an offline version is more feasible than a published version at the present time. --Hyarion 12:28, 28 April 2008 (EDT)


recently I was thinking whether one could make a middle-earth map for google enginge but I don't know what software should be used. I think I saw somewhere a google maps-like page where one could zoom into M-e locations... but I can't find it anymore!!! 19:58, 6 August 2008 (EDT)

Music Portal

Well, i have made a lot of work in the music section, especially in creating new articles with bands, creating band templates and improving the music portal. I am sorry, but i haden't seen that every portal needs a supervisor and i've made big changes without asking. So, if you want you can put me as a supervisor in the music portal. I can help

P.S. I can also find lyrics for bands like Battlelore, blind guardian, which are Tolkien-related and i will try to put them in a category or article.

As far as I'm concerned, you can be the supervisor. If anyone disagrees, they can voice their complaints and then tell why they didn't do all the work you did. Maybe the lyrics can be put on the band's pages, or if it's big enough, the cd's page. -- Ederchil (Talk/Contribs/Edits) 22:42, 14 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

map engine for middle-earth

About this point: "Create a Middle-earth map engine equivalent to Google Earth."

I think that it would be wonderful to have a Google Map for middle-earth. We could add markers for places and visitors could zoom in, could click on the markers and could read the articles about the specific place. Technically it's quite simple to implement such a map. I have have taken a large middle-earth map, have divided it into tiles for the different zoom levels and it works.
The problem is the underlying material:
There are no free canon maps with all details of middle-earth in the right size (at least 8000 x 8000 px). Could we therefore use a map drawn by fans as long as it uses only canon material or maps from the Atlas of Middle-earth? I'm unsure about the licenses and the canon/fanon problem.

Eldarion Telcontar 15:58, 28 May 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It's funny, I was looking into how we could make this just yesterday. I found this site which is something like it, I think we could work from this and make it better. I'm not sure about copyrights of maps, but the worst thing that would happen if we do use copyrighted maps is to be asked not to use them; only then would we have to draw our own.-- KingAragorn  talk  contribs  edits  email  19:56, 28 May 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hm, that's roughly what I have done and it works very well (i'm referring to the link you gave). But it would be great if there were some more details like in Fonstad's Atlas. I think that it would be the best to draw our own map... - Eldarion Telcontar 20:19, 28 May 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, it would be good to have maps drawn by us; only problem is, who can draw them?-- KingAragorn  talk  contribs  edits  email  14:35, 29 May 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have made some attempts. I have made a big collage out of Fonstad's regional maps. So far I have not found any free engine where I can put a M-e map. Sage 15:25, 29 May 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The engine I was using is the Google Maps API. It allows to add custom layers (e.g. a middle-earth map) and is free. - Eldarion Telcontar 20:16, 29 May 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
OK, so we have the engine and the maps; this could work out great! Sage, could you upload your maps? Also, we'd need different maps for different zoom levels; I'm not sure how many is necessary though.-- KingAragorn  talk  contribs  edits  email  22:29, 29 May 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't think many are necessary. There are some extra-detailed maps and plans (shire, cities and buildings) made by Fonstad, we could incorporate them there according to the zoom level and size. Sage 23:18, 29 May 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So, there Sage 19:59, 30 May 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This is a fantastic idea, but we must be careful. Fonstad's maps definitely are copyrighted and I think it's highly disingenuous to feign ignorance until somebody tells us off for it (besides, it would be annoying to put a lot of work in and then have to start all over). Besides we'll be wanting markers that link to wiki pages (something like this?) but Fonstad's maps have labels written all over them which would make that awkward. Also, I'm pretty sure most of Fonstad's maps contain non-canon information, or at the very least interpretations of the text which are open to debate. In my opinion the best way to proceed is to use CJRT's original maps to trace terrain-only vector maps of our own which we can then overlay with place markers. --Aule the Smith 21:32, 30 May 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Something like this, but without the labels and maybe a bit less flat colour to give it that "satellite" look? --Aule the Smith 21:47, 30 May 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Aule, I fully agree. The Wikipedia has this SVG (vector image) version of the map you've found - without labels...^^ I have already begun to label this map for the different zoom levels in Adobe Illustrator. - Eldarion Telcontar 10:47, 31 May 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, I hadn't thought of using Vector; but it's a good idea. Is it possible for more detail to be applied to certain areas - i.e. the shire - when zoomed in close enough?-- KingAragorn  talk  contribs  edits  email  18:32, 31 May 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, we have to zoom in and redraw the details ourselves. Fonstad can be a good guid for all this Sage 19:25, 31 May 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've just finished labelling the wikipedia map for the different zoom levels. With every level more details are added. I think that most of the details are included. See here. - Eldarion Telcontar 08:33, 18 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's really good! Any ideas on how it could be integrated into the Wiki.-- KingAragorn  talk  contribs  edits  email  22:18, 20 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, the map consists of 6 folders (one for each zoom level) with images and one HTML file (all in all not much more than 20 MB). The easiest way would probably be to ask Hyarion whether he could upload it into an own folder on the TG webspace like the real-world map. Including the map directly into an TG article is not possible as far as I know because Google Maps uses Javascript - a language not supported by the Media Wiki software. But there are extensions like AddScriptCss which add this feature and allow only scripts located in the wiki directory in order to ensure safety. - Eldarion Telcontar 23:55, 20 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Perhaps we could adapt the Google Maps; do you think we could adapt it to use custom tiles and labels?-- KingAragorn  talk  contribs  edits  email  14:27, 21 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm not sure whether custom tiles can be used. There are only some few attributes you can set to customize the map and there's nothing about tiles. I think it's only made for real-world maps. If we could use the AddScriptCss extension Hyarion could upload the map script onto the TG webspace and we could make a template that uses this script in order to include the map in articles. - Eldarion Telcontar 12:01, 22 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
OK, so AddScriptCss is the way to go; we need to ask Hyarion to install it, although I'm not sure if Hyarion got round to installing the ImageMap extension, Ederchil requested. Anyway, we can ask. ;)-- KingAragorn  talk  contribs  edits  email  21:57, 22 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hm, the problem with this way is that the map has to be uploaded onto the webserver after every single modification because the markers etc. are defined in the script. Maybe you're right and we could use the google maps extension. I'm trying to modify it so that it uses my tiles...but it's a very, very complex extension... - Eldarion Telcontar 20:46, 23 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
OK, I've finished modifying the Google Maps Extension. See here for the description and the installation steps. You can try it by installing Media Wiki on a webspace (even a local one using XAMPP) and following the steps here. - Eldarion Telcontar 17:45, 29 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have to say, this is amazing. Well done Eldarion Telcontar! Now all we have to do is get Hyarion to install it here, he said he wants to be more active here and it's relatively simple to install. I'll test it out for myself in a few days - when I have time - and I'll try to give you a bit of feedback (only if you want it of course). Again, well done!-- KingAragorn  talk  contribs  edits  email  21:19, 29 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well done indeed, fantastic work Eldarion! As soon as I get us fully migrated to the new server I'm going to get that extension added. --Hyarion 04:35, 30 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I definitely want feedback and I think it's very important to have it tested by someone else than me before we add it to TG. ;-) - Eldarion Telcontar 10:12, 30 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Let's restore indentation now :) So, is it possible to add some more detailed parts to the map, so that they appear when you zoom in? For example a map of the Shire for a start Sage 14:23, 30 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree about the indentation ;) About your question: After the labelling I have an SVG file with all the details for the specific zoom level (Here is it for level 5. You probably have to download it because at least my firefox has problems with displaying it properly.). Up to level 4 I just exported it into JPEG format (level 1-512x512px, level2-1024x1024px, level3-2048x2048px, level4-4096x4096px) and used an application called 'Split Image' to separate it into tiles of the needed size (256x256px). Although I have 4 GB RAM Adobe Illustrator couldn't export images larger than about 8000x8000px so that I had to export the image for level 5 in two parts. Therfore I see no possibility to add level 6, let alone level 7, for the whole map. It was already a pain in the neck to fit two parts together.
But it would be possible to implement these levels for certain areas such as the Shire. This would mean, however, that if the user moves out of these areas there would appear grey tiles with something like 'no chart data available' on them, because the necessary tiles just wouldn't be on the server. Another problem and reason why I didn't implement the high zoom levels is the underlying map. It features only a few details in the Shire (for instance there're only three dots for villages/towns). I just wanted to label the map without drawing new details like forest, roads or villages. But that's a thing we certainly could do in the future and it would highly improve the quality of the map. - Eldarion Telcontar 15:24, 30 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The 'no chart data available' should be fine, we really can't detail every part of Middle-earth as much as the shire and other well 'mapped' regions. But for now, what we have is brilliant, and we can definitely make it even better in the future. Again, well done for your hard work Eldarion Telcontar.-- KingAragorn  talk  contribs  edits  email  22:25, 30 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I just wanted to ask whether anybody has tested the extension already. And: Are we already migrated to the new server? - Eldarion Telcontar 19:27, 20 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Can someone explain what would be expected of a "Universal J.R.R. Tolkien Index". It sounds like something that I would be able to do, it's a little weird, but I like monotonous tasks like that. LotRfan01 05:26, 19 December 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

As I see it, this would mean combining the existing indices into one consolidated index. The existing indices would I think be:
  1. the Hammond&Scull index to LotR,
  2. the index to Sil,
  3. the index to UT,
  4. the consolidated index-volume to HoMe (with correction of the obvious errors of consolidation),
  5. the Hammond&Scull index to the Letters,
  6. the index to HoTH,
  7. the page-references from Foster's Complete Guide to M-e (for this work, apart from being an encyclopedic dictionary, also functions as a consolidated index to Hob, LotR, Sil and ATB and, in a limited way to RGEO and The Guide to Names, and its index apparatus should be included as it is the only available index to Hob, ATB and RGEO),
  8. the index to Hammmond&Scull's LotR Reader's Companion,
and possibly also:
  1. the index to Flieger & Anderson's annotated Tolkien On Fairy Stories,
  2. the index to Hammond&Scull's Tolkien Companion and Guide,
  3. the indices to Carpenters Biography and Inklings and
  4. the index to Fonstad's Atlas of M-e.
And then, to cap it all, transpose all those references (at least those to Hob, LotR, Sil, UT and Letters) to Arda Structural Reference Format (Ardarathorn Format where applicable) - at least as an addition to ‘normal’ page references. -- Mithrennaith 12:40, 30 December 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That sounds more like a group effort to me... Although in that case, I prefer doing everything in ASRF and skip the page numbers altogether. -- Ederchil (Talk/Contribs/Edits) 14:54, 30 December 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That's what I would prefer, personally, of course. But a case might be made for retaining references to some quite useful or (nearly) unique page numberings, as e.g. the 50th Ann. Ed. of LR, or the pagination of all bar the DelRey editions of HoMe. And I don't see the Tolkien Companion and Guide appearing in a different pagination in a hurry, and as it's got no running titles, page numbers will actually work quicker in that case. -- Mithrennaith 15:33, 30 December 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well I'll start with a page Reference system on my computer and then transfer it onto this site, one book at a time, possibly starting with HoME, you can take it from there but I'm totally willing to do the monotonous job of copying from the book to computer -- LotRfan01 04:50, 31 December 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If you make it into an Excel sheet or something like that, the separate indices can be sorted into one index by computer (although it will need some checking by hand). The real drudgery will be converting the references into ASRF, which must be done by hand for each reference individually, although sorting all references by page number (which means separating out each index entry to separate lines or records for each page number mentioned) will make it a bit easier. -- Mithrennaith 12:02, 31 December 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'll look into that -- LotRfan01 13:42, 31 December 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Streamlining To-do

I would like to remove the entirety of the "Others" section because I don't think these things will fall within the remit (or will ever happen). I've separated the bottom few items from the main list as these may be more debatable. --Mith (Talk/Contribs/Edits) 15:24, 12 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes, I agree! --Morgan 21:51, 11 July 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
+1 -- KingAragorn  talk  contribs  edits  email  23:37, 11 July 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]