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  #41  
Old June 15th, 2016, 05:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atpollard View Post
I would suggest that the real issue is to differentiate data from published commercial sources from fan inspired non-commercial sources.
Sounds good, but I think there's a finer point here. I do think that published materials help define settings, and variants on settings, and that a wiki is a good way to organize and manage that data.

And I think consensus is one way to sift chaff from grain -- amongst accepted material. Again, the wiki helps us do that.

We don't have to decide what the accepted material is: the publishers do all the work for us. FFE's CD-ROMs contain the CT canon, MT canon, TNE canon, T4 canon, and T5 canon. And a lot of the CT canon is inherited by the others.
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  #42  
Old June 15th, 2016, 05:32 PM
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[Note: I am sorta jumping in to the middle of this, so if anything I say has already been said, just gently prod me out the nearest airlock.....]


Quote:
Originally Posted by mike wightman View Post
Fair enough, I posted in haste and so didn't get to finish my post - now edited also. I'm beginning to wish I hadn't replied so hastily
I don't want to come across as snarky as I latterly explained, but say an example like this was included then a significant error could be spread...
No problem. My original post wasn't the clearest to begin with and I didn't think you were being snarky at all, like everyone else here you are very passionate about Traveller and want to make sure that the right thing is done. Besides, I've been around enough that I think I can tell when you are actually trying to be snarky.

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Originally Posted by atpollard View Post
Given the nature of Traveller canon, I think that attempting to define a definitive canon is folly.
I agree, though I think "folly" might be an understatement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by atpollard View Post
I would suggest that the real issue is to differentiate data from published commercial sources from fan inspired non-commercial sources. Within the published data, clearly identifying where it comes from will allow each person using the Wiki to decide what is 'canon' or not for their particular needs.
The emphasis I put in your post is, IMHO, the key to this whole project. There is no way we could put together a single "definitive" source canon at this point in time that doesn't contradict itself without tossing a lot of good stuff out the window.

I think the best way to tackle the issue is to start with defining what sources are considered "official" and which aren't. I am assuming that someone has already gone through the list of publishers and identified the ones that are considered "official" at this point so I won't try to make a list (which I am sure will be woefully incomplete). We (yes, I am going to dive in to help much to the dismay of my free time) can then go through the existing content and identify what falls into which category (official or not). We can then make any corrections, updates, and label the content as appropriate. At this point we should have a fairly accurate (I would guess 80-90%) segregation of what could be "canon" and what isn't.

The next pass through would be to identify the exceptions where things published by an "official" source are actually NOT canon and the contradictions, where "official" sources have differing information (and I know that there are tons of these in the Traveller universe....) and then label/document them as needed.

When that is all done we can open it up for new articles. I figure that would be in about 5-6..... years.
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  #43  
Old June 15th, 2016, 05:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robject View Post
We don't have to decide what the accepted material is: the publishers do all the work for us. FFE's CD-ROMs contain the CT canon, MT canon, TNE canon, T4 canon, and T5 canon. And a lot of the CT canon is inherited by the others.
Good point.

For versions that have a CD, the CD defines the 'official list' for us.

Actually, I think that, like the real Wikipedia, simply noting where the information in an article is coming from is the biggest help/hurdle. From there the reader can make his own informed decisions on what applies to him.
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  #44  
Old June 15th, 2016, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atpollard View Post
Actually, I think that, like the real Wikipedia, simply noting where the information in an article is coming from is the biggest help/hurdle. From there the reader can make his own informed decisions on what applies to him.
That's sort of the conclusion I'm arriving at, as well. The Wiki can do a nice job as a sort of living, enhanced Library Data, but it also has a lot of value as an index into published materials, along the lines of

Q: Where the heck do I find published info about...

Amber Zones?
Imperial Rules of War?
Megacorporations?
Zuchai Crystals?
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  #45  
Old June 15th, 2016, 06:15 PM
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Regarding a moratorium.


While I don't recommend stopping edits on the wiki, it may become important some time in the future to require people to register and be approved -- as distateful that may sound and as annoying it may be to require administrative control over it. Especially if the wiki is assumed to contain "correct" information that's available in official, published materials.

Maybe.
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  #46  
Old June 15th, 2016, 07:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robject View Post
That's sort of the conclusion I'm arriving at, as well. The Wiki can do a nice job as a sort of living, enhanced Library Data, but it also has a lot of value as an index into published materials, along the lines of

Q: Where the heck do I find published info about...
I have been busting my hump along with other wiki team members to upgrade and improve the references and citations areas.

Thomas even invented a new and improved citation system that beats the current basic one. He worked with Don on that one. May he rest in peace.

All research and help welcomed from anyone and everyone.

Working on these articles and more... LOL

Shalom,
Maksim-Smelchak.

Last edited by maksimsmelchak; June 15th, 2016 at 07:19 PM..
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  #47  
Old June 15th, 2016, 10:55 PM
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Based upon the discussion over the past day, there are two suggestions about how to achieve the canon listing in the wiki.

The first is to take the existing articles and make sure any and all canon sources are referenced. So anyone reading a wiki article can find the original canon publications (and pages) to see the original sources. This was the plan from the first, and there should be notes in every article about most or all of the published sources.

The problem is this assumes that the next generation of writers (and referees) are smart and willing to do their research properly. Whipsnade seems to think this is a bad assumption.

So the second suggestion it to create a series of pages (either in the wiki or in a separate wiki) which contain only the published canon. There are several problems with this approach.

When the wiki was founded we had no right to quote the canon. We did anyways, but more than once I went through articles to remove quoted canon material. By edict from Marc and Matt we can not quote anything from Mongoose. And from Digest Group Publications. And until the beginning of the year, Steve Jackson Games. So the wiki can't have a big chunk of the current and past published material.

There is an ongoing disagreement about what constitutes "OTU" / Canon / published material. I have the list of the official canon. The additional publications list / deutocanonical material list is a little more questionable.

Finally, the number of people who are currently contributing to the wiki can be counted on one hand with fingers left over. There are more people debating this topic that are making changes to the wiki. The amount of administrative work to implement a change in policy about create vs. update of articles requires convincing me and maksimsmelchak that it is a good idea. Or starting their own contributions.
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  #48  
Old June 16th, 2016, 01:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atpollard View Post
I would suggest that the real issue is to differentiate data from published commercial sources from fan inspired non-commercial sources.

That's been my suggestion from the first.

While my choice of the term canon was a poor one, I thought I'd explained what I meant by canon in Post #25: Commercially published materials meant for use with any version of the OTU.

Whether it's by tabs in pages, labels, or a completely different Wiki, we need to strictly differentiate between official sources and "fanon". I know "fanon" has been passionately defended by some both here and in private. This isn't the world of Harrison Bergeron, however, and all things are most definitely not equal.

Sturgeon's Law applies to all things and it especially applies to "fanon". Most of the "fanon" in the Wiki is crap - I'd use a stronger word but the filter would block it out - and it needs to be segregated from Traveller's commercially published materials.

How the Wiki boffins accomplish that segregation isn't as important as the fact that such segregation must be done. Until it is, the Wiki utility is strongly compromised.
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  #49  
Old June 16th, 2016, 09:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whipsnade View Post
Sturgeon's Law applies to all things and it especially applies to "fanon". Most of the "fanon" in the Wiki is crap - I'd use a stronger word but the filter would block it out - and it needs to be segregated from Traveller's commercially published materials.
Sturgeon's law applies equally well to the published material. Just because it has gone through a review process does not mean it comes out the other side any better.

Several cases for your consideration:

* T4 First Survey. This has been explicitly decanonized for being crap. And with good reason. But is is "officially" published. Include it or not?

* GT: Behind the Claw. This also has been explicitly decanonized. There are problems with the book re other canon sources but nothing canon breaking. Include or not?

* Paranoia press Beyond sector. Officially licensed and published, but decanonized. IIRC you said this should not be included. Include or not?

* T5 Second Survey data: This is the official canon stellar data, been reviewed by multiple people (including me) but most of it has never been "published" except on the TravellerMap web site. Include or not?

* Library data from Signal-GK. This was a fanzine published in the UK, so "fanon". But though a chain of events, the Library data is considered canon. The information is reflected in the T5 Second survey data above. Include or not?

* History of the Imperium Working Group. Through a dedicated group of volunteers, this library data underwent a stronger review than the articles published in the "official" magazines. Include or not?

* Mongoose Traveller Spinward Marches book. Similar to Behind the Claw listed above, "officially" published but with numerous canon conflicts and other problems. Ignoring the copyright that prevents this from being included, Include or not?

These are just the book level questions I know about. If we want to get into individual entries (e.g. IRIS) we could spend four lifetimes debating this.

Second issue. Marking the separation. The wiki does currently mark the difference between canon and non-canon, published and not published. But does so in a subtle, understated way through page categories and reference listings. It is your stated opinion that even if we marked the Fanon material with 72 point blink tag "NOT CANON" text, that some overworked, underpaid writer would simply ignore that and include the "crap" in their new officially published Traveller book.

So where on the continuum of what the wiki does today (as insufficient as it is) to the completely separate, editable only by Marc, wiki would you find sufficiently separate?
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  #50  
Old June 16th, 2016, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjoneslo View Post
* Paranoia press Beyond sector. Officially licensed and published, but decanonized. IIRC you said this should not be included. Include or not?

* T5 Second Survey data: This is the official canon stellar data, been reviewed by multiple people (including me) but most of it has never been "published" except on the TravellerMap web site. Include or not?
And to add to the confusion, at the time of Don's passing (and currently), Vanguard Reaches and The Beyond were both "In Review" on the T5SS on TravellerMap, and primarily use the Paranoia Press data as their basis (the Sunbane hexmap data has been scrapped), but with some significant alterations to make it harmonizable with other established canon.
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