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So, we're fairly hard on articles that are incomplete mechanically, but we give a lot of leeway to projects like Campaign Settings, Quests, Sourcebooks, and other things that are made up of a collection of articles. The first time someone put an incomplete setting up, I said I'd feel like a jerk sticking an incomplete on it (it was a complete outline and some small sections at the time) because we'd never get any big projects up ever our standard incomplete procedures. And I still pretty much feel that way.
Since then I've updated the policy to include seperate guidelines for projects, but we never talked about it or how to deal with big projects in a way that both encouraged them and kept wiki usability high. So I thought I'd finally start a discussion on it. May as well lay out my position -
- A project is different from an article in that it is generally made up of articles. Which means that it might require substantially more work than a standard article, and we could cut it some slack with that in mind.
- I think at least the following should be classified as projects: Campaign Settings, Sourcebooks, and Quests. Campaign settings have lots and lots of subpages, each of which could easily be their own articles, and may include new monsters, new races, new equipment, etc. The same could be said of sourcebooks. Quests generally contain new NPCs, and may contain new monsters and new equipment as well. Others might fit in there as well if they generally use a substantial amount of subpages or individual articles.
- I think our incomplete policy is generally good at keeping the wiki free of unusable drift and empty pages, and that it should be applied to projects in some way as well. I also think that it's completely unreasonable to demand that a project be entirely complete before it's posted here, as I doubt that we'd ever get any of them at that point. I think that a complete outline, even lacking content, is a good minimum to require for projects to remain on the wiki and that allowing them up to 30 days to do it is fair. If it's not at least outlined in that time, we delete it like we do with incomplete articles. I'm not actually sold on the 30 day thing, as I don't think it's really hard to do an outline regardless of size, but that's what I'm going with for now.
- To track the completeness level of projects, as well as provide a standard link to completeness policy, we should use something similar to the old CS Completeness template and it's 5 point scale. It works well to provide a general sense of how usable the project is, allows a nice place to set a property (so users can search for more complete projects or exclude less complete ones), and it's pretty obvious when you first open it up so it helps keep our usability cred high. I think that specific template should be retired (as well as the new quest one Hannack just wrote, sorry bro :-/ ) in favor of a generic one used for all projects (I already wrote one back when I was thinking about this the first time, I just got distracted with other wiki stuff). It has the advantage of making text consistent across all of the projects, and limits changes that we need to make if something comes up in the future, but I may be missing some really nice feature of having separate ones.
Anyway, that's what I think we need to do to allow for big things while maintaining our wiki goals. It means that there will be works in progress in a few areas of the wiki, but they can be made easily identifiable for our users. Community thoughts? - TarkisFlux 00:17, January 4, 2010 (UTC)
- I have to say that this seems perfectly reasonable to me. Though I think you might want to change the thirty days to more of something along the lines of so much time without activity. I know I plan to log into my setting at least once a day and do something, but some day's that might only be a sentence or two while other days will be pages worth of work.
- What I am thinking is something like this...
- From the time the project first shows up you have to show activity at least once a week (or more or less), if you go longer you will be sent to deletion.
- Just a thought. --TheGrizz 00:44, January 4, 2010 (UTC)
- If it just meant more time spent keeping an eye on the pages that might work. I'd be personally frustrated by such a schedule, but that doesn't make it unworkable. I think it has other issues though, and I don't like what it means for partially completed works. If someone is writing a campaign setting and has a continent or whatever written up and really well done, but then gets distracted and drops it, what should we do with it? Delete the whole thing, including the completed good parts? Scale the main article back to just include the completed bits? I don't like either of those options very much, though there's probably others I'm not thinking of. I guess I'd just rather have a complete framework with some completed bits than nothing at all or a scaled back version. Still, if that's what enough people want then that's what we'll do. - TarkisFlux 01:17, January 4, 2010 (UTC)
- I see where the problem comes in and I too would have to think about that a bit. I mean good content is good content no matter if it is just one piece of a whole, or the entire thing and we don't want to lose any of that. Honestly for me I think if we notice a "dead" project we should keep it up but marked incomplete and maybe encourage others to work on it a bit? Again just a thought or two.
- --TheGrizz 01:26, January 4, 2010 (UTC)TheGrizz
- Good thoughts, and good points. Guess we should probably deal with questions about adoption of abandoned work and even working with multiple contributors while we're at it. Ugh. I'll leave that as an excercise for the reader for now though, as I need to kick that around for a while. Might even toss it in a separate forum later, as those might be equally important, but slightly tangential, issues. - TarkisFlux 01:33, January 4, 2010 (UTC)