The June Revolt

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Near the end of June 2006, a relatively innocent response to edits made by an anonymous user caused a lengthy "Discussion on the Nature of IB" in Lla Dafern, in which many of the older IB members expressed their dissatisfaction with the way Ill Bethisad had developed after the IBWiki had become its main platform. This discussion took place in June and July, and ultimately caused numerous changes, including the wiki being closed for editing by outsiders and most of all IB-related discussion moving back to Conculture. It can be read in its entirety below.

Contents

A Discussion on the Nature of IB

The following was put forward by Deiniol, and I think that it bears comment by all members and interested parties:

Possibly mine will be the only dissenting voice here, and what I'm about to write may well come accross as unfriendly, but I assure you that it is not so :D Just a bit concerned.

Are we sure that constant expansion and everything being on the up-and-up is a Good Thing? It's not that I don't value our new members, far from it. But it's the fact that we have such a fairly clear distinction between New Members and Old Hands is a little disturbing. Those who joined the project post-wikification obviously approach it in a different way (as you mention above) to those of us who joined back when it was just chat on Conculture or even Celticonlang.

This wiki seems to monopolise IB. Where once it was an effort spread out across the ether of the internet, with discussion lists, webpages and so on, the pressure to have everything in one place has rather killed all that off. When was the last time a non-wiki IB webpage was updated? One reason I've not seen much of a hurry to get the Arvorec pages back online is because I know that most likely I'll be the only one to read them because they're not on the wiki. I'm not entirely sure I'm happy about that.

I recall a while ago, before the wiki, discussion about legal rights and royalties on fiction set in IB. IIRC, it was a gentleman's agreement that in any such cases a portion of the royalties would be shared among the participants in IB. I realise it's a bit far-fetched at the moment, but if such a situation arose, would that still apply? Would IB22 get a share? How about our unknown feminist who added in the female nation leaders?

One thing which might work and reintroduce something of the "old way" of doing this is requiring interested people to post to conculture *first*, rather than editing anything. Shift the focus of IB from being wholly Wikicentric. What was originally to be a solution to archiving problems has become the whole project, at the expense of individual webpages. I'd like to see people commenting on IB things not found in this wiki. For example, did anyone remark on Padraic's new domain? When was the last time we saw a new text in one of IB's established conlangs? I realise people are busy and that all things change, but it almost seems like that aspect of IB is dying. The focus seems to be these days on sub-subcreation. There's nothing wrong with that, and IMO it certainly adds huge amounts of richness and depth to IB, but what about everything else which makes IB what it is and what it was when I joined?

Finally, please don't anyone take this wrong way or see it as me being grouchy and saying "you should all be conlangers and new people should leave", it's not like that at all. I'm just a little concerned about what's happening to IB.

Also, and a wee bit ironically after what I've written thus far, perhaps this discussion could be better placed in Lla Dafern? Deiniol 15:09, 22 June 2006 (PDT)

Yes Dan, I understand perfectly well what you mean. My own feelings about the whole thing are equally double: I highly value several our newer members, but it is true that there is a growing distinction between older and newer members.
I'm going to be very open now. Sometimes, I feel very, very old. And imagine, I haven't been as long in the project as you have! Yet, I can't deny that I don't feel perfectly at home in the current construction either. Let's not idealise the past: we had nice and vivid discussion on Conculture, but after one month had past, it was almost impossible to trace back the conclusion of a discussion (if there was any), not even to mention those constant fights over IB pushing aside other concultures... It was quite a mess, but at least it was our mess. A lot has changed since we "moved" here. IB discussion on Conculture has effectively died out, and the discussions we have here are of a completely different nature. While I don't think that was a change for the worse, I sometimes find it hard to adapt. And I regularly catch myself on writing things that would probably come accross as grouchy! And I'm probably not the only one. Have you noticed how many of the older members have fallen silent lately? Padraic, Kristian, Ferko, Carlos... just to name a few. I have a feeling that is not merely because they are otherwise engaged right now!
I've had lengthy private conversations with Padraic about the issues you address. From the very beginning, we wanted to prevent the wiki to take over the role of our websites. We invented several strategies to achieve that. But as I see now, nothing of that seems to work. At some point, we really started feeling like old Stattler and Waldorf! I guess we'll just have to accept that IB = this wiki, and that conlangs and websites have become a less important part of it. If there is a way to reverse that process, I'm all in for it, but frankly, I don't really believe in it anymore. And here comes a confession: more than once the thought has occurred to me if it wouldn't be better to step back and leave the whole thing to the newer generation of IB members. I'm not going to do that, of course. But at the same time, I can't deny feeling very very old from time to time...
And now I'm going to finish, because it's late and granddad has to go to sleep - see you tomorrow! —IJzeren Jan Uszkiełtu? 15:57, 22 June 2006 (PDT)
To add my two cents, it occurred to me that we're in a very dangerous position, right now. We have so much invested in this wiki that is ONLY found here, and while Muke is kind enough to host us, who knows but he will fall on hard times and be unable to pay the webhosting bill. Where will we be then? I think that each of us need maintain our own pages. Yahoo and other companies provide free webhosting, even if it is ad-based. I fully intend to move LA information to a secondary, and even tertiary location to help protect my investment of time. I anticipate the same for other regions I'm interested in. I think we really need to push to redevelop our webpages, the wiki is great for conversation, compilation, but we NEED the broken out pages. I think we need a conscious effort, and I think we might make it one of the criterion for membership to maintain some form of webpage showcasing one's contribution.
I, two, feel very old, and I'm younger than a lot...I'm maybe middle-aged, but I feel like a protector of the "old ways." I move that we go back, that we consider a stricter decision on membership, as it seems to have fallen by the wayside and whomever wishes can "touch" our works. We should speak of this at length, I think, to make sure that we are both fair, but with a healthy dose of self-preservation for our unique "sub-culture". BoArthur 16:07, 22 June 2006 (PDT)
I must add that I feel we should seek the opinions of those who saw the "Dream Time," Andrew, Padraic, and any others still interested in participation. I'd rather move to older rules that helped us be what we are today, together than move toward dissolution of this unique group. BoArthur 16:11, 22 June 2006 (PDT)
Good point. I'm going to contact Richard about creating a webpage for the Romanian Federation. I'm also going to see about creating a webpage for Mariner. Another notion might be to create an IB Webring. Zahir 16:12, 22 June 2006 (PDT)
Bless you for your insight, David! That's PERFECT! In conjunction with the wiki, I think that may be a good tool to help us as we push the "pendulum" back! BoArthur 16:14, 22 June 2006 (PDT)
A Webring! YES! What a bloody good idea! Why did we not think of this earlier? <calls upon the gods of the Arvorchedeth to bless the wise Dr Zahir>.
I kind of agree with you, Dan, in that having a webpage is a good requirement for membership. With some provisos, though. It wouldn't be fair on our members "at large" whose contributions wouldn't really fit on a webpage, nor on those who have only just joined- we can't expect a webpage immediately! However, it might be a good thing to institute some sort of "probation" period. If you join and claim a territory, you have to have a webpage in six months time, maybe? Deiniol 16:21, 22 June 2006 (PDT)
Occurs to me that rather than building a website for just Mariner I could build one for all the speculative shows in IB, from Traci the Vompire Hunter to Babylon 5, etc. Zahir 20:45, 22 June 2006 (PDT)
Sounds reasonable. I like it. I think that I must also stipulate that the websites do not need to be Flash or this or that special thing, but rather, something very simple will suffice, and most of the providers have some sort of WYSIWYG editor that makes everything simple and fast. I know what I'm going to be doing for the next few weeks... BoArthur 16:26, 22 June 2006 (PDT)
A couple of cents from a newer member :-) . I do believe that wiki is a good way to store information - the whole world actually - in a single place. It is easier to add new information (especially for those who are not good at creating websites) - one just needs to think and write, no knowledge of either HTML or WISIWYG editors is needed, it takes less time. After all, what we write is essential in IB, the text (and maps, flags, etc.) not the looks; and a wiki is a great way to be able to search easily as well, to understand what is QSS quickly (which is important when the IB became relatively big; even with the wiki and careful search it is sometimes possible to incidently contradict something that is established QSS and this would be even easier with many webpages when IB is as large and "deep" as it is now).
As for the articles, I believe it is still so that the one who writes them in this wiki *owns* them. I might do some edits to articles written by other people but I will never say that I have some right to those articles. I don't think this is a problem as people here are friendly and I hope no lawsuits will ever happen :-) . IB belongs to us all, but it belongs to us all depending on what we have contributed I believe, and of course if someone's only contribution was some minor edit it does not means that he/she gets an equal share of *everything* in IB.
Ill Bethisad is a kind of alternative world and as such it consists of the alternative history, construucted languages, constructed cultures and other things. It was so already when I've heard of IB the first time (I found Jan's website incidently when I was googling for something). Only later I've found this wiki, but on the webpage there was already much information on the alternative history of the Eastern Europe, not solely about the Venedic language. I like all the aspects of this and I believe that all together they makes an one whole. It is good when it is supported by the history why the cultures and languages developed differently in IB than they did in the real world. After all, it is history what has built the languages and cultures of the real world as well. I therefore usually work on several levels at the same time, that might include history, culture, languages as everything is closely related. I am a kind of perfectionist therefore I like when everything can be explained and not when something is different but it is unknown why it is so. Therefore I create long explainations - battlegame appeared more or less because of the longer Second Great War, the reasons for creating Reformed Lithuanian are also explained historically. In fact, everything I wrote on Ethiopia and the Second Great War in Africa started because I wanted to create a plausible explaination for why Ethiopia and China attacked Pakštuva in 1942. As someone who writes about many different issues I find the wiki to be a better solution. For example, I wrote an article about Ashanti - but I am not really a caretaker of it and I purposefully did not try to invent local cultures and define earlier history so that somebody who is interested in the region could come and write this. I only wrote about the Second Great War in the area as it was directly related to other things I was writting at the time. As such, it would be hard for me to create my own website as it would have to deal with many different subjects - from battlegame to Reformed Lithuanian, from Esperanza Rios to the Ethiopian Liberation War - and these subjects are little related to each other. But I like to complete things, make the IB more plausible, explain something that is not yet explained and such. For this I believe a wiki is the best solution. Also, my English is not the best and it is good that on a wiki other contributors may correct mistakes which would be impossible on websites.
I certainly hope that we will be able to use this wiki for long. If there is some risk however the copies of the entire wiki could be made from time to time (each month for example) and in case we would be unable to use it anymore then we could try to take our own articles and move them to separate websites, or, perhaps even better, create a single website. Or maybe it will be possible to add advertisements to the wiki and continue. Anyways, I hope this situation will not happen. Abdul-aziz 16:55, 22 June 2006 (PDT)
I will admit that I am not a huge fan of the wiki. I like the format, it's easy to find information, but my beef is that the majority of what gets updated seems to be bio pages, politics, or fan pages (think of the endless discussions on Traci the Vompire Hunter). Not that there's anything wrong with those topics, it's just that I don't see much about the various cultures in IB. What drew me in to IB were the cultures. Not some prime minister from the 1800's or a king from 200 years ago. This is why you don't see me creating such pages, It is not not interesting for *me* to create those pages. There are so many cultures to talk about in IB, but I think the most culture pages goes to Mr. BoArthur who has added a lot about Louisianne's culture. Of course, I have hardly updated too much about Alta California or even Montreiano culture either. I think the "old way" allowed questions and discussions to easily form, especially since it didn't get buried under tons of updates.
Some of my favorite people seem to have stopped, or rarely if ever post here as well. For instance, Roger Mills self admittedly said that he has a hard time figuring out how to use the wiki. He's only been here a few times that I can remember. He used to be one of the active participants on Conculture as well (this is why Mazapahit and Xrivizaya seem to have gone nowhere, as he was the caretaker). Kristian used to be very active on conculture, even with his busy life. Now, he hardly stops in. It just seems that this medium is less attractive to many of the "old school" contributors. I will admit personally, I *liked* the old way of having to have some solid ideas before being considered part of the group. If that made us a clique, so be it, I *like* being a part of cliques (just as long as you were fair about membership). I know for many of the new members it sounds grouchy, snobbish, and exclusive, but wasn't IB originally a bit like that anyway?
I have to say, I've lost a lot of interest in IB. It's gotten to the point where I feel out of the loop because a lot of what gets discussed are things I'm not particularly interested in (nothing personal), and a lot of what I am interested in, I rarely see get updated or added. Of course, Some of what i've created gets skipped I bet, so as the saying goes, turnabout is fair play. I'm sure I've come across as grouchy, and strict, but I really don't apologize. I think that maybe this is a sign that I need to develop my pages on Montreiano again. It's like I'm falling out of love. This doesn't mean I'm going to give up and let someone else take the reigns. Montrei *is* my baby, and I'm not about to let someone else raise it ;). Doobieous 01:47, 23 June 2006 (PDT)
A way to avoid discussions getting burried bellow tons of other edits would be to use only several special talk pages instead of using them at every article. For example, there could be talk pages like IB cultures, IB languages, IB history, IB people, IB popular culture, IB geography, IB flags. Then in each of the talk pages there would be separate topics such as ==Venedic== or ==Monteirano== in IB languages and it would be possible to add new topics, so for example instead of saying someting at Talk:Nea Illenicia you would add ==Nea Illenicia== topic in IB geography or IB cultures if that topic wouldn't be there yet (or perhaps one would add a topic in the respective talk page when he starts some major proposal). This way it would be easier to find the discussions than when they are spread accross many different talk pages and then people who are interested in those particular subjects would be able to check only those discussions. Abdul-aziz 02:19, 23 June 2006 (PDT)
Yeah, but to be fair it'd be a lot easier to just go back to doing it on a discussion list. Traffic on conculture has pretty much dried up since we left, so it's not as if we'd be impinging on them if we went back. I'm not suggesting we abandon the wiki, but rather we make use of all the resources at our disposal and have the wiki return to being what it originally was- an archive, a place to store stuff before they get their own pages. For example, one thing I'm definitely going to do is pull the Cravethism page and put it on my website, because I don't think it serves much purpose here. For lists of general moderators and the like, hashing out some big stuff like GW2 etc. the wiki is ideal. If you want to present aspects of your conculture or conlang, it's dreadful. For example, I'd rather like feedback on my Arvorec pages, but won't get it here. I did want to leave feedback on Barry's grammar of Montreiano (which, by the way, I adore), but didn't really know where to do so, nor if it would be seen.
If people are really anti-list, we could explore other avenues, like a bulletin board or similar (these have the advantage of giving threaded discussion, easy topicalisation and don't flood your inbox). Deiniol 05:24, 23 June 2006 (PDT)
Indeed such things as for example the grammar of contructed languages could and should have their own pages as it is easier to make your own page structure there so that it would be easier for the people to understand what the language really is. So in this particular case I believe the wiki should contain only the basic information about the language and where it is spoken, while the link to the official website of that language would be available for those wanting to learn it or to find out more.
Many other things are however (in my opinion) much better off in wiki. For example all the IB history, as any addition to history of one country or one event usually touches other countries in one way or another and it is good when you can change something about these additions in the articles about history of other countries. In general, I believe that history is something we all write together and it is quite hard to delimit where is one members' are and where is anothers'. Languages, on the other hand, are usually constructed by one or several interested people and changes in other languages or the additions to history usually does little infleunce to the constructed languages. Culture, religions and such I believe is somewhere in between and I think those are things that are perhaps better in wiki also. But if you want to write in long details on exact religious practices of some religion, or maybe a whole holy book of constructed religion, then of course a separate website with a link to it from the wiki is better. In general, I believe that the wiki should not be an archive, but rather a window to the world of IB, while the websites would provide additional, more in depth information about those subjects that are well known (that is, well thought-out).
I would prefer forums (bulettin board) over the list. I think forums might be a good idea for discussing and then what is agreed upon would be added to wiki or respective pages. The problem here is that this MediaWiki software is perhaps not the best for the IB wiki and it would be the best to have the forum and the links to IB websites well integrated into wiki (i.e. appearing on the left frame) and then there would be no need for the article talk pages at all perhaps but I understand that there are probably no free alternatives, therefore, we will have to search for solutions using the means available. Abdul-aziz 06:31, 23 June 2006 (PDT)

Websites

I think it's really good we're having this discussion.

Like I said, I think it is an excellent idea to have a webring. Dr. Zahir, you are now a Knight In The Order Of The White Eagle!

I, too, think we need a reminder every now and then that this wiki is merely a storehouse of information. A repository of established matter, if you like. And a good place for discussion as well. But it should not replace our websites.

I have to admit that my own feelings towards these websites are somewhat mixed. Let's not forget one thing. Back then, we created websites because it was the only way to showcase our own work. It also was the only real reference material we had. It was either that, or your stuff getting buried in the Conculture and other archives). We did it because we had to. And whether we like it or not, thát situation has changed. What remains is two things. First of all, webpages look a lot nicer than wiki pages; as Padraic stated once, on a webpage you can not only show off what you have written, but also your own personal style, while a wiki page will always be a wiki page. But on the other hand, creating and updating wiki pages surely is a hell of a lot easier, and the ultimate purpose - easily accessible information about established facts - is achieved anyway.

What should change, I believe, is this: nobody should ever think that the wiki is the real thing and the websites are only some kind of external thing, or worse, a relic from the past. Dan is right, there has been a tendency to ignore them, and that is a Bad Thing. It should always be understood that the websites are at least as important a part of IB as the wiki.

That said, I agree that newer members should be motivated to make a website. But making it a hard requirement (or worse: a condition) for membership is a definite no-no to me. That's unacceptable. Not everybody knows how to write HTML, not everybody who does has the time for it, and not everything we produce is suitable for HTMLification. We've had several more than excellent members who didn't have website for their IB stuff. John and Kristian come to mind, as well as some others. I wouldn't want to disqualify them now! Apart from that, however, I would certainly like to see more IB related websites, also from the newer members. It would also help people focus! —IJzeren Jan Uszkiełtu? 06:03, 23 June 2006 (PDT)

You have a point about people not having webpages, Jan. I think though, that we should all consider having them. I think we've become way too dependent on the wiki, and I would like to see some "Middle-Road" action happening. BoArthur 07:43, 23 June 2006 (PDT)
Originaly I thought the IB wiki would be an encyclopedia of sort where we would put things that are official (in other words, no proposals) with the preliminary work being done being the scene. Of course it ended up being something completely different now being more of a clearing house for everything IB.
I don't think either apparoach is wrong quite frankly but it would probably be a good idea to decided whats what. Is writing something on a personnal webpage official ? (I'm thinking of some of the commonwealth members for example) or does it need some sort of officialization process first ?
the idea of the webring is probably a good way to go. Some pages could of course be personnal and related to a specific entities while other could be akin to FOIB and dedicated to multi-members contribution on a given subject: IB tv guide, the Louisianan National Geographical Society, etc...
Regarding the legalese, if ever someone goes on and try to make money off it, the question of money will depend on what element he use. For exemple, Barry writing a book that take place solely within Montrei would not owe anyone anything. And until someone trademark it, neither would anyone using the name "Ill Bethisad" (but use my logo in a mercantile pursuit without payement or permission and I'll break your legs).
As for newer members, about the only concern I personnaly have is with the creation of new countries. I whish someone would join and developt a province/state/region instead of cutting a bit of real estate. I'm not saying it should be impossible to create a sovereign entity but there should be a bloody good explanation as to what it would give to our little Bethiverse.--Marc Pasquin 10:06, 23 June 2006 (PDT)
I occurs to me that in line with the above discussion, I should also restructure the Superhero area along these lines: The articles in the wiki giving an overview but with links to a page which would describe in depth the different characters and their histories. In particular it seems to me the wiki article should focus on how the history of superhero comics reflects the overall history of IB. Comments? Zahir 07:33, 24 June 2006 (PDT)
I don't think you ought to do anything. If you feel that the wiki is a better place for that information (easier to add new information, easier to link the articles to each other, easier to create wiki articles than webpages) then you don't need to move any information. It is a matter of what you like more - wiki or websites - I believe. Abdul-aziz 10:51, 24 June 2006 (PDT)

A few things

It is pretty clear that we have a dichotomy between the older members and the newer ones. We really should fix that. Padraic has more or less withdrawn from the project for pretty sad reasons, and if I understand you guys correctly, some other old-timers (Barry, Deiniol, also myself) feel alienated enough to be close to withdrawing as well. Let's not delve into the reasons for all that, but concentrate instead on how we can prevent that from happening. I think basically we all agree on two things: that we can't abandon this wiki just like that, and yet, that SOMETHING has to change.

It would be good if those of us who own one or more countries would make a website for it, and keep it updated. David's Oltenia page is a really good beginning! Subsequently, we should withdraw this information from the wiki (otherwise people will only look at the wiki stuff anyway and forget about the web pages). The Wiki should not replace the websites in any way, but merely serve as a repository for stuff that doesn't really fit on websites.

Secondly, I want to reinforce QSS. What I mean by that? Simply this: it seems to have become customary for some people to constantly question What Has Been Written. In the past, much of what we did was built on Mystery. Even very major events in the past of world history were vague and blurry. Now it's different. We know enough about GW2 to write a book about it, and as a direct result of that, several assumptions made in the time when things were still blurry are now hard to explain. And what happens next? Constant discussions over how things need to be changed (f.ex. which countries belong to the Commonwealth and which don't). While the arguments used in those discussions are certainly valid, to the original caretakers it gives the unpleasant feeling that they are constantly under attack. So here's the deal: from now on, QSS is QSS, with no exception for a while.

The third point is how we discuss things. Frankly, I don't really care. Abdul-Aziz' suggestion of talk pages like IB cultures, IB languages is nice but unworkable. What we might do, however, is concentrating all discussion here in Lla Dafern (and move items only to articles' talk pages when a discussion has been concluded. I'd personally welcome the idea of having more discussion outside of this wiki. In my opinion the Conculture List would be the right place for that. First of all, because that's where our archives are, and because we always used to have a good time there. The list is pretty silent these days. Those who always complained about IB stuff pushing other concultures away have been proven wrong: almost the only person who still faithfully posts there is Habarakhe, who never had any problem with IB. I'm definitely against picking Yet Another Place, especially a forum or a bulletin boards. Personally, I don't really like those, and they have several major disadvantages (for example, the possibility to add attachments). I'm sure that if we make such a move, we'll lose valuable members again!

As for Marc's remark about new countries: fully agreed. In fact, that has been our policy already for quite a while. I think we should just stick to it: no new countries (well, perhaps in Oceania), unless someone really has a damned lot to offer, along with a good explanation (which was the case with Xliponia).

A last remark: I would really appreciate it if people would stick to their own territories for a while. Always keep in mind that IB is a shared world, and that only parts of it are really collaborative. I'd say, let's give The World some peace for a while, concentrate on our own corners of the world, and lick our wounds.

IJzeren Jan Uszkiełtu? 12:21, 23 June 2006 (PDT)

Amen. BoArthur 12:53, 23 June 2006 (PDT)
The reason why I have suggested several talk pages instead of the single Lla Dafern is because it seems (from what was said by Deniol and others) that different people are interested in different things of IB, for example, some likes to add information and discuss about popular culture of IB and others finds it to be uninteresting and prefers concultures or conlangs. So these people would probably still see Lla Dafern as being full of uninteresting discussions (that is, discussions related to the topics they don't like/don't feel they are the essence of IB). I personally see IB as a constructed world rather than alternate history or a bunch constructed languages/cultures and therefore I believe many things can be written about, so, from my own viewpoint, it might be as you suggest, everything discussed in Lla Dafern and moved to the respective talk pages when the discussion is complete.
Ok, the new countries might be not carved out, with the exception of the "terra incognita" regions - the only such region remaining is probably Oceania. I personally don't care much about it, but the main problem probably is that the number of countries increases but it does not decrease anyhow as occupations of one country by another are rare nowadays, something that seems would have to be otherwise with the relatively larger militarism in the Ill Bethisad than in the real world.
And I don't think information, such as the information about the countries or cultures, should be withdrawn from this wiki. Some information is indeed much better of in separate websites - like complete information about conlangs, galleries of the national flags, galleries of the uniforms and insignias, maybe pages like National anthems (if there would be more of those anthems) could be moved to separate websites as well (that is soemthing like http://david.national-anthems.net for the real world's national anthems in this case). But, however, not the common information about IB countries and cultures. Abdul-aziz 13:03, 23 June 2006 (PDT)
Re your first point: while that is true, concentrating the discussion in Lla Dafern would keep it more central. One of the disadvantages of the current situation is the speed with which things are changing. Everything is só scattered all over the place that it is hard to keep track! Result: people lose contact with the whole and at some point don't feel connected to it anymore.
Re your third point: but that is exactly the problem! As far as anybody is interested in the conlangs, people dó visit those pages. But who would look into my history of the RTC if it's all here in the wiki anyway? And where is my incentive to keep that page up-to-date if nobody cares to read it anyway? If you ask me, the only way to make those websites really alive is when they contain info that can't be found elsewhere but that is vital anyway. —IJzeren Jan Uszkiełtu? 13:43, 23 June 2006 (PDT)
We could simply leave the basic: name, where it is, 3 lines on history, etc... --Marc Pasquin 13:40, 23 June 2006 (PDT)
Precisely. And let's not forget to add a link! —IJzeren Jan Uszkiełtu? 13:43, 23 June 2006 (PDT)
Three lines would be way too little IMO, it should be explained more on why the country is like that, what POD's there were, the culture of it and such. Of course for example the history of the RTC could be shortened in this wiki if you wish so and integrated in the RTC article, then the website would contain whole history. But still however I believe there should be enough history in the wiki to be able to understand what actually happened, how did the RTC survived the partitions and such. But in general I believe the things such as that are better to be based in wiki. For example, you are taking care of Veneda, I am taking care of Lithuania, Follow by the White Rabbit is interested in the media of RTC (both Veneda and Lithuania), somebody else added information about the Czechs of Volhynia and so on. If we all would have separate websites, it would be harder for the others to understand; in the wiki it is possible to link to other articles very conviniently, while in case there would be separate websites, this would be harder. In cases where such collaborative work is needed I believe wiki is the best solution. The situation with the conlangs, uniforms and insignias and such, where usually a single person takes care of that particular thing, is different, and that can be moved to separate websites conviniently. Maybe for example "How to tell if you are (some nation)" articles could be moved to a separate website as well (although this would be hard, as all of those are written by different people), but starting to move everything and more or less starting to abandon the wiki would be a wrong move in my opinion. Abdul-aziz 14:05, 23 June 2006 (PDT)
I like what Abdul-Aziz has to say about condensing, and not just three lines. I like the idea of having our web-pages be the in-depth, and the blurbs here much like Wikipedia's sub-headings with the small paragraph with the overhanging For more information on XYZ, see Full Information on XYZ. BoArthur 14:11, 23 June 2006 (PDT)
3 lines was just a matter of speech, not a strict limit. However, describing the culture and all is exactly what should be on the webpage, not the wiki. --Marc Pasquin 14:16, 23 June 2006 (PDT)
Yes, I have understood that 3 lines did not meant exactly 3 lines but what it meant that still the wiki would become some catalogue of nations (i.e. like South America article is) instead of a place of real articles about various aspects of IB (well, I am sure many articles would remain, but then again some would be moved out, and then some countries and historical facts would have much written about them in wiki, while not so for others), and this is what I don't agree with as I have explained in my post above. Regarding the linking to websites as BoArthur proposed, yes, this is what I have meant. The only problem that is here is that the links has a habit to become dead links eventually. It is so now already, e.g. see the link from Commonwealth of Nations article to http://www.bethisad.com/commonwealth.htm - when I was trying to get a map of Commonwealth for my world map, I failed, as the link seems to be broken. Website owners would of course move pages and they might not know or not remember what links are where (and the links would not only be in wiki, but in other websites as well). This is one of the problems that does not exist if you use primarilly wiki. When you move article, a redirect is created, dead links are visible as red links, while dead links to other webistes are hard to notice unles syou click on them. Abdul-aziz 14:45, 23 June 2006 (PDT)
I understand your concerns, Abdul-Aziz. What you are worried about is that this wiki might change its coherence. At present, it is a nice and fairly complete encyclopedia of what IB is about. And that effect would be gone.
Yes, it wóuld be gone. Because this whole discussion is precisely about that: because all that's really left of IB is its encyclopedia. It has essentially become a wikipedia project where not everything has to be true but everything has to fit in the whole. This shows up not only in the kind of subjects that are covered, but also in the way we discuss things now. Believe me, it used to be different. In the past, discussing things was at léast as important as the final result. Most members participated in every discussion, and you never knew were a discussion was going. There were always a lot of things of the type "hey, and what if...", "what would have been the effect on ...", etc. Now, we still discuss things, but from a completely different angle. A very result-oriented one. It's mostly about how an article should be changed to satisfy everybody.
Indeed, what I am proposing is essentially the unmaking of the IBWiki as an encyclopedia.
Contrary to what you propose, I am not in favour of condensed articles. The effect of those will be all the same: that people will merely look at the wiki for reference, and they'll stop caring about the details. If you say that all vital info must be in the wiki, you also imply that what's not in the wiki is not vital either.
As for the RTC: yes, we have a complicated situation here. Well, we have three options here:
  • I upload your and FBWR's stuff to my webpages as well (of course crediting your properly). If there's anything you guys want to see changed or expanded, you'll have to contact me. But what's wrong with that? It ís a collaborative project after all! Also, remember that there are several things on my pages which are not mine already, and that there are things of mine on other people's pages!
  • You and/or FBWR have your own pages, and we'll simply interlink them thoroughly.
  • You and/or FBWR continue using the Wiki.
All three are possibly, but my own preference would be the first option. —IJzeren Jan Uszkiełtu? 21:57, 23 June 2006 (PDT)
I am not implying that what will not be in this wiki will not be important. Take the uniforms website that was proposed by Marc Pasquin as an example. I agree that such website could be created. Then links to the pages of that website would be posted from the "Military" sections of the wiki articles of the respective countries (these sections are now in RTC and Riu de l'Argent articles). People who are interested in the uniforms would click, then check the other uniforms at the website, compare. I don't think the uniforms would become any less important. Similarly if you would want to write a holy book for some constructed religion, then you could do so at a separate page and post a link from this wiki. Some long information, such as History of the RTC could also be removed and changed to a link to your website.
If you want to have something personal in the articles you write, then I would rather prefer the decition you suggested yourself previously - everybody of us could make colourful unique templates as our signatures, with something like
"This page was made by IJzeren Jan.
Click here to visit his website about the Eastern Europe in Ill Bethisad"
written and sign our articles using them (a simple example of what I mean could be seen at Template:Abdul-aziz; of course, such templates could also include some pictures, a small list of what areas the person is a caretaker of, link to his/her website, his/her e-mail address or soemthing else). This, coupled with the requirement to discuss everything in Lla Dafern or separate talk pages or some separate forum and the withdrawal of *some* particular information (like uniforms and insignias for example) to separate websites would be enough of a reform in my opinion. At least we should try that at first.
Another suggestion would be to create a single website for Ill Bethisad where we all could upload information. This would solve some problems of wiki (WikiMedia software being not the best for IB; there would be a separate place for discussions in the website instead of many talk pages, different people could use different styles for their pages and so on) and some problems of having many different websites (interlinking/dead links, hard to find the information you want, contradicting websites), however, this solution would have problems of it's own (too much bandwidth probably if we use free hosting), therefore I prefer the previous solution. Abdul-aziz 03:42, 24 June 2006 (PDT)
The thing is, the older members are trying to move away from having a single IB website. Personally I want to put my Arvorec stuff on my own pages, ask for suggestions on sescam for a new flag design, and above all interact with the friends I've made over the past six years. I don't want to upload every thing to this wiki, signature or not, occasionally comment on a talk page and upload a gallery of proposals which sink without a trace. Dan posted the message above to conculture, where it hasn't gotten a reply because everything is here. If I had my way, I would only check this wiki as and when I want to refer to something. But doing that means cutting myself off from the rest of the project as there's no discussion anywhere else. Even then I've rather fallen out of the loop- I'm vèry saddened to hear that Padraic has withdrawn somewhat from the project (particularly as I had another minor war I wanted to run past him, as well as some questions about Brittany).
I think the webring idea could really "tip the pendulum back", as Dan says. And come on, it's not so difficult to get a website. Geocities is free, as is Google pages- for the latter you don't even need to know any html. And html isn't difficult- if you can use mediawiki markup you're halfway there already. Deiniol 12:29, 24 June 2006 (PDT)
I don't know. I don't think it is ever possible to roll the time back; you probably know this better as you keep in contact with those people, but I somehow don't think that moving back to websites would make all the members who have withdrawn (since IB moved to this wiki) to come back. Some people have lost interest to some extent maybe (but new people came - as with every hobby, for some it might last shortly, for some others it might take a long time before they abandon it and for a few it might last for all their life - but not so for everybody). And, besides for nostalgy and the belief that if we would go back to websites everything would be as good as in those old times, I don't see good arguements why this should be done; as all the other problems that were mentioned - many talk pages for discussions, people feeling that they don't own the information here as much as it was with websites and so on - could be solved through various other (IMO better) means than (almost) completely switching back to websites.
HTML might not be the biggest problem (to me at least) but however everyone will probably agree with me that creating websites is harder and more time-consuming than writting articles here. You could see the difference between [[Ethiopia]] and <a href="http://ib.frath.net/w/Ethiopia">Ethiopia</a> (especially knowing that the latter requires you to find out what exact path is that might be long and depend on website and such). Not to mention the troubles with dead links if for example someone to whose website I am linking to decided to alter his pages a little and combine some into one, etc. And I prefer to spend my time writting information (or drawing maps/flags) - the things that makes IB what it is - rather than creating style for my website, writting the links correctly and so on. But, of course, it is a matter of opinion probably. Abdul-aziz 15:53, 24 June 2006 (PDT)
Look, this is not about putting back the clock and acting as if this wiki has never existed. I've always believed, and I still do, that the wiki is an excellent resource. Nobody is seriously considering closing it down altogether. It's merely the way it has been used that has been alienating almost the whole bunch of core members. And that is bad enough. It simply means that just a little restructuring is simply not an option.
Like I said, I'm not in favour of making a website an obligatory condition for membership. I think we should at least leave open the option of being a wiki-only member. We could do that by compartimentalising the wiki a little, so that you or someone else could create it here. Others, who dó have websites or consider having one, should be allowed to move out there stuff.
So, instead of being a real IB encyclopedia, the wiki in a way would become something like an extended version of the ancient Minor Countries Page, mixed with lots of miscellaneous stuff that doesn't fit on websites either, and some material that actually shóuld be on a website but was written by a person who doesn't have one.
It also means that nobody should even thínk of editing an article written by someone else, and that nobody should just start writing articles for the wiki, not even with a proposal tag. We've worked with proposal tags over a year now, and I think we can safely conclude that it doesn't work. How many people really go over the proposals list once a week or so? How many real discussion has it caused? Deiniol is right: one of the nicest and most charming elements of IB used to be this interaction with people who become close friends over the years, and much of this interaction is gone. IB has become a machine, a factory. So here's the deal: when you've cooked up something, you simply describe your ideas in a message to Conculture. We'll have a vivid discussion about it, and the final result - on a website or here in the wiki - will be the ultimate result of that. That would be better for anybody, even for you. Because let me tell you one thing in secret, Abdul-Aziz: there are a lot of IB members who haven't got a clue as to how on Earth Lithuania ended up in Africa, notwithstanding the fact that it's all described perfectly well in your articles!
You are asking for arguments as to why all this should be done. Well, if almost the entire backbone of the project is leaving or at least losing interest, that is a pretty heavy argument to me! Don't forget that IB has been around for ten years now, and that the wiki era was nothing more than a short intermezzo. It was an interesting new approach, we tried it, it didn't work the way we wanted it to, so we go back to how we used to work before that.
I think we should at least give it a chance. —IJzeren Jan Uszkiełtu? 22:52, 24 June 2006 (PDT)

A Reply to the Discussion

Well! I see this topic has generated a lot of good discussion, and has raised a lot of concerns, many of which I must admit have been getting to me, even, since the Wiki has been utilised to the near exclusion of all else. Jan and Dan, fellow powers that be, have convinced me that this is not the time for leaving (and leaving is what I was considering!) A lot of the issues my good friends, both old and new, have brought up have also been vexing me. It seems that this is a time for changing a fundamental way we go about creating Ill Bethisad.

Wiki Issues

There seem to be two major themes here: problems with the overall project (excessive detail, every gap needs filling) and problems with the IB Wiki itself (it has become the end all, rather than a place for discussion). The basic choices are between Conculture and the Wiki. Frankly, I see no reason to move the discussion back to Conculture, as we've already seen good arguments against is use: crappy archives and discussions are hard to keep track of. Here on the Wiki, we can create any number of discussion pages we like (this is why I like Abdul Aziz's idea -- it would be in effect little different from chatting on Conculture, though it would still alienate those who don't want to deal with wikis). All the discussions are automatically archived for future use. But a major drawback of the Wiki is that it has become all there is to IB. Once the discussion is concluded, the information needs to be organised and moved out. Not everyone likes to make webpages, but enough do so that information doesn't have to languish here. The other problem inherent to a Wiki is the incessant twiddling and fiddling with stuff long since established. Of particular recent note are complaints about Commonwealth member states and the status of Jamaica. The Wiki's nature invites all sorts of tweakage that IB has hitherto not had to endure. When the information was stored solely on a webpage, there was no problem. The list of member states is old and established, as is Jamaica's status. Now that it's an available target on the Wiki, all of a sudden there are problems that almost seem to demand radical solutions. In this regard, I see the use of more permanent web pages as a stabilising factor. If minor details (and even major facts) get ignored, fiddled with and trampled upon on a daily basis, IB can not really grow sensibly from a set of established facts and explanations. All it can do is continually remodel itself as we struggle to explain and reexplain and threeexplain and then rehash the same datum all over again. I think at this point in time, we're going to have to declare a moritorium on tweaking of established facts. Let's keep in mind that the whole concept of QSS was established in order to protect facts and establish a base on which future work can rest secure. Certainly, new facts about IB should be welcome, but we need to return to the more traditional ways of dealing with old facts. If you really really really really think an old fact is simply "bad", a really really really really good explanatory proposal needs to be offered to change it.

A minor theme is the fact that, since settling in the Wiki, all of a sudden the gaps in knowledge that we used to savour now MUST be filled in. I don't understand why this need be so, as the gaps can be every bit as interesting and even inspirational as the known facts. Part of this is due to the nature of the wiki: it wants to be filled up, and it seems that people active on wikis tend to do just that. This isn't a traditional wiki: even though we're using the software that makes IB matieral look like a wiki, it really shouldn't be confused with a wikipedia. While new insights into our collective world are welcome, filling up gaps for the sake of filling up gaps is not really a good idea.

I am in support of the creation of a webring in order to host established information about IB (keeping in mind that the Wiki and even Conculture would be the place for continuing discussion, proposals, introduction of new facts, etc); I am also offering (again) to open bethisad.com to those who want to make a page and don't have a place. Jan and Dan have access to it. I also want to say that I do not support the idea of making a webpage is a requirement for membership in good standing. It is an ideal that not everyone has the time, inclination or talent to deal with. Abdul Aziz has made clear that he is stronger in this format, and I think that's fine. But at the same time, someone else could work with him at getting his work onto the webring (excellent idea, David!).

I share with Jan and Dan that there has been a tendency to ignore the webpages. I can't recall how many times I've seen queries about something that has been archived in a web page for years. Worse are occasions where new information will contradict established facts that, once again, have been around for years on the website. The wiki is very convenient and, I must admit, that it is very easy to ignore the website and rewrite ad whimiam when a lot of its data has been copied to the wiki. Basically, the web sites are intended to be a repository of established, base-line fact (stuff that should be most resistant to change). The old page on the Commonwealth was a good example, as is the Page of Brithenig itself. Long established facts don't really need to be hashed about here. They should also be the place where pictures are stored, ideally, though Muke has been very gracious in letting us upload squintabytes worth of images and sound files to this wiki.

I don't fill gaps for the sake of it, I do it out of interest. IB will never be completed. There is something that always can be added, whether it be the telephone system of the NAL or the road-signs of Florida Carribea. Filling gaps isn't necessarily a bad thing; but when filling gaps means simply confirming QAA by copying and pasting from Wikipedia, that's when we have a problem. --Quentin 00:20, 26 June 2006 (PDT)

Legal Rights

This has been an issue quietly hiding in the wings for longer than there has even been an "Ill Bethisad" to speak of. It was clear in the early days that Andrew owned the rights to Brithenig and Kemr as the creator of same. The rest of us were commentators and suggestors. As things got progressively more complex, the idea of intellectual property crept into the mix. It was decided long ago, via "gentleman's agreement" as previously described, that work done on the project was common property, be it a concept (Jante's Law), a person (Santos Dumont), an article (NAL-SLC) or a webpage. Our operational principle is "if you don't like it that way, don't contribute your intellectual prowess". Individuals can claim copyright for their publksihed works (like a webpage), but with the understanding that the content is part of the group's materials.

The situation gets a little dicier when it comes to "physical" and in particular "lucrative" products. I know several of us have long had plans to write stories and novels based on IB. I have one story written (though not published as of yet), and I know there are other works being written. Here it is clear that if someone is willing to make the effort at writing a quality story and get it published that he should get the royalties. Our gentleman's agreement doesn't infringe on anyone's right to make money, even off of the project. It would certainly be an honourable gesture to offer a percentage to "the group", but quite frankly, this would open a whole new can of worms that we're not really set up as a group to handle.

Isn't IB a collective authorship? I wouldn't want this to go too wiry. Royalties? Isn't that taking things too far? --Quentin 00:17, 26 June 2006 (PDT)

Membership issues

The nature of membership is now pretty well established (interest in the project, desire to contribute, understanding and abiding by such rules as we have). We've decided to introduce the categories of "candidate member" and "interested bystander". Basically, the one is the category new members fall into until it becomes clear that they're going to become regular members. The other category is simply for those who don't want to bother with the commitment but still want to pass comments from time to time. It was once suggested that new members should be "mentored" for a short time as a way of bringing them up to speed on How Things Work and all that sort of administrative stuff -- might be a nice idea to revisit that. Lastly, one of the most serious drawbacks of the Wiki is that it has essentially destroyed everything that being an IB member was all about. Anyone with a logon id can make edits (and thus usurp for themselves the rights and priviledges that used to be reserved for those of us who asked to join up), which makes them defacto members. Not a Good Thing! I've seen calls in this discussion to return to the previous mode of admitting membes, namely introduction via Conculture. This way we can gauge the interests of the prospective and what his ideas for IB are. We can weed out people who just want to create lists of everything under the sun or people whose ideas simply won't fit and of course spammers. The other valid way to become a member is to be invited. Several of us contacted a present member with questions or ideas and were later invited to join.

Which is exactly why I'm not a member myself. It's hardly supportive for bystanders and new members. What do you mean by "Lists of everything under the sun"? Was that directed at me? --Quentin 00:26, 26 June 2006 (PDT)

Shrinking Quantities of Real Estate

Marc brings up a good issue here, that of too many people wanting "their own country". I have to say, that I've been ill at ease with the number of individuals who claimed a country for themselves for a long while. Early on, our assumption (as far as foreign parts was concerned) was that *here* and *there* were pretty much the same. That of course changed, and it seems that everyone that joined got a country handed to them. I truly understand the underlying reasons: most of us were conlangers and conculturists: what better place to show off our languages than with an independent country of our own! I think it's safe to say that there isn't any room for new countries. Even Oceania is well carved up, and Africa has long since ceased to be terra incognita. Anyone newly arrived should not expect such independence: they're just going to have to accept suzereinty of another. It's not hard: Dunein has always been part of Kemr, and I like to think Andrew and I got along pretty well, apart from my never getting the hang of Brithenig mutations! As Jan said, it's pretty much a de facto policy and it is worth sticking to.

The reason I'm here is to get away from the "Design your own country" mentality of places like Vexillium, because they discourage interlinking history and allow everything to just fall away. I actually like the QSS nature of IB because it means we don't forget things. There is more to IB than countries! There are TV programmes, Books, Pop Music, Classical music, Languages, &c &c. We aren't just a "maps 'n' flags" institution. --Quentin 00:23, 26 June 2006 (PDT)

Build It and They Will NOT Come

Abdul Aziz is quite right in saying that just moving back to Conculture won't bring back everyone that has left -- though it must be said that several of our members dropped out specifically because we were shifting to the wiki. It's happened before. We lost prominent members when we moved from private email to a now defunct Celticonlang list. I'm sure we lost others when we moved first to Conlang and then Conculture. We'll certainly lose a LOT of folks when we're done sorting things out now. At least we'll be able to get rid of a lot of spammers!

The point of this discussion, AA, is not to get "lost members" back but to correct certain problems in the way the IB Project is currently running. The fact is, a lot of us do NOT like what has become of the project since we came to the wiki. We know how it was on Conculture and even given its shortcomings would not find it so difficult to move back entirely.

Now, I'd like say that I don't favour returning entirely, as I think that the wiki offers many benefits. But the fact remains that it has problems, and quite frankly we intend to sort them out. If that means losing some of the newer folks because they don't want to suffer change, that will be a shame indeed but not unprecedented. As for not seeing the arguments in favour of returning to Conculture, well, you're fairly new here and this format is all you know. Quite frankly, it is nice! But it has clear drawbacks and serious fundamental problems. It's our aim to correct what is being perceived as wrong with the underlying principles of the project as a whole, while hopefully maintaining what is truly good and nice about the Wiki. Certainly hope you'll hang around! -- I think you've offered quite a bit of good insight into IB!

As Jan said, the Wiki has been an interesting experiment, but ultimately we're finding it to be not so great an idea in application as we had hoped. This whole thread indicates to me that we need to rethink this aspect of How It All Works.

Elemtilas 15:08, 25 June 2006 (PDT)

One of the biggest short-fallings of the mailing list is you can't find anything there. I've spent hours trawling through that seeing if my ideas conflict with QSS and finding faux returns. Even if you do move to the mailing list you must keep the Wiki for a few admins to put info on. --Quentin 00:28, 26 June 2006 (PDT)

Responses to Quentin

Before going on, I want to take a moment to respond to your concerns in particular:

  • Re filling gaps for interest. No one can fault you for taking interest in lots of different things! This wide ranging (almost vagabondish) nature of yours has gotten you into some bad graces, but quite frankly, that can be forgiven. I think it is a trait to be encouraged, but also directed. You're flitting around like a butterfly -- while I wouldn't want to dampen your keen interest in all the minutia, it would not be inappropriate to increase your focus. It is very true that IB will never be completed (it IS a secondary creation, after all), and quite frankly, you bring a lot of interesting things to our attention.
  • Re IB being a "collective authorship": yes, it is, and that's what the "gentlemen's agreement" addresses. When we accept membership in this community, we accept that our work is not our own, in the way it would be if we had devised our own fantasy world. The issue of royalties is not at all out of whack. In fact, we've discussed it a couple times over the last few years. You may not realise this, but some of us have written stories (intended for publication) and others are working on novels that are set in IB. A short story takes a bit of work, and a novel takes a whole lot more. IB is now at the point where a novel could be plausibly written -- and the issues of royalties and similar are right at our doorstep. The material contained in the novel comes from a collaborative work; it may also have been written with the help of one or more members. We're all a bunch of nice fellows, a family of sorts, but due credit and remuneration for our work done here is not an invalid topic or consideration!
  • I understand that you aren't a regular member yet. You haven't been around very long yet, after all! I hope it's becomming clear that signing on to the IBWiki is NOT all it takes to secure membership. Frankly, I am very much in your corner regarding membership. I know you've had a rocky history here -- can't ignore that! -- but all in all, I think your contributions have been worthwhile and quite worthy.
  • Re the "lists of everything under the Sun" and "can't find a damned thing around here" - - no, that isn't directed at you in particular. Mind you, it wasn't so long ago you went on a recategorisation spree! What I was thinking of more was a whole load of needless files (I think it was South American countries or something like that) that had no content. Ended up deleting the lot. As for not being able to find anything in Yahoo's useless "archive", I fully agree with thee. It's the Wiki's major saving grace. I am not dead-set on returning to Conculture, but will certainly participate in any IB related discussions that go on there. All members and interested parties are certainly invited to join that list and participate as well.
  • Re getting away from "design your own country": I couldn't have said it better! I am very pleased and honoured that you have found a place here and are persevering. The present discussion may seem pointless and confusing to you as a newcommer, but believe me, to the rest of us these are issues that have been bubbling away for a good long while. We can't lay blame on you and Abdul Aziz and other new folks; but neither are we going to sit around while our shared project and years of loving labour go to bits.

Elemtilas 18:54, 26 June 2006 (PDT)

I am lost in a supermaket

Pardon me guys, but I am not fully getting the problem. Honestly, it is because I have lots of off-IB thingies and participate sporadicaly. I am the middle IB-generation (no.26), jumping onto already running train, but it still was not so rolling machine as today. My interests are rather limited and well-defined. As far as I understand the problem, some people are not satisfied with wiki and with the aspects of wiki-powered IB. My two groats: IB is the hell most ambitious and megalomaniac enterprise I ever took part in. It is lot of fun, but once you try really seriously think about it, you might easily get spooked by the giantic amount of work it demands to go on. Times on conculture were nice, but it was difficult to track anything back; wiki for me was a good tool to sort things out and be able to discuss directly the topic (in a discussion page). I never honestly plan to convert my IB-related web-pages into wiki-pages, I only planned to wikify the infos and put them here. These are two different things, the web- and wiki-pages. Different purpose, different instruments: web-page is a sum on particular realm, wiki is encyclopaedia and common discussion tool. I would go for IB-webring to connect IB-related web-pages and leave IB-wiki as a procesed data storage. It needs to have strict rules and ways. What I see as more pounding problem, it is long-term absence of many important players, e.g. Ferko and Kristian. IB is based on unique people. Could I today say: Bohemia and Nassland are free to take over? (want not to boast that these two are SO important ;) Who would take them? And, if no-one, is it important for IB? I like IB-wiki as IB it-self, we may need to come with better discussion board and some rules regarding the creations (appart of QSS and QAA). The "youngsters" should be able join with possibility to track back the QSSs and QAAs. I've joined IB only after I saw a gap in Bohemia conculturing for *there*, being unsatisfied with the suggested solutions. Let me finnish my scream out of dark with a silent wish: let us do it in a way, the IB will go on. I am a compromiser (in a positive sense ;) and easy going man, so what ever would be constructive, I'll go for it. Jan II. 01:39, 26 June 2006 (PDT)

Answer

Hello. I am on holiday now logging in from an internet cafe, so I don't have time to address everything but I have read through the new posts and will make several comments here.

  • I do agree regarding the easiness to find information on the wiki. IB is now much larger than it used to be and even with the current situation it is hard to find everything and easy to violate the QSS incidently.
  • IB will *never* be complete. Therefore completing something one is interested in is, in my opinion, not bad at all. In the real world there are thousands of languages, hundreds of countries, many cultures, movies, musical bands, currencies, flags, cities, historical events, famous people and so on. It is so in IB I assume. There will always be place for a new one. I agree about the countries however. But, although the world is carved out, there are *many* countries that have little or nothing written about them and has no caretakers. Anyone is invited to develop them. Regarding Oceania, please say at Talk:World map what countries are not marked there (if any) - as according to the map of Oceania on which I based my map, quite many islands belongs to no country. There will always be place for new movies, new people, new conlangs, new cultures, new historical events.
  • I don't think the talking about the royalties is in the right place really. At least I don't edit IB because I expect money. If someone would want to write a novel where for example some of the action goes on in Free Lithuania it would be nice of that person to credit me for the creation of the idea of that country at the end of the book or at the start (and similarly about Veneda and Jan for example). But I seriously hope IB won't go to the lawsuits or something if someone decides to make money of it. After all, that money would be made of his own creativeness (i.e. novel). If someone would be selling a printed version of IB wiki then it would be another issue of course. But generally I believe IB is a collective property of us all. of course I have more rights to Free Lithuania and Marc Pasquin has more rights to new Francy for example, but IB as a whole is a collective property. If someone wants his own alternate world then IMO he should create it. Prior to IB I have created such world myself. but what is nice about IB is that it is not my own. The fact that there are many people creating it could make and does make it more complete and more diverse.
  • From the above comes another opinion. I don't agree that one should not be permitted to edit pages of other people. I think everything is going on well here - we respect each other and this is what matters. Nobody is going to make Free Lithuania a part of Scandinavian Realm for example or make the Veneds talk German rather than Venedic. But minor edits to add new QSS facts that were agreed upon (i.e. some GW2 history that is relate dto the country) is good I believe. Similarly, it is good to correct mistakes of others (I am very glad that my mistakes, of which I do much as English is not my native language, are sometimes corrected by others) and so on. Also, as it was said, some people leaves the project, but the IB progress continues. We could not leave those countries as a forgotten realm and must update to new historical facts (GW2 facts as an example), but, of course, QSS must not be violated and what was once created by some person must be respected. If you want to edit my pages you are welcome. I do of course reserve the right to remove the changes if they are radical, but minor changes, QSS updates of what was already decided elsewhere, mistake corrections are welcome.
  • I don't believe the ones who wants to create new information during this time should be prevented from using the wiki.
  • As it seems it will be hard to reach agreement here, perhaps a vote on various proposed projects of the continuation of IB would be the best way to solve it once, unless some compromise is reached.
  • Old members will always go but new ones will always come. What the members who have left has written will always remain as QSS, as a part of IB. So will be with what the new members will write. The more people will touch IB the more diverse and "realistic" (as diverseness is realism in case of con-worlds probably) place it will become. However, even now it is quite hard to join and get info of everything what is QSS. With some proposals that would be nearly impossible. So, the old members will continue to leave for various reasons, while the flow of the new ones might be severely restricted and IB might become a dead conworld. I am not wanting to be a pessimist, but everything needs to be considered. And the outcome of radical changes - even when it is a "change back" is always harder to see in advance than is the outcome of relatively minor changes.
  • Of course, I don't want to attack anybody or such - I just needed to type everything quickly so it might seem to be somewhat rude or such and contain many mistakes. Abdul-aziz 03:50, 26 June 2006 (PDT)
Before you are leaving the Internet Café you're in, Abdul-Aziz, one short question: would you be so kind to give me your e-mail address? <see page history or your talk page> —IJzeren Jan Uszkiełtu? 04:11, 26 June 2006 (PDT)

I agree with all what you wrote, Abdul-aziz. I'm just feew months old around here. I discovered IB by accident when I was searching for something else. First I found the Commonwealth of Nations web site and then the others while I was exploring it. It was a wonderful surprise indeed. Sometime after I was being just "audience" I decided to start co-operating, and hopefully I will stay around here for a long time.

My first proposal (The Thousand Emirates) was placed under dispute, not exactly the best start, but I sugested on IBwiki a way to solve that dispute (merging it with other artivles which I think can partially fit on each other -United Arab Emirates and Yemen. I agree perfectly with the system QSS. I've been making articles using what the others already wrote (either in Conculture discussion so as on IBwiki) as a basis and used the lack of information and gaps on certain articles to find the place for my creativity. For example, in some article it was said that there was a certain war (I'm thinking about the Perso-Iraaqi War found on Persia article) but it wasn't told how it happened, so here is a space for everyone's creativity (in my case I described it on my proposal Saddaam Hussayn which was also based on Iraaq article. So I think what older guys wrote isn't a real restriction for further articles as long imagination doesn't end. But hopefully always respecting QSS. It might not happen sometimes, so please, everyone who finds any violation on QSS on my articles are free to correct them, discuss them and to make sugestions. And of course everyone is allowed to make articles having as basis what I wrote (this already happened with COPEN article which has much of what I created about such subject). This honours me, you "older" guys using my ideas for creating your own articles. Guess it means my articles are good enough.

Resuming, I think everyone here should be allowed to edit as long they all respect each other (and each other's ideas) so as respecting the QSS principle which should include what former members might had written.

It is true the wiki is now the axis of IB, in fact other IB web sites might become a bit forgotten by everyone so as they might not be updated regularly. It's much easier (and perhaps more fun) to update directly on wiki. Also wiki permits guys like me, who don't know how to make web sites, to contribute. I sugest everyone who want to have IB web sites to do so. I also sugest these web sites have information not found on IBwiki and QSS stuff so everyone who wants to make a new article will have to visit those web sites.

--Pedromoderno 05:33, 26 June 2006 (PDT)

Some further thoughts and responses

Firstly, I think it would be apt to mention that this discussion is getting extremely long and difficult in some ways to follow. This wouldn't be such an issue if the discussion were taking place on a mailing list. Food for thought, there. Additionally, everything that I am about to write should be read as if it had a big fat IM(NS)HO in front of it, and please recall that it is not my intention to offend or hurt anyone. :)

New and Old Members

First off, I would just like to put a very firm stop to the blazé attitude that "old members leave but new members always come". Sorry, that's not good enough. Older members, by sheer dint of having been here for longer, have a lot more invested in the project than newer members. Have a quick gander at the List. Of our active members, I've been a part of this project for six years, Ferko for eight, Padraic for nine. All of us have devoted innumerable hours of time to our own corners of the world. The language and culture I've added to the project are the two which are dearest to my heart and not something which I will readily abandon. For many of us who have stuck around for as long as we have, this simply isn't a project like Wikipedia where one stops by for a couple of months, adds one's little details and then moves on to a new project with nary a thought for what has been left behind. And, quite frankly and quite personally, it hurts when somebody new comes along and dismisses your contributions with "everything changes but you've always got QSS".

Additionally, "new members turning up" is all very well. But a couple of things- we have thirty-three active members presently. Why, exactly, do we anxiously await the arrival of more people to start clicking on the edit buttons and automatically become members? As Padraic pointed out, back before the wiki you had to tell us your ideas before being accepted into the group. Also, if we get many more members we'll get to the point where *everyone* gets lost in the crowd.

The differences of attitude between pre- and post-wikification members (with the exception of Dr Zahir, who has been something of an Interested Observer since long back) has through this discussion become more evident than it was before. Not only in philosophy but also in understanding of How It All Works. Put simply, our post-wikification members seem to be of the opinion that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. They want things to stay as they are, which is understandable since they've not known anything but the current setup and it works well in how they understand Ill Bethisad to function (unrelated, but interesting nevertheless, post-wiki members seem to be exclusively referred to by their nicks, while older members still call each other by our real names- BoArthur and Deiniol are still both called Dan, Elemtilas is still Padraic, etc).

Pre-wiki members seem to want to recapture something of what we have lost and how it worked before. This, I think is not just a difference in understanding of How It All Works but also a difference in understanding of What Ill Bethisad is and what it isn't. Which leads me nicely to my next point.

Ke gos es Ill Bethisad e ghe gos es-ys rhen

When you get right down to it, to the heart and soul of Ill Bethisad, you don't have conlangs, a shared world or even a creative outlet. You have a community. And thát is what is in danger of dying. The compulsion generated by this wiki to fill in the gaps, write up QAA and "have your say" is changing it from a community into a group of editors. That is not a Good Thing. Barry made a good point about how IB has changed. It used to be that being a member of Lla Societad di'll Bethisad was something special, almost slightly cliquish. I like thinking of membership as something special. Now I'm in danger of becoming just another editor of the Ill Bethisad Wikipedia, a cranky editor with an attitude problem at that.

Not being a Power that Be, I can't say that my opinions on what IB is and what it isn't can be taken as group consensus or having the force of law. Nevertheless, I've been here long enough to know what I'm ranting about. Ill Bethisad is not an alternate world colouring book, where you just fill in the blanks as you go along. Ill Bethisad is not just a place for you to put the cool ideas you've had for an althist. Ill Bethisad is not a place where it is your absolute right to add anything you please as long as it fits in with QSS. Ill Bethisad is not a wikipedia for an alternate universe. And finally, it is nót open source.

What Ill Bethisad is, on the other hand, is a group of like-minded individuals (note that! A group of individuals, not facts!) who enjoy one another's company (within reason, of course- I'm not saying we all always get on like a house on fire, far from it) in the process of elaborating on an idea. Something where everyone gets involved in all discussions (to a degree) and a consensus decision is reached.

As a PTB, I think Dan has hit it right on the noggin. BoArthur

The Cumaean Sybil Speaks, or, Dire Predictions

Well, what might happen if things don't change and we just carry on as we are? The older members, the "backbone" as Jan puts it, will probably withdraw completely over time. And, the majority of us being conlangers and possessive types, I fear that the Fiat of Rhiemeier will be repeated. And where will that leave us? With an Ill Bethisad which is no longer Ill Bethisad and QSS shot to hell. Alternately, if the rift between old and new members widens, things could get nasty. If discussion moves back to Conculture rather than here but newer members stay solely on the wiki, we'll have a dual Ill Bethisad, almost a fork. Either way, I can see bitter recriminations and the end of Ill Bethisad. Rember that it's not the accumulated set of Known Facts which makes up Ill Bethisad but the people.

So, why the dire predictions and gloomy warnings. Just as a reminder that this is serious stuff we're discussing here, not a few minor grumbles a few of us are taking too seriously. And as something for us to avoid rather than plunge into merrily.

Quo vadimus?

Finally, where to go from here? Well, the webring is a good start. Everyone has made good points, and if we combine some of them, we should have something to go on:

  • A more formalised membership system. We've gotten a wee bit big to just clear extra spaces at the table and slop out more Helvetian joschel d'etscheile (offal stew to the Uncultured).
  • More restricted access to the wiki. Again, I'd like to raise the suggestion of closing registration if we can. You only get a login if you're a member and by the consensus of the group you've earnt that right.
  • Discussion and proposals go by way of a mailing list for people to dissect. That way everyone gets a look at the proposals which are going through and they don't languish uncommented upon.
  • People pull a lot of stuff off the wiki and move it to individual websites. There is no reason not to have a website. If you can't code html or would rather not "waste" your time doing it, virtually all word processors have "save to web" functionality or Geocities has a WYSIWYG html editor. Webspace can be gotten for free. If you prefer the using a wiki because you can go back and edit things at any time, you're looking at it the wrong way. Established stuff should go on a website, discussion on a mailing list and minor facts and archives on the wiki.

Padraic has offered to host IB material in his www.bethisad.com domain. I'm sure text files akin to our wiki pages will be gladly hosted, and I think a number of us would be willing to help that move. BoArthur

  • Persuant to the last, we might want to set up the position of Archivist, who archives IB mailing list discussions either here on the wiki or on their own webspace- preferably annotated so people can find what they're looking for. If we decide to do this and nobody else volunteers, I'd be willing to take this on.
  • A central "link repository" or "Index to Ill Bethisad" in order to make finding QSS'd stuff easier to find for our newer folks.

And Finally

Finally, and most importantly, I'd like to wait for Andrew's input before we make any final decisions. It is, after all, still his sandbox. Deiniol 09:10, 26 June 2006 (PDT)

Comments by Jan

Well put, Dan. And Padraic, too. My own state of service may be a pitiful four years, but I feel exactly the same way. Actually, I'd like to add one thing. Me, and I'm sure most of the other "oldies" in the project too, like to think of our contribution to the project as a work of art. A consistent, solid construction if you like. Not just a number of edits. Let me tell you a little secret: I have been working almost fulltime on Wenedyk and the RTC for a considerable amount of time. To such a degree even that it jeopardised my paid job and my family life, oh yes! Now fortunately things are better, but I still like to think of my corner of IB as some sort of life's work. Not something I'd like to see disappearing in a wikipedia-like sort of thing, where only articles matter, and where it doesn't really matter anymore who wrote what, when and why. Of course, you are right about people being more important than stuff. And there used to be something exclusive about being an IB member. I still vividly remember how honoured I felt when Padraic invited me to make an proposal for Russia, and thus become an IB member.

There's a lot of things I'd like to add, but unfortunately I have to go now. Until then! —IJzeren Jan Uszkiełtu? 11:18, 26 June 2006 (PDT)

This is me again. There's one more thing I'd like to add, and that is about the "members come and go" thing. This is precisely what is not the case. If you look at The List, you will notice that some members are more active than others, there's no point in denying that, but that only a very small number of them have ever retired. And in addition to that: of the six people who díd retire, only one or two of them have ever been really really active contributors to the project. Therefore, I think it is worth the effort to point out that almost all our old members are still active, or have been active until a year or so ago.

And believe me: we can't lose them! These people have laid the very foundations of what IB has become. They are the only ones who réally understand what the places they created are about. To give you an example from the past: when Andrew was more or less retired in the years 2001-2004, nobody ever dared to touch Kemr - the very heart of the project - even though he had formally handed it over to Padraic. It was a dead spot, except for its place on the map and the things that were still on Andrew's website. Just try to imagine what would happen to the Armorican Islands, should Deiniol ever choose to retire! He is the only one who knows the language, who really understands the gist of the religion and culture, the role that Armorica has played in European history. Obviously, anyone can read what he has written, but there are undoubtedly a lot of things that he has not written (yet). Not even an official junior manager of the islands would be able to guess those!

Fiats of Rhiemeier or not: without him, Armorica would be dead. Without Barry, Montrei would be dead. Without Ferko, Dalmatia would be dead. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. And with those and other places dead, IB as a whole would be dead, too. No matter how eagerly people continue editing the wiki.

For the record, that does of course nót mean that new members are not welcome anymore. If somebody has something substantial to offer, we will always be prepared to make space for a newcomer. But to get things straight: it is not like we nééd new members. You can't judge the success of this project by the increase in membership (or the number of wiki pages, for that matter).

Therefore, I'm sorry to say, the opinions of the older members carry more weight to me than the opinions of those who joined very recently. Surely, the wishes of the latter are not to be discarded. But it is obvious to me that just some minor redecoration of the place is not going to solve anything. Whatever solution we are going to pick, it will have to be further reaching than that. And it will have to be satisfactory to the older members. —IJzeren Jan Uszkiełtu? 02:52, 27 June 2006 (PDT)

Bully-That-Be's Opinion

As it seem to be the thing to do right now, I'll also give my opinion (which I share).

  • Mailing list vs Wiki: Back on conculture (where I first joined), you did get a different type of conversation: in between talk of salty scandinavian lollies and the latest variation on Tolkien, someone would come up with some idea to play around that usualy revolved around developing his own IB related conculture. As other have said, there was rarely talk of filling in the blanks (which for obvious reasons was most of the world) and it was more about making a stronger more complex culture for each individuals.

Eventualy, some idea crossed culture and we started to developt more of a cause and effect history where those who fled SNORist russia ended up in the CSDS (or Alyeska, no one's sure). The problem then was to simply have a *semblance* of plausibility and these collaborative discussion were what, to me, IB was all about.

Not to paint to much of a rosy picture however, the same discussions often splilled into the realm of the true world and resulted in some rather strong arguments (part of which were due to me in all fairness)

You and me both! You know very well I like to play with matches; and I know you've always got a couple litres of lighter fluid or jet fuel hanging about the place...it's natural that we tangle every now and again. Elemtilas

as well as called by the non-IB posters to go start our own list instead. This, to a large extent (though not always) has been avoided on the wiki for the simple reason that discussions tend to be more limited which brings us back to what it is that a member is looking for most of all: Camaraderie (with the potential for agravations) or Intelectual Endeavour ("I show you mine, you show me yours and thats it"). Neither exclude the other one per say and neither is better then the other but one has to ask which is most important to him.

  • Archiving: This was to me as I mentioned before the whole point of the wiki, setting up a sort of reference work for our little Bethiverse. Going through archives, even if collated by someone, is quite a chore and doesn't guarantee you will find *all* the relevant informations. This to me should be the future role of the wiki. Basic informations + links to entities with a webpages, miscelaneous pages ("what is IB", "Advices to the beginners" and such) as well as some proposals for projects that have no outside page or that relate to no specific entities. And speaking of proposals....
I think this is a very smart solution. There's been some private discussion about what's going on between Jan and Dan and me. I think we're more or less heading in this same general direction. Elemtilas
  • Proposals: I have no problem with the inclusion of proposals but, and I'm realy repeating myself here, not every prosals need (or needed) to go beyond that stage. Either because a person didn't want to lose some work they did or because others maybe feared to offend the creator, it sometime seemed that every single proposals were somehow integrated into IB. If there was conflicts or multiple proposals, they were tweaked to fit in (that "square peg in round hole" thing comes to mind). The seemingly exponential growth in proposals probably comes from the fact that its so easy on a Wiki whereas through a mailing list (or on a webpage) you usualy need to put a lot more work before you feel ready to present it. Sometime, you might even realise at that time that the whole thing is pretty pointless and not worth it. If we are to lighten the wiki, a good idea might be to delete some proposals (after a vote of course, not arbitrarely). And as we are all grown up and/or (at least I assume) mature enough, no will get upset if on our own proposals is thrown out. I know that in my case, I will simply reuse my discarded stuff in some other personnal projects.
  • Memberships: More stringent (but not anal-retentive) prerequisites are a good idea. Instead of "Log in / start a website" I think it would be perfectly normal to ask prospective members what they think they can bring to the party. It might even be a good thing for the person himself: someone thinking members are meant to act as in a game of "Diplomacy" (conquest, alliance and backstabbing do happen but usualy by accident) or someone wanting to developt an insular vampire nation worshiping Great Chuthlu off Newfoundland would probably end up wasting his own time. As others, I don't think said contribution need to be a conlang or (saints preseve us) a nation. The prospective member could simply want to work on the ramification of certain historical events (Neo-Cambrian Architecture), describe a defunct religion (bound to be even more heresies then *here*) or just help someone else with their culture.
Agreed on both counts. Demanding of prospective members some kind of detailed proposal / set of ideas was how we used to do it. I really think that all of our newer members and prospective members would not have had difficulty with this requirement (though I think we might have avoided some headaches in the process had we kept the earlier rules in effect). Elemtilas

About all I can think of right now, going to be bed.--Marc Pasquin 18:37, 26 June 2006 (PDT)

Amen to all that, Marc!
As far as proposals go, we should really consider how to go along with them. The Cycle of Proposals has been an important element of IB for a very long time. Shortly after we moved to the wiki, we introduced the Proposal tag. Looking back at the sixteen months of our existence here, I think we can safely state that this approach has failed. People faithfully add the proposal tag to their newly written articles, and most of them remove it after a certain period of time. But it rarely evokes any real discussion. If they are commented on at all, it is mostly something along the lines of: "nice idea", and that's it. And thus, things are being QSSified without most people even taking notice of it. That must change. My idea is that nothing should become QSS unless it has been discussed by the group. Except for additions to one's own culture, of course, but they wouldn't even count as proposals anyway. So no matter what we will pick as our primary place for discussion, be it Conculture, be it Lla Dafern, be it a bunch of sub-Daferns, ideas and proposals should be submitted there first. And preferably nót in the form of readily written articles, but rather in the form of "What do you think of writer _____ having an IB equivalent _____? My idea is _____. Or alternatively, _____. What do you guys think of that?". Questions like that will usually evoke at least some discussion, and the final result may or may not be an article, either in the wiki or on a website. —IJzeren Jan Uszkiełtu? 03:15, 27 June 2006 (PDT)

Webring?

Here's a file I worked up for the Webring, once we get it going:

http://www.geocities.com/bo_arthur/ibwebring.gif http://marcpasquin.iquebec.com/althistory/ibwebring.png

Questions/Comments? BoArthur 23:02, 22 June 2006 (PDT)

One question and one comment: is it possible to get one with a clear background (it'd look better against the background colour of my site) and I really like it. :) Deiniol 01:05, 23 June 2006 (PDT)
I like it too! Frankly, I think it's a truly excellent idea to start a webring. I'm all in for it. One minor nitpick though: the image still uses the old dragon. —IJzeren Jan Uszkiełtu? 01:22, 23 June 2006 (PDT)
To Deiniol, I'll make the transparent gif when I get home. To Jan, I'll have to save the wiki logo and adjust it when I get home as well. (so I won't be doing things in the order listed here, as I'm sure Deiniol would prefer the new lion... BoArthur 07:23, 23 June 2006 (PDT)
I like it. Especially how you chose blue for the ring :). It reminds me of those ads for Earthlink a while ago where the actors had "comet" rings circling their heads. Doobieous 11:42, 23 June 2006 (PDT)
Sadly enough, that's somewhat along the lines of my own thinking. Great minds think alike... I watch waaay too much television, I've decided. BoArthur 13:53, 23 June 2006 (PDT)
If that is possible, I suggest making a kind of "gate-page" to the webring where the World map would be posted and the map would be clickable, that is, if someone would click on Veneda he would be directed to Jan's page for example and so on. As well bellow the map there could be list of special websites, such as maps websites or uniforms websites. I am not sure if it will be possible to make a clickable map however. Abdul-aziz 03:55, 24 June 2006 (PDT)
That's a good idea. And, even better, it's possible to do! And, when we get round to it, can I recommend alt-webring to host it? Deiniol 05:18, 24 June 2006 (PDT)

This is not just about a proposed webring. I am a relative newcommer to the world of IB, but I like to think my efforts have been essentially within the parameters of the project--given the fact I am not in any sense of the word a conlanger. For the record, I view my efforts as being too widespread and to some extent frantic--but there are personal reasons (if not excuses) for this. Quite simply, in the wake of my beloved Colleen's passing, to some extent I buried myself in IB as an emotional escape.

I agree the IB wiki has generated some problems. One is the relative lack of discussion about proposals. Another is the gradual withdrawl of many original participants in IB. Both of these seem to me genuine problems on many levels. Yet the wiki has been valuable and continues to be so. Its major usefullness, IMO, has been and continues to be as a central information point, where "facts" about IB are put into something approximately organization.

I am going to make specific proposal. I would suggest that editting of the IB wiki be solely in the hands of certain persons. Articles for inclusion should be proposed in the conculture group, a specific IB proposals yahoo groups or maybe a message board. Discussion needs to follow, genuinely hammering out specific ideas. And the actual proposal must be handed to the edittors in a specific format (the easier with which to input them). This should be in conjuction with an IB Webring to bring all the websites together and at the same time we should strongly encourage the development of new websites for the webring. Zahir 12:36, 25 June 2006 (PDT)

I definately wouldn't want that. It would significantly put off new members. --Quentin 00:15, 26 June 2006 (PDT)

I have added my Eastern Europe page to the Webring: http://www.geocities.com/wenedyk/ib/index.html For the occasion, I completely rewrote it as well. —IJzeren Jan Uszkiełtu? 11:19, 26 June 2006 (PDT)

Okay. The webring exists now? Cool! I'll join it later today... Zahir 12:11, 26 June 2006 (PDT)
But how? The Home/Join link just brings up Padraic's bethisad.com, not instructions on how to join. Deiniol 12:59, 26 June 2006 (PDT)
Eep! You're right. I'm not sure where the error is in our html....but if you go to http://www.alt-webring.com and choose to join ring 199707, that's ours. BoArthur 13:46, 26 June 2006 (PDT)
Because it's not immediately obvious *how* to join- the url to follow for other joinees is http://www.alt-webring.com/cgi-bin/newsite.pl?ringid=199707 :D Deiniol 13:57, 26 June 2006 (PDT)
Jan, you'll need to re-copy the source code, either from my page or from alt-webring...I had to change it. We need to get Padraic to add it to his page, as well. :) BoArthur 15:12, 26 June 2006 (PDT)
Alright, it's in there! Elemtilas 05:35, 1 July 2006 (PDT)

Proposal

About all of the above discussion.

I propose that we;

Make proposals on conculture and not on this Wiki
Keep the wiki, but only allow a few admins to put info in here
Make conculture the main location for posting news stories, but make sure that the stories go to the respective websites
Not posting news such as TéléLouisianne and the various RTC newspapers which already get posted on Daniel Hicken's and Jan van Steenbergen's websites.
Split bethisad.com into two websites; one of which is a directory of IB related stuff and contains stuff like explanations of QSS, QAA, What IB is and aint &c and the other of which is stuff related to the FK, commonwealth, the BBC news, and stuff which is Padraic's domain
I am (more than) amenable to that. The News Page is not just for BBC news; indeed, it is the main repository for all known news stories, even those otherwise housed on other pages. Elemtilas 19:06, 29 June 2006 (PDT)
Encourage new users here (eg. Willjbot) to come to conculture instead
Replace all material here which are simply copy and pasted stuff from other websites, such as the History of Russia, and most of the CoN page with links to the respective page on, say, Jan's or Padraic's website. (I have noticed that a lot of pages on Padraic's website, such as the CoN and India pages, have mysteriously dissapeared.)
They disapeared because I felt there was increasingly no need for them. For the most part, the information was either being copied over to the Wiki, ammended or increasingly disagreed with (QSS status notwithstanding). Coupled with an increasing dissatisfaction on the whole, it seemed the best place for all that information was here where it could be chopped to bits as seen fit. Elemtilas 19:06, 29 June 2006 (PDT)

I want to stress that this wiki and bethisad.com should not go; however the place for making proposals should definately be Conculture. Just my two farthings. --Quentin 04:30, 27 June 2006 (PDT)

All good and useful ideas! I don't think anybody is seriously considering abandoning this wiki altogether, though. It is a highly valuable and easily searchable source of information about IB and should definitely remain so.
What you propose here is pretty much what I would consider "the radical solution". Much as I don't want to alienate the older members, who used to have a good time on Conculture, I also don't want to alienate the newer members, who use to have a good time here. Let's just accept that we have two places where discussions take place: here and on Conculture. It would be ideal if all IB members were present on both places. It doesn't really matter where we discuss things, after all, as long as all participate in the discussion. The only danger I see is that once again one place will become predominant and the other will be neglected by most. —IJzeren Jan Uszkiełtu? 07:43, 27 June 2006 (PDT)
I agree--good ideas! Methinks also the "Rules" website should probably be the homepage of the webring. In practice, I believe what you're suggesting amounts to protecting most pages in the wiki save for Lla Dafern. I am not opposed to that idea, btw. Zahir 08:06, 27 June 2006 (PDT)
I wouldn't want to see talk pages protected, so that error correction would be easier For instance in the article on Republica Conchesa it says that it would be mainly Latin Rite due to Castillian influence rather than Isidorian, so it would be useful to keep the talk pages to notify of errors. There would, perhaps, be the danger that proposal discussion would go rather wiry, but if we discuss proposals before putting them here rather than after that would be good. --Quentin 08:30, 27 June 2006 (PDT)
Small correction: Any country with Castilian influence should be Isidorian rite, as that rite originates from Iberia. Doobieous 23:50, 27 June 2006 (PDT)
My point exactly; Talk:República_Conchesa#Rites. --Quentin 00:35, 28 June 2006 (PDT)

Input from Sikulu

Good day all. Been a bit busy lately, what with all the work I've done on the althist wiki (thanks to BoArthur for his help by the way).

I've been having a look around the webring, and I like what I've seen so far (especially the spinning IB Globe on Dan's website).

Feel free to use that for non-commercial use. :) (And without limit within the realm of IB). BoArthur 08:38, 27 June 2006 (PDT)

I haven't been around that long (about seven months so-far), and I'm also one of the newer members to the list.

Personally, I prefer the IB wiki for the reason that its easy to use. I have helped a friend to make a website before, but that was several years ago, and I found it rather unwieldy.

I am, however, in favour of a ballanced approach to IB. The websites do provide the personal touch that the wiki lacks, despite the fact its harder to update regularly.

As for using the conculture group as a workshop for proposals, that, to me, sounds a little extreame, since information on the wiki is easier to adjust, and to comment on. I'm not totaly against it (since I am a member of the Orion's Arm group on yahoo, and am having one of my own works vetoed at the moment.)

Cheers to you all. --Sikulu 07:54, 27 June 2006 (PDT)

ATENÇÓN!

Alright Quentin, Zahir, and ANYONE else who apparently cannot read the moratorium request here. STOP editing. I may not be one of the powers that be or admin, but seriously can you PLEASE stop doing ANY edits? How clear must it be here? Until that banner is taken down, STOP GINA, STOP! Agh, it's so annoying to see notices disregarded (I see it ALL the time at my job, hence my annoyance). Can you guys not read? Do you think you're magically exempt? I really don't care if the two main culprits in this get offended (Quentin and Zahir). Go ahead, get mad, I really don't care. Doobieous 05:17, 2 July 2006 (PDT)

Fair cop. No excuse. Zahir 12:41, 2 July 2006 (PDT)

The future of the wiki

Dear all,

The editing moratorium shouldn't last too long anymore. There has been a little background discussion between the core members of IB, and there seems to be a general consensus over a few things, especially that the at least part of the discussion should take place on Conculture, that the Wiki should primarily be an archive, and that Wiki access should be limited. If no one objects, we can implement the following things fairly quickly:

  • article space will be editable by sysops only;
  • talk and user space will be editable by registered users;
  • disallowing new user creation to anonymous users is possible. In other words, new user accounts have to be created by a sysop.

If you ask me, this seems like a fairly good package. We'll get rid of spammers and vandals, and we'll make sure that interested bystanders will find their way to Conculture easily.

What this means? Basically, that every IB member can use any talk page, and of course, his own user space. Members who don't want to have their own website thus will also have the possibility to create one in their own user space in the Wiki. That will also be a good place where they can submit proposals in article form. Those who have a website can use it as a notebook, for anything else they like, or not at all.

I hope we can keep Lla Dafern editable by the whole group. But it's not really a problem if that will turn out to be impossible: in that case, we can simply use its talk page instead.

This does imply that the role of sysop will change from a merely technical lord-of-instrumentality kind of job to something more active. Something more along the lines of an archivist. It seems to be possible to define a new user group with the right to edit articles without becoming sysops themselves, but I'm not sure if we really need this.

Comments are welcome! —IJzeren Jan Uszkiełtu? 08:04, 4 July 2006 (PDT)

That's all well and good, but letting only sysops edit pages seems rather unfair to whoever created those pages, and want to update them (since they would usually have a good idea of what needs to be done). Personally, I'd vote for editing rights restricted to active members only, with the permition of the sysops if any large changes/additions are to be made, or a general notification if only small corrections/modifications are needed. Any thoughts? --Sikulu 08:29, 4 July 2006 (PDT)
This really is difficult, because I know that there are things here that are "mine" and I will never have a reason to host them anywhere but here. If I wanted to update something regularly, and were not a sysop, it could be quite difficult to do so. I agree with Sikulu that we might need to expand the "allowed" editors. BoArthur 09:48, 4 July 2006 (PDT)
I agree with Sikulu but then we will have to define who are the active members. For example, some are quite active right now, but what about in the future? Others might had been much active in the past but now not so much. Should a past active member be restricted to edit now?
Anyway having the user page as a place to create somekind of web site or to place the proposals in article form seems interesting to me. But then how this might work? Will those proposals be taken from user page to Wiki as articles by the sysops or by the administrators?--Pedromoderno 12:14, 4 July 2006 (PDT)
Just to confirm, you're saying that only five of you (Muke not really counting) will be able to edit article space? That's what the Arvorchedeth would term as gwrea glaedhyf o chwelasod, making the sword that will kill you. That'll be a lot of work- every time someone wants to correct a spelling or add something to "their" wiki pages they'll be knocking at your door! Before you do, however, I'd appreciate it if we could have a week's worth of unlimited editing in order to "get the house in order". If I'm not going to be able to edit the Arvorec articles anymore, I'd like to have the oppurtunity to get them to a state that I'm happy to leave them in. Deiniol 14:07, 4 July 2006 (PDT)
As mentioned, there is the alternative of creating a class of "editors" who would be able to edit pages. "Editor" status would be assigned via Special:Userrights by those with the rights to give it. —Muke 15:04, 5 July 2006 (PDT)
There's also the option of giving a few more people (like BoArthur and Deinol for example) sysops priveleges. Just a thought. Zahir 16:30, 4 July 2006 (PDT)
Deiniol, wasn'it it you who suggested that somebody should be assigned the job of "archivist"? Somehow, I'm not concerned about this too much.
If, let's say, someone without an sysop priviledges would want to change something in an article, he has three options. Either he asks a sysops to place the sentence "..." somewhere in the text. Or he places the version he likes on the talk page, so that a sysop can replace the old version with the new one. Or, and this is perhaps the most interesting solution: it can be moved to his user space.
This is more or less what I had in mind when I mentioned "compartimenting" the wiki. If you move articles, which a) are fully yours, and b) need to be worked on regularly, you simply move it to your user space. For example, Armorica would become User:Deiniol/Armorica. That has the following advantages:
  • You have full control over the article.
  • When it is in your private user space, nobody else will easily start editing it.
  • What stays behind is a redirect to the article. Anyone who follows the link to the old article will automatically be redirected to the new location. He probably won't even notice!
For the rest, if the sysops will constantly be getting thirty-five request for changes a day, that will probably mean that people are still much too wiki-oriented. Let's not forget this: the wiki is primarily a place for archiving, for storing established facts. Those of us who have websites should preferable leave a "short version" in the wiki, and short versions by definition don't need to be updated often. If you don't have a website but have your stuff in your user space, simple redirects will do. Items which are "work in progress" basically don't have a place in article space: they should be moved there only when they are finished. So what remains in article space are articles that a) are more or less "finished" and are not likely to be updated often, or b) involve several members and are nobody's private domain in particular (like Second Great War).
Like I said, what réally should change is this: that the core or our IB activity becomes discussion, instead of writing articles!
For the rest, it is of course nobody's intention to cut off anybody from his own work. It is definitely not my intention that "sysop" becomes some sort of power job. I'm not unwilling to grant sysops rights to all active IB members, but the whole point of making article space sysop-only will be pretty moot then. —IJzeren Jan Uszkiełtu? 22:33, 4 July 2006 (PDT)
Uh, people, if you've worked hard on your articles, as in making sure the grammar is tight and things are spelled correctly, etc. then you won't have the need to go in every five minutes to make changes. Why not treat article creation like writing an essay for school, or for a magazine? Work on your articles in your own space (such as a word processing program), and then send it off to a sysop to be added. You shouldn't be using this place PRIMARILY for editing and tweaking your articles, unless you're using your talk pages. I don't see why this is a big problem. Bottom line is we're trying to get away from this being the main place to work on articles and focus on getting them tight before, and then using this as an archival space. Just because you can't edit here means you can't edit your articles in a word processing program (or other space). Doobieous 23:30, 4 July 2006 (PDT)


I've lifted the moratorium. Anyone feel free to reorganise his stuff as he sees fit!
Oh, and Dan, you are a sysop now! —IJzeren Jan Uszkiełtu? 22:38, 4 July 2006 (PDT)

Eek! I've been volunteered! Thanks- does this mean I get a discount on my annual dues? :) Either way, Jan, you've settled my mind about the sysops-only editing- I couldn't quite figure out how giving our websiteless members the oppurtunity to have their own space here on the wiki would work with then not being able to edit the pages. But moving things to one's user space simply hadn't occurred to me. That should hopefully satisfy everybody! Deiniol 02:02, 5 July 2006 (PDT)
Ha! Discount? My dues went up from six quid to twelve when I was "voluneered"! Elemtilas 14:28, 5 July 2006 (PDT)

Ok, that sounds better. Besides, anything that needs input from several people can be discussed on the talk pages, or on conculture anyway. Sikulu am happy now. :) --Sikulu 02:50, 5 July 2006 (PDT)

When is the wiki article space going to be closed? Deiniol 10:46, 13 July 2006 (PDT)
Shortly after I hear there's consensus. It seems like this page agrees to Jan's proposed changes, but I don't know if this is still being discussed elsewhere or what. —Muke Tever | 15:23, 18 July 2006 (PDT)
No, the discussion has fallen silent, so I think we can proceed. The conclusion, again:
  1. Article space is editable by sysops only (I guess same goes for category space, template space etc.).
    • Done. Article space is editable by sysops (and any "editors" the sysops choose to appoint, as per #4).
  2. Talk and user space are editable by registered users.
    • Done. A non-editor registered user can edit a talk page or his user page. (They can not, however, create a talk page for an article that doesn't exist.)
  3. New user creation by anonymous users is disallowed, and new user accounts have to be created by a sysop (you'd have to explain how that works, though).
    • Done. User creation has been disabled for anons and regular users. To create a new user, a sysop must go to Special:Userlogin and do "Create a new account". (Note that on creating another account, you are logged in as the new account, and need to log back in again as sysop if you want to continue doing sysoppy things.) —Muke Tever | 14:51, 19 July 2006 (PDT)
  4. I think it would be helpful if you could create a new user group "Editors" (with editing priviledges for all namespaces).
If you could do that for us, Muke, that would be great!
Cheers, —IJzeren Jan Uszkiełtu? 00:04, 19 July 2006 (PDT)
It should all be working properly. I am looking into making Lla Dafern an editable exception. If anything is broken, let me know. —Muke Tever | 15:22, 19 July 2006 (PDT)
Excellent. Thanks a million!!! :) —IJzeren Jan Uszkiełtu? 23:47, 19 July 2006 (PDT)

Editing Lla Dafern

So, I wonder if I will be given the necessary level to be able to continue editing the articles and to be able to talk in the Lla Dafern proper? BTW if the editing of the articles is limited to some users only now, perhaps Lla Dafern should be moved to here (to Talk:Lla Dafern) as, after all, Lla Dafern is a talk page rather than an article. I also wonder what the policies regarding giving members the right to edit the articles will be (will there for example be a vote by the old members on that after some time of new user contributing to talk pages/establishing his own IB-related website or such, will any person with such power be permitted to grant the right to edit articles to new people on his/her own will, will some other policies apply). Abdul-aziz 16:07, 19 July 2006 (PDT)

I have moved Lla entire Dafern to its own talk page, so that everybody can still edit it.
As for your own articles: I've made you an editor, so that you can edit articles. In your case, I would use that possibility to move the stuff which is yours to your own user space. The way I see editorship, it should be something temporary. On the longer term, editing rights should be limited those archivists who maintain the wiki. —IJzeren Jan Uszkiełtu? 23:44, 19 July 2006 (PDT)
Ok. I will probably apply for being one of those archivists as I have no page of my own to take care of (although I think the "revolution" has went too far already and there is no need for further actions in this way). I will mark my articles with a template that I have created; not sure if any other contributors would want to follow suit (to mark their articles with similar templates), but I see some of the articles are signed anyway and therefore probably this is not that bad. Abdul-aziz 00:06, 20 July 2006 (PDT)

Leaving for a few days

Folks, I'm leaving you for a couple of days. Short vacation to Germany! I hope to be with you after a week or so. In the meantime, behave nicely! ;) —IJzeren Jan Uszkiełtu? 23:44, 19 July 2006 (PDT)

Good luck and enjoy Abdul-aziz 00:06, 20 July 2006 (PDT)

How it's All Going to Work - your thoughts please

Following the recent change in the game plan, I get a feeling that we need a few procedures in place for everything to run smoothly on the wiki.

Personal Space

For those of us who lack webspace or the desire to have webspace, it's been said that you can use the wiki as you would your webspace. To do this, you need to put articles, proposals and the like in your User Space, using subpages. For those who don't know how to create subpages, there's a quick howto cribbed from Wikipedia on this subpage.

Then that's free for you to do with as you wish. Write about your corner of IB, work up proposals to be presented to the list, present cunningly intricate texts in your conlang etc etc etc.

Archives and Archivists

Which leaves the main article space, which is essentially to become an archive of discussions (as I understand it). The task of the Archivists is to archive stuff. Easy, no?

But what to Archive? IMO, there are two ways of doing this-

  • Once consensus has been reached and a topic becomes QSS'd, the archivist simply pastes the email discussion into article space. Easy, but not pretty.
  • Once consensus has been reached and a topic becomes QSS'd, the originator of the proposal or any interested party could create an article in their user space. Once they've finished it they could tag it with a convenient little "to be archived" template, wich would add it to a "Archive This" category, and any passing archivist or sysop could then simply move the page into article space. This is a bit more long-winded, but it has the benefit that the finished result would be prettier and the work an archivist would be less.

And finally,

Things which need to be done

The articles on the Five Pillars and the Main Page should be updated on the new procedures, once they've been worked out.

Those articles aren't meant to be "user instructions" so much as general ruminations on the nature of the project. We're still using the Wiki, so it remains as one of the ways we come up with IB related facts. The actual means of how the Wiki is operated aren't so important for that particular article.
The new Wiki procedures should be advertised in the front page or thereabouts.
Elemtilas 15:03, 20 July 2006 (PDT)

What think ye, o merrie gentlemen? Deiniol 09:23, 20 July 2006 (PDT)

As I have said previously, my opinion is very negative about this all. What is bad with the current system? Now the people who does not have their own websites might use wiki for their articles, other people might use their own websites (as an example of such thing, the Craveathism page was removed). Moving everything to user pages will make it very hard to search and basically I believe soon the only one person interested in his country will be the caretaker of his country. Who is going to regularly check dozens of websites and user pages?
I doubt there will be many people while finding what is new on wiki used to be easy. Anyways, if the fruits of the "revolution" for some reason needs to stay, well then, but I don't see any reason to continue doing such reforms. Now all the problems(?) that were initially stated by a few members are already solved or reversed; that is, no anonymous users might edit anymore and even new users will not be granted the right to edit immidietly before they fully understand the rules, people can move their information to their websites, it is possible to sign the articles, even discussions are taking place on conculture. What is the reason behind the attempts to "steal" the wiki as we know it from the IB users who are prefering this way of storing their data and turning the wiki into some kind of archive? All the reform seems like an attempt to go back from cars to horses and when it is understood that many people still prefer cars, to ban the usage of cars altogether or make it very hard.
I frankly agree with you that the editing restrictions are probably unnecessary given that we can create a group of people with editing priviledges, can monitor who sets up a user name and all that. Not everyone thinks the Wiki is the formal equivalent of the car, however. Those of us who've been at this a long time tend to get a lot more done with a more free-for-all discussion such as has been the way we've done it for nine of our ten years. I'm not saying the Wiki is all bad, but it really does have its drawbacks.
I don't think it's a good idea to entirely pull information off the Wiki (as you say the Crevethyck article was removed) either. Some kind of basic article with links should be left behind here when information is so moved.
I don't understand the complaint about having to search all over on external pages for stuff. It's always been that way. If you've never looked at anything BUT the IB Wiki the past year, then you've missed a lot of information!
Elemtilas

No voting was probably ever done on the issue but despite of that new decitions are imposed. This, in my opinion, needs to end.

This is not a democracy. General discussion takes place, opinions are aired and considered and concensus is reached. You've partaken in the discussions and you opinions (along with mine and several others) regarding the use of the Wiki have been heard.

I do believe that there are certainly more people like me who preffer wiki over the means suggested and I believe that we are not of any less value than the users that preffers the other means of storing information.

Indeed. This is why the Wiki is not being utterly abandonned (as I think some would have liked). It has its uses. Good discussions aren't the Wiki's strong point, and good discussion has been the mainstay of the project since the start.

Therefore, I suggest making the people who are more interested in the wiki to be caretakers of the wiki and then these caretakers would take care of it in the future and decide on the rules of usage or approving new caretakers. Wiki would be a kind of member website of the IB webring (the only difference would be that unlike the other websites of the webring this one will not be owned by a single person).

I still hold out for all IB members to be made editors and forget this whole "archivist" business where only a few people can edit pages.

People who does not want the articles they have written to be on the wiki would be able to remove them if they would wish so and they would be able not to use the wiki; probably many of the current wiki admins would want to leave the wiki and this would be ok as they would be changed by the new caretakers on that job; as the IB wouldn't be limited to the wiki, the admins here would be primarilly the people who checks the wiki frequently and takes care of it and it would be fully possible to take part in IB without ever visiting the wiki similarly as it is possible to take part in IB without ever visiting some IB webpage.

I have no plans to leave the Wiki. If it comes down to only a few people being "archivists", then I'd want to be one.
One thing here: I am very much afraid that the recent reform could go too far. It seems that a very deep and deepening wedge has already been driven between you (thus far the only adamant speaker for the Wiki) and the rest of us who either don't use the Wiki much or else who have plans to make use of both Conculture and the Wiki.
What we don't need is two opposing camps of people who never see each others' work. It has long been the case that IB is too big for any one person to know everything about it or even to be interested in every detail; but this self segregation is a Bad Thing. I'm going to strongly suggest that no such divisions be put up among us: those of us who want to work solely on the Wiki have to understand that much discussion takes place outside of the Wiki. Likewise, the Conculture only folks will have to understand that there's still lots of activity on the Wiki.
Those of us -- the vast majority, I think -- who have no difficulty with either venue, will be the most benefitted as we can partake of discussions anywhere. I hope you will really consider moving from the Wiki-only to the all-out sort of participation. You have a lot of good ideas and are not unwilling to speak up.
Elemtilas 15:03, 20 July 2006 (PDT)

If I would be one of these caretakers (and I would certainly apply for that if this plan would be approved) then the wiki could also be as a kind of archive as I would add what others, including IB members that would not be among the caretakers of wiki, would want to be added. The internal matters of the wiki would be solved internally on Lla Dafern or elsewhere and there would be no need for the members who have little interest in wiki to check that; while the global IB matters would be solved on the conculture group. In my opinion this would be the best solution as it would let the members who preffer the wiki to work on the project in the way they want to, while the other members would be able to continue working as they want to. Abdul-aziz 10:00, 20 July 2006 (PDT)

I think that user space should be used to hone articles and then they can be "archived" and that way we know when something is new because it will be updated to the non-user pages. I think that your concerns will be eased in the future, Abdul-Aziz as you see how things were before you join. We used to have highly fruitful conversations on Conculture, and I think having a user-space page to cobble together, refine and shine-up our ideas prior to an archival of the finished and accepted proposal would be a Good Thing. We would then, of course allow the Archived page to be updated (through the talk page of the article) by the user, and we would then know when a page has changed.
I think the goal of this "Revolution" has been to restore some of the status quo of things prior. The conversations on Conculture were always highly useful to me and it really created a sense of community, more than I feel for Wikipedia. That's part of the magic of IB, if you will. I think we're going to be finding our way for some months yet, but I think we're moving in a good direction. Give it some time before you decide that you don't like it. BoArthur 10:28, 20 July 2006 (PDT)
I believe the notion is to try and keep the best of both worlds. For example, my own plans are to pare down many articles about the NAL's content (like Dick Webster for instance) and put the bulk of the information on the NAL website, with a mutual link to the given page. The idea (in what passes for my mind) is to make the websites and the wiki very interactive, very much part of the same overall project. Zahir 10:38, 20 July 2006 (PDT)
That was my hope, before we ever talked of wikis! Elemtilas
That's a good way to put it, David; it's my mind's picture of events. That's what I'm working on for LA's pages...it's slow going, but I'll have it all together and up on the web eventually. :) BoArthur 10:55, 20 July 2006 (PDT)
These problems are already solved it seems, discussions moved back to conculture, etc. To achieve that one does not need to turn wiki into some kind of archive or moving everything to user pages and making it very hard to find the required information, destroying the point of the wiki and making it a collection of separate webpages. It can IMO survive as a separate page inside the IB webring operated by the people who likes the idea of the wiki; the main discussions (establishing new QSS, etc.) would still go to conculture and those who dislike the wiki would be able not to take part in it but fully take part in the IB project itself. Abdul-aziz 13:11, 20 July 2006 (PDT)
As I said about the User Pages, they're temporary locations, and they would eventually be moved to "archive" pages. I think that what you've suggested may not be a bad idea, either "It can IMO survive as a separate page inside the IB webring". As I said above, this is a time where we're finding our way forward, keeping the best that the wiki and the best that conculture has to offer. We may eventually allow all list-members to create and edit pages at whim on the wiki, but I think that having a fully created proposal as the first iteration of the page would be a good idea. :) BoArthur 13:19, 20 July 2006 (PDT)
Dan, I really think this last idea should be done rather than having just a few archivists. As I recall, Muke had said that we can make a group of editors who have the priviledge of editing wiki articles. I really don't see why the entier membership shouldn't have those rights -- it's all our work after all! Elemtilas

Ok. The full text of my suggestion goes like that:

  • After/if this suggestion is passed, the members of the IB community shall be asked werether they plan to edit the wiki and if so, how much. Current admins who plans to withdraw from the wiki (or spend little time on it) would be able to do so and new admins, known as caretakers, would be appointed from the people that plans to stay in the wiki (of course, the current admins who wish to continue using the wiki extensively may be appointed as caretakers as well).
I see no need for that, if all members be granted editing rights. Also, there's no need at all for any current admin to "withdraw". I see no problem with creating more wiki admins. I also see no need for people to declare whether or not they plan of spending time here or not. If someone wants to spend time working on his webpage rather than playing around in here, there's no reason he has to declare that intention or formally withdraw!
I really must say all this is making for a nasty and artificial distinction between "wiki only" (which thus far seems to consist of only one member) and "everyone else". That's a Very Bad Thing, to my way of thinking.
Whatever happens, we need to make all of IB as open as possible to all members. That means a little more work for all of us, as we'll have to pay attention to discussions going on in several places. But there's nothing new there either!
The point here is that some people unfortunately are trying to impose their opinion on some other people by enforcing certain changes *on everybody* when it is very easy to make it so that everybody would be happy and would be able to use the system of storing information they want. What I see is that the people who dislikes/are disappointed by the idea of wiki are governing it and deciding its future (i.e. limiting the freedom inside the wiki, making it harder to use, etc.).
Augustinas, I think you're still not understand a very basic point here. I'm sorry if you feel we are "imposing our opinion" on you personally, but the "certain change" that is at discussion here really involves the change from Conculture to Wiki that we made a year and a half ago (Feb 2005, specifically). We aren't "forcing" anything on anyone. We're simply saying that the experiment did not go as planned, so we're not going to continue in this way. O campio wikiensis, the people who are "deciding the wiki's future" are the very same people who decided to utilise the wiki as a means of subcreating IB in the first place? You're a new-commer. While your input is valid -- and frankly, you must admit at this time that you've gotten just about everything you could possibly and reasonably hope for in all this discussion -- frankly, this is about all of us, not just you.
And to make two points crystal clear, Augustinas: NO ONE is limiting your freedom inside the wiki nor is anyone making the wiki harder to use.
In my opinion, the internal matters of the wiki (I am by no means saying the general way the IB is ruled) should be decided by the people who are happy of using this way of storing information and are keen on using it.
And guess what? This is exactly what has been happening the last month. We're deciding that the wiki experiment hasn't worked so well. We're not abandoning the wiki, but neither are we going to turn it into Augustinas's personal web page. You, my friend, need to step boldly into the century of the fruitbat and take the plunge into the wider world of IB discussion. This Wiki is not everything there is to IB, nor has it ever been.
This is why I have suggested the change of admins so that those uninterested in the wiki would be able to leave - but, of course, if there would be little interference from the side of the people who are against the wiki in the internal matters of the wiki, then they could remain.
And once again, there is not need for that at all. The Wiki is not being abandonned. Now that everyone has proper editing rights, there is no need for "new admins" or to get rid of old admins. Stop whining!
I might be the only member who have been in IB for a longer time and who uses only wiki right now and probably there won't be many such members in the future; I am not saying that some members should be "wiki-only".
Yet you are the only one who is going on about it so! Quentin is a newer member than you and he has taken to Conculture like a duck to water. Augustinas, you're just going to face the facts that IB is more than just you and this wiki is not your personal domain.
However it does not means that everybody else preffer other means of stroring information over the previous "wiki way"; many people are more active on wiki than elsewhere (when the current situation allows that).
Just to clarify for you: the "wiki way" is the "new way". The "previous way" was external websites and mailing list archives. All we've done since Feb 2005 is add the wiki as another means of working on the project, and that is not going away. What is going away is the SOLE use of the Wiki. You're going to have to come to grips with that.
  • The wiki will then be considered a website inside the IB webring; the necessary links would be posted on the main page. Similar rules will apply to the members/caretakers of wiki as to the people who has their own websites; it will be possible to take part both in wiki and own website.
I think that's a good idea.
  • Generally the wiki will be regarded as a website of the caretakers and other users of the wiki (therefore it won't be so anymore that all main members of the IB community will take part in the wiki or be admins/caretakers but rather the ones who likes the idea of wiki for keeping the information they write).
Why should it be restricted so?
It wouldn't be restricted at all but if everybody will continue using wiki, we will have the same complaints again (that the IB=wiki and this is bad). The point is that there seemingly are people who preffer another way of storing their information,
You're still not getting it. Information storage isn't the issue with the wiki. It stores information fine. The problem lies in how IB is created. The wiki offers a far too easy way of filling in gaps; but it also lacks the kind of truly fruitful discussion that we used to have on the lists. What we've decided is to move discussion back. No one is forcing you to move your work! Get it through your skull please!
such as the personal websites and these people were either inactive in wiki or used wiki because they felt compelled to do so as they felt there is not much IB left outside the wiki which was perhaps true at the time. This won't be the case and these people will be able to be active IB members but not necessarily active wiki members. But those who preffer the wiki way of storing the information in websites should be permitted to partly or fully withdraw the information from the wiki, while those who preffers the wiki - the real wiki the traditional way, not a collection of personal homepages - would be able to continue storing their information there.
There is no such thing as a "wiki member". We all work on the same project, Augustinas. If some want to work via the Wiki, that's fine. Almost all of us will be working with both the Wiki and external websites. That may be a bit much for you, since you seem to be rather unaware of anything other than this wiki, so we're just asking you to step up!
Also, to clarify one thing: the wiki is NOT the "traditional way". Once again, your newness is glaringly obvious! The "collection of personal homepages" and the various archives are, in fact, the "traditional way". All we've done is add another means to the way we go about making IB.
  • Anyone who wishes to do so will be able to ask his information to be withdrawn from wiki to his/her own website at any time.
  • The discussion space regarding QSS and proposals shall be the conculture. The members of the wiki will also have to list the proposals there and discuss them.
  • The caretakers of the wiki will ensure that conculture and wiki would not become two different worlds. For example, if some person will write something on wiki but will not announce it on conculture, one of the caretakers will do so and the person will be adviced to use conculture in future.
Then why the forced separation into two virtual worlds?
Because the "wiki way" of storing information is in my (and hopefully not only my) opinion better in many ways as I have explained in past.
I've never disagreed! It's nice and easy to use the search function -- but what you don't realise, apparently, is that this wiki only comprises a fraction of the total information we've generated. A lot resides on external web pages and more in various archives. This is just the reality of the group you've landed yourself in, and I'm afraid you're just going to have to come to grips with it!
But I respect the opinion of the people who does not agree.
And we respect yours. I think this group has been very accomodating of your needs and patient with your complaints. I also think this discussion is drawing to a close, since all of your fundamental issues have been dealt with.
There won't be any separation into two virtual worlds anymore than now there is separation into many virtual worlds (each website being a world).
You are misunderstanding what I said: having various websites does not constitute "many virtual worlds"! You see, we've always had many websites and archives, yet all of it is the basis for one shared world. You want to separate yourself from the rest of us. You want the wiki for yourself and want to ignore the rest of the information out there. Too bad for that!
There would be one IB, one QSS "canon", one main discussion space on conculture. In other words, everybody would be able to choose what fits them more. Perhaps a wiki would attract new members better as well and these new members might later decide to create their pages and move their information off wiki - everything would be a single net.
We don't care where members come from or via which portal. We don't care which "fits them more". The point is basic, Augustinas: the Wiki is not disappearing; you can continue to use the Wiki as before; discussions are being moved back to where they were before (and we want you to take full part!). Elemtilas 07:33, 21 July 2006 (PDT)
  • The internal matters of the wiki, such as appointing new caretakers (admins), deciding on categorization of the articles, ordering of the articles, creating rules, deciding on who will have the right to edit the wiki and so on will depend on the caretakers of the wiki.
  • The wiki will also serve as an archive. Some people may be archivers on the wiki. It might be so that if the archiver has no time the original e-mail discussion might be posted, then someone else might make it "prettier" by writting an article based on the facts that were agreed upon. The archive function of the wiki will belong to IB community as a whole rather than just caretakers or wiki users but who exactly would be able to be appointed as the archivers would be decided later.Abdul-aziz 13:36, 20 July 2006 (PDT)
I think this is going in a bad direction. Abdul, you're trying to set up a rival kingdom here, and that's not good for the project as a whole. I know you're fairly new at this whole thing and have no experience BUT the wiki, however, trying to make it like the Wiki is the only and best solution for IB doesn't fly. It wasn't you who decided to put IB on a wiki to begin with -- it was the rest of us. If the rest us of decide that the experiment has not worked out as we'd like, well, those of you that came in late might be upset with our decision. It may be that our reaction has been over-the-top. I understand that, and certainly wiki-only folks can be accomodated, but I think it is very inappropriate to set up the wiki as a separate-but-not-so-equal playground.
If I can make a counter proposal, it would be to leave the IB Wiki "AS IS". Warts and all. I don't think a couple random spammers warrants the shutting down of the Wiki or the curtailing of editing rights to a very few "archivists". The Wiki functions very nicely as is, though if all members could be made into a group of editors, we'd cut out all the spammers entirely. Leaving the editing rights as is would nullify pretty much everything that Abdul has a complaint about.
A little reform is a good thing -- and it is certainly good to return to a more fruitful discussion format -- but PLEASE let's not take this IB Wiki reform thing too far gents!
Elemtilas
How comes "separate-but-not-so-equal playground"? What I suggest is that actually the members who chooses to keep their information in the wiki would have similar rights and obligations as all the other members; that is, the proposals should be talked about in conculture and no proposals could be accepted solely on wiki as it was previously. I have not said that the wiki is the only and/or the best solution for the IB. Similarly it is strange to claim that any solution is the only one and/or the best one as IB is not a property of a single person and every person has his/her opinion. But, luckily, different solutions can happily co-exist as I have explained and everybody would be able to choose what fits them the best - some might store their information primarilly in wiki, others - primarilly on websites while the rest - in both places. The wiki will not be *the* place of IB as it perhaps used to be but rather one of the places. As for leaving the things as is now (and granting the rights of editor to all the IB members), it is not very good as things have already went too far IMO, but it is certainly better than some other suggestions. Abdul-aziz 16:26, 20 July 2006 (PDT)
Frankly, I'm fine if everyone gets "editing rights", as long as all proposals go through Conculture first, rather than being written up as articles and then getting tagged with {{Proposal}} until they fester. Anyone looked at the proposal category recently? It amounts to 183 articles- nearly 10% of the total. Now that's just silly. People don't look at them. But if they're posted to conculture everyone has to give them at least a cursory glance as they land in your inbox.
However, consensus was, as I understand it, to restrict article space- as Jan outlines above. However, if that's the way it's to be we need a way of dealing with that. Turning the wiki into a seperate fiefdom should not be an option IMO.
And Abdul- yes. You've said many times over that you don't like this and don't see what was wrong with the "old way". And we, the older members, have explained exactly what was wrong with the "old way" many times now. However, things have changed, and as far as I can see you're the only one still grumbling about it. Deiniol 17:19, 20 July 2006 (PDT)
A further random thought, is there a way to add a link to the IB Webring to the navigation panel on the left there? Deiniol 17:28, 20 July 2006 (PDT)

Editing Issues

Everyone that is presently an accepted Member or an accepted wiki contributor has been made into an "editor" by either Dan H. or myself. This should solve the issues and weird proposals we're seeing above.

Me, I don't care who puts what where. If you want a webpage, make a webpage! If you want to place your work on Wiki articles, make Wiki articles! I am not afraid to look on someone's webpage to find IB related information. I've even spelunked the depths of the Conculture archives. Augustinas, if you're afraid of a little outside research, then so be it; but I don't know how you've avoided it for so long! I would urge everyone who's transfering article information from the Wiki to an outside page to leave a basic article on the Wiki with appropriate links to your website. Augustinas, if you've been under the delusion that this Wiki contains all IB related information, I have to inform you that this is not so and nor has it ever been so. You've been here about 10 months now, and should know by now that external webpages and no fewer than five mailing list archives have long been in existence as sources of information. I fully agree with you that the wiki's search function makes research a heck of a lot easier, but "easy" has not been a priority. And, it's only easy in as much as information is placed here on the wiki! (There is still a lot of stuff on Conculture and Conlang and Celticonlang and both Sessiwn archives that isn't here, or anywhere else but those archives.) If articles get left here with links to fuller pages, there should be no problem.

Note to Augustinas Žemaitis: you can stop signing everything and stop whining now. If there are any unresolved issues, feel free to air them here. As for your proposal above, I think it can safely be dropped: everyone has editing rights; no one is (or should be) ever compelled to create an external website; no one is compelled to move from the Wiki at all. I will invite you, once again and will continue to do so, to join Conculture. A lot of discussion is taking place there once again, and sooner or later, your proposals will be brought up there as well. You've been a valued and prolific contributor: your thoughts would be much appreciated in our discussions!

Elemtilas 04:52, 21 July 2006 (PDT)

Its more or less ok then if it will stay this way. Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that I do not check other websites for reasearch - I do it and I did (especially the map pages, also the Jan's page), I just said that it would be quite time consuming and tiring to check every IB related page for new updates frequently and that this is much easier on wiki; therefore it seems to me that way less people would actually care to read/constantly check for updates my website if I'd have one than the number of people who checks the wiki. Maybe this is a delusion though. Nor do I believe that wiki ever was whole IB - I have just noted this because it seems that a lot of complaints about the previous situation were related to the fact that people believed that wiki was becoming whole IB and participation in Ib without participating in the wiki was hardly possible. As for conculture, I will probably join it later. But now after a short stay at home to do certain things I will go back on holiday today for a month or so, therefore I will spend relatively little time for IB. I will check it from time to time for new messages probably though so you will still be able to contact me. Abdul-aziz 08:27, 21 July 2006 (PDT)


Just as a summary- can someone please outline for me once and for all, what's the new "game-plan"? What, exactly, have we decided after more than a month's discussion? A major shake-up in How It All Works or a slight tweak to the status quo and a couple more paving slabs for the long road to Hell? Because I find myself confused and in need of guidance- qu'est-ce que c'est passé alors? Deiniol 22:00, 21 July 2006 (PDT)
As far as I understand it was decided that all the users of IB would be given the rights of editor and continue to edit the wiki as they used to; it will not be however permitted to create new accounts. Therefore it should be noted in the wiki rules pages that if someone would want to join he/she should at first either join conculture and introduce himself/herself there or if this is for some reason not possible/hard to do for him/her at the time then contact one of the admins of the wiki (there might be a list of e-mails presented). The general list of things one should say in introduction might be listed as well, such as major things about the person himself/herself, what ideas he has for IB/what he would want to do here and so on. After such introduction a new account would be created for him. If nobody will edit the wiki rules pages for these issues I will do so myself once probably, but it won't be soon as I'm on holiday now. Abdul-aziz 01:47, 22 July 2006 (PDT)
Right. OK. So, after a month of serious discussion involving a lot of soul-searching, many different suggestions about how to go forward, ruminations on the very basis of Ill Bethisad itself, what we've acheived is: turning off anonymous registration. Gods above. Deiniol 08:29, 22 July 2006 (PDT)
In all fairness, one of the major changes the new direction is supposed to bring is to enhance the sending of proposals for discussions (instead of just writting an article and putting a proposal stamp) as well as moving away from the "filling in the blank" for its own sake. So instead of creating articles as a goal in itself, the idea is that people will have to flesh out their ideas more before it actualy make it into the IB corpus.
From what I can see, part of the problem some have had with the wiki is that due to its nature (a normative rather then narrative medium), you sometime have a tendency to concentrate on a specific item (i.e. "List of Radio Stations of the World") instead of trying to weave new, more generic ideas into was has already been written. Not bad in itself but I think for many of the older members, this was not what they were looking for. For many (and I'm one of them), the wiki was supposed to help as a research tool but not become the focus of IB. I've notice that very often people were in a rush to have an article accepted (not blaming anyone, its the nature of this medium) when said articles would have required much more discussion.
So all in all, what will happen from now on depend a lot on what others do next. What has been written in the wiki will not disapear but some of it might move to private site (as I've started to do with some of my own stuff). If it encourage some people do developed the entities they control more, good on us, and if it don't, there is nothing preventing us from returning here. --Marc Pasquin 09:18, 22 July 2006 (PDT)
Hear hear! Elemtilas 15:11, 24 July 2006 (PDT)
"I just said that it would be quite time consuming and tiring to check every IB related page for new updates frequently and that this is much easier on wiki" -- Good lord boy, what would you ever have done had we not moved to the Wiki? IB was never time consuming when it was all on Conculture. How many facts do you monkey with that you'd be doing constant updates? Doobieous 22:50, 23 July 2006 (PDT)
I meant that it is very easy to check the "Recent changes" page of the wiki everyday and thus see what is new (and to see through page history what exactly was changed in the articles since the last time you checked it) and then to read what is related to the areas that interests you. With many websites it is perhaps harder to do so. Anyways, everything is decided already, so there is little point for continuing the discussion probably. Abdul-aziz 03:34, 24 July 2006 (PDT)
Well, now everything's fallen out in your favour, I suppose there isn't. I suppose it's safe now to move this page back to La Dafern now? Deiniol 06:48, 24 July 2006 (PDT)
As the main contributors were granted the rights to edit the articles, this might be done. But, however, as far as I understand there is still a difference between a common member and an editor and probably not everyone (or no one) who has his/her username registered by the admins will be immidietly promoted to the level of editor and until he/she is promoted he/she will be able to edit only talk pages; as Lla Dafern is a talk page, it should be editable for those members as well. Of course, I am not sure about the policy regarding the new members and giving the rights of editor to them, so I am not sure if it will be this way. Abdul-aziz 07:03, 24 July 2006 (PDT)
Dude, what part of "Everyone that is presently an accepted Member or an accepted wiki contributor has been made into an "editor" " is incomprehensible? There are only two registered wiki users who haven't been made "editors", and that's because they have dropped away into inactivity. You can go look at the user list if you like!
Let's put it this way, Augustinas: you got pretty near everything you wanted. Yes, you're going to have to join Conculture if you plan on taking part in discussions and yes, you're going to monitor other places for research. So, let's just get on with things, shall we? Elemtilas 15:11, 24 July 2006 (PDT)
I understand everything well enough, but as the level of "editor" still remains (i.e. it is not so that all members who has their username registred by the admins would automatically be able to edit the articles) I thought that maybe new members would not be granted the level of editor immidietly but only after some period at which they could only use talk pages (and in that case they should as well be able to use Lla Dafern). But if this is not the case (i.e. all new members will get the level of editor immidietly if they are accepted) then I take back my words. Abdul-aziz 04:30, 25 July 2006 (PDT)
From what I understand, all future members will have that level of editorship but it will be harder from now on to become a member in the first place. They will first have to present themselves, describe what they want to do and only then based on concensus be accepted as a member.
Regarding seeing whats new, I guess I can only encourage those with outside pages (like myself) to have an update list on their site. As long as people respect other people's part of the world, there shouldn't be any fear of surprises. --Marc Pasquin 10:11, 28 July 2006 (PDT)

Archive

When the time comes pretty much everything on this page needs to be archived as "The June Revolution" or some such. BoArthur 16:52, 24 July 2006 (PDT)

Comments to the discussion by Jan I

First of all, I'm back after a short vacation spent in Germany! Hello everybody!

A small request to all of you: avoid nesting your replies! In e-mail, it works nicely. In a wiki, it becomes virtually impossible to reconstruct who wrote what, and even more impossible to reply to something. To get an impression of the whole discussion that took place during my absence, I had to go through the page history, and believe me, that's no fun!

I'll respond to a few things separately.

AA: As I have said previously, my opinion is very negative about this all. What is bad with the current system?

I think that has been explained sufficiently by now. Lla whole Dafern is full of it! It all boils down to these few things:

  • The wiki gives the false impression that it's all there is to know about IB. Other places that store IB information tend to be neglected.
  • The wiki falsely suggests that everything belongs to everybody.
  • The wiki format has become the norm. Creating and improving wiki articles have become the ultimate purpose of all IB activity. Because of that, IB has lost quite of lot of its depth.
  • The wiki constantly gives a feeling that there are voids that need to be filled. Like it or not, but a red link in a list of countries irritates, and invites to writing an articles. However, what we are looking for is not completeness, but depth.
  • Somehow, the wiki has pretty much killed off the discussions we've always been so fond of.
  • There used to be a strong sense of community, which has pretty much evaporated since we moved to the wiki.

AA: Moving everything to user pages will make it very hard to search and basically I believe soon the only one person interested in his country will be the caretaker of his country. Who is going to regularly check dozens of websites and user pages?

Basically, that shouldn't be a problem. Once something on a user page is recognised as a fact, there can be a redirect in article space to the user page in question. On the other hand, it seems pretty much like a non-issue right now. Frankly, I don't have any objections against the idea that

AA: No voting was probably ever done on the issue but despite of that new decitions are imposed. This, in my opinion, needs to end.

PB: This is not a democracy. General discussion takes place, opinions are aired and considered and concensus is reached.

This is true. In fact, I don't recall we have éver had a vote about anything. That's just not how we work. As Padraic said, all we do is based on consensus, not on any majority vote. And in this case, I'm sorry to say, you are the only person who objects against something all the others agree about.

AA: It can IMO survive as a separate page inside the IB webring operated by the people who likes the idea of the wiki; the main discussions (establishing new QSS, etc.) would still go to conculture and those who dislike the wiki would be able not to take part in it but fully take part in the IB project itself.

Problem is, Augustinas, that I don't think there is anybody here who dislikes the wiki as such. The distinction between people who like the wiki and people who don't is a false one. This is not about yes or no to the wiki, but about hów we use it. To speak for myself: I'm véry much like the idea of the wiki, and I'm not even disappointed by the idea of it. My qualm with it is that it has grown way beyond what it was originally meant to become.

Anyway, much of the previous discussion is already obsolete, since now every IB member is also an editor. In other words, the whole "archivist" business is moot at this point. Part of me feels sorry about that, another part of me feels relieved. It ís, after all, our common thing! In any case, we need to be very careful as not to fall back into the same mistakes we've made earlier with the wiki.

First of all, what kind of contents do we want? Do we agree upon this:

  • The wiki contains basic info about all IB countries, as far as we know them. In other words, something like Carlos' (now defunct) IB Factbook.
  • It also contains "minor" stuff that does not fit on anybody's websites, like biographies and other miscellaneous info, as well as the fruits of discussions on Conculture.
  • It is a good place for material that involves several IB members at a time. A good example: the Second Great War.
  • It does NOT contain info that is available elsewhere, i.e. on people's individual websites. It dóes contain links to the latter.

DJ: Right. OK. So, after a month of serious discussion involving a lot of soul-searching, many different suggestions about how to go forward, ruminations on the very basis of Ill Bethisad itself, what we've acheived is: turning off anonymous registration. Gods above.

Yes, I can't deny there is some truth in that. Every IB member automatically becoming an editor makes the whole only-sysops-can-edit-articles thing pretty moot. Now that that is done, we absolutely nééd to follow certain lines of behaviour. Frankly, one of the things that really put me off in the wiki era is that I constantly had to police the wiki and tell people how to behave. I'm really done with that! So let's just agree about a few more things:

  • Everybody is in charge of his own stuff. If you are the exclusive "owner" of an article (which does not necessarily include every article started by you, but does include articles about your own domain), you can do with it as you please as long as it doesn't affect other people's work.
  • Nobody edits articles that were not written by himself (except perhaps for minor spelling changes and the like).
  • You can write new articles about subjects that are exclusively within your own domain. There's no need for any kind of "proposal" tag in such cases.
  • Yet, do nót start articles about subjects that also affect other people's work.

Next thing: how do we discuss things. Here's a suggestion:

  • Discussions primarily take place on Conculture. That's also the only place where hard QSS is established.
  • Discussions about specific articles, as well as discussions about the wiki in general, take place in Lla Dafern.
  • We avoid using the talk pages of individual articles. Experience taught us that those discussion go largely unnoticed. The only exception might be something which is clearly not of interest to anybody but the author of the article and the person who asks a question about it.
  • Once a discussion has been concluded, we move it from Lla Dafern/Conculture to the corresponding talk page (in other words, the talk pages become an archive rather than a discussion forum).
  • Proposals for articles can be written in one's own user space. Once it is agreed upon, after proper discussion, it can be moved to article space.
  • Another thing which experience has taught us, is that an article is not a good starting point for discussion. Instead of writing "I have proposal regarding _____, check out <LINK> and tell me what you think" or even copy-'n-pasting the entire article into a message to Conculture, it is better to start with a basic idea, a question, or something similar. The ultimate article should be the fruit of discussion, not the other way round.

In other words, the proper way of discussing things is this:

question \                                                                   / → accepted → article (article space)
          → discussion → proposal (user space) → discussion → new proposal 
idea     /                                                                   \ → rejected → archive

At last, I like the idea of adding the wiki to the IB webring. I'll see if I can cook up something.

Oh, and one more thing. Someone wrote that we might as well move back Lla Dafern to article space. That is not a good idea IMO. Even though nów every IB member is also a wiki editor (even those who are listed as "candidate members"), that situation will not persist forever. It should be possible for non-members to discuss things with us in the wiki as well. And, even more importantly, there will always be new candidates for IB membership. I think we shouldn't give them unlimited wiki access until they have been confirmed as IB members. Before that, however, they should have the opportunity to submit proposals and the like and discuss things with us.

IJzeren Jan Uszkiełtu? 05:16, 26 July 2006 (PDT)

Welcome back from the holiday. I hope you have enjoyed it :) . I do more or less agree with many things you have said now, but here are several notes:
Thank you! Yes, I did enjoy it, and I hope you're enjoying yours! —IJzeren Jan Uszkiełtu? 02:03, 30 July 2006 (PDT)
  • Regarding the right of the creators of the article to write whatever he or she wants: I think there needs to be some control so QAA (if it is QAA) would not be breached; that is, as I have said in e-mail once, we wouldn't have Cthulhu who lives in Ethiopia or a werewolf district in San Francisco for example. I understand that the policing is tiring however and you don't need to do it; but everyone should have a right to note such things (when an "owner" of some area adds information possibly violating the spirit of IB in his/her articles) in Lla Dafern, conculture or the article talk page. I believe however this will not be something to be used frequently. Also, as per the suggestion that what is in the websites would not be in the wiki, I have opposed it was it was approved by others it is ok. So, in this case it would be the best the articles such as the one on the History of the RTC that is, as I understand, copied and pasted from your website, would go from the wiki whiloe the wiki would only provide the shortened version of the history at the Republic of the Two Crowns article which would be followed by the link. Similar policies could be applied elsewhere too.
  • Regarding the editing of articles written by other people, I think it should be permitted not only for the spelling errors, but as well for adding new QSS that was decided upon elsewhere (i.e. conculture or Lla Dafern). An example for it might be my edits to the articles of the Dalmatian colonies in Africa; when the proposal on the Ethiopian Liberation War (and Ashanti) was accepted I have made minor edits on the history sections of Upper Nigervolta, Togo, Gold Coast and such so that they would not be out of date (as the war was indeed a very important event in their history); after all, wiki, as it was said now, is a kind of archive of what is established. As such, I personally do allow other people to edit my articles to add the established QSS. I reserve the right to edit further and it is of course nice to notify me in the talk page, but that is not necessary if the edits are only either grammatical or adding several sentences of new QSS.
  • My third note will be regarding the red links. To eliminate some of them I have created such articles as Kasai - i.e. writting only what is QSS about the country, in this particular case the QSS is only that the country is in the Middle Africa, as well that it took part in the Second Great War on the Ethiopian side. Such minor articles helps to complete the function of the wiki as that of an IB archive and if they would be marked by the "Here be dragons" sign then everybody would see which countries does not have an owner yet. However, I am not really sure if the creation of such articles is welcome or if it is not, this is why I have not created them "en masse".
Abdul-aziz 08:08, 27 July 2006 (PDT)
About editing other people's pages, the opposition (I think) is that it might easily get out of hand with someone trying (even in good faith) to "flesh out" something that would add unwanted elements. Its better then to just leave it to the caretaker to make additions.
About the red links, I personnaly would find it perfectly acceptable to add small notes like you describe but again we need to be carefull not to turn it into trying to write anything more then a stub. --Marc Pasquin 10:11, 28 July 2006 (PDT)
Yes, I quite agree with Marc. In such cases, I'm sure it is better to make a note on the talk page of an article, because indeed, it might easily get out of hand. Such a note could serve as a reminder for the actual caretaker that he should update the page. And even if he doesn't, the new info is still available.
About the red links: yes, but on the other hand, we should also be careful not to write articles which are nothing but stubs. I'm glad that Abdul-aziz didn't create things like Kasai en masse. I don't know if you have ever seen it, A-a, but once upon a time there were lots of that kind of articles in the wiki. Most of them were created by Carlos and contained info like "___ is a province of ___", "___ is the capital of ___", etc. At some point, we got so irritated by the stuff that we deleted about two hundred of them. We had some discussion about this and consensus led me to write down this guideline for cases like this. As a rule, articles that contain no info that cannot be found elsewhere have no right to exist (unless it's a work in progress intended to be expanded soon). As far as I'm concerned, Kasai can be deleted as well, for this reason.
My own take on "red links" is that instead of creating a red link (with or without have it followed up by a stub) it's better not to create a link at all in those cases.
IJzeren Jan Uszkiełtu? 02:03, 30 July 2006 (PDT)
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