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Connecting the Website and the Forums
#21
(07-31-2020, 12:13 AM)stevebowers Wrote:
(07-29-2020, 07:34 AM)extherian Wrote: My point in suggesting this on the Discord is that the Orion's Arm community isn't a fraction as active as it was in the early days of the project...

You know, I'm not sure that's true. There are numerous active contributors, and many new and amended articles being posted all the time. The Extended World Classification System, the Colonisation before the First Federation list and the Garden Planets list are all very large and complex contributions on a scale that we rarely attempted in the old days, and include details that require far-reaching amendments to multiple other articles at the same time. Not to mention the on-going Duxed, Macrystis, Archsaur Ring, Proxima, Kammerer, Stevocations, Jirayaka, Tohul, Kepler-9, Campbell Stations articles...

The active editors have rarely been so busy, and the site is being revised with a lot of new content that various contributors are providing. And the new front page is nearly ready. So something's going on, even if it isn't immediately apparent.

Not in terms of narrative development, though, which I should have specified. Most of the 'plot' of Orion's Arm, the rise and fall of its empires, and the whys and wherefores of the way things unfolded was written by Anders Sandberg. His assumptions about the setting are long obsolete, like the idea of modosophonts fighting in the Version War, or indeed that the Version War was even a significant event at all and not the Archai equivalent of farmers castrating one another's cattle.

On top of that, there are numerous peripheral empires like the Laughter Hegemony, Perseus Princes and the Arion Ascendancy which haven't been touched or built on since around 2005 or so. We have more planets and well-developed star systems than ever, but historical development has ground to a halt. This kind of outdated material was how I got many of my erroneous views on the setting from in the first place. For example, this article by Steven Inniss depicts high tech societies as still being managed by sentient AI rather than vots, and that such AI 'may have agendas of their own' and implies that this threatens the stability of such societies. With the use of vots, I doubt that this is an issue anymore. 

I've considered attempting to update some of this older material, but in some cases I'd have to update multiple articles simultaneously. For example, the Restored Ambi Limis isn't the only polity in the Perseus Rift; there's 1513, the Celerin Volume, the Ulysses Network, the Hyperionites, The Blackbody Cluster, and Sweetlight. How can I write about the relationship between the Restored Ambi Limis and its neighbours when I'd have to write these neighbours from scratch as well?

Perhaps this is unrelated to how many contributors we have. But the pulpy sci-fi vibe that M. Alan Kazlev used to depict the setting is considered non-canon by the community, and yet no one seems interested in replacing the many articles that he used to push this perspective.
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#22
(07-31-2020, 12:58 AM)extherian Wrote: Not in terms of narrative development, though, which I should have specified. Most of the 'plot' of Orion's Arm, the rise and fall of its empires, and the whys and wherefores of the way things unfolded was written by Anders Sandberg. His assumptions about the setting are long obsolete, like the idea of modosophonts fighting in the Version War, or indeed that the Version War was even a significant event at all and not the Archai equivalent of farmers castrating one another's cattle.

On top of that, there are numerous peripheral empires like the Laughter Hegemony, Perseus Princes and the Arion Ascendancy which haven't been touched or built on since around 2005 or so. We have more planets and well-developed star systems than ever, but historical development has ground to a halt. This kind of outdated material was how I got many of my erroneous views on the setting from in the first place. For example, this article by Steven Inniss depicts high tech societies as still being managed by sentient AI rather than vots, and that such AI 'may have agendas of their own' and implies that this threatens the stability of such societies. With the use of vots, I doubt that this is an issue anymore. 

I've considered attempting to update some of this older material, but in some cases I'd have to update multiple articles simultaneously. For example, the Restored Ambi Limis isn't the only polity in the Perseus Rift; there's 1513, the Celerin Volume, the Ulysses Network, the Hyperionites, The Blackbody Cluster, and Sweetlight. How can I write about the relationship between the Restored Ambi Limis and its neighbours when I'd have to write these neighbours from scratch as well?

Perhaps this is unrelated to how many contributors we have. But the pulpy sci-fi vibe that M. Alan Kazlev used to depict the setting is considered non-canon by the community, and yet no one seems interested in replacing the many articles that he used to push this perspective.

What's wrong with writing up all the neighbors from scratch all by yourself? Tongue

Kidding - I know that that would be more than a bit of a massive effort.

Rather more seriously - In many (although not all) cases, this issue falls under the same umbrella as reviewing and updating the Topic pages. A lot of the articles presenting the early take on things are Topics (if you access it by clicking a button, it's a Topic. If you click a text hyperlink in the Articles list at the end of a page, it's an Article). So going through and identifying which are problematic, and then fixing them, would go a long way toward addressing this issue.

In addition, as satisfying as it would be for everyone to simultaneously jump in and start updating Topics and Articles all at once, that seems unlikely to be practical and so we need to start somewhere. Even more realistically, this isn't something we're going to get done in a month, either. Although the more people we have helping, the faster it will go.

As far as people being interested (or not) in doing it - A somewhat regrettable result of the culture of OA often tends to be a tendency to let things change gradually as people feel inspired to update individual Articles or Topics. Which doesn't work so well if there is a long period where that doesn't happen. As such, a different approach is probably in order.

Would you be interested in taking part in such a project?

Todd
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#23
yea Drashner you make a good point in saying that people suggest something and never do it themselves that i am a hypocrite but nonetheless I understand now.

and i do believe these suggestions shouldnt be discarded either, maybe having a thread of suggestions would help (not like the suggestion box for the forums/the website) that people can revisit, in case we spot them being active again, et cetera. what do you think about that (unless it was already implemented, in which case feel free to tell me)
"Scientia Est Potientia."
       Knowledge is power.
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#24
Quote:What's wrong with writing up all the neighbors from scratch all by yourself? [Image: tongue.gif]

I did actually try this with early articles I wrote. Highbrows, the article I wanted to rewrite most, were a subset of the Superior and Tweak categories, part of the overall human category along with Baselines and Nearbaselines. I rewrote every one of these articles purely to satisfy my OCD. I could not have tolerated just updating the Highbrow article by itself when the structure it was embedded in was so unpolished. 

My mental health was better back then, and I had a lot more energy than I do now. I was seriously considering writing up about two additional societies to go together with the Restored Ambi Limis, but there are things I need to get done in real life that I really shouldn't be putting off any more. This stuff is fun, but mentally exhausting. 


Quote:Would you be interested in taking part in such a project?

I would, depending on how we went about it. Having to bump articles in progress to catch the eye of an administrator wandering in is a nuisance. If we had a mega thread for stuff to update, with a backlog that was cleared on a semi-regular basis, it would be a lot easier on me and on other contributors as well. Not just for full rewrites, but for questionable paragraphs or sentences that could be swapped out for something more canon-friendly. 

Another issue that crops up for me is rewriting an article in a way that was faithful to the original, only to discover that the original is no longer considered kosher. This happened with the Tweaks, who I perceived as being extremophiles on the fringe of society, and with the Synthetics, who were depicted as having been deliberately enslaved. Again, it would be helpful to have a sanity check thread where the canonicity of certain concepts could be debated, so I wouldn't have to throw out work that was based on faulty assumptions.
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#25
(07-31-2020, 01:57 AM)Everything4404 Wrote: yea Drashner you make a good point in saying that people suggest something and never do it themselves that i am a hypocrite but nonetheless I understand now.

and i do believe these suggestions shouldnt be discarded either, maybe having a thread of suggestions would help (not like the suggestion box for the forums/the website) that people can revisit, in case we spot them being active again, et cetera. what do you think about that (unless it was already implemented, in which case feel free to tell me)

The Suggestion Box (Website or Forum) was originally intended to fill this role, but doesn't appear to be working as well as we would like.

Perhaps we could set up a spreadsheet in Google Docs with people having the ability to Comment on it - using that feature to load a suggestion into a comment which an editor can then then add to the spreadsheet itself (and update it as suggested changes are implemented or determined to be unworkable or the like. This would (hopefully) allow people to suggest ideas while also preventing a random person from deleting or messing up things.

We could then use the various spreadsheet features to color code things as pending, in process, done, etc. Probably filter and organize them as well.

We could put a link at the top of one of the sub-forums - perhaps the Suggestion Box sub-forum?

Thoughts?

Todd
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#26
(07-31-2020, 02:10 AM)extherian Wrote:
Quote:Would you be interested in taking part in such a project?

I would, depending on how we went about it. Having to bump articles in progress to catch the eye of an administrator wandering in is a nuisance. If we had a mega thread for stuff to update, with a backlog that was cleared on a semi-regular basis, it would be a lot easier on me and on other contributors as well. Not just for full rewrites, but for questionable paragraphs or sentences that could be swapped out for something more canon-friendly. 

Another issue that crops up for me is rewriting an article in a way that was faithful to the original, only to discover that the original is no longer considered kosher. This happened with the Tweaks, who I perceived as being extremophiles on the fringe of society, and with the Synthetics, who were depicted as having been deliberately enslaved. Again, it would be helpful to have a sanity check thread where the canonicity of certain concepts could be debated, so I wouldn't have to throw out work that was based on faulty assumptions.

See my earlier response to Everything4404.

Something like a spreadsheet (not the same spreadsheet as for suggestions - a different one) would probably work better than a thread in the forum. The forum doesn't drop things off the edge of the world as fast as the Discord, but it still does it. From our experience with things like the Suggestion Box, I'm thinking that having a thread to discuss a new article or changes to an existing article/topic would be good - the forum works well for that - but that for actual tracking status, a properly designed spreadsheet linked to the relevant subform might work best.

Perhaps we could experiment with this as part of working to update the Topic pages and then expand it to things like a spreadsheet for new articles under development or the like (for the latter we'd need to get a green light from Steve and the other Editors, but the Topic project I see as semi-separate).

As far as a sanity check thread - the General Setting Discussion can work for that. Just make a habit of checking in with the forum about what you want to do - either with a new article or an update to an existing one - before starting work on it. The discussion thread for each item can be used to hash out any canonicity issues and then you can write/update the article based on the most current info that the group has agreed to.

Thoughts?

Todd
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#27
What I meant was a thread for the smaller topics and articles that didn't need a whole thread to themselves, not just a tracking sheet. Could an excel spreadsheet really fit stuff like that in its cells? And you're right, I should ask in future before rushing in to things.
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#28
(07-31-2020, 03:50 AM)extherian Wrote: What I meant was a thread for the smaller topics and articles that didn't need a whole thread to themselves, not just a tracking sheet. Could an excel spreadsheet really fit stuff like that in its cells? And you're right, I should ask in future before rushing in to things.

The tracking sheet would be to track whether or not a given topic or article requires a change and the status of that change. Maybe a very brief summary of the nature of the change (update to canon compliance or the like).

The actual details of the changes and discussion around them - probably work fine as a thread to themselves or could use either this thread:

https://www.orionsarm.com/forum/showthread.php?tid=4280

or something like it.

Todd
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#29
Spreadsheet seems like a good idea
"Scientia Est Potientia."
       Knowledge is power.
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#30
Getting on to evening here, but wanted to touch on a couple of things.

First - re setting up spreadsheets for the Topic Review (figure that's a good place to start prototyping this). I'll continue to let a design percolate and also work on getting out a draft of the OA culture page this weekend. I also need to get the Surreal Rash update done, but that can probably go in parallel with the Topic Review.

Second - re stub hunting. It sounds from the Discord that more than one person may be doing this. If that's the case I would suggest coordinating your efforts - maybe each taking a different letter to review articles. That way you won't overlap each other, which seems most efficient. If you'd like to use a spreadsheet to document stubs, I can set up something for that too. Maybe another tab on the Topic spreadsheet just to keep things together.

That said if anyone is really wanting to dive into stub hunting, feel free and please post any found stubs to the Suggestion Box: Website thread for now.

In the meantime, we can try to get the Duxed, Synthetic Human and other outstanding articles done. Basically clearing the decks.

I'll aim to get a draft spreadsheet put together for consideration within the next couple weeks.

Ok, I think that covers if for now. If anyone has any questions, please post em.

Thanks!

Todd

Ideally, we can
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