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UESPWiki:Community Portal/Wikiscrolls Project

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This is an archive of past UESPWiki:Community Portal discussions. Do not edit the contents of this page, except for maintenance such as updating links.
This is a major community-wide discussion that has been resolved. Do not edit the contents of this page, except for maintenance such as updating links.

Wikiscrolls Project

Hello everyone. I'm glad to see the site is back up; I needed to tell everyone something. Hoggwild and I have recently co-founded a project called Wikiscrolls ( that will aim to be a comprehensive guide and encyclopedic wiki for the Elder Scrolls series. Obviously, I owe everyone an explanation.

One of the things I liked about this project a few months ago was how close-knit the community was. We got along, we liked each other, we joked around with each other some, and we worked together to help barn raise this guide. Contributing was a lot of fun because the community made it that way.

However, it seems that recently things have changed. UESP has somehow gone in the wrong direction. People don't get along anymore, they seem to maximize the damage of others by making huge controversies out of little problems, and they act like mud-slinging politicians instead of like friends. Everyone has to make a point instead of work together. It makes me sick, and it ruined this place.

During the server problems and perhaps a week before them, Hoggwild and I have thoroughly discussed this problem. We're in agreement, this place has crossed the tipping point and has begun to deteriorate. For this reason, along with a few others, we have decided to co-found a new Elder Scrolls wiki called Wikiscrolls.

This new project is an attempt to start again by retaining the best elements from the old community, while removing the problems. After fully considering all of my options and the advantages and disadvantages to them all, I have realised that this clean slate will more than likely benefit the general Elder Scrolls community greatly, and while it may be the most difficult route to take, it will certainly be the most rewarding.

We've just opened the planning phase of the project, so feel free to come and participate if you're interested. And if your not, I understand and that's perfectly alright. I wanted to announce this project so that you all at least know what we're up to. :D --Aristeo | Talk 01:49, 4 January 2007 (EST)

If it's of any use, I have decent forum experience from working with another help site's forum. If you need any content help, I'm definitely good with that. Just drop me a line if you need something worked on =D. --WerdnanoslenTalk 22:53, 8 January 2007 (EST)
Cool! I'll send a more detailed reply in response to you private message. :) --Aristeo | Talk 12:54, 9 January 2007 (EST)
For future reference (e.g., when this page is archived and someone who hasn't been here the last month wonders what problems Aristeo s referring to), see UESPWiki:Community_Portal/Principles_Controversy. --Wrye 23:12, 14 January 2007 (EST)
I would be interested to help. Although I do hope that you can continue to contribute here as well. --Dylnuge(talk · edits) 17:09, 15 January 2007 (EST)

I'm not sure that everyone is catching the point of WikiScrolls, which is: To directly compete with UESP. Aristeo has already stated that it is a "fork" or a "branch" of UESP. This is not like UESP's relationship with OblivioWiki, where we essentially have different focuses -- rather WikiScrolls will have pretty much the same focus. Aristeo and Hoggwild are starting it because they're unhappy with the current management and/or culture at UESP. For more info on this in Aristeo's own words, see the WikiScrolls Forum: Clarifications and an Update.

I don't wish to belabor this or re-raise the issues that were already battled to exhaustion in the Principles Controversy page. You should however note that since WikiScrolls will be a competing project, it doesn't really make sense to contribute to both. (Yes, I suppose that you could, but it would be twice as much work for the same result, so why would you want to?) I would suggest that if you're going to volunteer to help with WikiScrolls, the best place to do it on the WikiScrolls forum. (Unless of course, it is your intention to publicly indicate that you find a competing project more attractive.)

Personally, my feelings are the opposite of Aristeo's (as should be obvious from the principles controversy discussion), and I'll be staying here. --Wrye 21:04, 15 January 2007 (EST)

Twice the work? Hmm... Wouldn't it actually be half the work? You can write your text and then put it up on both. :D Besides, UESP already has everything so there's isn't much to do anymore anyway. ;) --FMan | Talk | 21:26, 15 January 2007 (EST)
Well, I don't see how getting to post an article twice lessens the original amount of work needed to create it. Anyways, with anonymous users changing articles, it will quickly become a case where a simple cut and paste from the UESP to the WikiScrolls will not be a viable option, so keeping both sites up to date will create more works. Personally, I do see WikiScrolls as a competitor to the UESP, but I don't see any reason that such a competition should be mean spirited. --Ratwar 22:18, 15 January 2007 (EST)
I of course meant relatively, compared to writing two articles. :) But you must have noticed my tone was sarcastic and didn't take me seriously - hopefully. On a more serious note though, we have discussed this very aspect of adding content with Aristeo and I believe it will be essential to Wikiscrolls that it does not allow copying from other sources - UESP or else. --FMan | Talk | 22:57, 15 January 2007 (EST)

OK, I'm going to chime in here. I've been out of pocket for about a week due to some personal issues and illnesses that I won't elaborate on here, but I feel compelled to add my opinion.

WikiScrolls is a project that Aristeo and I have been discussing for several months now. Personally, on the surface, I think that UESP is an incredible resource for Elder Scrolls game players, and a testament to the whole "wiki" thing -- how the community can work together to create a quality resource, similar to Wikipedia. I personally got involved with the UESP community in the first place because of the following:

1) I enjoy playing Morrowind and Oblivion, and I have used UESP as a resource for several years, back to the times when was
2) I enjoy collaborating with others who also have similar interests, i.e. the Elder Scrolls games
3) I enjoy being a contributor to a growing body of quality work on a hobby that I enjoy
4) I enjoy(ed) the COLLABORATION that was an initial part of my participation with the UESP community.

However, over the past few months there have been several incidences that have taken place, some of them public and some of them not so public, that have taken much of the enjoyment out of UESP for me personally. I have been attacked and called names and had labels attached to me that are completely without merit (i.e. I have been called a "b**t*" and a "racist" behind my back, and accused of not doing any "work" on UESP) -- furthermore these charges have been leveled by someone who holds a position of authority on UESP. This is very childish behavior (and these are accusations leveled by someone who statistically is an adult -- and I state statistically, because their maturity at an emotional and psychological level is definitely in question). These charges have been leveled behind my back and I have not been given an opportunity by the accusor to refute such charges. This is not behavior that I condone, choose to be witness to, or wish to be a part of. (please forgive the grammar here)

While I will admit that I can be a b**t* with the best of them, the label of "racist" is COMPLETELY without merit and is the one thing that I personally find the most offensive and from my standpoint such behavior is completely intolerable. The person that has attempted to attach that label to me has stooped to the lowest level of humanity, and I no longer wish to associate with this person AT ALL. If I wanted to subject myself to this sort of abuse, I'd go back to high school. This is not an environment within which I wish spend my spare time. Life is too short, and the person who has stooped to this behavior need to get a grip and freaking GROW UP! I'm not naming names here, because you know who you are. If you can sleep at night, congratulations.

So, Aristeo and I are spinning off from UESP. If you want to follow along, fine. If you don't, that's fine too. I will state up front that the sort of behavior that I outlined above will NOT be tolerated on WikiScrolls -- whether the target of such behavior is me, Aristeo, or any other member of the WikiScrolls community -- and anyone attempting to engage in this sort of behavior will unequivocally be banned from WikiScrolls site, and will DEFINITELY not be holding a position of responsibility or authority within the WikiScrolls community. So, if you'd like to be a part of the WikiScrolls community and you think you can act responsibly, then we welcome you. If not, then you're probably better off elsewhere.

As far as the commentary about "copying" content, I have run across many, MANY instances of content on UESP where it has effectively been "copied" from other sources, whether those sources are official or unofficial hard-copy game guides, other websites or whatnot. The license on UESP is as follows (if you want to see this for yourself, simply follow any of the links on the UESP site related to Copyright and Ownership):

"You (emphasis is mine) retain ownership of any contribution you submit to us, but you permanently license the right to use it to this site. The by-sa license is a copyleft license, meaning the text of the articles can be copied, modified, and redistributed as long as the new version acknowledges the authors of the article and grants the same freedoms to others."


"The copyright of a particular edit is owned by the user who made the edit." (again, emphasis is mine)

So, effectively, any content that I have contributed belongs to me. I have given UESP permission to use the content as they see fit, but anything that I have authored is mine, and there's nothing anyone at UESP can do to prevent me from copying the content as I originally authored it and taking it elsewhere. You may not like that, but that's the way it is. These were the rules that UESP adopted from the get-go. Don't go crying "fowl" now. You can't have it both ways.

The only obligation that is inherently here is that IF we copy content verbatim from UESP that we did not directly author, we are obligated to give the appropriate attributions to the original author.

Now, with that out of the way, I will state this: I have no intentions of copying anything from UESP that I personally did not author. That is blatant plagiarism, and is not something that I intend to be party to. However if I authored something, then it belongs to me and if it shows up elsewhere by my hand, then so be it.

And that's all I have to say about this.

--Hoggwild5 21:23, 16 January 2007 (EST)

Although I do not agree with the rhetoric that was used in Hoggwild's statement, I agree with the principles behind what she says. To err is human, but to persist is foolish. --Aristeo | Talk 00:02, 17 January 2007 (EST)

Dylnuge, FMan, Ratwar, Werdnanoslen: Thank you all for respecting our decision, whether you agree with it or not. I knew that this decision would be somewhat controversial, but I feel like it's the best thing to do. And I think you all understand. Thanks.

Wrye: Wikiscrolls does not want to "directly compete with UESP", we want to make an encyclopedia/guide and give it away for free. I am not in a position to decide if the mission of UESP is to help the Elder Scrolls fans or to compete with Wikiscrolls, but if the sole purpose of this site is to prove that it is the alpha monkey then things are worse than I thought. Also, I see no reason why people can't contribute to both Wikiscrolls and UESP. I plan to contribute to both, even though my focus will be on Wikiscrolls. I think you're just saying these things just to be dramatic, and if this is the case, then I humbly ask that you please pick something else to dramatize.

Werdnanoslen: I know I said I would PM you, but I haven't yet. I wish I had a good excuse why I haven't, but I don't. I'll do it tommorrow. :)

--Aristeo | Talk 00:02, 17 January 2007 (EST)

Right now I have only one thing to say, which is that I protest Hoggwild's outburst being positioned below my text. This may give casual observers the impression that I am the one she is referring to, and I would like everyone to know this is not the case. I have not made any accusations towards anyone nor labeled anyone, and if you have followed this thing from the beginning you'll know I haven't been involved in it at all, and I don't want to have anything to do with this fight in future either. --FMan | Talk | 09:13, 17 January 2007 (EST)

Hoggwild is upset, tired, and sick at the moment, and I think her rhetoric may have been influenced a little by these three things. You two may want to talk in private to make sure everything is alright. --Aristeo | Talk 12:18, 17 January 2007 (EST)
Yes, I know. I'm all right with this. I just wanted to emphasize that I'm not the person in question in case someone should make that assumption from the above... --FMan | Talk | 13:32, 17 January 2007 (EST)
FMan -- you are not the person that leveled any accusations or labeled anyone -- I sincerely apologize if it came across that way. --Hoggwild5 18:29, 17 January 2007 (EST)
No problem. I'm not offended - just wanted to point out that it wasn't me. Thanks to you for clearing it out. --FMan | Talk | contribs 11:11, 18 January 2007 (EST)
I think that the Wikiscrolls idea is great. Simpily put, when a wiki grows very large, it must be able to handle the community that will thrive. When I first arrived at this wiki, I noticed some disarray and chaos. Pages were (and still are) different from one another when they contained the same type of information, no style guides existed, the help section was very inadaquate, a lack of guidelines was prevelent (I never would have found the no first person and attribution pages if I had not been linked to them), and worst, the wiki was about to handle its biggest wave of newcomers with the release of Oblivion (actually, it already was handeling it). Nothing aginst the great contributions of the wiki: Daveh, Aristeo, Nephele, Wyre, Hoggwild, DrPhoton, and more. Your contributions stood out. The thing is, few others did. Many people added unnessicary information to pages. The lack of control became most apparent with the attacks by The vandalism was dealt with, but the community backlash was extremly strong. I believe that the UESP had some extreme design flaws, which were most likely caused by one simple thing: it converted, instead of being built as a wiki from the ground up. While the website stood stronger for a while, as more contributors joined, the lack of standards caused it to slowly unravel. Unfortunatly, it has gone too far. The only solution is to start a new Wiki, from the grounds up. Aristeo and Hoggwild have realised this. I am ready to assist them. I will not leave this wiki. I am simpily helping start another. The problems in this wiki are best shown by this conversation. The backlash has included such statments as that we are "competing" with the UESP. Business compete, corperations, not websites. Neither the UESP nor WikiScrolls plans to charge anything. Competing for what then? Page views? Editors? Pages? They mean nothing. I hope the community will join in with the rest of us, and assist. Thanks to those who already have.
Finally, I would like to say thank you. Thanks to the entire UESP community. I have grown here, and I have learned. This has been a rewarding experiance. --Dylnuge(talk · edits) 23:02, 18 January 2007 (EST)
PS: Ariesto, I am willing to help with anything. I have worked with computers my whole life and have the following experiance: Wiki Markup, MediaWiki software, PHP, HTML, XHTML, CSS, Website Design, Java, JavaScript, Flash, Apache, MySQL, and Linux (Especially Gentoo and Ubuntu, also Debian and RedHat). I also can write style guides, help files, and anything Oblivion related. I am willing to take any task, and am ready to get started. --Dylnuge(talk · edits) 23:02, 18 January 2007 (EST)
Given that Aristeo and Hoggwild have provided such unequivocally negative interpretations of events that have occurred at UESP, it seems to me that their decision to start a new site may well be best overall for the community. I regret the loss of two valuable contributors to UESPWiki, but I'd prefer to focus on moving forward rather than on convincing people to change their minds, when they have already announced their final decision.
I think it is important for readers to understand that wikiscrolls is a separate project from UESP, rather than a subproject that will somehow be coordinated with UESP; wikiscrolls plans to primarily provide content comparable to that already available at UESP. If we all share the goal of creating a comprehensive and accurate web resource about the Elder Scrolls games, I believe that the most efficient way to reach that goal is if we all focus on continuing to improve the best existing resource, namely UESPWiki, instead of diluting our efforts across multiple websites. However, I don't see wikiscrolls as "competition"; it will just be one of many other web resources available to people interested in learning about the Elder Scrolls games. Editors who choose to contribute to wikiscrolls will continue to be welcomed at UESP.
In terms of some of the critiques of UESP made by Dylnuge, I agree that there is much more work to be done here. However, I think more progress can be made by taking advantage of the existing UESP content and continuing to improve it, rather than by starting from scratch and having to redo all the work of collecting and writing original content. Starting a new wiki does not eliminate the work necessary to address Dylnuge's concerns. Guidelines and help pages take no less time to write on a new wiki than on an existing wiki; UESP is committed to continuing to develop such pages, and we have been actively creating and revising both help pages and guidelines. The ability of any visitor to freely edit pages is the greatest strength of a wiki, but also has inherent challenges, such as how to maintain the site's quality standards even when many different editors are contributing. These types of challenges will be shared by any wiki-format web site; starting a new web site will do nothing to magically solve such issues.
I am convinced that UESP will continue to be one of the most-visited Elder Scrolls web sites, and that its community of editors will constantly continue to improve the site. During the lifetime of a wiki, many editors will leave, for a wide variety of reasons; previous administrators and experienced editors have opted to stop contributing to UESPWiki, and yet the site has continued to flourish. The wiki format makes it possible for any editor to contribute when they have time, then move on and let other editors pick up where they left off. New editors constantly join UESPWiki and replenish the ranks of active editors. I have full confidence in the future of UESPWiki, and I look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with the rest of the community on further improving this valuable web resource. --Nephele 11:33, 19 January 2007 (EST)
While this is a very well thought out and convincing argument, I must say I disagree with its main point (that these repairs can be done at UESP just as easy). Things the UESP lacks, and has lacked since the beginning, include:
  • A Style Guide
  • Comprehensive Help Files
  • Comprehensive Policies and Guidelines
This was mainily caused, as I stated above, because the wiki was unprepared: it converted from a website, and had little knowledge of the nessicity at the time. On a standard website, a person or group of likeminded people work together, having in mind stylization and content from the beginning. A wiki cannot contain just likeminded people. It is open to the entire community, as Aristeo states, anyone can edit.' With this in mind, the wiki must begin by deciding upon its policies, then move on to content creation. Wikiscrolls can do this on the fourm. It can be much eaiser to start anew then to attempt to untangle the current situation.
With this in mind, I am not, in any way, aginst the UESP. I enjoy this wiki, and will continue to edit it. I am going to assist the Wikiscrolls project, as it has some good points. I am willing to assist both. Both are good projects, however, being less known, new, and propriatory, WikiScrolls needs more help.
This said, the fact is that this site could improve. I would start with setting clearly defined projects, similar to the Morrowind Redesign Project, allowing anyone to work with them, and encouraging new users to assist in the tasks. Just like Wikipedia. --Dylnuge(talk · edits) 19:05, 19 January 2007 (EST)