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UESPWiki:Archive/CP What UESPWiki is not

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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.

What UESPWiki is not

I'd like to propose the adoption of a new a policy page: What UESPWiki is not. I've made a draft in my sandbox. Please feel free to edit the page for writing style, better explanations and simple spelling errors. If you wish to change the actual points it tries to make, it's best to discuss them here first.

Part of the points suggested on this page are already applied by several editors, this mostly concerns the reversal of "forum-like" posts to articles. Since Wikipedia has an "is not" article, I felt we could use our own. Please let me know what you think of it.

I'm not trying to restrict the casual talk between editors here, it should be clear that off-topic talk is acceptable from time to time, but this should set the guidelines in print. --Timenn-<talk> 14:45, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

Looks good to me. There are a few text tweaks I'd make, but it's probably a better idea to get any debate about content settled first. The one point I'd make is that there needs to be some way that Fanfiction can fit in. The way the proposal is written at the moment would seem to forbid fanfiction, which would mean we'd need to delete all of the current stories. I'm not necessarily against that, but I know others would like to keep it. Either an exception for fanfics needs to be added to the policy or we have to consider what to do with it (maybe the TES Fanon wiki would be a good destination?) rpeh •TCE 16:33, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
Yes, fan fiction should be OK of course. At some point I thought about making that clear in the text, but it seems I forgot to place it there when I was actually writing the thing. A statement about that should still be added. One could be argue that fan fiction doesn't belong on this wiki, but I don't have any problem with it. --Timenn-<talk> 23:48, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
To tell you the truth, I hate the whole thing. I'm not saying the ideas behind the policy aren't good, I'm saying that most of the points in the article are either common sense or, in my opinion, bad.
  1. I have little problem with.
  2. This is common sense. How many authors have tried to write personal Walkthroughs outside of userspace?
  3. Actually... [[Tes4Mod:Mod_Ideas]]. I'd also have zero problems with someone making a list of things they want in their personal user space.
  4. Once again common sense.
  5. Frankly, this last one befuddles me. It seems like we're trying to limit personal expression on the UESP. I think it is quite clear that we're not facebook already. This one just sounds really draconian, and personally, it goes against how I view our goal here at the UESP. Our main goal has always been to document the Elder Scrolls series, but I believe that building a community of fans is a major goal. I think that people who make personal connections to other editors are more likely to continue to help the wiki. I mean, is there a huge problem with prostitutes joining our wiki and offering 'companionship'?
Just because Wikipedia has a What Wikipedia is not page doesn't mean we need one.--Ratwar 22:13, 23 January 2010 (UTC)
No.s 1-4 seem like things that are covered already, whether it be in Getting Started article or one of the articles linked to from there. I wouldn't be opposed to clarifying some of these points on an appropriate article, but I don't see the necessity of a new article, and I think it could introduce some redundancy and confusion. In regards to the fifth point, I see no harm in users "networking" with others interested in TES games. I suppose, however, that that point might need more discussion. --GKtalk2me 00:30, 24 January 2010 (UTC)
Lots of users have created personal walkthroughs outside of userspace. Another example just got created: here.
And if people want facebook, they know where to find it. I have no idea what point you're trying to make with your "prostitutes" argument but this isn't the place to tell people about all aspects of your life. I have certain views on religion but I don't want to cause arguments on this site by talking about them here: go to a different wiki or a proper social network to do that. rpeh •TCE 11:57, 24 January 2010 (UTC)
Another good example. Please can you explain how User:ModderElGrande/Games/Dontgetrickrolled|this fits in with UESP's goal of documenting the Elder Scrolls? rpeh •TCE 14:36, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

To quickly clarify my position on the last point: though networking with others who're interested in TES seems - to me - to be acceptable, using our space to talk about things that never have and never will benefit the wiki don't belong here. I just don't want it to sound like we're saying, "If you're here, work! Don't chat and have fun with people!" --GKtalk2me 15:40, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

That's a personal walkthrough? Looks more like a page created because a user wasn't familiar with the wiki and couldn't find the proper page, so he created his own, and it was promptly marked for deletion. If that's what you call a personal walkthrough, it would appear that you've made it illegal to make new pages. To me a 'personal walkthrough' would be an attempt to diverge pages, and have something like GameFAQs where they have many walkthroughs that are essentially the same. Of course, I would also like to note that since the page is already being deleted for being redundant, I see no reason to create policy on it, which will never be read by the vast majority of new users, who will continue to make pages such as that. To sum it up, we already have a policy for it, and creating another policy won't help the situation.
I'm certainly not condoning people getting to a discussion/argument about religion because I know from experience that those never end well. Still, I think it is stupid to outlaw people from expressing that they follow a certain religion. My prostitute example was based on your statement about the UESP not being a dating site. I was merely sarcastically exploring the accusation of the UESP being a dating site, since I know of only one pair of editors that dated on the UESP, I had to assume that there were prostitutes running around. I think it is quite clear that we aren't a dating site or social network.
As for ModderElGrande's page, it really isn't helping us document the Elder Scrolls. Unless of course ModderElGrande gets pissed and leaves. Then we've lost an editor, and that is no good. Personally, I can't see how that page hurts the wiki. We're not hurting so much for server space that a page like that is going to degrade performance, and I highly doubt that the 16 times that page has been accessed is draining our bandwidth resources. --Ratwar 18:04, 24 January 2010 (UTC)
Ratwar's clumsy sarcasm aside, it should be obvious to every editor that actually spends time looking at the site that more users are doing nothing but creating a user page and taking several edits to do it. Last night's example was Doogle423?, who would have us believe that he honestly follows the teachings of the nine divines. Do a recent changes on the User namespace to find more because my time is better spent improving the site than finding examples of just how wrong Ratwar is. Other users create accounts and add yet more ways to kill Umbra, join the Dark Brotherhood, feed as a vampire, etc, etc. All these seem to have passed him by. None of this improves the site and it takes time for patrollers and admins (ones who bother, I mean) to deal with such edits.
How he goes from two people (who actually got together on IRC, FYI) dating to assuming that prostitutes are present on UESP is something probably best left unexplored unless somebody wants to document psychosis in forum administrators. Incidentally, there are at least two other "couples" on this site, but again I suppose you have to bother editing and reading the site to spot that, something that some editors would be advised to spend more time doing before bestowing their opinions upon the site like a fruitbat expelling the results of a day's digestion. rpeh •TCE 05:22, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
I have to agree with Ratwar on this one. There is absolutely nothing wrong with people expanding their user pages or having large user pages. It becomes a social networking site once members who greatly expand their page edit nothing else. Obviously we should avoid that. But to just sit here and tell someone what they can't have on their page is ridiculous. If you don't like it, ignore it. If you don't want to patrol it, then don't. Do I think subpages should be geared towards the wiki? Yes. So deleting ModderElGrande's page wouldn't be much of a problem. But at the same time, it isn't killing anyone. A simple move to his userpage would be enough to satiate the outlandish wants of some.
There is nothing wrong with userpages, from Uniblab's to VergilSparda's, but rather, it is what they do on the wiki. VergilSparda has been asked not to use the wiki as his medium for sometime now, ignoring everyone's requests. That is one case where I think we could hammer down. But Uniblab's page, despite being non-related to the wiki, hasn't been changed in some time. Stupid insults aside, there has never really been a massive problem with "social networking" on the wiki, so this seems as if we are trying to dissect something with a machete. –Elliot talk 07:39, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
It seems some form of clause needs to be added concerning the userpages. I don't think it's anyone intention that we must limit what users should be able to put on their userpage. I hated bringing up examples for these kind of issues I was trying to address, as it may give the related editors the idea they are doing something wrong. It seems that not bringing up examples didn't really work either, so I will try to name a few. I must emphasize that these can only show a handful from the numerous times they occur. First let me state that I do not think I'm repeating policy already stated elsewhere (could you link me to it, otherwise?), nor do I believe I'm inventing it on the spot. It's a summary of what I found more editors than just me practicing when checking the edits made on this site. I feel we need to support these editors with a page that contains this kind of embodiment.
  1. So far I haven't seen objections to this. If you look at these two examples, you can see they are only the latest of daily additions to a talk page. A great deal of edits are made to talk pages, and I notice a good deal is left untended (unpatrolled), so a clause for all editors to be able to remove the irrelevant comments can help keep the talk pages from being less chaotic, and useful for people looking to improve an article.
  2. When I'm referring to personal walkthroughs, I'm not just referring to the various redundant articles that pop up, but also similar talk page posts. I admit this is an old example, but posts like that are still found today. Here is a more recent one. I noticed that such comments pop up frequently, and I at least am not sure what to do with them. Revert? Deleting talk page comments is not something that is encouraged. Let it stay? Such comments are hardly helpful to other editors. Like I wrote on the policy page, no one is going to want to work their way through to dissect what fits the article. The comments may be helpful for a rare reader, but we come at the personal walkthrough issue again. If we all started to give our ideas on a how quest is best solved, we would clutter the sites with them personal walkthroughs. I believe this section can help people understand that we are not looking for such a thing here, and perhaps it will help the editors who check the edits made to this site.
  3. Ratwar actually names a series of articles that can perhaps be considered to be the worst of this site. Tes4Mod:Mod Ideas is filled with silly ideas and people commenting upon them. It's true there are actually nice ideas found there, and some modders have admitted checking those articles for ideas. One can consider it to be helpful articles that just need a drastic cleanup. The articles provide information helpful to some readers, so we can't delete them that easily. But when TES V comes out, I will oppose a similar set of articles being made for that game.
    A similar set of articles was recently deleted, Oblivion:Gripes, and I think those articles were a fine example of what we do not want to document on this site. My intention behind this guideline was not to limit what people can place at their userspace, but what kind of articles need to be created for the games.
  4. So far I've seen few people commenting on this. Ratwar says this is common sense, but I think editors deserve some kind of written guideline that can support them when conflicts arise about this. The main point I'm trying to address here is the numerous "bug reports" that are added, without fact checking, to articles. "Sometimes" is a word you'll find a lot of these reports start with. A telltale sign that the author didn't test, and the report probably needs additional checking by other editors.
  5. It's interesting that this point creates the most controversy. Those alert enough would have noticed I copied this almost straight from Wikipedia, and only tweaked it somewhat to fit UESPWiki. Common practice is to fall back to Wikipedia policy when our policies don't cover the issue. You may notice I've removed the section about uploading files for personal use, as a couple of editors are guilty of this, myself included. I don't have a problem with people uploading files to decorate their userspace, as we have enough diskspace for the moment. Most of the times the files are Elder Scrolls related, so they kind of belong here anyway.
    I think it's best to give an example of how decorating your userspace can go too far, instead of stirring up editors who feel worried that their userpage is in danger of being too detailed. My intention is not to enforce a stricter rule concerning userspace, but rather to have some form of boundary for the (very) rare exceptions. I think rpeh, as well as me, has been reminded about one particular user, Oscararon. This user started creating seperate articles (in userspace) for all his player characters, as well as uploading related images. He started signing talk page post under the names of his player characters, and was only involved in edits that were related to the appearance of his userpage (e.g. the User Rank userboxes). This brought rpeh to the point of contacting him about it.
Now to steer the discussion away from somewhat of only addressing the fifth point; I agree with GK latest saying on it, but I believe that settling the other issues is more important, as they seem to happen more frequently. --Timenn-<talk> 15:09, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

Number four:

Original research is, as succinctly as possible, a theory that cannot be proven, that is opposed to the current prevailing consensus of experts, and that is not notable enough to be a Flat Earth Theory. An example in UESP would be text stating that say, because players objected to there being no levitation in Oblivion, Bethesda would be forced to bring it back in a future game. We do not want original research.

What I believe you mean to say is, we are not only happy to include, but forced to include, evidence from Primary Sources. It still has to be factual, and if we could, we might ask that it be documented somehow, but we just cannot, really. It is still assumed to be factual, not a confabulation or a theory, and is as thoroughly confirmed by a consensus of editors as possible.

It is tempting to believe that the fresh air of player participation that leads to anecdotal evidence becoming UESP's main source of information also breaks through one of WP's ossified and yet often subverted rules, but it does not. Mainly because they never got around to making a No Primary Sources rule; that would have endangered sources like the minutes of government committees and the text of laws and the Bible. If you prefer, UESP and WP definitely differ on the use of primary sources. Anarchangel 17:25, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

Although the use of primary sources may not cause problems within the gaming namespaces, it would cause problems within the "Lore" namespace. Due to the lack of secondary sources authored by "experts", the interpretation of the primary source (the games) is left to non-experts (the players). Due to misinterpretation and differing interpretations of the games, speculation, fan theories, and rumors arise. This is apparent amongst the "Lore community". A lot of original research comes from the "Lore community" and they use a lot of odd sources to justify their changes in that namespace. For example, Lore:Dwemer uses fan-created research as a source. In fact, all the text located here are fan-created. Aren't these original research? How would the "What UESP is not" guidelines affect the "Lore" namespace? --Michaeldsuarez (Talk) (Deeds) 18:09, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
Excellent point, Michaeldsuarez, and I do not have an answer to that one. In fact, because of that point I retract the unequivocal nature of my statement, "We do not want original research", and change it to, "We prefer non-original research", perhaps even in the case of non-Lore material. Lore is also an exceptional area, and may require different or additional rules. I suggest, however, that both overt permissions and overt restrictions are kept to a minimum; asking for original research in a policy is still unwise in my opinion, where allowing it in practice is fine. What rules can be devised that explain exactly what UESP is and is not, should be kept, but if they miss the mark, they won't be missed. Anarchangel 04:30, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
Links, as requested:
  1. UESPWiki:Namespaces#Talk Namespaces
  2. Same, but could possibly be better explained. I wouldn't mind a clause somewhere saying, "Just because you can't post "How I Did This" on the article doesn't mean you can on the talk article. That's not discussion. "
  3. I honestly can't find anything on this. I thought we had it covered somewhere. I agree completely with point #3 in the proposed article.
  4. UESPWiki:Style Guide#Accurate and Verifiable
  5. I can't find anything at all restricting what's done on user pages, so on second thought it might be worth it to mention somewhere.
In summary, #s 1, 2, and 4 are already covered (or could be expanded upon) on the pages I linked to. #3 could go well in the Style Guide, too. #5 should be explained somehow, just a little something, but once again it might fit better at another article; perhaps a "user page" section in the Style Guide? --GKtalk2me 00:20, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
Also, I've edited Lore:DunmerLore:Dwemer. We should not be using fan-fiction as sources for lore articles. --GKtalk2me 05:02, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, but I think that you meant to say Lore:Dwemer, not Lore:Dunmer. --Michaeldsuarez (Talk) (Deeds) 12:39, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
Yep. --GKtalk2me 17:40, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
Oops - I didn't realize that was fanfiction when I added it as a ref. I assure you it was not intentional. As for the page, it seems like a reasonable way to stop the more predictable types of poor edits, but these edits don't happen very often anyway - and the last point seems rather strange as Nephele, who I'm sure we would all agree is one of the most constructive editors, has extensive profiles of her Oblivion characters on her user page. Of course I can't speak for her, but in terms of setting an example for new editors, it doesn't look good. Personally, I think user pages are for whatever the user wants them to be, as long as it doesn't negatively affect the rest of the site in any way. People do take it too far, and I have to agree with what rpeh said earlier about these somewhat pointless additions. Wikipedia has a page like this because people frequently misunderstand what kind of edits the site accepts as constructive. I'm not sure, but I don't think we have this problem nearly as much. -Itachi 17:56, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

\=> Itachi, I'm not trying to restrict freedom on what a user is allowed to have in his/her userspace. It's nice to get to know the editors you're working with a bit. I feel that no regular editor should ever fear that his/her freedom of profile should be restricted. What I am trying to prevent is people visiting the site for the sole purpose of creating an extensive blog and character details without ever seriously contributing to the site.

GK, I understand your stance on point 4, the section you linked to describes it adequately. I think you convinced me that section can better be expanded with the few things that are not there yet.
For point 1 I do no think that the given section provides a real boundary. Talk pages are intended to be open forums, where all editors can contribute their opinion about the content or style of the site. - this is the only phrase that deals with what goes on a talk page, but I find it rather ambiguous. It doesn't say anything about what does not have a place on a talk page and feels more like an introduction sentence than a real clause. The content of an article vs. the subject it describes is an abstract concept that not everyone perfectly understands, as we can see every day.
The same reasoning can be applied for point 2, I don't think the given section covers that at all.

As for the integrity of the article. I don't mind it being split up if people feel the various points belong on different places. I thought of these points when spending time patrolling edits, and figured they all have in common that they precisely describe what content should not go on this wiki. That reminded me of the similar article on Wikipedia, and I believed that concept would fit the points I tried to make the best. It didn't happen vice versa (concept first, then content). --Timenn-<talk> 09:53, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Perhaps the people arguing against Timenn's (revised) suggestion would care to look at the recent changes in Userspace for the last couple of days? Three users in particular stand out. Again, I ask how these edits benefit the site?
Nobody minds a few lines about your player character, but when that's all you do, you are mis-using this wiki. rpeh •TCE 01:51, 1 February 2010 (UTC)